THE HOTTEST BRANDS TO FOLLOW SPOTLIGHT ON BLE
WHAT’S NEXT IN ANIMATION AND ENTERTAINMENT PUBLISHING TRENDS
THE HOTTEST BRANDS TO FOLLOW SPOTLIGHT ON BLE
WHAT’S NEXT IN ANIMATION AND ENTERTAINMENT PUBLISHING TRENDS
Welcome back to this packed new issue of Licensing Magazine. As always, this time of year is a harbinger of so much exciting news, and we are delighted to bring you all the most important stories.
In addition to contributions from the industry’s key players, this edition of the magazine also includes two sections with in-depth coverage of BLE, the unmissable event for the international licensing industry, and Publishing. The latter plays an increasingly important role for Licensing Magazine as the organizers of a conference programme at the prestigious book fair, Frankfurter Buchmesse. Equally of interest are the sections devoted to two other crucial categories in the industry: Toys, with a complete review of the New York Toy Fair, which has finally returned after two years. And last but not least, a very extensive section covering animation and entertainment. Here too, in addition to the wealth and variety of content, many exclusive insights are brought to you from events where Licensing Magazine is a Media Partner, such as Cartoon Forum, MipJunior, Mipcom, Cartoon Business, and Asia TV Forum.
As always, the magazine is enhanced with interviews and insights into marketing and retail trends.
Never before has the calendar of international events been so busy, and Licensing Magazine will be following all of them, constantly bringing you news, updates and our exclusive video interviews produced for our SOCIAL TV CORNER. As always, happy reading!Cristina Angelucci
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Alessandra Maccaferri, Andrea De Amicis, Beatrice Revello, Matteo Melani, Jennifer Lynch, Rob Hutchins, Neal Hoskins, Lisa Hryniewicz
PUBLISHING, ADVERTISING AND ADMINISTRATION
BM Srl - Via Po, 14 - 10123 Torino, Italy
Ph. +39 011 1921 1996 - email@example.com www.bm-eu.com
Casma Tipolito - Via B. Provaglia nn. 3/B-3/C-3/D 40138 Bologna - Italy
The editorial staff has taken every care to obtain from copyright holders the authorization to publish the pictures in this issue. In any cases where this has not been possible, the editorial staff would like to make it known that they are available to eligible parties to settle any amounts that are owed.
A strong portfolio of brands
An exciting Fall season
More than two decades supporting and creating European brands that can expand globally
STUDIO 100 MEDIA
Vegesaurs growing success in the UK
Sanrio’s entertainment evolution: road to 2024
Global Minecraft Brand to Celebrate 15 Years in 2024
THE POKÉMON INTERNATIONAL COMPANY
Pokémon continues to build strong collaborations
What’s New at Mattel: a Consumer Products and Franchise Perspective
The Smiley Company: The Original Home of Happiness!
PERFETTI VAN MELLE
Angry Birds, a timeless favourite for fans
ALL3 MEDIA INTERNATIONAL
Why licensees have faith in The Traitors
TAT’s new animated TV series: Pil’s Adventures
MERCIS Momentum keeps building for the iconic bunny Miffy!
Fashion and evergreen brands: A perfect match
BANIJAY KIDS & FAMILY
MAURIZIO DISTEFANO LICENSING
Properties and Brands for all targets and categories
The unstoppable race of Movimenti Production
Arky Arch Adventures Debut At Mipcom
PUPPY The new Blue Resin collection
2024: heritage and challenges
Diego Armando Maradona, “El Pibe de Oro”
What’s new for next season
On October 23rd, it will be 65 years since the globally famous little blue heroes first appeared on a comic book page. An anniversary celebrated in style with iconic fashion and remarkable popculture collaborations all year long.
With the smurftacular global success of the new Smurfs series on linear TV and more recently on Netflix, and an upcoming Paramount theatrical movie that will feature Rihanna as Smurfette announced for February 2025, a whole new generation of kids is falling in love with the cute little blue heroes, just like their parents did before. A new blue wave is on its way on the kids and family targets, and you don’t want to miss it!
With its 65th anniversary approaching on October 23rd, IMPS/Lafig, the worldwide owner of the global evergreen property is celebrating all year long with some spectacular events and Consumer Products collaborations in every category.
In the Fashion field, The Smurfs
are overjoyed with their exceptional partnerships with PUMA and Emporio Armani
PUMA x The Smurfs is a fun expression of The Smurf’s adventurous spirit with PUMA’s essential streetwear silhouettes. Recycled materials are incorporated throughout, alongside bold graphics and fun all-over prints. Including both apparel and footwear in kids’ and adults’ sizes, the collection features a range of sneakers, each inspired by a different Smurf character.
The core of the collection is a range of specially created graphics featuring The Smurfs frolicking and playing around the PUMA wordmark. In addition to a series of graphic T-shirts, PUMA’s collaboration with The Smurfs
comprises sets of matching essentials including Hoodies and Sweatpants, plus accessories like a Beanie and a special Backpack, all sprinkled with a bit of Smurf magic.
Footwear highlights include the PUMA Slipstream which evokes the malevolent Purple Smurf, featuring details like debossing on the toe and a special
fabric tag with the familiar exclamation Gnap! The Mayze commemorates the loveable Smurfette by way of a yellow
and blue colorway, with floral graphics on the upper and a special Smurfette badge on the tongue. New and limitededition versions of the Suede and RS-X are also included in the collection.
PUMA x The Smurfs is available on PUMA.com, PUMA flagship stores, and selected accounts worldwide.
The Smurfs have collaborated with Emporio Armani for the first time on a new kids’ collection made from materials with a low environmental impact, which includes garments and accessories, namely soft jersey tracksuits, t-shirts and caps. The items – in grey, navy blue, beige and pink – feature exclusive Smurfs graphics printed or embroidered onto the fabric. To complete the clothing line, Emporio Armani launched together with Essilor Luxottica Smurfs customised sunglasses for girls and boys. This kids’
In an extraordinary partnership facilitated by PowerLocus and The Smurfs’ shared values of creativity and fun, the two brands have joined forces to introduce these all-new kids headphone collections. These collections are tailored to provide an enchanting auditory journey for young minds while ensuring safety, comfort, and an element of delightful design.
collection is in stores from June and is focusing on back-to-school themes and aim to contribute to raising awareness on sustainability among the younger generations. The interaction between the characters and the iconic Emporio Armani logo has given birth to a unique, fun and “Planet respectful” collection. This is a great opportunity to bring these important messages into people’s everyday life, with beautiful outfits and of course a smurfy touch of fun. The sunglasses’ frames are partially made from bio-based nylon fiber with 59% biobased carbon content and from rubber with at least 28% bio-based content. The entire collection is presented in custom designed packaging made from organic fabrics and FSC-certified paper and cardboard. Armani confirms the brand’s focus on sensitive environmental issues and The Smurfs are proud to be part of this journey by bringing a fun touch from their magical world. These good values are naturally associated with the characters and The Smurfs universe. Quality Education is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals program of the United Nations which the Smurfs have been actively promoting since 2017, and Emporio Armani has created a collection inspired by this important goal.
With an offering available on a variety of devices, the Smurfs continue to captivate gamers of all ages.
Published by Microids and developed by OSome Studio, The Smurfs 2 – The Prisoner of the Green Stone is an allnew story, and a sequel to the previous opus released in 2021, from the same studio, The Smurfs – Mission Vileaf Handy Smurf has created a revolutionary invention: SmurfoMix! However, it’s missing a key ingredient, the Green Stone, which is in the greedy clutches of Gargamel.
So Handy Smurf and his team of iconic Smurfs (Brainy Smurf, Dimwitty Smurf, and Smurfstorm) set off on a mission to retrieve the famous stone from Gargamel’s laboratory, but a fatal misstep causes it to explode, its fragments scattering throughout the Cursed Land. In addition to unleashing into the wild its incredible powers to copy and decompose matter, the Green Stone has set free the evil Stolas, a new order bent on creating a reign of terror. The crack team of 4 Smurfs must then adventure through various teleporters to discover 3 new, unexplored regions and find the fragments of the Green Stone and piece them back together before it plunges the world into chaos. Well equipped, the Smurfs can count on even more intense dynamic gameplay with exploration, platforming and combat thanks to SmurfoMix. For the first time in a video game, they can collaborate with an unexpected ally, Gargamel, to save the Smurfs Village. The player can collect various resources to improve the Smurfomix throughout the adventure, and embark on the adventure with a partner, friends or family in co-op mode.
The game will be available on several platforms (Switch / PC / PS4 / PS5 / XBoxOne / XBox Series), with a scheduled release of November 2nd 2023 (for the US retail on November 14th).
Stumble Guys is a massive multiplayer party knockout game with up to 32
players online. Join round after round of escalating chaos to stumble through different levels until one victor is crowned! If you fall, just start again and run. Join the endless running fun! They
have collaborated with IMPS/Lafig to release the upcoming Stumble Guys Smurfs & Halloween, a new engaging smurfy experience with classic and new Smurfs characters skins, and with
To further strengthen the promotion of the 2030 Agenda and the goals proposed by the United Nations for a better world, Sicredi renewed the Sicredi & Smurfs Project: Together for Sustainable Development. The Sicredi & Smurfs Project is the result of a partnership between the institution and IMPS/Lafig, brokered by Vertical Licensing, IMPS’s licensing representative in Brazil. With this initiative, Sicredi, together with the blue creatures who are ambassadors of UN’s SDGs, has been promoting how relevant small actions with positive impact can be to build a fairer and more sustainable society. In this new phase of the partnership, which continues until 2025, the focus is to further reinforce the idea that “Every gesture counts” through activations including the restructuring of the project’s website, new materials for children, educational content for schools, community focused activations, and a new Smurfs Caravan. In the first phase of the partnership, from 2021 to 2023, the Sicredi & Smurfs website was developed, featuring content about the SDGs and three seasons of a web series with videos starring the Smurfs, accompanied by real images of 54 initiatives carried out by Sicredi cooperatives in the Brazilian states of Paraná, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, aligned with UN goals. During this phase, the 18 films were produced by the film crew known as the Smurfs Caravan, which traveled more than 24,000 kilometers to capture images and interviews. The journey was carbon-neutral, with greenhouse gas emissions from this production being offset. So far, the content available on the project’s website and social media has reached over 8.4 million views, 3.2 million unique users, and 200,000 page views.
special looks and accessories dedicated to Halloween celebrations.
The Smurfs Hidden Village is a brandnew tabletop experience, launching via a crowfunding campaign on Kickstarter this October! Smurfs lovers and tabletop gamers are invited to join the party and contribute to the creation of a fun and high-quality game based on the beloved property. The new game is part of a multi-year agreement with Maestro Media. The Kaedama team, which includes Antoine Bauza, Corentin Lebrat, Ludovic Maublanc, and Theo Riviere, will design the game. After Gargamel destroys the mushroom village, the players must work together to rebuild it. They will gather materials, develop inventions, and track down missing Smurfs in order to rebuild the town while also outwitting Garamel and Azrael. The game is for one to five players, ages 7 and up, and takes 25 to 35 minutes to complete. It is expected to hit the market in 2024.
The smurfiness was high at the San Diego Comic-Con 2023, with a smurftastic sold out panel full of glowing smiles and blue energy! A great example of collaboration between different licensees, who are sharing the same passion for the IP. IMPS/Lafig’s partners for Board Games (Maestro Media), US Book Publishing (Mad Cave Studios), Video Games (Microids), and TV (Nickelodeon) have joined forces at this year’s SDCC.
Nelvana is a world leading entertainment company focused on animation and live action production for television and film, distribution, and merchandise licensing based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. LM interviewed Mellany Welsh, Vice President of Nelvana Enterprises & Kids Can Press, to know more about the licensing strategies for its great brands.
Can you talk about your positioning in Canada as a leading Licensing Agent? In addition to producing content that resonates with kids all over the world, Nelvana is truly the premier licensing agency in Canada. We represent a strong portfolio of brands within the Canadian market, including Care Bears, Sesame Street, Thomas and Friends, Barney, Monster Jam and Bluey, in addition to a few others.
We create fun and inventive licensing programs that ensure strong success for each property in the Canadian market. We have an incredible licensing and marketing team in Toronto, who not only have amazing relationships with Canadian retailers and licensing partners, but also with the Corus Kids networks in Canada, i.e. Treehouse, YTV, Disney Channels, Cartoon Network, and more!
You take care of numerous brands as you mentioned, but in particular, which is the programme you are developing around Care Bears and Sesame Workshop?
As for Care Bears, we are really building on the momentum from our successful licensing program around the Care Bears 40th anniversary. We’re seeing strong engagement with the Care Bears franchise within Canada, specifically from all of the different consumer products we’re launching with our partners such as Peace Collective,
Retrokid, Kernels and most recently Ardene. We also launched an adorable Canadian exclusive limited edition plush bear with a Canadian flag belly badge called the True North Bear, which quickly became the topic of online conversations due to its Canadian exclusivity. We also find that the nostalgic trend plays perfectly into Care Bears with a collection for adults and juniors, and the recent television series continues to resonate well with younger fans, so there’s a nice opportunity for the whole family to get involved with this franchise. I will also add that we are really excited to partnering with Canadian creators and brands, to further grow the Care Bears franchise in the Canadian market.
Similarly to Care Bears, Sesame Street is still trending with adults and juniors
based on the strong history of the property for those who grew up with the brand. Recently, we have had great success from our partnership with
WN Pharmaceuticals and their line of Sesame Street vitamins which have become the #1 children’s vitamin in Canada, as well as with Nola Baking who launched a delicious line of Sesame Street products, and we also have Cakeworthy on board for apparel. As we continue to expand and bring more products to the older fans, we are also focused on categories like food, health and wellness, to name a few, to create new offerings in unexpected places for the Sesame Street brand.
What is the strategy behind wellestablished brands such as Thomas & Friends and Barney?
Starting with Thomas and Friends, we have a great partnership with Mattel: we are working together to leverage the toy success, and are looking for ways to amplify the infant and toddler categories at retail as well. Given the franchise’s history, we are also looking for creative ways to tap into the nostalgia surrounding Thomas & Friends, and bring something special to those fans who grew up with Thomas and are now, in some cases, having kids of their own.
Nelvana is representing Barney and friends in Canada for select categories such as softlines, home, health and beauty, and a few other categories, but excluding toys and publishing. We are currently pitching licensing programs together with our friends at Mattel for the rebooted 3D series Barney’s World, which is launching on Max, and on Treehouse and STACKTV in Canada. We are curating a number of partnerships with known brands in the streetwear space to bring Barney back to the OG fans in advance of the new series launch. The demand is high for classic brand Barney in the licensing community.
Bluey is a global success. How are you developing this IP in Canada?
We are very enthusiastic about Bluey, and it’s wonderful to work with the great team at BBC - they’re fantastic partners. Bluey is huge and it’s quickly on track to become the top preschool property here in the Canadian market with a fast growing licensing program and fans looking for Bluey merch everywhere they go. Interestingly, this is not only amongst kids. We’re also feeling some demand from older fans, including adults. The show strongly resonates with parents and families who watch it together and relate to the family dynamics within it, so we’re looking at different categories for an older demographic too. We have developed a strong Canadian specific marketing program engaging with fans across Canada through live events, character meet and greets, and retail experiences with the mascots, giving fans a chance to engage with the brand through memorable moments. We also have a strong focus around influencer campaigns, working with trusted partners in the market to showcase their love of Bluey and help direct fans to where they can buy the best Bluey merch across the country.
Not only the hottest IPs of this period, but also great classics characterize your portfolio. What is happening around Babar, Max & Ruby?
We are proud to have an impressive catalogue of global evergreen properties, from Babar to Franklin and Friends, and Max and Ruby.
For Babar, we really looked to target more of a lifestyle type of licensing program, to tap into that nostalgic play for the brand from older fans. We recently launched successful collections
with Zara Home and Zara Men, and we are always searching for ways to find new higher-end fashion forward licensees. We have a few exciting new partnerships launching later this year for Holiday 23 and Fall 24.
Max and Ruby is also a big fan favorite. Lately we have had viral success on TikTok as the brand transitioned into a nostalgic property for Gen Z, who grew up watching the series. We have launched some successful partnerships across apparel, toys, books, accessories and are excited to continue to grow this licensing program.
On the lifestyle front, can you tell us in more details about the Bryan Baeumler partnership?
Historically we have been playing in the kids space, so we are excited to be expanding our licensing representation into lifestyle, targeting an older demographic. We have recently launched our very first line of products
around Bryan Baeumler, who is a very popular personality on HGTV. The line is called 43°N By Bryan Baeumler. It’s an apparel collection that really garnered some impressive sell through since day one, thanks to Bryan’s strong online community. We are currently working to expand the collection for fall and are looking forward to continuing to support the launch through strong social media marketing.
Which are the big Fall events where the industry can meet you and why are they so crucial for your business?
Over the past year, we have participated at many of the important trade events all over the world. It is extremely important for us to connect in person with our valuable partners, whether it be licensees, retailers, broadcasters, marketing partners, trade publications… This fall you will find us at New York Toy Fair, BLE, and MIPCOM. We encourage anyone who is interested in meeting with us to reach out to our team.
In a rapidly evolving entertainment landscape, Moonbug Entertainment has continued to shine as a beacon of creativity and innovation.
Reflecting on the past months, it’s evident that Moonbug’s commitment to creating meaningful, engaging content for children has not only continued, but has also expanded into new territories and industries.
Moonbug, the award-winning global entertainment company inspiring kids everywhere to laugh, learn and grow, is now looking forward to an exciting Fall season as it returns to Brand Licensing Europe following a year of growth. The company, behind some of the biggest kids’ entertainment brands in the world like CoComelon and Blippi, has greatly expanded its presence across North America, EMEA, APAC, and LATAM with significant distribution deals and wider penetration of its Moonbug channels.
Recent media distribution partnerships such as with Amazon Prime Video in EMEA, Televisa in Mexico, KT in South Korea, and Eazy TV in Singapore, alongside the appointment of senior executives in the EMEA and APAC regions, demonstrate Moonbug’s
unwavering commitment to reaching and enriching young minds worldwide. Furthermore, the Moonbug channel allows children in homes where a linear experience is preferred, to have access to high-quality content.
Moonbug’s properties have also experienced significant success on the consumer products front via
If you’re interested in learning more about Moonbug and exploring partnership opportunities, stop by the Moonbug booth at Brand Licensing Europe (A131) and feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
exciting brand partnerships and new product launches. Meanwhile the live entertainment world has been able to experience the brand via its popular live events and CoComelon and Blippi stage productions. With the rapid global success of its shows and exciting announcements on the horizon, the team is looking forward to the year ahead.
At BLE Moonbug will be showcasing five key brands that offer a multitude of licensing opportunities globally: CoComelon, Blippi, Little Angel, Morphle, and Oddbods. These brands share an enduring and universal appeal that make them relevant to every child’s upbringing, regardless of geography, culture or background. They also aim to encourage kindness, compassion and resilience in the next generation, whilst offering a unique blend of entertainment and learning, aligning perfectly with Moonbug’s mission to inspire young minds worldwide to laugh, learn and grow.
With its compelling and enriching shows featuring beloved characters such as JJ and Cody from CoComelon, Blippi or Baby John from Little Angel, Moonbug has successfully transformed its engaging content into comprehensive licensing and merchandising opportunities. This seamless integration of captivating storytelling and a wide range of consumer products and experiences enhances the immersive experience for young viewers by offering fans tangible connections to their favorite characters.
Launching this December is CoComelon Lane, a Netflix premium original and the franchise’s first-ever dialogue-driven series featuring all new storylines and songs in seven minute episodes. The series covers developmental milestones from getting a first haircut or visiting the dentist’s office, to more intimate
moments like being invited to a friend’s house for dinner or learning how to take care of a family pet. Global master toy partner, Jazwares, has created a collection of CoComelon Lane consumer products, which will launch in early 2024.
In a testament to Moonbug’s commitment to increasing cultural representation in children’s
entertainment, the company has announced that Nina will become the latest spin-off character to get her own show this fall. Some exciting news around this new series will follow very soon.
Recent CoComelon toys product news include CoComelon HugMees by Squishmallows, the number one highquality plush brand from global master toy partner Jazwares. The collection features fan-favorite JJ and his best friends Cody, Nico, Nina, Cece, and Bella wearing their pajama onesies. And, following a “show to shelf” approach, Jazwares launched the interactive JJ Peek-A-Boo plush, which combines motorised movements with phrases and sounds. The product was a finalist for “Best Licensed Product” in the 2023 Licensing International Excellence Awards earlier this year.
Moonbug is also rapidly growing its softlines division through senior executive appointments, collaborations with globally renowned fashion and home brands and a new creative approach to design. Earlier this year Moonbug collaborated with sports brand PUMA, as well as with children’s furniture company Roo & You Later this year, Moonbug will also be partnering globally with Crocs to release a new CoComelon inspired clog, following the successful launch of a collection of
CoComelon Jibbitz in December 2022. These collaborations mark a serious step forward for Moonbug, opening new avenues of off-screen affinity and innovation in the children’s apparel and home verticals.
Separately, in an effort to cater to a wider audience, Moonbug also launched an infant apparel range under the My First CoComelon brand earlier this year in the UK, the Middle East and Australia, and will continue to expand in global markets.
The Blippi franchise also has ambitious plans next year across content formats and new consumer products after
building on a double-digit year-overyear growth of the brand’s viewership. Blippi has found success with live entertainment receiving a 2023 Olivier Award nomination for the franchise’s first-ever live show, Blippi: The Musical, while the second instalment, Blippi: The Wonderful World Tour completed a successful run in North America, saw more than 165K tickets sold across 90 markets with multiple soldout performances. The tour recently expanded to the UK, bringing the tour’s 2023 total to over 170 markets by year’s end.
This year Blippi has begun hosting more guest stars, teaming up with Liverpool Football Club and Mighty Red, LFC’s official mascot for two new YouTube episodes already surpassing over 2M views. Alongside the episodes, Liverpool FC and Blippi have collaborated on a new retail range which is available exclusively through LFC’s Official Retail channels.
Earlier this year the brand launched its first-ever, audio-only experience: Blippi and Meekah’s Road Trip Podcast. In this podcast best friends Blippi and Meekah take a road trip to an adventure including visiting a Monster Truck Rally, a Rainforest and even the Prehistoric Dinosaur Era. The 20-episode audio series will be available everywhere podcasts are available.
Moonbug’s 2022 acquisition, Little Angel, continues to captivate families around the world. The brand will be revealing some exciting news soon around a global partnership, which will see Little Angel products being brought to life globally from Christmas 2024.
My Magic Pet Morphle, a premium original launching on Disney+ and Disney Junior in March 2024, aims to inspire kids to use their imagination to solve everyday problems. The show has a brand-new look that launched earlier this year on YouTube and Netflix.
Moonbug will also showcase its latest acquisition at BLE, Oddbods, the threetime Emmy-nominated comedy series that has become a global phenomenon with an average of 350M monthly YouTube views. Moonbug plans to bring Oddbods toys to life next year with a best-in-class EMEA-based toy manufacturer and continues to explore the brand’s APAC heritage through QSR activations and more.
Through partnerships with top brands and a diverse range of licensing opportunities across multiple regions, Moonbug aspires to provide kids around the world with world-class experiences and play opportunities, which extend the storytelling of their favourite shows into their very own homes.
One of the immediate objectives of the company is to co-produce and/or acquire ten new IPs annually over the next three years.
DeAPlaneta Entertainment is an European leader in the creation and marketing of entertainment content and brands. The company opened recently its own office in Germany; an opening that expands, even further, its wide territorial presence in Europe, with offices in Spain, Italy, UK, France or Eastern Europe, and which is one of the keys to its success: being an international organization with a truly local focus.
This European territorial expansion goes hand in hand with one of the company’s key objectives: to support European creators, production companies and studios to jointly create brands that can be expanded worldwide.
has been creating and consolidating strategic agreements with the most important European companies in the entertainment sector for more than 20 years. Some of the European productions and brands that stand out in the company’s portfolio over the last two decades are classics such as Maya the Bee, Vicky the Viking or Heidi, also in their new CGI versions, which were co-production projects with Studio 100 (Netherlands). But also an international success such as Gormiti, the popular animated series based on the famous children’s toy collection that DeAPlaneta Entertainment co-produced with Italian toy company Giochi Preziosi and Spanish animation studio Kotoc. Other brands managed, distributed
and/or co-produced by the company in recent years include rebranded classics such as The Smurfs, and also That’s Joey!, Power Players or Mutant Busters, among many others.
Nowadays, DeAPlaneta Entertainment has in its portfolio several brands with a unique European flavor and a global scope. One of them is a worldwide phenomena such as Miraculous Ladybug (from French companies Zag Entertainment and ON Kids & Family), IP for which DeAPlaneta Entertainment has been the European licensing agent
since 2016. Last July, Ladybug & Cat Noir. The Movie premiered theatrically in some countries achieving incredible success: it was #1 in Germany, Austria, Poland and France. The movie premiered also on Netflix reaching also the #1 position on Netflix Kids in 49 countries (Spain, Italy or Portugal among them). As Antonella Ceraso, International Consumer Director of DeAPlaneta Entertainment, explains: “The undisputed success of Ladybug & Cat Noir: The Movie demonstrates, once again, the power of an IP that is constantly being renewed. This success will further increase the brand’s
Another European IP which has expanded globally is the multiawarded preschool animated series Milo. Coproduced by DeAPlaneta Entertainment and Fourth Wall (UK), the first season of Milo is already broadcasted on four continents and has been dubbed into dozens of languages. Milo landed recently in France (Gulli) and Mexico (TVAzteca), and this global expansion has led to new licensing agreements, in addition to the existing ones, with Bandai as toy partner. Recent agreements include the first Milo book collection in Italy, which will be
published by Pon Pon Edizioni (Giunti Editore). The second season of Milo, which is finishing its production, will be released in 2024.
Over the following three years, DeAPlaneta Entertainment has, as one of its main objectives, to co-produce and/or acquire ten new IPs annually. Among them, there are European brands which have the potential to expand globally, as Monster Shaker. This original children’s animated series is a co-production between DeAPlaneta Entertainment and French company GO-N. The series, whose first season has already been completed, follows nine-year old Justin, who winds up with a magic shaker that he can use to make tons of crazy monsters with awesome powers. As Antonella Ceraso states: “Monster Shaker has the potential to stand out in the licensing area globally. The monsters, of which no two are alike, are undoubtedly one of the strong points of an IP that offers multiple possibilities to the licensing business, especially in the collectibles area”.
Another of DeAPlaneta Entertainment main European brands of its portfolio is Magic Lilly, a new animated series based on the successful literary and audiovisual saga born in Germany,
Lilly The Witch (Hexe Lilli in its original language), which is currently in preproduction in Spain. It is produced by Bwater Animation Studio (Spain), The Magic Lilly Company (Germany), with the participation of TV Catalunya and TVE (Spain). Magic Lilly will be distributed worldwide by DeAPlaneta Entertainment.
Finally, last June DeAPlaneta Entertainment signed an exclusive strategic deal with the French company Mediawan Kids & Family to promote the development of its brands and become its Master Licensing Agent on a global level. The first confirmed IPs included in the agreement between DeAPlaneta Entertainment and Mediawan Kids & Family are the upcoming animated series The Witch Detectives and Karters, that could be defined as a combination of the magic of My Little Pony and the thrilling races of Mario Kart. Karters, which is in pre-production, is also co-produced between DeAPlaneta Entertainment and Mediawan Kids & Family.
At BLE 2023, Studio 100 Media is set to focus on several key brands, including its innovative preschool series “Vegesaurs”, for which the company has global distribution and licensing rights.
Vegesaurs made its highly successful UK debut on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer earlier this year. A fresh and unique take on the dinosaur genre, the series is also a hit on ABC Australia and France TV (France). Further international
broadcasters on board include SVT (Sweden), YLE (Finland), LTV (Latvia), MTVA (Hungary), NPO Zappelin (the Netherlands), Knowledge TV, and Radio Canada (Canada). Season 2 is already available, with more episodes in production for season 3, which is set for delivery in summer 2024.
This summer in the UK, international publishing partner Macmillan Children’s Books successfully released the “Vegesaurs” book programme led by picture books, bringing the series’ characters to life on the printed page. Furthermore, a worldwide deal for loyalty programmes with a strong focus on retail concepts was secured with licensing partner BrandLoyalty. The first campaign started back in August with Lidl Austria offering 16 figurines to play, swap, collect and create one’s own crazy “Vegesaurs” collection.
Studio 100 Media hosts a key event at BLE on October 5th, in partnership with its UK licensing agent BWI to present the latest news on “Vegesaurs” with a strong focus on the UK market. Licensees are welcome to visit Studio 100 booth D145 to discuss their classics, new fresh developments and key driving activities with Studio 100 IPs.
Studio 100 also highlights pop icon classics such as Heidi, Maya the Bee, and additionally Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland and more so-called “Heroes of Childhood”. For this campaign, they developed various fashion trend books, and they are creating even more assets, all supported by a dedicated consumer products launch. The first success stories for this licensing range in the German market is showcased at the BLE and then introduced into other European markets.
Fashion is the key with these specially developed trend-books with a focus on the outdoors and manga-style/anime clothing for the evergreen worldwide brand Heidi. The famous little girl from the Swiss Alps’ first ever CGI adventure movie, Heidi – Rescue of the Lynx is currently in production with delivery set for late 2024. The feature film tells a whole new story about Heidi and her life in the Alps whilst retaining everything that makes her so unique: the cheerful personality of this muchloved girl, the breathtaking scenery, and the heart-warming stories. She is now also part of UNESCO`s “Memory of the World”! programme where the Heidi and Johanna Spyri archives were recently added for protection and preservation!
Studio 100 Media is also working hard on current brand initiatives such as the one held by the German licensee Bergmensch, who has developed an incredible fashion collection for Heidi by using great new designs.
In addition, Studio 100 Media is also delighted to be the licensing agent in GSA territories for the internationally successful preschool hit Bluey.
As Joachim Knödler, Head of Licensing at Studio 100 Media, says “We recently added Bluey to our portfolio of promising and successful 3rd party rights. After its global success story, Bluey, is now a huge TV and streaming hit in the German-speaking market. Following this, the successful launch of the Moose Toys toy range in Germany lays the foundation for all the other licensing categories and we are already seeing a huge demand from retailers across all outlets, which demonstrates the great potential for Bluey in this territory”.
Toy licensing is always a strong component in the licensing mix,
especially for entertainment characters. It’s not a case that this category is in the lead above all other categories. For Studio 100 Media, next to toys Softlines (apparel) are among the strongest categories as well. Much of the company’s current development on iconic brands such as Heidi and
Maya the Bee is generated from this category. With the right approach, particularly with softlines for a more mature target group, it’s a key driver for significant turnover achievements. This approach will be significant in the upcoming projects developed by this German key-player.
Built on the foundation of friendship and kindness, Sanrio and its variety of iconic characters, have fostered social communication and inclusivity through generations, emphasizing the power of a smile in our everyday life.
In the past decades, Sanrio has elevated its portfolio - its global franchises, Hello Kitty and Mr. Men Little Miss in the first place - into lifestyle brands that provide a diverse and virtually limitless product offering.
In occasion of the upcoming Hello Kitty’s 50th anniversary in 2024 and to leverage its strong legacy, Sanrio has been focusing on expanding into new and exciting platforms, aiming to meet fans wherever they are and continuing to help them engaging with its characters and partners in safe spaces for both families and brands.
Sanrio’s brands have been rapidly evolving into a 360°consumer approach, consolidating their presence into the entertainment industry with new content series, gaming releases and immersive experiences.
The road to 2024 has in the content expansion its turnkey. Alongside the original YouTube series, “Hello Kitty and Friends Supercute Adventures”, which counts 7 seasons already, the company has recently launched a new animated short series featuring as its lead Kuromi, one of the most up-and-coming characters. In “Kuromi’s Pretty Journey” she travels around the world in search of her older sister, Romina, but most of all she learns to “dream without fear”, thus inspiring her fans to always reach for the stars and run that extra mile.
Nevertheless, the biggest step into content creation is Sanrio’s newest tv series “Hello Kitty, Super Style!”, which is available both on notorious streaming platforms and on free TV worldwide from September 2023.
The 52 x 11-minute 3D animated
Top image - New TV series: Hello Kitty Super Style!
show is distributed by Kids First and produced by Watch Media, Monello Productions and Maga Animation. It is based on the iconic Hello Kitty who stars as the friendliest face in the tightknit community of Cherry Town, where she will stop at nothing to help friends in need. In each episode, she uses the power of her magical bow to activate an amazing transformation, changing her outfit to be a brave explorer, a topnotch chef, a sensational pop star and more to help her pals overcome silly setbacks. Targeting preschoolers, the
series aims to attract both children and their parents, reaching them directly and for the first time, on the platforms they are most used to. With Hello Kitty’s various transformations and a roster of new characters, the show allows great collectability and new storytelling, therefore granting enhanced business opportunities.
In the world of gaming, Sanrio has partnered with top names, including the incredibly successful “My Hello Kitty Cafe” game on “Roblox” - which has now reached 300 million visits! -, Fall Guys for a limited-time promotion, and Netflix with the original game “Happiness Parade”. In addition, Apple Arcade has recently released “Hello Kitty Island Adventure”.
As mentioned, Sanrio’s brands also portray diverse personalities and values and aim to promote friendship, kindness, diversity and inclusivity.
The finest representation of these values are the British icons, Mr. Men Little Miss. Created by the late Roger Hargreaves, the series was first published in 1971 and changed global publishing forever. These colorful characters found their way into the hearts and bedtime stories of generations of children around the world, showcasing their remarkable evolution and their role in pioneering a new world of inclusivity and openness.
