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#03| 2021

LICENSING | BRANDING | MEDIA&DIGITAL | PUBLISHING TRADE MAGAZINE

WHAT’S NEW FROM THE INDUSTRY AND PUBLISHING

E D IT

IO N

THE HOTTEST TOPICS ON ENTERTAINMENT

RETAIL AND MARKETING TRENDS

BLE PREVIEW










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Editorial

Dear reader Welcome to the new issue of Licensing Magazine, as always full of great content and the latest news - and with something that we have not seen for a year and a half: this is the first edition that once again is covering live events! The joy of being able to travel again and publish our magazine as a Media Partner with the main international events in the industry, is intensely emotional. After Cartoon Forum and MIPCOM, we are thrilled to return to London to attend Brand Licensing Europe as an exhibitor, and see our magazine distributed at our booth and all over the show floor! This year we have not perceived the skepticism of last year. We can finally play the long game and imagine returning to Nuremberg and Bologna next year, with all the energy of being a main participant at live events of global importance like these. We still miss the events in the US and Asia very much, but we have great hopes of returning to them within the next year. Fingers crossed! As for the subjects covered in this issue, you will find our usual exclusive articles created specifically for our readers with the latest industry news, interviews, emerging trends, the hottest topics on marketing, retail, and products, and what to expect from next Christmas Season.

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Cristina Angelucci GRAPHIC DESIGN Francesca Wolfler SPECIAL THANKS TO Rossella Arena, Steve Pasierb, Alexander Fernandez, Neal Hoskins, Rhayanne Dutra, Matteo Melani, Lisa Hryniewicz, Andrea De Amicis, Alessandra Maccaferri, Hannah Melotto, Roberto Ricci

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Contents

Cover story 14

MONDO TV Grisu is back! The little dragon returns to delight a new generation

News 36

SINKING SHIP ENTERTAINMENT Dreaming with Sinking Ship

40

GO-N The cutest French rabbit Simon is growing

News 20

PLANETA JUNIOR Love, Diana: a bright future

Interview 22

KODAK The innovation era by Kodak

26

RAINBOW The future plans of Rainbow

News 30

32

Interview 42

POCKET.WATCH The new perspective of Licensing

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46

News 66

GRAPHILM Nefertine, from the Nile to the global market

68

ETS New properties and new projects for ETS Licensing

WILDBRAIN CPLG ITALY The evolution of Peanuts through Wildbrain CPLG

74

EL OCHO Focus on new trends

Trends 50

NFT AND BLOCKCHAIN Blockchain and NFT’s, the new frontier for Videogames and Licensing

Interview 78

News 52

HASBRO Hasbro’s plans for the near future

56

THE POKÉMON COMPANY INTERNATIONAL Celebrations for the 25th anniversary still go on

58

MAURIZIO DISTEFANO LICENSING Agency’s new-entries, the coolest new cartoons ever for the Italian market

62

FOR FUN MEDIA What’s new for the little ones

64 24

VICTORIA LICENSING & MARKETING Next Mattel plans

News

SANRIO Sanrio and the r-evolution of cuteness: Gudetama and Aggretsuko XILAM Xilam at BLE to launch its latest news

78

IMC TOYS An OTT platform to combine content and e-commerce!

DUECCONSULTING Brand licensing with an innovative approach

News 84

ANIMUNDI CreativaMente joins Sparky and Caramela

Interview 86

WE TOGETHER / FASHION UK Francesco De Robertis, between innovation and value

News 90

ENANIMATION Nina & Olga fly high

94

EMA ENTERTAINMENT Witch Legacy, a new Italian Superhero TV series


Contents

Retail

Trends 98

U.S. TOY ASSOCIATION U.S. Toy Association pushes for action amid supply chain crisis

99

U.S. TOY ASSOCIATION Toy Association’s #ShopEarly4Toys campaign urges consumers to shop early - and to be extra vigilant of counterfeits

134

Entertainment

128

Interview 100

NELVANA Nelvana, 50 years of big brands

104

118

106

ANIMATION Cartoon Forum 2021: the rebirth

Events 112

MIPCOM The latest Children’s Productions at MIPCOM 2021

122

KPOP K-Pop, the new trend in advertising

KIDS’ CONTENT The kids’ content business in Canada, China and India

VIDEOGAMES Videogames and advertising, an opportunity for manufacturers and retailers

142

GREEN Retail and trends, sustainable initiatives in shops and shopping centres

124

INFLUENCERS New trends, influencers and their own brands

126

SUSTAINABILITY Sustainable innovation in business: A green vision in licensed partners

128

144

NFT The increasing popularity of nft... And how brand can use this as a licensing opportunity

132

NETFLIX Licensing, Netflix launches its e-commerce

CHRISTMAS 2021 Licensed games and toys: new products for Christmas 2021

Publishing 148

COMICS Comic Book Passion

Events 152

ESPORTS How eSports are Expanding Their Reach Beyond the Games

130

LIVE EVENTS The importance of live events

Trends

Trends

Marketing 116

138

Retail

WONDERZ Wonderz and the democratization of digital distribution

Entertainment

INCLUSIVITY Inclusion in manga and gaming

Events

METAVERSE Growing into the Metaverse

Media&Digital

136

Marketing

Trends 102

BLACK FRIDAY Black Friday, last commercial opportunities before Christmas 2021

BLE What’s next at BLE 2021

Interview 160

LICENSING SURVEY Kids Forever with Licensing Entertainment

Save the date 162

WHAT’S NEXT

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Cover Story

MONDO TV

GRISU IS BACK! THE LITTLE DRAGON RETURNS TO DELIGHT A NEW GENERATION Mondo TV is producing a new animated series dedicated to the iconic little dragon Grisù, created by Italian animation pioneers Nino and Toni Pagot. LM interviewed writer and director Marco Pagot to talk about the creation of Grisú and the potential of the property.

candy commercial “Don’t forget the Cold Mint”, where the mints brought the little dragon’s fire under control. Carosello was a sort of bedtime show for children because “when Carosello is over, everybody goes to sleep!” For this reason Nino and Toni Pagot tried to create stories that could be fairy tales. The story of Grisù started with “Once upon a time there was a dragon... or rather, a Dragon and a Little Dragon”. And then they thought: what if the younger, enthusiastic and unconventional dragon had no intention of being a dragon but wanted to be a firefighter instead? Of course, things would get very complicated for Daddy Dragon. Where did the name Grisù come from? In his TV debut at Carosello the character was called Draghetto. Only years later, with the idea of a series designed for an international market, Toni Pagot named him Grisù (like the gas of the same name). The name was short and recognisable and received a positive response from the markets where Grisù began his international adventures.

Grisù, the adorable young dragon who dreams of becoming a firefighter, is to star in a brand-new TV show. The series is being produced by Mondo TV and is based on the classic animation created by Nino and Toni Pagot. The property has been much loved since its first appearance in the 1960s and has strong licensing potential. LM interviewed Marco Pagot, Nino’s son and Toni’s nephew, to find out

more about the creation and the spirit of the property. We know that Grisù has a long history. Where and when did he first appear – and how did he make his debut on the small screen? Grisù first appeared in April 1964 when he made his TV debut on a show called Carosello in the Caremoli Cold Mint

After Carosello, Grisù became a TV success with its own TV show. How did that evolve? At the end of the 1960s, television began its transformation and Carosello changed too. The Pagots realised that the short film format of Carosello was not going to last and that what had been an important home for Italian animation


Cover Story

Prosieben and Nick TV. The new series also returned to ZDF. It was initially broadcast in France on Antenne 2 and then on Canal J, Canal + and TF1. In Europe, the series was broadcast in Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain and Scandinavia. It was also broadcast in Brazil, Canada, South Africa and the Middle East and has been dubbed into French, German, Spanish, Czech, Slovak, Afrikaans and Arabic. How did you feel about Mondo TV’s interest in revisiting and relaunching Grisù? Was it your dream? Nino and Toni Pagot were pioneers of animation in Italy and I have tried to keep their name alive by developing and adapting their work for new generations. Similarly, Matteo Corradi has been was about to end. They therefore looked for a new direction. Nino and Toni Pagot were among the early innovators in the production of children’s television series. By the beginning of the 1970s, new television slots dedicated to children and young people were opening up, mostly presenting American cartoons. Was there room for the development of new series based on Italian characters? This was the idea that led to the production of the first series of Calimero and Draghetto Grisù, which was an instant success. The original series of Grisù il Draghetto was created by Nino and Toni Pagot based on the well-known character, but it was in developing a season of 52 episodes, broadcast in many countries around the world, that the Pagots developed a new and highly topical aspect of the character, the father/son dynamic. Draghetto is remembered as a ‘protester’, and certainly his desire to be a new kind of dragon and his opposition to the rigid rules imposed by tradition were a forerunner of the spirit of 1968 - and perhaps the first example of youth protests to appear in a cartoon! In Italy, Grisù was the first kids’ series to be broadcast on Rai Due in the new children’s slot on TV2 Ragazzi, on December 3rd, 1976. Did Grisù also travel beyond the Alps? Where and when? Grisù arrived in Germany on July 3rd, 1977 on national network ZDF where it remained until 1986. In the following years it moved on to SAT 1, Nickelodeon,

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Cover Story

carrying on his father’s work for years – two stories of ‘family succession’ that are similar in many ways. I have been working with Mondo TV for over thirty years now, so I was very pleased to hear of their interest in relaunching our character. Mondo TV’s ability to immediately involve its two historical partners ZDF and RAI allowed the project to progress very quickly. Tell us about your partnership with Mondo TV and how Grisù will come alive in his new adventures As I said, we have known Mondo TV for years. Our companies have long been two of the most important production companies in Italy, partners in various projects and friendly competitors at other times. Then Mondo TV took off and created a series of associated foreign companies. The fact that Mondo TV has its own company in Paris, almost a second home for me, gave further impetus to the development meetings for the project. The 3D production studio that Mondo TV created in the Canary Islands, a vibrant, dynamic and enthusiastic place that has been working on the project for months, was also a great discovery. This is only my second entirely 3D production. The exchange of ideas and experiences

between the world of traditional animation and new production techniques is giving life to a series that goes beyond the standard 3D series we are used to seeing on TV. Grisù 2021 – including its design

-– is an evolution of my father and uncle’s original graphics, but it reproduces their spirit in a modern form. I am convinced that they would be proud of the results achieved.

Rai Yoyo’s choice Rai Ragazzi pre-acquired Grisù at the beginning of 2021, enthusiastically supporting this new 3D CGI version of the beloved story of the charming little dragon. Luca Milano, Director of Rai Ragazzi, said: “The new animated series Grisù is fully in sync with the editorial line of Rai Yoyo, our children’s channel which is the most popular among kids’ channels in Italy. “The overturning of family and social expectations by the little dragon who, instead of starting fires wants to join the fire brigade, is a storytelling concept that appeals enormously to children and amuses older kids too. There is a sense of freedom, irreverence, the affirmation of one’s own personality – it’s a sort of rebellion but a rebellion accompanied by the purest feelings of altruism, courage and all the positive values that the fire brigade embodies. “This contrast is an endless source of entertaining ideas that will engage our audience, while also leaving some inspiration for personal reflection on What do I want to be when I grow up?.” Milano added: “The quality of the animation and the deftness of the direction are additional strengths of the series. Finally, the fact that an Italian property is the basis of a major international production is another valuable element.”


Cover Story

What will be preserved from the original character and what will be new? Grisù was a precursor of the youth protests of 1968. With his desire to change and evolve, he is a forerunner of ecological movements and the focus on protecting nature, at a time when these themes were not yet popular. Grisù is still modern decades later. We have retained other themes dear to its creators, although we have also updated them to better fit with the modern lives and imaginations of today’s children.

there as a regular guest at the fire station. But why does he want to become a firefighter? Because firemen are always ready to help, to save, to solve problems. They fight bravely against elements that are much stronger than they are and never allow themselves to be discouraged or defeated. Grisù is sensitive to everything around him and being a firefighter is the best way to always be ready to defend the those in need of help – and to protect the environment.

Visually, the world in which Grisù and Fumè live has changed, but Grisù remains the same. His character is still sensitive, courageous, enthusiastic and determined, and even his relationships with the other characters continue the themes of the previous series. The fundamental values of friendship, altruism and honesty are still there in the storyline – and the need for change: it’s no longer fire and flames, but water and flowers that the world needs.

For the little dragon, being a firefighter is what he wants more than anything and the clash with traditions and with his father Fumè won’t deter him or change his mind. But despite this, Fumè – who does not understand what he calls Grisù’s “mania for water” – is always ready to help and support his son’s dreams and aspirations. But Grisù is not a hero without flaws. One flaw, if you can call it that, is the fact that he is easily moved and, instead of blushing like most people, he bursts into flame... after all, he is a dragon!

Grisù has always wanted to be a firefighter and this time he is getting

Co-producer ZDF Choice ZDF Enterprises will co-produce and distribute the new series worldwide, excluding Italy, France, Spain and China. As part of the agreement, ZDF Enterprises will also play an active role in the show’s creative activities. Nicole Keeb, head of international co-productions and acquisitions for children and young people at ZDF, said: “We have been following the development of Grisù for a long time and with great interest and we very happy with the result! The little green dragon is one of our favorite long-running shows and fits perfectly into the classic branch of the ZDF portfolio. We are also very happy to be collaborating with Rai on this popular property.”

Can you tell us about any special partnerships Grisù has been involved in? Grisù the little dragon is the mascot of the fire brigade in most of Italy, and the helicopter sector has the radio call sign “D for Dragon”. He appears on numerous fire-fighting vehicles and is the mascot of several fire stations. The fire-fighting boat, which provides services to the entire naval base of La Spezia Maritime Military Arsenal, has a 1 m² drawing of Grisù on its bridge. The same character is also the mascot for the Firemen’s Park, inside the Naval Base. Grisù is not only the mascot of the fire brigade in Italy but of the same service in Switzerland (notably the Fire Brigade of Lugano). He has also been adopted by Austria and Germany and is the mascot of many fire brigade departments, including Freiwillige Feuerwehr Meerdorf, which specifically requested him as a mascot for its 125th anniversary celebrations. The little dragon was chosen as the symbol of the campaign that UNICEF Italy organised in 2005-2006, a national event in collaboration with the National Fire Brigade, which has been a UNICEF testimonial since 1989. The event, called Children’s Day, has as its logo Grisù’s name and image.

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Cover Story

line and his top priority is to help others. The series aims to show children a little hero with whom they can identify. He’s a hero whose family environment and relationships with other people of the same age are part of everyday life for so many people. But there’s also Grisù’s determination to face every challenge with fresh eyes, in a new way, and never give up.

THE BRIGHT FUTURE OF GRISÙ LM interviewed Valentina La Macchia, Licensing Director of Mondo TV, to find out about strategies and plans for the future licensing development of the property. Grisù is one of the great classics of the 1960s. Why did you decide to relaunch it with a brand-new TV series? We had been looking for a classic and iconic character to relaunch for some time, but we didn’t want to choose just anyone. Our aim was to identify a character with a positive attitude and values that we could bring to whole new generations, but that would also meet parents’ approval. The little dragon had been able to win over the children of the 60s and 70s, many of them the adults of today, and was a forerunner of themes and values that are still extremely topical and relevant. The long-standing collaboration between our company and Marco Pagot has enabled us to embark on this adventure, and we can’t wait to get onto the small screen with the new adventures of Grisù! What, in your opinion, are the added values of this new TV series?

Who are the partners involved? We have extraordinary co-production partners on board in the form of ZDF Enterprises and Toon2Tango. ZDF Enterprises will also be responsible for the worldwide distribution of the audiovisual rights (excluding Italy, France, Spain and China, which will be handled by Mondo TV). Also confirmed are the broadcasting agreements with ZDF in Germany and Rai YoYo in Italy, with whom we are confident of doing a great job to ensure the best exposure for the series. Valentina La Macchia Grisù, like all children, has a dream. The little dragon’s dream is to become a firefighter! The world of firemen and the values they represent are values Grisù shares and which he makes his own by using them as inspiration in the various adventures in which he will be the hero. As a firefighter, he is always on the front

You also see an important licensing future in this investment. Can you tell us more about the rollout strategy you are developing in terms of TV and licensing? ZDF and RAI YoYo plan to welcome Grisù on their preschool channels at the end of 2022, with product hitting shelves in 2023. Mondo TV holds the exclusive rights for the development of the licensing program on a global level and we are already working on the development


Cover Story

ID CARD: GRISÙ Format: S1 52x11’ Genre: Adventure-comedy in 3D CGI animation Target: 4-7, neutral gender Producers: Mondo TV S.p.A., Mondo TV France, Toon2Tango, ZDF Enterprise TV launch: end of 2022 Synopsis: Grisù has never had any doubts about what to be when he grows up: he wants to be a firefighter! He admires these brave men and women who face dangers to save others and sees them as true heroes. His father Fumè does not understand his son’s vocation. Grisù is a dragon... is there anything more natural than breathing fire? Every day, Grisù goes to the fire station to ask for a job, but the answer is always the same: all the positions are filled. However, Grisù can always count on the support of his friend Stella and Stella’s father David who, as fire chief and mayor of the town, always finds him a new adventure. Because there’s one thing everyone in town is sure of: Grisù is a dragon who is going to achieve great things! Values: The series follows the adventures of a little dragon who is brave, positive and determined – just like the firefighter he wants to be when he grows up. For Grisù, being able to be a firefighter is all he wants; it’s the best way he can always be ready to help the weak and solve problems. This ambition is the theme of all of his adventures – and his positive can-do attitude will give his 4-to-7-year-old audience a little hero that they can identify with.

of a network of agents. An agency agreement with Toon2Tango has already been signed for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In addition to having a very strong content, the new Grisù series also has strong merchandising potential. For this reason we are sure we can develop a broad and diversified licensing program covering all product categories. We’ll start will the toy category; a toy offering has already been developed and presented to the main market players. Speaking of Italy specifically, we are in advanced negotiations with an important publishing house and we hope to be able to announce the closing of an agreement soon. Many other companies are evaluating the property with great interest. We hope to make significant progress with the roll out by the end of this year. We are convinced that Grisù will be a great success with today’s children, just as it was all those years ago with past generations. That’s why we are also aiming to create nostalgic products using retro images from the classic series, particularly in the fashion and accessories categories. In his own way, Grisù has always fought for environmental issues at a time when I would say it was uncommon. How is a character like this relevant today and how will you use his strengths for your development programme?

The themes for which Grisù has always been a voice will be presented to a generation, one that, today as then, acts slightly differently but always in defense of values and ideals. The children of Generation Alpha, born from 2010 onwards, seem to know no barriers, whether between real and virtual, men and women, or between ethnic groups – and they care about the future of the planet. Their growing sensitivity to issues such as cyberbullying and racial or gender discrimination and their respect for the environment increases their desire to make a difference and to make the world a better place to live in. Everyone can do anything. Just like Grisù, today’s children are driven by the belief that things can, and in some cases must, change. These are the elements on which we will develop a programme full of initiatives, some of which are aimed at schools as well as existing partnerships, such as the one with the Fire Brigade.

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News

PLANETA JUNIOR

Love, Diana: a bright future The Love, Diana franchise, created by pocket.watch in collaboration with Diana, a Youtube superstar at the age of 7, is a huge global success. Here is the latest news.

the Love, Diana brand is being extended across content, consumer products and publishing. In terms of content, ‘Love, Diana Adventures’, a hybrid animation and live-action show, has accumulated over 1 billion views. In the show, Diana and Roma are taken to the animated Land of Play, where they use games to save the day. This year, in its second season, Love, Diana Adventures introduced Dawn, the Duchess of Daring, a black superheroine. The Love, Diana brand relies on music for content and products. These include the Fashion Fabulous Magical Musical Castle, out now from Far Out Toys, which plays three of Diana’s most popular songs from the DJ station and light-up dance floor. In gaming and publishing, the Love, Diana books are getting a new 2021 global release with Harper Collins, “Love, Diana

Diana and Roma With billions of views and hundreds of products distributed on every continent outside Antarctica, Love, Diana is the latest brand to demonstrate the global power of online influence. Industry leader pocket.watch created the franchise in partnership with Diana, a 7-year-old superstar whose YouTube channel, Kids Diana Show, is regularly among the most viewed channels in the US and globally, according to Tubefilter. Diana is the

second most popular children’s YouTuber, behind only Ryan’s World, according to an Ipsos survey. Alongside her older brother Roma (8), and her little brother Oliver (7 months), Diana makes up stories for her global audience, which have been translated into more than a dozen languages. A new Italian Love, Diana YouTube channel will soon be launched by European distributor Giochi Preziosi. With pocket.watch’s franchising strategy,


News

our toys: girls and boys aged three and up. Love, Diana’s video content is very simple and deals with themes that have great appeal for young children, with engaging and exciting stories and adventures, and elements such as transformation and imagination.

Meet Diana”. The Love, Diana Fashion Fabulous Dress Up app has surpassed 7 million downloads, and an endless runner game, Love, Diana Pet Dash, is being released this fall. Love, Diana continues to expand into retail, with a presence in Target’s US holiday catalogue and placement in shops such as Claire’s, Walmart, Asda and Big W. This autumn, Diana will visit Los Angeles for the first time since launching the brand last year, where she will receive the Hollywood treatment with an exclusive party at the Sugar Factory, photoshoots, and filming of a very exciting new special music show - with more to be announced soon. The future looks bright for Love, Diana!

When do you expect to launch and what marketing will support the line? The product launch will take place at the end of October when we will distribute the toys in shops. We will use demonstration videos of the main products (dolls), online and on the Giochi Preziosi YouTube channel. We will publish posts on FB and IG directed at parents, as agreed with the licensor, to introduce them to the reassuring nature of the character. We will create an area dedicated to Diana on the Giochi Preziosi consumer website. The licensor will also work together with selected YouTube creators who will show the top products in the line. What will the Love, Diana toy line consist of? We have focused on best sellers, concentrating our launch on the dolls and playset categories. There will be five products: A 15 cm doll in five different styles.

Two 33 cm dolls that transform, as Diana does in her videos: from a princess into a heroine; and from a mermaid into a party dresser. The transformation is done in a fun and easy way, by moving parts of the dress and completing the outfit with the included accessories. A Styling Head, with eight accessories to comb Diana’s hair. And finally, the Mystery Shopper: a playset that reproduces one of Diana’s most beloved accessories, to play just as she does: the case opens and there is a boutique with a doll and her clothes, as well as a mirror. What content will you air on the YouTube channel to support the IP and the product, together with Planeta Junior? The Italian Love, Diana You Tube channel will air the Animated Series. By the end of this year, a large number of episodes will be available in Italian. The series will continue to be broadcast throughout 2022, building up the channel. We will also have some live action videos starring Diana and her little brother Roma, as well as other videos showcasing our toys. We are working together with the licensor in order to carry out this ambitious program of specialized content for children.specific content for children.

THE NEW LOVE, DIANA TOY LINE LM interviewed Giochi Preziosi for the launch of its products dedicated to Love, Diana. GP are the master toy partner while Licensing is handled exclusively by Planeta Junior. What led you to choose Love, Diana as the next IP to focus on for your toy lines? Diana is a 7-year-old girl who is an incredible success on YouTube. This young creator is perfect for the target audience of

In these pages a preview of Giochi Preziosi Toy Line for Love, Diana

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Interview

POCKET.WATCH

THE NEW PERSPECTIVE OF LICENSING LM met Kerry Tucker, Chief Marketing and Franchising Officer of pocket.watch, to learn more on how they build licensing strategies inspired to the global success of very young influencers, as Love, Diana. How have influencers changed the licensing perspective and business? Pocket.watch was built on the premise that the next big global kid’s franchises would be born from digital first IP, specifically inspired by creators on YouTube who had attracted massive, loyal audiences. So for us, creators have been at the core of every aspect of our business, including licensing, from the beginning. I believe pocket. watch’s phenomenal success opened the eyes of many who previously dismissed the creator economy who now see the enormous potential. The value pocket. watch has created for all our partners, especially our licensing partners, opened the doors for creators, licensees and retailers around the world who now see what’s possible. The licensing perspective is dramatically different than it was when pocket.watch was created. We are very proud to have pioneered this space and validate the influential power of creators to positively disrupt businesses like licensing.

Which is the innovative approach to licensing by pocket.watch? Pocket.watch takes a franchise first approach to licensing, meaning we make sure that our innovations in licensing align and enhance every other aspect of the franchise. This ensures that our licensed products and experiences have both independent opportunities to succeed and contribute to the success of every other aspect of our franchise. We evaluate our licensing partners on their level of innovation as well, always looking to raise the level of differentiation for our franchises. We have been very lucky to work with some of the best licensees in the world who have been monumental in shaping our success. How does pocket.watch combine live content together with animation and what does it mean in terms of an influencer’s lifetime? Pocket.watch’s mission is to bring kids more of what they love and to be

Kerry Tucker everywhere kids are. To do that, we must create content and characters that resonate with our young fans. Live action content starring our creators allows us to deepen fan engagement as well as find new fans by distributing that content to platforms like streaming and social. Animation introduces new characters for fans to love and allows us to playfully keep our creators forever young. To get the best of both, pocket.watch has perfected the live action/animation hybrid format in shows like Ryan’s Mystery Playdate, Love, Diana Adventures, Captain Future Pirate and Do Crew with Jason Vlogs. The content pocket.watch creates is designed to reinforce the total franchise and like licensing, is always contemplated as part of an overall franchise plan. Could you tell us more about the development of the brand Love, Diana in the world? Love, Diana celebrates the developmental power of pretend play. At the center of the franchise is Diana and Roma, the global stars of the YouTube sensation Kids Diana Show which has over 211M subscribers and 4.1B monthly views. The playful nature of the channel inspired us to create a brand that encouraged girls to


Interview

be the princesses of their own kingdoms, whether that was their bedroom or backyard. Love, Diana - the Princess of Play was born in the midst of the pandemic, in October 2020, and became an instant success. Pocket.watch launched Love, Diana with the Love, Diana live action/ animated series, which has over 1 billion views to date and distributed to over a dozen OTT platforms. We partnered with amazing licensing partners to bring to the world an incredible assortment of dolls, playsets, role play, beauty, accessories, and apparel that are now sold all over the world. Our Love, Diana Fashion Fabulous mobile game has over 8M downloads and we are in development for a Love, Diana premium content special as we speak. Love, Diana has instantly resonated with girls globally and will be expanding into more categories and territories in the coming months. Which are the 2022 plans of pocket. watch? pocket.watch is experiencing incredible growth and in 2022 we will see even more. We will be introducing new content, products and projects for Ryan’s World, Super Spy Ryan, EK World and Love, Diana. We are expanding our Onyx Family franchise with gaming, consumer products and content. We are launching two new franchises, including Toys and Colors Kaleidoscope City that will bring new audiences and opportunities for pocket. watch and our partners. We are fortunate to have generated a lot of interest in the work we do and excited about the announcements that are coming in 2022.

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Interview

KODAK

THE INNOVATION ERA BY KODAK Kodak is a brand with a global awareness, and with an innovative approach through new key categories, appealing new generations and on lifestyle collabs. LM had a talk with Clara Fort, VP Global Brand Licensing at Eastman Kodak Company. 13% to reach approx. $390M in retail sales and be present in 90 countries. We want to expand our reach with our current partners and grow with them so we are constantly assessing our product portfolio and performance to make sure we have the right partner at the right place. When searching for new licensees, we are looking for committed and long time partners which are expert in their fields and great brand ambassadors. We are One Kodak and it is important that our partners relay the right brand message, values and positioning globally. We are not looking for opportunistic deals but for deals that build the brand recognition, extend it to a new customer base such as the new generations and increase our brand exposure. Clara Fort How do you develop the Kodak brand? Our strategy is to be in line with the brand DNA and be brand relevant. Our product portfolio integrates key Kodak elements such as the photography, image, colour, light, paper. While we remain true to our roots and heritage, we also want to echo what Kodak does today on our core businesses in print and advanced materials & chemicals, including motion picture film. Kodak stands for innovative solutions that make technology easier to use for customers and we continue to build our licensing presence with this is mind. How many licensees do you have on board, and which is your approach to select the good partner to work with? We have 46 licensees currently. Last year we reduced our licensees base by 20% and increased our retail performance by

And how to you work to expand globally your brand? As I mentioned our development strategy is first to increase an expand with our current licensees which align with our brand values. We value the partnership we have with each single one of them and

we nurture each relationship. Of course we also look for new partners which can bring their expertise and commitment into the game for long time relationships. It is important for us to have a visible brand


Interview

and we ask our licensees to be thorough on bringing products to the market and have active relationships with distributors or retailers. Which are your plans for the future in terms of further categories to expand and also more targets to cover? First, we want to have all the categories in our portfolio available across the globe. We work on territory extensions with our current licensees and if we cannot expand further with them, we look for new partners in countries where the brand is not present. We are also looking to increase our presence in the innovation sector with the the younger generations which may not have been aware of the brand a few years ago. Our retail collaborations (Walmart and Target in the US, H&M, Zara, Springfield in Europe, Joma in China, GU in Japan) give us the exposure we need to talk to these customers. Innovation and consumer electronics are also related to Lifestyle: we launched mobile phones in Latin America at the end of last year with Senwa. Customers recognize the additional value of having a Kodak phone with an integrated camera that takes their lifestyle shots. We are actually doing very well and we are looking to expand this category globally. Smart home categories. Kodak is known for the cameras, lights and audio visual so it is a natural extension of the current portfolio. (indoor and outdoor cameras, smart lights, outdoor lights etc). Another extension of the current brand portfolio is on health-related products. We expect to see the Kodak non touch thermometers in the US market in Q4 with our partner Dealmed which will drive momentum on this category. Last but not least the gaming category with audio visual is also something we consider and it will help us we gain traction with the younger generations. Why and how do you consider that Fashion & Lifestyle can be a key-drive for Kodak brand? With the boom of social media and photography being at the heart of our lives, Kodak is fully legitimate as a lifestyle brand. This, combined with the analog trend give us multiple touch points with

Kodak is a global brand, but are there any territories where you plan to expand further? We would like not only to have all the categories currently in our portfolio present across the globe but also focus on the innovation era with new categories such as Smart Home, Gaming and Healthcare related segment. We are strong in the USA and Europe and in some countries in Asia such as South Korea. We still have plenty of open opportunities in LATAM and Asia which are territories full of potential. If you are interested in becoming a licensee please visit Kodak.com/go/consumer or email us at KodakBrandLicensing@kodak.com

For any further information take a look at www.kodak.com

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Interview

RAINBOW

THE FUTURE PLANS OF RAINBOW Rainbow is one of the global leading entertainment content factory and there is an extremely intense lineup for the future. LM met Iginio Straffi, founder and CEO at Rainbow to learn more on their next plans. now classic World 44 Cats: high quality, neutral preschool and bridge target, edutainment and traditional innovation. The two new shows to be aired on Rai Yoyo, Summer & Todd L’Allegra Fattoria and Pinocchio and Friends, will make their debut respectively in September and November with a world premiere in Italy on Rai Yoyo. There’s more, but I can’t reveal any details yet.

Iginio Straffi and his Pinocchio at Venice 78 Rainbow has an extremely busy lineup for next season. What are the main projects you are working on? There are many projects in the pipeline, diversified content for TV and streaming

platforms, both animated and live action, for all audiences. I can reveal that two new animated series are about to be launched, which are very important to me, and which follow the path we have taken with the

Are there any announcements (either TV or Licensing) we can make for Pinocchio, one of the most highly anticipated titles on the animation front? We presented a premiere of Pinocchio and Friends at the last edition of Giffoni 50 Plus and more recently on the red carpet at Venice 78, two important showcases that gave us a truly exceptional welcome. We are ready to launch the first 26 episodes on TV from November, as a preview for Italy, and then to broadcasters in Europe, Latin America and Asia. This is an original series that goes straight to the heart of families with hilarious stories, tailor-made for the Collodi’s classic characters, revisited and enriched with new elements. We aim to make Pinocchio better known, rediscovered, and beloved by those around the world who haven’t yet had the chance to appreciate this character and the many positive and timeless values he represents - and then transfer this potential to licensing. My new Pinocchio confirms Rainbow’s focus on properties with international appeal, in which several realities and creativity come together through important partnerships. Pinocchio and Friends is being produced in collaboration with Rai Ragazzi and Toonz Media Group, just like the pre-school show Summer & Todd was produced with the participation


Interview

of Rai and Spain’s RTVE. These two public broadcasters focus on quality edutainment and on the future, promoting uplifting content for young audiences, the adults of tomorrow who need fun yet interesting entertainment. After the success of the first series of Fate: The Winx Saga, what has been the feedback on the licensing and when can we expect the next season on Netflix? The first season of FATE has been very well received, beyond our expectations, with a very strong impact on licensing as well. The Winx brand is the result of years of work, creativity, innovation, experimentation, and its reputation has now reached every continent, crossing both geographic and demographic boundaries. This recognition has allowed us to develop products suited to the series’ target audience right from the launch of the first season of the series on the platform. We were already pivoting towards a Winx proposal for higher targets, and this series was an opportunity to unveil the potential of our fairies to the world with a very comprehensive plan. We have agreements with the world’s leading publishers with novels of the first series already translated into more than 20 languages, and agreements with major partners in key product categories such as make-up, fashion and accessories. This is just the beginning of a new Winx universe.

