The Bugg Report Magazine - Edition 30

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From the Editor Edition 30

đ&#x;Ž° June 2019

Licensing Expo, Las Vegas

Welcome to Licensing Expo here in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Since last year there has been a lot that has happened, not only in the licensing business but also in the world generally. We have seen Amazon launch their business as a serious retail contender in Australia, we saw the introduction of the first ever LIMA (now Licensing International) Licensing Awards in Australia & New Zealand and most recently, prior to Licensing Expo, we have seen The Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) rebrand as Licensing International. This edition of The Bugg Report magazine brings some great content to our readers and there are some really exciting new brands entering the business on a global scale. We have HeadStart who are working on developing their own brands and content including hairdooz, Micro Wheels and Best Furry Friends. We also had the chance to catch up with Alex Blaikie from ESL Gaming in Australia to learn all about esports and how many fans they have all around the world. It is a really interesting interview and something that is well worth reading as esports and ESL offer a huge amount of opportunity to the licensing business. Also on the agenda is an interview with Will De Pippo from Sesame Workshop, which looks at everything that is happening in the company all around the world! Interestingly Sesame Street will make their way into the circus this September and we spoke to Keith Brown from Showtime Attractions who told us all about this exciting new activation and what it means for Sesame Street, Showtime Attractions and fans all around Australia.

Brands which have been developed in Australia and are now looking at the world stage include Mizzie The Kangaroo, Squatter, Bean About and The Wiggles. We have some great interviews and updates on these brands so please check them out. Some other interviews to check out are with Jacques and Marcel from MJM Australia, Debra Joester from Joester Loria Group and Sally Coates from Vimwood Australia. We also have a selection of articles as well which include Wide Eyes News from the Tube, According to Downsey and guest column looking at what customers want in the products they purchase in 2019. And finally we have market wrap from the NFLPA, Black Mint Licensing, Lisle Licensing and Centa IP. We hope you enjoy this edition of The Bugg Report magazine and if you have a moment check out our Instagram page @buggreport where we will be posting some pictures and updates here at Licensing Expo or subscribe to our email updates at to hear the latest from us throughout the show on all things brands and licensing.


Editor & Designer

Tony Bugg

Matthew Bugg

Published by Bugg Marketing Solutions



PO BOX 491, Berwick VIC 3806


The Bugg Report has been compiled as a guide to retail, sports, lifestyle, toys, licensing and/or other related matters. The views and opinions provided are based upon the views and opinions of our writers. In no way is The Bugg Report a factual guide to retail, sports, lifestyle, toys, licensing and/or other related matters and does not take responsibility for how the information provided is used by its consumers.


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Inside this Edition 06. meet the hairdooz! 10. Interview: ESL Gaming 12. Interview: Sesame Workshop 16. Wide Eyes News from the Tube 18. Interview: Mizzie The Kangaroo 22. Interview: Squatter 26. The Wiggles Are Back! 30. Feature: Showtime Attractions 34. Interview: MJM Australia 36. Interview: Joester Loria Group 40. Interview: Bean About 42. NFLPA: There is Power in the Collective Voice 44. Centa IP Partners with Ryan’s World 46. Black Mint Licensing 48. Lisle Licensing 50. According to Downsey 52. What Does the Consumer Want? 54. Interview: Vimwood Licensing Expo - Edition 30


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ESL Gaming

ESL is the World’s Largest Gaming Company ESL was founded in 2000 and now, 19 years later, is an industry leader across many online and offline competitions. With 242 million fans globally and 8.4 million playing members, ESL is evidence of the power and strength of esports. The Bugg Report recently had the chance to speak to Alex Blaikie from ESL in Sydney Australia. We asked Alex some questions about esports and ESL Gaming to learn more about what this industry is all about. About ESL & the Esports Industry

The Esports Audience & Event Calendar

Thank you for speaking to The Bugg Report Alex. For those who don’t know, can you provide us with an overview of ESL and what you do from an overall business perspective in the esports arena?

How many fans does esports currently have globally and what is the key demographic for esports in terms of age and location?

Thanks Matt. At ESL, we operate a number of video game leagues and competitions all over the world, such as the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One, ESL National Championships and Melbourne Esports Open, as well as grassroots amateur cups, leagues and matchmaking systems. As a business, we provide services to clients in the broader gaming, technology and event management space, as well as sell advertising & sponsorships on our ESL-owned products, in a model that follows traditional sports media quite closely. Essentially, if a client (often publisher) comes to us wanting to run a custom esports league or program – we can handle that end-to-end for them. As a global leader in esports, where do you see the industry heading given its rapid growth in popularity? The short answer is: up. We’ve seen reports from the likes of Newzoo predicting massive growth in the sector, and now that we’re seeing multinational brands like Pepsico, DHL and Mercedes-Benz getting involved in ESL-owned products, that’s starting to become a reality.

Esports as a Competition Can you offer an insight into how ESL takes a game and then turns it into a worldwide competition through your online and offline competitions? Our ethos at ESL is to create a world where everyone can be someone – basically, the zero-to-hero mentality, where a player can start off competing in one of our Open competitions on our grassroots tournament platform, ESL Play, gain experience and eventually qualify into one of our Challenger competitions like the ESL AU & NZ National Championships, and finally move through the new pathways we’re creating into our global mega-events, like IEM Sydney. This year’s IEM Sydney is actually the first time we’ve had a qualification spot directly allocated to our national championships program – a big win for local teams who now get the chance to shine on a global stage.


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Speaking from an ESL perspective, our largest global event – IEM Katowice – this year saw 230,000,000 unique viewers across the world, predominantly in the late teen-early 20’s demographic. Location always varies per-game, we see South-East Asia as a bigger market for Mobile esports, vs. Australia where we have a large audience playing on PC. I believe you have a number of events coming up including Mumbai, Sydney and Birmingham. Can you provide a snapshot of what your event calendar looks like for 2019? Very busy! We recently had a number of our staff travel to ESL One Mumbai, now it’s full steam ahead for Intel Extreme Masters Sydney this year. Outside of that, we have multiple live broadcasts running each week locally – and definitely enough events to put our three studios to use. We’ve also just announced the Melbourne Esports Open for 2019, that’s coming back this August 31 – September 1, and expanding to Melbourne Park.

ESL Content & Highlights You have many content types in your line-up, can you elaborate on what types of content ESL offers? Our biggest content offering to our fans is via online broadcast. Recently, IEM Katowice viewers consumed 157 million hours of content that we broadcast, comprising of more than 500 live hours of content in 21 different languages. One of the great things about being in the gaming space is that it really is global – whether you’re playing a game like Counter-Strike in Australia or Norway, you can still tune into one of our broadcasts and appreciate that you’re watching the best players in the world, playing your favourite game. Although it is still early in 2019, what are some highlights from late 2018 all the way up until now? Where to start! Late last year we launched the Melbourne Esports Open, which took place at Melbourne & Olympic Parks, and featured over 20 AAA titles across multiple tournaments. MEO was a fantastic first event and proved that local content can have a massive audience, with over 12,000 fans attending and content generating 12 million impressions on social media. So far this year, the highlight has probably been the Pokémon Oceania International Championships – the region’s biggest Pokémon event that we ran at MCEC this February, where almost 1,000 players competed over 3 days on a massive stage, with 3 concurrent broadcasts going out online.

ESL Merchandise & Licensing

From a Licensing point-of-view, do you offer the ability for companies to use the ESL branding and style guide to develop specific products which are appropriate for the esports arena? Last year we announced the first ever ESL co-branded clothing collection with SNIPES, a German streetwear and sneaker chain, which really hit home with our audience. Plantronics is another partner that comes to mind with their ESL-branded line of RIG headphones, amongst others. When companies want to associate themselves with esports – our brand is synonymous with the term, and we’re always exploring new partnership opportunities that make sense in the space.

ESL Social Media Your social media presence is very strong, do you use social media as a driver for your business or is it more of a value-add which you use to supplement your core media and entertainment ventures? Social media is at the core of a lot of what we do at ESL. While there’s still some areas we’re learning from traditional sports, our social content & presence is second-to-none in the space, with many of our ESL game accounts having an incredible engagement and following, even when compared to first-party channels. With a young, tech-savvy audience, we find that social is also the primary driver of attendees to our mega-events globally, taking the place of more traditional marketing channels.

I notice you have a style guide on your website which is very nice, do you get involved in ESL branded merchandise? Absolutely! We have the ESL Shop at – which features a number of ESL products that we develop in-house. Locally, we operate pop-up stores at our events like IEM or Melbourne Esports Open to sell our merchandise, as well as official merchandise from the professional teams competing in our tournaments.

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Feature Interview

Will DePippo, Sesame Workshop The Bugg Report recently had an opportunity to speak to Will DePippo, Director, Asia Pacific - International Media & Education Business at Sesame Workshop. Following up on an amazing 2018; we covered a range of topics including highlights from 2018, the Sesame Street brand and what it means to the world, Julia and the work the company is doing with Autism and #SeeAmazing, a range of fantastic collaborations, fashion, all-new episodes, retail, Licensing Expo and 2019 through 2020. Be sure to check out the full interview below, it is well worth a reading!

Thanks for speaking with The Bugg Report, Will. As an introduction, can you tell us about some key highlights from 2018 in the world of Sesame Street? It’s a pleasure, and first off, thanks to The Bugg Report for all that you do to bring the industry together and giving us a wonderful sense of community. To answer your question, 2018 was one of the most successful years in Sesame Street’s history. We’re launching the largest Early Childhood Development initiative in the history of humanitarian response, with our MacArthur Foundation 100&Change project. MacArthur committed $100 million to support our humanitarian work with the International Rescue Committee in the Syrian response region. And the LEGO Foundation stepped up and pledged an additional $100 million to support this worthy cause. This year, we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary, which kicked off in February with an amazing story from 60 Minutes Australia. Liam Bartlett came to the set and interviewed the cast and crew who produce our flagship TV show. Later this year, we’ll be coming to Australia, as we do every year with the Sesame Street Muppets to make appearances and celebrate our birthday locally. We’re also very excited about the new ticketed live Sesame Street show being developed by Showtime Attractions. This is going to be unlike any live show we’ve done before. HeadStart continues to do an amazing job, and is once again nominated for a global LIMA award at this year’s Licensing Expo. Will, you have been at Sesame Workshop, an amazing organisation for almost 15 years now, what do you love the most about Sesame Street? A lot of people don’t realize that we’re an educational non-profit organization. Sesame Workshop’s mission is to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Being able to contribute to that mission everyday is incredibly rewarding and not something I take for granted. In addition, I love the people that I get to work with. As you can imagine, Sesame Workshop is a magnet for some of the most intelligent, creative, and kind-hearted people in the world, and it’s wonderful to be part of such a talented team.


