Regular Features Comment..........................................................................6 Global news......................................................................8 Legally Speaking.............................................................60 The Licensing International Page...............................62 What’s On......................................................................64
Europe Creativity Meets Classics!...........................................12 ‘Bag’ to school with Difuzed......................................26 The stark reality of UK Retail....................................36 TF1 - Sharing Good News!.........................................44 The Impact of COVID-19 on UK Kids....................54
Moonzy Lands in the USA..........................................24 GarfieldEATS debuts....................................................46
New Robocar POLI series from Korea...................30 Licensing Japan 2020 update.......................................34 ADK debuts new Beyblade content.........................38
Hurt but Alive! Russia awaits the end of the Pandemic.........................................................................56
NASCAR - Fun during Difficult Times.....................28 TV and Film Still Drive Licensed Products..............32 Licensing comes of age in Gaming............................37 Allan Stone - an Industry Pioneer.............................40 Allowing your brand to be ‘naked’............................42 COVID-19 - The Industry Fights Back.....................47 Entertainment in the time of a Pandemic................53
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Welcome to our May issue of Total Licensing. When we published our last issue, in early March, the world was already beginning to feel the effects of the COVID-19 crisis but, in most parts of the world, life was carrying on as normal. Yes, China had locked down. But, the rest of us were planning our travel schedule and beginning to organise ourselves for Licensing Expo in Vegas. Then the virus hit Europe and North America. Big time. With the best will in the world, I don’t think anybody was fully prepared for the impact and completely devastating effect that this virus spreading its tentacles would have on almost all sectors of life, both personal and business. Retail, of course, was one of the first areas to be hit, and hit badly. Stores, other than food or pharmacies, were closed with no idea of when they would re-open. Offices were transferred to home and parents became overnight teachers as their children’s schools were closed for the foreseeable future. Basically, life as we all knew it, changed, quite literally overnight.
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For a couple of weeks after the lockdown, we could see that people were still struggling to come to grips with the new ‘normal’. But then bit by bit, we could see life returning. Zoom became the communication of choice and online shopping, which was already growing apace, took on a life of its own. In fact, Amazon report that customers were spending $11,000 each and every second as hundreds of millions of people turned to the online giant to keep them fed, entertained and, importantly, working under the new conditions. Laptop sales went up 40% and generally in the USA, e-commerce rose by an astonishing 25%. Online streaming took on a life of its own. Disney, who expected to take five years to reach between 60 and 90 million subscribers were already up to 54.5 million by early May. Netflix saw
over 60% growth in India. And so it goes on. Our industry is nothing if not creative. Whilst a lot of production of movies and TV was halted, some saw opportunities. Apple TV, for example, created a whole new Fraggle Rock series, based on the Henson characters, entirely shot with iPhone 11’s from the production staff’s homes. And DreamWorks launched their Trolls World Tour directly on pay per view, bypassing movie theatres. And licensing deals continued to be done. The licensed facemask became a hot item which would have never happened before. And the industry realised that life could carry on, and it just needed a different mindset. Big exhibitions, conferences and the like were unlikely to be part of any of our working environments for some time. So online meetings, seminars and events began springing up, still getting people together but in a different way. Later this month, Licensing Expo Virtual will debut, again getting people together but in a way that works in the currently situation. A way that has quickly become the accepted normal. This issue of Total Licensing has tried to bring you news and views from around the world and, as you would expect, has a major section on how the industry is viewing and coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. It makes interesting reading. And, in keeping with everything at the moment, this issue is purely digital and germ free! Our next issue will be published in August. It’s very hard at the moment to predict how much the current lockdowns will have eased by then. What we do know is that we look forward to receiving your news, articles, views and everything else. No matter how strange a time we live in, we will continue to provide information to the industry – even if it is to their kitchen table rather than their office desk! Francesca Ash Jerry Wooldridge Co-Publisher Co-Publisher
With Thanks to this Issue’s Contributing Writers: Gregory Battersby Trudi Bishop Martin Brochstein
Jed Ferdinand Jon Ollwerther Nick Richardson
Steve Pasierb Marina Semenikhina Stewart Stanbury
Iginio Straffi John Westwood
MOOSE TOYS LAUNCH NEW COLLECTIBLES Moose Toys launched two new collectibles in May – Oh! My Gif and I Dig Monsters. OH! My Gif is gifs in real life via the
first moving collectible toy that’s inspired by GIFs, memes and stickers on social media. Kids can express themselves with a shareable collection of 50 GIFbit characters with unique movements that can be reset with a simple touch. The collection includes a cat typing on a computer or a #failburger hamburger who lifts weights, and more. Each pack includes a callto-action to download a special proprietary app (available May 1) and a QR code that enables kids to download a digital sticker version of the characters which can be saved to their phones and utilized across all social/ messaging apps, as well as a fun AR experience. I Dig Monsters is a popsicle-themed collectible featuring compounds that feel cool to the touch, like a real popsicle. Shave, cut or grate the jelly compound with the popsicle stick to find a cheeky monster named Monji, dressed in one of 24 designer outfits. Commenting on the new launch, Paul Solomon, Co-Owner of Moose Toys said, “Thanks to the global success
of Shopkins, we really pioneered the collectible aisle and we’re continually pushing boundaries in the industry to bring fresh innovation to the category. Now more than ever we’re committed to making kids happy and keeping them smiling during an incredibly uncertain time. Oh! My Gif and I Dig Monsters do exactly that; Oh! My Gif is the first collectible of its kind, capitalizing on the IRL trend to bring popular gifs to life and I Dig Monsters is a ‘cool’ new way for kids to unveil their favorite collectibles through a sensory compound play experience.”
CHANGING OF THE GUARD AT RAINBOW PRODUCTIONS Leading costume character company, Rainbow Productions, has announced that David Scott, the current Managing Director, is retiring from the business. Simon Foulkes, the company’s Sales & Marketing Director, who has been with the company over 25 years will take up the reins as the new Owner & Managing Director. David Scott commented, “I am enor-
any younger and I have been looking to step back from the front-line for quite some time and so discussions between Simon and I have been going on for many months. The final arrangements were agreed and due to be announced when the Coronavirus situation escalated and the lockdown happened. We have since reviewed the situation and have agreed to proceed
mously proud of Rainbow’s achievements in my time at the company and am grateful to all our staff for their loyalty, support and willingness to do whatever is necessary to deliver top quality results for all our licensors and clients. However, I’m not getting
with the move nevertheless. Simon unquestionably has the energy and vision to drive the business forward and take advantage of the opportunities that will arise as the global economy opens up.” Simon Foulkes added, “David is an ex-
ceptional business leader and under his watch Rainbow has developed an established Global reputation becoming one of the most admired costume character companies in the world. David has always put our clients at the heart of our strategy and I, and the exceptional team at Rainbow, look forward to building upon this philosophy.” “David is a well-respected colleague, mentor and friend to many within the licensing community and there can be few people who have had such an impact on our Industry,” said Foulkes. “This was confirmed when he was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award and I am sure there are a great many people who treasure memories of time spent with this remarkable man. It has been a great pleasure to work with David for over a quarter of a century and it is an honour to succeed him. I am delighted that he has confirmed that he will stay close to the Rainbow business for as long as is necessary to ensure an absolutely seamless transition.” David Scott also advised that he will continue to serve as a Trustee and Treasurer of the Light Fund. “I may be stepping back from the day to day business but I love the Licensing industry and I’m not going far. I look forward to seeing all my industry friends as soon as it’s permissible and, although the long round of leisurely lunches I had thought I could indulge in may have to wait, I’ll be keen to catch up as soon as circumstances allow.’
XILAM APPOINTS LICENSING WORKS! FOR ZIG & SHARKO Xilam Animation has appointed Licensing Works! as the North American licensing agent for its animated comedy brand Zig & Sharko. Licensing Works! is now assembling a merchandise program for the brand targeting kids, tweens, teens and families and focused on vacation and Spring/Summer products including swimwear and pool accessories; home décor and outdoor textiles; surf, skate and related sporting goods;
personal care; greetings cards; toys, puzzles and games; dress-up, publishing, back-to-school, gifting, food and drinks, seasonal promotions and meet and greets. In North America, Zig & Sharko is available on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, alongside having a strong local presence on Xilam’s dedicated YouTube channel where the new third season is now available. The Zig & Sharko YouTube channel boasts 10.5
million subscribers and has received over 5.1 billion views globally, with North America ranking as the second highest market for views and fourth largest for subscribers.
NEWS Mondo TV is known for its many successes as a producer or co-producer – and with MeteoHeroes that success is set to continue. But a new role for Mondo – as third party licensor – is about to enhance the presence in three key markets of a major property: The Gruffalo.
WHERE CUTTING EDGE CREATIVITY MEETS CLASSIC CHARACTERS Mondo TV is best-known as one of the largest European producers and distributors of animated content. However, it’s also a growing force in third-party licensing. Both facets of this diverse and fast-changing company are clearly evident in two major recent projects: its co-production of
Obviously there is no shortage of offerings for kids based around various ‘green’ and ‘eco-friendly’ themes. But MeteoHeroes genuinely stands out. A Mondo TV co-production with Meteo Expert Center, a leading Italian weather forecasting group, the series addresses issues like climate change,
the new cutting-edge environmentally themed kids’ show MeteoHeroes and its representation of a bona fide classic of modern children’s literature – The Gruffalo. If you live in Italy you may already have seen MeteoHeroes – an animated series in which six amazing kids use their superpowers to protect the planet from extreme weather events and pollution. It premiered in Italy with a special four-episode sneak preview in April on the free-to-air channel Cartoonito, a leading DTTV and satellite channel for pre-schoolers operated by Boing. The premiere date – the 22nd of April – was carefully chosen to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. MondoTV also participated in the #OnePeopleOnePlanet multimedia marathon organized by Earth Day and the Focolare Movement. There was exclusive content dedicated to MeteoHeroes featuring the young stars Chiara and Mattia Fabiano, who voice the characters of Nubess and Thermo, in a clip streamed immediately before a memorable concert at the Colosseum by the world-famous Italian singer Zucchero.
ecology and respect for nature but in a fun, engaging way in a series full of action and comedy. The four opening episodes will again appear in July, followed by 14 brandnew episodes. Many digital initiatives will herald the July launch, leveraging the multi-tasking skills of the techsavvy and environmentally aware kids that are MeteoHeroes’ main target audience. MeteoHeroes’ enormous potential has already attracted a number of major licensees. The first licensed products will be on shelves by October 2020 – and, in the spirit of the series and its message, they will be designed and developed in compliance with sustainable best practices using recyclable material. When MeteoHeroes was first proposed by Meteo Expert Center, Mondo TV was keen to take the concept to the next level. Similarly, when licensor Magic Light Pictures asked
Mondo to develop a licensing programme for The Gruffalo in Italy, Spain and Portugal, there was no hesitation. This story – of a mouse who outwits a creature intent on eating him – is after all, a book and an animated film greatly loved by children and their parents in many countries. However, so far the Gruffalo brand is mainly a publishing hit in Italy, Spain and Portugal. Thus, Mondo TV has looked at the success of the licensing programme outside those three territories and seen huge potential to translate the world of The Gruffalo into consumer products. Mondo is planning to grow the market presence of the brand, working together with regional publishers, and support the presence of books in store with special retail promotions that will embrace different categories. To begin with, Mondo will be focusing on toys, arts and crafts, audio stories, apparel and fashion accessories. Over the coming year Mondo will grow the roll-out plan to other categories such as confectionery, gifts and novelties, and housewares. Promotional initiatives and brand partnerships are also part of the company’s planning. Two very different properties, two highly original concepts – both with strong licensing potential. In both production partnerships and third party representation, Mondo TV is yet again showing its ability to align itself with winning brands.
ETERMAX APPOINTS CARAVANSERAI FOR IBERIA Etermax, the international technology company founded in Argentina, has appointed Caravanserai Partners, a recently created agency managed by a team with more than 30 years of experience in the licensing business focused on brands and evergreen properties, to become its licensing agent in Iberia for its top brand: Trivia Crack. Caravanserai Partners will work together with the Etermax team in developing a solid licensing, promotional and retail strategy that will allow to expand the brand Trivia Crack in Spain, Portugal and Europe. With its Gaming division, Etermax is one of the top mobile games developer in the world with proven successful titles like Aworded Crack, Word
Crack and specially Trivia Crack, the nº 1 trivia game in more than 125 countries. To to date, Trivia Crack is about to reach 500m downloads, 150m annual active users, almost 840m games played in the last year and more than 170.000m answered questions. Based in Barcelona, with a team with more than 40 years of licensing, retail and marketing experience Caravanserai Partners operates internationally within a net of “best in class” independent agents in each territory. Representing some of the best known licensors in the world like King Features, Sogex, Mercis or LMI among others, Caravanserai is the response to the challenging environment with a new approach to the licensing world.
BRIGITTE BARDOT APPOINTS V2D GROUP After the promising success of the Brigitte Bardot lingerie developed by V2D, the renowned actress is now entrusting her master license agreement to the family-owned group. A partnership with wide-ranging potential, since it covers numerous types of products including ready to wear, beachwear, eyewear and jewellery, will expand the Brigitte Bardot brand through France and across the world. The previous rights holder, Légende Events, welcomes the transition, which consolidates the partnership between Brigitte Bardot and the northern group V2D. “Our work on the Brigitte Bardot brand, expanding it to a global master license, bears witness to a mutual trust. Our aim is to recreate the world of Brigitte Bardot with a huge range of fashionable and accessible products” commented Tanguy Toulemonde, CEO of V2D.
His brother Quentin Toulemonde, co-director of the company, explains: “The Brigitte Bardot brand is inspired by her years in public life. B.B embodies the strong, still very relevant values of those times: her joyous sensuality and ultra-femininity, at once natural and daring, are resolutely modern. BB was and remains a fascinating icon of French beauty.”
The northern group V2D specialises in developing underwear brands; it has been successfully operating under this license for 6 years (lingerie, bath and homewear) as well as its own brands Steffy, Pomm’Poire and another licensed line, Morgan. It created the Family Trademark company TLM to accommodate this new development.
LMI BECOMES GLOBAL AGENTS FOR FABERGE Licensing Management International (LMI) has been appointed as the global licensing agent for Fabergé, one of the world’s most iconic artist jeweller. Founded in 1842, Fabergé has long been a revered name in jewellery. LMI will be seeking collaborations that reflect technical mastery and exceptional craftsmanship, with a focus on a few key products categories to kick start the programme. In 1842 Peter Carl Fabergé became official goldsmith to
the Russian Imperial Court; the house created exquisite jewels and objects including the legendary series of lavish and ingenious Imperial Easter Eggs. Fabergé today creates extraordinary jewellery, timepieces and objets d’art, as well as bespoke commissions for a discerning internal clientele. Antony Lindsay, MD at Fabergé said, “We are delighted to commence our partnership with LMI. We are excited to explore this new venture to expand our product offering.”
