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#02| 2020

LICENSING | BRANDING | MEDIA&DIGITAL | PUBLISHING TRADE MAGAZINE

INDUSTRY NEWS

COMMUNICATING BRANDS IN THE TIME OF THE VIRUS

NEW RETAIL CHALLENGES

LICENSING INDUSTRY REACTIONS TO COVID


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Editorial

Dear reader It’s great to welcome you to this special issue – albeit in somewhat unusual circumstances. Like other trade publications, Licensing Magazine usually arrives around the time of the major international B2B events. However, as all we know, so far this year any such agenda has been turned upside down – or, rather, canceled. We have all been forced to social distance, to stay at home, to slow down and, in many cases, to stop. We have faced a long period of relative inactivity, but one that has enabled us to re-assess our priorities and re-think our business models. Many of us have come to understand – we certainly have – that the ‘old patterns’ had to be reviewed. We may have been disorientated and confused at first, but we have all felt the need to stay connected, to update each other, to make new plans for the future and to conceive innovative strategies for our industry. Above all, we have come to understand that we need to look again at the content and values we bring to our businesses. It’s a new approach, and one that is equally applicable to brands, whose strength in the future will be assessed on the added value they can offer, and on paying greater attention to the changing requirements of both fans and consumers. Some communication strategies have already adjusted. Many of us have enhanced our rich online and social media activity, and been rewarded with a strong following. This magazine has also been pursuing this strategy – and we are excited to be followed by such a large, international and diverse community. These are some of the themes that we address in this issue. But this issue brings together many other thoughts, approaches and ideas inspired by the time we are living in – not only in the form of news from the main market players, but – through exclusive content and interviews –in analysis of this period and how it has affected our industry. We hope you find it both informative and encouraging. And we very much hope to see you again soon.

DIGITAL VERSION

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As always, enjoy reading!

@LMLicensingMag @Licensing Magazine PUBLISHER BM Srl EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Cristina Angelucci GRAPHIC DESIGN Francesca Wolfler SPECIAL THANKS TO Rossella Arena, Alessandra Maccaferri, Andrea De Amicis, Sara Caravati, Giulia Cavalli, Jane Garner, Vaughan O’Grady, Katie Roberts-Mason, Nick Richardons, Kristin Morency Goldman PUBLISHING, ADVERTISING AND ADMINISTRATION BM Srl - Via Po, 14 - 10123 Torino, Italy Ph. +39 011 1921 1996 info@bm-eu.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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Contents

10

Cover story 12

THE POKÉMON COMPANY INTERNATIONAL The Pokémon Company International increases its presence in Italy

News 46

PANINI The 2020 Panini brand licensing plan

50

RAINBOW 44 Cats’ success keeps growing

News 16

VIACOMCBSNETWORKS A global leader

Interview 54

GRUPPO ALCUNI Content tailored for a fastchanging market

74

News 58

62 26

Interview 20

PLANETA JUNIOR Focus on the future

26

SANRIO Meeting with Silvia Figini

MONDO TV CONSUMER PRODUCTS From a brand new innovative tv series to a big children’s classic: the winning combo of Mondo TV

34

WILDBRAIN CPLG WildBrain CPLG: creativity that really stands out

38

EL OCHO LICENCIAS Y PROMOCIONES A landmark in Spain

40

ETS LICENSING Innovation, tradition and strategic partnerships

ATLANTYCA ENTERTAINMENT Berry Bees: spy story and fashion

64

MAURIZIO DISTEFANO LICENSING An agency that answers to all needs

66

TEAMTO Mighty Mike: the funniest pug on tv ready for licensing

News 30

HASBRO Hasbro plans for the future as the new big entertainment company

40

News 68

CICABOOM The conquest of Letrabots

70

SBABAM Sbabam makes news on the newstands!

72

WSC From digital to licensing

74

PREMIUM LICENSING New fashion inspired by classic characters

76

IMC TOYS Cry Babies. The new licensing hit


Contents

Events 118

BCBF & BLTF 2020 Bologna Children’s Book Fair and Bologna Licensing Trade Fair Online Edition. Redefining the future

Trends 124 110

Media&Digital

Trends 127 78

TRENDY THEMES Eternal flowering

CORONAVIRUS How licensing industry is reacting to the coronavirus emergency

130

FASHION Gender-neutral fashion for children who don’t want to conform

132

TEENS Tapping into the teen market

136

GREEN The future is always greener

Focus 92

EVENTS Licensing Expo goes virtual

94

SESAME WORKSHOP Caring for each other

Events 96

98

100

100

104

COMMUNICATION Stay home, stay safe, have fun

138

110

CORONAVIRUS The new challenges of retail

140

FASHION Children’s fashion: where style meets sustainability

EVENTS “IRL” toys tap into digital properties & viral online trends

Trends

Trends 114

CARTOONS ON THE BAY 2020 finalists announced

Focus

Retail

PEA & PROMOPLAST The future of promotion: change and renewal LEOLANDIA From challenges to innovation

Events

Trends

VIRTUAL EVENTS Events move online

Interview

ANIMATION The growth of the Polish animation industry

Trends

Industry Analysis 80

PUBLISHING Reading increases among children during lockdown

142

KIDS INSIGHTS The new challenges for kids on 2020

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Cover Story

THE POKÉMON COMPANY INTERNATIONAL

The Pokémon Company International Increases its Presence in Italy Fresh from the exciting activity around Pokémon Day on last 27 February and following epic success in 2019, global phenomenon Pokémon is set for another important year in 2020 Its three staple pillars of Video Games, Trading Card Games and Animation continued their outstanding performance, with record-breaking sales and increasing fan-base. In addition, Pokémon continued its reputation for innovation with its first ever live action movie, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, a box office hit in 2019, and a host of recent and forthcoming apps providing ever more exciting ways for fans to connect.

RAISING THE GAME Last November’s Video Game release, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield was a runaway success, being the fastestselling Nintendo Switch titles ever and the highest-grossing launch of any Pokémon games, with more than six million units sold worldwide during launch weekend.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX

Now two expansions are set to arrive this year. The two separate adventures – June’s The Isle of Armor and Autumn’s The Crown Tundra – will enable fans to meet new characters, catch newly discovered Pokémon, and explore new areas in the Galar region. Recent release Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, which revisits the classic 2006 games Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team, is already proving a hit with fans. Now exclusively on Nintendo Switch systems, the game features updated visuals and a stunning picture-book art style. Meanwhile, following the huge success of last year’s live action movie and tie-in Nintendo Switch VG, a Detective Pikachu sequel game is already in development.

Pokémon continues to be the world’s leading Trading Card Game and has been shipped to 77 countries and regions in 13 languages. February’s first Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield expansion, features Pokémon V and Pokémon VMAX – powerful new cards that will play an important role in players’ strategies.


Cover Story

in the Pokémon world, where Pokémon battles have developed into a cultural sensation, the series shows the dreams, realities, challenges and conflicts facing Galar’s residents. New episodes, each around five minutes in length, are released every month until the series concludes this summer, and fans can subscribe to the official Pokémon YouTube channel for alerts to new episodes.

INNOVATIVE APPS

SCREEN STAR Pokémon animation also continues to go from strength to strength. Licensed for broadcast in 169 countries and regions in over 30 languages, it is available to viewers in Italy on K2, with Series 23 due later this year. Movie 22 - Pokémon: Mew two Strikes Back – Evolution premiered on Pokémon Day on Netflix globally (outside Japan/Korea). Inspired by one of the most popular stories in the long-running franchise, it welcomes a new CGI style to animated Pokémon movies and was a major hit in Japan, where it premiered as one of the top-grossing films during its opening weekend last year. And there was another treat for animation fans with the launch of brand-new sevenpart online series Pokémon: Twilight Wings in January on Pokémon’s YouTube channel. Set in the newly explorable Galar region

Estathe

In July 2016 ground-breaking app Pokémon GO started a revolution in mobile gaming. Since then it has amassed more than a staggering one billion downloads globally, with some 150m global users per month and regular Pokémon GO fests held worldwide and continues to introduce exciting new elements. This year the much-anticipated Pokémon Sleep app is set to do for sleep what Pokémon GO did for walking, as it aims to turn sleep into entertainment.

A new cloud service app, Pokémon HOME, launched in February for Nintendo Switch and mobile, allowing fans to gather Pokémon caught in supported Pokémon video games, transfer select Pokémon

into Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, trade Pokémon with other players on the go, and more.

HOT AT RETAIL The appetite for Pokémon product continues to grow across a huge range of categories, helped in no small part by the extremely high profile of the boxoffice smash Pokémon Detective Pikachu, the first-ever live action Pokémon film. The strength of the Pokémon brand and its ability to bring customers into retail aisles in 2019 led to its selection as a finalist for Licence of the Year by The Toy Association. Following 2019’s strong year of collaborations, promotions and retail activations – which included a Bershka event in-store in Milan and Paris for a S/S 2019 collection launch, and toy and TCG promotions with Gallerie Bennet and Italy’s top toy retailer Toys Center – 2020 has already seen more exciting activity, including special retail promotions around Pokémon Day, with more to come. Pokémon fashion enjoyed a fantastic 2019 in Italy – not just on the highstreet, but also in the premium segment.

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Cover Story

Geox followed its first award-winning Pokémon collection with a second range for S/S 2019 featuring eight vibrant new designs created for endless adventures, including trendy light-up sneakers, which was launched across Europe and the US in January. Pokémon also collaborated with luxury Italian street-wear brand GCDS on an adult capsule range for men and women in their S/S 2019 collection, presented at Milan Fashion Week. Iconic characters Pikachu and Jiggly puff appeared on exciting urban apparel and accessories, which launched globally in February 2019. From the collaboration between Pokémon and the eclectic designer Jeremy Scott, the SS 2019 adult capsule reached the stores in February last year and it was characterized by the iconic character of Pikachu, presented at the American designer’s fashion show during the New York Fashion Week. The adult capsule was followed by a Mini-Me version for the Jeremy Scott Junior Collection which was available in best fashion boutiques and department stores around the world from September of the same year. Funky fashion company IKKS Junior produced an exciting new premium capsule collection of high-quality urban T-shirts and sweatshirts in May, while also that month Pokémon launched DTR ranges with millennial favourites Bershka and Pull&Bear which proved so successful that a second range at both followed in November.

Celio In October, leading men’s fashion company Celio launched an exclusive capsule collection of premium daywear and accessories with a special pop-up in their stores. The range of chic leisure wear included T-shirts and sweatshirts along with contemporary accessories such as sneakers and a backpack, all celebrating iconic Pokémon characters. Meanwhile, extended DTR relationships with leading fashion stores Zara and H&M have seen new lines in Zara Kids and expanded adults and kids ranges in H&M.

Bershka

New for 2020 is a collaboration with Adidas on a collection of apparel and shoes for children and adults that celebrate the iconic Pokémon video game franchise with classic 8-bit graphics. Featuring both adult and youth styles, the

partnership sees classic Adidas tracksuits, t-shirts, pants, shorts, and three types of shoe given a classic gaming refresh. The collection, launched in January, is available at Adidas stores worldwide and online. Another exciting fashion collaboration, with contemporary street-wear company Eleven Paris, is due to launch this autumn. Presented at Pitti Bimbo in January, the kids’ premium collection comprises stylish t-shirts, jumpers, knitted sweatshirts and hoodies. Available in all Eleven Paris’ stores and online from September, the collection will have high-profile support including 10 days of store windows, dedicated POS, a collection photo shoot + look-book and a website takeover. Last year was also a strong one for Pokémon toys, with massive visibility in Europe. In Spain, El Corte Inglés ran a


Cover Story

GCDS retail activation in Q4 with branded bays in 87 stores and a snow globe photo call in their flagship store in Madrid in December. A flurry of activity in Italy in May to coincide with the Pokémon Detective Pikachu movie launch included branded bays in Mondadori and Toys Center, while hypermarket Bennet’s special Pokémon activations featured a malls tour including trading play events, Nintendo demo pods and costume character appearances.

GCDS Four new food promotions ran in Spain in 2019 supported by TV ad campaigns: Tostarica and Tostarica Bizcochito, Phoskitos and La Piara. The latter saw the snack company produce special giveaway Pokémon snack holders, along with a Let’s GO Pikachu/Eevee Edition Switch sweepstakes over a six-month promotion which ended this January. Launched in February 2020, Pokémon teamed up with Ferrero Estathé, the most popular tea-based drink in Italy. Twelve of the most loved Pokémon and their Evolutions decorate the iconic Ferrero brick for its lemon and peach-flavoured decaffeinated range. The promotion, supported by social media communication, has already gone viral among Pokémon fan who immediately started looking for the Pokemon by Estathé collection in stores hopping to complete their collection!

GCDS

With more exciting releases and collaborations in the pipeline across its pillars and products, Pokémon is enjoying

another action-packed year as its constant innovation and connection with fans old and new keeps it at the forefront of entertainment. Looking ahead Pokémon is planning exciting activations to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2021. GCDS

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News

VIACOMCBSNETWORKS

A GLOBAL LEADER Viacom CBS Networks International is the name of the recent merger between CBS Corporation and Viacom Inc. It’s an important development in the production of content worldwide, giving the new merged company a leadership position in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia

With the new company comes new content– such as Star Trek – a new series is now being developed – Beverly Hills 90210, Happy Days, and more, enriching the portfolio of the company, and creating new business opportunities. Added to this highly positive development there’s the success of ViacomCBSNetworks Italy, which has strengthened to its position in the kids’ market with the 100% acquisition of the FTA channel Super! which, as it reaches its eighth birthday can celebrate 94% brand awareness among children. The importance of these global and local acquisitions is reflected in the effect they are having on the departments that are part of this new reality – notably the Consumer Products Division, which has been building ongoing licensing programs over time around the acquisition of promising IP.

BABY SHARK - BIG SUCCESS And of course this wave of acquisitions includes Baby Shark – the tune and cartoon known and enjoyed just about everywhere. This is now in the front rank of ViacomCBS properties aimed at the preschool target audience. With a vast number of views on YouTube, this phenomenon has engaged the whole

family in the viral #babysharkchallenge, earning it third place in the most viewed videos of all time. As part of its collaboration in the creation of new

content with Pinkfong, the entertainment company that launched the Baby Shark phenomenon globally, Viacom CBS International and Nickelodeon plan to


News

co-produce a television series for a spring 2021 launch. While they’re waiting for that, there are in development other contents to have fun for children, as “Pink Fong & Baby Shark Space Adventures”, a special compilation made of new 3D animations with additional music clips, and “Baby Shark Short Stories”, amusing adventures with the young shark and all his funny family, in development for the web. The licensing program fits perfectly into this scenario. It’s now under way – in fact it started last Easter with chocolate eggs from CerealItalia, and will soon cover all remaining product categories –from toys and publishing to collectibles and apparel – with dedicated items made by specialist retailers. PlayPress, Salani, Clementoni, Mondo, Dulcop, Lisciani and Panini are just some of the partners who will contribute to the development of the property.

GARFIELD: 40 YEARS OF “C-ATTITUDE” Another important acquisition has been of a classic with a wide target audience. The star of the most published comic strip in the world, Garfield is loved by children and adults. The character enjoys over 90% awareness all over the globe and is on his way back to the small screen with a new TV series already in development. With a fan base of millions, he is about to bring a number of new projects into the Italian licensing market. His iconic status makes him particularly suitable for fashion collaborations and, beyond this, crosscategory product development.

THE MAGIC OF THE BIG SCREEN FOR CHILDREN (AND ADULTS!) FROM TIMELESS CLASSICS ... “Nothing is scary for a brave puppy”. Ryder and the team of rescue puppies

are still responding to calls for help with enthusiasm and undisputed brand strength. In fact, Paw Patrol is today one of the most successful of all preschool properties, with a strong presence on satellite and digital terrestrial platforms. Nickelodeon and Spin Master are preparing to launch – in the second half of 2021 – the first full-length screen outing of the hit series. It will be distributed by Eagle Pictures. The arrival of the feature film on the big screen has been preceded by a number of successful formats, including 44-minute films – from Mighty Pups to Ready Race Rescue – created to bring fans into cinemas or to attract them to content distribution platforms. In the meantime, there is a lot of news around Paw Patrol, and its strength in the Viacom Consumer Products portfolio. The constant presence of the brand’s products on the shelves is evident in all product categories, though obviously driven by toys – Spin Master is the Master Toy licensee –and supported by on-theground retail activities. These include meet and greets, live tours, co-marketing initiatives and a global campaign called Safety first!, in partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide, a worldwide non-profit organization specializing in safety issues for children.

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News

But that’s not all. The countdown towards a launch on the big screen has began for another classic Viacom CBS icon. For more than two decades it has enjoyed 96% global awareness, 115 million social media fans around the world and 465 million views on YouTube. It’s SpongeBob! Yes, the unmistakable yellow undersea dweller will be the star of the second half of 2020 with his third movie, Spongebob on the Run, in 3D. The new film brings his fans back to the character’s origins at Bikini Bottom and some incredible and fun adventures that will in turn inspire the next TV series, Kamp Coral, scheduled to reach Nickelodeon by the end of 2020. The

countdown to the launch will include a dedicated pop-up channel and prestigious collaborations in the fashion world

from Octopus and Unimatic Watches. In addition, on-shelf products for many other product categories will come from


News

film, in which huge monsters, seen by humans as superstars, compete in the World Monster Wrestling League.

FUN, HUMOUR, MUSIC – AND MORE!

such major names as Salani and Topps. Sticking with the theme of movies, it’s important to mention the evergreen Ninja Turtles, for which more feature films are being planned. The universal Ninja Turtles have achieved over 30 years of acclaimed multi-platform successes, from billiondollar box office earnings at the cinema to the most popular animated series on TV, and from amazing retail sales ($5 billion since 2010) to numerous online hits. In the meantime, Ninja Turtles will be also protagonists of a TV series on air on Nickelodeon, of a dedicated YouTube Channel (in progress), and on retail shelves thanks to a prestigious and longterm partnership with Giochi Preziosi.

... TO NEW HITS Film size is of course synonymous with another pillar of the Viacom CBS brand: Paramount, that offers to the Consumer Products Division iconic names and classics to inspire exclusive projects, such Grease, Clueless, Coming to America and of course, Top Gun. The blockbuster film of 1986 is coming right up to date with its highly anticipated sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, expected in Italian cinemas around the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021, , and with much of the original cast. With this in mind, there has been a collaboration with the Avirex clothing brand. The brand is known around the world, though it partly owes its fame to Top Gun and to the G-1US Navy jacket worn in the film by Tom Cruise himself, which has become a cult object, a musthave– and not just for fashion addicts. The Paramount Animation division will also launch Rumble at the beginning of 2021. This is a fun and original concept set in a world that cleverly mixes the real with the surreal. The WWE sponsors the

South Park is the irreverent and satirical American animated series that began in the late 1990s that tells the surreal adventures of the protagonists Stan, Kyle, Eric and Kenny and their friends. It’s a property so blatantly provocative that it has become loved; more to the point it is a hit on linear, digital and SVOD platforms, not to mention licensing, where in 2020 the property will be highlighted in the fashion & accessories category. There’s also The Loud House, a hilarious tale of the chaotic life of Lincoln, the star of the series, and how this nice elevenyear-old manages to survive at home with his ten sisters. The Loud House returns to Nickelodeon in May 2020 with its fifth season. On free to air the fourth series will appear on Super!. There’s also a strong following on the Viacom CBS online platform. A licensing program is currently under development. While on the subject of fun, let’s not forget ViacomCBS’s number one entertainment

brand: MTV. Music was the language MTV used to reach young people around the world, but it was the evolution of the brand that really hooked them. MTV today enjoys 98% global awareness, with an audience that has included, over the years, all of generation X, Y and Z. It’s now a multiplatform medium, whose output includes entertainment and irreverent programs, with online responses and social media hits in the billions globally and special events such as the music awards known as the MTV EMA. There’s also a big retail presence, thanks to specially developed partnerships. In Italy the main social influencers also name check MTV, boosting its already sky-high reputation. The uniqueness of this historic brand, its versatility and its ubiquity allow the ViacomCBS Consumer Products Division to develop exclusive partnerships. International agreements in recent years include deals with Moschino, Puma and Polaroid. Another example is the Octopus brand, inspired by YO! MTV Raps, a legendary international show coming to MTV in Italy, and its stylish clothing collection.

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Interview

PLANETA JUNIOR

FOCUS ON THE FUTURE LM interviewed Emanuela Tartari, Country Manager, Planeta Junior Italia & Head of International Softlines, to find out about Planeta Junior’s projects for the near future important point is the focus on product development, through a strengthened support for our partners with new inspirational materials, in addition to the classic style guides. Finally, the emphasis on the final consumer is fundamental. The consumer should not only be the final point but also the beginning of any strategy. It’s key to business intelligence and initiatives based on the expectations and desires of our consumers. In addition to the

Emanuela Tartari What is the focus of your strategy? Our flagship projects gravitate around our core properties. It is important to underline first of all the strategies we will apply for the development of our franchises. First of all, an important focus for us is the increasing number of collaborations at regional level, especially in some key categories. Another important point of our strategy is to intensify the relationship with retailers in support of the licensees’ activities, creating winning proposals for the consumer. The third strategy point concerns an increasingly synergic approach between broadcasting and CP activities, aligning development needs and timescales, for a compact content and merchandising offering to the consumer. Another

usual quantitative research, we should pay particular attention to qualitative analysis. I think it is the challenge of the whole industry, given that the consumer is increasingly demanding and wants to elevate the purchase of a product to an experience. In this perception, licensing can make a significant contribution. Once our macro strategies have been defined, the next few months will see us committed to our core franchises to make


Interview

attractive proposals for our consumers, or rather fans - as we love to define them. So which are your top projects? Our flagship projects are Miraculous, Gormiti, Pucca, and the new creation of Zag, Power Players. We are also reexploring new opportunities with our classic IPs, Maya and Heidi. Let’s start with Miraculous... It is a global phenomenon (Planeta Junior manages Italy, Iberia, Greece, Turkey, CEE editor’s note), which has recorded impressive results. It is one of the strongest titles on children’s channels and on digital platforms worldwide, with 13 billion views on YouTube, + 3m followers on Instagram and + 88m downloads of the official App. According to Licensing Talks data, Miraculous is one of the most requested IPs for the target audience of girls aged six to nine, with a propensity to buy which

exceeds 70 per cent, thus representing a great opportunity for our partners. In Italy, in particular, Miraculous is being programmed in FTA on Super! – a leading kids’ thematic channel. The programme is among the top performers with excellent results. Some new episodes aired in spring have teased for the upcoming TV season to be broadcast in the fall. The series is also available on Disney Channel, Netflix and Disney Plus digital platforms.

An important launch is the master toy range from PlayMates. The rich toy line will be distributed in Italy and in other European countries by Bandai starting from this autumn. Crucial to the success of the franchise is the great work done by our partners, local and international, including Ferrero and Panini, with whom we have renewed successful partnerships. The massive multi-country Easter campaign from Ferrero has been one of the most

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Interview

IDENTITY CARD POWER PLAYERS Title: Power Players Format: 78x11 ’3D CGI Producers: developed by ZAG and co-produced with Planeta Junior and On Entertainement TV Distribution: worldwide Synopsis: Apparently Axel is a normal boy, but he hides an incredible secret: he is part of a team of little heroes. Super Axel is nothing more than an action figure and, together with his unlikely team of toys, he will live fantastic adventures. significant recent launches. New contents in the pipeline will amplify and extend the appeal of the franchise to a family audience. All this constitutes an extraordinary context for licensees and retailers, to increase sales, but also by exploring new business opportunities. As such, we are working on new projects in the sports area and in the DTR fashion category. The loyalty world is also in our research focus, as a means to extend our audience. What’s new with Gormiti? Gormiti is another flagship property. It is a successful licensing case history, based on two key drivers: the master toy by Giochi Preziosi and the animated TV series. The series is a co-production of Planeta, Giochi Preziosi and Kotoc, and

the series has translated the world of toys into the world of animation. An important TV partner is the Italian broadcaster, Rai, where the series enjoys excellent ratings, with audience peaks of 400,000 children on RaiYoyo and RaiGulp. The third season will be launched this fall. It is also available on RaiPlay and TimVision, and on the international Netflix and Prime SVOD platforms. Gormiti is also the hero of a new special episode, which we are finalizing the launch plan for on various platforms with Giochi Preziosi. Stay tuned! The basis of this success is the creative capacity and the distribution strength of Giochi Preziosi, which is able to offer multiple product launches and solutions to meet different price ranges. NPD data indicates that Gormiti dominated the best sellers of last Christmas for action figures

in Italy, with eight out of 10 products among the bestsellers. And this indicates the power of the brand. The goal in 2020 is to consolidate the property in Italy, maximizing product categories across softlines and promotions and working to grow further internationally. In fact, internationally, the series is aired in over 20 countries. In Italy, we are already successfully implementing the strategy to travel in tandem between TV and toy and then expand to other categories. Gormiti is therefore increasingly an opportunity both for Italian licensees and for new partners in Europe. Panini is among the key licensees with activations beyond the Italian borders.


Interview

And now let’s talk about the 2020 launch, Power Players. Power Players is the new and much anticipated TV animated series by ZAG, which Planeta co-produces. Aimed at children aged four and over, this show sees a child become the hero of incredible adventures with his toys. We are confident that this new project will captivate children who will identify themselves with the main character. The core values of this IP are friendship, team work and the wild imagination of gaming. The series is enjoying massive programming, thanks to the partnership with CN/Boing. Aired from April on Cartoon Network and Boomerang, since late spring on Boing and in autumn it will be on both Boing and Cartoonito.

salty snacks, Walcor for confectionery. The next few months will see us busy completing the recruitment of licensees.

The results are significant. In fact, in less than a year, we’ve registered more than 370,000 subscribers on YouTube with over 130m views. Italian figures are also strongly increasing. On the fashion front, following the collaboration with Spanish designer Maria Escoté, we have launched a collaboration with White* in Italy, with a capsule collection of t-shirts and sweatshirts. A Pull and Bear collection will also be launched in the spring. We are exploring new co-brand projects and collaborations with licensees and international fashion retailers. The iconic appeal of Pucca will also reach other categories such as sports, stationery, promotions and food.

Playmates is the master toy partner, and Giochi Preziosi will handle the distribution for Italy and other European countries. We can announce already many partners who are on board. GP, in addition to distributing the master toy, is also a partner for other product categories such as dress up; Mondadori is on board for books, PlayPress will offer activity books, Clementoni for puzzles and San Carlo for Let’s move on to the lifestyle front, where you have iconic brands such as Pucca. Pucca enjoys a huge international appeal and is one of our key projects, which is based on three pillars: fashion collaboration, digital and media partnership. We’ve started by investing in digital platforms to create a digital community within the core target, Generation Z, difficult to deal with directly but easier to reach with the digital world as a key element.

