Regular Features Comment........................................................................ 6 Global news.................................................................... 8 Legally Speaking........................................................... 86 The Licensing International Page............................. 88 Whatâ€™s On.................................................................... 90
UK 18 64
TF1 Licences go camping!......................................... 17 S.O.S Pets from Rainbow.......................................... 20 Spotlight on Toei Europe........................................... 28 Rocking the Boat......................................................... 31 Guess How Much I Love You................................... 36 Strong 2020 for BBC.................................................. 41 Focus on Germany..................................................... 44 40 Years of Bibi............................................................ 47 Pokemon update......................................................... 59 Memories of David Cardwell................................... 64 Licensing in the Nordics............................................ 66 Fast Fashion with Backbone..................................... 72 Engaging with Generation Z..................................... 78 Interview: Ana Micaud................................................ 79 Challenging Times for the UK Industry................. 80
North America The Eco-world of Seabelievers................................ 57 Betty Boop - Forever Young..................................... 60 Spotlight on Canada................................................... 61 The Art Gallery of Ontario...................................... 62 Kindi Kids debut.......................................................... 63 Expanding the world of Dr Seuss............................ 70 Kidscreen Preview...................................................... 73
Middle East Happy Birthday Spacetoon........................................ 32 ViacomCBS in MENA................................................. 33 20too Expands............................................................. 34
Russia Moscow Studios head to Miami.............................. 38
Asia Ace Fair - Cultural Content..................................... 40 Licensing China debuts.............................................. 42 ATF in Review.............................................................. 81 Video Game Licensing in China............................... 82
Global Fortunes Favors the Bold... An Interview with Isaac Larian............................ 48 Toys - The Business of Play....................................... 50 Licensing and the Environment................................ 55 Movie to watch out for in 2020.............................. 74 Streaming and the Licensing Industry..................... 76
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The news that the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had applied for trademarks for their Sussex Royal brand was released in late December, and immediately fuelled speculation that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex might be looking to spread their brand and release merchandise and services. The application was, apparently, submitted back in June and, interestingly, comprehensively covers over 100 different products and services. Of course, it is possible that they are using the trademark registration to block attempts from a third party from using the Sussex Royal brand. However, the sheer variety of products and services covered – from clothing to books, to promotional campaigns, to social care services to calendars and cards, would seem rather overkill if the objective was to block another’s use of their brand. Fast forward a couple of weeks and the Duke and Duchess, fresh from their Canadian break, announced that they are quitting their royal duties and will be ‘working to become financially independent,’ balancing their time between the UK and North America. Of course, the mention of financial independence immediately began renewed speculation about their Sussex Royal brand and their plans for it. Some analysts predict that the Sussexes could early up to £500 million in their first year through fashion, speaking engagements and even their own production company. Of course, the Duke and Duchess are not the first royals to be the subject of merchandise. The Prince of Wales’ Duchy Originals food line is sold exclusively through supermarket chain Waitrose and the Duchy receives a percentage of the revenues, estimated to be in the region of £100 to £200 million a year. The Buckingham Palace giftshop has a plethora of official merchandise, sold on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family by the Royal Collection Trust. And it’s not just
the expected tea-towels and keyrings. Within the Palace Shop, visitors can buy a Buckingham Palace shower cap, royal hand cream and even toy corgis. Amongst other bestsellers are a Crown in a box,a Longest Reigning Monarch mug, a Queen Victoria teacup and saucer and a pair of Windsor Castle oven gloves. Children don’t miss out on this. You can buy corgi socks, Buckingham Palace pajamas, a Buckingham Palace Blue Velvet pencil, complete with crown on the top and even Windsor Castle towels and Buckingham Palace toothbrush mugs. And following the untimely death of Diana, Princess of Wales, her Memorial Fund entered into a major lawsuit with Franklin Mint over their ranges of Diana memorabilia. The fund was set up in 1997 shortly after the Princess’s death in a car crash in Paris and, over the years, pledged millions of pounds in gifts. However, in 2003 it announced that it had been forced to freeze grant payments to 127 projects because of the illadvised legal action by the fund to try and copyright the image of a historical person. The Queen has, of course, over the decades seen many depictions of the Royal Family in terms of products. The Edward V111 coronation mug (which was halted when Edward abdicated six months before the official coronation) is worth a significant amount of money because of its scarcity. And every royal wedding and birth and major birthday has been accompanied by official (and, of course, ranges of unofficial) products to celebrate the occasion. With ongoing rumblings about how much the royal family costs the British taxpayer, maybe merchandise is a way to supplement their incomes, although not totally sure that Prince Andrew merchandise would be welcomed with open arms at the moment!
Francesca Ash Jerry Wooldridge Co-Publisher Co-Publisher
With Thanks to this Issue’s Contributing Writers: Gregory Battersby Trudi Bishop Martin Brochstein
Stuart Burns Jed Ferdinand Philippe Guinaudeau
Nick Richardson Rafi Saville Alice Yang
HOHO COOKING UP A STORM HoHo Entertainment have definitely found the recipe for success with preschool property Shane the Chef, which has proved to be no flash in the pan as it has served up another great year following its impressive launch in April 2018. Shane the Chef has been cooking up a storm on Channel 5’s Milkshake! block, where it quickly made its mark with impressive ratings and immediately engaged with its core target audience of 4- to 6-year-olds. The series currently airs weekdays and weekends in primetime slots, with Shane’s weekday Channel 5 timeslot attracting more children than any other kids’ channel. And this year more territories have signed up for Shane the Chef, with orders for the series from Nordic and Celtic channels. The first-ever CG animated UK commission on healthy eating for kids, the 52 x 11’ series follows the foody adventures of energetic chef Shane and his young daughter Izzy, who run a restaurant in the seaside town of Munchington. Shane’s firm belief is that when it comes to food, “fresh is best!” Much of his produce is sourced locally: fresh vegetables are grown on Maggie’s farm, world foods are imported through Mama Polenta’s Deli and fish is caught by Sam Spratt, fresh from the sea. For Shane, every day is a new adventure, with each episode built around his high-energy exploits and passion for food. With childhood obesity on the rise, the series aims to enthuse young children and families with a passion for fresh, healthy food. It encourages children to learn about food and its provenance in a fun way, to make healthier choices and hopefully develop an interest in, and a love of, cooking. To satisfy fans’ hunger for product HoHo partnered with Candy Jar Books for the first ever Shane the Chef cookbook, Shane the Chef: Let’s Get Cooking! Containing 20 fun and healthy recipes for kids inspired by the series and created under consultation with the British Dietetic Association, the book was released in November. Selling like hot cakes, it hit No. 1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Children’s Books. With more developments on the menu for Shane, 2020 has all the ingredients to be another tasty year for the preschoolers’ own celebrity chef.
NEW HIRE AT XILAM French animation studio Xilam Animation has appointed Caterina Gonnelli, Disney’s former Director of Acquisitions and Co-Productions for the Disney Channels EMEA, as EVP, Content for the company’s rapidly growing slate of projects. Gonnelli will work alongside Xilam’s EVP, Content Jean Brune to oversee all editorial aspects of Xilam’s content and will be responsible for increasing the company’s slate, as well as conducting development to address the market needs. Caterina’s expertise of the fast-changing worldwide market of kids’ content will help Xilam strengthen its reach across all distribution channels and platforms in the five continents. Prior to Xilam, Caterina Gonnelli joined The Walt Disney Company with an initial remit focused on local acquisitions and productions for the French market, which expanded over the years to include multi-territory pre-buys and co-productions across the EMEA region for Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior from the identification of new third-party content to negotiation. Marc du Pontavice, CEO at Xilam Animation said: “We are thrilled to add such a remarkable talent to Xilam’s top executives. Caterina has built a very strong profile over the years from development to production, from acquisition to programming, at one of the world’s most prominent kids’ studios. Such invaluable expertise will boost Xilam’s response to a very fast-growing market towards premium kids’ content.”
EMOJI LINGERIE IN INDIA Clovia, India’s fastest growing lingerie brand has launched its latest Christmas collection of nightwear and briefs. The newly added holiday collection is dedicated to millennials and their love for cute emoji icons. Clovia focuses on comfort and effortless style with a generous amount of cuteness. The entire collection is crafted from soft breathable cotton fabric for utmost comfort. The nightwear consists of full sleeves tops & pajamas sets with super-cute season inspired slogans and emoji icons to compliment. There’s a range of matching panties available to add to the Christmas wish list. “Clovia is known for its high quality, and cool design for women’s fashions, and the emoji brand is all about expression, so this was an exciting alliance,” said Marco Hüsges, CEO and Founder, the emoji company. The emoji company is the owner of the registered emoji® trademark in more than 130 countries around the globe. Altogether the emoji company owns more than 1,000 trademarks and has created more than 19,000 icons protected under copyright laws and available for licensing and merchandising, promotions and marketing activities. The emoji company works with over 700 renowned global partners including Sony Pictures Animation, Walmart, Fuji, Nestlé, Ferrero, Unilever, Tesco and Burger King.
YOUTUBE: THE FUTURE OF MERCHANDISING With the fragmentation of content consumption,YouTube is becoming the absolute key driver for licensees and retailers in determining what brands get their investment. Now brand owners, with the aid of Aux Mode’s Reporting Tool, can drill down into their YouTube analytics to really understand how to shape their merchandising strategies. “We are a tech company, whose mission is to help content owners understand what exactly is sticky about their content,” said Adam Rumanek, CEO and Founder of Aux Mode Inc. “We found that IP owners wanted a deeper understanding of how viewers were engaging with their content. It isn’t enough to know how many people are watching your videos and from where, so I built a proprietary tool to let content owners know exactly what storylines, characters and even jokes have the highest engagement rates. Netflix and Amazon Prime have been using this type of research to inform their development slates and now independent producers can do the same. This type of market research can also inform future merchandise development by knowing what character to produce into a toy line or what catch phrase to put on a shirt.” Aux Mode’s Reporting Tool is timely, as YouTube has recently partnered with Teespring to make content creators’ “print-on-demand” type merch more accessible to their viewers through the creation of a merch shelf that appears beneath YouTube videos. This merch shelf can display up to twelve products and sales referred from the YouTube merch shelf will qualify for an additional YouTube bonus of $1 per item sold, paid at the end of each month. Currently, this new offering is only available for adult targeted content. “With our Reporting Tool, brand owners, will be able to determine what products to merchandise next to each
BIG PICTURE LICENSING 2019 saw the launch of a new bespoke brand licensing agency called Big Picture Licensing. Founded by Dan Frugtniet, a seasoned licensing exec who for the last 8 years worked at Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products (VNCP) and left the business as Vice President, International Licensing & Business Development. Dan has now been joined by Tom Roe, another seasoned licensing exec who for the last 11 years worked across different positions at DHX Media / CPLG (Wildbrain). For the last five years Tom headed up worldwide licensing for DHX brands as Commercial Director, together they have a combined 35+ years experience working for large media owners,licensors, licensing agents with a remit across both the UK, emerging and international markets. Big Picture Licensing has identified a gap in the market for a pure commercial agency that works across multiple lines of business within brand licensing. The key focus of BPL is to act as an introducer agent - to broker all types of commercial deals for licensors and licensees across all territories and product categories. BPL will also act as a traditional licensing agent working with brands on a ‘skinny Agent’ model with a focus on identifying, securing and managing commercial partners. As well as traditional Licensing, BPL is also focused on the live-events/experiential space and see this as a key area for growth and brand extensions. In addition BPL acts as a broker for icensees and IP owners to expand their product and content distribution. Big Picture Licensing is working with a number of brand owners cutting across both kids/family entertainment as well as youth/adult brands. One of the key new brands BPL is working with is called Brave Bunnies. Owned by Glowberry, this is a new pre-school property that is currently in production for 52 episodes plus digital content that will deliver for broadcast in Q1 2021. Brave Bunnies is off to an excellent start with four new commercial partners being finalised and signed across core product/commercial categories. BPL is excited to be able to announce that they have been appointed as the UK licensing agent for Brave Bunnies and will also support Glowberry across multi-territory direct licensing and commercial opportunities.
video,” said Rumanek. “This will revolutionize the way products are purchased and will provide a seamless experience for both the consumer and manufacturer.” Aux Mode can be a key partner for any studio, entertainment company,
brand owner or individual that seeks to learn how to better monetize their presence on You Tube, whether it be via optimization of ad placement or showcasing best product design to merchandise alongside their YouTube videos.
WILDBRAIN APPOINTS STEVE MANNERS TO DRIVE DIGITAL GROWTH WildBrain, has appointed Steve Manners to drive a new business development initiative designed to maximise opportunities for brand licensors and content creators to reach consumer audiences through YouTube. In the newly created role, Manners will work with clients to build brand manage-
ment programmes that leverage the blended expertise of WildBrain’s established consumer products licensing agency, WildBrain CPLG, and its leading digital network and studio, WildBrain Spark. The initiative reflects
WildBrain’s unique position to offer a fully integrated 360° approach to brand management and monetization through its expertise in consumer products licensing, content creation, and digital distribution. Maarten Weck, EVP and Managing Director at WildBrain CPLG, said: “We have been working closely with our colleagues at WildBrain Spark as the licensing industry becomes increasingly attuned of the potential of YouTube and other digital platforms for launching, supporting or reinvigorating IP. Steve is the ideal person to spearhead business initiatives that help inform and support our clients as they look to navigate the digital landscape, and his new role will help maximise the synergies across our businesses.” Jon Gisby, Managing Director at WildBrain Spark, said: “WildBrain Spark’s expertise in digital distribution and content creation can help IP owners and their licensees engage audiences across the world, and maximise the return on their marketing investments. With approximately four billion views per month on our YouTube network, we have an abundance of insights and data that can drive consumer products strategies and campaigns. In addition, we assist licensors in creating ‘always on’ content delivery on You-
Tube to further engage consumers and support brand activity, so it’s a natural step to harmonise our offering for IP owners. Steve’s experience and relationships in the licensing world will enable us to enhance our services and forge expanded and new partnerships.” Steve Manners added: “There is a huge opportunity for IP owners in harnessing the expertise, tools and reach of both WildBrain CPLG and WildBrain Spark – it’s a very exciting time to be at the forefront of this bold new world. We are uniquely positioned to offer combined expertise and services that benefit those coming from the AVOD-first space to consumer products, as well as those licensors looking to leverage YouTube as a tool.” As VP, Business Development WildBrain CPLG and WildBrain Spark, Manners will report to Maarten Weck and Jon Gisby. Steve Manners has nearly 30 years’ experience in Consumer Products. Since 2010, he has been a key member of the management team that has seen WildBrain CPLG become one of the world’s top consumer products licensing agencies. Manners has played an integral role at the agency in overseeing the successful programmes of key licensors and also securing new representation.
NFL AND H&M COLLABORATION The NFL has announced a new collaboration with global fashion retailer H&M to launch men’s, women’s and children’s NFL-branded apparel and accessories, in a deal brokered by IMG. The products will be sold in more than 20 countries outside the US, including the UK, China, Japan, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, South Korea and the Middle East. The first capsule collection of men’s jackets, tops and loungewear is available in stores and online now, with women’s, children’s and accessories lines to follow next season. The collaboration reflects demand from growing legions of international NFL fans in recent years with regular season games in London and Mexico, and its annual Super Bowl event now watched in more than 180 countries and nearly 25 languages.
“By partnering with H&M, we are able to reach fans in markets across the world with a diverse selection of apparel and accessories for men, women and children,” said Akash Jain, NFL Vice President of Commercial Development. “NFL fanbases are growing throughout countries in every corner of the world and we want to continually meet our fans needs for fashionable apparel and fuel their fandom for years to come.” Matthew Primack, Senior Vice President, IMG, added, “We are delighted to be bringing one of the most popular sports leagues together with one of the world’s favourite fast fashion retailers. The NFL’s international appeal as a lifestyle and fashion brand continues to grow rapidly.With its reputation for creative collaborations and thousands of stores around the world, H&M is the perfect partner to provide an accessible and stylish collection of NFL apparel and accessories.”
MIGHTY MIKE DEBUTS On January 6, 2020 CITV in the UK debuted Mighty Mike the maverick slapstick comedy from Entertainment Company TeamTO, in a coveted weekday slot. The deal, signed by entertainment specialist CAKE, sees Mighty Mike broadcast in every key market in Europe, North America, LatAm, EMEA and Asia – kicking off TeamTO’s 2020 global licensing strategy for the licensed pug.
Darren Nartey, ITV’s Senior Programme Acquisitions Executive said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing this distinctive animated series
to CITV. A combination of slapstick comedy and great writing makes this the perfect show for our audience.” In more good news for its CP prospects, leading French Licensing Agent France Télévisions Distribution has snapped up rights following Mighty Mike’ great results on France 3, where it has out-performed in its time slot, securing its hold on an optimal platform in the market. According to Aude de la Villarmois, director of licensing at France Télévisions Distribution, 2020 plans are under way, “The natural licensing playground for this dazzling pug are categories that spring from the series’ unique slapstick comedy such as comics, gags and games; and items that appeal to fans and collectors, like plush, mugs, and slippers. We also plan to focus on the very extensive pet market in France, including animal care products, toys, and promotions.” With this high-octane, laugh-out-loud, hilarious slapstick comedy, TeamTO
has created what will soon become the most high-profile TV-star pug in the market. Mighty Mike is now (or will soon) be airing 78 seven-minute episodes on Universal Kids (US), CBC and Family Channel (Canada), Boomerang (EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latam), France Télévisions (France), ABC (Australia), Super RTL (Germany), Cartoonito (Turkey, Middle East), Tencent (China), VRT (Belgium), YLE (Finland), and KRO-NCRV (Netherlands). Long before the emerging TV success of Mighty Mike, the pug has been a staple of the licensing world, with generic versions of the pushed-in face appearing on literally any category of product imaginable – from fluffy slippers, highend fashion and textiles, to greeting cards, tree ornaments, and hair accessories, to plush, mugs and candles. In addition to France Télévisions Distribution, Surge Licensing represent North American rights while UYoung has taken on rights in Greater China. Multiple discussions are under way in other territories.
From evergreens to branded camping grounds - TF1 Licences has it all! Total Licensing caught up with TF1 Licences to hear more about what they have planned for 2020.
In 2020, a key brand for TF1 Licences is Miraculous. Seasons four and five are now planned, along with a live show and a movie, hopefully set to launch at Christmas 2021. In terms of downloads, the two apps have now attracted more than 80 million downloads. In October, during the preview of the special episode at the Musée Grévin, the two performers of the Miraculous theme song - Lou and Lenni-Kim - performed live from the famous museum. It was an opportunity to promote the title “Ce mur qui nous sépare”, the new official song of the animated series that already has over 17 million views on YouTube, with over 10 million in the first two weeks. As an international phenomenon, the animated series is currently broadcast in 119 countries and cumulates more than 1.2 billion digital videos. The property has been acknowledged by the Teen Choice Awards 2018 and also confirmed in France where Miraculous had top ratings with an average audience share of 30.8% amongst 4-10 year olds, between
September and December 2019 (Mediamétrie). Miraculous generated 450 million US Dollars at retail worldwide in 2018, with 75 million downloads of the application (9 million US Dollars) and more than 560,000 books sold with Hachette in France Of course, a major brand for TF1 Licences is Barbapapa which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The evergreen preschool brand has a new licensing program based on the new animated series which will begin broadcasting in 100 territories through Nickelodeon Junior early this year, following the successful launch in France this past November on TF1. TF1 Licences will kick off the birthday celebrations in May, which will continue for a year and as the master agent, TF1 Licences intend to make Barbapapa the new preschool hit over the coming years. The master toy licensee for Europe is Giochi Preziosi who will debut new plush, figurines and playsets at Christmas this year. Perhaps the most unusual license from TF1 Licences is Camping Paradis. The live-action show is produced by TF1 and JLA and is a family/drama majoring on relationships, summer love and camping life that has been hugely popular over the last ten years. TF1 Licences has taken the essence of the brand and created a very unusual brand extension where they will license camping grounds. They have already signed up a number of camping locations which will be rebranded as Camping Paradis, using similar layouts as the TV series as well as the same outfits for the staff, enabling visitors to live the experience that they enjoy whilst watching the TV show. Understandably, TF1 Licences are excited about the prospects for Camping Paradis as it creates a new experiential model for licensing whilst working with experts in the hotel and hospitality business to create close to nature sites and through this unusual license enables them to bring the
fiction of Camping Paradis to reality around France. A further new partner for TF1 Licences is Epopia, a start-up business incubated by TF1 with the objective of encouraging a love of reading and writing amongst children aged five to ten. With Epopia, a child will find a letter addressed to them from the residents of a faraway land. The reader plays the central role (king, queen, explorer, director, etc.) and the characters ask for their help. In the letters the child receives, the characters describe events and ask questions: there are decisions to make, activities to complete, puzzles to solve, and more. The child must then respond with their own letter and the rest of the story depends on them. Letter after letter, the child carries on written correspondence – reading and writing while experiencing a heart-stopping adventure. Epopia is already a licensee for both Smurfs, launched in September and and Miraculous which debuted in November. Finally to The Smurfs who are UN ambassadors for Sustainable Development Goals. In 2019, 2000 beaches were cleaned around the world and 2020 will see new activities in terms of climate action. There will also be a new TV series together with a new comic book scheduled to launch in April. A powerful marketing campaign with a very strong partner is set to be revealed shortly.
OLLIE & MOON SHOW IN ASIA Cottonwood Media, (a Federation Kids & Family company), recently announced a new licensing partnership with South Korea’s Asiana Licensing Inc. for the hit pre-school animation series The Ollie & Moon Show. Effective immediately, a special merchandising program will be put in place to cover publishing, toys, apparel, collectibles, promotions, while celebrating the two adorable iconic characters from the series. The program will focus on unique high-end collections that would speak to a wide-ranging audience from pre-school through tweens! This partnership is following the successful debut of The Ollie & Moon Show TV series on EBS, one of South Korea’s leading TV channels. Now into its second season,The Ollie & Moon Show has already sold into more than 150 territories worldwide, airing on major platforms such as Tiny Pop, Netflix, TVO, Radio Canada, YLE, France TV, RTP, Canal Panda, Tencent Video, Discovery (multi-territory), just to name a few! The deal was brokered by Ana Micoud, who spearheads Cottonwood’s licensing business through her company The Wizards. “Asiana Licensing is a perfect partner to extend this brand into the L&M arena as they have an unparalleled understanding of what the Korean audience wants when it comes to buying licensed merchandise, as well as an impressive track record for building promotional partnerships,” said Ana Micoud.
“We are delighted to be representing the L&M rights for The Ollie & Moon Show. The TV series was extremely well received by viewers when it aired on EBS, captivating young audiences with its globetrotting storylines and educational/entertaining details which feature cultural experiences in various countries. As such, this is perfect timing to bring the adorable heroes of the show into the daily lives of children and their parents in Korea,” said Hangyung Kim, Brand Manager, Asiana Licensing Inc. The Ollie & Moon Show (78 x 11’) is an animated, upperpreschool, television series celebrating unusual friendships, curiosity, and appreciating the differences in all of us. The series stars two cute and kooky cats – the carefree, adventurous, and happy-go-lucky Moon along with the practical, strait-laced, by-the-book Ollie – who have a knack for spinning everyday preschool life into zany globetrotting adventures. The television series is based on the best-selling Ollie & Moon books created by Emmy winning author and illustrator Diane Kredensor. Kredensor, who serves as creative producer for The Ollie & Moon Show, is an Emmy Awardwinning artist, director and producer whose credits include Pinky and the Brain and Clifford the Big Red Dog, among others. The Ollie & Moon Show is produced by Cottonwood Media and distributed worldwide by Federation Kids & Family.