They have been helping people express themselves for decades, but thanks to the “Mr. Men Little Miss Discover You” book series, their extraordinary ability to communicate human behavior and feelings in a simple and fun way has been brought to the next level. The series is developed in partnership with Farshore and with the support of the Consultant Clinical Psychologist Elizabeth Kilbey, enables children and families to explore their feelings using their favourite characters. After the great success of the first 4 books published
in 2022, now the series boasts 10 titles with many more to come. As well as the new stories, The Discover You Hub on the Mr Men Little Miss website is a must for all parents! The Hub provides useful tips on how to read with your children, storytelling videos to share together, downloadable activities and an exclusive interview with Dr. Kilbey giving her advice on how to tackle big emotions with children.
Sanrio’s entertainment evolution aims to expand Mr. Men Little Miss relevance
to their cross-generational audience, creating dedicated content targeted to their diverse fanbase. A new TikTok account has been recently launched to further capitalize on last year’s viral meme trend, which once again put the brand in the Gen Z’s spotlight. In addition to the aforementioned, the original family exhibition “Monsieur Madame: L’enfant intérieur” opened in Paris last spring. This exhibition, powered by Fever, is a real sensory and interactive journey into childhood, indeed a unique place where both parents and children alike could explore the colorful and joyful universe of Mr. Men Little Miss.
Lastly, in its road to 2024 Sanrio is gearing up to celebrate its one and only Hello Kitty under the theme of “Friend the Future. Let’s be friends with the future.”, praising once again friendship and kindness and how these strongly impact our everyday lives.
Celebrations are bound to start on November 1st 2023 and will continue until the end of 2024. An exclusive program of collabs is being developed together with global PR campaigns as well events and experiences.
Activations will take place around the world to celebrate Hello Kitty’s heritage,
to connect fans with their beloved character and will involve different areas: from artist collabs to exhibitions and shopping experiences.
For instance, Hello Kitty will be featured as “special partner” of “CUTE”, the exhibition that will take place at the Somerset House in London from January 2024. Focusing on the work of artists and musicians who use cute as a key register in their work, the exhibition spotlights cuteness through cultural phenomenon such as fashion, toys, video games and social media to reveal its extraordinary and complex power
Sanrio’s brands have been rapidly evolving into a 360°consumer approach, consolidating their presence into the entertainment industry with new content series, gaming releases and immersive experiences.
In addition, Hello Kitty will be the protagonist of an immersive experience in Milan (Italy) in autumn 2024: instagrammable photo opportunities, dedicated food and exclusive merch are just some of the ingredients that will make this one-of-a-kind event unforgettable for fans of all ages. The whole events calendar will be released in November, just in time for the official kick-off of the Anniversary year.
So, it goes without saying that it’s going to be an extraordinary year, not only for Hello Kitty, but for all her fans!
Minecraft, the best-selling video game about breaking and placing blocks where players work together to create wonderful and imaginative things, has sold more than 238 million copies across all platforms since debuting in 2009.
The Minecraft video game is played by millions of players across all age demographics in every country and territory around the world, including Antarctica and the Vatican City. What started as a game is now a platform and canvas for creative expression and has evolved into an evergreen entertainment franchise with a robust consumer products and retail program.
Led by Federico San Martin, Sr. Global Head of Consumer Products for Minecraft, Microsoft’s Mojang Studios attends Brand Licensing Europe (CAA Suite# A251) looking at opportunities to
extend the Minecraft franchise beyond the game as the brand heads into its 15th anniversary in 2024.
Since 2021 the Minecraft brand business has doubled with now over 150 partners worldwide in a multitude of categories, including toys, games, publishing, apparel/accessories, seasonal, paper goods, food & beverage and more. With a roster of global partners on board, including LEGO, Mattel, Hasbro, Random House, Hallmark, Panini, Paladone, Havaianas, and Uniqlo, and major regional partners such as Kellogg’s, Crayola, American Greetings, Crunchpak, Dynacraft, Huffy,
Bladez Toys, Procos, Andromeda, Fashion UK, Character World, Cataic, and Caprice, to mention a few, Minecraft continues to attract new partners around the world!
Minecraft continues to focus on identifying strategic collaborations in the fashion line, following successful partnerships with several renowned global fashion lines that share its vision, including Crocs, Burberry, Lacoste, and Puma.
Minecraft products are currently available at key brick-and-mortar and online retailers around the world, including Walmart, Target, Amazon, Kohl’s, GameStop, Barnes & Noble, Primark, Pottery Barn, Best Buy, Hot Topic, Smyths, Tesco, EB Games, Big W, Liverpool, C&A, Asda, and Riachuelo.
“We are thrilled with the exponential global growth of the Minecraft brand in just two years. What sets this brand apart, in my opinion, is the limitless wealth of creativity that can be explored and executed with our partners. We listen to our community and the experiences they are looking for with Minecraft, both in-game and in the real world, and we work with an extremely talented team of creatives to deliver that experience. We have been successful because our community is our #1 focus,” commented San Martin. “As we near our 15th anniversary, we have major brand expansion plans in the works with new partners coming on board to help us celebrate this milestone.”
Minecraft is always looking at opportunities to extend the franchise
beyond the game for the community to experience it in many different ways. This includes expanding product categories; new strategic collabs; a theatrical movie; bringing Minecraft to life via location-based experiences, and more.
Hasbro and Minecraft have formed an exciting partnership for the popular sandbox video game. The free Minecraft NERF World DLC (downloadable content) gives players an immersive experience full of thrilling challenges involving their favorite NERF blasters combined with iconic Minecraft worlds and mobs. The Minecraft NERF World DLC will be available for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition via Minecraft Marketplace on October 2nd, 2023.
Nick’s will be launching Minecraft Nut Bars in Europe in September featuring two unique flavors inspired by iconic items and blocks from the game, which will launch in the U.S. this October and available for purchase at retail locations across Europe.
In partnership with CAA, Minecraft launched its first loyalty program in Europe this August via a partnership with L Founders, a leader in the Loyalty Program space, which entails a retail promotion with Tesco in Central and Eastern Europe running through October 24th. As part of the promotion, Tesco consumers will receive a Minecraft gift with purchase with gifts and breakpoints varying by country.
Currently in development, the first liveaction theatrical movie adaptation of Minecraft from Warner Bros., starring Jason Momoa (Aquaman, Dune), and directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre), will hit theaters nationwide on April 4, 2025.
Mojang’s vision for Minecraft is to continue to inspire generations of game changers by building a world through the power of play via games, content, new merchandise, retail launches and promotional partners, by incorporating the core values of crafting together, celebrating creativity, fueling passion, and creating fun! And Minecraft is accomplishing all of that and more as they head into their 15th anniversary!
Another spectacular year for Pokémon has seen record-breaking sales, yet more awards, notable collaborations and continued high visibility.
The world’s largest single property, the iconic brand was named Best Gaming Licensed Property at the UK Licensing Awards for the third year running and cemented its position in the top five of License Global’s Top 150 Licensors.
Italy too has seen soaring success for Pokémon, and The Pokémon Company International has been busy creating fun and exciting products and experiences to engage its rapidly increasing family of Italian fans.
Following recent hugely successful creative retail activations at prestigious Rinascente stores in Milan and Florence, the collaboration continued with another exciting immersive experience at the flagship Via del Tritone store in the heart of Rome – just a few steps away from the Trevi Fountain and Piazza di Spagna. Over four weeks (29 August - 2 October) the famous store saw a window takeover, branded atrium balconies inside the store and a fabulous Pokémon pop-up space in the Exhibition area. The unique Back to School takeover also included a special Pikachu costume character tribute to the Eternal City.
The store’s seven windows running along Via del Tritone showcased exclusive installations of three of Pokémon’s key pillars – the Trading Card Game (TCG), video games for Nintendo Switch, Dolly Noire apparel collection and toys. Inside the store, the Exhibition Area – a 350mt sq place – hosted a unique installation that included a special celebration of the magnificent 60-metre stretch of the ancient aqueduct featured in the Exhibition Area, with a 3D sculpture of the arches and a surprising underwater Pokémon scene, all offering exclusive photo opportunities.
There was also a wide variety of Pokémon products for fans to browse and shop, including the latest Pokémon video games for Nintendo Switch and TCG as well as the newest Pokémon toys such as the squeezable Snorlax and Togepi Squishmallows plush from Jazwares, distributed by ReiToys. Also available was the exclusive Kanto region collection from Italian streetwear designers Dolly Noire, featuring their Pokémon-adorned apparel including T-shirts, hoodies, and accessories. Other covetable product included a Back to School range from Seven, Mattel’s Mega Construx, mugs from Abysse, 3D backpacks from CyP and kids’ apparel and accessories from Difuzed
Pokémon Trainers could also challenge friends at the Trading Card Games tables, and Nintendo Switch consoles were available to play the latest videogame titles, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet. And fan favourite Pikachu made a special meet-and-greet appearance on the second weekend
of the store takeover with a special homage to the city: “When in Rome, do as Romans do”!
Also in Italy, Pokémon and Sanpellegrino partnered for a special Back to School promotion on Levissima “Issima” water for children. Six limited edition 33cl bottles featured colourful images of Jigglypuff, Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Snorlax. The strong marketing campaign, which included online, social media and in-store activation in selected retailers across Italy, also offered a unique opportunity for fans to receive a Pokémon Ravensburger puzzle.
This summer Pokémon and Benetton partnered to launch an apparel collection for adults and children, available instore and online across Europe. The 0-12 collection includes pyjamas and underwear (launched 28 August) followed by an Undercolors range (launched 15 September) with t-shirts and sweaters, all decorated with playful Pokémon.
Pokémon TCG continues to be popular in Italy. The latest Scarlet & Violet expansions, June’s Paldea Evolved and August’s Obsidian Flames, introduced type-shifted Tera Pokémon ex, while new Ancient and Future Pokémon cards launched this autumn and Ace Spec cards returning in 2024 look set to keep demand strong. And now fans can experience the world of the Pokémon TCG in video game form via Game Boy –Nintendo Switch Online.
New video game Detective Pikachu Returns launched exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 6, 2023, as the one and only tough-talking, coffeeloving, great Detective Pikachu and his
trusty partner, Tim Goodman – with the help of many other Pokémon – work together to solve a series of mysterious incidents occurring in Ryme City, a place where humans and Pokémon live side by side.
Pokémon Sleep, the sleep tracker app that turns sleep into entertainment, launched in Europe in July; and new updates and experiences were also revealed for popular Pokémon mobile games GO, Masters EX and Café ReMix
The iconic original series gears up for Series 26, Pokémon Horizons; and brand-new Netflix stop-motion series Pokémon Concierge, expands the Pokémon world with a new storyline. A new animated web series, Pokémon: Paldean Winds, which brings the Paldea region to life in an all-new way, debuted on the official Pokémon YouTube channel. This limited original series follows three academy students—Ohara, Aliquis, and Hohma—on their journey of growth and learning while attending school.
With a solid track record of successful collaborations ranging from the niche to mass-market and from high street to high-end, trusted relationships at retail and a huge global fanbase spanning all demographics, Pokémon’s robust licensing programme continues to attract strong partners. Recent innovative collaborations include exciting collections from Balmain and Puma, alongside covetable releases from key licensees including Funko, Wand Company and Ravensburger.
With further bold partnerships to come across a fantastic and varied range of categories, Pokémon look set for another sensational year in 2024
Mattel is a global toy company like no other. Known for its iconic brands such as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, and more, it’s been making waves in the entertainment and consumer products industry with recent developments that captivated audiences worldwide.
From the ground-breaking success of the Barbie movie to their strategic forays into licensed entertainment, Mattel is redefining the way brands engage with consumers and expanding their franchises.
The release of Barbie the Movie marked a historic moment for the Barbie brand, possibly one of the biggest cultural events in its nearly 65-year history. The success of the Barbie movie can be attributed to several key factors: Collaboration and Trust: One of the cornerstones of the film’s triumph was the collaboration between Mattel,
Warner Bros., and creative talents like Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie. The creators were given the freedom to bring their vision to life, resulting in a film that resonated with audiences of all ages. Marketing Excellence: Mattel’s world-class marketing organization, in collaboration with Warner Bros., played a pivotal role in making the movie unmissable. Their expertise in demand creation, combined with Warner Bros.’ promotional engine and global distribution platform, created a marketing juggernaut that was hard to ignore.
Cultural Phenomenon: The Barbie movie’s box office success during the first weekend, positive film reviews,
and the extensive buildup to its release transformed it into more than just a movie; it became a cultural phenomenon.
Brand Strength: Barbie’s enduring brand strength was another critical factor. The brand had already experienced a resurgence with the “Barbiecore” trend, positioning it as a cultural icon, and the movie capitalized on this momentum. Licensing Deals: The movie’s success was not limited to the silver screen; it extended into the consumer products realm, with more than 165 brand partners celebrating its release. These products spanned fashion, beauty, accessories, and more, showcasing the versatility and excitement of Mattel’s IP.
The success of the Barbie movie represents a milestone for Mattel and showcases the cultural resonance of their IP. Mattel aims to continue telling stories across all its incredible IP through a clear brand purpose, consumer-centric design innovation, cultural relevance, and executional excellence.
But what’s next for Mattel? The company is not resting on its laurels; it’s actively expanding its IP into various media and product categories. Upcoming films based on properties like Barney and Hot Wheels demonstrate the effectiveness of branded entertainment and its potential to unlock new opportunities for Mattel. With several projects in development, including 13 films, over 30 television shows, live events, and consumer products, this approach reflects Mattel’s commitment to
expanding its franchises and engaging audiences on multiple fronts.
In addition to films and television shows, Mattel is actively involved in the digital gaming space and the Metaverse. The launch of the Mattel Creations Digital Collectibles Marketplace, featuring NFT collections like Hot Wheels, demonstrates their forward-thinking approach to digital engagement. With plans to explore different ways to connect with consumers, whether through digital audiobooks or immersive virtual experiences, Mattel is committed to making licensed entertainment purposeful and relevant in the everevolving digital landscape.
As for the future of franchise, Mattel has a clear vision. The company aims to double the franchise side of its business by 2025, striving to make the number one doll brand in the world also the number one franchise brand in fashion,
accessories, home, health, beauty, and beyond.
Collaboration remains a key driver of success. Mattel partners with those who share their vision for brand purpose, design-led innovation, cultural relevance, and executional excellence. Whether it’s toothbrushes or TikTok, video games, or vacuums, Mattel constantly explores different ways to engage with consumers.
The space for brands will continue to grow, but the importance of keeping it purposeful is never lost at Mattel —a value instilled in the company since its inception. Brands that engage with consumers authentically, resonate with their values, and offer meaningful experiences will thrive in the world of consumer products and licensing. Mattel’s journey in consumer products and franchise, epitomized by the Barbie movie’s success, demonstrates the power of collaboration, trust in creators, and the ability to grow with your audience. With an expansive portfolio of IP-driven properties and a commitment to purposeful engagement, Mattel is poised to shape the future of consumer products and franchise, capturing the hearts of generations to come.
The Original Smiley Brand launches a global trailblazing Campaign - We are all Original.
For more than half a century, Smiley® has been a universally recognised trademark of happiness and positivity. Born in 1972 as a beacon of feelgood news, Smiley has transcended to become a global brand, inspiring creativity and optimism.
The Smiley Company are the proud creators and guardians of two iconic brands: Smiley Originals® and SmileyWorld® featuring the original Smileys; whose journey is a celebration of creativity, positivity, and the art of influence.
For 2024, the Smiley brand delves
into the minds of influential artists who share their perspectives on being original creators, the power of creation, the art of influencing others, and the emotions tied to imitation. These engaging conversations with talented artists are their way of reinforcing the position as the true originators of the Smiley brand, the pioneers who have revolutionised online communication with the iconic Smileys.
In a world filled with copycats, this new campaign will ensure that the public can always distinguish the genuine article from the imitators. The campaign creates a deep emotional connection with their audience, so they yearn for the original, craving nothing less than the authentic Smiley experience.
The “We Are All Original” campaign by Smiley represents a bold and pioneering endeavor that dares to champion the cause of authenticity in a society where success is often measured against the rigid yardsticks of societal norms. This campaign goes beyond the conventional understanding of pioneering by fundamentally reshaping the way we perceive uniqueness in individuals, irrespective of their background or social standing.
In a world that frequently encourages conformity, the campaign courageously emphasizes the innate distinctiveness that resides within every individual. It challenges the prevailing notions that often pressure people to conform to societal expectations and standards, encouraging them to stand proud in their own unique identities.
Rather than adhering to the stereotypical ideals of success, the “We Are All Original” campaign highlights a diverse array of individuals who embody the
essence of originality. These individuals, hailing from various walks of life, serve as living testaments to the power of being true to oneself. Through their stories and experiences, the campaign aims to ignite a sense of empowerment within others, inspiring them to embrace their authentic selves.
The campaign’s global impact is nothing short of remarkable, with a staggering reach that spans over 100 million people worldwide. To convey its profound message of individuality and authenticity, “We Are All Original” leverages a multi-faceted approach. It employs captivating storytelling that engages the audience on an emotional level, making them connect deeply with
the message. Dynamic visuals bring these stories to life, creating a visual feast that resonates with viewers. Additionally, the campaign uses relatable narratives that bridge the gap between diverse backgrounds, making it accessible to people from all walks of life.
With its far-reaching impact and compelling storytelling, this campaign serves as a powerful reminder that authenticity is a universal treasure worth celebrating. #WeAreAllOriginal
This global digital-first campaign creatively spotlights global trailblazers
in their respective fields. Collaborations with partners bring their products into the heart of this creative expression. The line-up for We are All Original includes global actors, artists, fashion designers, musicians, sporting icons and more.
We Are All Original goes beyond the Smiley brand as it extends its invitation to partner brands. Through this campaign, Smiley provides a platform for partners to participate, placing their customers and innovators at the forefront. Delivering an inclusive, personal celebration of their varied customer demographics.
The “We Are All Original” campaign represents a dynamic and far-reaching endeavor that aims to make a lasting impact on a global scale. This initiative is strategically designed to not only reinforce Smiley’s existing reputation but also elevate it to the status of the ultimate destination for individuals seeking positivity, creativity, and inclusivity in their brand choices.
To achieve this, the campaign will leverage a multifaceted approach, capitalising on a diverse array of channels and strategies, creating a 360-campaign encompassing outdoor advertising, media partnerships, influencer collaborations, retail experiential, and a robust presence on social and digital platforms.
By employing this comprehensive approach across multiple touchpoints, the “We Are All Original” campaign is well-equipped to resonate with a global audience, thereby reinforcing Smiley’s position as the leading brand for positivity, creativity, and inclusivity. It’s a testament to the brand’s commitment to embracing and celebrating the diversity of its customer base while fostering a sense of unity and authenticity worldwide.
This campaign unites activists, artists, creatives, outsiders, and originators under the banner of “We Are All Original.”
In an era where sustainability and conscious consumption are paramount, Smiley continues to evolve and inspire a brighter tomorrow. Deeply rooted in the essence of the Original Smiley Brand, Future Positive® is a pioneering initiative, a testament to Smiley’s dedication to addressing worldwide social and climate injustices. By offering
a platform to showcase those that align with the Future Positive® mindset, The Smiley Company will become an ambassador for responsible brands, positioning itself as a committed stakeholder in society.
This conscientious approach has drawn over 50 brands and partners from diverse sectors, including FMCG, home, lifestyle, and fashion, to embark on this transformative journey. The forwardthinking campaign aspires to not only inspire environmental solutions but also play its part in ecological transition.
By offering a prominent platform to showcase brands that share the Future Positive® mindset, The Smiley Company is poised to become an ambassador for responsible businesses and a committed stakeholder in society’s journey towards sustainability.
For the past three years, this brand
mission has materialized through the Smiley Movement, a not-for-profit initiative in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Smiley Movement serves as a catalyst for meaningful engagement with consumers, fostering a social legacy. It aims to inspire positive change in society by addressing pressing societal and environmental challenges through a comprehensive cross-media approach encompassing news, videos, events, and awards. This bridge between the non-profit sector and the wider public aims to empower individuals to take purposeful action and nurture hope for a brighter future.
As Smiley embraces the Future Positive® mindset, it not only charts its own course toward sustainability but also emerges as a beacon of hope and change, guiding us all towards a future that is not just brighter but also more responsible and conscious.
Perfetti Van Melle, the power candy house, is thrilled to announce the 25th anniversary of its Global Licensing Division at the upcoming Brand Licensing Europe Show.
Perfetti Van Melle Global Licensing has proudly excelled in innovation and originality for a quarter century, consistently surpassing its achievements and leaving an unmistakable mark on the licensing field. The enormous value of its brands, together with the devotion and dedication of the whole licensing
family, including its global agents and master licensees, has opened the path for numerous astonishingly successful licensing relationships.
To commemorate this milestone, and in line with this year’s “Location-based Entertainment” event theme, Perfetti Van Melle has crafted a Candy experience booth (D240) that pays homage to the heritage and nostalgia of the evergreen candy brands, inspired by the color and fun present in its DNA.
During the show, Perfetti Van Melle is excited to offer a sneak preview of the launches and artwork developments. Chupa Chups and Mentos are already succeeding in the Location-based category in numerous events in China, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, with many more on the way. New captivating collectible toys are offering
consumers delightful experiences. To top it all off, the launch of Chupa Chups in the Metaverse in collaboration with a well-known specialized company in the virtual space will be unveiled shortly.
Attention to design
Design is an important component of PVM’s business, since the creation of the Chupa Chups logo by Salvador Dalí, in 1968. This special logo has become a fashion brand icon, and the Style guide portfolio now contains more than 3.000 designs. They collaborate with a large international team of designers, illustrators, and fashion design organizations. They worked on projects with well-known artists such as Anya Hindmarch, Philip Colbert, Willow, Maya Hansen, Mariscal, Jordi Labanda, Catalina Estrada, Olympia Le-Tan, Ailanto; and famous brands like Fila, Zara, Casio, Pantone or Nike.
Perfetti Van Melle is now working with renowned Spanish pop artist Felipao on a very unique and revolutionary digital masterpiece that will be revealed during BLE.
Felipao is a daring pop artist whose lively, colourful personality perfectly complements the essence of Perfetti Van Melle’s businesses. His famous creations have positioned him as one of today’s most celebrated pop artists, with a long trajectory in international exhibitions and artistic endeavours.
PVM began licensing in 1998 with the Chupa Chups brand, as a pioneer F&B brand in the European market. It has grown steadily, and it now thrives worldwide, particularly in South Korea, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and China.
Every year, over 1.000 items are licensed, with a retail sales value of 195 million dollars in 2022. All of this is made possible thanks to the immense value of its brands, along with the commitment and dedication of the entire licensing family, including its worldwide agents and master licensees. They act as local representatives, helping to drive with a great team effort the significant growth of the Chupa Chups licensing business. Today they have 12 agents representing the various brands: Sanrio Far East, Infiniss, SEMK Global Marketing, Asembl Brands, Seltzer Licensing Group, Lisa Marks Associates, Wildbrain-CPLG, Licensing Matters Global, Lucci TM, Tycoon, Destra, Pacific Licensing Studio.
It wasn’t until 2016 that the company made the strategic decision to broaden the reach of its brand by forming partnerships in the Food & Beverage (F&B) sector
The F&B licensing journey began that year with a delicious cooperation between Chupa Chups and Unilever to release Chupa Chups Calippo Shots. The success of this initial venture laid the groundwork for what has grown into a thriving F&B licensing category: today, PVM’s F&B business accounts for one-third of the licensing’s revenue, with more than 20 active licensees worldwide representing four of the company’s well-known brands: Chupa Chups, Mentos, Fruit-tella, and Airheads
This 7-year journey through the F&B market has included frozen novelties, beverages, desserts, snacks, and proteins. Mentos beverages were one of Perfetti Van Melle’s most recent releases in Europe, following the success of Chupa Chups drinks, which are now available in over 30 countries and represent one of the company’s longest-standing licensing contracts in the category.
Limited-edition DTR collaborations (Chupa Chups bubble tea at Chatime and Fruit-tella Ice creams at Iceland), cobranded collaborations (Chupa Chups soda by Pokka Sapporo’s Gabunomi; Chupa Chups ice creams by Bulla and by La Menorquina; Fruit-tella ice cream by Ijsboerke), and long-term partnerships
(Namyang’s Chupa Chups and Mentos drinks) are examples of food to food collaborations.
Other outstanding examples of this approach are the expansion into the Protein Category through collaborations with notable partners such as Xtend (Nutrabolt) for Airheads and MyProtein (The Hut Group) for Chupa Chups, or the launch of the snacking category with Chupa Chups Popcorn.
The primary objectives of these collaborations are to generate synergies by tapping into different consumers segments, boosting brand value, continuously surprising costumers, and enhancing clients engagement. This approach may also lead to the expansion of market share for both licensee and licensor.
Angry Birds is about to celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2024, being one of the most well-recognised consumer brands in the world. Recent highlights include a new TV series to be released on Prime Video, location-based entertainment experiences, and fantastic product partnerships.
Angry Birds is a fan favourite with over 5 billion downloads, 25 million social media followers, and 96% brand awareness. Rovio Entertainment created the brand in 2009 as a popular mobile game that has developed into a global media empire over the years. The franchise includes two feature films, a long-form Netflix series and a second long-form series coming to Prime Video, as well as location-based entertainment experiences.
Today, it is regarded as an evergreen brand, and it is about to celebrate its 15th anniversary in December 2024, with year-long events planned. Especially in light of this milestone, it is constantly on the lookout for new partners in a variety of industries that
are a wonderful fit for Angry Birds. The brand already has hardlines, softlines, F&B and LBE partners for different regions for the anniversary, but is open to all opportunities for fresh, fun, and intriguing partnerships.
This year for the first time the Angry Birds brand’s consumer products, location-based entertainment licensing and publishing rights were consolidated under one global agency, IMG. The agency has been managing the licensing program since August 2020 but in the beginning of this year, they also acquired publishing rights. With this new addition, they are looking to expand the franchise’s current publishing programme, which included regional deals with Penguin Children’s Puffin, and
Nordic publishing house Storytel, with new global and regional deals for books, comic books, audiobooks and activity books featuring the brand’s beloved characters. However, the collaboration with IMG is spawning a multitude of new partnerships across the board.
One of the most-watched kids’ brand
Angry Birds was one of the mostwatched brands among kids 8-16 in the US and UK in 2022 (Kids Know Best Study). One upcoming release to watch in the audiovisual sphere is Angry Birds Mystery Island, an Animated Series from Rovio Entertainment and Titmouse, with the collaboration of the author Eric Rogers (Futurama), for Prime Video and Amazon Kids+ In the upcoming series, the Hatchlings, Rovio’s cherished young birds, must cooperate with their new piglet buddy to survive on a desert island with mysterious supernatural elements. The animated series features an ensemble cast that includes Harvey Guillén (What We Do in the Shadows), Kate Micucci (Scooby-Doo!), Dominic Monaghan (The Lord of the Rings), and Nasim Pedrad (Saturday Night Live). The show promises a lot of fun, mystery, and adventure over the course of 24 episodes in the first season, with irreverent humor and pop culture references that everyone in the family will appreciate. Angry Birds Mystery Island introduces three new Hatchling
hours watched. Watchtime continues to increase due to fun, engaging and versatile content offering - comparing H1 2023 to H1 2022, its growth was of 42%. Angry Birds movies are distributed in over 120 platforms globally, continuing to engage and gain attraction.
In LBE, the brand is doing excellently. Angry Birds versatile portfolio already includes an amusement park, activity parks, interactive experiences, games and events around the globe. The latest endeavors include a partnership with
characters, Mia, Rosie, and Buddy, as well as a foreign-exchange piglet named Hamylton, and follows their adventures when they are accidentally flung onto an unexplored island. Without any grownups to guide them through the foreign sights, scents, and unexplained phenomena of their new surroundings, the motley group quickly realises that in order to survive and return home, they must work together to solve the island’s mysteries.
The Angry Birds Youtube channel is also an important and growing platform for the brand, with new short-form animated series and fun content videos being released regularly. It currently has over 6 million subscribers, 7.8 billion lifetime views and 258 million
Immersive Gamebox who established a life-size Angry Birds gaming experience in more than 20 locations around the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and Germany last year. SCG America opened an Angry Birdsthemed café in New York City. The over 300-square-meter cafe is called iSwii by Angry Birds and is the first Angry Birds retail cafe in the world. Tangram, a shopping mall with approximately 100,000 square metres in Queens, New York, welcomed the cafe on July 8th. The location offers delicious pastries, trendy bubble teas, gaming, a retail section, and one-of-a-kind photo opportunities with your favourite Angry Birds characters. Designed for individuals and families alike, iSwii by Angry Birds is adorned with modern décor and features a collection of Instagrammable NYC-themed statue installations outside the entrance, an eye-catching bright mural ceiling with Angry Birds graphics, a vibrant terrazzo counter and flooring resembling dessert sprinkles. Angry Birds-themed items include nest-like wicker and hanging chairs, bird paradise graphic wall coverings, and tropical plants
on shelving units where Hatchlings, the baby birds, can be found. Other amenities include glass-partitioned exhibition displays with chef’s custommade scrumptious seasonal holiday cakes & pastries, all of which contribute to the most enjoyable retail and cafe experience any Angry Birds fan can imagine. The Angry Birds iSwii experience is also available for private parties and gatherings in private “nests” - rooms with Angry Birds VR games and treats, including personalised Angry Birds-themed gift bags for partygoers. The Angry Birds franchise recently partnered with Attraktion!, a prominent manufacturer of media-based attractions, that uses the multiplayer platform Playneo for breakthrough gaming experiences. Playneo combines
cutting-edge technology with exciting gameplay to provide a next-generation free-roam entertainment platform. For Angry Birds, the platform adds another engaging and instantly identifiable element for players of all ages. The game goes beyond ordinary 2D visuals by employing a high-end 3D style inspired by the Angry Birds films. In the game, players are recruited by Red to safeguard their island paradise against an invasion of pigs.
The game made its debut at the IAAPA Expo Asia in Singapore in June, with live demonstrations. It will formally launch in October 2023, with its first locations in the United States, Austria, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates.
This year saw many new launches in all main categories (apparel, F&B, toys, electronics...) through licensees around the globe. The perfect Angry Birds partners are passionate about innovation and humour and want to develop something unique with this beloved brand. Among the most recent highlights is a collaboration with Powerlocus on a children’s headphones collection. The line of high-quality, eyecatching headphones seeks to make listening to music, watching films, and remote learning more pleasurable for children. The first collection of the Angry Birds PowerLocus P2 Kids headphones is composed of excellent materials and is available in four colour choices with entertaining prints of the characters.
Sweden-based Live Brands Factory AB announced a collection of Angry Birds soda, ice cream and cake products in the Swedish market. The line has been launched through Dagab, the
assortment, purchasing and logistics support company for Swedish food retail giant Axfood Group. It is currently available for purchase in Axfood Group’s retail chains across the country including Willys, Hemköp, Tempo and City Gross. The initial launch included a selection of soft drinks called Red (raspberry), Chuck (pear) and Piggy (watermelon), with the name and appearance of each flavor representing popular Angry Birds characters. Additionally, there are two new ice lollies in Red (orange) and Bomb (cola) flavours, which are sold together in large packs. Lastly, the launch included a chocolate cake, called Angry Birds, which consists of crispy wafers covered in milk chocolate.
A version of the original Angry Birds slingshot game was launched to the dashboard touchscreen of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class luxury sedan. This experience is powered by Faurecia Aptoide, the leading automotive App Store, that will make Angry Birds available on the Mercedes-Benz vehicles , providing new and more dynamic car journey experiences. The game’s goal is to give an inclusive entertainment alternative for people
of all ages, making journeys more enjoyable. The new deal is Angry Birds’ first collaboration with a luxury vehicle brand, enhancing the brand’s burgeoning worldwide array of consumer products and experiences.
Rovio Entertainment has also partnered with award-winning educational gaming platform Legends of Learning to bring the globally-loved media franchise into the world of education. The
collaboration will result in a series of educational games based on the Angry Birds franchise’s famous characters and settings. The games are designed to assist kids in understanding fundamental STEM topics such as collisions and forces, as well as angle measurement, by utilising engaging gaming experiences, interactive gameplay, and hands-on problemsolving.
With thousands of fun, curriculumaligned math and science games, the educational platform helps teachers make classrooms a joyful and productive learning environment through research-driven game-based learning.
The educational Angry Birds games are set to be released on Legends of Learning website in the Fall 2023
“Unmissable, nail biting, allconsuming” are just a few of the words used by The Traitors licensees to describe one of the boldest new brands at BLE.
Rights holder and distributor All3Media International has secured an impressive slate of ancillary content for this awardwinning, smash hit reality gameshow. From a distribution deal in Flemish Belgium with the original board game developers Identity Games, to a card and board game release covering Norway,
All3Media International’s partnerships with additional licensees including Ginger Fox, Metrostar, Penguin Random House, Rubies and Goliath Games extend across EMEA, Australia and New Zealand.
Here, five licensees share why they have faith in The Traitors.
Emma Weber, Senior Director - Marketing and Licensing (UK), Goliath Games
What first drew you to The Traitors?
Our team were already addicted to the BBC series. Identity Games created the board game and when they showed us it in early development, we immediately saw how they had managed to capture the essence of the on-screen enjoyment and drama into the board game!
Why do you think The Traitors translates so well into a board game? The TV format has a universal appeal globally. Everyone enjoys watching the unpredictability of teamwork and friendship turning when people ultimately double cross under pressure as they suspect a Traitor is in their midst. The board game brings that same tension at home when you start to suspect who the Traitor is amongst the players. Working closely with All3Media International the board game has been translated and localised for each market and we have some exciting marketing and experiential plans for the launch later in season…
Can you sum up The Traitors in three words?
Addictive, compelling and tense!
