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AW PATROL

CONTINUES TO CAPTIVATE KIDS ACROSS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND. Since being unleashed in the market 7 years ago, PAW Patrol continues to captivate the world and lead in consumer products. In Australia, PAW Patrol is the #1 licensed preschool brand (NPD) with ViacomCBS continuing to fuel the franchise across all consumer touch points in retail including toys, apparel, home, accessories and more! In 2020, PAW Patrol’s ‘paw print’ reached an audience of 10.4M across Australia & New Zealand (ANZ), as a result of a multi-platform strategy that leveraged Nick Jr., 10 Shake, 9 Go!, Stan, digital platforms, apps, cinema and more. The pups also reached an impressive 35.7M views on YouTube, contributing to over 11M hours of PAW Patrol watched across linear and YouTube within ANZ in 2020. PAW Patrol is on a roll in 2021 and all set for new adventures, including the release of PAW Patrol: The Movie, premiering in Australia and New Zealand in the Fall of 2021. With state-of-the-art animation, coupled with some of the biggest names in show business, this brand-new theatrical is set to be the family blockbuster of 2021. The movie will have the full power of the ViacomCBS eco-system behind it, including the marketing muscle of a major movie studio - Paramount Pictures, a strong global campaign and support from series and feature film creators Spin Master Entertainment.

PINKFONG’S BABY SHARK DANCE IS THE #1 MOST-WATCHED YOUTUBE VIDEO OF ALL TIME, WITH OVER 7.9B VIEWS GLOBALLY

This loveable earworm has been captivating fans and monopolising pop-culture since it first broke the internet in 2015. Now, Nickelodeon and SmartStudy, the global entertainment company behind the beloved children’s brand, Pinkfong, are perpetuating the success of this ultra-viral video through all-new content and consumer products, firmly establishing this social sensation as a global preschool powerhouse franchise.

Pinkfong’s Baby Shark’s brand-new animated preschool series, Baby Shark’s Big Show!, is set to premiere on Nick Jr. in mid-2021, with 28 full episodes, all new adventures and brand-new music. The new series will have an even wider reach for consumer products for kids aged 0-6, with new toys set to launch from late 2021. Baby Shark continues to swim to video views on YouTube with SmartStudy continues to Baby Shark content 20 languages.

the top, surpassing 7.9B total RIAA Diamond status, as release new multilingual every week in

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WON MOST HUGGABLE TOY AWARD TOP NEW LICENSE

GLOBALLY

IN 2020 (NPD)

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NICKELODEON’S ICONIC ‘90S SHOW BLUE’S CLUES IS BACK”

Nickelodeon’s first billion dollar franchise is now back as Blue’s Clue’s and You! The play-along preschool series, stars a preschool-aged puppy, Blue, who has a clue ... three, actually. Blue’s excited new caregiver and friend, Josh, asks viewers to help him solve Blue’s Clues. Kids play interactive learning games with Josh and Blue’s household friends as they all work together to solve Blue’s Clues. From “snack time” to “mail time,” Blue and her friends empower, challenge and build preschoolers’ self-esteem, all while helping them learn and making them laugh! Blue’s Clues & You! consistently ranks as one of the top three shows on Nick Jr. and has grown audience reach since appearing on free-to-air channel 10 Shake. While preschoolers eagerly await the launch of Season 2 in March 2021, Season 3 is already greenlit for 2022. In 2020, Blue’s Clues & You! became the #1 top new toys license globally (NPD) after global master toy partner, Just Play, launched in the US in July last year. Product will roll-out in Australia from March 2021 retail-wide, with DVDs, books, show bags, homewares and softlines scheduled to release in the following months.


MTV REMAINS THE #1 GLOBAL YOUTH ENTERTAINMENT BRAND

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year MTV is one of the most recognised and loved brands in the world. MTV in Australia has a reach of 6.5 million+ people and a 98% recognition score and globally MTV boasts over 274 million global social followers. Synonymous with the worlds of music, fashion and pop culture MTV locally has launched a vintage inspired apparel collection in collaboration with iconic Australian brand Rollas and the an energy drink, MTVUP! which is now available across 1500 stores. In 2021, there is a brand-new look for its iconic logo and new Moon Person styleguide. The 40th celebrations will kick off later this year.

ONE OF NETFLIX’S MOST WATCHED AND TALKED ABOUT SHOWS THIS YEAR From the creative mind of Darren Star (Sex and the City and Younger), this series speaks to modern-day women with career ambitions coupled with a passion for travel and fashion! Lilly Collins stars as the eponymous Emily, an American who moves to Paris to provide an ‘American point of view’ to a French marketing firm. Fast-forward six months and this fictional character has morphed into a real life fashion icon, with searches for her Kangol bucket hat skyrocketing by +342% following its appearance in her debut outfit in the season premiere. In time for season 2, ViacomCBS will launch an all-new consumer products line tailored to women 18+, allowing them to have their own Emily in Paris fashion moment.

OVER 100 YEARS OF MOVIE HITS

Celebrating Top Gun’s 35th Anniversary comes the long-awaited sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, starring Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer and hitting theatres nationwide on July 2, 2021. To celebrate, Merchantwise has partnered with Licensing Essentials to represent apparel, accessories, gift and novelty and a commemorative stamp collection by Australian Post. For collector toy fans, Mattel has a range of Matchbox diecast vehicles and playsets, while Revell will be releasing a classic model kit that no diehard fan can resist. Haven Global is adding Paramount Pictures to their agency representation with a focus on catalog opportunities this year. In 2022, celebrate The Godfather’s 50th Anniversary together with a theatrical re-release from Paramount. Come 2023, the world-famous musical, Grease, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, will celebrate its 45th Anniversary.

FRESH WITH POP-CULTURE AND POLITICAL PARODY

The Emmy® and Peabody® Award-winning, animated series, South Park, created by comic geniuses Trey Parker and Matt Stone, features the breathtakingly irreverent and ruthlessly funny misadventures of four foul-mouthed, troublemaking young boys in a small town nestled in the Colorado Rockies. Airing on Fox 8, Fox One, 10 Shake, Comedy Central and Fetch and streaming on Netflix, Stan, Binge, Amazon and 10 Play, it is one of the most highly watched shows from the ViacomCBS portfolio. Next year ViacomCBS will celebrate its 25th Anniversary with the South Park studios. Recently conducted research revealed that 80% of global fans are interested in buying consumer products. Sign up now.


From The Editor 2020 was a once in a lifetime challenge for us all. In our business, spending time in the market is invaluable. Retail intelligence is the lifeblood of our industry. For much of last year, and living in Melbourne, we were unable to travel further than 5 kilometres from our homes. A Shopping Centre excursion was just not possible. By chance, we were recently visiting a Westfield Shopping Centre in the South East of Melbourne. Because of the restrictions imposed upon us due to the pandemic, sports of all kinds have been severely impacted. They have had to be so fluid that daily adjustments to their fixtures have been commonplace. To me, the NBL (National Basketball League) has shown a great ability to find alternatives and solutions in a time when it would have been understandable to have simply cancelled events and revisited them at a later date. During our recent retail adventure… we walked into a Champion store and were confronted with a wall of nostalgic NBL apparel. This collaboration was brilliant and very well thought-out. Print on-demand and offer all of the classic favourite teams from the 90’s — the Melbourne Tigers, Adelaide 36’s, North Melbourne Giants and more! They also featured the current teams with the activation. What’s even more amazing is that you can also have your own jersey personalised in store. This is what retailing is about now and into the future. Well done to Larry Kestelman, Executive Director of the National Basketball League, and his team for thinking outside the square and coming up with an innovative activation that will ultimately help to see the NBL rise to new heights!

Managing Director — Tony Bugg tony@buggsolutions.com.au Editor & Designer — Matthew Bugg matt@buggsolutions.com.au Published by Bugg Marketing Solutions info@buggsolutions.com.au PO BOX 491, Berwick VIC 3806

06

The Bugg Report Magazine

Advertising — bookings@buggreport.com.au Feedback — editor@buggreport.com.au Media — media@buggreport.com.au

www.buggreport.com.au

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.


Inside This Edition Bringing Bluey to Life

08

Jasnor Australia

12

Merchantwise Licensing

25

Mizzie the Kangaroo Appoints Bensons

54

Smiffys

58

Thrill One x Nitro Circus

62

A Tribute to Kelvyn Gardiner

68

Hong Kong International Licensing Show

70

www.buggreport.com.au

07


Bringing

to life of the brand, the licensing program in Australia and what’s coming up in 2021 and beyond.

Kate O’Connor

Interview with BBC Studios ANZ Head of Commercial and Business Development, Kate O’Connor. Home-grown animated series Bluey continues to win hearts across Australia and the world, securing its place as one of Australia’s most popular children’s brands. As 2020 came to a close, the series was recognised both locally and internationally. In Australia, Bluey was one of The Good Weekend’s ‘40 Australians Who Mattered in 2020’, highlighting how the series has become part of Australian cultural and social fabric. Internationally, Rolling Stone included Bluey in its list of ‘The 20 Best TV Shows of 2020’. With 2021 shaping up to be another big year in licensing, BBC Studios ANZ Head of Commercial and Business Development, Kate O’Connor, shares her thoughts on the success

Pool Time Fun Figurine Playset from Moose Toys

Bluey has gone from strength to strength – what is the secret? For me, the magic of Bluey is its simplicity and relatability for families across Australia. Bluey is extra special because it combines world-class animation and scriptwriting with multi-layered storylines and beautiful music composition. Kids love how Bluey is all about play, but it’s also genuinely funny so the whole family can watch it together. It’s also quintessentially Australian which has captivated fans across the world. For example “What’s a bin chicken?” is a question I’ve seen asked by many international fans on social media! Why do you think the Bluey licensing program has been so successful? We work collaboratively with all our licensees to inject that Bluey magic into everything we do. We’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the products we release, to ensure that each product has the soul and DNA of Bluey and gives fans something unique and exciting. We want Bluey products to be as magical as the show itself, to reflect its Aussie heritage, the beautiful Brisbane colour palettes and landscapes, and ensure products tell a story from the episodes of Bluey. Knowing how much both parents and kids love the show, we also want to create products that big kids love as much as little kids.


