Licensing Source Book Spring 2024

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Spring 2024

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The Love Of Licensing

Curate Curateyour yournext nextbest-selling best-selling collection collectionwith withthe thenames namesand and brands brandsyour yourcustomers customersknow knowand andlove. love. Scan to secure your FREE ticket springfair.com

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Discover the magic of licensed products at Spring Fair! With the huge rise in popularity for licensed products in the retail sector, we’re excited to welcome many new and returning licensing brands to the show, while bringing key partners together to elevate this growing sector. Explore the latest in licensing at Spring Fair 2024:

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We’re delighted to partner with Hasbro to celebrate Peppa Pig’s 20th Anniversary. Join Peppa’s Party on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th February at 4:30pm for drinks, cake and the unveiling of her new dress! Located at Peppa’s Playground in the Kids, Toys & Play sector in Hall 5.

Elevate your licensing

Whether you’re well-versed in licensing agreements or eager to learn how to get started, this is your chance to step into the world of strategic brand enhancement and add a new dimension to your offerings with a comprehensive look at strategic partnerships and licensing agreements. Catch this masterclass session on Monday 5th February at the Masterclass Studio led by Catrina O'Brien, UK Licensing Director at Hasbro Inc.

Names you know and love!

Spring Fair is delighted to welcome a host of licensed brands to the 2024 show! Discover household names like Disney, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Marvel, Metallica, Pokémon and enjoy products from big-screen favourites like, Dune, Barbie, Harry Potter, Blue Sky Studios and countless more well-known brands. Curate your next best-selling collection with your customer’s favourite brands! 000

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INNOVATION AND FUN AT THE HEART OF EVERYTHING WE DO

© 2024 ABD Ltd/Ent. One UK Ltd/Hasbro

Peter Rabbit Puppet SEASONAL PLUSH

18 TO COLLECT!

DOLLS TO FASHION ITH! FIDGET W ©2024 &TM Spin Master Ltd. All rights reserved.

THE BRAND NEW COLLECTIBLE PLUSH BRAND FROM TOYTOPIC...

COLLECT THEM ALL

GET IN TOUCH

SALES@TOYTOPICGROUP.COM @TOYTOPICUK

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@TOYTOPIC

@TOYTOPIC.COM

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LSB 5 Leader 2024 (SL)[63].qxp_NEW LSB 2008 GRID 12/01/2024 16:04 Page 1

LEADER

Inset: (L-R) Ian Hyder, Rob Willis, Jakki Brown and Samantha Loveday.

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elcome to the first edition of Licensing Source Book in 2024 – the Year of the Dragon, a general election, the Paris Olympic Games, the men’s Euros and Taylor Swift coming to the UK (excited? Us? Absolutely). It’s also a leap year, meaning a valuable extra day for us all (but we’re hoping for fewer ‘unprecedented’ events than in the last leap year of 2020). LSB has kicked off the year with a new launch – the Licensing Museum & Heritage Book (more on that later) – while its parent company, Max Publishing, completed the acquisition of London Stationery Show (see page 8). We did also manage a holiday over Christmas, promise. Speaking to licensees, licensors and retailers for our first issue of the year, it seems that many are optimistic, having come off a better than expected 2023. Numerous licensees told us that they were entering the New Year with a healthy order book, thanks to a mixture of evergreen and new licences. A bumper crop of milestone brand anniversaries in 2024 – across character, entertainment and lifestyle – is adding some extra bounce, while a willingness between licensees and retailers to work on exclusive ranges to create points of difference is paying dividends. More licensees also seem to be targeting seasonal opportunities throughout the year (Funko deserves a shout out here for its Funko Pop lines for Valentine’s Day), while the expansion of retailers into new territories (the growth of Primark in Italy for example) is reassuring to see for licensors.

More for ‘24 As well as product innovation, we are also seeing more inventive consumer engagement strategies. In our 24 licensing talking points for 2024 feature (pages 14-19), we highlight supermarket chain Booths, which has removed self-checkouts in the majority of its stores to boost its customer service levels, while the trend of using immersive experiences to build strong connections with consumers will continue. Crucially, this thinking is not limited to just entertainment brands… the National Gallery will be kicking off a year-long programme to mark its 200th anniversary this year, for example. Which brings us neatly on to the debut of the new Licensing Museum & Heritage Book with this issue of LSB. This is a sector which has grown in stature, strength and support over the past few years, and the time is right to launch a dedicated book. Don’t forget too, entries for the Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards 2024 are open until 8 March (pages 84-85). As Taylor might say, 2024… are you ready for it?

y rs yea elebraatting 20 years Celebrating C dll ! ddl PPuuddles! Muddy Puddles! of of Muddy

©2024 ABD Ltd/Ent. One UK Ltd/Hasbro

Samantha Loveday - Group Editor Ian Hyder - Chief Executive Officer Jakki Brown - Managing Director and Editorial Director Rob Willis - Chief Operating Officer Mark Grayson - Creative Director Tel: 020 7700 6740 E-mail: hello@max-publishing.co.uk Copyright 2024. 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 25158643.

@licensingsource

The Licensing Source Book Team Samantha Loveday, Jakki Brown, Ian Hyder, Rob Willis, Tessa Clayton, Michelle Board and Mark Grayson. WITH THIS ISSUE Peppa Pig 20th Anniversary Special Publication.

PUBLISHERS OF

SPORTS BOOK


FIND YOUR SQUISH!

@Squishmallows ©️2024 Kelly Toys Holdings, LLC.

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Whats Inside 7 LSB 2024.qxp_NEW LSB 2008 GRID 12/01/2024 17:37 Page 3

CONTENTS

What’s Inside 8-11

State of the Nation: Industry News

14-19

24 Licensing Talking Points for 2024

22-25 Industry Roundtable: The Year Just Gone and the Year Ahead 27-31

Licensee Feedback

66-67 Wheels of Fortune: The Growth of the

34-35 The Big Interview: HMV

Hot Wheels Franchise

37-39 Retailer Round-up

68-69 In Focus: Alligator

40-45 Ready for Trade Fair Season

71-73

48-49 The Insights Family Research

74-79 News of the World: International Feedback

50-51 State of the Nation: Gaming

80-83 State of the Nation: Brands

55-57 The Big Picture: How UK

84-85 Awards Preview: Brand & Lifestyle

Animation is Booming

Sector Focus: Health & Beauty

Licensing Awards 2024

58-59 In Focus: Boat Rocker

86-91 State of the Nation: Sports

62-63 Products of Change Sustainability

92-131 The Licensees’ Showcase

Framework Explained

133-170Guide to Services & Suppliers 2024

LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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STATE OF THE NATION

Industry matters LSB kicks off the New Year with a round-up of some of the latest news from across the licensing business.

Max Publishing acquires London Stationery Show Max Publishing – the owner of Licensing Source Book, LicensingSource.net, The Licensing Awards and the Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards - has acquired London Stationery Show from Ocean Media Group. London Stationery Show is the UK’s only event dedicated to the stationery, arts, crafts, paper and writing instruments sector. The acquisition also includes Stationery Matters magazine/online and National Stationery Week. Founded in 1990, Max Publishing is an independent media business, wholly owned and run by its four directors, Warren Lomax, Jakki Brown, Ian Hyder and Rob Willis. “We are absolutely delighted to welcome London Stationery Show into the Max Publishing family and look forward to really getting to know the stationery community. Ocean Media Group has done an outstanding job in the last few years, elevating London Stationery Show as the most important event in the stationery industry’s calendar,” commented Rob Willis, coo at Max Publishing who concluded the acquisition with Ocean Media Group. London Stationery Show 2024 will take place on

14-15 May at London’s Above: (L-R) Warren Lomax, Rob Willis, Chantelle White, Jakki Brown Business Design and Ian Hyder. Centre – with exhibiting companies including Blueprint Collections and Manuscript Brands. As well as further developing London Stationery Show, Max Publishing will be expanding Stationery Matters both as a magazine and digital news platform, as well as further elevating National Stationery Week, which falls 13-19 May. Chantelle White has joined the Max Publishing team from Ocean Media to continue as its event manager while Chris Leonard-Morgan, the founder of LSS has come on board as a special advisor. To find out more about stands and sponsorship opportunities, contact Chantelle on chantellew@max-publishing.co.uk or +44(0)7795 951244.

The Light Fund raises £125,000 in 2023

Above: A new 20th anniversary logo has been designed by Mark Schofield of Smiffy’s for the charity.

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Industry charity The Light Fund raised an impressive £125,000 last year which is to be put to very good use funding 25 different charity projects in 2024, helping men, women and children across the world. “We can’t thank everyone enough for their generosity and support for The Light Fund this year, meaning we have raised over £125,000 for charities in one year alone,” stated Trevor Jones, chairman of industry-wide charity, The Light Fund. “We are delighted to confirm that we are able to fund 25 very worthwhile and diverse charity projects which will go ahead in 2024.” As a result of the 2023 fundraising, The Light Fund has now raised over £2.2 million and will have helped 170 different charities since its inception in 2004. With this year being the 20th anniversary of The Light Fund, plans are underway to mark the milestone with the first 2024 fundraising event being the Northern Quiz, which will take place on Thursday 21 March at Hotel Football in Manchester, being organised by The Light Fund’s northern committee.


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STATE OF THE NATION

Sabrina Segalov joins Toikido Fast-growing creative studio, Toikido has expanded its commercial team with the Above: Sabrina Segalov, appointment of licensing director, Toikido. popular industry executive, Sabrina Segalov as licensing director. Sabrina will be working alongside chief commercial officer, Will Ochoa, and US md, Darryl Lai. She joins the team from Sanrio Global, where she worked for almost nine years, most recently as senior international licensing manager. She has also previously held roles at Marvel and 20th Century Fox. At Toikido, Sabrina will leverage her expertise across brand licensing and marketing strategy to play a fundamental role in securing new licensing partners for the company’s fast-evolving licensing business. The news follows the early success of Toikido’s first in-house IP, Piñata Smashlings, and the forthcoming launch of its second IP, PeaKeeBoo, a new preschool animation series. “I am thrilled to embark on this incredible journey with the Toikido team, an opportunity to contribute to their remarkable portfolio of brands,” commented Sabrina. “With exciting new IP set to launch soon, I look forward to being a driving force in the continued growth of Toikido, a company that has flourished since its inception in 2020.”

Inset: Further partners will be launching Squishmallows product in 2024.

Celebrating 20 years of Peppa Pig

Inset: Mr Bull and Miss Cow get married in the three-part Wedding Party Special as part of Peppa’s Cinema Party.

In true Peppa style, 2024 is going to be one huge party as Hasbro celebrates 20 years of the cheeky little piggy with brand-new toys, licensed products, promotions, attractions, direct-to-retail programmes and more. There will be something for every Peppa Pig fan. The year kickstarts with the launch of the hugely anticipated cinematic experience, Peppa’s Cinema Party, featuring the voices of megastar couple Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom. Katy and Orlando will both help promote this event to drive ticket sales and generate a huge halo of Peppa buzz. There’s plenty more ways to celebrate this year with podcast content with Audible, theme park openings in Germany and US, immersive live shows, a VIP party, plus much more. “All this will be amplified through a full year of franchise marketing,” said Catrina O’Brien, UK licensing director at Hasbro. “We will be going big at retail across the UK and the globe. In the UK we will be activating and celebrating at retail with in-store POS, events and parties, out of aisle moments, window executions, online POS, digital and media, the list goes on! This will be the biggest investment at retail we have seen for the brand as we ramp up for the party of the year. This will all power us into 2025 stronger than ever.” Make sure you read the enclosed Peppa Pig supplement with this issue of Licensing Source Book to find out more about the 20-year celebrations.

Squishmallows ready to soar in 2024 After a solid foundation year in 2023 with the consumer products programme in Europe, Jazwares is eyeing further success for Squishmallows in 2024. Last year saw high profile collaborations with McDonald’s, which launched Squishmallows music-themed Happy Meals across Continental Europe in summer, followed by the UK launch of Halloween and autumn-themed meals. A 42-piece capsule collection with H&M arrived in December, while Panini UK launched a Squishmallows Sticker Collection. More new partners will be unveiling product in 2024 including Poetic Brands (plush slippers), Curious Universe (arts and crafts), Corsair (health and beauty), Finsbury (food and gifting), CRC (ice cream), Modern Gourmet (gifting) and Puma (footwear and apparel). Jazwares has also strengthened its international CP team with Nikki Gie joining from Hasbro as senior director, and Olivia Wiggett becoming category manager, alongside PD lead Harriet Smith.

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STATE OF THE NATION

Boost for Little Brother Books annuals business Little Brother Books has been appointed as the exclusive supplier of annuals to all Morrisons and Lidl stores in the UK and Ireland. The deal further strengthens Little Brother Books’ existing retail distribution across the UK. Big winners for LBB’s 2024 Annuals range include Barbie, Shoot, L.O.L. and CoComelon, as well as its GamesWarrior Gaming Annuals such as Minecraft, Roblox and Fortnite. One of LBB’s new titles for 2024 gifting is its IYKYK Ultimate Guide to Stranger Things which is already proving to be an immediate success from early sales data. “We are delighted to secure the exclusive support of Morrisons and Lidl for our annuals range,” commented Matthew Reynolds, md at Little Brother Books. “We have worked hard to give retailers the focus they are looking for in annuals, as they are a unique and specialist format that needs long-term planning, creative development and execution to get right. “Our retail distribution is far beyond traditional books retailers that Nielsen audit, and we work with many major retailers including Home Bargains, QD Stores, The Range, Lidl and Smyths Toys who are not recorded in the Bookscan TCM data. We are proud to have our products available in the broader market, so Below: Barbie, CoComelon customers have the opportunity to and L.O.L. are among the top selling annuals for Little see them, and then purchase, Brother Books. wherever they are shopping.”

Fizz Creations looking to build on “remarkable” 2023 Gifting specialist Fizz Creations is looking for further growth following a strong 2023. The company – which has just launched a redesigned SLUSH PUPPiE machine, marking the first major update to the popular product – is anticipating growth primarily in the overseas Above: Zoe Ryan, head of markets. It is expecting to see marketing, Fizz Creations. an expansion in its lighting, kitchen gadgets and gaming products, leveraging new and existing licences. “In the licensing space, our primary goal for 2024 is to deepen and diversify our portfolio with highvalue, licensing partnerships,” commented Zoe Ryan, head of marketing at Fizz Creations. “We want to collaborate with iconic brands that resonate with our target audience and product expertise. Additionally, we're looking to explore untapped markets and demographics, introducing products that cater to a wider range of consumer tastes and preferences while strengthening our relationships with existing licensors and scouting for new, exciting opportunities.” The company will be heading to Spielwarenmesse, Spring Fair and New York NOW, highlighting products including new designs featuring Tetris, Care Bears, PAC-MAN and its latest addition, Squishmallows. It will also be expanding its footprint in the US with new ranges including ICEE and SUPERPRETZEL among others.

Born Licensing marks a decade with new business reveal Inset: David Born, founder and ceo, Born Licensing.

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As part of its 10-year anniversary celebrations, Born Licensing has unveiled a new business – Born to License. The company is best known for delivering incremental revenue to the licensing industry through deals in the licensed advertising category. Born to License will focus on expanding the company’s services beyond the advertising category. The new area will see companies with an ambition to enter the licensing space hire Born to License to manage the licensing process from start to finish on their behalf. Born to License has already signed a number of clients onto its platform, with the first product to launch shortly. David Born, founder and ceo at Born Licensing, said: “I started my licensing career working with a lot of FMCG companies that were new to licensing, and I developed a strong passion for helping ensure that their entry into the licensing space was a successful one. I’ve always considered myself a champion of how powerful licensing can be for those that are yet to experience it, and Born to License will allow me to build on that.” Born Licensing will also continue to work on delivering licensed advertising deals and has a number of major campaigns launching in 2024.


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STATE OF THE NATION

Warner Bros. Discovery honours licensees Warner Bros. Discovery honoured a number of its UK licensees at a special partner event held just before Christmas at BAFTA. The event saw a wide range of the studio’s partners gather to look back and celebrate 2023, and also receive a sneak peek at upcoming content. The winners were as follows: • Wizarding World Product of the Year – The Carat Shop Jewellery range • DC Product of the Year – Rubies The Flash Range • Classics Product of the Year – Park Agencies 100th Anniversary • TV Product of the Year – Solent F.R.I.E.N.D.S Clean Like Monica Range • Animation of the Year – Lazerbuilt Rick & Morty Headphone and Earphone Range • Innovation of the Year – Spin Master Magical Dobby • Marketing Activation of the Year – Bravado Percival Seinfeld Clothing Range • Experience Activation of the Year – OGX Original X Productions F.R.I.E.N.D.S Experience • Newcomer of the Year – Jazwares Harry Potter Squishmallows • Licensee of the Year – Spin Master

Inset: Partners were honoured across a range of categories.

Character World Brands confirms leadership changes Character World Brands has revealed that the UK business has grown +19% over the past year – and it is eyeing further growth through 2024. “This year has been a year of turnaround seeing us re-frame our business for growth while navigating the challenging economics within the UK and European markets,” commented James Walker, ceo at Character World Brands. Over the past 18 months, the CWB team has been executing its new strategy and part of this has included a transition within the leadership team. In a joint statement, Danny and Mark Schweiger commented: “The leadership team, alongside the wider team, are in good shape and now is the right time for us both to move to non-executive roles at CWB. “We will continue to support James and team on key growth initiatives and look forward to our own new Above: Danny Schweiger, James projects within business, Walker and Mark Schweiger. investment and mentoring.”

Penguin Ventures asks ‘Who’s in Your Book? Penguin Ventures has secured global rights to develop a licensed consumer products programme for Tom Fletcher’s bestselling Puffin Above: The Who’s in Your Book? series has sold in picture book series Who’s in Your excess of two million Book?. copies worldwide, with The rights were secured from Tom’s over 960k copies sold in the UK alone. manager Rachel Drake and literary agent Steph Thwaites at Curtis Brown. The series features a cast of beloved characters including Monster, Witch, Dragon, Elf and Unicorn. Including illustrations by Greg Abbott, the series launched in 2018 with There’s a Monster in Your Book. The bestselling mini adventures engage toddlers and parents through interactivity, gently exploring key preschool themes such as bedtime, kindness and inclusion. Penguin Ventures has launched a dedicated Who’s in Your Book? webshop offering print-on-demand gifting with personalised options and featuring favourite characters from the series on consumer products such as apparel, homeware, stationery, gifting and partyware, together with a selection of publishing. A global roll-out of the licensing programme will follow in key international territories for the series, which currently include North America, Australia, China, United Arab Emirates and Europe. “Penguin Ventures is delighted to be taking Tom Fletcher’s incredibly successful Who’s in Your Book? series off the page and into the world of licensing,” commented David Sprei, commercial director at Penguin Ventures.

Brands & Retail Winter 24 Conference takes shape With just a number of weeks remaining, the Brands & Retail Winter 24 Conference has confirmed its line-up of companies and properties which will be presenting. The conference – which takes place on 7 February at Millennium Point in Birmingham and is sponsored by Hasbro – will welcome executives from Mattel, BBC Studios, Two Daughters Entertainment, Acamar Films, All3media, Toikido/IMG, Penguin Ventures, SEGA, Aardman, Start Licensing, Edith Holden, Sweet Cherry Publishing, Larkshead Licensing, Toei Animation, Reemsborko, ZAG, Retail Monster and Hasbro. Those interested in getting involved with the conference can get in touch with event director, Ryan Beaird at ryan.beaird@brandsretail.uk. The audience so far includes retailers such as Primark, Boots, Sainsbury’s, Character.com, Vanilla Underground and Asda, which more retailers and licensees due to be confirmed shortly. “The line-up looks fantastic for Winter 24, and I want to thank all the brands, and Hasbro as sponsor, for supporting another great conference,” commented Ryan. “Retailers and licensees can now reserve their two seats before we hit capacity.” The line-up can be viewed at www.BrandsRetail.uk/feb24.

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THE YEAR AHEAD

24 licensing talking points for 2024 New Year, new opportunities…and it’s a leap year, too, meaning an extra sales day for shoppers to buy consumer products and licensed merchandise. LSB presents 24 talking points for the licensing business in 2024, all of which will have an impact on our industry in some way.

Rishi Sunak kicked off 2024's political season with a hint at when the next general election will be saying it's his "working assumption" it will happen in the second half of the year. Political pundits are predicting anything in the range of September to November, although the later it is, the more cross over with coverage of the US election.

industries, especially in the realms of IP, licensing and skills,” says Dr Richard Wilson OBE, ceo at TIGA, the trade body for the UK games industry. “Many of the commonly cited opportunities revolve around enhanced creativity and efficiency. And from a brand marketing perspective, AI's ability to analyse trends can help IP owners and creators target their audiences more effectively, optimising strategies and distribution channels. “But there are some concerns around protection of IP, ethics and job displacement. Perhaps the most significant is determining the ownership of AI-generated content. Traditional IP laws are built around human authorship, leaving a grey area when AI autonomously creates content. This raises questions about copyright and the rights of AI creators versus users.”

The rise of the machines

The National Gallery at 200

While we could have asked AI itself for an explanation of the impact it could have on the licensing industry, we chose to go with a real life person instead. “It’s clear that Artificial Intelligence, particularly generative AI (GenAI) presents a complex mix of opportunities and challenges for all creative/digital and consumer products

One of the greatest art galleries in the world, the National Gallery is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. The bicentenary party will start on 10 May, with the Gallery celebrating its past and looking forward to its future with a yearlong festival of art, creativity and imagination. And there are plenty of opportunities for licensees to get involved, too.

General Election

Inset : The Dungeons & Dragons franchise is marking 50 years in 2024.

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LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

Year of the Dragon Represented by the only mythical – and the most powerful – creature of the 12 animal Chinese zodiac, the Year of the Dragon is considered special. The legendary magical beast is symbolic of authority, honour and dignity, particularly in China, where it has represented imperial power since ancient times. In the world of licensing, Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeons & Dragons franchise is celebrating an exceptionally well timed 50th anniversary, with a raft of activity planned.