The third pillar of the brand is media partnerships. Season 1 and 2 of the TV Series are broadcast on platforms such as TimVision and Netflix and we are currently defining the launch of season 3. The TV series will support the extension of the merchandising programme to the kids market. The group’s evergreens, Heidi and Maya are symbols of sustainability. Heidi and Maya have the strength of iconic and classic brands for millennials and kids. Millennials have experienced

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Interview

these properties as children and by virtue of the new animated series, the same IPs continue to be viewed and appreciated by today’s children. Maya and Heidi therefore represent an ideal choice for family viewing. Both of these properties have a great potential which has not yet been fully explored. In addition to the typical nostalgia value of evergreen brands, Maya offers a unique proposal on the theme of sustainability, being brand ambassadors in support of campaigns on the protection of

bees and biodiversity. Heidi is also a classic IP that we all know, with very positive and current values. The TV series on Rai Yoyo is very successful. A Heidi Playset line has been launched by Playmobil this year. For both Maya and Heidi we believe there is great potential in fashion, publishing, food, promotion and loyalty. What are Planeta Junior’s plans for the future? We have new projects and new animation series in the pipeline. Planeta will increasingly favor co-productions, with the aim of aligning the levels of business within the company. We are also exploring further opportunities to complete our lifestyle portfolio, to provide additional proposals

to our partners and increase business. E-sport is also one of our focuses. It is a phenomenon that is growing exponentially and we have a Spanish team working on projects that we will soon see in Italy too. In your opinion, how will the current condition impact the future? The health emergency which overwhelms us determines dismay and a sense of uncertainty but also re-launched an extraordinary creative capacity, a spirit of adaptability, a great sense of responsibility

and collective collaboration between consumers and companies. I believe these are the keywords for the next phase to face the economic revival. It is an Italian prerogative to recover, reinvent itself and be reborn from even the most difficult situations. And we will do it again. There is another fundamental element which will accompany the rebirth - the push for digitisation. The very technology that ‘saved’ us in this lockdown period, in social and business relationships, is also a resource for both our economy and to re-seize the new online commercial opportunities. In this context I believe that licensing will do its part and that the industry, which always stands out for its strong sense of community, will rise to this new challenge. At Planeta we are ready to do our part, supporting licensees and retailers with our assets and strong spirit of partnership. We are talking with our partners to find out about their what is most important for them during this difficult situation and developing marketing and retail initiatives to support business re-launches for BTS and Christmas periods. Furthermore, digital tools such as newsletters and webinars have proven to be important for maintaining effective collective B2B communication, in this phase of absence of trade fairs and sector events. I think this physical distance has strengthened us and joined us together more as a business community and cooperation is the only way out of it all together.


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SANRIO

MEETING WITH SILVIA FIGINI For this special issue, LM interviewed Silvia Figini, Chief Operating Officer Sanrio – EMEA, India and Oceania, Mr Men Worldwide

significant collaborations with high-end companies in the fashion world. At the same time, 2020 and 2021 will be marked by the introduction of new product lines with some key players in kids’ licensing, especially in the toy industry, that will give us the chance to reach all targets. Our content will become even richer. The Sanrio world features more than 400 characters targeting both males and females and new, dedicated content is being developed. Unique characters such as Aggretsuko, with its own Netflix series, and Gudetama, our lazy egg, have already met great success in many countries. Finding new ways to collaborate with our licensees will also be a key factor in being successful in our often fragmented and saturated main markets: granting licenses that define clear market spaces, Sanrio’s substantial investment in the development of content and events, synergies with our commercial partners’ marketing activities,

Silvia Figini As you step into the Sanrio world, can you tell us something about the new strategy you’re defining for the short term? Hello Kitty is an iconic brand that has managed to keep its identity and a great

connection with its consumers - adults, especially - even throughout the lowpopularity periods that happen in every brand’s lifecycle. Our strategy’s main focus will always be the preservation of this unique positioning, supported by


Interview

Can you tell us about the latest partnerships you have defined and about how much these characterized the new year? In terms of apparel, which is still one of the major categories for our brands, in 2019 and 2020 we consolidated our historical and ongoing partnerships in fast fashion with companies such as H&M, Zara (and the whole Inditex group), Original Marines, C&A, FOX and LLP, ELC, just to name a few, alongside which, this year, we were happy to add Benetton, Desigual, Undiz and Fix. We also have very active collaborations with the manufacturers supplying all major retailers worldwide. One of 2019’s main news was the launch of a great partnership with Thun in Italy, involving more than 500 shops and featuring many beautiful products. The new collection will be available for our consumers starting in SS2020.

GCDS Fashion show, SS 2020 - Milan Fashion Week

Balenciaga x Hello Kitty bag, SS2020 dedicated sales teams collaborating with top international agents. All of these will allow our licensees to achieve their best results. Digital and online sale, as well as new activities such as our dedicated area within Dream Island Russia – Europe’s first indoor theme park – and the opening of themed restaurants and cafés in Europe’s main cities will also be part of our developing strategy.

alongside My Melody, Aggretsuko and Gudetama will be the reference point for the kawaii aesthetic and will star in new and exciting partnerships, not just in the apparel world but also in food, publishing and digital. New TV content, style guides and investments in events and marketing activities will support both the individual characters as well as the Hello Kitty and Friends group as a whole.

What are the group’s upcoming objectives in terms of positioning and brand focus? Sanrio EMEA’s focus for 2020 will be the brand expansion to Hello Kitty’s friends, who were already featured at Pitti Uomo thanks to a collection designed by Alessandro Enriquez. Bad Badtz-Maru, Kerokerokeroppi and Little Twin Stars,

Besides the Sanrio worlds we’re already familiar with, are you working on the acquisition and/or development of new content? As of today, our focus is limited to our existing IPs, for which we’re planning significant investments in the development of TV and digital content as well as new consumer products style guides.

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involving the Aggretsuko and My Melody brands. With regards to toys, we have great collaborations in place or scheduled to begin shortly. In 2020 we had the introduction of Simba’s and Clementoni’s toys, while 2021 will see the crucial global launch with Mattel. ChupaChups and Zaini, our existing partners in the food sector, will introduce new SKUs, while Easter 2020 will be covered by Dolfin and Paluani with a Hello Kitty and My Melody-inspired line. Wrapping up with publishing, we will continue our collaboration with Panini, launching a sticker album in Italy and Spain, and we finalized new pan-European license agreements for magazines, books and audiobooks.

Instagram post @mrmenofficial

Alessandro Enriquez with Sanrio collection As stated previously, Hello Kitty has a really wide fanbase, allowing us to collaborate with both sports and highend apparel brands, such as Dr. Martens, Levi’s and Puma, while Balenciaga and GCDS had a Hello Kitty tribute walk down

their catwalk. 2020 also saw our third collection with Furla; after Hello Kitty and My Melody, it was Little Twin Stars’ turn. We’re also very active with influencers: for instance, we’ve recently started a partnership with Elettra Lamborghini

Since digital has become an essential element in the development of any brand, what is your strategy in that regard? Digital is one of the key elements of our growth plan in the medium to long-term. A team of experts is dedicated to this project. As of today, we already have significant activities in place in videogames, kids’ apps and augmented reality for all age targets. On this, it is useful to mention Linden Lab on the Second Life and Sansar platforms, where we activated the omnichannel experience in the virtual world, creating a shop that offers items for both avatars and real people, in collaboration with a global partner like Levi’s. At the same time, Bublar has introduced a game app based on geolocalization named “Kawaii World”, aimed at younger users. Significant collaborations are also in place with Nintendo, including the Animal Crossing game, and the creation of


Interview

Nintendo DS themes. Alongside this we are of course active on all major social media platforms in EMEA and we have an e-commerce project underway. What are your plans for Sanrio 60th anniversary? Sanrio plans to celebrate its 60th anniversary by turning the spotlight onto more of its beloved characters. Following hotly on the heels of Hello Kitty’s 45thAnniversary in 2019, the hunger for fans to engage with Sanrio’s other characters is clear. We will be inviting fans to join in digital campaigns, such as the Sanrio Character Ranking which takes place every year, from April to May. In 2020, it will be bigger and better than ever before, with more social media fun, exciting influencer tie-ups and competitions. More people are expected to vote for their favorite character! This is also the perfect opportunity to learn about Hello Kitty’s friends – unique characters, old and new - like My Melody and Little Twin Stars, who are celebrating their 45th anniversary this year and for whom we are planning dedicated digital and influencer campaigns.

We’ll also be launching new content online, with viewers from all over the region catered for. Turning from what’s on-screen to behind the camera, we’ll be creating unmissable events for the public of all ages to enjoy. Fans will be able to experience, shop and share characters in new and different ways starting from this fall with an immersive tour around Europe. We’ll also be collaborating with fashion, toy and other partners on limited-edition collections. Mister Men: what are the development projects for this classic property? Mr. Men Little Miss are part of our IP portfolio, featuring 91 characters – the first of which was created in 1971 – and still live and thrive today within the books written and illustrated by the Hargreaves family. Every character has its own personality, reaching children and adults alike. The UK, France and Australia are the territories where Mr. Men Little Miss is traditionally successful, selling more than 250 million books thus far. We have great expectations for Mr. Men Little Miss’s growth in Asia and in the rest of Europe as well, thanks to new and important content that will be launched

“You are brilliant” book cover, released in 2020

shortly on all platforms, supporting consumer products. Moreover, we will continue the promotional collaboration with important partners such as McDonald’s. Mister Men will celebrate their 50th anniversary next year. What do you have in store for this big appointment? The brand will be celebrating its 50th milestone with a whole year of partnerships, PR activity and digital campaigns. Throughout 2021 the theme is ‘Discover You’ – a celebration of personality. Whether you’re a Little Miss Busy or a Mr. Grumpy – every personality

is positively accepted. At the start of the year we’ll be introducing four new Mr. Men & Little Miss characters, but with a twist! The public are able to vote and choose their favourite two through a newly launched website. The fans will decide who to welcome as permanent members of the cast. The two that have the most votes will be immortalised as classic books released later in the year, alongside a more extensive anniversary publishing programme. A large-scale PR and social media campaign surrounding the vote is to be activated and we’re very excited to see what the public decides. Online activity will continue throughout the year and the brand will engage with fans on social media with 50 new mini animations and interactive sharable filters. We are also thrilled to unveil a number of high-profile brand collaborations, and a special one-off TV show that’s currently underway.

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MONDO TV CONSUMER PRODUCTS

FROM A BRAND NEW INNOVATIVE TV SERIES TO A BIG CHILDREN’S CLASSIC: THE WINNING COMBO OF MONDO TV The Consumer Products Division of Mondo TV, led by Valentina La Macchia, is increasing its business on several fronts, developing high quality properties, as the new TV success of MeteoHeroes, and managing niche brands as the publishing hit The Gruffalo. In this interview, we have learned more on the actual and future company’s projects

Mondo TV’s flagship property is MeteoHeroes. Can you tell us about its launch and how strong is this TV series compared to the current TV offer? Obviously there is no shortage of offerings for kids based around various ‘green’ and ‘eco-friendly’ themes. But MeteoHeroes genuinely stands out. With a four-toseven-year-old target audience, it is the only TV series for children that addresses the theme of climate change, a theme that will have an increasing impact on our daily lives – but especially on the lives of future generations. With this series, Mondo TV has set itself the goal of creating an engaging and exciting show that also offers information about environmental issues and helps to make the adults of tomorrow more aware. We hope we

can use the medium of entertainment and animation to give our audience a stronger understanding of what pollution and climate change mean for their planet and provide them with the tools to make the Earth a better place. To help us do this we have worked together with our co-producer Meteo Expert, a leading Italian weather forecasting group – that’s another first for this sort of show. All of these factors together are what make MeteoHeroes unique. With MeteoHeroes on April 22 you were among the protagonists of the Earth Day. Can you tell us what you did for this special day and the preview of the TV series? We decided to launch MeteoHeroes with

Valentina La Macchia a special four-episode marathon on 22 April on Earth Day, the 50th anniversary of which was this year; it seemed an ideal date for the launch. We also participated in the #OnePeopleOnePlanet multimedia marathon organized by Earth Day and the Focolari Movement, which for years have collaborated in the creation of the Village for the Earth. This is an environmental event that occurs every 22 April to celebrate the anniversary of Earth Day, though this year it was suspended due to the COVID-19 emergency. There was exclusive content dedicated to MeteoHeroes featuring the young stars Chiara and Mattia Fabiano, who voice the characters of Nubess and Thermo. Their story was a testimony: it gave voice to new generations and their commitment in the fight against climate


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change, spreading awareness on a topic of growing interest in a way that spoke to the young in their own words. The clip was streamed immediately before a memorable concert at the Colosseum by the world-famous Italian singer Zucchero. PR Newswire reported that the online broadcast received over 137 million hits. Can you tell us how the concept of the TV series was born? How did the idea of the characters and the style of the TV series come about? And the team that worked on the TV series? The idea came from Luigi Latini, CEO of Meteo Expert and co-producer with Mondo TV of the animated series. I still remember when we met Luigi for the first time and he introduced us to his project and his mission: to make the planet a better place by focusing on the younger generation. We immediately fell in love with the concept, and were inspired by the high level of detail it already included. As well as the style and design of the characters, we were very impressed by the study of their psychological traits contributed by the well-known psychoanalyst and writer Luigi Ballerini. We sensed a great opportunity and we decided to get our company, our people and our resources right behind this project. It certainly helps that Meteo Expert Center has always been involved in school projects, aiming to raise awareness among younger generations about protecting the environment.

What are the next developments in the pipeline for the property? The response so far has been very positive and encouraging. In fact we are already thinking about the second series. We love the series as a whole but especially the way each episode tells a story. There is always an important message in every show but there are also action fun and adventure – genuine, high-quality entertainment. We already have a few ideas to help it build on the excitement and originality of the first 52 episodes. Of course it’s down to the public – more accurately, the young viewers – how the first season is received, but we are ready and we can’t wait to start working on the second one.

To date, what are the main partners? The enormous potential of MeteoHeroes has already attracted numerous important licensees. The values of sustainability and respect for the environment are reflected in the carefully designed licensing program. Giunti was among the first partners who supported the project and is planning a wide selection of books including children’s fiction as well as activity books. Playpress will offer a magic book with acolour-revealing marker for the newsstand channel. Mondadori is on board with a monthly magazine including fantastic gadgets inspired by the TV series. For the pocket money toy category we have Pea & Promoplast, through its start-up Toy Company Play Around, while Eu.promotions will manage the loyalty and promotion category. Ravensburger will also be doing its bit with a selection of puzzles and memory games. Among other categories, home video will be managed by Koch Media, while, for the costume character category and the meet & greet activities, Kimbe will organize events in shopping centres. There are many other negotiations in progress, some awaiting to be announced, including a key partner to supply chocolate eggs for Easter 2021. The first products will be on the shelves by October 2020. Consistent with the positive and educational messages of the series, the products will be designed and developed in compliance with sustainable best practices. You have recently launched another important IP for your rich portfolio –

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enjoying very good visibility. In addition to being one of Amazon’s best sellers, both the book and the movie have been strongly endorsed for kids while the lockdown has been in force. We were delighted, as you would expect, to find that several publications mentioned this property and we were quick to pass the news on to potential licensees, allowing them to see for themselves the strength of the brand. Just to mention one of the most important initiatives involving this title, Michelle Obama read the book as part of a ‘Mondays with Michelle’ program created by PBS Kids and Penguin Random House. It’s further proof of the enormous popularity of this property aroundthe world.

the Gruffalo. This is the first time you are managing an editorial IP, without an accompanying TV show. What do you have in mind for this IP? We are really excited to be able to represent a major IP like the Gruffalo as agents for Italy and Iberia. We are always open to collaborations with third parties and we have been monitoring the evolution of this property for some time with great interest. We are very honoured to have been chosen by a prestigious licensor such as Magic Light Pictures to develop a licensing program for the Gruffalo in our markets. In a time of economic crisis and great uncertainty it’s useful for the market to focus on classic products that are not susceptible to the vagaries of TV scheduling. The Gruffalo is undoubtedly a modern classic, a literary work that features a very wellknown character enormously popular with

children and, importantly, with parents, who, after all, hold the purse strings! These are the assets we are focusing on for the development of our plan and we are happy with the first feedback we’ve received. Among the active licensees today we can boast Multiprint for colouring and stamps, Ciao for Halloween and carnival costumes and Maikii for audio books. Many other companies are being adding to the list soon, from the world of collectibles, boxed games, Easter eggs and more. In an uncertain period such as the present one, children’s books have been awarded and the Gruffalo was also among the most cited titles. How will you benefit from such spontaneous PR on this IP to develop the future licensing program? Even at this difficult time, the Gruffalo is

Coming to the current situation, how are you experiencing the current period and above all how are you supporting your partners in view of the relaunch? It’s difficult. Having no clear idea how the coming months will pan out adds to the pressure everyone feels now. We must be prepared for the possibility that the consequences of this situation will be felt for a long time, but we carry on working, stay optimistic and have every intention of planning for a positive re-start together with our partners. We certainly think we will come out stronger and more supportive than before, but even now we are paying close attention to our customers’ requests and trying to meet them whenever possible. Fortunately, thanks to technology, we are always hyper connected; conversations haven’t slowed down! Nevertheless, we are really looking forward to some sort of normality and, eventually, to re-establishing human contact, which, after all, is fundamental to everything we do. How do you think the business and market scenario will change in the near future? For the better, I hope. I hope this experience, which has changed the lives of everyone everywhere, has produced more aware people – people less overwhelmed by their hectic routine and more focused on the needs of the consumer, people able to offer companies products that represent added value. After this is over, I hope we can learn from our mistakes and work more and more on the originality of the content. Then we just have to cross our fingers.


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WILDBRAIN CPLG

WildBrain CPLG: Creativity that really stands out WildBrain CPLG may have been in the licensing industry for more than 40 years, but it is constantly changing and adapting an already successful approach, one that combines managing the wide variety of brands in the company’s portfolio and careful analysis of the company’s licensee profile. The success of this approach in the last three years has led to the expansion of the team, including the addition of two graphic designers: Marika Colombo from Milan and Yana Maslova, based in Russia. Among the services the company offers to support brands in maximizing their potential, WildBrain CPLG carries out what it calls trend analysis. This service is made available to licensors, licensees and retailers alike, and aims to continually provide a fresh and up-to-date look at the trends that drive consumer tastes. Initially the service focused only on the fashion category, but it has been Sophie Bloomfield Pretty much from the start, in fact, it stood out for its strategic ability to spot trends and adapt them to the needs of its portfolio of brands. It’s this continuing willingness to adapt and evolve that inspired the company, three years ago, to change its corporate structure and bring in a completely new department. The introduction of Creative Services, an internal creative department coordinated by Head of Design Sophie Bloomfield, has brought the company countless advantages, not least the fundamental one of being able to vary its range of services through the creation of tailormade projects for each client. Creative Services has, in other words, enhanced

Ideas for Space Invaders outfits

Ideas for Pink Panther outfits expanded to include homeware and food. Food is a category of increasing importance, especially when it comes to environmental awareness issues related to food packaging. Another element of the Creative Services department that supports WildBrain CPLG’s reputation for graphic innovation is the look book. The look book enables the team to provide licensors with new and current ideas to renew their graphics. This is a valuable resource for licensors, who have the opportunity, even at a time of rapidly changing trends, to present an attractive and always on-trend image to consumers.


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One of the key features of a good agency’s activity is knowledge of the client. WildBrain CPLG analyses a company’s profile in depth – both from a commercial point of view and in terms of its identity. Creative Services works closely with the company’s sales team, creating tailor-made pitches aimed at retailers and licensees, pitches that reflect their values and brand identity. This approach underlines the company’s attention to the requirements of the customer and the knowledge and skills of the graphics team. The portfolio on which the agency works is constantly evolving and often includes properties that have great potential, but that are in need of a graphical ‘overhaul’. For this reason, the new licensors who work with WildBrain CPLG have the opportunity to involve Sophie and her team in the development of new style Trend Book for Space Invaders

guides. This may include a partial or total reworking of a design, or simply the support of new concepts based on core graphics. Creative Services also works with external agencies that require the development of style guides and concepts for the brands in their portfolio.

and retailers is not only translated into thorough knowledge of the market in which they operate, but also into real support for sales needs. In fact, another of the creative services provided by the agency is the design of the retail point of sale. This allows licensed properties to expand their presence more effectively

One of the agency’s objectives is to offer a 360-degree service, in which the presence of an in-house graphics office plays a key role. In fact, as well as supporting graphic renovation, the creative team is also included in the on boarding phase. Working together with the new licensors, Creative Services supports the development of a creative strategy that enhances a property’s appeal, both in terms of its brand identity, and at retail level. Attention to the needs of licensees Ideas for The Addams Family outfits in the physical world of the stores. The service includes the design of the corners dedicated to the sale of licensed products, creating attractive and bold designs aimed at attracting the attention of the consumer. Alongside the design of the point of sale, of equal importance is given to the advertising kit that accompanies the sale. Sophie’s team plays a key role here too, taking care of the design of trade

Ideas for MGM Brand Development

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industry, such as the recent footwear project carried out by LC23, a young designer, and the popular sportswear brand Diadora for the Pink Panther, the legendary MGM property that has starred in acollaboration with the famous Kidswear brand Monnalisa. There are also the capsule collections to celebrate LINE FRIENDS, designed by well-known names in Italian fashion, including a collaboration with designer and influencer Alessandro Enriquez. One final example, a long-term one, is the lasting partnership with trendsetter retailer Tezenis, for a line inspired by the CBS cult film catalogue.

Trend Book for Space Invaders advertising and any marketing materials that might prove necessary. Differentiation is definitely a key element of the business, not only in terms of the licensee portfolio, but also when looking at the variety of retail WildBrain CPLG works with. Thus the creative team also supports the development and implementation of DTR accounts to ensure that WildBrain CPLG is competitive in targeting the retail market. Last but not least, among the activities carried out by Sophie’s team there is also the design of stands for the trade fairs in which WildBrain participates. This is a real boon for the agency, allowing it to take advantage of the team’s skill in the

development of graphic projects that are more ‘targeted to the enhancement of corporate identity’ as well as balanced integration of the leading properties in the portfolio. This internal service is an important resource, both in terms of design and wider economic success. With the retail landscape in continuous and rapid change, WildBrain CPLG chooses to focus on the customer, providing services that adapt to the particular needs of brands and markets. The introduction of Creative Services has helped to refine the company’s business strategy, further demonstrating its effectiveness. This is confirmed by the numerous partnerships carried out in Italy with globally renowned brands and leading brands in the Italian

Product development ideas for Topo Gigio, the Animated Series


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EL OCHO LICENCIAS Y PROMOCIONES

A LANDMARK IN SPAIN From new brands like Momonsters and Simon to well-known brands like Bing, Peppa Pig and Dragon Ball: The greatest licenses for kids and adults in 2020 Famosa with Bing for El Corte Inglés

DragonBall Z for Bershka El Ocho catalogue is undoubtedly characterized by its richness and diversity of brands, targets and style. Every brand is carefully chosen and positioned to be among best brands in the market. The licensing agency welcomes the newest preschool brand of its catalogue: Momonsters. This new TV show aired on Clan TV on March 16th of 2020. With 52 episodes of 7 minutes each, it is expected to be one of the greatest revelations of

the year. It narrates the story of “The Momonsters” 5 little monsters, each with their own personalities: Haha, Hehe, Hihi, Hoho and Huhu want to be a child’s best friend and they will learn how at the Momonsters Academy! Every day a different little boy or girl will show them their favorite thing in the whole world like playing hide and seek, decorating muffins, playing soccer, dancing hula hoop or reading a comic book. There are also great news for Simon and Bing. Simon is an animated television series based on Stéphanie Blake’s books. He is a little rabbit who exudes the vitality of childhood. He is at an age when little children are starting to come into their own – challenging relationships with parents, embarking upon school life, learning about the world in general, dealing with authority and language. Clan TV aired Simon for the first time in February 2019 and received amazing ratings and audience numbers. Thanks to the strength of the brand and the work of El Ocho, many licensing agreements have been signed and the brand continues to grow among children and families. Famosa by Giochi Preziosi will be the Master Toy in Spain and Portugal and will launch the plushes in summer of 2020 and more

categories by other licensees will follow for Back to School and Christmas 2020. Famosa by Giochi Preziosi has launched also an exclusive collection of Bing toys and plushes at El Corte Inglés in Spring on 2020. The Bing television series celebrates the joyful, messy reality of pre-school life. Bing is a typically curious preschooler and Flop is the grown-up who looks after him. Together, they navigate the ups and downs of everyday life. We cannot forget to mention Peppa Pig, which continues to grow steadily year after year, and it has become an evergreen brand and adored by children all over the world. Peppa Pig has been managed by El Ocho since 2009 and with over 50 licensees it is still one of the top brands for children in Spain. Peppa continues to surprise us with new storylines and characters in the newest season Eight. Lastly, one of the most successful brands in 2019 was Dragon Ball and this license will continue to grow through 2020 and beyond. Dragon Ball is loved by children who watch Dragon Ball Super on Boing TV and by adults that watched the original series and Dragon Ball Z years ago. In 2019, El Ocho signed deals with the best retail brands such as Zara, Bershka, Pull and Bear, Uniqlo, Desigual and Sprinter. And much more is still to come from this incredible brand.


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ETS LICENSING

INNOVATION, TRADITION AND STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS From evergreens to brand new properties, ETS Licensing offers a rich portfolio of brands which are constantly evolving, to take advantage of the most interesting market opportunities and develop innovative projects With a history of success in the management of key properties, such as Peppa Pig and PJ Masks, ETS Licensing continues to expand its portfolio of licences, ranging from pre-school content to adult products, and is confirmed as one of the leading independent licensing agencies in Italy.

A STRONG PRESENCE IN THE PRE-SCHOOL AND KIDS SEGMENTS Pre-school continues to be one of the most interesting segments for licensing, and ETS boasts a leadership position in

the sector. The company’s experience began in 2013 with the acquisition of the rights for Peppa Pig. Now in its ninth year in Italy, Peppa Pig achieved excellent results in 2019. The series is broadcast daily by Rai Yoyo and has ratings among the top for the network, the consumer products programme proved to be more successful than ever. Among the new licensing projects developed recently are the Sun City clothing collection and the Easter egg Kinder Gran Sorpresa (or Big Surprise) by Ferrero. The brave trio of PJ Masks, the superheroes who fight the bad guys of

the night with the strength of friendship and teamwork, has also seen impressive results recently. Ratings for the PJ Masks animation continue to be very strong, enabling new partnerships with key licensees, including Ferrero for the Easter egg Kinder Surprise and a collaboration with Costa Cruises which will see the presence of the character costumes on all ships in the fleet. In addition, Leolandia theme park recently launched PJ Masks City, a new themed area where you can visit all the iconic places from the series and become the characters from the series. One of the latest additions to the ETS preschool portfolio, is Gallina Puntolina (Lottie Dottie Chicken in the UK and Galinha Pintadinha as original title). Created in Brazil, the YouTube brand combines animated animals with children’s songs. With over 20 billion


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learning with a gentle and entertaining narrative. Through the adventures of the six characters, children learn about values such as friendship, collaboration, diversity

views worldwide, the property has quickly become hugely popular on the web, which has led to the development of an animated series – Galinha Pintadinha Mini, which again combines colourful animation with playful educational content. The characters of Galinha Pintadinha are a cute blue hen and its family and friends who dance and sing traditional songs. The property is based around fun, colour, music and basic educational values, and is designed especially for a primary preschool audience. The animated series (104 episodes x 6’ in two seasons) has been on TV in Italy for a few weeks now on Frisbee channel with an intense daily programming. Galinha Pintadinha already has a solid international licensing programme incorporating more than 500 products. An ambitious development plan has also been defined for Italy, which has already started with agreements on publishing, newsstands and toys. The consumer products programme will be supported by a heavy weight marketing campaign with social media, web content and live events. The Mini Pet Pals series, a big success story in Italian animation, is also part of ETS’s preschool portfolio. The animation, developed by Gruppo Alcuni in coproduction with Rai Fiction, has a strong edutainment theme, combining fun and

and respect for nature. Since April Rai Yoyo has been enjoying an intense and constant daily broadcast of the series (156 x 6’, 3 seasons), which will continue throughout 2020 and 2021. Thanks to their teaching skills, the of the characters of Mini Pet Pals feature in numerous educational projects. Among these, there are the animated episodes of “Raccontiamo la salute con 6A” (Let’s Talk about Health with 6A) , which were produced as part of an initiative between the Veneto Region and the Ulss 3 Serenissima Organization, and linked to a programme of the Ministry of Health. The campaign involved primary school classes and promoted healthy lifestyle for young children. The episodes will be broadcasted by Rai Yoyo in spring with some specials and used for further educational activities.