We are committed to driving Bluey’s growth into becoming an evergreen property, and as Bluey continues to win fans all across the world, we are looking to maintain momentum and give fans the products they want and deserve – because, really, they have supported and championed this brand all along! While 2020 was a great year for the brand, did the year present any challenges for the licensing program? It’s incredible to think that this time last year we were accepting the ATA Award for ‘PreSchool License of the Year’ at a fabulous gala dinner, completely unaware of the challenges the rest of the year would bring. Like our licensees, we had to adapt to working from home during lockdown. Together, we were able to work around supply chain delays and the impact of lockdown on warehouses, offices, and bricks and mortar retailers – I think being flexible was key. Despite these challenges, we feel very grateful for the year we had. There were multiple award wins, three Bluey products were among the ATA’s top 10 toys for Christmas, Bluey: Big Backyard was the highest selling book of the year and Bluey magazine was the number one children’s magazine. It is remarkable to see how far we have come in our first year of the licensing program. What more can we expect from Bluey in 2021 and beyond? The year got off to a fantastic start; BBC Studios and Demon Music launched Bluey: The Album in Australia and the U.S. and we were

thrilled when it became the first children’s album to ever reach number one on the ARIA Charts. Following its highly anticipated premiere in Brisbane, Bluey’s Big Play: The Stage Show continues to delight fans and will tour across Australia throughout 2021. In terms of new products in Australia, we are calling 2021 the ‘party year’. Look out for kids and adults costumes, partyware, birthday cards and wrapping paper – we will have your Blueythemed party covered! There’s also exciting new products from our current licensees and existing collaboration partnerships, as well as a handful of very exciting and top secret new collaborations that I wish I could talk about, but you’ll just have to wait and see! On the publishing side, after an incredible 12 months with over 1 million books sold in Australia, we’re going to back it up with a just-as-amazing 2021 slate including activity and story books. We’re excited to celebrate Mother’s Day with two books, Mum School and My Mum is the Best. continued...

Bluey books: My Mum is the Best and Mum School


We’ll also continue the monthly rollout of the hugely popular Bluey magazine. More broadly, we’ll continue to deliver a licensing program that is ‘right sized’ for the brand and work hard to ensure we meet the exacting brand principles that makes the show so special. Bluey has been officially commissioned for series 3, so there’s plenty more to come from the Heelers! BBC Studios has an impressive portfolio of brands. What can we expect to see from these brands? We’ll continue to focus on growth across our portfolio, including BBC Earth, Doctor Who, Top Gear, Andy Day and HeyDuggee. 2021 is shaping up to be a big year for BBC Earth with audiences really engaging with natural history content. Following the successful launch of the BBC Earth channel in Australia, we saw huge viewership numbers in 2020. There are also long-term partnerships with Channel 9 and TVNZ for the BBC Planet franchise. Globally, the brand continues to go from strength to strength, with a new style guide featuring breathtaking imagery, as well as stunning products and books launching both here and overseas. We are actively looking for collaborations with best-in-class brands and partners that have an affinity with our brand. Doctor Who and Top Gear are still strong licenses with highly engaged fans, and we continue to see a growing range of fantastic Hey Duggee products. This year we will also look at Andy Day. Following his national tour in 2019, Andy’s popularity continues to soar so we’re excited to explore opportunities!

Bluey’s Big Play Photo credit: Darren Thomas

BLUEY™ and BLUEY character logos™ & © Ludo Studio Pty Ltd 2018. Licensed by BBC Studios. BBC logo™ & © BBC 1996.


Jasnor Australia Things look a little different as 2021 gets underway, and we still face unprecedented challenges but this hasn’t stopped the team at Jasnor. We are committed to delivering an outstanding 2021 for our customers and consumers as we continue to offer the very best brands, the most exciting trends and the latest award-winning products. In 2020 we launched some amazing new licensed properties, iconic characters and unique formats. In 2021, we’ll build on the success of these launches and introduce hot new properties across various categories.

On the back of the extremely successful launch of Hot WheelsTM Maker Kitz, we are excited to expand our range by introducing two new brands in this category, BarbieTM Maker Kitz and Harry Potter Maker Kitz. These easy to create crafts offer hours of fun as kids can create and customise their own designs and try their hand at creating a string of lanterns, become a fashion designer with the Barbie Origami Fashion Studio, or impress their friends with the large scale Light-up Hogwarts Castle - which is truly magical!


WOW! PODS continue to shine! The first release included popular characters from Marvel, DC Super Friends, Harry Potter Wizarding World and Disney. This year we can't wait for the next installment of this light-up collectible craze. We are thrilled to expand our offering to include totally lit Marvel limited editions in chrome and monochrome finishes, as well as introducing many other popular properties like Space Jam, Minions and Jurassic World. Love, Diana, everybody Loves, Diana! She is unapologetically girlie and believes that play can be found everywhere, especially through imaginative stories, creativity and fun filled ADVENTURES. Diana believes that girls are NOT JUST ONE THING they are a MASHUP of personalities, styles and characteristics that can change every day. Diana is every little girl's best BEST FRIEND! Jasnor is thrilled to be a part of the Love, Diana phenomenon with the introduction of a wide range of popular products over the coming months. The first new release includes 5 popular mealtime formats with cheerful and bold designs to make mealtime extra fun. Stay tuned for more new releases throughout the year!

Jasnor is proud to have been a Wiggly partner for the past 16 years! As we join in the celebrations of 30 years of The Wiggles we have several new releases slated for first half. Made from soft plush material, the new Poseable Emma Ballerina doll features wires in her arms, legs and feet so that little ones can easily manipulate to form different poses and play patterns. The new Mini Plush Collector Set features the four favourite Wiggly performers and their friends Wags the Dog and Dorothy the Dinosaur. At around 20cm tall, each character is the perfect size for little hands to carry. Both new items are presented in an open front display box for added impact on shelf. Stay tuned for our exciting new 'We're All Fruit Salad' themed mealtime collection, plus much more Wiggly fun to come throughout 2021! www.buggreport.com.au

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CLICK

ON A PRODUCT to find out more…


Tumble Buddies: Cute Disney buddies that chime when they wobble.

Mickey & Minnie Phone: Lights and sounds with two fun modes.

Find and Play Tablet: Loads of alphabet fun with over 90 sounds.

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Learn and Play Mickey & Minnie: Your new interactive playtime companions with hard and soft learning. Real Feels Winnie the Pooh: Learn about different emotions with comforting bed time mode.

Simba Run n’ Ride: Learn to walk and ride with Simba.

Swap the heads & learn something new

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ZIMBLER

PTY LTD

See all our new releases at The Australian Toy Fair Digital

Contact Zimbler Phone +613 8481 1000 369-371 Rossmoyne Street, Thornbury 3071 Victoria, Australia sales@zimbler.com.au www.zimbler.com.au


©2021 Apple Corps Ltd. A Beatles™ Product ©2021 Mojang Synergies AB. TM Microsoft Corporation. ©The Northcott Society and Cerebral Palsy Alliance 2021 ©2021 ZAGTOON™ ©2021 CPII. All Rights Reserved.

Licensing the best in entertainment, downunder.

Taking BRANDS further Consumers are moving beyond traditional merchandise and seeking engaging brand experiences. Merchantwise takes brands further by developing unique brand partnerships across all consumer touchpoints, from traditional merchandise and packaged goods through to digital and live entertainment.

Contact us to discuss your licensing opportunities in Australia and New Zealand. e. info@merchantwise.com

t. +61 (0)3 9520 1000

w. merchantwise.com


Best selling

video game of all time! • Over 200m copies sold • Played in every country in the world • 132m monthly users • The most-watched game on YouTube in 2020 with over 200 billion views • New game update ‘Caves and Cliffs’ launching June 2021 • Extensive range of consumer products available in ANZ at leading retailers

© 2021 Mojang Synergies AB. TM Microsoft Corporation.

For licensing opportunities, please contact: Emma Aldenhoven, Senior Business Manager P: +61 3 9520 1000 E: emmaa@merchantwise.com W: merchantwise.com


Merchantwise Licensing is a leading brand licensing and merchandising agency in Australia and New Zealand, represen:ng some of the world’s best loved brands in gaming, kids’ entertainment, film & television, music, icons & legends. The company is part of the Merchantwise Group, a full-service brand extension and marke:ng agency based in Melbourne, Sydney, Paris and Tel Aviv. Merchantwise Licensing shares the latest news on its exci:ng porIolio of popular and emerging brands and proper:es.

Minecra) rules down under MinecraJ is a cultural phenomenon and the best-selling video game of all :me, selling over 200 million copies across all plaIorms. Appealing to a wide-ranging player base, the game has over 132 million monthly ac:ve users, the most watched game on YouTube in 2020 with over 200 billion views, and is played in every country in the world. MinecraJ is very popular down under, rated by BrandTrends as the no. 1 video game brand for players 6 – 14 years in Australia. What started as a game has now evolved into a true evergreen entertainment franchise, comprising of educa:on, live events, products as well as a movie on the horizon. In June 2021, MinecraJ will launch its highly an:cipated new core game update Caves & Cliffs. Eagerly requested by players, Caves & Cliffs introduces beau:ful new underground

experiences as well as scenic views from the mountaintops. It presents gorgeous new cave biomes, from lush, plant-filled caves to icy, snowy depths. Players will be thrilled to meet new mobs such as the Axolotl and the in:mida:ng Warden. The MinecraJ community will be able to scale the tall, drama:c peaks of new terrain and meet mischievous goats that might head-bu\ them off a cliff! MinecraJ merchandise is now available across all major Australian and New Zealand retailers, with BIG W, Target and EB Games leading the charge. In October 2020, EB Games launched a broad MinecraJ collec:on designed for fans across the age spectrum. The range now includes apparel, accessories, homewares, sta:onery and giJing, all u:lising new, never-before-seen MinecraJ artwork. In the same month, BIG W launched Australia’s first MinecraJ cross category marke:ng event. The campaign featured product from partners including LEGO (construc:on toys); Ma\el (ac:on figures, playsets and roleplay); Banter Toys (J!NX plush and collec:bles); Hunter Leisure (sta:onery), Funko (pop vinyl), Caprice (apparel and homewares), Zak! Australia (lunching, drinkware and home décor), Impact! (puzzles and giJing) and Harper Collins (publishing).