The Traitors Board Game is distributed by Goliath Games and is available now in the UK. Goliath will also launch the board game in Spain, France and Germany and hold rights for the board game in additional EMEA territories, Australia and New Zealand. The original board game is developed by Identity Games in the Netherlands.
Claire Potter, Founder and CEO of Metrostar
What first drew you to The Traitors?
It was hard to miss! So many people I knew were hooked so I watched a few episodes on BBC iPlayer and became one of them! The distinctive aesthetic and compelling game play lends itself so well to licensed products and the style guide shows off the traitor/ faithful word play superbly.
Why do you think The Traitors translates so well into a dress up line?
Costumes, for us, were an obvious move. The prominence of the cloaks and the popularity of cosplay screamed dress up and we were delighted when Rubies agreed with us.
Can you sum up The Traitors in three words?
Unmissable, all-consuming, dramatic.
Metrostar is partnering with All3Media International in the UK, covering giftware, dress up and apparel rights
What first drew you to The Traitors? We were approached by All3Media International ahead of season one airing, with an exciting opportunity they couldn’t talk fully about, which was very intriguing! Once we heard the premise of the show we were hooked.
Why do you think The Traitors translates so well into a card game? The Traitors has many elements working together to make it the perfect card game, strategy, deception and simplicity.
Can you sum up The Traitors in three words?
Nail-biting, dramatic, enthralling!
Ginger Fox’s The Official Traitors Card Game is available now in the UK.
RUBIESJustin McGiffin, Head of Licensing for Rubies
What first drew you to The Traitors?
Zennor Compton, Editorial Director, Non-Fiction Century, Penguin Random House
What first drew you to The Traitors?
I was hooked on the show from the very first episode. It’s a deceptively simple premise that leads to the most compelling human drama and shows the best (and occasionally the worst!) of what we can do to each other. It’s completely addictive and surely must count among the best TV shows ever made!
Why do you think The Traitors translates so well into a book? Partly because of the scope for human drama but also because the cast and their varied personalities are integral to the show’s appeal which is great creative material for a narrative experience.
Can you sum up The Traitors in three words?
Dramatic, consuming and FUN!
Century, an imprint of Penguin Random House, will publish The Traitors: The Interactive Game Book this November in the UK
It’s a suspenseful and unpredictable format that keeps viewers guessing until the very end. The diversity of the contestants from all walks of life makes the show more relatable and engaging, as viewers can see themselves in the participants. It’s psychological drama explores the dynamics of deception, betrayal, trust and loyalty, which makes the show more thought-provoking and relevant. And ultimately it is fascinating to watch how people’s relationships are affected by lies and secrets.
Why do you think The Traitors translates so well into a dress up line?
The cloaks are just iconic. They make for a simple yet effective costume, whether its game night with friends or going to party.
Can you sum up The Traitors in three words?
Popcorn-TV with friends.
Rubies will launch the official cloaks for BBC’s The Traitors later this year in the UK
TAT is a production company and studio specializing in 3D animation for television and film. Founded in 2000 by David Alaux, Eric and Jean-François Tosti, based in Toulouse, today TAT is a well-known European studio, with four released animated films: the company’s flagship property, The Jungle Bunch (2017); Astro Kid (2019); Pil’s Adventures (2021); and Epic Tails (2023).
TAT’s productions have been distributed in over 200 territories and translated into over 50 languages and has become one of the leading animation studios in France, winner of several awards, including an Emmy Award for Jungle Bunch to the rescue.
The studio’s partners, investors and co producers include France TV, Canal +, M6 TV, Netflix, Sky, Hulu, Cartoon Network, Super RTL, Turner, FOX, Nickelodeon, Rai, Universal and many others.
At TAT productions, quality comes first. The use of high-end 3D technology allows the studio to deliver the best image quality in the market, with sharp, detailed images that captivate all the family.
TAT’s 20+ years of experience - not only in animation but also in product approval and development – makes the company an ideal partner for licensed products, thanks in part to its longstanding partnerships with broadcasters such as France Télévisions.
Throughout the years TAT has worked with partners to develop over 120 different products.
Today, TAT is turning its focus to a brand-new 3D animated TV series, Pil’s Adventures, inspired by a movie released in 82 countries and one of the major IPs included in the company’s portfolio. The
show is currently in development.
Pil’s Adventures: the series, a new opportunity for licensing partners
The series follows the adventures of Pil, a clever and rebellious young girl who protects the medieval city of Foggyborough. Along with her three tamed weasels, Pil conducts investigations, stops bandits, and teaches lessons to tyrannical nobles. The wacky adventures of Pil and her friends take us on a surprising, neverbefore-seen journey through the Middle Ages.
Pil’s Adventures: The Series is the perfect mix of action and comedy and takes place in a fascinating medieval setting populated by strong and unique characters that appeal to the audience and grab their attention.
As Damiano Bedini, Licensing Manager for TAT says “After the movie release, we realized that broadcasters were really interested in Pil. They were looking for a new female hero that was capable of standing out from competitors and making the difference and they found it with Pil. They were surprised to see a character design that was bold, disruptive, innovative and sensibly different from the vast majority of characters on the market”.
The TV series, currently in development, will consist of 52 x 13-minute episodes and will be targeted for 6- to 10-yearold girls and boys. The TV series will premiere on France Télévisions in 2025.
A worldwide launch is planned for 2025/2026, and a second season could follow in 2027 and 2028.
TAT productions decided to focus on Pil, a character that fans already knew from the film’s release, as similar content shows how much the audience appreciates different role models and new types of strong, independent, and unconventional princesses. In fact, “after the movie release, I went to several screenings where I had the opportunity to meet the audience – said Julien Fournet, Film Director of ‘Pil’s Adventures: The Movie’ “The most frequently asked question by younger viewers was ‘When
will we see a new adventure of Pil?’”
TAT’s team is always ready to help its licensing partners with any type of
product, from legal support to graphic design and art direction. For example, the studio provides a rich and complete style guide in high definition on TAT’s easy-to-use online, customized platform. The platform contains 140 PSD character poses, 240 PSD images (buildings, objects, props, and backgrounds), as well as logos, fonts and graphic elements for packaging. Furthermore, TAT productions support their partners by making trade & retail marketing campaigns and brand awareness activities to help licensed products standing out from competitors. From building a community on social media, influencer marketing, and live events, to malls partnerships, podcasts, newspapers, PR and more. The TAT team is always ready to support its partners in the area of marketing as well, because, as they say: “Your products, are our products”.
With a focus on small steps every day, curiosity, fun and a never wavering belief in quality, it does seem possible to leave quit an impressive footprint around the world. Who would have thought when Dick Bruna drew Miffy 68 years ago that his creation and design philosophy would still resonate so strongly today. Because keeping it simple is not that simple afterall!
A dedicated Miffy Café was recently opened on Geoje Island in SouthKorea.
The beautiful architecture of this uniquely located place gives form to something that Dick Bruna himself ones was quoted as having said ‘Windows have always fascinated me. They provide a frame. Matisse painted views. Beautiful. In real life I also love to look out of windows, from a closed place into the outside world’
Inspired by Dick Bruna’s picture books in combination with its own strong design, authenticity and surrounding natural beauty, this space gives room for the imagination. F&B, creative family areas, a roof top venue and a dedicated shop with location-based products provide an eclectic offering to experience Miffy’s world.
Multiple photo genetic special areas and the gift shop will also ensure that visitors are treated to a truly unique experience that they can take home.
artists and designers alike, capturing the imagination across ages and artistic disciplines.
Originally published in 2020 it has now been made available in Italian through Lupo Guido (www.lupoguido.it). The original English version can be reached at the link https://thamesandhudson. com/dick-bruna-9780500094136, a collaboration between Thames & Hudson and Mercis Publishing.
Daisy Street, the lifestyle brand for the independent minded next generation, will be launching their Miffy collection globally in the Autumn of 2023
This cheerful and extensive capsule collection pays tribute to self-expression
The illustrators ‘Dick Bruna’
‘A fascinating introduction to the art and techniques of the illustrator who, in Miffy, ‘created one of the most recognizable characters in the world’ (The New York Times)’.
‘For millions of children, Dick Bruna’s books are the first they will encounter. They don’t know how lucky they are (Michael Bond)’.
This Thames & Hudson’s publication
The Illustrators is all about the Dutch artist Dick Bruna (1927–2017). It takes readers behind the scenes of the creation of some of the world’s most endearing children’s characters. Offering a deeper appreciation of the artistry and skills behind the international icon Miffy, fellow illustrator Bruce Ingman also reveals Bruna’s lesser-known work, including his striking book and poster designs. A glimpse into his studio in Utrecht reveals a man of many media, including drawing, painting, collage and photography. All the elements of Bruna’s extensive body of work, spanning book covers, posters, stamps
and merchandise, are given due significance in this illuminating study of his reputation and success. By the time of Bruna’s retirement, Miffy had become an industry in her own right and Bruna an international star far beyond the sphere of children’s books. Ingman shows us how the simple complexity of Bruna’s work appeals to children,
Miffy was “born” on 21 June 1955 when Dutch Illustrator, graphic designer and artist Dick Bruna first drew the character to entertain his young son whilst on a rainy seaside holiday in Holland. The series of picture books which followed used simple illustrations and rhyming text to explore the universal experiences of childhood, immediately earning Bruna international critical acclaim as an author and artist.
To date the Miffy books have sold more than 85 million copies, published in more than 50 languages. Merchandise is available across five continents and highly integrated business units in the fields of publishing, media and licensing support Miffy’s global explorations.
For more information about Dick Bruna’s life and work, visit www.miffy. com or write to email@example.com
Where to fine Miffy at BLE: booth B166 (Mercis)
and will include Apparel, Accessories, Hosieries and Nightwear for women. Look out for this collection in amongst other Urban Outfitters, Footasylum, Pacsun, Hot Topiz, Simons and online on www.daisystreet.co.uk.
With new Teletubbies content recently hitting screens on Netflix and YouTube, plus the new highly anticipated Strawberry Shortcake CG-animated seasonal specials, which start rolling out worldwide on Netflix on October 2, consumer appetite for these brands has never been higher. Fashion and apparel partnerships are an ideal way to respond to this surge in fandom as audiences, both new and original, want to celebrate everything they love about characters through what they wear.
Fashion provides a vital consumer touchpoint for evergreen brands, bringing joy to the young and the young-at-heart. WildBrain has built a strong fashion programme for two of its most iconic evergreen brands, Teletubbies and Strawberry Shortcake, to bring playfulness into the fashion space.
The Teletubbies have been a part of popular culture from the moment they launched in 1997. The original fans of the Teletubbies, who were toddlers back when the series first aired, are now adults, and their love for the brand lives on. The colorful quartet, with their iconic antennae and larger-than-life shapes, have been a natural fit for the fashion world, with fans eager to celebrate.
The recent partnership with Christian
Cowan, who is renowned for his fantastical fashion designs, was hugely exciting. What started as an improvisational, behind-the-scenes moment with Tinky Winky at New York Fashion Week in September 2021, became a viral capsule collection this past spring.
Bold, innovative, inclusive and fresh, the assortment includes hoodies, t-shirts and denim that anybody can wear.
Christian also created an iconic pair of knee-high boots in tribute to his favorite
Teletubby, Dipsy, in neon green plush fabric, which generated a huge amount of online buzz, press coverage and celebrity interaction.
WildBrain is continuing to build on the wave of ever-increasing worldwide momentum and surging fandom for the Teletubbies to offer fresh takes on the brand. The global agency WildBrain CPLG, continues to elevate and innovate, having secured an impressive range of fashion and accessories licensees. Collaborations include a unisex apparel hat and bag range from Mark Fairwell, which debuted this summer in over 1,000 stores in China, a onesie collection by Brand Alliance launching globally at Primark this fall, and apparel from Cakeworthy for the US, Canada and the UK launching next year.
US retailer Dolls Kill is launching a
Teletubbies capsule collection of apparel and accessories, targeting the spring festival season in 2024, following the retailer’s hugely popular collaboration with Strawberry Shortcake earlier this year. Glisten Cosmetics is also on board for a colorful range of Teletubbies beauty products, including Tubby Custard blush, Tubby Toast palettes, and character-shaped eyeshadows and brushes. As part of recent Teletubbies partnership with DragCon LA in May, WildBrain created a fashion pop-up at World of Wonder’s Gallery Space along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. House of Teletubbies LA was a curated showcase of global partnerships, from retrospective looks at Italian fashion brand Iuter and those viral Dipsy boots from Christian Cowan, along with sneak peeks of collabs with ONCH, The Blonds, and Jon Burgerman. A
honor the iconic character with special one-of-a-kind artworks celebrating Strawberry’s legacy and spirit. Limited edition items featuring the artwork are now available online at the Strawberry Collective Shop on Threadless, with more drops to come throughout our anniversary year.
In response to the surging fandom for both brands and the accelerating consumer demand, WildBrain will be creating more and more fashionfocused activations and opportunities for fans to engage with and celebrate their favorite characters. Watch this space!
deal with NTWRK realised an exclusive live stream, featuring a first look at the Teletubbies x Adam Bomb collab, with a sportswear collection from A Leading Role available on presale.
WildBrain is celebrating the world of Strawberry Shortcake through a wide range of global fashion partnerships and cross-category collections that leverage the whimsical elements of the brand, including Vampyre Cosmetics for a range of make-up palettes and products launching in early fall 2023. Cakeworthy will also include Strawberry Shortcake apparel in their collection for the US, Canada and the UK, launching next year. In anticipation of Strawberry Shortcake’s 45th anniversary, the agency recently launched the Strawberry Shortcake Collective. In partnership with LA-based retailer NicSon Mercantile, who also introduced their own signature collection of Strawberry-themed products, artists came together at a premiere event to
Roubina Tchoboian, Banijay Kids & Family’s Head of Global Licensing, and Gary Milne, Executive Producer for Totally Spies! discuss the upcoming reboot of the iconic series and its developing licensing programme.
GM: First launching in 2002, Totally Spies! hooked a generation of young audiences, with its three powerful lead characters, iconic Y2K aesthetic and smart, funny storytelling. Across six seasons, and a theatrical film, audiences adored watching Alex, Clover and Sam’s adventures as they navigated teenage life in Beverly Hills, whilst living a double life as secret agents, battling to save the world from a plethora of vengeful villains. At the beginning of last year, we were ecstatic to announce that the spies were back for an all-new seventh season, and with production nearly wrapped, the show will launch from next year around the world from France on Gulli, to Discovery Kids LatAm, and with Warner Bros. Discovery across EMEA and the U.S..
RT: Since joining Banijay Kids & Family as Head of Global Licensing in the summer, I have been immersing myself in the world of Totally Spies!. This iconic brand has so much to offer audiences beyond the screen. The previous series sold to 220 territories and is available in 60 languages – it’s impossible to overstate the impact of the show around the world! And there is a healthy audience on digital too, with nearly 2 billion views on YouTube alone. It’s a very unique property with an incredibly wide and diverse fanbase –
not only do we have the core 6-9-yearold audience for the new series, but also a passionate existing fanbase of millennials and Gen Z, who loved the show when it originally aired and are eagerly anticipating its return. What is fantastic about the new series, is how it has been lovingly updated for today’s audiences, whilst remaining so very Totally Spies!, and will appeal to both.
GM: I was honoured to be put in charge of developing the seventh season of this iconic show – a series that informed my own love for animation. And whilst there is a loyal fanbase already out there, we knew we needed to make some changes to ensure the series worked for Gen Alpha’s values. From incorporating themes of friendship, the environment, school, and the online world, to ensuring diversity on and offscreen, it was crucial the new series was culturally relevant for today’s audiences. We brought in the brilliant female writing duo Jess Kedward and Kirsty Peart to bring the characters and stories to life, and portray what it is like to be a modern young woman today – which is not the same as it was 20 years ago.
Plus we worked with fantastic cultural and disability consultants to ensure we were authentically representing our characters and locations.
One of the biggest changes in the new series is we have taken the girls out of Beverly Hills and transplanted them in an amazing new city: Singapore. The city is a fantastic fusion of beautiful green spaces and high-tech modernity, and by moving the spies away from home, we have taken them out of their comfort zone and this has generated a whole new set of stories.
What you can expect from this seventh series is a brand-new HQ, a fresh crop of funny villains, some new friends, upgraded spy suits and an array of
fun and elaborate gadgets. But fear not, at its core, this show is still full of snappy dialogue, witty remarks, gripping storylines, iconic aesthetics and kickbutt action led by three inspirational women.
RT: And as the series gears up for launch, there is strong momentum building in the licensing space, with several products announced already including a PC and console game from the brilliant game developer and publisher, Microids; a deal with Belgian publisher Editions Dupuis for a Webtoon series, which is a really exciting new digital category; and localised magazines and books in France with Bayard. We are looking at Totally Spies!
very much as a global brand and are in the process of appointing local agents too.
The show maintains cult popularity and we know there is already significant appetite from fans to engage with the show beyond the series, as well as a new generation of fans to come when the season 7 hits screens.
Currently we are diligently selecting the best partners to work with to ensure every product and experience reflects the values, quality and DNA of the series. With its wide commercial appeal, we have an ambitious strategy for a long-term licensing franchise, across multiple categories including fashion, accessories, gaming, toys, publishing, collectibles, home and experiential. And I for one, cannot wait!
The success and experience that launched Maurizio Distefano Licensing has made it the No. 1 agency in Italy, the 2nd in Europe and 37th in the world: a well-deserved position that the agency has earned through its years in licensing, the variety of its offering and its 360° approach to each individual project.
When choosing IPs, Maurizio Distefano, President of the agency, and his partner Michela Marchese Patti try to predict the next potential success in the Italian market in order to offer only guarantees
to clients who come on board. Every licensing programme is studied ad hoc with specific strategies for each licensor and licensee, which help ensure a winwin situation for all parties.
Today, the agency is evolving by broadening the range of its target audiences, starting with entertainment. In this category, which includes the most popular kids’ series in Italy, the
portfolio tries to cater to all age kids, from infants to schoolchildren. In 2023 Bing is the most mentioned license among children 0-6 years old and their parents, according to Licensing International (April 2023). It is one of the most watched series on Rai Yoyo with an audience share of over 4% (Toy Store August/September issue). Starting in June, Bing has been the star of the new campaign, “Le Buone Abitudini” (health topics), the first campaign on social issues launched by Acamar Films in collaboration with the Italian Paediatric Society and Assonidi, which provides advice and activities to promote the wellbeing of young children. Distefano’s portfolio also includes other highly successful animated series in the preschool arena, from very classic titles such as Masha and The Bear, to digitalnative properties like CoComelon, the world’s second most watched channel on YouTube. Bluey, the internationally acclaimed Australian series from BBC
Studios that recently won Kidscreen’s Best Preschool Animated Series Award and The Licensing Award for Best Pre-School Property in the UK, is also part of the agency’s rich portfolio. This latest accolade for Bluey follows an International Emmy® Award and several other international production awards. A new property aimed primarily at 6-9 year olds is Tara Duncan, a book-based CGI TV show broadcast daily on Rai
Gulp and available on Rai Play. The series tells the exciting story of an Earth girl with extraordinary powers who discovers she is the heir to the throne of the Meme empire. Tens of millions of Tara Duncan books have been sold worldwide since it was first published in 2003. The series boasts a diverse and engaging cast of characters, led by the brave, positive and gently misguided Tara.
Idefix and the Indomitables is a 3D animated series created by Editions Albert René and produced by Studio 58 that tells the story of the brave little dog Idefix, two years before meeting his companions Asterix and Obelix. Idefix protects Lutetia, a city now occupied by the Romans in the year 52 B.C., together with a gang of brave animals. Idefix and the Indomitables, aimed at boys and girls aged 4 to 8, airs daily in Italy on Rai Gulp and is also available on Rai Play. The first series of 52 11-minute episodes immerses children and families in the established world of Asterix brand values.
The Polaretti brand fits into a group of licences targeted at kids but has a nostalgic feel that also appeals to adults
excellence. Its target audience ranges from parents who want the values and quality of Cicciobello for their children, to infants who can experience sensory and experiential play, to children from 2 to 5 years old who dive into role play by imagining themselves as parents. Cicciobello is a well-established brand that conveys a positive message, ideal for extending into a variety of product categories where the brand values make it unique and appealing. The soft and gentle style guides fit all products. Another Giochi Preziosi brand that made history in Italy is Canta Tu, an who grew up with the well-known readyto-freeze popsicle. Its success has transformed Polaretti into an iconic brand with a strong reminiscent value, turning it into a commonly used word, so ingrained in the Italian language that it has become part of everyday life. Polaretti has already started a brand extension programme to spread its playful and fun spirit to many new products with beautiful new and very colourful style guides. Now an icon in Italian culture, the brand represents a world of positivity, serenity, creativity, and imagination.
Created by Giochi Preziosi in 1962
Cicciobello is the famous doll with big blue eyes, a blonde bob and an historic medal attached. An evergreen brand that has conquered the hearts of girls and boys for entire generations, it has become a real ‘love brand’. The doll has been spreading positive values in a real-life role-playing game for more than 60 years. Cicciobello has managed to distinguish itself in the market by becoming the doll brand par
audio-video system with microphone for experiencing the passion of karaoke anywhere and with anyone. The iconic brand has succeeded over the years in conquering both adults and children united by a passion for singing. The key words of the Canta Tu brand are fun, conviviality, celebration. Canta Tu stands out as a licence because the strength of its awareness, in addition to its iconic status, lends itself to new, very innovative and engaging projects where the selling point is its sociability, togetherness, and a constant source of fun and cheerfulness.
Il Milanese Imbruttito’s audience are young adults interested in digital content focused on the human-metropolitan happenings of Milan. With a specific graphic look and a concise and effective tone-of-voice, the site’s Facebook page launched in 2013 grew quickly, reaching 100,000 likes in one month. It has served as the springboard for broader content creation, such as the launch of an actual real-time blog and pages on other primary social networks. With its recognisability and credibility, Il Milanese Imbruttito is a reference point for the Italian social entertainment scene. More
than 3 million people follow Il Milanese Imbruttito on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. In addition to these social channels, there are over 500k readers on www.imbruttito.com every month. Over the years, Il Milanese Imbruttito has created several recurring characters in its videos that are now known and loved by the entire community. The brand is ideal for social marketing and traditional licensing projects, thanks also to the brand-new style guide that has built on famous phrases that have now become a part of common lingo. It has a broad appeal to most age groups and is suitable for all types of products, both food and non-food, always pushing new boundaries with wit and intelligence. Moomin is a brand with a double target: children who watch the new animated series, and adults and families that love the original lifestyle brand. The series follows a carefree and adventurous family living in quiet Moominvalley, based on the beloved characters and world created by famous Finnish author and artist, Tove Jansson. Moomin is a values-oriented brand with three fundamentals at its core: love, equality
and courage. The main character is the young and curious Moomintroll, who goes through key stages of growing up with his extraordinary family and quirky friends who all live in the magical and safe world of Moominvalley. The animated series, entitled ‘Moominvalley,’ has been sold in over 60 countries including Finland (YLE), the UK (Sky), Japan (NHK) and Germany (ZDF). In Italy it airs on Rai YoYo and is available on Rai Play. The delightful and beautiful style guides reflect Tove Jansson’s fairytale style and are easily adapted to any product category that reflects the Moomin world: from puzzles and home décor to apparel and accessories. In addition to these now classic brands, a number of new properties have joined the Maurizio Distefano Licensing agency’s portfolio in 2023, to continue the growth and creation of successful licensing projects in the months to come.
The production company founded by Davide Rosio and Giorgio Scorza, which recently become part of the Kids & Family division of the Banijay group, has attracted attention in recent years for having turned the spotlight back on the value of Made in Italy animation as well as the innovative spirit and desire for innovation that has always characterised Italian creative talent.
For Movimenti Production, 2023 was the year in which Zerocalcare’s longawaited second series This World Can’t Tear Me Down, was released on Netflix with a record-breaking launch in every respect: from the premiere in Rome, the eternal city, with thousands of people in a location set up like an amusement park in the heart of the city, to its immediate rise to the #1 ranked series on Netflix at the time. It remained one of Netflix’ Top 10 most viewed shows for almost 2 months after its debut and also brought the previous series, Tear Along the Dotted Line back into the charts. Its success has gone well beyond Italian borders and into other countries such as the UK, France, Spain, and Latin America.
This year also marked Movimenti Production’s move into live-action. In fact, last summer it produced the tween comedy series Trust & Dare, for Rai Kids, as well as the pilot episode of the
mockumentary The Dorothy Effect – a coproduction Rai Fiction-Premio SolinasMovimenti Production - based on the winner of the 2021 Solinas Experimenta Serie Award with the main sponsorship of Rai Fiction.
In terms of ongoing animation projects,
production on Spooky Wolf, an innovative mixed-technology comedyinvestigation series that combines 2D animation and 3D backgrounds with a realistic look and feel, has almost finished.
Another show, based on stories created by Bénédicte Rivière and Dan Taylor
Mini-Heroes of the Forest, is also ongoing. The series is a co-production with MoBo together with Zodiak Kids & Family, France, with the participation of broadcasters Rai Kids and France Télévisions.
Super Happy Magic Forest, a comedyadventure series co-produced with Tiger Aspect Kids & Family based on the books by Matty Long, is also kicking off with some major broadcasters on board including BBC, Rai Kids, ZDF and ABC, and the previously announced feature film Copperbeak based on a true story set in Tuscany, co-produced with Ideacinema, in collaboration with Rai Kids.
Founded in 2019 by Movimenti Production, based in Florence, DogHead Animation is the most established 2D animation studio in Italy and is winning over an increasing number of major national and international production companies. The studio has around 150 in-house work stations and a network of over 250 artists collaborating on a daily basis, under the leadership of COO Giovanna Bo. Movimenti Production’s successes include series such as Netflix’ Tear Along the Dotted Line and This World Can’t Tear Me Down; Rai Kids’ Topo Gigio; most of Warner Bros. Bugs Bunny Builders shorts; several scenes from the new Warner Bros. animated film Merry Little Batman; a scene in Mulligan, a Bento Box series for Netflix; and a few animated scenes in feature films such as Tolo Tolo (Medusa, Taodue Film) and Robbing Mussolini (BiBi Film for Netflix), just to name a few.
The team is currently at work on other productions such as the Super Happy Magic Forest series; the seventh season of the popular Zodiak Kids & Family France series Totally Spies; and part of a new series Mini-Heroes of the Forest, as well as other titles not yet announced.
Since its foundation, DogHead Animation has had its headquarters in the creative hub of the former Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence. Last May Movimenti Production inaugurated a new, extremely innovative 800+ square metre studio designed with modern principles of sustainability and technological advances, with soundproof booths for calls, an energy-saving electrical system that makes full use of natural light, water dispensers to reduce plastic consumption to zero, and 4+ meter-high trees between active workstations. Within a few years DogHead Animation aims to become the first Italian zero-emission animation studio.
At the beginning of 2023, the birth of DogHead Animation Apulia was also announced: a new space in Bari’s historic former Palazzo del Mezzogiorno, which effectively integrates the studio into the main Apulia Film House project – an entity which aims to promote the development and success of the animation sector within the territory with the support of Apulia Film Commission. Led by the Head of the studio Marcello Maggi, the team has already produced the second season of the series Trulli Tales, co-produced with Rai Kids, Fandango and Congedo CulturArte, and is currently working with the Florence studio on several other projects.
The imaginary world of the Inanimatti is set to come alive with the debut of a new animated property, Arky Arch Adventures, currently in development at newly formed production company, Inanimatti Inc., co-founded by renowned car designer Chris Bangle. Leading the Arky Arch Adventures project will be industry veteran producer Eric S. Rollman, who served as President of Marvel Animation, Saban Entertainment, and Fox Family Productions, prior to launching Rollman Entertainment in 2010.
Inanimatti Inc. is the home of an extensive narrative world created by Bangle and his partners, who include linguist Fiorella Marengo. Arky Arch Adventures is the inaugural project based in the Inanimatti, a 13 x 20’ animated series for kids ages 6 to 12 where everyday objects come alive.
We spoke to Chris Bangle about his vision for the new IP as he heads to MIPJr and MIPCOM to debut the series to potential partners.
It’s a comedy-adventure series that follows the incredible story of “Arky,” a hopeful, young Roman Arch who embarks on a high-stakes journey across the planet Tredi to uncover his true Purpose… AND save the world from devastation. The story takes place in the time of the Gothic Wars where the “things” are alive, and adventures ensue. In school, some classmates tease Arky because on
the outside he looks “strange” for a Triumphal Arch, but inside Arky is smart, thoughtful, courageous, and resourceful. And, while that courage doesn’t blind him to the inherent dangers ahead, his passion to triumph along with his naturally endearing
Join Arky and friends on a heroic journey, where greatness––and total chaos––awaits!
leadership qualities find him like a pied piper of friends of all shapes, sizes, and archetypes equally fitting for adventure.
What was your inspiration for the character and the imaginary world of the Inanimatti?
As a car designer, I see objects as living
things – it’s a perspective that helps to bring emotion to auto design. And while Arky Arch started out as a comic book style sketch many years ago, when we decided to create a giant sculpture, a Big Walking Arch, it became symbolic of this extreme interpretation of car design as we tried to get the most emotion out of what is normally thought of as a static
architectural monument. And from there, we started to envision a world in which Arky was “alive.” What would his world look like? Who would his friends be?
What is his journey? These questions led to the development of the magnificent world of the Inanimatti, a universe where objects and architectures come alive. Arky Arch Adventures serves as the introduction to a realm that is literally brimming with countless tales and escapades that we’ve been painstakingly developing, all waiting to be uncovered in subsequent seasons.
How will this show appeal to young audiences?
Arky Arch Adventures is a lively, humorous, and engaging adventure
Arky’s race against the clock takes an unexpected plunge into the city’s secret sewers!
Chris Bangle was the first American Chief of Design at BMW, spending 17 years with the company, and infamous for reimagining the designs of BMW, Mini, Rolls Royce, Fiat, and more – putting personality and character into inanimate objects. According to the New York Times, “Bangle is arguably the most influential auto designer of his generation.” And it is through the eyes of a car designer that Chris and his team have created The Inanimatti, a universe of imagination.
He is currently Managing Director of Chris Bangle Associates (CBA), based in Clavesana, Italy, where he leads a team of marketers, engineers, production technicians, and designers, who collaborate to make innovative, visionary, even courageous designs for a diverse clientele spanning from luxury goods and home electronics to superyachts and automotive design. Chris also launched Inanimatti Inc., a U.S.-based production company to develop further IP across multiple disciplines.
How do you see the series developed for licensing and merchandising? Kids are naturally curious and want to engage with their favorite characters at every touchpoint. What makes the Inanimatti concept unique is that when literally every-thing is alive, it means even the props can be protagonists. We believe that there is great potential in licensing and merchandising space to develop products that are a natural fit with Arky Arch and the intention behind the adventures, that is, to encourage children to explore design and creativity. Toys that stir the imagination of kids are of course a natural fit, such as construction toys and games and activity sets, as well as video games. And there’s lots of potential in publishing with reading and activity books, as well as gifts and novelties.
series that offers captivating, on-theedge-of-your-seat stories set in this rich original world. We wanted to use the spectrum of “man-made stuff” to stimulate imagination in kids and to inspire them to see the world like car designer’s do – as full of “living things.” As a young girl of 13 said when we showed her an animation of a Brooklyn Bridgey-character straighten and walk away from its river, “I will never be able to look at a bridge again without seeing it walk!” We hope to encourage kids to see the world around them in a new and imaginative way, fostering a deeper appreciation for design and creativity, as well as teaching them the importance of accepting diversity and change in others as well as within themselves.
Eric S. Rollman is an Emmy Award-winning producer with extensive credits in animation and live-action programming who brings decades of leadership experience to world-class brands in helping them connect to kids, family, and fan-targeted audiences through the creation of high-profile content. His impressive client roster includes Sony Pictures Television, Netflix, Legendary Entertainment, Nickelodeon, Activision, Crayola, IDW, SeaWorld, and Mattel. He is also co-founder and President of Generation Genius, the #1 fastest growing education company in America on the 2022 Inc. 500 List and recognized on the Time100 2023 list of World’s Most Influential Companies.
“Arky Arch Adventures captured my attention from the first image. It optimizes the medium of animation through a pioneering series filled with captivating characters, compelling storylines, and entertaining adventures. Equally compelling is that it also delivers meaningful themes in a way that kids everywhere will understand and relate to. Chris and his team of cocreators have created a concept that is truly a first in long-form animation, and we look forward to attending MIPJunior to introduce Arky Arch to the world.”
Puppy, a toy and game distributor and IMPS’ sister company, has conceived two new 2023-2024 collection of Blue Resin brand, which was focused on creating resin Smurf figurines.
In 2021, Puppy creates the brand Blue Resin for their new line of products, the resin figurines, with a special connection to the enchanting world of The Smurfs Puppy, as a company always been tied to the Smurfs license, took inspiration to honor the legacy that
has captivated hearts for generations, creating a new stylish product available for the international market. Each figurine is hand-painted and measures +/-11cm, it’s realised with great care and attention to detail, reflecting the charm and character that have made the Smurfs iconic.
Puppy provides quality at an affordable price for every little or big collector, with the aim to create enduring memories and leave an indelible mark on the history of the Smurfs.
The Blue Resin brand can already boast important figures: more than 7800 pieces sold in 100 stores over 10 countries, with a beautiful collection already counting 15 figurines (5 new figurines every year) and 5 more to be released in 2024.
The first launch of the brand provided 10 Classic Characters of about 11 cm: Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Vanity Smurf…
In this first production, they focused on
realising for the collectors’ happiness all the iconic Smurfs’ characters. After recreating 10 legendary characters, Puppy added some more iconic Smurfs with the 2023 collection, as well as new versions in alternative stances of several Smurfs from the first production. For 2023, they created some more famous characters, such as the farmer, with alternative poses and different, fresh shapes.
