Licensing Source Book Spring 2020

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Spring 2020

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DISCOVER THE WIDEST RANGE OF BRANDS AVAILABLE FOR LICENSE IN EUROPE Brand Licensing Europe brings together 8,000+ retailers and manufacturers with 260+ brand owners and agents across entertainment, art, gaming, heritage and more.

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elcome to the first Licensing Source Book of not only a New Year, but also a new decade. It certainly arrived with real world fireworks (literally and figuratively) – from the looming January 31 deadline for ‘getting Brexit done’ and all that entails, to the potential ramifications of the impeachment of President Donald Trump through to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealing their intentions to step down as ‘senior’ royals and the BRC and KPMG confirming that 2019 was the worst on record for British retail. However, while we haven’t left any of the challenges of last year behind by any means, at least now there is hopefully a clearer path, a point raised by many of the licensees we spoke to for this issue. Many have planned for all possible outcomes, refocusing their businesses in the changing retail landscape and being adaptable when it comes to working with partners. One major focus for 2020 will be in the area of sustainability. It’s encouraging to hear that licensees from across various categories – from apparel to toys and home textiles – are sourcing recycled and sustainable materials, as well as looking at the distribution and manufacturing areas of their businesses with a view to change.

Inset: (Left to right) LSB’s Jakki Brown, Rob Willis, Samantha Loveday and Ian Hyder.

From a Max Publishing point of view, we’re delighted to announce that the Sustainability in Licensing Conference will launch this June (see page 10 for full details). Working with experienced licensing executive and founder of the Products of Change group, Helena Mansell-Stopher - the event will aim to inspire and inform as to how our sector can continue to innovate and grow commercially while not costing the planet. You can read more on pages 60-63 about why Helena believes that the licensing industry has a real chance to be part of the sustainability movement and how we can truly make a difference. This is, of course, only the start of the journey, but as Her Majesty The Queen said in her Christmas message, it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most everlasting change. Here’s to a successful first quarter, and a happy and healthy 2020 – professionally and personally. Samantha Loveday, Jakki Brown, Ian Hyder, Rob Willis, Fiona Pavely, Keith Pashley and Katie Roberts-Mason. The LSB Team

Samantha Loveday - Editor Ian Hyder - Joint Managing Director Jakki Brown - Joint Managing Director and Editorial Director Rob Willis Publishing Director Fiona Pavely, Michelle Board, Katie Roberts-Mason and Keith Pashley - Wordsmiths Extraordinaire Mark Grayson – Creative Director Tel: 020 7700 6740 E-mail: Copyright 2020. The publishers cannot accept legal liability for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for the standing of advertisers nor any organisation mentioned in the text. ISSN 1234 567.



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What’s Inside? 10-15

State of the Nation: Corporate Happenings


Kids Insights: 2020 trends


Licensee Feedback: Hopes and Fears for 2020


Downes & Out by Start Licensing’s Ian Downes


The Big Interview: Primark


Retail Round-up


The VOD Squad: The Rise of Streaming Services


At the Movies


Event Focus: Your

Milestones & Anniversaries


The Light Fund Update


Industry Issue: Sustainability


In Conversation with… Informa Markets’ Anna Knight

Guide to the Spring Trade Shows 44-47

Trend: Pop-up Shops


State of the Nation: Nursery & Preschool





State of the Nation: Schoolers


Brand Focus: Barbie


Trend: K-Pop


Trend: Influencers


State of the Nation: Gaming


In Conversation with… Difuzed

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Trend: Kidults and their Licensing Influence


State of the Nation: Brands


The Growth of Warhammer


State of the Nation: Art & Design


State of the Nation: Sports


Sporting Insight with Tom Howgate


Focus on… Tokyo 2020 and Team GB

100-101 Sporting Stars & Stripes: The Growing Popularity of US Sports 104-151

The Licensed Properties Section

154-185 The Licensees’ Showcase 187-193

Want to find out who represents which brands and properties? (Licensor listings of advertisers in this issue)



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Right: Preschool hit Octonauts is one of the brands included in the deal.

As 2020 stretches out ahead of us, so too do all the business opportunities that a new year brings. From the launch of a ground breaking new initiative and high profile acquisitions through to new senior appointments and collaborations, LSB rounds up some of the latest activity.

Deal makers Sustainability in Licensing Conference confirmed Set to break new ground in the licensing industry, the first Sustainability in Licensing Conference (SILC 2020) will take place on Thursday June 11 at The British Library. Launched by Max Publishing (publishers of Licensing Source Book, and organisers of The Licensing Awards and the B&LLAs) along with Helena Mansell-Stopher – an experienced licensing executive and founder of the Products of Change group - SILC 2020 will aim to inspire and inform as to how our dynamic sector can continue to innovate and grow commercially while not costing the planet. The agenda will see leading lights, including retailers, licensors and suppliers all share their inspiring achievements and demonstrate the gains, both environmentally and financially, that can be made. “Sustainability is so much more than a buzzword, it is and will continue to be, a vital driver of business decisions,” stated Helena, conference director and curator. “To drive sustainable growth within the licensing industry over the next few decades will

H&M’s touchdown

Above: The capsule collection includes apparel.


Silvergate Media acquired

Sony Pictures Television has acquired Silvergate Media – the company behind the hit Octonauts preschool brand among others. Silvergate will continue to be managed by ceo Waheed Alli, while William Astor will continue as chairman. Under the deal, Sony Pictures Entertainment – through a wholly-owned subsidiary – has acquired 100% of Silvergate Topco, which has assets including Silvergate’s 49% interest in a joint venture with Beijing-based Wanda Group, which holds the rights to Octonauts. In addition, SPE has acquired a minority stake in Silvergate BP Bidco, which produces the Peter Rabbit television series and will continue to be majority-owned by Waheed Alli. The total purchase price was approximately $195 million. The acquisition – alongside the announcement to expand the business of Sony Pictures Animation to include animated TV series – underlines SPT’s strategy of diversifying its studio business and growing key genres.

require a radical approach to business practices, be it through embracing new materials and production techniques, re-engineering packaging or adopting new marketing methods, all without sacrificing financial growth. Our aim with SILC 2020 is to help both future-proof our industry and our world.”

The NFL has secured a new collaboration with fashion retailer H&M for men’s, women’s and children’s branded apparel and accessories. The products will be sold in more than 20 countries outside of the US including the UK, China, Japan, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, South Korea and the Middle East. The first capsule collection of men’s jackets, tops and loungewear is available in stores and online now, with women’s, children’s and accessories lines to follow next season. The deal was brokered by IMG.


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Wallace & Gromit sitting pretty

Aardman has partnered with DFS to create a multi-channel campaign with Wallace & Gromit. The cinema and TV spots – which are in the traditional time-honoured method of stop motion animation – also feature the voice of Academy Award nominee, Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Tottington. This is the first time Nick Park – who was Aardman’s creative director on this campaign – has worked with Helena since she voiced the same character in the Academy Award-winning Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit in 2005. The spots begin with Wallace trying to win Lady Tottington’s affection by inventing the ultimate sofa for her, complete with a built-in foot massager. But, Above: The Grand Sofa Caper campaign runs until February 24. as with most of Wallace’s contraptions, things don’t go to plan. Luckily, Gromit saves the day by enlisting the DFS craftspeople to make a sofa for Lady Tottington. The sofa featured is part of DFS’ Joules collection, which also partnered with Wallace & Gromit as part of the duo’s 30th year celebrations. ‘The Grand Sofa Caper’ campaign runs until February 24 and also features press, digital, Out-of-Home, radio, social and email elements.

Steve Manners takes on new WildBrain role WildBrain has appointed Steve Manners to drive a new business development initiative which is designed to maximise opportunities for brand licensors and content creators to reach consumer Above: Steve has become vp business development. audiences through YouTube. As vp business development WildBrain CPLG and WildBrain Spark, Steve will work with clients to build brand management programmes that leverage the blended expertise of the consumer products licensing agency and digital network and studio. “There is a huge opportunity for IP owners in harnessing the expertise, tools and reach of both WildBrain CPLG and WildBrain Spark – it’s a very exciting time to be at the forefront of this bold new world,” commented Steve. “We are uniquely positioned to offer combined expertise and services that benefit those coming from the AVOD-first space to consumer products, as well as those licensors looking to leverage YouTube as a tool.”

Hasbro completes eOne purchase

Hasbro has officially completed its acquisition of Entertainment One, meaning that preschool properties such as Peppa Pig and PJ Masks have joined Hasbro’s portfolio. “We are excited about what we can do together and see tremendous opportunity for shareholder value creation through this acquisition,” said Brian Goldner, chairman and ceo at Hasbro. “Our businesses are highly complementary with substantial synergies and a great cultural fit. “The addition of eOne accelerates our blueprint strategy by expanding our Above: The deal was valued at approximately brand portfolio with eOne’s beloved global preschool brands, adding proven $3.8 billion. TV and film expertise, and creating additional opportunities for long-term profitable growth. We are pleased to welcome the incredibly talented eOne team to our company.” Darren Throop, president and ceo of eOne, will report to Goldner. In addition, eOne’s Olivier Dumont, president, family & brands; Steve Bertram, president, film & television; and Chris Taylor, global president, music, will also be joining Hasbro, reporting to Darren. The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately £2.9 billion ($3.8 billion).

Venetia Davie heads to VCP

ViacomCBS Consumer Products has a new vice president, UK and Ireland in the shape of Venetia Davie. She will lead VCP’s UK and Ireland business, managing the London-based team and overseeing local relationships with key VCP partners. In addition, Venetia will be responsible for both developing promotional partnerships and leading local VCP retail sales and marketing divisions across the two markets. Venetia previously held several senior roles at media company, DC Thomson. She most recently led DC Thomson’s acquisition of children’s toy and gifting company, Petit Collage and was named md of the company in 2017.



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B&LLAs 2020 open for entries

Inset: Prince Harry and Meghan’s trademark application covers a number of items and services.

‘Sussex Royal’ trademarked The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have trademarked their brand ‘Sussex Royal’, paving the way for official branded products to launch. The application was published on the intellectual property office website on December 20, having originally been submitted on June 21 2019. This follows the news that the Duke and Duchess will step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal family. Prince Harry and Meghan submitted the application for a number of items and services including: books, magazines, cards, notepads and calendars, clothing and hats, promotional and campaigning materials (including fundraising), educational purposes (training, running activities and lectures) and social care services (counselling services and providing support). The application could now pave the way for the Sussex Royal brand to expand into merchandise and services. It could also be a way of blocking third parties from using the brand.

The Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards will be returning for its fifth year in 2020 – and is now open for entries. The 2020 awards programme will build on rewarding excellence in brand licensed merchandise and IP management, as well as retail execution. The entry and nomination process for all categories is free and via online submission – all the forms can be accessed from the dedicated B&LLAs website, The deadline for entering is Friday February 28, 2020, following which a judging and validation process for each of the awards sections will take place, involving panels of industry experts pertinent to the categories. Brand Licensing Europe was quick to re-commit as the headline sponsor of the Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards, while trade body Licensing International will once again be lending its support. The winners of the Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards 2020 will be unveiled at a lavish afternoon event held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Park Lane, London on Wednesday April 29, 2020, which will be attended by over 425 retailers, licensees, brand owners and licensing representatives.

Hello Kitty scores with LFC

Fans of Liverpool FC can now get their hands on a collection of exclusive Hello Kitty x LFC merchandise. The new global collaboration between the club and Sanrio is part of the 45th anniversary celebrations for the character. It will include a wide variety of products, from backpacks and drinks bottles to stationery sets and footballs. The collection also includes apparel for babies, girls and women, each emblazoned with the signature Hello Kitty character. Items include a jersey and shorts combination, sweatshirt and pyjama set. Left: The collection covers all age ranges.

Flowhaven raises $5.2m in seed funding

Flowhaven – the brand licensing relationship management software company – has successfully raised $5.2 million (€4.75m) seed funding. Led by Global Founders Capital – with participation from existing investors, including and grants provided by the Finnish government – the funding will be used to expand Flowhaven’s global footprint, as well as accelerating sales and marketing initiatives. “To achieve long-term success, we wanted to involve brilliant investors who had prior experience helping companies accelerate and sustain growth,” said Kalle Törmä, ceo and founder at Flowhaven. “We are excited to continue our partnership with and embark on a mutually beneficial journey with Global Founders Capital.” Flowhaven – which has a brand licensing solution built on top of CRM platform, Salesforce – enjoyed a strong 2019. It expanded its customer roster, made key appointments in North America and the UK, as well as tripling its market share globally. The ambitious company is set to move its headquarters – currently located in Espoo, Finland – to Helsinki, as well as formally opening its office in Santa Monica, California. It is also due to expand its operations in Central Europe and the UK.


Left: Kalle Törmä says Flowhaven wanted to involve “brilliant investors”. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020

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A Pure deal

MDR Brand Management has entered into a joint venture partnership with lifestyle company PURENorway to globally launch an ethical canned water brand, PURENorway Water. Captured at source from the ancient glacial belts of Norway and filtered naturally through marble, the water is responsibly produced and packaged in recyclable aluminium cans. As well as still and sparkling variants, PURENorway Water will be available in a number of sparkling natural flavours: green tea and peach, citrus, watermelon, ginger and lemon and orange. The brand will launch at retail in Q1 2020, with distribution already secured in the UK, China, Japan, South East Asia and the Middle East. A social media and advertising campaign will support the launch. The brand will also donate 1% of turnover to the PURENorway Foundation, which will help fund projects and organisations aligned to its mission to protect the sea from plastic waste.

Above: Still, sparkling and flavoured versions will be available.

Reemsborko signs Dragon Ball

Toei Animation Europe has appointed Reemsborko as the UK and Eire licensing agent for the whole Dragon Ball franchise. The successful anime series includes Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super. “Dragon Ball is the single most widely recognised anime, with a demonstrable success at UK retail over the past 12 months,” said Reemsborko’s Max Arguile. “This year saw the launch of a new series, Dragon Ball Super, on kids TV channel Pop, which will grow a whole new generation of fans. I’m very pleased to be able to represent this for Toei Animation Europe in the UK.” Inset: Love is one of three themes in the new range.

Snoopy style Lifestyle brand Cath Kidston has launched its latest licensed collaboration, a Peanuts capsule collection. WildBrain CPLG UK brokered the deal on behalf of Peanuts Worldwide. The Peanuts range is a crosscategory capsule across bags, accessories, homeware and ladies’ and children’s apparel. Snoopy and friends feature across the range within three distinct themes: Happy (yellow), Love (pink) and Dream (blue), inspired by the positive messaging of the Peanuts comic strips.

BBC bolsters brands

Below: New Hey Duggee products will be unveiled at UK Toy Fair.

Busy BBC Studios is heading into the New Year with a clutch of new deals. It has renewed its deal with Posh Paws for the BBC Earth licence. The deal - brokered by European licensing agent WildBrain CPLG – covers the UK, EMEA, Australia and New Zealand. Posh Paws will be adding a new range of soft baby animals to the collection. Meanwhile, a host of new products and partners are due to be unveiled for Hey Duggee at UK Toy Fair in January. Golden Bear will be launching an extended line for 2020, while Ravensburger, 8th Wonder and Trends UK will also be showcasing new collections.

New YPN committee named

Licensing International has named the new members of its 2020 Young Professionals Network committee. The new 2020 YPN committee will be chaired by Licensing International UK’s marketing and operations manager Ryan Above: The 2020 YPN committee (l-r) Samuel Byard, Karina Rhoden, Beaird and include Samuel Byard, product development Abbie Burrows and Laura Lane. manager at SEGA Europe; Karina Rhoden, junior category manager at Smiley Company; Laura Lane, founder of My Icon Story and Licensing International’s 2019 UK Rising Star; and Abbie Burrows, licensing coordinator at NBCUniversal. The 2019 committee – Tasmyn Knight (Warner Bros.), Alexandra Salisbury (Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products) and Louisa Skevington (Rocket Licensing) – were responsible for a series of successful events throughout the year, including a Retail Speed Networking event in the summer at Coca-Cola’s London office and later in the year a Heritage Licensing Presentation at the V&A museum which included a VIP Christian Dior Exhibition viewing for the young professionals.



“In Nuremberg I get the needed momentum for the year ahead. The enormous offer gives inspiration for my product range and shows me where the market is going.� Cynthia Compton 4 Kids Books & Toys

w e n o t n i p a e l A b u s ine ss i d e a s The Spirit of Play trends and new products market overview

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product range

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Museum marvels The V&A has further strengthened its licensing programme with a number of new deals. The museum has launched its sixth collection with ethical fashion retailer, People Tree. The new 2020 spring range was inspired by traditional kimono Above: The V&A is launching its held in the V&A’s Asian sixth collection with People Tree. collection. In addition, Blinds 2go is launching a collection of eight fabric designs for a range of blinds, curtains and cushions. The line is inspired by the V&A’s collection of wallpaper and textiles by William Morris and will launch online in February. Meanwhile, the Branded Tile Company will relaunch its collection of wall and floor tiles that explores historic colour palettes – based on the South Kensington building – as well as classic patterns from the V&A archive. New for 2020 is a celebration of the natural world inspired by designs held in the Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art at the V&A. New ranges will also continue to be developed each year.

ASOS Smiles with Poetic Brands

Poetic Brands has partnered with ASOS for a new line of apparel and accessories featuring the Smiley brand. Reclaimed Vintage sees glitchy Smiley’s interspersed with all-over Smiley prints in monochrome colours featured across the range. Hero pieces include a unisex spliced sweatshirt and joggers, giant Smiley asymmetric placements on oversized hoodies, and a bucket hat and flight cross-body bag embellished with lenticular Smiley patches. “The new Reclaimed Vintage X Smiley range embodies the ethos of The Smiley Company with its fun, edgy, instantly recognisable designs,” said Elliot Matthews, director of Poetic Brands. “The range takes on the heritage of the Smiley brand, while keeping the product offering on-trend and relevant to young adult fashionistas.” Michaela Fass, vp fashion at Smiley, added: “We are constantly looking at ways that we can innovate with our retail partners in the fashion space, and Reclaimed Vintage does that by supplying throwback styles that allow consumers to do old-school with no stress.”


l Marianne James has joined Hasbro as vice president, EMEA consumer products, reporting to Casey Collins, svp and Above: Marianne general manager of global consumer James. products at Hasbro. Marianne was previously vp of licensing, commercial partnerships and experiences across Below: Martin Europe for Viacom Nickelodeon McLaughlin. Consumer Products.

Above: Hannah Stevens.

l The Point.1888 has kicked off the New Year by expanding its senior leadership team. Hannah Stevens, previously senior commercial manager, has become head of retail. She will continue to work closely with Bethan Garton, commercial director. Meanwhile, Martin McLaughlin is taking on the role of head of business development. In his new role, he will focus on brand recruitment, international expansion and special projects, as well as managing the publishing category. He will also head up the consultancy division.

l Simon Gresswell has joined the Rugby League World Cup 2021 team to support the licensing, merchandise and retail strategy for the tournament. Simon – who has previously held key roles at IMG Worldwide Licensing and Sanrio – now runs his own sports licensing consultancy, SGLP, which supported RLWC2021 ahead of a formal LM&R tender process. l Sambro has strengthened its team, appointing David Wootliff as its new marketing director. David has a wealth of experience in the toy and licensing sectors. Most recently he held the role of commercial director at Pyramid International, while he has also held senior positions at Rubie’s, Hallmark, Hasbro, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Disney.

Above: David Wootliff. Below: Anne Bradford.

l Anne Bradford has taken on a new role as director of Poetic Brands. Anne – who was previously general manager of Blues – will be focusing on building a childrenswear, babywear and accessories division. l Bandai UK has confirmed that Kirsty Mackenzie has been appointed as its new head of marketing, following her promotion from marketing manager. Kirsty joined the Bandai UK team in 2018, having previously held marketing positions within the toy industry for 13 years.

Below: Kirsty Mackenzie.

Above: Smiley continues to innovate in the fashion space. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


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Right: Smart watches, including Fitbit, are still the most popular type of wearable.

On trend Kids Insights takes a look at the trends it has seen throughout 2019, how these will develop in 2020 and how they will impact on the licensing industry.


ids Insights, the global leader in kids’ market intelligence, surveys more than 2,000 children every week, across three continents and seven countries, and more than 105,000 children a year. Our quarters’ reports are predominantly based on the results of surveying 5,000 children over the preceding 12 weeks, and also utilise data collected since May 2017. By collecting data continuously, we are able to uncover current, emerging and flash trends – as well as better understanding the attitudes, behaviours and consumption patterns of children. Our methodology enables us to track the entire, inter-connected kid’s ecosystem from the toys and games they play with, to their favourite brands and devices. Through our platform, we have already identified a series of trends in the UK, Europe, and the US earlier than most, including the rise of the Fortnite phenomenon, Generation Speak, the growth of TikTok, and Korean K-pop bands and culture entering the UK. As we review the latest data and trend analysis from the team, clients and industry partners, we have taken a moment to reflect on overall trends we have seen in the last year and how they going to continue developing in 2020. Right: Love Island: The Morning After offered a different way for fans to engage with the hit show.



Audio consumption is booming Audio consumption across Generation Z (born after 1995) is booming, thanks to the rise of audiobooks and podcasts. With tweens and younger teens, audiobooks have increased from 9.4% usage in Q1 2018, to 14.4% (a 53% increase). Likewise, our latest data shows 4.1 million children are listening to podcasts. Listening is consistent across all age groups and skews slightly towards girls. When we ask children about their favourite type of the content, comedy is the top genre of podcast. And educational podcasts are the fifth favourite genre, peaking with older teens. What does it mean for the industry? Podcasts can offer brands a different way of engaging with fans. For example, ITV2’s Love Island was the top favourite show of teenage girls this quarter, and the show also ran a sum-up podcast, Love Island: The Morning After. As the number of podcast listeners increases, we could start to see a rise in the number of influencers arising from the format.

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KIDS INSIGHTS RESEARCH Inset: Children spend one hour and 12 minutes per day gaming or in apps.

New ways for kids to engage with favourite IP Wearables (including both virtual reality headsets and products such as watches) are still unlikely to be owned by children, but their popularity has increased slightly over the last 15 months, especially with children aged six to nine. Smart watches - including the FitBit and Apple Watch - are still the most popular type of wearable. Only 1.6% of all kids own the most popular VR device, the PlayStation VR set.

However, when it comes to virtual reality (VR) kit, a number of kid content creators are experimenting with the technology and their IP. What does it mean for the industry? Both AR and VR will continuously increase their role in the future of content. Cartoon Network, for example, is developing VR (and mixed reality) experiences that bring some of the popular IP into the real world. Facebook is looking to the future, building both a major VR platform and the content and apps. Below: Children are shifting to more specific social platforms that serve particular interests such as Reddit and Pinterest.

The power of gamer communication channels Gaming is a huge part of the kid’s ecosystem, with them spending one hour and 12 minutes per day gaming or in apps, almost equal now to the one hour and 14 minutes they spend watching TV. Our latest data shows how children are shifting away from more general social platforms such as Facebook towards smaller, more specific platforms that serve particular interests, communities or entertainment needs, such as Pinterest and Reddit. For the first time this quarter we have collected data on the number of children chatting in-game with their friends and players. The data shows this method of communication is most popular with tween boys, aged 8-11. In addition to chatting within the game, dedicated gaming communication service Discord has entered the top ten platforms. Discord operates as a ‘Skype for gamers’ - enabling players to communicate on private networks. What does it mean for the industry? The following platforms open up a great opportunity to reach your target audience, but brands need to consider how they engage with fans using these channels, as the communications are typically closed and private. This is a brief snapshot of our findings, but it’s clear that the kid’s ecosystem is far more fragmented and inherently more complex than ever before. We’re offering brands an immersive planning meeting to illustrate how data and insights can help your advertising, content, licensing, product, sales and marketing planning. Call 0 330 159 6631 for details. For more information on Kids Insights and the market-leading insights into the latest kid’s trends it can offer your business, and to receive a free 2020 Future Forecast report, visit LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


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2020 vision It’s a New Year and many in the industry will be hoping to move on from the uncertainty that swirled throughout 2019. LSB catches up with a selection of licensees to ask them about their hopes and fears for 2020, from both a business and a personal point of view.

Inset & Below: Orange Tree Toys is adding Classic Winnie the Pooh to its range in 2020, says Mike.

Mike Hartshorn, head of sales, Orange Tree Toys “Our licensed ranges have been a vital part of our strategy now for a number of years, this originally started with our Peter Rabbit collection which is a such a perfect match for Orange Tree Toys and our traditional wooden toy designs. As an evergreen nursery character, I believe that Peter will continue to perform as strong as ever for us throughout 2020 and beyond especially with the addition of several new lines which are planned throughout the year. We also have big hopes for our newer concepts and will be working hard on how we can best evolve and build upon the initial launch of our Moon and Me range. This is still a very new property, with much of the product only hitting the markets towards the tail end of 2019 but it is one that will gain momentum throughout the year, especially as consumer demand is met by more products hitting the shelves as more retailers start to pick up on this beautifully nostalgic programme. We are also really excited to be extending our Disney range to feature a brand new collection based on another nursery evergreen, Classic Pooh. Our initial launch product will be available from March and the debut collection has some really wonderful new products, as well as stylised versions of our most popular and established formats.”

Tim Kilby, brand director, Character World “At Character World, the main hope for 2020 is another strong year for licensing to keep retailers and consumers spending in this wonderful industry. There’s plenty to look forward to coming up from evergreen or new licences, as well as those big events across sports, movies, streaming and a whole new video game console generation at the end of the year. Our fears at this stage are few, only optimism that whatever comes our way from the election and Brexit, we are collectively in the same boat and if we all work together we’ll be fine.” Above: Character World’s Tim is hoping for another strong year for licensing.



Michelle, Dalziel, licensing and marketing manager, HTI “The world of licensing is evolving rapidly, couple this with a world moving at speedy pace and the reality is we all need to be adaptable, changeable and flexible in order to survive. The mergers, the acquisitions, the disappearing retailers should all affect and change our mindsets in how we need to act in business. With this in mind, our hopes as a Above: We all need to be licensee are simply that the brand adaptable, changeable and owners and licensors will consider flexible, says HTI’s Michelle. all these factors when it comes to relationships and the way they work with partners. In turn, our fears would be that they do not all learn to respect the current environment and truly how tough it is for the manufacturers and retailers. It’s most certainly a personal hope of ours that licensors would perhaps start taking some tips from the owner driven businesses, it is sink or swim environment and we at HTI plan to stay to stay above water for many more years to come.”

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Helen Cottrill, marketing director, Enesco “My biggest hope for 2020 is maximising the potential of our licensed brands in Europe. We have a much larger brand new stand at Ambiente, which is a big Above: Enesco’s Helen is looking marketing investment. I love to maximise the potential of its trade fairs, and the challenge licences in Europe. of creating something special with my team that works for the sales team and our customers. We will be in Hall 11.1 E97; please come along and see what we have created.”

Nat Southworth, md, Kids@Play “Hoping for certainty and fearing uncertainty, but will keep working hard regardless!” Right: Kids@Play’s Nat will keep working hard regardless.