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NEW CONSOLE

NEW GEAR

• Celebrating 20 years of Xbox in November 2021 • Xbox Series X|S, biggest console launch in Xbox history

• More new consoles sold than any prior

generation, sold out in the first 24 hours

• Extensive range of consumer products available at leading retailers

For licensing opportunities, please contact: Emma Aldenhoven, Senior Business Manager P: +61 3 9520 1000 E: emmaa@merchantwise.com W: merchantwise.com © 2021 Microsoft.


Celebra5ng 20 Years of Gaming

In November 2020, Hunter Leisure launched the world’s first MinecraJ outdoor sports range including bikes, skateboards, scooters and helmets. In January 2021, BIG W, Microsoft and Merchantwise Licensing also delivered the world’s first Minecraft augmented reality digital scavenger hunt, across all stores nationwide. Over 5,000 Aussie fans par:cipated in the event, exploring BIG W stores and collec:ng clues in order to solve a puzzle. All players comple:ng the game were rewarded with a $5 discount redemp:on code on their next MinecraJ purchase.

Back to School has never looked so good, with Clarks launching the world’s first range of MinecraJ school shoes in early 2021. The extensive range for both boys and girls features subtle MinecraJ detailing on the shoe, as well as a MinecraJ themed box containing a hidden MinecraJ collec:ble toy. The range was exclusively available from Clarks, Shoes and Sox, Myer, The Tribe, and Hannah’s in New Zealand.

2021 marks the 20th Anniversary for gaming juggernaut Xbox. The popular console has over 100 million monthly ac:ve users and features first party game franchises including Halo, Forza and Gears of War. Xbox has a highly engaged audience with over 50 million followers across Facebook, Instagram, Twi\er, and YouTube. Its popular subscrip:on service Xbox Game Pass lets users access over one hundred high quality games for a single low monthly price and has proven successful with over 18 million subscribers. Eagerly an:cipated new console Xbox Series X is the fastest and most powerful Xbox ever. Launched in November 2020, it quickly became the biggest console launch in Xbox history, selling out within the first 24 hours. More new consoles were sold during the launch than any previous genera:on consoles. In keeping with the success of the console, enthusiasm for the brand has been reflected in strong Xbox merchandise sales across categories including apparel, sleepwear, accessories, home and giJing. Leading Australian retail partners include BIG W, Target, EB Games and Best & Less.

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LAUNCHING SPRING 2021

Most recognised Sci-Fi video game franchise of all time Celebrating 20 years of Halo in November 2021 Nearly US$6 billion global business New toy ranges from Hasbro Nerf, Mattel Mega Construx and Wicked Cool Toys, as well as apparel, accessories and homewares Showtime Original Series coming soon

© 2021 Microsoft.

For licensing opportunities, please contact: Emma Aldenhoven, Senior Business Manager P: +61 3 9520 1000 E: emmaa@merchantwise.com W: merchantwise.com


months. Other toys include action figures and vehicles from Wicked Cool Toys (distributed by Banter), Mega Construx sets from Mattel and costumes from Disguise (distributed by HeadStart).

Huge Year for Halo in 2021 Xbox’s #1 exclusive franchise Halo also celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021. November will mark 20 years since the first game was released. Halo is the most recognised Sci-Fi video game franchise of all :me, selling over 82 million games and genera:ng over $US 5 billion in sales. In spring 2021, the legendary Halo series returns with the biggest and most ambitious Halo game ever created. Halo Infinite will continue the saga of the Master Chief with stunning open world game play, new weapons, threats and free-to-play multiplayer universe. If that wasn’t exci:ng enough, the Halo Show:me original live ac:on series is currently in produc:on and coming soon. Directed by O\o Bathurst (Black Mirror, Robin Hood) and starring Pablo Schreiber (American Gods, First Man, Orange is the New Black) as the Master Chief, with Natascha McElhone (Californica:on, The Truman Show, Ronin) as Dr Halsey, and Jen Taylor (Voice actress, Cortana, Halo Franchise) as Cortana. Halo is very popular in licensing and merchandising, genera:ng over $US 1.7 billion in merchandise sales to date.

Aussie fans can expect to see an expanding range of products at retail. After overwhelming demand, Hasbro will release new Halo x Nerf blasters in the coming

Other categories include older boys and men’s apparel, accessories and bedding (Caprice), drink and lunchware (Zak Australia), giJing (Rubber Road) and showbags (Bensons).

Activision is one of the world’s most successful interactive entertainment and gaming companies with hundreds of millions of monthly active users. The video game market is bigger than both music and the box office combined and is enjoying strong growth. For more than 40 years, Ac:vision has been changing the way people play. In the process, Ac:vision has built one of the largest porIolios of recognised brands, led by global giant Call of Duty and other well known gaming franchises Crash Bandicoot and Spyro. Merchantwise Licensing is now working with Ac:vision to make commercial partnership opportuni:es available to licensees and retailers in Australia and New Zealand.

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PREMIER GLOBAL FRANCHISES & LICENSING PROGRAMMES

© 2021 Activision Publishing Inc., Activision, Call of Duty, Black Ops, Spyro, Crash, and Crash Bandicoot are trade marks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trade marks are the property of their respective owners.

For licensing opportunities, please contact: Emma Aldenhoven, Senior Business Manager P: +61 3 9520 1000 E: emmaa@merchantwise.com W: merchantwise.com


Call of Duty breaks records in 2020 First launched in 2003, Call of Duty is the most successful video game franchise ever created in the USA and the third highest selling gaming franchise of all :me. 2020 was a massive year for the Call of Duty franchise, seqng new records and surpassing over $US 3 Billion in revenues. The franchise ecosystem comprises premium console and PC games (including the Modern Warfare and Black Ops series), free-to-play Warzone™ as well as Call of Duty: Mobile.

New title Black Ops Cold War released worldwide in November 2020 and quickly became the number 1 selling game in the USA in 2020. Call of Duty has a strong global merchandising program, targeting adults 18+ and Merchantwise Licensing is now in the process of developing new partnerships and retail programs in Australia and New Zealand to support the continued growth of this powerhouse franchise. Priority categories include apparel and accessories, peripherals, publishing, stationery, homewares and collectibles.

Crash is back and bigger than ever One of the world’s most iconic gaming mascots is a gene:cally enhanced bandicoot named Crash, synonymous with the launch of the first PlaySta:on in the nine:es. With over 20 years of gaming heritage, Crash Bandicoot is as popular as ever with enduring sales of the original ‘90s trilogy (remastered and released in 2017) and Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled (2019). Now Crash is back in the long awaited new game Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, released on the PS4 in late 2020 and selling over 400,000 units in its first month. The :tle will also soon launch on the 12th of March globally on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch. With mul:genera:onal appeal, Crash is loved by a growing Kidult audience of 25 – 40 year olds and a Gen Z audience aged 18-25 who is discovering Crash for the first :me. With local representa:on from Merchantwise Licensing, fans can expect to see a growing range of consumer products featuring their favourite zany marsupial - including new collec:bles, apparel and accessories.

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www.emoji.com

emoji® is a registered trademark of the emoji company GmbH. ©2015-2021. All rights reserved

EMOTIONS ARE OUR BIGGEST TREASURE!


Other Ac5vision classics

emoji® brings a smile in tough 5mes

Also now available for local licensing is Spyro, the mischievous li\le dragon that became a global gaming hit in the ‘90s on PlaySta:on. Spyro made his fiery return to gaming in November 2018 with release of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy on all leading gaming plaIorms. Unique merchandise and fashion capsule opportuni:es are now available across mass and specialty retailers.

2020 was a turbulent year to say at the least. However, emoji® has helped to keep a smile on our faces. Catering to unprecedented demand for face masks and other hygienic care products, emoji® has appointed partners across the globe to fill the category in a humorous take. As well as brightening consumers faces during the pandemic, the new mask partnership with Vistaprint will see emoji® donate 10 percent of sales to help empower small businesses across the U.S. and Canada. Emojis are the ul:mate universal expressive language - over 6 billion are sent daily through messaging and social media plaIorms.

Ac:vision has a long and storied history of crea:ng some of the industry's favourite classic video games, including PiIall, Laser Blast, Freeway, Kaboom!, Megamania and River Raid. Merchantwise Licensing is pleased to now make the iconic Ac:vision logo and intellectual property from these classic games available for licensing across fashion and other special merchandise applica:ons. ©2020 Ac:vision Publishing, Inc. ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, CRASH, CRASH TEAM RACING, CRASH BANDICOOT, SPYRO, and ACTIVISION CLASSICS, including PITTFALL, KABOOM! and RIVER RAID, are trademarks of Ac:vision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the proper:es of their respec:ve owners.

Inspired by this phenomenon, the emoji® company was founded in 2013, creating an iconic lifestyle brand with an unprecedented global popularity. Today, the emoji® trademark is registered in over 100 territories across up to 30 classes of goods and services. There are now more than 25,000 high vectorized icons available for licensing. emoji® has attracted more than 1,000 partners from all over the world, winning multiple awards.

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WELCOME TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Top 10 Selling Gaming Franchise Worldwide Over 1.14B Games Sold and Downloaded Sonic The Hedgehog Movie $310M+ Box Office to Date* #1 Video Game Movie of All Time* Celebrating 30 years in 2021 Games, Animation, Movie and More

*Based on US domestic box office figures.

