Regular Features Comment ....................................................................... 16 Global news 18 Cover Story: Rainbow ................................................. 82 Gary Pope Column .................................................... 162 Products of Change 166 Legally Speaking 172 What’s On ................................................................... 174 Europe Sarah & Duck celebrate 10 years 22 The World of Tara Duncan......................................... 30 Bulldog: Heading for a strong 2024 .......................... 38 Poetic Gem: 15 Years Strong 42 Brand Licensing Europe Preview ................ 44 Colour Our World with Miffy ................................... 70 TF1 Focus on LBE 74 Rainbow Productions: 40 Years ................................. 76 Kennedy Publishing - an Update ............................... 79 Licensing the European Space Agency 80 Santoro at Brand Licensing Europe.......................... 85 Toikido - Start-up to Major Brand ........................... 86 2024 - A New Era for Gormiti 88 Innovations and Experiences from Hasbro ............ 89 Bluey, Hey Duggee and more from BBC................. 90 Going All In with All3Media 95 Asterix the Gaulish Hero 96 85 Years of Beano ....................................................... 101 Mondo - Grisu and Gruffalo 102 Debut for HARI at BLE 103 Moonbug Explore New Opportunities ................. 106 Interivew: Penguin Ventures 108 Amscan: Making Life a Party! 109 Studio 100 Media in London ................................... 110 Millimages - an Update 112 Ready to Rock Boats! 113 Cooking a Feast with ChefClub.............................. 114 The World of Edutainment 115 Magic Light Celebrates 20 Years 116 MIPCOM Preview ...................................................... 120 Profile: Intercake 122 Profile: Carat 123 Nordic Rep Global Brands....................................... 124 Spotlight on Spain ...................................................... 125 Spain - a Multifaceted Marketplace 134 A Strong Licensing Connection .............................. 152 14 34 86 Asia Falcon’s Beyond in China ............................................ 32 Robocar Poli Around the World 142 Korea Character Fair Review .................................. 144 KOCCA at Brand Licensing Europe ...................... 146 Bigglz Mobile App 148 A.I. and Licensing in China 168 CEE Creating Success in Eastern Europe ...................... 154 North America Spin Master - Enduring Franchises 94 Afro Unicorn Gallops into London.......................... 98 Think Pink! 119 Zag at BLE 2023 126 New York Toy Fair - Preview ................................... 175 Middle East Cultural Sensitivies in Middle East Licensing 136 Shooting Stars: A MENA Champion....................... 138 Focus on Turkey’s Manufacturing Hub ................... 140 Global The Expanding World of Minecraft 34 2023 Global Licensing Study...................................... 36 The Squishmallows Sensation 72 Borderless Creativity from Banijay 100 Netflix - This is just the Beginning.......................... 104 Pokemon Drives Growth 111 Success in Nostalgia 118 The Growing World of LBE ..................................... 150 Roundtable Discussion 156 Key Trends Shaping European Fashion 164 104 175 94 90 Show Preview begins Page 44 NY TOY FAIR!
Co-Publisher Francesca Ash email@example.com
Welcome to the Autumn/Fall edition of Total Licensing – an issue that will be winging its way to London at the beginning of October for this year’s Brand Licensing Europe.
Co-Publisher Jerry Wooldridge firstname.lastname@example.org
Whilst the issue will also be found at MIPCOM, MIP Junior and ATF in Singapore, of course BLE is a premier date in the licensing industry’s diary. A stand-out attraction at this year’s BLE will, of course, be location-based entertainment (LBE) which is fuelling so much interest in the industry at the moment.
surged for experiences rather than products. As BLE have explained, “while goods count for 39% of purchases by 21 – 34 year olds, experiences count for 59% - plus a growing desire for multigenerational experience sharing and engagement.”
Editorial Director Rebecca Ash email@example.com
Ask anyone what they missed during the dark days of lockdowns and taking part in live experiences will be near the top of the list. Not really surprising then that LBE has taken centre stage in the post-pandemic era.
LBE is, of course, much more than theme and amusement parks.
Office Manager Helen Bowerman firstname.lastname@example.org
Japan Agent Roger Berman, ZenWorks email@example.com
Of course, LBE is nothing really new. The earliest amusement park in the world was Bakken in Denmark which opened in 1583 allowing people to drink from its healing spring. As visitor numbers grew, the site developed tents and stalls to entertain and, of course, to sell relevant items.
Fast forward to 1846 and Lake Compounce opened to the public and is the oldest, continuously-operating amusement park in North America. Today, it is part of Palace Entertainment, the US’s largest operator of theme parks and family entertainment centers featuring 40 parks entertaining 14 million visitors each year.
And then, of course, came Disney who started his theme park journey in 1955 when he opened the first park in Anaheim. It is the only park that was designed and constructed under the direct supervision of Walt Disney.
Today it attracts around 17 million visits, making it the second most visited amusement park in the world, only behind Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando.
The recent immersive Van Gogh exhibit and Abba Voyage are great examples of brand-extension in the LBE space. And there are plenty more examples – London’s Squid Games experience, life-sized Monopoly, the Gruffalo Train which has been running for more than ten years, and countless other family entertainment centres, 4D theatres, interactive experiences and travelling exhibitions are springing up across the world attracting consumers keen to make memories.
LBE is, of course, at the epicentre of all-things BLE this year!
The show features LBE-focused keynotes and a huge LBE Pavilion will house exhibitors showcasing immersive and inspiring LBE content that visitors can walk through, around and interact with.
According to reports, LBE is worth well over $3 billion with growth in the region of 30% expected by 2030. And if you add the amusement and theme parks industries to this, the figure is an astonishing $55 billion with $82 billion expected by 2030.
Engaging consumers on an LBE-platform can perfectly complement all other manifestations of a brand and help grow awareness and brand loyalty. Little wonder then that the sector is becoming so important to all involved in IP and brand licensing and merchandising.
The extraordinary surge in interest in LBE can partly be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst you could buy product online (if not in stores), theme parks were shuttered. As a consequence, when restrictions were lifted, demand
If you are attending BLE, do stop by and see Total Licensing. We’re at Booth E131. We really look forward to seeing you.
Francesca Ash Jerry Wooldridge Co-Publisher Co-Publisher
© 2023 Total Licensing Ltd All illustrations are reproduced by permission of their owners. No part of this magazine may be copied or quoted without permission from the Publishers first. Total Licensing Ltd does not warrant or assume any legal liability for the accuracy or legality of contents, images or advertisements submitted to the magazine. Opinions of the contributing writers are their own and do not reflect the opinion of Total Licensing Ltd. 16 TOTAL LICENSING LTD 4 Wadhurst Business Park Faircrouch Lane, Wadhurst, East Sussex TN5 6PT UK Tel: +44 (0) 1892 782220 Fax: +44 (0) 1892 782226 www.totallicensing.com
Member of With thanks to those who contributed to this issue
LIBERTAS BRANDS LAUNCHES AND WELCOMES MARK KINGSTON AS CEO
Libertas Brands launches and welcomes Mark Kingston as CEO following the licensing of exclusive rights to Fuggler brand globally.
Libertas Brands, a new IP management, licensing & consultancy company, has all rights exclusively to the Fuggler
PINK FONG IN GERMANY
consumers & fans worldwide.
In addition, Libertas Brands has announced the appointment of Mark Kingston as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Kingston, an accomplished industry leader with successful IP management and a proven track record of driving growth and innovation in the licensed consumer products industry, assumed the role of CEO at Libertas Brands effective September. With over 24 years of experience in the consumer goods sector, Kingston is well-poised to lead and grow Libertas Brands into an industry leading IP management, licensing & business consultancy company.
brand from Spin Master, Inc. Fuggler is a brand known for its tongue in cheek attitude and unique stylised plush produced with realistic teeth & ‘Butt-on holes’, adopting the tagline ‘Funny Ugly Monsters’.
Fuggler plush toys are exclusively sublicensed, globally, to Addo Play Ltd, and by the end of 2023 will have achieved sales of over 3.4 million units across 10 markets delivering over 120% growth in the last year alone. Through 2024 Fuggler plush will launch in an additional +5 markets and is set to continue triple digit growth vs 2023. This rights acquisition represents a strategic move that aligns with Libertas Brands’ commitment to providing quality and innovative products to
“We are delighted to welcome Mark Kingston to lead the newly formed Libertas Brands,” said Stuart Grant, Co-Founder of Libertas Brands. “His strategic vision, passion for consumer products, and deep industry knowledge make him the ideal leader to build & grow Libertas Brands into an industry leading IP management, licensing and business consultancy enterprise, particularly with the Fuggler brand.”
“As Co-Founder and CEO of Libertas Brands, I am excited to lead the creation of Libertas Brands & build the foundations for growth of the overall Fuggler brand globally as well as exploring opportunities to service key clients within the consumer products and Entertainment industries. Expanding & developing the Fuggler IP represents a tremendous opportunity to build a brand that will engage with fans of all ages across multiple mediums, platforms, products and experiences”, said Mark Kingston.
GLOBAL PRESIDENT FOR MOOSE
Moose Toys today announces that 20-year industry veteran, Ronnie Frankowski has been promoted to the role of Global President. Frankowski will be responsible for leading the global senior leadership team to deliver on Moose’s rolling strategic plan, including meeting annual commercial and functional objectives, in-line with the business’ purpose and values.
“Ronnie is a proven global leader who knows how to get results,” said Paul Solomon, CEO at Moose Toys. “We know that his exceptional leadership qualities, his unique ability to facilitate a leading culture and his extensive industry experience both at Moose and elsewhere, will enable us to take Moose to the next level!”
Hamburg based V.I.P. Entertainment & Merchandising AG has agreed to become the first European licensing agent representing the preschool social media phenomena Pinkfong and Pinkfong Wonderstars. After the breath taking success Pinkfong´s Baby Shark has, the most viewed YouTube video of all times, Pinkfong wants now to expand onto the German speaking markets to add to its currently 6.000+ products they licensed worldwide. While Paramount is in charge of Baby Shark in many countries, V.I.P. AG will look in the German speaking markets after Pinkfong and Pinkfong Wonderstar. Pinkfong is an adorable pink fox with boundless curiosity and popular sing-along music videos on YouTube, while Pinkfong and Hogi, a hedgehog and a walking encyclopedia, leave on an adventure to meet new friends in Wonderville. Pinkfong exceeded with its 5000+ songs and stories in 25 languages already 67 billion lifetime views. The German channels boosts over 600 videos and has 241+K subscribers and over 86 million views, and grows daily.
V.I.P.’s CEO Michael Lou, who has represented during his 35+ years career several of the most successful properties, is optimistic that his new ones have all the merits to succeed, too. He presented Pinkfong for the first time in April at the German Day of License in Cologne and was very pleased with the response.
TOTAL LICENSING x 18
NEW BRANDS FOR ETS IN ITALY
ETS have taken on two new preschool properties – Odo and Momonsters. Odo teaches young children to believe in themselves to help combat the troubling rise in anxiety and depression levels in today’s children. Comedic and warm, with a genuine gender-neutral hero, the stories also deal with important themes such as immigration, racism and respect for othersThe first season of the series (52 x 7’) airs in Italy on Rai YoYo and in streaming on RaiPlay and a second season is already in development.
The first season has already achieved good audience results and two more seasons and a TV movie will soon be available.
Momonsters is the fun new kids’ animated series starring Haha, Hehe, Hihi, Hoho and Huhu, 5 fluffy little monsters who will find themselves playing every day with a different child who will lead them to discover their passions. The series was successfully launched in Spain and already several licensees are on board such as Bandai, Panini, CYP and Claudio Reig. “PGS Entertainment, in charge of the Brand internationally, has sold rights to more than 75 countries, with Televisa, Globo, HBOMax, RTP and Showmax, among many others.
In Italy the series is available on air on Rai YoYo and in streming on RaiPlay.
In addition to the pre-school brands, ETS is pleased to manage in French edutainment programs: Hello Maestro. Over the past 45 years, the evergreen saga has addressed historical and scientific topics, carefully researched and documented. The 7 series : “Once upon a time…” Man, Space, Life, the Americas, the Discoverers, the Explorers and Planet Earth - have been translated in 80 languages and are well known in over 100 countries. The Hello Maestro saga works well in all media: TV channels, platforms, merchandising, promotion, audio, digital developments... A brand new series, in the saga, will launch in 2024: Once upon a time...THE OBJECTS (co-production Samka Productions, in association with France.tv, TV5 Monde, RTS and Hot). Each of the 78 x 7’ episodes will see Maestro guide children (6 to 10), to discover the history of 78 everyday objects.The new series will be available in Italy on Mediaset platforms, historical broadcaster of the iconic series for almost 35 years: Siamo fatti così.
ETS’s portfolio also ranges into adult brands such as Burago, the biggest car model brand that has been offering products of excellence for almost 50 years and which is managed by the agency at European level (including UK).
Burago is passion, heritage, Italian identity, iconicity and thanks to a brand extension and a new rich style guide, today the brand can bring its style to every licence category.
WORLD’S BIGGEST TOY COMPANIES
According to Statista, and Global Toy News, the five biggest toy companies in the world, based on their 2022 figures are:
London Zoo, a ZSL conservation Zoo, has launched into licensing with Metrostar in a multi-year deal in the UK and Ireland.The campaign will be launched at Brand Licensing Europe. Metrostar will launch and manage London Zoo’s licensing programme, working together with the conservation charity and its branding experts, opening the internationally recognised brand to new categories with a special focus on engaging preschoolers, schoolers and their families; the conservationists of tomorrow. Items will include homeware, stationary, toys and games, clothing, books, and publishing.
London Zoo is part of ZSL, a sciencedriven conservation charity, working to protect and restore wildlife in the UK and around the world. First opened in 1828, London Zoo works to restore wildlife through vital conservation and breeding programmes and by inspiring a lifelong love of animals. Funds generated through the Zoos commercial ventures help to support the vital work ZSL does across the world.
Lee Duffy, London Zoo’s Head of Commercial said; “We are pleased to bring the world-renowned London Zoo to licensing for the very first time in our near 200-year history, with the support of Metrostar. All profits from sales of brand licensed products will support London Zoo, ZSL and our work across the world to bring wildlife back from the brink of extinction. We are excited to see our iconic brand be curated into first-class products that stay true to our brand’s values, identity and vision, all while supporting our work.”
TOTAL LICENSING x 20
LEGO ........................................... $9,279.56 billion Bandai Namco ......................... $7,465.65 billion Hasbro $5,856.7 billion Mattel $5,434.7 billion Jakks $7,96.19 million
Having recently reacquired the licensing rights to much-loved pre-school animation Sarah & Duck from BBC Worldwide, the show’s creator, Karrot Entertainment, has joined forces with creative licensing agency This Is Iris to celebrate the brand’s 10-year anniversary and to launch a new Licensing program in time for Brand Licensing Europe.
Sarah & Duck is a BAFTA awardwinning show about tuba-playing seven-year-old Sarah and her funny best friend Duck. Packed with charm and a supporting cast that allows every story to be full of fun and adventure. This pre school favourite remains a permanent fixture on CBeebies with partners on board across the globe to support the development of an exciting new international licensing program.
This year has been focussed on bringing the show to families across key platforms: it has already received over 24 million views on iPlayer; the launch of a UK summer show program produced by MEI Theatrical & Toddler
Time events with cinema chain Picturehouse.
With a new license just signed with CBeebies, Sarah & Duck will remain on screen until 2028 and a global distribution deal currently being finalised by BBC Studios including their new partnership with Amazon Prime for the Indian market, it’s been a great start to the shows 10th anniversary.
Together, Iris and Karrot are looking to the future with a number of new deals to be announced at BLE with additional UK partnerships established
with global educational publisher Twinkl for Sarah & Duck-themed learning resources which will launch shortly as well as an important charity partnership with Farms for City Children which offers disadvantaged children countryside breaks on working farms – all of which is extending the brand’s reach to new audiences and demographics whilst exciting their existing fans with new opportunities and helping others to have their own adventures.
Brand Licensing Europe will see the launch of their new consumer products program that offers a fantastic list of loyal partners, a brand new style guide and direct access to the Karrot team allowing for exciting new collaborative opportunities. As ever This is Iris will be at the show meeting with partners to discuss all aspects of their portfolio which also covers art & design, fashion, heritage and charity.
To book a meeting say firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Stand C110
BOOMERANG BECOMES CARTOONITO
Boomerang has become Cartoonito, and launched recently as a pay-tv channel across Sweden, Denmark and Norway in the Nordics, Turkey, and the Middle East & North Africa - with a slate of modern preschool entertainment.
There’s still plenty of room for longtime Boomerang favourites like Tom & Jerry, Mr Bean and Masha and the Bear to shine alongside newer friends such as Thomas and Friends: All Engines
Go and Lucas the Spider. Cartoonito brings them together – while adding brand-new shows like Batwheels, Bugs Bunny Builders and Interstellar Ella – just for starters - offering a wider variety of programmes filled with new friends, trusted fun, and extraordinary adventures for the whole family to enjoy. Cartoonito is Warner Bros. Discovery’s biggest commitment to programming for children aged 2 to 6. Dedicated to fun, engaging and culturally relevant storytelling, Cartoonito celebrates young kids in their unique, unfiltered glory – quirks and all! – and encourages them to learn, laugh and draw outside the lines. Reimaging some of Warner Bros. Discovery’s legendary franchises with preschool-appropriate spinoffs which include Batwheels, and Bugs Bunny Builders Cartoonito seeks to encourage inter-generational viewing and use characters we all know and love to
champion creativity, teamwork, and inclusion. Cartoonito aims to celebrate every child by spotlighting their unique selves and encouraging them to interact with others with empathy, respect, and fairness.
Vanessa Brookman, Senior Vice President, Kids & Family EMEA for Warner Bros. Discovery said: “We have lots to celebrate in this 100th year of Warners Bros, including the launch of our preschool offering – Cartoonito across EMEA. We are excited to expand into countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Turkey, and the Middle East & North Africa – Cartoonito, offers a safe space dedicated to fun, engaging and culturally relevant storytelling. Celebrating individuality and originality, Cartoonito is where kids and their families can enjoy trusted characters and friends, stories from leading voices, brand new original series, and a whole lot of laughter.”
RUBIES SIGN THE WORLD OF DAVID WALLIAMS
Rubies are delighted to announce the signing of one of the biggest licenses in the children’s literature industry, welcoming The World of David Walliams to their portfolio of brands, becoming the sole licensee for the property across dress-up.
The dress-up will feature new characters and re-imagined styles of the most popular characters from Walliams’ huge back catalogue of IP. With designs already in development, the range is expected to be available to pre-order later this year, perfect for trade retailers looking to stock up in time for Book Day.
Licensed by The Point.1888 on behalf of HarperCollins Children’s Books, the collaboration between one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and distributors of costumes and accessories, with one of the most popular children’s authors of the 21st century, is expected to be hugely successful with audiences across the country, especially around Book Day.
David Walliams has revolutionised reading for children and has become one of the most influential children’s writers today. Since the publication of his ground-breaking first novel, The Boy in the Dress (2008), Walliams has seen unprecedented growth with global sales exceeding 53 million copies, and his books translated into 55 languages. David’s publishing has evolved into one of the biggest multi-media entertainment brands in the UK today, engaging and delighting children across a multitude of platforms. The world beyond the books includes licensed products, TV adaptations, theatre productions, arena tours, and an
attraction based on David’s perennial bestselling novel Gangsta Granny at Alton Towers Resort.
Justin McGiffin, Head of Licensing for Rubies, said, “Bolstering our children’s literature range of costumes, The World of David Walliams is an exciting new step for us. With it, Rubies strengthens our 365 and Book Day offering, and we can’t wait to see little ones embrace the transformative power of reading and dress-up with our new range of costumes.”
Geraldine Stroud, Brand, Marketing and Communications Director at HarperCollins Children’s Books, added, “As part of our strategic growth of The World of David Walliams, we cannot wait to launch our fantastic range of new costumes with Rubies. Book Day is highlight in the Walliams brand calendar and this new dress-up will delight Walliams readers everywhere!”
TOTAL LICENSING x 24
WINSING’S NEW PRODUCT LAUNCHES
In late August, Winsing hosted its highly-anticipated New Products Fall Launch Event. During this event, Winsing Animation introduced six new toylines derived from the flagship animation IPs, GG Bond and GOGOBUS, along with their related recent animated seasons to debut. At the launch, Winsing also included an exciting glimpse into three original IPs slated for release soon: Mega Meow (52 x 13’), Mongo (30 x 2’), and Shadows of the Void (13 x 21’).
Preschool animated series Gogobus season 13 and 14 are ready to release in China first, spanning over 100 TV channels and various online platforms. In the new space-themed season, Gogobus Mars Adventure, the beloved school bus Gordon, will travel to Mars for an exciting space adventure. Meanwhile, he will have upgraded “Mars Mecha” equipment for the journey.
Based on the new look in the animation, three new toylines of Gogobus enjoyed a launch: ‘Transforming Mars Mecha’ series includes a primary vehicle and a Mars mecha, which can be transformed and combined into a big-size robot.
‘The face-changing Mars Mecha’ series can change the car into a robot, with face-changing features that can switch between different expressions. ‘Ultra Mars Robot’ is a highly posable robot with a considerable size that can combine five vehicles.
Winsing’s 18-year flagship IP GG Bond continues to be extremely popular and reach billions of online discussions. It has successfully transcended its initial child fanbase to gain popularity among a broader audience.To cater to this diverse audience,Winsing unveiled a range of trendy GG Bond toylines, including slow rebound figures, surprise boxes, highly posable action figures, and more.These new GG Bond toylines effectively expand their appeal to various age groups.
MASHA PROGRAM GROWS IN ITALY
Animaccord, the entertainment company behind Masha and the Bear, together with its local agent Maurizio Distefano Licensing, continue expanding the brand presence in Italy - the first country outside the home market where the cartoon became an evergreen success. According to Parrot Analytics as of August 2023, Masha and the Bear heads the list of the most in-demand kids’ shows in both Italy and worldwide. Given the success of the Masha and the Bear among the audience, the local market continues to demonstrate a high demand for the licensed consumer products. Hence
the collaboration with Bauli, a prominent Italian bakery brand with over a century of history, has seen a significant growth in Easter Chocolate Eggs sell-out over the last two
PET PRODUCTS FOR LOVE HEARTS
Assured Products Ltd is the latest licensee to sign a license with Swizzels Matlow for their Love Hearts brand. Brokered by Blonde Sheep Licensing the license includes pet shampoos, pet stain & odour removal and cleaning products plus calming sprays, pet colognes and much more. Assured Products is a UK manufacturer of pet, auto, garden and household chemical products. The initial Love Hearts Pet Care range will launch later this year and will be available online plus in a number of traditional retailers. Owned by Swizels, the largest independent British-owned manufacturer of sugar confectionery in the UK, the Love Hearts brand will celebrate its 70th Anniversary in 2024. Over 1.75 billion sweets are produced every year. Peter Graham, managing director at Assured Products commented, “As a family owned business based in the North West, Assured Products are delighted to be working with Swizzels. We are looking forward to bringing Love Hearts to life in the Pet Care market later this year.”
years. Building on this performance, Bauli are set to introduce new baked products such as Mini Pandoro (Pandorino), Mini Panettone (Panettoncino), and Mini Colomba (Colombina) for upcoming festive seasons in Italy. Zaini continues to captivate fans with its Masha and the Bear products, featuring chocolate eggs with 3D and 2D toy surprises, rings, and stickers. As part of the lineup, Zaini offers festive epiphany socks, adding a celebratory touch to the holiday season on January 6.
Casa Modena’s collaboration introduces the hamburger Teneroni featuring Masha and the Bear on the package and has been supported by a local Italian celebrity’s TV campaign and extensive social media promotion.
Masha and the Bear’s content including core seasons 1-5 as well as spin-offs Masha’s Tales, Masha’s Spooky Stories and Nursery Rhymes spans various platforms in Italy. From TV channels like Rai YoYo and DEA Junior to streaming platforms such as TIM Vision, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube, the brand ensures its stories reach audiences through diverse channels. Notably, Masha and the Bear’s official Italian YouTube channel boasts over 5 million subscribers and 2 billion views.
TOTAL LICENSING x 26
NEW BRANDING FOR UNIVERSAL
Universal Products and Experiences (UP&E) is returning to Brand Licensing Europe 2023 with a new name to reflect the division’s recent integration within the Universal Destinations & Experiences business (formerly Parks & Resorts); UP&E now also includes theme parks merchandise and retail. Universal’s culture-driving film and TV slate continues to fuel UP&E’s core franchises as well as introduce new IP to audiences and future fans, which includes Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Illumination, DreamWorks Animation, NBCUniversal and Peacock.
Jurassic Park, celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, allowing for theme park celebrations, retail activations, digital content, and nostalgia-filled products and video game releases that generations of fans have enjoyed.
Fans can look forward to more Minions mischief with the upcoming release of Despicable Me 4 in 2024.
More partners are moving into Gabby’s Dollhouse, the smash hit preschool series that has found home in the hearts of pre-schoolers, parents, and retailers across the globe. Consistently ranking among Netflix’s Top 10 Kids and
WildBrain CPLG is continuing the expansion of its global strategy with the launch of a new location-based entertainment (LBE) business to drive opportunities for WildBrain’s franchise brands as well as partner brands such as Peanuts and PLAYMOBIL, with an initial focus on Asia Pacific (APAC). Veteran licensing executive, Kevin Suh is working with WildBrain CPLG to build out the global LBE strategy. Based in Los Angeles, Suh’s remit includes driving key opportunities across territories worldwide. Formerly President of Themed Entertainment & Consumer Products at Paramount Pictures, Suh oversaw global location-based entertainment for all
Family Titles, Gabby’s Dollhouse continues to expand internationally with new free-to-air markets as well as across categories and retailers.
From the DreamWorks Animation portfolio, the good vibes and glitter are set to roll again with the highly anticipated release of Trolls Band Together in October 2023. Additionally new content from one of DreamWorks most beloved franchises including Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon is making its debut in the coming years.
The incredible U-Vault archive of classic favourites across more than 100 years of film and television, includes anniversaries of iconic IP in 2025, like JAWS and Saturday Night Live. Additionally, Universal is killing it with horror – this year’s box office hit M3GAN, along with Universal’s classic Monsters and other icons of horror, like Chucky and Michael Myers, are driving global culture and creative trends. The annual Halloween Horror Nights celebration takes place inside Universal theme parks around the world and has become a tentpole cultural event. From innovative mazes and themed merchandise in the Parks to licensing opportunities for partners and retailers around the world, this moment is only getting bigger.
2024 will be popular for Universal as part 1 of Wicked will be releasing theatrically in November and part 2 is planned for fall 2025.
Paramount Global brands, including Paramount Pictures, CBS, Nickelodeon and more, with key franchises including SpongeBob SquarePants, Star Trek, PAW Patrol and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Suh managed a portfolio of over 20 Paramount Global-branded entertainment destinations and programs worldwide across theme parks, hotels and resorts, restaurants, retail businesses and stage plays. Previously, Suh was a senior executive at the Motion Picture Association of America and a lawyer in California. Additionally, highly experienced executive Evi Sari joins the WildBrain CPLG senior leadership team in China as Vice President of LocationBased Entertainment, to spearhead the agency’s LBE strategy in APAC and the GCC. Based in Shanghai, she will drive regional opportunities for WildBrain’s franchise brands, including Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Inspector Gadget and In the Night Garden, as well as for third-party brands, such as Peanuts and PLAYMOBIL. Sari has over 15 years of diverse experience working on entertain-
ment projects, from cultural attractions and theme parks, to resorts and Family Entertainment Centers (FECs) for international IP studios and major state-owned developers. She was previously VP of Location-Based Experiences at Paramount (ViacomCBS), responsible for building partnerships to develop the franchises of Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV and CBS into real-world experiences in Asia. She reports to WildBrain CPLG’s EVP & MD, Maarten Weck.
Weck stated: “Location-based entertainment creates another tool for brands in our 360-degree offering as part of the global WildBrain organisation, bolstering our integrated capabilities across content creation, audience engagement and global licensing. LBE is a fast-growing segment globally, with APAC being a key opportunity, and we have big ambitions in this space. With Kevin’s global LBE experience and Evi’s highly impressive expertise in APAC, we’re perfectly placed to help brands capitalise on the significant and growing opportunities this sector presents.”
TOTAL LICENSING x 28
LBE BUSINESS LAUNCH FROM WILDBRAIN CPLG
THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD OF SOPHIE ANDOUIN MAMIKONIAN
Coming from a family of authors and writers, Sophie carries the courtesy title HRH Princess Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian hence the Princess Sam company name), and clearly has boundless energy and enthusiasm. Her hugely successful Tara Duncan series of books have been sold into 80 countries and translated into 27 languages – something that Sophie still finds amazing.
“Tara Duncan wasn’t exactly an overnight success,” she explained. “I wrote the first book in 1987 when I was in my early twenties and had just had a baby. To be honest, I was bored and really wanted to find something to do.”
And so Tara Duncan was born! And for 16 years Sophie sent it to countless publishers who told her that magic didn’t sell and her first book, aimed at 12+, was too big at around 500 pages.
Sophie was undeterred. In the intervening years, she wrote more than 40 books. And her persistence paid off in 2003 when, following the success of Harry Potter, publishers realised that larger books, and magic, really did sell!
Fast forward to 2019 and Princess Sam Entertainment Group was formed by Sophie to produce and distribute new series and international children’s licenses.
Their first project is the Tara Duncan animated series. The first 52 x 13 minute episodes launched in 2022 and the first season, based on the initial Tara Duncan book, has already been sold into 80 countries. A second season, with 52 new episodes is currently in production, with plans to produce 2 x 26 minute specials. A digital ecosystem is also in development to expand Tara’s magical universe.
Sophie was determined to surround herself with experts in their relevant fields in order to grow the company and expand their base. Najib Michel Fayed, joined her bringing his expertise in all things toy and licensing-based and Laurent Taieb brings more than thirty years of proven operational experience in all aspects of consumer products and licensing to the Tara Duncan licensing campaign.
The team are looking to ensure that Tara Duncan is a long term brand not a quick hit. Sophie believes that they are best positioned to create the initial toy line – and video games – and whilst other products will be licensed, a network of first class agents is being put in place.
The company has already appointed bRAND-WARD for the UK, Consumer Product Connection in Spain and Portugal and Maurizio Distefano Licensing in Italy. In addition Princess Sam Consumer Products have ap-
pointed International Merchandising Consultants who will handle the Tara Duncan program across multiple territories across Latin America and the Caribbean and J&M for Benelux countries. In terms of distributing the series, Princess Sam Entertainment Group recently appointed major international distribution company Superights as global distributor for Tara Duncan. Superights will represent worldwide rights distribution except for Mainland China.
At the same time, Princess Sam Consumer Products is launching its own range of figurines, playsets and dolls at retail in France from this Autumn, thanks to its French distributor WTT. More territories will follow. The Tara Duncan licensing programme has also signed a license in the French market to toy company tonies. Along with toys and games, other categories being targeted include back to school, stationery, home textiles, apparel, fashion accessories, beauty and personal care, food and beverage and gifts.
This year, Princess Sam Consumer Products will also be at Brand Licensing Europe with a stand (A162).
Commenting, Laurent Taieb said, “With a strong and growing network of best-in-class agents, Princess Sam Consumer Products is ready to meet growing consumer demand for licensed product. And where better to promote one of the world’s most popular adventure-comedy-fantasy properties than at one of the world’s most important licensing events? We’re looking forward enormously to telling visitors to Stand A162 about the great opportunities offered by this amazing property.”
And the activity doesn’t stop there. Sophie is currently buying over 400 hectares of land near Lisbon in Portugal to create her own studio and is busy updating and modernising some of her early books. And how does she relax? “In the very little free time she has, she plays golf!
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A hugely successful and action-packed creator, author and entrepreneur, Sophie Andouin Mamikonian is a breath of fresh air in the entertainment, publishing and licensing industries!
FALCON’S BEYOND ANNOUNCE NEW ATTRACTIONS IN CHINA
Falcon’s Beyond has announced its debut project as part of its joint venture with Raging Power Limited, an arm of K11 Group, the Hong Kong-based cultural commerce giant. Through their joint venture, these two trailblazers in entertainment and retail, respectively, are expected to collaborate to develop and launch new entertainment franchises and locationbased entertainment (LBE) attractions across China.
The new global alliance comes ahead of Falcon’s planning to become a publicly listed company on Nasdaq, strengthens its position in the world’s second largest economic market, and accelerates the Orlando-based company’s global expansion. The joint venture simultaneously solidifies K11 Group’s position as one of the world’s foremost purveyors of retail entertainment experiences and provides
our sights set on China, the world’s second largest consumer market, as we continue to grow our company and bring innovative consumer experiences to people around the world.”
Falcon’s alliance with K11 Group bolsters its strong track record in China and advances its investment in a global expansion through a larger presence in Asia, where it recently opened a flagship office in the Philippines. Over the past two decades, Falcon’s has developed a variety of consumer entertainment attractions, incorporating some of the world’s most iconic brands, for clients in Asia. Through its K11 Group joint venture, the Company is -- for the first time -- creating immersive experiences built around new, proprietary IP it has developed. The first new attraction experience being developed by Falcon’s under the joint venture is the underwater adven-
vide creative food and beverage offerings, along with retail components.
The first Vquarium immersive LBE is expected to launch in 2025 at K11 Group’s heralded 11 SKIES retailtainment destination. This is the first collaboration between Falcon’s and K11 Group, following Falcon’s nearly two decades of work in China. 11 SKIES is anticipated to be the largest retailtainment landmark in Hong Kong, with a total gross floor area of 3.8M ft2 (353K m2), 800 shops including 120 dining concepts, the largest indoor entertainment hub featuring 8 world class attractions, and 3 office towers providing professional services including wealth management and medical services. Located between Hong Kong International Airport and Hong KongZhuhai-Macao Bridge connecting to the Greater Bay Area, the HK$20billion project is expected to entice Hong Kong residents, visitors from across the rest of China and travelers passing through the airport.
“Toni’s extensive experience in hospitality and entertainment, working with some of the world’s most recognized brands, made her the unquestioned top choice for this important new position at Falcon’s,” said President Simon Philips. “Complementing her industry experience are her skills as a communicator and business leader that are invaluable to a company like ours that is on the cusp of massive global growth and the eve of becoming a publicly listed company.”
them with co-ownership of attractive IP to launch through LBEs and beyond, including entertainment and consumer products, across China.
“As a global giant who shares our mission to develop state-of-the-art, gamechanging consumer entertainment experiences, K11 Group is an ideal partner for Falcon’s as we continue our international growth, particularly across Asia, by expanding popular franchises across the world,” said Cecil D. Magpuri, CEO of Falcon’s Beyond. “Firmly established in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean, we now have
ture themed Vquarium™. Providing a science fiction-like experience that is rooted entirely in the natural world, Vquarium will be a story-driven interactive adventure that explores oceans and waterways around the globe in a wonder-filled narrative that offers intimate and empowering encounters with virtual sea life to entertain, educate, and inspire. Vquarium will be introduced through an interactive attraction that allows visitors to simulate going on an immersive undersea voyage. A multi-room, multi-level experience, the attraction will also pro-
Following its debut at 11 SKIES,Vquarium is planned to expand to nearly a dozen additional locations across China in the coming years.
Falcon’s also expects to launch Vquarium in other high-profile markets outside of Asia.
Under the joint venture, Falcon’s plans to expand the Vquarium experience beyond LBEs, across all forms of entertainment, including media content, video games, and consumer products. This IP expansion model is core to the company’s mission and purpose, to accelerate franchise activations concurrently across physical and digital experiences.
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to extend the Minecraft franchise beyond the game as the brand heads into its 15th anniversary in 2024.
Minecraft, the best-selling video game about breaking and placing blocks where players work together to create wonderful and imaginative things, has sold more than 238 million copies across all platforms since debuting in 2009. Minecraft is played by millions of players in every country and territory around the world, including Antarctica and the Vatican City.
What started as a game is now a platform and canvas for creative expression and has evolved into an evergreen entertainment franchise with a robust consumer products and retail program.
Since 2021, the Minecraft brand business has doubled with now over 150 partners worldwide in a multitude of categories, including toys, games, publishing, apparel/accessories, seasonal,
paper goods, and more. Global partners include LEGO, Mattel, Hasbro, Random House, Hallmark, Panini, Paladone Havaianas, and Uniqlo.
Regional partners include Kellogg’s, Crayola, American Greetings, Crunchpak, Dynacraft, Huffy, Bladez Toys, Procos, Andromeda, Fashion UK, Character World, Cataic, and Caprice, to mention a few.Minecraft has also formed strategic collaborations with several renowned global fashion lines, including Crocs, Burberry, Lacoste, and Puma.
Minecraft products are carried at key retailers, including Walmart, Target, Amazon, Kohl’s, GameStop, Barnes & Noble, Primark, Pottery Barn, , Best Buy, Hot Topic, Smyths, Tesco, EB Games, Big W, Liverpool, C&A, Asda, and Riachuelo to name a few.
Mojang’s vision for Minecraft is to inspire generations of game changers by building a world through the power of
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Led by Federico San Martin, Sr. Global Head of Consumer Products for Minecraft, Microsoft’s Mojang Studios attends Brand Licensing Europe (CAA Suite# A251) looking at opportunities
Federico San Martin, Sr. Global Head of Consumer Products for Minecraft
play via games, content, new merchandise, retail launches and promotional partners, by incorporating the core values of crafting together, celebrating creativity, fueling passion, and creating fun!
What’s New for Minecraft:
Minecraft is always looking at opportunities to extend the franchise beyond the game for the community to experience it in many different ways.
This includes expanding consumer product categories, partnering with Warner Bros. on our upcoming movie and looking at bringing Minecraft to life via location based experience opportunities.
The focus for the next three years will be on category and global expansion with new partners in the Collectibles, Consumer Electronics, Food and Beverage, Health and Beauty categories and more, to be announced soon.
New Food Product Launch!
Nick’s will be launching Minecraft Nut Bars in Europe in September featuring two unique flavors inspired by iconic
items and blocks from the game, available for purchase at retail locations across Europe. The Nut Bars will be available in the US in October.
Minecraft’s First Loyalty Program!
In partnership with CAA, Minecraft launched (August 2023) its first loyalty program in Europe via a partnership with L Founders, a leader in the Loyalty Program space, which entails a retail promotion with Tesco in Central and Eastern Europe running through October 24th.
How it works: Gifts and breakpoints vary with country, but for every certain amount consumers spend, a gift is included. For example, for every 8 euros, a small Minecraft gift is included. For every 20 euros, a larger Minecraft gift is included. Consumers also have the option to purchase the small gift for a flat 8 euros and/or the larger gift for a flat 20 euros.
Said San Martin: “Loyalty as a new category is a very large part of consumer shopping behavior in Europe due to the heavy fragmentation of retailers so
it is increasingly important for retailers to partner with IP such as Minecraft to incentivize their consumers.
With L Founders wealth of experience in the space, relationships with retailers, and expertise managing many different branded programs, we are in a good position to grow this category for our consumer products business. In terms of our current program with Tesco, it’s still very early in the program but all signs are indicating a very strong start with products overperforming, especially the mugs, bowls, and creeper bottle!”
A Theatrical Feature Release in 2025!
The first live-action theatrical movie adaptation of Minecraft from Warner Bros. is currently in the works, starring Jason Momoa (Aquaman, Dune), will hit theaters on April 4, 2025. The film is being directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre).
Major retail programs have been secured to honor/celebrate Minecraft’s 15th Anniversary.
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New data from Licensing International’s 2023 Global Licensing Industry Study shows that worldwide sales of licensed merchandise and services reached $340.8 billion in 2022, an 8.02% increase compared to 2021.
LICENSING LOOKS AHEAD!
The global brand licensing industry is thriving, thanks in large part to significant shifts in consumer demand.
New data from Licensing International’s 2023 Global Licensing Industry Study shows that worldwide sales of licensed merchandise and services reached $340.8 billion in 2022, an 8.02% increase compared to 2021.
Due to historic inflation that manifested itself in wholesale price increases from manufacturers in an effort to offset rising raw material and logistics costs, the reported worldwide inflation rate of 8.8% was factored into the study for the first time.
Even taking inflation into consideration, however, brands proved to be a difference-maker in 2022 as the licensing industry performed far better than the overall worldwide retail market.
Much of the recent growth in licensing is being driven by consumers’ desire to feel connected and spark joy. This has resulted in a healthy appetite for experiences, entertainment, travel,
dining, and festive gatherings. At-home consumption categories may have dominated sales in 2020 and 2021 during lockdowns, but out-of-home experiences bounced back in a big way in 2022 as consumers set out to rediscover the world.
Product categories that supported consumers in their efforts to reconnect saw significant success. Top performing growth property categories in 2022 included Music (+26.1%), Sports (+19.5%), and Collegiate (+11.4%).
Music benefited from artists performing live, while the Sports and Collegiate categories were bolstered by an increase in attendance at sporting events and the growing Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) landscape, respectively.
Location-Based Entertainment (+67.3%) and Licensed Services including restaurants, hotels, travel, and hospitality (+205.6%) reported massive growth in 2022. A number of LBE offerings that had previously been
delayed due to the pandemic opened their doors during that period, including everything from theme parks to pop-ups and from experiential retail to family entertainment centers.
And while the beloved characters and classic storytelling elements of entertainment properties naturally lend themselves to in-person offerings, a number of different brands are getting in on the LBE action.
Categories spanning board games (like MRM Entertainment and Hasbro’s Monopoly-themed permanent attraction Monopoly Dreams HK) and celebrities (like Bravado’s L.A. takeover of luxury retailer The Webster in celebration of Elton John’s final shows at Dodger Stadium) are also taking advantage of the deep engagement location-based entertainment offerings provide.
In fact, the LBE market showed so much strength last year that product categories that can be connected to in-person events also enjoyed increases during the same period. For exam-
Global Sales Revenue from Licensed Merchandise & Services
By Property Type, 2022 - Total Worldwide: $340.823m
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Retail Sales Channels Splits
ple, the 2023 Global Licensing Industry Study found that Fashion Accessories (+7.0%), Health & Beauty (+7.0%), Footwear (+6.0%) and Apparel (+5.9) all posted solid performances in 2022.
This expansion is only expected to continue. According to recent data from Grand View Research, the LBE market is expected to increase 28.8% from 2023 to 2030, to the tune of $24.7 billion.
In order to provide licensing professionals with all of the insights they need to fully take advantage of this growing market, location-based entertainment is the theme for this year’s Brand Licensing Europe event in October. Several panels and keynotes at the event will focus on emerging strategies and key players in the LBE space.
The Entertainment/Character sector, meanwhile, reported more modest growth in 2022. It remains the leading market share category with a 40.5% of the business, but it reported growth (+6.3%) below the market rate due to a lack of new content. Many of the licensing executives interviewed for the 2023 Global Licensing Industry Study reported an entertainment “void,” with several commenting that classic characters and existing franchises were the best licensing performers last year.
And, in fact, the top eight highest earning movies of 2022 were all sequels or
continuations of existing franchises. Licensing for those films relied largely on the franchises’ evergreen elements rather than the creation of new consumer product programs tied specifically to the new films. But Mattel and Warner Bros. Discovery proved consumers are hungry for original content with the launch of Barbie. The movie may have been based on an existing brand, but the story was entirely fresh and connected deeply with fans of all ages. The live-action film inspired over 100 licensing agreements and made more than $1 billion at the global box office, demonstrating just how hungry audiences are for unique entertainment experiences.
Consumers’ desire for new entertainment also informed the retail landscape in 2022. In-store retail foot traffic was up, and Coresight Research reported that twice as many stores opened than closed in the U.S. retail market over the past year. In an effort to continue to drive that traffic, retailers focused on exclusive products and promotions as well as experiential exhibits.
These experiential retail offerings took many forms, including events like the Bridgerton-themed tea tastings at the New York flagship Carousel at Bloomingdale’s as well as shop-in-shop activations like BoxLunch and Sanrio’s interactive Hello Kitty and Friends Kawaii Mart. Anchored by an exclusive collection including apparel, home goods, and bags, the Hello Kitty shop-
in-shop locations featured a real-world Kawaii Mart with interactive props inspired by the assortment. Beyond these in-person efforts, the Global Licensing Industry Study shows retailers are employing new strategies, such as concentrating on smaller store footprints in more traveled areas to take advantage of consumer entertainment traffic. This new take on retail, combined with LBE tie-ins, are transforming consumers’ shopping trips into branded entertainment experiences.