ETS also has a range of properties for older children, including Talking Tom Heroes, the animated 2D series developed as a spin-off of the popular franchise Talking Tom & Friends. In Talking Tom Heroes the characters, including the cute talking cat

Tom, have acquired incredible powers, thanks to mysterious crystals, with which they fight the villains. The series is broadcast on Frisbee. The Talking Tom & Friends property targets an older age group (6-11). Born as an app, it has become an award-winning multimedia franchise which entertains fans around the world with dozens of free games, over 10 billion downloads and nearly 100 hours of video content. In Italy, the fourth series will soon launch on channel K2. In the older age-group, ETS also has a number of brands from the world of comics including Lucky Luke, an evergreen brand with high awareness and over 300 million comics sold in 100 countries, from which films and cartoons have been created.

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Spin-off The Dalton is a fun animated series aired on K2 and Boomerang. Dennis & Gnasher is another brand from the world of publishing, originating from the Beano comic over 80 years ago. The original cartoon aired on Rai Gulp, and stars Dennis and his trusty dog Gnasher. Aimed at children from 4-11 years old, but appealing to the whole family, is Oggy and the Cockroaches, a French animated comedy series, which ETS manages in collaboration with Discovery. Produced in 1988 by Gaumont and Xilam, the series includes a total of 7 seasons with 350 7-minute episodes and 4 x 13-minute specials. Oggy and the Cockroaches is very popular, especially in France, the United States and Italy, where it is broadcast by Frisbee and K2. New to the ETS portfolio is a licence with a strong fashion identity: the Hairdorables, aimed at girls between four and eight years-old. The property is the result of the success of the collectible doll line launched by Just Play in 2018 in the USA and UK, distributed in Italy by Giochi Preziosi, and positioned among the top doll brands for its huge sales success.

Hairdorables are dolls with thick combable hair, contained in blind bags full of surprises. Each doll has a name, a distinctive look and a precise personality. Collectability, fashionable design and quality materials make the brand very popular with girls. In addition, the values which inspire it - uniqueness (#YOUBEYOU), friendship (#BFF4LIFE) and female empowerment (#GIRLBOSS) - strengthen the positioning and development capabilities of the property.

The Hairdorables are also the characters of a series of animation clips, also on air on the Frisbee channel, and of a range of content published on social media and on the official website.

EXCITING NEW ENTRIES ETS recently partnered with production studio Graphilm Entertainment for the licensing rights management of Nefertine on the Nile. A pre-school animated series of 52 x 11-minute episodes taken from Mattia-Carioli’s books by Lapis Edizioni, co-produced by Graphilm, Cyber Group Studios and DQ Entertainment, in collaboration with Rai Ragazzi and distributed worldwide by Cyber Group Studios. The series, whose pilot was awarded at Cartoons on the Bay in 2015, will be broadcast on Rai Yoyo. Nefertine is a little girl living in ancient


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Egypt. Curious and a bit reckless, she can’t resist the mysterious charm of mummies, pyramids, sphinxes and crocodiles. Intelligent and brave, she notes in her papyrus-diary the exciting adventures that see her character aspiring to become the first woman scribe of Egypt. Sometimes the situation gets out of hand, but luckily her friends and the trusty cat Micerina are always by her side. A unique animated series, which is part of the unpublished cartoon with a historical setting, offers adventure, fun and playful and educational content and lends itself to the development of innovative licensing projects. Thanks to the partnership with Discovery, one of the most recent brands in ETS’s portfolio is Zig&Sharko, a French animated series produced by Xilam, targeting children aged 6-11 years. Set on a deserted volcanic island, the series narrates the funny hyena Zig’s clumsy attempts, to eat the fascinating mermaid Marina, with the help of a cunning hermit crab who elaborates fanciful plans to capture her. But Zig’s tricks never succeed because Sharko, a muscular shark in love with Marina, always manages to save the naive girl. The slapstick, non-dialogue cartoon entertains with surreal humour, absurd and hilarious situations, and visual gags and sounds which highlight the comic side of the characters. The Zig&Sharko series started in France in 2010 and thanks to its success has reached

a wide global coverage. It is broadcast in 190 countries and reaches over 600 million families. The animation currently has 234 episodes of 7 minutes, divided into three seasons and is broadcast in Italy with daily slots from Monday to Friday on K2e DeA Junior channels.

A TRIBUTE TO GIRL POWER An important role in the ETS portfolio is played by an irresistible little girl with freckles and red braids: Pippi Longstocking. Thanks to the recent partnership with The Astrid Lindgren Company, ETS has acquired the licence management of this great classic of children’s literature, which

has accompanied many generations and is a much-loved icon, also thanks to the popularity of the TV series still on air. After the publication of the first book in 1945, Pippi’s adventures have been translated into 70 languages, with over 60 million copies sold worldwide, as well as being adapted into films, TV series, DVDs, audiobooks, apps, games, song books, music and much more. Pippi is a character more modern than ever

Italian cover of Pippi Longstocking book by Salani

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and in tune with the spirit of the times. An original and unconventional heroine, rebellious, free and nonconformist, she has anticipated by decades the most recent instances of female liberation and is a fully-fledged pioneer of girl power. In 2020 we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of Pippi Longstocking’s first novel and an important international re-launch plan for the brand begins. To mark the anniversary, Pippi has become an ambassador for Save the Children’s global campaign ‘Pippis of Today’. The campaign supports migrant girls, forced to leave their countries to flee wars and persecution. Studiocanal, the Astrid Lindgren Company and producer David Heyman (also producer of the Harry Potter saga), have recently announced that they will soon release a film based on the well-loved character. In Italy, an important Licensing programme has been launched, featuring prestigious collaborations, including Salani, who is about to publish a new book; Multiprint, Fondazione Aida with a puppet theatre

show; and Ottod’Ame who presented an original clothing capsule collection at Milan Fashion Week in February. Alongside the Swedish giant H&M, which is also offering a fun children’s clothing collection, available for purchase online. The brand will be supported with a targeted marketing campaign. Another independent and non-conformist female character which has recently joined the ETS portfolio is Princess Bean, the lead character from Disenchantment,

an animation created by Matt Groening, the father of The Simpsons and Futurama. The series is designed for a transversal adult target, which also includes teenagers and ‘kidults’. Princess Bean is set in the dilapidated medieval kingdom of Dreamland and follows the adventures of Bean, a teenage princess, alcoholic and slacker, who rebels against her father and begins a life of raids, fights and adventures of all kinds, accompanied by a clumsy and naive elf, and a personal demon that looks like a cat. Each episode features the irony, humour and caricatures typical of Groening. The first season is available on Netflix with 20 x 30-minute episodes, divided into two parts, and a second season with another 20 episodes is soon to be completed.

LIVE ACTION TEENS ETS also pays attention to the teen market with two live action series aimed at a 7-14 year olds. Penny on M.A.R.S. (39 x 22’ in 3 seasons), produced by 3Zero2 in collaboration with The Walt Disney Company Italia, offers a stimulating combination of music, aspirational storytelling and young adult fiction through the adventures of teenager Penny and her best friend Camilla. The series is set in the M.A.R.S. school of performing arts. Sara and Marti (60 x 22’ in 3 seasons), produced by Stand By Me in collaboration with The Walt Disney Italy, sees the story of two sisters catapulted from London to a small town in Umbria, where they rediscover their roots and live new unexpected experiences. Thanks to the very positive feedback obtained for both series, there is a constant development of new content and recurring television programming on the Disney Channel and Rai Gulp.

THE REFINED AND ROMANTIC FEMALE GRAPHICS The ETS portfolio is completed by a selection of elegant graphic properties aimed at women. There is the romanticism of Anekke, incorporating a world of dreams, love and friendship and characterized by its attention to detail and accurate design. Meanwhile, the delicate poetry of the Japanese Kimmidoll dolls,

which are characterized by a particular design and the ability to express values and feelings. Finally Lady Desidia, a creation by Vanessa Borrell, a sensitive and visionary Spanish painter, who mixes elements of nature with aspects of everyday life and fantasy content.

THE PARTNERSHIP WITH DISCOVERY FOR ADULT PROPERTIES Through the partnership with Discovery, established in 2019, ETS has expanded its strategic vision to address an adult market with innovative proposals and projects. The collaboration includes the licensing rights for Real Time, Food Network, DMAX, Nove and the brand new HGTV Home&GardenTV channels, managed as a brand due to their peculiarity in terms of content and positioning. In addition, ETS manages the licensing of the network’s flagship Italian programmes such as Bake Off Italia, Home Made for you, The Salone delle Meraviglie, Cortesie per gli Ospiti, Food Advisor.


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PANINI

THE 2020 PANINI BRAND LICENSING PLAN In preparation for its 60th anniversary in 2021, the brand licensing program planned by the Modena-based company provides for launches of PANINI-branded products throughout 2020 The program kicks off with an important collaboration based on sustainability. The partner chosen by PANINI for this purpose is 24Bottles, an Italian design brand born in 2013 with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of disposable plastic bottles. The collaboration between

Sonny Bono x Panini

24Bottles x Panini

Panini and 24Bottles involves the launch of an Urban Bottle 24Bottles x PANINI to celebrate international football, its values as an inclusive and unifying sport, capable of establishing strong connections between people from different countries and cultures. The 24Bottles product is made of 18/8 steel, very light and among the best on the market. The cap is made of BPA-free, phthalate-free and toxin-free plastic, that means it does not contain all those harmful compounds that are now found on plastic materials. The month of May will see the launch of two apparel capsule collections, signed

by two Italian companies that have interpreted PANINI’s rich heritage of images and graphic assets: Sonny Bono and SEM Manifatture. Born Trendy is the pay-off that accompanies Sonny Bono, a brand that has over 70 stores in Italy located in the main shopping centers, with which PANINI has signed a Direct-To-Retail agreement for SS2020. The SONNY BONO X PANINI collection will be composed of t-shirts, sweatshirts and polo shirts that use Panini’s iconic footballer in overhead kick (the “Rovesciata” as it is called in Italy) and its celebrated “motto” CELO CELO


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MANCA brand (in English “GOT GOT NEED”) as main assets. The TEMATICO X PANINI brand collection produced by SEM Manifatture will be reinterpreting the iconic elements of the famous sticker company in an original and colorful 25+ target men’s clothing collection. Distinctive feature are the high-quality workmanship and embroideries on t-shirts, sweatshirts and shorts that recall the colors of the Italian, German and French flags to celebrate European football. Long-term partnerships still continue in 2020 with Mondo S.p.A. as concerns footballs, Dolfin S.p.A. on seasonal confectionary products, and Franco Tematico x Panini

Cosimo Panini for back to school items. After Dolfin’s chocolate Easter egg distributed into supermarkets and grocers, Franco Cosimo Panini is going to offer for the second consecutive year CALCIATORI ADRENALYN XL-branded school sets in large-scale distribution and stationery stores. The latest partner to join Panini’s licensee list in 2020 is Coro Marketing, an Italian loyalty company active in the development of short and special promotions, prize catalogs, and competitions, aimed at increasing sales and retaining customers of large-scale distribution. Panini has signed a license agreement with Coro Marketing, valid on the Italian territory,

Tematico x Panini aimed at the development, production and sale of PANINI branded merchandising products aimed at developing promotional mechanics and loyalty activities with key GD and GDO retailers, specialized chain stores and the petroleum sector.

Exercise books by Franco Cosimo Panini


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RAINBOW

44 Cats’ Success Keeps Growing Jointly developed by Rainbow Group’s companies Rainbow, Rainbow CGI and Bardel Entertainment, the animated hit starring the best loved cats on screen produced in collaboration with Antoniano Bologna and Rai Ragazzi has conquered kids and families on all media worldwide A success with great ratings and web interactions, increasingly widespread also in licensing and boosting more than 100 international partners in all CP categories, with national and multi-territory deals. 44 Cats has established record ratings since its first launch in 2018, and it’s proving a steady success on air in over 100 countries and in more than 20 languages on the major pay and free to air TV networks. Major broadcasters have been securing the show: behemoth Carousel Russia - country where 44 Cats is number one show for ratings and share, currently reaching a daily average of over 2M viewers, Chinese CCTV 14, which launched the show early in February

44 Cats giant floor puzzle by CLEMENTONI

and is leading show on the channel, Nickelodeon International, Discovery Kids (Latin America), POP TV (UK), France Télévisions (France), Super RTL (Germany), Plus Plus (Ukraine), Cartoon Network (MENA, Turkey), YOOPA (French-speaking Canada), Treehouse and YTV (Englishspeaking Canada), TVP (Poland), Global TV (Indonesia), MTVA (Hungary), TV3 (Baltics), NOVA TV (Croatia). With its cuteness and irresistible features, Rainbow’s mix of music and comedy is shining bright also on digital platforms such as Netflix worldwide, Tencent and YOUKU in China, Amazon in Italy, Start.ru and Yandex in Russia. And besides TV and SVOD popularity, the show is going viral on

YouTube, where the official channels have surpassed 400 million views in less than one year and a half. A success confirmed by the great marketing campaign in place, and resulting in initiatives such as the international contest launched in April to support kids and stimulate their singing talent: the call for little singers ‘Meow,


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let’s sing!’, offering children the chance to sing their favorite song from the show under parents’ supervision and join in a digital competition with lots of prizes up for grabs.

The awaited second chapter of the series is ready to debut across the world, right after the brilliant launch on Italian Rai Yoyo in March, and the show will later land on free to air and pay TV broadcasters. In the new season of 52x13’ episodes, the Buffycats and lovely Granny Pina will be joined by new animal and human friends, facing lots of hilarious, ‘cat-proof’ missions and amazing the audience with paw-some surprises. The soundtrack of original songs by Antoniano Bologna completes

44 Cats didò bakpack with dough rolls, accessories and moulds by SIMBA

44 Cats treehouse playset with fun action play features and 1 fig. included by SIMBA

the formula, bringing to screen a show of world-class animation quality granted by Bardel Entertainment, the Canadian animation studios owned by Rainbow, and melodies that appeal directly to preschoolers’ love of dancing and singing. The show is a one of a kind example of edutainment that perfectly reflects Rainbow’s vision of kids entertainment, putting quality and values first, plenty of potential in terms of development and licensing: the family friendly 44 Cats offers a unique view of family and community,

promoting can-do attitudes and combining appealing elements that will make it stand out once again in content world stage.

GULLIVER THEME PARKS IN UK, GARDALAND AND ETNALAND IN ITALY TO WELCOME THE BUFFYCATS After captivating TV, social media and the web, the purrsome brand is set to liven up theme parks with an extensive

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44 Cats educational activity table by CLEMENTONI event program to wow visitors of Gulliver Theme Parks next summer, collaborating with Rainbow to bring the show of the Buffycats to their major parks in the UK and celebrate with special initiatives. On the Italian side, Gardaland will host the 44 Cats Rock Show, the Buffycats’ musical show dedicated to families, while Sicily’s theme park Etnaland will exclusively inaugurate the House of the 44 Cats, a new funny indoor slow ride that faithfully reproduces Granny Pina’s lovely home in a themed area dedicated to the show.

LICENSING AND CP IN THE SPOTLIGHT On the licensing landscape, 44 Cats has also made an immediate impact, with Rainbow sealing first-class deals with major companies across the globe. A wide

range of toys based on the key elements of the series has been developed and distributed in Europe and the Middle East by Simba Dickie Group, UNITOYS in Russia and Bandai America in the US, Canada and Mexico. Adding to these international partners, UK Simba Dickie’s Siso Toys started distributing the exclusive all-cat collection in February, through prestigious retailers The Enternainer – with more than 170 shops in the UK and a promotional Cat Tour, but also through Argos and Amazon. These deals are just part of a huge programme unfolding. Extensive collaborations have followed in all main market categories, from secondary toys to publishing, food and textiles. Multi-territory deals have been signed with baby care leader  Artsana and  toy experts  Clementoni, Ravensburger, Amscan, John Toys, Smartplay and Smartzone, while

many other country deals are in place with key licensees like publishing leaders Harper Collins (US and Canada), among the largest consumer book publishers in the world, Nelson (Germany), Hachette (France), Redan Publishing (UK), Fabbri Editori Mondadori (Italy), but also in the fashion branch, as 44 Cats has been joined by Fashion UK, Sun City, GBG, E+M and TDP Textile Aykroyds. In the home textile, licensees Herding, Franco Manufacturing, Faro, Hermet Novia, Dreamtex are spreading their all-cat collections while in the tableware partners are Pengo and Zak Designs, leader in licensed dinnerware, drinkware and on-the-go-beverageware. In the food industry, 44 Cats has been joined by Ferrero, PEZ!, Bip, Sweetnfun and many others. The extraordinary net of companies, all promoting Rainbow’s hilarious property with excellent results, has been boosted by top licensing agents The Joester Loria Group, licensing the brand across the US, Lisle Licensing, ensuring the spread of the brand in the UK, FTD-France Televisions Distributions in France, Super RTL in Germany, License Connection in Benelux, Plus Licensing in Nordics and East Europe, Media Service Zavada in Poland, Art Nation in Ukraine, Brights in Greece, Menart Records Doo in Ex Yugoslavia, Filma in Turkey, Character Licensing and Marketing in South Africa, Vertical Licensing in Brazil, Brandings Stream in Canada, Guangzhou Art-land Holding Co. in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, WP Brands in Australia.

The Buffy-vehicles – Lampo’s bike and Milady’s car by F.I.L.A.


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Interview

GRUPPO ALCUNI

CONTENT TAILORED FOR A FAST-CHANGING MARKET Licensing Magazine met with Francesco Manfio, Chairman of Gruppo Alcuni, to find out the latest news and take stock of the company’s post-emergency plans conviction that there are many small choices to be made every day. The audiovisual market is constantly changing and all participants’ planning involves constant research and development. We therefore emphasise ‘differentiation’, finding ways to stand out in the market. Our productions are targeted at an audience of children and teenagers aged from 2 to 15 years old and use a language and graphic style that mirrors their world. In fact we see our catalogue as a vast ‘multimedia system’ of content tailored to their needs.

Francesco Manfio and Sergio Manfio Can you tell us a little bit about the structure of your company? Gruppo Alcuni is an independent company founded in 2006 by my brother Sergio and myself after many years of working on television programmes for children – both as writers and producers. The company’s structure involves six departments – development, production, international distribution, rights management, communication and finance – and about 100 professionals including managers, artists and technicians. In the past 14 years we have produced 22 animated series for TV, five films and 503 short live-action films. We have a presence in 142 countries and over the last five years our investment in production has exceeded thirty million euros. Can you tell us about your editorial plan and the content you offer? Our editorial plan is based on the

So Gruppo Alcuni addresses a very wide content delivery environment... Our concepts tend to address what you might call a ‘multi-screen’ environment

– one where the television world, in all its forms, converges with interactive entertainment on the web and in video games. Our aim is to create content that addresses this multi-faceted and fluid environment. For example, we have created La TV degli Alberi Parlanti (The TV of Talking Trees), a YouTube channel


Interview

where children can find a lot of extra content related to our productions. We’re also particularly attentive to the fact that today’s end user – though end user is probably no longer an adequate term – can create and broadcast his or her own audio-visual content. What about your future projects? We are finishing the second group of episodes of Leo da Vinci, a series coproduced with Rai Ragazzi, HR, Cosmos Maia and All Rights Entertainment, with the support of TFC and the Veneto Region. The whole project – both movies and TV

series – focuses on Leonardo da Vinci as a boy and is enjoying a great response all over the world. We are therefore looking at new proposals to offer our partners. We are also working on Vlady & Mirò, an exciting new series without dialogue, coproduced with Rai Ragazzi. The cartoon is strongly focused on visual gags, which is a fascinating creative and production challenge. While innovative, this approach also harks back to the oldest genre of animation – the ‘slapstick comedy’ – so it’s innovation that’s based in a genre that has its origins in our history and our culture. We are in pre-production with a new series of Mini Pet Pals. This title has already generated 156 episodes and a feature film for the cinema. The new episodes will see the six little animals at the beginning of their school career. For the children who follow them every day on Rai Yoyo, it will be exciting to find their favourite characters taking on fantastic adventures

VLADY & MIRO’- TV NEWS FOR 2021 This series of 26 five-minute episodes, tells the adventures of raccoon Vlady and his best friend the bear Miro, who are preparing for hibernation. Every time they’re about to fall asleep, Miro starts snoring and so Vlady has to make him stop if he wants to get some rest. It’s a succession of crazy, brilliant, slightly dangerous but all absolutely hilarious ideas. A quick aside. Did you know that the English term ‘slapstick’ derives from ‘batacchio’ a technique perfected by the artists from the Italian commedia dell’arte, in particular Harlequin, who hit each other noisily without hurting each other?

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TALKING TREES TV and making wonderful discoveries in their school in the forest . The same Mini Pet Pals are also the heroes of the mini-series Raccontiamo la Salute con 6A (Let’s talk about Health with 6A), regularly showing on Rai Yoyo. The episodes are based on ‘storyboards’ created by primary school students and deal with topics such as respect for the environment, the need for proper nutrition and the importance of sports. The project was developed to promote health, and better lifestyles, and is carried out in collaboration with the Veneto Region and the Ulss 3 Serenissima Organization within the Guadagnare Salute (Earning Health) programme of the Ministry of Health – but we are confident that it will soon be repeated throughout Italy. Finally, a few words about our internationally popular television programme Ciak Junior, broadcast on Canale 5 in Italy and currently going to 28 countries with over 500 short films produced. For over thirty years, the project has involved thousands of

students between 10 and 15 years of age, inviting them to try their hand at creating short films for television. Young people from all over the world are invited to create stories, to act and to participate in the making of short films that reflect their dreams, their hopes and their difficulties.

On the You Tube channel called La TV degli Alberi Parlanti (Talking Trees TV) viewers can find a lot of exclusive content from Gruppo Alcunicreated series. The channel is continuously updated with music, short clips and special videos and contains episodes from all three seasons of the series Mini Pet Pals in English with Italian subtitles and much more... The channel has 40,000 monthly unique users with more than 200,000 views, almost 5,000 hours of viewing and more than 10,000 subscribers, not to mention coverage that gains 1.2 million impressions.

How do you plan to start again once the emergency is over? I think our role as content producers is to convey confidence in the future, especially as we are addressing younger people. Like young Leo and his friend Lisa – who never give up – we consider every difficulty as a challenge. Once the emergency is over, to start again with renewed enthusiasm, it’s important that we can again be recognized and loved in the world for what we, as Italians, have given and continue to give in terms of culture. In order to do this, I am convinced that Rai, undoubtedly the largest cultural industry in our country, needs to take on a leading role, first and foremost by making the most of the extraordinary talent our country has to offer.


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HASBRO

HASBRO PLANS FOR THE FUTURE AS THE NEW BIG ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY At the end of last year, Hasbro completed the acquisition of eOne, adding some important brands to its portfolio, such as Peppa Pig, PJ Masks and the new emerging success, Ricky Zoom. It’s an exciting time for both companies and this merging is considered a strategic opportunity for their business Aimed at children aged two to six years old, Peppa Pig is now an established classic: simple but distinctive characters, bright colors, with episodes characterised by short and simple plot development all combine to create very attractive content for little ones. Over the years, Peppa Pig has become a costume phenomenon, from movie star to star of the Gardaland playground, as well as the ambassador of Save The Children charity, eight active TV series and winner of the Licensing Award for best preschool property.

the licensed products already developed. Very young fans also have the opportunity to meet their heroes at the “City of PJ Masks”, a brand new attraction at the Leolandia theme park. Finally, Ricky Zoom - a phenomenon that follows the path of success of the other brands: a TV series broadcast daily in Italy on RaiYoyo – a colourful and adventurous, but above all a very fun series, suitable for

PJ Mask preschool phenomenon has a focus specifically on children aged four to six years. The series follows the adventures of the three PJ Masks, their friendship and being able to turn into small super-heroes ready to fight against injustice.

Also PJ Masks has a robust licensing program, which covers all segments of the toy market, taking 2nd place in the NPD ranking as most sold Preschool Toys in the first part of 2020. Role-play, action figures, art & craft, puzzles, bikes and other outdoor games are just some of


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a preschool audience. Although at the beginning of its licensing plan, and with the second TV series coming soon, Ricky Zoom has already won the hearts of little ones but also of many licensees, who have partnered with the brand and developed licensed products, including toys and food launching in upcoming months .

In recent years, Hasbro’s portfolio has seen a strong expansion, offering revisited classic brands and new content developed to entertain new generations of children and young people. In 2018, following the acquisition of Saban, Power Rangers joined Hasbro officially and since then the IP has become one of the key lines in the company’s strategic offering. Over the months the brand has been fully integrated into the Hasbro ecosystem. The brand new TV series BEAST MORPHERS is broadcast in Italy on Boing, who will also host the second season this year;the launch of a new toy line with action figures and role-play both for children and for collectors and fans; a new movie coming soon; live tour events and new license agreements with the best players in the market.

Hasbro’s flagship brands are still My Little Pony and Transformers, the two franchises par excellence dedicated to children of yesterday and today. Born over 35 years ago, My Little Pony is known and loved through two generations thanks to its colourful and fun, but above all the timeless message conveyed by the characters:friendship and team spirit. My Little Pony is an icon of style in its retro version and in the creative reinterpretations which follow the current trends, and inspires both high fashion designers and fast fashion brands, making the heroines the stars of increasingly colourful and cool outfits. Transformers currently has two TV series broadcast daily on children’s channels: Transformers Cyberverse on K2 and preschool series Rescue Bots Academy on Cartoonito. And there is big news coming soon for fans of Bumblebee & co.: starting from autumn 2020, Netflix will host the new War for Cyberton trilogy with an avant-garde animation which will tell the epic battles between Autobot and Generation 1Decepticon.

A bet already won is Nerf, the action brand that made a blastermuch more than a toy. At first it managed to transform the concept of outdoor play into a healthy and fun activity and then it expanded, becoming a proper brand which kids can

recognize and identify with. Many licensees have focused on Nerf thanks to the amazing and ever-growing NPD sales figures, which have seen Nerf as top bestselling product in the outdoor category, second male property and fifth total market property in the toy market. The brand’s viral digital content is shared organically on social media, as proof of the fact that Nerf is a spontaneous and selfgenerated phenomenon among children aged seven to 14. Hasbro has also backed Nerf with digital investment and over time the company has involved the most followed Youtubers, making fun Nerf challenges at the last dart. The brand has also seen a natural progression into experiential events, such as the Nerf Arena - a space hosted in the largest commercial galleries which provides fun challenges for all Nerfers. Many Italian companies are joining the Nerfbrand, creating collections of products inspired by the cool style: a new line of shoes coming out in all the major

specialised retailers, costumes, slippers and summer clothing will be the stars of the upcoming summer before the launch of the exclusive collection of backpacks and accessories for back to school by Seven.

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have also reinterpreted Monopoly in a truly unconventional way, exploiting its iconicity and recognition through original and fun clothing. As this year marks the 85th anniversary of the best-selling board game of all time, Hasbro is partnering with a range of prestigious brands to mark the occasion from Montegrappa luxury pens, to MC2 Saint Barth costumes and many other special products.

