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TUESDAY 10 AM–2 PM The Altman Building W. 18th Street New York, NY

A one-day media event spotlighting the most influential, recognized, and sought after lifestyle brands and branded products in today’s marketplace.

To reserve your 7-by-7 foot floor space please contact: Andy Krinner or Donna Moore

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trends • product • property • style • licensing • brands

FEBRUARY 2012 Vol. 7, No. 1










compiled by Laurie Leahey and Jennifer Lynch

Departments 8 10 14 16 18 20 22 24 50 51

Observations & Opinions The TICKER Real Deal

Essence of Style

Royaltie$ Marketplace: Jelly Belly Candy Company’s Jelly Belly

Mavericks in the Market: Leslie Buhler, Paradox Entertainment

Industry Outlook: Royaltie$ Brand Showcase Preps for Year Two Industry Outlook: Assessing Global Risk in Licensing You’re Hired

Calendar of Events


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The Best in Fun!

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FEBRUARY 2012 • VOL. 7, NO. 1


THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT. . . by Andy Krinner

eam aNb has literally been spanning the globe in search of the trends affecting the toy and licensing industries. In toyland, there are new technologies and brilliant toy designs surfacing, but the one trend that appears to be emerging for 2012 is app toys. In what can be viewed as an example of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” the toy world is no longer just testing the app waters. Instead, it has performed the proverbial cannonball into the app waters, which is likely to result in a tsunami of app toys flooding the market. What is interesting to me though is how times have changed. Years ago, especially when the 8-bit systems were introduced, video games were looked at as the bane of the traditional toy industry. I can remember not even being able to say the words “video games” in some showrooms at Toy Fair during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Yet, over the years the toy industry found ways to capitalize on video games through licensing and now they co-exist—well, sort of. Nowadays it’s the apps that are taking a chunk out of the video game market, particularly in the kids’ arena. Rather than compete directly, this time toy manufacturers got on the bandwagon quickly with most of the big players, and some small



ones, introducing a variety of app toys from blasters, to racers, to airplanes, and more. The beauty in this pairing of toys and technology is that the wow factor we’ve grown accustomed to in the annual new selection of toys is all in the application itself. The toy involved is usually a mere token that activates or directs whatever the app is. Initially there was some concern that parents would not passively hand over their high-priced tablets or smart phones to their kids but that certainly has not deterred the enthusiasm of the world’s toymakers. In fact it should be noted that one major retailer was vocal about the fact that its core customers could not afford such devices and questioned the validity of the app toys segment. They suggested instead for companies to come up with a cost-effective device to run the apps on instead. Well it seems the likelihood of that happening may not be too far off. Recent reports out of CES say that a simplified tablet device, which is expected to be available shortly, will cost approximately $69.99 at retail. While it won’t have all of the bells and whistles of the iPad 2, it will be able to download game apps. How long before the toy industry—notorious for being able to replicate minimalist versions of complicated technology—comes out with its own version so that everyone can get in on the action?




229 WEST 28TH STREET, SUITE 401, NEW YORK, NY 10001 PHONE: (646) 763–8710 • FAX: (646) 763–8727

ROYALTIE$ is published five times per year by aNb Media. Copyright 2012 aNb Media. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Printed in the U.S.A. ROYALTIE$ is a registered trademark of aNb Media. Opinions and comments expressed in this publication by editors, contributing writers, or solicited or unsolicited documents are not necessarily those of ROYALTIE$ management.

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The Best in Fun! 1/19/2012 9:04:22 AM




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TCG (formerly known as The Canadian Group) is partnering with Imperial Toy to launch the Roxx line in the U.S. market. Roxx are collectible game pieces featuring unique art in diverse themes targeting boys ages 7 and up. Some of the themes include skate, hip-hop, grunge, humor, superheroes, action figures, and more. Roxx is about the fun of collecting, trading, and playing to win through two levels of play. The freestyle play level features open-ended, easy-to-learn games using only the Roxx pieces, while the Trixx play level utilizes launchers, playsets, and other accessories to enhance the Roxx experience. Roxx will also feature uniquely numbered proprietary and licensed designs per series. Licensed assortments will include Marvel Super Heroes, SpiderMan, The Avengers, and more worldwide. TCG will also launch an NHL-licensed Roxx collection in Canada later this year. Roxx packs will feature an official Roxx Nation seal and include collectible gameplay cards and a collector series checklist. The limited-edition runs will be verifiable and authenticated. will serve as a membership platform to build brand loyalty and introduce new activities; offer online gameplay, virtual Roxx, and competitions; and showcase top players and collectors. TCG and Imperial will also accompany the launch with a comprehensive integrated marketing and public relations campaign aimed at boys throughout North America beginning summer of 2012 to experience Roxx Nation for themselves. Roxx and related accessories are expected to hit retail shelves this summer.


The Aird Group, maker of the Kimmidoll and Kimmidoll Junior, signed Kids Preferred to distribute Kimmidoll Junior resin dolls, key chains, and other related product for the specialty market. Kids Preferred will launch its product assortment at Toy Fair. The deal was brokered by The Aird Group’s newly appointed licensing agent for North America, Redasign Studio. Redasign also brokered a deal with Kids Preferred for the plush property Squaredy Cats. Under the agreement, Kids Preferred will manufacture and distribute the plush at specialty. Squaredy Cats combine the expression “scaredy cat” with brightly colored plush cats that are square-shaped.


FashionPlaytes, the leading online clothing design experience for girls ages 5–12, together with Hasbro, Inc., announced the launch of the Littlest Pet Shop Design Studio available exclusively through The site offers a variety of customizable clothing options—from T-shirts and hoodies to fleeces and dresses— as well as backpacks and doll clothes. The exclusive designs provide thousands of new combinations for girls to interact with Littlest Pet Shop in a new way.



Kimmidoll Junior

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Mattel/Fisher-Price recognized the passing of two of its beloved colleagues and respected toy professionals. The company submitted the following obituary to honor Stanley “Stan” T. Clutton and Diana Dunn-Graves. Stan Clutton, senior vice-president of inventor relations, Mattel/Fisher Price, died December 23, 2011, after a battle with cancer. He was 66. Clutton was referred to by his industry colleagues as a “funny, loyal, honorable person they were proud to call a friend.” He was a toy and licensing industry icon with a big heart, a warm smile, and an unforgettable laugh. An outpouring of condolences from the industry for his nearly 40 years of dedicated service continues to filter into Mattel and Fisher-Price since his passing. Stan devoted his entire professional life to traveling the world to meet with inventors and licensors that might offer that next great toy idea for Fisher-Price and securing best-in-class licenses for the Fisher-Price portfolio. Most notably, Clutton tapped into the inventor technology that became the Tickle Me Elmo phenomenon in 1996. He joined Tyco Preschool in 1993 as vice-president of marketing and was promoted to senior vice-president of marketing and design in 1997. In 2000, he became senior vice-president of inventor relations for all of Fisher-Price, adding Mattel inventor relations to his area of responsibility in 2009. He was a tireless driver, enabling Fisher-Price to become a lead manufacturer for new preschool entertainment properties. Clutton also served as a former LIMA board member and was an active participant on its charity committee. His warmth, energy, and dedication to his work have made an indelible mark on the legions of people he touched in the toy and licensing world. Diana Dunn-Graves, vice-president of marketing for Fisher-Price, died from complications from breast cancer on January 1. She was 49. DunnGraves graced the toy industry for nearly 20 years, starting in the New York City area with Eden Toys and then moving on to Gund, Inc., as vice-president of marketing. One of her last duties at Gund was launching the Gund Baby line. In 2001, she joined Fisher-Price as director of marketing in the girls division. She was Diana Dunn-Graves then tapped to head up the infant and newborn team, which she led with great vision for seven years. Some of her outstanding achievements included innovative marketing programs as well as the launch of several very successful product lines such as Laugh & Learn, Peek-a-Blocks, and Amazing Animals. At the end of 2010, Diana was promoted to her dream job as vice-president of marketing at Fisher-Price Friends in New York City, closer to family and work with a new team that, in her words, “invigorated” her. She will be remembered for her well-known and appreciated wit as well as her humorous and triumphant three-peat to the TOTY stage in New York City during Toy Fair 2011. There is much to admire about their storied careers, and the tenacity and vivaciousness with which they approached their work and their lives. The Mattel/FisherPrice family, as well as the rest of the toy community, sends its sympathies to the families they left behind. All are proud to have worked with Clutton and Dunn-Graves and both will be greatly missed.



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Grateful Dead Productions and Rhino Entertainment partnered with Donni Charm to create a line of scarves using iconic Grateful Dead artwork. The six different Donni Charm scarves in the Grateful Dead line feature designs incorporating classic Dead imagery including Steal Your Face, Skull and Roses, Dancing Bears, and Skeletons. The line debuted in January. Donni Charm scarves are currently sold in specialty boutiques throughout the U.S. as well as internationally.


British fashion designer Matthew Williamson appointed Beanstalk to help develop his brand’s international licensing program. Beanstalk will work to secure best-in-class licensing partners across a range of luxury lifestyle categories including fragrance, eyewear, footwear, luggage, housewares, and children’s wear.


Nokia signed a deal with LazyTown to produce a LazyTown AirShip Challenge app, to be made available in both the Windows Phone Marketplace and Nokia Store. The app was conceived, designed, and developed by Ixonos, a creative mobile solutions and digital agency company. The game places the player in the position of Sportacus, navigating his airship through the clouds above LazyTown to capture falling SportsCandy and collect points.


Eric Carle Studio appointed The Joester Loria Group (TJLG) as the exclusive worldwide licensing agent for The World of Eric Carle licensing program. TJLG will build on the program’s success in the U.S., Japan, the UK, Australia, and Europe with dynamic retail and marketing initiatives designed to reinforce the brand’s appeal. Key merchandising categories of infant and toddler toys, apparel, feeding, home products, and others will be expanded to include more art and content from The World of Eric Carle’s library of more than 70 illustrated books, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The licensing program will also reinforce the brand in classrooms and libraries with teacher’s materials and supplies. TJLG also plans to launch lifestyle products for adults including museum quality gifts and home décor and a collection of junior and young adult apparel, loungewear, and accessories featuring the artwork of Eric Carle.


Universal Partnerships & Licensing (UP&L), Illumination Entertainment, and Thinkway Toys will partner on the global production of toys based on the follow-up to Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me. Thinkway Toys was awarded the master global toy license for Despicable Me 2, which is due in theaters July 3, 2013. Thinkway Toys will develop a wide variety of toys featuring the Minions and other key characters including interactive toys, figures, plush, dolls, playsets, vehicles, roleplay, and novelty items. Products will be available on shelves summer 2013.



LazyTown AirShip Challenge

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Celebrating 100 with Apparel

The Wildflower Group in association with licensing agency Creative Properties signed J2 Licensing for the Girl Scouts of the USA, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. J2 Licensing will produce girls, juniors, and women’s tops, including T-shirts, tank tops, layered looks, and more. The girls collection will feature bold colors and graphics, while the juniors and women’s lines will focus on vintage and nostalgic looks. The apparel will be available this spring.

