Comment........................................................................ 6 Global news.................................................................... 8 Legally Speaking........................................................... 90 The Licensing International Page............................. 92 Whatâ€™s On.................................................................... 94
ViacomCBS - Cover Story........................................ 22 Critical Role - leading digital media........................ 26 Licensee Lookbook.................................................... 27 Kidscreen Summit Virtual - a preview.................... 56 Resilience of the Toy Industry.................................. 60 The fast-moving Video games market..................... 71 The changing face of retail........................................ 75 Sustainability - rethinking how to do business..... 76 Walking the innovation tightrope............................ 81 BrainBase - an interview............................................ 85
Europe El Ocho signs new brands......................................... 21 Germany Market Update The View from Peter Hollo............................... 36 Brand engagement versus novelty value........ 37 Whatâ€™s happening in the marketplace............. 38 Withit - 30 years in the making............................... 44 Anderson Entertainment - like father like son..... 48 Spotlight on Nordic licensing................................... 50 Chef Club - Fun in the kitchen................................ 78
Hey Clay - a rising new star..................................... 64
North America King Features - an overview..................................... 18 MGM - what the future holds.................................. 59 Focus on Canada......................................................... 65
Asia and Middle East A Covid-19 Cinema success..................................... 80 Spotlight on the Middle East..................................... 82 Saudi Arabia - facts and figures......................... 83 The colorful world of KissBoBo.............................. 86 China - growing licensing business.......................... 88
Co-Publisher Francesca Ash firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Publisher Jerry Wooldridge email@example.com
Editorial Director Rebecca Ash firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Manager Helen Bowerman email@example.com
Japan Agent Roger Berman, ZenWorks firstname.lastname@example.org
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Generally speaking in this editorial, we would be welcoming our readers to a new issue and a new year full of exciting plans. Well, since we wrote this in January last year, the world has turned upside down. Who could have predicted that a mask, generally associated with the medical profession, would be the most popular ‘essential’ product around? No object better symbolises the pandemic than the mask. Social distancing, at first, seemed like a vague action.The mask appealed to our greatest consumeristic impulses. The mask, quite literally, became a ‘must-have’ item. And, as a result, in every country the humble face mask has been elevated to an astonishing commodity. The mask became a matter of life and death, a barrier of comfort between people and a diseased society. It was only a matter of time before consumers, wanting to demonstrate their points of difference began looking for masks that were different from the standard N95. Licenses began to appear on masks. Prada, Gucci and Balenciaga began to manufacture them and there is even maskclub.com which offers a monthly mask subscription. In many countries, the wearing of a mask is mandatory. In others it is advised and, to the main part, followed by those understandably wanting to avoid catching Covid-19. Such is the global demand that every major character and brand, and quite a few lesser known ones, has appeared on a range of masks. And, interestingly, whilst vaccines are now being rolled out, many predict that demand will remain high with the ubiquitous mask becoming a standard item of clothing, despite the politicising of them being ‘anti-freedom.’ The pandemic, of course, has changed everything in so many different ways. Working from home is ‘normal’ now and retail, particularly bricks and mortar which has been hit so badly by events of the last year, is regaining its strength with improved and new ways of attracting consumers online.
It is interesting that the vast majority of people we speak to are pleasantly surprised by the level of business they are doing. Whilst the world was in a state of shock between February and April last year, right at the early stages of the pandemic, it seems that business is continuing, licenses are being signed and product is being sold. It’s different, but it’s still doing on. And, as we hopefully emerge the other side of the pandemic, that surely bodes well. Toy sales in the US grew by 16% in 2020 and the holiday season, in many key markets, was better than most expected. There was a 75% increase in online toy sales and, most recently NPD reported that compared with last year, general merchandise dollars spent in January were up by 20%. Figures for the UK are somewhat different. Each time there is a prolonged lockdown (the UK is now in lockdown 3.0) consumer spending falls dramatically. Once the lockdown is eased, it grows. Experts, though, are confident that the vaccination program will help to offset the economic damage done by each major lockdown. And in the meantime, we continue to buy and wear masks. In a matter of weeks, the humble mask went from being a human need to perhaps the quickest exploitation of a product in history. Travelling in Asia, it is quite normal to see individuals wearing masks. Many predict, and in fact suspect, that this will be the case in Europe and North America for some years to come. And whilst people are wearing masks, there will always be the opportunity for licensing. Yes, licensed masks were a surprising addition to the licensed merchandise portfolio but they don’t look like disappearing quickly. We hope all our readers and their families are well. We also hope, fervently, that we will be able to see some of you in person later in the year. In the meantime, stay safe and remember to keep wearing your masks. Francesca Ash Jerry Wooldridge Co-Publisher Co-Publisher
With Thanks to this Issue’s Contributing Writers: Gregory Battersby Trudi Bishop Ruan Botha
Martin Brochstein Marinette DalbardGiraudel
Axel Dammler Tom Fabes Peter Hollo
Ethan Oakley Utku Tansel Alice Yang
NEW RANGE OF APPAREL FOR MICKEY MOUSE AND KEITH HARING In celebration of two True Originals – Mickey Mouse and Keith Haring – Disney has collaborated with the Keith Haring Studio to feature the artist’s iconic artwork featuring Mickey Mouse on an exciting range of apparel and accessories setting at retail globally through 2021. In 1980, Haring created original works of art featuring Mickey Mouse in a new style unique to New York City street culture, taking inspiration from both Pop Art and urban graffiti. His love for Mickey Mouse was rooted in his childhood experiences. Deeply influenced by Walt Disney and the incredible skill and mastery of American cartoonists of the 50’s and 60’s, Haring even aspired to be a cartoonist himself. “I always wanted to work for Walt Disney when I was growing up, when I was a kid and in some ways I think he is one of the three most important artists of the 20th century along with Warhol and Picasso.” – Keith Haring This collaboration is a continuation of Disney’s celebration of Keith Haring’s inspired artistic interpretations of Mickey Mouse which was commemorated in 2018 as part of the Mickey: The True Original Exhibition celebrating the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse. Haring’s artwork featuring Mickey Mouse will be featured on an assortment of products across multiple brands, with Coach unveiling a new collection highlighting two artworks that will be exclusively launched with their collection. “Keith Haring’s respect and admiration for Walt Disney, especially the beloved Mickey Mouse, served as an inspiration for some of his iconic pieces. By collaborating with Disney, we are able to bring his artwork to life through a new medium and continue to celebrate his enduring influence on the art community and future generations to come,”commented The Haring Studio New apparel and accessory collaborations with Uniqlo and Stance are available now with more global collections debuting in 2021 including Coach, Swatch and Zara.
RAZBABY DEAL FOR SOPHIE Sophie la girafe has partnered with RaZbaby in the United States to create a new range of plush. The new unique plush holds and keeps a pacifier in place to bring calm, serenity and softness to young babies. Sophie la girafe was born in 1961 in Paris. Made from 100% natural rubber, Sophie has soothed generations of teething babies who also love to hear her squeak when squeezed for almost 60 years. Today, Sophie la girafe is still produced with 100% natural rubber derived from the latex from the Hevea tree and goes through 14 manual operations before completion. RaZbaby is a Miami based company that patents, develops, and distributes uniquely safe baby products that are inspired by nature. The company was founded in 2002 by two sisters, Aida and Lidia. Some eighteen years ago a sweet raspberry dessert was responsible for both the company’s name and very first product, the RaZberry Teether (patented and ranked #1 in the USA). The JollyPop pacifier, which is made in the USA, is distributed in hospitals nationwide.
PLANETA JUNIOR LAUNCHES PUCCA STORE Planeta Junior is launching the Pucca Store across Europe. Her zero prejudices and great message of love based on ‘being yourself’ have made iconic Korean character Pucca a star among children and Millenials. The Pucca Store allows her fans to find exclusive Pucca fashion, design ware and accessories: from T-shirts and hoodies, to socks, mugs, mobile cases, tote bags and caps.The range of existing products is enhanced by themed collections for key dates, such as the Christmas collection which was available in December across Europe on the Pucca Store. Having achieved over 324 million YouTube views and around 1.3 million social networks followers, Pucca has a global presence and recently premiered her Season 3.
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BRAVE BUNNIES FROM GLOWBERRY Brave Bunnies, a new animated pre-school series from Glowberry and Anima, is a delightful show with modern and highly relevant underlying themes of diversity and inclusivity that resonate strongly in today’s world. Brave Bunnies features two brave and curious bunny-siblings together with their family of Brave Bunny-explorers and their Bunny Bus who journey throughout their world in search of new friends and adventures. Glowberry and their co-production partners Anima have developed 52 episodes for Season 1 and Season 2 is already in development with a further 52eps which reflects the licensors commitment to the property. It’s still early days in the development of the commercial program, but the calibre of partners already attached is testament to the strong appeal and potential of the property. Aardman partnered up earlier in the year as the global content distribution partner, and has already placed the show with various leading international broadcasters including Milkshake & Nick Jr (UK), Super RTL (Germany), ABC (Australia), HOP! (Israel), Rai Yoyo (Italy), YLE (Finland), SVT (Sweden), Daekyo (Korea), PlusPlus (Ukraine) with more broadcasters to be confirmed
in the coming months. The show launched on-air in some markets from Q4 2020, and a complimentary and comprehensive digital content plan is also in development with a key strategic partner. At MIPCOM last year, Brave Bunnies was the #2 most viewed show in the MIP Junior Screenings Library (#1 in its preschool target-demo). Interest is also increasing in the licensing arena. Glowberry appointed Big Picture Licensing (BPL) as exclusive licensing agent for UK & Eire and master agent across EMEA and APAC, joining BeNerd (Ukraine), DeAgostini (Italy) & Master Agent LATAM and global deal Agent LaPanaderia. BPL has already signed up the first wave of leading agents in its regions – CPLG (Nordic, CEE & Southern
Europe), CLM (Africa), Centa IP (ANZ) and Mediogen (Israel) – and is now working closely with Glowberry to secure best-in-class agents in key APAC territories. Spin Master is signed as Global Master Toy partner, and they are currently developing a range of toys to roll-out in 2022. Big Picture have signed up Penguin Random House as a strategic multi-territory publishing licensee, joining Planeta Libra as publishing partners. Brave Bunnies licensed products will launch and roll-out from Easter 2022. Commenting, Dan Frugtniet, MD at Big Picture Licensing, said, “We’re extremely proud and excited to be working with Glowberry on this wonderful property, and delighted, but not at all surprised, at the strong start – without exception, everybody who we have showed Brave Bunnies to has been overwhelmingly positive about it. As well as finalising APAC agency appointments, we’re now looking to secure UK licensing partners in all major product categories.” Glowberry is a Ukrainian creative production hub which started as a publisher of children’s books in 2009, achieving success in this niche in the local market, and decided to venture further into content creation for the international pre-school market.
KELVYN GARDNER As we were going to press, we learned of the passing of industry legend Kelvyn Gardner. He suffered a heart attack at his home in Milton Keynes. Kelvyn was the former Managing Director of Licensing International UK, a post he held for fifteen years. Prior to this, and subsequently, he ran his own business, Asgard Media. Most recently he had started a licensing podcast series and was involved in a number of projects as a consultant. He was a regular speaker at li-
censing events around the world. and was a very well-known figure in the industry – instantly recognisable at trade shows and events by his array of colourful jackets which almost served as his trademark. He was also multi-talented - a musician and spoke several languages. From our personal viewpoint, Kelvyn had a special place in Total Licensing’s history – he was our very first advertiser back in 2003. A couple of years later, at a trade show in Tokyo, we met Kelvyn for dinner where he astonished us with his ability to speak, and order our meal, in Japanese!
We also fondly remember Kelvyn’s book on translating ‘licensing-speak’ which brought a smile to many faces and proved, if proof was needed, just how well he understood this industry. In 2013 he won the Honorary Achievement Award at the annual Licensing Awards in London, celebrating his service to the licensing industry for well over thirty years. Kelvyn, who was 66, is survived by his wife Michelle and his son and daughter, Eliot and Regan. We will publish a full celebration of Kelvyn’s life in our next (Spring) issue of Total Licensing.
HEY DUGGEE HAS NEW LICENSEES BBC Studios report increasing interest in Hey Duggee. The UK’s largest independently owned designer and manufacturer of children’s toys HTI partnered with BBC Studios on hit preschool brand Hey Duggee for a range of licensed bubbles, outdoor patio chairs, electronic musical instruments and character cases. The bubbles and outdoor range soft launch in early 2021, just in time for the Spring/Summer season. The remainder of the categories will launch at retail in Autumn/Winter 2021. HTI’s bubbles range includes traditional favourites like bubble wands and themed bubble solution, as well as electronic bubble machines and a bubble mower, while the character cases are Duggee shaped and ideal for role play. The range includes a toy Doctors Case with a medical set and Squirrel Club Case featuring stampers in the shapes of each key character. Off the back off growing toy sales, Hey Duggee master toy partner Golden Bear is showing to buyers an innovative new range of plastic and plush toys for AW21. Fiddles Payne are BBC Studios latest food partner for Hey Duggee. They launched licensed Hey Duggee Cup Cake Mixes into Tesco in January 2021 and will roll the product ouy to more retailers later in the year. In other Hey Duggee food news, Finsbury recently launch a new Hey Duggee cake and Duggee will have its first confectionary product with Kinnerton launching at Easter 2021. 2020 has been an outstanding year for Hey Duggee. It is the most-watched kids’ show on BBC iPlayer with over 175 million requests and its official YouTube channel currently has 1.1 billion lifetime views and nearly 800k subscribers.
POCOYO ON YOUTUBE Spanish animation series Pocoyo has registered its YouTube playback record after reaching 5.5 billion views in 2020, 70% more than last year. Consumption of the character’s content on this platform increased notably during the months of lockdown, with April registering a record 540m views, although this upwards trend has been constant throughout the year. In addition to an increased number of playbacks, last year witnessed a trebling of views on Pocoyo’s official channels compared to 2019, reaching nearly a million hours of content played.The number of subscribers also grew by 7.5m, reaching 26.3m. Commenting, Víctor M. López, General Manager of Zinkia, producer of the series, believes that “the change in strategy adopted around the brand is starting to bear fruit. We are growing strongly on YouTube and other digital media, but our presence on TV and platforms is also increasing. The strategy for toys and licenses, as well as our international expansion have placed us in an ideal situation to relaunch the brand.” Zinkia is also working on other digital channels, such as Instagram and Facebook (where it has more than 2 million fans), and has recently debuted on TikTok.
PET PRODUCTS LICENSED TO PREMOLI + DI BELLA
Maurizio Distefano Licensing, who manage the licensing programme for the fashion brand Premoli + Di Bella, has announced the arrival at retail of the collection Premoli + Di Bella Pet Design, produced and distributed under licensing agreement by Ferribiella Spa, a name synonymous with Italian excellence in the world of pet comfort. Available in Italy’s leading pet stores since late 2020, the first collection from Premoli + Di Bella Pet Design, with the theme ‘Iconic’, underlines the bold creativity of the Giovanni Premoli and Dario Di Bella partnership in a number of ways: sumptuous velvet beds for dogs and cats, soft velvet blankets for home pet use, raincoat ponchos, gym-style suits and ceramic bowls with matching placemats. And the evocatively named design
styles look amazing: Snowfall print’s polka dots, Millediquesterighe’s fashion stripes, the street art graphics of Polyphemus 5.0, and the Greek mythology-inspired Hephaestus. The designs mainly use black and white tones, with a few exceptions where there are touches of Lake Blue and Veiled Rose. And of course, the recognizable but lightly applied Premoli + Di Bella brand is integrated into the graphics, giving each product a cosmopolitan style to go with the strong craftmanship. Several other releases are on the way, each one offering a specific new theme created by the two young designers whose bold creativity has seen them dubbed ‘the Stylists of the Third Millennium’. All will bring together products that combine the innovative and the functional for their target audience of animals and their owners, the result of years of studies, research and know-how from Ferribiella Spa combined with the very best the world of interior and home décor can offer from Giovanni Premoli and Dario Di Bella.
WILDBRAIN FORGES PARTNERSHIP WITH SAMSUNG WildBrain has forged a partnership with Samsung to launch multiple new kids’ and teen channels featuring a range of series from its content library on Samsung TV Plus, a free ad-supported video service distributed exclusively on Samsung smart TVs. The first new linear channels have now launched to millions of Samsung users, with Caillou and Friends in Spain and France and Teletubbies and Friends in Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. These will be followed in Spring and Summer 2021 by Degrassi channels for teens in the US and Canada, plus additional kids’ channels across European territories featuring Strawberry Shortcake, Bob the Builder and other favourite series from WildBrain’s library. The partnership with Samsung represents the first time WildBrain has launched ad-supported linear channels on a connectedTV service in Europe and comes as new research shows smart TVs and adsupported video streaming have become favourite viewing options in both US and European homes. The recent ScreenMedia report “Making Screen Time Family Time”, which was sponsored by WildBrain’s premium, kid-safe AVOD network, WildBrain Spark, found that 62% of 3,000 US parents surveyed choose smart TVs as the most popular devices for co-viewing with children in the home. Seventy-five percent (75%) watch content with their children several times a week or more, and 90% said ad-supported video is an important entertainment source for their children. Meanwhile, Samsung’s “Behind the Screens” report on accelerating viewership trends found that ad-supported video-on-demand consumption grew by 29% since January 2020 across over 30 million Samsung smart TVs in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Samsung is the clear leader in global smart TV sales, with over 14 million units sold in Q3 2020, almost double their nearest competitor, according to market research firm Trendforce.
MAY GIBBS TODDLER RANGE IN BIGW Merchantwise Licensing’s May Gibbs brand has launched its first ever licensed toddler boys and tween girls ranges exclusively for Australian retailer, BIG W. The boys range features an animal print tee, kookaburra print shorts and a print shirt, while the delightful May Gibbs tween girls range includes a print skort, print playsuit, Australia tee and crop tee. This latest range of licensed apparel compliments BIG W’s first ever May Gibbs range which launched earlier this year and consisted of iconic Australian and nostalgic designs across apparel, sleepwear, nursery home décor, infant feeding and publishing. “May Gibbs continues to be a solid performer at retail for BIG W and we anticipate this latest collection dedicated to toddler boys and tween girls to be equally as popular with fans of the brand as the first launch of product earlier this year. 2020 has been a great year for the brand and we are looking forward to many more new brand collaborations and product launches in the new year,” said Merchantwise Licensing’s May Gibbs Brand Manager, Rosalie May.
TEAM HERETICS APPOINT CARAVANSERAI Team Heretics has announced the appointment of Caravanserai Partners to strategically grow and expand its licensing program across key territories. Team Heretics, founded in 2016 by content creator Jorge ‘Goorgo’ together with Antonio Catena and Arnau Vidal, is the most followed Spanish speaking Esports team in the world with a reach of more than 85 Milion users among all the social media platforms and thanks to the esports players, content creators, ambassadors and influencers within the team. Team Heretics is one the fastest growing and most promising esports clubs focusing on both competition and entertainment to reach a young target. The staff and the collaborators from the team are offering all their experience in the Esports industry for Team Heretics to become a leader in this world and allow them to partner with the best brands and sponsors to create the best quality products and offer the best entertainment content for its audience. Team Heretics has now agreed a deal with Caravanserai to capitalize on the immense engagement and love for the team and the brand by creating profitable licensing programs on major consumer products and brand promotion in the Spanish speaking territories. Pablo Canosa, Commercial Director at Team Heretics said: “For the Club, this is a natural step if we want to expand our image and range of products. Caravanserai will provide us with that excellence that we seek thanks to its knowledge and experience.” Guillem Rey, Managing Director at Caravanserai said: “We are thrilled to be involved into the esports world thanks to Team Heretics by helping them to expand its lifestyle and entertainment brand.”
2021 IS THE YEAR OF ASTERIX 2021 will be the year of Asterix with a new comic book album in October 2021, and a TV series around the character of Idefix/Dogmatix on France Télévisions in September 2021 and on Super RTL (Germany) at the end of 2021. In addition, in 2022 a new live movie will see Asterix and Obelix travel to China on an unprecedented adventure, directed by Guillaume Canet. There are also new partnerships and licensing opportunities with Asterix. Asterix enjoyed unparalleled success in 2020. The latest album, The Chieftain’s Daughter, benefited from exceptional sales: more than 5 million copies have been sold all over the world since its release, including 2.4 million in French.These growing numbers represent a record for an Asterix album since the series’ takeover in 2013.The illustrated album Le Menhir d’Or, published in October 2020 is about to exceed 150,000 copies in France, which is also a record for an illustrated album. The albums from the backlist also sold nearly 800,000 copies, an increase of 5% compared to 2019, and more than 35% compared to 2018! According to Ipsos, Asterix is by far the favorite French comic strip, for adults and children alike. On the licensing side, major licenses have been equally successful. Lidl supported Asterix once again in 2020 for a powerful loyalty program over ten weeks, and new deals have already been signed for 2021. Asterix is thus the favorite character for boys aged 7-14, and in the overall top 10 licenses in France (BrandTrendz study, November 2020). In 2020, Parc Astérix experienced exceptional popularity during its opening periods, and its new four-star hotel, the Quais de Lutèce, received the prize for the best themed hotel in the world at the 27th edition of the Thea Awards. This award recognized the creativity and originality of this new hotel, which has already attracted more than 40,000 visitors since its opening.
EMOJI EXPANDS EMEA MARKET WildBrain CPLG is significantly expanding its representation in EMEA of emoji – The Iconic Brand. Starting this month and building on an established successful partnership, the UK & Eire; Germany,Austria, & Switzerland; Benelux; and Turkey will be added to WildBrain CPLG’s existing remit, which currently covers CEE, Iberia, Russia, France, MENA, Nordics, Italy, Greece, Poland, and Ukraine. The new five-year deal will see WildBrain CPLG representing the brand on behalf of the emoji company GmbH across key consumer products categories to build merchandise offerings for kids, teens and adults. Within existing markets, WildBrain CPLG Middle East has secured a new partnership with leading Kuwaiti sports and high-street fashion retailer, Al Nasser, for an emoji brand apparel range targeting girls and women, and in a previously announced deal, high-end retailer RIVA is gearing up to launch its first emoji fashion collection for teens and women next month. Since the beginning of its representation of the emoji brand in 2018,WildBrain CPLG has brokered over 100 deals for the brand.
PLANETA, PEPCO AND DISCOVERY Discovery, Inc. is teaming up with Planeta Junior and European discount retailer Pepco to launch a new children’s clothing collection featuring Animal Planet inspired designs. Expanding Pepco’s children’s offerings, the partnership will cover a variety of categories including clothing, footwear, accessories, luggage, stationery, home goods and home textiles. The collection, for younger and older children, will hit the market in the first quarter of 2021 and will be available at over 1,900 Pepco stores in Central and Eastern European countries, as well as in Spain, Italy and Portugal. The initial product launch will include an assortment of children’s t-shirts, pajamas, socks, underwear and more with designs featuring children’s favorite Animal Planet themes including wild cats, sharks and sea creatures. PEPCO is a European network of discounters. Established over twenty years ago in Poland, the company offers clothing, toys and home products at low prices and is the most popular children’s clothing dealer and a leading supplier of decorative articles. PEPCO’s client is most often a woman, a mother, according to whom the biggest advantage of the chain is a very wide range of products at available prices, comfortable, close to home shops distinguished by high standard of service. Today, PEPCO has over 2000 shops loved not only by Poles, because they can already be enjoyed by customers from outside our country, for example in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Estonia, Serbia, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia and Hungary.
ACAMAR LAUNCH E-COMMERCE STORE Acamar Films are fortifying their direct-to-consumer relationships with the launch of their first e-commerce store for Bing; the pre-school show which is currently winning global audiences. Developed in partnership with Event Merchandising, specialists in managing and building licensed e-commerce stores, the new online retail hub is a one-stopshop for all things Bing and is initially launching in the UK. The exciting Bing Store range includes new and exclusive personalised product across apparel, gifts and homeware categories, alongside a selection of toys, books, dress up, clothing and party accessories from existing licensing partners. Seasonal lines will be added to the store to delight returning visitors. Acamar Films has recognised both the importance and value of effective e-commerce, particularly following this year’s unprecedented events, and has focused on digital development to meet the significant appetite for Bing. Louise Simmonds, Head of UK Licensing and Merchandising at Acamar Films, said: “It is hugely exciting to see The Bing Store launch in the UK where grown-ups and Bingsters can find Bing product all in one place. The development and launch of our new e-commerce site demonstrates our deep commitment to digital growth and the importance of having a direct dialogue with our audience.” According to Acamar, early results have been impressive with thousands of fans visiting the store in the opening week.
NEW HEAD LICENSE FOR INDIA S. P. Retail Brands Ltd in India has announced the signing of a license agreement with HeadSport Gmbh. The multi-year license for footwear and apparel covers sports/ fitness, lifestyle, casuals, yoga wear, casual and performance shoes for men, women, and kids. The agreement allows S. P. Retail Brands Ltd. to manufacture, advertise, promote, sell, and distribute Head branded products in India. The partnership was facilitated by LicenseWork. As gyms remain closed, consumers are resorting to home workouts and following the trend, by turning to online videos and fitness sessions from apps. As there has been heightened awareness about health and fitness in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. This has fuelled the demand and increase in trend for workout apparel, athleisure, footwear, and accessories. Giuseppe Faranna, Vice President and Division Manager Licensing at HEAD Sport GmbH commented, “We are delighted to have found with SP Retail a great partner to launch an innovative collection of Head branded athleisure and footwear lines. SP Retail has shown with their own brands as well as working with other world class brands that they know best the newest trends, where to produce high quality products and especially how to retail them to conquer the Indian market.The strength of also being a very successful retailer motivated us to choose SP Retail.”
NEW PUBLISHING DEALS FOR THE RED HARLEQUIN Pantomimus Media has announced two new publishing partners for its YA book series The Red Harlequin, by Roberto Ricci: China’s Lazy Joy Digital Technology Company, Ltd. and Saga Egmont France. The book series is now available to download in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, Russian, and Turkish. Beijing based audiobooks platform Lazy Joy Digital Technology Company, Ltd. will distribute audio, print and eBook versions of all five books in the The Red Harlequin series to the Chinese market, including the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and anywhere Chinese language books are sold, starting in 2021 in China. Lazy Joy now distributes over 390,000 ebooks and 130,000 audiobooks in 54 languages all over the world. Digital publishing specialist Saga Egmont France has acquired the French audio rights to the first three books of the series. Book 1 of the audiobooks, De Masques et de Chromes, is already on sale across all digital outlets, with book two following on February 8th, and Book three on March 1st. Founded in Denmark in 2014, Saga Egmont has expanded into seven European markets with a catalogue of over 27,000 audiobooks and 50,000 eBooks from across the globe. The deals follow the launch of Dreamscape’s Red Harlequin audiobooks in English, Fabler Audio’s Red Harlequin audiobooks in Italian and SonoLibro’s The Red Harlequin audiobooks in Spanish, which were produced with high-end actors, custom music and realistic sound effects that give the stories an exciting cinematic feel, and an extra layer of drama. Backed by Finnish Media Fund, IPR, the series is being developed as a TV show with Showrunner Robert Butler and Rick Porras.
NEW DEALS FOR MICROSOFT RARE Following their 35th anniversary in August last year, Microsoft Rare studios has signed multiple new partners, with deals brokered by Tinderbox, Beanstalk’s digital division, to extend Rare’s world-famous videogame brands into a range of consumer products including arcade games, collectibles, apparel, board games and books. Earlier this year, Rare launched their own dedicated eStore which celebrates their rich gaming heritage and gives fans the opportunity to get their hands on exclusive and limited edition apparel and accessories, as well as product from Rare’s licensing partners.
TRIO OF AGENTS FOR KID-E-KATS APC Kids, the children’s entertainment division of co-production and distribution company APC Studios, has appointed a trio of new local licensing agents for CTC Media’s animated preschool series Kid-E-Kats. The new partnerships will see the property represented by El Ocho in Spain and Portugal, Lisans A.S in Turkey, and WP Brands in Australia and New Zealand. Kid-E-Kats has aired on Minika in Turkey since August 2020, RTVE’s Clan in Spain since last May and on Nick Jr in Portugal and Australia since 2018 as part of APC Kids’ deal with the broadcaster that covers over 170 territories. The new licensing agents will look to build on the series’ broadcast success in their respective regions, and build cross-category licensing programmes for the popular preschool brand. Lionel Marty, Managing Director of APC Kids, says: “Kid-E-Kats is hugely popular across Europe and Australia, and we are committed to building on this success with new licensing partnerships that will give children the chance to further engage with the show off-screen. We are delighted to have such wellestablished agents on board to help build the Kid-E-Kats consumer products offering in these important territories.” Kid-E-Kats, owned and managed by CTC Media and produced by Studio Metrafilms, is one of the leading preschool series in Russia. The third season is completed and series one and two are currently available on Nick Jr internationally. In addition, eight new special episodes will soon be available. The series tells the story of three kittens: Cookie, Pudding and their kid sister Candy who are forever ready to jump into action with endless enthusiasm and energy. Their imagination also knows no bounds.
FUTURE TODAY PARTNERS WITH MOONBUG Future Today, the full-stack streaming solution that packages branded channels and delivers audiences to watch them, has announced a significant expansion of its partnership with Moonbug Entertainment Ltd., one of the largest digital media companies in the world, with the launch of five new omni-platform streaming channels dedicated to Moonbug’s most popular children’s series. The new channels from Moonbug and Future Today offer more than 750 episodes of Moonbug’s original programming and over 100 hours of content from hit shows including Blippi, CoComelon, Little Baby Bum, My Magic Pet Morphle and Supa Strikas.With these entirely free, COPPA compliant channels, Moonbug’s content can be ubiquitously enjoyed wherever, whenever, and on nearly every major streaming platform including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and more. “We want our content to be widely accessible for families around the globe and, in today’s evolving video landscape, streaming platforms are more important than ever,” said Andy Yeatman, Head of the Americas at Moonbug. “We couldn’t ask for a better partner than Future Today to seamlessly elevate and monetize our vast and growing library of content.” The new branded apps for Moonbug include Blippi, CoComelon, Little Baby Bum, My Magic Pet Morphle, and Supa Strikas. In addition to launching the new branded channels, Future Today also offers more than 130 episodes of Moonbug’s kids’ intellectual properties, such as ARPO, Care Bears, Cozy Coupe, KiiYii, The Ring-a-Tangs, The Sharksons and TRex Ranch on its flagship FAST and AVODsupported kids and family-themed channel HappyKids.