Sion Aykroyd, director, Aykroyd & Sons “To be brutally honest, 2020 fears are currently rolling off my tongue a lot easier than the hopes, with Mothercare’s liquidation, retail uncertainty at an all time high, Brexit, exchange rates and so on, but let’s not dwell on that! In the midst of all this, we do have plenty of hopes for 2020 and beyond. Our customers are reporting back Above: Sion says Aykroyd & Sons has plenty of hopes fantastic sales on nightwear with for 2020 and beyond. many placing urgent repeats and top up orders for spring 2020. I’m also hopeful these recent strong sales give the retailers confidence into buying and planning their ranges for AW20. We’ve seen huge success and volume sales being driven by aisle end promos and FSDUs. We’ll be working closely with our customers to secure this space again for AW20. Aykroyds are excited to launch a range of products for 2020 that have been sourced completely from recycled and sustainable material. From the fabric and trims to the accessories and packaging. We hope to use this sustainable platform on future orders for all our customers. Our licensing portfolio is also evolving nicely to complement our expansion into new customers and product categories.”

David Wootliff, marketing director, Sambro “2020 – a further year of change and with the election last December and Brexit happening/not happening it will cause more uncertainty in the toy industry and the wider market. What is good is the appetite for change and the desire for innovation and how we add value to the products that we are developing for the next 12/18 months here at Sambro. There are some fantastic licences to grow in 2020, Frozen will dominate spring and great to see the sequel doing well at the box office and in merchandise. We have some wonderful Universal brands this year, Trolls and Minions are both back and we are looking forward to these films and the sales opportunity. Generally, I believe we all need to stay focused, work on those 2020 plans and ensure we deliver; there are opportunities and we all want to ensure we’re here next year looking forward to 2021. Personally, it will be good to see my twin, DC, wearing those tight suits and saving the world one final time as 007 in April.” Left: There is appetite for change and desire for innovation, says Sambro’s David.

Rainer Schubert, md, Burgon & Ball “Despite the challenges of the ever changing marketplace, at Burgon & Ball we are feeling optimistic about 2020, as we have a lot to look forward to. Excitingly, next year will see the roll out of our new licensed range, the result of our collaboration with the National Trust, Europe’s largest conservation charity. These new high-carbon steel garden tools celebrate traditional manufacturing techniques and have a beautiful heritage look; they really introduce something different to retailers to offer their customers. Then we have a lot of new additions to our much-loved Sophie Conran for Burgon & Ball range, strengthening the range’s offering in both the core Garden and the Gift categories. Plus, of course, we have new additions to our flagship RHS collection, with new garden tools launching in the New Year and a major new gifting collection in the pipeline. All in all, 2020 is shaping up to be a very busy and exciting year.” Right: Sophie Conran will welcome new product additions this year, says Burgon & Ball’s Rainer. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


SILC 2020 Sustainability A5 advert.qxp_Layout 1 13/01/2020 12:46 Page 20

THE FIRST EVER CONFERENCE IN THE WORLD DEDICATED TO SUSTAINABILITY IN LICENSING Breaking new ground in the licensing industry, the Sustainability in Licensing Conference 2020, to be staged at The British Library (London) on Thursday 11 June 2020, is aimed at everyone in the licensing arena, from retailers to licensors, licensees to trade suppliers. Being launched by Max Publishing (publishers of Licensing Source Book, and organisers of The Licensing Awards and the B&LLAs) along with Helena Mansell-Stopher, experienced licensing executive and founder of the Products of Change group, the Sustainability in Licensing Conference (SILC 2020) will inspire and inform as to how our dynamic sector can continue to innovate and grow commercially while not costing the planet. The cost per delegate to attend including lunch is £245 + VAT To book your place you can either go online or contact Clare Hollick at Keystone Communications on or calling +44(0)1733 294524

For sponsorship or other enquiries contact Ian Hyder or Rob Willis on +44 (0)207 700 6740 or by email

Join with SILC 2020 to help future-proof our industry and our world.

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Dan Grant, licensing director, Danilo “Well where do I start? 2020 is going to be interesting to say the least with a new government and potentially no longer being part of the EU. Hopefully things will settle down from a business perspective, but we will be mindful of the challenges faced by retailers, particularly those on the high street, and look to refocus the business in the changing retail landscape. There are lots of licence opportunities this year with some strong movies releasing through 2020, plus some big sporting events including the Euros and the Olympics both taking place in the summer. I’m really hoping that the England men’s football team can prove the doubters wrong and win the Euros to create a bit of a feel good factor. Fingers crossed!” Right: Danilo’s Dan says the company will be mindful of the challenges faced by retailers.

Charlie Chester, md, GB eye “My biggest fear for 2020 - and something that I can do little to prepare for - is that my beloved Watford get relegated from the Premier League! Outside of this, Brexit continues to have an impact on us as a business and dominates much of our commercial planning, but I am confident in our ability to trade internationally with proven winning product formats and global licence deals.”

Kirsty Mackenzie, head of marketing, Bandai UK “Bandai UK had an exciting year [in 2019] with new product launches, and expansions to our own IP and licensed portfolios. The specialist collector market has proven particularly successful with our Dragon Ball range outAbove: Bandai UK’s Kirsty is hopeful that consumer selling expectations. We’re confidence will return before long. optimistic that the range will continue to perform throughout 2020, and that we’ll build on 2019’s performance by implementing an immersive experiential campaign. We’re also hopeful that consumer confidence returns before long and we start to see the halt in high street retailers closing.”

Holly Humphreys, licensing and marketing manager, H&A “We’re really excited about the launch of Disney+ in 2020, and hope this will create some exciting opportunities with retailers across all market segments.” Right: H&A’s Holly is looking forward to the launch of Disney+.

Emily Aldridge, head of licensing, GB eye “We are on a real trajectory of growth right now and looking ahead to 2020 our hopes centre around continued expansion of our footprint in Europe through GB eye Europe BV. Having a robust and localised European presence will ensure we maintain our current trading relations with our extensive customer base and be pivotal in ensuring we remain highly relevant and able to react quickly, whether logistically or to meet market trends regardless of the Brexit outcome. Other ‘hopes’ include the success of our Ecorange. Hot on the trend of sustainability, we are expanding our range to include new product formats that have proven to be a success, setting a good platform for us to further reduce our carbon footprint in both the manufacturing and distribution areas of our business which is, of course, a key objective of ours in the years to come. Regarding our fears for 2020, and where we see the biggest challenges, is the continuing political uncertainty and confusion surrounding Brexit plans. These will continue to be a factor impacting our business decisions, but it is something we are well prepared for, having planned for all the possible outcomes - whether through targeted marketing strategies, localised logistics or the development of effective routes to market for all our key ranges.” Right: Brexit plans will continue to be a factor impacting business decisions, says Emily. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


Sports Merchandise & Licensing Show


Tuesday 17 November 2020 The Great Hall, Stamford Bridge 09:30–16:30

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To book a stand or register as a visitor visit 23

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Inset: Street artist Cheo’s Wallace & Gromit artwork at Aardman’s Bristol HQ certainly caught Ian’s eye. Below: The PrettyLittleThing and Little Mix collaboration picked up good traction on the London Underground.

New year,

new thinking To stand out from the crowd, it’s no secret that licensors and licensees are constantly looking for unique ways to make an impact with brands. Ian Downes, md of Start Licensing, explores some of the ways companies have been taking a proactive approach and why we should be embracing new ways of thinking.


eople often ask me how I got started in licensing. In my case I got involved in the industry through working in publishing. One of my jobs in publishing was working in partworks, which are collectable magazines. When I worked in the sector, licensing wasn't on the radar, whereas partworks and licensing are now intertwined. Anyway I was tasked during my partwork career with investigating licensing and, specifically, football. It was so long ago Frank Lampard hadn't turned professional! My investigations gave me an insight and connection with licensing which subsequently saw me joining Copyright Promotions to help run its publishing business. Partworks, at the time I worked in the business, were generally centred on ‘how to do’ something. Classics included Microwave Know How, helping you make the most of your microwave, and DIY Fix It, how to use your hammer and other riveting tales.



Thinking back to the structure and theme of partworks made me think that it might be time to publish How To Do Licensing. It is the right time of year, but I am not sure it would stretch to 60 issues. And there is definitely no free binder on offer. Of course, there is no definitive way to 'do' licensing. In a sense that is one of the challenges and opportunities. Licensing campaigns and products should try to take a bespoke approach to things. To succeed I think agents and brand owners need to bring a brand's uniqueness to the fore. Last Christmas, Beams sold composite food gifts for cheese lovers, featuring Wallace & Gromit, while Half Moon Bay has launched a range of mugs with gift books including a Cheese Recipe Book featuring Wallace & Gromit. These are two examples of being 'on brand'. Another example is Aardman launching a range of animation accessories and tools with a specialist supplier to the arts and hobby sector. Taking this approach

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Art of the matter I also think it is worth following a few of your own passions and let them influence your licensing work. I love street art and art in general. This has led me to engage with artists and art companies in the context of licensing. One recent example was working with pop art company Art & Hue to create a distinctive Aardman art collection, while it was a great pleasure to see Aardman create a link with street artist Cheo. Cheo painted a Wallace & Gromit artwork at Aardman's Bristol offices to help celebrate the characters' 30th anniversary. In turn, TruffleShuffle launched a Cheo x Aardman 'collab'. Sometimes it is knowing how to have fun at work that can make the difference.

Right: We need to bring a

should create new opportunities brand’s uniqueness to the in products, such as but also resonate with consumers. fore Half Moon Bay did with its I think proactivity is also a key to cheese recipe book for Wallace & Gromit fans. success at the moment. Create Bottom: Art & Hue gave Aardman characters the your own opportunities. A good pop art treatment. recent example of this was Mattel Below right: Licensed Christmas jumpers have consequences? Deployed well, 'collabs' can be very opening a Barbie pop-up shop in made a real impact in the effective. It is interesting to see how online retailers Liverpool in conjunction with Event past couple of years. use them and link it to their advertising - for example Merchandising. This was located in Little Mix and PrettyLittleThing launched a range Liverpool One which is the city's prime retail site. Its recently. This was promoted on the London tenure there was extended as it was such a success. Underground In a similar vein it is a good moment to embrace and you can new business and imagine one of work with 'new to' The power of design the motivations licensing companies Another 'how to' technique I would advocate is investing in design. Design with a purpose can for the tie-up or emerging make a real impact especially when linked to a was new categories. Last year, specific season or occasion. A good example of customer with our client this was the selection of t-shirts and other recruitment. Aardman, we apparel in Sainsbury's for Christmas. Properties It is also the launched several new like Coca-Cola, Star Wars and Only Fools and Horses were on sale with specially designed time to add value ranges targeting Christmas images. Targeted design work is a to products and garden centres - this must have these days. This can be applied across the licensing year. in products. It followed on from a would be easy to lot of spade work in cut corners to the sector. We now have three save money at the moment strong partners in the category and drift back to label-slapping. including Apta which launched With this in mind, it is good to a range of garden ornaments see licensees in categories like that secured good listings toys, gifts and apparel working from launch. hard to create better products. Collaborations are also a way Dress-up is a great example of of breaking the ice and driving a category that has upped its momentum. This seems to be game and embraced new a popular route to take in selling opportunities such as licensing these days, but it World Book Day. Thinking should be one where there is more about the product and some kind of benchmark the consumer experience can associated with it - what is its make a big difference. value and what are the



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Inset: The Birmingham store covers 160,000 square feet over five floors. Below: “There is still so much more opportunity for licences at Primark,” says Sarah Jackson.

Mark of

Licensed product is becoming a bigger part of Primark’s mix than ever, as illustrated by the space and experiences afforded to it in the retailer’s new Birmingham store. LSB heads to the Midlands to check out the licensed product destination and catch up with director of licensing, Sarah Jackson, to find out more about upcoming plans for 2020 and beyond.

distinction Licensed product is becoming a bigger part of Primark’s mix than ever, as illustrated by the space and experiences afforded to it in the retailer’s new Birmingham store. LSB heads to the Midlands to check out the licensed product destination and catch up with director of licensing, Sarah Jackson, to find out more about upcoming plans for 2020 and beyond.


alking into the new Birmingham Primark store, you can immediately see why its opening back in April garnered so much press coverage. Comprising 160,000 square feet over five floors, it is the largest global fashion store – a fact verified by Guinness World Records – and, as well as apparel and accessories, houses a barbers, beauty salon, personalised print station and a healthy gifting section. Notably, licensing is very much to the fore – there are dedicated Disney and Harry Potter shop-inshops, plus large exclusive Funko and Disney Baby offers and a dedicated Disney café. Indeed, the importance of licensing to the retailer across its entire store portfolio has been further underlined by the promotion of Sarah Jackson to the role of director of licensing. “Primark only started selling licensed product in 2011,” Sarah tells LSB when we sit down after our tour of the store. “Considering that, it’s been a monumental journey really. Primark is an innovative



business and once we see an opportunity we really want to maximise it.” Sarah has a pedigree in licensing, of course. Before joining Primark five years ago, she spent ten years at George @ Asda, latterly as head of buying for boyswear and licensing. She is a lady who truly appreciates the benefit that licences can have in a retail environment. “My role is really to set strategic opportunities across all product teams and maximise those,” she explains. “We’re looking at new experiences, working with licensors and really creating all of those exciting moments for our customers in-store.” That closeness with licensors is brought to life with the Warner Bros. and Disney experiences in-store. The Harry Potter shop was first launched in the Oxford Street East store and has been a huge hit, while there is also a Friends Central Perk café in the Manchester outlet. Disney, meanwhile, is Primark’s longest standing partner, with the two companies having worked together on DTRs since 2011. “What we’ve done

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THE BIG INTERVIEW: PRIMARK Right: The Disney Café shows how the brand can further grow at Primark.

Primark fast facts • Primark was founded in Dublin in 1969 and is still headquartered there, above its first store on Mary Street. • It also has regional offices in Reading, Madrid, Essen, Paris and Boston. • Primark is a subsidiary of Associated British Foods, the international food, ingredients and retail group, with global sales of £15.8bn. • As of January 1, 2020, Primark has 376 stores across 12 countries – the Republic of Ireland, UK, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, France, Italy, Slovenia and the US. • The new Birmingham store opened in April 2019 and, at 160,000 square feet and covering five floors, it is the largest global fashion store. • The Birmingham outlet also has three food and beverage offerings – including the Primark Café with Disney – as well as a barber, a beauty studio and Disney shopping area.

a challenge that we give to the licensor.” over the last few years is really mature that And Sarah is also keen to point out that Primark is partnership now; working really closely in open to looking at all brands, regardless of size. collaboration together, looking at the opportunities “Come and talk to us as we’re definitely interested in for strategic growth and identifying opportunities, all brands. Primark is across 12 countries, we have such as Birmingham, we’ve really elevated that lots of different growth even further,” demographics and some Sarah continues. brands work in certain “We’ve landed Disney regions better than Baby stores in all of our others, so there are German stores, soon to always opportunities.” be rolled out across Ultimately, the key for further stores in Primark is offering Europe. So identifying amazing product at those commercial amazing prices, says opportunities and Sarah. “We’re evolving all working closely Inset: Primark has worked closely with Warner Bros. on its Harry Potter product and experiences. the time, we’re not together and complacent and that’s communication has really important. I think customers love to come and really unlocked some fantastic growth.” shop in-store… Primark is a bricks and mortar Visitors to stores in December will have seen an business and customers love that experience, and impactful Star Wars campaign, tying in with the box we’re making the store experience even more office release of The Rise of Skywalker, as well as exciting than ever.” Frozen 2 activations, and there’s more to come from the partnership throughout 2020 and beyond, Sarah promises. 2019 in licences Further growth this year will also come from new “2019 was definitely a Disney year – from Toy Story collaborations. This will kick off in January with a through to The Lion King and Disney Baby, we had a great year with Disney, as well as obviously partnership with Netflix which will see an exciting opening the Disney Café in Birmingham,” Sarah Stranger Things campaign launching. Sarah also explains. “In other areas such as menswear, we had a hinted at more focus on music, gaming and sports great time with NASA and Coca-Cola; those kind of moving forward, too. lifestyle brands where we’ve really elevated our fashion credentials. So what does Sarah and her team look for in a “Within kidswear, we had a great time on gaming, relationship with a licensor? “We definitely look for including Minecraft and PlayStation. Gaming is really open and honest communication – that really is key,” key for us, as you will have seen from the shop floor at Birmingham.” she says. “We will work really closely with them to Sarah continues: “In the women’s space, we have a joint strategy with mutual benefits for collaborated with Ariana Grande for her world tour both sides. They also need to be innovative… what’s which was very successful, alongside Friends which the next new product, what does the customer is in most product categories. So we had a few key properties in 2019 to name a few, I would say!” really want to see, how do we delight our customers each and every day… that’s always LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


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RETAIL ROUND-UP Inset: Boots will stock Mothercare branded clothing and home and travel products. Below: The Primark version of Monopoly was created by Winning Moves.

Street smarts

The final quarter of 2019 saw a raft of licensing activity taking place both at high street retail and online. From collaborations on high profile brands and growth for value retailers, through to sustainability pledges and big news for the Mothercare brand in the UK, LSB rounds up just some of the happenings.

Boots and Mothercare strike deal

Boots has become the new exclusive franchisee of the Mothercare brand for the UK. The deal will see Boots stocking Mothercare-branded clothing and home and travel products (including pushchairs and car seats). The product range will launch in larger Boots stores across the UK including a number of Mothercare shop in shops over time, as well as online. A limited range of Mothercare product will be available to buy online from mid 2020, while it is expected that a wider product offer will be available in Boots stores from late summer 2020. “In Boots, another much loved British heritage brand, we believe that Mothercare has found the right home in the UK,” said Mark Newton-Jones, ceo of Mothercare. “We know the team at Boots well from our successful Mini Club partnership which has been established over many years, and we now look forward to working in an even stronger collaboration with the Boots team for the future.”

Amazon’s record breaker

Monopoly with a Primark twist

Amazon has revealed that the 2019 holiday season was a record breaking one for the retailer, with customers all around the world ordering billions of items. In addition to this, it was also a record breaking season for independent third party Above: The 2019 holiday season sellers – mostly was a record breaker for Amazon. small and medium-sized businesses – with worldwide unit sales seeing double-digit year over year growth, surpassing a billion items sold. L.O.L. Surprise Glitter Globe Doll Winter Disco Series was named as one of the bestselling products across the Christmas period, along with LEGO Star Wars Darth Vader’s Castle, NERF N Strike Elite Strongarm toy blaster and Pokémon Sword for Nintendo Switch. Indeed, toys and games, fashion, home and beauty were the most popular departments for Amazon, with more than half a billion total items ordered.

Forget Bond Street and Fleet Street, the iconic London landmarks have been replaced with Primark’s bestselling in a new dedicated version of Monopoly. The Monopoly magic has been kept but given a twist, which sees players take a shopping trip as they buy and build Primark stores. Community chest cards will feature relatable Primark scenarios, such as coming in for socks and leaving with an entire new outfit. The Primark Monopoly game was created for Primark by Winning Moves.



B&M grows with Stanley Leading DIY brand Stanley has further cemented its relationship with value retailer, B&M, launching a range of exclusive painting accessories. The range – which includes nails and screws, paintbrushes, sandpaper, buckets, globes, all purpose wipes, fillers and other accessories – is available in over 600 B&M stores across the UK. It is all part of the retailer’s goal to become a leading DIY destination in the UK market.

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McDonald’s unveils new online merchandise store Fast food brand McDonald’s has launched Golden Arches Unlimited – an online shop stocking merchandise specifically designed for the McDonald’s lover. Available for US The store stocks customers, the line-up includes Above: merchandise specifically for the McDonald’s lover. a rotating seasonal selection, Right: New Look has kicking off with the winter added accessories its licensed offering. collection, which includes a beanie, festive ornaments and a holiday sweater. There are more than 20 items available including a Big Mac Sandwich Bag, Happy Meal t-shirts, Fries and McFlurry Dessert Journals and a World Famous Fries Tote Bag, plus a selection of McDonald’s beanies, pins, pop sockets and a Mickey D’s Nickname t-shirt.

Pull & Bear feels the force Fashion retailer Pull & Bear has unveiled a limited edition capsule collection inspired by Star Wars. The line has hit stores and online to coincide with the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in cinemas. The Star Wars x Pull & Bear collection features pieces for men and women and includes sweatshirts, t-shirts and accessories with original prints based on the characters from the Star Wars universe. The iconic logo is also evident throughout the collection. Meanwhile, accessories include men’s boxers, hats, socks, iPhone cases, watch and backpack, each carrying through on the apparel theme.

New Look grows licensed offer

Brands In has unveiled its new accessories lines at retail exclusively in New Look, showcasing two of Warner Bros. Consumer Products’ key properties: Friends and Riverdale. The range across both brands includes phone cases, water bottles, hot cups, coffee mugs, pencil cases and tote bags, all developed by Brands In’s in-house creative team. Designed to co-ordinate with the popular licensed Friends and Riverdale jersey apparel ranges – which have sold through consistently during 2019 – the accessories skus are now on sale in New Look stores across the country. “Following the success of licences on jersey styles at New Look, we saw an opportunity to use the same licences on lifestyle products,” explained Faye Walton, head of buying, accessories and lifestyle at New Look. “Brands In were the obvious choice to enable us to action this quickly with the added advantage of being able to use our own trusted specialist supply base. “For the season ahead we are looking to expand our accessories licensed ranges and look forward to building on the achievements we have already experienced with Brands In.”

Left: The limited edition line was timed to coincide with The Rise of Skywalker. Right: Plastic bags will be replaced with ones made from sustainably sourced paper in over 500 stores.

LEGO Stores plastic retail bags pledge The LEGO Group has revealed that it will phase out plastic retail bags in all LEGO Stores globally in 2020. The move – which is part of the LEGO Group’s ambition to use 100% sustainable materials in its packaging by 2025 – will see all plastic retail bags replaced with ones made from sustainably sourced paper across the fleet of more than 500 stores. The new paper bags will be introduced in stores once they have used up existing stocks of plastic retail bags to ensure no unnecessary waste is generated. The paper bags are made from 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper and are fully recyclable. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


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Sports Direct International set for a rebrand

The Sports Direct International retail empire is to be rebranded to Frasers Group. The name change was due to be proposed at a general meeting on Monday December 16, 2019. The group – owned by Mike Ashley – encompasses flagship brand Sports Direct, plus luxury retailer Flannels, preppy fashion brand Jack Wills, USC, and House of Fraser. It also owns a variety of sports and streetwear brands including Slazenger, Firetrap, Lonsdale and Karrimor. The move is reflective of the business strategy of the company which has changed from solely being a retailer in sports apparel, through to being equally successful in the lifestyle and luxury markets. In addition, Sports Direct is planning to upgrade a number of House of Fraser stores to a new luxury format, which will be called Frasers (after the retailer’s Glasgow store). The first Frasers store will open in 2020 in Wolverhampton’s Mander Centre.

Bershka reveals Nat Geo collab Fashion retailer Bershka has teamed up with National Geographic for a new capsule collection, which uses the brand’s nature photography. The range – which aims to remind shoppers of the ‘beauty of our precious natural world’ – features photography including glacial landscapes, mountain scenes and intimate wildlife shots such as a red panda and arctic wolf, reported Fashion United. Items include coats, hoodies, crew neck sweaters, t-shirts and backpacks. The range is part of Bershka’s Join Life sustainability label. This aims to promote designs created from recycled polyester or ecologically grown cotton. Below: The capsule range uses the brand’s nature photography.

Inset: Oliver’s Brighton opened in November 2017.

Oliver’s Brighton among Britain’s Best Small Shops 2019

Exactly two years after opening a dedicated Harry Potter licensed giftware store, owner Oliver Dall was delighted to see the shop commended in the finals of the 25 Best Small Shops in the UK, at an event held at the House of Commons in November last year. Commenting on what inspired him to open a shop dedicated to Harry Potter merchandise, Oliver said: “I had an epiphany while re-reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets during a trip to Asia. At the time, I was looking for a new business venture, and I thought, why don’t I open a Harry Potter wizarding shop! When I came back to Brighton, I found a shop in Trafalgar Street and subsequently opened Oliver’s Brighton on November 11, 2017.” Explaining the secret of the company’s success, he continued: “We stock over 500 official Harry Potter products and are very fortunate in that we get customers visiting from all over the world. We therefore make sure that the shop is the crème de la crème, with its success down to its style, smell, ambience and service that we offer.”

NFL, Nike and Fanatics expand partnership

The National Football League (NFL), Nike and Fanatics have revealed a new global partnership which extends Fanatics’ exclusive consumer product licensing rights to manufacture and distribute all Nike NFL adult products worldwide. The new long-term global deal is an extension to the US deal which was inked in 2018. The three-way partnership showcases a new model for licensed sports merchandise that splits responsibilities between Nike (outfitting the players and coaches) and Fanatics (outfitting the fans). The news follows another successful run of NFL London Games, which saw Fanatics and the NFL deliver record retail results as fans flocked to show their support. The game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans at Wembley saw record sales for a Tailgate Retail store operated by Fanatics, beating the record set the previous weekend during the game between the LA Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals. The new deal also takes advantage of Fanatics’ growing capabilities with offices, manufacturing and distribution facilities in China, Japan, Spain, Germany, UK, Korea, US, Canada, India and Hong Kong. Fanatics will operate local NFLShop sites across key NFL international markets including Canada, Mexico, Brazil, UK, Germany and China.



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STREAMING SERVICES Below centre: Deals Inset: Stranger Things has successfully built a consumer products programme as well as being a hit on Netflix. Below centre: Breaking Bad was one of the first brands to take off from a non-linear platform. Bottom: Matt Groening’s new animated series, Disenchantment hit Netflix last year with Rocket Licensing handling the UK CP drive.

The VOD Squad The media landscape has changed rapidly in recent years, with subscription streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime Video leading the way in evolving the way we all consume TV and movies. With the launch of Disney+, as well as the introduction of AppleTV+, subscriber numbers will only continue to grow, but what impact will this have on the licensing industry? LSB takes a look.


ver 13 million UK households now have at least one subscription to a streaming service, according to reports, and this is a figure which is only going to increase. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ et al are investing £millions in original content and the changing media landscape means there is more choice available for consumers then ever before. So what impact is the growth of these streaming services having on the licensing industry? “Ultimately it is going to be more important than ever for licensors, licensees and retailers to understand their audiences to identify the right opportunities for their properties to give them the best opportunity to succeed,” Nick Richardson, ceo and founder of The Insights People, tells LSB. “Greater fragmentation of media



means children have more choice of what they consume and when they consume it. This could mean that they choose to binge watch on their favourite content, which in turn can make it harder for some properties to breakthrough and build more meaningful relationships with their audience.” Smaller or newer properties may need to take a more innovative approach to structuring some licensing deals, says Nick. Ultimately though, he believes the industry needs to change: “Considering properties which are on linear TV only feels like an outdated perspective. With kids having access to so much technology the next big thing could come from any platform.” One big advantage of streaming platforms is that they give viewers ultimate flexibility in what, where, how and when they watch. “This

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non-linear exposure means that the brand is not beholden to the parameters of the window of transmission, that terrestrial broadcast is,” says Louisa Skevington, licensing coordinator at Rocket Licensing which is handling the UK programme for Matt Groening’s new animated series, Disenchantment. Having launched on Netflix last year, Bravado and Roy Lowe are on board for daywear and socks respectively with initial product launching into key retailers this year. “For a brand owner, placing a brand into the streaming space opens it up to new and wider audiences,” Louisa continues. Rocket has previous experience in this arena, having worked on the licensing programme for Breaking Bad, one of the first brands to really take off from a non-linear platform. “Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV, etc have since grown in scale and consequently in importance – you can’t ignore the impact that an increasing number of streamed properties are having on consumers and licensees,” says Louisa. And retailers are also responding to this when making their selections. Primark, for example, is to collaborate with Netflix, kicking off with Stranger Things – the show which is quite possibly the poster child for streaming success. It is proof that being on a streaming platform alone is enough to build a brand if the property resonates with the audience. And then there’s the excitement generated by The Mandalorian and the character The Child, in particular (dubbed ‘Baby Yoda’ by many) – Paladone and Pyramid International have already confirmed new product launches for 2020, while Hasbro is launching a toy line. Ultimately, the licensing business will need to adapt, says Nick. “We have seen over the last few years how all areas of the children’s industry are in a state of flux,” he concludes. “The industry has to evolve its business models to become more agile, collaborative and more flexible.” Below: Pyramid International is one of the licensees with product due for The Mandalorian featuring The Child.