New Deal for LET GOd Work

The Gregg Gift Company division of Enesco, LLC entered into a licensing agreement with LET GOd Work to create a broad assortment of high-quality apparel and accessories inspired by and for Christians everywhere. The LET GOd Work offering will include T-shirts, hoodies, hats and beanies, accessories, sunglasses, and many more categories. Gregg Gift introduced the LET GOd Work collection last month. The deal was brokered by Firefly Brand Management. LET GOd Work was created as a lifestyle brand that reflects today’s friendly and positive Christian movement. The designs are fun and cutting edge for the next generation of Christian.



BU at K&G

K&G Fashion Superstore announced the launch of the BU Collection, a premier line of men’s tailored suits inspired by actor Blair Underwood. The entire collection will be available exclusively at K&G stores and on The launch of the BU Collection will include twobutton and three-button 100-percent wool-vested suits. The actor Blair Underwood premier suit collection is designed with a modern fit and available in a rich palette of patterns and colors, including black, charcoal, gray, navy, olive, taupe, and brown. Each suit features burgundy lining and includes personal touches, such as Underwood’s family crest inside the lapel. The collection is also available in big and tall sizes. Complementing dress shirts are 100-percent cotton and come in a variety of checks, stripes, and solids in colors such as taupe, brown, blue, purple, and white. The 100-percent silk ties are designed to coordinate with any look in a wide selection of patterns and colors.


Trend Lab’s collection of officially licensed NASCAR infant products include layette gift sets and “bouquets” of burp cloths, bibs, wash cloths, hooded towels, and blankets. Product features race cars, checkered flags, tire dots, and tire tread stripes printed in cornflower and sky blue, red hot, mango orange, olive green, and charcoal gray.

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Please visit us at:

New York Toy Fair, Javits Center Galleria Booth G100

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andy innovation was something embedded in the DNA of fourth generation candy maker Herman Goelitz Rowland, Sr. But when his family owned candy store, Herman Goelitz Candy Company (originally known for its homemade butter cream candies and candy corn), hit a rough patch in 1960 his family decided to expand its offerings and introduce jelly beans. While jelly beans were nothing new to the American public, it was the unique twist of flavors cooked into the center of each Herman Goelitz Candy Company jelly bean that set them apart. In 1976, in collaboration with a Los Angeles candy distributor to create natural true-to-life flavors, Herman Goelitz Candy Company changed its name and took the candy company and its gourmet jelly beans to Jelly Belly status. Jelly Belly introduced eight original Jelly Belly flavors that continue to be among the company’s most popular flavors today: Very Cherry, Lemon, Cream Soda, Tangerine, Green Apple, Root Beer, Grape, and Licorice. Jelly Belly is now the world’s No. 1 gourmet jelly bean with 50 official flavors as well as cobranded collections including Jelly Belly’s Cold Stone Creamery Jelly Beans, and Harry Potter’s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. And with the help of its global licensing agency The Licensing Company (TLC) North America, Jelly Belly has extended the brand’s reach beyond the candy aisle. Among its most recent deals is a partnership with Wow Brands, Inc., to incorporate the classic Jelly Belly flavors into frozen drinks and desserts. Marketing the scents and flavors that define its jelly beans has also taken the brand outside the food and drink category with licensed products such as edible bubbles, fragrances, and scented Jelly Belly Lickety Sip Ice Pops holders from Focus Brands Group electronic accessories.



Fast Facts

• Blueberry flavored Jelly Bellys were created for Ronald Reagan’s presidential inauguration in 1981. • It takes 7 to 21 days to make a single Jelly Belly jelly bean.

• Enough Jelly Belly beans were eaten in the last year to circle the earth more than five times. • Jelly Belly beans were the first jelly beans in outer space when they were sent up on the 1983 flight of the space shuttle Challenger.

A whole new way to play Licensing opportunities available in key categories Andrea Brent Vice President, Consumer Products Email: Tel: 818-748-1387 TM & © 2011 Pacific Animation Partners LLC “Monsuno” TM & © 2011 JAKKS Pacific, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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A whole new way to play Licensing opportunities available in key categories Andrea Brent Vice President, Consumer Products Email: Tel: 818-748-1387 My Babysitter’s a Vampire™: © MBV Productions Inc. 2011 All Rights Reserved. Produced in association with FremantleMedia Enterprises. Monsuno: TM & © 2011 Pacific Animation Partners LLC “Monsuno” TM & © 2011 JAKKS Pacific, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Aquabats! Supershow ™/© FremantleMedia Limited 2011. All Rights Reserved. HUB and HUB LOGO™ and © Hub Television Networks, LLC.

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Focus Products Group introduced a variety of Jelly Belly-branded ice treat products including appliances, accessories, and snow cone syrups. Create snow cones with Jelly Belly Ice Shavers, available in electric, manual, and dual models. The electric model includes a bean-shaped blade, ice shaving adjustment knob, ice shaver, two ice molds, and starter cups and straws.



ESI Cases and Accessories offers skins for the iPod Touch and iPhone that smell like a variety of Jelly Belly flavors. ESI is expanding its Jelly Belly products to include headphones, ear buds, and car chargers. Products are available at Hudson News, T.J. Maxx, and FYE retail locations. Scents and colors include Berry Blue, Licorice, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Very Cherry.

Little Kids’ Jelly Belly Scented Bubbles is a line of children’s bubbles packaged in custom bean-shaped bottles. Formats include bubble necklaces, on-the-go bubble key chains, bubble sticks, and bubble wands available in Very Cherry, Toasted Banana, and Grape Jelly scents. All products are available at retailers such as Toys “R” Us; Bed, Bath and Beyond; Target; and Walgreens.


WIT Beverage Company’s Jelly Belly Gourmet Sodas line consists of 12-ounce bottles in 10 flavors, blended to match the flavor of their corresponding Jelly Belly jelly bean. Flavors include Blueberry, Crushed Pineapple, Green Apple, Sour Cherry, Lemon Drop, Juicy Pear, Strawberry Jam, Tangerine, Very Cherry, and French Vanilla. The sodas are made with pure cane sugar and natural flavors. A line of zero calorie sodas is also in development.


Wow Brands offers a line of Jelly Belly-flavored frozen beverages and soft serve desserts. The line includes a range of frozen carbonated beverages, soft serve yogurts, smoothies, and soft ice cream through soft serve dispensing machines. Available flavors are Very Cherry, Lemon Drop, Crushed Pineapple, Berry Blue, and Island Punch.



Leslie Buhler Paradox Entertainment 8484 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 870 Beverly Hills, CA 90211 Phone: 323–655–1700 Email:


LESLIE BUHLER, PARADOX ENTERTAINMENT by Jennifer Lynch hen it comes to licensing, there is nothing girlie about the properties that have defined the career of Leslie Buhler, vice-president, licensing, Paradox Entertainment. From her beginning work with the Terminator franchise to her current work with properties such as Spartacus and The Expendables, Buhler found her niche. She got her start in the entertainment industry working in film acquisitions, but as the industry began to consolidate and acquisition became more volatile she began to look elsewhere. “I was looking for a way to stay in the entertainment business when a friend suggested I look into licensing,” she says. “It seemed a natural fit with my experience and interests.” Her experience in film acquisition, where she worked trade shows, analyzed scripts, negotiated deals, collected royalties, and wrote marketing material, easily translated to her work in licensing. Her first licensing gig was at Carolco Pictures, where Buhler started as a manager of contract administration, handling contracts and royalties for properties such as Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Rambo, Total Recall, and Basic Instinct. “My initial thought was to learn licensing with the plan to work in product placement from the brand owner side, and place product into film and television,” she says. But as her time at Carolco lengthened, her role evolved into overseeing its international agent network as well as handling the domestic market. Then, in 1992, Buhler seized the opportunity to help the then-head of Carolco’s licensing pro-



position at Paradox Entertainment. Compelled by the company, Buhler joined the team in 2007. “Paradox was a change for me, as it was a licensor owning properties of its own, rather than acting on the behalf of others,” she says. But her experience handling primarily male-oriented properties gave her an edge, allowing her to apply her knowledge to Paradox’s roster of brands, such as the Robert E. Howard library (including Conan the Barbarian, Soloman Kane, and Kull of Atlantis) and Target Games properleft: Conan Frazetta figure ties (Mutant Chronicles and Kult). from C.S. Moore “Obviously people pick up all kinds of propright: The Expendables’ Barney Ross figure from Hot Toys erties but to have so many that are male-orientgram, Danny Simon, to co-found The Licensing ed, there aren’t many that have made it their speGroup (TLG) along with Lisa Lockhart. TLG cialty,” she says. “Being a girl doing this is defstarted out representing Carolco properties and initely a bit different.” grew to include others. Along with her team, One reason she has been so successful in this Buhler helped to establish an extensive world- area speaks to Buhler’s personable and involved wide program for Baywatch that included such approach to business, which she also passes on as items as Baywatch Barbie (one of the first co- a mentor to students in LIMA’s Certificate of branding projects with Mattel for Barbie), a fra- Licensing Studies program. “I still want to see grance and suntan lotion line, and signature red people even if we both know we don’t have a deal swimsuits. Buhler also worked on what may be to make today, because one day we just might,” one of the longest-running licensing programs— she says. This has helped Buhler to establish lastTerminator 2: Judgment Day. She helped launch a ing relationships with all parties involved, gain an toy line for the property along with the understanding of what everyone is looking for, Terminator attraction for Universal Theme Parks and how to realize their ideas in the marketplace. in Hollywood, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; and Osaka, “Whether the properties are internal or representJapan. Buhler remained at The Licensing Group ed, we are all partners for the success of the profor 14 years until 2006. “I learned so much about gram and resulting product, so I consider them the licensing industry and how to build a licens- mine,” she says. This is an approach she’ll coning company during my tenure there,” she says. tinue to take as she works with Paradox to She carried that knowledge on to her current expand in new directions and take risks.

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Royaltie$ Brand Showcase Preps for Year Two


Andy Krinner, publisher of Royaltie$, welcomed the crowd during a brief press conference. OYALTIE$

Pinkalicious author Victoria Kann was in attendance. She is spotlighting an array of Pinkalicious-licensed products represented by The Joester Loria Group.

BRAND SHOWCASE, which launched last July in New York City, is a day-long media event to preview a diverse offering of branded products for the upcoming holiday season. The event spotlighted the most influential, recognized, and sought-after lifestyle brands and branded products in the marketplace. Exhibitors during this past July’s event included Nickelodeon, Mattel, Scholastic, The Licensing Company, The Joester Loria Group, Ludorum, Discovery, MODA, The Boy Scouts of America, and many others. Some images from the event are shown above. The media in attendance ran the gamut from parenting-focused bloggers to estab-



Nickelodeon’s booth is just one example of items on display. Crabby Patty cupcakes, on the left, were given out to the media.

lished websites to traditional media focusing on fashion as well as the business press. Media that attended the event included,, and as well as Access Hollywood, Seventeen Magazine, The New York Post, and Bloomberg’s Business Week, just to name a few. ROYALTIE$ BRAND SHOWCASE will take place once again on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in New York City’s Altman Building. Space is limited to 30 companies during this summer’s event. This will allow attendees to utilize the 7’ x 7’ footprint for enhanced display and demonstration. Exhibitors will also receive a comprehensive guide outlining sponsorship opportuni-

Yuko Shimizu, creator of Hello Kitty, spent the day at Fremantle’s booth promoting her newest property, Rebecca Bonbon. She is shown here with Nancy Lombardi, editorial director of Royaltie$.

ties, information about the gifting suite, and a media relations guide. Litzky Public Relations, who works in tandem on this event with aNb Media, will provide exhibitors with a registered media list prior to the event. All exhibitors are encouraged to conduct their own media outreach prior to the show as well as post-show follow-up. For more information on this summer’s event contact Andy Krinner at or (646) 763–8721 or Donna Moore at or (646) 763–8718. For questions regarding media relations, contact Melissa Winston or Litzky Public Relations at or (201) 222–9118 ext. 16.