The Rainbow group is growing. How are you structured today? I have always dreamed of telling stories that would reach audiences all over the world and make young and old people

dream. My dream, which I have cherished since childhood, is coming true. In these 26 years I have dedicated every day to building a group that today produces diversified content: quality animation

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and live action for TV, cinema, VOD and SVOD. Rainbow’s structure is agile and synergistic, thanks to the various entities that have merged into the group: first the acquisition of Bardel Entertainment, a world-renowned Canadian studio with which we can create high-level animation by integrating the creativity of Rainbow, Rainbow CGI Roma and Bardel. Then the acquisition of Colorado Film, an Italian company that we are bringing into the international spotlight with ever-new live action content, exploring the most popular genres in addition to the Italian comedy for which Colorado is a leader: thrillers, horror and fantasy. You are doing an extraordinary job with Colorado. Would you like to tell us more about it? Together we are carrying out a rebirth and an expansion to be able to produce in Italy and be on screens around the world. Colorado already has a consolidated

production of Italian-style comedies, and we are aiming at unexplored territories with innovative genres and content that we can diversify for broader targets such as families and cinemas, and platforms such as Netflix, Sky, Amazon Prime... We are adapting to international trends starting from our distinctive approach to live action, and everyone can already see the results of this work. We have collaborated on successful projects such as the thrillers based on Donato Carrisi’s best-selling novels and the recent ‘A Classic Horror Story’, a tribute to the Italian tradition that innovates the classic to offer a completely new product. A Classic Horror Story has entered Netflix’ Top 10 worldwide and continues to attract international audiences. We are excited about this new journey, which we will continue to support with solid productions such as Me vs. You 2, which brought children and families back to the cinema after a long period. It was a

great success in terms of attendance and will come back in 2022 with a highly anticipated third chapter. We have also launched new releases this autumn with the series Ridatemi mia Moglie, available on Sky from September. For the consumer products division you have taken over brands such as Smurfs and Diabolik. What was the thinking behind this strategy which combines your brands with external brands in the development of the group’s CP division? We are a well-structured and agile team in the Italian and global licensing market, with remarkable results for our brands. We always look at growth and improvement, and we are very selective in identifying our licensing partners, carefully assessing the potential and positioning of each one. Collaborating with iconic and historic brands like The Smurfs and Diabolik allows us to reach different targets and expand our offering with complementary products.



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SANRIO

SANRIO AND THE R-EVOLUTION OF CUTENESS: GUDETAMA AND AGGRETSUKO Since its foundation in 1960 Sanrio has quicky become the most important representation of Japanese cuteness around the world and is renown and appreciated globally. fans, different in age, social and cultural background, but united by the sharing of universal values such as kindness, friendship, inclusion and the enhancement of diversity. In the past years Sanrio understood that the concept of kawaii means much more and their latest additions, Gudetama and Aggretsuko, show this. Appealing to Gen Z & millennials, in different way, they both prove that cute has become more than just a look. It has the power to change us, be the salve to our greatest frustrations and fears, and perhaps show us something in ourselves that we didn’t know we needed!

Gudetama collection - H&M Kawaii refers to a cultural style that incorporates bright, pastel colors and childlike imagery. In Japanese, the word kawaii has a meaning that sits at the juncture of “cute,” “tiny,” or “lovable”; the cute aesthetic—with its bold, nearly cartoon-like lines and rounded formsinforms a large segment of Japanese popular culture and it’s often about endowing seemingly mundane things with personality.

But…. Who are they? Gudetama, namely a ‘lazy egg’, has been a loser since its creation: in 2013, Sanrio held a competition, fans voted, and it

Aggretsuko season 4 - Netflix Series actually placed second, losing out to a cheerful salmon filet. But it soon became a star on YouTube with a series of brief vignettes that chronicle his low-effort life, addressing teenagers & millennials. He is the antihero, perpetually weary & close to being eaten, always lazy and demotivated, but the personal connection many of its fans feel to the character made it immediately a hit! Starting with Line stickers and some gadgets, Gudetama has now in its roster prestigious fashion collabs with brands such as Adidas, Reebok, Mipac, Irregular Choice or the British designer Charli Cohen. H&M, Reserved, UNIQLO, Forever 21, House and many retailers around the world launched successful ranges featuring its lazy and sarcastic poses and thousands

Therefore, all Sanrio characters are kawaii by definition, thanks to their attributes and values, and Hello Kitty represents and embraces all the iconic features of the kawaii aesthetic. In addition, Sanrio offers a wide and varied portfolio, able to conquer generations of

Gudetama menu – Shoryu Ramen (London, UK)


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Her audience goes from young working women who empathize with her struggles, to cosplay, kawaii and music lovers. Many brands have already embraced her phenomenon: both Funko and Kidrobot created gorgeous collectible figurines, EMP developed several apparel

of licensed products fill all the possible categories, from high tech with Polaroid and Instax cameras to promotional with McDonald’s meals. This is not enough: dedicated restaurants have been created in Asia, US and UK and it counts even a customized airplane with the Taiwanese airline Eva Air! Opposite to Gudetama’s laziness, Sanrio created the workaholic Aggretsuko (Aggressive Retsuko). She is a young Red Panda who works in a big trading company in Tokyo. Frustrated with her thankless office job and irritating colleagues, she copes with her daily struggles by belting out death metal karaoke with drinks after work. Aggretsuko has a split personality: responsible, cute, hopeful, friendly, sweet, optimistic and hardworking, but also aggressive, rebellious, fierce, frustrated, rage, metal head …and that’s what her fans love about her!

Gudetama Funko Pop Aggretsuko is now a TV star, with her own Netflix series which launched for the first time in 2018. In December 2021 the 4th season will premiere, and the show is translated in 23 languages and aired in 190 countries.

Polaroid x Gudetama 600 Camera

Reebok Instapump Fury Gudetama

Sanrio x Irregular Choice

Gudetama t-shirt – EMP

collections, and many other licensed products are distributed worldwide. On the other end, themed restaurants and karaoke bars are a perfect match and have been opened in many locations globally.

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XILAM

XILAM AT BLE TO LAUNCH ITS LATEST NEWS Academy Award®-nominated French animation studio Xilam Animation has a distinctive, expanding and colourful slate of new and refreshed brands which it will be bringing to Brand Licensing Europe 2021, as well as showcasing to new and existing partners over the coming months. Headlining Xilam’s current brand portfolio is Oggy Oggy – a 156 x 7’ preschool spinoff to its iconic and internationally loved Oggy and the Cockroaches franchise. The first season debuted globally on Netflix in August 2021 and from September 2022, the charming CG series will expand its broadcast presence with launches on Super RTL (Germany), Discovery (Italy) and France Télévisions (France), and additional broadcast partners will be announced soon.

Kick-starting the consumer products offering for the brand, which is centred on playfulness, adventure and friends, Xilam recently secured a new master toy partnership collaboration with Simba Dickie Group for a range of toys spanning plush, figurines, playsets and accessories, vehicles, collectibles and sand buckets inspired by the world of Oggy Oggy for children aged from 3 –6 years. The collection is set to hit stores in France,

© Cube Creative Productions

Germany, Italy and the UK for Christmas 2022, with an extension into Poland and Spain for Spring 2023. Xilam is currently looking for further partners to expand the brand into new categories, such as games, publishing, gifting and apparel among others. To expand and raise awareness for the brand, Oggy Oggy now has its own website featuring fun activities alongside a dedicated YouTube channel with exclusive short episodes, music, and videos. The YouTube channel will have a specific focus on Oggy Oggy’s main recurring universes and themes of the series, as well as encouraging children to discover their favourite characters that will soon be available in toy aisles. The brand can also be found on social media, where Xilam Animation has created a dedicated Instagram account.

© Xilam Animation

Also starring in Xilam’s brand line-up is Lupin’s Tales, a 78 x 7’ 2D and 3D comedy series for upper pre-schoolers that currently airs in over 15 markets. For the French market, Xilam is building the brand’s consumer products offering through a partnership with Jemini to create a line of Lupin’s Tales plush,


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over 160K fans. Xilam is currently building a merchandise programme for Where’s Chicky? with a focus on plush, toys & games, accessories and more. Xilam is also expanding the world of its classic and long-standing Oggy and the Cockroaches franchise with a new freshly designed reboot series: The New Adventures of Oggy. The new 78 x 7’ instalment is set to be delivered in Autumn 2021 and will debut globally as an original on Netflix. In addition, the series has already been acquired by numerous broadcasters with launches taking place from September 2021, including Gulli and M6 in France, Discovery and DEA Kids in Italy, and VRT-Ketnet in Flemish Belgium.

© Xilam Animation

tableware and furniture. Xilam is also looking for other licensees to expand its Lupin’s Tales merchandise offering across categories including toys & games, publishing, apparel and more. Alongside this is Where’s Chicky?, a CGI short-form non-dialogue comedy series produced by Xilam’s Cube Creative. The series is targeted at a cross-generational audience and sees an adorable little chick turn up in a new environment or discover a new object in every episode. A fresh new part including 52 episodes of Where’s

Chicky? is on the way and scheduled for delivery in December 2021. Where’s Chicky? has a robust and expanding presence across digital platforms and linear TV, as well as on YouTube where the brand has over 2.2M followers and has generated 1BN views to date. Additionally, Xilam has also built an impressive footprint for the brand on social media. Where’s Chicky? has now generated over 1.2M followers on TikTok with 116M total views for #whereschicky and 4.4M ‘likes’ on the platform. On Facebook the franchise has

Last but by no means least is Xilam’s beloved comedy property, Zig & Sharko, which consists of three seasons. For Zig & Sharko, Xilam has established a robust digital presence, which includes over 21M subscribers and 11BN views on YouTube, almost 900k fans on Facebook and 685k followers on TikTok, where the brand has also generated over 171M views for #zig&sharko and 5.2M ‘likes’ since April 2021. Xilam is currently producing an allnew spin-off to Zig & Sharko, which will focus on Bernie the Hermit Crab and is set to air late 2021.

Xilam Animation will be exhibiting at BLE 2021 and can be found at Booth A160. For any enquiry, please contact Capucine Humblot (chumblot@xilam.com)

© Xilam Animation



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SINKING SHIP ENTERTAINMENT

Dreaming with Sinking Ship Sinking Ship Entertainment is Canada’s leading kids’ media company. Sinking Ship Entertainment is a globally renowned and industry-leading Production, Distribution, VFX and Interactive studio specializing in children’s and family content. Named as the number one Kids’ Entertainment Production Company on Kidscreen’s Hot50 list in 2020, it is based in Toronto and operates around the globe. Since its founding in 2004, it has grown to be home to over 175 dedicated and creative staff. To date, the teams have created and delivered over 500 hours of original content. With inhouse Visual Effects, Post Production, and Distribution, Sinking Ship Series have sold to over 200 countries and territories internationally. Beyond film and television, Sinking Ship Entertainment also comprises a cutting-edge Interactive department working with the latest technology in apps, web, AR and VR gaming experiences. It has won 24 Daytime Emmy® awards, including series wins for Ghostwriter (Apple TV+), Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures (Nickelodeon), Odd Squad (PBS Kids), and Giver (ION) and a variety of other international awards including

the Kidscreen Awards, Canadian Screen Awards, Youth Media Alliance Awards, Parents’ Choice Awards, the Shaw Rocket Prize, and the Prix Jeunesse International award. It was named the Most Innovative Producer at the 2021 Banff World Media Festival. Sinking Ship Entertainment’s growth rose

to new heights in 2020, producing the second season of the intergalactic sci-fi family series Endlings, set 20 years in the future. Four foster kids in rural Ontario discover that they’re not alone in the universe, even though they sometimes feel like they are. The spellbinding series debuted with 10 broadcast partners around the world including Hulu, CBC and the BBC at the beginning of 2020. Season 2 launched in January 2021. Working alongside Sesame Workshop, 2020 also saw the launch of Ghostwriter on AppleTV+. The rebooted series already has a devoted following and took home the 2020 Emmy award for Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Series. Amidst the global pandemic, Sinking Ship found new ways to innovate by creating, producing, and launching Lockdown with YouTube Originals. Shot entirely via webcam and smartphones, it is the story of an interwoven group of friends affected by COVID-19 and how they cope by helping each other. Alongside an exciting mystery, the series also explores the realities of teen life during 2020, from the challenges



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posed by mandated quarantines to the social justice movements across North America. Meanwhile, the fan favourite and multiple-award-winning series Dino Dana, returned to the small screen in 2020, with the premiere of its fourth season on Amazon Prime Video and TVO. While their latest feature-length film, Dino Dana: The Movie, stomped onto the big screen in early 2020. The film is Amazon Prime Video’s first-ever live-action kids’ movie based on an original series. It debuted at several major international film festivals and began a run at museums around the world in May 2021, with an AR experience, camp guide, and touring exhibit. Digging even deeper with dinosaurs and museums, Sinking Ship also partnered with the Royal Ontario Museum to create the feature exhibition Zuul: Life of an Armoured Dinosaur. Working closely with the Museum’s curatorial team, Sinking Ship’s Interactive and VFX departments created three immersive digital experiences that brought the exhibition and the Museum’s newest dinosaur, Zuul, to life. This unique approach to audience engagement wowed the crowds and contributed to the exhibition’s huge success, which saw over 120,000 visitors. More recently Sinking Ship partnered with MODS (the Museum of Discovery and Science) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to launch a Dino Dana museum experience including AR, a 25 minute Dino Dana movie, a kids’ camp, and Dino Dana merchandise in the museum’s store provided by Safari

Toys and Mango Publishing. Mango’s Dino Dana Field Guides have exceeded expectations selling over 70,000 copies in the first year. After the premiere in Florida, the museum experience has launched at several U.S. museums and is currently being pitched to museums in the U.K and Europe. Fryday Brands will be shepherding the Dino Dana brand in the UK looking for new licensing partners. 2020 also saw Sinking Ship Entertainment wrap up production on the third season of the Emmy award-winning series Odd Squad. With an odd-some group of new agents tackling oddness around the globe, Odd Squad: Mobile Unit is now airing on PBS and TVOkids and around the world. The last episodes of the third season are broadcastingfrom this autumn on CBBC

bringing the total number of episodes broadcast on the channel up to 114 x 22’. Sinking Ship Entertainment is excited to have recently brought Fryday Brands on board as the new licensing agent for the brand in the UK. The brand has previous deals with fun.com for costumes, an Odd Squad Agent Handbook with MacMillan Publishing, an Activity Book with Bendon (over 175,000 copies sold), a direct-toconsumer Merchmake store, and hand sanitizers and masks with Trademark Brands. Sinking Ship looks forward to continuing to create dynamic, innovative content, that speaks to audiences around the globe. For more information, visit the website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



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GO-N

The cutest French rabbit Simon is growing A new animated series of Simon Super Rabbit is in production, to be delivered in 2022. The strength of the character continues to grow and there are big plans for its future, even at the licensing level. Simon is the iconic and loveable rabbit created by Stephanie Blake, originally published by l’école des Loisirs in France. With this protagonist GO-N Productions has realized 3 Seasons of the animated series Simon. Simon instantly achieved great ratings in many countries and the success went on since it first launched in France a few years ago, to be now considered as a modern classic for preschool audiences worldwide. Simon is a top quality show, with iconic graphic design that stands out and great storytelling in the age group; it has a high

volume with 3 Seasons, for a total of 156 episodes of 5 minutes, and a new one in the works to be delivered in Summer 2022; a wide exposure thanks to all linear and digital partners, that delivers high audience ratings. The new season currently in production Simon Super Rabbit (52 x 5’) will explore the rich imaginary world of Simon and his friends when they play at being superheroes. We will follow them in their imaginary games where Simon is becoming “Super Rabbit”. At the beginning of the episode, Simon is in his everyday

life, he’s got a problem, and he’s imagining that it’s a mission for Super Rabbit. For its show GO-N selected all the channels which had the best fit with the preschool audience and high ratings in their own country, and after a few months, Simon is always in the top 5 shows of the channel almost everywhere it is broadcast. The Top linear broadcasters are France TV, Tiny Pop (UK), Clan RTVE (Spain), Cartoonito – Warner (Italy), NHK (Japan), EBS (South Korea), VRT (Belgium), all public broadcasters in Scandinavia, and many more in the world. The show is on platforms as Netflix Worldwide for Season 1, renewed recently. The digital success is also huge, with More than 2 Billion views on Youtube, more than 5,5 million subscribers on Youtube, more than 1,8 Billion views on Giphy since launch (November 2020). Simon has started its journey in the world of Licensing with first Licensees mainly in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. With the recent launch (January 2021) in the UK on TINY POP and is overperforming, GO-N is going to look for partners in the UK in the field of L&M. The next step is to turn Simon into a L&M success.


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A TALK WITH ERIC GARNET LM has interviewed Eric Garnet, producer and co-founder of GO-N productions, to clarify the future objectives of the Simon property. What is the strong point of the new season in production? The new season is a real journey into children’s imaginations. This concept has always been a feature of Simon’s universe, but in the first season the protagonist was more focused on living the everyday, on all those experiences that were first times for him (at school, to the dentist etc.). Simon’s strength is that through his stories, children learn to abandon their fears and manage daily adventures with serenity. Simon already in previous seasons played at being a superhero. But this time, we’ll see where his imagination and creativity is taking him. He’s becoming a true Super Hero and we’ll follow him and his team (his little brother and his friends) in their new adventures. This new Season will focus on imagination and fantasy world and will encourage

children to develop their creativity and invent games. Playing games is key to the development and growing up process of kids : they develop new skills, personality, they learn more about themselves, to be in society, they learn competition, enjoy winning, accept to lose too and grow in maturity. Each episode begins with a daily event and ends there, but in between is this journey into pure imagination, which helps Simon (and the little spectator) find new resources for his problems, developing serenity and creativity. Even children will be able to see that this is a cute little superhero like them (not as usual) and identify more with him. What do you expect from participating in the BLE and what will you look for Simon? We are looking for new partners for

Eric Garnet Simon, licensees and agents in Europe, and more specifically in the UK, because the numbers for the show are excellent. With the recent launch in the UK on TINY POP and the great ratings and over performance, we are going to look for partners in the UK to boost Simon popularity and expand in the field of Licensing and Merchandising. Simon has been in the top ten since January 2021 and currently fluctuates between first and third place, which will help develop the awareness and popularity of the brand. What are Simon’s future goals and in which country do you desire further expansion after Uk? In France Simon is always at first place on France TV for the preschool range and is therefore strong. In Italy and Spain it has a firm basis and we already have Licensing agents there. So we have a firm ground there to expand the number of Licensees. Next territories will be countries where Simon awareness and popularity has grown a lot in the past year: Portugal, South Korea, Japan, and soon South America, where the series had great ratings on both linear and digital platforms.

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VICTORIA LICENSING & MARKETING

NEXT MATTEL PLANS LM interviewed Paola Moroni, Senior Manager Softlines, and Stefano Vernetti, Senior Manager Hardlines, at Victoria Licensing and Marketing, the exclusive licensing agency for Mattel in Italy. radio-controlled vehicles, Mondo Motors is the licensee for both Barbie and Hot Wheels, with Barbie Dreamcar and Bone Shaker by Hot Wheels leading the way. ODS presents play mats and car transporter trucks in different formats, packaged with Hot Wheels cars for extra value and playability. In the pre-school segment Fisher-Price will launch a brandnew line of musical instruments including piano, guitar, microphone, and maracas, all personalised with the recognisable Fisher animals for younger children.

Stefano Vernetti What are the main Hardlines and Softlines updates for Christmas 2021? SV. In hardlines we will launch Mondo’s new Barbie cosmetics line, a highly innovative Cleanbeauty line made from organic materials. The production process focuses on sustainability and is 100% safe for young girls. The products all have dual playability, as cosmetics and as a playset. In arts & crafts Lisciani will have the Fashion Atelier, a product that has performed consistently well in the past and which has now been revised with a modern twist. With three different products to build that come in a bundle pack with a Barbie doll, girls can have fun imagining themselves as a little stylist. In addition to these items, an entire line of Barbie Play Dough was also recently launched. Like every year, the role-play sector remains an important one for Christmas. This year Grandi Giochi has cash registers, coffee shops and styling heads, these items have always performed well, along with classic kitchens in different sizes, and the evergreen Barbie Magic Knitwear. For

PM. September saw the beginning of some great news in the softlines sector. A very special partnership between Barbie™ and Coccinelle was launched in the first week of September, featuring the The Future is Limitless motto, inspired by the shared founding principles of a

Coccinelle bags for Barbie

Paola Moroni community that firmly believes in the power of dreams. Coccinelle for Barbie™ was created by combining the two brands in a strong and trendy nylon canvas bag with leather handles to celebrate the Italian craft tradition, and grosgrain ribbon as a symbol of conscious femininity. THE FUTURE IS LIMITLESS written on the bag in Graffiti style is the motto that connects the two companies. The mission is clear: to make a loud statement


Interview

Fedez/Hot Wheels for Original Marines, apparel kids collection so that inclusiveness, self-acceptance and girl power are not just beautiful but empty words. It is an international project involving 25 countries around the world, as well as international ambassadors telling their stories, launching a global message of inclusion and positivity.

In the same month, just some days later we have had another big project: the collaboration between Hot Wheels and Fedez, the eclectic artist who has joined forces with Hot Wheels for a special partnership. As a true fan of the brand, Fedez signed two

Ken pop apparel collection by Alessandro Enriquez

Fedez artist wears Hot Wheels apparel collection for adult

Barbie pop apparel collection by Alessandro Enriquez exclusive capsule collections deals for Hot Wheels clothing, one for adults and one for kids, together with Original Marines. The collections will reinterpret, through his eyes and memories, the emotions of the challenges he experienced as a child playing with Hot Wheels tracks and

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Holidays, Dress Up, newsagent channels.

Fisher-Price lion piano by Eildon distibuted by Maggio Tre cars. The central theme of both capsule collections is the Italian spirit and one of the things Italy is famous for throughout the world: pasta. With these influences Fedez has re-imagined the logo turning the iconic Hot Wheels flame into an inviting plate of spaghetti and meatballs coming to life from a Hot Wheels car, all in cartoon style. A new fashion project was presented during the Milan Fashion Week. Mattel chose Alessandro Enriquez to interpret Barbie and Ken for a pop clothing capsule with an Italian twist. Together with the collection, six dolls have been customised with the ENRIQUEZ DIVERSITY S/S 2022 brand style which projects a very clear message of equality and inclusion. The message is conveyed on the famous dolls through the use of Alessandro’s colours and prints. We have other beautiful projects in the pipeline that will be launched by the end of the year in the apparel, health & beauty and accessories categories. We can’t reveal anything yet, but they will take your breath away! In terms of promotions, in the year of UNO’s 50th anniversary celebrations we launched a Back to School collaboration with Geox.

Barbie ice cream set make-up by Mondo

Fashion Atelier by Liscianigiochi In 2022, which themes/collaborations will you focus on for Barbie? SV. One of the most important focuses in 2022 for Hardlines will be the “Camping and Travel” theme. We are working on implementing retail-integrated activities with the Mattel Italia core line. There will also be new developments in the world of role-play with more sustainable products, a trend that is becoming increasingly important for companies in the sector. PM. In the softlines area, we are planning new Barbie and Hot Wheels collections for both adults and children, with both our existing and new partners. We are working in synergy with the to build integrated projects with a franchise potential. What are the goals in the next year for another classic Mattel brand, Motu (Master of the Universe)? SV. This is a very important relaunch for Mattel which is demonstrated by the content being developed by Netflix for both the Revelation and He Man kids series. For He Man we have a number of agreements in the pipeline to cover

Outdoors,

and

PM. The strategy also includes several partnerships in the softlines area, both at regional and local levels. Presentations are already underway and interested companies can contact us at Victoria Licensing for more information. The aim is to complete the franchise project and bring new partners onboard in the promotional area as well.

Monster Truck radio controlled by Mondo Motors What about Hot Wheels (Monster Truck)? SV. This is an important focus for Mattel. The Mondo Motors line will be important for Monster Truck in the Consumer Products area, with radio-controlled, clutch-operated vehicles featuring lights and sounds. We are working on expanding the categories, especially in the food area where MT’s potential is still fairly unexploited at the moment. Thanks to the collaboration with Fedez, Hot Wheels is currently enjoying high visibility and we are seeing its transformation from a toys brand to a lifestyle brand, which is attracting the attention of new partners, in both the male and female market. The Monster Truck offerings are extended even further by providing companies with new assets and style guides for product development. Are there any further projects in the pipeline and/or updates for the other brands you are working on? SV and PM. We have big projects in the launch phase that we can’t reveal yet. One of them in the food category will be launched soon and will be particularly interesting because it is in a product category that has never been developed before for Barbie, so it will be supported by a full-scale marketing plan.



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WILDBRAIN CPLG ITALY

THE EVOLUTION OF PEANUTS THROUGH WILDBRAIN CPLG The iconic Peanuts brand joined WildBrain CPLG Italy’s portfolio at the beginning of the year and the consumer products programme has seen great success in the region in the last 10 months.

My Cooking Box x Peanuts Take Care With active licensees including United Colors of Benetton, Alanui, Iceberg, and Sicem continuing to build momentum, the team has secured a raft of new deals across all key categories. United Colors of Benetton has launched a Peanuts inspired nightwear range for kids this Fall/Winter, with further new items launching soon. Zafferano, the Trevisobased company, is celebrating its 20year anniversary with the launch of five special edition Poldina portable lamps, customised with the characters, while Iceberg, the Italian luxury fashion design house, has recently launched a Fall/Winter 2021 collection and is set to launch a second collection dedicated to the brand in Spring/Summer 2022. Another great activation is with the Calzedonia Group, for the launch of a Peanuts collection featuring loungewear and accessories items at Intimissimi Uomo stores around the world. The relationship will extend to additional programs at Calzedonia and Intimissimi stores this holiday season. The ‘Take Care with Peanuts’ initiative has also been a strong focus in the region

with multiple activations focusing on the three pillars of the campaign – Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Each Other, and Take Care of the Earth. Dynamo Camp, the first therapeutic recreation camp in Italy designed for children with serious or chronic illnesses, totally free of change for them, leveraged the “Take Care of Each Other” message by using Peanuts creative throughout the camp areas, on staff T-shirts and through fun activities over the summer. The team has also secured an activation with My Cooking Box promoting individual physical and mental wellness through healthy eating. Snoopy and the gang appeared on over 2,000 ingredient boxes and on the recipe cards from June to September this year, using “Take Care of Yourself” messaging. “Vacanze coi Fiocchi”, the 2021 road safety campaign, focused on environmental care, utilising “Take Care of The Earth” graphics. This campaign continues the 20-year

Calzedonia x Peanuts

Poldina x Peanuts tradition of Peanuts characters being the face of this initiative, which promotes road safety for Italy during peak summer holiday travel periods. Sonic continues to be a key focus in the Italian market ahead of the launch of the new Netflix series ‘Sonic Prime’ in 2022, created in partnership with WildBrain, as well as the speedy arrival of feature film Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in April next year. Numerous partnerships are in the pipeline, such as food and beverage, apparel, accessories, toys and games, back to school and collectibles. The universal appeal of emoji-The Iconic Brand continues to translate into unique products in the region including from Italian confectionery company Dolfin who is creating cool and different chocolate products, such as Epiphany socks and chocolate Easter eggs for 2022. iDO, the fashion brand, which champions everyday style, is showcasing an apparel capsule for Fall/Winter for both babies and kids with cute emoji graphics adorning t-shirts and sweatshirts. The new emojitown® series, created in partnership with leading AVOD network and digital studios WildBrain Spark, goes from strength to strength with significant growth on YouTube since launch in June reaching over 50M views and 172K subscribers. This fast-paced, edgy, 2D-animated comedy speaks the language of teens as it follows the daily struggles



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real life. The language-agnostic show has global appeal and captivates teens. The irreverent and ironic Mafalda continues to capture the hearts of fans with new collections including a Fall/ Winter adult apparel line from Italian retailer Upim, while Sabor has created a cute “Mafalda Mood” nightwear collection for young women and girls. From Quino comes the Mafalda Calendar 2022 featuring a new cartoon each month, and the character also appears on comic strips of the “Enigmistica Vip”, a monthly crossword publication targeting adults.

iDO Every Style x Emoji of Jo and the folks of emojitown®. From dating nightmares to poolside bikini fails, the characters represent “real people” reflecting attitudes, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality as diverse and representative as

The popular Pink Panther features heavily in the United Colors of Benetton’s Fall/Winter kids’ line up with two new collections available worldwide. The first collection is dedicated to girls and includes a cool unique style, while the other collection is for infant baby girls featuring the little pink panther. Momentum is building for Brawl Stars as the brand powers up in the region. The popular online mobile game from global rights holder LINE FRIENDS, is a multiplayer online battle-arena and hero-

United Colors of Benetton x Pink Panther shooter game with multiple game modes. It was originally created and produced by the Finland-based mobile game developer, Supercell in 2018 and has since generated a significant user base in Europe with over 280M downloads. The agency’s representation of premium engine oil brand Motul, part of the

United Colors of Benetton x Baby Pink Panther expanding WildBrain CPLG Lifestyle portfolio, revs up as the brand seeks high quality partners in key categories in the region including workwear, tools, carand bike-maintenance goods and garage equipment, alongside lifestyle categories such as apparel, accessories, gifting, construction toys and kits, and retail loyalty promotions. The World of Eric Carle is also now part of the growing Italian portfolio, and this hugely well-known classic brand continues to be a hot property amongst Italian licensees.



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NFT AND BLOCKCHAIN

Blockchain and NFT’s, the new frontier for Videogames and Licensing By Roberto Ricci, Managing Director, Pantomimus Media Ltd. After surpassing the film and music industry in terms of annual revenues generated, the Video Game world continues to lead the entire Entertainment industry into the future.

Roberto Ricci With the new use of blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFT’s), a true revolution, the interaction between IP content, game platforms and fan interaction has been taken to a whole new level. As a result of this this new frontier, new gaming models are emerging, such as the play-to-earn model, which marks a substantial change from the traditional play-to-win model. In a play-to-earn

game, players are both encouraged and paid to play and develop the game further, thus helping it to expand exponentially (i.e., more tools, more characters, more realms). For IP owners looking to out-license game rights, exploring these new platforms can be challenging but also incredibly rewarding in terms of user interaction and exponential growth of the worlds they have created. Sky Mavis, the studio behind the popular NFT Game Axie Infinity generated $485 Million in revenues in just a few months this year. From a player’s perspective, the idea of taking on an active role in expanding the world of a game can be extremely rewarding, and not just economically. Furthermore, with the launch of NFT’s (be it a virtual game card, a character, or a magical tool for example), a player can own or even create a piece of the game, contributing to the expansion of the universe itself. Players can also take the NFT’s outside of the game platform

Roberto Ricci is the author and creator of ‘The Red Harlequin’, a transmedia entertainment property based on his series of fantasy novels and comic books. The books, audiobooks and comics have been translated into 13 languages and sold into 20 countries, from the US, Canada, and France to China, Russia and Brazil. A TV series is currently in development with iconic entertainment company, The Wolper Organization. Under the leadership of David and now Mark Wolper, TWO has been responsible for over 500 films, which have won more than 150 awards, including two Oscars, 50 Emmys, seven Golden Globes, and five Peabody’s. The Red Harlequin is owned and managed by Pantomimus Media Ltd, which Roberto cofounded with media veteran Lisa Hryniewicz and with the support of IPR.VC, a private equity investment fund exclusively targeting the media and entertainment business.

in order to trade and exchange them with other fans. For IP and game owners, this can be another boon given that a smart contract embedded in the NFT can ensure that they receive a royalty every time the NFT gets resold. As the creator of a Young Adult fantasy franchise like The Red Harlequin, that is constructed around a vivid and complex group of multichromatic warring nations, I can see how blockchain technology has already become the new frontier for gaming and emerging fantasy worlds. More specifically, having an existing rich world allows players not only to enter the universe, but to effectively transform it into a living and expanding metaverse, one where each player can choose how and where to interact. The more expandable or “alive” the game is, the more alive and relevant the story remains. And with a multi-platform IP like The Red Harlequin that already has an open-ended series of five books in ten languages and a TV series in development - there is the huge added bonus that gamers could potentially see their contributions come to life in other genres and on bigger screens.



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HASBRO

HASBRO’S PLANS FOR THE NEAR FUTURE To find out about Hasbro’s upcoming plans for consumer products, LM did an exclusive double interview with Eric Belloso, Director Consumer Products, South Cluster, and Roberto Loiacono, Commercial Director Toys.