©SEGA

For licensing opportunities, please contact: Emma Aldenhoven, Senior Business Manager P: +61 3 9520 1000 E: emmaa@merchantwise.com W: merchantwise.com


In Australia and New Zealand, the brand con:nues to be popular with partners across diverse categories, including fashion, publishing, automo:ve and FMCG.

Interna:onally, emoji® con:nues to collaborate with iconic brands. The PUMA x emoji® collabora:on was developed to showcase the way people communicate in the modern world. Designed through the lens of instant messaging, the collec:on pairs emoji® icons with bright colour combina:ons, crea:ng a range that is young and vibrant. The collec:on includes footwear, apparel and accessories for both kids and adults.

30 years on, Sonic hits his prime SEGA’s Sonic is a billion-dollar franchise and one of the most popular and enduring video game characters of all :me. Now the franchise is set to reach even greater heights with a new movie sequel, NeIlix TV series, video games, toys and merchandise all in the works. Throughout 2021, SEGA will be celebra:ng Sonic’s 30th anniversary with new game content, a music concert with special guests and a wide array of new licensing and merchandising partnerships. The Sonic the Hedgehog movie starring Jim Carey released in February 2020 and achieved US$306M at the global box office, with a sequel already confirmed to whirl back onto our screens in April 2022.

Sustainability is becoming a focus for many brand owners and emoji® is right in the mix. emoji® have recently partnered with Canadian eco-focused brand, Greenre. Together they will launch new sustainable products that extend from sta:onery to ac:vity, craJ, novelty, office and select home products. The products will be made from recycled, natural materials, recyclables, non-toxic, bio-fibres, as well as new age biopolymers.

Sonic Prime, a new 3D animated high octane adventure TV series, is currently in development by Man of Action Entertainment and WildBrain. The 24episode series will release on Netflix some time in 2022. LEGO ideas recently announced that the Sonic Mania – Green Hill design has been approved for development and will become an official LEGO set.

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PAC-MAN™ & ©BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.

For licensing opportunities, please contact: Emma Aldenhoven, Senior Business Manager P: +61 3 9520 1000 E: emmaa@merchantwise.com W: merchantwise.com


In September 2020, Peter Alexander launched its first Kids vs Dads sleepwear collec:on featuring Sonic the Hedgehog and SEGA to celebrate Father’s Day to the excitement of all Sonic fans.

In Australia, the thirst for Sonic The Hedgehog con:nues at retail. The Sonic toy range from Jakks Pacific, distributed by Headstart into mass retailers and VR Distribu:on into independent toy retailers, sold out soon aJer release. New toys to celebrate the 30th anniversary will be launching in 2021.

Other Australian licensees including Bensons Trading, Caprice Australia, Omni Merchandising and Universal Candy will be launching ranges of new products in 2021, including toys, novel:es and giJing, confec:onery and apparel and accessories across mul:ple retailers. In February 2021, Co\on On released a Sonic capsule collec:on of apparel and accessories in Factorie stores for the first :me. Product includes short and long sleeve tees, socks and headwear. Arcade classics shine at retail

Kawada Japan’s Nanoblock range of Sonic pixel figurines launched globally in July 2020 to great fanfare and quickly sold out. New stock will be delivered in 2021 and Nanobock be releasing new characters later in the year to celebrate the 30th anniversary.

Created in 1980, PAC-MAN is one of the most popular and influen:al video games of all :me and with global brand awareness of 98%, one of the most recognized brands on the planet. What started as an addic:ve arcade game is now available on all gaming plaIorms, including iOS and Android with over 110 million mobile downloads. PAC-MAN is a full brand franchise, extending beyond gaming into film, live events and ac:va:ons, fashion and consumer products, live events and promo:ons.

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2020 marked PAC-MAN’s 40th anniversary. Global celebra:ons included a range of fashion collabora:ons and partnerships, including Champion, Paul Smith, Coach, Moleskine, Diesel, H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, Pull & Bear, Havaianas and PUMA.

In April 2020, Australian retailer Best & Less celebrated the 40th anniversary with an exclusive retro gaming retail ac:va:on featuring an extensive apparel range from Caprice Australia and Hotsprings including outerwear and sleepwear for the whole family, from toddlers to adults.

In May 2020, MinecraJ and PAC-MAN joined forces to launch a MinecraJ Adventure World DLC to the delight of fans. In Australia, Bensons Trading released the PAC-MAN showbag and Caprice Australia launched men’s outerwear for the first :me.

Space Invaders also continues to be popular in the world of fashion collaborations and retail partnerships. In April, Australian retailer Best & Less launched an exclusive retro gaming collec:on and compe::on with Space Invaders alongside PAC-MAN. The range from Caprice comprises of t-shirts and sleepwear for kids and teens. The opportunity to win an arcade gaming machine was the retailer’s most popular compe::on in 2020.

Sony Pictures Entertainment includes the films of Columbia Pictures. The library includes over 4,000 films, more than 35,000 episodes from over 270 TV series and 22,000 game show episodes. In the world of Sony Pictures Television, recent hits include Outlander, The Boys and Cobra Kai. After a challenging period for all film studios, the future looks bright with the return of Sony Pictures’ best-loved film franchise as well as a host of other strong new releases in 2021 and 2022.

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Get ready for Ghostbusters! Ghostbusters AHerlife is the most eagerly an:cipated film and merchandising event of the year, releasing in November 2021.

Drac Pack set to return for Halloween To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Hotel Transylvania franchise, Sony Pictures Anima:on’s fourth instalment to this billon dollar franchise is coming to cinemas this September, just in :me for Halloween. The new film is co-written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Jason Reitman (Up in the Air, Juno), son of the original Ghostbusters’ director and producer Ivan Reitman. It stars Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace and Paul Rudd, while original cast members Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts reprise their roles from the original films. There are now more than 180+ worldwide licensing and merchandising partners across Ghostbusters Classic and the new film. Master toy partner Hasbro has developed a comprehensive product range, including surprise collec:bles, role play, ac:on figures, playsets, vehicles, plush, board games and special edi:on collector lines. Other global partners include LEGO (construc:on), Rubies (costumes), Funko (pop vinyl) and Reebok. Australian licensees include Caprice (movie apparel, accessories, footwear, bedding, bags & backpacks), Designworks (classic apparel), and Park Avenue Foods (novelty confec:onery) and Lvl Up Energy – who launched the first ever Ghostbusters energy powder drink. New film and classic merchandise will be available across a wide variety of retailers in Australia and NZ, led by mass market retailers Just Jeans, BIG W, Target and Kmart.

COBRA KAI a smash hit on NeSlix

The classic Karate Kid franchise is back, enthralling fans both old and young. In its rookie season, Cobra Kai received 11 award nominations (including an Emmy) for Best TV drama and a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes – making it the highest reviewed reboot of all time. Season 3 premiered on Netflix in January 2021 and was the #1 show in Australia for over 4 weeks. The tense conflict between Daniel and Johnny, which culminated in the violent high school brawl between the dojos, became the most viewed series in January across the globe. Season 4 has already been renewed and it is scheduled to air on NeIlix in January 2022.

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For licensing opportunities, please contact: Kerryn McCormack, General Manager - Licensing P: +61 3 9520 1000 E: kerryn@merchantwise.com W: merchantwise.com


An5-hero TV thrills viewers

Global agent ITV has recently appointed Merchantwise Licensing to develop the licensing program in Australia and New Zealand and opportuni:es are now available for discussion.

Miraculous Merch launches in Australia The Boys is the gritty TV series from Sony Pictures Television, airing worldwide on Amazon Prime and quickly developing a cult following. Season 2 aired in September 2020 to the delight of fans, while season 3 is now in production. SchiX’s Creek Wins 9 Emmy® Awards! From Zag Entertainment comes Miraculous™, an inspiring, CGI-animated superhero TV series set in modern-day Paris. It tells the story of a Parisian teenager who transforms into a superhero, Ladybug, and fights villains to save her beloved city, together with her partner, Cat Noir. When filthy-rich video store magnate Johnny Rose, his soap star wife Moira, and their two kids – uber-hipster son David and socialite daughter Alexis – suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to live in a small, depressing town they once bought as a joke. With their pampered lives now abandoned, they must confront their newfound poverty and discover what it means to be a family, all within the rural city limits of Schi\’s Creek, their new home. Schitt’s Creek received an historic 9 Emmy® awards in 2020, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Lead Actress for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor and Outstanding Supporting Actress for a Comedy Series. Season 6 launched on NeIlix US in early October 2020 and became the most watched series across the plaIorm. All seasons are available now on NeIlix in Australia.

In just a few short years, Miraculous™ has enjoyed extraordinary growth, becoming a worldwide entertainment and merchandise sensation. It has been voted one of the Top 10 best animated shows in the last 20 years and widely celebrated and hailed for its diversity and kid friendly superhero storylines. The show is currently broadcasted across 120+ territories, as well as being widely enjoyed and engaged with across all major media platforms. Seasons 1-3 are available to watch on Netflix, ABC Me and iView, with two more seasons in production. In addition, the highly anticipated animation feature film directed by Jeremy Zag is set to premiere towards the end of 2021. In April 2021, to coincide with the global premiere of “Miraculous World – Shanghai – Lady Dragon”, the new adventure quest game will be the first to bring a TV series to the Roblox metaverse.

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time to have fun with

A charming claymation series for 2 - 5 year olds, with funny characters, delightful songs, set in a beautiful peaceful forest Brand New Episodes airing every evening after Bluey on ABC Kids. Beloved across the best pre-school networks, including one of the top performing shows on CBeebies with 2.4 million individual views! Winner of Best Pre-School Programme Asian TV Awards 2021, Cynopsis Best of the Best Awards 2020 (New York) and Best Children’s Programme, NZ TV Awards 2020 Merchandise development now available for discussion

“I love this show!”

JACINDA ADERN, Instagram 19 November 2020

©Kiri and Lou Ltd 2021

For licensing opportunities, please contact: Kerryn McCormack, General Manager - Licensing P: +61 3 9520 1000 E: kerryn@merchantwise.com W: merchantwise.com


Globally there have been over 150 million products sold and Merchantwise Licensing is now actively expanding the consumer products program in Australia and New Zealand.