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1/19/2012 4:16:01 PM

Assessing Global Risk in Licensing by Bill Cross, Broad Street Licensing Group


e licensing agents get a bad rap for being lazy—perhaps deservedly, in my opinion. We like to schmooze and do deals, but sometimes not much else. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but there’s an element of truth to it. Having represented food and restaurant brands for licensing-out as well as acquiring brands for manufacturers, I’ve been on both sides of the desk. And it shocks me to see some of the sloppy work and lack of followthrough on the part of fellow agents. One thing my experience working with other licensing agents has taught me is to try and get beyond just doing deals. That means giving clients more services than just bringing in licenses, including offering a broad assessment of the marketplace where their properties compete. We currently send clients a bi-weekly newsletter about the food business and regular reports on things that should concern them, such as food safety (Will concerns about acrylamide in cooked potato products result in government regulations for potato chips?) or if the trouble in the Eurozone could disrupt the local economies of countries where their licensed products are sold. Will there even be a Eurozone? In addition to attending a variety of trade shows around the world, we also spend time at targeted, sometimes esoteric seminars,



such as December’s half-day on finance and credit trends in the Greater China region, hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Or the annual one-day Country Risk Meeting conference last May hosted by the insurance giant COFACE in New York. COFACE SA (Compagnie Française d’Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur), headquartered in France, specializes in a variety of services meant to help companies do business internationally. Depending on the company and its current mix of products, that can include factoring, export insurance, and other safeguards intended to lessen the scary parts of doing business. With more than 100,000 clients in 70 countries, this annual conference allows them to bring in a panel of heavy hitters to assess the risks in all the major markets. A group of smart, learned panelists gave an overview of the politics and finances of major markets and individual countries. The panelists last year included Hans Belcsak, president of S.J. Rundt & Associates, who spoke on the Middle East; Scott Gregoire, financial economist for the U.S. Import-Export Bank (whose topic was Latin America); Evariste Lefeuvre, managing director and chief economist for Americas at Natixis; and D. Tyler Vernon, CIO for Biltmore Capital Advisors. The panel was

rounded out by Kerstin Braun and Christine Altuzarra, both senior executives at COFACE. The presentations were all detailed and heavy on numbers, so I spent the afternoon absorbed in geekdom, my program quickly blackened with notes and questions. Now why, you might ask, would a licensing agent attend such a meeting? Well, it was certainly fascinating to hear from the horses’ mouths what the risk assessment is for the entire world. Our agency has clients and licensees in all regions of the globe, so as part of our focus on the food business, it’s vital that we remain up-to-date on matters such as inflation/deflation, instability in world markets, or the prospect for disruptions in the Eurozone, among others. The mood was cautious about the U.S. (1.7 percent growth), and guarded in Europe (no bailout seen for Spain at the time, with growth -1.5 percent), where the concern is for deflation in the developed economies. A tightening of money policies was predicted to cool off the torrid economy of China, a darling of the BRICS bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), where the concern is inflation (forecast above 6 percent for 2011).

While the expanding domestic markets in these countries will absorb much of the production from formerly export-oriented industries, the flattening out of international trade expansion (down to 5 percent this year from 14.5 percent in 2010 and 5.8 percent in 2011) will further cool growth in the BRICS. While all of this might seem very “thirty thousand feet,” market fluctuations affect the potential success or failure of licensed products. In the case of movies or sports licensing, economic ebbs and flows may have less of an impact than with food products or hard goods because food licensing often means deploying products that will take months or years to gain

full traction in the marketplace. The large financial investments required by food companies, both in producing and marketing products, are affected by imports, export potential, and government regulation of economies such as those of China and Russia. Licensed food products can extend the reach of a brand far beyond its home base through the “silent advertising” component of licensing, so brand owners may be more likely to approve licensing in countries that otherwise would cause them pause. But at what point is the risk too great? It’s often said that getting outside our comfort zones makes us work harder. Attending the annual COFACE Country

Risk Meeting meant stretching my mental abilities and looking at the world with a different focus than when I’m negotiating a possible snacks license in the UK. I can’t be sure how much impact my efforts will have on the licensing programs we implement, much less the core business of my clients. Yet I welcome the chance to do this, just as I plan on attending more international events next year. It’s all about added value. Bill Cross is vice-president of restaurant and food brand licensing for Broad Street Licensing Group. He can be reached at or visit




o m i s s i l l Che Be

Relaunching a $100m Brand

Nursery design by Wendy Bellissimo


endy Bellissimo. Does the name ring a bell? From 2005–2008, The Wendy Bellissimo brand was a direct-to-retail exclusive with Babies “R” Us. During that time, sales for an extensive line of baby lifestyle products totaled in excess of $100 million, according to Wendy Bellissimo. The two companies parted ways in 2008. While the brand may have vanished from retail shelves, existing items are still available for sale online. Bellissimo went on hiatus to spend time with her husband and their four young daughters—and, yes, “Bellissimo” really is their last name. Perfetto! But Bellissimo couldn’t stay away and



before long she crafted a program to pitch to Sears. Yet, the chain was in the midst of numerous management changes so the proposed line never came to fruition. Meanwhile in 2010, Bellissimo’s second of four daughters, Cecilia, was diagnosed with cancer at age 7. Everything was put on hold to save Cecilia, says Bellissimo. Now that her daughter is in remission, Bellissimo is staging a comeback for her business and her family. Step one of this relaunch is partnering with The Richmond Management Group, lead by Jennifer Richmond, to devise a licensing program. The Wendy Bellissimo brand originated as home goods sold mostly in independent stores as well as Bloomingdale’s and Bed Bath & Beyond in the late 1990s. Then in 1998, Bellissimo tried her hand at a baby and kids line. It quickly became the crux of the business, selling in highend specialty boutiques to affluent parents while gaining the attention of celebrities who wanted a nursery designed by Wendy Bellissimo. By 2004, she signed an exclusive deal with Babies “R” Us featuring categories such as apparel, gear, furniture, bedding, and more. Now the relaunch plan marries these two segments for a multi-layered, multi-channel product line. • Wendy Bellissimo Baby & Kids is designed for mass-market baby specialty stores and independent specialty stores. • Wendy Bellissimo Signature is designed for department stores. • Wendy Bellissimo Luxe is for high-end department stores and boutiques. Meanwhile there are two additional segments: WB & Me by Wendy Bellissimo and We Be by Wendy Bellissimo, both for the mass market.



Thus far, The Richmond Management Group has signed Five Star Apparel for layettes, playwear, and related accessories; knit and woven sets and separates; swimwear; and outerwear for boys and girls ages 0–7. Crown Crafts has been signed for crib bedding sets and sheets, decorative blankets, coordinating window treatments, rugs, lamps, and mobiles. Although a licensee has not been announced as of press time, Bellissimo is working on an extensive footwear deal. Also, a deal is about to be signed for baby lifestyle products such as diaper bags, hair accessories, and packaged gifts. Online retailer, Gilt Groupe will launch Bellissimo’s new collection in early summer. “Wendy Bellissimo is a design powerhouse whose product is playful, stylish, and above all, creative,” says Rachel Jarrett, general manager of Gilt Children. “Gilt members will have the first look at her new line and the opportunity to purchase it before it is available anywhere else.” Bellissimo will also have a permanent baby and kids’ boutique on Gilt, which Jarrett says is an obvious fit for Gilt’s members. “Rachel Jarrett [Gilt Children] is the same woman who helped to launch my brand at Babies ‘R’ Us,” Bellissimo says. “So she was really familiar with the success of the brand.” Bellissimo will take part in a media tour in conjunction with Gilt to promote the launch. However, Bellissimo points out that before she can focus on the PR, the emphasis must be on the designs, and obviously, retail placement in addition to the Gilt Groupe offering. Bellissimo is currently designing products and pitching lines to baby lifestyle retailers and expects her brand to be back on shelf this fall.

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n January 2010, Jakks Pacific announced a strategic partnership with Japan’s Dentsu, Inc., a leading producer of Japanese animation, to create a series based on the original boys’ action property, Monsuno. Targeting ages 6–11, the animated series was developed by Jakks and Dentsu in conjunction with Dentsu’s Los Angelesheadquartered subsidiary, DCI-LA. “This venture is an exciting new direction for Jakks Pacific into owning our own entertainment and leveraging it into the toy line,” said Stephen Berman, Jakks’ president and CEO, in a statement in January 2010 during the property’s launch. By June 2010, FremantleMedia Enterprises partnered with Jakks as the exclusive worldwide (except Asia) distributor of Monsuno programming and the master licensing agent for the Monsuno brand worldwide, with the exception of Asia where Dentsu will serve as the master licensing agent. This announcement marked FremantleMedia’s Read it Here First! entrance in the boys’ action arena, which is a new direction for the company. New Licensees Then in October 2010, the roster of interested companies grew yet again as The Announced! Topps Company joined as an investor as well as a licensee for trading card games, confectionary, and related products. The Monsuno story unfolds around the concept of reawakened monster DNA that has MONSUNO’S LICENSEE LINEUP: found its way into the hands of an adventure-seeking group of boys. The kids are given the power to command and battle creatures with amazing destructive potential, using JAKKS PACIFIC: In addition to owning this IP, Jakks them to protect the Earth against those who plan to tear it apart. serves as master toy licensee. The company will The Monsuno storyline was developed by the studio known as Man of Action, creintroduce an extensive product line featuring, ators of the properties Ben 10 and Generator Rex. The show features an endless array what it calls, kid-controlled action figures, accessories, playsets, collectibles, electronics, of creatures each with its own distinct look, personality, and style. and integrated roleplay at this month’s Toy Fair. Monsuno launches this month on NickToons in the U.S. It will then debut in the UK See page 45 for details on the product line. and Australia. Meanwhile, the series is expected to roll out globally on NickToons channels over the next few months, according to Sander Schwartz, executive vice-president THE TOPPS COMPANY: This investor in the and head of FremantleMedia’s children’s and family entertainment division. property is also the licensee for trading card In addition to owning this IP, Jakks Pacific serves as master toy licensee. The toy line is games, confectionary, and related products. rolling out to mass retailers within weeks of the television debut. Investor The Topps JERRY LEIGH: The company is creating knit tops Company is creating the related trading cards. The latest licensees were revealed exclusively and bottoms for boys, which includes graphic to Royaltie$ before Toy Fair. They are Jerry Leigh, VIZ Media, and Accessory Innovations. tees, tops, and fleece for the U.S. market. Fremantle says that further licensing announcements will be made in the coming months. After years in the making, the partners are ready to unleash Monsuno. Meanwhile, “the VIZ MEDIA: Graphic novels, both paperback and plan ultimately is to create a long-term, multi-platform billion-dollar global boys action digital, will be created for the U.S. and Canada. franchise,” says David Luner, Fremantle’s executive vice-president of consumer products, ACCESSORY INNOVATIONS: Backpacks, lunch interactive, and mobile. “Although the toys and the animated series are the key drivers, totes, messenger bags, luggage, small leather the implementation and growth of an online presence and a robust global multi-category goods, wallets, headwear, and umbrellas licensing program are critical components. All partners are committed to the long-term will be created for the U.S. market. success of the franchise and have taken a patient and calculated approach to the market.”