From Fan Favorites to Franchises, in 2021 King Features is focused on fun! Total Licensing caught up with Carla Silva to talk about how the future is looking for King Features.
What’s King Features’ Licensing Outlook for 2021? Despite the global challenges of the past year, we’re approaching 2021 with a renewed focus on our deep portfolio of valuable, untapped opportunities. King Features’ core stable of world-renowned IP is full of great stories and classic characters that provide millions with entertainment and the comfort of nostalgia. We’re also growing our business through newer licensing representation deals with video-game sensation Cuphead, popular Korean media franchise Pucca, and internationally beloved children’s publishing franchise Moomin. Overall, the brand strategy for our properties is to continue developing new content, broaden their fanbases and to keep growing our brand presence in the digital space through ecommerce and social engagement. In addition, King Features has several high-profile entertainment projects in development led by the highly-anticipated The Cuphead Show! debuting on Netflix in late-2021, the just announced Hagar animated series being developed in partnership with The Jim Henson Company and an unannounced project in development with Apple. Are there any key categories and/or territories that KFS is focusing on for growth? Our licensing strategy is unique to each brand and territory. Making predictions is a tricky business at the best of times, but especially so after this past year. We are fortunate to have a very solid roster of classic brands in our portfolio and we will continue our focus on key territories, such as the US, Japan, India, UK/EU, Brazil and China. In the past few years, our agent in China, Medialink, has delivered a wide range of notable activations for KFS including a Popeye 90th Anniversary art exhibition featuring works from 50 artists around the globe, large-scale experiential events such as a fashion show and an interactive mall installation, collectible toys designed by highprofile artists, plus a Popeye musical is currently in development. Building on this momentum, we’re anticipating even more amazing things out of
China in 2021 and beyond. But we’ve had some great partnerships around the world this year. Our Italian agent, Premium Licensing, consistently delivers on beautifully executed, high-fashion collaborations. The most recent launches were with Monnalisa, Benetton kids, Original Marines kids and Iceberg Junior. In Spain, our agent Caravanserai launched a Popeye collection with sustainable fashion brand, Brava Fabrics as well as a global kids’ program with Zara. The WOD Life in Australia released a Popeye inspired fitness collection thanks to our agent, Merchantwise. And this February, C&A in Mexico will be launching a very special Valentine’s Day collection starring Olive Oyl and Popeye that will be supported with a marketing campaign tied to the holiday. The deal is being managed by our local agent, Tycoon Enterprises. In terms of categories, publishing is always a focus for all of our brands, but this year we also are laser focused on expanding programs for: Cuphead & The Cuphead Show!: toys, apparel, loungewear, graphic novels, middle grade readers, costumes and games; Popeye and Olive Oyl: consumables, video games, collectibles and apparel collaborations and promotions; Flash Gordon/The Phantom: toys, collectibles, board games, apparel, art prints, and graphic novels In addition, we’re actively working to secure deals for our new IP in the US/ Canada: PUCCA: Apparel, collaborations, promotions, social expression, Moomin: Apparel, publishing, housewares, plush. Focus on specialty, Archie: Skateboards, apparel, personal care, PURENorway: Apparel, backpacks, outdoor/sporting goods
Since Publishing is a focus for you, what new titles are launching this year? Yes! Publishing is such an important key driver for our brands and my team, particularly Christina Nix Lynch, our Licensing Director who runs lead on the category, has done a phenomenal job in this space. Here’s a short list of what we have in the works: Cuphead: Dark Horse is releasing their second graphic novel “Cartoon Chronicles & Calamities” on July 13, 2021. Little Brown Young Readers launched their latest prose novel, “A Mountain of Trouble,” on December 8, 2020 and we will announce our children’s book partner and art book publisher for The Cuphead Show! very soon! Popeye: Hermes Press is planning to launch a new Popeye title during San Diego Comic-Con and Fantagraphics is developing reprint books. The Phantom: Egmont is our biggest publishing partner in Nordic countries and they continue to have success with The Phantom and Beetle Bailey in these territories. Regal is tapping into the growing popularity of The Phantom in India, releasing 77 titles in Malayalam and English, and is introducing Mandrake the Magician to the territory with 25 titles! Aside from drivers like publishing, how do you keep a classic brand relevant today? Keeping a classic brand fresh is largely down to opportunities for scale across product categories, promotions and great creative. There are so many more brands competing for our attention these days. In the past, the older brands stood out in a much smaller marketplace. Those that have survived are genuinely regarded as special. To be relevant a brand must be relatable. The challenge is to continually find ways to genuinely connect with newer audiences and create fresh, engaging content. It’s crucial that the market identify with the brands’ attributes and messaging so that they continue to support it over time, but it is equally vital that room is made for new talent and ideas to flourish. The key to the longevity of all classic brands arises from initial reach – without incredibly strong awareness, a brand can never become a true classic. However, through licensing, social media and constant reinvention both in
TOTAL LICENSING terms of the delivery and the creative design, a brand can stay fresh forever. This is one of the reasons why I love what I do so much. Together with my amazing team, we have the ability to continuously introduce our classic brands to a new generation of fans. Are there any upcoming ‘firsts’ for King’s brands? 2021 is going to be a great year for Cuphead fans everywhere, as Cuphead and Mugman are doing double-time by starring in their first-ever series on Netflix as well as The Delicious Last Course, the highly anticipated final chapter to their hit video game. King Features will be supporting these two tentpole events with world class products including new toys, collectibles, games, apparel, and publishing and an influencer marketing campaign timed to the show launch. Also, although not technically a first, the launch of NECA’s Defender of the Earth Reel Toys line celebrating the 35th anniversary of the show is one to note as the release marks the first CP offering based on the series in a long time! The collection will feature all of the classic King Features characters including Flash Gordon, Ming the Merciless, The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician, Lothar and more! In addition, we are beyond excited about our growing partnership with Boss Fight Studios who will be bringing out amazing new products for Flash Gordon, The Phantom, Popeye, Olive Oyl and a very special collectible toy line for fans of the Sunday Funnies! In the US, we are striving to deliver the first collection of earth-friendly products under the Norwegian lifestyle brand, PURENorway. We’re also expanding our Popeye spokes-character relationship with The SeaCleaners into a merchandise program that will help support their sea cleaning and protection initiatives. The Manta, the first offshore vessel capable of collecting and processing in continuous flow large quantities of macro-plastic waste floating on the surface of the oceans, is launching at the end of this month. As a sailorman, Popeye is a natural protector of the sea, so the mission of the organiza-
tion aligns with his strong values. He’s proud to represent such a proactive agent for change in the world. This coming year, in addition to serving as an educational ambassador for the organization, 2021 will see Popeye and The SeaCleaners release co-branded products where a portion of proceeds will benefit their ocean clean-up project. To learn more about the organization and how fans can help make a difference, check out The SeaCleaners website. The Cuphead Show! will be airing on Netflix later this year. How are you preparing for that launch? I can’t go into specifics, but I am confident we will have publishing, apparel, art prints and toys to support the launch of this amazing new content. In terms of new IP acquisition, are there specific categories or territories that you are focusing on? We’re always on the hunt for new IP that complements our current library! If we see a really amazing brand that has global franchise potential, we’re open to having a conversation around possible representation. However, as you can see from the list of brands we talked about, we have a very solid portfolio and our main focus is to concentrate on building merchandise programs for our classic, fully-owned brands and new IP with entertainment. It’s important to stay focused on the opportunities in our portfolio which will give us the most long-term success. So right now, we’re working on CP programs in support of our entertainment-based brands with new content coming soon, like Cuphead (Netflix), The Phantom (Universal Content Productions), Flash Gordon (20th Century) Hägar the Horrible (The Jim Henson Company) ...and more to be announced! How do creative, social media and digital marketing play a role in your business? For King Features, new character art and the regular release of fashion trend guides are key to ensuring our products are always on the forefront of trends. Last year we launched new character art for Flash Gordon and
The Phantom, and this year look to release similar work for Prince Valiant and Mandrake the Magician. We now have the opportunity to build upon the foundations for Flash and The Phantom with new fashion trend guides fo that we look forward to sharing later in the year. We also just launched a branding exploration project for our leading lady, Olive Oyl, who you’ll be seeing a lot more of in the months to come. Our seasoned social media manager, Jackie Saumell is busy expanding our engaged global following across platforms! While KFS houses 60+ brands, her focus is in sharing a daily dose of laughter from Comics Kingdom, home to our comic strip brands, while creating content for our classic comic characters that connects them with today’s audience. Using Popeye’s following of over 9 Million fans as inspiration, over time Jackie looks to build the social presence for properties like Flash Gordon, The Phantom and Olive Oyl to a similar level of influence. She’s also excited to launch the first-ever social strategy for The Cuphead Show! later this year which will be supported by a targeted influencer campaign near the launch. We’re also excited to have Henderson Chatargun on board as a digital project manager. He keeps all of our digital systems moving and is playing a key role in our King Features website redesign, which we are looking forward to launching this year. What’s your outlook for 2021 and beyond? Where Focus Goes, Energy Flows… Always Moving Forward. I believe that we can accomplish great things even during challenging times. It’s not always easy, but now more than ever, we need to be innovative and flexible. We have a great team in place, fantastic brands and we see a world of opportunities! Let’s put our plans into action and make 2021 our best year ever!
RIKI’S FIXIES CHOSEN AS A MASCOT FOR DUBAI EVENT Riki Group report that The Fixies were chosen as a mascot of the Russian Pavilion at the World Exhibition ‘Expo’ in Dubai. The mascot will be presented as a part of the big presentation of the Russian Pavilion on April 8-9, 2021 in Dubai at the “Russia Creates” conference. In addition, the animated feature The Fixies vs. Crabots was released theatrically in the UAE and Saudi Arabia on January 21. Expo-2020 will be held in Dubai from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 and will be one of the largest in history. The subject of the World Exhibition is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. The professional jury included the Chairman of the Union of designers of Russia ,Vitaly Stavitsky, the President of the Association of branding agencies of Russia, Oleg Beriev, journalist Sergey Gordeev, artist, sculptor and designer Alexander Frolov, Director of the Russian Pavilion, Alexander Getman, Manager Department of tourism and Commerce marketing of Dubai for Russia and CIS, Daria Chumachenko, Deputy Director of Department of state regulation of foreign trade of Ministry of industry and trade of the Russian Federation, Konstantin Kim. They awarded first place to the characters from the much-loved animated series of The Fixies.
SECOND SEASON FOR MONDO SERIES Mondo TV has announced plans for the second series of its popular environmentally themed animated kids’ show MeteoHeroes. With the first series already sold or confirmed into over 120 countries and among the hit shows on Cartoonito in Italy last autumn, it was inevitable that Meteo Operations Italia (MOPI), which originated the concept, and Mondo TV would get together to co-produce series two – and now it’s been confirmed! The second season will consist of 52 episodes of 11 minutes each. Production of series two will start in the first quarter of 2021 and is expected to be completed by 2022. MeteoHeroes is the only cartoon in the world dedicated entirely to climate and environmental issues. Each episode focuses on issues related to ecology and respect for nature through the adventures of six superpowered kids who can control weather phenomena. Working alongside scientists and meteorologists at their futuristic HQ based in Gran Sasso Mountain National Park in Italy, the MeteoHeroes are trained to control their powers and fulfil their mission: to save the Earth. But the success of MeteoHeroes is not surprising. It’s a stylish cartoon show delivering action, comedy and real scientific information in thrilling storylines that discuss complex contemporary issues like climate change and weather patterns in an accessible and appealing way. Each episode is based on a real event with each story on screen linked to images and footage of the news stories that inspired it and the science behind each mission.
J&M BRANDS TO REP SPACE ARCHIVES The International Space Archives have appointed J&M Brands to expand their ranges of licensed products. International Space Archives is a digital library containing the best of the incredible imagery created by our planet’s exploration of the universe. For the first time ever, the International Space Archives is bringing together the best of this still and video imagery into one comprehensive collection and making it available for licensing. The Mission patches, photos, films and video contained in the licensing archive come from a variety of sources including NASA (the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and the international space programs of Russia, Japan, China, India and the European Union. Jannienke Mulder, Co-Founder J&M Brands, says “We are very excited to be working with ISA and this is undoubtedly a huge opportunity for potential licensees. The ISA contain an unprecedented amount of incredible images that can be utilized by our licensees to increase profits, target new consumer streams and open up new retail channels that might have been closed to them before.” She continues by saying “there is such a broad market for this license and the variety of imagery lends itself well for many products and promotions. We are certain of its potential success.”
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The expanding world of El Ocho Licencias y Promociones El Ocho Licencias y Promociones leading the path for successful brands. Since 2003, when El Ocho was founded by Eva Rubira and Pilar FernándezVega, it has been one of the leading licensing agencies in Iberia. The secret behind its long-term success is the hard work and passion they put into every licensing program they create. El Ocho is a licensing agency based in Madrid with over 20 years of expertise. They have close relationships with the key partners in Spain and Portugal. They work with brand owners, manufacturers, TV broadcasters and retailers to ensure they are all aligned on a strategy that works best for everyone. El Ocho has represented some of the best brands in the world and made them extremely successful in Iberia. They choose brands carefully and look for brands with potential: brands with positive values, inspirational and that add value to the consumers and to the market. Then they develop the potential by creating a long-term licensing strategy that works best for the target and look for the best partners in the territory.The key is to work on steady progress and not rush the products to the market, so the license does not burn out after a few years. They have managed to create brands that become classics and have great expertise transforming licenses into evergreen brands that are loved by all. Throughout the years El Ocho has been a partner to the following brands: Pokémon, Ninja Turtles, Pocoyo, Dragon Ball, Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, Simon, Bing, Mafalda, Molang, Asterix and many more. This year they will introduce more brands to their portfolio that are expected to be globally successful: Kid-eKats by APC Kids and CTC Network and CoComelon, Blippi and Morphle by Moonbug.
El Ocho’s strengths include: • They work closely with the retailers to deliver products that have demand. • They pick the best licensees for each brand with the best products and distribution. •
They have a close relationship with TV broadcasters to ensure proper brand visibility.
Unique licensing program and marketing plan for each brand.
El Ocho Licencias y Promociones has been named the Iberian agency for CoComelon, Blippi and Morphle by The Point.1888, Moonbug’s master agency. Moonbug is a global entertainment company that creates and distributes inspiring and engaging stories to expand kids’ worlds and minds. CoComelon is the #1 Youtube Kids channel in the world! It is an online phenomenon for kids between 1-4 years of age. The channel’s primary goal is to engage families with entertaining and educational content that makes universally relatable preschool moments fun. CoComelon, where kids can be happy and smart! Blippi is everybody’s best friend. There are so many exciting things to explore and learn. Blippi helps children‘s understanding of the world and encourages vocabulary development. Blippi loves visiting exciting places such as children’s museums and the zoo! He loves singing, dancing, playing, and exploring. His contagious curiosity engages young viewers in learning adventures that help them both grow and develop. Blippi is Curious, Educational, Relatable! Morphle is an energetic little red creature who can morph into anything: a sweet puppy, a giant truck, a cool dinosaur, or anything that Mila’s playful mind can imagine. Mila loves and takes care of Morphle. She shows him everything she knows about the
world, and how to have fun. With Morphle’s morphing powers and Mila’s boundless imagination every day is the most exciting playdate. Step inside Mila’s Magic world Kids-e-cats Three cute kittens live in a small town. Cookie, Pudding, and Candy, like to play and investigate the world around them. Their inquisitive mind leads those three to new adventures every day. Together they learn to express their emotions, to help each other and find a way out from any situation, with the help of their imagination and parental advice.
Eva Rubira and Pilar Fernandez-Vega, founders of El Ocho Licencias y Promociones www.el-ocho.com
What started as an earworm we couldn’t shake has grown into a true pop culture phenomenon.
Baby Shark children’s footwear line including sneakers, slippers, and rain boots for back-toschool 2020 in Europe and the Middle East and Lexibook announced an exciting range of children’s electronics inspired by the iconic Baby Shark brand launching in France in 2021.
Baby Shark launched on YouTube in November 2015 and took the world by storm, amassing more than 7 billion views and becoming the most-watched video in the platform’s history. Swimming from YouTube onto Nick Jr, Baby Shark’s Big Show! made its first debut this past holiday season with the premiere of Baby Shark’s Big Fishmas Special! The brand new animated series based on the pop culture phenomenon will officially roll-out across Nickelodeon’s preschool platforms starting with the U.S. premiere in Spring 2021. Following the U.S. launch, the series will roll out on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. channels internationally. Co-produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio and SmartStudy, the global entertainment company behind the beloved children’s brand Pinkfong, the 2D-animated series (26 half-hour episodes), will follow Baby Shark and his best friend William as they journey on fun-filled comedic adventures in their community of Carnivore Cove, meet new friends and sing original catchy tunes along the way. The Baby Shark consumer products program has taken retail by storm under the direction of ViacomCBS Consumer Products, with Baby Shark named a top five new brand in the global market by NPD in March 2020. In 2020, master toy partner WowWee continued to expand its successful Baby Shark line using proprietary technology to inspire new ways to learn and play with everybody’s favorite shark. Their Baby Shark Dancing DJ toy exceeded all retail expectations this year. An ocean of new categories
Baby Shark has been the recipient of numerous industry accolades, with the property named License of the Year and the Pinkfong Baby Shark Song Puppets by WowWee named Plush of the Year at the 2020 Toy of the Year Awards. The WowWee Song Puppet was also honored with the 2020 National Parenting Product Award. The property has once again been nominated for License of the Year in the upcoming 2021 Toy of the Year Awards.
rolled out in 2020 including apparel, backpacks, mac & cheese, cereal, toothbrushes and bandaids, with additional expansion in 2021 including sippy cups, party supplies and more! Products based on the new series’ look and characters will hit retail shelves in Fall 2021 starting with an all new toy line from WowWee. New licensing deals announced for the property in recent months include CandyRific, who announced a line of Pinkfong Baby Shark Light & Sound Wands, its first novelty item filled with Jelly Belly Candy Co. organic jelly beans. In addition, Kellogg’s launched Baby Shark Froot Loops cereal in South Africa and Sambro International Ltd announced an exciting range of children’s Arts & Craft, Novelty and Outdoor products for the iconic Baby Shark brand in the UK. Hitting shelves in spring 2021, the range will include painting sets, doughs and inflatable play products. On the apparel side, Leomil launched a new
The original “Baby Shark Dance” video is now the #1 most-watched video of all time on YouTube! With music, characters, story and dance all combined together, the song recorded a 20-week-streak on the Billboard Hot 100 and spawned a viral phenomenon #BabySharkChallenge, generating over one million cover videos around the globe. Baby Shark single received RIAA Diamond certification (11x Platinums) for selling over 11 million records in the US. This recognition makes Baby Shark the only children’s song in history to be certified Diamond, and also one of the only 41 Diamond singles alongside best-selling artists such as Ed Sheeran and Lady Gaga. The song also has been recognized as BRIT certified 2x Platinum. Baby Shark’s Big Fishmas Special, the holiday episode of Baby Shark’s Big Show!, premiered in the U.S. on Nickelodeon Dec. 11, 2020, and ranked as the top telecast of the week with K2-5 (excluding sports), citing data by Nielsen Media Research.
Nickelodeon’s hit preschool series Blue’s Clues & You!, which is a remake of the groundbreaking, curriculum-driven interactive series Blue’s Clues, has become a clue-finding global phenomenon as it continues to entertain and educate a new generation of preschoolers. After seeing worldwide success with an already established licensing program, ViacomCBS Consumer Products is continuing to grow the Blue’s Clues & You! international merchandise portfolio in top markets such as Mexico, Spain, UK and Canada. The growing international consumer products program for the new series aligns with the 25th anniversary of the original series coming up in 2021. ViacomCBS Consumer Products continues to focus its efforts on growing Blue’s Clue & You! merchandise programs in select international markets, such as Mexico, where the show is ranked #3 on Nick Jr. Mexico. Parents and their kids will be able to join in on more clue-finding fun when a new line of consumer products launches at retail in March 2021 starting with our apparel and publishing lines heading to department stores, followed by toys in April for Children’s Day. The hit preschool series is also seeing tremendous success in Spain. Spanish retailers have shown their optimism for Blue’s Clues & You! product performance success and are putting all efforts and support around the property as we head in 2021. Retailtainment activations will kick off from May 2021.
Canada continues to be a strong market for Blue’s Clues & You!, as the series continues its 8-month streak at #1 with K2-5 in its main timeslot on the Treehouse network. ViacomCBS has also seen strong retail success with its established merchandise programs, with the Thinking Chair and Peek-A-Blue Plush remaining wildly popular at Walmart, and the Blue’s House Playset and Dance-Along Blue Plush Exclusives as the top selling toys for the franchise at Toys “R” Us.
Both retailers also featured the brand among their top toys for the holidays in 2020. 2021 will bring an extensive category rollout with a range of new products that preschoolers are sure to love debuting in the spring. Blue’s Clues & You! has also seen continuing success in the UK with its current licensing deals. Toy partner Just Play is seeing strong sell-in for its new toy line, which includes plushes, collectible figures, playsets and more is on the way.
Melissa & Doug, the purpose-driven global toy brand, have signed a licensing partnership to deliver PAW Patrol® and Blue’s Clues & You! co-branded toy product lines for Fall 2021.The toys will be designed to educate and empower preschoolers through active engagement with a focus on problem solving and creative thinking. This global partnership with ViacomCBS is the largest licensing agreement Melissa & Doug has ever signed, marking a major milestone for the company.Through the partnership, Melissa & Doug will bring innovative and imaginative toys to retail that will span multiple categories focused on learning and education. “Melissa & Doug has been at the forefront of children’s toys for over 30 years.We are thrilled to collaborate with them to create products based on the beloved PAW Patrol and Blue’s Clues & You! IP that continue to inspire imagination and hugely impact children’s growth and learning,” said Dion Vlachos, Executive Vice President, Licensing & Retail,ViacomCBS. From its beginning, Melissa & Doug has been a purpose-driven company committed to providing a launch pad to ignite imagination and a sense of wonder in all children so they can discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose. Recently, Melissa & Doug announced their alliance with the American Academy of Pediatrics to champion the health benefits of open-ended play and provide tools and resources for parents to make it an essential part of children’s everyday lives. “We’re excited to work with a company as iconic as Nickelodeon, one that shares in our mission to make the world a more playful place through thoughtfully researched and designed products and content,” said David Henderson, Chief Commercial Officer of Melissa & Doug. “The characters of PAW Patrol and Blue’s Clues & You! will help us introduce our hands-on, skill-building toys to an even greater number of children.”
Interview Veronica Hart, Executive Vice President, Global Franchise Planning, ViacomCBS Total Licensing talked to Veronica Hart to find out more about ViacomCBS’s powerhouse preschool franchises. Could you outline some of the recent news for your key properties over the last few months? 2020 has been a year like no other, and despite the world turning upside down this year, I am thrilled to say Nickelodeon - and ViacomCBS Consumer Products - has been able to pivot with our partners and retailers. SpongeBob SquarePants had a huge year coming out of the brand’s 20th anniversary, and in advance of the upcoming The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run feature film and launch of the new series Kamp Koral. JoJo Siwa, our amazing social star, was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people, and in Latin America we launched product with new social star Bala. Looking across the ViacomCBS portfolio, South Parkexpanded its retail presence across mass market globally, and Star Trek has been cemented as an iconic brand with new partners and products debuting as we continue to expand the franchise for a broader audience than ever before. And that’s all on top of the phenomenal year we had in the preschool space in preparation for a milestone year for PAW Patrol, Blue’s Clues & You!, and Baby Shark in 2021. Focusing on PAW Patrol, Blue’s Clues & You! and Baby Shark, can you tell us some recent highlights for each brand? We reignited Blue’s Clues for a whole new generation with a successful retail launch in the US, Canada and Australia with products from Just Play, VTECH and more debuting across key categories. Additionally, we will be launching the property at retail in the UK, Mexico and other key markets in 2021. Continuing in preschool, PAW Patrol continues to expand. It is the number #1 preschool TV brand in toys and we continue to build “pawsome” new collections for new distribution channels. We also launched Baby Shark products at a great time- the original Baby Sharkdance video is now the #1 most watched video of all time! What has been the impact of Covid for you – and what positives have you noted? As the year started, we had no idea what this year had in store for us. But we worked dili-
gently with our partners and retailers to ensure that we adapted to the changing environment quickly. I’m incredibly proud that we donated all ViacomCBS proceeds from our reusable face mask licensing to charities around the world and expanded product offerings in response to the new back-to-school essentials for kids and families. Do you think that there is, now more so than ever, a big shift towards streaming for preschool rather than ‘traditional’ television and how are you tapping into this trend? Nickelodeon has a true omni-channel approach to our properties, including preschool. Linear remains important, but we have streaming partners and a strong presence on YouTube and all platforms to ensure that our content is where the kids are. Paramount + is also a key streaming partner as we expand the service as part of the rebrand from CBS All Access in the US and as Paramount + rolls out globally. Are there any particular territories you are focusing on, for each preschool property? We look at all of the core opportunities across our portfolio as global and build long term strategies to account for launch plans in markets around the world. As a global organization we have sales, marketing and franchise teams in our key markets and those teams develop market-by-market strategies that connect to the global roadmap. This is true of PAW Patrol, Blue’s Clues & You!, Baby Shark and much more. And tell us about some upcoming exciting licensing news if you can share? We are thrilled that we have entered into a global deal with Melissa & Doug for PAW Patrol and Blue’s Clues & You! to develop and launch a range of co-branded toys. The Baby Shark consumer products program is growing rapidly as we ready for the upcoming U.S. launch of Baby Shark’s Big Show on Nick Jr., with expanded offerings coming in 2021 to new categories such as party supplies, band-aids, sippy cups, and more. Looking at PAW Patrol – this has been a phenomenal success. What do you think makes it so special and popular, and do you see equal popularity in the show and merchandise from both boys and girls?
PAW Patrol is a very special show. It is developed with such heart and the pups are characters that pre-schoolers and parents cheer on. It also really speaks to the messages of empowerment for kids and inclusivity - everyone is important, and everyone is unique- and shows that by working together we can accomplish anything, universal themes that both boys and girls both gravitate towards. We are thrilled to launch the theatrical film next summer with Spin Master and Paramount Pictures and are working with our partners to develop new ranges around the film in all markets. Baby Shark, equally, exploded onto the scene with great popularity! How are you planning to tap into this and what are the licensing plans? With the Nickelodeon series, the range of characters around Baby Shark and the stories we are able to tell through the content are expanding significantly, which will open the brand up to new products and categories, as we continue our amazing relationship with our partners at Pinkfong. How are you working with each show so that inclusivity and diversity are strong mantles? We work hand in hand with our best-in-class creative teams. All of our preschool hits are developed and produced by the amazing Nickelodeon Animation team, and it’s critical to them and Nickelodeon as a whole to develop content and a slate that represents the world around us. Inclusion is a top priority in everything we do at ViacomCBS.
PAW PATROLTM ANIMATED MOTION PICTURE FROM SPIN MASTER AND NICKELODEON MOVIES, WITH PARAMOUNT PICTURES DISTRIBUTING. SET FOR AUGUST 2021 RELEASE Spin Master Corp recently, announced it is taking its powerhouse franchise PAW Patrol from the small screen to the big screen. The major motion picture animated feature film, a Spin Master Entertainment production in association with Nickelodeon Movies, will be distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film is slated to arrive in theaters in August 2021 and will be directed by animation veteran Cal Brunker (Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature; Escape From Planet Earth).
President, Jennifer Dodge, will produce the film and Ronnen Harary, Co-Founder and CoCEO of Spin Master, Adam Beder, Executive Vice President, Strategic Partnership & Franchise Development for Spin Master, and Peter Schlessel will executive produce. Representing a new chapter for this continually growing entertainment franchise, the feature film is based on the award-winning, hit preschool series produced by Spin Master Entertainment and broadcast globally by Nickelodeon.
Spin Master Entertainment’s Executive Vice “We are thrilled to partner with Paramount and Nickelodeon to bring the PAW Patrol franchise, and the characters that children love, to the big screen,” said Dodge.“This first foray into the arena of feature film marks a significant strategic expansion for Spin Master Entertainment and our properties. This demonstrates our commitment to harnessing our own internal entertainment production teams to develop and deliver IP in a motion picture format and allows us to connect our characters to fans through shared theatrical experiences.” “Expanding PAW Patrol into the world of theatricals is a major milestone for this iconic property, and we can’t wait for kids and families everywhere to experience it together,” said Brian Robbins, President, Kids & Family Entertainment, ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks. “We are incredibly excited to work with Spin Master Entertainment and our
sister division Paramount Pictures on this latest title from the Nickelodeon Movies slate.” “We are thrilled to be distributing this film and sharing the beloved PAW Patrol universe with audiences around the globe,” said Marc Weinstock, Paramount’s President of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, and Mary Daily, CoPresident of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution. The PAW Patrol movie is the first of a number of feature films in the works by Spin Master’s Entertainment division. The storyline surrounds Ryder and the pups who are called to Adventure City to stop Mayor Humdinger from turning the bustling metropolis into a state of chaos. Get ready for exciting missions, high-stake rescues, new pups and amazing new vehicles making this the biggest Paw Patrol story ever! Kim Kardashian West, Dax Shepard (“Chips”, “Idiocracy”), Jimmy Kimmel, Tyler Perry (“The Star”), Yara Shahidi (“Black-ish”), Randall Park (“Fresh Off The Boat”, “The Interview”), Iain Armitage (“Young Sheldon”), Marsai Martin (“Black-ish”), and Will Brisbin (“Forbidden Playground”) have joined the voice cast of the film, which is currently in production with creators, artists and producers collaborating remotely. Airing in over 160 countries, in 30 languages, PAW Patrol is consistently ranked as a top-rated preschool series. Currently in its seventh season on Nickelodeon, PAW Patrol’s universal messaging resonates with children around the world and since its launch in 2013, the franchise has won countless awards globally.
TOTAL LICENSING Officer and Game Master, Matthew Mercer. Darrington Press currently has four games set to be released in 2021, with their very first game, Uk’otoa, set for a Q1 2021 release date.
Tell us about your publishing arm (Darrington Press). Darrington Press launched last year (2020) and is the natural progression for us as an organization that is
To find out more,Total Licensing talked to Ben Van Der Fluit, Critical Role’s SVP of Business Development.
Total Licensing talks to Ben Van Der Fluit, SVP of Business Development at Critical Role, a world-leading digital media brand.