Keeping up with Consumers
From inventory issues to inflation, the past year posed massive challenges to the global brand licensing industry. The fact that the industry was still able to grow by 8.02% is due in large part to brand owners, licensees, and retailers having been able to adapt and take advantage of opportunities wherever possible. Moving forward, evolving retail strategies and the continued focus on growing categories like sports, music, and location-based entertainment are expected to drive ongoing expansion and innovation.
Because, ultimately, the ability to keep pace with rapidly changing consumer demands is what allowed the licensing landscape to thrive over the past year and it is what will continue to support the industry moving forward. Keeping the consumer experience at the heart of investments in brands and products will be the key to prosperity in the licensing industry.
About Licensing International
Licensing International is the leading trade organization for the $340+ billion global brand licensing industry. Licensing International’s mission is to foster the growth and expansion of brand licensing around the world, raise the level of professionalism for licensing practitioners, and create greater awareness of the benefits of licensing to the business community at large. Founded in 1985, more than 1,500 Licensing International member companies in over 40 countries enjoy access to an array of benefits, including extensive educational programming and worldwide networking events.
For more information visit LicensingInternational.org
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BULLDOG LICENSING: STRONG 2023 - EVEN STRONGER 2024!
Kids’ and family brands have been big successes throughout 2023 for one of the licensing industry’s leading agencies and Bulldog Licensing has even higher hopes for the coming year.
It’s been another strong year for Bulldog Licensing as one of the licensing industry’s leading agencies builds on established hits and continue to grow new favourites.
Retail sales of Care Bears in the UK grew 894% to the end of 2022, with growth continuing in 2023. As Care Bears’ UK agent, Bulldog Licensing has welcomed a wide range of partners, with recent launches including jigsaw puzzles from Gibsons Games, pin badges and embroidered badges from Pawprint Trading and candles from Flamingo Candles.
Magic Mixies, the brand inspired by the award-winning and multi-millionselling Magic Mixies Cauldron, which is used to create an interactive magical Mixie pet, has been a runaway hit since launch, both in its own right and as inspiration for licensed products.
Bulldog and brand owner Moose Toys are building on Magic Mixies’ strength at retail, most recently in categories that include nightwear, health and beauty, and lunchware, and are now in advanced discussion with a number of partners across secondary toy, arts and crafts, publishing, home and soft lines.
Odo is a beautiful 2D-3D animated series for pre-schoolers in which a little owl at the Forest camp for Young Birds learns about friendship and self-belief among a diverse and delightful group of feathered
The first two English-language Odo book titles from master publisher Macmillan were published in March 2023 and one –Super Owl – was included in the Milkshake Mornings live readings of books for kids at Parkdean Resorts, the UK’s largest holiday park
Best-in-class partners signed by Bulldog for the Odo UK licensing programme include Poetic Brands, RJ Bags, Roy Lowe and Rainbow Productions. It was late in 2022 that Carte Blanche Greet ings, best known for the award-winning Me to You brand, its signature character Tatty Teddy and the nursery property Tiny Tatty Teddy, announced a partnership with Bulldog Licensing. Since 2001 Carte Blanche has partnered with best-in-class licensees to bring to market best-selling Me to You products across a wide range of categories. Recent licensing deals include Brand Threads for nightwear, Pawprint Family for patches and pins and Craft Buddy for arts and crafts kits.
women’s and unisex clothing, cool gifts and accessories, and Pawprint Family, which supplies patches and pins of fan-favourite characters, have both recently launched new Sesame Street collections for adults.
In PUBG: Battlegrounds, from leading global game company Krafton, up to 100 participants parachute onto strategic locations in a winner-takes-all
Sesame Street is a key focus for Bulldog in the UK. New launches in the wellness and homeware categories, as well as Just Play’s successful highquality toy range, designed to support children’s learning and development, have been boosted by Sesame Street’s hugely successful and growing presence on Tiny Pop, the UK’s number one commercial channel for preschoolers.
Of course, generations of fans have grown up with the show and the brand, so it’s no surprise that it continues to increase its strong presence in the adult market. TruffleShuffle, a leading name in exclusive retro t-shirts, men’s,
showdown. Bulldog Licensing plans to build on the massive awareness of this multi-billion-dollar brand and develop licensed merchandise for the European market in several categories, including adult apparel, collectibles, gifts, novelties, accessories, housewares, publishing and, of course, game peripherals.
As for 2024, Bulldog Licensing Group MD Rob Corney says: “It’s going to be Incredible! We have a lot to offer potential licensing partners with proven hits and amazing IP across a wide range of adult, kids’ and family brands with strong plans to build growth across all retail channels.”
ARTEX LAUNCHES LIMITED EDITION BEDDING COLLECTION
The collector’s collection features nostalgic limited-edition pieces designed for fans of the world’s most beloved sailor
The adventures of Popeye the Sailor Man, which originated in the “Thimble Theater” comic strip and were broadcast on television since the 1960s, have left a lasting mark on generations. The character and his inseparable spinach have been forever etched in our collective imagination and, through a new partnership with Brazilian home goods company ARTEX, can now be found in the homes of all fans.
Inspired by Popeye’s special history, ARTEX, a brand known for bold and creative collaborations with iconic pop culture characters such as Hello Kitty, invites Popeye fans to embark on a nostalgic and exclusive adventure in their new limited edition bedding collection featuring a quilt, sheet set and pillow.
“Our challenge was to develop a line that would evoke a sense of nostalgia in our customers and at the same time create this proposal of a super limited edition set, transforming each item into a collector’s piece,” said Barbara Gomes, Director of Commercial, Product, and Quality at ARTEX.
“This beautifully designed bedding collection captures Popeye’s spirit of ad-
venture and the nostalgia that he is associated with. Available only for a limited time, the set is sure to be a showstopper in any fan’s home,” added Carla Silva, vice president/ general manager and global head of licensing for King Features.
To support the launch, posters emblazoned with “WANTED: POPEYE FANS” will take over the city of São Paulo in a fun campaign, directing Popeye fans to an exclusive page where they can register for a first look at the collection. Furthermore, The Artex team is also taking to social media with exciting campaign videos to support the collection.
The available items include:
100% Cotton Sailor Popeye Bed Sheet The set includes pieces for single, double, and queen beds with a sailorthemed print. Prices vary according to size, ranging from R$399.90 to R$579.90.
Reversible Sailor Popeye Quilt Set Pieces for single, double, and queen beds, priced from R$499.90 to R$679.90.
The World of Tom Gates
With a successful second series available on Sky Kids, a third series currently in production - supported by a highprofile Sky VIP competition to voice a character – and a new book published in September, The Brilliant World of Tom Gates created by Liz Pichon con tinues to doodle its way to greater tri umphs! Tom Gates’s Licensing agent ThePoint.188 has signed 12 UK licens ees including deals with Amscan, Igloo and Intercake. A new advent calendar from Woodmansterne launches in September and a range of exclusive new products are planned for the Tom Gates online shop including a calendar and personalised t-shirts.
The 21st book in Liz Pichon’s series, Tom Gates: Five Star Stories (Hooray!), is published by Scholastic in midSeptember, accompanied by a story competition and serialisation in First News,
Velvet Reversible Spinach Pillowcase (R$79.90)
Additionally, the brand has developed a certificate of authenticity for collectors, which will accompany all products in the collection.
The complete limited edition collection can be found on the Artex website or in brick-and-mortar stores and started on September 5th until stocks last.
Popeye and Olive Oyl are owned by King Features Syndicate, a unit of Hearst and home to some of the world’s most popular entertainment characters. The partnership was brokered by Vertical Licensing, King Feature’s licensing agent in Brazil.
plus a TV advertising campaign.
Author Liz Pichon will be supporting the new book launch with various TV appearances. Liz has also recently launched Season 2 of her popular popular Podcast Tremendous Tales with new author guests including Emily Gravett (10 Cats) and Sarah McIntyre (Roly Poly Flying Pony). TG Entertainment is currently planning to expand into Waterstone’s, Aldi and extend the range in John Lewis.
The company is also further developing its relationship with ASDA following their World Book Day collaboration.
Tom Gates continues to grow its international profile with new broadcasters for the series confirmed in Thailand (TrueVision), Australia(Stan) and more imminent. Tom Gates Brilliant World YouTube channel has rolled out to multiple territories, and Igloo will also launch the Tom Gates ColourMania product in Australia in early 2024.
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The Poetic Brands Story - 15 Years On!
Poetic Brands is a very successful name in the highly competitive world of apparel licensing. But its first 15 years haven’t always been plain sailing, as four of its senior figures explain...
Poetic Brands, which forms part of the PDS family of companies, this year celebrates 15 years since its launch –when it was an upstart newcomer in a crowded field.
Back then it was known as the li censing arm of Poeticgem. The name was changed to Poetic Brands after seven years, by which time it had established itself as a standalone vertical business. Today it is a significant player with an impressive roster of valued and respected clients.
Poetic Brands’ success isn’t an acci dent. Founder Elliott Matthews start ed out at the licensed clothing com pany Smith and Brooks, co-founded by his father Gerry Matthews and Mark Segalov. After his father sold the business, Elliott decided to put his skills to good use and strike out on his own.
At the time, Poeticgem’s owner, PDS, was looking at licencing. It wasn’t a market you took on lightly: licensed clothing was highly competitive.
Tasked with managing the move into licensed apparel, Elliott Matthews and his Design Director Paul Coleman started their journey by acquiring the rights for England Cricket and England Rugby apparel, followed soon after by the England FA.
When these were further complimented by licenses such as Basil Brush, the Poetic Gem licensing arm was up and running – and soon stocked by major bricks and mortar retailers like M&S and Asda.
Then came Despicable Me 2. This turbo-charged the business. Demand was phenomenal for onesies, nightwear, underwear – in fact “anything
you could put a Minion on”, as Paul Coleman puts it.
The adult apparel business was going from strength to strength but the kids’ space was very crowded. The team therefore decided to put this on hold and solely focus on adults for the time being.
gaming, tech accessories, beauty, toys and gifts.
Something more fundamental has also changed in the past 15 years: production. Anne explains: “Sustainability is a massive focus. We are very fortunate that as part of PDS we are able to pursue the lifecycle of our products. We are currently working on a piece with Products of Change which will be a big focus at the Sustainability in Licensing Conference (SILC) in November this year.”
That’s not the only ambitious strategy drive for Poetic Brands. As Paul says: “We are predominantly UK but are starting to go into Europe and giving targeting a more global perspective, having recently opened accounts with Celio, Pull and Bear and Bershka.”
This proved to be a wise decision. Substantial growth continued, leading to a stronger position when Anne Bradford came on board as a Co-director in 2019. She helped to drive a second attempt at the baby and children’s demographic, along with a move into accessories. “And it was probably the right time to do it,” she says, “except for Covid, which hit just a few months after we had started this venture!”
Ironically this was less of a problem than you might think. Supermarkets still sold clothing and demand remained high. And, as Anne points out, “we carried on doing as much kidswear development as we could through Covid”. Today kidswear and babywear is a fast-growing part of the business, along with accessories and footwear.
More recently, a collaboration with Brand Collective – another PDS vertical business known for its unique tech and lifestyle products – extended the Poetic reach to categories such as
Meanwhile the core business continues to find big names to work with – like Snoop Dog and Ibiza club Pacha – and demand is growing. Anne says: “During Covid, sales on loungewear and jersey products grew. People were turning to licensed apparel as a source of familiarity, nostalgia, and definitely comfort. Now there is a step change as life gets back to normal and we are building into more categories.”
The last word comes from David Bowyer, Operations Director and one of the longest-serving members of the company. “We are blessed with a fantastic and dedicated team of designers, merchandisers, QAs and account managers. Being part of the PDS family ensures that we have complete visibility and compliance on our supply chain and financial stability in a tough market. We’re looking forward to the next 15 years!”
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Visit Total Licensing at Brand Licensing Europe, Booth E131
As a proud media partner of Brand Licensing Europe, you can pick up your printed copies of this issue or Total Brand Licensing which both have prominent distribution at the show.
Brand Licensing Europe returns to ExCeL London from 4-6 October.The industry will gather to see some of the biggest brands, retail buyers and more. Hundreds of exhibitors join thousands of attendees to celebrate the world of licensing - with the theme of this year’s show being Location-Based Experiences. Read on for some highlights to expect!
Rainbow heads to BLE with a focus on two out of its classic IPs and two upcoming new productions adding to its outstanding brand portfolio; the evergreen hit series Winx Club and the animated CGI adaptation of Pinocchio and Friends launching season 2 and building on the international ratings success. Both brands have established consumer product programmes which Rainbow will unveil at the event.
Two new IPs will stand out on Rainbow’s booth at BLE 2023. The first big announcement is Gormiti The New Era, CGI-enhanced live action series in partnership with Giochi Preziosi that takes the popular franchise to screens for 6-11yr boys. 20x22’ episodes full of action and special effects, anticipating an extensive merchandising and marketing campaign already in place. Last but not least, this year’s BLE will see the amazing debut of the group’s upcoming Mermaid Magic, a fantasy adventure produced for Netflix which draws upon the core values of environmental respect and friendship. The anticipated show will bring the magic of the sea to the forefront with a wave of colourful licensing opportunities. Bulldog Licensing will be promoting yet another strong line-up of brands, headlined by such world-beating names as classic property Care Bears, toy phenomenon Magic Mixies, international hit pre-school TV show Odo, globally top-rating gaming brand PUBG, the iconic Me to You character brand, and evergreen hit Sesame Street.
Bulldog Licensing Group MD Rob Corney says: “It’s been another busy year for Bulldog Licensing as we build on established hits and continue to grow new favourites. From adventure and magic to comedy and classics, there’s no doubt we have a lot to offer potential licensing partners across a wide range of kids’ and family brands.” First-time exhibitor Blonde Sheep announced that over the coming years the Swizzels brands (Love Hearts, Refreshers, Drumsticks, Parma Violets) are celebrating various anniversaries. Starting with the 70th anniversary of Love Hearts in 2024 and culminating with the 100th anniversary of Swizzels in 2028. In addition to building on the existing licensing programme the agency is looking to collaborate with brands and retailers for the anniversaries.
Millions sweets are seeing a lot of success in the nutritional supplements sector with more products launching next year. Their delicious flavours and aromas which are both retro and current translate well into both the food and non-food sector in the UK and Europe.
Available globally in all categories, the Advisory Bored, a collective of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, has created a trend driven style guide for licensees. In addition to products the Advisory Bored supports licensees with community building tools, such as digital tokens, Web3 environments and gamification and recently launched their own 3D community on Spatial.
With more than 25 offices around the world, IMG represents some of the world’s most prestigious corporate trademarks and institutions, sports brands, teams and federations, fashion labels, lifestyle, media, and entertainment properties, as well as major personalities.
Over the last few years, IMG has facilitated a range of creative and unique location-based entertainment (LBE) activations to help clients further build their brands and engage with audiences in impactful, new ways.
Talking about LBE’s rising popularity, Christian Zeidler, Vice President of Licensing, Dubai, IMG, said, “Post the pandemic, when the Homebody Consumer trend was causing havoc in the retail industry, Location Based Entertainment emerged as a perfect solution for many brands and businesses.
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It allowed them to combine leisure, hospitality and retail elements to give people a reason to leave the comfort of their homes. The industry’s doubledigit growth is projected to continue in the coming years, supported by the recent technological breakthroughs in immersive video content, augmented, virtual and mixed reality, 3D project mapping, and more.”
Recently, IMG facilitated a deal between Rovio’s Angry Birds and SCG America to launch the first-ever Angry Birds-themed retail café in New York City. Designed for individuals and families alike, the 3,300-square-foot iSwii by Angry Birds features Angry
gameplay platform Playneo. The game, which employs cutting-edge technology and engaging narratives to create an immersive experience, will be available across locations in the USA, Austria, Germany and the United Emirates from October 2023. With a finger firmly on the pulse of times, IMG brought the World of Barbie to Santa Monica, USA, in April this year.
series of special shows, themed parties, panels, and interactive events. IMG’s licensing representatives will be at the BLE at Stand B250.
Birds-themed culinary treats, interactive gaming, a retail section and Instagrammable statue installations. Expanding Angry Birds’ LBE portfolio, IMG also facilitated a deal to bring the brand to Attraktion!’s immersive
Meanwhile, in a deal facilitated by IMG, the San Diego Comic Convention has teamed up with Entertainment Cruise Productions to produce Comic-Con: The Cruise. Setting sail in 2025 from Florida to Cozumel onboard Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas, the cruise will be the ultimate fan adventure giving passionate fans across the globe a chance to interact with their favourite stars and creators through a
Walker Books will have a fully themed stand based on the beloved book and brand Guess How Much I Love You at the event. The themed stand will provide an immersive experience for attendees, showcasing the charm and appeal of the book through visual displays, interactive elements, and merchandise related to the story. Pindy O’Brien International Licensing & Market Development Director commented; “We are excited to share so many great updates for Guess How Much I Love You. The book sales have now reached an incredible 57 million copies and the licensing revenue for the brand has increased significantly over the last 5 years. We are in a great position to make our 30th Anniversary a huge success.”
The retail distribution for the “Guess How Much I Love You” products is also expanding in Germany, with the inclusion of Aldi and Hofer to our list of retailers. Walker Books is actively seeking licensing agents in key territories to further expand the presence of the brand.
Beanstalk, a global brand extension licensing agency, offers a breadth of services across its practice areas including Brand Representation, Digital Media Representation (Tinderbox), Manufacturer Representation, Consulting, Cultural Intelligence, Brand Partnerships, Legal and Financial Services and Royalty Auditing. Beanstalk will be showcasing its lineup of world-
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leading brands, including Proctor & Gamble, Stanley Black+Decker, Audi, Bentley, Volvo, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, WW, Guinness, Baileys, Kelloggs, TGI Fridays, Xbox, Activision, Ubisoft and Atari.
Start Licensing are celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year. Firmly established as an independent Licensing agency and consultancy Start Licensing are well regarded in the industry particularly for their focussed and innovative approach to licensing. Brands they represent include The Ashmolean Museum, Aardman Animations, Britvic
market. A new style guide will be unveiled at BLE.
Start also represent US based artist Kendra Dandy and her property Bouffants and Broken Hearts. Licensees for this dynamic art brand include Blueprint Collections, UK Greetings and Cooneen.
Recent new deals for Start Licensing and their clients include Bird & Blend Tea launching a Wallace & Gromit tea blend, Schwartz launching a range of meal kits and spice blends with Nadiya Hussain and China Petals launching mosaic craft kits with the Ashmolean
Soft Drinks, Asterix, Spirit of Concorde, Nadiya Hussain and Jane Devonshire.
They have recently been appointed to represent Edition Holden – A Country Diary. A property that has enjoyed considerable success in the licensing
Museum. Graphenstone Paints who have developed the Treasured Collection Paint Collection with the Ashmolean have recently won awards for the range from Livingetc and Country & Town House magazines. This paint collection is also nominated for an award in the forthcoming Licensing Awards in the Sustainability category. Start Licensing also offer licensing consultancy services for IP owners – this includes new business development and licensing strategy work.
Commemorating its 100th anniversary, Hasbro returns to BLE (Booth A211) to reveal fresh innovations and experiences based Peppa Pig, Transformers, Monopoly, Nerf, Dungeons & Dragons, and My Little Pony.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises is continuing to bring the Dr. Seuss world and its characters to life with new entertainment and content deals including Warner Brothers Animation- The Cat in the Hat feature film will kick off the
new Dr. Seuss movie slate followed by Thing One and Thing Two in an original feature length animated adventure. Bad Robot Productions has also been tapped to adapt Oh, the Places You’ll Go! for the big screen with J.J. Abrams and head of motion pictures Hannah Minghella as producers on the film and visionary director Jon Chu.
Aardman will present news around the much anticipated Chicken Run sequel Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget which is coming to Netflix this December and the film’s release will be supported by a strong licensing and promotional programme with product launching throughout the autumn across apparel, publishing, toy & games and gift & homeware categories.
With Nick Park’s latest film offering featuring national treasures Wallace & Gromit in production and the duo’s first interactive, narrative-led VR experience The Grand Getaway set to launch later this year there’s a variety of content for Wallace & Gromit fans to look forward to.
Fans have also been treated to some new attractions and live experiences including the launch of a brand-new Wallace & Gromit live show for P&O Cruises’ newest ship, Arvia: All Hands On Deck! with the partnership extended across all five family friendly ships and the first Wallace & Gromit escape room with Locked In A Room
in Bristol. The team are interested to explore international licenses for this popular attraction format with potential new partners.
The Shaun the Sheep brand is currently being introduced to a whole new generation of international fans. New York Botanical Gardens (NYBG) and Jewel Branding and Licensing have appointed Metrostar to manage NYBG’s brand licensing in the UK and Ireland. The campaign will launch at BLE 2023. NYBG is the United States’ largest botanical garden and a national landmark that is focused on conservation, plant research and education. The brand draws inspiration from an archive of designs that date back to the 12th century.
In 2023 the brand has seen significant
Metrostar in a multi-year deal in the UK and Ireland. The campaign will be launched at Brand Licensing Europe. Metrostar will launch and manage London Zoo’s licensing programme, working together with the conservation charity and its branding experts, opening the internationally recognised brand to new categories with a special focus on engaging pre-schoolers, schoolers and their families; the conservationists of tomorrow. Items will include homeware, stationary, toys and games, clothing, books, and publishing.
from Outer Space, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, and Pink Panther, which kicked off its 60th anniversary in June. They will also be discussing licensing opportunities tied to the 100th anniversary of MGM.
Penguin Ventures is the licensing and consumer products division of Penguin Random House Children’s UK and will be showcasing its portfolio of iconic literary brands and characters at BLE.
growth globally, particularly in apparel and fashion accessories. NYBG partnered with LeSportsac on a colorful new floral collection of handbags, totes and backpacks that launched worldwide in Spring. New partnerships in Asia include CutisBio in Korea for skincare, New Era (Japan) for headwear and a second season with Mash Style Labs for sleepwear under the Snidel Home label. In the US, the programme also includes bath & body, fragrance, tea, home textiles, stationery, puzzles & floral subscription service. In the UK, Carousel Calendars is introducing 2024 and 2025 calendars. Luxury online wall décor purveyor Surface View, is a long-standing partner for wall murals, art prints, tiles, shades, and other curated wall and home décor items. The collection showcases botanical and architectural gems from NYBG’s historic archives. London Zoo, a ZSL conservation Zoo, has launched into licensing with
MGM, an Amazon company, continues to expand and evolve the licensing strategy for its roster of iconic entertainment properties. At Brand Licensing Europe 2023, MGM will showcase some of their biggest properties including Wednesday, Killer Klowns
The World of Eric Carle, will be on stand this year following Penguin Ventures’ recent appointment as UK licensing agent for this beautiful brand. Penguin Ventures has teamed with live specialists, to take classic brands off the page and into exciting new environments, connecting with family audiences like never before. Plans for 2023 include The Peninsular Hotel collabo-
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ration with The World of Peter Rabbit and an incredible immersive dome experience for The Snowman and The Snowdog, plus a high-profile afternoon tea partner will help to sprinkle some more Snowman magic across the UK this Christmas. A brand-new Spot stage show and a new Peter Rabbit musical both launch in 2024.
Princess Sam Consumer Products has announced its appearance at the show as licensor for the massively successful children’s animated adventure-comedy-fantasy hit Tara Duncan. The past year has been a busy one for Princess Sam Consumer Products (PSCP) and its parent company the Princess Sam Entertainment Group, with the new Tara Duncan TV show, based on the multi-million-selling publishing phenomenon by Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian, already sold into more than 80 countries.
A licensing campaign is now under way and PSCP is coming to BLE this October to build on the growing buzz around this unique property.
BLE 2023 comes at a perfect time for the RHS. This year has seen an acceleration in licensee numbers and partner endorsements, supported by an expansion of the RHS licensing team to manage continuing growth. Plans for a busy 2024 include continuing to build on the success of the RHS’s homeware and children’s offerings as
well as the enormous success of the core gardening category. Categories extend into homeware, giftware, kitchenware, quilting, children’s publishing, fabrics, fragrances, greeting cards, apparel, food and drink, paint, garden fences, and even modern takes on traditional shepherds’ huts.
This growing product portfolio is also targeted at an extended age range that now includes a successful recent move into children’s products.
Rocket Licensing brings its portfolio to BLE including new social mediadriven brands, classic childrens brands, blockbuster movies and Europe’s Space Agency – ESA.
The company will showcase Miffy, Little People, BIG DREAMS, The Elf on the Shelf®, TheSoul Publishing, Fuzzballs, and Dune: Part Two, which releases on 3rd November 2023.
2023 is the 30th anniversary of Horrible Histories. Rocket will also present the Godzilla brand, MGM’s Rocky, MGM’s Vikings Valhalla, Midnight Movies package Robocop, Stargate and
Wargames, as well as Kodak.
Kirsty Guthrie (KJG Ltd) and Maggy Harris (BlueSkye Licensing) are once again exhibiting within the Independent Agents’ Lounge A237, building on the success of the licensing sales partnership they jointly set up in 2020.
The two long-term industry experts have over 50 years of experience between them, and these expert services clearly appeal to a very diverse client base! In fact this year the partners plan to showcase an impressively extensive portfolio of brands ranging from preschool, food, movie icons and kawaii to art and design, globally successful authors, iconic car marques and counter culture classics.
Pink Key Licensing is an established UK based licensing agency specialising in the development of food and non-food licensing programmes for corporate brands particularly focused on food and drink brands. Pink Key manages established licensing programmes for Kellogg’s (including Tony the Tiger, Froot Loops, Pop Tarts and vast archive) , Pringles, SLUSH PUPPiE, Pan Am, Jane Asher and Bel Brands (including The Laughing Cow and Babybel); as well as growing programmes for Vimto, Peperami with its notorious front man The Animal, and a programme focussed wholly on sustainability for Quorn.
In 2023, Brandgenuity celebrates its 20th anniversary. In 2003, four passionate licensing executives decided to join forces and launch an agency.
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Brandgenuity puts focus on leveraging licensing as a tool for strategic growth and providing hands-on client service. In 2015, the agency grew to expand into Europe, with Teri Niadna heading the London office and all European operations. The agency has lots of exciting news in the works.
WildBrain CPLG announces the first two of four brand-new, CG-animated seasonal specials for Strawberry Shortcake - Halloween and Christmas - are launching on Netflix this fall, and the third season of the hit series Berry in the Big City launched on YouTube this summer. WildBrain CPLG is continuing to expand the licensing program for the world of Strawberry Shortcake for fans of all ages. The allnew Strawberry is seeing a surge in popularity, with multiple new crosscategory partnerships spanning apparel, accessories, beauty, games, dolls, publishing and more.
WildBrain is also building on the momentum generated for the Teletubbies following the brand’s 25th anniversary celebrations in 2022. The Teletubbies recently teamed up with acclaimed fashion designer Christian Cowan for a limited-edition high-end fashion collaboration, which generated significant buzz worldwide. On screen, a reimagined live-action series debuted on Netflix in fall 2022, narrated by Emmynominee Tituss Burgess, and the new motion-captured animated series Teletubbies Let’s Go! also launched on
YouTube, produced by WildBrain Spark’s digital studio. ASPIRE will have a presence at the stand.
Sony Pictures Television –Kids (SPT – Kids) has a highly acclaimed and award-winning portfolio of children’s properties including The Creature Cases, Octonauts: Above & Beyond, Super Kitties, Hilda and Peter Rabbit the animated series. At Brand Licensing Europe 2023, they will unveil new developments across an impressive roster of licensees and share exciting plans for fresh content.
Boat Rocker will present Dino Ranch, and its new Dino Ranch – Ride to the Rescue, which launches on Nintendo Switch on October 12, featuring epic adventures in thrilling mini games.
It will also bring The Next Step, and Orphan Black with the greenlight of spin-off series Orphan Black: Echoes. New licensing deals included a worldwide deal with internationally ac-
claimed publisher Dark Horse Comics which will see the launch of a fantastic range of publications based on the Orphan Black universe including serialized comics, trade paperbacks, and a “Making of” high-end, coffeetable book of Orphan Black: Echoes.
Santoro will unveil a new unisex brand at the show.
“Bangoberry” is an adorable kawaii-esque delight; featuring a loveable crew of fluffy animals who inhabit the tropical ‘Bingo Bango’ island. Come and meet the ‘Bango Bunch’ with a preview of the first gift collection being showcased on Santoro’s stand, and don’t forget to check out the Bangobobs! Discover fun hidden meanings behind these collectible charms which add an additional layer of playfulness and fun to the range – bursting with colour, texture and cuteness! First products will be available at retail in January 2024, followed by an expansion into Back to School categories for 2024. Products will debut at Insights-X, Nuremberg in October for pre-order.
Gorjuss looks set to create quite a stir yet again, with more incredible new style guide unveilings setting the tone to Santoro’s stand.
Perfetti Van Melle announces the 25th anniversary of their Global Licensing Division at the upcoming BLE. To commemorate this milestone, in line with the event theme, Perfetti Van Melle has crafted an special Candy booth concept that pays homage to
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the heritage and nostalgia of the evergreen candy brands, inspired by the color and fun present in its DNA. During the show, Perfetti Van Melle is excited to offer a sneak preview into the launches and artwork developments happening.
Jewel Branding & Licensing (JBL) highlights their brands being featured at Brand Licensing Europe through their agency partners.
New York Botanical Gardens (NYBG) and Jewel have appointed Metrostar to manage NYBG’s brand licensing in the UK and Ireland (as above).
Metrostar is based in the UK and NYBG will be featured at their Stand C251.
Rachael Hale, has been inspiring and delighting animal lovers, and beyond, for over 25 years with emotionally engaging animal photography. The brand has become a global success story, synonymous with ‘the world’s most lovable animals’.
Rachael Hale has over 50 licensees around the world, many of them longterm partners.
One of the newest editions to this roster of world-class partners is Fashion UK, Europe’s largest licensed apparel and accessories supplier to high street and online fashion retailers.
They are launching an adorable collection of kids apparel and backpacks and ladies nightwear through via Brando Oy to the retailers Prisma and K-City-
market in Finland.
They also plan to expand into headwear in SS24. Prisma, the market leader in Finland among supermarkets with 74 stores will launch a children’s apparel collection in December 2023.
K-Citymarket with 81 stores launched backpacks in June 2023 and ladies nightwear collection in September 2023. Rachael Hale is represented by Edutainment Licensing in the UK, who will be exhibiting at Stand A188.
Bouffants and Broken Hearts by Kendra Dandy is known for bold, quirky designs and continues to gain global attention. Partnerships include CURAD for bandages and greeting cards with American Greetings.
The brand has also expanded into dated goods with Blue Sky and several new home decor accessories with licensee Enchante. In the UK, Blueprint Collections signed for stationery, UK Greetings for cards and Cooneen for apparel. Bouffants and Broken Hearts is represented by Start Licensing in the UK and will be featured at their Stand A240.
Edutainment Licensing presents two of the NSPCC’s owned character brands, Pantosaurus and Buddy – they are seeking licensees for our growing programmes, providing a simple route to partner with one of the best known and loved charities in the UK.
The friendly dinosaur Pantosaurus is the face of the NSPCC’s #TalkPANTS campaign which has helped over 1.5m UK parents have simple conversations with their children to help keep them safe.
Since 2016, a third of all parents of 4-8 year olds have used Pantosaurus to #TalkPANTS with their children and the campaign generates over 55m impressions a year throughout its annual summer holidays activation.
The downloadable materials, Pantosaurus song, story book and app provide a whole host of fun and engaging content for parents to use with their children.
Pokémon continues to post substantial growth across its multiple pillars
of video games, mobile apps, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, animation and movies, Play! Pokémon events and licensed products for all tastes and budgets.
Sales rose a remarkable 51% as Pokémon hit #1 for the first time in the UK (NPD Year to date March 2023).
Jazwares’ award-winning toy range was up 124% Year on year following the launch of its biggest-ever Pokémon range, which includes a host of innovative new products, while Mattel saw its UK year-end POS performance up 127%, helped by its hugely popular Mega Construx Motion Pikachu set. Pokémon TCG UK sales also continue to break records.
The latest Scarlet & Violet expansions, June’s Paldea Evolved and August’s Obsidian Flames, introduced type-shifted Tera Pokémon ex, while new Ancient and Future Pokémon cards launched this autumn and Ace Spec cards returning in 2024 look set to keep demand strong.
New events and experiences across Pokémon’s gaming titles boosted its success further.
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Read on for exclusive interviews!
Total Licensing will be at E131.
INTERVIEW:Laura Freedman-Dagg, Head of Retail, Global Licensing Group
You’ve been working hard to expand the retail reach for BLE, how is that going?
Really well, thank you. We are tracking ahead of target and compared to 2022, which equalled 2019 retail numbers, and that’s with much of mainland Europe being out of the office in August.
We’ve got exciting companies signed up – by that, I mean, retailers we know brands are keen to meet and plenty who are new to the show, including the likes of Matalan, QVC, TJ Morris, Next, Aldi, Sainsbury’s and John Lewis. And internationally we are seeing some great names including Primark (Ireland), H&M (Sweden), Pepco (Poland), COPA (Netherlands), TJX (US), Ackermans (South Africa) and Koton (Turkey).
They’re joining returning retailers including Deichmann, Next, H&M, John Lewis, Celio, Primark, Aldi, Tesco, Fat Face, Lidl, Ackermans, George at Asda, Liberty London, Amazon, PepCo, ASOS, Jules, Selfridges and many more.
Why should retailers attend BLE?
The number one reason is the brands – brands are the biggest reason retailers attend BLE. We will have over 200 exhibitors at BLE this year, covering every category you can think of, from character and entertainment to heritage, sport, art & design, corporate and lifestyle, food & beverage, automotive and more. Think Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, The Met, Monopoly, Kellogg’s, Teletubbies, Formula 1, Pokémon, Barbie and Hot Wheels, and so much more. I always recommend retailers check out the Brand Directory online for more inspiration, or to find the owners and agents of certain brands so they can request meetings in advance.
This year’s agenda features sessions that are sector specific – ie sports, toys, gaming, etc – so there is something for everyone. We also have the Retail Lounge on the showfloor, the additional concierge support, which helps retailers book meetings with brands and other attendees (they are only group who can do that), the Orientation Sessions and Show Tours. Day three, the Friday, is our Day of Purpose and will focus on sustainability, equity, diversity and inclusion. It’s also the best time to ‘shop the show floor’ and grab time with exhibitors you may not have pre-booked time with.
What difference will it make to them/their business?
It really depends on who they are and if they are already doing licensing. If they are, then attending BLE every year will help them stay on top of an everchanging market and in touch with the big brand owners, so it’s important they are there and part of the conversation. If they are not yet doing much licensing, then BLE is best place to compare the brands out there and how they can work with them. In this instance, it’s best to have those conversations with the whole team, so buyers should also bring along marketing and design colleagues.
Top three tips for retailers attending BLE?
In theory, they are plan, plan and then plan! Planning is definitely number one. Number two – always leave some empty time in your diary to look around the show floor and introduce yourself to people. And finally, bring the team. It makes a real difference if you send different people to check out different things – that way you can divide and conquer but it also makes it much easier to sell in next steps to your senior management team when you get back to the office if you’ve embraced all the show has to offer – from trend presentations to private showcases.
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INTERVIEW: Sarah Lawrence, licensing director, This is Iris, agent for Sarah & Duck
You’re new to BLE but Sarah & Duck are legends and have been around for a while – why are you exhibiting now?
We’re celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Sarah & Duck and a new licensing programme and felt that the best way to let the industry know all that was happening was to be part of this great international show. You won’t be able to miss our stand or the wonderful puppeteers who will be bringing our loveable characters to life throughout the three-day event!
What will licensees and retailers see on your stand?
We’ve created a bespoke stand, which brings the world of Sarah & Duck to the show.You’ll also meet our fantastic team from UK agency This is Iris, Sarah is on hand to answer any questions and update new and existing partners on what is happening across our international program.
I can see you already have an established licensing programme –what are you hoping to achieve by exhibiting at BLE?
With a new license just signed with CBeebies, Sarah & Duck will remain on screen until 2028 and a global distribution deal currently being finalised by BBC Studios including their new partnership with Amazon Prime for the Indian market, it’s been a great start to the shows 10th anniversary.
The brand is looking to the future with a new deal for China through UYoung and additional UK partnerships have been established with global educational partner Twinkl for Sarah & Duck-themed learning resources which will launch just before the show, MEI Theatrical’s puppet show Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday toured UK theatres between July and September; cinema chain Picturehouse has been running episodes of Sarah & Duck as part of its Toddler Time programme, as well as an important charity partnership with Farms for City Children which offers disadvantaged kids countryside breaks on working farms – all of which is extending the brand’s reach to new audiences and demographics whilst exciting their existing fans with new opportunities.
Long-term partners Star Editions (bespoke branded gifts) and Immediate Media (magazines) remain on board, while This Is Iris is in talks with toy partners, publishers and retailers and licensees in the live space.
Are you launching anything new?
BLE 2023 allows us to offer the full support of our UK agency with Sarah Lawrence now on board as well as Karrot being on hand to support creatively through this partnership with have a new asset library, style guide an opportunity to collaborate and create bespoke work to support a variety of opportunities.
Tell me about Sarah & Duck and children’s animation – how is it changing?
Parents are getting more discerning and recognising how high-quality preschool shows can be, full of humour and subtly; all things that Sarah & Duck pride itself on!
What are the big trends in the industry?
Bluey, Hey Duggee and Sarah & Duck have proved that smart shows are out there that adults can enjoy, too, which makes a difference when parents are looking at the toy shelves for brands they love as much as their kids.
How do you create a character that you know children – and parents – will love, and will resonate globally?
Ideally, they should have strong points of view – opinionated and headstrong are good characteristics if you can show them making mistakes as well – we use real kid voices and I think this makes a massive difference. We also try to write dialogue that sounds natural and sparky, rather than just conveying the plot – each character needs to sound like a real personality!!
And how do you keep the public loving a character who’s been around for a while?
Visibility is key and taking the brand into other spaces!! Sarah and Duck is on CBeebies until 2028 and still airs in a primetime slot after 10 years, thanks to the care and love put into the original episodes – they repeat well and because we have more brand awareness than when we started, the brand has built a great status in the CBeebies portfolio!! YouTube clips, appearances in CBeebies magazine and the stage show tour keep the brand’s profile high!
What trends are driving pre-school?
Comedy and relatable characters are winning the day at the moment, as a more substantial offering than more obviously toy-driven shows, since the whole family enjoy watching them.
What are the challenges facing licensing generally? And opportunities?
Retail is being challenged daily and as an industry we are constantly looking at how we can support our partners and listen to our viewers and customers, the people who should really be driving what is available on the shelves.
As an agency we have worked collaboratively with a large number of partners over the years, using our expertise from the days of being licensees, looking at how we can create programs that support all involved. As with Sarah & Duck with creators Karrot Entertainment available to help creatively, we pride ourselves on representing artists, designers and organisations who work closely with every partner to deliver the best outcome for each opportunity.
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INTERVIEW: First-time Exhibitor, Wendy Morrison Designs
Who are you and how does your business fit into the licensing eco-system?
Wendy Morrison Design is known for creating extraordinary rugs, wonder walls and fabulous fabrics inspired by the beauty of nature. Craftsmanship and storytelling really are the heart of everything that we do. With an outwardlooking approach and curious nature, Wendy’s designs take inspiration from an eclectic range of sources – Oriental symbolism, chinoiserie, art history and colour, in particular the way colour can evoke feelings and emotions as well as nature and its connections to life and the wider world; Mother Earth has always been bountiful with her sources of inspiration found in the magic of her flora and fauna.
Wendy’s designs breathe new life into the age-old tradition of storytelling in rug making. Collaborating with inspiring artisans, learning and observing old skills, sitting them alongside new ideas puts passion and craftsmanship at the centre of every project. We have a global customer base and over the years have built up a wonderful community of followers on social media (we currently have 155k followers on Instagram). We are currently looking for brands and licensing partners to use our designs across a range of product types.
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the licensing industry right now?
Meeting the right contacts that feel aligned with our brand. You’re new to BLE – welcome! Why are you exhibiting and what can licensees and retailers expect to see on your stand?
We are eager to meet brands and discuss licensing opportunities and showcase our beautiful products which includes hand knotted and hand tufted rugs, wallpaper, fabrics, hand embroidered crewels and cushions.
Are you launching new IP/showcasing exciting products at BLE?
We will be showcasing a selection of our existing designs across all our product categories.
Why should licensees and retailers be excited?
This is an exciting opportunity to expand the Wendy Morrison Brand into different product sectors. Wendy Morrison is an upcoming designer in the high-end interiors world. We have recently been featured in Country & Town House, The Telegraph, Marie Claire Masion, The Guardian, Cover magazine and more. Previously we have collaborated with Monoprix on a hugely successful range of fashion, interior and lifestyle products and collaborated with Anthropologie and had an exclusive deal with John Lewis.
Is there anything else you can tell us about yourself?
Wendy Morrison Design is an international business with a customer base right across the globe. We currently have showroom partners in the US and in New Zealand. We take ethical trading very seriously and we’re a proud partner of GoodWeave, a not-for-profit organisation that ensures fair working conditions for workers within the rug manufacturing industry. We are currently working towards our B-Corp certification! Excitingly, we recently opened a London showroom at the design centre at Chelsea Harbour in March 2023.
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Who are you and how does your business fit into the licensing eco-system?
Travel Sentry operates a 100% pure licensing business model. Our IP is our logo, the Red Diamond, and our trademark, Travel Sentry®. Travel Sentry licenses its iconic trademarks to over 1,000 licensees worldwide in the luggage, leisure, and outdoor industries. Over the past 20 years, we have developed our brand to become a worldwide symbol of trust and quality. With its knowledge and expertise, Travel Sentry is launching a new range of products in the Travel Accessories segment.
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the licensing industry right now?
Counterfeits and infringing logos are key issues for any successful brand, but this is manageable, provided you work with the right legal teams worldwide, including in China. Why are you exhibiting and what can licensees and retailers expect to see on your stand?
We are exhibiting for two reasons. Firstly, for opportunities to further expand our product range, we are looking for potential licensees outside the Travel Goods sector. Secondly, we are looking for retailers for our new Travel Accessories range.
Are you launching new IP/showcasing exciting products at BLE?
We are launching our Travel Accessories range under the same IP on our locks and are excited to showcase them at this year’s BLE show.
If so, what is it, who is it aimed at, and why should licensees and retailers be excited by it?
Our Travel Accessories range combines the power of our brand with best-in-class sustainable design aimed at travel and leisure retailers worldwide. The new collection was carefully designed with quality and style, made primarily with RPET Nylon and RPET Polyester, which contain between 70-100% recycled material. All items are manufactured in factories with GRS certification, which sets high standards for recycled content, social and environmental
practices, and chemical restrictions. All the accessories were created to provide maximum comfort and functionality. For more information, contact email@example.com.
What brands have you worked with to date?
We currently work with most brands in the travel, outdoor and leisure industries, including Samsonite, Louis Vuitton, Eastpak, Victorinox, Eagle Creek, AWAY, IT Luggage, Go Travel, Tumi, Rimowa, American Tourister, Briggs & Riley, Hermes, Delsey, Antler, Osprey, Longchamp, and The North Face.
What brands would you like to work with?
We are seeking licensees outside the Travel Goods sector to expand our product range.
What trends are currently driving the licensing industry?
Trends driving the licensing industry are sustainability and brand authenticity. Sustainability continues to be the driving focus when it comes to consumers’ purchasing decisions, and this, combined with the cost of living crisis, brands are being tasked to consider making offerings of sustainable products and services a standard rather than a ‘premium’ option. Authentic brands are another trend at the forefront of the licensing industry.
This can mean in many forms, including social responsibility and purpose internally through your supply chain and with consumers. For example, some people no longer trust brand sustainability markers and are beginning to feel gaslighted by brands that continue to impact the environment while negatively pedalling sustainability initiatives.