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THE YEAR AHEAD

Milestone anniversaries 2024 is another bumper year for key anniversaries from some major brands, with special edition merchandise, events and experiential activity all part of the plans. Just a few to keep an eye out for include Peppa Pig (20th), Batman (85th), Hello Kitty (50th), Minecraft (15th), Moomin (80th), Powerpuff Girls (25th), Rubik’s Cube (50th), Spice Girls (30th), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (40th), Tetris (40th), The Next Step (10th), Transformers (40th), Friends (30th), Bing (10th), Ghostbusters (40th), Hey Duggee (10th), The Gruffalo (25th), SpongeBob SquarePants (25th), Peanuts (75th) and Tom & Jerry (85th) among many others.

Olympic Games Paris 2024 A closer to home Olympic Games this summer should give merchandise an extra shot in the arm. The Olympics – which runs from Friday 26 July to Sunday 11 August – will be the biggest event hosted by Paris in its history and will take in the four corners of France. Expect to see activity around Team GB including promotions and licensed product.

Euro 2024 After the Lionesses’ recent success, all eyes will turn to the England Men’s team this summer for Euro 2024. Taking place in Germany, the tournament runs from 14 June to 14 July, with England drawn in Group C with Denmark, Serbia and Slovenia.

Inflation fall Box office blockbusters Total box office for 2023 in the UK and Ireland increased 8% compared with 2022; with the year-end takings crossing £1bn for the first time since the pandemic, according to Screen Daily. The Barbie Movie may have led the way, but Universal Pictures ended the year as the top performing studio thanks to The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Five Nights at Freddy’s among other titles. Hot tips for this year include the Mean Girls reboot, Dune Part Two, Kung Fu Panda 4, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, Inside Out 2, Despicable Me 4, Beetlejuice 2 and Joker: Folie à Deux to name just a few.

The Barbie effect Get ready for Barbie to continue her dominance after last year’s stellar performance at the box office. The brand is following up the highest grossing film worldwide of 2023 with a dedicated exhibition at The Design Museum, coinciding with Barbie’s 65th anniversary. Opening on 5 July, it will explore the story of Barbie through a design lens including fashion, architecture, furniture and vehicle design.

Inflation fell from 4.6% to 3.9% in November 2023, the lowest for more than two years, leading to some economists thinking the Bank of England may start to cut interest rates in the first half of 2024, much earlier than previously forecast. However, households won’t start to feel better off just yet, with energy bills and borrowing costs remaining high. UK inflation also remains higher than in other countries including the US and Germany, although the gap is narrowing.

Are you ready for it? The UK leg of Taylor Swift The Eras Tour kicks off on 7 June in Edinburgh and will wrap up on 20 August following a run at Wembley Stadium. The tour has become the first to gross over $1 billion, while the corresponding concert film earned $261.6 million at the global box office in 2023. Pollstar data also found that Taylor brought in approximately $200 million in merchandise sales… just in case you were in any doubt how much of a big deal she is.

Above: Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour was the first to gross over $1 billion.

Above: Barbie’s influence will continue to be high this year. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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THE YEAR AHEAD

Licensing on stage It has been a constantly growing category for the last few years, and the immersive events and location-based experiences space is showing no signs of slowing. This year, there will also be activity on the Above: Starlight Express skates into stage, with Studio London once more this summer. Ghibli’s Oscarwinning Spirited Away being reimagined by the Olivier and Tony award-winning director of Les Misérables, John Caird. All eyes are also on the return of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, which is opening in the summer in the specially designed Starlight Auditorium at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre.

IKEA opens on Oxford Street The eagerly awaited IKEA store on Oxford Street will open its doors in the autumn, with the Swedish retailer currently underway with a Above: The arrival of IKEA will mark a big major renovation boost for Oxford Street. project at the grade II listed building which was previously home to Topshop – currently hidden behind a unique version of its signature Frakta bag. IKEA ’s arrival in the West End should mark a big boost for Oxford Street, as it looks to bounce back from a post-pandemic footfall slump.

A physical media comeback? Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer made headlines for a number of reasons last year, but probably the most surprising one was for its impact on Blu-ray sales in the US. The 4K Ultra HD version sold out in its first week at major retailers including Amazon, with some limited edition copies apparently fetching more than $200 on eBay. While the overall trend for physical media is a downward one, it seems that high profile theatrical new releases are benefitting from premium physical formats. The Digital Entertainment Group in the US said that 4K UHD Blu-ray experienced 20% growth for the full year 2022, driven by the likes of The Batman and Top Gun: Maverick.

Brands in Roblox A number of savvy brands have been turning to Roblox as the metaverse of choice to get in front of Gen Z (born 1997-2012) and Gen Alpha (early 2010s onwards). Brands as varied as LEGO, adidas, McDonald’s, Crocs, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, The Met, Walmart, H&M and Nickelodeon, as well as music stars like Nicki Minaj and Rihanna, have all used Roblox to get closer to their audiences and create immersive experiences for them.

Anime and manga While manga (Japanese comic books) and anime (the animation series based on them) have been growing in popularity in western markets in recent years, lockdown took them to another level. The success of Above: One Piece has proved a hit on Netflix. companies such as Abysse, Toei Animation, Reemsborko, Crunchyroll and Funko in the space – with brands including One Piece, Hatsune Miku and Dragon Ball to name just a few – shows this is a category to watch. HMV is also a huge supporter on a retail level, ensuring visibility on the high street.

Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards 2024 This year’s Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards will take place on Thursday 25 April at the Royal Lancaster London. The awards are open for entries now, with a closing date of Friday 8 March. Check out pages 84-85 for more details.

Licensing Expo 2024 Licensing Expo is returning to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas from 21-23 May. With Brands at Play set as the core theme for 2024, the event will spotlight the power play holds in every stage of life and the creativity it fosters when building brands. Registration is now open for visitors and exhibitors. Don’t forget, while admission is free of charge for qualified retailers, press and exhibitors, general admission will be $50. 2023 attendees can benefit from a limited time discount enabling free of charge registration until 31 January 2024.

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Official licensee for publishing, stationery, art and craft, and creative play.

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Customer service In November 2023, Booths – a high-end northern England supermarket chain – announced that it was removing self-checkouts in the majority of its stores, with md Nigel Murray telling The Grocer: “We pride ourselves on great customer service and you can’t do that through a robot.” Independent retailers have long known that the key to bringing customers back into stores is all in the personal level of service they can offer. While it’s unlikely self-service bays will disappear from the landscape entirely, bringing back the human touch is certainly no bad thing.

London Stationery Show Acquired by Max Publishing in December (see story on page 8), London Stationery Show (14-15 May at the Business Design Centre) is the UK’s only event dedicated to the stationery, arts, crafts, paper and writing instruments sector. Licensing will be present across the showfloor with confirmed exhibitors including Blueprint Collections, IG Design Group, Robert Frederick and Manuscript Brands among others.

Sustainability in Licensing Conference 2024 Hosted by Products of Change, the Sustainability in Licensing Conference (SiLC) will return to the Royal Geographical Society on Wednesday 6 November. Last year’s SiLC was hailed as “the most amazing, inspiring and engaging industry event ever attended” with the jam-packed agenda covering topics ranging from the legislative changes impacting retail and manufacturing now and in the future, to the new systems emerging across supply chains to reduce impact and encourage circularity. Above: SiLC returns to the Royal Geographical Society on 6 November

Brand Licensing Europe 2024

Art trends From Pantone’s colour of the year, Peach Fuzz – which has already inspired a number of collaborations from Ruggable through to Polaroid and Motorola – through to a desire for authenticity and traditional art, design-led trends can be expected to act as a muse for categories including apparel and gifting among others. An overall vibe of calmness is being ushered in, after last year’s bright pink Barbie-inspired hues.

BLE boomerangs back into September this year, running from 24-26 September at London’s ExCeL. Plans are already underway – with the Brands at Play theme continuing from Licensing Expo - and stay tuned for further announcements through the first part of 2024. Below: The Brands at Play theme will continue at BLE in September.

The Licensing Awards 2024 Above: Peach Fuzz has already inspired a number of collaborations.

Mark Tuesday 10 September in your diary and keep your eyes peeled for further details…

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LSB chats to five senior executives - Roubina Tchoboian, head of global licensing, Banijay Kids & Family; Marianne James, vp EMEA & Asia, Licensed Consumer Products, Hasbro; Charlotte Payne, international licensing director, Cloudco Entertainment; Sam Ferguson, svp of licensing, Jazwares; and Andrew Carley, global licensing director, BBC Studios – about the year just gone, the year ahead, retail opportunities, the challenges and the positives.

New year revolution How was 2023 for your business? What were some of the key highlights? Roubina: “Licensing was a core growth area for us, and our global strategy is in great shape, with the signature of key partners for our licensing and marketing rollouts. Totally Spies! has been one of our key priorities, with the launch of the rebooted series from 2024. We also have the charming Topo Gigio which continues to garner international interest and we are reaffirming our strong relationship with Giochi Preziosi.” Marianne: “We saw standout performances from our licensed digital games Baldur’s Gate III and Monopoly Go! which drove $63 million of incremental revenue in Q3 alone. Additionally, we are continuing to win in traditional toy and game, as we saw Monopoly reclaim the title of the top selling board game brand and Furby was one of the hottest new toys of the holiday season. Fashion and lifestyle have been particularly successful sectors, as we’ve released exciting collaborations across our franchises with leading brands, including a D&D apparel line with Boss Dog, a 13piece My Little Pony apparel and accessories collection with

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Inset: Marianne James LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

Cakeworthy, the cutest Peppa Pig infant apparel line with Mori and so much more.” Charlotte: “2023 was an exceptional year for Cloudco Entertainment and Care Bears. We achieved significant milestones and experienced remarkable growth. Some key highlights included a substantial increase in global brand visibility, successful partnerships with like-minded brands and expansion into new markets.” Sam: “It was a fantastic foundation year for the Squishmallows consumer products programme in Europe as we expanded our lifestyle partnerships across apparel and accessories, homeware, health and beauty, FMCG and more (pictured left). It's great to see massive activations such as McDonald's and H&M come to fruition. Our UK Panini sticker collection has also been a standout, selling out fast. 2023 was our first holiday season with consumer products in the European market and we have seen huge success at retail with all of our partners.” Andrew: “The standout of 2023 undeniably belongs to Bluey. Anticipated momentum from 2022, especially in the US, exceeded expectations, showcasing global expansion with licensing programmes now spanning over 35 territories. The UK market is rapidly gaining traction and we are seeing great results across Europe and LatAm too.


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well as other fan favourites such as Littlest Pet Shop, Play-Doh, Furby, Hasbro Gaming, Monopoly and Nerf, along with our Hasbro Classics brands like Lite-Brite, Spirograph, Tonka, Easy Bake, Furreal What properties and more. There is will be key for endless potential for your business these brands and in 2024? others under the Inset: Cloudco has Hasbro umbrella, Roubina: “2024 is set to “ambitious plans” to and we’re looking be a big year for Totally expand the immersive offerings for Care Bears forward to Spies! which is returning in 2024. to screens with a new Inset: Roubina Tchoboian working with licensees to bring consumers the best possible offerings.” series after 10 years. We Charlotte: “In 2024, Care Bears have the unique will remain at the heart of what opportunity to create a How do you see the retail we do, touching lives with its licensing programme for landscape for licensed enduring message of caring and a multi-generational sharing. We're also thrilled about audience of existing fans products in 2024? teaming up with iconic evergreen and new young viewers. Roubina: “The expansion of certain retailers properties. One to watch is the Shasha & Milo is our into new territories is exciting to see. For Hello Kitty and Friends x Care original series, coexample, in Italy, the growth of Hamleys and Primark, and Costco is also trying to find its Bears collaborations, kicking off produced by Zodiak space in Europe. Retailers with a strong USP our ‘Care Bears Beary Kids & Family France (Costco for its pricing, Hamleys for its unrivalled Besties’ global marketing and Pingo experience) seem really keen to broaden their horizons and territories.” messaging. It's just the start of Entertainment. With Charlotte: “We expect a surge in demand for many exciting co-branded successful 2023 TV physical products, leading to creative partnerships to come.” launches in several collections and limited edition items in stores. markets including Korea, We're also looking into the collectables market, Sam: “As a licensee, all our driven by the love from our kidult fans. In partnerships and brands will be the UK and across Latin Europe, we have strong retail partnerships with hugely important in 2024. We America, and more to Miniso, Zara, H&M, Pull & Bear, Allcott Italy, bring IP to life like nobody else come in 2024, we are Women's Secret, and we're expanding our existing direct to retail relationships for can and are super keen to build on the exciting growth opportunities.” excited about key excitement and engage Andrew: “Retail will increasingly use brand launches in the year with these audiences.” owners’ VOD platforms to help drive sales ahead. As a licensor, Marianne: “We believe in opportunities. I would also expect to see interest and opportunities build around the Squishmallows is the long-term growth potential of toys and are metaverse; it’s early days but it has to be on the key. 2024 will be a horizon. We are firmly in a world where multimassive year as we leaning into that as one platform/always on counts for everything.” go deeper with of our top priorities for placement, add partners and 2024. In terms of properties themselves, we have expand across Europe.” several beloved brands celebrating big Andrew: “Bluey's global anniversaries in 2024: Peppa Pig’s 20th, expansion continues, with a Transformers’ 40th and Dungeons & Dragons’ focus on Asia, alongside 50th. In addition to upcoming anniversaries, we’re strategic partnerships. Hey going to continue placing an emphasis on other Inset: Sam Ferguson Duggee, announcing its cherished brands including My Little Pony, which fifth series, solidifies its celebrated its 40th anniversary this past year, as Bluey's success is not only reflected in TV but also in diverse areas, from theme parks and immersive experiences to console and app video games. We are also finalising partnerships and collaborations with a number of high profile brands.”

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evergreen status. The anticipation surrounding the new Doctor Who, set to premiere in May, is significant, with Russell T Davies returning as both writer and director. This iconic series, co-invested by Disney+ and featuring the incredible Ncuti Gatwa promises to elevate the brand to new heights.”

What are the key challenges facing your business in 2024?

Andrew: “Economic uncertainty and inflation remain challenges, impacting spending. Established brands may thrive, while launching new properties presents significant hurdles.”

Inset: Peppa Pig is marking 20 years in 2024, with the brand continuing to grow in theme parks, with two more opening this year.

And what are the positives?

Charlotte: “On a positive note, we're witnessing a growing consumer Roubina: “In the current interest in economy, margins are being sustainable and squeezed across the board, but ethical products. the licensing industry is This presents us incredibly resilient and has with opportunities for impactful collaborations and always been able to adapt to challenges.” eco-friendly initiatives.” Marianne: “We’re dealing with a challenging Sam: “With Squishmallows, as we manage both the market on a global scale, so we are keenly aware of toys and the consumer products, we have a the importance of adjusting and being nimble to competitive edge as we can seamlessly collaborate address the realities of the new macro conditions. with our partners on marketing, social, out-of-aisle Businesses are being faced with declines in opportunities and business intelligence. As a master consumer product revenue as a result of some toy partner to a number of exited licences and overall Inset: Bluey’s global expansion will continue this year. amazing properties, softer category trends. We are Jazwares has a proven track using these challenges as fuel record of working closely to drive innovation as we pivot with brand owners to to meet the new demands of ensure that our products the market and consumers.” embody and are an Charlotte: “One of the key authentic extension of the challenges we anticipate in brand. We are brand 2024 is the need for increased guardians and always think adaptability. Rapid shifts in about how to drive consumer preferences and longevity and keep brands market dynamics require us to fresh on the shelf, often stay agile and responsive. outperforming expectations Additionally, supply chain and other competitive brands.” disruptions and fluctuating global economic Andrew: “On the positive side, a potential easing of conditions may pose challenges.” interest rates and innovative consumer engagement Sam: “We are anticipating a strategies offer a more optimistic outlook.” challenging 2024, across the market. Consumer spending will continue to be more considered than ever, and What trends should we be on the we will have to work hard with all lookout for in 2024? our partners to ensure we have the Andrew: “Studios are expanding reach through right offerings at the right price.” AVOD platforms, transcending single-platform approaches. Immersive events, like Bluey x CAMP in LA - which is CAMP’s fastest selling experience Inset: Charlotte Payne ever - signifies a growing trend, blending virtual

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evidenced by the $278 billion in retail sales it has and physical interactions. Immersive experiences generated this year. We believe 2024 can be even are invaluable for building strong connections with bigger, especially when you look at some of the the audience, serving both as a marketing tool and key properties celebrating anniversaries next year, revenue generator.” which only drives more attention and Sam: “It will be really interesting to see nostalgia for a brand.” Hollywood’s effects on the licensing industry as Charlotte: “Yes, we are confident that the the entertainment industry recovers from last global licensing industry, including Care year. We anticipate new brands to emerge from Bears, is well positioned for outside traditional media channels.” substantial growth in 2024. Our Charlotte: “In 2024, we expect to see a strategic initiatives, combined stronger push towards sustainability, with with the enduring appeal of Care more toys made from environmentally Bears, make us optimistic about friendly materials and designed with green contributing to this growth.” principles in mind. The wellness trend is Andrew: “Yes - particularly with also taking centre stage, with an emphasis the peak of interest rates. If we on toys that encourage active play and can come out 2023 clean from a foster emotional and mental health for a Inset: Andrew Carley stock POV then all the better.” holistic approach to child development.” Marianne: “The power of nostalgia continues to Finally, what’s your hot tip for 2024? grow. We’ve seen a notable increase in demand from consumers, as well as licensees and retailers, Sam: “Collaboration is key. Now more for more products from our classic properties. than ever, we must work harder and more Additionally, we should continue to see brands innovatively with our partners to win together.” lean into the live event and experience space. We Charlotte: “To stay agile and adaptable. In a rapidly have seen tremendous results from our changing landscape, businesses that can pivot Location-Based Experiences (LBEs) and anticipate quickly and embrace emerging trends will thrive. that to continue as additional parks Keep a close watch on and attractions open.” sustainability, digital Roubina: “Y2K and manga are innovations and global huge trends which will continue to market dynamics.” lead the way in 2024. LocationMarianne: “Brands, based entertainment has grown listen to your exponentially, and live experiences consumers. By doing are getting more and more that, then building out sophisticated. This is a fantastic programmes that category for certain brands and address the wants and can cement the consumer needs of your fans, Inset: 2024 will be a big year connection in an incredibly you’re creating branded for Totally Spies, which is powerful way. Consumers are products and returning to screens with a new series after 10 years. driving demand for experiences that meet environmentally friendly products fans where they are and and practices, and I anticipate this will continue to proving that you care about their opinions. create positive change in 2024.” Consumers are dictating the marketplace now, setting the direction and we need to listen and follow.” Can the global licensing industry Roubina: “For 2024 or any other year, focus on retail. Ultimately, whether you sign a DTR or go enjoy a year of growth in 2024 in through preferred vendors, through retail, you will your view? always get a better understanding of what you need to focus on to improve your brand status in Marianne: “It definitely can. Overall, the global the market.” licensing industry is in a very healthy place, as LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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Where can you catch us this month?

We’re at Toy Fair!

We’re at Toy Fair!

23RD JANUARY - 25TH JANUARY OLYMPIA STAND : UL102 (UPPER LEVEL)

Nuremberg, here we come!

30TH JANUARY - 3RD FEBRUARY

HALL: 12.0 BOOTH: C-08-1 LOCATION: NUREMBERG EXHIBITION CENTRE

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First quarter focus

Inset: The first quarter of 2024 will be full of trade shows and new product launches for licensees across the board. Below: Diary of a Wimpy Kid will be one of the new launches for Wonder for Q1.

As we enter 2024, LSB asks a selection of licensees across key categories how they are looking to make the most of the first quarter of the New Year despite the wider challenges that everyone is facing.

Mel Beer, group licensing director, Wonder

Christine Roberts, head of licensing, Misirli

“We’re excited to be showcasing our new licensed ranges at Nuremberg Toy Fair, in our usual position (Hall 9, Stand A-55, C-58) at the end of January. There’s lots of newness coming throughout 2024 across costumes, party goods and balloons, including costumes for World Book Day-branded fairy tale characters, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates. 2024 is Peppa Pig’s 20th anniversary and we’ve got lots of new product development underway, across all categories, to celebrate that. We’ve also got some fantastic new ranges lined up for Halloween 2024. From Lionsgate we have costumes coming for SAW, Halloween and Leprechaun and from Mattel there’s a new party goods/balloon range for Monster High. All of this on top of product range extensions and design refreshes for our existing range of much-loved characters.”

“On the back of a challenging year, we are optimistic about the New Year and the opportunities ahead of us. 2023 was a year in which we grew our team, added to our licensing portfolio across nightwear, underwear and socks, with some exciting new brands, and continued to strengthen our retail distribution and relationships. We are entering 2024 with a healthy order book with our evergreen licences and will start to see some of our recently signed licences launch from the first quarter. This period will set the scene for the following months as we look to react and trade into SS24 and finalise our AW24 ranges. We are excited for a packed year of anniversaries, new content launches and new range drops across our portfolio of essentials.” Right: Misirli’s Christine is looking forward to a packed year with brands including Sonic in the licensee’s portfolio.

Ashley Holman, md, ToyTopic “We are very excited about a number of new product launches. Our highlights include a full range of plush and accessories for Hello Kitty, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Our range of PAW Patrol Easter plush will be launching trade wide and our very first in-house created brand called CUBEZZZ, which is an exciting collectable plush concept with some of the largest licences in the market within it hitting shelves. Swing by at London Toy Fair (stand G94) to see us.” Right: Ashley Holman, ToyTopic.

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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 FRIDAY 8TH MARCH 2024 The 2024 winners of the awards will be revealed at a lavish afternoon event held at The Royal Lancaster Hotel, Lancaster Terrace, London on Thursday 25 April 2024

The B&LLAs bring together retailers, licensees, brand owners and representatives to celebrate excellence in brand and lifestyle licensing.