BOONIE BEARS WINS ASIAN LICENSING AWARD At the recent Licensing International Asia Awards 2019, Fantawild Animation was announced as the winner of Animated Entertainment Property of the Year for its Boonie Bears: Blast into the Past. The company was also nominated for three other categories: Asian Property of the Year (Boonie Bears), The Newcomer Award (Boonie Cubs), and Licensee of the Year – FMCG (Master Kong, Boonie Bears Bottled Drinking Water). Allen Lo, Senior Director of International Business at Fantawild received the award on behalf of the company. On receipt of the award, Daisy Shang, Executive President of Fantawild Group and President of Fantawild Animation said, “We’re grateful for Licensing International’s acknowledgment, and our many partners’ trust in Boonie Bears and Fantawild. In the future, we’ll continue to innovate and make breakthroughs, work together with more partners to boost the innovation and development of
the licensing industry, and create more quality properties that are familyfriendly and long-lasting. I’m sure that together, we’ll bring world-class entertainment experience to both Chinese and global consumers.” The Asian Licensing Awards, one of
the most prominent awards in the Asian licensing industry, is organized and presented by Licensing International. It aims to identify the excellence and achievements of licensing programs and companies from the preceding year. Boonie Bears: Blast into the Past is the sixth installment of the Boonie Bears franchise, the most well-known animated brand in China. The film drew in $106 million box office during its premiere during the Chinese New Year 2019. The Boonie Bears brand has been regarded as the most popular licensed brand among Chinese animated films. Its collaboration with other leading Chinese companies already started via the earlier installments in the movie franchise. Its strategic partnerships in brand licensing involve online and offline innovation and collaboration with over 20 industries, 100 renowned brands, and 3,000 Skus.
S.O.S. Pets The New Brand from Rainbow Studios With multiplatform potential and tapping into collectibles and edutainment, Rainbow’s latest offering looks set for both web and retail
Italy’s global entertainment specialist Rainbow recently announced its new brand S.O.S. Pets, a forward-looking project that has been taking its first steps in the international web and market. Besides the ever-growing commitment in creating animated and live action hits, Rainbow is constantly engaged in ambitious new projects that make the group stand out as one of the most dynamic worldwide, and S.O.S. Pets is the latest brand testifying Rainbow’s potential. Initial markets that have seen the property’s
debut are Italy and Russia, with a collection of 24 pets: a super-glittering set of figurines aimed at 3-8 year olds. S.O.S. Pets is a groundbreaking concept of collectible toy based on edutainment that makes discovering professions real fun time. The S.O.S Pets are colourful, soft and glittery animals with interchangeable accessories that make them perfect to stimulate the creativity of pre-school children. Each character is a fun and tender restyle of the jobs that children love interpreting while playing. There are six families of pets working in six different job areas: Love for arts, Our neighborhood, Safe and sound, Let’s be healthy, Yummy food, Get moving, and each family is made up of four characters for a total of 24 jobs to play with. Interchangeable clothes and accessories also allow to create endless combinations, so kids can transform the characters, unleashing imagination with mix & match. The S.O.S. Pets live in a cube-shaped world designed to give children an engaging and playful experience of unboxing. Opening the box, the little players discover which pet is hidden inside, all its accessories and a special ID collection card with QR code unlocking exclusive and downloadable web content. Each pet stars in one of
the hilarious S.O.S. Pets webisodes on the dedicated YouTube channel solving some funny situation. The YT platform allows children and families to meet the pets and discover the wonderful contents of each surprise pack through unboxing videos, involving toy story videos and animated clips. S.O.S. Pets is a brand with a huge and multiplatform potential, delivering positive messages about the importance of every kind of profession, with an inspirational touch and lots of comedy. The anticipated series is gaining growing popularity on YouTube and social media platforms such as Instagram. Rainbow is ready to launch a colorful licensing program which will be taking off later in the Fall, to complete the offering.
9 Story Brands is looking forward to an exciting 2020 filled with announcements, celebrations, and launches!
With the incredibly successful worldwide launch of Charlie’s Colorforms City on Netflix last year, and the iconic Colorforms brand celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2021, the 9 Story team is ramping up its licensing efforts across both brands. Partners, including Kahootz Toys (now part of Playmonster), Peachtree Playthings, Cottage Door Press, and Custom Personalization Solutions will expand their offerings throughout the year. Opportunities for apparel, accessories, home and more - and to provide children the tools to customize products across both brands - will be a focus in 2020. 9 Story’s Emmy-award winning series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood airs in 180+ countries worldwide and is one of its longest running series. With season 5 launching in summer 2020 on PBS Kids, children will continue to learn alongside Daniel, fueling the brand’s extensive consumer products program across toys (master toy partner Jakks Pacific), games and crafts (including new partners TCG and Cra-Z-Art), apparel (including new partners Children’s Apparel Network and Hybrid), publishing (master publishing partner Simon & Schuster and sound book partner Cottage Door Press), and more. 2020 will see a big push for international growth, with a focus on China, Scandinavia, Australia, and South America.
Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum premiered in November 2019 on PBS Kids. Based on the children’s book series, Ordinary People Change the World by New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum is a comedydriven animated adventure show. The series teaches kids ages 4-7 about important historical figures and the experiences that shaped their lives, while exploring social emotional concepts
and character traits such as courage and resilience. 2020 will see the launch of the master publishing program (partner to be announced shortly), and 9 Story will focus on signing additional categories, including games and puzzles, throughout the year. Landmark preschool series Moon and Me from creator Andrew Davenport (Teletubbies, In the Night Garden) made its global television premiere on CBeebies in early 2019. Produced by Sutikki and Foundling Bird, the show has quickly turned into a UK hit and now boasts 40+ licensees including Hasbro (master toy) and Scholastic (master publishing). 9 Story Distribution has secured multiple international broadcasters including ABC Australia, TVNZ (New Zealand), NRK (Norway), RTE (ireland), YLE (Finland) and more. 9 Story Brands has partnered with License Connection (Benelux) as
well as Merchantwise (Australia) for licensing, merchandising and marketing. In Australia, the brand continues to grow with several new licensing partners onboard and the first 4 books from Scholastic having launched at the end of 2019. Emmy-nominated series Luo Bao Bei, produced by Magic Mall Entertainment with animation from Cloth Cat Animation, was created by Magic Mall’s Grace Tian. Aimed at children 4 to 8 years old, the series follows Luo Bao Bei, a bright and spirited 7-yearold girl with a vivid imagination, on a quest to understand the world around her. New broadcast licenses include France Télévisions and CLAN (Spain). Currently, Luo Bao Bei products are available across China, including an array of products in health & beauty, publishing and apparel, and 9 Story, who holds rights outside of China, has signed Merchantwise in AUS/NZ, El Ocho in Spain and Rockpool in the UK with products scheduled to launch later this year. The eagerly-anticipated Clifford The Big Red Dog reboot, which launched on Amazon and PBS Kids in December 2019, will be supported by an expansive licensing and consumer products program. A brand new global publishing program from Scholastic will complement the series. 9 Story has signed Bulldog Licensing for the UK and is working to align with Scholastic on agents worldwide for the live-action hybrid Clifford The Big Red Dog feature film from Paramount Pictures premiering in November. Initial licensing efforts are underway for 9 Story’s newest property, Book Hungry Bears, and will continue as broadcasters are finalized. 9 Story is focused and committed to growing its classic and beloved brands, showcasing new and exciting launches, and giving children around the world content to relate to, learn from and enjoy. To learn more about 9 Story’s portfolio, including the properties showcased here and more, visit 9story.com.
2020 IS THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF ROBOCAR POLI Robocar POLI is an animation about the activities of a robot rescue team that transforms a police car, a fire
truck, an ambulance, and a helicopter into robots. Robocar POLI, the first-ever animation to feature transforming rescue robots for children, was the first Korean animation to be selected for the first prize in the Licensing Challenge in 2010 hosted by MIP Junior, the world’s leading kids entertainment industry event. The characters from the animation help friends that are in danger
or in difficulties, teaching the viewers consideration for others, and understanding, and learning about safety. Since airing season 1 in 2011, seasons 2,3, and 4, along with Traffic Safety with POLI, Fire Safety with ROY, Daily life Safety with Amber were introduced, all enjoying a global impact with children as ‘My First Superhero, Robocar POLI’.
ROBOCAR POLI TV ANIMATION
Robocar POLI Season 1. 26 episodes x 11 minutes
Robocar POLI Season 2. 26 episodes x 11 minutes
Traffic Safety with POLI. 26 episodes x 5 minutes
Robocar POLI Season 3. 26 episodes x 11 minutes
Robocar POLI Season 4. 26 episodes x 11 minutes
Fire Safety with Roy. 26 episodes x 5 minutes
Daily Life Safety with Amber. 26 episodes x 5 minutes
Robocar POLI available in 144 countries Since its first airing in 2011, Robocar POLI has been broadcast in 144 countries in 35 languages, and is available to global fans through various new media. The Robocar POLI TV YouTube channel is available in ten languages, including English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Turkish, etc. Netflix carries the program in 18 languages, and in China, it is available in Youku and iQiyi.
Robocar POLI available 24 hours Children all over the world can spend 24 hours with POLI. From POLI CAFE, the ever increasingly popular destination for locals and tourists to Taipei Children’s Amusement Park, where it is decorated with Robocar POLI, children can meet POLI. The POLI CAFE in Macau has been selected as the number 1 destination to visit with children in 2019, and the Hong Kong-based popular weekly magazine East Week ran an article introducing the cafe as a place to visit with all the family. Robocar POLI can be seen directly through live shows and musicals being held every year in diverse countries worldwide. Robocar POLI musicals have been shown over 880 times in South Korea and Russia, and will debut in China in 2020. In South Korea, four permanent establishments teaching traffic safety are operational free of charge all year round, and children can visit the POLI Chi-
Traffic Safety Campaign • Traffic safety education provided to children globally in eight major languages, including French, Czech, Russian, Chinese, Thai, Korean, English, etc. nese Medical Clinics which is the first character licensing arrangement at 13 locations. Recently, in October 2019, a Robocar POLI Kids zone opened in Aquafield, the urban indoor water park in Starfield Hanam, the largest multi shopping mall center in South Korea. Now children in South Korea can meet Robocar POLI through all four seasons of the year.
Global Safety Character for Children
Fire Safety Campaign • S. KOREA Robocar POLI, the first-ever character to be nominated as an honorary firefighter by National Fire Agency in 2019 Fire Safety with ROY, the 3D animated series teaching fire safety to 30,000 children every year. Fire Safety Class that Comes to Your Door, the fire safety practice program teaching 12,000 children every year.
• CHINA Road Angel campaign with China Red Cross nationwide afterschool class.Visit 1,000 schools in 100 cities for 4 years. 40 traffic safety classes per year. • S. KOREA Hyundai Motor Company’s traffic safety campaign with Robocar POLI. 250 instructors every year from 2012 to 2019, totaling 2,900 instructors and 68,000 students. • RUSSIA Selected as an official textbook in 2017. School visiting programs since 2015. 23 times on-site events over 400,000 kids attended with Kidburg, kid’s job theme park. • ISRAEL Annual safety events since 2014 • INDIA Nationwide campaign with Indian government. School visiting programs visited over 100 schools in Mumbai and New Delhi in 2016.
Left: Poli Cafe in Macau. Robocar POLI Ferris Wheel attraction in Taipei Children’s Amusement Park Top Center. POLI Chinese Medical clinic
New content to be revealed in 2020, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Robocar POLI Russian and Dutch cinema promotional events ahead of the opening of Robocar POLI Song Song Museum Robocar POLI Song Song Museum, the new animated series of Robocar POLI, conducted major cinema promotional events in Russia and the Netherlands ahead of its TV broadcast. Russia successfully concluded Robocar POLI cinema promotions in 650 theaters in 500 cities in November 2019, and in October of the same year, promotions in over 60 theaters in the Netherlands were equally successful. Robocar POLI Song Song Museum is the first Robocar POLI series to be shown in 3D with music animation using worldfamous nursery rhymes. The storyline evolves from Broomstownâ€™s new Song Song Museum where the rescuers of Robocar POLI are searching for famous and popular childrenâ€™s songs for the happiness of all children. The much anticipated Robocar POLI Song Song Museum is scheduled as 26 x five-minute episodes, and will be aired internationally after first airing in S. Korea in the early part of 2020..
From An ambitious global licensing program to several new projects, Toei Animation is setting the stage for a memorable year
2020 Is Already A Year to Remember For Toei Animation Europe Toei Animation Europe launches into 2020 with three highly-anticipated videogame debuts, two feature film releases, and a new television series. Following a record-setting 2019 that saw Toei Animation Europe’s reigning animated properties make headlines across the globe, it’s groundbreaking licensing initiatives maintain momentum in the new year. Dragon Ball once again looks to lead the gaming market with the January 17 launch of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot video game. Developed by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment and CyberConnect2, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a multi-platform action RPG that features the story and environments set a vast open world set across the original Dragon Ball Z series. In 2018, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment’s Dragon Ball FighterZ was one of the year’s most popular games and won and won “Best Fighting Game of the Year” at the prestigious E3 Game Awards. Fans and industry experts alike foresee another gaming hit for Dragon Ball. Alongside electronic gaming, Toei Animation Europe continues its partnership with Winning Moves for a second version of Dragon Ball Monopoly that will become available in February. Last year’s version, one of 2019 best sellers across EMEA, focused on Dragon Ball Z, while this year will feature characters and designs from Dragon Ball Super. Toys continue to be another top area for Dragon Ball. Bandai’s Dragon Star toy range, which was 2019’s #1 overall action figure and among the top 10 within the boy’s category (Source: The NPD Group 2019), expects to be on the best-selling lists once again. It’s current catalog of 17cm and 33cm figures will expand with new characters. Beyond the existing
figures, Bandai is preparing an updated figurine line-up for 2020 that will feature new range of 9cm figures that will come with an immersive diorama. In addition to toys, Toei Animation Europe licensee, Panini, will release a second set of Dragon Ball Super album stickers across EMEA, featuring new designs and visuals. Toei Animation Europe is also set to renew its partnerships with retailers across EMEA to advance their unique in-store promotions that were a hit with consumers in 2019. Dragon Ball fashion was everywhere last year, as world famous retailers went on board and launched large varieties of apparel and accessories: Primark, Bershka, Pull & Bear, Desigual, and LPP. Special displays for the launch of new Dragon Ball Z collections have been set up in stores like Célio in France and Uniqlo worldwide. In Spain, El Corté Inglés will maintain its dedicated retail space in Madrid that has been in operation since Fall/Winter 2019. The
space showcases highlighted products and special scenarios – such as, TV screens with episodes, a PS4 demo of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, and much more. In Italy, licensee LeftLoop will continue entertaining families with various events in malls and other family-friendly locations through meet and greet activities, with costume characters. European fans will further get to engage directly with Dragon Ball when the symphonic concert tour, organized by Overlook Events, which debuts on January 18 in Madrid at WiZink Center. Later in the year, the global concert series will head to the U.S. on March 27 in Rosemont, Illinois. In addition, licensing opportunities for Dragon Ball Super are set to expand further East with the upcoming MENA debut of the series on Spacetoon early 2020. Likewise, One Piece is a major part of Toei Animation Europe’s 2020 efforts. The brand ended 2019 on a major high note with the animated feature film, One Piece: Stampede. Released
across EMEA, MENA and Africa, the film acquired $87.5 million in box office by early December. The 20th One Piece film, One Piece: Stampede has had the strongest box office in the brand’s long-running theatrical history. On the gaming front – the fourth sequel to BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 will launch on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam on March 27th. In the tradition of popular “Musô” style games, Pirate Warriors 4 will allow players to choose from over 40 One Piece characters. Fans have been waiting for a new game since 2015’s One Piece Pirate Warriors 3. The series is a huge success with 4 million units sold worldwide for all episodes. It’s hard to believe that so many years have passed, but the iconic Digimon series is recognizing the 20th anniversary of the anime this year. In recognition of the milestone, Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna readies its theatrical– first in Japan on February 21, in Spring 2020 in the U.S., and afterwards in EMEA. Following the main cast from 2015’s six-part feature
film, Digimon Adventure tri., Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna takes place five years later when a new threat threatens the world. Beyond the upcoming film, the world of Digimon will also expand in BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment’s Digimon Survive. A strategic, single-player RPG featuring an original story and a cast of characters exclusive to the title, the game is confirmed for the PS4, Xbox One, PC Digital and Nintendo Switch for 2020. Not only is Toei Animation developing
its current properties – an anime adaption of the videogame series, Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai!, is in the works. One of the world’s most popular game series, Dragon Quest first appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986. It has since spawned sequels for gaming consoles of each new generation, and many other forms of media – including novels, anime and manga. Toei Animation’s upcoming series is based on the manga anthology, Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai, and is slated for a Fall 2020 release. An ambitious project featuring a hybrid of 2D and CG animation, and a videogame tie-in, the series is already one of the most talked about anime on 2020’s horizon. 2020 marks a decade of Toei Animation Europe’s significant impact on the world of licensing and entertainment. With these exciting initiatives already kicked into high gear, there is no slowing down.
Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Super : ©Bird Studio/Shueisha, Toei Animation One Piece : ©Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha,Toei Animation Digimon, Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna : ©Akiyoshi Hongo,Toei Animation
CHINESE DEAL FOR OCTONAUTS Silvergate Media has announced a major new creative partnership with Merlin Entertainments that will bring its hit preschool property Octonauts to Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai, part of the SEA LIFE global aquarium chain. Launching to the public in June 2020, the innovative new attraction will be the biggest Octonauts attraction worldwide and will expand the universal appeal of the brand by offering a unique underwater experience that is set to make a big splash with families in China. “Our partnership with Merlin Entertainments underlines our ongoing commitment to dive deeper into innovative and immersive events that bolster our brands”, said Ron Allen, EVP Commercial Silvergate Media. “This new interactive adventure with Changfeng Ocean World will give fans an unforgettable Octonauts experience that truly reflects the show’s core values of education, exploration and entertainment - it’s a perfect brand synergy. We look forward to sharing the attraction with fans in China this summer.” Merlin is creating an authentically themed Octonauts experience that will give families the exciting opportunity to play and explore in a fully submersed Octopod within Changfeng Ocean World’s huge new ‘Stingray Bay’ experience. Visitors to the new attraction will join their favourite characters including Captain Barnacles, Kwazii, and Peso and embark on an exciting Octonauts mission, learning all about the world’s oceans and the incredible creatures that live within them. There will also be a dedicated gift shop on-site offering retail opportunities to the brand’s many licensing partners. The attraction will be promoted with a heavyweight media campaign and a press launch is scheduled in January 2020 that will give media a first look at the new site prior to its official opening in the summer. This latest deal further cements Silvergate’s existing relationship with Merlin, and builds upon the momentum of previous Sea Life partnerships in the UK, Europe, Australia and the US with additional new activations due to be announced in 2020. “Fun and discovery are at the core of what we do at Merlin and that is why Octonauts is an ideal fit for us. The new attraction will bring Octonauts to life in a way that has never been done before and we are very confident it will drive growth in visitor numbers when it launches at Changfeng Ocean World.” said Anthony Newman, SEA LIFE’s Global Brand Marketing Director, Merlin Entertainments.
Collect your print copy of Total Licensing at the London, Nuremberg and New York Toy Fairs as well as Kidscreen and Licensing World Russia. 30
JOYPIXELS JoyPixels, owner of over 3,000 emoji icons, and their master agent Born Licensing, have seen in the new year with a host of new deals across the globe. JoyPixels celebrated Christmas in style with a festive emoji take-over at one of Jakarta’s finest shopping malls. The ongoing monthlong event at Lippo Mall Kemang was brought together by JoyPixels South East Asia sub-agent, PinkTank and their local partner, Brandlink. The event featured a JoyPixels emoji ferris wheel, installations, character meet & greets and, the star of the show, a 12m tall JoyPixels emoji Christmas tree. JoyPixels emoji merchandise by Upgoodies is also available. The range includes cushions, tote bags and t-shirts. JoyPixels has ambitions to roll out licensed events across the region. International restaurateur and creator of Beefbar, Riccardo Giraudi, has renewed his license with JoyPixels adding sugar packs and espresso cups and saucers to their luxury tableware offering which is now also available to purchase online. JoyPixels emoji plates are already a mainstay and popular feature at Beefbar restaurant locations around the globe including Paris, Malta, Hong Kong, Mykonos, Mexico City etc. Made by Bernardaud, masters of French porcelain, the range highlights the diversity and adaptability of JoyPixels emojis. In the UK Danilo has now developed over 30 JoyPixels Skus. In addition to a wide range of greeting cards, JoyPixels emoji unicorn gift wrap and gift bags are now also available. Retailers include Sainsbury’s, Asda, WHSmith, The Entertainer, Clintons and The Card Factory. David Born, Director of Born Licensing commented, “In 2019 we signed on with 6 great sub-agents in key markets and it’s super exciting to see their work start to come to fruition. JoyPixels emojis are bringing joy to consumers all over the world and we can’t wait to share more success stories throughout the year.”
Rocking the Boat! How Boat Rocker Studios is expanding its IP
Global entertainment company Boat Rocker Studios creates, produces and distributes premium media content for all platforms; develops high-profile brands and IP; and continues to expand its licensing presence. Current key properties include quirky new 2D animated preschool series Love Monster. Based on the bestselling books by award-winning author Rachel Bright, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, the 54 x 7’ series premiered on CBeebies in January 2020.Wonderfully warm and witty, it follows hairy hero Love Monster as he navigates being the only monster in a world of cute fluffy things. Golden Bear have signed as master toy partner for the UK, Eire and
Australia across a wide range of categories including plush, plastic, figures, role play, bath and wooden toys. Additional categories and international sales are currently in discussion with further announcements due in the near future. Tween reality-style dance drama The Next Step pirouetted back onto CBBC in January with hotly anticipated series 7. Live Nation’s recent tour saw the cast perform to sell-out crowds across UK, Ireland and Australia. New dates in 2020 are scheduled for the hugely popular themed workshops at London’s iconic Pineapple Dance Studio. Launched instore and online in October, several styles in the co-brand apparel range sold out
in just 6 weeks! Further discussions are underway with other leading retailers across dance, health & beauty categories. High-octane, 3D animated action preschool series Kingdom Force recently premiered on CBC, Canada and rolls out across EMEA from next Spring via a multi-territory deal withBoomerang. Fisher Price has signed as master toy
licensee. Thrill-a-minute, fantastical, preschool animation Dino Ranch, is set to premiere on Disney Junior US in 2021. Jazwares are on board for global master toy and are planning a wide range of exciting and inventive toys across a variety of categories.