Who’s who: the key players

Netflix – founded in August 1997 in Scotts Valley, California by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings, it officially launched on April 14 1998 as the world’s first online DVD rental store before moving into streaming media in the late 2000s. It entered content production in 2012, with a ‘Netflix Original’ being content that is produced, co-produced or distributed by Netflix exclusively on its services. House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, The Punisher, Narcos, The Crown, Breaking Bad and Stranger Things are just some of the shows to build a profile on the service. Amazon Prime Video – the retailer’s video streaming platform has significantly upped the ante over the last few years. The announcement of the hiring of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond in 2015 for The Grand Tour was a shot across the Netflix bows. Since then, its sports-related acquisitions – including NFL, the US Open and the Premier League – have got people talking, while it is also due to air the TV adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Disney+ - the eagerly anticipated service will arrive in the UK (and Germany, France, Italy and Spain) on March 31 and will feature a host of new and past TV series and films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Fox and National Geographic. It’s been available in the US since November last year, with one of the breakout hits being The Mandalorian, a new Star Wars series set between Episodes VI and VII. Other new shows that UK viewers can expect include a live action remake of Lady and the Tramp, a new Toy Story series centred around Forky, several new Marvel TV shows, a Monsters Inc sequel series and a Lizzie McGuire sequel among others. Britbox – a joint venture between BBC Studios and ITV, Britbox launched in the UK last November. It is also available in the US and Canada. As well as the catalogues from BBC and ITV TV, it also includes content from Channel 4 (including Film4) and ViacomCBS (Channel 5 and Comedy Central). Original content is due to be commissioned and produced from 2020. AppleTV+ - Apple’s streaming service launched on November 1 in over 100 countries, with consumers who buy a new iPhone, iPad, Mac or AppleTV getting a year’s subscription free. It offers exclusive shows, movies and documentaries from acclaimed filmmakers including JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg, with the likes of The Morning Show (starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston) already gaining plaudits. Helpsters, meanwhile, is aimed at young viewers and is fronted by Sesame Street’s Cody. Prince Harry is also teaming with Oprah Winfrey on a mental health docu-series launching this year.




Those Licensing People Ltd.



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// © 2020 A&Btv Ltd. // © Magic Rights Ltd. 2020 M. Danot // The Little Prince™/Le Petit Prince ® © POMASE 2020 // // © Spargo Sisters // SootyShow ® Cadells Ltd. / Enternainment Ltd. 2020 // Olobob Top © Beakus 2020 // © KidsCast 2020 //

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Inset: Tom Cruise slips back into Maverick’s leather this summer. Below centre: Daniel Craig returns as James Bond, while Oscar winner Rami Malek adds further interest. Bottom: A bumper licensing programme is planned for Trolls World Tour.

After a blockbuster end to 2019 at the box office – with Frozen 2 and the final instalment in the Star Wars saga pulling in high audience numbers – 2020 is set to continue in the same vein. Eagerly awaited sequels for Trolls and Top Gun, plus a mooted final outing for Daniel Craig as James Bond and the box office arrival of the most famous hedgehog in the world should ensure there is a plethora of consumer products to suit all demographics.

Top Gun: Maverick (July) Tom Cruise will again be feeling the need for speed later this year in the eagerly anticipated Top Gun: Maverick. The sequel to the 1986 smash hit, as well as the main man himself, Val Kilmer is back as Iceman with the cast further boosted by Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris and Jon Hamm. And, while much is currently being kept under wraps, this will undoubtedly be one of the biggest films of the summer. Mattel has been named as global toy partner with the company securing the rights to toys for the Paramount Pictures’ movie across multiple categories. These include die-cast vehicles and aircraft, play-sets, games and other toys. The new line will aim to bring moments from both the classic film and the sequel to life. Expect more licensing partners to be announced during the first part of 2020.

No Time to Die (April)

The 25th instalment in the blockbuster James Bond franchise – and Daniel Craig’s fifth outing as 007 – No Time to Die has been setting the internet alight ever since it was first mooted. The added introduction of the Oscar-winning Rami Malek as Bond’s adversary, plus Fleabag and Killing Eve’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge giving a polish to the script succeeded in getting even more people talking. Set five years after the capture of Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), James Bond has left active service. However, when he’s approached by his friend and CIA officer, Felix Leiter, to help with the search for a missing scientist, he is drawn back into a world of danger. Expect to see high profile collaborations fitting of such a mega franchise.

Trolls World Tour (March)

Universal Brand Development is ‘ready to rock’ when it comes to the licensing programme for Trolls World Tour. The hotly tipped DreamWorks’ movie is due to arrive in UK cinemas on March 20, 2020 (followed by the US on April 17, 2020), and has an impressive cast of supporting licensees. Hasbro will be returning as global master toy partner. Hasbro had great success with the DreamWorks Trolls brand previously, with NPD crowning it the number one toy property of 2017. The toy category will expand further and offer unprecedented product diversity with the addition of The LEGO Group, Ravensburger, Funko and WOW Stuff, while Posh Paws has taken the rights for official licensed plush. Halo fashion partners Difuzed and AFB will take to the stage for the first time, while softlines partners will include Aykroyds, TDP Textiles, Cooneen, Fashion UK and Misirli. Plum Products enters licensing for the first time joining MV Sports for outdoor, while consumables is another growth area with partners such as Kelloggs, Kinnerton, Finsbury Foods and Thomas Tucker signing up.



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Sonic the Hedgehog (February)

Right: Sonic hits the big screen to stop evil genius Dr Robotnik in February.

Sonic the Hedgehog is speeding his way onto the big screen early in 2020. Based on the global blockbuster video games franchise from SEGA, the movie tells the story of world’s speediest hedgehog as he embraces his new home on Earth. The live action comedy adventure – which underwent a few tweaks by Paramount after fans raised some concerns about the way the character looked following the initial trailer – sees Sonic and his new best friend, Tom (played by James Marsden) team up to defend the planet from evil genius Dr Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and his plans for world domination. SEGA already has a healthy licensing programme for Sonic, with the character celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2021.

Black Widow (May)

Inset: Black Widow is the 24th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The latest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (number 24, for those fact fans out there), Black Widow will no doubt be looking to replicate the success enjoyed by Captain Marvel in the consumer products space. Already a popular character from her appearances in The Avengers, Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff finally gets her own solo outing, which is likely to be backed to the hilt by Disney/Marvel. Set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, the movie sees Natasha on the run and force to confront her past. The official announcement at 2019’s San Diego Comic-Con – which was attended by the main cast – certainly drew appreciation from the assembled fans so this is definitely one to watch.

Your guide to some of the big movies hitting cinema screens throughout the year. Film title


Release Date

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation

Warner Bros.

February 2020

of One Harley Quinn Dolittle

Universal Pictures

February 2020

Sonic the Hedgehog


February 2020 March 2020

Trolls World Tour




March 2020

No Time to Die


April 2020

Black Widow

Marvel Studios

May 2020


Warner Bros.

May 2020

Fast & Furious 9


May 2020

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run


May 2020

Artemis Fowl


May 2020

Wonder Woman 1984

Warner Bros./DC

June 2020

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Sony Pictures Entertainment

July 2020

Top Gun: Maverick


July 2020


Marvel Studios

July 2020

Bill & Ted Face the Music

Warner Bros.

August 2020

The King’s Man

20th Century Fox

September 2020

The Witches

Warner Bros.

October 2020


Warner Bros.

November 2020

Godzilla vs Kong

Warner Bros.

November 2020



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EVENT FOCUS Inset: UK Toy Fair plays host to a number of new licences every year including Moon and Me in 2019. Below left: Majen Immink, director fairs and special events, BTHA.

Trading places

London, Germany, Birmingham, New York, Italy and Australia will be firmly etched on the calendars of the UK licensing trade this spring. With trade fair season having kicked off in Hong Kong earlier in January, the next few months are definitely set to be busy. LSB checks in with the show organisers and some exhibitors.


usiness cards? Check. Diary? Filled with appointments. Networking skills? Honed. Sounds like you’re ready for trade show season 2020. While a number of the UK licensing trade will have already visited Hong Kong by the time you read this, the kick off for many is UK Toy Fair, which this year runs at London’s Olympia from January 21-23. The show sold out its exhibition space back in October, with over 260 companies taking their place on the showfloor including 40 new companies attending for the first time. “Licensed toys are expected to be some of the most popular products of the year, with the hottest brands being featured by our exhibiting companies,” says Majen Immink, director of fairs and special events at the BTHA. “Playmobil, for example, will have brand new licences from studios like Warner Bros. and Universal.



“As well as the well-known mega licences, we are seeing an increase in bespoke and unique licensed products. One of our new exhibitors Craft Buddy which will be at Toy Fair for the first time - produces a range of make-your-own crystal greeting cards. As part of the Crystal Art range, renowned fantasy artist Anne Stokes has licensed many of her designs to be used in the product. “Also, Clementoni has teamed up with the Science Museum, offering a range of mechanical and robotic engineering kits for kids. Expect to see many more unique and creative licences this year.” For FOCO UK – which is exhibiting in the show’s popular Greenhouse area – Toy Fair is a great way to meet your customer base and showcase product. “We will be demonstrating our BRXLZ range of

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stadiums, mascots, club crests and footballs from all major clubs,” Gary Williamson, FOCO’s product manager, tells LSB. “It’s a great event to go to; we have supported it for a number of years and will continue to do so. We have some great developments for BRXLZ – the products make great gifting items.” Wild and Wolf, meanwhile, is one of the newcomers to Toy Fair and will be sharing its new licensed collection at the show, although it is keeping its powder dry on further details until then. Joelle Engolia, the company’s marketing manager, says: “Attending London Toy Fair for the first time is a significant step for us in our journey to establish both Ridley’s Games as an evergreen games brand and to further expand the reach of Petit Collage in the UK. We’ve made substantial progress in a very short amount of time since our initial AW18 Ridley’s own-IP launch and exhibiting at Toy Fair will be crucial in continuing that growth by opening doors to new buying avenues for Ridley’s within the toy and games sector.” As the world’s leading toy fair, Spielwarenmesse “offers the biggest platform for the licensing business”, Ernst Kick, ceo of Spielwarenmesse eG explains (see separate box out for a full outline on the show’s licensing plans). This isn’t just limited to those with an interest in the toy space either. Both

Inset: Spring Fair has one of Europe’s largest ranges of licensed products on show.

Paladone and Pyramid International will be showcasing their products in the British Pavilion from January 29 to February 2. Yvette Marshall, play and tech account manager at Spring Fair, is expecting licensed products to be a “crucial” driver of buyer interest in the toy and children’s gift areas in particular. “With the latest film and television releases a core influencer on consumer spending, buyers can ill-afford to miss out on those all-important profit-driving product tie-ins,” she tells LSB. The home and gift retail sourcing destination – which this year runs from February 2-6 at Birmingham’s NEC – also has one of Europe’s largest ranges of licensed products, Yvette offers. “Simply, Spring Fair is the most effective way to engage with the biggest group of influential decision makers in the UK and European

Licensing in Nuremberg Global licences are set to take centre stage at Spielwarenmesse, with licences represented across all product groups and licensing-specific seminars extended to four days. From lifestyle products to dolls and soft toys, back to school, stationery and creative crafts, international exhibitors across all 12 product groups will present a wide array of licensed products with strong sales potential. The four-year partnership with Licensing International will continue, with the trade body having a stand in the foyer of Hall 12.0. Members can attend a ‘Happy Hour’ on January 30 (from 4pm-7.30pm), while the LicensePreview will give companies including NBC Universal, ViacomCBS, WildBrain CPLG, Sony Pictures and Sanrio the chance to present portfolio highlights to an exclusive group of visitors. In addition, the LicenseTalks will take place across four days for the first time at the Toy Business Forum. Topics will include sustainability, digital content, sequels and spin-offs and market trends. “The key players in the licensing industry are all appearing at the Spielwarenmesse,” says Ernst Kick, ceo of Spielwarenmesse eG. “By offering a selection of targeted features, we’re encouraging an intensive dialogue between licensors and licensees, agencies, trade and industry.”

Inset: Ernst Kick, ceo of Spielwarenmesse eG.



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Take a bite of the Big Apple As the largest toy show in the Western Hemisphere, the 116th annual Toy Fair New York hosted the equivalent of nearly eight football fields filled with toys during its four-day run in 2019. For 2020, the marketplace has sold out all available space at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center from February 22-25, with toymakers from six continents on-board to showcase their lines to around 30,000 visitors. This year will see the show expand its Creative Factor educational programme which aims to help inventors and designers, entrepreneurs, design students and other creative professionals forge Above: Licensing connections, pitch their latest toy ideas, navigate accounts for new trends and tech innovations, and learn approximately 30% everything from applying for a patent to the toy lifecycle from concept to consumer. of US toy sales. In addition, the Toy of the Year Awards includes a licensed category, while there is also an entire track of educational programming dedicated to the sector. Seminars under the Licensing Content Connection series cover topics including licensing fundamentals, licensed product at retail, gaming and streaming. “Toy Fair New York is a natural reflection of the global toy industry and all the changes, innovations and trends coming to market,” says Marian Bossard, evp of global market events at The Toy Association, the organiser of the show. “Licensing accounts for approximately 30% of US toy sales, with top properties including L.O.L. Surprise, Barbie, PAW Patrol, Pokémon, among others. Of note, digital-first brands (JoJo Siwa, Baby Shark, Ryan’s World, etc.) are having a bigger impact on toys than ever, and we will be seeing this impact at the show. “We’re also offering educational programming to help attendees better understand how the evolving landscape of kids’ entertainment, social media and pop culture fandom are impacting the overall health of the industry and the opportunities for growth that come with them.” l

buyers drive profit through licensed lines is one of retail markets. With 50,000 visitors coming through our key aims. Given the success we enjoyed in this the NEC’s doors for the show, area with the Autumn Fair re-edit, we’re excited to it’s an amazing opportunity to generate leads hear visitors’ reactions to the new overhaul of the and sales.” Spring Fair show floor and expanded new lines Yvette continues: “We attract such a diverse range exhibitors will be offering.” of visitors, too – it’s one of the few shows that Heading back into can entice everyone from Europe, and the Bologna high street buyers, indie Children’s Book Fair and owners and manufacturers Bologna Licensing Trade to designers, creators, Fair are continuing to interior specifiers and grow in importance for UK product specialists.” companies. BLTF attracted When it comes to the over 80 exhibitors with show’s market insights more than 900 IPs in 2019, stream, and specifically for an increase over the the licensed product previous year. The 2020 community, the Design & show – taking place on Source stage will be Inset: A licensing fashion zone will be introduced to this year’s Bologna March 30-31 – will welcoming a licensing and Licensing Trade Fair. introduce a licensing product development fashion zone, with a special consultant to talk about how focus on children’s fashion. licensed products can “The conjunction with the complement your own Bologna Book Fair allows product and brand. us to welcome a relevant ”We want to give visitors foreign audience,” says the opportunity to tap into Cristina Angelucci, senior those key 2020 trends,” consultant at BolognaFiere. Yvette expands. “Helping LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


Sourcing Play & Tech Gift Explore 50,000+ visitors 2,500 exhibitors 16 curated show sectors Get your free ticket now at

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EVENT FOCUS Right: Mondo TV says BLTF is one of the most important shows in the calendar.

“So although Italian licensees are still a big part of the event, there are more and more foreign visitors from Europe. UK visitors should come to meet new licensees, to match with local retailers, to learn more on fashion trends as Italy is the global capital of fashion and to optimise their business between licensing and global children's publishing.” For Maurizio Distefano Licensing, Bologna Licensing Trade Fair holds a unique position. The company’s Michela Marchese Patti explains: “Firstly because it is complemented by the kids’ book event, which is very much related to the consumer products business. This helps to bring different audiences into licensing projects, creating strong relationship for properties that start from publishing. “This - and the importance of the licensing show to the region - is a key reason why so many Italian licensees, international IP owners and agents gather at the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair and show off some of their most successful properties.” Mondo TV’s licensing director, Valentina La Macchia, agrees that BLTF is one of the most important shows in the calendar. “In an ever-more fluid and complex licensing and retail environment, identifying trends, promoting a portfolio and finding potential partners are more important than before – and all such aims are particularly well served by this event, at which Mondo TV is looking forward to amazing the market by unveiling some new exciting projects,” Valentina concludes.

The Australian way

Last year’s Australian Toy Hobby and Licensing Fair attracted over 4,300 visitors to Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre. At time of writing, over 80% of stands had been sold for this year’s event – which runs from March 1-4 – with key exhibitors including LEGO Australia, Hasbro Australia, eOne, Headstart International, Moose Toys and Mattel. Licensing International, Bugg Marketing, Funrise Australia, Toy & Hobby Retailer, VR Distribution and Totally Awesome TV are all sponsors of the event, along with licensors such as The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. and ViacomCBS. “While the majority of visitors do come from Australia, the Fair also attracts overseas attendees and in 2019 we had around 200 international visitors,” explains Alice Sanderson, executive manager at the Australian Toy Association. “Those who attended were from Europe, Asia, the UK and US. The Fair provides an opportunity for UK and international visitors to source unique and homegrown products from developers and manufacturers such as Headstart and Moose who are at the forefront of innovative and unique products.” Alice continues: “The Fair will also feature unique Australian licences such as Bluey, which is currently the number one streamed children’s show on ABC iView. The Australian market, like the international market, can be tough for all players but the licensing industry seems to be strong and our local brands, such as Bluey and May Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, are enjoying successes.” Inset: eOne is just one of the licensors pledging support to the Australian Toy Hobby and Licensing Fair.



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Pop stars

Inset: The Original Stormtrooper pop-up at Boxpark gave shoppers the chance to get under the skin of the brand. Below centre: The Barbie popup in Liverpool One was so successful that it had its run extended. Below & bottom: Jeremy Goldsmith’s Event Merchandising worked on numerous pop-ups in 2019 including this one for the Yorkshire 2019 UCI World Road Championship.

With a rapidly changing retail landscape and evolving shopping habits, it’s never been more important for brands to keep creating new and innovative ways to keep consumers engaged. Pop-up shops have become a way for licensors and agents to showcase new and established properties, with little risk for retail but big gains for consumers in the shape of exclusive products and an immersive experience. LSB finds out more.


t’s no secret that the UK retail environment has gone through some major changes over the past few years. And, as traditional retailers became more risk averse, and shelf space became squeezed, one way for brands to make their mark was to go it alone and grab the attention of consumers with pop-up outlets. It’s a strategy which can work for any brand, big or small, and one which gives them the chance to measure success by their own parameters, be that revenue, marketing or awareness. Event Merchandising was established over 30 years, with md Jeremy Goldsmith telling LSB that it was selling



merchandise in pop-up stores “before pop-up was a thing!” “Our history stretches back to include Live Aid,” says Jeremy. “We went on to work on the Olympics - London 2012 and Rio 2016 - setting up pop-up superstores in venue, train stations and other locations, working with many licensees selling over 22,000 different skus. We work with brands in sport, fashion and entertainment. We are an omni-channel retailer running pop-up and online stores. For example we run the retailing and online store for James Bond at”

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Aiding overseas growth Key to building brand awareness of the V&A in China is the launch of pop-up stores, says Lauren Sizeland, head of licensing and business development at the museum. V&A launched its first experience-based stores in China at the end of 2018; located in two of Shanghai’s most popular shopping and leisure destinations, each store was open for eight weeks. November 2019 then saw V&A collaborate with Alfilo and Tmall Club to launch a pop-up store at the Tmall Ideal Life Experience Center at Shanghai K11. Open for one week, the store displayed product from licensee partners including footwear brand Basto, tea with Twinings, the optical brand 4inlook and camera brand Lomography, as well as interactive areas where customers could take part in workshops. “The pop-up stores are a key element of our activity in China, helping us to reach new audiences and enable people to experience and learn about the V&A, particularly for those who are not yet able to visit the museum in South Kensington,” Lauren tells LSB. A good location is critical to success, but so is providing something fun, says Lauren, immersing visitors in a brand using interesting imagery, intriguing offers and interactive elements. “As more and more consumers are shopping online and via their social media apps, it is important to give customers a reason to visit retail shopping complexes,” she says. “A pop-up store that runs for a limited time period is more exclusive, which makes it a more exciting alternative to a permanent retail space. “Pop-up stores allow for experiential events and so consumer visits are no longer about shopping solely but learning and interaction. With a temporary store, you can also be very creative with the design space. The V&A has such a broad archive that we have limitless inspiration for these stores.”

2019 was a busy year for the company – it opened the UK’s first and only Barbie shop in Liverpool One, assisted Rubik’s on its pop-up store in Covent Garden, created a pop-up in Harrogate for the Yorkshire 2019 UCI World Road Championship, as well as working on Winder Wonderland and the Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh exhibition currently running at The Saatchi Gallery among others. “For a licensed brand, a pop-up gives a chance to group product categories together, gather data for insights into the consumer, demo Inset: The Tutankhamun: products and share its Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh exhibition at The Saatchi Gallery story,” says Jeremy. features a pop-up gift shop. “Pop-up stores also allow retailers to engage customers with product demonstrations and answer questions on the spot.” Getting key feedback from consumers was a factor for Golden Goose with the opening of the Original Stormtrooper pop-up in Boxpark for a week last October. The shop showcased product including toiletries, cake, pale ale, apparel and eyewear, as well as samples. “We decided to open a pop-up because we really

wanted to get first-hand consumer feedback on the range,” says Adam Bass, md of Golden Goose. “The main thing was to hear directly from consumers and to meet them, to see them appreciate the work we put in to getting the product accurate. To meet the buyer puts us in a much better position to develop better product that will sell. To really understand what they’re looking for in a product.” Exclusive product was also a key draw for Pokémon fans, who flocked to the first ever Pokémon Center to open in the UK last year. Open from October 18 to November 15 at Westfield London in Shepherds Bush, the pop-up opened as part of promotional activity ahead of the release of the new video games Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. “Pop-ups need to capture the essence of the brand; they need to be visually appealing and offer something different to attract interest,” comments Mathieu Galante, licensing director EMEA at The Pokémon Company International. “The Pokémon Center gave fans a chance to browse and purchase a LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


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Inset: The first Pokémon Center to


open in the UK hit Westfield range of Pokémon CenterLondon for a month last year. branded products, including exclusive designs not found anywhere else.” Mathieu continues: “Pokémon limited edition products have featured in a number of pop-up events before the London Pokémon Center; among others we partnered with Wicked Cool Toys and Sprayground in Selfridges, Celio in France, Detective Pikachu in Harrods and an area within Criminal Damage’s flagship store.” Mathieu confirms that the Pokémon Center will return to Bubblewrap Waffle was created; London in summer 2020 as customers loved eating the product and part of the Pokémon World taking the perfect Instagram picture of Championships. He says that their waffle in Chinatown.” increased visibility and brand WildBrain CPLG launched the first BT21 engagement are key to poppop-up with Bravado in May in London’s up stores, with additional Camden Market. Co-created by South activities being vital to Korean boy band BTS and LINE Friends, increase the dwell time. there was already a solid fan base for For Sanrio and the Hello BT21 in the UK, and Stacy Scimia, retail Kitty brand, this came in the and category director for softlines, says form of food. The company that a pop-up seemed like the “perfect has 50 character-themed opportunity” to introduce merchandise restaurants and cafés in into the territory. Over 12,000 fans came Inset: The Hello Kitty bubblewrap Japan alone. waffle was a huge draw for fans. through the store, which stocked “A successful pop-up must Below: A pop-up was the ‘perfect products including apparel, sweats, tees, opportunity’ to introduce BT21 offer something merchandise to UK fans. keyrings, postcards, mugs, accessories unique that visitors and homewares. won’t have “It’s definitely a growing trend for brands experienced and an important one,” she tells LSB. before, or been “Particularly as we continue to see a rapidly able to buy,” offers changing retail landscape and shopping Martina Longueira, habits evolve, it’s really important that we senior marketing continue to create innovative ways to keep manager at Sanrio. consumers engaged. “The Hello Kitty “For the right brands, we would pop-up at Bubblewrap in London is a great definitely consider further pop-up activations. example. The bubblewrap waffle – hugely popular There have been some key learnings and in Hong Kong – had never had the Hello Kitty takeaways from the pop-ups to date.” treatment before. In September 2018, a Hello Kitty

The pop-up of the future The trend for pop-ups looks like it is certainly one which will continue, but how will they evolve? “The trend will grow as brands struggle to find space in retailers’ stores,” says Event Merchandising’s Jeremy. “Also landlords will want to fill space with interesting concepts. The trend will evolve further into experiential offerings, where retail is one part of the store. We are trying digital stores with a sample offering of physical product, where product can be sampled then ordered for delivery later.” Sanrio’s Martina believes the trend for food and drink pop-ups isn’t going anywhere. Indeed, Sanrio’s pop-up business in the UK increased by 50% in 2019 and is set to expand across Europe. “We are seeing the trend evolve into longer-term partnerships, such as MisterTea in Italy and Chatime in the UK,” Martina explains. “Another way the trend might evolve as it matures, is that the food and drink offering will become more specific - in terms of the character and the product.” LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


BOOKING FORM These annual awards reward excellence in product innovation, brand licensing management as well as retail execution. The 2020 awards will take place during a lunch time ceremony at the luxurious London Hilton on Park Lane, London. The awards afternoon takes place on Wednesday 29 April 2020 where the winners will be announced at a spectacular awards lunch that includes a cocktail reception, lunch, the awards ceremony and entertainment. To confirm your attendance, please carefully complete this booking form and return to Keystone Communications. Allocation of tables are made on a first come first served basis. For table bookings & event logistics: Contact: Clare Hollick, 01733 294524 Email: For entry nominations & sponsorship enquiries: Contact: Ian Hyder, +44 (0) 207 700 6740 Email: Visit: Please note that tickets will not be sent out Until payment has been received.