For information on reserving tickets or tables to the event, please contact: Clare Hollick at Createvents Ltd using clare@createvents.co.uk or calling +44(0)1183 340085 For information on sponsorship or any other enquiries please contact: Ian Hyder, Joint MD of Max Publishing on +44 (0)7525 634306 ianh@max-publishing.co.uk

www.brandlicensingawards.co.uk Max Publishing, United House, North Road, London, N7 9DP T: +44 (0)207 7006740 W: www.max-publishing.co.uk

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Lisa Shand, md, Blueprint Collections “Blueprint has invested in new products and designs for our key licences and ensured that they are available from early 2024 to start the year off on a strong note. We are aware of the challenging market conditions and the whole team has an agile mind set to respond to all opportunities and requests from customers.” Left: Lisa Shand, Blueprint Collections.

Dan Grant, licensing director, Danilo

Below: Dan Grant, Danilo.

“The start of the year always means trade fair season. For me, it’s a great opportunity to catch up on all the latest brand launches with licensors and showcase the new ranges that Danilo will be launching into the market over the next 12 months. I’m hoping for a positive year in 2024, with some hot movies, TV shows and big music acts on tour, alongside some big sporting events such as Euro 2024 and The Olympics.” Below: Mark Lindsay, Cotton Division.

Mark Lindsay, commercial director, Cotton Division “We will be making the most of Q1 2024 by preparing the best we can for the main summer events which will be happening, especially the Olympics in Paris.”

Lucy Salisbury, director, licensing EMEA, Funko “One of the great things about Funko is that we have so many licences and work with so many incredible partners. It means we have something for all occasions, even the first quarter of the year which is often one of the quieter quarters. Some of the exciting items we will launch will be for Pokémon Day in February; we have some awesome new characters to collect, like Funko Pop! Munchlax. And there are events like Valentine’s Day where we have lot of items available from many great licences, like a really cute Funko Pop! Mandalorian holding Grogu. Plus, we are super excited about all the new Bitty Pop! which will launch in Q1 including our new Friends range – it’s sure to be a great start of the year for Funko and our licensor partners.” Above: Funko will be taking advantage of seasonal opportunities during Q1, such as Valentine’s Day, with new launches. Below: Rubies will be showcasing new lines across various trade shows in Q1.

Fran Hales, head of portfolio, Rubies “Rubies is preparing for a very exciting year ahead starting with the first quarter as we focus on showcasing our product and plans at various international trade shows, while also rolling out the 365 strategy, fulfilment opportunities and our product offerings. Halloween 2024 is already front of mind as we present over 40 styles, enhanced retail support programmes and an exciting change to Rubies of which we can’t reveal quite yet. It promises to be a year of change in the face of many challenges with the current climate, but we are ready for it. Make sure you drop by one of our Rubies stands as we will be at Toy Fair (stand N25), as well as further afield in Hong Kong and Nuremberg toy fairs. Book an appointment with your local Rubies representative and we look forward to catching up soon.”

LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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@startlicensing @startlicensing @startlicensing

All properties appear with permission of respective owners All properties appear with permission of respective owners All properties appear with permission of respective owners

All properties Allproperties properties appear appear with appear permission with permission of respective of respective owners owners All with permission of respective owners

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Allie Wilson, sales director, Blues Group “Here at Blues Group we continue to see new growth and encouraging conversations with retailers and brands as we head into 2024. As a cross category business, we are heading into a new year with a great licensed portfolio and strong retail links, enabling us to continue to drive positive sales.” Above: Allie Wilson, Blues.

Tim Kilby, brand and ecommerce director, Character World Brands “During the colder months, Character World Brands works closely with retailers and suppliers to ensure stock is on hand of the relevant products consumers need during winter, as well as launching new lines for SS24 in January. In Q1, we’re also meeting with licensors, retailers and suppliers at various trade fairs to ensure we are set up to deliver a fantastic product assortment for AW24 and beyond. We continuously review our product assortment to ensure each retailer has the best value mix possible across all home and lifestyle products. Our brand portfolio for 2024 is stronger than ever and we begin Q1 with high levels of confidence and excitement at what the year will bring.” Above: Tim Kilby, Character World Brands.

Andy Downie, commercial director, Dreamtex “We are expecting a good Q1 after a very busy Christmas trading period. Our order book for S/S is robust with new lines coming through and more exciting licence signings to announce. Overall, we are looking forward to a strong first half of the year despite the challenges our industry has faced over the last few years and we are confident in our ever evolving brand portfolio.” Above: Andy Downie, Dreamtex.

Norman Thompson, md, Imagine8 “Making the most of the first quarter of 2024 with broader challenges will need strategic planning, flexibility and adaptability. Some general suggestions for us all to consider include setting clear goals - define specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound goals for the first quarter and check that these goals align with overall business objectives. Focus on core competencies and concentrate on what your business does best, plus adapt and be flexible; evaluate the impact of external challenges on your business, economic conditions, industry trends and any ongoing global issues. Understand customers’ needs and expectations and enhance customer service and engagement, plus ask for feedback and make improvements based on customer input. Another suggestion is to diversify suppliers and ensure a robust supply chain to mitigate potential disruptions. Consider building strategic stockpiles of critical resources. Explore collaborations with other businesses or industry partners; pooling resources and sharing expertise can lead to mutually beneficial outcomes. Remember, flexibility and adaptability are key in navigating uncertain times. Regularly review your strategies, stay informed and be prepared to adjust your approach as needed throughout the quarter.” Above: A sneak peek into the future with Imagine8's Bluey Accessories snapshot for 2024.

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THE BIG INTERVIEW: HMV

Traditionally the go-to destination for music and movie fans, HMV has become equally well known for its pop culture offering. Following the retailer’s triumphant return to its original Oxford Street site and its first foray into Europe, head of pop culture Gary Williamson tells LSB about the must-have licensed products in store for 2024.

This one’s for the fans… W

hile it retains a strong online presence, HMV’s return to London’s Oxford Street reflects a resurgence in IRL retail – with younger consumers leading the charge. “There’s been a renaissance on the high street when it comes to pop culture, and fans are looking for a place to come,” says HMV’s head of pop culture Gary Williamson. “All my team, myself included, are collectors, and we want somewhere to shop ourselves. I want HMV to be the place where the store staff and the customers are all likeminded fans, where people can come in, and for an hour or so get away from the worries of the world and just enjoy loving Star Wars, Disney, or whatever else they’re into.” From eight year olds on the hunt for Pokémon cards to middle-aged Mad Beauty fans, HMV’s pop

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Above: The Star Wars franchise is a perennial top performer for the retailer. Below: HMV reopened on London’s Oxford Street in November 2023.

culture offering caters for everyone – and is constantly evolving. Gary explains: “We used to consistently sell £14.99 figurines; now, we have figurines in stores priced at £200, £300, £400… We have everything from those truly special items for customers who want something unique, right down to our general lines, which are focused on Star Wars, Marvel and other big film or TV franchises. Netflix is very heavy now on activity, so we get a great reaction to them. But the same could be said of Apple TV or Disney+.” The retailer’s offering has expanded to include beauty products, fashion, food and beverage and homewares (if you’re after a My Chemical Romance-branded chopping board, you know where to come). Apparel, in particular, is a growing category.


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“Everything started from a conversation I had with my team about how we want to dress the fan head to toe,” says Gary. “That could be a wristband, a head band, make-up, a bag… Talking of which, Loungefly has been massively successful for us. We've got stands in all our stores and exclusives waiting to drop which are going to blow people away.” Footwear – including a recently launched range of collectable gothic-style shoes – is also flying off the shelves. This spring, the retailer will introduce its collectable sneaker offering, which will be franchise-led, with a strong focus on anime. Then, of course, there’s that HMV staple: the branded t-shirt. “T-shirts present a massive opportunity for us,” says Gary. “Right now, we’re coming at it from three angles: we’re going after the fashion lines – anime in particular is underrepresented on the high street and it's challenging some of the bigger franchises; we’re targeting the goth kids, and we've got our classic t-shirts with, say, Metallica, on them. “We’ve got a fantastic supplier base, which includes Heroes Inc, Bioworld and Pyramid International, and we employ kids who totally buy into the fandom. So, from the licensor down to the supplier down to us, we’ve got all three wings working together to deliver the best product possible.” With new trends popping up almost overnight, quick turnaround times are vital. Gary says: “We put Zombie Makeout Club in one single store a year ago, to test it out. It was hugely successful and within three weeks, it was in all our stores. But

we can only do that with the help of our amazing suppliers, who are really supportive.” While customer feedback – be it at Comic Con, on social media or instore – is useful for keeping abreast of the latest fads, Gary takes a more ‘eyeson’ approach, visiting busy London stations for a couple of hours at a time to see what people are wearing. “More and more people seem to be goths right now, and so we've introduced some gothinspired product in our stores. Some of our best sellers are Vampire Tears candles.” There’s more in store for goth fans later this year, when HMV is set to launch a range of products based on Universal horror movies, both classic and modern, as well as a collection celebrating the 1980s. Also joining HMV’s roster in 2024 are Emily the Strange and Care Bears. Meanwhile, HMV will continue to expand across Europe - it opened a Dublin store in June 2023, and its first Belgian store in Antwerp in November. Add in HMV’s recent Best Retailer of Adult Licensed Products win at The Licensing Awards 2023, and it’s understandable that Gary is feeling upbeat. “The award was all down to the hard work put in by my team,” he concludes. “We love entertainment. And we love entertaining people.”e

Inset: The HMV team collected the award for Best Retailer of Adult Licensed Products at The Licensing Awards 2023. Top: Leaning into the gothic trend, HMV’s crosscategory Spellbound collection has been a huge hit. Centre: Fans can get their bath, body and make-up fix in-store and online courtesy of Mad Beauty.

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In-store stars Inset: Next saw sales grow 5.7% in the nine weeks to 30 December 2023.

Asda on track to hit 1,000 stores by March 2024 From solid festive trading periods and expected record breaking turnover to new top selling collaborations and expanded partnerships, the UK retail landscape has kicked off 2024 with some strong activity.

Next looks ahead to strong full year Next has reported a ‘better than expected’ festive trading period and, as a result, has upped its full year profit guidance. The buoyant retailer saw sales grow 5.7% in the nine weeks to 30 December 2023, having initially predicted a 2% increase for the period. On the back of the strong performance and, as it is also expecting a robust performance in January, Next has increased its full year profit before tax guidance by £20 million to £905 million. This is up 4% on last year. Of the £20m, £17m came from the sales beat to date and £3m from an upgraded forecast for full price sales in January. The retailer’s online business performed particularly well – in the final quarter of the year, online sales rose 9.1%, with retail up 0.6%; over the second half of the year, online was up 7.7%, while retail was flat. Overall sales were up 5.7% in the final quarter and 4.8% in the second half. Looking ahead Next said it now expected full year full price sales to reach £4.8 billion (+4%), with full tax profit before tax for the full year now expected to hit £905 million (+4%).

Asda opened a record 81 new Asda Express stores in December 2023, confirming it is on track to hit 1,000 UK stores by March 2024. The conversions of its recent acquisition of Co-op and EG UK sites, alongside the opening of eight standalone Asda Express stores, brings the total number of Asda Express sites to 229 nationwide – with the rest of the 254 sites due to convert by the end of Q1 2024. The accelerated conversion process sets Asda on track to have 1,000 stores across the UK and Northern Ireland by March 2024 – giving Asda its biggest estate in its 58-year history. The latest openings include Asda’s first convenience store in Manchester city centre and three new London stores in Romford, Acton and Ealing. Asda plans to open a further 11 Express stores in the capital next year, as it looks to grow its footprint in an area where it has traditionally been underrepresented. The new Asda Express stores stock up to 3,000 branded Inset:Asda opened a and own-label record 81 new Asda Express stores in products. December 2023.

JoJo Maman Bébé launches toiletries range JoJo Maman Bébé has launched its first ever toiletries line, with a collection of bathtime favourites designed for babies, children and families. The vegan and cruelty-free range includes bath fizzers, bubble baths, moisturisers and hair and body washes in sweet and fruity scents. The bathtime products are exclusively sold online and at selected Tesco stores across the UK.

Above: The new toiletries line includes bubble bath and hair and body wash.

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RETAIL ROUND-UP Inset: Mamas & Papas saw sales grow 17% from a year earlier in the 13 weeks to 31 December 2023.

Mamas & Papas expecting ‘record breaking’ turnover Nursery and childrenswear retailer, Mamas & Papas is expecting to achieve record breaking turnover in its current financial year - buoyed by a strong Christmas performance and bumper Black Friday trade. The retailer reported that sales in the 13 weeks to 31 December 2023 grew 17% from a year earlier, with underlying profits up 50%, boosted by fewer promotions and disciplined cost control. It now expects to deliver record breaking turnover and profits in the current year ending March 2023. "Last year, despite a challenging inflationary environment, we backed our strategy and continued to invest in the brand and the business for both long-term sales and profit growth. That approach is bearing fruit in the current year,” commented Nathan Williams, chief executive. “We’re looking forward to building on the momentum we’re currently seeing into the next year, expanding our presence both in the UK and overseas as the category leader in nursery and baby products." The prior year the group reported sales of £144 million, up from £126 million, while pre-tax profits improved to £8.2 million from £6.8 million and underlying profits rose to £10.9 million from £10.2 million, recently filed accounts show. Mamas & Papas has over 50 stores and concessions (including with Marks & Spencer and Next) across the UK and Ireland.

Inset: The Entertainer’s range will be in 759 large Tesco stores in the UK and 94 in Ireland.

Tesco and The Entertainer expand partnership Tesco customers will now be able to buy The Entertainer’s full range from all of its stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The toys range will be rolled out to 759 large stores in the UK and 94 in Ireland, marking an expansion of the year-long trial for The Entertainer in 35 of Tesco’s UK superstores. In addition, Tesco is entering into a supplier agreement with The Entertainer for its Central Europe stores. “We’re really excited to be bringing The Entertainer to Tesco stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland and introducing our customers in Central Europe to the brand,” commented Jan Marchant, Tesco’s md of home and clothing. “Our initial trial was really popular with customers and we look forward to introducing even more customers to the great range of toys from The Entertainer – making it easier for customers to pick up a gift for their little ones in store.” Andrew Murphy, group ceo at The Entertainer, added: “After a successful trial, we’re excited to be bringing The Entertainer’s fabulous range and market-leading value to even more communities across the country and to be doing so with the UK’s most admired retail business.”

Below: Primark currently has 15 outlets in Italy.

Primark outlines growth plans for Italy Primark has outlined its ambitious growth plans for the Italian market – including an investment of €50 million in the territory and the aim of growing its store footprint to 20. The retailer opened its first store in Arese in 2016 and it currently has 15 outlets across Italy, growing the team to 4,500 Primark Italy colleagues. Over the next few years, the retailer will open a further five stores. Four of those will be in new cities for Primark: Porta a Mare shopping centre (Livorno); Metropolis shopping centre, Rende (Cosenza); Maximall shopping centre, Pontecagnano Faiano (Salerno), as well as a new

city centre store in Genoa. 2022 saw it open a store in Turin’s Le Gru shopping centre, and there are also plans to open a second store in Turin in the To Dream shopping centre. Luca Ciuffreda, director of sales in Italy, said: “We will continue to create inclusive environments where our customers enjoy the experience of our stores and our colleagues enjoy coming to work. Our new stores will take inspiration from the latest retail innovations and Italian style and architecture. They will have LED lighting, and will also be the first stores in Italy to feature self-service checkouts.”

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TRADE FAIR SEASON

The spring trade fair calendar is in full swing – with Hong Kong, Top Drawer and Harrogate Christmas and Gift kicking things off earlier in January. Next up are Toy Fair at London’s Olympia, swiftly followed by Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg, both of which will be proudly showcasing the latest and most innovative licensed toys. LSB takes a closer look.

Toy story

T

he licensed toys category has grown to become a significant component of the toy sector, representing 31% of toy sales in the UK in 2022 (as reported by Circana in January 2023), and this will be reflected in many stands across the show floor at London’s Olympia, when Toy Fair opens its doors from 23-25 January. “The growth of key licences, such as Harry Potter and Star Wars, continue to lead and influence the industry, with numerous toy ranges centred around these established franchises,” says Majen Immink, Toy Fair head of operations and sales and BTHA’s director of fairs and events. “The release of new films, TV shows and sporting events each year all serve as key drivers for the licensed toy sector. “The importance of the licensed toy sector cannot be overstated, as licensed toys are one of the main drivers of the toy market. We recognise the significance and importance of having a strong representation of licensed toys and games at Toy Fair, as they play a crucial role in shaping consumer preferences and driving sales. At Toy Fair 2024, attendees can expect to discover a vast range of licensed toys from various exhibitors including Jazwares, Basic Fun!, KAP Toys, Pat Avenue, Cartamundi, Schleich, Bladez Toyz, plus many more.” At Toy Fair, the focus is always very much on the showfloor, with Majen

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Inset: There will be strong representation for licences at Toy Fair at London’s Olympia. Bottom: Majen Immink, Toy Fair head of operations and sales.

saying the team wants visitors to have ample opportunity to meet with as many exhibitors as possible. She also highlights Toy Fair TV - with visitors having the chance to discover new licensed products through exclusive interviews and demonstrations from exhibitors – as well as the Toy Fair’s Hero Toys display, which will celebrate the industry’s heroes, showcasing various products across several categories including licensed products. Meanwhile, the area of licensed toys is also “really significant” for the Spielwarenmesse, which runs from 30 January to 3 February in Nuremberg. “According to Licensing International, in 2022 global sales of licensed goods and services came to US$ 340.8 billion. Toys, alongside clothing and fashion accessories, continue to be among the largest product categories. This growth is also reflected at the Spielwarenmesse,” comments Christian Ulrich, spokesperson of the executive board at Spielwarenmesse eG.


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“For many years now we’ve seen the range of licensed toys expand. They are ubiquitous in the various product groups because they represent reliable sales drivers.” For Hunter Price International, it will be the first time exhibiting at Spielwarenmesse (Hall 12.0, C-08-1), with Allana Holmes, sales director for the home and lifestyle division, saying that the company has “high expectations” for the show. “The goal is to deliver a show with real impact and for us to showcase the best of what Hunter Price has to offer the retail industry,” she explains. “It was a natural step for us to take our place on the international stage in Nuremberg, which firmly aligns with our growth ambitions. We’re really looking forward to showcasing our new propositions and partnerships – and for some – demonstrating just how much we’ve evolved as a business and our growth strategies for the future.” There is excitement, too, from the licensor side, with Nigel Cook, vp of brand commercialisation and retail at Disney, telling LSB about the studio’s Nuremberg presence: “Following the success of Disney100 in 2023, we are excited to share with our licensee and retailer partners our brand and franchise plans for 2024 and 2025 to continue our strong partnership together. Highlights include the relaunch of Disney Princess, the continued growth from our evergreen Disney Classics including the breakout property Stitch, expansion of preschool with Ariel Jr, Spidey and his Amazing Friends and the return of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and growth from Marvel, including Deadpool 3. “Disney continues to outperform the EMEA toy industry, and we see Nuremberg as a key calendar moment to help strengthen our position. It is a melting pot of creativity; a place where our licensees can share their innovative and magical products. “We will also discuss with our retail partners industry leading marketing campaigns and retail activations, driven by this great product from our licensing partners.”

Licensing International heads to Nuremberg Spielwarenmesse has a longstanding partnership with Licensing International and has developed the new LicenseLounge in Hall 12.0 for this year’s show. “The name says it all,” says Christian. “It comprises a networking area alongside the popular LicenseTalks. These share the latest expertise in licensing, provide graphic examples from practice and offer valuable insights for those coming new to the licensing business.” Steve Manners, head of global marketing and UK md at Licensing International, adds: “Licensing International is excited to partner with Spielwarenmesse, BRANDMate and Licensing Magazine to curate a series of LicenseTalks in the LicenseLounge in Hall 12, tailored for the licensing community. “We will also once again occupy Booth 07 in Foyer Hall 12.0, providing space for members to conduct meetings. To secure your table, simply email jketterer@licensing.org with the necessary details: date, time, host name and company, as well as guest name(s). Due to demand, please limit reservations to just two 30-minute slots per day. We'll strive to accommodate additional meetings if possible.” You can head to www.spielwarenmesse.de/en/licenses for more detailed information. Top: Spielwarenmesse has seen the range of licensed toys on the showfloor expand for a number of years. Right: Christian Ulrich, spokesperson of the executive board at Spielwarenmesse eG.

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Where licensing meets children’s content THE ONLY INTERNATIONAL LICENSING TRADE FAIR DEVOTED TO BRANDS AND CONTENT FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS 8-11 April 2024 Bologna, Italy 17th edition International

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Taking place from 4-7 February at NEC Birmingham, Spring Fair will be welcoming a host of licensed products including Disney characters, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Marvel, Harry Potter and Barbie, through to popular TV chefs, heritage brands and interior household names.

Bottom: Soraya Gadelrab, event director, Spring Fair. Below right: Sting in the Tale will be showing its design-led giftware in partnership with The Repair Shop. Below centre: Half Moon Bay will showcase a wide range of licensed collectables.

