#01 | 2021
LICENSING | BRANDING | MEDIA&DIGITAL | PUBLISHING TRADE MAGAZINE
WHAT’S NEW AND THE FUTURE CONTENTS FACTS AND TRENDS
SPECIAL TOY REPORT: NOVELTIES,
NEXT RETAIL TOPICS TO FOLLOW
Dear reader Here we are with another great issue of Licensing Magazine. We started this new year full of challenges and throwing ourselves into the future with a unique adaptability that these times demand. The purpose of our magazine is to provide insights on unmissable trends, paths to explore, projects and content to monitor for current and future businesses. It is designed to be collectible and to be studied as a guide in a market that is increasingly challenging and requires highly sophisticated tools. In this issue we cover many topics, taking a close look at what is new in the industry. We also have a Special dedicated to the world of Toys: from new launches to the global retail scene, and the must-have 2021 trends of the American Toy Association.
In addition to Toys, we will talk about Retail from a variety of viewpoints, from beauty products and inclusive marketing to Shopping Malls and Brand Experience. As to content, we offer our readers several tips and ideas to pursue going forward, such as the news from children’s publishing, automotive brands for children, and the latest from Russian and South Korean animation, which is becoming more international and crucial in the entertainment industry. We look forward to meeting you online over the next two months in a series of Virtual Meetings organized by BolognaFiere! See page 102 for lots more details. As always, we hope you enjoy your magazine!
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Cristina Angelucci GRAPHIC DESIGN Francesca Wolfler SPECIAL THANKS TO Rossella Arena, Alessandra Maccaferri, Andrea De Amicis, Eugene Gerden, The Insights People, The US Toy Industry Association, Matteo Melani, Lisa Hryniewicz PUBLISHING, ADVERTISING AND ADMINISTRATION BM Srl - Via Po, 14 - 10123 Torino, Italy Ph. +39 011 1921 1996 email@example.com www.bm-eu.com 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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Cover story 6
WILDBRAIN CPLG All about Peanuts
MAURIZIO DISTEFANO LICENSING Maurizio Distefano Licensing never stopped to amaze with cooler proposals
PHILIP OSBOURNE A talk with Philip Osbourne, kids pop author
ETS LICENSING 2021 opens with exciting news
STUDIO 100 MEDIA Future plans of Studio 100
THANKYOU Thankyou’s mission
PLAY AROUND Play Around launches the MeteoHeroes toy line
Speciali Giocattoli 44
NEW TOYS Toys of the future
RETAIL TRENDS Toys, what’s new in retail
TRENDS 2021 Top Toy Trends according to US Toy Association
SANRIO Important achievements and new goals for Sanrio
MATTEL / VICTORIA LICENSING & MARKETING The number one card game UNO® celebrates 50 years!
THE POKÉMON COMPANY INTERNATIONAL An intense programme for the 25th Pokémon anniversary
COUNTERFEITING Toy Association continues fight against unsafe, counterfeit toys
CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING The latest news from Children’s Publishing Properties
DARRINGTON PRESS Critical Role launches new publishing company Darrington Press
Fashion & Lifestyle 64
STORYTELLING Gaming and tv series: how fashion storytelling is changing
FASHION After 2020, Fashion industry moves towards a new future
RUSSIAN ANIMATION The latest hits of Russian animation at ATF online +
SOUTH KOREAN ANIMATION The success of South Korean animated series
Focus on 96
HEALTHCARE Beauty, 2021 in the name of change
HOMEWARE A new way to stay at home
AUTOMOTIVE Children love utomotive brands
NEW TECH Retail, new technologies improve sales experience
BRAND EXPERIENCE Innovation in brand experience: digital vs physical spaces
SHOPPING MALLS Retail, the new challenges of Shopping Malls
MARKETING Inclusive marketing: diversity as an added value
RUSSIA Russian licensing market is steadily growing despite pandemic
ANIMATION BUSINESS CONFERENCE Animation Business Conference, between post Brexit and financing
STARBUCKS A brand extension case history: Starbucks
INSIGHT PEOPLE Brands should capitalise on boom in online consumption & shopping
KAZACHOK Kazachok’s 20th anniversary special
Save the Date 72
ALL ABOUT PEANUTS The Peanuts brand has been part of WildBrain CPLG’s rich international portfolio for some time. Starting in 2021, that now includes representation in the Italian market by WildBrain CPLG. Maria Giovanna Gurrieri, Managing Director, Italy, Turkey and Greece, WildBrain CPLG tells us all.
Maria Giovanna Gurrieri area. The transition is significant and will help us to take the brand beyond national borders and maximize its international potential. Working with licensor Peanuts Worldwide, WildBrain CPLG already represents the Peanuts brand in the UK, Iberia, France, Germany, Benelux, Greece, Turkey, Middle East and the expansion of Peanuts representation in Italy means we can implement synergies more easily and work with the best pan-European partners. © PNTS
LM. The addition of Peanuts is great news for WildBrain CPLG headquarters in Italy, an office with a well-established presence in the country. Tell us about this important step and the Peanuts legacy. MGG. The Peanuts brand joined our portfolio at the beginning of this year. We took over the property through an
agreement with BIC Licensing, who had managed the brand for over 30 years in Italy. The development strategy and the entire operation is now completely within our remit, while maintaining a consultancy relationship with BIC founder Claudio Massari, who has a wealth of historic knowledge of the brand in the
Peanuts, which celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2020, is an incredible brand. With recognition well above 90 percent and more than 17 million fans on social media, it enjoys high resonance not only in the United States but also throughout Europe and Asia, with an especially strong presence in Japan. The story of Snoopy and the much-loved Peanuts gang who orbit around him is hugely popular in Italy. The core target is very broad: fans
who appreciate the iconic status of the characters, either because they have read some of the 18,000 strips drawn by Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz and appreciate the elegant irony, or because Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown and gang have become a part of their life, like a friend you’ve always known even though you can’t remember how you met! The brand is especially beloved by new parents who really appreciate the classic style and timelessness of Peanuts’ design. Peanuts speaks a universal language and has introduced idioms into our vocabulary such as the “Linus blanket”, the need for security sought from a personal object, or the universally famous opening words: “Happiness is ...”. Increased global awareness of the brand is also being driven by new Peanuts content on Apple TV+, created by WildBrain CPLG’s parent company, WildBrain. This February, Apple TV+ debuted the new animated series The Snoopy Show, following on last year’s debut of Snoopy in Space. Both shows have been hugely popular with audiences and will definitely expand appeal of the brand to a new generation. LM. I guess you have some important projects in development for this brand.
Saint Barth Collection Can you share something? What will be the main focus for the brand? MGG. We have some very ambitious plans for Peanuts. The brand already boasts many excellent Italian licensees such as Benetton, Iceberg and Original Marines, just to name a few, who are long-time partners. We will continue to pursue opportunities in Lifestyle with collaborations ranging from clothing and accessories to the world of design and Housewares. We would also like to draw on the iconic strength of the characters and their recognition among the public, to use them as ‘spokespeople’ for advertising campaigns and loyalty programs. We are also looking to close
“The core target is very broad: fans who appreciate the iconic status of the characters, either because they have read some of the 18,000 strips drawn by Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz and appreciate the elegant irony, or because Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown and gang have become a part of their life, like a friend you’ve always known even though you can’t remember how you met!”
FW21 Iceberg Collection
United Colors of Benetton Collection
FW21 Iceberg Collection
some key agreements in the world of confectionery. And finally, publishing is another very important product category for Peanuts, particularly because its entire journey started with the written word and comic strips were among the first licensed Peanuts products. There is already a huge, broad-ranging publishing program in place, and we will work to maintain it and expand it wherever possible.
worked on the brand for a long time, is with the Inditex Group from Spain which creates clothing and home accessories for men, women and children worldwide. We admittedly have the advantage of a huge choice of style guides, with several new themes developed every year, but the skill of the designers of Zara, Oysho, Pull & Bear, and Zara Home is truly remarkable! Another collaboration that I really like is the Puma line, recently launched by the German office. The graphics they have created beautifully combine both sportiness and humor. The key characters are Snoopy in his many “athletic” guises, together with Charlie Brown and Woodstock. Changing product categories, I also think the agreement with Smeg, brokered by the Benelux office, is fantastic. Created as a limited edition for the 70th anniversary celebration, it was very successful and created some great buzz throughout EMEA. In addition to EU countries, Peanuts is also doing great with colleagues from the Middle East and Turkey. Riva in Dubai and Koton, LC Waikiki and Defacto in Turkey are loyal to Snoopy and the gang. with
SS21 Puma Collection LM. As already mentioned, Peanuts is in WildBrain CPLG’s portfolio in other European countries. Can you give us an overview of the brand’s progress internationally? MGG. Peanuts is one of those brands that manages to engage people who are very different from each other, both by target and by nationality. Its subtle irony, simplicity and elegance of the design make the characters iconic and universal. There have been many superb campaigns developed by my colleagues in the rest of Europe, so many that I’ll just mention my three favorite international hits! The partnership I admire for its nonstop, constant creativity, despite having
Zara Home Collection
United Color of Benetton for Kids Collection
The initiative was also launched in 70 hospitals around the world in association with the Foundation for Hospital Art. Staff and patients of the selected hospitals will collectively paint pieces of the mural which will then be assembled as a colorful embodiment of positivity and optimism. In Italy, you can admire one of these murals at the San Gerardo Hospital in Monza. From our Italian office, we have identified some new initiatives to be carried out within the Take Care context which we look forward to developing. Stay tuned!
beautiful apparel collections for women and children. But Peanuts isn’t just about partnerships and business. What I really appreciate is how the brand continues to inspire fans around the world by bringing kindness and a smile to the people around us. A great example of that is the new global Take Care with Peanuts campaign, launched by Peanuts Worldwide in 2020. Drawing on themes found throughout Charles Schulz’s iconic comic strips, Take Care with Peanuts promotes three vital messages of caring: Care for yourself; Care for each other; Care for the Earth. Throughout 2021, a Take Care-themed video will be made available online every month with Peanuts characters learning lessons that fall within the project.
Motta Easter Egg with Topo Gigio
Ottodame Collection with Mafalda
LM. WildBrain CPLG has a very rich portfolio, besides Peanuts. Do you want to give us a brief overview with news not to be missed this year? MGG. Like every year, there are many innovations that will characterize 2021 and that will involve entertainment properties such as Topo Gigio and Sonic The Hedgehog; classic brands including Mafalda and Pink Panther; as well as our or lifestyle brands such as the iconic emoji. Let’s begin with Topo Gigio, the beloved character created in 1959 by Maria Perego. Starting last October 5th a new animated series is airing every day on Rai YoYo. The series continues to enjoy great success among YoYo’s young viewers, confirming itself as one of the most popular programs on the channel. The
licensing program we are building around the property is also growing and many licensees have already launched the first wave of products on the market, starting with Giochi Preziosi, Master Toy Partner, Gribaudo, Play Press, Hopplà, Bauli and Clementoni. Another equally beloved and wellknown character around the world is Sonic the Hedgehog, the star of one of the most iconic and best-selling video game franchises of all time, which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary. The news does not end there: after the global success of the first feature film in 2020, the second movie is coming to theaters in Spring 2022. Also in 2022, a new animated series, Sonic Prime, co-produced by WildBrain and SEGA will air on Netflix worldwide. Sonic boasts an extensive cross-category licensing program around the world, including recent collaborations with Puma and Lego.
“I believe it is important for companies to organize quickly to offer their products online as this buying habit is unlikely to disappear.”
FW20 Original Marines Collection There are many other innovations on the brand front, starting with Mafalda, which also recently joined our portfolio. Mafalda was first illustrated in 1964 by the famous Argentine cartoonist Quino. Determined, serious, altruistic and rebellious, little Mafalda always says what she thinks, tries to find out how the world turns and has fun even in the most trivial events. Her comics have sold over 50 million copies worldwide, while her character is one of the most loved on Facebook with over
six million fans. Mafalda already boasts several important partnerships with companies such as Clementoni, Salani, Sabor, Foto Edizioni and Akena. Another classic brand always in the spotlight is Pink Panther, the evergreen icon that has inspired countless collections in the fashion world - and beyond - thanks to its sophisticated and glamorous style. Among the most recent partnerships is Tezenis, which just launched a line of apparel, underwear and sleepwear for adults and children in all stores and online, and Original Marines, which has created a F/W 2020 collection with dedicated window displays, in-store activations, an influencer campaign, as well as new products which are planned for the S/S 2021 season. And continuing in the world of brands but with a more lifestyle direction, there is emoji – The Iconic Brand, one of the most influential and well-known brands in the world that boasts over 1,000 licensing partnerships. It is an extremely contemporary brand, universally appealing to every target and product category, and provides the largest icon library on the planet with over 20,000 emojis! We have several partnerships for emoji in Italy, including with Puma, Clementoni, San Carlo and Dolfin. LM. As an expert in the sector, how do you evaluate the state of the market to date and what are your aims for a postcovid relaunch? How do you see the
retail trend in the future? MGG. The pandemic and the consequent lockdown has unfortunately impacted the Italian economy more than some other European countries. Not being able to make purchases traditionally, as perhaps is easier for us, has accelerated digitalization, and consumers have now become accustomed to making personal purchases online. Recent research shows that online sales have tripled their value compared to 2019, so much so that in 2020 online fashion spending saw an increase of almost 30 percent. I believe it is important for companies to organize quickly to offer their products online as this buying habit is unlikely to disappear. Another phenomenon that we will have to face in the coming years concerns cinemas: due to the closure of theaters, many major studios have started to launch new releases directly on digital platforms. I love cinema very much and I consider the experience of enjoying a beautiful film on the big screen a very pleasant way to spend an evening, so I hope that we will be able to return to old habits without losing too many cinemas in the meantime. Without a doubt, this pandemic period has accelerated the penetration of services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime TV, Disney+, and Apple TV+, which has positive aspects for our business since it adds an important new “showcase” for animated series, and entertainment products in general, without time limits and schedules.
A TALK WITH PHILIP OSBOURNE, KIDS POP AUTHOR His books are published in over 46 Countries, 7 audiovisual projects in a TV development phase, 3 magazines devoted to his characters are leading kiosks and his catalogues is one of the most looked for by comics publishers, TV producers and investors. such a thing as the secret to success? This would be a wonderful prompt for a kids’ story. Imagine if someone had the magic potion of success, surely, they would have a paved way and would easily conquer the world. In reality, no one knows why things happen. In my case, if I really have to dig deep and rationalize, I can say that determination has always been my “secret” weapon. The other “secret” of my success is the people who work with me: the people by my side encourage me and take care of the business, as well as sales, strategies, marketing, contracts... Having managers, smart agents and good lawyers by my side contributes to my success more than a good idea itself. Over the past year, the team has grown and so have the results, confirming that talent is an important component, but not the only one.
Phil the Nerd
Diary of a Nerd has seen its success going beyond the books. Which are the next plans for this property? “Diary of a Nerd” has become an international bestseller and is published in over 40 countries, with many more soon to be added (Vietnam, India, Slovenia,
ALMOND is the brand that characterises Philip Osbourne catalogue, used by the author to begin his career, thanks to the publishing management of Plume Studio
MANAGING PHILIP OSBOURNE CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org etc). Finally, my Phil, the Nerd and Elen, the little boss, the protagonists of my novels, will also have a different life on TV. Rainbow is working on the project and, considering the worth of Straffi and his team, I am sure they will make my book something much greater and pop. I am not going to comment on the adaptation and its status, also because it is not my area of expertise. Certainly, TV is the next big goal, together with the launch of the new trilogy that in Italy will be published by Mondadori. What is next will be the consequence of the new trilogy and the TV series. Mondadori and Rainbow are a guarantee, and I will do my best to make them happy to work on my projects. Which is the importance of Comic Books, according to you, to build a dialogue with kids, today? Comics talk to and listen to kids, and they do so in an engaging way, more than you might think. They have raised me. They made me dream, they stimulated my brain to explore a lot, and they opened my visual perception. They were the first bridges to other media and art forms like film, TV, literature, painting, and video
Philip Osbourne is one of the most followed authors for children at a global scale. LM interviewed him to learn more on his latest projects and licensing developments. Can you tell us about the secret behind your global success? Thank you for the question: both simple and complex at the same time. Is there Texts Copyright: Philip Osbourne & Copyright Graphics: Roberta Procacci
Copyright Philip Osbourne & Lucy Preston Graphics: Max Avo Production: I-Sle Entertainment
Pin&Puk games. I think comics can speak to kids like few other media or art forms can. In fact, they can speak very well to adults,
Pin & Puk Cover Book
too. It is an enchanted world. I started my career writing “Jenna”, a comic book with Jim Fern, Joe Rubinstein and Takeshi Miyazawa, Paul Dianno, the former Iron Maiden front man, who gave me the soundtrack. That character was my version of Josh Whedon’s Buffy. I had so much fun making it. I was often tempted to resume it and Ben Dunn, the author of the TV series “Warrior Nun”, streaming on Netflix, wrote the special crossovers. To this day, I still ask for comic book adaptations of my literary works, as it is happening with my new title “Pin and Puk”. We are about to launch the book series, but also the comic book. The more variations a work has, the more it will be fully developed. We decided to make a comic book of Teo as well, one of the two spin-offs of “Diary of a Nerd”... It is another way to speak to children in an effective way. Can you tell us about the strong liaison between your bestsellers and their tv development? I am a pop author and I think of each
of my books in terms of TV and film adaptations. “Corman 77,” “Mac The Geek,” and “Diary of a Nerd” were born to be movies, cartoons, and TV series, as well as book series. Rainbow, which is very thoughtful, decided to contract the three titles’ rights. The same thing happened with the film “Edward Loth” Now, my new character “Jurassik Diaries”, is the subject of two important negotiations for a cartoon adaptation, with two specialized companies. I am convinced that we will soon announce the producer who will adapt the book series. We are also developing the TV series of “Bomber and the Benchwarmers” with Sydonia Entertainment. In order to understand my
enter the imagination and not end with just words.
Copyright Steven Seagal A novel by Steven Seagal & Philip Osbourne
You are also fascinated in transponing tv series, toys stories and brands into books. Can you tell us something more? Yes, I have already adapted into a book series a successful TV cartoon like “Harry & Bunnie,” produced by Animasia and in the Netflix library. At the end of the year, I will be adapting “The Swordman,” a film by Keller Edde Studios and written by Steven Segal, author of the subject and co-author of the novel. I hope to continue to play with other people’s cartoons or TV series and adapt them into successful book series. If the opportunity presents itself, I will definitely continue down that path. I would love to work with the toy world... and create stories for a toy or brand and then tell their adventures through a series of books. I am so fascinated by adapting someone else’s concept and playing with it in my own style. We did the experiment
efforts in this direction, we are working so that this company will represent a catalog of TV projects dedicated to the world of kids created and “presented” by me. We are in the planning and contracting phase. From a narrative point of view, I work on simple subjects that can be portrayed with a few lines, that are able to evoke worlds, with strongly defined characters. In other words, nothing new, I simply try to do a good pop work, because I am fascinated by the idea that a work of art becomes a brand and vice versa. I like a work to
Bomber & The Benchwarmers Copyright Philip Osbourne. Tv Project: For co production Sydonia Entertainment
Harry and Bunnie
IED Team working on Corman Illustrations with Animasia on TV and I hope this can be replicated with toys. It must be special to tell what you don’t know about a doll or some robots, or even some board games. Certainly, those are special challenges. The two worlds still do not talk to each other enough and yet, I am convinced that the story makes toys special and they make the story more real. Tell us more about your passion for Comics I used to read Marvel and DC Comics comic books as a kid, and before I became a writer for kids and young adults, I was lucky enough to work with some of the most representative personalities in the industry (among them a certain David Mack). I wrote a graphic novel called “Hollywood Noir”, illustrated by a master and historic name: Dick Giordano (whom many remember from Batman). That work that I cared so much about was commissioned by a publishing house that then left the business. Although the work was finished, it remained in their archives. We are talking about an unpublished work by Dick Giordano that no one knows about... unfortunately. He died and it is a pity that the work has been left there. My only regret is for Giordano’s family who would benefit from its potential publication. Aside from this anecdote, I think comics are a great gauge of the creativity going on around us. I enjoy reading them and obviously study them to see where that world is going... but I
do the same with cartoons, TV series and videogames. I love pop culture and I feed off of it. The comic book is part of my imagination so much so that when the illustrator/graphic designer of “Diary of a Nerd”, asked me if I wanted illustrations or drawings in comic book style, I replied: the time had come to bring a bit of comic book spirit into children’s literature, including the way of conceiving the graphic layout... Even Brian Yuzna, my mentor, director of cult horror works, when I wrote for him, used to tell me that I think in cartoons... I don’t know if that was a compliment! Come to think of it, that was definitely a rebuke! Which are your next plans? In particular, which is the next dream you would love to come true? Professionally, as I said before, I hope to grow and work on important brands in the toys world and adapt other cartoons to books. I would like to write a novel in the style of “Diary of a Nerd”, so ironic and super pop, about super heroic characters, because the counterpoint would be nice... obviously I’d like to write a crazy Winx volume, but I don’t think Straffi would allow me to do that. Also work on Disney properties (which recently are looking in this direction, as happened with the Graphic Stories in Italy published by Giunti and written by a professional I really respect like Jimmy Gownley). I would do it if they would give me some space, as I have been given at Mondadori,
Rainbow and by all my publishers in over forty countries. I don’t know if I’d be able to do a “well done job” in the conventional sense, but I can take my chances by working with my own style. From a creative point of view, I have a dream that perhaps wouldn’t have a great economic return: I would love to make books and documentaries on those who have made pop culture for children. I’d really like to write about Straffi, Stine, Kinney, Patterson, etc. If, for example, Netflix wanted to produce them, I would gladly write the scripts as early as tomorrow... I have already expressed, between the lines, my desire to some of these great authors. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll convince them to give me unpublished drawings, to talk about how they thought up and then marketed the characters that made them famous. Obviously now I hope that my new projects will continue to be successful and to see Jurassik Diares in cartoon, to assist the growth of the brand “I-sle Entertainment”, with which I intend to realize some “featuring” with Guest stars and Guest brand, together with a partner who believes in me since a long time, who has invested his best years to support me. In the meantime, I must work hard to make my new works successful: “Pin & Puk” and “Police Dept 8-11” and finish my first Christmas novel: “I write to Santa Claus”. It is going to take time to get them all done... because I dream a lot... but I’ve mentioned them at least... and that’s a first step.
