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#01 | 2020







Dear reader Welcome and best wishes for 2020, a year that offers high hopes – and a few challenges – for licensing professionals. After the major mergers, not least Hasbro’s with Eone, it will be interesting to see how the licensing market evolves as this new decade begins. We are clearly experiencing a period where uncertainties dominate. What is perhaps less clear is that the uncertainty is not so much due to the strength or otherwise of a property, as to the fact that the old business models are fading away, but some professionals are still desperately trying to delay the inevitable. Linear TV is giving way to new programming platforms. The audience is no longer passive; it establishes its own schedule and programming times. But this does not mean that television is no longer important. It simply means that the way of enjoying video content has changed. The variety show that the Italian broadcaster Rai produced using the RaiPlay streaming platform instead of the usual linear TV channel is the right answer in changing times. Traditional retailers, whose sole concern was once putting good products on the shelves, are adjusting – slowly –to creating an attractive sales experience at their stores. Nowadays, it is crucial to experience an emotion before buying a product. This is now the real goal of retail – and may be its only effective response to the advance of e-commerce. Licensing, as we have known it over the years, is more and more merging with marketing and communication projects. The property sold with an eye only to the guaranteed minimum is actually a losing model. The winning model is the one that knows how to give real added value to licensees and retailers, with additional integrated communication and experiential marketing. So welcome again to this brand-new year, full of opportunities – for those who know how to take them! As always, enjoy reading!


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Cristina Angelucci - Editor in Chief @Licensing Magazine PUBLISHER BM Srl EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Cristina Angelucci



GRAPHIC DESIGN Francesca Wolfler CONTRIBUTORS Sara Caravati, Nepal Campagna, Jane Garner, Vaughan O’Grady, Giulia Cavalli, Rossella Arena, Kristin Morency Goldman PUBLISHING, ADVERTISING AND ADMINISTRATION BM Srl - Via Po, 14 - 10123 Torino, Italy Ph. +39 011 1921 1996 PRINTING Pixartprinting SpA, a Cimpress Company Via 1° Maggio, 8 - 30020 Quarto d’Altino VE, Italy The editorial staff has taken every care to obtain from copyright holders the authorization to publish the pictures in this issue. In any cases where this has not been possible, the editorial staff would like to make it known that they are available to eligible parties to settle any amounts that are owed.

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The hard copy of the Licensing Magazine shall be posted to your office only by subscription, that is FREE! It is super easy to subscribe. Request the subscription form at, or visit our websites in the dedicated section. YOU CAN ALWAYS ENJOY OUR PUBLICATION ONLINE AND/ OR PICK UP A COPY AT THE MAIN EVENTS WE ATTEND DURING THE YEAR

number 25906




News 6

Cover story 6

FORFUN MEDIA The new international media factory

Interview 10

SCHOLASTIC ENTERTAINMENT Clifford the Big Red Dog is back!

PLANETA JUNIOR A key player with a strong reach


WILDBRAIN CPLG 2020: The year of the mouse!



ENDEMOL SHINE GROUP Mr Bean Kicks of 30th Anniversary Year with slate of new products


PLAY AROUND Play Around: the new toy partner


LEONI A leading promotion specialist


LUDATTICA Ludattica debuts at Nuremberg Toy Fair

News 18

COOL THINGS A rich and busy 2020!


RAINBOW New Brand S.O.S. Pets Ready to amaze at Nuremberg Toy Fair


SBABAM Sbabam: playing for change

News 12




Events 34

PITTI IMMAGINE Sarabanda and Ducati get together for a special capsule collection

Trends 36

Trends 50

Events 52

BOLOGNA LICENSING TRADE FAIR Bologna Licensing Trade Fair: the essential meeting place!



FASHION&LIFESTYLE Children’s fashion: filled with stars

Focus on 38

TOYS What’s next in the toy industry

THE RETURN OF 80s It’s official: the 80s are back!


Licensing World Russia 2020


COBRANDZ From Kazachok Forum to Cobrandz. The new licensing event in France

Media&Digital 56

CARTOON 360 What’s next for TV contents


ASIA TELEVISION FORUM An overview on OTT Platforms

Events 62

Focus on

50 68

Trends 44

TOY FAIR NEW YORK The Hottest Trends in Toys & Play Come to Life at Toy Fair New York

STATIONERY Stationery and licensing: trends and themes in 2020


TOTY Brilliant ideas from the United States


Events 48

KIDSCREEN SUMMIT The bright stars of entertainment in early 2020

KIDS INSIGHTS Are there missed licensing opportunities for teens?

Save the date 48





Cover Story


THE NEW INTERNATIONAL MEDIA FACTORY Innovative projects, international partners, a creative studio for cross-media projects in cinema and music, a close-knit team of professionals whose work can range from audiovisual productions to any world where animation can make a difference– this and much more is ForFun Media. facing the challenges of everyday life and having lots of fun. The books that inspired the series have sold over 10 million copies and been translated into 32 languages. Among the most successful countries for the character have been Germany, Benelux, Poland, Portugal and France. The TV series is co-produced by Studio Bozzetto & Co, m4eAg, Giunti Editore, Studio Campedelli and Rai Ragazzi. Tip the Mouse has been broadcast on Rai Yoyo since 2014, enjoying a growing audience. The third season, currently broadcasting on Rai Yoyo, will shortly also be showing on DeA Junior. Tip the Mouse is also on

In this page Tip The Mouse ForFun Media is led by Pietro Pinetti and Giorgio Scorza, who have combined their efforts and professionalism, together with the background of their respective production companies, Studio Bozzetto and Movimenti Productions, to create a versatile content factory. It’s a company continually searching for innovative, international content, with potential for commercial development – but it’s also a creative studio for the many ways in which animation can enhance projects. Based in Milan, ForFun Media has a number of television projects in the pipeline, in development or in production. Many of these also have a licensing programme, which ForFun Media manages directly or together with its partners. The company oversees major B2B entertainment and licensing events worldwide, alongside the main global media factories.

ForFun Media is an important partner in the development of international or crossmedia projects. The Milanese factory is connected with DogHead Animation, an animation production studio based in Florence that launched at the end of 2018 as a new part of the ForFun Media group. Its team of over 40 people is currently working on several projects, including the new TV series of Topo Gigio (52x11’). Here we look at the flagship projects of the group, many of them already in an advanced phase of development.

TIP THE MOUSE Inspired by Dami and Giunti’s best-selling books, Tip the Mouse is a delightful little mouse full of curiosity who lives in a corner of a lawn with his family and friends, experiencing exciting adventures,

“We are always full of enthusiasm and humbly convinced that determination and love for one’s work are indispensable ingredients for daring to achieve ambitious goals.” - Pietro Pinetti, Co-Founder, ForFun Media -

Cover Story

World of Tip the Mouse events at malls– and of course the costume character. The collaboration with Sony continues, through events at shopping centres with Carolina Benvenga and Tip the Mouse. Last but not least, Tip the Mouse was also a special guest at Leolandia, the leading amusement park in Italy for children and families. Various forms of social media have a role in expanding the awareness of any property and Tip the Mouse is no different. To date, the property has almost 46,000 followers on Facebook and over 18,000 subscribers on YouTube.

TOPO GIGIO In this page Topo Gigio Netflix and Amazon Prime. The TV series is distributed in 102 countries, including China, and has been translated into over 40 languages. On the licensing front, the initiative that ForFun Media carried out with Sony Music Italia and with Carolina Benvenga, the popular Italian actress and TV presenter, played a decisive role in the launch of a successful business development programme. In fact, Sony has created a format for YouTube called Carolina & Tip the Mouse Dance With Us, which consists of a series of baby dance videos with the actress and Tip the Mouse; in just eight months they have had over 100 million views! To date, there is a wide range of licensing operations, including Easter eggs with ICAM, and carnival costumes with Carnival Toys, while Publievent takes care of The

Another mouse is a leading name in the world of ForFun Media, is close to a television launch and is also looking forward to a major worldwide licensing campaign in the near future. We are talking of course about Topo Gigio, the brilliant creation of Maria Perego, who first appeared just over 60 years ago.

Topo Gigio debuted on TV in 1959 and enjoyed immediate success, which quickly took him from Italy to Switzerland and then to London. It was there that he was noticed by an English-language audience and signed up for the most important show in America: The Ed Sullivan Show. Topo Gigio was a guest of Ed’s for years, appearing on the programme an impressive 94 times, winning the hearts of many notable fans, such as Louis Armstrong and Michael Jackson.

This international fame took him and his creator around the world, from Japan to Latin America. Over the years, one of the most notable characteristics of Topo Gigio has been his ability to continually reinvent himself, transcending generations and national divides and challenging artistic concepts, while always keeping the unique style that has won the hearts of millions of children and grown-ups around the world. Today Topo Gigio has over 4,900,000 followers on Facebook, putting him just behind Barbie, Mickey Mouse, the Smurfs, Snoopy and Hello Kitty, and ahead of Peppa Pig, Pink Panther and Winx. He also has more than 345,000,000 views on YouTube. Sixty years after his debut, Topo Gigio is back on TV with an animated TV series, produced by Topo Gigio Srl, Movimenti Productions and Rai Ragazzi. It follows the daily adventures of the cute little mouse living in the world of humans, together with his friends. The launch of this eagerly awaited TV series is planned for

September 2020 on Rai Yoyo; there will also be a re-launch of Topo Gigio’s social media profiles. In terms of licensing, the roll-out strategy has just begun. ForFun Media has already secured the master toy and publishing partner, which will be soon announced. WildBrain CPLG is in charge of licensing for Italy (see page 14); the rest of the world is coordinated by the licensing expert Elena Picco.



Cover Story

PEEKABOO AND THE ADVENTURES OF LEO AND MIA A very original project in the portfolio of ForFun Media, this is a show codeveloped together with the major Italian amusement park Leolandia to bring to life its mascot Leo, his friends and his adventures. The result is a new 3D TV series of 52 11-minute episodes aimed at girls and boys aged three to six. The Game Catchers

THE GAME CATCHERS The Game Catchers is another production by ForFun Media, in partnership with the Canadian company Sardine Productions. In a colourful universe populated by all sorts of alien children, the Game Catchers Team goes on a daily mission to explore each planet in the universe, make friends with its inhabitants and discover... their favourite games. The series will be 52 episodes of seven minutes each and is aimed at a pre-school audience. In fact the development phase is just over; ForFun Media plans to start production in May 2020. Kidscreen Summit will be the event where the producers expect to announce all the partners on board with this project.

The TV series is about a detective wolf, Spooky Wolf, who solves mysteries in Fantaville and faces weird and crazy criminals together with his loyal buddies – the Three Little Piggies and Cherry the Teen Little Red Riding Hood. The format is 52 episodes of 13 minutes each; the show is aimed at kids from six to nine years old.


SPOOKY WOLF Another project in the development phase is Spooky Wolf. The partner for this brand-new TV series is the leading French studio Millimages, known for the global success of Molang. The production phase should begin by autumn 2020.


Spooky Wolf

The Wolf (Le Loup)

Cover Story

old Alice has found a magic key that leads her to Wonderland. In this ‘other realm’, she meets an endearing rabbit, Lewis, and the two become fast friends. Each episode involves a visit to Wonderland, where Alice experiences a wacky adventure with Lewis, coming face to face with the crazy, eccentric rules and conventions that reign supreme in this parallel kingdom. The licensing programme will be launched at the next Bologna Licensing Trade Fair by RaiCom, which handles the licensing rights in Italy, in partnership with ForFun Media.


Alice & Lewis

ALICE & LEWIS Co-produced together with Blue Spirit, the launch of Alice & Lewis is planned for summer 2020. It’s a new take on the Alice in the Wonderland story in which six-year-

The Wolf is based on the successful series of books Le Loup, by the French publisher Auzou. The first series, co-produced with Samka Productions, is on air in Italy on Rai Yoyo; a second season is already in production. Lupo is a surprising hero, charming and full of imagination, and has captivated his young audience with his entertaining personality and the comic situations that he gets into in each episode.

“Animation as a language is not only our creative ambition but also an unexplored – or only partially explored – heritage and market in Europe.” - Giorgio Scorza, CoFounder, ForFun Media -

Animation from the movie Tolo Tolo

Cross-media projects ForFun Media is planning a line of development which, starting from animation, aims to develop an extended approach to brand identity and the enhancement of IP. The initiatives that the group has developed, both as producers and as an animation and creative studio, can be seen in this context. With a vision of expanding crossmedia use, the studio has developed animation and special effects for the virtual 3D exhibition and live video at the Italian edition of the X Factor for the young Italian music star Tha Supreme. The studio is working with this artist on future projects to be soon announced. Another interesting initiative is the collaboration of ForFun Media with Inlusion vfx, Tao Due and Luca Medici for the animated video clip that closes the successful Italian film Tolo Tolo, where the live action is combined with an animated story – Mary Poppins style – featuring the satirical and irreverent Checco Zalone, lead character of the film. The show, The fire witch, conceived and created for Gardaland, also works across a number of formats. It is a live show with added special effects, which earned it an award for Best Outdoor Show of the Italian Theme Parks.






Clifford the Big Red Dog is back! At the occasion of the upcoming US trade events tour, Kidscreen Summit and Toy Fair New York, LM met Lynne Karppi, Director, Creative and Licensing at Scholastic Entertainment to learn more what’s new with this leading global content provider.