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When Fashion Rules Licensing BY


hen it comes to fashion licensing, the emphasis is placed on the fashion. So while licensors have a feel for how they want product interpreted for a license, consumer purchases ultimately come down to the amount of creativity and quality, in addition to the price, that the licensee puts into the branded apparel. “Consumers are smart,” says Jeff Branman, senior managing director, Hilco Consumer Capital. “They shop for and demand value, and slapping a brand on a mediocre product doesn’t generate a lot of consumer excitement.”

Inspired by Fashion

“Most consumers are looking for the essence of the brand, not something that is overtly mimicking what is worn on a show,” says Patti Buckner, vice-president, apparel and accessories, domestic licensing, Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP). “In the case of Gossip Girl, the show is such a statement for fashion-forward trends, just as Sex & the City always was, that the show lends itself to the inspired-by collections that will appeal to fans.” Last September, WBCP teamed with Romeo & Juliet Couture for a high-end “inspired by Gossip Girl” collection featuring fashions similar to those worn on the TV show. Selecting higher-end licensees has become more commonplace for licensors. The reasoning stems from designer labels and the thinking that the more high-end the brand, the more exclusive the designer-totting/wearing consumer becomes. “Consumers don’t want the cheapest items, consumers want items that speak to them and their lifestyle,” says Hilco’s Branman. “We see time and time again where good design trumps price and that’s across all price points. It’s the design excitement that creates sales velocity.” High-end brands know this and their price points have reflected it. But brands cannot thrive on the success of one item at one price point for the long-term. Diversification of product and price are critical. “Licensing strategies are being blended to include high-end, buzz-building licenses and more velocity/revenue-oriented programs,” says Debra Joester, president of The Joester Loria Group (TJLG). With retail exclusives continuing to grow over the past year, they offer a key way to achieve diversification while maintaining the exclusivity associated with more high-end brands. Two prime examples of this are the Missoni for Target line, which crashed Target’s website in minutes due to an overcapacity of orders, and the recent Versace for H&M collections. To differentiate product across tiers, Paul Frank develops different seasonal trend guides for its licensees such as for Paul Frank’s Target line and its Paul Frank Lux line for Bloomingdales, providing different artwork for each that gives consumers a sense of exclusivity across all price points, says Nina Leong, vice-president, licensing, Saban Brands. “It really helps the lifestyle emanate through the brand and creatively meet the needs of each retailer,” she says. Working with high-end manufacturers and retailers, co-branding with designers, and creating capsule collections that will generate PR are vital to today’s licensing plans, says TJLG’s Joester.



The current “inspired by Gossip Girl” collection, created by Romeo & Juliet Couture, features tops, dresses, bottoms, and outerwear priced at $80–$200.

Using Stardoll’s MeDoll avatars, users can mix and match their favorite pieces from the Stardoll collections at J.C. Penney then find the nearest store to purchase the items. Pictured are items from the Stardoll Pretty n’ Love line.

Fashionably Social

Social media goes hand in hand with the promotion and monitoring of fashion trends. “One of the things that was predicted in 2011 was a shift in the marketplace of taking things from the virtual world and making them real,” says Joan Lockwood, head of global PR for Stardoll, a virtual paper doll community for teen girls who enjoy fashion. Last September the brand launched its first real-world apparel line, working with J.C. Penney (JCP)’s apparel arm Five Star to leverage the retail exclusive collections Pretty n’ Love and Rio Chicas. Stardoll then gained direct consumer feedback from users through its virtual Stardoll shops, which let the users try pieces from the collections on their MeDoll avatars. Stardoll also teamed with JCP and FremantleMedia Enterprises (for the Rebecca Bonbon brand) for user-generated apparel contests. “We know we have a really creative, enterprising group of girls,” says Lockwood. “So if we put up a design concept, we get hundreds of thousands of design submissions.” Digital usergenerated content allows fans to engage in a more direct and creative way with their favorite brands. “It doesn’t restrict [fans] to buy purely what the studio or rights holder claims to be acceptable,” says Russell Binder, president, Striker Entertainment. “It’s also a great way to socialize your property by having users come up with their own designs and share them on the CafePresses of the world that can become portals to really rally a fan base.” Striker Entertainment and Most Management, on behalf of Summit Entertainment, first partnered with CafePress, a user-generated commerce site, in 2008 to offer Twilight Saga fans the opportunity to design and sell film-inspired merchandise.

Designed to Trend

With the consumer at the center of the shift toward a more design-centric approach to

licensed fashion, the goal of licensors is to not only hone in on current in-demand trends but also establish new ones. DeLux Hats, makers of KnitWits, is the company behind the growing trend of animal and character knit hats. But with competition in the category growing, licensing offered DeLux the opportunity to set itself apart. “The reason we got into licensing is to protect

getting married you’re not looking to broadcast your [brand affinity]. So, in this case, it’s a romantic piece and, inside, you know what the dress is, but it’s not obvious.” Women’s special occasion is a category Hilco Consumer Capital will also focus on for Miss America. “Many of the retailers are increasing their floor space for special occasion,” says Kristin Edstrom, director of licensing, Hilco Consumer Capital. “It’s a huge area for growth—it includes wedding, bridal, homecoming, bar mitzvahs, all special occasion. And, it’s multi-generational as well.”

Magical Times

Alfred Angelo created a wedding gown inspired by the one seen in The Twilight Saga’s Breaking Dawn: Part I. The original gown was designed by Carolina Herrera.

the KnitWit franchise,” says Stephen Acheson, president of DeLux Hats. “Licensing became a way of insulating ourselves from becoming a redundant animal-hat hat line.” A more design-centered approach to licensed apparel that emphasizes a character’s personality and style has also opened the doors to untapped categories, such as bridal. In the past year, big name franchises such as Disney Princesses and the Twilight Saga have teamed up with bridal designer Alfred Angelo to create licensed bridal couture. “It allows fans of all shapes and sizes to engage in the fantasy,” says Striker Entertainment’s Binder. “When you’re

This year, MAGIC may not be the go-to licensing show, but it’s still a great introduction to licensing, says DeLux’s Acheson. “There are still a lot of major players there looking for new categories of product and vendors,” he says. While the show’s seminars cater more to retailers if you do attend MAGIC, walking the show is must on the list of things to do. You never know what you’ll see, says Saban’s Leong. The Paul Frank Winnebago will be back this year along with other interactive features such as a ping pong table, food, and drinks. Taking an interactive approach such as this is one way to make the most of the show. Many also count MAGIC as a must-attend for trend-spotting inspiration from areas such as Pool and Project, which focus on contemporary designs and art-driven brands. “Pool and Project are more where we find inspiration for the latest trends, which we then want to apply to our existing brands,” says Hilco’s Branman. But whether or not you choose to attend, one thing is certain, fashion continues to be a licensing category where the importance of design isn’t fading anytime soon. So licensors must continue to take note, as it’s only becoming more important.




With the emphasis shifted to design, new collaborations are taking place across all tiers of retail to give consumers more unique, inspired-by pieces, in addition to the classic licensed apparel items typically seen in stores.


Nickelodeon partnered with Imaginary Kingdom Clothing (IMKING), Inc., on a SpongeBob SquarePants co-brand, in which IMKING has interpreted a unique vision for SpongeBob in adult apparel, accessories, and headwear product. There will be four releases of product throughout 2012. Product will be available in boutiques, online stores, and IMKING’s flagship store in Santa Ana, Calif. The first collection launches this spring. Rio Chicas collection


A new Stardoll collection, created in collaboration with J.C. Penney (JCP)’s apparel arm Five Star, will launch this spring in Europe, with a U.S. launch to follow later this year. Stardoll will also team with JCP for a web chat and design-a-T-shirt contest, in which the winner will be flown to New York City to meet the head Stardoll designer and create the T-shirt to be sold at retail.


DeLux Hats will add to its current line of licensed Sesame Street KnitWits knit wear with two new characters, Big Bird and Abby Cadabby. The company has also added licenses for Hello Kitty and the World Wildlife Fund. The handcrafted knit hats and mittens are made of 100 percent wool from New Zealand and are water resistant.


Licensee Romeo & Juliet Couture will expand its “inspired by Gossip Girl” collection to include handbags and accessories in its spring collection. The collection’s designs are inspired by the characters and fashions featured in the TV show. The line is available at retailers such as Kitson, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.




Beanstalk licensee for the U.S. Army, Bioworld will showcase the latest product for the brand at MAGIC. The line includes T-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, and hats for men, women, and juniors.


Ripple Junction will launch a new spring line of Mythbusters apparel, including knit and woven sleeveless, short-sleeve, and long-sleeve T-shirts, track jackets, and hoodies for men, young men, and juniors. The line will be available at mass, mid-tier, department stores, specialty, and independent retailers.


Paul Frank is collaborating with Pan Am for a line of travel bags that merge the traditional Pan Amstyle bags with mid-century modern Paul Frank design schemes. The line is expected to launch at retail this fall. Saban Brands has also signed Age Group to create a new bikini and daywear line (pictured), which will debut this summer.


Hilco Consumer Capital and Infinity Lifestyle Brands are actively signing new partners for the Miss America brand. Specific categories include women’s apparel, special occasion, footwear, and juniors’ and young women’s apparel.


Striker Entertainment and Most Management brokered a deal on behalf of Summit Entertainment with Alfred Angelo to create a line of Twilight Saga-inspired special occasion dresses. Now available is a wedding dress inspired by the one designed by Carolina Herrera and worn by Twilight character Bella in the film Breaking Dawn: Part I, which was released in theaters November 18, 2011.





ater. Food. A large backyard in which to play. What more could a dog, or any pet, want? Judging by the billion-dollar pet product industry, quite a Pet Ownership At Its Highest lot. And pet owners are more than willing to buy it all for the safety, comLevel in Two Decades fort, and happiness of their pets. In its 2011–2012 National Pet Owners Survey (released in April 2011), the American In April 2011, the American Pet Products Pet Products Association (APPA) asked survey respondents if the economy influenced pet Association (APPA) released the results of ownership in any way. The majority of pet owners reported that the economy hadn’t its 2011–2012 National Pet Owners Survey. affected their decision to own a pet. Two to five percent of pet owners reported spending Here is a sampling of the results: more money on their pet than in previous years. The APPA also reported on spending statistics (gathered from various market research sources and not included in the bi-annual • Sixty-two percent of U.S. households own National Pet Owners Survey) and estimated that in 2011 $50.84 billion would be spent on a pet, which equates to 72.9 million homes. pets in the U.S. That is up from the $48.35 billion spent in 2010. In 1988, the first year the “People really treat their pets as they would any other member of the family,” says survey was conducted, 56 Andrew Darmohraj, senior vice-president, APPA. “What people do for themselves, percent of U.S. households they do for their pets.” owned a pet. And the brands or licenses people like for themselves, they also like for their pets. Whether it’s a Cat Fanciers’ Association-branded toy or an NFL-branded • 46.3 million households own jersey for dogs, licensed pet products continue to become a growing force withdogs, 38.9 million households in the pet products industry. The Global Pet Expo, being held Feb. 29–March 2 own cats, and 11.9 million at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., is not specifically a households own freshwater fish. show where licensing deals are signed. However, the continued growth of licensed pet products within the industry may help the show become more • The average age of the primary of a licensing showcase for licensees and brand owners in the future. “We shopper for pet products is 47 years don’t have specific numbers on that [pet licensing] segment, but as you old, with at least three quarters walk the [Global Pet Expo] show, you can see that there’s a lot of that of primary shoppers being Pets First signed a license agreement with the NFL to stuff out there,” Darmohraj says. “There are now Jersey Shore-themed female. However, men reported produce NFL-branded pet apparel, licensed products that people are producing for pets.” spending more money on gifts

for pets than women.