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We also are fortunate to work with amazing, best-in-class partners like Haven Global, our local licensing representative who are an incredibly smart and passionate part of the Sesame family. Everything we do is tied back to our mission. So when we take a moment to evaluate how we’re doing, we seek ways to measure the impact we’re making in the lives of families in Australia and around the world. One of the ways we evaluate how we’re doing is by measuring the impact that we’re having. Are we making a positive impact in the lives of families in Australia and around the world? We’re thrilled with Sesame Street’s performance on ABC Kids, Australia’s #1 children’s channel. We’ve had an amazing 48 year partnership with them which has led to generations of fans loving our brand. Sesame Street has 98% awareness with Australian kids, and 94% awareness with adults, making Australia one of our top markets in the world. Market research has also showed us that Moms especially love Sesame Street. Research we fielded in 2018 showed that Australian moms rank Sesame Street #1 for education and preparing their kids for school, meaning that we are the gold standard for Australian moms when it comes to educational programming.

continue reading this interview on page 14

Julia is an integral part of our “See Amazing” initiative to promote autism awareness. And our talented Sesame Street writers and producers have done an incredible job crafting Julia as a hero character.

The #SeeAmazing hashtag has become really popular, as has Julia. Can you provide an overview of this initiative, how you have instilled Julia into the Sesame Street business and how great the response has been?

Fashion seems to be on the radar quite regularly of late with the partnership with InStyle and the Sesame Street inspired outfits at London Fashion Week. Was this a deliberate focus by Sesame Street or something that evolved?

We’re thrilled by the response that Julia, our Sesame Street Muppet with autism, is receiving around the world including in Australia. Julia is an integral part of our “See Amazing” initiative to promote autism awareness. And our talented Sesame Street writers and producers have done an incredible job crafting Julia as a hero character. In other words, she’s not a victim, she’s a powerful young girl. In one story, Julia comes to the aid of another character who is being bullied. It’s really powerful stuff. In Australia, we’re thrilled by how people are responding to Julia. And it’s been especially gratifying to have great support from partners including LIMA Australia, who have helped embrace our campaign to create awareness for our initiative. ABC broadcast our newest Julia episode day-and-date with other key markets around the world. HeadStart and Big W also supported from a licensing and retail perspective by launching a new Julia plush toy during Autism Awareness Month.

Working on a brand like Sesame Street, we’re quite fortunate that we have have a cross generational appeal. We appeal to kids as well as adults. Everyone has a favorite Sesame Street character, and that relationship continues throughout your life. Indeed last year, Cookie Monster wrote an inspirational book, and this year, Oscar the Grouch released his own book with life advice for our adult Sesame Street fans. As an adult myself, I continue to learn important lessons from Sesame Street. That’s a bit of a tangent, but where I’m going is, that there’s demand from fans to express themselves through fashion and also to revel in the fun of their favorite characters. So, I feel it’s something the fans want, and we’re having a great time working with amazing fashion partners to help deliver on that.

We have seen Sesame Street on Hypebeast as well as the collabs with KAWS. This is a new area and a really interesting and exciting shift from the traditional Sesame Street direction. How did these new ventures come about? Thanks, the response from fans and the industry has been really positive. We’ve been doing collaborations for years, in fact one of our favorites was our campaign with Peter Alexander two years ago, and we’re extremely excited for their new Sesame Street campaign, which launches this summer. I think what was new with the KAWS and UNIQLO collaboration, was how massively popular and successful it was on a global scale. And similar to Peter Alexander, the cool factor. It’s been amazing to walk down the street in NYC or other cities around the world, and see teenagers and young adults wearing the apparel from this campaign. And we’ve heard from other licensees, that this has had a positive impact on their own businesses as well, which is what we expected, but is very gratifying to see taking shape.


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Difuzed and Jimmy Paul’s Sesame Street inspired collection debuted at London Fashion Week in February. Dutch designer Jimmy Paul developed a ready to wear Sesame Street collection of apparel and accessories. Ten couture pieces were created especially for the runway show at London Fashion week with the full range available this Autumn. In Korea, we were featured at the Seoul Fashion week in March, where our collaboration with Beyond Closet launched. Speaking broadly, from a creative perspective, we always receive really positive feedback on our art style guides, and I think that’s one of our strengths. We have a very deep library of style guide artwork, in a range of styles and approaches, from photography to line art, that lend themselves to all different categories and sectors. The new season of Sesame Street debuted in November on HBO. How has the response been to the new episodes? The response has been phenomenal. Ratings are up 79% season-toseason. We grew our younger audience, increasing both reach and frequency with 2-year olds - while also maintaining our 4 and 5 year-old viewers. Per HBO, digital streams are up 29% season-to-season as well. In terms of the curriculum, we’re continuing to build on our “Learning Through Play” curriculum. One way we continue to stay relevant is by developing an all new season of the show every year. And it all starts with educational research, where we get the best educational advisors available together, to help us identify what the latest learnings are from teachers, scientists, and researchers - and they help work with our writers and producers, to bake this all into the show.

exhibitions and mall takeovers. And something I’m excited about this summer is an outdoor Sesame Street family fun run, which we’ll be hosting in multiple markets across Southeast Asia. It’s an opportunity for parents and kids to run together and promotes the importance of being active and exercise which are fundamental to healthy habits, which has been core to Sesame Street for many years. We are here at Licensing Expo 2019 in Las Vegas. What are some of the key updates and announcements from Sesame Street and Sesame Workshop that you can share with us? As I mentioned before, we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary, and our reputation as the pre-eminent preschool organization and brand in the world. Once again we have been named as one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2019, and ranked #2 in the Social Good Category. We’re excited about our strategic partnership with Apple, and how that is developing. We did a video with Yaritza Aparico, the Oscar nominated star of Roma, which resulted in one of our biggest social media posts ever. And looking ahead to the future, we’re really excited about the new Sesame Street theatrical feature film in development with Warner Brothers. Finally, what can we look out for in the second half of 2019 and early 2020 from Sesame Workshop?

As retail changes and innovation is arguably more important than ever, have you looked to partnerships and promotions in new areas and with new businesses and events to drive the Sesame Street business?

We’re developing new spin-off content featuring the core Sesame Street characters. We recently launched a new campaign focused on Respect, and this is something we’re looking to expand into Asia-Pacific. We’re on fire in the Theme Park category. At SeaWorld Orlando, there’s an all new immersive Sesame Street land with character interaction featuring both digital and physical interactive experiences, 30 attractions and experiences including 6 rides along with wet and dry play areas & daily parade. We extended our partnership with Spanish theme park PortAventura World, with significantly expanded brand experiences including an all new, stateof-the-art indoor ride attraction.

Great question. Yes, absolutely. We want to be wherever families are. For a while now, we’ve all observed the trend of consumers spending more discretionary income on experiences versus traditional consumer products. Our theme park business has been expanding dramatically. We’ve received interest from numerous players in the experiential space looking to partner with us in the themed entertainment category. And so, we’re doing more and more pop-up

Our Sesame Street Live touring show in North America has had the best year since 2012, and is on track to reach 700,000 consumers this year. In Australia, as mentioned, an all new concept is being developed by Showtime Attractions. And we’re humbled and honored that former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama will be at this year’s Sesame Street Gala. In all my time, working at Sesame Workshop, I have never been more excited about our future than I am today.

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Wide Eyes News from the Tube This article is written by a leading industry expert and is focused on providing a quick snapshot of the best opportunities in the television & animation market.

đ&#x;‘€đ&#x;‘€ The pre-school TV show Play School has been broadcasting

continuously on ABC TV since July 1966 and continues to be one of Australia’s most popular shows for pre-schoolers. Books, recorded music, videos and soft toys associated with the Play School TV show have been selling in Australia for over 50 years.

đ&#x;‘€đ&#x;‘€ The first Sesame Street TV episode was broadcast in Australia on ABC Channel 2 in January 1971. However, it wasn’t until 1977 that the first Sesame Street toys were launched in Australia which began the on-going relationship between pre-school shows broadcast on ABC TV and associated pre-school merchandise being sold through Australian retail outlets.

đ&#x;‘€đ&#x;‘€ Every decade has seen the rise and rise of new pre-school shows

broadcast on ABC TV becoming massive hits with the under five year olds in Australia - Sesame Street and Play School ruled the 70s and early 80s, and then in 1987 along came the Thomas the Tank Engine TV series and Thomas became a massive merchandising sensation.


đ&#x;‘€ In July 1992, ABC TV produced and broadcast the first episode of Bananas in Pyjamas which was inspired by the Carey Blyton nursery rhyme often sung in Play School and went on to be a big hit in many countries around the world.

đ&#x;‘€đ&#x;‘€ In the same year ABC Music signed a new pre-school music

band called The Wiggles who would go on to become the most successful pre-school music band of all time and are still going strong on ABC TV to this day.

đ&#x;‘€đ&#x;‘€ In February 1998 the Teletubbies arrived in Australia and Tinky

Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po became the must have toys for Christmas and for many years following. đ&#x;‘€ In September 1999 Bob the Builder arrived in Australia and in 2001 the Bob the Builder Can We Fix It? single and album topped the Australian music charts.


đ&#x;‘€đ&#x;‘€ In the 2000s the pre-school hits on ABC TV continued to roll

out with Octonauts, Yo Gabba Gabba, Giggle & Hoot and Peppa Pig all selling truckloads of merchandise in Australia.

đ&#x;‘€đ&#x;‘€ And now we have Bluey, an Australian animated television series for preschool children that premiered on ABC Kids on 1 October 2018.

đ&#x;‘€đ&#x;‘€ The series is set in tropical Queensland and follows a

humanised family of Blue Heeler dogs including Bluey, who is characterised by her abundance of energy, imagination and curiosity at the world, her father, Bandit; mother, Chilli; and younger sister, Bingo, who regularly joins Bluey on adventures as the pair embark on imaginative play together.

đ&#x;‘€đ&#x;‘€ The Bluey TV series is the most watched children’s TV show

on ABC Kids and has the honour of being the most streamed program on ABC’s iView with an extraordinary 23 million streams and counting.

đ&#x;‘€đ&#x;‘€ Bluey has already been commissioned for a second series and is going to be a merchandising megahit with pent-up demand for Bluey products in the Australian market at an absolute frenzy.

đ&#x;‘€đ&#x;‘€ The release of Bluey merchandise is being co-ordinated by

BBC Worldwide for the second half of 2019 and it is going to go gangbusters - get on board if you can.


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We’ve hit refresh. See what else is new at LICENSINGINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Mizzie The Kangaroo We Interview the Founder & Owner, Sandra Ebbott

In a world where we are craving for good messaging and things which resonate quality and sustainability, “Mizzie” is on-trend and a refreshing take on an Australian icon. The founder & owner of Mizzie, Sandra talks about the brand being all about developing children “through fun” as Mizzie meets children from all over the world and helps them learn through fun experiences. These experiences ultimately assist in teaching children invaluable skills without them actually realizing. Coming from a natural environment, she is safe and easily recognised around the world. Mizzie is already a successful baby toy line with educational baby toys including an iconic 100% natural rubber teether in the shape of Mizzie The Kangaroo, puzzle box sets, sound and touch and feel books, as well as music boxes all incorporating Mizzie The Kangaroo. Mizzie is set to expand with a global footprint engaging children from all backgrounds and nationalities. Her universal appeal will ultimately lead to the brand being embraced internationally.