STUDIO 100 MEDIA
FUTURE PLANS OF STUDIO 100 LM interviewed Joachim Knödler, Head of Licensing at Studio 100 Media from September 2020, to learn more about the future plans of one of Europe’s leading animation companies. Joachim Knödler became Licensing at Studio 100 in 2020. LM interviewed him to about his new role and the 2021 plans.
Head of September learn more company’s
LM. Tell us about the actions done during the first 100 days at Studio 100, in your role as Licensing Director. JK. I found a fantastic team at Studio 100, with great brands and a strong marketing base. For me it was an easy path to start the licensing plan and activities. From the first day of joining the company, together with the team I extended the platform to grow our business in the international markets. Key territories to establish our brands started in Eastern Europe –
mainly Poland where we want to expand significantly with Maya the Bee. Here it is a very classical IP, and we plan to extend its digital presence and then the food and apparel categories. Just in a couple of months we initiated deals for apparel, food and gift accessories for Maya with PEPCO, Stovit and Powergift together with our local licensing agency Planeta Junior. For our other brands, for example Mia and me, Asia, China and Brazil offer perfect scenarios. These are the focus territories where we pushed our business on international markets. In Germany we develop our
brands in different categories, and then we extend our initiatives to grow internationally in these markets. LM. What is new in 2021 and what will you focus on most as IPs and/or projects? JK. For 2021 we added greater support for our licensing team, so we will have more resources for developing international and fashion licensing in Europe. Many of our classical IPs will become iconic brands in fashion. This will help us not only on the general turnover on licensing but also in widening the presence of the target and brand, appealing to kids and adults. In terms of territories, in 2021, we will cultivate the complete sustainability that is connected with Maya the Bee and then with non-profit organizations for nature protection over the next couple of years. We will strengthen these co-operations in 2021 and also roll out in Poland and internationally. We have a collaboration with Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union - NABU in Germany and its sister organizations in other territories. If the model works in Germany, it will be translated elsewhere. The bees are more and more a symbol for mankind to be more responsible and to care for sustainability. Also, we are preparing a re-launch of Mia
and me. We are working on season 4 and preparing a successful licensing plan, marketing initiatives, and style guides. We aim to continue to be more international in China and Brazil and, also on digital channels. Another classic brand we have is Heidi. We will transfer her world as inspiration for products related to outdoor activities and in contact with nature. It’s something that we discussed a lot with our main partners. After all the Covid19 restrictions, we all need to link with nature and freedom, to go out on a picnic, or a promenade, etc. Heidi is totally related to the outdoors, as she’s very much connected to nature and a part of it. We are also planning “minime” collections for children, parents, and grandparents for apparel which will also be always related to the outdoors. For the Heidi brand this is not a new choice, it’s so relevant to its identity. LM. How are you facing this troubling period and which will be your main challenges for the (next) future to relaunch the post-pandemic industry (as Industry Expert)? JK. Actually, we are currently looking at possible movie releases as theatres are not yet open, trying to find good solutions
together with all the distributors to set dates that also support our licensing partners. We think consumers cannot wait to go shopping again. We’re thinking that retail would be a good way to return to having ‘live experiences’ – for example combining a licensing activity for kids during a movie release. We want to work with licensees for building new exciting business models in retail and entertainment for the consumers. Having a non-virtual experience is a really nice opportunity as we can support retail and we can also give more value to retailers and entertain parents. We are working towards Retailtainment – a new generation of retail that consumers will look for. LM. How different do you see the future, if compared to the past pre-Covid (as Industry Expert)? JK. I think there will be a larger concentration in some areas - for example we have all recognised how important the online retail sector is - not only in retail but also in the industry in general. We as licensors need to be ready to deliver trust and continuity with our IPs through new products and experiences in licensing. Studio 100 is totally ready for that.
IMPORTANT ACHIEVEMENTS AND NEW GOALS FOR SANRIO 2021 promises to be a year full of achievements and exciting news for Sanrio, the Japanese multinational known worldwide for its iconic brand Hello Kitty. Sanrio, however, offers a wide and diverse portfolio appealing to generations of fans, of different age, social standing and cultural background, but all united by shared values such as kindness, friendship, inclusion and appreciation of diversity. Friendship will be Sanrio’s main focus throughout 2021. The latest Hello Kitty and Friends program announced in 2020, will be continued in 2021 and expanded, thanks to new partnerships and dedicated marketing campaigns. In April the Sanrio Character Ranking survey will be available online. This global survey, now in its 36th
Dr. Martens x Hello Kitty and Friends
edition, allows fans around the world to vote for their favorite characters in an exciting competition. The following launch is the new “Which friend are you campaign?”, where fans will get to know Sanrio’s other beloved characters besides Hello Kitty, like My Melody, Bad Badtz Maru, Kerokerokeroppi, Little Twin Stars.
The project will engage the public in fun interactive activities...just like the ones you would play with your BFF! The ability to appeal to an extremely diverse target is one of the most important strengths of Sanrio, but it is also a continuous challenge. The
way to support the @hellokittyeu page, which has just reached 300,000 followers and continues to show double-digit growth compared to 2020. The first important news of 2021 is Sanrio’s strong entrance into the kids’ market, especially in the toy industry. Mattel has just launched an extensive line entirely focused on Hello Kitty and Friends characters, including: Hello Kitty, My Melody, Little Twin Stars, Bad Badtz Maru and Kerokerokeroppi. The collection includes supercute fashion dolls, playsets, surprise elements, fun collectibles and must-have stationery which will be promoted with dedicated marketing campaigns on mainstream media. The American retail giant joins a long list of international and local partners, including the German group Simba Dickie, which introduced a new Hello Kitty line to the German market last summer, and IMC, with its famous dedicated Cry Baby. Hello Kitty and Friends toys will appear in major retailers in Europe and online, supported by ad hoc cross-promotions mainly in spring and autumn.
Hello Kitty and Friends collection, Mattel
To fully serve Hello Kitty’s target audience, new releases are also expected in the back-to-school and apparel sectors, thanks to established partnerships with international retailers who are expanding their Hello Kitty collections with the introduction of other characters.
unique positioning of Hello Kitty is constantly enhanced through new global collaborations, aming at adult audiences, while reaching a variety of industries, from fashion (like Dr. Martens, which has just launched a Hello Kitty and Friends collection for the second year in a row), to digital (with its consolidated partnership with Nintendo, which has just announced a new crossover with Animal Crossing: New Horizon, with lots of surprises in store in the first half of the year). Another distinctive feature for Sanrio is represented by its double soul: on one side its Japanese heritage and its kawaii nature, on the other its desire to innovate and to impress consumers. This twofold spirit manifests itself with creative and stylistic choices, international partners’ election and constant research of unexpected collaborations with other IPs. Some notable examples of these collaborations include Chupa Chups, Barbie and Naruto, which will hit the market in the second part of 2021 and in 2022 with different collections, covering the main product categories and the diversified tastes of fans
To support the development of the business and offer children a complete and immersive experience of the brand, Sanrio has also planned major investment in five new YouTube channels in Italian, French, German, Spanish and English. The channels will focus on the 4-8 years old target audience. With ten new videos per month for each channel, the content will range from animated shorts to new DIYs, and will also include specials and collaborations with local content creators. Sanrio also has a large global community with 12 million followers on Facebook and 2 million on Instagram. It is present on all the most influential social media networks, both with accounts dedicated to their different characters and with local profiles to support individual markets. In the EMEA region, major efforts are under
Another key focus of 2021 is growth in the digital world. In addition to its existing presence in video games, children’s apps and augmented reality for all age groups, new and exciting global partnerships have been added in Q1, including Mars 1982’s “Sanrio Dream Blast” smash game,, children’s “coloring books” from Hippo
the first time, a public vote was held on www.mrmen.com, allowing fans to select their favorite character from a list of new entries: Mr. Calm, Little Miss Brave, Little Miss Kind, Little Miss Energy and Mr. Brilliant. The two winners will be permanently included in the cast that already counts more than ninety classic characters.
Kids Games, and the “Sanrio Collaboration Pack” from Nintendo. But Sanrio is not just Hello Kitty or Hello Kitty and Friends, but also Aggretsuko, now in its 4th season on Netflix, and Gudetama with its young and diverse audience. Another positive development comes from Mr. Men Little Miss, the iconic British brand acquired by Sanrio in 2011, which this year celebrates its milestone fiftieth anniversary. Year upon year, the brand has increased its international reach, establishing itself as a classic evergreen property not only in Great Britain but also in France, Australia and especially in China, where it is present on all key social media channels (Weibo, WeChat and Red) and where the first Mr. Men Studio store, located in Hong Kong, just opened.
Mr. Men Little Miss anniversary celebrations are now in full swing, starting with the “Discover You” campaign launched in January, a celebration of self-affirmation and inclusivity. Also, for
The winners will be announced in an exclusive Channel 4 documentary, presented by actor and writer Matt Lucas. It will look back over the extraordinary 50 years of Mr. Men Little Miss’ life, beginning with the phrase that started it all: When young Adam Hargreaves asked, “Daddy, what does a tickle look like?” he could not have known what it would come to mean for his father Roger Hargreaves, and generations of children in England, first, and later, all across the world. The sociocultural importance of Mr. Men and Little Miss has been so profound that the BBC granted Roger Hargreaves the honor of a
Marks & Spencer x Mr Men Little Miss Golden Blue Peter Badge, a recognition reserved for very few English icons.
Commemorative Coins, Royal Mint
The year of Mr. Men and Little Miss continued with a series of important collaborations: the capsule collection signed by iconic British brand Cath Kidston, followed by an extensive clothing line by Marks & Spencer, and a prestigious partnership with the Royal Mint. The Royal Mint, which every year mints commemorative coins to celebrate the most significant British icons, selected Mr. Happy, Little Miss Sunshine, Little Miss Giggles and Mr. Strong, which were designed by Adam Hargreaves himself on £5 coins.
MATTEL / VICTORIA LICENSING & MARKETING
The number one card game UNO® celebrates 50 years! To celebrate its 50th anniversary, UNO® will engage kids, parents and fans of the brand with a year full of exciting live experiences, compelling digital content, relevant partnerships, and commemorative products.
UNO® and had become a real fan. How much did he sell the rights for? Fifty thousand dollars, plus royalties of 10 cents per deck sold. So Tezak decided to found International Games Inc to market the UNO® card game and the offices were right in the backroom of his funeral home.
A BIT OF HISTORY
Many people think that the UNO® card game is Italian because of the name. In fact, the game was invented fifty years ago in the United States with the name UNO® (yes, just as they say in Italy and Spain). Let’s find out why! In 1971 the game was called UNO® simply because its inventors (Merle Robbins and his son Ray Robbins) thought this Spanish word sounded nice. That’s it! Merle Robbins was a barber from Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1971, at the age of 59, he invented the UNO® card game to settle an argument with his son about the rules of another card game called Crazy Eights. The first original decks of cards were designed and made right on the Robbins family dining room table with the help of Merle’s wife and daughter-in-law. Later, with their savings of about $ 8,000, they made the first 5,000 UNO® decks
to sell. But how did they go from the first 5,000 decks to over 150 million sold worldwide? At first, Merle sold his UNO® decks in his barbershop but eventually sold the UNO® rights to Robert Tezak, a funeral home owner who was passionate about
In 1992, International Games was acquired by Mattel and from that moment on, the game became popular the world over. Mattel has produced several variations of the game which are sold in 80 countries. With 150 million copies sold, UNO® is the # 1 card game in the world (according to NPD *) with 99% brand awareness. A number of themed editions have been marketed, such as Barbie UNO, Harry Potter UNO, The Simpsons UNO,
and Minimalista series. UNO® is also the world’s most inclusive card game: in 2019, Mattel launched UNO® Braille, making the game usable for the blind and visually impaired, and in 2017, Mattel introduced UNO® ColorADD, the world’s first card game optimized for color blind people.
The collaboration with Vivetta is not the first in that the number 1 card game from Mattel has had in the fashion industry: in the summer of 2020 the UNO®️ and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini came together in a special collectors’ editionthat paid tribute to the concepts
From iconic artists to athletes and nonprofit organizations, UNO® is committed to developing diverse partnerships focused on inclusive, sustainable and culturally relevant products. The UNO® Artiste series is a line that pays tribute to influential artists by infusing art directly into a deck of cards. As part of its 50th anniversary events, UNO® will partner with a variety of iconic names in the fields of art, fashion, sports and more to create products uniquely designed with fan-favorite brands.
of vacation and sharing. Through the eyes of Lorenzo Serafini, Creative Director of Philosophy, UNO®️ cards were artistically reinterpreted to create a special look for the card game that has been a prt of entire generations.
Spongebob UNO, and Cars UNO). Computer versions have also been created such as a version playable in chat on IRC, an open-source version “Duo”, and a version for Windows Live Messenger and Facebook. And finally, Ganeloft developed gaming versions for Xbox Live Arcade by Microsoft, WiiWare (Nintendo Wii console), for Android and iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and PlayStation Portable.
A GAME FOR EVERYONE
UNO® is a game for everyone, that goes beyond language, culture and age, and is enjoyed for its simplicity. Mattel continues to innovate the brand and its category by listening to customers and offering more and more variations including UNO® Attack, DOS, ONE FLIP! and, most recently, the UNO® Artiste
In Italy, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of UNO®️, the famous card game has been reinterpreted by the creativity of Italian designer Vivetta Ponti. The project was born from a collaboration with Vogue Talents, the division of Vogue Italia dedicated exclusively to talent and creativity, which commissioned Vivetta Ponti to reinterpret UNO®️. The result is a new and unprecedented look for the pack and the back of the cards, inspired by her love of animals and the charm of poetry, which are the main characteristics of Ponti’s personal style.
LICENSING AND OPPORTUNITIES PROJECTS
Also on the licensing front, the Victoria Licensing & Marketing team is working on
Two seasonal products will come out for the spring season: Lindt and Melegatti UNO® Easter eggs. They will use different sales venues, for example, Lindt UNO® Easter eggs will be distributed through confectionery channels and in Lindt Stores, while Melegatti UNO® eggs will be available in large-scale retail stores.
Superfoodies Branded UNO® Cards for Esselunga a number of activities and partnerships throughout the year For the 50th anniversary promotions, Mattel has developed style guides specifically for Softline categories to inspire fashion and accessory companies to create fun proposals for the whole family. The different proposals reflect the meaning of the cards in the game, both in the narrow sense (“friendship breakup”), and more broadly (“life change”). In October 2020 a fantastic loyalty promotion with Esselunga kicked off. Over a two week period150,000 pcs of UNO® double pocket cards branded SuperFoodies were distributed in 160 Esselunga stores. For a modest price a deck of double pocket UNO® cards was included in the the SuperFoodies collector’s tin. Over the past Christmas period, UNO® sold generic branded masks together with Bennet,, the proceeds of which went to support the Gold for Kids project of Fondazione Umberto Veronesi in support of scientific research on pediatric cancer. The generic masks, produced by the licensee So.Di.Co, and distributed exclusively by Bennet were provided in three styles, one of which was in the iconic colors of the +2 and +4 cards.
SO.DI.CO. Masks distributed at Bennet stores
LINDT, Easter Egg And the summer holidays would not be complete without inflatable PVC balls of Mondo UNO® cards in two different designs, and a fun frisbee to play endless games on the beach. MELEGATTI, Easter Egg Cartamundi, a leading company in the production of playing cards, remains the main reference for the creation of customized decks in “mini and pocketsize” format, which can be used for cross-category promotional activities, an opportunity increasingly appreciated by many partners for the transversability of the target and the perceived added value. This is just part of what will happen throughout the year in celebration of UNO®’s 50th Anniversary, with other promotions with key food, softline and hardline partners still being developed. Stay tuned, all kinds of things go on around here! UNO® Cards personalised by Cartamundi, mini (42x63mm) and Pocket (54x80mm)
*Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service/G11/Jan-September 2020/Games & Puzzles Supercategory/ Units
THE POKÉMON COMPANY INTERNATIONAL
AN INTENSE PROGRAMME FOR THE 25TH POKÉMON ANNIVERSARY Pokémon is celebrating its landmark 25th anniversary with its most dynamic and ambitious program yet, teaming up with other iconic brands and global superstars to help fans celebrate the journey throughout the year with unique promotions and merchandise. With 25th anniversary-related activations planned for Pokémon animation, video games, mobile games and more, 2021 is set to be an exciting year! A global online party on Pokémon Day, 27 February, culminated in an exclusive virtual gig headlined by Pokémon fan Post Malone, including a surprise exclusive cover song. The event also launched Pokémon’s year-long P25 Music program, a global celebration of Pokémon through the power of music creating new songs, styles and pop-culture moments through the lens of Pokémon.
A partnership with Universal Music Group, P25 Music is headlined by pop icon Katy Perry. She, Post Malone, fellow premier collaborator, global reggaeton superstar J Balvin, plus one more surprise superstar will each release a Pokémoninspired song, accompanied by a video and exclusive merchandise collection. Some of the buzziest new artists from around the world will provide additional song collaborations, culminating in a celebratory year-end digital release, Pokémon 25: The Album, from UMG’s Capitol Records. Fans are eagerly awaiting three new, recently announced Nintendo Switch™ video games. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl, faithful revitalisations of two iconic Pokémon games from 2006 which first introduced trainers to the Sinnoh region, launch in late 2021. In early 2022, Pokémon Legends: Arceus will introduce fans to the long-gone Sinnoh region of old for an experience unlike anything Trainers have experienced before as they embark to create the region’s first Pokédex. The new games follow the release of allnew Nintendo Switch adventure, New Pokémon Snap on 30 April. A host of exciting collaborations across consumer products kicked off in February with the launch of the Levi’s® x Pokémon collection. Inspired by the first season of the original Pokémon animated series, the colourful and fun range includes a range
Levi’s® x Pokémon of Levi’s® denim, tops, bottoms, fleece, tees, and accessories that feature graphics and prints of both the popular characters and the woodland settings of the Kanto region. Also in February, G-SHOCK unveiled its latest collaboration with Pokémon following last year’s exclusive model to celebrate BABY-G’s 25th anniversary. The new, 90s-inspired women’s BABY-G watch features silhouettes of fan favourite Pikachu in a camo pattern on the face, with a decorated band and special packaging to resemble a Poké ball. In addition, Zara KIDS and Pokémon teamed up to launch a new collection which includes t-shirts, a hoody, bottoms, footwear and bags, and Ferrero/Estathe and Pokémon have designed a new promotion with Estathe tea which celebrates the anniversary with a selection of exclusive Pokémon characters.