One solution that brands can focus on is the degrowth movement, where individuals switch to a less materialistic approach to life. This can involve buying fewer consumer goods and instead seeking to ‘make do and mend’ the goods you already have. This approach could lead to collaborations with environmental partners and charities who are fighting against climate change and protecting the earth’s resources, helping to avoid consumer skepticism.
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INTERVIEW: Travel Sentry’s CEO, Florent Perrichon on why this is the perfect time to exhibit
INTERVIEW: First-time Exhibitor, Blonde Sheep Licensing
Natasha Dyson is the founder of Blonde Sheep Licensing who are exhibiting at Brand Licensing Europe for the very first time this year.
Who are you and how does your business fit into the licensing eco-system?
I’m the founder of Blonde Sheep Licensing. Blonde Sheep is a boutique agency and consultancy that offers brand owners global, EU and local (UK & Spain) representation. We also work with manufacturers to help then to secure IP for their products.
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the licensing industry right now?
The cost-of-living crisis is already affecting licensing. We’ve already seen certain product categories like apparel really slow down. This will make it harder for new brands to get retail listings as retailers will likely select brands with higher awareness and stronger cross category presence. However, just like during the Covid pandemic, certain categories will thrive. We’re likely to see people spending more time at home so brands that have a presence in the food and drink, home entertainment and home furnishings categories could benefit.
You’re exhibiting at BLE for the first time. Why are you exhibiting and what can licensees and retailers expect to see on your stand?
Yes, this will be Blonde Sheep’s first year exhibiting at BLE. We’ll be showing our food & drink clients, Swizzels and Millions, Advisory Bored (a collective of BAYC NFTs), and art from museums, galleries and artists.
Are you launching new IP/showcasing exciting products at BLE?
We are showing the current portfolio of brands we represent. If we can get a contract in place in time, we will also be launching new IP.
If so, what is it, who is it aimed at and why should licensees and retailers be excited by it?
Ah, I wish I could say. I can tell you it will be all categories and available across Europe.
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Miffy hit the ground running in 2023 with a couple of highly visible brand collaboration and will continue to power our curiosity with the activation of a number of different brand extensions in the second half of this year.
Miffy X Kipling
resonate both in Miffy’s and Jollein’s worlds. The result is a new comfortable and cuddly Miffy collection created by Jollein in collaboration with Mercis (global brand owner of Miffy). Quality, design, imagination and the themes - sleep, home and care have been leading in the creation of this soft collection which will be launched in September and made available through https://jollein.com in the Benelux, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France.
Miffy X Bandai
The renewed Miffy Museum also opened its doors this summer. Located in the center of Utrecht’s museum district, and Dick Bruna’s birth place, this museum almost doubled in size to around 1500 square meters (over 16,000 square feet). It is entirely devoted to visitors with young children and a visit is an unforgettable journey of active discovery: sight, smell, exploration, discovery, and activities.
Dick Bruna’s studios is located opposite of the Miffy Museum and offers an insight in his philosophy and creative processes.
About Dick Bruna and Miffy
A collection of lightweight bags made with quality materials has been launched by Kipling.
The Kipling X Miffy range celebrates the purity of the internationally loved bunny whose optimism and simplicity is a perfect match for these upbeat bags. Dynamic and minimalistic best describes the various bag styles in combination with fun accessories such as phone pouches, detailing on zip tags, handle clasps and the monkey charm. Bags seamlessly snap together for double the fun. Finding the surprise in the everyday.
The logo itself has been scaled down and recreated in the style of Miffy’s creator Dick Bruna.
The collection will be available in selected territories around the world and the official web site www.kipling. com
Miffy X Jollein
Soft baby essentials, heritage and being present at the first moment a new born interacts with the world around
In the newly opened Bandai Namco Cross experience Store in Camden, London, a special section is entirely dedicated to Miffy. A wide array of merchandise is on offer and Miffy will make guest appearances until the 31st of December.
Miffy was “born” on 21 June 1955 when Dutch Illustrator, graphic designer and artist Dick Bruna first drew the character to entertain his young son whilst on a rainy seaside holiday in Holland.
The series of picture books which followed used simple illustrations and rhyming text to explore the universal experiences of childhood, immediately earning Bruna international critical acclaim as an author and artist.
Miffy X Skinny Dip London
A fun and quirky collaboration was launched this year to combine epic with iconic. A Miffy collection will be created in Skinny Dip’s signature style and the first mobile phone cases have already been launched. This collection will include accessories, apparel, makeup, footwear, travel products and other ‘essentials’. Of course pets won’t be forgotten either!
To date the Miffy books have sold more than 85 million copies, published in more than 50 languages. Merchandise is available across five continents and highly integrated business units in the fields of publishing, media and licensing support Miffy’s global explorations.
For more information about Dick Bruna’s life and work, visit www.miffy.com
BLE booth - Mercis B166
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JAZWARES RETURNS TO BLE 2023 WITH SQUISHMALLOWS SENSATION
Jazwares is delighted to return to BLE for the second year with a crowdstopping Squishmallows stand. Jazwares’ premiere Squishmallows global licensing programme is supported by some of the biggest names in consumer and lifestyle products, reflecting the brand’s vast global audience and multigenerational appeal.
Circana’s Top Gaining Plush Property in Europe! Now sold in over 55 countries, Squishmallows’ vast audience and multi-generational appeal have fuelled a milestone of 300+ million plush sold YTD. On social media, Squishmallows content has officially squished through the roof, generating over 13 billion impressions on TikTok and @squish-
verse, Squishmallows on Roblox continues to surprise and delight fans of all ages, ascending to the #1 toy game by concurrent players with a massive 13m registered unique users.
2024 will be a bumper year for Squishmallows at retail; Jazwares has exciting updates to the Squishmallows product and channel strategy, boosting the collectability and world expansion of the brand even further. Listening to the Squishmallows fans, who want to go on The Hunt for more unique styles, Jazwares will offer a more extensive plush programme offering diversity across channels, powered by out-ofaisle activations across all major retailers and supported by a robust marketing campaign.
From plush powerhouse to a global lifestyle phenomenon, Squishmallows has ascended beyond the toy aisle into an industry-leading lifestyle franchise with a 360-degree licensing portfolio that allows fans to dive even deeper into the captivating world of Squishmallows. An impressive 70+ best-inclass global licensing partners have already joined the programme.
Continuing to grow the Squishmallows licensing programme in Europe, Jazwares is delighted to work with over 25+ local licensing partners across many exciting categories, including fashion apparel & accessories, publishing, health & beauty, stationery & gifting, food & drink, calendars & greetings, and board & card games. More deals are in the works, including fashion collabs, cookbooks, snack bars, ice cream and trading card games. Exciting partnership and collab announcements are coming very soon. The brand is known for its ultra-soft feel and adorable designs, delighting fans of all ages with the Squishmallows’ unique and lovable personalities. Squishmallows is the top-selling toy in the UK and the winner of the UK Toy Industry Award for Toy of the Year and
mallows (and related hashtags) tagged in more than one million Instagram posts. Additionally, the Squishmallows social media channels have ballooned to more than 1.5m followers and over 110 global and local Facebook groups have been created by fans. In the meta-
Jazwares looks forward to welcoming new licensee partners at BLE to share Squishmallows’ stratospheric results and introduce categories to give fans new branded experiences to ensure long-term franchise success. Visit the team at stand #C211
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This year’s BLE’s main focus is Live Experiences in Licensing. Well TF1 Licensing has a bit to say about that, since they’ve been working on this particular business sector for some years now, and achieved great success with their partners. Here are some examples proving TF1 Licensing’s expertise on the matter.
Over one million customers for its Camping Paradis Live Experience
For starters, we already discussed the topic of the Camping Paradis. As a reminder, it’s a network of affiliated camping grounds reproducing the codes, colors, and elements of the famous French TV show Camping Paradis. Many years ago, TF1 Licensing decided to trust 5C, a company created by outdoor leisure experts to work together on this crazy idea! It’s all there, from the signage to the animations, even the golf cart! In addition to the aesthetical, the experience has been fully thought-out to allow visitors to live their favorite show in real life with great quality in the execution and delivery (4 or 5 stars camping sites mostly, great care in terms of customer experience, and many other aspects). Staff are being trained at the Camping Paradis Academy, with the intervention of Laurent Ournac, a star of the TV show. The network has a head office which centralized everything to make it as premium as possible. A perfect recipe for success! Launched in 2020, the network was off to a good start, despite the pandemic. It started with 12 grounds and continued to expand to 92 grounds in 2023! Over 700 000 vacationers have already been conquered by the concept at this stage. And to enhance the idea of living the dream, 5C created a new concept: The Stars Paradise – a tour of over 550 concerts with singers and stars from many different horizons in the 90 camping grounds, with a wonderful media and communication campaign. This project was a forerunner in the Live Experience area, and TF1 Licensing is proud to have believed in this crazy idea!
And speaking of crazy ideas, after the success of Camping Paradis, the TF1 Licensing Team decided to enter the indoor parks business. Why not? With such a strong brand as TFOU, it is kind of obvious.
programs) is leader in the 4-10-yearold morning TV slot, almost 3 times its nearest competitor. With a strong visual identity, it is highly identified by children, and even more so since its iconic characters, the Hoofs arrived five years ago. So after being the major TV touchpoint for children, TF1 Licensing and the TFOU team thought it was an obvious step to become a physical
rendezvous as well. In association with Indoor Park Entertainment (IPE), a company created by experts in indoor entertainment for children, they opened the first TFOU parc in 2021 in the Paris area, and then a second one in 2022 in the Lille area. Families can meet their favorite heroes from the TFOU universe in both parks. Indeed, TF1 Licensing’s rich portfolio of powerful kids’ brands enables the TFOU parc to welcome many mascot activations. Children can meet Barbapapa, The Smurfette, Gus the itsy-bitsy Knight and of course the Hoofs in flesh (and foam) in both parks!
With 2,600m2 and 3,700m2 respectively, up to 30 activities and the largest trampoline area in France, the TFOU parc is the perfect place to play, have fun and even learn a few things! Another crazy challenge that TF1 Licensing decided to take up with their partners!
With over 37% audience share* in the first Quarter of 2023, TFOU (TF1’s broadcasting dedicated to children’s
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Have you been to Paris recently? If you have, you cannot have missed the massive communication campaign for the Miraculous Cruise! Right after the pandemic, the need to meet people in real life was strong and immersive experiences were highly developed. That’s when TF1 Licensing took action with TF1 Spectacle and launched the Miraculous Cruise on the Seine. Paris being a key element of the show, and the Bateaux Parisiens a major player in the City, the association made sense. Parents and children got to save Paris and its monuments with the help of Ladybug and Cat Noir through a 1-hour fully immersive and interactive show. Launched in June 2022 initially for the Summer, the cruise was continued until November! Back then, a massive 360° communication campaign was created, reaching out to millions of contacts in digital, TV and even in real life with displays all over the city of Paris. With such a success, it made sense to do it again in 2023. So the Miraculous Cruise was launched on June 3rd and has already been signed until November to the delight of families. A new adventure has been worked on with the iconic heroes of the animated show. With over 650 departures since June 2022, the cruise is a definite success.
The Miraculous success story includes over 50 licensees in France and over 300 worldwide. It works very well on TV with a 39% Audience share* in Q1 2023 on TF1 (TFOU). In France, the long awaited Miraculous Movie, produced by Zag and Mediawan Kids
& Family, has been launched in theaters and was the best launch of the year, and the leader in terms of a French Animated Movie launch with over 1m tickets sold by the end of July.
Taking it further, TF1 Licensing is also bringing the license into the experience, and into hotels. The team has been working closely with the Accor Group on different experiential activations. First with the ibis channel and the brand The Voice. Three years ago, the two entities started working together. In 2022 and 2023, they created The Voice ibis Tour, a tour of concerts by some of The Voice Talents into ibis Hotels all over France with a huge communication display. This year the members of the Accor Loyalty program were even able to go on the set of the show, for a fully immersive experience.
TF1 Licensing is also working with hotelF1 on an operation with the brand Mille Bornes. hotelF1 picked Mille Bornes to communicate the hotels’ branding of passion #ONTHEROAD and its bond to families through this iconic game. From July 1st to December 31st, the hotelF1 locations all over France will be animated with a dedicated display: customized minigames and classical games distributed in hotels, as well as a game contest and social media campaign, etc. Everything is designed to make the hotelF1 a destination with Mille Bornes.
And to finish, TF1 Licensing is also bringing customers to the brand through one-of-a-kind designed
events. In Fall 2022, TF1 Licensing with TF1 Factory worked closely with the fashion brand Naf Naf. Naf Naf wanted to animate its community into a brand new concept for its existing event:
the Gown Ball. TF1 Licensing and TF1 Factory decided to match Naf Naf with a logical choice - Dancing With The Stars and to create a wonderful event. For the first time ever in the world, the Dancing show’s iconic floor welcomed Naf Naf guests. A fully immersive event, following the DNA of both brands, where everything was thought through to make it a night to remember: a dancing show, glam cam, DJ set, tattoo bar, etc, everything into the show’s studio. The charitable side of the event was also a big part of it, since the funds gathered at the event were donated to EliseCare, a charity intended to help people in war zones. A beautiful immersive event with a strong Live Experience dimension.
In addition to these great examples, TF1 Licensing also works tightly with major players in the Live Experience sector such as the Grévin Museum (Madame Tussauds), France Miniature and Team Break on great immersive escape games, and many others.
Definitely Live Experience driven, the TF1 Licensing team has many other great projects up its sleeve and is always looking for new partners to create more. If you have another crazy idea, do not hesitate to come and meet them at BLE, stand C220, or to reach out to the team!
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Rainbow Productions’ 40th anniversary and not only are they celebrating with a brand refresh; they are also looking ahead to what the future has in store.
Here, Rainbow Productions’ MD, Simon Foulkes, talks about the company’s creation; how they have updated the brand and how they plan to future proof the company so that they remain world leaders in bespoke and licensed character costumes for many years to come!
A company full of characters!
“Since Rainbow International’s (later, in 1985, to become Rainbow Productions) establishment in 1983 the firm has grown from a good idea; a subsidiary of CPL and now into one of the most admired costume character companies in the world.
Chris Stewart Gibbons established the company in the summer of 1983 to stage the entertainment for the International Garden Festival (IGF) in Liverpool the following year. The IGF was Europe’s biggest event in 1984.
One part of the programme was to be The International Teddy Bear Rally and a seed of an idea developed to have appearances of some life-sized costume versions of world-famous bears.
Amongst them Super Ted, Rupert Bear and the most famous of them all, Winnie the Pooh. Disney were approached and, whilst it was not realised at the time, putting in the request was pivot-
al to the future direction of Rainbow Productions.
Down in London, the GLC, annually held a Childrens Festival and, in 1984, Disney commissioned Rainbow to devise and produce the project on their behalf. Tens of thousands of children and adults flocked to London’s South Bank to enjoy the festival which included a big character parade across Westminster Bridge and around Parliament Square, a walk-through wonderland of Disney film classics consisting of animated characters, a Mickey Mouse Disco and a spectacular staged show with all the favourite Disney characters.
Maybe there was an opportunity to create a costume character company in the UK……………
In 1985, Rainbow’s contact, Agnes Kelly, left the Disney Company to join CPL and asked if the company would
be interested in doing similar activity with some of their licenses; Roland Rat and The Mr Men.
By 1987, Rainbow had greatly expanded its stable of characters and David Cardwell, MD of CPL decided to acquire Rainbow and inject some capital into the company to enable it to grow. CPL held on to Rainbow until 1995 when David Scott, Rainbow’s then MD undertook an MBO.
Under David’s stewardship the company significantly grew over the next 25 years and developed its costume character manufacturing capabilities by relocating to SW19. Rainbow now occupies 4 purposely designed workshops and studios.
With the business dramatically evolving over the years, the landmark 40th anniversary provided the perfect op-
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Ruby - Rainbow Productions’ new mascot
portunity to bring the Rainbow brand up to date.
We are still very much Rainbow Productions at heart; however, our website and logo have had a bit of a refresh! Whilst upholding a professional aesthetic, the new branding maintains the sense of fun that our services provide and represents the creativity of our brilliant team.
The new Rainbow logo is made up of primitive shapes that represent the different patterns & cuts of fabric used in the tailoring of our handmade mascots and character costumes.
When layered together, using varying colours and opacities, they create the word “RAINBOW”. Beneath this, “PRODUCTIONS” is designed to be dynamic and can be replaced with alternative words allowing for the expansion of the services the company provides.
Our pledge to sustainability has also been an influence on the company rebranding. Each letter takes on a colour of the Rainbow, with green in the middle, for sustainability, at the heart of our company.
Our 40th anniversary also gave us the opportunity to develop our very own mascot for the first time. We
launched a competition amongst our talented costume makers to design a character that they thought represented Rainbow. The winner was a redfurred bear named Ruby, designed by our Deputy Production Manager, Imy Nagle. Ruby showcases the first-class skills of Rainbow’s production department, featuring stunning fabrics and innovative 3D printed props. And, as a lot of the team have brightly coloured hair, it was only right she had the hairdo to match!
With our expertise in demand across the leisure, retail and sport sectors, Rainbow Productions has become a vital cog in the licensing industry machine. Setting new standards for the industry, through attention to detail and unrivalled customer care, we ensure that our product is exceptional, whether it’s the manufacture of a mascot or the delivery of a service.
Behind the scenes, we are guardians of many of the world’s leading brands and understand that the events we organise bridge the gap between the brand and the consumer in a unique and immersive way. This has allowed to us being in the privileged position to nurture those relationships and manage licences on behalf of many licensors.
This year we have extended our portfolio to become a master licensee for a number of licensors, as we take on more responsibility for their brands globally. We also plan to increase the
breadth of our products by developing non-costume character related brand activations to ensure we appeal to different demographics. This further entrenches Rainbow’s offerings and capabilities with the licensing industry. Having outgrown our specialist production, events and wardrobe facilities in South London, we have expanded into a new purpose-built workspace which will be home to our growing sales, marketing, events and wardrobe departments.
Increased demand for our UK character events has meant providing better value for money for clients and a greater synergy between our services. The new premises will allow our events team to enhance our output and continue to deliver gold-standard licensed character meet-and-greets, narrations, activities, mini-shows, in-store promotions and brand activations.
It also provides the opportunity to further increase our international clients through bespoke mascot production. We now have clients in over 50% of the world’s countries and on every continent except Antarctica – but we’re working on that!
As we move to the next chapter of the Rainbow story our core values remain will always be at the heart of our decision making and we will continue to invest in the company to strengthen our global position and reputation.”
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The new star in our licensing Universe
The European Space Agency (ESA) is nearly 50 years old and, with a major role in humankind’s exploration of space as well as furthering understanding of our own planet, its profile is higher than ever before. What better time, then, to bring these unique and exciting associations to a major licensing campaign.
Space, the final frontier, has captivated the human imagination for centuries. As we stand on the threshold of a new era in space exploration it is ESA, Europe’s Space Agency, which is at the forefront of this adventure. The Agency benefits from being the only organisation in the world that deals with every aspect of space activity and is on a quest to find the hidden keys to the origin of the universe, the birth of life in our solar system and the protection of our precious home planet: Earth. Established in 1975, ESA is dedicated to the peaceful exploration and use of space. Its goals? To ensure Europe’s future in space and to understand more about our planet, its changing climate
and its space environment, but also to innovate in practical ways to improve the daily lives of everyone here on Earth. But that’s not all. ESA is also a brand; one whose associations have a powerful grip on the imagination of anyone, of any age, who has ever pondered the secrets and marvels of our universe. Let’s be honest: that’s most of us. Humans have been fascinated by the concept of looking more closely at their universe since Hipparchus in the
first century BC. Today, however, we’re not just looking at space, but exploring it in depth and, sometimes, in person. For example, ESA has addressed challenges such as living in orbit, developing rockets, landing probes on a comet or peering back in time to the beginning of the universe. It can say, with some justification, that it has been leading our adventure in space. But ESA’s work also has practical applications that address concerns that mat-
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ter to us on Earth more today than ever before. With a unique perspective and sophisticated tools high above our planet, ESA works with scientists and governments across the globe to monitor our planet’s weather, detect climate change and help during disasters and civil emergencies.
ESA is a brand with a distinguished past, but one whose associations are firmly linked with the future. And in two years it will be celebrating its 50th anniversary – in the lead-up to which you can expect a lot of newsworthy and exciting space-based events. Events like this year’s launch of the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE), which will study three of Jupiter’s moons to search for water and possibly life.
Even our return to the Moon is on the agenda. The European Space Agency is a key partner in the Artemis missions, which in the next few years will land astronauts on the Moon for the first time since 1972! In the coming years we may even see the first permanent base established on the Moon – and ESA will be helping to establish those milestones, providing astronauts for missions, the Service Module for the Orion capsule and a host of additional elements.
There’s much more to ESA, of course: space labs, crewed and uncrewed, spacecraft ferrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station, telescope images from galaxies far away in time and space, visits to more planets, monitoring sea levels, climate
change and weather… It’s no wonder that the diverse activities and staggering technology of ESA can and do capture the imagination of people right across this continent.
That’s why ESA is now building on its uniquely exciting associations and providing an opportunity for potential partners to develop products. These products have an inbuilt advantage: they will be based on some of the most exciting adventures and scientific discoveries of our lifetime.What other brand can offer that?
With help from Rocket Licensing, which manages ESA’s licensing programme, the brand is gearing up for its big birthday. In fact, with the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2025 and new launches and missions keeping it in the news, the brand will continue to build momentum.
As for the target markets, the focus for kids is on exploration and inspiration supported by ESA’s educational and outreach programmes that encourage an interest in STEM subjects. Thus, as you’d expect, there are opportunities in areas like science kits and experiential offerings, but for both kids and adults the campaign is looking much further ahead – into areas like apparel, toys, games, puzzles, paper products, stationery and gift publishing. But pointing out areas isn’t the same as being prepared to address them. And, like ESA itself, this campaign is nothing if not prepared. The licensing campaign is backed up by a new style guide and 2024 trend guide. And, let’s face it, alongside some fantastic uses of colour graphics, lettering and mood boards for teen, adult and children’s products, what other brand has design assets that include official mission patches, graphics of the International Space Station, the Mars Rover and Ariane launchers, and astonishing images of Earth, Mars and far-off nebulas?
These guides will lead a wide range of products, notably apparel, footwear, trainers and back-
packs, for which some amazing designs are already being trialled – but much more is possible.
In fact, some of it has already reached retail, notably the Barbie version of Samantha Cristoforetti, an ESA astronaut, who holds the record for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight by a European astronaut: 199 days and 16 hours.
There’s also a Playmobil Mars exploration kit, a LEGO International Space Station, Estes’ models of Ariane and Vega for anyone who wants to reproduce launches at home, plus Lobster and Lemonade t-shirts and sweatshirts and, of course, a thrilling and inspiring collection from Art Photo Limited showing the beauty and strangeness of Earth from hundreds of kilometres above its surface. That, of course, is just the start. As Charlie Donaldson, Joint Managing Director of Rocket Licensing, says:
“Space exploration and science is entering a dynamic new era. ESA is set to unlock the licensing potential of humankind’s great adventure in space with an astonishing range of assets and elements with comprehensive style guides and the creation of fun, exciting and attractive products.”
Or as ESA itself says: “At the heart of our agency is the human desire to understand our place in the Universe. We never stop looking up and questioning what we see in space. We are on a mission to go out and find the answers to the ultimate questions of our existence. Our mission is everyone’s mission.”
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WINX CLUB Celebrates 20 Years of Empowering Fairies and an Expanding Universe of Licensing
The group led by Iginio Straffi looks forward to a 20th birthday of premieres for its signature brand and announces a sensational 2024.
For almost two decades, the Magic Dimension of Winx Club has been enchanting audiences with captivating stories and iconic characters. Led by visionary creator Iginio Straffi, Italy based Rainbow Group celebrates the 20th anniversary of its flagship brand, displaying a thriving licensing strategy that resonates with fans of all ages and backgrounds.
As Winx Club embarks on another sensational decade in 2024, let us delve into the journey that has made it a beacon of girl empowerment and a pop culture phenomenon that transformed the landscape of entertainment.
A Legacy of Enchantment and Aspirational Stories
Bloom and her friends from the magical school of Alfea first landed on Italian TV screens on January 28th, 2004, and since then, Winx Club has flour-
ished into a global sensation. With its signature blend of magical adventures and stylish fairies, the series has grown far beyond its animated roots. The allure of Winx Club is evergreen, thanks to stunning style guides that captivate both long-time fans and newcomers alike.
The saga’s aspirational storylines resonate deeply, and its enduring evolution has led to the creation of 8 original animated series, an animated reboot season in production, 2 co-productions with Netflix, 4 TV movies, and 3 theatrical releases. This monumental content has been bolstered by engaging marketing campaigns spanning a diverse array of consumer product categories.
The brand’s timeless appeal has been rekindled by its exclusive worldwide licensing for Consumer Products of “FATE: The Winx Saga,” the Netflix original live-action series aimed at young adult audiences. The two-season show, available in 190 countries, has been a turning point for the strategy driving Winx Club, already going
through a fine differentiation of targets, and distributing new style guides for a variety of audiences.
A Year of Collaborations and Innovation
The year 2023 is yet another chapter of remarkable progress for Winx Club. Esteemed partners have joined forces to elevate the brand’s stature, rendering it one of the most empowering and influential forces for young fans across the globe. Fashion and apparel collaborations continue to redefine the landscape, with a plethora of interpretations and nuances that cater to various tastes and preferences.
A host of new global partnerships are being forged, breathing new life into the franchise’s enduring legacy.
The saga’s expansion reaches beyond the screen, resonating in the world of publishing. Italy’s renowned Mondadori is set to reissue the Winx original comics, while Mad Cave Studios is preparing the 2024 Graphic Novel of Winx for young adult and middlegrade readers in English-speaking
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countries. Also in consumer products, leading group Ferrero is among the top partnerships for the Easter surprises. With these ventures, the enchanting world of Winx Club takes on new dimensions, captivating fans through various media.
Fostering Community and Creativity
Winx Club’s indelible mark on pop culture continues to resonate. It’s not just a franchise; it’s a lifestyle.
The journey of Winx Club spans two decades of empowerment, innovation, and creativity. With an ever-growing community of fans and an array of captivating initiatives, the future is as enchanting as ever.
The Winx Club fan community thrives, counting millions of active fans on the web and taking part in many engaging initiatives that spark creativity and interaction. The 2022 Cosplay contest gained immense web engagement, leading to the launch of the Winx Cosplay Contest World Edition in partnership with Epicos.This contest tours international cosplay events and will culminate at the Milan Games Week in November 2023.
The huge affection around Winx Club speaks volumes about empowerment, friendship, and diversity. With eight original animated series, a ninth season in production, and a plethora of movies, Rainbow has consistently delivered
exceptional content, supported by interactive campaigns able to support fans in their personal growth.
Diverse Strategies for Diverse Audiences
Winx Club’s licensing strategies target both kids and young adults, embracing naturally the brand’s evolution. With the animated reboot now in production, the focus remains on empowering young viewers while rekindling the original story that had viewers dream at first sight in 2004.
The brand’s licensing ecosystem thrives with prestigious partners that highlight its essence. From cosmetics to fashion, Winx Club has expanded its reach and influence in astonishing ways. The collaboration for the YA target with LA-based ColourPop Cosmetics, the Limited-Edition Winx Club X ColourPop Collection, has captured the hearts of trend-setters, fans, and die-hard Winx Club enthusiasts. And the Young Women target is about to bloom thanks to the upcoming collection of 4 fragrances inspired to the fairies coming from Miss Kay.
styles proposed by Winx Club. LC Waikiki, Calliope, Terranova are just some of the brilliant partners contributing to new branded collections for kids. Hot Topic, Rue21 Forever 21, Mavi Jeans, and Don’t Call Me Jennyfer
The world of fashion and apparel remains a focal point, with an array of collections catering to different age groups and territories. Each partnership channels the stylish essence of the Winx in original fashionwear creations contributing to evolve and renew the
add to the pool a vast choice of musthave apparel for the teenage and adult categories. In the cosplay niche, remarkable results have piled up thanks to the outstanding releases in partnership with First Stop Cosplay, Micotaku, Amscan, Funiglobal, Fun.Com.
Fashion and apparel partnerships abound also in the kids’ target with Spain-based Lefties, Turkey’s Defacto and Amscan.
Unlocking a New Decade and Seizing Global Opportunities
As Winx Club’s popularity soars, the USA becomes a strategic focus to expand and seize opportunities. Rainbow Group has undertaken an all-encompassing strategy to fortify the brand’s presence in the American market, recently joining Comic-Con San Diego and The Toy Insider’s Sweet Suite annual edition. The company is now gearing up for an exclusive appearance at Comic-Con International New York next October, featuring exclusive content, engaging activities and special gadgets designed for the fans taking part.
As engines warm up for the 20th anni-
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versary celebrations, Winx Club continues to shine brightly. The brand’s legacy is etched in its commitment to empowerment, friendship, and endless possibilities. With a rich tapestry of collaborations, colourful events, and a dedicated fan community, Winx Club’s enchanting journey shows no signs of slowing down.
A Vision for the Future: Innovation and Engagement
Rainbow Group’s commitment to Winx Club’s boundless potential is testified by the many initiatives that constantly bring the brand one step forward.
Among the recent new projects created and promoted by Rainbow we find the Winx Urban Art project, a collaborative effort with the Italian Poliarte Academy, introducing a collaboration with young artists to get a fresh artistic perspective on the brand, adorning the inimitable Winx Club brand with urban art and video mapping that is going to tour Italy during the celebrations.
Another important project released in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is “Winx Club
- Discovering Italy’s Magic”, an eight-
episodes series starring the six fairies as they explore Italy’s hidden gems, extraordinary places in Italy that the Italian fairies will promote around the world through the Ministry’s channels. Collaborations and innovative projects like these highlight the brand’s capacity to infuse culture, adventure, and magic into the lives of many.
A Whirlwind of Celebration Awaits
As the 20th anniversary celebrations gather momentum, a whirlwind of excitement beckons.
Among the many events preparing to take place, 2024 will see the launch of a global Fan Art Contest competition. The best pieces will be selected to be displayed during the Rimini Comix 2024 and the artists will be invited to join the Official Winx 20th Birthday Party and awarded with an Art Class at Poliarte Design and Art Academy.
Preparations are already rolling out for the big gathering in Rimini, where the Winx Club Anniversary Party will take place in the summer. Brimming with a magical and immersive balloon design set-up, a themed photo corner, interactive experiences, Meet & Greet, live shows, interactive sections, cosplay reunions, premiere screenings, and captivating live performances and DJ sets, the Winx Club Anniversary Party is an event that promises to be a testament to the two decades of enchantment and empowerment that define the Winx Club legacy.
2024’s Winx Club calendar will be booked off with a host of online initiatives, live premieres, and dedicated live events that will take the fairy team across the globe, involving fans and celebrating their affection.
Winx Club continues to inspire generations of kids and young adults, and the saga’s enchanting story evolves, reminding us that magic and dreams know no bounds.
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Santoro Head to BLE with New and Favourite Brands
Santoro announce the unveiling of their exciting new unisex brand at the forthcoming Brand Licensing Europe show! “Bangoberry” is an adorable kawaii-esque delight; featuring a loveable crew of fluffy animals who inhabit the tropical ‘Bingo Bango’ island.
First products will be available at retail in January 2024, followed by an expansion into Back to School categories for 2024. Products will debut at Insights-X, Nuremberg in October. Gorjuss looks set to create quite a stir again, with more new style guide unveilings setting the tone to Santoro’s stand.
With more emotive tarot-inspired art for the older age fan base, the Santoro studio continues to innovate with an ironically titled “Whatever the Weather” collection, fitting for the UK summer of 2023, contrasting with the “Making Waves” themed looks for the younger fanbase.
Jo Campbell, General Manager of Santoro says, “Gorjuss is now entering its 14th year as a license and honestly these new collections are possibly some of the most beautiful to date. I can’t wait for our licensees to see the new looks, and also to show off some of the beautiful new products from Santoro and our licensees.”
Tara Strickland, Santoro’s Head of Design adds, “Whilst now an evergreen, the power of Gorjuss has actually never been more relevant… amid an increasingly loud and fast society, the thoughtful artworks highlight a need to preserve and celebrate our inner strength and quiet emotions. These precious gifts are in danger of being drowned out by the noise so often surrounding us! It takes us to a simpler time and place, the beautiful essence of childhood and imagination….”
This June, Santoro was back exhibiting at Licensing Expo, Las Vegas where Gorjuss garnered high interest across Latin America and North America. Santoro expect to announce a new agent for Mexico shortly, and in Asia, exciting discussions are unfurling for Taiwan, whilst Empire Multimedia, Gorjuss’ agent for Philippines,
Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, exhibited at Guangzhou Exhibition this July with Gorjuss and captivated new audiences.
Closer to home, Santoro are proud to have appointed Nerd Agency in Ukraine having connected with Nerd’s inspirational CEO Tetiana Ruban at the helm, with her recognising how “Gorjuss attracts upon first sight. Its truly beautiful visual identity is uniquely able to translate emotions without words.”
A time for a brand with heart-felt emotions, Santoro are already receiving interest from licensees in the categories of publishing, puzzles, personal hygiene and household products, toys and jewellery.
In Italy, Gorjuss agent Mondo TV have secured many new deals including licensee Emmeci’s expansion for collectable Gorjuss tea tins, a new deal with Sbabam set to expand Gorjuss in the toy channels, as well as through fashion accessory collectables. Likewise, new capsule gifts from Coolthings are set to expand on Gorjuss’ strong collectability through vending machines, and an expansion with Coriex will include hair accessories, sunglasses, socks, mugs, water bottles and personal and oral care items.
Other exciting instalments in Italy include Benetton renewing for their 11th year for women and girls’ apparel, Multiprint’s Gorjuss travel art kits launching into new distribution channels, both Play Press Edizioni’s and Pon Pon Edizioni’s continued publishing investments, Coriex’s adorable collections of rainwear and beach accessories launching, and a stunning new collectibles release from DeAgostini. Further across the continent, licensees continue to excite with fresh and varied Gorjuss offerings in Eastern Europe including Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia; Belgian licensee Verachtert have an expanded offering of beautiful Gorjuss cross-stitch and latch-hook kits, whilst Studio Light BV continues to release quarterly craft collections internationally, with its second launch unveiled on TV shopping channel Create and Craft this Summer, and Panini S.p.A has launched their 8th collect-
able campaign in Europe with their 4th Gorjuss sticker album campaign being unveiled in France this summer.
Behind the scenes, Santoro are continuing to work on exciting developments for the brand’s animation concept. ‘A Gorjuss Anthology’ is set for completion by the end of the year, with each new instalment appearing online throughout the next few months.
So far, the debut episode Little Luna was shown as part of the International Showcase at the 2023 Pulcinella Awards, as well as being selected for the 2023 San Diego International Kids Film Festival in the Short Film category, taking place at the end of August. In addition, Santoro soon hope to announce a production partner for the development of a full-length animated series.
Santoro’s Tutti Cuti will also feature at this year’s BLE show.
Having relaunched 20 years on from its inception, the zesty artwork of Tutti Cuti is making a splash in the Italian kiosks with Play Press Edizioni’s wide offering of activity books and sticker and colouring albums. Santoro eagerly anticipate what heights Tutti Cuti will set out to reach and are now actively seeking licenses in the categories of fashion bags, accessories, Back To School, apparel, cosmetics, health and beauty.
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by creative guru, Darran Garnham. Whether partnering with the biggest industry names, such as Panini Group and Ladybird, winning thrilling opportunities like creating the UEFA EURO 2024 mascot, or even debuting their very own smash hit computer game, “Piñata Smashlings,” Toikido is on a clear trajectory of success.
Initially launching with the global toy rights to Innersloth’s “Among Us” IP, Toikido has rapidly ascended from its start-up roots, thanks to becoming the partner of choice for leading and breakthrough brands across gaming, music, and entertainment. In the process, it’s become an eight-figure
business, last year selling over 20 million toys across 100 markets worldwide and boasting 70,000+ points of sale in North America alone. Toikido’s team of industry veterans, which includes inventors, social media experts and even Grammy and BAFTA winners, has been predominantly focussed on creating toys for entertainment industry brands like Netflix, Skydance and Apple. Yet they also wanted to do something different, something they could call their own, even if it meant ripping up the rule book to do it.
Piñata Smashlings is the end result. It has been described as a “hypedup, sugar-high party world” and “innovative, blockbuster, premium quality” computer game. Just one month after launch, its trailer had accumulated over 10 million views and over 1.3 million players, which is unprecedented for a new game on the
What’s even more impressive is that the game’s player base has coalesced into an ever-growing community of engaged users whose passion for Piñata Smashlings is driving the huge demand for its themed merchandise. Naturally, this “buzz” has been assisted by dedicated media and social media activities, including the backing of highly popular and influential content creators, such as “Sean Does Magic”, who will be driving awareness and excitement around the brand each month to his online community of over 30 million followers.
In all honesty, it’s not hard to understand why Piñata Smashlings has become so popular. Underpinned by a deep character driven story, players can discover the Piñataverse, which is home to wise Piñatas, scheming Meañatas, bitter Bashlings and LOTS of adorable, cheeky Smashlings. Their
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main mission is to hatch and catch as many super cute Smashlings as possible from their rainbow pods, with some being much harder to catch than others.
Players can unlock new areas to explore in the Piñataverse by collecting more and more Smashlings, while connecting and engaging with other players online. Unlike other games that feature on Roblox, Piñata Smashlings does not require in-game purchases, with all players motivated to tame new Smashlings, complete mighty stackems and party up with Smashlings to increase powers, collect endless fruity rewards and access new areas.
Set to become one of the most exciting children’s brands to launch in 2023, Piñata Smashlings is the first and only Roblox gaming IP to debut physical products at retail in the
same launch window as the initial game. The UK’s leading toy retailers, The Entertainer and Smyths Toys Superstores, are already selling the full range of Piñata Smashlings collectibles, including the hugely popular “Window Box” plushies, which Walmart is featuring in their “Top Toys List” for this year.
Clearly, Toikido knows that, right now, it is in possession of one of the world’s hottest IPs, and it’s not just consumers of all ages that are buying into the Piñata Smashlings brand. Companies are eager to be involved also, and Toikido has been partnering with the very best. PMI Kids World, have been key to the creation and launch of the toy range,
publish the first Piñata Smashlings books. A Piñataverse inspired album is also in the works, and there are even reported rumours that a festive single will be aiming to top the Christmas charts. The fun will continue into 2024 with a slew of exciting announcements, but we can already reveal that the first of these will see legendary animation studio Nelvana launch a 52-episode screen adaptation of the Piñataverse in the second quarter. With so much going on around Piñata Smashlings, you would think Toikido would put the action on pause… Yet the studio is already looking to its next, as yet undisclosed IP, and is still finding time to partner with companies who can truly add value to the Piñata Smashlings brand, helping to make it a truly immersive IP. If that’s
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One of the most popular franchises of the past 15 years comes back as an original live-action series from Rainbow Studios, and it’s ready to thrill global audiences with an amazing brand strategy and special effects.
Originally launched in 2005 by Italy’s leading toy company Giochi Preziosi, Gormiti needs no introduction – the brand seems to know no limit and gets growing into a dream property for boys all over Europe and beyond.
In almost twenty years of releases, the historic boys action brand created by Giochi Preziosi has become more and more popular and loved, with their distribution covering more than 50 countries and surpassing five hundred million figures sold.
2024: A NEW ERA FOR GORMITI
GIOCHI PREZIOSI, established in 1978 in Milan and known all over the world, has released an endless series of Gormiti collections which are owned and estimated by gamers across continents. All different and all beloved, over time the Gormiti have also become the stars of short and long animated content, board games and video games. Still, the leading company in Italy’s toy industry had never before unlocked the doors to the full-scale brand revolution that comes with the vision of Rainbow’s founder, president, and creative guide Iginio Straffi and his creative team, who have been crafting, distributing, and managing successful licenses for nearly 30 years, always pushing the boundaries of creativity and looking a little further to a global market that needs constant evo lution, inventiveness and talent to find new ways into the heart of fans.
The match between Rainbow Group and Giochi Preziosi was immediate and is leading to an unprecedented reboot that is going to make hype and place Gormiti among the most antici pated boys’ properties releasing in 2024.
The exclusive partnership seals the beginning of a new thrilling chapter for the Gormian heroes and is expected to boost their growth as an aspirational brand, steering the action figures legend to uncharted territories and audiences.
Gormiti – The New Era is not just a reboot series, but a whole new dimension of fascinating styles and stories for the pop culture phenomenon built around the power of elementals, enhanced by a top-quality direction and CGI effects made possible by the versatile production team deployed by Rainbow Group. The Italian studios are managing all the production, starting from the graphic concept development up to the live action and postproduction, to bring the best out of
the priceless concept that celebrates the power of the elemental warriors. A story of success reminiscent of the evergreen property Winx Club, girls’ top brand rolling since 2004, looking back at many animated series and a live action adaptation in collaboration with Netflix.
The new show will feature two seasons of ten live action episodes of 22’ each and is aimed at the 6–11-year-old
Carter, Zane, and Skye, chosen by the magic Elespheres to become the new Gormiti, will discover their hidden gifts, learn to appreciate them, and tap into their Gormita of Earth, Water, Fire and Air to unleash their powers and become the heroes they are meant to be, learning to trust each other and collaborate, united against a looming team of villains that has a lot to tell about the human nature. Twists won’t be missing, as the four Scions and their Gormiti, each with different personalities and features, will take the audience to a new dimension of values and stories, contributing to the development of main themes such as friendship, teamplay, courage, emotional maturity, and awareness. The show has international scope and boasts the precious contribution of a varied team of artists and top professionals, allowing to reach the best results in the CGI postproduction quality of the many spectacular effects featured in the show, but also in the very development of each single story, packed with fast-paced action and epic.
drama, adventure, comedy, and magic, mixing in perfect balance to offer the audience a coming-of-age series with huge potential.
Strong investments and marketing activities will be rolled out by Giochi Preziosi with a global worldwide launch campaign.
Starring four young kids chosen by the Gormian spirits to lead the battle against the evil destroyers that threaten both the Earth and Gorm, Gormiti – The New Era is just the story that modern audiences need now. Epic scenes building on tradition, but also revealing the new potential of a world that has still a rich story to tell.
Episode after episode, the four earthly protagonists called the Scions - Glen,
The rich concept of the ultimate Gormiti, already backed by a solid core strategy implemented by Giochi Preziosi year after year through the creation and distribution of toy lines and games, will once again turn into a wide range of collectible games and toy lines, and Rainbow’s global licensing approach, research, and constant collaboration will be key to the development of the show elements in tune with Consumer Product.
The roll-out plan is yet to be unveiled and is due between 2024 and 2025. Among the many product categories under development there are already publishing, collectible figures, toys and board games, apparel, and fashion, Back to School, and also food.
The Gormiti are back, and as powerful as ever. They are just warming up to surprise everyone as the next top property for boys.
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GIOCHI PREZIOSI’S ICONIC BRAND BECOMES A STUNNING LIVE ACTION SERIES THANKS TO RAINBOW’S SENSATIONAL COPRODUCTION WITH GIOCHI PREZIOSI GROUP.
INNOVATIONS AND EXPERIENCES FROM HASBRO
Commemorating its 100th anniversary, Hasbro returns to BLE (Booth A211) to reveal fresh innovations and experiences based on its world-class IP: Peppa Pig, Transformers, Monopoly, Nerf, Dungeons & Dragons and My Little Pony.
Ahead of the brand’s 20th anniversary, Peppa Pig is unveiling entertainment with A-list guest stars, plus collaborations across key categories. With current experiences in the UK like Peppa Pig World at Paulton’s Park and Peppa Pig Afternoon Tea Bus, the fun continues in 2024 with The Everywhere Group’s Peppa Pig: Surprise Party immersive show, fashion from MORI and Trotters London, Audible podcast content and more.