It’s thanks to Farmer Smurf that Chef’s meals are so good. How delicious can a cake be if the ingredients aren’t the best? He’s in charge of growing and harvesting all the food the Smurfs eat, and he takes his job very seriously, always talking to his crops to help them grow.
Clumsy Smurf can’t cross a room without falling flat on his face. He is constantly dropping things and tripping over his own feet. Despite the chaos he’s creating, it’s impossible to be angry with him for long. He might be the most sensitive, kind, and empathetic Smurf of all.
Chilly Smurf is always cold, which is
why he constantly protects himself with his red scarf. Despite this, however, his nose does not stop running.
The Jokey Smurf with a gift gives presents that explode in the face of those who open them. He always finds a way to make a joke, even in the most dangerous situations. He gets on the nerves of the other Smurfs, but they forgive him for his little flaw.
Greedy Smurf eats a piece of chocolate cake and tries not to get too dirty thanks to his bib, but it is very difficult! He was actually supposed to be represented with two pieces of cake in his hand, but maybe he ate one. Always with a cake in his hand, always eating, count on him to find Smurf Cook wherever he is!
The 2024 collection includes new characters with the most recent 3D shapes and features from the Smurfs TV series (Season 1), with more dynamic stances and detailed appearances. Their goal is to portray the most amusing and engaging moments in the series. Their new characters for
2024 are clearly more distinct and are based on some noteworthy episodes, outfits, and circumstances from the series. For instance, the Kung fu Smurfette practising Smurf-fu, with her unmistakable blond hair and the red tracksuit, is referring to when Smurfette learned and tried to teach the Smurf-Fu to the other Smurfs. And Robot Smurf is invented by Handy Smurf, the RobotNanny is there to take care of baby Smurf and change his diaper like a pro. But don’t let him get out of control - he’ll defend baby Smurf against ANYTHING! Dimwitty Fireman Smurf with his helmet, pump, and yellow jacket, is a true hero ready for action. Actually, he is not alone in his mission, Clumsy is part of his team, making his work nothing short of “explosive”! Handy Jetpack Smurf is very well groomed, with an aviator helmet and goggles, and wears a jet pack, to fly fast to new adventures. Chef Smurf is in charge of preparing food, he’s the one who cooks for all the other Smurfs in the village. He wears a
perfect chef cook hat, a white apron, and holds a spoon. In the future, Puppy will continue working on new and stylish designs to keep up with the Smurfs’ growth and changes. They genuinely want people to smile when they look at their figurines and to be proud of each piece in their collection.
Nelly Jelly, known as Kakė Makė in its native Lithuania, has grown from an endearing book character into a fully realized megabrand in the world of children’s entertainment. Despite being in its 13th year, the IP can boast of an exploding portfolio of new licensing partnerships, continuous releases of new products, and a strong connection with families.
Now in its 13th year of creating content, Nelly Jelly (known as Kakė Makė in its home market), a Lithuanian IP based on the adventures of a five-year-old girl with a vivid imagination, is a unique example of a mega-brand in children’s entertainment. From the recent release of Nelly Jelly: My Movie to the growth of its product line and the introduction of a unique consumer loyalty program at the biggest retailer in its home market, Nelly Jelly has built a captivating brand around what was originally a book character.
The movie’s success has left a lasting impression on the Lithuanian entertainment industry. This cinematic
newcomer was not only screened throughout Lithuanian cinemas for fifteen weeks but has also outshined other popular releases such as The Super Mario Bros. Movie in viewership in its early weeks.
The increasing loyalty of the audience to the Nelly Jelly brand has propelled it to new heights in the world of licensing — during the second quarter of 2023, it witnessed an impressive 37% increase in licensing revenue compared to the same period in 2022 in the native market. For Nelly Jelly, this period marked the release of the movie and the
launch of a customer loyalty program, as well as the introduction of new branded food products to the market, which in no small part contributed to the success.
Simona Krasauskienė, CEO of the IP, notes that it is not confined to screens and pages alone. “Our reach has expanded into the realm of everyday life, with an ever-growing portfolio of products that reflect Nelly Jelly’s charm and values — currently, we work with over 20 different companies, developing products across nine different categories in the home market. In the first half of the year, about 1 million branded items were sold, including
such as seeds, seedlings, and gardening tools, but also accessories for active leisure in the garden, such as rainwear, gloves, mudguards, and other goods. With this line, children and their parents can become familiar with gardening in a fun, grow-your-own way, discover outdoor activities and a connection with nature together.
This dynamic fusion of character and product fosters a sense of relatability, boosting popularity among consumers who cherish the connection to the Nelly Jelly universe.
Nelly Jelly’s reach extends beyond its home market through strategic partnerships with licensing agencies. These agencies, such as Caravanserai, a Spanish licensing firm working within the Iberian Peninsula areas, Seed
720,000 in the food category. We also expect that 2.5-3 million units of Nelly Jelly items will be sold in 2023. In a market with a population of 2.6M people, of which 160k are children of the target age, these seem to be promising figures,” she explained.
Licensing agreements have been critical in this expansion: outside the realms of entertainment and food, Nelly Jelly has cooperated with various local businesses in the development of goods. This includes fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, and calcium-fortified milk ice cream, as well as a line of branded quick-frozen products made with lactose-free cottage cheese, which can be eaten by those who are lactose intolerant or do not want to include dairy products in their diet. It has also drastically decreased the sugar level and uses antibiotic-free chicken for meatfilled goods.
With seven new product releases in the first half of 2023 in the rapidly increasing food category, licensing revenue increase stands at 163%. In the first half of 2023, the food category accounted for 34% of overall sales, expanding at a rate of +20% over the same period as the previous year.
The brand is also expanding its range of personal care products, offering a line of safe, hypoallergenic hygiene products through its collaboration with BIOK LAB, filling a much-needed niche for allergic kids who lack fun, colorful products but are still safe to use. In addition, Nelly Jelly is even launching a line of gardening products titled Gardenland in Q1 2024 — covering not only essentials
and Markettcom, a brand licensing agent in Dubai, have taken on the responsibility of representing the brand in their respective territories. The global expansion facilitated by these partnerships holds the promise of enhanced brand recognition and
widespread appeal, solidifying Nelly Jelly’s status as a children’s megabrand.
The future: new partnerships and a global animated TV series Beyond its commercial success, the Nelly Jelly universe has been able to create a personal impact. The characters and stories have also fostered a connection with fans by adhering to worldwide trends in children’s content: they learn about their surroundings and themselves, form friendships, and learn to care for others and the environment. The Nelly Jelly universe revolves around more than just fantasy; it is a backdrop of values that inspire, entertain, and teach children as they navigate the world around them.
According to Greta Stankutė, Brand Development Manager at Nelly Jelly, the IP will investigate potential collaborations at Brand Licencing Europe (BLE) 2023, with the goal of creating new licensing programmes that would eventually reach audiences on a greater scale. “Looking ahead, we’re excited to dive headfirst into even more collaborations. Those interested in Nelly Jelly may visit us at Cartoon Forum 2023 and MIP Junior 2023, where we want to acquire insight into industry trends, stay current on the market, and connect with
potential distributors and broadcasters to explore distribution and licensing prospects for our material.”
Plans for a global animated TV series are also in the works, promising to introduce Nelly Jelly’s heartwarming stories and enchanting characters to a global audience.
Nelly Jelly is a beloved children’s character and national brand hailing from Lithuania, designed to encourage kids to explore, get creative, and overcome life challenges with the help of a witty and fun character. With a team of passionate individuals following global trends, the IP has expanded to multiple platforms, including books, theater plays, events, a blockbuster movie in 2023. The IP constantly attends global events, hoping to find new ways to provide educational and enjoyable content for young audiences.
ETS is increasingly expanding its business and portfolio, with several novelties for the next season.
How to approach important issues with little ones: Odo is here!
ODO is a new pre-school animated series about a little owl with big ideas. He may be one of the smallest birds at Forest Camp (a wonderful place for young birds of all shapes and sizes) but with the help of his best friend Doodle, Odo positively tackles every challenge he faces, no matter how big; because in the forest (as in life!) the most important thing to do, is to believe in yourself. Funny and warm-hearted, with an authentic gender-neutral hero, the stories also touch on important issues such as immigration, racism and respect for others.
The return of an iconic character... Emiglio è meglio!
Every kid born between the 1980s and the early 2000s has wished to receive for Christmas or birthday the most iconic toy robot of all time, EMIGLIO! Emiglio was launched on the market in the mid-1990s by the Giochi Preziosi Group and, thanks to its unforgettable slogan, quickly rose to the top of the most wanted toy for kids. What made this toy unique are its functions, Emiglio is in fact the first robot with sounds and lights to be radio-controlled and to reproduce children’s voices.
Thanks to a character extension, Giochi Preziosi relied on ETS to realise the dream of many millennials and bring Emiglio back to his original shine.
The style guide mixes the vintage alure of the 80s/90s with new graphic technologies, allowing Emiglio to be brought back in various licensing sectors including clothing, accessories, publishing, seasonal food...
This animated series has sold worldwide into more than 150 countries. It airs daily in Italy on Rai Yoyo and is available for streaming on RaiPlay. Odo can be found on YouTube as well as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.
Between animation and reality: the Momonsters arrive in every kid’s home
Colourful, funny and original, the Momonsters are the friends every child would want.
Haha, Hehe, Hihi, Hoho and Huhu want to be a child’s best friend, but where do you learn to be a child’s best friend? At the Momonsters Academy! Every day a different boy or girl will show them what they like most in the world: playing hideand-seek, decorating cupcakes, playing football, doing the hula-hoop, reading a comic book.... Then it will be up to the Momonsters to prove that they can do it themselves.
The animated series, for a heterogeneous 2–6-year-old audience, already has two seasons (S1 52x7’, and S2 26 x 7’) and is working on a third season (delivery Q2 2025). Apart, The Momonsters Movie, along with 12 additional episodes, will be released
theatrically starting November 2023 in Spain.
The first season has been on air since 30 April every day on Rai Yoyo and in streaming on RaiPlay and is registering high ratings.
Bandai is the official master toy of Momonsters with a line of toys including soft toys, puzzles and electronic plush. The brand fits perfectly into the world of licensing, which has already covered numerous product categories abroad.
Aurora and Ludovica, the new social phenomena who never give up!
An army of unicorns has invaded the social networks thanks to Aurora and Ludovica, two cute sisters aged 13 and 6 years old who have been able to turn the boredom of the pandemic into an opportunity to have fun by creating videos that have quickly gone viral all over the web.
Today, the two young web stars boast staggering numbers on social media: Instagram +40 K, TikTok +300 K, YouTube +1 Bl subscribers and +500 Million views, Spotify + 6900 monthly listens (3 million listens to their hit “The Unicorn Song”).
The adventures of their videos have also arrived on the printed paper, Mondadori is the official publisher of Aurora and Ludovica who have already published two books since 2022 (the first book has sold more than 30.000 copies) and a third is coming out this autumn. The incredible following of virtual and physical followers who attend every appearance is fertile ground for the world of licensing for which the first agreements are already being made.
Since his first appearance in 1998, Carletto has come a long way and is now an ironically iconic character with 84% awareness and strong appeal to
both children and Millennials.
On the occasion of the 53rd edition of the Giffoni Film Festival, the short film “Tu non hai fame?” (Aren’t you hungry?), which tells the story of the likeable chameleon, was broadcast, a special occasion to celebrate 25 years of the legendary Carletto.
A year of great results for the Cry Babies, the dolls that cry real tears have conquered many product categories in the licensing world during these years, becoming a strong and established brand.
Great sales success for the Easter eggs by Più Buono Toys, which will soon be released also with salted snacks. PonPon Edizioni is expanding its product catalogue in view of last year’s success. Siad, ODS and Coriex are also continuing with new launches, just to name a few. New brands are also entering the world of Cry Babies, such as Esseci with a line of wipes for children’s hygiene, Dedem with customised carousels and Monnalisa,
a leader in luxury children’s clothing, which is coming out with a dedicated collection this fall.
Also, in terms of broadcasting the Cry Babies always give great satisfaction in terms of ratings, series six is officially on air on the Frisbee channel, streaming on Kitoons and Netflix (29 M viewed watching hours in the first monthavailable in 190 territories – top 10 ten general) and series seven has been announced for 2024.
After 45 years, Hello Maestro never stops surprising its fans by proposing new developments for a brand that has become an evergreen and has been able to bring children and families closer to
science, history, geography and nature in an original and fun way. After the 7 series: “Once upon a time... Man, Space, Life, the Americas, the Discoverers, the Explorers and Planet Earth” (remastered in HD, translated into 80 languages and known in over 100 countries), the French production company Procidis, proposes a new and incredible animated series: Once upon a time... THE OBJECTS. Maestro will take viewers through 78 episodes (x 7’) to discover the history of 78 objects: the watch, the chocolate, the toothbrush, the plasters, the shoes.... The animated series (co-production Samka Productions, in association with France.tv, TV5 Monde, RTS and Hot) will be available from 2024 and in Italy will be broadcast on Mediaset platforms, the historical broadcaster of the iconic
series for almost 35 years: Siamo fatti così.
Burago: turn on the engines
Burago (May Cheong Group) is the wellknown model car brand that has been part of the world of motoring and model car fans for almost 50 years. The brand positions itself in a mainly male target group 0-99 years old thanks to its lines ranging from one for the youngest (Street Fire) to the more classic and vintage for adults and nostalgics.
Burago has chosen ETS Licensing to embark on a new adventure with a ‘brand extension’ project. The historic brand synonymous of loyalty but also of constant innovation is perfectly suited to the world of licensing.
From Geronimo Stilton, which debuts as a musical in Spain, to Agatha Mistery, Atlantyca’s licensing goes hand in hand with publishing. Storytelling is the central element of all development for this creator of content.
Agatha Mistery is the title of a collection of mystery books for children and young people aged eight and up, written by the author Mario Pasqualotto under the name of Sir Steve Stevenson. The series, which debuted in 2010, has been a great success selling around two million copies in 27 languages. To date, 34 books plus 10 special titles have been published, with new ones planned for release in 2024. Over 700,000 copies have been sold in Italy alone, published by market leader DeAgostini.
Agatha Mistery is a twelve-year-old aspiring mystery writer who travels the world alongside her cousin Larry, her cat, and her faithful butler. In each novel, the two enterprising kids must face clues, antagonists, fear, and the unexpected to solve puzzles and mysteries. It all begins in London, where Agatha lives with Mr. Kent and Watson in the family’s elegant mansion, Mistery House, while her parents are busy travelling. Cousin Larry, who occupies a messy flat in the modern Baker Palace, receives a mission from his detective school, Eye International. And right on cue he enlists the help of his brilliant little cousin to unravel the puzzle.
An agreement was recently signed between Atlantyca and the company Dugeon Dice, creator of the popular board game Mini Crimes.
Missions can take place anywhere around the globe and involve mysteries of various kinds: thefts, disappearances, cold cases coming back to life, forgeries, and in some cases even murders. To solve them, the Mistery cousins can count on the help of Mr. Kent, who acts as a helper and occasional bodyguard, and also whichever Mistery lives in the specific location.
Mini Crimes is an investigative card game in which you test your powers of observation and deductive skills to solve a mysterious case by carefully analysing a crime scene using up to ten clues. This game system has been adapted for the Agatha Mistery series of novels and is aimed at the same target group of children as the book series. Produced by Dugeon Dice and published by GetonGames, the board game will be on sale from this autumn at all specialised board game shops, and can also be purchased online at www. DungeonDice.it and other websites dedicated to board games, toy shops, Amazon, large-scale retail outlets, and major bookstores.
In addition, DeAgostini will promote its release with a major autumn promotion through its bookstore channel.
An Italian publishing phenomenon created by Agostino Traini, Mr Water has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide and is published by major editorial companies in 16 countries including: Scholastic (English in the Far East), Planeta (Spanish worldwide), Sun Ya (traditional Chinese), Petrel (simplified Chinese), Yearimdang (Korean), and many other languages. In Italy, Signor Acqua is published by Mondadori Libri S.p.A. under the Piemme label.
Further securing the growing success of the property and its strong educational value, Atlantyca Entertainment has entered an agreement with a major Italian shopping centre, Mondo Vicino, through the agency Inscenando
This agreement will use images from “The World of Mr Water” to design a play/educational program for children within the Mondovicino Shopping Centre which will involve local schools. Through the course, Mr Water will take young students on an engaging,
fascinating and educational journey to discover water cycles, sea motions and tides.
It will help children to understand the importance of water in the human body, nutrition, professions, and geography! The exhibition includes three large, guided three-dimensional installations inside the shopping centre with images taken from The World of Mister Water books.
The first installation will represent a globe with landmasses and oceans; the second one will be a volcano with geysers and aquifers; and the third area will contain a large statue of the star himself, Mr. Water.
Young school kids will be invited to visit
the exhibition area with a guide and at the end of the visit they will have two weeks’ time to prepare their entries. The best one will receive an award in the shopping centre given out by Mr Water.
After its huge success in Italy, the Musical Geronimo Stilton in the Kingdom of Fantasy goes to Spain with the producer All Entertainment, which will take it to the Teatro la Latina in Madrid during Christmas 2023. The show and the music have been translated and localised into Castilian, and the actors will also be local. The debut of the show is scheduled for 16 December 2023.
Cicaboom continues to expand and develop the Elastikorps Brand, differentiating the product range with the introduction of new collections and the acquisition of new licenses.
“We create dreams, not only pieces of plastic!” This is the credo of Cicaboom, an Italian company specializing in the creation, production and distribution of toys, as well as editorial and entertainment products for kids.
The company has been launching innovative and successful products on the market for years which go well beyond just toys: they have also created a narrative universe in which kids can immerse themselves and play, making Cicaboom’s products even more distinct, as is the case with Elastikorps
The Elastikorps brand is Cicaboom’s original line of elastic characters. Elastikorps is a revolutionary product that differs from classic stretchable characters because of its high level of dynamism and playability: every character can be stretched, rolled and deformed but will always return to its original shape.
Today, Elastikorps features over ten product lines: Fighter Nano, Fighter
Nano 2, Fighter Giga, Zombie Bear, Monster vs Animal, Wrestling, Lava, Monster Collection 1, 2, 3, and 4, and He-Man and the Master of the Universe, licensed from Mattel. The high demand for the product and the success of the brand have led to the development of new, more popular and original lines that appeal to the interests of all kids.
The expansion of this brand continues. In the wake of this push for greater differentiation of the Elastikorps product and a growing need to expand the brand, not just in terms of toy lines but also in terms of reaching new audiences, Cicaboom is launching the following new lines: Fighter Extra Force, Zombie Hand, and Hero Pop. Following are the details of these new product ranges.
The Elastikorps Fighter Extra Force line is a new collection of 16-cm, superstretchable action figures - stretchable to three times their original size - that can be pulled, deformed, knotted, rolled,
but will always return to their original shape just by giving them a quick shake!
The collection targeted at children from 4 to 10 years old offers a great new feature: each character in the Fighter Extra Force line will come with different accessories - because any self-respecting warrior always wears his armor!
All characters in the line will have accessories such as armor, belts and weapons which are interchangeable. So by collecting multiple characters kids can trade the accessories, thereby encouraging the collectability of the product.
The Extra Force Elastikorps fit in between the other existing Elastikorps: Fighter lines, the Nano, 7 cm large, the
Giga Size, 16 cm large, and the Maxi Giga Size, 23 cm large and weighing 2 kilos!
Also in this new collection, is the innovative Special Dynamic Pose, which promotes greater playability, making Cicaboom Elastikorps stand apart and makes action play a blast.
The collection consists of 16 characters, 14 in Giga Size - 16 cm, and two in Maxi Size, 23 cm. Figures with special features will be available within the line: Gold & Silver, two shiny metallic Extra Force Fighters, and Glow in the Dark, five special figures that glow in the dark when exposed to a light source for 30 seconds. Two other characters will be available exclusively online.
The brand-new Elastikorps Zombie Hand, Cicaboom’s new horror-themed,
glow-in-the-dark product, will be released in November 2023.
Zombie Hands can be stretched up to three times their original size, but more
importantly they can be posed and combined with each other for even more fun. The collection has 10 pieces, four Giga Size, 20 cm, and six Normal Size, 13 cm large.
The other new line that differentiates the Elastikorps Brand even more is the Hero Pop line.
This collection is composed of 12 gummy characters, including six characters in two colors, four of them are maxy size (two characters in two different colors), which can be both squished and bounced, and used as stress relievers for guaranteed fun.
The Hero Pop! line fits perfectly into Cicaboom’s new strategy of expansion and differentiation for the Elastikorps Brand, specifically the company’s plan to
The Elastikorps Hero Pop! in particular is no longer aimed at a predominantly Kids target, but at a larger audience, in part due to the acquisition of interesting new licenses.
Starting this October, the Hero Pop! line will include new licensed characters, such as Spider-Man, Carnage, Marvel’s Miles Morales, and many other characters from the Spider-Man universe, among others. Over the next quarter and early 2024, Hero Pops! dedicated to Naruto, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and My Hero Academia will also be released, all comprising a great collection of unmissable characters.
And to further serve its target audience, Cicaboom will also release the new Puniz and Boomez collections dedicated to Naruto between 2023 and 2024.
CDSA (Content Delivery & Security Association) launched «Spoiler Alert», a new resource that aims to provide security guidance to those seeking to establish a licensing relationship involving confidential IPs, as well as practical advice on how to triage and reinforce existing IP security practises that have fallen short.
The Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA), a global forum advocating for the innovative and responsible delivery and storage of entertainment, software, and
information content, has launched a new resource for studios and media companies that develop intellectual property, as well as those who license IP and sell associated products through
traditional or online channels. The web resource, dubbed “Spoiler Alert” is an evolving compendium of the most relevant concerns generating IP leaks in the licensing process, from both sides of the licensor/licensee relationship, developed from genuine licensing business experiences.
The CDSA’s Copyright & Licensing Working Group (CLWG) created the resource to provide security guidance to those seeking to establish a licensing relationship involving confidential IPs, as well as practical advice on how to triage and reinforce existing IP security practises that have fallen short. The resource was unveiled during a reception at the Licensing Expo 2023 in Las Vegas.
The CLWG explained that the idea came about from some of our top studios, licensors and licensees who identified trends and gaps in their own security protocols. They declared: “By coming together as a single, unified industry effort, we hope to impact the copyright and licensing industry in a big way, allowing us to align on the same best
practises and recommended security protocols. It’s a win-win”.
The site provides examples, preventative and detective controls, and best practises for over a dozen intellectual property risk categories, ranging from early retail release to internal threats. The spoiler problem was thoroughly investigated in all of the numerous areas where it could occur, taking into account all potential
For instance, in the case of trade shows the importance of staff training was underlined, with the ability to establish the confidentially status of any item in storage by location designation or coded labelling on boxes/wrapping. All relevant employees should be informed of any guest lists or other means of identifying individuals who will be allowed access to unreleased content during the event. Unrevealed items should be physically
covered or obscured in both storage and confidential display spaces when not actively being viewed, to prevent accidental reveal if the space is improperly accessed. There is also talk of communicating with retailers, such as suggesting in licensor-to-licensee contacts that embargo dates for significant product lines should be set 8 to 12 months before a line’s scheduled retail release.
Ranking the threats from low to high, the resource is a culmination of the most frequent issues the industry faces, on every side of the IP equation. According to CLWG, the level of risk depends on the type of leak and content. Evergreen content, if leaked, would be considered low risk, and embargoed content, unless specifically designated as spoiler, would normally fall under moderate. High-risk content would include spoiler content — content that should not be seen prior to the release of entertainment.
The CDSA and the CLWG plan to update the resource at least once a year, with an annual assessment of best practises and recommendations, as well as a survey of CDSA members to gauge industry sentiment.
With globally renowned retailers and 24 of the top 25 toy sellers representing the $40 billion U.S. toy industry registered for Toy Fair®, taking place from September 30 to October 3 in New York City, the show is gearing up to offer new exposure and business opportunities for all – from first-time exhibitors and up-and-coming international companies looking to enter the U.S. market, to buyers looking to get facetime with once walled-off companies.
Members of the global toy community are invited to seize on the iconic heritage of Toy Fair. Amongst the can’tmiss programming companies will want to take advantage of, attendees are encouraged to tap into the slate of Toy Fair University educational sessions curated to address the most pressing needs of the global toy industry.
“While connecting buyers and sellers on the show floor will always be the show’s main objective, these additional educational offerings provide toy
professionals with the businessbuilding tools and knowledge they need to stay ahead of the game in today’s increasingly complex and crowded field,” said Kimberly Carcone, executive vice president of global market events at The Toy Association™. “Plus, we’ve made it easier than ever to build a schedule using our “Map Your Show” tool, which will all sync with the Toy Fair Mobile App, to meet each professional’s unique goals and gain a competitive edge.”
Over the course of the four-day show,
different educational tracks will offer showgoers perspective on the intersection of business and play in the metaverse; new data-driven research on trends and consumers; insights on toy legislation, safety, and compliance; growth strategies for retail; and building inclusive and authenticity for both business and brand, respectively, among other topics.
Among the can’t-miss sessions, The Toy Association will hold its Toy Trends Briefing, which will explore the evolution
of its 2023 toy & play trends, supported by data from a new survey of U.S. parents, and offer a sneak peek at the trends to watch in 2024. Taking place Saturday, September 30, at Toy Fair, the session will examine the lasting developmental benefits of educational toys, new data on the “kidult” shopper, new insights on social-emotional learning (SEL) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) toys, as well as the impact of pop culture and how holiday budgets will affect toy shopping this holiday season. The trends team has been tracking these trends through
ongoing meetings with toy companies and tracking what’s happening in parallel industries.
“We are excited to share our latest research that further supports our 2023 trends and provides the industry with new ideas on how to best position their products for consumers and media, especially ahead of the Q4 selling season,” said Adrienne Appell, executive vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association. Creative Factor will also return with education on topics specific to the needs of inventors, designers, and
the greater creative community. This includes insights on the creative process, strategies for modern toy package design, and important intellectual property protections available for toys in the U.S. Sessions will be presented by top toy, play, academic, and toy-adjacent thought leaders and supported by research, case studies, and best practices. Each presentation will be followed by an audience Q&A.
“Toy Fair University gives attendees a play-by-play of how to take advantage of emerging technologies and strategies in ways that are easy to put into action,” said Carcone. “We are proud that Toy Fair continues to provide the most forward-looking insights into parallel spaces of opportunity for toy professionals and brand owners alike.” The full schedule of show programming is available on the Toy Fair website.
Toy Fair takes place September 30 to October 3 in New York City. Visit ToyFairNY.com to learn more.
The unique and immortal talent of Diego Armando Maradona characterizes a brand that better than anything else summarizes who he was and how he will forever be one of the greatest footballers in history.
The brand, conceived by Stefano Ceci, the football icon’s best friend and associate who was able to share twenty years of life with Diego Armando Maradona, is to date the best way that this same Ceci can continue to honor and enhance the image and memory of Diego Armando Maradona
The international development of the brand, management of the mascot ‘Dieguito’, production of a children’s TV series inspired by Diego Armando Maradona, and production of a documentary film on the life of the two friends, is the result of a major agreement signed between Stefano Ceci and Showlab
The kick-off of the D10S brand licensing project and the launch of the Dieguito mascot are just part of what Showlab, together with Stefano Ceci, will present at Brand Licensing Europe 2023. During the three-day event in London in October, there will be the opportunity to see the faithful 3D reproduction of the legendary hand of God, and the foot of Diego Armando Maradona, commissioned by the footballer himself and Stefano Ceci in 2019.
The extraordinary fame of Diego Armando Maradona spans every generation and is a guarantee of
international success in all major product categories and distribution channels.
Preliminary assessment of a children’s TV project and a docufilm have already begun in order to complement the indepth development plan and further boost sales related to the launch of the D10S brand.
D10S and Dieguito is a multi-year project aimed at passing on the vision of Diego Armando Maradona to existing fans and new generations, based on his principles of ‘Faith, Respect, Strength, and the Joy of Living,’ leaving his indelible legacy to be enjoyed by young and old alike.
The most recent and greatest licensed products from exhibitors at the New York Toy Fair 2023 (30 September-3 October) .
PMI Kids’ World, the toy company behind mega-popular licensed toys, makes its second appearance at New York Toy Fair 2023 (booth #1147) after an incredible year! The Israel-based toy company showcases the hottest toys, plush and collectibles from Pudgy Penguins, Piñata Smashlings, The Creature Cases (a new licensed line from Netflix for 2024), Sonic Prime and more!
The brand-new Pudgy Penguins toy line is a breakthrough in web3 and toy innovation, topping Amazon charts as the #1 hot new release during launch (May 2023). Based on the mega-popular digital collectibles of the same name, it merges its iconic collectibility into the realm of tangible toys and play. These figures seamlessly integrate a digital experience with physical play, creatively allowing you to own and register a oneof-a-kind forever Pudgy Penguin on the blockchain, opening worldwide easy and swift access to the notoriously intimidating blockchain trade by Pudgy “Mass Adoption”. From the colorful and vibrant Piñata Smashlings game within the world of Roblox, the Piñata Smashlings collection is all set to redefine playtime at the end of 2023, and into 2024! Each toy within the lineup comes with a unique QR code that offers access to exclusive ingame content, enriching the interactive experience for fans. The Piñataverse will journey from the digital realm to your living space as it will hit the shelves of
Walmart, Macy’s, Meijer, FYE, Amazon, and Five Below.
The Loyal Subjects line of BST AXN figures consists in highly detailed and collectible pieces of art that capture the essence of the The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, a great fit for
any collector. The collectibles industry has been growing exponentially - the market size was estimated at $458.2 billion in 2022 and is expected to cross $1 Tillion by 2033, growing at 6.2% on average of all collectible products. The Loyal Subjects has a wide range of characters to collect, including both the turtles themselves and their allies and enemies from the iconic comics and TV shows.
Zoonicorn, the global preschool property now streaming across nearly 200 countries worldwide, arrives at NY Toy Fair, at the SRM stand (#2689). SRM has recently released Zoonicorn branded products under its patented, proprietary Sip With Me children’s cup line of products and dinnerware. Based on initial marketplace response, the company is now expanding into two new Zoonicorn branded tumbler sizes as well as backpacks.
Zoonicorn also announces new licensee Jay@Play, with a range of new Zoonicorn branded products under its popular Happy Nappers line.
Other new licensees include Storypod,
which is releasing a Zoonicorn Craftie in the US. The Storypod Zoonicorn line launches for Holiday 2023 with a Promi the Zoonicorn yarn Craftie, featuring three original audio stories and 11 songs. Storypod’s yarn Craftys are adorable yarn characters that work with the award-winning audio-system to engage kids with multi-sensory stories and songs.
Big Events, another new Zoonicorn license, has signed on to produce inflatable balloons and parade balloons for the North American and Latin American markets.
The 6 new characters Cry Babies Magic Tears Stars Jumpy Monsters by Imc Toys hail from Planet Tear, as featured in the animated series. Open up the blind packaging and discover which character is inside, dressed in a monsterthemed removable silicone outfit and accompanied by their very own vehicle that you can move and bounce around. These dolls cry slime tears that can be added to the vehicle. Each doll comes with 7+ surprises. DinoBytes is an all new brand from IMC Toys, a fun and
In Hammerbarn Shopping Playset by Moose Toys, Bluey and Bingo are ready to shop at their local home improvement store featured in the “Hammerbarn” episode of the popular animated series. The Hammerbarn Shopping Playset towers at nearly two feet tall with four stories, eight play areas and 12 play pieces. It also features an elevator that gives shoppers a “lift” to each department, among them: a garden center with interactive gnomes; a “lighting department” that lights up and plays more than 50 familiar phrases from the hit series accessible with the simple press of a paw button; a special flipping wall that reveals paint color chips; and a rooftop café to grab a sausage sizzle or pizza.
Create your own musical masterpieces with Vtech® Bluey’s Keytar and pretend to play at a fancy restaurant just like in the show! Use your imagination to make music using the keyboard or play along with 10 built-in melodies including the Bluey theme song. Make more than piano sounds, transform the keyboard notes to sound like a guitar, Chattermax, Bluey’ssister Bingo and more by choosing from 10 instruments and sound effects. You can also hear from Bluey by pressing the button with her picture on it. Finally, grow your Squishmallows Squad with Bluey Hugmees, a super-soft, collectible 10” medium-sized stuffed animal, and enjoy the collectible novelties by Basic Fun, filled with various squishy materials sold in blind bags, merchandised in a dedicated Bluey display.
easy game with a classic play pattern that kids love. Right out of the pack, the goal of the game is to knock off your rival’s helmet. The Battle Arena comes with two exclusive Dinobytes figures and you can interchange the Dinobytes with others you already have in your collection, for the ultimate battling experience.
Schylling (booth #1365) has specialized in timeless toys for nearly 50 years.
At the NY Toy Fair it brings special activations.
The iconic LAVA® Lamp gives attendees more than enough reasons for this booth to bubble to the top of their lists! Enjoy a glowing display of the latest groovy lamps that help illuminate every mood. A special appearance by TikTok sensation Genevra Collier, will also be taking place.
Adding to the sense-ational fun, NeeDoh, the leading fidget toy line, showcases the latest squeeze-worthy products, including a special Juggling show. Schylling has been keeping NeeDoh fans’ hands full with their ever-growing collection of groovy globs, introducing innovative designs, fillings, and textures. The brand has become a fidget favorite, generating over 215 million views on TikTok using the hashtag #NeeDoh and with millions of products sold to date.
McFarlane Toys, a leading global toy and collectibles company, announced the renewement of its global licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products (WBDGCP). Since 2019, McFarlane has partnered with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products to bring iconic and fan-favorite characters to life. From the DC Multiverse collection to most recently the Movie Maniacs collection celebrating Warner Bros. 100th anniversary, McFarlane and WBDGCP will continue to bring fans high quality, detailed, collectible figures, statues, and vehicles with this extended partnership between the two companies through 2025.