Lynne Karppi Could you tell us about the current Scholastic productions? Scholastic Entertainment is finishing-up the 39 episodes of the new Clifford the Big Red Dog animated series. We have a large catalog of content and meet regularly with potential film, production, streaming, and broadcast partners and we have several projects in various stages of development. We are in development with Josephson Entertainment for a liveaction feature film and series. There is a live-action hybrid Clifford The Big Red Dog movie from Paramount releasing November 13th, 2020. Bacon Me Crazy is in production for Hallmark Channel. Which are the main novelties planned on 2020? We have both existing and new Clifford licensees that will release product based on the new TV series throughout 2020 and beyond. In the market you will soon

find toys, plush, games, puzzles, party goods, holiday ornaments and stockings, ride-ons, costumes, and bandages. We are planning to sign-on apparel, accessories, bed, bath, room décor, and other licensees in the near future. New partner announcements will be made soon. Our publishing group has a full calendar of new Clifford TV tie-in titles planned for 2020, including a novelty title in our Water Wonder line called Where’s Clifford? In the story, Emily Elizabeth and Clifford are playing hide-and-seek, but Clifford is so big and red it’s hard for him to stay hidden! Emily Elizabeth and her friends try to find Clifford the perfect hiding spot. This twelve-page board book comes with a pen that kids can fill with water to reveal hidden images, like where Clifford and his friends are hiding throughout Birdwell Island! This novelty is also reusable, so kids can let the pages dry and color them in again and again, each time they read the storybook. We are thrilled that this reinforces imaginative play and storytelling which are so fundamental to the brand.

Could you tell us more on the Clifford The Big Red Dog re-launch? The new series focuses on imaginative play and early literacy and maintains the positive life lessons that have always been a part of the Clifford franchise – kindness, honesty, and empathy. We made changes to the show in how we tell the stories and by giving it a fresh look and feel. In the new series, we emphasize the friendship between Clifford and Emily Elizabeth by allowing them to speak to each other; they truly are best friends. This puts both Clifford and Emily Elizabeth front and center in their adventures alongside their dog and human friends. To help the stories move along, each episode features an original song sung in a range of genres. We wanted kids to feel empowered and see themselves in the characters in the series, so the new show represents a more diverse community. We looked at the original book series art as inspiration


Which are the main focus territories for you, beyond USA? Besides countries where Scholastic has a subsidiary (Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and India) Scholastic works in all regions of the world with a lean towards Germany, Spain, France, Italy, China, and Korea.

for the new TV series; even Clifford has a slightly new look. His fur is more textured to make him fluffier and he has a more expressive face.

What about the link of Scholastic properties with the toy industry? Scholastic always looks to place our properties with partners who can develop exceptional products that stay true to the essence of a brand. We have enjoyed long-term success for our seek-andfind property I SPY by continuing our relationship with University Games, which has developed a comprehensive line of I SPY Games under their Briarpatch line, and has been expanding their Scholastic Brand line of educational games.

Could you tell us about the development strategies of your IPs? Scholastic Entertainment develops and produces TV series and movies based on the books Scholastic publishes in the U.S. and around the world through our subsidiaries. We study the book; we look at the characters, dialogue, the feelings, the storyline, and the art and design. We also look at trends in the market and broadcaster or studio needs to determine if the book will find a screen home. We keep as close as we can to the source material and expand on it for either TV or movie. We think about what we need to change as we adapt it from book to TV or movie depending on the new story we want to tell.

Where is Peter Rabbit? Theatrical stage show has completed its second West End run

Because Clifford The Big Red Dog is a true evergreen property, we have many long-term partners like Douglas Cuddle Toys (Plush) and Dukal (Bandages), which are continuing to develop product for the brand ,and have also welcomed some new best-in class licensees like Kurt Adler (Ornaments and Stockings); Underwraps (Costumes and Costume accessories); Shindigz (Party Goods); Brand Partners Group/Toyzon (Slow-Foam Squishies); and Dynacraft (Wheeled Goods: Bicycles, Trikes, Ride-ons). The first Clifford book was published in 1963 and the classic TV series launched in 2000, so Clifford appeals to a wide age range. To satisfy this fan base we have also been partnering with select companies to create product using vintage artwork, including Out Of Print (Tote Bags, Pouches, T-Shirts) and Storiarts (baby hats, kid-sized totes, blankets).





A key player with a strong reach Planeta Junior Italia is one of the key players in today’s entertainment industry through its licensing and content development & distribution business units, whose products and contents have reached – and delighted – millions of consumers. The Planeta Junior portfolio reaches all audiences, from infants to adults, with a core focus on kids and families. The offer is a wide one, ranging from ‘evergreen’ titles such as Maya the Bee and Heidi to more recent TV successes such as Miraculous, Gormiti and popular toy-driven brands such as Magiki and Playmobil. Planeta Junior is especially proud of the recent acquisition of the brand Pucca as a key lifestyle offer for women and girls, evoking fun, love and empowerment. Gormiti is one of the most successful properties in the recent history of licensing, a toy-driven phenomenon created by Giochi Preziosi, which coproduces the animated content inspired by the brand with Planeta Junior and the animation studio Kotoc. The TV series is receiving high ratings on Rai YoYo and Rai Gulp with peak audiences of 400,000 viewers across the two channels. The second animated series debuted on air on both Rai YoYo and Rai Gulp in December 2019. More content will be announced soon and a new season is already in development. The licensing program is expected to become a European success, thanks to a number of international broadcasters already confirmed such as Gulli in France, Clan in Spain, Nickelodeon in Greece and ITV in the UK. This strong broadcast interest will be a major boost to the franchise and its merchandising programme, for which more than 40 licensee partners are already on board, with a number of product launches and partnerships planned for 2020 involving over 1,000cross-category products. The Official Gormiti Magazine was launched by Panini in April 2019 and a sticker album was launched in October

2019; both are unmissable products for the young fans of the heroic warriors of Gorm Island and will continue to have strong appeal in 2020. Following the big success of these publications in 2019,

To find out more

ranking among the top five bestselling kiosk products, there will be new releases from February through to June 2020, all of them packed full of new surprises.


A strong Planeta Junior focus for 2020 is Pucca as the ultimate lifestyle brand, adding some brand-new content to the brand’s iconic essence. After a successful launch in Spain, thanks to a partnership with Maria Escoté, one of Spain’s most on-trend fashion designers, and a media partnership with Atresmedia, Planeta Junior is planning – both in Italy and other territories –a fashion strategy built on media partnerships and exclusive collaborations. To support this strategy, Planeta Junior has already announced a brand-new partnership with the brand company White, which has chosen Pucca for a capsule collection launched at the very beginning of 2020 – perfect timing for Valentine’s Day! This partnership is even more relevant for the fashion industry as White is one of the hottest fashion brands at the moment in Italy; many fans will greatly appreciate new fashion creations and cute products arriving in stores! A key pillar of the Pucca content programme is on the digital front. Building and posting dedicated content daily on the main online and social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and Facebook is a good way of reaching a growing fan base. Social media and digital content are clearly essential. In fact, among digital partners, Tim Vision is offering to their customers Season 1 and 2 of the Pucca animated series. This is a brand that addresses a target market of young women, the so called ‘millennial generation’, who share and identify with the values of this iconic character. Pucca stands for fun, cuteness, love and girl power: the brand has a strong affinity with the girls of today who fearlessly pursues their goals and dreams and know how to get them – and who share every second of their life through social media! The brand strategy for 2020 is to establish Pucca as a lifestyle brand, in partnership with fashion brands and fashion retailers, with a focus on millennials. Planeta Junior aims also to extend its licensing programme to younger customers, 4 to 8 years old, leveraging the content, by the end of 2020, as a brand new Season 3 of the TV series, expected to be released soon. There’s clearly an exciting year ahead for the Pucca brand and its growing number of partners!

DX White x Pucca

MORE ABOUT WHITE White is an Italian fashion brand, launched in 2009, which sprung from the creative mind of Gianmario Stuppello, who developed his passion for photography, architecture, art and contemporary culture through fashion, creating a totally alternative look for men, women and children.





2020: THE YEAR OF THE MOUSE! For leading entertainment, sport and brand licensing agency WildBrain CPLG, 2020 began with the re-launch of an important property for the preschool target market, sixty years after his debut. Topo Gigio is back! Latin America, where he was enormously successful, eventually gaining fans among children and families in every country and language. Topo Gigio was one of the very first Made in Italy characters to be exported globally.

produced by Topo Gigio srl, created by Movimenti Production in partnership with Rai Ragazzi and worldwide distributed by ForFun Distribution.

Following an agreement with Movimenti Production, a TV production company and creative hub focused on animation, WildBrain CPLG has been appointed as licensing agent for the TopoGigio property, which will back on television later this year with a brand-new series and already able to boast an important agreement with a toy and publishing master partner. Many other category licensees are on the way to being announced.

Alberta Ferretti x Topo Gigio

Alberta Ferretti x Topo Gigio Topo Gigio’s story is well-known to just about every generation. The creative genius of artist Maria Perego brought the little puppet mouse into the world in 1959. Almost immediately he became best friend to a generation of children – and many generations that followed –with his friendly, funny manner and delightful, childlike personality. After his small screen debut in Italy, Topo Gigio quickly made friends around the world, arriving first in the USA, then in the UK, Mexico and

Maria Giovanna Gurrieri, General Manager Southern Europe Wildbrain CPLG

Even today, with the launch of a brandnew TV series on its way,the awareness of this property is still global; Topo Gigio has tens of thousands of followers on social media and digital platforms. Which means that 2020 will be a year of celebration as Topo Gigio returns, with many initiatives already planned or under way. The first is a capsule collection: in stores since the beginning of January, designed by ALBERTA FERRETTI and titled IT’S MY YEAR, it includes T-shirts, sweatshirts and bags. The roll-out strategy of the licensing programme has, not surprisingly, been built around the flagship project: the new animated series (52x11’). This series is

Rai was the public broadcaster through which Topo Gigio took his first steps 60 years ago in daily children’s shows, culminating in the main broadcast on Saturday evening in prime time. The same broadcaster will accompany the re-launch with celebrations of the anniversary of the historic TV launch 60 years ago as we count down to the main event. September 2020 will see the arrival of the highly anticipated new animated series on Rai’s kids channel RAI YOYO. It brings with it great expectations from fans old and new and, of course, potential licensing partners. 2020 will end with an exhibition that will retell the story of Topo Gigio and how he became globally famous, in the process delighting whole new generations of children with interactive experiences that will bring them closer to the much-loved little mouse. High levels of awareness and anticipation also mean that Topo Gigio is a major opportunity for licensing and retail. At events such as the Nuremberg Toy Fair and the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair potential partners will have a chance to find out more!




An expanded offering from MDL The new year for Maurizio Distefano Licensing has certainly begun on a positive note. The leading licensing agency has recently expanded its offer, acquiring brands related not just to entertainment but also to new areas such as fashion, enabling it to offer diverse properties to a wider audience, with more for teenagers and adults in particular.

This is an important development, which sees the classic MDL entertainment licensing portfolio, made up of TV series, animation and films, now sitting side by side with music and lifestyle brands, allowing the agency to respond to new market needs. Of course, the MDL portfolio of animated properties remains solid, built on such established hits as ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks, Bing and Masha and The Bear, and further bolstered by arrivals like ZAFARI, Gigantosaurus and Kit^n^Kate, which, although relatively new to TV, can already boast a number of important agreements with various licensees. ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks, owned by Bagdasarian Productions, is still the most watched series by school-age children. For this property, Salani Editore has produced a series of books, while Edizioni Play Press has brought various formats into kiosks, including puzzle books, Magic Albums, Magic Sticker books and many others. Masha and The Bear has now become a classic property, but is still launching new content onto various platforms, including the fourth season of Masha Songs, whose

first episode – dedicated to Italy – has already been released on YouTube. Bing too is continuing to grow, with a record number of followers on social media as well as TV, and a constant stream of new tools for interaction with fans. Demonstrating the diversity of the MDL portfolio, another acquisition is MarieAntoinette, a brand inspired by the iconic style, as well as the gardens and palaces, associated with the famous

French sovereign. With a rich style guide incorporating a variety of themes and concepts bringing together romance and elegance, to create products for a very feminine, strong, sophisticated and style-conscious woman, the brand offers opportunities in a wide variety of product categories. On a completely different note, MDL is also representing, in the Swiss market, Route 66, a brand that epitomises adventure through the strong and gritty appeal of one of the world’s best-known highways. MDL also has a fashion division, whose fast-growing portfolio includes a number of highly regarded Italian creative directors: PREMOLI + DI BELLA (a property that already has already rolled out a licensing programme), Filippo Laterza and Stefano Cavalleri. All are available for exclusive projects in all categories.




A RICH AND BUSY 2020! The new year has just begun and is already full of news for CoolThings, along with some important agreements PARTNERSHIP WITH DISNEY The partnership with Disney is crucial; it allows Cool Things access to such franchises as Frozen II, which has been enormously successful at cinemas worldwide. Cool Things is riding the wave of this success with several releases of girls’ collections, including an original necklace with Frozen II and magic snowballs with charms. Through 2020, the company plans to introduce new products linked to a number of other Disney franchises.

CONTINUING SUCCESS FOR HIT LICENSES Paw Patrol is a license that has been enjoying great success for a number of years in the pre-school target market – which is also the main target market of Cool Things games. New collections are constantly being launched, such as Squeeze Chainz key-rings and standing inflatables of some of the kids’ favourite friends. The collaboration with Miraculous, a heroine for so many little girls and boys, continues this positive trend. For this

HOT WHEELS AND BARBIE Hot Wheels and Barbie remain very important to the Cool Things group and new collections will be announced in the course of the year. Cool Things is already working on new features, many of which will soon be on sale – features like the Barbie Fancy cars: super-cool cars that allow girls to have fun with crazy rides – just like the boys! It’s clearly not just about feminine products for Barbie, who is today a model of female emancipation. As far as Hot Wheels is concerned, new vehicles are in the pipeline that will thrill children, but so too are accessories, many of them notable for special effects such as lights and sounds, a popular trend at the moment.


license, IGT has new collections and an imminent release in the pipeline, featuring purely female accessories (rings and necklaces); this is a varied collection that allows girls to personify their outfits with their favourite characters.