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The only awards totally dedicated to award brand and lifestyle licensing The awards are now open for entries. They are free to enter and done so entirely online - deadline for entry is 28th Feb. The 2020 winners will be unveiled on Wednesday 29 April 2020 A lavish afternoon event at Hilton Park Lane, London The B&LLAs bring together retailers, licensees, brand owners and representatives to celebrate excellence in brand and lifestyle licensing.

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The preschool sector continues to be bursting with energy and vibrancy and, as we head into 2020, a raft of new product launches, anniversaries, retail tie-ups and live events are all being planned. LSB rounds up some of the latest activity.

Inset: The new Something Special products will be featured at Toy Fair.

Top for tots Something Special for Golden Bear

BBC Studios has renewed its Mr Tumble Something Special partnership with Golden Bear. The renewed deal will see the launch of new products in the collection to be featured at London Toy Fair in January. These will include Mr Tumble’s Sensory Seek and Find Spotty Bag with Fun Sounds and the Mr Tumble Touch My Nose Sensory Soft Toy – both of which will focus on encouraging kids to be active through harnessing engaging new sounds, lights and music. The new line will also see the introduction of updated product styling and a bright new design with bold, colourful packaging. “We are now in our eighth year with the toys and it has proved itself to be an evergreen licence and a core part of any retailer’s preschool toy range,” said Barry Hughes, md of Golden Bear.

Ready for Bed

Above: Penguin Ventures has received strong feedback on Ten Minutes to Bed. Right: Babywear has been key for Tiny Tatty Teddy.

Penguin Ventures is heading into the New Year brimming with confidence for its new licensing property, Ten Minutes to Bed. The company officially launched the licensing programme for the property - which has been derived from a bestselling Ladybird book series - at last year’s Brand Licensing Europe. “We feel confident that we have a really strong opportunity to develop a licensing programme for Ten Minutes to Bed and we have been delighted by the response since our launch at BLE,” Lindsay Pearl, international licensing sales at Penguin Ventures, told LSB. “The combination of vibrant, trend-led illustrations and the unique bedtime offering presents licensees and retailers with a really strong proposition. “I have had brilliant feedback from all potential licensees, specifically with a focus on plush, apparel, nightwear, gifting, stationery, health and beauty, dental care, bedding and textiles and we’re now in conversations to close deals.”



Tiny bear, big gains

Tiny Tatty Teddy achieved strong success within the nursery category in 2019, and Carte Blanche Greetings is looking to further build on this in 2020. Babywear led the way for the brand, with ranges selling out quickly and beating plans within key accounts. With the rise of baby-led occasions, CBG says that it is seeing real growth within categories such as print on demand and gifting. An online animation will be released this summer which focuses on such occasions, with retail partners being given the opportunity to get involved. 2020 will also bring an increased retail presence for Tiny Tatty Teddy in both the UK and internationally. A new DTR has recently been inked, with product due to launch into market for the autumn.

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Below: Further plans are afoot for Bing in 2020.


By the book

New Bing series off to a flyer

Acamar Films’ latest series of preschool hit Bing is charming audiences across the UK. The series premiered on new app, Bing: Watch, Play, Learn, ahead of its first broadcast on CBeebies in October, notching up 130,000 downloads in the UK in under three months. On CBeebies, the series has enjoyed strong BARB ratings, with the new Halloween episode achieving 667,014 and the 28-day consolidated figure for the one episode reaching 1,134,766 views. Bing is also consistently the number one preschool show on iPlayer. Along with the 26 new episodes, the BBC also relicensed the original 78, bringing the total number of episodes to 104. November 2019 was also the Bing UK Facebook page’s biggest month in both reach and engagement. The page has been tagged with hundreds of photos of Bingsters watching the new episodes, which have been uploaded in a ‘Bing Watch’ gallery. Acamar also has further plans afoot for 2020, as ceo Mikael Shields explained: “In 2020, we’ll deepen our content offering, expand our range of platforms and increase our geographic coverage; it’s a truly exciting moment for all of us in Acamar Films.”

Maisy marks 30 With global book sales of more than 38 million copies of over 300 titles, Maisy Mouse will have been a favourite with preschool children for three decades in 2020. Walker Books – along with its sister companies Candlewick Press in the US and Walker Books Australia – is planning a number of celebrations for the evergreen star of publishing, TV and licensing. The celebration kicks off with a new logo which aims to encapsulate the enduring appeal of the character, while a style guide translates the key messages for all key categories including tableware, apparel, plush, bags, calendars, cards, toys and stationery. Promotional events will also be part of the celebrations. Partnerships with educational groups and across a variety of media are planned to underline the popularity of Maisy and her friends, while strong promotional opportunities are

The Roald Dahl Story Company is planning to expand further into the preschool space following the early success of four concept board books – Colours, ABC, 123 and Opposites published by Penguin UK. Katie Price, the company’s head of books, told LSB that she believes there is real demand for more Roald Dahl product within the preschool sector. “Heritage brands like Roald Dahl are much loved and there’s definitely a demand for new titles,” she commented. The company is going for a bright, primary colour palette as a point of difference from other preschool brands. The Enormous Crocodile is the lead character for 2020, while the company will also be releasing its Above: Shapes and first seasonal title – My Dad is Fantastic – as Words will both well as two further concept board books, launch in 2020. Shapes and Words. Two novelty titles are also planned for later in the year. Katie added: “Once this range has really established itself, we will be following it with wider range of complementary merchandise.”

particularly expected in Asia, where the arrival of the Year of the Rat has boosted the region’s interest in the character even further. “Maisy’s positive, friendly and inquiring outlook and her ability to connect with new generations of children continue to make her popular all over the world,” said Pindy O’Brien, licensing and retail development director, key franchise (UK & Europe) at Walker Books. Left: A new logo and style guide have arrived for Maisy.

Trends UK adds Paddington

Trends UK has joined the licensing programme for Paddington – securing a deal with The Copyrights Group to create a range of electronic learning toys based on upcoming preschool series, The Adventures of Paddington. The toys will aim to introduce young fans to early learning skills such as recognising colours, numbers, letters and early spelling. Items will begin to appear in late 2020, with further products due to follow into 2021. “We are delighted to be developing learning items based on this lovable bear and his world,” commented Lindsay Hardy, marketing director of Trends UK. “The narrative of Paddington’s experiences with his family, friends and home will definitely appeal to preschoolers and parents; the TV series looks fantastic.” Above: Trends UK has joined the Paddington licensing programme. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


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“Alexa, open Gruffalo Move” Magic Light Pictures has teamed up with Amazon UK to launch the world’s first Gruffalo Alexa voice experience. Gruffalo Move is an immersive and interactive audio game, available in the UK and the US, which allows Above: Gruffalo Move encourages kids to get users to meet characters from the up and get active. magical world of The Gruffalo and explore sound and music inspired from Magic Light’s award winning animated special, based on the picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Developed with digital product specialist agency Hi Mum Said Dad, Gruffalo Move – created for ages 3-6 – encourages children to get up and get active. After answering questions to identify the character, they are then given a fun activity encouraging them to take part at home and move about like that character. They can try to tiptoe like Fox, ‘toowhit toowhoo’ with Owl and slither with Snake, as they meet a new animal day by day. Once they have guessed all five characters and completed the activities, they will be rewarded with a secret surprise.

Coolabi limbers up for new launch

Elmer flies into Chessington World of Adventures

Andersen Press has unveiled ambitious marketing and PR plans for David McKee’s Elmer in 2020, building on the incredible successes of Elmer’s 30th anniversary in 2019. 2019 saw the biggest ever sales of Elmer in the UK, with combined sales for paperback and board books of over 45,000, an increase of 35% year-on-year through Nielsen Bookscan. The headline activity for 2020 will be a partnership with Chessington World of Adventures Resort, on the creation of Elmer’s Flying Jumbos – the first-ever Elmer themed ride. Due to open in spring 2020 as part of a four-year partnership, more details about how the Surrey Resort will be bringing the patchwork elephant to life are set to be announced shortly. Further activity in 2020 will include Elmer Day on May 23; Seven Stories’ Elmer and Friends exhibition to finish at its Newcastle home in April, before starting a threeyear UK tour; further Elmer Big Art Parades; and more activity with anti-bullying charity, Kidscape. Above: 2019 saw the biggest ever sales of Elmer in the UK. Below: The first nautical-themed trails will launch from February.

Below: Giraffes Can’t Dance has sold over ten million copies worldwide.

Coolabi has secured global licensing rights for classic children’s picture book, Giraffes Can’t Dance. Written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy ParkerRees, Giraffes Can’t Dance is published by Orchard Books and has been translated into 34 languages, selling over ten million copies worldwide. Giraffes Can’t Dance promotes self-esteem in young children by championing the message of acceptance and self-belief. Coolabi is now aiming to build an extensive licensing portfolio across core categories, driven by plush, apparel, games and puzzles. Allison Watkins, director of consumer products and TV distribution at Coolabi Group, said: “I am delighted that Coolabi Licensing have the opportunity to extend this wonderful book into merchandise for the very first time.”

PJ Masks swims into Sea Life

eOne has secured a new multi-territory partnership with Merlin Entertainments which will see PJ Masks making waves in Sea Life aquariums internationally. Launching from February 2020, Merlin will host a new PJ Masks-branded nautical-themed trail across its network of 12 Sea Life venues in the UK, with more in France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Turkey, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Australia/New Zealand and the US. Featuring artwork from the underwater canals from the show, the trail will include a branded photo wall, costume character appearances and is scheduled to travel between centres throughout the calendar year. To maximise commercial opportunities for the brand’s licensing partners, a broad range of PJ Masks products will be available to purchase in the Sea Life Centre gift shops. The partnership will extend eOne’s strong relationship with Merlin following the major success of its global Peppa Pig World of Play indoor attractions which launched in 2018 and continues to roll out internationally.



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Inset: Having started as a series of books in 1975, Thomas & Friends turns 75 in 2020. Below left: Mattel will offer limitededition toys to celebrate the engine’s big birthday.

The big birthdays It’s a huge year for anniversaries in the licensing world in 2020. LSB chatted to those brands honouring key milestones, to find out what they have planned to celebrate and mark the occasion.

Thomas celebrates three quarters of a century Having begun as a collection of stories in 1945 – The Railway Series – written by Reverend W Awdry to entertain his son, Thomas & Friends is now entering its 75th year of entertaining preschoolers globally. Despite taking 12 years for the first consumer products to launch in 1957, Thomas is now one of the biggest brands in preschool. Helen Genia, senior manager consumer products at Mattel, explains: “Publishing is really at the heart of this brand, so we are delighted to be working with Egmont to publish the perfect book that features the complete collection of all 26 short stories from the famous original railway series in one stunning volume.” This will be accompanied by a full programme of book releases in 2020. In April, Mattel will launch a partnership with Harrods to celebrate the heritage of Thomas & Friends with several activations in-store, along with limited branded merchandise. Also in the retail sphere is a global DTR deal with H&M to produce a range of children’s apparel and accessories, and the successful partnership with M&S will continue into 2020. Later in the year, model railroad manufacturers Bachmann will work with Thomas & Friends on a



two-year licensing deal. The company’s traditional electric trains will create a realistic recreation of the property through HO (1:87) scale products in the UK and Ireland. Mattel itself also has strong plans to mark the milestone. Helen continues: “New product including engines and play-sets will be introduced across the range, with fun limited-edition items to celebrate the birthday, all supported with great product from our licensing partners.” Key to the longevity of the Thomas brand is Mattel’s commitment to build on its preschool heritage. The core values are as relevant today as when Awdry wrote the first book, and as the brand evolves, these are reflected in everything it does. Meanwhile the property is kept fresh, as Helen explains: “The brand and content saw a ground-breaking refresh in 2018 to encourage children to discover the world around them. Introducing new locations, characters, a gender balanced Steam Team with a 4:3 boy to girl ratio from the previously 6:1, new theme tune and humour through the format and narrator.” Helen concludes: “2020 will continue to pave the way for the next generation, with break frame moments that spotlight Thomas as the beloved British heritage brand that embraces modernisation as the world continues to change.”

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Peanuts goes from Paper to Platinum The origins of Charlie Brown as a comic newspaper strip which launched on October 2, 1950, will be the basis of the 70th birthday celebrations of Peanuts. Roz Nowicki, evp Peanuts Worldwide, comments: “The programme has been dubbed ‘From Paper to Platinum’, drawing on the origins of the Peanuts comic strip and this important landmark. “A number of partners around the world will be riffing on this theme with platinum-coloured paper-inspired products in development.” Hallmark, a licensee for the property for six of its seven decades, will release a collection of products tying into the anniversary. There will also be some high-end collaborations throughout 2020. Central to the anniversary activity will be experience, as Peanuts works with partners to focus on allowing fans to immerse themselves in the brand. The Snoopy Museum in Tokyo, for example, reopened in a new permanent home last year, kicking off celebrations in Japan. The licensing strategy follows suit. Roz explains: “It is undeniable that Snoopy and the rest of the gang have a style of their own that lends itself perfectly to a wide range of product.”

Inset: The Snoopy Museum in Tokyo is an offshoot of the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California and a collaboration with Sony Creative Products. Left: From paper to platinum is the tagline for Peanuts’ 70th birthday celebrations.

The theme of staying true to the brand is what Roz feels is key to Peanuts’ success: “Peanuts is a brand that has maintained its relevance by staying true to itself. We always keep the comic strip at the heart of everything we do, ensuring characters remain honest and authentic.” Peanuts is simultaneously keen to move with the times. This was shown last year in the relationship with AppleTV+ which launched with Snoopy in Space, helping it to reach new fans, while also incorporating its 50+ year partnership with NASA. Going forward, Peanuts Worlsdwide will continue to place emphasis on experience. Roz concludes: “We want Peanuts to continue to be a part of childhood that parents and grandparents can share with younger generations. Making memories through experiences is a key part of ensuring lifelong fans.”

Clueless gets silver An icon of 90s pop culture and still referenced widely by fashionistas today, it’s been 25 years since Clueless hit the big screen and cemented itself as a milestone of 90s film history. The brand has partnered with the likes of Primark, H&M, Delta and Smiffy’s, which have all created a wide range of popular Clueless products, spanning categories such as apparel, accessories, costumes, books and collectables. There will be a brand-new home entertainment release on Blu-ray and Digital in 2020 to celebrate the anniversary too. Mark Kingston, svp, international consumer products at ViacomCBS International Networks, says: “As the brand heads towards its 25th year, there is still time for partners and retailers to contact us about ranges for the anniversary as we continue to build on and expand the lines.” The property’s longevity is largely down to its timeless coming of age story, along with the rise of mobile video enabling new audiences to tap into the film with bite-size content pieces across a multitude of platforms. Mark goes on to explain: “Meanwhile, top celebrities through to young influencers and creators regularly drive conversations around the brand on social media and we continue to produce exciting new consumer products ranges for the property that resonate with fans.” Going forward the plans are to continue to collaborate with partners to create a new assortment of ranges that will keep the brand fresh and exciting for new audiences. And key to that is to maintain an active community across social platforms too. Top right: Clueless is partnered with a number of retailers, including Primark. Right: Funko offers a collectables range based on the iconic 90s movie. Above left: – K-Swiss used the iconic yellow tartan as the basis of its range of Clueless footwear.



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Rubik’s still twisting at 40 A chance meeting between Erno Rubik and Tom Kremer at Nuremberg toy fair in 1979 set the Rubik’s Cube wheels in motion. For five years, it had been selling as the Magic Cube in Hungary, but Kremer renamed and marketed it globally in 1980. Having become a staple of 80s pop culture, Lori Heiss-Tiplady, vp brand strategy, The Smiley Company, says: “Its iconicity will always remain and it continues to find new ways of captivating global audiences. Starting an art movement (Rubik Cubism), featuring in pop videos, Hollywood movies, and even inspired a sport (speedcubing) which is growing in popularity globally thanks to a long-term partnership with Red Bull.” The nostalgic heritage, coupled with the recent resurgence of retro gaming, has fuelled something of a renaissance for Rubik’s and there are plenty of plans for the 40th anniversary, which kicked off last year with a pop-up experience store in London. Lori continues: “The pop-up also wrote its way into the history books by hosting a successful Guinness World Record attempt for the most contributions to a Rubik’s Cube mosaic. The mosaic, depicting a portrait of HRH Prince Harry, consisted of 1,600 Rubik’s Cubes and measured 2.56 x 2.05m.”



Licensing anniversary collaborations have been signed with Puma, Eastpak and Etch A Sketch and there are new deals with Spin Master, TCG Toys, Marvin’s Magic, Ginger Fox/ Carlton Books and Microids. A promotion will launch with McDonald’s and augmented reality fashion from de-Kryptic, with more to announce. The activity will be supported with a new brand identity, renewed social strategy and global content calendar, TV campaigns with a $4m budget in the UK and US, and a globally supported PR campaign. There are lots of brand extensions planned, which the company hopes will help future proof theRubik’s brand. Lori explains: “Our goal continues to be evolving Rubik’s through innovation and creating high quality products that tap into the brand’s rich architectural heritage and encourage kids and adults alike to Play Smart.” Top: The pop-up featured Rubik Cubism mosaic art, workshops, performances and masterclasses by speedcubing champions. Left: Puma has signed as a licensing anniversary partner for the 40th year.

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Right: Miffy has now sold more than 85million copies and is now published in 50+ languages.

Miffy’s marvellous 65 years Miffy began life as a sketch of a bunny scampering around Dick Bruna’s holiday home, for his son, Sierk, some 65 years ago. Mark Teunissen, special projects manager at Mercis, which manages the global rights, explains success took a while to build: “Both drawings based on geometric form and the use of a restricted colour palette were somewhat difficult to understand for grownups, but not small children.” And as Miffy evolved, she became a design icon, allowing Mercis to reach sectors beyond publishing. These diverse audiences will see an exciting year ahead. Alicia Davenport, licensing director at DRi Licensing, which manages the UK rights on behalf of Mercis, explains: “TATE Modern will run a series of children’s colouring and storytelling events in the month leading up to the anniversary [June 21] – and on the day itself, they’ll have a major birthday party. TATE’s other galleries will also be running their own events.” Maggie and Rose family members clubs will also host a two-week Miffy take-over of their eight locations. Globally a fashion design project across five countries will invite students to create a Miffy plush, with winning designs being produced as limited editions.

On the UK licensed product side, Thames & Hudson will publish a new volume of The Illustrators on the life and works of Dick Bruna. There will also be a Treasury collection of five children’s Miffy books. Magpie will offer bamboo feeding products; Strathberry has 16 handbag designs; Papier will add to its personalised stationery and print ranges, while Rainbow Designs has plush baby gifts and a white plush collection, and the first Miffy costume from Smiffy’s will arrive in time for World Book Day. Inset: Tobias and Bear will release new baby clothing collection.

Spot is fabulous at 40

As the home of Spot publishing, Puffin will release a commemorative edition of Where’s Spot? alongside a range of new preschool publishing to celebrate the 40th anniversary. Marketing activity will kick off to coincide with World Book Day and will continue on May 16-17 in bookstores nationwide. Sarah Hulands, junior brand manager at Penguin Ventures, explains: “We are targeting the nursery space via partner activations including a partnership with Sport Relief in February, which will see Spot feature as the ambassador for their nursery fundraising campaign, and also with Fit for Sport, who will be developing a programme to promote fitness within preschool settings throughout spring.” The illustrations in Eric Hill’s books will be the inspiration for a range of anniversary licensed products. Rainbow Designs launched plush last year and will release wooden toys towards the end of 2020. Dennicci will roll out infant apparel across key grocers this quarter, and Smiffy’s will launch a range of dress-up in time for World Book Day. Play Press Toys and Boxine have also signed for greetings cards and audio figurines. Having adapted well to changing times, Penguin Ventures has been building its digital footprint for Spot. Sarah continues: “We’ve launched a dedicated Instagram channel and ramped up our marketing activity on Facebook to ensure our community there will be the first to find out about our anniversary plans for Spot. We will be establishing a home for the existing Spot animation on YouTube.” The brand’s refreshed creative treatment encompasses a style guide and trends which will be attractive to contemporary families. Although moving with the times is key for success, Penguin Ventures also ensures the core themes of the property are kept central. Sarah concludes: “While the way families are accessing content has changed immeasurably since Spot was first conceived, the core values remain as relevant to children today as they were 40 years ago.” Above & right: Dennicci will roll out infant apparel and Rainbow Designs recently unveiled a plush collection.

Top: Puffin will be releasing a commemorative edition of Where’s Spot? to mark the 40th anniversary.






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Fund facts The Light Fund charity raised over £160,000 in 2019, meaning it has now raised £1.6 million since it started in 2004. LSB outlines the 32 different charity projects to benefit from last year’s fabulous fundraising efforts by the industry.

Inset: New Life is one of the charities to benefit from the money raised in 2019.

Industry charity, The Light Fund raised over £160,000 in 2019 which is now being put to good use to fund 32 different charity projects in 2020. “It is incredible that in such difficult and challenging times, that the huge effort and generosity from those in the industry, we have been able to raise so much money that means we are able to support so many worthwhile charity projects,” comments Trevor Jones, chairman of The Light Fund.

The charities which are to see their projects funded are: Orchid Cancer Appeal - To raise vital awareness of testicular, penile and prostate cancers among men and their loved ones in 2020. The Lowde Music Trust - To widen and extend the reach of the Radio Lollipop programme across 2020. Maggie’s West London - To fund women’s groups in 2020, supporting people diagnosed with breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or indeed any other diagnosis. New Life - To provide a hot cot for the Special Care Baby Unit at Winchester Hospital in Hampshire. The Brain Tumour Charity - To fund I’M STILL ME, a series of webpages with downloadable content to allow teachers to support a child or young person’s journey in school following a brain tumour diagnosis and treatment.

Look Good Feel Better - To enable the charity to run a ‘Confidence Workshop’ in one location for a full year. Each location holds monthly workshops, seeing between 10 and 12 people at each one. Together for Short Lives - To be directly distributed to 10 bereaved families as grants as well as contributing to the project’s running costs. Dogs for Good - To help create an assistance dog partnership which will improve the quality of life for a physically disabled child. MS-UK - To fund a project that will include national publication of the charity’s loneliness and isolation report. Amputation Foundation - To purchase two electric assist hybrid bikes, which will be used for a fundraising event in May 2020.

Motor Neurone Disease Association - To help fund four further family days for children and young people.

Read for Good - To support a book and storytelling project in UK children’s hospitals in the year ahead.

MIND - The grant from The Light Fund will directly support 300 people, while more widely reaching over 30,000 people in 2019/20.

World Child Cancer UK - To construct a playground at Mbingo Hospital in Cameroon.

Berkshire MS Therapy Centre - The Light Fund will pay for a treadmill which works in tandem with the charity’s ‘unweighing’ machine. Bowel Cancer UK - To fund the design, printing and distribution costs of the ‘Your Operation’ information booklet for a year. Happy Days Children’s Charity - To provide numerous activities and group holidays for children with special needs. Breast Cancer Now - To help cover staff training for the year, and a third of our call handling charges. Douglas Bader Foundation - To fund 15 amputee/disabled children to attend a Young Aviators Day. Samaritans Chelmsford & Mid Essex branch To cover the training plus one year of support for 15 new volunteers. Cherry Trees - To cover six circus visits, four farm visits, four music visits and six horse sanctuary visits.

Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children The Light Fund’s grant will fund a specialist bed to add to its suite of loan equipment.

Women and Children First UK - To fund the training of girls in Oyam to make their own reusable hygienic sanitary pads and provide them with the tools and materials.

Samaritans of Portsmouth and East Hampshire - To fund the replacement of the central heating boiler and some enhancements to the central heating system.

Bliss - To enable the charity to revise its information for parents or anyone supporting parents who are leaving the neonatal unit with a premature or sick baby.

Francis House Children’s Hospice - To fund a new oven to replace the current one in Francis House, Didsbury, Manchester.

London Wheelchair Rugby Club - Because of the regular high-impact collision spare wheelchair tyres are high on the charity’s list of priorities each year, as they regularly need replacing. Another priority is player accessories.

Action for M.E. - To help ensure adults with M.E., their carers and parents of children with M.E. are able to access key information, learn self-management skills to help them manage the impact of M.E. and make informed decisions about appropriate care and support.

Acorns Children’s Hospice - The funding will pay for six children to have short breaks, at £850 per child, per short break.

Music for All - To enable the charity to support 20 deserving children who do not have access to instruments or lessons.

The Children’s Trust - To purchase three Ropox Vision Therapy Tables, which are vital to help children engage with rehabilitation after a brain injury. Children with Cancer UK - To provide financial assistance to approximately 20 families across the UK in their time of great need.



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Products of Change founder, Helena Mansell Stopher, who has 20 years experience in the licensing industry (latterly with National Geographic), shares her thoughts on the importance of working towards greater sustainability and gains that are already being made.

Inset: Sustainability will be a driver in licensing as in other sectors.

Sustaining change Economists say that we have entered the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. How we manufacture products must change if we are to protect our future. However with the licensing industry worth US$272 billion at retail and a focus to encourage consumers to buy more this does present a challenge. How can the sector grow when we are required to produce less? Technology, the circular economy and local production are just a few solutions to the mammoth task. With change comes opportunity and as an industry I feel we can be a major part of this development. Left: Helena Mansell-Stopher is keen to improve sustainability of the industry.




he licensing industry is, and has always been, extremely dynamic spanning manufacturing, retail, brand owners and agents. We, as an industry, talk directly to consumers and create products that bring ‘stories to life’ for a vast proportion of the population. The challenge now is how we manufacture and market products to the consumer that won’t cost the Earth while affording commercial growth and maintaining the requisite product innovation. Sustainability means different things to different people and as a concept is hard to grasp as it

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Technological innovation

Inset: Paladone has trailblazed BDP in the licensed giftware arena.