Enjoyed by more than one billion players across the globe, Monopoly is the world’s favorite family board game. With 300+ versions themed to travel and global pop culture brands like Barbie and the new Monopoly: Hasbro 100th Anniversary Edition, Monopoly also offers everyday goods with Champion and PUMA, and leads the LBE space. On Wednesday, October 4th at 12:30-1:15 p.m., Matt Proulx, VP, Global Experiences, Partnerships and Music at Hasbro, is taking the BLE keynote stage to discuss the award-winning Monopoly Lifesized experience’s massive success.
chise holds more than 50 million fans worldwide following the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, and it’s only uphill from here.With product offerings from Boss Dog, Burgschneider, Random House Children’s Books and much, D&D has big plans for its next 50 years.
MY LITTLE PONY
With major entertainment like the CG-animated Transformers One film and Transformers: Earthspark season two, the brand is delivering another colossal licensing program for its 40th anniversary in 2024. With Mattel cobranded UNO and Hotwheels launches, state-of-the-art Robosen robots, fashions from Bobby Abley and others and LBE like the Transformers:The Ark restaurant, fans can enjoy the brand in countless ways.
Since 1969, the brand has encouraged families to get out and play. This year, sports lovers can expect Nerf to deliver even more active fun with with Nerfball – the franchise-created sport, which merges paintball-style play with the speed and agility of basketball. In addition to innovative products with Franklin Sports, WowWee and more, Nerf can be enjoyed through in-person experiences like new Nerf Action Xperience centers and Nerf Mania coming soon to Brazil’s Beto Carrero.
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
In 2024, Dungeons & Dragons is celebrating 50 years by unveiling unexpected collaborations that has expanded the word’s greatest roleplaying game into a lifestyle brand. To-date, the fran-
Through 40 years of magic and friendship, My Little Pony is bringing some pivotal brand news to the show to add onto its already comprehensive licensing lineup. With brilliant animation like the popular My Little Pony: Tell Your Tale series and My Little Pony: Bridlewoodstock, the brand can be enjoyed through fashion, toys, beauty, home ranges and more thanks to premium collabs with Loungefly, Prabal Gurung, Cosnova Catrice, Ravensburger, PlayMonster, plus many others.
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BBC Studios returns to BLE for another year with its impressive brand portfolio, including Bluey, Hey Duggee, Doctor Who, plus BBC Earth and emerging property Supertato.
BBC STUDIOS RETURN TO BLE
“With BBC Studio’s brand portfolio generating significant global momentum, BLE gives us a strong platform to highlight those successes. Our key focus this year is spotlighting that global growth, and from that build out UK and international opportunities with both new and existing partners and retailers. We have new licensing deals and other exciting news to share. Additionally, BLE is a great platform for us to have discussions around new content and new IP, be that UK or internationally.”
- Andrew Carley, Director of Global Licensing – BBC Studios
Bluey’s widespread popularity continues. The hit property won ‘Best Preschool Licensed Property at The Licensing Awards 2023 for the second year in a row. Plus more news on brand new formats and toy launches are forthcoming.
Bluey is the #1 show on Disney+ for kids throughout 2023 and ten new Series 3 episodes premiered globally on the streamer in July. These were #1 for Disney+ for both kids and adult audiences. Its dominance extends to its second window UK broadcast partner CBeebies, where it reigns as the highest-ranking show, and it has secured top-five ratings in eight EMEA regions.
Notably, Bluey has helped drive preschool Toy growth in the UK, doubling sales from 2021. This year capsule collections with Zara and product launches from Blueprint Collections, OTL Technologies, Tomy, 8th Wonder, HTI Toys, Character Options, Ra-
vensburger, MV Sports & Leisure have been introduced. Master toy partner Moose Toys has released new hero toys, including the Beach Cabin and Hammerbarn Shopping Centre Playsets. Plus, global partner VTech recently launched its new product range for 2023 in key markets, including Bluey’s Keytar, Scooter Time Bluey, Shake It Bluey, Game Time Laptop and LeapFrog® LeapStart (known as MagiBook in the EU) Bluey Fun and Games. Bluey is now one of VTech’s top ranking pre-school character licences YTD in the UK, Australia, and USA (Source Circana July 23 YTD).
“We are delighted to continue to expand the partnership and we continue to look at extending the international roll out and Bluey product offering across our portfolio.”
Andrew Barrett: Director of Product Development and Licensing at Vtech
“We are thrilled to extend our Bluey VTech agreement into Benelux, Germany (GAS) and Spain, South Africa and Middle East, and in addition we are adding a musical Hooray Drum Set toy to launch from mid-2024, to compliment this year’s musical Keytar which will bring the total Bluey SKU count to 10.”
Julie Kekwick, Head of Hardlines, BBC Studios
Additionally, Fiddes Payne and Kinnerton Confectionary have been newly signed for the UK market.
As momentum for Bluey continues,
the globally launched Bluey mobile app game gains traction and Bluey’s Big Play eagerly anticipates tours across the UK, Ireland, and Canada.
“Following the incredible reaction to the live theatre show in the US and in Australia, we are so excited to bring Bluey’s Big Play The Stage Show to fans across the UK and Ireland.”
Natasha Spence, Head of Attractions at BBC Studios Live Entertainment
Hey Duggee still thrives and has been streamed over half a billion times since it launched on BBC iPlayer in 2014. Series 4 was unveiled on CBeebies in September and launched with a VIP Family Premiere at VUE Leicester Square, London, attended by an array of celebrities including TV presenter Alex Jones (The One Show – BBC), Reality TV star Charlotte Crosby (Geordie Shore – MTV), Strictly couple, James Jordan and Ola Jordan, plus Loose Women panellist Linda Robson.
Hey Duggee boasts 28 UK licensed partners, recent signings include OTL and RMS. Master toy licensee Golden Bear has released new hero toys, including Sleepy Time Duggee. The preschool hit also won an Olivier award this year for its first-ever stage show, Hey Duggee The Live Theatre Show. Additionally, the Official Hey Duggee YouTube Channel has amassed over 2.5 billion lifetime views.
Next year marks 10 years of Hey
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Duggee and planning is underway for impactful activity to support the milestone anniversary. There are also further content commissions and licensing deals in the pipeline for the hit preschool property that will be announced in due course.
Doctor Who returns in November for its 60th anniversary, with three special episodes starring David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor. Ncuti Gatwa’s first episode as the Fifteenth Doctor will air over Christmas. Fans in the UK and Ireland can catch new episodes on the BBC, while the rest of the world can watch it exclusively on Disney+.
“We’re delighted to join forces with a partner who shares our vision and ambition for one of the most iconic shows in British TV history. This is great news for
Unit’s Seven Worlds, One Planet and bespoke narration from Sir David Attenborough, is also launching in Melbourne, Australia, on 27th October.
“BBC Studios is the biggest global producer of natural history programming with ground-breaking shows that are enjoyed by a billion people around the world. The response to the BBC Earth Experience
tions. The first series launched in the UK in Autumn 2022 and has consistently ranked as the top show for 4-6 year olds on CBeebies. After new episodes aired on CBeebies in May 2023, Supertato ranked sixth among the Top 10 kids’ programs for households with children aged 0-6. Further afield, the show is broadcast in Australia and Asia on CBeebies and in China on Tencent Video. The emerging brand has also secured a global publishing deal (excluding China) with Simon & Schuster Children’s Books. The tie-in publishing range launches on 28th September with search-and-find book Where’s Supertato?
BLE STAND: C180
CONTACT DETAILS: Andrew.Carley@bbc.com
everyone who loves Doctor Who, and for all the new fans we will reach through this powerful partnership.”
Rebecca Glashow, CEO, Global Distribution, BBC Studios.
Rubbertoe and Character Options recently launched the Fourteenth Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver and sales exceed expectations. Magic:The Gathering® – Doctor Who™ four Commander decks will be released in October. More new products will launch soon and further new Doctor Who products expect to be announced.
BBC EARTH EXPERIENCE
The awe-inspiring BBC Earth Experience successfully launched in London, UK earlier this year. The breath-taking immersive experience featuring footage from BBC Studios’ Natural
in the UK has been amazing, audiences have been loving seeing this incredible content being showcased and elevated in this way. Seven Worlds, One Planet was a hit when it was screened in Australia on Channel Nine and on our own BBC Earth channel on Foxtel and Fetch, and I’m thrilled to partner with Moon Eye Productions and Live Nation to bring this experience to Australia for people to enjoy.”
Fiona Lang, General Manager, BBC Studios Australia and
Last but not least, they’ll be further updates to share about Supertato at BLE.The popular children’s follows the world’s first potato superhero, and is a co-production by BBC Studios Kids & Family Productions, BBC Children’s & Education and Tencent Video Produc-
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Living by Numbers... and Colours, and Letters!
Whilst Blue Zoo Studios has existed for over 20 years Blue Zoo Licensing is a brand new entity that is less than a year old. It was set up to represent all Blue Zoo IP and in particular fulfil the immediate need created by the worldwide popularity of the Blocks Brands in particular Numberblocks. I hope that BLE will allow us to introduce ourselves properly to the industry and showcase the roster of quality content we are proud to develop, produce and license.
Blue Zoo Licensing opened about a year ago, a new company within Blue Zoo Animation Studio, a British animation studio best known for producing children’s television series, commercials and short films. Blue Zoo Animation was founded in 2000 by Oli Hyatt, Adam Shaw, and Tom Box and the studio has gone on to win numerous BAFTA’s and in 2021 won two Daytime Emmy awards.
We are very proud of the fact that in 2021, the company became the first
major animation studio in the world to achieve B Corp certification. Some of the more well-known children’s shows the studio has produced are Alphablocks, Numberblocks and Colourblocks, Digby Dragon, Miffy’s Adventures, Big and Small, The Adventures of Paddington, Big Tree City, The Smeds and Smoods and Superworm. Blue Zoo Licensing was formed to deal with the demand generated by the huge success of Alphablocks, Numberblocks and Colourblocks and the demand for consumer products from our army of international fans. Our focus at BLE will be showcasing Alphablocks, Numberblocks and Colourblocks as well as Millie and Lou, a YouTube commissioned preschool animated series focusing on the power of friendship and Big Tree City a CGI preschool comedy action an adventure series commissioned by and showing on Netflix.
Our Blocks brands have close to 11 million subscribers with numbers
showing month on month growth. To date we have over 8.6 billion lifetime views and our YouTube channel has almost 5 million views per day.
Alphablocks is Blue Zoo Licensing’s legacy brand, focused on phonics and designed to support children, parents and teachers on their reading journey. The award-winning Cbeebies show is a sure-fire way to engage kids with learning their letter sounds, building and reading words and gaining confidence as they go. Alphablocks teaches phonics, a reading system based on learning letter sounds and blending them together to make words. Alphablocks take children on a journey from their very first letter sounds to independent reading. It can work alongside any phonics reading programme and is loved by children, teachers and parents alike.
The show, has 64 x 5 minute and 26 x 3 minute episodes as well as a number of specials. Music plays an important part and we have 5 albums, 1 single, 1.5 million streams and 6.23k monthly listeners. It is a featured brand on the Amazon Echo Dot with Alexa-specific content and features on the Amazon Kids service. Add to this a range of apps that regularly feature in the Top 10 free and paid Apple apps and a consumer product program that includes licensees such as Sweet Cherry, Immediate Media, Trends and Fashion UK.
The Cbeebies hit children’s show, Numberblocks, won a BAFTA for Children’s Preschool Animation in 2019 and has also been nominated for the prestigious Prix Jeunesse and The Japan Prize Audiovisual Pre-school awards. Numberblocks helps children to see how numbers really work − and master a new key maths skill with every adventure. Characters from One to One Hundred (and beyond) take children on a thrilling adventure as
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Blue Zoo Licensing is exhibiting at BLE 2023 for the first time. Karen McNally, Licensing Director, explains more...
they discover new things and learn about themselves. Packed with clever ideas, songs, games, puzzles and fun, the show is on a mission to give every child a solid foundation in maths and to spark a life-long love of learning. It’s a story of friends who can always count on each other − but, most of all, it’s is about having fun with numbers. Each episode has been carefully crafted with the help of the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics) to make sure Numberblocks delivers the essential numeracy skills that build good number sense and a solid foundation for a lifetime of maths success. The Cbeebies show has proved a worldwide hit and helped millions of young children learn to count and discover the magic of maths. Key target market – children aged 3 to 6 years.
With over 7 million YouTube subscribers on our dedicated YouTube platform and nearly 5 million views per day, a huge social media presence, apps that are consistently in the top 10 app charts of both free and paid apps as well as 5 music albums and 2 singles with 12.5 million streams, the fan base continues to grow and its international expansion continues to amaze! Numberblocks has 120 x 5 minute episodes with 4 x 10-20 minute specials and is currently translated into: English, LATAM Spanish, German, Korean, Portuguese and French. We have a growing network of international agents and partnerships with Hand2Mind / Learning Resources LTD, Rubies, Fashion UK, Sweet Cherry, TrendsUK, Immediate Media and Aykroyd’s & TDP Textiles, RJ Bags, to name but a few.
Colourblocks is the latest addition to the Blocks family and opens children’s eyes to the world of colour that exists all around them. Each colour comes to life as a lively and loveable character. Passionate Red, cool Blue, happy Yellow and nature-loving Green are our core characters, along with energetic Orange, imaginative Purple, party Pink and down-to-earth Brown. Together they help children to explore colour names, associations, mixing, sorting and lots more, meeting plenty
of colourful friends along the way. The show is designed to teach children a brand new colour curriculum through sing-along songs, puzzles, games and –above all – fun! Key target market is children aged 3 to 6 years.Currently there are 30 x 5 minute episodes with more exciting content on the way.
Millie and Lou
Millie and Lou is a warm and friendly pre-school animated comedy created by Mandy Wong and Rory Cooke produced by Emmy and BAFTA award winning studio Blue-Zoo Animation. Millie and Lou is a true celebration of friendship. Friends are your found family! The show uses empathy like a superpower to make everyone feel like they can be who they are - and we all have this POWER! It’s also about finding common ground, no matter who you are or where you’re from. It’s a celebration of what makes us all unique and special.
Big Tree City
A Netflix Original Commission produced by award winning studio Blue Zoo Animation, Big Tee City is a preschool action rescue show with a difference! A CGI Comedy Action Adventure set in a vibrant city location and themed storylines. The show is aimed at preschool kids and is a firm fan favourite. The series consists of 30x11 min episodes and is also shown
on YouTube with a comprehensive digital and social media presence. Stationed in the heart of the metropolis of Big Tree City, Major Pickles and his Rescue Team are ready to take on any mission and save the day. They all specialise in a different emergency service with the help of their own unique transforming vehicle and accessories. Our aims for BLE are to grow our existing UK licensees for our Blocks Brands, Numberblocks in particular whilst meeting with international agents in order to grow our international presence and offerings. We are also hoping to showcase Blue Zoo Studios IP whilst introducing the Blue Zoo Licensing Team to the Industry.
So for more information on any of these brands please get in touch with Karen McNally, Licensing Director, visit our website www.learningblocks.tv or come and visit us at stand A110 at BLE.
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Spin Master Creating Enduring Franchises
From Super-Powered Pup Missions to Magical Unicorns – Spin Master is Creating Enduring Franchises for Kids and Families.
“No job is too big; no pup is too small.”
It’s the mantra of the PAW Patrol and one that resonates with kids and families around the globe and also happens to be the prominent theme in Spin Master Entertainment’s second feature film in the PAW Patrol franchise, which hit theatres September 29th
This is a big year for the pups as they celebrate 10 years of action-packed missions, leaving their small prints in many, many big places. A rare feat for a children’s entertainment series, staying relevant for a decade while still maintaining its position as the number one preschool property.
The team at Spin Master credits the success of PAW Patrol to many factors: commitment to excellence in storytelling, recognizable and relatable characters and a deep understanding of how kids play.
“Spin Master has a storytelling superpower, and we are uniquely skilled at bringing the show to shelf, says Jeremy Tucker, Spin Master’s Global Chief Marketing Officer. “We’ve been strengthening our storytelling in expansive and innovative ways to extend the PAW Patrol universe while staying relevant with kids and parents.”
Each of the company’s three creative centres: toys, digital games and entertainment, work together in a col-
laborative, imaginative process to ensure the authenticity of the show is brought to life. Case in point – PAW Patrol Academy - the company’s first PAW Patrol app developed in-house for preschool fans launching in lock step with the upcoming movie.
The vision for PAW Patrol Academy was to develop an app that would excite fans while also delivering an educational component that parents would value. Enter Spin Master’s Originator digital studio, with their track record of creating meaningful digital experiences loved and respected by kids, parents and educators.
“Once we became a part of Spin Master we immediately started a design
says Jennifer Dodge, Spin Master’s President of Entertainment.
The company’s latest franchise, Unicorn Academy, promises to transport audiences to a magical world following Sophia on her journey as she discovers her destiny as a unicorn rider. The team first found the Julie Sykes’ New York Times best-selling series at the Bologna Book Fair in 2018.
“We were searching for something in an older demo that felt like fantasy and adventure with strong protagonists and looked at hundreds of titles,” says Dodge. “When we came across Unicorn Academy we immediately connected with the magic, fantasy, diversity of the characters and the story behind their journey.”
The series debuts on Netflix November 2, 2023, and will be complemented by a toy line and digital game in 2024, along with an expansive licensed consumer product program.
around what PAW Patrol could be in the app space and at the same time had a lot of the discussions with both the toy and entertainment creative centres,” says Rex Ishibashi, General Manager, Originator. “Following the show, staying true to the brand, emphasizing characters was really important in the development and design.”
Beyond building upon its own successful IP, Spin Master is also planting seeds for new franchises to reach kids across screens of all sizes. “We are cultivating new creative ideas that are diverse in character, art style and genre with the goal of reaching audiences around the globe,”
“We’re bringing best-in-class licensees, to partner with us as we bring this beautiful and dynamic property to the marketplace,” says André Lake Mayer, Spin Master’s SVP Global Strategic Partnerships & Consumer Products. The licensed portfolio for the magical series includes rights for accessories, apparel, stationary and home goods. Nosy Crow, who originated and published the Sykes book series, published in North America by Penguin Random House, will publish the official companion title for the new series.
And that’s not all, Spin Master Entertainment has doctored up a new 2D animated preschool series entitled Vida the Vet that will debut on BBC’s CBeebies in Q1 2024.
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Going All In with All3Media International
during appeal. The delightful English idyll of Midsomer continues to captivate audiences after two decades on air and the charming yet murderous world is consistently expanding with an interactive novel from Octopus Books, a interactive’s gaming app from Qiiwi– and many more off-screen extensions planned.
Additionally, the Yorkshire based stories of All Creatures Great and Small present plenty of off-screen opportunities. Celebrating community spirit and packed with charming characters - in human and animal form. Fans love to escape to this warm-hearted world, with a book, calendar and soundtrack all available in the UK.
Hot new entertainment hits and classic, beloved brands from leading television distributor and rights holder All3Media International are having a break-out moment in the UK licensing market.
One of the buzziest brands launching in recent memory is All3Media International’s The Traitors. Following its UK launch on BBC less than a year ago, The Traitors was a breakout hit, drawing in over 34 million views on iPlayer, winning two BAFTAs and is soon set to return for a second season. The series’ addictive, psychological gameplay has proved equally appealing off-screen with All3Media International securing a host of UK deals including an interactive book with Penguin Random House, coming in November, a boardgame with Vivid Goliath launching next month and a card game with Ginger Fox already in the market. Additionally The Traitors official dress up cloak will launch for Halloween.
The distributor will also launch a fresh sustainability focused home renovation brand Sort Your Life Out for UK partners at BLE. Already an on-screen hit, Sort Your Life Out is BBC’s BAFTA nominated series, fronted by Stacey
Solomon is confirmed to return for a third season. With sustainability a key focus in the UK licensing market, All3Media International is looking for lifestyle partners for this brand to bring recycling, upcycling and a more sustainable approach to home renovation.
With the comfort of nostalgic British brands resonating in the UK market, All3Media International’s charming worlds of Midsomer Murders and All Creatures Great and Small offer en-
Finally, All3Media International’s classic word guess game Catchphrase remains an enduring family favourite with UK audiences. On screen for over 30 years and a tentpole series on ITV and STV, the brand has proved its evergreen appeal off screen with an app, board game, card game and website all available for UK consumers.
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Born in 1959 thanks to Albert Uderzo and Rene Goscinny, Asterix the little Gaul is a major license character, continuously appealing to new fans of all ages and from all around the world. In the publishing field, the result is an off-the-wall phenomenon with 39 albums translated into more than 110 languages and more than 385 million copies sold internationally. It makes it the highest selling comic book series ever!
Not only a huge publishing success, Asterix is a cross-media character: the nine animated movies and five live action movies released over the decades have brought more than 110 million people into movie theatres. And the Parc Asterix near Paris is the second most-visited theme park in France with more than 2.7 million visitors per year. With many positive and humanist values, Asterix is the little friend for the whole family. Europe is not the only market where the license is strong: it is growing fast in new territories like India, the USA and South America. The license is strong with books, toys, collectible and food products as well as with fashion. The comprehensive
With Gaulish heroes come great opportunities!
style guide is used by apparel brands in many countries to create cool and on-trend fashion products.
Some great events for the little Gaul!
On October 26, the 40th adventure of Asterix, Asterix The White Iris, will be released with more than 5 million copies for the first print run across Europe, it will be the biggest comic book launch of the year!
The year will be punctuated by these both anniversaries with many events and great collaborations which will be announced soon.
An impressive media campaign will be organized to support this release and some trade marketing operations with key retailers.
In 2024, we will celebrate a double anniversary with the 35th anniversary of Parc Asterix and the 65th anniversary of Asterix.
Also in 2024, some marketing and licensing activities on our album Asterix at the Olympic Games will take place and the Playmobil Asterix range will continue to grow with new sets. Last but not least for the Anniversary of Asterix, we are proud to confirm to our fans that at the end of the year we will have the release of the exclusive 3D series on Netflix!
The program for 2025 and 2026 is also beginning to be built with a new Animated Movie in preparation.
The adventure continues with a lot of magic potions! Be part of the adventure and join the Gaulish village!
BLE Booth A225
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The Mane Event:
The success story with a strong social impact looks towards Europe and South Africa as targeted markets, with dozens of licencees already under its saddle and animation on the horizon.
Becky Ash caught up with Founder and CEO April Showers to see what’s next...
Afro Unicorn Gallops into BLE!
Talking to April Showers, I am once again impressed by not only her enthusiasm but her clear passion for a brand that she has built from the ground up. From her initial inspiration, to numerous licensees, experiences and now animation, Afro Unicorn is now ready to race onto the world stage.
Afro Unicorn now works with over 45 licensee partners worldwide. Over the past year, Afro Unicorn has grown from one to 25 product categories with 500 SKUs across the U.S. and Canada in 40,000 stores, including the #1 luggage brand at Walmart and a featured brand at Target.
Afro Unicorn is one of the first licensed brands to have a full texture hair care line with Afro Unicorn Magical Tresses launching in both Walmart and CVS this fall.
Afro Unicorn named Just Play as its master toy partner with worldwide rights to manufacture and distribute Afro Unicorn products including dolls, playsets, collectibles, plush toys and more starting in spring 2024.
April is debuting a new line of six original Afro Unicorn books under the Random House Books for Young
Readers imprint this fall.
Jakks Pacific’s costume company Disguise has licensed the rights to the burgeoning Afro Unicorn brand for North America and EMEA in a multiyear deal brokered by licensing agent Retail Monster.
Rarely does a successful business owner build a brand by uplifting others and taking them along for the ride. Shattering the glass ceiling, trailblazer
April Showers, Founder & CEO of Afro Unicorn, became the first Black woman to own a fully licensed character brand in major retail.
As an empowerment-led brand, Afro Unicorn has upheld its intentional mission to uplift and impact women and children of color. Ms. Showers created the brand to normalize Black beauty. Afro Unicorn represents the beauty and uniqueness of vanilla, caramel, and mocha complexions, delivering a product that feels ‘true and right.’
Afro Unicorn signifies two ideas: firstly, empowering and elevating emerging entrepreneurs. Secondly, it is an homage to Africa and a promise to amplify representation. By doing so, Afro Unicorn uplifts women and children of color with the confidence they need to embrace who they are – unique, divine, and magical.
As part of her fascinating origin story, April Showers was born and raised in South Central, Los Angeles, and attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, where she honed her creative talents and business skills. She was repeatedly referred to as a unicorn by a friend because she was doing it all at an extraordinary level –running multi-companies, taking care of her two boys as a single mother, and enjoying a bustling social life.
Back then, Afro Unicorn was an organic, grassroots brand, and April was pressing shirts and selling them through her e-commerce store, adding logos to T-shirts and bags at her customers’ request. Everything changed in August 2021 when a video of a little girl named Cassidy Brianna wearing an Afro Unicorn shirt went viral with 5 million views, and numer-
ous celebrities shared it with their audiences, including Oprah Daily, Viola Davis, Alicia Keys, Sherri Shepherd, and Tina Knowles.
Then, she received an email from Walmart with the subject title ‘Afro Unicorn x Walmart’ collaboration, marking her start with the retail giant. The brand started in the party supplies and apparel categories, receiving prime product placement in 3,800 Walmart stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Soon after, Afro Unicorn gained prime shelf placement next to Marvel characters and Disney princesses.
Managing the brand’s rapid growth alongside the daily management of all its releases has been one of the most challenging aspects for Afro Unicorn. Afro Unicorn ensures every partner and product gets the love and care they deserve. Like having tons of kids, Afro Unicorn is careful to treat each partner equally and with the utmost respect, creating community and au-
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thentic representation at every turn. Ms. Showers advises emerging entrepreneurs: “Mindset is everything! Once you develop the mindset of “all gas, no brakes,” you will be unstoppable.”
2023 has been a breakthrough year for creativity and authentic representation. Today, Afro Unicorn has a strong market presence with 25 product categories across the U.S. and Canada, including Walmart, Walmart Canada, Target, HomeGoods, Kohls, JCPenney, Amazon, and NovaKids. Afro Unicorn now has 45+ licensee partners worldwide, offering accessories, apparel, books, backpacks, collectibles, consumables, costumes, luggage, toys, and more, allowing kids to live and play in the world of Afronia.
As alluded to above, Afro Unicorn continues to expand beyond the U.S. borders. In February 2023, the brand entered the Canadian market and now has 3-piece travel luggage sets and toddlers’ and girls’ apparel in Walmart Canada. Next, Afro Unicorn plans to expand into the European market. To this end, Ms. Showers will head to London this fall to showcase Afro Unicorn at Brand Licensing Europe. In addition, the brand has a new line of six original Afro Unicorn books under the Random House Books for Young Readers imprint. Andrews McMeel Publishing (AMP) will partner with Afro Unicorn to release kids’ graphic novels in the Spring of 2024.
This January, Afro Unicorn signed a production deal with powerhouse Pure Imagination Studios, an LA-based entertainment company to develop Afronia and its characters to live across multiple platforms, including broadcast, digital, theatrical, games, and as a live experience. A new animation series will center around the three
Afro Unicorn characters as well as introduce new fantastical characters like mermaids and dinosaurs.
Afro Unicorn remains poised to dominate the character licensing space.
Afro Unicorn expanded its consumables category at the Licensing Expo in Vegas this past June and inked a deal with Corso’s Cookies to compliment its beautiful cakes with edible icing art found at Walmart and major grocery chains across the U.S. Afro Unicorn is equally excited to introduce Afro Unicorn fruit snacks this July, adding that the goal is for Afro Unicorn cakes to be enjoyed at every birthday party and for its fruit snacks in every lunch pail. Most of all, Ms. Showers is creating a movement and strives to be the change that she wants to see. Growing up, she was a tomboy who loved video games and basketball. Her favorite toy was She-Ra, Princess of Power, a multidimensional character representing empowerment, courage, and self-confidence. While she did not look like Ms. Showers, she reflected on who she was on the inside.
Today, Ms. Showers sees the tide shifting and a positive trend for bigger toy companies to become more inclusive George Floyd’s death became a catalyst for change, and the world came together to demand it. One of the most critical reasons behind the brand is that multicultural toys are essential for kids to incorporate into playtime because they learn to interact with people who look like them. Children emulate adults, and they are products of our environment. Children must value themselves as being beautiful from an early age. It is critical to play with dolls that have coarse hair. Ms. Showers believes we must teach children to love themselves through authentic representation in everything we do.
With Afro Unicorn turning four on April 28, 2023, the brand is expanding beyond product categories; Ms. Showers is exploring location-based possibilities from restaurants and hotels to entertainment complexes. Her vision for Afronia is an empowering, impactful physical space for authentic representation, where they can be their authentic selves and get over that Eu-
ropean standard of beauty. In the near future, she envisions a place where families can spend time together in a fun, supervised place to play, create, or relax and where kids can be their true selves, bringing self-esteem and motivating them positively.
This coming fall, children will head back to school armed with Afro Unicorn books, backpacks, pencil cases, and lunch boxes filled with Afro Unicorn fruit snacks. They will be able to dress in Afro Unicorn apparel, get ready with the brand’s new hair care line, “Magical Tresses,” and then style their hair with Afro Unicorn accessories.
Everything has come full circle, with Afro Unicorn Entertainment (AUE) starting a licensing agency to bring urban brands up.
The brand continues to be a movement with a social impact with the launch of the Afro Unicorn Foundation, led by its Executive Director, Kenyelle Ash designed to make a direct impact on young girls by helping them to discover and uncover what makes them unique, divine and magical by nurturing them to become confident leaders of tomorrow. In June 2023, Afro Unicorn officially released its EP titled Afro Unicorn Presents Vol. 1 EP. Showers is a prolific speaker and featured guest on ABC News Good Morning America 3: What You Need To Know and CBS Mornings.
And now, this powerhouse is negotiating a deal with a major network for her upcoming animation series.
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Borderless Creativity Prevails
says Roubina Tchoboian, Head of Global Licensing at Banijay Kids & Family
“Having recently joined the Banijay Kids & Family team as Head of Global Licensing, I have spent the last few weeks immersing myself into the business’ prolific and exciting catalogue of brands. Proving that borderless creativity prevails, the majority of the portfolio already has a strong presence in many territories, captivating a broad audience and reaching consumers globally via commercial extensions. Right from the start, I was drawn in by the hugely diverse offering, which boasts the likes of Mr Bean, which continues to attract significant digital audiences, with over 129 million followers on Facebook; Totally Spies!, an iconic show with a hugely passionate fanbase and extensive licensing program, and the new promising CGI action-comedy, Shasha & Milo, a co-production with Korean studio Pingo Entertainment, mixing superpowers, spirited characters and adventure. That’s not to mention the promising pipeline at-play…
Set to return in 2024, Totally Spies! is co-produced with French broadcaster, Gulli (part of M6 group) and Discovery Kids LatAm, with Warner Bros. Discovery also on board across EMEA and the U.S. Since 2009, the brand has totalled in excess of 18 billion watch time minutes and nearly 2 billion views on YouTube globally. Just this year, we announced several strategic licensing partnerships including a collaboration with Bookwire to develop audiobooks on all streaming platforms, a unique webtoon for digital platform, ONO,
with Belgian publisher Editions Dupuis, and an all-new video game with Microids. With such an enduring and engaging appeal, I’ve no doubt we will be able to capitalise further here in the licensing space.
Topo Gigio, a coproduction between Movimenti Production and Topo Gigio S.r.l, in collaboration with Rai Kids is a charming 2D animated adventure, which follows the daily adventures of the title character, the first mouse to ever live amongst humans. The second season which is now available on Rai Yoyo delivered +60% on the channel’s average. As worldwide distributor, we have an ambitious growth strategy looking across audio-visual, digital, publishing, licensing and merchandising. By collaborating with Giochi Preziosi we have some great opportunities to further expand the brand in Italy and reach new markets.
When tasked with driving commercial growth through strategic brand licensing, it’s always reassuring to have brands with global potential at your fingertips. Often the mark of success is not only the audience a show pulls, but also its capacity to draw licencing deals that translate viewers to consumers.
And there’s certainly no shortage of those opportunities here… This global, diversified reach opens extensive premium brand licensing avenues and unlocks new revenue streams through merchandising, gaming and live events – the latter which we hope to explore even further now Balich Wonder Studio has joined the Banijay family. We have all seen the commercial potential that brands like Mr Bean unlock, and while we have gems like that to hand, we are no less ambitious in terms of extending that success to the rest of our offering.With our licensing, gaming, and live event partners worldwide, we remain concentrated on continuing to maximise, innovate and authenticate the audience experience with our brands. With such a vibrant catalogue of content that resonates with kids and families all around the world, we have some fantastic opportunities to create deeper connections between consumers and our brands. And, with the creative and acquisitions teams hard at work, I’ve no doubt we will soon be welcoming a host of additional titles to supplement and expand our offering for commercial partners globally.”
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Family fun, mischief and experiences with Beano
Beanotown, famous for its beloved mischief-makers and rule-breakers, is also known for being ten minutes away from wherever you live … if you travel by skateboard. This year, Beano has brought the Beanotown fun even closer to kids and families across the country, through an array of successful experiences, celebrating the comic’s 85th anniversary. Beano and the BBC Concert Orchestra brought the hit TV show Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! to life, for the world’s ever “comiconcerto” at the Southbank Centre. Children and families were invited to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo this summer to enjoy “Beano Goes Wild at Whipsnade Zoo,” an inspiring, interactive, and funfilled trail. The comic characters have also taken centre stage in various towns across the country, as the ongoing partnership with Outdoor Gaming Company brings Beano: The Outdoor Game to life in the form of a family scavenger hunt. There are also excellent opportunities for active families to scale the heights at various Clip ‘n Climb centres nationwide, as part of a long-term licensed partnership. In hospitality, Beano Studios has welcomed a new partnership with Apex Hotels Dundee, to mark their 20th birthday and celebrate the city’s comic legacy. And the successful Brigit’s Bakery Beano Afternoon Tea Bus entertained fans young and old throughout the summer, in the heart of London. Family fun and experiences continue to be a key focus for Beano, as the comic will soon be celebrating several other significant milestones, including Minnie the Minx’s 70th anniversary in December, and The Bash Street Kids’
70th early next year, both supported by national marketing and PR. 2025 will be a Year of Mischief, with national, inspiring campaigns for children and families and the celebration of Dennis’s 75th anniversary. Children will have even more reasons to celebrate this winter, as Beano and KAP Toys have teamed up to launch a brand-new Beano toy range. Featuring a Box of Tricks, a Build-a-comic kit and Beano Squishii®, the new range launches this November with major retail support. Children will relish using stencils, stampers, character art, icons, and templates to create their own comic featuring some of Beanotown’s most-loved residents. The screen-free fun continues with a range of Beano Squishii®’s that includes Minnie, Dennis, and Gnasher, for collectable squeezy, irresistible tactile fun. The Box of Tricks, a must-have for any successful prankster, includes a whoopie cushion, phoney parking notices, fake snake and more awesome Beano pranks, to inspire all mischief-makers. The range of Beano licensed products with great retail listing also includes apparel, dress-up, cards and calendars, puzzles, and gifts from licensees such as Aykroyds, Danilo, Star Editions and Rubies Masquerade, with exciting new ranges coming soon.
The recently announced licensed partnership with Ocado saw Beanofied adventurer, Ben Fogle, join Bananaman on a foodie adventure alongside Dennis and friends, for the launch of Beano’s first-ever cookbook. Designed to help families make their food go further and reduce food waste, this cookbook offered creative cooking moments for families to enjoy, including Beano inspired recipes such as “Nearly Gone-Offee Pie”, “Bangers and Gnash”, and “Jammy Dodger French Toast”.
Beano presence in children’s reading continues to expand, with Farshore publishing the first ever children’s book based on one of the UK’s favourite Beano characters to celebrate their anniversary in November. In its 85th year of fun, mischief and encouraging reading for pleasure, Beano’s partnership with publisher Farshore is going from strength to strength, with an ever-expanding retail footprint, and five new titles already in production for 2024 including new fiction and activity books.
For UK and International licensing opportunities, get in touch with Beano at BLE, on the Rocket stand A205.
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The enduring appeal of two kids’ classics
Mondo has grown a very successful licensing business, both for its own coproductions and for third-party licenses. These now include its co-production of a new series of Grisù and its representation of Magic Light Pictures’ The Gruffalo, both of which are muchloved children’s classics with enduring audience – and licensing – appeal.
Mondo TV is one of the largest European producers and distributors of animated content. It also has a strong licensing focus that extends across a large number of in-house shows and co-productions. One of those, for which both the company and many licensees have very positive expectations, involves the return of a muchloved character.
Mondo TV Group, Toon2Tango and ZDF Studios are jointly co-producing a new series, based on the classic property Grisù, created by its original authors Nino and Toni Pagot. The new series of Grisù will boast 52 new episodes of 12 minutes each and will make its small screen debut in Italy on Rai YoYo in December this year.
The series follows the adventures of Grisù, a brave, positive, determined young dragon – just like the firefighter he wants to be when he grows up. There’s just one problem: he is supposed to be a fire-breathing dragon when he grows up! This ambition is the theme of all of his adventures –and his positive can-do attitude will give his 4-to-7-year-old audience a little hero that they can identify with. With the premiere of Grisù coming soon on Rai YoYo, merchandising plans are well under way.
In fact, with the TV launch confirmed Mondo has been able to accelerate the development of its Grisù licensing programme, which already boasts Giunti Editore for books, Pon Pon Edizioni for activity books, colouring books and magazines, Ravensburger for puzzles and Euro Publishing for puzzle flowpacks and stationery sets. But that’s not all. Thekom has signed up for meet and greet events with the costume character of the little dragon. Commodore Industry, focused on gaming, will develop an app game and a video game for PC and console. One more agreement will have a strong and direct impact on marketing initiatives. Thanks to the Fondazione Aida, which produces theatrical seasons aimed at schools and families, Grisù will star in a major theatrical production touring some of Italy’s best-known – and biggest – theatres.
massively popular line of educational games from Ludattica. RCS came out last spring with a very successful album of stickers supported by a major TV campaign.The storytelling and singing characters from FABA, meanwhile, were so successful that the company extended its licence to other Donaldson works.
The tour is scheduled to start during the back-to-school period in 2024. Mondo is also carving out a strong name for itself in third party licensing, something recognised by Global licensor Magic Light Pictures when it appointed Mondo to develop a licensing programme for The Gruffalo and other Julia Donaldson titles in Italy.
The Gruffalo, the classic book illustrated by Axel Scheffler and written by Julia Donaldson, has sold over 24 million copies and inspired two successful animated films.
The story of how a tiny mouse outwits the big, scary Gruffalo, is also a licensing hit. Numerous licensed products have already appeared in the Italian market, including a carnival costume from Ciao, stamps and colouring sets from Multiprint, puzzles and games from Ravensburger, sweet-filled epiphany socks from Emmeci and a
And there’s more! An autumn/winter apparel line, beautifully designed by Illustrabimbi, is now available in COIN, Italy’s largest chain of department stores, in the main Italian cities. Among new offerings, there is also a collaboration with the popular Wonderwood adventure park with which Mondo created the first Gruffalo trail this summer. The response has been so positive as to convince WonderWood to extend the experience with new initiatives for 2024. Last but not least, the recent agreement with CartoGi will bring to retail greeting cards, shopping bags, party boxes and other products in the gift category.
In the last year the Gruffalo brand has experienced tremendous growth. Existing licensees have not only enriched the product assortment by renewing agreements for another two years but have even extended their license to other Donaldson-Scheffler titles. Meanwhile new licensees are now considering the brand with great interest. Mondo could not have hoped for a better way to honour the brand’s 25th year of success.
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HARI MAKES ITS DEBUT AT BRAND LICENSING EUROPE
HARI is a multi award winning, high quality animation studio headquartered in Paris.
We create, produce and distribute original series dedicated to kids and family.
What’s our mission? To bring families together and inspire laughter and optimism. With original characters and compelling storylines, our properties are ripe for retail product development and here’s why.
Our international hit series are broadcast in 200 territories globally! Meaning we are known (and loved!) around the world, and enjoyed across multiple windows and devices (free-to-air, pay TV and video-on- demand).
Comedy animation Grizzy and The Lemmings was the most aired French animated TV show worldwide in 2022 and the series entered Netflix’s top ten TV shows in more than 60 territories in 2022. Other broadcast platforms include HBO, BBC, Cartoon Network, Pop, Super RTL, France TV, Zapp, SVT, Puls, and many more. The CGI animated series targets kids 3-10 and their families. The slapstick humour appeals to boys and girls alike and centres around a friendly, quarrelling co-habitation formed by a grizzly bear ‘Grizzy’ and a group of eponymous lemmings. Naturally, hilarious outcomes ensue!
These cute and aspirational characters embody traits that a wide age range of kids and families identify with. The uni-
versal humour gives them huge appeal, both on and off screen!
Three seasons are already heavily rotated on air, with a fourth season coming in 2024 and launching on Netflix in 2025. Each season comprises 78 episodes of 7 minutes. So that’s a massive 312 episodes in total.
Outstanding ratings attest to the show’s huge appeal. It regularly takes a top ten spot on Netflix across the world and is the number one show on Okoo (France). In Germany, it’s the number one show on Cartoon Network and takes a huge market share (38 per cent) on Toggo.
Exposure in the UK is massive, with 25 million + streams on Netflix, it’s also the number three show (kids 4-15) on Pop and Pop Max. It launched on CBBC and BBC iPlayer this July with weekly highlights featured on the channel’s Saturday mash up live show.
The YouTube channel has amassed 7 million subscribers (an increase of 10 per cent year on year) and one billion views per year.
Q4 2023 and 2024 sees the launch of exciting new products including Grizzy and the Lemmings toy figurines and a ‘Grizzy’ soft toy plush, following the popularity of the Lemmings soft toys (our best sellers). Hot water bottles (made by Fashy) will launch across Germany-Austria-Switzerland, medal & ingot collectibles (made by Société Française des Monnaies) and card games (made by Trade Invaders) will launch in French-speaking countries.
More licensing collaborations will be announced soon!
We are on the lookout for product partners across all categories (toys, apparel, food, gaming, back to school, gift, publishing, etc.) and retail partners with whom we can create some fantastic events such as photocalls, character meet and greets, activities, point of sale etc.
Another promising HARI highlight is the brand new Mystery Lane (26 x 22 minute episode). A show about two hamsters leading investigations in London.
A new classic à la Scooby Doo meets Sherlock Holmes: with lots of mysteries, action suspense and fun, packed in a feature-quality CGI animation. The show offers sophisticated and accessible stories appealing to kids 6-13 and their families. The series has already won the Pulcinella Award for Best Kids TV Show at Cartoon on The Bay (2023) and has been praised for its “fascinating and sophisticated storytelling” and for “the high quality of the egregiously elaborate and dynamic animation.”
Broadcasters include: Disney Channel (in Germany) where it performs above channel average with kids 3-13, taking a very strong market share of kids 6-9, since its launch in May, CITV (UK), France TV and Okoo (France), RTS (Switzerland), SVT (Sweden - where it has been one of the most popular titles since first airing), YLE (Finland), Canada (Tele Quebec), Australia (ABC) with more to announce soon!
With a global following, evergreen characters, feature quality animation and incredible storytelling!
HARI is making its debut at Brand Licensing (booth E151) Europe on the lookout for exciting new product and retail partners for its much loved series Grizzy and The Lemmings and Mystery Lane.
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“This is just the beginning…”
…says Filippo Zuffada, Senior Director Consumer Products EMEA at Netflix, speaking with Editorial Director Becky Ash
Netflix has gone from being, in 1997, a DVD-by-mail service to a household name, streaming and producing content as the most subscribed VOD service in the world. Given the organic evolution of Netflix and its dexterity, it is now a natural progression that other categories, such as consumer products, are one of the platforms big driving forces. It’s hard to imagine life today without Netflix – having paved the way for other streaming services – it can also be said that the licensing industry as a whole, while eager to work with the platform, found its non-traditional routes to market a little difficult to get its collective heads around. With a customer base north of 230 million members – and when you translate that from households to viewers, that number is multiplied, Netflix’s distinct and strategic approach embraces trends – from Squid Game to joint partnerships like Gabby’s Dollhouse, and the freshness of such content straight to fans is the driver behind the CP program.