2020 WITH 44 CATS An all-Italian success, 44 Cats has now become a cartoon hit among a wider audience of the very young. New collections are coming soon, starting as early as the first months of 2020.

THE CONSTANT GROWTH OF COOLTHINGS’ PROPERTIES Entirely designed, created and developed by IGT - Cool Things, Puppy Club Friends and Unicorn Dolls recorded their best sales performance ever in 2019. Puppy Club Friends is a brand that has stood out for the group for several years and its different variations, all successful, have encouraged the regular creation of new content to stimulate the imagination of young consumers. This success and growing reach is not just a feature in

Europe but throughout the world, even for the most recent collection Puppy Club Friends Safari: eight cute new puppies with a safari theme! It gives children the chance to imagine having unusual pets such as a tiger or a crocodile – very different from the kittens and puppies that they may be used to! Distribution is not only in capsule formats, but in flowpacks and other funpacks, such as cardboard boxes. Very successful in the USA, Europe and Australia, the safari puppies are doing a global tour. Many other new lines are scheduled for 2020 for Puppy Club Friends.

Unicorn Dolls is a girls’ property, launched in 2019. It has quickly gained a strong position among the top-selling capsule toys in 2019. These magical dolls continue to perform well, with over four million pieces distributed around the world, with different types of pack and distribution channels. In 2020 the unicorn dolls will have new friends, the Besties, contained in a metal-box that is their home, which can be taken anywhere you want. The Besties are fantasy animals; every unicorn girl can have her own pet to keep her company and inspire funny and magical stories. In addition, special collections of Unicorn Dolls have been created; here, in addition to the eight classic dolls, there is a special all-gold doll! There are strong expectations for future collections, with global distribution already ensured. Moreover, to the core product, some Unicorn Dolls accessories, such as colourful and soft plush, are launching in the first months of this year. The range of the Unicorns collections will become even bigger in 2020, with further expanded lines. These will follow some of the most popular trends characteristic of today’s

children’s items, like glitter and the ‘surprise effect’. Last but not least, IGT - Cool Things is making a co-development with the Italian leading production studio ForFun Media to give life to the magic world of Unicorn Dolls on the small screen!






New Brand S.O.S. Pets Ready to Amaze at Nuremberg Toy Fair A pool of smart little working animals are ready to take over the web and shelves

Italy’s global entertainment specialist Rainbow recently announced its new brand S.O.S. Pets, a forward-looking project that has been moving its first steps in the international web and market. Besides the ever growing commitment in creating animated and live action hits, Rainbow is constantly engaged in ambitious new projects that make the group stand out as one of the most dynamic worldwide, and S.O.S. Pets is the latest brand testifying Rainbow’s potential. The first markets where the property has debuted to date are Italy and

Russia, with a collection of 24 pets: a super glittering set of figurines addressed to a 3-8 y.o. target, a groundbreaking concept of collectible toy based on edutainment that makes discovering professions real fun time. The S.O.S Pets are colourful, soft and glittery animals with interchangeable accessories that make them perfect to stimulate the creativity of pre-school children. Each character is a fun and tender restyle of the jobs that children love interpreting while playing. The little animals are each dedicated to a particular job: playing, children have the opportunity to stage exciting situations in which to invent their adventures and simulate the activities carried out by the various S.O.S. Pets. There are 6 families of pets working in six different job areas: Love for arts, Our neighborhood, Safe and sound, Let’s be healthy, Yummy food, Get moving, and each family is made up of 4 characters for a total of 24 job to play with. Interchangeable clothes and accessories also allow to create endless combinations, so kids can transform the characters, unleashing imagination with mix & match!

The S.O.S. Pets live in a cube shaped world designed to give children an engaging and playful experience of unboxing. Opening the box, the little players discover which pet is hidden inside, all its accessories and a special ID collection card with QR code unlocking exclusive and downloadable web content. Each pet stars in one of the hilarious S.O.S. Pets webisodes on the dedicated YouTube channel solving some funny situation. The YT platform allows children and families to meet the pets and discover the wonderful contents of each surprise pack through unboxing videos, involving toy story videos and animated clips. S.O.S. Pets is a brand with a huge and multiplatform potential, delivering positive messages about the importance of every kind of profession, with an inspirational touch and lots of comedy. The anticipated series is gaining growing popularity on YouTube and social media like Instagram. Rainbow is ready to amaze yet again, and a colorful licensing program is taking off later in the fall, to complete the offer.




SBABAM: PLAYING FOR CHANGE Changing the world of today and tomorrow for the better is possible: just never stop playing! That is the philosophy of the Sbabam brand, a brand dedicated to the conception, design, marketing and production of fun, colourful, simple, social, beautiful, and, above all, up-to-the-minute accessories, games and objects. #Sbabam began life as part of Tema Promotional Gifts srl. It is led by a team of creative and dynamic professionals, developing ideas and original products. Their focus is on the creation and distribution of personalized communication devices and publishing products across international markets. In Italy and abroad the company can demonstrate to customers that it has the

ability and know-how to create products that can improve their business and that of their partners. With the same approach – an approach based on originality and passion for unique and original products – Sbabam has also embraced the world of licensing. #Sbabam wants to transport little explorers into a new world, a world of sparkling colours and surprises, fun and

knowledge, friendship and hope. Each product takes kids on a journey outside and inside their communications network, a journey on which the screen of a mobile phone or a computer is not the only starting point; there is still space to have fun together, to get to know each other, to take pleasure in a smiling face. To be in your favourite room at home, the city park or the school yard. In the morning, in the afternoon or before going to sleep. Alone, with family or with friends. Every situation on any day can become playful and fun if you are tuned into #Sbabam. The toys Sbabam creates can transform play for a child into an opportunity to live a magical moment, create stories and express his or her own style.



AMAZING - Sbabam transforms its team’s creativity into new output, positioning itself as one of the most innovative brands in publishing – related toys. FUN – Sbabam creates safe and fun toys for everyone. INVOLVING – Sbabam produces not only toys but entire worlds where children are free to explore, learn, play and enjoy unique experiences simply by using their imagination.

Sbabam’s aim is to establish itself in Italy and Europe, not only in newsstands, but in all distribution channels: department stores, stationery stores, toy stores and more. This may seem ambitious. However, in a short time the company has made great progress, establishing itself on newsstands and in the major multiples and becoming ever-more relevant in the toy world thanks to the growing trend towards smaller toys rather than traditional playsets. The Sbabam brand was launched in Europe in 2014 with the aim of surprising and amusing children and their families and involving them in a unique experience. The keywords of the company are:

Although a relatively new arrival, Sbabam already produces products distributed throughout Italy and abroad, as far as Spain, Germany and France. To support its growth, Sbabam is always looking for new ideas, new partners and new partnerships to keep pace with the latest market trends and reflect fastchanging tastes. Many partnerships with major international publishers, issuers, producers and licensors have been signed or are about to be closed – and more are on the way.

CICABOOM: IN STEP WITH THE TRENDS OF YOUNG PEOPLE Founded in 2016, Cicaboom Srl has established a strong position in the market with a focus on fantasy-based products: trendinspired collectibles, figurines and other products with an appeal to younger people. It’s a creative process built around a mixture of passion, experience and intuition. The company’s creative knowhow comes from Italy, but it makes use of the expertise of both Italian and Asian suppliers for production. Asian suppliers are chosen through a rigorous process managed directly by two Italian offices located on site. The products that result are guaranteed, and equipped with CE marking (a certification mark that indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA)). Cicaboom uses its creative talent to focus on what matters to its audience in the vast entertainment universe: cartoons, mythical characters, retro (or post-modern) heroes – nothing is too unusual and nothing is ignored; the company puts its energies into identifying new brands and developing lines and trend-based concepts. The gimmicks and nuances of the various ‘characters’ offer a new range of collectibles and, in turn, new opportunities in animated and ‘3D’ formats, found and shared in newsagents, on the Cicaboom website, or on social media by following #cicaboomworld. Cicaboom products are the life blood of a company that aims to entertain all the public with characters whose up-to-date and arresting look and feel have an appeal that is anything but typical.




Mr Bean Kicks of 30th Anniversary Year with slate of new products Mr Bean is one of Britain’s most famous comic creations of all time, first appearing on our screens 30 years ago in 1990, with the versatile comic performer Rowan Atkinson playing the hapless hero.

extensive range of gifting and merchandise for both the US and Canada, through agent, Sharpe Co.

Only 14 episodes of the original ‘live action’ series were made. However, with 30 years in constant distribution and an ever-growing digital audience, the series continues to delight and entertain growing audiences all around the world. And this year Endemol Shine Group are releasing a raft of new products in celebration of this milestone anniversary. Building on the phenomenal global Mr Bean audience, the brand has recently appointed agents across multiple markets including Medialink in China, Asiana in South Korea and Empire in South East Asia. Mr Bean is now the biggest TV brand on Facebook globally with 84million fans, and has topped 17million subscribers on the official YouTube channel which was

awarded the Diamond Play Button in 2018.The brand is also seeing significant success on emerging platforms such as TikTok where the official page has topped 1.5 million followers and over 85 million views to-date. In partnership with Corgi (Hornby), a special version of the iconic Mr Bean Mini will be released in 2020.

Coin manufacturer CIT are developing a range of collectible coins based on some of Mr Bean’s most iconic moments which will be available worldwide. Ty will be creating a special edition of Mr Bean’s loyal companion Teddy to mark the occasion. Plush and toy manufacturer 8th Wonder will create fun Mr Bean plushies for launch next year. Big Balloon have created Dutch language Joke Books and Comic Books for the Benelux region, along with Globetrade Deluco who continue to supply Teddy plush to Kruidvad, both through agent J&M Brands. 2020 will see the launch of the new Mr Bean webstore, plus Pogo have a range of Mr Bean print-on-demand products available across multiple marketplaces (including all Amazon marketplaces, eBay, Walmart).

Leading gift wholesaler Puckator have added a new range of Mr Bean products to their tourist market range for to the 30th anniversary.

The Mr Bean brand also has great success in the mobile games market. With titles such as Bean Around the World and Mr Bean Sandwich Stack, mobile game downloads for the brand have topped 40 million.

In the US, Olaes Enterprises, Inc. will be releasing a new range of t-shirts, and Surreal Entertainment are developing an

Mr Bean is produced by Tiger Aspect Productions, part of Endemol Shine Group.




PLAY AROUND: THE NEW TOY PARTNER Following the debut at last Hong Kong Toy & Games Fair, Play Around, the new Italian toy company launched two toy lines inspired to its own properties and also brand new licensing projects Founded by a team of execs from established promotions company, Pea&Promoplast, Play Around is a new toy company led by dynamic, young execs with a passion for creating innovative projects for both own brand and licensed ranges. The team behind Play Around has a wealth of experience in working with multi-channel concepts and projects across premium collectables and toys, for some of the best-known brands in the world, and is now bringing its knowledge and creativity together on two major new licensing projects, as well as its own label offerings for the initial launches. The overall goal for the brand new company is to ‘make kids laugh’ to enhance the spirit of play and the will to create products children can really enjoy. The first of the licensed properties is Kids in Town – a multi-ethnic world in which a range of diversecharacters from different cultures and background come together with common values. The brand offers a wealth of inspiration for regular new content and Play Around will be creating a range of toys to pitch to buyers and retailers within the next few months.

Kawais is an animal-based property with a strong environmental theme.The world of animals who all live on an island together, also offers a strong collectability element for licensing. Play Around’s newrange features animal collectables, each with their own symbol and charm to represent their individual world. The playset has a nature feature, allowing children to plant seeds and watch them grow to create a living world for their toys.

Last but not least, Play Around is also developing licensed toy lines based on Angry Birds and Masha and the Bear. Bologna Licensing Trade Fair 2020 will also see the company announcing further licensing deals and showcasing a range of new products.

The characters in the Kawais range live in trees, branches and other habitats, which are all modular and interchangeable and made out of wood fibre to continue the theme of sustainability.

“We’re really excited to launch the new company and our exciting debut ranges to retailers and distributors. The reception from the trade so far has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are building a solid foundation for the consumer launches later this year.” - Massimiliano Piazzolla, General Manager of Play Around -

Play Around Showroom at the Hong Kong Toy Fair 2020




A LEADING PROMOTION SPECIALIST Leoni Spa was founded in Modena, Italy, in 1989 as a company specializing in the design and production of promotional items. Over the years it has increased its reach and output through partnerships, becoming a leading company in the production of 3D characters and static modelling. PARTWORK This section handles different kinds of long-term kiosk partworks – ranging from plastic 3D figurines and poly-resin characters to metal figurines – and one shot/mini partworks for weekly magazines. Given the large scale of possible requests in terms of subjects and materials, the office is organized into a die cast section (scale reproductions of cars, airplanes etc. in metal alloy), figurines (plastic materials, metal alloys and poly-resin) and a generic partwork section addressing periodicals. FOOD This section has a special focus on everything linked with the creation of The corporate quality policy of Leoni Spa is focused on the production of highstandard products. Its objectives are: to study the customer’s product environment in order to propose strategically winning ideas; to provide products that are both aesthetically and qualitatively valid, by choosing and supervising suppliers and

maintaining privileged relationships with them; to provide, during the order acquisition phase, the utmost attention to understanding customer needs in order to find the most appropriate ways to address them; and to ensure maximum transparency towards customers through a correct and complete definition of all aspects of the supply process. In the case of toys, Leoni Spa guarantees the client rigorous quality controls and passes tests by approved certification bodies that certify the toys’ total safety to guarantee a product that is always reliable.