The Bugg Report recently met with Sandra who has 20 years experience in the field of marketing where she held global senior roles internationally with BMW AG (launch of MINI), PepsiCo and Reebok. We asked Sandra about Mizzie and her aspirations to develop the brand into a leading pre-school ambassador and educational character. There are many children’s brands vying for attention and exposure all around the world, what is it that makes Mizzie The Kangaroo stand out from the crowd? Mizzie is unique in that she is a friendly kangaroo, who was born with the purpose to develop children in a fun way! She is natural, she is bright, she is fun, and in essence, she helps young children learn, without them even realizing it. She is quintessentially Australian and she is easily recognizable. Mizzie already has an empowering story to tell parents and young children. Can you see your brand developing into a cartoon series where Mizzie speaks to children and parents and educates them about life skills? Absolutely. Mizzie has a fun, trusting, mother-like caring character, and she loves taking children and their parents through fun learning journeys. There are so many potential learnings she can take her audience through, especially through the emotional roller coasters, social skills, and every day children experiences at playgrounds and child care centers. Mizzie has the ability to give children skills that will help them through everyday situations, and this has been her purpose since day one. This obviously translates well in a cartoon character, and we already have 3 books that have started showcasing her personality.


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Mizzie The Kangaroo already has very successful baby and pre-school toy lines which you have developed locally in Australia. Do you have aspirations to expand its distribution globally and is this something you are working on? Yes we do. We currently already have customers from all over the world ordering Mizzie The Kangaroo products, and now we are set and ready for Mizzie’s global expansion, with the right partners. She has great potential for growth on the international spectrum, and with Mizzie being a kangaroo and featured on all our products, they are easily remembered and recognised globally. Australian animals are loved all over the world, and together, all Mizzie’s fun & educational products create a nice retail story aimed at babies to pre-school children. Mizzie is ready to nurture international children on their learning journey.

H O ME OF A US TRA L IA’S O RI GI N AL N ATU R A L TEE TH I NG TOY A ND EDU CAT IO NA L TOY S To explore global distribution and retail opportunities please contact: Sandra Ebbott

Quintessentially Australian and developed out of sunny Queensland, Mizzie is a brand suitable for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers alike.

Mizzie The Kangaroo - 100% Natural Rubber Teething Toy

Musical Hop Out Mizzie - Music Box

What are some of the underlying qualities, sustainable aspects and key messages to your brand that position it as a must-have for young children and their parents?

Do you see Mizzie as a character that will be able to communicate with children and parents and keep them engaged over time?

Mizzie’s hero product is the 100% natural rubber teething toy for Babies, in the shape of Mizzie The Kangaroo. She is safe, she is natural, and she starts babies’ Mizzie journey from only a few months of age. All other Mizzie products have a specific and fun learning benefit, from newborn stage to pre-school age. Mizzie’s character is translated in all Mizzie’s products: she is positive, caring, and inclusive, and she will adapt to whatever learning is needed through the child’s current phase.

One hundred percent. The beauty about Mizzie’s purpose, is that young children’s learning journey is endless! Mizzie adapts to every situation, and helps children learn, either through physical products, or through her character and personality.

In terms of personality, look and feel and colour, what were your over riding thoughts when finalizing the concept? We did a lot of research and testing, and the bright colour was a true winner with the babies, every time. The orange also means she becomes easily recognizable and remembered. Also, Mizzie’s carefully chosen complimenting ‘California-vintage’ colour palette on the packaging and scenery work beautifully from a marketing perspective and in-store. The colours pop, are inviting, they create Mizzie’s unique identity, and make her stand out as the hero.

Sandra, do you have plans to introduce other characters as friends of Mizzie? We have already introduced Bella-Boo and Baby Hugo through the books, and there will be other secondary ‘roles’ and family members, however Mizzie will always remain the main character. In your experience, what has been your feedback from the market on the character to date? Mizzie has been extremely well accepted and loved. Buyers, parents and children have very easily understood her purpose, and her lovely caring nature. Much like the Australian population as a whole, she is always willing and wanting to help, she is cool, calm and super chilled, with a cheeky character – she still likes to have fun!!

What is your message to partners who could seek to engage with you on Mizzie The Kangaroo in the marketplace? We are seeking to work with established global partners who understand and value Mizzie’s purpose, who see like us the significant global potential, and who are keen to partner with us on this hugely exciting opportunity.

To explore global distribution and retail opportunities contact Sandra Ebbott e: | w:


Licensing Expo - Edition 30

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Australia’s Classic Farming Game

The Iconic Outdoor Australian Brand

Squatter is a board game that was launched at the Royal Melbourne Show in Australia way back in 1962. Robert Crofton Lloyd invented it then with more than half a million games sold in Australia by 2007, it became the most successful board game ever developed in Australia. As of 2018 there are still Squatter competitions and active Squatter clubs in operation. Since that time the game has survived a period where it was sold under license. Today, Roberts’s son Richard Lloyd is managing the game. Richard has spent considerable time and energy repositioning the game and has plans to introduce new versions of this iconic favorite. As the brand has been in circulation now for well over 50 years, Richard sees it as a classic Australian outdoor brand. Intrinsically connected to the land, it provides a teaching and learning experience for families on the land and beyond. A game of strategy, skill and chance - just like real life livestock farming. The setting is Australian, however the struggles and strategies against the elements and fluctuating prices are common to livestock farmers the world over. Coincidentally the wool industries both in the US, UK and parts of Europe are significant and evolving with the assistance of technology and creative methodology.

In preparation for Licensing Expo Las Vegas in 2019, we caught up with Richard Lloyd to find out more about the game and brand his father built and that he is continuing to evolve.

Richard, interestingly enough and in these changing times, the board games category of the toy industry is a growing contributor. Can you see this continuing? Definitely yes. People are hard-wired with a need to interact with people. “Screen-time” provides great entertainment but it’s no substitute for the face-to-face engagement that is provided by playing a board game. One reason Squatter is ideal is because different age groups can sit together at the same table and compete as equals. What do you believe to be the most significant contributors to the lasting success of Squatter? I believe there have been three important factors. First up, Squatter is an entertaining game to play, for all ages. No game can have lasting success unless it is fun to play. Secondly, Squatter is very authentic; it closely matches real life farming. Squatter has a credibility that convinces players they are the owners of large sheep stations, facing similar decisions that farmers face in real life. And thirdly, while Squatter is an easy game to play, its complexity brings a great deal of interest into each game. No two games of Squatter play out the same way, and this constant variety invites everyone to play again and again. During our research we saw that the game has glowing endorsements from Woolmark, The Royal Agricultural Show and the Primary Industries Minister here in Australia. Do you see Squatter having more global appeal? The endorsements you mention pay tribute to the contribution Squatter makes to the wool industry, and by teaching excellent livestock raising principles to both rural and urban communities. While Australia is top on the list of wool producing countries, many other countries also produce wool; in fact 80% of global wool


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production is outside of Australia: China, Argentina, USA, CIS (former USSR states) to name a few. Wool growers and farmers face similar challenges, everywhere in the world. The contribution that Squatter makes of educating farmers and revealing the difficulties of farming to city folk, applies equally well in every wool growing country. From our discussions we understand that you have plans to introduce at least two new versions of the game; Junior Squatter and a travel version. Can you tell us a little bit about your plans here? The intention is to broaden the range of Squatter, not to replace the existing game. By introducing these two new versions of Squatter we hope to make it easier for more people to enjoy Squatter, more often. Our plan is to preserve the essence of Squatter, but to make some changes that will broaden the target audience. The Junior version will have new graphics which appeal to junior primary school age (5-9) and simplified strategies more closely aligned to the target age group. The Travel version will be designed to fit into the travel and souvenir niche market: more compact, less pieces, quicker to play. The game you can take with you; that will easily fit in your bag, your suitcase or your backpack. The game to take on holidays around the outback or around the world. Do you have plans to engage the next generations to come with the Squatter brand? Currently we are working with an award winning New Zealand artist and children’s author, Scott Pearson from Visual Evolution, who has just created the caricature based on our puppet mascot and we are working with Scott to develop the new graphics for the Squatter Jr. edition. These developments invite a series of children’s books and a range of soft toys around the Squatter brand. We also are planning to present Squatter to the education sector as a tool for an integrated approach to curriculum, which will increase the exposure to the current and future teenage generations.

Squatter Game Promotions Pty Ltd Richard Lloyd e: m: +61 (0) 419 135 581

Australia’s Classic Farming Game

With over 50 years of heritage behind the game do you see Squatter becoming an outdoor lifestyle brand in the future? We know there is a widespread, passionate affection for Squatter. People who know the game, love the game. Many describe it as their favourite. Other outdoor lifestyle brands have become popular with far less brand awareness than Squatter enjoys. Indeed, I believe there is an expectancy in the community that Squatter will become a lifestyle brand; one that is associated with quality, value and our cultural values. There is a lot of discussion in our industry about sustainability, quality and giving the consumer a lasting experience. Does Squatter tick these boxes? When we talk to people, so many say “I know Squatter! We played it as kids, Mum has still got the copy we bought in the 1960’s, and we still love playing it”. One single game can be played over and over for years and years, and provide happy memories for countless numbers. There are very few commodities that can be passed down through the generations and still deliver the same fun and excitement as on the first day. Perhaps cherished toys and games tick this box better than the rest. Where do you see Squatters engagement as a global strategy? One opportunity is to introduce Squatter to the international markets through the education sector; Squatter is already used for teaching English in Singapore and China. In Australia, some schools in Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia use Squatter as a practical application for economics, maths and agriculture. This model could easily be adopted internationally. Another obvious


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avenue is to present Squatter to Wool Growers Associations and international equivalents of our Young Farmers Association in the wool producing nations. Has the business management aspect of the game helped to establish its credentials? Squatter is based on running a farming business. As in any business venture, it is tempting to over-spend on unnecessary improvements that bleed money from core business activity, perhaps seeking a quick Return on Investment (ROI). But then the unexpected comes along, a disease outbreak, or damage to fences or worse calamities, such as drought. Players build awareness gradually. Each time they play the game they are a little bit smarter, with increased understanding. Even without realising it, business management skills are acquired and the players start to budget and to plan for risks such as drought or bush fires. These important business principles can be easily transferred to real life situations. Budgeting, Cash Flow Management, Risk Planning etc are universal to all business operations; and while buying hay may have a rural focus, risk assessment and risk management apply to all ventures. Richard, this has been a really interesting conversation. As you point out, the game and brand certainly have something to offer the industry in terms of the opportunity to develop it’s lasting qualities. The fact that it speaks to the primary industries suggests that it has scalability on a more global model. Thanks for your time and we look forward to more news on your brand as expansion plans evolve. Squatter Australia’s Classic Farming Game

The Wiggles Are Back! For nearly three decades, The Wiggles, the world’s most popular children’s entertainment group have educated, entertained and enriched the lives of millions of children (and their parents) all over the globe. Children who once saw The Wiggles perform are now bringing their children to see the fab 4 of fun! Fans can catch The Wiggles on television exclusively in the U.S. on the Universal Kids network, Hulu SVOD and on Treehouse TV in Canada. The Wiggles have sold over 8 million books, 30 million CDs & DVDs including the most recent Gold and Platinum Album Awards given to Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony. In these days of streaming, to be awarded platinum album sales is extraordinary and shows the continued strength of The Wiggles. The Wiggles see things from the perspective of the child, which is the basic tenet that informs their work. It is because their performances are developmentally appropriate for their young audiences, they continue to attract and involve those audiences. Emma Watkins (The Yellow Wiggle), Lachy Gillespie (The Purple Wiggle), Simon Pryce (The Red Wiggle) and Anthony Field (The Blue Wiggle, Creative Director and Creator of The Wiggles) and their Wiggly friends are as appealing to the newer generation of pre-schoolers as at any time over the last 28 years!