ERIC BELLOSO. HASBRO’S NEXT FOCUS

Eric Belloso What are Hasbro’s main priorities for 2022/2023? With such an extensive portfolio, our main objective is to maximize all our key brands for each target: Play-Doh, Peppa Pig and PJ Mask for our youngest audience; My Little Pony for young girls and without a doubt their mums as well, thanks to the heritage effect; Monopoly and our games’ portfolio for the entire family; Nerf for teenagers; and Transformers for our multiage fans. In summary, there is something for every target. How is Hasbro reacting to post-covid market growth? We are obviously delighted to see all the shops and malls opening again; we couldn’t be happier to see life coming back to a kind of new normality. Having said that, the reality is that our brands performed very well during the various lockdowns. Being able to work with

such a consolidated portfolio and brands with such high awareness gave both the retailers and end consumers a lot of confidence. Now, back to this new normal, our brands are extremely well-positioned and stronger than ever. Hasbro is an entertainment company, as well as a market leader in the toy industry: how could this be of value to your license partners? We have a doubly critical competitive advantage in the market: 1) Working together with the toy market leader’s team gives us a singular strength in the retail landscape that no other licensors can possibly offer their licensees. For the last 18 months we have been working together as “One Voice” and we have been able to develop joint retail activities around key brands such as My Little Pony. This foundation will be key to continuing to work together and maximize our brands in the future. 2) Now that we are fully integrated and both teams will be working with the same brands (our preschool portfolio will be handled by different toy distributors until the end of the year), we will be able to maximize the presence of our strong portfolio of brands across any aisle together. And when I say together,

PJMasks at Leolandia Theme Park

Balocco for PJMasks this means not just our Toys team but also with all our licensees. Therefore we can all take advantage of the Hasbro Blue print, maximizing presence in the digital ecosystem, our strong presence in retail, and benefiting from the strong marketing of all our brands. Hasbro’s portfolio includes several classic brands but all of them are still relevant, new and fresh - what is your secret? The secret undoubtfully lies in the impressive amount of talent working behind the scenes who generate content, communication, new style guides, new products, and new designs for our entire portfolio of brands. This together with the integration between Consumer Products and Toys & Games allows Hasbro to offer one of the strongest proposals currently available in the market.


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ROBERTO LOIACONO. TOYS ACCORDING TO HASBRO

Roberto Loiacono From the promotional and lifestyle partnerships established in recent years, board games are no longer just “games” but true 360° icons. What is the strategy you are implementing on franchises such as Monopoly, Cluedo, Trivial Pursuit and others? For us, being in the board games market means being in the business of creating memories, excitement and connections with family and friends. In a recent post-lockdown survey conducted with families internationally, we asked what makes board games particularly unique compared to other product categories. It turns out that the games category lives in an emotional space that puts family connections and emotions, at the center of everything, and this value is difficult to be reproduced in other categories. For this reason, our mission and strategy is to elevate the Hasbro Gaming family brands, making them much more than just a board games. Monopoly, Cluedo, Trivial Pursuit, Twister, Jenga, Guess Who?, Operation, and Taboo, represent a generational bridge: are still relevant and fun for adults, bringing back memories of the past as children , and for kids thanks to product innovation on which we continue

Monopoly Junior Peppa Pig to work meticulously. This journey began a long time ago with Monopoly, our board game franchise par excellence. Today Monopoly is considered an evergreen icon: besides all the customized and constantly renewed versions of the game, it has become a real “lifestyle brand” thanks to the high level partnerships developed with Montegrappa, MC2Saint Barth, New Era, Au Jour Le Jour, and many others, and also because of social campaigns such as the recent ‘’Double Chance’’ program in support of Italian SMEs. For us, activating the brand at 360° means precisely that: being present in every moment in which the family comes together, beyond the pure moment of play. This path will certainly continue with Monopoly, as with all our board game franchises. Hasbro Italy will soon be launching brand new Peppa Pig and PJ Mask toy

lines - how are they structured and what supporting marketing plans are in place? In 2019, Hasbro acquired Entertainment One (eOne) studio, the leading company in family-oriented entertainment, and owner of top preschool properties such as Peppa Pig and PJ Masks. Well, with this acquisition, these brands have become 100% part of Hasbro’s toys preschool portfolio: both Peppa Pig and PJ Masks lines will be launched in the second half of this year, with the aim of recovering the market share they had lost recently and repositioning them as true leaders in the category. Using historical data from its existing lines, Hasbro has developed a product offer that focuses on the trends and strengths each brand has shown in the past, offering a

Fotoedizioni for Hasbro Gaming

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relevant brand partnership.

Peppa Pig for Hunter wide selection of toys including figures, playsets, and vehicles - with never-seen -before play features that will significantly enhance both lines. In addition, having the content studios and toy production under one roof facilitates collaboration from the planning stage to execution and allows for the content, toys and marketing to support each other with one voice in the market. Thanks to this blueprint we will ensure that the launch of both lines will be accompanied by new episodes on air as well as a local marketing campaign and Reebok x NERF

In the next My Little Pony movie the franchise will see a complete makeover, will this be reflected in the toy lines? My Little Pony is a classic brand for Hasbro, the first edition of ponies coming out in 1981: for the past 40 years, Hasbro has been able to reach the hearts of little girls through Equestria’s most beloved characters, This year, Hasbro will launch a new phase of Ponies with the debut of the new movie My Little Pony: A New Generation. Airing exclusively on Netflix from 24 September, the trailer reached over one million global views in its first week. This new movie will introduce kids to entirely new characters in an Equestria with no Magic, but these new best friends each possess unique and special gifts that could be just what is needed to restore missing magic and prove that even little ponies can make a big difference. The new movie is just the beginning of the rebirth for My Little Pony, thanks to a full calendar of content that continues into 2022 (and beyond!). New ongoing series and special episodes will reinforce the characters’ affinity with

Sofficini for Monopoly its long-term target audience. The brand, with its all-new stories and characters, will address themes consistent with those of today’s girls: exploration, self-expression, and connection with the characters. These themes will not only be reflected in the content, but also in the toy line which, having been revitalised with a look that reflects this new generation, will give girls the opportunity to interact with their favourite new Ponies in the real world, as they did in 2010. In the first half of 2022 Hasbro Italy will launch the new My Little Pony toy line which will be 100% aligned with the content. Of course, in addition to a new packaging and characters, we will also be updating the game type by emphasizing the brand values and offering high levels of cross-customization that allow girls to feel transported into the world of Equestria with scenes and storytelling taken directly from the movie.

Transformers Easter Egg by Bauli


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Montegrappa Monopoly In recent years there has been a growth in the number of “fan” products, have you noticed this trend? The Fan market has been experiencing a very interesting liveliness in recent years, with an increase in demand from consumers who are increasingly on the lookout for new collectables. There is more and more talk of the POP Culture phenomenon, which is now becoming part of the collective imagination. Toy market data also show this trend in consumption on the Kidulz target. While this demand was previously concentrated above all on e-commerce, we are now experiencing an expansion of the offer in other distribution channels with strong demand from the various retailers who want to start dealing with

Denver – Nerf

this trend. Hasbro has always been very attentive to its consumer and to new market trends, paying particular attention in recent years to the FAN target, both in terms of innovation and the search for customized offers, as well as in marketing communications to interact with this new target audience. Hasbro wants to become the point of reference for collectors in offering new and better experiences. The responses we are receiving from the market are very positive with an expansion of the distribution of our products through various channels. Thanks to our product portfolio dedicated to the FAN world we are able to cover consumer demands with a rich offering with Brands such as Marvel Legend, Star Wars Black Series, Transformers Generation, Power Rangers, and Fortnite with a continuous and steady rollout plan of launches throughout the year and new Brands coming soon.

ZARA for My Little Pony

Salati preziosi for PJ Masks

Pon Pon for My Little Pony

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THE POKÉMON COMPANY INTERNATIONAL

CELEBRATIONS FOR THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY STILL GO ON Pokémon is enjoying a thrilling 2021 as the iconic evergreen brand nears the end of its 25th anniversary celebrations. From its initial launch in Japan in 1996 with two Game Boy™ titles, it has become one of the world’s most popular and successful entertainment properties with a loyal, multi-generational fanbase. Marking this landmark anniversary is a dynamic and ambitious program of activity across the whole year, teaming up with other iconic brands and global superstars to create unique promotions, merchandise and activations to help fans celebrate in style. A particular anniversary highlight is P25 Music. A global celebration, P25 Music

is a partnership with Universal Music Group to create new songs, styles and pop-culture moments through the lens of Pokémon. It launched with a global online party on Pokémon Day, 27 February, that culminated in an exclusive virtual gig headlined by Pokémon fan Post Malone, including a surprise exclusive cover song. In June, headliner Katy Perry released vibrant anthem Electric, starring alongside Pikachu and Pichu in its video, plus an exclusive merchandise collection; while August saw the release of Pokémon 25: The Red EP, with new songs from Brit Award-winner Mabel, Vince Staples, Cyn and ZHU. The tracks were remixed by ZHU for The Blue EP, reflecting Pokémon’s longstanding tradition of dual, nuanced releases for the core video games. The Pokémon 25: The Album, from Capitol Records is due for release on 25th October and will also include an exclusive track from premier P25 Music collaborator and global reggaeton superstar, J Balvin.

This year also sees a host of exciting collaborations across consumer products, including tasty Italian partnerships with McDonald’s and Ferrero. A week-long Pokémon McDonald’s Happy Meal promotion across Italy at the end of August

Pop! Vinyl 10cm Pikachu figure


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proved hugely popular, with the specially branded boxes containing collectible packs of 25th anniversary stamped cards – including one holographic card – featuring fan favourite Pikachu plus the starter Pokémon from each region and a random surprise toy – a photo frame, a card holder or stickers – and Pokémon colouring and puzzle activities. Following a successful partnership with Estathé Ferrero in 2020, a new special 25th anniversary iced tea six-pack brick collection launched on 1 September. Exclusive 200ml cups, 24 lemonflavoured and 24 peach-flavoured, depict 24 starter Pokémon, plus iconic Pikachu. The launch was supported by three TV ads and promoted through Estathé’s official YouTube channel.

Pokémon Snap on Nintendo Switch/ Switch Lite systems was released in August, making available three beautiful new areas across the Lental region, with 20 additional Pokémon to discover. November 19th sees the launch of eagerly awaited new video games Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl – faithful revitalisations of two classic Pokémon games from 2006 which first introduced trainers to the Sinnoh region. And 2022 starts in style as Pokémon Legends: Arceus introduces fans to the long-gone Sinnoh region of old for an experience unlike anything Trainers have experienced before as they embark to create the region’s first Pokédex. The Pokémon Trading Card Game continues to be phenomenally popular. The August expansion, Sword & Shield —Evolving Skies, brings together all eight Eevee evolutions and showcases Dragon-type Pokémon for the first time in this series. Coming in October is highlyanticipated Pokémon Trading Card Game: Celebrations, commemorating 25 years of the brand with an opportunity to stroll down memory lane with classic Pokémon TCG cards and a joyous parade of Legendary, Mythical and other beloved Pokémon.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus Pokémon continues to evolve its offering with its first 5-on-5 strategic team battle game, the free-to-start Pokémon UNITE. Available initially on Nintendo Switch, it launched in September on mobile devices enabling cross-platform play. Fast action, teamwork and smart strategies come together as Trainers from around the

Also in Italy, special Funko Pop! Pokémon 25th anniversary figurines launch exclusively at Games Academy stores in October. The beautiful silver metallic collection features Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle figures, plus jumbo-sized silver Pikachu and Bulbasaur. Looking ahead, an innovative collaboration with leading Italian luxury fashion house Iceberg sees a fabulous children’s collection set to launch in spring 2022. On the video games front, a free downloadable content update for New

Pokémon and Estathé

world head for Aeos Island to compete in Unite Battles. The 24th season of the iconic Pokémon animated series premiered this summer. In Pokémon Master Journeys: The Series, Ash and Goh meet new friends and returning rivals on their exciting adventures. Look out for even more innovation in 2022 as Pokémon continues to ramp up the excitement with more dynamic activity and intriguing partnerships – watch this space!

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MAURIZIO DISTEFANO LICENSING

AGENCY’S NEW-ENTRIES, THE COOLEST NEW CARTOONS EVER FOR THE ITALIAN MARKET The properties portfolio available for the Italian market thanks to Maurizio Distefano The Evolution of Licensing agency represents a full of opportunities offer, consisting in different categories (Cartoon, Brand, Fashion, Music) suitable for different targets, for every licensee’s need. Every year, the agency renews itself by proposing new IPs specifically selected for their high potential and because they are supported by strong distribution plans designed to last over the years. The first novelty is Kids Vet Academy, a 12-episodes educational reality show for a target of 6 to 12 years old children, broadcasted on Rai Gulp, which allows children to approach the varied world of animals, starting from pets, to farm animals and even exotic animals, developing empathy and respect for all living beings. In each episode, 6 young apprentices alongside Doc. Renato Assin, a well-known veterinary doctor, are involved in a series of entertaining

theoretical and practical lessons about the animals’ world. At the end of each episode, children must take a skill test in order to put into practice what they have learned. Kids Vet Academy strength is what keeps the young viewers glued to the screen: the reality component, which makes the children identify with the young veterinarians and get to know the world of animals, and the irony of the situations and the protagonists who give life to hilarious episodes. Inside the episodes, next to each little veterinarian and Doc Assin, appear their avatars in graphic version, which are the protagonists of the colorful Style Guide. Bluey is another animation joining


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juggle working from home, joining in with their play! Thi reflection of modern family life and parenting, along with distinctive graphic style and color palette, make Bluey an impressive IP for Consumer Products. Bing, Acamar Films’ multi award-winning TV series celebrates the messy, joyful reality of pre-school life. Bing has a long-lasting content roll-out plan from now through 2024. Present on multiple platforms, such as Amazon Prime Video, TIM Vision, Vodafone TV, YouTube and aired daily on Rai YoYo and DeA Junior with incredible audience results, Bing has made its debut in cinemas with its first screening in Italian theaters of “Bing’s Animal Stories”. A second film is also planned for

Maurizio Distefano Licensing’s portfolio available in Italy on Disney+. Bluey offers a fun look at the life of a modern family and celebrates the importance of imaginative play. Bluey is produced by multi-Emmy® award-winning Ludo Studio for ABC Kids Australia, co-commissioned by ABC Children’s and BBC Studios, and distributed internationally by BBC Studios outside of Australia. Bluey, a six-yearold Blue Heeler pup, has a boundless imagination and loves to turn everyday life into hilarious adventures. She and her four-year-old sister, Bingo, set out to explore their world, using play to conquer their fears and learn. Their mum, Chilli, and Bandit, their dad, share childcare and

release at Christmas. The fourth season of the series has been on air since this spring on Rai YoYo and has delighted all Bingsters with new adventures of Bing and his friends ranking as the first most viewed content on the Rai Play app, with an average of 250,000 views per week. Looking at Consumer Product, the arrival of a Core Guide enriched with lots of new character poses taken from the new episodes and lots of creative advice, gives the future new product collections the chance to renew themselves and show an increasingly recognizable style designed specifically for Bing’s audience. Great news is the multi-year agreement with Leolandia for the first ever themed area dedicated to Bing (which will be over 9,500sqm) opening in 2023. While, this year, a new mini-show with Bing and Flop was inaugurated to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the park. Global entertainment company, Moonbug Entertainment, creates and distributes shows that kids and parents love. The company’s portfolio includes CoComelon, the No.1 kids channel in the world. CoComelon has over 200 videos

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Finally, we cannot fail to mention Masha and the Bear, the property of Animaccord now become a classic for all children around the world, which continues to give fans more and more high-quality productions (season 5 is available in 4K!), new spin-offs such as “Nursery Rhymes” and special shorts that will be launched in the next 2 years. The Italian episodes of Masha and the Bear can be watched everywhere: on YouTube, where the cartoon boasts channels in 32 different languages, on Rai YoYo and Rai Play, which this year celebrates 10 years of broadcasting, DeA Junior, TIM Vision, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Masha and the Bear’s licensees base is extensive in Italy with important names like Lisciani, Bauli, Mondadori and others, and collaborations with famous brands with

on YouTube, attracting an unparalleled 2.8 billon views per month. This year, Moonbug Entertainment launched the Italian CoComelon YouTube channel, which currently generates over 12 million views per month. CoComelon is about the big moments for little kids, watching relatable characters navigate their everyday lives with family and friends. The catchy, familiar songs inspire young children to learn through rhyme, repetition and fun. The brand is continuing to expand its digital footprint, compilations of the nursery rhymes are now available

on Netflix and have ranked among the top 10 shows in 29 countries. On Spotify, CoComelon is the No.1 preschool artist with 1m streams per day and we are connected with over 800K fans via our growing social media communities. Moonbug Entertainment continues to invest in fresh content, new consumer products and expansive marketing plans to grow the brand and entertain pre-school audiences across the globe. Several licensees are already on board with the product roll-out beginning Q4 2021


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images taken during all man’s missions in space that collects testimonies of great achievements. The list of brands also includes La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy’s most widely read daily newspaper, which has won over all sports lovers and allows for the creation of high-impact products thanks to its beautiful new Licensing Guide. In addition, you can create beautiful collections thanks to the extensive portfolio in the Music category, which contains, to name a few, Motorhead, Backstreet Boys, Whitney Huston, David Bowie, The Police, Pink Floyd, and many more. In short, Maurizio Distefano’s agency The Evolution of Licensing offers news and successes assured year after year, proposing itself as the right place to have a wide choice and find the next property to develop winning products. global deals are becoming increasingly frequent with, as a result, Havaianas’ baby flip-flops and Crocs featuring the two lovable characters. In addition to Cartoons, as mentioned above, the agency ranges in other categories that give licensees the opportunity to find the perfect property for new and never-seen projects. Charlotte M., star of Creator category, is a 13 year-old girl who expresses her life through the web. Charlotte M.’s world is expanding rapidly, as shown by YouTube numbers (her channel boasts more than

946,000 subscribers, with an average of 1,000 new subscribers every day). Charlotte M. is on all gen Z and Alpha favourite social platforms: Instagram, Tik Tok and YouTube and on each of these she manages to capture the attention of her fans who are eagerly awaiting new content and new videos. In the Brand portfolio we find Guinness, Baileys and Smirnoff, ideal for apparel, food and beverage, but also for accessories and gadgets; LIFE, the American magazine known worldwide for its iconic photographs; International Space Archives (ISA), an archive of

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FOR FUN MEDIA

WHAT’S NEW FOR THE LITTLE ONES Autumn brings plenty of news in the world of animation, and with it some great new characters and great returns, making this new season more exciting than ever. Firstly, For Fun Media, the biggest network of animation studios in Italy comprised of companies such as Studio Bozzetto, Movimenti, MoBo and DogHead, welcomes the autumn with new productions and second seasons of existing shows.

STUDIO BOZZETTO ON A MISSION IN SPACE WITH THE GAME CATCHERS The first project created by Studio Bozzetto and co-produced with the Canadian company Sardine Productions is “The Game Catchers” (Gli Acchiappagiochi), an animated series (52x7.5’) for children aged 3 to 5 launching on Rai YOYO on December 20th. This new series, which combines 2D/3D digital animation, tells the story of a group of friends on their interstellar journeys to fantastic planets to discover and collect new games. Engaging games, intergalactic adventures and team spirit are the basis of this new series that aims to bring young children back to traditional outdoor games,

which today have unfortunately been almost completely abandoned in favor of interactive experiences. The series, produced in collaboration with RAI Ragazzi and Société Radio Canada, has partnered with licensees such as Giunti for publishing and TabUi, with CircoWOW, for events in squares and playgrounds in Italy’s main cities. The series is currently touring the world together with its global distributor, the Spanish company GoldBee. KidsMe holds the non-linear rights for Italy and all audiovisual rights for Spain and Portugal.

Next, the great success continues for the album “Summer Baby Dance”, a collaboration between Carolina Benvenga, the popular kids’ presenter of “Posta di Rai Yoyo”, and Tip the Mouse, the cutest little mouse in the undergrowth – and the main character in the Studio Bozzetto cartoon of the same name. They are ready to return to TV with New Adventures and Baby Dances, produced in collaboration with Sony Music Italy. Then starting next October 23rd Rai YOYO will air the 3D/live action series (10x7’) “Carolina and Tip the Mouse: Tell me a Story”, which combines the best of the baby dances, compelling stories and the curious and adventurous spirit of Tip the Mouse. Carolina and Tip the Mouse are one of childrens’ (and their parents’) most beloved couples and the numbers prove it: in the last year Carolina Benvenga’s YouTube channel, where all the baby dances can be found, reached 420 thousand subscribers and 430 million views. As well as stimulating motor skills, the baby dances convey important messages linked to respect for the environment, friendship and inclusion, and respect for oneself and others.


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who transforms his life and that of his friends into a fantastic adventure with his imagination.

MOVIMENTI PRODUCTION: A SECOND SEASON BEGINS Topo Gigio Srl and Movimenti Production are working on the production of the second season of Topo Gigio, winner of the prestigious Pulcinella Best Pre-School Series and Moige Awards. A great return for one of the characters that helped establish Italy’s place in animation history. Following the ratings success of the first 52 episodes and a detailed licensing plan with Giochi Preziosi master toy licensee, the new season will feature the daily adventures of the first mouse to live in the world of humans. Also on air on Rai Gulp is the second season of The Wolf (Lupo), produced by Movimenti in co-production with Samka Productions. Wolf tells the adventures of Lupo, an everyday hero,

ZEROCALCARE ENTERS THE SCENE Great news for a more adult audience. “Strappare Lungo i Bordi” is coming, the Netflix original Italian animation series written and directed by Zerocalcare, pseudonym of the famous Italian comic artist Michele Rech, produced by Movimenti Production in collaboration with BAO Publishing. A great first work for Zerocalcare, lending his hand for the first time to an animation series, which will be set in the author’s well-known fictional universe.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST MOBO is working on Mini-Heroes of the Forest, a pre-school series based on the books by French publisher Auzou.

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IMC TOYS

AN OTT PLATFORM TO COMBINE CONTENT AND E-COMMERCE! IMC Toys paves the way as a leader in the industry with its groundbreaking Over-The-Top (OTT) platform that combines content with e-commerce.

Setting the Kitoons OTT platform apart from other streaming services and making it the first of its kind from a toy brand is its ability to suggest products based on the video being watched and drive viewers directly to retailers. Launched last June, the platform features initially over 150 high-quality videos from top IMC Toys brands like Cry Babies Magic Tears, VIP Pets and Bloopies and is the premier destination for new custom content. While watching, viewers have the opportunity to learn about products related to the video and add them to a COPPA compliant wish list, with parents having the ability to place orders through purchase links. Kitoons OTT is available through Smart TVs, mobile, tablets and web. As the platform rolls out, fans can look forward to even more features like interactive activities and content which serve as the launching pad for new characters from the Fall 2021 line up. As part of the launch, the Cry Babies and Cry Babies Magic Tears are back on Kitoons and on shelves with a whole new look! The Cry Babies have been

reimagined in two new lines, Cry Babies Dressy Collection and Cry Babies Kiss Me Collection, that include upgraded features for a more lifelike appearance. The new features and dress-up play pattern are something that fans can also see woven throughout the Cry Babies Magic Tears Storyland Dress Me Up Series and the Cry Babies Magic Tears Storyland

Storyhouse Series. Each character in the series comes in a special vessel that also holds a variety of fun accessories. Not only are the new Cry Babies Magic Tears dressed to impress, they also cry real tears! The two series are supported by custom content on Kitoons OTT platform and YouTube channel which has billions of global views. Fans can follow the adventures of the Cry Babies Magic Tears Storyland Dress Me Up Series as they cross a rainbow into a magical new world, where they meet dressmaker Scarlette (aka Little Red Ridinghood) and embark on a variety of adventures alongside the rest of the Cry Babies Magic Tears Storyland Storyhouse Series characters. Cry Babies Dressy Collection and Cry Babies Magic Tears Storyland Dress Me Up Series are available at Target by the end of June, with all lines rolling out throughout Fall 2021 at major retailers.



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GRAPHILM

NEFERTINE, FROM THE NILE TO THE GLOBAL MARKET After landing on TV and bookstores, little Nefertine aims for global success with an ambitious licensing and distribution plan. Studios (France) in cooperation with Rai Ragazzi. The production was supported by the Italian Ministry of Culture, the local audiovisual funding of the Lazio Region and the European fund Creative Europe. The show is distributed worldwide by Cyber Group Studios, European leader in children’s production and distribution.

DEAGOSTINI RELEASED NEW PUBLISHING TITLES INSPIRED BY THE SHOW Nefertine’s mystery adventures published by DeAgostini landed in bookstores last September. Two sticker-albums and two novelization books with a double story take young readers into the Ancient Egypt world. The stories are based on the first twenty-six episodes, which aired on Rai YoYo starting last spring and are still available on Rai Play. Brave Nefertine returns both on TV and in the bookstores to guide us through mysterious mummies, investigations, and small scares in the shadow of the pyramids.

RAI LAUNCHES NEW EPISODES Nefertine on the Nile (52x11’) is coming back on TV with 26 new episodes. Italian pubcaster Rai is broadcasting the series daily on Rai YoYo. The show is on air from monday to friday at 6:25 PM and everyday including saturday and sunday at 11:25. The brand was born from Italian creativity, but is aiming for global success. The TV show is produced by the roman-based animation studio Graphilm Entertainment, founded by Maurizio Forestieri, together with Waooh! (Belgium) and Cyber Group

The books are published by DeAgostini among the book series for young graders who are starting reading independently. DeAgostini is already planning the release of four new stories based upon the new

episodes. The new books will be published at the beginning of 2022. The purpose is to cover the entire series, publishing all the stories based upon the TV episodes.

THE POTION FOR NEFERTINA’S SUCCESS

The results reveal signs of immediate success for the brand. The series, directed by Maurizio Forestieri, aims at a bridge target of children aged 4 to 7. The young heroine, born from Janna Carioli and Luisa Mattia’s creative writing with beautiful illustrations by Barbara Bongini, immediately won children, parents and teachers’ affection. The brand is trusted by parents and teachers, thanks to its capability to entertain children while conveying learning related messages. The didactic element is suggested through the telling of universal stories, both in the books and the TV series, which combines fun with the discovery of Ancient Egypt. Stories of friendship, trust and discovery. Nefertina, daughter of the Pharaoh’s


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NEFERTINA ON THE GLOBAL MARKET

The series was launched on the global market during the last MipCom and MipJunior in Cannes by the co-producer and distributor Cyber Group Studios. The distributor is dealing with leading players of the market for Norther, Central, Southern and Estern Europe and Middle East. The projects for the brand are ambitious. In addition to the distribution on a global scribe, knows how to read and write, that is why she is a very young leader for her peers. She jumps into new adventures, acting as a young detective and using her problem solving skills. She is an obstinate young girl, never afraid of making mistakes. Together with her friends, Nefertina grows up learning to put remedy to her mistakes, but first of all having a lot of fun!

A PYRAMID OF L&M OPPORTUNITIES

Animals and objects in the stories inspire new contents, toys and consumer products. The puppies, which accompany Nefertina in her adventures, play a predominant role in the story. Micerina, the delightful kitten always at Nefertina’s side, won the hearts of the young audience right away, as much as the parrot Parrox and the crocodile Kyle did. Nefertina notes her adventures in her diary, a papyrus notebook that she always carries with her. The backgrounds reconstruct ancient Egyptian settings in a detailed yet imaginative way. The series includes

History-inspired furnishing, patterns and decorative objects: masks, jewels, musical instruments, foods, plants, and flowers. All these elements, along with the strength of character design, offer multiple opportunities for the development of licensing products: starting from toys, stationary, apparel, home, food & beverage to all the merchandise categories.

scale, the partners aim to consolidate the brand with the production of new seasons of the TV show. The series is distributed in Italy by Graphilm Entertainment. The Italian licensing agency is ETS Licensing. Worldwide distribution and licensing are handled by Cyber Group Studios.

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ETS

New properties and new projects for ETS Licensing ETS continues with the strategy of developing its business through new and original properties added to the portfolio and innovative projects for the existing brands. New entries are mainly focused on the preschool segment, which continues to have a significant weight in the Entertainment Licensing market.

Cry Babies Magic Tears, the mini dolls who teach to show the emotions

In recent weeks ETS has strict a partnership agreement with IMC Toys, a Spanish company leader in the toy industry, for managing the licensing rights for Italy of Cry Babies Magic Tears, the popular animated 3D series that was released in the 2018, at the same time as the launch of the homonymous series of

dolls. The sweet Cry Babies Magic Tears, a mini collection version of the largest Cry Babies, have sold over 12 million pieces in less than 3 years after launch, with a trend in constant growth. Even in Italy Cry Babies Magic Tears show excellent performance, with an increase of 18% in value in the YTD YTD.21 VS Sellout the similar period of 2020 (NPD data) and a particularly high and increasing popularity. The cartoon, which includes over 80 episodes of 5 minutes collected in 4 seasons, of which the last one released in July 2021 and a 5th arriving in 2022,

is aimed at a primary target of girls 3-6 years and proposes, with a simple and light narration, values such as friendship, altruism, mutual support, loyalty and teamwork. The series sees as protagonists 24 mini dolls from the personalized pajamine and aims to stimulate the imagination of the small spectators, accompanying them into their personal and relational growth path. The episodes of Cry Babies Magic Tears in Italy are continuously transmitted on Frisbee TV channel, 44 DTT, with excellent audience performance. The animated series is successfully transmitted also on the most important Kids TV channels at international level, and in all countries where it’s broadcast is in the top ten of the most viewed content. The episodes of the series are also present on important streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime, and on the dedicated YouTube channel - Kitoons-, which is available in 19 languages and has more than 6.4 million subscribers, 4 billion views and almost 90 million unique spectators. Important numbers also for Italy where the Kitoons channel has 281 thousand subscribers, more than 200 million views, over 15.5 million displayed hours and 2.4 million unique users. In June 2021 IMC Toys enriched its Kitoons platform with an innovative over-the-top integration (OTT), which combines video and e-commerce content. The adventures of the sweet Cry Babies Magic Tears are also very popular in the social networks area, with more than 54 million followers on Instagram, 135 thousand followers on Tiktok in less than one year and a dedicated app, that has obtained nearly 4 million downloads in only 10 months.


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comedy and adventure, developing with a non-verbal language, based on mimic and sound effects, particularly suited to stimulating children’s fantasy. Imagination, exploration, imitation, and friendship are the primary values that distinguish this preschool property designed to carry the young spectators into a playful, colorful and tactile world in the company of a special friend, selfless and wonderfully creative, who teaches to trust in himself. Oggy Oggy series is made in CGI with brilliant colors, high quality graphic style and great visual impact, which can create a surprising effect of three-dimensionality. A precious “tactile” element, perfect to be transferred in consumer products with effective merchandising developments. The new series debuted in August 2021 on Netflix, and in autumn 2022 will arrive on Free-To-Air TV channels, including Frisbee in Italy, France-TV in France and Super RTL in Germany. Simba Toys is the Pan-European Master Toy. To support the new I.P. there are also significant marketing and communication investments, both in digital and traditional area. The property can also count on important marketing support with a constantly raised investment over the years, that for Italy in 2021 provides + 24% and a very intense activity plan, both at the online and offline level. In particular, the investment in TV advertising supporting the property represents a very consistent allocation in the marketing budget of IMC Toys, that in Italy in 2020 was placed at 3rd place among the companies of the industry in terms of TV spending. Regarding licensing, a well-launched program is already active at an international level, with over 500 custom products in the main product categories and more than 65 licensors on board. The licensing strategy aims to encourage cross-promotion initiatives between IMC Toys products, fundamental elements of the brand and sales engine, with licensed products of other categories, both in physical sales points and on the e-commerce platforms. Cry Babies Magic Tears supports its licensors and partners offering visibility to their respective products and advertising content, both on social networks and on the IMC Toys on-line platforms, such as the Kitoons YouTube channel and the

Instagram profile.

Oggy Oggy, a candid hero in a playful, colorful, and tactile world

Oggy Oggy is a new pre-school animated series of Xilam, including 156 episodes of 7 minutes in 2 seasons, that tells the life of Oggy when he was very young. The series, which was also developed with the contribution of experienced pedagogists and childhood psychologists, is aimed at a target of children from 2 to 5 years, as well as at the whole family, and has as the protagonist Oggy in his childhood, who lives his daily adventures with playfulness, candor, and lots of enthusiasm. Sensitive, curious, and audacious, Oggy Oggy is a happy inhabitant of a fantasy world populated by small colored cats, and it is always eager to make new experiences and help anyone encounter on the road. Ingenious and persevering, Oggy Oggy never gives up and with the determination of making the life of the other cats beautiful, he always succeeds in his intent in amazing ways. The episodes combine the genre of

The new adventures of Oggy: 8th season Novelties are coming also for the iconic series Oggy and the Cockroaches produced by Xilam, which after 7 seasons of great success throughout the world proposes to the public of fans a completely unpublished version of the nice blue cat. The 8th season of the series - The New Adventures of Oggy - sees Oggy that hosts for the holidays Piya, a 7-year-old elephant, daughter of Indian friends, thus finding himself to fill the new clothes of a surrogate parent. Tender-hearted, carefree, and energyfilled, the young elephant will completely derail Oggy’s daily life, to the delight of the cockroaches, who see it as a new opportunity to make Oggy’s life difficult. The new season, with 78 episodes from 7 minutes in HD, maintains the basic features that have made the series a worldwide success of the slapstick comedy, and at the same time it is renewed by introducing a cooler graphic style. Oggy confirms a solid, fun, and reassuring property, with a strong awareness and a broad and multi-generational target, both male and women, composed primarily by

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around the world. Following the successful launch on Frisbee TV, the demand for the hit preschool series continues to grow. The series includes 4 seasons of content including seasonal specials, comedic shorts, and songs. On AVOD platforms such as YouTube and YouTube Kids, True and the Rainbow Kingdom has amassed a sizable audience with over 650 million views and over 3.5 billion minutes watched. The show’s GIPHY page now boasts over 4.2 billion views.