MENA REGION Over the past 20 years, the MENA region has witnessed a significant change in the children’s entertainment industry. The toy market, in particular, has turned the Arab region into a magnet for major international companies based on the success of Spacetoon the first Arabic TV channel to specialise in the broadcast of animated content.
CELEBRATING SPACETOON TV’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY Spacetoon has aimed to provide an ideal experience for global companies with its advertising content that was the bridge for Arab consumers, who in turn wanted the products.
region. This was proven when the character Hamtaro made its way in MENA. It significantly increased its toy sales and audience after the series was broadcast in Arabic.
The remarkable success achieved by this strategy in MENA has contributed to a revival of the toy market where, extraordinarily, sales increased between 2000 and 2002 in conjunction with a significant rise in demand for specific products.This was because consumers were impacted by the TV commercials on Spacetoon, which addressed and influenced the target Arab audience using a unique animation style.
Local companies have benefited from international expertise transferring itself to MENA. ToyPro, established in 2016, now offers many kinds of toys that target and suit all the local community. Hayati Girl is an example that got over 50 million views on Spacetoon’s social media platforms becoming strong in a very short period. In 2017, Power Rangers achieved
In addition to that, Spacetoon has been able to attract major toy companies such as Hasbro, Mattel, Lego, Saban Entertainment, Takara, BANDAI, and many others. It has collaborated with them through supporting the launch of their products in all Arab markets and provided innovative advertising solutions that suit each product and contribute to creating demand for it. Spacetoon has paved the way for many prominent brands such as Beyblade, Ben 10, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Barbie, My Little Pony and many others. Since its establishment, it has made the audience in the Middle East fully aware of these brands by providing them with full marketing services through its channel. As such, Spacetoon has contributed to exposure to which all international companies aspire. To double the effects, this occurred in a vastly growing market characterized by the increase in demands. Despite having special features and diverse interests amongst its consumers, the Arab market mirrors that of Italy, Spain and the Mediterranean
strong sales, exceeding any other brand in the region with a 35% increase, which was beyond expectations in MENA. The Yo-Kai success resulted in selling almost 50 thousand units in the GCC countries. Spacetoon has recently accomplished another success by offering the most famous Japanese brand, BeyBlade Burst (named BayBattle in the MENA), and making it the top selling brand across all key retailers in the MENA market in 2019. Dragon Ball Super from Bandai and Ricky Zoom from Tomy are both set to be another successful launches for 2020. Such success was grounded on the close collaboration between Spacetoon and Arabian License Company (ALC) since the latter has the license of a wide range of international brands in the field of child entertain-
ment. ALC had represented Marvel, Sanrio, Sesame Street and many other mega brands in the MENA region. In addition to the role of commercials in the market, toy exhibitions are playing a key role in reinforcing the presence of the brands in the MENA market even though it is still low in number. Spacetoon has recently organized the Riyadh Toy Festival and arranged to launch 13 exclusive toys in the global market before their official release. The products included Barbie, Hot Wheels, Maisto, Ricky Zoom, Our Generation, Lil Woodzeez, Intex, Pea Pod, Funlockets, Go Big, Clementoni, Silverlit and Make it Real. In addition, over 500 toys were unveiled for the first time in Saudi Arabia before launching in the local market. Commenting on the Riyadh Toy Festival, Fayez Weiss Sabbagh, President of Spacetoon said, “We are so proud to see our partners gathering in one place and presenting such a new experience full of joy and happiness.” Al Sabbagh added: “The strategic relationship with Spacetoon and the faith in the Saudi market growth are the reasons why international toy companies were keen to announce their latest products in this festival.” The reason behind the trust by local and global companies in Spacetoon over the past 20 years is its wellplanned content, which has reached all Arab audiences and left a great impact on the market. This is as a result of the professional process of modifying content and producing the Arabic dubbing in addition to the song production intended for children.This has enjoyed huge success across different platforms by achieving over 1 billion views on YouTube.
VIACOM CBS IN THE MIDDLE EAST ViacomCBS Consumer Products (VCP) demonstrates strong partnership by strengthening its offer in the Middle East with new live family experiences and much-loved licenses. Throughout 2019, VCP deployed a fully integrated business approach to the Middle East to meet local consumers’ growing appetite for multi touchpoint experiences. VCP delivered impressive sales figures and diversified its portfolio whilst enhancing the digital experience of its products, to create an even more interconnected ecosystem that puts the consumer experience at the centre. The World of Nickelodeon in Abu Dhabi in September 2019 was a highlight of the year. As part of the Abu Dhabi Family Week, The World of Nickelodeon attracted families across the region for 3 full days of fun activities, exciting games and amazing prizes at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Over 9,000 kids and adults attended the exhibition where they were given the chance to play and win exclusive prizes, as well as interact with their favorite Nickelodeon characters, including SpongeBob SquarePants and PAW Patrol. Live entertainment was an important pillar of the exhibition, including shows with the UAE’S Favourite Kids Magician Radio Presenter Magic Phil, giant bubble shows and meet and greet sessions with much loved Nickelodeon characters such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dora the Explorer. In addition, high quality licensed products were offered throughout the exhibition, including Al Ain Water bottles featuring PAW Patrol, Nickelodeon bags for the Back To School and Fashion categories, as well as a confectionery distributer for Zaini & Pez. The entire exhibition was supported by digital activations with influencers and social media personalities to drive buzz around the event and reach more fans. The first ever launch of the JoJo Siwa apparel range with Max Fashion in the Middle East also brought remarkable results in both the aisles and online.The apparel launch was inspired by the tween live-action star and ac-
companied by a full online campaign in collaboration with retailers, including tailored content for Facebook and Instagram. With over 7 million followers and a portfolio of long-standing consumer product programs with strong retail partners, JoJo Siwa was an important target for VCP. Aware of JoJo Siwa’s popularity amongst young female consumers in particular, VCP wanted to give them the opportunity to dress and feel like the young star. As VCP’s first-ever influencer CP program, the JoJo Siwa products continue to inspire further influencer CP programs that are able to extend reach and engagement across ViacomCBS platforms. At the same time, VCP launched the exclusive two year Ryan merchandise programme in the Middle East, based on the 7-year-old YouTube sensation’s digital activities. A variety of consumer products were developed across categories with specific products for Fashion, home, back to school, retail and food and beverage. In line with ViacomCBS’s goal to remain relevant to consumers,VCP aims to connect to consumers through experiences that complement their multiplatform viewing preferences, based on their favourite characters.The Ryan merchandising range is a successful example of how VCP is enabling consumers to physically own the digital talent they love and access their favourite characters through their preferred touchpoints.
With these digital consumers firmly in mind, ViacomCBS announced that it would be bringing VidCon, the world’s largest immersive experience for digital communities and online video fans, to the Middle East for the first time in 2020. The event will be held in Abu Dhabi in partnership with The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and will be a true celebration of all things online video. The event will provide a forum for consumers to meet the most influential content creators of the region, explore the future of video consumption and online storytelling as well as enjoy unique licensed experiences. As we now move into 2020, VCP is preparing exciting and unique launches across categories for back to school, fashion and home, based on Baby Shark and the internationally loved Bikini Bottom property that celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a long awaited onscreen appearance.
20TOO EXPANDS IN 2020 20too Licensing is one of the leading Brand Management and Consumer Products agency in the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on brand extension and promotional retail activities across the region. Since 2013, 20too Licensing has formed strategic partnerships with some of the world’s best-known toy, gaming, and entertainment companies including Hasbro, Entertainment One, Sega, Endemol, Rovio, Discovery Enterprises Int., IMPS, Moose and Viacom. The team has executed a variety of global best-practices and award-
winning projects and continues to lead the way in successfully implementing outstanding branded business opportunities in the territory. In 2019 all categories have been taken to new levels with licensing deals closed for Middle East & North Africa in toys, back to school, FMCG, promotions and location based entertainment. One of the most significant categories in the MENA region is locationbased entertainment, which is growing rapidly. Last year 20too Licensing and Hasbro teamed up with Robocom VR to develop and launch VR simulators
based on the Transformers franchise. The machines will debut in the market this year and will be distributed across MENA. In addition, one of the region’s biggest entertainment and hospitality organizations, Al Hokair Group was signed up to launch multi-brand family entertainment centers in partnership with Hasbro brands. The first location opens in Saudi Arabia in Fall 2020 and will feature brands including My Little Pony,Transformers, Power Rangers, Monopoly, Mr Potato Head and Hasbro Gaming. Al Hokair plans to open more locations in the UAE, KSA, Kuwait and Egypt over the next 10 years. In the live events category Saudi Arabia remains a regional hub with the 2020 events calendar packed with unique consumer experiences across key events & festivals. 20too’s live event partners continue to successfully develop and bring non-ticketed events to the market and will also be including revamped Power Rangers activations in 2020. In addition, 20too’s licensees will continue to tour the region with non-ticketed events for Sonic, Angry Birds and PJ Masks. Hasbro’s Franchise brands including Monopoly, My Little Pony and Nerf will continue to interact with customers with exciting product launches planned for 2020. Monopoly is turning 85 years old and there are multiple immersive experiences and exciting activations planned for the anniversary. The 85th anniversary program for Monopoly will include themed apparel and fashion accessories. 20too Licensing and Hasbro are also working on a promotion inspired by Monopoly. My Little Pony, a brand phenomenally popular among girls in the region will celebrate 10 years of Friendship is Magic in 2020. 20too Licensing and Hasbro are working on launching an exciting campaign for My Little Pony around International Friendship Day
on July 30. My Little Pony’s friendship celebrations will bring a friendship themed merchandise program, Meet & Greet appearances, in-store activations and events to key retail partners in the region. Nerf continues to expand beyond the toy range and into lifestyle with new initiatives aimed at girls, boys and teens. In Fall 2019, Babyshop, the family-destination retailer across the Middle East and Africa, along with 20too Licensing and Hasbro teamed up to launch an exclusive apparel range for Nerf.This ‘first ever’ apparel collection for Babyshop and the marketing campaign supporting the launch enhanced the in-store journey for fans and new consumers. Babyshop extended the Nerf apparel range for 2020. Many more retailers are already on-board to launch Nerf themed action merchandise in 2020. From track pants,T-shirts, jackets, caps to backpacks as well as footwear, the cross-category launch across various retail partners will be supported with prominent in-store POS, on-ground events and engaging social media campaigns. In 2020, Kids in Motion, the biggest kids and family expo in Saudi Arabia will bring, for the first time, live entertainment for pre-school’s superhero hit, PJ Masks. Both Entertainment One’s brands PJ Masks as well as Ricky Zoom, which debuted on on Spacetoon last Fall, will see a year full of live events and activations being held across the whole region. On the movie licensing front, the recent trailer for the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie, which is set to release in February, received a very positive response in the region. The appeal of the franchise is extremely high and has always sold well across many categories in the Middle East. Movie merchandise is set to roll out at retail from January onwards and includes a new toy line from Jakks Pacific, back to school range, confectionery selection, as well as products. In addition, 20too and Sega struck a deal for a promotion and are working with Spacetoon on bringing new live events and activations to Saudi Arabia and beyond.
CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU With over 47 million copies sold worldwide in 57 languages, Guess How Much I Love You, is a classic children’s book celebrating the deep and tender bond of unconditional love. For 25 years, readers worldwide have cherished Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare’s sweet and playful exchange. Walker Books, along with its sister companies Candlewick Press in the USA and Walker Books in Australia, has an exciting year ahead as 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of this children’s book with new publishing plans, new licensees and new products. With its charm and celebration of love, Guess How Much I Love You picture books can be found not only on nursery bookshelves but are the prized childhood possessions of adults who themselves grew up with the book and are now sharing this experience with their own children. Guess How Much I Love You continues to be published in multiple formats. Walker Books will be publishing some special formats, including a slipcased 25th anniversary edition containing a frameable print, ideal for nurseries, bedrooms, or home libraries. The brand continues to be the company’s top-performing licensed property with over 30 licensees globally. It enjoys a strong presence in the US, UK and Germany across core product categories including toys, plush, apparel. In the UK, additional product areas include party supplies, prints, stor-
age boxes, and personalised gifting for children, as well as calendars, cards and diaries and jewellery for families and adults. Licensed ranges in the UK have previously focused on baby and the nursery; however, the adult gifting and occasion markets are expected to grow for the 25th anniversary. With a focus on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Easter, Walker is working on some important partnerships. Walker Books’ collaboration with boutique jeweller Boo will be expanding to include a range of gold and diamond rings. Rainbow Designs has also created a range of gifting plush which is perfect for any special occasion. The success of the licensing programme in the UK has attracted new partners and key customers now include John Lewis, Waterstones, Matalan, Amazon, WHS, Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda, TK Maxx and many more. In North America, the Guess How Much I Love You licensing programme continues to grow. A Baby’s First Year Calendar, textiles from Clothworks, and new baby bibs, hats, totes and blankets from Storiarts are among the existing offering. Additionally, longtime partner Kids Preferred will be debuting new plush designs at Toy Fair to honour the anniversary year. The brand should also be boosted by a new North American tour of the Guess How Much I Love You puppetry-based
stage show. A key component of the UK plans for 2020 will be retail partnerships. A preschool/nursery campaign including book giveaways is also underway. Walker Books is also home to other brands noting important milestones in 2020–2021. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, the picture book classic written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, has sold 10 million copies over the last 30 years in print. As a classic favourite, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt was commissioned by Channel 4 as a 30-minute animation special and attracted over 8 million viewers at launch during Christmas 2016. It was shown again in 2019.With 30th anniversary celebrations already in full swing, the UK licensee list includes toys and games, apparel, babywear, stationery, wall stickers, greetings cards, DVDs and promotions. Lucy Cousins’ evergreen character Maisy Mouse is poised to celebrate her 30th year as one of the world’s best-known children’s book characters, with global book sales of more than 38 million copies of over 300 titles in a wide variety of formats. Maisy has inspired not just books but a popular TV show and DVDs, as well as plush, toys and a number of other licensed products. The Walker licensing team is excited to have a milestone anniversary to refresh the licensing programme with brand-new partners across all key categories including toys, apparel and paper products. The celebration of Maisy’s third decade has been commemorated by a brand-new logo that encapsulates the enduring appeal of the character in the words: ‘Celebrating 30 years of Maisy. Friends. Learning. Fun.’ Walker Books itself will be celebrating its own 40th anniversary in 2020 – 40 years in which it has become a leading global publisher and owner of some of the most memorable and highly awarded children’s properties in the world.
TOTAL LICENSING Russia is keeping its focus on export-oriented content, and launches into 2020 with their animation lineup at Kidscreen in Miami. Thirteen Moscow-based companies are heading to Miami under the brand ‘Created in Moscow,’ supported by the Moscow Export Center (MEC). A part of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development of Moscow, MEC supports Moscow-based exporters at the major events worldwide. “In 2019 we supported animation at MIFA in Annecy. As per our experience, it is important to say that Moscow has a cluster of animation companies open for partnerships, co-productions and offering high-quality content. Currently the vast majority of Russian studios are located in Moscow, so Moscow plays a significant role in the creative industries’ exports from Russia as a whole,” said Kirill Ilichev, CEO of the Moscow Export Center.
Moscow-based animation studios head to Miami Riki Group are presenting IPs already known in the market, such as BabyRiki, PINCODE, Kikoriki, Tina & Tony, as well as new IPs in production or in development including Weatherville, which has recently won the ATF animation pitch, Beardy Bodo, Question Club, Liry & Taya,The Amazing Spoilers and Above the Ceiling. The BabyRiki brand has enjoyed a successful year, with the licensing program rapidly expanding in China. Plush, plastic toys, building sets and early development toys, - 59 SKUs total - are produced by King Bee Limited, a large Chinese kids’ licensed products manufacturer. BabyRiki toys are available in over 500 stores in China, including Hamley’s, Toys R Us, Kidswant and AEON. In 2020 it is planned to expand the products onto online stores, such as T-Mall, as well as double the number of purchases, increase the number of SKUs to 100 and the number of stores in China to 1000. BabyRiki toys form a part of an early development program, which is increasingly being adopted by Chinese parents. Content, development recommendations, educational videos and toys are all parts of the BabyRiki development program. “There is huge demand and importance placed in the Chinese market on early education, development content and children’s products that bring meaning into their lives, as parents are becoming more involved in the early overall development of their children. With BabyRiki we see the results which exceed our expectations and we plan to deliver more high-quality products which will be in line with our edutainment develop-
Blinky and Knobby ment curriculum. This way we are not just producing animation, we are tailoring primary learning environments for families,” explained Diana Yurinova, VP, International business development and distribution, Riki Group. The BabyRiki and Kikoriki brands are also cooperating with Food Union, a leading dairy products manufacturer in China. Lakto dairy products branded with BabyRiki and Kikoriki, total 16 SKUs, are on sale in 489 offline stores in China as well as the top e-commerce platforms in the country. The second season of Tina & Tony, which is showing great results on YouKu Kids with 2 billion views in a year, is now in production. It is produced by Riki Group and Alibaba Cultural Media and Entertainment Group, which is a part of Alibaba Group. In addition, Alibaba Group has also been appointed a Master Licensee for Tina & Tony and the licensing program will launch in China in 2020. Nashe Kino company will present the projects from animation studio Melnitsa. The line-up includes brand-new animated features and two evergreen TV-series Moonzy and The Barkers, with over 500 and 200 episodes respectively and more to come. The company is look-
ing to extend both brands. Melnitsa Agency signed a new licensing deal with Unilever, the leader in the FMCG sector, to drive the Moonzy-branded preschool property in Russia. The product range with characters from the new season include kids’ hygiene products such as shampoo, toothpaste and bathing foam. Following a deal with MOMI, Moonzy appeared on the Japanese premium brand of diapers and panties. Last autumn, for the first time, the company presented the Barkers: Mind the Cats animated movie for family audiences, based on the popular series.The rights for the new series have been acquired by companies from 22 countries so far, including FOX paid channels for SEA. The premier is set for autumn 2020. The company is sticking to its international ambition, working with international talent for new Moonzy episodes, naming an LA-based author, Paul Pimenta, as the screenwriter and editor, and extending the Barkers brand with a feature film and looking for co-productions. Wizart is now focused on developing the fifth part of its globally renowned Snow Queen franchise, as well as the TV series The Snow Queen: Keepers of Wonders, set to expand opportunities for current and future licensees. The studio has also launched the new Hansel and Gretel franchise in 2019.
TOTAL LICENSING major stake in the studio and JingleKids IP, so in early 2020 production will be transferred to the USA.
Hansel & Gretel
“The American company QED Intl became a co-investor in the Hansel and Gretel project and took on most of commitments for international distribution. Our partners are working on the involvement of international creators to adapt the film to the most demanding markets. We also believe that the increased presence in international markets will help to develop licensed programs outside of Russia,” commented Yuri Moskvin, the general producer of Wizart. brand4rent will present Monsikids – an edutainment series that introduces children to the world of emotions and emotional intelligence. The company plans to announce deals for the USA and China soon and aims to expand international distribution, focusing on Europe, South America and South-East Asia. The company is currently developing branded toys with two major Russian toy companies: Gulliver, the company’s key partner worldwide (master-toy licensee), and Simbat. The toy line will include figurines, play sets, arts & crafts. The company is also introducing Flo-Flo team, a new series for pre-school kids, devoted to the trending topic of ecology. Red Carpet Studio is a new player in the kids’ content market, who are presenting two animated series at Kidscreen. Space dr. Cat is an educational and entertainment toy show with elements of 2D animation. The first 12 episodes have already gained a million views on YouTube. The first two seasons are being dubbed in English, while the third one is in production. Blinky and Knobby is a dialogue-free 3D web series available in Russia and CIS at Ivi. ru as well as in in the USA and Canada via AmebaTV. The Bugabooz animated series is now in development.
Another young yet promising player is Storytime, founded in 2018 by Julia Mindubaeva (producer of animated series Kid-e-cats and Little Tiaras) and creative producer Vasiliy Kutsenko to create outstanding children’s and family content. In Miami the company will present its new animated series now in development, as well as a flagship show in production – BerryBuds, a digital musical project for 1-4 yearolds. The BerryBuds story follows the adventures of three characters who are as round as they are charming. They live in Berryland – a world inspired by crafting supplies and DIY projects. The first four episodes in Russian premiered at the end of 2019 via SVOD service Start and on YouTube, gaining over half a million views and entering the top-five kids projects on Start. The first season comprising 52 episodes in Russian and in English is in production. Open Alliance Media will present JingleKids 3D animated series and JingleKids: The Christmas Adventure a 3D feature film in production. Last year the studio signed with the Swedish licensing agency Plus Licens that now runs JingleKids L&M in Russia/ CIS/Baltics/Nordics/CEE. The company is now undergoing changes: the US-based Orwo Studios is acquiring a
AA Studio has five projects including The Princess and the Dragon and The Mystery of Haunster that will be presented at Kidscreen for the first time. The company also presents Trains, Rabbit’s 10 and Squad Go Wild. All these series are at different stages and some of them open for international co-production. 100 KILOWATT Studio brings its flagship comedy series for preschoolers – Nick the Inventor and Magic Kitchen – to Miami. There are plush toys, plastic toys, activities planned for 2020 with one of the biggest Russian companies Simbat. The studio will also present The Homies, available as a ready-made first season and as a format, as well as the non-dialogue Eager Beaver.
“Animation remains the key export product of the Russian content industry. It is a united creative community that brings talent, compelling content and licensing opportunities to the international market. The ‘Created in Moscow’ brand represents as a whole fast-growing market – diverse yet united by the high-quality production and the drive to create stories for kids’ audiences across the globe,”, Eugenia Markova, Director of Industry Relations at Expocontent.
Parovoz Studio will presents its 3D comedy Spaceport about three outsiders (boy, alien and robot) spending their time in the intergalactic Spaceport selling fast food and constantly getting themselves into bizarre misadventures. The project targets 8-12-year-old kids. Klaxon, an emerging production company, have several projects in development and in production and plans to launch new projects in 2020 in partnership with international partners. Apart from Flo-Flo team presented by brand4rent, the company brings Sweet Family, the educational series for 2-5 year olds in preproduction stage. The first episode premiere is set for June 2020.