YouTube & Social Media

The Wiggles are one of the hardest working and most successful musical groups in the world, touring the USA, Canada and Australia over the last year. The Canadian tour sold 45,000 tickets in 2017 and then 90,000 tickets in 2018! In 2018 The Wiggles played a total of 348 shows, selling over 405,000 tickets. Parents cannot wait to get Wiggles tickets for their children. Our end of year arena tour saw ticket presales of 101,112 tickets within 24 hours, a 31% growth in one year!

The Wiggles YouTube channel has had explosive growth in the past few years, with increased subscribers, views and watch time spanning across 227 territories. The channel has accumulated over 400,000 subscribers, over 543 million views and over 1.2 Billion minutes of Watch Time! During the last year we have had a 97% increase in subscribers, 120% increase in views and 140% increase in watch time (Feb 1st 2018 - Jan 31st 2019). The channel features over 15 hours of Wiggles content, including four feature-length specials: The Wiggles Nursery Rhymes, Nursery Rhymes 2 (filmed in the YouTube Space in New York), Emma’s Bowtiful Ballet Studio, and Wiggle House in New Zealand, the UK and Ireland.

2019 will be the biggest USA concert tour in many years. The Wiggles Party Time Tour sees The Wiggles perform at 26 cities right across the East and West coast of the USA! It launches in Seattle on the 27th of July and ends in Boston on the 5th September. This tour will be a full production featuring all of The Wiggles hits from ‘Hot Potato’ to ‘Do the Propeller!” Canada will see them perform 80 shows in 27 venues across the country in the fall. Newfoundland, Glace Bay, Halifax, Moncton, Fredericton Montreal, Cornwall, Ottowa, Kingston, Toronto, Burlington, Brampton, Oshawa, Hamilton, Chatham, Barrie, London, Sudbury, Winnipeg, Brandon, Regina, Saskatoon, LLoydminster, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver & Victoria.

Production The Wiggles releases for 2019 include: The Wiggles’ Big Ballet Day! A stunning collaboration with The Australian Ballet and The Wiggles Party Time! A collection of fun and festive party tunes that are perfect for any Wiggly celebration. Emma Wiggle also has a brand-new second season to her hit show Emma! Season 2 (26 x 11 mins) opens up a whole new exciting, interactive and inclusive world to the pre-school viewer. There are 100 new songs, new sets and even a bowtiful plane and bowmobile to transport her to visit her friends in the town! Production has just begun for The Wiggles brand new TV series The Wiggles World (26 x 11 mins). The viewer gets to adventure through unexplored parts of The Wiggles wide world and the wonderful people that inhabit it! You will discover Lachy’s Curly World, a Wiggly cafe, Emma’s Weather Report and so much more. With 100 new songs as well as Wiggly classics!


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The Wiggles Party Time Tickets are on Sale for USA! 27th July 28th July 1st August 2nd August 3rd August 5th August 8th August 10th August 11th August

Seattle, WA Portland, OR San Francisco, CA Anaheim, CA San Diego, CA Phoenix, AZ Pueblo, CO Tulsa, OK Grand Prairie, TX

12th August 13th August 15th August 17th August 18th August 20th August 21th August 22nd August 24th August

Austin, TX Houston, TX New Orleans, LA Memphis, TN Atlanta, GA Louisville, KY Cincinnati, OH Indianapolis, IN Chicago, IL

26th August 27th August 28th August 29th August 30th August 31st August 3rd September 4th September 5th September

Detroit, MI Cleveland, OH Pittsburgh, DA Washington, DC Baltimore, MD Philadelphia, PA Montclair, NJ Westbury, NY Boston, MA

Consumer Products The Wiggles have named WowWee as their Master Toy Partner for North America! WowWee are a leading manufacturer of hi-tech consumer robotic and entertainment products. They will assume immediate responsibility for the distribution of The Wiggles existing toy range, including musical instruments, feature plush, dolls and dance accessories. Ultimately, WowWee will bring a high level of proprietary interactivity to the brand, its colorful characters, and in all future product development, along with providing manufacturing oversight, licensing and retail placement for all toy categories in North America. The Wiggles Nursery Rhymes is our biggest success on the platform to date, with over 48 million views since it was uploaded in late December 2016. On top of our regular themed and playlisted children’s content, The Wiggles have worked with popular children’s YouTube channels such as Super Simple Songs, Sesame Street and Mother Goose Club on collaborative playlists of our content and hosting competitions for the shared audiences of our channels. The Wiggles collaborated with Super Simple Songs to create an animated video for their brand new potty-training song The Toilet Song. This song exploded online, and had a combined reach of over 6.5 million views. Due to the collaboration with The Wiggles the subscribers to Super Simple Songs’ YouTube channel went up by 20%. The Wiggles have a thriving social media community, spanning over 45 countries! Australia, the USA, and Canada hold their three largest fanbases. Their core audience are the 25 - 44 year olds, and is made up of 85% women and 15% men. The social platforms are the #1 go-to for Wiggles tour announcements, celebrations, product updates and launches, and new release information! Follow The Wiggles! Website: YouTube: Twitter: Instagram: Facebook:

“We are excited about the innovation and creativity that WowWee will bring to The Wiggles brand in North America,” said Paul Field, The Wiggles Managing Director. “Having a toy partner with the prominence and influence of WowWee will ensure that our consumer product presence in North America will be in line with the brand.” “We’re thrilled to begin this strategic partnership with The Wiggles and we look forward to our teams collaborating on this iconic brand,” said WowWee president and co-founder Richard Yanofsky. “The Wiggles are synonymous with providing entertainment that is both fun and educational for a legion of fans spanning nearly three decades. WowWee’s signature innovation and interactive play will naturally complement The Wiggles approach to their unique brand of preschool entertainment.” The Wiggles now have over 10 North American Licensees that develop products across 10 different categories for babies to pre-schoolers, and these products are available in several retailers including Toys R Us, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Giant Tiger. The Wiggles have also introduced The Little Wiggles, a new brand under The Wiggles umbrella specifically catering for the ‘edutainment’ needs of babies & toddlers (aged 0-2 years). “Even after 28 years, The Wiggles brand continues to evolve! Babies and toddlers have always been a part of our audience so it’s great we are finally catering specifically for our tiniest fans with these products” says Paul Field, Managing Director, The Wiggles.

For licensing, marketing or promotional opportunities contact Alex Ishchenko via email at

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Joins the Circus! THE SHOW OPENS SEPTEMBER 2019





Showtime Attractions together with Silvers Circus are proud to present Sesame Street Circus Spectacular! A great opportunity to see your favourite Sesame Street characters live and see amazing jaw dropping acts that will provide entertainment for the whole family.

Please visit us online: for all upcoming show locations and dates.

TM and © 2019 Sesame Workshop.



VIC +61 3 9770 8000 | NSW +61 2 9607 6333 QLD +61 7 5519 4521 | WA +61 408 273 010 | SA +61 417 004 894

Room 2511, 25th Floor Oriental Plaza, 1072 Jianshe Road Luohu Shenzhen, China

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Showtime Attractions to Bring Sesame Street to Life in New Circus Spectacular We Interview Keith Brown from Showtime Attractions Since opening the doors in 1995, Keith Brown and his team at Showtime Attractions have developed into a world-class live events company, offering the best of the best in licensed characters, premium activations, entertainment, touring shows, seasonal activations and amusements. The brands that Showtime Attractions have worked with over their 20+ year journey include Bananas in Pyjamas, Dora the Explorer, Shrek, Trolls and Peter Rabbit, where they won the award for ‘events product or campaign of the year’ at the 2018 LIMA Australia & New Zealand Licensing Awards. Now in September of 2019, Showtime Attractions will bring what is perhaps their most ambitious and spectacular live event to Australia & New Zealand with their all-new Sesame Street Live Circus Tour, which will open in Melbourne. Indeed, Sesame Street is joining the circus along with a brand new team which will travel around Australia to perform at live shows in a state-of-the-art circus tent developed and built out of Italy. These Sesame Street Live Circus shows will offer 1000 seats per show and ticketing will be handled by Ticketmaster. With a projected national audience of over 500,000 attending the 90 minute shows throughout the two year tour, it will certainly be something not to be missed across Australia & New Zealand and perhaps even Asia in the future. As a much-loved brand all around the world, Sesame Street’s famous characters will all be in attendance including Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Bert, Ernie and Super Grover. In addition to the Sesame Street characters, the events will include acts from Argentina, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Brazil, Morocco and more. The music for the show was written locally in Australia and Showtime Attractions have delivered that to Sesame Street which will then be recorded with the actual voices from each character. Not only will the show itself be spectacular, but everything has been thought through carefully including the light boxes at the entry to the show, where children can learn how to draw the Sesame Street characters whilst they wait in line to enter the show. There will also be ‘Elmo’s World’ at the show entrance which is a ball-pit where kids can play.