Nefertine has arrived in the bookstores

children 5-11 y.o., but also families and adults. The new episodes will be broadcast in Italy in the first part of 2022 on K2 and Frisbee, and available also on Netflix.

True and the Rainbow Kingdom, the importance of believing in dreams

A new entry in the ETS portfolio is also True and the Rainbow Kingdom, a popular preschool animated series produced by animation powerhouse Guru Studio (PAW Patrol, Justin Time, Pikwik Pack). True and the Rainbow Kingdom follows intelligent and fearless heroine, 8-year-old True, and her hilarious best friend Bartleby the cat, as they come to the rescue of Rainbow City’s whimsical citizens. True is the only one that can unleash the power of the Magical Wishes from the Wishing Tree in order to set things right and keep all the residents in the Kingdom safe. The series has a timely message of empowering children to be mindful, courageous and respectful of all living things. True is everything you would want in a hero – she doesn’t wield a sword or wave a wand; instead, it’s her kindness and

compassion that makes her aspirational for boys and girls all over the world. The series first launched in Italy on Netflix in 2017 and has since become a hit

A few months after the TV landing on Rai Yoyo, the original pre-school animated series Nefertine on the Nile, co-produced by Graphilm, Cyber Group Studios and Waooh!, In collaboration with Rai Ragazzi, has reached excellent feedback in terms of audience and preference. On the basis of these results, the first group of 26 episodes continues with daily programming on Rai Yoyo and is available in streaming on Rai Play platform. Rai Yoyo also planned from November 1st the broadcast of 26 new episodes, from Monday to Friday, at 7:50 am and at 18:35. The group of the 26 new episodes will also be available on Rai Play and will be added to the previous 26 episodes, that will be again on-air. In an interview recently published in


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published by De Agostini, aimed at a “upper pre-school” target: two storiesbooks, each containing two stories taken from the episodes of the animated series, and two stickers-albums, which carry the young readers in the ancient and mysterious world of pharaohs, with exciting adventures between pyramids, sphinings and crocodiles. The first two volumes of the book series will be followed by two more at the beginning of 2022 and then in the program there are further releases, up to cover the entire TV production.

Robinson, Repubblica’s insert dedicated to culture, the director of the series, Maurizio Forestieri, said that the secret of the success of Nefertine, the courageous 8-year-old daughter of the pharaoh’s scribe, who dreams of becoming the first scribe-reporter of the story, is in having put “pills of history in the midst of themes such as friendship and adventure”, which are an evergreen in the fiction for the very young. “The teaching element”, highlighted Maurizio Forestieri, “is only suggested. These are invented, pleasant stories, who speak of friendship between boys and then, here and there, elements taken from the history of ancient Egypt are entered. As the use of the toothbrush, which already existed: they are historical but functional elements to the fantastic story”. The curious Nefertine has also arrived in the bookshops from mid-September with the first numbers of the new series

Mini Pet Pals go to school for the first time

Great news also for Mini Pet Pals: from 18 October the much-awaited 4th season of the animated pre-school series will land on Rai Yoyo with 52 episodes of 5 minutes, broadcast every day, and available on the Rai Play streaming platform. In the 4th season the little friends go for the first time to the kindergarten school, where they will live different experiences, will try new emotions, and will learn more about themselves and the world surrounding them, under the careful guidance of teachers and in the company of new friends. Quality content with a marked educational vocation, excellent audience, and a consolidated partnership with the broadcaster, guarantee continuity in the television broadcast of the series with a privileged exposure to the target audience. Moreover, the unpublished settings, the presence of new characters and the inclusion of new themes, represent important elements that enrich and renew the series, making it particularly suitable for new licensing developments.

Outfit7’s Talking Tom & Friends brand to offer immersive experiences

The Talking Tom & Friends gaming universe features over 20 games with record numbers and continuous growth, offering something for everyone, from action-packed endless runners to virtual pets. The games have a massive presence in all countries worldwide, reaching up to 430 million active users every month and always returning in the top ten of the most downloaded games worldwide. Outfit7 has also developed a wide range of original video content for the whole family to enjoy. The Talking Tom & Friends animated series was the 9th most requested content in the world in 2020, according to Tubefilter. Meanwhile, its YouTube channels have three Diamond awards, over 77 million subscribers, and over 79 billion views. And the impressive numbers continue. In 2020, the brand’s 18 global YouTube channels generated almost 2 billion views each month. The much-loved characters are also popular on social media, with over 30 million followers. The results are excellent in Italy. The animated series is broadcast on K2 (with 9 b% target audience viewership), and it’s available on streaming platforms like Netflix and Kidoodle TV. The localized Italian Talking Tom & Friends YouTube channels have more than 416 million video views. And fans have downloaded the games 121 million times in the region. To seize the potential inherent in its global fan community, Outfit7 offers partners a wide range of promotional visibility options within the brand’s popular games and videos. The company has developed an advertising positioning structure within the games to showcase and boost

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independent personality. She’s moved to the big city, and she wants a BFF – the player – to help her shine. As a character, she’s an extrovert with a big heart, strong ideals, and a real force for positivity. She loves to sing and dance and takes her passions seriously. She works hard to make her dreams come true. And her engaged, multi-generational, mostly female fanbase is enjoying going on the journey with her. Angela is ready to transfer her strength and popularity from online to offline to develop successful licensing projects.

Chefclub continues its development

the messages of partner’s products and brands. Partners can avail themselves of tailored advertising positions, co-branding opportunities, and in-game additions to further strengthen their brands. A visionary approach was based on the understanding that is offering fans the opportunity to take part in brand experiences that are as immersive as possible increases their involvement and propensity to purchase.

Chart-topping new game for the popular character of Talking Angela

In the universe of Talking Tom & Friends, Talking Angela has always been one of the most popular and loved personalities. She has evolved – as her global popularity increased – into an autonomous property within the franchise. The most recent Talking Angela game - My Talking Angela 2 - launched globally on July 15, 2021 and achieved 100 million downloads within the first two months. It’s had a chart-topping debut, securing a position in the Top 10 Most Downloaded Games charts on Google Play in over 90 countries and over 100 on the App Store. Fans are jumping at the chance to go on a new friendship adventure with Angela in the game, enjoying the boosted

interactions, countless customization options, high-quality graphics, and more. With the opportunity to explore the city with Angela, dress her up and style her looks with makeup and hairstyles, and enjoy numerous activities – from singing and baking to learning martial arts – the whole game experience is next level. With this game, Angela is a strong and

Chefclub, the innovative digital cooking brand, which boasts a leadership position on social media globally, continues to grow and develop through new projects. Also in Italy, the brand shows excellent results, and is the best performer with 70 million views per month on social media, with an average 4.5m views per video extensively exceeding the results of prestigious competitors. In the licensing area, Chefclub recently tightened a collaboration agreement with FashionUK, a leading European company in the production of textiles and accessories, to launch in springsummer 2022 an apparel range dedicated to the whole family, that promises to be fun, fashionable and “gourmet”. The deal covers the French, German and UK markets.



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EL OCHO

FOCUS ON NEW TRENDS In 2021 El Ocho added some amazing new brands to its portfolio, focusing on new trends and digital hits. Two of the most important new brands added to El Ocho’s portfolio are CoComelon and Blippi and My Magic Pet Morphle. from U.S. producer Moonbug. Following an omnimedia trategy and adapting to new forms of consumption, El Ocho continues to expand its catalog with major brands in the market, including some of the most innovative categories and unusual targets. With this strategy in mind, El Ocho will implement some great initiatives at the point of sale in key retailers in the national market during its upsoming Christmas campaign.

Cocomelon’s first M&G lands in Spain

With the launch of master toy licensee Bandai’s toy line, El Ocho managed to position the brand in the back-to-school season with an unprecedented event at La Vaguada, one of the most important shopping malls in Madrid. The launch enjoyed great success and re-opened the event season after the pandemic. The brand will be positioned in 100% of the retail channels. Cocomelon is the No. 1 kids educational Youtube channel and the 2nd overall Youtube channel in the

world, with 117M subscribers and 150M unique monthly viewers. It continues its road to success with a steadily increasing licensing portfolio.

Blippi & Morphle: Moonbugs next big things

Blippi, a series with 30 million+ subscribers on YouTube and 20 billion views over the past three years, is currently streaming over 500 episodes and 50+ hours of content on Youtube, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Jazwares is the Global Master Toy partner and distributor in Iberia. Morphle

boasts 500 million views per month and over 23.2 million subscribers across all channels. El Ocho is preparing their licensing launch for 2022.

Brave Bunnies

Brave Bunnies is a new brand in El Ocho’s portfolio created by Glowberry and Anima. Recently launched in the UK on Channel 5 and in Italy on Rai Yoyo with excellent results, the series will be broadcast on Clan TVE in Q4 2021. El Ocho is currently developing the licensing program, which counts Spin Master as the master toy partner and PRH as the main publisher in Spain.



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True and the Rainbow Kingdom

True and the Magic Kingdom wins kids over with its visual appeal, humor and thoughtful characters, and has a great social and digital reach with over 25M subscribers on their social networks and 630 million Youtube channel views. The series 20 episodes of 22 minutes each were released on Clan in September 2021. El Ocho has bet on this great brand, with Bandai as the national master toy partner, and ambitious plans for a 2022 licensing program.

Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball continues to be a topperforming major brand in Spain as

Bandai keeps boosting the property every year, capitalizing on the great anime trend seen throughout the market. In 2021 giants in the textile sector such as Pull & Bear, Bershka, Tempe or Sprinter have also concentrated their efforts on creating new product lines and preparing great collections for their Christmas campaigns. Other deals for 2022 are still in negotiation with key market players such as Zara, Lefties and the Tendam Group. The current licensee portfolio, which includes Play by Play with a new line of entertainment, Grupo Erik and Karactermania for BTS 2021/2022 among others, will also support the ongoing development of the brand, capitalizing on Christmas promotions that will feature Dragon Ball in three of the most important retailers: FNAC, TRUS and El Corte Inglés.

Mafalda

Mafalda is about to turn 60 years old, and continues to be one of the agency’s main brands. In 2021 El Ocho signed agreements with Bacci, Alcampo, Carrefour, Easy Wear, Green Coast, Comic Studio, El Corte Inglés, Lefties, Women Secret, Cortefiel, Springfield, Zara, Salvi, and Sfera. El Ocho is working on its licensing program for 2022, currently negotiating deals with Pull and Bear and other key textile players.

Asterix Dragon Ball

One of the agency’s main brands. This license with a strong social media presence and an intergenerational target,

Mafalda

will continue its success in 2022 with new releases in the editorial line, as well as a new action movie and animated series. In other categories, major textile companies such as Women Secret, Springfield, Cortefiel, and Lefties, among others, will also launch new collections in 2022.

Master Chef

MasterChef España is the most successful talent show on RTVE. With more than 800k followers on social networks, this property continues its success with a 10th season. Diset will capitalize on the Christmas campaign with the launch of an amazing new board game with the support of Educa, that will launch a line of play kitchens, and SG with a new home textile line.


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Colorbaby (beach toys), CyP (collectables), Claudio Reig (musical instruments), and Toimsa (toy vehicles).

Simon

Simon, one of the top series on leading preschool channel Clan, continues its success in the market. The current licensing portfolio covers several key categories such as a toy line with Educa, Cefa and Jugavi, BTS with Safta and publishing with Penguin Random House and Jacaranda. Ocho will continue its cross-platform marketing plan with other partners like master toy company Famosa which will be adding new products to their line.

Kid e cats

Bing

El Ocho has strengthened the Bing toy line, which was successfully launched at retail in Spain by Famosa in 2020. For autumn/winter 2021, Famosa will launch the ‘Pretend & Play Doctor Bing’ toy, which comes with the same doctor accessories as in the series and encourages roleplay. In addition to the toy line, Bing’s licensing program is being expanded with wheeled vehicles from Toimsa, bedding from Halantex, publishing from Penguin Random House, and cake decorations from Dekora.

Masha and the Bear

Masha is a YouTube phenomenon with over 100 billion views and 128 million subscribers, making it one of the top children’s entertainment brands in EMEA. In Portugal, it is the Nº1 show on Canal Panda since 2015 with Simba as its Master Toy partner. In addition, the brand has major partners such as Grupo Anaya (publishing), Lemon (live

shows), Madhouse (Meet & Greets), Pez (Candy), Crocs (shoes), Havaianas (flip flops), Energizer (flashlight), Funiglobal (costumes), Angel Europa (stationery and mandalas), and Ataa cars (electric vehicles).

Currently airing in more than 150 countries, with 3 seasons of 52 episodes each. The series is broadcast by Clan TVE in Spain and is available on Netflix, Youtube and HBO. The Master Toy is Toy Plus and the toy range will be distributed by Bizak across Spain. Other partners include Panini, with books, album and “stick and stack”, Clementoni and Ravensburger, with puzzles, and Dolfin with chocolate eggs.

Momonsters

Produced by Big Bang Box Momonsters is one of the most successful series on Clan, and Clan’s Youtube channel with one million YT views. Bandai continues to invest in the license with new releases planned for the Christmas campaign and with a detailed transmedia marketing plan that will cover both online and offline projects. Panini has joined the licensing program with a publishing line (magazine in October 2021 and an album in 2022), along with a toy line that General de Juguetes will launch between Q1 & Q2 2022, and the current licensee portfolio that includes: Anaya (publishing), Adalberto (home clothing), Cefa (toys),

Molang

This license continues to be an unparalleled success on networks with over 3M fans and as the top entertainment IP on the Giphy platform. El Ocho remains committed to brand positioning by supporting CYP with its amazing line of accessories that will be available in El Corte Ingles this Christmas. New agreements have been signed with Tomy for soft lines and plush toys, and Panini for a sticker album launch.

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Interview

DUECCONSULTING

BRAND LICENSING WITH AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH Nadia Caron and Romana M. Caldarelli of DueCConsulting give an exclusive interview to LM

FurioBrigo wallpaper by Salvadori Arte LM. Who is Romana M. Caldarelli? RC. I first started working at Clementoni and then joined Disney, where I met Nadia and stayed for about five years. After that, I worked as Marketing and Licensing Manager in various companies including Ferrari, Unoaerre, Trussardi, and Rinascente, where I expanded my knowledge with a vision linked to marketing and sales. I too reached a certain point in my life where I decided to prioritize what I liked best and got up the courage to leave the employee route and start working as a

Nadia Caron and Romana M. Caldarelli After its first year in business, the new agency DueCConsulting is eager to tell the industry about its projects and portfolio. From its original approach to the market to the decision to only manage Brand Extensions of Fashion Brands and Art Licensing, there are many new things to share. Let’s discover them together in LM’s exclusive interview with the founders of the agency, Nadia Caron and Romana M. Caldarelli. LM. Who is Nadia Caron? NC. My professional path began at Disney, where I worked for many years. I then moved to Viacom where I gained some great experience in my role as Senior Director of Licensing for Italy, Greece and Turkey. At a certain point in my career, I felt I needed more balance between

work and my private life so, I decided to take a break. From there, I thought about stepping down as an employee and starting an adventure as a consultant. That’s when I found myself with Romana, who I already knew from our days working at Disney, and after a long discussion, we embarked on this new adventure together. There are many concepts and ideas that we both share. Our modus operandi is also similar, and we learn a lot from each other. The experience we are having is a very comprehensive one, and because of our backgrounds and personalities, we complement each other. At work, we look for respect and transparency, which are fundamental elements to carry on personal and professional projects. In this too, I found myself on the same page as Romana, who has the same vision.

Jhon Richmond


Interview

come from the world of fashion, but also of design and art, collaborating mainly with contemporary artists. NC. In this world, we have discovered several insights both from a creative and a commercial point of view. Companies operating in the above-mentioned sectors do not always understand that there is potential for their brands outside of the sector in which they operate, or by

freelancer. I started consulting, entering exclusive agreements with some brands and also providing companies with expertise to expand their business, enter alternative channels and create synergistic products. I also got involved with some didactic activities, collaborating with Design and Fashion Institutes such as the IED Institute in Milan. Brand has always been my passion and the first meeting last year with Nadia was an enlightening one. Working together is more stimulating. We both come from a common base, which is licensing, but the approach chosen for our agency is a bit different from that of most agencies. We’ve tried to leave entertainment to one side a little bit, instead focusing primarily on Fashion and Art. LM. How is DueCConsulting different from other licensing agencies in the Italian market, in terms of portfolio and strategy? RC. We don’t want to identify ourselves as a licensing agency, but rather as a consultancy. We would like to underline that we work in a tailor-made way with our clients, who are either Brands, Artists or Consumers Goods Companies. The main themes we deal with are Brand Identity and Brand Extension. We work – as I mentioned earlier – with both Licensors and potential Licensees. We focus on the declination of brands that

Archivio/Archive The Saturday Evening Post raising visibility of their brand on products that are not part of their usual brand DNA. That’s why we talk more about consulting: in addition to commercial agreements, we work with many clients on communication, while with others we work on product development, rather than commercial strategy.

Due C Consulting: WALL PAPER & WALL DECOR in Urbex style by Salvadori Arte Due C Consulting is pleased to present the Urbex collection by Salvadori Arte, a well-known company that has always stood out for its openness to the new opportunities and originality. Among the products, wallpapers stand out showing glimpses and environments kidnapped by Furio Brigo’s shots, in true Urbex style. Brigo is a young Italian, coming from Veneto who, thanks to his passion for this trendy photography, loves to explore forgotten places managing to snatch a thrill of life to immortalize it in his charming images. @ Salvadori Collection, in addition to Wallpapers, we find also beautiful Prints (on fine art, photographic or canvass). Images that dress any environment with elegance and originality. info@duecconsulting.com

The brands we work with all have international visibility and recognition. So, we start from the analysis and the story of the brands and the potential that can be exploited by working in synergy with

Les Copains

Les Copains

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as well. We like to propose partnerships between brands and companies for specific reasons, so that the content creates synergy between the company, the product, and the brand. LM. Let’s talk about the brands you collaborate with… RC. I’ll start with MOMODESIGN, which is more than just a fashion brand. It is very closely linked to Design because of its timeless style. In fact, the goal is to also extend the brand into the Fashion sector in order to convey that urban style, essential for the technical and sporty

Momodesign us while respecting their brand DNA. This principle led us to create DueCConsulting, to enable us to share our combined level of professional experience with the companies we work with. LM. How do you choose which brands to partner with? NC. The brands we have decided to collaborate with are brands that above all have international scope, economic stability and provide guarantees to the partners we work with. We work with licensors, but also with licensees. We work ad hoc for each project: we analyze the brand, considering first of all its values, the target they want to reach, making a whole series of analyses to decide which project we want to carry out and how. One important thing is the relationship that we establish with the brand because it all starts from there. We share our ideas, but we also listen to our partners’ requests, because although we may have some excellent ideas to pursue, we must always consider what the needs are that

Love Therapy

benefit the brand, which may differ from one other in terms of values, positioning and the activities that can be pursued. We always adhere to the principle that they are open, flexible brands and that we can develop activities with a certain type of value, which can be exploited both from a commercial and a communication point of view. With each brand, we continually assess the dynamics and then take into account all the social elements that are so important in recent times. We take into consideration the product, distribution, and pricing, and we support the whole process, from the legal point of view as well as the creative. RC. DueCConsulting has two categories of customers: brands and companies that want to develop licensing projects. So, some of our customers are companies that acquire brands through licensing contracts for product development. Sometimes a company that has historically been a licensee starts to develop brand extension projects for its brand as a result of research activities that we have developed. We believe that in Italy many companies have this potential which is rarely fully developed in a purposeful way. This is one of the aspects of our work that we are passionate about. Working with the same enthusiasm with both the licensor and the licensee helps us to have a very broad vision, and we support both in any kind of project. Companies also rely on us to carry out ad hoc research to identify the most suitable brands for the development of new collections. These are companies that operate in different product categories, such as clothing, accessories, furniture, design or food. So we try to carry out these searches by always providing content

Silvian Heach elements that characterize it. It is also well known abroad, for example in the Middle East. It is a brand on which we are carrying out ambitious projects which will soon be revealed. Another brand we collaborate with is ENRICO COVERI, a brand that is very strong in terms of recognition, and challenging because it is licensed across multiple brand lines that cover the various market segments, although with excellent results. The direct contact with the property owner, Mrs. Coveri, sister of Enrico Coveri, has given us very interesting mandates to carry out new and current projects.


Interview

A third brand we manage which is also historic is LOVE THERAPY by Elio Fiorucci, created in the early 2000s. It is pure creativity, in which color combines good feelings, nature, love, and anything else that relates to the environment. Exceptional and infinite creativity, characterized by fresh, strong colors and many patterns with a very wide scope of possibilities. LES COPAINS is another historic Italian brand created by Mr. Bandiera and now managed by the new owner who acquired the brand, the Zambelli family, formerly the long-standing licensee for knitwear. The new management of Les Copains made its debut with the Women’s collection in the FW20, while for the FW21 it presented a Men’s capsule consisting exclusively of knitwear. Les Copains is characterized by a well-defined heritage: informal and elegant with a French spirit, combined with the excellence of Italian savoir faire, strengthened in its identity with a very high positioning in the affordable luxury range. NC. We have also been working with

the ARAV group for some time, which has important brands such as Silvian Heach in its portfolio. The group was launched in 2002 with this brand, which is aimed at young women with a clear and ambitious philosophy, creating affordable and gritty clothes for everyday life. In 2009 Silvian Heach launched its children’s line and in 2016, it acquired the John Richmond brand, which currently develops men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. John Richmond is an internationally recognized disruptive brand, very open to new trends, and very glamorous. In 2019, the group also acquired Marco Bologna, a young line with a strong stylistic identity, with attention given to research and street style trends. LM. Tell us about your artists’ portfolio RC. Saturday Evening Night Post is an American archive that collects all the cover artwork done by top artists, ranging from the 1920s to the early 1960s. They are true works of art that communicate so much. We work very well with them because there is a lot of flexibility in Marco Bologna

Young & Battaglia creating ad hoc renderings based on the requests of potential clients and image textures that can also be a means of communication for particular themes. Young & Battaglia are two artists who live in London, an Englishman and an Italian woman who have created a very particular style. Their images are very classic, even baroque, but with a twist of humor. Y&B’s work often blends old and new, combining familiar ideas to create something original, just as a music DJ creates remixes of old tunes. Their goal is to inject a sense of wonder into everyday objects and spaces around us, telling stories and creating art and objects that are a bit out of the ordinary. Another artist in our portfolio is an Italian photographer, Furio Brigo. Photographer artist by passion, he dedicates himself exclusively to Urbex (urban exploration) and consists of exploring, often by infiltration, abandoned structures mostly unknown to the masses. Pearls of absolute architectural and artistic beauty, forgotten and left to themselves and to neglect. Places that manage to excite and amaze and that are reborn thanks to photography. More than a hobby, more than a passion, doing urbex means

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Kayone others have been defined but still need to be formalized. So, at the moment we can’t announce anything official, but very soon you’ll hear from us with more detailed information. Stay tuned!

Archivio/Archive The Saturday Evening Post deeply loving what surrounds us, the artistic heritage of a country like ours, Italy, which sometimes does not realize how much it possesses, how much it is worth, of its wonder. Furio’s photographs have a gothic, mysterious spirit but above all they are images that do not leave one indifferent. We are also carrying out a very interesting project with him, linked to design. Last but not least, we work with a crew of Street Artists led by Kayone and the Urban Gallery STRADEDARTS. We work with them on the creation of different projects, ranging from related events and product customization, to live performances in events that are always very captivating. LM. Is there anything we can announce yet regarding the projects you are finalizing? NC. There are so many projects that

have been in the works since we started, almost one year ago. We’ve been working a lot building projects, but it takes time. There are several ongoing projects, while FurioBrigo wallpaper by Salvadori Arte

LM. How about your future plans, what can you tell us? NC. We will continue our research on both licensees and trends in order to expand our portfolio. In addition, we will consolidate all the projects that have been started this first exciting year. In the future, we will focus on two new areas. One is childcare, both heavy and light. Specifically in the heavy childcare sector, we have already started working on a very interesting project that we hope to announce soon. The other focus is on loyalty programs: we know that this sector is very important both for the development of projects and for the visibility of all the activities that can be developed. An important challenge is to involve those brands that are still reluctant to approach this type of sector. In summary, our main goal is to develop high-level projects, in synergy with professionals in the sector.



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ANIMUNDI

CREATIVAMENTE AND GRABO JOINS SPARKY AND CARAMELA Among the most highly anticipated news in 2022 from preschool channel Rai YoYo is the second season of “ Sparky & Caramela in the Paw’s MagiKingdom” (original title “Lampadino e Caramella nel Magiregno degli Zampa”), a revolutionary, barrier-free cartoon for methodology and inclusivity, the first and only series aimed at all children, with or without sensory deficits. Characters, shapes, colours, words, music and rhythm are constructed to adapt, in perfect harmony, to the different sensitivities and levels of competence of all children between the ages of 2 and 6, to promote the concept of sharing and teach respect for other people with their own individual differences. In collaboration with RAI Ragazzi, and together with a pool of experts (teachers, educators, psychologists, doctors), production company Animundi has devised and codified a highly innovative working method called Cartoon Able. The product has taken over two years of work and combines an entertainment purpose with a component of strong social impact, designed to promote inclusivity at an early age, encouraging interactions

between young viewers who will learn to naturally accept the difference in others and to practice different modes of communication with ease. Unique in the world, the Cartoon Able technique implements a specific methodology: clear language with calibrated narrative timing and versatile rhythm; an animation style enjoyable by all; use of a narrator’s voice just like an audio guide; a soundtrack harmonised with the content for the dialogue-free parts (for the benefit of blind or visually impaired children); subtitles with specific syntax; simultaneous translation into Italian Sign Language (LIS); and costumed, live-action actors inserted into a comic strip (for the benefit of deaf children). The shapes, graphics and use of colours comply with

special perception criteria established by recent research in neuroaesthetic disciplines, which attribute a reduction of anxiety levels and the activation of areas of the brain linked to pleasure to curved shapes and a specific combination of colours. Even the sound effects and music are designed not to be invasive or annoying for any viewer (for the benefit of autistic children). Each season is made up of twenty 6-minute episodes and narrates the adventures of two friendly little brothers - Sparky and Caramela - and their animal friends from the Paw’s MagiKingdom, the fantastic place children can access with a magic formula. The stories are simple but not trivial, with an educational goal. They are sometimes inspired by current themes, told in surprising new ways by using communication codes and languages that are completely new in the world of animation. They are designed to entertain and stimulate the imagination of all children, against the barriers of prejudice and discrimination - because FUN and FANTASY should be accessible to all children.


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board game. This is how “THE SPARKY AND CARAMELA GAME”, expected to be released at the end of September, was born. It is a thoroughly original and intriguing game, where you can test your memory, sight, touch, and smell; discover sign language and the Braille alphabet; learn other forms of communication, with the use of senses; all with the aim of winning, but all together while helping one another. Raffaele Bortone, Animundi’s CEO, explains “the objective being pursued is to translate the series’ ethos of accessibility and inclusion into all products bearing the “Sparky e Caramela” brand. The goal is for particularly sensitive companies will experiment with or simply implement these values, also contributing to improving quality of life and sustainability.”

Sparky and Caramela board game by CreativaMente Because of its pedagogical and social value, the project obtained financial support from the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. It also recently won the UNICEF Special Prize for “Best Social Work”, immediately attracting the interest of the world of business, art and entertainment. Many personalities have agreed to offer their support to the project, such as Renato Balestra and Sabrina Brazzo, or lend their voices to the various characters in the TV series, such as Giovanni Allevi, Beppe Carletti, Raul Cremona, Gigi and Ross, Vladimir Luxuria,

Guillermo Mariotto and Giuseppe Zeno, who is the narrator for all the episodes. And in the second season, following the success of the first, this spontaneous participation has more than tripled, with names that will be announced with the launch of the new series. In the same spirit of helping ALL children be included without discrimination, the partnership between Animundi and the company CreativaMente began, with the aim of transferring the principles of participation of the TV series into a

Sparky and Caramela Baloon by Grabo The partnership with GRABO Srl for the production of balloons with the “Sparky and Caramela” theme is also in line with these principles. Grabo is in fact the first company in the Party sector to reduce the use of non-renewable energy sources, thanks to the installation of a 352 KW latest generation photovoltaic system. “The contribution that a project such as Sparky and Caramela can make,” continues Bortone, “also passes through the responsible choice of virtuous partners who, through a real, irrefutable commitment, help to inject hope into a society that is more respectful of the principles of coexistence and sharing. We believe that making today’s children aware of this can help make them be better women and men tomorrow.”

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WE TOGETHER / FASHION UK

FRANCESCO DE ROBERTIS, BETWEEN INNOVATION AND VALUE Francesco De Robertis, an entrepreneur known for his extensive experience in the licensing and retail industry, has recently become General Manager of Fashion UK, the UK’s largest multinational fashion licensing company for Italy and Spain. LM interviewed De Robertis to discuss the details of his return to the world of licensing and his objectives for the future. In 2020 I founded We Together, which will now manage the commercial, marketing and digital development of Fashion UK Italia. The company was created to digitalise the main channels of the Italian market, such as wholesale, where no players have a website or even an email

Francesco De Robertis About a year ago you left the world of licensing, having been Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Europe at Sun City. Today we welcome you back as General Manager of Fashion UK for Italy and Spain. Would you tell us about your journey and why you are back? I experienced a lot of exciting projects over the last few months, so some people I worked with inspired me to return to this sector, where I can use the new experiences I gained over the last year. I accepted this challenging new task mainly thanks to the enthusiasm of many young entrepreneurs and the willingness of customers to use the web for our business.

address. We provide a new way of selling products with a digital side in addition to the usual physical channels. We upload items to a back office and then promote and collect the sales, so the customer only has to pack the orders and ship them. Prepayment on the web also optimises earnings by reducing collection times and speeding up turnover. Compared to our competitors, we want to offer not only better products but also a better service.

It is indeed a particular and innovative approach, which you are now applying in the Italian market, but maybe Fashion UK could be applied abroad as well. I know you will also be working in Spain, how will you manage that from Italy? In Spain we will operate differently than in Italy. At the suggestion of some licensors, an Italian general manager has been appointed to manage Spain. For now we will not have a direct approach like we do in Italy, where we started with a team of 12-14 people, including sales managers, sales agents and back-office. We don’t yet have these human resources abroad, so for Spain we took our best partner and worked with him on an internal reorganisation, turning him into our exclusive distributor. We will be launching into the Spanish market through this company, which we plan to buy and turn into Fashion UK Spain. Let’s talk about licenses: Fashion UK is one of the main licensees in Europe and has a large gaming portfolio. There is some important news coming up on the next collections, can you tell us about them? Fashion UK is looking at the world of global


Interview

worldwide. With Minecraft we have filled a big gap in Fashion UK’s gaming portfolio, which is now complete with all the most popular properties. We also have around 100 classic cartoon licenses to continue working on, including Disney. We know that some licenses work very well abroad, others perform better in a particular region like Italy. From this point of view, how will Fashion UK approach licenses that perform better in Italy, and Italian licensors and licensing agencies? Fashion UK only looks at the European market, with an ethical approach and a real attention to each individual market. Looking at competitors, I noticed that they often bought licenses in one country with the sole purpose of selling them easily in another, taking advantage of the commercial agreements currently in place for trade borders in Europe. When Fashion UK decided to open the Italian branch, they sent me a licensing budget dedicated to the Italian territory. There has been a great response from all the licensors in our country, who have confirmed their willingness to work together; they see us as potential leaders for the Italian market, offering skills and strengths that were lacking until now. We are moving in this direction, for example a couple of properties that have been successful in the United States are arriving in Europe and will also be available in licensing. Recently in Europe, especially in the south, there has been a lot of focus on the preschool target, with properties coming from YouTube channels and the

most popular animated series. However, we have found that children today have a lot of choice and are easily bored by the properties. In the textile sector, some brands that are very strong in terms of audience are not very present in fashion, while others that have an average level of audience are very strong in apparel. I therefore see the preschool approach as fairly unstable because children may try very hard to get a product, but it is the parents who choose. And when a property is no longer trendy parents stop buying, creating abrupt market disruptions. Fashion UK therefore takes a broader approach, planning products also for adults and teenagers. In this new context, the gaming trend is winning over. Among the new licenses acquired on an exclusively European level, which will be divided into different product categories, are Xbox and the acclaimed Minecraft, which have sold 200 million units

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our licensed products, it would just make customers doubt their real value. We also have a workforce of 60 designers and 50 stylists that must be well-compensated for making products that are unequaled in the licensing world. Given the quality of the products, the licenses and the companies involved, we will maintain a high standard by choosing a fair price for the items, avoiding their devaluation. Marketing will be particularly strong, with a corporate website managed from Italy, which will promote and report on the latest industry news on a global level. We will also update our Facebook and Instagram pages, managed from Italy, with weekly and daily content (twice a day) to keep consumers and clients informed of the latest news, and we will also welcome content sent to us by licensors.