• Nine percent of dog owners and four percent of cat owners have held a holiday or birthday party for their pet.

accessories, and toys.

• The APPA projected that in 2011 pet owners would spend $19.53 billion on food, up from $18.76 billion in 2010.



One of the growing trends within the pet products industry is natural/organic. At this year’s Global Pet Expo, the natural product section will be more than twice the size it was in 2011. This reflects pet owners’ desires to take care of their pets as they would take care of a human family member or themselves. As more and more pet owners begin taking care of themselves through organic food, vitamins, and exercise, they shift that healthy lifestyle focus onto their pets. “A couple years ago we started seeing a big push in vitamins and health,” says Alyssa Tucker, senior vice-president of marketing and licensing, 4Sight Licensing Solutions, which represents the American Kennel Club and Cat Fanciers’ Association. “The wholeness, the probi-

Sharing Lifestyles

Fetch. . . for cool pets released a line of Arm & Hammer-branded oral care products for dogs.

otics, the dental care—that’s an area that I think within the next five years you’re going to continue to see growth in.” Another reason for a focus on natural, premium food and treats is concern about past issues importing food and treats from Asia. “People who can afford to spend it are spending on premium products on their pets,” says Grant Adkins, vice-president of marketing, Jakks Pets. “They’re worried about what’s coming from China. They’re worried about different things. A lot of people are more concerned about what they feed their pet versus what they feed themselves.” Pet owners not only want to share their healthy lifestyles with their pets, but owners also want to find products that fit their own lifestyle. “Pet owners these days do pamper their pets, and they like their pets to be involved in their lifestyle,” says Mark Sok, national sales manager at Pets First, a manufacturer of licensed sports apparel, toys, and accessories for pets. It’s not just people who are sports fans; it’s the pets, too. “We know this is not a have-to-have product,” Sok says. “It’s discretionary money that’s being spent, and it’s done to pamper their pets. Sports is a very important cog in our society.” Aside from turning a pet into a sports fan, pet owners also want products that show off their personal style. Whether it’s an apparel item or a pet bed, pet owners want something that is stylish and fits in with their home décor. “Consumers. . . don’t want to spend an enormous amount of money for something that is not the least bit stylish,” says Holly Rawlinson, principal, The Name Game, which represents Dara Foster’s PupStyle brand. “It doesn’t have to be made of the best materials, but it at least has to be something that I’m proud to have in my house.”

Nina Leong, senior vice-president of licensing, Saban Brands, says that pet owners have an affinity for wearing Paul Frank apparel, footwear, and accessories and want to extend those types of products to their pets. “People really enjoy wearing our product because it’s art-based, fun, whimsical, and colorful,” Leong says. “Our customer base is very broad, but we have the very hip young adult who thinks it’s very cool. They grew up with it when they were kids, but now they’re 24–34 and they’re starting to have homes, kids, and pets. They find it cool from a design perspective.” As licensing within the pet industry continues to grow, many licensors are finding that not all brands are appropriate for licensed pet products. “To be successful, you have to make sure you’re approaching the right consumer,” says Steven Shweky, partner/principal at Fetch. . . for cool pets. “You’re not approaching the pet, but the pet parent, and making sure that the pet parent can identify with the brand.” When it comes to licensed product, most pet owners are looking for something that they recognize and trust. “It’s not trend-related,” says Jakks Pets’ Adkins. “When you do a license, you want to do an authority.” Because pet owners treat their pets like children, pet owners want a product that communicates one simple message: This brand

The Right Brand

knows what pets love and the product is in the best interest of the pet. “Consumers want brands they trust, and highly regarded brands perform very well in pet categories,” says Debra Joester, president at The Joester Loria Group, which represents Discovery’s Animal Planet brand. “Some of the most successful licensed brands have not performed well in pet products, while brands that deliver expertise and authority in pet [products] are doing very well. We don’t believe consumers seek ‘licensed product’ but recognize they want quality product from brands they trust.” Because the core brands are so trusted by pet owners, the licensed product must also live up to those standards. “American Kennel Club and Cat Fanciers’ Association are like the Good Housekeeping Seal, we always like to say,” says 4Sight’s Tucker. “Quality is one thing we’re really careful about. You really want to know that you’re buying something safe and healthy for your pets.” Pet parents are picky about what they give to their pets. Even if the licensed product is a brand they like, they might not purchase it. For example, some manufacturers are wary of producing character-based toys for pets because they feel that some consumers don’t want to see a favorite character get chewed up when their pet plays with it. Knowing the consumer base and properly translating a brand into the right type of pet product is key to seeing success. Licensing can be a viable thing in the pet products industry. From licensed toys and apparel to food and treats, the licensed pet products segment continues to grow. With more and more licenses entering the marketplace, pet owners have many ways to share favorite brands and their lifestyles with their pets.



PET LICENSING by Laurie Leahey

Pet owners treat their pets as part of the family and, therefore, purchase products as though shopping for another family member or themselves. From healthy treats to stylish apparel, pet owners want to share their lifestyles with their pets. Below is a sampling of new licensed pet products hitting the market. PupStyle Retractable Dog Leashes from Bow-Wow Pet


PupStyle’s Dara Foster signed a licensing agreement with Bow-Wow Pet, a division of European Home Designs, to create a line of dog fashions, bedding, and accessories. The line will launch this spring. The Name Game, PupStyle’s licensing agent, is also seeking a dog costume licensee.


Jakks Pacific’s Jakks Pets division introduced a line of pet treats and chews based on the 35-yearold Kong brand. The premium Kong-branded pet treats and chews are made from all-natural ingredients and contain no wheat, corn, soy, or animal by-products. The line of nutritious and healthy snacks for dogs are recommended for treating, training, rewarding, and stuffing Kong toys.  


Pets First, an independently owned division of ABG Accessories, signed a license agreement with the NFL to produce NFL-branded pet products. Pets First also produces pet apparel and toys for the NBA and NCAA. This year the company, by requests from consumers, will begin producing NFL pet jerseys in size XL for larger animals to wear.


Marvel toys



In March, Fetch. . . for cool pets will launch a line of Marvel and Mr. Potato Head toys at PetSmart. The company is also working with other retailers to roll out other branded pet toys, such as Dr. Seuss, Looney Tunes, and Tootsie Roll. A line of oral care products under the Arm & Hammer label launched at PetSmart this year, and Fetch is looking for brands to integrate into the pet food and treats category.


American Kennel Club Gold is a premium line of stain and odor removers and health and beauty products designed for dogs. The line, which is manufactured by Paramount Chemical Specialties, Inc., includes 31 different products.


For Case IH, a manufacturer of agricultural equipment, Coastal Pet Products produces licensed dog and cat collars. Coastal Pet Products also produces a variety of dog toys in Case IH traditional red and black colors. Shown is a plush combine toy. The Mobius License Management Group is the licensing agent for Case IH.


For Animal Planet, The Joester Loria Group (TJLG) will announce new partnerships in pet treats and wet grooming, as well as expand products from existing licensees including Merchsource. This spring, a new retractable leash, water fountain, pet feeder (shown), and pet stairs will be introduced by Merchsource. New pet beds and pet toys will be in stores this fall.


Rasta Imposta’s line of licensed pet costumes allows pets to wear the same costumes as their owners. The pet costumes will be sold into Halloween retailers, including Spirit Halloween, and online at and


Licensee 26 Bars & a Band continues to produce Paul Frank beds, collars, leads, retractable leads, and dog charms. It recently added plush toys to the lineup and introduced a new line of beds with new patterns. Paul Frank-licensed pet products are available at specialty pet stores, but Saban is in talks with Target and Macy’s to bring the products to mass.


Lassie-branded pet beds and throw blankets from licensee Silver One International were introduced last year. The line includes different patterns, styles, and fabrics.



Toy Fair 2012 Attacking an Uncertain Economy with Big Brands


s the collective toy industry descends upon New York’s Javits Center for the 2012 Toy Fair, there will be no shortage of big-name properties on display. Sure, the economy is still presenting challenges for the toy and licensing industries, but there are some success stories out there. Established, well-known brands are seeing the most success. An uncertain economy and the threat of being stuck with a glut of inventory have kept retailers leaning toward the tried and true. But the tried and true still need to be fresh for today’s consumers. “Immersive, interesting brands won out over gimmicks in 2011,” says Sunny Lauridsen, director of digital toys at Disney Consumer Products. Evergreen properties that have a presence beyond a tentpole movie event are performing particularly well. “There has been a shift to more 365-day-supported licenses,” says Pete Yoder, vice-president, consumer products North America at Cartoon Network. “This allows fans to interact with the brands more often.” Consistent powerhouse Sesame Street is entering its second year with Hasbro as its master toy licensee. Expect a range of introductions to Hasbro’s Learning Line. That’s not all from Hasbro. This year will see the release of the Battleship film, based on the popular board game, as well as the release of G.I. JOE: Retaliation. The success of these two films could go a long way in establishing Hasbro’s reputation as an entertainment content provider.