In 2020, the Gruffalo Spo\ers 2.0 AR App and adventure trail has been featured at a variety of popular a\rac:ons including Ripponlea Victoria, Wildlife Sydney Zoo, Illawarra Fly and most recently The Ginger Factory on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Addi:onal loca:ons for 2021 will soon be announced. Australian licensing partners Smiffy’s (UK) launched its first Gruffalo dress-up costume in Spotlight for book week and will launch in BIG W in 2021 along with partyware for the first time. New partner Mitch Dowd will launch a range of outerwear, sleepwear, headwear and accessories from July 2021.

The Miraculous publishing program from Five Mile Press includes chapter books, puzzles, sticker sheets and activity books. The core fashion doll range from Playmates, distributed in Australia by HeadStart, launched at BIG W in October 2020 and sold out in just three weeks. New market activity is currently in development with local licensees and retailers focusing on a core program to include apparel, accessories, collectibles, plush and costumes from June 2021. The Gruffalo con5nues to grow at retail The Gruffalo is one of the world's best-loved children’s literary crea:ons. Since it was first published in 1999, the award-winning story about a li\le brown mouse in the deep dark wood has con:nued to delight children and adults the world over. Created by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, The Gruffalo has become a modern classic spanning publishing, film, stage, theme parks, digital and merchandise.

Kiri and Lou – Handcra)ed in New Zealand

From New Zealand comes a charming, awardwinning new animated preschool series making waves around the world. Kiri and Lou centres on the friendship between Kiri, a feisty li\le dinosaur, and Lou, a gentle and thoughIul creature, as they explore the world of feelings through laughter, song and outdoor adventure. Original and imagina:ve, Kiri and Lou invites children to learn about empathy and how to get along, through warm-hearted and gently humorous storylines which are resona:ng with audiences of all ages. The show is hand-craJed in paper and clay and created using tradi:onal stop-mo:on anima:on from Antony Elworthy (Coraline, Corpse Bride, Isle of Dogs), the series is voiced by Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords, Moana, Rio) and Olivia Tennet (Lord of the Rings) and is wri\en and directed by feature film director Harry Sinclair.

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e r u t a N y b d e r i p Ins Loved by of generations for Australians ars over 100 ye

Inspired by e nature and th ush Australian b

Proceeds proudly support Northcott and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, two leading charities assisting children living with disability and their families.


Over 20 d licensing an g merchandisin par tners Ranged at n On, BIG W, Cotto st, Australia Po er Myer and oth ilers leading reta

For partnership, licensing & retail enquiries, contact: Rosalie May, rosalie@merchantwise.com © The Northcott Society and Cerebral Palsy Alliance 2021


It is produced by Fiona Copland for Stretchy and Heather Walker of Yowza Anima:on.

41 x 5-minute episodes have now been released with a further 12 episodes coming throughout 2021. Kiri and Lou has broadcast on TVNZ since March 2019 and ABC Kids since June 2019. On ABC Kids, it airs daily at 6.25pm and streams on ABC iView. The show broadcasts globally on the best preschool networks including Cbeebies (UK), CBC Canada, YLE in Finland, SVT in Sweden, Czech Television, Paka Paka in Argen:na, EVision and BeIN in the Middle East and Showmax in Africa. Merchantwise is delighted to be represen:ng the licensing and merchandising for this special new property in Australia and NZ. New Kiri and Lou publishing :tles will be launching from August 2021 in :me for book week, and addi:onal categories such as toys and apparel are now in ac:ve development.

2020, WesIield con:nues to embrace The Elf on the Shelf® with major live ac:va:ons across 35 malls over the holiday period. The Australian licensing program managed by Merchantwise Licensing and launched in 2020 has been a huge success, with a wide array of products at retail including outerwear and sleepwear by Mitch Dowd, publishing from Hinkler Books, and confec:onery by Park Avenue. New categories - including dress-ups, ac:vity books, Christmas décor, bedding, drinkware and dinnerware, and puzzles and games - will be launching for Christmas 2021.

May Gibbs – Inspired by Nature Iconic Australian author and illustrator May Gibbs con:nues to capture the hearts and imagina:ons of genera:ons of Australians with her lovable bush characters, which hold a special place in the Australian consciousness.

The Elf On The Shelf® – A Christmas Tradi5on The Elf on the Shelf® is a fun-filled Christmas tradi:on that has captured the hearts of children everywhere who welcome home one of Santa’s Scout Elves each holiday season. When a family adopts a Scout Elf™ (from a Santa-approved adop:on centre), they receive the Scout Elf™, an arIully illustrated hardbound storybook and a keepsake box. In Australia in 2020, The Elf on the Shelf® core range has been extremely popular at Myer GiJorium, Kmart and Best and Less, distributed by PMG Australia. For Christmas

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Today, May Gibbs is a fashion and lifestyle brand inspired by the Australian bush with a unique licensing program of over 20 partners across publishing, apparel, bedding, homewares, fabric, toys, stationery, partyware and collectables.


May Gibbs is proud to partner with leading Australian brands to bring the stories and characters to life for fans of all ages.

The success of the campaign saw several products sell out on day 1 of the event. Publishing is at the heart of the May Gibbs brand with May Gibbs’ original books, Gumnut Babies and Snugglepot and Cuddlepie never out of print for over 100 years. Publishing partner Scholas5c Australia has con:nued to expand its catalogue of licensed May Gibbs storybooks for children with May Gibbs becoming their third best-selling licensed property. Scholas:c Australia have also began publishing a newly imagined range of May Gibbs’s classic stories and never before published works, ensuring that every Australian child has the opportunity to experience these classic tales. A host of new product releases, partnerships and retail activations will continue throughout 2021.

May Gibbs apparel launched at mass retail with the brand taking centre stage as part of the BIG W Baby Week event in August 2020. The cross-category campaign featured a broad range of products supported by a comprehensive marketing campaign including front of catalogue and strong merchandising both in store and online.

New apparel ranges con:nue to release in BIG W with ranges for Toddler Boys, Tween Girls and Men added to the mix. Extensive plans are in development for Baby Week and Christmas giJing in 2021 along with ongoing apparel range releases to take May Gibbs at BIG W to new heights! May Gibbs launched for the first :me in CoXon On in 2020 with a range of apparel and pyjamas for babies and kids. The Summer and Winter collec:ons proved popular with many styles quickly selling out online and in stores. A new collec:on is in development for late 2021. A new partnership with Spotlight Australia sees a comprehensive cross-category range of May Gibbs product launch in stores from March 2021. The beau:ful sew and furnishing fabric range will be joined by bedding, napery and home décor items to appeal to makers and home decorators Australia-wide. Longstanding partner Kip&Co will be back in 2021 with a new range of May Gibbs bedding, home décor and apparel.

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the original

• One of Australia’s best loved iconic brands • First ever apparel programme launched in BIG W this year • The Wild Adventures Of Blinky Bill is available on Netflix and frequently aired on ABC • New Style Guide assets available

A

COMPANY

©2021 Flying Bark Productions Pty Ltd

For licensing opportunities, please contact: Kerryn McCormack, General Manager - Licensing P: +61 3 9520 1000 E: kerryn@merchantwise.com W: merchantwise.com


The designs feature the signature Kip&Co style with detailed prints and beau:ful quality we’ve come to expect from one of Australia’s leading independent homewares brands. Creative, high-end Australian fashion brand Romance Was Born continues to release exciting new capsule collections for women and men, uniquely showcasing the art of May Gibbs. With the success of the first homewares collec:on developed exclusively for Australia Post in April 2020, a new collec:on is in development for Christmas 2021 and will include homewares, sta:onery and decora:ons designed by leading Australian giJing and homewares brand La La Land. The partnership with Walnut Melbourne con:nues in 2021 with brand new Winter and Summer children’s apparel collec:ons releasing including the popular new Swimwear line. The collec:on will be ranged in Myer for the first :me from April 2021.

Blinky Bill – An Australian Treasure Created by Dorothy Wall in 1939, Blinky Bill is the original Aussie larrikin. The stories of Blinky Bill from ‘The Complete Adventures of Blinky Bill’ has never been out of print in Australia. The li\le koala with the heart of gold con:nues to delight audiences around the world, starring in several TV series and movies. The TV series “The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill” is currently broadcast on NeIlix. In January 2021, a Blinky Bill apparel collection from Caprice Australia and made out of 100% cotton from Cotton Australia launched at BIG W in time for Australia Day. The collection, included a range of infant, boys, girls, and Mum’s and Dad’s t-shirts for the very first time. New licensing partners including Park Avenue and Zak Australia, will be launching a range of product in the second half of this year including confectionery, biscuits, nursery, ceramics, gifting and melamine.

A new outdoor stage show of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie developed by Eaton Gorge Theatre Company will premiere in 2021 at Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Australian Botanic Gardens Mount Annan and Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens. The brand continues to be supported with strong marketing and publicity campaigns, along with continued growth of the May Gibbs Official Online Store and the social media communities.

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Popeye – Strong to the Finish

85th Anniversary of The Phantom

Popeye is tough, he’s fit, and he’s got grit. He’s a rugged sailor who is always up to the challenge and never backs down. Popeye is the embodiment of strength, and inspires us all to work hard, be persistent, and be “strong to the finish” – with the help of a heJy amount of spinach.

Eighty-five years of Phantom history has provided a wealth of material for an 85th year anniversary commemora:ve diary published by Mallon Publishing. The content and design is a coherent and interes:ng presenta:on of The Phantom’s rich history. It provides an overview of how the crea:ve spark in Lee Falk’s newspaper strip in 1936 inspired many ar:sts, publishers, and, eventually, other writers to work on The Phantom and keep it alive un:l this day.