Critical Role is one of the most popular story-driven and worldbuilding digital media brand in the world. While it started off as a roleplaying game between a group of friends in 2012, Critical Role has since evolved into a multiplatform entertainment phenomenon that has branched out into a variety of shows and endeavors, including the flagship show Critical Role, comic books, animation, live performances, podcasts, fan art, graphic novels, multiple books on the New York Times Best Sellers list, philanthropy through Critical Role Foundation, original tabletop game publishing through Darrington Press and more. Critical Role currently has licensing partnerships with Usaopoly (The Op), Funko, Penguin Random House, Dark Horse, McFarlane Toys, Ripple Junction. Critical Role works with Collaborations Licensing, a fullservice Los Angeles-based licensing agency with a special focus on cobranding opportunities, for their licensing partnerships. Critical Role’s tabletop games publishing company, features games in and outside of Exandria, the world created by Darrington Press Creative Advisor, Critical Role’s Chief Creative
Can you tell us more about Critical Role, some history, etc? Critical Role initially began in 2012 when a group of successful voice actors came together to play a roleplaying game during a birthday celebration. This was the beautiful start to an ongoing RPG campaign, often played in each others’ living rooms and over brunch, snacks, and epic stores. Given their unique ability to craft and tell fun and meaningful narratives through their campaigns, the idea that a wider audience might be interested in enjoying their adventures alongside them came up and they began taking the proper steps to share these adventures with the world.
determined to inspire and connect people through play. We put serious thought into a games and publishing imprint of our own for a long time and are so excited to create and share new worlds and stories with
The first episode of Critical Role aired online in 2015, and quickly gained an audience and recognition as a truly unique experience. Since then, Critical Role has produced more than 900 hours of original content and has catapulted into a global franchise with a #1 podcast, New York Times Bestselling graphic novels and nonfiction releases, a successful direct-toconsumer business, and a forthcoming animated series, The Legend of Vox Machina, premiering exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
What areas of licensing do you work in, and which areas would you like to expand into? We have great partnerships in major categories including apparel (Ripple Junction),toys (McFarlane),collectables (Sideshow, Funko), publishing (Dark Horse, Penguin Random House and Wizards of the Coast), co-branded gaming (USAopoly) and accessories (Surreal Entertainment). Over the past 18 months we have worked hard with our licensing partners at Collaborations Licensing to bring over a dozen partners who aid in the growth and expansion of our brand. That being said, there is still a lot we have a strong desire to get done and we are just getting started in the world of licensed products. Electronics, footwear and food and beverages to name a few are on our future list.
Are you internationally known? Critical Role is known worldwide and we have our own global fulfillment centers that deliver our products directly to our loyal fans. Continued international expansion is a big priority for us in the future.
boardgaming and RPG players of all levels of experience and interest around the world.
In our annual Licensee Lookbook, we shine a light on some of the recent work of licensees around the globe. In what has not been an easy year for the industry, they have risen admirably to the challenge! Rainbow Productions are global leaders in manufacturing high quality bespoke brand and sports mascots, as well as the UK’s official supplier of licensed children’s characters for appearances. In response to the current climate and with new Managing Director and owner, Simon Foulkes, taking up the reins, Rainbow has created its new Adapted Character Engagement (ACE) and Global Experiences programmes. Rainbow have extensive experience in providing COVID-Safe character appearances, ensuring that they can be effectively managed with integrity and in line with government guidelines, whilst also enhancing the customers’ experience and providing much sought after away-from-the-home entertainment. Simon comments: “Not only does the ACE programme add to the customer
Shining the Spotlight on Licensees
experience, it also ensures that they walk away with that mantel-pieceenhancing memento. Each ACE can be adapted to our client’s venue and available space also ensuring that we are in control of the experience and it complements their existing Health, Safety and Hygiene policies.” The firm also manufacture bespoke mascot costumes for many of the world’s leading Licensing studios, International Sporting Associations and Tournaments, Brands, Leisure Attractions and Film Producers. During lockdown they invested in staff training and also acquired new innovative technology – a 3D printer and a RotaCaster. Simon explains “Up until now we have predominantly produced lightweight structured foam heads, but the addition of this technology will now give clients the option of lightweight solid resin heads.” New fabrics are also now available to clients, including a breathable synthetic mesh which is flexible, expandable and quick dry as well as 8-way stretch furs and Lycra’s which can cover curves without any seams. These investments provide Rainbow with a long-term global competitive edge and allows them to remain at the forefront of worldwide costume character manufacture. www.rainbowproductions.co.uk
collection is set to include layette and fashion daywear along with nightwear, snow suits, sleeping bags, accessories and changing bags inspired by the adventures of the iconic community of mice in the idyllic countryside. Brambly Hedge joins a number of prestigious new children’s partners for Poetic Brands, as the licensee establishes its new Baby, Children’s Wear and Accessories division. In response to a growing interest in
Poetic Brands has been working hard during the pandemic and ensuring business is thriving. The company recentlysigned a deal to create a range of baby clothing and accessories based on the heritage children’s publishing property, Brambly Hedge. The new
TOTAL LICENSING art in the licensed fashion sector, Poetic also recently teamed up with the National Gallery, which houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world, to create a range of adult apparel and accessories based on its impressive and extensive artworks. Incorporating a wide range of products including adult daywear apparel and outerwear, swimwear, flip flops, beach bags and towels, adult nightwear and essentials, and accessories including caps and luggage. Judith Mather, Buying and Brand Licensing Director, the National Gallery, comments: “We are very excited about the partnership with Poetic Brands which will bring old master paintings to a new audience. It is amazing to bring our collection to modern life.” In response to a growing interest in art in the licensed fashion sector, specialist apparel licensee, Poetic Brands, has teamed up with the National Gallery, which houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world, to create a range of adult apparel and accessories based on its impressive and extensive artworks. As Poetic Brands builds its portfolio of properties for its newly established Baby, Children’s Wear and Accessories division, the company has announced a deal with evergreen children’s prop-
erty Percy the Park Keeper. The truly seasonal brand offers itself perfectly to apparel and will form a collection including babywear, layette and baby accessories including bibs, hats, scratch mitts, booties and muslin cloths, as well as baby changing bags. For children, there will be apparel and outerwear, swimwear and towelling ponchos, and nightwear and essentials. www.poeticgem.com MeUndies’ Marvel collection dropped recently, with the signature softer-than-soft MicroModal fabric in men’s & women’s Undies, Loungewear, and Dog Hoodies. This limited-edition print features symbols representing Marvel’s Avengers including Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Captain America, Black Panther, and Ant-Man. The Avengers teach us about teamwork, individualism vs. collectivism, and most importantly, the way an individual’s unique abilities and strengths are the true “heroes.” And MeUndies, is all about celebrating heroic individuality and authenticity, as well as supernaturally soft MicroModal. www.meundies.com Erve Europe is a European leader in character licenses and brands. The company produces branded fashion
and apparel featuring TV, film, cartoon and video game heroes. The Erve Group has six offices across three continents and controls the supply chain between raw materials and stores. Starting with its in-house global design team and portfolio of licenses/ brands/games, we source, produce, pack and transport collections at the request of major fashion retailers. With more than 35 years in the industry, the dynamic team values growth, transparency and customer focus. Erve’s quality and sustainable practices have earned the company a reputation for excellence. “We believe in an organization that operates in circles, giving everyone the chance to shine. If every individual has the opportunity to develop their full potential, we’ll be happier and more successful as a team. An open environment, collaboration and growing together is what we stand for. Step by step, better each time,” is the company ethos. Erve Europe is frontrunner in quality and compliance, brings innovative products and distributes all over Europe. firstname.lastname@example.org From Harry Potter to Batman, Spread Group is strengthening its position as a strategic licensing partner of Warner Bros. Entertainment. 14 brands will be available in four new markets in Europe, North America, and Oceania The new target markets are UK, USA, Canada and Australia. The corporate Group now owns the licensing rights for 14 brands, including Harry Potter, Batman and Friends. Spread Group and Warner Bros. have had a successful partnership in across many European countries since 2012. In these eight years, Spread Group has developed more than 1,700 designs with popular Warner Bros. heroes and symbols in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. The Warner Bros. brands are among the bestsellers on these European Spreadshirt marketplaces. “We are excited about the opportunity to use our know-how to launch into new markets and to strategically develop our partnership with Warner
TOTAL LICENSING Bros. In doing so, we will cover design, marketing and production, to the web presence on our Spreadshirt marketplace, as well as on Amazon and eBay - according to our 360-degree approach,” explains Ann-Katrin Hager, Head of Licensing Europe of Spread Group. This licensing deal will make Warner Bros. will one of Spread Group’s largest partners. It will offer over 1,000 Warner designs on the Spreadshirt marketplaces in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia as well as 1,500 item positions on Amazon.com. www.spreadgroup.com For 2021, Danilo will be adding the following licenses to their extensive brand portfolio: Coco Melon - a combination of fun, colourful animation and classic nursery rhymes and kids songs. They have the no.1 kids YouTube channel in the world which has 98 million subscribers. Aimed at boys and girls aged 1 to 4 years, we are excited to launch
a brand new range of official Coca Melon greetings cards, wrap and bags in 2021. Super Mario - a renowned, classic video game first launched in 1985 by Nintendo. Celebrating the 34th anniversary in 2020, over 300 million games have been sold since launch. Targeted at kids aged 6 to 12 years and families, Danilo will be creating an official range of Super Mario greetings cards, wrap, bags and calendars in 2021. Animal Crossing - a social simulation video game which first launched in 2001 but has become a massive success since March 2020.With a primary audience of kids aged 6 to 12 years, a
brand new official range of Animal Crossing greetings cards, wrap, bags, calendars and diaries is coming in 2021. Animal Planet - the TV channel owned and broadcast by the Discovery Channel. Animal Planet enjoys an 81% global brand awareness level, with 60% of 4-11 year olds watching it with adults. As a show linked to sustainability, Danilo are delighted that next year will see a brand new greetings card, gift wrap, bag and calendar range for this popular brand. Mr Men and Little Miss - The brand celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2021, and Danilo will be launching a new official range of greetings cards based on the strong nostalgic appeal for adults who remember the books & tv. The range will also include Gift Wrap, Bags, Calendars and Diaries. Elmer the Patchwork Elephant - Elmer remains one of the most iconic and widely read children’s book series of all time, selling over 10 million copies worldwide since it was first
published in 1989. The new greeting cards, gift wrap and bags will be added to the world of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant next year. Featuring all the hottest movies for 2021, Danilo’s extensive calendar range for next year will have something for everyone. Including popular children’s animated films such as Peter Rabbit 2, Spirit, Luca, Paw Patrol and My Little Pony, as well as Minions 2. www.danilo.com Hilco is looking forward to Easter and has announced a basket-full of treats for 2021, including KOOL-AID brand Jelly Bean Tube Topper and KOOL-AID brand Easter three-pack Popping Candy Peg Bag. Hilco provides affordable, fun and unique novelty candy. Quality candy and consumer satisfaction has always been at the top of Hilco’s priorities. Hilco is celebrating over 25 years of success and joy in bringing fun, affordable toy and candy novelties to the consumer. www.HilcoUSA.com Mark Feldstein & Associates (MFA) has developed a series of clocks for 2021 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the influential Coca-Cola Hilltop Commercial and 90th Anniversary of the iconic Coca-Cola Santa. The products will be released for sale in 2021 to retailers, catalogs and e-commerce. Coca-Cola’s Hilltop Commercial that first aired in 1971 is widely considered to be one of the most influential and popular advertisements of all time with its themes of unity, inclusion, optimism and hope that perfectly captured the shifting cultural landscape of the 1970s. In addition, the commercial symbolizes a common connection that all people have with each other which is very relevant today as the world continues to battle the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. Drawn in 1931, Michigan artist Haddon Sundblom’s Coca-Cola Santa Claus illustration firmly established the larger-than-life, grandfatherly Claus as a key figure in American Christmas imagery. So popular were his images of Santa Claus
The ranges will target kids of all-ages across apparel lines and accessories. Established for an extraordinary 38 years, Care Bears continues to appeal to a wide-range of fans. Bulldog Licensing, which manages the rights for the brand in the UK, has been further building the property with a number of hugely successful deals. The new partnership with Bioworld is the latest in a line of leading licensees, which are each leveraging the universal love for the property among consumers. Bioworld are pioneers of pop-culture products and a leading global manufacturer of licensed apparel and accessories for 20 years. www.bioworldmerch.com Hilco’s Easter Offering that they are still used today by CocaCola. Sundblom is often credited as having created the “modern image” of Santa Claus in a red suit. www.markfeldstein.com Bioworld will be creating a range of apparel and accessories inspired by the fun, loveable Bears of Care-a-Lot.
Wow! Stuff positions itself within the toy market as ‘Great Brands Brought to Life!’, reflecting its tier 1 licensed brand portfolio brought to life with product innovation. Wow! Stuff’s offices are located in Los Angeles, USA, Hong Kong and Wolverhampton, UK. Wow! Stuff has won multiple awards and global recognition for its unique tech-toys and world first inventions, is a 3 times TOTY (Toy Of The Year)
Coca-Cola Hilltop Commercial clocks from MFA
TOTAL LICENSING award nominee and winner of the Innovation award at this year’s 2020 TOTY’s. For more information see Moonbug recently announced a multiterritory licensing partnership with Wow! Stuff, an award-winning toy manufacturer of the widely popular 3D animated series CoComelon. In 2021, Wow! Stuff will bring CoComelon to life through an innovative toy line based on the animated series. CoComleon, known for its educational, relatable, and upbeat content, has been a world-wide phenomenon this year, recently surpassing 100M YouTube subscribers and garnering over 100 consecutive days on Netflix’s Top 10 in the U.S. This toy line is yet another way for children to engage with their favorite CoComelon characters beyond the screen, providing parents an opportunity to teach and play with their children. www.wowstuff.com Jazwares is a global leader in consumer products including toys, plush,
action figures, collectibles and musical instruments. Jazwares’ portfolio includes a variety of dynamic, whollyowned and licensed brands like preschool powerhouses Blippi, Cabbage Patch Kids, CoComelon and Peppa Pig, action and gaming brands like Fortnite, Halo, Micro Machines, Nerf, Pokémon and Roblox. Jazwares recently announced the promotion of Laura Zebersky to president. A 15-year veteran of the toy industry, Laura most recently held the title of chief commercial officer, where she oversaw Jazwares’ global licensing, marketing, and sales efforts. Judd Zebersky will remain as chief executive officer, and they will continue to drive forward the success of the company together. Jazwares has also announced the promotion of several management executives across the company, including Kelly Deen to senior vice president of marketing, Gerhard Runken to senior vice president of brand for Jazwares’ boy brands and Kellytoy brands, and
Jonny Taylor to senior vice president, Europe. www.jazwares.com Far Out Toys reveals new brands planned for 2021 – including new toys under their successful Ryan’s World; Love, Diana; and Crash Circuit brands as well as innovative surprise product
introductions planned for fall. Love, Diana collectibles including dolls, pets and playsets debut in Spring 2021. The range includes Season 1 of the Fashion Fabulous 3.5” collection of dolls, pets and playsets and the Princess of Play 2.5” collection with collectible mini-figures and a birthday party themed 5-pack. In Fall 2021, these lines will expand into Season 2 with brand new surprise styles and scents, along with new play sets. All small dolls and figurines will come in ice cream themed packaging and include unwrappable surprises. With over 27 million subscribers on his popular YouTube channel, Ryan’s World is more popular than ever! To continue their line of Ryan’s World offerings, Far Out Toys has created the Ryan’s World Tour Board Game. Far Out Toys Inc. is a rapidly growing force in the global toy marketplace, with a mission to innovate to the outer reaches. Far Out Toys leverages its expertise and extensive relationships
Bioworld brings Care-a-Lot to life with inventors, global distributors, IP holders and mass retailers to launch brands across categories - including vehicles, games, licensed collectibles, electronic toys and more. www.farouttoysinc.com
er-Meteor Ambulance featured in the 1984 Ghostbusters film. An Everyday item, this light & sound wand will also be part of the company’s Halloween 2020 offerings. www.candyrific.com
Just in time for the movie debut of Ghostbusters: Afterlife on July 10, 2020, CandyRific has created a light & sound wand modeled after the Ecto-1, the famous 1959 Cadillac Mill-
Finsbury Food Group is the leading speciality bakery manufacturer in the UK, producing a wide range of bakery products. Aside from its own label products, Finsbury has an established roster of licensed brands. Working with the likes of Mars, Diageo, WW (formerly Weight Watchers), Mary Berry, new Vegan brand BOSH!, character licensing brands such as Disney, Warner Bros. Hasbro, Nickelodeon, Universal, BBC, Beanstalk, Carte Blanche and not to mention its long standing, 20 year partnership with confectionary business Thorntons. Collaborating with such a large range of licensed brands means that Finsbury can operate in a number of different sectors within the cake industry. With innovation at the forefront, working alongside well-established household names over the past decade and more, developing bestselling celebration cakes, smaller popular household favourite tea-time cakes, food to go products, and more recently stepping into tasty, health-conscious treats. This year Finsbury celebrated its 20year anniversary partnership with well-known confectionary brand Thorntons. Working with Thorntons to create a range of well-loved cakes that have now become celebration staples. Blending the love for luxuri-
Far Out Toys holds a Ryan’s World License
ous chocolate treats and cake, products such as Thorntons Triple Layer Chocolate Celebration Cake, Thorntons Sticky Toffee Celebration Cake and more recently Thorntons bites available in flavours such as, Caramel Shortcake and Milk Chocolate Brownie. 2020 saw a first for Finsbury, combining the nations love for confectionary
with delicious cakes, whilst meeting demand from a niche yet growing consumer group. Working in partnership with Mars, Finsbury created its first ever gluten free cake in Autumn 2020. The current market for gluten-free celebration cakes was missing products from well-loved, confectionary favourites such as Galaxy Chocolate. To bring more variety to the gluten-free market, working with Finsbury’s allergen-free experts, the Galaxy Gluten Free Celebration cake was created to have the same, delicious, taste and texture of existing cakes in the range. Finsbury has a longstanding partnership with established alcohol business Diageo, parent company of brands such as Baileys Irish Cream, Guinness, Gordon’s Gin and more. The partnership has grown at speed since begin-
ning in 2018, creating award-winning, alcohol-infused cake products known to fly off the shelves. Baileys is a key brand for Finsbury, developing products such as Baileys Strawberry and Cream Cake, Baileys Marble Cake, Baileys Chocolate Treat Bars, all launched in 2020, and Baileys Chocolate Yule log which has become a Christmas favourite, quoted as the ‘ultimate sweet centrepiece’ in national newspapers. As well, the unlikely pairing of iconic Irish stout Guinness and cake, which resulted in a B&LLA award winning Guinness Celebration Cake. Finsbury’s licensed partnerships are an integral part of its business, equating to 30% of Finsbury’s overall yearly income. With many exciting NPD in the pipeline, it shows no signs of slowing down in 2021, with a roster of new products and some exciting brand partnerships to be announced soon. www.finsburyfoods.co.uk
You can find a comprehensive list of global licensees in our Guide, www.totallicensingworld.com
LICENSING JAPAN Licensing Japan 2020 was successfully held from October 21 to 23, 2020 at Tokyo Big Sight, Japan. Over 1,200 properties were gathered from all over the world and were showcased to 21,101 visitors. Licensing Japan has firmly established itself as an ideal place for quality business in Japan and one of the world’s leading market for licensed products. Organised by Reed Exhibitions Japan, the show was held at Big Sight in Tokyo alongside Content Tokyo 2020. Business Matching System Licensing Japan offered a Business Matching System - an online support
Licensing Japan, Reed Exhibitions Japan Tel: +81-3-3349-8507 licensing-japan.jp/en/ To Exhibit licensing-japan.jp/ex_en/ E: licensing-e@reedexpo. co.jp Visitor Registration licensing-japan.jp/inv_en/ E: visitor-eng.licensing@ reedexpo.co.jp
service which both exhibitors and visitors could search for potential business partners and send an appointment request. The number of visitor registrants reached 1,933, who were all keen to discuss with exhibitors about merchandising, media adaptation, introduction for sales promotion/ advertising, etc., and 374 appointments were set for 3-day show period. On site, lively meetings were conducted at every single booth. International Business Based on its unique culture such as Manga, Anime, etc., Japan has a mature market where people are familiar with characters. To appeal to visitors and the Japanese market, more and more international properties are
LICENSING JAPAN 2021 April 14 (Wed) to 16 (Friday) 2021 Venue: South Halls, Tokyo Big Sight, Japan Supported by: Character Brand Licensing Association (CBLA) Concurrent Shows: CONTENT TOKYO 2021 which comprises: 4th PR Design & Branding Expo 9th Production/Studio Expo 9th Content Distribution & Management Expo 7th Advanced Digital Technology Expo 7th Content Marketing Expo 10th Creators’ Expo showcased at Licensing Japan every year. This year, Licensing Japan Show Management offered a Remote Exhibiting Plan for international exhibitors unable to physically attend the show due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The plan included bilingual staff and a tablet device to help exhibitors’ online meetings. There were two international pavilions, representing the IPs of their countries/regions using the Remote Exhibiting Plan: SBA Seoul Business Agency (Korea) and Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) (Taiwan). One of the TAICCA pavilion exhibitors, IMK commented, “We had many meetings via the remote exhibiting system and discussed possible collaborations such as the Taiwan festival with one of the largest convenience store chains in Japan.”
Exhibiting under COVID-19 Licensing Japan 2020 took safety measures following the guidelines of the government, municipalities and the exhibition industry association. These included the use of personal protection equipment including face shields and masks, thermal screening for staff / exhibitors / visitors, and reduced seating for seminars to ensure social distancing. In addition, exhibitors also employed measures to preserve physical distancing through the use of barriers and decreased densities at their booth. Expectations for the Next Edition Backed by the success of the past ten years, Licensing Japan has become a must-attend show for those involved in the licensing business. If you are considering exhibiting, please contact Show Management as soon as possible. Exhibiting space is filling up quickly.
With a population of over 83 million, Germany is the fifth largest economy in the world with GDP per capita of over $50,000. Of course, as with every other market, the pandemic has impacted on consumer spending in general and, of course, the licensing industry. On the following pages, we take a look at the German market and highlight some of the companies and properties.
GERMANY Total Licensing spoke to Peter Hollo, who runs Licensing International in Germany, and is also owner of the TOYS & GAMES Report, a high profile management consultant and a true insider in terms of the business. Peter gave us his personal thoughts as to the coming year.
We are not doomed! “At this time of the year I usually get asked, what will happen next? In the licensing business or in all the other projects I am part of. Well, the simple answer is, I don´t know. Because if I knew, I wouldn´t be writing this column or working hard for a living. I would send greeting cards from my private island and sip on a Bloody Mary!
But lightness aside for a moment, 2021 will be tough. It will be tough for licensing in Germany and in any other German market and probably in almost any other country in the world. In my view 2020 has only been the overture to a mighty storm hitting us all in 2021. Why do I use these dramatic words? I will explain to you. Are we inevitably doomed? No, we aren´t. We will fight and we will win, but there will be casualties. Most of us went into 2020 with full naivity and innocence. We had heard that there was something going on in China …well, it was their own business …and it suddenly struck us. And it took months for the public to understand how threatening it all was. But we did not only start 2020 with innocence, we started with money in our pockets and with (licensing) agreements that were signed way before Covid. Today licensors or agents, or anybody who owns an intellectual property, does this, generally, with emptied pockets, because they had to respond to the unpleasant situation financial situation in 2020 and had to sell something in a situation, that didn’t look too promising. Even the industry’s majors have to accept that it’s no longer big against small. It’s fast and flexible against slow. I don’t think it feels too comfortable owning theme parks or cruise ships that currently gobble up ‘everything’ you do well in other fields of your business empire. In Germany we have the comfortable situation (I´m sure some will argue), that the German government supports businesses with massive payments (which next generations will have to repay) and with a temporarily change of the insolvency law and
regulations. Some companies might be in insolvency already under the usual law, but are not obliged to file this. But this will hit us in 2021, when this goes back to normal. We will very likely be facing an insolvency wave of never before seen dimensions, in almost every part of the economy. Not especially in licensing. But we will feel it. Either directly or indirectly. Because we are a part of a deeply interrelated economic ecosystem. So? Not everything is awesome in Germany? First of all we are Germans, this means there never ever is anything we would refer to as awesome - quite okay is the best you can get. This separates us from the Americans, where everything is awesome, or even more. But as I said before, this does not mean that we are inevitably doomed. There are industries in Germany that are working quite okay/awesome! Anything that is connected to toys, games, home-decor and others, basically every industry, who sells cocooning as an idea. If you sell board games or puzzles, 2020 and 2021 will make you smile. And this is such a big opportunity for the German licensing industry. Find the right markets. Adapt your portfolio. Discuss, evaluate and execute new strategies, new franchises and new properties. This crisis challenges every single company and every single person working for it. It’s disruptive power is so outrageous, that it will change our market forever. And you either go with the flow or you will be swept away forever. I admit, this is difficult and will require guts and resilience. But there is simply no alternative. Sticking to the good old times and hoping they will come back might be an entrepreneurial death sentence. If you are not one of the very very lucky ones, who can simply lean back and watch. There’s always an exeption to the rule.
TOTAL LICENSING And the crisis shows another reality, we all knew was there, but we still never reacted to. The unhealthy superiority of the movie industry in the licensing business. Please don’t get me wrong. I love a good movie and good popcorn entertainment, but we encounter now what happens when the lights go out. We’re alone in the dark. The gaming industry worlwide is much bigger, than the movie industry. Why has licensing concentrated so hard on the next massive boxoffice hit and has always seen the gaming industry as nice to have? Once again, this is not bashing one and celebrating the other. It’s an offer to open one’s eyes. In the current situation, everything is possible and projects are likely to be looked at which in ‘usual’ times would have never been discussed. Do it. And the current situation is a massive opportunity for well seasoned traditional brands, franchises and properties. Those who we, and maybe even our parents, grew up with. Brands, franchises and properties, that feel warm and cozy and familiar. Like a warm blanket or a hot bowl of chicken soup. In times of a crisis people (not only consumers) turn to these. Give them the opportunity to lay back and encounter them, to rediscover their propositions and values. Let me end this with some caring words for those who will not be winners in this all. We will lose companies (worldwide) in this and other businesses. People will lose their roles and positions. Not only the lazy ones, the slow or the arrogant. It will be people like you and me. Hardworking professionals, who gave their best. To fail is a very human thing, not a personal flaw. Don’t be ashamed, talk to people around you. Don’t suffer in silence. And to the winners: don’t look down, this could be you. Be kind, be mindful and help. A good way of going through such hard times is to show a helpful attitude towards the people around you. Take care …and stay well!”
Licensing 2020 in Germany: Brand engagement beats Novelty Value
Needless to say: The COVID pandemic has left its traces in the German licensing market, too. We saw hardly any fresh entries in the market, with movies being postponed and TV struggling under the increasing pressure coming from VSOD services. Typically, you’d look at playground value and hype factor when talking about the licensing market. But the top licenses indicate other rules applied in 2020: The most important currency was brand engagement and interaction. Some examples indicate how successful licenses were an important part of the everyday lives.
Frozen The Frozen phenomenon is more than just the movie. Girls sing the songs, listen to the story, read the books, play with the toys … And so the whole life is ‘frozened’ Minions, Dragons, Ice Age, Tom & Jerry are great unisex success stories – but they are the exception to the rule. The Top ten list shows a clear differentiation between themes for boys and themes for girls, and in most cases gender specific IPs beat unisex ones because they are much closer to the needs and wants of the children. What is interesting about Frozen and previous Disney princesses like Rapunzel and Merida is not their girlishness, though: These ladies excite the girls because they are princesses with beautiful dresses, but they are also representing a new generation of female role models. These princesses are not the helpless victims that need to be saved by Prince Charming, but they take their fate into their own hands. In fact, their princes are more a burden then a real support on their quest … So gender preferences will always be an issue for the selection of licenses and children will go for the design codes that are currently en vogue, but this does not automatically mean this takes the children back to the role models of the 50’s.
By Axel Dammler Managing Director iconkids & youth international research GmbH, Germany’s largest research institute specialised in kids and youth research. email@example.com www.iconkids.com
Mario rules Gaming was one of the winners during the lockdown period, and Nintendo is the only gaming company that takes young customers seriously. Add this to a generation of parents who grew up with characters from the Mario universe and you understand why this franchise is so successful.
Paw Patrol 24/7 Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Disney+ emerged as winners from the lockdown, too. Parents like to keep their kids’ watching in the safe territory of a closed service, without interruption by advertising or any fear that inadequate contents may be used as on YouTube. Paw Patrol was strong last year, and has become even stronger this year because of its massive presence with a lit of content in the streaming arena.
TOP LICENSES IN GERMANY
Ranking based on the results of the Kids Licenses Monitor,Waves 2015 II / III / IV with a total n = 1,200 children aged 4 – 12 years.Top box rating “Like a lot” on a 5-point-scale
Listen to Bibi & Tina Audio plays are still a very German content format. Audio plays are not to be confused with audio books: These plays feature a number of voice talents, sound effects, music & songs! Over the years, the category has created some very strong brands and its own heroes such as Bibi & Tina, and they expand into other media categories. But still: Content to listen to is massively successful in Germany, and it is always worth looking at this very specific market. Just take a look at the Tonie Box … In 2020, with so much time to be filled, this category with its unique heroes and heroines gained ground once more.
Tom & Jerry, Lion King, Mickey Mouse - don’t forget the Classics
It is understandable that marketers always look for the next big thing: Who wants to ride an old or even dead horse. So I dare say hardly anyone had Tom & Jerry on their list for 2015 – but that was a huge mistake. The simple explanation behind this phenomenon: Tom & Jerry was aired in the early evening prime time on Super RTL, one of Germany’s most successful kids TV channels, and TV can even make old stuff a hype on the schoolyards. Behind Lion King and Mickey Mouse is a different story: These two don’t have the coolness of the funny and rule breaking Tom & Jerry, but they are nevertheless relevant. Not for the schoolyard, but for home products. So sometimes the old classics are more promising than newer licenses: They can build on a solid fan base and will be relevant for longer …
Prinzessin Lillifee, Topmodel & Ostwind – is Germany still so different? You’ll probably have heard about the lovely Princess Lillifee, the sympathetic little fairy princess. But unless your German, you might not know Ostwind – a tweenager franchise based on two movies about the friendship between a rebellious girls and a horse. Together with the design driven Topmodel these
two are actually the only truly German franchises in the Top Ten lists. It is no big surprise that all three are for girls: These properties were developed for the domestic market, and with a smaller budget. All other top licenses are BIG, and BIG excites boys even more than girls. So Germany is losing more and more of its specialness in the international context because the blockbuster IPs occupy the center stage now. Nevertheless, there are German properties coming up all the time, even though they are not represented in the Top Ten. And how this works is demonstrated nicely by Prinzessin Lillifee, Topmodel & Ostwind: All three originate from books or other publishing products. So Germany is still different: Our printmarket can create licensing heroes at least in specific segments. So what’s coming next? Will 2021become a normal licensing year? I really hope so, because there is so much space for new brands. Specifically for boys aged 5-10 years who crave something fresh, while girls have Miraculous at least, as a comparatively new brand.