HOW THE COMPANY’S OPERATIONS ARE STRUCTURED LEONI’s operative staff is organized into different sections, handling areas of the production process with full regard to applicable material quality and safety requirements:


HOW THE COMPANY WORKS To guarantee the highest quality standards of its products, Leoni – already ISO 9001 certified – mainly works with companies that match its standards. In addition, all its products are made in full compliance with REACH regulation (addressing the production and use of chemical substances)and are submitted to strict laboratory testing to verify compliance with current regulations. In order to develop standards-compliant products, all the items that Leoni manufactures are tested and certified by leading safety institutes, to guarantee that the shape, functions and raw materials gadgets for the food industry. The use of the right materials and of packaging that guarantees non-contamination of the combined products (known as the odour barrier) are the key principles on which this section is based. FLOWPACK AND LOYALTY This section deals with all newsstand campaigns that are unrelated to a dossier or a magazine but are instead sold in a bag and display box, along with largescale loyalty campaigns and special or short campaigns. Constant research into new objects or materials and immediate

responsiveness to requests strengths of this section.



MADE IN ITALY This section operates completely in Italy and takes care, internally, of all stages from the design to the production and packaging of large promotional and loyalty campaigns. Having a very short supply chain and being completely automated, this section is able to produce huge quantities at short notice. This section is ideal for special and short promotions where speed of response is fundamental.

used are within the limits imposed by EU and non-EU regulations. The guarantee of quality of the manufactured products is also implemented through strict controls on the production processes of Leoni’s thirdparty suppliers. This occurs both through inspections carried out by delegated officials during the production process (DU-PRO), and through final checks that assess the condition of goods before they are shipped (Final Inspection). The shipping department can, if requested by the customer, follow the movement of goods from Chinese factories in real time through to customs clearance in Italy and delivery to the designated warehouses.





Ludattica debuts at Nuremberg Toy Fair Ludattica and LiscianiLibri to launch educational toys, gamebooks and books based on the Nicoletta Costa’s designs at Nuremberg Toy Fair Recognised children’s artist and illustrator, Nicoletta Costa, has signed a deal with leading European educational toy company, Ludattica, to create a range of sustainable games based on her instantly recognisable designs.

a collection of educational books. The first Christmas book, based on the cats theme launched in November 2019, with more to follow early in 2020.

Launching at Nuremberg Toy Fair, the educational games and puzzles are manufactured from paper and cardboard, making them an environmentally friendly option. The products encapsulate the illustrator’s themes of cats, letters and numbers, giving children aged two and over access to imaginative and unique worlds through play. The new toy range is set to include over 40 new products distributed worldwide from Q1 onwards, each with a learning through play approach for the preschool audience. The products utilise the bright, bold, fun illustrations of Nicoletta, to create an enticing range for children, parents and grandparents alike to enjoy. Also part of the deal, LiscianiLibri, the publishing house of the group, will launch

Alessandra Lisciani, CEO of Ludattica and LiscianiLibri Group, comments: “We have received extraordinary feedback from Italian retailers during previews of the range and we are excited to showcase the products to European retailers at Nuremberg Toy Fair. Ludattica is a Worldwide Educational Reference Company and the games are designed to fuel children’s curiosity and desire for discovery through striking illustrations, creative design and high-quality materials.”

LUDATTICA: THE BRAND NEW HIGH QUALITY EDUCATIONAL TOY COMPANY Ludattica is a young and innovative branch of Educational Srl, the brand-new company born from the expertise of Liscianigiochi SpA, an Italian toy company that has been carrying out research and training for its products for more than forty years. Today Educational srl is a reference Worldwide Educational Company, which makes play the most important learning engine, fueling children’s curiosity and their passion for discovery. Creativity, method, high quality design and care in the choice of materials… these are the main ingredients for Ludattica success. Each piece is strictly made in Italy, which characterize the Ludattica brand. Each product is designed to communicate with the child and lead him by the hand in an experiential growth path that stimulates interaction with himself and with others. “Play with me!” Is, in fact, the philosophy that inspires the project and which is behind every single product. An invitation, addressed to children, parents and grandparents, to fully experience the deep bond that is created through the moment of play.




SARABANDA AND DUCATI GET TOGETHER FOR A SPECIAL CAPSULE COLLECTION Sarabanda is a children’s clothing brand owned by the Tuscanybased Miniconf Group, a leading Italian company in the kidswear sector for over 45 years. At this year’s Pitti Bimbo children’s clothing and fashion event, this major name in childrenswear announced a collaboration with the Bolognese company Ducati, another by word for Italian excellence, for the autumn/winter 2020 and spring/summer 2021 seasons.

CAPSULE COLLECTION INSPIRED BY LINE FRIENDS Pitti Bimbo 90 also saw the launch of a fashion project to celebrate LINE FRIENDS, one of the fastest-growing global character brands. The initiative was conceived by the creative designer and influencer Alessandro Enriquez and developed in collaboration with WildBrain CPLG, which manages the licensing business for LINE FRIENDS throughout Europe. A number of designers were involved, each one developing a capsule collection dedicated to the LINE FRIENDS brand. LINE FRIENDS began life as a series of characters based on digital stickers from a Korean messaging app. It now has an enormous fanbase and strong brand presence in many countries.

Sarabanda X Ducati This is a collaboration that both companies were keen to pursue, not just because of their similar histories and Italian spirit, but also because of their shared values: respect for people, attention to quality and safety, and a constant striving for excellence. The result of this collaboration has seen the development of two special capsule collections that unite the unmistakable style of the Tuscan brand, its attention to detail and strong focus on fashion trends, with the sporty and gritty spirit of the Bolognese house. The first collection features 12 pieces. They include nine items of clothing: three long-sleeved t-shirts, three sweatshirts including a full zip with hood, two trousers and a reversible down-jacket. There are also three accessories: a scarf, a hat and

a backpack. It’s a an attractive collection that responds to the trends and needs of today’s kids with a hardy but fashionable style that offers them maximum comfort in their daily adventures.

Top Gun Maverick by Avirex

AVIREX WITH TOP GUN Avirex is a brand that became famous in the 1980s, achieving worldwide success thanks to the Avirex jacket worn by Tom Cruise in the film Top Gun. It quickly became a must-have for young people of the time. Nice Footwear is the licensee for Avirex. Now Top Gun is back, returning to cinemas in June 2020 after 34 years, with Tom Cruise as the hero of the highly anticipated movie TOP GUN MAVERICK. For this exciting event, a unique capsule collection was created with Avirex that recalls the Top Gun legend; it was presented on the occasion of the latest Pitti Uomo 97 menswear event in January at the Avirex flagship store in Florence.




Children’s fashion: filled with stars By Rossella Arena The stars ymbolize light, energy and hope, but also desire and discovery – of other worlds and other universes. This makes it an ideal theme for children’s clothing and accessories – including products planned by a number of brands in 2020 and 2021. The stars. Just looking at them makes us feel better – a feeling of confidence and serenity. Stars are a magical and positive symbol; they represent beauty, light and hope. There may be millions of stars above us – but the star is still special. And when it becomes part of children’s fashion collections, it helps children’s apparel to express all the positive associations that these celestial images evoke. So how have some famous brands interpreted this theme for their 2020 and 2021 product lines? Monnalisa is an Italian high-end children’s wear brand, with a reputation for innovation. In its winter 2020 collection it has chosen to bring together stars with the character of Jerry, the house mouse who breaks all the rules by out witting Tom the cat. Jerry is something of a star himself, with roles in a number of musical films, performing in song and Monnalisa

dance numbers. The line is a fun one – and comprehensive too: it includes bags, jeans, dresses, sweatshirts, and hats, onto which star motifs are printed or embroidered on tulle.

Nucleo Kids group. In Nucleo’s winter 2020 collection, girls certainly shine in such refined garments as a wide and soft faux fur jacket in light gray with large printed blue stars that is also reversible, and a maxi

Monnalisa For the press office and area manager Elena Losa the stars are poetic. As she points out, they lend themselves easily to outfits appropriate for the world of childhood – and will certainly continue to appear frequently in Monnalisa collections. In the winter of 2021, when Monnalisa plans to show at Pitti, the stars will again take centre stage, this time in a presentation for older girls, using colours that include the white, grey, or pale green hues of talc, as well as bright red and black. They will be outlined in popinspired prints, in laid on cropped shirts with balloons levees, and applied on faux leather dresses, mixed with Prince of Wales bottoms. Nucleo Kids is an Italian brand that aims for quality and elegance for the 0-16 age

Nucleo Kids black knitted sweater in long fur, which has a bright white star in the centre of the chest along with some very chic script . How about spring 2020? Well, the Paola Gazzola marketing office reveals that, for the very young, Nucleo has created two chenille jumpsuits, open in front and with feet. One (with pink and gray stripes) is for baby girls and one (with blue and gray stripes) is for baby boys. Designed for ages from newborn upwards, they will be available in sizes 0-1,1-3 and 3-6 months,


and will have two jersey-shaped star patches on the knees. For the older girl there will be a short dung are in stretch denim with white printed stars, in all sizes

smile. Stars shine on the bags too, including a transparent bag with holographic printing; it has a touch of the magical about it. They make hair accessories stand out too: there’s the elegant head band, for instance, with applied and sparkling stars in various colours or the clips with a resin-star, inside which you can find starshaped glitter. Dreamy girls will love the new set off our bracelets, a pair in elastic with star beads in two colours, and two others with round beads and the words ‘Star’ and ‘Gazer’.

Emu Australia is a footwear brand that uses natural, high-quality materials. One of its top products is its suede boots, padded with merino wool, and equipped with a flexible rubber sole. For the 2020/2021 season, various models have been designed for boys and girls with stars, some of which are waterproof, in black, lilac, pink and fuchsia. The stars are in metallic print, normal or phosphorescent. The metallic stars are also available on moccasins, designed to be worn both at home and outside.

Star Bracelets by Accessorize

Emu Australia

FIVE – STAR ONLINE SHOPPING X Wonder Woman from 3-16years. Accessorize UK is an accessories brand that has a fascinating line for girls and boys, and no shortage of stars, as part of its latest output. Stars shine on backpacks –in shades of gray and beige, embellished with sequins, or on a polar bear; the large star on his back is bound to make people

The site is known worldwide for exclusive clothing, objects and costumes inspired by pop-culture. In its clothes lines, the stars are the uniforms of Marvel and DC Comics superheroes such as Wonder Woman and Captain America, who inspire sweatshirts and t-shirts for children, or bibs for cool and original babies. The star theme also includes objects and clothes inspired by NASA and the American flag.

Star backpack by Accessorize x NASA was founded by two mothers who wanted to provide children with comfortable clothes that never went out of fashion. They bring the stars motif to winter hats in various shades, as well as socks and an abundant assortment of sweatshirts, trousers and pajamas.



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WHAT’S NEXT IN THE TOY INDUSTRY LM attends as Media Partner the major international Toy Trade Shows taking place in February, as the Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg and the Toy Fair New York. Below some of the most relevant novelties from the Toy Industry.

STUDIO 100 MEDIA’S HEIDI WITH PLAYMOBIL AND ZAPF CREATION Studio 100 Media and the geobra brandstätter Stiftung & Co. KG has signed an extensive license agreement for “Heidi”. The multi-year agreement covers worldwide rights with the exception of some territories in Asia. As part of the cooperation, Playmobil figures of Zapf Creation x Heidi

the popular characters from the series, various play sets harmonizing Heidi’s adventures and more product innovations are planned from 2020 around the CGI animation. Studio 100 Media has also signed an extensive international license agreement for the CGI “Heidi” brand with Zapf Creation. The multi-year agreement initially covers the rights in Germanspeaking territories, France, the UK and Ireland, Russia, Poland, Scandinavia, Benelux, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The cooperation includes puppets and plush figures of the characters from the popular series. The new products will be available from 2020. Zapf Creation will launch a total of five products - one Heidi soft doll with talkback function, 30cm tall, two cuddly Heidi and Peter soft dolls, 30cms tall, and two cuddly toys, the St. Bernard Josef (20cm) and a goat (15cm). The sweet dolls are manufactured in a completely new production process. A special fabric mask for the face is formed by warmth, printed in digital print and softly stuffed, thus the doll receives a three-dimensional natural appearance and thereby remains soft and cuddly. As the dolls wear plastic shoes, they can even stand upright.

Stiftung & Co. X Heidi

AURORA WORLD TO CREATE PLUSH LINE FOR HIT LINE FRIENDS BRAND BT21 Aurora World has been awarded a panEuropean plush toy license for BT21, a series of characters loved by millennials worldwide derived from global character brand LINE FRIENDS. The agreement was brokered by WildBrain CPLG. The contract will see Aurora World launch plush versions of the eight BT21 characters – KOYA, RJ, SHOOKY, MANG, CHIMMY, TATA, COOKY and VAN – in 50 European countries. Aurora World’s Design and Research Institute is developing the plush line, which will feature all eight characters in a range of soft toys, plush key-rings and cushions. The plush range is expected to be available at retail from the start of 2020. Aurora will distribute the new high-quality BT21 products through its established and admired global distribution network in Europe and international markets.