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Speaking to Keith, it is easy to see how exciting this project is for Showtime Attractions and how new and innovative it really is. Says Keith, “We go onto set from Monday the 20th of May onwards to start recording with the whole crew from Sesame Street, where the voices will be recorded on set in New York. There has been so much work put into the theming of the show and making sure that each characters personality is matched to their role in the show. For example we needed to make sure that Super Grover was part of something daring, that Elmo would be in a happy environment and that Cookie Monster would be eating. We can also announce that Big Bird will appear in the show and that the children will have the chance to meet Big Bird before, during the intervals and after the show. We are taking Sesame Street to households, not just in cities, but all over the country in our 1000 seat traveling theatre!” Not only does this activation bring an amazing live show to audiences across Australia & New Zealand, it also gives the industry an exciting opportunity to partner with Showtime Attractions to bring fantastic products to the children. In this era where retail is in a constant state of change and where opportunities can be hard to come by, Showtime Attractions is offering a great platform for companies working with the Sesame Street brand to be involved to further enhance the live shows and their own businesses. Keith explains, “We’re willing to work with other licensees. We could develop our own product but why reinvent the wheel? We are going to be buying volume so we are looking at how we can work with partners. We want to work in collaboration with licensees to drive sales in this hard economy in ways which do not hurt existing retail platforms but rather offer another avenue to market with products sold at our live shows and event merchandise. We want to make sure that everyone who attends the show can afford to purchase a piece of Sesame Street memorabilia that they can take home to remind them of the show and that they were part of the show.” The other opportunity that is worth mentioning is the official program which will be released in January 2020 and will offer a great platform for all things Sesame Street. Partners can work with Showtime Attractions via their very own pages, something Ticketmaster have already signed-up for to market their products not only at the shows but also via traditional retail channels all to a captive audience of Sesame Street fans in excess of 500,000!


MEET & GREETS ACTIVITY ZONES LIVE SHOWS LARGE ACTIVATIONS © 2019 Spin Master PAW Productions Inc. © 2019 Spin Master Riveting Productions Inc. © 2019 Viacom International Inc. © 2019 Viacom Overseas Holdings C.V. All Rights Reserved.



VIC 03 9770 8000 | NSW 02 9607 6333 | QLD 07 5519 4521 WA 0408 273 010 | SA 0417 004 894

Room 2511, 25th Floor Oriental Plaza, 1072 Jianshe Road Luohu Shenzhen, China

Visit us onlne:

A show this ambitious obviously requires a great deal of planning and marketing to make it a success and this show is no different. Keith detailed the marketing power behind the show, “You are going to see 2000 ads on television, 2000 ads on radio, billboards, press, posters, leaflets, advertising vans and more. There will be 38 billboards in Melbourne and a huge campaign for the opening show! In addition to this we will also be using our PR companies to drive our social marketing to engage the customer. As living becomes more expensive and people move to country towns, it is important for us to bring the show to their doorstep. The days of simply bringing a show to a city are over, we need to work harder now to take the show to our customers. We will be delivering the Sesame Street brand to the kitchen table.” The show itself will be hosted in a spectacular new tent which was designed and developed in Italy and will offer everything from wind resistance to shading for guests during hot weather. The tent will also feature a stunning Sesame Street logo which will feature LED lights which has been developed locally in Geelong. Inside there will be specially engineered stages, theming and high-tech infrastructure which will be assembled and disassembled at each show. Keith went on to explain how the idea for this show came to fruition, “The concept was taken to Haven Licensing, who took it to their partners. As a brand heavily focused on education, it was important for us to work with Sesame Street to make sure the show offered education to children and not just a live entertainment show. I think what we are going to bring to the market is exceptional.”

TM and © 2019 Sesame Workshop.

Not only is it important to Showtime Attractions that they offer an amazing show, it is their goal to make sure that the experience is something that children will love and talk about. Driving ticket sales via positive feedback and word-of-mouth is important and something Keith is focused on.

Says Keith:

“This is our largest talking point here, that people are going to take away with them memories of an amazing experience and their voice can then drive further tickets sales to our shows, which we believe will also translate into retail sales as well.” Keith explained, “This is our largest talking point here, that people are going to take away with them memories of an amazing experience and their voice can then drive further tickets sales to our shows, which we believe will also translate into retail sales as well.” Finally, to coincide with the launch of the Sesame Street live shows, Showtime Attractions will be running a non-ticketed ‘Sesame Street Block Party’ in Westfield Shopping Centres nationwide in September outside of the traditional school holidays timeframe. The activation will include a meet-and-greet with the Sesame Street characters, an area where children can play, a disco, a ball crawl and then a craft area. This activation will run in addition to Cookie Monster’s Bakery, where children can bake their own cupcake and receive a Cookie Monster chef hat and apron and then further down the track will be Elmo’s Reading School.





VIC 03 9770 8000 | NSW 02 9607 6333 | QLD 07 5519 4521 WA 0408 273 010 | SA 0417 004 894

Room 2511, 25th Floor Oriental Plaza, 1072 Jianshe Road Luohu Shenzhen, China

Visit us onlne:

MJM Australia

Licensed Games & Puzzles Lead the Way In a world consumed by mobile devices and social media chatter, its heartening to see the consumer products category of licensed games & puzzles holding it’s own. From a parent standpoint, any opportunity to divert attention away from mobile devices and technology-based experiences is a welcome and refreshing change in today’s world. Based in Melbourne in Australia, MJM Australia (MJM) have been operating in the licensed games & puzzles category as a family business for over 50 years. Over this time there have been many changes to the industry and the world, and as a result they have had to be vigilant in staying ahead of the game to remain a market leader in this competitive business and see the category remaining strong into the future.

We sat down with the owners, Jacques and Marcel Levy to understand the state of the market and how they mange licensing for games and puzzles. Their extensive portfolio of brands is carefully managed to provide the market with choices for the hot movie properties, character and entertainment, art and lifestyle brands. How do you see the evolution of Retail in this market and beyond? We see the online platform continuing to expand in depth and breadth and continue growing. The evolution of globalization has meant that the barriers to distribution are reduced. There is no doubt that a lot of the volume is still driven through the mass bricks and mortar retailers as they reduce the size of their SKU counts. Provided that we maintain our good pricing and continue to deliver relevant brands and licenses, we see relative stability moving forward. Marcel makes the observation that it is still clear that Australians have been much slower to adopt the online model as compared to North America Asia and Europe. How do you see the emerging importance of sustainability, quality and innovation impacting the business into the future?

working relationship as a partnership to arrive at the best outcome for both retailer and in turn supplier. We think that we all learn from experience. Jacques believes it has become more about managing real estate in store to deliver the best possible outcome. It operates on mutual respect. How do you view Social Media as a marketing tool for your business? We see Social Media as an important tool into the future. It is something that is unavoidable in today’s market. We have recently developed a clear strategy for this medium and it will form an important place in the selling and marketing of our product. Engaging influencers and looking at unboxing activations are definitely on the horizon for us. How do you view the global market as a future opportunity?

We absolutely see these three things moving to the top of the list. We see retailers of all persuasions seeking better quality and more innovative product. Price is still important. We see retailers seeking to increase their basket buy and therefore quality allows them to sell for more. We also are finding that compliance and sustainability are in greater demand today than ever before.

We acknowledge the opportunity that exists in the international markets. We have a very strong domestic business. We are the market leader in licensed games and puzzles. We want to ensure that we remain strong in Australia. If the opportunity arises where we can partner on global initiatives with brands we will consider these on a case-by-case basis.

How do you re-invent your business? What’s your view on technology vs. real world interaction? We are driven by the retailer who is in turn driven by the consumer. As the market changes in terms of taste and trend, we too need to adjust to remain relevant. Sometimes it is driven by price alternatively it can be driven by range bandwidth etc. Not all businesses do this and therefore run the risk of becoming irrelevant in changing times. Consumers buy our product based on the brand; therefore we need to be at the cutting edge when it comes to accessing the right brand mix. The retailer/supplier relationship is vital to establish a robust business together. How do you view this in the current market? We would have to make the observation that in the current market, our retailer, supplier relationship is as good as it has ever been. In uncertain times with changing consumer behavior, we see our


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We see that the parent or grandparent generally purchases our product for the child. This enables them to manage the consumption of how the child uses these mediums. There is no doubt that the parent is searching for ways to disengage their young children from technology and mobile devices. Our product provides a perfect solution. It is for this reason that we see our category continuing to grow. We also see this emerging in the millennial and older adult age groups. We are now moving into things like 1,000 pieces licensed puzzles for adults. Thank you for speaking to The Bugg Report Jacques and Marcel. There is no doubt that brands will continue to play a big part in your category and more generally in consumer products. We look forward to seeing you both in Las Vegas for the 2019 Licensing Expo.


Feature Interview

Debra Joester, Joester Loria Group The Bugg Report recently had an opportunity to speak to Debra Joester, President & Owner at The Joester Loria Group prior to Licensing Expo, 2019. The Joester Loria Group is a global licensing agency recognized for producing innovative, award-winning brand extension programs for a number of the world’s best known brands. The agency was founded in 1999 by industry experts Debra Joester and Joanne Loria. We spoke about the history of The Joester Loria Group, the 50th Anniversary, Eric Carle and the heritage of the brand, partnerships, technology and what we can look forward to this year then into 2020 and beyond.

Thank you for speaking to The Bugg Report. Can you provide an overview of The Joester Loria Group? The Joester Loria Group celebrates 20 years as a leading licensing agency in 2019. The award-winning agency has been the architect of ground breaking programs for global corporate clients including Pepsi, Kellogg, Corona Beer and Jeep, for children’s properties including Care Bears and The World or Eric Carle and for trend and emerging brands. This year marks 50 years of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, an amazing achievement. Can you tell us about the heritage of the brand and how much it has achieved in this time? Eric Carle’s works have been a childhood rite of passage for 3 generations. Parents and teachers turn to The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See, and other Eric Carle titles when introducing children to their first books. Eric Carle’s books are timeless and captivate children worldwide, thanks to his effortless storytelling, iconic characters, and colorful art. Over the past several years, Carle’s characters and artwork has been brought off the pages onto collections of licensed products including toys, apparel, games, apps, bedding and home décor, educational products and much more. Targeted primarily to infants and toddlers, these products are popular with parents who affectionately recall growing up with Carle’s books and wish to bring a great literary brand into the lives of their children. Today, the World of Eric Carle products are sold in over 40,000 doors, have a number of strategic retail partnerships from the US to Japan, the UK, Germany and Australia.

Eric Carle’s art and inspiration has provided this amazing brand to children all around the world for 50 years now. How will you celebrate this milestone? We have developed a global campaign that includes events, products, charitable initiatives, DTR’s and educational programs. Some highlights include the 50th anniversary collector’s edition book, 50th anniversary VHC Plush, a VHC curriculum program that was provided to 75,000 pre-school teachers, and a celebration of nature in partnership with NABU in Germany, the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK and zoos and butterfly conservatories in the US. Retail events and DTR’s include Buy Buy Baby and Barnes and Noble in the US, JoJo Mama Bebe, Sainsbury and Debenham’s in the UK, and Graphis and Toys R Us in Japan. The live show is touring 4 continents this year, bringing VHC and other Eric Carle stories to life with oversized puppets and Eric’s storytelling. As the world becomes more and more driven by technology and the internet, how has this evolution changed the way you deliver Eric’s work and The Very Hungry Caterpillar to the market? Digital content and consumer engagement is an exciting platform for us. The award winning Apps created by Touch Press have been downloaded over 6.5 million times and have been Apple’s top selling children’s apps in 24 countries. The launch of the Very Hungry Caterpillar Play School subscription app last year was a resounding success and both subscription and retention have exceeded all expectations. Social Media engages moms, teachers, and librarians with art, content, activities and new product previews, while influencers continue to bring the World of Eric Carle to their followers.