HEY DUGGEE ONLINE TRAFFIC GROWS Popular preschool series Hey Duggee has seen a significant increase in traffic and engagement across all of its social channels and website since lockdown began. Monthly views for the official YouTube channel have grown by over 40% compared to the average. Meanwhile,
heyduggee.com has seen unique visitors increase by 90%, with parents taking full advantage of the resources to help with family activities at home. BBC Studios also launched its official Hey Duggee Pinterest page recently, which includes fun activities, arts and crafts and baking recipes.
Learning content has performed particularly well on the Hey Duggee YouTube channel with a range of videos providing support to parents that are home schooling. The ‘Science With Duggee’ video for example, has seen a surge in views, rising to 7 million at last count. Hey Duggee social media channels are also playing a supporting role, sharing a range of relevant content that understands family life during lockdown and uses the show’s popular characters to celebrate the positive moments during these times. For instance, The Hey Duggee Stay At Home Badge video formed part of a series of shorts featured in the BBC’s ‘Staying Home’ campaign and was edited together by Studio AKA using existing animation and new voiceover recorded by Alexander Armstrong. This was followed by The Handwashing Badge, which adapted the notoriously catchy ‘Stick Song’ from the show, to inspire little ones to wash their hands. The video posted across all the Duggee digital channels, achieved an impressive 97k views in the first
24 hours and had parents praising it for helping to get their kids washing hands. Downloadable bespoke templates and colouring sheets have proved popular with parents and children as well. A heartfelt post on the Facebook channel which encouraged families to use a Hey Duggee-themed template card and send it to their grandparents in isolation was well-received by audiences. Viewers have also taken to the Hey Duggee rainbow colouring sheets using them to create artwork at home, and Hey Duggee is part of The Design Museum’s Young Design Museum strand, with fun activity sheets featuring Duggee and the Squirrels updated each week. Harriet Newby-Hill, Global Brand Director – Children’s at BBC Studios commented, “It’s been incredibly rewarding for the team to see such fantastic levels of engagement from our Hey Duggee fan community.We’ve loved all the fabulous creations from our young fans and seen a great deal of positive comments from parents in response to the inspiring and fun activities we’ve curated for our digital channels.”
RAINBOW APPOINTS VERTICAL LICENSING FOR 44 CATS IN BRAZIL Rainbow and Vertical Licensing have joined together to promote 44 Cats in Brazil! Rainbow has recently announced its global hit 44 Cats will add to the partnership with Vertical Licensing for the distribution of the preschool success across Brazil. 44 Cats, with record-breaking TV ratings, is already enjoying tremendous popularity throughout the world and is ready to launch a second season. The 52 x 13’ animated series is an mix of music and cuteness that deals with central themes such as tolerance, diversity and altruism, combining positive values, action and comedy in a sophisticated CGI production. The show follows the daily adventures of Lampo, Milady, Pilou, and Meatball – four kittens who are part of a music band named The Buffycats - helping others and always finding creative solutions to everyday hitches. Rainbow and Vertical Licensing have been partnering since 2017 for girls classic Winx Club, the renowned brand that comprises eight series, four TV movies and three theatrical releases plus an upcoming Netflix Original six-episode show. The collaboration has contributed to establish the solid brand in Brazil so far, appealing to girls across all categories, promoting key values such as friendship, empowerment and feelings with a magic touch and fairy style. Vertical Licensing is the latest in a number of partners that put Rainbow’s 44 Cats in the spotlight with excellent
market response. Rainbow’s Sales Director Global CP Matteo Olivetti commented the deal enthusiastically: “We are proud to be working with Vertical Licensing and look forward to bringing the enthralling energy of our brand to Brazil.” “We are thrilled to be working with 44 Cats in Brazil. We have been representing Rainbow properties since 2017, and we are now very excited about this new opportunity. The TV series is already a hit among Brazilian children and, with the second season to be released this year, the brand will be even more relevant for the kids target.We are confident that we will build a strong program for 44 Cats in our territory. Our plan is to have the licensed products hitting the shelves at the end of this year and beginning of 2021,” added Alexandre Volpi, CEO of Vertical Licensing.
CLOUDCO SIGNS WITH BAVARIA MEDIA Cloudco Entertainment, home of brands such as Care Bears, Holly Hobbie, and Madballs has signed an agency deal with Bavaria Media GmbH and its licensing division, Bavaria Sonor Licensing to manage the Care Bears brand across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Named “Licensing Agency of the Year 2019” at the Licensing International Awards in Germany, Bavaria Sonor Licensing will manage all Care Bears consumer products and licensing initiatives, inclusive of brand collaborations, across these German-speaking territories. Introduced in 1982, Care Bears is one of the most popular and endearing children’s properties in the world. The Care Bears are known for using their belly badge powers to spread messages of sharing, caring, friendship and courage while making sure to have lots of laughs along the way. In 2019, Cloudco introduced Care Bears: Unlock the Magic, a 2D animated series featuring an all-new look and mission for the bears. Care Bears: Unlock the Magic launched on Tiny Pop in the UK and Boomerang and Cartoon Network in the US. Bavaria Sonor Licensing will support the classic Care Bears style as well as the new look. “Care Bears is a cult brand that fits perfectly into Bavaria Media’s licensing portfolio and we are thrilled to be representing the brand. GAS is a market with significant growth opportunity for Care Bears and we look forward to working closely with the team at Cloudco,” said Ivica Maracic, Licensing & Sales Director der Bavaria Sonor Licensing “Bavaria Sonor Licensing is one of the leaders in the German speaking licensing market, and together, we are confident that we will be able to expand the brand’s presence and bring messages of positivity to Germany, Austria and Switzerland,” said Roubina Tchoboian,Vice President of International Licensing at Cloudco Entertainment
PAW PATROL T-SHIRTS SUPPORT THE NHS ViacomCBS’s Nick Jr. UK recently announced the launch of a limited edition PAW Patrol pups t-shirt, the profits of which will go to NHS Charities Together, which supports NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients. The limited-edition t-shirt has been created in partnership with online retailer Character.com and apparel partner Bioworld International. They are now available on Character.com and will be promoted across Nick Jr.’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, in addition to key influencers’ social accounts. The t-shirt design features the PAW Patrol pups alongside the words ‘Thank you Heroes’ and a rainbow made out of colourful dog paws. The rainbow has become an emblem of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic, with children placing rainbow pictures in their windows as a symbol of solidarity with the NHS. Venetia Davie, VP Consumer Products for ViacomCBS Networks UK said “Paw Patrol is our leading pre-school property and we’re thrilled to be able to use its success to help support the UK’s frontline health workers, to whom we are incredibly grateful.” PAW Patrol has been the #1 preschool property since 2016 and started the year on a high with the January launch of PAW Patrol: Ready Race Rescue in cinemas, following the success of PAW Patrol: Mighty Pups in 2019. As PAW Patrol enters its seventh series a new theme titled Dino Rescue will be introduced, which will launch on Nick Jr. from the end of August and in December on Channel 5’s pre-school strand Milkshake!
BABY SIMON’S CAT CAMPAIGN Endemol Shine Group has announced a brand-new multi-category campaign for hit animated series Simon’s Cat. The all-new Baby Simon’s Cat campaign incorporates new product, gaming and content strands over the coming months. Recently it was announced that voice solutions specialists Voice Interactive have developed two Simon’s Cat voice skills for global distribution through Amazon’s smart assistant. Talk to Simon’s Cat, enables users to listen to hundreds of neverbefore-heard Simon’s Cat sounds and Play with Simon’s Cat, allows users to adopt and play with their very own Simon’s Cat. Accompanying the release of the recently announced voice skills will be a brand new Baby Simon’s Cat plush from leading social commerce platform Teespring. Building on the sell-out success of the first run of plushies with Teespring last year, the new product will be available for preorder shortly. The new plushie is Simon’s Cat as a kitten which also ties into a new digital series launching on YouTube. Origins is a three-part black and white strand which will take audiences back for the very first time, to show the beginnings of showing how Simon and his infamous cat first became acquainted. And later this year, a full-colour special of the Origins films will be released to tie-in with the delivery of the plushie orders.
POKEMON DEBUT NEW EXPANSION
The Pokémon Company International has unveiled the newest expansion for the Pokémon Trading Card Game, Sword & Shield—Darkness Ablaze, arriving around the world on August 14, 2020. Sword & Shield—Darkness Ablaze introduces highly collectible cards including Charizard VMAX, as the fan favorite Charizard makes its Gigantamax form debut in the Pokémon TCG - just like in the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield video games. In addition, Trainers will be able to pull more Pokémon from the Galar region as Pokémon VMAX, such as Centiskorch VMAX and Grimmsnarl VMAX in their Gigantamax forms, and the Legendary Pokémon Eternatus VMAX in its unique Eternamax form. The full expansion includes seven Pokémon VMAX, 14 powerful Pokémon V - plus nine full-art Pokémon V, 17 Trainer cards and four full-art Supporter cards and three new Special Energy cards Fans interested in playing with cards from the expansion before launch can do so by picking up the Sword & Shield - Darkness Ablaze Build & Battle Box, available through their local participating Pokémon TCG retailer starting August 1. Each box contains four Sword & Shield - Darkness Ablaze booster packs; a 23-card Evolution pack featuring key cards from current and prior sets, including one of four alternate-art promo cards; and a deck-building tip sheet.
CARD Corporation, the lifestyle mobile banking company, has partnered with emoji The Iconic Brand to expand its offering of prepaid cards. The deal was brokered by Retail Monster, LLC, the emoji company’s North American licensing agent. The collection, which launched its first wave in April 2020, includes over 100 different designs to choose from. “CARD.com offers its customers a variety of designs to choose from, which allows for more of a personal touch to prepaid cards. By adding the emoji brand and its official emoji icons, they are adding a new and more expressive flair to the current offering. To us, this was a very natural alliance,” said Marco Hüsges, CEO and Founder, the emoji company.
GURU STUDIO INKS MULTIPLE NEW BROADCAST DEALS Toronto-based children’s content producer Guru Studio has recently announced it has signed a number of new international broadcast deals for its hit preschool series True and the Rainbow Kingdom and its two-time Emmy nominated series Justin Time. The strong lineup of new broadcast partners for True and the Rainbow Kingdom include Tiny Pop (UK), Discovery Family (US), TV Azteca (Mexico), Canal Panda (Portugal & Spain) and NET (Indonesia). Following the successful launch of season one and two on DR (Denmark), Discovery Frisbee (Italy) and RTS (Switzerland), the three networks have quickly acquired the next two seasons. CBC in Canada which already aired the first three seasons has also acquired the fourth season which is set to air later this year. Key broadcast deals for Justin Time include top partners in Asia such as Tencent (China), Youku (China), and TVB (Hong Kong). AFRTS (US Armed Forces) has also picked up all three seasons. “Guru is known for great storytelling and for creating shows that deeply resonate with kids and families, and True and the Rainbow Kingdom is no exception.” said Jonathan Abraham,VP of Sales and Business Development at Guru Studio. “The show is performing extremely well around the world, both on commercial and public broadcast, and it’s exciting to see such strong enthusiasm from broadcasters.” As part of True and the Rainbow Kingdom’s global roll out on linear television, Guru is building a full 360-degree marketing program in each territory.
The show has very quickly built a dedicated global fanbase with its timely and important message of empowering children to be mindful, compassionate and respectful of all living things. On AVOD platforms such as YouTube and YouTube Kids, True and the Rainbow Kingdom has amassed a sizeable audience with over 260 million views. The show’s Giphy page now boasts over 2 billion shares. Consumer products for True and the Rainbow Kingdom including a line of plush, Halloween costumes, activity books and storybooks are also now available across North America. Justin Time has aired in more than 138 countries worldwide and has been recognized with multiple award nominations including six Annie’s and two Emmys. The series centers on the adventurous Justin and his imaginary pals Olive and Squidgy. Together they travel to every corner of the world, as Justin’s imagination catapults them into larger-than-life adventures set in different points in history. The series draws on the timeless themes of fun, friendship and adventure.
BOATROCKER PARTNERS WITH CBC Boat Rocker Studios and CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster, have announced their partnership on the forthcoming new CBC original preschool animations Dino Ranch and Remy & Boo (both also produced in association with Radio-Canada). The titles were announced as part of CBC’s 2020-21 programming slate and are set to launch on CBC and CBC Gem soon. CBC has also acquired a further raft of Boat Rocker’s leading children’s titles. CBC Gem now offers more than 400 hours of ad-free programming for young audiences. Jon Rutherford, Managing Director, Kids & Family and President, Rights, Boat Rocker Studios, said: “We are excited to continue to grow our partnership with CBC across these stellar shows, hot off the heels of the launch of The Next Step series 7 on CBC Gem. We are sure they will follow the success of TNS and become firm favourites with kids and families across Canada. These shows are key to our growing kids & family portfolio, which offers a wealth of compelling viewing for audiences globally.” Marie McCann, Senior Director, Children’s Content, CBC Kids, said: “We think kids will be captivated with the jaw-dropping design and great storytelling coming from Matt Fernandes and the amazing creative teams at Industrial Brothers and Boat Rocker. Building on the success of last year’s Kingdom Force, this partnership will help us grow our library of best-inclass content for kids of all ages.”
IMG AND UBISOFT Ubisoft has chosen IMG to be the first exclusive licensing agency for its blockbuster game franchises Assassin’s Creed and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege in Europe and Asia. With more than 100 million unique players and 16 games released over the past 10 years, Assassin’s Creed is an iconic brand with a robust licensing programme, which IMG will look to expand into new territories and categories. With more than 55 million players worldwide and 145 million hours of esports content watched since the launch of the first Rainbow Six Pro League four years ago, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege shows an increasingly strong esports scene, with events organised every year around the world attracting huge viewership and fan engagement. Categories being targeted for both Assassin’s Creed and Rainbow Six Siege consumer product licensing will initially include apparel, tech items, accessories, toys, home decor, stationery and experiences.
BEANO HAS A BUSY 2020! Beano is one of the most recognisable British brands of all time and has become firmly established as a national treasure since its launch over 80 years ago. It’s been a busy 2020 so far, as Beano continues to bring licensed products to more fans, young and old across the globe. The brand has recently announced five new licensing deals for the UK and Ireland. Smiffy’s are on board for a fun new range of paper partyware, Rachel Lowe are creating a collection of puzzles, board games and card games for Dennis and his Beanotown friends. Beano confectionery in personalised packaging will also be created by Great Gifts and health and beauty experts H&A are developing a creative range of Beano products to include everyday essentials, play cosmetics, health and beauty accessories and hair care. In apparel, Park Agencies have currently developing adult and kids tees and sweats. All products will launch into retail later this year.