Spring loaded W

e are very excited to welcome so many new and well-known licensed brands to Spring Fair,” begins Soraya Gadelrab, event director at Spring Fair. “The huge rise in popularity for licensed products in the retail sector continues unabated and Spring Fair will play host to an enormous array of bestselling designs.” Among the names on show will be Captivate Brands, showcasing a range of properties including Mary Berry’s collection of classic kitchenware; Yvonne Ellen’s collection of illustrated animals with on trend colours and subtle hints of gold; Catherine Lansfield kitchen products which are designed and developed in Great Britain and ethically sourced overseas; as well as dog walking accessories from Pawsome Paws Boutique. Pure Table Top will be showcasing a selection of brands within Housewares – including Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; kitchenware from Joules; and Olly Smith’s collection of glassware. In Home, Living and Décor, home furnishing and interior products specialist, Riva Home will be bringing collections from Peter Rabbit and Voyage Maison to the show, while Turner Bianca will offer textile designs from Hyperion, Matthew Williamson, Catherine Lansfield, Content by Terence Conran and Style Sisters. In Kids, Toys & Play, buyers can tap into toys from brands including Paddington and Peppa Pig from TY UK; licensed backpacks, wellies, shoes and lunchboxes

featuring Bluey, Frozen and Harry Potter from William Lamb; and a range of Disney, Marvel and Universal soft toys, inflatables, games, novelties and stationery from Whitehouse Leisure. Within Gift, Fizz Creations will present its selection of quirky gadgets and creative décor, while Paladone’s innovative trend-led products will include a range of TV shows and gaming brands. Sting in the Tale returns with its range of design-led giftware in partnership with The Repair Shop; Half Moon Bay will showcase lines inspired by Disney Classic, Agatha Christie, Wallace & Gromit, Jurassic Park, JAWS, ET, Lord of the Rings, Moomins, Winnie the Pooh and William Morris; Lasgo will highlight brands such as AC/DC, Motörhead, Assassin’s Creed, The Beatles and Metallica; and Star Images Enterprise will have collections from numerous TV shows and films. Also on the showfloor will be Blue Sky Studios, The English Ladies Co, Heroes Inc, Rock Off Retail, The Source Wholesale, The Carat Shop, Infinity Brands, Enesco, Pyramid International, Spike Leisurewear, Heathcote & Ivory, The English Soap Company and many more.

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TRADE FAIR SEASON

Now an integral part of the Bologna Children's Book Fair, the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids returns to BolognaFiere from 8 to 11 April 2024 for its 17th edition. LSB finds out more.

Italian flair

Bottom: Elena Pasoli, director culture BU at Bolognafiere Spa. Below: The BLTF/Kids returns to BolognaFiere from 8-11 April.

S

een as an integral part of Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids is a must-attend event because of “the atmosphere you experience, the wealth of content we offer and the business opportunities you can develop”, Elena Pasoli, director culture BU at Bolognafiere Spa, explains. Running from 8-11 April, the Licensing Hall is at “the heart” of the Book Fair, says Elena. “It is important to emphasise that it is increasingly an integrated event within the rich world of the Book Fair. More and more exhibitors and visitors to the Licensing Hall can Bologna: Need to know experience the “Last year we welcomed 1,456 exhibitors day conference programme intersections that exist from 90 countries, as well as 28,894 on key trends in children's and between licensing, international visitors. During the course of youth content, bringing international publishing the exhibition, we organised over 325 events,” says Elena. together expertise from the and much more. Big licensing names exhibiting included worlds of publishing, licensing, “In the Licensing Hall Banijay Kids & Family, IMG Italy, Mattel video content, gaming, there will be many Europa, Maurizio Distefano Licensing, retail and more. novelties. First of all, we Mediatoon Licensing, Mondo, Moonbug, NBC Universal, Paramount, Rights & Brands, The popular Bologna will be organising for the Sanrio, TF1 Licensing, The Pokémon Licensing Awards will also first time ever the Company International and WildBrain CPLG return, with a new accolade in Licensing Portfolio Review among others. Further details on the 2024 show will be 2024 for the most to allow manufacturers, revealed shortly. Visit internationally sustainable animation studios and new www.bolognachildrensbookfair.com for more children’s project. talents from illustration to details or email licensing@bolognafiere.it. Elena continues: “Our aim meet and create new is to increasingly position BLTF/Kids as the business opportunities. must-attend event for those dealing with “Added to this, there will be the return of licensing and children's content in matchmaking activities between our various fields. exhibitors and fashion and retail “Its positioning within the world's companies, with a focus on the leading Bologna Children’s Book Fair kids target.” makes us a leader in this respect and Elena continues: “Last but not no place like Bologna can best least, we are thrilled to re-launch accommodate content development in the TV/FILM Rights Centre, that is every possible direction - publishing, the first business area ever organised audio-visual, comics, toys, gaming and any to help the matchmaking and other ancillary rights. copyrights exchange between audio-visual “Bologna is an extraordinary international producers and publishers.” community. From the first time you visit us, you On top of this, the International Kids Licensing will come back every year.” Days is a further ‘event within an event’ - a threeLICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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THE INSIGHTS FAMILY RESEARCH

The Insights Family takes a look at how the world of licensing is widening its scope and looking at where offline and digital meet.

The omni-channel playground F

rom video games to blockbuster films, popular online entertainment IPs are now delving into innovative methods to connect with fans beyond the online realm. Through imaginative themed experiences and products, online IP expands into the tangible world, with the goal of strengthening ties with their current audiences and drawing in new enthusiasts. Licensing professionals are widening their scope, transforming their IPs into physical experiences, thereby initiating a paradigm shift that fosters a seamless sphere of online and offline entertainment. The preference for spending money on experiences over material products has surged rapidly among kids, with a +39% year-on-year increase among 13-15 year olds in France and a +12% rise amongst 10-12s in the UK. Overall, across the EU5 region, 36% of 10-15s value

Music concerts go digital 2023 saw Taylor Swift taking centre stage at cinema venues around the world via the Eras tour. Taylor Swift holds second position as a favourite celebrity/influencer among tween and teen girls across EU5, claiming the top spot in the UK. The Eras Tour film perfectly caters to the legion of young fans. Given that only 13% of teens attend live music concerts, the film provides an opportunity for fans who missed the live tour to partake in the experience. There has been an +18% year-on-year growth in the number of tweens and teens visiting the cinema signalling an opportunity for more shows of similar nature to take over cinema venues.

experiences over products. Opting for an omnichannel presence, in other words, expanding an IP’s territory across new online, or offline channels, is a way for brands to enhance their properties and bring out the experiential aspects that an ever-growing number of kids are craving for.

The gaming realm Furthermore, in the gaming space, Fortnite (ranking fifth across EU5 amongst 10-18s) has hosted several real-world, as well as in-game events featuring the game’s characters and themes. From concerts to immersive gameplay rooms based on offline themes, Fortnite’s marketers know well how to keep their audience entertained and engaged.

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THE INSIGHTS FAMILY RESEARCH

The Pokémon Go phenomenon Capitalising on the surge of Augmented Reality (AR) technology, Niantic, in collaboration with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company launched Pokémon GO – a seamless blend of online and offline experiences through a mobile device. The game leverages AR to bring the beloved Pokémon characters into the real world, providing enthusiasts with an immersive and interactive gaming experience that excels the limits of traditional screens. This innovative approach not only elevates the Pokémon brand to new heights but also exemplifies the evolving landscape where digital and physical realms coalesce to redefine entertainment engagement.

As we move forward, the convergence of offline and digital experiences will reshape the landscape of entertainment. No longer being a novelty, the omnichannel approach is quickly becoming a powerful tool for brands seeking to connect with the digitally (and soon AI) savvy generation. By blending online and offline experiences, deeper relationships can be fostered cultivating a loyal community. This evolution marks a pivotal shift in how kids consume content and experience entertainment with them being active participants in a multi-dimensional journey rather than mere spectators.

The world of trading cards A popular game among friends which practically is played offline, trading cards saw a transformative shift, crossing towards the digital realm. For example, the popular Match Attax cards have embraced the seamless integration of online and offline worlds. Now, when enthusiasts purchase a card pack physically, they not only acquire tangible trading cards but also unlock a digital dimension through a QR code. This code grants access to an accompanying app, offering a parallel online experience with a unique set of trading cards. This innovative approach not only enhances the traditional joy of collecting cards offline, but also opens up an exciting online world, providing a dynamic opportunity for kids to play and engage with their favourite trading cards both online and offline. Across the past year, we’ve observed an increase of +25% in the number of tweens and young teens across the EU5 region stating trading cards as their favourite toy type.

The Insights Family is a global leader in kids, parents and family market intelligence, providing real-time data on attitudes, behaviours and consumption patterns. Kids Insights surveys 7,780 children every week aged 3-18. Parents Insights surveys more than 3,800 parents of children between the ages of 1 and 16 every week. Both services operate in 21 countries across six continents and in total, survey more than 469,040 kids and 228,800 parents a year. This means that the company interviews a new family member somewhere in the world every 45 seconds. Download your free copy of our Inaugural Brand Management Playbook here: https://go.theinsightsfamily.com/brand.

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STATE OF THE NATION: GAMING

Inset: Several more LEGO themed games inside Fortnite will be unveiled this year. Below: Bluey: The Videogame is available on a number of platforms. Bottom: Characters and stories from Warhammer 40,000 will be coming to TV and movies.

From major acquisitions and big name collaborations, through to preschool brands making their games debut and an iconic name heading to TV and movies, the gaming sector continues to surprise and delight. LSB takes a look at some of the latest news.

Power up LEGO Fortnite makes its debut The first play experience to come from the long-term partnership between Epic Games and the LEGO Group, survival crafting game, LEGO Fortnite, is now live. Some of the favourite Fortnite characters – including Brite Bomber, Cuddle Team Leader and Raven – have been given a LEGO makeover, with players collecting food and resources, crafting items and battle enemies, solo or with friends. As part of the launch celebrations, four giant LEGO brick-built Supply Llamas popped up in New York, London, Tokyo and Sydney - each standing 12-feet tall and made up of 234,623 LEGO bricks. The LEGO Group and Epic Games will unveil several more LEGO-themed games inside Fortnite starting early this year. “Our partnership with Epic Games is focused on developing digital play experiences that are designed to be fun and safe, and have the potential to bridge the worlds of physical and digital play to inspire kids,” said Niels B. Christiansen, ceo at the LEGO Group. “Together, we are building digital worlds designed with kids in mind from the outset.”

Outright Games launches first ever Bluey video game Outright Games has partnered with BBC Studios on the first ever video game for preschool hit Bluey. Bluey: The Videogame is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC. The interactive sandbox adventure allows players to navigate faithfully recreated locations including Bluey’s home. Episodic gameplay has activities inspired by fan favourite moments from the show, as well as a new fourpart storyline created in partnership with Artax Games, BBC Studios and Ludo Studio. Minigames seen in the show will afford players the chance to earn in-game rewards including new costumes, stickers, playable episodes and locations. The game also features voices from the English speaking cast of the show and several of the chart-topping Bluey music tracks. “We’re delighted to be working with Outright Games on Bluey’s first video game,” said Kevin Jorge, head of games at BBC Studios. “It’s very important for us to capture the essence of fun and games that is central to the series.”

Amazon to bring Warhammer 40,000 to the big screen Games Workshop has finalised a deal with Amazon to bring the characters and stories from Warhammer 40,000 to TV and movies. The deal was original mooted in December 2022 and gives Amazon the rights to hire talent and to make film and TV projects. Superman actor Henry Cavill will be executive producer and has signed up to appear in the project. A statement on the Games Workshop website said: “Now comes the fun part: working out all the creative details with our partners and getting the first script written and into production. What Warhammer 40,000 stories should we tell first? Should we kick off with a movie or a TV show? Both?!” The deal also gives Amazon the option to licence the rights to other Warhammer franchises further down the line.

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Below: Fabacus technology helped to offer bonus, in-game content as part of the CP strategy for Modern Warfare III.

STATE OF THE NATION: GAMING

Call of Duty, Asda and Fabacus join forces once again Following the success of the 2022 campaign, video games franchise Call of Duty once again partnered with Fabacus to offer bonus, in-game content as part of the CP strategy for Modern Warfare III. Available in George at Asda, consumers were able to scan live QR codes concealed within exclusive Modern Warfare III merchandise – produced by licensee partner, Fashion UK – and register their details to redeem and display the digital, bonus content in game. A previous social media frenzy saw Call of Duty fans throughout the world clammer to receive the rare in-game content as part of 2022’s campaign, which was available for consumers of the exclusive George at Asda range. 2023 saw the unlocking of a bespoke weapon charm through engaging with the products purchased and unveiling the code. Andrew Xeni, ceo and founder of Fabacus, commented: “Seeing the adoption of this technology aid collaborative and strategic relationships between brand, partners, and consumers has been beneficial for all parties and I am excited to see the extension of the Modern Warfare campaign come to life.”

London Games Festival to return London Games Festival will return for a ‘bigger-thanever’ showing this year as organiser Games London details the 2024 dates and the first wave of locked-in events. LGF will run for its ninth year from 9-25 April, with a city-wide celebration that incorporates a programme of activity for global games professionals and players across the country. London Games Festival is supported by the Mayor of London. It is delivered by Games London, an initiative from Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, plus video games trade body Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment) – with a mission to make London the games capital of the world. Since it started in 2016, Games London has helped generate nearly £100m for games businesses that have participated in its programmes. Programming across the 16 days of London Games Festival 2024 will be grouped around three strands which will focus on: industry, talent and impact and gameplay. A full schedule will soon go live at www.games.london.

Inset: Bits + Pixels is representing the Black Desert franchise for licensing.

Bits + Pixels welcomes Pearl Abyss to portfolio Developer, Pearl Abyss, has signed video game and geek culture specialist agency, Bits + Pixels, to represent its Black Desert franchise for merchandise licensing and brand collaborations. Black Desert is an open-world action MMORPG first released in 2014 by Korean video game developer and publisher, Pearl Abyss, available on console, PC and mobile. Played by over 50 million adventurers in over 150 countries across 12 languages, Black Desert offers combat, epic boss fights, open world exploration and a variety of life-skill content, along with remastered graphics and audio. “We are truly excited to get started on developing a licensing and brand collaboration programme for Black Desert,” commented Bits + Pixels’ Sandra Arcan.

The Microsoft and Activision Blizzard Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal gets green light Below: deal is the biggest in gaming history.

The UK competition watchdog – the Competition and Markets Authority – has given the go-ahead for Microsoft’s bid for Activision Blizzard, removing the last hurdle to the biggest ever gaming deal in history. Microsoft first announced the £56 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard – the company behind the Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush and Overwatch franchises among others – in early 2022. However, despite regulators in Europe and the US giving the green light, it was blocked by the CMA in the April over concerns that Microsoft would gain too much control of the new cloud gaming market. Cloud-based games – such as Candy Crush, Overwatch and WOW – are streamed from servers, rather than accessed from a disc or cartridge for a games console or computer. The worry, reported Sky News, was that Microsoft would lock up competition in cloud gaming as the market takes off, limiting competition and bringing up prices for UK cloud gaming customers. However, changes have since been made to the deal, which sees French games publisher Ubisoft – the home of the Assassin’s Creed franchise – acquiring Activision’s cloud gaming rights rather than Microsoft. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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©2024 Mattel.

Since her debut in 1959, Barbie has inspired girls to reach their limitless potential, showing them they can be anything. This year, we celebrate 65 years of empowering generations and invite them to share what Barbie means to them. Uniting fans of all ages, Barbie continues to spread joy 65 years later.

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2024 YOUR BRAND SHAPES IDENTITIES Find the right partners to connect with European fans

24-26 September ExCeL London

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UK ANIMATION’S PURPLE PATCH

From anime series to blockbuster cinema releases and kids’ TV favourites, animation is big business. While US studios continue to dominate in the feature-length animation field, British production houses have carved out a substantial niche for themselves, drawing on a rich legacy of storytelling and humour to craft shows with global appeal. LSB finds out more.

The big picture T

here has been a great appetite for animated children’s shows in recent years and I think the UK has led the field with shows such as Shaun the Sheep, The Amazing World of Gumball and Peppa Pig,” says Sarah Cox, executive creative director at award-winning Bristol-based studio Aardman Animations. “People expect quality and humour from British animation and these shows really deliver. There is a great pool of talent working in and from the UK too, and our writers and directors are a huge part of the British success story.” Aardman’s eagerly awaited feature film Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, which debuted on Netflix in December, evokes what the UK does best, Sarah says: “I think the British sense of humour is something that works well in animation. Well-observed characters have a global resonance, so the visual humour relates well with international audiences. We also operate from a slightly ‘fringe’ perspective so we can offer something slightly different from the major US studios.”

Jamie Badminton, creative director/producer at Karrot Animation, whose preschool favourite Sarah & Duck recently launched into licensing, believes a quirky approach to storytelling is one of the UK industry’s strongest suits. He comments: “As a country, I think we have strong storytelling sensibilities that revel in eccentric characters, building on our deep publishing heritage. “While we do keep global appeal firmly in our minds, we don’t try to play to the broadest audience at the expense of letting the characters’ personalities shine through.

Inset: Tabby McTat is Magic Light’s 11th animated special based on books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

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WE SIMPLIFY SUSTAINABILITY A membership community to support and educate your transition to a sustainable and profitable future. We work with: • Brand Owners • Licensed Manufacturers • Retailers To help you build: • For the environment • For society • For the future With education and support with: • Governance • Legislation • Guidelines Products of Change Membership Products of Change Media Products of Change Events Products of Change Consultancy

Driving business towards a regenerative future

POC membership brings you: Online educational modules Online digital hub to connect with members Sustainable research and insights Live webinars Topic specific working groups Discount to in-person workshops Discount to our annual conference (SILC) A safe community to learn together

productsofchange.com

JOIN US TO BUILD A BETTER FUTURE helena@productsofchange.com

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UK ANIMATION’S PURPLE PATCH

“It’s very helpful that we speak the same language as key North American territories and Australia for getting initial momentum and audience buy-in for new shows. We value personality-filled voice direction and lively character dialogue that isn’t just expositional; I think the UK Inset: Hey Duggee’s The Music Video Badge tries to project a charm episode features pastiches of well-known pop videos. and fallibility on our characters that makes them imperfect and real.” In a fairly turbulent retail environment, preschool animation in particular has offered stability, with wellknown shows continuing to drive strong numbers. “Preschool shows require strong platforms on which to drive awareness and over recent years it feels as though the broadcast and content platform landscape has settled down,” says Andrew Carley, global director of licensing at BBC Studios. “Traditional linear/SVOD and AVOD are coexisting on content more than ever before and many of those platforms are building audiences unthinkable five years ago.” For Hey Duggee, produced Inset: Aardman’s much-anticipated by Studio AKA in Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget debuted on Netflix in December. association with BBC Studios, it’s the show’s co-viewing sweet spot of appealing to both kids and their parents and carers that helps to drive its success. It has topped the rankings on BBC iPlayer for three years in a row, and with the show reaching a milestone 10th birthday next year it is one of the few preschool shows to have achieved longevity across both TV content and licensing. “UK studios and the BBC have a reputation for producing content with superb storytelling combined with high quality animation that goes back decades,” says Andrew. “There has traditionally been a very close partnership between the BBC and UK animation studios and I think this helped shape the highly creative industry today.” January 2024 will see a net uplift to Animation Tax Relief of 4.25% – a welcome boost for an industry that punches well above its weight in terms of global output. “It’s well known that we have world class animation talent and studios in the UK and this is

showing no sign of changing,” says Aidan TaylorGooby, head of licensing at Magic Light Pictures – the company responsible for the latest Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler adaptation Tabby McTat which lit up our screens at Christmas. “To go along with this we have an abundance of resources to adapt. We aren’t short of great quality books to bring to screen, with wonderful characters, nor is there a shortage of original concepts and ideas. When these are developed carefully with a real understanding of the audience, then you get programmes with global appeal. Quality will always last, and a lot of British studios believe in this as a prime objective.” Magic Light is currently building the licensing programme for its preschool series Pip and Posy, a show that debuted in 2021. “Timing is key,” advises Aidan. “If you go too early before a programme is properly established you risk brand awareness not being high enough. A certain period of time should be spent laying the foundations and building up brand love.” Karrot’s Jamie agrees that when it comes to licensing, it pays to play the long game. “I think the fact that Sarah & Duck has reached a higher awareness level after 10 years on TV means brand buyers are fully open to welcoming the characters to their portfolios. We're leaning into what makes the show unique, rather than trying to have it copy other licensing patterns. Its built-in calmness, striking graphic style and off-kilter humour needs to be at the centre of the products we create, so that we faithfully extend the viewing experience for fans of the show.” Right: Magic Light Pictures’ Pip and Posy.

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Inset: Orphan Black: Echoes is a spinoff from the popular Orphan Black. Below: Kate Schlomann, evp of brand management and content marketing, Boat Rocker.

Independent integrated global entertainment company Boat Rocker tells stories and builds iconic brands for audiences around the world. LSB sat down with Kate Schlomann, evp of brand management and content marketing, to hear about the company’s future plans, including a compelling new third-party offering.

Set sail with Boat Rocker

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ince Kate Schlomann came on board in 2019, Boat Rocker has enjoyed incredible and rapid growth. The entertainment company now has offices in six countries and more than 950 employees worldwide, while going public in 2021 enabled it to progress its ambitious expansion plans still further. “We’ve built an impressive track record of success, earning more than 225 major international awards, and currently have over 30 shows in production,” says Kate. “On a personal level I’ve loved working on the shows within a rich portfolio across all genres

– we have such a wealth of compelling titles across scripted, unscripted and kids and family content and I’m proud to have played a part in making so many of them into global hits.” The entertainment industry is transforming, Kate points out, and Boat Rocker is transforming alongside it, launching a compelling new offering for third parties in 2024. “We have such enviable expertise across the critical components needed to provide this kind of service – content, talent and commerce – that we can offer creative solutions to any challenge,” Kate explains. “An established, integrated and diverse independent studio that is behind

A strong scripted and unscripted slate The company’s scripted wing is working alongside industry-leading creators to develop inspired storytelling. The company’s slate includes sci-fi-inspired Orphan Black and its longawaited spin-off Orphan Black: Echoes – which will be available on ITVX in the UK – Invasion and Beacon 23; Robyn Hood, a modern take on the irresistible legend of Robin Hood; and Slip, a relationship comedy from Zoe Lister-Jones set in parallel universes. “We’re also delighted that Apple TV+ is launching the new comedy series Palm Royale, which we produced, in March,” says Kate. Boat Rocker’s unscripted titles cover the gamut of factual, documentaries, game shows, reality TV and talent-driven projects, from inspirational cookery with Mary Makes It Easy to eco-friendly restoration of classic motors with Robert Downey Jr. in Downey’s Dream Cars.