With lower lead times and an epic fan base, coupled with quality content that reaches across ages and countries and fandom being fundamental to the ethos behind the consumer products program, we can’t wait to see what happens next.
TL: How have you shaped the Consumer Products team within EMEA?
Filippo Zuffada: Our Consumer Products team and initiative, both globally and in EMEA has evolved over the last several years. However, our goal has always been the same: to build on the tremendous fandom of our series and films on Netflix. Over the last few years, our team in Europe has expanded and we are now spread out across the region. This allows us to be close to brands we want to partner with, resulting in some great collaborations with brands like Lacoste and Ferrero, bringing to life some amazingly innovative products and experiences.
Netflix strikes an immediate merging between culture and personality, as well as being on top of trends and hand-in-hand with emerging technologies.
This is just the beginning – the more we do, the more we will need likeminded people to work with us. As well as being on top of trends, Netflix has been the creator of many trends!
TL: And how, strategically, have you entered the licensing market?
FZ: Our approach reflects the wide variety and quality of the series and films our members love on Netflix. We want our consumer products offerings to have those same key attributes – this means working with different brands, being in different categories, and offering different price points – everything from Primark x Bridgerton Stationery Set, a Lacoste polo to something from our Balmain x Stranger Things collection.
TL:You have recently had several successful and extremely diverse collaborations. Given the vast wealth of content that Netflix produces and owns, how do you decide what specifically to focus on and in what direction?
FZ: We want the products we create to feel completely authentic and true to our shows and films. We always ask ourselves if a given product
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“We want the products we create to feel completely authentic and true to our shows and films...”
allows a viewer to explore the world more deeply, express their fandom, or extend the story in compelling ways. A perfect example of that is the variety of partnerships that we have embarked on with Bridgerton, not only can fans buy teapots from Primark, but they can also quench their thirst with a Bridgertoninspired High Tea at the renowned Lanesborough hotel. Variety such as this gives fans the opportunity to express their fandom in different ways and accommodates different tastes.
TL: Looking to the future –how will you look to be taking
find that fandom shapes the way you approach a collaboration idea – and does this vary from market to market, where programmes are trending?
FZ: We see time and time again that the fandom on Netflix is extremely powerful – whether it’s the viral Wednesday dance, the huge number of people who tune in for our global fan event TUDUM, or the massive uptick in chess sales – when people love our shows and films, they want to share that love. We want to nurture and grow this fandom by forming the right partnerships and creating the best possible products
on the project. This means that the design teams at Netflix and Zara incorporated Iñaki’s favorite moments from the show – favorite scenes, lines, icons, overall highlights – and his own ideas to develop a unique collection exclusively for Zara consumers. One Piece is a live action adaption of the highest-selling manga series in history and subsequent anime series. In the lead up to the official launch, we hosted exclusive screening events for fans in 10 locations around the globe to satisfy one of the biggest fandoms we’ve ever seen. One Piece is available on Netflix now and the collection is available via Zara.
“Now that we’ve got a team in place across EMEA we are excited to work with new partners and deepen our relationships with brands we’ve worked with in the past.”
Netflix’s licensing, consumer products business forward?
FZ:This is an exciting, but new, area for us. We’re super proud of the progress that we have made and where we are doing We have great series and films that our members around the world love and now that we’ve got a team in place across EMEA we are excited to work with new partners and deepen our relationships with brands we’ve worked with in the past. A huge credit goes to my team, who have been behind some of these wonderful creative ideas.
TL: There must be a vast global demand to work with Netflix, from both licensing and retail companies. Given your relatively new status to CP, and that you have in essence paved the way for streaming content, do you
One of the ways we do that is by focusing on audiences locally where they are – this is not only true of our creative teams who work on making great local shows like La Casa de Papel and Lupin, but it extends into our Consumer Products work.
Examples of this are the Hoodrich x Top Boy collaboration for the UK and the Stranger Things x Ferrero partnership in Italy and France.
TL: What’s next?
I am proud to reveal a new initiative surrounding a series we’re really excited about - One Piece. To align with the launch of One Piece we will be launching a new collaboration with Zara boys - which became available from September 1st.
The actor who plays the main character of ‘Luffy’ from One Piece, Iñaki Godoy, was Creative Director
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“I can reveal a new initiative working with One Piece... to satisfy one of the biggest fandoms we’ve ever seen.”
Moonbug, the award-winning global entertainment company inspiring kids everywhere to laugh, learn and grow, returns to Brand Licensing Europe after a remarkable year of expansion.
Moonbug is the creative force behind some of the biggest kids’ entertainment brands in the world, like CoComelon and Blippi, and has greatly expanded its presence across North America, EMEA, APAC and LATAM.
Despite macroeconomic challenges facing all industries, there continues to be great examples that show how licensing continues to play a critical role in bringing brands to life in consumer products.
With the rapid global success of its shows and exciting announcements on the horizon, Moonbug is positioned to continue its dominance in the industry.
Exploring New Opportunities Through Timeless Themes
Since 2018, Moonbug has focused on becoming a natural part of every child’s upbringing, regardless of geography, culture or background by encouraging kindness, compassion and resilience in the next generation. This starts with identifying brands with massive global potential and accelerating their brand accessibility. Moonbug has forged distribution partnerships with more than 150 video platforms globally including Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer and YouTube Kids.The company also remains a global leader in pre-school music and audio experiences, which are available on 100+ audio platforms worldwide. Moonbug’s ventures into Consumer Products seek to widen fans’ experiences with its brands and allow them to connect with their favourite characters in daily moments.This year, Moonbug will be showcasing five key brands that offer a multitude of licensing opportunities globally: CoComelon, Blip-
pi, Little Angel, Morphle, and Oddbods. In fact, the company has launched a number of new collaborations with best-in-class brands including PUMA and Crocs to develop quality and fun footwear for fans.
dio plays in supporting foundational years for children. In the music and audio space, Moonbug continues to make significant expansions with the recent launch of Moonbug Radio on SiriusXM this past summer. The 24/7 Moonbug Radio, voiced and hosted by the family-favorite characters, brings the affinity of Moonbug off screen and into the home and car for the first time. In June, Moonbug also launched exclusive family podcasts in partnership with Audible, Little Baby Bum: Time to Dream and Lellobee City
Farm: Grandma Mei’s Fantastic Folktales, adding to the 200 million audio streams that Moonbug already does monthly.
In addition to music and audio, Moonbug and Cinemark brought Blippi to
Specifically on Toys, exciting new launches include CoComelon HugMees by Squishmallows, the number one plush brand from global master toy partner Jazwares. And, following a “show to shelf” approach, Jazwares is also launching the JJ Peek-A-Boo plush with phrases and sounds. In an effort to cater to a wider audience, Moonbug also launched an infant apparel range under the My First CoComelon brand earlier this year in the UK, the Middle East and Australia, and continues to expand in global markets. Making up over 40% of the Infant & Toddler music market in the US, Moonbug is intimately familiar with the important role that music and au-
the big screen for the first time ever with a 60-minute special Blippi’s Big Dino Adventure, in select US theatres this past August. Moonbug plans to explore creating more big tentpole moments for licensees and retailers to rally around for its brands in the future. Partnerships such as these can enhance the emotional connection between Moonbug characters and its audience, so identifying products that reinforce the equity of the brands continue to be a key priority.
A Peek Into the Future of Moonbug’s Brands
As product licensing dives headfirst into immersive storytelling, the bound-
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ary between entertainment and play is blurring. The fusion of play and media allows kids to step into the shoes of their favorite characters and live out their adventures. Among the brands to be spotlighted by Moonbug this year, numerous have undergone remarkable expansion. Fresh characters are taking the spotlight, and novel content formats are being introduced across a wide array of platforms.
CoComelon Lane, a Netflix premium original and the franchise’s first-ever dialogue-driven series, launches this November, featuring all new storylines and songs in longer seven-minute episodes. Global master toy partner, Jazwares, has created a collection of CoComelon Lane toys that will launch in early 2024.
Spring run in North America that saw more than 165K tickets sold across 90 markets with multiple sold-out performances.The tour just recently expanded to the UK, bringing the tour’s 2023 total to over 170 markets by year’s end.
Blippi has teamed up with Liverpool Football Club again. In his second visit to Anfield he meets players from LFC’s women’s team for ‘Football Fun with Liverpool FC’. The two new episodes have launched on YouTube and have already surpassed over 2M views, and sees Blippi find out what it takes to be a football mascot with expert tuition from LFC’s official mascot, Mighty Red. Alongside the two episodes, Liverpool FC and Blippi have also collaborated on a new retail range which is available
In a testament to Moonbug’s commitment to increasing cultural representation in children’s entertainment, following the successful launch of It’s Cody Time, the company recently launched the CoComelon spin-off channel, Nina’s Familia, after the successful launch of JJ’s Animal Time and Cody Time last year. Nina is the lovely sporty classmate and friend of JJ, who shares songs and stories through the lens of her intergenerational Mexican-American family.
The Blippi franchise also has ambitious plans next year across content formats, new consumer products and a global live tour after building on a double-digit year-over-year growth of the brand’s viewership on YouTube. Blippi has found success with live shows receiving a 2023 Olivier Award nomination for the franchise’s first-ever live show, Blippi: The Musical, while the second instalment, Blippi: The Wonderful World Tour completed a successful
exclusively through LFC’s Official Retail channels.
In 2022, Moonbug acquired Little Angel, an animated musical show for preschoolers that has been captivating families around the world. Moonbug has exciting news about a global partnership to bring Little Angel products to life globally from Christmas 2024 and will release more information about this new launch soon.
Moonbug will also showcase Morphle at Brand Licensing Europe this year, which has a premium original launching exclusively on Disney+ and Disney Junior in March 2024.
The show has a brand-new look that launched earlier this year on YouTube and on Netflix and Moonbug is excited to expand this special IP whose mission is to inspire kids to use their imagination to solve problems. Additionally, Moonbug will showcase its latest acquisition, Oddbods, the three-time Emmy-nominated com-
edy series that has become a global phenomenon with an average 350M monthly YouTube views. Moonbug plans to bring Oddbods toys to life next year with a best-in-class EMEA based toy manufacturer, and continues to explore the brand’s APAC heritage through QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) activations and more. Through partnerships with top brands and a diverse range of licensing opportunities across multiple regions, Moonbug’s positioned to continue leading the industry in new and creative ways and continues to expand its product offering, leveraging knowledge in data to inform product development based on the most popular episodes of content, as well as following product trends.
Moonbug remains dedicated to providing inclusive and engaging content for families, and is always looking for new ways to connect with its global audience through authentic storytelling and products.
If you want to find out more about Moonbug and discover potential partnership options, visit the Moonbug booth at Brand Licensing Europe (A131) or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thomas Merrington, Creative Director, Penguin Ventures, talks about upcoming adventures in live experiences
Can you detail some of the recent live experiences that Penguin Ventures has been spearheading?
There is so much in the pipeline we haven’t released yet, but we are very fortunate to be working with some incredible partners. We recently announced our partnership with Immersive Everywhere who are working on a breath-taking, interactive immersive dome experience for The Snowman and The Snowdog, launching at two sites this Christmas. Our partnership with Histrionic Productions began last Summer with the Peter Rabbit Garden Adventure at Blenheim Palace and evolved this year to a Peter Rabbit Easter Adventure in Covent Garden, with plans to expand globally in the coming months.
I am also currently working on four brand new stage shows featuring our classic brands, both in the UK and internationally so I can’t wait for them to launch in the new year. We created the Peter Rabbit Story Time Trail, which was devised in-house as an immersive and accessible experience. The trail is free to the public in most locations and hosted by venues such as libraries and community
spaces. The feedback has been amazing and the trail is booked through to 2025 which is incredible. Blue Kangaroo helped to design, build and deliver this trail to venues and have been an invaluable partner. We are also very lucky to own a large collection of original artworks and objects and have our very own in-house commercial curator, Sara Glenn who is responsible for managing this programme. Sara has just delivered the Flower Fairies exhibition with the Lady Lever gallery, celebrating 100 years since the first Flower Fairies publication and recently oversaw the exhibition of original Peter Rabbit watercolours which toured Japan last year during the 120th anniversary of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Are location-based experiences forming an increasingly important side to the licensing business?
They have always been incredibly important. As technology advances, so too do new opportunities to bring brands to life. I think lock down has also helped spur the demand for experiences. Families want to spend quality time together, experiencing their favourite brands. For us, experiences are not just about the commercial opportunity, it’s about directly engaging with our fans and giving them the opportunity to create new memories together.
Can you give some examples of how these are making classic characters such as Peter Rabbit more accessible to all ages - and new fans?
Stories are always at the heart of everything we do at Penguin. Given that some of our
brands like Peter Rabbit are over 120 years old, the live space allows us to adapt and expand the world our characters live in, re-inventing the original tales to make them appeal to a wider, contemporary audiences whilst the classic nature of our brands means they appeal to multiple generations. How do you monetise events, eg with merchandise available as well as ticket prices?
We try to take a balanced approach by delivering a variety of pricing models. Whilst almost all experiences have significant budgets and outlays for our partners to recoup, we are always price sensitive and add as much value as possible for families. We recognise that not everything needs to be a paid for opportunity.
Providing retail opportunities allows us to create bespoke merchandise and give our existing licensing partners the opportunity to sell at an official licensed event. These experiences also provide fantastic promotional opportunities for our partners via influencer campaigns and subsequent marketing, which showcase their products driving incremental sales. We also bring our partners together offering ticket plus event experiences. A good example of this is the launch of our new Snowman afternoon tea later this year with a fantastic hotel partner in London. We have connected them to our Snowman Stage show at the Peacock Theatre as well as the Walking with The Snowman sculpture trail, from Wild in Art - which arrives on Fleet Street this Christmas - to create a multi-location and impactful brand experience across London.
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2023 has been a busy year for Amscan with a wide range of licenses launching!
There’s added newness across all three categories; Foil balloons, Party and Dress Up, so here’s a recap of what themes are hot right now in the celebration’s world!
costumes that are 100% sustainable! Amscan have also just launched an update Fireman Sam range, which is still as iconic as ever for pre-schoolers, and they obviously can’t talk about their most trending themes, without including our Barbie party and balloon range which has proven more popular than ever! Teaming their core range with everything pink, disco ball and roller skate balloons, has seen creatives go to town with this everpopular franchise!
With regards to balloons, further additions to the assortment include new Bing Bunny jumbo shape style, Gabby’s Dollhouse balloons in a variety of formats, a new Mirabel Airwalker from Disney’s Encanto as well as new themes for Christmas including the Grinch and Elf on the Shelf.
Roald Dahl, Diary of a
Amscan’s Licensing Award nominated Bluey range, which arrived earlier this year, has also taken the party world by storm. The license has got off to a flying start in the UK/Eire and is now starting to roll-out into other European markets. Customers are loving the sustainable products that make up this range too, not only the party products but the dress up too which features
With PAW Patrol celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, Amscan’s much-loved pre-school range has had a Halloween costume makeover, with styles too, perfect for trick-or-treating toddlers this spooky season!
In line with these forementioned Halloween designs, there are some additional firm favourites in the dress up category, with Addams Family and Harry Potter costumes joining the vast selection of themes already available! These are already proving to be popular with customers and offer something for the whole family.
And it doesn’t stop there! They’ve been super busy in the licensing team at Wonder, both introducing new products for their costume licenses including
Peter Rabbit and Miffy and refreshing designs for their on-going ensembles, ready for launch in 2024.
With a plethora of new products across all three categories, balloons,
party and dress up, there’s plenty to get excited about.
Peppa Pig celebrates her 20th Anniversary and Amscan have a new range to sit alongside this milestone celebration. There is more too from Pokémon, Miraculous, Super Mario, Monster High and Thomas the Tank engine, to name but a few, so keep watching Amscan’s website and social media, or sign up to their newsletter for further updates!
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STUDIO 100 MEDIA AT BLE
At BLE 2023, Studio 100 Media is set to focus on several key brands, including its innovative preschool series Vegesaurs, for which the company has global distribution and licensing rights. Vegesaurs made its highly successful UK debut on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer earlier this year. A fresh and unique take on the dinosaur genre, the series is also a hit on ABC Australia and France TV (France). Further international broadcasters on board include SVT (Sweden),YLE (Finland), LTV (Latvia), MTVA (Hungary), NPO Zappelin (the Netherlands), Knowledge TV, and Radio Canada (Canada). Season 2 is already available, with more episodes in production for season 3, which is set for delivery in summer 2024.
This summer in the UK, international publishing partner Macmillan Children’s Books successfully released
course, everyone is welcome to their booth D145 to discuss their classics, new fresh developments and key driving activities with Studio 100 IPs.
They are also highlighting pop icon classics such as Heidi, Maya the Bee, Pinocchio and more so-called retro childhood classic heroes. For this campaign, they developed various fashion trend books and are creating more assets, all supported by a dedicated consumer launch. The first success stories for this licensing range in the German market will be showcased at BLE and then introduced into other European markets.
one by German licensee Bergmensch, who developed an incredible fashion line for Heidi with great new designs: https://bergmensch.store/collections/ heidi/products/heidi-zebrastreifen-unisexpremium-organic-shirt
In addition, Studio 100 Media is delighted to be the licensing agent in GSA territories for the internationally successful preschool hit “Bluey”.
the Vegesaurs book programme led by picture books, bringing the series’ characters to life on the printed page. Furthermore, a worldwide deal for loyalty programmes with a strong focus on retail concepts was secured with licensing partner BrandLoyalty. The first campaign started back in August with Lidl Austria offering 16 figurines to play, swap, collect and create a crazy Vegesaurs collection.
Studio 100 Media will be hosting a key event at BLE on Thursday morning, October 5th, in partnership with their UK licensing agent BWI to present the latest news on Vegesaurs with a strong focus on the UK market. And of
Fashion is the key with these specially developed trendbooks with a focus on the outdoors and manga-style/anime clothing for the evergreen worldwide brand Heidi. The little girl from the Swiss Alps’ first ever CGI adventure movie, Heidi – Rescue of the Lynx is currently in production with delivery set for late 2024. The feature film tells a whole new story about Heidi and her life in the Alps whilst retaining everything that makes her so unique: the cheerful personality of this muchloved girl, the breathtaking scenery, and the heart-warming stories. She is now also part of UNESCO`s Memory of the World! programme where the Heidi and Johanna Spyri archives were recently added for protection and preservation!
Studio 100 are also very proud of their current brand initiatives such as the
They recently added Bluey to their portfolio of promising and successful 3rd party rights. After its global success story, Bluey, is now a huge TV and streaming hit in the German-speaking market. Following this, the successful launch of the Moose Toys toy range in Germany lays the foundation for all the other licensing categories and Studio 100 are already seeing a huge demand from retailers across all outlets, which demonstrates the great potential for Bluey in this territory.
Toy licensing is always a strong component in the licensing mix, especially for entertainment characters: this category is in the lead above all other categories. Next to toys, for Studio 100 Media, softlines (apparel) are among the strongest categories as well. Much of the company’s current development on iconic brands such as Heidi and Maya the Bee is generated from this category. With the right approach, particularly with softlines for a more mature target group, it’s a key driver for significant turnover achievements.
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Pokémon Continues to drive Growth
It’s been another sensational year for Pokémon – the world’s largest single property. The iconic brand consolidated its position in the top five of License Global’s Top 150 Licensors while yet again enjoying record-breaking sales.
A dynamic programme of activity including exciting new releases, creative collaborations and inclusive events keeps Pokémon at the forefront of pop culture, while broadening its wide-ranging appeal ever further.
Pokémon continues to post substantial growth across its multiple pillars of video games, mobile apps, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, animation and movies, Play! Pokémon events and licensed products for all tastes and budgets. Sales rose a remarkable 51% as Pokémon hit #1 for the first time in the UK (NPD YTD @ March 2023). Jazwares’ award-winning toy range was up 124% YOY following the launch of its biggest-ever Pokémon range, which includes a host of innovative new products, while Mattel saw its UK year-end POS performance up 127%, helped by its hugely popular Mega Construx Motion Pikachu set. Pokémon TCG UK sales also continue to break records. The latest Scarlet & Violet expansions, June’s Paldea Evolved and August’s Obsidian Flames, introduced type-shifted Tera Pokémon ex, while new Ancient and Future Pokémon cards launched this autumn and Ace Spec cards returning in 2024 look set to keep demand strong.
New events and experiences across Pokémon’s gaming titles boosted its success further. The first adventure in The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero, the new DLC for the hugely successful next-generation video games Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, launched in September, with Part 2: The Indigo Disk due next spring. New video game Detective Pikachu Returns launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 6, 2023, as the ace sleuth tackles a series of mysterious incidents in Ryme City.
Pokémon Sleep, the sleep tracker app that turns sleep into entertainment, launched in Europe in July.
Legendary Pokémon Mewtwo joined Pokémon Unite, which has amassed
fabulous selection of prod ucts.
Pokémon’s first-ever bus tour visited Smyths stores with a variety of exciting activi ties including face-painting, a colouring wall, giveaways and Pikachu appearances.
More than 10,000 players and fans around the globe came to Yoko hama for the annual Pokémon World Championships, held in Ja pan for the first time, for three days of intense matches and friendly com petition at the world’s most presti gious Pokémon event. Debuting at the Championships was a new animated series, Pokémon: Path to the Peak, following Ava and her partner Pokémon, Oddish, on their quest for success in competitive TGC play. Excitement is building for new series Pokémon Horizons; and brand-new Netflix series Pokémon Concierge, featuring innovative stop-motion animation, expands the Pokémon world with a new storyline.
over 100 million downloads worldwide, to celebrate its 2nd anniversary, with three further new Pokémon coming soon. New updates and experiences were also revealed for popular Pokémon mobile games GO, Masters EX and Café ReMix.
Buoyant sales have been supported by a strong programme of creative retail activations, including takeovers at two prestigious European retail giants. Three weeks of immersive activities at La Rinascente in Florence featured window displays and a branded, interactive pop-up space for product alongside exciting gaming opportunities.
Pokémon returned to Harrods’ for six weeks of dynamic fun, with a branded space on the toy floor offering a rich assortment of themed activities plus a
Pokémon’s robust licensing programme continues to attract strong partners. Recent innovative collaborations include exciting collections from Balmain and Puma, alongside covetable releases from key licensees including Funko, Wand Company and Ravensburger. A third range from Clarks launches in December. A four-piece adult collection, its playfully retro aesthetic celebrates Pokémon nostalgia, with bright colourways referencing the Kanto first partner Pokémon, pixelated Pokéball motifs and Pokédex numbers on the heel.
With further bold collaborations to come across a fantastic and varied range of categories from both the mass and luxury markets, alongside more dynamic new releases and innovations across the portfolio to keep the brand fresh, relevant and spearheading global entertainment, the next year looks set to be another triumph for Pokémon.
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A Busy Year for Molang
Alexandra Algard Mikanowski at Millimages chats to Total Licensing about Molang, BLE, Gen Z and YouTube
What is Millimages’ main focus at BLE?
We will be focusing on our flagship property MOLANG, looking for opportunities to share its message of kindness with our international clients. As an “ambassador of kindness”, and an icon for Gen Z and millennial audiences, we want to develop cross promotional concepts and products with like-minded brands, and also build on the huge success of our plush range. We especially want to explore the many exciting ways we can work with our partners to engage fans from around the world through our recently launched YouTube channel starring Molang as an influencer.
What are some of your key deals at the moment?
Molang has had an especially busy year! We organised several live events in Paris like a pop-up shop with a treasure hunt leading to Molang prizes, and a branded stall and live mascot appearance at Japan Expo. We had retail events around the world such as at Kiddyland in Japan. We launched a 73-piece capsule collection worldwide (excluding China), with unisex
cuts, streetwear, dresses, pyjamas, and pop accessories, as well as a limitededition figurine collection launched at Japan Expo and sold on Molang.com. We also appointed Licensing Street as our new agent in the US. And lots of new licensing deals will be coming up in 2024: Blind Box figurines in Europe,
bags & stationary in France, gift products in Japan, to name a few. And most excitingly of all, in June we launched a YouTube Channel starring Molang as an influencer, aimed at our target audience, Gen Z and Millennials. What is different about this new YouTube Channel?
Molang is one of the first animated characters from a kids and family series to successfully break into the world of influencing. It is unusual to have animated characters from a show
interacting directly with their fans in video concepts normally produced with people, like gaming, ASMR, reactions, etc. This kind of social media opens up lots of original ways to both engage our audience and interact with licensing partners.
Molang: a brief History
Molang began in 2010 as a doodle by Korean illustrator Hye-Ji Yoon. French author and director Marie-Caroline Villand fell in love with the adorable characters, and started to develop them into a TV series that is now a worldwide hit, with over 300 episodes broadcasted in 195 countries. Molang is also a viral sensation with over 20 Billion views on GIPHY, 7 million social media followers, and a lifestyle brand with 950 consumer products by 80+ licensees.
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Ready to Rock Boats at BLE
A home for creative visionaries, Boat Rocker is an independent, integrated global entertainment company that tells stories and builds iconic brands across all genres and mediums, with robust licensing plans in place for its portfolio of properties.
A unique and imaginative combination of two preschooler passions –dinosaurs and cowboys, Dino Ranch continues to consolidate its roaring ratings success in the US and Europe. A third series of dino adventures featuring a brand-new location, Dino Mountain and new characters recently premiered on Disney Jr in the US. Thrilling new tentpole episode, Dino Roar, is due to air in the States in 2024 alongside the international roll out of series 3.
Exciting developments this year include a collaboration between Super RTL Licensing and the Sauriepark amusement park near Bautzen in Germany, which has seen ten life–sized heroes from Dino Ranch join the 200
other life-sized dinosaurs to discover in the park. And the upcoming launch of the immersive Microids video game, Dino Ranch – Ride to the Rescue, on Nintendo Switch on October 12, featuring epic adventures in thrilling mini games.
Continuing to dance to success is global phenomenon The Next Step. The much-loved reality dance drama for tweens – is a big hit in the UK on CBBC and iPlayer, with exciting news due to be announced in the near future.The hugely popular virtual and inperson The Next Step Dance Workshops at Pineapple Dance Studios continue to delight dancers along with the associated collaboration clothes line. Fans can also catch up with all things TNS by reading the show’s dedicated column in Kennedy Publishing’s Top of the Pops magazine & Sweet Cherry’s Annual. 2024 is shaping up to be a massive year for the show as it celebrates its 10th anniversary with an exciting programme of activ-
ity planned to mark this impressive milestone.
Boat Rocker’s award-winning franchise Orphan Black continued to thrill fans this year, with the greenlight of spinoff series Orphan Black: Echoes. New licensing deals included a worldwide deal with internationally acclaimed publisher Dark Horse Comics which will see the launch of a fantastic range of publications based on the Orphan Black universe including serialized comics, trade paperbacks, and a “Making of” high-end, coffee-table book of Orphan Black: Echoes. Additionally, Boat Rocker has forged a deal with groundbreaking collectibles company Pinfinity which has worldwide rights leveraging assets across the Orphan Black franchise. The company has evolved the world of collecting by combining augmented reality experiences with their high-quality patented pins, infused with the latest technology, to suit the futuristic theme of the shows.
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Boat Rocker are at Brand Licensing Europe, Meeting room number E163.
Cooking up a Loyalty Feast with Chefclub
As Chefclub, the family cooking brand, and the Cora and Supermarché Match retail chains, announce a loyalty program for families with children, Becky Ash speaks with Marie-Laure Marchand, SVP Global Consumer Products & Business Development, to find out more about this latest expansion. Exciting news that you are moving into loyalty programs with Chefclub! Will we be seeing similar deals in the near future? Yes, indeed. This is a strategic move for us as loyalty promotion will help us immerse families even more into a fun and entertaining experience with the brand. Our goal is to attract the families to a greater extent starting from the parents, grandparents to the kids and offer them a memorable journey in and outside the kitchen. Unlike many other entertainment IPs, Chefclub is rooted in real-world experiences and modern values, enabling our partner retailers to appeal to the entire household, both adults and kids. Our colorful and wacky characters, innovative and creative recipes, and most importantly, the unique phygital experience the brand offers, create a compelling proposition. For instance, in our ongoing campaign with Cora and Supermarché Match, our collector’s album contains 10 recipes—two
per season. Additionally, we’ve produced two exclusive branded videos tailored for this promotion, showcasing the products kids can collect at Cora and Supermarché Match. This campaign not only allows young chefs to explore an exclusive collector’s album featuring super fruits and vegetables throughout the four seasons, but also provides opportunities for play, cooking, learning, and fun, all while becoming acquainted with the colorful and whimsical world of the Chefclub Friends. We’ve even introduced new ‘Super Heroes of the Garden,’ offering a collection of 96 stickers and 64 playing cards.
Is this something you can extend to other markets as well?
Yes, for sure. We start with our home market, France but have the ambition to develop other loyalty promotion campaigns internationally in the near future towards a family audience. We will be announcing a new partnership soon, so stay tuned.
In general, what’s next for Chefclub?
As mentioned above, we consider Loyalty Promotion to be a significant brand driver and intend to create additional campaigns both in France and internationally. Additionally, our own range of Chefclub Kids products, which has been effectively sold and distributed in France, Germany, Benelux, Italy, the UK, Canada, and the US due to the excellent efforts of my colleague François Papyle, holds vital importance for us. This success forms the cornerstone for establishing a robust licensing program within these markets.
And plans for BLE?
We are working on a few publishing deals and hope to be able to announce them in London.
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Edutainment Licensing brings NSPCC Character Brands to London
Edutainment Licensing will present two of the NSPCC’s owned character brands, Pantosaurus and Buddy – and are seeking licensees for the growing programmes, providing a simple route to partner with one of the best known and loved charities in the UK.
The friendly dinosaur Pantosaurus is the face of the NSPCC’s #TalkPANTS campaign which has helped over 1.5m UK parents have simple conversations with their children to help keep them safe.
Since 2016, a third of all parents of 4-8 year olds have used Pantosaurus to #TalkPANTS with their children and the campaign generates over 55m impressions a year throughout its annual summer holidays activation.
The downloadable materials, Pantosaurus song, story book and app provide a whole host of fun and engaging
content for parents to use with their children.
Buddy Buddy, the NSPCC’s green speech bubble is the mascot for the hugely successful Speak Out. Stay Safe. campaign.
Since 2011 Speak Out. Stay Safe. has been helping primary school children to speak out to a trusted adult if they have any problems or issues. Buddy has been integral to that message supporting our NSPCC school service staff in delivering that message as well as teaching children about Childline. Over 90% of UK primary schools have received Speak Out. Stay Safe. meaning over 1.8m children interact with Buddy each year.
The NSPCC have been protecting children for over 100 years and partnering with the charity is proven to have a positive impact on the wider
awareness of partners’ brands as well as increasing consumers’ intention to buy from both retailers and consumer products companies.
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Magic Light Pictures Celebrates 20 Years
Magic Light Pictures, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year culminating with its latest high-profile animated Christmas special, Tabby McTat.
Magic Light Pictures is renowned for its beautifully-crafted animated specials based on the books created by
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The family of titles, including evergreen classic The Gruffalo, Halloween favourite Room on the Broom, Zog and Stick Man, has delighted millions of families around the globe and scooped up countless awards including three international Emmys, four BAFTAs and two Oscar nominations.
Magic Light Pictures was formed by Michael Rose and Martin Pope in 2003 with a small team. In the last two decades Michael and Martin have grown the company into an international animation and brand-building powerhouse with a global reputation for quality. They have a dynamic and dedicated core workforce of 30, who manage multiple IPs and enrich the imaginations of millions of children and families around the world by producing content, experiences, activities, and products that will be cherished for years to come.
MLP’s tradition of producing hugely popular family films for Christmas continues this year with their 11th Donaldson/Scheffler adaptation, the heart-warming story of Tabby McTat, which premieres at the heart of BBC One’s 2023 festive schedule. Following the wonderful and warm relationship between a musical cat and a talented busker called Fred, Tabby McTat will be brought to life by a talented voice cast including Rob Brydon, Sopé Dìrísú, Cariad Lloyd, Joanna Scanlan, Jodie Whittaker and Susan Wokoma.
Magic Light Pictures is also celebrating the success of its very first pre-school series - the charming animated series centring on the friendship of two best friends - Pip and Posy – whose world revolves around a wonderful world of play.
Since making its debut on Channel 5’s Milkshake! and Sky Kids in 2021, Pip and Posy’s playful adventures have proved to be a huge hit with its preschool audience. A hugely successful
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second series is currently delighting viewers on Milkshake! and Sky Kids and an exciting educational spin off series - Pip and Posy Lets Learn – is scheduled for transmission on Sky Kids in the autumn.
The company has also recently announced leading toy manufacturer and master toy licensee Bandai as the master toy partner for the brand alongside a strong list of nine phase one licensees including Blues Group, Aykroyds, TDP, Ravensburger, Amscan and Tonies. Magic Light Pictures’ in-house licensing team is now looking to expand the brand into other categories including soft lines, home textiles, accessories, footwear, greetings cards and role play.
As with its other brands, Magic Light Pictures continues to enjoy huge success in location based experiences for Pip and Posy, by creating memorable ways for fans to engage with characters in the real world.
Pip and Posy have been out and about all over the country meeting fans face to face – They started the year with wildlife trails over Easter at Whipsnade Zoo, which saw a huge influx of visitors and also made special appearances at the Bristol Harbour Festival
and celebrating Playday at Hinckley’s Snapdragon Festival. They are also appearing live in touring stage spectacular Milkshake! Live and headlined Parkdean Resorts’ Milkshake! mornings. The brand is now set for a hugely exciting 2024 with the introduction to market of the first product lines and the international roll out of the second series.
Magic Light Pictures has a significant presence with location based experiences.
Its first foray into the sector came back in 2010 with the first Gruffalo carving trail at Thorndon Country Park in Essex, inspired by the idea that finding a life-size Gruffalo in a forest was a way to connect fans with the character beyond the picture book and animated special.
A long-standing partnership with Forestry England followed as part of the Gruffalo’s 15th anniversary celebrations in 2014, featuring self-led activity trails at sites across England focusing on a different brand each year. In 2017 an augmented reality app was added to the experience which deepened engagement. The trail concept has now been developed across the
range of titles to include Superworm, Zog and Room on the Broom trails at various sites including stately homes, zoos, castles and the Royal Botanical Gardens, drawing in millions of visitors each year and ensuring that the characters are accessible to their many, many fans.
At the other end of the scale is Magic Light Pictures’ partnership with Merlin Entertainments – a global leader in location-based entertainment. This relationship has seen Merlin invest heavily in the brands, producing incredible immersive experiences at Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Warwick Castle and most recently the launch of the £2.3m attraction The Gruffalo and Friends Clubhouse which sits proudly on Blackpool’s famous Pleasure Beach. The space attracts thousands of visitors each week and has a 97% satisfaction rating.
2024 will also be a big year for Magic Light as it celebrates the 25th anniversary of the publication of The Gruffalo. Preparations have already begun with lots of exciting innovations underway to mark this significant milestone, including limited edition product launches and special collaborations launching at points throughout the year.
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Magic Light Pictures will be on stand C205 at BLE
Squashies and Sour Apple Refreshers have also been added.
Brand of Bothers successful launch of Love Hearts ice lollies has seen them expand their range to add distinctive tasting Parma Violets, zesty lemon Refreshers and dual flavoured Drumstick Squashies ice lollies.
Fanattik are no stranger to nostalgia licensing, for the past 15 years they have been a licensee for most of the film and video game studios creating gifts and collectibles for evergreen titles with multi-generational appeal. 2024 is a big year for some of the classic titles in their portfolio, as well as celebrating 10 years as a licensee with Capcom they will be releasing a Godzilla 70th anniversary range as well as a 50th Dungeons and Dragons collection.
“We do especially well with anniversaries, having created anniversary collections for the likes of Jurassic Park, Knight Rider, E.T, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Back to the Future and many more previously so to have two such iconic IP’s celebrating massive milestones is great for the gift and toy retailers we support,” says Anthony Marks, M.D Swizzels began manufacturing confectionery in 1928, so have long been established as one of the UK’s favourite sweet makers. This year Swizzels is celebrating 95 years of sweet manu-
The company makes a range of wellknown products including Love Hearts, Refreshers, Drumstick Lollies, Rainbow Drops, Double Lollies, Squashies and Fruity Pops. Squashies are the UK’s number one sugar confectionery brand.
Swizzels has established a successful licensing programme over more than 20 years and continues to build on this through their agent, Blonde Sheep Licensing. The Swizzels brands are equally successful in the food and nonfood sector. The appealing flavours and scents make the Swizzels brands particularly appealing for food and drinks. Cupcakes and celebration cakes have been a staple for many years, but new innovative products now grace many supermarket shelves.
In March, Princes launched a range of zero added sugar Swizzels squash made with real fruit. Alongside traditional brands of Drumstick, Parma Violet, Lemon Refreshers and Love Hearts newer brands such as
Nelvana has a vast array of nostalgic properties. Building on the momentum from its successful licensing program for Care Bears’ 40th anniversary, the company reports strong engagement with the Care Bears franchise within Canada – launching consumer products with Peace Collective, Retrokid, Kernels – and most recently Ardene, playing on nostalgic-inspired artwork and fashion body trends reflective of the 90s and early 2000s. Like Care Bears, Sesame Street continues to trend with adults and juniors based on the strong history of the property for those who grew up with it, and recent news includes partnerships with WN Pharmaceuticals, as well as NOLA Baking that launched a super cute line of snack bars and pancake mixes for the whole family, and Cakeworthy who launched a line of apparel for adult super fans of the brand.
The rebooted series Barney’s World launching on Max soon is launching a number of partnerships with known Canadian brands in the fashion and streetwear space Nelvana will bring Barney back to the OG fans in advance of the new series launching!
Other properties seeing strong results include Thomas & Friends, Babar with a successful collection at Zara, and Max & Ruby
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Nostalgia continues to rule in licensing
Celebrations abound as Pink Panther turns 60Robert Marick , EVP Global Consumer Products & Experiences at MGM, elaborates
Can you tell us some history of Pink Panther and how he has evolved into a media franchise?
Pink Panther is an iconic character and classic brand that has been admired by audiences of all ages for decades, for both his suave elegance and whimsical charisma. Lovable, playful and charm-
What traits make Pink Panther as popular today as when he first arrived?
Three traits come to mind. First, Pink Panther has “style”. He is suave, cool and debonair. Everyone wants to emulate him. Second, Pink Panther is “classic”. He is timeless. For a character that doesn’t speak, he communicates through his body language which transcends borders, languages and cultures. This is why he has such a strong global following. Finally, Pink Panther’s signature “pink” hue is his most recognizable trait. The Pink Panther pink shade not only embodies the playful, charismatic and charming aspects of Pink Panther’s personality, it also enhances the character’s famously smooth style that has helped to establish his place as a bigger-thanlife character. These traits are as true today as they were 60 years ago which speaks to his popularity.
ing are just a few of the words that describe this spirited character that has entertained generations around the world. Pink Panther, started life in the front and end credits of the legendary detective series of the same name almost 60 years ago. Its popularity spawned TV series, specials, comics, merchandise, video games and most recently digital collectibles. Pink Panther continues to be discovered by new generations and remains one of MGM’s most well-known franchises due to its captivating charm that appeals to all ages.
Tell us about the licensing and consumer products program!
Fandom around Pink Panther continues to expand, crossing generations and territories. MGM has close to 150 licensees globally, across all demographics and retail channels.
Licensed products can be found across all major product categories.
Pink Panther’s famously smooth style and trademark pink color has helped establish his place in the larger cultural zeitgeist, including recent collaborations with top fashion and retail brands like Sprayground, Beijing Pop Mart, Larus Miani, Loungerie, Sugarbird, Riva and Yves Saint Laurent.
And what’s in store for the future?
June is Pink Panther Month, chosen to coincide with National Pink Day on June 23. We kicked off the Pink Panther 60th anniversary with a yearlong
celebration that started this past June and will continue through June 2024. This celebration will showcase innovative collaborations, exciting product launches, thematic retail activations, experiential initiatives, and will be supported with marketing and social media activations. Each quarter we will celebrate Pink Panther’s past present and future unique style.
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Hot Picks in Cannes
MIPJunior and MIPCOM are back inCannes from 14-19 October this year. Here we bring you some top properties that will be at the content markets.
ing phenomenon by Sophie AudouinMamikonian, Tara Duncan launched in 2022; the first series has now been sold into more than 80 countries. A second season, with 52 new episodes, is currently in production, with plans to produce 2 x 26’ special episodes. A digital ecosystem is also being developed to expand Tara’s universe.
Corus Entertainment’s autumn lineup from top kids’ networks, YTV, Treehouse, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channels, features the latest animated and live-action premieres, fan-favourite returning seasons, and
Princess Sam Entertainment Group and international distribution company Superights are bringing the massively successful children’s animated adventure-comedy-fantasy hit Tara Duncan to the markets. Based on the multi-million-selling publish-
non-stop antics airing all fall long. Plus, catch up after class with episodes airing live and on-demand across Teletoon+ and StackTV.
The imaginary world of the Inanimatti is set to come alive with the debut of a new animated property, Arky Arch Adventures, at the markets The property is in development at Inanimatti Inc., a new production company co-founded by renowned
car designer Chris Bangle. Leading the project will be industry veteran producer Eric S. Rollman, who served as President of Marvel Animation, Saban Entertainment, and Fox Family Productions, prior to launching Rollman Entertainment in 2010.
Newly launched production and distribution company Wonderworld. Fun will be showcasing the CGI series Secret Agent Jack Stalwart at this year’s festival.
Targeted at 6 – 10-year-olds, Secret Agent Jack Stalwart (S1, 14 x 26’; S2, 14 x 26’) is based on the award-win-
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ning chapter book series of the same name.
Dandelooo will present the 2D animation Hold on Gaston! (52 x 11’). Targeted at upper preschoolers, the edutainment comedy series is based on the hugely successful children’s book series “Gaston’s Emotions” (Les émotions de Gaston) written by author and illustrator Aurélie Chien Chow Chine and published by Hachette Enfants, an imprint of Hachette Livre France. Dandelooo is set to develop and produce the first animated series based on the popular books which have been published in 27 languages around the world including Japan).
TeamTO presents its latest preschool project What’s Up Eesha? (11 x 52 min), a CG animated comedy. Executive Producer Corinne Kouper commented, “What’s Up Eesha? is about relationships with others and oneself. In each episode, Eesha realizes that by adjusting her plans to accommodate her friends just a little bit, everyone can enjoy the fun!”
APC will present Isadora Moon (48 x 11’, 2 x 22’) – Isadora, half fairy, half vampire, doesn’t realise just how special she is! She might have a lot to learn about the human world but with some luck (and her fairy wand and vampire skills!) she’ll find her way through all sorts of astonishing adventures and to all sorts of extraordinary friends. Xilam Animation is heading to Cannes with Buddybot (52 x 11’), a new original 2D animated comedy series targeted at kids aged 6-10 years old. The series is currently in produc-
tion and Xilam will be presenting the first episode to buyers at MIPCOM, with full delivery scheduled for Q3 2024.
WildBrain will present Jonny Jetboy, created with Keith Chapman. Caroline Tyre, Vice President,
Global Sales & Rights Strategy at WildBrain, said: “It’s been fantastic to collaborate with iQIYI on Jonny Jetboy and to see another creation of Keith Chapman come to life. With Jonny Jetboy, Keith has once again used his creative genius to craft a series that we know has all the right ingredients to entertain families worldwide, including action-packed adventures, heroic characters and high-tech gadgets.
Pick up your copies of Total Licesing at MIPJunior & Mipcom.
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Intercake launches Licensed Images on its Print-on-Demand Cake Topper Kiosks and Online
Intercake, the print-on-demand PhotoCake Topper and Celebration Cake company is launching licensed images on its platforms for the first time. Intercake offers customers the ability to personalise cake toppers and celebration cakes with their own photos and a range of generic images, backgrounds, and frames either online or on instore kiosks.
Intercake, via its exclusive licensing agency - Licensed Brands International, has now signed licensing agreements with Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, Teletubbies, Bing, In the Night Garden, Moomin, Sindy, Everton FC, Aston Villa FC, Star Stable, The Raccoons, Watford FC, Fulham FC, Tom Gates, Emoji, Percy the Park Keeper, Flip Out and Sheffield Utd FC. Intercake has a further 20 licenses in the pipeline.
