Regular Features Comment........................................................................ 6 Global News.................................................................. 8 Legally Speaking........................................................... 78 The Licensing International column........................ 80 What’s On..................................................................130
Global Nastya’s Universe........................................................ 22 WestEnd Software - Data Everywhere.................. 26 Latest in Toys and Games.......................................... 28 AVOD - The Future Today......................................... 30 Around the World - a Children’s Survey............... 31 Unlocking and Future-Proofing Ideas..................... 54 A Case for Characters in Advertising.................... 51
Asia Medialink - Beyond Expectations............................ 16 India’s Toy Story........................................................... 24 Golden week for Chinese Licensing....................... 75
Russia Soyuzmultfilm - Russia’s oldest studio.................... 38
Toei Uncover plans for 2021.................................... 15 Cover Story: Studio 100............................................ 36 Italy Classics Lead the Way........................................... 40 Navigating New Market Dynamics..................... 41 Market roundup..................................................... 42 All Eyes on Rainbow.............................................. 49 MIP-TV Digital Preview.............................................. 55 France Market Overview.......................................... 58 Happy Birthday Kazachok!................................... 64 Pringles and Mr P reimagined................................... 65 New Agency and Movie for Kiddinx....................... 66 Boat Rocker unveil brand plans............................... 68 Spotlight on Benelux.................................................. 69 Interview: Daphne Kellerman.............................. 73 Hamleys at a Crossroads.......................................... 77
Total Licensing Australia News from the market ................................................85 Merchantwise Minecraft ...................................................................90 Xbox ...........................................................................92 Halo ............................................................................92 Activision ....................................................................92 Call of Duty................................................................94 Crash Bandicoot........................................................94 emoji.............................................................................96 Sonic the Hedgehog ................................................98 Pac Man .................................................................. 100 Sony Pictures........................................................... 100 Ghostbusters........................................................... 102 Cobra Kai................................................................. 102 Schitt’s Creek.......................................................... 102 Miraculous .............................................................. 104 Gruffalo..................................................................... 104 Kiri and Lou ........................................................... 106 The Elf on the Shelf ............................................. 106 May Gibbs .............................................................. 110 Blinky Bill ................................................................. 112 Popeye ..................................................................... 112 The Phantom ......................................................... 112 London Underground ........................................... 113 AC/DC ...................................................................... 113 David Bowie ........................................................... 113 Manhead ................................................................ 113 What do kids spend money on? ............................ 114 Cover Story: ViacomCBS captivating kids across Australia and NZ ....... 116 Disney – optimism, connections and joy .............. 120 Haven Global – market update ............................. 122 The NFL and UFC in Australia ................................ 124 Moose – making kids Superhappy! ...................... 125 Licensing trademarks in the toy market................ 126 Amscan Australia – A host of newness! ................ 128 March 2021
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BLUE CHIP BRANDS ANNOUNCES NEW MINIONS HELP DEALS ACROSS PORTFOLIO SURF LIFE SAVING
It continues to be a very unpredictable time, but one constant is that consumers are looking for optimism, products and activities that provide moments of connection and joy. Disney Consumer Products has plenty of these planned for 2021. In the Disney portfolio, they start the year celebrating the 95th anniversary of Winnie the Pooh. The year-long celebration kicked off recently, but there is plenty more to come. Disney are beyond excited for the release of Raya and the last Dragon next month, an exciting, epic journey to the fantasy world of Kumandra. Raya is on a journey to track down the legendary last Dragon to restore the fractured
land and its divided people. Raya features an outstanding voice cast, including Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina,
Gemma Chan and Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim (of Crazy Rich Asians) wrote the screenplay.