Beano has continued to keep the nation’s spirits raised as it searches for Britain’s Funniest Family with comedian Romesh Ranganathan and charity YoungMinds, creating fun activities for families to join in with as they stay at home. As well as a partnership with Save the Children to create a blamtastic Lockdown Birthday kit to make sure children still have fun birthdays in lockdown whilst raising vital funds for vulnerable children. The hit TV show Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! is currently in production for a second series following the successful debut on CBBC in the UK. The International Emmy-nominated show has been sold globally to over 90 countries; including prime time slots on free-to-air public service broadcasters such as Super RTL in Germany, RAI in Italy and France Télévision and is now available on Netflix in the UK and US. Beano’s global reach has led to a roster of agents being appointed in the UK, and across Europe with more to be announced very soon. Finally, looking ahead to 2021 it’s the one and only Dennis’ 70th birthday and celebrations and more partners will be announced soon.
VISELMAN BRINGS MOONZY TO THE AMERICAS
Moonzy has more views than the total official YouTube pages of Disney, Nickelodeon and PBS Kids combined!
Kenn Viselman, best known for his work on several megahits including Teletubbies, Thomas the Tank Engine, Noddy, Eloise and many others, announced recently he, along with Brooklyn Weaver, (Extant, Reverie, Run All Night), is bringing International Superstar, Moonzy, to the Americas under his itsy bitsy Entertainment banner. The irresistible and irrepressible Moonzy is soaring towards an astonishing 9 billion views on YouTube, is the highest rated children’s series throughout parts of Europe and most recently in China on CCTV Kids now has his sights set on the Americas. “With so much of the globe being polarized and every aspect of life being
so politicized on nearly every screen everywhere, there could not possibly be a better time than now to introduce Moonzy as a safe-haven for our children,” said Kenn Viselman “At his core, Moonzy is filled purely with Love and Laughter which is why he has skyrocketed with billions of views on YouTube to superstardom. Parents and Caregivers around the world are clamoring for wholesome fun and funny entertainment for their children and families as is evidenced by the huge success of Trolls World Tour and the new Scooby Doo movie.” Moonzy has more views than the total official YouTube pages of Disney, Nickelodeon & PBS Kids’ combined, is one
in partnership with Kenn Viselman’s itsy bitsy Entertainment, Brooklyn Weaver, Claus Tomming and INK Media, Melnitsa Animation Studio, the series’ award-winning producers Sergei Selyanov and Alexander Boyarskiy and art director, two time Academy Award nominee, Konstantin Bronzit. Season I of the Americanized version consists of 108 episodes and 3 Holiday Themed ‘Mini-Movies’ are underway as well with a great cast of celebrities slated to host. Based on the global demand for this ‘moondust & moonbeam filled ball of pinkish deliciousness,’ Season II a 3D animated version of Moonzy, is already in production. “As a result of families being shel-
of the most viewed preschool children’s series in history and just sold his 20 millionth book within Eastern Europe. Moonzy is now set to star in a self-titled, animated children’s series
tered in place, for what might be the first time in a long-time, parents and caregivers alike are truly aware of what their children are watching on screen and they are actively seeking out healthy alternatives to the graphic violence that is so persuasive in our society today,” continued Viselman Because of what he believes will be huge demand when Moonzy is released in the Americas,Viselman pulled together many of his former Teletubbies Team including Graham Halky, Emilia Nuccio and Marcio França Domingues. The deal includes all rights for broadcast of the animated series as well as new productions and the general exploitation of the property including merchandising and promotions from the top of Canada to the base of South America and all US possessions worldwide. This deal was negotiated by Anne Jordan of the Jordan Group in Brentwood California.
‘BAG TO SCHOOL’ IN STYLE WITH DIFUZED! In collaboration with some of the most famous gaming and entertainment brands of all-time, Difuzed is making going Back to School in 2020 much more fun. Their collection consists of 118 different backpacks, messenger bags, tote bags, and fanny packs which are designed to make school days a bit more stylish. The range showcases brands like Pokémon, Super Mario Bros, Hello Kitty, Playstation, Pusheen, Atari, Donkey Kong, Game Boy, Jurassic Park, The Marvel Universe, Zelda, Magic The Gathering, and Xbox just to name a few. “Our vision is to continue defining youth culture with the innovative products across multiple categories” says CEO, Gilbert El Kalaani. The bags will be sold throughout various gaming stores, geek stores, toy stores, grocers and fashion retailers across Europe. Our specifically designed FSDU’s and custom-made display units add to the total retail proposition and create further impact on the shop floor.
“The current generation of students want to develop and show their style even at school. These days, products in our ‘Bag To School’ collection are no longer ‘just’ accessories, but are being used as a wardrobe-essential. We are offering a lot of brands with quality and creative design in order to create added value for our end-customers. We are confident that our products on shelves will attract youngsters and young at hearts and be a success at retail” says, COO, Gustavo Antonioni. Difuzed has been a specialist in building the bridge from brand to market since 1994. With the background in design-led product development, their added value is to design trendy, yet timeless products with more than 250 world-wide gaming, entertainment and evergreen brands. They are proud of our collaboration with all these brands and with their 360° approach, they design, produce and distribute apparel & accessories in more than 50 countries. For more information, visit www.Difuzed.com.
NEW LICENSES TO PROVIDE FUN DURING DIFFICULT TIMES NASCAR is working hard with its partners to ensure fans have NASCAR related content and products to help provide some fun during these tough times. NASCAR and Funko have recently announced new additions to their NASCAR-licensed line: Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr, Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace. These new figures were selected based upon fan requests as well as driver sales numbers via trackside and NASCAR Shop online. This comes after a successful first wave that included availability in over 150 retailers worldwide, including Target, FYE and GameStop. NASCAR and Funko are already discussing plans for wave three, which will launch early next year. In addition, NASCAR and its licensee iRacing are continuing to grow the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, a sim-racing exhibition format featuring some of the biggest names in the sport. The series, which was start-
ed to provide content to sports fans during these tough times, mirrors the postponed schedule and is broadcasted on FOX, FS1 and the FOX Sports App.The O’Reilly Auto Parts 125 from the virtual Texas Motor Speedway on March 29 set a new record, pulling in 1.3 million total viewers across FOX and FS1 to become the highest-rated televised esports event in the United States. NASCAR has also worked with licensees to create eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational product assortment. Also, new for 2020, NASCAR has developed a consumer product style guide called TEAM NASCAR. The new guide provides a youthful spin for licensees, with creative developed specifically around two segments: rookies ages 2-5 and kids ages 6+. Each segment contains a rich collection of assets including illustrations, badges, type treatments, patterns, borders and icons that licensees can utilize to develop cohesive and creative consumer products that speak to the younger NASCAR fans. TEAM NASCAR will formally debut the
Paul Sparrow, NASCAR style guide this spring and NASCAR will seek additional youth-focused licensees to expand the program. Interest in NASCAR is growing with NASCAR-licensed products coming off an exceptionally strong 2019 holiday season with double-digit growth in the fourth quarter and year-to-date sales continuing to register doubledigit growth both trackside and on NASCAR Shop. Additionally, comparable NASCAR Cup Series race broadcasts were up +5% year-over-year in 2019 and continue to be on the rise in 2020. To find out more, Total Licensing talked to Paul Sparrow, Managing Director, Licensing and Consumer Products, NASCAR How are you, for want of a better word, ‘capitalising’ on the crisis? Paul Sparrow: NASCAR has a long history of simulated racing, so that has been very popular. Really NASCAR was the original esport. People are having a lot of fun racing virtually! And what has the response from fans been so far?
TOTAL LICENSING the highest aggregated scores of the season, and was one of 40 toys included as part of Walmart’s virtual Toy Lab.
Through the roof! Social media has also been a massive help in putting it out there and sharing the news to the many fans. It’s been a real phenomenon. And has really enabled us to connect with fans on a global level. What about after the pandemic – is this something you will keep going? Absolutely. It’s turned into a really unique experience for fans. Tell us a little about your licensing program and how that is still able to grow through the crisis. Walmart and Nascar have a very long and successful history together, and our range from Far Out Toys has been super popular. The play patterns and ages are very interesting too, with a wide demograph.
the Crash Racers vehicle line, which is generating multi-million-dollar sales across Walmart, Target and Amazon. What kind of products have you developed together? The first of our NASCAR branded vehicle track sets, NASCAR Adventure Force Crash Racers, was developed to capture the thrill and excitement of NASCAR through endless hours of racing, wrecking and rebuilding race cars. We launched this at Darlington Raceway last year with events at the NASCAR Kids Zone including driver appearances by NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch and NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Noah Gragson. Since the launch, the NASCAR Adventure Force Crash Racers track set was selected as part of Walmart’s “Top Rated by Kids” list with one of
And to see what licensees have to say, Total Licensing spoke to Keith Meggs, CEO and Founder of Far Out Toys. Tell us about your relationship with NASCAR. Keith Meggs: Far Out Toys launched in 2017 with the mission to create innovative toys by leveraging inventor relationships and developing long term partnerships with other family friendly brands – making NASCAR a natural fit! In just two years, that vision was realized with a full line of products under the NASCAR brand including
Keith Meggs, Far Out Toys
What is coming up this year? We are really excited about our new products and activities planned for this year. One of which is the NASCAR Crash Circuit Roval Track set, coming this fall. Inspired by the oval road course at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, this new track set also comes with two unique vehicles, a rotating Winner’s Circle, and even figures for creating your pit crew. We have formalized a promotional relationship with NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series driver Natalie Decker and once the racing season resumes, we are planning activities for kids at NASCAR tracks including influencers and other popular drivers to create fun events on-site. Why was the NASCAR license important for your toy line? First and foremost, the popularity of NASCAR with children and families was key. In addition, we were excited about the opportunity to partner with
them to bring NASCAR back to the toy aisle after a several year absence. And the statistics don’t lie - NASCARlicensed products are really growing, coming off a strong 2019 holiday season with double-digit growth in the fourth quarter and year-to-date sales continuing to register double-digit growth both trackside and on NASCAR Shop. Additionally, comparable NASCAR Cup Series race broadcasts were up +5% year-over-year in 2019 and continue to be on the rise in 2020.
ROBOCAR POLI’S NEW SERIES TO PREMIER ON JULY 2 The new Robocar POLI series has been revealed to fans. The globally popular animation, Robocar POLI, dis-
tributed in 35 languages in 144 countries around the world, finally returns with its new Robocar POLI SongSong
Museum. The first episode will air on July 2 on EBS, and will be broadcast every Thursday and Friday. The Robocar POLI SongSong Museum includes the new mission of the Robocar POLI rescue team to find the songs that the children will like from the new museum in Brooms Town.The episodes comprise 26 nursery rhymes that are popular worldwide, such as ‘Twinkle twinkle Little Star’ and ‘If You’re Happy.’ These songs have been arranged to demonstrate Robocar POLI’s unique features. By watching, listening, and singing along to the familiar melody and various rhythms of the music video, children will be able to show and develop their emotions. The Robocar POLI SongSong Museum is the most ambitiously developed project since Daily Safety with Amber in 2018 and the first spin-off over the last two years, other than the ‘Safety’ series. In total, there are 26 five-minute episodes. Roivisual, the production company, is targeting the Robocar POLI SongSong Museum at children between the ages of 2 and 5, which is lower than the target age of the original Robocar POLI series. Roivisual anticipates that these music animations will be easier to gain the interest of infants and toddlers than the stories of the rescue team in emergency situations. This will ultimately expand the fan base of Robocar POLI to include younger children. The reaction from the industry also seems to agree. Roivisual says that not only the three IPTV companies SK Btv, Olleh TV, and LG U+TV, but also JTBC and Daegyo Children TV have already signed a contract to distribute the program and the rights are already sold to Taiwan and Japan as well. Meanwhile, Robocar POLI, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, has been appearing on tvN dramas Hi Bye, Mama! and Hospital Playlist, and
TOTAL LICENSING reality shows, such as The Return of Superman, and Welcome, First Time in Korea?, boasting huge popularity. Robocar POLI has over 5.6 million followers and 9 billion cumulative views from around the world, including new media platforms such as YouTube and Netflix. This new release of Robocar POLI SongSong Museum is sure to quench the thirst of its fans who have waited a long time for a new release.
contents free of charge, using its safety-conscious brand image at a time where safety has become a social requirement. Roivisual also released the Robocar POLI Play Nursery Rhyme album and established four nursery
rhyme channels on YouTube in Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese. The company is planning to expand their online platform content by launching six types of mobile games within this year.
Robocar POLI is a Recommended Animation the World Over During Social Distancing. Robocar POLI is the go-to animation that parents can rely on to show their children while being cooped up at home in this new COVID-19 era. On March 12, an article entitled Educational Animations would Recommend Showing to Children on Netflix, Amazon, and Disney Channel, Japanese media Biglobe News introduced Robocar POLI as ‘popular animation available on Disney Junior in Japan, educating kids on cooperation and traffic safety - subjects that are essential to children, along with Doc McStuffins Pororo the Little Penguin, and Thomas & Friends. The Quebec publication HuffPost Canada reported that Tele Quebec has organized special programming for families staying home as a result of COVID-19, and recommended Robocar POLI. Similar recommendations have appeared in the USA, Spanish, and French media. Robocar Poli is currently available worldwide on Netflix, and the English version of Netflix recommends Robocar Poli, identifying the show as having ‘Clever Characters’. iQiyi, the Chinese Netflix, reported that Robocar POLI season 3-4 took the number 1 spot in the last week of March. In Korea, the Robocar POLI Safety Series is being provided free of charge to the ‘Free Home-Schooling Special Hall’ in response to COVID-19, that are being serviced by ZEM Kids of SK B TV. Roivisual is actively involved in a social contribution to distribute its safety
TV AND FILM
CONTINUE TO DRIVE LICENSED PRODUCT Kids Insights, the global leader in kids’ market intelligence, survey more than 3,000 children every week, across 4 continents and 9 countries, and more than 150,000 children a year. The Kids Insights Global Toy & Games report produced in February 2020 reveals a comprehensive annual overview of key challenges, opportunities and trends which they are seeing, based on data collected across the UK, US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and India. The toy industry faced difficult trading conditions throughout 2019 across a number of countries, however 2019 was also a big year for TV and movie releases, headed up by the release of the second Frozen installment. Other blockbusters also released last year from Disney and Pixar, include Toy Story 4, The LEGO Movie 2 and Paw
Patrol. In 2020, licensing could help power the toy market.As we know big film and TV releases not only impact content kids are watching but also product purchases. The data shows that licensed products are one of the key drivers for the US toy industry; a substantial 41.2%
of American kids aged 3-12 purchase film tie-in toys, higher than any other country. In the last quarter of 2019, 3-9 year olds who watched Frozen II at the movie theatre bought movierelated toys, 30% more than average. Amongst pre-school Americans aged 3-5, almost two-thirds (63%) bought TV-related toys, with three in four fans purchasing PJ Mask products (77%) and 76% of Paw Patrol viewers purchasing tie-in toys. For kids aged 6-9, My Little Pony topped toy purchases (68%), followed by Paw Patrol (62%) and LEGO Ninjago (61%). Toys however, are not the only form of merchandise that viewers are buying as other categories have increased recently; the number of 3-12s buying stickers related to their favourite movie almost doubled between Q1 2018 (9%) and Q4 2019 (16%). Whilst in many countries, TV shows lead the way in terms of licensed product, Italy is the only country globally where kids aged 3-12 buy more toys in relation to their favourite movie (10.7%) than TV show (3.6%). Elsewhere, in the UK, preschoolers
(3-5s) are the most likely age group to own licensed toys related to their favourite films (33%) and TV shows (46%) and almost 9 in 10 parents (88%) say they have bought licensed products related to their child’s favourite character. This increases to 95% amongst parents of 2-4 year olds, showing a considerable appetite for licensed merchandise, even before the age where pester-power really comes into play. Among the parents of 2-4 year old Peppa Pig fans, 3 in 4 bought toys related to their child’s favourite character. Despite YouTube and video game purchases being relatively low across almost all countries, the potential in this area is huge. In the UK, Kids Insights’ data shows that 16% of kids have purchased products relating to their favourite YouTubers and amongst 6-9 year olds, almost 1 in 5 (19%) have bought toys based on their favourite video games, the most likely group to do so. Indian children also buy more toys based on games or YouTube than other markets. Ryan’s World is a good example of a YouTuber transcending the platform and making a huge suc-
USA AND UK FAVOURITE ADS 2019 BOYS (3 - 5) USA No Name 1 Toy Commercials 2 Paw Patrol 3 Disney 4 Geico 5 Lego 6 Nike 7 McDonald’s 8 Charmin 9 Cartoon Commercials 10 Hot Wheels
BOYS (3 - 5) UK Result. % 5.4 3.7 2.4 2.0 1.7 1.6 1.5 1.2 0.9 0.9
GIRLS (6 - 9) USA No Name 1 Toy Commercials 2 Disney 3 Barbie 4 LOL Dolls 5 Geico 6 McDonald’s 7 Paw Patrol 8 Nike 9 Charmin 10 Hatchimals cess of selling licensed products. With movie releases for Barbie, Hot Wheels and Masters of the Universe in the pipeline, will we see licensed products in games increase further or will video game properties and YouTubers, an area set to be an increased threat on more traditional TV licenses, win as kids spend longer gaming? Most recently in the US, we have seen a number of viewership changes during the coronavirus lockdown with a decline in the number of kids watching Netflix (-13%),YouTube (-16%) and Amazon Prime (-13%). How may this impact licensed product purchases after the COVID – 19 lockdown? Already, our data shows that in the
No Name 1 Toy Adverts 2 Lego 3 Coca-Cola 4 Paw Patrol 5 Nike 6 Flash Ultra 7 Disney 8 Christmas Adverts 9 Smyths Toys 10 Cadbury
Result. % 3.9 2.3 2.1 1.9 1.8 1.6 1.6 1.2 1.2 1.1
To receive further information and details of how to purchase a copy of the 60 page report, please visit https://kidsinsights.com/ global-toy-report/.