As Todd McFarlane, founder, says: “Our previous contract for the DC Multiverse was a huge opportunity for McFarlane Toys to be involved with some of the best brands on the planet. Being able to play creatively with characters like Superman, Batman, The Flash and Wonder Woman, along with many other brands in the vast Warner Bros. library, proved to be a huge success for us and Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products. An extension of the contract expands the depth and range of what we can bring to the marketplace to excite fans around the world.
I am grateful for WBDGCP’s continued confidence in us.”
McFarlane and WBDGCP will continue to bring fans high quality productsAll page’s images: Schylling
Super Impulse (booth #1935) is making a big return to New York Toy Fair (NYTF) this year with hot new releases from its flagship and emerging brands: World’s Smallest, Poptaters™, 3.75, Micro Figures and Minis-in-Minis™ Sugar Buzz, featuring Hershey brands. Peel back the layers of imagination with Poptaters™ where your favorite characters are creatively crafted into collectible, character-filled figures! The Super Impulse booth includes the latest wave of releases with characters like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek Spock, Hatsune Miku, Sesame Street Bert and Ernie, and Silent Bob, as well as new 2024 preview licenses, Paul Stanley (KISS), Stranger Things, Squid Games, and Wednesday.
The PEEPS Brand has been a quintessential part of Easter celebrations for over 70 years. The iconic PEEPS Bunny shape is instantly recognizable and an Easter basket must-have. Hey Buddy Hey Pal’s EggMazing Egg Decorators have also quickly become an Easter staple. As the #1 selling toy on Amazon leading up to the holiday, this line of mess-free
egg decorators let kids become part of the decorating process instead of just “watching and waiting” for traditional messy dyes to work.
For Easter 2024, PEEPS and EggMazing have come together to create the new PEEPS EggMazing Egg Decorator! Using
Solobo Toys is a Montessori-inspired educational children’s toy company that are recommended by speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and teachers to encourage natural
the included PEEPS vibrantly colored, non-toxic markers, kids create custom Easter eggs with multi-colored stripes, lines, and other fun designs.
The anime streaming service Crunchyroll has teamed up with toy and collectible company Jazwares to bring fans an epic selection from their favourite anime. The new collection will kick off products celebrating 18 anime series including Attack on Titan, Chainsaw Man, JUJUTSU KAISEN, My Hero Academia, and SPY x FAMILY.
Beginning summer 2024, fans will experience their most beloved anime titles brought to life by Jazwares across mass retailers, specialty collector destinations, and on their favourite platform, Crunchyroll
All-new Fingerlings by WowWee brings a heart-to-heart connection to interactive toy play. These adorable baby monkeys know when they’re on your finger, their glowing hearts beat just for you! Each of the 4 new characters (Charli, Leo, Ava, and Harmony) now has soft, flocked hair, a unique personality, and 70+ sounds and reactions that bring them to life.
Meet Dog-E, the One in a Million Robot Dog, MINTiD just for you. Uncrate this pup to reveal a unique combination of colorful lights, sounds and personality traits, so no two Dog-Es are ever the same. Dog-E talks with its tail, using persistence of vision (POV) technology to communicate with you. Unlock even more interactive play with DogE’s connected app.
speech development through play. The Emotions Coin Drop is an interactive way to start conversations about emotions from a young age. It features six colorful coins that each represent a feeling: happy, sad, angry, surprised, silly, and anxious. This toy is guaranteed to boost a kid’s hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, memory building, language development and problem-solving skills. And, the Learn & Drop is a Montessoriinspired educational toy that has the most precise and comprehensive resources to allow children to master basic preschool concepts for language, counting, basic geometric shapes, fruit and vegetable names, birds and animals sounds and color names.
The art and craft activity boxes of My Creative Box (Booth #6660) are the brainchild of two moms who are also teachers. The Unicorn, Dinosaur and Famous Artists Boxes are packed with four to six craft and play activities that come complete with everything you need for each activity like glue and paintbrushes, so you aren’t searching for items ahead of each activity, packed in separate bags. My Creative Box will inspire creativity while giving them screen-free, creative, hands-on fun and learning. Perfect for busy parents, birthday and holiday gifts, My Creative Box is already a hit in Australia and coming to the US ahead of the holidays.
Wild Republic created Green Guardian toys not only to offer the first to market biodegradable toys but also to do what’s right for the planet. After years of interactive play with these sets that include a vehicle, a human, and an animal in five themes, at the end of life they can be disposed of normally. Once disposed of, they will begin to break down within a year. The packaging is made from recycled materials and contains no single-use plastic. Not only are Green Guardians sets fun, but they also afford an opportunity to teach kids to be Green Guardians.
Beginning June 5, Hollie Holmes, an accomplished and highly respected industry veteran, joined Moose Toys as Vice President Global Licensing. LM interviewed her to explore the company’s future projects.
Could you tell us about your background in the licensing industry and how you came to join the Moose Toys team?
I’ve been in the licensing industry for more than 20 years! My first introduction to licensed products was when I worked for a cosmetic bag manufacturer who did the soft makeup bags for Caboodles®. Working on the brand gave me the foundational knowledge and got me hooked on licensing! I went on to have stints at Whatshotnow.com, a B2B start-up, and as a licensing agent for Brand Sense Partners before I headed to Mattel to oversee the licensing acquisitions for their “wheels” portfolio, including Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Tyco RC. I spent the next 15 years in licensing acquisitions at Mattel for brands that included Barbie, Fisher-Price
and UNO. Additionally, I worked with entertainment partners — such as Universal, Disney and Paramount. From Mattel, I went from big to small, working for PlayMonster, a small toy company in Beloit, Wisconsin that supports the Hasbro licenses for Spirograph and Koosh.
Coming to Moose all started at Kidscreen, where a conversation led to reconnecting with my old friend, Ronnie Frankowski, the chief commercial officer of Moose Toys. For me, the timing was right. I had gotten the PlayMonster
licensed portfolio in shape and I was interested in getting back into a larger company that was incredibly hungry for licenses and innovation. Moose Toys is that company and it has been a perfect fit for me as I can utilize the foundation of my experience from working at a large company, as well as the quickturn opportunities I championed while working for a smaller, more agile company. This has given me a hybrid foundation that is serving me well at Moose as we continue to explore and identify new and exciting licensing opportunities.
What are Moose Toys’ current top Ips? Moose Toys is truly a house of innovation. Magic Mixies has been a breakout hit and global sales phenomenon for Moose with backto-back Creative Toy of Year wins for Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron and Magic Mixies Magical Crystal Ball, and we’ve just launched another Creative Toy of the Year nominee with Beast Lab. Akedo is crushing sales in the battling action figure segment at retail and recently signed an agreement with Paramount for its sought-after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property. The tremendously popular Little Live Pets, plush toys that move, act and sound like the real thing, continue to delight
and amaze kids, now with Little Live Pets My Puppy’s Home and a mini version of last year’s sell-out hit Mama Surprise. Moose also is the co-creator of Heroes of Goo Jit Zu, the squishiest and stretchiest action figure ever with every Hero filled with a different goo filling and mesmerizing texture. In addition to the brand’s original characters, it has expanded to include licensed characters from Marvel and DC. And speaking of licensing, Moose is the global master toy partner for the BBC preschool juggernaut, Bluey, with an impressive range of toys including plush and interactive plush, playsets, vehicles and so much more and with more fun to come.
2025 and beyond. I am also sourcing new IPs that kids are leaning into. It is all super exciting for the continued growth of Moose Toys’ licensing program!
What new products and projects will you be introducing at the New York Toy Fair?
What are your primary licensing strategies for the coming year?
Our goal for 2024 is to lean into top tier licenses to grow the foundation of our franchise brands, partner with Universal to support the Trolls 3 and Despicable Me 4 theatrical releases, and continue to extend the Bluey range with BBC. These partnerships give kids more ways to play out the show to shelf content loved by kids and adults. Currently, I am working with the teams to review co-branded and master toy licensing opportunites for
From a licensing perspective, we’ll be showcasing a great new Bluey item for fall 2023: the two foot tall Bluey Hammerbarn Shopping Playset, based on the home improvement store featured in the popular “Hammerbarn” episode of show. We’ll also have our Trolls Band Together Mineez, a line of more than 100 1 ½ inch scale collectible Trolls with a huge variety of different finishes and hair (including classic Trolls hair!). We’ll also have our additional key holiday drivers like Beast Lab, Magic Mixies Pixlings and much more.
What are the latest developments and priorities in the UK market?
The UK is a core market for Moose Toys,
Beginning June 5, Hollie Holmes, an accomplished and highly respected industry veteran, joined Moose Toys as Vice President Global Licensing. LM interviewed her to explore the company’s future projects.
so it’s important that we set ourselves up for success, year over year. Bluey continues to be a top priority, as we work with the US- and UK-based BBC teams to develop a innovative range of product offerings and tie it to the show’s content. We are also keenly focused on a successful launch of Universal’s Despicable Me 4 toy products in time for the theatrical release, slated for July 3, 2024. Additionally, Moose is laser focused to grow our share at grocers, so we are working with the retailers and honing in products and price points to reach those consumers.
How was Mighty Jaxx founded and what have been the company’s most important achievements so far?
It all came from our founder, Jackson Aw’s, passion for collectibles. He had been an avid figure collector since his teenage years, and he came across a local Singapore-based toy company called Trexi that really inspired him with its really unique concept and approach to design.
This experience led him to China and he spent a month learning everything he could about the process of toy manufacturing. He was able to kickstart Mighty Jaxx in 2012, putting everything he had learned into practice. In terms of our successes, it’s
The Singapore-based Mighty Jaxx creates high-quality, limitededition collectible figures across a range of partner franchises, including Stranger Things and Hello Kitty. Alex Neal, UK Managing Director, Mighty Jaxx, spoke about the company’s activities and plans.
impossible to pick out a favorite, but the brand partnerships we’ve been able to secure have been a huge highlight. Working with licenses such as Disney, Stranger Things, Formula 1, One Piece, Sanrio, Toei Animation, Hasbro and many more has been a dream come true and a huge advantage, and the future holds so much potential for even bigger collaborations.
Mighty Jaxx has merged toys with the Metaverse. Could you explain how this works?
The Mighty Jaxx platform enables customers to have both a traditional physical product, but also a full digital experience. Every collectible figure from
Mighty Jaxx comes with an NFC chip that allows you to authenticate your purchase via our app, compatible with any NFC-Ready smartphone. This helps ensure that you’re buying authentic Mighty Jaxx phygital collectibles, even when you do so second-hand. Some of our collectibles also take it to the next level with the Xtended Xperience, which unlocks an immersive world of digital, one-of-akind experiences. These vary across collectibles, with some unlocking exclusive hyper casual mobile games (Sesame Street’s Nubbies) or game keys (Gearbox Software’s Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands), and we always aim to offer something uniquely different with every collectible.
Can you name some of the big brands and companies you are currently collaborating with? What other brands do you anticipate partnerships with in the future?
A small selection of brands and partners we work with include the likes of Netflix’s Stranger Things, Hasbro’s Transformers, Gearbox’s Tiny Tina’s Wonderland, Sanrio, Adidas and Formula 1, just to name
a few! Our relationship with Netflix in particular, has allowed us to develop a phygital collectible, and extend that fan experience into an IRL Stranger Things Encounter in Singapore that encapsulates the phygital, digital and in-person, proving that Mighty Jaxx were indeed able to provide a full 360 collecting journey. We like to have the freedom to work with a wide range of license holders, so you never really know what is coming next from Mighty Jaxx. When deciding on a new partner, we evaluate what’s driving engagement at the moment and how we can as a creator support the brand in maximizing the attention, as well as ensuring our artists have as much creative freedom as possible. It’s a fine balance, but I strongly believe our ethos is represented in every figure we do, whether it’s a one-off creation by an independent artist or our latest collaborations with One Piece or Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Licensing Europe, but we won’t be exhibiting or announcing anything officially at the events, that’s something we’re keeping up our sleeves for 2024 and beyond!
What are the company’s plans for 2024? We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to take our brand into uncharted territory. Exploring the possibilities of phygital and the metaverse, discovering new artists, brands and franchises to partner with, and new ways for fans to enjoy our creations.
On the group level, we are this close to launching a brand new entry-tier line that taps into different fandoms (sports, anime, kawaii etc) - it’s super fun, you’re going to be able to look at it and just marvel. I can’t divulge too many details at this point, but I can assure you there will be something for every type of fan.
Do you think it’s possible today to create a unique product and succeed in a highly competitive market?
We’ve always aimed to create something truly unique and with a quality that stands out above our competitors. Even when we collaborate with established brands and franchises, our aim is to also involve the right artists that are going to bring something new to collectors.
There’s a whole world out there of incredible artists who should be given an opportunity to bring their creations to life, from illustrators and tattoo artists to sculptors who could really benefit from being given a strong platform to take their creations globally.
Will you be attending any major professional events this autumn?
We’ll be at the NY Toy Fair and Brand
From my side, there’s obviously also an element of driving the brand to be an even bigger player in the UK and European markets. And we’re certainly succeeding at turning heads.
The San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) 2023 event in July was also an opportunity for major companies to unveil their new toys inspired by the comics’ world.
Hasbro is offering four exclusive products. Transformers: Legacy Evolution - Deluxe Class War Dawn 2-Pack is based by the scene in which dockworkers Orion Pax, Erial, and Dion are struck down during a Decepticon raid at the docks. Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Krrsantan action figure is 9.5 cm and is inspired by the Star Wars: The Book of
Boba Fett live-action series on Disney+, a great gift for Star Wars collectors and fans ages 4 and up. Finally, there are the action figures Marvel Legends Series Deadpool and Bob, and Agent of Hydra and G.I. JOE Classified Series Philip “Chuckles” Provost.
Jazwares has presented Call of Duty
“Ghost” (Last Breath), the first in a brand new line of Call of Duty figures. Their Star Wars Micro Galaxy Squadron Storyboard Series includes three ships: a 5′′ X-wing (with S-foils that open into attack mode and retractable landing gear, an opening cockpit canopy, and a working droid socket, as well as a 1′′ pilot and astromech figure), a 3′′ TIE interceptor and A-wing.
To celebrate American comic book publisher DC’s year-long publishing initiative, Dawn of DC, with new comics featuring Superman, the DC Titans, and many more, the Cartamundi Group and Warner Bros Discovery Global Consumer Products announced Hro’s new DC hybrid playing card collection. This 21-card set includes Cartamundi’s newest innovation: the Mega Card, which marks the first time a physical Hro card unlocks a new digital collection, extending the collecting experience beyond just the initial hybrid pack opening.
Comic-Con® Partners with Entertainment Cruise Productions For The First Ever Comic-Con: The Cruise
San Diego Comic Convention (parent company of world-renowned ComicCon in San Diego) announces it has teamed with Entertainment Cruise Productions to produce Comic-Con: The Cruise, a whole new experience that immerses fans in the world of popular arts like never before. The fullship charter sails February 5-9, 2025, from Tampa, FL, to Cozumel onboard Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas. Fans become part of the story with unprecedented opportunities to interact with actors, creators, authors, and more. Further information can be found at www.comicconthecruise.com or by calling 877-438-9092.
At Brand Licensing Europe (4-6 October, London) category representation is broad, with brands covering toys, apparel, homeware, health & beauty, food & beverage, live experiences… Here some exciting updates from BLE Exhibitors!
Universal Products and Experiences (UP&E) is returning to Brand Licensing Europe 2023 (Stand A171) with a new name to reflect the division’s recent integration within the Universal Destinations & Experiences business (formerly Parks & Resorts); UP&E now
also includes theme parks merchandise and retail. Universal’s culture-driving film and TV slate continues to fuel UP&E’s core franchises as well as introduce new IP to audiences and future fans, which includes Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Illumination, DreamWorks
Animation, NBCUniversal and Peacock.
Jurassic Park celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, allowing for theme park celebrations, retail activations, digital content, and nostalgia-filled products and video game releases that generations of fans have enjoyed. More partners are moving into Gabby’s Dollhouse, the smash hit preschool series that has found home in the hearts of pre-schoolers, parents, and retailers across the globe. Consistently ranking among Netflix’s Top 10 Kids and Family Titles, Gabby’s Dollhouse continues to expand internationally with new free-toair markets as well as across categories and retailers. And fans can look forward to more Minions mischief with the upcoming release of Despicable Me 4 in 2024.
From the DreamWorks Animation portfolio, the good vibes and glitter are set to roll again with the highly anticipated release of Trolls Band Together in October 2023 Additionally new content from one of DreamWorks
most beloved franchises including Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon is making its debut in the coming years.
The incredible U-Vault archive of classic favourites across more than 100 years of film and television, includes anniversaries of iconic IP in 2025, like JAWS and Saturday Night Live. 2024 will be quite popular for Universal as part 1 of Wicked will be releasing theatrically in November and part 2 is planned for fall 2025.
Moomin celebrates 80 years in 2025
During the anniversary year, Moomin Characters and the acclaimed licensing agency Rights & Brands (stand C181) highlights some of the qualities that make the Moomin brand and stories so unique. The main theme of the year is “a sense of belonging”.
Arabia, widely known for its popular Moomin mugs, is now entering into a new product category by launching Moomin Home Textiles with bedroom and bathroom collections. The new collection features bed linen and towels from 100 % organic cotton in comforting muted tones and with stories woven into the fabric delight the grown-up consumer and everyone with a soft spot for the
Lindrizia AB, owner of the esteemed Maxi and Helium brand, is now taking a decisive step in its international expansion by partnering with Rights & Brands as its master agent for merchandising rights. Supported by its strong core values, Maxi & Helium (original title in the Nordic “Musse & Helium”) has already had a huge impact on the lives of children across the Nordics with over 3 million books sold –the fastest growing children’s book series ever in Sweden and Norway. Award winning creators, Karrot Entertainment has joined forces with creative licensing agency This is Iris to
In 2024, Hasbro is celebrating anniversaries with Peppa Pig’s 20th, Transformers’ 40th and D&D’s 50th. Next year will see the Transformers: Earthspark season two debut, along with the fall premiere of the CGanimated TRANSFORMERS ONE movie. This year, they’re commemorating Hasbro’s 100th and My Little Pony’s 40th, while launching NERF’s first-ever official sport, NERFBALL. The company continues to collaborate with industry leaders to create fun and innovative toys & games, such as: Transformers x LEGO, Mattel, Renegade, Robosen and Segway; MONOPOLY x WowWee, WMI and WS Game Company with dozens of iterations like the 100 Years of Hasbro, Barbie and Indiana Jones editions; NERF x Dog Glow, Franklin Sports and Jazwares; My Little Pony x Basic Fun!; and many more. Concerning fashion partnerships, Hasbro has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the game to create stylish collections merging fandom into everyday wear, including: Peppa Pig x Cribstar, MORI, ONLY and Trotters London; Transformers x Bobby Abley, Culture Kings, Irregular Choice and Kross Studios; My Little Pony x Prabal Gurung, Alex Woo, Cakeworthy and Loungefly; MONOPOLY x Krost; and D&D x Boss Dog and Burgschneider; among many others.
celebrate the 10-year anniversary of BAFTA award-winning pre-school show Sarah & Duck, about tuba-playing sevenyear-old Sarah and her funny best friend Duck.
This year has been focussed on bringing the show to families across key platforms: it has already received over 24 million views on iPlayer; the launch of a UK summer show program produced by MEI Theatrical & Toddler Time with cinema chain Picturehouse.
With more than 200 brand licensing agents working across 25+ offices around the world, IMG is a world leader in licensing, providing local coverage and expertise through a single globally coordinated organisation.
The company provides a unique one-stop-solution for its diverse portfolio of licensing clients, including Entertainment and gaming, Sports brands, teams and events, Location-based entertainment, Fashion and lifestyle, Corporate trademarks, institutions and non-profits, Food and Beverage brands, Athletes, legends and personalities.
While IMG represents its entire global portfolio of clients at Brand Licensing Europe (stand B250), the spotlight is on gaming phenomenon Fortnite, Rovio’s Angry Birds, Toikido’s Piñata Smashlings, Skydance Animation and its upcoming release ‘Spellbound’, Lionsgate’s blockbuster film franchises including John Wick, Hunger Games, Saw and Dirty Dancing, global brands Pepsi, Jeep, Collegiate Licensing Company and Hearst, as well as sports brand NFL.
Together, Karrot & Iris are looking to the future with a new deal for China through UYoung. Brand Licensing Europe (Stand C110) sees the launch of the shows new consumer products program that offers a fantastic list of loyal partners, a brand new style guide and direct access to the Karrot team allowing for exciting new collaborative opportunities. This is Iris plans to meet with partners to discuss all aspects of their portfolio which also covers art & design, fashion, heritage and charity.
Rocket Licensing plans to be a powerful presence at BLE and stand A205 highlights key updates and exicting news from a portfolio that includes Beano, Elf on The Shelf, Miffy and much more!
Miffy, the classic brand created by Dick Bruna, is a global phenomenon, with over 85 million books sold worldwide. The ever-expanding portfolio of licensing partners, with a target market ranging from toddlers to teens
and young adults, is being supported by television series, a YouTube channel, and a slew of influencers and celebrities. This summer the appeal of the brand was further reinforced with the huge success of the Miffy pop-up shop in London’s West End. There have been some fantastic collaborations in 2023 including Tommy Hillfiger and Mulberry with more to follow later this year and in 2024. The extensive licensing programme is growing, with new partners such as Skinny Dip and the Crafty Kit Company. The Rocket Licensing team will focus on further growing the UK licensing programme for Miffy next year in the run-up to her 70th anniversary in 2025.
Bulldog Licensing, one of the licensing industry’s leading agencies, has announced its plans for Brand Licensing Europe 2023.
At stand A190 Bulldog promotes yet another strong line-up of brands, headlined by such world-beating names as classic property Care Bears, toy phenomenon Magic Mixies, international hit pre-school TV show Odo, globally top-rating gaming brand PUBG, the iconic Me to You character brand, and evergreen hit Sesame Street
It was late in 2022 that Carte Blanche Greetings, best known for the awardwinning Me to You brand, its signature character Tatty Teddy and the nursery
property Tiny Tatty Teddy, announced a partnership with Bulldog Licensing. Since 2001 Carte Blanche has partnered with best-in-class licensees to bring to market best-selling Me to You products across many categories including apparel, print on demand, food, gifting and nursery – selling 19 million products worldwide in 2022 alone. Now Bulldog is taking the extraordinary reach of this brand to the next level. Recent licensing deals include Brand Threads for nightwear, Pawprint Family for patches and pins and Craft Buddy for arts and crafts kits.
Achieving around $200m in retail sales value each year, Tatty Teddy is already one of the most popular character brands on the market and has a full, cross-category licensing programme with a strong appeal particularly among adult women, children and infants, showing strong growth at retail across multiple categories.
Hit pre-school brand – with a strong appeal in the adult market – Sesame Street is a key focus for Bulldog in the UK, on behalf of non-profit organisation Sesame Workshop, and the agency has announced new deals for the popular brand as Sesame Street continues to grow its presence on screen, on digital and at UK retail.
New launches in the wellness and homeware categories, as well as Just Play’s successful high-quality toy range, designed to support children’s learning and development, have been boosted by Sesame Street’s hugely successful and
growing presence on Tiny Pop, the UK’s number one commercial channel for preschoolers. There are now six Sesame Street programmes on the channel, all of which regularly top the viewing charts.
In addition, Sesame Street Mecha Builders, airing on Milkshake – the UK’s leading commercial kids’ block – and a wildly successful YouTube channel make Sesame Street one of the UK’s must-have brands, both for the preschool market and an adult fan market brought up on one of the first – and best –engaging educational shows.
Of course generations of fans have grown up with the show and the brand, so it’s no surprise that it continues to increase its strong presence in the adult market. TruffleShuffle, a leading name in exclusive retro t-shirts, men’s, women’s and unisex clothing, cool gifts
and accessories, and Pawprint Family, which supplies patches and pins of fanfavourite characters, have both recently launched new Sesame Street collections for adults.
Princess Sam Consumer Products (PSCP) has announced its appearance at Brand Licensing Europe (stand A162) as licensor for the massively successful children’s animated adventure-comedyfantasy hit Tara Duncan
The past year has been a busy one for PSCP and its parent company the Princess Sam Entertainment Group, with the new Tara Duncan TV show, based on the multi-million-selling publishing phenomenon by Sophie AudouinMamikonian, already sold into more than 80 countries. A licensing campaign is now under way and PSCP is coming to BLE this October to build on the growing buzz around this unique property. PSCP is launching its own range of figurines, playsets and dolls at retail in France from autumn this year, thanks to its French distributor WTT, and more territories are to follow soon. The Tara Duncan licensing campaign has also
Sony Pictures Television – Kids (SPT – Kids) has a highly acclaimed and award-winning portfolio of children’s properties including The Creature Cases, Octonauts: Above & Beyond, Super Kitties, Hilda and Peter Rabbit the animated series. At Brand Licensing Europe 2023, they will unveil new developments across an impressive roster of licensees and share exciting plans for fresh content.
The Creature Cases, following the exciting announcement that leading toy manufacturer, PMI, has recently been appointed global master toy partner, with the brand’s first toyline poised to launch globally at retail from 2024.
With new live shows launching and a pipeline of brand-new content currently in production and slated for release in 2024, SPT – Kids are now seeking additional partnerships in categories including apparel, homewares and back-to-school to bolster its growing CP program.
Octonauts Above & Beyond continues to deliver ongoing success across its consumer products programme, spearheaded by master toy partner and market leader Moose Toys which has recently launched the brand-new Gup K toy and will unveil new products for Q4 2023. Live events remains a key focus for the licensing programme which has seen attractions and live events deliver growth, including a global partnership with Sea Life, Merlin Entertainment plus exciting new activations yet to be announced later this year. UK partners include Hachette Children’s Books for publishing, Blues Clothing Group for kids daywear and nightwear and RJ Bags for accessories.
awarded a license in the French market to toy company Tonies and, of course, toys and games are expected to offer strong opportunities for the brand, but other categories being targeted include back to school, stationery, home textiles, apparel, fashion accessories, beauty & personal care, food & beverage, and gifts.
Edutainment Licensing (stand A188) is pleased to present two of the NSPCC’s owned character brands, Pantosaurus and Buddy, seeking licensees for their growing programmes, providing a simple route to partner with one of the best known and loved charities in the UK. The friendly dinosaur Pantosaurus is the face of the NSPCC’s #TalkPANTS campaign which has helped over 1.5m
UK parents have simple conversations with their children to help keep them safe. The downloadable materials, Pantosaurus song, story book and app provide a whole host of fun and engaging content for parents to use with their children.
Buddy, the NSPCC’s green speech bubble is the mascot for the hugely successful Speak Out. Stay Safe. campaign. Since 2011 Speak Out. Stay Safe. has been helping primary school children to speak out to a trusted adult if they have any problems or issues. Buddy has been integral to that message supporting our NSPCC school service staff in delivering that message as well as teaching children about Childline. Over 90% of UK primary schools have received Speak Out. Stay Safe. meaning over 1.8m children interact with Buddy each year. The NSPCC have been protecting children for over 100 years and partnering with the charity is proven to have a positive impact on the wider awareness of partners’ brands as well as increasing consumers’ intention to buy from both retailers and consumer products companies.
UK licenses are incredibly recognised and have a fantastic market reaction because to their class, details, and timeless characters. Here are the most recent novelties from some well-known brands.
Penguin Ventures is the licensing and consumer products division of Penguin Random House Children’s UK. At BLE, they will present their portfolio of great literary brands and personalities. This year, they are excited to host a new
property, the World of Eric Carle, on stand C164, thanks to Penguin Ventures’ recent appointment as the UK licensing agency for this lovely brand. They are excited to be teaming with a number of live specialists over the
rest of this year, to take their classic brands off the page and into exciting new environments, connecting with family audiences like never before. Exciting plans for 2023 include The Peninsular Hotel collaboration with The World of Peter Rabbit and an incredible immersive dome experience for The Snowman and The Snowdog, plus a high-profile afternoon tea partner will help to sprinkle some more Snowman magic across the UK this Christmas. A brand-new Spot stage show and a new Peter Rabbit musical will both launch in 2024, they have also biggest and most ambitious LBE programme to date.
Team GB is about more than just performance. Their athletes represent ordinary people achieving extraordinary things, and their stories together communities and inspire others to find their own extraordinary. It is no surprise that they remain the nation’s most loved sports team.
Next summer, the greatest sporting show on earth returns to Europe. The Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be the closest to a home Games in over a decade, with a new generation of fans set to experience the magic of an Olympics on their doorstep for the very first time.
In recent months, Team GB, supported by The Point.1888 licensing agency, have secured multiple new licensees to help support their athletes’ journey to the Games, including toys, apparel, accessories, stationery, jewellery, footwear, entertainment, nutrition, and collectables, with publishing, games, collaborations, gifting and more at progressed stages.
With less than a year to go until the Olympics, all eyes are on Team GB’s next move.
WMX (Warner Music Experience) exists to connect artists with fans and to amplify brands in creative, immersive, and engaging ways. The media division of Warner Music Group connects advertisers with artists signed to the global music company. It also helps devise immersive digital content with editorial integrity, using its award-winning content studio. WMX has helped develop more than 15 hit music and culture shows and scaled premium videos that have generated more than 56 billion monthly global views across platforms.
WMX manages the rights of Ed Sheeran, who is one of the world’s most successful and recognised artists, and who has topped the PPL’s list of the UK’s most played musicians six times in the last eight years.
The singer’s partnership collection with Lucy & Yak saw a surge in sales in the first seven days after launching, almost selling out online. The partnership received an impressive amount of media coverage in 41 countries including the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, reaching more than 31 million views online in publications as diverse as the BBC, Billboard, Fashion Network and GQ.
Ed Sheeran’s hot sauce brand Tingly Ted’s received huge orders in the UK and pre-orders in the US and Canada. It can be found in stores in the UK, including supermarket chain Asda and has now begun rolling out in the US. Media coverage of the launch included significant outlets such as ABC’s Good Morning America, BBC News and The Independent, as well as sector specific titles such as Music Week and NME.
Abbey Road Studios is the most famous recording studio in the world and a global music icon. For over 90 years, its walls have resonated with the sound of landmark recordings by the most celebrated and influential artists of all time.
Earlier this year, The Point.1888 released a new style guide for Abbey Road Studios as part of the brand’s debut licensing programme. The style guide presents three creative treatments tailored to a range of customers and product categories.
Drawing on the narrative threads that underpin the Abbey Road story, the new style guide takes inspiration from the spirit of creativity and innovation which has shaped popular music and defined recording processes over the years, to the legendary studios themselves and the many musical and technical innovators who have made Abbey Road their creative home and forged its creative philosophy. Themes have been explored and developed across three creative approaches: Make It Happen, Live. Dream. Create. and Wild Minds & Rebel Hearts
The street brand London Underground is launching, offering a fresh reinterpretation of the heritage mood of London from an unexpected perspective.
As evident from its name, London Underground draws inspiration from the world’s first subway, London’s iconic Underground. With a history spanning 160 years, the Underground is not only a space connecting stations but also a symbolic place where the past and present intersect, intertwined with the daily lives and stories of countless Londoners.
The debut 23FW collection of London Underground draws inspiration from the historic London Tube and the modern people who use it. Themed Life From A Tube: The Passage, the collection aims to connect the past and present of Londoners, acting as a conduit for diverse stories and conveying the message of connecting London intimately and flexibly in everyday life. The collection blends a street sensibility with wearable silhouettes, featuring a variety of colors and styles that are timeless. Leather details, vintage fonts, brushing, and washing techniques are employed to emphasize the heritage mood. Notably, the brand’s signature colour, Pale Green, inspired by the vintage hues of the Underground’s tiles, ticket booths, columns, and walls, showcases the brand’s distinct and natural yet differentiated identity.
BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated production company Magic Light Pictures is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year.
Magic Light Pictures is renowned for its beautifully-crafted festive animated specials based on the books created by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The family of titles, including evergreen classic The Gruffalo, Halloween favourite Room on the Broom, Zog and Stick Man has delighted millions of families around the globe and scooped up countless awards including three international Emmys, four BAFTAs and two Oscar nominations.
The Gruffalo is a big licensing hit in Italy with numerous licensees already signed
to the property. They include dress up from Ciao, stamps and colouring sets from Multiprint, puzzles and games from Ravensburger, sweet-filled epiphany socks from Emmeci and a massively popular line of educational games from Ludattica. RCS came out last spring with a very successful album of stickers supported by a major TV campaign. The storytelling and singing characters from FABA, meanwhile, were so successful that the company extended its license to other Donaldson works.
A fall/winter apparel line beautifully designed by Illustrabimbi is now available in COIN- the largest chain of department stores - in major Italian cities. Wonderwood adventure park launched their first Gruffalo trail this summer. The launch was so successful that WonderWood are keen to add new elements next year. Last, but not least, the recent agreement with CartoGi will bring greeting cards, shopping bags, party boxes and other products in the gift category.
In the last year the Gruffalo brand has experienced tremendous growth. The
existing licensees have not only renewed their agreements for another two years but have even extended their licenses to the other Magic Light adaptations of Donaldson-Scheffler titles.
Separately, Magic Light has appointed RaiCom as licensing agent for Pip and Posy in the Italian market. Pip and Posy is Magic Light Pictures’ charming animated pre-school series about two best friends and their wonderful world of play. Based on the books by Axel Scheffler, the series has made an encouraging start in Italy where it is currently delighting young viewers on Rai Yoyo. Toy manufacturing giant Bandai has a first option for the territory and the local market is currently being developed for the launch of a toy range when appropriate.