Specialist brand licensing company, Blue Chip Brands has brokered a number of new deals for clients that will see products introduced at retail throughout 2021. The Ford consumer products program continues to flourish across Australia and New Zealand with some new apparel and accessory programs set to launch throughout the year. A vintage inspired range of apparel and headwear will be available through premium retailers including General Pants & David Jones as well as selling internationally through Urban Outfitters and fashion boutiques in Japan. Cotton On will also debut a range of apparel and accessories for men and boys through its’ global store footprint midway through 2021. For something a little different, Unique Wrought Iron will be developing a range of doors with wrought iron logo detailing, perfect for the entrance to the man cave, cinema room or garage. Steve McQueen, also popularly known as ‘the king of cool,’ was the ultimate man’s man and will feature on a range of apparel and accessories through a brand collaboration with Australian label, Mr Simple, and will be sold through department stores, Mr Simple stores and apparel boutiques nationally. Mr Simple is also collaborating with American high performance automotive brand Shelby which featured so prominently in the recent movie hit Ford v Ferrari for a collection of apparel and headwear. Iconic Los Angeles athletic footwear brand LA Gear is set to be reintroduced to Australasian consumers through deals negotiated by Blue Chip Brands. The brand which ranked third in sales in the early 1990s (behind only Nike & Reebok) and with brand ambassadors including Karl Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jackson, Belinda Carlisle, Heather Locklear & Paula Abdul will be reimagined across a range of footwear in addition to apparel and accessory collections. Finally, the merchandise program for Australian illustrator Steven Rhodes continues to gather momentum domestically and internationally through deals brokered by global agent – Blue Chip Brands. Cotton On has inked an international deal to feature the illustrations across a variety of product categories through its TYPO stores.
This Summer, Surf Life Saving Australia teamed up with Illumination and Universal Brand Development to create a range of free, downloadable educational activity sheets and posters featuring the Minions. Surf Life Saving exists to save lives and build better communities. Despite significant advancements in technology, techniques and knowledge, people still drown off the Australian coast in unacceptable numbers. SLSA is motivated to create new and engaging ways to educate Australian families about beach safety and this summer SLSA and the Minions are on a mission to keep Aussie families safe by sharing these new beach safety resources. SLSA General Manager Coastal Safety, Shane Daw ESM said that the partnership presented a great opportunity to extend the importance of beach safety to all members of the community. “Illumination’s Despicable Me franchise has become a global pop culture phenomenon and we know Australian families love the Minions. SLSA is thrilled to have collaborated with Illumination and Universal Brand Development to create these fun, free educational materials that make learning about beach safety fun for Aussie kids,” said Mr Daw. “Seeing the Minions dressed in our iconic red and yellow uniform is sure to raise smiles across the country but also drive home those important beach safety messages for parents and children alike.” SLSA is proud to have partnered with Illumination and Universal Brand Development to make sun and beach safety messages accessible to all ages.
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Well who would have thought in March last year that we would still be in the grip of a pandemic – albeit with light at the end of the tunnel thanks to an array of vaccines that are flying into the marketplace. When MIPTV and Bologna were postponed, most of us, clearly naively, thought we would be down in Cannes for MIPCOM in October as well as being present at Brand Licensing in Europe. And when Licensing Expo was moved from May to August we were all pretty confident that we’d be heading for the Vegas sunshine. And here we are, a full year later and still living through it all with all the ramifications of a full year’s lockdown and shut-down. Licensed facemasks have become a very real business opportunity and the thought of boarding an aircraft to travel anywhere is almost surreal. The winners of the past twelve months have, of course, been online retailers. In the UK alone online sales rose to a record high of 34% as a share of all retail spend. In the US, ecommerce grew by 44% in 2020 and now represents around 21.5% of total retail sales. That a jump of triple the 15.1% jump in 2019. Overall, in both the UK and US, retail sales astonishingly grew – albeit that understandably ecommerce was the only section that grew overall. Despite the pandemic and the restrictions on society behaving as it usually does, it is interesting talking to licensors and agents around the world. It is reassuring that most, if not all, are doing solid business and doing far better than they anticipated they would last March. For some of the smaller agencies, the lack of blockbuster movies has helped as retailers look for other properties to fill their shelves. A strong trend towards the classics cannot be ignored and has given new life to many long-standing brands. And we are on the way to controlling this pandemic. More and more, particularly in the US and UK, are being vaccinated and with this should come the freedoms that we all crave. Both Licensing Expo in August and Brand Licensing Europe in November are firmly planned as live events. It is interesting to note that, as a result of the necessity of the last year, most shows are now opting to incorporate as standard a digital element into their event – allowing visitors more time to see the people they want to see.