GIRLS (6 - 9) UK Result. % 5.1 4.5 2.5 2.5 2.3 1.5 1.3 1.1 1.0 0.9
No Name 1 Toy Adverts 2 Disney 3 LOL Dolls 4 Haribo 5 Coca-Cola 6 Peppa Pig 7 Barbie 8 Compare the Market 9 John Lewis 10 Christmas Adverts
US, gaming fans have instead been purchasing more video-themed board games (+25% from 8.3% to 10.3%), DVD’s (+16% from 9.8% to 11.4%) and apps (+28% from 6.9% to 8.8%) from the beginning of coronavirus. In the UK, there has been a 25% increase in gaming related toy purchases (from 15.8% to 12.6%). Whatever way consumption and purchasing habits change and develop during the coronavirus, the world is likely to be a different place once the pandemic has ceased. This is just one area which Kids Insights’ comprehensive report covers. They also look at the impact of technological innovations, sustainabil-
Result. % 5.6 3.0 2.7 1.9 1.8 1.8 1.6 1.2 1.1 1.1
ity, licensing, kids increasing financial empowerment, licensing, retail, media consumption, top ten by country, key trends and what’s next.
LICENSING JAPAN RESCHEDULED FOR LATE OCTOBER Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd. has announced that the 10th Licensing Japan - Character & Brand Licensing Trade Show, originally scheduled to be held from April 1 - 3, has been rescheduled to October 27 - 29, 2020 at Tokyo Big Sight, Japan, due to growing concerns related to COVID-19.
Organised by Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd. and supported by: Character Brand Licensing Association (CBLA), the show will now be held with even more grandeur. Over 1,800 properties from 200 exhibitors will be showcased. To boost the licensing business after the coronavirus suspension, leading licensors have already confirmed their participation as exhibitors including: Gaia (The Walking Dead, CupOfTherapy, Probity Europe), Green Camel, (Rilakkuma), Capcom (Monster Hunter, Resident Evil, etc.), Fuji Television Network (Chuggington, Pa Rappa the Rapper, Gachapin & Mukku, etc.), Sekiguchi (Monchhichi etc.), Fujiya (Peko, milky, etc.), etc. Besides these, companies with various ranges of properties will also be present: from fashion brands (Anap.) to art/design properties (Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, V&A etc.). Many international exhibitors, including those in the Korea Pavilion and Taiwan Pavilion, are also expected to exhibit. Increasing numbers of licensees visit Licensing Japan each year. Those in attendance include decision makers from product planning/sales promotion departments of various manufacturers and retailers. In addition, visits from corporate public relations departments have been increasing recently, confirming the trend that characters/brands are used for corporate branding. With quality exhibitors and visitors, Licensing Japan has established itself as the best platform for the business of licensing in Japan and Asian markets. The online Matching System, introduced two years ago, enhances networking opportunities. 1,010 appointments were fixed through the system in 2019, and even more business negotiations are expected to be conducted this year for merchandising/collaboration. Licensing Japan is held alongside Fashion World Tokyo and IOFT (International Optical Fair Tokyo). These shows will bring even more manufacturers dealing in fashion and eyewear to Licensing Japan.
There are just a few exhibiting spaces left, so if you are interested, please visit www.licensing-japan.jp/ex_en/ firstname.lastname@example.org +81-3-3349-8507
The Stark Reality The pandemic has had a seismic impact on retail around the world. Here, we take a look at the state of play in two of the worst-hit territories – the UK and the USA.
The UK John Westwood, Founder & Group Managing Director at Blacktower Financial Management Group, analyses the impact of the virus on the UK’s retail market. Retail sales saw the biggest drop on record for retail sales, as many stores ceased trading from 23rd March following government orders. Markets expected a 4% drop, however, figures came in worse at a 5.1% plunge. Clothing stores saw the biggest drop off in sales, whilst food stores and nonstore retailing were the two sectors that showed growth. Due to people panic buying food before lockdown in March, this prevented a bigger decline in sales. However, households may have been dipping into their stockpile supplies prior to lockdown or generally spending less as incomes take a hit. A further decline in sales is expected in April due to a widespread lockdown, and this could fall by 20-30%. Due to
the uncertainty of COVID-19, many shoppers will not return to high street shopping once the lockdown has lifted due to health concerns. This will see rippling effects for months. COVID-19 will have a significant negative impact on the UK economy. In the short-run, it has generated substantial uncertainty for UK businesses on top of the uncertainty brought by Brexit. With the expectation of at least two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, the UK economy is plunging into a recession, which may be even deeper than the 2008 financial crisis. A recession will decrease sales revenues and profits, reduce business investment, increase unemployment and dampen business accounts. The ripple effects of a recession will decline consumers’ income, consumer confidence and spending drop. If businesses are able to build a bond with consumers during the crisis, bringing a sense of structure and calm, whilst encouraging people to come back to retail stores, restaurants and bars when lockdown ends, then this will have a positive effect on businesses.
Retail Store Sales by Category USA Percentage change from March to April 2020 +8.4% -3.5% -12.4% -13.1% -15.2% -20.8% -24.7% -28.8% -29.5% -38.0% -58.7% -60.6% -78.8%
Nonstore Retailers Building and Garden Materials Motor Vehicle and Parts Food and Beverage Health and Personal Care General Merchandise Misc. Retailers Gasoline Stations Food Services and Drinking Places Sporting Goods/Hobby/Musical Furniture and Home Furnishings Electronics and Appliances Clothing and Accessories
The USA Consumer spending fell a record 16.4% in April as a direct result of the pandemic, according to a recent government report. Some 68% of the nation’s $21.5 trillion economy comes from personal expenditure, which fell over 7.6% in the first quarter, at the same time as social distancing measures began to take hold. The data also showed that the slowdown continued into the first part of the second quarter as layoffs began to mount and consumers went into lockdown. Clothing stores took the biggest hit with a 78.8% tumble. Other big losers were electronics and appliances (-60.6%), furniture and home furnishing (-58.7%) sporting goods (-38%), and bars and restaurants (-29.5%). Online and non-store retailers rose 8.4%. Total spending amounted to $403.9 billion, with the biggest factor in the downturn being a collapse in clothing and accessories that amounted to a 78.8% fall. Retail trade overall saw a 15.1% drop from March and a 17.8% slide from April 2019. The retail industry, particularly brick and mortar stores, already had been in a state of peril, and the coronavirus measures have only added to the misery although, with some restrictions being relaxed, analysts hope that the economic data will turn around fairly quickly. The collapse in retail spending comes amid job losses unseen in the postWorld War II U.S. As we go to press, nearly 39 million Americans have lost their jobs over the past nine weeks.
Licensing Comes of Age in Gaming With the games industry now worth more than the movie and music industry combined, it was only a matter of time before it started to challenge more traditional media’s influence in the realm of licensing as well.
with an estimated total lifetime revenue of $95 billion. This success can be recognised across video games, a trading card game, movies, multiple ongoing TV series and of course merchandise - which accounts for the majority of its impressive financials.
Despite the industry’s billions of dollars and ever-increasing cultural reach, licensing in the games industry had some less-than-inspiring beginnings, often limited to licensed games video games based on existing properties - which produced interesting experiences like “The Office: The Video Game” and “Barbie Horse Adventures”. Now though the tables have turned, with industry shifting from producing games based on toy franchises to producing toys based on game franchises - for example, Fortnite, Overwatch and Animal Crossing all now sport their own lines of toys and collectibles.
This broad approach allows video game franchises to appeal to a wide range of players who have their own ways of playing games and different levels of investment in the franchises. This allows licensed products to have appeal beyond the traditional “hardcore” fanbase. The type of gamer interested in completionism has been an obvious target for items like collectables, but those whose gaming focus is more social or exploratory will seek out different ways to connect with the franchises they love. This is why the industry, collectively, has started to see not only more mass market merchandise from the gaming space, but also cross media ventures like the Witcher Netflix series or the Warcraft film, which appeal to not only current players, but also to people who may not even be aware of the games they are based on.
The key difference today in video games licensing is the difference in mass market appeal. While video games have created merchandise for their most devoted fans for decades, often under the banner of “collectables”, we’ve only recently seen multiple games franchises shift their merchandise to the mass market. Toys and collectables are now just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to video games, with apparel, accessories and even home decor all proving to be lucrative revenue streams for those franchises investing in them.
These ventures are the tip of the iceberg in understanding the interest in worlds that video games create, often transcending the games themselves. At Jagex we’ve had significant success in licensed novels set in the world of Runescape from Titan Books, our Strategy Card game and our official commercial release of RuneScape’s award-winning soundtrack for the first time with Laced Records, but even these only scratch the surface of what is possible today.
By Stewart Stanbury, Director of Business Development at Jagex
People will always invest their time and money in the things that bring them closer to their friends and their passions, but video games are in a unique position to give people ways to create deep communities and even lifestyles through engagement and play. Licensing plays an integral role in amplifying these relationships and experiences beyond the games themselves, and we are entering a golden age of possibilities and opportunities for how license holders will work with their players, communities and partners to make this happen.
This increase in the value of video game licenses isn’t just as a result of more people playing video games, but it is part of a broader cultural shift. “Geek culture” is becoming “mainstream”. For instance, there has been a big increase in the proportion of people seeking out more ways to engage with the fantastical worlds and characters that gaming has given us beyond just the in-game experiences. The best example of successful licensing in video games is the Pokémon franchise, a mixed media juggernaut
NEW CONTENT FOR BEYBLADE Starting in 1963, advertising company ASATSU-DK Inc. (ADK) has produced and disseminated myriads of TV animated titles that have gone on to become national and international phenomena.
ADK Emotions was established in January 2019 as part of its parent company ADK’s transition to a holding company, ADK Holdings Inc. Since then, ADK Emotions has assumed much of ADK’s contents business, taking on a more independent role with a greater degree of specialization while expanding its business operations with special regard to original IP creation, overseas development, and new digital ventures. Currently, ADK Emotions NY Inc., the New York-based subsidiary is leveraging its expertise in transforming animé into sustainable and robust global franchises to bolster the international phenomena Beyblade. The fledging company is writing yet another successful chapter of content development, marketing, licensing, and promotion, in a genre its forbearer dominated for more than a half century. Most recently, ADK Emotions NY has developed a broad new content strategy for the flagship IP. While traditional episodic animation for Bey-
blade is currently in production for major broadcasters and SVOD players around the globe, the company understands that now more than ever there is a need to cater to a fervent fanbase across multiple platforms. New content is continually being produced to meet the growing demand for Beyblade’s expansive universe. This includes mini clips, Influencer content, music videos and other social media imprints that connect to today’s audiences. In only a few short months, the new approach is showing amazing results. The global YouTube imprint can boast more than 360 million worldwide views and over 2 million global subscribers. As the digital strategy ramps up, this already impressive number is expected to multiply. Along with iconic global partners including Hasbro, Disney, McDonald’s and Netflix, ADK Emotions NY is now looking to expand Beyblade’s considerable reach by leveraging the unique nexus the brand inhabits between narrative content, physical play, and digital innovation. “We are creating new and innovative content all the time,” says Shawn Wada. “Our strategy is to feed digital platforms with a constant flow of creative narrative that will dovetail with our toys and consumer products program. Beyblade fans desire a fulsome experience. Offline they want to play
the competitive game, online they want to continue that unique and exhilarating experience in many different ways. It is our number one priority to engage and entertain them wherever they are.” ADK Emotions NY is preparing for growth in 2020 even as the general business environment faces an unprecedented challenge. While the company is being impacted by the current situation, as a tight and agile unit, it has been able to successfully re-align Beyblade promotions and live events, refocusing on digital content drops and virtual events that will keep fans connected, engaged, and, most importantly, safe for the duration. Plans have already begun around the 20th anniversary throughout 2020/1 that will both stoke the nostalgia of its long-time aficionados and awaken interest in those who are discovering the franchise. The company is planning a robust slate of activities that will give fans a reason to celebrate with innovative toys, updated gameplay and fresh content, delivering unique Beyblade competition and engagement to kids and adults alike. As Beyblade enters its third decade, ADK Emotions NY is committed to preserving and enhancing the creativity, invention, and, fun, that has made it one of the most popular Anime-based franchises in the world.