Design brand MissPrint was established in 2005 by mother-daughter co-founders Yvonne and Rebecca Drury, with a collection of patterns printed on to silk at the family’s dining room table.
Today MissPrint is a leading British design studio, with product ranges listed in the likes of John Lewis, Next and independent stores, attracting press from Ideal Home Magazine, Grazia, House Beautiful and The Sunday Times to name a few.
It has been a phenomenal year for the brand with three key launches, supporting the growth of the business beyond their already successful wallpaper and fabric collections.
New products include a stunning collection of ceramic tableware and kitchen textiles from Pure Table Top (recently nominated for an Excellence in Housewares award), a beautiful range of stationery and gift products by Blueprint and a brand new selection of blinds and curtains in collaboration with Ashley Wilde; all using MissPrint’s signature designs which originate from hand-drawn illustrations.
The product ranges have been very well received at retail, with new lines now in development for later this year and into 2024, as well as new partners to be announced.
Tom Gates is a multi-award-winning series of books by illustrator and author Liz Pichon aimed at kids 6-12, and is now the subject of three major award-winning mixed-media TV series featuring the life and brilliant world of the eponymous Tom. With 12 UK licensees in categories from stationery and apparel to games and greetings cards, the brand is engaging even more Tom Gates fans in doodling and creative fun.
The main goal of LBE is to create wonderful memories that help to strengthen the brand bond. This year’s BLE topic is live experiences, and many exhibitors have significant entertainment breakthroughs to showcase in this area.
Experience an impressive journey through the natural world and explore the unique and extraordinary diversity of our seven unique continents on the most epic scale. BBC Earth Experience features breathtaking video and music from the BBC Studios Natural History Unit television series Seven Worlds, One Planet, projected on several multi-angle displays utilising cutting-edge digital screen technology and narrated by David Attenborough.
The Daikin Centre, a purpose built and demountable venue in London’s Earl’s Court, is the home of this transformative audio visual experience where you will feel like you’ve stepped into the natural world, right in the heart of London. There is also another location in Melbourne, Australia.
Set to open just south of State Farm Stadium in Glendale at VAI Resort, Mattel Adventure Park will welcome guests 365 days a year, serving as a year-round Arizona entertainment destination showcasing the full spectrum of the iconic toymaker’s expansive portfolio of brands. The uniquely designed, massive, 9-acre park combines inspiration from Mattel, Epic Resort Destinations, and other industryleading partners in amusements and entertainment. Substantially indoors, the park’s attractions load and unload inside a fully air-conditioned space, making the park a comfortable, family-friendly destination at any time of year.
Mattel Adventure Park includes two fully themed Hot Wheels rollercoasters - Hot Wheels Bone Shaker™: The Ultimate Ride and the Hot Wheels Twin Mill™ Racer.
LBE is a powerful part of Hasbro’s brand offerings, with all-new attractions that just debuted around the world. In China, the second Peppa Pig Play
Café opened, along with the stunning Transformers: The Ark restaurant, with the co-branded Transformers & My Little Pony Playlodge coming soon. Arriving in the EMEA region, following the award-winning success of London’s Monopoly Lifesized, is the NERF Action Experience in Manchester, along with the Peppa Pig: Surprise Party live show set to launch in 2024. To coincide with Peppa’s 20th next year is Merlin’s Peppa Pig Theme Park in Germany and a second US location in Texas. Mexico’s dazzling HASBRO CITY just opened as well.
Universal is killing it with horror – this year’s box office hit M3GAN, along with Universal’s classic Monsters and other icons of horror, like Chucky and Michael Myers, are driving global culture and creative trends. The annual Halloween Horror Nights celebration takes place inside Universal theme parks around the world and has become a tentpole cultural event. From innovative mazes and themed merchandise in the Parks to licensing opportunities for partners and retailers around the world, this moment is only getting bigger.
Following the success of Netflix’s Squid Game last year, the streaming platform is teaming up with Sandbox VR, a premium location-based virtual reality experience, to create a fully immersive Squid Game virtual reality experience, allowing consumers to go from watching the show to living it in VR.
Set to launch in late 2023, participants will be transported to iconic Squid Game locations, where they will
compete in a variety of Squid Gameinspired challenges to be the last one standing. Players will receive customised highlight videos after each game session, capturing their in-game emotions and recounting how their very own Squid Game tale evolved.
The VR platform blends cuttingedge technology with user-friendly functionality. Guests’ bodies will serve as game controls. All they have to do is enter the virtual world and join in on the action going on around them. Sandbox VR claimed that their patented motiontracking technology captures a player’s entire body’s movements, combining
with a haptic system to provide gamers with exceptional realism and complete immersion not found in home VR or other location-based VR platforms.
The Smurfs are working with SEE Touring Exhibitions to create a digital interactive experience that will take visitors into The Smurfs’ universe and will launch in 2024. The immersive video, sound, and light projection experience will debut on XSpace. Visitors of all ages will be able to tour The Smurfs’ Village and engage directly with Smurfs without the need of headphones, goggles, or other devices.
“Mattel Adventure Park will welcome guests 365 days a year, serving as a year-round Arizona entertainment destination showcasing the full spectrum of the iconic toymaker’s expansive portfolio of brands.“
RTVE’s range of content is the most varied and pluralistic on the Spanish audiovisual scene, with informative, entertaining, and cultural programming distributed through seven TVE channels, six RNE stations, the RTVE.es website and the RTVE Play VOD platform.
RTVE participates every year in more than fifty feature films, documentaries and animated films. LM had a talk with Eduardo Calvo Martinez, Kids Licensing and Content Sales, RTVE about all the latest news and licensing collaborations. Eduardo attends BLE to meet with existing and potential partners.
Would you like to tell us how the last year of RTVE went?
This 2023 has been an awesome year for us. As a group we are growing in share, as well as in the digital with our application RTVE Play. We had excellent results with sports, men and women football, tennis, as well as basketball. Our news audience is also growing, as are our election specials. This summer we had great success with
Royals Next Door
our game show El Grand Prix del verano (The grand prize of the summer), which was produced by Europroducciones. Finally, we are very happy with our live action series La Promesa, a coproduction with StudioCanal. It’s a new soap opera that is performing very well.
What new RTVE Kids projects are in the works?
Our strategy is to create and support new IPs. We received an excellent feedback for Royals Next Door, the animated comedy series about a royal
family who has relocated into a regular house, and we are currently investing in the second season. We are very proud of our first live action series, Los Argonautas y la moneda de oro (The Argonauts and the Gold Coin), which is in the shortlist for the Content Innovation Awards 2023 in the new category Best Live Action Kids Drama. Concerning the animated educational series My Preschool Monsters, we are investing in the third season as well as a film. Petronix Defenders, our first international co-production with Mediawan, has exceeded our expectations. Finally, we are highly concerned with our digital world, making our programming more visible on YouTube and social media.
On the licensing&merchandising front, what were the most important recent collaborations?
We always collaborate with the leading partners, such as Spin Master (Gabby’s Dollhouse, Paw Patrol), Famosa (Petronix Defenders, Gigantosaurus, Trotties), eOne (Peppa Pig, PJ Masks), DeAplaneta (Milo) and Bandai (El reino infantil, Pocoyo).
What about publishing in particular?
Blue Ocean releases Clan Magazine, a monthly kids’ magazine that presently ranks top in its category in Spain, with a circulation of over 40,000 copies.
The issue, licensed by RTVE, arose as a result of the success of the children’s channel, Clan TV, which is the most watched by youngsters aged 4 to 12. In the magazine all of the channel’s characters have their own space, which is interwoven with other activities such as games, comics, and handicrafts. It also offers a channel guide and tips for parents. Its hallmarks are quality and adherence to educational values.
What objectives does the group want to achieve in the next years?
We would like to maintain our high quality standards and be recognised as a safe space for children. Finally, we want to be ready to operate as a transmedia group, utilising numerous channels, media, and communication platforms. For example, we are working on a global project involving the Metaverse.
In the animation series Swap riders: tunnig the beast, the Swap Riders are the craziest and funniest vehicles, who organise the best races. In each episode they take on a new course, each time more spectacular and more dangerous. The winners will have to race spectacularly well if they want to outrun their tough competitors. The show premiered on 4 September.
In addition, beginning on September 7, the programme Aprendemos en Clan. El reto aired. It’s a space designed for clanners to learn new things in the company of the friendly Martina Burón and the beloved and hooligan Nacho Mapacho.
Every Thursday a challenge will be launched to encourage imagination and creativity. Martina and Nacho will accept all the challenges and will try to answer each and every one of the questions sent in by the young viewers: do plastic islands exist, can we sneeze without closing our eyes, why do our fingers wrinkle in the water?
But Martina and Nacho will not be alone in this adventure. Alongside them, their wise scientists Orilo and Arlequina, the peculiar and curious professor-detective Weleló and the Olympic champion of thinking, who comes from the future, Nerea.
Legislation is going to change the business landscape for good. Products of Change is at BLE 2023 to present some of the solutions emerging from the industry’s leading pioneers.
The rhetoric around the legislative changes coming through has been strong. An agreed draft UN Plastic Treaty, for example – a bill drawn up to curb the production of single-use plastic – wants to ‘cut off the head of the toxic single-use snake’, while the passing of the EU Nature Restoration law earlier this year was hailed a ‘victory for scientists, young people, and a lot of businesses,’ with promises made to safeguard biodiversity.
The European Union has made its intention to reach Net Zero by 2050 very clear. And with such lofty ambitions comes some heavyweight policy to back it up. What’s more, this is policy with the potential to reshape the licensing industry as we know it.
The overall goal is the gradual shift towards a circular economy - a model in which the ‘take, make, create, and
throwaway’ culture of today is replaced with a zero-waste system in which products are designed for reuse to be held in their highest value state. It’s a model that demands design works smarter and more efficiently with natural resources to eradicate waste and innovate harder than ever before.
So, what’s this got to do with licensing?
The obvious point is that the $340bn global brand and licensing industry won’t be immune to any of the legislative changes coming down the line. Across the EU, Extended Producer Responsibility laws will impact the way in which products are not only packaged but handled throughout their entire lifecycle, while the introduction of the Digital Product Passport is going to set whole new standards for supply chain transparency.
Those who can get the jump on these advancing changes now are going to find themselves light years ahead when the new requirements come into full force in the next couple of years. This is what Products of Change showcase at its Green Innovation booth at Brand Licensing Europe.
The tech experts at Fabacus made headlines recently with the launch of its own Digital Product Passport (DPP) – a unique QR code that arms customers with all the product information they will need to make a truly informed purchase.
Developed in partnership with the ethical fashion brand, Nobody’s Child and used – for the first time – on a range of clothing from the Fearne Cotton’s Happy Places, the DPP empowers the customer to make the ethical choice by giving them full view of the impact areas along each garment’s journey to the shelf. The fact it’s been backed by the UK retailer, M&S speaks volumes for the reverberations the official introduction of the DPP will cause among brands and retailers in the very near future.
Wastebuster, meanwhile, will showcase Recycle to Read, an initiative thatsupported by Hasbro - has this past month landed in select Tesco stores to test and trial a new, circular system for pre-loved and broken plastic toys.
Legislation will be the heavy hand to effect big change in change. Products of Change is here to help eke out and present the solutions through crosssector and cross-industry collaboration to ensure not only a bright future for the next generation but for the licensing industry, too.
With a careful analysis of the publishing sector, the company Exploding Topics gathered the most significant data and identified the current trends, which are expected to influence the industry until 2025. The demand for audiobooks and
e-books is increasing, while print book demand has declined during the last decade. According to industry sources, audiobook sales have been steadily increasing since 2012 and, in fact, audiobook revenue has increased 14.3% year on year. Audiobooks are one of the publishing industry’s most rapidly growing segments. In addition, Amazon subsidiary ACX will package an author’s audio file and distribute it to Amazon, Audible, and Apple iBooks. Surprisingly, ebook sales are outpacing audiobook sales, generating almost $956 million in revenue. Aside from Amazon (which owns roughly half of the ebook industry © ISBNdb
and hosts 200,000 audiobooks on Audible), many people now get their digital media via public libraries. In the early 2000s, the publishing industry was dominated by the big six: Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin, HarperCollins, Random House, and Simon & Schuster. Just to give an example, these six major players accounted for 50% of all books sold in the US in 2012.
Random House and Penguin combined in 2013, leaving the business in the hands of the “big five publishers. According to statistics, these five publishers sold 80% of all books in 2021. This year Penguin Random House (PRH) has acquired Simon & Schuster
for $1.62 billion, but the merger was blocked by US Department of Justice. The new company would have such a large market share that it would practically constitute a monopoly. Since 2010, the number of selfpublished novels has increased. In that year, around 153k ISBNs were granted to self-published publications. By 2018, the figure had risen to more than 1.6 million volumes. The pandemic and the popularity of e-books seemed to accelerate the trend in 2020. Authors, particularly new authors, are drawn to self-publishing because it allows them to do whatever they want with their book. Authors who have previously published with a traditional publishing business have recently turned to selfpublishing. What’s the reason? Better income and more influence over the
packaging and marketing of the books. The authors are also focusing heavily on digital marketing, to build long-term, ongoing relationships with their readers. Customers who are engaged like this are more likely to buy books in the future. To that end, email marketing is one of the most popular ways to sell books in
the next years. Publishing expert say that email is 100x more effective than social media when it comes to book sales. Some authors offer free stories to subscribers on their email lists. Some companies even monetise email subscriptions by providing premium content.
TheSoul Publishing, the worlds leading digital content studio, has been working alongside leading children’s brand Crayola to help the company craft, film, distribute, and analyze powerful social media content over the last year.
How did the agreement between Soul Publishing and Crayola come about?
Understanding Crayola’s needs, and TheSoul Publishing’s powerful position in the content creator ecosystem, TheSoul’s licensing agent, Retail Monster, brought the two brands together.
How was the work organized for this first year of partnership and which Crayola brands did it enhance?
Our ambition with this YouTube focused digital campaign was to not only draw viewers but to immerse them in a world where creativity and brand loyalty merge seamlessly. With this in mind, the primary objectives we set for our collaboration were to ignite Creativity & Boost Crayola Brand Affinity, Amplify Viewer Engagement, and Set Pioneering Benchmarks in Digital Brand Engagement. With Crayola’s rich heritage of fostering artistic expression top of mind, TheSoul took on dual responsibilities in both content creation and strategic management, forging a new benchmark in digital brand engagement. The strategy was to lift up the entire brand line with our creative content collaboration.
What are the plans for this collaboration in the coming year?
Building on the success of this colorful YouTube campaign where we witnessed a 40x surge in organic views and a 30x rise in total watch hours, Crayola and TheSoul Publishing are deepening our partnership. We’ve already begun extending the creative synergy to platforms like TikTok and Pinterest to not only amplify Crayola’s digital footprint but also to invite even larger audiences to engage with its innovative content.
Despite the fact that email is a successful marketing strategy that appears to be here to stay, authors are also experimenting with promoting their works on social media. For many authors, posting on TikTok, a relatively new platform, has emerged as a viable marketing tactic: #BookTok in the last year has received over 100 billion video views.
Ladybird announced its acquisition of a license from Toikido, to publish the first Piñata Smashlings books.
The new Piñata Smashlings Collector’s Guide will publish in November 2023, with the three-year license covering World rights and all languages.
The first IP created solely inhouse by Toikido, Piñata Smashlings is set to take the gaming and toy sector by storm, with a unique and exciting Roblox game in production, and a series of animated
shorts, music, suite of toys, collectables, trading cards, plush and playsets all scheduled for release this summer. Underpinned by a deep character driven story which will be integrated into the first Piñata Smashlings book, the Piñataverse is home to hundreds of playful characters, including Smashlings - cheeky little creatures and playful Piñatas - who love to have fun and are always on the lookout for new Smashling arrivals.
The Sinking Ship shows are also regarded as excellent intellectual properties that have inspired three new books by Mango Publishing
Dino Dana (52x22’,1 x75’), is a liveaction/CG hybrid children’s series about a feisty 10-year-old ‘paleontologist in training’ who eats, sleeps and sees dinosaurs - right in her backyard. Dino Dana continues the Emmy awardwinning tradition of imagining the
& Company, Greg Giordano has had the opportunity to work with a variety of Licensees, currently licensing designs to over 85 manufacturers.
awesomeness of the past into an adventure in the present. The Dino Dana Activity Workbook is the third in the Dino Field Guide series. It is filled with new dino experiments, Dana’s craft ideas, and other exciting activities to help young dino fans uncover more about their favorite prehistoric creatures.
Jane (10 x 26’) is a live-action/CG hybrid children’s series that follows Jane Garcia, a 9-year-old budding environmentalist on a quest to save endangered animals. Using her powerful imagination, Jane takes her best friends David and Greybeard the chimpanzee on epic adventures to help protect wild animals all around the world.
The Giordano Family has always been a well-known entity in the art licensing industry and greeting card business. Prior to venturing into art licensing and establishing Giordano Studios, Joseph Giordano worked as a staff illustrator for a top greeting card company in New York City, Norcross Greeting Card Company. When he established Giordano Studios in 1980, the popular imagery he created for Norcross continued as a staple in his design archives. His two sons, Bob and Greg Giordano, followed in his footsteps. After a successful career as a fine art gallery painter, Greg also joined the company. Later on in 2002, Greg established his own business, Greg & Company. As the Managing Director of Greg
Greg also enjoys working with several other greeting card companies, some of which include Pumpernickel Press, Crown Point Graphics, and more recently, NobleWorks Cards, where he has had the exciting opportunity to create two “pups & trucks” greeting card collections.
Licensing his artwork to greeting card manufacturers has been a natural fit from the start, a connection of which he owes to his father. He hopes to continue to be able to play an important role in this part of the art licensing industry, and to further expand his design archives while providing companies and their customers with quality artwork that fits any occasion.
For more information about Greg & Company, please visit the website www.GregGiordanoArt.com. For licensing opportunities, please contact Licensing Manager Jessica Fritsche at jessica@ greggiordanoart.com .
Jane’s Guide to Endangered Animals invites readers into a world inspired by the Apple TV+ series, to join Jane Garcia as she dives deep on 10 different endangered species, with facts about how they live, what they eat, and what makes them amazing, while also taking a real look at the challenges they are facing, what is being done to help them, and how we all can work together to save them.
The Fabulous Show with Fay and Fluffy (26x11’) is a beloved and awardwinning pre-school television series hosted by drag duo Fay and Fluffy. The cabaret-style show inspires a love of reading and encourages children with messages of choosing kindness and empathy towards one another, through community, story, song and silliness! The Fabulous Show is currently streaming on Wildbrain Wonder on YouTube; season two is in production and will be delivered in 2024.
The Fabulous Book About Families is a book about love, learning, and celebrating families of all kinds. Sharing
more of that same sparkle from the television series, the Fay and Fluffy book celebrates the diversity of families, and shows that they can come in all shapes and sizes.
Former Disney, Lucasfilm, and DreamWorks artist Tyler Ham explores friendship with The Ghoul and his monster pals in his debut children’s book Rest In Peace, published by Simon & Schuster
After a long Halloween night, Ghoul’s monster friends start knocking on his tomb door. He reluctantly allows Dracula in. Then the Werewolf. Next the Mummy,
followed by Frankenstein’s Monster. Finally, when Blob tries to ooze his way through the door Ghoul loses his cool and kicks them all out into the darkness. But was his decision too hasty? Only when his conscience-in the form of the Invisible Man-makes him realize that his friends simply wanted to spend more time together does he see the error of his ways.
Finally, Hasbro has been established a partnership with global educational publisher Twinkl for Sarah & Duckthemed learning resources which debuts ahead of BLE as well as an important charity partnership with Farms for City Children which offers disadvantaged kids countryside breaks on working farms – all of which is extending the brand’s reach to new audiences and demographics whilst exciting their existing fans with new opportunities.
The year 2022 was difficult for the book market. With strong commitment, bookstores and publishers have mastered the coronavirus pandemic. The children’s book industry remains one of the most thriving.
In 2021, the German book market generated over 7.9 billion euros in income from print book sales and about 790 million euros from e-books. According to the newly revealed Media Control report, book sales fell 2.1 percent in 2022 compared to 2021.
14.4 million Germans read for leisure several times a week, reaching for a variety of genres when making their book choices. Preferences and trends, or, more specifically, sales figures, change periodically. Most recently,
Among new German children’s releases, there are Henry Kolonko und die Sache mit dem Finden (Carlsen). 9-year-old Henry has a very unusual hobby: he collects lost things and searches for their owners. He prefers to do his research alone - until he meets the lively Pippa. She soon doesn’t leave his side on his rambles through the city. With Pippa’s help, Henry not only finds out who owns the dentures that were left outside the Asian shop one day, and where the missing cat with the bent ear is, but also why it is so important to him to return lost things, and what it all has to do with his mother.
Meck and Schneck – A Lion Is Not a Cuddly Toy (Ravensbuger), is a thrilling picture book with an unexpected twist by, by Matthias Derenbach and Michael Engler. With unshakeable self-belief and his friend Meck at his side, Schneck overcomes the highest highs and the lowest lows, even though he is usually shy and anxious. He even dares capture a wild lion! When Meck later asks him: “And what are we doing tomorrow?”, Schneck simply and self-confidently replies: “Something bold.”
leading subjects included travel themes, fiction and children’s books. Despite repeated dire warnings about reading dying out and bookshops suffering as a result, Germans have not stopped reading or buying books, whether physically or online. Of course, the traditional book trade does face challenges, especially with the rise of e-books.
Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer having the same impact on public life as it did in 2020 and 2021, more books are being purchased in person rather than online.
The Börsenverein reports show that the physical bookstore trade, which had suffered from store closures for months in 2021 due to the still-ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has not yet been able to achieve its pre-pandemic level, but has regained sales. The retail sector ended 2022 with a 4.8 percent gain in sales over 2021.
According to GfK’s Media Scope consumer panel, around 30% of children’s and YA novels purchased in the first half of 2022 were spontaneous purchases, ten percent more than in the same period the previous year. Spontaneous purchases are more likely
to occur in stores, whereas targeted purchases (49%) are more likely to occur online.
The Children’s book market continues to grow Children’s and Young Adult books play an important part in the German market; nowadays, you can be sure that a new bookshop will specialise in literature for young people from the time it opens its doors. Children’s book sales have soared while other market sectors have been dropping for several years. The 2021 data for the children’s and YA division of the German book industry show a 4.4 percent increase in sales over the previous year. The section accounts for 18.8 percent of overall
Bücher (VLB), 9,237 publications (ranging from medical textbooks to travel guides) were translated into German in 2021. There were 1,628 titles in the children’s and young adult categories, accounting for 18.7 percent of the total. A significantly higher number of comics and cartoons were translated into German, with 1,806 titles.
The German Children’s Literature Award 2023 book sales, placing it second only to fiction; its market share has gradually increased in recent years.
According to the German National Library and the Verzeichnis lieferbarer
The Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis 2023 (German Children’s Literature Award 2023) will be presented on October 14 in Nuremberg and on October 20 during the Frankfurter Buchmesse. They will announce the winners of this year’s prizes, as chosen by the critics’ and young adult juries, as well as the recipients of the Special prizes, which will be awarded for a German author’s whole works and a German “New Talent.”
The German Children’s Literature Award is a governmentsponsored award. It is funded by the German federal ministry for family affairs, senior citizens, women, and youth. It has been awarded every year since 1956 and is worth 100, 000 Euros.
In 2012, the children’s book retail market in China represented less than 20% of the total market. However, since 2016, children’s books have become the largest and fastest-growing segment of the book retail market in China, which have reached 28.62% by 2022.
More than ever before, and more than the rest of the world, Chinese parents desire to spend in their children’s education. The Chinese book market is enormous, accounting for almost 40% of the whole market, whereas the comparable amount in Europe is 20%. Due to the pandemic lockdowns, the whole Chinese book market, which is now valued at CNY 87.1 billion (or around $12.1 billion), will experience its greatest decrease in over a decade in 2022. According to OpenBook, a publishing statistics clearinghouse in Beijing, the book market fell 11.7%
China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (CCBF) this year is celebrating its 10th anniversary! It set to take place from 17 to 19 November 2023 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre. After a decade of dedicated development, CCBF has become the leading fair in Asia Pacific dedicated to books and specific content for children aged from 0 to 16. Meanwhile, it offers an exceptional platform for the exchange of children’s book copyrights, marketing and distribution, as well as crossover possibilities for a wide range of industries.
The upcoming event will be joined by over 450 publishers and exhibitors specializing in children’s content from more than 20 countries and territories. As China has resumed all types of visa applications and major international airlines, the organising committee warmly welcomes the return of global publishers and professionals who will attend CCBF 2023. CCBF is proud to announce a special 10th-anniversary theme forum. The forum will focus on the remarkable development and achievements of the children’s book market over the past decade, as well as the trends and directions that will shape the industry for the next ten years, to facilitate the “ going global” and “bringing in” of children’s publishing. In addition to the forum, a grand 10th Anniversary Gala Dinner will be held, featuring special 10th Anniversary Awards. These awards will be presented to individuals and organisations that have actively participated in and supported CCBF throughout the years and have made outstanding contributions to the growth and success of the children’s book industry in China.
year on year. Sales of children’s books dropped by approximately 5%. Meanwhile, online platforms continue to outperform physical stores, with short-video e-commerce (on TikTok, Xiaohongshu, and WeChat, for example) quickly becoming the new channel for book marketing and retail. The shortvideo e-commerce accounted for roughly 30% of total book sales in China and for 45.6% of sales in the children’s book market last year. But because royalties are based on net sales, such steep discounts result in decreased earnings for authors and illustrators, which has an impact on the quality of their work and output.
Publishers’ work has been considerably impacted by intense market rivalry and deep retail reductions. China is battling to keep prices high enough to encourage publishing houses to continue producing high-quality children’s books.
Tomorrow Publishing House is a professional Chinese children’s book publishing firm that was founded in 1984. With almost 1,000 titles released each year, its publications include children’s literature, preschool readings, children’s reference books, and education books.
Tomorrow Publishing House is committed to publishing high-quality children’s literature. It prioritises international and inter-regional cooperation and communication. It published approximately 1,000 foreign rights books, and rights to many of them were sold to over ten nations and regions. Tomorrow Publishing House would like to collaborate with more and more partners in order to create more and more wonderful books for children.
The necessity to create titles that preserve the mental health of Chinese children and young people after such a lengthy time of pandemic lockdown is one of the current burning themes. Then there’s the gaming addiction issue, along with the overuse of digital gadgets, which will impact children’s reading habits and skills over time. The Chinese government began imposing stringent limits on gaming time for kids in September 2019. Those under
the age of 18 are currently limited to one hour of gaming each night, three nights per week. Stronger limits and countermeasures are being advocated, including the use of facial recognition software to prevent youngsters from playing for too long or late at night. This is not simply a Chinese problem; it is becoming a global one. The general opinion among publishers and academics is to use more user-friendly digital technologies to encourage children and teens to read
Most Chinese publishers continue to require nonfiction and picture books in series. However, there is greater interest in chapter books and middle grade novels than previously witnessed.
What is Mattel’s publishing mission for the coming year?
Mattel’s mission is to carry the torch for some of the most beloved publishing properties and evolve them for the next generation. We aim to make our stories available to multiple age ranges and tap into the kidult sector with products such as comics.
From Hot Wheels and Barbie, to Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam, and Monster
High, the history of Mattel in publishing is a story written with purpose, intent, and success. From historic partnerships with the likes of Panini and Egmont, to revolutionary launches with Toniebox –our approach has given us a longevity not always seen across the publishing sector.
Who are your main partners for this sector at the moment?
Our partners are key to our success, we choose to work with companies who share our brand purpose. No one partner sits above another, we
work with various partners across the publishing sector to engage with fans at different levels from bespoke content to exclusive product.
The best-in-class partnerships for us are the ones that illustrate how Mattel has evolved to become a truly IP-led company, with a full franchise approach.
What will be the most significant news for EMEA?
Mattel is ever evolving in the entertainment industry, with TV and film launches throughout the year and into 2024, bleeding endless possibilities across the franchises. With great storytelling, beloved characters, and a strong fanbase there are infinite ways we can bring our stories to life.
Hot Wheels continues to expand, reaching unlimited potential for our publishing teams to utilise -it’s become a global franchise powerhouse, staying relevant for more than 50 years. The brand’s first-ever adult-facing campaign, Where Legends are Made
serves as an umbrella for the adultfacing activities Hot Wheels will launch in the future, expanding beyond the traditional into pop culture. Hot Wheels sparks the challenger spirit in fans of all ages, genders and backgrounds!
Fireman Sam is back in action too, with series 15 launching across EMEA in 2023 and beyond. The hero next door brings with him a lot of excitement for the publishing industry, as his universe expands with the arrival of new characters and locations - from magazines, to audiobooks and sticker albums to hardbacks, Sam will be everywhere.
Perhaps one of the most anticipated launches of this year is Monster High, with a new animated series and movie sequel greenlit. The brand development on offer unlocks so many storytelling opportunities - entertaining, educating and inspiring children on important issues through exciting stories and characters. As the original backbone of this brand, publishing has a big role to play in making sure that the story still resonates across the various mediums.
To support editorial releases, what kind of events and marketing initiatives do you have planned?
2024 will be a big year for Barbie as the brand turns 65 - we’ll be celebrating in style across the EMEA region. Barbie has constantly evolved its storytelling potential to talk to each generation in new and innovative ways - from Magazines to artistically curated books. If you thought 2023 was a big year for Barbie, just wait until next year - Barbie will be everywhere with a 65th full of celebrations and brand initiatives. One of our most revered brands will be receiving major support and cut through across the media, supported by our licensing projects and partnerships.
What content and values does Mattel hope to express through its publishing activities in the future?
As Mattel’s publishing portfolio moves forward towards 2024, it’s important to recognize that the brands of today are also brands of tomorrow - they will be the stories told to future generations in innovative ways we are yet to see, and we’re excited to explore the endless possibilities.
We’re passionate about the positive impact that our brands can have in the world and the purpose led initiatives we can activate. Purpose can create immortality, which is why our brands are based on an idea that’s bigger than the product itself. As powerful as our brands are today, there’s so much more to come.
What new digital releases are on the horizon?
There is so much growth for us in the digital aisle, that it would be impossible to anticipate! We are, however, going to extend our presence into new territories and tap into our huge catalogue of brands to bring them into the digital space, even if they haven’t been there before.
“We’re passionate about the positive impact that our brands can have in the world and the purpose led initiatives we can activate. Purpose can create immortality, which is why our brands are based on an idea that’s bigger than the product itself. ”FRANKFURTER BUCHMESSE
On the 20th of October, Licensing Magazine organises a conference programme taking place at the Aldus Up Stage (4.1 / The ARTS+ Areal) in the heart of the Frankfurter Buchmesse (18-22 October 2023).
In the first conference Animation, licensing, and publishing - a perfect match (11.00am - 12.00pm CEST) many key players from publishing, animation and licensing will address through their best practices how to successfully combine publishing and animation in the establishment and growth of an IP. The publishing industry is not only a source of new content for the small and big
Animation, licensing, and publishing - a perfect match
Angela Schaaf de Lavado has worked in the field of licensing at Aufbau Verlag, arsEdition, and Bibliographisches Institut (Duden). Since 2022, she is Senior Rights Manager Merchandising, Carlsen Verlag, Germany
Joachim Knödler (Head of Licensing, Studio 100 Group, Germany) oversees brand initiatives for iconic German brands such as Maya the Bee, Heidi, Mia an me and the retro initiative Heroes of the Childhood, including brands such as Pinocchio and Alice in Wonderland.
Since March 2007, Claudia Mazzucco has been the CEO of Atlantyca Entertainment, Italy. In 2009, she set up Atlantyc China in Beijing. Claudia is the recipient of the 2010 Manager Woman Award.
Tuomas Sorjamaa is an award-winning agent at Rights & Brands, Finland, a 360 licensing and publishing agency ranked #1 in Europe, with a twenty-year career working in the cross-section of publishing, licensing, and animation.
So Taniuchi joined Groupe Bayard in 2003. From 2010 to 2020, she acted as Deputy Director of International Rights and Business Development. She joined Gallimard Jeunesse, France in 2020 and is currently Head of International Rights Sales
Legacy Brands through Publishing
Claudia Lucarella, Head of Publishing for Mattel EMEA region, joined Mattel in 1999. Currently she heads up the publishing portfolio with the aim to develop Mattel IPs across all formats.
screen, but also a strategic partner for those developing off-screen IPS.
The second session Legacy Brands through publishing (12:00 - 12:30 CEST) focuses on how many companies, in the aftermath of the record-breaking success of Barbie the Movie, are looking at their long-standing global franchises to develop their strategy in different avenues. Claudia Lucarella, Mattel Head of Publishing EMEA, will assist in understanding how publishing can aid in the creation of continuous and diverse storytelling for Barbie and beyond.
This year’s key entertainment content markets, MIPJUNIOR and MIPCOM, take place from the 14th to the 19th of October. Here are some previews from animation studios attending MipJunior.
As Aardman’s studio prepares for the release of the highly-anticipated sequel Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget on Netflix in December, and with a brand new Wallace & Gromit film in production, the sales and acquisitions team bring the excitement to MipJunior/ MipCom, meeting with new and existing partners to present their quality new IP and third-party properties for 2023 and beyond.
The studio has also launched The Adventures of ArachnoFly, a ‘Digital First’ 2D animated spin-off series of Lloyd of the Flies which follows the adventures of Lloyd’s favourite comic book superhero. The series premieres on YouTube on 2nd October 2023 and will be distributed non-exclusively across multiple EST, AVOD and FAST platforms, as well as traditional broadcast partners.