Founded in 2004, Intercake has its headquarters in Ireland and an office in Hertford, England. It has successfully established itself as a market leader in Print on Demand Cake Toppers for
customers and to Asda Stores in the UK. We have long seen this as a natural extension to our core business and are very excited to see the reaction of consumers.”
celebration cakes. It has its consumer kiosks and printers in 312 Asda stores across the United Kingdom and 30 Musgraves stores in Ireland. Intercake operates its own online store www. bigdaycakes.com.
According to Colm Nohilly, MD of Intercake, “we are extremely excited to launch licensed images to our online
Neil Nottingham, Founding Partner of Licensed Brands International added: “We always knew that bringing Licensed Images to Intercake and Print of Demand Cake Toppers/Celebration Cakes would further enhance and expand its business. We have worked long and hard over the last 4 years to bring this together and are very excited to launch the initiative with the licenses mentioned and the new licenses coming.”
The Licensed Images will be initially available on www.bigdaycakes.com and more widely during May with retail partner Asda.
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“We are extremely excited to launch licensed images to our online customers!”
Meet The Carat Shop at BLE
The Carat Shop is an established manufacturer within the Licensing industry, creating high quality jewellery, accessories, gifts, and stationery for globally recognised brands such as Harry Potter, Friends, Lord of the Rings, Barbie and Pusheen.
Its collection boasts over six-hundred SKUs, tailoring to a wide variety of clientele, including high Street retailers, independent jewellers, gift shops and E-commerce businesses.
The Carat Shop offers several services to strengthen its business relationship:
Do you lack warehouse space, or don’t want to purchase large amounts of stock? We offer a Direct Dispatch (dropship) solution which allows you to list and sell our products on your website, but we’ll handle the shipping and delivering to your customers. You will be billed every 14 days unless otherwise agreed.
Merchandising/ Store Assistance
Do you require assistance getting the best out of our products in your store? Our sales team would be happy to book an appointment to come and assist with your merchandising to ensure your displays are always looking their best to maximise sales. This has been proven to increase sales by up to 456% on certain lines.
Planograms/ Space planning
If we are unable to reach you in person, and you can provide the size of the area you wish to allocate to our product; we can create high quality, to-scale planograms for your display space, which you can use as reference when merchandising your product and re-ordering.
We have a catalogue of web imagery available via dropbox, for you to use on your website listings. Alternatively, web imagery of every product is available on their web page on our trade website when you come to ordering.
We also have a folder of POS and banners to support our products on your website.
Store displays and spinners
We have various starter pack options. For our Silver-Plated collections, we have collated our best-selling products onto spinning display units, coming as a smaller option on a countertop spinner display, as well as a larger floor spinning unit. Elsewhere for our gifting ranges, we offer shelf ready display boxes filled with best-selling items; just tear along the perforations and display straight from delivery!
Bespoke/ Private Label
Looking for something totally exclusive to your store or brand? We can offer a bespoke product service from design through to final production, unique to your business. Our factories are fully compliant and have audited SMETA reports. We can take care of all product tests and provide compliance test reports.
Direct dispatch, E-commerce, store displays...
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Representing global consumer brands across a number of small fragmented markets is a task that requires a specialized licensing agent with extensive local market knowledge. With almost 20 years’ experience, NLC is such passionate and skilled licensing agency, operating across both Nordics and Benelux.
NLC is founded in Copenhagen in 2004, with HQ in Copenhagen and a local office in Amsterdam.
and retail knowledge – has joined us,” says Kirsten Gyde, Managing Director at NLC. “Sander knows and understands the licensing industry and very importantly the retail landscape, and his expertise, network and people skills will be hugely beneficial to us.” Sander will be part of the overall NLC Management team as well.
NLC has had a busy year so far, including several markings of the centennial
the Movie. Our Belgian based licensee Kipling launched their Barbie X Kipling Collection in July, adding beautiful pink bags and accessories to match the Barbie core trend. NLC’s long-term Fashion partner H&M launched a big collection of cool Barbie product for Kids and Adult Globally.
Working in a highly international environment, while driving a profitable local business, does not only require access to a compelling brand rooster, but most importantly extensive network, local insight and skilled people. NLC recently boosted its licensing team by hiring Sander Hilkens to Head up the Benelux office of five.
“We are delighted that Sander – with
anniversary of Warner Bros. Discovery, celebrating the WB100. In May, The Royal Dutch Mint stroke a special WB100 commemorative 5 Euro coin, which was officially handed over in Amsterdam to Julian Moon, Head of Consumer Products EMEA & ASIA Pacific, Warner Bros. Discovery Consumer Products, at one of the Fever Candlelight Concerts.
In August, Hummel Kids launched a WB100 collection to celebrate not only WBD, but their own 100th anniversary.
Moving to Belgium, Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products and pop culture retailer Smartoys officially opened the WB100 Pop Up store in Brussels on September 1st in the Docks Bruxsel Shopping Centre. The store has more than 2500+ products of more than 25 licensees. From Wizarding World to Friends, Looney Tunes, DC Comics and WB100 products. Bugs Bunny himself even showed up for the opening, thanks to our licensee Veldkamp. The store is open until December 31st and will have several surprises and activities throughout the remainder of the
One of this Summer’s absolute hottest brands, Barbie, took the world by storm with its first live action film; Barbie
Looking into 2024, there will be lots of reasons to celebrate favourite superhero Batman. Kicking off the year by launching Season 2 of the increasingly popular series Batwheels - the first ever Batman animated series for preschoolers – available to watch on Cartoonito and HBO Max. Also launching the first anticipated Batwheels Toys in Spring ’24, followed by other product categories through the year. Additionally, NLC will celebrate Batman’s 85th anniversary through 2024 both in licensed products and at retail, culminating around Batman Day in September, succeeded by the long awaited movie sequel - Joker: Folie à Deux – coming to theatres in October. The Wizarding World has enchanted the hearts and imaginations of people around the world for over 20 years, and the fandom remains strong. LEGO, Spin Master, Funko, C&A, H&M and more licensees continue to launch great product. WBD is supporting the
global franchise with new content in development. The company recently announced a new TV series based on all seven books by J.K. Rowling.
Another Top TV show from the WBD Studio is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2024. Friends the television series will bring together fans from all over the world to celebrate 30 years of friendship, love and laughter. Next year will be another celebratory and productive year for the licensing business across Nordics and Benelux where NLC will mark its 20th anniversary.
1 https://www.netflix.com/ tudum/top10/
2 https://www.metaversemarcom.io/post/top-10-robloxbrand-games-september23#:~:text=Miraculous%20 Moves%20Into%20First%20 Place,this%20data%20a%20 year%20ago.
ZAG attends BLE this year with numerous top highlights to share! The company’s L&M operations are spearheaded by Julian Jacob Zag, EVP, Global Operations and Head of Consumer Products.
Summer 2023 saw the launch of the blockbuster animated movie Miraculous™: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie, directed by Jeremy Zag, that unveils the origin story of the beloved superheroes. The movie originally launched
Spanning five seasons and broadcast across 120 countries, three new seasons promise to keep the excitement alive.
In the toy aisle, Miraculous Magic Heroez from Playmates Toys and ZAG won a Gold Award at the Independent Toy Awards, Toy Shop UK; Marinette’s Miraculous Volkswagen eBeetle, featured in the movie, was selected by Toy Insider as a top holiday gift in their 2023 holiday gift guide; and the Miraculous Chibi Mini Playsets, inspired by the viral phenomenon Miraculous Chibi Shorts on YouTube with over 160 million views, will debut to coincide with two new Chibi episodes this October. Plus, Playmobil will launch construction toys in 2024.
ZAG’s commitment to healthy fun is highlighted with a promotion with Fresh Del Monte featuring Miraculous on 40 million packages and fruits from June through October, with an extension of the program to include their Kiwi fruit range; and America’s top selling breakfast cereal maker, Kellogg’s, has introduced the first macaron-flavored cereal.
Fashion and apparel licensees are highlighted with the fall launch of the second collection from Miraculous x PUMA; and French fast-fashion retailer Don’t Call me Jennyfer has launched a Miraculous line across its retail stores in 25 countries including France, Italy, and Spain.
the #1 Brand on Roblox for September 2023 with more than 18.4 million monthly visits2 and over 615 million+ gameplays to date. A second console game is coming from GameMill Entertainment; and there have been over 250 million downloads of the official Miraculous app.
ZAG has amassed over US$1 billion in retail sales for Miraculous to date, and more than 300 million products have been sold globally. The Miraculous phenomenon continues on digital platforms, garnering over 28 million subscribers and 37 billion views on YouTube, and over 550 million views on TikTok.
Plus, fans can look forward to the firstever global Miraculous Day in September 2024. The “Stronger Together” celebration will feature broadcaster marathons, e-commerce, retail activations, and more.
theatrically in Europe in early July, and became the #1 movie in France and several other European countries. And on July 28, it launched on Netflix becoming a top-ranked movie on their Top 10 Global Movies list in 49 countries with a #2 worldwide position and over 57 million hours viewed1 as of August 20.
The success of the theatrical launch has boosted the popularity of Miraculous overall. According to Parrot Analytics, interest in the brand peaked the day after its Netflix debut delivering its highest level of demand in the U.S.
And Miraculous manga from Kodansha, written by Koma Warita, and illustrated by Riku Tsuchida, is the publisher’s top-selling title. Other brand highlights this year include the news that Hallmark is launching a line of greetings cards in 2024; a bespoke plush line just launched with LankyBox, the 26th most popular YouTube channel that gets 1.2 billion views a month; and cuddly Miraculous bears are available from Build-A-Bear Workshop.
In the gaming arena, Miraculous - Just Dance 2023 Edition is the top summer release for game developer Ubisoft; and earlier this year, a new mobile game, Miraculous Life, for iOS, GooglePlay and Amazon surpassed 6 million downloads with 38 million minutes played in 3 months! And, according to Metaverse Marcom, Miraculous is
The 52-episode cinematic CG-animated series Ghostforce™ is already captivating audiences on Disney Channel in EMEA,TF1 in France, Discovery Kids in Latin America, and most recently on SBT in Brazil. A highly anticipated second season already in the works. The consumer products program is just starting to gear up, with the first products set for launch across Latin America just in time for Halloween. Strategic partner Novabrink is launching 18-inch figurines of the heroes as well as costumes; Xalingo will debut wooden toy products; and Dermiwil will have luggage, backpacks, and lunch boxes. Ice cream will be available from Lolla Sorvestes; and mall experiences from C+E. And in Europe, magazines are available form Blue Ocean. Other licensing partners include Panini (books), Rubies (costumes), and Edel (audiobooks) in Europe.
Currently in production is Melody™, an animated feature that stars the multi-Grammy Award-winning artist Katy Perry. Directed by Jeremy Zag, Melody promises a thrilling adventure infused with song, laughter, and a heroic quest, guided by Melody’s musical notes.
WildBrain CPLG, a leading licensing partner to top global brands, has seen rapid growth of its global footprint and now has 22 offices servicing 90 territories worldwide. In Spain and Portugal, WildBrain CPLG’s licensing activity is going from strength to strength, with robust programmes across core partner brands including Peanuts, Sonic Prime, Smurfs, MGM’s Wednesday and more.
The WildBrain CPLG team continues to build out the cross-category creative licensing programme for WildBrain’s own Strawberry Shortcake brand across Spain and Portugal. The franchise continues to engage young fans with an expanded world of content, including with the recent Season 3 launch of the original series, Berry in
NEWS FROM THE MARKET
the Big City, on YouTube in July, which will be, followed by the first 3D-animated seasonal specials featuring Berry debuting later this year on Netflix. Continuing to drive opportunities for Spanish and Portuguese fans both new and old to engage with the brand, Lefties launched an adult sleepwear range for Strawberry Shortcake at the beginning of this year. Past activity includes a successful roll-out of a partwork range of 60 scented figurines, in collaboration with Planeta DeAgostini.
One of the timeless brands in WildBrain CPLG’s portfolio is Peanuts, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2025. Snoopy and his friends have been delighting all demographics for decades, and the themes of Charles M. Schulz’s much-loved comic strips still resonate today. New animated content on Apple TV+, produced by Peanuts and WildBrain, has delighted fans young and old.
Peanuts continues to be an apparel success with the trend showing no sign of slowing down. WildBrain CPLG has scored global partnerships for multiple products, from outwear to underwear, and accessories (including bags, socks, hats) for all ages. Spanish and Portuguese fashion retailers on board for the collection include Zara, Pull&Bear, Bershka, Lefties, Mango, Women’Secret and Stradivarius.
The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has generated incredible additional momentum over recent years, with a second season of the hit Netflix series Sonic Prime released in July, co-
produced by WildBrain and SEGA. The brand’s 30th anniversary was celebrated in 2021, with other activity including two successful feature films from Paramount Pictures and SEGA SAMMY, and a third feature slated for release in December 2024. Additionally, Paramount+ and SEGA are currently in production on Knuckles, a new live-action spin-off series starring Idris Elba.
New licensees for Sonic Prime secured for Spain and Portugal include Stor for homewares; Artesania Cerdà for a range of backpacks, stationery and pencil cases; Play by Play for plush figures; and CYP for a gifting range. Educa Borras and toy manufacturer PMI launched toy ranges to the market this summer.
In Spain, a partnership with fashion group Inditex also saw a line of classic Sonic the Hedgehog apparel launch in Lefties and Zara stores across the country.
Wednesday, produced by MGM Television, is a global success and has generated a frenzy of social media. Wednesday, which was recently greenlit for a Season 2 on Netflix, is a sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy. In the consumer products sector, there is high demand for Wednesday merchandise, with the first products hitting shelves now and many more partnerships also in the pipeline. Underscoring consumer products activity for Smurfs there is a brand-new
CGI-animated TV series airing on Clan TV in Spain, with a new feature film also set to premiere in early 2025, and Giochi Preziosu lined up for the brand as master licensee for plush, playsets and figurines in Spain and Portugal.The licensing programme is growing fast, with WildBrain CPLG securing partners for back-to-school, publishing and collectibles. An apparel deal has also been secured with Inditex Group for outwear, sleepwear and accessories in Lefties.
MGM’s Rocky and Creed franchises continue to be hot. Classic Rocky fashion products have been in high demand, with t-shirts and sweatshirts selling quickly in the first collection release for Pull&Bear in Fall/Winter 2022, followed by a second collection in stores in March 2023 in a deal secured by WildBrain CPLG’s Spain office, hitting stores around the same time as the movie, Creed III, was released. Retailer Bershka, also from the Inditex Group, is on board for apparel with t-shirts and sweatshirts already available instore.
In a partnership brokered by WildBrain CPLG, MGM joined forces with art project Lucha de Gigantes for an activation in Spain to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Pink Panther. The event saw 32 Spanish artists come together to honour the brand with their own interpretations of what he represents for a curated exhibition at the Only YOU Boutique Hotel in Madrid. Through portraits, sculpture and graphics, each artist responded to the Pink Panther’s identity through their own unique style to celebrate sixty years of this iconic character. Finally, WildBrain CPLG now represents the worldwide rights to Playmobil as a master licensee. The partnership with Horst Brandstätter Group includes both core and franchise Playmobil brands, including Wiltopia, Novelmore, Adventures of Ayuma and others. Since 1974, Playmobil has stood for high-quality toys and unique play. In 2024, Playmobil marks its 50th anniversary year with celebration ac-
tivity expected from well-known partners, alongside a major PR and marketing campaign.
Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products Spain report that every day, the Wizarding World franchise keeps adding to its magic with the successful Harry Potter brand supported by millions of fans of all ages. Thanks to its dynamism and innovative brand of entertainment, the license continues to win over new followers over twenty years since the Harry Potter films first launched.
The Wizarding World is a global cultural phenomenon capable of generating a broad range of entertainment possibilities, with content on the big screen, television, and social networks; concerts, live shows, celebratory experiences and its five themed lands at Universal Parks and Resorts locations around the world; or the Harry Potter Flagship store in New York.
The experience is enhanced by an extraordinary range of consumer products in different categories, bringing the magic of Harry Potter to fans’ everyday lives. The Harry Potter license is backed by creative license programs, marketing campaigns, and retail promotions, and has the sup-
port of key international partners, including LEGO, Mattel, Rubie’s, Funko, Ravensburger, Winning Moves, and Spin Master, as well as local partners in various categories such as Famosa, Cerdá Group, Karactermania, Safta, Erik Group, Norma Editorial, Educa, SD Toys, Women Secret and El Corte Inglés, among others.
On a further note, Harry Potter: The Exhibition, the most comprehensive touring exhibition ever presented about the Wizarding World, which has welcomed over 1.2 million visitors worldwide, will continue its European tour and open in Barcelona, Spain, this fall.
Tom Zaller, President and CEO of Imagine Exhibitions, who co-created and produced the exhibition, said: “We’re delighted to bring this exhibition to Harry Potter fans in Barcelona as well as visitors to the city and throughout all of Spain. This exhibition celebrates the Wizarding World like no other touring experience– if you’re a lifelong Harry Potter fan or just discovering the Wizarding World, there’s something for everyone in this exhibition.”
In the galleries, visitors can practice their Quidditch skills, brew a potion, pot a Mandrake, earn points for their
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Hogwarts house and more, all while learning behind-the-scenes filmmaking magic. It celebrates the iconic moments, characters, settings, and beasts as seen from the films and stories of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, as well as the wonders of the expanded Wizarding World, including the costumes, props and imagery from the Tony award-winning Broadway production Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
DeAPlaneta Entertainment is a veteran multinational entertainment company that operates globally and is a leader especially in Europe. It has commercial offices in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Greece, and Turkey, as well as in the United States. The company has improved significantly over the past five years, as a player in certain key territories such as the United Kingdom, Germany or Latin America.
DeAPlaneta Entertainment represents IPs with a global reach, such as Miraculous Ladybug, an international phenomenon and one of the flagship properties in the company’s portfolio. But it also co-produces animated series that can be viewed worldwide, such as Milo.
Milo is a successful preschool animated series coproduced by Fourth Wall and DeAPlaneta Entertainment which is already available in four continents and has generated dozens of licensing agreements, including a deal with Bandai as MasterToy. After its pre-
miere in China last January via Mango TV, Milo has expanded to more than 30 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean thanks to its premiere on Cartoonito, a linear and subscriptionbased multi-territory children’s channel operated by Warner Bros. Discovery Latin America. Among its portfolio there are classic, timeless brands as Maya, the Bee, The Smurfs, Heidi and Vicky the Viking. There are also successful new brands such as Miraculous Ladybug, Gormiti or Petronix Defenders.
DeAPlaneta Entertainment is also focused on brand creation. One of its goals is to continue developing and growing its role as brand creators, with exciting co-production projects such as season two of Milo (with Fourth Wall - UK), the series Monster Shaker (with GO-N - France) and Magic Lilly (with The Magic Lilly Company, Germany) and the Superpigs (with Fourth Wall) series and feature film, among many others. One of the essential characteristics of DeAPlaneta Entertainment is that the company not only co-produces, manages or represents properties, it also helps these properties (owned or third party) to become brands. To do this, the company designs a media distribution strategy with the best possible impact for each of the IPs. Finally, another of the goals of the company is the development of strategies for using these brands in the digital world (Metaverse, NFT’s, etc.). DeAPlaneta Entertainment’s strategy
for this new scenario is to conceive “niche” IPs that are rooted in the digital world and which flourish in that environment and then reconvert and / or adapt them to the physical world. For this reason, DeAPlaneta Entertainment created, years ago, a whole digital business division, DeAPlaneta Interactive, whose main goal is to create and expand digital universes linked to the properties and brands that are part of the company’s portfolio. This division is the one that is carrying out the most innovative business initiatives: gaming, augmented reality products, virtual reality, NFTs, etc. In this area, the company develops digital native IPs such as Wonderpals, a brand created by artist Mina Pal in 2021 that has become one of the major IPs on the web3 environment, and MetaGuardians, the first collection of Metaverse superheroes and an ever-expanding universe of superheroes, villains, sidekicks and henchmen that is a major brand in the US and UK, where most of its followers are based. With its acquisition, DeAPlaneta Entertainment aims to consolidate the brand’s major position in English-speaking markets, and to continue to expand the MetaGuardians universe and characters into a global entertainment brand.
Caravanserai is a young and evergreen company, just like the properties they have carefully selected to represent. Guillem Rey explains: “Every single year people tell us that licensing is not working as well as previous year and there is an excess of properties. But every single year licensing brings us a new opportunity to make different things and to succeed in the middle of the storm.
It is a matter of being positive and never accept a negative answer. We keep our eyes open and try to learn something every day to avoid becoming obsolete.
We face challenges to make our way through this trouble waters river we all live in.
The properties we manage are ex-
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amples of long-lasting success. Most of them are one property companies, like Miffy/Mercis, Little Prince/Sogex, Sophie la Girafe, Roadsign, Nelly Jelly. This is the best way to secure fast and effective response and full dedication.
Little Prince and Popeye are the two best examples to explain how licensing will always be a response to a specific request. Little Prince with 80 years and Popeye nearly 100 years, are a very good response to today’s needs.
Little Prince is a major event with Lello in Portugal, a luxury designed IWC watch, an apparel line with Cortefiel and Calzedonia, a musical with La Perla for 10 years, a personalized room in the Sofitel group or a Barrado plush just to name a few. And now, together with Mediawan a new animated TV show.
Popeye and Olive have become top fashion icons worldwide with Zara, Pull & Bear, Iceberg, A la Garçonne, H&M, just to mention a few but also partnering with Funko on toys, Funidelia with costumes, MGA online games. Miffy and Peter Rabbit started as books, a long time ago but now are icons for different generations of people who are happy to have their beloved characters close to them.
Miffy is now partnering with Tommy HiIfiger, Mulberry, Baccarat, Zeeman, WomenSecret, Safta and Stor - all good examples of the versatility of this unique character.
At Caravanserai we keep our eyes open to new trends, new opportuni-
ties, and new needs. That’s why we have recently added a new Ips: Nelly Jelly is the Nº1 book published, and has become the most successful licensing program in Lithuania.
Cuphead started as a game and now has become a new top property worldwide, present at Lefties, Famosa, Grupo Erik, or Stor to mention a few.
Rebel Girls, a new concept of women property empowered by icons of sport, history, politics, etc… is now allowing us to access a massive world of women
5’ crafts, Baby Zoo, have more views than any other platform and represent the new way of having fun and enjoying through screens. The Soul is the very best platform to access new generations.”
Perfetti Van Melle, the power can-
dy house, is thrilled to announce the 25th anniversary of their Global Licensing Division at the upcoming BLE. For a quarter century, Perfetti Van Melle Global Licensing has proudly excelled in innovation and creativity, continually surpassing its own achievements and leaving an indelible mark on the licensing world. The immense value of its brands, along with the commitment and dedication of the entire licensing family, including worldwide agents and master licensees, has paved the way for many remarkably successful licensing partnerships.
To commemorate this milestone, in line with the event theme, Perfetti Van Melle has crafted a special Candy booth concept that pays homage to the heritage and nostalgia of the evergreen candy brands, inspired by the color and fun present in its DNA. During BLE, Perfetti Van Melle is excited to offer a sneak preview into the launches and artwork developments currently taking place. Chupa Chups and Mentos are already succeeding in the location-based category via numerous events in Asia, with many more on the way. New collectible toys are offering consumers delightful experiences. In the food & beverage category, the iconic brands are expanding offering a wide range of products in different regions. Recent new products are Mentos Drinks, Chupa Chups Popcorn and Fruit-tella ice-creams. The com-
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pany is also stepping into the protein category, with Nutrabolt for Airheads and The Hut Group for Chupa Chups. To top it all off, the launch of Chupa Chups in the Metaverse will be unveiled shortly.
Edebé Licensing was set up as a division of publishers Grupo Edebé in 2008 since when it has established itself as a leading licensing agency covering premium art and design properties, classic characters and well-known sports brands.
Route 66 is one of the most iconic brands of the American lifestyle where different product categories are developed under license with great sales success. The first license agreement with Bluebags for an extensive collection of accessories has already been closed, and further license agreements in fashion and accessories will be announced soon.
Sam & Julia, The Mouse Mansion is a very successful publishing property, with more than 1 million books sold internationally, and DIY products, well established in Spain in the bookstore channel and selected toy and gift stores.The Sam & Julia animated series is under development in co-production with ZDF and France Television Distribution to launch internationally from the end of 2023. Edebé are starting to build the licensing program for this promising Property.
RollingStone is an iconic brand and the most famous Pop Culture magazine in the world. A wide range of products is being developed covering fashion, ac-
cessories, audio etc. The first licensing agreements that will be announced soon are already in negotiation. This is a spin off from the popular series Once Upon A Time produced by Procidis.The series comprises 78 x 7-minute episodes. Each chapter introduces the characteristics of an object in a very fun and humorous way. The series will be launched internationally in 2024, with a modern new look for the characters.
Edebé is currently in conversation with the main players in categories such as publishing and games, among others.
Other key properties handled by Edebé include Catalina Estrada, Santoro and Paddington.
Catalina Estrada is performing very well Internationally. There are now more than d more than 60 licensees. The latest deals include Educa Borras (puzzles), Cuatro Gotas (umbrellas, fans, shopping bags, mugs). Loyalty programs, and design commissions with strong brands will be announced soon. A number of sub-agents have been appointed including Versa Licensing (Mexico) and Active Merchandising (GAS).
Santoro continues to be a top license, with the iconic Gorjuss still very present in the market and consolidating itself as a classic property. Several YouTube episodes have been released, achieving a large audience. The program includes licensees like El Corte Inglés, Safta, Aznar Innova, Planeta De Agostini, Stor, Gorjuss magazine from Blue Ocean, among others, who con-
tinue renewing and refreshing their collections with very good reactions in the market. Mirabelle is another of the Santoro properties that has had a very good reaction in the market, with Safta as a key licensee for BTS that has just renewed its contract as well as Benetton, and many others. Edebé are also highlighting the recent relaunch of Santoro’s Tutti Cuti.
Edebé are enjoying success with their Paddington licensing program in Iberia, where different fast fashion collections have already been launched, including Zara Man, Zara Kids, pyjama collections in from Alcampo set to launch soon and and upcoming launches for the Christmas 2023 campaign in another key retailer in our territory. In addition, 2024 will see the third film in the Paddington series released –Paddington 3.
In November, El Ocho celebrates 20 years as an independent agency in Iberia with the management of major brands behind it, specializing in the pre-school stage and building long-lasting brands such as Los Lunnis (RTVE), Pocoyó (Zinkia), Peppa Pig – PJ Masks (eOne) and now Bluey (BBC).
Throughout these 20 years they also highlight IPs they have managed in the agency such as Pokémon, Dragon Ball, Mafalda, MasterChef, Simon, Momonsters, Astérix that positions them as one of the leading agencies in Europe. The main goal of the agency continues to be to transform licenses into evergreen brands that are loved by all. One of the most popular brands this year in its portfolio is Bluey, owned by the BBC. Bluey follows the adventures of a six-year-old Blue Heeler puppy who lives with her Dad, Mum and four-year-old little sister, Bingo. It showcases the joyful simplicity that can be found in families, by bringing to life how children learn and grow through play.
The series is the nº1 on Disney Spain and Portugal. It has won numerous awards and it was nominated
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in the category Best Brand: Entertainment Animated at the Licensing International Awards. Moose is the toy master and Famosa by Giochi Preziosi is the distributor in Iberia. The first collection was launched in Spain in fall-winter 2022 with great results, and in Portugal in springsummer 2023. Only three weeks after its publishing launch in Spain and Portugal, Penguin Random House sold almost 9000 copies, data well ahead of the early publishing results of Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol. With more than 30 licensees already signed in Iberia (and growing), it will be launched by the end of the year through BTS products, apparel, FMCG, musical instruments, electronics and the first videogame of the series, which will be available globally at the end of the year for Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC and Xbox.
The DTR launch in July of Bluey’s first textile collection for kids at Zara worldwide was very well received on social networks and many parents have asked for adult sizes, as this is one of the key features of this series: it appeals to both children and adults through the message it conveys. Zara hopes to continue developing more designs for future campaigns as a result of the success of this first launch. Following growth in the animé trend over last years, Dragon Ball (owned by Toei Animation) continues to be a strong and long-lasting brand in Iberia, especially in apparel. 2024 is the year of the dragon in the Chinese calendar so
the property expects to prepare special marketing activations focused on Shenron. Also next year will be very special for the brand because they will commemorate the 35º Anniversary of Dragon Ball Z (airing of the animé in 1989) and the 40th Anniversary of Dragon Ball (release of the first manga in 1984) .
El Ocho has collaborated with Fnac and El Corte Inglés preparing retail activations for Summer and Xmas campaigns, and also on Goku Day / Saiyan Day, very special dates for the followers of the series.
2024 will be also a special year for Mafalda, another of El Ocho›s brands. The comic strip about the little black-haired girl who hates soup and contradicts adults, is 60 years old next year and since its first publication has never stopped enjoying success. The textile category continues to perform well and it is worth highlighting the collaboration with Women Secret, who have been supporting the brand for more than eight consecutive years with unique and trendy designs, making Mafalda one of its flagship brands. A special collaboration is also planned with one of Iberia’s leading chocolate brands, with a prominent POS positioning and a TV campaign.
Finally, Simon, the little bunny based on the books by Stéphanie Blake, will have his own live show which will start in France next Q4 2023 and will continue in Portugal, Spain and other territories to be confirmed.
Zinkia report that Pocoyo continues to gain success day by day, consolidating as one of the children’s brands with the highest audience and influence in the digital environment. A success that is increasing and that makes him break his own records.
The character’s mobile apps have just surpassed 100 million downloads for iOS and Android. A figure that marks a new historical milestone since the launch of the first application of the character now more than a de cade ago.
Pocoyo is the un disputed protago nist of different educational and en tertainment apps that contribute to the learning and enjoy ment of the little ones.
The apps are not only successful in Spain, but also cause a sensation in Brazil, Mexico and the United States, countries with the highest number of downloads. Talking Pocoyo, Pocoyo Colors, Pocoyo Disco, Pocoyo Dentist, Pocoyo Racing, or Talking Pocoyo Football are just a few examples from its long list of applications.
Zinkia is constantly working on the development of new apps and updates to renew its wide offer in the main download stores such as the App Store and Google Play. One of its latest novelties is the new update of “Talking Pocoyo 2: 3D Adventure” on Android (soon on IOS), in which there is no shortage of new games and scenarios in which the little ones can learn to speak and interact even more with his favorite character -play, dress him, feed him, etc,-. Likewise, the functionalities of the app are improved, while the security and privacy of the contents are guaranteed.
As we go to press we learn that Paris-basedAnimaj has acquired Pocoyo from Zinkia Entertainment. Animaj, is said to be already developing a new content strategy for Pocoyo and is planning to look at possible prequels and sequels together with digital spin-offs aimed at building on the brand’s 40 million YouTube subscribers.
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THE MULTIFACETED NATURE OF THE SPANISH LICENSING MARKET
Media diversity, inclusive appeal, and iconic brand dominance
The intricate dynamics of the entertainment licensing industry have come to the forefront as BrandTrends Group, the pioneering force in brand performance monitoring, unveils a captivating analysis that offers unique insights into the shifting preferences of today’s young consumers.
In Spain, BrandTrends Group partners with ValorIntangible.
In the dynamic landscape of brand licensing within the realm of consumer products, Spain emerges as a noteworthy hub where trends are rapidly shaping the market. Our quarterly research into brand performance monitoring unveils fascinating insights into the Spanish licensing market, shedding light on the intricate dynamics that underpin the relationships between entertainment brands, consumer preferences, and media exposure.
Media diversity unveils a myriad of brands
A defining characteristic of the Spanish licensing market is the astounding diversity and quantity of entertainment brands that have captured the attention of the young audience. Our data reveals that children aged 0 to 14 are acquainted with an impressive average of 275 different entertainment brands, marking a 10% increase from
April of the previous year. Remarkably, as children progress through each year of age, their awareness expands to encompass an average of 101 new brands annually.
This phenomenon can be attributed to the rich tapestry of Spain’s media landscape.With a harmonious blend of international and local content, young consumers are exposed to a myriad of entertainment brands across various mediums. This wide-ranging exposure not only fuels brand diversity but also fosters a culture of exploration and curiosity among the younger demographic.
Inclusivity and educational initiatives drive gender-neutral awareness
The Spanish licensing market is witnessing a significant shift towards cross-gender appeal. An impressive 41% of the brands are now recognized by both boys and girls, a trend fueled by two key factors: Educational Initiatives and Inclusive Content. Spain’s strong emphasis on education aligns seamlessly with brands that seamlessly blend education and entertainment, garnering the attention and admiration of both genders. Additionally, the burgeoning emphasis on inclusivity within Spanish media serves to bridge
the gender gap, propelling brands to resonate equally with boys and girls.
Exploring the titans of the Spanish Licensing market
Despite experiencing a decline of 2.2 percentage points within a single year, Marvel continues to dominate the Spanish market, commanding a 19.1% share of the most beloved brands. Marvel’s steadfast reign is closely pursued by LEGO, which has experienced a positive upswing of 1.7 percentage points, securing a 14.1% share. Notably, even Avengers, a formidable presence in the Spanish market, has witnessed a significant decrease of 1.7 percentage points within the same period. The prevailing pattern concerning Marvel, observed in numerous countries, is the dominance of the master brand, Marvel, overshadowing individual narratives like Avengers or characters such as Captain America. The subordinate tiers within the universe typically align with the master brand, yet this pattern has seen a recent decline due to factors like an abundance of stories, films, and characters, coupled with a lack of significant new creatives over the past periods.
Growth patterns: From FIFA to Mario Bros and beyond
The rapidly evolving preferences of Spanish children aged 0 to 14 are highlighted by notable growths in brands such as FIFA, Mario Bros, and Bluey. These brands have tapped into the pulse of the young audience’s interests, making substantial gains within a mere year. These trends underscore the market’s receptiveness to fresh and engaging content, whether it be in the realm of sports, video games, or animated series.
Themes uniting diverse domains
While the top 15 growth brands in Spain span diverse domains, certain common themes emerge that contribute to their appeal. These trends include:
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• Global recognition: Brands that have achieved recognition on a global scale resonate strongly with the Spanish audience, fostering a sense of familiarity and relevance.
• Pop culture impact: Brands that are intertwined with popular culture and societal trends capture the imagination of young consumers, establishing themselves as iconic cultural symbols.
• Multimedia presence: Brands that maintain a robust presence across various media platforms, from video games to entertainment and toys, cultivate a multidimensional relationship with their audience.
• Nostalgia and longevity: Brands that evoke feelings of nostalgia and have a long-standing legacy often enjoy enduring popularity among different age groups.
• Diverse audience appeal: Brands that manage to bridge generational gaps and appeal to a wide spectrum of consumers enjoy a competitive edge in the Spanish market.
Streaming and TV channels:
The pioneering destinations
An intriguing observation within the Spanish licensing market is the continued prominence of streaming sources and TV channels as the primary destinations for young but also older viewers. Despite the diverse array of brands and content available, streaming platforms such as Netflix and YouTube, as well as traditional TV channels, retain their significance as the starting point for persons to discover and select their favorite shows. This trend highlights the pivotal role that these platforms play in shaping the preferences and choices of the young audience. The Spanish licensing market continues to evolve, shaping the relationships between entertainment brands, consumer preferences, and media exposure. The journey through our brand performance monitoring reveals a landscape where media diversity fuels curiosity, inclusivity bridges gender gaps, and iconic brands
reign despite shifts. This landscape is characterized by growth patterns that mirror the fluidity of young audiences’ interests and common themes that resonate across diverse domains, all while streaming platforms and TV channels remain influential gateways. Quite a challenged but exciting time!
ABOUT THE REPORT
The current report provides a detailed analysis of brand awareness, popularity, and purchase intent of the most important Entertainment brands within a country. The most crucial aspect is that it predicts product category purchasing intentions. The service reports on 11,500+ different Entertainment, Fashion, or Sports brands four times a year, and interviews 200,000+ people ranging in age from infants to seniors in 42 countries.
ABOUT BRANDTRENDS GROUP
The BrandTrends Group is a unique, multicountry provider of marketing research, focusing on brand, lifestyle, consumer behavioral and attitudinal trends, with a particular focus on children, youth, and families. Their experienced researchers and analysts are renowned in the industry for their expertise in monitoring brand performances, consumer attitudes and behaviors across up to 53 markets annually, making them a reliable and respected authority in the field. One of their most interesting value points is their ability to look at facts from a different perspective, pro-
viding a unique reading of the true trends in the market. Their proprietary analytics, such as the Brand Popularity Index and Consumer Demand Gap, coupled with high-quality and accurate data enable clients to identify the best opportunities in retail activation, competitive environments, and brand line equity and design. As a respected and trusted leader in their field, they work with renowned global companies across a variety of industries, including consumer package goods corporations, entertainment studios, retailers, and industry bodies. To learn more, visit www.brandtrends.com.
In Spain, BrandTrends Group partners with ValorIntangible. ValorIntangible is a beacon in the complex realm of intangible asset valuation. Specializing in intellectual property rights, they dig beneath the surface to discover the hidden gems that lie within your brand. Their meticulous approach and profound expertise illuminate the unseen but vitally essential facets of your brand’s worth. BrandTrends alliance with ValorIntangible not only reveals your brand’s most valuable unseen resources but strategically positions them for maximized potential. We work hand-in-hand to protect and elevate these assets, turning potential into profit. Together, we build brands that are robust, resilient, and prepared to thrive in today’s competitive landscape. Unearth the unseen power of your brand. To learn more, visit https:// valor-intangible.com/en-gb/home.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Philippe GuinaudeauBrandTrends at philippe.guinaudeau@ brandtrends.com.
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UNLOCKING SUCCESS IN THE MIDDLE EASTERN LICENSING INDUSTRY: THE ROLE OF CULTURAL SENSITIVITY
The MENA region, stretching from the shores of North Africa to the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, lies at a significant crossroads for international business.
With its storied pastincluding the majestic dynasties of the Egyptian pharaohs and the invention of one of the earliest alphabets in Syria - the region offers a rich linguistic tapestry, with Arabic, Berber, Kurdish, Persian, and other communities occupying distinct unique market niches.
In his latest column, Amer Bitar, head of Markettcom in Dubai looks at the crucial importance of cultural sensitivity
The Middle Eastern Mosaic: A Brief Cultural Overview
Indeed, the influence of the MENA region in the contemporary globalized marketplace is in large part due to its harmonious blend of deep-rooted traditions and economic vitality. Family ties naturally play a large role in regional trade alliances and collaborations.
While the economy before the twentieth century was based on agriculture and the control of trade routes, petroleum reserves are responsible for the surge in wealth among many MENA countries, especially those that belong to the GCC.
As the region continues to progress in terms of technology-driven innovations and entrepreneurial opportunities, international brands are finding its markets irresistible. One constant is obvious throughout these developments: businesses must understand and adapt to the region’s distinct cultural ethos.
In this article, we’ll unpack the intricate business dynamics of the MENA market. This overview is essential reading for representatives of international brands and licensing executives, for we provide insights to help ventures not merely establish a foothold but flourish in the vibrant MENA economy.
The Crucial Role of Cultural Sensitivity
In the multifaceted commercial landscape of the MENA region, product quality alone is insufficient to guarantee success. No enterprise can flourish here without a deep appreciation for and alignment with the prevailing cultural values. Amid this diverse tapestry of traditions, religious beliefs, and social customs, businesses must tread carefully to avoid missteps that can damage reputations and reduce revenues.
An illustrative example in this regard is the challenge faced by Pokémon in 2001 in Saudi Arabia. The brand’s lack of familiarity with or perceived indifference to local concerns—in this case, regarding the supposed promotion of gambling and evolution—led to a ban. Other brands and products can expect to meet the same fate if they are similarly ignorant of local sensibilities.1
Conversely, brands that astutely navigate the cultural landscape by tailoring their campaigns and products to resonate with local traditions and values stand to reap substantial rewards, as KFC’s campaign in association with the UAE’s 47th National Day demonstrates. Employing augmented reality to immerse users in a celebration of national pride, the U.S. firm harnessed the power of technology while remaining respectful of the culture and struck a chord with the members of the community.2
Beyond Avoiding Faux Pas: A Deeper Layer of Cultural Engagement
Navigating cultural sensitivities is crucial, but brands achieve true success in the MENA region by immersing themselves in its intricate blend of cultures. Doing so involves going beyond superficial gestures to integrate elements such as local art forms, collaborations with Middle Eastern influencers, and
regional motifs and flavors in authentic ways. The depth of this engagement determines the resonance of a brand’s narrative with its audience, and doing it right naturally requires methodical planning. A valuable starting point for such planning is the framework provided by Hofstede’s six cultural dimensions.3 By offering crucial insights for fine-tuning localization, the Power Distance Index (PDI) elucidates the preference in the MENA region for hierarchical structures. One important consequence of this preference is that the tenor of brand communications must be consistently respectful and authoritative. Likewise, there is a marked emphasis on community in these countries, as evidenced by their low Individualism scores, so campaigns need to highlight collective advantages. Balancing the dimension of Masculinity (assertiveness, competition, material success) vs. Femininity (nurturing, cooperation, quality of life) provides cues for whether marketing should stress regional aspirations or harmonious well-being. The high Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) scores across the region point to the need to cut through the noise with brand messages that are precise and highly coherent. The tendency toward a Shortterm Normative Orientation among the region’s consumers underscores the value of weaving historical and religious allusions into brands’ stories. Likewise, a careful balance between indulgence and restraint is important to join societal norms with consumers’ individual aspirations.
True localization, then, means much more than merely translating campaigns and promotional materials into new languages. Localization is a holistic journey through cultural intricacies. Brands that astutely assess Hofstede’s dimensions foster positive initial interactions with consumers in the MENA region while working to forge deep connections.
Authenticity as a Cornerstone for Brand Engagement
Mention has already been made of the value of authenticity for approaching MENA consumers. Efforts in this regard must be perceived as not simply
branding tactics but pledges of genu ine interest. Consumers in this market have an uncanny knack for detect ing insincerity and shallowness in marketing. Authenticity, then, is both an ethical consideration and a tangible driver of trust, loyalty, and, consequently, market share.
The following are some practical steps for cultivating cultural sen sitivity in licensing.
1. Collaborate with local experts. A nuanced understanding of local consultants can help brands steer clear of cultural pitfalls and position themselves more authentically.
2. Partner with regional licensing agen cies. A hands-on approach involving local agents can provide an insider’s perspective on market preferences so that brands craft strategies in line with cultural inclinations.
3. Develop comprehensive cultural insight. Surface knowledge simply won’t cut it; brands need to become familiar with regional traditions, religious practices, and social norms. Such insight can then inform product launches, marketing campaigns, and broader engagement tactics.
4. Forge strategic local alliances. Fostering ties with regional influencers and established local brands bolsters brands’ credibility while expanding reach.
5. Use active feedback mechanisms. The feedback that brands receive by engaging with local consumers, distributors, and partners is invaluable for maximizing the impact of their campaigns.
6. Empower teams with cultural knowhow. By organizing workshops on cultural nuances for their staff members, especially those at the forefront of market interactions, brands can ensure seamless and respectful representation.
7. Provide tailored content. Working with local content creators for marketing collateral, brands can be confident that their marketing efforts are consistent with regional quirks, humor, and sentiments and, therefore, are relatable.
8. Stay informed. Culture is dynamic, so regularly perusing regional publications, attending local forums, and participating in trade events can help brands remain abreast of current trends.
By adeptly weaving these steps into
the fabric of their strategies, brands can guarantee that their MENA customers will perceive them as authentic and begin building a lasting legacy rather than simply a market presence.
The MENA region, with its blend of ancient customs and modern ambitions, offers lucrative opportunities for businesses that understand its cultural intricacies. More than just a market, the region is a nexus of tradition and innovation, and tapping it requires a targeted strategy. Success here hinges on genuine engagement and cultural immersion. The takeaways are clear. Authenticity and cultural precision are paramount. Whether leveraging the insights provided by Hofstede’s dimensions or engaging with local stakeholders, cultural alignment must be the priority. Superficial approaches are doomed to fail, but genuine efforts can unlock unprecedented growth opportunities and a loyal customer base.