We live in an increasingly digital world and it makes absolute sense to bring in a digital element to add to the complete show experience. Another interesting take on the impact of the last year can be seen in terms of art and design licensing events. In many ways, these are more effective as virtual shows. Artwork available for licensing can be exhibited easily online - in some ways more easily than putting up artwork on a physical booth. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues when more shows reopen. Here at Total Licensing over the last year have been extremely busy. This is our 17th magazine since the pandemic hit in March 2020 and through our publications, our website, newsletters and everything else, we’ve tried to help keep the industry up to date with news, views, statistics and interesting stories. This issue, for example, we take an in-depth look at three European territories - Italy, France and the Benelux region. We have features on how India is poised to rival China in terms of toy manufacturing and we spotlight the oldest Russian animation studio whose roots go back to the Soviet era. Other features range from extreme sports to the future of world-renowned toy store Hamleys, as well as a look at the part that licensing played during the Golden Week festival in China. The expanding world of influencers, such as Love, Diana and Nastya is also covered in these pages. The issue also includes a major section on Australia with features, profiles and news that we hope our readers find interesting. Of course, we are very much hoping to seeing our readers in person at trade shows during this year. We are media partners with most of the major licensing-related shows – Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo, MIPCOM, Kidscreen, China Licensing Expo, Licensing Japan and many more and we look forward to helping all these shows attract visitors and exhibitors which will benefit everybody. Granted it’s quite hard to imagine a busy trade show after the year we have all had, but it is coming… And from our point of view, it cannot come soon enough! Francesca Ash Jerry Wooldridge Co-Publisher Co-Publisher
With Thanks to this Issue’s Contributing Writers: Gregory Battersby David Born Martin Brochstein
Amber Cheung Paolo Lucci Vikrant Mathur
Roberta Nebbia Charles Sun Noelene Treloar
Adrian Trioli Alice Yang
NHRA PARTNERS WITH KEYSCAPER NHRA has partnered with Keyscaper for a collection of NHRA-branded electronic accessories. The licensing partnership was secured by JRL Group, NHRA’s licensing agency. Diehard race fans will now be able to show off their passion for NHRA Drag Racing with a wide selection of cellphone cases, chargers, keyboards, and more. With something for fans of all ages, the initial launch of the collection will include four designs: the iconic NHRA logo, known and beloved by all fans; NHRA Originals, a style that taps into the vintage, nostalgic feel of the brand; Hot Rod, which takes a more contemporary spin; and Game Face, a raw and gritty take on the sport’s trademark elements of speed and power. Racing aficionados can rest easy knowing all products are fullyfunctional and useful in their everyday lives. Cell phone cases are available for both iPhone and Galaxy models, and wireless USB chargers that can be slipped into bags or set up in cars make it easy to charge devices on the go, and in style. The NHRA licensing program continues to expand focusing on lifestyle products such as apparel and accessories, home décor, as well as items for the garage for the auto enthusiast such as automotive accessories, automotive tools, appearance and other automotive related products.
NEW GODZILLA GAMES DEBUT Toho Games, the game division of Toho Co recently announced the 2021 worldwide release of three free-to-play Godzilla mobile games: Run Godzilla, Godzilla Destruction, and Godzilla Battle Line. Run Godzilla will be released worldwide (excluding Japan) shortly. The preregistration campaigns for Godzilla Destruction and Godzilla Battle Line will begin on the same day. “Toho has been deeply involved with the production process for all three games since the early planning stages,” said Keiji Ota, Director and Chief Godzilla Officer at Toho. “All the staff involved in the project have worked together to keep alive the spirit of the Godzilla series, while also creating a new Godzilla specially for the mobile game world. Whether you play on your way to work or school, or during your time off, we hope these games will help you feel closer to Godzilla in your everyday life.” “The Godzilla universe is beloved by people all over the world, regardless of age or nationality,” said Ota. “For all of Godzilla’s fans, we at Toho will continue to venture into new territory to build and expand the Godzilla universe. Stand by for even more destruction!” Godzilla’s global reach is set to expand even further this year alongside the release of the new Hollywood movie Godzilla vs. Kong (in US theaters and on HBO MAX this Spring, and in Japanese theaters on May 14 and upcoming anime TV series Godzilla Singular Point. Ota added, “The year 2021 will see the broadcast of the anime TV series Godzilla Singular Point and the release of the Hollywood blockbuster movie Godzilla vs. Kong. Among all the excitement, the Godzilla brand is taking another major, monster-sized step forward by releasing three new mobile games worldwide.”