The first ever Australian Popeye sportswear collec:on with online sportswear label, The WOD Life launched in November 2020, ahead of the Australian summer season. The limited-edi:on range of fashionably branded Popeye sportswear apparel for women and men includes a high-waisted booty short, fleet bra, mo:on shorts, slash crop, flex short and printed tank. Popeye’s heart of gold, brave and compassionate personality shines across a number of branded sports and training accessories including a scrunchie, printed socks, an immerse headband as well as a quick dry towel and a face mask covering.

London Underground x Budgy Smuggler Aussies have a deep and abiding connec:on with London and the UK. The London Underground network or the Tube, operated by Transport for London (TFL), has been an integral part of London’s history for over 150 years and transports 1.4 billion passengers per year. New product launches from licensed partners Budgy Smuggler and Caprice Australia will be launching from June 2021 in the UK and in Australia.

Represen:ng many of the world’s biggest names in music for Australia and New Zealand, Merchantwise Licensing is the go-to for band merchandising and licensing. The branded range also extended to training support items including wrist wraps, strength wraps, a 4-inch Velcro liJing belt as well as knee sleeves.

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The Beatles – Get Back Beatlemaniacs can expect to learn more about Peter Jackson’s Get Back film, as well as the re-release of the original documentary classic, in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the album’s original release.


A sneak peek from Peter Jackson was released to fans in November 2020 providing insight into the direction of the documentary. The film will be releasing globally in August 2021.

This year marks 45 years since the iconic rock legends put out their debut album High Voltage. This cupro-nickel colour print collec:on is designed to shoot to thrill and features a bonus limited edi:on coin.

A wide variety of licensing partners con:nue to celebrate The Beatles in Australia and NZ with new product releases, including puzzles from Hinkler, giJs and novel:es from Rubber Road, posters and wall art from Impact! and a new range of homewares and drinkware from Licensing Essen:als.

Celebra5ng Bowie

Co\on On’s retail partnership with The Beatles con:nues to go strong with ongoing ranges of apparel, sleepwear, accessories and giJing. AC/DC – POWER UP! PWRϟUP is the seventeenth studio album by Australian rock band AC/DC, released on 13 November 2020 through Columbia Records and Sony Music Australia. It is the band’s sixteenth interna:onally released studio album and the seventeenth to be released in Australia. The album immediately reached the #1 spot in the charts around the globe.

David Bowie is no longer with us and yet in these past five years since his passing, his star shines even brighter. January 2022 will mark Bowie’s 75th birthday. Expect major media involvement and ini:a:ves from the estate, the label and Perryscope – including special commemora:ve merchandise. Manhead Merch now available in Australia for the very first 5me Merchantwise Licensing is pleased to be represen:ng Manhead in Australia and NZ. Manhead is a worldwide merchandise company catering to the music and entertainment industry. High profile ar:sts include Australia’s very own SIA, Alanis MorisseXe, Billy Idol, Hole, Weezer, Fall Out Boy, Garbage, The B52s and Panic! At The Disco. Look out for new fashion collaborations and other merchandise, rolling out from May 2021.

AC/DC fans have been snapping up a Royal Australian Mint and Australia Post coin and PNC collection commemorating milestone anniversaries of six of the band’s album releases.

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Mizzie The Kangaroo Appoints Bensons Trading Company as Wholesale Distributor for Independent Retailers in Australia Mizzie The Kangaroo has announced a new and exciting partnership with Bensons Trading Company (BTC), who will now manage their full wholesale product portfolio across Australia. Mizzie The Kangaroo is the Award-Winning Home to Australia’s Original Natural TeethingTM and Educational Toys. Mizzie was created to help little ones Develop Through Fun! From birth to the toddler years, every single Mizzie product is designed to help the youngest of bubs, learn through play. Mizzie and her team have created a range of toys that allow children to learn without compromising playtime. BTC, a family-owned company with more than 60 years of experience in the toy industry, will work with the wholesale distribution channels for independent and speciality retailers. This association will ensure that the award winning Mizzie The Kangaroo product range continues to flourish and expand in Australia. Bensons CEO Jeff Keighran said that the business is thrilled to be appointed the Australian partner as it embarks on expansion across the globe. “Mizzie has gained serious momentum with the more environmentally conscious parents and retailers, and the products purposefully utilise minimal, recyclable packaging, natural materials and water-based paints. This award-winning product range is not only beautiful but also has a unique message that Australian parents love. We can’t wait to work with our retail partners, to bring this brand to life in stores across Australia.” Sandra Ebbott Founder and Managing director of Mizzie The Kangaroo, said that she is excited to grow the brands’ retailer base in Australia with Bensons. “We are thrilled to be working with Bensons to expand and nurture the Mizzie brand here in Australia. 2021 is a big year of exciting new products and global expansion for Mizzie The Kangaroo, and to have partnered with Benson’s dedicated, experienced and outside of the box thinking team couldn’t have come at a better time. We can’t wait to see this partnership flourish throughout the year, and for new and already loved retailers to embark in this wonderful journey with us both.” Sandra Ebbott said.

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Home of Australia's Original Natural Teething Toy and Educational Toys Proudly exhibiting new products at ATA Digital Toy Fair 2021 www.mizziethekangaroo.com | 07-3857-3595 | info@mizziethekangaroo.com

The current product range includes: Mizzie’s core purpose is to develop young bubs and toddlers through fun. Starting with the AWARDWinning Australia’s Original Natural Teething ToysTM, Mizzie The Kangaroo’s 100% natural rubber Teething toy, and mini Mizzie, its equivalent mini on-the-go version of the original. These not only soothe sore gums in a natural and safe way, they are also designed to develop babies’ sense of sight, touch, hearing and smell. From there, every single product helps develops age-appropriate skills in babies to toddlers, with fun and interactive toys and books such as touch and feel books, singing books, puzzle box sets, music boxes, baby shower & toddler gift sets, as well as multi-level memory match flash cards.

Products are ready and available to sell through Bensons from March 2021 FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT Mizzie The Kangaroo Founder and Managing Director info@mizziethekangaroo.com

Bensons Trading Sales Manager david@bensonstrading.com.au

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AFL FANS LOVE ‘EM! e

AFL HAS HUGE APPEAL

21-052A AK Smiffys (Trade)

Over 7.7 million Australians support an AFL club and 7.75 million Austalia Top Gun Advert watched a match on TV in the past year. (Roy Morgan research 15 Sept 2020) Full Page LICENSE

AUSTRALIA HAS OVER 19 MILLION REGISTERED VEHICLES v1_v0 MP

Most of your customers drive, and many are AFL fans. 25/02 /2021

AFL FAN EMBLEMS ARE DESIGNED FOR ALL VEHICLES Bleed – 220mm x 307mm

Trim –tablet 210mm x 297mm But fans stick them everywhere - laptops, covers, gaming 7pt (Terms & Conditions) consoles, toolboxes, mailboxes, wheel toys, luggage, furniture, windows, doors, glass, metal, etc.

AVAILABLE IN $10, $15 AND $25 PRICE POINTS

(Radius Xmm)

Great impulse buys that are ideal for counter Publication displays. Stock

PROUDLY AUSTRALIAN MADE

Ideal for gifts and souvenirs. They’re lightweight and compact, perfect for mailing. CMYK

AFL FAN EMBLEMS SELL ANYWHERE

If your customers drive, AFL Fan Emblems work in your retail space.

(FOGRA39) ISO12647- 7 Contract Proof Colour Check

RETAIL AND PROMOTIONAL ENQUIRIES:

Billy Asi • P: (03) 9721 4206 • E: basi@fanemblems.com

www.fanemblems.com PO Box 600 Bayswater VIC 3153


TM ® & © 2021 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Phone: +1300 767 002 Email: sales@smiffystrade.com.au

@smiffyaus


Smiffys Partying has looked a little different for the past year, but Smiffys have been encouraging their customers to bring the party home! Celebrating birthdays, graduations & many other special occasions needn’t be put on hold. We’ve all needed a little extra fun recently so why not take every excuse to get dressed up, decorate and party safely at home? Bringing your favourite characters to life is what fancy dress is all about. It’s no surprise then that licensed costumes are massively successful for party brand Smiffys. They have built up a large portfolio of instantly recognizable, officially licensed characters for all ages and occasions. Recently there has been an increase in demand for all things nostalgic — a year of uncertainty has had us all reaching for the familiar and comforting. Smiffys have seen this reflected in the demand for their retro licenses. Amongst customer favourites are classic film characters such as Top Gun, Back to the Future and Shrek, these ranges all offering costumes for the whole family. Smiffys also carry a selection of TV series fancy dress including Star Trek & Thunderbirds; both have cult followings and include iconic retro costumes in their collections. Throwing it back to the golden age, Smiffys licensed costumes of legendary Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley are popular party classics. Fancy dress is not only for partying — Smiffys have also been encouraging dress up for children that have been stuck at home. Dressing up helps to educate, inspire & excite children, developing their imaginations and helping to entertain them throughout the many days indoors. As well as being popular all year round for play at home, the biggest event for children’s fancy dress is Book Week which has become one of the most popular seasons of the year for Smiffys alongside Halloween.