For licensing opportunities please contact:


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Inspiring hungry young minds for 50 years

For licensing opportunities please contact: ™ & Š 2019 Eric Carle LLC. AII rights reserved.

Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

As a world renowned brand, can you outline some recent highlights globally? • Chick- fil- A Under 3 Kids’ Meal QSR promotion in over 2,200 US locations • Global collaboration with Dr. Brown’s for infant pacifiers/teethers, training cups, and solid feeding products kicked off fall 2018 • Branded juices from Smucker’s Sensible Sippers (US) and Cawston Press (UK) • Healthy Choices for Baby campaign by Milupa, world leader in infant nutrition, enters its fourth year with dynamic marketing reaching 20 million German consumers • Multi-category global placement at Kohl’s, Buy Buy Baby, TJ Maxx, Debenhams, Mothercare, M& Co. Real, Netto, Toys R Us Japan, AEON and other leading retailers • Very Hungry Caterpillar themed pop-up shops and cafes in Japan • Traveling exhibits and interactive experiences worldwide at museums, zoos, aquariums and theme parks

Finally, what can we look out for in the second half of 2019 and early 2020? In October this year, Penguin Random House Australia will publish a delightful new Very Hungry Caterpillar lift-the-flap title with an Australian theme, titled The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Australian Friends. This beautiful book encourages children to peek under the flaps to find some of the many and varied animals of Australia including kangaroos, pelicans and crocodiles and sees the Very Hungry Caterpillar appearing in the rainforest on the final spread. Reagan Croucher, Senior Brands and Licensing Manager at Penguin Random House Australia said “we’ve been working on this concept for quite some time, so we’re really excited to be publishing The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Australian Friends in the Very Hungry Caterpillar’s 50th birthday year. We believe this title will be popular with Australian children and become a true classic just like The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Showtime Attractions will be bringing The Very Hungry Caterpillar Craft Villages and Meet & Greets to malls across Australia; as well as new and exciting events including a Very Hungry Caterpillar Exhibition and Activity Land!


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Licensing International Awards Australia & New Zealand October 31st, 2019 Leonda by the Yarra in Melbourne, Australia

To book tickets please contact Tony Bugg via

Bean About

The Foldable Beanbag That Goes Anywhere! The Bean AboutTM is a smarter evolution of the good old beanbag. It’s as comfortable and supportive as a full size beanbag, and with its clever, original design, it’s as portable as a backpack! The concept is revolutionary and solves the problem of having to carry a bulky hard to manage chair to outdoor events. ‘This Big Idea’ is the brainchild of Vanessa Wright and Andy Audsley. The Bean About provides a long-term solution for comfortable portable seating in the outdoors and addresses the question of sustainability, quality, functionality and makes for a great conversational piece. There is a practical nature and unique lifestyle appeal which are the overriding qualities of Bean About. The Bugg Report spent some time with the creators and owners of the brand Vanessa Wright and Andy Audsley, prior to Licensing Expo to understand a little more about this concept and the aspirations they hold for its development into the future.

Vanessa Wright: Founder of Bean About

We notice that you were able to raise the profile of Bean About on Kickstarter; can you tell us a little about your experience here?

I understand that your current distribution is via your website, what are your aspirations for wider distribution?

Sure! As Bean About is such a new concept, our Kickstarter campaign had to illustrate consumer value, functionality and practicality as well as being the unforgettable outdoor/indoor companion for the whole family. We think that we achieved this pretty well with a quirky funny film created by our friend and uber talented ‘Meaning of Van Life’ director Jim Lounsbury. Just search for ‘Bean About Comfort issues’ to take a look, it’ll definately make you smile. Fortunately our kickstarter campaign raised it’s target of $27,500.00 and from our first orders we soon found out which colour scheme worked the best!

As designers and inventors we would like to see this product available through partners with world wide distribution. In terms of our own launch of Bean About we have had inquiries from all over the world so we know it has international appeal.

It’s such a practical idea. What would you say to potential partners or investors who may seek to buy into the brand?

As we mentioned earlier, it ticks all the boxes in terms of being more sustainable and offering quality and smart design. Have you thought about personalisation of the product?

From our experience in launching Bean About I’d say that this has been a successful product design which works across many markets such as outdoor & leisure, events, camping, boating and gaming just to name a few. So as there’s nothing like it on the market we feel it’s an exciting time to get involved.

The concept seems perfect for collaborations with strategic global brands in the sporting and entertainment fields. Are you keen to have these conversations? Yes. The promotional opportunities for branded bags is again huge.

We have thought about this and yes it would be something to consider, but for us, up to this point it has been about (excuse the pun) building our own brand, ‘Bean About’. There would definitely be an opportunity to licence both the design and/or the brand to the right company. To discuss licensing opportunities contact: Tony Bugg at Bugg Marketing Solutions via


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Art licensing is a growing category in our business. I see you are already partnering with Mulga the artist. Do you plan to expand upon this initiative? In using Mulga the artist we wanted to illustrate how the bag could be used to licence different artists or images to bring an extra wow factor to the consumer experience. For instance using a Marvel or Disney character positioned with prominence on the main seating panel would work as an instant draw card for kids. So yes the Bean About has great opportunities for art licensing especially on a kids range. Partnering with global causes such WWF, Virunga and Australia’s Wilderness Society is powerful and a fantasic initiative. Has this helped elevate your brand? As a brand we have always wanted to give back and do a bit of good in the world so it hasn’t been so much about making money or even so much in elevating our brand but one of giving back and bringing awareness. It is hard to say whether this has helped the brand but it has given us satisfaction in knowing that we have helped others.

Have you used social media in your plans to market the concept and get it in front of a larger audience? Yes to some degree, we’ve utilised Kickstarter and the usual suspects Insta, Twitter and FB along with some press stories but we have not allocated a big budget for this. Having said that the product has sold well for us this is how we know with more resources this product will achieve worthwhile results. It’s been great speaking to you both. This is a brilliant, practical product and we are sure there will be a lot of interest in your concept from the global licensing community. Bean About is the portable, foldable #BeanBag in a #BackPack. Supporters of all things good in this world!

The lifestyle category is also an emerging opportunity for many consumer goods and services. What is your message to potential manufacturers and distributors who may seek to work with you? We have learnt a great deal from launching the product ourselves and we know that as a lifestyle product it is versatile and people love it so I suppose our main message would be to get in touch.

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REP Worldwide, Building a New Sports Licensing Marketplace There is power in the collective voice. This sentiment is now taking hold in sports licensing through the efforts of REP Worldwide, the NFL Players Association’s groundbreaking, group player brand management and representation business. In just over a year, REP Worldwide has engineered historic gains. Across women’s soccer, women’s basketball and men’s and women’s rugby, REP Worldwide has launched group player licensing programs and bolstered athlete-driven marketing opportunities.

The market for player-driven merchandise is also on the rise and with vast opportunity for more commercial appeal. Brands are more committed than ever to celebrating these elite athletes and creating the best products for their fans.

Built upon the foundation of the business that the NFLPA has been operating for 25 years through its marketing and licensing arm NFL Players Inc., the aim is to help athletes support athletes in leveraging their group licensing rights and expanding their marketability. REP Worldwide’s founding partners include the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) and the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, and its partner roster includes the U.S. Rugby Players Association.

To date, REP Worldwide has executed licensing agreements on behalf of all its partners with more than 30 companies, including BreakingT, Fanatics, Panini America, CultureFly, Amazon, Strideline, Wincraft, Icon Sports, and FOCO in licensed product categories including t-shirts, hoodies, socks, scarves, collectible figures, customized jerseys, promotional products and digital collectibles.

While representing the group licensing rights of both men and women athletes, REP Worldwide has focused initially on bridging the gap in underrepresented women’s sports licensing. Currently there is enormous global momentum - and untapped potential - for women in sport. BreakingT, for example, teamed up with the WNBPA and The Players Tribune to create a special edition “Bet On Women” t-shirt line that represents women athletes’ pursuit of better opportunities and making real change.

As demonstrated by deals that have been struck, the NFLPA, REP Worldwide and its partners are strengthening the collective voice of all athletes. Licensees are responding by creating athlete-driven product which was unavailable to millions of fans in the past. As competition on the field, court and pitch heats up this year, and more companies manufacture products for fans to purchase and rep their favorite players, the alliance between athletes represents a larger unity that will likely have an enduring influence on sports licensing as a whole.



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Just Play’s new Ryan’s World toyline launching in the second half of 2019. TM & © 2019 RTR Production, LLC, RFR Entertainment, Inc. and Remka, Inc., and PocketWatch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Contact us at: +61 3 9882 4440 401 Riversdale Road, Hawthorn East, VIC Australia 3123

Ryan’s World Ryan’s World is the perfect combination of everything that Ryan loves and is inspired by... If you’ve been following the news reports recently you would have seen a raft of articles that have focussed on the move by children from traditional linear TV viewing to Youtube as a medium. With average daily kid’s TV audiences having declined by 50% since 2011, 72% of respondents in a recent survey said that YouTube is “the most influential social media platform in their life” and out of 350 choices, they ranked YouTube as their favourite brand. To meet the demand from this audience, Centa IP has partnered with the new digital-first kids and family studio to bring the seven year old YouTube phenomenon Ryan of Ryan ToysReview and his friends to the Australian and New Zealand market with the consumer products lifestyle brand Ryan’s World. Ryan’s World is the perfect combination of everything that Ryan loves and is inspired by. The brand launched with toys, distributed by Headstart, in Big W and Kmart in December 2018 where stock sold out in days. Since then the ANZ licensing program has expanded to include: • Headstart - Toys (Australia) • Planet Fun - Toys (New Zealand) • Bensons - Showbags and Carnival plush • Caprice - Apparel, Bags and Accessories (excluding Best & Less) • Hot Springs - Apparel, Bags and Accessories (Best & Less only) • Funtastic - a global deal for Chill Factor Slushy Maker • MJM Imports - Games and Puzzles • Ultimate Source - Arts & Crafts, Games, Novelty, Plush, Stationery, Snap & Play, Gobsmax, Fizzlers, Spinzals • Showtime Attractions - Character Meet & Greets, Craft Villages Headstart launched the hugely successful Mystery Egg in Australia for Christmas 2018 and will be launching a full range of collectable figures, plush, playsets and more including a vehicle range which will include a Combo Panda Airlines playset (pictured) and Combo Panda Skateboard Stunt R/C through 2019. Headstart are also developing a range of Ryan product which will be distributed internationally, including Ryan Ooshies and advent calendars, and will focus on products that Ryan loves and wants to play with.