The studio has been busy acquiring
third-party content for distribution for the pre-school market, including Ready Eddie Go! (produced by Hocus Pocus Studio), Mitten & Shoe (produced by Matinai Animation with Hotel Hungaria and Jam Media), Yukee (produced by
Score Draw Media), Lí Ban (produced by Paper Owl Films), Quentin Blake’s Box of Treasures (produced by Eagle Eye Drama and Creative Conspiracy) and Big Lizard (produced by Beakus with Je Suis Bien Content and Watch Next Media) Teasers
or first episodes are available to watch in the MIPCOM Junior screening library.
Monster Entertainment is coming to MIP Jr and MIPCOM fully loaded with new animation. There are 3 new series in production – Tiny Toot (26 x 7’ for 2-5 year olds) from Toolbox Film in Denmark, already pre-sold to DR in Denmark, SVT in Sweden, NRK in Norway, YLE in Finland and RTE in Ireland). The first 13 episodes will be completed in November and the last 13 in March 2024, Doodle Girl (26 x 7 for 4-8 year olds) from Studio Meala in Ireland, commissioned by RTE in Ireland and due to be delivered in September 2024 and Holt (26 x 11’ for 6-11 year olds) from Igloo Animations in Ireland and Digitoonz in India, commissioned by RTE, due to be delivered in June 2025
Additionally, there will be second seasons of Fia’s Fairies (52 x 7’ total for 3-7 year olds), the no.1 rated Irish preschool animation series, from Ireland’s Little Moon, Urban Tails (52 x 2’ total for 4-8 year olds), from Pink Kong in Ireland, commissioned by RTE, Pins and Nettie (52 x 5’ total for 2-5 year olds) from Daily Madness, Peek Zoo (52 x 7’ total for 4-8 year olds) from Ireland’s Igloo Films, commissioned
What are currently the most in-demand categories for Hello Maestro license?
Over the past 45 years, the evergreen saga composed of the 7 series: “Once upon a time…” Man, Space, Life, the Americas, the Discoverers, the Explorers and Planet Earth - HD remastered - have been translated into 80 languages and are well known in over 100 countries.
The Hello Maestro saga has addressed historical and scientific topics, carefully researched, and documented. One of its core values is edutainment, learning while having fun. 40 licensees are currently on board in various countries and more than 200 product references developed.
Family board, scientific games, audio and publishing are the most indemand categories, contents are carefully developed with licensees.
What have been the latest collaborations and news?
A brand new series “Once upon a time…The Objects” (co-production Samka Productions, in association with France.tv, Hot, RTS, TV5 Monde) will launch in 2024 on various platforms. The 78 episodes of 7 minutes will see Maestro guide children - 6 to 10 years old- to discover the history of 78 everyday objects.
We partner with famous brands to keep entertaining kids and families with new experiences such as sessions of interactive discussions with experts at mk2’s theater, respiration guidance with Maestro and Petit Bamboo, and cultural mediation with museums.
What will be your licensing strategy for 2024?
We will keep developing consumer products line up on the 7 current series and extend experiential collaborations. Hello Maestro consumer products are all educational, real caution for parents and singular positioning for such a long-lasting brand.
The first dedicated products to the new series will be on shelves for Christmas 2024. Storytelling around history of everyday objects is a perfect hook to develop brand content. For further info: www.Procidis.com
by RTE, the internet sensation nonverbal Noodle and Bun (26 x 5’ for 4-12 year olds) from South Africa’s Polycat Animation, pre-sold to Canal Plus amongst others, the hybrid live action/animation Storybud (30 x 7’ for 8-12 year-olds) from Ireland’s Kite Entertainment, commissioned by RTE, Season 8 of hit STEM series, Earth to Luna (208 x 12’), from Brazil’s TV Pinguim, commissioned by Discovery Latin America
Other highlights include the worldwide hit preschool series The Day Henry Met… (104 x 5’ for 3-6 year olds) , from Ireland’s Wiggleywoo and the delightful non-verbal animation series, Ollie, from Lumiere in Belgium (52 x 4’ for preschool)
Newly launched production and distribution company Wonderworld.Fun will be showcasing the CGI series Secret Agent Jack Stalwart
Targeted at 6 – 10-year-olds, Secret Agent Jack Stalwart (S1, 14 x 26’; S2, 14 x 26’) is based on the award-winning chapter book series of the same name. The adventure-packed, comedy series full of heart, humour, and spectacle takes viewers on exciting adventures around the world. Jack Stalwart a spirited, inexperienced but brave 9-yearold secret agent travels the world solving mysteries and righting wrongs, while searching for his missing brother and fellow secret agent Max!
Princess Sam Entertainment Group and international distribution company Superights are bringing the massively successful children’s animated adventure-comedy-fantasy hit Tara Duncan (52 x 13’), based on the multi-
million-selling publishing phenomenon by Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian.
Tara Duncan launched in 2022; the first series has now been sold in more than 80 countries. A second season, with 52 new episodes, is currently in production, with plans to produce 2 x 26’ special episodes. A digital ecosystem is also being developed to expand Tara’s universe and to delight the Tara fans –known as ‘Taraddicts’.
the Princess Sam Entertainment Group recently appointed Superights as the global distributor for Tara Duncan, to represent worldwide rights distribution, except in Mainland China.
A licensing campaign is also underway. Head of Licensing for the Princess Sam Consumer Products division Laurent Taieb is bringing more than thirty years of proven operational experience in all aspects of consumer products and licensing to the Tara Duncan licensing campaign. Several regional agents have already been appointed.
Toon2Tango will be highlighting the
enormous buzz behind Monster Loving Maniacs, Agent 203 and The Wee Littles and plans for two exciting new series – Littlest Robot and Pocats – already underway.
The clever, original and very funny kids’ animation Monster Loving Maniacs, a 52 x 11’ 2D comedy for 6-10-year-olds, is about three siblings trained as monster hunters by their tough old grandfather. There’s just one problem: these kids are massive horror fans. Why would they want to hunt their monster idols? They love dangerous paranormal creatures.
So they find a way to save the monsters. Already sold into almost 90 countries and a ratings hit on CBBC in the UK, the series is produced by Ja Film and co-produced by Mondo TV, Belvision and Ginger Pictures and distributed by Toon2Tango and Mondo TV.
As for the hits of tomorrow, Toon2Tango is the producer of Littlest Robot, the delightful 3D 52x11’ new series for 4-8-year-olds written by Mark Taylor and co-produced by the talented artists and creators of North Macedonia’s V House Animation.
Last, but definitely not least, there’s Pocats, a series of 13x7’ shows already produced, with another 39x7’ in development, based on a very popular children’s book series from Hungary by Judit Berg. This cartoon series is fully self-developed by Ionart Studio in Budapest. The ‘pocats’ are tiny cats. Adults can only see them as toys, but children know they can do magic.
The new TV series Camp Kwagga is set in the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa. It’s a wildlife bush camp where a group of 4 inquisitive kids are immersed in nature and all that it has to offer. They explore, have adventures, learn about the wild, and come to love and respect Mother Nature.
Camp Kwagga is targeted at kids between 6 and 10 years old and is both fun, educational and sustainable, creating a love for nature and the future of our planet.
The hosts are Ranger Lina, a well-experienced field guide, animal and bush expert, Professor Zola, a smart natural scientist and tech Wizz, and Gogs, the wise grandmother figure with deep roots in the culture of the area and custodian of the land. All of them are passionate about the wild, keen to share their knowledge and nurture a love of the wild in children. The animated character, Kwagga is full of useful information, hints, tips and has a great sense of humour.
Professor Zola’s tech tent at Camp Kwagga is full of the latest technology which the kids use in each episode to explore the creatures around them and get a deeper understanding of the ecosystem of this beautiful wild area and all that inhabit it. The tech tent brings a fun, tactile and digital element to learning about nature.
In each episode, the kids go into the field and become immersed in the many layers of the ecosystem. Under the guidance of Ranger Lina and Professor Zola, they discover nature in an exciting, unique and scientific way, using technology and learning by doing. From tracking hippo with night vision goggles, analysing footprints with plasticine moulds, using macro photography and echolocation - this is a wildlife journey of a lifetime!
Through it all, Gogs balances the technology and learning with beautiful stories, fun arts and crafts and survival tips creating a deep respect for nature and the people who inhabit it.
The most recent releases from the major animation studios.
Disney is celebrating their 100 anniversary with exciting novelties! The new Disney Junior preschool musical series based on The Little Mermaid, Ariel (2024) tells about the underwater adventures of eight-year-old mermaid princess Ariel and her friends in the fairytale kingdom of Atlantica. Alongside the famous characters from the original film, there will be fascinating newcomers such as Lucia and Fernie,
Ariel’s two best friends, and many adorable creatures. The series, currently in production, is scheduled for release next year on Disney Junior in France.
Magicampers tells the story of the adventures of two friends, Darly (halfpig, half-Pegasus) and Loomis (halfdonkey, half-unicorn), at a summer camp for magical creatures on a fantasy island. Their young friends are also
hybrids of legendary creatures. Every day, they discover lots of new things and dream of joining the pantheon of great myths. But the series shows that to become a legend, it’s not enough to have magical powers or to win. You have to be able to empathise with yourself and others, and learn to team up with very different people.
In The Sunnyridge 3, Rose, Jeru and Wayne, three lifelong friends, are investigating strange happenings at Sunnyridge shopping centre on the outskirts of London. It’s where they spend all their free time, but this summer things have got really strange. Giving free rein to their imaginations, they come up with various theories, each more improbable than the last. Werewolves? Ghosts? An ancestral curse? Robots? Aliens? Artificial intelligence gone mad? The trio will discover that reality is often stranger than fiction. This sitcom is produced by British animation studio Blink Industries (Dead End: Paranormal Park, Love Death & Robots) and international company Boat Rocker Studios (Dino Ranch, Love Monster).
The Mediawan Kids&Family division, after about one year of its foundation, houses eight production labels, including the recent acquisitions Wildseed Studios and Submarine Animation. Furthermore, it is partnering with DeAPlaneta Entertainment for licensing and merchandising of IPs such as Karters, Witch Detectives and The Three Musketeers Over 30 TV series developments and 10 productions are currently underway, as well as several feature films, numerous preschool projects such as Taïtikis, the new series from the creator of PJ Masks, and the animated adaptation for tweens and adults of Michael Salanville’s comic book, Banana Sioule. With ZAG, they released in July the Miraculous movie in France and on Netflix worldwide, while a sixth season of the popular franchise is in production for TF1, Disney, and Gloob.
How did the Molang IP come about and what are its characteristics?
Born from an encounter between two women from very different universes, Molang and Piu Piu started life in 2010 as doodles by Hye-Ji Yoon, a young and talented Korean illustrator, and French author and director Marie-Caroline Villand who fell in love with the two adorable characters, and started to develop their personalities, values, universe, and stories. The TV series that she created is now a worldwide hit, with over 300 episodes broadcasted in 194 countries. Molang is also a viral sensation, with over 20 Billion views on GIPHY and 7 million social media followers, and a lifestyle brand with a successful consumer products program, supported by the molang.com e-shop and 15 international licensing agents, with 950 products from 80+ licensees.
The core characteristic of the brand is kindness: Molang represents the values of empathy, softness, tenderness and joy. Molang has no nationality, is ageless and gender-neutral, caring for everyone and everything.
What inspired you to transform this popular character into a YouTuber?
For the last three years our subscriber base has really grown – by 1.2 M in one year alone - by focusing our content strategy on social networks aimed at young millennials and Gen Z (78% of Molang’s audience). So this YouTuber concept was a natural progression to provide new creative possibilities and future partnerships for this highly engaged target.
What licensing strategy do you envision?
As IP owners, we start with strong content and storytelling on social outlets. Then we invest a lot in D2C, like corner shops, pop-ups or retail events, and our own e-commerce platform. And of course we work to support our licensing agents and partners around the world using these strengths.
Millimages will be an exhibitor at BLE (booth A230).
Hopikid is the brand new streaming and VOD platform dedicated to families, and in particular to children aged 3 to 14. Nancy de Méritens, formerly Head of Acquisitions at TF1 and a cinema enthusiast, has brought this project to life in Alsace, accompanied by a team of audiovisual professionals.
Hopikid was born out of the realisation that was missing a streaming platform that brought Following a monumental year for animation at Netflix - with wins at the Oscars and BAFTA (Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio), the Primetime Emmys (Arcane; Love, Death + Robots) and a sweep of the animated program categories in the inaugural Children’s & Family Emmys competition - the studio returned to Annecy Festival 2023 with an exciting slate of diverse, ambitious films and series, highlighting its continued drive to bring the best of animation and storytelling to its members around the world.
Among the latest releases, the muchanticipated Nimona, directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, an epic tale about finding friendship in the most surprising situations and accepting yourself and others for who they are. Based on the National Book Awardnominated, New York Times best-selling
together all the children’s films from the last 60 years and opened the doors to a wider film culture.
Hopikid has also been designed to further protect children from content deemed too sensitive for them. Thanks to precise filtering tools with age and duration criteria, as well as keywords, it takes just a few minutes to choose a film that suits children’s tastes and protects their sensibilities.
Hopikid is a newcomer to the streaming market and today offers the widest choice of content for families, with more than 2,000 hours of children’s programming, from current productions to the great classics. Financed by private investors and the BPI, Hopikid has signed agreements with the market’s leading publishers, including Sony, Warner Bros, Disney, Gaumont, Studio Canal, Universal, Pathé, TF1, SND Groupe M6, France TV, Millimages, etc.
graphic novel by ND Stevenson. The Monkey King is an action-packed family comedy that follows a rebellious and charismatic Monkey and his magical fighting Stick on an epic quest for victory over 100 demons, an eccentric Dragon King, and Monkey’s greatest foe of all —his own ego! Along the way, a young village girl challenges his selfcentered attitude and shows him that even the smallest pebble can have a big effect on the world. In Orion and the dark, Orion seems a lot like your average elementary school kid – shy, unassuming, harboring a secret crush. But underneath his seemingly normal
exterior, Orion is a ball of adolescent anxiety, completely consumed by irrational fears of bees, dogs, the ocean, cell phone waves, murderous gutter clowns, and even falling off of a cliff. But of all his fears, the thing he’s the most afraid of is what he confronts on a nightly basis: the dark. So when the literal embodiment of his worst fear pays a visit, Dark whisks Orion away on a roller coaster ride around the world to prove there is nothing to be afraid of in the night. As the unlikely pair grows closer, Orion must decide if he can learn to accept the unknown – to stop letting fear control his life and finally embrace the joy of living.
Gigglebug Entertainment, the valuesdriven kids’ animation studio based in Helsinki, is launching a new sub-label dedicated to the creation of adult animated content, branded In Stitches The new banner will focus on developing
bold, offbeat and experimental comedy content from contemporary voices and will be led by Gigglebug’s management team, including Anttu Harlin (CEO and Co-Founder), Joonas Utti (Creative
Director and Co-Founder) and Beth Parker (Managing Director). The label will tap into the talent across Gigglebug’s 100 in-house artists and designers and will look to develop their previously unpitched adult-targeted concepts.
The first project being developed by In Stitches is Soap, a 20 x 22’ animated workplace comedy from the point of view of a bar of hotel soap, who just wants a clean getaway. The concept was originated as part of Gigglebug’s Idea Lab – an internal pitching and co-creation session – and is based on an original idea by Sasil Leirana, a 2D Animator at Gigglebug. Soap will be written by The Amazing World of Gumball writers, Tobi Wilson and Paul Rice. The project is being produced by Anttu Harlin and Joonas Utti, with Elliott Palmer (CBBC, Nickelodeon, Big Thinkers) on board as Development Executive. In Stitches presents the project to the international market at MIPCOM.
La Mecha, a Chilean short film directed by Nicholas Hooper H. and produced by Tomás Benavente, with animation direction by Cattalina Silva and art direction by Sofía Eluani, had its international premiere at the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film 2023.
La Mecha has been then selected in the official selection of 51th edition of Huesca International Film Festival, competing in the Iberoamerican short films category, together with winners at Cannes and Sundance, and several Goya Awards nominees.
This rotoscoped short film, filmed during Covid-19 pandemic, denounces the death of environmental activists. It finds inspiration on the hundreds of cases happening nowadays, specially on the “emblematic cases occurred in Chile, like those of Macarena Valdés and Alejandro Castro”, says director Nicholas Hooper H.
New cutting-edge projects from the most important Japanese studios
Toei Animation and Strata, an international creative technology studio, have forged a strategic business collaboration. The two firms enter Web3 with a new IP, the NFT-enabled franchise DenDekaDen, a project that combines world-class narrative and cutting-edge blockchain technology. DenDekaDen is an ambitious project that comprises seven new animated characters who progress from floating souls to gods. Each exists as an actual Twitter account, and their powers are governed by the number and fervour of their followers. This ever-expanding universe is supported by a growing community of NFT holders and fans, who connect with the characters directly on Twitter. Over time, the community surrounding DenDekaDen will have more opportunities to participate in future Web 3.0 project initiatives. The partnership permits the first application of Strata’s Baunsu technology in the entertainment business.
HoYoverse announced a new collaboration with the animation studio
Ufotable, to produce the anime of the video game Genshin Impact. It is going to be a long-term project, which will prioritise production quality. With works spanning from Demon Slayer to the famous Fate series, Ufotable is known for crafting some of the most stunning locations and adrenaline-fueled fight scenes.
In July, the Tokyo-based company NatureLab released a new anime commercial for its men’s hair product brand MARO17 MAPPA, one of the best Japanese animation studios of recent years, was responsible for the planning and visuals. It is directed by Takeshi Sato (director of the Chainsaw Man episodes), while Nao Otsu (character designer of Beastars) is the character/ prop designer and animation director. MAPPA released on 15 September the original anime film by Mari Okada entitled Alice and Therese’s Illusory Factory.
The film centres on the third-year middle school student Masamune, who lives in a town where time has
The Dangers in My Heart is a new tv series (12x30’), aired on TV Asahi’s NUMAnimation time slot from April 2023.
Produced by Shin-Ei Animation, it tells the story of Kyotaro, a boy fascinated by the macabre, who daydreams of acting out his twisted fantasies on his unsuspecting classmates. But an encounter with Anna Yamada, the gorgeous class idol, lights a spark in the darkness of his heart. The animated series is based on Life, the Shonen rom-com manga series by Norio Sakurai, serialized in Akita Shoten’s website Manga Cross. Having over 2.6 million copies sold in Japan, it became 1st place for the Up and Coming Manga Award in 2020.
stopped. The reason is related to a sudden explosion in a steel factory, which has blocked all the exits of the city. In the hope that one day everything will return to normal, the inhabitants of the town are forbidden to change and live their gloomy daily lives. Masamune’s enigmatic classmate, Atsumi, leads him one day to the fifth blast furnace of the steelworks, where they meet a girl in the wild, unable to speak. The meeting between Masamune and these two girls upsets the balance of the world. The unstoppable love between boys and girls, tired of everyday life, begins to destroy the world.
MAPPA is taking the opportunity to create Bucchigiri, a new original anime project with director Hiroko Utsumi, that will not be based on any manga or light novel series. Utsumi will be joined by screenwriter Taku Kishimoto, who has worked on anime series such as Fruits Basket, Haikyuu!! and Pokémon: Twilight Wings.
Culture Connect partners with Japanese IP rights owners for international coproductions. They are participating in Kanavan Graphics animated TV series Gustav, the Forest Keeper (26x11’, 4-8 years-old) as a producer. This preschool series is centered on the adventures of Gustav, a young forest spirit following in his Forest Keeper father’s footsteps, as he protects the natural balance of the Gavotte Forest. Though Gustav’s own Forest Keeper magic is mysteriously dormant, he doesn’t let that slow him down. He uses his ingenuity and imagination to create wonderful inventions which allow him, along with help from his best friend Rita the Bee, to keep the forest dwellers of the forest happy and safe.
They are also working with Cosmonaut and a Greece Company, Funny Tales to identify a co-production partner for its animated TV series, What’s the Fluffoverse, an epic journey through space. When an ancient AI villain is
activated, a group of unlikely friends set out to stop him and save the universe. The series explores complex meanings like friendship, self-discovery and selflove, ethos, trust, fear etc. through humour and metaphors. The main idea is to find the balance between logic and emotion and to learn how to be your true self.
Finally, they take care of Studio Selfish’s animation project Laidback Lu. Lu is a young ambitious tea maker. Lu’s family inherits an extraordinary power to make something called “Tea of Life”. That tastes different from rabbit to rabbit, depending on their life experiences. Lu travels from town to town to meet people, experiencing many kinds of emotions and collecting the essence of Tea of Life.
The latest edition of Cartoon Forum was just held in Toulouse from 18-21 September, and it was once again an opportunity to discover new fascinating stories and characters.
For the 2023 edition, 76 TV series or TV specials were chosen from 120 proposals (Pre-school 22%, Children 58%, Family 6%, Adults 14%), with a total budget of 393.5 million and 473 hours of content.
Annie Melting Heart Cake (Stop-motion, 52x7’, 5-7) is a character-driven series centered around Annie and her vision of reality. She has a disability linked to one of her senses: visual impairment. But that doesn’t mean her life is any different from the others. She’s perfectly integrated into her gang, very wellbalanced and independent - because she makes up for it with her other senses - and, of course, with the help
of her friends. In this series, the one who needs help isn’t always the one you think: Annie’s friends have “flaws”, always mirroring Annie, and often thwart her mission of exploration. Annie helps Lulu overcome the paralysing fear that makes her tremble at the drop of a hat; Annie helps Pilar, the giddy squirrel, find where he’s hidden his food; Annie helps Topaz be a little more modest and less sure of himself; Annie helps Bizerte, so
UK animation made a return to Cartoon Forum with the special initiative «Animated UK Meets Europe», lead by UK broadcasters to encourage coproductions between European and UK producers. In a 90-minute session, five new projects in development from UK creative voices were presented alongside a UK broadcast partner. Each project is actively searching for a European co-production partner.
The 5 projects selected by 4 UK broadcasters (BBC, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, Sky) were: “Duck & Frog”, produced by Sun & Moon Studios; “Hug gy the Hugasaurus”, produced by Yamination Studios & Three wise Entertainment; “Magic Animal Friends”, produced by Coolabi Productions & Paper Owl Films; “Pleasure Beach”, produced by Nexus Studios; and “The Wolfbjorns”, produced by BBC Studios Kids & Family Productions & BBC Children’s and Education.
naive and candid, avoid being stepped on.… In short, the little mole is never alone in her quest: her whole troop of friends follows her. But it’s she who provides the impetus, the guide. The characters may be anthropomorphic, but the authors wanted to retain some of the sensory characteristics of their species in the form of a wink. The emphasis on the senses is a subtle reminder of the animal nature of our heroes and the question of differences. Annie has impaired eyesight that she compensates for with her other highlydeveloped senses, the squirrel has a very fine sense of touch, Lulu has a super 360-degree vision. And yet, Bizerte’s faulty hearing, the leaf-hard rabbit, and Topaz who has lost his sense of taste a little, as he needs to eat superspicy or pheasant food for it to have any flavour. Adapted from Benoît Chieux’s short film : Melting Heart Cake (2019), the producer is Sacrebleu Productions.
20 Dance Street (26x30’, 6-11) is an heartwarming animated drama series, produced by Cottonwood Media, in association with Opéra national de Paris. It centres around 11-yearold Maya who leaves the Caribbean to join the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet School, unaware her destiny is about to change forever in the most unimaginable way. Her resilience and altruism shine through as she is plunged into the unknown, far from home whilst moving forward through20 Dance Street
The 3D animated series Mavka (26x22’) took part at Cartoon Forum 2023 in order to create new viable partnerships. Produced by Animagrad (part of FILM.UA
Group) in collaboration with codevelopment partners TeamTo, it is based on the feature film MAVKA. THE FOREST SONG, one of 2023’s biggest hits in the world of indie animation. The MAVKA series, conceived as a prequel to the film, thus expands Mavka’s Universe, bringing viewers even more characters from Ukrainian mythology and ancient legends recounted in the simple and international language of animation, with more laughs and fun, as well as gorgeous and enchanting music. Mavka, the Soul of the Forest, and her friends are on a mission to restore order in the magical Forest, but the monster Chuhai stands in their way. A new mission and a new villain mean new adventures, secrets, and trouble in every episode, but also finding smart solutions and getting out of scrapes!
With over 30 licensees and 300+
sku, the brand already has a very successful licensing programme in Ukraine, and this year emerged as one of the most popular licenses in Ukraine. The numerous interesting partnerships range from a collaboration with a restaurant chain that operates in Ukraine and Poland, to a licensed waterpark which is to be open in Q1 2024. Internationally, Mavka signed a deal with Italian publisher Mondadori Ragazzi. Given the international popularity of the animated film, Nerd agency, which represents global rights for the Mavka brand, has a booth at BLE this year, looking for new licensees and agencies. With the series, they hope to establish a global master toy licensee, international deals with fashion firms, and expand the licensing program into food categories. They are willing to collaborate with other agencies as well as with companies directly.
joys and sorrows, guided by a single dream, to become a prima ballerina. The series is based on the best-selling books (with twenty novels published to date since 2016) by Elizabeth Barféty and is being adapted for TV. What makes this show unique is its realistic
Leading creator of innovative kids entertainment TeamTO presents What’s Up Eesha? (11 x 52 min), a CG-animated preschool comedy.
Eesha is an imaginative penguin who loves to create but frequently finds her plans disrupted by her rambunctious, fun-seeking friends. Set in whimsical Snowtop, this series follows the twists and turns of an arctic community’s unexpected adventures as they learn to live together, with all the comedy, silliness and miscommunication that comes from a group effort.
Executive Producer Corinne Kouper commented, “What’s Up Eesha? is about relationships with others and oneself. In each episode, Eesha realizes that by adjusting her plans to accommodate her friends just a little bit, everyone can enjoy the fun!
The creative team includes Creative Development Executive, Mary Bredin (Jade Armor, Pik Wik, Justin Time); Director, Loïc Espuche (I Lost my Body, Ollie & Moon), and Scriptwriter Felicity Carpenter (Sadie J, Hut 13).
stage. Delivery is scheduled for Q1 2025.
The main character of the series
Crazy Inventions (2D/3D, 52x6’, 9-11 years-old) – fourteen-year-old Johnny Smarts – is the creator of an online educational vlog. He explains to his peers, in an attractive, accessible way, the workings of objects and phenomena they encounter in everyday life. In each of the episodes of the series, Johnny shares with other children the principles of how an invention, object or phenomenon works, which is illustrated by a visualization. Then he describes the history of the creation of given inventions, making jokes related to the lives of their creators, discoverers or inventors. Another important character is Monkey Ainstain, a curious, playful, but surprisingly intelligent animal whose actions often lead to the solution of a problem Johnny has been grappling with for most of the episode. The series is produced by Badi Badi, in collaboration with Beat Shop Sound Studio
Produced by Thuristar and La Cabane, in development with VRT-Ketnet, Luce in the Lovely Land (2D, 26x11’, preschool) is a series of adventurous and quirky tales in which Luce, a brave and curious 6-year-old, explores the world around her. When an event disrupts the daily life of her small village, Luce sets out with her best friend, a giant Rock creature, in search of answers and solutions. During these journeys, together they meet incredible creatures and live amazing adventures, in a very creative and
surprising world! The series is adapted from Britt Raes’ short film Luce and the Rock, which was released across 200 theaters, pre-brought by several European broadcasters (including France Télévisions, VRT-Ketnet, RTBF, etc.) and selected and awarded in numerous festivals around the world – including the Berlinale, Annecy, Clermont-Ferrand, New York, Ottawa and Aspen.
Emmy Award-winning French animation production and distribution company Dandelooo presents the 2D animation Hold on Gaston! (52 x 11’) at Cartoon Forum, MIPCOM Junior and MIPCOM. Targeted at upper preschoolers, the edutainment comedy series is based on the hugely successful children’s book series Gaston’s Emotions (Les émotions de Gaston) written by author and illustrator Aurélie Chien Chow Chine and published by Hachette Enfants, an imprint of Hachette Livre France. Featuring the cutest unicorn with a rainbow-colored mane, the books that entice children to identify emotions and manage them effectively have sold over 1.3 million copies in France alone and have been translated into 27 languages. The series which teaches children to identify emotions and manage them effectively, offers humor, social and emotional skills, expression and understanding of emotions, diversity, tenderness, mindfulness, strength of family and friendship ties, magic, dreams, music, nature, and problem-solving.
Last July, Sheffield hosted the 2023 CMC, the sole conference event in the UK for anyone interested in creating, producing, and distributing content for children. This year the event marked its 20th anniversary with 1000 attendees, a richer offer of expert talks, and special attention to themes like web world and AI, and of course, animation.
Many of the events featured exclusive insights into the world of UK animation, as well as an opportunity to stay current on global market changes. Here are some examples.
The first conference of Understanding kids series, Commissioning and Distribution in a Changing Market, discussed how children’s content evolved in recent months, in the context of a general slowdown in activity by leading broadcasters and streamers. Children’s animation projects have suffered the most, particularly new project commissions. A portion of these reductions can be ascribed to the SVoD and Pay TV-dominated US
market. Currently, the most popular content comprises titles that are available across various platforms, and this option is ideal for new releases that want to keep their popularity high. The annual CMC Animation Assemble! Session, sponsored by Animation UK, seeks to educate attendees on the most recent advancements in high-quality animation entertainment for children. As the streaming progresses, IP owners
and broadcasters must now find more strategic/collaborative approaches to get shows produced. Both Lego and Sky agree that well-known properties are the safest pick for commissioners, but they also want to give new projects, such as Ready Eddie Go!, a chance.
According to Jellyfish Animation, IP owners can collaborate with a SVOD broadcaster, but only with a full buyout of rights, which decreases your future earning potential from the IP, or a longer finance model, which necessarily entails a dilution of rights. BBC agrees that the business is currently undergoing a recalibration. When it comes to tax advantages, the UK currently has disadvantage when compared to other regions.
In Commissioner Conversations 6-12 professionals from various broadcasters and productions explained the current demands for this tough crowd. Channels are seeking fresh formats that meet kids where they are. It is becoming more difficult to monetize content, and broadcasters must be innovative in terms of funding, co-production, and sharing platforms. Paramount (Nickelodeon) is continuously looking for new formats that will allow them to tell stories in new ways. The most significant ideas for BBC Children’s introduce themes of neurodiversity and wellness, portraying diverse economic, cultural, and religious viewpoints, and sustainability. Da Vinci (part of the Macademia Group) attempts to address themes that are rarely discussed, whereas for Sky it is critical to promote new properties. Let’s Game World Builders has been a popular gaming
spinoff from their game titles, and the rapper MC Grammar is a big success. An unmissable appointment is Put your Money where your mouth is, the successful pitching contest for new animated projects. Dust Valley, a CG cartoon for 6-9s starring protagonist Snorkel, an 11-year-old space orphan’ who landed on the wrong planet in search of a new home, was chosen by the CMC audience. The judges decided that Zeal of Zeon, a manga/anime project about three teenagers who are enticed into beta testing a music-based video game, was the winner. There were also plenty of appointments
dedicated to writing for animation.
Sarah Cox, Aardman’s Executive Creative Director, spoke about the development process and how she keeps the core of an original idea as it evolves from proposal to show to global brand in Creative Masterclass: What’s the Small Idea? Sarah talked about four separate productions to reveal the ‘behind the curtain’ development process at Aardman: Lloyd of the Flies, The Very Small Creatures, I Am Your Mother, and Robin Robin. Each of the four animated films presented its own set of obstacles for those involved, including deciding on the appropriate form of animation. For instance, The Very Small Creatures was originally conceived as a 2D animated series and had multiple redesigns. During the pandemic, however, they converted to CG, and the show became the first in-house series to use this form of animation.
Tiernan Douieb (Comedy Club 4 Kids) dug right into what it takes to craft hilarious shows for kids in Slime, Farts, and Poo: Writing Comedy for Kids, interviewing three top kids’ TV comedy writers about their experiences. In response to the question, How do we know what makes kids laugh? they stated that it was frequently social transgression (e.g., farting and swearing) and taboos, but that cheap chuckles are comedy punctuation, whereas large laughs make people come back to watch shows.
The next edition of CMC awaits anyone interested in 2024!
The Canary Islands are an exceptionally attractive territory for animation professionals, thanks to a continuous increase of companies present and solid tax incentives.
The last Children’s Media Conference 2023 organized a focus on the Canaries, which saw the participation of Javier Hidalgo (director, PROEXCA) who heads up the Canary Islands Economic Development Society. Javier gave an overview of all the opportunities now present in the Islands for animation professionals.Javier Hidalgo
Six years ago there were only two smaller Canarian studios, but currently there are 24 animation studios, from different countries of origin (UK, Germany, France, Italy...). Around 12 work internationally for servicing and coproducing, and the others have a smaller structure, and a business focused on publicity and short films. The production’s volume in 2022 was of 164 productions, including live action and animation, with around 35 productions for animation, with tv series and films.
This incredible growth of the present studios (around 3-4 new studios each year) is due to local promotions and
tax incentives. The tax rebate is up to 30% for a foreign production spending a minimum of 200,000 Euros for animation projects in Spain. This is also why many studios decided to move here, for example, the UK studio People Moving Pixels established there in Tenerife in 2017. For UK territories, you can avoid the double taxation agreement, repatriating all the benefits generated from the Canarian Islands.
In the case of national productions realised in the Canary Islands the deduction percentage is 50% on the first million Euros and 45% from then on. This incentive is capped at €38 million euros per feature film and 18 million euros per episode in the case of series. Plus, corporate tax is less than 4% (the regular corporate tax is 25%) for those who establish a new company in the Canary Islands, spend 100,000 euros in fixed assets, and create an average of five jobs per year, maintaining annually, rather than accumulating year by year. To these advantages must be added the funds that can be gained through co-productions, because Spain has various subsidies and grants, both
at the national and European levels, in addition to those of the Canary Islands.