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The combination of Aurora World’s strong market awareness and wide European and international distribution network with the enormous number of followers and brand strength of both BT21 and LINE FRIENDS is expected to guarantee significant sales for the plush line in both European and global markets. LINE FRIENDS began life as a series of characters based on the digital stickers from the global messaging app LINE. The success of the characters has inspired spin-offs, including BT21, which is the first IP from LINE FRIENDS Creators, a project formed to create new characters for the LINE FRIENDS. Through its engaging characters with appealing histories, the LINE FRIENDS brand has captured the imagination of young generations everywhere. In fact the BT21 characters have received an enormously positive response from all around the globe, notably at the many LINE FRIENDS stores in Korea, China, Japan, the USA and other markets and regions.

Cry Babies Magic Tears Tv Series

IMC TOYS: CRY BABIES, MORE THAN A TOY In 2016 IMC TOYS launched its own brand of dolls named CRY BABIES with a tremendous success in Spain and UK. It was that good that in the coming year the dolls were sold all over the world and allowed to penetrate with success in one of the most difficult markets as

the USA. Following the success of these range of dolls, IMC TOYS invested in a digital 3D animated content to support the collectable range of CRY BABIES MAGIC TEARS. The success of the YOUTUBE series was that incredible with over +980M views and +2.5M subscribers. So the Company decided to invest in a full length episodes to be broadcasted on TV. Nowadays the series



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Cry Babies Magic Tears Tv Series are being successfully broadcasted in DISNEY CHANNEL in SPAIN, FRISBEE in ITALY, MY TF1 in FRANCE, TELEVISA in MEXICO and more to come. By now the TV series is made of 4 seasons, for a total of 100 episodes, with a target 3-6 years old. CRY BABIES MAGIC TEARS, 3D animated series of friendship, empathy and teamwork for kids 3-6 years old. Each episode has its own standalone narrative, where the babies invite you to see their world through their eyes –a world where tears are magical! Tears are not always special, just those triggered by positive emotions such as love, happiness or guilt, which is what this series will highlight to kids. CRY BABIES MAGIC TEARS & CRY BABIES dolls are ranking in the top NPD and reporting great results in many markets, and the content is supporting toys. On the basis of this success, IMC TOYS has decided to develop a Licensing Programe based on this IP. There are already several licensees partners on board, as Panini, Stor, Dolci Preziosi, T&U, Erve, Mondo, Ravensburger, Global Brands, Air Val, Rubies, Fotorama, Editorial Vertice, Wabro, Intek among the others. Territories ready for the 2019-2020 business development plans are Iberia, Latam and Italy. Following, the next objectives will be Greece, Poland and CEE Markets. Finally, in France, Germany and Russia, the licensing program has already debuted.

CLEMENTONI: THE MAJOR IPs FROM NETFLIX TO CINEMA In the midst of an increasingly crowded and unvaried market, Clementoni has not only always used licensing as a strategic lever, but also exercised great discernment in its choice of partners so that its product offering constantly reflects the latest trends. And 2020 will be no exception to the rule! Actually, it is going to be a bumper year… Courtesy of Netflix there are some exclusive jigsaw puzzles coming which are based on Stranger Things and Money Heist – the first and third most watched series aired by the media platform with an

audience of 64 and 44 million spectators; these dramas were a worldwide success and a fourth series (of both) is in the pipeline for 2020. A line-up of complete jigsaw puzzles is bound to become a huge favourite with fans of Peaky Blinders and its compelling atmospheres; this cult programme has acquired legendary status over the years and its historical and aesthetic appeal is masterfully captured by the jigsaws. In the year of the European Championships, football enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to because, after versions for Juventus and Naples, there is now a jigsaw puzzle for the invincible Liverpool team which recently won the Champions League and also holds the title for the Premier League To complete the offer, Clementoni has images from Mordillo, the brilliant cartoonist who passed away in 2019 and who saw the world in all its beauty and irony through his own distinctive

Clementoni X Hello Kitty lens; then there are fantasy settings from Magic: the Gathering, and, for smaller kids, there is a topical theme of Mother Nature with magnificent images from the National Geographic, not to mention a comeback from Hello Kitty which joyously celebrates its 45th birthday with a new series of cartoons, a launch on Netflix and a new film out in cinema halls. Last but not least, also Cinema is the portfolio of Clementoni. Frozen 2 and the two remarkable sisters who, after the latest Disney film came out at Christmas, are now the main characters in an extensive and well-designed Art&Craft range. In 2020, the Minions are back on the silver screen with The Rise of Gru – and our lineup of exciting scientific experiments and a brightly coloured range of jigsaw puzzles are both out on the market.

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FAMOSA WITH TROLLS, CURIOUS GEORGE AND FROZEN II Famosa presents next year’s licensed toys at the main trade fairs in the toy industry, starting with Trolls, for which they have

Famosa X Trolls

Famosa X Curious George

created plush animals reproducing Branch, Polly and Tiny Diamond. Plushes also for another successful IP, Curious George, the cutest little monkey on the television scene, curious and a bit messy, darling for the preschool audience who loves to follow his countless adventures. For all fans of the TV series and not only, now thanks to Famosa there is a big news coming: the cheerful smiling monkey becomes a very soft plush, ideal playmate,

a friend to cuddle and always to bring with you. Other licensed toys are Frozen feature film themed. With the arrival in theaters of the new episode of Frozen, Feber has created the incredible super-equipped electric single-seater Frozen 2. Always with Frozen theme, also a fun Quad to speed in the kingdom of Arendelle with pedal accelerator, engine brake and speed maximum of 2 Km.



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ChuChu TV Peek & Play Surprise Egg by Moose Toys Other novelty is ChuChu TV Peek & Play Surprise Egg. Based on one of the mostsubscribed YouTube channels in the world, ChuChu TV Peek & Play Surprise Eggs, a preschool-focused toy line makes learning fun with cute animals hidden inside smiling Surprise Eggs. Every Peek & Play Surprise Egg is two figures in one: kids can unwrap the colorful outer layer to reveal a smiling egg, and then open it to uncover a surprise animal inside. Each toy in the line is designed to reinforce age-appropriate learning concepts like color matching and letter recognition. Moose Bluey by Moose Toys

MOOSE TOYS: AN INCREDIBLE PORTFOLIO OF TOYS! The US Toy Company Moose Toys has an incredible portfolio of toys that will be soon launched in the global market. Starting from the Collectibles front, big attention on Shopkins Real Littles. Shopkins is the original collectible brand that brings household items to life, each with little faces and unique creative names. Shopkins Real Littles, real brands made miniature, return for a second season with a new frozen aisle collection including Unilever, Kellogg’s and ConAgra brands Popsicle, Good Humor, Klondike, Breyers, Slush Puppie, Eggo and more. There are 40 new Real Littles and Mini Packs to collect, including a Limited Edition Frozen Shopkins and Mini Pack housed in packaging that dissolves in water for the ultimate unboxing experience. For the youngest, Moose Toys offers Bluey. Bluey’s Family Home brings to life the actual home in the hit Disney TV show, Bluey. Bluey is the beloved six-yearold pup who loves to play, and Bluey’s Family Home invites kids to recreate some of the most memorable moments

from the show. The playset features four different rooms to play in (living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom), one Bluey figure and furniture accessories that are removable for added play. Moose Toys’ premium Bluey plush toys (Family 4-pack sold separately) brings the cute characters to life.

Fortnite is still a big hit for boy aged 8-12 years old. Moose Toys offers the Fortnite Battle Royale Collection which includes a line of poseable, swappable mini figurines, vehicles and playsets that allow Fortnite fans to bring their favorite virtual video game world into reality at an affordable price. Expanding throughout 2020 with all new figures including Peely, Fishstick, Galaxy, and Limited-Edition Frozen Knight.

Shopkins Real Littles Stacey Cakes by Moose Toys




Brilliant ideas from the United States By Rossella Arena In America, the TOTY (Toy of the Year) awards take place every year. This is an award ceremony that highlights some of the best toys on the US market. Here we take a look at seven original and innovative finalists.

My Singing Monsters step) on the Apple App Store, then in its early days. Sky rocket’s Blume dolls also appear in the Collectible of the Year category. These are dolls that combine imaginative and exaggerated hair styles with a surprising flowering effect. Just add water (a can is included), wait a few seconds and watch how the doll starts to grow and come out into the open, ‘blooming’ in the pot that contains it. Each doll has a cute dress, a bag, a little friend (such as a mini diamond) and a book of stickers.

My Singing Monsters The United States often offers interesting commercial news, not least thanks to the TOTY (Toy of the Year), an important award ceremony that identifies the best toys sold in America in the past two years. The Toty is seen as the toy ‘Oscars’ and, unlike other award events, selects the 114 finalists through the work of experts and influencers in the sector, along with representatives of universities and media, in order to have the widest selection of expert opinion possible. The finalists were announced on November 11, 2019, and the winners will be announced on February 21, 2020, in New York during an official ceremony. The stars of the videogame My Singing Monsters, musical toy characters created by Play Monster, are finalists at Toty in the Collectible of the Year category. The purpose of the videogame is to raise and grow small singing monsters or musicians on different islands (such as the island of plants), until you develop a real monster orchestra. Toy characters can sing alone or all together, in perfect harmony thanks to

Blume Dolls

innovative technology. Damir Slogar, founder and CEO of Big Blue Bubble Inc, who created the videogame in 2012, says that the idea of My Singing Monsters came from having noticed that, apart from games that featured music licensed by famous artists, at the time there were no commercially successful games in the music category. The lead designer was also a musician, so he wrote the songs and drew the main aspects of the game, while the art team designed monsters different from any seen before. Another winning factor was the surprise success of the apps of the World Builder genre (in which a world is built step by

Another toy on the shortlist for the Collectible of the Year category is WowWee’s Lucky Fortune collectible bracelets. Each package contains a toy fortune cookie that opens and inside reveals a surprise bracelet (with a rainbow symbol or a feather for example) and a special message. The packages of the BFF (BestFriendsForever) series, by contrast, contain a pair of bracelets, one for you, one for your best friend. There are 100 bracelet series and 50 BFF pairs to collect and exchange! The guide for collectors is also transformed into a classic folding game called ‘fortune teller’, an origami shape that can be used to find out what the future holds. In the Creative Toy of the Year category,


Above and below Smart Pixelator magical cloak comes with the Wow! Stuff app downloadable for free; it creates the illusion of making someone or something disappear before your eyes. Just cover yourself, friends, family or objects, and then take photos or videos through the app on your mobile phone or tablet. The invisibility cloak is identical to that of the

Lucky Fortune Bracelets there’s Fly catcher Toys’ smart Pixelator figure, which allows children to build 2D and 3D projects using Bluetooth connectivity, easy-to-follow lights and beads, sequins or pixel pegs. Children can create 50 designs step by step; in addition, by using the smart Pixelator app with any mobile device, you can bring your projects to life, encouraging personalization and

experimentation. The Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak is a product created by the company Wow! Stuff, in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products. Appearing for the first time in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, this is among the finalists of the Toty awards in the Innovative Toy of the Year category. This

Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak

film in its fabric, motifs and green silk interiors. It’s available in deluxe (3.5m) and standard (1.4m) versions; both include a holder for your smart device.




Artie 3000

Throw throw Burrito Throw throw Burrito is a Toty finalist in the Game of the Year category, which includes board and electronic games. It is a deck of cards devised by the awardwinning creators of the game Exploding Kittens, Elan Lee and Matthew Inman. In addition to the cards, each box has a pair of soft burritos. When someone finds the cards depicting the burritos and plays

them, you can start a battle, hit opponents with the burrito puppets and steal their points. To find the perfect weight for the burritos, the creators carried out a number of tests, to make sure they were easy to cast (not too light) and that they didn’t hurt anyone in the impact (not too heavy). Artie 3000™ by Educational Insights® is

Devar – where reality meets spectacle Devar originated in the United States. It’s a technological company that creates solutions and edutainment products for children based on augmented reality. Its range now includes over 200 products, including encyclopedias, colouring books, activity books, posters and toys. Its top product is WOW! Encyclopedias, with four popular science books – on Dinosaurs, Animals, Wonders of the World and Secrets of the Oceans. Each book in the series features colourful illustrations, information on a given theme in a language suitable for children and animated scenes of augmented reality that allow children to study a topic in an exciting and visual way. Devar collaborates with big international names such as Habsro, Rovio and Nickelodeon to bring children’s favourite cartoon characters to the real world with augmented reality.

From 2019, alongside Nickelodeon, it is launching activity books with Paw Patrol’s augmented reality offering in Poland, Serbia and Russia.

Augmented Reality Books by Devar

a coding robot for children aged seven and over. At Toty it’s a finalist in the STEM of the Year category, which includes games that allow you to develop basic or curriculum-based activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The little ones design the code and Artie designs the images. Coding languages aim to create actions for the robot: there are seven different ways to give Artie commands, including drag and drop, remote control, point and click, lock, shoot, Pythonand Java Script. As the kids tell Artie 3000 what to draw, they learn left brains kills, such as basic programming and geometry, and engage the right side of the brain to create fantastic, colourful designs. In America, Mensa, the world association that brings together the two percent of the population with the highest IQ, has collaborated with Educational Insights for product-development and has appointed Artie as an honorary member.




The Hottest Trends in Toys & Play Come to Life at Toy Fair New York By Kristin Morency Goldman, The Toy Association

New ways to explore the unboxing craze, compounds that foster creative play, and toys that prepare and inspire children for the future were just a few of this year’s biggest toy trends announced by The U.S. Toy Association at Toy Fair New York last February.