MAURIZIO DISTEFANO LICENSING
Maurizio Distefano Licensing never stopped to amaze with cooler proposals Maurizio Distefano Licensing has become a consolidated name for all those who are looking for a licensing agency that acts as a one-stop-shop and as a container of the coolest licenses currently on the Italian market. An interlocutor with whom you can never go wrong, that offers contemporary and successful proposals ranging from different targets. The pre-school cartoon category has designated the agency as the creator of the most successful licensing programs. Maurizio Distefano, President, says: “Cartoons are in our DNA, because that’s where we started. As independent agency, we choose IPs that we anticipate will be a success in the Italian market.” And data doesn’t lie, as many as 3 properties within the agency’s portfolio are listed in the top 6 with highest awareness among children, tweens and young adults (Brand Trends Entertainment - April 2020). “Our proposal must always be varied and must evolve following trends, in order to
be able to offer the highest level of service to our licensees from year to year.” So, the agency has evolved, welcoming in its list more and more brands targeting teen and adult that belong to categories such as music and, latest news, cooking-show. Maurizio Distefano continues, wanting to underline: “The strength of our agency is also and above all fed by the people, the service and the attention to clients. We are always available, both for licensors and licensees, to develop ad hoc projects together. We have implemented an inhouse marketing team that organizes and supports product development, retail
activities and social media, so that we can get our IPs talking to fans in the familiarity of the Italian market and with a localized tone-of-voice.” The agency’s portfolio is extensive and the year 2021 for each property brought a lot of news. Series 4 of Acamar Films’ International Emmy Award-winning pre-school series Bing premiered on Rai YoYo on December 2020 with new episodes airing daily. The 26 episodes are also available on RaiPlay app, where Bing is currently ranked #1. The episodes feature brand new locations
and characters, such as Dr. Molly and Nicky, Sula’s young cousin. Audiences can see Bing celebrating his birthday, Halloween and Christmas and having fun experiences with his friends, such as face painting, going camping and riding the bus. Bing stories represent the everyday dramas that all young children and the grown-ups in their lives will recognise – such as visiting the doctor, as seen in the new ‘Vaccination’ episode. The new episodes are also available to stream and download (in addition to many Series 4 activities and games) through the “Bing: Guarda, Gioca, Impara” app, which has made a big impact since its launch in summer 2020. Along with the launch of the new series, Acamar Films’ Italian VOD partner, TIMVISION, produced the first-ever sign language version of Bing. A selection of 14 episodes featuring a
LIS interpreter launched on the platform as part of TIMVISION’s commitment to providing educational opportunities for hard of hearing children in Italy. These dubbed episodes joined the 78 Bing episodes already available on the platform. Bing episodes are also available to watch on DeA Junior, KidoodleTV, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video. New licensing deals have been signed with Lubex, who will develop car accessories, Adriatic with beach toys, Smoby for scooters and tricycles and Sevi who, thanks to the agreement with Giochi Preziosi, will develop wooden toys inspired by the series. Looking ahead to Easter, the popular Dolfin Bing Easter egg will be available for Bingsters and their grownups to enjoy. A new addition to Maurizio Distefano Licensing’s portfolio is CoComelon, that
alongside with Blippi and My Magic Pet Morphle is part of the agreement between the agency and Moonbug. CoComelon is an animated series that teaches children how to take on everyday activities and role models positive behaviour with a sense of enthusiasm. Kids can easily relate to the universal themes and everyday narratives such as eating your vegetables, learning to tie your shoes and getting ready for bed. With its bright and bold colors and cheerful nursery rhymes and phrases, CoComelon attracts children aged one to four to sing and dance along with Baby JJ and his siblings as they learn letters, numbers, animal sounds, colors and more. It is available on all major platforms including Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music, Roku and Netflix and has surpassed 105 million subscribers on
YouTube and garnered nearly 100 billion views on the platform. Masha and the Bear, which has now become a timeless classic and a choice of assured success of every licensee’s project, is soaring in 2021 with incredible numbers in the digital field: Italian YouTube channel boasts 3 million subscribers and the global Facebook page more than 5 million. Furthermore, Masha and the Bear is a record-breaking series: it has set the Guinness World Records as the most watched cartoon on YouTube. Additionally, according to Parrot Analytics, it is included in TOP-5 most in-demand kids show in the world as of January 2021. Latest arrivals as Consumer Product are stickers and activity albums from Edizioni Play Press and SoLuna which will organise non-ticketed events. Masha and Bear’s Easter egg this year is by Motta. ALVINNN!!! And the Chipmunks, created by Janice Karman and owned by Bagdasarian Productions, recently polled
by Mediametrie as the #1 series of the decade in Europe. Airing daily on both K2 and Nick Junior, ALVINNN!!!! continues to be one of the most watched series by school age children and their parents and takes you on a roller coaster ride of music, laughs and stories, entertaining four generations of fans. Licensees include Adriatic (beach toys), Ciao (party supplies), Citterio (snacks), Denver (bicycles), Melegatti (cakes), Noatel (gaming apps), ODS (musical instruments, toys), Play Press (books), Ravensburger (puzzles), Salani (books), Walcor (chocolate eggs), just to name a few.
Gigantosaurus, currently on air on Rai Yoyo and on Netflix, is the adventurecomedy TV series about dinosaurs that continues its road to success with the launch of products such as Feltrinelli’s Gribaudo-branded books, Edizioni Play Press’s activity and coloring albums and Clementoni’s line of puzzles. For this Easter Gigantosaurus chocolate egg is from Witor’s. The famous animated series Leo&Tig, created by Parovoz Studio for Digital Television Russia and managed by 0+MEDIA, on air on Rai YoYo and on DeA Junior, is set in the nature of the Far East.
The protagonists are two inseparable friends who explore nature and its wonders and reveal its secrets. During their reckless adventures, Leo and Tig learn to be kind, friendly, help each other and respect nature. Maurizio Distefano Licensing has already closed several agreements for Leo&Tig with Clementoni, Edizioni Play Press, Diramix, Mondadori, Grabo Balloons. Moving into other categories related to adult target audience, Maurizio Distefano Licensing offers a brand-new opportunity with Hell’s Kitchen, the license of the
famous TV show that includes Gordon Ramsey. Inside the list we find also La Gazzetta dello Sport and Asterix. Another highly sought-after license is
International Space Archives (ISA), an archive containing the best images of man’s exploration of space, including those from NASA. Another brand that is made of an infinite collection of photographic images is LIFE, the American magazine that since 1936 has reported the “life” of the entire world and has made the history of photojournalism. Thanks to its archive, photos of some of the most significant events of the twentieth century and of evocative natural views can be used, as well as iconic images that have remained impressed in our memory even today. The agency’s music portfolio is constantly growing: Iron Maiden, AC/DC, KISS, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin,
Lenny Kravitz, Backstreet Boys and many more. If you are interested in one of the most famous bands and artists in the history of music, Maurizio Distefano Licensing definitely has the right proposal.
2021 OPENS WITH EXCITING NEWS ETS Licensing pays close attention to consumer market trends to identify interesting opportunities and build a portfolio of licenses that respond effectively to the potential of targeted audiences. ETS Licensing has started the new year by adding Floopaloo, a property with growing success, to its catalogue. Produced by the French studio Xilam, Floopaloo is an original animated series for 4- to 8-yearolds. It follows the adventures of cousins Lisa and Matt, during their vacation at a fantastic summer camp, surrounded by a forest protected by a magical and mysterious creature. Airing on Frisbee since 2020, Floopaloo audience figures and ratings have steadily improved, leading the channel to increase its programming to large daily time slots, Monday through Sunday. Sandro Sgrulloni, Programming & Content Acquisition Senior Manager at Discovery said: “Floopaloo is one of the most popular series among Frisbee’s target audience, thanks to its ability to transport the audience into an enchanted world with exclusive access: only children know of the existence of this fantastic creature capable of fulfilling any wish and only those with great curiosity and imagination can sense its magical virtues. Floopaloo has given us great results in terms of ratings, but above all, the content
is capable of staying relevant, always generating new interest in the public.” Other properties recently added to the ETS portfolio include Nefertine on the Nile, an original pre-school animated series co-produced by Graphilm, Cyber Group Studios and Waooh!, in collaboration with Rai Ragazzi. The show is about to make itself known to the public on Rai Yoyo which plans to start airing the first season of 52 11-minute episodes in May. Nefertine on the Nile narrates the adventures of Nefertine, a curious and resourceful little girl from ancient Egypt involving exciting adventures with mummies, pyramids, sphinxes and crocodiles. As of April, the first episodes of the series will also be available for preview on the Rai Play platform. In the meantime, an ambitious licensing program has been launched, starting with DeAgostini’s launch of paperback books and sticker albums in bookshops. The company is also setting up
partnerships and collaborations with an educational background, to maximize the potential offered by the series’ historical content.
ETS also has a space dedicated to the Web, and among its new entries in this area is the irresistible humor of Pera Toons, whose popularity continues to grow. Pera Toons consists of a universe of jokes and comic riddles created by Alessandro Perugini, with a large social media community of almost 3 million fans. The engaging riddles of “Who Killed Kenny?” and the hilarious puns of Pera Toons have been transferred from social media to print media with equal success. Ridi che è meglio! the latest book by Pera Toons published by Tunué last November, has already seen four reprints and sold over 20,000 copies in just a few months. It consistently comes first in the Comics/ Non-Paperbacks charts and 4th in the
The success of Chefclub has continued unabated, and in 2020 became the digital food brand with the greatest growth on social media worldwide. The innovative cooking brand was launched in 2016 with the aim of transforming the kitchen into a space of sharing and joy through surprising but easy-to-make recipes. Since its launch it has seen exceptional growth of its community, which now has 100 million worldwide followers on Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok, and over one billion organic views per month. In Italy, Chefclub reached an average of 62 million monthly views and 20 million unique viewers across all social media platforms by the end of 2020.
also represent the spirit of Chefclub. The moustachioed chef Maurice; the piglet Elvis: sous chef and official taster; the mouse Lola, cheese expert; the stern hen Colette with her helpers the chicks Kikitos; and the cat Carlton, sommelier, and bartender, reinforce the positioning of the property between cooking and entertainment, and are destined to expand their role in the Chefclub ecosystem.
general Comics charts and has also received a prestigious Amazon Best Seller award. The growing popularity of the Pera Toons phenomenon was also recently highlighted by Rai 1’s popular program “Uno Mattina” which aired an interview with author Alessandro Perugini on January 26.
Chefclub’s content has allowed the brand to build a large, highly engaged community that is happy to actively participate in the creation of Chefclub products, which fully embody the brand’s DNA and distinctive values. Fun, imagination, originality, and the use of a few simple ingredients that can be found in any kitchen are the secrets of Chefclub’s incredible success. And the fun continues with Chefclub Friends, the funny characters on the kitchen team who not only collaborate on the video recipes by providing practical instructions for preparing the dishes, but
The Chef Friends are fun cooking helpers. They guide children in their experiences of independence in the kitchen but adults like them too. Versatile and transformative, they love to dress up for different occasions, such as Easter, Halloween, Christmas, or Chinese New Year. They create an enchanted universe for food lovers and families and are perfect for transposing their smiles and cheerful colors into different types of products and experiences, with licensing initiatives that extend from the kitchen to other worlds, such as fashion, lifestyle, and experiential areas. In addition, Chefclub is developing an ambitious program of international
and colorful line is based on Chefclub’s expertise in inspiring people in the kitchen and Tefal’s know-how in making reliable, high-quality kitchen products. The range will reflect Chefclub’s disruptive tone, and it is designed to appeal to millennials and families. We also recently launched our first DTC Chefclub by Tefal initiative, the Raclette King, a raclette-making tool paired with a card game. Partnering with an absolute global leading brand in the category will make a wide selection of products available to Chefclub fans. Italy is an important market for Chefclub on social media and we are excited to work with ETS to expand our reach beyond the digital sphere.”
In Italy, the licensing plan kicked off with an agreement with Vallardi Editore for the publication of cookbooks for adults and will continue over the coming months with ongoing negotiations with several major players.
THE STRENGTH OF CLASSICS
The pandemic has led Italians to rediscover reading and has also brought the younger generation closer to children’s literature classics, with a special place is reserved by Pippi Longstocking, who, despite her 75 years of age, is still as relevant as ever. That is why Centauria chose the little girl with the red braids for the first issue of
partnerships and licensing initiatives and recently announced a global master licensing agreement with Groupe SEB. Marie-Laure Marchand, SVP Global Consumer Products & Business Development at Chefclub, said, “We are proud to announce our global partnership with Groupe SEB to create a full range of cookware, kitchenware and small appliances under the Chefclub by Tefal brand. The new Chefclub by Tefal product line will be launched in the coming months and will primarily cover France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Nordic countries, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico. Created in collaboration with the Chefclub community, this fresh
its new series of books - La biblioteca dei ragazzi (Children’s Library) - on newsstands since January. Pippi, in fact, rightfully belongs to the timeless masterpieces of fiction of the last 80 years, characters with whom we identify and have become heroes of our childhood. The development of its licensing program in Italy continues with new partnerships, including agreements with CIAO for carnival costumes and party goods, and with Micki Toys for the distribution of playsets and 3D characters. In addition,
a new line of Clementoni puzzles and a Multiprint collection of stamps and colors will be launched on the market in spring. Here there are also incredibly positive results for the Pippi of Today campaign, launched in 2020 by Astrid Lindgren Company in partnership with Save the Children to help migrant girls fleeing war and poverty. Despite the difficulties caused by the health emergency, partners participating in the campaign have so far donated significant sums of money to Save the Children towards its goal of generating 2.5 million euros. The campaign has also seen an excellent new addition: Google joined the campaign and, in collaboration with partner retailers, launched an initiative with Chromebook and Google Nest Mini, the smart speaker with integrated Google Assistant. The promotion allows you to listen to stories and information about Pippi Longstocking, contributing directly to the Pippi of Today campaign at the time of purchase. The initiative, which launched in late 2020, is available in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark, and is set to expand to other countries. The Pippi of Today campaign will continue throughout
2021 and will see new initiatives to support it.
NEWS FOR LITTLE ONES
2021 opened with new developments for Lottie Dottie Chicken, the preschool Property born as a YouTube phenomenon. Its funny videos of songs that have spread worldwide have now landed on the small screen with the cute animated series Mini
Lottie Dottie Chicken. After the growing interest in the first season (52 x 6 min) broadcast on Frisbee in 2020, a second season of 52 six minutes episodes launched in January; with the production of the 3rd season being finalized. In addition to its television successes, the cute blue hen has achieved other important milestones: its nursery rhymes videos and animated series are now also available on Amazon Prime, and you can listen to the music on major digital music platforms including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music and Deezer. Proof of the growing love of the Italian public for the cute blue hen and her friends can be found in social media data: in just 8 months, the Italian Facebook page and Instagram profiles have reached almost 350,000 people with high levels of engagement, exceeding 18,000 interactions. In addition to these numbers, there are over 200,000 subscribers of the Italian YouTube channel with over 5 million views. And the news continues: there will soon be a new collection “Le Fiabe della buona notte di Gallina Puntolina” (Lottie Dottie Chicken Fair Tales), a collection of videobooks accompanied by a printed version, telling some of the most popular classic fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood, The Ugly Duckling and The Three Little Pigs, interpreted from a new perspective. The Italian licensing program is proceeding, with the newsstand release of two Play Press publications (Magic Album, Sticker&Color) in March, and the launch of the special editorial project “Read, sing and dance with Lottie Dottie Chicken” created by Pon Pon Edizioni for the bookstore channel in April.
opened acts as a playset and customized setting. In April to provide more opportunities to have fun and express your personality with imagination, another brand-new line
There is also news on the Mini Pet Pals. The fourth season of the animated series will be broadcast on Rai Yoyo in the second half of the year, with 26 new six-minute episodes, in addition to the 152 episodes already available and constantly airing on the network. Another 26 episodes are on the way for the end of the year. In the new season, the Mini Pet Pals - following their adventures in the playground, in the flower park and in the nearby woods - are now entering kindergarten for the first time. They will have new experiences, feel new emotions and gain a better knowledge of themselves and the world under the careful guidance of teachers and new friends. In 2021, for the 3rd consecutive year, the licensing partnerships will also include Walcor’s Easter egg surprise produced
exclusively for the MD supermarket chain; Sbabam’s soap bubbles has been added and will be launched on newsstands at the end of spring, followed by modeling dough and slime for back to school.
GLAMOROUS PROPOSALS FOR FASHION ADDICTS
For the joy of all little girls who love the world of fashion, the team of the super fashionable Hairdorables is about to welcome new stylish friends. In April, Giochi Preziosi will launch the brandnew Hairmazing collection of fabulous fashion dolls with fantastic hairstyles, 25 cm tall and packed with accessories. Each package contains 6 surprises and once
is coming: Hair Art, 26 dolls with long hair and creative looks, available in blind boxes containing 11 different surprises, as well as a hair clip with a personalized lock of hair. Both launches will be supported by an intensive promotional program, with TV commercials, a targeted social media strategy, digital content, and POP materials.
THANKYOU’S MISSION By Rossella Arena Thankyou is a social enterprise whose ambitious goal is to defeat poverty. It trades in highly demanded products and has recently launched a licensing program to redistribute wealth around the world through consumer spending. Thankyou is an Australian social enterprise created to help those living in extreme poverty. There are about 736 million people in the world who suffer from, or do not survive from poverty, simply because they do not have access to resources that provide them with health, education, and a decent standard of living. They are found in every street around the globe, but particularly in countries such as Africa, South East Asia and the Pacific region. Thankyou’s mission is to redistribute wealth and put it into the hands of those who really need it. This is the reason why they have created their own product lines, becoming a worldwide beacon for consumers who want to do good actions when spending money. Thankyou products are known for their high quality; the organization is constantly looking for partners worldwide to expand and grow its activities and distribute its products on a global scale. Thankyou contributes the income from its sales to organizations that can generate impactful change and
Daniel and Justine Flynn The fund was born in 2008 from the passion and ideas of Daniel and Justine Flynn, and a few other university students: today it has become a movement that brings together millions of people who, together, take small steps every day that
associations involved in providing basic services to the poor, such as the African Visionary Fund.
make big changes. In fact, involvement of the community is fundamental in the management and growth of Thankyou. In Australia for example, a local community petitioned the two largest supermarkets asking them to stock the company’s products, and they agreed! Thanks to the participation of countless buyers the organization quickly raised $ 1.4 million through the sale of the Chapter One book.
To date, Thankyou has managed to raise AUS $ 17 million to share with charities and has been able to support 857,000 people in need in 22 countries. Funded projects provide practical solutions to problems affecting the poorest, through the supply of water, sanitation, livelihoods, goods, and assistance for maternal and child health. During the online 2020 FOL (Festival of Licensing) in October, Thankyou organized a press conference with cofounder Daniel Flynn. Daniel unveiled the organization’s latest bold campaign,
TY Baby Care
No Small Plan Campaign No Small Plan, created with the aim of raising hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in people living in poverty by establishing partnerships through licensing agreements. On social media alone, it generated 2.6 billion impressions, and this allowed the organization to come TY Personal Care
into direct contact with multinationals such as P&G and Unilever, and other important groups. Thankyou is currently in talks with several potential partners which will continue to provide exciting global news about its projects.
but the first chapter in the history of the organization. Initially, the volume could only be bought with an offer: in Australia alone, it raised $ 360,000 in the first two hours after launch. In airport bookstores, sales figures were only surpassed by the Harry Potter books. All of this allowed the team to get an interview with Barack Obama ... a great story for Chapter Two! In the first chapter, Thankyou’s team discuss how they would like to have many more chapters, written with and about all the people who support their mission. Daniel Flynn said that they have also launched in the food category with a full range of 17 breakfast products (muesli, energy bars ...). An extraordinary team of producers and food lovers have worked on the range, including Callum Hann of MasterChef. Food products have funded more than 21 million days of food aid, supporting long-term, life-changing food programs. After establishing licensing agreements for personal care which has been their main focus, going forward they are looking for new partners in the food sector as well.
At the FOL Daniel explained that at the beginning of their journey they chose to start with the personal care category. Because they are widely needed goods it was important to guarantee a certain quality, as they planned to do. The products (hand soap, sanitizers, shower gel, shampoo ...) are made with natural ingredients. The items in the baby care line contain gentle, soothing herbal ingredients such as aloe vera and chamomile, and super moisturizers such as shea butter. A very original ThankYou product is the Chapter One Book, not your usual book,
Chapter One book
PLAY AROUND LAUNCHES THE METEOHEROES TOY LINE Play Around is the toy partner for MeteoHeroes, one of Mondo TV’s latest IP successes. MeteoHeroes is an interesting development opportunity for the new Italian Toy Company, known for its expertise in the toy industry and the licensing of Pea & Promoplast. To learn more, LM interviewed Massimiliano Piazzolla, Managing Director of Play Around. LM. How did you start your collaboration with Mondo TV? The collaboration with Mondo TV, as it is today, was born at the last Bologna fair, one of the last events before the Covid revolution. We already knew Mondo TV and had worked together in the past on the development of YooHoo collectibles for newsstands. But it is in the stands of the Licensing Hall of the Bologna Children’s BookFair that this new partnership began. We had just launched our brand Hatchies (the range linked to Angry Birds Hatchlings), and Mondo TV was planning to launch its new property, MeteoHeroes. I still remember the first description of the storytelling that took place standing in the
corridors of the Fair, and the enthusiasm that Valentina LaMacchia and the Mondo TV team brought to us, fully engaging us in the project. From that moment on, the next steps were quite natural and straightforward, even though most of them were carried out in full lockdown. What kind of products have you developed? The first part of the MeteoHeroes toy line for Spring ‘21 will focus on two types of products: 3D movable figurines of all six characters packaged in blister packs, and the Hyper Meteoband, which is the main gadget used by the MeteoHereos in their
Part of Play Around team. From left: Massimiliano Piazzolla, Cristina Scollo, Francesca Coi, Luca Testa (pre-covid picture)
Hyper Meteoband in Blister Pack adventures. Children can wear them on their arms, just like in the TV series, and project as many as twenty images from the series. The next products that we are already developing for Fall ‘21 will be amazing. We wanted to explore the environment in which the Weather Heroes live. To do so we have designed three items that will allow children to have fun emulating their heroes by interacting with the characters in the locations where the series takes place and that will be reproduced in the form of a playset. Who are the distribution partners? One of the positive surprises of this project is certainly the collaboration with Dynit. For MeteoHeroes and the toy channel, we have seen that the activity of Play Around, together with D-Fun (the division of Dynit that deals with toy distribution), could create a synergy not to be undervalued. Play Around’s ability to conceive, develop and produce products, together with their distribution strength and the widespread presence of D-Fun in the territory and in the newsstand channel, make this partnership very promising. If well structured, and implemented, the MeteoHeroes project is the perfect example of a replicable model in which bringing together two players operating in similar contexts, could generate benefits not only to those who are directly involved, but also to the other players such as licensors and licensees. In fact, thanks to an integrated strategy, the development process, distribution, and time to market, have been sped up and optimized on different channels. If we combine this with our close alignment with Mondo TV, the combination will surely be exceptional.
the confirmed production of the second MeteoHeroes TV series, which will give continuity to the entire CP project for the next few years. Then, with the second toy line, which will have many new products, where the call to action with the episodes of the TV series and the new props will be even more striking. Expectations are very high.