The Biggest Cultural Content Exhibition in Korea A look at what to expect from September 2020’s ACE Fair
The 15th 2020 Asia Content & Entertainment Fair in Gwangju (2020 Gwangju ACE Fair) will take place from September 17 to September 20 at the Kimdaejung Convention Center, located in Gwangju, Republic of Korea. The main exhibition categories include Broadcasting, Animation, Game, Character, Knowledge Information,VR∙AR Content Solutions, and Culture Content Licensing. Highlights: VR Rides: Various type of VR contents including VR Ride which feels like an actual situation by GITCT. Extreme Sports VR: ‘Extreme Sports’ through VR which is hard to experience in real life by Hyundai MediaA. LoL multi-view VR: Especially for LoL fans with unique and differentiated 5GX services by SKT 5GX. Licensing/ K-broadcast Content Export Consultation: Global cultural content licensing between companies from 32 countries. (K-broadcast content consultation was newly presented in 2019) Business matching & mentoring for independent PDs: Mentoring and Consultation between skilled producers (from big broadcasting company in Korea) and independent PDs. City Tour for Buyers and Exhibitors:
Experience traditional Korean culture, food, and visit historical site in Gwangju. (Organized by the ACE Fair Secretariat) K-Broadcast Content Decision Makers Forum: Collaboration between K-Broadcast contents and Latin American broadcasting companies from Brazil, Mexico, Peru, etc. Cable TV Seminar: Seminar on the current status and future development of Cable. A major theme in 2019: ‘Regional channel management plan for locality’ 15th 2020 Gwangju ACE Fair Early-Bird: Available until May 31st! Pricing and Registration available at https://www.acefair.or.kr/fairDash.do?hl=ENG Please direct all inquiries to the ACE Fair Secretariat E-mail: email@example.com/ Tel: +82-62-611-2243
Strong Start to 2020 for BBC Studios Total Licensing spoke to Julie Kekwick, Senior Licensing Manager, Consumer Products, BBC Studios, about some important announcements for early 2020 BBC Studios will be announcing new Hey Duggee, BBC Earth and Mr Tumble products and partners at the 2020 Toy Fair in Kensington Olympia. BBC Studios and Golden Bear will be launching an extended Hey Duggee product line over the coming year, with toys including a new Duggee and Friends Figurine Pack launching in Spring/Summer 2020 and new plush and the Hey Duggee Adventure Bus hitting the shelves from Autumn/Winter 2020. Julie Kekwick comments: “It’s brilliant to see the Hey Duggee portfolio continuing to grow and expand, earning the accolade of fastest growing brand for pre-school plush in 2019. Hey Duggee has had a fantastic year at retail, and we’re looking forward to building on this with our extended line of 8th Wonder products and our new partnership with Ravensburger.” Ravensburger, a leading manufacturer of children’s puzzles and games, will be launching a new collection of Hey Duggee jigsaw puzzles and games for the UK. The games will be in stores from Autumn/Winter 2020. An extended line of 8th Wonder products will also be joining the existing collection of wooden toys, to include a Skittles set, Shape Sorter with
Light and Sound, Carry Along Play House and Vehicle and Block set. The beautifully designed wooden toys have been a huge hit with fans, recently winning in the Teaching Resources (03) category at the 2019 Creative Play Awards for the Hey Duggee Light & Sound Train. Earlier this year BBC Studios announced its new partnership with Trends UK, creating a new range of electronic learning toys which will be available from Spring 2020. BBC Studios and Posh Paws International have renewed their deal to manufacture and distribute products under the BBC Earth license. The deal brokered by European licensing agent WildBrain CPLG, will be effective in UK, EMEA, Australia and New Zealand from January 2020. After the successful launch of the BBC Earth inspired toy plush range in 2019, Posh Paws will be adding a new range of soft baby animals to the collection. The range will include a giraffe, penguin, seal pup, lion cub, baby leopard and a baby monkey. All will be available for spring 2020 from all good retailers. The new line will include 100% recycled post-consumer waste PET plastic (plastic bottles) filling to demonstrate
a commitment to the environment, along with packaging made from 100% recycled FSC certified craft paper and soy-based inks. Each plush comes with a ‘Love me for Life’ swing tag and statement highlighting that each toy is not a throwaway purchase and encourages consumers to ‘love them for life’ or pass on to someone else who will care for them just as much. BBC Studios has also announced the renewal of its Mr Tumble Something Special partnership with master toy Golden Bear. The renewed partnership will see the launch of brand new products in the Mr Tumble Something Special range to be featured at Toy Fair in 2020. Launching in Autumn/Winter 2020, the range will include the Mr Tumble’s Sensory Seek and Find Spotty Bag with Fun Sounds and the Mr Tumble Touch My Nose Sensory Soft Toy, and will focus on encouraging kids to be active through harnessing engaging new sounds, lights and music. Julie comments: “We are delighted to be building on our long-standing relationship with Golden Bear. Golden Bear continue to deliver newness and innovation into the range, creating products that delight little ones and perform at retail. “ Series twelve of Mr Tumble Something Special will be launching on CBeebies in January 2020.
To explore the potential of the IP licensing market and stimulate synergies between industries, the licensing product zone in Toy & Edu China has upgraded to become an individual fair, Licensing China, in 2020. It will be held concurrently with Toy & Edu China and Baby & Stroller China at the new venue, the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center. The fairs will take place from 6 â€“ 8 March 2020, an earlier date to capture the full potential of the main sourcing season in China, after the Chinese New Year holidays.
According to Licensing Internationalâ€™s Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey, global retail sales of licensed merchandise grew to USD 280.3 billion in 2018, with apparel and toys taking the largest market shares. The growth of global retail sales indicates the potential of licensed products, which are more recognisable to consumers and can command a greater premium, increasing the chance for profit. In China, the demand for character merchandising is promising.With more animation series now available to Chinese consumers, the audience has become familiar with more characters. Younger generations of Chinese consumers tend to have higher levels of disposable income and are also more likely to purchase character merchandise, particularly those that crossover with fashion and lifestyle products. Meanwhile, central government is investing more into their cultural and tourism industry, with an increasing number of theme parks, hotels and public installations offering new opportunities for licensed characters. Licensing is also recognised by Chinese manufacturers as a value-adding solution to transform their businesses. As they look to enter the domestic
market with their own brands, recognisable characters can lend a sense of familiarity and trust to their products. To further explore the potential of the IP licensing market and stimulate synergies between industries, the licensing product zone in Toy & Edu China has upgraded to become an individual fair, Licensing China, in 2020. It will be held concurrently with Toy & Edu China and Baby & Stroller China at the new venue, the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center. The fairs will take place from 6 â€“ 8 March 2020, an earlier date to capture the full potential of the main sourcing season in China, after the Chinese New Year holidays. With more than 100 leading brand owners and agents representing over 500 properties, the fair will provide coverage across a comprehensive range of product groups: animation and character licensing, as well as Intellectual Property (IP) licensing for sports, brands, arts and culture. The trademarks are applicable to a wide range of industries, including toys and baby products. The fair will see licensed products from well-
known domestic and overseas brands such as British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, B.Duck, DooroBear and more made available to consumers in China. Apart from business exchanges, the 2020 fair will see a variety of fringe programme events, providing exhibitors and visitors alike with invaluable information about the market trends.
These fringe events include a licensing forum, which brings together global licensing experts and industry players who have worked closely with licensors, to share the latest industry trends and essential tips on using licensing to upgrade businesses. A business matching session will also take place, lining up licensors with potential partners crossing different industries.
GERMANY A little less conversation… ...and a little more action, please! Germany is one of Licensing International’s biggest markets in terms of membership. Here, Peter Hollo, who heads up Licensing International in Germany gives his thoughts on working in the German market as well as taking a look at what the future may hold. A this time of the year, people usually ask me, what´gonna be the next big thing in licensing in Germany or worldwide? Well, frankly speaking, I have no idea. Nobody I know has ever been able to predict this. What I can say is that Germany is a good country for marketing franchises and properties.Although the economy
faces some difficulties in 2020, like the automobile industry, which in large parts decided to cheat, rather than to invest into the future. This will create problems and will cause a loss of jobs and purchasing power over the next few years, if not balanced by anything else. Lesson to learn from this? Invest into the future before others do it and it´s not too late for you. It is a good lesson for our industry too. Much more than in other industries, in licensing the fast beats the slow. Fast decisions and entrepreneurial courage beat the reservations of the accounting department. And, honestly speaking, isn´t it quite often the other way round? With the rise of the big multinational corporations, serving the quartely report has become more important than long term strategies and faith in their own abilities. As much as the German market needs international input (we all know the numbers), outmanoeuvring these massive star destroyers with small flexible units is possible. There is plenty of national potential in German franchises and properties. Many of our German members prove this impressively.
Germany is a good country for marketing franchises and properties And please, stop seeing our market as a character licensing market first. This view has lead, and still leads to, a self fulfilling prophecy, blurring the view on such outstanding sectors such as brand licensing, celebrity licensing, design, fashion or food. So, in a nutshell, if you are a company from overseas, come to Germany. Because whatever will happen with economic indicators, the German market is still significantly stronger than the vast majority, even with one hand tied behind you! And if you are a German company, stop looking at the international corporations. Stop making everything that happens - or doesn´t happen - your benchmark.There is so much you have to offer in terms of licensing! Go for it!
TOTAL LICENSING erzone, Super Toy Club, Die Nektons, Alvinnn!!! And the Chipmunks, Oddbods, Go Wild, Caillou, Oktonauten, Toggolino, TOGGO, the Dreamworks portfolio and Noddy. Paw Patrol now has over 80 local licensees and is the leading preschool license according to Eurotoys. Dragons/School has more than 60 licensees and is known by 9 out of ten children, being a top brand for toys. ViacomCBS Consumer Products delivers value to partners across Germany with new products and film entertainment. 2019 was hugely important for VCP’s business in Germany, reaching a remarkable 46% growth. These results were driven by a multifaceted approach the market by leveraging the popularity and variety of VCP’s Core Franchises, whilst pursuing digital activations to optimise exposure to the product offer and extend the product experience. Adding to its ongoing success with iconic merchandising, PAW Patrol brought a new product experience to its German portfolio by lighting up cinemas across the country with the film PAW Patrol – Ultimativer Einsatz. The film attracted 131,740 visitors and generated over 660K EUR in revenue. In collaboration with Paramount, the film was developed in three episodes and open to the public for four exclusive days at cinemas nationwide. The film showing was supported by social media activities on Paramount and Nick Jr. to enhance the digital experience of the activity. The roll out of the Spotlight range in Germany has also generated great results on both a retail and digital front. The Spotlight series follows young teenagers at the fictional Berlin School of Arts who are all pursuing a common dream: success on the big stage. The live-action format was produced to-
gether with UFA Serial Drama specifically for Germanspeaking audiences. With the launch of the first Spotlight series licensed products in 2019, a first for a local production, VCP has created a new colourful range of Back to School and Accessory products. The range includes school accessories including folders, backpacks, pens, as well as mugs, key chains, wristbands and more, all available at exclusive retail partner Müller. The promotion was supported by a strong 360-degree promotional campaign, including TV, digital, social media activations and prize give-aways to support partner with sales and drive awareness with its key demographics. With its tween audiences in mind, VCP launched an influencer campaign competition in December 2019. Carefully selected influencers presented the Spotlight products through their own platforms and gave them away to their followers. Furthermore, a special Christmas prize give away activation was planned with Mike Leon, a member of the Spotlight cast. Mike took over the @nickelodeondeutsch Instagram account and took his 106K fans on an exceptional journey for Christmas, with signed merchandise to give away. For the German market, the year 2020 will see VCP take successful licensees like SpongeBob SquarePants and Baby Shark into different categories, unveil innovative deals and unlock more family entertainment.
SUPER RTL is the leading content provider for kids in Germany. TOGGO and Toggolino are the two umbrella brands of the Cologne-based media company each unifying TV, events and licensing business – also providing a large digital portfolio to children and families such as several apps and websites. The SUPER RTL prime time targets a mainly adult audience with a modern and diverse TV program including TV shows, feature films as well as animation highlights. RTL Group and The Walt Disney Company each own 50 percent of SUPER RTL. On November 5th, the Colognebased licensing agency was honored with the Licensing Industry Award Germany 2019 which acknowledges excellence in the licensing industry and recognizes companies that have shaped the industry over the past few years. Paw Patrol that was nominated next to Peppa Pig and Dragons was awarded with “Property of the Year“ for the second year in a row. Under the leadership of Hendrik Rinsche, Head of Licensing and Merchandising at SUPER RTL, the agency not only further expanded its leading market position in the GSA market but also set the standards as a successful and strategically driven licensing business on an international level, over the last few years. SUPER RTL’s property portfolio includes PAW Patrol, Peppa Pig, Super Wings, 44 Cats, Gigantosaurus, Ricky Zoom, Bob the Builder, Woozle Goozle, Zak Storm, WOW – Die Entdeck-
Hamburg-based V.I.P. Entertainment & Merchandising AG Agency have signed to represent the University of Oxford to further develop lifestyle licensing programme for famous university.
V.I.P. is to work with the University of Oxford and Brandgenuity to expand its licensing programme across a range of lifestyle and authority categories. The programme will aim to channel the ‘contemporary, classic British atmosphere and lifestyle’ around Oxford, with V.I.P. looking for licensees in the German speaking markets to interpret the brand in ‘fresh, forward’ ways. They will be helped by the vast collections houses across the institutions including the University’s Bodleian Libraries, Ashmolean Museum and Oxford Botanic Garden. In addition to apparel, accessories and home, the Oxford programme will leverage the University’s educational credentials to create toys, games, and back to school products that allow the next generation of consumers to sample Oxford for themselves. Michael Lou, CEO of V.I.P. added: “We are thrilled to be working with an iconic British brand whose beauty and excellence will help to produce truly timeless products. As a globally recognised institution, the University of Oxford has the potential to resonate with audiences on a worldwide scale.” Universal Consumer Products Germany report that this year, two blockbusters will be released in Ger-
man cinemas: Trolls World Tour and Minions 2 (Minions: The Rise fo Gru). “In the summer of 2019, we presented our partners with a comprehensive update of our portfolio and focused on our two major cinema themes for 2020 - Trolls and Minions. We offered workshops on the two topics, which were received with such great interest that further workshops are planned for 2020“ said Kathrin Brandhorst, Country Director Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Universal Consumer Products Germany. As a leading company in the entertainment industry, Universal attaches great importance to its most important core competence: the creation of high-quality content for all channels as the basis for product development on all its franchise themes.“With regard to the distribution channels for our content, we strive to be wherever our fans are,“ said Kathrin Brandhorst, explaining the comprehensive multichannel strategy, which will continue to be implemented with great power in 2020. The second Trolls film, which is scheduled for release at the end of March, will provide strong colour in the licensing business and in the retail trade. The positive, colourful and humorous theme with lots of music will be a highlight of the coming year, especially for the target group of girls between four and eight years of age. Universal’s long-term partner Super RTL is responsible for the marketing of trolls in the DACH countries. Just recently the Munich children and youth research institute iconkids & youth published that the Minions lead the list of the most popular licenses in Germany, Great Britain and France. With the new movie, which will be released in July, the most successful animation franchise of all time will enter the next round. “Minions 2 is our absolute highlight for next summer. The film promises to be THE ultimate audience experience,“ says Kathrin Brandhorst. With a brand awareness of over 90% and the most popular unisex license of all time for fans of all ages, the color yellow will dominate the trade next year.
BRANDS Licensing by Grunner +Jahr is Germanys largest licensing agency for media brands with an annual revenue in terms of retail sales approx. 300 million Euros. Together with their partners, they develop products and services for their strong media and lifestyle brands such as Schöner Wohnen, Gala, Brigitte, Geo, Stern, Barbara, Landlust, Eltern, Chefkoch, Capital or Essen & Trinken. Their core business reas include products and servies, as well as real estate, travel packages and manufacturing. Their staff include industry experts such as home and living, tourism, food, fashion, beauty, family, leisure, international publishing, entertainment, books, CD, DVD and seals. WDR mediagroup GmbH has recently launched a new property – Power Players. In collaboration with California-based ZAG Studios, which is known for its successful animation series Miraculous, WDRmg is marketing a new CGI series, the 78 episodes of which are expected to be broadcast on KiKa, the well-known free TV children‘s channel, from summer 2020. The primary target group is boys between the ages of six and eight. With the relevant brand values for this target group such as friendship, teamwork, adventure, courage and the different strengths of the respective crew members, the series offers all the attributes that a successful format of this age group needs. In the USA, the series launched through Cartoon Network at the end of September 2019. As a result of the regular broadcast on KiKa from spring 2020, the series will also become well known in Germany among the focused target group. WDRmg is responsible for the license marketing of Power Players in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. A global deal with Master Toys‘ global partner Playmates Toys has already been signed. Jazwares GmbH will be responsible for the distribution of the GAS product range.
KIDDINX CELEBRATE 40TH ANNIVERSARY FOR BIBI BLOCKSBERG AND A NEW SERIES FOR BIBI & TINA Kiddinx in Germany report that one of their major highlights for 2020 will be the 40th anniversary of Bibi Blocksberg.The anniversary is being run with a number of promotions and activations that include a brand new style guide and a special magazine issue. In addition, there will be an Anniversary song with choreography from the DS Dance Academo and six new radio play episodes each including an influencer or celebrity. A campaign will run with Germany biggest kids radio station, Radio Teddy and a radio play will also be aired in cooperation with planetariums. In addition to a number of new licensed products, there will be a festival of lights and a fashion collaboration with star designer Kilian Kerner. At the same time there will be a book store tour and a new Bibi Musical by Comcomico as well as the launch of a second Bibi & Miyu manga which is a spin-off from Bibi Blocksberg. A further major highlight for Kiddinx will be their Bibi & Tina Original series with Amazon Prime which will launch on April 3rd this year. The live action series has been created by the makers of the feature films with Detlev Buck as directory, Bettina Borgerding who wrote the story and music by Peter Plate and Ulf Leo Sommer. The new series comprises 10 episodes of 25 minutes per season and the series will air in 200 territories and countries around the world. Â
Fortune favors the bold! An Interview with Isaac Larian, founder and Chairman, MGA Entertainment
After 41 years in the toy business, MGA owner Isaac Larian knows a thing or two about what children want. Total Licensing visited Isaac at his new state-of-the-art facility in Chatsworth, California to find out more.
Isaac Larian is an extraordinary man. Now a proud father and grandfather, Larian arrived in the United States from Iran in 1971 with, essentially, nothing. Today he owns the largest private toy company in the USA and has over 1500 employees worldwide. As controller of his own destiny, Larian isn’t fond of corporate-speak. Refreshingly, he says things as he finds them. And that includes some of the issues facing today’s toy industry. “The toy industry is getting tougher and tougher,” he explained. “Losing Toys R Us was a massive blow – particularly to year-round sales. The big merchants now are only really interested in Christmas and Holiday sales. It means that retail is getting more and more difficult.” Clearly, Isaac recognises how difficult it is for retailers to take risks. But in his eyes, that creates the opportunity. “When we launched LOL Surprise, people honestly thought we were crazy,” he explained. But how wrong they were. The miniature doll phenomenon became wildly successful – one of the hottest toys around with sales of $5.5 billion last year.
And Larian believes that whilst the demise of Toys R Us was a blow to the industry, toy makers cannot blame everything on it. As he explained ahead of announcing an earnings report in Spring last year, “Lately, it is fashionable by most publicly traded toy companies to blame the demise of Toys R Us for everything. Thankfully, due to our continued innovations, our worldwide shipping was up 46 percent for the first quarter.” Isaac believes that innovation is the key to his success. “I figured out that the only solution is to produce great new innovative products – if you do this, retailers have no choice but to buy them.” Without a doubt, MGA takes risks – something that, as a private company, they are more able to do than some of their publicly-quoted competitors although, as Isaac explained, some of these companies are now having to rethink their strategies. “The toy business is one of the toughest businesses to be in,” continued Isaac. “To succeed, you really need to look at products through the eyes of a child.” LOL Surprise is a great example of this. “I always want to do things differently,” continued Isaac. “When we first came up with LOL Surprise, I took it to Walmart and the buyer said no. I then took it to Target and, again, the buyer said no. They were scared of taking on something different. Fortunately, I knew the buyers’ boss who recognised the opportunity. Now, the toy is an immense success and we also have 650 licenses around the world.” Licensing is hugely important to MGA’s success. “But the toys always come first,” explained Isaac. LOL Surprise has been an astonishing hit right around the world – it leads
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the way virtually everywhere from Brazil to China. It is also the leading toy line in Russia and recently such is the success that Russian rapper Timothy created a LOL Surprise video which attracted over 800,000 views in its first 24 hours! So is it only that MGA are more innovative that sets them apart from their competitors? Isaac Larian believes it is also down to the culture at MGA. “We come up with more innovation,” he explained, “But we are also very quick to market. For example, LOL Surprise took only six months. We’re able to make quick decisions without the politics that so often accompany a large organisation.” Isaac is always on the look out for ideas. Having acquired Little Tikes, he was inspired by his toddler grandson who loves Little Baby Bum. Of course, Isaac’s little grandson is one of the luckiest kids in the world with a grandpa who owns a toy company! As a result, last year Little Tikes was
appointed the exclusive master toy licensee for Little Baby Bum. “For the last 50 years, Little Tikes has created innovative products that have spanned generations,” commented Isaac. “Little Baby Bum’s exceptional content and vast online presence, combined with Little Tikes’ deep understanding of kids and parents, makes it a perfect match.” Of course, Little Tikes produce the extraordinarily successful Cozy Coupe which, for many decades has been America’s best-selling car! Having signed the Little Baby Bum license, what’s next for MGA? “We are certainly interested in taking on other licenses but, to be honest, we only really look at maybe one out of ten that
are offered to us.” MGA is also looking at entertainment content. “We did an LOL movie with Amazon,” explained Isaac. “It became the number one kids’ movie on the platform. Certainly we may look to do more.” Of course Bratz was MGA’s first massive hit and Isaac tells us that Bratz will be back in a bit way in 2021 – their 20th anniversary. In the meantime, MGA are working on ‘something big’ for Little Tikes. The company’s latest innovative product line is Na! Na! Na! Surprise, an unbox two-in-one surprise that includes a soft, poseable fashion doll and plush pom, complete with a confetti balloon unboxing experience and two fashion surprises in each balloon.The YouTube videos have already enjoyed over 10 million views in a short space of time and MGA looks set for another major hit on their hands. And this year, MGA unveiled their new campus in Chatsworth, outside Los Angeles. The new complex, when complete with be a 24 acres headquarters based on a ‘live-work-andplay’ idea and including offices, apartments, a preschool, dining options, retail, a transit plaza, a village green with outdoor movie theatre, a running track and an amphitheatre. At its center is MGA’s headquarters which houses the production, design and development in 255,000 square feet, beautifully designed with open ceilings, glass and steel – and, of course, a mass of toys, as you would expect!
“ Here’s to the crazy ones.The misfits. The rebels.The troublemakers.The round pegs in the square holes.The ones who see things differently.They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things.They push the human race forward. And, while some see them as crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do” Steve Jobs
The Business Of Play
London Toy Fair January 21-23 Olympia London
Spielwarenmesse January 292 February Messezentrum Nuremburg
New York Toy Fair February 22-25 Javits Center New York
The most important events in the toy calendar are coming up, here we take a look at what’s set to be hot in toy trends this year. With thousands of new products seeing their debuts in New York, London and Nuremburg, and trends changing quickly, we spoke with Steve Pasierb, President & CEO, The US The Toy Association, on his predictions for toy fair season and beyond. “Toy Fair New York is almost here!