TOTAL LICENSING Universal in Germany are entering the new year with great enthusiasm, new content and a number of retailer campaigns. In Summer, the most successful animation franchise of all time will enter the next round: Minions 2 - The Rise of Gru will celebrate its first commercial release on July 1, 2021. In order to get the maximum attention of the popular yellow chaos among the target group, Universal Pictures is implementing a gigantic international marketing campaign. Beyond the film release, the Minions will continue to be exciting with re-
curring product campaigns, such as Banana Day at Easter, Back to School at the start of school or Yellow Friday at Christmas. The success story of the DreamWorks Animation TV series Spirit: wild and free continues: In May 2021 the animated feature film Spirit Untamed with the girl Lucky and her horse Spirit will be shown as an international first release. After Playmobil and many other licensees have already opted for the IP, Mattel, as a new Master Toy Partner, is also launching a comprehensive range of products for girls aged between four and eight years. The product launch will be supported by comprehensive marketing and trade communication campaigns including give-aways for fans, as well as a comprehensive Christmas product campaign. Until the launch of Jurassic World: Dominion in 2022, Universal will continue to expand the franchise in the coming year with plenty of new content and support product sales through target group-focused marketing and strong retail campaigns: Digital content around the clock, numerous Influencer activities, as well as three content drops with new episodes of the Netflix series Jurassic World - Camp Cretaceous will delight fans. In addi-
tion, Mattel and LEGO, among others, are launching innovative new products, which will also be accompanied by extensive advertising measures. In addition to a creative Easter campaign, the team around Kathrin Brandhorst, Regional Director Northern Europe, will repeat the Dino Days in summer 2021, which have been very successfully established in the retail trade, and at Christmas will provide many Jurassic World products under the Christmas trees with strong retail cooperations. In addition to these major highlights in 2021, there are many other activities for other IPs in Universalâ€™s portfolio, including a new film from the Fast & Furious series next spring, and the continuation of the TV series Dragons for younger dragon fans. There will also be many new product highlights with themes from the Universal film catalogue, most notably the cult classic Back to the Future. The German Universal Consumer Products team, headed by Kathrin Brandhorst, is based in Munich and has been responsible for all licensing activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland since October 2017. In October 2020 the team also took over responsibility for the Benelux and Nordic regions.
V.I.P. Hamburg reports its latest deal for Frederick & Co. with Toniebox, which holds already the largest variety of popular licenses for its very innovative and best-selling audio gimmick for kids.The stories around Frederick and his friends are planned to be launched in the second half of 2021, most probably also in the U.K. and U.S. The decision was helped for Toniebox
as sales of Lionni´s first audio dramatizations on CD by soared beyond expectations, according to Angela Zehe of Germanys Edel Kids. The licensing agents for Leo Lionni´s classic works, Hamburg-based V.I.P. Entertainment & Merchandising AG, is about to sign deals for a broad range of activities books, after having inked a
deal with ArsEdition for Baby Albums. Furthermore licenses for memory, puzzles and card games, plus and soft dolls, educational and wooden toys are in the pipeline, V.I.P.´s CEO Michael A. Lou explained. Leo Lionni´s books by Penguin RandomHouse sold over 20 million copies in 20 languages and despite the fact that the author died over 20 years ago his books still rank among the best sold picture books for children in many markets. The property is aimed at a core audience of children aged 3 to 7, as well as their caregivers. The Brand Residence is a team of brand experts with extensive experience in licensing and brand extension. The agency is based in Munich and headed by Marlies Rasl. Through many years of cooperation with well-known brand owners, renowned film and TV production companies, as well as leading companies in the entertainment industry, the team has excellent market knowledge and cross-industry brand know-how. The
Brand Residence is the exclusive global licensing agency for Lufthansa. The agency represents brands such as the van Gogh Museum, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) with Team Germany, the PEZ brand or the upcoming cinema highlights Hui Buh and the Witches’ Castle, Laura’s Star and Jim Knopf. The Munich-based ADAC e.V. (Europe’s largest mobility club with more than 21 million members) has appointed TBR The Brand Residence GmbH to market its brand rights under licensing. The ADAC is a strong brand with clear positioning, credible and tangible values as well as a high level of awareness and acceptance. The brand has a high recognition value and significant relevance, not only for the more than 21 million members, but also for nonmembers. ADAC owes its brand strength to its
TOTAL LICENSING excellent reputation and its distinctive core competence in the field of breakdown and emergency assistance. With over 1.7 million books and audios sold, Die kleine Apfelhexe is a successful and popular children’s book series written by Sabine Städing. Now Petronella Applewitch is also inspiring its fans as a TV series. Successful producer Akkord Film (Die Heinzels, Die Häschenschule (A Day at Bunny School), Der kleine Rabe Socke (Raven the Little Rascal) has produced a 39-episodes animation series of 11 minutes each for 5 to 8-year-old children in co-production with SERU Animation and ZDF. The series was broadcasted on KiKA (children’s TV channel) in autumn 2020, followed by TV broadcasting on ZDF every Sunday (until mid of January 2021). With Leonine for German-language home entertainment and Lübbe Audio for the radio plays for the series, there are already strong partners on board. The first two radio play CDs were already released at the end of September. Two further CDs will follow monthly until the end of the year. The first episodes are already available on DVD. Since summer 2020, The Brand Residence has been acting as licensing agency for the new movies from Rat
Pack & Warner Bros. Pictures. These include Jim Knopf und Die Wilde 13, which was released in German cinemas on 1 October, the live-action film Laura’s Star, which is planned to launch in December 2021, and the fantasy film Hui Buh and the Witches’ Castle, which is currently scheduled to be released in autumn 2021. Studio 100 are growing their Maya the Bee program. The protection of insects and the preservation of biodiversity are matters of concern to us all. What is important is to integrate effective measures into everyday life as easily as possible, to impart knowledge and to convince the heart not just the head that preservation is essential today and for future generations. More than any other bee, Maya the Bee as an ambassador is giving a face to bee protection. Studio 100’s, Maya and her bee protection initiative has been supporting NABU (Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V.) and its insect protection fund since 2020. NABU has been committed to the protection of insects for years. With its expertise and great commitment, NABU is a strong partner for Maya the Bee’s “Project Poppy Meadow”, which includes a digital environmental education programme
with numerous tips for effective insect protection measures. Joint activities and communication campaigns are planned as part of the cooperation. In order to draw attention to the enormous importance and threat posed to insects, NABU has, for example, launched the nationwide “Insect Summer” campaign in Germany: There has been strong interest from licensing partners such as Privatmolkerei Bauer, licensee of the official Maya the Bee yoghurt in Germany. In addition, Blue Ocean Entertainment, a brand-new magazine partner of Maya and XOX Snacks are also recent partners.
TOTAL LICENSING This year Studio 100 will internationalise Project Poppy Meadow, starting with Poland. Studio 100 plans to hand-out a special style guide that supports producing eco-friendly and sustainable products regarding design, packaging and materials like wood, stone, cork or felt or already recycled materials, but also leverages sales with a promotional icon or logo lock-up. Pepco strengthened its children’s fashion ranges with a new Maya the Bee collection, thanks to Planeta Junior and Studio 100 Media. The collection hit the market in the last quarter of 2020. The contract includes all categories - clothing, footwear, accessories, luggage, stationery, homeware and home textiles. The range will be available in over 1,900 Pepco stores in Central and Eastern European countries. On a different note, Mia and Me now has a feature film and a fourth season now in production, to be completed this year. The new adventures will be shown on ZDF and KiKA in German speaking territories. The completion of the feature film and the fourth season is planned for this year. In addition, the 15 International Mia and Me YouTube channels have recently reached 1 billion views. 100% Wolf is a brand, a movie and a series and is a unique action-adventure buddy/best friend comedy, covering mythical creatures in a gender-neutral way with a very distinctive main character and a strong message with high social relevance: Heroes come in many forms! The feature film 100% Wolf was partly released last year in a number of territories including Australia, the Balkan states, Belgium, Bulgaria, the CIS states, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East states, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the UK, the US and Vietnam. Brands Licensing by G+J is Germany’s largest licensing agency for media brands with an annual revenue in retail sales of around €300 million.
The company believes in the power of brands as they provide orientation, identification and symbolize lifestyle. They bring product and services of brands into people’s lives. Together with their partners, they develop products, assortments and services for their strong media and lifestyle brands such as Schöner Wohnen, Gala, Brigitte, Geo, Stern, Barbara, Landlust, Eltern, Chefkoch, Capital or Essen & Trinken. The core business areas are licenses for products and services, (e.g. Home & Living Collections for Schoner Wohnen, Barbara or Couch). In addition they are product producers (calendars and books for Geo) and international magazine licensees (eg Beef, Gala, Geo). As a result, their categories are staffed with industry experts such as home & living, food, fashion, beauty, family, leisure, Internaitonal publishing, entertainment (books, CD and DVD) and seals. As part of the Ad Alliance, they have access to the Germany’s largest advertising platform, that offers online, social, print and TV enormous coverage in almost all target groups. Active Merchandising is a full service licensing agency specializing in developing customized licensing programs for a variety of different brands. The brand portfolio includes brands with an origin in publishing, animation, entertainment, design or digital. The Gruffalo is one of the classic brands that Active Merchandising has built up into a successful licensing brand with a solid merchandise program. The program covers all major licensing categories from puzzles and games, apparel, audio, digital and ondemand products to retail and marketing cooperations with a number of key partners such as the German federal ministry of finance for the very first Gruffalo stamp, the interactive exhibition at the Museum of
Speyer or the first Gruffalo trail in the garden show Bad Lippspringe. New products and licensees are joining the licensing program in 2021 including WOW Stuff with their very first Gruffalo toy line, Aurora with their full range of plush and Ravensburger with a selected range of puzzles and games. Another classic brand is Elmer, the Patchwork elephant. Whilst the book remains one of the most iconic and widely read children’s book series of all time, the merchandise business is just beginning to build in Germany. With a couple of licensees in publishing and stationery, Boxine has joined the program and will launch an Elmer tonie in Germany, in the UK and France. With his message “It’s ok to be different”, Elmer is more popular than ever. Molang was originally created as an emoticon before French animation studio Millimages produced a TV show and video clips to make Molang popular among the social media community. In just four years Molang has become a social media success and a merchandising brand that is just kicking off in Germany. With partners like Nelson, Panini, Spreadshirt already on board, Molang will make a huge step into the German market with one of the major toy partners who will launch a broad range of products in fall 2021. Chefclub – the eatertainment brand is a French digital cooking brand with a global reach. The brand has grown rapidly worldwide to become the fastest growing global brand on social media. The brand has more than 1 billion organic views every month and more than 85 million followers worldwide, with more than 2.5 million in Germany. The first licensees are on board in Germany already, in publishing and
TOTAL LICENSING textiles, with some major announcements to follow later in the year. Finally, as of Jan 2021 Active Merchandising will represent the new IP WhamBlam from TAOA Studio on a pan-European basis. WhamBlam is a world of superheroes and villains living in a retro pop culture setting reminiscent of comic books of the 60’s and 70’s but with the modern day influence of technology and social media. The program will begin with a series of comic book stories followed by an animated series for TV,YouTube and movies. The creative head of WhamBlam is Anthony Williams, a former comic artist for both Marvel and DC, who brings a wealth of experience creating highly sophisticated illustration and stories. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s masterwork The Little Prince, with over 200 million sold copies in 300 languages since 1943, is not only the best selling children’s book of all times, but also a hero unlike other, capturing the hearts of all ages. Now Euro Lizenzen report that The Little Prince licensor is launching the Le Petit Prince day, which is the occasion of celebrating this phenomenal character around the world. The official day is June 29th, which is Saint Exupéry’s birthday, but the celebration will be from June to September of each year. This year’s theme is “Life Is An Adventure”. A special style guide with brand new illustrations and elements has been created for licensees and Euro Lizenzen is talking to leading partners around Europe. Kiddinx is one of the leading kids’ specialists in Germany speaking coun-
tries. The company is the producer and worldwide unlimited rights owner of the popular animated characters Benjamin the Elephant, Bibi Blocksberg and Bibi & Tina. Kiddinx Media offers entertainment for children in Germany - and has done for over 40 years. In their online shop they sell and distribute, among other things, audio plays, music, cartoons and apps for kids and, as being the German license holder for the World Disney Company. Be it Benjamin the Elephant, Bibi Blocksberg, Bibi & Tina,The Worry Eaters, Leo Lausemaus, Wendy, or the Little Polar Bear - the Kiddinx brands can be found everywhere. The Kiddinx Media licensing team ensures that children can also play, cuddle and be creative with their radio and film heroes. Together with their licensing partners, Kiddinx is passionate about developing products that inspire children and parents. Properties include not only Kiddinx’s own brands Benjamin the Elephant, Bibi Blocksberg and Bibi & Tina, but also Mensch ärgere Dich nicht, Kniffel and Die Drei Magier. Gerd Hahn’s Worry Eaters and the colourful Gelini as well as the characters of cartoonist Ralph Ruthe. Kiddinx was voted Licensor/Agency of the Year in 2020 at the International German Awards. This year sees the 30th anniversary of Bibi & Tina. The characters have more than 492 million views on social media and are the basis for the Amazon Original series on Prime Video. There have also been four live-action feature films produced and more than 27 million audio stories for children have been sold. Plans for the anniversary include a new audio special, new products, promotions and marketing activities. New to the Kiddinx portfolio is Little Major Tom (Der Kleine Major Tom). The property targets boys and girls aged 7 to 10 and involves adventures in space, with professional advice from the DLF (German Aerospace Centre). To date there are twelve books of galactic adventures published together with four puzzle books, two Space School
books, advent calendars, e-books and radio plays. Peanuts Worldwide is collaborating with sports company PUMA for a line of footwear, apparel, and accessories for adults and kids featuring Charles M. Schulz’s classic characters. The deal was brokered by WildBrain CPLG’s German team. The PUMA x Peanuts adult offering sees the launch of classic PUMA styles adorned with members of the Peanuts gang including Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Woodstock in basketball inspired scenes. The clothing will bring a collection of tees, hoodies, and sweatpants for both men and women. The footwear includes the Future Rider and classic basketball style, the Ralph Sampson. Rounding out the adult items in the range are beanies and a backpack. The kids’ Peanuts collection encompasses visuals of the characters playing sports including baseball, football and more. In a variety of items for girls and boys, the collection features hats, backpacks, and classic T7 track suits. Key PUMA footwear styles including the Mirage Mox and Ralph Sampson will also be available in junior, preschool, and infant sizing. The PUMA x Peanuts collection is now available at PUMA.com and at PUMA stores and select retailers.
Withit Studios 30 years in the making! From Baghdad and Bristol to Brighton... ...the fascinating story behind the Withit brands Withit Studios is celebrating its 30 year milestone this year. Headed up by Dolph Zahid and Bradley Caines, the Withit brand began back in 1991 with the launch of the first shop in Brighton to 2021 with a new bag and stationery line. Total Licensing went to find out more about Dolph and Brad and delve into Withit’s fascinating background and history. Dolph Zahid Dolph Zahid was born in Baghdad, the eldest son of a successful businessman father, and a teacher mother. As the political situation deteriorated and Saddam Hussein became more powerful, people were literally being bundled into back of cars and trucks and never seen again. Especially if they
had influential parents. Dolph’s father owned several factories. Fearing for Dolph and his younger brother Bassam (Sam), their father spirited them out of the country across the border into Jordan in the boot of a car of a family friend. Dolph was 17 and his brother 15. From there they ended up in Glasgow - a holding place for 6 months while their father arranged accommodation etc in the USA. Dolph and his brother Sam (was Bassam) then moved to Kentucky where they learned English and graduated from high school. Dolph had sole responsibility for his brother as it would be eight years before they would see their parents again. After graduating, Dolph went to MIT in Boston to study Architecture. He
was awarded a first-class degree in lighting and air con at MIT finishing in the top three of his class. He was enjoying a good life, nice apartment, good job, friends, car, holidays etc. During the years they had been in America, Dolph’s parents were able to escape Iraq and made it to the UK. Neither of them spoke English but nevertheless they began a property business in Brighton. Understandably, Dolph wanted to see them so flew to the UK to see if he could help them in the business. While flying there, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Dolph only found out at Passport control when they told him he would need to visit the American Embassy urgently as they were closing their borders to anyone from Iraq. Dolph still an Iraqi citizen was told he could not return to the US. His employer refused to give him a reference, he lost his apartment and his car was towed away! He found himself in Brighton with just a suitcase of clothes. Stigma was such that the UK authorities told him he had to report to a Police Station once a month, even though he had never been in trouble with the law and was guilty of nothing other than being born in Iraq.
Dolph Zahid (left) and Bradley Caines
Unfortunately Dolph landed as the UK was in recession and not much building work was going on. However, he got a job as a Draftsmen at a small
TOTAL LICENSING Architects practice. He was more qualified than his boss but he was just happy to work. However, he had noticed that his eyesight was beginning to deteriorate. He was examined by a specialist and told his eyes could not handle the intense work of drawing plans etc and that he would need to find another career. Dolph found himself in a new country, facing a whole set of new challenges! The shop below the office where he worked was vacant. Living in Brighton he had seen a diverse range of clothing and ideas and decided to open a shop just selling printed t-shirts, with all manner of designs on, some of his, some he commissioned and some from other existing ranges. His parents helped too and Dolph decided to call it “With It” after his Aunt suggested he needed a name that was really “with it! That was October 1991. The following year he opened one in Portsmouth, which his brother flew back from the US to live and run. Dolph then opened Southampton and then Cardiff. His sister who had also fled Iraq ran a Withit Store in Guildford. Reading and Leeds also followed. Dolph, who was not allowed to drive due to his eyesight would travel between all his shops by train! He would take laundry bags of stock
(t-shirts) from store to store, moving them around as some designs sold better in some areas than other. To save money he often slept on the floor of the shops in a sleeping bag before reorganising the shop, changing stock around and setting off on a train to the next store. Five years on and Bradley Caines joined Dolph although he had been supplied printed T-shirts since 1991. Bradley Caines Brad was born in Bristol to a builder and architect father and his housewife mother. He grew up in the countryside outside Bristol and left school at 16 with no qualifications, working for his Father’s construction business. Grew up in the countryside 15 miles outside Bristol, was doing all sort of odd jobs and work on building sites from age 10 for pocket money. Leaving school at 16 with no qualifications he worked for this Father’s construction business for a few years. Each weekend however, he was making clock faces, sort of abstract designer ones and selling them at craft shows and street markets. After saving some money he went on a 6 month trip in an old van across the USA from Miami to LA in 1990. While in the states he saw how many t-shirt shops there were and on his return switched to designing t-shirts. It was now 1991, he was broke when he got back from the US and a friend loaned him £50 to by 12 blank t-shirts and some new ink that was like thick tippex that gave a raised paint effect. It was like painting with glue but the effect was very different but time consuming. He made up 12 designs for the 12 shirts, and sold 6 on a street market on the first day for £15 each. The application of the paint onto the shirts was hard on his hand and he switched to screen printing. Buying everything second-hand he set up his four- colour carousel printing machine and a tunnel dryer in his rented bedroom and cleaned his screens in the bathroom. Unfortunately, the
chemicals dissolved the bathtub and he was asked to leave…! Undeterred he rented a workshop and lived there. He managed to get a permanent street market spot in Bristol. After overhearing other street market owners talk about t Spring Fair in Birmingham he decided to investigate. Borrowing a friend’s car he drove up in February 1991 on the first day of the show, Sunday. Recession was bad and there were several empty stands. He secured one for the rest of the show for £100. He drove back to Bristol, got his t-shirts together and drove back up again to the NEC in the morning at 5am to set up on the second day.The first person to set foot on his stand, was Dolph Zahid! Dolph placed an order buying almost all of Brad’s stock, then asked for a discount! That order and the many that followed from Dolph and others enabled Brad to open his own shop in Bristol called “Knot Concrete” featuring his t-shirts, clocks and also unusual products such as watches from Storm as well as artwork prints. However, trying to design, print and sell was time consuming for one person. A friend asked him to go with a group to Brighton for a day out.While in a Brighton pub, Brad saw Dolph by chance. As they had both been doing business together, starting at the same time and trading from 1991, they got talking and Dolph said he wanted to do more of his own production and sell more of his own but lacked time to design as was always selling and running the shops. Brad wanted to just focus on design and production and not have to try and sell everything as well. Dolph asked Brad to move to Brighton and set up at the back of his Brighton store and print from there and they could create and build on
TOTAL LICENSING the ranges they both had. As a result, Brad moved to Brighton in 1996. The Withit licensing business It was there that the Withit Characters, Cheeky Monkey, Chocolate Moose, Top Dog and more began to emerge, as well as the other characters that are now known as the Phizzogs were all created. Combining their knowledge of what consumers looked for from their already vast experience of designing and selling. They were an instant hit. By 1998 sales were very good and other shops were asking if they could buy Withit Tees to sell in their shops so Withit Wholesale was formed. In two years they were supplying over 200 independent retailers across the UK and some in Europe. Withit were also doing the Clothes Show Live events that were then sponsored by BBC Radio 1. Sales there were incredibly popular and, off the back of that, Topshop did a Withit concession store in Oxford Street. As Withit continued they were often approached to do Brand Licensing Europe. However, unaware of what that industry was it was not till 2001 that Withit took part. 9/11 had just happened and the show organisers had several cancellations from American firms refusing to fly. Withit was called and offered a small space and a discount to take part on the Monday afternoon, with the show starting Wednesday. With only a day to prepare Brad printed out there designs on boards and the Wednesday morning they took the early train and put the designs to the wall of the booth with only minutes to spare before the doors opened. WH Smiths The first person to walk onto the stand was Rosie Pearce from WHSmiths. She knew the designs and asked for a meeting the following week. They went and were introduced to Mike Redfern from Blueprint. They
were told this would be their licensee and signed up to be exclusive to Smiths for back to school stationery. At the show, they also signed Euromark for phone covers ( Nokia) and also Silverknit for nightwear. WHSmiths launched the range for back to school in 2002 and sales were off the scale. Withit broke the record for the most pencil cases sold in a day - 1800. In fact, sales were so high, Blueprint had to fly more stock in as Smiths were going to run out before the end of the BTS season. This would lead Smiths to do more and more ranges over the coming years where at times Withit would have over 4 meters of retail space as well as its own signage in many of their 400 stores. It is estimated Withit sold over 10 million items over the following eight years. As a result, deals and sales came in from all kinds of places. Back then retailers, particularly in apparel, were rather more focused on Film & TV in terms of licensing and actually felt that stationery devalued the brand and apparel should lead. However, champions of the brand like Dunnes in Ireland sold truckloads as did LittleWoods and BHS. Later on, Next, River Island and Matalan became stockists Dunnes Ireland, in particular, did large numbers and Dolph and Brad even developed a gift stationery range and school bag range specifically for them. This was also on top of a huge Christmas range of nightwear which was all gift boxed using Withit Branding. Dolph comments, “We would have girls queue up outside our office for Withit Carrier bags and ask for them to be signed. There were many calls from parents asking for more characters to be made into stationery as girls would form Withit Groups where each girl was a different character and some groups were so big there were not enough characters in production to supply them all with
products with their favourite on it.” Brad continues,, “Our own wholesale was still good but more and more larger shopping malls were opening up near our high street shops. We could not compete with them as they left the High Street for the Malls the high street became decimated. The 2008 crash meant we lost a lot of stockists, however we began to just focus on licensing, and did deals all over the world, USA, Australia, Brazil, Russia and more in Europe.” One such deal was C&A who had left the UK but were still very much alive in Europe with over 1000 stores. Withit did a DTR with them which lasted nine years, with them selling 55K items of nightwear a year. This was in ladies nightwear and sold in Europe mainly to Spain, France and Germany but also including Poland, Estonia, Czech Republic, etc. Burger King 2009 saw Burger King approach withit, as did McDonalds. McDonalds loved it but felt Withit did not have enough awareness in the US and, as they only did global deals, decided to pass. However, Burger King did regional deals so signed Withit up for UK, Germany, Spain and the U.A.E. (there were very few Burger Kings in France back then). Withit was the first Art based brand to feature in a Kids Meal. The chain were trying to appeal to older kids rather than young as at the time there was a growing backlash that the marketing of junk food to the very young was not good and bigger brands like Disney were pulling out of such promotions. Withit appealed
TOTAL LICENSING to young teenagers so was the perfect fit. They created a range of stationery influenced products. Spain even did TV advertising for the brand. They sold out and it was extremely popular, Smiths actually complained saying they lost sales as kids wanted to buy the same items in their stores! In all, over 5 million items were given away with kids Burger King Meals A DTR for Claire’s Accessories in 2010 again gave Withit a chance to diversify its characters to different retailers. Withit was one of the few brands at the time that was selling in both WHSmiths and Woolworths at the same time. Withit were doing more business outside of the UK although sales still continued in Dunnes, Littlewoods and some other chains. Overseas retailers included C&A, Auchan, Carrefour, Gemo, Casino and NewYorker. Sadly, at this point, Dolph was struck down with cancer and it would be another five years before he was given the all-clear. However, regardless of the chemotherapy he was taking he would still do his upmost to travel to tradeshows and Award ceremonies to make sure the business world knew he was still around. During that time, Withit sales continued mostly in Europe. However, Dolph and Brad also developed a new brand entitled “Kitties in the Cities”. This has now been signed up to become an animated TV Show due out in 2021. New bag and stationery range More recently in 2018 Dolph and Brad met up with a past fashion bag licensee and friend Gavin Watson who had set up an ecommerce business selling his bag lines from his base in Hong Kong. He had made Withit Fashion Bags for many retailers in the past as a licensee and wanted to relaunch the brand he loved. Brad developed a new style guide in association with Watermelon Creative to take the brand into new product areas based on the fact the
in light of their new product ranges, 2021 is the perfect time to reestablish itself with retailers and licensees alike.
original fanbase is now adult and would be open to buying into other categories like homewares, gifting and greetings. The bag range is set to launch early 2021. There will also be a select range of stationery to accompany the bag line. This has come from a business relationship with a Turkish manufacturer that will also be selling the ranges in that market. As Withit enters its 30th year, Dolph is very much recovered but deals with less in-depth running of the business. He is, however and quite rightly, still considered the face of Withit. He focuses on attending trade shows and events and keeps his networking skills intact as far as possible. Brad is in the process of overhauling the Withit image into a more digitally aware world with a bigger focus on social media.
Looking to the future Talking about the past and their plans for the future, Dolph said, “The brand is a huge body of work and fun that has realised an ambition to take the brand global from those humble beginnings of a small shop in Brighton to making so many kids happy. I see the brand as this simple idea that just made people smile and became a juggernaut taking itself, and us, on its own world tour. It was a lot of hard work but also a great time as we opened up so many doors around the globe with the brand. Without TV or a movie to back it just proved it had evergreen credentials. People just love its look.” Brad commented on their plans for the future, “We’re tapping into our heritage while adding a healthy dose of freshness to new product ranges we are launching. Online or in store the brand has the same global appeal its always had. Our new multi faceted approach to create some product ourselves to sustain awareness combined with competitive licensing to expand and enrich the product offer, we feel is a more dynamic strategy for the next decade.”
He is also designing a range of higher quality apparel for release in Spring which will sell for above typical pricing but will be in limited numbers and act as an aspirational driver for the brand. This will run along a more affordable Print on Demand range. As brands from the 90’s and 00’s become more retro, Dolph and Brad feel now, more than ever, especially
Anderson Entertainment Classic content, new concepts, quality products: the Anderson Entertainment directto-consumer strategy Anderson Entertainment, the production company set up by the legendary Gerry Anderson, is looking forward to strong growth in 2021, with new content launching across multiple media platforms enhancing the company’s compelling brand offering. But it’s Anderson Entertainment’s merchandising and retail business that could enjoy the biggest boost in the coming year.