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The Gruffalo has been a favourite for some time now, and Smiffys have added to their Julia Donaldson collection this year with new Stick Man, The Highway Rat and Zog costumes for 2021. With the delayed release of the second film later this year, Smiffys are also expecting their Peter Rabbit costumes to be a big hit for Book Week. Roald Dahl is one of the most iconic children’s authors of recent times and Smiffys vast costume collection continues to be successful year on year. Smiffys officially licensed The World of David Walliams range including Gangsta Granny, Billionaire Boy and Ratburger have also proved to be staples for Book Week. Other classic licenses ideal for younger preschool children are Postman Pat, Thomas the Tank and brand new Paddington Bear costume. For the spooky season, Smiffys have seen a move from traditional Halloween costumes towards licensed TV & Film dress up. Chucky costumes for the whole family continue to be popular, as well as horror film Saw. Ideal as a group costume, Smiffys Orange is the New Black is an easy option for Halloween. Another popular license has been Breaking Bad, with the costume featuring the iconic Hazmat suit and mask — one that could come in handy for 2021! A new, exciting addition to the Smiffys license portfolio is a wig collection with hair dye brand Manic Panic. Founded in the seventies by sister duo Tish & Snooky Bellomo who began their rock n’ roll lifestyle in the original Blondie line up before going on to create their alternative beauty brand, Manic Panic have spent over 40 years developing the bright & bold hair colours they are known for today. This collaboration sees Smiffys combine their wig expertise & product quality with Manic Panic’s bold, creative hair colours and styles. The collection is heat styleable & hand washable, allowing customers to add their own twist to their wigs and wear them over and over. The collection features a range of vibrant, unapologetic colours and a variety of edgy styles – perfect for trying something new without the commitment! For trade enquiries please contact Smiffys at smiffystrade.com.au, call +1300 767 002 or email sales@smiffystrade.com.au

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Thrill One x Nitro Circus! Feature Interview Brett Clarke, Chief Commercial Officer at Nitro Circus

The Bugg Report spoke to Brett Clarke back in July 2020 to learn about Nitro Circus and their plans for the Australian market. In this follow up interview, we speak to Brett about the recently announced and exciting new partnership between Thrill One and Nitro Circus. We recently learnt that Nitro Circus would become part of a much larger organization called Thrill One Entertainment. Can you give us a sense of what Thrill One will offer the market and how Nitro Circus will interact with it? We continued to be excited by what Thrill One Sports & Entertainment can deliver over the coming years. The thesis behind the development of the company was to own the thrill-based entertainment category, which has traditionally been a very disjointed vertical with a lot of players, yet no clear leader. By combining some of the biggest properties in the space in Nitro Circus, the world’s largest action sports and entertainment brand, Street League skateboarding, the preminent skateboarding league in the world; and Thrill One Media (formerly Superjacket Productions), the producer of Ridiculousness, The Dude Perfect Show, Deliciousness, The Explosion Show and more, we have developed an unrivalled platform, which we intend to expand over the coming years. All of these properties work under a centralized management and executional team. This central property ensures we can deliver our partners the largest and most engaged audiences. We are producing over 50 live events annually, over 100 hours of broadcast content and have now launched our own OTT TV Channel, Thrill One Network, which features hundreds of hours of engaging content to fans around the world. What excites you about Thrill One and what are the opportunities for Australian partners? Obviously, Nitro Circus has great heritage in Australia, and we continue to invest in the Australian market to cater to our ever-growing audience. We are excited to bring the largest event in action sports, the Nitro World Games, to Brisbane in October, which will showcase the best athletes in the one stadium outside of the United States for the first time in the event’s history. We’re also in advanced plans for a new Australian tour for 2022 to follow on from Nitro World Games, which will showcase an all-new show, which is always exciting for our team and the tens of thousands of people who attend the events. Beyond Nitro Circus, we are working on a major World Tour event for Street League Skateboarding in Australia. This will be the first time the World Tour will visit Australia and will provide local fans with an opportunity to see the OIympic champions in action as skateboarding makes its debut at the delayed Tokyo Olympics. Skateboarding’s continued growth as an industry is exciting for Thrill One. With the leading property in the genre, Street League Skateboarding provides authentic opportunities for partners to develop consumer products that resonate with these audiences, which are traditionally hard to reach and engage.

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You mentioned that Nitro World Games is confirmed for Brisbane on 23rd — 24th October 2021. This is big news for Australia and exciting to see! Can you expand a little on this activation? We’re extremely excited about this event. This will be the single biggest action sports event to take place in Australia’s history, so our anticipation is palpable. The event will showcase the world’s best athletes across BMX, Skateboarding, Freestyle Motocross and Scooter across two days of competition at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium. Ticket sales recently went on sale and the early sales patterns exceeded all of our expectations. It has been clear that the Australian market is excited for this event and what will be their first time to see many of these athletes on Australian shores in a number of years. The ramps are bigger than ever before, the athletes have been developing tricks that have never been seen in public and we have a host of Australian athletes who are looking to ensure that Australia retains its crown as the number one action sports nation on the planet. From a consumer products perspective, the event will create amazing year-round opportunities to leverage the event in-market. The ability to activate leading athletes at retail, our industry-leading social and content assets, on-site activations and integration into leading domestic and international broadcast, will be second-to-none. A big focus of our promotion and Australian market activation is also around the development of youth opportunities. As part of Nitro World Games, we will also be running our hugely successful Hot Wheels Superchargers series, which will provide opportunities for Australian kids to participate in grassroots events with our leading athletes and encourage healthy lifestyles and activity, regardless if its their very first competition or they are aiming to go professional. Our aim is to increase participation in our sports, which in turn will drive demand across our product lines in retail from sporting goods, protective equipment, soft goods and more.

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We understand that you are planning an expansion of the Nitro Rallycross property. I think we have always known that Travis was a seasoned Rally performer. What are the plans for this expansion and what can we expect to see? This is another huge initiative for the organisation in 2021 and beyond. Over the past two years, we have delivered what has been universally regarded as the best rallycross event on the planet. On the back of this success and feverish demand, we are finally unveiling an expanded global series. Nitro Rallycross is unlike any other motorsports property in the world – production-based vehicles launching 0-100kph in 1.5secs, jumping over 120ft gap jumps and driving bumper-to-bumper through every turn. Whether you’re a traditional motorsports fan or not, this is jaw-dropping entertainment and highly engaging. With every heat lasting approximately 6 minutes and racing over four hours each day, it is wall to wall action throughout. We’re also excited about the consumer product opportunities for this property. From toys to soft goods, publishing to ride-on, Nitro Rallycross will provide endless retail opportunities. Importantly, the series is stacked with star talent. From Travis Pastrana to Ken Block and Australian star driver, Chris Atkinson, our talent have unsurpassed audiences – the likes of Pastrana and Block each have 10x the social following of the series champions in NASCAR, IndyCar and Supercars series. In 2021 we are launching with five events in North America before a global expansion in 2022 with a ten-race series. A number of the additional races will be in Europe, however we have had preliminary conversations regarding the ‘Super Bowl race’ (the series finale) taking place in Australia. As the series expands internationally, we will also be introducing an exciting all-electric class of racing, which will showcase the new EV SUV models that are launching at a rapid pace around the globe. With Asia being a leader in the electric expansion, Australia provides an interesting market for series expansion.

"I think what we offer to partners and what they can see, is that we have a highly engaged and passionate fanbase that genuinely sees our brand as the authentic voice in the industry. Our ability to communicate retail messaging, utilize our assets and drive sales of product through retail is unique for licensed brands." Brett Clarke Chief Commercial Officer at Nitro Circus

thrillone.com | nitrocircus.com

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Big W and in particular John Redenbach have done a fine job of developing Nitro Circus in our market. He will bring on some additional items to his range for their mid year catalogue. As the brand grows we have seen strong interest from categories outside of outdoors. What encouragement can you give the market to invest in the brand? Firstly, I do need to thank John and his team at Big W for their support of the brand in Australia. Whilst I may be living in the US at the moment, it was hugely exciting to see so many family and friends back home unwrapping Nitro Circus products over Christmas and for birthdays. The number of photos and messages I have received of people sharing images of bikes, scooters, helmets and skateboards from the range has been phenomenal – we certainly look forward to continuing that momentum. As you say, on the back of the Big W success, we have continued to field strong interest in numerous categories for the Nitro Circus brand. I think what we offer to partners and what they can see, is that we have a highly engaged and passionate fanbase that genuinely sees our brand as the authentic voice in the industry. Our ability to communicate retail messaging, utilize our assets and drive sales of product through retail is unique for licensed brands. What sets us apart is that we can put real voices behind our product marketing, our athletes are the people that kids aspire to and to see the likes of Ryan Williams driving around skateparks to conduct giveaways of product and produce social content is hard to reproduce for many brands. We’re also present in market 365 days of the year, be it our live events, such as the Nitro World Games, our talent riding in parks across the country or our industry leading social platforms producing daily content – we are engaged with our audiences around the clock. Beyond the ability to reach our audience we are also doing it at scale – Nitro Circus’ social audiences are larger than football code or team in Australia. These are sizeable audiences that in many cases are unduplicated across other leading sports and entertainment properties. The last thing I would mention here, is that we are a creative organisation at heart – we like to be challenged and to work with partners to develop opportunities. We don’t play in the box – as Travis Pastrana famously says, “be careful what you wish for, because Nitro Circus will give you the opportunity to do it”. You mentioned some of the key indicators from Social Media in your previous interview. What are the numbers looking like for the Australian market? Australia continues to go from strength to strength socially. We are a property that was born in the era of social and viral content development and we take great pride in producing regular, engaging and entertaining content to our audiences globally every single day. Our audience in Australia continues to grow consistently and is pound for pound our best market on the planet for fans per capita. As I mentioned earlier our social audiences in Australia exceed all of the leading football leagues and franchises. We have more social fans than the NRL and AFL as a whole. We also have more fans than the top four clubs in the NRL and AFL combined (Brisbane Broncos, Melbourne Storm, Collingwood and Essendon). More important than the numbers, our fanbases over-index on engagement. Our platforms are a destination source of regular content and also a trusted voice. Our watch times and dwell times lead the industry and ensure we can deliver partner messages through our content. We are a trusted partner of all the leading social platforms and regularly work directly with the platforms as beta test partners on new technologies and products to highlight our strength in social.


RW SIGNATURES AND REPLICA MODELS, SKATEBOARDS, RAMPS AND RAILS

Ph : 03 9553 3447 info@activeoutthere.com.au | WWW.ACTIVEOUTTHERE.COM.AU


THE END OF THE HIGH STREET AS WE KNOW IT? I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. At this time every town had its high street. Even every village had its own small version of a high street. What you saw there was an assemblage of shops, selling products for almost every need. A colourful multitude of offers in a functioning environment. It was quite common for my family to go window shopping in the evenings, especially during seasonal highlights like Christmas time when every shop owner did his/her best to attract the consumer. And then silently the decay began. First the villages lost their high streets, then the small towns and even the high streets in the big cities changed to a big disfunctional cosmos of gold mining for astronomic rents and to an agglomeration of boring conformity. First the private owners gave up, then the midsized retail chains gave up and were replaced by multinational behemoths, making every high street in every town look exactly the same. Taking things so far that today you see exactly the same stores two or three times on the same high street. If I only think about the density of the branch network of one single American coffee vendor, well, this tells it all.