And, with 30,000 global play professionals and hundreds of thousands of innovative toys making their way to New York City this February, the 2020 marketplace is expected to be the biggest, boldest, and most creative show yet. “With all 41,000 square meters of exhibit space sold out at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Toy Fair New York will unveil the hottest new trends in toys and youth entertainment span-
ning every category of play – from infant/preschool toys, to games and puzzles, to collectibles and dolls, outdoor toys, educational playthings, and everything in between. Veteran brands will be there to launch new lines and bring back beloved classics, as well as more than 100 first-time exhibitors who will debut their never-beforeseen toys in the dedicated Launch Pad area. For buyers and trade guests with specific needs, Toy Fair is divided into nine product zones, making it easy to navigate and efficient for those with less time to browse the show. “In terms of trends, 2020 will bring more digital-first brands (originating from streaming platforms, social media, esports, and so on) into the toy aisle, as well as active toys and games that engage kids in physical challenges and friendly competition. The Toy Association’s annual trend predictions will be unveiled during the Toy Trends Briefing seminar on the first day of Toy Fair (22nd February at 1 p.m.). Be sure to grab a seat at this popular session, which will unveil the six hottest trends of the year and feature product examples from the show floor. “Of course, much goes on behind the scenes to bring the latest trends to
Trends for 2020: Sustainability Influencer-led Developmental Inclusivity Gender-neutral Customizable Experiential retail Growth of STEM Tech on the rise AR and AI Clever craft life, which is why The Toy Association and Toy Fair are steadfast in their commitment to supporting up-and-coming toy inventors, designers, and other creative professionals. This year, Toy Fair will further expand its Creative Factor educational series, aimed at helping the creative community forge connections, pitch new ideas, navigate trends and tech innovations, and learn everything from applying for a patent to the toy lifecycle from concept to consumer. Renowned toy photographer Mitchel Wu will be a part of Creative Factor programming and a Mitchel Wu Gallery will be seen at Toy Fair. This year will also bring the inaugural Student Congress. Each year, Toy Fair welcomes 250+ university-level students and this year we’re putting together a day of networking, education, and access to “open house” exhibits. Celebrating and supporting future playmakers and innovators is the key to ensuring our industry remains vibrant and relevant to future generations of children. “Toy Fair exhibitors continue to utilize the global reach of the show to make deals with new properties, and family content creators are attending the show in greater numbers as they seek business connections that will bring their brands to life. Last year, Toy
Fair welcomed more than 100 YouTubers and bloggers, and these numbers are expected to grow in 2020 as influential Instagrammers are added to the mix. With licensed product representing about 30 percent of total U.S. toy sales, the show offers educational programming to help toymakers who want to get in on the licensing game, and these seminars continue to evolve as the landscape of kids’ entertainment, social media, and pop culture fandom evolve and impact the overall health of the industry. “Additional seminars held throughout the show will cover toy safety compliance & sustainability, retail trends, global market research, and more. Recognized the world over as the place where trends are born, Toy Fair New York is a must-attend stop on the global buying circuit for anyone with a stake in the business of play. “Where else can you gain access to both the U.S. and global toy markets under one roof? Mix in each exhibitors’ creativity and passion for play, high-level educational programming, and networking opportunities for the wide range of show attendees, and you’ve got a marketplace like none other in the world. See you in New York City this February! The 117th annual Toy Fair New York
takes place 22 to 25 February.” Heading across the pond, the first toy fair of the season is London Toy Fair, organised by The British Toy and Hobby Association [BTHA], which announced last year that exhibition space at Toy Fair 2020 is completely sold out. The 67th Toy Fair takes place from Tuesday 21st – Thursday 23rd January 2020 at Olympia, London. “We’re delighted to announce that Toy Fair has once again sold out with months to go before we open our doors,” said Majen Immink, Director of Fairs and Special Events. “This wouldn’t be possible without the continued support of the UK toy industry, who I’m sure will make next year’s Toy Fair one to remember.” Toy Fair 2020 will host more than 260 exhibiting companies, launching thousands of new toy lines across 22,000m² of floor space. The lineup of exhibitors includes LEGO, Hasbro, Bandai, Character Options, Funko, Orchard Toys, Vivid Toy Group, Roma, Wicked Vision Ltd, Halilit and Brainstorm Ltd. As well as the many renowned returnees to the show, there will also be 40 new companies exhibiting at Toy Fair for the very first time. These debuting exhibitors include DISQUALIFIED!, Ann Williams Group and Wild & Wolf
TOTAL LICENSING and their brands Ridley’s Games and Petit Collage. For the first time ever, Toy Fair will be hosting an Influencer Day to support the ever-growing number of content creators – from YouTube stars to bloggers – that attend the show.Taking place on Wednesday 22nd January, the Influencer Day will include exhibitor tours and new scheduled events for attendees. The UK toy industry is thriving, with the just-past Christmas season always an extremely strong one and indicator of things to come. The silver screen was a strong influencer of top toys at the end of 2019, with Frozen 2 ‘Into the Unknown’ Elsa Doll, Toy Story 4 True Talkers and Harry Potter Knight Bus all topping the best seller lists. Perennial favourites such as Peppa Pig and Barbie were joined by relative newcomer Ryan’s World, which jumped onto the list with his Super Surprise Safe. Indeed, this seems to exemplify the toy industry – old favourites mingling with new toys from current and popular trends. Frederique Tutt, global analyst for The NPD Group’s toy division said: “Christmas is worth £1 billion to the UK toy industry, that’s 30% of annual revenue being generated in the last few weeks of the year. With Star Wars Episode 9 and Frozen 2 at the cinema and the DVD release of Toy Story 4 and Avengers Endgame, we expect more than £1 out of £10 to be spent on film-related toys. These mega-movies will give a real boost to toy sales.” Skyrocket UK has made an incredible impact on the UK toy market, with its Blume Dolls brand showing a steep growth trajectory, impressing with its reveal technology. The dolls, with over the top, squishy hair and mix and match outfits and accessories, have been a stand-out talking point in the national press. It was hailed by the London Evening Standard as “taking unboxing mania to another level” and tipped to be one of the hottest collectables. Blume has wowed fans at influencer events, trended on social media and charted on the UK’s most coveted gift guides.
Captivating audience interest has directly translated to a rapid growth trajectory and strong sales, with the brand now celebrating a Top Ten NPD position within the Playset Dolls and Accessories category for the month of November and a coveted place in the Toy Retailer Association’s 2019 Dream Toys ‘Top 12’. At Spielwarenmesse, everything will be on display from lifestyle products to dolls and from cuddly toys to backto-school, stationery and creative crafts – international exhibitors across all twelve product groups will present a wide array of licensed products with strong sales potential. Trade visitors and retailers walking through the foyer of Hall 12.0 will come across Licensing International (formerly LIMA), whose stand is a central hub for the licensing industry during the fair. The partnership between the licensing association and the Spielwarenmesse has been highly successful for the past four years. Members of Licensing International are invited to a Happy Hour on Thursday from 6 pm to 7.30 pm. At the LicensePreview, association members are given the opportunity to present their highlights to an exclusive circle of visitors. The participants at the LicensePreview include, among others, NBC Universal, Viacom
Nickelodeon Consumer Products and WildBrain CPLG with Sony Pictures and Sanrio. The presentation of new products and the extensive industry overview provide a valuable pool of information for annual market orientation for 67,000 buyers and toy traders from 130 nations.
Top toys to look out for: The Pokémon Company International is ramping up the excitement for Pokémon fans ahead of the eagerly awaited new video games, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, by announcing a unique tie-in featuring plush toys of characters featured in the games. The 8-inch (20 cm) plush can be found exclusively at Smyths Toys Superstores, promoted on special freestanding display units for the video games and plush. The toys will also be available with temporary exclusivity at Auchan hypermarkets in France and Müller stores in Germany, while stocks last. Manufactured by Pokémon’s awardwinning master toy partner Wicked Cool Toys, the plush are distributed in the UK by Character Options, in France by Bandai and in Germany by
BOTI. Panda Mony Toy Brands has been busy creating new entertainment brands because they ‘believe that each generation deserves stories and products of their own. Modern children deserve something new, not just their parents’ toys repackaged for the new millennium, and our new line Alter Nation is just that!’ Alter Nation consists of six human-animal hybrids dedicated to protecting humanity from forces that no typical human can defeat. Alter Nation begins as a high-quality toy and branches out into comic books (which come with each toy collected), animated web-series and more. Panda Mony has partnered with Lil Critter Workshop to develop and create an animated web-series based on the brand and have also partnered with Dark Horse Comics to launch the brand’s graphic novel series as well. Entertainment, licensing and media experts Reesee Entertainment and Xiaoling Toy have teamed up in a ground-breaking collaboration to create new opportunities for the development and growth of kids’ brands across the region to capitalise on the booming market in MCN content. The deal follows two major international strategic licensing deals for Reesee who, in addition to working with
Chinese MCNs, is using its expertise in the market to help international companies gain a consumer products foothold in the territory. The first deal is an Asia agreement with Zinkia Entertainment of Spain for the exclusive licensing rights for well-known Spanish IP Pocoyo in China and other areas of Asia. Since its launch on CCTV Pocoyo has either topped or consistently featured in the top five preschools shows on the channel. Following this success Reesee is further engaging fans through ‘Pocoyo Wonder Explorer’ experiences in shopping malls in seven cities across China. Further initiatives will be announced in the near future. Reesee has also teamed up with Boat Rocker Studios and the BBC for the exclusive licensing and merchandising, to Bitz & Bob in China, and is preparing to launch the first products from the globally popular STEAM-focused series in the region shortly. Spacetoon, the MENA company specialized in kids’ entertainment, has recently shared the names of 13 new toy products which had been revealed during Riyadh Toy Festival, a new toy fair happening for the first time in Saudi Arabia. The toys products included Barbie, Hot Wheels, Maisto, Ricky Zoom, Our Generation, Lil Woodzeez, Intex, Pea
Pod, Funlockets, Go Big, Clementoni, Silverlit, Make it Real. International and Arab influencers introduced these new products in exclusive shows at Riyadh Toy Festival through unboxing live shows. In addition to that, over 500 toys were unveiled for the first time in Saudi Arabia before launching in the local market. Recognised children’s artist and illustrator, Nicoletta Costa, has signed a deal with European educational toy company, Ludattica, to create a range of sustainable games based on her instantly recognisable designs. Launching at Nuremberg Toy Fair, the educational games and puzzles are manufactured from paper and cardboard, making them an environmentally friendly option. The products encapsulate the illustrator’s themes of cats, letters and numbers, giving children aged two and over access to imaginative and unique worlds through play. The new toy range is set to include over 40 new products distributed worldwide from Q1 onwards, each with a learning through play approach for the preschool audience. The products utilise the bright, bold, fun illustrations of Nicoletta, to create an enticing range for children, parents and grandparents alike to enjoy. At Toy Fair New York 2020, Discovery Inc. will showcase its brands Discovery #MINDBLOWN, Discovery and Animal Planet. Discovery #MINDBLOWN is a global brand opening the curious minds of kids around the world. Found at the intersection of exploration, curiosity, and STEM-based edutainment, #MINDBLOWN was originally created for Science Channel’s on-air promotion and it was a perfect tag line for a gender-neutral STEM toy brand targeting Gen Z-ers and their parents looking to learn through play. Today, the #MINDBLOWN brand extension has grown into a global brand with a major partnership with McDonald’s, digital games and consumer products that allow kids to explore different topics within STEM including space, humans, technology, and animals/ dinosaurs.
Licensing and the Environment
Is it time to declare an emergency? by Trudi Bishop, Founder & Director Bee Licensing
“Is someone out there? Emergency on planet earth is what we got... Somebody help me Somebody help me now ‘Cause we got an emergency” [Jamiroquai – Emergency on planet earth: 1993] These lyrics, written by Jay Kay back
in 1993 warning us about the damage our over consumption was causing to people and planet are now starker than ever. The sense of urgency across the globe is increasing and it needs to. The Amazon (at the time of writing) is still burning, Australia has had some of its worst wild fires in decades threatening the habitat of their country’s
Trudi is a regular columnist for Total Licensing and widely regarded within the industry as an expert on licensing and the environment
Continuing our series of articles looking into how the licensing industry can strive be at the forefront of sustainability and the environmental revolution
iconic animal - the Koala, Venice has had its worst flooding in years, polar ice caps are melting and the Pacific garbage patch has increased to the equivalent of three times the size of France. This cannot go on. At COP25 (Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his opening address said in a stark warning to us all, “By the end of the coming decade we will be on one of two paths, one of which is sleepwalking past the point of no return”. Hoesung Lee, the chair for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also said “immediate reductions [of carbon emission] have powerful benefits for all sectors of society. “The failure to do so will result in the opposite of this, the world will suffer from shredded assets, the financial sector will have greater uncertainty and the environment will suffer from an increased loss of diversity.” The urgency in the language is clear. It sounds like an emergency. So if it sounds like an emergency, looks like
“The sense of urgency across the globe is increasing...”
an emergency – is it time to declare an emergency? Many cities, countries and businesses think it is. There is now a not for profit movement in the business community called ‘Business Declares’ which is a network of businesses that have declared a climate emergency and are committed to acting upon the environmental crisis. As part of this they commit to a climate emergency action plan, including setting objectives and publishing a board resolution. Their aim is to accelerate the commitments made in the Paris climate agreement in 2015 of staying within the 1.5° C global temperature rise. The companies who have already declared vary from law firms, PR firms, design agencies, to consumer products
companies such as Pukka Tea, Toast Ale, The Body Shop and the founder of People Tree Fair Trade Group. Many companies’ climate plans include working toward carbon neutrality and using a triple bottom line approach to business management. John Elkington coined triple bottom line business in 1997. It includes measuring a business’ growth by giving a value to social, environmental and financial performance. Another term is people, planet and profit. When we begin to think of all three as a cost we start to change the way we manage our business to be more sustainable. Globally there is also a shift within the private sector with around 285 companies (including large US companies) not just vocalising their support for the 2015 climate accord but acting on
it too. Using the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) companies are using these to set their carbon reduction targets, investing billions of dollars to do so. These companies cover sectors in the licensing industry including apparel, food and beverage, and tech, which include brands such as McDonalds, Nike and Nestle. This shift is vital as these 285 companies are responsible for more than 750million metric tonnes of CO2 per year – more than Spain and France’s combined annual emissions. This shift in attitude by large corporations declaring a climate emergency and using the SBT’s as guides toward a low carbon future gives us hope. But we need systematic changes by governments and more businesses to move forward. For now, we are facing an emergency so lets act like it and change. So I’ll leave you with some other Jamiroquai lyrics to think on: “Greedy men will fade away yeah yeah yeah, When we stop it goin’ on. I know it’s got to be that way, Oh, people, Stop it goin’ on. I’m asking: Oh, when you gonna learn? To stop it goin’ on?” [Jamiroquai – When you gonna learn: 1993] firstname.lastname@example.org
SeaBelievers Promote Waves of Change at Super Bowl Live Environmental Village - Sea it to Believe It! Leading US-based Baboon Animation added to its SeaBelievers credits, as it embraces the first-ever animated ECOtainment musical adventure that encourages kids to save their Earth today for tomorrow. Onboard as writing and showrunners, Baboon has signed to direct animatics and the final animation composites for the 52 x 11 minute episodic series. The deal cements a powerhouse team of award-winning industry veterans including Seoul-based Ocon Studios (Pororo, Super Zach, Dibo The Gift Dragon) and music composition from Irish/US-based Emmy-winner Rich Dickerson (Off Mike’s, What’s New Scooby-Doo). “Since being introduced to SeaBeliev-
ers we’ve had a gnawing desire to be as involved as possible,” said Mike de Seve, CEO of Baboon Animation. “We’re adeptly versed in all aspects of animation, and jumped at the chance to bring all our expertise to this genre-defining ECO-series.” The SeaBelievers are a team of relatable underwater superhero kids who’ve pledged to protect the oceans. From climate change and pollution to saving endangered sea creatures, encouraging conservation, harmony with nature, and the belief in every child’s ability to make a difference, the SeaBelievers creatively find solutions and other means to solve real environmental problems. Whether in the sea or on land, the positive characters complete with their distinct seaweed hair seashell nose, magical sand dollar necklaces, sea-colored eyes and webbed hands and feet - sing songs like ‘Be Kind,’ ‘Think Again,’ ‘Change The World’ and take action around key environmental issues. Taking this mission to heart, SeaBelievers lead character Sandy Dollar will be on-hand to entertain and educate at the Environmental Village during Super Bowl LIVE, a family-friendly fan fest. It will offer a fun – and free – way for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the extravaganza that is the sporting world’s biggest annual event. The SeaBelievers
were personally selected by the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee - Super Bowl LIVE. “From global climate strikes to the beaches of Miami, everywhere you look, climate conversations are peaking across the world,” said Brien Arone, SeaBelievers Founder and SeaEO. “The SeaBelievers are a forward-thinking crew of diverse characters set to empower kids to make a difference now to help protect our planet. While other shows educate children on learning their ABCs, SeaBelievers is focused on educating kids about protecting their AB and Seas.” “The level of interest for SeaBelievers has been beyond incredible, “ said Manual Arisso, Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development, SeaBelievers. “Children are making a stand around the world about the messaging our SeaBelievers stand for.” SeaBelievers is a member of 1% for the Planet, a global organization that connects businesses, individuals, and nonprofits, empowering all to drive big, positive change. On Earth Day 2019, SeaBelievers was front-and-center at the White House to chat with over 30,000 children about how they were celebrating the day and protecting the planet. The first episodes are planned for late 2020.
Pokémon Set for Exciting 2020 Following scores of deals over the last 12 months, 2020 looks to grow the business even further Global phenomenon Pokémon is set for an exciting 2020, building on another exceptional year of innovation and success in 2019. The November launch of the Nintendo Switch exclusive titles Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield gave fans a new region to explore, new Pokémon to discover and new ways to play. Sales exceeded six million units worldwide during launch weekend and, additionally, over two million copies sold in the first two days in the US, making them the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch games ever and the highest-grossing launch of any Pokémon game. With total sales over 340 million, Pokémon is one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time. November also saw the Cosmic Eclipse expansion of the hugely popular Pokémon Trading Card Game, featuring innovative new TAG TEAM trios, while the highly anticipated Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield TCG launches on 7th February and will be promoted by a TV ad campaign
and media promotions with POP in the UK and Gulli Live in France. Pokémon GO continues to be one of the most successful mobile games worldwide, with a staggering 1 billion downloads since launch. The second European Pokémon GO Fest in Dortmund last July saw more than 200,000 trainers play in the surrounding area, while the popular monthly community days culminated in a special two-day extravaganza in December. An innovative buddy system was also introduced to Pokémon GO at the end of 2019. The new mobile game Pokémon Masters was an instant hit, exceeding 10 million downloads in just four days. Another new mobile app, the eagerly anticipated Pokémon Sleep which aims to turn sleeping into entertainment, launches next year, along with cloud service app Pokémon Home which will enable fans to manage their Pokémon collection across multiple games. Also due in 2020 is a new animated TV series and tie-in movie, with a new
Detective Pikachu game for Nintendo Switch also in the pipeline following the success of the live action movie. A pop-up store is planned for the 2020 Pokémon World Championships taking place in London next summer, while a collaboration with leading French men’s fashion company Celio on an exclusive capsule collection of premium daywear and accessories also featured a successful pop-up in Paris. There were further fashion collaborations with Bobby Abley, Criminal Damage, Maison Labiche, GCDS, Jeremy Scott Kids along with a special edition Baby G watch to mark the 25th anniversary of the celebrated Casio time piece. For the first time ever the first partner plush from the new Galar region was available in-store on the same day as the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield video game release with pan European promotions across Smyths in the UK, Muller in Germany and Auchan in France. Other retail activity saw activations with major stores across Europe for fashion and toys, plus widescale promotions across multiple categories across Europe including Tostarica biscuits in Spain, Société Générale bank cards in France and with Cadbury in the UK, supported by TVC, Outdoor, Digital and In-store campaigns. Looking ahead the new Galar Pokémon will feature across multiple categories in 2020 with further deals to be announced in the near future. A striking new three-year partnership with The FA sees Pokémon supporting its National Futsal Strategy, helping to grow youth participation in England. An exciting range of initiatives culminates next May at the FA’s National Youth Futsal Festival. Pokémon is also sponsoring a national UrbanSoccer tournament in France. Pokémon’s goal of constant innovation and excitement for fans means 2020 is set to be another dynamic and productive year.
Forever Young at 90!
King Features has been toasting the 90th anniversaries of Betty Boop and Popeye with some extravagant celebrations
Celebrating the 90th of two worldfamous, well-beloved characters has been a top priority for King Features, for both Betty Boop who has for decades sung and sashayed past rules and conventions, and Popeye, the spinachloving sailor. Betty Boop Ahead of Betty Boop’s 90th anniversary in 2020, King Features Syndicate and Betty Boop brand owner, Fleischer Studios, unveiled a range of new partners on board to celebrate the animated icon’s landmark year. As the first feminine cartoon star, the forever fabulous Betty Boop was aptly named the ‘Queen of Cartoons’ and ruled the animated world with her wit and charm. King Features has kicked off the celebration by collaborating with Nike and Olivia Kim on a female-focused capsule collection merging Betty’s iconic look with ’90s flare. A selection of apparel and sneakers from the Nike x Olivia Kim No Cover collection were developed exclusively for Nordstrom x Nike (NxN) boutiques. Additional collaborations available now include a collection from skateboarding brand HUF and a limitededition Betty Boop beauty line from IPSY. HUF’s collection puts its streetstyle spin on Betty Boop’s irrepressible personality, paying homage to her fierce, fun and flirtatious style while simultaneously incorporating the effortless individuality commonly associated with skateboarders and artists alike. “Betty Boop’s confidence, boldness and sass have charmed fans for nearly nine decades. Her ability to captivate audiences is as strong today as it was in the 1930s,” said Carla Silva, vice president and general manager, global
head of licensing for King Features. “2020 is primed to be her biggest year yet with an unparalleled lineup of partners on board to celebrate our forever fabulous Betty Boop.” Betty Boop is set to start the new year with flair as the launch of her latest publishing venture, Betty Boop’s Guide to Guide to a Bold and Balanced Life –Fun, Fierce, Fabulous Advice Inspired by the Animated Icon, a new book from Skyhorse Publishing scheduled for release on January 21, 2020. In 2020, Betty Boop will also make a big splash in international markets around the globe. King Features will debut more collaborations that align with fashion, color and style, including a fresh line of body lotions, eau de toilette and giftsets from HBA partner Go To Market in Peru, a new luggage line from Eva Green in Mexico and a new partnership with Jian Grifti in Brazil. In Europe, a new global apparel collection is debuting at Cortefiel and Springfield stores next spring and retailer Pull & Bear (Inditex Group) is also developing a 2020 program. Additional planned product launches include Betty Boop watches from Invicta, collectibles from MBI, Inc., a new vinyl from Funko and accessories from Concept One. American painter, animator and sculptor David Kracov will host an anniversary party at Eden Fine Art Gallery in New York City to release his Betty Boop collection in 2020. Betty Boop will also be using her star power to help to raise awareness and funds for charitable organizations related to women’s and children’s causes. And for the first time ever, Betty Boop will be starring in her very own Broadway musical, launching late 2020 or
early 2021. Popeye King Features Syndicate, along with local agent, Medialink Group Limited, were honored to receive the award for Excellent Licensed Theme, Location Based Entertainment Campaign during the China Licensing Expo Star Awards ceremony for the Popeye 90th Anniversary Art Exhibition, which took place at the Joy City mall in Beijing. King Features and Medialink teamed up with YOHO!, the leader in pop culture, to present a collection of Popeye creative works and art installations. In celebration of the spinachloving sailor’s 90th birthday, 50 artists from 12 countries around the world participated in the Popeye exhibition at Joy City shopping mall by displaying art inspired by the sailor and his friends. The exhibition featured more than 100 pieces of Popeye creative work, including traditional and classic art, technology, collectibles and even a large double-deck, 8-meter vintage sailboat. The Popeye 90th Anniversary Art Exhibition opened in June 2019 and closed August 2019. “The Popeye 90th Anniversary Art Exhibition was a great way to showcase Popeye-inspired classic intellectual property, art and fashion,” said Carla Silva. The art exhibition continued King Features’ year-long celebration for Popeye’s 90th birthday, which included a robust merchandising program, featuring high-end fashion collaborations with HUF and Scotch & Soda, new products from Zara and the launch of POPEYE’s Barbershop & Shave Company—a special 90th anniversary collection of men’s grooming products.