Play-Doh has always been known and recognized as the number one reusable modeling paste, with more than 100 million cans produced every year. The brand is appreciated by parents who recognise its educational value and is also loved by children. Play-Doh has also its own official YouTube channel, programming funny animated shorts with cans as characters, called Doh-Doh. The challenge of Hasbro and its licensees is to create products that keep the DNA of the property, which are innovative and reproduce the sensory experience, using the bright colours of the modeling paste and stimulating children’s imagination and creativity. This is precisely the spirit of the edutainment areas that host Play-Doh live events. Such experiences are found in shopping centres, as activities carried out in Italy in collaboration with the Catholic University and the Ministry of Education at some Italian schools, as well as new colouring and art & craft products which will be launched soon. Hasbro has always been synonymous with board games, a segment in which it is the market leader - and the company is continuously reinventing classic board games such as Monopoly, in a new and contemporary guises.

In addition to launching new and fun versions of Guess Who, Jenga, Connect4 and Twister, the company often partners with brands for new versions of games, for example Cluedo Harry Potter, Monopoly Inter, Guess Who Juventus or Monopoly Verona. Many companies have seen the benefit of the awareness of these games, creating mini or customised versions of the most famous board games to offer their audience fun moments with friends and family. Guess who Carletto Sofficini Edition, Monopoly Casa.it and Trivial Pursuit Esselunga edition created for companies to use in a mechanical promotion and 360° media campaign in the recent months. Companies from the fashion industry

Finally, Hasbro Consumer Products has decided to fulfill the wishes of the many players of Magic the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons by starting to build a licensing program dedicated to both fans and new players. Stationery items, t-shirts and celebratory puzzles will be launched in the coming months and new agreements are under discussion. Thanks to the strategy of brand positioning, the consumer products programme and the continuous content development, Hasbro ranks among the top licensor, presenting itself more and more as a 360° entertainment company, creating a winning story – telling approach to make brands live through the consumers experiences.


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ATLANTYCA ENTERTAINMENT

BERRY BEES: SPY STORY AND FASHION We recently caught up with Marco Piccinini, Licensing & Agent Manager of Atlantyca, to find out the latest news from the leading content factory, including the brand new TV series BerryBees, recently launched on TV

Marco Piccinini Can you tell us more about BerryBees and its potential development? The characters in this new TV series are three spy girls, the Berry Bees, who are called to intervene in the missions that adults can’t solve. They’re called Bobby, Lola and Juliette, and each of them has a fruit as a code name (Strawberry, Blueberry and Raspberry), a strong and well-defined personality and an exclusive accessory, which turns into a spy gadget when they go into action. Bobby, the extraordinary hacker and brain of the team, never separates from her raspberry-shaped device - the Berry Brain - which can be transformed into a Berry thrower that shoots raspberry flavoured Berry Bubbles. Juliette, an actress and extraordinary mentalist, has a pair of very fashionable boots, with blueberry-colored stars attached, which can be thrown at enemies or turned into boomerangs and keys. Lola, acrobat and contortionist, ties her “exuberant hair “ with a strawberrycolored lace that can become a stick, a lasso or a rope for climbing or blocking enemies. And they are just some of the multiple functions that these gadgets hide! In each episode the spy agency, the BIA (Bees Intelligence Agency), delivers a

gadget to our heroines for the mission. The gadgets from the series could inspire toy ranges. They are inspirational objects for licensees and fun games for girls, who are the main target of the TV series. Fashion accessories can be created and also transformed into spy gadgets for a new mission. The uncountable gadgets are great inspiration for the confectionery, toy and stationery categories. How has the TV series performed in Italy? The first 26 episodes of Berry Bees are aired on RaiGulp and have been available on RaiPlay since December 2019. From April 24th the whole series (52 episodes) became available on RaiPlay and on May 6th the new episodes launched on RaiGulp. Based on the shared data, the TV series is among the most popular TV programmes on the channel. On the fashion front, what is the approach? For Berry Bees we are making a new style guide taking advantage of some

themes from the series, which are stylistic elements, of colour and content. Forthe fashion world we are developing other inspirational themes such as “Spy Gear Artwork”, “Berry Doodle “ and “Fierce & Feisty”, which highlights the girls’ planet and everything that revolves around girl power themes. This is also a special year for GeronimoStilton… Geronimo Stilton is in his 20th year, with an incredible milestone in terms of books sold worldwide. The children of the first Geronimo fans are now getting closer to becoming fans themselves. We are focusing on promotions with partners

IDENTITY CARD - Berry Bees Target:4-8 M+F Format: 52x12’ Genre: Spy Action Licensor: Atlantyca SpA Co-Production: Atlantyca SpA, SLR Productions (Australia), Telegael (Ireland) and CosmosMaya (India) TV programming: Rai Ragazzi, RaiPlay Synopsis: Three young inseparable friends, Bobby, Lola and Juliette, aka the Berry Bees, lead an apparently normal life, at least until they are committed to saving the world on behalf of the BIA (Bees Intelligence Agency), a secret agency that chose them for all missions which adult agents can’t complete. Whatever it is, the Berry Bees are always ready to go into action with their super-technological and transformable gadgets.


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IDENTITY CARD - Hello Maestro Primary target: 7-10M + F Secondary target: 4-6M + F Genre: Comedy / Educational Format: 7 seasons - 26x26’ each TV programming: Cartoonito, Italia1, Netflix

who can celebrate 20 years of the career and values of Stilton. Can you give us your opinion on how brands are behaving in this period? In this period some properties such as Hello Maestro have become a reference point for parents who, at home, create activities with their children. Let’s say that certain properties, with a certain type of authority, can take on a different weight and become messengers of important and positive content. On the industry front? The digital and social world is now central and it is what is permitting us to remain united and continue to operate. The social / web / digital aspects will be crucial and also the investments in that area.

E-commerce also seems an indispensable alternative to traditional retail, as well as online entertainment, while interpersonal relationships have moved to social networks and apps. The after-virus phase will generate a break for some and a continuity for others.

IDENTITY CARD - Bat Pat Target: 5-9 M+F Genre: Creepy Comedy Format: Season 1 - 52x11’; Season 2 - 52 x 11’ TV programming: Rai, Netflix

IN ADDITION TO PERSONAL GADGETS, HERE ARE SOME OF THE DEVICES ASSIGNED TO THE BERRY BEES FOR INDIVIDUAL MISSIONS Simple objects that can also be created by licensees: - Brush that creates anti-gravity bubbles - Phone cover that sprays gas from sneezing - Kaleidoscope to decipher encrypted video messages - Shaped bilberry hair clip that gives off a soporific gas - Pencil sharpener with container that includes voice projector and 3D images - Raspberry-shaped whistle that emits high-pitched sounds Bizarre and extravagant objects that can be inspirational for licensees: - Travel cushions that become inflatable double of a Berry Bee - Water bottle that becomes a flight-skate - Pencil case that becomes adrone - Sparkling ray - Pocket umbrella that becomes a shield - Spinning top that creates an electromagnetic field - Sunglasses within fared vision

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MAURIZIO DISTEFANO LICENSING

AN AGENCY THAT ANSWERS TO ALL NEEDS Cartoons, Brands, Fashion and Music are all new categories for a diversified offer Expanding the offer of the MDL agency, that now not only represents cartoons properties, gives the opportunity to build interesting and innovative partnerships, taking the Italian Licensing world to a whole new level. The aim is to give companies a wide range of opportunities, constantly reaching out to customers’ expectations, that help creating products that sell-out rapidly. The full portfolio of the MDL agency has as target message of a constant evolution and a careful research that the agency carries out as a service to Licensees. The MDL Portfolio is divided in 4 important sections: Cartoons, Brands, Fashion and Music. The Cartoon category is composed by the most successful animated series airing in Italy and it reflects the MDL selection

Zafari Books by Ape Junior

Gigantosaurus Toys by Jakks Pacific developed during the years. The portfolio is made of the series that appear to be in the primary positions of market surveys for their awareness, such as Bing, Masha and the Bear, and ALVINNN!!! And the Chipmunks, brought to success also thanks to the accurate licensing program of the agency. Gigantosaurus, ZAFARI and Kit’n’Kate are the latest TV series launched by broadcasters that have already caught the attention of the licensees. Gigantosaurus has already entered the market with the soft and hard line collection of the Master Toy, in addition to the fantastic books of the Master Publisher, finally with other licensees on board, reassured by the success that the series based on the timeless dinosaurs had with children. ZAFARI carries along a message of adventure, inclusivity, tolerance, that are of great importance nowadays and, thanks to the wonderful style guides, it is already in stores with the beautiful Salani books range, Dolfin chocolate eggs


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to the MDL representation. The MDL Fashion division offers Italian creative directors of great excellence: PREMOLI + DI BELLA with an implemented licensing program, Filippo Laterza and Stefano Cavalleri that are available for exclusive creative projects in all categories. The music category, latest MDL news, includes licenses of famous bands and artists of the world: AC/DC, Kiss, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, The Police, Genesis, Imagine John Lennon, Lyrics by Lennon & McCartney, Woodstock, following the current and future trend of using vintage and iconic graphics. and many other products coming soon. Kit’n’Kate is getting ready to become the next great success: awareness, simple representation, educative plots are its strengths. Among the brands, as latest news we have Baileys and Guinness, both high-positioning, that fit perfectly with innovative licensing programs in Food, Fashion and Accessory categories: for strategic brand extensions thanks to the high popularity of the delicious blend of the rich dairy cream with the finest whiskey and of the world known beer. The Marie-Antoinette brand is inspired to the figure, to the life at court and the

ALVINNN!!! And the Chipmunks Water bottles Collection by Levissima Issima dwellings of the famous French sovereign. The style guides are full of different themes to use to create products for sophisticated, elegant and style-conscious women. Centre de Monuments Nationaux, the official brand of the Arc de Triomphe and the Abbaye du MontSaint-Michel, world known monuments, has magnificent style guides for the first time available in the Italian market thanks

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TEAMTO

MIGHTY MIKE: THE FUNNIEST PUG ON TV READY FOR LICENSING A nice pug has arrived on TV, a little clumsy and making many bizarre adventures with his other animal friends, already enjoying a large following

IDENTITY CARD Title: Mighty Mike Genre: Universal slapstick visual comedy Target: 6-10 years-old and Families Format: 78 x 7’ + 30 x 1’ CGI Non Dialogue

keeping the house from being destroyed – a difficult balance!

Mighty Mike is a TV series, produced by the French leading production company TeamTo, is based on the universal slapstick visual comedy language. It is a no dialogue animation inspired by Tom & Jerry and pet home videos. Mighty Mike is already on air globally on many TV platforms, as Turner in the EMEA territories, Latam and Apac and also Itv in UK, ABC in Australia, Tencent in China and many others. Mike is an energetic pug with refined

tastes who longs for a quiet life but instead, finds himself protecting the house from a wild bunch of rascally Raccoons, excitable Turtles and the adorable Fluffy the Kitten. While ruining Mike’s plans is all part of the fun, Mike always saves the day but as his owners return home, Mike finds he has missed yet another opportunity to impress the neighbor’s dog, Iris. Central to the show is the relationship between Mike and Iris. In each episode Mike’s main aim is to impress Iris while

Each character’s goals are clearly laid out from the be-ginning of each episode. And despite their simple goals, the characters’ quirky plans trigger a comedic escalation and gradually turn simple situations into extraordinary ones and ultimately chaos ensues! As the action builds to a climax, Mike takes on a tsunami of catastrophes and goes from lapdog to full-blown action hero — albeit a rather furry one! The humor stems from gags, blunders, dramatic stunts and the animals’ occasional anthropomorphic behavior. Real looking animals in situations that are completely unrealistic and unexpected - Mike spends a lot of time doing quirky things like riding a skateboard or doing yoga. Alternating between realistic moves and ‘cartoony’ movements is one of the success key of this series. With no dialogue, the animals express themselves and tell the story using gestures and facial expressions. Animal voices are a close mix of being realistic but also funny and animated. Mighty Mike has recently started his own licensing program in the territories where it is on air and will soon become very popular among the young audience thanks to products that will reproduce the funniest dog on TV.


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CICABOOM

THE CONQUEST OF LETRABOTS Born as a company specialising in products for the newsstand channel, Cicaboom has recently turned its hand to creating its own property by crossing flow-packs, comics and animated content on YouTube. The result is a unique brand which over time is becoming more and more exciting and is creating an important community in the countries where it’s present. The future? Content for TV

in being able to devise communication concepts for the world of collectibles, has managed to give life to all of Fulvio’s insights and therefore to the characters and stories loved by a growing and very diverse audience made up of children from four to 11 years old, who demand brands based on emotions and not only on products. This was the intuition that prompted Cicaboom to believe and invest in the Letrabots brand. The characters of the property are original and combine numbers and letters with the concept of the secret a child can discover through learning.

Elisabetta Insile and Fulvio Fantino at BLTF 2019 Cicaboom’s new project – the Letrabots brand - was born from the experience and passion of the three founders, Fulvio Fantino, Elisabetta Insile and Massimo Tenani, built from 30 years in the business. Fulvio is the entrepreneurial and creative mind behind the project. He’s described as a dreamer who has always worked in sectors where products, games and narratives lived together: first by owning a chain of shops specialising in comics, cards and video games, then becoming the creator and producer of gaming trading cards and finally approaching the

collectible markets. Elisabetta is the creative director of the company who, thanks to her experience

Fulvio and Elisabetta explain that the enormous universe of Letrabots has developed over time, in parallel with the output of the collection and this has created a synergistic evolution, which gave great strength to the brand, building a world in which children can feel comfortable and live their adventures. In the large universe of Letrabots, the


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authors are completing the first cycle of the storyline. Letrabots are ancient primitive beings in a metal body: they are the vibrations which created the universe and once re-incarnated they lost their memory. They have the power to transform themselves from letters to robots but very soon they discover they can join together, forming the powerful big robots.

On the newsstand front, the big robot collections came out immediately after the success of the first series, while the subsequent collections enjoyed great success for the introduction of the number and animal element as well. The storyline of the first cycle was then completed

with special episodes in which the latest collections- Kartbots and Numberbots - interconnected their stories with the Letrabots universe. In September, with the release of the latest collection, the first cycle will have a conclusion. The Letrabots appeal to children because they have a well-defined world which young fans can use as a base for their

imagination and the ever-changing games and secrets they want to decipher. In addition to this, parents like Letrabots because of their educational values. Furthermore, with Letrabots, Cicaboom has gone beyond the simple newsstand product. As Fulvio explains: “We immediately wanted to develop a digital platform that was cross-media. A hub of content and products that finds its backbone on the site, connected to e-commerce, a YouTube channel and social media, looking forward and also thinking about a future on television.” Cicaboom is also a hot bed of talents, as Elisabetta explains: “Cicaboom is a liquid company, proud to be one. Each talent who works in and with Cicaboom is selected on the basis of their creative and organisational skills. The Letrabots project involves various figures, internal and external who report, for the strategic part, to Fulvio and, for the artistic part, to me. Specifically: designers, colourists, engineers, 3D modelers and animators, graphic designers and social media specialists.”

On YouTube Letrabots’ followers are constantly growing and Cicaboom is experimenting with the first forms of animation for the IP. The intention, but also the dream, of the company is to move on, with the next cycle of adventures, from the animated comics to the cartoon. They are in fact working on a new series, Letrabots 2.0 (working title), which implements and enhances the storytelling of the cross-media content: publishing, television and digital. In this period, the newsstand channel has never stopped and the Cicaboom team has continued to plan their next move. In fact, in September 2020, a new collection will be released, which will pave the way for Letrabots 2.0 in January 2021.

“Letrabots embodies the model of the company: we want to build timeless, educational and quality games, that derive their strength from their stories, worlds and imaginations. We create emotions, not pieces of plastic.” - Fulvio Fantino -

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SBABAM

SBABAM MAKES NEWS ON THE NEWSTANDS! Sbabam has a number of big launches coming up in 2020 for the newsstand channel, where it is a leading player. Numerous exciting proposals under license or created by the company’s internal team are on the way. Here are just a few HELLO KITTY FUN PACK ALBUM + METAL TINS The long-standing partnership between Sanrio and Sbabam is stronger than ever and May sees yet another impressive collaboration with the newsstand launch of Hello Kitty’s Fun Pack Album. This beautiful album, starring Hello Kitty and her delightful friends, contains 112 cards, 32 stickers and 24 tattoos. Fans can also buy a metal tin, inside which they will find cards, stickers and tattoos as well as a beautiful mini magazine with games and two educational pages where children can learn some phrases in English. There’s also a page dedicated to raising awareness of the planet and how to protect it, with tips and suggestions to help future generations to look forward to a greener, cleaner time.

EXTREME FRISBEE Also in May, Extreme Frisbee comes out on newsstands: six colourful, fun and above all very fast Frisbees, aimed at a target market aged eight and above. With these Frisbees, which can fly at speeds of up to 60 km, kids can have fun on their own or challenge their friends (there are three fantastic challenges) and become a champion. They can even play with them at night – these Frisbees glow in the dark!

GENIUS SECRET Another fantastic collaboration – this time between Sbabam and Step & Phere – will bring a fantastic puzzle to newsstands in May. Aimed at kids from eight years old and up, it’s called the Genius Secret. Four funny cubes and a little ball combine in a game where the player has to walk


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through intricate mazes to unlock a little door to find a secret message. A QR code – framed with a mobile phone or tablet – will give players an internet address where they can find the unpublished videos of Two Players One Console – aka Step & Phere.

FLOWER PRINCESS The Flower Princess is a new Sbabam collection for girls coming out in May at all newsstands: 12 beautiful and colourful flowers that magically turn into 12 princesses, each with a magical power – and more for girls to discover.

BIG POWER BLASTER Also for kids aged eight and over, following on from the success of the Power Blasters, in May Sbabam launches the Big Power Blasters on newsstands: four new blasters, bigger and more powerful for more and more daring missions for supersecret agents. And that’s not all: in each package as well as a blaster there are also nine darts.

CROC & TURTLE EGGS The new collection coming out in May from Croc & Turtle Eggs allows kids to discover the magic of life. There are 12 eggs, all different, which kids aged from three upwards can dip in water. After a

few days, each egg will start breaking and a baby turtle or dinosaur will be born. If

it’s left immersed in water for seven days it will grow up to 12 cm.

ABOUT SBABAM #Sbabam is about positive change in the name of fun, fantasy and joy. Changing today’s world for the better is possible: just never stop playing! The brand is dedicated to the conception, design and marketing at newsstands and the large-scale distribution of accessories, games and objects, all of them fun and colourful, simple and social, beautiful and current. #Sbabam began life as an offshoot of Tema Promotional Gifts srl and is the work of a creative and dynamic team, ready at all times to develop ideas and make them real – a group of professionals in the creation and distribution of personalized communication objects and publishing products for international markets. In Italy and abroad, Sbabam is all about the pleasure of being together and imagining, having fun with people you like, and the chance for everyone to grow and improve – and Sbabam brings the same approach to the world of licensing. Sbabam games create a timeless but contemporary universe that can be seen and touched: sparkling colours, amazing characters, fun and knowledge, friendship and hope. It’s a world where the screen of a mobile phone or a computer is not the only way to see things. A world where there is room to experience the joy of getting to know each other and the pleasure of seeing a smiling face. Sbabam aims to establish itself in Italy and Europe not only in newsstand markets, but in all distribution channels such as department stores, stationers and toy shops. Sbabam was launched only a few years ago, but today has a strong presence in its home market and beyond, now extending into Spain, Germany and France. But even as it grows, Sbabam is always looking for new ideas, new partners and new collaborations, leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to enchant its little fans. Partnerships are being developed with major publishers, broadcasters, producers or licensing managers around the world.

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WSC

FROM DIGITAL TO LICENSING Web Stars Channel (WSC) is a digital company specialising in creating content from some of the most popular creators in Italy, including Favij, the Mates, LaSabri, Anna Clavo, Pow3r and Yotobi. In addition to content creation, the group is also very active in the licensing field and, in the current uncertain period, it has also become a spokesperson for positive messages aimed at young people

LaSabri Easter Egg by Dolci Preziosi campaign #cyberesistance  against  cyberbullying, of which she has become an ambassador. Her videos are mainly  vlogs, where she interacts both with her viewers and with the people around her, always trying to convey educational and positive messages to her fans. Her schedule is increasingly rich and varied in content, thanks to the entertainment programmes, The School of Sabri and Me & LaSabri, which have crowned her as queen of YouTube for girls aged 6 to 12. The first programme is an edutainment format launched on March 28th, based on dads and daughters challenges on school concepts. The second digital show was launched in April 2019, in which Sabrina, surprisingly, goes to a fan’s house to spend the afternoon with her, doing homework, playing and chatting.

Sticker Album #PopSabri by Diramix

THE LICENSING DEVELOPMENT OF LASABRI

With a past as a model and gymnast,  LaSabri  is the  older sister of  YouTube  Italy,  the best friend that all girls would love to have. She is sweet, kind, witty, but also always up

to date on everything popular, from video games to songs. Fans tell her everything they can’t share with their parents. Dynamic and funny, in her daily videos she deals with issues related to childhood, bullying, homophobia, racism and talks about her main passions: family, animals and travel. In 2017  she  launched  the

Anna Clavo


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With over four million followers  on her social  networks, today  LaSabri has established  herself as a brand in the world of entertainment, on which WSC is building a broad and ambitious licensing programme. Following two successful editorial projects developed with the publisher Rizzoli, LaSabri will be a central character of 2020: starting with the sticker album developed in partnership with  Diramix, Dolci Preziosi’s Easter egg, the school collection by Seven and much more  yet to come... Each project is developed in close collaboration with the creator herself. This is how partners ensure they have the right product; built according to the trends and tastes of the fans and representative of the digital identity of LaSabri. Thanks to the nature of the WSC brands, the communication created around the product is the most strategic asset when it comes to sales.  Using creators as real media, allows communication to reach the fan directly, without any dispersion. Among the latest projects based on LaSabri  brand, the sticker album with Diramix has been the first launch. The album, released in Italian newsstands last  March, features a range of exciting surprises: in addition to the possibility of completing the 32-page book with 179 stickers, a few lucky fans will also have the opportunity to win some fantastic prizes.  Inside the sticker packets there are two types of special cards: 10  Party Surry

Favij Cards, which guarantee the winners a meeting with the star, and 100 Pop Cards, winning  an  exclusive backpack autographed by  LaSabri  herself.  The  sticker album, which will also contain an unpublished poster, will also be divided into 14 sections that will tell the  entire journey  of the popular creator: from her story as YouTuber  to her travels, her childhood, her love for animals and her social commitment.  

DURING THE LOCKDOWN THE  #IOMIDIVERTOACASA (#IHAVEFUNATHOME) CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED IN COLLABORATION WITH SAVE THE CHILDREN The initiative was born from WSC  and  involved  the most important web content  creators  such as  Favij,  LaSabri, the  Mates, Jack Nobile, Danny  Lazzarin, Giulia Penna and The Couple Who Bursts, among others.  In partnership with  Save  The  Children, the campaign  was  broadcast on all major social platforms including  TikTok,  Instagram  and  YouTube. The purpose was to reiterate how crucial it is to stay at home. The  digital talents  provide ideas for their millions of young fans through a series of videos and posts on the main platforms, (all characterized by the  hashtag  #iomidivertoacasa) for what

Pow3r to do in this difficult period: rediscovering family, games and creativity. The whole campaign is based on constructive and reassuring messages for children, who are experiencing lockdown. This positive message also involves the famous Italian artist J-Ax, who joined the #iomidivertoacasa (#ihavefunathome) “team” with the release of his latest hit Supercalifragili. In fact, the music video was shot in full quarantine period and it has involved many WSC artists and talents.

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PREMIUM LICENSING

NEW FASHION INSPIRED BY CLASSIC CHARACTERS Premium Licensing is a leading agency, both in Italy and abroad, known in particular for bringing together characters and high fashion brands. Its work in this field has seen it skilfully transform well-known characters into style icons – notably Popeye and Olive Oyl, as some of its latest licensed collections demonstrate, released in 2019 and coming out in 2020 Iceberg x Popeye

ORIGINAL MARINES: THE POPEYE SPRING/SUMMER 2020 COLLECTION

has also developed a Popeye-themed collection for young people.

Original Marines is a leader in the Italian children’s and teen clothing market, whose garments combine affordable prices with quality. It is committed to environmental sustainability, and safety across the production chain. It has created a collection for boys and girls featuring Popeye and – for girls – featuring Olive Oyl for spring/summer 2020. The Olive Oyl collection for girls is playful but also refined, making elegant use of rhinestones and other stylish touches. The Popeye collection is sporty but with added graphic originality and a gritty and dynamic approach – ideal for energetic boys who love style.

Original Marines x Popeye

Iceberg’s pop art-inspired graphics are world-famous but the pop-art interpretation used in the Popeye line is particularly striking – as well, of course, as being beautifully made.

POPEYE GOES POP WITH ICEBERG KIDS

Popeye and Olive Oyl are cleverly incorporated into dynamic and colourful designs, with Popeye’s vintage comic strips featuring all over the garments, adding to the characters’ strength, dynamism and vitality. The designs give the Popeye and Olive Oyl apparel a liveliness that makes them immediately irresistible.

Iceberg, the Italian fashion brand launched in 1974 that today has a global presence,

Iceberg x Popeye

Original Marines x Popeye


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POPEYE AS BENETTON’S ECOLOGICAL AMBASSADOR United Colours of Benetton’sspring/ summer 2020 clothing collection featuring Popeye and Olive Oyl, and created by Benetton’s creative director Jean Charles de Castelbajac, is fresh and dynamic. It is designed to appeal to a new generation of young people with a pop spirit. BOB x Popeye

BOB: CRAFTMANSHIP AND CREATIVITY

Monnalisa x Popeye

MONNALISA’S PLAYFUL PLANS FOR POPEYE Monnalisa, a world-leading Italian brand of children’s luxury clothing, presented the Popeye and Olive Oyl line for its autumn/ winter 2020 collection at Pitti Bimbo in June 2019. Benetton x Popeye In this collection Benetton shows its commitment to the environment and Popeye becomes the ambassador of this campaign, through a collection of T-shirts, dresses, sweatshirts and shirts that reflect ecological themes. The issue of environmental protection could not be more topical. It is on everyone’s lips and Popeye, a champion of good causes as well as a famous sailor, has naturally lent himself to a campaign for the protection of the seas and the promotion of positive environmental attitudes. The protection of the ecosystem starts with us and our small, but significant, everyday habits. In this Benetton collection, Popeye communicates simple but incisive messages, combined with fresh and attractive graphics for collections intended for men, women and children. The collections combine humour and lightness with awareness and commitment to building a better world.

Monnalisa played up a sophisticated and ironic theme with its Olive Oyl girls’ clothes and offered something more playful for the Popeye kids’ apparel. Monnalisa has a presence in over 60 countries around the world, through its own-brand stores and over 750 multi-brand stores as well as of course as the most prestigious department stores worldwide, including Harrods, La Rinascente, Galeries Lafayette, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harvey Nichols, Bloomingdales, Sogo, El Cortes Ingles, SKP and TsUM. BOB x Popeye

BOB has chosen Popeye for its 2020 summer and winter collections. BOB is an Italian brand with a strong presence in the medium-to-high-end segment, a brand that, in particular, references the great tradition of Made in Italy craftsmanship. BOB is a name with a strong presence in multi-brand stores. These stores highlight quality products in outlets that extend to the Italian provinces, where the big fashion brands often do not have singlebrand stores. Multi-brand stores are enjoying growing success because they are a valid alternative to the limitations of both single-brand stores and chains. They are able to diversify their offering by giving ample space to quality products that stand out for originality and innovation and that are always renewed. BOB’s care with the creation of its garments combines all the passion of old-school Italian handicrafts and all the creativity and dynamism of a 21st-century brand.