“We want to turn great ideas into content and products that positively impact kids and adults across the globe. It’s an extension of my dad’s – and my – attitude to programme-making: make things you love. Be positive. Inspire and excite people. Always be interesting. Never be boring.” Writer, director and producer Jamie Anderson (pictured above) has a strong view of what Anderson Entertainment, of which he is the MD, should be all about – and it’s clearly inspired by the ideas that made his father, Gerry Anderson, so successful. On the content side, the classic Gerry Anderson shows from the 60s and 70s – like Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Space: 1999 – were followed by a second, highly productive phase between 1980 and the early 2000s, one that brought to the TV screen popular shows like the animated New Captain Scarlet, Space Precinct and Terrahawks. New development and production continues to this day but are now targeting multiple platforms rather than just linear TV, with a number of projects under way, including Firestorm, the imminent reboot of Terrahawks, and the full cast audiodrama podcast First Action Bureau. Anderson Entertainment is also in the business of merchandise and retail, and it clearly has a solid content base on which to build. Its ecommerce site, the Gerry Anderson Store, is central to its direct-to-consumer merchandising strategy. Launched in 2015, the online store boasts an expanding list both of licensee-supplied product and new Anderson Enter tainment-sourced items such as Christmas jumpers, apparel, gifts and calendars. While the popularity of the
site is undoubtedly growing among new customers, it can also boast enviable repeat business: over 30,000 loyal customers regularly visit and buy from the online store. In fact results for the financial year 2020 to 2021 are expected, for the first time, to top three quarters of a million pounds. Shopify, the all-in-one commerce platform powering over one million businesses worldwide – and a major force behind independent online retail – has said the store is in its top one per cent of fastest-growing brands worldwide. And there’s much more to come. The store already has a strong online and social media presence but, to support its increasing popularity, Anderson Entertainment has begun investing in additional marketing and product development. In particular it is also building on the strength of its direct-to-consumer business and working with new partners. This year will also see many more products – and product categories – launching on the store’s site and through other online and physical retail outlets. This strategy is already working. “The site saw a 100 per cent lift in sales
month on month between October and November,” says Jamie Anderson, “but,” he adds, “November figures are likely to be overtaken quickly once December figures become available. We’ve had good sell-through from Christmas jumpers and calendars in particular.” There’s another, highly significant reason for this expansion effort. Anderson Entertainment recently signed a new cross-category licence with ITV Studios, the underlying rightsholder for many classic Gerry Anderson properties. Under the terms of the new agreement, Anderson Entertainment is now able to build on the global recognition of the Gerry Anderson portfolio, expanding its ranges of product derived from classic brands like Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, UFO and Space: 1999 – notably in apparel, publishing, toys & figures, homeware and giftware – and sell them worldwide. Importantly, the new agreement also enables the company to build sales opportunities with other retail partners. As Jamie Anderson says: “It’s a sort of perfect storm for us. We have more rights, demand from fans is growing
TOTAL LICENSING and new content is on the way.” The online store business in particular can now look forward to new opportunities – but it’s already in a good position. The pandemic, the ensuing lockdown and the ongoing limitations to movement have not hindered the store’s success. In fact it has now celebrated its fifth year in business with 50 per cent year-onyear growth. In 2021 Jamie and his team at Anderson Entertainment will build on this. “The ITV Studios agreement and a stronger focus on marketing and product development will combine to increase the presence of merchandise on the market,” he says. A number of categories already show strong potential – publishing in particular. Gerry Anderson properties have inspired a huge amount of published material over the past 60 years, much of it – comics, annuals, tiein books – ideal for development into
special publications for long-term fans. At the same time of course apparel, homeware, stationery, gifts and collectibles always have massive appeal. As Jamie Anderson says: “Who doesn’t want to have a Thunderbird 2, or a Stingray or a Space 1999 Eagle on their desk? It’s a dream for many office desks and man caves – and rightly so!” Music (a strong feature of all Anderson shows thanks in particular to the legendary composer Barry Gray), posters, digital and audio products, and even escape rooms also have potential. But, says Anderson, this won’t be about trying to label as many products as possible with a Stingray or Joe 90 logo. “As long as the partner or the manufacturer understands what the
spirit of the show is and has some love of it, that’s what matters,” he says. “This isn’t about logo slapping.” Future merchandising plans will also build on new IP. Which is why we now have First Action Bureau, a free-to-access audio drama podcast developed and produced entirely in lockdown by Jamie Anderson and Nicholas Briggs, best known as the voice of Doctor Who’s Daleks since 2005. The 10-episode first series launched on the 1st of October. Set in 2068, the mission of First Action Bureau is to use big data and artificial intelligence to predict and prevent criminal activity before it occurs. But what does the Bureau’s best agent do when she suspects a conspiracy within the Bureau itself? The all-star voice cast of First Action Bureau includes Nicola Walker (Spooks, The Split), Genevieve Gaunt (Harry Potter), Paterson Joseph (Noughts + Crosses) and Sacha Dhawan (the new Master in Doctor Who). Not only has First Action Bureau been a great way to encourage awareness of Anderson output at a tough time for broadcast production; it has also been popular enough to justify a special edition CD collection – and a second series. And more new content is coming, but, as Jamie Anderson notes: “It’s also important to say that our appeal is to a diverse audience. Some parts of the market were kids in the 60s, 70s and 80s – although repeats and new IP are building a younger following too.” That’s no exaggeration. Some of the best-loved Gerry Anderson shows were still being repeated decades after they first appeared. Then digital streaming took over through initiatives like Britbox, which has announced a growing Gerry Anderson collection as part of its Out of This World offering. The first quarter of 2021 will see the launch of Stingray and Secret Service, joining Captain Scarlet, Thunderbirds and Space: 1999. Further expansion is expected in the course of the year. In fact a growing number of SVOD platforms are now promoting classic Anderson Entertainment series.
Showings of Terrahawks on Amazon Prime are attracting strong interest and other platforms like Shout Factory, Comet and Pluto are helping to build a new, younger following alongside the longer-term fanbase. What may these days be considered traditional platforms are also getting in on the act; the free-to-air Forces TV is showing UFO, the Horror Channel has recently transmitted episodes of Space:1999, and DVD and Blu-Ray continue to enjoy good sales. Which brings us back to the ‘perfect storm’ – Jamie Anderson’s plan that the growth of the store and the expanded merchandising opportunities from established content will help to fund the development of new IP like First Action Bureau and Firestorm. This will add to his company’s merchandise base, which will, in turn, reinforce the strength of the company’s direct-toconsumer approach. All of this has benefitted from cross-pollination between different IPs, which is another key element of Anderson Entertainment’s plans. You certainly wouldn’t want to bet against this strategy. In fact you could say that Jamie Anderson is basing his company’s forward-thinking merchandising business on the entertainment philosophy that has made the Anderson brand portfolio popular for over 60 years. As he says: “The approach to licensed output may have changed over the years, but the content we’re building our licensed offering on hasn’t. It’s about the same thing it’s always been about: using science fiction and science fantasy to entertain and inspire.”
Spotlight on the
Total Licensing takes a look at some of the key players in the Nordics market
Plus Licens report increasing activity for Peanuts. Dedicated, the sustainable clothing brand from Sweden will bow a Peanuts collection in Spring/ Summer. The purpose-driven company has been fighting the good fight since 2006; producing ethically and responsibly and using their voice to push for sustainable development in the clothing sector – from cotton fields, to politics. The cotton is GOTS & Fairtrade certified and when it comes to polyester – they work with recycled plastic bottles. Pop culture is an important part of Dedicated’s identity, and the brand is always looking to spice up their collections in new innovative ways. For SS21
they are teaming up with an American classic, Peanuts. In 2020, the Peanuts comic strip celebrated 70 years since its first publication on October 2, 1950. The strip ran in thousands of newspapers worldwide and was read by millions – making it one of the most popular and influential comics in history! “There is so much common ground between Dedicated and Peanuts. Both are based on strong values of friendship, positivity, creativity as well as responsibility towards people and planet. In this time of uncertainty and rapid changes, it feels nice to reconnect with these familiar characters and soak up the good vibes,” commented Johan Graffner, CEO. On a different note, the Soulland meets Peanuts collection offers 12 styles ranging from 100% organic Tshirts, hoodies and crewneck sweatshirts to silk pieces. The selection of silk pieces with all-over print consists of a menswear short sleeve shirt with bowling collar and relaxed pants, while a transparent maxi dress and a fitted shirt in organza silk makes a strong
debut for the first Soulland womenswear collaboration. With the collection, Soulland celebrates the Peanuts comic strip’s 70th anniversary and focuses on some of Schulz’ hand-drawn vintage and classic artwork, assembled in a collage style. “I love Charles Schulz’ work! The ability of the art to remain relevant across generations and age groups really amazes me!” Silas Adler, Co-founder & Creative Director at Soulland. Adler continues, “Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang are great characters for kids clothing and still hold relevance on the most luxurious garments. The focus of my work was to source exclusive materials like silk organza to create a grown-up and extravagant feeling, while still remaining humoristic and true to the Peanuts universe.“ Peanuts continues to be popular at H&M where the Snoopy and the gang have appeared for 25 consecutive years. There are Peanuts collections in most departments and 2020 saw six Peanuts marketing activations. Finally, from January to Summer
TOTAL LICENSING Snoopy is appear on BabyBag. The bag is handed out to parents of newborns at hospitals and maternity wards in Sweden. The initiative began in 2017 and Snoopy is the first licensed character to be featured on the bag. 2020 was another big year for Rovio! Angry Birds content continued to soar – led by new animated content, licensing initiatives, and the continued success of Angry Birds mobile games, with over 4.5 billion lifetime downloads. In August, Rovio appointed IMG as the exclusive worldwide consumer products licensing agent for the Angry Birds franchise, providing a global partner to further develop one of the world’s leading consumer brands. Angry Birds publishing continues to be handled by Ferly, delivering books, comics and more to fans around the globe. Rovio’s commitment to producing diverse animated content continued this year, headlined by the Angry Birds YouTube channel, which now has over 4.4 million subscribers. A new season of the live-action series Angry Birds on the Run premiered in June, and the new short-form animated series Angry Birds Bubble Trouble debuted on Amazon Kids+ in September. Angry Birds had a record-setting year on streaming platforms. The Angry Birds animated series and Angry Birds Movie emerged as the most-watched show and movie among kids aged 4-16 in U.S. households with access to streaming services, according to
data from digital media agency Kids Know Best. The excitement will only continue in 2021 with the Netflix debut of the long-form animated series Angry Birds: Summer Madness, which follows teenage Red, Chuck, Bomb and Stella’s wild summer at Camp Splinterwood! Based in Espoo, Finland with studios in Stockholm and Copenhagen, Rovio has a robust licensing presence in the Nordics with tons of local partners. Some of Rovio’s most notable partnerships in the Nordics have included Angry Birds Candy collaborations with Fazer and Halva, Angry Birds snacks from Kaslink, and Angry Birds LEGO sets. Among the many fun collaborations for the release of The Angry Birds Movie 2 last year, Rovio teamed up with Jungle Juice Bar to create a line of limited-time Angry Birds signature smoothies named after Red, Bomb, Chuck and Leonard! Angry Birds is also on a wide range of Nordic-based foods, toys, accessories, and apparel available, including Angry Birds decor from Björna, Angry Birds mugs from Martinex, and Angry Birds pastas, porridge and more from Myllyn Paras! Many of Rovio’s current global licensees -- such as Pez, Jazwares and Youtooz collectibles -- are active in the region, too. Rovio is also continuing its partnership with retail marketing leader TCC, which manages Angry Birds’ global loyalty promotional programs. One of Rovio’s most successful ongoing Nordic partnerships is with Berner, delighting fans with exciting Angry Birds shampoos and toothpastes. Location-based entertainment continues to be an important part of Rovio’s licensing strategy. Fans can visit several Angry Birds parks in Finland, including Angry Birds Land in Särkänniemi, one of Finland’s most popular amusement parks, and Angry Birds Activity Park at Holiday
Club Saimaa! Rovio also began a multiyear partnership with Tallink Silja in 2019, bringing Angry Birds summer centers to Silja Line cruise ships. One of Rovio’s latest partnerships is with Rodeco, creating playgrounds that combine physical play with interactive environments to stimulate children’s imagination. Angry Birds experiences have thrived outside the Nordics, as well: Angry Birds Not So Mini Golf opened at the new American Dream mall in North America in October, and in August, Rovio launched a partnership with Topgolf to create a one-of-a-kind Angry Birds game at selected Topgolf venues (in the US) using their exclusive Toptracer ball-tracking technology. Probably the most famous Nordic author, Astrid Lindgren wrote 34 chapter books and 41 picture books, that all together have sold 165 million copies and been translated into more than 100 languages. In addition, Astrid’s characters have also been turned into 49 feature films, and 22 TV productions and countless stage performances. The Astrid Lindgren Company is zealously working on making Astrid Lindgren’s work accessible through various TV and film productions. Several major projects are in development and first in line is the Pippi Longstocking live action movie which is planned to premiere in 2022/2023. The film will be produced by acclaimed producer David Heyman (Harry Potter, Paddington). 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of
TOTAL LICENSING Pippi Longstocking – the strongest girl in the world and the most well-known of Astrid Lindgren’s characters. To celebrate this, The Astrid Lindgren Company have, together with Save the Children, joined forces in a campaign called ‘Pippi of Today’, focusing on raising money for girls on the move to help them find a way to a brighter future. A number of companies, including Google, Happy Socks, Unilever, Houdini Sportswear, Micki & Friends, Design House Stockholm, Annas Pepparkakor, Dr Oetker, Maria Nilsdotter, Kavat and many more have chosen to support Pippi of Today by donating part of their sales to the campaign. The campaign will be active until December 2021. In addition to Pippi Longstocking, The Astrid Lindgren Company has licensing programs available for most of the famous Astrid Lindgren characters. They currently have partners on-board such as H&M, Micki & Friends, Dedicated Brands, Ottod’Ame, Martinex, Muurla, Åhléns, Egmont Publishing, Ravensburger, Kavat Shoes and many more, developing strong and sustainable products for their brands. Since being established in 2015, WildBrain CPLG’s Nordic office has grown from a “one woman show”, with support from WildBrain CPLG’s Head Office and Benelux team, to a team of six based in Sweden with an office located outside of Stockholm. WildBrain CPLG’s portfolio in the Nordics covers entertainment and preschool brands, including My Little Pony, PAW Patrol, and Sesame Street; alongside classic character brands, such as Pink Panther; lifestyle brands, like Chupa Chups and Mentos; and local brands, such as Babblarna. Recent successes from the WildBrain CPLG Nordic team include a retail partnership with Coop for Hatten Förlag’s beloved Babblarna brand. The collaboration saw the launch of a branded range of Babblarna diapers and baby care products, which are designed to encourage language development. Customers can access the Språkbyggarna web platform via a QR code on all product packaging, and on sign material in Coop’s stores, to unlock tools and information about children’s lan-
guage development. WildBrain CPLG’s Nordic office has a long-standing relationship with Hatten Förlag and has established a strong licensee base for its Babblarna property, which includes Micki, Egmont and Euromic. The Nordic team also manages WildBrain CPLG’s successful global relationship with fashion retailer H&M across deal negotiation, retail execution and product development. Sesame Workshop recently awarded WildBrain CPLG Nordic with ‘Retail Partnership of the Year’ for its popular Sesame Street collection at H&M. Additionally, a SpongeBob SquarePants x H&M collaboration was launched in December 2020 following a partnership secured by WildBrain CPLG’s Nordic team. The collection of over 15 pieces was showcased in H&M’s flagship store windows across major markets and supported by an extensive social media campaign including a bespoke Snapchat filter. Beyond fashion, the Nordic office has a strategic focus on gaming products with a dedicated sales executive looking after the category on a global basis. Gaming expert and Sales Account Manager Martin Åberg is in discussions with multiple partners across both physical slot machines and online gaming opportunities. Also in the digital space, WildBrain CPLG Nordic’s Commercial Director Jenny Strehle is championing e-commerce across the WildBrain CPLG teams. WildBrain CPLG Nordic will continue to grow the presence of its licensor brands in the market with exciting collaborations and tentpole events in the pipeline for 2021. Ferly Agency is an entertainment company based out of Helsinki, Stock-
holm, Vancouver and LA specialising in brand development through licensing, apps, publishing, animation, film and TV. As a result of their background in building Angry Birds (through Rovio), they also specialise in digital distribution which allows them direct access to target demographics and helps build audiences for new brands. They do not need to rely on somebody else to broadcast and distribute since Ferly consists of a licensing, publishing and Creative Studio, all based in-house. That said, they work with partners to build promising and popular IP – for example this winter they have had a great response to their partnership with Star Stable Entertainment and their popular online horse game with over 10 million subscribers worldwide and a heavily engaged fan base. This past year Ferly has really doubled down on their belief in the importance of building brands which can expand into not just a franchise, but a universe. They have also explored further the potential of the activist brand, especially important since consumer attitudes have continued to show they expect brands to help change the world. This is something Ferly has always tried to keep at the heart of what they do. Their brands are created to educate, inspire, entertain, and help develop well-rounded individuals equipped with the emotional skills to tackle modern life, and modern issues. CupOfTherapy is a prime example, Ferly’s mental health focused consumer brand. One trend worth mentioning is that there has been a lot of interest in the APAC region for uniquely Nordic-styled brands. Ferly has seen this through the success of CupOfTherapy and also on the creative inspiration
behind their kids animated series Momolu and Friends, which is inspired by Asian design but retains a distinctively Finnish look. This fusion of styles has been a delight to explore – keeping the strengths of both regions and appealing to a wider audience because of it. Lastly, they are keen that nobody should look at the Nordics as a single territory. There are five similar, but at the same time very different, countries within the Nordic region each with strong local licensees and retailers. A truly Nordic licensing program should consist of a mix of multi-territory licensees working with local, specialized ones. Ferly Agency’s publishing department is connected to publishers across the globe and sells kids’, middle grade, teen, and adult book rights and licenses. Ferly’s Creative Studio can also create content for your brand’s publishing needs. Ferly’s Creative Studio develops bestin-class visual materials for brands and franchises. Whether you need style guides, visual guidelines, assets, publishing or digital content, Ferly’s Creative Studio is the place to look! With an experienced licensing team and content professionals in-house, we know what your licensees and partners need to support your brand 100%. In terms of brands, Ferly represents a number on a global basis including Star Stable the world’s most popular online horse game with over 10 million players. In addition they represent Momolu, a brand for preschoolers with shortform animation and CupOfTherapy which combines illustrations with thoughtful texts. Ferly is also the Master Agent for Angry Birds publishing. Laine is a design and lifestyle brand
from the Nordics, that began as a highquality Nordic knit & lifestyle magazine, and Littlephant, a Nordic lifestyle brand created by Camilla Lundsten. Further brands include Maria Trolle, a design and publishing brand from Sweden, Kit and Kate, a Russian series of animated shorts, Deer Little Forest, a lifestyle brand created by Jo Rose and Yes Nonsence, a co-project between Finnish illustrator Ossi Pirkonen and Ferly Agency. In terms of Nordic representation, Ferly handle Russian hit brand Masha and the Bear, L.O.L Surprise, No-NoNo Surprise and Little Tikes from MGA Entertainment and Molang from Millimages. Founded in 2004 in Copenhagen, NLC covers the Nordic and Benelux regions. Services include specialized category management, brand guidance and product development, retail activations and brand marketing, contract administration, forecasting, royalty reporting and invoicing. For Nordic Licensing, a leading Nordics and Benelux licensing agency, the trend toward classic brands has supported success for the firm and its licensors, including Warner Bros. Consumer Products (with HBO and Turner), Mattel, HIT Entertainment, and top European sports brands, including the Tour de France. Some of the popular classic brands in NLC´s portfolio are: Harry Potter, Batman, Bugs Bunny, FRIENDS, Barbie and Hot Wheels. “Navigating through 2020 was challenging for everyone, but our focus on representing a select group of strong licensors and our close relationships with licensees and retailers helped us deliver impressive results for these iconic brands,” says Kirsten Gyde, NLC Managing Director. “Our team at NLC goes the extra mile every year, but this year was truly remarkable, considering the challenged retail landscape.” Kirsten says the massive regional success of Har-
ry Potter’s Wizarding World in 2020 is proof that the magic continues.As two examples, Pandora expanded their Harry Potter product offering with successful launch campaigns in July and
November. And, in August 2020, H&M quickly sold out of many items in their Harry Potter X H&M Back to School campaign. NLC helped celebrate Bugs Bunny’s 80th anniversary with a fun campaign on Instagram and YouTube. Batman, the Superhero with the highest awareness among boys aged 6-9 in the region, was also a big hit in 2020, as NLC launched Batman toys in the Nordics with Spinmaster, a new master toys licensee. For girls, Barbie proved her worth during the pandemic: The Barbie toy lines from Mattel delivered once again a year with strong growth and NLC launched together with Kappahl in Sweden a Barbie T-shirt range that instantly sold out. Brands NLC expects in the licensing spotlight throughout 2021 are Harry Potter, Batman, Space Jam, Game of Thrones, Barbie and Tour de France.
For more information contact Marinette Dalbard-Giraudel Tel: +33 6 1307 3485 marinette.dalbard@ kidzglobal.com
For more information contact Marinette Dalbard-Giraudel Tel: +33 6 1307 3485 marinette.dalbard@ kidzglobal.com
Total Licensing is a media partner of the upcoming Kidscreen Summit. Here, we bring you some insights and highlights of the summit, as well as an interview with Jocelyn Christie, VP & Publisher, Kidscreen and Maggie Wilkins Events Sales Manager, as well as a snapshot of the agenda and some of the releases you can expect to see.
Ongoing COVID-19 uncertainty meant that the organisers of Kidscreen Summit quickly shifted gears to build a robust virtual event experience that will take place from February 8 to March 5, 2021. At the heart of the reimagined Kidscreen Summit Virtual experience is a vibrant delegate lounge environment with various options for exhibitors, and also communal space where individual attendees can connect with one another for scheduled meetings and serendipitous networking. To facilitate meetings, each delegate will have a customized private video conferencing room with integrated messaging and scheduling tools to make the virtual pitching experience much smoother and more personal than other software solutions. Kidscreen Summit Virtual will kick off with a market week that’s focused on bringing the industry together to connect and do business. We caught up with the Jocelyn Christie and Maggie Wilkins, to see how they have adapted to the challenges of taking everything online. How have you adapted during this year of very uncertain times, and when did it become clear that you would be running a virtual event? We held out as long as logistically possible on making the decision to move forward with a virtual event because we were initially hopeful about the pandemic situation improving in time to host a live event in February. But by August/September, it had become clear that a second wave was playing
out, and that is when we changed direction. Luckily, some of our company’s other brands had been pioneering virtual events since May, so there was a lot of learning that we could take advantage of around producing webinars and running virtual networking sessions successfully. And we fortunately had time to talk to our industry about their new business needs, and what they liked and didn’t like about some virtual events they had already experienced. It must take an enormous amount of planning and redirection – how have the team coped with the changes? Brunico has always been a streamlined and nimble company that’s able to adapt quickly to new opportunities that develop in the markets we operate in. But we’ve reached a whole new level of doing that this past year. Each and every person on the Kidscreen team - and everyone on the other teams they work with internally - has risen to the challenge and come up with really creative solutions that allowed us to do things differently this year. I’m so proud of them, and happy to be a part of such an innovative and hard-working group of people. And tell us a little about the platform you have built, and how you have made it user-friendly? Our revamped kidscreenXchange platform houses the full Kidscreen Summit experience. Our goal was to provide our attendees with an event environment where they could easily connect and meet with each other, share their projects, attend conference sessions and meet new people
through business networking - all in one place. All delegate meetings take place within kidscreenXchange, eliminating the need to share account info to access external video conferencing software, and the platform has been designed to be really straight-forward and user-friendly. We know not everyone is comfortable with new tech, though, so we will have an info desk in the delegate lounge where people can come and get help anytime during Market Week. And there will also be a help chat feature on kidscreenXchange and a Customer Support team that attendees can email if they have questions about navigating the platform and the event. How many attendees do you anticipate? We are on track to welcome approximately 1,500 delegates to Kidscreen Summit Virtual. How easy will it be for visitors to attend screenings? All of our conference sessions (keynotes, fireside chats, research presentations, panel discussions, master classes, buyer briefings) will be easy to access through links on the agenda in kidscreenXchange. And they’ll also be recorded and posted online for ondemand catch-up viewing until April 2. Attendees are also able to check out videos for projects that have been uploaded into the Kidscreen Summit Virtual screening library. These projects can be filtered by genre and by the phase the project is in (i.e. development, production, completed), and reaching out to start a chat with the teams behind them is an easy, oneclick process.
A sample of what’s on the packed agenda… MASTER CLASS Perfecting your virtual pitch Business Pass Exclusive! Pitching is an art form. But what works in real life doesn’t always work online. Take your virtual pitch to the next level with practical, hands-on tips from producers who’ve successfully sold shows in lockdown, and hear what works best when it comes to getting on a buyer’s radar from your home office. Brainpick—All Things Digital Top experts across the world of YouTube, podcasting, VR and more, will answer questions you may have about moving your content to the virtual world. YouTube - Jon Gisby OTT - Vikrant Mathur Podcasting - Maggie McGuire Online Safety - Shai Samet VR/AR - Loretta Todd Brainpick—Leaning into Licensing Looking for advice on how to take your product to the world of consumer products, and beyond? A panel of experts is available to answer your questions about all things licensing. Live Experiences - Donna FriedmanMier Retail Strategies - Bill Graham Publishing - Caitlin Friedman Toyetic Character Development Yurie Rocha KEYNOTE—Dr. Jane Goodall on finding hope in dark days Famed environmentalist Dr. Jane Goodall has worked with millions of young people around the world, inspiring them to take action in their
communities through the Jane Goodall Institute and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots. Recognized for her tireless and vital conservation efforts, she spreads her message through optimism—a visionary idea in today’s unsteady world. At Kidscreen Summit, Dr. Goodall will share her unique experience, and explore the role the kids entertainment industry can play in helping children develop a lifelong love of the natural world. Featuring: Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE UN Messenger of Peace & Founder The Jane Goodall Institute Pitch Doctoring Stephanie Betts, Sidney Clifton, Heath Kenny Get primed to pitch your project more effectively! In these 15-minute consults, some of the industry’s most talented pitchers will take a look at your materials and give you advice on how to deliver them with more punch. Speed Pitching - Amazon Kids, DeAKids, CBC Kids Connect with top broadcasters and investors who have the power to greenlight your project. This highly effective format features eight-minute meetings—plenty of time to deliver the perfect pitch. Kidscreen Awards Emma Hunter is back by popular demand to host our 12th-annual Kidscreen Awards ceremony, where we’ll celebrate the year’s best work in kids programming, broadcasting and digital media. She’ll be joined by favorite furry red Muppet, Sesame Street’s Elmo, who’ll be on hand to give Emma tips on hosting the special event. Chat Rooms—Tackling Inclusion Business Pass Exclusive! Join our hosts for small group conversations about important topics facing today’s industry. Tackling racism head on Modelling good behavior is a start, but kids shows also need to tackle racism
directly. Let’s talk about how. Diverse creative teams Building a diverse writers room seems daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Host: Karissa Valencia LGBTQ characters now Why you don’t need a hit on your hands before you can introduce an LGBTQ character. Race perception and kids How do kids and their families perceive their own culture and identities, how is that reflected back to them in media, and what can we do better to change the narrative? KEYNOTE—Reframing the story: How to deconstruct racism through the tales we tell From TV shows to headlines, all stories have a structure. You know what else has a structure? Racism— that’s what makes it systemic. Watch along as Emmy-winning comedy writer, author and Obama White House advisor Baratunde Thurston explores how we can reframe the actions we (and our characters) take to be more inclusive, and the role content producers play in shaping how kids see race on screen. Featuring: Baratunde Thurston Writer/Activist/Comedian Confronting your biases Unconscious or implicit biases exist in everything we do, and they can often be a big barrier to achieving meaningful diversity on the teams we recruit and the shows we put on screen. These experts in implicit bias training help people better understand their daily discriminatory behavior and will offer tips and tricks to conquer the prejudices you didn’t even know you had.
A snapshot of some of the properties coming to Kidscreen this year
TeamTo will introduce Winter Is Here - three animated holiday specials. In Fox Garden, a fox finds refuge from a cold and snowy evening in a greenhouse. Shy little Sacha overcomes his fears and comes to the rescue with Chickpea, a pet chicken. He is amazed to find that the Fox had babies and learns that friendship is about reaching out. In Something’s Fishy, Penguin is ice fishing, and the fish aren’t biting. But why? A comedic cast of polar characters gather, chatter, wager guesses and generally, aggravate Penguin, until they
hear something below the ice. Snowy stars Neige, a young snowgirl living in Snowland with her elf parents.Today is her first hockey practice, but also the day her dream of flying like superhero Snowman comes true as she rescues a little rabbit from a mighty Yeti. TeamTo will also debut Tiny island, and Ninn - based on a series of original graphic novels by JeanMichel Darlot and Johan Pilet, Ninn is an ambitious animated limited series for the 7+ audience. Monica Levy, Head of Sales, Federation Kids & Family, spoke with Total Licensing about her plans for the Summit. Can you outline your main aims at Kidscreen? How do you plan to adapt to the fact this will be a virtual show? Kidscreen has always been a gathering of the greatest professionals in the children’s business in a warm, hospitable environment – one to look forward to especially as it takes place in vibrant Miami! Now that the whole world has gone ‘virtual’ and we must get used to seeing each other in a little box on our screen – I think most would agree it is not the same as catching up face to face. The lunches and dinners are no longer, and we have to have meaningful contact in 30 minutes as well as pitch our shows … Challenging, needless
to say! But we will still do our best within this virtual world with the hope that down the line we can get back to some form of normality. On that subject, how has your business weathered the past year’s crisis and have you noted any positives in particular? Do you think that the current time has merely accelerated a move toward digital? All that notwithstanding, we can all agree that many positive aspects have comme to see the light during this Pandemic. We have gained at least 10 years in practice and know-how; the way we can work so independently, need less office space and be so efficient (even if still in pyjamas). Time will tell if we travel less in the future or not. Although the television business seems to be thriving, there have been many layoffs and re-structuring amongst the larger corporations. Who in particular are you looking to connect with at the show? During this Kidscreen, our goal is to better understand the (perhaps) changed programming needs and to meet the new people responsible for kids entertainment. And you are up for an award for FMIP! Good luck for the ceremony. What makes your property so unique, would you say? Yes, we are delighted to be up for a Kidscreen award for our hit drama, Find Me in Paris. This world renowned drama is a premium hit tween series that combines world-class ballet, hip hop, drama and comedy. Kids in 130 countries (literally) love the series and the success continues with the rollout of Season 3.
Follow our live coverage of the Summit @totallicensing
It’s All Go at MGM Robert, how have you found the challenges of the past few months? AT MGM we consider ourselves extremely lucky that we have such a fantastic portfolio of both new and classic properties that really resonate with audiences and consumers. It’s no secret that, in times of crisis, people often turn to entertainment that brings them comfort and nostalgic. Can you outline some of the top priorities for MGM going forward? Where to start! We have a lot of exciting things going on. We are championing both anniversaries of Rocky and Legally Blonde this year, we are looking forward to the second instalment in the Addams Family franchise and we are expanding in the gaming space. We are also excited about the development of a live-action Pink Panther CGI hybrid film. We hear there is a new Legally Blonde movie coming out too. Absolutely. Legally Blonde really continues to resonate with fans around the globe. It celebrates feminism, hard work and of course, fun and fashion. Reese Witherspoon will star, and Mindy Kaling is also heavily involved. Legally Blonde was one of the funniest and most popular movies of the time, and 20 years later still holds incredible popularity.
Total Licensing caught up with Robert Marick, EVP Global Consumer Products & Experiences at MGM to hear about all the exciting news coming from the studio this year...
“There is a huge appetite for The Addams Family!’
The Addams Family saw great success when it was released – what are the plans for the sequel? With Halloween gaining popularity year after year, not just in the States but around the world, there certainly has been increased appetite for The Addams Family! We in turn are growing both the licensing program tied in with the film and the perennial licensing program from the classic show. The Addams Family, in particular Wednesday Addams, symbolise diversity, acceptance, and, especially in today’s world, that being quirky and ‘different’ is something to be celebrated. Girls and young women in particular identify with Wednesday Addams and she has become something of the break-out star of the movie. You mention the gaming space – what are the plans there?