CANADA Canada is a highly competitive country where the top favorite brands are mostly international brands.
The chart shows how the market is segmented with a gender differentiation amongst very young kids. This
phenomenon increased over the last year. Whilst Paw Patrol remains the number one favorite brand, especially among younger kids, competition intensified in this field. Baby Shark even makes it to the top!
% mobile users (3-11)
No entertainment brands kids 0-14 know average
% tablet users (3-11)
Top 5 favorite
0.14 % of total
Video game weekly time
Top 20 favorite
By Philippe Guinaudeau Kidz Global The BrandTrends report combines consumer research, in-depth industry analysis and international trends in a single, comprehensive information source. Several times a year, a total of 105,040 children and young adults are surveyed via an online questionnaire on 42 countries across the following five age groups: Infants 0-2 years, Preschoolers 3-6 years, Children 7-9 years,Tweens & young teens 10-14 years, Young Adults 15-25 years (10 countries only). Each age group comprises 50% boys and 50% girls. For infants and preschoolers, parents are the respondents on behalf of a nominated child. Visual images of each brand are used to test awareness, ownership and purchase intentions, once all unaided questions have been submitted. Analysis and reporting are conducted in the week following fieldwork. More details? www.brandtrends.com
Roblox Although not really a â€˜brandâ€™ on its own, but more of a platform, the name is very much liked by both boys and girls aged 10 to 14. As a matter of fact, 2% of each demographic places the name as their top favorite brand. Jojo Siwa The brand attracts 6% of all mentions as one of the top 3 favorite brands for girls aged 3 to 14. This represents a continuous increase over the course of the last two years. As an indication,
well known brand LOL Surprise attracts 9% of mentions. Baby Shark Yes, the brand made the top favorite list! More than that, 5% of the infants state (or, more precisely, their parents state) that Baby Shark is their No 1 favorite brand. Minecraft Over the last 3 years, this brand has remained the No 1 choice over all other brands amongst young teenag-
ers. A constant level of mentions and impressive performance.The competition eg Fortnite has faded a bit in the past semester to a lower level of mentions than 18 months ago. Avengers Despite a strong presence in 2019 and outstanding results at the box office, Avengers has suffered getting traction amongst children and teenages - particularly among boys 7 to 14.Avengersâ€™ performance among the top 3 favorite brands is lower than two years ago.
LICENSING THE ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO
Located in Toronto, Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the largest art museums in North America. The remarkable museum is home to over 100,000 works of art, from the vast body of signature Canadian and Indigenous works, and cutting edge contemporary art, to European Masters including Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents.
The Museum’s photography collection spans the history of the medium from the 1840’s to present day. In 2002, Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. Traditionally, the focus for the AGO has largely been with regional and national licensing partners typical within the museum and heritage community in Canada.They are now working with clients to help them engage a global audience with iconic Canadian imagery as well as the international artists and art held in their Collection. Their institutional mission is bringing people together with art to see, experience and understand the world in new ways. With that as a guiding principle, they are modernizing their business to reach new audiences, expand product categories and territories, including the inspired by design category.They have been watching the success of British Museums; it’s really been inspiring for them as it demonstrates that the market is interested in culture and heritage. Access to art can happen in many different ways. Their presence at licensing trade shows is a significant change in how they do business as they expand our collection and brand outside of Canada.
The past two years have been about building upon the foundation they have in heritage licensing. They are expanding the traditional product categories so that their art, artist and gallery become part of the everyday. They are excited about their contribution to an app, soon to be released, that provides digital access to art as a prescription. The app has gaming and puzzle features allowing the user to play, explore and read about art. What’s been exciting is the feedback regarding images in the test phase, with digital projects they can respond quickly to changing image selections. Using art as a solution for health has been particularly gratifying. Their partnership with Ruth Baker Design https://ruthbakerdesign.com/ is a first for the AGO. Baker produces large format wall coverings that bring historical images into contemporary settings. Each work of art has a story, a history, its provenance. Their audiences also bring their own narrative and personal experience when they visit and view works of art. Their licensing program is a way to extend that experience and also introduce the public to hidden gems that they have in the vaults.
The merging of art and design to create product for the everyday. As a licensor and caretaker of their art collection, Liana Radvak, Registrar, Collection Information & Head of Licensing & Image Resources at AGO loves the notion of what she think of as a layered product benefit: association of place and pride of nation. For those outside of Canada, product becomes a starting point to discover their landscape, art and gallery, or just appreciate great design. The collaboration with Jeanne Lottie (https:// jeannelottie.com/) exemplifies how art can be many things. Jeanne Lottie on partnering with a museum like the AGO to create contemporary heritage products, said, “Most of our customers recognize Harris’s work and they are excited to see the image on bags and scarves.They are proud to show them off to their friends and relatives overseas.The collaboration creates mobile art. We are proud to be Canadians.” (Insert Harris product shot) Liana Radvak is thrilled to continue their partnership with Jeanne Lottie and can announce a new collection coming this spring based on the Gustave Caillebot painting Iris bleus, jardin du Petit Gennevilliers (insert Image) Commenting, Jeanne Lottie said, “When I saw the exciting news that AGO will have the beautiful painting of Iris, immediately we requested to have the image for a product line.
TOTAL LICENSING Love the intensity of colors used and the painting speaks beauty of nature. You can almost smell the scent of Iris in the painter’s garden dated in 1890s. I love Gustave’s strokes, way of impressionist painting.” Lake of Bays Brewing Company limited edition Black IPA beer was their first foray into inspired by design. The iconic image of Tom Thomson’s The West Wind (insert product shot) is a natural pairing that celebrates the spirit of Canadians’ fascination with the north. AGO is looking forward to
expanding further in the beverage category. Their exhibition program will help drive part of their licensing program overseas as they have key Canadian works travelling to venues in Europe, an opportunity for their current licensing partners to expand their business and add new licensing partners, as the world discovers iconic art held in the collection of the AGO.
For more information, visit Ago Licensing at http://ago.ca/imagereproduction-licensing
KINDI KIDS FROM THE LICENSING SHOP Toronto-based The Licensing Shop report that Kindi Kids, Moose Toys’ first foray into the preschool aisle, successfully debuted on shelves this past summer and is now recognized as the No. 1 property launched in North America since July 2019 by the NPD Group/U.S. Retail Tracking Service, 3ME September 19. Given the high demand for the collection to date, Kindi Kids was among the most coveted and top-selling toys last holiday season, with more exciting entertainment news to come next year. The quirky, colorful bobblehead dolls remain a leader in the preschool category and headed into the 2019 holiday season with notable accolades. The collection, which also includes magical accessories that move and come to life, has resonated with consumers and retailers alike — named a top holiday toy by retailers including Walmart and Amazon — and received a coveted Toy of the Year nomination by the Toy Association. Kindi Kids was also recognized by the Toy Insider and TTPM and was named a winner of the 2019 National Parenting Product Awards for best Creative Play due to its ability to spark imagination and guide young children on their journeys to kindergarten.
“Kindi Kids dolls are unique in the preschool doll market, encouraging ‘best friend’ play just as kids are preparing to go to kindergarten,” said independent toy analyst Chris Byrne, aka the Toy Guy. “While most other dolls for children this age focus on nurturing/parent role play, Kindi Kids begin the all-important process of helping kids get ready to be among their peers. And since they’re also su-
per cute, I’m confident that Kindi Kids will be at the top of holiday wish lists this year.” Due to the rapid success and sustained popularity of the line, the Kindi Kids brand will grow in 2020 with the inclusion of new dolls — Rainbow Kate and Summer Peaches — and
new ways to play. Moose Toys is also developing a Kindi Kids licensing program to launch in the U.S. market in 2020 and has worked with the Licensing Shop to solidify deals with more than 15 licensees, including notable brands such as Scholastic, apparel and swimwear collective the Bentex Group and Bendon Publishing for coloring, activity and sticker books. The world of Kindi Kids goes beyond retail and extends online to boost interactivity. The Kindi Kids YouTube channel brings Rainbow Kindi, a world of imagination and discovery, to life and has garnered more than 36 million views. Amongst licensees signed to date are Accessory Innovations for bags, Bendon Publishing for coloring and activity books as well as sticker books, Bentex Group, Extreme Concepts and HIS International for swimwear and outerwear, HER Accessories for costume Jewelry and hair accessories, Innovative Designs for school stationery, Jay Franco for beach, bedding, bath and travel products, Kid Designs for electronics, Komar Kids for sleepwear, Scholastic for books, Tara Toy Corp for art and crafts and activity toys, Taste Beaty for beauty and personal care and York Wallcoverings for ranges of wallcovers, wallpaper, borders and murals, appliques, borders, murals, growth charts, mirrors, foam decals and gel clings.
Co-founder of CPL, a friend and mentor to many and, without a doubt, one of the industry’s founding fathers.
The passing late last year of David Cardwell meant that the licensing industry lost one of its true visionaries and entrepreneurs, as well as a great friend and a someone who, with his business partner Richard Culley, was a true mentor to many in the industry today. David and Richard met whilst Richard was at ATV in the early 1970s and David took a license to put on a Rupert theatrical production. Richard already had plans to open his own agency and it wasn’t long before they both realised the opportunity that lay ahead. Of course, the initial years were tough. As Richard explained, “The first three or four years were sheer slog getting everything off the ground.” But once these years passed, as Richard explained, they entered the company’s ‘purple patch.’ “The following years were the time that was most fun,” he explained. “We had properties including Noddy, Rupert, the Mr Men and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. David became
the financial head of the business – he was very good at taking on accountants and lawyers – and I took on the sales/dealmaking. We worked hard but we played hard too, both of us really enjoying the business.” David was, without doubt, the visionary that so many people now call him. “David opened offices in Europe – really against stiff opposition from other agencies in Europe,” continued Richard. “But we did it!” The company continued to grow and whilst David and Richard steered the business, they also found time for fun which many look back on fondly. “Our Christmas parties were legendary,” said Richard. “The middle years of CPL were tremendous, both in terms of business and in the sheer fun we had through it all.” Talking to those who worked with Richard and David through that period, not only do certain stories recur (David’s inadvertent meeting with the Queen is one, and tea trays are another) but you soon realise the genuine fondness so many people had
for David. Whilst the tea trays are mentioned in the following pages, we can’t really continue without talking about David’s encounter with The Queen. As Richard continued, “At the time we handled Star Wars. We hadn’t actually seen the finished film but we managed to get hold of a preview tape. Lord Brabourne, CPL’s Chairman at the time was a huge Star Wars fan and David volunteered to drop the tape into his country house a few days later. So, on a Saturday morning, David drove up to Lord Brabourne’s home, knocked on the door and when nobody answered, he wandered into the kitchen garden where he spotted a lady in a headscarf. He explained to her why he was there and she very kindly agreed to take the tape and give to Lord Brabourne. At that point, David left and it was only afterwards that he realised that the ‘lady in a headscarf’ with whom he chatted, was none other than Her Majesty the Queen.” Many of us have humorous or other-
TOTAL LICENSING Christmas parties but one stands out when it comes to memories of David Cardwell, this particular one was held at Shepperton Studios and as ever everyone was done up to the nines and the Champagne was flowing it was a brilliant evening but my abiding memory will always be of my boss David joyously careering down a fancy staircase on a tea tray!”
wise memories of David. And whilst Richard knew David, of course, better than anybody else, others who worked for them, remember their CPL time with fondness, particularly their smoking assignations! To understand this better, we talked to a few friends and former-colleagues to see how they remember this remarkable man. David Scott: “David offered me a job in 1992 with a struggling company called Rainbow Productions, which was a subsidiary of CPL in those days. He interviewed me on a Monday and I had the job of Managing Director by Friday (David was not one for hanging around) despite my not knowing what a costume character was, nor ever having visited the Rainbow premises. He was a hard taskmaster but always kept faith in myself and the Rainbow team until, in 1995, he went one step further and sold me the company – in the process changing my business career immeasurably for the better. Rainbow was the poor relation, and most underperforming part, of the CPL family when I joined. I therefore inherited some fairly substantial sales targets imposed by CPL which I was told we had to reach. We weren’t even close to them for many months and so I had a pretty hard time at the monthly meetings with the group Directors at Metropolis House. That September David asked me if we would hit the target by Christmas, to which I replied that ‘with a fair wind’ we’d make it. David was not to be fooled by my apparent confidence.
‘A fair wind’, he said, ‘ you’ll need a f***ing hurricane!’. When I reminded him of this exchange during our annual lunches after he retired, he smiled and reminded me that I never did hit that target. During our monthly meetings with the group Directors I was always under a lot of pressure from David to increase sales but I did learn a strategy that protected me from most of his ire. Alongside him at the Boardroom table were his business partner Richard Culley and fellow board member Ellis Iddon. They were a little more relaxed about how Rainbow fared and, after I had described a recent order for a Pepperami costume – a 6 foot phallic-looking sausage in Union Jack underpants – both Richard & Ellis, like toy schoolboys, collapsed into so much laughter that David struggled to carry on his critique. Thereafter I mentioned all kinds of bizarre costumes for which we were pitching, the weirder the better, so that Richard & Ellis would have fun with them and thus save me from my monthly grilling. Some of them may even have been real! Jane Garner: “When I joined CPLG (then CPL) as Head of PR in the ‘ahem’ early 90’s it was my introduction to Licensing and to PR or that matter. As a former entertainment journalist I was used to colleagues who knew how to have fun but is soon became clear that at CPL we worked hard and partied in the same way! During my time there there were some fantastic
Vickie O’Malley: “The first time I met David, we were having a cigarette. I wonder how many of these reminiscences about David will start that way? I was in awe. He’d cofounded the company I’d just joined and he struck me as achingly cool; because he was. During our times in his ‘outside office’ he variously made me think, laugh and challenge myself to approach something differently. He did not mince words. All of us have a lot to thank David for as one of the founding fathers of the licensing industry, a man with ideas and, crucially, the guts to make stuff happen.” Charlie Day. “You took your life in your hands when you went into his room/office. If you weren’t a smoker before, you were after working at CPG for a short while…walking into David’s office was rather like walking into an ‘old school’ London “peaSouper”! He gave me my first break in the business….as he did to so many. David and Richard built me an office in the mail room of the office at Tottenham Court Road…after my fourth interview…. when they told me to come back for the job in two weeks! When we started trying to grow our Licensor base, he made me Business Development director with a brief to get to know everyone and anyone who may at some time create a viable Licensable property. Never a question of how much I spent on travel and entertaining…or whatever crazy sounding animation festival I suggested I went to…just to hang out with the Producers and buyers…. He had a strategic business mind…. and was a visionary. He was perhaps the first to see the opportunity for
TOTAL LICENSING toy-driven licensing/brand extensions. Knickerbocker Toy, which quickly became Hasbro Europe, was a client with My Little Pony being one of the first of those properties to launch in the UK, when I joined in 1984. David quickly saw the opportunity as MLP became a craze which Hasbro could not fulfill/keep up demand for toy products. So licensed merchandise from CPL as we were known then met that demand. Toy buyers were taken by surprise. One I remember calling it “My Little Warthog and refusing to stock it!” Ellis Iddon: “David was a great workmate, serious and funny at the same time and a good pizza eating buddy. Sitting outside the Charlotte Street Hotel, sipping our glasses of wine, we would watch the world pass by as he lit yet another cigarette. In fact my abiding memory of David is of him standing in the rain, in his shorty white mackintosh, looking like the guy in the old TV ad....You’re never alone with a Strand; naturally I constantly reminded him of this at every opportunity.”
David Cardwell was a mentor, a source of wisdom, support and humour... ... and an utterly reliable smoking companion!
Katarina Dietrich: “In the space of one week, David and Richard agreed to let me open up the first CPLG office in Germany in 1996, after having bought the remaining shares of the ELG operation. In these early days David, Richard and I flew to San Francisco and met with Lucasfilm to discuss representation of Star Wars and Indiana Jones. We met at the BA lounge in London, I was quite impressed and looking forward to a comfortable flight - ending up in row 48, the smoking row. Where else! After our next day’s meeting I schlepped David shopping. That was the first and last time when we travelled together and he was quite good about it for the first 30 minutes, than it dawned on me that this was not my best idea. All was well, however, when we found a great place for a drink and smoke after this expedition. It was always great fun to travel with David and Richard, I have very fond memories of the CPLG dinners and drinks at Bologna Book Fair, our
bar man still remembered some of us after 15 years, a testament to our lively tables and generous hospitality.” Angeles Blanco: “I have many fond memories of David, aside from him accidentally meeting the Queen, one that always makes me smile is our morning cigarette in the Percy Street office whilst we waited for the kettle to boil and David describing how he made a swiss Roll over the weekend. Only he forgot to remove the tea towel and rolled the towel with the sponge! I will hold these little stories and moments in my heart forever, along with his random texts to check in over the years.” Bettina Koeckler: “David Cardwell has been to many people a fabulous mentor, a source of wisdom, support and humor - and a reliable smoking companion! I remember him as a person whose word was worth even more than a contract and who loved his properties, the deal making - the whole licensing industry and everybody in it. One memory I am particularly fond of was after the dissolution of the European Licensing Group and the opening of the German CPLG office. Most people think that at some point in my career I worked for CPLG, which I actually never did. In fact, I was a competitor for a short amount of time - until I worked with David and Richard and the CPLG family again as a licensor. But according to David, I was regard-
ed as part of the team and one year he made me an honorary member of CPLG and invited me even to the London Christmas Party. I will always cherish this very lovely memory. David Cardwell was a visionary of the industry and was highly respected by his peers around the world - but more importantly, to me (and many others) he was a true and loyal friend. Licensing just got a little bit more boring without him.” Kirk Bloomgarden, “I don’t have one lasting memory of David, I have many, and they certainly have blurred together over the years. However, when I reflect on the time we spent working together, which was well over 10 years, I would say David’s voice of reason, support and mentoring are what I recall with great fondness. David was always there, he never left the office, to listen, to give advice and to provide support when needed. It was not always easy, being an agent has its daily challenges, but David always seemed to come up with the right recommendation at the right time.” Clearly from everything said, David Cardwell was not only a brilliant businessman and a bold visionary but also a great friend to many of colleagues and the others of us that knew him. His passing leaves a hole in the industry that will be hard to fill and his impact, together with that of Richard Culley, will be impossible to match.
THE NORDICS For this year’s look at licensing in Nordic territories, we have put the spotlight on one company from three different countries Sweden, Finland and Iceland - to hopefully give an overview of the marketplace and what makes it tick.
Alicom Licensing’s goal has and always will be - Build brands through a creative sales strategy. Put simply, they do it the way the Nordics wants. Celebrating their 35th Anniversary in 2020, they like to think they know how their market works. What resonates on a visceral level, makes the fans feel connected to the brand, this is what Alicom strives to extract. By constantly peeling the onion to get to the core of what makes a brand what it is, they can find creative ways of presenting a brand in a way that’s relatable to theirmarket yet at the same time stays true to the brands identity. Case in point would be Hybris recently launched lines for BSA and classic Discovery shows like American
Choppers, Misfits Garage, Deadliest Catch and Goldrush which elegantly adapts to the markets demands while honoring the brand’s heritage. The Nordic market has long been known for living aon the edge when it comes to style and aesthetic sensitivity, a trait that has only become more apparent with each passing year. Always keen to adapt to the markets demands, this increase in awareness at the mass-level has led Alicom to take on many new design-driven art/lifestyle brands such as Charlie Chaplin, Annie Phillips Art for Living, BSA and BMH, Keith Harring and JeanMichel Basquiat, Transport for London and Discovery along with Animal Planet and Eurosport. With universally relatable themes such as sustainability, expression of
the human condition, big-city life and the simple pleasures of classic cinema with all its escapist joy, these brands perfectly encapsulates Alicom’s contemporary ideals. Following the same train of thought, they are very proud to be able to represent Bing, one of the most interesting new children’s brands today. With its Montessori-based story telling and emphasis on individuality and independence in learning it perfectly ties in with important issues that have dominated the media in the Nordics for some time now. Always drawing upon their past experience, never compromising their passion, and with unwavering focus, Alicom Licensing continues to bring the Nordics the brands of tomorrow.
Ferly Agency is a boutique licensing and publishing agency with its feet on the ground in Helsinki and Stockholm as well as in Vancouver. They represent a carefully selected portfolio of brands, but they are also constantly looking for new brands which could resonate well in the Nordic markets. They have built strong relationships with local licensees and retailers in their markets, as well as a vast network of global subagents, so they are in a unique position to represent brands both locally in the Nordics as well as globally.
For publishing they work depending on the available rights and territories and have lots of experience in building and managing worldwide publishing programs. Ferly has, for example created the global Angry Birds publishing program and represented the brand for many years in publishing and continues doing so. Asian territories are another strong market for Ferly in both licensing and publishing, due to the networks they have there. Also, as an important part of their Agency, we have a Creative Studio with years of experience in creating style guides and visual assets for our clients. Currently Ferly Agency is representing a strong portfolio of clients such as MGA Entertainment’s Inc. (MGAE) best-selling toy brands L.O.L. Surprise!, Poopsie Slime Surprise!, Num Noms and Little Tikes, Masha and the Bear from Animaccord, and Winx Club from Rainbow. Ferly
also represents local brands from the Nordics such as Cup Of Therapy and have had great success taking these brands global. Ferly Agency is a part of Ferly Ltd., an entertainment company based out of Helsinki, Stockholm, Vancouver and LA specialising in brand development through animation, film, TV, licensing, apps, and publishing.
Award-winning Icelandic children’s brand Tulipop has launched its first book in the Tulipop Tales series – thanks to a Kickstarter campaign which crowdfunded the publication. Following a fantastically successful month-long campaign which ran from 22 October - 21 November, Tulipop Tales: The Forgotten Forest was released, in both English language and Icelandic versions, on 7 December – in time for Christmas – with a launch party at the flagship Tulipop store in Reykjavik, Iceland. Written and beautifully illustrated by Signý Kolbeinsdóttir, the creator of the world of Tulipop, the book tells the story of how some of the main Tulipop characters met for the first time. The campaign’s multiple awards, available from as little as a $5 pledge up to $3,000, ranged from personalised cards and an e-book to a day trip in Iceland to visit select locations which inspired the imaginary island of Tulipop. And with Tulipop and its creators being all about giving back, there was also the chance to support a good cause along the way by backing the Goodwill Set of rewards, supporting the Icelandic Red Cross refugee programme. “We recently brought the Tulipop world to life through the animated webisodes on our YouTube channel, which have
proved amazingly popular, but it has long been my dream to publish a beautifully illustrated Tulipop story book,” explains Signý Kolbeinsdóttir. “We wanted to include the Tulipop community in its creation and to reach the larger community that Kickstarter provides. Our aim was to raise $10,000 towards the printing stage of the book, and we are so grateful to all our awesome backers who helped us achieve that and make the dream a reality. We had a really nice participation in the campaign, with half the supporters outside Iceland, and all the Kickstarter supporters have now been sent their copies and rewards.” Tulipop Tales: The Forgotten Forest is all about friendship and the unruly powers of nature. At the heart of the book is an origin story of when the mushroom siblings Bubble and Gloomy meet Fred, the friendly forest monster, for the first time. The book is available from Tulipop.com, in bookstores around Iceland, and also on Amazon (.co.uk and .com). The book’s publication caps another tremendous year for the quirky, designled character brand, which continues to grow and expand internationally. Drawn from an eclectic Icelandic heritage with ideas inspired by ancient fairytales, Tulipop is both cuddly and gothic with a stylish modern twist.