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IMC TOYS

CRY BABIES. THE NEW LICENSING HIT Cry Babies are a real phenomenon among girls aged 3 to 6 years. Born from the Spanish toy company, IMC TOYS, Cry Babies are dolls with giants eyes, colored hair, and unique pajamas that cry real tears

FIGURES BY THE TV SERIES CRY BABIES MAGIC TEARS

Dolls beloved by the youngest fans, with extraordinary assets. Since 2016 - the year of launch of the first line of dolls over 6 million products have been sold worldwide. As a corollary to this success, the idea of ​​combining the product from 2018 with an animated 3D series, first enjoyed online on YouTube Kids, through the official channel, Kitoons, and then on linear television. The animated series, Cry Babies Magic Tears, was born with the idea of ​​changing the approach that children have through tears - the central element of the toy basing the series on the importance of identifying emotions. From the launch to date, the series has gone beyond the web to land on television, but has been also translated into over 20 languages. The online animated series has collected +3.6M subscribers and +1.60 billion views. Each 5-minute animated episode has a self-contained story, where Cry Babies invite children to see the world through their eyes, where tears turn into magic. These magical tears arise from emotions

of love and happiness when the dolls overcome challenges together. A series that shows the importance of friendship and teamwork. Thanks to this animated series, IMC TOYS has significantly expanded the range of toys, creating a line specifically dedicated to Cry Babies Magic Tears, with over 15 different references. In this mix of toy and cartoon, the sales of the Toy products in Europe and all over the world are incredible. According to NPD data, Cry Babies are the 2nd bestselling product in Spain, 3rd in the UK and 1st in Italy for its category - Special Feature Nurturing Dolls. Inevitably, this phenomenon has turned into an equally important licensing success. Globally, IMC TOYS has developed agreements with over 40 licensees in 60 territories and over 200 licensed products including publishing, puzzles, sticker albums, learning games, chocolate eggs, perfumes, accessories and much more. In Italy, among the partners on board

HD Digital animation for 3-6 year old kids done by now are Season 1: 12x3’ Released in July 2018 Season 2: 26x5’ Released in April 2019 Season 3 36x5’ Released in March 2020 Season 4: 26x5’Released planned in 2021

we can mention Lisciani, Clementoni, Ravensburger, Panini, Mondadori and Dolci, just to name a few.

BEYOND THE WEB, AN EXTRAORDINARY TV PERFORMANCE Top 3 most viewed program on Disney Channel Spain for 4-6 years old girls target Top 5 viewed program on Frisbee TV - Italy Top 6 Program on MY TF1 in France An exceptional starting in Gulli in France this March among all the PS shows Second Program behind Peppa Pig on Ketchup TV in UK


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ENANIMATION

Mondo TV Iberoamerica Group and Enanimation to coproduce Nina & Olga Animated series based on much-loved preschool property presold to Rai Ragazzi

Mondo TV Iberoamerica, a division of the Italian group Mondo TV, one of the largest European producers and distributors of animated content, has recently announced that – through its subsidiary Mondo TV Producciones Canarias – it is to be coproduction partner for Nina & Olga, the brand new series created and conceived by the Italian boutique animation studio, Enanimation. Enanimation has already secured a deal for the TV series with, Rai Ragazzi, the kids’ channel of Italian public broadcaster Rai. Nina & Olga is a 52×7’ 2D HD animation for 4-6-year-olds, based on the globally popular preschool publishing property Olga the Cloud. The show is now in production, with a planned launch date of spring 2021. Mondo TV Producciones Canarias will

share the pre-production phase of the show, while parent company Mondo TV S.p.A is responsible for the animation. Enanimation will have exclusive rights throughout the world, while Mondo TV Producciones Canarias will have exclusive rights in Spain and Andorra. Enanimation will have worldwide distribution rights, excluding the Mondo TV Canarias’ territories Portugal, Latin America and the Spanish-speaking US. Created by legendary writer and illustrator Nicoletta Costa, and a global publishing success for over 30 years, Olga is a cute, funny and soft cloud, who is friends with the moon, the stars and the sun – and also children! And of course, as a cloud she wants to rain – but when is the right time? For Nina & Olga, Enanimation, the main producer of the TV series, has developed a new character, Nina. Nina is a special friend of Olga, who helps Nina to cope with everyday challenges. Olga helps Nina to understand and face her feelings, like a true Best Friend Forever, but a BFF who rains – and at the most unusual times! It’s a rich, colourful world of children, parents, grannies and teachers, not to mention animals, birds the sun, moon and stars, all of whom come together as part of Nina & Olga’s daily adventures. The first Olga the Cloud storybook was published in Italy in 1982. Since then, more than 80 titles – in picture book, board book, activity book and cloth book

formats – have been published in Italy and abroad. Olga the Cloud has enjoyed a strong response in many countries outside Italy, but is particularly popular in China, Russia, Spain and the US. Writer and illustrator Nicoletta Costa’s work has graced more than 600 books to date. Her unique ability to see the world through the eyes of a child and her endearing characters like Giovanna the Moon, Mister Aquilone, Margherita the Sleepy Teacher, Teodora the Witch and of course Olga the Cloud, have gained her, and her work, global fame. Enanimation secured the rights to develop the popular pre-school publishing property in 2019, thanks to an exclusive deal with the prestigious Italian author.

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Trends

TRENDY THEMES

Eternal flowering By Rossella Arena In springtime we are surrounded by blooms rich in perfumes and colours. It is certainly the best time to discover the latest flowerthemed news from companies   It is late spring, we now clearly perceive the beauty of the season inside and outside of us.  Now is the right time to get in touch with the flower-themed news launched from companies and valid not only in this season, but also for the rest of the year.  The flower, due to its variety and versatility, is one of the most used symbols in business: the aesthetic choices of some brands can contribute to spreading an eternal spring in our lives. Legami is an Italian company that creates gifts, stationery, hi-tech and leisure products.  For their lines, they often use popular symbols such as hearts, flamingos and cats, interpreting all designs in a truly original and unique way.  In their new “Bloom from within” collection, dedicated to the vibrant energy of spring, the company has created various types of flowery objects: from make-up pouches to a steel thermal bottle, which keeps drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours, to a rubber with Flower Power sharpener.  New stationery products with poppy designs have also been developed, including elegant tablet cases. The Singing Bottle flower bloom by Legami

in the shower product is a speakerphone and waterproof Bluetooth speaker, which allows you to listen to your favourite

Allegra by Envidiame Novello together with Sarti herself. The photos used in the advertising campaign were taken in Apulia in the famous and suggestive Alma Petra resort. Havaianas is the Brazilian brand of flip flops known worldwide for its characteristic rubber sole and colorful design.  For the company’s new collection flowers are present in different patterns on the  You Alemao and kimono Vidigal by Envidiame Mini notebook by Legami music or answer the phone when you are in the shower. Envidiame  is an Italian beachwear company, which uses bright colours and a close attention to the quality of its materials throughout its ranges. And from collection to collection, the company still strives to improve. The company name, “Envy me”, was chosen to make it clear that every costume is truly desirable. The brand mainly uses Brazilian prints and fabrics, because creator Michela Sarti often travels to the country.  In the new 2020 collection there are tropical flowers in the jungle fantasy, available for all the different style of costume and on a kimono with adjustable lacing for use out of the water. The Allegra design features orange hibiscus on both the bikini and swimsuit version. The costume is part of the capsule created by the model Francesca Sofia


Trends

Digital, Flowers,   Flower Stripe Patch.  Products with flowers are also present in the “Tropical Punch Collection”, in the  Tropical Punch Belt bag,  in the  Tropical Flower Loop,  Flower and Stripes  and  Flowers and Belts Contrast

Slim Sensation by Hawaianas

Saint Tropez model, which is feminine and on - trend.  This flip flop has the typical Havaianas sole, but is embellished with a bow-shaped canvas band, made with a fabric inspired by the iconic and flowery shoppers of the Brazilian markets, with tropical prints.  Two new models of the more classic Slim Sensation line, available in bright shades of light blue and pink, feature refined floral prints.  Crayola  is a historic American art supply brand, known especially for its pastels, but

You Saint Tropez by Hawaianas

which also has a production of activities and kits for younger children. Its line of Steam kits is known to parents and teachers for helping children develop problem solving skills while learning and exploring their passion of science. Suitable for ages seven and over, the company’s scientific kits have been designed with the aim of learning while having fun. New for August 2020 will be the Power Flower Science Kit, which allows children to create coloured paper flowers with the help of water and by capillarity.  The kit allows children to make up to 12 different flowers, and mix new colours each time to create different designs.  Distribution will start from the US market.  Codello is a German company specialising in the production of scarves and accessories.  For spring / summer 2020 the “Sweet Summer Collection” is filled with flowers:  Fruits Nicki Digital,  Paisley

Power Flower Science Kit by Crayola

Fruits Nicki Digital by Codello scarves, in the Flower Scarf  scarf.  The materials used include cotton, linen, silk and recycled polyester. Finally, Help us Green is an Indian brand which derives its products from flowers, recycling the huge quantities that are used in temples all over India for sacred rites.  Thanks to this operation, cones and incense sticks are created.  Among the latest products is the lavender water incense, with a beautiful scent and a natural antiseptic action. Water Lavender Incense Sticks by Help Us Green

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Industry Analysis

COVID CRISIS

HOW LICENSING INDUSTRY IS REACTING TO THE CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY A global crisis, without any precedent. A pandemic that has blocked industries and businesses around the world. Industry events canceled, with a timid hope for the second half of 2020 but with no confirms. The only certainty is that we won’t be back soon to the rhythms kept until February 2020 No forecast of when it will be possible to meet again in person or travel to network with business partners; or when it will be possible to illustrate a company showroom or a product catalog. Licensors, licensees and retailers have to re-invent their business models, with the first goal to overcome this period and therefore to create new strategies for the future, made of unclear colors and uncertainty. Following the shock due to the collapse in turnover, companies are thinking about how to go further, in view of the so called “new normal”. We do not have an exact vision of what will happen in the coming months, between assumptions and hopes. In the meantime, LM interviewed some key members of the international licensing industry to get their opinion

Maura Regan

on the present and future of our sector. Among the many opinions, insiders agree that licensors need to support licensees and retailers to overcome the current block together.

MAURA REGAN, PRESIDENT, LICENSING INTERNATIONAL (USA) How do you think the licensing community is reacting to this period? I am proud to say the licensing industry is coming together during this unprecedented time to support and help each other - even companies that are usually considered competitors. You may have noticed how many brands have built online initiatives to keep a link with their fan base. What do you think? I love it! We have been conducting webinars, virtual round tables, lunch and learn and   our YPN program (Young Professional Network) all with great success. These events don’t replace in person interactions and connection, but they are hugely successful particularly during these times.  Aware of the collapse of sales in the various categories, e-commerce is obviously has become the main retail channel. How do you think brands may benefit from this? E-commerce has been a growing platform and Covid 19 has accelerated its growth. That said there are retailers who are still

trading and doing business: drug and grocery, Walmart, home depot in the US. At the moment, faced with the vertical sales loss for numerous categories, others are emerging somewhat strengthened, such as publishing, in particular for kids, gaming and above all food. Also here, what may be the impact on licensing, according to you? Brands and licensed brand products become even more important and relevant. Now more than ever consumers are seeking assurances of quality through every stage in the supply chain- brands provide that quality assurance.   What do you think will be the necessary steps for future reconstruction and revitalization of the licensing industry? This industry is incredibly innovative and creative. There will likely be a paradigm shift in how people and companies collaborate on all sides of the deal and pricing structures.

“There will likely be a paradigm shift in how people and companies collaborate on all sides of the deal and pricing structures.” - Maura Regan -


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Industry Analysis

Mickael Zeggagh

MICKAEL ZEGGAGH, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR LICENSING, MILLIMAGES (FRANCE)

How do you see the re-build of the licensing business after the lockdown period?  Slowly but surely we will see licensing business coming back to life. Consumers and fans (re)discovered new activities during the lockdown period like board games, family arts & crafts or cooking.  These new habits are revitalizing these

“Consumers and fans (re) discovered new activities during the lockdown period like board games, family arts & crafts or cooking” - Mickael Zeggagh -

categories, balancing losses and offering new opportunities between our IPs, publishers and toy manufacturers.   If and how the Licensing Business will be different from the actual model? There will be a transition period where both licensors, agents and licensees need to come together and accept to make some financial compromises in order to focus on 2021. Also, It will be hard to pitch new things to

retailers as everyone’s products releases are shifting to the next quarter or later. But all together, the business model, after this crisis, would remain the same. How licensors and agencies shall/will support the licensees and the retailers to boost sales? Using creativity, we have had the opportunities to talk to our fans and audience in this difficult time. We have created new ties that can be translated into new consumers choices. Companies that have been silent during the confinement, may loose some trust from their consumers and partners.   On one hand,  licensees depend from international suppliers and are rethinking their logistics chain bringing back production closer to them. On the other hand, brick & mortar retailers are selling online and creating new ways for their buyers to collect their purchases (drive, home deliveries). The silver-lining is that this means more convenience for the consumers.


Industry Analysis

priority but we must also need to protect our business and further success to survive during corona pandemic will require a long journey but also quick solutions. With missing business in brick and mortal retail who is across many European territories still closed, supply chain disruptions, cancelled orders from retailers (especially on seasonal products), missed movie releases, canceled big sport event and of course consumers who are in short-time work who are careful in spending their money outside of the daily goods they need – this all together have a huge impact into our licensing business.

Joachim Knödler

JOACHIM KNÖDLER, LICENSING EXPERT - FORMER GM AT CPLG GERMANY (GERMANY) Below some thoughts on the current situation of the licensing industry, done exclusively for our readers by one of the most relevant German licensing expert. The outbreak of the coronavirus disease might be a stress-test for the licensing industry. Fear and worry about our own health and the health of those we love is in a mixture of daily problems in dealing with issues around our business. Of course protecting lives is the first

So many problems on all corners need to be resolved more than quickly and it is now to live and breathe the partnership between licensors / licensees and retail we always announce. Most important to all of us is keeping the communication alive – corona influenced our daily life of course but it is not an excuse for not communicating and still talking about business planning as this is now even more important than ever. There is a necessity to review key business terms in licensing contracts as well as in marketing and retail plans in order to reflect the current situation of the business as well as being partners but also to relief the damage and react quickly on the new unexpected situation. But not only deal parameters are the key discussion to survive, in addition we all need to reflect our distribution

strategies – online is an important part of our business but with missing turnover on royalties especially in the current financial quarter and potentially in the next 2-3 quarters, we still can see the importance of our traditional retail channels and how important they are for our business. It is now the time to team up for future retail and distribution strategies including the support of brick and mortal retailers as well as developing an e-commerce strategy for those who haven’t already

“It is now the time to team up for future retail and distribution strategies including the support of brick and mortal retailers as well as developing an e-commerce strategy for those who haven’t already done.” - Joachim Knödler -

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done. New opportunities are coming up by developing performing categories such as food, hygiene, games/puzzles and products we never have thought about – but not only a branded respiratory mask – there is much more for creative product development. If we work together and support each other we will make it through, the next months with the current significant societal changes the licensing world have the chance that we all need to come closer together, considering strategies to addressing some of the obvious issues we already had before the crisis in some categories with even more partnership support. This includes ways to minimize the supply-chain risk by increasing more local European production, honest sustainability, the new workforce flexibility and in terms of licensing properties the focus on everything which is well-known classic will gives us in licensing a bit the cozy comfort back - but of course with all Hands on Deck – as within a sailing boat in a storm to ensure that we will survive.

PILAR FERNÁNDEZ-VEGA, LICENSING MARKETING & PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR - EL OCHO LICENCIAS & PROMOCIONES (SPAIN)

Pilar Fernández-Vega

How do you see the re-build of the licensing business after the lockdown period? We are currently living in a time of uncertainty, as of now, in Spain we still don’t know exactly when we will be allowed to go out of our homes and when retailers will be able to open again. We think rebuilding will take some time after the lockdown and going back to “normal” will be a process of steps and not all at once. Retailers and licensees will be even more cautious about the products they manufacture and sell. They will probably chose brands that are well established with constant demand. Lastly, we also believe it will take a few months before

demand reactivates and that at first, consumers will mainly buy first necessity products.

“As we have seen in the past months, there are some categories that will gain weight within the licensing business such as food and confectionary, educational toys and hygiene products.” - Pilar Fernández-Vega -

If and how Licensing Business will differ from the actual model? As we have seen in the past months, there are some categories that will gain weight within the licensing business such as food and confectionary, educational toys and hygiene products. We also think that companies have to reorganize their strategies and sales plans. Many will change their business models since online sales will increase. It is extremely important to have an online presence on a marketplace or an e-commerce to reach customers. How licensors and agencies shall support licensees and retailers to boost sales? Licensor should continue to support licensees through constant marketing to create brand awareness and developing new content to keep the consumers engaged, the most important is to create a brand that consumers love.


Industry Analysis

The best way to support licensees and retailers, right now, is open and consistent listening” - Paul N. Holmes -

PAUL N. HOLMES, LICENSING MANAGER, ZINKIA ENTERTAINMENT (SPAIN) How do you see the re-build of licensing business after the lockdown period? It will be a slow but steady return to the upside. No big risks will be taken until everything is “normalized”. We will have to reinvent ourselves, look for new business opportunities, think “out of the box”, and adapt to changes. What happens is an opportunity, and not a threat. New business models will surely be created and sooner or later everything will return to its equilibrium point. The most important thing is that we will all come back different: stronger, more supportive, more open to listening, and that will have a good effect on the industry.

Paul N. Holmes If and how the Licensing Business will be different from the actual model? The licensing business, like any industry, grows, improves, changes, diversifies, but its essence remains. The “mother” business model will continue its course, you just have to be vigilant to see new opportunities that will make this model grow and improve, and that will enhance it. How licensors and agencies will support the licensees and the retailers to boost sales? All of us: licensors, agents, licensees and retailers are partners. Together we form a team and seek a win-win. The best way to support licensees and retailers, right now, is open and consistent listening. Things

have changed and we have to know how to understand and adapt looking for the best opportunities. A good way to differentiate is by supporting them with attractive online marketing proposals in Social Media and campaigns with influencers and content consumption platforms. The increase in content consumption and time on online platforms has greatly increased and it is “there”, the ideal place to make our company more visible by promoting products, services, campaigns, brand image, etc. Another way to support them is to make new design proposals for their campaigns, as well as speeding up approval times for their designs and being open, again, to listening, and conflict resolution.

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It will be necessary to see, when the emergency will be over, how codes and forms of communication will change. However, the decline in communication investment remains worrying. Aware of the fall in sales in the various categories, e-commerce is obviously the only retail channel between the consumer and the product. In a future vision, how will traditional retail have to adapt to a new standard of consumer purchasing? Or do you think everything will “go back to the way it was before”? Certainly this emergency has given a strong impulse to the growth of e-commerce, bringing many people who would probably never have been involved to this mode of purchase, by necessity. I also believe that, overall, e-commerce will consolidate in a more widespread way. At the same time, however, I think that traditional retail will continue to play an important role and carry its weight in the overall business. Roberta Nebbia

ROBERTA NEBBIA, PRESIDENT, LICENSING ITALIA (ITALY) How do you think licensing community is reacting to this period of unpredictable outcomes? After an initial phase of understandable disorientation it seems to me that a pragmatic approach is prevailing and I would even say there is a positive mood both from licensors and licensees. You may have noticed how many online initiatives have been taken on place by brands to keep an active “relationship” with their own fan base. What do you think? Right now it’s more important than ever to keep the relationship with consumers and online is the main tool, especially for some age targets. However, it is difficult to say how these initiatives will evolve at the end of the emergency. Another issue at the moment is the radical change in communication strategies. What is your opinion? At this time, communication strategies are totally conditioned by the current situation and on the other hand it could not be otherwise.

At the moment, with the vertical loss in sales for a number of categories, others are coming out somewhat stronger, such as publishing, gaming and especially food. Will this be a leverage for current and future licensing strategies? The licensing sector is tied to the

conditions and market prospects of its licensees. At the moment some categories have benefited from the emergency situation, but the majority of the market is in serious pain. The future of licensing will depend, in my opinion, on the ability and willingness of licensors and licensees to work together to find innovative solutions for their future business.

“The future of licensing will depend, in my opinion, on the ability and willingness of licensors and licensees to work together to find innovative solutions for their future business” - Roberta Nebbia -

In your opinion, which will be the necessary steps for a future reconstruction and re-launch of the licensing industry in Italy and in its links with the foreign market? This is a question that could have hundred answers. Personally I am convinced that in Italy the first step should be to define a concrete industrial politic strategy for the medium-long term.


Industry Analysis

NATHALIE CHOURAQUI, PRESIDENT, KAZACHOK (FRANCE) How do you see the re-build of the licensing business after the lockdown period? The COVID-19 crisis has an impact on the licensing market. The release of feature

films is being postponed, most stores are closed, licensees cannot launch products as they had hoped, and the fastfood industry is also having to re-organize its planning. The situation is not easy. What we know for sure is that this crisis allows the different players to ask themselves more questions and above all to interact with each other to find solutions. This is rather optimistic because the industry wants to move forward. Even if we know that the consumer is currently on a wait-and-see basis (drop in income, uncertain future economic situation, higher food purchases…), licensed products will always remain a product that will allow families to please their children. Their legitimacy remains strong. It will be necessary to remain attentive to consumers’ expectations which may have consequences on the manufacture of products and re-locations in part of some licensees.

“It will be necessary to remain attentive to consumers’ expectations which may have consequences on the manufacture of products and re-locations in part of some licensees” - Nathalie Chouraqui Nathalie Chouriaqui

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If and how the Licensing Business will be different from the actual model? The licensing market has been complicated for some years now and business models are changing. This crisis will only accentuate these changes. Indeed, some licensors are working with different modalities, to relax the conditions for acquiring a license. We will also see a change in contactmaking and access to information. The fear of COVID-19, limited travel will allow professional events to exist online and give more room for virtual exchanges to continue doing business. We are also launching Masterclasses dedicated to the licensing market on our website in June. How licensors and agencies shall or will support the licensees and the retailers to boost sales? The role of licensors is fundamental in this crisis to support licensees and retailers. The licensees are weakened with sales falling, particularly in the textile sector. On the other hand, some toy licensees are doing better, particularly in boardgames, a market that experienced a real peak in sales at the time of the confinement in France. Licensees such as Ravensburger, which have developed a commercial site, are at the top of sales. The rights holders have to work closely with their partners and adapt on a case-by-case basis. The objective is to prepare for the post COVID-19. Licensees will be able to shift sales from product releases and sales that do not come in now can be carried forward.

Marie-Laure Marchand

MARIE-LAURE MARCHAND, LICENSING MANAGER, CHEF TV (FRANCE) How do you see the re-build of the licensing business after the lockdown period? I think that this unexpected global pandemic has reshuffled the cards in a

very sudden way and that nothing will be the same after the lockdown period. The entertainment industry being driven massively by big  movie releases, the pandemic has affected the major studios as this sudden situation prevented them to launch their already planned feature films.   Some studios had to adapt either by postponing their releases or by


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Industry Analysis

retailers represent a big part of licensed products sales so these retail changes may affect the licensing industry quite deeply in the short / midterm basis. If and how the Licensing Business will be different from the actual model? I truly believe that digital brands will have a growth path ahead of them and may be more flexible to adapt to such drastic changes. We will see the emergence of new comers and D2C sales may be also one of the solutions to counter balance the retail disruption explained earlier.

“We will all be on the same boat and need to support each other to find creative solutions to cope with this unprecedented situation” - Marie-Laure Marchand -

granting the rights to SVOD partners as first window for example. This means that the traditional chain of rights where a movie had to be released on theaters first, then on Pay TV, then on Free and SVOD will certainly be impacted in the near future. The market was changing prior to the virus but the pandemic has just accelerated those changes. This will of course impact the licensing industry and the way products will be launched. SVOD platforms may become the new Television eventually. On another topic, we used to talk about the « retail disruption  » but this global lockdown will bring even higher uncertainty into an already fragile sector. Apart from grocery retailers which could stay open during this unprecedented pandemic, all the other retailers had to close down. They may suffer when the market will re-open again unless they were already very active online. We do not know if people will be back in store

and how they will consume after this crisis. Brick and mortar retail sales may be slow and it may take while for consumption rate to go back to normal. Therefore online offering with fast delivery may be the solution. Retailers which have already pivoted to e-commerce will be the big winners and the rest may go through a tough time. As you know, brick and mortar

How licensors and agencies shall/will support the licensees and the retailers to boost sales? We will all be on the same boat and need to support each other to find creative solutions to cope with this unprecedented situation. Be flexible with contract terms for example. I also believe that consumers need authentic messages more than ever and brands that have helped them to go through this tough crisis will be rewarded after all. Brand owners, licensees and retailers will have to work hand in hand to reinvent themselves and I trust that many creative solutions will emerge, I have faith in our industry and have no doubt that exciting times are ahead of us.


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Focus

EVENTS

LICENSING EXPO GOES VIRTUAL In a time when physical networking and deal-making is proving infeasible, Informa Markets’ Global Licensing Group has joined forces with trade association Licensing International to launch an inaugural Virtual Licensing Week – five days of virtual keynotes, educational and topical seminars, matchmaking, networking and a digital exhibition – taking place June 15-19

TO LEARN MORE If you are interested in taking part to the Licensing Week, you can contact Anna Knight anna.knight@informa.com Maura Regan mregan@licensing.org

Following the announcement of Licensing Expo postpone to the next year ( 25 – 27 May 2021), the week-long virtual event will bring the $280.3 billion global licensing industry together, connecting

licensing businesses with manufacturers, and media.

retailers,

“The success of the licensing industry is dependent upon the ability for companies

and brands to come together, make new connections, and collaborate. We’re excited to take this opportunity to launch an additional event to bring together the community now. Virtual Licensing Week will offer our customers and attendees opportunities to connect, learn, and proceed with business,” said Anna Knight, Vice President, Global Licensing Group, Informa Markets. Those interested can register their interest to attend this special online event on https://www.thegloballicensinggroup. com/lp/licensing-week-virtual.html and then tune into Virtual Licensing Week keynotes, seminars, and networking opportunities spotlighting Brands & Lifestyle, Character & Entertainment and Art, and Design & Emerging Categories, as well as Licensing International’s Licensing University, a live Pitch the Brands event, an exhibit hall, and a matchmaking service.


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Focus

SESAME WORKSHOP

CARING FOR EACH OTHER As families everywhere continue to cope with uncertainty stemming from the global pandemic, Sesame Workshop, in collaboration with Walgreens and AT&T, announced a major expansion of its Caring for Each Other initiative to help children and their caregivers stay healthy, build resilience, and adjust to a “for-now normal” SesameStreet.org/caring includes new resources to help families face current challenges like missing friends, while also giving children ways to celebrate the helpers in their neighborhoods, from pharmacists to mail carriers to grocery store employees. Bilingual resources for children of frontline workers and new professional development tools for community providers like healthcare providers, social workers, and educators will roll out on an ongoing basis. And, as people in communities everywhere begin to transition into the next phases of the crisis, Caring for Each Other will expand to address evolving challenges, as part of Sesame Workshop’s commitment to supporting families for the duration of this crisis and beyond. The Caring for Each Other initiative was created in response to the uncertainty facing young children and families. SesameStreet.org/caring is regularly updated to meet the needs of families as the situation evolves, with resources Champion X Sesame Street

Caring for Each Other initiative

Sesame Street Monster Meditations animated shorts designed to help parents provide comfort and manage anxiety, as well as help with creating routines, fostering playful learning at home, and staying physically and mentally healthy. To combat stress and anxiety, Sesame Workshop and Headspace have teamed up on “Sesame Street Monster Meditations,” animated shorts to help children learn the fundamentals of mindfulness, meditation

and social and emotional learning. On YouTube and YouTube Kids, the shorts feature the Muppets having feelings of frustration, impatience, and being overwhelmed. Headspace co-founder and former Buddhist monk, Andy Puddicombe, helps each monster learn various breathing and sensory activities to better manage relatable, everyday scenarios. Comfort, joy, and nostalgia are priorities in a new collaboration with Champion athletic-wear. Champion x Sesame Street spans men, women, and youth apparel, and is the first global collaboration for Champion. The collection marks the company’s first collaboration featuring a kids’ collection. Sesame Workshop is kicking off its Year of the Monsters campaign to celebrate all things furry, lovable, and brave. Inspired by Sesame Street’s playful learning curriculum – and a classic picture book – the campaign starts on digital and social media, and includes real-world surprises like turning Sesame Street’s best-selling book of all into an animated special. The Monster at the End of This Story will air on HBO this summer.