“Our trends team predicted that 2019 would see some of the most creative products to hit store shelves in recent years – and we saw that prediction come true. Throughout the year, a wave of amazing toys and games that aligned with our trends helped inspire, challenge, and entertain countless children.” - Adrienne Appell, leading trend expert at The Toy Association -

Some of this year’s hottest trends and corresponding toys, many of which were nominated in November for Toy of the Year Awards (, included:

“Inspirational & Aspirational Play” (E.g.: Crayola Glitter Dots, Kahootz’sY’Art Craft Kit, and Flycatcher’s smARTPixelator); “Unboxing 2.0” (E.g.: Just Play’s Ryan’s World Super Surprise Safes, MGA Entertainment’s L.O.L. Surprise! Winter Disco Series, and WowWee’s Lucky Fortune);

“Explosive Entertainment” (E.g.: Mattel’s Disney Pixar Toy Story Basic Figures, JAKK’s Pacific’s Disney Frozen 2: “Into the Unknown” Elsa Doll, and Gund’s Elmo Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Plush); and “Compound Crazy” (E.g.: Learning Resources’ Beaker Creatures Alien Experiment Lab, ThinkFun’s Thinking Putty Puzzle, and PlayMonster’s Meltdown.)

Additional trends included Foodie Fun (food-themed playthings) and Throwback Toys (nostalgic and retro products appealing to both kids and parents). “With the holidays upon us, we expect to see trending toys topping kids’ wish lists and lighting up little faces come Christmas morning!” said Appell. “It’s certainly an exciting time to be a kid – and we can’t wait to reveal what’s in store for the future of play at Toy Fair New York 2020.” The Toy Association trends team will unveil its top trend predictions for next year at a Toy Trends Briefing open to all show attendees on the first day of Toy Fair New


“While I don’t want to give away too much before the show, I can tell you that we have been seeing some interesting developments in play, particularly as digital-first brands carve out even more space in the toy aisle and kids continue to transition more seamlessly from

York this February. The team meets yearround with toy companies and explores trends in parallel marketplaces, reviewing and analyzing new products and emerging youth trends. By opening day of Toy Fair, the team will have previewed more than 1,000 toys and games and will be ready to announce the hottest toy and game trends of the upcoming year.

For more information visit

devices and social media to physical toys,” said Appell. “And we are seeing fun developments in toys that promote both active bodies and active minds – not just for kids, but for teens, parents, and grandparents too.” The Toy Association’s Toy Trends Briefing will take place on Saturday 22 February at 1:30 p.m. in room 1E09 (Level 1, Hall E) of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.The team will present each trend and use product examples from the show floor to highlight the themes. Toy Fair New York will take place 22 to 25 February 2020. For many in the industry it’s among the most anticipated toy shows on the global buying circuit, with exhibitors showcasing hundreds of thousands of playthings coming to market next year.





It’s official: the 80s are back! By Rossella Arena And this time all sectors of commerce – from fashion to entertainment to publishing – are being inspired by the charm of the period. The 80s were sparkling, cool and full of energy: impossible, even now, to forget. These were the years of economic growth and enthusiasm, in which individualism, the pursuit of a career and the importance of media were what mattered. Looks were exaggerated and flashy, the first computers and videogame consoles grabbed the attention of the market, Japanese cartoons arrived on TV and great media events, such as the wedding of Charles and Diana, took centre stage. Iconic film figures such as the alien ET and Marty McFly, the hero of Back to the Future, made their names in the 80s. And today the 80s are back! Brums, the Italian children’s brand, has successfully reflected this trend with a winter 2020 collection that takes its inspiration from the colourful look of those years for one of its flagship garments: nylon laqué outerwear, for boys and girls from two to 16. A comfortable and warm garment with real goose down padding, it is available in many glossy colours (including black, orange, blue and green).

Roncato suitcases X Lupin

Kontatto Winter Collection As for adult clothing, another Italian brand that has picked up on the trend is Kontatto. This company launched the Midnight Kiss collection, inspired by Dynasty, the legendary 80s soap opera. It is promising a sparkling 2020 winter with bright and iridescent tones, colourful sweaters, deep necklines and oversize volumes. The American brand Nike has created an entire line of products in perfect eighties Nike X Stranger Things

Brums children’s outwear collection Autumn/Winter 2019-2020

style, dedicated to the popular 80s – set science fiction series Stranger Things, showing on Netflix. The line incorporates the looks, logos and themes of the most recent season of Stranger Things (which takes place in the summer of ‘85), and includes sneakers, sweatshirts and t-shirts. Ciak Roncato is a dynamic Italian travel items company, which was inspired by Lupin (10), the famous gentleman thief from a series of 80s cartoons, to create the E-POP Lupin Line. The first two suitcases are cabin trolleys with the characters of Lupin and his beloved Fujiko, immortalized on the Plexiglas screen at the front, thanks to the drawings of the artist Davide Zanella. For Mipel, the international leather and fashion accessories fair that takes place in Milan, the trolleys will also be painted in a limited edition by the artist, becoming a real work of art for fans of the most famous thief in the world. Another very Italian famous – and still fondly remembered – character from the 80s is Uan, the puppet star of the famous Italian television programme for children Bimbumbam. Recently at the Giordano Ferrari Museum in Parma there was an exhibition dedicated to Uan and the other puppets from his 80s group. Uan and his friends, now free from television commitments, had been kept in the


Of course some of the hits of 80s cinema have made an appearance in commercials. In a Sky ad, ET returns to earth to visit Elliot and his new family. He tries his hand at current technology, testing touch devices, and Sky Q’s voice control. Even Star Wars has got in on the act with the Samsung Galaxy ad in which a boy tries

weeks. The songs were created by Alan Silvestri, who has already edited the soundtrack of the trilogy. They will be joined by some of the most popular songs from the film version, such as The Power of Love. The plot revisits the first film from 1985, in which the teenager Marty McFly travels back in time to 1955.

80s popular UAN character museum for sometime, which led to the idea of organizing a specific exhibition. A lovely cartoon from the period, this time from Japan, was Red-haired Anne, the story of an orphan girl who is made welcome on the farm of the siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. Based on the novel Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery, the cartoon is still in demand on the small screen, and the third season of the series on Netflix has just come out. There is also a graphic novel, recently published in Italy by the Castoro publishing house. In the latter case Anne’s story was adapted by the librarian Mariah Marsden and illustrated by Brenna Thummler, both of them making their debut in children’s literature.

The College (Il Collegio) TV series to convince his dad to adopt a dog that looks like the character Chewbacca, using a phone and other devices like a Galaxy Watch, a notebook and a TV to remind his dad of the dog’s appearance. In this case Samsung wanted to pay homage to the recent release of the latest chapter in the saga, Star Wars: the rise of Sky walker. The 2020 Back to the Future musical, based on the blockbuster saga from the 1980s, is expected to be launched in 2020: it will be previewed at the House of Manchester from February 20 for 12 Star Wars

Anne of Green Gables Gaphic Novel cover As for live-action TV entertainment with an eighties twist there’s Il Collegio (The College), an Italian docu-reality broadcast on Rai2. This show sees some 20 teenagers between 13 and 17 years old studying for about a month in a college in the 1960s. However, the latest series, the fourth, moves to the 80s–1982 to be precise.

Back to the Future, The Musical





Bologna Licensing Trade Fair: the essential meeting place! More and better networking for 2020 at the unmissable event for licensing professionals. The leading licensing fair for Italy and Southern Europe is only three months away – and it’s generating even more excitement than usual with a new format, new features and nearly 1,000 brands on show. Now reformatted as a two-day show to offer a more focused event for professionals and optimize the attendance of exhibitors and visitors, Bologna Licensing Trade Fair (BLTF) is taking place from 30-31 March 2020.

Channel, Starbright, De Agostini and many others.

With 4,500 visitors, 900 brands and 60 retail companies taking part in 2019, and similar numbers expected in 2020, BLTF is gearing up to consolidate its leading position in the licensing market. Major exhibitors already signed up for this year’s show include Hasbro, Planeta Junior, CAA-GBG, Wildbrain Cplg, The Pokémon Company, Mondo TV Consumer Products, Maurizio Distefano Advisors (MDL), Atlantyca Entertainment, Mattel, Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products, Bic Licensing, Premium Licensing, RaiCom, Mondadori, ForFun Media, Sbabam, Pea & Promoplast, Gruppo Alcuni, Webstar

As well as the exhibition there are stronger-than-ever networking and partnering resources, including: more and better networking support; access to pre-registered Italian and foreign visitors’ lists; a dedicated matchmaking service bringing retailers and fashion industry players together with exhibitors; rich media coverage supported by a skilled and proficient press office staff; press tours for exhibitors with the main media partners; opportunities across global children’s publishing, entertainment, digital and media offered by the prestigious Bologna Children’s Book Fair taking place side-by-

side with BLTF. And that’s not all. This year the popular Licensing Retail Lounge, a consolidated networking retail area, is joined by the Licensing Fashion Zone, which will bring together brands, apparel and accessories in one place, offering networking activities, matchmaking meetings, seminars and case histories to reflect the increasingly central role of fashion for the licensing industry. Now in its thirteenth year, the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair remains an essential meeting place for licensing industry professionals, where thousands of visitors can catch up with the latest trends in a fast-moving industry through networking opportunities, access to major brands and exhibitors and, of course, the content bonanza that is the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. BLTF is about the now and the new – where we are and where we are going – and 2020 will see it further consolidate its leading position in the licensing market.




LICENSING WORLD RUSSIA 2020 The Russian licensing market has become a key market for the licensing industry and Licensing World Russia, in conjunction with Kids Russia, is the event to attend in order to be updated on the latest licensing trends in Russia and to meet the main local key players. Next dates are 11th through 13th February 2020.


News from CTC Media KID-E-CATS DEBUTS IN FRANCE Seasons one and two of KIDE-CATS is airing on the French free-to-air television channel Gulli starting from January 6th 2020.

Licensing World Russia 2019, organized by Grand Expo, the leading professional exhibition company in Russia, was absolutely the widest showcase of brands and properties available for the Russian market. Licensing World Russia and Kids Russia, two leading events which take place in conjunction, annually gathers specialists from Russia and beyond, being respectively the only specialized brand licensing exhibition and toy trade show in the Russian Federation and the CIS countries. Licensing World Russia 2019 became the platform for direct interaction, exchange of experience and establishment of mutually beneficial ties for the licensing sector professionals. As every year, Licensing World Russia shared its platform with the International Kids Russia 2019, where more than 203 companies from 15 countries, operating in the Russian children products industry, participated. Overall, more than 10 023 guests visited the exhibitions last year. For the 2020

edition there are high expectations for another breaking record edition. The seminar programme is organized in partnership with Licensing International, the international Licensing and Merchandisers Association.

0+ Media launches Leo & Tig 0+ Media has recently announced international launch of media and CP licensing opportunities for new animation brand “Leo & Tig”, a brand new tv series for kids made of 52 episodes of 11 minutes each. The TV release is planned by the end of 2020. The protagonists are the Siberian Tiger Tig and the Far East Leopard Leo and the stories tell about positive values children should share among them, as the respect for the environment, friendship, and so on.

LITTLE TIARAS’ FIRST INTERNATIONAL SALES CTC Media’s new 3D animated series Little Tiaras (52 x 7’) has made it first international sales. The exclusive free-to-air rights for season one and two have been picked up by Noga for The Children Channel in Israel, TVP for TVP ABC in Poland and All Media for Kanals 2 in Latvia. The series is aimed at girls aged 4-7 and is produced by Melnitsa Animation Studio and owned by CTC Media and CTB Film Company.





FROM KAZACHOK FORUM TO COBRANDZ. THE NEW LICENSING EVENT IN FRANCE On 28th and 29th April 2020, it will take place the first edition of CoBrandz, that is the answer Kazachok gives to a dramatically changing market!

After the past three tricky years, licensing professionals are wondering about existing schemes; creating ever more field experience to have closer contact with their clients; reconsidering their business models and banking on new partnerships. At a time when the world is changing incredibly fast, when all the old models need to be reconsidered, and the licensing market is shifting, Kazachok has decided to position its Forum completely differently. Partnerships between brands and content, with no other legitimacy than communication, are everywhere. The Kazachok Forum is taking this into account in order to expand partnership

opportunities. First of all, in terms of licensing and product offerings,that crucially need to be showcased even better. Secondly by helping pros to identify the partners who can create great Premium Brand Content partnerships with them, and for them, at large. Nowadays, brands and their advisors are seeking every kind ofsponsoring, co-branding, licensed advertising, and collaborative options. During 2 days, CoBrandz Paris will showcase everything that encompasses trademark at large, including products as well as licensed advertising. CoBrandz Paris will also include content with entertainment, brand content and major themes such as: sports, fashion, music, movies, gaming (including e-sport) marketing influence, social media platforms, etc.

The goal is to offer the French licensing market a new event that will trigger new advertising campaigns, great products and great opportunities in the French and European territories.

A COMPLETELY NEW CONCEPT CoBrandz offers you a place to meet and exchange. In addition to the Conference & Talk Room, there will be a showcase of the brands present on the fair, and subjects that are meaningful to advertisers. Thus they can realize the entertainment evolution, see how licensing produces value, why content enriches customer experience and shapes communities (Kids, Genz, Millennials, Senior, etc.).Visitors will not only gain better understanding of the licensing market thanks to master classes, surveys and feedback but also beable to access the first entertainment and licensing network. This new approach will allow combining audiences, being in synch with the licensing market’s evolution, and identifying new business solutions.