What is so encouraging is that the toy industry is starting to look at alternative materials, reduced packaging and recycling schemes, all of which will no doubt pick up pace in the coming few years. Over the last few years we have started to see a wave of new technologies coming in to the market to help with one of the largest issues, one such technology is Breakdown Plastic (BDP™), which is being licensed for use in EMEA by Peter Rooke, founder of Art & Science. BDP™ is an organic polymer that is added into the manufacturing process of plastic, rubber, foam...even fabric. Products made with BDP™ maintain all the same properties as regular plastic. The shelf life, appearance, clarity, recyclability and strength all remain. Once the product is discarded into landfill, the microbes utilise the plastic as a food and energy source, accelerating the biodegradation process. What used to take thousands of years, now takes only a few years as microbes consume the entire product. The only thing that remains are the same by products as decaying organic matter; humus, CO2 and CH4 that can be captured to produce clean energy. As Peter explains: “We made it our mission to help change plastic for the future through BDP™ technology, but how could we help clean up the existing mess? We realised we could help by funding the clean-up effort. By donating a portion of our profits to clean up efforts on behalf of our clients, we tell an amazing story of responsibility for past, present and future plastic products. We want to create a movement that the consumers will not only support, but champion. We want to change plastic for good”. Giftware company Paladone has been one of the pioneers of the technology with 75% of its current gift ranges using the technology with more innovations planned for the future.

covers so many aspects of our life. So, where do we start? With a huge amount of disparity across countries, whether an underdeveloped or a mature market, there is a large mix of legislation and very little consistency. However following the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which followed the Paris agreement (2016) the dynamic will definitely change in the future with predicted Green Tax, laws passed to eradicate single use plastic, fast fashion tax, the list goes on. As an industry we need to get ready for these changes and future proof our businesses, as one thing is for sure, change will happen. This thinking brought me to create a steering committee within the industry called ‘The Products of Change Group’. The group started six months ago with seven members and has quickly grown to over packaging, partnering with vendors to source and 60 people hailing from all enclaves of the licensing distribute Hasbro products in an environmentally arena and beyond. We, as a group, focus on sharing conscious way, and minimising the environmental information learnt across footprint of its operations. fashion, toys and games, publishing and then Toying with sustainability carbon footprint, looking at packaging, energy “We want our consumers to know used, designing out when they choose Hasbro toys and waste and more. We can games, they can feel good that our only change business products are of the highest quality, practices if we know why responsibly made, and recyclable Inset: The inaugural meeting of The Products of Change we need to change and through TerraCycle*,” said Kathrin Group (from front right anti-clockwise) Helena MansellStopher, Louise Williamson (The Point 1888), Peter Johnson learning from each other Belliveau, senior vice president of (Creature Media), Jakki Brown (Max Publishing), Claire McNulty (National Geographic Society), Daniel McGeehan is key if we are to be global government, regulatory affairs (APL), Trudi Bishop (Bee Licensing), Robert Hutchins successful. and corporate social responsibility of (Biz Media) and Paul De’Ath (Central St Martins). While licensing covers Hasbro, Inc. almost all consumer product areas, the toy trade Hasbro is far from the only toy corporation looking continues to be a major generator so getting those at driving change. The LEGO Group, for example in this important sector embracing sustainability is revealed on LicensingSource back in December that pivotal. A leading driver on this front is Hasbro, it will phase out plastic retail bags in all LEGO Stores currently ranked as the top toy company for the globally in 2020, part of LEGO Group’s ambitions to fourth year running on the Climate Counts Company use 100% sustainable materials in its packaging by Scorecard and focus on three key areas, reducing 2025. This ambition focused on finding alternatives the environmental impact of products and for sustainable packaging and has already resulting LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


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in 75% of the cardboard used to make LEGO boxes coming from recycled material. Production has also started on a range of sustainable LEGO elements made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane. The new sustainable LEGO ‘botanical’ elements is part of the LEGO Group’s commitment to use sustainable materials in core products and packaging by 2030. Tim Brooks, vp, environmental responsibility at the LEGO Group, commented: “At the LEGO Group we want to make a positive impact on the world around us, and are working hard to make great play products for children using sustainable materials. “We are proud that the first LEGO elements made from sustainably sourced plastic are in production and will be in LEGO boxes this year. This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all LEGO bricks using sustainable materials.”

Fashion forward

Right: A recycling point in H&M.

With the fashion sector deemed the second polluting industry after oil, those involved in apparel accept that there is much room for improvement – but things are happening for the good. Retailers are already embracing the need to change how they operate. H&M has been one of the front runners on the fast fashion front with its aim to source 100% sustainable cotton by end of 2020 and by 2030 aims for 100% recycled or other sustainably sourced materials. By 2040 the retailer aims to have a climate positive value chain where it also gives a 10% discount to Right: BBC Earth teamed with Teemill.



The British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA) is driving a huge amount of change with its members on this front, each signing an annual declaration to the BTHA Code of Practice, committing to consider ways of reducing their environmental impact as part of their business’ practices. Added to this the BTHA has a sustainability committee that considers guidance and advice to help members fulfil this commitment.

Inset: LEGO has pledged to use 100% sustainable materials on all packaging by 2025.

customers who bring back old clothes to be recycled. An impressive 22,000 tonnes have already been recycled which equates to 103 million t-shirts in 2018 alone and these clothes are upcycled, then re-sold in the group’s new sustainable lifestyle brand stores Arket. H&M isn’t the only one though, the Indetex Group, George@Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Primark are among those to have pledged to transform their business practices to be more sustainable, and their vast collective spread sees many licensing supplies working together to find solutions acknowledging that attacking an issue together is

Material world Teemill a fashion company based on the Isle of Wight runs on 100% renewable energy. Being a print on demand service with no wastage in stock and using only 100% organic cotton it is driving this new business model ‘the circular economy’ and has been for the last decade. Teemil offers customers account credit for all garments sent back which are then recycled. This business model moves away from the traditional linear model of ‘take, make, waste’ and brings waste back in to the loop to produce again (in this case, creating a new yarn). The offcuts from production are also pulped into paper. Teemill moved into the licensing arena over two years ago, supporting brands such as BBC Earth, WWF, National Geographic and many more. It runs and supports over 10,000 branded stores in the UK and is growing at a rapid rate. Summing up the company’s remit, Teemill’s co-founder Mart Drake-Night, says: “By rewarding people for keeping the material flowing, we’re changing the way people think about their wardrobe. Rather than waste, they see assets and then some really interesting stuff starts to happen. Because our customer is also our supplier, everybody is rewarded for keeping the material flowing” Proof that new ways of doing business are profitable and sustainable.

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Bedding in

It is not only the fashion space that is changing within textiles but bedding, carpets and homewares too. Dreamtex has launched new bedding using a Repreve fabric, a mixture between a 100% organic cotton and RPET (a form of recycled plastic). Dreamtex received a fantastic reaction to this innovation and by not passing on the slight increase in price to the consumer, it means the public can buy sustainably without it costing them more. Dreamtex has also removed all single use plastic from the product and each duvet is created using recycled plastic bottles. As Andy Downie, commercial director of Dreamtext explains: "Dreamtex has been looking to use recycled plastic bottles for some time and we have been testing various processes to ensure the final results are comparable in quality to our current range. Plastic in the Oceans highlighted by recent campaigns by National Geographic, Life Magazine and the amazing Blue Planet 2 series has made everyone sit up and think. Innovative products and new ideas are what our company is about and when presented with the brand Repreve, a product made from recycled plastic bottles transformed into polyester fibre we could use to blend with our cotton, all we had to do was match the brand’s message to the right licences.”


Inset: Dreamtex debuted with National Geographic on its first use of Repreve with licensing agreements also signed with Life Magazine and BBC Earth. All will feature the new material which is 50% cotton and 50% polyester (made from 100% recycled plastic bottles). There are 12 recycled plastic bottles used to make a single size duvet set and 18 used for a double size.

2019. It has instead replaced these gifts with more easier. One such group is the Fashion Pact of which sustainable items. the Fung Group is a part. This is already informing Changing current business practise for greater change within the group’s multiple businesses, sustainability needs to be a strong thread notably their licensed business which we will see connecting finance, production, product design come to fruition in 2020. and communications. We need to look at the triple Honing in on all the issues to tackle will take bottom line of people, planet and profit putting a many years and will be a group effort. One area price on the natural resources we are using if we leading such efforts is the UK kids’ magazine are to manage sustainability as a long term consortium. Branded magazine cover-mounts business plan. Encouragingly new ways of working account for 150 million throwaway plastic items a more sustainably are year! However already at the forefront magazine gifts are of change for many integral to financial organisations stemming the with the sustainable decline in kids’ economy tipped to be magazines. A worth US$12 trillion by solution to this is 2030. being presented Financial institutions through a charity are investing in called Waste companies who have Busters. Waste sustainability plans Busters is working Inset: Publishers of kids magazines are taking the sustainability drive on board so which run through the with the Extended that we are likely to see a reduction in plastic business, insurance companies are Plastic Partnership for Innovation covermounts and plastic wrapped editions. asking companies what they are doing to sustain in Circularity (EPPIC) to close the loop for the their future, and extremely clever and creative wastage. A nationwide campaign will launch people are looking at how they innovate to protect across 20,000 schools this March to drive the ‘Big our future, if the sun provides energy for free why Toy Take Back’ where all brand owners and do we pay to take fossil fuels from the ground, if retailers are being urged to come forward and we can re-use energy within manufacturing partner up to make this first multi-brand, multiprocesses why don’t we? There are some answers retail events in the industry. (Please get in touch to our everyday questions and it’s our generation in with info@productsofchange if you wish to the licensing industry who get to drive change for take part.) the future, how exciting is that? National Geographic Kids magazine has taken this to the next level and has actually removed all * To learn more about the Products of Change Group, please visit single use plastic items from the magazine, saving, to join the group please email a whopping 5 million single use plastic items in LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


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To enter the 2020 Licensing Awards go to Wednesday September 9 2020 The Great Room, Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, W1K 7TN Black Tie/Posh Frocks!


The Awards 2020 Categories l l l l l l

The Retail Award Categories Best Pre-School Retailer of Licensed Products (0-5) Best Kids Retailer of Licensed Products (5-16) Best Retailer of Adult Licensed Products The Radar Award- For retailers that have upped their Licensing activities in the last year Best Licensed Retail Execution Top Retailer Award

For ticket information For information on reserving tickets or tables to the event please contact: Clare Hollick at Keystone Communications ltd using or calling +44(0)1733 294524 Or if you would like to book your ticket or table online go to -

Supported by Specialist Communication & PR Consultancy



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The Product Award Categories


Best Licensed Toys or Games Range Best Licensed Dress-up or Partywear Range Best Licensed Preschool Apparel Range Best Licensed Childrens Apparel Range Best Licensed Adult Apparel Range Best Licensed Written, Listening or Learning Range Best Licensed Paper Products or Stationery Range Best Licensed Giftware Range & Home Decor Range Best Licensed Food or Drink Range The Innovation Award

The Licensed Property Categories

l l l l l l l l

Best Pre-School Licensed Property (age group 0-5) Best Children’s or Tween Licensed Property (age group 5-12) Best Teen or Adult Licensed Property (age group 12 or above) Best Film Licensed Property Best Music or Celebrity Licensed Property Best Sports Licensed Property Best Classic Licensed Property Best Gaming Licensed property


l l l l l l l l l l

Other Awards

l l l l

UK Rising Star Award Best Licensed Marketing Communication Award Honorary Achievement Award Best Licensed Experiential Award

category sponsors include


creating essentials with flair

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Show business Inset: 2020 marks the 40th year of Licensing Expo.

The licensing trade show calendar is already counting down to the first event of 2020, bringing together people from across the globe to spark conversation, debate, showcase new property developments and share knowledge. LSB chats to Anna Knight, vp of licensing for Global Licensing Group, about the different events coming up and how her teams are preparing for them.


hile it will be a few months before the industry starts its preparations for this year’s Brand Licensing Europe, the team at Informa Markets has been busy working away on the 2020 event since the 2019 one closed its doors. And for Anna Knight, this year her to-do list has become significantly longer as it marks her first full year in the role of vp of licensing for the Global Licensing Group. As well as BLE and the London team, Anna is responsible for the teams in Santa Monica and New York, as well as the P&L and strategic development of the portfolio which also includes Licensing Expo, License Global and the Licensing Inset: Anna Knight, vp Leadership of Licensing for Global Licensing Group. Summit. In Above centre: Fashion addition, she will be a key theme at Brand Licensing works in Europe this year. collaboration with colleagues in Asia



on Licensing Expo China and Licensing Expo Japan. “We bring people together from across the globe and encourage conversation, debate, relationship building and deal-making,” Anna explains to LSB. “It’s definitely our responsibility to provide the central meeting points for this to happen throughout the year.” The first of these events is the Licensing Leadership Summit, which takes place in New York on March 16 and 17. Anna describes it as a “high level education forum for leaders in the world of licensing and retail” and while she admits, due to its location, that it is focused on the North American market, she believes it would also be interesting for leaders working in other territories too. “A European or UK summit is something we’re exploring for the future,” she teases. Staying in the US, and 2020 marks the 40th year of Licensing Expo, with the team structure of the event – which takes place from May 19-21 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas – now mirroring that of the BLE management team with

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two people responsible for driving the direction of the show. In addition, after the success of themes at BLE, this will also be introduced to Licensing Expo. “2020 is the 40th year of Licensing Expo and we’re planning events across the week - it is the highlight of the global licensing calendar and this year’s event will be a year of celebration,” says Anna. Licensing Expo China will then take place in Shanghai from July 15-17, while Licensing Expo Japan will follow later in the year in Tokyo. As well as the teams on the ground for both events, Anna will be lending her support with business development and show direction, ensuring that each expo maintains the quality of experience that attendees would expect. Brand Licensing Europe will head back to London’s ExCeL from October 6-8 and Anna says that preparations are going “really well”. The focus is on two main areas – how the customer experience can be improved upon at the venue and in the surrounding area and the continuation of bringing the show to life through experiences and networking. “You already know the central theme is fashion which will include a catwalk,” Anna offers. “We’re also going to be shining a spotlight on sustainability especially as it pertains to fashion and toys, as well as increasing our focus on high-end and luxury; an exciting area of growth and opportunity in licensing.

We really want to build on what we have started in 2019. 2020 is in some way the difficult second album in a new venue, but I’m confident we can continue to grow BLE and improve the experience of those exhibiting and attending the show.” While Anna’s role is certainly varied, ultimately she says the key point is to “maintain good relationships with all our customers and make sure we serve their needs. We’re always looking at discussion points and challenges in the industry and programming to address those. We’re always looking to improve and grow.”

BLE in 2020 “One of the biggest takeaways for us is that ExCeL London is the right venue for BLE,” enthuses Anna. “The show has grown and developed amazingly well over the last few years and our new venue took that to new levels – many people thought that BLE had grown up further and it was good to see exhibitor and attendee growth across all key areas which is particularly impressive alongside a venue move. “Feedback is always important to us and we’ve listened to comments about what did and didn’t work about the space and are taking that on board.” Anna explains that the team knew they wouldn’t get everything right in the first year, but that they have a great start on which to build. “As we move into year two, our concentration will be developing a social programme for the three days with events and networking on campus, communicating where to go for dinners and drinks in the surrounding area, advising people how to speed up and ease their journeys to the venue (connecting via City Airport for example) and helping choose the best hotels.” Anna continues: “Catering also made up a significant percentage of the feedback we received and we’ve been working with the ExCeL London team to make sure that those at BLE have better, quicker access to a wider range of catering.”

Inset: Anna works in collaboration with Asian colleagues on Licensing Expo Japan (pictured) and Licensing Expo China.



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New faces mix with old favourites for an eclectic spring/summer ahead for the schoolers market. Inset: Above: Aardman pursues theme park market. Below centre: Line Friends launches into plush.


lessons Fishy Business

Aardman has revealed its new concept for the theme park market, in partnership with P&P Projects. Inspired by the cormorant fishermen of the Li River, A Fish Tale captures a dramatic and hilarious coming-of-age adventure of a determined young fisher-boy, and his playful cormorant sidekick.

Magical crown

Inset: Little Tiaras sells into new territories.

APC Kids has inked its first sales for CTC Media’s new 3D animated series Little Tiaras, which has been picked up by Noga for The Children Channel in Israel, TVP for TVP ABC in Poland and All Media for Kanals 2 in Latvia. Aimed at girls from 4 to 7, the series stars five Princesses. They arrive from faraway lands to study wizardry on a mysterious island of Wondermont and adventures, secrets and dangers await them on their way to learning the wisdom of magic taught by the great wizard The Immortal.

Plush friends In a deal brokered by WildBrain CPLG, the popular BT21 characters from global brand LINE Friends are coming to plush, launching in 50 European countries. Koya, RJ, Shooky, Mang, Chimmy, Tata, Cooky and Van will all feature on soft toys, plush keyrings and cushions.

A fitting birthday award

King Features Syndicate, along with local agent, Medialink Group, scooped the award for Excellent Licensed Theme, Location Based Entertainment Campaign at the China Licensing Expo Star Awards ceremony, for the Popeye 90th Anniversary Art Exhibition in Beijing. In celebration of the spinach-loving sailor’s 90th birthday, 50 artists from 12 countries around the world took part in the Popeye exhibition at Joy City shopping mall by displaying art inspired by the sailor and his friends. Right: Award win for Popeye.



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Left: Rocket signs Fuzzballs.

Creating a Fuzz Rocket Licensing has been appointed as the worldwide licensing agency for Fuzzballs, a cute pop culture brand which began life in 2013 as a Tumblr web comic. Based on animal loving pop culture with a hint of Japanese kawaii, Fuzzballs has quickly grown in popularity. According to Rocket, the fanbase for Fuzzballs is global and spans across all ages but has a particular resonance with millennials, teenage and student girls.

Snowy river walk

Family favourite The Snowman was brought to life over the festive period, with a sculpture trail at the popular Christmas market at London Bridge. Presented by Wild in Art, in partnership with Penguin Ventures, the Walking with The Snowman trail featured 12 giant Snowman sculptures placed at various locations, with each statue featuring designs and decoration relating to the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

News in Brief

l Children and adults can dress up as their favourite Warner Bros. characters, including icons from DC Universe, Wizard of Oz and Scooby-Doo, as licensee Amscan International expands its range of costumes and wearable accessories. l Half Moon Bay will be adding a number of new licences in 2020, including an appearance from DC Comic’s Harley Quinn on a range of mugs, glassware, stationery, bags and accessories all featuring fun phrases that encapsulate Quinn’s vibrant nature. l Universal Brand Development and The LEGO Group have revealed an all-new line of construction sets inspired by the characters, scenes and musical genres from DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming feature film, Trolls World Tour. l Tombo Japanese Café and Matcha Bar in Fitzrovia ran a three-month Sanrio pop-up experience featuring Hello Kitty and friends. Sporting a winter wonderland theme, each dish on the menu reflected the characters’ personalities, ranging from Gudetama Udon and Pom Pom Purin Curry through to the Hello Kitty Garden Poké Set. l Pippi Longstocking will celebrate turning 75 in style, with a new musical circus show from Pop House Productions and the Astrid Lindgren Company in collaboration with Cirkus Cirkör.

All power to the bus

Popping up for winter

Chinese animation company Winsing is launching a number of toys inspired by its hit children’s action-comedy GG Bond and the edutainment and adventure show GOGO Bus. GG Bond is a funny show for 4 to 8 year olds in which the hero, a superpowered piglet, fights numerous threats to his world with the help of his friends.

The Korean lifestyle brand Kakao Friends ran its first official pop-up store in Europe as part of London’s Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. The store highlighted an expansive range of 80 products from the winter collection, as well as exclusive Christmas products, including toys, plushes, body pillows, gloves, earmuffs, socks and slippers, humidifiers and mood lights.

Dennis Goes Overboard


Best Foot Forward

Sonic the Hedgehog is appearing on a new line of footwear and clothing from PUMA. Combining Sonic’s playfulness with PUMA’s sport-style design, the PUMA x SONIC Capsule Collection includes the RS-X3 SONIC trainer, launched in time for the movie release in February. Left: Kakao Friends pop-up. Right: KIDZ BOP gets festive with Barbie.

Bopping with Barbie

KIDZ BOP and Barbie launched a special holiday video series, featuring Barbie singing and dancing alongside The KIDZ BOP Kids. The video series included two original KIDZ BOP songs, KIDZ BOP Shuffle and Go Christmas and three remixed versions of holiday classics. Barbie’s vocals are featured on three of the five tracks.

Right: Beano comic strip.

Rocket Licensing has teamed up with Royal Caribbean International to commission a one-of-a-kind Beano comic strip to celebrate the £120m makeover of Allure of the Seas. The story sees the notorious mischief-maker Dennis, joined by sidekick Gnasher and family Minnie, toddler Bea and Mum and Dad to become the very first guests on-board the new-look ship.



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Below: British fashion model Adwoa Aboah with her Barbie. Bottom: The Barbie Fashionistas range includes over 100 distinctly diverse looks.

Girl power After 60 years, Barbie still continues to spark imaginations and influence conversations around the world. A comprehensive traditional licensing programme is further strengthened by high profile fashion collaborations with both high street retailers and big name designers, while a focus on diversity has also widened audiences. LSB chats to Mattel to find out more about Barbara Millicent Roberts.


he is one of the most enduring characters within both the toy and consumer products space and during her 60 years, Barbie has sparked the imaginations of countless girls. She has been a muse to numerous fashion designers, graced the cover of TIME magazine, caused debate, ran for US President and, ultimately, become a symbol that girls can do and be anything they want in the world. Described by Mattel as a ‘power franchise’, the 60th anniversary celebrations served to underline the strength of Barbie, and there’s still more to come, too. “2019 was a huge year for Barbie and we really celebrated Ruth Handler’s original vision who said: “My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices,” explains Helen Genia, senior manager consumer products at Mattel. A key part of this was Mattel’s mission to close what it refers to as the ‘Dream Gap’. “At the end of 2018 we identified the Dream Gap as the age between five and seven when girls start to lose belief in themselves,” continues Helen. “In 2019, we worked to help close this gap for girls - this has been through partnerships, events and ambassadors that all really help to empower a new generation of girls.”



Indeed, over the past decade, the brand has evolved to realign with Barbie’s original purpose of empowering girls. Helen continues: “A reflection of pop culture, Barbie can generate global conversations like no other toy brand, and the past five years alone have seen multiple brand campaigns that surpass one billion PR impressions, such as the award winning ‘Imagine the Possibilities’ TV spot, the introduction of three new body types and Shero campaigns – where dolls are made in the likeness of real-life role models (see separate box out).” It’s this work that helped the brand traverse a dip in popularity, with Mattel reacting with new body types, as well as dolls with different skin tones and physical disabilities following debates around lack of diversity.

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Helen continues: “As Barbie evolves, we continue to modernise both our product line and marketing message to maintain relevance with today’s parents and children. Today, we offer the most diverse and inclusive doll line in the world and have introduced over 100+ new looks, inclusive of a new body type and representation of physical disabilities this year. “Focusing our efforts on diversity and inclusivity is resonating as over 55% of all the dolls sold are now diverse dolls.” Influence in the fashion world has also helped Barbie reach new audiences and keep her relevant. The 60th anniversary saw partnerships with the likes of Primark, Missguided, River Island, Filippo Laterza and Patrizia Pepe. In addition to this, over the years, Barbie has collaborated with more than 75 designers including up and coming young designers and influencers such as Gigi Hadid, Moschino, Matty Bovan, Nasir Mazhar, Roksanda Ilincic, Karl Lagerfeld, Comme Des Garçons and many more to create one of a kind dolls and fashion collections. Last year marked a roll out of milestone partnerships and accolades that celebrated the doll’s enduring relationship with the fashion industry. These included Barbie being given the Board of Directors Tribute from the

CFDA, a special honour to celebrate her influence on US fashion and her role as an icon around the world. Further cementing her place in fashion, Barbie collaborated with Vogue across Europe, working with the fashion bible to launch unique partnerships in the prestigious September edition of British Vogue inviting the UK’s most exciting new talent to creatively reimagine Barbie. She also joined Vogue Italia as a special reporter for Vogue Italia’s September issue, and celebrated diversity in a special edition of the July issue of Vogue Germany. At 60 years young, Barbie is showing no signs of slowing down. Indeed, if the bumper boost from last year’s anniversary is anything to go by, retirement is a long way off. Helen concludes: “From female firsts to famous collaborations, Barbie is Above left: A collaboration with Vogue across Europe a reflection of the times - a was a key partnership in 2019. snapshot of pop culture.” Left: Mattel is funding research, creating resources and launching a series of activations to close the ‘Dream Gap’. Below: Barbie is a snapshot of pop culture, says Mattel’s Helen Genia.

The evolution of Barbie Ruth Handler – the co-founder of Mattel – had her vision for creating a 3D doll when she observed her daughter, Barbara, playing with paper dolls for hours. In 1959, the first Barbie doll, named after Ruth’s daughter, made its debut at New York Toy Fair and the rest is history. Barbie has enjoyed over 200 different careers since her inception in 1959 – even running for President before a woman and going to the moon before man. The introduction of new body shapes including curvy, tall and petite created over 100 distinctly diverse looks for Barbie Fashionistas, while Mattel is also funding research, creating resources and launching a series of activations to close the ‘Dream Gap’. Since 2015, the Barbie brand has also committed to showing girls more role models – or Sheroes – helping girls to imagine what they can become in the future. Some of the women honoured as part of the Shero programme include UK Olympian boxer Nicola Adams, US Olympian fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, body activist and model Ashley Graham, the first African-American Principal Ballerina in American Ballet Misty Copeland, and the director of film Selma, Ava DuVernay.



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East is east

Inset: BTS uses a social media strategy to continue to grow its huge fan base. Below centre: The official BTS calendar was the third bestselling calendar for Danilo for 2020. Bottom: Generic K-Pop branded merchandise is also available in GB eye’s offering.

For some time now, K-Pop has been gaining traction in the UK music scene. Starting with bands like BTS breaking records for bringing Korean pop music to Britain, the genre is now growing apace with many more groups achieving celeb status in the west. With a number of licensees now seeing success with K-Pop brands, LSB talks to them about the phenomenon.


istorically, boy bands and pop music in the UK have largely originated from the UK or the US, with Western culture, language and music prevailing. Think The Beatles, Take That and One Direction. But the 2010s saw Korean pop music, or K-Pop, becoming hugely prevalent with bands like BTS, SEVENTEEN and ATEEL finding their places in Britain’s pop culture. The unexpected rise in popularity of the Korean genre in the British psyche is explained as largely due to social media, and fans being able to access music outside the UK industry. With very little in the way of traditional marketing means, BTS began to use social media as its principal communication tool and by connecting directly with fans, quickly grew a loyal following, now known as The Army. Emily Aldridge, head of licensing at GB eye, explains: “It’s the accessibility that fans have now in the digital age that really helps to drive the brands. As the music



industry focuses on its digital image and provides digital content for its fans, global artists such as BTS are able to connect with their fans in new ways. “K-Pop has definitely struck a chord among teenagers and with younger audiences more exposed to the digital world, I think that’s been key in helping K-Pop to work as a licensed brand.” GB eye saw a growing trend for anime, manga, gaming and most recently KPop as part of a real ‘buy-in’ to Asia trends in the UK and European markets. Emily says: “The sustained growth of brands such as Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z has helped to bring in a new wave of Asian influence that has really resonated with shows such as Death Note and Sailor Moon. “As the popularity of these influences increases, there has been a closer focus on wider aspects of Asian trends and this has culminated in the rise of K-Pop stars BTS and the Japanese virtual reality/hologram star Hatsune Miku in the UK and across Europe.” Part of the recipe for success is also in the energetic, lively characteristics of the genre. Dan Grant, licensing director at Danilo, clarifies: “With BTS leading the way as the most popular K-Pop group

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BTS: The facts

worldwide, the catchy music and choreographed dances seem to resonate well with Western audiences and this style of music continues to get more popular every year.” And again this helps the brands to be leveraged into consumer products. Dan continues: “K-Pop has established a strong identity with a fun, colourful style, which appeals to European and UK markets, and that people buy into. It’s this vibrant and uplifting style that translates very well to licensed products such as the official calendar.” Danilo offers the official calendar for BTS, both as an A3 format, as well as a square European version including French, German and Spanish languages. Having enjoyed strong sales in retailers such as HMV, Calendar Club and others, the company announced at the end of 2019, that the BTS product was its number three bestselling calendar for 2020, coming in behind Netflix drama, Stranger Things and Liverpool FC. Adding to the attraction of BTS in particular, is the spin-off, BT21 Line Friends. Originally created for use as stickers on mobile apps, the Line Friends brand went on to diversify its content with new IPs, known as Friends Creators, designed with different celebrities. The first Friends Creators were the BT21 characters created with BTS, featuring eight special characters designed in collaboration with the band. BT21 has since gone on to be licensed into a wide variety of categories, including gifting, accessories, apparel, collectables and many more. An incredibly

• Debuted in 2013, BTS quickly became a global hit. • BTS became the first group to have three number one records on the billboard charts in a year in 2019, the first to achieve this since The Beatles. • The seven-strong band became number 43 in Forbes Celebrity 100 list of the world’s highest paid performers of 2019, with pre-tax earnings of $57m. • Single Boy With Luv broke the record for the most views on YouTube in 24 hours with 74.6million hits. • The Love Yourself, Speak Yourself stadium tour grossed $44million from just six US shows. • The band is reported to be worth $3.6 billion to the Korean economy each year.

successful consumer products range in the UK is backed heavily by retailers such as Claire’s and HMV and has also enjoyed recent success with its own pop-up shops. Emily feels this extension of the K-Pop branding will help the longevity of the trend: “Having seen the growth of Asian influences in the UK, with the everpopular BT21 characters and the increased impact of K-Pop in the UK, this is definitely an area that we feel is going to continue to increase and is somewhere we will be looking to grow as we look to expand across all of our licensing offerings. “With Blackpink already set to be released shortly, we are excited to add Left: GB eye offers a range of products based on the BT21 brand – to our portfolio and Line Friends characters designed in conjunction with BTS. urge fans to watch Inset: Emily has seen a ‘real buy-in’ this space as there to Asian trends including Pokémon and Dragonball, in the UK. will be more sooner rather than later.” Dan sees the experiential side of the marketing as key to the continued success of KPop in the UK: “With BTS continuing to tour, overall exposure and brand awareness for K-Pop brands will continue to grow over the next few years.” LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020



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With influencer marketing continuing to grow rapidly, those online celebs at the top of the game are establishing themselves as successful and desirable licensed brands, with product spanning all categories and targeting consumers from preschoolers all the way through to adult. LSB spoke to some key players in the industry to find out more about influencer licensing.