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Events

VIRTUAL EVENTS

LicenseIndia.

EVENTS MOVE ONLINE

The Children’s Media Conference (CMC), the main summit on children’s content, also is offering a series of webinars on hot topics for the industry, starting from last April.

From Bologna to Las Vegas. The main trade events in our business have moved online, keeping a tight agenda for professionals The global trade events system in the licensing and entertainment industry is adapting to an unprecedented scenario. After the serious economic shock, all the biggest trade shows organizers set themselves the goal of maintaining the relationship with their own professional audience. In addition to the BCBF, BLTF and the Licensing Virtual Week that we already tell in deep in this magazine, the Annecy Animation Festival and its related market, the MIFA, have also organized themselves, offering an online edition from 13 to 20 June with seminars, previews and virtual stands.

The Brand Licensing & Merchandising Summit 2020 will be held on 27 May: a day of webinars and analysis on the Indian market, organized by Bradford and

There is also an initiative that involves the major film festivals, from Cannes to Venice, which have come together to offer a unique YouTube channel, We Are One: A Global Film Festival. It is a wonderful initiative: from May 29 through June 7 we can see films, documentaries, shorts and interviews!

BCBF ONLINE – www.bolognachildrensbookfair.com BLTF ONLINE – www.bolognalicensing.com BRAND LICENSING & MERCHANDISING SUMMIT 2020 IN INDIA www.licenseindia.com/webinar LICENSING VIRTUAL WEEK – www.licensingexpo.com ANNECY FESTIVAL & MIFA – www.annecy.org CHILDRENS MEDIA CONFERENCE www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/events/cmc-2020/ WE ARE ONE: A GLOBAL FILM FESTIVAL - www.youtube.com/WeAreOne


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Interview

PEA & PROMOPLAST

THE FUTURE OF PROMOTION: CHANGE AND RENEWAL Licensing Magazine recently interviewed Gianluca Aprile di Cimia, President of Pea&Promoplast, to talk about the future of promotion in the light of the current health emergency that has slowed the development of the sector in most parts of the world

Gianluca Aprile How did you operate in the lockdown period? We used a lot of communication. It pretty much kept us all together, allowing us to keep our services and customer relations going. In some ways we have even expanded our relationships. Furthermore, thanks to smart working we have never been isolated or interrupted. I must offer my thanks to all of my team; they have reacted responsibly and effectively during this tough period. The result is that our business has not decreased as much as you might expect during the lockdown – but it has been revised. We have kept up important relationships with our customers, even setting up new projects and partnerships with a view to the eventual reopening of business in general. What are your next projects? Many promotional campaigns have been

postponed. We will therefore have a lot of campaigns shifted back to the next quarter or even next season. In the publishing sector, customers have lengthened the gap between launches, though we have some good performance data, despite the reduction in business from kiosks. I can, however, tell you that in the publishing category we have been able to develop a very interesting international project with a very famous licensing brand that will use electronic tools and three-dimensional figures to interact with children through a contemporary entertainment and e-learning approach. We will activate this project in three European countries, and then expand the project in another four countries globally. Have you experienced any issues on the import/export side? We have strong links with China, which has

continued to give us product availability. But, contrary to what one might think, it’s China that may suffer, because in the summer it will experience a sharp drop in overall demand. The lockdown from February to June in Western countries will mean also a down of orders. The factories that were converted to the production of masks must now return to their normal production and be ready to face a fall in orders. On the international front, for the sectors we focus on, this period has offered an opportunity for reflection. This forced pause has not only involved a wait for the return to ‘normal’ routine, but could be useful in building ‘the new normal’. The big brands will need to work more on offering confidence and security that goes beyond, say, issues involving the climate, which, in recent months and years, have been heavily reported. Europe and the


Interview

rest of the world will need companies that can credibly deliver many different messages about future life to customers. These will have to be coherent, meaningful messages, not just invitations to purchase products. Think about it: a 10-year-old boy or girl today has already experienced at an early age a completely different approach to consumption. This will influence their choice as potential consumers in the future. Brands can’t ignore this major change! How do you think licensing will need to be renewed? I personally believe that the use of the brand and therefore of the license will have to be transformed into something more credible. That doesn’t just mean offering something different for the consumer; the brand will need to supply more than just a good image. Brands will only work if values such as trust, change and innovation are communicated to the customer. Messages too will have to go through this evolution. Primary needs will be transformed thanks to everything we are experiencing now. It will be difficult to go back to where we were.

entrepreneurs who can address this new reality. For example, the effect of more people being together at home more often could revive sectors such as furniture and real estate. The common areas in apartment buildings will be managed differently, as will new reusable spaces at home. Living spaces will be rethought because they will not only be associated with home but also with production.

How do you see future market scenarios for your business categories? After a brief period of confusion, to which we have all had to react, there will be a new renaissance period – just as in the years known as the Cinquecento when Italy saw the arrival of patrons and thinkers who spread original ideas. In a similar way, the first step after this crisis will favour

Will some product sectors change? If so, how? With greater insecurity has come a greater role for the medical world. This will affect products, which will have to become more popular, inclusive and usable. They could be even combined with licensing elements to add to their reach. Nutrition will also undergo a profound

transformation, because people have discovered that it can be bought online – but people have also rediscovered traditional products. Localised production and the ability to trace the value chain of food will become relevant themes. And the value of communication will be even more central. We will go back to work as before, but armed with tools that we have only partially used to date. We will find new ways to keep business relationships alive despite social distancing. There will be places where we can introduce ourselves and demonstrate products virtually. As for consumers, they will have to learn in the post-covid period to buy a product without first touching it with their hands. But these changes need not be unwelcome. As an important Italian artist says, “I think positive... because I am alive.”

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LEOLANDIA

FROM CHALLENGES TO INNOVATION Among the many challenges which are facing the industry during this period, tourist and visitor attractions have been some of the hardest hit with total closure. Such businesses are now looking to the future and planning for a time when they can reopen their doors. We chatted to David Tommaso, Director of Marketing and Sales, Leolandia to find out their plans

David Tommaso What are the new features of the park planned for 2020? When the park can re-open, we plan to present a range of new features to our guests. First of all, we can’t wait to finally unveil the new “PJ Masks City” area, dedicated to Super Pyjamas, but that’s not all. We have many new shows planned, starting with the main resident show Favola: viaggio nelle terre lontane (Fairy Tale: travel to distant lands), an engaging musical, sequel to a very popular fairy tale. We will have two shows with our resident character Leo, the new Bing and Flop, and Miraculous shows, and for the winter, the new Christmas main show. In addition to this, the season will be marked by some special events, starting with the live performances of the Miracle Tunes, with an exclusive partnership for Leolandia that includes an integrated plan of activities.

On the licensing front, the park is a point of reference for licensors and agencies. Precisely because of its aim of transforming the dreams of children into reality, Leolandia is the place where licences are activated in a more immersive and captivating way. We aim to develop synergies with partners, changing the role that Leolandia performs for the IP owner: from a simple terminal where they activate the license, to a content provider for the experiences they want to build. As well as the licensed properties we work with at the park, there is also the creative development around Leo and the characters of Leolandia, a project that had its first realisation in the Easter


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egg made with Icam Chocolate Company and distributed in the main brands of the GDO. Can you tell us about PJ Masks City in particular? PJ Masks City, the world’s first and only themed area dedicated to the heroes of the TV series, is a good example of the principle I discussed above. Thanks to realistic and detailed setting, combined with the use of special effects that recreate a totally immersive and interactive environment, visitors to PJ Masks City will be transformed into superheroes, becoming the real-life characters of the cartoon, with their own superpowers and amazing machines. They will visit the museum and other iconic places from the series, meet their favourite characters and even interact with them, helping them to solve a new and very special mission, so that they can defeat the bad guys once and for all. Don’t miss a ride on board the Gufaliante for a breath-taking journey around the mythical headquarters, then discover more surprises in the city’s playground and, during the summer months, cool off in the Spraypark, the new themed water playground. Which other properties will you collaborate with during the year? First and foremost, we are continuing our established partnerships with our strategic partners: we have confirmed and extended the agreement with Acamar for Bing and Flop, for which we are planning a new exciting show dedicated to children. Masha and the Bear also have their own dedicated area to welcome guests for

fun shows, attractions and a playground. For Miraculous we are planning a new acrobatic show, which will see Ladybug and Chat Noir engaged in defeating deceitful Papillon. Thomas and Friends’ hero train, Thomas will transport adult and children passengers on board its carriages around the park. Finally, the special appointments with the Miracle Tunes will be back. We are then in contact with different properties for more tactical temporary attractions during the course of the season. The current situation has caused some upheavals to businesses worldwide. How is the theme parks sector facing the period and above all what measures will you put in place to safeguard it? Certainly the situation is completely different from a normal launch of the season. The parks sector is, like all sectors,

monitoring the situation and liaising with the institutions to understand the timing and management of the return. We will ensure that they are in line with the provisions but obviously compatible and sustainable with our activities and economies. The management of the guests and their safety will be our priority. For the time being, with a closed park and without a certain date for reopening, our goal is to lower the management costs as much as possible, so we have resorted, like many companies, to the social shock absorbers and contributions provided by the State. With the trade association, led by our president Giuseppe Ira, we are finally talking to the authorities to request further support and financial relief for a sector which, like the entire tourism sector, is really on its knees because of the emergency. How are you dealing with your relationship with your users and visitors during this period? We have obviously changed our priorities towards guests and developed a social content plan to entertain families and children from home. The plan is based on three levels of communication. Firstly, service communications - that is, the management of reservations and requests from guests. Secondly, communications targeting adults with positive and hopeful messages in these difficult times. And finally and most importantly, entertainment for children with games, shows in full form and lots of exclusive content never published before, so they can have fun even while sitting on the sofa at home.


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COMMUNICATION

STAY HOME, STAY SAFE, HAVE FUN By Andrea De Amicis Change for the better is always possible. At a time when all areas of society are being tested by the coronavirus pandemic, companies have chosen to change their approach to communication, moving away from a focus on sales and towards the spread of positive and socially useful messages Since the coronavirus entered our lives, many everyday concerns – big and small – have changed. We are facing an emergency that nobody expected, an emergency that is putting a strain on everyone, not only in health terms, but in economic terms. Shops have had to close. Factories have stopped production. The future appears uncertain. But at times like this it helps to focus on the here and now, and what we can do to help. Thus, some companies have made donations to communities and groups in need, or converted production to the provision of face masks and sanitizing gels. Online, they have promoted campaigns focused on optimism, on helping people to feel united despite the distance between them and on learning the new social rules required by the emergency. They have even provided ideas for spending time constructively and offered shared content for free. Much of this, of course, has been done with children in mind – children who, with schools closed, suddenly found themselves spending a lot of time at home with their families. Assogiocattoli is the Italian Toy

Association. With approximately 200 members, it represents almost all the companies that, even outside Italy, operate in relevant sectors like games, toys, early childhood products, Christmas decorations and party goods. In this troubled time the Association has been particularly active in supporting all its members, who have put in motion a number of initiatives to help people to deal with the global health emergency. For example, Asmodee has created Print & Play, donating free downloadable board game sets, to be printed and shared with the family in the safety of the home. Chicco has launched #next2you, an online consultancy campaign for expectant mothers and new parents who can no longer take part in parenting meetings in person. The contents have been inspired by collaboration with experts and professionals such as midwives, teachers and nutritionists. Clementoni, meanwhile, has a daily section on Instagram, #acasadascuola (#athomefromschool), where it suggests ways to have fun: exercise, drawing, playing with apps, reading and creative pursuits. The company launched another

hashtag, #bravibambini (#goodchildren), inspired by a video celebrating children who were good at the height of the emergency: kids who stayed at home, couldn’t play in the park with friends, couldn’t play sports and couldn’t hug grandparents – but who continued to fill our days with energy and hope. Gemar has donated medical equipment and organized #gemarflashmob, a live stream themed balloon show, to spread a little joy and encourage donations: one Euro per viewer goes to the WHO global fund.

Chairman Neal at the Cartamundi offices in Massachusetts


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Hasbro has supported the international campaign Bring Home the Fun, aimed at providing parents with resources (such as videos, online games and behavioral advice) to keep children busy at home. The company is supporting Save the Children and No Kid Hungry in its activities aimed at children and families in serious difficulty, which include the distribution of food, books and educational resources. Alongside Cartamundi, it is producing 50,000 facemasks every week, to support

Let’s build together by Lego

Let’s build together by Lego

health workers in efforts to combat covid-19. Lego Group and Lego Foundation have made a $50 million donation to

support the neediest children. With the #letsbuildtogether initiative, they aim to help cushion the impact of the health crisis on children’s education.

CHARACTERS THAT REALLY COMMUNICATE WITH KIDS

Animals or cute characters are greatly loved by children and can help convey a comforting sweetness and serenity at this difficult time. Kawanimals is a brand that features delightful kawaai animals: more than 100 characters created by Colombian designer Juliana Duque, and appearing on the web with kindness-themed educational content. For the current emergency, a special section has been developed on their website, called ‘Staying home (covid)’. It contains an educational video, reviewed by a pediatrician, which explains to children what

coronavirus is and what they can do, with a particular emphasis on staying at home. Home activities suggested by psychologists are also available. The brand is distributed by Edebé

Licensing and can also be found on clothing, accessories and home accessories. Characters from the imagination of the storyteller Faba, a project by Maikii, a globally known Italian electronics company, are equally charming. Now that children have to spend a lot of time at home, it is a good opportunity to play and learn while having fun. Designed for children aged two to six, the characters offer fairytales, nursery rhymes and songs. The characters vary from Ele the Elephant to Tip the Mouse, but will be regularly updated.

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Game designers, creatives and experts have teamed up to give fans around the world new ideas, daily challenges and live tutorials. Mattel has made a substantial donations of masks to Italy, Spain and the United States. In addition, it has commissioned research called Playtime for Everyone, the results of which present the positive effects that playing with children have on parents and grandparents during this forced isolation. The hashtag #keepplaying reminds us that no difficult situation can ever undermine the natural inclination to play. With this in mind Mattel has launched a Mattel Playroom on line, a free platform that offers games and content based on its well-known brands, including Barbie, Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, American Girl

the global Stay at Home campaign, which involves informing children and raising their awareness of Covid-19, with the help of such characters as Gormiti and

and Thomas & Friends. Children have found themselves forced to spend more time at home and to learn all the new rules of social distancing. However, thanks to the stars of their favorite cartoons, this process has become a little easier. Planeta Junior has launched

NICOLETTA COSTA GETS INVOLVED The illustrator Nicoletta Costa has already enjoyed a 30-year international career. One of her best-known characters is Olga the Cloud, soon to be the star of an animated series in an Italian-Spanish co-production

by Enanimation and MondoTV. Nicoletta felt that she should make her contribution to this emergency and was among the first illustrators in Italy to respond to the appeal of the Tancredi Barolo foundation, to create

models for making pop-up books, which could be downloaded for free. As early as the end of February, when the first schools in Italy were closed, she also made joyful designs available for download and colouring on her own web sites, reaching an average of 5,000 daily visitors. She is convinced that, right now, children need to spend time creatively, cultivating their innate curiosity and that this process can help them to overcome any fears they may have. In addition to numerous books, her illustrations can be found on many consumer goods. She has an especial passion for notebooks and would eventually like to create a dedicated line, perhaps featuring her favourite subject: cats.


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the tune of the smash song of the same name, reminds everyone to wash their hands thoroughly. WowWee has also promoted the #BabyShark Toy School campaign, which provides parents with ways to incorporate activities for learning, laughing and playing together into the daily routine.

Pucca. The information campaign follows the rules laid down by health authorities: washing hands often, coughing and sneezing on the elbow, social distancing and the dissemination of support telephone numbers for coronavirus. Planeta has joined the Kid’s Cluster #Jugarenfamilia (or #familiesplaytogether) campaign, which combines a number of efforts for children. On YouTube, the company offers over 20 animated series for children (Gormiti and Pucca, baby Heidi and Maya the Bee, among others) for all ages and tastes: over 350 hours of audiovisual content. Ets Licensing reports that its preschool brands (including Mini Pet Pals and Galinha Pintadinha) are helping to instill understanding of appropriate behaviours. For example, Mini Pet Pals, in cooperation with Rai YoYo, is broadcasting clips on good manners, explaining in a simple way what coronavirus is and why it is necessary to stay at home. There are also suggestions for fun activities to pass the time: making a portrait for classmates, say, or offering riddles. Sesame Street, the pioneering television programme that has reached and taught millions of children since 1969, responded to the emergency through Sesame Workshop, its non-profit educational organization, which created the Caring for Each Other initiative. Animated content focusing on healthy habits, helpful resources, and activities to stimulate learning in areas such as reading and science are available at SesameStreet. org/caring. The animated spots, available in 19 languages, include a new song by the Elmo character, Washy Wash (an update of the famous Brushy Brush), and the Sesame Street Muppets, showing that taking care of yourself means contributing to the good health of others. Caring for Each Other is continuously expanding: since the end of April Sesame Workshop has been working with Walgreens and AT&T to focus media attention on essential workers at the moment (such as pharmacists, doctors,

nurses and employees of grocery stores) and on their families. ViacomCBS has launched the #alonetogether campaign, which promotes positive messages, linked to following the rules and showing how to make the most of time spent at home. For young people and their families, #kidstogether, supported at the Italian level with the addition of the local message #lontanimavicini (#distantbutcloser), is the Nickelodeon version of the global #alonetogether campaign. All the most popular characters, actors and influencers from the Nickelodeon world have been called upon to help this project. SpongeBob, for example, explains how to maintain and respect a certain distance from people; Chickaletta and PAW Patrol offer viewers fantastic dance moves to keep active in the home; Baby Shark, to

Successful companies have shown the way in converting production to help their communities. Crazy Aaron’s has

Hands sanatizer by Crazy Aaron’s

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Hands sanatizer by Crazy Aaron’s & Five Saints Distilling gone from making Thinking Putty to hand sanitizer for Norristown and Philadelphia. The company had its own chemical materials and, collaborating with the

nearby Five Saints Distilling, has been able to increase production. It now wants to ramp it up even further. Havaianas has paused flip flop production to produce

250,000 N95 masks and 18,000 pairs of shoes to donate to public health services. It has prepared 100,000 kits containing essential products, including hygiene products and food, for vulnerable communities in Brazil. The Put Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes campaign is active on the web, to promote empathy. Messages have also been launched about the importance of tranquility and meditation. In fact just about every production sector and public institution worldwide has shown solidarity and provided creative resources to children and adults. In addition to a huge donation of Easter eggs to health personnel, Ferrero on the Kinder brand’s official YouTube channel, is offering many activities that grown-ups can try at home with their children, from training designed by Olympic champions, to scientific experiments and English lessons. In Spain, the creators of the children’s app Creappcuentos has created an initiative that involves building dice to tell stories related to the coronavirus. You can print the dice the company has made, which

Coronavirus dice by Creappcuentos


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All companies, engaging constructively and contributing to our collective wellbeing, have found in this crisis new ways to involve the public and perhaps even created a deeper relationship with their customers. Let’s hope this big change lasts, even when the emergency is finally over.

Lot and His Daughters, Orazio Gentileschi. Reviewed by Oie Zhang, Erik Carlsoon and their daughters contain different categories (emotions, people, professions, places, activities or sports, for example) or design your own. After you’ve built the dice, the company invites children to help it invent stories with children based on the results. The J.Paul Getty Museum challenged internet users to re-create famous paintings (and more) using three household objects. It then posted the best images on its Twitter account. Alongside large donations and fundraisers for the WHO, Facebook has offered practical help on its platform: it has launched an information campaign to combat the hoaxes on covid-19, and developed messenger rooms to have group video-calls and promoted a brand new messenger kids, to allow children to communicate safely

with their friends. It has also added new reactions to posts: an emoticon that simulates a virtual hug on Facebook and a beating heart on Messenger.

Mantel Clock (shelf clock), 1785. Reviewed by Sandro Alberti

COOKING IN QUARANTINE

The kitchen is one of the leitmotivs of this long quarantine and Italian recipes are among the most copied in the world, pizza above all. Tessa Gelisio, famous host of Cotto e Mangiato (Cooked and Eaten) the popular Italian cooking TV programme and a major Mediaset group brand, has loads of great advice to offer during this strange period. She suggest families take the time to prepare food as a way to relax and have fun, sharing the creation of a recipe, getting children involved and helping the kids to use up some of their energy. Tessa says that

the most popular recipes currently are those loved by Italians, such as bread and pizza. She sometimes suggests complex recipes that even beginners have enjoyed trying out. During the lockdown, many viewers have not only prepared dishes, but posted them on social networks. Others have offered their own recipes, tagging Tessa and inviting her to talk about them on Cotto e Mangiato social platforms. This has strengthened her engagement with her many followers, and boosted her broadcast audience.

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CORONAVIRUS

THE NEW CHALLENGES OF RETAIL By Andrea De Amicis The Coronavirus emergency is causing major upheavals in all sectors of commerce and retail. The challenge for companies is to follow these changes step by step, trying to create a stable relationship with the customer. Here we see some strategies and perspectives some companies are employing to face the current situation

VALUE AND PROTECTION OF EMPLOYEES At a time like this, the role and needs of employees become fundamental for retail. Supermarkets, such as Eurospin and Coop in Italy, have thanked them constantly through viral celebratory videos. Worldwide, small and large companies have shared photos of online meetings as employers work to protect their staff both in terms of health and finances. The tendency of companies has been to limit e-commerce orders, to guarantee safety conditions for employees. In China, during the period of forced closure of restaurants, hotels and cinemas, employees who would otherwise have been out of work were shared with those who needed them most, such as delivery services.   online merchants reported 300-400 per cent growth in some categories. 

All over the world, retail is experiencing major challenges due to the safety rules imposed to manage Covid-19. The first and largest change has been the closure of non-essential shops, which has obviously created a sharp drop in sales in industries such as clothing, and a large increase in the purchase of food and medical devices. The United States saw a sharp 26.7 per cent increase in food prices in March.  In  China retail sales plunged by XChannel team

20.5 per cent, with a reduction in all categories other than the food, which were up by 9.7 per cent. In France the overall drop in retail sales was 24.5 per cent in March and  in the UK, food sales more than tripled in the same month. Panic buying also erupted in Germany where consumers accumulated as many supplies as possible, already leading to a 6.4 per cent increase in February.  In Australia, February retail sales rose 0.4 per cent from the previous month and some

All over the world the sale of clothing has decreased, with an average drop of at least 40 – 50 per cent. In Italy, the increase in sales in the food sector has reached 9.9 per cent according to Istat data in April, while general consumption from Confcommercio data had decreased by 31,7% in March compared to 2019. Clothing sales and footwear obviously also reached a complete halt for companies that were not active on online platforms.  Looking at online sales in Italy, the XChannel  cross channel marketing network  oversaw an interesting study “e-Commerce Revolution”.  Until 2019, e-commerce in Italy yielded only seven per cent of total sales, whereas during this period 100 per cent of Italians came into contact with e-commerce. For online grocery sales there is a strong growth of 119% compared to the previous year, with peaks of +217 per cent.  According to Amazon’s data categories showing the most growth are surgical masks, up by 12.559 per cent of


Retail

Fabric Mask by Zalando payment cycle to support companies. It began the trade in face masks, with prices starting from 1 euro and with new designs being added regularly.  Zalando has partnered with Ashoka to select 50 social media entrepreneurs who are working specifically on current market challenges.  At this time when many people have more spare time, streaming services have become very popular. Netflix announced in late April that its first quarter of 2020 was very successful, with 15 million new subscribers, compared to a precoronavirus estimate of 7.2 million.  In Italy, the Netherlands and Spain Netflix has made substantial funds available to provide short-term support to employees of the audiovisual industry. New content productions have been halted due to the

Amazon employee with PPE mask the total online sales for the now essential items (+5436%), and home gym products (+1053 per cent). Of all games, adult puzzles have seen the highest growth, + 828 per cent, while  creative games for children and teens have seen a similar surge, +699%.  The loss-making categories are products normally used for going out, such as work bags (-48%).        Online retailers are dominating the world stage. Amazon, with a 35 per cent growth,  has found itself to be the point of reference for this period. The increase in demand forced the retailer to prioritise shipment of essential goods. But in April, it also had to limit Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market deliveries. Since March the company has hired an extra 100,000 full and part time employees, and plans to create another 75,000 jobs.  An online store entirely dedicated to Covid-19 has opened including products such as face shields, thermometers, protective gloves, masks and sanitisers, sold only to hospitals and government organisations.   Zalando has activated the Connected Retail project, which allows over 1,500 physical stores to sell through its platform.  To

help new affiliates, the company has waived its commission from April 1st to May 31st, and has established a weekly

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click and collect without the customer leaving the car, thanks to the Curbside Pickup service. In addition receipts can be sent via e-mail and contactless shopping has been encouraged, including payment through mobile.

lockdown, but an experiment was made by shooting the expected eighth episode of the documentary Tiger King from home and with video links. Even Disney+ which launched in Italy and France during quarantine, has surged and in just five months since its launch, has exceeded 50 million subscribers globally. Department stores and chains in crisis following the long closure, are beginning to deal with debts and payments. In some cases, this has led to the dismissal of employees and requiring legal advice to survive.  Despite this, many made

While Walmart Grocery, its online grocery shopping app, has hit a record high, the chain has hired and will continue to hire many more staff, with an estimated extra 150,000 people by May. Commercial Centre American Dream Nordstrom has declared it wants to focus on sustainability during the current crisis and has decided to eliminate all plastic bags from its stores and use more and more natural materials for its products. The new American Dream mall, which had established 55 per cent

In the fashion sector, Zara has diversified its production to make masks and gowns for doctors. The brand is reaping the benefits of the recent (2019) expansion of web

SS20 Kids Campaign by Zara themselves immediately available through e-commerce and created safe ways for customers to purchase products, or focused on future changes. In the US, at the end of April JCPenney made it possible to order online with home delivery, or

sales to 202 countries: the e-commerce of the parent  company  Inditex has now experienced a surge of 23 per cent and  for 2020  the goal is to reach  all

Walmart Supermarket entertainment and 45 per cent retail for its business, will now switch to 70 per cent entertainment and 30 per cent retail, thus becoming more of an amusement park than a department store. Walmart, on the other hand, is doing very well, with purchases in-store up by 20 per cent and e-commerce increasing by 30 per cent.