40 YEARS OF DEL BOY! BBC Studios licensing programme continues to mark the 40th anniversary year of the popular TV comedy series Only Fools and Horses with a dedicated online store. Hosted by licensee Push Entertainment, fans can now browse a dedicated on demand store for bespoke merchandise inspired by the critically acclaimed BBC series. The first wave of apparel, available now at onlyfoolsandhorses.shop is a selection of t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts and caps, followed by gifting, homewares and stationary featuring many of the show’s popular catchphrases. Written and created by John Sullivan, the Only Fools and Horses series ran for 64 episodes from 1981 to 2003, and at its peak was watched by 24.3 million people. It now has a regular slot on Gold and is a firm favourite with viewers - consistently one of the most-watched shows on the UKTV-owned channel. Rikesh Desai, Director for Merchandise & Gaming at BBC Studios, said: “We are hugely excited to be working with Push Entertainment to deliver the first ever official Only Fools and Horses store. I’m sure fans of the iconic show will love the depth and breadth of product we have on offer”. Ian Shurmer, Co-Founder of Push Entertainment said: “The team at Push grew up watching Only Fools and Horses so this is a great opportunity for us to deliver fans of the show something fresh and new. We’re looking forward to working with BBC Studios and the Sullivan Estate to build on the great work they have achieved with one of the most iconic TV comedies of all time.”
CRANSTON ACADEMY: MONSTER ZONE Currently celebrating its 19th year in business as the leading animation studio in Latin America and recognized as a global player in the animation industry specialising in children’s programming, Fernando De Fuentes Sainz, CEO, and José C. Garcia de Letona, COO, both founding partners of Ánima, announced recently that the company’s animated feature film Cranston Academy: Monster Zone will be released in Australia and New Zealand on April 7th. This family adventure film has previously been sold to Mexico, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Italy, CIS & Baltics, Vietnam, Middle East, the UK, and South Africa for theatrical release by Double Dutch International. Cranston Academy: Monster Zone stars the voices of Jamie Bell and Ruby Rose. “The timing of this announcement could not be better as Cranston Academy: Monster Zone was just recently nominated for a Quirino Awards as one of the Best Ibero-American Ani-
mation Feature Films. I am confident this animated adventure will be loved in Australia and New Zealand, as it has around the world,” commented Garcia de Letona. Cranston Academy: Monster Zone, is the story of Danny, a 15-year-old genius bullied for his intelligence and struggling to fit in at school and Liz, the daughter of a famous scientist whose legacy she strives to overcome and be considered a genius in her own right. When Danny is unexpectedly offered a scholarship to Cranston Academy a secret, prestigious boarding school where Liz is the number one student, a rivalry sparks. In his quest to prove his intelligence. Danny inadvertently opens a portal to another dimension and unleashes a slew of monsters on the school. Liz must put their rivalry aside and help Danny together with a half-moth, halfman professor aptly nicknamed Mothman, to overcome the creatures of the 5th dimension and save the school.