“Legally Blonde represents feminism, fun, fashion and really resonates with audiences…”
MGM teamed up with EON Productions and Delphi to develop and publish the very first James Bond original story with the working title Project 007. Project 007 will feature a wholly original Bond story exclusively as a video game.
James Bond has a very strong legacy in the video game space, with some of the most iconic games of all-time based on the character. Working with our partners at EON and the talented team at IO Interactive, we plan to bring a new take on this legendary franchise to gamers and Bond fans around the world. IO Interactive are masters of crafting living, breathing worlds of immersive storytelling. We have spoken before about MGM and the interactive, experiential licensing side of things. How have you fared during the pandemic on this side and what do you think the future holds? Of course, it’s a difficult time when people cannot physically attend an experience. But we are always working on new and innovative ways to ensure that, in addition to our classic licensing strategy, there are many different ways in which fans can experience our fantastic array of brands.
The Resilience of the Toy Industry
How has the toy industry, worth over $90bn globally, fared during these most unprecedented of times? When we attended Toy Fair in New York back in February 2020, Coronavirus was known about and certainly being discussed in the aisles, but there was no way anyone could have predicted the complete disruption to every area of life, business and industry that the global pandemic would cause. In fact, this time last year, COVID-19 was already causing big problems with Asian manufacturers, predominantly in
China, and these problems had a huge impact all the way down the supply chain. The future looked very uncertain. However, the toy industry has proved resilient against the challenges, with one of the primary reasons being that demand is still high – and grew during the pandemic, as did online shopping platforms and e-commerce stores, replacing sales from many traditional toy retailers. The absence of all the major trade shows in the first part of 2021 has meant that the industry has had to show resilience and creativity in a way to ensure the industry keep flourishing. Steve Pasierb, President & CEO, The U.S. Toy Association, notes that while U.S. toy sales were up 19 percent in the first three quarters of 2020, the actual company-by-company results have varied widely. He comments: “U.S. sales have soared for puzzles and family board games, outdoor play equipment, and educational toys and games to help with at-home learning. Likewise, toy companies well-positioned with major retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon have seen consistently strong sales, as have companies and retailers
with strong digital footprints and ecommerce sites. And classic and nostalgic toys and brands have acted as a kind of “comfort food” for families seeking positive outlets in an uncertain world.” Of course, this has been an unprecedented year for everyone, and Steve notes: “Companies that sell primarily to amusement parks, vacation destinations, museums, and other venues have seen little to no sales, as have portions of the specialty retail sector which have either been closed due to local restrictions or have not been able to rely on e-commerce sales. Entertainment companies launching major IP properties have had to pivot and find new ways to drive consumer excitement in the face of an increasingly fragmented audience, and the accelerated rise of e-commerce has forced brands to find ways to interact more closely and dialogue directly with the end-user of their products.” On being asked his thoughts on the future, Steve says: “Looking to 2021, it is expected that many of the positive trends that emerged amid COVID-19 will remain strong; according to our internal trends team, fall previews have shown the continuing impor-
tance of play in family life, retro and classic toys that inspire nostalgia and bring comfort, and laugh-out-loud, silly, and gross-out toys and games that will bring much-needed levity into everyone’s lives. “Through all the uncertainty and retail disruption, The Toy Association is providing direct assistance to those who are struggling and continues to make headway on important issues impacting members of the toy and play community, including advocating for legislation that tackles the threat of unsafe toys sold on e-commerce platforms, breaking down trade barriers, and pushing back on legislation that does not advance toy safety.” As Steve notes, particular success has been seen in the puzzles and games side of the industry, as well as in toys that encourage home-learning – as much of the world’s parent and caregiver population has been, or still is, involved in home-schooling. But there is still a large amount of uncertainty over the coming months, with major studios unable to release their predicted blockbusters, thus merchandizing programs that are
planned around the movie side of things are difficult to get into retail. The Trolls movie, released in 2020 on pay-per-view, set something of a precedent for the industry. Released digitally straight into people’s homes, the planned toy schedule could go ahead. There were mixed feelings in the industry about this, and some outright criticism of the decision. However, this seems to be a trend that will not change, and will only increase. While changes were certainly happening, the pandemic has accelerated the way children view content and gain awareness of licensed toys. Netlfix, Amazon Prime and Disney +, among others, are seen as success stories of the pandemic – as well of course as Amazon itself with its retail and quick shipping options. It has become essential that entertainment companies keep their IP and franchises on kids and parents radars – so digital advertising and social media has very much come into play. And the fact remains that parents and caregivers have been buying more toys for their children during
the pandemic – with everyone stuck at home, video games, interactive toys and education and learningbased toys have increased. Innovation, creativity and above all, ability to adapt seem to be the key components to ensuring success during this disruptive time. Moonbug Entertainment has announced a very wide licensing program around is popular property CoComelon. CoComelon is an example of how the reach of a property has gone global through YouTube. CoComelon is the world’s mostviewed YouTube channel with over 3.5 billion average monthly views and over 100 million subscribers. Wow! Stuff is moving into the preschool category by partnering with Moonbug, and will unveil a range of products based on the popular kids’ show during 2021. “As we look to bring new ways for fans to engage with their favourite characters, we need partners who can create toys and products that truly bring them to life,” said Simon Philips, senior in-house advisor, Moonbug. “Wow! Stuff’s reputation in developing innovative toys is unparalleled and we look forward to bringing them kids worldwide.”
Head of Product Development and Licensing at Wow! Stuff, Kenny McAndrew continued, “We have been working with CoComelon for some time and have seen how the brand has captured families around the globe with its educational and engaging content. Now that it’s a Moonbug brand, we’re delighted for what’s to come from our relationship and the new ways in which we encourage play.” Moose Toys has announced it is launching a brand-new Octonauts toy line in partnership with Silvergate Media. The collection will support the popular preschool animated TV property and the upcoming release of its anticipated new spinoff show, Octonauts: Above & Beyond. First launched on screens in 2010, Octonauts has a global broadcast platform spanning multiple territories and huge fanbases in the UK, US and China, more recently the show extended its reach by debuting in Latin America and the Middle East. Octonauts appeals to audiences around the world due to its storytelling, educational narratives and compelling characters that cross cultural divides. The upcoming new series Octonauts: Above & Beyond will take the much-loved crew of intrepid explorers beyond the sea and onto land with
an exciting array of new locations, vehicles and storylines to enjoy. Kids will learn real facts about amazing creatures, extreme new environments and the challenges of water and weather phenomena. As part of the deal, Moose Toys will create a full range of Octonauts toys including figures, vehicles, playsets, plush, games and more. Additional details about the range will be released closer to launch. Octonauts: Above & Beyond, the brand-new spin-off series combines the high-octane action, educational content and stunning creative that has come to define the brand and will debut in 2021. With this latest partnership, Moose Toys continues to expand its licensing portfolio and acquire highly coveted shelf real estate in the booming preschool aisle. Along these line, Moose Toys also recently announced Kindi Kids Minis, a brand-new scale offering a whole new way to play in the Kindi Kids world. Moose Toys Senior Vice President, Head of U.S. Marketing & Strategy Alex Ries: “Kindi Kids has quickly become a beloved preschool brand, and we are delighted to introduce our fans to the adorable new world of Kindi Kids Minis. These pint-size minis are rich
with the fun, quirky details kids love and expect from Kindi Kids, and we are certain that this engaging world will encourage hours of imaginative play.” Bluey is another popular property which is seeing interactive play and innovation at the heart of the toy range. romoting active and imaginative play and inspired by the episode, “The Pool,” Bluey Pool Time Playset playset includes a pool ready to be filled with water, plus a diving board and cabana for one of summer’s favorite activities. In Bluey’s Hopscotch Race Card Game, players build a hopscotch path using cards, then spin the spinner to match the color and be the first to the finish line. Includes 44 colorful picture cards, color spinner and the four Bluey family characters as game movers. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood has many interesting toys based on the series, due for release this year.TCG Toys has created Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Puzzle 8 Pack; and Cottage Door will release Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Explore & Find So Many Ways to Play; where kids can join Daniel Tiger and friends as they explore all the wonderous seasons in this interactive “Explore & Find” board book that is filled with engaging search-and-find matching games, counting, new vocabulary words, and lively scenes. Far Out Toys has revealed new brands planned for 2021 – including new toys under their successful Ryan’s World; Love, Diana; and Crash Circuit brands as well as innovative surprise product introductions planned for fall. Love, Diana collectibles including dolls, pets and playsets debut in Spring 2021. Ryan’s World has over 27 million subscribers on his popular YouTube channel, and to continue their line of Ryan’s World offerings, Far Out Toys has created the Ryan’s World Tour Board Game. The game will allow children to fly around the world learning about different countries and cultures. As they travel, kids pick up power-ups and collect Micro-Figures and rarity stars -- the player with the most rarity stars wins. Also new under the Ryan’s World umbrella is the Crash Circuit Junior Pro: Race with Ryan racetrack.
The rise of a new licensing star What does it take to create a new brand that is attractive for the licensing community? In most cases, it means an animated series creation: finding a brilliant idea, investing in the bible, then working on the content itself. And then, maybe several years later, the project becomes noticeable for licensing specialists. Content is key. Even the toy-manufacturing giants look closely at the content component; they understand it is crucial to bring the audience the most desirable thing to consume – the content. How does this affect licensing? Let’s look at HEY CLAY, the brand that belongs to Trendformer, the company which makes products for exciting DIY activities centered around creative educational play. Their original product is a set of air-dry clay. To distinguish themselves from dozens (or even hundreds) of clay manufacturers, HEY CLAY took the following steps.
Step 1. To make children develop creative thinking, the clay is sold in sets designed to build colorful characters that each become a standalone toy after drying. The company started with 6 sets of 6 characters each – Monsters, Aliens, Bugs, Birds, Animals, and Dinosaurs.
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kids love mobile apps, and the awardwinning HEY CLAY app is designed to inspire kids and teach them basic modeling techniques through step-bystep explanations using the example of charming and funny animated characters.
The app connects inspiring clay animation with hands-on experience of modeling. It aims at improving a child’s fine motor skills while having fun. Colorful and engaging, it instantly takes the child on a fantastic journey of creative crafting. What is more important, through using the HEY CLAY app, kids travel from the virtual reality of the app to the actual world where they create characters from clay and then play with them.
Step 3. This is the moment when the characters start living their own lives. The clay is very elastic, and HEY CLAY is a light colorful substance that gives the character distinctive moves. The first step towards animated characters takes place in the application. The next, very natural step is creating an animation that Trendformer is working on with one of the leading studios. Several video formats are in development – 5’, 7’ and 11’ series for traditional channels and 1’, 2’, and 3’ short
videos for YouTube. The company is also partnering with leading agencies to create videos aimed at the fastest growing social platforms.
Step 4. Going into the licensing world through multi-channel B2B collaborations, HEY CLAY has proven its success thanks to the versatility of the product itself and the concept as a whole. Successful retail launches and cases have taken place in key regions: North America (Canada), Europe (Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and Nordic countries), APAC (Japan, Australia), Gulf Region countries. As a global partner the brand has attracted the leading retail programs that represent the company worldwide. The number of countries where retail activations are to be presented is growing. With the colorful characters becoming more and more visible in different markets worldwide/around the world, it looks like now is just the right time to enter the licensing business.
A FOCUS ON CANADA’S LICENSING MARKETPLACE Canada has the seventh-largest economy in the world and the Canadian economy is diverse and highly developed. It is, understandably, similar to the American economy only smaller in size. The foundation of the Canadian economy is foreign trade and the United
Key Digital Numbers - Canada 2020 vs 2019 Population
Mobile phone connections
1 Weston Group
Active social media users
3 Costco 4 Empire Co
Canada Licensing Profile 2019 Retail Licensing Revenue (USD m)
2019 Licensing Revenue Rank
GDP (USD Millions)
Consumer Spending (USD Millions)
Retail Sales change
Population 37,411,047 0.88%
Average annual income
Licensing as percent of Consumer Spending
Source: Licensing International
Top 10 E-Commerce Platforms in Canada
Top Retailers in Canada
Best Buy Canada
Home Depot Canada
States is by far the nation’s largest trade partner. Foreign trade is responsible for about 45 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). Free trade agreements between the 2 nations have increased trade by eliminating tariffs. Each day approximately US$1 billion worth of goods crosses the U.S.-Canadian border. In fact, the United States sends more products to Canada than it does to all of Latin America. In terms of retail, despite the pandemic, retail sales in October last rose 0.37% from September, marking six months of clear increases since April’s dramatic decline as a result of the pandemic and the lockdown.. Core retail sales rose over 10% year on year with furnishings and home furnishings up 18.42%, food and beverage up 8.24% and sports, hobby, books and music up 19.38%. The only major category to see a downturn was clothing and accessories which contracted 12.04% over the year. Retail sales have, clearly been helped by internet and e-commerce shopping. Canada is one of the most sophisticated countries for online shopping. The major winners, of course, are some of the US giants but some Canadian companies still make it into the top ten.
5 Metro Inc 6 McKesson Corp 7 Canadian Tire 8 Lowe’s Co 9 Home Depot 10 Home Hrdware
For more information contact Marinette Dalbard-Giraudel Tel: +33 6 1307 3485 marinette.dalbard@ kidzglobal.com
TOTAL LICENSING With nearly fifty years of expertise as a world-leading international producer, distributor and licensor of children’s animated and live action content, Nelvana is an established licensor and agent with experience in building and managing brands in Canada and on a global basis. With over 250 licensees globally, Nelvana’s full-service team excels at providing customized support across licensing sales, retail development, legal, finance (collections/forecasting), product approvals, creative services, digital strategy and more. Nelvana’s strong retail relationships revolve around their ‘boots on the ground’ approach, meeting with retail buyers and senior executives regularly. Based in Canada, Nelvana’s licensing team possesses unparalleled expertise in the Canadian market. With the ability to seamlessly align and amplify retail initiatives and marketing through coordination with Corus Entertainments’ programming team and the broader Corus business, Nelvana is equipped with a unique competitive advantage. In Canada, Nelvana represents 15 top-rated brands spanning preschool, girls, boys, young adults, adult lifestyle, and food, such as Hasbro’s Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, and Ricky Zoom, Sesame Workshop’s Sesame Street, Mattel’s Thomas & Friends, for which it’s also co-producing a 2D series for with Mattel; ADK Emotions’ Beyblade; Adult Swim’s Rick & Morty; Cartoon Network’s Powerpuff Girls; and Millimages’ Molang, as well as Spin Master’s Bakugan, a co-production with Nelvana, Spin Master and TMS Entertainment, that Nelvana supports with international distribution. In addition to its agency brands, Nelvana also markets and licenses its own brands, including the beloved Max & Ruby, action-adventure Ranger Rob, legendary Babar with The Clifford Ross Company, Redknot’s new series Agent Binky and latest live-action series, The Hardy Boys. Nelvana’s notable Canadian campaigns in 2020 include successfully launch-
vana has also partnered with Canadian designer Peace Collective to launch a Sesame Street collection. As Nelvana prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021, its licensing team is looking forward to even more fun and exciting new launches next year surrounding brands such as Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, Alexandra Gater and Pikwik Pack.
ing a collaboration between Sesame Street and prominent Canadian department store chain, Hudson Bay Company and its iconic stripes in celebration of Hudson’s Bay’s 350th Anniversary and Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary, this past September 2020, featuring family sleepwear. In addition, Corus has partnered with Canadian influencer Extrasparklesplease and Canada’s biggest bookstore, Indigo for Peppa Pig promotions and events in Fall 2020 with Indigo Kids and exclusively launched Hasbro’s Ricky Zoom toys at Toys R Us Canada nationwide in Fall 2020. Nel-
Headquartered in Canada, global entertainment company Boat Rocker Media has swiftly expanded over recent years and now operates in six countries. Harnessing the power of creativity and commerce to tell stories and build iconic brands for audiences around the world, it produces over 50 television series annually across scripted, unscripted, and kids & family content. Responding to this rapid growth, the company recently realigned its Studio offering. Designed to streamline its scripted operations and identify additional and exciting opportunities, the realignment will also allow greater focus on its Kids & Family division which is set for another exciting year in 2021. January saw the eagerly anticipated launch of its action-packed “pre-westoric” preschool animation, Dino Ranch, an irresistible blend of dinosaurs and adventurous ranch life. Debuting on Disney Junior in the US and CBC Kids in
TOTAL LICENSING Canada, the series will roll out globally across the year. Jazwares and Scholastic have signed for Master toy and English language publishing with initial product launching in Q4 in North America. Dino Ranch is Boat Rocker/Industrial Brothers’ latest collaboration with state broadcaster CBC and Radio Canada, following 3D-animated series Kingdom Force and Remy & Boo. Action series Kingdom Force follows the fast-paced exploits of five mighty animal heroes protecting citizens in five unique animal kingdoms, while the charming Remy & Boo tells of the unique friendship between an adventurous six-year-old girl and an incredible, squishy pink robot and their colorful adventures in Dolphin Bay. CBC also acquired Boat Rocker’s 2D animated comedy Love Monster, which launched on CBC Kids in September and on HBO Max in the US in December. Its first toy range from Golden Bear, launched in the UK this year and rolled out to Amazon and Smyths in January Additional partners include Amscan, Blues, Coneen and Dreamtex whose dress-up and apparel and bedding lines launch from Spring 21. Global hit The Next Step, the phenomenally successful tween reality dance drama, can also be seen on the national broadcaster. Boat Rocker has forged collaborative relationships with leading broadcasters around the world and in the UK has worked with the BBC on a number of high-profile projects including Love Monster,The Next Step and break-out hit teen drama Get Even.
A number of licensees have stepped up to sign licenses for The Next Step including a hugely successful partnership with Pineapple Dance Studios covering TNS themed workshops and co-branded apparel, available online at Pineapple’s website, at the Pineapple official store and online at Next. Sweet Cherry hold the UK publishing rights and Danilo produce an annual calendar. Toronto-based 9 Story Brands has announced the expansion of its international licensing program for the hit series Wild Kratts. Denmark-based company Björna will be producing an extensive Wild Kratts home and apparel line, launching in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland as well as all Jysk locations worldwide (excluding North America). The new line from Björna will include bedding, towels, cushions, fleece, socks, nightwear, shorts/skirts/dress, t-shirts, sweat clothes, bags, slippers and more, and will begin to roll out in spring 2021. Wild Kratts has also recently expanded its reach in Germany where the series has aired on SuperRTL since 2012. Both SuperRTL and Edel Kids picked up rights to Season 4, and renewed seasons 1-3. Wild Kratts has tremendous global reach, airing in over 180 countries across 18 different languages, and has over 25 licensing partners globally including an extensive product line available at Whole Foods. Wild Kratts was created and developed by brothers and zoologists Martin and Chris Kratt,
who star in the show as animated versions of themselves. The series is a co-production between the Kratt Brothers Company and 9 Story Media Group. Premiering on PBS KIDS in the U.S. in 2011 and on TVO, Knowledge Network and Télé-Quebec in Canada,Wild Kratts is currently in its 6th season. The series also has various seasons under license to Discovery Kids (Latin America, Ireland, UK, India and Asia), Pop (U.K.), RTE (Ireland), Sky UK (Ireland, UK), Minimax (Eastern Europe), DR (Denmark), RTBF (Belgium), VRT (Belgium), MTVA (Hungary), JimJam (Poland), Contentica (Russia), CTC Media (Russia), Canal Panda (Spain), TVC (Spain), SIC (Portugal), Canal 22 (Mexico), SERTV (Panama), Encripta (Brazil), Pluto TV (Caribbean), MediaCorp (Singapore), TVB (Hong Kong), PCCW Media (Hong Kong, Macao), Pacific Media Group (China), Familia Play (Columbia), Canal Futura (Brazil), Minika (Turkey), Showmax (Africa), Jeem TV (Middle East), E-Junior (UAE), Noga (Israel), Netflix (Multi-territory) and Azoomee (Multi-territory). The Kratt Brothers (illustrated left) leap into animated action in Wild Kratts, a half hour adventure comedy from the creators of the hit shows Kratt’s Creatures and Zoboomafoo. In each episode, Chris and Martin Kratt travel to a different corner of the world to meet amazing new animals. Join the Wild Kratts for a laugh-out-loud comedy adventure, as Martin and Chris activate their Creature Power Suits to rescue their animal friends! 9 Story Brands is the dedicated brand management and consumer products division of 9 Story Media Group, a leading content creator, producer and distributor of kids and family focused intellectual property. 9 Story Brands builds international entertainment brands for kids, with expertise across creative, brand marketing and licensing. The company also manages merchandising rights for top children’s properties including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Clifford The Big Red Dog, Colorforms, Wild Kratts, Super Why and Karma’s World.
TOTAL LICENSING Genius Brands International recently announced plans for a transformative acquisition of ChizComm Ltd., a leading North American marketing and media agency, as well as ChizComm Beacon Media, its best-in-class media research, planning and buying division. Canada-headquartered ChizComm is the largest purchaser of children’s media across both traditional and digital platforms in North America, as well as a leader in PR, media, and marketing within the kids/family media and consumer product sectors. Founded by Harold and Jennifer Chizick in 2013, with offices in New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Toronto, the company represents more than 30 major toy companies and some of the most powerful and iconic brands in the children and family media and toy industries. ChizComm Beacon Media has consistently been ranked the largest media buyer within the Kids 2-11 age group, representing over 32% of total Gross Rating Points (GRPs). ChizComm Beacon Media has gained market share year-to-date, and now represents 34% of the total GRPs within the Kids 2-11 demographic. The company’s unique purchasing power and extensive media relationships across networks, including Viacom, Warner Media, Disney, YouTube and other digital platforms, offer clients an unmatched competitive advantage and access to audiences of all ages. Well known for its growth, track record and extensive expertise in toy, kids entertainment, gaming and related industries, ChizComm’s comprehensive integrated marketing approach and deep understanding of kids, youth, millennials and parents help brands connect with audiences to drive growth and make noise using PR, social media, influencer marketing, and paid media strategies. The addition of marketing and media buying expertise positions the Company to create synergies and
fuel new opportunities with broadcast clients and toy companies, for innovative offerings, reach and engagement in a rapidly evolving landscape as well as fueling the growth of Kartoon! Channel. As a part of the transaction, ChizComm Ltd and ChizComm Beacon Media will continue to operate as independent divisions of Genius Brands, under the leadership of Harold Chizick as CEO, Jennifer Chizick as COO, Donna MacNeil as President, and Kathleen Campisano as ChizComm Global CMO and GM of ChizComm Beacon Media. True and the Rainbow Kingdom is the hit Netflix Original series produced by Guru Studio and executive produced by world renowned artist Pharrell Williams. The series follows 8-year-old True and her best friend Bartleby the cat, as they come to the rescue of the Rainbow Kingdom’s whimsical citizens. True is the only one that can unleash the power of the Magical Wishes from the Wishing Tree in order to set things right and keep all the residents safe. True and Bartleby’s adventures empower both boys and girls to be mindful, courageous and respectful of all living things. The show launched in Canada on CBC Kids in 2018 and very quickly became a top-rated show for the public broadcaster. The fourth season is currently
on air which features a collection of full episodes, comedic shorts, seasonal episodes (Halloween, Thanksgiving), as well as a 44-minute Holiday special True: Winter Wishes which launched Dec 24th on CBC Kids. In Canada, Chouette Publishing handles publishing rights and True and the Rainbow Kingdom is currently one of their top performing entertainment licenses. The first line of books that were launched were 8 x 8 storybooks, but Chouette has been adding more SKUs each season including early readers, look & find, sticker books and activity books. Books are currently sold at Indigo, Amazon.ca, and Walmart, with various promotions running at Shoppers, Loblaws and London Drugs. “True and the Rainbow Kingdom is a perfect brand for publishers because of all the amazing content in the series!” says Simon Payette, General Manager of Chouette Publishing. “The series originated from a collective of artists… a dream for a publisher! We have released more than 10 titles of True in less than 2 years. It’s about one every other month! It needs to be a very strong brand to be able to release such an important number of titles in such a short period of time. True is a great brand to foster our creativity!” In addition to books, world leading plush manufacturer Aurora World has produced a line of bestselling plush based on the hit series, and Spirit Halloween, Fun.com and Studio Halloween all handle costumes. Guru Studio will be announcing a new toy partner for the brand soon, with toys set to launch later next year. True Tunes, the album launched last year in Canada generated over one hundred thousand streams in its first month. The album is currently available on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. “We’re seeing tremendous enthusiasm for True and the
TOTAL LICENSING Rainbow Kingdom in Canada,” said Jonathan Abraham, VP of Sales and Business Development at Guru Studio. “The show continues to rate extremely well and we’re looking forward to expanding our licensing program both in Canada and around the world.” JAM Brands is a licensing consultancy that focuses on the development and management of lifestyle licensing programs. They bring their in-depth understanding of intellectual property, marketing and product development, to effectively join brand owners with licensees to build successful licensing strategies, programs and product extensions. JAM Brands currently represents Kensingon Market Street Food on a worldwide basis as well as Elle, Laura Ashley and Pantone for licensing in Canada. Drawing on the rich cultural and culinary heritage of this unique neighbourhood, Kensington Market Street Food brings foods and culinary experiences to those searing for powerful flavours and multi ethnic tastes. This young brand is experiencing dynamic growth. ELLE is the most recent brand add-
ed to the JAM Brands portfolio. ELLE is the world’s largest fashion magazine and media brand, celebrating 75 years in 2020! Since 1945, ELLE has been a unique platform for women. Beyond fashion and style, ELLE has always focused on topics such as arts, culture and the place of women in society. For 75 years, ELLE has transcribed powerful stories of women from all horizons and shared their views in 45 ELLE magazine editions worldwide and 25 ELLE Décor magazine editions. With a solid licensing business including hundreds of licensees worldwide and well-established and diversified distribution channels, it is an iconic brand that is recognized everywhere as a respected authority on fashion, beauty, décor and lifestyle. Laura Ashley is the quintessential English lifestyle brand inspired by a rich 60+ year design heritage. Laura Ashley is timeless, classic yet contemporary, and relevant in today’s modern world. Well known for its distinctive feminine floral designs, the brand is well recognized and loved worldwide, boasting 88% brand awareness. With many current licenses in ladies’ and children’s apparel and accessories, as well as home furnishings and accessories, there are still many layers of opportunity in licensing this brand for North America and beyond. In addition to coloring our world and constantly improving and evolving the field of color communication, Pantone is the color platform upon which our interiors, exteriors, fashions and home products are created and manufactured. Pantone collaborates with corporations on color consistency, directs designers on colors and trends, and licenses designer-inspired products for consumers around the world. Located in Toronto, Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one
of the largest art museums in North America. Their museum is home to over 100,000 works of art, from the vast body of signature Canadian and Indigenous works, and cutting edge contemporary art, to European Masters including Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents. Their photography collection spans the history of the medium from the 1840’s to present day. In 2002, Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. Traditionally, the focus for the AGO has largely been with regional and national licensing partners typical within the museum and heritage community in Canada. They are now working with clients to help us engage a global audience with iconic Canadian imagery as well as the international artists and art held in their Collection. Their institutional mission is bringing people together with art to see, experience and understand the world in new ways. With that as a guiding principle, they are modernizing their business to reach new audiences, expand product categories and territories, including the inspired by design category.
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Trends in Gaming The world of gaming has done nothing but grow and adapt – and seen a vast increase as the world was on lockdown. What are the most popular games, platforms and trends? Our features writer Ethan Oakley finds out… The World Of Video Games The world of video games - a whole other dimension. It doesn’t matter what type of person you are, there’s always a game for you. Billions have played, Billions have won, Billions have lost. But it all comes down to that one feeling, Excitement. and that’s what gaming is all about. The Most Popular Video Games. Video games are played all around the globe in different surrounding countries. Some of the most popular games are played by millions of people everyday. The world’s most popular video game as of December 2020 is League Of Legends (Newzoo, 2021) Which is a MOBA game (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) The game requires the teamwork of 5 individual players who can choose their champion. The name of the game is to destroy the other team’s base. Gamers use different types of champions to work together with unbeatable strategies and secure the WIN! The top 0.01% of gamers are so good that they compete in Esports tournaments against the best players across the world. The games are streamed live for the whole world to see the skill of these players. In the UK the most popular game is the FIFA franchise. FIFA is a football simulation game which first arose to popularity in 1993.There was an extremely large amount of hype for FIFA International which was one of the first FIFA games to be released, and set the scene for the future of Fifa games. Systems Xbox has been a go-to console since its first release which was the original Xbox One in November 2001. When it first released the Xbox One would
set you back £220 and sold out instantly. It was an instant success from Microsoft. Since then Xbox has been topping the game. Releasing new and powerful consoles that can even outmatch a pc! After the original Xbox One came the Xbox 360, Xbox One S and X and then the newest console
You can watch guides to help you buy your own or build your own PC all over YouTube. Gaming Over Lockdown Gaming has become a lot more popular over the lockdown periods. In just one year the sales of video games in the U. S showed a 23% increase from
the Xbox One series X. The Xbox series X features 8 core processors, 16 GB’s of GDDR6 ram. And a 1tb NVMe hard drive. Oh, and Ialso forgot to mention the Custom rDNA 2 – 1.825 GHz Graphics card. All of this and it will only set you back £400. In my opinion that’s an absolute bargain! PlayStation is a viable console to play your games on. The first PlayStation was released on the 3rd of December 1993 and it has been entertaining gamers ever since. Did you know that Sony had a PS1 mascot which is a cat you have never heard of? The PlayStation is another console that outmatched itself in the gaming community and made a name for itself. Their latest console the ps5 features a 8core 16 thread processor at 3.5 GHz. a AMD Radeon rDNA 2-based graphics engine.16gbs of GDDR6 RAM and a Custom 825 GB SSD! One of the best options for gaming on the slightly more expensive side is a gaming computer system. If you really want to be the king or queen of gaming then a PC is the right choice for you. You have the option to either buy yourself a prebuilt PC, which I recommend for beginners, or build your own.The prices in PCs range from £500 to £10,000.
last year’s stats. Now that’s a lot of people. Covid-19 gave gaming an explosion of new gamers and games from all across the world as people really needed something to do! Trends The trends noticed in the last 12 months were that cross platform gaming is becoming a popular mode with game developers. If you were to say you could play with any of your friends on any system, whether that is Switch, Mobile, Xbox, PS or PC five years ago I wouldn’t have believed you but now it’s becoming a reality and uniting gamers everywhere. Experts are also saying that Virtual Reality Gaming is on the rise with a 10% increase of people buying VR headsets with the rise of Covid 19.