Blu scamiciato Cool Dude and striped t-shirt by Primark


Retail

Chambray Top Dress by Prénatal countries globally. Primark has employed a  surprising  strategy, with big losses and without launching an online store.  The company said it could not keep low prices if it were to offer home deliveries and that it is focusing more on customer and employee safety than on profits. The retailer announced that it will sell off a large number of excess items when stores reopen.  Prénatal is focusing on e-commerce, with  discounts of  20 to 40 per cent, free delivery of all orders placed online, and the possibility to book via the web and then safely collect via drive-in locations.  OVS  is looking to the future, with collections designed for the new normality and offering payment in three installments without additional costs if paid within three months. The sale of books saw a large increase during isolation, particularly books for children and teenagers, which Amazon has included in essential products. In Italy, laFeltrinelli.it  and  IBS. it, an Italian e-bookstore,  have doubled  e-commerce orders, partly

thanks to digital initiatives such as #Leggiamoacasa (#LetsReadAtHome), a social media campaign fronted by authors and cultural personalities.  Through “Digital Solidarity”, 10.000 vouchers from Feltrinelli Publisher’s free e-books were issued, including Feltrinelli Comics’ offer of two totally free digital comics.  For the future,  the integrated ecosystem between online, with the IBS.it and laFeltrinelli.it platforms, and offline, with

the laFeltrinelli bookstores, provides a stronger omni-channel offering. The new strategy is key to better meet the changing needs of the audience. For the French company  Fnac,  the sale of Kobo devices on e-commerce has doubled, as has the purchase of eBooks.  There was a good demand for comics (webtoon, to be read on mobile phones), thanks to the Izneo service. Planning for the reopening of bookstores, Mondadori has created new services, such as free personal phone shopping  and stories  on social media, through the photographic contributions of their booksellers.  

Minnie denim jacket by Kiabi

Rick and Morty by Hawaianas

E-COMMERCE LOVES LICENSING Online sales have stabilized and in some cases increased the profits of the licensed brands, in particular entertainment properties, whose visibility has increased. Havaianas continued to experience strong sales, for example, largely due to its latest collaboration with Rick and Morty, the cult animated series. With many more people at home and online, the perfect environment has been created to promote licensed products with ad hoc campaigns. For example, Kiabi has launched a quiz to promote its Disney / Marvel line, which ranges from clothing to beach towels to bed sets. For children, safety products such as masks are more acceptable if designed with their favourite characters. In late April Disney opened the pre-order on its online shop for the brand new reusable masks, which will be shipped from May. With three sizes (small, medium and large), they are suitable for children and adults. Sold in packs of four, they have images and logos of Baby Yoda and Star Wars, and of many beloved Disney and Pixar characters.

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FASHION

Children’s fashion: WHERE STYLE MEETS sustainabILITY By Rossella Arena Eco-friendly brands for kids are becoming a worldwide phenomenon. More and more parents are choosing to buy quality clothes that are good for their children and the environment. Here is the latest news from just some of the growing number of brands focused on sustainability Barnaba by Filobio The concept of sustainable children’s fashion was first driven by parents. By producing or buying sustainable clothes or shoes, you can do the right thing for your kids, but you also have the satisfaction of being able to show you care about the environment. Eco-friendly apparel is increasingly sought after: it’s also a choice that pays off over time, because it’s durable and can even be good for the skin of the wearer. And more and more companies are starting to supply this sector. Filobio is an Italian brand which specialises in products for the very young: 0-4-year-olds. Its aim is to make fashion that is good for the delicate skin of children but at the same time comfortable and beautiful – not just stylish but an expression of Italian Bonjour by Filobio

design and taste. The fabrics, all natural and certified, are of plant origin, such as organic cotton and hemp, or animal fibres like wool, alpaca or cashmere. Filobio also has a deep relationship with the natural world; before working on any collection, it actually spends time experiencing nature, especially in the most secluded and unspoiled places. It then tries to convey the messages it receives from the environment in its apparel. Filobio’s new spring/summer collection is a rich one. It includes Bonjour, a dress with a bow, in fresh linen and cotton denim, and Elba, a romper available in two patterns, blue leaves and green butterflies. Then there is Ponza, a 100% linen dress with blue micro-fleece print and pink butterflies, and Barnaba, a unisex

milk-coloured romper in organic cotton, with a Welcome to Natureprint, the iconic image of the collection. Finally there’s

Cupido by Filobio Cupid, a cardigan for girls in organic yarn, in antique pink, suitable for spring, early autumn days and summer evenings. For the future, Filobio has many other ideas – including a few plans up its sleeve for parents! COSISAIDSO is a Belgian brand distributed internationally from Europe to Australia. It creates unisex and urbanstyle garments for children aged from 0 to 14. All clothes are either 100% certified organic cotton or exceed 80%. The style is minimalist and neutral and the clothes are made of cotton, allowing them to be worn all year round, with the addition, when necessary, of a few seasonal elements. Each season has two collections, which can be perfectly combined with each other: a


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Fluo Yellow Leather Sneakers by Veja

SS20 Beach Freak Summer by COS I SAID SO main one with trendy colours and styles, and another – a flash collection with more classic models and colours (white, black, grey). Another distinctive element of the brand is the use of quotations and texts to convey a message, which according to the creator, Sofie Ysewijn, gains even more currency if children are the ones spreading the word. Their first text was Happy Human, an invitation to everyone to ask themselves what makes them truly happy. It’s an important and striking message, so much so that it still appears each year in every new collection. The title of the spring/summer 2020 collection Beach Freak Summer is a

Happy Human Neon (AW20) by COS I SAID SO

Colorblock Hoodie (AW20) by COS I SAID SO

reference to being original and unique on holiday. Messages like ‘Beach freak’ and ‘The good life’ mingle with colours such as peach, orchid and gold. There is also the Snakeline, speckled in black and brown shades: it includes a maxi dress, and a jumpsuit, as well as a top, skirt and sash. The autumn/winter 2020 Feeling all the feels collection is an encouragement to go with your feelings. Strong Pantone colours like Anemone, Black Onyx and Safety Yellow were chosen for the clothes. The messages reflect the theme: ‘Let boys be

emotional’, ‘Can I stay a little longer? I am so happy here’, ‘Your feelings are valid’. Veja is a French brand that produces sustainable, minimalist and innovative sneakers, with a line dedicated to children. It uses organic, agro-ecological and fair trade cotton for the canvas of its shoes, wild Amazonian rubber for the soles and recycled plastic bottles to create the knitted fabric. Some models are 100% vegan and use a material called CWL. This 63% biological material, produced in Italy, is made of a cotton fabric covered with a vegetable coating (extract of corn oil) which allows reduced use of oil. For spring/summer 2020 Veja has launched a new range of colours: technicolour touches and saturated pigments such as yellow and fluorescent pink, ultraviolet and cobalt. From this season, all Esplar sneakers are in chrome-free leather, soft and light, from farms in southern Brazil. There the leather undergoes an innovative tanning process, during which no chromium, heavy metal or dangerous acid is used. Another innovation for the brand is its first store – an ecological store in the heart of Paris where the furniture is made from recycled materials, there’s very little paint on the walls and renewable energy is widely used.

Vegane Sneakers by Veja


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BCBF & BLTF 2020

BOLOGNA CHILDREN’S BOOK FAIR AND BOLOGNA LICENSING TRADE FAIR ONLINE EDITION. REDEFINING THE FUTURE A very special edition in an unprecedented year. The Bologna Children’s Book Fair - and the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair that lives within - was perhaps the first major international trade event which organized an online trade show, being a pioneer compared to the other trade events that are following during this year It was a real shock for the publishing, animation and licensing industries, not only for the worldwide importance that the show has in the children’s entertainment business, but also for the strong emotional bond that professionals from all over the world have with the event, capable of creating a warm, informal and unique atmosphere without losing sight of the business. With their avant-garde vision on the future of major events, the team of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair, led by Elena Pasoli,  Exhibition  Manager  of BCBF, built an online edition, based on three main pillars:  seminars,  exhibitions and a brand new platform for the exchange of publishing rights.  The BLTF, on the licensing front, has consolidated its role as the community pivot, producing exclusive in-depth dossiers and announcing the Bologna Licensing Award winners, giving prestige to the best licensing projects  developed during 2019 and injecting  a dose of  positivity to the whole  industry  to help companies start again with the right energy.  The online edition of the Bologna

Children’s Book Fair - with the  Bologna Licensing Trade Fair  -  welcomed  60,000 virtual visitors  from all over the world. A record number that demonstrates how the path taken by the management of these two  events  was the right one, looking to the future in a strategic and innovative way. LM interviewed Elena Pasoli to talk to her about the path taken so far and what we can expect in the near future.

INTERVIEW WITH ELENA PASOLI, EXHIBITION MANAGER, BOLOGNA CHILDREN’S BOOKFAIR What were the BCBF20 online initiatives made up of and what is the feedback you had from the international community?  The  BCBF  Special  Online  Edition, which had its maximum development from 4th to 7th May,  welcoming 60,000 online visitors and  which will include many activities in the coming months, has been designed to be as close as possible to our trade fair spirit. We developed a very

Elena Pasoli large digital project, taking into account the various BCBF activities, to help the publishing and content community for children to stay connected internationally and to continue to carry out the activities it usually carries out in Bologna. First of all, we recreated the  business environment by creating BCBF Global Rights Exchange, in partnership with  PubMatch, an American platform for the exchange of rights.  Then we turned to the world of illustration, which plays a leading role in our fair, and we created BCBF Galleries, a real  virtual art gallery in which we offer our  flagship  Illustrators  Exhibition,  along with other exhibitions that are part of its world. Finally we staged a rich  programme of announcements, webinars, presentations and debates on  many topics  of international interest. Can you explain what the BCBF Global Rights Exchange is and how it will


Events

support the Trade Fair as a whole? The BCBF Global Rights Exchange  is a platform  reserved for  BCBF  exhibitors, who have uploaded (and can continue to  do so until the end of 2020) the publishing rights they intend to offer to the international market.  The result is a huge showcase of new children’s books, each one equipped with all the necessary information and images, both the cover andinternal pages. At the BCBF Global Rights Exchange they are BCBF19 professional operators and the preregistered visitors for  the  BCBF 2020 are admitted as visitors. Both exhibitors and visitors can see all the headlines and schedule meetings to be carried out on Zoom or GotoMeeting. Let’s say that as in Bologna, operators can “sit around a table” and discuss rights in peace. Was BLTF also online on May 4th and 5th? How? Since the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair, much more than the BookFair, is more addressed to manufacturing and retail companies, which as we know are slowly resuming to normal, we felt we had to produce studies and updated tools for the industry.  So, we produced unique dossiers, such as: market research on children’s habits in the coronavirus era in Europe, by  Insight  Kids;  an  interesting analysis on  Christmas consumption, based on the latest data available, by Kidz Global; a dossier on how to deal with legal and contractual issues, by Akran; and last but not least, an exclusive publication, edited by the BLTF team, in which we collected the best practices in the fashion and  retail  sector  by a selection of our exhibitors.  It is a  dossier containing over 80 Italian and worldwide successful case studies which serve as an analysis and study tool for fashion and  retail companies  that could consider licensing as an angle for their restart.  Then we organised a webinar where we discussed the links between illustration, animation and  video games.  Finally, in a  highly anticipated video, we announced  the winners of the Bologna Licensing Awards 2020, rewarding 12 excellent 2019 projects from the numerous applications received.   You are probably already working on the future and BCBF is among the most awaited events every year by the children’s entertainment operators. Are

there any focuses on 2021 that we can look forward to? The big news this year is Comics Corner. This is the most important focus we will be launching  in  the  BCBF 2021. As you know,  comics  and  graphic  novels  have been experiencing an extraordinary “explosion”  worldwide for some years, with extraordinary market data. In Italy, in 2019 the growth compared to the previous year was over 42 per cent.  We have naturally centered some of the activities of the  online  edition on this theme, but the real launch of this area will take place at the next fair.  In the meantime, the Comics prize is already a reality because, despite the coronavirus, we have already launched the first edition of the  BolognaRagazzi  Comics  Award. I invite everyone to go and see  the book trailers and  videos of the presentations of the awarded books  on  our website.  Among these presentations,  do not miss the  winner  book  of the early reader section, in which two real gurus  -  the  publisher  Françoise  Mouly, the New  Yorker art director and wife of the great  comic  artist  Art  Spiegelmane, and  the imaginative Argentine author  Liniers  –  explain the creation of the book.   Next year we will reflect on the digital experience that we are developing at the moment and we will design an organic integrated trade fair project that will see our activities expand throughout the year. How do you thing the BLTF will evolve on the licensing front in 2021? Our DNA is all about  children  and  I think the time has come to focus the BLTF more on the theme of children and teenagers.  Publishing and licensing travel on ever closer tracks. Our strength is the international profile of our event the BCBF exhibitors come from over 85 countries. So the goal is to further tighten the links between the two events, focusing on the global kids licensing market. BCBF is a unique fair in the world that offers everything on children’s global publishing. So, we want to work to ensure that BLTF becomes the absolute reference event at an international level in its sector, focusing on children’s content.   BCBF is not only Bologna, but a worldwide network of events, starting from the Shanghai Children’s Book Fair. How much are these events

central to the children’s entertainment industry? The  China Shanghai International  Children’s Book Fair (CCBF)  is  the  ‘twin’ of BCBF for Asia  Pacific.  Since we have become  coorganisers,  the internationality of the event has taken off and its contents have become much wider than pure publishing, according to the  typical  Bologna model. Also in Shanghai the book meets the digital and the licensing dimension, making this fair a  true  global market of  kids’  content.  It is  clear that with two events like these, BolognaFiere is truly able to offer its customers a unique showcase and business environment  for the articulation of the proposal  by content and territoriality. And we won’t stop  here.  In fact, last year we entered into  a new partnership with the  Moscow  International Book Fair,  which will lead to the launch of a new  professional  children’s book  fair  in Moscow. Also in this case, we will apply our model and therefore will bring the  entire world of children’s content to the centre,  including licensing with a prominent space.  

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THE WINNERS OF THE BOLOGNA LICENSING AWARDS 2020

Cecilia Padula Ivan Colecchia The highlight of the BLTF20 ONLINE was certainly the winners announcement for the best licensing projects developed during 2019. It is a  prestigious ceremony, divided into 12 categories, and

Federica Pitascio is the only one in Italy and among the few recognised internationally. The awards are incredibly well received by the winners and the industry in general. Winners were selected from the numerous nominations received, by a special jury composed of Cecilia Padula, Senior Director Programming Multibrand ViacomCBS

Italia, Federica Pitascio, Programming and Marketing Manager Rai Ragazzi, and Ivan Colecchia, Senior Vice President Global Development Kidz Global.

BEST PRESCHOOL LICENSING PROJECT Winner: CAPSULE COLLECTION CHICCO MIRACULOUS Brand: Miraculous Ladybug Licensor: Zag Studio Agent: Planeta Junior Partner: Artsana and Leolandia Motivation: For the excellent execution of the project in its entire development, from the quality of the capsule collection to the visual merchandising, from the communication plan to the promotion in the store, in addition to the high profile of the partners involved 

BEST KIDS LICENSING PROJECT FOR GIRLS Winner: BARBIE BY FILIPPO LATERZA FOR ORIGINAL MARINES Brand: Barbie Licensor: Mattel Agent: Victoria Licensing & Marketing Partner: Original Marines, Filippo Laterza Motivation:  For the perfect combination of elegance, high quality and brand values. A modern, captivating and well blended project

BEST KIDS LICENSING PROJECT FOR BOYS Winner: NERF FOR SCARPE & SCARPE AND SCARPAMONDO Brand: Nerf Licensor: Hasbro Partner:  Easy Shoes, Scarpe & Scarpe, Scarpamondo Motivation:  For the perfect combination of elegance, high quality and brand values. A modern, captivating and well blended project   


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BEST TEEN LICENSING PROGRAM Winner: DRAGON BALL Brand: Dragon Ball Licensor: Toei Animation Agent: Starbright Motivation:  For the ability to regenerate the brand and to adapt its values ​​with the iconicity of the consumer products and collections made   Motivation:  For its innovation in product development, brand declination and for the creation of original visual merchandising and a rich media and social campaign

BEST ADULT LICENSING PROJECT Winner: ZAINI CHOCOLATE FOR BARBIE Brand: Barbie Licensor: Mattel Agent: Victoria Licensing & Marketing Partner: Zaini Motivation: For the beauty and quality of a celebratory product in the food category, for the synthesis of craftsmanship, high quality, branding, communication and integrated marketing on several levels

BEST RETAIL LICENSING PROJECT Winner: MTV FOR AW LAB Brand: MTV Licensor: Viacom CBS Partner: AW LAB

See you at the Children’s Book Fair and Bologna Licensing Trade Fair on 12 – 15 April 2021

BEST KIDS LICENSED FASHION PROJECT Winner: PINK PANTHER FOR MONNALISA Brand: Pink Panther Licensor: MGM (Metro Goldwyn Mayer) Agent: WildBrain CPLG Partner: Monnalisa Motivation: For the excellent performance of the capsule collection and the mix between quality, product exposure and re-interpretation of the brand   

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To be constantly updated on the main BCBF21 and BLTF21 novelties, visit the websites or write to: www.bolognachildrensbookfair.com – bookfair@bolognafiere.it www.bolognalicensing.com – licensing@blognafiere.it

BEST KIOSK PROJECT Winner: DeAGOSTINI GEO RANGER Brand: Geo Ranger Licensor: De Agostini  Motivation:  For having conceived and created a complex and educational product for newsstand channel, without losing the taste for adventure and maintaining an attractive tone   BEST ADULT LICENSED FASHION PROJECT Winner: LA CASA DE PAPEL FOR DIESEL Brand:  La Casa de Papel Licensor: Netflix Agent: CAA - GBG Partner: Diesel Motivation:  For having conceived and realized an extremely innovative, gritty project and for having kept a great consistency between the products developed, the visual merchandising, the communication and the spirit of the TV series   PROPERTY OF THE YEAR Winner: BING Brand: Bing Licensor: Acamar Films Agent:  MDL (Maurizio Distefano Licensing) Motivation:  For the complexity and extension of the licensing program, the variety and quality of the products done and the great success of the property

PROPERTY OF THE YEAR Special Mention: BARBIE Brand: Barbie Licensor: Mattel Agent: Victoria Licensing & Marketing Motivation:  For having been able to develop innovative, original and transversal licensing projects, enhancing the value of the brand and its strength on the occasion of an important year such as its 60th anniversary

BEST LICENSED PUBLISHING PROJECT Winner: GAPCHINSKA FOR MALIA EDIZIONI Brand: Gapchinska Licensor: Eugenia Gapchinska  Agent:  MDL (Maurizio Distefano Licensing) Partner: Malia Edizioni Motivation: For the beauty of the books, suitable for multiple targets, the artist’s skill, together with the publisher’s ability to decline the illustrations on a line of original and transversal products


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PUBLISHING

Reading increases among children during lockdown By Rossella Arena The coronavirus epidemic came suddenly into our lives and forced us to spend more time at home. With the closure of the schools, children have devoted themselves to distance learning, to films and TV series, but also to reading Illustrators of children’s books are really important. Many on the internet have made their work available for download and colouring, or have drawn live on demand. There are also those who have made illustrations to raise awareness of the importance of reading and those who take care of books, such as the Italian ACquolina, aka Alessandro Coppola, who works for several publishers including Einaudi Ragazzi.

All over the world children are reading more. Since Covid19 shut down schools, children have found themselves spending more time at home with their families. Even though they have to commit to distance learning and homework, and are enjoying socialising via video calls with friends, TV series and movies, they have also devoted a lot of time to reading. Everyone’s days, from the youngest to the oldest are being filled with stories. In addition to reading alone or with families, children and teenagers are helped by writers, publishers and other champions of the cultural world, who in Italy and throughout the rest of the world have launched online initiatives. The organisation of the Festival de Littérature Jeunesse de Montréal, currently scheduled for August 2020, has created Une Quarantaine d’histoires, a quarantine of stories. Every day at 11am on their Facebook page, a personality from the literary world reads a story to children live. The initiative will last as long as the state of emergency remains.

The videos are stimulating, but even just listening to a narrator’s voice is expressive and helps bring the stories to life. Audible, the audiobook giant, has launched Audible Stories (stories.audible.com), which gives families free access to hundreds of titles, from Alice in Wonderland to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The books are available in six languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Japanese. Again, the initiative will last as long as the schools are closed.

In Italy the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, together with the publishing houses Cononino Press and Fandango, has joined the social campaign #ioleggoacasa (#Ireadathome) with the initiative Fumetti nei musei (Comics at Museums): from April to May, some of the 51 albums donated to museums and archaeological parks in the country, illustrated by the best Italian cartoonists, will be available online. On the one hand, publishers have temporarily blocked some of their


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publishing house, La Margherita Edizioni, has recently published Sophie Gilmore’s illustrated book Little Doctor and the Fearless Beast, in which a brave little doctor takes care of... crocodiles! Also in Italy, the publishing house Il Castoro has created Castoro TV on its social media platforms - a daily schedule with offerings from authors for teachers to assist with distance learning, readings, courses and challenges. Among their new publications is the graphic novel about Harley Quinn as a teenager, Harley Quinn. Gotham arrivo! (Harley Quinn. Gotham I come!) by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh. activities and, on the other hand, they have taken the opportunity to become very active on social media and continue to work on their new products. While we spend more time at home and many productive activities have stopped, the air quality has improved and animals have repossessed spaces left deserted by man. Now is the time to remember endangered animals too: the new illustrated book A New Prayer for the animals, by Mark Wilson, published by the Australian publisher Windy Hollow books, talks about them. Among the latest publications the Italian children’s publisher Edizioni Emme has launched Le 100 cose belle della vita (100 beautiful things of life) by Lele Corvi, which can help to discover and rediscover the beauty of small events, from the smell of bread, to receiving or giving a surprise kiss. In this period when the work of doctors is in the foreground, another Italian

It’s the first text of the new series DC Graphic Novels for Young Adults, which will be dedicated to DC Comics heroines. In it a 15-year-old Harleen suddenly finds herself in the most dangerous city in the world, where she has a chance to become herself and find her strength. In France, Gallimard Jeunesse has launched the Biblimobile initiative, where if offers to download unpublished stories written by its authors. While spending a lot of time at home, the need for adventure can grow: among future publications there will be Alma, le vent se lève by Timothée de Fombelle, the story of an African girl who in 1786 begins to travel the world in search of her missing brother. Now is also the time for boys to cultivate their passions, such as interest in science. Soon to be published book Professor Astro Cat’s Stargazing by

scientist Dominic Walliman, illustrated by Ben Newman - the latest in a series of popular science books focused on the character of Professor Astro Cat and translated into over 20 languages.


Media&Digital

ANIMATION

The growth of the Polish animation industry By Rossella Arena Poland is continuing to gain a global reputation throughout the world for the work of its animation studios, some of which are developing fascinating projects aimed at children and young people There’s a quiet satisfaction in Poland at the growth of one industry in particular: animation, and the studios that support it. In Warsaw, an association – SPPA – was founded to support the industry. SPPA brings together a number of producers with the aim of further spreading the word about Polish animation around the world. This isn’t unexpected. A few years ago the country became the third world power in the video game industry after the USA and Canada, and is determined to bet on the skill of its creatives for films and cartoons as well. Not surprisingly, a number of studios are working on some fascinating productions for children and teenagers. The Animoon studio is working on the preschool animated series Hug me. Based on the book Hug me please, by Przemysław Wehterowicz and Emilia Dziubak (ed. Ezop), the series follows the adventures in the forest of Papa Bear and his son Teddy. The book and series celebrate the fathers on relationship and convey important Hug me by Animoon

Detective Positive by 4cuts values such as sharing. Each episode teaches us to pay attention to those small words and gestures that help us to create – and maintain – a good relationship with others. In addition to Poland, Hug me has been shown in Germany, Finland, the United States, Mexico and China. Founded in 2018, 4 cuts is a young studio

that is equally happy to welcome film industry professionals with many years of experience and to collaborate with talented young artists. It currently has a big project in the development stage, the animated series Detective Positive, aimed at 5-7-year-olds and based on the books by Grzegorz Kasdepke (ed. Nasza Ksiegarnia). The author is an acclaimed children’s writer, with 40 bestsellers to his credit. The Detektyw Pozytywka books have been part of the primary school curriculum since 2017. The hero is a friendly and upbeat detective, who runs a small agency through which he solves the crimes in his neighbourhood. To match the feel of the books, the studio is working with a number of animation methods, from old school to 3D compositing. The aim, initially, is to bring the cartoon to the same countries where the rights to the books have already been sold. They include: Russia, Ukraine, Korea, the Czech

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same name by Zofia Stanecka, illustrated by Marianna Oklejak (ed. Lettorklett). Available in Polish and English, the episodes focus on different aspects of the child’s social and emotional development. For example Basia has to accept the arrival of her new little brother, or learn to collaborate with the rest of the family when her mother works from home. Another GS Animation project is Johann, Sebastiana and Bach, an animated series for six-to-nine-year-olds themed around working together that will be ready in 2021. The heroes are three teenagers with animal-like features (a fly, a cow

Casparade by Human Ark Republic, Slovenia and China. China will support worldwide distribution and coproduction. Human Ark is a studio that specialises in 3D animation and complex visual effects. It has created the animated series Casperade suitable for kids from 5 to 9. Inspired by the Kacperiada books by Grzegorz Kasdepke (ed. Literatura), the series has won many awards and has been invited to many international festivals. The hero is Casper, a 7-year-old boy, who is very curious and a bit hyperactive. The themes include daily challenges big and small, relationships with parents, dealing with new situations, and not judging things or people by appearances. Human Ark is also working on Diplodocus, a cartoon for families. Combining 3D with live-action scenes over its 80-minute length, Diplodocus tells the story of a small dinosaur who, after the mysterious disappearance of his parents, discovers he lives inside a comic strip. Together with his friends, he goes on a journey to save his family – and discovers that he is very powerful. The inspiration for the cartoon Basia by GS Animation

GS Animation

GS Animation comes from the comic book by Tadeusz Baranowski (ed. Ongrys) which has sold 2,400,000 copies. The film will premiere in 2022. Another studio, Grupa Smacznego (GS Animation), has produced the pre-school animated series Basia. Its heroine is a fiveyear-old girl who loves to read and invent games. She doesn’t always behave but it’s impossible not to like her, because she’s funny, intelligent and very curious about the world around her. The idea for the series originated from the books of the

and a dog) and a passion for rock music. The studio also has a series coming out in 2020: Grand Banda, for six-to-nineyear-old audiences. The hero is only eight years old, but she forms a band of agents to combat injustice with a little help from her super grandmothers. Finally there’s Ormhildur the Brave, arriving in 2020/2021 for the 8-12 age group. The story is set in 2038, when the world finds itself in chaos, destroyed by a flood caused by melting glaciers. Who can make things better? Into this devastation steps Ormhildur, a very young, very timid hero.