Total Licensing caught up with Susan Brandt, President of Dr. Seuss Enterprises Can you tell us about the origins and background to Dr. Seuss? Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. was founded in 1993 after Ted Geisel’s death in 1991. Ted (Dr. Seuss) asked his wife, Audrey Geisel, to head the company, which she did for many years. The focus of the company then remains the same now: • Promoting literacy, especially among young children • Providing opportunities to teach life lessons, particularly to children • Encouraging parental involvement to improve literacy • Improving the quality of education • Attracting new generations of readers When were the first Dr. Seuss consumer products launched and what were they? Ted Geisel himself licensed his property across a number of different product categories. In the 1970’s and 80’s he worked with several companies to create a plethora of products including, Mattel for a Dr. Seuss Mattel-O-Phone, a Fish-AMa-Jigger game, a jack-in-the-box, See ‘n Say, and other toys and plush dolls; Nabisco for an inflatable Horton; Sears on a line of bedding and bathroom sets; Lafayette for watches and other merchandise; Coleco for a line of action figure board games, ride-ons, video games and computer software; andHallmark for Dr. Seuss party kits. How popular is Dr. Seuss outside the United States? Very popular. Dr. Seuss is a global brand. We do business in over 110 countries and our books are translated into over 45 different languages. Our most recent Grinch film was released in over 65 countries and is now the #1 global holiday film of all time. Our preschool TV show, The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That, is streamed on Netflix in over
135 countries and our new Netflix Green Eggs and Ham show will also hit all these territories. What about the consumer products program on a worldwide basis? We sell books worldwide. We distribute our films, TV shows, stage performances, and digital games globally. We sell licensed non-book, non-entertain-
ment, non-digital products in select markets including Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Can you tell us about the consumer products program today – how many licensees, key product areas and key retail etc. We have a robust consumer products program with almost $1billion in annual global retail sales. Not surprisingly, we offer Dr. Seuss products in the publishing category, but also in a wide variety of other categories including apparel, accessories, footwear, gift, novelty, arts and crafts, school supplies and classroom decorations, toys, games, domestics, stationery, pet, beauty, costumes, kitchenware and other key categories. Globally we have over 100 licensed partners. Our products are offered across all retail channels including mass (Walmart, Target, etc.), online (Amazon), catalogue (Oriental Trading), department stores (Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom), bookstores (Barnes & Noble, Booksa-Million), home improvement (Lowe’s, Home Depot), specialty (Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma), club (Costco, Sam’s Club), drug stores (CVS, Walgreens), value (Dollar Tree, Five Below, Home Goods) and grocery (Kroger). What are your plans to grow the Dr. Seuss program? We are aggressively expanding our digital footprint while working with our existing partners to grow their businesses and are looking for new products and retailers to expand our offerings both here in the US and across the globe. Are your programs based primarily on the original Dr. Seuss books or on the television/movie adaptations? We focus our efforts on the beautiful and timeless books that Ted Geisel left us.
Interview: John Leonhardt, Crunchyroll Could you outline the business model behind Crunchyroll? Crunchyroll is the world’s most popular anime brand and we operate both a subscription and ad-supported business model. If fans sign up for a premium subscription, they can enjoy unlimited ad-free anime and access to our simulcast series day and date with the premiere in Japan. Our free option comes with unlimited anime with select ad breaks. In addition to streaming, we also operate a full 360-degree business around our community’s favorite series through events like Crunchyroll Expo, our flagship anime convention, and Crunchyroll Movie Night, which brings exclusive content to fans in theatres across the country, Crunchyroll Games, which offers fans a selection of anime mobile games to enjoy on the go, the Crunchyroll Store, social media, news and more. You work with hundreds of brands and have your own expo – what was the history behind the company? Crunchyroll was founded in 2006 by Kun Gao as a community and user-generated video sharing site, to allow fans to share content that was difficult to access in the U.S. Crunchyroll became a fully-licensed operation with the simulcast launch of “Naruto Shippuden” from TV Tokyo. Since then, we’ve opened offices around the world, launched experiential events for fans like the Anime Awards, our yearly celebration of the best and brightest in Japanese animation, and Crunchyroll Expo, our yearly anime convention. We operate in more than 220 countries and territories, and now have more than 2 million subscribers, 50 million registered users, and 30 million fans across social channels. Last year, we became a part of the WarnerMedia Entertainment portfolio, enabling us to work more closely with sister-brands such as Adult Swim, and we closed our majority acquisition of VIZ Media Europe Group, one of Europe’s most established licensors
and distributors of Japanese animation, merging our brand and global platform with VIZ Media Europe Group’s EMEA-wide network of partners, distributors, and licensees. We are very much looking forward to everything 2020 has in store for our brand! Do you operate a 360-degree approach to your brands? Yes, Crunchyroll operates a 360-degree approach to our brand and the series our fans love, beyond just streaming. We know fans want more than just a straight content experience, they want to be in community with other passionate fans. To ensure Crunchyroll is the best home for anime, we offer: • Content - Crunchyroll has the world’s largest collection of anime with more than 1000 titles and 30,000 episodes of content for our community to enjoy, all simultaneously translated in 8 languages. • Events - We offer fans Crunchyroll Expo, our yearly anime convention in San Jose, Crunchyroll Movie Night, the Anime Awards and more than a dozen experiences at other fan conventions in the US, in addition to the fan events we hold around the world. • Social Media - We have more than 30 million fans across social media, including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. • News - Crunchyroll News is one
of the top anime news destinations, providing fans with up to date info on their favorite series. • Merchandise - We work with more than 100 licensees across categories to ensure our community has the merchandise, apparel, home goods and more to display their love of anime and enjoy their favorite series where ever they go. • Crunchyroll Games Crunchyroll Games is our interactive division, and currently offers seven mobile games for fans to enjoy across a variety of series. How do you find the licensing industry, in general, given changes over the last few years in retail, tech etc? As referenced in your question, the licensing industry has evolved significantly over the last few years in a variety of ways that, for the most part, has benefited the unique fan offerings from Crunchyroll consumer products. Fans are increasingly seeking merchandise from the shows they are most passionate about and the growth of ecommerce gives fans a platform to find the products that bring them joy. Traditional retail over the same period of time has recognized that anime has a growing fan base and to attract that customer they need a robust portfolio of anime properties. Crunchyroll continues to be well positioned for both trends.
John Leonhardt, Head of Consumer Products at Crunchyroll spoke to Total Licensing about the history of the company, its 360 approach and the magnitude of its offering
The New Frontier of Fashion Retail We caught up with the people behind Brands In Ltd to talk about their unique business model The words ‘fast-fashion’ might not appear immediately synonymous with ‘sustainability’ and consumer conscious companies, but that is exactly what Rick Lowe and Sue Stanley of Brands In Ltd are achieving, as they explained to Total Licensing. “As we discovered, the company really has found a niche – and it is a sizable niche – in the market, being a vertical distributor of licensed products working in the UK, serving retailers across Europe”. What sets them apart? Rick Lowe, Managing Director
Sue Stanley, Licensing Director
Several factors, one being their ‘never out of stock’ approach, and another being the in-house print-on-demand facility. The speed with which the business, comprised of experienced industry professionals, can deliver means that they have become one of the few companies to weather the retail crisis – and adapt to grow in these turbulent times. “We’ve pioneered a new way of working,” explains Rick Lowe, managing director. “As well as offering speed to market, Brands In delivers personalisation like never before.” “We’re extremely consumer conscious, which you have to be in today’s market,” continues Sue Stanley, Licensing Director. “Working out of the UK and local sourcing means we have a very strong chain of sustainability.” They also, modestly, tell us that they are one of the biggest suppliers to Amazon. running an Amazon Prime service all drop shipped from their London production facility, direct to customer global where license territory permits – aided by massive product choice and rapid delivery of orders. Covering apparel and accessories across men’s, women’s and kids categories throughout Europe, Brands In
has an ever-growing roster, and their partners like the fact the 360 approach the company offers, from tech, to license, to production. In addition, Rick explains: “The approvals process, with our method of working, has shrunk dramatically. We believe this will continue as the trend for on-demand explodes.” Working very closely with license and retail partners, Brands In maintains many trusted relationships and a strong foundation to fuel growth. Some of their long-terms partners include Disney and Warner Bros. “This is the new frontier of retail. As well as the sustainable way of working, the rapid-fire delivery and print on demand, the tech space gives us immediate analytics of sales figures, something that has in the past taken a while to quantify. Armed with all of this, we know what the consumer wants, what the consumer will search for when on a retailer website, and how to deliver it to them promptly.”
Working in both the business-to-business and direct-to-consumer spheres mean that this business model will organically grow, internationally as well as throughout Europe. Its environmentally-friendly working practises encompass the industry shift towards digital printing, and their print machines have a 100 per cent waterless process, using biodegradable ink. This too, in these changing times, appeals very strongly to both the retailer and the conscious consumer.
Kidscreen Summit February 10-13 InterContinental Miami
It’s all happening...
...in Miami Kidscreen Summit is renowned as the kids entertainment industry’s most important annual event. In 2019, the conference welcomed more than 2,000 attendees from 50-plus countries. Top executives attend Kidscreen Summit to take advantage of the year’s best business networking, and to engage in critical dialogue on issues that affect the industry. International leaders are all on hand for the networking side of things, ready to engage in in-depth discussion. The summit is the place to see ontrend issues, current market needs, opportunities and challenges. Who attends? • TV Programming, Acquisitions and Development Executives • Producers and Creators • Distributors • Retailers • Licensors & Licensees • Marketers • Digital Media Content Creators and
Distributors Mentor Classes and Mentor Classes running throughout the summit are available to pre-book and designed for the industry’s most experienced execs (Master Classes) and also for relative newcomers (Mentor Classes).
Master Classes include Anatomy of an SVOD Deal; Recession-Proof Your Bottom Line; and Majoring in Trendspotting. Mentor Classes include Master the Art of Storyboarding; Series Budgeting 101; and Countdown to Licensing.
Snapshot... The Jim Henson Company will be presenting Hello Magic at Kidscreen Summit – a 52 x 11’ 2D animated series for Preschoolers (ages 3 – 5). Through conflict, comedy, and flights of fancy, they learn how to understand themselves and to come as they are - selfish impulses, social awkwardness, big feelings and all. Hello Magic is based on a book that Henson optioned, Kindness Rules! by Eunice Moyle and Sabrina Moyle (sisters) from the company Hello Lucky. The book author and illustrator are involved creatively.
Total Licensing is a media partner of Kidscreen Summit. Meet the team and pick up your copy in the show bag @totallicensing for live updates www.summit. kidscreen.com
The Biggest Movies Coming in 2020 What will bring the most business for the licensing industry? In years gone past, looking forward to the upcoming movies that would impact the licensing industry over the course of a year, we were always referring to big screen releases. Tradition-
ally, the Hollywood movies would be released with summer blockbusters topping the list, and then the licensing programs would follow. Box office numbers were always a strong indicator of the demand for product, and the retail giants would stock said products. How times have changed! More and more theatrical releases are coming straight to streaming platforms. Who would have thought, a few years ago, that the latest Martin Scorsese offering – The Irishman – would eschew cinemas and be available straight on our TVs and mobile devices? Bird Box, also streamed via Netflix,
had 80 million viewers, according to the company’s own figures. However, 2020 looks like it will see several silver screen blockbusters. Many of them, of course, are franchises, which can guarantee audiences and loyal fans flocking to see reiterations of their favourite characters and stories. No Time to Die is the latest James Bond offering; Top Gun: Maverick brings back Tom Cruise in one of his most popular roles; Bad Boys for Life will reunite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence; and tapping into the enduring love of nostalgia, Keanu Reeves will return in Bill & Ted Face the Music. It goes without saying – but we’ll say it anyway – that Disney will no doubt dominate the box office in dollars, even by the sheer volume of releases the mammoth studio will bring out in 2020. As well as continuing with its live action remakes with Mulan, releasing in March, as well as two Pixar offerings: Onward, and Soul; and Black Widow and Eternals from Marvel. Disney is not expected to reach the same box office highs as the last couple of years – think the highly-anticipated Frozen II, for one thing – nor will it be a year such as 2021 which will see four Marvel movies released – as there are competing blockbusters coming out this year. Bird of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn from the DC Universe, Fast and Furious 9 from Universal, Wonder Woman 1984, again from DC/ Warner Bros., will no doubt wow fans around the globe in 2020, and mean rich source material for the licensing industry. Halloween Kills will see a reboot of the famous franchise this year. But on to where the real gold lies… at least for much of the licensing industry, and the biggest kids’ movies coming out in 2020. Disney has some strong offerings this year as mentioned above, and we will also see the release of The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, Sonic the Hedgehog, Peter Rabbit 2,Trolls World
Tour, The Secret Garden, Scoob!, The Spongebob Movie: Spongebob on the Run, and Minions: The Rise of Gru. There will also be a movie of Tom and Jerry, releasing for the holiday season. All in all, it looks like an interesting year for movies. Many are franchises, remakes, reboots, but that doesn’t look like it will be changing for several years to come. The real question is how the licensing industry can innovate and create new consumer experiences and product for an everdemanding audience.
The Streaming Revolution Is Here
What does it mean for content and the licensing industry? Posing the biggest challenge to Hollywood for several decades, the streaming revolution is in full swing. Streaming services have been going for some time, of course. YouTube offered one of the most prominent, free platforms to view content and Netflix has been streaming entertainment since 2007. But before this, in 1995, ESPN SportsZone streamed a live radio broadcast of a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees to thousands of its subscribers worldwide using cutting-edge technology developed by Progressive Networks. Apple’s iTunes began offering select TV shows in 2005 available for download and Amazon Video began in the US in 2006. Hulu, owned by NBC and Fox, was launched, followed by tv.com in 2009, owned by CBS. Digital media players also began to become available to the public during this time. The first generation Apple TV was released in 2007 and in 2008 the first generation Roku streaming device was announced It seems like another world when people used to flock to their local Blockbuster to rent a couple of videos for a Saturday night of viewing entertainment – but it really isn’t that long ago that regular television consisted of just a few channels, before paid subscriptions such as cable and satellite options came to the marketplace. Streaming, some could argue, was the next natural step in progression to-
wards immersive, consumer-led entertainment. This has lead to what are being called the ‘streaming wars’. The launch of Disney+ at the end of 2019 in the States heralded a new dawn for content viewing. Streaming is not new news but Disney’s new platform is an important statement on a global scale. Millions of people have signed up for a subscription, and the platform launches in many European countries early this year. The biggest players in the streaming game – AppleTV+, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, NowTV, HBO Now – have recently been joined by Britbox and Peacock (NBC Universal) – but there are hundreds of streaming channels available. PlayStation Vue, FuboTV, AT&T WatchTV, plus the myriad sports channels such as NBA League Pass, WWE Network, etc. iPlayer, in
the UK, streams BBC content and all the channels followed suit with ITV Hub, Four On Demand and so on. In fact most countries have their own, if not several, streaming platforms. There’s Forest TV in Nigeria, Hotstar in India,Televisa in Mexico launched its streaming service in 2006. There are hundreds and hundreds around the globe – and more than ever are offering their own original content. When Netflix first debuted its original content – beginning with House of Cards – this was the beginning of a shake up for the licensing industry. This was new. And what was more, for those wanting to procure licensing deals with the media giant, they were at something of a loss when Netflix did not release viewer statistics. It dawned the new era of on-demand content for everyone, advert-free and at a relatively small cost.
Others swiftly followed suit – the cost of a SVOD subscription was negligible compared to some of the cable or satellite prices. All costing roughly between $7-$15 per month, this small price seemed laughable when one looked at the sheer volume of TV shows and movies that were accessible. And it still is a small price to pay – if you have one subscription. However, if one show you want desperately to watch is on Netflix and another, let’s use Game of Thrones for an example, is on another platform, well, then you have two subscriptions. Then you might also want a live sports option, or two, or three, depending on how many different sports you want to watch. You might be a horror aficionado so it’s also a Shudder subscription for you. Rapidly, the cost of these streaming services for one household is adding up, and according to the Hollywood Reporter, when surveyed 59% of Americans would not be willing to pay more than $20 a month for streaming services, while 75% say they won’t pay more than $30. The complication of jumping around from platform to platform on various devices is a world away from idly surfing the three or four television channels that used to be available. But is there too much choice? I suspect we’ve all been there. Scrolling through Netflix and finding ‘nothing to
watch’ – despite there being hundreds and hundreds of series and movies at the touch of a button. Are we becoming washed out by too much content on too many platforms? Indifference towards entertainment and content is real, and the days of ‘event television’ are largely gone. No longer will viewers have to wait to see ‘whodunnit’, such as when the world waited with baited breath to see who shot JR in Dallas or where the island went in Lost. Live news, of course, is a different matter. Around a fifth of the world’s population tuned in in 1969 to see
man take his first steps on the moon. Muhammad Ali drew record audiences for his rumble in the jungle with George Foreman. Up to one billion watched Roger Waters’ concert to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall. Princess Diana’s funeral was watched around the globe, and many would state that 9/11 was really the first news event that unfolded, in real time, on television screens around the world. People will always tune in for the important stuff. The problem for the entertainment, and thus, the licensing industry, comes with these streaming wars. Some think that a ‘full-circle’ approach will happen, with more streaming platforms turning to advertising revenue (something that attracted SVOD subscribers in the first place was ad-free content) and eventually, there will be agreements between many of the providers, so more content will available on less streaming platforms. Indeed, Discovery Inc. president and CEO David Zaslav told Citi 2020 Global TMT West Conference in Las Vegas of his prediction that in the future, few platforms will survive, and there will be mergers and acquisitions to ensure that content, so precious and valuable, does not become stretched too thin.
Engage with Gen Z
The Power of Digital Communities for Brands Kids Insights, a global leader in kids’ market intelligence, survey more than 2,000 children every week, across three continents and seven countries, and more than 105,000 children a year. Their latest reports are predominantly based on the results of surveying 5,000 children between 1st July and 30th September 2019, though it also utilises data they have collected since May 2017.
to discuss, connect, and share in an open environment, home to some of the most authentic content online. While Reddit has a relatively small reach compared to the likes of Instagram (just over 300k teens use it, compared to 2.3m on Instagram), it does offer brands an opportunity to connect with Gen Z through the interests and passions that are important to them. The platform has highly engaged communities (Subreddits) for almost
This generation of kids is like no other, they are super-informed, constantly connected, and their attitudes, behaviours and consumption choices are not only significantly different from their predecessors but are evolving continually. This means their whole ecosystem is far more fragmented and inherently more complex than ever before. The study explores how kids are looking for more organic approach and exclusive content. While 38% of kids aged 10+ still use Facebook, they are shifting towards using more relatively niche platforms that serve their particular interests or entertainment needs – such as TikTok, Pinterest and even Reddit. Gen Z (those born after 1995) social media users are highly receptive to behind the scenes experiences and the opportunities for collaboration, which such platform as Reddit can facilitate. Reddit is a platform for communities
any interest, from tech and science to sports and films. Brands, such as Formula 1 and Xbox, use the relevant Reddit Subreddits as an extension of their own fan engagement, research and feedback process. Brands can utilise existing online communities, where passionate and avid fans naturally gather in order to provide useful insights. Re-Thinking of the Term ‘Audience’ One of the key trends that is introduced in the Kids Insights 2020 Future Forecast is the redefinition of the term “audience”. The next generation of kids doesn’t expect to passively consume content, they want to cocreate, build and develope the content to get personalised experiences. One of the best new platforms to fill this demand is TikTok. According to data,TikTok is the fourth favourite app of kids and tweens age 6-12, and the
second most popular newly downloaded app. Other apps with co-creative elements, such as Minecraft and Roblox are popular with kids at this age also. To be kids’ number one choice, brands need to develop an ecosystem which is agile – which not only attracts but continues to evolve with their audience to build engagement and loyalty. From social media platforms, favourite characters and content formats, children’s preferences are constantly changing. These changes can be tracked and their impact on real-time data portal. Understanding what is going on in the kids’ ecosystem has never been more important, and Kids Insights specialise in helping clients identify new products before the masses do, understand the true performance of IPs and how to maximise their investment from a sales and marketing perspective. For more information on Kids Insights and the market-leading insights into the latest kid’s trends they can offer your business. To receive a free 2020 Future Forecast report, visit www.kidsinsights.com/totallicensing
Kids Insights specialises in research and insights on kids and their ecosystems. Its real-time portal is continually updated to allow clients to spot the latest trends before their competitors. Insight-led reports are produced by some of the top kids’ researchers.
Interview: The State of the Industry What trends do you think are directly affecting the licensing industry, on a global scale? At the moment, we are looking at the arrival of a new domain for licensing. While entertainment still dominates, as well as fashion and sport, there are new forms of viewing, licensing and retail that are really shaking things up. E-sport, for example, sees a mature market in the US but the popularity is spreading around the world – and we are also seeing virtual reality (VR) E-sports as well, which I believe will be huge news for the licensing industry. Social media, of course, and streaming have been two of the biggest changes in recent years. Do you think these are positive changes? I think social media is really the biggest difference between how brands interacted with their audience between ‘then’ and ‘now.’ Look at the rise of influencers. Using social media, companies are really able to listen to the consumer and what they want. Open reviews, transparent accounts and feedback mean that merchandise can often really be “Using social media, companies are really able to listen to the consumer and what they want...”
Ana Micoud is Founder of The Wizards and heads up Cottonwood Media’s Licensing Division honed down to match what the consumer actually wants.
changing nature, it can be difficult to quantify.
What about the challenges regarding social media?
How do you think all the various platforms – social and content – are changing the industry?
While social media has revolutionised the way we can do marketing, there are still hurdles to overcome. How, for example, do we collect and analyse data appropriately and accurately? How does a smaller company/brand keep up with the various platforms that are popular among the different age ranges – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok? While information collected is extremely useful to share with licensing partners, by its very
We hear about a new platform or way to interact almost daily it seems! As long as people are communicating and connecting with the consumer, it works well. And while at the moment it seems there are so many platforms, I think organically there will be some alliances between various offerings. This is also very interesting as it means that many licensing deals are of course being formed in the ‘non-traditional’ route. How do you apply this to Find Me In Paris, produced by Cottonwood Media? We really try to always enhance the licensing strategy and have a strong engagement across social media with fans of the show. It is heading into its third season, and we are delighted to have been nominated for a Kidscreen award! FMIP premiered on Hulu and is now available in 130 countries!