ROCKY LICENSED TO FANATTIK Fanattik, the pop culture specialist, has signed a pan-European gift and homeware license for the Rocky franchise with MGM, through the studio’s local UK agent Rocket Licensing Ltd. The new collection will debut later this year in time to mark the 45th anniversary of the original Rocky film starring Sylvester Stallone. MGM’s Rocky and Creed films have generated more than $1.3 billion in worldwide box-office sales, three Academy Awards, and 10 nominations. As the franchise marks its 45th anniversary it continues to be hotter than ever and inspire new generations of fans. The Fanattik range will cover home décor, glassware, barware, gifts and collectibles. Image rights are part of the license so Clubber Lang (played by Mr. T), Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), and of course Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, will be heavily featured on product and packaging. Anthony Marks, Managing Director of Fanattik, is very excited about the partnership, “Fanattik is licensed by many of the major film and video game studios and Rocky is a big hitter I have had my eye on for some time. Our initial discussions with European gift retailers have leaned towards Rocky product for Father’s Day and Christmas promotions but of course it’s suitable for fans all year round. Fanattik has seen phenomenal growth over the past three years with even more retailers coming on-board since the beginning of the Covid pandemic. With no new film releases, our focus on iconic, evergreen titles has been proven to be the right strategy. Retailers are looking for licensed product with multi-generational appeal and an existing fan base who are looking for gifts that remind them of happier pre-Covid times.”
CHUPA CHUPS SIGNS HOPESHOW IN CHINA Chupa Chups, the iconic lollipop brand, keeps spreading its natural sweetness among young and stylish women in China with the fashion retailer Hopeshow. Hopeshow has created an amazing collection in a sweet and light retro style, for ladies’ daily life. A full range of outwear is available including t-shirts, skirts, jackets, dresses, shirts, vests and more, all the necessary garments for women who wish to express their individual style with color and a touch of glamour. The collection is now on shelves all over the country in Hopeshow’s stores and online at http://www.hopeshow.com.
FIRST UK DEAL FOR ROLLING STONE Bulldog Licensing has inked a deal with Iconospheric and legendary brand Rolling Stone. The deal is the first one signed by Bulldog since the property joined the agency’s carefully selected roster. The new collection from Iconospheric will feature a range of products including: apparel, accessories, home and gift merchandise to celebrate Rolling Stone’s heritage and authority across music, culture and politics. Rolling Stone’s multi-platform content touts unrivalled access and authority, reaching a global audience of over 60 million people per month. Through the partnership, Bulldog Licensing continues to widen its consumer product offerings in the UK, spanning gift, accessories, stationery, wall art and home. Rob Corney, Managing Director of Bulldog Licensing, comments: “Iconospheric is the perfect first partner for the UK Rolling Stone
programme. We love their approach to design and it means that we will have high quality Rolling Stone merchandise available all year round. This collaboration showcases our ability to deliver a wide range of quality products that represent the influence of a truly iconic brand. The interest in the programme has been very strong thus far, and we look forward to announcing additional key partners soon.” The Iconospheric x Rolling Stone collection is available for purchase online at iconospheric.com/pages/ rolling-stone-collection.
Editorial Deadline for the Summer (Licensing Expo) issue 24th June.
SUDDORA PARTNERS WITH EMOJI Suddora has recently partnered with emoji® - The Iconic Brand, and are delighted to announce their new launch of emoji-brand headbands.The partnership was brokered by Retail Monster, LLC., the emoji company’s North American licensing agent. Las Vegas-based Suddora is known as an innovative leader in the sweatband industry. But sweatbands are not where the buck stops for Suddora. Not only do they provide a wide variety of high-end athletic gear and accessories such as wristbands and sweatbands, but the business has also expanded to include headbands, arm sleeves, towels, hand warmers, and custom designs. Incorporating the emoji brand icons into the Suddora headband collections will only take the company to new heights. Paul Serra of Suddora commented, “We are so excited to launch emoji brand themed headbands. The designs are such fun - our customers will love wearing them both for fitness and fashion!” “We couldn’t be more thrilled to team up with Suddora to launch a collection of headbands full of expression,” says Marco Huesges, CEO and Founder of the emoji company. “Their headbands are high-quality and specifically designed for an active lifestyle - We’re proud to partner with such a respected company.” Since the emergence of athleisure wear, people have started taking their health and fitness more seriously simply because physical activity no longer feels so forced. At Suddora, the goal was to not only incorporate athletic gear and accessories that look and feel great but that also added functionality to the design. All Suddora’s gear and accessories are designed with a purpose. Everything from moisture management and SPF protection to keeping hair and sweat out of your face and eyes, their products can go from the gym to the grocery store, just as all athleisure wear apparel does. By teaming up with the emoji company, Suddora customers will be able to enjoy a fun spin on the headband design.