Into the Metaverse - Roblox The Insights People has done extensive research int the ongoing trends in the marketplace. One of the biggest trends we are continue to see in our real-time data is the rise of gaming into education & the opportunities for licensing in the metaverse. Kids don’t see the distinguishing factors between industries when it comes to their spending money, rather it is: “I have X amount, what
Tom Fabes, Gaming Manager of Erve Europe
will I spend it on?” In the US alone, kids spend $7.4b annually on gaming, compared to $6.2b on TV. Microtransactions have made in-game spending convenient and ‘affordable’ As a result of the increase in spending in the video game industry, the market for licensed products has become more lucrative. Demand has increased significantly for clothing related to gaming in the last twelve months. As gaming develops and becomes a key aspect of kids’ lives, they want to consume conspicuously in order to express this. The market for clothing related to video games has grown by 51% on average across all age brackets In Canada, Coronavirus remains the most prominent concern for school children aged 6-12 in Canada (55%). With many schools still closed and life returning to normal still feeling a few months away, students and teachers alike are both looking for intuitive ways to educate in a virtual and safe manner. Minecraft, kids’ 2nd favourite game on console offered 10 free educational adventure maps to teachers to promote a new way of learning. Minecraft Education also offers kids the opportunity to learn to code. Kids 6-9 who play Minecraft don’t report learning to code at school, indicating how their favourite game can bridge this gap and assist their learning. In September that Roblox (kids’ favourite game on PC) had released a similar concept to that of Minecraft. In the Roblox version, students take part in a digital safety scavenger hunt, teaching kids how to spot unreliable information and how to stay safe online. Kids who play Roblox over-index by +13% in being concerned about viewing inappropriate content, indicating the usefulness of this tool with school aged children. Looking forward, more gaming brands who have a kids-focused demographic could work towards fulfilling a similar role in edutainment. Furthermore other brands which don’t necessarily immediately feel educational can take note, publicizing where appropriate the additional values in engaging with a certain brand or product on enhancing a child’s skill set. Ryan’s World, the most popular favou-
rite YouTuber with kids aged 6-9 (4.6%) has unveiled a new virtual world inside the Roblox Metaverse. Kids who rank Ryan as their favourite YouTuber overindex by 118% in favouring Roblox on console. Indicating the likely drive in his fanbase will provide to the already popular game. We can also see similar trends with Roblox in the UK for example. Ready Player One, a dystopian book series written by Ernest Cline, features a virtual reality metaverse where people live, and work called the ‘Oasis’. Despite being written over 9 years ago, the book remains a top 20 book in our data for teens, remaining relevant to this audience following the release of the Steven Speilberg film adaptation, but also because it draws huge similarities with the gaming platform Roblox; teens 2nd favourite PC game. Author Ernest Cline is also set to publish the sequel to Ready Player One in December – Ready Player Two. The dystopian book series features a virtual reality metaverse where people live, and work called the Oasis. Drawings similarities from that of Roblox, teens third favorite PC game (1.9%) in the US. In-Game Concert Future Opportunities Due to the pandemic artists haven’t been able to tour new music or attend physical festivals to increase their popularity as they usually would. To combat this, they have been utilizing in-game space to reach their usual audience. Gaming has provided an outlet for this, allowing artists the opportunity to perform their content while also utilizing new immersive platforms. 90% of kids aged 6-12 play video games, with listening to music ranking as the 18th favorite hobby with this demographic (6.3%). Roblox, kids’ favorite game on mobile (10%) and PC (4.8%) has taken steps to grow its music hosting potential through in-game concerts. In November, Lil’ Nas X hosted a live event to release his new single, this was a sure-fire success, being attended by over 33million players according to The Verge. In a post-covid world, concerts will resume, however, in-game concerts allow for more accessibility to a wider range of kids. In-
cluding kids who have audio sensitivities, physical disabilities alongside, safer spaces for younger kids to attend. This also extends to lower income households as these concerts are often free or cheaper than the average concert ticket. Brands and retailers can benefit with e-commerce through dynamic advertising and simple in-game purchasing to reduce traction and move customers through the purchase funnel. Why it’s game on for gaming apparel in 2021 Tom Fabes, Gaming Manager of Erve Europe, talks about how the company deals with the ever-changing world of gaming. My dream job became a reality when I was named Gaming Manager at Erve Europe. As a keen gamer, I’d noticed a need for gaming apparel in the community. At the time working on Erve’s logistics team, I presented a plan to grow the company’s gaming portfolio and immediately got the freedom to focus on new opportunities. Today gaming licensing constitutes a fully-fledged third pillar alongside our character licensing and brands. Recent collaborations we’re excited about are with Sony PlayStation and Blizzard Entertainment. Predicting popularity COVID lockdowns might be intensifying demand, but gaming began evolving into a long-term experience prepandemic. Video games are no longer just a one-off commitment completed within a month. The challenge is keeping up with gaming trends. Given apparel’s need for lead times, predicting a license’s long-term success can be tricky. We constantly monitor Twitch, YouTube and Steam, and spend many hours trying to predict which games will be popular which season. As proactive communicators, we relay this to customers so they stay up-to-date on relevant licenses. Game longevity and gender inclusivity With PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S freshly released, I expect a lot of cool new games to long hold fans’ attention. I also expect greater gender inclusivity, as people finally realise that
gaming – and its apparel – has broad appeal. Erve Europe has plenty of projects in the pipeline. Everyone is waiting on the next big thing, and we are confident we already have this in hand. More to be shared soon! Panini has announced a new Minecraft Adventure Trading Card Collection. Minecraft is an open-ended, blockbuilding sandbox game where fans can explore their own unique world and create almost anything they can imagine.With over 126 million people playing Minecraft every month and over 200 million copies sold worldwide, Minecraft is one of the bestselling video games in history. E-sports are increasingly popular and Cyber Group Studios just had its series Alex Player listed in the top list of the projects that received the most interest at cartoon Forum. Cyber Group Studios describes Alex Player: “Imagine banks of screens, fingers pounding keyboards, wild cheers, heart-racing action rising to a fever pitch – as two teams face off in a packed stadium full of roaring fans … this is no football game or concert, this is Esports, where the gamers are the generation’s idols! This is Alex Player. An Esports series with nonstop thrills, fun, passion and laughs on and off the gaming screen. Between training,school, homework, competition, Alex and his friends have their work cut out for them.” Epic Games is celebrating global football in Fortnite with more than 20 top clubs around the world via partnerships facilitated by IMG, Fortnite’s licensing representative. Starting 23 January, players can choose
from 10 different variants of new “Kickoff Set” Outfits to represent their favorite club in-game. Each Outfit can be swapped to any of the 23 football clubs participating, including teams from A-League, Bundesliga, Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, J1 League, La Liga, MLS, Premier League, Primeira Liga, Scottish Premiership and Serie A. Anyone playing the game can visit the Creative Hub for an immersive football experience throughout the week and join select clubs around the world in hosted Fortnite tournaments. Additionally, players will be able to earn or purchase two new football-themed emotes to show off their favorite moves. “Football is consistently one of the top sports that our players tell us they want to see and experience in Fortnite”, said Nate Nanzer, Head of Global Partnerships at Epic Games, “We’re excited to partner with IMG to bring the sport to Fortnite fans around the world as they face off in competitive tournaments, experience new creative modes of gameplay, and celebrate global football.”
EA SPORTS UFC 4 launch week, a 125 percent year-over-year increase compared with the previous edition, EA SPORTS UFC 3. EA SPORTS UFC 4 launch weekend timed alongside UFC 252: Miocic vs. Cormier 3, which enhanced the connection to a spike of almost 75 percent more players than EA SPORTS UFC 3’s. Featuring an all-new unified progression system, overhauled takedown and ground mechanics, more fluid clinch-to-strike combinations and the chance to experience the origins of combat sports in all-new environments, UFC 4 delivers the most polished mixed martial arts experience to date. Assassin’s Creed, one of the bestselling series in video game history, has had a stellar 2020 year for its licensing program in Europe and Asia. Highlights include collaborations with
The 23 participating football clubs are: AC Milan, A.S. Roma FC, Atlanta United FC, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Celtic FC, Cerezo Osaka, Esporte Clube Bahia, FC Schalke 04, Inter Milan, Juventus FC, Los Angeles FC, Manchester City FC, Melbourne FC, Rangers FC, Santos FC, Seattle Sounders FC, Sevilla FC, Sporting CP, Sydney FC, West Ham United FC, VfL Wolfsburg FC, Western Sydney Wanderers FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC . In August, Electronic Arts Inc., and UFC launched EA SPORTS UFC 4 PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with UFC middleweight champion Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya and UFC welterweight contender Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal serving as the game’s official global cover athlete duo. Fans played more than 64 million simulated UFC fights during the
TOTAL LICENSING Reebok, Charli Cohen, Difuzed,Wootbox, Stratego, New Era and Gunnar, in deals brokered by IMG, across a broad range of product categories from apparel, home decor and accessories to toys, electronics, and more.Additionally, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the twenty-second release in the Assassin’s Creed series, launched at the end of 2020. The number of active players on launch day for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla doubled that of the previous game, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, a trend that is expected to continue as sales of the new generation of consoles increase. ZAG Games, the new games division launched in October 2020 by award-winning global independent animation studio ZAG, has announced a partnership with Israel-based start-up Toya to create its first game for the Roblox platform for the ZAG and ON kids & family (Mediawan Group) mega-hit, Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. The announcement was made by Julian Zag, Executive Vice President, Global Operations, ZAG, who spearheaded the new partnership together with Elinor Schops, the company’s newly installed VP of ZAG Games and Interactive Experiences.
Scheduled for release in April 2021, the new Miraculous Ladybug & Cat Noir adventure quest game from ZAG and Toya, a Roblox studio, will be the first to bring a TV series to the Roblox metaverse – a shared online experience where fans interact in 3D simulated virtual environments. Fans can expect to meet new characters, enter new environments, and engage
with new villains, together with many more surprises. Zag and Toya are planning to engage with fans during this historic project through an inclusive global game development process that integrates their feedback on ideas and concepts design artwork before the game is officially released to the public. Team Heretics have announced the appointment of Caravanserai Partners in Spain to strategically grow and expand its licensing program across key territories. Team Heretics, founded in 2016 by content creator Jorge “Goorgo” together with Antonio Catena and Arnau Vidal, is the most followed spanish speaking Esports team in the world with a reach of more than 85 Milion users among all the social media platforms and thanks to the esports players, content creators, ambassadors and influencers within the team. Team Heretics is one the fastest growing and most promising esports club focusing on both competition and entertainment to reach a young target. Team Heretics has now agreed a deal with Caravanserai to capitalize on the immense engagement and love for the team and the brand by creating profitable licensing programs on major consumer products and brand promotion in the Spanish speaking territories.
Retail & E-commerce
By Utku Tansel LLB, MBA Consultant
Shopping Reinvented:The Impact of COVID-19 on UK Retail and E-commerce
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed shopping behaviour completely in the UK making a profound effect on the retail industry. One of the biggest outcomes is the accelerated shift to online which has resulted in booming e-commerce while traditional shopping experiences are challenged. According to UK online retail association IMRG, online sales grew by a substantial 58% in the second week of November 2020 compared to the same period last year. Office for National Statistics (ONS) data highlights that in October 2020, the proportion of online sales reached 28.5% up from 20.1% in February 2020 while online food sales increased by 99.2%, department stores by 87.2% and other non-food stores by 89.7% when compared with the same month a year earlier. Since the outbreak began, delivery and click-and-collect have also enjoyed growing popularity. Spending more time at home has encouraged more consumers to embrace direct-to-consumer (DTC) particularly in grocery and clothing. Packaging in grocery has also become a key priority due to rising hygiene concerns, Furthermore, Brits have embarked on to shop more locally while ethical consumerism has gained traction especially concerning the treatment of staff, vulnerable consumers, or NHS workers. Climate change awareness has risen as the “new normal” prompted more people to make eco-conscious purchase decisions. Besides, the economic downturn has driven consumers to seek value and many turned to bargain hunting. In light of COVID-19,
Proportion of online sales. % 2020
Online sales by sector, October 2020. Value seasonally adjusted %. UK Category
All retailing* All food All non food Dept Stores Clothing/footwear Household goods Other stores Non-store retailing
15 10 5 0 February
evolving e-commerce has also brought social shopping to life more rapidly and shoppers are becoming more comfortable with the experience. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok all aim to capture more of the social commerce market. Kelvyn Gardner from Asgard Media said “The crisis has also triggered many independent and small retailers to rethink their operations and offer online services. As a result, consumers are rediscovering these outlets.” Navigating the pandemic through innovation Retailers are taking action by reimagining the customer experience, blending online and offline while the crisis encourages virtual innovation. Online-only fashion retailer ASOS responded to the outbreak by leveraging the power of Augmented Reality (AR) further for clothes fitting service. In November, Ted Baker unleashed virtual shopping allowing online shoppers to connect with staff in real time. In September, Burberry hosted its fashion show on Twitch. Over the summer, Mango launched a virtual chatbot and Diesel introduced digital showroom Hyperoom. In furniture retailing, IKEA started using Google Cloud AR technology enabling customers to take pictures of the rooms and place IKEA products virtually in them. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are also being utilised to provide product recommendations. In grocers, Aldi revealed a click-and-collect trial, offered 22-item food parcels and sold gift vouchers online to allow family, friends,
Index Categories percentage weights
Year-on Year growth
100.0 12.0 35.2 7.9 12.2 6.6 8.5 52.8
60.1 99.2 64.8 87.2 34.4 64.7 89.7 48.2
Month-on month growth 4.7 0.4 2.8 0.9 2.3 4.9 3.4 7.5
Online sales as a proportion of retailing 28.5 10.4 24.2 30.2 28.2 23.0 18.8 83.1
Source IMRG and ONS. *All retailing refers to sales as a proportion of total retail sales
and volunteers to shop for those who are unable to travel. Sainsbury’s also served up ‘Volunteer Shopping Cards’. Waitrose partnered with Deliveroo for quick delivery and Co-op expanded its robot delivery service. In September, Co-op unveiled a one-hour eco-friendly delivery app trial, Morrisons introduced home delivery subscription boxes and Tesco announced a 30-minute drone delivery trial. Independent bookstores also demonstrated how physical retail can reinvent itself like the launch of bookshop.org, a joint platform for independent bookstores to make online sales. The legacy of shifting consumer priorities Since the start of the pandemic, consumer habits have changed irrevocably in the UK meaning there will be long-lasting behavioural and mindset changes impacting buying patterns. While technology including AI, AR and VR will play a big part in the next generation retail innovation, heritage will also be important. COVID-19 has now also brought a brand new audience, older generations who previously shied away from shopping online. Whilst delivery, click-and-collect and contactless payments will continue to offer different models of convenience, platforms will seek ways to improve the social commerce process. Localism is here to stay. Confined locally, Brits have now seen the value in shopping locally while becoming more aware and engaged with their communities. The growing realisation of the need to support small businesses will only drive this trend further. For some, ethicality and sustainability will still resonate. The future of retail requires an understanding of the new consumer. For them, a shopping day out will continue to be a leisure activity and it will increasingly be a choice rather than a necessity. Retailers will need to be more agile, create a seamless shopping experience and invest in online services. Overall, the retail landscape will be leaner, the battle for consumer attention will be fierce and even if the economy recovers, consumers will remain value conscious.
Rethinking how we think about business... Trudi Bishop Bee Licensing email@example.com
... being ‘more good’ not ‘less bad’ 2020 marks the fifth anniversary of the 2015 Paris Agreement when the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were created and agreed to work toward by a record number of global nations. Yet five years in we are failing at almost all of them. There have been lots of promises but very little true action by governments and businesses around the world. The target was to keep the earth within 1.5°C global temperature warming by 2030. It’s almost 2021 and we already sit at an average temperature rise of 1°C. If the earth was a business and failing so spectacularly on these targets, heads would roll. But it’s not.We continue to treat our natural resources with such a level of contempt we are literally killing ourselves (or at least future generations). The earth will survive the climate crisis, but humanity will not. It really is time to act – but not with incremental change – we need transformative, systematic change. What’s the effect from this temperature rise? To name but a few; ice caps melting, warming oceans, more extreme weather, increased intensity of storms, more frequent flooding, more risk of diseases (such as Covid19), food and water shortages, extensive loss of biodiversity critical for the balance of the planet and all living beings, negative effects on our economies.
What’s the potential effect on business? The poorest are usually the first and worst hit by the increases in disasters and disease. This vulnerable group of people are also often those who work in our factories on low wages, producing the goods to satisfy our insatiable appetite for “stuff”. If your workforce can’t get to work (or have been wiped out) because their home or your factory has been washed away in a storm surge or hurricane or they are struck down by a global pandemic, business becomes challenging to say the least. But that’s just the start. Increases in intense storms affect shipping too and therefore the delivery of raw materials and goods around the globe. Increased risk means increased insurance premiums. Business suffers at all levels. When the bottom line is affected, CEO’s and shareholders tend to sit up and take notice. But it is the short term, continual growth, maximum
“The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation.” Albert Einstein profit for little cost that is costing our life on this planet. It is time to change our thinking. We run our businesses very much in the now or the very short-term future. The licensing industry is no different. A multi-billion-dollar industry driven on maximising profit at every turn – we encourage over consumption to drive continual growth looking at new ways to slice the pie. Black Friday sales, (started by Amazon) the ultimate over
TOTAL LICENSING consumption marketing tool, was seen as a potential saviour for the negative effects of the pandemic. These sales encourage people to buy things they don’t need. Apparently, this is a good thing – according to a recent interview in another licensing publication, one licensing exec stated, “we want people to buy more, licensing creates a want – it’s not about need.”
“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade … not because it is easy, but because it is hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win ...” John F Kennedy.
However, when the amount of human made ‘stuff’ outweighs nature, (according to a recent study published by the BBC, 2020 is the year this happens), surely, it’s time to take stock and rethink how we do business. Licensing is a dynamic, creative and fast paced industry. We pride ourselves on thinking outside the box when it comes to making brand connections never thought possible. We are also a very trend lead business. As consumers demand more planet friendly products, sustainability and the appearance to be “green” is at risk of becoming just the latest wave for the licensing industry to ride. With this trend comes unintended consequences.
from downcycled plastic bottles; the alternatives to palm oil for our celebration cakes; products made from biodegradable plastic; bottled water in recycled plastic (rPET). We marvel at products being recyclable or coming in recycled/recyclable packaging. Patting ourselves on the back as we offset our carbon and pop another load of recycling at curb. While these moves appear to be for the greater good and tick the shareholders and marketing boxes, we are only continuing on in the same destructive path – just more slowly. It is time for our industry to put the brakes on and go quickly in the other direction. As Antonio Guterres stated in the Climate Ambition Summit, 2020, we need to “pass a credibility test … show ambition, stop the assault on the planet, do what we need to guarantee the future of our children and our grandchildren”.
With the demand to appear green, marketing departments seem to go into overdrive.We see new collections in ‘natural’ looking or green packaging, labelled as ‘eco’, “green’, sustainable or recycled. The prices are often higher. But the truth (if we are honest with ourselves) is quite the opposite. We celebrate the collections made
When we do this, we are not thinking of the full value chain. We have the opportunity to move toward stewardship when creating our licensing partnerships, working together to be better, to produce less and hold each other accountable. Companies like Patagonia, TeeMill, and H&M are embracing repairability, the circular economy (with truly sustainable materials) and products as a service bringing about a unique brand experience with positive results. Looking ourselves in the mirror as an industry and seeing the environmental carnage we have contributed to and then change is a unique opportunity to show our dynamic industry in its best light. But it won’t be easy. It is time for licensing’s ‘moon shot’ towards a truly sustainable future.
For us to move in a less destructive direction, we need to turn how we think about sustainability and business on its head. Our current models are about aiming to be “less bad”. Isn’t it time we looked at being better – aiming to do “more good”? If we downcycle the plastic bottle to be a t-shirt or a plush, we devalue the plastic bottle and push more microplastics into the ecosystem.
All the Fun in the Kitchen Total Licensing caught up with Marie-Laure Marchand, SVP Global Consumer Products & Business Development at Chefclub, to see how the brand has grown over the last year and the massive licensing potential it offers – as well as some exciting breaking news… Tell us how Chefclub has fared during the pandemic? We saw a massive uplift in family home cooking and the performance of our digital channels have been very strong during the pandemic. Moreover, the demand for our Chefclub Kids set has encountered an exponential growth of +400% during lockdown. Changes in people’s eating habits tracked during lockdown showed a rise in families eating together and Chefclub Kids offering has been acting as a key tool and inspiration to a lot of families during this difficult period. Our range of Chefclub kids ustensils and cooking kits has expanded last year to meet this demand and the response so far has been very positive.
Being digital, have you seen a large rise in popularity over the last few months? Yes, we are lucky enough to be a digital first company and moreover offering extraordinary video recipes. So being a digital company in the cooking space has been a successful combination during the pandemic and our viewership and number of followers encountered a strong growth. Parents had also been looking for new ways of occupying their children at home, and Chefclub Kids popularity definitely benefited from this. The playful universe we created for children to cook, including the products, books, and videos is incarnated by our characters, who also are becoming more popular. Our brigade, the Chefclub Friends, are there to amuse
everyone, adults and kids, and to bring their smiles and colours to various kinds of products and experiences. And after only 2 years of existence, they are already friends with Peppa Pig! We collaborated with Eone/Hasbro and France Television in December and have produced a branded
“Being a digital company in the cooking space has been a successful combination during the pandemic...” Peppa Pig Christmas recipe that has been viewed on social media over 4 millions times in France. This has been a fantastic collab which will continue this Spring so stay tuned! What about licensing – which new areas are you exploring at the moment, and what is some latest news you can share? We’re very proud to announce our global partnership with SEB Group, under the name of Chefclub by Tefal, for a full range of cookware, bakeware,
TOTAL LICENSING kitchen utensils, kitchen knives as well as small electric appliances. The new line of Chefclub by Tefal products will be launched soon during the first semester of 2021 and will first cover the territories of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Canada, Brazil and Mexico. Co-created with Chefclub’s community, this colorful and fresh line will rely on Chefclub’s expertise in inspiring people in the kitchen and Tefal’s know-how in high quality and reliable kitchen products. The line will reflect Chefclub’s disruptive tone and has been thought to appeal to millenials and families. We’ve recently launched our first DTC Chefclub by Tefal initiative, the Raclette King, a raclette device paired with a card game. Partnering with the best-in-class global cookware brand will give access to Chefclub’s fans to a wide selection of products at retail. This agreement sets a milestone in Chefclub’s licensing expansion and will accelerate our offline and online retail footprint massively in major territories. How do you translate the ethos of the brand into product? The content - and everything that comes with it: meaning, authenticity, community, storytelling is the first checkbox - and certainly the most difficult one - in the creation of tomorrow’s brands. More than ever, consumers are looking for a full brand experience. Content creates an emotional bond with the end consumers and, specifically in the case of homeware/kitchenware/cookware categories, inspires them in their day to day life. In the case of Chefclub, the quality of our content, the inspiration and trust it generates allows us to enter the kitchens of hundreds of millions of
people every month, and to become a love cooking brand, offering real unique experiences through the products we sell. Can you give us some idea of viewership numbers? Chefclub’s content generates 1 billion organic monthly views, all platforms included globally. We talk to 95 M followers across the globe and have a very engaged community. In december 2020, more than 50 million Americans and over 15 million French people watched Chefclub recipes. And what would you say is the most popular platform for Chefclub? Chefclub reaches more than 200 million people monthly by tailoring content to fit with each social platform’s DNA. Chefclub’s performance is very well balanced across all platforms and children, teenagers, men and women find a reason to engage with our content. We’re leaders on all social networks: on Tiktok talking to teenagers, who engage enormously with our content; on Snapchat, with young adults from 18 till 29; with women
from 25 till 34 on Facebook and Instagram, and so on. What do you think makes Chefclub so unique and fun? Positioning is unique and contributes to explaining the hyper-growth since launch. Chefclub brings everyone together in the kitchen through the creation of fun, inspirational, and approachable content, products and services. ”Food meets entertainment” is an appealing proposal both to consumers and licensees. In order to give faces to this unique positioning, beyond content itself, we’ve created a crew of 6 animated characters who have been introduced to our audience through billions of views, and through our style guide. And lastly, what is your favourite recipe from Chefclub! Hard to say, but I guess the Salmon and Zucchini Pie. The brand’s DNA is there, creativity and wow effect, it’s an easy to do yet impressive recipe, I just love vegetables and the result is simply delicious!
A COVID-19 Steamroller Cinema Success
By Ruan Botha firstname.lastname@example.org
Kimetsu noYaiba continues to astonish, with its recent feature film instalment - Mugen Train - exceeding everyone’s expectations for a mid-pandemic movie release. While most 2020 films opted to push their release dates back to 2021, Kimetsu no Yaiba stuck to its October 16th date and succeeded in becoming Japan’s highest-grossing film of 2020 and the 3rd highest-grossing anime film ever. But why is Kimetsu no Yaiba so popular? How has it bucked the trend and how has its licensing program contributed to its popularity and astronomical success? Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a 2016 Japanese manga series serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump. Written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotoge, it tells the story of a young boy in the early 1900s, Tanjiro Kamado, who becomes a member of the Demon Slayer Corps, after his family is murdered and his younger sister is turned into a demon. An animated adaptation of the manga aired in the late-night slot across Japan and was produced by the animation studio Ufotable. After airing on
television, the series was released on various digital platforms, locally and abroad, introducing it to a wider audience and creating a surge in the popularity of the series. On September 29th 2019 an animated film, titled Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train was announced. Traditionally anime films based on popular series are spun-off from the source material and have no bearing on the main plotline. Instead, the Kimetsu no Yaiba production team decided to break tradition and produce a theatrical film, rather than a second season, to follow up on the anime requiring fans of the series to see the movie if they wanted to stay up to date with the story. Although it can’t be denied that the roaring success of Mugen Train can in some part be attributed to the slim offering at Japanese cinemas amid the Covid-19 pandemic, you would be remiss not to credit Kimetsu no Yaiba’s brilliantly executed licensing program. To fill the year-long gap leading up to the release of Mugen Train, licensing collaborations and promotions stepped in to keep the brand front of mind. Licensees leveraged the characteristic colours and patterns adorned by the series’ cast to create instantly recognisable products. And although the usual categories were licensed - catering to niche anime fans consumer permission encouraged the licensing of everyday items, like face masks, IC cardholders and stationery. Some of the first reusable face masks to grace Japanese shelves at the beginning of the pandemic were Kimetsu no Yaiba themed. You would also not have to look far to find a Japanese salaryman swiping his Kimetsu no Yaiba IC card as he enters the subway station. To further ingrain itself in the minds of the general public Kimetsu no Yaiba collaborated with Lawson convenience stores on four different campaigns, from as early as April 2019. The promotion saw Kimetsu no Yaiba food and other goods being sold exclusively
by Lawson resulting in sales of more than ¥5 billion ($48 million). A sushi restaurant chain, Kura Sushi also helped to ramp up anticipation for the film, partnering with Kimetsu no Yaiba for themed sushi-rolls, original merchandise and giveaways. For its efforts, Kura Sushi was handsomely rewarded with an almost 8% salesincrease when compared to 2019 same-store sales. Oricon Monitor Research gauged the franchise’s popularity and confirmed that everyone and their grandma knows about Kimetsu no Yaiba, as their survey indicated that 97% of Japanese respondents were aware of the series. While 40.5% of respondents knew the series very well. Of those who replied that they knew the series very well more than 75% either ‘liked’ or ‘loved’ Kimetsu no Yaiba. Needless to say, by the time Mugen Train hit theatres the general public were chomping at the bit for more Kimetsu no Yaiba content and despite the continued pandemic, flocked to Japanese cinemas. It comes as no surprise then that Dai-Ichi Life Research estimates the economic impact of the hit franchise at ¥270 billion ($2.59 billion) of which more than a ¥130 billion ($1.24 million) is attributed to sales of related merchandise. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba illustrates how entertainment franchises can rely on thorough licensing programs to help overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 economy. While strategic licensees stand to profit by supplying fans eager for new content. While Western audiences are uniquely different from their Asian counterparts it remains to be seen how its licensing program will go to work on assisting the release of Mugen Train in Europe and the Americas. If successful, it might just take top honours as the highestgrossing anime film of all time. Either way, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train will go down in history as a COVID-19 cinema success story.
Walking the Tightrope: Innovation vs. Control It’s been a tough year for everyone and in the world of sports especially, with cancelled events and limits on crowd participation. The panel talked about how brand licensing programs can and are evolving in ever more innovative ways, what legal considerations brands and collaborators need to mindful of and the industry’s strategic direction for 2021 and beyond. Some key observations from the industry experts are:
and infringe upon brands. If brands think they do not have a counterfeit problem, brands may need to dig deeper into the dark web. The law is there, but the volume and anonymity of the web makes it difficult to deal with bad actors. As there is a plethora of places to sell online, it is important to police marketplaces, look after intellectual property rights, and protect the equity and value of a brand.
Adaptation 2020 has been an unpredictably tough year for sports industry. Canceled games resulted in less engagement with fans and less retail sales. Unpredictability paved the path for adaptability and creativity in the sports industry. From broadcasters putting crowd and atmosphere into behind the closed doors events, to licensees finding creative ways to fulfill consumer product needsthe new normal escalated exciting opportunities of licensed products for brands, clubs and licensees. Some brands allowed licensees to sell 2020 products throughout 2021. Lockdown leisure products – cookery books, coloring books – items that could be turned around quickly without a lot of lead time witnessed sharp sales. The Rugby Six Nations had also pivoted to having a new tournament when their original schedule was truncated due to the pandemic.
Special Considerations When expanding into new product areas and new jurisdictions, some may want to exploit in other jurisdictions and other product areas, without due diligence and clearance first. For example, Apple wanted to exploit their own iPad mark in China and ended up spending around $60 million to recover it from a third party despite it being very well known. When looking to expand, language, cultural, and legislator issues may apply. Thinking about these special circumstances in advance and having legal expertise advice can help avoid problems in case of expansion.