Allan Stone A true Licensing Industry Founding Father and Pioneer Allan Stone, who was one of the true pioneers of the licensing industry sadly passed away from coronavirus on April 23rd, aged 96. Stone’s legacy, of course, lives on through sons Michael, co-founder and Chairman of Beanstalk and Robert, President of Excel Branding Group. He began his career, back in 1949, at the Howdy Doody Show where he was responsible for a comprehensive
licensing program based on the children’s television series – one of the very first times this had been achieved. At its height, Howdy Doody had more than 100 licensees across many categories as well as promotions with sponsors of the show such as Colgate, Kellogg’s and Welch’s. Realising the potential of licensing, in 1960, Allan Stone founded Licensing Corporation of America (LCA) which was then the first-ever independent li-
censing agency and which became the leading agency for many years. LCA merged with National Kinney, who owned DC Comics and the group went on to acquire Warner Bros out of bankruptcy and eventually renamed the company Warner Consumer Products. LCA represented a wide variety of properties including sports properties, such as the MLB and the NBA, movies such as MGM’s James Bond, celebrities including Arnold Palmer and DC Comics which, of course, included Superman and Batman. During those years Stone also began licensing the characters from General Mills’ cereals – a sector that is now widely used but in the 1960s was very much ahead of its time. In 1967 Stone was also responsible for one of the first retail exclusives when he licensed the United States Lawn Tennis Association to Macy’s to establish a shop-in-shop and to create a USLTA licensed tennis ball, which was used at the first U.S. Open Championship in 1968. After ten years as President of LCA, Stone decided it was time to move on and he founded a company called Hamilton Projects where he was responsible for developing licensing programs around corporate and trademarked brands. His first two clients were Coca-Cola and Harley Davidson. As legend has it, he told the story of how Coca-Cola came to him, pleading with him to license their trademark as they were frightened of losing it to knock-offs at the time. And Harley Davidson came to him, after just exiting bankruptcy from AMF Bowling Corporation, interested in seeing if there was any value in the Harley Davidson logo! He represented a number of celebrities, such as Charlie Chaplin, television programs such as All in the Family on
ABC and other brands such as The Smithsonian Museum in what was the first museum licensing program, UNICEF and the 1976 American Revolution Bicentennial Commission. He also concentrated efforts on corporate brands and trademarks. Hamilton represented companies such as the leading athletic manufacturer Spalding as well as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Campbell’s Soup and, of course, his original clients The Coca-Cola Company and The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. During this time, Stone went on to hire people who are legends in their own right in the industry – such as Debra Joester who came out of the music industry, Stan Weston, who went on to create LCI, and Murray Altchuler who amongst other things was the co-founder of our industry’s Allan Stone with Debbie Reynolds
trade association LIMA (now Licensing International). Stone’s clients read like a who’s who of licensing and included companies that, at the time, were totally unfamiliar with licensing. The Hassenfeld Brothers from Rhode Island signed to create pencils and pencil cases for Howdy Doody (now Hasbro, of course). The Connecticut Leather Company (Coleco) signed for woven belts and the deals were innovative and, in many cases, unique – Lassie dog food in the early 1960s, Coca-Cola clothing and Howdy Doody on packages of carrots – all ground-breaking deals that we all take for granted today. Between LCA and Hamilton Projects, Allan Stone represented an extraordinary roster of properties, as varied as New York’s World Fair and the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee to James Bond, The Flintstones, Sesame Street, Star Trek, Bugs Bunny, Charlie Chaplin, Madison Square Gardens and Evil Knievel. Robert Stone, who like brother Michael followed in the family footsteps, spoke to Total Licensing about his father and what he meant to the industry. “How do I possibly sum up my father’s accomplishments as the pioneer, trail blazer, creative genius who established an industry that we are all proud to be a part of. He opened the door to innovation and creativity that, today some still think is ground-breaking but actually, my Dad did it before most of us were born! Just a few of the thousands of innovations that come to mind include Howdy Doody Carrots, Carl Yastrzemski Yaz wonder bread, Jackie Robinson dolls, James Bond Cologne, Charlie Chaplin Tramps Cigarettes, Lassie Dog Food, Laugh In lingerie, Macy’s as official tennis ball to the US Open, Coca Cola Clothes designed by Tommy Hilfiger, Statue of Liberty /Ellis Island Foundation scrap metal turned limited edition memorabilia, Archie Bunker for President Kiosks, George to George Presidential Inaugural, Arthur Ashe’s Black Tennis & Sport foundation at K Mart, MacKids at Sears, Gabby Hayes Fishing poles, American Ballet Theater at The Limited yoga wear, thirteen non-exclusive
Harley Davidson t-shirt licensees, Batman walkie talkies and the list goes on and on. Innovation. Creativity. Compassion. My Dad did it all and licensing is the way it is today is because of his accomplishments. Many of us would not be in the business today if not for what he achieved through his companies Licensing Corporation of America and Hamilton Projects. As the New
Allan with Evil Knievel York Times so aptly titled his coverage in the 80’s, ‘Allan Stone, Pioneer To Profits’” Allan Stone sold Hamilton Projects to Cincinnati-based Taft Broadcasting - who at the time, also owned The Hanna-Barbera Studios - in 1986 and left the company soon afterwards. He continued to consult in the industry for several years afterwards. Allan and Charlie Chaplin at the Academy Awards
Allowing your brand to be ‘naked’ in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis
By Trudi Bishop Director Bee Licensing email@example.com
There have been few truly global events that have affected our world so deeply across the economic, social or environmental aspects of nations. Many comparisons have been made of COVID-19 to past pandemics – the Spanish flu, AIDS, SARS, Ebola, Smallpox, etc. As world leaders try to figure a way through this, war metaphors seem to be favoured, including the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutiérrez, quoted here from the G20 COVID-19 summit in March, “We are at war with a virus – and not winning it”, going onto say, “…This war needs a war-time plan to fight it.” US President, Donald Trump has called himself a ‘war-time president’. It feels easy to make the virus the enemy in need of fighting as its easier to get people to comply and rally behind leadership decisions. But it also helps divert attention away from the why’s (why did this happen, why is it happening everywhere) and the how’s (how did this happen, how
do we prevent it happening again, how do we ever recover from this). One thing we know and unites the world is that COVID-19 does not discriminate – across race, religion, gender, business or nation. In attempts to answer the why, it is tempting to play the blame game. The wet markets of China have been waved as the cause, but they are only part of the story. It has been shown
that this and many other (more recent) pandemics (and more that are sure to come) have been the result of how we have been mistreating the planet for decades. In our pursuit for cheap food, fuel, clothing, consumer goods, we have ravenously consumed the world’s natural resources. Deforestation, drilling, the destruction of habitats/ecosystems and trading of wildlife has meant
TOTAL LICENSING diseases that would normally stay in their animal hosts are looking for new homes as animals lose theirs. Humans are becoming the Airbnb of the virus world. We are all to blame. The effects of this are indeed going to be similar to those of WWI and WWII and it is how governments, businesses and people act during and after that will shape our future world. As we face the pandemic together, we are seeking truth, honesty and courage – from ourselves, brands and our leaders. A crisis can bring out the true nature of people and brands. As Warren Buffet says, “...when the tide goes out, you can see who’s been swimming naked…” As the economic lockdown tide goes out, we are witnessing the ‘naked swimmers’ among the brands. The nakedness has shown the good, bad and in some cases the very ugly. We have seen companies who have asked for bailouts from governments while using tax havens to get richer, forcing staff to come into work despite a government’s advice not to and ‘just-in-time’ supply chains switched off resulting in, at its worst, people starving in countries like Bangladesh. The consumer backlash has been visceral against some of these self-serving brands. Then there are the brands who have
generously donated money, food and PPE equipment. These businesses in the ‘business of doing good’ are resonating with consumers. Moving their brand purpose to more of a ‘servant mindset’ is building on their integrity when it’s needed most. Building on a brand’s integrity is vital at this time as we see a values shift in people. Revaluating those things that are truly important to us – family, friends, nature. The pandemic has made us all more ‘human’ and feel more vulnerable. Brands that are resilient during this time will be the ones who have the courage to be ‘naked’ in front of their consumers, showing their vulnerabilities. But also, courage to make economic decisions that hurt in the short term in order to protect their whole value chain – from consumer back to the raw product producer. And being open about this to their entire customer base. Recent research by Futurra has shown that trust in brands has been steadily going down over generations from the ‘boomers’ through to ‘millennials’, with the lowest trust level coming from Gen Z. This crisis and the enforced lockdown can give brands the opportunity to sit back and breathe. Assessing their business to really understand what
they’re in the business of doing and how they’re using this for doing good. Concern for the environment and sustainability is moving up consumers’ agendas. With that they are searching for more authentic brands who resonate with their own moral compass. Often this is showing to be (for Gen Z) smaller companies, not large corporations (where trust is low for this generation). Transparency in relation to sustainability and corporate ethics has also become high on the agenda for companies and consumers.The BCorp and FairTrade movement has helped to accelerate this. Consumers are not expecting perfection but are expecting them to acknowledge where improvements for the better of the planet and its people are needed and change accordingly. Brands can turn this crisis into change. Rebuilding trust and becoming more ‘human’ as a brand. Moving from transparency to honesty. Honesty is active not passive. As this decade has been labelled the ‘decade of action’ under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, brands who act in open, honest ways for the greater good across their whole value chain will come out more resilient, with a more loyal fan base in their consumers.
Sharing good news! Although it’s been a rough two months, TF1 Licences is feeling the need to share some good news! The lockdown has been difficult, but it has also been an opportunity for families and friends to gather in different ways and find new or old activities to do together.
Cooking is among everybody’s favorite pastimes and TF1 Licences is happy to present Marmiton, the number one social network food brand in France. With a monthly audience up to 21.4 million people (audience as at October 2019 - Source: Mediametrie/ Netratings - Internet Global) and 17 million app downloads, Marmiton is one of the French consumers’ favorite websites for recipes, tutorials, videos, fun and activities. Marmiton is already spreading a 360-innovative approach with a strong development besides the website and the app. Very strong on social media, Marmiton also has a magazine read by over 5 million people in France alone every two months, in addition to the many influencer events and a TV program broadcast on TF1. In 2019 Marmiton worked on a new global visual identity and a style guide intended for new and creative prod-
uct developments. Very colorful, dynamic and fun, it perfectly fits Marmiton’s inspiring claim: “Cooking makes people happy”! Soon Marmiton’s users will be able to follow their favorite recipes 100% Marmiton equipped, thanks to a new licensee, a famous manufacturer for
kitchen utensils, to be announced soon.TF1 Licences has just started the licensing programme and Marmiton is already proving to be a great and inspiring licensed property! During the lockdown, Marmiton has launched the operation #EnsembleEnCuisine (Together in the Kitchen) with special recipes to cook with kids, or to cook using what you find in the fridge. Also, some famous chefs have participated in cooking challenges vs the Marmiton community live on social networks. In the midst of the current events, the sun is finally out, summer is coming and along with this, a lot of great news for TF1 Licences! It will be possible to spend your summer in the French TV Show Camping Paradis, with the first licensed camping-grounds franchise network, directly inspired from the cult classic TV show. The company 5C born of experts from the hotel business has
signed with TF1 Licences to turn fiction into reality. Already 12 camping grounds have signed with 5C in Montpellier, on the coast and great French scenic areas and joined the experience and there will be more to come. The perfect destination to enjoy nature, family and friendly vacations for adults and kids! Corolle, one of TF1 Licences recently signed brands, is taking care of the younger kids! The famous French doll manufacturer has released a new range of outdoor toys made by Smoby. A large range of qualitative and pretty wheeled toys so children can easily accompany their relaxed parents on a leisurely stroll! This summer’s hot trend would be the games you can play with your family and friends! TF1 Licences’ sister company and licensee TF1 Games / Dujardin has some great examples of successful games. Burger Quiz, the adaptation of the iconic TV show with offbeat humor hosted by French famous actor Alain Chabat. The game was in the Top 3 Games Market in 2019 with over 200k pieces sold (NPD).This successful board game has recently attracted a new kind of player: the “kidults,” adults motivated by a need to laugh and have fun. Even in the
middle of the lockdown period, Burger Quiz is still on the Games Top 20. Iconic French brand belonging to TF1 Games / Dujardin and licensed by TF1 licences to a number of promotional and retail partners, Mille Bornes is still a Rockstar! With over 300K pieces sold in 2019, Mille Bornes has a wide range intended for the whole family (my 1stMille Bornes, Mille Bornes classic, Mille Bornes board, Mille Bornes fun & speed, Mille Bornes Mario Kart). At the beginning of 2020, TF1 Games launched a new app Mille Bornes to play using Amazon’s vocal assistant Alexa and Google Assistant. An innovative way to enhance the games of players who already enjoy the physical set. Since 1954 Mille Bornes is a classic with an assisted recognition rate of 94% from moms of kids between 5 and 14 (Source: Mille Bornes core brand study – Junior City 2017). Particularly during the lockdown, Mille Bornes was a star product, a way for the family to share reassuring and fun times with the kids. The Barbapapa family is 50 years old
in 2020! The channel TF1 is the first broadcaster to air the new TV show in the world and the ratings have been a huge success with 35,1% market share for 4-10 year old children (Source: Mediametrie, January to May 2020) – and soon to be followed by Nickelodeon Junior in more than 100 territories across the world. France will also be the first territory where the European Master Toy Giochi Preziosi will launch a beautiful and complete range of toys and
plush items later this year. Publisher Les Livres du Dragon d’Or will support the launch with new titles. And Barbamania is still growing! In this difficult time with the pandemic, the Parisian concept-store Merci has just launched a Barbapapa t-shirt to show gratitude to the medical staff currently working everywhere in the world to save lives. This “chari-tee” is sold only on www.merci-merci.com and the profits will be sent to the hospital, Hopital Necker.