Long story short, if we talk about dying high streets today, we have to face the simple truth that they have been dying for decades. And nothing has happend to revive or rethink them. Instead it was grab what you can get as long as the patient is still breathing. A silent agreement, equally for landlords and retailers. And now there's covid. And in Europe most of the shops are closed. Cities and their high streets currently look like ghost towns, like scenes from some dystopic Hollywood movie. And the longer the situation lasts, in Germany for months now, you see more and more signs saying for rent. The current situation is the death sentence for the last remaining private shop owners and a massive threat for the major retailers, making it impossible for them to explain to their share holders why anybody should invest in them. So they leave the hight streets too, or simply go bankrupt.

Column written by — Peter Hollo Ph - International Consultants

Let's be without any empathy for a moment and say let's leave it to the market. While one goes bankrupt another company will seize the opportunity and take over. This would not only be heartless and cold, ignoring so many personal fates, it would be old thinking in a whole new, maybe forever changed, game. Assuming that consumers will come back to the high streets, when someone else does the show, is naive and short sighted. Simply moving on by copy and paste, doing old tricks in new flashy clothes? I fear this will not work. When COVID-19 is over, consumer behaviour will have changed massively. Changing consumer behaviour is no rocket science and usually does not take more than weeks. Can anybody imagine what staying at home for two years and doing shopping online means for brick and mortar retail? This naive expectation, that consumers will flood the high streets because they missed them so much, could be deceiving. Maybe they don’t? Covid is very likely the biggest game changer for retail and a good opportunity to rethink the concept of urban living. Maybe the concept of the high street is as outdated as the concept of the department store? Cities have been changing their faces since the first people settled there. And our current concept of a city is nothing more than a snapshot, being based on the assumption that this is the only way to be. Covid pushes us to a crossroads. We can simply carry on and hope that all will work out fine or we can rethink how cities should look like in the future. Rethink concepts of public space, bringing families back to the cities in liveable environments, even in the high streets. The biggest disruption might be turning back the clock and recreating the city as a mixed space for living, for culture, for community and of course for shopping. Instead of carrying on to believe in faceless deserts of ever repeating retail outlets and office buildings. It's the utopian idea of bringing the soul back to the city.

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Kelvyn Gardiner A Tribute to Kelvyn Gardiner 1955 — 2021 Kelvyn Gardner was a veteran of the brand licensing community. He was suddenly taken from us way too soon. The saddest part of Kelvyn’s loss is that he had so much more he wanted to achieve in his recently relaunched Asgard Media business. I did not know Kelvyn in his early career, however the fact that he founded a business called Merlin, which quickly became one of the fastest growing companies in the UK is testament to his passion and ability to recognise opportunity. I first met Kelvyn some 10 years ago where we became colleagues during the LIMA years of the global industry association. He immediately struck me as a gentle man and one that was happy to help and give his time unconditionally. As we worked together he demonstrated his great knowledge of the brand licensing business and was an accomplished speaker around the world. I enjoyed so much catching up with him at trade shows around the world and discussing the business and his views on all things. Kelvyn loved playing in his band and he loved sport, particularly Rugby. One of my most recent memories was when Kelvyn travelled to Australia with one of his mates to follow the Rugby World Cup back in 2019. He went out of his way to contact us to set up a very memorable dinner in the Docklands one night during his time in Melbourne. I spent many long hours speaking with Kelvyn on the phone in opposite time zones. I really enjoyed his perspective on things. The suddenness of his passing took this opportunity away. I counted Kelvyn as a real friend and someone that you could count on. Honest, caring and a really good person. I will miss him greatly as will his close family and the industry. My hope is that his memory will live on in industry initiatives that may be able to carry his name, such as The Light Fund and sustainability projects which he was equally passionate about.

Kelvyn in 1994 at the Waldorf Hotel bash to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Merlin

Kelvyn and the team with the first shipment of stickers which arrived at the Merlin offices

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Kelvyn at home in his garden working on the promotional pictures for his Living With Licensing podcast

In 1995, Merlin won the Price Waterhouse/ Independant on Sunday Award for the fastest growing privately owned British company

Kelvyn at the Merlin offices during a visit from WWE Superstar, The Undertaker!

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CALL OR EMAIL MATTHEW BUGG

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MATT@BUGGSOLUTIONS.COM.AU

The Brand Licensing & Market Specialists As the leading independent Brand Licensing Specialists & Market Intelligence Agency in the business, we pride ourselves on being connected to Brands, Agencies, Retail and emerging trends and we are the go-to organisation to provide you with balanced, researched and up-to-date market intelligence. We are the perfect conduit to the market for small to medium businesses that are not in a position to hire a full-time marketing or licensing manager. Let us seamlessly connect YOU to brands & distribution channels at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee!

CALL OR EMAIL TONY BUGG

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0418 321 837

TONY@BUGGSOLUTIONS.COM.AU


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HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL LICENSING SHOW More than 6,200 buyers joined to capture licensing opportunities at the 19th Hong Kong International Licensing Show (HKILS), organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). The five-day online event (11th to 15th January) attracted over 250 exhibitors from around the globe and drew an attendance of more than 6,200 buyers from 47 countries and regions. In addition to buyers from Hong Kong and Mainland China, strong participation from key Asia markets including Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam was recorded. About 1,200 online business matching meetings were arranged during the show to connect global licensing players with new business opportunities.

The 10th Asian Licensing Conference (ALC), which ran concurrently with the HKILS, featured some 40 speakers from top global brands along with renowned industry elites. The conference attracted more than 20,000 viewers to join the event, highlighting how the online format was able to offer networking opportunities spanning the globe. Licensing Academy was among the most popular programme channel in the conference, and participants who were interested in learning the know-how and practical tips in managing IPs and licensing business shared very positive feedback of the programme. HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong said: “Under the impact of the pandemic, the business environment in 2021 remains very challenging. Nevertheless, the Hong Kong International Licensing Show and Asian Licensing Conference were able to attract a wide range of leading international brands and licensing industry elites to participate and explore licensing opportunities with brands, including personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and hygiene products, and stay-at-home products and services, to help create new licensing opportunities amid the current volatility." Ms Fong explained that the licensing business can bring high-end value to companies and boost their competitiveness. Global retail sales of licensed merchandise reached US$293 billion in 2019, showing annual growth of 4.4%, and it is expected that the Asian and mainland markets will continue to be growth engines for the licensing industry. She added that the online business matching service offered through HKILS digital platform successfully connected buyers and intellectual property (IP) owners to help forge valuable partnerships. HONG KONG’S HOMEGROWN IPS STRIVE FOR GROWTH AMID PANDEMIC Exhibitors at HKILS Online were pleased to get the chance to reach out to international buyers during the pandemic through the show’s virtual platform. Many individual artists and young brands in Hong Kong who exhibited at the Show managed to meet both local and international buyers and solicit promising leads. Stella Cheung, General Manager of Art Cycle Group, said she had met a mega retail group and a famous fast-food chain from Hong Kong during the show and hoped to explore further cooperation with both companies. Ms Cheung realised the good potential of her IP, Robot Nick, to be licensed to dramas and musicals for children to cultivate positive values among the new generation. Wing Y. Li, founder of SHIBAINC, was thrilled to meet licensees and licensing agents from various countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia at the Show this time. She also met a number of Hong Kong buyers, including a famous Hong Kong F&B brand, and she expected potential partnership to be concluded after the show. Among the international participants, Perfect Drink Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian fast-food restaurant, was impressed by Hong Kong’s creativity and had positive discussions with numerous Hong Kong companies exhibited under the Design Licensing and Business (DLAB HK) pavilion to develop its souvenirs and gifts for its customers.

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DIGITAL BECOMES THE GROWTH ENGINE FOR LP LICENSING Digital IPs were a popular category sought after during the show, despite the impacts of the ongoing global pandemic. Quillo Entertainment, a first-time DLAB HK exhibitor focusing on gaming production and animation, has recently ventured into licensing to extend its animated adventure game character, Apopia. The company met numerous international licensees at the show and decided to develop more animation content to cater for its expansion of the company’s licensing portfolio sought by the market. ART AND CREATIVE IPS SHOW VERSATILITY ON LICENSING COOPERATION Art licensing remained a hot area for licensing buyers who attended the HKILS this year. Jackson Tan, founder of Art-Zoo, shared that the pandemic had disruptive impact on its fast-growing creative art business. While Art-Zoo Inflatable Parks launched in Singapore, Mainland China, UAE and Taiwan were hit with a significant drop in the number of visitors, Jackson made the best out of the year in developing content and animations to expand his licensing portfolio. It was the second time for Art-Zoo to join HKILS and Jackson remarked that the online platform allowed them to effectively explore licensing opportunities amid the pandemic. Another exhibitor, Japan’s CATART (「貓.美術館」), used HKILS Online to arrange fruitful meetings with buyers from Hong Kong, Mainland China and Taiwan. The company had already engaged its Taiwan partner to follow up with those buyers interested in merchandising and merchandising and licensing its art exhibitions and campaigns. CONFERENCE EXAMINES MARKET TRENDS AND INDUSTRY OUTLOOK A total of 40 heavyweight speakers addressed viewers during the Asian Licensing Conference. ALC Online offered four video-on-demand viewing channels including “Expert Sharing: Culture and Arts”, “Expert Sharing: Digital Entertainment”, “Entrepreneur Dialogue” and “Licensing Academy”, with participants able to view the full conference programme at their own convenience.

www.hktdc.com

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The Bugg Report Magazine — Edition 36  

Welcome to The Bugg Report Magazine — Edition 36

The Bugg Report Magazine — Edition 36  

Welcome to The Bugg Report Magazine — Edition 36

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