Under the

influence Left: London Entertainment Inc worked with master licensee, Bravado, to launch a global licensing programme for Hollywood influencer Jena Fumes at Primark. Right: Jena has 3.7m followers on Instagram and created a sub page for the Primark beauty collection,


children, but also in adults, recent report by Zenith Media estimated it’s no surprise that spend on social media advertising is that the leading growing by an average of 13.9% every year. influencers are going on The company also forecasts that internet display as to operate as brands in a whole will overtake television, to become the their own right. single largest advertising medium in 2020, Early leaders such as Zoella’s beauty lines, and attracting US$182bn in expenditure. Deliciously Ella’s books and snacks, paved the way Making up a growing proportion of social media for others creating ranges, and influencers are now spend at present, is influencer advertising. Business gaining traction in the Insider reports, in fact, that licensing industry. the influencer marketing #HinchArmy Saphia Maxamed, industry is on track to be A clear example of how effective influencers can be in president of London worth up to $15 billion by consumer products came when cleaning sensation, Mrs Hinch, launched a £25 loungewear set and £6 ‘Hinching’ Entertainment Inc, 2022, up from as much as notebooks in November last year. explains the attraction $8 billion in 2019, The limited-edition products, sold via the of influencers as according to Business website, sold out on the day of launch. The collection was brands: “These stars Insider Intelligence a charity fundraiser, with all profits being donated to a children’s mental health charity, Place2be, and the project are today’s celebrities, estimates, based on raised in excess of £33,800. they engage much Mediakix data. larger specific With such an emphasis audiences than linear TV. The power of the placed on influencer marketing, along with the internet means they are automatically changing consumption of media particularly among



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commanding and connecting with their audience daily on a global basis. “This is a key attribute that retailers have already started tapping into as it is a direct sale for them, they can see the direct results on the numbers instantly.” Ian Shepherd, founder and ceo of The Social Store, which created the Hearts by Tiana range, continues: “First and foremost, the products, and also the retailers, can be authentically integrated into the content. This doesn’t need to be a hard sell but can be an effective demonstration of the product and where to buy it.” One of the running themes in influencer licensing programmes to date, has been a retail-first approach. Francesca Thomas, marketing director at Nickelodeon UK, comments: “Fully integrated Above: Seasonal, relevant content from influencers is a benefit of working with influencers on ranges such campaigns are more as the back to school products for Hearts By Tiana. important than ever before to Left: The Social Store teamed up with George at Asda to launch a Hearts by Tianna Lifetsyle range. cut through an incredibly competitive landscape.” projections for influencer licensing Working with a relatively new growth. Ellie concludes: “Keeping type of brand can appear risky ahead of what’s working for the and there are potential pitfalls. Ellie Bates, director at audience is the secret we are all trying to uncover. It’s Evolution PR, identifies: “ROI… an influencer moment going to be about creating an ongoing conversation can be just that, a moment. So consider the impact with consumers and recognising that they can be vs. the costs. In addition, providing the best influenced by different people, at different representation of the brand is essential, but can be times, in different ways.” difficult to control, so having a great relationship Nickelodeon is placing an emphasis with who you are working with is key.” on influencer brands, as Francesca Saphia believes working with talent can be explains: “We expect influencers to tricky: “Licensees and retailers need to remain an important part of our understand they are working with talent, consumer products business in the not brands. These are people with real future. We can amplify influencer feelings, so inclusivity is very important to brands through a combination of any influencer.” new content across Nickelodeon Ian agrees: “There is a huge gap platforms, strategic retail between an influencer and a consumer activations and exclusive product, and licensees and retailers product.” need to be careful. The key issues And Saphia sees a huge future: tend to occur because influencers “It will not just grow, but don’t have the knowledge or dominate the market. Gen Z capability to translate their personal and Gen Alpha are the future identity into a brand that can be consumers that are growing licensed and licensees don’t up with this trend, they are have the experience of much more influenced by managing talent and their Instagram stars, Tik Tok personal whims.” Inset: Nickelodeon has stars, YouTubers and someone launched product in Despite the potential difficulties almost every category they connect with on social media than though, all were unanimous in their for JoJo Siwa. any other form of marketing.” LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


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From a luxury fashion label collaboration with a major esports brand through to the combination of virtual and real-world experiences providing opportunities for games publishers and brands, LSB takes a look at some of the latest developments in the sector.

Name of the game

Left: The French fashion house has incorporated esports into its collection. Below: GB eye is confident of success with its Fortnite line.

GB eye adds Fortnite

GB eye has secured a new partnership with Epic Games to create a range of Fortnite posters and wall art. The collection will feature posters, badges and framed art, plus more innovative wall décor. The partnership was brokered by IMG, the exclusive worldwide CP agency for Fortnite. “We are so excited to be working with such an iconic, ground-breaking licence, especially as the competition was fierce,” said GB eye’s head of licensing, Emily Aldridge. “We have had customers requesting this daily since the game launched so we are confident that this will quickly become a top selling licence for us.”

League leaders

Luxury label Louis Vuitton has collaborated with global esports brand, League of Legends on a new capsule collection. The range inspired by the Riot Games’ multiplayer online battle arena game has been designed by the label’s artistic director of women’s collections, Nicholas Ghesquière. It features references to the universes in the game, as well as Nicholas’ personal interpretations. There is also a unique, exclusive monogram Louis Vuitton x League of Legend canvas. Items in the collection include an embroidered t-shirt dress, ankle boots, leggings, t-shirts, joggers, hoodies, a leather biker jacket, crop top and cycling shorts among others.



Vexed Gaming partners with The Koyo Store

Vexed Gaming has teamed up with entertainment merchandise specialist The Koyo Store to offer its fan base and supporters a unique range of branded collectables. In addition to traditional merchandise items – such as key rings and pin badges – the partnership will see the Manchester-based esports team offer a range of merchandise and jewellery, including a necklace/bracelet compatible drop charm. It marks the first time that a leading team has embraced the world of costume jewellery, highlighting both companies philosophy of engaging with the esports community in new and innovative ways. The full product range includes embroidered luggage/backpack tag, pin badge, key ring and pendant charm. Above: The range includes a pin badge, key ring and a pendant charm among others.

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Destined for success

STATE OF THE NATION: GAMING Right: The two brands have great synergy, according to Bits and Pixels.

Bits and Pixels has brokered and developed a collaboration between French footwear brand Palladium and action MMO, Destiny. Palladium has created two boots inspired by the Moon destination in the Shadowkeep expansion. One design features the sci-fi Lunar Crew iconography, while the other references the Taikonaut helmet, a piece of armour which is steeped in Destiny lore. Both designs feature the signature Destiny Tricorn logo. “Palladium was an obvious choice for Destiny, and it’s great to find a fashion brand that has such synergy, both in style and themes,” said Su-Yina Farmer, co-director of Bits and Pixels. “The spirit of limitless exploration resonates so strongly with both Palladium and Destiny, it was a perfect fit.”

Exient eyes licensing growth UK studio Exient is heading into the new decade with a fresh corporate identity, growing Inset: Exient has an eye on classic games licences. headcount and new remit – to become the go-to mobile games publisher for ‘forever franchises’. The company has built its business providing work-for-hire services, as well as creating and selfpublishing titles. In 2019, it published classic Sony Computer Entertainment IP, Lemmings, on mobile formats to great success. For 2020, Exient is taking its expertise with working on market-leading IP – including FIFA, Angry Birds, F1 and more – to further build its selfpublishing business. And it has an eye on classic games licences to uniquely position itself to appeal to heritage gamers – with several titles lined up. “As the original PlayStation celebrates its 25th anniversary, we know that there are gamers who grew up with certain game franchises, who are huge fans of those experiences,” said Dave Hawkins, ceo of Exient. “Like the rest of us, they are older now – and we know that they are time poor and will most likely be attracted to mobile gaming experiences for that reason. “The success of Lemmings has borne this out, so as we move into 2020 we are consolidating our skillsets across the UK and Malta, with Exient now uniquely placed to go out and secure amazing IPs and to create games for gamers of all ages.”

Above: Rabbids x Smileyworld is a recent gaming collaboration from The Smiley Company.

The Smiley Company taps into gaming

The Smiley Company is reaping the benefits from its recent collaborations with video games brands, with further partnerships due to be revealed in 2020. Nicolas Loufrani, ceo of The Smiley Company, commented: “In this competitive and rapidly changing market, video gaming companies and licensed brands are benefiting enormously from collaboration. By creating rich, connected, and personalised experiences, brand collaborations keep gamers engaged, as part of a broader franchise development strategy. “This is not just increasing the financial rewards for video gaming companies, but also creating the captivating content that is enhancing the gamer lifestyle.” Recent partnerships have included Pacman x Rubik’s and Rabbids x SmileyWorld, which saw The Smiley Company working with Bandai Namco and Ubisoft. The Pacman x Rubik’s partnership has already seen deals secured with JCorp, Fashion UK and Brisco Apparel, while the style guide for Rabbids x SmileyWorld was well received at BLE last year. Smiley has also signed a global licensing deal with Microids, which is developing a new Rubik’s game on PC, PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox in 2020.



Market-leading licensed costumes for


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GAME and Belong open UK’s largest gaming arena

High street video games retailer, GAME has partnered with Belong – the largest network of gaming LAN centres in the UK – on a new venue. The 7,500sq ft space – which is located in House of Fraser on London’s Oxford Street – is billed as the ‘ultimate gaming experience’. The Belong Gaming Arena will have the largest permanent number of PC and consoles set up for competitive gaming in the UK. Players can also participate in Battle Royale tournaments with up to 100 other competitors. Belong also introduces its first pro-room, built and

designed for professional esports players and upcoming amateur teams, to practice and compete, streaming stations for established or budding influencers, and two purpose-built gaming rooms for parties and functions. “This has been such an exciting project and one we are very proud of,” said Martyn Gibbs, GAME’s ceo. “Joining the Sports Direct group has given GAME and Belong further opportunities, Oxford Street is the perfect place to create the best retail and gaming experience for players. Over the first ten days of launch, Belong will be hosting a multitude of different tournaments in the arena. In addition, the new GAME store will stock games, consoles, peripherals, digital content and a wide array of gaming merchandise.

Virtual is about to get physical in the world of games We’re on the cusp of a unique opportunity for both games publishers and brands which combines virtual and real world experiences, writes Tony Pearce, co-founder of Reality Gaming Group. The last ten years or so have seen real world environments become an increasingly important part of the gameplay experience, as anyone who has played Reality Clash or Pokémon Go can testify. Mobile location technology is already pushing the boundaries of what’s possible within a game, but the advent of the blockchain and XR (Cross Reality) is poised to create entirely new commercial opportunities for publishers and brands alike. We released what we call a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of mobile AR combat game Reality Clash in 2019 to test how AR, VR, location and blockchain technologies can be blended to create an essentially new category of game. Reality Clash is set in an underground world of cryptocurrencies and hackers, enabling players to compete in realtime FPS battles across unique virtual environments. Our own in-game RCC cryptocurrency also means gamers can become virtual arms dealers, buying and selling blockchain-based digital assets (such as in-game weapons) that they truly own and control. We’ve learned so much – and now we’re ready to start pushing the business model further, taking the ingame action back into the real world. We’ve joined forces with Silica neXus to provide arcade gamers with ingame tokenised assets via the

world's first blockchain based vending machines. Silica neXus is the first comprehensive Cross-Reality Virtual Universe (XR-VU), combining the consumer games market with the arcade and out-of-home entertainment sectors. The platform provides gamers with different ways of interacting with friends from a single account that spans across multiple devices and real-world theme park attractions, using a combination of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and standard screen interfaces intertwined into one virtual universe. What does that mean exactly? In short, Silica neXus physical gaming vending machines will allow Reality Clash digital items to be redeemed as prizes. Because the digital prizes are secured on the blockchain, winners can either import their prizes directly into the Reality Clash game or trade them with other players. The experience is designed to familiarise younger generations with digital in-game assets that they already know and love, compared to traditional arcade prizes, which most often take the form of merchandise redeemed for tickets. The possibilities for gameplay and commercial

Inset: Above: Opportunities for brand engagement partnerships are opening up, says Tony. Below: Reality Clash is set in an underground world of cryptocurrencies and hackers.

development are myriad, and our partnership with them is just the start of a journey. We’re also preparing to deliver content to players based on their location and activity, opening up exciting opportunities for brand engagement partnerships. Reality Clash will give players the ability to take refuge in real world locations to replenish health, and stock up on virtual ingame and real-world products. We’re in the process of assembling an initial roster of retail brand partners in the UK, with overseas markets, including the US, to follow. Ultimately, holistic recognition of user context powered by intelligent location technologies will help mobile applications maximise engagement with their users, which in turn makes them an incredibly attractive proposition for brands.



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Inset: Gaming is a key specialism for Difuzed. Below centre: Aristocats bags.

The future’s bright Since its foundation 20 years ago, Difuzed has mastered the craft of bringing entertainment, gaming and global brands to life, marking its territory with high quality fashion-led licensed product. Now one of the leading suppliers of e-sports and gaming apparel in Europe, LSB catches up with ceo Gilbert El Kalaani to find out more about its approach.


ince its foundation 20 years ago, Difuzed has mastered the craft of bringing entertainment, gaming and global brands to life, marking its territory with high quality fashion-led licensed product. Now one of the leading suppliers of e-sports and gaming apparel in Europe Difuzed ceo Gilbert El Kalaani believes the company owes much of its success to its 360° approach to design, production and distribution that allows retailers to buy multiple


categories of product from one supply source. “We manufacture, produce and deliver to retail in one transaction what five or six licensees can do,” says Gilbert, “and this facilitates showcasing one cohesive collection where products relate to each other in terms of design and quality and encourages multiple sku purchasing from the consumer,” he explains. “We always work together with all our licensors, as well as constantly analysing the latest market trends. Our passionate team of designers enable us to provide our customers with the latest innovative designs, trends and fabrics. In close collaboration with our sales and marketing teams we give our fans the perfect mix of fun, distinctiveness and quality with apparel and accessories that are unique and timeless.” A specialist in building the bridge from brand to market, today Difuzed develops official licensed lifestyle products for a wide range of brands across gaming and entertainment globally. With Inset: Difuzed believes in long-term partnerships and strategic alliances, says ceo Gilbert El Kalaani.


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two decades in business under their belt, the Difuzed team have faced many challenges, with Gilbert arguing that a long-term and

Inset: Spider-Man hoodies.

forward-thinking attitude has helped Difuzed in Focus them overcome some of the most Difuzed licensed products include t-shirts, tech hoodies, fashion bags, headwear, wallets, common hurdles. keychains, clocks and more for brands including “The concept of licensing is not Nintendo, PlayStation, Microsoft, Disney, Marvel, short-term,” he says. “It is a business Star Wars, Hasbro, Cartoon Network, Sanrio, Polaroid, Sesame Street, Universal Studios, ESL, that always has something to offer, but Bethesda, Capcom, Bandai Namco, Ubisoft and many licensees and licensors are focused many more. on the short-term. “We see this with many competitors generation now more than thinking that the only way to compete is ever. Gaming is an by dropping price. At the end, they are extension of entertainment. It is interactive, the world not focusing on product quality and customer today is connected so it’s a natural fit and evolution service as a way to maintain your margins. What for today’s consumer. ends up happening is that they erode the “The world is becoming smaller as it becomes marketplace not only for themselves but for the hyper connected. Games allow us to play in a new industry as a whole because they are too focused on world within the comfort of our own homes, they are short term gains.” limitless in reach and help consumers For Gilbert, the most effective way to deal with build alliances across the globe that competition is through greater collaboration, always were not possible ten years ago. with one eye on the future. He says: “There Today while the world is smaller, are few companies that are willing the consumer is more globally and able to embark on change for aware than ever. We saw this the future. At Difuzed, we believe trend early on at Difuzed and in long-term partnerships and have been a leading licensee in strategic alliances. the gaming space for over ten Working together years.” gives us more creativity Retail as a whole is facing its to look at a project and own challenges of course, with determine the best way forward.” consumers’ buying habits and Gaming is one of Difuzed’s our online world altering the face specialisms, of course, and this is of consumerism as we know it. an industry that is so fast moving Here again, Gilbert believes there that it can be difficult to is much to be positive about. He foresee. Now more than Inset: PlayStation apparel. says: “Retail is reinventing itself. ever before a lifestyle Retail is in an evolution, it’s being reborn and will choice, it is no longer just come out of it different, not comparable to what it for hardcore gamers. once was, but it will be a positive evolution that will Instead, many consumers bring back and attract customers providing the new want to wear authentic accessories of their favourite form of delivery they require. It has to and it will characters in a way that makes them feel connected. happen as all evolution does. And as Gilbert explains: “Not all the attention goes “Retail will be different than we know it today, but it out to the newest and hottest releases any more. will come up with a new format and a new solution Nowadays fans all over the world can have the latest to cater to modern consumers.” official lifestyle collections. Gaming is cross LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


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Character merchandise for adults, or the ‘kidult’ market, is on the rise and the adult toy market is estimated to be worth more than £300m according to NPD Group. Indeed, it is rising at a faster rate than even the children’s toy market itself. LSB chats to some of the key players in the space to find out just what the appeal is.

Inset :A recent LEGO popup store had huge appeal for kidults. Below: Soda Kats is the first series from Paka Paka.

Not just child’s play


ore than half of the kidult market is made up of Millennials, with 18 to 34 year olds looking to toys and characters from their childhood as a form of escapism and a reflection of simpler times. Certainly, this sense of nostalgia is strong among many brands and retailers. Among them is TruffleShuffle, with buyer Lisa Cornish commenting: “A lot of our product has a nostalgic slant, inspired by kids TV shows, movies and toys from our youth, like The Raccoons, Ghostbusters, Moomins and Care Bears. Although originally aimed at children, we find as adults our customers love to reminisce about happy childhood memories. I guess life as an adult can be pretty challenging so revisiting those happy childhood times is lovely escapism. “Key customer personas for us are kitsch and quirky, and t-shirt buying men (generally in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties) but I think adults of all ages love the nostalgia of childhood brands. We are finding Nineties and Noughties-themed



merchandise such as Friends, Polly Pocket, Groovy Chick and Harry Potter perform really well for us, appealing to younger adults.” This broad demographic is common among many involved in the kidult market, with Funko’s Saj Ismael telling LSB: “Funko products appeal to everyone due to the fact we have over 1,100 licences. In terms of a general demographic, we see a very even split among males and females, due to the whimsical nature of our stylisation and breadth of categories.” So what type of products hold the most appeal for this market? “Everything from t-shirts, nightwear, mugs, clocks, Christmas decorations, jewellery and bags,” claims Lisa. “Unique, quirky and clever designs such as the Polly Pocket heart-shaped bag have been a massive hit for us. Similarly, the Friends ‘Joey Doesn’t Share Food’ lunchbox was a big hit - the actual product fitted the quote perfectly! And our Shaun the Sheep bag is a direct replica of the one we remember having as kids when we posted this on social media, we had loads

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of comments from people, saying they used to have this bag back in the day, so it’s been proving a real hit with 90s kids.” The kidult market may be on the rise, with more and more brands taking note of this audience, but it’s far from a new phenomenon. In fact, for brands such as LEGO it’s practically old school. “The LEGO Group has had an incredibly strong group of adult fans, known as AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) for many years, so I don’t think there has necessarily been a recent trend of adults purchasing LEGO for themselves,” argues Marius Lang, head of marketing at LEGO UK. “We also know that LEGO bricks offer timeless, creative play opportunities that are loved across generations from kids to those ‘young at heart’. However, we have been experimenting more with how LEGO Play can be extended to these fans, with propositions that appeal to their passions and support their desire to engage with hands oncreativity and the part that can play in improving wellbeing.” Its recent acquisition of BrickLink - the world’s largest online community of adult LEGO fans demonstrates just how great an importance the brand places on its adult fan base. With more than one million members, the platform is an online marketplace of more than 10,000 stores from 70 countries; a digital building software where users can design and showcase their creations; and a vibrant online community where fans share ideas and builds. So what does the future hold for brands wanting to hit the target with the kidult market? For Funko, the kidult audience is at the heart of its launch plans, at least for the foreseeable future. “Funko product ranges will continue to expand into what we know is appealing to these collectors, including with our upcoming launch of Paka Paka,” comments Saj. “Paying homage to Japanese gashapon culture, best known as small figures available through coin operated machines in game zones, arcades and shopping centres in Japan and Korea, Paka Paka is inspired by this growing trend and ups the ante in order to disrupt the blind bag category.” And as with LEGO, retailers including TruffleShuffle

Inset: TruffleShuffle’s Shaun the Sheep backpack taps into kidult nostalgia.

are going online to reach this often affluent kidult market. “We will continue to reach out to our customers via social media to make sure that we are giving them what they are looking for,” explains Lisa. “Our customer services team also receive a lot of requests for product focused on certain old school kids TV shows and brands, which is fed directly back to the buyers. Our tagline is ‘You love it, we get it’. Like our customers, we love all things retro and nostalgic and no matter how quirky their requests, we always take the time to look into them and work on some designs wherever we can.” Right: Vetements has collaborated with the Star Wars brand for a range of adult fashion.

Fashion’s Final Frontier Appealing directly to the kidult market, fashion brand Vetements collaborated with the Star Wars franchise ahead of the arrival of The Rise of Skywalker. The 44-piece collection covered menswear and womenswear, spanning everything from limited edition logo t-shirts, oversized hoodies, socks, caps and backpacks through to evening dresses and heels, enabling fans to express their love of all things Star Wars through their wardrobe choices.



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Designs A New Year brings a wave of new deals across the brand licensing sector. From royal palaces to respected artists, quirky lifestyle brands to baking superstars, LSB rounds up just some of the latest activity.

Skinnydip bags new Ashley Wilde collab Attachment Licensing has secured a new deal for fashion and lifestyle brand, Skinnydip with textile specialist, Ashley Wilde. The partnership will see a range of Skinnydip soft furnishing products brought to life, launching the brand into the bedroom space. The collection will include bedding, cushions and throws featuring the brand’s prints with products due to launch in summer 2020. “We are really excited to be working with Ashley Wilde,” said Lewis Blitz, co-founder of Skinnydip. “Together with them, we are bringing to market a completely unique range of bedding that will look unlike anything out there at the moment.” Marc Strong, brand director at Ashley Wilde, added: “Ashley Wilde Group is delighted to add fashion accessory brand, Skinnydip, to our roster of established lifestyle home brands.

Inset: The Morris & Co pop-up shop in Peter Jones proved popular with customers.

Morris & Co marks 2019 success Last year has been described by Style Library as ‘one to remember’ for the Morris & Co brand, with the launch of two new collections – Melsetter, inspired by William Morris’ daughter, plus the opulent Rouen Velvets - alongside a season of pop-up shops and events. In September, Morris & Co created an experience called World of Morris & Co at FOCUS/19 in the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre. This featured new collections and licensed products including a furniture set from the Selamat range and bouquets from the collaboration with Bloom & Wild. Attendees were also able to try their hand at block printing their own version of the Sunflower design using the original wooden printing block. In addition, the same month saw a pop-up shop open at the Peter Jones store in London’s Sloane Square until the end of October. It offered a wide range of licensed products from bedding and cushions, to gifts, toiletries and homeware.

“As one of the most recognised accessory brands, known for their edgy, trendy products, the partnership will see the launch of the brand’s first bedding collection and we’re pleased to be part of this journey.” Charlotte Clisby, md of Attachment Licensing, said that this is the first in a number of deals lined up for Skinnydip. Left: The new range is due to launch in summer 2020. Below left: Five key themes are featured in the new style guide.

University of Oxford debuts new style guide

The University of Oxford has worked with its agent Brandgenuity and design agency Skew on the creation of a new licensing style guide. The new lifestyle guide will offer licensees the creative direction and assets they require to develop on-trend, aspirational products that capture Oxford’s unique British sensibility. Five key themes include Rebel Genius, Twist on Tradition, The Sporting Club, New Take on Ornate and New Hybrids. Each design direction is supported by content from the archives and collections of the University’s Libraries, Museums, Colleges, Sports Clubs and Botanic Garden. The theme identities are distinct but aim to capture an aspect of Oxford in each. Key features of the guide include introductions to looks, product mock-ups, compositions, colour palettes, typography and more.



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STATE OF THE NATION: BRANDS Right: The mug sets are called Off Duty and Daydreamer.

Yvonne Ellen teams with breast cancer charity

Home and giftware brand, Yvonne Ellen will be donating 50% of the profits generated from the sale of a set of two mugs – entitled Off Duty and Daydreamer – to Future Dreams, a UK-based breast cancer charity. The mug set was created through a brand licensing programme with Yvonne Ellen’s agent The Point.1888 and licensee 51 Percent Limited. The mugs are available to purchase at and selected John Lewis and Fenwick stores. They will also be present at tea stations in Future Dreams House for visitors wanting a ‘hug in a mug’ when at the centre. FDH is due to open in spring 2020 and it will be a centre where women, men and their families can receive free, personalised support to address the emotional and physical side effects of a breast cancer diagnosis.