Overall, then, businesses eyeing the MENA market need to engage deeply, act authentically, and prioritize cultural understanding consistently. Those that take the time to do so will find that the region can provide not only a market but a community in which to thrive.
About the Author Amer Bitar is an international executive specializing in brand licensing, IP monetization, media, and sports entertainment.
As the CEO of Markettcom, a boutique agency focused on brand licensing, he helps global brands expand their presence in the Middle East and North Africa.
For information, contact: email@example.com
1 See https://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=81345&page=1
2 See https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2158565561048941
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SHOOTING STARS A MENA REGION LICENSING CHAMPION
In the heart of Dubai, where innovation and ambition converge, a licensing agency is disrupting the region’s commercial landscape: Shooting Stars. This agency, with a history intertwined with Entertainment and an innovative “Growth Consultancy” approach, stands as a true pioneer in the Middle East’s licensing sphere. Let us delve into the journey that sets Shooting Stars apart as a regional champion in licensing.
The roots of Shooting Stars trace expertise in bringing iconic brands and franchises to
Spearheaded by Managing Director Roy Chacra and Head of Licensing Michel Harrouk, Shooting Stars’ journey of innovation commenced in 2012, when it embarked on a transformative mission by spearheading consumer products initiatives for Warner Bros.
Fast forward to today, the agency is now in charge of the Warner Bros. Discovery and Sanrio portfolios. This evolution attests to Shooting Stars’ profound understanding of the licensing landscape and its ability to evolve with the industry’s demands.
“At the core of Shooting Stars’ success lies our pioneering “Growth Consultancy” approach, a business methodology designed to set new benchmarks in the licensing domain”, says Roy Chacra. This unique ap-
proach propels Shooting Stars into a league of its own and hinges on delivering comprehensive growth solutions to stakeholders, seamlessly blending creativity, innovation, and strategic precision. “We are a one stop solution provider”.
Shooting Stars’ rise to prominence owes much to its dedicated team, united by a shared commitment to creativity, innovation, and structure. With a laser focus on delivering toptier products and activations, the agency’s licensing team is not merely curators of merchandise, but architects of emotion. Their unwavering dedication to preserving the emotional essence that characterizes character licensing underscores Shooting Stars’ commitment to driving value across the spectrum.
The agency’s distinctive approach to licensing finds vivid expression in the resounding success of the Wizarding World store by FANDOM, which debuted at the Mall of the Emirates in February this year in Dubai.
This landmark achievement underscores Shooting Stars’ advocacy for harmonizing franchise DNA with the cultural tapestry of the Middle East.
The Wizarding World’s meteoric rise stands as a testament to the agency’s visionary approach and its unparalleled ability to connect brands with consumers on a deeply resonant level.
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Michel Harrouk (left) and Roy Chacra (right)
Turkey’s Manufacturing Hub Sparks EMEA Licensing Innovation
World Licensing Agency is a Turkish licensing agency that specializes in bringing brands to the Turkish market for the purpose of licensing agreements. By emphasizing quality, it has revitalized the presence of iconic brands in Turkey, including the beloved Hello Kitty.
In recent years, the popular Hello Kitty character has gained a lot of popularity on the Turkish market. However, World Licensing realized that there was an opportunity to revive the brand among Turkish consumers with the help of its licensing company. Using a number of distinctive partnerships and marketing campaigns, they have begun to reintroduce Hello Kitty to the Turkish market through the use of new marketing campaigns. It is the combination of this that sparks renewed suspense and anticipation in the minds of children as well as adults.
World Licensing agency concept extends beyond bringing Hello Kitty back to Turkey as part of the World
Licensing initiative. Aside from this, they have established themselves as the company of choice for international brands who wish to establish themselves in the Turkish market. They also set up shop there. Since they are aware of the specific preferences and trends of Turkish consumers and are committed to expanding their brand portfolio in order to include more
popular brands for these consumers, they plan to add more popular Turkish brands to the portfolio in order to meet the needs of these consumers.
As a licensing company, World Licensing is aware of Turkey’s advantages as an alternative industrial destination as well as its advantages as a licensing company. This country has many
advantages, including a skilled workforce, competitive production costs, and a strategic geographical location, among many others. As a result, we are able to provide efficient distribution to both the European and Asian markets. Due to these advantages, Turkey is seen as an attractive option for global brands who are looking to diversify their manufacturing operations.
A key role that World Licensing plays in facilitating the manufacturing shift to Turkey is to facilitate the granting of licenses. Their expertise in the licensing and brand management industry allows them to guide and support global
brands at every stage of the manufacturing process, leveraging their expertise in licensing and brand management. Through its extensive network of reliable manufacturers, it ensures high quality production, conforming to international standards, and maintaining brand identity in the long run.
In order to meet the needs of its clients, World Licensing offers a variety of services. With a dedicated team of professionals, it ensures that brands receive top-notch support in every aspect of their licensing journey. It has the expertise and experience to guide clients through the entire licens-
ing process, from concept creation to product launch. They also provide comprehensive marketing services to maximize brand exposure, as well as entertainment festival management to ensure successful event execution.
World Licensing has grown to become a major player in the field. With their dedication to establishing strategic partnerships and commitment to quality, they set out to bring Hello Kitty back to the Turkish market with a commitment to quality. World Licensing as it has partnerships with textile companies in Turkey, continues to ensure the Turkish market is ready for the global brands that are currently available in the market.
SEYITNIZAM MAH. MEVLANA CAD. AYTEK PLAZA NO: 77
IC KAPI NO: 5 ZEYTINBURNU 34015 Istanbul Turkey
Tel: +90 212 483 41 44 firstname.lastname@example.org
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For more information about World Licensing and their services, please contact:
Robocar POLI around the world!
Robocar POLI in MENA
Roi VisualL, the license owner of Robocar POLI, recently signed a media and agent contract with MBC Group, the biggest media & entertainment group in the Middle East, confirming Robocar POLI’s first two seasons’ airing on the leading local kid’s channel, MBC3, from Q4, 2023.
Roi Visual also finalized Robocar POLI’s long-term media plan until 2026 with other local broadcasters in MENA.
With the strong L&M support from MBC Group, Roi Visual is now stepping up the Robocar POLI’s official launch with master toys with the goal of Ramadan season next year.
Robocar POLI in Brazil
Roi Visual recently appointed Tesaki as Robocar POLI’s exclusive licensing agent in Brazil. Tesaki is preparing Robocar POLI’s official brand launch for the Back to School season next year and actively developing local licensing programs in various categories, such as musical ticket shows and mobile games.
Present in the Licensing Industry for almost thirty years, the CEO Sedamar Esaki and team are very enthusiastic about the brand potential.
in Thailand and Taiwan in October and December, respectively.
The musical Robocar POLI started performing in S. Korea in May in eight major cities nationwide, including Seoul. The performance will continue in 7 different cities until December. Following a long hiatus due to the pandemic, the performance schedule is full until the second half of the year due to the favorable reviews and word of mouth about the musical. In June, they were invited by Government agencies of the Republic of Korea and held a special performance at Seoul National Cemetery. In December, a three-day performance will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, at a large concert hall with 1,000 seats. In Taiwan, the musical is scheduled from late December to January in three cities – Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Taoyuan. Likewise, it is expected to fill the 1,500- and 2,000-seat large concert halls with the fans of Robocar POLI. Indonesia and Singapore, where Robocar POLI has explosive popularity, are also in discussion with the performing plan.
dren consisting of five flavors: mango, lychee, watermelon, pineapple, and guava.
Coco Conga Robocar POLI beverage will be sold at supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Costco, convenience stores, and Online across the U.S.A. from November. It is expected that Robocar POLI will be more familiar to children in the United States with the release of Robocar POLI season 5 special episodes on Netflix.
Robocar POLI Musical Goes to Asia based on Great Success in S. Korea
The musical Robocar POLI ‘Catch the Golden Trophy,’ which received great love in Korea, is now set to meet fans in Asia. The performance is scheduled
Robocar POLI Beverages
Knocks on Global Market
Coco Conga, a popular coconut drink brand in the U.S.A., released a new Coco Conga lineup specially collaborated with Robocar POLI brand. This product is a natural beverage for chil-
ROI VISUAL also launched ‘Pasteur Robocar POLI Beverage’ in collaboration with Lotte, one of top F&B company in Korea. Robocar POLI Beverage’ is made of 100% organic ingredients for children’s health consisting of three types of fruit and vegetable beverages and one type of tea (barley tea).
At the live launching show held on July 31 in Korea, Robocar POLI Juice received many favorable reviews with 550,000 view count and 4.9/5.0 of product rating.
The sale of Robocar POLI Beverage in Taiwan, Vietnam, and Mongolia is also under discussion.
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Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) supports production, planning, creation, distribution, overseas expansion, business growth, training, R&D, policy financing, and policy study of many different genres, including broadcasting, video game, music, fashion, animation, character, comics, IP, new technology convergence content. KOCCA is dedicated to promote the welfare of the people by turning Korea into a major player in the content industry worldwide. KOCCA plans to systemically and strategically support the industrial infrastructures by closely working with stakeholders, relevant organizations, and local promotion centers. At the Korea Character Licensing Booth this year, BLE attendees can meet ten diverse Korean companies with their excellent character content. All of the companies are available for meetings in person at Booth A191.
Established in 1981, Aurora World has excelled in plush toys and premium gifts, earning recognition as a character and content industry leader. Renowned for quality, they offer diverse branded and licensed items for all ages. Leveraging 40 years of global expertise, Aurora World is actively pursuing licensing prospects. Notably, their popular YooHoo & Friends line, inspired by endangered species, spreads eco-awareness worldwide, whilst hinting at even more to come.
Chungdahm Media has announced a new partnership with Haegin, developers of Play Together, which was released in April 2021 and it is available in 13 languages in 170 countries around the world.
At a certain point, it was one of the most popular games in Taiwan and Vietnam. So far, the game has reached over 170 million downloads and once had more than 4 million daily active users. CeREELs characters will meet game users with various product items.
Dogcat, Saengkeum, Dracong and Sayo form GRIENDS
have been designed to protect the nature and environment of Busan. Together with Director Ari from the Crisis Management Response Center in EcoClean City, they solve incidents and accidents based on the warnings of the global environmental crisis clock This animated TV series concentrates on the natural environment. and environmental issues.
Since it was founded in 2007, Devsisters has been providing games and services, centered around the “CookieRun” IP, that has been loved by more than 200 million users globally. Their games have received top awards from Google Play Korea and Pocket Gamer. Devsisters is expanding its horizons to platforms such as mobile, PC, console gaming, and VR. In addition, they are continuing to advance into new business ventures such as animation, trading card games and licensing.
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Redio are Introducing the Poundcat, a pet character from South Korea. With its love of boxes, adorable “bread loaf” pose, and insights like why dogs have damp noses, this trivia collection inspires pet adoption and delights enthusiasts. Engaging offline content for pet owners and animal lovers includes the “Clean Walking Club” campaign from October 1st to 9th, promoting responsible pet etiquette and suggesting petfriendly products. Poundcat fosters joyful pet moments, from first meetings to farewells, and promotes animal rights and welfare.
Studio Acorn is a Kids and Family Entertainment company that develops and represents both original and partner’s contents and consumer products. Founded in August 2021, as an animation production studio, Studio ACORN acquired all rights of The World of Curious Linda, and started the development of a preschool show, ‘Ground Crew Toto’. In November 2022, they expanded their business scope to media distribution, brand management, and licensing & merchandising for both global and domestic markets.
Bellygom, the main character of the YouTube channel “Bellygom TV,” was born in a haunted house and loves to play pranks on people. The playful pink bear is known to suddenly appear in various locations
Please check below for the latest news and a variety of character products from Bellygom.
Robocar POLI is speeding up its global market launch after Licensing Expo 2023. Recently, ROI VISUAL, the owner of the Robocar POLI brand, has completed numerous contracts for broadcasting and licensing in Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East. Based on a powerful new series featuring new transforming robots, Robocar POLI is accelerating for a grand launch in new markets and re-launching in the European market, which was successful until the pandemic.
STUDIO VANDAL CO LTD
Studio Vandal Co., Ltd. is launching a range of new edible toys with Rice Clay Co., Ltd. using the “What Are You Doing
Nini?” IP to promote the development of children’s five senses
Rice Clay is a rice doughy product children can touch, create with, and eat. Sweet Rice Puffs kits are now available!
THE PINKFONG COMPANY
The Pinkfong Company will showcase an incredible portfolio of its core preschool properties, including Baby Shark and Pinkfong. The company will also debut its newest hit preschool property, Bebefinn, and a 3D animated series called Sealook, aimed at the young adult/adult demographic.
Both Bebefinn and Sealook have captured the hearts of millions around the world; Bebefinn reached Netflix’s Today’s Top 10 Kids in 17 countries, while Sealook has surpassed 5 million YouTube subscribers.
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Experience the Comfort of Pets with Bigglz
The English version of the Bigglz mobile app
that can be applied to the pets. Pets will be best pals no matter what is said to them, bringing lovely and comforting conversations.
In addition to this, the Bigglz app transforms the pets into anthropomorphicanimals who walk on two legs in the world called, ‘Pet World’(Puppy Kitty Star) where the Pet Pal Five (Bigglz’s Main Character IP) live and serve as guides. In this Pet World, players can chat with other users, and play as many as nine different snack games. Players can also share photos and communicate with others on ‘Petstagram’, choose emotional stationery and stamps, decorate them with stamps to exchange pretty and cute emotional letters on ‘Pet Pal’, and even use a lovely template to simply record daily life on ‘Pet Diary’!
Bigglz offers the fun experience of adopting and raising 32 virtual pets. These pets interact with children and grow in three stages as they are rasied. Pets make demands such as eating, cleaning up their droppings, playing, bathing, and cleaning rooms, and they can be enjoyed in the form of games. A ‘Pet room’ can be decorated in various styles of interior, purchase additional rooms at the ‘Pet House’, adopt several pets, and decorate each with a unique personality. In addition, as higher levels are achieved, players will be provided with various costumes
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“Bigglz’s lovely main characters and virtual pets will always give you a warm, comforting feeling.”
Looking at Location-Based Entertainment,
Falcon’s Beyond announced the first franchise and project to be developed as part of a joint venture with Raging Power Limited, an arm of K11 Group, the Hong Kong-based cultural commerce giant. Through the partnership, these two companies are expected to collaborate to develop and launch new entertainment franchises and locationbased entertainment (LBE) attractions across China.
The first franchise and project from this joint venture will be “Vquarium,” a groundbreaking ocean adventurethemed experience designed to be a new breed of location-based “retailtainment.” It will debut in 2025 at Hong Kong’s iconic 11 SKIES development, one of the world’s most talked about new retail venues, and a top project for K11.
WildBrain CPLG is continuing the expansion of its global strategy with the launch of a new LBE business to
drive opportunities for WildBrain’s franchise brands as well as partner brands such as Peanuts and PLAYMOBIL, with an initial focus on Asia Pacific (APAC). Veteran licensing executive, Kevin Suh is working with WildBrain CPLG to build the global LBE strategy. Additionally, highly experienced executive Evi Sari joins the WildBrain CPLG senior leadership team in China as Vice President of LocationBased Entertainment, to spearhead the agency’s LBE strategy in APAC and the GCC. WildBrain CPLG’s EVP & MD, Maarten Weck states: “Locationbased entertainment creates another tool for brands in our 360-degree offering as part of the global WildBrain organisation, bolstering our integrated capabilities across content creation, audience engagement and global licensing. LBE is a fast-growing segment globally, with APAC being a key opportunity, and we have big ambitions in this space. With Kevin’s global LBE experience and Evi’s highly impressive expertise in APAC, we’re perfectly placed to help brands capitalise on the significant and growing opportunities this sector presents.”
The launch of WildBrain CPLG’s new LBE business comes on the heels of signing major partnerships for multiple new projects in China through deals brokered on behalf of Peanuts Worldwide for Peanuts, and WildBrain Ltd. for Teletubbies and In the Night Garden, with Max-Matching Entertainments Co., Ltd., a leading developer, investor and operator of international cultural and IP visitor attractions. Max Matching is one of the largest LBE licensees in China with rapid expansion into the Asia Pacific region. The new deals include the opening of Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) and IP themed hotel rooms for each brand in Beijing, in Zhongshan City, Guangdong and a city yet to be announced. Over the last few years, IMG has facilitated a range of creative and unique LBE activations to help clients further build their brands and engage with audiences in impactful, new ways. Recently, IMG facilitated a deal between Rovio’s Angry Birds and SCG
America to launch the first-ever Angry Birds-themed retail café in New York City.
Expanding Angry Birds’ LBE portfolio, IMG also facilitated a deal to bring the brand to Attraktion!’s immersive gameplay platform Playneo. The game, which employs cutting-edge technology and engaging narratives to create an immersive experience, will be available across locations in the USA, Austria, Germany and the United Emirates from October 2023. IMG brought the World of Barbie to Santa Monica, USA, in April this year.
EventBox collaborated with Smiley to launch a mall activation in Zahia City Centre in Sharjah. Aimed at spreading Smiley’s brand values of joy and optimism, the activation featured engaging workshops, dance parties, photo opportunities, and interactive games that encouraged creativity and personal growth among the mall’s visitors.
Super RTL Licensing, together with the Saurierpark near Bautzen in Germany, is giving young fans the chance to interact with their favourite characters from Boat Rocker’s Dino Ranch. The Saurierpark near Bautzen is a family amusement park showcasing over 200 life-size dinos, including the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the 15-metrehigh Brachiosaurus. There are 10 lifesize heroes from the hit series in the park area - and they have to be found in the “Dino Ranch Rally” with the help of a park map and stickers.
In addition, a montage of three episodes will be shown in the park’s cinema, while the souvenir store offers numerous products for Dino Ranch fans to take home with them. There will also be exclusive activity material available in the park, such as colouring sheets, games and puzzles.
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With the theme of this year’s BLE being LBE, here we highlight some recent activations taking place.
Like Total Licensing, License Connection recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Both companies have been actively working in the licensing industry for a long time.
License Connection has evolved into a dedicated Licensing Agency in the Benelux with strong retail relationships and is overall very well-known in the industry.
“We love to make combinations that are unexpected but remain very valuable,” says Daphne Kellerman; owner of License Connection. “To link partners to each other where possible everybody benefits. Figures show that the licensed segment is growing strongly over the last years in the BNL region. And we are proud to contribute to that growth.”
License Connection not only creates concepts and opportunities they also connect brands to partners, retail to copyright owners and involve all suitable partners. All this to represent brands in the most effective way with a personal touch and a commercial purpose. Being involved and with the necessary creativity, License Connection searches for interesting possibilities that offer value and gain profit for all partners.
After 5 years of successful partnership with Acamar Films, License Connection continuous the success of Bing in the region with local Retailers and Licensees. The Agency recently signed an agreement with local game company, Identity Games, for their popular Hide & Seek game, quartet- and card game and domino. Having doubled the characters with Veldkamp Entertainment due to the fact Meet & Greets
events are performing extremely well. Together with all partners involved and potential new partners coming on board, License Connection is taking the brand to the next level in the region for the coming years.
License Connection represents BBC Studio brand Bluey for one year now. With the start of the toy line of Moose, distributed by local partner Spectron, in Belgium and quickly followed by the Netherlands, Bluey is already a big success in the region and continues its growth with approx. 15 (inter)national partners to date and many more to come. The Dutch Bluey YouTube channel will be launched soon which will give an extra push to the Brand in The Netherlands and Flemish part of Belgium for sure.
Allie the Ellie (Ellie de Olifant)
The brand launched a new app for iOS and Google Play which offers a save and fun gameplay for youngsters. It is based on the main character Allie the Ellie, which airs on NPO Zappelin in the Netherlands. Kids will be able play along with their favorite elephant in fun and educational activities of minigames. The app aims to encourage creativity and stimulating hand motor skills. New Series with lovely songs are in development already and in close collaboration with the owner, Artwise. License Connection is looking for distribution and Licensing opportunities throughout Europe.
Shaun the Sheep
Recently signed with Aardman for representation in the Benelux region. The well-known and high-end Brand is very familiar with young families. License Connection signed with Veldkamp Producties for meet & Greet of which first bookings have been done. The Brand gives the Agency the opportunity to reach out to new potential partners.
Moonbug’s CoComelon is an online video channel that produces animated content aimed at preschool-age viewers. The brand is enormously popular in the US and also gets feet on the ground in Europe. It is distinctive from other pre-school programs by using the same animation style across all videos and songs are perfectly timed for a YT attention span. CoComelon has been signed with Big Balloon as local publisher of the brand. Together with M&G (Mark Events), bags (Vadobag), apparel (Erve Group and United Essentials), puzzles, stickers and creative products (TM Essentials) and last but not least Toy partners (Jazwares & Just Play).
Well-Known Classic Brands
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Paddington, Guess How, The Gruffalo and Betty Boop are some of License Connections’ high-end value brands. The Agency signed with Benelux based Greeting Cards specialist Bekking & Blitz for several of these Brands, which are distributed from online, to greeting card stores and museum shops.
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CRAFTING SUCCESS IN EASTERN EUROPE’S LICENSING LANDSCAPE
Cultural resonance, digital adaptation, and local collaboration
The intricate dynamics of the entertainment licensing industry have come to the forefront as BrandTrends Group, the pioneering force in brand performance monitoring, unveils a captivating analysis that offers unique insights into the shifting preferences of today’s young consumers.
The licensing landscape in Eastern Europe paints a picture of diverse dynamics that span across its countries, revealing a nuanced tapestry of opportunities and challenges. This intricate market, which thrives on the intersection of entertainment and consumer products, unfolds as a fascinating realm for professionals in strategic brand marketing, consumer insights, distribution, and entertainment licensing marketing.
Exploring diverse dynamics across countries
The Eastern European licensing market is not a monolithic entity but a constellation of varying dynamics across its constituent countries. Established economies such as Poland and the Czech Republic are shining examples of this diversity, boasting a robust appetite for both local and international content.
These nations have embraced the digital era, with a burgeoning preference for streaming platforms that house a rich array of entertainment options. Their strides in copyright enforcement have fostered an environment
conducive to legitimate licensing activities.
On a contrasting note, countries like Romania exhibit a unique facet within the entertainment content landscape. Here, the licensing market navigates through a landscape shaped by distinctive cultural preferences and local traditions. This cultural tapestry necessitates a thoughtful approach to licensing agreements, tailored to resonate with the local tastes and customs of the Romanian audience.
Demographics: A mosaic of awareness
The Eastern European market exhibits a unique demographic-driven awareness landscape. Children aged up to 14 emerge as a potent force, collectively familiar with over 155 entertainment brands, a number that continues
to grow. However, a deeper analysis reveals a fragmented landscape. Each demographic segment shows awareness of approximately 38 out of the 155 brands, creating a highly segmented market where different age groups hold affinity to their own distinct set of brands.
Gender also plays a pivotal role in shaping brand awareness. Around 31% of the brands are recognized by both boys and girls simultaneously, a stark contrast to the higher average of 42% in larger European countries like the UK and Spain. This underscores the gender-oriented nature of the Eastern European licensing market.
Global giants and local heroes
A closer inspection of the market reveals the dominance of certain
Most Favorite Entertainment Brands - Eastern Europe -
14 years old. Spring 23.
Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania Source: BrandTrends Entertainment, April 23
LEGO Marvel Paw Patrol Minecraft Disney Spider-Man Barbie Roblox Frozen Peppa Pig Harry Potter Batman Mickey Mouse Tom & Jerry Bing Bunny 14.1% 10.4% 8.8% 8.5% 7.7% 7.7% 6.9% 5.8% 5.4% 5.4% 5.0% 4.8% 4.4% 3.1% 3.1%
Most Favorite Entertainment Brands - Eastern Europe26 - 65 years old. Spring 23.
ABOUT THE REPORT
The current report provides a detailed analysis of brand awareness, popularity, and purchase intent of the most important Entertainment brands within a country.
The most crucial aspect is that it predicts product category purchasing intentions.
brands. Despite a notable decline of 3.4 points, LEGO retains its position as a leader, holding a 4-point advantage over its close rival Marvel. International brands often find success in the region, albeit with varying degrees of impact. The diverse consumer preferences across countries necessitate a strategic approach that tailors licensing agreements to resonate with local tastes and cultural nuances.
Growth potential and economic landscape
The licensing market in Eastern Europe is not just about the present; it’s also about the potential it holds for the future.
A confluence of factors, including increasing consumer purchasing power, urbanization, and a growing interest in branded products, propels this potential growth.
As economies continue to develop and disposable incomes rise, consumers naturally gravitate toward products affiliated with well-known brands, seeking a sense of familiarity and quality assurance.
However, it’s essential to acknowledge the disparities within Eastern Europe. Some countries, like Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, boast stronger economies and more established markets. In contrast, others are still navigating the process of economic transition, presenting a mosaic of opportunities that demand a nuanced understanding of local dynamics.
Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania Source: BrandTrends Entertainment, April 23
Cultural nuances and customization
Cultural preferences and local traditions are the invisible threads that weave the fabric of the Eastern European licensing market. Successfully penetrating this landscape requires a keen awareness of these factors. Licensing agreements cannot be onesize-fits-all; they must be thoughtfully adapted to align with local tastes and customs.
Characters, designs, and themes that resonate with cultural relevance hold the key to capturing the hearts and wallets of consumers.
The Eastern European licensing market is an expansive reservoir of opportunities. As the market continues to evolve, those who comprehend and adapt to its intricacies stand poised to develop within this arena of licensing and brand performance.
To thrive in Eastern Europe’s licensing scene, businesses should customize their agreements to fit local tastes, consider different age groups, and tap into digital trends.
Ensuring copyright protection, adapting to rapidly changing consumer habits, and collaborating with local partners are key. Balancing global and local aspects while staying innovative and respecting traditions will help businesses tap into this exciting market’s potential.
Keep in mind that the potential is great with 12.3 million children up to 14 years old, not to mention the adults 45.5 million individuals!
The service reports on 11,500+ different Entertainment, Fashion, or Sports brands four times a year, and interviews 200,000+ people ranging in age from infants to seniors in 42 countries.
ABOUT BRANDTRENDS GROUP
The BrandTrends Group is a unique, multi-country provider of marketing research, focusing on brand, lifestyle, consumer behavioral and attitudinal trends, with a particular focus on children, youth, and families. Their experienced researchers and analysts are renowned in the industry for their expertise in monitoring brand performances, consumer attitudes and behaviors across up to 53 markets annually, making them a reliable and respected authority in the field.
One of their most interesting value points is their ability to look at facts from a different perspective, providing a unique reading of the true trends in the market.
Their proprietary analytics, such as the Brand Popularity Index and Consumer Demand Gap, coupled with high-quality and accurate data enable clients to identify the best opportunities in retail activation, competitive environments, and brand line equity and design. As a respected and trusted leader in their field, they work with renowned global companies across a variety of industries, including consumer package goods corporations, entertainment studios, retailers, and industry bodies.
To learn more, visit www.brandtrends.com.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Philippe Guinaudeau - BrandTrends at philippe.guinaudeau@ brandtrends.com.
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Marvel LEGO Disney Tom & Jerry Mickey Mouse Star Wars Harry Potter Spider-Man Winnie the Pooh & Friends The Smurfs Barbie Superman Netflix Donald Duck Batman 13.6% 9.6% 7.7% 6.4% 6.4% 6.2% 5.7% 4.5% 4.0% 3.8% 3.6% 3.6% 3.5% 3.4% 3.3%
With a strong focus on Europe in this issue, we’ve brought together a panel of experts from different parts of the continent to guage their thoughts on how licensing is performing in their regions and a look at what they think the future holds.
Job van Dijk, Managing Director, Tempting Brands
Francesca Romana Gianesin, Head of International, Moonbug Entertainment
Marianne James Vice President, EMEA and Asia, Licensed Consumer Products, Hasbro
Alexandra Algard Mikanowski, Licensing and Merchandising Director, Millimages
Felipe Noriega, Vice President & Regional Director, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Licensing Matters Global
David Sprei, Commercial Director, Penguin Ventures
Laurent Taieb, Head of Licensing, Princess Sam Consumer Products
Meike de Vaere-Hoorn, VP Partnerships and Business Development, WildBrain CPLG
How are you currently finding the licensing business? Do you see growth in terms of licensing?
Job Van Dijk: The licensing sector is witnessing consistent growth, and we are proud to report an expansion in our customer base. We are not only forging partnerships with global and regional players but also making significant inroads into the direct-to-retail arena.
Francesca Romana Gianesin: Most definitely! The licensing business is growing and still represents a great opportunity. It will always play a role in the lives of consumers of all ages. As long as there are great brands that consumers know and love, licensing will also be there.
Marianne James: In 2022, licensed goods have totaled $278 billion in re-
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tail sales, so business is booming in the industry, and right now is the perfect time to be in the playing field. At Hasbro, our goal is to build each of our most iconic IP into everyday lifestyle brands based on our “Fewer, Bigger” strategy, and launch Peppa Pig, Transformers, Monopoly, Nerf, Dungeons & Dragons and My Little Pony into incredible new formats across categories.
Location-based entertainment is one of our key drivers in substantially expanding our licensing business. Through theme park attractions, branded resorts & water parks, family entertainment centers, restaurants, interactive life size games, live shows and more, audiences everywhere can soak into the magic of Hasbro brands through unique and interactive in-person experiences.
LBEs opening soon are Kingsmen’s Nerf Action Xperience centers, with two US locations in the US and one in the UK. The US is getting additional major attractions with The Game Room Powered by Hasbro, including Trivial Pursuit and Battleship-themed fun, along with Merlin Entertainment’s second Peppa Pig theme park arriving in the region, with another location launching in Germany. Then coming to China later this year is Shanghai’s co-branded Transformers & My Little Pony Playlodge. Also in the region are the recently launched Transformers: The Ark restaurant in Hong Kong and two Peppa Pig Play Café locations in Hangzhou and Chengdu. Earlier this year, Hasbro City launched in Mexico as well for families to enjoy activities themed to Transformers, Monopoly and Power Rangers, plus others. Additionally, Nerf Mania will open its gates in Brazil’s Beto Carrero this year as the brand’s first-ever theme park in its nearly 55 years of history.
Launching our biggest LBE openings ever this year for our 100th anniversary, Hasbro plans to continue enchanting multi-generational audiences with even more fun, in-person experiences so they can create memories that will last a lifetime.
Alexandra Algard Mikanowksi: The Licensing market is currently very
challenged and has evolved a lot in recent years. Lots of retailers (i.e. toys, apparel) have economic issues, and we believe growth in this business will be in terms of quality and not quantity in the foreseeable future. One way to expand a brand’s quality and value is to develop cross media visibility, just like we have successfully done with our IP Molang: Millimages supports its licensees with the character’s strong social presence with over 7M followers across all platforms. As IP owners, we create the content and the storytelling of the brand: for example, we recently launched a second YouTube channel for Molang, targeted at Gen Z & Millennials. It is an opportunity to be close(r) to our community, and better understand their wants and needs. We also invest a lot of time and money into direct-to-consumer operations, like corner shops (we have one in Paris; we also had a pop-up at Japan Expo) or retail events (like Kiddyland in Japan), and finally we have our own e-commerce platform, where consumers can easily find a large selection of official Molang products from around the globe. All of those have one common goal: to consolidate all our licensees and partners.
Felipe Noriega: Yes, we do. The overstocks in retail that derived from the Covid crisis have subsided and as a result, existing and prospective licensees are eager to create new product lines, acquire new brands and deliver exciting novel offers to retailers and consumers. Appetite among retailers for new brands has re-awoken too.
David Sprei: We are fortunate to be in a key growth period across our UK portfolio. Coming out of an anniversary year for Peter Rabbit, where we celebrated 120 years of the original Tale, and two important anniversaries for The World of The Snowman (40 years of The Snowman and 10 years of The Snowman and The Snowdog film adaptions), we moved into a strong position and continue to use that momentum throughout this year. Our literary portfolio continues to stand the test of time and we are grateful for that. We are mindful of the cost-
of-living crisis in the UK and across the globe but our core infant, baby and gifting markets paired with our strategy to widen the retail offering is paying dividends. We are focused to working with the best-in-class partners and our UK licensee base is testament to that.
Laurent Taieb: The French licensing business has enjoyed some of the strongest growth in 2022 in Europe, based on figures from the Global Licensing Industry Survey just released by Licensing International. This is a good sign for the French licensing industry and shows that there are a lot of opportunities for business to grow, especially given that, in Europe, we are still behind countries like the UK and Germany.
Meike de Vaere-Hoorn: I love working in this business. The licensing industry is fast-paced and ever-changing, which provides a dynamic work environment that keeps all of us engaged and on our toes. Licensing creates a feedback loop between consumers, retailers, licensees and brand owners, which allows our teams to have an impact across all different stages of getting product onto shelves. WildBrain CPLG has also expanded considerably over the last couple of years. The opening of offices in China and Asia-Pacific was a strategic move to tap into considerable opportunities in these regions. These are rapidly expanding consumer markets with increasing disposable incomes and a strong appetite for licensed products and entertainment. Having a physical presence allows our local teams access to a vast and growing audience. We can use our global knowledge grow really strong licensing programmes for brands that cater to the preference of this demographic. Our strong portfolio is a key factor contributing to our growth and success. We represent global brands that have widespread recognition and appeal, and we can help build them out to reach a broad international audience. But most importantly, our colleagues are the catalysts that drive change, innovation and success across various initiatives. Their energy and
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Job van Dijk Tempting Brands
Francesca Romana Gianesin Moonbug
creative ways of working have a direct impact on our business and revenue generation.
Has Brexit and/or the conflict in Ukraine affected your business in any way? If so, how?
Job Van Dijk: While the Ukraine conflict had minimal repercussions on our operations, the aftermath of Brexit has introduced notable challenges. The intricacies of trademark law have intensified, compelling us to manage an additional trademark office. Furthermore, administrative complexities concerning VAT, and import/export procedures have added to our operational load.
Francesca Romana Gianesin: There is a variety of issues that have caused disruption across a variety of business, and these will always be present in one way or another. Our role is to find creative solutions to ensure we succeed and continue to provide great content and great products and experiences to consumers.
Felipe Noriega: The possibility of doing business in Russia with the global brands we represent has dried up completely due to the Ukraine conflict and this has made a measurable dent on our business.
Laurent Taieb: These events have of course impacted French business as a whole. The war has created a climate of instability which has discouraged people from consuming and also driven prices up. I do think, however, that Brexit has had less of an impact on us in France than on our British colleagues.
Meike de Vaere-Hoorn: Licensing, like many sectors, is a global industry that faces constant change as consumer preferences, technology, and international and regional dynamics shift. We are focused on cross-functional collaboration between our teams and our partners so we can adapt to these changes. In such a climate, everyone in the licensing sector needs to commit
to innovation and to fostering deeper working relationships with partners and colleagues.
Supply chain issues because of Brexit and the conflict in Ukraine continue
to be difficult. Is this
impacting on your business?
Job Van Dijk: We are pleased to report that, despite the unfolding events of Brexit and the Ukraine conflict, it seems that our customers’ supply chain has remained mostly unaffected and continues to operate seamlessly.
Francesca Romana Gianesin: We are working closely with all our partners to support ways to move through any inventory issues in order to bring new styles and products to the market as quickly as possible. We work with best-in-class companies, and this helps massively.
Felipe Noriega: We are lucky that we are not feeling an impact from this in our business.
Laurent Taieb: Things are slowly getting back to normal – raw material prices are falling – but this is not being reflected in prices at retail. French consumers are still very cautious about spending. This might have an adverse impact – yet again – on the Christmas season and on the ability (or willingness) of French retailers to invest in newer properties.
Meike de Vaere-Hoorn: Many retail businesses operate complex supply chains that span multiple countries, and for all industries major global events can lead to disruptions in production and transportation. However, we have also seen flexibility in the processes of our partners, who can make quick adjustments to help navigate changing circumstances. Also, long-term relationships are preferred these days over quick wins. This means working with partners who demonstrate resilience and adaptability during disruptions. In licensing and
brand management, I strongly believe that taking a long-term view leads to enduring and successful partnerships between licensors, licensees and retailers. In the end, this contributes to the overall growth, innovation and resilience of the licensing sector.
Which product categories are key to you? Are there any new product categories
Job Van Dijk: Our primary product categories encompass apparel, backto-school items, leather products, sunglasses, and cosmetics. However, it’s worth noting that our customer base is diverse, venturing into an impressively broad spectrum of products beyond these core categories.
Francesca Romana Gianesin: I am consumer-focus obsessed, and I favour every category that can enhance the emotional connection between our characters and their audiences. Products that reinforce the equity of a brand are dear to my heart. An important part of our job is to know the brands inside out to best enable our licensees and partners in their creative process, all the while allowing them the freedom to best execute our brands on products to surprise and delight our consumers. As for emerging categories, our experiences are booming. Musical, live tours, location based entertainment or just character’s M&G. Nothing seems to be enough as we are always sold out. I also believe the move towards digital is increasing and gaming still represent a great opportunity. Phy-digital will intensify especially as generative A.I. continues to surprise us in its capabilities for customisation and creation.
Marianne James: In addition to LBE, we’re building our brands up in the fashion and lifestyle spaces. Creating everyday pieces for fans to wear allows them to take their fandom into beautifully crafted designs to wear out
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that are emerging or you can see will emerge in the near future?
Marianne James Hasbro
Alexandra Algard Mikanowksi Millimages
wherever they go. The way consumers showcase their love for our brands through the clothes, shoes and accessories they wear inspires us to take this sector a step further and create an entirely new world for each franchise in the form of fashion. By collaborating with leading designers and brands in the space, we can translate our fantastical brands into stylish and fun pieces. For instance, we’re launching a Dungeons & Dragons apparel line with Boss Dog, a 13-piece My Little Pony apparel and accessories collection with Cakeworthy, the cutest Peppa Pig infant apparel line with Mori and so much more.
Alexandra Algard Mikanowksi: At this stage our key categories are gift, apparel and plush. Our objectives aren’t set in specific categories, as we prefer to work the other way around: any product can be licensed so long as it is in alignment with the brand’s values and positioning. For example, Molang is all is about feeling good, being happy and kind: so all our official products (and partners!) n eed to fit in seamlessly with this vision. We also strive to have sustainable products.
Felipe Noriega: We do a substantial amount of business in what you may call “medium-sized consumer goods categories” such as semi-professional audio accessories, home entertainment systems, high-spec luggage and electrical appliances. Deals in this space are very strategic, for the long term, and they can take time and effort to develop; but are ultimately very profitable for brands.
David Sprei: Our apparel and toy business continues to be strong at retail in the UK and this is largely thanks to the iconic British status of our portfolio which includes Peter Rabbit; The Snowman; Flower Fairies; Spot; World of Eric Carle. These evergreen nostalgic brands resonate with grandparents, parents and gifters so there’s a strong customer base who trust our brands and continue to engage with them. Peter Rabbit is a must-have, trusted, highly desirable and on-trend purchase and continues to drive sell
through particularly across infant and baby product offerings. The entire Ventures team work incredibly hard to ensure there is always something new and exciting for each of our brands by refreshing creative and expanding our business with new partners.
Laurent Taieb: Toys are still leading the way when it comes to licensed products in France. Obviously the category is a strong pillar, with publishing, of any licensing programme. The strongest emerging opportunity is definitely around location-based entertainment. This is the new Eldorado for our business and opportunities are endless. However, we are still years behind what is being developed in the US or what our Asian colleagues are able to create. To see their mall activations is to die of envy!
Meike de Vaere-Hoorn: Locationbased experiences have emerged as a significant trend in licensing, offering a unique and immersive opportunity for brands to connect with their audience. These experiences leverage physical spaces to create interactive, memorable and often exclusive interactions related to licensed properties. Overall, there is a shift towards a higher value of experiences, which reflects a desire for meaningful connections, personal growth and shared moments. Families are recognising that investing in experiences can lead to greater happiness and fulfilment in the long run. WildBrain CPLG has formed a locationbased experience team demonstrating our commitment to adapting to evolving consumer trends.
harmonized product design approach among our customers. By offering more comprehensive design services, we aim to deepen our relationship with our clientele, ensuring a more integrated and collaborative partnership.
Francesca Romana Gianesin: our content has billion of views all around the word and we see strong demand across all the Regions. We are trying to play catch-up as fast as we can! Our properties reach the whole world instantly through technology and digital platforms. We now need to do the same with our products and experiences…. conquer the world! Asia is a massive opportunity still untapped, as it is Europe and LATAM, and UK and Australia show a solid growth where more can be done. We have business opportunities everywhere.
Marianne James: I think the future of licensing is bright in each territory, but each market has its unique strengths! Our powerhouse consumer analytics and insights teams help us uncover the wants and needs of our customers in each territory and build strategies that suit the local nuances and relevancies for each market to deliver growth. For instance, PJ Masks is super successful in the Middle East. In China, Transformers is colossal, which we found has been propelled by our branded entertainment like the recent Transformers: Rise of the Beasts movie. Its popularity has led to us launching LBE locations like the Transformers: The Ark restaurant and Transformers & My Little Pony Playlodge in that region. Meanwhile, Peppa Pig, is especially massive in Europe and China. Ultimately, we want to create branded products and experiences tailored to each territory, and we’ll continue to learn and aim to create meaningful programs that will help propel each of our storied franchises.
Job Van Dijk: We envision the future of our licensing activities in fostering a
Alexandra Algard Mikanowksi: We are expanding our international market by developing our agent network. Our objective is to have a local approach, territory by territory, and find the most relevant local partners. We also plan to develop our B2C activi-
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How do you see the future of licensing in the territories you work in? What opportunities to grow your licensing activities can you see? Are there aspects of licensing that you believe are unique to your marketplace?
Felipe Noriega Licensing Matters Global
David Sprei Penguin Ventures
ties: for example we will try to replicate the success of the Molang corner shop in Paris in our key territories. We also apply this local mindset to e-commerce business practices: before the end of the year we will open a logistic facility in the US, which will drastically reduce our carbon impact (and the transport fees for our North and South American fans!)
Felipe Noriega: We operate a truly global business.We clearly see markets such as Asia-Pacific and Latin America increasingly curious and willing to try the kinds of licensing-based brand extensions that are now common in Europe and North America. These are regions with palpable growth potential in the next few years for us.
David Sprei: I’d say the biggest opportunity for growth would be outside of core traditional categories. Partnerships and promotions offer a great space to play where you’re not necessarily fighting for new shelf space in a congested market. Additionally, and especially for us, I see much potential to grow licensed Experiences across the UK. The experience economy is thriving and families continue to crave in real life moments. We execute a wide range of experiences across our portfolio from tours, teas and trails to stage shows and exhibitions! We have had incredible success with our partner Histrionic Productions on two Peter Rabbit outdoor experiences over the past 12 months and we
look forward to launching The Snowman and The Snowdog Immersive Christmas Adventure with Immersive Everywhere later this year. You can’t deliver a closer brand engagement in any other way, but it needs to be authentic and can’t be too cost prohibitive. The Peter Rabbit Storytime Trail which we offer to community spaces and libraries, ensures that we are engaging the widest possible audience whilst offering families an accessible, fun experience.
The UK is our home market, however Australia has a similar audience demographic and we have many core categories which are aligned.The strength of our global publishing business means we are rich in data from the book sales and work closely across the division to align on retail growth opportunities. In North America we have a growing business where Peter Rabbit resonates most strongly at Easter whereas in China and Japan we have a thriving all year round business. Across Asia we have a large super fan adult audience who have a fascination with British culture and grew up learning English in school from reading the Beatrix Potter books.
Laurent Taieb: The French licensing industry has fantastic new areas to explore: sport licensing is, realistically, just starting, college is non-existent, and luxury brands are beginning to eye entertainment thanks to really cool collabs. On our side, at Princess Sam Consumer Products, it’s early
days but the promise of Tara Duncan is already enormous. We have built a strong global network of TV broadcasters and are starting to enjoy great ratings in the first territories airing Tara Duncan.
Alongside that we are recruiting a best-in-class team of agents to develop our licensing programme wherever the TV show has launched.What’s even more exciting is hearing that they are already having good first discussions – and getting positive responses from potential licensees.