MeteoHeroes articulated figurines What releases do you have planned for the toy line? This Easter we are releasing the first two SKUs. Our products can be found in all the best toy stores and key large-scale retail trade brands. Many brands believe in the project and want to be part of it. Together with D-Fun, we have done our best to offer retailers a long-term plan that will see the MeteoHeroes toy line as a leader at least until Christmas, and throughout 2022. And new products are planned to complete the first 2021 MeteoHeroes collection for the back-to-school season and next Christmas 2021. It is a rich project ready to embrace and The first complete MeteoHeroes Toy release
support distribution planning on all fronts. What are the next steps for the MH Project? I can confirm that we are already working on future steps. The extension of the franchise and the product proposal to other European countries are already in full swing. The Iberian peninsula, Turkey, former Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe are the first areas of expansion, where the TV series has already found a platform on broadcasters, and toy distribution is signing its first contracts. Together with Mondo TV, we are already moving towards 2022/23: firstly with
Have you experienced any difficulties because of Covid in the progression of the MH project? The toy industry is suffering from the damage caused by COVID and making medium to long term decisions has become rare, due to the risk of making mistakes in a period of great instability. Our flexible and fast development capability becomes a key asset that allows us to gather the feedback and preferences of MeteoHeroes enthusiasts, and then turn them into products in an almost tailor-made process. Thanks to the analysis we receive, we can integrate product lines in an increasingly innovative way for the future. We are confident that this approach, together with a very tight time to market, will translate into a major benefit for all our partners, all future-oriented and with challenging goals.
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Toys of the Future By Rossella Arena What is and will continue to be the most important news coming out of the Toy sector in 2021? Let’s review some of the most recent and anticipated releases this year. In the first months of 2021, attention has been focused on new products in the Toy sector, partly due to online events such as Spiewalrenmesse Brandnew. The Global Toy Connect event organized by the NPD group welcomed over 55,000 visitors in just the first few days. Toys of the future aim not only to entertain children with every possible play experience, including augmented reality, but also to develop their self-esteem and skills, and engender important values such as sustainability and recycling. New licensed products continue to inspire and entertain children with the presence of their favorite characters. Here is a roundup of companies’ latest and upcoming announcements from around the world. The global toy company Jazwares and UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, have embarked on a new
Action Figures Jazwares UFC
collaboration to bring the world of UFC and mixed martial arts into homes around the world with a new line of UFC action figures and role-play collectibles. The new wave of collectible characters includes Conor McGregor, Jorge Masvidal, Amanda Nunes, Francis Ngannou, Israel Adesanya, and Urijah Faber, and have a highly devoted following, making the perfect addition to any UFC collection. The UFC Ultimate Series limited-edition figures by Jazwares are the most detailed, realistic and sophisticated representations of UFC athletes. The articulated figures are great for recreating the thrill of a typical fight night! Each fighter is meticulously detailed and features character-authentic details, including tattoos, weight class body types, and realistic facial expressions. These 6.5inch UFC collectibles come with two sets of removable hands and two removable heads. They also have a fighter-specific
flag, a UFC champion belt, or other unique combatant accessories. With 23 points of articulation, each figure is posable and perfect for both play and display. This new collection comes after the first launch with current and former UFC champions including UFC lightweight champion
Khabib The Eagle Nurmagomedov, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Bones Jones, former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, former featherweight champion Max Holloway and UFC lightweight Donald Cowboy Cerrone.
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Moose Toys, a leading and innovative Australian company, is launching a brandnew Octonauts toy line in partnership with Silvergate Media. The collection will support the popular preschool animated television property and the upcoming release of its highly anticipated new spin-off show, Octonauts: Above & Beyond. First launched on screens in 2010, Octonauts has a global broadcast platform spanning multiple territories and huge fanbases in the UK, US, and China. More recently the show has extended its reach by debuting in Latin America and the Middle East. “We are incredibly honored to partner with Silvergate to bring the next chapter of Octonauts to fans around the world. The rich storyline and characters create an incredible sandbox to develop fun and original toys,” said Joe Smith, senior director of global marketing, licensed brands, Moose Toys. “Octonauts is widely regarded as one of the best preschool properties and this partnership further consolidates Moose’s strength and expertise in the preschool aisle”. Under the agreement, Moose Toys will create a full range of Octonauts toys including action figures, vehicles, playsets, soft toys, games, and more. The brands of the Simba Group also have several interesting innovations. Lucille Interactive is the new functional doll
Volvo machines by Majorette - SImba group
The animated series Octonauts - Above & Beyond from the Corolle brand, a leading doll manufacturer in France. Designed for children aged two and above, she stands 42cm high and reacts to different actions, with eight functions and twenty sounds. When her left or right foot are squeezed, Lucille laughs or sneezes. When you press her right or left cheek, she even blows a kiss!
Summer 2021 will see the launch of a new range of Majorette brand products, which includes realistic construction vehicles, trucks, containers, and a Creatix toy set with a Volvo license for children aged three and above. With its new range, Majorette aims to recreate the elegant Scandinavian look and powerful design of Volvo vehicles.
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Garden House by Smoby Toys - Simba group The series consists of six 7.5cm long construction vehicles with a metal design and moving parts. These include a Raupenbagger EC 950 E, a Radlader L 350 H and a Knicklenker A 60 H, as well as concrete mixer, dump truck and container lorry base on the Volvo FMX. The vehicles are available individually or as a set of three. There is also a set of four packaged
in a premium diorama box, which contains three construction vehicles and an exclusive FMX truck with a long dump truck. The range also includes a 20 cm long Volvo FMX transporter with a trailer and loader, for transporting the vehicles to and from the construction site, as well as an additional version with construction containers. Swing with scales by BIG - Simba group
Tend by Smoby Toys - Simba group
In addition to the construction vehicles, the new die-cast range also includes a three-storey Creatix Construction toy set measuring 77 x 45 x 40 cm - a musthave for all budding young builders! The construction site, with plenty of action possibilities, is guaranteed to entertain children. There is a crane that does the hardest work, while small parts can be transported to the ground via the rubble chute. The set includes five die-cast vehicles and features rotating windows that reveal each stage of the building process, as well as essential construction site accessories such as warning signs and cones. The toy garden house from Smoby Toys provides many exciting opportunities for play, learning, and discovery. The house comes with a small gardeners guide full of tips, plus signs that can be labeled to remind young gardeners where everything was planted. The garden house is the ideal way to teach young children how to care for plants and vegetables, and includes a large plant container and six flower pots. The pots can be attached to the trellis along with a birdhouse. The house is also equipped with garden accessories to fill plant pots, as well as a removable table for completing gardening tasks and storing items. It also features a built-in rainwater tank with a watering can to introduce children to the concept of sustainability. The rainwater is collected via the gutter and stored in the tank. A large screw-on
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Quincy Robot artist by Landzo Toys valve allows you to transfer water into the watering can. Among other garden games in the group is a seesaw with a fun water jet from the BIG brand, and a Smoby tent suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Founded in 2011, Landzo (Jiangsu) Technology Co., Ltd. is one of the leading innovative electronic toy and STEAM companies in China. With continued high investment in product development, the company has maintained its leading role in a very competitive market. Their latest toy, Quincy, is a robot that teaches kids how to draw, unlock their talent, and unleash their full potential from an early age. It creates
an optimal visual experience for young artists because of its design style based on British paintings. Quincy also allows you to learn maths and spelling, improve reading and strengthen your vocabulary. It includes 64 reusable QR Cards, just show Quincy a QR code from one of the cards and follow the relevant instructions step by step. As for the language in which the robot communicates, 10 different versions are available: Russian, Arabic, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Hungarian, Italian, English, and Chinese. My Squishy Little Dumplings by WowWee
WowWee will launch its new product, My Squishy Little Dumplings, in spring 2021 in the UK, and on August 13th in the US, the same week as Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. My Squishy Little Dumplings are four squishy little interactive characters which reveal their personality when someone squeezes their cheeks. These tiny friends fit in the palm of your hand, with a silicone texture that is fun to handle and play with. Each character comes with two mysterious accessories, such as glasses or hats. They have over 50 reactions: they can be dressed up, tickled, shaken and tossed, they light up while being played with and make very cute sounds. A new limited edition with additional characters is planned for the fall.
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loves animals will be pleasantly surprised by these incredible boxes, made in the shape of a sloth, a panda, and fox cubs. A special feature of this collection is the flip technology, which allows the outside of the box to open and rotate to create new settings. Each of them contains a Polly Pocket character accompanied by a micro puppy, with which you can invent different adventures every time!
Flip Boxes - Polly Pocket by Mattel Mattel has many new features for Polly Pocket, the most famous micro doll in the world. Together with her little friends, she provides great adventures from miniature worlds, all contained within the colorful boxes which have become real vintage icons of the 90s and undoubtedly one of the most beloved toys for girls of all ages. Polly Pocket has adapted to trends over the years, becoming a sweet and kind millennial girl whose adventures
have not lost the element of surprise and fun, that have a part of her since she was born. To start Polly Pocket’s year in the best way in the world, a burst of joy has arrived with two new products ... within the confines of the box! The first relates to the pocket playsets which have always accompanied girls and boys on their adventures in the mini-mega world of the
The US company Melissa & Doug will release several Paw Patrol products in Q3 of 2021. For young kids there is a truck and trailer which has three figures and 28 wooden blocks with letters of the alphabet, numbers, and puzzle pieces. For lovers of daily exploration, there is a backpack with lots of accessories inside. It contains a real working whistle and binoculars, and four double-sided cards with directions on the adventures to be undertaken. The 3-in-1 tool lets you see information to solve the mission on the map when its red lens is positioned on it. Another new product is the dashboard steering wheel with three
Paw Patrol Truck by Melissa & Doug
Corgi Secrets Casket - Polly Pocket by Mattel
micro doll. To play with the miniature Polly dolls and friends in the set, just open the box. The assortment of pocket playsets has expanded with horse riding, pig & farm, corgi & grand hotel, porcupine & little house themed boxes. The fun also continues with PollyStick technology: just place one of the included stickers on the playset or a smooth surface and the micro doll will adhere to the sticker, wherever it is! Once you have finished playing, the playset closes and can be comfotably transported and used with all the other Polly Pocket boxes and micro dolls anywhere, anytime. The second novelty is the Flip puppy boxes. Anyone who
Paw Patrol steering wheel with dashboard by Melissa & Doug
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Puzzle Game of Thrones™ by Clementoni and HBO and puzzle The Witcher™ by Clementoni and Netflix
Peckaboo Water Friends by Clementoni
different “windshield” mission cards which can be used to bring various scenarios to life. And finally there is a floor mat that reproduces the setting of the animated series, Adventure Bay, complete with double-sided wooden figures, buildings, cars, and street signs. The Italian company Clementoni, has some new Marvel products such as an Iron Man armor kit containing cardboard accessories that transform you into a superhero. The Captain America kit also has everything you need to create a helmet, shield, and breastplate. Then there are 250, 500, and 1000 piece puzzles with images from the most watched HBO series ever, Game of Thrones ™, and the Netflix series The Witcher ™. For unlicensed products, a nice novelty
Racing Bugs by Clementoni
Ironman armor Kit by Clementoni and Marvel
is the Floating Dragon which allows you to explore the scientific principle of tensegrity through an optical illusion that defies gravity, transforming an ordinary object into a floating game. In fixing the character to the base using chains, children experience how tension acts on objects to create structural integrity and therefore balance, giving life to the optical illusion of a dragon suspended in mid-air. For younger kids, there is a new bath line with three different products: the
Peekaboo Water Friends and Happy Shower Water Friends, cute puppies that, when lifted out of the water, empty themselves with a fun fountain effect. The Octo-park Water Friends are funny little animals activated by the force of water: for example, water in the octopus makes the turtle moves its legs up and down, and the crab slowly come out of its shell. The Racing Bugs, another new toy, are cute and colorful radio-controlled robot bugs. You can make them move in two modes:
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Petinka produces The Learning Tower functional children’s furniture in Slovakia, based on Montessori principles. The brand’s learning tower is designed to engage and positively support children at home, especially in the kitchen. It is designed to help kids discover new things and tastes, develop fine motor skills, build their independence, and be actively involved in the cooking process. The various components can always be adapted to the age, needs, or mood of the
Coding, to program ten sequential moves, and Racing, for real-time challenges. All parts of the original and exclusively designed packaging can be disassembled and reused to create obstacle tracks for the robots.
Learning Tower by Petinka
Re-Cycle-Me STEAM Collection Music by Fun2give Fun2give, a Dutch company that develops ecological products for children, have created contemporary and colorful recycling sets to help them imagine, create, learn, reuse materials and play while protecting their planet. Among the novelties is the Re-Cycle-Me STEAM Collection Music kit, which teaches children aged four and above to be creative, transforming their disposable household items into musical instruments. Milk cartons, plastic bottles, boxes, or old CDs can be used to bring instruments
to life. A similar kit is the Re-Cycle-Me Jewellery Studio, which allows you to build handcrafted costume jewelry accessories, such as earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. Fun2give offers many other arts & craft kits of the Re-Cycle-Me series, dedicated to the most diverse themes of great interest to children, such as technology, science, and dinosaurs.
Mud Kitchen Playhouse - Wilton Bradley child. The back wall of the learning tower comes with a ready-to-use whiteboard, which children can use by themselves. The board’s magnetic plate allows kids to add, change, or reattach different Petinka wooden toys and activities to create a different busyboard every day.
Learning Tower by Petinka
From the UK’s Wilton Bradley (Playhouse brand), comes the mud kitchen, an outdoor kitchen designed specifically to play with mud and other natural elements. It is made of high-quality solid FSC
Re-cycle-me_Jewellery Studio by Fun2give
Mud Kitchen Playhouse - Wilton Bradley
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Little Prince statue for its 75th Anniversary by Neamedia
Arty artist by Amek Toys
Canadian Hemlock wood and is already painted. The set includes stainless steel cookware and utensils with a side area for food preparation. It features shelves above and below the sink, with plenty of space to store all ingredients and utensils. For its 75th anniversary of the publication of The Little Prince the Parisian company Neamedia has produced a PVC figurine of the character, inspired by the watercolors of the author Saint-Exupéry. For this license, Neamedia has also created small sculptures in seven assorted colors. With delicate curves and a brilliant finish, the sculptures combine design and poetry, to create an elegant and charming atmosphere in the home. They are perfect for decorating a child’s bedroom, as a Lolly Puffs by Amek Toys
birth or Mother’s Day gift, to celebrate a birthday or any special occasion. And from June 2021, 10 to 15 cm resin figures of the characters from the most beloved video games, Bomberman, Pacman and Sonic, will be available.
Sonic Action Figure by Neamedia
Amek Toys is a Bulgarian company that produces well-conceived and innovative soft toys like the Lolly Puffs, which will be on the market from May 2021. Available in three different colors and styles, the dolls have a refined look. They are light and easy to carry, ideal for children to keep with them at all times. Also on sale is Arty, a bear that can be decorated with magic markers to become a policeman, a doctor, or an artist! To restart the game,
Little Dragon by Amek Toys
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Whales Musical Fountain Hape -Toynamics simply iron, wash or dry. Among other new soft toys are some sweet, small dragons, in a variety of bright colors. Super soft to the touch, the dragons provide a sense of protection and friendship in children from an early age.
the pearls inside mimic the sound of rain. It can also be used as a rattle, and its wings are removable and washable. It will arrive in large retailers starting in June 2021. The Canadian brand Nebulous Stars is aimed at girls between the ages of six and 10. With gifts, arts & craft products, cosmetics and stationery, as well as books, it promotes not only creativity but also relaxation and self-esteem in girls. Among the new products is the Cosmic Jewelry kit, to create four cosmic jewels with glitter powder and embossed decorations. There are also very colorful, owl-shaped dream catchers which glow in the dark. Aspiring artists will love the paint set, which includes 20 magical luminescent watercolor panels, a metallic color palette and many other accessories.
story of a Ninja apprentice who, through many adventures in a fantasy world, becomes stronger and more confident by the day. The figurines will be available from May 2021. The French group Asmodee, with its Green Board Games brand, is about to release the Harry Potter Brain Box, a game of intelligence and memory to share with relatives and friends. The cards contain scenes from all eight Harry Potter films featuring favorite characters, memorable moments, and important quotes. The game will eventually be available in different countries around the world. Another Harry Potter themed concept from Zygomatic is Story Cubes, perfect for telling tales wherever you go. This game helps create endless new stories with your favorite wizards and witches. Other new additions include the second expansion of the popular Exploding Kittens game, Streaking Kittens, featuring 15 cards illustrated by Matthew Inman of
Nebulous Dream Catcher Stars Toynamics
Rock Ukulele Hape - Toynamics The German group Toynamics manages several brands, including Hape and Nebulous Stars. Hape’s musical fountain of whales which will be available in Q3 of 2021, is worth mentioning. The whales can be played like the keys of a piano, or become small fountains. Another product is Ukulele Rock for children aged three and above. It plays realistic sounds and, with its practical handle, is easily transportable. It features real strings that can be tuned, and comes with a spare string included. For the very young, the Rainmaker butterfly Rosalie is a good option. The material mix of fabric, wood and plastic is inviting to the touch, and
Among the latest arrivals at American company’s Funko Pop! Animation line are vinyl figures of Boruto Uzumaki, Mitsuki and Sarada Uchiha, that take anime off the screen and into real life! The characters are protagonists in Boruto, from the famous anime and manga Naruto, which tells the
Pop! Animation - Boruto Uzumaki by Funko
Story Cubes by Harry Potter
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The Oatmeal. The cards add many features to the game, including the acquisition of new superpowers for players. In March 2021 Lego and Universal Music Group (UMG) are releasing the first range of Lego Vidiyo products, an innovative music video-making play experience designed to celebrate and expand children’s creativity through play, music, and augmented reality. It is aimed at children aged seven to 10 and includes the release of BeatBox and Bandmates, that come with special BeatBits functions. The functions are activated on the incredible new Lego Vidiyo app BeatBits, where physical and digital play come together, and audiovisual effects and minifigures inspired by the music scene integrate and come to life through augmented reality. Fans can discover six unique BeatBoxes, each containing a minifigure representing a musical genre, a stage to scan, and 16 BeatBits, including two exclusive ones.
Unicorn Dj - Lego Vidiyo
Beatbox - Hip hop robot
Among these first sets of Vidiyo products, there are also 12 Bandmates: a fun range of minifigures contained in collectible and music-inspired Mystery Boxes. The minifigures with the related six Beatboxes are Candy Pop, in the Candy Mermaid BeatBox for the Pop genre; Pirate Punk, in the Punk Pirate Beatbox for the Punk genre; Robot Break-dancer, in the HipHop Robot BeatBox for Hip Hop; Unicorn DJ, in the Unicorn DJ BeatBox for K-pop; Alien DJ, in the Extra Terrestrial Dance Music BeatBox for Electronics, Techno, Dance; Party Llama, in the Party Llama BeatBox for the Tropicon genre. The 12 Bandmates are Red Panda Dancer, Cotton Candy Cheerleader, Shark Singer, Bunny Dancer, Discowboy Singer, Genie Dancer,
Samurapper, DJ Cheetah, Ice Cream Saxophonist, Alien Keytarist, Banshee Singer, and Werewolf Drumme. With BeatBits, children can have fun and learn about every kind of music. UMG label Astralwerks has also hired an artist from the Lego stable: a flesh and blood version of the Tropicon BeatBox DJ Llama minifigure. The artist is called L.L.A.M.A and will experiment with various musical genres, without being tied to a specific expressive choice. Fans will be able to stay connected with him and his crazy projects through his @musicbyllama social channels. Lego is also working to bring to life the brick version of SEGA’s legendary speedster, Sonic the Hedgehog, thanks to
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2020 and was one of the finalists at Toty 2021. It has a green screen and over twenty animated backgrounds where you can be chased by a T-Rex, go into space or suddenly disappear into thin air! Use the tabletop tripod/selfie stick and built-in microphone for easy shooting, while also taking advantage of the simple on-screen editing tools for creative photos and timelapse videos. Vtech also produces toys related to the Go! Go! Cory Carson preschool animated series broadcast on Netflix and starring the adorable little homonymous car. The latest toy released features Cory as a fireman’s apprentice. When the illuminated windshield is pressed it plays phrases and songs in Cory’s real voice, and makes fun sound affects when the car is rolled around. And when the fire hose is placed on top of Cory, you can hear firemen training to fight fires, and learn new firefighting facts.
Characters Lego Vidiyo a concept design created by Vin Grannell, a 24-year-old british girl, superfan of the company. Also very passionate about Sonicfan, Viv presented her project to the Lego Ideas initiative, which welcomes new ideas invented by and voted on by fans to turn them into a reality. Viv’s design was inspired by SEGA Sonic Mania’s acclaimed 2017 platforming experience and features iconic characters and environments from the game’s Green Hill Zone level. The clothing collection that Lego created in collaboration with Adidas has been available from March 2021, with a variety of elegant colors and designs inspired by the Lego Dots and Lego Ninjago lines.