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Other exciting news for 2019 includes a Tag with Ryan mobile, free-toplay game whose aesthetic is inspired by the current toy program. Then, Racing with Ryan, a kart racer console game inspired by the 2019 vehicle program, will launch on PC and console later in 2019. Ryan’s World was developed by the new kids and family digital-first studio, in partnership with Ryan and his parents who operate THE most popular kids and family YouTube channels on the planet with 27+ Billion video views and 18+ million subscribers and counting. The suite of channels not only includes Ryan ToysReview but channels dedicated to an amazing set of popular characters created by Ryan and his family including the puppet Gus the Gummy Gator and the animated character Combo Panda. Nickelodeon and are also bringing Ryan to a slightly bigger screen with their new linear live-action series Ryan’s Mystery Playdate. The social media star, his family and a cast of animated characters work together on creative challenges to discover the identity of his special playdate guest star. The challenges range from stacking pancakes to catching slimy frogs and deflating a room full of whoopee cushions, while guest stars could be anyone from fellow social media celebs to professional athletes. Ryans Mystery Playdate’s April 19th series debut was No. 1 in its 12:30 PM time period on all TV with kids 2-11. Amid strong ratings and just days after its series premiere, Nickelodeon has already ordered a 20-episode second season. Ryan’s Mystery Playdate will launch in Australia in September 2019. In Australia, Ryan ToysReview gets over 17 million views a month and has two million unique users per quarter, making him Australia’s LARGEST YouTube creator! And, since his channel’s launch three years ago, his videos have been viewed for more than 25 million hours! Watch this space as Centa IP builds its licensing program across a range of categories to make it THE BIGGEST license for 2019 and beyond. Please contact Gail Mitchell on 02 9439 5511 or for further information.

Black Mint Licensing Since setting up in Australia in late 2013, Black Mint Licensing has accumulated a strong portfolio of brands in the gaming, retro and design sectors. Black Mint is owned by John Vasta, who has worked in the licensing business for twenty years, both in Australia and in the UK. We hear the latest from John about the brands in the Black Mint portfolio:

Crossy Road


We were thrilled to sign the global agency rights to represent Hipster Whale’s Crossy Road in March. This is a mobile game which has had over 200 million downloads worldwide and has a very loyal ongoing user base. Our key focuses for licensing will be collectables, promotions, paper goods and gaming related merchandise, as well as fashion collaborations. We’ll also soon be able to announce some exciting development plans for 2019 and beyond, so stay tuned.

Street Fighter is one of the key gaming franchises within the Capcom portfolio, with Monster Hunter: World and Devil May Cry two growth franchises to keep an eye on. We currently have a strong range of collectables from Ikon Collectables on market for Capcom properties and Jay Jays are expanding their Street Fighter apparel and accessories collections based on strong recent sell through.

Jewel Branding We are building a strong partnership with Jewel Branding across a number of brands, led by Bouffants & Broken Hearts and Rachael Hale. Bouffants is a fashion design brand created by Kendra Dandy and we’re excited to have partnered with Albi for home and housewares and Nest Inspirations for health and beauty. Over 80 products have been launched across both ranges and are performing strongly. This follows on from Cotton On Body’s apparel and accessories collection which won the award for the Best Retail Marketing Campaign at the 2018 LIMA ANZ Licensing Awards.

Piffle Piffle is Hipster Whale’s newest mobile game which has already had over 1.5 million downloads in the first four months of launch. We’ll be looking to develop product ranges reflecting the cute, “kawaii” nature of the brand with plush, collectables and stationery being key focuses. Piffle also recently launched in China so we expect download numbers to increase strongly over the coming months.

Rachael Hale will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2020 and the brand continues to be a consistent seller year on year in greeting cards, seasonal gift and car accessories. Jewel Branding acquired Rachael Hale in April 2018 and have been invigorating the brand with new fashion led styleguides which has led to multiple new international partners signing on.


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John Vasta Black Mint Licensing Pty Ltd +61 (0) 474 083 343

What’s new... We’re also excited to announce the expansion of our partnership with Jewel Branding on two new fashion design brands, CatCoq and Rongrong DeVoe. These new properties are growing in international markets and we look forward to announcing new local partnerships here soon.

Slush Puppie has been established in Australia for over 40 years and there are still over 1,500 active machines in market. This retro brand has been a fashion hit with retailers such as Primark in the UK so we’re looking forward to expanding locally into apparel as well as confectionery and home machines.

Mr Bean has an enormous international YouTube following with over 13 million subscribers and there have been over 80 million views in Australia and New Zealand in the past two years. With those huge audience numbers, we believe there is such great potential to develop collectables, giftware, apparel and paper goods for Mr Bean in our market. CLS_V2.pdf




CLS is an in-depth study of the business of licensing - and the industry’s only training ground to become a Qualified Licensing Practitioner (QLP). This seven-month program is designed for professionals seeking a 360 degree view of licensing, taught by industry leaders with expertise in various facets of the business, including branding, marketing, contract law, retail, and more.

To learn more about the Coursework in Licensing Studies visit LICENSINGINTERNATIONAL.ORG For enquiries in Australia & New Zealand, contact, Tony Bugg Managing Director at Licensing International Australia & New Zealand e: | m: 0418 321 837

Lisle Licensing Lisle Licensing has a unique mix of experience and youth which, when amalgamated together with research capabilities and local market knowledge across all sectors of licensing, creates a fresh, innovative and proficient licensing agency.

Lisle Licensing has just started its 9th year in business and has its strongest ever portfolio of properties that it represents. Francesca & Colin Lisle will be attending Licensing Expo in Las Vegas this June and look forward to meeting new and existing partners. Francesca commented:

“The Licensing Expo in Las Vegas is always a very exciting show & I am sure this year will be better than ever!” Francesca & Colin will be available for meetings on the following stands: • • • • • •

Animaccord -- D178 Jay at Play -- L194 Rainbow -- O192 Studio Pets by Myrna -- F106 Tetris -- D204 Nitro Circus -- A136

To make a time to meet with Colin and/or Francesca please email Francesca at

Established in 2010, Lisle has a unique mix of experience and youth which, when amalgamated together with research capabilities and local market knowledge across all sectors of licensing, creates a fresh, innovative and proficient licensing agency. With extensive contacts across many leading retail groups and category knowledge in multiple territories, Lisle Licensing offers its license partners a bespoke service, managing all strategy development, product approvals, royalty reporting and licensing contracts.

 +44 (0)1937 586 237   @Lisle_Int

Developing merchandise programmes for leading brands



According to Downsey

Edition 6 - Licensing Expo Las Vegas This article was written by Ian Downes, Director at Start Licensing Limited, for The Bugg Report Licensing has always been a fast moving and dynamic business alive to new opportunities. Many of the personnel involved in licensing can be described as entrepreneurs. This spirit of enterprise can be seen in the product field where licensing is applied to new products or capitalises on hot trends. In recent times a great example of this has been the role licensed properties have played in the rise of pocket money collectables and in turn how companies involved in this sector have turned to licensing to help grow their brands. I remember many years ago how licensing was successfully applied to telephone cards. Google telephone cards if you are below 35! Yes we used to buy pre loaded credit cards to use in public phone boxes. A by-product of this practical item was that some smart thinkers saw an opportunity to apply brands like Star Wars and Star Trek to the cards turning them into instant collectables. A new licensing category was created. They became valuable , there were collector fairs and indeed prized telephone cards were auctioned off. However the bubble burst. Eventually phone cards disappeared as mobile phone usage surged and phone boxes became redundant. I am guessing many of the phone card licensees swiftly became mobile phone accessories licensees. Licensing requires a flexible approach and an openness to new ideas. With this pace of change there is no surprise to see the rise in brand, lifestyle and heritage licensing. Entertainment based licensing is becoming more challenging and tricky. One reason being the big changes in media consumption. It is getting harder to make a TV brand stick. Brands such as FMCG ones are already established and have a track record of success. We have represented British soft drinks company Britvic for nearly 10 years. Their licensing business has grown steadily over the years and brands such as Tango, J20 and Robinson’s are active in categories such as ice lollies, sorbets, biscuits and lip balms. To paraphrase a classic advertising line, brand licensing reaches licensees other licenses can’t.

This style of licensing was celebrated at the UK Brand and Lifestyle awards, The Bellas, recently. The event is growing in popularity and is a good bellwether for the category. This year’s winners included heritage brands such as the Natural History Museum whose apparel collection from Fat Face was recognised in the Children’s Apparel category whilst a ‘collab’ between Transport for London and Adidas won in the Adult category. Adidas developed a range of trainers featuring London Underground lines; a good example of how brand licensing allows fresh thinking design wise.

Other notable winners included retailer Joules who picked up an award for their brand licensing campaign. A reminder that retailers are using licensing to tap into new distribution and open up new product categories outwith their core. Another noteworthy winner was Country Living Magazine who were recognised in the Innovation category for developing Country Living hotels. Whilst media personality Nadiya Hussain’s first foray into licensing won an award. Her range of homewares produced by BlissHome is a great example of the need for authenticity in personality licensing. Nadiya developed the range directly with BlissHome selecting colours, finishes and shapes. I can vouch for this as it was an ‘I was there’ moment for me - in my role as Nadiya’s licensing agent I joined a number of design meetings around her kitchen table. The pace of change in licensing is more rapid than ever at the moment. Brand licensing offers an antidote to this. It is a steady, strategic and planned business. This is not to say that we should have a closed mind to new opportunities. The rise in social media and gaming properties is opening up a lot of new doors and bringing new companies into the licensing mix. This will help licensing grow as a whole. Licensing is evolving but it always has and always had to. As an industry it is vital that we don’t stand still and embrace new opportunities. I have just signed a license with Myne Cards to use Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep on credit card sized ‘security cards’ that you carry in your purse or wallet to help prevent phishing of your contactless cards. It is a new category but it definitely reminds me of something!


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calendars, diaries and planners for every passion


Contact: Michael Reif, Managing Director on +61 3 9384 7111 • Brown Trout Publishers Australia & New Zealand

What Does the Consumer Want? Article by Tony Bugg

As the brand licensing business becomes more international and the expectation from the new consumer groups focuses more attention on the offer to them, our industry is being drawn to deliver a much more compelling proposition. Simply striving for low prices is becoming a diminishing avenue of return for retailers around the world and for the brands they sell across the board. The indicators are gathering momentum that the consumer is demanding much more from a quality, sustainability and value perspective when making a purchasing decision. It makes perfect sense that if brand owners can figure out a method to tap into a much more considered and thoughtful consumer sentiment, that they will become a more attractive proposition to the new consumer to buy into their product or service. It is reported that the emerging Generation Z will be larger than the Millennial population within the next year. In 2019, Gen Z will comprise 32 percent of the 7.7 billion global population1. This age group is very conscious of both sustainability and compliance in the things they may consider buying. These new consumer groups, who have a completely different outlook to generations gone by, are driving much of the disruption in our industry and it is up to us to figure out new ways to bring brands to market.