World’s 1st Garfield Quick Mobile Restaurant If Garfield could dream up the perfect restaurant it would undoubtedly include lasagna, pizza, and coffee, and would have to satisfy the lazy cat’s penchant for ease and comfort. At GarfieldEATS, a new innovative concept restaurant, Garfield’s dreams come true. Opened in Toronto in April, GarfieldEATS is the world’s first entergaging restaurant app, both engaging + entertaining. Users can watch, play, and order at the same time and collect paws, a loyalty coin system that will unlock goupon offers and much more thanks to user experience and interface design. Healthy Farm2Plate (F2P) lasagna, a Garfield shaped-pizza, Garfieldshaped dark chocolate bars, and Garficcino flavored coffee, are all on the menu, to complete Garfield experience Canada will be the second country or region for GarfieldEATS after beta testing the concept in Dubai which opened less than a year ago and proved that the concept was successful. This cashier-less restaurant is located in the heart of Toronto’s popular downtown. GarfieldEATS will be available for delivery and pick-up by ordering via the app on mobile phones placed the store. If the plans work out well, Mazri hopes to add other cities such as New York, Los Angeles or Montreal. Co-founders, Nathen Mazri, a native of Montreal, and Pascal Haider, were fans of the cartoon growing up and knew well of Garfield’s love for Italian food as well as the app-economy, rise of delivery and convenience, and shift of consumer behav-
ior in today’s cluttered market. They believed that communities deserve a fun new digital way to order F2P food embracing QMR, not QSR. Their vision is to make the ordering of food fun and easy utilizing modern technology. They also wanted to take into account environmental and healthy living concerns. GarfieldEATS will adhere to strict F2P guidelines on supply sourcing guaranteeing no GMOs, no preservatives, no artificial colors, and no fertilizers. Environmentally friendly repurposable packaging is also on the table. Nathen Mazri, who, at 31 is described as the world’s youngest Garfield licensee, studied the fast food franchise for over 9 years now and understood the appeconomy and Rise of QMR (quick mobile restaurant and death of QSR which he did foresee and COVID19 proved it by sweeping away many restaurant and fast food franchisees which went bankrupt. GarfieldEATS operates as an entergaging app from
ghost kitchens across the province with an experiencial brick and mortar in downtown west of Toronto for those nostalgic fans. As Nathen Mazri explained, “The future is here as we must ride the shifting consumer behaviors to online and embrace food tech as GarfieldEATS embraces food robotics to be placed in kitchens. GarfieldEATS is the first gamitification restaurant app and entergaging UX and UI mobile app worldwide where fans can watch play order collect and more on one app. Far from boring. GarfieldEATS appreciates nurses and
doctors working tirelessly to keep everybody alive. GarfieldEATS has permanently introduced the “Liz Cares “ program for all healthcare professionals who will be granted benefits such as free Garficcino, 50% off all farm2plate food and beverage items and even special Garfield and Liz merchandise, all available in Canada. Garfield’s creator, Jim Davis said he was delighted with the concept. “In 40 years, no one has ever come to me with a revolutionary concept like GarfieldEATS. It’s a well thoughtout plan to deliver great food in a fun and engaging way using modern technology. I also admire the young entrepreneurial spirit shown by Nathen and their insistence on keeping the menu healthy and the environment safe.” Consumers can download the app or visit www.garfieldeats.com to order merch and food or catering for birthdays to create memories. Entergage Inc launches this year to become the pioneer in food tech as they plan to add 10 more IPs of popular cartoons as entergaging food apps. Nathen believes it is the rise of QMR (quick mobile restaurant) and the fall of QSR especially due to COVID19. He recognised the industry shft three years ago and wanted to save his favorite cartoons!
The licensing industry has watched, over recent years, as retail changed from thriving bricks and mortar malls and stores to online. Retailers of physical stores found ways to attract consumers with events and activations. And, in many cases, it was beginning to make a difference. Stores and chains that developed their experiential business, began to see an uplift in visitors and, consequently, sales. And then the virus hit. First in China and then spreading its tentacles around the world. And the world went into lockdown. Shopping, certainly initially, was limited to essentials and products that could ease the burden of being incarcerated for an unknown length of time. Regular stores were closed with only the essential food stores and pharmacies still open. Online shopping became the norm. Amazon’s customers spent over $11,000 each and every second as hundreds of million of people stuck in lockdown turned to the delivery giant to keep them fed, entertained and able to work under the new conditions.
Fitness product sales went up 55%. Toilet paper sales went up 231% leading to a global shortage. Laptops and other computer sales rose 40%. Overall, according to Adobe, e-commerce in the U.S. rose by 25%. All thanks to COVID-19. Other winners were cloud services, news, gaming and e-commerce ad spend, as well as grocery delivery services. As people settled into the new normal, their purchasing decisions were largely based on three needs – to protect, to connect and to entertain. But, of course, the question is very much what will happen post-pandemic? Will consumers return to shopping in stores in reasonable numbers, whilst still navigating social distancing or will they feel more comfortable, and confident, continuing to shop online. Online grocery shopping, certainly, is likely to see a good percentage realising the convenience of online shopping. Other stores are going to have to go the extra mile to draw customers in and make them feel safe within their stores.
Online streaming services such as Netflix and, more recently Disney +, saw huge spikes in demand. In fact, Disney who expected to take five years to reach between 60 and 90 million subscribers, were already up to 54.5 million by early May. Amazon and Netflix have seen over 60% growth in their subscriber base in India as a result of the lockdown.
Were we warned? Nostradamus wrote in the year 1551: “There will be a twin year (2020) from which will rise a Queen (Corona) and will spread a plague (virus) in the darkness of night, in a country with seven hills (Italy) and will transform the twilight of men into dust (death), to destroy and ruin the world.”
TOTAL LICENSING Jon Ollwerther, EVP, Global Brand & Business Development, Genius Brands International spoke to Total Licensing about the challenges, strengths and long-term effects that the crisis will have on the industry Could you outline the measures you have put in place to ensure business keeps moving? “One of the most important factors that determines whether a person or a company survives a crisis or emergency is how quickly they identify it as such. Months ago, our current reality was hard to even imagine. At Genius Brands we watched closely as the crisis unfolded in China, and we were very on guard so we were in a position to react quickly when it became clear it was heading towards a global crisis. Our first priority was the safety of our employees. At the same time, we focused on liquidity—this is not a secret formula, companies that have strong balance sheets fare best in recessions. We also made early and frequent check-ins with our key media and licensing partners on the consumer products and distribution sides of our business. Keeping a frequent and open dialogue with, specifically, our licensees and the retail community has helped us maintain a strong position and up-to-date awareness in an ever-evolving situation.” What initial effects is the virus and the ‘global shutdown’ having on your business? “The first and most apparent effect of COVID-19 and the ‘global shutdown’ is our corporate cultural and habit shift from a primarily office-based culture to an entirely work-from-home culture, but that is not unique to Genius Brands. We were able to adapt very quickly to this change and quickly shifted our focus back to our own IPs, our content partners, licensees, and tv network partners.”
How are you still managing to engage with fans? “We’re a global children’s media company which produces animated content so we have ramped up the volume of content we offer on YouTube and through our own network of digital channels, which reaches over 100m US TV homes, as well as content across our social media channels. We’ve also increased the number of DIY activity guides and coloring activities we post online. Finally, and most importantly, we are very proud to have swiftly produced a series of animated PSAs teaching kids how to be safe during this pandemic, starring Jennifer Garner and Warren Buffett, both of whom donated their time to the project, as well as the team of producers. Genius Brands is offering the PSAs for free to any and all broadcasters, educators, and parents to use to improve child and family safety.” Conversely, are there any areas of strength that have surprised you? “Genius Brands has always fostered a very entrepreneurial spirit; for example, we don’t have a culture of assistants, and we outsource our IT. There is no culture of “pass the buck.” This mindset has served us well as we’ve transitioned quickly to a work-from-home organization. We made this transition with virtually no disruption to our workflow. This enabled us to be on email and phones right away, and setting video conferencing meetings to keep our clients and our partners updated.” What do you see as both the immediate and long-term challenges of this? “The long-term challenge is without question the macroeconomic shift that has occurred as a result of COVID-19. I have no doubt that the global community will pull together and take control of the medical challenges, though, sadly there will no
Sales of board games, jigsaw puzzles and video games have also seen sharp rises, as have outdoor toys aimed at entertaining children in their own backyards during the lockdown. Of course, the entertainment industry – in particular movies – has been a major casualty of the virus. Movie
doubt be much more suffering before that happens, both in the human too and economically. The economic challenges, however, will take much longer to course correct. As I write this, in the last two weeks in the United States alone, 10 million people have filed for unemployment. Those hard-working people fuel the economy. Many others still have suffered reduction in pay. These people watch TV, they eat out in restaurants, and they spend money on consumer products in stores. For the last ten years, we’ve been in a period of economic expansion, where consumers have felt extra money in their wallets for discretionary spending. There also seemed to be a “sugar high” mentality in the United States, where the average household savings is under $9000, yet the average car loan stretches for over 70 months. The scary thing is that we will inevitably see even greater unemployment figures in the weeks to come. Yes, these people will get back to work, but that will not happen overnight. Just this week, for example, Macy’s furloughed the vast majority of its 125,000 employees. It will take time to get these employees back to work and time still for them to recover from their financial loss and hardship before they can even consider discretionary spending. Further delaying recovery will be the fact that many jobs that existed just a few weeks ago may not exist again. There will be enduring shifts in our economy following COVID-19—will shopping among large crows bear as much appeal as it used to? Will going to a crowded concert feel as fun? I live in both New York and LA, where large, long, communal dining tables have been a growing trend for the last decade. This is great for restaurateurs who can make each square foot of their restaurant more productive, but will diners continue to embrace it?
theaters were shut early on in the pandemic. And filming ground to a halt. The latest James Bond film was pushed back to later in the year, together with Tom Cruise’s return in Top Gun which is now expected in December. Other releases slated for July such as Disney’s Mulan have been postponed till later in the year. But the entertainment industry is nothing if not creative. Apple launched Fraggle Rock: Rock On, entirely shot on iPhone 11 phones from the homes of production teams and individual artists from all over the US. If nothing else, the current pandemic has proven how creative people can be with an internet account and a lot of free time. It already has already reshaped
how we view musical and comedy performances, as a long parade of creatives have opened their homes to the internet. On the movie side, Universal decided to launch their Trolls World Tour online and it became available to rent in early April. Three weeks later, it had taken nearly $100 million in rentals – smaller than the $153.7 million that the first Trolls movie took but, in terms of revenue to Universal, higher with no theatre sales. Understandably, with no sign particularly of when movie theaters will reopen, Universal are planning further on demand releases. Other movies planned to go straight to VOD include Artemis Fowl from Disney and Scoob from Warner
THE EUROPEAN ANIMATOR Iginio Straffi, founder of animation company Rainbow SpA in Italy, spoke to Total Licensing about how the crisis has affected business and how he sees innovations coming in various forms What steps have you taken to ensure that the business continues? First of all, we have taken all necessary precautions for the health of our employees. Our spacious and modern premises have allowed us to spread out the workstations and we have encouraged smart working by enhancing remote connections.We continued to work with the countries that had passed the critical phase of the pandemic or those that had not been affected yet. In order to do this, we reorganized our work, relying on the skills of our flexible and fast team.
Media. Of course, nobody believes that people will only wish to watch a movie in their own homes and once the pandemic is over, viewers are expected to return to movie theaters. But, for the moment, during these strange times, VOD is proving to be a great alternative. Another area that has reacted well is eSports. Traditional sports around the world have ground to a halt. Interestingly, ticket sales and merchandise from eSports events only account for around 10% of the revenue. The bulk comes from sponsorships and media rights – both of which can remain strong as eSports goes entirely online. And so to the licensing industry, the shape of which has changed as a result
Have you had any slowdowns in production? Absolutely yes, we have accumulated from two weeks to a month’s delay compared to the productions we are following.We do everything we can to optimize remote work, but in fact our production cycle has been strongly affected. As far as the distribution is concerned, did your sales increase? No, because the buyers are at home at the moment as well. It’s hard to provide future data from this point of view. Of course our shows are broadcast all the time since children are all at home, so they can distract themselves and have fun with our stories, but for now it’s difficult to state if the situation will have a big impact on the distribution, considering that all TV broadcasters are changing their programming and I don’t think they are able to predict the future of investments and new challenges. Luckily we live in the age of streaming, communication and advanced technologies. How has this helped your business? We had already started to develop this sector at Rainbow, we started very early and professionally. I am sure this storm will stimulate innovations in terms of content enjoyment.The challenge is now to understand how all this can result in a real monetization for the benefit of the business. What do you think the short-term effects will be when the pandemic ends? Many things will change, but I am sure that humanity and children above all, will never give up on entertainment and imagination.When all this will be over, we will need even more good stories that can make us dream of safe worlds and great adventures. And what about the long-term ones? The impact on the economy, travel and leisure will be serious. It will take time, and certainly there will be an acceleration in the emergence of new forms of communication. Our relations will travel on virtual highways, that will be even wider and faster than the present ones.We will move less but our ideas and interpersonal exchanges will run even faster.
of the pandemic with less staff and, in some cases, more creative and innovative ways of carrying on business whilst, at the same time, helping the cause. MGA Entertainment is a great example. They quickly launched Operation PacMan which provides personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare works and hospitals that are facing a shortage of supplies as they work to fight the spread of Covid-19. They are using their distribvution connections to gain access to supplies, buying them at cost and donating them to medical workers, communicating directly with hospitals and medical practitioners so that the supplies go direct in the hands of those that need them. Manufacturers switched production of their normal ranges to produce PPE and masks to help the cause and, across the world, companies are harnessing their talents and abilities to supplement those of doctors and hos-
MARCH WAS NOT A GOOD MONTH FOR RUSSIA... counts. Every payment goes through By Marina Semenikhina, Licensing International representative in Russia. Russia pulled the short straw in terms of the economic scenarios. Right before announcing quarantine restrictions in the country, the oil crisis struck at the beginning of March, and the rouble value dropped against the dollar by 20%. With many foreign licensors operating in the Russian licensing market having
minimum guarantees in US dollars and Euros, the licensee’s life became more complicated. The Q1 reports are expected to be OK: the crisis began in March, and most of the sales prior to that weren’t affected. Therefore, licensors and agents refused
to postpone the royalty payments – the money has already been earned.The Q2 plans and rest of the year will be lower than expected (in some cases, down by at least half). Minimum guarantees and new contracts are a different case. Most licensors and agents stopped negotiations until at least the end of quarantine. Licensees are asking for a renegotiation of minimum performances in the contracts, especially those in a foreign currency. Licensors usually show a high level of understanding of the situation – it is essential to keep earning something rather than cancelling the contracts.They are also considering zero-MG contract extensions for another year.The payment schedule postponed for a month or two is also a standard case. However, this has led to rumours such as ‘Company A offers half a year payment deferment, please give us at least the same’ and other negotiation manipulations. On the other hand, brand owners and agents are freezing payments, including marketing, which slows the industry pace and lowers a licensee’s motivation to enter the agreement. Some companies have cut the working week during quarantine with salary decreases, and cutting-out sales staff. Every rouble
pitals. In the UK, leading vacuum manufacturer Dyson spent $25 million in creating ventilators, using their existing motor technology. Further afield, so too have GM, Ford and Tesla as demand for ventilators increased. And, of course, as fashion always finds a way, face masks, once seen as an exotic accessory, has evolved at breakneck speed into something else. The speed has been essential as many countries are now insisiting people use facemasks when out in public places. Despite both the US President and Vice-President refusing to wear one on highly public occasions, as countries move forward towards reopening, masks are rapidly becoming a way of life. Disney is now selling non-medical
masks featuring Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar characters. Three days after product launched on shopdisney.com they announced that they had reached their goal of raising $1 million in profits from the sale of their cloth masks which will be donated to MedShare to support the medical community’s efforts to provide lifesaving care.