Kidizoom Creator Cam by VTech
Go! Go! Cory Carson - Fire Rescue Cory by VTech
The Chinese company Vtech is a world leader in electronic learning products for children, based on the stages of developmental learning at different ages. Their Kidizoom camera is suitable for younger kids and takes real digital photographs. The latest model is the Kidizoom creator Cam, for five to 10 year olds. It is a high-definition camcorder and camera with an exceptional kit of accessories. It won the Good Housekeeping award for the best toy of
Kidizoom Creator Cam by VTech
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TOYS, WHAT’S NEW IN RETAIL By Matteo Melani With a volume of business close to 90.7 billion recorded last year, the toy industry has established itself as one of the most competitive market sectors. At Global Toy Connect, a virtual event organized by the NPD Group streamed last February, industry experts took stock of trends and the current state of the toy market, from sales to retail. In 2020 the United States toy industry recorded a growth of 16% compared to 2019. Despite restrictions due to the pandemic, the American market survived, so much so that the month of May alone recorded a 38% increase in sales compared to last year, with sales increasing in both stores and online. “2020 was an unprecedented year for the toy industry in the United States. The growth we have seen shows that parents are willing to put their children’s happiness above all else,” said Juli Lennett, Vice President and Industry Consultant, US Toys, The NPD Group. She continued, “Families have understood that toys help to keep their children busy, active and happy.” In Europe, however, the situation has seen more shadows than light. In France,
the entire retail market decreased by 1.5% compared to 2019, while in Italy it fell by 6.9%. In addition to sales, the NPD Group representatives also addressed new marketing and product trends, explaining that to operate in such a varied market, innovative sales techniques that consider the needs of children are needed. Here are some examples.
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF GEOMARKETING
The differences in sales between various countries were determined by several factors, such as the purchasing power of families, restrictive measures, and the presence of children at home. For a company that wants to export their products abroad, geo-marketing is an essential tool to communicate their brand and find new customers. Geomarketing refers to sales techniques based on geographical information that allows for better commercial planning, from the analysis of the competition to the development of distribution channels. However, not all economies are the same
The growth we have seen shows that parents are willing to put their children’s happiness above all else” - Juli Lennett -
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Christmas holidays, local restyling. In their speech, Florent and Dealu said that single-brand stores are the most attentive to displays, precisely because it is a vital element in the promotion of a new product.
HARRY POTTER AND BARBIE: TWO EVERGREEN BRANDS
and, as the NPD data shows, not all families often have the same resources in equal measure. One example is the practice of discounts which, as explained by Rodrigo Vivanco, Analytic Solutions Europe & APAC, has had different effects in different countries. In the United Kingdom, thanks to discounts, the toy market recorded a surge of 5%, while in Italy it saw a decrease of 7%. On the pricing front, geo-marketing remains a very practical tool to help define promotional campaigns as well.
Europe, said that displays represent a real investment opportunity for toy manufacturers and retailers, and as such require careful consideration. The criteria of choice are related to the impact on sales, inventories, and the increase in customer forecasts. Store managers often turn to agencies specialized in commercial outfitting that can customize the space according to needs: launches,
In a moment as complicated as the one the market is experiencing; historical brands are surviving the crisis well. Not even Covid has been able to stop the force of Barbie, which won four NPD awards this year: Global Top Toy Property of the Year, Europe; Top Fastest Growth in Mexico; Top Selling US; and Top Toy Property of the Year, Brazil. Results shared across several parts of the world show that a serious geo-marketing strategy and attention to displays at the point of sale can give guaranteed results. The case of Harry Potter, the famous spectacled wizard born from the pen of
THE IMPORTANCE OF EXPOSURE
New technological devices such as touch-screen monitors and displays (e.g., showcases and shelves) have a strong visual impact on customers, and are also vital for enhancing the products in-store. Looking at the latest polls, Aurelia Florent, Head of Analytics Solutions France, and Francois Dealu, Head of Analatycs Solution the English writer JK Rowling, is interesting as well. Despite the last film in the series being released in 2011, Harry Potter toys continue to sell. The reasons are to be found both in the appeal of the brand and in the new video platforms. In addition to younger fans, Harry Potter has a place in the hearts of many adults who, as children in the early 2000s, did not miss a film from the saga and who today collect objects or mini figurines of the various characters. Then, as Gabriella Lo Bue, Specialist Client Development USA explained, the launch of films or videos on Netflix has encouraged the sales of the magician’s toys, a sign that even video content can extend sales for decades.
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TOP 2021 TOY TRENDS FOR THE US TOY ASSOCIATION They are: Rediscovering Play; Not Just for Kids; Mixing in Music, Zen-Sational Toys, & Socially Conscious Play. Let’s learn more After a historic year that saw U.S. toy sales skyrocket with millions of families stuck at home, The Toy Association today unveiled the top toy trends that are expected to drive industry sales in 2021. The announcement was made during The Toy Association’s virtual Toy Trends Briefing, which can now be viewed online. “This year’s biggest trends underscore the ongoing impact of the pandemic on play; the toy industry’s growing commitment to helping kids become better global citizens; and the many social, emotional, and cognitive benefits of mindful, musical, and ‘kidult’ toys,” said Adrienne Appell, senior vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association. “The pandemic did not stop our trends team from virtually previewing hundreds of innovative new products as we set out to determine what will be topping kids’
wish lists between now and the holiday season. We are so excited to share a sneak peek at what kids and adults will be clamoring for as we dive deeper into the impact of COVID-19 on the future of play.” Normally held at Toy Fair New York (postponed until February 2022), The Toy Association’s Toy Trends Briefing annually attracts media, buyers, and other industry professionals who want to see the latest developments in toys and play. New for this year, the discussion included an overview of the state of the toy industry from The Toy Association’s Steve Pasierb, president & CEO, and an analysis of the U.S. toy market from The NPD Group’s Juli Lennett, senior vice president & industry advisor for toys, who both helped set the stage for what is expected to unfold in 2021.
“The pandemic did not stop our trends team from virtually previewing hundreds of innovative new products as we set out to determine what will be topping kids’ wish lists between now and the holiday season. We are so excited to share a sneak peek at what kids and adults will be clamoring for as we dive deeper into the impact of COVID-19 on the future of play.” - Adrienne Appell -
A summary of the top 2021 trends REDISCOVERING PLAY
One silver lining of the pandemic is that it has helped families rediscover the joys of spending time together and find value in bringing play into their daily lives. In 2021, families will be seeking new toys that promote togetherness, as well as inclusive playthings that can be enjoyed by kids of varying abilities and interests. This trend includes educational toys and activities that families can use to help their children learn new skills and subjects; family games and puzzles with cross-generational appeal; outdoor and active toys; nostalgic brands; cooking-themed and role play toys; etc.
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ZEN-SATIONAL TOYS Toys aren’t just for fun – they also serve up a healthy dose of emotional support and wellness in times of stress and uncertainty. According to The Toy Association’s Genius of Play initiative, families surveyed nationwide said playing together was the best way to help kids process their emotions. This year will see a growing demand for toys that help develop children’s social and emotional learning (SEL) skills; toys that promote mindfulness and self-care; comforting plush toys and dolls; and sensory/fidget toys that offer moments of zen.
NOT JUST FOR KIDS
The growing “kidult” trend was fueled by the pandemic, with more adults than ever turning to toys to bring some joy and levity into their lives. Toys and games have been a means of escapism for adults and offer a way to reconnect with their own inner child. This trend includes games fueled by adult topics, social media trends, and other fads; collectibles and building toys that appeal to hardcore fans; crowdfunded toys; and toys that invite casual fans into the fold across a wide range of fandoms.
SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS PLAY As families look for new ways to become better global citizens, toymakers are responding with toys that foster social responsibility and awareness. This trend includes dolls that promote diversity and cultural awareness; eco-friendly designed
toys (and packaging) that also teach kids about sustainability; plush that promote the protection of endangered species; toys that give recognition to the essential workers critical to society; playsets with farm-to-table elements; and STEAM toys that feature renewable energy sources. With many theatrical releases moved to streaming services or taking a hybrid approach in 2021, licensed toy sales will be driven by what’s happening on nonlinear channels (Disney+, Netflix, HBO Max, and others) and, in the absence of live events, through video gaming (i.e. gaming systems, platforms, and brand anniversaries). This shift will create new opportunities for original IPs bolstered by social media platforms (such as TikTok and YouTube) to cut through the noise and make an impact at retail across multiple categories alongside traditional entertainment licenses.
MIXING IN MUSIC
Driven by social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok that have become incubators for viral music and dance crazes, toys that get kids moving and grooving are expected to grow in the toy aisles. This trend includes toys inspired by music-infused social platforms, channels, and programming; innovative new audio players that encourage screen-free play; toys that encourage kids to mix and make their own music; unboxing toys that incorporate music into the reveals; and, of course, classic musical toys.
A video of the Toy Trends Briefing can be viewed online www.YouTube.com/TheToyAssociation
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Toy Association Continues Fight Against Unsafe, Counterfeit Toys By Kristin Morency Goldman, The U.S. Toy Association While legitimate toys sold by responsible companies are safer than ever, thanks to a robust network of stringent safety standards, non-compliant toys sold by illicit sellers continue to be found on online marketplaces. As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates the online shopping trend, the fight against unsafe counterfeit toys sold through e-commerce platforms is more urgent than ever – and a top priority issue for The U.S. Toy Association and its 1,000 member companies. “The Toy Association and our members have been continually advocating for the removal of illicit counterfeit toys and play products from online marketplaces,” stated Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “Our concerted actions have contributed to some important progress, including the introduction of legislation placing clear requirements on marketplaces and sellers; the publication of a Department of Homeland Security Report echoing many of our proposed solutions; and better cooperation, communication, and collaboration with major online marketplaces.” Amid the pandemic, The Toy Association hosted a virtual forum for members to meet with more than two dozen congressional offices and hear special presentations about key pieces of U.S. legislation that help to address the wave in illicit counterfeits sold online. Toy Association staff members have in the past also testified before Congress and participated in a roundtable talk with top White House officials in order to raise the alarm on this urgent priority issue for the toy community. In December 2020, The Toy Association
released its second white paper on the subject, “Taking Fake Toys Offline: A 2020 Focus on Proactive Measures to Reduce Counterfeits and Unsafe Toys Sold on Online Marketplaces.” The report outlines the key factors contributing to the rise in counterfeits and proactive, multistakeholder solutions to the problem, including better collaboration between online marketplaces, legislators, Toy Association members, and consumers. The white paper also uncovers emerging trends impacting the issue, such as the increased reliance on online shopping, the proliferation of social media marketplaces, targeted advertisements, and the growth of fake reviews and fake storefronts. Leading up to the holiday shopping season, The Toy Association turned its attention to educating consumers on how
For more information about The Toy Association and its advocacy work to protect and promote the toy industry, visit www.ToyAssociation.org.
to identify – and avoid – counterfeit toys sold online. A national survey asked 1,000 U.S. parents about their holiday shopping plans and knowledge of counterfeits, which generated news reminding parents and other caregivers about how to spot counterfeits and age-appropriate toys. A safe shopping tips article based on the survey was placed in more than 1,000 print and online publications nationwide. Recently, The Toy Association’s Joan Lawrence, senior vice president of standards and regulatory affairs, appeared on broadcast TV segments to discuss counterfeit toy concerns; these clips can be viewed on The Toy Association’s YouTube channel (www.Youtube.com/ TheToyAssociation.) “In 2021, The Toy Association and our members will focus our anti-counterfeiting efforts in areas of greatest impact – working to pass federal legislation, enhancing consumer awareness of the safety risks associated with purchasing counterfeit toys, and collaborating with various government agencies to help educate and train them on identifying and stopping counterfeits entering the U.S,” added Pasierb.
The latest news from Children’s Publishing Properties By Rossella Arena The children’s book market is growing and responding well to the pandemic. Now is a good time to launch new products based on successful publishing properties.
Olga the Cloud Baby Puzzle by Ludattica Also, in March, Ludattica will introduce the international publishing and animation hit, The Gruffalo, to the world of educational games in Italy. There will be association and educational games inspired by the original text and images from The Gruffalo books. 100% vegan plasticine, made in Italy it will be packaged with creative games, giving free rein to kids’ imagination and sense of fun, and helping them develop manual skills. In addition to the first four titles, the line will be replenished with new releases throughout 2021.
Children’s publishing is still a sector in turmoil, although it has been weathering the pandemic very well. For this reason it continues to be a lot of interesting activity in the industry. Here are a few highlights from some high-profile and successful publishing properties. The main character from Olga The Cloud, by Nicoletta Costa, and the most beloved monster in the world, The Gruffalo, are the latest stars of Ludattica’s newest releases. Olga The Cloud titles will be released starting in March 2021 and are designed for children from 2 years of age. They range from fun association games designed to develop logic and observation skills, to illustrated puzzles. A series of activity books is devoted to the four seasons: each volume will be accompanied by a logic memo game, allowing children to extend their playful learning activity. Drawing school with Olga The Cloud is a
special activity book with illustrations to be completed with a supplied erasable marker, teaching kids to draw in the style of Nicoletta Costa.
Create and Decorate with plasticine – Gruffalò by Ludattica
The iconic children’s book The Little Prince celebrates the 75th anniversary of its first edition in 2021. For this special occasion, several editorial and product releases are planned in France throughout the year: in April, a series of dedicated anniversary editions by Gallimard, including a reedition of the original manuscript and a 2021-2022 agenda; publisher Fleurus will
Petit Prince collector’s edition by Fleurus
Petit Prince – stamp by La Poste launch a collector’s edition of The Little Prince for children and coloring books of the series La Grande Imagerie in April; in September, a boxed Anniversary book set will be released by Gallimard, with unpublished content and Little Prince accessories; in November, curated by Geo / Prisma, a prestige large-format edition of The Travels of the Little Prince and SaintExupéry is an Adventure, as well as the Escape Game box. A major licensing plan has also been developed in various categories, with monthly releases: in January gold and silver medals by La Maison de la Médaille, and specially designed gold and silver coins for the 75th anniversary, by La Monnaie de Paris in February; from April there will be a collection of objects curated by Enesco; from May, a collaboration with Pylones, which will decorate the shop windows of its 120 stores around the world with the Little Prince; and in June, a set of 12 custom stamps, in partnership with the French postal service.
Petit Prince, Silver Coin by La Monnaie Paris
One of the next releases of Ninja Life Hacks Ninja Life Hacks is a comic book series 3 to 11 years old. It already has 42 published titles, and at least 20 more on the way. In each volume, a little Ninja experiences an important skill or emotion related to self-esteem and self-knowledge, such as kindness and grit, inspiring children to grow in a positive way. The Ninja Life Hacks Mover and Shaker boxed set, comprised of eight titles, has recently been released. And in licensing, The Brand Liaison agency has been appointed to develop various categories including toys, apparel, homewares, and stationery. Blippi is a fun and energetic character,
Blippi Baby Farm Animals by Studio Fun created and played by the American educator Stevin John on his very popular Youtube channel. Blippi teaches kids ages two to seven about colors, letters and more! Publishing house Studio Fun International took on the book rights launching a successful book series. The first 13 titles sold nearly 400,000 copies in over 15 formats, including paperback and touch-and-feel. In 2021, the publishing house will release another 12 books, starting with Baby Farm Animals, a sound book about animals. Have a Happy, Healty Day will be released in May, along with a cloth mask for children and will encourage preschoolers to adopt healthy habits, such as washing their hands and eating healthy food.
Critical Role Launches New Publishing Company Darrington Press Critical Role Launches New Publishing Company Darrington Press, with Four Original Games Set for 2021 Release.
Tony Verdini, Senior Manager dell’ufficio Business Development e Partnership Critical Role – team Critical Role is the most popular storydriven and worldbuilding digital media brand in the world. While it started off as a roleplaying game between a group of friends in 2012, Critical Role has since evolved into a multiplatform entertainment phenomenon that has branched out into a variety of shows and endeavors, including the flagship show Critical Role, comic books, animation, live performances, podcasts, fan art, graphic novels, philanthropy through Critical Role Foundation, and more. A passionate and engaged community tunes in each week to watch their favorite storytellers take on new adventures led by veteran voice actor Matthew Mercer and composed of other well-known voice actors Ashley Johnson, Marisha Ray, Taliesin Jaffe, Travis Willingham, Sam Riegel, Laura Bailey and
Liam O’Brien. Engrossed in the stories, characters, and camaraderie, over half a million regular viewers watch every week and hundreds of thousands more per month continue to discover Critical Role for the first time. The great success achieved prompted Critical Role to embark with confidence
on a new adventure: it has recently officially launched a publishing house of board games, the Darrington Press. Darrington Press will feature games in and outside of Exandria, the world conceived by Darrington Press Creative Advisor, Critical Role’s Chief Creative Officer and Game Master, Matthew Mercer. Leading this new business venture is the the Head of Darrington Press, Ivan Van Norman, who has been producing tabletop games and media content for over 10 years as a co-owner of Hunters Entertainment (Alice is Missing, Altered Carbon, Outbreak: Undead), as well as consultant to many other companies, including Wizards of the Coast and Hersch Games (Taboo). Van Norman has danced the line between media and design, working as a producer of board and RPG content for several digital media projects as well as a game producer on Will Wheaton’s “TableTop”. In addition, he served as executive producer of International Tabletop Day. Darrington Press currently has four games set to be released in 2021. The first is Uk’otoa, a tactical game of semicooperative card play. It is already available in the Critical Role online shops
The Game Uk’otoa
Critical Role – Shows
Ivan Norman, Head of Darrington Press in the US, UK, and AU, as well as hobby stores in the US. The other releases of 2021 will be Critical Role Adventures (Q2), Syndicult (Q3) and Guardians of Matrimonia (Q4). To learn more, LM interviewed Ben van der Fluit, Critical Role’s VP of Business Development. Tell us more about the birth of this new Publishing Company. Darrington Press launched in late 2020 and is the natural progression for Critical Role as an organization, as we are determined to inspire and connect people through play. We put serious thought into forming a games and publishing division of our own for a long time, and we’re excited to create and share new worlds and stories with board game and roleplaying game fans of all levels of experience and interest around the world.
Why did you choose Uk’otoa as inaugural title and what are the most interesting features of the next releases? Uk’otoa is the perfect inaugural release for Darrington Press because it transforms an iconic piece of Critical Role lore - the large serpent-like creature of the same name - into an accessible and collaborative gaming experience for both existing and new fans alike. Following this example, Critical Role Adventures aims to deliver the big-box board game experience that we know many fans of Exandria have been waiting for, while introducing a whole new audience to this rich world. Conversely, Syndicult and Guardians of Matrimonia are the first products featuring worlds outside of Exandria, for many new worlds and experiences that Darrington Press has planned to explore and expand upon. Which targets are you able to cover with your games? We’re aiming to connect people of all ages through our games. Some of our experiences are being developed for
people who are looking for rich, complex worlds that deal with real conflicts and consequences like Syndicult, while other titles are meant for family game nights and far more casual gamers like Uk’otoa. How do you plan to develop your work internationally? International expansion of Darrington Press is an important part of our roadmap. We know the appetite for board game and roleplaying game experiences only continues to grow around the world, and we believe we’re creating well-represented and diverse products that have the potential to resonate with a worldwide audience. By utilizing our existing global footprint of distribution, we will be able to deliver our games internationally from the very beginning. Any anticipation on other projects and/ or goals for the future? Currently, we are fully focused on bringing our first slate of games to market this year and have big plans beyond that. We are very interested in the digital landscape of board game and tabletop roleplaying game experiences, especially in a world where more and more play is happening online.
Fashion & Lifestyle
GAMING AND TV SERIES: HOW FASHION STORYTELLING IS CHANGING By Matteo Melani With the outbreak of the pandemic, streaming has become the most important marketing tool in fashion, including for the biggest names in the industry, which are adopting new ways to advertise their clothing. In fact, the biggest fashion shows took place digitally from the Milan Fashion Week to Etro. The latest fashion parade, the Stockholm Fashion Week Fall Winter 2021-2022, also was digital and saw the alternating of the most emerging signatures. In addition to streaming, digital offers other marketing opportunities that can reach new customers and influence the market, because it holds the attention of teenagers and young adults through a completely innovative narrative. A good example is Luis Vuitton who in 2019 signed a collaboration agreement with the League of Legends gaming platform for which it created t-shirts and accessories. To date, the country with the most fans is China with 484 million players (about a third of the population) who log in to play almost every day. And while gaming appeals to a younger target, TV can reach an even broader audience, both in terms of age
and taste. On the occasion of Guccifest, an entirely digital festival of fashion and cinema conceived by the famous brand, a webseries entitled “Overture of Something that Never Ended” was launched. The format features actress Silvia Calderoni and the cast includes personalities such as Achille Bonito Oliva, choreographer Sasha Waltz, musicians Billie Eilish, Harry Styles and Florence Welch. The series of 20 minutes episodes showcases the new collection by Alessandro Michele, creative director of the Gucci fashion house. Digital clearly offers a world of a thousand opportunities which, if exploited with the right strategies, can significantly raise the visibility of brands and fashion collections.
Stockholm Fashion Week FW 21-22
THE ADVANTAGES OF GAMING
The growth of online games is now in full swing and, in addition to men, more and more women are playing online. The traditional stereotype of a videogame player being a nerd is over and today’s users look for quality, not only in the enjoyment of the games but also in merchandising. In the clothing sector, it now offers a completely revolutionary form of advertising. Co-branding remains the only way for fashion brands to enter the world of animated games. Last year Valentino, with the help of visual artist Kara Chung, provided Nintendo with clothes for the SS20 and Pre-Fall 20/21 collection for
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The Sims 4 the Animal Crossing game. Players now can dress their avatars with the clothing of the Italian genius. Similarly, the users of The Sims 4, can fill the wardrobe of their characters with clothes from Moschino capsule collections.