Nadiya Hussain cooks up new deal A new partnership with Wilton Bradley will see the release of kids’ cooking and baking sets under the Nadiya Hussain brand. Launching for autumn/winter 2020, the range will feature a host of colourful Above: The cooking and baking sets will baking and cooking be showcased at utensils for kids. Each set comes with London Toy Fair. easy to follow recipe cards created by Nadiya from her bestselling Bake Me A Story cookbook. In addition, Nadiya will also be working with Wilton Bradley to promote the new range including posting videos on social media showing children how to make the most out of the kits. As part of the launch, Nadiya will be visiting Toy Fair at London’s Olympia, appearing on the Wilton Bradley stand to showcase the range. The deal was brokered by Start Licensing.

Historic Royal Palaces flying high

Clogau Gold has been enjoying success with its latest Historic Royal Palaces collection, including pieces targeting the Inset: Clogau Gold travel retail sector. Notably, in is launching two just a few seasons this area new Tudor Court designs in spring. has grown to be 15% of Clogau and HRP’s licensed revenue and is still increasing. Ranges are currently sold across airlines and cruise ships including Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa and P&O Cruises to name just a few. Two new Tudor Court designs are launching in spring 2020, which incorporate the quatrefoil symbol from Anne Boleyn’s gateway at Hampton Court Palace within a pendant and affinity bracelet. The items already have confirmed listings with Emirates and Virgin Atlantic, with further airlines in discussion. “The association with Historic Royal Palaces is the perfect royal seal of approval and a key USP in international markets where travellers are fascinated by the British monarchy and high-quality British goods,” said Aran Turner, international account manager at Clogau Gold. “As a result, we’ve successfully secured 27 listings for Kensington and Tudor Court collections across 14 international carriers.”

Van Gogh adds Ecoffee Cup

Licensing Link Europe has brokered a deal for Van Gogh Museum Enterprises with Ecoffee Cup to deliver design-led re-usable coffee cups. The initial range will include six designs – Sunflowers, The Bedroom, Irises, Old Vineyard with Peasant Women, Almond Blossom and Flowering Plum Orchard. Each cup will be boxed and will include reference to the history of the painting featured. The range will be showcased at upcoming trade fairs including Top Drawer, Spring Fair, ACE and GLEE, as well as hospitality shows such as LUNCH! and Above: The Bedroom and Almond Blossom Coffee Shop Innovations. Internationally, Ecoffee Cup will present the range at are two of the initial six designs. Ambiente, Maison & Objet and New York Now. “From design, manufacturing to distribution, Ecoffee Cup is the perfect partner being world class in all these key areas,” said Chris Taday, director at Licensing Link Europe. “With sustainability now a number one objective for both retailers and consumers, the partnership with Van Gogh Museum and Ecoffee Cup brings together a top class reusable product with wonderful masterpieces from Vincent van Gogh.”



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Right: The two limited edition stainless steel water bottles will arrive in April.


IFLScience digs in with One Tree Planted

Licensing Link Europe has secured a deal between IFLScience, One Tree Planted and Sho Water Bottles. The campaign – which was instigated by Louis Kennedy – will see the launch of two limited edition stainless steel water bottles. Launching in April 2020, in celebration of Earth Month, the campaign will focus on the importance of trees to the environment, with each bottle sold planting one tree. Consumers will also be invited to share an image of their bottles to social media using #IFLearthmonth. For each photo posted IFLScience will donate further funds to plant one additional tree. But it doesn’t just stop there. IFLScience and One Tree Planted are planning on running a series of mini tree planting events in San Francisco, New York, London and Sydney. Local community members who have purchased a water bottle will be able to join the activity and help plant trees in their city. The aim is to further re-enforce and educate the importance and significance of trees in helping combat climate change. Inset: The co-branded apparel cements Guinness’ long-standing relationship with rugby union.

FatFace luggage en route

The FatFace brand is joining forces with Pelham Leather Goods as it continues to expand its licensing programme. The company will develop a full range of FatFace luggage, with the brand’s head of licensing Gabrielle Sims stating that the category is a natural fit considering FatFace’s “love of life and sense of adventure”. “We will be developing a range that will be robust for the whole family and will be very flexible for that spontaneous night away, fun weekend break or that family holiday that we all love and deserve,” she commented.

Guinness backs Six Nations To celebrate its recent sponsorship, beer brand Guinness has partnered with annual international rugby union competition, the Six Nations, to launch a range of co-branded apparel. The range – which is manufactured by Traditional Craft – consists of co-branded tops, hoodies and accessories for both performance and casual wear. The collaboration further cements the longstanding relationship that Guinness has with the sport, with the clothing available from retailers including the Guinness Storehouse. The deal was brokered by Beanstalk.

RHS moves into children’s market

Ivy Park teams with adidas The first collection from the new partnership between Beyoncé’s Ivy Park athleisure brand and adidas has launched. The collaboration is the first since the pop superstar took sole control of the label – buying out former business partner, Philip Green. The range features the first ever release of Ivy Park footwear as well as an array of ‘stylish and functional’ performance gear including gender-neutral apparel and accessories. Items include a utilitarian jumpsuit, cargo pants, hoodie and cycling shorts, while asymmetry is seen in a dress and a coat. Harness detailing appears throughout the collection. The apparel is complemented by four footwear styles, with adidas x Ivy Park reinterpreting iconic adidas classics with statement colours and a fresh design approach. Below: The new children’s style guide encompasses four styles.

The RHS is targeting a number of children’s categories as it looks to further extend its brand in the licensing space. The company unveiled its new children’s style guide – which encompasses four styles: Home Grown, I Bug You, Flower Power and Trees & Leaves – at last year’s Brand Licensing Europe, receiving a strong reception. Among the main target categories for the children’s product campaigns will be toys, games, books, apparel and tools for young gardeners. Scholastic is already on board for a new range of children’s books for ages four and up. The line, launching in spring 2020, will be available in bookshops and supermarkets, as well as in garden centres and online. “The RHS brand has a lot to offer children – both young gardeners and lovers of beautiful, colourful designs – and that is reflected in our new licensing children’s style guide,” said Cathy Snow, licensing manager at the RHS.



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Hammer time

Inset: The Warhammer team at BLE (left to right), Zoe Smith, senior licensing manager; Erik Mogensen, licensing commercial manager; Christian Dunn, licensing manager; and Jon Gillard, head of licensing. Bottom: The Warhammer business has doubled in just three years.

The Warhammer brand enjoyed a bumper 2019, with its successful showing at Brand Licensing Europe the icing on the cake to its biggest ever year for licensed products. But, as the brand’s senior licensing manager, Zoe Smith, explains to LSB this is just the tip of the iceberg to the potential that Warhammer has in the licensed space.


ames Workshop is heading into 2020 on a high. 2019 was a record-breaking year for the company – FY19 saw it achieve £257 million in sales and £81 million in profit, with its business having doubled in just three years. It also enjoyed a £1.9 billion market capitalisation on the London Stock Exchange and was the fastest growing share since 2016. 2019 was also the biggest ever year for Warhammer licensed products, with retail sales of £104 million. It signed 21 new partners, bringing the total number of licensees to 94. Indeed, such is the growth in awareness of the Warhammer name with customers and fans, the decision was made last year to use it for all the licensing work, with Games Workshop



continuing to be the name of the public company. “All in all, 2019 was very successful,” Zoe Smith, senior licensing manager, tells LSB. “We had some great launches with our first range of Funko Pop! – which won the Community Choice Award at the Licensing International Excellence Awards – and our first ever action figure from Bandai which sold out in just 48 hours. “We had some really exciting announcements – a live action TV series in development and our partnership with Marvel for Warhammer Comics. We also had our first ever nomination in The Licensing Awards, demonstrating how we are engaging with the licensing industry now more than we ever have. We also had an extremely successful BLE after launching a bigger stand with new branding.”

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Need to know: Games Workshop and Warhammer Games Workshop is the largest and most successful hobby miniatures company in the world. It was founded in 1975 by three game fanatics who began selling handmade, classic wooden games from their homes in London before going on to develop a chain of general games shops. In 1981, Games Workshop helped to found Citadel Miniatures Limited, a manufacturer of metal miniatures based in Nottinghamshire. A few years later, the company moved closer to Nottingham and began to develop and expand, producing a wealth of miniatures, kits and books. This remains its head office to this day, as well as being its visitor centre, ‘Warhammer World’, and gaming hall. Its major brands are Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Age of Sigmar, while it also holds a licence for the Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit tabletop battle game. Right: The first ever action

The company is also developing stronger figure from Bandai sold out in just 48 hours. relationships at retail, with Zoe citing Below: The first range of Funko Pop! Vinyls won the are key to helping Barnes & Noble as a good example which Community Choice Award to build the brand, increased its buy to 14 skus for 500+ stores at the Licensing International Excellence says Zoe. after initial success with three Games Awards in 2019. “Working with Marvel is hugely exciting Workshop board games. as it puts Warhammer alongside All of this certainly bodes well for further another premium brand, and is a great success in the licensing arena going forward. example of our strategy to work with Following on from the best in class partners in all successes with Bandai and categories,” she says. “Our core Funko, action figures and business activity of hobby collectables are growing miniatures and table top war categories for Warhammer. games is always going to be a In addition, apparel – with niche market, so partnerships like partners such as Difuzed – this show the appetite there is for the and housewares – with Half Warhammer brands in other Moon Bay – are a key focus categories, markets and products.” as the brand builds its Ultimately, Zoe believes there is so presence at retail. much potential from a licensed products point of view. Zoe continues: “We always get asked for plushies “Warhammer fans are passionate and loyal, so all we from our fans so we will be looking for new need to do is put the products in front of them for partners to introduce this category. We are also those products to be a success,” Zoe offers. looking to expand on the collectables category, “Longer term, we would love to see Warhammer too. Our apparel range has been fairly concise available to a much broader audience through so far and, therefore, we are looking at ways in new retail channels. We expect to have a lot which we can grow this and more entertainment out there - live action, offer more options for our fans including animation - and to use those as a platform to multiple design directions and nightwear. service the audience that those bring us “We have an incredibly strong and growing with more and more of the products younger fan base due to a number of they expect and want. All the while initiatives including our fantastic school growing our core business and programme Warhammer Alliance, and audience by opening more and our sponsorship of the model making more of our own retail stores, scouts badge, so back to school - in particularly in North America and particular stationery - is an obvious Asia, unlocking huge new category to develop.” audiences.” In addition to this, the first fruits Inset: Warhammer Zoe concludes: “While we are of the deal with Marvel Christmas jumpers a £2bn company, Warhammer Entertainment for comics and launched on Merchoid and were sold out by is only just getting started.” graphic novels will be launching in the second week of December, highlighting Q3/Q4 2020. Collaborations such as these demand for products from fans.



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Inset: Annelie McKenzie branches out into licensing.


With a wealth of artistic and creative inspiration at their fingertips, this growing market within the licensing arena is awash with talent. LSB checks out some of the latest contenders.

Works of art Gallery worthy Painter Annelie McKenzie is bringing her playful contemporary artworks into the world of licensing and design. Formerly reserved for the gallery, Annelie’s colourful impasto paintings are now available to make everyday products into bestsellers. Expressive abstracts, messy florals, along with figurative elements such as bows, dolls, and horses are featured in her designs. She is known for her loose hand and maximalist style using oil paint, chalk, watercolor, collage and gel pen. Annelie’s mission is to combine the traditions of fine art with decorative craft by presenting her paintings in the exclusive gallery world, while also having a presence in domestic product space.

Heritage deals It may be a relatively new illustration agency but Jehane is making its name for itself in the art and design space, with two exclusive stationery ranges with UK partner Museums & Galleries lined up for 2020. Alphabets by Ernest Michael Dinkel sees the very first licensing deal for this heritage art brand, with the range adapted from a unique archive of Dinkel’s hand-drawn alphabets. The MGML range will cover all stationery products with its lead design ‘Kingfisher’ paving the way for future design expansions.

New approach

Meanwhile, Wild Press by Sussex-based artist Helen Ahpornsiri is a unique range of stationery exclusive to MGML, featuring images made by hundreds of leaves and flowers with traditional flower-pressing methods. Jehane also continues to develop its niche in children’s book publishing, with ‘Pets & their Famous Humans’ already sold into eight languages, while one of the agency’s books, ‘The House that Cleaned Itself – the true story of Frances Gabe’s (mostly) Marvellous Inventions’ illustrated by Meghann Rader, has been awarded as one of the Best Stem Books for 2020 by the NSTA (National Science and Teachers Association) and CBC (Children’s Book Council). Above: Alphabets from Jehane.

Art Licensing Los Angeles (ALLA) has debuted six new artists consisting of a diverse blend of painters, printmakers, illustrators, surface designers, graphic designers and interior designers, each with an original sense of style and fresh approach. The artists include Christine Barker of CP Coastal specialising in coastal themed designs for placement on apparel, home décor and beach lifestyle products; Karyn Cherie of Hill St Studio who has a fresh, modern and gestural watercolour style; Simone DeSantis, an artist and pattern designer; Ester Hodikian of Heart Print House, a surface design studio of original prints for decorative applications across various product categories; contemporary artist and surface designer Annelie McKenzie and surface pattern designer Leonie Somes, who focuses on abstract florals, textures and geometrics. “This new group of talented artists, with a stunning range of collections and product designs, will appeal to manufacturers across every category,” said ALLA’s founder Debra Valencia.



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Above: Art Cushions produces cushions based on Turnowsky’s original designs. Below: A bag from Forun Art & Culture collection.

Cushioned Landing This is Iris and House of Turnowsky have penned two international licensing partnerships with UK home decor company Art Cushions and agency Zespa Media. The partnership with Art Cushions will allow the licensee to produce a new range of home decor products featuring Turnowsky’s original designs across the UK. Mark Turner, owner of Art Cushions, said: “The classic timeless style of Turnowsky’s designs will, we believe, be widely welcomed in the interiors sector. Our cushions continue to be handmade in the UK, using eco-friendly inks and ethically sourced

materials - an additional benefit, and assurance to our clients.” Meanwhile, Zespa Media’s partnership with This is Iris has resulted a new deal with licensee Forun Art & Culture for homeware, accessories and stationery.

Off the wall American child-star turned entrepreneur and leading home furnishing brand, Christopher Knight, is adding wall décor to his successful home goods licensing programme. Created by new licensee Colossal Images, the wall décor features exclusive designs of photographic wall art on custom stretch canvas. “I have always appreciated how a single of piece of art can change the entire dynamic of a room,” said Christopher. “So, as we considered how to expand our home furnishings collection, wall décor was an obvious requirement.” The Christopher Knight/Colossal Images deal was created by The Brand Liaison, with apparel including bedding, tabletop, and now canvas wall décor, building on Chris’s passion for home décor.

Pattern forming

Inset: The Art of Marbling secures new licensees.

With marbling being a key trend in the art world, manufacturers in multiple categories have recognised the potential of The Art of Marbling, partnering with the art brand to feature its one-of-a-kind designs. Siscovers has introduced The Art of Marbling licensed futon covers, curtains, pillows and quilts, as well as bedding ensembles including comforters, bed skirts, sheets and duvet covers, while Northcott Silk has also previewed a line of licensed designs on cotton fabrics for the quilt, craft and home décor markets. Both lines depict marbling designs by Heather Fletcher of HRJ Design Studio. “The creation of these intricate marbling patterns is extremely difficult to achieve, and it doesn’t stop there. Icons, textures, verbiage and other enhancements were added to bolster the art offering and separate The Art of Marbling from the generic pattern-based artwork readily available in the marketplace,” explained Marty Segelbaum, president of MHS Licensing. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


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It’s a new year with a host of new sporting tournaments, anniversaries and product launches to look forward to. LSB rounds up some of the activity which is kicking off in 2020.

Inset: Rainbow smashing it. Below left: England luxury from Osprey.

Sporting briefs England Rugby commemorates England Rugby is set to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the RFU with new licensees, special product launches and collaborations. Launching spring/summer this year, luxury fashion brand Osprey London will create a bespoke co-branded range of accessories including gifting items, wallets, washbags and eyewear. Other licensees include Vangard’s sustainable caps sourced from ocean recycled plastic - an initiative that the RFU supports - and Zak Designs, which will be creating a range of gift and homeware for fans.

Iron Maiden blowing bubbles West Ham United has teamed up with legendary East End band Iron Maiden to launch a unique collaborative kit. The collaboration, Die With Your Boots On, is named after the 1983 song of the same name and is driven by die-hard West Ham fan, and founder member of the band, Steve Harris. Right: Die-hard fan.



Causing a Racket

Badminton England’s ‘The Racket Pack’ is designed to encourage children aged 5-11 to learn and play badminton, inspiring a lifelong love of getting active. The four characters - Wise, Flo, Tink and Smash - aim to spark imagination in schools, leisure centres and junior clubs across nationally. Rainbow Productions was commissioned to bring Wise and Tink to life. The duo have made appearances at tour festivals, raising the profile of The Racket Pack and will be attending the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships March 2020.

Above: Gearing up for the summer.

FA gears up to Euro 2020

The FA licensing team is gearing up for UEFA EURO 2020 with a roster of new licensees and established partners. New product launches include England crested Titleist golf balls and Christy’s range of luxury products including headwear and premium accessories. Paul Lamond Games is adding Subbuteo and Rubik’s Cube to the product mix, while Oddballs has a range of men’s and women’s underwear to raise awareness of testicular cancer. Meanwhile, Brecrest babywear is launching new designs for the smaller fans of the game and FOCO has developed additional product lines including flip flops and slippers. Alongside this, the FA licensing team is building toward the Women’s UEFA Euro 2021, which will be hosted in England, presenting a huge opportunity to further develop the Lionesses brand at retail.

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On the right track Tom Howgate knows a thing or two about the licensing of sports brands. Working with Kids Insights, he is bringing his expertise to the field of play, exploring what influences sport off the pitch. Here, Tom offers his opinion on the growing importance of data and insights to the sports licensing industry.


n my (say it quietly) 25 years in the sports licensing industry, I think it’s fair to say I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of licence agreements. Those that succeed spectacularly, making fortunes for both brand owners and licensees (which were few and far between) and those that fail, often leading to huge financial losses, even bankruptcy for licensees and more than a little egg on the faces of the brand owners which had snapped up the guarantees without any certainty about the likely success of the project. Now we are seeing a more scientific approach to licensing on both sides of the industry. We are living in an era when the world is changing faster than ever before. This generation of children, who are not only a key target market for licensed products in their own right, but also represent the future adult consumer, is like no other before. Kids today are super-informed, constantly connected and their attitudes, behaviours and consumption choices are not only significantly different from their predecessors but are evolving continually. Their whole ecosystem is far more fragmented and inherently more complex than ever before – the need for reliable, statistically significant and realtime data has never been more important. I’ve been working with Kids Insights, the global leader in kids market intelligence, for the last few months, and the work it is doing in capturing business critical information about kids is phenomenal. Now it is starting to make an impression in the area of sports licensing.

According to the Kids Insights study, activities and clubs’ participation has increased across all age groups since the last quarter (July-September) sports and dancing clubs taking a leading position. The opportunities that will arise for the licensing industry are significant and here, we see in our data that 57% of kids, tweens in particular, have purchased something related to their favourite sports team overall. The top three sports team related licensed properties are clothes, computer games and books. We also see England women’s football record its highest ever ranking in our data among girls. The Lionesses are the 22nd favourite team and this data is very promising, providing some context as to the direction women’s football is headed. The growth of popularity in activities and clubs opens more collaboration and influencer opportunities, utilising both male and female sports developing content for their audience. Understanding what is going on in the kids’ ecosystem has never been more important for all aspects of licensing, sport included. We specialise in helping not just making licensing selections for licensors and licensees, but building a story to potential buyers so ensuring that sales and marketing campaigns provide clients with their desired ROI. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


Exposé Travel – Your one-stop shop for all Licensing and related exhibitions worldwide. EXPOSÉ TRAVEL specialises in travel to licensing and related shows worldwide. We have been offering some very special rates for flights and hotels to the many exhibitions that take place in different parts of the world and work with small boutique licensing agencies and retailers right up to the biggest companies on the show floor. We are also the exclusive travel partner to the Max Group of Companies, owners of The Licensing Awards and Licensing Source Book, and Listed below are some of the popular shows where we can save you money on flights and hotel accommodation: LICENSING EXPO – LAS VEGAS – 19TH TO 21ST MAY 2020 We have been taking clients to this exhibition for the last 19 years and are proud of the savings that we are able to offer for flights and hotels in Las Vegas. If you are able to make your plans and book your flights and hotel now, the savings are fantastic. We offer direct Virgin Atlantic flights out of Heathrow and Manchester to Las Vegas. For travel, for example, from 17th to 21st May 2020, our economy fare from London starts at only £711.72 including taxes (£200.00 less than the cheapest regular fare, without having to stay over a Saturday night). In premium economy the fare starts at £1376.72 including taxes (saving over £2600.). In upper class the fare starts at £4237.72 including taxes (saving nearly £3000).

We offer excellent savings out of Manchester too. We also have some great rates available right now at hotels next to the exhibition centre. Mandalay Bay prices start at only £226.00 per night including tax. The Delano is available at £260.00 per night including taxes. The Luxor is available from only £110.00 per night including tax. BLE 2020 – LONDON EXCEL – 6TH TO 8TH OCTOBER 2020 We are very pleased to offer you rooms at the Ibis Excel and Crowne Plaza Excel hotels, both of which are within a few minutes of Excel. For rates and availability, please contact us. OTHER SHOWS WHERE WE OFFER HOTELS AND FLIGHTS: Spielwarenmesse – Toy Fair – Nuremberg – 29th January to 2nd February 2020 and 27th January to 31st January 2021 Hong Kong Licensing Show - 6th to 8th January 2020

For all the above or any other shows you may wish to visit please contact us as below: +44 (0)1883 349576, or by email to or Visit our website at

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The road to Tokyo This year the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games take place and Team GB is busy preparing on all fronts. As athletes continue their hard work to be ready for the Games, the Team GB brand licensing programmes are also preparing for a first class delivery. Paul Ellis, head of licensing and retail at Team GB, and Hannah Stevens, senior commercial manager of the brand’s licensing agent The Point.1888, tell LSB what they have planned.


ith every Olympic Games, new Team GB heroes emerge that make our nation proud and inspire the next generation of athletes. “It is great to see the team take shape with sailing and canoe teams already announced, the women’s football team, men’s and women’s hockey teams, and men’s and women’s rugby 7s teams have also qualified. The new sports are also likely to provide a great spectacle with skateboarding and sport climbing included for the first time," comments Paul Ellis, head of licensing and retail at Team GB. Team GB's unique appeal - which sees an approximate 50/50 male/female split in fan base and all age groups - provides great opportunities for brand engagement. The Point.1888 has been working with Team GB for over a year now and, with close to 20 licensees signed across all core product categories, it’s been non-stop. “We signed a full programme of licensees, held a large brand immersion summit at our headquarters and have developed a brand new packaging guide alongside re-launching our ecommerce with a new partner,” says Paul. Retail is key to success and official

product will start to appear in-store from Above: The Point’s Hannah Stevens. April this year. The British Olympic Association is 100% commercially funded so Team GB is dependent on its work with partners, licensees and patrons to raise the funds needed to take athletes to the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic events. Team GB wanted them to know exactly what is involved in taking a team to an Olympic Games. Hannah Stevens, senior commercial manager at The Point.1888, comments: “Working alongside Paul and the team, we’ve made sure the new product ranges will offer something new for the whole family. What’s more, we’ve been able to sign the best of the best in the world of licensing to produce them, from high end ceramics through to stationery, boxing gloves, nightwear, plush, publishing and beyond.” Team GB has secured retail space in Tokyo, too. “We are privileged to take a hugely talented group of people to the Olympic Games who have worked so hard to get there and the more support we can give them the better. Join us on the journey on social media, take a look at our product range when it’s released and get behind our team,” Paul concludes.

Right: Product will start to appear in-store from April.. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK EUROPE 2020


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Stars and

sporting stripes Inset: Growing this side of the pond. Below: Boosting brand visibility in UK.

The popularity of American sports this side of the pond continues to grow. UK and European fixtures in the regular season are now an established part of the sporting calendar for basketball, baseball and American Football. Off the pitch, LSB chatted to some of the associations behind these sports to see what opportunities they see outside of the core American audience.


randgenuity represents the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and business development manager, Sophie Booth, thinks that the NFL London Games are one of the highlights of the season for many European based NFL fans. It is a chance to see their favourite players scrimmage, run routes, celebrate touchdowns and make those allimportant tackles in real life. “A privilege that for the majority is confined to their television screens,” says Sophie. This connection between fans and players is integral to the success of the NFLPA, as it provides insights into players’ diverse personalities that make them so great to watch and follow. The games also do a good job of raising the profile and shining a light on a broader spectrum of players who may not be Inset & Far right: Scuf and Hyper X benefiting from NBA 2K (credit: Getty Images).



reported upon as frequently in mass media sporting coverage in this market. Sophie reports that for the NFL Players Association in Europe, 2018/2019 has been a strong year: “Many of our existing licensees are going from strength to strength, denoted by new retail placement into Sports Direct, WH Smiths and Zalando among others.” In terms of new licensees, Bravado will be launching product in 2020 for the European market, alongside License Factory which is now up and running in Germany providing the GAS territories - its first product range launched into retailer Kik in August 2019. In hardlines, British-based Sporting Wallpaper launched its range of fun wallpaper, stickers and decal sets to the UK and US markets at the beginning of the 2019/2020 season and Winning Moves is creating an NFLPA version of the iconic Top Trumps and Matches product for Europe and the US for 2020 launch. “With four new projects already in the pipeline across the collectables, headwear and collaboration spaces for 2020/2021, it’s safe to say that momentum is riding high for NFL players in this market,” concludes Sophie. Tapping into the talent this side of the pond, The

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National Basketball Association (NBA) hosted its first qualifying event in Europe across two days in December last year. The NBA 2K League European Invitational, the league’s first-ever qualifying event in Europe, aims to identify several elite players from Europe who will become eligible for the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft. The NBA 2K League European Invitational featured 20 players from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Turkey and the UK competing over two days of gameplay. “We are excited to bring together the best NBA 2K players from across Europe for our first-ever European qualifying event,” says NBA 2K League managing director, Brendan Donohue. “It is important for us to further strengthen our player pool by providing more opportunities for top international players to qualify for the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft.” This focus on the European market is increasingly benefitting activities off the court. The NBA 2K League already boasts an impressive number of licensees and marketing partners. AT&T is the official sponsor of the League alongside Snickers as official chocolate bar and Bud Light as official beer of the 2K. From a licensing perspective, Scuf Gaming is the official controller alongside HyperX as the official headset and Raynor Gaming as official gaming chair. In addition, Champion is outfitter on and off the court at 2K, with New Era (hats) and Stance (socks) for official 2K product. From the licensee perspective, US sports offer great potential for new retail distribution and a new customer base. Elliott Matthews, executive director Top: A connection at Poetic Brands reports that between players it has been working with NFL and fans. Inset: ASOS is for five years in the UK. taking up the NFL opportunity. “We felt that there was a real opportunity for American sports product in UK retail and, with the inclusion of the yearly London Games, the sport is only gaining more and more exposure,” he says.