SAVE THE DATE Cobrandz 28th& 29th April 2020 Carrousel du Louvre, Paris Registration on:




WHAT’S NEXT FOR TV CONTENTS Linear TV vs. Digital Platforms is more and more an outdated discussion, as the new challenge for all video content producers is how to integrate their TV series with transversal contents that can build a property, loyal audience and popular characters in an increasing dispersive entertainment environment. Cartoon Media, the Belgian organization who is behind the major European Animation events, organizes every year Cartoon 360, an event where producers can pitch brand new TV projects based on cross-platforms development since their very early steps. A great place where to find what could be next in the European Kids Entertainment. LM was Media Partner at last Cartoon 360, which took place last December in Lille, and interviewed two of the experts who attended the event and gave their wise tips to the submitting video producers to improve their pitched projects.

Virginie Sergent

INTERVIEW WITH VIRGINIE SERGENT, BRAND LICENSING AND MERCHANDISING DIRECTOR, VMS Which is your impression from last Cartoon 360 in terms of quality of the pitched projects? The variety of animated projects was fascinating, ranging from pre-school to geek-fantasy-science-fiction, that is trending at the moment.

As part of a panel of experts, I saw a lot of new ideas and innovations. Animation studios are really trying to push the boundaries of transmedia storytelling and not just with strict adaptations translating one medium into another – e.g.: a TV show that becomes a book, a comic that becomes a video-game and then a film. It requires a lot of efforts and work to achieve pure transmedia content as it involves using several different formats and/or platforms. I’ve seen many new options for extending storylines, for customizing plot and character, for altering or presenting another visual look and feel. It was great to see a lot of enthusiasm among the production companies attending and, who knows, the great new IPs of tomorrow! Which is your opinion about the actual platforms revolution? Getting an access anywhere, any time and on any platform with different flavours of content is impacting profoundly

broadcasters, content owners and retailers. Children now consume media differently and have become the new programmers, choosing and planning their own personal schedule. I think a multi-screen experience brings an abundant amount of opportunities. However it also brings many challenges! Many retailers feel like they’re struggling to keep up with trends. They need to partner even more with brand owners to deliver in-store immersive experiences that will capture the imagination of consumers. Of course it affects brand licensing too. Just look at Ryan’s World, one of the most popular kids YouTube channel (30+ billion video views, 18+ million subscribers). This 8-year old boy has now his own branded merchandise, toy line, app, video-game and TV series. He was listed as the highestpaid YouTuber, earning $22 million and $26 million respectively from his videos and product line at Walmart. By living in the digital era, we are now confronted with the “choice phenomenon”!


Is digital equally or more relevant than traditional linear broadcasting? It has become evident that digital broadcasting is the future. Traditional forms of media are not being abandoned, though. The TV industry strives to embrace new business models, broader distribution and innovative ways to reinterpret what it means to be a network on various platforms. When it comes to licensed products, why are retailers still talking about channels and free to air? It is obvious that children’s TV shows and movies are still thriving. Look at Star Wars, Peppa Pig and Disney (to name a few) still hitting mainstream shelves with a wealth of toys and cobranded activations pushed by substantial marketing campaigns. For the business of brand licensing, the main point is about how new interconnected broadcasting methods will enable retailers and licensees to sell more licensed products. Imagine having branded products available on Disney+, Netflix, HBO mx or Apple TV! It will enable to sell more licensed products when the audience is the most fully engaged with their favourite brands. Which is your opinion on how animation characters should be next to be really successful? Content owners have to fight much harder for the consumer’s attention. Developing the most immersive brand experiences possible alongside with great content will help maintain fan and audience engagement. With a generous touch of meaning and purpose, it’s very simple but we’re all looking at investing in something larger than oneself. As an example, I work

for a charming and poetic animated preschool TV show called Ella, Oscar & Hoo – produced by NORMAAL Animation. It tackles children’s emotions like no one

else. Everyday, children can experience a new adventure, an opportunity to learn more about courage, honesty and childhood friendship! Friendship is often underestimated while it has a tremendous impact on our wellbeing. Early childhood friendship is often considered as a positive meaningful influence.

I think the winners will be the ones who have a great content, a strong brand identity, who can remain relevant, meaningful and adapt best to how consumers want to engage with their brand. -Virginie Sergent, Brand Licensing and Merchandising Director, VMS-




What do you think of the actual platforms revolution? These are exciting times for creators and producers but the explosion of opportunities offered by new and growing platforms is tempered by the increasing fragmentation of audiences.

Daniel Bays

INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL BAYS, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LIGHTNING SPRITE MEDIA LTD Which is your impression from last Cartoon 360 in terms of quality of the pitched projects? The quality, variety and creativity of the projects pitched at Cartoon 360 was very high and very impressive, once again.

Is digital equally or more relevant than traditional linear broadcasting? It depends who you ask, how old they are and where they live! What is clear and generally true though, is that if traditional broadcasters don’t have a compelling and authentic digital offering and social media presence that is targeted at and responsive to their core audience, then they will likely struggle to attract, maintain and grow audiences and compete. Which is your opinion on how should be next animation properties to be really successful? There is no secret formula or sure-fire way to achieve success and ‘success’ will mean different things to different people (perhaps even those on the same project - which is something that needs to be sorted out as early as possible!)

“Taking success to mean that audiences love the content, projects that achieve this have clear and compelling unique features and/or a unique approach, topic or things to say and stand out from the crowd.” - Daniel Bays, Creative Director, Lightning Sprite Media Ltd

These projects know exactly who their core audience will be and understand them; then use this knowledge to develop all of the elements of the content (great characters, a compelling world and engaging, relevant and resonant stories) and everything they do in support of the

content, to find, hook, serve, delight and engage them and compel them to want more. It is also crucial to find and use the platform(s) that can help content reach the target audience and allow content to be expressed in the best possible way. Ideal then is to use the unique features of each platform that the content is on to express the content to its best possible potential.




AN OVERVIEW ON OTT PLATFORMS Asia Television Forum (ATF) is the gateway to Asia TV Marketplace. This trade show is also a unique occasion to get all the insights on the major trends in the Asian and Global Entertainment business. LM is Media Partner of this event and interviewed with Tony Gunnarsson, Principal Analyst, Media & Environment at Ovum, to learn more on OTT video platforms and their next future. Could you tell us more about Ovum? Ovum is one of the worlds’ largest dedicated analyst firm for media and technology. We’re based in London, UK, but with offices all over the world. Our main focus is helping service providers to thrive in the digital world. We provide detailed data analysis and forecasts across multiple areas of media and technology. At Ovum, I’m the principal analyst for OTT video, which means I’m responsible for all of our OTT video analysis and forecasting. Could you tell us what is the current status of OTT video services and how Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Peacock will “interact” with Netflix, for example?

There are clearly some key differences across the world. To begin with, as we all know, Netflix is the biggest service of its kind in the world and it has been the most successful service to date, dominating OTT video almost everywhere in the world. The success of Netflix has resulted in a viable market for other services and players, and of course we’ve seen OTT video cause disruption of linear TV and pay TV. In 2015 and 2016, when Netflix and Amazon became global services, multiple local and regional services launched around the world to directly compete with the big US services. But in the 5 years since, it’s clear that few services have been able to take the fight to Netflix. Local and regional services typically have between 15% to

Tony Gunnarsson 20% market share, largely driven by local content, while Netflix and Amazon tend to dominate with majority market share at around 60% or more. In Asia however, this is not necessarily the case as strong local streaming services typically dominate in markets such as China (where Netflix is not directly available), India, Japan or South Korea. Throughout South East Asiadifferent business models than SVOD have proven to be more successful than the classic direct-to-consumer SVOD model of Netflix. Here, free or ad-funded services (AVOD) are very popular, while for the paid segment pricing is typically at a much lower average than elsewhere in the world; bundling the video service with a telco service is also a large feature


of video in Asia generally. If we look at Europe, AVOD is not particularly popular, and local competitors have generally been unable to beat Netflix in terms of content, platform features or pricing. What about Disney +? We have always to consider the difference between US market and the rest of the world. More than 60% householders in U.S. follow Netflix. But when I look at the international market, as in LatAm, Asia, Eastern Europe, we don’t expect Netflix to be higher than 20% of household penetration and if I estimate what will happen in the future, it will never go to penetrate as much more as in the US. Also for Disney + the reasoning is similar. We consider that by 2025 Disney + would be bigger than all the others with the exception of Netflix. The biggest players in the market will be Netflix, Amazon and Disney +. In the US Disney is a brand, is a lifestyle andit is not only about families with children. In the rest of the world, Disney + is conceived mainly as for families. In some territories it will be powerful but not in other territories. It will be great where Disney already performs great in terms of branding, distribution and licensing. Disney + is directly consumer but in other territories they will apply different business models, basing on the penetration in each territory. And Amazon Prime Video?

Amazon is all about the retail business, never mind the streaming. In the market where they have a strong retail business they have also a strong Video presence. Or else, where they are not present or powerful, the same will happen for their Video offer. They are clearly trying to give up to Netflix. Both of them invest on original Series, but Amazon has much lower numbers. They are happy to be complementary where they can’t be competitors. How have consumer attitudes been changing due to the increasing OTT offerings? I find very fascinating how they have been changing. You can see in one week all the series of Stranger Things for example. Moreover, one or two years after subscribing to Netflix most people subscribe to another streaming service. The main reason is that they are replacing the old linear TV with Netflix and then they all become able to search among catalogues, they can watch streaming on TV and not on computer, with internet and streaming. The next few years we will be bombarded by streaming offers, new OTT video platforms and contents. Then, the most important thing is that all these services are cheap. So the consumers can see a lot of contents with a very low budget. European Broadcasters to compete with OTT need to have their own platforms as most of them already have. To keep

linear business relevant, they have to do something unique for its own platforms and to do what they can do better than others. They have to work on something unique that attract audience. Basing on your presentation at ATF 2019, could you tell us more on the analysis on OTT video business models and pricing strategies that have worked in the Asia Pacific Territory and in Europe? One is the high-bridge offer. In Europe all the offer is cost/pay: customers pay for all services and contents they receive. In Asia there is a price difference. As said before, there are free or very cheap services to get the same quality of content. Content Providers can’t get money in the normal way but they know that it is important to be in those platforms to build branding in Asian territories.

WHAT IS AN OTT VIDEO OTT video refers to standalone video services, not directly tied to associated pay-TV or telecom services, that are sold over the open internet, not requiring special hardware or access to closed networks. Many consumers still refer to online video (etc) as simply ‘watching Netflix’!





THE BRIGHT STARS OF ENTERTAINMENT IN EARLY 2020 Kidscreen Summit, in Miami, is where the Kids Entertainment industry meets every year. It’s the ideal place where to discover the latest trends and what’s coming up for the future. At the eve of this crucial event, LM has collected some of the latest news from the industry.

TEAM TO WITH MIGHTY MIKE Since January 2020 CITV is airing MIGHTY MIKE, the maverick slapstick comedy from Entertainment Company TeamTO. The deal, signed by entertainment specialist CAKE, sees MIGHTY MIKE broadcast in every key market in Europe, North America, LatAm, EMEA and Asia – kicking off TeamTO’s 2020 global licensing strategy for the world’s most licensable pug. In more good news for its CP prospects, leading French Licensing Agent France Télévisions Distribution has snapped up the licensing rights following MIGHTY MIKE’S great results on France 3, where

Mighty Mike it has out-performed in its time slot, securing its hold on an optimal platform in the market. With this high-octane, laugh-out-loud, hilarious slapstick comedy, TeamTO has created what will soon become the most high-profile TV-star pug in the market. MIGHTY MIKE is also airing the 78 seven-minute episodes on Universal Kids (US), CBC and Family Channel (Canada), Boomerang (EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latam), France Télévisions (France), ABC (Australia), Super RTL (Germany), Cartoonito (Turkey, Middle East), Tencent (China), VRT (Belgium), YLE (Finland), and KRO-NCRV (Netherlands). Long before the emerging TV success of MIGHTY MIKE, the noble pug has been

a ubiquitous staple of the licensing world, with generic versions of the adorable wrinkly, pushed-in face appearing on literally ANY category of product imaginable – from fluffy slippers, high-end fashion and textiles, to greeting cards, tree ornaments, and hair accessories, to plush, mugs and candles (you know it’s true, we all have them!) But no matter how generically cute these products are, they are greatly bested when that dog has a personality, a back-story, a gorgeous girlfriend, some ninja-like turtles, a fluffy kitten, some pretty irresistible raccoon villains – and a super-popular TV show. In addition to France Télévisions Distribution, Surge Licensing represent North American rights while UYoung has taken on rights in Greater China. Multiple



discussions are under way in other territories. The 78 x 7’ dialogue-free chase cartoon features Mike, a refined pug with sophisticated tastes who longs for a quiet life but is instead forced to defend his house from a bunch of furry intruders. Raccoons, turtles and Fluffy the Cat have a knack for showing up at the worst possible moments, dragging Mike into a series of unforeseen twists and turns! After his owners return, an exhausted Mike finds himself in the dog house once again, missing yet another opportunity to impress Iris, the neighbor’s elegant dog. With photorealistic visuals, Mighty Mike is aimed at 6-10 year olds but has a broader family appeal. An original TeamTO production with Canada’s Digital Dimension, CAKE handles international distribution (excluding TeamTO Territories France, Germany and China).