Italy thanks to Fashion UK. I can’t give any further details, but Fashion UK will certainly be the leader in all product categories in winter 2022, with the most appealing licenses in the Italian market. We will see the first Fashion UK collections in the Italian market for autumn-winter 2022, because you have started the pre-sales work now. It will be important for you to not just be a

licensee, but to contribute decisively to the communication of the licenses, the collections and all the related initiatives. Can you tell us more? Value is at the heart of all our projects. Today we cannot start with a devaluation of sales because there is already a daily war on product price. Since there is good consumer purchasing power in the market, we cannot set a price that is too low for



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ENANIMATION

NINA & OLGA FLY HIGH TV series Nina & Olga, co-produced by Italian studio Enanimation and Mondo TV Producciones Canarias S.L. - Nina Y Olga A.I.E, in collaboration with Rai Ragazzi, made its debut on Rai Yoyo last September 27th. With a series of books published by Mondadori already in bookstores, the property is poised to fly high.

For more information: nicolettacosta.licensing@gmail.com

Nina & Olga, about the adventures of little Nina and her best friend, Olga the Cloud, shows kids how to deal with daily emotions. The series made its television debut in September and is already finalizing a series of licensing agreements and special projects for the next few months.

WORLD-FAMOUS BOOKS FOR CHILDREN, WITH PRESTIGIOUS PARTNERSHIPS

Only a select few Italian children’s books and titles have succeeded in traveling the globe. One of these cases is the IP of Nicoletta Costa, an internationally renowned illustrator and author, with her beloved Olga the Cloud - the publishing property from which the TV series Nina & Olga was born - translated in many countries, including Japan, China, USA,

UK, Spain, and Russia, among others. Another strength of this editorial brand is its extraordinary longevity. Olga the Cloud has existed in the publishing (and other) markets for almost forty years. Olga was one of the first characters created by Nicoletta Costa and appeared for the first time in the successful series of books published by EL Edizioni, created to introduce children to reading. The first volume of Olga the Cloud was re-published this year after decades of success, testifying to the strength of a classic title with a big appeal for children, parents, and teachers. From the start, Olga the Cloud became the star of many books that are still sold in bookstores today. Because of its publishing fame, there have been long-lasting and successful collaborations that have allowed Olga the Cloud to flourish beyond the pages

illustrated by Nicoletta Costa. Among them is the partnership with COOP, where the Cloud has been the historic testimonial of the Crescendo Line (products for the infant target) from the well-known Italian GDO brand, to endorse the quality of the products offered. For years, Olga the Cloud has also been the star of her own comic strips in FOCUS PICO, the leading monthly magazine for preschoolers in Italy. In 2021, two other new high-end partnerships were also launched: the first is Olga the Cloud games and activity books by Ludattica, the leading brand of educational games in Italy; the other is a line of children’s apparel entirely made in Italy created by Illustrabimbi, a small company based in Milan that focuses on


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good quality fabrics and patterns, inspired by children’s illustrators. One of the more recent projects is an audiobook FABA, packaged in one of a kind audio box with an Olga the Cloud puppet for listening to their stories.

PERFECT SYNERGY BETWEEN RAI RAGAZZI AND MONDADORI

Together with the capabilities of the producer Enanimation, the foundations were already set to create a television IP that had both the added value of a publishing background with high-quality artistic elements, and an evergreen consumer product potential that could last a long time, not just for a brief season. This vision has been reinforced with the appointment of Nicoletta Costa herself as the artistic director of the television series. These foundational elements have led high-level partners such as Rai Ragazzi, first, and then Mondadori, to join the project from its inception. For a preschool property, having a partner like Rai Ragazzi on board means being at the peak of quality TV. Rai’s channel Rai Yoyo is the number one Italian broadcaster for the preschool target – and is behind all the top preschool shows in Italy today. The content that Rai Ragazzi offers its

young viewers is also synonymous with quality and safety for parents. And last but not least, with the Rai Play streaming platform, which its millions of subscribers and programming dedicated to children, the reach of its target audience is even stronger and more accessible. With Mondadori, on the other hand, the development of the Nina & Olga IP is part of a very ambitious publishing project which sees six new books launched since last September. Two volumes authored by Nicoletta Costa have been distributed in bookstores on the eve of the television launch; while the other four, inspired by the television series, are out since the first week of November. In 2022, the plan is to release a further six titles, created by both the author as well as the television series. This combination of books illustrated and written by Nicoletta Costa, and books based on the TV series under the same brand, Nina & Olga, is a winning strategy. Not only does it allow you the IP to stay anchored to its original editorial context, continually renewing its content, but it also keeps the books directly linked to the television series.

AN INTENSE CALENDAR OF EVENTS AND PARTNERSHIPS

The fame of Nicoletta Costa, together with

the partners involved, made it possible to immediately launch a promotion and communication campaign at the highest levels. Starting from the presence of Nina & Olga at the Turin Book Fair, where she is the star of several events and appointments throughout the entire Fair, and continuing with Lucca Comics & Games, one of the top events for young audiences and families, where Nina &

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Olga was present over the weekend of the Tuscan event, together with Nicoletta Costa. Educational Group, the leading educational games and game-books company in Italy has a well-established, fruitful collaboration with Nicoletta Costa and could not fail to partner on this project as well. Like with the publisher, product lines have been created with Ludattica that have been launched close to November and then for Christmas 2021, which have enhanced both Nicoletta Costa’s contribution and the interest generated by the television series. Among the other partners that support Nina & Olga from its first introduction to the public are Musgummi and Kimbe. The former oversaw the creation of a Costume Character entirely made in Italy; while the second is the strategic partner of Enanimation to take Nina & Olga around Italy for events, appointments, shopping centers, and special projects. Nina & Olga’s Costume Character debuted at the latest Turin Book Fair. Following this magical combination of

author and animation, Focus Pico could not be left out, dedicating the FOCUS PICO BEST November cover to Nicoletta Costa, with Nina & Olga games and activities in the issue. Yet another flagship project for this property will be launched this busy autumn: an online content series, composed of music videos with the original songs of Mamme in Sol - a leading music therapy company for children in Italy - and with a workshop presented by Laura Carusino, a host from Rai Yoyo and L’Albero Azzurro. Last but not least, Illustrabimbi, an existing partner of Nicoletta Costa’s, will also offer a high-end clothing line inspired by the world of Nina & Olga at the beginning of 2022.

NICOLETTA COSTA E-COMMERCE

As a final example of the perfect synergy between the producer Enanimation and the author Nicoletta Costa, this autumn the official e-commerce website by Nicoletta Costa, which already offers a series of derivative products inspired by

her characters, will host a section entirely dedicated to Nina & Olga where young fans can buy products and accessories directly. It will not only be a direct relationship with the consumer, but also a tool to support the licensee partners of the project.



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EMA ENTERTAINMENT

Witch Legacy, a new Italian Superhero TV series By Rossella Arena Witch Legacy is an Italian TV series created by Ema Entertainment which aims to construct a brand new superhero’s universe.

Next year a new superhero TV series will be born: Witch Legacy, the first original serial of its kind to be produced in Italy, thanks to Ema Entertainment. Witch Legacy (formerly The Witch) explores the eternal conflict between the forces of good and evil, with a narrative that moves

between past and present. The main character is Sara Kennet, a girl destined to inherit powerful witch powers which will allow her to save the world together with other superheroes. Edoardo Lombardi, General Manager of Ema Entertainment and creator of the


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series, revealed that Witch Legacy was initially conceived and produced as a comic book, The Witch. The idea was to later make a film, but then it became apparent that the concept was much better suited to a long-term serial. The aim was to position Ema Entertainment in the realm of the Marvel and DC giants from which it takes its inspiration. Ema formed a team made up of talent from around the world that could make a unique contribution to the series, making it extremely high quality

and competitive from many points of view. For example, some of the designers involved also work at the same time on Marvel’s film products. In Witch Legacy, sci-fi merges with history and mythology. Just like in many fantasy stories there are fantastical creatures and spells, but these become part of a much more structured world, with power struggles, superhero confrontations and medieval settings alternating with the present day. A general sense of epicism

GIADA GENTILINI LEADING ACTRESS

Sara Kennet, the main character in Witch Legacy, will be played by the young Giada Gentilini, who answered our questions. What made you decide to apply for the casting? Had you always dreamt of becoming an actress or was it a impulsive choice? It was by chance that I was browsing through Instagram and came across the Teen TV ad: they had just opened a casting call for this new fantasy TV series. Being my favorite genre, I decided to give it a try. Acting has always been my dream, but I had never really thought about turning my passion into a job. Even now I can hardly believe it’s really happening! Why do you think they selected you as the main character? When I do something I love, like acting, I put all the passion and commitment I have into it and I try to become the character with all of my being, as if Giada didn’t exist in those moments. I think that’s why they chose me. What do you expect from this experience? To improve as an actress and to learn how th33e world of cinema works.

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dominates from start to finish, and this is reflected in spectacular macro-sequences of action, including a special-effectspacked finale that took six months of preproduction and the creation of 20 virtual actors. The sheer tactile beauty of the cinematography brings to life the solemn and brilliant atmosphere and settings of the two time periods. The series uses some of the most modern production systems, digital visual effects and CGI. Director Paolo Bertola commented: “For over 30 years, my work as a director has alternated with, and often merged with, that of a digital visual effects designer. This particular professional background has greatly helped me in tackling a challenging and complex project like Witch Legacy, where digital visual effects are one of the most fascinating

IDENTITY CARD WITCH LEGACY The origins Genre: Fantasy/Action/Drama Format: 6 x 42’ Release: December 2022 Language: Italian- English

Paolo Bertola

Subtitles: English – Italian – Spanish Synopsis: Sara Kenneth is 20 years old and lives in Antheia City, a mid-western American city. She was adopted as a child into a loving family, but she is unaware of her biological heritage and true origins. She is descended from women and men with magical powers; persecuted during the Middle Ages by the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church, where thousands were prosecuted, then burned to death by the terrible heretical hunters of the O.I.M. (Order Against Evil) founded between Italy and Malta in 1233 by Bishop Joannis. 1° TEASER 4K FULL: https://youtu.be/L172Gb_R-40 TEASER SECOND VERSION 4K: https://youtu.be/0AGrMqCkF3U

and important components of the entire production process. With a combination of dramatic, comedic and epic elements, we have created an atmosphere that is captivating and always poised to provide a fun or unexpected twist.” Regarding the characters, Edoardo Lombardi specified that the metahumans who appear in the series are all positive heroes, even if they have unresolved conflicts, and the antagonists have vibrant personalities and a complex existence. Their profiles in many ways make them similar to ordinary people. Thanks to these factors, Witch Legacy has succeeded in attracting the interest of some of the world’s biggest distributors and producers even before the release. The series will be filmed in Malta and Italy; after the first season “The Origins”, it will develop into another already planned four

seasons, in which we will see the brandnew League of Heroes in action. Ema Entertainment holds 100% of all creative and licensing rights.

1° TEASER CITY VERSION: https://youtu.be/d3blN1s7PQ8 1° TEASER POWER VERSION: https://youtu.be/Z8mInTucnpg



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Trends

U.S. TOY ASSOCIATION

U.S. Toy Association Pushes for Action Amid Supply Chain Crisis By Steve Pasierb, President & CEO, The U.S. Toy Association From Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy to political trade wars to the global pandemic, it seems as though every year the U.S. toy industry must use its tenacity and resilience to face down a new challenge as we enter the critical Q4 holiday selling season. And this year is unfortunately no exception thanks to the growing uncertainty brought on by global supply chain disruptions.

Steve Pasierb Despite exceptional year-over-year growth in toy sales worldwide (up 15 percent over a strong 2020 for the first half of 2021), cracks across all facets of the global supply chain (ports, terminals, rails, trucking, etc.) coupled with labor shortages and skyrocketing shipping prices have created the perfect storm for manufacturers. Ninety-five percent of The Toy Association’s members are made up of small- and mid-size toy companies, which are bearing the brunt of this crisis and who lack the clout and year-round shipping contracts to ensure delivery for the holidays. With some members reporting shipping price increases anywhere up to 800 percent (from USD$3,000 to upwards

of USD$24,000 for a single container with surcharges in some cases, if they can even get access to containers or space on ships), the situation is worsening and will continue into 2022. In response, the U.S. Toy Association has been on the frontlines aggressively advocating for its members as well as offering as many solutions as possible to keep their businesses moving forward. The Toy Association’s new resource center serves as a hub for this information, which includes U.S. government and port updates, links to additional business tools to help companies track and plan

shipments, and topical on-demand webinars exclusive to our members. Here, the global play community can also find news about our continual advocacy work at federal and international levels. The Toy Association continues to lobby government agencies to take aggressive action. It has held meetings with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), participated in a press conference with Port of Los Angeles officials, and directly contacted all members of Congress and the U.S. House Transportation Subcommittee to draw attention to how shipping delays, rising costs, and container shortages have significantly jeopardized the entire toy industry’s business operations and will negatively impact retailers. It has also put its full support behind the new Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021, which makes important steps toward addressing underlying systemic issues. As we enter the holiday season, I’m calling on the Italian toy and play community to take up our message: #ShopEarly4Toys! Over the years, shoppers have been conditioned to wait for last-minute sales and deals, but this is not the year to wait around. With predictions for low inventory, we are encouraging families everywhere to shop early to ensure gifts on kids’ wish lists are checked off. In the end, we’re all in this together and we must keep channels of communication open with our fellow associations and global industry partners. What’s more, if we can be of assistance to anyone – manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or association – whether with issues here in the U.S. or internationally, our team in Washington, DC is ready to assist! Wishing you all continued health, safety, and a path toward a prosperous close to 2021.


Trends

U.S. TOY ASSOCIATION

Toy Association’s #ShopEarly4Toys Campaign Urges Consumers to Shop Early - and to be Extra Vigilant of Counterfeits By Steve Pasierb, President & CEO, The U.S. Toy Association The U.S. Toy Association is urging families to do their holiday toy shopping early this year, with toy shortages caused by global supply chain bottlenecks only expected to worsen as the holidays draw near. Our message shared widely across the media and on social media is clear: #shopearly4toys and avoid disappointment! Waiting too long or for promotional sales is a bad idea; we know that the coveted toys kids have their

hearts set on might not be available in the coming weeks. Given the continuing rise in online shopping and the forecasted shortage of products, we also want to make sure that shoppers are not turning to unreputable online sellers peddling fake and unsafe products as they search for toys on their kids’ wish lists. In a recent survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of The U.S. Toy Association, 65% of U.S. parents polled said they would purchase knockoff/ counterfeit toys if they couldn’t get their hands on the original item, and 64% said they would purchase counterfeits if they were cheaper. These statistics are troubling. We know that it is highly unlikely that a counterfeit toy has undergone the safety testing required by law, putting children everywhere at risk. Counterfeit toys are a growing issue – one that we have been addressing in the media, with legislators, in Congress, and via white papers for years. We are not only fighting back against illicit sellers by working with the government to create laws that will stop the sale of fakes, but we are giving parents practical tips on

how to avoid knockoffs. The Toy Association is encouraging the global toy community to get involved and share these tips with families: 1. Shop only from reputable brands and sellers. Their toys have been tested for compliance with safety standards and tests required by law. 2. Make sure the brand you’re purchasing from has a professional-looking website. Can’t find a website? That may be a red flag that you are dealing with an illicit seller. 3. Poorly photoshopped pictures, typos, or spelling mistakes in the online description or packaging are other clues that the product could be illegitimate, and therefore unsafe. 4. Can’t find a toy on your child’s wish list? Wait for a trusted retailer to restock the product. Buying fake or cheaper alternatives is just not worth the risk. Advice for avoiding counterfeits and more general toy safety advice will be shared during The Toy Association’s Toy Safety Awareness Month this November. Throughout the month, we’ll be highlighting the toy community’s dedication to product safety and promoting safe play to parents and caregivers. Global manufacturers, retailers, and anyone passionate about toys and play is encouraged to take part and share our safety messages with consumers. More information about the initiative, including social media assets, will be shared in the coming weeks.

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NELVANA

Nelvana, 50 years of big brands Nelvana is a world-leading international producer, distributor, and licensor of children’s animated and live-action content. For the occasion of its 50th anniversary, LM interviewed Lily Yan, Head of Brands at Nelvana, to know more about their last novelties and future plans.

have increased our licensing activity in products for adults and Millennials. For example, we are also celebrating Babar’s 90th publishing anniversary and we are seeing great success with the brand and our high-end licensing partners. In Europe,

Lily Yan How Nelvana is celebrating its 50th anniversary? 50 years is a huge milestone. There’s so much to celebrate; we are a worldleading international producer, developer, distributor, licensor and licensing agent of award-winning children’s animation and live-action content. We’re based in Toronto, so we’ve celebrated first here at home, together with the city. In honor of Nelvana’s 50th anniversary this year and the lasting impact on Canada’s media industry, we established Canadian Children’s Media Day on July 26 with Telefilm Canada and Youth Media Alliance, to celebrate Canada’s successes and growing position as a trailblazer in the global animation and children’s media industry. As part of the celebrations, we had the iconic CN Tower in Toronto lighting up in blue and gold colors inspired

by Nelvana’s golden jubilee. Nelvana then hosted an online panel event on how Canada has become a shining star in the animation and children’s media industry, also in the rest of the world. We plan on continuing our celebrations throughout this year and into next summer; there will be a special campaign featuring entertainment legends that have either started their careers at Nelvana or were fundamental to our success. Which are actually the main brands that are you focusing on? Children’s entertainment brands remain at the heart of what we do. Some notable brands within our own portfolio include Babar and Max & Ruby. With the resurgence of nostalgic brands, we’ve expanded our licensing programs for each of these to reach the new demos and we

we have expanded our luxury licensing program to include partners such as Flora Howard Textiles and Lunii. Max & Ruby is another global license that has been on-air since the early 2000s on Treehouse in Canada, Nickelodeon in the U.S., and international markets. We’re seeing new interest from Millennials after the brand went viral on Tik-Tok, with three viral events on this platform. We have expanded our licensing program into an older demo that includes a nostalgic line and a new digital pop-up shop that’s coming soon for adult fans of the brand.


Interview

Over the years we have expanded our profile to represent some of the world’s biggest brands either globally, regionally or even locally, in Canada and France where we have dedicated licensing teams. Recent examples include Bakugan and Beyblade, which we represent both in Canada and France. Is there any specific announcement that you plan to make by Mipcom and BLE this year? We have some news that I can’t divulge just yet, but definitely stay tuned! We recently announced an exciting new partnership with Rowing Blazers and FILA. Together we launched a limitededition tennis-inspired capsule featuring Babar. The 14-piece collection includes apparel, accessories, and footwear. We also have our plush partner YOTTOY who has launched a limited-edition Babar plush, wearing the same sporty outfit as featured in the collection, that’s available exclusively on rowingblazers.com. Some of the collection sold out a few hours after launch, so I’m really thrilled about that. We’re also expanding our portfolio outside of kids entertainment licensing, adding lifestyle licensing brands. We recently announced that we partnered with award-winning creator media studio Kin

Community Canada (who is also owned by Corus Entertainment) representing lifestyle content creators Alexandra Gater and Lauren ToyotaLauren Toyota is a best-selling cookbook author and vegan chef.The licensing program will focus on indulgent and accessible packaged vegan foods. For Alexandra Gater, who’s a home decor expert, we will be focusing on stylish and affordable home décor, and accessories for her Millennial followers. Hopefully events are coming back, and we can say that 2022 is the postpandemic year. Which are your plans for the future? Do you have some specific focus you’re working on now or some target that you would love to share with us? I’m really excited about next year because in the last year and a half our main goal was to come out of the pandemic stronger than when we went in. We’ve proven to ourselves and to our partners

that we are nimble and that we can adapt to the fast-changing and ever-evolving environment. We’re continuing to invest in content, expand our licensing programs, and monitor and capitalize on new emerging trends. We’re also creatively finding ways to continue to support our partners, licensees and retailers while also strengthening and supporting our inhouse talent. During Licensing Expo, I was happy to hear that many were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and a lot of them were very interested in hearing about the brand-new licensing programs. We are hoping to forge even more new partnerships and collaborations and work on some unique retail programs and to apply all the learnings from these past months about how to engage, motivate, and reward our fans in this new normal.

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METAVERSE

Growing into the Metaverse By Alexander Fernandez The buzz around the Metaverse is real. Technologies focused on interconnectivity and virtual presence can put anyone, anywhere, and a multitude of industries are stepping in. What is The Metaverse? The Metaverse is the place where physical and digital reality meet. It is an intersection between media, entertainment, business, and technology and allows for the hyper alignment of brands, consumers, and workforce in a digital space. The Metaverse uses video game technologies to build virtual worlds that emulate the real world and our interactions within it, from work to play. So you can go to live concerts, meet friends at a party, have a work meeting, go to class, play games, attend a doctor’s appointment, or even purchase your new car.

Alexander Fernandez Licensing has a ripe opportunity in this new trend. As brands explore new ways to engage their consumers in a digital-first era, the Metaverse is a safe space to experiment. Powered by video game technology and methodology, companies can utilize the experience of a $200 Bn industry to change perspective and grow their business to new heights. The video games industry has explored ways to bridge the gap between physical and digital spaces for over five decades, creating new experiences that brands can use to their advantage. Innovative video game brands expand their social communities, develop dynamic monetization strategies, and most importantly, nurture consumer engagement. These digital creatives who paved the way and ushered in the Metaverse are now accessible to all industries.

“License holders have enormous opportunity to bring authenticity and legitimacy across multiple platforms,” says Neil Haldar, Snr Publishing and Business Development Director, Streamline

About Alexander Fernandez Alexander is the CEO and CoFounder of Streamline Media Group and a Latino entrepreneur whose passion is building value between the video game and traditional enterprise industries. He has used that passion to help grow Streamline from a small startup focused on gaming to a global business with over 180 employees in 3 continents and multiple brands under the Streamline Media Group umbrella. He believes that technology must always be a tool that helps people move forward, and the creative economy can be a launching ground for developing markets and economies. Twitter @starveup Linked In @AlexanderFernandez

Media Group. “The opportunity in the Metaverse is nearly limitless as we dive into experiential marketing opportunities that have yet to be explored by traditional retail or industry.”


Trends

There have been several significant drivers behind the growth of the Metaverse;

The retirement of baby boomers and the rise of the digital-first Gen-X, Millennials, Xenial, and Gen-Z, who grew up playing video games, surfing the web, and traveling the world.

The digitization of financial assets integrating across all aspects of life. For example, blockchain, smart contracts, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

The rise of the next two billion people, now called Gen-A (born 2010-2025). Emerging markets in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa have become sources of new audiences and voices.

for both the licensor and licensee. The method of engagement attracts new, traditionally unreachable, consumers and the IP provides consumer trust. Whether you license characters to become avatars

naturally benefit from this recent surge in digital media, but traditional industries like healthcare, transportation, and education have also found cause to engage through new means. Consumers, now more affectionately known as ‘communities,’ are vitally important and require curated experiences and spaces where they can connect, engage, and enhance their brand loyalty. The task at hand for Metaverse makers is to make it an exciting, safe space for all users and showcase the best of their brands and IPs in the right places. Now, more than ever, brands need to build community and maintain meaningful connections with their consumers. Your options are to either take up virtual real estate in someone else’s Metaverse or create your own. It’s not a question of when. It’s a question of how. Where will you start?

How can the licensing industry make moves in the Metaverse? The Metaverse gives consumers a whole new way to engage with their favorite brands and IPs. The lines between the real world and the digital one will blur as we create multiple identities in multiple places. Consider it Web 3.0. An evolution of the internet and the next stage in the digital transformation. License holders have an exponential opportunity to add value to the Metaverse. Brand and IP recognition within a new virtual world holds significant power

or products to sell within these Metaverse spaces or stories and environments for users to inhabit, brands/IPs can proliferate across multiple different digital ecosystems at any one time. Your IP becomes omnipresent, and thanks to ‘internet all the time’/5G connectivity, it’s constantly accessible. Why now? The pandemic exposed our technological ability to run functional businesses remotely while driving customer engagement and reaching new audiences at a global scale. Creative industries

About Streamline Media Group Streamline Media Group is a global video games development and services company with a presence in Asia, Europe, and the United States. They create the Metaverse using video game technology through its business divisions, Streamline Studios, Streamframe, Streamline Games, All Pixels, and Day Zero. For more information, please visit www.streamline-mediagroup.com

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WONDERZ

Contact https://linktr.ee/WonderzBerlin

Wonderz and the Democratization of Digital Distribution By Neal Hoskins Wonderz secures a bold future with pre-series A funding success and a trio of first stage clients for their post-pandemic delivery platform for content creators

Following their late summer news of funding round success, Wonderz is now working with a new series of client deals across the children’s entertainment and publishing sectors for 2021. Their innovative software-as-a-service platform called WunderBox enables content creators to publish their content across

mobile devices (Android, iOS) and AppleTV – this can be done quickly, efficiently and without any prior technical knowledge or need for your own software development team. Built with book publishers, TV broadcasters, influencers, film, game, and TV producers in mind, it allows companies to diversify their offerings with

little financial risk and reach a worldwide audience. Wonderz is focussing on the family entertainment sector and is already working with three major clients: Skyship entertainment and their Super Simple brand - this top ten kids youtube channel has already gone from strength to strength with their subscription app offering - passing a landmark 10,000 paid subscribers recently. Warner Media EMEA and their Boomerang channel which has achieved record download numbers and most recently Carlsen and their soon to launch bedtime stories app that will enter the market with a new audio experience built around their fantastically successful Pixi series of books. With close to a decade of experience in new distribution channels, and as content creators themselves the wonderz team had insight into the work of independent IP production and really wanted to create a laboratory where you can try things out with customers and collect their direct feedback. In a nutshell, WunderBox is the content distribution platform, which lets kids get their favourite content directly from the creators. Wonderz believes the app market has reached a sea-change moment in subscription services and with more vital revenue going into the hands of the content owners there has never been a better time for going back to the app and reigniting a digital strategy for selling directly to the consumer.



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Entertainment

ANIMATION

Cartoon Forum 2021: the rebirth By Rossella Arena The Cartoon Forum 2021 took place from 20 to 23 September in Toulouse, live again after the 2020 all-digital edition. Here are the animated TV series that have found the most interest, coming from France and various European countries. The 2021 edition of the prestigious Cartoon Forum (20-23 September, Toulouse) appears like an enchanting dream, for the beauty of the animated TV series presented but also for the return of the event in presence, thanks to the Health Pass and sanitary rules. After a year and a half of smart working, it is even more evident that participating in live events allows you to know the protagonists of the sector and their work in depth and to create more contacts, in a way that is difficult to reproduce when you are alone at home. Cartoon Forum organizes, beyond the presentations, many opportunities (happy hours, cocktail parties) to meet other participants in Congress Center or charming locations. For this return in attendance, 84 projects of animated TV series were presented from 21 European countries, for a total budget of 326.1 Million EUR, representing

MONDO TV FRANCE

460 hours of animation. Many projects (close to 20) were adaptations of bestselling books and comics, confirming how this type of product is lifeblood for animation. In the concepts, girls and female characters have much stronger and active roles, their personality and the way to describe them has evolved. Some presentations of newcomers in the industry have obtained great success, for example Dreamin’ Dolphin Film with Hygge (DE/DK), Pigeon with Welcome to Mamoko (POL). The productions of Eastern Europe have grown in number compared to last year and have received great feedback and appreciation, for the quality of the projects and the careful planning and cost optimization. From the all-digital edition of 2020, the possibility remained to have the support

“By transposing Suzon’s picture books - created by Amandine Piu and Emilie Chazerand - into an animation series, we want to highlight the fact that observation of the animal world and respect for its environment are fundamental to living in harmony with the world that surrounds us... That openness is the best way to get out of the most complicated situations! And that sharpening your critical thinking and forming your own opinion through experience will help children aged 4 to 7 grow up, just like our Suzon! In addition to the power to communicate

of the dedicated app and viewing the pitches online until 15 October. Here are the projects that have found the most interest, broken down by country.

with the animal world, it especially has the superpower of inviting us to change our outlook on the world around us. Observation, Inspiration, Malice and Mutual Aid will be the keywords of our series where the stories will be treated with fantasy, joy and humor in a format that also leaves room for knowledge. For this project, we are looking for French and international broadcasters and co-producers.” Sylvie Mahé, Managing Director & General Manager, Mondo TV France


Entertainment

gags, starring Nola, a little alien, and Rek the dog. Under school by Ellipsanime tells of the Saint-Joseph school, where “unperfoming children” are transformed into model students. Gardener Gavin is a Belgian project that has as its protagonist a garden decoration that comes to life and causes a lot of trouble! Suitable for preschool audiences, it has a hybrid technique, between 3D and Live action. In addition to this fictional series, a web series is created in which Gavin teaches the children more about gardening.

FRANCE AND BELGIUM The largest number of projects come from France. Chooks by Caribara Production is a 3D preschool inspired by the Les Tchouks comic series, in which lots of sophisticated-looking pets live many adventures together. In the TV series four Chooks escape into their imaginary worlds. Mister Crocodile is taken from Monsieur Crocodile a beaucoup faim, by Joann Sfar. It tells of the friendship between a little girl and a giant crocodile, who wants to be civilized and become his pet. It is produced in 3D for children 6-11 by the Joann Star’s Magical Society, the same as Miraculous. There are many other projects dedicated to this age group. The McFire Family of Cyber Group Studios, tells of a family of firefighters. The director’s vision points to situational and physical comedy and girl power. The artistic director is focused on iconic firefighter suits, signature gadgets, elegant recognizable vehicles, superMister Crocodile

cool features. The video game will also be available. Me and My Compost, by Vivement Lundi! and Superprod is based on a book in which Compostman, an ecological monster, is adopted by two children. Griott & Mungo by La Station Animation was born from the homonym comic book set in the age of caves, in which a strong pink-haired girl and a baby dinosaur save their tribe every day. In Virtual Past, by Cross River Productions, Lucas Lambda, 12-years-old, manages to convince his “mad” family members to become beta testers of Virtual Past, a groundbreaking VR game that will immerse their five senses in a virtual Middle Ages that is larger than life… The project uses a combination of live action and 3D. Rek & Nola by Studio 100 France is a slapstick cartoon based on visual

Caterina Gonnelli

XILAM “Building is a key playing pattern for children. In Piggy Builders, creating, refurbishing and decorating houses is heaps of fun! The three little pigs, Cornelia, Cesar and Charlie, have set up their own construction team to help their friends and neighbors who live in the forest. Whenever there is a construction or DIY problem, the Piggy Builders come to the rescue. We strongly believe that the themes of building and sibling relationships bring a strong universal appeal to the series. As a follow-up to our presentation at the Cartoon Forum, we’re actively looking for international financing for this project. Specifically, we’re looking for commissioners, pre-buyers and potential coproducers, with the aim of starting the preproduction early in 2022.” Caterina Gonnelli – Linden, EVP, Content, Xilam

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Entertainment

PORTUGAL AND SPAIN Each year since 2016, Cartoon Forum brings a country into the spotlight celebrating their wonderful contribution to the world of animation. This year the country selected was Portugal. Among the projects The adventures of Princess P, by Ukbar Filmes, with fun and wellwritten story. Princess P is a girl of strong convictions and she’s always trying to change the mind of adults. Castles, knights and princesses mix with aliens, time travel and computer games, placing the challenges of children’s daily experiences into this imaginary

The adventures of Princess P

Sarah Born

CATPICS AG “We participated in Cartoon Forum to present Fio Lina & THE MAESTRO for the first time on an international level. Our main aim was to find broadcasters, co-producers as well as world sales. After these two years of online markets and meeting we also felt that it was important for us to connect with the animation industry in person. We came back with some great first contacts to likeminded co-producers and have received good responses from broadcasters. We are currently also waiting for several World Sales to get back to us.” Sarah Born, Producer and Managing Partner, Catpics Ag

land. The 2D preschool Biriki by Sparkle Animation is inspired by the character of the illustrator Bruna Ferrazzini, born in 2001 to spread self-esteem and freedom, observing everything without judgment. They have already activated a small merchandising with key rings, jewels, cookie cutters, T-shirts, postcards. They are looking for coproducers, a worldwide distribution company, a 360 ° world player partnership. Another Portuguese project (6-11) is What’s it all about, in which a family of curious people with their magic van lives a series of adventures through the mysteries of science. Among the Spanish projects, My Little Heroes (6-8, 2D) is worth mentioning: in each episode the protagonists meet an important character (Mozart, Coco Chanel ...) when he was very young.