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IN FOCUS: BOAT ROCKER

Boat Rocker is poised to open every door to optimise the commercial exploitation of any idea. We pride ourselves on being innovative, flexible and entrepreneurial – bring your idea to us and watch it take shape.

Kae Schln

the creation and development of a thriving cross-genre portfolio; a trusted reputation for working with A-List talent and creative visionaries across all genres; and a proven ability to monetise hit IP, global distribution, franchise management and licensing – we’re excited to offer these services to third parties as we continue to unlock the full potential of our company to ensure it remains a next-generation, world-beating entertainment business.” Boat Rocker’s third-party service will be an ultra-flexible, turnkey solution, providing as much or as little as each client requires. Clients will be able to take their pick of any or all of the elements Boat Rocker offers: animation services or live action production, talent management or brand endorsement, content marketing, licensing and merchandising, content distribution, or creative and product development. “We know that needs change over the course of a brand’s lifecycle so we are offering an à la carte menu to partners to make it easy and cost effective for them,” says Kate. “There is no such thing as a traditional approach in this ever-changing landscape; content comes from everywhere – books, films, video games, the imagination – and Boat Rocker is poised to open every door to optimise the commercial exploitation of any idea. We pride ourselves on being innovative, flexible and entrepreneurial – bring your idea to us and watch it take shape.” A 360˚ approach to brand management will ensure one clear brand voice across all consumer touchpoints, Kate explains. “Boat Rocker’s licensing and merchandising team is made up of leaders in the field, experts at pitching, negotiating and securing A-list partners across all consumer categories – securing partners locally, regionally and globally, while also managing leading licensing

’’

A vibrant kids and family list Boat Rocker is also an award-winningglobal provider of original kids and family content, with a catalogue of premium live-action and animated entertainment for audiences around the world. Dino Ranch, its unique and fresh blend of preschooler passions – dinosaurs and cowboys – continues to expand its reach globally, while in 2024 The Next Step will be celebrating 10 years since it premiered, a milestone Boat Rocker will be marking with a flurry of activity.

agents on the ground in local markets. Connecting brands to retailers, licensees and agents, they nurture relationships to secure prime in-store placement to maximise commercial success. “They work seamlessly with Boat Rocker’s content marketing team – which creates, leads and develops all marketing and sales materials that support commercial – and its creative and product development team, which manages each stage of product development with licensees to ensure product is strongly executed and consistent with brand identity guidelines.” Kate concludes: “Our passion, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit drive us to build iconic brands that resonate around the globe. We want to tell stories and create entertainment brands that audiences love.” LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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THE GLOBAL GREETING CARD GATHERING OF PUBLISHERS, RETAILERS, DISTRIBUTORS AND SUPPLIERS

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THE ESSENTIALS When: Tuesday 4 – Wednesday 5 June Where: Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1 0QH Times: 9.30am-6pm on 4 June (1st night party ‘til 8pm) 9.30am-4.30pm on 5 June Tel: +44 (0)7734 111633 www.progressivegreetingslive.com

A fabulous celebration of publishers, retailers, overseas distributors and suppliers, where business meets pleasure Don’t Miss PG Live 2024… Here Are Five Fabulous Reasons why… 1. The Incredible Exhibitors

Known the world over as having the greatest selection of greeting cards, the exhibitor line-up for PG Live 2024 is incredible. From leading established brands through to fresh and amazing start-ups, what an amazing opportunity to meet the people behind the brands and see their stunning new products.

2. Newness Galore and Show Only Offers

Thousands and thousands of brand new designs will be making their debut, with a host of ‘show only’ incentives and promotions to boot.

3. The Upbeat Vibe

PG Live brings everyone together – with retailers large and small, overseas distributors from all corners of the world, sales agents, leading trade suppliers, and a whole array of publishers and other exhibitors will all be under one roof.

4. Loads of Treats

Free tea and coffee for all, a delicious free lunch, opening night drinks party for everyone and a keepsake goody bag.

5. The Wonderful Venue

With its high curved ceiling letting in loads of natural light, the Business Design Centre just doesn’t feel like an exhibition venue. Nestled in vibrant Islington, the BDC is not only easy to get to, but is surrounded by lovely shops, restaurants and bars!

Don’t miss out…just book your free tickets

Registration is now live at: www.progressivegreetingslive.com Call us on +44 (0)7734 111633 Email: jimb@max-publishing.co.uk Follow us @PGLiveLondon #pglive2024

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An upbeat vibe, newness galore – and free refreshments, lunch and opening night party, PG Live 2024 is not to be missed! Here’s just a ‘starter for ten’ of some of the great exhibitors who will be showing at PG Live 2024, all ready to give you a warm welcome… A GIFT FROM THE GODS ABACUS CARDS AFRO TOUCH DESIGNS ALPHA COLOUR ALFF A BET DESIGN ALL SHADES CARDS ALLJOY DESIGN ANTHOLOGY CARDS APPLE & CLOVER APRICOT CARDS ARCHIVIST ARGUS ARRTHI ART PRESS BARE CARDS BELLY BUTTON DESIGNS BETTIE CONFETTI BEWILDERBEEST BEXY BOO BIRD & CO STUDIO BOLD & BRIGHT BRAINBOX CANDY BRIGHT AGENCY CAMBRIDGE CONFECTIONERY CARDGAINS CARDOLOGY CAROLINE GARDNER CAROUSEL CALENDARS CARTE BLANCHE CATH TATE CARDS CHARLOTTE FARR ILLUSTRATION CINNAMON AITCH CITRUS BUNN CLAIRE MADDICOTT COACH HOUSE PARTNERS COMEDY CARD COMPANY CREATIVE SPARROW CURIOUS PANCAKE DANDELION STATIONERY DANILO DEAN MORRIS DESIGNER GREETINGS DEVA DESIGNS DICKY BIRD DINOSAURS DOING STUFF DOTS ALLOWED DYSON DESIGNS EARLYBIRD EAST END PRINTS EMILY NASH ILLUSTRATION EMOTIONAL RESCUE ENVECO FEATHER INK FIVE DOLLAR SHAKE FUNKY ADI GENIALITY ART GINGER BETTY GRACE JACKSON DESIGN

GRAPHITE CREATIVE HALLMARK CARDS HANDS AND HEARTS HAPPY STREET CARDS HEATHER TREFUSIS ART HEYYY CARDS HOLY MACKEREL HYPE IG DESIGN GROUP INFORMA JAMES ELLIS STEVENS JANE BUURMAN HANDMADE JEHANE JEN WINNETT ART JESS HOGARTH KALI STILEMAN KATIE TINKLER KDEE DESIGNS KIRIORI KIRSTY TODD ILLUSTRATIONS KLARA HAWKINS LAURA DARRINGTON LAURA LONSDALE LETTERBOX LANE LIBRA FINE ARTS LIL WABBIT LING DESIGN LION CAT PAPER CO LITTLE ROGLETS LORENZO LOUISE MULGREW LOUISE TILER LOVELY PAPER STUFF LOWLAND STUDIOS LUCILLA LAVENDER LUCKY INK LUCY DRIVER LUCY MAGGIE MARINA B MEGAN CLAIRE MERAKI MICHELLE FIEDLER MIFKINS MIND OVER MATTER N.SMITH NICOLE ELDERS NIGEL QUINEY NOI NOW THEN SUNSHINE OBJECTABLES OH SQUIRREL OHH DEER OLIVER STOCKLEY ORIGAMO PANGO PRODUCTIONS PAPER BIRD PAPER MIRCHI PAPER ROSE

PAPER SALAD PAPER SHED PAPERLINK PAPERSHEEP PBS WAREHOUSING PENGUIN INK PENNY KENNEDY PHIL JARVIS DESIGN PIGMENT PINK AND MINT POET & PAINTER PORTFOLIO POSH PAWS INTERNATIONAL PRETTY LITTLE SCRIBBLES PRINTESS RASPBERRY BLOSSOM REDBACK RICICLE CARDS ROBERT JAMES HULL ART ROSANNA ROSSI ROSIE MADE A THING RUNNING WITH SCISSORS RUSH DESIGN SABIVO DESIGNS SAKINA SAIDI SARAH KELLEHER SAY IT WITH SONGS SHERWOOD PRESS SIGMUND LINDNER SOPHIE BRABBINS STEPHANIE DAVIES STOATS AND WEASELS STORMY KNIGHT STRIPEY CAT STUDIO FREWB SUNSHINE BINDERY SUSAN O’HANLON TACHE TEEPEE CREATIONS THE ART FILE THE CHARMING PRESS THE IMAGING CENTRE THE LAURA WALLACE COLLECTION THE PORCH FAIRIES THE SEED CARD CO TRACKS UK GREETINGS VEB COMPANY VERSED AID WENDY BELL WENDY JONES-BLACKETT WHITE COTTON CARDS WIDDOP & CO WOODMANSTERNE ZOE SPRY

…and this is just the line-up of exhibitors as we went to press, with plenty more in the pipeline!

Want to exhibit at PG Live 2024? We have a few stand options available to suit all shapes and sizes Contact Tracey Arnaud on traceya@max-publishing.co.uk or Warren Lomax on warren@max-publishing.co.uk

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PRODUCTS OF CHANGE

The Industry Framework explained Last year, Products of Change delivered the Industry Framework, a culmination of two years working with members from across the global brand licensing sector and sustainability experts to create a step-by-step guide to reducing our collective environmental impact.

Inset: The new industry framework has been two years in the making.

B

it comes to the progression of industry ring together some of the biggest sustainable development. names in the global brand licensing Add to the mix the benefit of insight industry – including Hasbro, from the toy industry’s Art + Science and Paramount, the LEGO Group and the Golden Bear alongside George at Asda Natural History Museum – and set and the expertise of the Products of them off on the topic of sustainability, what do you get? Yes, it is one heck of Inset: “The Industry Framework Change advisors – each an expert in disciplines including packaging and a party. But it’s also the foundations of is a complete game-changer for the industry,” says Jade Snart, senior sustainability material innovation, the circular economy, a cross-industry body of work that manager at Asda. carbon calculating, and Net Zero – and really wants to move the needle when

So, what is it? Quite simply, it’s a blueprint. Expertly produced by the design wizards at PowerStation Studios, it’s a step-by-step guide on how to make that transition through the establishment and implementation of short, mid and long-term goals across the areas of highest impact for brand owners and manufacturing partners. Part One of the Framework is about building a foundation, creating a Green Team within your business and constructing a timeline of sustainability milestones. Part Two delves into the meatier topic of the goals and ambitions to hit across critical areas of the business – whether that’s Waste Reduction, Packaging Design and Product Design or other areas such as Material Selection, Supply Chain and Purchasing and Facility Management. Finally, Part Three offers the legal language to be adopted to implement it all. The resource has been constructed in such a way it can be adopted by all sectors of the global brand and licensing industry, from brand owners and licensees to the retailer. “The Industry Framework, created by the wonderful Products of Change group, is a complete game-changer for the industry,” says Jade Snart, senior sustainability manager at Asda. “It provides a one stop guide on how to make more sustainable choices from end-to-end within the supply chain and beyond. “The guide has been broken down into bite-sized chunks and split into short, mid, and long-term opportunities which really gives clear, tangible options for both small and larger organisations to play their part in making a more sustainable future for our planet.” The Industry Sustainability Framework is a free resource now available to the entire brand and licensing industry via the Products of Change platform where the community and memberships continues to grow stronger as businesses continue to align with sustainability.

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PRODUCTS OF CHANGE Inset: The LEGO Group’s Jakob Max Hamann and Sine Møller at SiLC 23 with POC’s Helena Mansell-Stopher and Rob Hutchins, and the United Nations’ Caroline Petit.

Okay – so why is this all important? what pops out the other side is the Industry Sustainability Framework. A project two years in the making and subsequently poured over by all areas of the industry to be used within the industry, the Framework is a resource designed to help every moving part of the $340bn global brand licensing machine transition the way they operate to something wholly more sustainable and less environmentally impactful – and all in alignment with the United Nations’ 2030 ambition. “Within the brand and consumer product industry, we see our peers actively implementing and influencing positive change, but we are all at different points in that journey. By pooling our knowledge and experience, we’ve been able to create a foundation that allows people to align the framework with their own business practices in a clear and transparent manner – whether they’re at the very start of their journey or wanting to make greater strides in sustainable manufacturing with considerable impact,” said Maxine Lister, head of licensing at the Natural History Museum, a key collaborator on the project.

At the Sustainability in Licensing Conference 2023, attendees heard – many for the first time – about the ‘tsunami of legislation’ heading towards businesses operating in the EU and UK marketplaces over the coming months and years. The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive will lead the next wave as it lands in 2024, requiring businesses of a certain size to disclose non-financial data on ethical practices, while a UK-wide Extended Producer Responsibility tax will start demanding both data on and eventually taxation on the end-of-life management of packaging and products on the market. What this all means, of course, is that the sooner the licensing industry begins to implement the steps outlined in the Framework, the lighter on the wallet things will become when that ‘tsunami’ comes crashing through the business landscape. “This partner Framework defines a great starting point for our collective sustainability journey in the licensing industry and brings together everything we should consider to get moving,” says Jakob Max Hamann, licensing sustainability governance lead at the LEGO Group. “It has been important to work across the licensing industry to create this framework, we are seeing many other industries coming together to create change for the planet and we fell industry collaborations are the only way this can be done.”

What comes next? Unveiled for the first time at Brand Licensing Europe last year, the next step in this industry journey will come in tracking the collective development to benchmark the sector’s progress. To do this, key players from the licensing business – including the LEGO Group and Netflix, have been working with Products of Change and KI to produce the Industry Frame Maturity Index – an industry database and resource with which brands and partners can log their own progression with sustainability, using the Framework as a comprehensive blueprint from which to work. The tool is anticipated to launch fully in the next few months and companies are urged to keep a weathered eye on the horizon, an ear to the ground, and all eyes on Products of Change for when it does. We’re about to enter a very exciting new phase of driving the sustainable development of the global brand and licensing industry – and you’re all invited to the party.

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KAP TOYS, AYKROY

DS

DANILO, & SONS,

GULLIVER’S WORLD,

SMIFFY’S, OCADO

& MORE!

If you want to be part of the Beano story, get in touch For licensing opportunities please contact: International - Rob Glenny – rob.glenny@beano.com UK - Rocket Licensing – info@rocketlicensing.com *ABC: January - December 2023

A Beano Studios Product © DC Thomson & Co Ltd (2024)

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THE BIG INTERVIEW: MATTEL

For a franchise which is fast approaching its 60th anniversary, Hot Wheels certainly has plenty left in the tank. A successful collaboration with British YouTube group, the Sidemen, last year underlined the brand’s popularity with the adult audience and has set Mattel up for some significant growth in 2024. LSB finds out more.

Wheels of fortune Inset: Hot Wheels is driving into 2024 with partnerships across categories including arts and crafts, consumer electronics, outdoor sports, FMCG, apparel, home, publishing and beauty among others.

S

ince its inception in May 1968, Hot Wheels has sold over eight billion vehicles. On top of very well being the number one selling toy in the world, the franchise also has a full lifestyle eco system. “The brand engages fans of every generation through immersive live events, global competitions, theme park attractions, world-class digital gaming, consumer products, plus film and television content,” Ruth Henriquez, head of consumer products, publishing and live events at Mattel EMEA, tells LSB. “2023 was a strong year for unleashing the Hot Wheels franchise and we have had some unparalleled collaborations with global leaders in streetwear, fashion, luxury, entertainment, action sports and motorsports.”

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The brand is being driven – if you pardon the pun – by a number of strong partnerships across categories including play (puzzles, arts and crafts, consumer electronics, outdoor sports, RC, novelty), FMCG, home, apparel and accessories, publishing and even beauty. Growth is set to continue in 2024, too, as Ruth explains: “We have a lot to look forward to in 2024 - we have an unmatched portfolio of brands, a thriving content pipeline and a focus on franchise activation to ensure demand creation excellence. “Hot Wheels continues to go from strength to strength with great new content this year that will really drive kid engagement, a new brand campaign that will engage with parents and boys Challenge Accepted - plus new category launches and the continuation of Hot Wheels Legends as the ultimate car competition as we continue to excite our adult collectors. “In 2024, we will be launching a significant programme across the UK including activations across many important retailers and categories.” In addition, following on from the success of the collaboration with the UK’s biggest YouTube group, the Sidemen (see separate box out), there is further appetite in the adult fashion space.

Left: Ruth Henriquez, head of consumer products, publishing and live events, Mattel EMEA. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024


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On Side “To partner with the UK’s biggest YouTube group to launch an exclusive capsule collection of co-branded apparel and accessories was a perfect partnership for our first UK fashion collaboration for Hot Wheels,” says Ruth on the tie-up with the Sidemen. “We wanted to find a partner that really encapsulated the spirit of the brand and we had been aware of what a great brand and strong influence the Sidemen team are and luckily, they loved the brand and immediately saw the opportunity as well.” The co-branded collection included 10 different styles such as hoodies, bomber jackets, t-shirts and caps, all infused with Hot Wheels designs throughout – checkerboard prints and flames, combined with the SDMN lettering. The group - which owns apparel brand Sidemen Clothing - has amassed over 35 million followers across multiple YouTube channels. The entire collection was available at the official Sidemen shop in Bluewater shopping centre and at a pop-up store in Hoxton, as well as online on the official Sidemen Clothing website. Ruth continues: “The collection really captured Sidemen’s creativity and enthusiasm for Hot Wheels and meant we were able to create a co-branded capsule collection that brought both brands to life. The collection was cool and relevant to Sidemen and Hot Wheels fans and consumers, so it was the perfect fit for both brands.”

“There is a significant adult audience who love Hot Wheels and want to own products,” continues Ruth. “The Sidemen success has proven we have a significant and untapped opportunity in this space. We know that fashion is a key category for any franchise development; it’s often the first entry point after toys that fans can express their love for the brand and it can be expressed in so many cool ways across multiple age groups and retailers.” For Mattel, it’s vital that any potential partners understand the essence of the Hot Wheels brand. “It’s important that we tap into the brand DNA to create meaningful partnerships that add authenticity and credibility to building into categories that complement and enhance the brand,” explains Ruth. “We work very closely with our partners through the design and marketing process to make sure we are all aligned. Our style guides and creative team really help to allow partners to really bring great relevant product to market that add a point of difference, as well as capturing the essence of the brand.” There is certainly a growing buzz around the Hot Wheels franchise and Mattel is looking forward to building on this. With a wide ranging portfolio across kids, teens, adults, new areas such as ‘Skate’ and ‘Sports’, plus the Let’s Race animated series, Ruth is keen to convey the team is always exploring new areas to develop.

“The adult fan base is an opportunity we are looking at as it is diverse, encompassing dedicated car enthusiasts and franchise lovers, as well as everyday players who may be influenced by trends or viral impact,” she offers, before concluding with: “We are only just getting started, so there are so many untapped opportunities for us to explore. Watch this space!”

Inset and above: The Sidemen are Europe's largest YouTube collective comprised of seven best friends, Miniminter, TBJZL, KSI, Vikkstar123, W2S, Behzinga and Zerkaa.

LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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IN FOCUS: ALLIGATOR

Children’s publisher Alligator has been a leading mass market supplier of licensed and non-licensed colouring and activity books and creative play stationery, both in the UK and internationally, since 2000. Co-founders Neil Rodol and Andrew Rabin tell LSB how super-fast, hassle-free fulfilment has become the company’s USP.

Make it snappy A

lligator works with some of the biggest licences in children’s entertainment, from Barbie and PAW Patrol to The Gruffalo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, designing and producing high-quality great value products that retail at supermarkets, department stores, garden centres, toy shops, stationers and more. “We’ve got 100+ active customers nationally and abroad, from independent book chains to Sainsbury’s, WH Smith and Morrisons,” says Alligator co-founder Neil Rodol. “So, when a licensor works with us, they know they’re getting a very wide footprint at retail.” Neil, who oversees licensing, operations and finance, and cofounder Andrew Rabin, who manages sales, product development, design and creative, worked for the same publishing house for a decade before deciding to go into business together, setting up Alligator from a small rented office, armed with just a fax machine and two Nokia mobiles, purchased from The Orange Shop in Hampstead. “We still

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LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

Inset: Co-founders Neil Rodol (left) and Andrew Rabin.

use those same phone numbers today,” says Neil. Now based in Finchley, Alligator operates with a team of 15, many of whom started as youngsters and are now thirtysomethings with young children – useful for helping Alligator to keep abreast of kids’ entertainment trends. Unlike many other suppliers, the company holds enough stock to meet immediate demand of every item it has for sale in its Midlands warehouse facility, and has made hassle-free, fast fulfilment the USP of the business. “We act almost like a restaurant with a huge à la carte menu,” says Neil. “If, say, you want a Barbie colouring book, with a traditional publisher you might have to wait months for the next print run, whereas we have that item readily available; Sainsbury’s can phone up and say, ‘We want 5,000 by tomorrow,’ and we’ll deliver. Inset: Alligator’s branded products Everything is in stock, all the time, are now all made because we invest our money from FSC-certified paper. heavily in inventory.”