TOTAL LICENSING When the UK voted to leave the EU in the 2016 Referendum, few could have predicted the complexities that would follow in its wake. Perhaps this might provide some backdrop to the dilemma currently faced by Parliament and the inability of MPs to reach agreement on the way out of the Brexit quagmire. As a result, we had to have a General Election this past December. The licensing industry is far from immune from this wind of change. Just think of the myriad existing license agreements that had been drafted with the then clarity of the EU having included the UK. Suddenly, this will change, whether or not we leave with a deal. There might be EU design applications from licensors in progress on Brexit Day; so, what should licensors do to secure the UK rights? With licensors routinely providing warrantees to licensees within their agreements that they have full rights to convey to the licensee – indeed, indemnifying the licensee against future claims – licensors will need to ensure that they are not exposed. For large licensors with huge numbers of license agreements, a detailed review of the likely impact of Brexit on current and future licensing relationships becomes a major logistical enterprise. In this context, it’s worth considering the case of Sanrio, whose properties include Hello Kitty, My Melody, Mr. Men and many others. Earlier this year, Sanrio was fined €6.2 million by The EU Commission for banning traders from selling licensed merchandise to other countries in the EEA – the European Economic Area – which were outside of the defined territory in the license agreements. So, for example, a licensee whose licensed territory was Spain, would face
HW Fisher is a top 25 UK chartered accountancy firm. Stuart Burns and Rafi Saville run the Royalties, Licensing and Franchise business at the firm 80
The turbulent times ahead in the licensing industry financial claims from Sanrio for fulfilling sales orders from other EEA countries. The Commission found Sanrio’s actions to be anti-competitive, leading to less choice and potentially higher prices for customers. We find that such practices are not uncommon. Contractual restraints might include the prohibition against the licensee selling to a customer, where that customer is likely to onwardly sell into other EEA countries not covered by the license agreement – so called ‘cross-border’ activities. The golden rule has been that a license granted to a licensee in respect of, say, one EEA country, is in fact also permitting that licensee to honour unsolicited sales - so called, passive sales - coming from every other EEA member state. The term ‘unsolicited sales’ really means that licensees should not positively go out and solicit out-of-territory sales but, if customers approach them, then they can fulfil those sales enquiries. With the advent of online presence, the pan-European visibility of licensees and their products extends their reach and accessibility to
potential customers well beyond the borders of the licensed territory. Step into the ring the multi-national licensee with regional offices in a number of EU states. Under a conventional license agreement, the licensee often agrees to pay to the licensor a Minimum Guarantee (‘MG’) to secure the license. This is an upfront amount, against which royalties payable on subsequent sales of licensed product can be offset. Only once the royalties payable exceed the MG does the overage – in effect, the excess royalties – become payable to the licensor. We have seen a number of instances where such an international licensee negotiates with the licensor to pay a modest MG for just one territory, only to end up selling to a number of other EEA countries, on the basis of unsolicited sales, using its network of subsidiaries and partners in those countries. With the foreknowledge of such an eventuality, the licensor might have decided, instead, to grant a multi –territory license, commanding a much bigger MG from the licensee. Perversely, the Sanrio decision, seeking to protect competition within the EEA, could work against smaller licensees operating in EEA territories. For example, if a licensor has already granted an exclusive license to a small, local licensee - say, in France - the trade of that licensee will be damaged by the sales activity of the international giant operating in its territory. Such a minnow couldn’t hope to compete with a big player, given its well-oiled operational base and economies of scale. So, will all of this be changed by Brexit? Or will the UK remain in lock step with the EU? What would happen with a license agreement that straddles Brexit Day, say, running from 2018 to 2022? Would out-of-territory sales be permitted in 2018 but outlawed in 2022? Is redrafting of license agreements required to accommodate this? If so, this can become a Herculean task for large licensors. We might call this the Butterfly Effect – changes in initial conditions creating much bigger changes later on. A bit like climate change, isn’t it?
In Review ATF 2019 Presented Biggest Market to Date Taking place in December 2019, and in its 20th edition, the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) announced its biggest market yet with a five percent growth in market size, compared to 2018. The expansion included the presence of new brands such as Baidu Haokan, Google Play, GoPlay, Hoichoi, and Jio. 20% of buying professionals were new to ATF in 2019, and 40% more buyers indicated interest to acquire digital rights. With attendees from 55 countries and regions, the diversity of content and partnership possibilities represented reflected Asia’s rising place in the media and entertainment space, as the industry faces exciting times with several high-profile launches of OTT video platforms and mergers & acquisitions. With speaking heavyweights revealing visions for the future, the ATF Leaders’ Summit addressed how Asia aligns with the global strategies of new market powers. Industry luminaries delivering keynotes included Giorgio Stock, President of WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, Distribution and Advertising Sales, EMEA and APAC, Gong
Yu, Founder and CEO of iQIYI and Shibasish Sarkar, Group CEO of Reliance Entertainment. Glamour also descended on ATF 2019 as celebrities from Thailand, Turkey, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, present in various capacities. Magician Dynamo, of the eponymous program “Dynamo: Magician Impossible” entertained the ATF crowd at the oficial opening party with an exclusive performance ahead of his new program “Project 7”. Thai superstar James Jirayu also made an appeareance
to discuss a new film. “The 20th edition of ATF took place during exciting times of a paradigm shift. With so many changes happening ahead, we expect the market to be dynamic this year, and discussions at conferences to be intense and insightful,” noted Yeow Hui Leng, Group Project Director of Reed Exhibition, the producer of ATF For more information about the show in 2020, please visit www.asiatvforum.com
TOTAL LICENSING By Alice Yang Licensing Project Manager China Toy & Juvenile Products Association email@example.com
This summer, China witnessed the heat not just from the temperature but also heat from video games products. The UNIQLO x Blizzard program enjoyed great success, by releasing a brand new lineup of T-shirts for fans across Blizzard franchises such as Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone and StarCraft. What’s more, Blizzard also instigated a full licensing program with leading ecommerce company Baozun to launch the Blizzard and the Overwatch League’s official China ecommerce shop on Tmall. And Blizzard is not the only video game company that is doing well in China. Tencent and NetEase remained the Top 2 game publishers in China, and foreign developed games comprised about 60% of total revenue in the market. Some famous international famous game companies including Blizzard, Ubisoft, Rovio, have all set up offices in Shanghai, China, as well as independent licensing teams. The opportunities for the gaming industry in China are too big to ignore. Video games are thriving in China as Generations Y and Z grow up. These are the generations born in the inter-
net era and growing up with modern games on the screen. Games provide a more interactive and immersive experience than films and other entertainment, which has proved attractive regardless of national boundaries. According to the China Games Industry Report 2019 issued by China Game Publishers Association Publications Committee, also known as GPC, the sales of game market in China in 2019 gained 231 billion RMB, a 7.7 percent growth year-on-year. The game players in China reached 640 million people, up 2.5 percent yearon-year. “China has been our fastest growing market for Activision Blizzard consumer products, and now is a top market with significant growth oppor-
tunity for us. We have been nurturing a great community in China for years through a fan-first lens across our Blizzard franchises and esports. Three of our most popular Blizzard properties in the region include World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Diablo – though the full Blizzard portfolio is very popular.” said Philippe Bost, VP of International Consumer Products, Activision Blizzard. “Our players are incredibly passionate about Blizzard merchandise, whether celebrating their favourite franchises and characters or favourite Overwatch League teams and players.” Bost added. In the video game space, authenticity is always key. That gives more growing room than any other entertainment
properties category. Game fans want their collectibles and gear to be as authentic to the game experience as possible. They are much more loyal to the characters and the community. “We want to immerse fans by creating consumer experiences that extend beyond the core game. We’re also bringing this strong community of fans together to showcase their passion. This all comes from a fan-first
approach as far as quality and authenticity.” remarked by Bost. The video game industry has proven to be as massive and successful as (if not, more than) other forms of entertainment, whether it be film, television, or others. It is no longer just an entertainment to kill time, but a teamwork thanks to the internet, and now a popular sport too. Esports is now a global phenomenon in all regions globally and China is one
of the leaders of this trend. China gained 94.73 billion RMB yearly avenue in esports games in 2019, a 13.5 percent growth year-on-year, according to the China Games Industry Report 2019. The esports sector is playing a bigger and bigger role in China every year, and now China is the most influential and potential market for the global esports. At Blizzard, introduced by Bost, they have a long-term strategy to establish the Overwatch League as a leading competitive entertainment brand. “The league’s first two seasons have been an immense success where China is well represented in the Overwatch League by four local teams – the Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark and Shanghai Dragons.” he said. “We have a full licensing program through our partner Baozun, who recently launched Blizzard and the Overwatch League’s official China ecommerce shop on Tmall. This is an important area of growth for our licensing business; and brings a range of esports gear and collectibles for fans to celebrate their favorite teams and players, similar to what we see with traditional sports.” he added. After more than a decade of years of development, licensing industry in China is ready for a more diversified future. The China licensing industry is formative and eager to harness business de-
There are 640 million video game players in China velopment. “From manufacturing processes to brand development, China is rising. Brand licensing is a strategic tool to harness innovation that aligns to the core brand. Key factors for that uniqueness begin with an idea and smart manufacturing. China is wellequipped.” pointed out by Kimberly A. Kociencki, Chief Executive Officer of SPLiCE, a licensing association from the US. Not only is the licensing of video games is developing rapidly in China, but the whole of licensing. “There is more awareness in China not just for entertainment brands but also for Fashion, Lifestyle and Sports brands. Entertainment brands will still be present, but popularity will be highly dependent on strong media / digital presence.” said by Marilu Corpus, CEO of CLICK! Licensing Asia, Inc. “Fashion is certainly an opportunity both for young adults and kids market as consumers become more sophisticated. The emergence of new licensing categories, like food licensing, which encompasses the use of more popular food brands collaborating with local brands to enhance the flavor or image of the local brand. Exhibitions and Pop Up Shops/cafes will still continue to drive traffic to the malls.” she predicted.
International Trademark Protection Simplified
NEW BOOK AVAILABLE! THE BUSINESS OF LICENSING - The Essential Guide for Intellectual Properties Licensing has has exploded into a $250+ billion worldwide industry at retail and generates more than $7 billion in royalty income for those property owners who are savvy enough to license their properties for a wide variety of consumer products. About 8 years ago, lawyer Gregory J Battersby and licensing veteran Danny Simon introduced the first Basics of Licensing book. They did a revised version a couple of years later and followed it with a Licensee edition and then finally an International edition. Recognizing that there was a degree of commonality between these editions, Battersby and Simon concluded that it was time for the definitive work on licensing, hence, The Business of Licensing which combines the best of all three prior editions and takes the subject to the next level. This book takes the reader through the nuts and bolts of how to conduct a licensing program and handle many of the problems that it might face There is a substantial amount of reference material. They have included an expanded history of merchandising, and an extensive collection of the forms that any licensing professional may need which they intend to provide to purchasers with electronic access to the forms via Dropbox. The Complete Business of Licensing is available at a cost of $39.95 ($34.95 for LI members). https://www.totallicensingworld.com/site/ business_of_licensing
Gregory J. Battersby Battersby Law Group, LLC 25 Poplar Plains Rd. Westport, CT 06880 (203) 454-9646 • (866) 579-9591 (Fax) firstname.lastname@example.org • www.gbiplaw.com Jed Ferdinand, Senior Managing Member Ferdinand IP www.FerdinandIP.com NY Phone: (212) 220-0523 CT Phone: (203) 557-4224 86
By: Gregory J. Battersby and Jed Ferdinand A property owner typically protects its trademarks by registration of its mark in the various trademark offices around the world, typically starting in their home country. In the “old days,” one needed to file separate applications in each of the countries where protection was sought. That has changed in recent years by the adoption of the European Union Trademark Mark (“EUTM”) and the Madrid Protocol. European trademarks can be registered on a supra-national basis by seeking to register a trademark with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”). There are several advantages in using the EUIPO to register marks throughout the European Union (EU), most notably that it is typically far less expensive than filing trademark applications in different national trademark offices. The filing of a single trademark application for a EUTM can result in a single trademark registration enforceable throughout the EU. The cost advantage of filing for (and renewing) a EUTM is substantial compared to filing for (and renewing) trademark registrations in the individual countries making up the EU. Also, the use of a registered trademark in one EU country will satisfy the use requirements in all EU countries in the case of EUTM, thus preventing it from being vulnerable to cancellation through non-use over any five-year period after registration. It is also increasingly fast to obtain a EUTM registration, typically taking between 6 and 9 months from filing to registration. The initial registration period is ten years from the date of filing the application. The United Kingdom’s decision regarding Brexit has, however, resulted in great uncertainty as to the future of their EUTM registrations as it will no longer be possible to register trademarks with the EUIPO that encompass the UK. A major concern is what will happen to existing EUTM registrations. A possible outcome
may be that the UK will negotiate a trade deal with the EU to keep the current protections. The Madrid Protocol is an international system for obtaining trademark protection for its 121 or so member countries where an “International Registration” can only be obtained via the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Switzerland. The primary advantage of the Madrid Protocol is cost, i.e., it will almost certainly be less expensive than filing in individual countries although costs will depend on various factors, including the number of countries designated. The Madrid System eliminates the filing costs associated with filing separate national applications in each foreign country and reduces the cost for renewals, recording name changes and assignments because they are filled at WIPO directly instead of recording them separately in each designated country. It should be noted that an International Trademark registration does not immediately result in a trademark registration that is enforceable everywhere. Rather, individual countries must be designated in the resulting International Registration with an additional cost being incurred for each country designated. Also, several countries may issue official actions, and/or allow objections to be filed by third parties, to which responses must be filed. It should be appreciated that while there can be a substantial cost-benefit to using the Madrid Protocol, that cost-benefit can be illusory if objections are encountered in many of the designated countries. As a result, the cost of protecting a trademark internationally can still be substantial under the Madrid Protocol. One of the major disadvantages of the Madrid Protocol is that the rights granted by an International Registration can be extinguished if its home application does not mature to registration or if is home registration is canceled during its first five years.
The Smileys Collectibles The first series of The Smileys collectibles will launch with Team Moods through Europe’s Leading Retailers The Smileys, a brand new collectibles concept from The Smiley Company, is all set to launch at retail in February 2020 and debut to the trade at Hong Kong and Nuremberg Toy Fairs. Created in partnership with Splash Toys, this new brand extends The Smiley Company’s famous archive of icons into the hot collectibles market targeting kids 6-12. The first series of The Smileys collectibles series will launch with Team Moods:The New Smileys are here!...and boy, are they moody! There are happy Smileys, sad Smileys, silly, crazy, and bad Smileys to collect, along with new and exclusive accessories to create your Smiley characters. Mix & Match to show the world how you are feeling! The series will launch with blister packs of 3 and 5 Smileys, which include a secret Smiley and also blind boxes for toy distribution and blind bags for kiosk distribution. After a successful soft launch to the trade in recent weeks, retail listings are already secured with France and Benelux’s leading retailers including Auchan (400 stores), Carrefour (500 stores), Intermarché (1200 stores), Leclerc (700 stores), and King Jouet (200 stores). The first series of collectibles – Team Moods – will feature (three and five-pack) blister packs, blind boxes, and blind bags that will launch initially in February 2020. Speaking about the new IP, VP Brand Strategy at Smiley Lori Heiss-Tiplady said, “We are so excited to announce that we have already secured key European retail listing for our new collectibles IP, The Smileys. Bringing our SmileyWorld icons to life in a whole new way, and making them even more appealing to kids.This new world, with characters, locations, and stories, will provide the perfect foundation for an
entirely new line of brand extension opportunities and deepen the brands’ reach into key categories, including toys & publishing. Heiss-Tiplady added, “As a business that is fully focused on helping kids explore their emotions through play and having fun, unique mix and match play pattern of The Smileys creates endless possibilities for self-expression. Helping kids learn about themselves and their emotions while playing is impor-
tant to us, and emotional intelligence - or EQ - is a massively important phenomenon that Smiley is uniquely connected to.” The Smileys retail launch will be supported by an extensive TV Commercial, with the campaign scheduled to run in France from February through to June 2020, and spots already booked on; TF1, Gulli, Tiji, Boomerang, Boing, CartoonNetwork, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Piwi, TéléToon, Nickelodeon Junior, Nickelodeon 4 Teen. The Smileys will also launch its website and YouTube channel, featuring a series of webisodes that will explore the world of The Smileys and their friends. The Smileys showcased at the recent BLE, receiving critical acclaim as WGSN’s licensing industry trend experts revealed that it topped the list of properties to keep an eye on in 2020. The official launch of The Smileys will be in Hong Kong and Nuremberg Toy Fairs (Hall 12.0 / H-14), where two series of the range will debut to the trade, as well as three playsets. For further marketing and PR information, please contact Adam Spiniello (email@example.com).
TOTAL LICENSING By Martin Brochstein SVP Industry Relations and Information Licensing International www.licensinginternational. org
Predictions, Questions and Opportunities for the Year Ahead – And Beyond We’ve just put a bow on a yet another decade for the licensing industry. There have been lots of surprises – for one thing, did you know what an influencer was ten years ago? And what exactly would you have made of the notion of “unboxing”? But as we flipped the calendar to 2020, here are some developments we’ll be watching for in the year ahead, and perhaps well beyond that. *The ongoing mainstreaming and organization (in a business sense) of eSports. The numbers surrounding eSports media rights and sponsorship deals are enormous, but relative to that, the market for licensed merchandise is still in a developmental stage. Various models are being tried – Is it about the individual players? Teams? Is it totally eCommerce-based, or is there a brick-and-mortar business? Will it follow a centralized structure a la the major U.S. sports leagues, as Activision envisions? Traditional sports/ collegiate licensing is a $34 Billion merchandising business globally; what chunk of that might eSports occupy? *Retail pop-up activations and stores-within-stores will continue to drive footfall and become increasingly innovative *Digital native brands will venture beyond their own core category via co-branding and licensing. Most, if not all, of those brands are opening a limited number of physical stores to supplement their online selling, and branching out in co-brands and licensing is a next logical step. *Selling directly to the consumer will become imperative for most
brands as traditional retail consolidates and stores (whether physical or eCommerce) allot more space to their own private labels. But this is more than just a defensive move to parry those macro forces. It also gives the brand owner or manufacturer the power to test products, and to accumulate their own data to react more quickly to market forces and plan future courses of action.
forms, although the experience will still be rudimentary.
*Print On Demand (POD) will increasingly become the vehicle to address a range of consumer and business goals, such as quick response, personalization and sustainability, among others. As an example of quick response, look no further than The Child (known to one and all as Baby Yoda); printed products could be rushed to market once it was unveiled, while toys are still on preorder
*Particularly in North America, established brands will continue to enter the Cannabis and CBD space, helping new companies in this fledgling industry stand out from the evergrowing crowd; licensing will be an important vehicle for these partnerships
*Experiential licensing will become a must. Survey data overwhelmingly points to consumers’ desire to “live the brand,” and marketers’ desire to let them do it. Some iterations are stunts rather than traditional licensing – I, for one, probably will never stay at the Taco Bell Hotel – but iterations such as the theme park rides, play areas, Nerf Challenge, Fear The Walking Dead Survival escape room, Ferrari Land, etc. will continue to grow within the licensing mix. *Increasingly creative collaborations, often between unexpected partners, will continue to drive interest across brands and categories, particularly with celebrities. *We’ll begin to see more experimentation with interactive shopping within gaming and content plat-
*Influencers 3.0. The business model around influencer marketing will become more strategic and targeted, as metrics become more sophisticated; brands differentiate between what works and what doesn’t; and the influencers themselves continue to try to become brands.
*“Sustainability” continues to develop within many merchandise categories (though there’s no common definition of what that actually means), and brand owners put more of an emphasis on environmental impact as they seek licensees and sign agreements. *Much in the way that sustainability drove interest in 2019, brands will look to spotlight their wellness positioning in 2020 These are just a few of the topics that we at Licensing International will be paying attention to as we develop educational programming around the world, such as webinars, Licensing U in Las Vegas, local informational and networking events, and our Coursework in Licensing Studies (CLS) curriculum in the year ahead. I welcome your comments and suggestions at mbrochstein@licensing. org, or visit the Licensing International website at www.licensing.org.
British Toy & Hobby Fair Nuremberg Toy Fair Kidscreen Summit Licensing World Russia New York Toy Fair Australian Toy Fair Licensing China London Book Fair Bologna Licensing Trade Fair MIP.TV Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards Blueprint Licensing Expo Children’s Media Conference Licensing Expo China Korea Character Licensing Fair India Licensing Expo The Licensing Awards Brand Licensing Expo MIP Junior MIPCOM China Licensing Expo
Jan 21 - 23 Jan 29 - Feb 2 Feb 10 - 13 Feb 11 - 13 Feb 22 - 25 March 1 - 4 March 6 - 8 March 10 - 12 March 30 - 31 March 30 - April 2 April 29 May 19 - 21 May 19 - 21 July 7 - 9 July 15 - 17 July 17 - 21 August 29 - 29 Sept 9 Oct 6 - 8 Oct 10 - 11 Oct 12 - 15 Oct 21 - 23
www.toyfair.co.uk www.spielwarenmesse.de/toys/trade-fair-2019 www.summit.kidscreen.com/2019/ www.licensingworld.ru www.toyfairny.com/ www.toyfair.com.au www.licensing-china.com www.londonbookfair.co.uk www.bolognalicensing.com www.miptv.com www.brandlicensingawards.co.uk www.blueprintshows.com www.licensingexpo.com www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/ http://www.licensingexpochina.com/ www.characterfair.kr www.licenseindia.com/expo www.thelicensingawards.co.uk www.brandlicensing.eu www.mipcom.com/mipjunior www.mipcom.com www.chinalicensingexpo.com
Next Issue alert...
The Spring issue of Total Licensing will be published in March. Key features include: Publishing • Book Fair Previews • MIP-TV Preview • Licensed Animation • Live Events • Licensing in France and Italy • Total Licensing Australia (supplement). Bonus distribution: Kazachok, MIPTV, Melbourne Toy Fair (Total Licensing Australia), Licensing Japan Editorial Deadline: 22 February 2020 • Ad Material deadline: 8 March 2020
9 Story ...............................................................................23 Australian Toy Hobby & Licensing Show ...................75 Beano ................................................................................... 5 Boatrocker ......................................................................... 7 China Licensing Expo .....................................................83 Expocontent ................................................................... 2, 3 Kazachok ..........................................................................85 Kiddinx ..............................................................................47 King Features Syndicate ................................................11 Konami ........................................................................13, 15 Licensing Awards .............................................................14 Licensing China ................................................................43 Licensing International ...................................................35 Licensing World Russia ..................................................37
London Book Fair ...........................................................89 MIP TV ...............................................................................53 Mondo ...............................................................................27 Pokemon ............................................................................. 9 Rainbow SpA ....................................................................21 Roi Visual ............................................................................. 1 Seabelievers ......................................................................57 SEGA .................................................................................19 Spacetoon .........................................................................91 Spring Fair .........................................................................69 TF1 Licences ....................................................................17 Toei Animation .................................................................92 List Correct at time of going to press.
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