GERMANY Many German projects focus on the preschool range, like the hilarious Lambs by Studio Film Bilder. It presents stories about the daily life of a small family consisting of a lamb, his father and mother. The episodes are accurate depictions of a child’s reality as seen through a

comedic and curious lens. The creators took inspiration from the atmosphere of everyday family life. Rhina Rhino is a super fun, music-filled series that helps little children to find focus, confidence and independence. The determined 7-yearold Rhina is a Rhino who races to help her anxious young animal friends complete intimidating tasks. The 3D series is


Entertainment

produced by The Big B Animation. Hygge is a 3D TV series produced by Dreamin’ Dolphin Film. Deep inside the northern forest, amongst tall pine trees and clucking clearwater streams, lies Rumble Village, the home of Bea, Diego and Bo. Together they will explore the marvelous forest, encounter many creatures and will learn how to use Hygge to overcome the unexpected obstacles. The project aims to instill courage and joy in children who experience negative emotions (anxiety, jealousy, loneliness). The settings were inspired by the Scandinavian forest; the visual style has the timeless feeling of a

fairy tale, but is also fresh and vibrant. They’re looking for coproduction partners and distributors. Butterfly Academy caters to the 6-11 target group and has several different characters that children can identify with. It’s a school where young Monarchs learn to become the best butterflies they can be. While they learn about themselves, we’ll learn ecological messages about the value of the butterflies and their environment. The merchandising, for now, includes shoppers, magnets, colored pencils. The series is in 3D, produced by Ulysses Filmproduktion.

IRELAND AND DENMARK The Irish projects are all original and engaging. Big Tuna by Daily Madness Productions is a TV series for Children 6-11 in 2D. After being convicted of several cat crimes, Big Tuna is out on parole with one last chance to redeem himself, as a foster cat. But being good isn’t always easy, especially when your new humans are rambunctious tween twins who get you into every kind of mess imaginable. Set in a zany, unpredictable world, Big Tuna is about the struggle to be good, and finding happiness in every

Hygge

TOON2TANGO

Jo Daris

“We are very happy to have been given the opportunity to present and showcase our project SHOWTIME to the world for the very first time at Cartoon Forum 2021, which was the first physical event after more than 18 months for us. It was great to see and meet people from the industry and introduce our new show. Of course, we hope that people like SHOWTIME as much as we do and that our pitch at Cartoon Forum will lead to a lot of discussions and potentially successful financing negotiations. This is the third time I participate with a project, so our expectations were high. Up until now, we have succeeded every time in financing the project after a kickoff at Cartoon Forum. The key component is always the commissioning broadcaster, which we hope to find after our pitch last week. The end-of-afternoon slot and the beautiful weather did not help attendance,

but we had some really good contacts and hope to close in the next 6-9 months with one of them. SHOWTIME is a concept showing that everyone can be a star and that everyone has something about them that’s unique and special. We like to feed our three-to-six old audience’s inspiration and creativity to put on a show! Children shall be encouraged to play, unleash their imagination and get their friends and parents to join the magical adventure! With such a wonderful concept, we are convinced that we will manage to find the partners to produce this show, after our pitch in Toulouse.” Jo Daris, co-creator and producer, Toon2Tango

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The Danish project Woodlings by Vilstrup Film & Projects is in 2D, for preschoolers 2-3. It contains short, poetic and funny stories, about the cute and wild animals that live in the woods. There’s always something new to discover and learn about the forest, oneself and each other. The universe is based on basic emotions, basic colors and the four seasons of nature.

ITALY

Woodlings wacky, challenging moment. Ivory Towers is a project for preschoolers in 2D, by Sixteen South Television Original. Erin is a 4-year-old elephant who visits her Grandpa at Ivory Towers and loves nothing more than bringing out the child in all the residents. Ivory Towers reflects and celebrates ageing and the preciousness of

intergenerational relationships. Cryptix by Pink Kong Studios is an epic high-kicking, father-daughter, comedy adventure series for 6-11 that roots for the underdog. With the realms in peril, the Cryptix seek a human to join their ranks. They set their sights on “Johnny Von Deadly”, a 90’s action hero, fulltime single dad. In a twist of fate, his clumsy 13-year-old daughter Dani Daly

Emmanuèle Petry

DANDELOOO “We are looking for original projects with a look and feel different from what already exists and especially programs that provide children with subtle keys to grow up and understand their world. It can come from either our projects like It’s Your Body!. Or emerging projects from talented creators like Nicolai Wiellverth (Space Ham) and/ or talented studios like Krutart (DinoFables).” Emmanuèle Petry, Producer and Head of International, Dandeloo

accidentally accepts the role of “Realm Defender” in his stead. Ivy’s bookshop, an Irish-Finnish preschool project, tells of Ivy, a 6-year-old dragon who lives in a sleepy coastal village and dreams of adventure. The only adventures to be found nearby, however, are those in the books in Ivy’s Bookshop - where Ivy lives with her two dads. Ivy has dyslexia which means she learns that little bit differently than others. Reading can be a bit trickier for her, but when Ivy opens one of her books, she and her best friend Oisín (the sheep) are transported into Ivy’s Book World where she talks to strange and wonderful creatures that help Ivy solve a problem. Production start is scheduled for 2022, delivery in 2023. The creators are looking for international broadcasters and distributors.

Three Italian projects were presented during the Forum. A pre-school TV series in 2D, Nadia by Red Monk Studio, is about a 8-year-old strong girl who lives in Little Oak Town, a peaceful village that has had a special and magical bond with nature for centuries. Nadia trains daily in the ways of tuning into nature and tapping into the magic that flows all around them, facing new challenges. Anselmo Wannabe is a project by IBRIDO Studio for Children 6-9, in 2D. Anselmo is a very imaginative kid that in his dreams explores and lives many professions in the world. In each


Entertainment

STUDIO REDFROG Dinofables episode he embodies a different job, from the architect to the influencer to the journalist or veterinarian. The design is deliberately essential and modern. RaiRagazzi has shown a strong interest in the project and is among the potential partners. On the merchandising front, the creation of an app, kits dedicated to the various professions and books are planned. For the same age bracket The incredible adventures of a creative family by Panebarco, a series in 3D. The Panebarco are creatives and almost all the protagonists of the series have been inspired by family members, from the boss mother to the great-grandparents’ funerary urns! Through the episodes, however, you also talk about the world of children and their relationship with the digital world, and themes like feeling

of inadequacy, bullying, prejudice, fishout-of-water problems. They are looking for partners who can follow all aspects of production: animation, rendering and compositing.

EASTERN EUROPE This edition saw a strong line-up of Polish productions. Among these Icky and Poo by Animoon, a TV series in 2D, for preschoolers. The protagonists are two koalas and two best friends who discover some curiosities of their bodies by scraping off scabs, sneezing loudly, or passing gas right in front of each other’s noses. In this way the series explores the mysterious phenomena of our bodies. Welcome to Mamoko by Pigeon is an adaptation from the famous illustrated

“We participate each year at Cartoon Forum, last year was for our brand new series Calypso Cruise which is now in Co-development with major LATAM Broadcaster. To bring Corgi A Royal Family to the Cartoon Forum was as an evidence. Cartoon Forum is the major pitching and copro forum for animated TV projects. It’s an effective market for showcasing our content and find international and local broadcasters, investors, and other potential partners. For Corgi A Royal Family, we are looking for international and local broadcasters mainly. We are looking for local and international broadcasters.” Lahcen Bahij, CEO of Studio Redfrog

book Miasteczko Mamoko by Aleksandra & Daniel Mizielińscy. Preschooler series in 2D set in a fun, detailed and colorful world, it carries super safe content and core values like respect, empathy, sense of community. The project needs coproducers, investors, international sales agents, broadcasters. The Czech project Dinofables by Krutart, always aimed at the preschool target, amazed for its realization technique (2D, 3D, Cut Out), for the liveliness and uniqueness of the characters, and for the freshness with which it treats important social-emotional themes: the alliance between siblings, fear of the dark, not feeling brave enough...

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MIPCOM

The latest Children’s Productions at MIPCOM 2021 By Rossella Arena MIPJunior, the market to discover the latest kids’ content, took place this year during MIPCOM (11-14 October) at the Palais des Festivals, Cannes. Here are the latest children’s novelties presented by animation studios and companies from all over the world. Annie & Carola and Mondo TV Iberoamérica, along with Rai Ragazzi, is a brand-new 52×7’ 2D HD animation for 3-6-year-olds. Based on the globally popular preschool publishing property Olga the Cloud – created by Nicoletta Costa– it tells the story of Nina, a little girl who is a special friend of Olga, a cute and funny cloud, and how Olga helps Nina to cope with everyday emotions. This rich and colorful show is already creating a buzz ahead thanks to its recent and successful launch in Italy. With pre-schoolers in mind – and offering an appeal accessible to children across all cultures – comes The Wee Littles, a

Nina & Olga In 2021 MIPCOM was back in Cannes with targeted days (11-14 October) of inperson networking, pitching, conferences and content discovery through the world’s largest Screenings Library of kids’ content. Here are the latest children’s novelties presented by animation studios and companies from all over the world. Mondo TV had much news to share. First of all, the launch of Mondo TV Studios S.A. has been announced. Two Mondo TV divisions – Mondo TV Iberoamérica and Mondo TV Producciones Canarias – are now operating together under the Mondo TV Studios name. With two former divisions now operating under one brand, Mondo TV Studios is expected not only to be stronger but to be more flexible, agile and competitive. At MIPJunior the group presents new exciting titles. Nina & Olga, a co-production between Enanimation

The Wee Littles


Events

and Quebecor (French-speaking Canada). The TV series (52 x 11’) which is based on STUDIOCANAL’S highlyacclaimed theatrical hit, ‘The House of Magic’, features a band of talented and curious kids who dream of becoming magicians. Lorenzo, a retired magician of international renown, and his nephew have turned their old mansion into Presto! School of Magic, where Lisa, Dylan and fellow aspiring magicians Nica, Violet and Vincent, learn the tricks of the trade.

Paddles

new 52 x 5’ animation for 3-6-year-olds produced by MagPie 6 Media in a unique style: simulated stop-motion animation with puppets made by leading puppetmaking studio Mackinnon & Sunders. The Wee Littles is about a family of four very small creatures – mum, dad, Bitsy and Itsy – living in a great big forest world where ferns and bushes tower over you like trees. Mondo TV and Toon2Tango are joining forces with Ja Film, Belvision and Ginger Pictures, for Monster Loving Maniacs, an animated 52 x 11’ genderneutral 2D adventure-comedy for sixto ten-year-olds. Mondo TV Group, Toon2Tango and ZDF along with ZDF Enterprises will jointly co-produce a new series (3D CGI, 52 x 11), based on the classic property Grisù as created by its original authors Nino and Toni Pagot. Highly original, very funny and getting a great response from potential broadcast partners, Annie & Carola (2D full HD 52 x 11) centers around Carola, a nerd with no social skills who builds a robot clone called Annie to be her best friend. Premium kids content distributor Federation Kids & Family has struck a series of deals with key international broadcasters for the premium TeamTO produced animated comedy series Presto! School of Magic. The mesmerizing series which was produced with M6 and TéléTOON+, and previously sold to RTBF and VRT (Belgium), has now been picked up by Discovery (Latin America), RTS (Switzerland), Showmax (English speaking Africa), NRK (Norway)

Presto! School of Magic The new original animated series Superpigs (26 x 22’) was born from the collaboration between Planeta Junior and Fourth Wall. It is a fast-paced, entertaining and humorous series for 5-9 year-olds; it follows our crime-fighting superheroes as they battle to outwit The Big Bad Wolf and defend the Metropolis of Fairyland. Jez Hall, who has 32 years experience in the animation industry, was appointed as director.

Paddles, a charming and very funny 52 x 11’ series, tells the story of a polar bear cub accidentally delivered by the Stork to a frozen River Shannon in Ireland – and brought up by a pack of Irish wolfhounds. The media company FuturumKids plans to build on the success of Paddles with new projects, some of which will be unveiled at MIPJunior. They include pre-school show Ling Ling, the story of a wide-eyed panda newly arrived from Shanghai at Tavistock’s International School for Animals, London’s premier – and most eccentric – pre-school. The rollout of Paddles merchandise is also at an advanced stage. In fact, an e-commerce platform has been launched for both Paddles and all future FuturumKids properties and the first range of Paddles products is already on the way. It will comprise a number of SKUs, ranging from plush toys to apparel, dinnerware, bubble mix and school bags.

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emotions, have fun and never give up! Canada’s Sinking Ship Entertainment (SSE) communicated a raft of new sales ahead of MIPJunior. BBC Children’s Productions’ recent reboot of the iconic series The Demon Headmaster has sold to Discovery Latin America and NRK in Norway, while the tween mystery series The Unlisted has gone to Ypsilon in Spain and E-Vision across the Middle East and North Africa. The newest seasons of Odd Squad have landed with the BBC, SRC, and ABC Australia, while season 2 of Endlings has also sold to ABC Australia and Canal + in France. Additionally, TFO in Canada has licensed Odd Squad Season 1 and Annedroids Seasons 1 and 2. Dino Dana is planning among his novelties a museum experience in European locations The range will appear in the UK market to coincide with the launch of Paddles on Cartoonito UK. With the recent acquisitions for their Fall 2021 slate, CBC & Radio-Canada Distribution, the international content licensing arm of Canada’s public broadcaster, has set MIPJunior 2021 to introduce its extensive new line-up of kids live-action and animated programs being offered to this year’s international broadcasters. Newly acquired for distribution by CBC & Radio-Canada Distribution are: Do Not Enter! (26 x 22’), a modern live-action comedy based on the bestselling books Défense d’entrer! (Do Not Enter!); Glowbies (Season 1: 26 x 12.5’ | Season 2: 7 x 12.5’ | Season 3: 5 x 12.5’), a new upper preschool animated series all about friendship and teamwork that launched on CBC Gem and CBC Kids in June 2021; Gary’s Magic Fort, a 13 x 11’ series produced by CBC Kids. Gary, in his enchanted pillow fort home, shows us how to explore and learn about our Odd Squad

Mr Magoo

Leo the Wildlife Ranger and a burgeoning relationship with Safari Ltd. for new dinosaur toys. SSE attended virtual MIPJunior this year, and launched the new Fred Rogers Productions series Alma’s Way to the international market. Produced for PBS KIDS and created by Sesame Street alum Sonia Manzano, this

transitional preschool series aims to help children think through their decisions and solve problems. Xilam is currently in production on Mr Magoo season two, with the first episode available at MIPJunior 2021 and full delivery scheduled for September 2022. This new second season is co-directed by Christophe Pinto and Eric Bastier and will bring audiences more wild pursuits, gadgets, and unexpected plot twists. The three special episodes will unveil the character’s origins and show how they all met each other. Omens Studios revealed securing a raft of key international deals for season two of its hit CGI animated series Leo the Wildlife Ranger. This second season sees more exotic wildlife, more adventures, and fun for the protagonists, as well as an expanded cast of new Junior Rangers from around the world.



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Marketing

KPOP

K-pop, the new trend in advertising By Matteo Melani Because of their high visibility on social networks, South Korean artists advertise international and luxury brands.

affordable products, South Korean stars have recently started advertising luxury goods as well. K-pop artists are now, after influencers, the leading spokespeople for international audiences.

THE BTS TREND

Founded in 2010, this band of South Korean teenagers reached international success in just a few years, with songs that have topped music charts worldwide. Like all celebrities, BTS have been contacted for product placement and brand advertisements both on television and on social media. One of their most recent collaborations was with McDonald’s, with a promotion in 50 countries. For the launch of the BTS Meal - with 10 Chicken Mc Nuggests, World Famous Fries, and a medium Coke – McDonald decorated

BTS for Samsung K-pop bands promote brands, open international events and have millions of followers on their social media profiles. K-pop artists, a popular music genre originating in South Korea, are teenage idols and in the last two years have been chosen to endorse products on a global scale. Their strength is their high visibility on social media. Nowadays, for a product to be successful it needs a good online reputation, and this applies to both small and global brands. With a K-pop singer as a brand ambassador, brand recognition is greatly boosted. In addition to the popular band BTS, female groups and solo artists are also used in marketing campaigns. They offer huge exposure since their social media is followed by millions of people, with many comments and shares under every post. In addition to more

The BlackPink


Marketing

boldness they never knew they had,” said Salman Butt, senior marketing director for Asia Pacific at Pepsi. The campaign will involve retail outlets and social media. Limited edition Pepsi products will be released at some shops in Malaysia and Singapore with the girls’ images on them. Then there will be a marketing campaign to increase brand awareness through various platforms, with giveaways planned for those who sign up.”

LUXURY BRAND PARTNERSHIPS

been endorsing Samsung, and their latest advertisement promotes foldable smartphones.

BLACKPINK’S CHARM

While BTS have been chosen by multinationals to promote products, the female band BlackPink has been chosen as Pepsi’s brand ambassador for SouthEast Asia for the next few years. The marketing campaign aims to highlight female creativity through the stories of the band’s four girls: Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa. The name of the campaign is ‘Go All In For What You Love’, is intended to encourage the next generation of girls to be fearless. “Our latest campaign will focus on encouraging the younger generation to pursue their dreams and put them on the right path, to find the inner strength and

rooms inspired by the recipes of the South Korean Mc Donald’s chain. The initiative has had mixed reactions: on the one hand it was enthusiastically received by customers in the countries involved (South Korea, USA, Austria, Greece, etc.), while in the excluded countries (Great Britain and Italy, for example) there was great disappointment. In fact, the disappointment was so great that that in a matter of a few days Italian fans started a Change.org petition to bring the BTS Meal in Italy as well. This is a great example of how powerful BTS are internationally. For the past two years, the group has

In addition to adult audiences, the luxury market also includes some millennials who want sophisticated clothes and accessories. Even in this niche market, K-pop artists are very popular. In fact, they are most popular in North America and the Asia-Pacific region, the main growth drivers for the luxury market. As with other market segments, the luxury market is increasingly using social media and, according to data from Listen First, the most popular fashion posts (likes, comments and shares) were those featuring BTS and BlackPink. In autumn 2021 BTS signed a contract to advertise Louis Vuitton’s clothes through fashion shows and photo shoots. The campaign started off with a bang, so much so that the posts launching the collaboration alone drew orders from all over the world. So, no matter what the product, social media popularity is guaranteed with K-pop stars.

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VIDEOGAMES

Videogames and advertising, an opportunity for manufacturers and retailers By Matteo Melani Recently, a number of brands have added video games to their marketing strategy in a bid to reach young customers and win over more consumers. Up until a few years ago, brands relied primarily on commercials on themed television networks or radio to win over younger audiences, but nowadays video games can reach millennials across the globe and engage them in their initiatives. Gaming innovation has increased the amount of time spent in front of PC or smartphone screens, leading to total revenues of $180 billion for the gaming industry in 2020, more than double the revenue of the film industry ($75 billion). To advertise their brands or products, many companies rely on cloud-gaming, which does not require software or devices, just a subscription that can be renewed weekly or monthly. For example, Amazon’s Luna allows its members to play various games online for $5.99 a month. Alibaba has also expanded its cloud-gaming facility to enable regular or occasional customers to have a bit of fun while searching for a product. Instead of creating games, Amazon and Alibaba are promoting existing ones. In addition to the solutions available on their own sites, some companies have designed other user experiences. For example, in 2019 Adidas released Baseball Next Level, a game that allows users to play on social channels, and purchase sport products. A video game doesn’t require excessive costs, as most of those used by retailers have simple systems that are also suitable for general audiences.



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THE BENEFITS OF GAMING PLATFORMS

The first benefit of a gaming platform is that it enables its users to have a new experience while promoting its name in an entertaining way. This boosts the relationship with regular customers and makes it more likely to attract new ones. While big-tech companies such as Amazon also use video games to gather data from their members to research their preferences, smaller brands are exploiting the potential of animated games to promote their brands. In fact, several companies have partnered with game development companies to adapt their collections into gaming systems. Simulation games are the ones that best lend themselves to brand collaborations because users can choose more options for their avatar or mission. The Sims series, distributed by EA Games, simulates the entire life of its characters, from interactions at work to everyday mishaps. Over the years, EA Games has included Gucci and Valentino designer clothes in the characters’ clothing options, to enhance the game’s content and strike cobranding deals. Obviously, this is another opportunity for the advertising brands to showcase their collections. Design Home, a flat design game app with more than 90 million downloads, has allowed several furniture and home accessory brands to showcase their products among the items that users can select to virtually furnish their space. For

brands, this is an opportunity to advertise their products in the fast-growing sector of game design. Design Home has been a great success, so much so that in addition to the game it has also opened an e-commerce site with furnishing products inspired by the game.

ANIMATED GAMES EXPERIENCES

A video game provides users with a more engaging experience as compared to an ordinary video advertisement. In addition to small brands, top brands have also realised the marketing value of video

games. One example is Burberry, which in 2019 created the B Bounce video game: players race a deer-shaped character to the moon, using supercharged Burberry puffer jackets. Winners are awarded custom made GIFs and virtual Burberry puffer jackets edited onto a digital picture of their choice. B Bounce can be played online as well as in the Regent Street shop in London, providing entertainment for children while their parents’ shop. In 2020 it launched Ratberry, a similar game concept in honour of the Chinese New Year, Year of the Rat. Karl Lagerfeld created a video game to promote the Pixel Collection in Pac Man style. Both B Bounce and Karl Lagerfeld’s video games offer prizes for the winners. Louis Vuitton and Gucci have also created video games with vintage characters. Whether companies want to focus on online or in-store commerce, a video game is a marketing tool that can provide additional excitement and fun.



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Retail

GREEN

Retail trends, sustainable initiatives in shops and shopping centres By Matteo Melani Now that consumers have become increasingly concerned with the environment, retail chains have adapted to this trend by launching initiatives that promote opportunities related to sustainability: from recycling trash and adopting renewable energies, to creating new green spaces. In addition to products on offer, sustainability marketing can also extend to the buying and selling experience. For example, the New York Mall of America set up a park with 30,000 plants and 300 trees that not only beautifies the entire complex but also purifies the air in a completely organic way. These initiatives can attract new customers and strengthen brands’ standing in the market.

One such initiative was launched by Ikea, the Effetto Vaia, a line of products made with wood from trees destroyed by the Vaia storm that hit the border between Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia in 2018. Effetto Vaia is the story of a negative event that resulted in a positive second chance, of something considered lost that gained new life, of a virtuous circle born from a catastrophe. Ikea’s intention was to demonstrate not only its positive impact on the planet but also its closeness to local communities and regions.

AN INCREASINGLY GREEN AWARENESS From fashion and cooking to information technology, today’s consumers demand not only environmentally friendly products but also want sustainability from the companies that produce the products. In recent years, various events have shown that the health of our planet is important to all age groups, especially younger generations (children and teenagers) who


Retail

have been inspired by Greta Thunberg’s Friday For Future Days’ student strikes demanding meaningful changes to combat CO2 emissions. But even among young people and adults, concern for the environment is an issue that has grown more and more in recent years. Just think of the victory of Green political parties around the world and Joe Biden’s election campaign, which also focused on environmental policies that helped him win the White House.

IKEA’S PHYGITAL COMMUNICATION While sustainability is a relatively new concept for some brands, for Ikea it has long been a distinctive feature that has allowed it to conquer a growing market share. From its foundation to the present day, the multinational furniture company has made green marketing its main communication tool. From products on shelves to services such as catering and the playroom, every element reminds customers of Ikea’s respect for the environment. For example, with the Effetto Vaia concept, Ikea didn’t just display signs describing the initiative, but also set up photos and videos of the fallen trees with explanatory texts. However, effective green communication is not only limited to physical shops but also extends to the internet. For instance, in its sponsorship of The Great British Bake Off programme, a cooking show series soon to be broadcast on the BBC,

Ikea ran an online advertising campaign for green friendly products, promoting the best ones and highlighting their durability, as well as a 100% studentoriented campaign for products designed specifically for university students.

ALL SUSTAINABLE EXPERIENCES The example of Ikea demonstrates that environmental friendliness is a theme

that can be extended to all retail and marketing areas in order to convey a company’s values and raise awareness among potential customers. A physical shop is not only a place where people go to buy, but also to have fun. Undoubtedly attracting people with trees and plants, as MofA in New York did, is a winning concept. But in terms of green attractiveness, Citycon, a retail chain with Malls in Northern Europe (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia and Denmark) is a real institution. In addition to being equipped with solar panels and LED lights, Citycon shops also have ample parking for bicycles and charging stations for electric cars, encouraging people to move away from polluting vehicles. In the last two years, Government Departments have partnered with local associations and companies in initiatives to promote sustainability, such as setting up beehives for honey production on the roofs of shopping centres in Finland. The initiative has been a sounding board for Citycon to promote its name in other contexts. In summary, it is safe to conclude that sustainability is a key component of competing in present and future markets.

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INFLUENCERS

New trends, influencers and their own brands By Matteo Melani Big influencers are currently among the most popular personalities, influencing public opinion and the millions of followers on their social channels through their content. . sells elegant and casual clothing. In a few years, Are You Am I has become a leading brand for people who love luxury and quality. This is an example that demonstrates the marketing effectiveness of influencers. In fact, in addition to knowing their target audience, they can attract media attention, especially for gossip and entertainment news. This popularity allows influencers to form partnerships with retailers and get their names into shops.

Up until a few years ago, most influencers only advertised products of well-known brands, but some have started to launch their own brands. In 2014, fashion influencer Rudi Dawson founded the brand Are You Am I, which produces and

THE RISE OF THE INFLUENCERS To compete on the web it is not enough just to advertise quality products, you also have to build a narrative that is consistent with the needs of your target audience. Today, when smartphones allow access

Chiara Ferragni to the internet at any time and social networks are frequented every day, users demand quality content that can satisfy their every need, from information to entertainment. Chiara Ferragni is the epitome of a successful influencer. After launching her blog The Blonde Salad in 2009, she subsequently launched collections under her name, such as a recent line of jewelry created in collaboration with Morellato. A similar path was pursued by Jeanne Damas, who started with a Tumbrl profile where she shared moments from her personal life and her styles. Within a few years, her content attracted the attention of designers and photo agencies and in 2016 she launched Rouje, a brand that sells clothes and footwear.


Trends

CLIO ZAMMATTEO: FROM TUTORIALS TO WORLDWIDE SUCCESS Fashion is not the only sector tackled by influencers. Continuing with online celebrities, Clio Zammateo was one of the first beauty experts to exploit the web and make a name for herself. In 2008, she created her own YouTube channel, Clio Make Up, where she gave advice on mascara and lipstick. Since then she has become a true icon for women with a passion for personal care, and a successful television personality, so much so that she has hosted two programmes for Real Time (Clio Make Up in 2012 and Clio Pop Up in 2020). She also launched her own brand, Clio Make Up, named for the YouTube channel that made her famous.

DIGITAL AND PHYSICAL SUCCESS

Clio Make Up Store

The products that influencers produce are not only aimed at their target audience, but also at those who are not fans within the sector. The name of a big influencer communicates reliability and success and is therefore a way for a shop or marketplace to find new sales opportunities. Clio Make Up products can also be found in

marketplaces such as Amazon and in the pop-up shops that she has opened around Italy since 2019. Jeanne Damas, on the other hand, has focused on combining the worlds of fashion and food, opening her shop in Paris with a restaurant. In short, after big brands, influencers represent a new opportunity for anyone working in commerce and communication.

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SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainable innovation in business: A green vision in licensed partners By Rhayanne Dutra With the current situation in the world, experiencing constant environmental problems and major climate changes, people needed to learn to replenish natural resources, so that our planet has more and more time to live.

This need led to the creation of several sustainability programs and movements around the world, such as Greenfest, Save the rief, green talent and many others. Actions like these were over the years becoming more and more important and necessary and even considered a highlight in the world. With this, many companies and brands started to join actions, certifications and programs like these, in order to somehow help transmit and provide improvements around the world with their products and sales. After all, what does it mean to be more sustainable, from a business and brand point of view? Sustainability goes far beyond trying to save the entire planet, it has to do with each one doing their part to make the planet even better and longer lasting.

What is important in this whole concept is to balance all financial, structural and production growth and development in order to provide a minimal impact on the localized and globalized environment. A company that strives to mitigate as much as possible the impacts caused by nonrenewable resources, has a vision of being more sustainable. However, the concept goes deeper than that, in which it aims to integrate not only the environment, but the economy, the social and even governance to business strategies and productions. Large automobile companies, with hybrid and electric cars, cosmetic companies, with the completion of animal tests and applications of environmental concepts in their production and strategies, technology companies, with casings that deteriorate better in the environment or even that emit less harmful waves to the

planet, and clothing companies, which are applying manufacturing of returnable and longer lasting clothing, are great examples of how sustainability has become in addition to being necessary for the planet, they have also become an unconditional value for the population. According to a webinar conducted by Pamela Gil-Alabaster, the sustainable concept has created more value for brands, improving their reputations by over 40%. Companies can significantly


Trends

become a powerful and positive force all around them, creating and leveraging the value of brands around the world. Why is this sustainable concept important for licensing? The sustainable vision starts directly with brands, although licensees can exercise this concept, a company that seeks change for all on its behalf is a great differential and a great generator of value. Licensed partners, upon becoming part of a certain brand, need to expand the concept that it is not just profit that makes the difference, but everyone around them, and sustainable programs and practices create this value and convey to consumers the importance we owe have for our planet, as our only home. By adhering to brands that do not respect these concepts, licensees are not only losing financially but also ethically. Therefore, when joining as a licensed partner of a certain brand, it is important to question these concepts relevant to the environment and the brands’ vision. Not only the licensed partner, as the agencies that provide the licensing, need to apply sustainability more and more, even in small things, in their routine. The way in which the sale of products is carried out and how the population is transmitted, the influence that these brands have for the people around us, all of this is a strong point for applying a movement that is entirely sustainable and not just profitable. Therefore, it is possible to see that our vision of brands in which we must unite must be related to how this brand produces its materials, the strategies used in its sales, transport and even governance. Licensees need to be great generators of monetary value, but above all great generators of ethical and humanitarian value.

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ESPORTS

How eSports are Expanding Their Reach Beyond the Games By Hannah Melotto, Journalist, USA Esports was valued at nearly $1.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to be worth almost $2 billion by 2022, a 20% annual increase in this figure since 2017.

Honda

The Japanese automobile company, worth over USD 50 billion, showed that e-sports can be popular for all types of businesses when they got into sponsoring gaming competitions in 2020. This has led Honda to get involved in many ways, from singlehandedly hosting an esports tournament in Thailand to sponsoring esports matchups between hockey players. Unlike some industries, E-sports have not been diminished with COVID-19 but may be growing because of it. Through March and April of 2020, Microsoft reported a 130% increase in multiplayer games engagement, with other giants in the industry reporting record numbers as well. Professional teams have been taking over the esports industry with sponsorships from brands like Red Bull and Intel rising, while more collaborations and products related to e-sports emerge. This is just one of the ways esports has been becoming less about the games themselves and more about the collaboration and reach esports can provide to various markets. So who are some of the companies expanding their reach and collaborative efforts through e-sports?

Intel

A computer company is a fairly logical collaborator for e-sports. This is why Intel has been sponsoring electronic sports since 2002 through computer and 5G donations to their partners. Intel sponsors many esports teams like ESL, CS: GO, Pro League, IEM, ESL 1, the Overwatch League, Intel Masters, and the ESL National championship. To date, Intel has invested over USD 100 million into their Intel Extreme Masters Tournament and other collaborations, while encouraging those in e-sports to continue their education by providing scholarships to the National Student E-sports or NSE students. Because of all the money that can be made in esports, collaborations have expanded beyond the obvious.


Trends

Such collaborations have shown that there is no shortage of collaboration in esports. There are currently about 221 million e-sports enthusiasts globally, with 23% or 1.9 billion people in the world being aware of what esports are. This is why you can expect varied and surprising collaborations to appear as the world of esports continues to expand.

Apparel Brands

Apparel brands, new and old, have been getting involved in the world of electronic sports. Like Gamers Apparel and H4X, some of these brands have been involved in esports since 2013 and 2017, respectively. Still, the growth of esports and its effectiveness as a collaborative tool can not be ignored.

In the same way, significant clothes brands get involved in producing sportswear, major apparel brands will get involved with esports. Companies like Adidas, Champion, Armani Exchange, and Gucci have been creating e-sports related apparel that bears their name for the esports community. In a world of personalized marketing and knowing your demographics, apparel brands can be expected to stay involved with the world of esports for years to come.

to sports we already watch. The world has never been more competitive than it is now, with every child being born into a globalized society that values competition and achievement above everything else. Sports have always appealed to this innate desire for greatness by giving people an outlet to exercise their competitiveness through physical activity. But what if kids don’t want to play soccer or basketball anymore? What if they prefer playing video games instead?

Conclusion

Esports is the next big thing in gaming and sports. With support from collaborations with companies like Intel, ASUS, Red Bull, Coca-Cola, and Monster Energy Drink, esports has become a billiondollar industry that grows each year with hundreds of millions of viewers per month. Suppose you’re looking for an opportunity to invest or want your business involved in this new trend of sports entertainment. In that case, there are more options for successful collaborations now than ever before. Not only do companies like AMD and Nvidia benefit from partnerships with esports, but so does our economy, which creates jobs at all levels by supporting industries such as hospitality (food service) and tourism (travel). This means that if you’re interested in getting into esports as a gamer, consumer, or collaborator, now is the time. With various collaborations in many business ventures, esports are expected to go nowhere anytime soon.