Meike de Vaere-Hoorn: I am very excited about the future of licensing. WildBrain has a presence in so many different parts of the entertainment industry spanning content production, audience engagement and global licensing, which means we can really keep ahead of the consumer touchpoints and emerging technology trends that can inform our strategy. We foster a learning culture, and we’re fortunate to be able to harness the data that is available to us from our specialist digital media team at WildBrain Spark. Access to their content insights helps to inform our knowledge on audience preferences and consumer trends, which we can use to augment our approach to licensing. This, coupled with WildBrain’s deep content production and distribution expertise and ability to cross-promote brands, can create a seamless and compelling experience for fans and consumers.
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BRAND LICENSING TOTAL Spring 春天 March 2023 Total Licensing, Total Brand Licensing, Total Licensing China, Total Licensing Australia All the licensing information you need... www.totallicensing.com
Laurent Taieb, Princess Sam Consumer Products
Meike de Vaere-Hoorn WildBrain CPLG
The whole Location
Based Entertainment thing is infinitely older than even Star Wars. We’ve been doing it since our ancestors first told stories around the campfire as we took our first steps out of Africa or at the very least since the Ancient Greeks first performed their plays in the shadow of the Acropolis three thousand years ago.
In the latest of his regular columns for Total Licensing, Gary Pope, CEO and Co-Founder of Kids Industries and Children’s Commissioner for Products of Change talks about the world of LBE.
WHY IS LBE SO IMPORTANT?
Location Based Entertainment (LBE) is the most significant thing that has happened to licensing since the Star Wars Early Bird Certificate Package that Kenner pushed out for the holidays in 1977.
Actually, it’s more important than that. And it’s definitely a whole lot more than an exciting promise and an empty box.
Just as they did nearly 50 years ago, consumers buy stuff because they have a fandom. And that fandom is invariably developed because of characters and narrative that they identify with and are inspired by through the stories they watch, read or listen to.
LBE is nothing new; just stories shared in the most compelling way possible. And that is IRL (as the kids like to say). The wonderful thing about In Real Life is that we get to use all five senses and fully understand the world around us, the senses are the keys to immersion. And as best as
I can tell, LBE is the only product category in the entire Consumer Products industry that, when executed properly, can positively affect each of those five senses and truly allow you to become a part of the story.
There are so many reasons that LBE is important - it enables brands to stay competitive, relevant and it allows them to explore tangible relationships with new consumers. LBE increases the longevity of IPs and empowers brand owners to foster closer relationships between consumers and their favourite characters. It tells stories using new technologies, opens new revenue streams and it becomes a formidable brand communications platform in its own right.
But above and beyond all these lovely measures of success, the truth is that the reason LBE is so important is because what it does is so ridiculously simple and infinitely more powerful than any technology, marketing message or retail promotion. LBE is important because it creates lifelong fans. Period. Investment in LBE can be directly correlated with lifetime user value. It’s really, really simple. And the reason that lifelong fans are created is because experiences, especially when they are multisensory, make memories. The brilliant Pine and Gilmore said in their 1998 category defining work: ‘The Experience Economy’ that: ‘In the new experience economy, companies must realise that they make memories, not goods’. That’s a pretty big shift for the consumer products industry, but it does seem like we’re doing ok at it. And just like any product, you need to get the design of LBE just right. And if you do manage to design an experience that delivers the perfect balance of brand narrative and sensorial cues, a process is set in play in the minds of the audience that by the time it ends means you have a fan for life. It goes something like this:
As the audience begins to experience what you’ve made for them, they draw on existing frames of reference to derive meaning and understanding. A perception of the experience begins to emerge - a set of emotions that dictate whether they like it or not.
And if this perception is positive, the participant will attend to the stimuli further and this strong attention leads to a defined mental representation in the mind - this is the beginning of the memory. This gets its own little little space in their brain - think of it as a filing cabinet labelled with your brand’s name.
And once that memory is there, the branded filing cabinet can be opened and the memory recalled at any time. Because they can recall the memory unaided, they can request all that it promises; they can enjoy all the other experiences that your brand has to offer.
The hard bit, the bit you have to really, really know your consumer to get right, is that first bit - those sensorial cues that are the design of the experience. That’s where the real skill lies - but then all consumer products need to have a deep understanding of the audience at their heart - just as all media do, too. It’s nothing new.
In many ways LBE is the most traditional of all media and yet it is making us all think very differently about our consumers, our roll-out strategies and even the design of our original IPs. And the reason it does this is because at its heart it is the oldest and still the most powerful form of storytelling. Stories told in the real world, the physical world that utilise the senses to make memories that last a lifetime.
And that is why LBE is so bloody important. That’s what I think, anyway!
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By Utku Tansel LLB, MBA
Key Trends & Developments Shaping European Fashion Retailing
UTKU TANSEL INSIGHT
Utku has two decades of success in driving global thought leadership, project and content management, delivering strategic business intelligence and insight to major international companies. Throughout his career, he has led many global research programs across a wide range of diverse and dynamic industries including Toys & Games, Licensed Consumer Products, Consumer Electronics, Apparel & Footwear, Homewares & Home Furnishings, and Personal Accessories & Eyewear. With solid market research background, Utku regularly writes for leading industry publications including Total Licensing, where he is a permanent author, focusing on the most recent trends and developments. A sought-after speaker, he also presented at world-renowned industry events including PlayCon, Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, World Congress of Play, Walmart Global Toy Summit, and Licensing International Mind Mix Executive Conference highlighting key findings from the latest global research studies.
As a largely discretionary spending area, clothing spending is at risk as people have to use a larger share of available funds on non-discretionary areas, such as food and energy. An increasing proportion of consumers across Europe are concerned about the impact of rising prices on their household finances and there are signs of consumers already taking a more cautious approach to spending. Despite the income squeeze, for younger consumers across Europe, fashion will remain a priority which will give an opportunity to value players, as it did during the previous financial crisis. However, the pushback from many in the younger generation against fast-fashion is likely to turbo-charge the second-hand and rental/subscription markets. As highlighted in Mintel’s Clothing Retailing - Europe – 2022 report, there are good opportunities for brands and retailers to take a stronger position on sustainability as well as rental and second hand. Furthermore, while maximising in-store experiential retailing can create a point of differentiation, new store formats, such as popups and shop-in-shops, also help generate buzz and excitement.
Sustainability gains further traction
We are witnessing increasing number of initiatives bringing fashion companies more in alignment with the concept of sustainability as consumers are looking for ways to conserve the planet’s resources. Moving forward, strong environmental credentials and ethical qualities will become a real focus across Europe.
Puma started the experimental phase of its Re: suede project, with the distribution of 500 pairs of trainers to Germany-based participants in April 2022. The experiment wanted to test if it was possible to make a biodegradable version of its Suede shoe style. Participants in the group wore the Re: suede shoe for half a year before returning it to Puma. It was then analysed to see
whether the shoe was biodegradable. Menswear brand Jules revealed jeans made from 100% recycled materials in France at the beginning of 2022. It launched jeans made from 81% recycled cotton, 17% recycled polyester and 2% recycled elastane. Manufactured in Neuville-en-Ferrain, in Northern France, the jeans retail at €59.99. In Germany, Lidl launched its second fashion collection in collaboration with the model, textile ambassador for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and ex-GNTM contestant Barbara Meier in the Summer 2022. All clothing items in the collection for women and children are certified with the certificate Grüner Knopf (Green Button). Prices start at €5.99 for a sleeveless top. The state seal for socially and ecologically produced textiles, Grüner Knopf, gives consumers greater transparency in clothing purchasing. Lidl complements this with a list of over 600 of its suppliers of textile and footwear own brands, which has been disclosed since 2017.
The rise of rental and second-hand
Consumers are investing in durable, quality products in order to avoid excessive consumerism and help the environment. The rental market is experiencing significant growth as consumers look for alternatives to fast fashion purchases and limit their own consumption and environmental footprint. These changes will offer brands
the opportunity to focus on creating products with a deeper value, such as fully recyclable or recycled items, and to promote second-hand or circular economies. We are seeing more and more retailers launching alternative retail models as it has become fashionable to buy second-hand or vintage items. On the other hand, the rising cost of living has also boosted interest in this area as buying second-hand is a good way to save money.
Selfridges launched a luxury car boot sale during the weekend with 100% of the proceeds going towards Women for Women International in its car park in central London in May 2022. The car boot sale sold past-season, vintage and preloved designer goods at 75% off from the likes of Alexander McQueen, Anya Hindmarch, Elizabeth Saltzman, Jenny Packham, Laura Bailey, and Manolo Blahnik.
In the UK, in June 2022, ASOS and Thrift+ teamed up to help customers sell unwanted clothing items. The trial partnership enabled customers to request an ASOS x Thrift+ bag to send their unwanted clothes to the resale platform which were then sold. Customers received credits that could be converted into vouchers for ASOS and other retailers or donated to charity John Lewis entered the childrenswear rental market with a collection available on thelittleloop platform in the UK in May 2022. The collection contained 51 items from the retailer’s spring/summer 22 range with subscription plans for thelittleloop start-
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Puma’s Re-suede project
ing at around £18 for six to seven products.
In the UK, Marks & Spencer launched a spring/summer 22 collection with Hirestreet in the rental platform’s biggest ever retailer collaboration in April 2022. The collection of 40 new season womenswear pieces designed for holidays, staycations and events is available to rent from £10.
Expanding into new categories and sectors
In the UK, multichannel fashion retailer Missguided introduced a new activewear range, including sizes 4-26 (maternity, tall and petite), in January 2022. The range, which includes leggings, jackets, shorts and t-shirts, combines practicality with casualwear and is sourced using 83% recycled fabrics. The new activewear range comes just months after the brand debuted its first kidswear range, catering for ages ranging from three months to seven years.
Adidas launched an extensive sports bra collection designed to “better support the specific needs of active women”. The new range features 43 new styles across 18 product franchises and launched worldwide on 14th February 2022. The new range is aimed at help enable more women to participate in sport.
H&M opened its first dedicated H&M Home store in France in Paris in September 2021. Set across two floors covering 724 sq m, the new interior and lifestyle destination carries the company’s own label offer and a curated selection of external brands. H&M Home is a key part of the group’s growth strategy and it was reported that it has proved popular in the markets in which it is already present. Next launched its own brand of skincare titled Woah in the UK in February 2022. This comes after the retailer expanded its beauty offering with the roll out of Next Beauty and Home formats. The new skincare line includes 16 vegan products and features serums, cleaners, creams, toners and hydrating masks. Skincare benefited from continued demand as a result of its closer ties to wellbeing as consumers
increasingly recognise the link between skin health/ appearance and lifestyle factors, such as sleep, diet and stress. By creating a 16-product vegan in-house range, Next is tapping into this growth category, as well as the demand for retailers to use more ethical and sustainable ingredients.
Stores can use the “experience” factor
This is an area where physical stores have an enormous advantage over online shops, but equally, it is one that feeds well into a multichannel buying journey. Now more than ever retailers are depending on in-store experience to drive traffic. The mainstreaming of e-retail means bricks-and-mortar stores need to work harder to give shoppers a reason to visit. There has been a shift in the role of stores, away from purely a sales function towards a more experiential showroom-type role. Generally, ecommerce offers customers greater convenience; thus, the in-store experience must offer them something ecommerce cannot. Experiential offerings look to fulfill that need and not only improve the shopping experience but enhance the connection to the brand in the minds of consumers. Consumers are increasingly looking for experiences outside those of the traditional retail environment. Across the industry, a number of retailers and brands are making efforts to infuse more experiences into their stores.
In Spain, with its largest flagship store opened in April 2022 in Madrid, Zara aims to create the most integrated and seamless shopping experience possible, allowing customers to interact with the brand at any time, on any channel and on any device. Zara’s Store Mode app allows shoppers to check product availability at the shop from anywhere, order goods and pick them up within two hours and even reserve a fitting room. The new Madrid shop also offers a Pay & Go service allowing customers to buy clothes by scanning them with their mobile phone. Other
innovative services include a parcel pick-up machine, an automatic online returns counter, special checkouts for returns and various self-checkout areas.
Fashion pop-ups help generate buzz and excitement
The role of stores has changed over the years with experiential retailing becoming a necessary approach for retailers to compete with online channels. Limited product lines and the same old layouts are competing with the abundance and convenience offered by e-commerce. Retailers working in the physical space are trying to find ways to stand out from the crowd with more engaging displays and environments. To pique consumer interest brands are experimenting with temporary spaces, such as pop-up shops. As such, they have become a way to bring new concepts to consumers, especially to capture attention from younger shoppers. Retailers need to creatively reform the retail space into an immersive and interactive experience.
Marks & Spencer ran a pop-up concept store in Covent Garden, London in April 2022 offering its latest Goodmove activewear range as well as a variety of free fitness classes and talks. The Goodmove collection, which initially launched in 2020, features garments made from sustainable fabrics and innovative technology, including waterproof parkas, wind-resistant trekking trousers and squat-proof training leggings. The pop-up ran through April 2022 and showcased the Goodmove spring/summer 2022 collection across womenswear, menswear and childrenswear.
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M&S collaboration with Hirestreet Source: M&S
Are you ready for what’s next?
Incoming legislation is going to change the way businesses operate for good with a concerted shift of focus towards more circular practices and better sustainability. The $340bn global brand licensing industry won’t be immune to any of it, but Products of Change can help you be ready, says Rob Hutchins, Editor & Community Manager
We’re entering a new era for licensing
For many of you, this won’t come as much of a surprise, pioneering as you are, within an evolving market meeting the changing demands of a customer and retail landscape more discerning than ever before.
But how many of us know just how dramatically the landscape for business is about to change when major legislative pieces – such as the European Green Deal, new laws on Extended Producer Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directives, and Digital Product Passports come into play in the next few years?
The rhetoric around the legislative changes coming through has been strong. An agreed draft UN Plastic Treaty, for example – a bill drawn up to curb the production of single-use plastic – wants to ‘cut off the head of the toxic single-use snake’, while the passing of the EU Nature Restoration law earlier this year was hailed a ‘vic-
tory for scientists, young people, and a lot of businesses,’ with promises made to safeguard biodiversity. The European Union has made its intention to reach Net Zero by 2050 very clear. And with such lofty ambitions comes some heavyweight policy to back it up. What’s more, this is pol-
icy with the potential to reshape the licensing industry as we know it.
The overall goal is the gradual shift towards a circular economy - a model in which the ‘take, make, create, and throwaway’ culture of today is replaced with a zero-waste system in which products are designed for reuse to be held in their highest value state. It’s a model that demands design works smarter and more efficiently with natural resources to eradicate waste and innovate harder than ever before.
So, what’s this got to do with licensing?
The obvious point is that the $340bn global brand and licensing industry won’t be immune to any of the legislative changes coming down the line.
Across the EU, Extended Producer Responsibility laws will impact the way in which products are not only packaged but handled throughout their entire lifecycle, while the introduction of the Digital Product Passport is going to set whole new standards for supply chain transparency.
Those who can get the jump on these advancing changes now are going to find themselves light years ahead when the new requirements come into full force in the next couple of years. Which leads us nicely into what
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“The $340bn global brand and licensing industry won’t be immune to any of the legislative changes coming down the line.”
Products of Change will be showcasing at its Green Innovation booth at London ExCeL this Brand Licensing Europe.
The tech experts at Fabacus made headlines recently with the launch of its own Digital Product Passport (DPP) – a unique QR code that arms customers with all the product information they will need to make a truly informed purchase.
Developed in partnership with the ethical fashion brand, Nobody’s Child and used – for the first time – on a range of clothing from the Fearne Cotton’s Happy Places, the DPP empowers the customer to make the ethical choice by giving them full view of the impact areas along each garment’s journey to the shelf. The fact it’s been backed by the UK retailer, M&S speaks volumes for the reverberations the official introduction of the DPP will cause among brands and retailers in the very near future. Wastebuster, meanwhile, will showcase Recycle to Read, an initiative that - supported by Hasbro - has this past month landed in select Tesco stores to test and trial a new, circular system for pre-loved and broken plastic toys. This is but a snapshot of the innovation we will have on display within the Green Innovation zone where the likes of Liverpool FC will showcase the latest developments to be driven by its ESG strategy The Red Way, Smiley will be presenting its advance with sustainable fashion, and Kids Industries will be presenting a major and wholly exciting new platform for measuring the industry’s progression with sustainable development.
Legislation will be the heavy hand to effect big change in change. Products of Change is here to help eke out and present the solutions through crosssector and cross-industry collaboration to ensure not only a bright future for the next generation but for the licensing industry, too.
The Sustainability in Licensing Conference
It’s a continuation of this conversation attendees and audiences will discover at this year’s Sustainability in Licensing Conference, too – as the event billed “the most important for the industry
in decades” makes it grand return to the Royal Geographical Society in London on Wednesday, November 8. But the big news isn’t that it’s returning, but that – with a line-up of industry pioneers and innovators like never before – this year’s conference promises to take the conversation to an entirely new level.
Disney, The LEGO Group, Bravado, Difuzed, and DK Books have all been confirmed for a special ‘partner panel conversation’ in which the steps they are taking to each measure their scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions and reduce their impact will be shared with audiences in person as well as live streamed to those viewing from around the world.
The session will also bring to the foreground some of the biggest questions we, as a collective, now need to be finding answers to, including the ultimate headscratcher – Who pays for sustainability? And do we need an industry sustainability fund? The landscape, we know, is shifting. Recent reports have told us 28% of the global licensing sector now sees greater opportunity in sustainable product innovation and we know that customers are demanding more from their favourite brands as they grow more discerning and conscientious by the day. We also know that soon enough, sustainability won’t be an extravagance companies can simply opt out of… not when the legislation really kicks in.
But taxation isn’t the only change coming, either. No, companies will also soon enough be required to measure and track their carbon. The LEGO Group has already put it on record it will begin the process of measuring the carbon of all its activities from as early as 2024, showing some real leadership in the conversation. Carbon calculation will be crucial, which is why SiLC 23 will be delivering a special talk from the Carbon Literacy Project’s co-founder and director of advocacy, Phil Korbel to understand just why carbon is being calculated and what
this all means for business. The retail landscape will have a strong presence at SiLC 2023 as Asda, Lush, and Tesco – through its partnership with Hasbro and Wastebuster to bring the Recycle to Read toy recycling campaign to life in-store – each take to the stage to present their latest, before taking part in a special Retail Panel with some very special guests.
“When the Sustainability in Licensing Conference made its in-person debut at the Royal Geographical Society in London last year, it kick-started a new series of industry conversations around industry sustainable development,” says Helena Mansell-Stopher, founder of Products of Change, the team behind SiLC 23.
“This year, SiLC 23 will be showcasing the solutions and answers to questions we have all been asking. The narrative woven through every session we have lined up for this year’s event not only provides attendees the thinking space for how to progress on their own journeys with sustainability but presents some hugely exciting and defining technologies and solutions as to how we, as an industry, can really start to move things forward – with some truly innovative examples of circularity at play.
“We cannot wait to celebrate a global industry in transition and believe the Sustainability in Licensing Conference 2023 will be one to remember as the moment a new era for more responsible and sustainable licensing was ushered in.”
“Those who can get the jump on these advancing changes now are going to find themselves light years ahead when the new requirements come into full force in the next couple of years.”
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By Charles Sun, Licensing Team
A.I. is leading a transformation in the Chinese Licensing Industry
In China, the constant emergence of new ideas, business forms, modes, brands, products and investments in China’s licensing industry has continuously led and created new consumer demands. The retail sales and royalties of licensed merchandise continued to maintain the growth momentum last year.
According to the statistics of the survey, the total retail sales of licensed merchandise reached USD 18.9 billion in 2022 in China, an increase of 1.2% year-on-year. The annual royalty revenue totaled USD 74 million, an increase of 1.9% year-on-year.
Recently, some new changes had a prominent impact on the China licensing industry, and brought new
development opportunities, which are mainly reflected in the following aspects.
1. Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies provide new tools for industry development
ChatGPT, an AI-generated language model, has become very popular with its subversive interaction, and attracted the attention from all walks of life. For the IP licensing industry, AI can be applied in all links of the industrial chain, including big data capture, data
analysis, analysis of competitive products, strategy making, brand screening, industry scanning, intelligent identification, process approval, style guide and art painting generation, product design and proofing, product listing and publicity, digital marketing, crowd matching, precise launch, etc.
IP licensing practitioners should learn and apply AI with a more open attitude, so as to improve work efficiency and better participate in the future competition in the industry.
China Toy & Juvenile Products Association
Pokemon at China Licensing Expo
2. New-generation consumers provide new driving forces for IP licensing consumption
Currently, consumers of IP licensed products have become increasingly young as a whole. New-generation consumers present new characteristics in terms of content acceptance and product consumption habits, including the improvement of cultural confidence, the pursuit of emotional value of products, the reduction of product price sensitivity, etc., which will have an important impact on the future development of the industry.
Facing these characteristics, licensed products can make adjustments correspondingly, including intensifying the core differentiation of IPs and products, creating scenes to stimulate consumers’ purchase desire, meeting consumers’ demand for social sharing and self-expression, and guiding consumers to participate in secondary creations, so as to making IP licensed products more appealing to consumers.
The cultural confidence of new-generation consumers also provides space for further development of domestic IPs such as China-Chic. Bing Dwen Dwen, Only Blue and Green (Zhi Ci Qing Lyu), Sanxingdui Museum and other hot IPs have laid a solid foundation on the market, and we believe
that more local IPs will emerge in the future.
3. Interest in e-commerce and two-dimensional scenarios provide new sales channels for licensed products
At present, sales channels for IP licensed products become more diversified. In addition to traditional online channels such as Taobao,Tmall, JD.com and live-streaming as well as offline
one of the new sales channels for IP licensed products due to their vertical orientation to the new generation and advantages of interactive experience. For example, the amount of crowdfunding for IP licensed products has successively set new records in recent years.
In early 2023, derivatives of The Wandering Earth, set a record of over USD 16.4 million for a single item on Taobao’s crowdfunding platform, showcasing huge market potential of this model.
Besides, new offline channels such as pop-up stores, theme stores and theme exhibitions that focus on IP interest circles will embrace new development opportunities. With the increase of consumer demand and recovery of offline experience, these offline IP interest consumption channels will attract more fans for on-site consumption.
From October 17th to 19th this year, global licensors of animation, films, museums, art and other categories will gather again at the 16th session of
channels such as shopping malls, a growing number of new channels targeting market segments have also become the sales choices of IP licensed products, playing an important role in the interest circles formed by different IPs.
Online interest e-commerce and crowdfunding platforms have become
China Licensing Expo (CLE) at Shanghai, to promote the continued development of licensing business.
After 16 years of development, China Licensing Expo is widely recognized as the most effective channel to understand the licensing market, promote brands, and expand licensing business in China and Asia.
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Minions at China Licensing Expo
Are Licensors trying to shirk their responsibilities?
By: Gregory J. Battersby
The licensing industry has matured over the past few decades, evolving from the early years when a license was frequently concluded over lunch and relationships were paramount.
These basic precepts form the basis of the bargain and are why licensees are willing to pay compensation through royalties and guarantees to the Licensor.
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
Over the years, two precepts have driven the industry. Licensors were responsible for developing and protecting their Property, and licensees were responsible for commercializing such Property on ancillary or collateral products. That was the grand bargain. In exchange, licensees paid royalties and even guarantees to the licensor. While license agreements have expanded from shortform letter agreements to lengthier, formal agreements, these two basic precepts have survived.
These two precepts are typically memorialized in the representations and warranties section in license agreements and the companion indemnification sections.
The licensor represents and warrants that it owns or controls the Property, has taken steps to protect the Property, and that the licensee’s use of the Property will not infringe the rights of any third party. Similarly, the licensee represents and warrants that it has the ability to enter into the agreement, will use its reasonable efforts to commercialize the Property, will not engage in any conduct that would impair or negatively impact the Property, and will abide by the various provisions of the agreement, including the payment of royalties and guarantees.
They assured the licensee that they could market their products free from competition from unlicensed sources and safe from litigation by third parties challenging their right to use the Property.
A review of various license agreements over the past couple of years suggests that these basic precepts may be changing as licensors seek to reduce potential liability while abrogating their essential responsibilities as a licensor. Specifically, we’ve seen licensors:
• Expressly refuse to provide any warranty or indemnity for any liability arising from any claim that the licensee’s use of the Property infringes any trademark right of any third party or otherwise constitutes unfair competition. Some even advise the licensee to conduct its own searches and investigations to confirm that its use of the Property does not infringe the rights of any third party since the licensor shall not be liable to the licensee if such infringement occurs.
• Refuse to defend and hold the licensee harmless from any claim in any country by a third party that the licensee’s use of the Property is in breach of any third party’s rights; or
• Refuse to provide any representation and warranty or companion indemnity that the licensee’s use of the licensed Property will not infringe the rights of any third party but, perhaps worse yet, require the licensee to defend and indemnify the licensor should such an action be brought against both the licensor and licensee by such third party.
In today’s litigious society, it is certainly understandable that parties are looking to protect themselves and minimize liability. That said, the licensing industry is based on certain fundamental precepts, i.e., 1) the licensor must protect and stand behind its Property and 2) the licensee should be safe from actions brought by third parties challenging the licensee’s use of such Property; and 3) in exchange, the licensee pays the licensor royalties.
Those precepts are fundamental…even in a litigious society. Perhaps even more so.
Legally Speaking TOTAL LICENSING
25 Poplar Plains Rd. Westport, CT 06880 (203) 454-9646 email@example.com www.gbiplaw.com AVAILABLE!
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TOTAL LICENSING 174 New York Toy Fair Sep 30 - Oct 3 www.toyfairny.com Brand Licensing Europe Oct 4 - 6 www.brandlicensing.eu MIP Junior Oct 14 - 15 www.mipjunior.com MIPCOM Oct 16 - 19 www.mipcom.com China Licensing Expo Oct 17 - 19 www.chinalicensingexpo.com Frankfurt Book Fair Oct 18 - 22 www.buchmesse.de/en India Licensing Expo 2023 Nov 19 - 20 www.licenseindia.com Cartoons on the Bay Nov 29 - Dec 1 www.cartoonsbay.rai.it/en/ CES Jan 9 - 12 2024 www.ces.tech Atlanta Gift Market Jan 16 - 22 www.americasmart.com British Toy & Hobby Fair Jan 23 - 25 www.toyfair.co.uk Paperworld Jan 26 - 30 www.paperworld.messefrankfurt.com Nuremberg Toy Fair Jan 30 Jan - Feb 3 www.spielwarenmesse.de/toys/trade-fair Kidscreen Summmit Feb 4 - 7 www.summit.kidscreen.com/ Australian Toy Fair Feb 11 - 14 www.toyfair.com.au Magic Las Vegas Feb 13 - 15 www.magicfashionevents.com Licensing World Russia Feb 27 - 29 www.licensingworld.ru All3Media ......................................................................... 39 Amscan 25 Australian Toy Hobby & Licensing Fair ....................173 Banijay 49 BBC ................................................................................. 8, 9 Beano 29 Blue Zoo .......................................................................... 31 Brand Licensing Europe 177 Carat Shop ....................................................................123 China Licensing Expo 169 Editions Albert René ..................................................... 61 HARI 47 Intercake 122 Jazwares 45 Kennedy Publishing 79 Kidscreen Summit 151 King Features 43 Konami 65, 67 Licensing China 153 Licensing Expo ................................................................ 97 Licensing International 149 London Toy Fair ............................................................163 Magic Light 4, 5 Mercis ............................................................................... 59 MGM 6, 7 Minecraft .......................................................................... 21 MIP Cancun 161 MIP Junior ......................................................................127 MIPCOM ........................................................................125 Mondo 41 Moonbug ........................................................................ 2, 3 Nordic Licensing 23 Paramount ........................................................ 10, 11, 182 Penguin Ventures 51 Pokemon ....................................................................12, 13 Princess Sam Consumer Products 19 Rainbow Productions .................................................... 77 Rainbow SpA 1, 71 Rocket Licensing ............................................................ 27 Roi Visual 143 Sanrio 33 Santoro 53 Sarah & Duck 22 SEGA 55 Smiley 69 Spacetoon 181 Spin Master 17 Studio ..............................................................................100 TF1 73 Toikido .............................................................................. 15 World Space Licensing 139 Zag .................................................................................... 57 List correct at time of going to press
New York, New York
Can you believe the last time Toy Fair New York happened at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was in 2020 – before the world changed so dramatically and for so long? When the words ‘Coronavirus’ and ‘Covid’ were alien apart from the relative few who worked in specialised healthcare?
Since literally everyone’s plans were derailed for several years, the industry has had to adapt, learn to be nimble and adjust.
Now, there is a palpable excitement from all to once again be gathering in the Big Apple. In what promises to be an incredible showcase of all things innovation, play, creativity and TOY, we can’t wait to be back on the show floor, seeing the latest trends, catching up with industry colleagues new and old, and hopefully getting a bit of playing in as well!
Here are some upcoming highlights from the show.
Zoonicorn , the global preschool
property now streaming across nearly 200 countries worldwide, arrives at US Toy Fair, September 30 – October 3, with accelerating momentum and new and expanded licensing agreements.
Amplifying awareness for the property, Zoonicorn master toy licensee United Smile is collaborating with leading licensee SRM Entertainment, Inc. to showcase the brand. They will first present Zoonicorn at the LA September Preview, September 1823, at United Smile’s showroom at the Sonesta Hotel, Suite #108. This will be the first look at the extensive Zoonicorn toy line. The following week, the two companies will again link up, presenting Zoonicorn at New York Toy Fair, September 30-October 3, at the SRM Toy Fair stand (Booth #2689).
Zoonicorn’s seven-minute episodes are produced by Toonz Entertainment and Zoonicorn LLC and distributed by Toonz Entertainment. Sea-
son Two of the series is now being delivered, with Season Three already in development. Global licensing for the brand is shared by the two companies and headed by J’net Smith of All Art Licensing.
SRM has recently released Zoonicorn branded products under its patented, proprietary Sip With Me children’s cup line of products and dinnerware. Based on initial marketplace response, the company is now expanding into two new Zoonicorn branded tumbler sizes as well as backpacks.
Leading into Toy Fair, Zoonicorn also announces new licensee Jay@Play, which returns to the Zoonicorn family with a range of new Zoonicorn branded products.
Jay@Play will partner with United Smile to align the global launch of its Zoonicorn products.
Other new licensees include Storypod, which is releasing a Zoonicorn Craftie in the US. The Storypod Zoo -
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nicorn line launches for Holiday, 2023 with a Promi the Zoonicorn yarn Craftie, featuring three original audio stories and 11 songs. Storypod’s yarn Craftys are adorable yarn characters that work with the award-winning audio-system to engage kids with multisensory stories and songs.
Big Events, another new Zoonicorn license, has signed on to produce inflatable balloons and parade balloons for the North American and Latin American markets.
YuMe Toys is here to ‘elevate the unboxing experience for kids and kidult toy collectors’.
The unboxing will be unveiled at Toy Fair with Mystery Capsules Unleashed: Hold onto your curiosity!
YuMe is unveiling brand-new mystery capsules featuring the coolest license IPs. Get ready for surprise-packed adventures that’ll keep you guessing and wanting more.
Step into the world of art-meetstoys with the YuMe DZNR collection. Prepare to be captivated by innovative designs and creativity from many fan-favorite IPs that redefine the game.
Pokémon TCG My First Battle releases to retail Sept. 29, 2023. Available at all retailers and hobby shops
where Pokémon TCG is sold, includ
Collection which will make the per fect gift for Harry Potter fans this are
Available at all retailers and hobby shops where Pokémon TCG is sold, including Pokémon Center in the US, Canada, and UK, the premier destination for official, high-quality Pokémon merchandise schleich, a leading supplier of toy figurines, will offer a preview of top gifts for Holiday 2023 and what’s to come for 2024. Amid all things toy, get ready to enter an enchanting and mythical schleich® experience, filled with fire-breathing dragons and new exciting reveals. And don’t forget your wand as the brand will be showcasing their upcoming Wizarding World
excited to bring Bluey to the show. The Hammerbarn Shopping Playset from Moose Toys sees Bluey and Bingo ready to shop at Hammerbarn, their local home improvement store sode of the popular animated series. The Hammerbarn Shopping Playset towers at nearly two feet tall with four stories, eight play areas and 12 play pieces. The supersized, lights and sounds shopping-themed playset also features an elevator that gives shoppers a “lift” to each department, among them: a garden center with interactive gnomes; a “lighting department” that lights up and plays more than 50 familiar phrases from the hit series accessible with the simple press of a paw button; a special flipping wall that reveals paint color chips; and a rooftop café to grab a sausage sizzle or pizza. When shopping is complete, place the cart on the return pole and watch it spin down to the ground floor. This expansive playset with all its fun features is something kids can spend hours “checking out.”
Vtech will introduce the VTech Blu -
How a Renewed Focus on Intergenerational Play & More Kidult Shoppers are Impacting Toys & Play
Toy Fair’s Toy Trends Briefing to Unveil New Consumer Research & Trends
This holiday season, kids won’t be the only ones with a toy wish list, as a new Toy Association survey indicates most U.S. parents (89%) also plan to shop for the grownups in their lives — including themselves.
The Toy Association has continued to stay on the pulse of the “kidult” shopper and highlighted the “Tween Takeover” trend earlier this year. This trend underscores the evolving perspective on tweens and teens playing with toys, driven in part by the increasing purchasing influence of “kidults.” Nearly 4 in 5 (79%) parents agree there is less of a stigma today than when they were growing up around tweens and teens playing with toys past a certain age.
In addition to purchasing for themselves (41%) and their spouse or significant other (43%), parents also reported plans to shop for the elderly relatives in their lives, with a focus on the cognitive and physical benefits of such gifts. Seventy percent consider mental stimulation to be one of the most positive impacts games and play can have for elderly parents and relatives in their lives.
Conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of The Toy Association™, the survey of 1,000 U.S. parents also found that 64% of parents want to connect with their kids this holiday season by purchasing toys they can play with together as a family, while toys that promote wellness and emotional well-being (54%) and outdoor, active, or sporting toys (51%) will also be top considerations.
The Toy Association will unveil the full survey results during its Toy Trends Briefing, taking place Saturday, September 30 at Toy Fair®. The session will explore additional trends in the toy and youth entertainment space – from the lasting developmental benefits of educational toys to new insights on social-emotional learning (SEL) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) toys, to the impact of pop culture and how holiday budgets will affect toy shopping budgets this holiday season. The trends team has been tracking the evolution of its previously announced top 2023 toy trends through ongoing meetings with toy companies and research on parallel industries, such as fashion, design, food, and tech.
“We are excited to share our latest research that further supports our 2023 trends and provides the industry with new insights to best position their products for consumers and media, especially ahead of the Q4 selling season,” said Adrienne Appell, executive vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association.
The Toy Association’s Toy Trends Briefing will take place Saturday, September 30 at 1 p.m. in Room 1E09-10 at the Javits Convention Center.
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ey’s Keytar, allowing children to ‘create your own musical masterpieces with Bluey’s Keytar and pretend to play at a fancy restaurant just like in the show! Romance music is in the air as you use your imagination to make music using the keyboard or play along with 10 built-in melodies including the Bluey theme song. Make more than piano sounds, too! Transform the keyboard notes to sound like a guitar, Chattermax, Bluey’ssister Bingo and more by choosing from 10 instruments and sound effects. You can also hear from Bluey by pressing the button with her picture on it.’ The Squishmallows Squad is growing with Bluey Hugmees, a super-soft, collectible 10” medium-sized stuffed animal.
Available Fall 2023 in the United States and Latin America, Bluey Hugmee will be available at both Target and Walmart. Bingo Hugmee will be available at Walmart only. Daniel Tiger returns to new York Toy Fair!
The Ultra Jumbo Daniel Tiger from Jakks Pacific is made with soft lycra velboa for super soft and squishable hugs.
This 20-inch extra large and super cuddly Daniel Tiger is the ultimate gift for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood super fans. Also from Jakks comes Good Night Daniel Tiger. Children can join Daniel Tiger as he prepares for bed, modeling his tigertastic bedtime routine: bath time, PJs, brush teeth, story and song, then off to bed! This bedtime toy set includes
a 7-inch Daniel Tiger with moveable arms and legs is dressed in his classic red hoodie and sneakers along with his blue trolley printed pajama set and snuggly tiger-printed blue blanket.
Ageless Innovation will bring Scrabble Bingo and Trivial Pursuit Generations and to the Toy Fair table.
For over 70 years, Scrabble has been one of the most successful word games in history, and for good reason – it’s fun! Joy for All’s fresh interpretation of the classic crossword game is three games in one. Scrabble BINGO features two entirely new games, easy-to-read text, and innovative new tiles and racks that are easier to pick up and handle. Scrabble Bingo combines classic Scrabble with the speed, unpredictability, and fun of Bingo in an innovative twist that blends the best of both. Scrabble Pass is a quick game where players pass trays of letters and compete to make words simultaneously. Once the cards are filled, scores are tallied, and the highest score wins. And lastly, Classic Scrabble – everything you need to play the classic crossword game and typical variations – but with large text and easy-to-grab tiles designed to be accessible for all abilities and ages.
Each generation insists it’s better than all the rest, but who’s really the greatest? Joy for All’s newly imagined version features the Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z.
Players travel a life path infused with humorous cultural and lifestyle references and experiences unique to each generation. Each player will pick their own generation. How you handle Life’s major events depends on when you were born and the paths you choose. It’s time to find out – Do Baby Boomers really ruin everything? Will Gen Z ever look up from their phones? Are Millennials seriously burning cash on avocado toast? And, uh, what about Gen X? See what it’s like living as another generation! Super Impulse is making a big return to New York Toy Fair (NYTF) this year with new releases from its flagship and emerging brands: World’s Smallest, Poptaters™, 3.75, Micro Figures and Minis-in-Minis™ Sugar Buzz, featuring Hershey brands. From September 30th to October 3rd, attendees are invited to visit booth 1935 to see their favorite brands and characters come to life in dynamic, collectible form. From grandiose to pocket-sized, Super Impulse shrinks iconic characters and items from fan-favorite licenses without sacrificing an ounce of their iconic might. NYTF attendees can discover new additions to World’s Smallest, featuring functional miniature replicas of their favorite toys, games, and characters! The brand recently announced the addition of CATAN® and Spot It, which will join a suite of exciting licenses that are set to be unveiled for the first time at the convention. Following Mattel’s relaunch, Super Impulse has The
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World’s Smallest Barney plush! Find the popular Bananagrams word game, Tudor Electronic Football, and Radio Flyer Tricycle in working, pocket size versions. Nostalgic toys and games enthusiasts can find iconic Hasbro licenses in the mix, with World’s Smallest Easy Bake Oven, Game of Life, Trivial Pursuit, and many more. Unleash giant joy from pint-sized treasures with Micro Figures, where iconic characters and superheroes come to life in 1.25 inches. Super Impulse is delving further into the miniature trend with extensions of this must-have line, allowing collectors to add articulated figures of their favorite pop-culture classics to their collections. Coming in 2024, NYTF attendees can also check out Star Trek, Hatsune Miku, and Monster High Micro Figures, for the first time. Enthusiasts willing to branch out at a larger scale will enjoy new reveals from 3.75” – the brand that brings palm-sized figures that come with a base and diorama card for bite-sized play and display. Super Impulse will be teasing new licenses at the show, including Hatsune Miku, Jay and Silent Bob, Star Trek Next Generation and from the Netflix sensation, Wednesday.
“New York Toy Fair has always been a great venue for us to start meaningful dialogue, learn, and have fun as a brand,” said Alan Dorfman, Super Impulse Co-Founder. “With countless new IPs coming down the pipeline across our various brands, we’re looking forward to capturing feedback in real time and showcasing our proudest work at this iconic event.” Showgoers are in for a sweet treat at the Super Impulse booth, as it’s gearing up to showcase its latest extension to its Minis-in-Minis™ Sugar Buzz line, with licensing partner Hershey’s under its helm! With the most unique miniature collectibles anywhere, collectors can discover this toy line’s miniature candy replicas that open up and contain 2, 3, or 4 of the teeniest, tiniest confections ever! Peel back the layers of imagination with Poptaters™ where your favorite characters are creatively crafted into collectible, character-filled fig-
ures! The Super Impulse booth will include the latest wave of releases with characters like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek Spock, Hatsune Miku, Sesame Street Bert and Ernie, and Silent Bob, as well as new 2024 preview licenses, Paul Stanley (KISS), Stranger Things, Squid Games, and Wednesday! And look for the relaunch of the gross, stinky but irresistible Stink Blasters! 8 repulsive characters to collect.
The Loyal Subjects has a wide range of characters to collect, includ -
ing both the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themselves and their allies and enemies from the iconic comics and TV shows. They have recently partnered with world-renowned comic book and graphic novel storytelling IDW Comics to bring our newest line of Turtles to life with all the members from the beloved comic.
Moose Toy’s latest range includes high quality and engaging board games, card games, party games, and more, for all ages and interests. In addition to its expanding games licens-
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ing and distribution program, in 2024
Moose Games will introduce new, exciting game IPs featuring first-oftheir-kind play patterns.
Two action-packed Akedo Beast Ultra Beast figures have been released, each with a duo of new attack methods. Prepared to battle with Battle Rex Tailwhip, who whips its mighty tail and strikes with its powerful jaws, and Ripclaw Alphawolf, who can counter strike with its powerful tail and use its claws to tear into its opponent. Each Akedo Ultra Beast figure sits atop a new 360-degree
spin controller for the most tail whippingest, jaws and claws action ever seen in an Akedo arena. The beast who lands the blow activates Akedo’s signature split-action to win and claim the title of Legend of Akedo –until the next battle – when the defeated beast has been easily put back together to battle another day. Let the best Beast win.
And prepare to unleash a beast with Beast Lab, an interactive, experiment-based playset that empowers kids to create an epic electronic action figure. Using the included flaskstyle chamber and creation ingredients, activate the lab and initiate the experiment with a simulated finger
scan to begin a humanbeast connection. Add the ingredients one by one and crank up the pressure to be amazed by the reactions from the beast within, including crackling sounds and epic roars, to flashing lights and fizzing bubbles, all while Bio Mist flows from the chamber. The final step is the most fearsome, as the beast’s power is given from the aptly named Pandemonium Crystal. Turn up the pressure dial and cap the chamber as it starts to bubble. When the alarms sounds, pull the emergency lever to drain the ingredients, then open the chamber to release the Bio Mist and unleash the beast – either a totally jaw-some Mayhem Megashark or Havoc Hammerhead. Activate battle mode and complete the human-beast connection by pressing the simulated finger scan on the beast’s chest plate. Attach its weapon and swing the beast back for a mighty “Power Slash Attack.” Loaded with action-packed battle fun, repeat the experiment again and again, and the fully articulated beast will evolve every time it is activated with new sounds, colors and ways to play.
Squishy Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, the hyper-recognizable paranormal monster from Ghostbusters, is squishier and stretchier than ever now that he’s been brought to life as a Heroes of Goo Jit Zu action figure. True to his iconic form, Squishy Stay Puft looks just like his movie-inspired character and feels like a marshmallow inside and out — soft on the outside, and ooey gooey and super stretchy on the inside. Stay Puft with its bulky body and oversized feet and hands can stretch up to three times its original size of just over four
inches, and once all the pulling and stretching is done, he goes right back to his (para)normal shape and size. With all of the gooey goodness of marshmallow and none of the sticky mess, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is ready to play the hero and “toast” any challenger.
Jada Toys is bringing the latest in die-cast collectibles, nano scenes and action figures from show stopping licences experience from some of the most loved entertainment properties to the show floor.
iscream is ‘bringing the buzz’ to NYC with Sugar Rush Alert: Cotton candy swirls and ice cream dreams – our booth’s a treat factory! Get ready to dive into iscream’s latest collections, served with sweet surprises. License to Thrill: Hershey, Kraft/Heinz, and Dippin Dots are just a few of the latest brands to join the iscream party. These must-haves are about to make waves. Game-Changer Alert: Say goodbye to quarters! Our at-home claw machine brings the arcade home. It’s game on, anytime, anywhere – no coins needed.
TOTAL LICENSING 180
Pick up Total Licensing at the Toy Fair!