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IN FOCUS: ALLIGATOR

Alligator has Although Alligator also produces generic titles, experienced its fair 70% of its offering is licensed. Classic IP such as share of ups and Thomas the Tank Engine does steady business, downs over its 20while relative newcomers like CoComelon and year history. “We Gabby’s Dollhouse – brands that, in Neil’s words, navigated through a “exploded onto the scene” – initially entail large sale, an MBO, the risk and creative investment, but offer much so-called demise of bigger returns. The way streaming services have the high street and fragmented the children’s IP market makes it Covid, but more “difficult to jump on everything,” Neil recently the acknowledges. “But we do take a chance on new company is in a brands, and when we do sign a brand, we sweet spot,” says support it. If we tell the licensor we’re going to Neil. Exports are make 10 or 12 products based on that IP, we growing and the make them.” company is With Alligator’s products all designed inincreasingly house, the company is quick to respond to signing multicustomer and retail demand. For each licence, territory licences. the company aims to produce multiple formats, Both Neil and from classic colouring and sticker books to Andrew remain scratch art and painting sets, play packs and just as passionate aqua magic sets. about “We produce EDLP [everyday low Right: Aqua Magic is just one of many formats children’s publishing as they were two price] products, which is really Alligator produces under decades ago. “We absolutely love the resonating with consumers in the its Barbie licence. Below: Gabby’s Dollhouse, zero-to-seven category we operate in,” current economic climate,” says Neil, one of Alligator’s more recent licences, has seen a says Neil. “We live and breathe it. We “but that doesn’t mean we make an huge return on investment. currently have around 20 licences and if inferior product. At the end of the year we want to sign four more for next year we could put 1% more profit on our because four hot new IPs bottom line by cutting come along, we can do that corners, but we don’t without having to sacrifice do that.” any of our existing ones, Alligator colouring books because we’re using our own are printed on “beautiful, working capital in the white, 100gsm wood-free business to support this paper,” points out Andrew. strategy.” As part of the company’s This year will see Trolls Band sustainability efforts, all of Together, Sonic Prime, the paper the company Paddington and Piñata uses is FSC certified. In Smashlings join the Alligator addition, the plastic trays line-up, while the company that used to feature on will be expanding its certain products have product offering with more gift been phased out or made collections, and novelty items recyclable, while items such as finger-paint art. And of that used to come in course, in September, Alligator will be at BLE, on plastic envelopes now come in card-only the hunt for fresh inspiration. “Andrew and I packaging. “The products actually look better for always spend the full three days there,” says Neil. it, and our customers and end users now demand “For us, it’s like Glastonbury.” more eco-friendly practices,” Andrew says. BARBIE™ and associated trademarks and trade dress are owned by, and used under licence from Mattel. © 2024 Mattel BLUEY (word mark and character logos) are trade marks of Ludo Studio Pty Limited and are used under licence. BLUEY logo © Ludo Studio Pty Limited 2018. Licensed by BBC Studios. BBC is a trade mark of the British Broadcasting Corporation and is used under licence. BBC logo © BBC 1996 DreamWorks Gabby’s Dollhouse © 2024 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All rights reserved.

LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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SECTOR FOCUS: HEALTH & BEAUTY Inset: Already a strong seller for Kokomo, Barbie reached new heights in 2023. Below: H&A has launched preschool brands Bluey, Peppa Pig and PAW Patrol into the category.

Over the past few years, the health and beauty category has experienced significant growth, with a noticeable rise in the number of brands – from the character/entertainment and lifestyle categories – looking to get involved. LSB finds out more.

The beautiful game

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ost-pandemic, there's a notable shift toward prioritising wellness and the demand for selfcare products remains high,” Trevor Cash, director at Mad Beauty, tells LSB, adding that 2023 was a “stand out” year for the company. “We've experienced substantial growth and resilience, overcoming challenges from the ongoing impact of Covid. Our export market, especially in the US, has expanded impressively, strengthening our market position. Our Lilo & Stitch range stands out as a top seller, combining enduring fun and strong appeal.” Mad Beauty’s new offerings for 2024 include classic Disney such as The Lion King, Snow White, a spooky twist on The Nightmare Before Christmas and a deniminspired makeover for Stitch. It will also be paying tribute to Wizard of Oz’s 85th anniversary. “The heightened competition in the market has driven us to elevate our design and uphold unwavering quality standards,” says Trevor. “Our goal [this year] is to further spread our message in export markets, while strengthening our domestic base.”

For H&A, 2023 saw incremental sales arising from seasonal, festive classics alongside new launches tied to cinema releases. The Grinch and Frozen hit the spot with Christmas shoppers, while The Little Mermaid and The Super Mario Bros. Movie were key franchise moments. This year will see new lines for Disney’s Wish, Unicorn Academy, SpongeBob SquarePants, Nerf and Mr Men Little Miss among others. “The health and beauty category is an exciting space, with retailers always keen to try something new to keep shoppers engaged,” says Livy Coare, licensing and marketing manager at H&A. “It’s been fantastic to see the growth of the category in preschool this past year, with our launch of Bluey, Peppa Pig and PAW Patrol gift ranges.” Kokomo’s sales and marketing director, Laura Jealous, says the company’s biggest success in 2023 was its Barbie products. “For us, Barbie was already going from strength to strength, but the movie propelled it into another dimension, and we were lucky to be a part of that moment,” she says. Among other new launches, 2024 will see Kokomo LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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23 RD - 25 TH JANUARY 2024 OLYMPIA LONDON Pre-register for your FREE visitor badge at toyfair.co.uk

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SECTOR FOCUS: HEALTH & BEAUTY

entering into the baby category with a carefully curated range that’s suitable from newborn+, paediatrician approved, suitable for sensitive skin, dermatologically tested and manufactured in the UK. Laura continues: “The role of licensing and H&B remains challenging in some mass retailers as different categories fight for space, and we have seen a shift from everyday into more event buys to support launches of films or seasonal buys for Christmas for example. However, in retailers with less restrictions in space we have continued to see strong growth in everyday lines.” Like most categories, innovation is key. “We try to lead with innovative designs bespoke to each of our licences, while driving innovation and connection between the licence and consumer,” says Laura. “Consumers want new, but they also need the products they know and trust.” Livy, meanwhile, says that H&A’s creative team is constantly working on new and exciting product formats across both single lines and gift sets. Mad Beauty’s Trevor also believes that innovation is “paramount”, especially when it comes to packaging. “In a dynamic market, staying at the forefront of innovative packaging solutions not only enhances product appeal, but also reflects a dedication to meeting and exceeding customer expectations for quality and performance,” he says. When it comes to sustainability, H&A’s Livy highlights the company’s plastic-free packaging gift ranges and how it has been able to maintain shelf presence, value for money and product

Above: Mad Beauty offers a comprehensive range of bath and body essentials, aiming to meet evolving consumer needs.

theatricality without compromising on its pledge. The challenges, as Kokomo’s Laura highlights, are trying to find the right solution that doesn’t impact costs too much, protecting the product and to find suitable options that then don’t make it harder for consumers to recycle at home or make an item less shoppable at fixture. Laura, Livy and Trevor all agree that there is further growth ahead for the licensed health and beauty category, underlining that the potential certainly isn’t just skin deep.

Smell of success Sustainable British brand, Floral Street has enjoyed award winning success with its Van Gogh Museum collaboration. Vegan perfume Sunflower Pop – which won a B&LLA for Best Brand Licensed Health & Beauty Product or Range in 2022 – is the company’s second bestselling fragrance internationally. This was followed up with a Sweet Almond Blossom home range, which drove demand for the perfume – launched in 2023, it is Floral Street’s fastest selling fragrance to date. The company also collaborated with the RHS at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2019, launching the Electric Rhubarb fragrance. “Partnerships are really important if you are a small brand as they can give you a bigger voice globally,” explains Michelle Feeney, founder of Floral Street. “Being part of a collective enables you to reach and connect with a larger customer base to drive greater awareness and desirability for your brand. Authentic collaborations communicated through an omnichannel strategy can create true multi-dimensional sensory experiences and these connections enable new ways for both parties to tell their brand and company stories. “When reviewing licence opportunities, it's important the potential partner shares our ethos and principles and a similar democratic spirit, accessibility and cross generational appeal to make it the perfect collaboration and commercial offering.”

Above: Sweet Almond Blossom is Floral Street’s fastest selling fragrance to date. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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INTERNATIONAL FEEDBACK

News of the world For our annual overseas round up, LSB asks a selection of licensing industry insiders in key territories to tell us about their takeaways from 2023 and the challenges and opportunities they expect to encounter in 2024, and for a single (printable!) word to sum up each year.

Below left: Valentin expects “steady growth” for Stor in 2024. Right: Maurizio is looking forward to celebrating his company’s 10th anniversary this year.

Italy: Maurizio Distefano, president and owner, Maurizio Distefano Licensing

Spain: Valentin Ortiz, ceo, Stor “Stor has experienced continuous growth since 2018, and we’ll close the financial year 6% up on last year. We’re expecting to maintain the same level of growth in 2024. Licence-wise, we don’t expect to have a major IP that will drive unexpected high numbers; instead, we’ll be focusing on our evergreen stable performers. Inflation rates will be a big challenge during the year ahead, without a doubt. Another issue is that retailers are still dealing with high inventory levels, but we believe we’ll see those stock stresses balancing out in 2024. We are applying a patented anti-fall innovation to our products, which we believe will increase order numbers this coming year. Also, our generic lifestyle brand, Quokka, which launched in 2020, is experiencing steady growth. My word is the same for both 2023 and 2024: stability.”

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“2023 was challenging from a business perspective, but MDL had a pretty good year – including Bluey triumphing in the Best Property of the Year category at the Bologna Licensing Awards, and wins for CoComelon and Corto Maltese at the Digital Licensing Excellence Awards. Business highlights include the launch of wonderful products from Giochi Preziosi, the new master toy licensee for Masha and The Bear. In addition, we have been part of initiatives that go above and beyond brand promotion. With preschool favourite Bing we’ve started a new partnership with SIP (the Italian Society of Pediatrics) and Assonidi (Italy’s biggest nursery association) aimed at supporting the wellbeing of children and their families. Reduced consumer spending and a lower birth rate are leading to retailers reducing inventory and putting mainly bestselling properties on their shelves. We aim to trim the list of IPs represented so that we can focus on the strongest properties. But we will also continue looking for ‘the next big thing’. We hope to build, over time, a portfolio of strong IP targeting young adults, an area with huge potential. One more thing: in 2024 our agency will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Stay tuned! I’d sum up 2023 with the word resilience. My word for 2024? Growth.”


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INTERNATIONAL FEEDBACK

France: Tatiana Rivière-Cherqui, deputy director, TF1 Licensing “Our 2023 key moments included winning the Best Retail Project category at the Bologna Licensing Awards for the BarbaLouvre collaboration, a range of Barbapapa products based on the Louvre’s most famous art pieces. 2024 will see TF1 pursue an ambitious digital acceleration strategy that will reinforce the links between consumers and our content. Live experience is a strategic development pillar for us. We’ll be launching a new major live experience project very soon, and many more are in the pipeline. The debut of the new Smurfs movie in early 2025 is a great opportunity for the brand to create new visibility levers. Superstar Rihanna is going to be a part of it, so it should make a lot of noise. We’re expecting another great year for Miraculous. The first Miraculous Playmobil range of toys will launch this spring, along with some arty collaborations we cannot wait to tell you more about. The difficult global economic situation has led to a rationalisation of purchases from buyers and consumers. To play your cards right, you have to bet on leading brands that will attract the largest target market. Our premium fiction shows, not-to-be-missed entertainment programmes and youth-oriented animated blockbusters gather massive audience shares, so they meet this requirement perfectly. In addition, the positive values of our family brands, such as The Voice, Barbapapa and Miraculous, make them attractive propositions. Inset: Live experience To sum up, 2023 has been is a strategic development pillar for exciting. We expect great things TF1, says Tatiana. in 2024!” Above right: Russell

US: Lloyd Mintz, head of worldwide consumer products, Kartoon Studios

says Striker will be “leaning in” to the horror trend in 2024. Right: Kartoon Studies is developing new IP inspired by the Stan Lee brand, says Lloyd.

“This past year was an exciting one as we rebranded the company from Genius Brands to Kartoon Studios to reflect our growth and evolution. We also premiered Shaq’s Garage, starring and executive produced by Shaquille O’Neal, which has been steadily building an audience as it gains traction across a broad range of broadcast platforms, including our own Kartoon Channel. We’ve also seen our Frederator Networks’ quirky original series Bee and PuppyCat soar on Netflix with product

US: Russell Binder, founding partner, Striker Entertainment “2023 was another solid year for Striker. Five Nights at Freddy’s was a big win for our client and for us, with a record-breaking box office and a growing global business for the brand across virtually all product categories. Next year is the 10th anniversary of FNaF, which we will be announcing key product and experiences around soon. A big challenge is balancing increased licensee and retail interest for the brand among companies that want to capitalise on the opportunity but may not be intimate with the IP and fandom, against a long-term sustainable business where we both nurture the IP and prevent its over-harvesting. We continue to hear about reductions in square footage in departments and a heavy push towards online and marketplaces. While we used to have to rely heavily on the big box retailers to justify hard goods and tooling expenses, we’re seeing a shift in attitude towards discount retailers who are making serious endeavours into licensed goods at accessible prices. We continue to keep our eyes open for projects that have begun organically building fandoms that are underserviced. Horror continues to be a growing 24/7/365 genre so we are leaning into that, as well as content born out of newer content delivery platforms. My 2023 phrase is game on! 2024’s is limitless.”

embraced on e-comm by its passionate fanbase. We are developing a whole slate of new IP inspired by Stan Lee’s vast undeveloped library of characters and storylines, which will start coming to market in print form this coming summer. In addition, we’ll be launching a host of leading-edge Web3 initiatives, along with traditional categories like apparel, which will place Stan Lee in his trailblazing role as an industry trendsetter once again. Last year we were focused on foundationbuilding, and 2024 will be all about deployment.” LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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Below: The Perth Mint produced collectable coins in 2023 for King Features’ brand the Phantom.

US: Carla Silva, vp and gm, global head of licensing, King Features “Last year, we continued to grow our fully owned brands, securing Mad Cave as master publisher for Flash Gordon and Defenders of the Earth, and debuting limited-edition Phantom coins from The Perth Mint in Australia (via our agent Merchantwise). We expanded our consumables programme overseas with new alcoholic beverage partnerships for The Phantom (ArkiDesign via our agent Rights & Brands in Sweden) and Popeye (Bodebrown via Vertical Licensing in Brazil) and dove deeper into the gaming category, with a Popeye & Bluto World of Warships in-game bundle, new video game and slot machine partners for The Phantom, and more. In 2024, Popeye turns 95, Olive Oyl turns 105 and Flash Gordon is 90. We’ll focus on these anniversaries, but we also see 2024 as a year for the newer brands we represent to shine – such as Moomin and Rebel Girls. We have some exciting retail programmes and partnerships coming for both of these, while Cuphead fans will be delighted by the many new product introductions throughout the year, including two new ‘Art of’ books and unique collectables. As a company that specialises in niche heritage and evergreen properties, pitching retailers that continually support their top three performing brands and not much else, securing shelf space is tough. This drives us to be more creative, strategic and nimble. This past year was an exhilarating rollercoaster. Next year is all about creativity and taking action.”

Germany: Ulli Stoef, ceo and producer, Toon2Tango “Business was better than expected in 2023 thanks to the successful first airings of our show Monster Loving Maniacs (on CBBC and Super RTL) and the timely delivery of Agent 203 (Super RTL, ITV, RAI). For both these shows we are in advanced talks with a potential partner in the master toy category, as well as licensees in other categories. This year we also started production on new preschool show Hey Fuzzy Yellow and our Christmas movie SANTA.COM (both scheduled for release in 2025), and we have a number of shows in the later stages of development including Littlest Robot and our first live action show, Macara's Curse.

INTERNATIONAL FEEDBACK

Later in 2024 we will be launching DinoMite, a show based on a successful book series published by Random House. We are handling the worldwide distribution and share rights with ZDF Studios. Right now, consumer spending is stuck and shelf space is limited. Companies able to continue to invest during this crisis will benefit from any economic upswing in the future; we intend to be one of them. As a producer we are working on all sorts of opportunities, including finding ways to leverage AI. We are also looking for strong IPs in which to invest. For 2023, my word is building. For 2024? Growing.” Above: Monster Loving Maniacs was a success for Toon2Tango in 2023, says Ulli.

US: Daryl White, evp global licensing and business development, Falcon’s Beyond “This year saw several firsts for Falcon’s Beyond. We became a publicly listed company on Nasdaq in October. We also opened a new theme park, Katmandu Park in Punta Cana, that immerses guests in the company’s original franchise, The Hidden Realms of Katmandu. In addition, we launched our first mobile game, Katmandu: EtherMerge, as Inset: Falcon’s and K11 Group’s interactive well as attraction VQuarium will launch in 2025. BEYONDLAND, Falcon’s debut as a developer on the Roblox global online platform, and opened sales of Katmandu merchandise on our e-commerce website, Shop Falcon’s Beyond. We also announced the debut project from our joint venture partnership with Raging Power Limited, an arm of K11 Group, to develop and launch new entertainment franchises and location-based entertainment attractions across China. The first will be Vquarium, an ocean adventure-themed experience, set to debut at Hong Kong’s 11 SKIES development in 2025. 2023 has been fun. For 2024, I would use the term limitless.”

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IN IN NÜRNBERG NÜRNBERG Huge and colourful. Full of new highlights. Huge and colourful. Full of new highlights. For your business. And your inspiration. For your business. And your inspiration.

NEW:

Tuesday Tuesday –– Saturday Saturday 30 Jan – 3 Feb 30 Jan – 3 Feb 2024 2024

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INTERNATIONAL FEEDBACK

France: Laurent Taieb, head of licensing, Princess Sam Entertainment Group “2023 was great for us. We brought our children’s animated adventure-comedy-fantasy hit Tara Duncan to more and more kids in more and more regions, thanks to great TV partners in various territories. We have also built an extensive network of licensing agents. We now need to nurture the relationships we have on a local basis based on the show’s excellent ratings to date. We will also expand into territories where Tara hasn’t aired yet, beginning with China, where we are partnering with Reesee Entertainment. Season two will debut soon, bringing more of the fun and adventure fans love. This activity will help to bring more partners on board across broadcasting and licensing. We’re going to be busy! Our goal is to get the exposure we need to be successful at a time when many properties – even the strongest evergreens – are facing challenges in this area. We’re optimistic, though. We see much more growth ahead of us, both in terms of awareness of Tara Duncan and the associated broadcasting and L&M opportunities. 2023 was about beginning, and 2024 will be about expansion.”

France: Alexandra AlgardMikanowski, licensing and merchandising director, Millimages “2023 was a good year for Molang, with many new deals signed in key categories: gifts, apparel, figurines and plush. Plush is a leading category for Molang and we will have more collections coming from new licensees. This year, we were able to demonstrate the relevance of our Gen Z and Millennials brand positioning. This shift was strongly supported by the launch of our new YouTube channel, with the production of a new format adapted to this target audience. The results are in: we already have over 130K subscribers and 17 million views, in just six months. Above: Millimages will Our challenge for 2024 is to grow be developing Molang’s e-commerce business in our licensing programmes in key 2024, says Alexandra. territories such as Mexico (where we just signed Tycoon as an agent), and to work with retailers in our established territories (such as Europe and the US) to boost Molang’s visibility on shelves and attract new licensees. We also plan to develop our e-commerce business, beginning with the launch of an Amazon storefront where fans can find our exclusive Molang merchandise, and products from licensees all over the world. 2023 was the year of rebranding, and 2024 will be the year of expanding.”

Above: Princess Sam has built a network of licensing agents for kids’ show Tara Duncan, says Laurent.

US: Leslie Levine, owner/founder, Licensing Works “We are pleased with the anniversary programmes we were able to execute for the 80th anniversary of The Little Prince, as well as the 100th anniversary of Winchester Mystery House. Reeds’ translation of The Little Prince into bridal and fashion jewellery was a particular highlight. We’re looking forward to some major projects launching in support of the Zorro brand. The Above: Licensing first is a new TV series on Amazon Works’ brands are Prime, while a second series is in “universally production for Paramount+ for Q4 2024 recognisable”, says Leslie. release. A modern-day female Zorro is now in development at the CBS Network, while Disney+ is producing a new live-action series. We have new retail partnerships aligned for the Kewpie franchise and we are celebrating the 135th anniversary of Moulin Rouge in 2024. These are all universally recognisable IPs that resonate with younger and older audiences, offering sustainable longevity independent of film and TV event activations. We will continue growth in our sweet spot, representing iconic multi-generational IPs with a rich history. Overall, 2023 was a year of celebration. Expansion is the word to sum up 2024.”

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Inset: Iconix will be looking to expand Hoodrich into new markets and product categories. Below left: IMG has elevated the British Armed Forces’ lifestyle offerings since 2009.

As 2024 begins, the brand and lifestyle sector is continuing to forge new relationships, collaborations and partnerships, resulting in some truly innovative product launches. LSB rounds up some recent highlights.

Strike up the brand Ministry of Defence renews with IMG

Iconix International acquires British streetwear brand Hoodrich

The Ministry of Defence – the British government department responsible for implementing the defence policy set by His Majesty’s Government – has renewed its global licensing agreement with IMG in a multi-year deal. Under the new agreement, IMG and the Ministry of Defence will continue to work together to develop a wide range of officially licensed products for the British Armed Forces, including the British Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. Since 2009, IMG has leveraged its unique set of logos, badges and brand values to facilitate

Brand management company Iconix International is acquiring the celebrity favourite streetwear brand, Hoodrich, in partnership with founder Jay Williams, who will retain an ownership interest. Hoodrich has established itself as a leading lifestyle streetwear brand with over 1,000 retail outlets across 24 countries and a DTC e-comm business. Launched in 2014, the Hoodrich brand began with Jay selling his first 30 t-shirts from the boot of his car. Fast forward to 2022, and the brand was approached by Netflix to work with Top Boy on an exclusive collection celebrating season two of the show. Iconix will now be looking to leverage its expansive network of licensees to take Hoodrich into new markets and product categories. Headquarters will remain in Birmingham and Watford.

strategic product collaborations in both domestic and international markets. From key categories such as apparel and watches to deals like branded motorcycles and beverages, IMG has elevated the British Armed Forces’ lifestyle offerings, helping supporters around the world to connect with the brand in innovative and accessible ways. “We look forward to building on our long-term partnership and unlocking additional exciting opportunities,” commented Tim Smith, svp of licensing at IMG.