precise control. Every cost has to be proven like never before. At the same time, the human factor has always dominated in the licensing industry. Relationships are vital.The choice is simple: one violates the agreement and never gets trusted again. Or fulfills their obligations and keeps working.We keep talking: managing anxiety, finding compromises, re-negotiating, and taking care of the network everyone has been working on for years. Before writing this article, I had a call with an industry peer whom I admire for optimism and an easy-going attitude. He said: ‘This is not the first and not the last crisis I am going through.We all remember 2014-15 when we thought life had come to an end (the rouble lost half of its value).Within a couple of months, I was so busy negotiating dozens of the contracts – everyone seemed to be back on track’. Yes, it’s a tough time. Some of us will make it through; some won’t. After quarantine ends, we will face a new normal. And hopefully, it will include meeting at industry events.While working remotely, I miss talking to people face to face. We still hope we can welcome all Russian industry players to the Moscow Licensing Summit in the first week of September. At the same time, Bravado launched lines of cloth masks with logos including Billie Eilish and The Rolling Stones – with proceeds going to MusiCares in the US and Help Musicians in the UK. Trevco in the US has taken the face mask business to new levels. They recently launched maskclub.com with a collection of licenses from major entertainment and toy brands. They worked with property owners to use existing artwork that had already been approved for other products and were able to generate approvals generally within hours. For each cloth mask sold, Trevco are donating medical grade face protectors to first responders through the First Responders Children’s Foundation. Assuming that most countries will
HELP FROM THE TOY ASSOCIATION By Steve Pasierb, President & CEO, The Toy Association To all our members and the wider global toy & play community: The U.S.Toy Association team is here for you during these unprecedented times, acting both proactively and responsively to protect all and meet the needs of our friends and colleagues across the business of toys. I invite everyone – particularly those with business interests in the United States – to visit our COVID-19 resource page, which is continually updated with news impacting the toy and play community and crucial information to help businesses navigate uncertainty, including: • how U.S. companies can advocate for toys to remain accessible to the 1 billion children worldwide out of school and engaged in at-home learning; • links to business relief programs and assistance in the U.S.; • tips on operating a company remotely; • impacts on international trade; and
• play resources for families balancing working and childcare at home. We have also announced a series of conference calls (for members only) to provide guidance on the United States’ $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus relief bill and discuss how it could assist toy and retail businesses. Finally, as reported in our weekly Toy News Tuesday newsletter, the ICTI Ethical Toy Program (IETP), of which The Toy Association is a founding member, is helping global factories and buyers manage the crisis by implementing a number of measures, which include extending factory certification periods and providing guidance on how to responsibly manage areas like increased working hours or managing a downturn in orders. The toy community is extraordinarily resilient, and business will recover over time as our normal rhythms and patterns of society re-emerge. In the meantime, I strongly believe our ability to work together, share, and help one another will absolutely hasten recovery for all. It is heartening to hear stories about how the toy community is lending a hand during the pandemic – from shifting production to make essential medical supplies, to creating free at-home educational and play resources for parents, to helping source and deliver critical safety equipment to hospitals and first responders. Let’s each continue to do whatever we can to get through these trying times. And, send messages of hope to families. The Toy Association wishes the very best to you, your families, your employees, and your colleagues.
require facecoverings to be worn by people until a vaccine is found and distributed, the potential for facemasks to become a new range of potential licensed products seems enormous. Trevco, better known for making licensed print-on-demand apparel, has switched its Michigan plant to producing non-medical cloth masks bearing IP from Warner Bros., Hasbro, Cloudco, King Features, Cartoon Network and Sanrio. Most recently MaskClub’s licensors include ViacomCBS, NBC Universal, The Maurice Sendak Foundation, Emoji Co and NASA. In the UK, Reemsborko Ltd, in partnership with Creative Licensing, has announced their collaboration with Wild Bangarang for Bill & Ted branded face masks. The ‘geek and gamer’ apparel specialist has designed 40 face masks for this collection, including Bill & Ted’s Wyld Stallyns band logo, as well as the duo’s iconic and timely catch phrase Be EXCELLENT to each other!. All styles in
TOTAL LICENSING the range will be handmade in the UK, with proceeds benefitting NHS. Rand Marlis, President of Creative Licensing commented,, “In this difficult time we hope Bill and Ted masks bring a smile and add a little humor to the world.” Reemsborko’s Max Arguile says “The next time I leave the house I be will be proudly sporting a mask that boldly says, Be EXCELLENT to each other.” Psychologists are concerned about how the wearing of facemasks will change people. According to reports, it depends on the motivation for
wearing them. “If you are wearing a mask to protect yourself from others, you are forming a habit of fear. Every time you put a mask on, every time you see someone else wearing one, you will reinforce this fear. “But if you are wearing the mask to protect others, wearing it will create a feeling of connection to those in your community. “You’ll see others wearing masks as a sartorial sign that they are willing to
sacrifice some freedom and comfort for the common good.” In summary, you could say that the toughest times inspire the greatest solutions!
HOME SCHOOLING AND WORKING FROM HOME Parent and Licensing Industry Exec Trudi Bishop poses the question... The balance of home-schooling and working from home is set to continue for a number of weeks, potentially not ending until the new school year in September. Luckily for many parents there have been many toy and entertainment companies creating education resources for parents to use with their kids to keep them engaged.The Good Play Guide has an entire Learning Hub available giving a broad range of inspiring activities for parents and kids. As parents settle into the role of teachers, the core educational focus is shifting from the traditional classroom to the garden and further afield where possible. Bug houses are being built, seeds planted, bird feeders filled, giving our little learners the opportunity to reconnect with nature gaining a new awareness and appreciation of their relationship with the natural world. This renewed relationship and hopefully renewed respect for nature is a welcome positive outcome of the pandemic. Not only is it positive for creating a rounder education for the young but it also helps with their mental health too. When the children finally return to the classroom, can we then use this as an opportunity to rethink how we educate our young, bringing, as Sweden has done for many years, environmental awareness and sustainable living into the curriculum.
The relationship with nature has been a prominent part of the Swedish culture so it is unsurprising that ecology and conservation has been part of the school curriculum since the 1970’s. Importantly, these have not been limited to a single subject (often science) but are imbedded across all subjects and start in preschool through every level of their education system. Including it in all subjects, encourages citizenship, engagement and perhaps most importantly independent and critical thinking. No wonder then, that it was Sweden who gave us Greta Thunberg. New Zealand is also including environmental awareness in their education system, albeit with a more holistic approach. Again, it is not a siloed approach but is across the whole curriculum and all levels of the education system.They wish children to understand the interdependence of all living things, creating an awareness, understanding and sense of responsibility leading to action to take care of our world. Youth campaigner, Joe Brindle of “Teach the Future” campaign group is demanding a similar overhaul of the UK education system citing he is concerned for children’s mental health due to them “not being told the truth about the climate crisis.” In an interview with the BBC in February this year, he said, “…it’s the most educated people who are causing the most damage to the planet.” Joe, using the example from the 1958 US National Defence Act which aimed to kickstart STEM education to give America the
edge in the space race, shows that “education can be used to solve a difficult problem.” The problem we face now is the climate crisis. Let’s use lessons learned, the space to pause during the pandemic to rethink how we want our children’s relationship with nature to continue so we can help them help solve this everpresent challenge.
Content Is King
Among other aspects of our lives, the current pandemic has had profound impacts on the way entertainment is consumed which are likely to last beyond when governors elect to reopen states in the US. Nearly all sporting events have been cancelled, and movie theaters and concert venues are closed. In mid-April, rumors emerged that AMC, the country’s largest theater operator, was in talks to hire a bankruptcy law firm. Any imminent restructuring was likely avoided or delayed when the company announced a new $500 million debt offering and stated they had sufficient cash on hand to survive a suspension of operations through the end of the summer. Still, when stay at home orders are lifted, it’s unclear how quickly people will return to crowded movie theaters. The same can be said for casinos, sports arenas, and concert venues. We are all aware of the proliferation of streaming services over the last several years including Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, YouTube TV, and HBO Go, among others. With the unprecedented number of people stuck at home this trend has never been more relevant. However, at the same time streaming services offer one of the few viable forms of entertainment, it is increasingly difficult to provide original content. Other than horse racing, live sporting events have been cancelled, and the production of tv
shows and films have been postponed. This places an increased focus on the quality of companies’ existing copyright portfolios as well as their backlog of unreleased content. Entities that are able to effectively adjust release schedules and find creative solutions for developing new content are most likely to emerge from the current economic environment (relatively) unscathed. As an example, the first two episodes of the documentary series, The Last Dance, which is based on the career of NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, and produced by ESPN (a subsidiary of Disney), were aired on April 19 as opposed to the original release schedule in June. These two episodes generated the highest ratings of any documentary in ESPN history. Nielsen data showed the first two hours of the series airing Sunday averaged 6.1 million viewers. The previous record holder, You Don’t Know Bo, about baseball and football star Bo Jackson, was watched by 3.6 million viewers in 2012. The audience counts TV viewers only and does not include streaming platforms. The Last Dance was the number one trending topic Sunday on Twitter and, at one point, 25 of the 30 trending topics were related to the show. Nearly every interview subject who appeared in the first two hours — including former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and NBC Sports broadcaster
Bob Costas - were trending. LA Times Sports leagues including the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball have also explored creative solutions to avoid cancelling their seasons. Even if games are played in empty arenas, there is a massive economic incentive to resume play which can be streamed to the public from home. As an indication of the magnitude of the incentive, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, which lasts three weeks and has already been cancelled, generates nearly $1 billion in estimated advertising revenue a year. Perhaps no greater measure has been taken than that by the UFC where President Dana White insists he is creating a Fight Island. This would theoretically increase competitor safety and reduce the time before events can resume. In mid-April, UFC’s immediate parent company, filed 22 trademark applications. The various trademark filings cover the phrase ‘Fight Island’ and ‘UFC Fight Island’ for applications ranging from an actual mixed martial arts event to t-shirts to towels and even jewelry. As the ‘streaming wars’ continue, the one constant is change; and, as Bill Gates said in 1996 “Content is King.” For entities with content portfolios, this places a renewed focus on the valuation of their intellectual property in order to extract fair value in the current economic environment.
By Consor IP and Valuation
Consor has been assisting clients with copyright and other intellectual property valuations, licensing, and monetization needs for the past 30 years. Consor has a successful track record in valuing and defending clients’ intellectual property, whether it is for transactional or litigation purposes. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (858) 454-9091
THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS ON UK KIDS AND FIVE TREND PREDICTIONS TO WATCH OUT FOR… British children have become more influential and are getting richer to the tune of £5.8m a month since the lockdown. The latest data shows that children’s number one career choice is to become a doctor, taking over from Engineer, IT, Science and Teacher. An increase in anxiety with teens and concerns over mental health have more than doubled during coronavirus lockdown. Kids Insights, the global leader in kids’ market intelligence, has issued a special report revealing some of the differences in kids attitudes, behaviour and consumption that have changed since the outbreak of coronavirus and based on these changes they have also made five trends to look out for in the future. Kids Insights unique methodology surveys more than 400 UK children every week, which is equivalent to 21,000 across a year. Nick Richardson, CEO Kids Insights comments, “Speaking candidly there is now a new normal and it has never been more important for clients to
have access to reliable, independent, real-time data; quite frankly any existing research which clients are using is simply not fit for purpose. We are helping our clients more than ever before understand and navigate their way through these unprecedented times.” Since the outbreak of coronavirus Kids Insights has seen significant changes in the attitudes, behaviour, and consumption patterns of the 12.3 million children that live in the UK, for example: • The increase in the influence that children are having on parents and their
purchase considerations. For example, a 39% increase in children influencing the choice of TV subscription. • Participating and watching esports on-screen (+22%) has grown substantially in the UK across the last month. • Kids between the ages of 3 and 18 are receiving more pocket money, with the average increased to £8.26 from £7.79 a month, which is equivalent to an extra £5.8m a month. • An increase in anxiety with teens (+13% increase), and concerns over mental health have more than doubled over the last month. • Becoming a doctor is now the number one career aspiration for all 5-18-year olds in the UK and there has been a +9% increase in children who now want to be scientists. • A growth in the reading of comedy and fantasy books for all children, (+10% and +5% respectively).
• The closure of the high street has also led to more children shop online, which now sees 44% of children spend more online than offline, meaning that by the age of 14 children are now spending more online than they are offline
platforms for kids today. The report also includes five future trend predictions which The Insights People expect to see as a result of coronavirus. Sarah Riding, Research & Trends Director at Kids Insights explains, • The increase in adopting new “For many families, the impact and payment methods, with PayPal and destruction the virus will have on the cash cards services such as Go Henry lives, health, and financial situation of increasing, and an increase in children the home will be devastating. We canbelieving that digital currencies are not pretend to know for certain what the future, with a third of all children the future looks like, nor do we even believing this to be the case (up 38% know how long and therefore how since the coronavirus outbreak). damaging this period of lockdown will be. But what we do have is the first • An increase in new comedy/sitcoms site on how their attitudes, behaviour shows being watched, with half of the and consumption patterns are shifting, top 10 new shows children are looking providing us with valuable insights into forward to of this genre, nearly double a child’s life during this lockdown pethe number across the last 12 months riod which will then ultimately help us shape what we think this will look like • Board games have doubled in after coronavirus lockdown ends.” popularity amongst all kids, and for kids between the age of 3 and 12 Five future trends The Insights Peoboard games have become 3rd favou- ple are predicting: rite choice of the toy in the last month behind LEGO and LEGO Friends. • Redefining ‘Real’ - who will kids look up to once we come out of • There has been a change in favourite this period? There are new heroes apps too as children spend more time in society, ones which children are in a digital world. Further growth increasingly inspiring to be. in TikTok (it is now the 4th most favoured app for all kids (4.3%) • Rebirth of Family Time - Home confinement, homeschooling, and home • The emergence of new apps working will, without doubt, cause Houseparty and Zoom which are many stresses within family life, but becoming some of the favourite chat what we are seeing from our data is
a growing desire to spend quality time together as a family. • The Battle Between Non-Virtual and Virtual Worlds - Children during lockdown have no choice but to facilitate ‘social’ time via a virtual world. • Redefining Retail - It’s fair to say that this pandemic is not going to make life as a retailer easy and there is no doubt that when this is all over there will be long-term behavioural and mindset changes that will affect consumer buying patterns. • A Sense of Belonging. As children readapt to the outside world, we imagine reintegration into a community will become increasingly important and brands that can help facilitate this will create lasting relationships with children and families alike. To download the complimentary report please visit: https://kidsinsights.com/ac/
By Mariya Rogozhina, Vestnik
Hurt but Alive
The Russian Licensing Industry Awaiting the End of the Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic is bringing rapid changes to all national economies, and Russia is no exception. Licensing, as every other sector, is affected by the lockdown implications. Which licenses will survive the storm? Which branded products will be in demand in Russia? What support do Russian licensees need and what are the prospects of the licensing market post-pandemic? In a special review for Total Licensing by Vestnik edition, the key players in the Russian licensing industry share their views on the current trends. Overview The licensing industry in Russia, as the whole consumer market, is facing tough times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Customer buying power is falling swiftly as people are losing their jobs, are furloughed or have to take unpaid leave. This means a number of Russian customers are spending their savings while enduring the lockdown. Another sharp drop in the Russian rouble, due to plunging oil prices, made it even worse for the Russian consumer. In a world of increasing uncertainty, impulse purchases, previously a driver of licensed goods sales, have reduced significantly. Apart from money-saving issues, the reason for this lies in the
retail shutdown – emotional spending is an attribute of brick-and-mortar stores. As a result, experts claim a downturn in licensed products sales. “During the period when strict limitations are imposed and a number of sales channels are disappearing, with shopping malls being closed, there is a decrease in sales in many categories, and licensed goods are no exception,” commented Maya Moskvicheva, CEO, Marmelad Media (Riki Group). “Yet, we’ll be able to analyze the figures and see which categories were affected most, only when we have sales reports for this period from our licensees”.