The studios are split 50/50 between Tenerife and Gran Canaria and offer the whole production pipeline (preproduction, production sending, etc.). Concerning the presence of talents, there are approximately 1200-1300 artists , thanks to adult training programmes . For instance, when a UK studio needs new Canarian animators in Canary, a dedicated training programme is funded, and the trainer is chosen by the studios; local institutions can also cover the salary for new workers during six months as an internship (programme Talentum).
Cartoon Business is a safe haven for animation professionals
One of the world’s biggest IPs, Lionel Messi, has now become an animation project by a Canary Islands service studio, Atlantis Animation. Produced in collaboration with Leo Messi Management by Sony Music’s Premium Content Division, the series will immerse viewers in the epic adventures of a young Messi overcoming titanic challenges as he navigates the vibrant world of video games.
200% Wolf by 3Doubles Producciones is a 3D animated feature film and the sequel to 100% Wolf, about Freddy Lupin, the dancing wolf, a young heir of a wolf-hunting family. Freddy sets out on a mission to recover his wolf form after being transformed into a dog by an evil wizard. 3Doubles Producciones is at work on many other projects, such as the 3D animated movie SuperKlaus. Momonsters, their colourful 3D & 2D animation series, has already had two seasons released, and a TV movie is in production.
Arcane is an awesome Netflix series, the first streaming series to win an Animated Emmy, with a stunning combination of 2D and 3D. Season 2 is now under production, with animation provided by Fortiche España in the Canary Islands.
There is also much anticipation for the new 2D shows Bumpy the Bear and GhostBros (Koyi), and the preschool series Lea & Pop (Anima Kitchent).
Cartoon Business is an animation industry event hosted in Las Palmas (Gran Canaria, Spain) from Tuesday, November 14th to Thursday, November 16th, 2023. It focuses on major studio expansion and commercial development strategies in European Animation. The ideal environment for both new and seasoned animation producers who wish to discover how the new media landscape might improve the way they finance and exploit their animated TV series.
Cartoon Business investigates today’s funding and income sources for animated shows, including new prospects with VOD services, book publishers, financiers, broadcasters, and digital content makers, based on case studies and experts’ advice.
The 2023 edition welcomes 130 participants from 21 countries. Public and private funding, new business models, licensing and merchandising, digital opportunities, and legal issues are explored with about 30 toplevel speakers. The Professional Programme is co-hosted by Licensing Magazine
ZeptoLab and Wonderz have collaborated to launch Om Nom Stories, a new ad-free video app that features entertaining and educational videos starring Om Nom. The app is available on the iOS App Store and offers a secure and ad-free environment, with free videos and a subscription service for full access. The app consolidates all the video content developed by ZeptoLab over the past 12 years, with the newest videos released weekly.
Anna Shchur, producer and content distribution director, Zeptolab commented, ‘We are thrilled to partner with Wonderz in producing the app that combines all the enchanting content featuring Om Nom. This collaboration holds great promise, and we eagerly anticipate achieving significant milestones together.’
Sebastian Wehner, CEO of Wonderz, added, ‘We’re proud to work with Zeptolab and other global brands from various entertainment industry sectors, including gaming. It’s a privilege to partner with such a prominent gamingfirst company.’
The delightful short series featuring Om Nom was initiated by ZeptoLab in 2011. In addition to the original series, ZeptoLab’s Creative Media department has produced engaging side content, including the titles like Find the Hidden Object, Find the Difference, Coloring Books, as well as audio content, books, and other exciting materials. The app boasts colourful graphics, intuitive controls, and an easy-to-use interface designed to foster curiosity and creativity in kids. Fans of Om Nom can enjoy entertaining videos featuring the lovable green character with over 75 hours of high-quality video content, completely ad-free.
‘We’re proud to work with Zeptolab and other global brands from various entertainment industry sectors, including gaming. It’s a privilege to partner with such a prominent gaming-first company.’
- Sebastian Wehner, CEO of Wonderz -
Alfilo Brands is the master licensee and retailer of the world’s top museums. Their mission is to take museums outside the box, and to the people, wherever they shop and consume content.
Alfilo Brands was established in 2013 and the maiden year for running museum IPs is from 2017, thanks to an important deal with the British Museum Then they signed a couple more museums each year in the consecutive years (2018-2019, National Gallery, MFA-Boston, V&A, BBC Earth, the MET). Significant Achievements throughout the years include building British Museum IP portfolio from zero to 3 million fans across multiple channels in China in five years, with star icons or collections like Anderson the Cat, Cutie Egyptian Gods, Rosetta Stones, Swan Chess, Chinoiserie; they’ve also set up benchmark license cases in the industry in collaboration with super internet platforms such as Museum Night at British Museum with Alibaba 2018, JD Super IP day in 2019, Tmall Beauty Week 2020.
They’ve created innovative dual IP programs such as East Meets West, MET X Shanghai Museum collab that creatively combines assets from both museums into fusion style guides to be licensed to brands. Other examples are British Museum X Hello Kitty license
program, MFA X Monopoly LBE tour events, MET X Line Friends, Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea set, etc. Alfilo was also awarded and recognized in the licensing industry for consecutive years for best museum IPs and industry vertical case studies.
With 5 million museum lover fans through their merchandise and omnichannel retail, they’ve created new style guides and even innovations on the industrial design of the products. Their product lines are always beyond museum souvenir goods and go into specialized vertical categories, they’re more comparable to lifestyle brands. For example, their fast growing categories
since last year are home fragrance, fashion accessories, decorative home goods, and innovative gifts. In new territories to explore, they’re going to have more assortment for industryspecific and lifestyle solutions, such as outdoor living, coffee lovers, festival gift giving.
They’ve been working extensively since this year with fashion brands like Fila, Erdos, Trigrisso and coffee & drinks brands like the world-renowned Peets and Costa.
Alfilo’s current publishing projects include a 2023 Adult and Children’s Calendar with Jiangsu Pheonix Publishing House. They hope to turn
this version into a book and a children’s programme in the future. They also take publications as unique offer in the pop-up stores related to the various tour exhibitions, such as Morris books at V&A Beyond Morris Exhibition at Nanjing Museum. In the future, they plan to collaborate with other publishing houses throughout the world on either content or educational programmes, as children’s museum education is an important aspect of their development.
They are also enthusiastic about digital business, because it has the potential to expand the museum industry beyond geographical limits through more interactive plays. One of the most recent initiatives is the 2023 National Gallery X Shanghai Museum, a detailed case study that recently demonstrated how they integrated digital into museum events. They’ve created an immersive experience accompanying the real object touring exhibition by marketing the “One ticket, two experiences” concept. Besides, they’ve released 10 digital collectibles at Onsea Platform during the exhibition. In the future, they intend to expand on digital programs, with a focus on digital experiences with revenues like ticketing, retail and events.
As a matter of fact, most of their re-interpretation of museum assets and product designs are targeting at Millennials and Gen Z. For example, the IP Anderson the Cat was developed in two directions, and thus two style guides: one as the classic style with black and gold linings, while the other as Cutie Egyptian Goddess who dresses up in different settings, such as Chinese New Year, sports, spaceman, office employee, and so on. This is the personality just like any young person
living in the crowded city, who laughs, cries, worries and lets go. Their second method for attracting young people is social media marketing. They employ a media mix of RED, Wechat, Douyin, and Tmall campaigns to have KOL seeding, product tie-in, live-broadcasting, and much more to promote any new products.
Last but not least, especially with the Covid relief, they use museum tour exhibitions to encourage young people, to visit museums and view collections by themselves.
For 2024, Alfilo plans to concentrate their efforts in three areas. First, by providing commercial services for museum-level real object tour exhibitions around China, they wish to develop a network of Chinese local museum channels. Second, they work for embracing content-driven retail with social media marketing and roll out digital-related projects such as digital collectibles, digital games, digital exhibitions, and VR experiences through strategic partnerships. Finally, they intend to collaborate with additional cultural institutions from continental Europe.
Now that the restrictions against Covid-19 are a memory, people in the Asean (Association of South-West Asian Nations) countries are back to shopping and new opportunities are opening up for retailers, starting with technological innovation.
To date, the value of the digital economy in Asean has reached USD 194 billion (with Indonesia holding 40 per cent), and according to Bain & Co.’s forecasts, Southeast Asia’s digital consumer population is set to grow from 370 million today to 402 million by 2027. This has prompted major e-commerce players to improve their services. Like Shopee, an e-commerce company founded in 2015 in Singapore and operating in Thailand, which now has as many as 100 smart points in Taiwan for parcel pick-up.
Of course, technological innovation also affects physical shops, and following the summit of finance ministers and central bank governors
of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held in Jakarta last September, Vietnam signed an agreement committing it to establishing cross-border payments such as the use of the QR (quick response) code system for retail transactions. This is an important event that demonstrates the country’s willingness to accelerate the digital transition for both Vietnamese and foreign sales. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore are also working to connect their payment systems to those of the SouthEast Asian countries.
On the other hand, cooperation and development were the goals for which Asean was founded in 1967 and remain
so today where technology is present in almost every field of life.
While countries on other continents struggle to find shared policies to combat change, some ESAN member states have promoted aid for the ecological transition. Such as Malaysia, which has approved a reform to eliminate only plastic containers by 2025, or Indonesia, which intends to ban the use of single-use plastics by 2029. Some projects have international relevance, as they are included in the UN’s 2030 Agenda or see the collaboration of institutions
such as the European Union. These are commitments that reflect the environmental awareness of citizens and for retailers it can be a value that, if well promoted, will enhance their reputation not only among young people but among potential customers of all ages. Social promotion initiatives (related to training, environmental rehabilitation or waste recovery) can also be works that can forge relationships with local communities and generate interest around a brand.
Singapore: the resilience of the upper middle class and tourism for luxury opportunities
In such an innovative context, what gives security is certainly the contribution of the upper-middle income class, which together with the rise of the rich customers is driving retail sales. Among the South-East Asian countries, the one most launched towards luxury
that the brand aims to communicate and covers 134 square metres. Marina Bay Sands is a suitable location for Grand Seiko’s watch offerings because it is one of the largest shopping malls in Singapore and welcomes customers every day who want to buy luxury goods or have a dining or cinema experience. An additional reservoir for Grand Seiko is tourism, as the building houses a hotel. Singapore had just over 6 million foreign visitors in 2022 and, after accommodation, shopping is the second largest item of expenditure for out-oftowners.
So, between innovation and tradition, ASEAN territories remain a market area of many opportunities for brands that look to the more cosmopolitan consumers.
is Singapore, where the entire niche sector is set to grow by 4.46% between now and 2027. Despite being a relatively narrow market (if compared to other larger Asian countries), Singapore offers outlets for both physical shop sales and e-commerce, and the most popular products include clothing, shoes, jewellery, handbags, wallets and watches.
Thus, after the period of uncertainty linked to the pandemic, several brands decided to bet on Singapore, and after setting up a division for the AsiaPacific region, this year Grand Seiko, a Japanese luxury watch brand, opened its first shop inside the Marina Bay Sands shopping centre. The boutique features a minimalist design with gold, white and blue colours that echoes the values of craftsmanship, nature and modernity
Despite the ongoing global challenges, demand for Asian content, especially dramas, remain strong, and with China’s borders finally being fully opened, we are confident that we will see a robust market at Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) this year.
Currently, there is a similar, steady, trajectory in terms of confirmed attendance this year, as compared to the strong run ATF had last year, even though we are still about 3 months away from the event. Attendees can also look forward to meeting new buyer representatives from both newly established and existing platforms at ATF, in addition to reconnecting with longstanding contacts.
The industry is currently at a crossroad, thus the theme this year will address questions that are pushing every aspect of the ecosystem to ‘Re-write the Business of Entertainment’. Significant profiles will discuss pertinent conundrums at the pre-market Leaders Dialogue (Dec 5), the Content Summit (Dec 6), and the Production Summit (Dec 7). Organisers announced the first line-up of C-Suite speakers earlier on, these industry’s thought leaders will
focus on exclusive insights and strategic visions for 2024—what this means in the evolution of the industry today, its creative challenges, and the ingenuity of business models.
Keeping fingers on the pulse of the industry, the conference stage at ATF 2023 will include applicable foci across the discussions, which may touch upon technological advancements, such as AI, while maintaining ATF’s touch of
ATF is a must-attend entertainment market for any executive who is keen to feel the pulse of Asia’s entertainment content industry. Now, more than ever, it gathers global brands and executives to connect with one of the biggest gathering of profiles from every Asian market. With all Asian markets fully open this year, programming and market events will swing back to preCOVID levels. Registrations has been very positive, so we expect a strong turnout this December.
ATF is happening from 5 – 8 December 2023 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Attendees can enjoy the Early Bird rate and save 20% off (S$1,085/~US$820) when they register by 31 October 2023.
To learn more go to www.asiatvforum.com
keeping dialogues practical on current business and production issues. Working with global analysts from established research houses, ATF will cover the panorama of current, authentic industry endeavours/developments relevant to the APAC region.
This year, ATF has launched 3 brand-new initiatives within ATF’s In-Development component. In association with Beach House Pictures based in Singapore, ATF is currently receiving submissions from across APAC for the ATF x Beach House
Pictures Scripted Pitch & Unscripted (Documentary) Pitch. The unique opportunity for these two new initiatives will give Asian IPs the chance to venture to the US market & beyond.
The third initiative is in fellowship with Ties That Bind (TTB), called the ATF x TTB Animation Lab & Pitch—looking at adult animation. For the first time, ATF will be having a lab for producers chosen as finalists of the first-ever adult animation pitch. The lab will be hosting industry experts who will touch on real-world matters, such as preparing and structuring a package for international markets, and the types of funding opportunities in Europe and Asia. Another first will see the ATF x TTB Animation Lab & Pitch 2023 combine projects from Europe and Asia, pitted
against each other for the grand prize.
These lab & pitches are in addition to the ongoing ATF IP Accelerator Project Market 2023, in collaboration with the Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA), and supported by 108 Media. This year sees it expand its scope to accept global submissions. The platform brings together the best concepts that are in-development or financing stages to meet directly with decision makers for the opportunity to bring them to fruition. The goal of these partnerships is to foster opportunities for creators in an increasingly diverse entertainment content landscape.
Several other new aspects at ATF are works in progress and will be revealed in due time.
If social media and television are safe havens for reaching one’s target audience, with audio advertising it is possible to produce customised promotional campaigns at a lower cost.
This is an opportunity that has attracted many advertisers in recent years, especially in Europe where digitally usable audio content is increasing. According to the Europe Digital Audio
Advertising Report 2023 produced by Xaxis (part of Groupm Nexus) and IAB Europe, 66 per cent of European advertising investors plan to increase their digital audio spending in the
coming year, taking advantage of streaming platforms, sites (especially those related to radio) and webradios. All attracting different kinds of audiences: from regular music listeners to fans of a topic (sports, politics, personal growth) to those looking for company during a jog or a lunch break. The motivations for investors to focus on audio ads are the ability to integrate with other communication channels, improved brand-reputation and specific audience reach. The survey was carried out last May and June on 549 advertisers, agencies and publishers present in 29 markets, and among the countries most attentive to the opportunities of digital audio is Italy, with 74% saying they want to invest in it because they think it is a tool that can influence listeners’ choices. As many as 47% of respondents said that audio advertising is the best, or at least one of the best possible choices ever to engage customers.
One of the brands that has chosen digital audio as a promotional channel is KFC, on the occasion of the launch in Italian restaurants of the Double Colonel’s Burger, a sandwich with no less than two Original Recipe chicken fillets, prepared according to Colonel Harland Sanders’ recipe with the secret mix of 11 herbs and spices. In addition to the TV commercial, the advertising campaign expanded to social channels (Meta, TikTok), video platforms (YouTube, Twitch), road navigation applications (Google Maps and Waze) and digital-audio channels.
Digital audio advertisements include announcements broadcast before, during or at the end of the content the user is watching; real-time messages; promotional content specifically produced by a brand or an external author or expert.
Co-branding is a very effective marketing technique as it enables the acquisition of new audience segments. In the toy sector it can yield excellent results, as in recent times several retail chains have entered into agreements with manufacturers or licensees of brands linked to fictional characters.
The toy and games sector in general lends itself well to forms of collaboration because it calls for fun and discovery, and the addition of other elements can only enhance a customer’s shopping experience.
One example is Walmart, which signed an agreement with Mattel to sell products under the Barbie licence. This is a collaboration that started years ago but has led to new developments following the release of the movie Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. The decision to add new products range related to the famous blonde doll has turned out to be a good one, so much so that according to a
survey by Numerator, almost half of those who intend to buy a Barbie doll or accessory have turned to Walmart (48%), then Target (33%) and Amazon (33%). This was an initiative that allowed both brands to increase their volume of business and in particular for Walmart to strengthen its connection with children and adults (not only the parents of the little ones but also admirers of Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, and Barbie of course), since the film was also a success among viewers of all ages. Walmart’s attention for Barbie has also shifted to the internet, so much so that on the company’s website there is a video depicting a typical day of the doll using products available on the shelves
of Walmart supermarkets and on their e-commerce.
When co-branding meets fun: the value of play-related experiences From children to adults, those who enter a shop or shopping centre do not just want to buy things but also to find new ideas, to be amazed and, why not, even to have fun.
In a physical shop, in addition to products, it is also possible to attract new pople through experiences. Some supermarkets and hypermarkets, again following the success of Barbie, have set up their spaces with Mattel’s installation dedicated to the famous doll where customers can take photos or stop and look. Some have placed the installation outside, near the car park, some at the entrance and others in some free spot of the premises, to make the space more attractive and enrich the emotional content to differentiate from the competition.
But a co-branding operation can also be itinerant, and to celebrate its recent collaboration with Toys 4 Us, the Macy’s mall chain last summer organised Geoffrey’s Tour Across America, a tour with several stops in different cities in the United States to present Geoffrey, the Toys 4 Us mascot. In addition to meet-and-greets, the
formula included meetings to explain the benefits and importance of play, with in-store activities that encourage
discovery, family togetherness and fun. Starting from video games to playstations, through construction games to colouring albums. At the end of the day, participants were able to walk along with the giraffe through the shops. From technology to team work, every element was indispensable for the success of the operation.
For such an engaging initiative, merchandising also helped. Indeed, the first 50 children who boarded the Geoffrey Mobile (the van) received a free Geoffrey soft toy, while the other children who participated in the in-store events received a paper crown and a toy
tambourine. The Geoffrey experience mirrors all the criteria of retailtainmet, i.e. the dissemination of entertainment services within shopping locations, because it involves children in different activities while keeping the brand name in mind.
Compared to traditional distribution agreements, the experiences of Walmart and Macy’s show that by focusing on co-branding it is possible to enhance a brand in multiple channels and have a stronger resonance whether it is online or in a physical space. In the promotional video, Barbie holds bags with the logo of the six traits and at the end the option “Add all to cart” appears, so that the user watching the video can buy the items. Although different in type, the Macy’s initiative gave prominence to the collaboration with Toys 4 Us because it created anticipation in people who are passionate about toys and amazed those who saw the giraffe van for the first time or those who witnessed even for a few minutes the activities inside the malls.
Halloween has become one of the most celebrated holidays almost all over the world and attracts both adults and children. For retailers, it is an opportunity to capture new customer segments, so much so that in the US, several retail chains are gearing up to offer maximum choice to customers.
In the USA, Halloween is an extremely popular event, prompting people to buy products depicting witches or ghosts as early as the summer, even spending over $100 per person. One example is Bath & Body Works, a brand of personal care products and home fragrances, which launched on 24 July almost 100 limited edition sets of products on its e-commerce website that sold out quickly and had to be re-stocked. Of course, for the US people, there is no Halloween without dressing up and, according to the latest Halloween report by Power Reviews, the main destination for costume shopping is Amazon (61%), followed by Halloween costume shops (48%) and department stores such as Target and Walmart (39%), while 21% shops at a thrift shop. It has been the case for a few years now, many take inspiration for their costumes from characters become famous by movies or television series such as Jack Sparrow or the acclaimed Joker. Halloween is also celebrated in Europe by people of all ages, and among the most popular products are certainly sweets. Ferrero has recently launched the new Kinder Mini Friends, which are small chocolate treats in the shape of Halloween pumpkins, individually wrapped, to surprise children at the festive time and unleash their imagination. The Kinder Mini Friends package also includes Kinder Happy Snack bags, which return to accompany children and their families on the
famous night of the witches. The bags are available in two versions, pumpkin and bat, and contain a selection of Kinder’s best-loved specialities (Kinder Cioccolato, Kinder Bueno, Kinder Cereali, Kinder Maxi and Tic Tac in the orange and strawberry mix variants) and are perfect to be reused in the usual doorto-door game that, on the night of 31 October, populates the streets of towns and cities.
Given the date, as well as being a oneoff celebration, Halloween represents an opportunity to renew relationships with customers in the run-up to the Christmas holidays.
For manufacturers and retailers, the key to distinguish themselves from competitors is the originality of the offer, and Kinder’s initiative is a striking demonstration of this, because in addition to the quality of the sweets, the original and reusable bags are the added value of the product. For the week leading up to Halloween, many supermarkets enhance their space by applying elements reminiscent
campaign, and Kinder intends to communicate the spirit of the party by providing various contents for users visiting the website: themed playlists, audio stories suitable for all ages and a dedicated section on the Kinder Party
of pumpkins or witches not only at the check-in or checkouts, but at strategic points such as the candy or toy departments. Loyalty tools such as prizes, discounts or vouchers are also welcome.
Even for the online trade, Halloween is a showcase for launching new products, and as of now Bath & Body Works has expanded its offer with new fragrances featuring graphics with elements reminiscent of mystery and fantasy, such as Everlasting Magic, Midnight Spell, Moonlit Graveyard, and Spellbinding Sweets. All are suitable for different target groups: from fantasy fans to those looking for an original perfume to those who want to give themselves a Halloween present. In order to be effective, a commercial strategy needs an ad-hoc promotional
Planner, that is the Kinder® platform available to parents for organising truly unforgettable parties. Once you have chosen the kind of party (with the age and number of children) you wish to have, you can choose whether to entertain your guests with Halloweenthemed games, activities, decorations or tricks and create a fun personalised invitation for the event.
Even smaller online businesses can focus on communication to publicise their brand, for example by sharing on their social-network or YouTube channels tutorials for food, art and craft ideas or tips for recycling old clothes for those who want to dress up.
Snacks represent a food segment with strong commercial potential that can intercept the preferences of different kind of users.
They can be sold in multiple sales channels (from café to supermarkets to vending machines); they can be eaten at any time of the day; they do not require difficult preparation. In recent years, several brands have broadened their offerings beyond regular consumers, such as Unilever, which in 2019 launched the Algida Vegan croissant, an ice cream made with plant-based ingredients and appreciated by those looking for products with as much natural content as possible. With the right formulas, it is also possible to attract people who want to keep fit, as demonstrated by the success of Liquid Iv Hydration Multiplier, a drink for the elimination of excess fluids, also by Unilever.
The malleability of snacks does not stop with the products, but it extends
to promotional campaigns. In fact, the snacking audience is diverse and includes young and adult targets, and so to celebrate the beginning of the Nfl season, the Frito-Lay&Beverages brand (by PepsiCo) devised a TV commercial showing former players returning to the field. The campaign is called Unretirement (with the slogan Guess Who’s Back) and features a scenario that combines reality with fantasy elements, as the players are seen after taking their first bite and finding themselves back on the field.
Events can also be tools for communicating one’s brand, as
demonstrated by Ferrero case history, who sponsored the Estathé 3x3 Italia Streetbasket Circuit summer outdoor basketball tournament (organised by the Italian Basketball Federation) taking place in 18 Italian regions, for a total of 93 competitions and leading up to the Estathé 3x3 Italia Finals for the title of Italian 3×3 Champions. For Estathé this championship has represented an opportunity to communicate its socialising side and a 3-on-3 tournament is undoubtedly an ideal context. In fact, in basketball, three-on-three matches are played on holidays or during leisure time, and in outdoor courts it is easy to make friends or meet other people who share a passion for basketball.
Nowadays, it is not only important for marketers to offer goods or services, but also to create engaging experiences to provide memorable moments that consumers will associate with the brand.
In this sense, experiential marketing is an undoubtedly effective method as it aims to realise a personal or emotional connection that consumers have with the brand, which is one of the key factors differentiating it from other forms of promotion. The technology trade lends itself well to experiential marketing. For example, Samsung has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to enhance its TVs, bringing highly anticipated movie trailers to Neo QLED 8K screens in over 65,000 retail shops worldwide.
To better understand the demand for 8K content, Samsung and Warner Bros. tested their partnership by showing the trailer for ‘Creed III’ in more than 450 retail shops in the US and Europe earlier
this year to great public enthusiasm and leading to a growing demand for 8K content. Since then, Samsung and Warner Bros. have worked together to expand the programme. Now, shoppers around the world will be able to see Samsung Neo QLED 8K in action with an attractive range of high-profile content, including trailers for films such as ‘Barbie’, ‘Blue Beetle’, ‘Dune: Part Two’, ‘Wonka’ and ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’.
It’s possible to excite customers even without the use of the latest devices, and opening a pop-up store is still undoubtedly one of the most effective strategies. Espirit, a fashion brand, recently opened a temporary shop at 130 Greene Street in New York’s SoHo
district. For Espirit, this is the second pop-up shop opening in the Big Apple after the one on Prince Street. What catches the eye upon entering the SoHo shop are the Memphis Design motifs on the floor, walls and various displays, while between the shelves are catalogues with photos of celebrities wearing Espirit garments that marked the fashion of the 1980s and 1990s. Even some mannequins present vintage clothes.
Espirit’s choice of evoking the past is certainly not accidental. The brand is currently undergoing a relaunch and focusing on clothing items which arouse curiosity and memories, even if the video walls scattered in various locations convey confidence
in the future. As for the pop-up store formula, for Espirit it represents a way of communicating its return to the American market, so much so that it has already opened two temporary shops in Los Angeles and intends to open permanent shops not only in New York and Los Angeles but also in Vancouver by 2023 to strengthen its market position and achieve consistent and sustainable growth.
A pop-up store is also useful to showcase products that will be launched in the near future. To present the Astheroid City collection, Lush, a personal care brand, set up a café last June where customers could try and buy the brand’s goods and have a coffee or a snack. The collection takes its name from Asteroid City, directed by Wes Anderson, a movie released
this year that tells the story of the close encounter between the inhabitants of an American desert town around 1955, and the café contains photographs that echo this work. As in the case of Espirit, also Lush has focused on a design consistent with the product offer and some facilities (the serving of food and drink) that enhances the value of the experience.
The human contribution in instore experiences
If elements such as furnishings or decorations make for a better brand image, with the help of skilled workers it is possible to give a direct experience of a product. Lush in its shops employs beauty experts who explain to customers how to use a product, for example an exfoliating cream or makeup. Inside the shops there are sinks
so that customers can try the product immediately and, through mirrors, see the results. In Liverpool, inside the Lush shop, there is The Shampoo Bar, a space where customers are assisted by a Lush Shampoo Therapist (an experienced professional) and can try out shampoos or hair masks and then be helped by a hairdresser to comb their hair. The shop has loungers and wash stations.
A promoter or expert can also be useful in other areas of trade, starting with household products. In fact, several retail chains that enter into partnerships with manufacturers make promoters available to customers and visitors and dispense advices on the use of a hoover or coffee machine and extol its advantages.
Today, Internet has become a space in which almost all brands advertise new products, and social media can be tools to reach their target audience.
In addition to individual collaborations with influencers, several brands implement strategies that include content for television and social media, such as Hunday: for the promotion of the Kona EV 24 car on the US market launched a TV spot that is also available on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. The video, which is part of the Welcome Back to Commute campaign, shows how some people’s return to their working lives will be less traumatic as they take advantage of the car’s technologies. In addition to the commercial, Hyundai has also released a video called ‘Thursday Night Commute’ which depicts a football fan’s
journey home before kick-off. Each touchpoint of this campaign is in line with Hyundai’s innovative approach of providing content conceived to engage audiences by creating moments of everyday life with which customers can identify.
In short, Toyota’s strategy aims at the integration of social media with other media (in this case television), with diverse content but following the same thread.
In addition to the most popular socialnetworks, online gaming-related platforms also offer interesting opportunities for campaigners. Gaming has become a massive entertainment phenomenon across Europe and, according to Samsung’s Gaming Relationship Report 2023, Spain leads the ranking with 89% of the population engaging in this gaming activity, followed by France with 78%. Notably, at least 6 out of 10 Europeans are regular gamers, and Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy dominate the gaming landscape boasting a remarkable percentage (56%) of gamers who spend their time in gaming at least once a week. If gaming is the main reason why so many people join platforms, social contact is what drives users to become loyal to them. In fact, a third of European gamers aged between 18 and 44 develop new relationships (friends or partners) while holding a joystick, although the extent to which they interact online varies from country to country (France, the United Kingdom
and Italy in the lead). In addition to bonding with the virtual community, 56% of 18 to 24 years old gamers and 42% of 25- to 34-year-olds have created online friendships through gaming that go beyond the screen and the gaming session.
In short, Samsung’s report explains that gaming is no longer a lonely person’s pastime but an excuse to seek sharing and companionship with like-minded people. But what methods can be used to approach this audience? In-game advertising (within the video game play) is a very valid promotional technique because it allows you to show your brand or products to the user without interruption and as he plays. The techniques are varied and range from the use of a brand name in the game (in the case of co-branding), positioning within the game (an example is football games where advertising spaces can be seen on the sidelines) or with a dynamic in-game advertising (temporary positioning of advertising messages e.g. to launch limited edition products or to promote events).
So far, we have always considered Linkedin as a social media network exclusively dedicated to finding a job or professional updates. Perhaps, we should rethink its role. A recent Vidmob survey showed that Linkedin is a valuable ally for luxury brands because what distinguishes it from other socialmedia platforms is its slowness, in the sense that Linkedin users are not looking for immediate information, but for elements that offer the broadest possible knowledge of a topic. The survey showed that video campaigns with music and subtitles are more
likely to be viewed than other video genres such as footage or short-form promotions. With regard to content, focusing on timeless stories is more likely to be seen than short updates. Of course, sharing posts is also an extra weapon to promote your brand and offer
the user a different experience. Among the most active brands is Neiman Group, which recently shared photos of the exclusive ‘Midnight in Paris’ collection presented last September in Beverly Hills.
With a total revenue of USD 296.85 billion in 2023 and an estimated growth of 6.8% by 2029 (Fortune Business Insights), the childrenswear industry represents a promising sector for fashion insiders.
In recent years, many brands have started to produce apparel and accessories for children up to 13-14 years-old. One example is H&M, which launched the limited-edition Eva Chen x H&M collection in collaboration with writer and influencer Eva Chen. The series includes garments that combine classic American style with Japanese and Korean influence, and in some of the clothes, nature-inspired designs of trees, flowers and mushrooms can be seen. Standout pieces include a comfortable and classic striped jumper, a cardigan set, a jacket and a fleece-
lined waistcoat. In terms of materials, the collection was made using recycled cotton, recycled polyester and TENCEL Lyocell, among others.
In addition to the quality of the products, kidswear also need appropriate communication and while promotional campaigns aimed at teens and young adults require more sophisticated work, with children simplicity remains a strategy that leads to success. For the launch of the collection, H&M chose to photograph the baby models in natural poses and understated settings that echo the cut of the clothes. Overall, H&M’s collection aims to communicate environmental awareness, both because it chose Eva Chen (a nature-lover) as testimonial, and because of the use of manufacturing materials. In fact, the fast fashion company has declared to reach 100% recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030 and currently its children’s department
is 91% covered by recycled or other sustainably sourced materials. The collection is available in selected shops and on e-commerce.
If physical spaces make it possible to show products directly to customers, as through online communication it is possible to reach more qualified user audiences. Nike, in partnership with the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota (an institute for the promotion of sport among girls and women) has created Coaching HER, a set of handouts in digital format for coaches and sports instructors. It is an initiative to encourage girls to continue playing sports even in their teenage years, as females tend to give up sport at twice the rate of boys by the age of 14. By reading the HER Coaching tips, coaches can learn methods to prepare female athletes to overcome difficulties and continue their sports career. For
example, one module is dedicated to how to deal with gender stereotypes, which is often the reason why a teenage girl quits sport because she loses her self-confidence. By following the advice, coaches learn to recognise the effect of stereotypes on girls’ participation and behaviour and learn practical tips on how to use gender-neutral and inclusive language. The entire HER Coaching programme was written by a team of researchers at the Tucker Centre and based on information obtained through a survey with questions to coaches and girls from countries as diverse as France, Japan, India, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. But the the fashion industry is complex and not all countries in the world offer the same opportunities. The highest revenue country is the United States, with USD 53.14 billion in 2023. The outlook in Europe is mixed because some countries are experiencing lower
birth rates in recent years than 10 or 15 years ago. In addition to the casual or sports segment, luxury kidswear is growing at a promising pace and has all the potential to become an important share of retail sales especially in India, where luxury is also in vogue among adults. The reasons for this development are linked to the increase in birth rates, the improvement of IT communication infrastructure and the growth of registered users on social networks. Indeed, thanks to the Internet, luxury products are gaining popularity even in India’s peripheral cities, and today parents are not only looking for fashionable clothes for themselves but also for their children.
Licensing Magazine is one of the only trade publications that:
- Reaches over 110 countries,
- Has over 80,000 monthly readers on its digital and print magazines, weekly newsletters, social media pages and allnews website,
- Offers transmedia coverage on the licensing, digital, entertainment, animation, fashion and publishing industries,
- Presents “outside the box” insights on the hottest trends and themes,
- Is a fully integrated media platform, with a magazine (print and digital format), all-news website, social media pages, and weekly newsletter accessible to its readers around the world 24/7,
- Is the Media Partner of over 30 leading B2B licensing, entertainment, fashion, toy and animation trade events in Europe, USA and Asia.