Last year, with the help of Saban Brands, Bandai gave the Power Rangers property a complete refresh with the introduction of the Power Rangers Samurai iteration. Based on the success of that launch, Bandai will be quadrupling its Power Rangers toy offerings for 2012. In addition, the property will also enter the games (Pressman), puzzles (Cardinal), electronic toys (Tech4Kids), and feature plush (The Bridge Direct) categories in 2012. “In 2011, we made promises to consumers and retailers that we delivered on above and beyond,” says Mary Rafferty, vice-president of licensing toys and hardlines at Saban Brands. “Our retailers have all asked us to expand product offerings, so our expansion in 2012 is all with retailer support up front before we signed the licenses.” Saban credits the current run of success of the Power Rangers franchise to its investing heavily in marketing for both the consumer and the retailer—and backing it up with good product. In addition to Power Rangers, Bandai will also be establishing a presence at retail with Ben 10 Omniverse. The new iteration of the Cartoon Network brand will feature 10 new aliens and a new rookie partner for Ben. Another favorite boys property will be reentering retail this fall. Nickelodeon will be bringing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to screens and shelves across the globe. The new series features CG animation and has given the Turtles a fresh look that is meant to appeal to today’s kids. “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a proven track record in many territories and



points in time,” says Manuel Torres, senior vice-president global toys, video games, and consumer electronics at Nickelodeon. “It seemed natural to bring them back with a more meaningful content presence.” Longtime Turtles licensee Playmates Toys will produce the toys, which will launch this fall. “If there is someone in the toy world who knows something about the Turtles, it is Playmates,” says Torres. “It has been the only master toy licensee for the property.” Another favorite from the 1980s—the Care Bears—is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. As part of the celebration, American Greetings Properties will soon be announcing a broadcast agreement that will bring the Care Bears back on air in 2012. Hasbro will introduce a new Care Bears product line in spring 2013. On the film front, Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises is getting a lot of attention. “The two previous Batman films from Christopher Nolan have been really popular with fans and The Dark Knight has been among the top-three highestgrossing box-office films of all time,” says Kelly Gilmore, senior vice-president, global toys and themed entertainment at Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Keeping this in mind, we had to create a second-to-none licensing program befitting the anticipation and buzz surrounding the film.” Expect a wide-ranging line from Mattel. Sure, there are many challenges facing the toy and licensing industries. However, there are an array of strong, tested brands that will be hitting toy shelves throughout the year that can achieve success amid the challenges.

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The following companies represent a sampling of what will be on display at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City during this year’s Toy Fair.


Mattel introduces the FlexForce Lightning figure line to its WWE portfolio. The FlexForce Lightning figure line allows kids to recreate Superstars’ signature moves with lights and realistic battling sounds. Pull back on a figure’s arm or leg and a light will flash. As soon as the light turns from flashing to solid, a sound is played letting kids know the figure has reached its maximum power potential. Release the limb for a signature move and authentic battle sound. The figures are for ages 6 and up. Based on the popular mobile app, The Fruit Ninja Slice Of Life Game allows kids and families to take the Fruit Ninja play experience from digital app to physical play. Players flip, flop, and chop the included fruit game pieces as they race to slice, splatter, and cut fruit with the included Samurai Slicers. Players must possess speed and skill while trying to avoid time-eating obstacles to win. The Fruit Ninja Slice Of Life Game comes with 20 fruit pieces, two Samurai slicers, and 40 mission cards. It is for ages 5 and up.


Playmates Toys will unveil a new line of action figures, playsets, vehicles, and roleplay for ages 4 and up inspired by Nickelodeon’s new CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, set to premiere this fall. The 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) line includes 4.25–4.75-inch basic action figures with more than 12 points of articulation. The line includes Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, Splinter, April O’Neil, Shredder, The Kraang, and a Foot Soldier. The Secret Sewer Lair Playset stands 42 inches tall and includes more than 20 different features, such as telescoping periscopes, ropeswing and swing-down ladders, an elevator, a computer lab, opening and closing doors, an ooze drain, and more. Leonardo Basic Action Figure


Discovery Communications and its licensing agent, The Joester Loria Group (TJLG), will broaden the already existing pet and lifestyle programs of Animal Planet and develop new merchandising programs. Bendon Publishing will produce Animal Planet color and activity books. H.I.S. Juveniles, Inc., signed on for Animal Planet infant/toddler safety and travel accessories, as well as stroller toys. Ravensburger will create Animal Planet puzzles. Techno Source will produce Animal Planet 3-D games and puzzles. For the Mythbusters brand, Wonder Forge created the MythBusters Hit the Target Game. Load Buster into the cannon and take a shot at one of the 400 myth-busting trivia questions. Can a penny dropped from the Empire State Building kill someone? Do sharks really go for blood? If you answer correctly, place a landing target or re-aim the cannon. Launch Buster and if he hits the target, you’ll score.




Based on the upcoming Battleship movie from Universal Pictures, Hasbro will release movie-themed games. Classic Battleship Movie Edition comes in two folding hard cases for easy transport and storage. Sink your opponent’s fleet before he sinks yours. The game includes new special ops cards that allow players to fire out complete columns of coordinates, fire as many shots as they have ships, or force a player to reveal unhit coordinates. It is for two players ages 7 and up. The Deluxe Battleship Movie Edition, for ages 8 and up, features a new naval fleet and alien ships. Lights, sounds, and special weapons help players seek out and destroy their enemy’s ships. Three AA batteries are included. Hasbro will launch Operation: Star Wars R2D2 Edition and Operation: Spider-Man, each sold separately. R2D2 beeps if a player makes a mistake, while a light is activated on Spider-Man. Both games are for one or more players ages 6 and up. In the Spider-Man: Wrist Shooter Game, players use the wrist shooter to fling stretchy webs and knock over targets to score points. The player with the highest score at the end of the game wins. It is for one or more player ages 6 and up.


Just Play is bringing Aurora’s specialty plush line YooHoo & Friends to the mass market this year with new plush and the first-ever YooHoo & Friends small dolls. The new line highlights several favorite YooHoo characters in a new look, as well as other characters for kids to collect. Coming to Disney Junior this year, Doc McStuffins is a new animated series about a 6-year-old girl who communicates with and heals stuffed animals and toys out of her backyard clinic. Just Play will produce a full line of plush, feature plush, small and large dolls, playsets, and dress-up and roleplay items inspired by the show. Inspired by the Disney Junior series Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Just Play will launch a line of plush, roleplay, and Minnie’s Bow-tique toys focused on Minnie Mouse. The new line focuses on kitchen play, fashion, travel, and beauty. Minnie’s pink-and-white polka dot signature pattern, along with the overall bow theme, will be featured prominently throughout the line. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Air Hogs 1:24th R/C car


For the NASCAR brand, Spin Master will release Air Hogs 1:24th R/C cars. Each car features a raceinspired design and works with the remote from up to 30 feet away. Choose from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Amp Energy car or National Guard car, Tony Stewart’s Office Depot car, and Jimmy Johnson’s Lowe’s car. Four AA batteries and three AAA batteries are required but not included. The NASCAR R/C cars are for ages 5 and up. Cars 2 AppMATes is a new toy line that comes to life digitally when used with an Apple iPad, transforming the tablet’s screen into a virtual playmat. AppMATes feature miniature vehicles with sensors on the base that are recognized as a unique “footprint” by the Cars app. Download the free AppMATes Cars app, place the AppMATes character on the screen, and play. Kids can recreate movie moments or create new stories, play games and compete against their friends and other Cars fans via the GameCenter, and find and collect hubcaps, which serve as virtual currency for purchasing virtual goods, such as tires, lighting effects, spy gear, and more. AppMATes characters include Lightning McQueen, Mater, Sub McMissile, Jeff Gorvette, Carla Veloso, and Raoul CaRoule. They are for ages 4 and up.




Kidz Bop kicks off 2012 with all-new promotional partnerships, consumer products, and licensing agreements. Kidz Bop 21 was released in January and includes 16 chart-topping hits sung by kids for kids. This summer, Imperial Toy will debut a new line of Kidz Bop Pop Star roleplay toys. The line will feature a range of items including musical instruments and fashion accessories with on-trend styles and technological elements. Product is expected to launch timed to coincide with the release of Kidz Bop 22 in July. Kidz Bop recently partnered with LeapFrog to distribute downloadable content through LeapFrog’s new digital App Center. Initial content offered includes select Kidz Bop music and videos. Additional content will roll out during the year. In January, Kidz Bop launched its first-ever radio show, Kidz Bop Block Party on Sirius XM. During this two-hour weekly show, kids determine weekly playlists and segments, chat with celebrities, and have their voices heard online at Kidz Bop is further expanding functionality for A new homepage showcases a fresh look and feel. The site also allows kids and tweens to create Fan Pages for their personal hobbies and interests. To complement the member-created Fan Pages, brands and celebrities can launch their own “Official Fan Pages,” offering exclusive content and video Q&As. Kelly Clarkson, Hot Chelle Rae, and HarperCollins are among the celebrities and brands to participate. This summer Kidz Bop will also kick off its annual Kidz Star USA Talent Search for kids ages 15 and under.


Jazwares brings the app game Fruit Ninja to life with a toy and electronics line. The line features realistic sound effects and ninja bandanas that fans can wear. Each item in the Fruit Ninja 2.5-inch Mini Plush Assortment includes a Fruit Ninja bandana and clip. They can be clipped to backpacks and belt buckles. The mini plush are available with or without sound in bomb, strawberry, watermelon, and orange styles. Kids can create their own Fruit Combo with the Fruit Ninja Five-inch Plush Assortment. Each plush features splat sound effects, includes a Fruit Ninja bandana, and has a mouth that is slightly sliced. The assortment includes bomb (does not include bandana), strawberry, green apple, and pineapple. The 10-inch Fruit Ninja Plush is an oversized watermelon with sound, slicing feature, and blade. The Fruit Ninja Headphones are mid-sized, over-ear headphones with included ear pads. They easily adjust to fit all sizes. The Fruit Ninja Portable Speaker is a fruit-themed speaker, available in watermelon and pineapple. Each opens 90 degrees for maximum amplification. The Fruit Ninja Portable Speakers are compatible with MP3 players. The Fruit Ninja Ear Buds feature a watermelon wearing a Fruit Ninja bandana. The Fruit Ninja toys and electronics are for ages 6 and up.


TCG (formerly known as The Canadian Group) will debut games featuring the Little Tikes brand. Little Tikes Games for Growing comes in two themes: Alphabet & Numbers and Colors & Shapes. Each game features eight learning card games and three levels, as well as a parent guide. The games are for two to four players ages 2 and up. Other licensed games include two Lalaloopsy games. In Lalaloopsy Tea Party, players collect as many sweet treats as they can. On each turn, players turn the Lalaloopsy teapot toward them and ask, “My little teapot, may I have a delicious sweet?” Press the spout for the teapot to twirl. If yes, the teapot twinkles. If no, it whistles. The game is for two to four players ages 5 and up.




Nickelodeon Consumer Products (NCP) will unveil products for new and established properties. Playmates Toys will unveil a new line of action figures, playsets, vehicles, and roleplay inspired by Nickelodeon’s all-new CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Currently in production, the show is set to premiere this fall. Winx Club is an animated fantasy and adventure series that follows six best friends—Bloom, Stella, Flora, Musa, Tecna, and Aisha—enrolled in Alfea College, the finest fairy school. Jakks Pacific and CDI will debut a new line of dolls, playsets, accessories, dress-up, costumes, and roleplay items based on the series. Nickelodeon and Fisher-Price will introduce new toy lines for Team Umizoomi and Dora the Explorer. This is the first toy line for Team Umizoomi, and it will incorporate iconic elements from the show. Team Umizoomi products include figures, basic and learning plush, bath toys, and vehicles. Building on Fisher-Price’s Dora-inspired toys, new products for 2012 will include a new dollhouse, playsets, dolls, roleplay toys, and more. SpongeBob SquarePants is the inspiration for new toys from Fisher-Price’s Imaginext brand. The new line includes playsets, vehicles, and figures where SpongeBob is featured in the iconic Imaginext look. SpongeBob is also the inspiration for two new themed building sets from LEGO. Victorious master toy licensee Spin Master will launch new products for 2012. The new line will include fashion dolls, playsets, and roleplay.