This initiative has now separated and elevated the Piping Hot range of product, which now appeals directly to the Millennial and Gen Z consumers mentioned above. The other piece of the puzzle is telling a story, both in-store and to the consumer through educating them more broadly about the brand. Piping Hot have redeveloped their website and Instagram page to explain what they have done. This model plays on the sustainable, compliance and quality sentiments. In the future, it will not be enough for a brand owner to simply sell a license to a group of partners, and hope that between them they deliver a well-organised compliant story in the market. Brand owners will need to develop much tighter and stringent guidelines for their “story� and work much more closely with their partners, including retailers. The key will be to deliver the story in a compelling way which will speak directly to the beliefs and values of today’s consumers, whether they are Millennials or Gen Z.

Piping Hot, a brand which was first introduced to the market in 1975, is now a well-known global brand owned by Saban Brands. This iconic surf & lifestyle brand is now sold at Target Australia and because it sits alongside so many other similar apparel brands, the owners needed to differentiate it from the rest to give it a better value proposition. This summer 94% of their swimwear products will be made with reprieve sustainable fabric2. Reprieve contains recycled materials, including plastic bottles, to help conserve natural resources. Their new product swing tags are also recyclable.

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Vimwood Australia

Market Leaders in Fashion Accessories Vimwood Australia specialises in the design and development of children’s, women’s and men’s accessories, supplying both generic and licensed product to key Australian retailers. With a unique business model, the Vimwood team takes a customer centric approach to developing high quality, fashionable products that offer true value. Our research continues to point to the growth of the fashion & accessories business and as we are here at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, it will be interesting to see what will be on offer this year on a global scale.

Left: Sally Coates, Right: Kate Hayes

We recently had the chance to speak to Sally Coates, General Manager of Vimwood Australia. Sally we understand Vimwood approaches the market with a very unique business model. Would you mind expanding upon this sentiment for our readers? Yes, Vimwood has a very unique business model where we don’t focus on “one way of working”. We offer our retail partners various working models that are developed solely on meeting their individual needs. We are not just a wholesaler but an accessories specialist that offers an end to end solution. We have an energetic, dedicated and creative team that are category and industry experts. We not only design, develop and source licensed, branded and private label ranges, we also offer merchandise planning and replenishment support on an ongoing basis, which is executed and maintained with in store merchandising support which is more common in those businesses where we have a consignment partnership. Depending on the needs of our partners we use models which include wholesale, Free In Store, Free On Board or consignment and in some cases a mix of these. We notice with interest that you have recently appointed a Licensing Manager at Vimwood. Kate Hayes has assumed this role for you. Can you tell us a little about Kate and your commitment to brands at Vimwood? Kate is a wonderful creative that has worked in our team at Vimwood for over 3 years. I started at Vimwood nearly a year ago and very quickly realised that our business structure needed to be more aligned not only to our retail partners but to our licensors. I asked Kate to take on a newly created role as our License and Design Manager which she accepted very willingly and has done an amazing job, very quickly. We are focused on ensuring that we have the most commercial portfolio of brands and licenses within our business and have added to this significantly in the last 6 months. We are also putting a lot of


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work into incorporating key trends not only into our broader ranges, but that key elements are now much more evident in our licensed ranges. Our new ranges are a huge move on from where our business has been, which have been very well received by our retail partners, and more importantly by their customers. Our research suggests that you have enjoyed significant retail buying experience with Big W, Target and with Payless. Has your time in these roles allowed you to provide a more compelling offer to the retailer as a supplier? Yes my experience has definitely helped in my role at Vimwood. It has enabled me to provide a different perspective to our team and give them significant insights into what retailers and their customers want from us. I am a retailer and have been for longer than I want to admit, so I think like a retailer. I understand their customer and what motivates them and how we need to align to their business strategies and provide profitable solutions. Your category is ideal for global universal application. Is the international market on your radar for 2019 and beyond? Yes, most definitely it is. We are in a very unique position where we have a business model that can easily be translated in many different markets. What are some of the latest trends that you see across the licensed fashion accessories category? There are two key factors with licensed accessories. Firstly, it is imperative that the product that is designed reflects the individual license. So, if the license is a character then we must ensure that the key elements of this character are included. For example with Emma Wiggle, we of course have the bow that Emma wears in our range, we are also launching Emma hair pieces in the coming weeks, which look amazing. Little girls want to dress as the character not just wear product that has images of the characters on them.

Secondly, we are seeing a lot of success by incorporating key fashion trends that are reflected in the design of licensed product. Back to Emma, we have an Emma Bow hair scrunchie launching that incorporates the hair accessories trend of scrunchies, but which also incorporates the key element of the bow that is key to authenticating this character. With the evolution of bricks and mortar retailing and the expanding online platform, what is your opinion as to where retailing is heading? There is clearly a place for both, but I think that a lot of retailers need to take a step back and truly understand where their focus should be. There seems a lot of conflicting priorities which makes doing anything well a struggle.

There is a lot being spoken about the concept of sustainability, quality and experiential, all being key components of the next phase of brand licensing, are these part of Vimwood’s plans? Quality is key for us at Vimwood. We have a very rigid quality assurance process and we are constantly reviewing our product testing criteria as we are constantly developing new product. We are focused on quality and safety and maintaining the excellent track record we have had in regard to this. In terms of sustainability, we are doing a lot of work internally and with our manufacturing partners around areas of improvement that we have identified. This will be ongoing as we appreciate the role in which we can play here. What are your company’s priorities for Licensing Expo?

Authentic customer first service is lacking across the board, whether it is a physical store or online, and I believe that by truly taking a customer first approach, what people will remember was the experience they had – not whether it was in a store or online.

Two things. Firstly to increase the awareness of our business and what we can offer which is not just as a wholesaler, but as an accessories specialist that offers an end to end solution. And secondly to bask in the innovation that will be on display.

Your customer first policy seems to be a smart strategy, can you tell us about how this plays out in your marketing plan? Our plan is very simple. Provide our customers with what their customers want. We are focused on innovation in both product and brand, differentiated ranges for our retail partners and superior customer satisfaction.

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In 2018 The Wiggles played a total of 348 shows, selling over 405,000 tickets.

The Wiggles are off to the ballet in this new release, The Wiggles' Big Ballet Day! Joining with dancers from The Australian Ballet, The Wiggles warm up, demi-plié and jeté with joy! We hope this wiggly ballet special inspires the child viewer to dress up, listen to the ballet music, watch and express themselves through their own form of ballet. The Wiggles visit the theatre to watch David McAllister’s The Sleeping Beauty and children can follow on the adventure of going to the theatre, buying popcorn and, most importantly, taking the time to visit the bathroom to go to the toilet before the show starts. 'The Toilet Song' is one of many new songs featured in this release, as well as the debut of the bright, fun, bubbly new character Shirley Shawn the Unicorn! We had such a wonderful time creating this wiggly ballet special and we would like to thank Ballet Master Paul Knobloch and the dancers from The Australian Ballet – Lana Jones, Leanne Stojmenov, Ako Kondo, Chengwu Guo, Jarryd Madden, Dana Stephensen, Benedicte Bemet and Jake Mangakahia. Please enjoy The Wiggles’ Big Ballet Day! - Emma, on behalf of all The Wiggles




• 16x9 • 71 minutes • English with optional English subtitles • 2.0 Stereo • Color The Wiggles: Anthony Field, Lachy Gillespie, Simon Pryce, Emma Watkins Director: Anthony Field Director of Photography: Aaron Hill Music Produced by Anthony Field, Lachlan Gillespie, Oliver Brian & Alex Keller Producer: Paul Field Choreography by Paul Knobloch Artwork by Daniel Attard LIKE US SUBSCRIBE: FOLLOW US



All Recordings 2019 The Wiggles Pty Ltd. • All Artwork © 2019 The Wiggles Pty Ltd. • Licensed 2019 to Kino Lorber Inc. Distributed in the United States and Canada by Kino Lorber Inc. • © 2019 The Wiggles Pty Ltd. The Wiggles, The Wiggles logo, Bowtiful, Emma!, Lachy, Ponso the Pony, Shirley Shawn the Unicorn, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, Captain Feathersword, Wags the Dog and Big Red Car are trademarks of The Wiggles Pty Ltd. • Marketed and Distributed by Kino Lorber, Inc. • 333 W. 39th Street Suite 503, New York, NY 10018 • Unauthorized duplication or transmission is a violation of applicable laws • Dolby and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.

Touring USA 27 Jul - 5 Sep: 32 shows in 27 venues Touring Canada 26 Sep - 29 Oct: 80 shows in 27 venues

The Wiggles have named WowWee as their Master Toy Partner for North America!

New Emma Series 2 COMING SOON!

YouTube sensation with 1.2 Billion minutes of watch time.

Let’s have a party! We are so excited to bring you our brand new album - Party Time! The perfect wiggly soundtrack for your child’s next party. Children will love to play and have fun with a collection of the most popular children’s party songs! We thoroughly enjoyed putting together this album of party songs that have been around for many, many years, as well as new ones that we had fun writing. Have a wonderful Party Time! - Lachy

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I Am a Fine Musician Hokey Pokey Mrs Macaroni The Ants Go Marching Happy Birthday Little Peter Rabbit Simon Says Jelly on a Plate Cubano Salsa

10. Put on Your Party Hats 11. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes 12. To Have a Little Party 13. Dance with Your Balloon 14. Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May 15. What’s the Time, Mr Wolf?

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Skip to My Lou Food, Food, Party Food Follow the Leader Rattlin’ Bog Pin the Bow on Emma Pass the Parcel Egg and Spoon Race

T Keller The Wiggles: Anthony Field, Lachy Gillespie, Simon Pryce, Emma Watkins MusicTProduced & Alex HE Aby Anthony Field, Lachlan Gillespie, OliverLBrianLE UTheSWiggles’ Visit for all things wiggly! Visit for details on Party N BA TRA IADVD! LTime! Like Us: Subscribe: Follow Us: @thewiggles @thewiggles All Recordings 2019 The Wiggles Pty Ltd. All Artwork © 2019 The Wiggles Pty Ltd. Exclusively licensed 2019 to Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Marketed and distributed by Universal Music Australia Pty Limited under exclusive licence. All rights of the owner of copyright in this sound recording reserved. Any copying, renting, lending, diffusion, public performance or broadcast of this record without the authority of the copyright owner is prohibited. Made in Australia.


16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.


© 2019 The Wiggles Pty Ltd. The Wiggles, The Wiggles logo, Emma!, Lachy, Ponso the Pony, Shirley Shawn the Unicorn, Bowtiful, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, Captain Feathersword, Wags the Dog and Big Red Car are trademarks of The Wiggles Pty Ltd.



The Wiggles Big Ballet Day and The Wiggles Party Time DVD & CD - COMING SOON!

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