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Pink Key Licensing welcomes Seriously good brand Pink Key Licensing has been appointed as the exclusive UK licensing agent to represent the Seriously brand. The brand is owned by French company Lactalis and the cheddar, which is core to the brand is manufactured in Scotland with distribution across UK and ROI. Seriously has mastered the cheddar making over the years and is recognised for its superior taste as testified by its winning numerous Great Taste awards. Pink Key will be looking for licensee partners from food categories to support the brand’s development by creating unique and strategically aligned collaborations in the future. “We’re so happy to have Seriously as part of our portfolio,” said Richard Pink, md of Pink Key Licensing. “It’s an extremely tasty product and we’re looking forward to finding partners to develop a whole range of cheese-based products to bring to market. We are certain Seriously is going to be extremely popular and we can’t wait to start talking to potential licensees about the future possibilities.”

Stellar year for Lucia Heffernan

Licensing Matters steps up game for Shure

Above: The new gaming chair designs take inspiration from an iconic Shure microphone.

Licensing Matters Global has secured a new partnership between Shure Incorporated and Noblechairs. The result is the launch of the LEGEND Shure Edition gaming chair and accessories, a new take on gaming chair designs that pays homage to one of the world’s most iconic and globally recognised microphones – the Shure 55SH. The microphone has been trusted for decades, from live performances to broadcast applications. “This is an outstanding gaming chair that is unique in its design and comfort,” commented Leila Loumi, senior global licensing director at Licensing Matters Global. “In finding a first-class partner for our client Shure, we have delivered an exceptional licensed product.”

Lisle Licensing is celebrating an ‘outstanding year’ across the UK and Europe for Lucia Heffernan, the animal artist who morphs every day human experiences into the animal kingdom. Lisle Licensing manages the programme for Lucia on behalf of Italian-owned Rainbow S.p.A. A key focus in 2023 for Lisle was to broaden the scope of the Lucia Heffernan brand beyond the art and paper category. First up, Skinny Dip London’s two-year agreement spans its UK and Eire distribution channels, focusing on a range that features Lucia’s artwork on phone cases, phone straps, airpod cases, tote bags, plus make up and wash bags. In addition, Groovy UK has secured a three-year deal focused on Lucia’s funny animals and a range of products which includes home accessories, food and drink storage for on-the-go, as well as travel accessories and gifting items. The paper portfolio also continues to expand, with three new partners which span multiple territories: Portico, Neumann Verlage and Dumont Kalenderverlag (which is a separate division of the Neumann Verlage business). Above: Lisle has been helping Lucia Heffernan extend beyond the art and paper category. Below: The Misirli deal is Snowtap’s first foray into apparel.

Snowtap secures Misirli Graphic design and illustration brand Snowtap and KJG – which manages the consumer products programme – have appointed Misirli to produce a range of apparel and accessories using designs inspired by the brand. This marks Snowtap’s first foray into the apparel category. Misirli will design nightwear, hosiery, loungewear, hot water bottle covers, eye masks and dog bandanas inspired by Snowtap’s signature artwork, which includes illustrations in watercolour and line drawing with hand-drawn typography highlighting witty and motivational wordplay. The apparel and accessories range – which targets men and women (and dogs) – will be available from autumn/winter this year, and will target both online and bricks and mortar retail outlets in the UK.

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Smiley and Samsung join forces Smiley has confirmed a new partnership with Samsung for a collection of accessories designed to celebrate positivity and creativity. The Smiley Edition partnership has brought together a ‘meticulously Above: The Smiley and curated’ selection of accessories, Samsung range shows a ‘forward thinking’ which both Smiley and Samsung approach to design. believe showcase a ‘forward thinking’ approach to 3D design. Product includes NFC Cards, a Wireless Charger, Gadget Grip, Cover for Galaxy Buds2 Pro, an Envelope Case for the Galaxy Tab S9+ and the S9, Ultra Popticle Case for Galaxy Fold5 and EcoFriends Case for Galaxy Z Flip5. The design has been crafted by Smiley Studio and embraces a futuristic aesthetic with a nod to the metaverse trend, complete with Smiley designs. The Galaxy Z Flip5 for example showcases unique theming on the cover screen, Home Screen and app icons among others.

Style Sisters turn to kitchen and tableware Lisle Licensing has secured a new partnership with Captivate Brands which will see the Style Sisters move into the kitchen and home space. The four-year collaboration will launch with an autumn/winter 2024 collection which is aiming to ‘redefine’ the way consumers entertain, cook and enjoy their homes. Categories will span tableware to cook and bake Above: Charlotte and essentials, waste disposal, utility Gemma, the Style Sisters pictured with Captivate accessories and pet products Brands’ md Kevin McKay. and gifts. “2023 saw an incredible uplift with product launches from the Style Sisters, across home fragrance, home textiles, storage solutions, as well as paint and wall coverings,” commented Becky Sherwood, commercial and retail manager at Lisle Licensing. “Their unique blend of style and practicality has engaged both the licensing industry and consumers. This latest partnership takes them into another new area within today’s homes.” Charlotte and Gemma, the Style Sisters, added: “Through our collaboration with Captivate Brands, we’re turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, creating not just beautiful aesthetics, but also functional and captivating solutions for every corner of your home.”

The London Studio expands with Carousel Calendars

IMG ready to spice things up with Tabasco

Art licensing and design studio, The London Studio has confirmed a further two collaborations with Carousel Calendars. Following the success of its bespoke artwork for the 2024 RSPB Family Organiser, published by Carousel Calendars, The London Studio has been commissioned again Above: Anna Andrews is for the 2025 edition. creating the RSPB designs. Anna Andrews, a member of The London Studio group of artists and a professional illustrator and book designer for over 20 years well-known for her art celebrating the natural world, is again creating the designs for a Family Organiser that celebrates the largest nature conservation charity in the country. The 2024 theme is Reflections. The theme for 2025 will be Woodland. In addition, Carousel has also licensed The Happiness Club for a 2024 Happiness Planner diary and wall calendar. The products have already had such a good response that Carousel has also licensed the brand for next year – with plans to expand distribution from the UK to worldwide for the 2025 edition.

The maker of Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauces, McIlhenny Company has appointed IMG to drive and expand consumer engagement through new licensed products and experiences. Under the new agreement, IMG will look to develop a robust range of Tabasco brand offerings that further reflect its position as a global market leader for more than 150 years. Sold in more than 195 countries and territories, Tabasco is one of the most widely distributed food brands in the world, with its recognisable bottle, diamond logo and distinctive red colour being synonymous with heat. “We believe IMG will help us unlock new ways to engage with Tabasco sauce lovers worldwide and we are very excited to welcome them to Team Tabasco,” said Lee Susen, chief sales and marketing officer at McIlhenny Company. Right: Tabasco is looking for new ways to engage with sauce lovers. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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Inset: Could you be taking home a B&LLAs trophy in April?

Trophy hunters Now in its ninth year, the Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards is open for entries for 2024, as it looks to continue its recognition of this ever expanding and important sector of the licensing business. Here’s what you need to know.

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individual (brand owner, licensor, ntries for the Brand & retailer, licensee or supplier), Lifestyle Licensing acknowledging their contribution Awards 2024 are to the brand licensing sector, now officially open – with while the Rising Star Award will the event returning to the recognise and reward excellence Royal Lancaster London on among those ‘new to the brand Thursday 25 April 2024. licensing sector’ in the UK who Now in its ninth year, the have shown real potential in the B&LLAs gives the brand and continued evolution of the sector. lifestyle licensing and retail The deadline for nominations and entries sector an opportunity to be recognised and across all categories is Friday 8 March, 2024. rewarded separately to the massive The entry and nomination process for all character and entertainment licensing categories is free and via online sector which is covered by The Licensing submission – all the forms can be accessed Awards (held in September). from the dedicated B&LLAs website The B&LLAs 2024 – which is at www.brandlicensingawards.com. owned and organised by Max Brand Licensing Europe will be Publishing – will look to reward returning as the headline sponsor of brand and lifestyle licensing the Brand & Lifestyle Licensing activity which has taken Awards 2024, while Licensing place in the UK between 1 International will once again be January 2023 to 31 lending its support. December 2023, across “We are delighted to sponsor the Product, Retail and B&LLAs again this year,” comments Property categories. In Anna Knight, vp licensing at Informa addition, the Brand Inset: Stand-up, impressionist, Markets. “It’s such an important date Ambassador Award will also writer and podcaster Matt Forde took charge as host of in the calendar to celebrate the be presented to a special

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BRAND & LIFESTYLE LICENSING AWARDS 2024

Inset: To be in with a chance of appearing on stage, make sure you enter by Friday 8 March.

How to enter The B&LLAs are FREE TO ENTER and the entry procedure

innovation and creativity in the brands and lifestyle sector. As the longstanding headline sponsor, Brand Licensing Europe is proud to continue to support this incredibly important part of the licensing industry and we can’t wait to see it rightly celebrated in a few months’ time. The countdown is on!” Steve Manners, head of global marketing and UK md at Licensing International, continued: “Licensing International is thrilled to renew its support for the 2024 Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards, highlighting the event's pivotal role in spotlighting the sector. Brand and lifestyle licensing continues to grow each year, and these awards serve as a celebration of the imaginative brand extensions within the industry.” A number of stellar names have also pledged their support as sponsors including Beanstalk, Brandcomply.com, Brandgenuity, CAA Brand Management, Country Living/House Beautiful, emoji company, Golden Goose, Lisle Licensing, MDR Brand Management, Metrostar, Natural History Museum, National Gallery, Pink Key Licensing, Poetic Brands, Products of Change, RHS, Sara Miller London and Start Licensing.

is entirely online. Full details of entering can be accessed from www.brandlicensingawards.com by clicking on the Product, Retailer, Property and Other Awards category boxes. All the criteria and categories you can enter are then explained and you will have the opportunity to upload imagery to support. For most of the categories you will be asked to register and create a password. Once you have done this, it will mean that you will be able to save your submission and edit an entry right up to the deadline. If you haven’t registered with a password, it will ask you to do this. The closing date for entry submissions is Friday 8 March 2024. Please note, only licences and licensed products featuring brands hailing from the museum and heritage, food and beverage, FMCG non-food, automotive, media, design-led IP and fashion genres are applicable. All entertainment brands including TV, film, celebrity, gaming, music and sports are covered by The Licensing Awards (which will take place on Tuesday 10 September).

For ticket and table information for the B&LLAs 2024, head to: www.brandlicensingawards.com/tickets For sponsorship, entry questions or general enquiries on the B&LLAs, you can contact one of the licensing team at Max Publishing as follows: Ian Hyder (ianh@max-publishing.co.uk) Jakki Brown (jakkib@max-publishing.co.uk) Rob Willis (robw@max-publishing.co.uk) Samantha Loveday (saml@max-publishing.co.uk)

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After a strong 2023, the sports licensing sector is undoubtedly set for further growth in 2024, with key events such as the Paris Olympics and the men’s Euro 2024 tournament helping to play their part. LSB rounds up some of the latest news from across the sector.

Inset: The deal includes a range of assets and IP to develop the Diego Maradona brand.

Sporting spirit Dream Theatre scores with Maradona

Topps kicks off with West Ham United

Dream Theatre has secured the rights for the Maradona consumer products programme from Podium Icons. Podium Icons has exclusively acquired the master licensor rights from Sattvica SA, the Argentine company which owns the Maradona, name, image and likeness rights. The deal includes a range of assets and IP to develop the Diego Maradona brand. Dream Theatre has been tasked with bringing brand Maradona to India and South Asia, and the company has already begun working with licensees in apparel, footwear, luggage, gifts and novelty memorabilia. “We are very excited to represent Maradona in India and South Asia,” commented Jiggy George, founder and ceo at Dream Theatre. “Maradona’s personality and impact on the game is timeless and as football gains ground in India, fans old and new will have a chance to celebrate the sheer genius of Maradona with authentic merchandise across categories.”

West Ham has secured a new deal with Topps, which will see the company bring to life a range of trading cards and stickers for fans to collect, trade and play with. The partnership builds upon the existing licensing agreement that has seen West Ham United’s players feature as part of Topps’ UEFA Club Competitions trading card collections, including in the 2022/23 season when the Hammers won the UEFA Europa Conference League, claiming their Above: Topps will bring to first European silverware since 1965. life a range of trading cards “Topps is delighted to be and stickers. partnering with West Ham United, one of Europe’s most iconic clubs,” commented Mark Catlin, general manager at Topps International. “Our shared commitment to excellence and innovation makes this partnership a perfect fit and we look forward to bringing exciting products and experiences to West Ham United’s loyal fanbase as it continues its impressive international growth.”

Below: Newcastle and Fenwick will build a partnership that ‘aims to celebrate community and local talent’.

Newcastle United partners with Fenwick Newcastle United Football Club has welcomed Fenwick as its Official Luxury Retail Store Partner. The two city icons will build a partnership that aims to celebrate community and local talent, as well as creating surprising experiences for the people of Tyneside and beyond. The partnership marks the next phase of investment for Fenwick, which is currently in the middle of a £40m renovation project to transform its Newcastle flagship into the ‘ultimate next generation’ store for the North East. Peter Silverstone, cco at Newcastle United, said: “Newcastle United and Fenwick have a combined 270 years of history and heritage in the heart of Newcastle. We share a passion for the city and its people.”

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Danilo is top of the table with Arsenal Using its fancy footwork to turn around a new product in whistlestop time has not only led Danilo to produce a winning calendar, but has also seen it score an award from Arsenal Football Club. The honour came at the Arsenal FC 2023 licensee day at the club’s Emirates Stadium in London, where the official licensed calendar and card publisher built on the previous year’s award for working with the club for over 10 years. “We won the award for the Arsenal FC Women’s 2023 A3 Calendar which was launched last year,” Danilo’s licensing director Dan Grant commented. “It’s one of only a few product lines specifically developed for the Arsenal Women’s FC merchandise range and Danilo are very proud to have been able to support the team as we see women’s football growing in popularity every year.” To make the award even more special, it was presented to the Danilo team by Faye White, who is the ex-Arsenal Women’s FC and England Women’s captain.

Inset: The calendar is one of only a few product lines specifically developed for the Arsenal Women’s FC merchandise range.

Fanatics scores first Australian club partnership Essendon Football Club – one of Australia’s oldest and most successful sports clubs – has inked an exclusive long-term ecommerce partnership with Fanatics to enhance the fan experience for Bombers fans worldwide. The deal – which includes opening a fully refreshed online store – will offer Essendon fans a full assortment of officially licensed Bombers’ merchandise, including guernseys, training wear, headwear, fan apparel, official Essendon member apparel and accessories. The partnership, which is Fanatics’ first ever with an AFL team, further builds on the company’s landmark league deal with the AFL, which was announced in 2023 and will offer fans of Australian rules football worldwide among the largest assortment of officially licensed AFL merchandise ever made available. “Fanatics has a truly global reach and partner network, which will allow us to reach our fans no matter where they might be in the world and take our fan experience to the next level,” said Ryan Larkin, chief marketing and communications officer at Essendon Football Club.

Inset: The new partnership will aim to further grow the Lions brand beyond the field.

British & Irish Lions line up with IMG The British & Irish Lions has appointed IMG as its worldwide licensing agency in a multi-year deal through 2027. The partnership will see IMG develop a wide range of licensed products for fans of the iconic rugby union team, as they prepare for their eagerly anticipated tour of Australia in 2025. Inspired by the team’s rich legacy and identity, The British & Irish Lions branded range will include fan merchandise, fashion apparel and sporting accessories for all genders and ages. The new partnership will aim to further grow the Lions brand beyond the field and into new markets through innovative and authentic collaborations and experiences. “This partnership comes at a critical time as our preparation for the 2025 Tour continues to ramp up and underlines our long-term strategic ambition, which is to be the most successful and admired sporting brand,” said Tom Halsey, commercial director at The British & Irish Lions. “To achieve this, we need to be working alongside the very best agencies and IMG fall into that category. Partnering with IMG will allow us to grow The British & Irish Lions brand further by helping us to connect with fans on a broader scale providing them with high-quality Lions merchandise and experiences.”

Above: The partnership further builds on Fanatics’ landmark league deal with the AFL. LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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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 FRIDAY 8TH MARCH 2024 The 2024 winners of the awards will be revealed at a lavish afternoon event held at The Royal Lancaster Hotel, Lancaster Terrace, London on Thursday 25 April 2024

The B&LLAs bring together retailers, licensees, brand owners and representatives to celebrate excellence in brand and lifestyle licensing.

For information on reserving tickets or tables to the event, please contact: Clare Hollick at Createvents Ltd using clare@createvents.co.uk or calling +44(0)1183 340085 For information on sponsorship or any other enquiries please contact: Ian Hyder, Joint MD of Max Publishing on +44 (0)7525 634306 ianh@max-publishing.co.uk

www.brandlicensingawards.co.uk Max Publishing, United House, North Road, London, N7 9DP T: +44 (0)207 7006740 W: www.max-publishing.co.uk

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Brace of partners for 24 Hours of Le Mans

Below: Kappa has been appointed as official outfitter of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

IMG – Le Mans’ exclusive licensing agency – has welcomed a further two partners to the programme for 24 Hours of Le Mans. Racing Force Group has strengthened its relationship with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) with its Bell Racing brand launching licensed helmets and scaled helmets with a 24 Hours of Le Mans dedicated livery. Bell Racing has designed two specific colour schemes for its GT6 Pro full-face helmet and the MAG open face helmet to highlight the appeal of the iconic endurance race event, which celebrated its centenary edition last June. The partnership also includes the production of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Bell Mini Helmets. In addition, as official outfitter of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Kappa will be associated with the world’s greatest motor race. The partnership agreement spans three years, covering the 2024, 2025 and 2026 events. ACO staff members will sport Kappa clothing and the brand will design a new range each year under the 24 Hours of Le Mans licence, available in official stores, online and in the race village.

Liverpool FC x Converse partnership continues Liverpool FC x Converse have unveiled their second collaborative limited edition product capsule collection. The new collection aims to fuse inspiration from the rich history of LFC imagery with the diversity and creativity that reflects a new generation of global footfall fans. Key pieces in the collection – which has been inspired by the club’s colours, architecture and typeface – include a limited edition unisex premium puffer jacket; Liverpool FC x Converse Chuck 70 high-top sneakers incorporating colour-blocking and gradient style inspired by LFC’s away colours; a Liverpool FC x Converse cotton jersey crew including illustrated LFCinspired graphics; and the Liverpool FC x Converse Star Player 76. The first limited edition capsule collection celebrated the diverse and creative nature of the club’s beating heart – its supporters. This second collection in the partnership celebrates the club’s history and champions its future, while paying homage to the supporters and anthems of Anfield. Above: The second collection celebrates the club’s history and champions its future.

Everton marks five years of equality campaign Everton is celebrating five years of its equity and inclusion campaign, All Together Now, by launching an exclusive new clothing range – Respect, Celebrate, Empower. Supporters can shop the range – which has been produced in collaboration with retail partner Fanatics – online now at evertondirect.com and in store at Everton One and Everton Two. The offering includes hoodies, t-shirts, sweatshirts and joggers in various colours. Thanks to Fanatics’ generosity, 100% of the net profits from the range will be donated to the Club’s official charity Everton in the Community. The ‘Respect, Celebrate, Empower’ slogan is being introduced as part of the five-year celebrations to serve as a reminder of what All Together Now stands for. As well as appearing on apparel, the range and its brand mark will be used on the club’s online and offline platforms to represent the values that make up All Together Now’s commitment to create ‘a football family for everyone’.

Below: The ‘Respect, Celebrate, Empower’ slogan is being introduced as part of the five-year celebrations.

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STATE OF THE NATION: SPORTS

ASPIRE puts Sauber Motorsport in pole position ASPIRE – the corporate and lifestyle division of WildBrain CPLG – has accelerated its consumer products programme for Sauber Motorsport with a line-up of new licensees now signed up for its Formula 1 operations, Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake. The new licensees secured span from apparel to collectables to figurines, including a new collaboration with Abercrombie & Fitch developed by apparel partner Outerstuff. Heal Tread has launched a range of adult socks based on Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake, while in toys, AFX (Racemaster) has come on board for slot cars and will launch Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake slot car and racing set, as well as individual cars. Other new licensees on board include Yu Tung Technology (Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK racing block set with figurines); NZG (a die-cast 1:18 scale model car); Stilo (a die-cast mini replica helmet collection); SFX Collectibles (driver and pit stop crew statues and a stylised Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake model car); and Automobilist S.R.O (official posters and fine art prints). Right: The new collaboration with Abercrombie & Fitch was developed by Outerstuff.

UFC welcomes new vp of licensing for global CP Mixed martial arts brand, UFC has promoted Meghan Mernin to vice president of licensing for global consumer products. Meghan has played a pivotal role in driving new business and establishing the licensing vertical for the company. She is responsible for directing UFC’s global licensing strategy and overseeing new business development with IMG, UFC’s exclusive licensing agency. In addition, she oversees account management of a majority of UFC’s licensees, including Panini, Timex and Culture Kings. In her expanded role, Meghan is also responsible for the digital products team and driving current business with gaming and digital partners – including EA Sports, Draft Kings and Concept Labs – while also identifying new business opportunities in the digital space. Right: Meghan Mernin, vp licensing for global consumer products, UFC.

Panini celebrates Barclays Women’s Super League Panini has entered into a licensing partnership with The Football Association to create the first ever UK domestic football sticker collection to celebrate the Barclays Women’s Super League. After the success of similar women’s football collections celebrating international Above: The collection stars the league’s players and icons of tournaments, the physical the game for the first time. Barclays WSL sticker collection hit retailer shelves in December 2023, starring the league’s players and icons of the game for the first time. The sticker collection features nearly 350 stickers, including the all-important ‘shinies’ for collectors to chase from all 12 Barclays WSL teams in the English top flight. Collectors are able to kick start their sticker collection with a starter pack, which includes an album and five packets of stickers. Katie Gritt, head of marketing for sport at Panini, commented: “We couldn’t be prouder of this collection and what it represents; the phenomenal growth and success of these incredible women, and we look forward to supporting the continued growth of the women’s game through our Barclays Women’s Super League collections.”