GS Animation


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FASHION

Gender-neutral fashion for children who don’t want to conform By Alessandra Maccaferri Backpack See through mask by Nununu

The gender-neutral style has been an inspiration for the world of fashion for some time. It is now finding its way into children’s apparel. The result? Simple, comfortable and original garments that don’t conform to stereotypes. Here are just a few of the ideas that are informing gender-neutral fashion brands for children

Skull t- shirt and Lava Yellow Deconstructed Sweatpants by Nununu Children aren’t just about gender: they’re about life and energy. And every child is unique. That’s why some brands, inspired by the gender-neutral style, have decided to create kids’ clothes that are comfortable but that also respect children’s uniqueness. These garments stand out for their excellent fit – not too tight, not too short

– and are made with quality fabrics. The colours deliberately shun concepts like pink for girls and blue for boys in favour of strong and unisex colours, or neutral and elegant greys and blacks. These clothes may also employ writing or graphics to convey messages and ideas. Here are four fashion brands embracing gender-neutral children’s fashion in stylish and original ways. Nununu is a fashion brand based in Israel for the 0-14 age group. Its founders Iris Adler and Tali Milchberg set out to make clothes that combine comfort with a sense of humour. The clothes are basic in style with a tendency to favour rough shapes and simplified graphic prints. And they are also clever and witty. The latest collection – for spring/summer 2020 – celebrates artisan production, so elements from the world of tailoring – such as sewing patterns, measuring tape, Sewing pattern Swimsuit by Nununu

scissors and needle and thread – appear on the garments. Another clever design style for the new season uses cute skulls (in colour or black and white), which are created by designers Iris and Tali, with the help of artist Shay Id Alony. The shades of all the dresses are warm – yellow lava and red lava, for instance – and very suitable for sunny days. Neutral colours such as white, black and grey are also part of the design offering, while bags and backpacks are transparent. The brand’s Beach 2020 collection has expanded, offering a larger range than previous seasons: from unisex rash-guards and long-sleeved, UV-resistant swimsuits to beachwear, towels, light kaftans and slippers. The skulls and tailoring elements we mentioned earlier are used here as well; the dominant shades are yellow, black and shiny silver. The two founders have also collaborated on a range with singer Céline Dion. She helped to inspire the Célinununu brand, which offers many new gender-neutral products for children every season, including the latest t-shirts, leggings, shorts and caps decorated with musical notes.


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older kids the words ‘wild’ and ‘wonder’ appear in stylish fonts on some tops. Whistle & flute is a Canadian brand that produces clothes for both children and adults. It combines the simplicity of unisex with the tenderness of ‘kawaii’ (a Japanese word roughly similar to ‘cute’), in items very much adapted for children. Possibly the standout in the latest collection is

Rompers Just Call me Fox by Tobias & the bear Tobias & The Bear is an English brand for children from 0 to 6 years old. It doesn’t just favour the gender-neutral style – it is also sustainable. In fact it uses organic and Oeko-tex-certified cottons and inks (Oeko-Tex consists of 18 independent research and test institutes in Europe and Japan). The brand, whose baby leggings and romper suits are particularly popular, has two lines. TATB baby is a luxury capsule collection designed for children from 0 to 2 years old. TATB kid, meanwhile, is for older children. The collections are notable for their stylish designs and animal themes: many clothes are illustrated with bears, foxes, badgers or deer, for example. The customer can even customize each garment with names or monograms, available in various fonts and colours. For

Wild tee by Tobias & the bear

T- shirt Kawaii Russian Doll by Whistle & Flute the Kawaii Cloud Bomber Jacket. Worth mentioning too are the Kawaii Russian Doll matryoshka t-shirt and a line of t-shirts and accessories featuring pretty cherry or banana illustrations. A large range of comfortable and colourful trousers is also available. In April the company put together a limited edition mini-collection, with two t-shirts inspired by the strange period we are now living through: the Wash your hands 2020 and Kawaii toilet T - shirt Kawaii Banana Bunch by Whistle & Flute

Denim Smock Classic dress by Tootsa MacGinty paper t-shirts. The garments were meant to be just a bit of fun but they went viral and the proceeds from the shirts were donated to combating Covid-19. Tootsa MacGinty is a well-known English brand for kids aged from 0-8, whose colourful, fun and meaningful garments are designed and made with loving care and attention. It was one of the first brands in England to sell gender-neutral clothing for children and has been recognised for its originality, receiving a number of awards. The garments are made with quality materials, and are SEDEX (ethical trade) and GOTS (organic textiles) certified. Designed to last, they can be passed on from child to child. The brand emphasises respect for the environment and not wasting resources: to encourage customers to repair its clothes, it sends spare parts, such as zips and embroidered patches, with purchases. This year it paused production and created the Re-Loved collection, using beautiful and contemporary pieces already made for previous seasons. All Tootsa clothes contain positive messages for free thinking children, encouraging them to believe in themselves and express their love of nature.

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TEENS

TAPPING INTO THE TEEN MARKET By Alessandra Maccaferri Teenagers look for products to express their energy and individuality and many companies have created lines which help them do this, while reflecting current trends and popular culture too

Adolescence is a period of intensity and potential. The vitality of teenagers is clearly visible in their desire to constantly be on the move, to create, to fall in love... Teenagers today are generally smiling and cheerful: just think about TikTok, the app that allows them to film themselves while they dance, act, sing and do everything they love.  Despite teenagers’ lightheartedness on the face of things, they do of course have dark moments at times too, which are often easily overcome when they focus on dreams and on the search for their own individuality. This is why it is useful for them to have items to customise, or which manage to communicate their emotions. We found out about companies who focus on the teenage market and what they are offering. Almost every teenager uses a backpack and, for the more sporty individuals, one from Fjällräven is a must-have.  The Swedish company, founded over 50 years ago, is known for developing clothing and equipment designed for outdoor

life: jackets, trousers, tents, sleeping bags and backpacks. Among the latest arrivals is the  Kånken  Totepack, a convertible version of the iconic Fjällräven product. The Totepack can be a backpack when cycling or at school, but turns into a shoulder bag, functional for example

Popgrip Lips Burt Bees Honeycomb by Popsockets

Popmount Orchid Car & Desk by Popsockets when getting on a crowded bus, or if you want a more casual look. It has a main compartment with zip and a padded base, to hold a 13” laptop. On the back there is also a pillow, which can be used to take a break, wherever you are.  The bag is available in a range of colours, including yellow, dark red, green, and more. Mobile phones and digital devices are now at the center of teens’ lives. They’re essential for calls and video calls, social media, taking notes, listening to music, reading and staying informed.  US company  Popsockets  created a removable handle for devices. Initially designed to keep earphones tidy and close at hand, the handle is now mainly used to ergonomically grip a device, to be able to manage it more comfortably. It’s useful for mobile phones, particularly as they are increasing in size.  When the phone isn’t in use, the Pop socket contracts and takes up very little space.  The best way to hold it is between the index and middle fingers, leaving the thumb free to touch the screen, it can also be used as a stand.  Popsockets can be customised using an image of your choice on the flat surface, aka the Pop Top. Cases with a base that can accommodate various popsocket models are also available. The company is continuously working to create new eyecatching designs, such as those containing a mirror. Among the latest arrivals is the Gemstones collection  and the Backspin, dedicated to spirals.  Popgrip Lips is one of the more innovative lines, which contains a lip product inside the Popsocket, including the popular brand, Burt’s Bees Honeycomb – a balm made with beeswax.  The Pop wallet model fits on a case to create a mini wallet. Available is a range of designs, one


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same name, created by the Impossible group in San Francisco. It is used with a loved one with whom you want to maintain constant contact: even if you are far away. Each time one of the pair touches their bracelet, the other one lights up and vibrates. Sold in pairs or individually, so it can be sent easily to the distant person, it is an ideal gift for long distance relationships but also for people who are very busy and have little time to be together during the day. The latest models are waterproof and offer changeable straps in eight different colours (blue, emerald green, pink, red and others).

Gamestones Collection by Popsockets of the latest trends joining the range is Unicorn Marble. The company produces fixed and folding supports, to be used in conjunction with the Popsocket to secure the device in the car or on the desk. Popmount in orchid coloring is one of the latest releases. Bond Touch  produces a bracelet of the

In Season Jewelry is a Miami-based company specialising in jewellery for children and teenagers.  It often updates

Twin Bracelets Bond Touch

Azabache Bracelet by In Season Jewelry

its collection as the team is constantly looking for beautiful items all over the world. The company pays attention to quality, to protect the sensitive skin of young people.  It has a line for good luck and protection,  which includes the Azabache bracelet, which takes its name from the bright black lignite stone used in the design, which is alternated with  red pearls.  According to tradition these stones attract luck, prosperity and protect against negativity. Dedicated to love, the  I love you necklace is silver with the phrase  engraved in black,  with  a heartshaped pendant, which can hold photos of your partner or other loved ones. Teenagers have a duty to dream every day.  Californian brand Tops Malibu, which was originally born and made its name as an art gallery full of extravagant works, can help with this.  The company created a silver capsule, which opens to accommodate a small notebook inside, where you can write your dreams. It is based on the vials worn by racing pigeons, used to deliver secret messages.  The  Intention Capsule is attached to a bracelet or necklace and encourages the wearer to write down their dream or goal on the paper, to then


Trends

THE SHOP OF CHARLI D’AMELIO, TEEN QUEEN OF TIKTOK Some teenagers and online stars have gone from buying products to successfully producing them using their personal brand. 

T – shirt and mobile cover by Charli D’Amelio

Bracelet Intention capsule and necklace Love note capsule by Tops Malibu insert it in the pendant and wear it until the dream is realised. The Love Note capsule is based on the same principle, to express emotions, always wearing them on a bracelet or necklace. The range also includes the single capsule, the Wish Capsule, to carry dreams and hopes in a pocket, bag or wherever you want. Iced Coffee Splatter Hoodie by Charli D’Amelio

Thanks to the foresight of specialised agencies that follow them closely, teen influencers have published books and albums, collaborated with designers and trend experts, and created consumer product ranges based on their image and passions. The latter is the case of Charli D’Amelio, a 16 year-old American girl who in a few months has reached more than 54 million followers on TikTok. Day by day her fanbase keeps growing, attracted by her hip-hop dance abilities. Recently Charli has become a brand. She has an online shop, selling sweatshirts, t-shirts, cell phone covers and accessories, decorated with her name and photos.  Charli has an active lifestyle but appreciates home comforts, and has also created covers and comfortable cushions. The mini Iced Coffee Collection is very original, with sweatshirts and tracksuits inspired by the drink she loves most - iced coffee.

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GREEN

THE FUTURE IS ALWAYS GREENER By Rossella Arena Companies are increasingly moving towards green choices for their products, from the components used, to the processing methods and the choice of specifically trained staff. Here the latest green news from a range of brands   In recent years, the suffering of our planet and a greater level of consumer awareness has led to a greater possibility and increased importance in creating green products. Goods are being produced more and more from natural materials, improving the health of industry and consumers, but also looking for the best environmental performance, so as to pollute as little as possible. An excellent example of this is Green Toys, a Californian company from Sausalito, committed to making toys which are safe for children and the environment.  It offers games suitable from 6 months-old and upwards, such as a set of shells and sea creatures for a baby bath, made with recycled plastic milk jugs. Spring / summer 2020 will see the addition of a firefighting plane and for autumn 2020 a Truck will be launched, with a removable basket where children can practice arranging the various pieces. One of the key items in the collection from the past three years is the Cargo.  Each game is produced with 100 per cent recycled materials. The packaging is also made with recycled and recyclable elements and printed with ecological inks.

Cargo Airplane by Green Toys

SS20 Collection by Par.co denim

Truck with molds by Green Toys

Firefighting Plane by Green Toys Par.co denim is an Italian brand from Bergamo, which produces sustainable denim.  The company creates all of its products with toxic and cruelty free products, while employing small companies and local artisans for the cutting and assembly phases.  In the S/S 2020 collection there are designs (skinny, high waist, work leggings) and colours (blue and light denim, green, black) for every need. For A/W 2020 Par.co will be using cotton with GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification and a material made with recycled cotton and GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certified polyester.

Alce Nero is an Italian company from Bologna with a rich catalogue of over 300 organic baby food products. Among the latest 2020 launches, the company has introduced organic velvety purée, formulated without added salt and additives, and processed to keep the nutritional properties intact.  For little ones, the baby cheer pack organic fruit purees (Apple and Pumpkin, and Pear, Plum and Rice) are available in a practical 100-gram pouch, which is ideal for taking out and about. The purees are gluten free, with no added sugars or flavours and they are approved by pediatricians for use from six months old.

Velvety Pass by Alce Nero


Trends

Marionnaud, a large international cosmetics chain based in France,  has launched a green line with a wide range of products with 90 per cent natural ingredients.  The range focuses on face

Comforting Face Balm with sweet almond butter by Marionnaud care with nourishing lip and face balms, make-up remover oil with chia seeds, refreshing face spray with kiwi extract as well as body scrub with poppy oil, made with salt, sugar and poppy seeds. Love & green is a nine year-old French brand which pioneers ecological nappies, made without petrochemical components. In addition to nappies, it also produces feminine and infant personal hygiene products, and sanitary napkins, all produced using natural materials. New for 2020, the company has decided to take a further green step for its nappies, replacing 50 per cent of the absorbent petrochemical microspheres (which allow liquid to be well absorbed) with natural microspheres. The move is a revolution in the sector because it opens the way for biodegradable nappies. 

Swimsuit by Seay

Summer news from Reborn Ideas Re-born Ideas ( www.rebornideas.com ) is an online store created by Maurizio Mazzanti, dedicated to 100 per cent Made in Italy products, produced by up-cycling, recycling and creative recovery. The constantly up-dated website features home furnishings, clothing and accessories for men, women and children. For the summer season, Reborn Ideas has partnered with two new manufacturers. RiVelami was launched with the aim of recycling sails, which are sturdy materials that lend themselves well to being transformed into bags, cushions and foot stools. The designer of the brand is Silvia Ronchi, an architect with a passion for sailing. The other brand is Seay, a beachwear line which uses recycled materials such as Econyl, made of nylon waste such as fishing nets, and SEAQUAL polyester, obtained from recycling plastic bottles. The brand is led by Eduardo Bolioli, a world-renowned artist known for his hand-painted graphics, who has collaborated with brands such as Guess. 

Absorbents by Love & Green As a result of the new products, The Green Family, parent company of Love & Green launched the new brand of nappies, Change Now. The external part of the nappy which is in contact with the skin is made of 100 per cent natural ingredients, including corn starch, brown sugar, beetroot and potato.  75 per cent of the absorbent cushion is of natural origin, with FSC certified cellulose.  The nappies are produced in their natural colour, preventing the need for chemical bleaching processes.  The company has pledged to continue their research, to make the product even greener in future.  

Ecological Diapers by Change Now

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Events

CARTOONS ON THE BAY

2020 FINALISTS ANNOUNCED 51 finalist works of the 2020 edition of the Cross-media Animation and Children’s TV Festival, Cartoons on the Bay, promoted by Rai and organized by RaiCom in collaboration with the Abruzzo Region and the municipalities of Pescara and L’Aquila, have been selected. Winners will be announced in Pescara from 3 to 5 December 2020

To get further information on Cartoons on the Bay 2020: www.cartoonsbay.rai.it Facebook: cartoonsonthebay Instagram: cartoonsonthebay

Five competing productions for each category, 16 for the Feature films category. Twenty countries will take part in the final phase of the competition. Below they are the animation series chosen by the pre-selection jury among the 350 works submitted. Among the several categories of the Festival - of interest also for the licensing sector – we can highlight the following selection: Preschool TV Series: Hey Duggee, Olobob Top, Take Flight, Lupin’s Tales, Brave Bunnies

Fox and Hare

Boris the Tablete It will be a total of 64 works chosen for the International Panorama selection, out of the main competition. The winners of the UNICEF Award and the Migrants-Art Cartoon Award will also be chosen among the finalists. The juries that will decide the winners among the selected finalists have already been defined. Stay tuned!

Brave Bunnies Upper Preschool TV Series: Boris: The Tablete, Anittinha’s Club, Fox and Hare, Splat & Seymour, Topo Gigio

Interactive and Multimedia Works: Luigi’s Mansion 3, The Outer Worlds, Death Stranding, MediEvil, Control

Kids TV Series: The Rubbish World of Dave Spud, Tig n’ Seek, Big City Greens, Urban Legends, Coach me if you can

Live Action/Hybrids TV Series: Game Crashers, Fumbleland!, Monstershop, Dino Dana, Endlings

Big City Greens


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EVENTS

“IRL” Toys Tap into Digital Properties & Viral Online Trends

More information about The Toy Association’s top trends of 2020 can be found at www.ToyAssociation.org/trends Toy Fair New York 2021 dates are 13 to 16 February in New York City. To learn more visit www.ToyFairNY.com

By Kristin Morency Goldman, The US Toy Association “IRL” was one of the top trends of 2020 announced by The U.S. Toy Association at Toy Fair New York in February

44 Cats Milady by Smoby

“With kids spending more time watching content online – whether it’s Netflix, YouTube, or on social media – licensed toys and games are no longer only about blockbuster films and cable TV shows”, says Adrienne Appell, trend expert at The U.S. Toy Association.

“We’re seeing a huge influx of digital-first brands in the toy aisle, spotted everywhere from action figures and dolls, to role play items and unboxing toys.” - Adrienne Appell -

The trend also encompasses toys based on viral online trends and playthings that blend digital and physical play. Here’s a breakdown of some “IRL” toys and games that fit into the trend and will be topping kids’ wish lists all year long: Fortnite Beastmode Rhino Premium Action Figure (McFarlane Toys) is a hyperarticulated action figure that features 22 moving parts, a quad launcher, and harvesting tool. Milady Truth or Lie from 44 Cats (SMOBY): Thanks to her superpower Milady can detect lies. Her fur turns pink if somebody is lying. Play with her to discover the truth. The plush includes original sentences from the 44 cats TV series, songs, and Milady’s super power jingle.

WOW! Pods (WOW! Stuff): Each collectible character in this series lives in a hex-shaped pod with built-in UV lights. Simply swipe to light your WOW! Pod and see your chosen character, along with a hidden mystery feature or image. Use the decal sheet to decorate your WOW! Pods to your own unique style then connect them together in less than two seconds. Pods are available in an array of licensed and non-licensed versions. Ryan’s Mystery Playdate Mystery Box Raceway (Just Play LLC) includes hidden surprises within a playset that unfolds into a 35-inch raceway with fun surprises. Includes two motorized racecars, one truck, one transforming trailer, a racer figure, one sand slime container, and tons of features including jokes told by Ryan, a launcher to launch banana peels and rubber chickens, and tons more silly fun.


Focus

TOY FAIR EVERYWHERE Last month, The Toy Association unveiled plans for Toy Fair Everywhere, a new series of virtual market weeks to help toy businesses connect with their customers, suppliers, and the global play community during these uncertain times when in-person meetings and events may not be possible. Toy Fair Everywhere leverages the Association’s state-of-the-art technology platform and partners like Balluun, which had been unutilized, to swiftly respond to seller and buyer needs.

GeoSafari by Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Talking Wildlife Camera (Educational Insights) features the voice of Robert Irwin, wildlife advocate and avid wildlife photographer. Kids are guided around the world to different regions, where they can explore magnificent animals in areas like the Mexican Desert, African Savanna, and Australia.

Beginning July 13 through 19, The Toy Association will roll out the first of three virtual seven-day market weeks for 2020, connecting toy manufacturers to the global audience of toy buyers, media, and other key stakeholders ahead of the critical fourth quarter selling season. Two additional Toy Fair Everywhere market weeks are planned for August 17 to 23 and September 14 to 20. Just as if walking a show floor, virtual market week attendees will be able to explore a calendar of daily events, browse exhibitors by category, and book appointments for virtual demos and chats. Further replicating the in-person Toy Fair experiences online, Toy Fair Everywhere will also feature relevant and timely educational sessions and other engaging special events, both live and pre-recorded, that highlight the resiliency, drive, and passion of the global toy community. For questions and additional information, please contact Marian Bossard - mbossard@toyassociation.org Kimberly Carcone - kcarcone@toyassociation.org

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KIDS INSIGHTS

THE NEW CHALLENGES FOR KIDS ON 2020 By Nick Richardson, Founder e CEO, The Insights People 2020 marked the start of another new year, another new decade, but none of us could have imagined how different life would become

Nick Richardson Starting a new decade always provides a chance to reflect; to try and consider what we were doing at the start of the last decade and to contemplate how things have changed. When we kicked off 2010, the world was a very different place – we had Mothercare, Toys R Us, and even Blockbuster. We did not have Brexit, GDPR, TikTok, and of course Coronavirus. The world and kid’s ecosystems have changed forever. We think that we will look back and view this period of time as “BC” (Before Coronavirus), “DC” (During Coronavirus) and “AC” (After Coronavirus), and due to our methodology of surveying children continually and

being able to make our data available to our clients in real-time. Quite simply old research, old strategies and approaches became redundant overnight, and as an industry and as organisations and individuals, we all need to reconsider our approach as the direction the world was travelling has changed. Even before coronavirus, we were seeing that the kid’s industry was in a state of flux. The breath of companies and individuals we work with, across multiple sectors and multiple functions provides us with a fortunate and distinctive view. No matter what industry you are in Entertainment, FMCG, Policy, Publishing, Retail, Sports, Toys, the feedback was the same “we are in a state of flux, we need to do things differently but we don’t know how to do it”. We hear continually that brand owners recognise that their advertising & media strategies are not working and are unsure of how to evaluate the impact of their ad spend, and ultimately measure their ROI.


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We are also now seeing many brands such as Coca-Cola and Diageo cutting all marketing spend in this period of “DC”. Before coronavirus, we also increasingly hear of organisations who are quite simply terrified of what to do, and in some cases are even questioning whether they should be creating products or campaigns specifically for kids in fear of the repercussions. We also see how business opportunities come, go and ultimately resurface remodelled, leaving some of us to no doubt think, is it all worth it? Well what we can tell you, from what we are seeing, it is absolutely worth it. And even more so after coronavirus as it could be argued now that every brand will have to become to some degree a kid brand. We all know that this generation of children is like no other; being constantly connected and increasingly financially empowered and enabled. Technology is fuelling these rapid changes and children are becoming more connected at a younger age than they ever were. In fact, our data shows us that 92% of 3-6-yearolds in the UK own an internet enabled mobile device, and this has increased by 10% from last year. Children in Europe are experiencing a similar level of connectivity, 68% of 6-9-year-olds in Italy having access to a tablet, and over half being able to go

power than any previous generation, and their influence power goes well beyond toys and entertainment, to holidays; twothirds of kids influence their parents, and even new cars, which 36% of kids say they influence their parents’ choice. And to put it into numbers according to our data, yearly expenditure on food/ drinks/snacks by kids’ totals £2bn in the UK and $16.6bn in the US. UK kids are

on a mobile phone (62%). Across 2019, tweens in Italy owning wearable tech has increased by 12%, emphasising how different types of tech are becoming established in kids’ ecosystems. Our data also emphasises the tech use of children in the US, with 1 in 4 3-10-year-olds saying they spend between 1 to 4 hours gaming on the weekend. They have far greater spending

UK kids are spending £1.2bn on new technology and £1.1bn on video games per year, whilst in the US they are spending $6.2bn on new tech and $7bn on video games each year. And whilst these figures were calculated before coronavirus it really illustrates the power and freedom that this generation of kids has. As we continue in the “DC” phase, some of us may feel at times that the world is

also spending £1.9bn per year on fashion (clothes, shoes and accessories) while kids in the US spend $22.7bn. Tech/digital spend rivals this offline expenditure.

Kids Insights will be issuing a report in the coming weeks which will identify five things which we think might happen as a result of Coronavirus. To register your interest in receiving a complimentary report visit www.kidsinsights.com/ac  

on “pause”, but that is not the case when it comes to kids. They are experiencing this real-life adventure thriller first-hand and the impact this will have on their attitudes, behaviour and consumption will be truly significant. Just like traditional sports, e-sports tournaments have suffered their fair share of cancellations over the past month,


Trends

Kids Insights, part of The Insights People, is a leader in market analysis on kids target. The company currently examines over 3,000 children every week, on 4 continents and 9 countries, and more than 150,000 children per year. The agency has earned a reputation as a complete and dynamic target market intelligence specialist for children and teenagers. Market analysis is used by companies such as BBC, F1, Penguin, PokĂŠmon, SEGA, Turner and Warner Media.

however, the ability for it to be watched on screen, or participated with online should suggest it is in a really strong position to attract a growing number of participants; and this is the case in the US, France and India. Participating and watching e-sports on screen has grown substantially in these regions across the last month for 5-18-year-olds in lockdown. We have also seen growth in familyfocussed offline games too with board games soaring in popularity. in the UK we have seen kids saying board games are their favourite toy almost rising to three times its amount to the third most popular toy with children between the age of 3 and 12. Children across the world are also spending longer reading since lockdown, but the types of books they are engaging more with differs by market. The number of children reading eBooks has increased in Spain (+9%), Germany (+11%), the US (+12%), and France (+22%). Also in and Spain (+14%) and the US (+12%), children have been listening to more audiobooks, these regions appear to have reverted away from traditional books and moved towards digital; which may be prompted by the ease of access as shops close. During Coronavirus we know that kids habits and consumption levels have changed in many areas of their ecosystem, and this is also true of TV and VOD where we have seen an upwards shift in a number of subscription-based platforms amongst kids across the globe. Netflix, the most popular of all on-demand platforms, has seen engagement increase in some of the central European markets, except for Italy. Kids watching Netflix in

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We know that where adults are concerned there is almost a never-ending supply of real-time data, providing detailed analytics based on consumers behaviours and consumption, but this is simply not the case for kids. With the recent and welcomed changes to legislation, gathering this intel, this data and these behaviours is much harder to do for children and this means for intent and purpose the industry is flying blind.   There are companies that offer kids research, data and insights and from what I see, there were traditionally two types – the ones that are simply doing research, to sell their agenda – be it, social media influencer campaigns, encouraging organisations to invest in apps or their own IP. And those who are employed on a reactive basis to help a client understand a very specific detail, at a very specific time, providing data on historical activities. France has increased by 17% DC and by 8% in both Germany and Spain. So how do I do this, how do I prepare myself and my business in these uncertain times? Well, the first stage has to be developing an understanding; quite frankly how can you even start to head in a certain direction, if you don’t understand the terrain, the opportunities, the challenges and ultimately what children’s attitudes, behaviour, and consumption are? And what I mean by understanding is not as simple as what they bought yesterday, or what they watched last week. It’s how their collective and individual ecosystems are made up. And be even more frank – did your previous data and insight really do this? And if it was conducted more than a couple of weeks ago, it will no longer be relevant. Our approach is unique, and the current situation illustrates how important it is. Firstly everything that kids do is connected, if children are spending less time watching TV, they have more time to do something else, if they are spending less money on sweets & candy, they have more money to spend on something else. Furthermore, what children are doing today will have an impact on the choices they make in the future. Important links between play and child development are also visible in our data. Based on our UK data, kids aged 6-9 who play with

construction toys the most are 38% more likely than average to want to become an engineer when they’re older. Likewise, kids who play with electronic and digital toys the most are 50% more likely to want an IT/Computer related career. Our data highlights a similar story in Italy, children aged 3-9 who want an IT/ Computer related career are 133% more likely than average to say IT/Computing is their favourite subject at school. Beyond this, we can see how children’s career goals are changing. At the beginning of 2019, the most likely career choice for 3-9-year olds in Italy was a Footballer (7%), whilst by the end of the year Veterinarian was the top career (6.5%).

And that’s where we come in and show what sets us apart. As a start, we can provide you with high quality, statistically significant, data agnostic and independent data with no agenda. Furthermore, we can provide you the ability to track and evaluate data; allow you to view, filter and interrogate the data to build specific insights to meet your needs. And lastly and most importantly we are updating in real-time meaning so you can see how the world looked before, during and ultimately after coronavirus to help aid your future planning across Advertising & Media, Content, Licensing, Marketing and Product & Sales – keeping you on the front foot, rather than being reactive.


Profile for BM srl

Licensing Magazine May 2020 ENG  

LICENSING | BRANDING | MEDIA&DIGITAL | PUBLISHING TRADE MAGAZINE

Licensing Magazine May 2020 ENG  

LICENSING | BRANDING | MEDIA&DIGITAL | PUBLISHING TRADE MAGAZINE

Profile for bmsrl

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