Basic Fun, a division of The Good Stuff Company, will introduce a line of Moshi Monsters accessories. Moshi Monsters collectible figural key chains come in six characters: Diablo, Katsuma, Furi, Luvli, Poppet, and Zommer. Each key chain comes with a bonus Charmling. Moshling Zippsters are three-dimensional mini figures that come in 11 Moshlings characters, including a highly collectible mystery Moshling. Each comes blind-boxed for a surprise purchase. Charmlings are enameled charms that come in a variety of 12 Moshlings characters and attach to a specially designed Moshi gel bracelet. Packaged in a blind foil bag, each includes two Charmlings charms and a bracelet. Basic Fun will introduce six new handhelds in miniature carabiner format, including Fruit Ninja, Monopoly, Moshi Monsters Scrabble Flash, and three classic Atari titles: Break Out, Centipede, and Yars Revenge. These take-along versions Luvli key chain work just like the originals for game play on the go. The Amazing Spider-Man hits theaters in July, and Basic Fun will introduce impulse toys based on the brand. Battle opponents with The Amazing Spider-Man Battle Launcher. Each Battle Launcher set comes with three Spider-Man tops that load and can be stored inside the launcher. There are also three styles of The Amazing Spider-Man key chains in different action poses.


American Greetings Properties (AGP) will relaunch and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Care Bears property. Care Bears were first introduced in 1982 and quickly became a global phenomenon, spawning television shows, movies, and toys. Coming this summer is a brand new CGI TV series starring classic characters and introducing a new Care Bear. The series is set high above Earth in the enchanted cloudscape of Care-a-Lot. Current partners include Bendon for publishing; Bioworld, Briefly Stated, Changes, and Freeze for apparel and accessories; and AD Sutton for infant products. In spring 2013, Hasbro will debut a new line of toys.




Big Tent Entertainment’s Discovery Communications will have new product this year. For Discovery Kids, licensees include NKOK, MasterPieces Puzzle Company, and Cosrich. There are 10 new products from NKOK, including a battery-operated Splatter Painter with five bottles of paint, two glitter tubes, and 20 paint cards. The Discovery Sewing Machine comes with a spool of thread, measuring tape, and needle threader. Space Ship Laser Tag is a dual-player, battery-operated infrared laser tag game with lights and sounds. Slide one of the 10 discs into the Trace ’n Draw Projector, turn it on, and project one of 70 traceable images onto canvas paper. The Magic Wand comes with a button that creates a static charge to make the provided shapes float in mid-air. With the Discovery Neon Trace ’n Draw, create images using the six vibrant Dry-Erase markers. Slide the pre-drawn animation sheet into the desktop, trace the image, press the light button, and watch the image come to life. The Discovery Kids Rope Draw has a Velcro-style surface in which kids take the provided rope pen and create artwork by feeding the rope through the pen and onto the canvas. Robo Warrior is an Domo Superhero Plush R/C robot with 360-degree rotation and movement. It shoots foam discs and has lights and sounds. MasterPieces Puzzle Company will produce two new Discovery Kids puzzles centered on the solar system and the pyramids of Egypt. Cosrich’s assortment includes Discovery Kids-branded bath activity sets. The licensing program for Domo grows with partnerships with Dark Horse Comics and License 2 Play, Inc. Dark Horse Comics continues its partnership with Domo with a new line of products, including the Domo Fun Time Magnet Set, Domo-sculpted coffee mug, Domo 4 Black Light Vinyl Figure set, and series four of the Domo Qee “mystery box” assortment. License 2 Play’s plush Domo items include a Domo Sock Monkey, Domo Dino, Domo Pink Nerd Plush, Domo Superhero Plush, Domo Panda Plush, and Domo Teddy Plush.


Uncle Milton Industries will introduce new licensed toys in 2012. The National Geographic Outdoor Explorer Series will add new products in the fall, including an authentic Explorer’s Torch with a realistic flickering flame. Fall also marks the launch of the Nat Geo Wild line of animal-based toys, with an Anteater Bug Vac and Laughing Hyena Cub. The John Deere brand’s classic tractor and more inspire a line of farm-themed toys, insect habitats, and the Rooty’s Root Farm grow environment.


John Deere Mini Flashlight

Dragon-i Toys, the makers of the Chatimals animated toy line, have acquired the global license for Out Fit7 Ltd.’s Talking Friends app-associated toys. Dragon-i will launch Talking Tom and Talking Ben globally in late April. Talking Tom and Talking Ben have talkback functionality in the same recognizable voices of the characters. There are sensors spread over the body to allow for playback of the identical sounds that appear on the free apps. Dragon-i will also feature a range of 12-inch and 10-inch Talking Tom and Talking Ben beanies in basic plush or press-and-talk functionality. The Talking Friends line also includes a key ring of Talking Tom and Talking Ben with and without the sounds from the app.




MGA Entertainment’s new Lalaloopsy Littles are the younger siblings of Lalaloopsy characters. Dolls include Sprinkle Spice Cookie (Crumb’s sister), Bundles Snuggle Stuff (Mitten’s sister), Squirt Lil’ Top (Peanut’s sister), and Specs Reads-A-Lot (Bea’s sister). The new Lalaloopsy doll Coral Sea Shells is the first Lalaloopsy mermaid doll. The doll feaLalaloopsy Littles tures hair that changes color in water, a bathing suit that transforms into a mermaid tail, and a pet blowfish that squirts water. The Lalaloopsy Silly Pet Parade wagons put Lalaloopsy pets on parade with animated circus wagons that spin, wobble, or move up and down. Wagon themes include Spinning Pretty Wagon, Sleepy Pets Wagon, Tea Time Wagon, and Tipsy Sail Boat. Each wagon includes one pet.


New items in TOMY’s Chuggington Die-Cast Railway and Chuggington Wooden Railway lines combine with a collection of feature toys. In addition to new die-cast engines and action-packed playsets, the Chuggington Die-Cast Railway line’s new track system allows fans to build track layouts vertically for the first time by providing the stability required to achieve tall, spiraling layouts. The Chuggington Wooden Railway system adds more characters to its collectible line-up of engines, as well as feature-packed starter train sets, buildings, and tunnels. TOMY also introduces a line of character-based Chuggington toys that include thematic flashlights shaped like favorite engine characters and a deluxe R/C Action Chugger that “blasts-off” and “flies” on a cloud.


new Chuggington Die-Cast Railway set

As the master toy licensee for Men In Black 3 (MIB3), Jakks Pacific will launch a line of toys this spring to coincide with the film’s May 25 worldwide release. New toys will include four-inch transforming MIB3 figures with small accessory, four-inch figures with large accessory, and the six-inch Frank the Pug Talking Plush complete with fun phrases from the film. Collect all of Nickelodeon’s Winx Club fairies—Bloom, Stella, Flora, Musa, Tecna, and Aisha—in the new line of dolls, playsets, and roleplay items from Jakks Pacific and Creative Designs International (CDI), a division of Jakks. The 11.5-inch Basic Fashion Dolls feature the Winx Club characters in fashion-forward everyday outfits from the show. Dolls are available in two collections—concert and everyday—with seven points of articulation and a beauty brush included. CDI is offering an assortment of Winx Club musical toys, roleplay dresses, and fairy wings. For boys ages 6–11, the Monsuno TV series will be supported by a Jakks toy line featuring kid-controlled action figures, accessories, playsets, collectibles, electronics, and integrated roleplay. Toys include the Monsuno Metal Die-Cast and Monsuno Cores and Transforming Action Figures. Players maximize Monsuno power and control with the Monsuno Strike Launcher. Squeeze the launcher to release the core (sold separately) with animation-inspired lights and greater spin, speed, and accuracy. Or try the Monsuno Auto Strike Multi-Launcher, which rapid fires up to five cores with launch-activated lights.




Disney Consumer Products (DCP) will introduce a robust Minnie Mouse toy line for Minnie Mouse Bow-tique, including kitchen and fashion-themed roleplay from Just Play and figures and accessories from Fisher-Price. DCP will introduce its first line of toys inspired by Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Anchoring the line is an assortment of playsets and figures from Fisher-Price, including Jake’s Pirate Ship and Hook’s Rock playset. Just Play will offer plush, roleplay, and accessories. For the new series debuting in March, Doc McStuffins, Just Play will create large and small Doc dolls, classic plush, and roleplay and accessories, including a doctor’s bag with a full set of instruments, check-up center, and dress-up set complete with lab coat. For Tangled Ever After, which picks up where Tangled left off celebrating the royal wedding of Rapunzel and Flynn, a new wedding-themed assortment inspired by the short film will include fashion dolls and small dolls from Mattel, toddler dolls from Tollytots, and a roleplay wedding dress from CDI. For the new Disney/Pixar movie Brave, Mattel will produce fashion dolls, small dolls, and playsets; CDI will produce roleplay and accessories; and Tollytots will produce large toddler dolls and fashions. For the new CG-animated comedy Wreck-It Ralph, due in theaters in November, DCP will introduce a cross-category toy line for boys and girls including figures, vehicles, classic plush, feature plush, fashion dolls, and roleplay.


The Wish Factory launched a new line of dolls and accessories, figures, and plush koalas for the Australian pop idol Cody Simpson, available exclusively at Toys “R” Us and The Cody Simpson 11.5-inch fashion doll features Simpson’s signature sculpted, side-swept surfer hair, bendable joints, shoes, sunglasses, microphone, guitar pick, and lanyard. With the push of a button on the Cody Simpson Singing Doll, the doll sings the pop song “On My Mind.” This 11.5-inch doll comes with Cody-style clothing, shoes, stickers, a microphone, a guitar pick, and lanyard. The first line in the new Pop Grrl collection from The Wish Factory is Nail Charms, featuring the innovation of stick-on nails in 3D. Nail Charms licensed collections will include Blow Pop (scented strawberry, grape, watermelon, and apple), Tootsie Roll (chocolate-scented), and Gummy Bears. Squinkies and Monster High-licensed collections will launch in April.


Power Rangers Megazord



Cody Simpson doll

MEGA Brands is licensed to launch the exclusive construction toy collection based on World of Warcraft, the fantasy online roleplaying game, bringing to life the iconic locations, races, and vehicles from the game. MEGA Brands will also synchronize its Halo Universe collection with the upcoming launch of Halo 4. For its new license Power Rangers Samurai, MEGA Brands will offer a Super Samurai line, recreating key elements of the popular show into buildable and collectible micro figs, vehicles, buildable action figures, and playsets with mix–and–match and rebuilding. It is for ages 5 and up.


Classic Media signed new toy licensing partners for Where’s Waldo? in the U.S., including Techno Source, a division of LF Products (games, puzzles, and novelty items), Alexander Doll Company (cloth and collectible dolls), and Virtual Greats (virtual goods). The new Where’s Waldo? program will hit retail timed to Waldo’s 25th anniversary, which commences this fall. Techno Source will develop Where’s Waldo? board games, puzzles, card games, and novelty items, including the original Where’s Waldo? search-andfind glitter wands. The Alexander Doll Company will commemorate the Where’s Waldo? 25th Anniversary with a line of limited-edition dolls. The company will develop a collectible version of Where’s Waldo? soft dolls, vinyl dolls, and dolls with coordinating Where’s Waldo? accessories. Virtual Greats will launch Where’s Waldo? virtual items online to reach a growing global virtual goods market. They can be purchased as virtual gifts and collectibles, or as elements used to enhance and accessorize user avatars and/or digital worlds.