Licensing programme launches for The Boat Race The history and fierce rivalry of the famous annual boat race between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge will be the focus of a new dedicated licensing programme. The Boat Race Company Limited – which manages the commercial rights to the race and delivers the championship event – has appointed Curating Cambridge (formerly Fitzwilliam Museum Enterprises) to represent and develop an international licensing programme that celebrates the iconic race around the world. The first licensee, Brandco D2F – sourcing and supply specialist of fan merch and e-commerce solutions for sports brands such as Six Nations, FA, Commonwealth Games – is already on board to deliver merchandise and an official online shop ahead of the 2024 race, as well as more fashion focused designs for UK retail. Capturing the spirit of the historic race through crossed oar logos and a colour palette of both dark and light blues details to represent the teams, the collection also includes a range of t-shirts featuring famous race landmarks and imagery. Curating Cambridge’s international agent network will develop the reach of the programme across fashion, lifestyle accessories, sport and personal care.

LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

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LICENSEES

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Licensees

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LICENSING SOURCE BOOK 2024

LICENSEES

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.


Apparel

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Apparel

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Apparel

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Apparel

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Apparel

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Apparel

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Apparel

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Apparel & Accessories

AWARD WINNING LICENSEE

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Apparel & Accessories

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Apparel - Adults & Children

A D U LT S & K I D S : N I G H T W E A R . D AY W E A R . S W I M W E A R

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Apparel - Adults & Children

A D U LT S & K I D S : N I G H T W E A R . D AY W E A R . S W I M W E A R

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Apparel - Adults & Children

H O T R I G H T N O W A D U LT L I C E N S E S

BEANZ / HP / SAUCE NUMBERETTI / KETCHUP PASTA / SOUP

90TH ANNIVERSARY IN JUNE

65TH ANNIVERSARY IN MARCH

85TH ANNIVERSARY IN AUGUST

85TH ANNIVERSARY IN APRIL

30TH ANNIVERSARY IN JUNE

HOT RIGHT NOW KIDS LICENSES

HOT RIGHT NOW

20TH ANNIVERSARY ALL YEAR CELEBRATION

25TH ANNIVERSARY ALL YEAR CELEBRATION

50TH ANNIVERSARY IN NOVEMBER

HOT RIGHT NOW

HOT RIGHT NOW

NIGHTWEAR . DAYWEAR . FAM JAMS . SWIMWEAR

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Apparel, Accessories & Homegoods

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Bedding

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Bedding

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Bedding

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Apparel and Accessories

Tel: 01392 982085 Email: info@pedigreetoysandbrands.co.uk www.pedigreetoysandbrands.co.uk

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Dress Up/Party

Alice

Fantastic Mr Fox

Blue’s Clues

Cat in the Hat

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Elmer

Looking for Book Week inspiration? Then look no further! Amscan has you covered with an A-Z of costumes!

Hedwig

James and the Giant Peach

Goldilocks

Insects

Knights

Luna Lovegood

Miffy

©Amscan 2024. All Rights Reserved.

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Dress Up/Party

Ninja

One and Two

Pip and Posy

Quidditch

Rabbit, Peter

From firm favourites to new classic character designs that you won’t want to miss, there is something for everyone!

Slytherin

Unique Unicorn

Twits

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Witches

Xtraterrestrial

Yellow Brick Road

Zoo Characters

Bring the party to life with Amscan’s collection of some of the world’s most loved and in demand licenses.

Amscan International UK

Our ranges of party products, balloons and costumes create great excitement for all ages!

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Dress Up /Party

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Games

®

Steamforged Games is led by a love of the craft and a mission to deliver compelling tabletop experiences that capture people’s emotions. From small beginnings in the corner of a hobby gaming store, the team has gone on to create authentic tabletop versions of some of the biggest video games around. And with original

titles like Epic Encounters, which Forbes called the “Blue Apron [of] Dungeons & Dragons”; the highly-rated skirmish wargame, Godtear; and their star-studded upcoming dungeon explorer, Bardsung, Steamforged is fast building a reputation as a producer of their own excellent IP’s.

WANT TO GET IN TOUCH WITH STEAMFORGED? For trade enquiries, reach out to toby@steamforged.com

For retail enquiries, reach out to jo@steamforged.com

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Giftware

Chill out with the All-New

SLUSH PUPPiE® Machine Now better than ever!

Origin al and Z are al ero Sugar Sy so ava r ups ilable a nd sold sep arately.

01903 327006 sales@fizzcreations.com 6 Commerce Way, Lancing Business Park, BN15 8TA

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Giftware

Enesco Limited, Brunthill Road, Kingstown, Carlisle CA3 0EN UK Customer Services: Telephone: 01228 404022 Email: uksales@enesco.co.uk Overseas Customer Services: Telephone: +44 (0) 1228 404066 Email: eurosales@enesco.co.uk

Join us at SPRING FAIR NEC, Birmingham 4—7th Feb 2024 Hall 4, Stand B60—C61 & C60—D61

SHOP OUR ENTIRE COLLECTION OF GIFTWARE AT ENESCO.CO.UK

Join us on

/ ENES C OLIMITED

BEATRIX POTTER™ © Frederick Warne & Co., 2024. All Rights Reserved.

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published by

www.danilo.com

Greeting Cards and Calendars published by

www.danilo.com

Greeting Cards, Gift Wrap, Calendars & Diaries

AMAZING BRANDS

AWARD-WINNING PRODUCTS

sales@danilo.com

01992 702 900

www.danilo.com

/danilocalendarsuk

@CalendarsUK

/danilocalendarsuk

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Collectables

Money Banks

Hottest Official Licenses!

Amazing New Licenses Coming 2024

New Waves Added Regularly!

Cute & Detailed Designs!

Collectable

Bag Clips

To discover more about our must have ranges and what’s new for 2024 visit our website or contact james.luff@dkbtoys.com

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Licensed Merch

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Licensed Merch

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Licensed Merch

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Licensed Merch

REBEL MOON (IMPERIUM PRIEST) CLASSIC BACKPACK GP86755

REBEL MOON (FOR THE REBELS) GIFT SET (MUG, COASTER & KEYCHAIN) GP86636

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Licensed Merch

© 20

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© 2024 MARVEL

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TM & © WBEI. WIZARDING WORLD trademark and logo © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s24)

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© 2024 Scott Cawthon. All Rights Reserved.

© Disney/Pixar

© & ™ WBEI. (s24).

©2024 VIACOM INTERNATIONAL INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Nightwear, Daywear, Underwear and Swimwear

Character Clothing Specialists

LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob the NINJAGO logo are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2020 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved.

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Nightwear, Daywear, Underwear and Swimwear

TM

Nightwear Daywear Underwear Swimwear

GET IN TOUCH!

+44 16 1273 5213 www.cooneenbydesign.com Cooneen Group

@cooneengroup

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Nightwear, Underwear & Socks/Hosiery @misirliukltd @misirliuk @misirliuklimited “Delivering innovation, quality and value on time...every time.”

www.misirli.co.uk

New

New

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Nightwear, Underwear & Socks/Hosiery New

New

New

For license enquires contact: Christine Roberts Email: christine@misirli.co.uk T: +44(0) 116 2645 860

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Toiletries

®

Bathing in Brands 128

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Toiletries

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Licensed Sports Merchandise

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Licensed Sports Merchandise

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MAX GROUP OF COMPANIES MARKET LEADING DIGITAL PLATFORMS

MARKET LEADERS IN TRADE MAGAZINE PUBLISHING JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021

SL

AY A L L D A Y March

January/February 2021

2021

Salads. Made simple.

PreschoolNews Advert 165 x 245_Layout 1 04/01/2018 16:20 Page 1

Introducing new Multi-Prep™ 4-in-1 salad preparation set.

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Jan/Feb 2021

The B2B Publication For Preschool Products and Retailers

e

ISSUE 50 JAN/FEB 2021

21-XXXA S Smiffys (Trade)

Progressive Party (Feb 2021) Full Page (210mmW x 297mmH Font Cover Ad

1_v1 MP 28/01/2021

@Prog_Preschool

28/01/2021 12:58

PreschoolNews.net is the new online resource for the preschool product and retail sector. From the publishers of Progressive Preschool Magazine and the organisers of the Progressive Preschool Awards, this new website and e-newsflash portal will provide the very latest news, views, and analysis across the preschool product and retail sector.

Still Home Schooling

The Little Monsters?

Bleed – 216mmW x 303mmH Trim – 210mmW x 297mmH 7pt (Terms & Conditions)

(Radius Xmm)

Launching with an unrivalled email subscriber base of 12,087 readers, a twice weekly newsflash will land directly in the inboxes of everyone in this fast-paced industry. A modern, easy to navigate website will provide a central resource for the trade too, offering news, in-depth articles, an industry jobs board, retail analysis, digital issues of Progressive Preschool, and much much more.

Take a break and join us at the Smiffys UK Virtual Showcase 22nd – 26th Feb

Publication Stock

CMYK

And learn all about our exciting new lines and offers (FOGRA39) ISO12647-7 Contract Proof Colour Check

The magazine and awards do a great job in joining the dots between toy, nursery, gift, apparel, publishing, and of course licensing and this digital offering will further enhance our position as a trade media partner that offers a tangible response to advertising investment.

Book an appointment now

sales@smiffys.com 0800 590 599

New Products and Ranges NOW AVAILABLE! Contact: sales@toynamics.co.uk T: +44 (0) 116 4785230 l W: Toynamics.co.uk

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28/01/2021 14:24:34 02/02/2021 16:08

PPS Banner Head 2019.indd 1

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All advertising on the website is duplicated to each and every newsflash, giving advertisers huge visibility and direct impact to retail buyers. PreschoolNews.net is published by preschool sector experts, for preschool trade experts.

01/03/2019 13:33

28/01/2021 12:49

MARKET LEADERS IN TRADE AWARDS

ADVERTISING AND COMMERCIAL:

EDITORIAL AND CONTENT:

Jo Pilcher jop@max-publishing.co.uk

Jacqui Parr jacquip@max-publishing.co.uk

Rob Willis robw@max-publishing.co.uk

Sam Loveday saml@max-publishing.co.uk

MARKET LEADING GREETING CARD TRADE EXHIBITION Preschoolnews.net is published by preschool sector experts…

max-publishing.co.uk maxmediaventures.co.uk maxlive-events.co.uk

MAX PUBLISHING • UNITED HOUSE • NORTH ROAD • LONDON • N7 9DP [t] 020 7700 6740 • [e] ianh@max-publishing.co.uk Max Group House Ad.indd 1

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11/01/2024 21:56


2024 Guide to Services and Suppliers 133_LSB_Spring 2024_Lics.indd 1

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Accessories

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Accessories

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Aid to BrandAid Owners to Brand and Retail Owners Buyers and Retail Buyers

INTELLIGENT BUYING FOR LICENSED PRODUCTS FOR BRAND OWNERS A virtual shop window directly onto retailer buyers desktops ■ View popularity of products via your unique dashboard ■ Aide licensees quest to place products in front of retailers ■ Products displayed in via photos and descriptions controlled by you

FOR RETAILERS It’s a secret weapon for buying the right product at the right time ■ Browse products by powerful search tools ■ Consider timely buying by our brand populated calendar of events ■ Buy safe in the knowledge that all products are officially licensed

Interested in learning more? Contact us through our website

www.thebrandinformer.com @Brand_Informer

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@TheBrandInformer

@TheBrandInformer

19/01/2021 18:13 16:30 10/01/2024


PinkKey - BLEAdvert 2022 - 148x108mm.pdf

1

30/08/2022

15:01

Brand Licensing Agency

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

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Brand Licensing Agency

S06 138

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Character Costumes and Sports Mascots

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Business Multimedia Publishing & Events

MAX PUBLISHING The leading specialist publishing house for the licensing and consumer products sectors, offering high-quality, content-rich publications to an unrivalled database of over 100,000 licensors, suppliers, licensees, retailers and everyone inbetween. Our titles cover all core product areas, whilst our contract publishing business has seen specialist publications for companies including Universal Studios, Warner Bros,. Disney, Entertainment One, Hasbro, Sanrio and many more.

MAX MEDIA VENTURES The digital studio within the Max group owns and operates numerous exciting digital news channels including LicensingSource. net. The studio also offers full-service digital development from websites to apps, social media programs, audio visual creation, company re-branding, 3D modelling, with clients including Licensing International, LDN Fashion and more.

For ANY marketing requirement – S08-S09_140-141_Max Publishing House Ad_muk.indd 134

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we


t–

Business Multimedia Publishing & Events

Get in touch: hello@max-publishing.co.uk +44 (0)207 700 6740 www.maxmediagroup.co.uk

MAX LIVE EVENTS Not only does our award-winning production company organise the highlycoveted Licensing Awards, Progressive Preschool Awards and all others in the Max group, it also organises events for a myriad of third party clients from small conferencing and licensee days to major live events for names including Toni & Guy, Licensing International, The Negotiator Awards and hundreds more.

we have the expertise and solution S08-S09_140-141_Max Publishing House Ad_muk.indd 135

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2024 YOUR BRAND SHAPES IDENTITIES Find the right partners to connect with European fans

24-26 September ExCeL London

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brandlicensing.eu

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Creative Services

WE LOVE TO CREATE WE DEVELOP PRODUCTS & CREATE RULES FOR BRAND GUIDELINES

WE DESIGN & MANUFACTURE PRODUCTS & PACKAGING

WE DELIVER BRANDS & PRODUCTS TO GLOBAL RETAILERS

STYLEGUIDES / BRAND STRATEGY / PRODUCT STRATEGY / PRODUCT VISUALS / PROTOTYPES / PITCH DECKS / TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS / MARKETING & POS / MANUFACTURING SOLUTIONS

HELLO@MYDESIGNCOMPANY.COM | +44 0207 729 8781 |

WWW.MYDESIGNCOMPANY.COM

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Data Driven Licensing

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Data Driven Licensing

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Design Agency – Product, Packaging & Style Guide

Tango and the Tango device are trade marks of Britvic Soft Drinks Ltd. © Disney Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All Rights Reserved. DreamWorks Trolls © 2019 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Design, Design Reprographics and Print

‘Proud to be the graphic reproduction and printing company to The Licensing Awards, Licensing Source Book and Max Publishing’ Some of the great people we’ve worked with...

BASED IN LONDON, METHOD UK IS A BESPOKE DESIGN, REPROGRAPHICS AND PRINT COMPANY, SPECIALISING IN PRODUCING AND MANAGING ALL MANNER OF WONDERFUL PROJECTS 020 7691 0922 Method UK 2020.indd2023.indd 1 S15_147_LSB_Spring 143

matt@thisismethod.co.uk

147 S15

16/09/2020 18:34 10:57 10/01/2024


Licensing Agent

L I C E N S I N G

ART • LICENSING • DESIGN • CREATIVITY A N I MAT I O N

ARTISTS

International designer, Catalina Estrada

HE R I TAGE COLLECTIONS fel the colors of nature

KIDS C H O I C E

fel the colors of nature

fel the colors of nature ©

20 18

C

ata

lin

a

Es

tr ad

a

BES P OK E A RT WO R K Successful international licensing program includes wall paper, bed linen, cushions, handbags, accessories, school products, and many others. Now available in the UK. For more information say hello@thisisiris.co.uk

FA S H I O N

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CHA R IT Y

C O N T E M P O R A RY

CLEANER

SEAS PROJECT

To find out more say hello@thisisiris.co.uk or visit www.thisisiris.co.uk S18_148_LSB_Spring 2024.indd 144

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Independent Licensing Agency

START LICENSING LIMITED Licensing Agent & Consultancy

Start Licensing are an award winning Licensing Agent who represent companies such as Aardman Animations, Britvic Soft Drinks and The Ashmolean Museum as a Licensing Agent. They also offer Licensing Consultancy services. Consultancy clients have included Channel 4, The Royal Mail, The National Gallery and Rebellion Publishing. Start Licensing are experts in licensing. Combining a strategic approach with commercial acumen and creative vision. For more information and to have an initial chat please call Ian Downes on 07776 228454 or email ian@startlicensing.co.uk @startlicensing

All properties appear with permission of respective owners

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Licensing Agency

150 S18

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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 FRIDAY 8TH MARCH 2024 The 2024 winners of the awards will be revealed at a lavish afternoon event held at The Royal Lancaster Hotel, Lancaster Terrace, London on Thursday 25 April 2024

The B&LLAs bring together retailers, licensees, brand owners and representatives to celebrate excellence in brand and lifestyle licensing.

For information on reserving tickets or tables to the event, please contact: Clare Hollick at Createvents Ltd using clare@createvents.co.uk or calling +44(0)1183 340085 For information on sponsorship or any other enquiries please contact: Ian Hyder, Joint MD of Max Publishing on +44 (0)7525 634306 ianh@max-publishing.co.uk

www.brandlicensingawards.co.uk Max Publishing, United House, North Road, London, N7 9DP T: +44 (0)207 7006740 W: www.max-publishing.co.uk

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Licensing Agency

Leading brand and licensing agency with a host of household names. For brands with pedigree, contact: www.bulldog-licensing.com

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info@bulldog-licensing.com

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Licensing Consultant and Brand Strategy

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Licensing Management Technology and Brand Protection

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Licensing Management Technology and Brand Protection

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Manufacturing/Sourcing

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PR Agency

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PR Agency

St fr an o d H m ou er th t d e !

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PR Agency

The Licensing and Broadcast PR and Marketing Specialists TRADE PR CONSUMER PR WEBSITE COPY SOCIAL NETWORKING TALENT MANAGEMENT CHARACTER TOURS REGULAR COLUMNS PRODUCT PLACEMENT PLACED FEATURES SPEECH WRITING COPYWRITING COMPETITIONS

Tylers • 1 Mallows Green Road • Manuden • Herts • CM23 1DG T 44 (0) 1279 887 101 E jgarner@kgmpr.com • W www.kgmpr.com S27 159

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PR Agency

Check out our new showreel at licensetopr.co.uk @licensetopr

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Contact: louise@licensetopr.co.uk 0207 637 4660

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Royalty Auditing

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Sustainability

WE SIMPLIFY SUSTAINABILITY A membership community to support and educate your transition to a sustainable and profitable future. We work with: • Brand Owners • Licensed Manufacturers • Retailers To help you build: • For the environment • For society • For the future With education and support with: • Governance • Legislation • Guidelines Products of Change Membership Products of Change Media Products of Change Events Products of Change Consultancy

Driving business towards a regenerative future

POC membership brings you: Online educational modules Online digital hub to connect with members Sustainable research and insights Live webinars Topic specific working groups Discount to in-person workshops Discount to our annual conference (SILC) A safe community to learn together

productsofchange.com

JOIN US TO BUILD A BETTER FUTURE helena@productsofchange.com S30 162

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Sustainability Conference

DRIVING POSITIVE CHANGE ACROSS Brand LICENSING, Retail and Product

DELIVERED BY

BOOK YOUR SILC24 TICKETS TODAY sustainabilityinlicencing.com

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Sports Licensing

Business built on sporting values, experiences & connections 2023 another great year of sport

SPORTS LICENSING, MERCHANDISING & RETAIL SPECIALIST

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Contact: Simon Gresswell, MD & Founder simon@sglp.co.uk www.sglp.co.uk

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Trade Association for Licensing Globally

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Technology Service Provider

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Technology Service Provider

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Licensing Source Advert DPS_Layout 1 12/01/2017 13:45 Page 1

Digital Licensing News

LicensingSource.net is the go-to resource for finding out what’s happening in the global licensing industry. Including news, interviews and analysis, as well as an event diary, a hugely successful jobs board and more, The Source is the central hub of information for the worldwide licensing community. The team behind LicensingSource.net has over fifty years experience in the licensing industry, and also own and organise The Licensing Awards, publish The Licensing Source Book Europe and an array of other market leading trade titles. With an e-subscriber database of over 9,500 key contacts, advertisers can expect to receive high visibility, not only on the website, but also on the trusted daily news flashes and social media boasting a strong following.

For the very best information...

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uk

Digital Licensing News

@LicensingSource

Go straight to The Source... ADVERTISING Rob Willis robw@max-publishing.co.uk

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Ian Hyder ianh@max-publishing.co.uk

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Industry Travel Expert

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 LicensingSource.net. Dear Friends and Clients, As the industry’s specialist travel agent, you may have used my services, you may not have yet. I have been serving the licensing sector for many years now and after the pause in travel due to C*vid, I am pleased to say that I was responsible for many of your flights and hotels this year – Licensing Expo in Las Vegas was a busy one for me and BLE is looking much the same. Why do people use me? Firstly, I know the shows. I’ve been to them, I know if a hotel really is a ‘5 minutes walk’ or not and which ones suit which type of traveller. I know that you don’t want to go to Las Vegas via Lithuania or Melbourne via Mexico.

And that is why now, more than ever, I encourage you to use my services as a licensing industry specialist. You will speak to me, Paul, and I will be your personal point of contact at all times. Again, my best wishes for a superb evening and please do consider me your personal travel agent for the trips ahead. I deal with one-man companies right up to 100 person bookings for the biggest licensors. And if I can keep Ian, Jakki and Rob happy with their demanding requirements, I’m sure I can help you!

Secondly, I am an independent, specialist travel consultant. I answer the phone… that means no messing around with call centres when changes happen. And we all know after the last few years that changes to travel are now commonplace.

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14-15 MAY 2024 BUSINESS DESIGN CENTRE ISLINGTON, LONDON

The ultimate destination for stationery products

Register Today!

www.stationeryshowlondon.co.uk

To discuss exhibiting, please contact Chantelle White: chantellew@max-publishing.co.uk

Max Publishing, United House, North Road, London, N7 9DP

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