THE FASHION TO SEE WITH THE TV SERIES
Until a few years ago television series were shared primarily on just a few channels at fixed times, but with the birth of platforms such as Netflix and Prime TV,
both the number of titles and the means of consumption have also changed. And fashion storytelling goes very well with television series. An example of this success is Overture of Something That Never Ended, a sevenparts web docu-drama that follows the everyday life of Silvia Calderoni, with occasional celebrity cameo appearances. The web series streamed from 17 to 22 November 2020 on online festivals, as well as other video platforms including YouTube, Weibo and Instagram TV. The risk taken to create the web-series has been rewarded with the response of the director Gus Van Sant, who generated more than 384 thousand views on YouTube, 235 thousand on InstagramTV and thousands of comments and reactions on Twitter.
Among other fashion brands, Motivi also launched an online TV series entitled Motivi Lo(ve) ft, for which it has hired actresses and models. Consisting of four episodes, the show follows the lives of four friends who share a loft, all with different personalities and stories: Giulia, the enterprising, creative and
reliable radio host, and narrator of the series; Bea, a super fashionista store manager, determined and at times cynical; Ilaria, a chef with a dreamy and shy soul but professionally made with her restaurant in the city; Laura, the sportswoman of the group, a personal trainer with a positive, pragmatic and reassuring dynamic. In each episode, the inseparable friends tell a special story with an open ending that will invite participation and direct interaction of viewers at home. Viewer involvement is further encouraged by various fashion influencers who in each episode invite followers to comment on the show, share their comments and try to guess the ending. Lo(ve) also includes off-screen gaming initiatives, user-generated content, and fashion shoots in which the characters reveal the mysterious ending of each episode. The fashion marketing revolution has just begun.
Fashion & Lifestyle
After 2020, Fashion industry moves towards a new future By Andrea De Amicis Covid19 has made 2020 a decidedly difficult year for all sectors but for Fashion. 2021 has also started in a challenging way, so companies must develop new strategies for the future. The State of Fashion 2021 report offers interesting reflections on this. 2020 was an extremely complicated year for all sectors but above all for Fashion. Covid19 has reduced global sales from 15 to 30%. Consumers have changed their habits and moved away from the industry, supply chains have been disrupted, and the year ended with many parts of the world in the throes of a new wave of infections. In the first months of 2021, the same scenario is playing out again and even intensifying, so companies necessarily must focus on constructive action and effective strategies, such as those identified in the The State of Fashion 2021 report.
Gucci Off The Grid Collection
One of the positive trends of the future is sustainability, towards which all companies are increasingly turning, even those in luxury, which are proving to be more resilient during the crisis. In the latest digital edition of the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, fascinating collections were presented such as Upcycled by Miu Miu, with 80 one-piece dresses created from refined, unbranded clothes dating from the 30s through the 70s, sourced from vintage shops and markets around the world. Gucci has chosen recycled, ecological and sustainable materials for its Off The Grid collection, while Pinko
Milano Fashion Week - Women 2021 has drawn on the garments of its old collections, to break them down and recreate new ones. The State of Fashion 2021, the fifth annual report by The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company, is dedicated to these and other edifying ideas for the future, identifying ten themes that will guide the Fashion industry in 2021. 1, Living with the Virus reminds you to keep in mind that the future scenario is very uncertain because the movement of Covid19 changes continuously. Businesses need to be flexible and make decisions quickly. Data and analytics will play an important role in helping companies track changes in demand across geographies, categories, channels, and value segments. 2, Diminished Demand underlines that due to the current situation and growing unemployment, the demand for clothing has suffered a sharp decline. Many fashion companies are converting to medicalhealth, home, or goods production in their territory.
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companies to offer more dignity, safety, and justice to fashion workers around the world. 5, Travel Interrupted recognizes a strong decrease in tourism shopping and directs companies to interact better with local consumers, while maintaining strategic investments in the markets that will see a stronger recovery. 6, Less is more was born from the concrete evidence that more products and collections do not necessarily mean better
Green Carpet Fashion Awards 2020
Courtesy McKinsey&Company 3, Digital Sprint sees online as a partial salvation to current problems. During the pandemic, web sales almost doubled, from 16 to 29%. Many brands have also seized new opportunities on the web such as live streaming, customer service video chat, and social shopping. Strong confirmation came from the last Milan Fashion Week for women, which took place from February 23rd to March 1st. Most of the brands showed their fall/winter 202122 collections in digital format, through runway videos and short artistic films. The edition was a great success, bringing in over 45 million views, more than any other fashion week in the world. Point 4, Seeking Justice, notes that consumers are more attentive to the behavior of brands towards employees. With the crisis generated by the pandemic, there has been a greater awareness of the plight of the most vulnerable in the sector. Campaigns against exploitation have sprung up and consumers now expect
Upcycled collection by Miu Miu
financial results. Companies should move towards simplicity, finding ways to increase sell-through and decrease inventory levels, adopting a demand-centric approach to assortment, while increasing flexible seasonal responsiveness, both for new products and restocking. 7, Opportunistic Investment encourages mergers and acquisitions between companies that are coping well with the crisis and those that risk bankruptcy or would stay in business only with government subsidies. 8, Deeper Partnerships is a consequence of the greater difficulties in procurement, which lead to abandoning provisional relationships in favor of more stable collaborations, which bring greater agility and responsibility. 9, Retail ROI demands a significant rethink of the downward spiral of physical retail. Retail has been a sector in crisis for years and will see many permanent store closures, which will continue to increase in the postpandemic period. Fashion players will have to envision new solutions, such as a potential shift of power to retailers and seamless digital integration. 10, Work Revolution, sees the emergence of a new working model, due to the combination at home and remote working, and also the need to invest in retraining talent to promote a greater sense of task-sharing and business purpose among employees.
Beauty, 2021 in the name of change By Matteo Melani Personalised, smart, sustainable. In recent years, the personal care sector has changed the parameters of the traditional shopping experience to reflect the needs of its customers. THE DIGITAL GUARANTEE
This transition has already been underway for some time but accelerated during the outbreak of the pandemic starting with the phygital, the interdependence between physical and digital spaces. In the case of Douglas, a chain of perfumeries, digital has made up for not being in shops. In fact, e-commerce has driven total sales and, together with online channels, have reached a record value of 882 million euros (+40.6%). “In the key Christmas quarter, we were once again able to enjoy strong growth of our online business with Singles Day, Black Friday and our Christmas campaign, achieving a record quarter for our e-commerce business,” commented Tina Müller, CEO of the Douglas group, “Our rapid transformation since 2018 is unprecedented among long-standing retail companies and demonstrates the strength of combining traditional and online retail.” In addition to greater flexibility in online shopping, today’s consumers demand quality services and sustainable products. Here are some of the main innovations in this area.
Online is not just about selling but also about involving the user. The Kiko cosmetics chain is aware of this and in mid-2020 it developed Try it on. This function on its site allows users to digitally try on products such as make-up or lip gloss directly on their face to see the results by uploading a photo or turning on the camera. In addition to online, the service is also accessible in the brand’s points of sale. A similar concept is Lip Lab, a digital tool developed by BITE (a LVMH beauty incubator), which allows customers to create personalized lipsticks from the comfort of their home. The initiative allows you to interact with the brand through your personal taste and needs. BITE is a marketing tool of unquestionable
value because it also provides the company information on its customers’ preferences. As with Try it on, BITE allows you to create your own lipstick in stores as well, but so far only in the United States and in Canada.
INNOVATION IN PHYSICAL STORES
As shown by Kiko’s and BITE’s initiatives, the store is not just a place for selling
and promoting products, but a means to entertain and inform the customer about the philosophy of the brand. To make the point of sale attractive to new customers, the décor and style of the shop should represent the brand. For example, in its place of business located at Piazza di Spagna in Rome, Acqua di Parma uses materials made in Italy such as travertine marble, ribbed wood and Murano. As soon as you enter you are immediately aware of the classic design and Italian craftsmanship that the world loves. Another strategy that builds customer loyalty is to provide services that ensure a consistent customer-experience with the brand. For example, in Acqua di Parma’s stores there is a room reserved for shaving (the Barber area), and Marrionaud often recruits beauticians for manicures.
THE CHALLENGE OF RESPONSIBILITY
Consumers are more attentive today to the quality of the brand than in the past, so much so that a few years ago (also because of the increase in allergies) highend body creams and perfumes started being enriched with natural ingredients with healthier ingredients. According to the research Friendz, the primary purchase motivation for cosmetics is its promised result (23.8%) followed by the type of ingredients (21.5%). In addition, 31% of those evaluating the purchase based on ingredients said 27.9% try to avoid those
cosmetics represents a small sample, in recent years many brands have launched collections of products not tested on animals and without any substances of animal origin. An example is the American Kat Von D, aka Katherine von Drachenberg, who launched an eponymous line of vegan products including eye shadows, lipsticks, foundation and eyeliner. Among the best sellers is True Portrait Foundation, a liquid foundation without ingredients of animal origin, which has received many positive reviews from influencers and fashion bloggers since its launch in 2016. Starting
with harmful substances, 23.7%prefer cosmetics free of silicones and parabens, 14.4% choose natural cosmetics, and only 2.2% opt for organic or vegan ones. Although the preference for vegan
in 2017, Kat Von D products have also been sold in Sephora stores. Along with innovation and quality, responsibility remains a value that never goes out of fashion.
A NEW WAY TO STAY AT HOME By Rossella Arena For some time now people have lived indoors more than they have outdoors. As a result, many have felt the need to make their home more comfortable and cheerful. Businesses have responded by increasing their focus on the homewares sector, and more generally on any products that enhance at-home living. Here are a few companies that are meeting this moment in time. With the pandemic still underway, the home environment is being re-evaluated as a key place for well-being, and for self-expression. Prior to this moment there was a greater tendency to take care of one’s appearance, but now more attention is being focused on everything within the home. For many people now working remotely, the home has also become a workplace, increasing the desire to care for it and make it beautiful. Here is the latest news from companies that are putting a smile on faces while making daily life easier and happier. Sass & belle has successfully collaborated with the Frida Kahlo Foundation to bring
the energy of the great Mexican artist directly into the homes of those who love her. They created vases such as the Frida Body Shaped Vase in bright red and green, perfect for welcoming flowers and enhancing their beauty. A more delicate version of this vase, in terracotta with white flowers designs, will be launched in April. For teacups full of inspiration, there is the Frida Cup and Flower Saucer Set in a beautiful flamingo pink color. The body of the cup is the face of Frida, with her characteristic red lips and a pretty wreath of flowers in her hair. For a cup of tea shared with your favorite characters, turn to The Republic of
The Republic of Tea
Tea, which produces teas and infusions inspired by successful TV series. For example, it created the Star Wars: The Mandalorian series with Disney featuring three flavors: Warrior Herb Tea Cara Dune, rooibos with fruity notes; The Child Green Tea; and Mysterious Black Tea with Mando. Their most recent product is The Crown: The Princess’ Peach Bellini Tea, based on the Netflix series about the life of Queen Elizabeth II. It is an inviting black tea with peach, apricot, vanilla cream, and champagne flavors, peach chunks and organic monk fruit, inspired by Princess Diana’s favorite cocktail, the peach Bellini. Over the past year, pajamas have become the most popular garment ever. To brighten up the endless time spent at home, many people choose witty and funny Tezenis
Sass & belle
and cozy blankets. They also offer toys designed for playing with at home, such as a multi-colored ball and bone-shaped toys. The collection is sold exclusively online. Colville recently launched its first line of multi-colored household items which includes soft rugs made with organic vegetable dyes by weavers in Turkey, and jute rugs traditionally created by women in Bangladesh. It also features blankets that come from the Italian Paoletti mill, Disney prints. Tezenis’ latest products include Pink Panther and Tom & Jerry pajama lines for women, men, and children, in neutral colors such as pink and gray. Still in homewares, Disney’s beloved characters are a surefire source of joy and fun. Some of their recent products include cozy bathrobes by Winnie the Pooh, The Mandalorian and Stitch. The VHS line has cute nightgowns with playbills of Disney animation classics, such as Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, and for the younger set, pajamas with Donald Duck, the Little Mermaid, and Soul and Up. As a result of Covid19, many employees have found themselves in a new home office. The Maikii company offers many useful products for this contingency, like the Smart Set, a mix of tech objects that combines wireless technology and Bluetooth for a cable-free desk. It includes Gemini Bluetooth earphones; Pad, the mouse pad that also works as a 5W wireless charger for smartphones; and Click, the Bluetooth mouse. Other useful products from the 2021 catalog are: Bucket, a wireless charger and pen holder covered in cork; Chatty and Talky, microphone headphones for computers or laptops, with jack cable and external microphone, flexible shaft and adjustable
position; and Wally, a plug & play webcam with integrated microphone. All products are customizable, so companies can brand them with their own logos and graphics. Zara Home recently launched a luxurious pet collection for dogs, which includes products that provide at-home comfort such as: kennels with contrasting striped or floral print cushions; beds and baskets in natural fibers; an assortment of enameled, metal, and ceramic bowls; Colville Zara Home
which uses traditional materials and techniques introduced in Northern Italy by the Cistercian monks of the Middle Ages. Mango will launch its first homewares collection in April starting with soft and hard furnishing (pillows, towels, candles, etc.) for the bedroom, living room and bathroom. Kitchen and dining room products will be added in autumn / winter 2021. The aesthetics of this first collection reflects a sunny, refined Mediterranean style, with a contemporary design that combines neutral colors.
CHILDREN LOVE AUTOMOTIVE BRANDS By Alessandra Maccaferri Some of the most varied products for children come from automotive brands. Here is the latest news from some of the industry’s leading brands. A passion for engines can be born at a very young age, especially when it is embodied by well-known and beloved brands. For this reason, many popular automotive brands are thinking more and more about younger fans, creating toys, clothing and accessories inspired by their own products. Here they are some recent examples. For the Lamborghini brand, the company Jamara and K. recently announced two products for younger targets: the Lamborghini Centenario 3in1 ride-on, for children aged six months and over, offers a safe driving experience thanks to its stable and well-designed build. Total comfort is ensured by the seat height (just under 25 cm), the extendable footrests, and the specially designed antitip element on the back of the car. The radiator grille and iron rims are modeled on the original car. The steering wheel handle allows for easy grip; there is a horn and a fold-down trunk under the seat. A height-adjustable push handle with steering function, and ample side protection, ensure that children can be pushed comfortably and safely. Another new product is the Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 build-it-yourself kit in a 1:18 scale. Sián means lightning bolt in Bolognese dialect, a name that references the speed of the vehicle, which reached over 350 km/h: it is the first super sports car powered by a V12 engine with hybrid technology. The kit that honors this icon of engineering and technology has 72 parts and is built by simply joining up the various pieces, without the need for glue or other tools. The toy car’s designs
are an exact reproduction of those on the original’s chassis and bodywork. It is radio controlled, has an ergonomic remote control, and can reach speeds of up to 8 km/h. Lamborghini is also turning its attention to children’s clothing. An important development is the licensing agreement with Danish kid’s clothing specialist KABOOKI, for the production Lamborghini Children’s Apparel by KABOOKI
Lamborghini Children’s Rideable by Jamara e.k.
and distribution of the Automobili Lamborghini line, for children aged 4 to 14. The partnership kicked off with the autumn/winter 2020 collection distributed in Italy, Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom and the United States. “For the design we wanted an international look that would replicate the details of the cars in the clothes, such as the iconic Y shape, the hexagonal motifs and all the small details that Lamborghini
logo and a 3D embroidered shield, that will liven up the holidays; a new Ducati Corse t-shirt with original geometric water-printed graphic designs inspired by the racing world (the bright colors, Italian flag and contrasting central logo unleash
Ducati Panigale V4 R by LEGO Technic connoisseurs would immediately identify,” said Christopher Silcowitz, CEO of KABOOKI. “The design of the first collection was done in close collaboration
Ducati Corse Cup with Lamborghini and we were very happy with the first reactions of our buyers.” Ducati recently entered a partnership with Lego which brings to life a faithful reproduction of the iconic Ducati Panigale RV4. For the first time in the history of the Lego Technic line, the model features both front and rear suspension. The 4 cylinders of the V4 engine can be activated by moving the gearbox. It is 32cm long, 16cm tall and 8cm wide, and would make a great gift for any motorcycle enthusiast or Lego Technic fan over the age of 10. Other areas of interest for Ducati are clothing and accessories, starting with: bright red jacquard winter cap, with a white
T-shirt Ducati Corse
the Ducati passion with flair and style); and another t-shirt model with modern, asymmetrical graphics: red combined with white and black, like the racing cap, for a sophisticated and distinctly sporty look. The contrasting printed Ducati Corse logo and the attached shield patch make the garments look highly iconic. Ferrari has had an established line of clothing and accessories for boys and girls from 0 to 13 years for some time. Their products are branded with the company’s distinct red color and are continuously being renewed and updated. One of the most important partnerships Ferrari enjoys is with Puma, which recently
Shoes Scuderia Ferrari Race X-Ray by Puma
Porsche released a new generation of child seats, Porsche Tequipment, known for their safety, design, and ease of use. Two new models are available, the Porsche Baby Seat and the Porsche Kid Seat, which cover an age range from 0 to 4 years and comply with the i-Size standard required by new legislation. The unique design of the seats was created by Studio F.A., an agency working to develop the Porsche brand. The style of the seat belts is based on the 6-point belts of motorsport, and has Porsche logos on the harness straps and the sides of the
seats. Other safety features include side impact protection, which absorbs shock and controls movement in the event of a collision, and integrated headrest adjustment, to ensure a seat position that matches the child’s height. Volkswagen continues to expand its partnership with Puckator. In 2021 a fantastic new collection of products will be released, designed with graphics from the famous T1 camper in a summery theme. The products are mostly geared towards girls, with lunch bags, handbag
Ferrari Kit fxx k evo by Jamara e.K. released a line of children’s shoes from the Scuderia Ferrari Race X-Ray model. These sneakers have a dynamic and distinct look, which stays relevant while the child grows older. The trendy design of these sneakers stands out for its bulky structure and bold block color combinations. To emphasize the branding, the Puma logo appears on the toe and the legendary Ferrari Shield on the heel. Jamara and K also produce an 84-part kit for the Ferrari FXX K Evo radiocontrolled car, in a 1:18 scale. It perfectly reproduces the eponymous car, the most evolved and optimized version of the Ferrari FXX, and the first limited hybrid series created by the company.
Children’s Seats by Porsche Tequipment
Wolkswagen Beetle Kit by Playmobil mirrors and breakproof water bottles being of particular note. In early 2021 Volkswagen also partnered with Playmobil on toy kits for two of their most iconic cars, the Bulli T1 camper and the legendary Beetle. The Beetle toy comes in a 52-piece set as a family car, with the parents sitting in the front seats and the children in the back. On top of the car there is a roof rack with a suitcase and a surfboard, a car ready for a beach holiday. Similarly, the Bulli T1 is made up of a 74 pieces kit, two hippies at the wheel, and a camera and a map for their adventures. Both the Beetle and Bulli kits give life to vintage toys, with characters reminiscent of 60s and 70s fashion.
RETAIL, NEW TECHNOLOGIES IMPROVE SALES EXPERIENCE By Matteo Melani If until today we were convinced that innovating technologies and human contact would not go so far, then we should reconsider this position. In recent years many retail chains have been equipping their stores with new technologies that meet customer needs and accelerate business transactions. These upgrades involve every step of the retail process: from marketing to selling and paying.
SELF-SERVICE IN TRAVEL RETAIL
While speed of purchase is a necessity for traditional store customers, it is a top priority for travelers. During travel, especially long distance, shopping can also cause inconveniences leading to delays or missing a flight. For this reason, The Hudson Group, one of the largest store chains in travel facilities in North America, has introduced the automatic distribution of goods in 27 airports and at the Houston Space Center. By entering one of the points of sale, the customer can choose the product and pay for it at the checkout. “That doesn’t mean we lose customer contact,” said Ruth Crowley, Hudson Group’s Vice President of Merchandise Operations, “What we have tried to According to a recent Nielsen study, waiting in line is the number one cause of frustration for shoppers (37% of respondents), 23% stated that the purchase process was too long even when purchasing just a few products, and 20% complained that when looking for assistance, it was not available. Overall customers want more fluid solutions that do not eliminate human contact. One technology that fulfills this demand is selfservice check out, which allows you to pay
for products in less time than queuing in line. In terms of innovation, the United States has been at the forefront of this sales direction. Between March and September of 2020, contactless payments increased by 25%, while payment options such as buy now pay later are also on the rise. These are emerging as real buying trends in the United States and are being seen across all retail sales types, from shopping centers to pop-up stores.
Hudson Store at the Houston Space Center
INSTORE TECHNOLOGY (DIGITAL SIGNAGE)
Before selling a product, it has to be advertised and the point of sale must be attractive to the buyer. In addition to making consumers’ shopping experience easier, digital signage is also useful for improving the design of the store. These devices include displays, monitors, screens, and a variety of displays that allow you to access information and content in real time, with displays controlled remotely. Content can range from plain text and still images, to moving video with or without audio, with messages intended for entertainment, information or simply for advertising. A good example of how to benefit from digital-signage technologies is H&M which has equipped its stores with large monitors to display their promotional offers and latest product. Clothing is one area where the value of digital signage is indispensable, for example, by allowing
do is to humanize the elements of the technological experience.” In addition to choosing and paying for a product in the store, customers can make a purchase with the app and pick it up in the store. Hudson Group, however, has not stopped there: it signed an agreement with Amazon for Just Walk Out, a method that facilitates the sale of products using QRs codes scanned on a smartphone, starting this April at the Dallas airport.
customers to see if there is a particular item in your size.