LEGO SpongeBob SquarePants continues its Bikini Bottom adventures in LEGO form for 2012. Two new, undisclosed items will coincide with some of the TV series’ most iconic scenes. Now available are newly licensed themes from DC Comics, which recreate some of the most popular DC superheroes in LEGO form. Builders can create iconic buildings and scenes from their favorite comics including Batman and Superman. Exclusive minifigures include Batman, Superman, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Lex Luther, and Wonder Woman. LEGO will also bring to life popular Marvel characters in the new LEGO Marvel Superheroes line. Each set features famous superhero characters such as Iron Man, Wolverine, The Hulk, and Captain America. The product launch will coincide with the all-new The Avengers film scheduled for a May premiere. LEGO will also offer LEGO DC Superheroes and LEGO Marvel Superheroes Ultra Build offerings, in which kids can build and play with their favorite Marvel action heroes.

Batman’s The Joker


The new Disney Super Miracle Bubbles are based on popular Disney characters from Disney Princess, Disney Fairies, Go Bubbles Disney Toy Story, Cars, Minnie Mouse, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The line will launch in spring at major retailers with the Princess Carriage Minnie Mouse and Disney Princess Bubble Tea Party Set, the Mickey Mouse and Disney Fairies 3-D Bubble Sets; Mickey Mouse, Disney Princess, and Cars Bubble Bellies; and more. Imperial will introduce a licensed action bubbles toys line for ages 3–5 this spring called Go Bubbles. The line will feature Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, Disney Princess Carriage, and HIT Entertainment’s Thomas the Tank Engine. Each Go Bubbles produces a continuous stream of bubbles and includes a full bottle of Super Miracle Bubbles Premium Plus bubble solution. Imperial has also teamed with Kidz Bop for the Kidz Bop Glammerati Party Like a Pop Star product line, featuring bedazzled microphones, instruments, fashion accessories, glam kits, and more. The line’s launch is expected to coincide with the release of Kidz Bop 22 this summer. Imperial and MGA Entertainment will introduce a new Lalaloopsy product line, featuring novelty toys available beginning this fall and Lalaloopsy bubble toys, sand, and beach toys beginning in spring 2013 at retailers nationwide.




Techno Source has teamed up with Classic Media to create a new line of Where’s Waldo?-branded products. The new items include Where’s Waldo? board games, puzzles, card games, and novelty items, such as the Where’s Waldo? Join The Search Board Game, in which two to six players must Where’s Waldo? product assortment race to find hidden objects across Waldo’s adventures from the beach to the Wild West to outer space, and other worlds throughout time. It features an adjustable game board with 12 double-sided tiles that offers a new game experience each time you play, as well as two Where’s Waldo? postcards with classic book scenes. The game is for two to four players ages 6 and up. Techno Source will expand its Toy Island puzzles with new puzzles featuring award-winning National Geographic photography for 2012. The 500-, 750-, and 1,000-piece puzzles will center around four key themes: In the Wild, Natural Wonders, Monumental Marvels, and World Travel. Special themed lines of 1,500- and 2,000-piece puzzles will be introduced for the specialty market. When completed all puzzles fit standard sized frames for display. The National Geographic puzzle collections will be available this fall. All puzzles are for ages 10 and up.


Scholastic’s partners will offer new product in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Clifford the Big Red Dog, including new plush and fashion bags available for specialty from Douglas; new games and puzzles from TCG; a Tales to Play 3-D board game, card games, floor puzzles, and a Design N’ Doodle release from Patch Products; a new Clifford plush book and duffel bag with blanket from Zoobies; and nine new Clifford products including a rocker, playground ball, and a rocket balloon from The Foland Group. Zoobies’ Clifford The Young Scientists Club will launch four new science kits for The Magic School Bus, including Attracted to Magnificent Magnets, Slime and Polymer Lab, and Grow Amazing Polymers Group Pack (for 30 participants). All kits are for ages 5 and up. Goosebumps will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year with new products from Fundex, including Goosebumps: Welcome to Horrorland Board Game, Scrabble: Goosebumps Edition, Monopoly: Goosebumps Edition; Goosebumps Rubik’s Cube; and UNO: Goosebumps Edition.


Power Rangers Samurai Samuraizer Switch Game



Pressman Toy Corporation signed a licensing deal with Classic Media to develop games based on the new preschool series Tinga Tinga Tales. Pressman Toy will introduce a range of Tinga Tinga Tales skill, action, and memory games, which will be available at mass and specialty retailers nationwide in August. Pressman Toy also signed a deal with Saban Brands to develop games based on Power Rangers Samurai. Pressman will introduce a range of Power Rangers Samurai skill, action, and memory games based on the TV series, for kids of all ages. Games include Power Rangers Samurai Samuraizer Switch Game, Make A Match, and Pop ‘N’ Race.


Cardinal is introducing a Minnie Mouse Bow-shaped tin with three puzzles inside. Each puzzle features Minnie Mouse, and some also include Daisy Duck. Angry Birds is the newest addition to Cardinal’s puzzles. The Angry Birds puzzle line will include puzzles such as super 3-D boxed sets, foil puzzles, lenticular, wood puzzles, and more. Cardinal will introduce a new collection of stylish puzzles featuring the fashionable ghouls of Mattel’s Monster High. The two new puzzles are a Super 3-D Monster High Puzzle and a Foil Holographic Puzzle in a coffin-shaped package with 150 pieces. The Big Bang Theory Fact or Fiction trivia game tests players’ knowledge of the show with more than 400 questions, while they compete in rounds of “Rock, Paper, Scissor, Lizard, Spock.” Cardinal will also offer a trivia game based on the TV show Pretty Little Liars, featuring trivia and conversationprovoking questions for girls and their friends. A new line of wooden tabletop games will feature Nickelodeon, Marvel, Hello Kitty, and Sesame Street characters, and more. Classic Cardinal dart boards take on a new dimension with SpongeBob SquarePants, Spider-Man, Toy Story, and classic lenticular dartboards. In new licensed toss games, toss cookies at the Sesame Toss Game, stuffed Crabby Patties at the SpongeBob Toss Game, or stuffed jewels at the Princess Toss Game.


With new artwork for 2012, the LEGO Ninjago Neat-Oh! Battle Arena is a case that doubles as storage to hide Ninjago masters and a battle arena. Weighing one pound, the battle arena’s dual fighting surfaces add another level of theatrics to the masters of Spinjitzu. Store all your Ninjago figures, spinners, weapons, and cards in the case. It is for ages 3 and up. LEGO bricks are not included. The LEGO Star Wars ZipBin Small Millennium Falcon Minifigure Case is a Millennium Falcon-shaped case that holds 23 LEGO Star Wars Minifigures, each in their own pocket, and about 200 LEGO Bricks. Race through space and dodge the pursuing Tie Fighters, all while keeping your figurines neatly tucked away. It is for ages 3 and up.


The fall 2012 collection of Annoying Orange Talking Fresh Squeezed Plush features new phrases and facial expressions. The popular web series comes to life with talking 3.5-inch plush Kitchen Crew characters including Orange, Pear, Midget Apple, and Marshmallow. Justin Bieber fans can now chit chat with the Justin Bieber Talking Dolls. Available in three styles, each Talking Doll speaks 10 different phrases, including “I love my fans,” in Justin’s own voice. The Bridge will develop products inspired by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again. The comprehensive toy line will include Basic Action Figures, Adventure Packs, Beast Packs, highly detailed Collector Figures, and roleplay items, such as a Basic Sting Sword, a Basic Orcrist Sword, a Dwarven Battle Axe, and a Deluxe Sting Sword that features a blue glow just like in the films. The toy line will debut at retail this fall.

Justin Bieber Talking Doll





The Joester Loria Group promoted James Slifer to senior vice-president, business development. His responsibilities will be securing new clients, developing dynamic business partnerships for the agency, and continuing to manage sales initiatives across all of The Joester Loria Group’s portfolio of clients. Slifer has been with the agency for 10 years and currently serves on the LIMA Board of Directors.



SMC Entertainment hired Lisa Streff as senior vice-president of licensing. Streff is developing new partnerships and a comprehensive consumer products campaign across all key categories for The Jungle Book. The CGI-animated TV series, based on the Rudyard Kipling stories, is targeted to children ages 3–8. Streff is responsible for overseeing all consumer products initiatives for SMC Entertainment’s brands in North America, including licensing and merchandising, marketing, and partnership initiatives. Streff’s previous posts include John Wayne Enterprises, Cookie Jar, and NBC/Universal.




Jennifer Krosche joined Child’s Play Communications as vicepresident. Prior to joining Child’s Play, Krosche was president of her own company, JYK Public Relations, where she specialized in online parenting and women’s media and mom blogger/influencer initiatives. Krosche had worked or consulted for agencies on both the West and East Coasts, such as Marina Maher Communications, 5W Public Relations, Pollock Communications, as well as for American Media, Inc.



Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana Enterprises appointed Andrew Kerr to head of consumer products, the Americas and Australasia. Kerr will be responsible for strategy, brand management, and development for Nelvana properties including Beyblade, Babar, Franklin, and Max & Ruby. He will oversee worldwide home entertainment, as well as consumer product licensing in the Americas and Australasia. Kerr brings more than 14 years of international industry experience in licensing, consumer products, and marketing. Previously, he was executive vice-president, consumer products and marketing, international with Entertainment Rights/Classic Media in London, overseeing brand marketing and consumer product licensing for more than 100 brands, including Postman Pat, Tinga Tinga Tales, Guess with Jess, and many others.


Paperworld Middle East

Dubai International Convention Center


International Home & Housewares Show

McCormick Place



19–22 24–27

Australian Toy, Hobby, & Nursery Fair

Halloween, Costume, & Party Show Bologna Children’s Book Fair

Dubai, UAE

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

America’s Center

St. Louis Chicago

Bologna Fair Centre

Bologna, Italy

ToyFest West

Long Beach Convention Center

Long Beach, Calif.



Palais des Festivals

Cannes, France


Time To Play Spring Showcase

The Altman Building

New York City


Sweets & Snacks Expo

McCormick Place




Jacob Javits Convention Center

New York City

Los Angeles Convention Center

APRIL 16–18 21–26

25–27 27–30



20–23 23–23

JUNE 5–7






London Book Fair

High Point Market

All Baby & Child Spring Expo

Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair


National Stationery Show PLMA International

Electronics Entertainment Expo

Licensing International Expo

Earls Court Exhibition Centre


International Home Furnishings Center

High Point, N.C.

South Point Hotel, Casino, & Spa

Las Vegas

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

Gaylord National Hotel and Conference Center

Jacob Javits Convention Center

RAI Exhibition Centre

National Harbor, Md. New York City

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Mandalay Bay Convention Center

Los Angeles Las Vegas


Sofitel Chain Bridge Hotel

Budapest, Hungary

Comic-Con International

San Diego Convention Center

San Diego, Calif.

Royaltie$ Brand Showcase

The Altman Building

New York City



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Royaltie$, February 2012  
Royaltie$, February 2012  

Royaltie$ is a monthly magazine highlighting the hottest trends in the licensing industry.