Esports is the future of gaming and will be taking over your TV in no time at all, similar

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NFT

THE INCREASING POPULARITY OF NFT... And how brand can use this as a licensing opportunity By Hannah Melotto, Journalist, USA

traditional forms of licensing, including having control over the use of their asset, tracking royalties on a lower cost base, and simplified payment terms across multiple territories. These and other positives are based around transparency via the blockchain technology that powers NFTs and increases their popularity among users. Brands can access a wider audience, who can purchase items they have created without having an exclusivity contract. As the NFT market continues to move forward, so will the benefits of utilizing this technology for business reasons. Non-Fungible Tokens or NFT’s are limited digital assets backed by cryptocurrency. This form of collecting and investing is becoming extremely popular in many sectors like collectibles, art, and other digital assets that utilize blockchain technology. The most expensive NFT ever was sold for almost $70 million in March 2021. There are three general classifications of NFT types.

• • •

An original or a copy of a work that is documented using blockchain or a DLT based system. Digital NFTs give ownership rights to the asset that the NFT consists of. NFT metadata provides a representation of ownership rights to metadata files related to the Internet.

Because of their blockchain technology, NFTs are unique and can not be returned, replaced, or have their assets divided, making NFTs a valuable asset for marketers that can be easily bought, sold, and managed. What do NFT’s Provide for Businesses? Businesses can create revenue by charging fees for creating and maintaining an inventory database that acts as an exchange. This has led to launching limited edition products aimed at merchandising opportunities while having brand loyalty and meeting consumers’ needs. The main goal of your business when creating NFTs is to ensure it has created an ecosystem for users to benefit from your NFTs. NFTs

offer

several

benefits

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Trends

have often been able to find rare or unique items which define them as a player. Developers wanted to reward players for playing their games by giving them things that would tell others about their accomplishments within the game world. Even though this was already happening before blockchain technology existed, these items were usually just static images with no real value beyond bragging rights. With blockchain technology, however, developers can now create limited edition items that have real value outside of the game and can be used within other games. What NFTs should your business create? To best decide what NFTs your business should create, you should look at ways

to interact uniquely with current and prospective customers by creating NFTs. Giving a business fun and engaging ways to market its brand through NFTs allows users to be part of this licensing opportunity. Customers receive tokens by buying them, earning them, or through other means- leading customers to engage further with a brand. In addition to the rarity of NFTs, the tokens can enhance digital experiences and be seen as investments to customers. In terms of increasing engagement, it seems logical that businesses would consider utilizing blockchain technology for this purpose. The ability to develop and update items means brands can adapt them throughout their lifespan. So, for

What kind of NFTs are out there? In 2021’s first half, the sales of NFTs were estimated to be between 1.3 billion and 2.4 billion, depending on the data you view. This is because NFTs can take many forms and be used by several businesses, here are some examples: Event tickets, Video Games, Collectible items, Pieces of art, Real assets, Memes, Videos, Music and Media, Virtual items. For those looking for an example of how a business can leverage NFTs through outside-the-box thinking, you can look at digital games. In video games, players example, if a product isn’t performing well after six months’ launch time, it could be changed by adding new features, altering aesthetics, or offering exclusive editions. And because users can be rewarded for engaging with these updates, they also have a financial incentive to stay loyal. The simple idea behind NFT technology is that it provides intelligent contracts which work as a digital representation of an asset. These assets could be anything from a traditional physical item to something more abstract - such as a share in a company or an individual’s data. Your business can utilize the power of NFTs as a licensing opportunity and a way to creatively connect with customers while increasing your business’s reach and overall profits.

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NETFLIX

Licensing, Netflix launches its e-commerce By Matteo Melani On Netflix.shop you can order accessories and clothing from TV series and manga.

Following the huge success of its many TV series, Netflix has now opened an e-commerce shop. Last June, the streaming giant launched Netflix.shop, its online store where you can buy items related to the shows it offers. On Netflix. shop you can find limited edition highquality clothing and lifestyle products featuring the series’ characters. The online shop is currently available only to the American public but could soon be extended to other continents. Netflix.shop is a licensing operation based on the relationship economy approach, which focuses on the relationship between brand and customer. The economy of trust understands customers’ needs and offers exactly what they want at the right time. As Chip Heath, professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business,

and Dan Heath, senior fellow at Duke University’s CASE Center, explain in their book The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, brand loyalty is built through experiences, because they can generate interest and enjoyment for the participant. With Netflix.shop, the media service is offering shoppers the chance to buy gadgets related to their favourite characters. The limited-edition products make the shopping experience even more sensational because they are available for a short time only. There are action figures based on the Yasuke and Eden anime series; as well as limited edition clothing and Lupin-inspired decorative items made in collaboration with the Musée du Louvre. Netflix has also provided emerging designers (Nathalie Nguyen, Kristopher Kites and Jordan Bentley) the opportunity to showcase their collection of anime-inspired objects. In other words, a storytelling that combines tradition and novelty in which emotions are the core of the experience.



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Retail

BLACK FRIDAY

Black Friday, last commercial opportunities before Christmas 2021 By Matteo Melani Now that restrictions are loosening, consumers are keen to get back to shopping. This applies both to e-commerce (which increased its turnover with the closures) and physical shops (which have been returning to normal in recent months). For retailers, the period between October and November is a time to assess shopper trends ahead of Christmas, a time when consumers usually spend more at this one time than they do in the rest of the year. Halloween, celebrated on October 31st, was the first pre-Christmas test for shops and malls, and it usually involves not only children but also teens and adults. Compared to last year, there are hardly any restrictions in place in most countries around the world (the reopening of discos is even being discussed), and many young people took the opportunity to go out while kids went to the streets to “Trick or Treat.” It is a holiday that has become extremely popular in many countries for years and involves both the retail and licensing worlds. Black Friday is another commercial event imported from the US. It starts on the last Friday of November, which this year is on the 26th. In Europe and Australia many retailers have been offering discounts on different products on this date (from electronics to clothing and toys) and these discounts last until the following Sunday. Although it is true that large e-commerce platforms such as Amazon or Alibaba make it possible to comfortably order a product from home and receive it in a short time, it is also true that in-store shopping allows you to touch the items and enjoy all those experiential elements that would be impossible to get from a smartphone or computer. Between in-store and online shopping,

there will be lots of commercial opportunities over the next few months.

WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED FROM THE PANDEMIC With the outbreak of the pandemic, 2020 brought a decrease in disposable income and a lack of social interaction. However, it also accelerated many innovative processes that affected business. Firstly, the use of the internet, not only for online purchases but also for the introduction of new services such as click-and-collect, and new entertainment solutions such as live social media videos. For some brands (especially smaller ones) this evolution has been a real transformation, while for other larger international brands, it has simply been an extension of good business as usual. Now that we’re getting back to normal, the lessons of the pandemic will be useful for promoting brands and products around Halloween and Black Friday.

HALLOWEEN 2021, OFFLINE AND DIGITAL CONTENT To sell online it is not enough to just display your products, you need to find formulas that excite and engage users. Rubies, an international leader in Halloween clothing and TV series characters, has created a marketing campaign in which offline and online work together with content that has a common thread: television commercials, videos with influencers, signs posted on

streets... All these initiatives are aimed at capturing the attention of children and parents. Other popular products for Halloween are sweets. Many shopping malls and supermarkets hosted pop-up stores of food brands and pumpkin-themed decorations to attract customers. Shops were not the only places that brands used to sell their products, but also multiplex cinemas (with promotions combined with the purchase of tickets) and parks (at festivals or events).

A DIFFERENT BLACK FRIDAY

This year there will certainly be more people going to shops compared to last year. However, it won’t be the Black Friday of previous years, as online commerce has recently increased and the following Monday is Cyber Monday, a day of discounts on electronic products on e-commerce sites. Walmart has decided to close its shops on Thanksgiving and extend its Black Friday offers to the whole month of November. Best Buy and Target will also offer discounts on online purchases that can be collected in local shops. For several years now, Black Friday has turned into Black November. In addition to online shopping, there is also Prime Day promoted by Amazon, which gives shoppers the opportunity to buy products on favourable terms. So online and in-store shopping can go hand in hand, providing customers with the best and broadest shopping experience.



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INCLUSIVITY

Inclusion in manga and gaming By Alessandra Maccaferri At the last Children’s Media Conference (CMC), the only gathering in the UK for everyone involved in developing, producing and distributing kids’ content, companies and experts discussed how manga and gaming are valid means to promote inclusion. Inclusivity continues to be a very delicate and essential issue for everything related to the creation of content for children; for this specific reason it is important to discuss the issue carefully and competently at dedicated events. In the last Children’s Media Conference, the only gathering in the UK for anyone involved in the kids’ industry, the subject of inclusiveness was discussed in relation to two means widely used by children in everyday life, manga and gaming. In the panel Inclusion & Creativity: The Manga Connection, the real potential of manga for producers of children’s content - who usually don’t give it much consideration - was the topic of discussion. The host was Nigel Twumasi, the co-founder of mayamada, a UK manga brand set within a universe of original

characters and stories. With the help of comic book and manga artist Mikiko, child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Marcus Tan, and student Sabrina Sellami, Twumasi talked about what makes manga unique as a medium for inclusion. The most important features are a captivating, dynamic visual style of illustration that pulls in readers; authentic, emotionally diverse characters and stories; and an ability to tackle difficult topics in an authentic manner. “The decision to create our own brand that draws heavily from the manga medium was a considered one. Manga has such a diversity of storylines that we could really let our own imaginations run wild and not feel out of place. It has a natural ability to take on intense issues through appealing narratives and

characters in a way that doesn’t talk down to or patronize the audience. Dysfunction in families, corruption, gender roles, personal failure, same-sex relationships,

morality and even the very nature of truth can all be masterfully woven into stories” stated Twumasi. Mayamada’s properties include: Serious, an adventure that follows the rabbit Blake Serious from the poor neighborhood of Serveton to become a success in the big city known as “The Jungle”; 11th Hour, a thriller in which four strangers find their future intertwined and pushed to the limit to save everything they hold dear; Samurai Chef, an action-comedy cooking show where the Chef judges dishes with his sword; Hot Lunch, a high-stakes drama about the adventures of a band of thieves. The company Nigel also addresses video games and youth engagement at the industry-recognised social gaming event it operates called GamePad. Since 2015 their team have been promoting community and inclusion through video games. The event also provides a platform for young people from under-represented groups to gain experience in video games with their online and physical events.


Entertainment

playing video games can help build his self-confidence”. Another contributor to the panel was Andy Smith, the founder of Spectrum Gaming, an online community for autistic people. He talked about how Many contributors highlighted how it can act as a bridge for inclusion in children’s media and a platform that sparks further creativity. The 2021 edition was held on October 16th. Another panel, Inclusive gaming, was dedicated to the many benefits that young people can get from playing games (critical thinking, problem-solving, improved mental health ...) and the need for making game products as accessible and inclusive as possible to disabled and neurodiverse kids. The host was Adam Campbell, Director of Product at the global kids media company Macademia, combining two brands: Azoomee Kids, an award-winning app for kids featuring 100s of action-packed games, inspiring TV shows and fun DIY crafts, and Da Vinci Kids, a knowledge channel beloved by 60 million kids & families. He also runs StudioAC Games and POC in Play, Europe’s largest organization for racial inclusion in the video games industry. The panelist Nikki Hunter, the mother

of a gamer with cerebral palsy, said her son uses specialist equipment to be able to access gaming. She stated: “Some of the games are quite difficult for him because he doesn’t have the reaction times necessaries for a lot of video games or some games simply require too many controls for him to be able to use at once, but if you put him in front of a video game and you turn on the accessibility settings and you map out the keys you’re unlocking an entire world for him that he doesn’t usually have access to. I also think that

he created this concept about a year ago in May 2020, in the middle of lockdown, so that autistic people could have a place to be themselves. Spectrum Gaming has two parts, the under-13 and the over13 servers. There are some people over 30, or from the over-13 server, who are moderators on the under-13, which is beneficial to the younger players because they can talk to older autistic people about whatever they want. The community is a safe place to get together and play favorite games.

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KIDS’ CONTENT

The kids’ content business in Canada, China and India By Alessandra Maccaferri This year’s Children’s Media Conference (CMC) presented three webinars on kids’ content in Canada, China and India. how they produce Canadian content; this has helped companies survive even in recent years, while local commissions plummeted. According to a report from the Canadian Media Producers

The Cat in the Hat The Children’s Media Conference (CMC) offered an interesting selection of webinars on the business of kids’ content in Canada, China and India. In the panel focused on Canada, Ken Faier, Founder & CEO, Epic Story Media and Lisa Olfman, CEO and Co-Founder, Portfolio Entertainment, talked about the opportunities and challenges of working with Canadian clients or co-producers. They discussed how Canada is without a doubt a great place to produce content, but that it is impossible to survive if you are not oriented towards global choices. For the domestic market, Shaw Rocket Fund and Rogers Telefund support quality Canadian kids’ programming and creative content, and there are very dedicated domestic platforms too including TVOntario and Knowledge Network. The commissions that Entertainment companies manage to obtain in Canada are dependent

upon the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the public organization mandated as the regulatory agency for broadcasting and telecommunications. It provides broadcasters with greater flexibility around

Association (CMPA), domestic television production fell by almost 13% since the pre-pandemic period, and the kids’ sector was a big part of that drop, about 30%. For that reason, it has been necessary to direct efforts outside of Canada as well.


Entertainment

First of all, it must be cute and convey positivity in appearance, for example with a superhero look. Also from a storytelling standpoint, the different aspects of a characters’ personality are important. The best is if it has aspirational attributes that Chinese parents would want their kids to have (being very sporty, a computer genius, etc.) The character shouldn’t be

Where Oliver fits As Lisa Olfman stated: “When we initially started producing The Cat in the Hat we were producing it for PBS and then we brought it into Canada. We wanted to produce international shows because Canada is a small market. We had success with that and now we always look outside of Canada first”. The Covid emergency had some positive impact in terms of increased viewership but the business itself has been migrating more towards the streaming services; the two major commercial broadcasters WildBrain and Corus Entertainment have created more space for Canadian children’s content, but this may not be enough. In the future, Ken and Lisa would like to see more help from CRTC by implementing specific requirements to increase the number of Canadian commissions. As for the possibilities of co-production, Ken Faier added: “We’re always looking at what’s going to work in the U.S. and in the global market. We also look at China, we’ve got two productions we’re doing there with two different partners. In Europe obviously, we have co-production treaties with pretty much every European territory, as well as in Australia and other emerging territories. We’re very focused on making sure we can manage North America with partners who might be in the UK or in France, who can really help build a brand there. Collaborations with the UK and Ireland are particularly advantageous, due to the

Super BOOMi skill of the talent and the availability of tax credits and funds”. The webinar on China was led by Trevor Lai, CEO & Founder, UP Studios, and Alicia Liu, Founder & MD, Singing Grass. Together they discussed the characteristics that make for a successful IP in China.

a rebel. Trevor Lai explained: “If you’re talking about preschool, broadcasters and parents here would put more of an emphasis on the educational side. We see many shows that incorporate elements of Chinese culture or cultures of the world. An example is Super Wings by FunnyFlux Entertainment: it combines a universal element, the vehicles, which is something that obviously works, with the educational component of traveling all around the world. It was created in Korea but is now owned within China”. Alicia Liu confirmed the importance of the educational side: “I remember chatting with a western animation producer: she said that for her content contains a maximum of 30% learning, the rest has to be entertainment.

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trend topics for older boys are science fiction and psychology; audiobooks are also broadly enjoyed. The webinar on India was very thorough. India has the second largest population in the world and a talented workforce producing some of the best international content at a fraction of the cost. It has long been a guiding force for the growing AVGC (Animation Visual Effects and Gaming) business. Now, armed with over 18 co-production treaties and a host of

In China it is the opposite”. Alicia also mentioned that the kids’ publishing sector is currently very prosperous: one in three books sold in China is a children’s title. In general, there’s a massive demand for kids’ content, and licensing with the characters or theme park products has been showing massive growth. Western preschool brands are finding enormous success in China (Thomas the Tank Engine, Peppa Pig, Hey Duggee…) and over 53% of picture books are written by international authors. With books and brands for older children, there’s a real culture gap, because they are more related to Chinese culture and environments. Many Chinese children’s books don’t necessarily work so well for a western audience, and vice versa. In Chinese books, there is sweetness, peace, love for nature…difficult to convey even in

Monkie Kid sets by Lego

illustrations if you have not grown up in a certain culture. Western books often use fantasy characters that are problematic in China: traditional fantasy characters don’t exist or have a very different meaning. For example, in China dragons aren’t monsters to be fought, but they’re wonderful, good creatures and traditionally symbolize the Chinese Emperor. Alicia added: “Last year Lego launched Monkie Kid, a Lego theme which used western storytelling but combined it with this Chinese myth element of the Monkey King stories. To work on this kind of product, a global team with Chinese talent is needed”. The

local incentives under the new AVCG Policies, India is slowly adding many incentives that make Indian studios very appealing production partners. India has also seen a shift from a traditional hired workforce to reliance on more freelance efforts - increasing opportunities for International talent to work with Indian


Entertainment

studios. Increased digital penetration and a burgeoning subscriber base have led to an explosion of content consumption in India. This has not only stimulated content production for the domestic market but also attracted international players to develop content for the Indian audience. During the webinar, some Indian platforms, networks and animation companies explained what works best for them and what kind of content is being consumed on their platforms. Anu Sikka, Head of Creative, Content and Research Kids Entertainment Cluster, Viacom18, stated: “In India investment in original content continues to be driven by the linear broadcasting business, although the consumption of OTT is growing day by day. TV will have a monopoly for the next 4-5 years, especially in the kids’ category. Another trend that we have observed is that the shows which have excellent ratings on linear channels, continue to

Lamput

perform very well on OTT, but this trend is bound to change as the demand for original content grows and linear channels reach a saturation point in terms of investing in original local content. In terms of popular genres, it’s animation and not live-action that will dominate. To make a successful series in India, one should follow the formula for Hindi commercials, with a little bit of everything: comedy, action, funny dialogue…” Abhishek Dutta, the South Asia Network Head for Cartoon Network and POGO, said that even during the pandemic, they launched several coproductions and original shows. Among the most successful series Titoo, the localized version of Tom and Jerry, and Emmy-nominated Lamput, an animated comedy created in India and just renewed for season four. Smita Maroo, SVP, Animation, Kids Digital, L&M, Shemaroo Entertainment, explained that the favorite genres in India remain Indian mythology, slapstick and chase comedies, and action. International producers who want to pitch the company Indian themes or their take on certain Indian stories are always welcome. Chris Rose, VP Production and Development, Nickelodeon International & VIS Kids, talked about Indian projects becoming international. The Twisted Timeline of Sammy & Raj is a show about two boys who have an app on their phone which allows them to rewind, fastforward, pause and slow down time. In the show, there is slapstick humour and the emotional drive of more western storytelling components. There are many animation studios that are producing world-quality content in India. P Jayakumar, CEO, Toonz Media Group, stated: “We started off more

than two decades ago, at a time when animation was not even a sector in this part of the world. Today we produce over 10,000 minutes of 2D and CGI kids and family animated content per year. Over the years we have worked with the world’s leading studios, networks, and partners including Walt Disney, Sony Universal, BBC, Paramount...” Vikas Kumar, CEO & Founder, Digitoonz, said: “We have about 400 team members working in digital, mostly on 2D and 3D animation services. India is the best place for outsourcing or doing the actual production because of the kind and volume of artists we have, and our English-speaking talent; of course, labour is much cheaper here

The Twisted Timeline of Sammy and Raj as well. We are co-producing Atchoo! season two with Rai Television and Studio Campedelli”. Rajiv Chilaka, Founder & CEO, Green Gold Animation, affirmed: “Our passion lies in creating original IPs with great storytelling. Our recent Mighty Little Beam has been a huge success story worldwide and in a short span has become one of the most viewed kids shows on Netflix, and a triumph in the L&M field”. There are several bodies and organizations that support Indian companies in producing quality content in many ways: MEAI (Media & Entertainment Association of India), ABAI-Association for Animation, VFX, Gaming & Comics, TVAGA (Telangana VFX, Animation and Gaming Association) … The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) has Industries & Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT) Departments, promoting the digital empowerment of the citizens and business development through initiatives such as India Joy Fair, the largest congregation of Gaming, Animation, VFX, E-Sports and Entertainment events in India.

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Events

LIVE EVENTS

The importance of live events By Andrea De Amicis Thanks to the introduction of Covid health passes, live events are resuming all over the world. Today, more than ever, they are important for many reasons.

Live events are resuming all around the world. After a timid start in Q2 of 2021, Autumn/Winter 2021-2022 is full of incredible events that can now be attended with a bit of caution, but also with enthusiasm thanks to the popular use of the health pass: from Cartoon Forum and the Angoulême International Comics Festival in France, to the Turin International Book Fair and Lucca Comics & Games in Italy, the Frankfurt Book Fair and Spielwarenmesse – Nuremberg Toy Fair in Germany, Brand Licensing Europe

© Galia Prod

in the United Kingdom and Shanghai International Children’s BookFair in China. This return to normalcy has been long overdue: the events industry was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Today, huge percentages of the global population have received at least one dose of the vaccine, allowing live events to resume, but the event landscape has been dramatically reshaped since the beginning of 2020. Meetings look—and will continue to look—very different from

how they looked in 2019. Since most events are international and everyone is travelling with more caution, trade shows continue to combine a live version with digital innovations that were launched during the course of 2020. For example, the model started last year at the Nuremberg Fair and BLE will be repeated again this year. The Nuremberg fair is preparing a hybrid 2022 edition: the live edition will take place from February 2 to 6, while content and online networking will be accessible throughout the year. The Spielwarenmesse exhibitors and other purely digital exhibitors can present themselves digitally, with company profiles containing their products, brands and licenses. As for BLE, the in-person event will take place from November 17-


Events

said they’d had a negative experience with a digital-only offering, so a hybrid model may be more appealing. Every event brings to its audience a specific content, trends insights and many novelties that are difficult to experience from home. Particular attention is increasingly being paid to sustainability. Brand Licensing Europe will have a Sustainability sector in Licensing Activation, in partnership with Products of Change. Six zones highlighting different 19, with three days of networking, dealmaking and inspiration. The online event will be from November 30 to December 1, with two days of online meetings and networking; the online platform will remain open until February 28th. For its 2021 live edition, Cartoon Forum kept the app that was created during its 2020 Forum, which conveniently allowed you to see all the features and trailers of participating projects, with the contacts details related to each projects. The 2021 platform added the ability to request meetings, with useful information remaining on site. The Forum is also planning to use more digital resources for the next editions. Although being able to follow an event from home has its practical side, there is no comparison to the opportunities offered by a live event. In a survey by the Aventri and Bizbash companies involved in event organization, 40% of respondents stated that their primary motivation for getting back to live events is that the interaction, community, and connection

that a live event incubates, simply cannot be replicated elsewhere. In real life, projects and people can be seen in 3D, with human warmth and authenticity. Scheduled meetings with people from the industry allows for a better exchange of all the latest ideas and information. It also provides an opportunity to have more unscheduled meetings and be surprised by unexpected connections and events, which can happen at any time. People experience more joyful moments from the positive live feedback and appreciation of their work, and from all the social and relaxing events that each live event offers. All these elements provide a better environment to increase success and productivity. According to the survey, revenue opportunities also followed, with 31% stating that revenue generation was their primary motivation – totally understandable in light of the drought the industry has experienced over the past year. Fortunately, both can be achieved in some form through digital events and hybrid event formats, but only if the event organizers have the right technology to make it possible. A surprisingly high 26%

examples of sustainable innovation from across the licensing industry have been planned, for companies such as Teemill, Eden Project, Products of Change and Asda to display their approach to sustainability as well as take part in a branded clothes swap in support of The Light Fund. At Spielwarenmesse, the 2022 megatrend is Toys go Green. There will be a special area with four themed islands: “Made by Nature”, “Inspired by Nature”, “Recycle & Create” and “Discover Sustainability”. Nuremberg will also present many new innovations including a new Startup Area for companies established less than five years ago that want to present their original product ideas. The successful Internationale Spieleerfindermesse, The Game Inventor’s Fair, is coming from the Bavarian Games Archive in Haar to Nuremberg to ensure that the world’s leading toy fair is perfectly attuned to the needs of the international games community, and to increase its appeal in the area of roleplaying games. It will take place on Friday February 4th, during the Spielwarenmesse, as the Internationale Spieleerfindermesse - Game Inventors Convention.

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CHRISTMAS 2021

Licensed games and toys: new products for Christmas 2021 By Rossella Arena To mark the 12th edition of Digital Press Day, Assogiocattoli Association presented the latest 2021 Christmas novelties from a few of their members, including several licensed products. For 12 years the Assogiocattoli Press Day has showcased the latest trends and most exclusive new products for the Christmas season. The 2021 edition took place on September 15 as an entirely digital event. According to data provided by the research firm NPD during the event, the toy market is in sharp recovery: global sales increased by 15% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, and by 28 % compared to the first half of 2019. The highest growth trends are building sets, followed by plush, board games and card games. Fashion dolls and toys for early childhood close the top five. To celebrate games and toys, Assogiocattoli has launched the “Gioco per Sempre (Game Forever)” campaign, which aims to make families even more aware of the importance of play from a pedagogical, social and cultural point of view. But also, to do away with the concept of the seasonality of toys, as a gift solely linked to a specific occasion, like birthdays or holidays such as Christmas,

making it a tool to be used and enjoyed throughout time, from the first days of childhood until adulthood.

Arts case Disney Princess by Crayola

Love, Diana dolls -princess and superheroine by Giochi Preziosi

Here are some licensed new concepts from member companies.

Christmas stocking Bing by Giochi Preziosi

Crayola has the Disney Princess decorated Arts case, which contains an abundant selection of the best coloring products: washable markers, crayons, mini pencils and sparkling glitter glues. Giochi Preziosi presented Christmas stockings with different characters (Barbapapa, Bing, Me contro te…). For Bing, the big toy news this Christmas is the arrival of the “Big House of Bing” playset, full of activities. In the world of plush, children

will love dancing with Bing’s “Dance and play with you”, while learning about medical matters with the “Doctor Bing” plush. The “Bing’s Boat” playset for bath time completes the array of new products. Other new releases include the new Love, Diana dolls with two transformable outfit: princess and superheroine, mermaid and party dress. For Famosa, the new Pinypon hospital, with revolving tower and six different


Trends

Doctor Bing plush by Giochi Preziosi hospital areas, is worth mentioning. It has a reception area to welcome patients, an emergency room, a patient room to receive visits from friends and relatives, an X-ray room with interchangeable X-ray cards, and an operating room. In the building next door, there is a neonatal room with an incubator, and a room with a scanner with real lights; the set comes with a Pinypon doctor character. Even the influencers’ family GBR is part of the fantastic world of Pinypon. The new pack includes the four family members: dad Davide, mom Alessandra and their children Matilde and Nicolò, with nice accessories. You can complete the word search inside the package and have fun inventing lots of silly stories. The Pinypon Snow Hotel is

Advent calendar The Avengers by Lego also very fun, complete and comfortable. It has three floors: the entrance, the first floor and the mezzanine. On the ground floor, there is a large reception containing a fireplace with fire effect lights. There are two bedrooms on the main floor and a children’s room in the loft. It features many accessories: snowman, skis, snowboards, whirlpool, Christmas tree to decorate,

THE FIRST MONO-BRAND STORE OF THE PREZIOSI GROUP In the name of a tradition that is synonymous with toys in our country, the Preziosi Group has created its first mono-brand store, destined to amaze its loyal customers. With more than 600 square meters spread over two floors that open onto Piazza Duomo, it is a unique and unparalleled space inspired by Enrico Preziosi, created to home and showcase the company’s toys. The store has an expressive, clearly defined identity that is reflected in the choice of furnishings, lights and product displays. The location contains a myriad of areas to discover, structures to explore, and interactive services to provide children with unique experiences. The shop is designed as a mix between a more playful part for children and a more vintage one designed for parents, grandparents and carers who have grown up with Giochi Preziosi toys. In the heart of the shop on the ground floor, TRAM 19 - with a 1978 license plate from the year the company was founded faithfully reproduces a place where children can take a souvenir photo. The miniature reproduction of a balcony and royal box of La Scala in Milan welcome an irresistible collection of soft Trudi plushies. The design was entrusted to the Milanese studio 23 Bassi which faithfully transformed Preziosi’s values into colours and shapes.

barbecue, and a picnic table. It includes one Pinypon figure and one Pinypon Baby figure, both with fabric accessories. Lego has several themed advent calendars at the ready, including The Avengers, which contains seven minifigures of Iron Man, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Thor, Captain Marvel, Thanos and Nick Fury. It also has exciting items and accessories

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interactions with Pink Yoshi, and by defeating Boom Boom and Goombosso. The “nougat” colored bricks in the Tower biome also trigger different responses from Luigi, while the Question Mark Block gets you extra rewards. In Lego’s free Super Mario app, you can find building instructions and inspiration for rebuilding levels, etc. in countless different ways.

Barbie Dough Creative Kit - Backpack By Lisciani

require the use of scissors or glue, have a unique design, and are perfect for family play. There are also Plastoy piggy banks that reproduce the main characters from the series (Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger) and a 3D puzzle with plush, from Prime3D.

Lisciani Giochi will be offering Barbie Dough, an exclusive European licensed line with glittery and colorful modeling pastes that inspire creativity and imagination. They are available in different multipacks or in single packs with a brand new, super fashion design. There are also fun playsets for making clothes, accessories and many other creations related to the world of Barbie. With the development of modeling pastes in

from the Marvel universe which kids will love: a Quiniet, a Helicarrier, a SpiderMan drone, an Avengers Tower and more. As the big day approaches, children can combine gifts to create endless and exciting superhero adventures. Harry Potter and Star Wars advent calendars are also available. For Younger Boys there is The Adventures of Luigi – a Starter Pack featuring the Super Mario character which comes alive instantly and expressively on LCD screen and speakers. Players earn digital coins by helping Luigi complete whirlwind and flying challenges, through

Money box Hermione Granger by Plastoy L’Orsomago This autumn Mattel will present the Thomas & Friends Mega Tower of Sodor, an 87 cm high track that the trains in the package can speed along. It offers 360 ° gameplay thanks to four floors and 13 junctions; the track features fantastic sound effects for the first time as well as iconic Sodor locations and characters that true fans of the Thomas Train saga will instantly recognize. The package includes one motorized Thomas, one Percy, one freewheels Harold, one Bulstrode and a

Plus Puzzle 3D Harry Potter by L’Orsomago

Hogwarts Castle by CubicFan

2021, Lisciani became an international partner with Mattel for the development of the compound category, expanding the licensed offering of its existing arts & crafts category. L’Orsomago presented lots of Harry Potter products, a universe that never goes out of fashion and that continues to inspire companies all over the world that specialize in entertaining, engaging and educating children. One of the most recent products is the Hogwarts Castle Cubicfun puzzle: the Cubicfun puzzles are simple to assemble, do not

Thomas & Friends Mega Tower of Sodor by Mattel


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Barbie Restaurant by Mattel cargo loading. There are lots of new Hot Wheels releases this autumn, such as the City Car Wash Color Reveal, a 120cm long track that leads to a special car wash with lift, bowls for the magic of Color Reveal, loops and… a giant Octopus that controls everything! As for Barbie, kids can go to dinner in her restaurant playset, with seven different play areas and over 40 accessories. It has absolutely everything needed to satisfy its customers: a pizza oven which changes the color of the pizza, a moveable grill for tasty barbecues, and a display case with sweets. The playset comes in a transportable case so that it can easily be carried around and enjoyed with friends. Melissa and Doug Paw Patrol portable easel

Peg Perego Ducati Desmosedici Evo

Plush Star Wars - The Mandalorian (The Child) Melissa & Doug also has many new arrivals in the Paw Patrol license: a portable easel with blackboard, 37 giant 3D scenes of the cartoon, a wooden stamp set with eight vehicle stamps, eight character stamps, two washable inks, and a 12-page activity book. For its rechargeable battery riders, Peg Perego has started a new partnership with Ducati for the Ducati Desmosedici Evo electric motorcycle suitable for two years and up, and the Mini Ducati Evo, for one year old and up. For the Jada and Minecraft brands, Simba Toys is proud to present the Nano Overland playset with unique settings, functions and characters to bring the passion for online gaming to the real world, as well as a collection of 20 refined and highly detailed metal figurines. In plushes, there is Disney’s new Mickey and Friends line (Minnie and Mickey Mouse) and Star Wars - The Mandalorian (The Child).