Categories The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic differs across product categories. Oleg Roy, a Russian writer and producer, claims a strong fall in the categories of impulse purchase, such as toys, plush, confectionary, and stationery. Moreover, apparel sales crashed by 70% during two months of the lockdown. Meanwhile, there is a clear shift to FMCG categories, especially, food and beverages and health care products. Dinnerware, large and small consumer electronics are also seeing growing sales.
“At the moment, customers aren’t making expensive purchases and prefer to save money and buy only essential household items, which makes the upward trend in FMCG sales so prominent,” says Valentina Kursanova, Director, Licensing and Business Development, 0+ Media. Products that help keep family members busy during self-isolation are also in demand. For instance, there has been a sharp increase in downloads of mobile apps. Moreover, experts are seeing increase in sales of products for children – activities, coloring, art and craft and so on. Licensing as a benefit Although the Russian consumer market is stagnating, licensed goods still have the edge over generic products, according to experts. Consumers, exposed to long-term stress because of the Covid-19 pandemic, crave positive emotions. This is especially true for children’s products and kids’ animation brands that dominate the Russian market. “Parents who cut spending today still want to make their children happy, and they will put only home essentials and the things that their children ask for in the shopping cart,” explained Yulia Bostanova, Managing Director, Saks Licensing. “During periods of crisis, licensing has always been a good strategy for launching a product into a market and enhancing brand recognition,” said Lucy Tsoy, Head of Business Develop-
ment, CTB Film Company. “In April 2020, TV watching amongst children age 4-17 rose by 34% yearover-year (source: MediaScope), which is only increasing the chances that popular animation licenses will be in demand.” At the moment, top licenses with strong presence on the largest TV channels (Karousel, Mult and others) are the most competitive. These brands will continue driving sales of licensed merchandise. “Looking at 2008 and 2014 (during which Russia experienced crises), we see that in periods of instability, licensees opt for only the most popular brands, preferring not to take a risk with new and growing licenses,” continued Lucy Tsoy.
Support for Licensees Today, many producers of licensed merchandise are facing problems: a significant drop in sales, staff reductions, and difficulties with minimum guarantee payments. In these circumstances, major licensors are ready to support their business partners. Riki Group, the owner of the Kikoriki and Fixies brands, has established a strategic partnership with a major Russian online-platform Yandex to enhance children’s content promotion and boost online sales of licensed goods via virtual marketplaces. “It is an important move that we have made as one of the largest Russian companies producing animated children’s content. We consider it is one of the most effective and innovative measures of support that a licensor can offer to his licensees,” noted Maya Moskvicheva. 0+Media, the rights owner of the Bebe-bears, Fantasy Patrol, Leo and Tig brands, offers flexible payment options for new contracts and flexibly considers each request from active licensees for a review of the deal conditions. Moreover, 0+Media develops advertising for its own TV channels, online-platforms, and supports its licensing partners via third-party resources. “We develop individual offers for all key partners. We provide focused and purposeful support taking into account particular features of the licensed product that the company
produces, its seasonal patterns and demand,” says Valentina Kursanova. STB Film Company, the rights owner of Moonzy and The Barkers, (picture above) has developed a support program for licensees during the crisis – existing contracts have been extended for six months and royalty rates cut by 20% for new licensees who decide to continue working with brands despite the situation. “This is not dictated by charity but by rational motives – by helping manufacturers today, we ensure that there will be some around in the future with whom we can produce children’s products,” says Lucy Tsoy. Trends and perspectives New products and habits To adapt to the new reality, a number of manufacturers are expanding the product range with goods that are needed right now. These are items that are in high demand during the lockdown. Some companies launched new lines – branded protective masks, gloves, and sanitizers. “Those who are ready to be flexible, who monitor changes in demand carefully, who are ballsy enough to try something new will survive the storm. Moreover, they will possibly find new growth points,” suggests Yulia Bostanova. “It will be no surprise if these will be the top licensees – the leaders in their product categories.” Another trend in a post-pandemic world may be a surge in private labels.
“After the crisis, large-scale manufacturers will reinvest in the development of their own brands. As the price will become a defining factor in most product categories, private labels will make an attractive offer for customers,” says Oleg Roy. The crisis has had a dramatic and lingering impact on the nation’s shopping habits. As a result of selfisolation, “homing” (consumption at home) has reached its peak. “We think that this trend could stick around even after the lockdown is lifted, and that people will be consuming less and less “on the go”, leading to a reduction in this format and rising sales of larger packs,” comments Lucy Tsoy. “Purchases will increasingly be planned, which means that products, particularly those in impulse categories, must be visible on the shelves.” Digital During the lockdown, the digital sector is showing strong growth. The ecommerce market is booming. Presumably, consumer behavior will not change quickly after the pandemic is over, which means it will take time for traffic to bricks-and-mortar to return. “To communicate effectively with customers, retailers will indorse more VR and AR technologies that allow consumers to change the product appearance and give customers new ways of interaction with the product,” says Maya Moskvicheva. “It is possible that in a post-pandemic
life there will be more artificial intelligence, contactless payment and voice assistants. We should develop new licensing goods taking these trends into account.” “It is critical for animation companies to establish a strong presence on different online platforms. In future, these online resources will provide the opportunity not only to obtain content but also to make purchases of licensed goods,”says Oleg Roy. The NPD Group’s analysts consider pent up demand as a major factor that will influence the global consumer market post-pandemic. After the lockdown is lifted, licensed goods sales are predicted to grow. “The licensing industry should be prepared for the period when the lockdown ends,” says Irina Sedova, Analyst, NPD Group. “The moment when parents will go out of their homes with kids will be the perfect time to offer impulse-driven, emotionally charged products”. However, bright prospects of a peak in demand after the lockdown are dimmed by the overall economic situation in Russia. A predicted decline in consumers’ income will drag licensing revenues down. Of all the 270 brands in the Russian market, only top licenses that boast strong marketing support will continue to make profits. However, following new economic trends this will help the licensing industry to adapt, make changes and eventually overcome the crisis.
Beware the Transfer Clause (updated) By: Gregory J. Battersby and Jed Ferdinand
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) email@example.com • www.gbiplaw.com Jed Ferdinand, Senior Managing Member Ferdinand IP www.FerdinandIP.com NY Phone: (212) 220-0523 CT Phone: (203) 557-4224 60
Most merchandising license agreements include a provision that prohibits the assignment or transfer of the agreement to a third party without the consent of the licensor. The reasoning for such a provision is that most licensors consider their choice of a licensee as a personal choice, i.e., they have personally selected and vetted the licensee, and, as such don’t want the licensee to assign or transfer the agreement to a third party who the licensor might not otherwise want selling its licensed products. The reason why such “anti-assignment” provisions are included in license agreements is that license agreements, like other contracts, can typically be sub-licensed or assigned to third parties without the licensor’s consent absent an express provision prohibiting such assignment. Hence, most merchandising license agreements will so prohibit their assignment. An issue that has been of prominence in recent years involves the “transfer” of a license agreement, where it moves along with a corporation that was acquired by another corporation or goes public. In such an event, no assignment of the agreement is typically required since it is not being assigned per se outside the realm of the corporate entity. To avoid this outcome (or at least assert some authority over it), many licensors expressly prohibit the “transfer” of the license agreement if there is a change of control of the licensee. This provision can have serious consequences on a licensee who is seeking to be sold or go public since, at the very least, it requires the licensee to obtain the approval of the licensor before proceeding with the sale or public offering . This would, at best, slow down the process or, at worst, bring it to a crashing halt depending upon the position taken by the licensor. Such a provision puts the fate of the licensee’s destiny in the hands of the licensor. There is also a growing trend among licensors, particularly the studios and sports leagues, to impose a “transfer fee” on the licensee as a
condition for their approval of such a transfer. This is specifically aimed at licensees that are going public or are being acquired. Their rationale is that the enterprise value of the licensee has increased because of the licenses and, as such, the licensors should realize a share of the licensee’s profit. Some may say….and have said…that these fees are nothing more than a “grab” by the licensor to share in the revenues generated by the licensee who is selling their business or going public and, thus, stands to make a nice profit. The major problem with many of the transfer fee provisions is their ambiguity. If the fee is clearly defined, e.g., 100% of the royalties paid by the licensee for a particular period, the fee can easily be calculated and built into the enterprise value of the licensee’s transaction. Where the fee is amorphous or undefined, however, it complicates the transaction since neither the licensee nor its acquiring party can determine what it will be when negotiating the purchase price of the transaction. If transfer fees weren’t bad enough, some licensors have recently added a new wrinkle to this provision, imposing what they call a “termination fee” should they unilaterally decide that they are not comfortable with the acquiring party. They want to reserve the right to terminate the license and, if exercised, impose a “termination fee” on the licensee. While it’s understandable that a licensor wants to control who is manufacturing their licensed products, the imposition of a termination fee… to be paid by the licensee, not the licensor….adds insult to injury, particularly since the decision to approve a transfer typically lies solely with the licensor. These provisions and fees give the licensor far too much incentive to interject themselves into the transaction and provide them with an underlying profit motive. The combination can be a recipe for disaster for a licensee. LICENSEES BEWARE.
TOTAL LICENSING By Martin Brochstein SVP Industry Relations and Information Licensing International www.licensinginternational. org
Tools for Navigating Turbulent Times In the end, navigating the next several months in the licensing business will come down to a single word: Confidence.
cause there is going to be a period of time where that trust burden is going to be pushed back to the retailer executing the experience,” Wissink said.
Along with the overarching personal consequences that the global pandemic has created, the uncertainty that’s been injected into everyone’s business life over the past five months is striking – working from home, economies shutting down, the ascendancy of eCommerce, the difficulty (if not impossibility) of advance planning, to name only a few.
But the emotions that the pandemic has brought to the fore among the shopping public also offers an opportunity for those who own, license or sell goods and services that carry well-known labels.
The challenges to the licensing and retail businesses business are numerous. For brick-and-mortar merchants, the big hurdle is to make sure that shoppers are confident that when they walk into a store, they’re entering a safe environment. It requires that both retailers and their suppliers reimagine how they sell. For example, beauty companies whose businesses are built on in-store demonstration are faced with the challenge of “How do you apply makeup (to an in-store shopper) without touching?” pointed out Stephanie Wissink of the investment firm Jefferies during a “screenside chat” earlier this month with Licensing International president Maura Regan. She assumes they’ll have to develop small size samples for take-home, or “maybe some subscription models around sampling will begin to reemerge.” For instore activations involving toys, it’s possible that vendors and retailers will have to have 20 samples on hand instead of two, so they can be quickly rotated out and sanitized after each use. The cleaning “will need to be done in front of the consumer be-
“It’s a great opportunity for brands to connect in a new way. People are feeling vulnerable, scared and uncertain, and this is an opportunity where brands can be that new point of shelter,” Wissink said. As has everyone in the licensing business, we at Licensing International have learned how to work remotely, and focused our efforts on helping to give the industry the information and business tools designed to help people and companies make it through this troubled time. Our Newslinks news service offers a detailed examination of an industry issue every business day, with links also to articles of interest to licensing professionals published elsewhere. We’ve also stepped up our schedule
of online events, from the headquarters in New York, but also localized in-language events in such countries as Germany France, Italy, India, Japan, and China. Our webinars cover of-the-moment topics specific to the licensing business, but also include a Personal Productivity Series, a Career Development Series, and Virtual Roundtables. We’re also working with our partners at Global Licensing Group at staging Licensing Week Virtual (June 15-19), which will include a day devoted to several Licensing U sessions. There’s lots of uncertainty in the months ahead. For example, the entertainment and sports industries rely heavily on packed stadiums, theme parks and theaters as a business staple. The entertainment/character, sports, collegiate and music categories account for nearly six of every ten dollars that consumers spend on licensed goods and services around the world, and the pandemic has put a real crimp in that marketing chain. We look forward to helping the industry navigate this turbulent time. We’re here for you.
Milano Licensing Day Magic Brand Licensing Expo Licensing Expo China China Licensing Expo Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards MIP Junior MIPCOM The Licensing Awards Hong Kong Licensing Show British Toy & Hobby Fair Nuremberg Toy Fair Kidscreen Summit New York Toy Fair Australian Toy Fair London Book Fair Bologna Licensing Trade Fair MIP.TV Licensing Expo
15 Sept 29 Sept - 1 Oct Oct 6 - 8 Oct 10 - 12 Oct 21 - 23 Nov 9 Oct 10 - 11 Oct 12 - 15 Dec 16 11 - 13 Jan 2021 Jan 19 - 21 Jan 27 - 31 Feb 7 - 11 Feb 13 - 16 Feb 28 - March 3 March 9 - 11 April 12 - 13 April 12 - 15 May 25 - 27
www.milanolicensingday.it www.magicfashionevents.com www.brandlicensing.eu http://www.licensingexpochina.com/ www.chinalicensingexpo.com www.brandlicensingawards.co.uk www.mipcom.com/mipjunior www.mipcom.com www.thelicensingawards.co.uk http://www.hktdc.com/fair/hklicensingshow-en www.toyfair.co.uk www.spielwarenmesse.de/toys/trade-fair-2019 www.summit.kidscreen.com/2019/ www.toyfairny.com/ www.toyfair.com.au www.londonbookfair.co.uk www.bolognalicensing.com www.miptv.com www.licensingexpo.com
This list of events was correct at the time of going to press. However, as so many events have been postponed or cancelled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is liable to change. Please check the relevant website for up to date information.
Totallicensing.com is updated several times a day with up to the minute news, features, views and more. Make www.totallicensing.com your home page Keep fully up to date on whatâ€™s happening in the industry.
ADK Emotions ................................................................39 Beano Studios .................................................................... 7 Business of Licensing ......................................................25 China Licensing Expo .....................................................61 CTC ...................................................................................66 Kazachok ..........................................................................59 King Features Syndicate .................................................. 5 Licensing Awards ............................................................... 8 Licensing International ...................................................17 Licensing Japan .................................................................35 Milano Licensing Day .....................................................63
MIP Junior .........................................................................27 Mondo ...............................................................................13 Monogram International ...............................................11 Rainbow SpA ....................................................................15 Roi Visual ...........................................................................23 SEGA Europe ...................................................................19 Studio 100 ........................................................................21 TF1 Licences ...................................................................... 9 www.totallicensing.com..................................................65 ViacomCBS .................................................................1, 2, 3 List Correct at time of going to press.