Ecommerce What was already a growing trend became a staple for sports brands and sports licensees. Sports e-commerce did extremely well because fans couldn’t go to a stadium or a store. The ecommerce channel became and continues to become even more important. As much as the commercial aspect of it keeps getting bigger, it is also easier for third parties to counterfeit
Esports and Egaming Esports is a juggernaut at the moment and will remain important. It is a great way for sports to pivot and engage their fans, as Formula 1 did. Drivers were able to compete virtually rather than in person. They added value by having not only the Formula 1 drivers race against each other but having other celebrities race against them as well. They got record numbers – more than 30 million views – and introduced their brand to a new, younger audience. From a legal standpoint, the online world is easier to replicate than the physical world. So, it’s much easier for third parties to take advantage and capitalize on brand rights. Also, the community is different than live sports. Concept and tone are different virtually than live.
For Esports and Egaming, it’s crucial to have the rights, think about more enforcement than otherwise because of the increased range of activity, and balance that with the tone online so as not to undermine what is being done with brands. Differentiation To avoid counterfeit items, it is critical to differentiate a brand’s products as well as its marketplace. Traditional style guides and assets now work differently than they did in the past. Brands need to develop or uncover IP assets and content that has not been used. Classic content and assets can be used to engage and retain fans, as FIFA did this past year. Retro consumer products never go out of fashion. After The Last Dance aired on Netflix, there was a raft of retro Bulls consumer products. Retro branded assets can be found, legally cleared, and monetized.
Rhys Fleming, Dependable Solutions’ Sales Director, hosted an in-depth conversation with industry thought leaders and experts Julius Stobbs, founder of Stobbs, and Simon Gresswell, Managing Director of SGLP, to discuss the emerging issues of the world of sports as 2020 ends and 2021 begins.
Collaboration Collaborations can bring a new audience to brands. Lately collaborations are utilized to do ‘more good’ in the world, as athletes are combining with causes and important issues. It is advisable to involve legal representation to ensure that all brands are protected in a collaboration. Brands may dilute trademarks if the collaboration is not done properly. Moving forward, between ecommerce and new initiatives like sustainability, collaboration is going to be key. Walking the Tightrope: Innovation vs. Control goes back to cooperation and collaboration. If there’s unpredictability around the future, how do you plan for product that’s relevant? Creativity and adaptability can be the answer. By staying creative and adaptable, the sport of businesses will continue to be successful in this year and beyond.
TOTAL LICENSING With a population of around 400 million, the Middle East has some of the wealthiest countries in the world. The UAE has a per capita GDP of $67.700 for a population of around 10 million and Saudi Arabia has $54,100 for a population of 35 million. Whilst the UAE includes the vast majority of licensing organisations, here we take a brief look at the Saudi market and how, through gradual opening up, it is becoming an increasingly important territory.
Spotlight on The Middle East Saudi Arabia is a market that has been tax free but since the introduction of VAT at a rate of 5% this resulted in a shift in consumer behaviour and reduced spending. The outcome of the decline in spending seems to be that Saudi consumers are more priceconscious, switching to similar goods when prices of the original offerings rise. Under reforms that began 2016, an increasing number of economic sectors are being opened up to allow female employment, including retail. Lifting the ban on cinemas in Saudi Arabia has opened doors for investment in the entertainment sector,
thus reflecting great potential in demand for the retail sector in Riyadh. In markets such as Saudi Arabia, which havesome of the worldâ€™s most affluent consumers, brands are starting to implement multi-channel strategies, and investing heavily in outlet modernisation. In coming years many more brands are expected to implement multi-channel strategies as it become increasingly important for companies to create a user experience that cuts across online shopping, social media, mobile apps and conventional bricks and mortar stores. Despite facing difficulties, the retail
environment in Saudi Arabia is expected to maintain an overall positive performance due to a number of reforms that are being executed by the Saudi Arabian Government. The most prominent of these includes the allowance of 100% foreign direct investment in the retail sector, lifting the ban on cinemas, and the implementation of the governmentâ€™s Saudization policies. The leading retailers in Saudi Arabia are Jarir, Ikea, Centrepoint, Carrefour and Panda, whilst the biggest shopping malls include the Riyadh Gallery, Al Fashid Mall, Mall of Arabia and Al Mamlaka in Riyadh.
TOTAL LICENSING In the challenging year of 2020 where the impact of the Covid-related restrictions was felt on the economy across the Middle East, 20too Licensing, based in Dubai, worked on adjusting its portfolio and identifying out of the box projects and new and attractive ways of engaging with audiences to cater to the needs of the consumer of the future. As a licensing agent representing both Hasbro and its global entertainment studio, eOne, 20too saw a positive impact of the changes that the acquisition has made.The power of the Hasbro and eOne portfolio, sets both the licensor and the agent apart. From pre-school heroes such as PJ Masks to the lifestyle opportunities of the super stars Play-Doh, Nerf and Monopoly, as well as the classic properties of My Little Pony, Transformers, Power Rangers and GI Joe, 20too and Hasbro offer IPs for every target group. In 2021 20too is looking at developing all key brands in new ways with a wide variety of brand extension experiences, innovative toys and games, revamped location-based entertainment, and a variety of consumer products, spanning a broad range of diverse categories. With Hasbro’s content slate and brand-new short and long form content airing on TV, ongoing content on YouTube and Netflix as well as theatrical releases in the calendar, the opportunities to connect with consumers are endless. Among confirmed movies with Paramount are My Little Pony for 24 September 2021, Gi Joe for 22 October 2021 and Transformers on 24 June 2022 (international release dates). 20too is working on rolling out consumer products lines and crosscategory programs and campaigns including apparel, back to school, halo projects and FMCG collaborations for all movie releases. My Little Pony Movie has a new generation of toys, innovative new products and a huge theatrical campaign. This highly anticipated blockbuster release will no doubt be a game changer for the franchise. Transformers is looking at a big come
back not only because of the movie releasing in 2022, but also following the success of the latest Netflix launch of Transformers War for Cybetron which debuted in August and has broken every record in history for the franchise. It is currently the highest rated piece of Transformers content on Rotten Tomatoes.With the strong content in pipeline, 20too will be reaching fans in the region with cool products and fuel the brand with new local fashion collaborations. A successful launch of one of the first projects took place in November when King’s Ambition (KA1), a Dubai-based contemporary streetwear brand born in Dubai under Saif Belhasa Holding, launched a new clothing collection themed with Transformers. The highly anticipated partnership and new clothing line was promoted via a fashion show event hosted in the desert by KA-1 and Robocom VR, an existing licensee for Transformers VR simulators. In preparation for another big release of Snake Eyes, Hasbro will be bringing a line of the GI Joe figures to the market from Spring ‘21. The movie related toy line will be introduced in September 2021 and 20too Licensing are also working on consumer products across categories such as apparel, accessories and back to school. NERF is becoming the lifestyle brand for active kids aged 7 to 12 with recognizable, sporty designs with an attitude.In addition to clothing which already launched in the market, 20too has signed up partners for back to school, sporting goods and outdoor products. Monopoly had an unbeatable year as during the lockdown, the demand for board games sky rocketed, and the Monopoly sales grew more than 50% vs 2019 in the region. Monopoly Classic is now the #1 selling item globally within all Hasbro lines, including all brands. This created a tremendous consumer appetite and need for lifestyle collaborations across different categories In 2021, Play-Doh will celebrate its 65th birthday and 20too together with Hasbro will develop the brand beyond the compound and the play-
sets by adding new, fun and unique product categories to the world of Play-Doh. SunCe will launch their back to school program, together with playful and colorful school bags. In the pipeline are also new categories such as fashion accessories and bedding. PJ Masks which continues to be one of the leading preschool brands will have a new toy line launching in fall from Hasbro. Moreover, the brand have been engaged in new exciting regional collaborations. In November 2020, PJ Masks partnered with Event Box and Dubai Fitness Challenge helping promote a healthier lifestyle to the children of Dubai, encouraging
Middle East Profile 20too Licensing
them to be active every day with exclusive PJ Masks workout videos released throughout the fitness month. Another partnership launching soon is a PJ Masks shaped Goody Pasta for parents and their kids to stay healthy. The launch will be supported with a social media contest, exclusive gift boxes, an influencer activation branded video, as well as in-store POS material and activations with key retail partners. Beyond merchandise, the locationbased entertainment world has changed and most activities have been paused due to COVID-19, but 20too’s team and their local partners are working on bringing new ideas to life. These will include experiential concepts utilizing all aspects of multi-media, digital interactivity and augmented and virtual reality.
Middle East Profile WildBrain CPLG
Established in 2016, WildBrain CPLG’s Middle East and North Africa territory office is located in Dubai Media City and managed by Neesha Law, Commercial Director, and Roberto Pallottini, Licensing Manager. The team is overseen by Pau Pascual, VP Southern Europe and Managing Director of Iberia and MENA, and supported by the Barcelona office on Product Development, Design and Legal, and HQ on other back office functions. In the Middle East, WildBrain CPLG represents leading European football clubs, which include Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, FC Barcelona and Juventus. The agency works closely with local retailers such as Splash, Max,
Babyshop, RIVA and Al Nasser on bringing sports merchandise to the region. WildBrain CPLG MENA also manages a range of classic brands in the market including Peanuts, Pink Panther and Miffy. For Peanuts, which celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, WildBrain CPLG secured a partnership on behalf of Peanuts Worldwide with leading kids and baby retailer, Babyshop. The deal saw the launch of a 41-piece collection for newborns through to 14-year-olds, featuring Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Woodstock. The range spanned cotton t-shirts, joggers, sweat tops and knitwear rompers. Over and above this, WildBrain CPLG secured a partnership for Peanuts with live-event company Invent for a ‘Snoopy Festive Village’ activation in Dubai’s Dragon Mart 2 mall. The partnership gave visitors the chance to walk through a snowcovered town and celebrate the festive season with Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Children were also able to enjoy activities including indoor hockey, arts and crafts, screenings and photo opportunities, in addition to live performances. For MGM’s iconic Pink Panther brand, WildBrain CPLG’s MENA team has recently secured direct-to-retail fashion partnerships with RIVA and Annabelle, alongside licensing deals with Trucare for apparel and homeware, Andy Enterprises for footwear and accessories, and Hollywood Magic for apparel.
WildBrain CPLG also handles representation in the Middle East for the healthy snacks and kids’ vitamin brand, Fade Fit. Founded by Australian born Radio Presenter, Kris Fade, and his two daughters, Noushie and Kikki, Fade Fit offers products and experiences that are enjoyable and for the whole family. Additionally, the team is developing a local licensing programme for the faces of one of world’s biggest and fastest growing YouTube kidfluencer channels,Vlad & Niki, which WildBrain CPLG represents across EMEA and Russia.Vlad and Niki’s energetic videos centre on the brothers’ daily adventures which are brought to life with fun special effects and animation, superhero narrative, toy testing and catchy songs. For 2021, the WildBrain CPLG team already has an exciting raft of activity in the pipeline across its diverse and growing roster of brands, including several significant partnerships and retail activations.
We caught up with Nate Cavanaugh, Co-founder, Brainbase, about his recent honor of making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. From start-up to multi-million-dollar company, Nate tells us that Brainbase aims to become the biggest tech platform of its kind. Here, we talk about how it feels to make Forbes’ list, and what Brainbase has to offer the licensing industry and beyond... Congratulations! How does it feel to be included in such a list? It’s a real honor, especially being in the same list as such an accomplished group of people, in categories such as founders, operators, creators and more. The 30 Under 30 list has been on my bucket list since high school. Over time it has become less important as a personal accolade and more about what it means for Brainbase achieving credibility and respect from the industry, as well as raising awareness for licensing as a whole. Wider recognition in IP fields is very welcome. Given that we serve some of the largest brands around on our platform, I think it also helps and reassures our customers that they have chosen the right vendor to work with. As an accolade, it’s great news for you and of course Brainbase. Thank you. I think in terms of highlighting the industry – one statistic has always stood out to me. When we started the company, Amazon put out a research report stating licensed product sales will reach one trillion dollars by 2025, and when we were raising money to start Brainbase, that figure was really startling and impressive for investors. A trillion dollars is a crazy figure! What about that future – how do you think the industry is growing and will change? The licensing industry is still growing at a good pace, and my personal bias is that more and more of that growth will come via e-commerce sales, especially as the platforms grow. Do you think there is a danger of some companies, and more traditional retail, being left behind if they don’t adapt? Retail will become more experiential, which is not a particularly hot take, as
many brands are already seeing this. I think high-end, luxury brands in particular will thrive in this arena, people want to come and experience product in person. It’s not a new idea among most companies and executives, and the important thing is to get your strategy correct. There is a lot of change and adaptation going on – new ways of customer service, for example, see consumers able to reach out to brands and retailers on social media and WhatsApp, what are your thoughts on this? I cannot think of a brand that has seen a negative impact as a result of embracing a new technology – it is hard to think of the counter example, of a brand that has seen growth by not moving toward a new tech, platform or medium. There are a ton of examples of this across every sector – look at the New York Times or Wall Street Journal, where their revenue stream used to be mainly from printed sales it now comes from digital. Tell us some of your thoughts, business-wise, for the next year and the future? We want to build on the brand and are launching two new products in 2021 – news will follow soon on those. We will build products for the entire IP lifecycle that a brand follows, so there is a big picture goal always in mind. Who in the 30 do you most admire? There’s such an impressive portfolio of people on the list – it was great to see people I really admire in sports and social have this recognition. It’s also great that around 50% of the list was female and a significant percentage of the list was formed by underrepresented minorities as well.
What’s next for you – and your own personal goals? We are trying to build the leading tech company in the IP industry and we want our customers to know that when they work with Brainbase, specifically in the licensing industry, we want them to feel good about using the platform. We always need and aim to recruit incredible talent – recruiting is a critical part of building this business and the 30 Under 30 helps legitimise the business. We compete with global tech companies so we need to be as equally compelling for the best people to want to work for. The best talent certainly have options! What would you say to a person who is just starting out in the industry – what are the key messages you would give? What I am seeing increasingly with the new talent entering the space is that they are open and amenable to trends and technology, e-commerce as a sales challenge. Over time as these current young execs mature in the industry they will have more influence in the shape of the space. My message would be continue to study the broader macro trends in e-commerce and retail and understand how these trends are applicable to your chosen field. In terms of your platform and specific tech, do you have plans to utilise this is any other industries? That’s a great question and the answer is yes! If you think about what customers use our platform for, we know that many companies do approvals – not just in licensing, but it will open up our market size in terms of those companies Licensing is, of course, the foundation of our business!
“Licensing is the foundation of our business.”
Total Licensing caught up with Matt Wills, founder of Floob Creative, about his characters KissBoBo, and the phenomenal success the property has already seen in China...
The Colourful World of KissBoBo Can you tell us how you came to create your company and characters? I came to China six years ago on a design internship and have been working as the Creative Director for Dark Horse Comics for the last few years. I finally decided to use my lessons from that to launch some characters that I designed with the Asian market in mind. We launched KissBoBo in China in 2020, posting three animated videos a week on TikTok, and have gained 26,000 fans and climbing, which is virtually unheard of on Instagram. Our first license was an FMCG surgical mask company, and we are moving forward now with selling products on a Taobao online store. With the global economy in decline, my story is about the massive continuing opportunities in China. How did KissBoBo come about? The wonderful, colourful world of KissBoBo is character driven and perfect for licensing! The history of our
two main characters, Miss Kiss and BoBo, began in the Bollaria sea. A long time ago, a rare breed of fish lived in the mysterious purple sea, famed for its beauty and magical properties. These fish possessed a distinctive quality – the ability to blow bubble in unique shapes and make underwater ‘paintings’. The popularity of Bollaria grew and human tourism began to dominate it, eventually polluting the water and spoiling its colour, so the fish migrated to other waters. A few fish including one very knowledgeable and pragmatic fish, BoBo, remained with the hope of restoring the sea to its former beauty. One day, he met another of his species, Miss Kiss, a passionate and idealistic ‘bubble painter’ who he quickly fell in love with. United by their ideals, and sometimes at odds with their complementary characters, we join them on a magical underwater journey. What themes do your characters have? KissBoBo occupies a unique space in the brand market with universal appeal for all ages, with the themes of love and friendship. Ideal for licensing, our colourful characters give customers the chance to demonstrate their love with super cute gifts. What are your licensing plans? The characters are design-led, and work very well on plush and collectibles – there is no limit to their appeal,
they are charming and have universal themes! Where can we find them? You can find them on on Douyin (Chinese version of TikTok) and website kissbobo.club, Next we will be opening Facebook and Instagram pages this year. email@example.com
By Alice Yang Licensing Team China Toy & Juvenile Products Association Tel: +86-10-66038881 WeChat: chinalicensing firstname.lastname@example.org www.tjpa-china.org www.chinalicensing.org
The 14th edition of the China Licensing Expo (CLE) was held from October 21st to 23rd, 2020 in Shanghai, China. China Licensing Expo continues to be the largest and most effective licensing event in Asia despite the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic this year. After 14 years of development, China Licensing Expo is widely recognized as the most effective channel in order to understand the Chinese licensing market, promote brands, and expand licensing businesses in China and Asia. For over a decade, the China Licensing
Property Categories of Exhibitors at CLE 2020 Cartoon & Animation 25% Art & Culture (inc Museums) 17% Fashion,Trend & Lifestyle 14% Moves & TV Programs 13% Video Games 7% Corporate Brand/Trade Name 6% Images & Stickers 6% Video & Publishing 4% Sports 3% Network Literature 3% Collegiate & Celebrities 1% Expo has witnessed the development of the licensing industry in China. CLE 2020 presented over 1,800 brands, covering every aspect of property category, including entertainment and characters, fashion, art, lifestyle, museum, sports, and NGO. According to the organisers, the China Toy & Juvenile Product Association, professional attendees at CLE 2020 numbered 69,433, showing a slight growth over previous years despite
the impact of COVID-19. The most popular industry categories of the visitors were toys/non-video games, apparel/accessories, product design/ marketing, and infant & kidâ€™s products. China Licensing Expo 2020 was held concurrently with the China Toy Expo, China Kids Expo and China Preschool Expo. And this year, more and more records were broken at CLE. Many new things happened at this expo that are worth highlighting.
TOTAL LICENSING International properties giants China now is one of the fastest growing licensing markets in the world, and more and more international companies recognize the potential of the Chinese licensing market. International property giants choose the China Licensing Expo exclusively as their first choice option when exploring licensing business in China. CLE 2020 hosted new international exhibitors, such as Universal, Legendary Pictures, and TOEI Animation, meanwhile many famous international properties licensors including Mattel, Hasbro, Discovery, Blizzard, EA, and Ubisoft have been regular exhibitors for years. Also, top global licensing agents like Licensing Matters participated in the show too, bringing more fresh and diversified properties into the Chinese market. Meanwhile, the dynamic international pavilions, including the European Pavilion organised by Total Licensing and the Japan Pavilion organised by CBLA, brought more fresh properties to the market, and expanded a wider category at the expo. Top and emerging domestic properties As the licensing market in China grows, more and more Chinese companies realize the importance of brand licensing and they have already started to explore opportunities in the business. China Licensing Expo serves as the most professional platform for domestic properties, from wellrecognized properties to emerging ones. In 2020, the tier-one Chinese domestic brands including Tencent, Ali Group, Alpha, Wanda, NetEase, iQIYI all joined the show, and more popular and young properties from social media also took part in the exhibition, such as China Aerospace,Yijianyuzhou, Popmart and 52Toys. Art and museum properties Alongside the regular tradition of entertainment and characters, CLE covers every property category, and the art and museum properties were in the spotlight last year. The 14th edition of the China Licensing Expo hosted a special museum section at the show, and more museums have participated independently from home
Attendees at CLE 2020 by Industry Category Infant & Kids Products 8% Others 7% Stationery/School/Office 6% Food/Beverage 6% LBE/Theme Space 5% Gifts/Collectibles 4% Media/Internet 4% Consumer Electronics 4% Publishing/Music/Video 3% Home Decor/Housewares 3% Toys/Non-Video Games 22%
Software/Video Games/App 3%
Product Design/Advertising 11%
Sporting Goods 1%
and abroad, including Forbidden City, Shaanxi History Museum, the British Museum and the V&A Museum. Art licensors grew too. Exhibitors like Tokidoki and Fuyun Art joined the show last year. Museums and artists create beautiful merchandise, which is well received by the market. Art licensing is becoming trendy and fashionable in China, and more high-end consumers prefer to choose those products to identify with their lifestyle. China Licensing Week activities More activities than ever were held during the Expo comprising the China Licensing Week. The twelfth session of the China Licensing Summit further discussed the new media era and its influence on the Chinese licensing industry. At the Summit, speakers from Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Nice Boat Animation, Shanghai Animation Film Studio, and Jahwa, shared their observations and experiences in this dynamic industry with audience. The China Tourism Licensing Forum focused on the topic of licensing in tourism and the China Licensing Professional Academy provided one whole day training for licensors, licensees, and retailers, to educate the market. The first session of the CLE Fashion Show was also held during the Week. Over two days, the CLE Fashion Show displayed licensed products in the fashion world, including apparel, accessories, bags and luggage, sporting goods, and toys. Licensees from
Universal, Hasbro, Mattel and other companies joined the fashion show, and attracted an audience of over 400 people. Over 1000 projects applied for the China Licensing Star Awards in 2020, including licensors, properties, licensees, licensed products, licensees, and retailers. At the CLE Night, 21 Awards were presented in the names of Most Commercially Valuable IPs, Most Popular IPs, Rising Star IPs, Best Licensees, Best Retailers, Best Licensed Products and more. Besides the activities hosted by the organizers, more than 30 on-site licensing seminars were organized during the China Licensing Expo by exhibiting companies. Live video streaming was introduced at the show for the first time too. The activities of China Licensing Training Program, China Licensing Alumni, the Museum Art Cafe Lounge, the Football Fans Club, the Character Parade and IP365X Matchmakingâ€Ś made the Week more diversified and dynamic.
Pointers on Drafting Licensing Agent or Representation Agreements By: Gregory J. Battersby
BOOK AVAILABLE! THE BUSINESS OF LICENSING The Essential Guide for Intellectual Properties Licensing has has exploded into a $250+ billion worldwide industry at retail and generates more than $7 billion in royalty income for those property owners who are savvy enough to license their properties for a wide variety of consumer products. About 8 years ago, lawyer Gregory J Battersby and licensing veteran Danny Simon introduced the first Basics of Licensing book. They published a revised version a couple of years later and followed it with a Licensee edition and then finally an International edition. Recognizing that there was a degree of commonality between these editions, Battersby and Simon concluded that it was time for the definitive work on licensing, hence, The Business of Licensing which combines the best of all three prior editions and takes the subject to the next level. This book takes the reader through the nuts and bolts of how to conduct a licensing program and handle many of the problems that it might face There is a substantial amount of reference material. They have included an expanded history of merchandising, and an extensive collection of the forms that any licensing professional may need which they intend to provide to purchasers with electronic access to the forms via Dropbox. The Complete Business of Licensing is available at a cost of $39.95 ($34.95 for LI members). https://www. totallicensingworld.com/site/business_ of_licensing
Gregory J. Battersby Battersby Law Group, LLC 25 Poplar Plains Rd. Westport, CT 06880 (203) 454-9646 email@example.com www.gbiplaw.com 90
The relationship between a property owner and their licensing agent, or better named, their licensing representative, is a very important one and should always be memorialized in a formal written agreement. Such agreements should spell out the representative’s duties and responsibilities in connection with the licensing program. Unfortunately, most do not--perhaps because many such agreements are drafted by representatives who are always reluctant to make firm commitments in any such agreement. During the discussions leading up to the finalization of the representation agreement, a representative will typically identify, in detail, what it intends to do on behalf of the property owner. This is an excellent road map to measure the representative’s future performance and the property owner should insist that this list be incorporated into the representation agreement. The following is a list of certain duties that are commonly expected of the representative: * Assist the property owner in refining and developing the property into a licensable property; * Help in determining which product categories the property owner must file in for trademark protection. * Develop the marketing and presentation materials for use in presenting the property to prospective licensees; * Identify prospective licensees likely to be interested in taking a license for the property; * Present the property to those prospective licensees most likely to be interested in the property; * Negotiate the terms of all agreements between the property owner and the licensees; * Administer the licensing program, including periodically reviewing all licensee submissions of licensed products and associated advertising, packaging, and promotional materials to ensure that the quality control provisions of the agreement are met; * Wherever necessary, personally inspect the licensee’s manufacturing facilities to ensure that the quality control provisions
are being complied with; and * Collect all advances, guaranteed minimum royalty payments, and actual royalty payments from licensees. In short, the licensing representative should be tasked with doing everything that a vigilant property owner would do if it was running its own licensing program. The mechanics of how the licensing representative gets paid, and by whom, always leads to interesting discussions. Most representatives will want to directly receive the revenues from the licensees, deduct its commissions and any approved expenses, and then remit the balance (within a specified period) to the property owner. That is the norm. The “post-termination compensation” provision is, undoubtedly, the most hotly negotiated provision in any representation agreement. This provision governs what, if anything, the representative will receive after expiration or termination of the representation agreement and for how long. Such a provision provides the representative with a contractual right to continue to receive its commission even after the representation agreement expires or terminates. Absent such a provision, the representative has no such contractual right and potentially forfeits any entitlement. In an ideal world, representatives will want to continue to receive their commissions on a posttermination basis resulting from agreements that they had obtained during the term of the representation agreement as well as any “renewals, modifications, extensions, or substitutions” thereof. That language goes back to language created by the former Licensing Corporation of America (LCA) in the 1970s. Property owners frequently object to such language and try to limit the commission rate and/or term of the payments as much as possible, recognizing that they will be faced with having to potentially pay double commissions after terminating the representative—to the terminated representative as well as to the new replacement representative. This, of course, leads to some very interesting negotiations.
TOTAL LICENSING WORLD • • • •
Do you need to know who handles a specific character in Germany? Who is the agent for a certain brand in Australia? Where can I find an IP lawyer in the USA? Who are the leading apparel licensees in Argentina?
The answer to all these questions, and much more, are available in Total Licensing World - the online reference guide to all things licensing. To find out more, and subscribe, visit
TOTAL LICENSING By Martin Brochstein SVP Industry Relations and Information Licensing International www.licensinginternational. org
Questions for 2021 What will 2021 bring? As this is written, as the pandemic ebbs and flows depending on where in the world you are, the introduction of vaccines puts the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel within sight.
Is there an impending experience explosion?
Either way, the 2021 Model (as we’re calling it, temporarily at least) will have a huge impact on licensees in particular. Especially since it’s unclear whether the amount and cadence of promotional activity around streaming releases will match that which has traditionally accompanied theatrical debuts.
Might history be a guide?
For Licensing International, 2021 is a year of continuing to provide up-to-date information, tools and perspectives to help you build your business.
The shape of the licensing industry will depend in large part (the course of the pandemic aside) on answers to these questions: What role will ecommerce play?
2020 was a banner year for e-commerce, with major retailers reporting huge bumps in their online businesses, and many online specialists thriving.
A lot of this was based on the shutdown on physical retail. What shoppers will do once they have a choice again? To put things in context, ecommerce’s share of the retail sales pie averaged around 17.3% in 2020.
One indicator: Brand owners, manufacturers, agents and others from around the world who responded to Licensing International’s annual endof-year flash survey say they expect the percentage of business they do via eCommerce will increase this year to an average of 36.9% of their sales from 30.5% in 2020. What will film and entertainment distribution look like once cinemas reopen?
In December, Warner Bros. and Disney both announced that they would release large chunks of their content slate for streaming and in theater simultaneously.
It’s unclear whether this is simply a stop-gap measure to get through the pandemic or a fundamental, permanent shift in the distribution model.
The end of WWI and the Spanish flu pandemic ushered in the Roaring Twenties…
What’s the “holiday season”?
Has the holiday retail calendar been permanently changed?
Last year, Amazon once again shifted the retail landscape, this time with its decision to push Prime Day to October. As dozens of other retailers jumped on the bandwagon to host their own competing sales, the result was an expanded holiday shopping window, kicking off more than a month before the traditional start – Black Friday.There are broad implications for supply chain, promotional calendars, and other aspects of getting goods to market. Is there an impending experience explosion?
After nearly a year mostly without masses of people gathering for sporting events, concerts, live shows, cinemas and theme parks, they’re chomping at the bit to get back out in the world. Whether and when they’ll feel safe enough to do so is another question. And those events drive product sales. Might history be a guide? The end of WWI and the Spanish flu pandemic ushered in the Roaring Twenties… How important will the mask category continue to be?
When face masks burst on the scene last spring, it wasn’t clear whether they would be a short-term sales opportunity or a permanent part of fashion wardrobes. Yet since July, with the promise of a vaccine on the horizon and consumers having already purchased baskets full of masks, sales have been declining. So will they be a staple, or were they just a temporary supernova? How will licensing agreements shift as business “normalizes”? After a year like no other, with businesses shutting down, shipping delays and retail malaise, newly revised licensing contracts will come into play this year. In 2020, some contracts were rewritten to reduce minimum guarantees and extend terms to allow licensees to recoup their losses. And while several licensors initially resisted changing contract terms at the start of the pandemic, those once ironclad agreements proved malleable as companies were forced to adapt to the new normal. Whether that spirit of cooperation and collegiality will continue, will be something to watch as the year advances.
Blueprint Online V Feb 2 - 4 www.blueprintshows.com Kidscreen Summit Virtual V Feb 8 - March 5 www.https://summit.kidscreen.com/2021/ Australia Toy Fair online V March 1 - 5 www.toyfair.com.au Licensing China March 30 - April 1 www.licensing-china.com MIPTV Digital V April 12 - 16 www.miptv.com Licensing World Russia April 20 - 22 www.licensingworld.ru Licensing Japan April 14 - 16 https://www.licensing-japan.jp/en-gb.html Bologna Book Fair June 14 - 17 http://www.bookfair.bolognafiere.it/en Bologna Licensing Fair June 14 - 16 www.bolognalicensing.com London Book Fair June 29 - July 1 www.londonbookfair.co.uk Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards July 7 www.brandlicensingawards.co.uk Nuremberg Toy Fair July 20 - 24 www.spielwarenmesse.de Licensing Expo August 10 - 12 www.licensingexpo.com Licensing Awards Sept 14 www.thelicensingawards.co.uk Toy Fair Dallas Oct 5 - 7 https://www.toyassociation.org/ta/events/fall/ MIP Junior Oct 9 - 10 www.mipcom.com/mipjunior MIPCOM Oct 11 - 14 www.mipcom.com China Licensing Expo Oct 19 - 21 www.chinalicensingexpo.com Brand Licensing Europe Nov 17 - 19 www.brandlicensing.eu These dates were correct at time of going to press. However, in light of the current situation, dates etc are liable to change. Please visit the website of any relevant fair for the latest information.V = virtual event