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COMICS

Comic Book Passion

Lucca Comics & Games 2021

By Rossella Arena The comic book industry generates big revenues in publishing with impressive numbers of sales and a wide-reaching audience. Here is the latest news from the comics industry. The Billion-Dollar comic book industry continues to thrive. With a few exceptions - sales fell a little in 2017, for example - comic book sales have been rising consistently for decades. According to Publisher’s Weekly, sales of comic books and graphic novels topped $1.28 billion in 2020, an all-time high. With comic conventions cancelled and people not taking vacations, many fans concentrated on rounding out their collections. According to 360 Research Reports, the global comic book industry is expected to reach nearly $4.69 billion in 2026 - up from $3.87 billion in 2020 - for a compounded annual growth rate of 3.3%. Here are the latest updates from some comic book publishers operating in international markets. IDW announced the new series My Little Pony: Generations and, after a nineyear run, the finale to the long-running Friendship is Magic comic book. The new series started in October and was written by Casey Gilly and illustrated by Michela

Cacciatore. It is a new five-issue miniseries that will see the Ponies from two separate generations collide, as the familiar face from Friendship is Magic must call upon the original G1 Ponies of the 1980s for

The 2021 edition of Lucca’s multidisciplinary festival saw a renewal of the main media collaboration with Rai, and with Amazon as the official e-commerce partners. As for publishing news, rapper Ensi presented the graphic novel Sanctuary 2105 (BeccoGiallo editions) and publisher Sergio Bonelli presented a documentary, Bonelli Story, and a conference on the 80th anniversary of the publishing house. The publisher brought classic authors ZeroCalcare and LRNZ to their stand, and special guest Roberto Saviano, with the highly anticipated graphic novel I’m Still Alive. At the Eris Edizioni stand there was a robot that allowed readers to have a book dedicated to them in real-time, thanks to a webcam, headphones with microphone and two screens on which they could connect to artists from around Italy and the world. Once the dedication was completed, the design was printed on an adhesive label and pasted on the book. And for younger visitors, limited edition prints and products, and artwork created exclusively for the event could be purchased at the Nicoletta Costa Store stand. Fantasy fiction between cross-media and transpositions arrived in Lucca with events dedicated to Dune and Dante, as the audiobooks of Audible, and the art of the Performance Area. In gaming, the ESL Italian Esports Open was back and, on the occasion of the upcoming release of the Arcane TV series on Netflix, an exhibition was set up in collaboration with Riot Game. In the area dedicated to videogames, attendees could try new games such as Tales of Arise, Scarlet Nexus, or Little Nightmares II.


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Another new title, The Girl who Wanted to Become a Stone by cartoonist Sio will arrive in bookstores on November 25. New titles from BOOM! Studios include Getting Dizzy, available in November 2021: from New York Times bestselling author Shea Fontana, acclaimed artist Celia Moscote, colourist Natalia Nesterenko, and letterer Jim Campbell, a superhero story that reveals a true hero is nothing without her friends. Angel, the latest Buffyverse adventure about a vampire with a soul, is coming in January 2022 for a brand new eight-issue series.

help against a new witch threat erupting from the Volcano of Doom. Feltrinelli Comics published The Fourth World War in Italy, written and illustrated by Marco Taddei and Spugna: centuries have passed since the Third World War, and we are now in the midst of the Fourth. The planet is on fire, battered by constant conflict between dozens of different factions. Otto and Burger, bitter enemies on the battlefield, decide to join forces on a secret mission to restore peace to a world that no longer knows its meaning.

Angel

SHOOT THE BOOK ANGOULÊME, THE FIRSTEVER MARKET FOR AUDIOVISUAL COMICS ADAPTATION. For its 2022 edition, the Festival’s International Rights Market (MID in French) will be joining forces with SCELF (the “Société Civile des Éditeurs de Langue Française”, or Civil Society for French Language Publishers), to launch an outstanding event: Shoot the Book Angoulême! With this inaugural market dedicated to the audiovisual adaptation of comics, already a feature of other prestigious events such as the Cannes Film Festival, the American Film Market in Los Angeles and the Shanghai International Film Festival, the International Rights Market reasserts its position as the French leader in the transfer of rights in the 9th Art realm. The Shoot the Book event has two stages: a jury of audiovisual professionals initially select ten books among applications submitted by publishers by October 29; then, the selected works will be presented on the International Rights Market’s stage to producers by the rights managers on Wednesday 26 January 2022. In addition to this pitching session, a conference on the subject and one-to-one meetings between producers and publishers will be held. For more information: https://www.bdangoulemepro.com/en

Editrice Il Castoro has published Diana: Princess of the Amazons. From the New York Times best-selling authors Shannon and Dean Hale, a DC Comics graphic novel about Wonder Woman’s childhood, for readers aged nine and up. A comingof-age story on the importance of making and learning from mistakes in order to become a real “hero”. Another novelty is Electra by Brian Freschi, illustrated by Elena Triolo. Electra is no good at sports. Unfortunately, her mother insists on having her try them all: volleyball, tennis, archery, just to name a few. But after seeing the “Coppélia” ballet at the theatre, she discovers what she really wants to do.

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In November Eris Edizioni will publish Big Questions, by Anders Nilsen, one of the most important North American graphic novels in recent years, which had yet to be published in Italy. The book, which in 2012 earned the author a Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize and an Ignatz Award for best graphic novel, is a compilation of previously self-published stories, now

MEDIATOON LICENSING Mediatoon Licensing manages Media Participations’ portfolio of licenses. Media Participations is the 3rd largest publishing company in France; with its Chinese sister company and network of 15 agents worldwide, it is now one of the leading licensing agents in entertainment in Europe and China. Gaston, Lucky Luke, Marsupilami, Boule & Bill, Yakari are licensed across countless products and communication, in amusement parks, escape games, or musicals around the world. Mediatoon Licensing also represents many successful Japanese properties such as Naruto, Hunter X Hunter, or Fairy Tale. For Naruto the Don’t Call me Jennyfer collection has recently been very successful sold out in just two weeks, and the New Era caps came out for Courir.

The game of Freddie Mercury. A kind of magic published by Canadian publisher Drawn & Quarterly. The work took Nilsen over 10 years to complete. New titles from Dark Horse include Dracula: Son of the Dragon, a vivacious adventure tale about the greatest monster in fiction and history, and Critical Role: The Tales of Exandria – The Bright Queen, born from the collaboration of Critical Role Game Master Matthew Mercer and the Eisner Award-winning writer Darcy van Poelgeest. Lisciani Libri will release The Game of Freddie Mercury. A Kind of Magic on November 24th, a rock fairy tale that tells the story of a boy from Zanzibar who, thanks to ‘a kind of magic’ made it to England to fulfill his dream of becoming a legend. Another new title is September 11: The Impossible Plot, centered on the collapse of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 and all the conspiracy theories that followed in subsequent years.

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the coloring of Thomas Gilke. Papercutz recently released The Queen’s Favorite Witch. Elizabethan England is a time of superstition and strange goings-on. If you have a problem, it’s common to go to a witch for help. And Queen Elizabeth I is no different… When Daisy — a precocious young witch — learns of the death of the Queen’s Royal Witch, she flies to London to audition as her replacement. And in December, the latest adventures of Asterix and Obelix, Asterix and the Griffin will be released.

Carlsen Verlag has been publishing manga in Germany for 30 years. Among the November releases comes Little Tai & Omi Sue - Cute Cats Adventures, the new manga cat comedy. Sue is a somewhat aged house cat who leads a happy and peaceful life as a cat - until the bright young cat Tai-chan moves in. The black whirlwind sweeps happily and stormily through the house, leaving Sue without a minute of quiet. Despite the age difference, the unlikely pair of cats quickly become inseparable. Starman, another new comic from the publishing house comes out in December. Starman tells the story of David Bowie’s rise and fall. Reinhard Kleist’s elegant and accurate drawings are perfectly complemented by

The latest from Toon Books is Blancaflor, The Hero with Secret Powers: A Folktale From Latin America by Nadja Spiegelman & Sergio García Sánchez. Spiegelman retells the classic story with contemporary language. Raised by a mean ogre of a

The Wolf Won’t Sleep

Panini’s new Manga Releases

Blancaflor father who eats his opponents for dinner, Blancaflor is often told not to show off her own considerable powers for fear of scaring off suitors. And Tunué’s latest release is Challenge to the Last Bar by Alessandro Perugini (Pera Toons). There is excitement at Pera’s school, a new student arrived a few days ago and already has a great following: Alfie. Pera avoids him, but when he is about to ask Ely, her classmate, to go out, Alfie challenges him right on his battlefield: with lightning-fast jokes.

Alessandro Perugini (Pera Toons) with Challenge to the last bar

Panini Comics’ Planet Manga will publish new releases in November. Emanon’s New Travels sees the return of the amazing adventures of the mysterious girl Emanon, beyond time and space. Star Wars: the legends of Luke Skywalker is also out. Top manga cartoonists adapt bestselling author Ken Liu’s short stories about the most beloved iconic Jedi. Another interesting release is Ask Iwata. Satoru Iwata was Nintendo’s beloved CEO for over ten years. Under his direction, the Nintendo DS and Wii were born, and the company achieved unprecedented success. This book collects not only many of Iwata’s anecdotes and reflections on Nintendo and his time within the company, but also on his particular way of thinking, his vision of leadership, and much more. The Wolf Won’t Sleep is the first volume of an acclaimed fantasy miniseries. Having crossed a dark gap that appeared in the labyrinth he was exploring, the adventurer Lecan finds himself in an unknown world. In order to survive he will have to face every adversity, proving his strength.

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What’s next at BLE 2021 By Rossella Arena A preview of the latest projects from companies attending Brand Licensing Europe 2021. In 2021 the Brand Licensing Europe trade fair is back live at Excel London. Here are some of the amazing companies attending, with their latest projects and plans for the future. Mercis (booth B162) has a new partnership with the Dutch brand ByBorre, a high-end label based in Amsterdam. Mercis chose the company for its quality and experience: with ByBorre, brands can use ByBorre’s knowledge and resources - they have their own knit textile factory in-house - to create their own textiles. They have developed a collection with the artwork of Dick Bruna, using the artist’s iconic illustrations, playing with the scale of the artwork and applying a limited palette of colours. The resulting range of refined textiles celebrates Dick Bruna’s recognizable linework. The collection sees the return of key pieces from previous Editions like the Open Back Vest, Layer Dick Bruna collection by Byborre

Shirt, and A-Type Jacket, as well as the latest step in the continuous evolution of staples like the Suit Jacket, Pants and Button Tee, all executed in the latest iterations of iconic Byborre Textiles such as the 3D™, AO2™ and a particularly elevated version of the O2L™. Additional focus was put into the development of accessories, resulting in the introduction of a versatile everyday bag in 3D™, a Fidlock equipped Keycord, and a classic 5-Panel camp cap, among other products. The launch will be in January 2022. Banijay Brands (booth C122), part of the international content producer and distributor Banijay, controls the brand licensing rights to some of the most highprofile and creative IPs in the world. From entertainment and scripted through to animation and game shows, Banijay’s diverse portfolio offers commercial opportunities in multiple categories.

Peaky Blinders

Banijay is home to a multi-genre catalogue boasting over 100,000 hours of original standout programming which offers a wide range of commercial opportunities across a broad number of categories locally, regionally and globally. With unrivalled commercial capacity, Banijay Brands brings the group’s stories and brands to life through consumer products, live experiences and gaming. Banijay Brands represents some of the biggest global brands including MasterChef,

MasterChef the TV Experience Restaurant in Dubai Black Mirror, Temptation Island, Peaky Blinders, Survivor, Mr. Bean, Changing Rooms, Interior Design Masters, Simon’s Cat, Your Home Made Perfect, Your Garden Made Perfect, Deal or No Deal, The Inbetweeners, Big Brother, Sunday Brunch, Tipping Point, The Biggest Loser, Ready Steady Cook, Wipeout and Crystal Maze. Magic Light Pictures (booth C182) recently launched its first-ever TV series, the delightful Pip and Posy. The show is based on the popular books by Axel Scheffler about a mouse and a rabbit whose lives revolve around a wonderful world of play. Following a partnership with Playday, the national day for play in the UK, the first licensed products are set to launch in 2022. In Superworm, a hero with a difference and a wonderfully entertaining villain clash in this joyful animation. This latest family special based

Action Figures Jazwares UFC


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an exclusive collaboration with Joules, a premium lifestyle brand, whose clothing and accessories for babies and children are part of the Better Cotton Initiative that uses organically grown cotton. Magic Light’s broad ranging licensing programme includes over 80 licensees internationally across toys and games, apparel, homewares, gifting, FMCG and more. Rocket Licensing (booth C141) prepared

Superworm on a book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler focuses on the brilliance of teamwork and premieres on BBC One this Christmas. Room on the Broom is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021,

with highlights including a special edition book, and some very special Room on the Broom activities at Chessington World of Adventures Resort this autumn. A host of exciting new Gruffalo partnerships include

Gruffalo collection by Joules

Snowtap joins the licensing industry at BLE. Design studio, Snowtap, has partnered with Licensing Agent Kirsty Guthrie from KJG Ltd (booth B195), to create a range of consumer products based on its beautiful, playful designs. Established in 2016 by two university friends, Snowtap is the design studio of graphic designer, Susy Snow, and illustrator, Gracie Tapner. The company now boasts over 70 card designs. Coupled with witty puns, the cards cover all occasions, with a range of instantly recognisable designs and illustrations created collaboratively using watercolour, line drawing and hand-drawn typography. Snowtap is now working with Kirsty Guthrie from KJG Ltd to build a licensing portfolio around the brand and extend the illustrations to a range of products covering greetings,

homewares, stationery, gifts and more. Susy declared: “We’re excited to be working alongside Kirsty and for our range of illustrations to have had such a positive reception already from industry leaders. Working as a duo, our designs have double the creative input, resulting in illustrations that are the best of both worlds”. Gracie commented: “We have so much fun working through the design process together to create designs sparkling with a quiet humour that prompt grins and giggles from our customers. We cannot wait to share the world of Snowtap with a larger audience and make an impact on a bigger scale”. Kirsty Guthrie added: “Snowtap’s designs are gorgeous, and their clever, funny puns make the artwork ideal for creating a wide range of lifestyle products. Susy and Gracie are incredibly talented and can create illustrations for any purpose and I’m looking forward to discussing

this brand with potential licensees at BLE and building a consumer product portfolio. Our initial conversations have already resulted in a few deals and the Brand is being incredibly well received over all manner of product categories”.

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The first time of ARTiSTORY at BLE. Art and cultural IP master licensee ARTiSTORY is exhibiting at BLE for the first time, showcasing IP assets inspired by works of art, craft, design and artefacts from the rich archives of its partners: the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the National Gallery, London; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Palace Museum, Taipei; and Dunhuang, China. The Elf on the Shelf an impressive range of brands for BLE. For Elf on the Shelf’s 2.8 million worldwide social media fans and followers, there is sure to be great excitement ahead of the brand’s first-ever appearance on British TV this Christmas, with Netflix airing the animated film, Elf Pets: Santa’s Reindeer Rescue. With almost 20 licensees on board, there will be a wide range of exciting new lines hitting shelves over the coming weeks, including family pyjamas from Aykroyd & Sons, bedding from Dreamtex, Top Trumps cards from Winning Moves, an Elf on the Shelf magazine from Signature Publishing, and much more. Rocket has also launched several innovative experiential partnerships for Beano, including an Easter event with Kew Gardens and Wakehurst Palace Beano Dennis and Gnasher Birthday Bonanza; Dennis-themed rides in

ARTiSTORY’s global design team creates on-trend prints, patterns and product designs inspired by the world’s great artists and art movements including Renaissance masterpieces, Japanese woodblock prints, Chinese landscape paintings, ancient Greek pottery, impressionist paintings, designs of the Arts and Crafts movement, Art Nouveau illustrations, the vibrant modernist artists of the Jazz Age, and designs reflecting the breathtaking artwork of the Mogao Caves on the Silk Road. Brands, retailers, and manufacturers are invited to work with ARTiSTORY across multiple product categories and territories. They will receive a full spectrum of IP assets as well as content such as narratives, photoshoots, videos to use for merchandising, marketing and online and offline retailing, helping them engage with a global audience. ARTiSTORY also provides global retailers and consumer brands with high-quality immersive content such as live streaming from museums, interactive shop windows, immersive experiences, and pop-up stores. You can visit ARTiSTORY at BLE booth B219 or email natasha@ artistorybrands.net.


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Gulliver’s Theme Park resorts; Dennis and Gnasher Unleashed! Escape rooms in partnership with Dobbies; and Dennis the Musical, and Beano immersive theatrical experience. Rocket’s licensed product portfolio comprises a range of popular apparel, health and beauty, party, and more, with fresh inspiration for 2022/3 in the form of a brand-new style guide including seasonal themes. Eric Carle’s classic tale of The Very Hungry Caterpillar was recently awarded the Best Classic Licensed Property at the Licensing Awards 2021. The board book is the number one selling children’s board book in the UK, and a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is sold every 15 seconds, amassing worldwide book sales of more than 54 million. The brand recently launched a new style guide and assets for licensees with a wealth of new material for consumer products. Rocket is currently working with a wide range of licensees on the new products for 2022 covering a number of categories including apparel, gifting, homewares, educational resources and more. Meanwhile, innovative new partnerships with the likes of Deliveroo are reaching millions of consumers and reinforcing the brand values among children and parents alike. For Godzilla throughout 2022 and 2023, consumers will be treated to yet more exciting new content ahead of the big 70th anniversary celebrations in 2024, including a continued rollout of Japanese Godzilla content, which has never been seen outside of Japan. There will also be more exclusive content on official social media accounts, expanded customised content for the official YouTube channel, and the reintroduction of the HannaBarbera Godzilla series. UK licensees cover apparel, accessories, gifting, collectibles, and more. DELISO S.A.S. - Sophie la Girafe (booth

D180) has big news for 2021-2022. Micuento, a Spanish publisher specialized in the creation of customizable books for babies and children, and Sophie la Girafe, have united to create a unique Sophie la Girafe book. The result is a beautiful, tender and customizable book that will accompany baby all his life. Founded in 1978, Templar has become one of the world’s most respected publishers of illustrated children’s books making it the perfect new publishing partner for Sophie la Girafe in the UK. The first book of the collection will be available on the market just in time for this Christmas season. Püttmann is an Egyptian manufacturer of high-end children’s clothes and babywear founded in 1836. This autumn, Püttmann will launch its first Sophie la Girafe collection for the German and UAE markets. It will include all parents’ favorite pieces: dresses, shirts, tee-shirts, shorts,

Sophie la Girafe collection by Püttmann

Smiley unveils its 2023 plan of action. The Smiley Company (booth C181) will present its new 2023 campaign, “FUTURE POSITIVE™”, at BLE. The Founder and CEO Nicolas Loufrani answered a few questions for LM. How do you plan to collaborate with brands and retailers for your Future Positive campaign? We want to lead by example and encourage responsible design with all our current and future partners. 100% of our packaging and brand assets will be made from sustainable sources and, overall, 25% of our products will be sustainable with the Future Positive branding. In regard to retail, we’re going to create a range of point-of-sale, shops and window display concepts that not only showcase sustainable products, but also the message of positive change across all consumer touchpoints. Which product categories will you focus on to promote sustainability? The Future Positive campaign includes a range of 10 categories: Luxury - Streetwear - Home - Kids - Beauty - Sport - Accessories - Gifts and stationery - Food and drink - Toys. We are going to offer a highly curated selection of brand partners who have environmental or social innovation with meaningful stories to tell. Are there any initiatives that directly involve Millennials and Gen-Z? Through our non-profit Smiley Movement, we’re about to launch two new initiatives that will resonate with these audiences. We’ve just started planning for and recording our podcast series called Defiant Optimism, sharing the stories of changemakers bringing hope and positivity to their local communities. Our second project is called Matchmaker for Good, which aims to spark meaningful collaborations by connecting people with skills, time, funds, or other resources with others that need support. Research shows that Gen-Z are more likely to volunteer than any other age group, so this will be a great platform to engage them. We have an extensive network of charities we work with, and this will give them the visibility and support they deserve.

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hats and so much more… Poetic Brands, the famous apparel licensee, is also set to launch its first Sophie la Girafe collection in the UK this fall. Existing licensees have renewed their Sophie la Girafe catalogue as well, including among others PoréeHavlik, Alpine, Marabout, Novatex, and Angel cosmetics. A brand-new bedroom by Théo bébé will be out on the market this winter. Bulldog Licensing (booth A182) has a

portfolio of leading brands and exciting new names. Rob Corney, MD of Bulldog Licensing, commented: “After such a long break from any face-to-face trade shows, the team at Bulldog can’t wait to get back to BLE and show our amazing range of brands to the industry. Our carefully selected portfolio offers household names and popular newcomers to appeal to a huge range of consumers across a wide spread of categories and we’re really

TF1 Licences becomes… TF1 Licensing! As part of its plan to broaden TF1 Licenses’ ability to grow internationally and raise its visibility with international partners, TF1 Licenses changed its name to TF1 Licensing (booth C151). TF1 Licensing enjoys a crosscutting position within the TF1 Group, which allows it to rely on the strike force and the many fields of expertise of the Group: TF1 Pub in OPS media, TF1 Factory in the production of B-to-B content and events, TF1 Production and Newen in B-to-C production. This unique positioning allows TF1 Licensing to provide their partners with ever more premium and impactful brand experiences. In terms of its entertainment brands the company celebrated the 20th anniversary of Koh-Lanta in 2021. Koh Lanta’s reality show continues its development across publishing, thanks to partners Les Editions du Dragon d’or, Solar and more recently, Playbac. Beautiful event books are also expected by the end of 2021. In 2021–2022, collections of clothing and accessories bearing the brand’s colours will be available with Sun City (textile), CA finance (shoes), Label Chaussettes (socks) and La Plume Dorée (school luggage). The first The Voice All Stars of this anniversary season already attracted 4.6 million viewers, as well as prestigious partners such as SFR. La Poste Mobile was associated with the previous season in early 2021 to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Thanks to its unique collaboration with TF1 Licensing (TFOU’s licensing agent), Indoor Park Entertainment (the designer and operator of leisure spaces for the whole family), and SCC (managing agent of two Evry shopping centres), the kids’ channel TFOU has created an unprecedented immersive experience, that is a new indoor leisure park based on the world of TFOU brand and famous characters, the Hoofs, designed for the whole family. And finally, Dance Avec Les Stars made its big come-back after a two-year absence!

looking forward to discussing them with potential new partners at the show”. A prominent part of the UK’s entertainment fabric, which is also celebrating its 40th year, is Cloudco’s iconic Care Bears property. The loveable bears of Care-alot have an incredible 98% awareness among children and mums, and moreover, hold a multi-generational appeal. With evergreen brands proving more popular than ever as consumers search out comfort in the familiar during uncertain times, Sesame Street remains as popular as ever with audiences both young and old. Over 50 years since its launch, the property airs daily on leading commercial preschool broadcaster, Tiny Pop. The little owl with big ideas, Odo, is brand new to the Bulldog family. The beautiful 2D-3D animated series of 52 x 7’ stories for pre-schoolers has already pre-sold to many leading networks and broadcasters worldwide. Following Odo on his journey as one of the littlest campers at the Forest Camp, this stunning series teaches young children self-reliance and to believe in themselves to help combat the troubling rise in anxiety and depression levels in today’s children. Continuing the theme of


Events

prospects for 2022: Grisù, MeteoHeroes and The Gruffalo. For Grisù, an agreement has recently been finalised with the Giunti Group publishing house, covering story books, activity books, colouring books and a Grisù magazine. In addition, a toy offering has already been developed and presented to the main market players. Many other companies are evaluating the property with great interest. Inspired by the enduring fondness for the character, Mondo is also planning to create nostalgic products using retro images from the classic series, particularly in the fashion and accessories categories. The Italian MeteoHeroes licensing programme is growing fast; more than twenty partners

Care Bears overcoming adversity is the British charity brand, Guide Dogs. Bulldog is building a consumer products programme for the organisation which helps support people living with sight loss, aimed at its owners, supporters, dog lovers and families. New animated children’s property, Moley, is a multi-media brand encompassing TV, digital gaming and a planned event movie. It follows the adventures of a mole called Moley and a host of other characters in the bustling city of MoleTown. The 52-episode series features a stellar line-up of voices including Warwick Davis, Julie Walters, Gemma Arterton and Richard E Grant; Bulldog is managing the worldwide rights for the brand. Mondo TV (digital booth), one of the largest European producers and distributors of animated content, has announced that at the digital edition of BLE it will be highlighting three of its hottest

Grisù

Meteoheroes

are already on board. A new deal with Sammontana will see MeteoHeroes ice creams on sale in summer 2022. Board games and epiphany socks are on the way in the coming months. And, of course, the popular MeteoHeroes sticker album will be back in 2022 in a second edition. Overseas markets are already showing strong interest. ELC was recently appointed as agent for CEE countries, and Lisans as agent for Turkey. The licensing programme in these two key areas will begin with toys. Meanwhile, fans are eagerly awaiting the worldwide launch of a MeteoHeroes videogame in a number of formats in 2022. The game has been developed in association with Sony

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The Gruffalo Interactive Entertainment España (SIE España) and game developer Gammera Nest. The Gruffalo is a licensing hit. Global licensor Magic Light Pictures appointed Mondo to develop a licensing programme for The Gruffalo in Italy, Spain and Portugal in late 2019. Numerous licensed products have appeared in the Italian market this year with strong sell-through, underlining the enormous appeal of this license to consumers and its status as a timeless classic. Children can now listen to the Gruffalo story anywhere thanks to storytelling sound boxes from FABA. They can also stimulate

their minds while playing Gruffalo games from Ludattica and puzzles and memory games from Ravensburger. And there’s even more creative fun available thanks to Pon Pon colouring and activity books and Multiprint stamps. Emmeci epiphany socks, an RCS sticker album and Illustrabimbi tailor-made fabrics and beddings are also on the way. Many new categories – such as food – are under discussion. Possibly the happiest news of all is the return of the Gruffalo touring musical in Italian theatres, interrupted last year due to Covid and now back with 15 performances between October and early January. Edebé Licensing (booth A141) takes care of many premium properties in Iberia, like Catalina Estrada and Santoro London. On the occasion of BLE it will announce its new brands. For the Brigitte Bardot license, Iberia will soon divulge the new license agreements for fast fashion, stationery and personal care products. Yoga Dogs & Yoga Cats is a new license based on a

Esther Volta very entertaining photo gallery of dogs and cats in yoga poses, which already has Panini on board with an upcoming release of a collection of photocards. Its target is young adults, yoga fans, pet fans, etc. Other deals are closing in categories such


Events

Zipi Zape & Carpanta as stationery, accessories and gifts. TDiary is a Graphics concept created by the illustrator/Instagrammer Carlos Toledo, with very iconic illustrations and messages about different phases, moments and feelings of daily life, that has almost 80k followers on Instagram. The response received from potential licensees has being very good and the first licensing agreements will be announced soon. Its main target is unisex young

adults. Esther Voltà is an illustrator who has become a successful brand due to the excellent sales that the products she develops are having, such as her bags, purses, accessories, among others. A great licensing opportunity for many product categories, with young adults’ target. One of Edebé’s novelties is the representation of the iconic and classic characters of the

comic illustrator Escobar which enjoy high brand recognition in Spain, most notably Zipi and Zape and Carpanta. An extensive licensing program is being developed with these two characters, paying tribute to the 75th anniversary of their creation in 2022 (in the case of Carpanta) and in 2023 (in the case of Zipi and Zape).

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Interview

LICENSING SURVEY

Kids Forever with Licensing Entertainment LM interviewed Ivan Colecchia, SVP Global Development of Kidz Global, to find out more about the expansion of the Licensing Entertainment surveys of 26-65 Year Olds.

Ivan Colecchia

Kidz Global, the world’s leading market research agency in the field of licensing and the analysis of family, children, teen and young adult consumption, has decided to extend its surveys to the 26–65-year-old age group. The research will take place through the BrandTrends tool, which provides licensors, agents and licensees with a comprehensive review of awareness, popularity and merchandise appeal of all major entertainment brands and personalities. The analysis started in the United States and will soon be available in other countries; they were conducted by gender, among four age groups: 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, 56-65. To learn more LM interviewed Ivan Colecchia, SVP Global President at Kidz Global. There has been some major news on your BrandTrends tool: the extension of the age range up to 65 year olds. Would

you like to tell us how you came to this decision and why you are particularly proud of it? Brand Trends has been a monitoring present on the world market for 11 years now. It initially covered the 0-14 range; over the years, however, the Kids Entertainment market has shrunk because children abandon traditional cartoons at an ever-younger age, changing the type of service, product and character preferred. Therefore we and our customers realized that it was necessary to focus on other age groups as well and seize upon new opportunities in other segments. From there, we first started by monitoring 1525 Years Old in over 25 countries. We then decided to include wider age groups, especially since parents and grandparents control the family purchasing power. In our opinion, you can effectively cover the whole world of Entertainment within the 26-65 age group: Lifestyle and Influencers are in this segment, and in the higher age groups there are strong potential targets that were not fully serviced by Entertainment brands, instead focusing primarily on younger bands. We are proud of this change because we were aware that there was a gap in the market for this maxi age group, in terms of monitoring, information provided, and potential business for licensees and licensors. For the maxi age group 26-65, the first country to be surveyed was America. What are your findings from the results? Which other countries are you planning to research? America has always been the country that establishes world trends in an unparalleled way. Within the industry, it is also the largest market to cover and the one which

demands the most interest in receiving data. Our goal is to reach 42 countries for the Kids range: by the end of the year we will offer research from over ten countries, including the European Big Five and Russia. By 2022 we should definitely be covering at least twenty of the most important markets across the globe. As for our results, common trends have emerged but also many differences as compared to Kids and Young Adults. The maxi range 26-65 contains four segments (26-35, 36-45, 46-55, 56-65) that are distinct and characterized: in general, Millennial choices’ correspond to modern Kids brands, while Baby boomers favor brands from their youth. Which product categories are 26-65 Year Olds most interested in and what are the characteristics of the most popular IPs? For men in the 26-45 range there are two very strong characteristics of their choice in IPs: Action and Superheroes. The 2645’s are also drawn to channels through which they use these products, the number one for this range being Netflix. The Simpsons are also mentioned as the third most popular brand in the 26-35 range. The Superhero characteristic also drags itself a bit into the higher ranges where, for example, brands such as the Incredible Hulk emerge. But in general, Males 56-65 prefer brands from their generation, such as The Godfather in first place and I Love Lucy in second. For men, the level of interest stands out: they have a strong bond with a brand compared to women. For example, the number one in the 26-35 range, The Simpsons, has a rating of 66%, a level very much in line with Kids’ rating. In Kids, perhaps there is the opposite effect, where girls are more generous than boys with their appraisals. However, the likability factor is an important concern for young men and, but as one ages within the group, attachment decreases and the rating falls: for example, the number one brand of Males 56-65 does not exceed 40%. For women, there is greater differentiation in the choice of brands. In the 26-45 range, even where


Interview

Superhero figure appears with Avengers at number one, in first place overall are series like Friends and cartoons like Tom and Jerry, linked to the era in which these women were kids. In this range we find a very rating for Friends, as well as Avengers among 36–45-year-olds, thanks to the presence of great superheroine characters. In terms of product categories, both men and women focus on fashion accessories, clothing above all, for the desire to experience their brand and carry it with them every day. In what ways do you plan to continue expanding BrandTrends in this new age group? Will you focus on other research areas besides Entertainment? Absolutely yes, we will follow the evolution of the market. Just as we did with Kids, we started from pure Entertainment, and then

Influencers and Creators in the Internet world; we will research the same trends for older targets as well. On Instagram, TikTok etc. there are countless testimonials with high numbers of followers who do advertising of every type of product, from healthy food to games to clothing ... Through BrandTrends we will be able to understand the real effectiveness of these web personalities for 26-65 year olds as well, both in terms of product distribution and related licensing. Based on what emerged from the survey, and in particular with the current resumption of live events, do you have any advice for brands and companies on initiatives to involve this age group? Of course, the Entertainment world has begun to look at the diverse segments with the 26 to 65 year-old range. In principle,

events, and especially Licensing fairs, have always been divided into maxi sectors such as Entertainment Kids on the one hand, and Lifestyle on the other. There has never been a real Entertainment section for the Adult market. I hope that from next BLE and over the following months, there will also be a place for this age group with enormous potential for companies. In the USA, Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube are today the three main platforms for the distribution of Entertainment content for this maxi age group. You can begin to use the expansion of these platforms as a vehicle for licensing, creating and communicating new types of products for the 26-65 sector.

The favourite brands in the USA for the maxi age group 26-65. The positioning of the spheres at the top and the bottom indicates the amount of recognition by age: if they are at the bottom it is more towards 26 years, in the centre 45, at the top 65. The size of the sphere represents how strongly a brand is preferred; the right side represents a preference among men, to the left, from women. There is a strong polarization among Unisex brands; only the television series I Love Lucy stands out for women, very distinctly from the age of 50 upwards. Among the younger age groups of men you can see how strong HBO, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are as platform brands. As you go up in age among men, you will always find Action and Superhero brands: DC Comics, Star Wars, Avengers, Batman, Superman, Star Trek... The Marvel brand is much more unisex and slightly younger than the others. Harry Potter remains a very strong brand for Females as well as in other age groups.

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