WHICH STRATEGIES TO USE FOR THE FUTURE
At a time when technological innovation has forcefully entered the processes of most activities, strategies must be implemented to make the most of it. Like all investments, the financial benefit of new technologies take time to pay back but,
H&M store once they are installed, the advantages for customers are positive. In addition to installing new technologies, stores need to train staff both in operating the technology and in the related customer service. As for sales, it is necessary to implement uniform strategies in which the digital and the physical experiences are compatible, fulfilling the needs of consumers and encouraging them to return. For example, by creating loyalty programs that engage and reward customers through e-commerce and instore purchases. Connecting the online and in-store experience will future-proof businesses and allow shoppers to easily switch between the two, improving loyalty and keeping interest alive. In the future retail trade will continue to be geared towards innovation and efficiency.
INNOVATION IN BRANDEXPERIENCE: DIGITAL vs PHYSICAL SPACES By Matteo Melani In today’s era, where internet has eliminated distances, and the knowledge base of consumers has grown compared to before, brand-experience is played on several fronts: from digital to marketing to physical spaces.
Samsung Store Brand values don’t just provide information, but also convey emotions while simultaneously communicating clear messages to their targets. For example, Samsung, has made it possible for its user to take a virtual tour of its Milan store on its website. As for the in-person brand-experience, ReSignify Part One, an exhibition dedicated to the legendary fashion designer Valentino held in Shanghai last January, implemented many innovative methods of user involvement. It was in fact a real exhibition that was also delivered via n immersive multimedia journey that delved into the qualities that inspired Valentino’s creations at the turn of the twentieth century and the 2000s. Today, innovation has made it possible to embrace the brand-experience in both digital and physical spaces.
THE ONLINE BRAND EXPERIENCE: SAMSUNG AND SEPHORA CASE HISTORIES
In the digital world, it is essential to find new solutions involving the customer to communicate information, while attracting their interest and inviting engagement. Recently Samsung expanded the services available on its website to make the entire customer experience more functional. This latest initiative allows customers to take a virtual tour in the Samsung Smart Home, a technological showroom located inside the company’s Milan headquarters, to view available products in real time. “The personalization of the online pre-sales experience represents a fundamental choice criterion of the consumer, a consumer that increasingly demands more tailor-made consulting”, said Massimo Bullo, Head of Digital Transformation of
Samsung Electronics Italia. In addition to virtual tours, Samsung also introduced Masterclass, online training presented by a Samsung expert explaining all the characteristics and features of the new Galaxy S2, optimizing its use for daily activities. Bullo added, “The personalized relationship together with the immediacy and accessibility of our products and our innovations, is the basis of the services that Samsung.com is able to offer consumers today, to engage them, involve them, and maximize satisfaction with the pre-purchase experience.” But the internet is also an entertainment channel capable of reaching a large audience making it ideal for launching new products. To promote the arrival in January of the Elodie x Sephora
One of the Valentino’s Collection clothing present at the exhibition
collection, Sephora organized a digital streaming event on their site and Facebook page with different well-known artists, including the famous singer Elodie. The event started with an interview with Elodie by radio host Diego Passoni, and continued with a speech by Makeup artist Mr. Daniel, and ended with a performance by Elodie. This is a great example of how a brand-experience can be of high quality, even when it is virtual.
THE PHYSICAL DIMENSIONS OF THE BRAND-EXPERIENCE
Last January the Power of Station in Shanghai celebrated the Valentino The lights of Re-Signify Part One
collections that made the iconic fashion house famous around the world, with an exhibit contrasting the myth of the past and the functionality of innovation. In addition to Valentino’s dresses, the museum also exhibited artistic creations by Pierpaolo Piccioli, that dialogue
among them, emphasizing the processes that led the fashion house to hold the prestige reached so far. Walking through the virtual corridors of the structure, the user could watch large screens with videos of cinematographic scenes or lights (especially red) which, when followed, led to the exhibition spaces. The light installations and the background music enhanced the values of the works on display, such as the studs from the Rockstud collection or the Rock`n Rose perfumes. In addition to being an artistic juxtaposition, the installations also functioned in radical opposition to the objects on display. It was a brandexperience in which Valentino’s creativity was viewed through other forms of art. The choice of Shanghai as its location was not made by chance. China, in addition to being the first country in the world returning to normal following the pandemic, is the home of rich young audiences like Millenials and Generation Z. Thanks to the architecture and technology of the city, Power Station is the perfect location for the event. As the organizers explained, the purpose of Valentino’s Re-Signify Part One was specifically to pay homage to the Italian genius in a context of rebirth, where the road chosen represents a way forward for the younger generation: a message of recovery for this 2021.
RETAIL, THE NEW CHALLENGES OF SHOPPING MALLS By Matteo Melani Thanks to wide spaces and variety of offers, shopping centers play a major role in retail sales. On the other hand, in addition to traditional shopping, for customers it also represents a place where to entertain, and share, just thinking about how many faces and restaurants can be found walking along the aisles of the malls. As well as a cinemas or gyms. Hence, to remain on the market, we do not have to eliminate physical shopping centers, but update them to make them appealing to customers. Starting with the leisure areas. Like the Cammin de ‘Gigli shopping mall, so named in honor of Dante Alighieri, which extends over an area of more than 2,700 square meters of the I Gigli shopping center, and which creates an elevated avenue that integrates and harmonizes the various areas of the entire
Today, however, shopping attitudes are changing, and consumers are looking for new experiences. The restrictions due to Covid-19 have accelerated those practices such as click and collect, and the delivery, which until a few years ago were the preserve of the few brands. Nonetheless, the presence sales experience remains in first place among consumers, also because after a year of containment measures the desire to go out is great.
Cammin de’Gigli at the Shopping Mall I Gigli
zone. The project bears the signature of Design International studio. “These areas, surrounded by greenery, offer new services for the public, relaxation areas, co-working areas, restaurants, and a large playground area to entertain children, with a dinosaur theme, “I Giglisauri”. This next step of a traditional mall aims to bring added value to the current commercial offer. Some of the essential elements are the natural materials, the greenery, the ‘urban’ design, and the look inspired by open spaces. We add the work done on lighting, aimed at obtaining subtle scenographic effects”, explains Paolo Bianchini, design manager of Design International.
THE CHANGE BETWEEN TRADITION AND INNOVATION
The Play Zone at the Cammin de’Gigli
The evolution of shopping centers reflects the transformations of society as a whole: income of individuals, trends, working hours. In the last thirty years,
digitization of IMM retailers and help them increase their online presence. In addition to international brands, IMM has also involved small brands in the project that have never opened an e-commerce before. In addition to individual retailers, the initiative has also increased the brand awareness of the shopping mall, so the number of sales and deliveries has increased. Partnership inauguration between IMM and Shopee
department stores have grown both in quantity (in Europe there are more than 160 thousand shopping malls), and in quality (with the presence of specialized retailers, playgrounds for children and transport services for those coming from afar). In this 2021, however, the changes require even a faster execution, without sacrificing the value of the offer. A study held by WD Parteers identifies two levers that will push change: digital and entertainment in the physical place. As far as digital is concerned, e-commerce is an engine for the growth and visibility of the shopping center. The latest Cyber Monday recorded 10.8 million dollars in sales, with a decrease (also due to the pandemic) of 49% of the traffic in stores. As well as Black Friday, which saw online purchases prevail over offline ones. Despite everything, online must not eliminate the certainties of the real
IMM (International Merchandising Mart Mall)
world. In fact, for over 60% of respondents the food is the main attraction in the shopping centers. In addition to the restaurants, the interest also focuses on agricultural markets and take-away points. After food, well-being is the second theme that drives young and senior people to go to shopping centers, while for some, the search for a coworking station is a particularly good motivation.
THE EXAMPLE COMING FROM SINGAPORE
As illustrated by WD Partners, online commerce remains complementary to offline retail business. Far from this principle, IMM (International Merchandising Mart Mall) , the largest shopping center in Singapore, launched its full stores of Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in the country. The virtual mall aims to accelerate the
BUY, LEAVE AND WORK
With the outbreak of the pandemic, many companies have given their employees the opportunity to perform similar office tasks staying at home. But there are those who also work as a freelance, such as advertising, graphics, or translators, and therefore they can manage their own time and space as they prefer most, and their work everywhere. The chain of shopping centers of many countries has granted their own co-working spots. In order of time, in Italy, the last to be equipped with coworking stations is I Gigli shopping mall, which together with Findomestic has opened an area suitable for studying and working. The room includes chairs, tables, power sockets and access to the Wi-Fi connection. Thus, those who want to finish a job or consult some handouts before shopping can book a station and sit down. For shopping centers, the road to the future also considers the past.
INCLUSIVE MARKETING: DIVERSITY AS AN ADDED VALUE By Matteo Melani Advertising is not only a technique for communicating a brand or positioning products, but also a strategy for identifying one’s target audience, intercepting their values and beliefs. skin tones. There are also other areas of inclusive marketing which highlight diversity, such as the adaptation of physical locations for special events coming from other religions and countries. For example, over the last few years, stores and shopping centers have decorated areas with dragons or lanterns to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
THE VALUES OF MARKETING AND INCLUSION
To represent the diversity of today’s society, companies are adopting inclusive marketing strategies and communication tools to rethink stereotypes to which we are accustomed and represent minorities. Key diversity issues concern gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and physicality. Over the years, thanks to social movements, organizations, and individual activists, companies have become highly sensitized to the fight against discrimination of any kind, launching initiatives with inclusive marketing to advertise their brands. Mattel’s Barbie was among the first brands to put inclusion strategies into practice directly
through their products. Several years ago, they launched the Fashionistas collection, which includes a doll in a wheelchair, curvy Barbies and Barbies with different
Today, diversity has become a feature that forcefully entered our common lexicon and the choices of buyers. According to a Microsoft study on the purchasing attitudes and trends of Generation Z (young people born between 1996 and 2010), 70% of respondents said they trust most of the brands that represent diversity in advertising, while 49% said they have stopped buying products from companies that do not represent the values they believe in. But what are the main characteristics of an inclusive marketing message? First, it should have a simple message; second, it
must instill hope for the future through the recognition of people’s triumphs. As to the visual elements, images and videos must be real to ensure a genuine sense of inclusion and a positive connotation. The latest advertising campaigns by Zalando and Gucci, for example, contained all these prerequisites to represent inclusion by featuring Ellie Goldstein, a model with Down syndrome, to demonstrate that disability does not preclude style.
doll inspired by Yara Shahidi, the American actress and activist for gender equality.
THE OPPORTUNITIES OF THE CHINESE NEW YEAR
THE EXAMPLE OF BARBIE
Inclusive marketing is coming up with more and more revolutionary content than ever before, breaking traditional patterns. A number of brands have limited themselves to promoting diversity through communication, but Mattel has done even more by creating Barbies with many more real-life characteristics. Barbie has always promoted the ideal of perfect female beauty, often winding up at the center of criticism from psychologists and educators because of how unrealistic their representations of girls and women were. In this page examples of Barbie Fashionistas encouraging inclusiveness
To address the issue, Mattel has decided to re-create dolls with more realistic and representative physical characteristics, such as the disabled Barbie or Barbie with a prosthetic leg. By playing with a disabled doll, a young girl encounters diversity and, if she also has a disability, will have a more positive image of herself. The Fashionistas toy line includes other dolls that celebrate female identity in other areas as well, such as careers or the
Decorations for the Chinese New Year
In addition to manufacturing companies, shopping malls and stores can also implement an inclusive marketing strategy. February the 12th marked the Chinese New Year (a.k.a. the Lunar New Year),when the year of the Rat ends and the year of the Ox begins. As opposed to Western countries’ New Year celebrations, the Chinese New Year lasts 16 days and is celebrated by Chinese people with dances and red lanterns attached to the facades of shops and bars. The highlights are the Spring Festival, lasting from February 12th until February 22nd, and the Lantern Festival, from February 23rd through 26th. It is the most important and joyful holiday in China and in recent years has spread to cities around the world where there are large Chinese communities. To pay homage to the Chinese, some shopping malls have started decorating their locations with red decorations and dragon displays, while some other outlets have launched promotions such as discounts or benefits to be used during the Chinese New Year. So it seems that diversity and tolerance in society will become a permanent feature of advertising going forward.
A BRAND EXTENSION CASE HISTORY: STARBUCKS By Matteo Melani From Millennials to seniors and adolescents... For years, Starbucks has been selling its own branded food and beverages, through large-scale global distribution, reaching customer groups that go beyond young consumers.
when Starbucks implemented its brandextension strategy for branded stores and supermarkets around the world, experimenting with products never sold before. Between the end of November and the beginning of December 2020, it launched Starbucks Home, a limitededition line of packaged flavored coffees sold in physical stores. They included Starbucks Holiday Blend K-Cup pods (hazelnut flavored coffee pods), Peppermint Mocha Flavored K-Cup pods (mint chocolates), and Frappuccino Peppermint Mocha (cappuccino and chilli flavored The products that the famous chain of coffee shops distributes in supermarkets mainly consist of food stuffs and a beverage range, from coffee pods to refreshing drinks, which can be purchased by any type of consumer. Selling in supermarkets is a brand extension technique that, in addition to advertising its brand, allows Starbucks to acquire new customers. In fact, since many years Starbucks has opened its own branded coffee stores all over the world, catering to the preferences of an extremely wide audience: from office workers who want to have a coffee on their lunch break, to tourists who want to have a snack after visiting a museum. However, not all their products are distributed in every country where Starbucks is present. For example, last January in the US only, Starbucks launched a fruit juice line called Evolution Fresh in supermarkets and a small selection of health food stores. The only exception to this US campaign was last Christmas, when Evolution Fresh products were sold in supermarkets and hypermarkets around the world. In addition to these limited-
edition products, there are also those that can be found at any time of the year or can be ordered online. The growth in product sales in highstreets chains has prompted Starbucks to forge partnerships with several other brands. One such collaboration has been with Nestlè for the promotion of coffees that can be prepared at home such as Premium Insta Coffee, which has the same high quality 100% Arabica beans served in Starbucks coffee shops around the world. Starbucks’ strategy has proved to be effective both for regular customers, and for new clients.
WHAT’S NEW FROM LAST YEAR
Whether it is summer or winter, every season is perfect for Starbucks to offer new products. Last year alone it presented several lines of food products that filled supermarkets and hypermarkets shelves all over the world, such as refreshing fruit drinks (launched last summer in the UK) or pumpkin spice (sold in the fall in overseas markets). However, last Christmas was the moment
drink). So even if people had to give up going to coffee shops because of the restrictions, at least at Christmas they could consume Starbucks products in a different way. Another Christmas product sold in the EMEA region, was a collection of cups that change color according to the sensitivity of touch.
Given the success of Main Street Products, in 2018 Starbucks signed a new partnership agreement with Nestlè, to develop the Starbucks Premium Instant Coffee line, and other products compatible with Nespresso, Nescafè’s coffee machines, such as coffee beans,
ground coffee and Starbucks capsules. In just two years the products have reached 50 countries around the world, including Italy where coffee accompanies the most relaxing and convivial moments of the day. “The coffee ritual is a fundamental moment and in recent years there has been an ever-increasing attention to quality, new flavors and premium products. Starbucks® products are designed precisely to respond to a desire to approach new ways of understanding coffee, thanks to the combination of Nestlé’s experience and Starbucks® quality“says Federica Braghi, Business Executive Officer Nescafé & Nestlé Professional. “With Starbucks®, Nescafé® and Nescafé® Dolce Gusto®, we offer customers the best choice of coffee and a complete home coffee drinking experience that meets everyone’s tastes with high quality 100% Arabica coffee, iconic roasts and different extraction methods”. The launch of these products for largescale distribution in Italy took place one year after the opening of the Starbucks store in Milan, the only Starbucks in Italy to date. In addition to coffee, the partnership between the two brands has allowed for the inclusion of additional ingredients in sachets, to prepare different types of drinks, such as Starbucks Cappuccino, Cafe Latte, Cafe Mocha, Caramel Latte, Vanilla Latte and Tea-based matcha (Japan exclusive).
Russian licensing market is steadily growing despite pandemic By Eugene Gerden The Russian licensing market is steadily growing despite the pandemic and associated with it negative consequences, according to recent statements, made by representatives of some local licensees’ holders and domestic media reports. According to Elena Berezhkova, head of the licensing department of Melnitsa licensing agency, one of Russia’s leading licensing agencies, the pandemic has led to a significant increase in sales of products under domestic brands although led to the decline of share international brands in the local market. The economic crisis in Russia has also resulted in consolidation of the local licensing market. Lyudmila Tsoi, Commercial Director of the CTB Film Company, one of Russia’s leading film companies said strong, famous brands, which are widely represented on the largest TV channels (particular children TV-channels, such as Karusel, Mult, and some others) currently occupy leading positions in the Russian market.
Lyudmila Tsoi comments: “If you look at the crises of 2008 and 2014 in Russia, you can see that amid the times of turbulence, licensees choose the most popular brands, minimizing the risks that arise when choosing new projects.” According to Tsoi and other interviewed analysts, of all the brands presented in Russia (more than 270 at present), only the strongest licenses with a powerful marketing resource will continue to make profits at least in the short-term. The pandemic has also resulted in the change of structure of the Russian licensing market and the growth of certain categories, such as licenses based on computer games. There has been also a growth of sales of goods that help keep children busy at home - games, coloring
books etc. Most of leading local players believe the Russian market has big potential for a further growth. This is reflected to a stable interest from some foreign investors. For example, a couple of weeks ago the Japanese advertising and communication holding Dentsu Inc together with its Russian partners announced a project for the distribution of licensed anime in Russia. The volume of investments in the project will amount to $ 5 million in the next three years and will be used for the purchase of rights, localization and content marketing, The new company has already acquired the rights to a package of six anime titles (240 episodes), localized them and sold them to the local online cinemas ivi, Okko and More.tv. In the meantime, the development of the domestic licensing market in recent years has also become a priority for the Russian government. This is also reflected by the latest state decision to ease customs procedures for licensed goods in Russia. As part of this the information about the license issued by the government, issued in electronic form is automatically displayed in the information system of the customs authorities. This means that license holders will no longer need to submit to the authorized body reports on the implementation of licenses and certificates on their implementation.
THE LATEST HITS OF RUSSIAN ANIMATION AT ATF ONLINE + By Rossella Arena Russian animation is having growing global success. At ATF Online+ several Russian animation studios and media holdings presented their latest projects.
co-production of three other animated projects: the brand-new Amazing Cafe about the magical adventures of a little girl called Agatha; the sitcom Tweetville; and the musical series Boo the Cat and the Good Boy.
Russian animation is becoming more popular globally due to its high quality and exciting stories that have captured the hearts of children around the world. In recent years, animation has become the most popular genre of all Russian films released abroad, accounting for around 35-40% of the total box office.
It is particularly popular in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Many Russian animation studios and media holdings showcased their latest properties at the Asia TV Forum and Market - ATF Online +. Parovoz Animation presented the сomedy and adventure series Spaceport, set in the far future and populated by various species of living beings. The main characters are three outsiders: a human boy, a large alien, and a gruff robot. They spend their time in the intergalactic spaceport, facing constant misadventures and selling healthy fast food. They make common human mistakes, which viewers can relate to, and then deal with the consequences during the episode. The series is still at a development stage, and the company is seeking co-production opportunities. Parovoz Animation is also looking for international partners for the
Among the latest series from Wizart Animation is Backpack, which will be released in 2021. The show is about the adventures of Grisha, a four-year-old child, and her backpack inhabited by various characters: a piece of chalk, a sock, and a robot. Another project from the studio is the comedy series Tin’s Firebots, about a team of firefighting robots and their adventures. Both projects are open to coproduction. The company also presented the animated series The Snow Queen: Keepers of Wonders, a spin-off of the world-famous franchise; as well as: The Snow Queen: Mirrorlands; Sheep and Wizart Animation
France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Poland, Finland, Croatia, and Slovenia, following agreements with European distributors Arait Multimedia and Menart. After the success of the global launch of the first season, a sequel to the series will be released in 2021. Brand4rent is also looking for partners to co-produce Flora & Team, a project that focuses on ecological and environmental issues. AA Studio was created in 2010 and is now one of the largest 3D animation studios in Russia with in-house experts from ten different countries. At ATF they presented the Dragon Wish series in which unusual characters face difficulties, experience various adventures, become friends and
Wizart Animation Wolves: Pig Deal; and Fantastic Return to Oz. Sheep and Wolves: Pig Deal was the only Russian project selected for one of the world’s largest festivals, the Catalina Film Festival. Even though it was the only animated film in the competition, it won the Best Storyline award beating out all other contestants. In 2020, Wizart successfully concluded several major agreements in various international markets, seeing its animation enter the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Africa. The series were distributed by Signature, Miraj, Toonz Media Group and Vertical Entertainment. In 2021, the studio’s shows will be broadcast on key platforms across the East and West, with over 300 million potential viewers. Russian licensing agency brand4rent presented Monsikids, a preschool animated series dealing with emotional intelligence. It aims to teach children
brand4rent how to understand and manage their emotions. The project is already screening on Amazon Prime, Kidoodle.TV, and Ameba in the United States, and on the Xiaomi and Huawei platforms in China. It will soon be available on screens in
together learn to be kind to one another. Another new project is the animated series Mystery of Haunster, which revolves around the overcoming of fears and bad habits. AA Studio is seeking co-production partners for both projects.