Appealing to NFL fans and fans of Americana product, to date, NFL products have been successfully stocked at River Island, Next, ASOS, Misguided and TU. Similarly, Panini recently launched its NFLPA 2019/20 sticker collection in the UK market in September last year to over 2,000 stockists including WH Smith, Martin McColls and One Stop. The product range, developed particularly for the UK market, comprises a sticker book with two packs of player stickers, as well as more sticker packs sold on an individual basis. The NFLPA sticker books are the bestselling collection in the UK since early 1990s and Chris Clover, head of marketing at Panini, is pleased with performance. “Panini are proud partners of the NFL and NFLPA and we are committed to collaborating closely to ensure continuous growth. With such a strong performance this year, we are excited to see how the journey continues into next season,” he says. Panini’s cross promotion with the NFL UK online fan shop and strong album sampling campaign, including at the NFL London Games, helped boost brand visibility and so helped to get the range into the hands of consumers.



Charity Fundraising Event For The Light Fund

Light Fund National Charity Golf Day The Warwickshire Golf & Country Club Leek Wootton, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV35 7QT

Thursday 18th June 2020 Registered Charity 1145596


Your Name...........................................................................................................

Arrival 10am - Registration Co ee/Tea and Bacon Rolls on Arrival Golf and Beginners events start at 11am

Company Name(s).......................................................................................... Address.................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................... .................................................................................................................................... Telephone ...........................................................................................................



Format; Teams of 4 – 18 hole Better Ball Stableford on the Earls course · Longest Drive Challenge · Nearest The Pin Challenges · Beat The Pro Challenge


Two Course Dinner followed by presentation to the successful teams & individuals

Signature.......................................................... Date...................................... GOLF EVENT Number of teams

GOLF EVENT Number of tickets @ £150 each

Where possible, entries for three or less players, will be made up to teams of 4 balls

BEGINNERS Number of tickets @ £150 each

I enclose a cheque made to The Light Fund for £.......................................................................................... Please debit my:




Golf lesson on driving range & putting green Lunch Texas scramble game of golf on the 9 Hole beginners course a fun relaxed way to put your new skills to the test





with the amount of £ ......................................................................................... IF YOU PAY BY CREDIT CARD, WE NEED THE NAME OF THE CARDHOLDER AND THE CARDHOLDER’S ADDRESS (IF IT IS DIFFERENT TO THE ADDRESS ABOVE)

Card No: Valid From: Security Code:





Name Address

(The last three numbers on the back of your credit card)

Please scan the completed entry form and email to Ryan:

Or remit directly to the lightfund bank account as follows: (clearly identifying yourself on the transfer so that golf places can be confirmed) *Please still send this form to Ryan at so we can book your team into the golf day event.


Sort Code: 20-96-89 A/ C No: 50068357 A/ C Name: The Light Fund

There will be the opportunity to sponsor the various challenges on the day. If you would like to be involved in sponsorship please contact us discuss your involvement. For any further details about the day please email: and

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Property: Licensor:

Follow us:

Animal Planet Discovery Consumer Products Ian Woods, SVP International Consumer Products m: +44 (0) 7771 377 248 e:

Animals have the unique, universal ability to connect with us on a deep, purposeful level. Their environment may change, but they are a familiar constant; welcoming in new generations every day. Animal Planet brings people up close in every way to the joy and wonder of animals.

© 2019 DCL

Available in 360M homes and more than 205 countries and territories, as well as reaching families through a universal variety of platforms, Animal Planet is poised to become a loved, family brand leader.


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@ 2020 MATTEL

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Season Season two two launches launches on on CBBC CBBC in in 2020 2020 Nominated Nominated for for International International EmmyÂŽ EmmyÂŽ Kids Kids Awards Awards 2019 2019

' '

Sold Sold to to 80+ 80+ countries; countries; broadcast broadcast partners partners include include Rai Rai Italy, Italy, Super Super RTL RTL Germany, Germany, France France Televisions, Televisions, Netflix Netflix and and many many more more

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For licensing opportunities, please contact: Angeles Blanco T: 0207 400 1071 E: 111

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Floor 6, 4 Pancras Square, London, NC1 4AG I Tel: +44 (0)203 878 4352 UK licensing enquiries contact - The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady™ © Rowena Stott (Designs) Ltd and Lilytig Ltd 2020

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Flexible and extensive artwork database including lifestyle photography and seasonal assets Licensed categories include: dated stationery, puzzles, publishing, personalised gifting, greeting cards, social stationery and more Representation and licensed product in place across: UK, USA, Germany, Korea and Japan /countrydiaryedwardianlady


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Property: Licensor:

Eurosport Discovery Consumer Products Kim Rowles, Sales Manager, Consumer Products m: +44 (0) 7741 148 261 e:

Follow us:

Ian Woods, SVP International Consumer Products m: +44 (0) 7771 377 248 e:

Reaching 242M homes across 75 countries, Eurosport remains the No.1 Sport Destination in Europe, connecting fans & families with the greatest sports events on the planet. Now home to the Olympic Games for the next decade, Eurosport continues to push boundaries and bring fans closer to their local heroes through year-long storytelling. Whilst fuelling their passion for our sports across cycling, tennis and winter sports. With over 42M unique users a month online, & home of the No.1 online sports news site, fans can now watch anytime, anywhere & on any device. Explore more at

Š 2019 DCL

Eurosport News

Eurosport Player

Eurosport Livescore

Eurosport VR


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• A global bestseller – with 47 Million

copies sold world-wide in 57 languages.

• Three new editions to be published to celebrate the 25th anniversary.

• Award winning CDP Theatre Producers

have been appointed to tour Guess in Australia.

• 2020 sees the 25th anniversary of Guess How Much I

Love You marked with a year-long programme of activity and brand partnerships.

• A social media campaign to “share the love” with the target consumers.

• Family events at key literary and family-friendly festivals. • Major nationwide (UK) third-party consumer partnerships

planned for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter 2020

• Collaborations planned with the National Day Nurseries Association

• Brand new character costume available for use at key events • packed with games, activities and news.

• The licensing programme is expanding globally in 2020 and we are looking for agents. For Licensing opportunities please contact Pindy.O’ • +44 (0)20 73692410 Walker Books Ltd, 87 Vauxhall Walk, London SE11 5HJ Illustration © 1994-2020 Anita Jeram from Guess How Much I Love You™ by Sam McBratney

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For licensing enquiries please contact Leah Dever at Those Licensing People Ltd.

Those Licensing People Ltd. 07540079190


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400 million readers 300 official translations 200 million books sold worldwide 150 global licencees 30 million views of the Netflix movie Millions of visitors to parks, exhibitions, and productions each year

The Little Prince™/Le Petit Prince ® © POMASE 2020

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Maisy celebrates her 30th ANNIVERSARY! Written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins, Maisy and her friends; Charley the crocodile, Tallulah the chick, Cyril the squirrel and Eddie the elephant, have become a multi-million-selling worldwide success. Global book sales of more than 38 MILLION copies across hundreds of titles! Walker Books publishes numerous Maisy books annually celebrating friends, learning and fun; from First Experiences to First Concepts, picture books and novelty formats. Our Licensing style guide, with vibrant and instantly recognisable illustrations translates perfectly into all key categories, including toys, tableware, apparel, plush, bags, calendars, cards, toys and stationery. Promotional events will also be part of the 30th celebrations; including partnerships with educational groups, pre-schoolers, parents, carers and teachers. A dedicated brand website, quarterly newsletters and regular character costume appearances have reinforced the enormous appeal of the books and their positive, inquisitive and bold heroine. With 2020 being the Year of the Rat, strong promotional opportunities are developing in Asia. For Licensing opportunities please contact Pindy.O’ • +44 (0)20 73692410 Walker Books Ltd, 87 Vauxhall Walk, London SE11 5HJ MaisyTM © 2020 Lucy Cousins

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Miffy LSB Spring20e.pdf












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Mercis bv

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L A U N C H ES i n 2020 !


11’x52 or 22’x26 episodes

– including Ben Wishaw returning as the voice of Paddington

NEW THEME TUNE - by Gary Barlow (Take That)

NEW PRODUCTS – TV tie-in products launch from Spring 2020

Tel: +44 (0)203 880 0134

I Floor 6, 4 Pancras Square, London, N1C 4AG

/Paddington Bear

UK Licensing Enquiries: International Licensing Enquiries:

© P&Co. Ltd./SC 2020

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Sports Merchandise & Licensing Show


Tuesday 17 November 2020 The Great Hall, Stamford Bridge 09:30–16:30

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To book a stand or register as a visitor visit 139

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3:10 PM

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Calling all

Gruffalo Sp tters Follow the trail, spot the signs, and see what creatures you can find!

Download the new Gruffalo Spotter app before you visit Foresty England Š1999 & TM Julia Donaldson/ Axel Scheffler. Licensed by Magic Light Pictures Ltd

Production, Licensing, Distribution

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Licensing Source Book Sooty 2020.pdf











Now in a two year broadcast contract with ITV!

y. d a a c e i Tw Every a day!



40 venue national theatrical tour starts February 2020 to sell out audiences.

for licence licence enquiry enquiry please please contact: contact: for

Those Licensing People Ltd.


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10 million YouTub e views and countin g! n es in 2020 at Brea Confirmed residenc . World Park and Cadbury

Sooty to to feature feature on on Children’s Children’s SVOD SVOD platforms platforms in in the the UK, UK, Canada, Canada, the the Sooty USA, Australia and New Zealand. USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Sooty is the focal point of the world famous Blackpool illuminations with projections of The Sooty Show running continuously on the iconic tower.

Guinness World Record holder for the longest continuously running children’s TV series! 149

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Licensees are partners (usually manufacturers or retailers) who obtain a licence from the licensor to make and sell products bearing the licensed character or brand. The following section is devoted to purveyors of licensed products and those whose products might be suitable for licensing. If you are a retail buyer reviewing licensed products available or a licensor looking for new products for your licences, read on.




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Childrens Apparel


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Childrens Apparel


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Children’s Publishing


© 2019 Rovio Entertainment Corporation and Rovio Animation Ltd. Rovio, All Angry Birds logos and characters are trademarks of Rovio Entertainment Corporation and Rovio Animation Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Avengers © 2019 Marvel. Baby Shark © Smart Study Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Pinkfong® Baby Shark™ is a licensed trademark of Smart Study Co., Ltd. Captain Marvel © 2019 Marvel. Dumbo © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. Fingerlings® and all product names, designations and logos are trademarks of WowWee Group Limited. Copyright 2016-2019 WowWee Group Limited. All rights reserved. LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob configurations and the Minifigure are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2019 The LEGO Group. The Lion King © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. © MGA Entertainment, Inc. L.O.L. SURPRISE! TM is a trademark of MGA in the U.S. and other Countries. All logos, names, characters, likenesses, images, slogans and packaging appearance are the property of MGA. Mary Poppins Returns © 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. Match Attax © TOPPS Europe Limited, 2019. All rights reserved. © 2019 Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved. NICKELODEON, NELLA THE PRINCESS KNIGHT are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. © 2019 Spin Master PAW Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved. PAW Patrol and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Spin Master Ltd. Nickelodeon and all related titles and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. Shimmer and Shine © 2019 All Rights Reserved. Nickelodeon, trademark of Viacom International Inc. Spies in Disguise™ and © 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Property of Fox. Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse © 2018 Marvel © 2018 SPA & CPII. © 2019 Super Wings™ All Rights Reserved. The Nutcracker And The Four Realms © 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Secret Life of Pets is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All rights reserved. DreamWorks Trolls © 2018 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved. TM & © 2019 Ugly Industries Holdings, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Wonder Park TM & © 2019 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


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Shark © Smart rademarks of King © 2019 Mary Poppins tional Inc. mer and Shine 2018 SPA & icensing LLC.

Children’s Publishing

Publishing for a new generation

Centum Books 20 Devon Square, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 2HR, UK. Office: +44 (0)1626 337736 • Fax: +44 (0)1626 334580 •


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Progressive Pre-School - 18.09.19 Fashion Accessories

The Specialists in Preschool Accessories and Dress Up


new episodes airing NOW!



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2019 12 10 LSB AD.indd 1

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New Licenses for 2020




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Proud Licensing partners

Coming Soon

PHONE: +44 (0) 1923 804 805

Coming Soon




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Greeting Cards and Calendars published by


AWARD WINNING PRODUCTS AT SPRING FAIR 2-6 Feb, Hall 2, Stand J60-K61 CONTACT US: 01992 702 900 - - Independent retailers contact Words & Wishes on 01942 233201


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Party Nightwear Products Cooneen Group



000 167

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Cooneen Group @cooneengroup


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Nightwear Cooneen Group @cooneengroup


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Charity Fundraising Event For The Light Fund

Light Fund National Charity Golf Day The Warwickshire Golf & Country Club Leek Wootton, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV35 7QT

Thursday 18th June 2020 Registered Charity 1145596


Your Name...........................................................................................................

Arrival 10am - Registration Co ee/Tea and Bacon Rolls on Arrival Golf and Beginners events start at 11am

Company Name(s).......................................................................................... Address.................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................... .................................................................................................................................... Telephone ...........................................................................................................



Format; Teams of 4 – 18 hole Better Ball Stableford on the Earls course · Longest Drive Challenge · Nearest The Pin Challenges · Beat The Pro Challenge


Two Course Dinner followed by presentation to the successful teams & individuals

Signature.......................................................... Date...................................... GOLF EVENT Number of teams

GOLF EVENT Number of tickets @ £150 each

Where possible, entries for three or less players, will be made up to teams of 4 balls

BEGINNERS Number of tickets @ £150 each

I enclose a cheque made to The Light Fund for £.......................................................................................... Please debit my:




Golf lesson on driving range & putting green Lunch Texas scramble game of golf on the 9 Hole beginners course a fun relaxed way to put your new skills to the test





with the amount of £ ......................................................................................... IF YOU PAY BY CREDIT CARD, WE NEED THE NAME OF THE CARDHOLDER AND THE CARDHOLDER’S ADDRESS (IF IT IS DIFFERENT TO THE ADDRESS ABOVE)

Card No: Valid From: Security Code:





Name Address

(The last three numbers on the back of your credit card)

Please scan the completed entry form and email to Ryan:

Or remit directly to the lightfund bank account as follows: (clearly identifying yourself on the transfer so that golf places can be confirmed) *Please still send this form to Ryan at so we can book your team into the golf day event.


Sort Code: 20-96-89 A/ C No: 50068357 A/ C Name: The Light Fund

There will be the opportunity to sponsor the various challenges on the day. If you would like to be involved in sponsorship please contact us discuss your involvement. For any further details about the day please email: and

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Nightwear, Underwear and Babywear


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Nightwear, Underwear & Socks/Hosiery “Delivering innovation, “Delivering innovation, qualityquality and value on time....every and value on time....every time.” time.”








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Nightwear, Underwear & Socks/Hosiery

quality ry time.” e.”

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Party Products

Introducing the Amscan X Warner Bros. Dress Up Collection!

©Amscan 2020, ©Anagram 2020. All Rights Reserved.


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DreamWorks Trolls © 2020 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.




BATMAN and all related characters and elements © & TM DC Comics. (s20)


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The following pages contain listings of contributors to The Licensing Source Book.



Listings Spring 2020.qxp_Layout 1 10/01/2020 19:47 Page 187

Licensor Listing (of contributors)

Arsenal Football Club

Bulldog Licensing

Emirates Stadium, Chapman House, Queensland Road, London, N7 7AJ

Metal Box Factory, Unit 335, 30 Great Guildford Street, London, SE1 0HS

Tel: 0207 704 4172 (MG) Email:,, Website: Contact: Matthew Gilmore Nora Tantawy Leigh Simpson

Tel: 020 8325 5455 Email: Website: Contact: Ellie Monro-Smith

Beano Studios 185 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2HS Tel: 020 7400 1071 Email: Website: Contact: Angeles Blanco

Chelsea FC Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, London, SW6 1HS Tel: 0207 915 2212 Email: Website: / www.sportsmerchandiseandlicensingsh Contact: Mark Bell, Grace Rota, Frankii Lock

Boat Rocker Studios

Discovery Inc

44 Whitfield Street London W1T 2RH

Discovery House, Building 2, Chiswick Park, London, W4 5YB

Tel: 0203 746 0850 Email: Website: Contact: Caroline High – Licensing Director Nicola Herrmann – Brand Director

Tel: 0208 811 3000 E-mail: Website: Contact: Ian Woods



Listings Spring 2020.qxp_Layout 1 10/01/2020 19:47 Page 188

Licensor Listing (of contributors)

DRi Licensing

Mattel UK

109 Hammersmith Road London W14 0QH

Mattel House, Vanwall Business Park, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 4UB

Tel: 020 3757 2170 E-mail: Website: Contact: Alicia Davenport

Entertainment One Shropshire House, 2-20 Capper Street, London, WC1E 6JA Tel: 020 3691 8600 Email: Website: Contact: Katie Rollings, SVP, UK Licensing, Ami Dieckman, SVP, International Licensing, Joan Grasso, SVP, North America

Tel no: 01628 500200 Email: Web: Contact: Helen Genia

MGA Entertainment UK 50 Presley Way, Crownhill, Milton Keynes Bucks MK8 0ES Tel: 01908 268486 Email: Website: Contact: Sarah Fletcher

IFL Science

Start Licensing

61 Station Road, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2SP

42 Beverley Road, Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 8LX

Tel: 07495 547 752 E-mail: Website: Contact: Michele Kuprewicz

Tel: 0208 337 7958 Email: Contact: Ian Downes

Magic Light Pictures

Those Licensing People

4th Floor, 41-42 Foley Street, London, W1W 7TS

No 1 St Peters Hall, 41 The Calls, Leeds, LS2 7EY

Tel: 020 7631 1800 Email: Website: Contact: Daryl Shute, Brand Director, Aidan Taylor-Goody, Licensing Manager

Tel: 07540079190 Email: Website: Contact: Leah Dever



Listings Spring 2020.qxp_Layout 1 10/01/2020 19:47 Page 189

Licensor Listing (of contributors)

The Copyrights Group

Walker Books

6th Floor, 4 Pancras Square, London, N1C 4AG,

87 Vauxhall Walk, London, SE11 5HJ,

Tel: 0203 880 0134 Email: Website: Contact: Polly Emery, Rachel Clarke

Tel: 0207 396 2410 Email: pindy.o’ Website: Contact: Pindy O’Brien

The Pokemon Company International 3rd Floor, Building 10, Chiswick Park 566 Chiswick High Road London W4 5XS Tel: 020 7381 7000 Email: Website: Contact: Mathieu Galante

Universal Brand Development 1 Central Saint Giles, London, WC2H 8NU, Email: Website: Contact: Abbie Burrows



Listings Spring 2020_muk.qxp_Layout 1 10/01/2020 19:49 Page 190

Property Listing (of contributors)


Clifford - Bulldog Licensing

Aardman Animations - Start Licensing

Universal Vault

Creature of the Black Lagoon - The

Angry Birds - Bulldog Licensing Animal Planet - Discovery Inc Anthony Browne - Walker Books Arsenal Football Club - Arsenal Football

D Danger Mouse - Boat Rocker Studios


Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed - Beano

Asterix - Start Licensing

Studios Despicable Me and Minions Franchise -


Universal Brand Developnent

Back to the Future - The Universal Vault

Discovery - Discovery Inc

Barbie - Mattel UK

Discovery #Mindblown - Discovery Inc

Beano - Beano Studios

Discovery Adventures - Discovery Inc

Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom -

Discovery Expedition - Discovery Inc

Entertainment One

DMAX - Discovery Inc

Boofle - DRi Licensing

Dracula - The Universal Vault

Dino Ranch - Boat Rocker Studios

Bouffants & Broken Hearts - Start Licensing Bratz - MGA Entertainment Bridesmaids - The Universal Vault Britvic brands - Start Licensing

E EA - Bulldog Licensing

Bulldog Tools - Bulldog Licensing

Enid Blyton - Bulldog Licensing

Bullseye - Bulldog Licensing

E.T - The Universal Vault Eurosport - Discovery Inc

C Care Bears - Bulldog Licensing CatCoq - Start Licensing

F Fantastic Mr Fox - DRi Licensing

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - DRi

Father Christmas - Copyrights Group


Fireman Sam - Mattel UK

Chelsea FC - Chelsea FC

Fisher-Price - Mattel UK

Chucky - The Universal Vault

Food Network - Discovery Inc

Claude - Start Licensing

Frankenstein - The Universal Vault



Listings Spring 2020_muk.qxp_Layout 1 10/01/2020 19:49 Page 191

Property Listing (of contributors) Fruit Shoot - Start Licensing

Julie Dodsworth - Start Licensing

Fungus the Bogeyman - The Copyrights

Jurassic Park Franchise - Universal Brand


Development Jurassic World Franchise - Universal

G Garbage Pail Kids - Bulldog Licensing Gold Rush - Discovery Inc

Brand Development


Greenwich Polo Club - Copyrights Group

Kindi Kids - Bulldog Licensing

Guess How Much I Love You - Walker

Kingdom Force - Boat Rocker Studios


Knight Rider - The Universal Vault



HGTV - Discovery Inc

Land of Lost Content - Start Licensing

Holly Hobbie - Bulldog Licensing

LEVC - Bulldog Licensing

Hot Wheels - Mattel UK

Life - Bulldog Licensing

How To Train Your Dragon 1, 2 & The

Little Tikes - MGA Entertainment

Hidden World - Universal Brand

L.O.L Surprise! - MGA Entertainment


Love Actually - The Universal Vault

Hunchback of Notre Dame - The

Love Monster - Boat Rocker Studios

Universal Vault

I IFLScience - IFLScience

M Maisy - Walker Books Magic 8 Ball - Mattel UK Masters of the Universe - Mattel UK


Matilda - DRi Licensing

J20 - Start Licensing

Miami Vice - The Universal Vault

James Brown - Walker Books

Miffy - DRi Licensing

James and the Giant Peach - DRi

Miraculous - Bulldog Licensing


Morph - Start Licensing

JAWS - The Universal Vault

MotorTrend - Discovery Inc

Match Attax - Bulldog Licensing



Listings Spring 2020_muk.qxp_Layout 1 10/01/2020 19:49 Page 192

Property Listing (of contributors) Mush-Mush & the Mushables -

Rhino Rugby - Start Licensing

Copyrights Group

Ricky Zoom - Entertainment One Roald Dahl - DRi Licensing


Robinson's Fruit Squashes - Start

Nadiya Hussain - Start Licensing

Room on the Broom - Magic Light Pictures

Na! Na! Na! Surprise - MGA

Route 66 - Bulldog Licensing


Rubarb and Custard - Those Licensing

Num Noms - MGA Entertainment



R White’s Lemonade - Start Licensing

O Olobob Top - Those Licensing People

S Say Yes to the Dress - Discovery Inc


Saved By The Bell - The Universal Vault

Paddington Bear - The Copyrights Group

Scrabble - Mattel UK

Peppa Pig - Entertainment One

Sesame Street - Bulldog Licensing

Phantom of the Opera - The Universal

Shaun the Sheep - Start Licensing


Shopkins - Bulldog Licensing

Pikmi Pops - Bulldog Licensing

Spirit: Riding Free - Universal Brand

Pip & Posy - Magic Light Pictures


PJ Masks - Entertainment One

Stick Man - Magic Light Pictures

Scarface - The Universal Vault

Pokémon - The Pokémon Company International Polly Pocket - Mattel UK Poopsie Slime Surprise - MGA

T Tango - Start Licensing


That’s not my… - Bulldog Licensing

Power Players - Bulldog Licensing

The BFG - DRi Licensing The Breakfast Club - The Universal Vault


The Bride of Frankenstein - The Universal

Rachael Hale - Start Licensing Remy & Boo - Boat Rocker Studios

Vault The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady - The Copyrights Group



Listings Spring 2020_muk.qxp_Layout 1 10/01/2020 19:49 Page 193

Property Listing (of contributors)

The Gruffalo - Magic Light Pictures


The Gruffalo’s Child - Magic Light Pictures

Wallace & Gromit - Start Licensing

The Happy News - DRi Licensing

We're Going On A Bear Hunt - Walker

The Highway Rat - Magic Light Pictures


The Invisible Man - The Universal Vault

Willo the Wisp - Those Licensing People

The Enormous Crocodile - DRi Licensing

The Little Prince - Those Licensing People The Magic Roundabout - Those Licensing People The Mummy - The Universal Vault

Z Zafari - Bulldog Licensing Zog - Magic Light Pictures

The Next Step - Boat Rocker Studios The Snail and the Whale - Magic Light Pictures The Sooty Show - Those Licensing People The Witches - DRi Licensing The Wolf Man - The Universal Vault Thomas & Friends - Mattel UK Timmy Time - Start Licensing TLC - Discovery Inc Travel Channel - Discovery Inc Treasure X - Bulldog Licensing Trolls Franchise and Trolls World Tour Universal Brand Development

U Universal Monsters - The Universal Vault UNO - Mattel UK



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Exposé Travel – Your one-stop shop for all Licensing and related exhibitions worldwide. EXPOSÉ TRAVEL specialises in travel to licensing and related shows worldwide. We have been offering some very special rates for flights and hotels to the many exhibitions that take place in different parts of the world and work with small boutique licensing agencies and retailers right up to the biggest companies on the show floor. We are also the exclusive travel partner to the Max Group of Companies, owners of The Licensing Awards and Licensing Source Book, and Listed below are some of the popular shows where we can save you money on flights and hotel accommodation: LICENSING EXPO – LAS VEGAS – 19TH TO 21ST MAY 2020 We have been taking clients to this exhibition for the last 19 years and are proud of the savings that we are able to offer for flights and hotels in Las Vegas. If you are able to make your plans and book your flights and hotel now, the savings are fantastic. We offer direct Virgin Atlantic flights out of Heathrow and Manchester to Las Vegas. For travel, for example, from 17th to 21st May 2020, our economy fare from London starts at only £711.72 including taxes (£200.00 less than the cheapest regular fare, without having to stay over a Saturday night). In premium economy the fare starts at £1376.72 including taxes (saving over £2600.). In upper class the fare starts at £4237.72 including taxes (saving nearly £3000).

We offer excellent savings out of Manchester too. We also have some great rates available right now at hotels next to the exhibition centre. Mandalay Bay prices start at only £226.00 per night including tax. The Delano is available at £260.00 per night including taxes. The Luxor is available from only £110.00 per night including tax. BLE 2020 – LONDON EXCEL – 6TH TO 8TH OCTOBER 2020 We are very pleased to offer you rooms at the Ibis Excel and Crowne Plaza Excel hotels, both of which are within a few minutes of Excel. For rates and availability, please contact us. OTHER SHOWS WHERE WE OFFER HOTELS AND FLIGHTS: Spielwarenmesse – Toy Fair – Nuremberg – 29th January to 2nd February 2020 and 27th January to 31st January 2021 Hong Kong Licensing Show - 6th to 8th January 2020

For all the above or any other shows you may wish to visit please contact us as below: +44 (0)1883 349576, or by email to or Visit our website at

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