Nina & Olga and operated by Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI), the national broadcasting company of Italy, one of the major European public broadcasters and a leading key player in international children’s TV. This is a major vote of confidence, both in the series, which will be ready for transmission by spring 2021, and in Enanimation, an award-winning independent TV production company with a strong track record. Legendary writer and illustrator Nicoletta Costa’s creation – a global publishing success for over 30 years – is a cute, funny and soft cloud, who is friends with the moon, the stars and the sun – and also children! And of course as a cloud Olga

ENANIMATION FLIES WITH OLGA THE CLOUD Italian boutique animation studio Enanimation, which this year secured the rights to develop – globally and on all platforms – the popular pre-school publishing property Olga the Cloud, announced recently an agreement with a major international broadcaster for the forthcoming TV version of the muchloved Nicoletta Costa books. Rai Ragazzi has pre-acquired the first season of the new show, called Nina & Olga, a 52x7 2D animation for kids aged from 4-6-years old that is now in development. Rai Ragazzi is a leading producer and broadcaster of children’s shows. It is owned

wants to rain – but when is the right time? For the series, called Nina & Olga, Enanimation has developed a new character, Nina, a special friend of Olga who helps her to cope with everyday challenges. Olga helps Nina to understand and face her feelings, like a true Best Friend Forever, but a BFF who rains – and at the most unusual times! It’s a rich, colourful world of children, parents, grannies and teachers, not to mention animals, birds, the sun, the moon and the stars, all of whom come together as part of Nina & Olga’s daily adventures. Olga the Cloud is popular, not just in Italy, but worldwide and particularly in China, Russia, Spain and the US, offering numerous opportunities for the new series, which will be promoted throughout 2020, beginning at Kidscreen Summit, where visitors will be able to discuss business opportunities related to this project.

MOLANG KEEPS GROWING GLOBALLY Among the latest news, Molang si the protagonist of a special exhibition which will take place until March 9th at the Paris Aquarium. For this special occasion, the Paris Aquarium is re-branded in MOLANG style and kids can learn how to save the Ocean from plastic pollution. Also many activities are planned for the families, as a customised live Show, Meet&Greet and DIY activities, Treasure Hunt, Screening, Mobile application and much more.



KID-E-CATS TO GULLI THANKS TO APC KIDS APC Kids inked a deal with the number one French kids free-to-air television channel Gulli (M6 Group) for series one and two of KID-E-CATS which has seen the hit animated series airing on the channel from 6 January 2020.

Caterina Gonnelli Xilam Animation Appointed Gonnelli as EVP, Content


Award-winning French animation studio Xilam Animation appointed Caterina Gonnelli, Disney’s former Director of Acquisitions and Co-Productions for the Disney Channels EMEA, as EVP, Content for the company’s rapidly growing slate of projects. Caterina Gonnelli joined the company since last January 13th. Her main task is to oversee all editorial aspects of Xilam’s content and be responsible for increasing the company’s slate, as well as conducting development to address the market needs. Caterina’s expertise of the fast-changing worldwide market of kids’ content will help Xilam strengthen its reach across all distribution channels and platforms in the five continents.

The series, produced by CTC Media and Studio Metrafilms, is the second-best performing pre-school series in Russia. Series one and two are now available on Nick Jr internationally in over 170 territories, following a deal signed between APC Kids and Nickelodeon International and the third season is already completed This deal with Gulli is the latest big step in the brand’s TV exposure, as part of a fresh batch of sales for Season 1 with Timvision (Italy) and Ceska Televize (Czech Republic), Season 1 and 2 with MBC (MENA), and Season 2 with TG4 (Ireland) and TV Puls (Poland).


educates about healthy eating in an irreverent and immediate way, whose pilot was co-produced by Joe Bastianich and Mirai Art. Another project is Croco Doc, a preschool which aims to teach children not to be afraid of the doctor, in coproduction with the Spanish production houses Nuts Ideas and Buen Paso and already pre-purchased by the Spanish Broadcaster RTVE.

Red Monk Studio, a young and dynamic Milanese animation production company founded two years ago, has several projects in a development stage. The Green Bunch is a short format that


My Unbelievable School My Unbelievable School (52x11’), in codevelopment with the French 2minutes, is based on the series of books by Davide Calì and Benjamin Chaud, already translated into 21 countries. At Kidscreen Summit the focus will be on Apsi’s World, an upper preschool project with STEM curriculum. Last but not least, starting from this year Red Monk Studio will represent the audiovisual products of the Italian popular Youtuber group Mates, including the development of the cartoon based on the comic Superheroes by Chance.


Focus on


Stationery and licensing: trends and themes Stationery – or rather the licensing of stationery – is going through some significant changes. As with other merchandise categories, the attention of the branding and licensing industry is focused on a number of trends, including some themes and phenomena of wider, global relevance.

The brand new niche brand for the stationery in Italy: Pennuti Skizzati by Edicart receive the same kind of treatment. How can a licensee make a difference when the licensing offer is becoming so concentrated? How can a retailer create a unique offer in their store if they just end up imitating another retailer? For answers it could be necessary to try two approaches. Firstly it might be worth searching for innovative products for the licensee, products that not only highlight properties from the biggest majors but also boutique brands–iconic, original and distinguished. For retailers, meanwhile, it may be necessary to try for an exclusive

The “green” booknotes line by Pigna A perfect example of this is the green ‘wave’. This has long been seen as important for many companies and retailers, but thanks to growing awareness, not least through Greta Thunberg and her #fridaysforfuture movement, it has become central to every company and product, especially products aimed at kids, teens and young adults. Companies that produce consumer goods cannot disregard this phenomenon, not least because the target market itself is increasingly demanding when it comes to the materials used to make just about every product. The themes of eco-sustainability are reproduced across all categories, from backpacks to bags, diaries and block notes. Companies need to address principles like biodegradability and a clean environment, not only in the product itself but in the packaging and the messages affixed to each individual product.

Not only are green issues more influential than ever, but, in a different way, so too are digital and social media. These are the new platforms from which the young adult audience in particular – but also other age groups – draws its new idols and points of reference. Influencers are increasingly sought after by brands to make them stand out. In turn influencers have themselves become brands, inspiring consumer goods for each category –in particular backpacks and school products – so that the world that can distinguish clearly the lifestyle of the young followers.

The “green” backpack formula according to Pigna

On the licensing front in general, it’s not just about the major trends. The licensing market is going through a time of drastic changes, a time of big majors acquiring other majors, creating even bigger groups that contain properties that are very different from each other but that then

relationship with a brand, whether it originates from the big groups or is a niche brand, a relationship which makes the difference and creates new sales experiences to retain an audience, not easy when today’s audiences have such a short attention span.




ARE THERE MISSED LICENSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR TEENS? By Kids Insights Team age 10-12however, these kids are 40% more likely than average to use YouTube to keep up to date with their favourite films, showing the diversity and reach of the way they consume content and engage with IPs. YouTube has seen a number of success stories in terms of licensed merchandise sold through kidfluences, two of which are Ryan’s World and JoJo Siwa. JoJo’s fans (7-9 yearold’s) are more likely than the average child their age to purchase licensed products relating to their favourite YouTuber. Her fans over-index on purchases including books, toys, boardgames, stationery, collectables Kids Insights, the global leader in kids’ market intelligence, survey more than 2,000 children every week, across 3 continents and 7 countries, and more than 105,000 children a year. Our latest reports are predominantly based on the results of surveying 5,000 children between 1st July and 30th September 2019, though it also utilises data we have collected since May 2017. We believe that kids’ landscape is more fragmented than ever.Technological advances mean they are now more connected and invested in more ecosystems than any generation before them; finding entertainment at every turn. This of course, also means that opportunities for licensed products have expanded and IPs can be seen and enjoyed in an array of different places. Depending on age and gender, the licensed products children buy in relation to their favourite IP varies. This quarter, toys were the number one film related licensed property for kids and this is growing, up 35% year-on-year. This popularity was

largely propped up by preschoolers, of which, 32% have purchased toys related to their favourite film. Magazines have slowly become more popular over the past year too, up 14% since Q3 2018 and almost 1 in 4 kids aged 6-9 have purchased magazines related to their favourite film. Books are the preferred licensed property of tweens

and toiletries. Ryan’s World content is also resonating highly with his fans (3-7 yearold’s)and they are over twice as likely to purchase YouTube related toys than the average child. Whilst 65% of teenagers spend upwards of 30mins daily on YouTube, this age group is less likely to buy YouTuber related merchandise, despite having a high



affinity with the likes of Zoella, PewDiePie and KSI etc. This suggests that there is a gap in the market for products to appeal to teenage avid fans, a group with money to spend and few responsibilities. YouTube recently announced a new partnership with Merchbar, which allows music artists with an Official Artist Channel to display a virtual shelf of their official merchandise alongside their videos. This enables them a direct purchase opportunity with their fans and allows artists the chance to generate extra revenue. Although this isn’t new for YouTube, with the platform also partnering with the likes of Teespring to offer merchandising opportunities, this is a good example of how brands are trying to reach fans in a very direct way. Understanding what teens want, what they are likely to buy and which products they engage more with therefore is essential, especially as the retail industry continuesto be disrupted. From social media platforms, favourite characters and content formats, children’s

preferences are constantly changing.We can track these changes and their impact in our real-time data portal. Understanding what is going on in the kids’ ecosystem has never been more important, and we specialise in helping clients identify new products before the masses do, understand the true performance of IPs and how to maximise their investment from a sales and marketing perspective.

Your research is based on 5 territories. How is children’s population in each of them and which is their “value”? Kids Insights collect data in a linear manner, via an online survey, which means that we collect 1,230 responses in Europe every single week: 410 responses in UK, 205 responses in France, 205 responses in Germany, 205 responses in Spain, 205 responses in Italy. The survey gives 99% statistical significance and allows us to provide clients with the




an extra-curricular club, compared to 68% in the UK. Could you explain better the “Pokémon ecosystem” that you mention in your research? Pokémon, through the power of their brand and have managed to build a connected ecosystem for kids to explore and discover. They have built the content out, so no matter how kids are spending their leisure time, kids can engage with Pokémon content. As a result, our data shows how Pokemon features as a favourite across many different areas of the kids ecosystem: most comprehensive and dynamic market intelligence resource on all things kids. Tell us more about Digital Natives 3-5 years old and which is their attitude through digital technologies A device many young children use to access to the digital world - the tablet. The majority can navigate apps and take photos. In much of Europe, including the UK and Spain which are leading the way, tablet and tech use in generally is high. Looking a little deeper, however, shows tablet usage is not all the same. In the UK, 28% of children in this category own an Apple iPad tablet, compared to the 20% who have a Samsung device. In Spain, the pattern is reversed, with 27% of kids the same age owning a Samsung tablet, compared to 14% for Apple. Our latest data shows kids in Germany are a third less likely to have access to a tablet than in the UK. The country is known for its strict stance on children’s digital

privacy – defining the age of consent at age 16 under GDPR (compared to 13 in the UK) and even banning the sale of kids smart watches in 2017 due concerns around privacy. Consequently, 76% of all children attend

11th Favourite Magazine (2.8%) [boys,10-12] • 4th Favourite toy (Pokemone cards) (2.5%) [boys, 10-12] • 7th favourite app (Pokemon Go) (5.5%) [boys and girls, 6-12] • 8th favourite console game (3.1%) [boys and girls, 6-10] • 3rd favourite TV show (8.1%) [boys 6-12] • 16th favourite brand (1.2%) [boys 6-12] They continue to innovate as well, most recently with the announcement of ‘Pokemon Sleep’ - a new app/game which will allow fans to use their sleeping information to catch Pokémon. What about Minecraft for 10-12 years old target and Fortnite for olders? Kids are playing video games from an increasingly young age. By the age of 4, the majority of kids (52%) play video games; this compares to Q3 2018 where


the first age in which the majority of kids were playing video games was 5 (57%). While the overall popularity of Minecraft has yet to reach the levels experienced at its peak pre-2016, with teen boys aged 10-12, it has doubled in popularity to become joint favourite with Fortnite. What is the content fragmentation? This generation of kids have more content options than ever before, across traditional TV, streaming platforms and even user generated content – such as TikTok and Twitch. Some of the biggest brands in the world are investing tens of billions of dollars into amount of choice children have from ‘new’ media options – such as TikTok (watched by 1 in 5 tween girls), Twitch (watched by 1 in 10 tween boys) and of course YouTube, watched by regularly by half of all children in the UK. One of the results of this is that new IP is appearing from unexpected and different parts of the content ecosystem.

content and platforms in an intense battle for families’ limited money and time. Over the last in9 quarters (27 months), Kids Insights have tracked whether kids in the UK are watching more linear TV or Netflix. Our data shows linear TV has dropped from a 20-percentage point lead over Netflix, to an 11 point trail – a net 31 point change. That’s a shift of +1 million children for

Netflix and -2 million decrease for linear TV. This huge behavioural viewing shift explains why the ‘streaming wars’ are intensifying, with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Apple, HBO, Warner Media, NBCUniversal each investing billions of pounds on top of content from local broadcasters, such as BBC and Sky. This is before we even consider the

And what about the co-creation in the videogames for kids and teenagers? The co-creation is booming! TikTok is the fourth favourite app of kids and tweens age 6-12, and the second most popular newly downloaded app. As a platform, TikTok could be viewed as social entertainment, not so just social media. A large community of content creators, all producing 15 seconds of comedy/music based entertainment. It is a hit with young people, as it allows them to get involved. Other apps with co-creative elements, such as Minecraft (a randomly-generated world where users can create their own structure) and Roblox (user-generated 3D worlds) are popular with kids at this age also. Based on our data, Robox is the 3rd favourite app for kids and tweens (6-12) and Minecraft is the 5th. Also LEGO Life, most popular with boys 7-9, is an example brand creating a kidsafe co-creative community space.

TO FIND OUT MORE or call the team on +44 (0)330 159 6631



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