Soyuzmultfilm, one of the oldest animation companies in Russia founded in 1936, introduced a new musical series for preschoolers, Rockoons. Produced in 3D, Rockoons features fun songs, catchy music, and a positive vibe. The main goal is to help develop imagination and a love of music. SMF is currently working on 15 new projects, including several in coproduction. The shorts were purchased by international buyers from China, France, Taiwan, Germany, and the United States. They have received numerous international awards. The studio’s collection was acquired by Israel, Great Britain, Greece, USA, and France.
Open Alliance Media Open Alliance Media is a studio specializing in the production, international distribution, and licensing of multimedia brands for the 2-9 age group. Its main property is animated series JingleKids, which follows the adventures of the little inhabitants and adorable furry animals of Jingle City, who experience familiar but funny situations in a magical world. The series has already found its way into Asia-Pacific, with sales to Indonesia, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Pakistan, and Mongolia. Open Alliance Media has three other projects from different animation studios: preschool animated series Tommy the Little Dragon, as well as two series open to international co-production: music series My World and Dr. Dinosaurus. Media Foundation produces 2D and 3D feature films and short cartoons. The company will introduce the market to: Sportaniya, an animated series that Soyuzmultfilm
Media Foundation introduces viewers to different sports and the foundations of a healthy lifestyle; and the 3D movie Jumper Treasure Hunting.
Other key projects from SMF introduced at ATF include an animated crime series The Secrets of Honey Hills; Claymotions, a series for younger audiences produced in a rare stop-motion technique; and The adventures of Peter and Wolf, a comedy series aimed at older children aged 9-12. Soyuzmultfilm will soon announce multiple deals with China for a series of animated shorts, Claymotions, Mr Theo, Cat & Dog, and The Adventures of Peter and Wolf. The animated series Rockoons, Claymotions, The Secrets of the Honey Hills have also grabbed the interest of Asian buyers, and many of them have also declared that they are waiting for the première of the brand-new series I’ll get you. SMF is also looking for coproduction partners for the new TV series Frosh, and the two reboots of the famous animation classics Scat-Cat and Umka.
At the last ATF, Riki Group presented their best-known animated series. The company is already represented in the Asian market and is currently developing a licensing program, working in partnership with Tencent and Alibaba Group. The company also presented some projects in development including Question Club, The Amazing Spoilers and Weatherville, the latter being awarded at the 2019 ATF animation pitch. During ATF Online+, Riki Group sold the rights to distribute the animated series The Fixies at PTS, Taiwan. The series will air nationally on PTS, PTS 3 and PTS Taigi. The company also received the exclusive rights to broadcast on freeto-air TV. In addition, an agreement with
Digital Television Russia The key project of media holding company Digital Television Russia is the animated series Puppies and Kittens. The series follows the tender adventures of the main characters in various life situations, and in their relationships with the world around them. Other important animated series are Be-be-bears, already well known to Asian audiences, starring a brown bear named Bucky, a polar bear named Bjorn and their friend Littlefox; and Leo and Tig, with the little leopard Leo, the tiger cub Tig and their monkey friend LiLi. The list also includes Fantasy Patrol, which follows the thrilling adventures of four young witches, and Heroes of Envell, starring four gamer friends. Agama Film, founded in 2017 by Dmitry Loveiko, co-producer of the Masha and the Bear series, attended ATF with Fairyteens, an adventure fantasy series for 6-8 years old girls. The series follows the story of five fairies who live in a human apartment, and focuses on fundamental themes such as friendship, studies, communication, and much more.
Riki Group Finally, Riki Group is a leader in creating animated media brands for the whole family. Since the company’s launch in 2003, characters from their animation brands Kikoriki, The Fixies, Pincode, Babyriki and Tina & Tony have taken the world by storm with billions of views to date. The group’s series are broadcast in 90 countries and have been translated into 50 languages and dialects. Their Marmalade Media division manages the licensing of their many brands.
a Hong Kong TV channel will soon be announced, following the results from the latest Asian market. Since it first aired in 2010 The Fixies has become not only one of the most popular Russian animation series, but also a global brand that continues to grow year after year. It was acquired by Amazon Prime Video and Tubi, while Tencent Video signed an agreement to acquire the rights to the fourth season. In 2021 Riki is partnering with Da Vinci Media to broadcast The Fixies in multiple territories including South Africa, India, United Kingdom, Ireland, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Portugal, and Brazil, in English and local languages. And finally, the PlayKids platform has welcomed The Fixies in the US, UK and Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Panda and Krash, a 3D animated series that follows the adventures of an impulsive little rabbit and a loyal panda, premiered in China in January, and will soon be available in Brazil.
SOUTH KOREAN ANIMATION
THE SUCCESS OF SOUTH KOREAN ANIMATED SERIES By Alessandra Maccaferri South Korea continues to make successful animated series which inspire the development of many highly coveted consumer products. Here is the latest news and previews of some of these animation studios. South Korea is extremely active in the animation sector and year after year its productions have grown in number and quality. The well-designed, colorful, and original characters lend themselves to a wide variety of product categories. Here is the latest news from a few of these established case studies. CrazyBird Studio, founded in 2000, manages several IPs from animated series, movies, and webtoons, among others. One of these is Boing: The PlayRanger, an animated preschool series set in Playville playground, where the lion Boing and his friends are city rangers. Through their teamwork they convey important values such as friendship, communication, overcoming difficulties, responsibility, a sense of humor and above all collaboration. After
two seasons of the series The Secret of Supertransformation, a 72-minute feature film, is in the works. The movie is a prequel to the series that tells the story of Boing moving to Playville and starting the academy that made him a super playranger, ready to courageously protect his city.
Tori’s picture diary
Tori Tori, an extremely funny little girl who inspires young viewers to laugh and dream through the exaggerated fantasy world particular to animation. The series is 24 episodes of 11 minutes, in Korean and English language, and will be completed by July 2021. Also starring the same characters, Tori’s picture diary, is a 72 x two-minute episode series planned for a December 2021 delivery. In each episode a short story is told through musical nursery rhymes.
Chatty Tori Tori
Poster of the Animated Feature Film Boing – The secret of Supertransformation
Characters of the Animated Series Boing: The PlayRanger
At the December 2020 online Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), CrazyBird Studio also announced the production of preschool series Chatty Tori Tori starring
Operating since 2013, Anyzac is a studio specializing in 3D animation and in creating any type of content with the input of a large group of experts. Their first property was the animated series Zombiedumb, where a human girl fights young zombies who gather on Moon Street. Zombiedumb generated two television seasons and lots of consumer products in the apparel and toy categories, such as plush and action figures. Anyzac recently launched the Time Traveler Luke series, where adventure and action save the day. Burdened with a mission as “keeper of the relics,” Luke uses a mysterious elevator to embark on a journey through time in search of his
Time traveler Luke
grandfather Paul. But he meets Indiana, another time traveler who wants all the world’s treasures for himself. Thus begins the fight between the boy who tries to save the world’s relics and Indiana who wants to steal them. Next is In: app, an animated comedy, sci-fi and fantasy series, currently in production and which will air in 2021. It shows how life goes on inside a smartphone, where there is always something to do, and you never rest. Novice cops Robin and Jacky take care of every problem, and they immediately jump into action whenever a mistake occurs. Jacky follows the rules, while Robin follows his instinct. In addition to presenting its new properties at ATF, Anyzac Studio also announced
that due to its growth in recent years, it will adopt an outsourcing strategy for the care of its projects going forward. Monster Studio is an animation studio founded in 2015 by Jihwan Jung and Hyunah Ko, who previously participated in the production of major animated series such as Pororo and Princess Sofia. Bread Barbershop is their first original project which debuted in Korea in 2019 and is quickly gaining great international success. With a 6–10-year-old target audience, the series is set in a world where all the characters are different types of food. The protagonist is a slice of bread, Bread Pitt, a master cake designer who welcomes baked goods such as cupcakes to his Barbershop. The hairdos he creates are elaborated
Products inspired by the TV series Bread Barbershop
books...); games (mobile game Bread Run); food (cupcake BreadBarber shop X Manofin, cookie Pulmuone...); and many more. Even a line of children’s dental hygiene products was recently created, featuring kids’ toothbrushes, toothpaste, and mouthwash.
Products inspired by the TV Series Bread Barbershop
decorations, which somehow manage to positively transform the lives of customers, solving their problems. After gaining immense popularity at home, the series was launched on Netlfix in Europe and in America in spring 2020, gradually landing in the top 10 most viewed World TV programs on the popular streaming platform. In Korea the second season is currently airing on seven channels with excellent results, including first place on Tooniverse. The licensed products from the series have spread widely in bars, cinemas, and shops, as well as in supermarkets and bakeries. New licensing agreements have allowed for the development of different product categories such as toys (sets with action figures, paper toys...); stationery (boxes, notebooks, diaries...); publishing (coloring books, sticker
Sticker book – Bread Barbershop
Toothpaste Bread Barbershop
Brush Bread Barbershop
ANIMATION BUSINESS CONFERENCE
ANIMATION BUSINESS CONFERENCE, BETWEEN POST BREXIT AND FINANCING By Andrea De Amicis At the end of 2020 the Children’s Media Conference team organized the Animation Business Conference, a day of webinars that explored the development and funding of animation projects. Kingdom, as this issue has not been agreed yet. People who did not apply for residence status before December 31, 2020, can now only be hired by obtaining the extremely expensive skilled worker visa.
Speakers at the webinar webinar Brexit and Beyond The Children’s Media Conference recently organized the Animation Business Conference (ABC), a day of webinars dedicated to the animation business. The main focus was on exploring the development and funding of animation projects, both in the UK and internationally. The Brexit and Beyond webinar, moderated by writer Chris Jarvis, took stock of the changes that will take place in the business, following the enforcement of the new Brexit agreements in January 2021. Anna Mansi of the British Film Institute (BFI) confirmed that English animation would continue to be considered a European cultural product: the current tax breaks and cultural tests
on content will not change, and coproductions will continue to be made. The thorniest point, discussed by Phil Dobree of Jellyfish Pictures, concerns the hiring of workers that do not reside in the United
Courtesy Gerry Shirren
Despite the difficulties, Dobree is sure that Jellyfish will continue its engagements as they are experiencing a strong demand for content from platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, Apple and Universal, with enough work for at least 2-3 years. Gerry Shirren, Managing Director for Cartoon Saloon, explained that in addition to the European conventions, there are specific agreements between Ireland and the United Kingdom like the MOU, which defines the Common Travel Area (CTA) allowing the Irish to work in the UK. Otherwise, there have been no other changes to the production and sale of goods in both the UK and Ireland. Coproductions can also go ahead if the
channels TG4 (Ireland), S4C (UK) and BBC Alba (UK and Scotland), together with the Irish Language Broadcast of the Northern Ireland Screen. Aardman will manage the distribution. Marcin Sobczak of the communication agency This Way Publicity, spoke about the importance of developing projects as internationally as possible, carefully planning communication and licensing. He advised creatives to use crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Marcin had great success with the promotion of Loving Vincent, an Oscar-winning, Golden Globe nominated
Courtesy Creative England lead company is based in the UK, for example, companies like Cartoon Saloon have ongoing productions with France for Disney UK. Moses Nyachae of Saffery Champness clarified that there are no advances on the tax change, but for the VAT tax there could be changes based on the various negotiations. He hoped that the tax credit could be raised, which the other webinar experts agree on. Lisa Logan of Simkins LLP focused on legal details. For IPs there will be a more detailed withdrawal agreement and in European trademarks, English rights will be managed independently and separately from other rights. The greatest impact of Brexit is manifested in the voiding of licenses for television broadcasters in Europe, which will lead to the loss of hundreds and hundreds of contracts. In the What’s the Deal? Webinar, moderator Rosemary Klein of Industry Media talked about how to find funding for creative projects. A great resource in
the UK is the Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF), funded by the government and managed by the BFI, which supports the creation of high-quality content for young audiences. One project that has benefited from this fund is Odo, a preschool animated series, in which the smallest owl at Forest Camp is determined to prove that despite its size it is as capable as any larger bird. Colin Williams of Sixteen South has announced that with Odo in its final phase of preproduction, he wants to teach children to believe in themselves, and fight the alarming rise in childhood anxiety and
Sol by Paper Owl Films
depression. Another project which received YACF funding is Sol, an animated short film lasting 28 minutes. It features a child who sets out in search of the light that has gone out in the world, while trying to overcome the pain of his grandmother’s death. Grainne McGuinness of Ireland’s Paper Owl Films commented that the project was produced in Irish and Scottish, and was therefore financed by local
Loving Vincent animated film about Van Gogh. Nick Cavander introduced the agency he is part of, Creative England, which helps freelancers and creative industries find funding within the UK to continue developing their own work, and support film and TV projects. They are interested in investing in animation companies and think they can offer a lot in this sector. They also collaborate with banks to provide a low-interest loan for creative companies, which can range from 7% for more established companies, up to 15% for the riskiest ones, with finance ranging from 100,000 to 500,000 pounds.
Odo by Sixteen South
BRANDS SHOULD CAPITALISE ON BOOM IN ONLINE CONSUMPTION & SHOPPING By Insights People Brands and retailers should focus their marketing spend on new and emerging platforms to target the right audience. The Insights People Media Mix Compass has been created to help brands improve ROI across their advertising and marketing spend. enable creators to add product listings to their Reels clips, which enables viewers to make purchases without having to switch between different platforms. Brands should also keep track of which platforms kids are using to reach their target audience more effectively. At the same time, Google is testing a new integration with Shopify to enable an ecommerce feature on YouTube videos. 10-15 year-old German teens are most inclined to use YouTube to keep track of
The Insights People, a leading global in kids, parents and family marketing intelligence, surveys more than 5000 children every week aged 3-18 in 13 countries across five continents and in total surveys more than 340,000 kids a year. According to the Kids Insights data, the popularity of online shopping has increased significantly during the pandemic. For example, 40% of German teens are spending much of their money online. In France older teens are driving the trend of online shopping becoming the norm, with a +22% year-on-year increase in the number of 16-18s spending the majority of their money online. In Italy
compared with Q4 2019, teens’ and tweens’ spending online increased +28%. Interestingly, across all age groups, teens are most inclined to use Instagram to keep up to date with their favourite shops (36% in Germany, indicative of 1.6M). In France, teens who keep up to date with their favourite shops on Instagram (29%) over-index on being more likely to buy products because of seeing them advertised (+40%). In Spain 73% of teen girls spending an average of 1 hour 33 minutes per day in Instagram. To further capitalise on the growth of online shopping, Instagram integrates shopping tags to its Reels function to
their favourite shops (33%, indicative of 1.4M), shoppable YouTube videos are expected to become a major virtual shopping destination for kids. Across all European markets that The Insights People survey, Spanish tweens were most inclined to shop offline by a majority (75%), and were also the second most likely to report cash as their preferred payment method (76%), behind only Germany. However, a gradual shift towards online shopping has been witnessed among this demographic as +49% more tweens have reported to mostly shop online since the beginning of the year. French tweens rank 4th in offline spending, Mexico (73%) and Russia (77%). In terms of the choice brands for shopping in Italy, Nike is the favourite shop among preschool boys (4.8%), girls the same age show the most significant interest in H&M, more than double the interest in Zara, the second favourite brand, with an increase of +26% from last quarter. French toddlers give preference JouéClub which increased popularity +46%. Spanish kids have reported Juguettos as their favourite brand, overtaking Zara to become the most favourite high street shop.
saw significantly lower rates of device ownership amongst 6-12s than is seen today: 37% have mobile phone ownership compared with 46% now. Currently, Italian kids spent between the ages of 10 and 12 spend an average of 1 hour 11 minutes per day playing video games: an increase of +16% since March 2019. In Germany children play for 58 minutes per day. Almost the same result in Spain – 57 minutes per day. Mostly they use mobile apps or PC gaming instead of consoles. This is further supported by the fact that Q4 2020 shows a total of 27% of kids (10-12) ranking the top 5 mobile apps as their favourite overall video game, compared with only 20% in Q2 2019. It can give brands opportunities for in-game advertising and product placement could grow with this audience in the future. As part of its latest innovation, The Insights People have developed a new
media planning tool – called Media Mix Compass, which shows the power of each media type for a specific audience. The tool is the first real-time media tool of its kind. The Media Mix Compass provides an independent account of kids’ media consumption which will help improve brands decision making, in an increasingly fragmented ecosystem. With a 360° view of kids, tweens, and teens ecosystems, brands can segment the data on a global, country, regional, gender or age view, or by their specific attitudes, behaviors and consumptions. Kids today have more influence and decision-making power within the home than any other previous generation. This is true for categories such as toys & games or streaming platforms as you could expect. But also, we see kids’ influence growing over many other new categories, such as the purchase of a new car. It is therefore more important than ever before to reach and engage kids.
2019 was a vastly different digital and offline landscape for kids in Italy. Q2 2019
To learn more about the Kids Insights Media Mix Compass, and to receive complimentary access to the tool and a copy of an example report please visit: www.kidsinsights.com/mediamix To learn more about the attitudes, behavior and consumption patterns of kids, parents and families, and to get freemium access to the Insights People real-time data portal, please visit: http://kidsinsights.com/licensingmagazine/
Kazachok’s 20th anniversary special Kazachok is an agency that has specialized in advising on events, brands and partnerships since 2001. It is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021. LM interviewed Nathalie Chouraqui, the agency’s General Manager, to learn more on the future events and this special anniversary.
Nathalie Chouraqui Kazachok is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021: what is your perspective on the licensing industry? Licensing sure has changed immensely over the past 20 years! It went from being a very new and high-growth field - in which everything was yet to be undertaken - to a market that must constantly reinvent itself, and most importantly, its business model. It’s more segmented and diversified than ever, with abundant and extremely creative opportunities for buyers. Those same buyers have become more demanding. Their behavior patterns in terms of contents are more versatile, due partly to platforms and streaming services. Furthermore, they want purchasing licensed products to be meaningful.
How did your business evolve over the past 20 years? We established this market step by step and provided a framework. Indeed, in the beginning, we launched the Kazachok Licensing Guide, whose ambition was to identify the various licensing players. Then in 2003, we professionalized the market by launching our newsletter Licensing News (now K-News) and providing consulting; in 2004, we launched the Kazachok Licensing Magazine; and soon thereafter, a trade fair, The Kazachok Licensing Forum, so that market players could physically meet in various prestigious venues in Paris. Based on the strength of its success, The Kazachok Licensing Forum also evolved in order to better meet brands’ expectations
by becoming Cobrandz! Collabs, Contents, Co-branding & Copyright, Cobrandz has established itself as a real contents hub. This new kind of event enables brands better expression and exploitation of brand content by enlarging the pool of visitors and exhibitors. Today, in the digital era, we are launching the latest Kazachok creation Brandz Data, a platform dedicated to brands and their content - the logical continuation of the initial printed version! What is your strategy for 2021 and beyond? Under the very particular circumstances of the pandemic, we were forced to reshape our events so that our clients can continue to meet and remain updated on market evolution. As I explained we just launched a brand new brand information and connection platform: Brandz Data. We’re very proud since it represents years of archive collection and market watch. It allows access to the interactive database of licensing players as well as daily updated content thanks to news, interviews and reports. Furthermore, you can access marketing brand data to keep a proactive watch on brand possibilities over the next 2 years called Brandz Review. Moreover, in January 2021, we set up the first Brandz Keynote, a 100% virtual event, in which brands showcase their strategy to meet potential partners on a one-to-one basis, whether they might be advertisers, manufacturers, communication agencies or retail players. The next edition will take place on April 8th, 2021. Last but not least, the 2nd Edition of Cobrandz is scheduled for July 1st & 2nd at La Grande Crypte de Paris and we are proud to make it possible for market players to meet in person!
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UNMISSABLE DIGITAL EVENTS BY BCBF
APRIL 22, 2021 CONTENT REIGNS SUPREME. NEW DIGITAL LANDSCAPES IN PUBLISHING AND LICENSING
MAY 11, 2021 INTERNATIONAL KIDS LICENSING DAY
The event is curated by BCBF
The event is curated by BCBF and BLTF, in partnership with Licensing Magazine
This special Masterclass combines the rich cross-media expertise of BCBF and BLTF, from publishing through licensing and digital: an intense day of sessions and insights into the main global trends in children’s content development, reserved for professionals in the publishing, licensing, media, and digital fields.
Discover in one day the hottest, not-to-be-missed licensing properties for children to re-launch your business, as well as the main trends to follow to re-boost your business.
MEDIUM: live conference on ZOOM, pre-recorded contents and exclusive dossiers THE COMPLETE PROGRAMME OF THE EVENT AND THE REGISTRATION will be available by March 30th at the link http://www.bolognachildrensbookfair.com/en/open-up/contentreigns-supreme-new-digital-landscapes-in-publishing-andlicensing/10622.html
MEDIUM: Live conference on ZOOM, pitches, Dossiers and matchmaking service MEDIUM: Live conference on ZOOM, pitches, Dossiers and matchmaking service THE COMPLETE PROGRAMME OF THE EVENT AND THE REGISTRATION will be available by April 12th at the link http:// www.bolognachildrensbookfair.com/en/open-up/the-hottestbrands-and-the-latest-trends/10656.html