NEW LICENSES FOR H&A H&A, the UK’s leading supplier of kids licensed health & beauty products, have announced new partnerships with a selection of global kids’ brands: Crayola, Batman, Super Mario, and Animal Crossing. The brands join H&A’s impressive current kids’ portfolio which includes Disney, Marvel and L.O.L Surprise. Livy Coare, Licensing and Marketing Manager said, “We are delighted to be working with such iconic brands in a time where consumers are relying on their favourite brands more than ever before. H&A’s expertise in the category has enabled us to develop innovative products that we can’t wait for consumers to see!” With over 30 years’ experience in producing market-leading kid’s gifts & bathing ranges, H&A are the category experts. H&A’s commitment to sustainability means that their packaging is 100% recyclable, whilst also eradicating the use of PVC materials and successfully removing all plastic tags.
Summer is coming, and so is Blue Print Live ! Cinnamon Joe reports that the next online event will be from 18 - 20 May 2021, and the page goes live to make meeting appointments from the 11 May 2021. Out of all the virtual shows, Surface Print Design is the one area that can truly benefit the studios and artists that participate.Virtual shows for product areas like Home, Tableware, Fabrics and Craft among others, do miss the tactile element of an actual show, where buyers like to handle the products on offer, as part of their buying process.As artists and designers, the artwork that is shared on screen with buyers in a Zoom meeting, is the digital product they will actually receive. Even when actual shows in a venue come back again, there will be a need for virtual shows as a valuable resource for both exhibitors and buyers. Commenting, Paul Turk of Blue Print organisers said,, “2021 is looking like it will be a more positive year than 2020, and it’s been fun to keep Blue Print going virtually over the past few months. Let’s hope with the exciting vaccine news things start to pick up and get back to normal next year !” To register for Blue Print live visit http://www.blueprintshows.com/buyer-registration Any studios or artists wishing to exhibit at the next online event, register at http://www.blueprintshows.com/apply-to-exhibit
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ANDERSON ENTERTAINMENT TEAMS UP WITH SURFACE PATTERN DESIGNER Anderson Entertainment, the company founded by Gerry Anderson – the man behind shows as Thunderbirds and Space:1999 as well as modern hits like Space Precinct and the 2005 reimagining of Captain Scarlet – has announced a collaboration with celebrated surface pattern designer and illustrator (and Anderson fan) Gail Myerscough. Gail has designed an exclusive limited-edition set of mugs and coasters with four designs inspired by the universe created by Gerry Anderson for his shows. The designs were commissioned by Jamie Anderson, who heard about Gail’s work from her writer husband, Matt. Jamie, a writer, director producer and Anderson Entertainment MD, who is also Gerry’s son, was especially impressed by a design inspired by control panels seen in shows like Thunderbirds. The bone china 350 ml mugs are hand finished at James Dean Pottery in Kent. The Gail Myerscough logo sits alongside the Anderson Entertainment logo on the back stamp of the mugs. The mugs and coasters will be sold exclusively through Anderson Entertainment’s highly successful e-commerce site, the Gerry Anderson Store, which boasts an expanding list both of licensee-supplied product and new items developed and created by Anderson Entertainment. They will be available from the beginning of April. The core market for the mugs is expected to be Gerry Anderson fans and gift buyers of all ages, along with lovers of stylish, unusual homeware. Gail Myerscough says: “I take my inspiration from mid-century design and modernist architecture and I grew up watching Gerry Anderson shows, so bringing all these interests together in these designs has been a real pleasure for me. Anderson Entertainment has been a delight to work with and I’m looking forward to more collaborations in the near future.” Jamie Anderson, MD of Anderson Entertainment, says: “Gail is a creative and versatile designer with a new and fresh way of looking at the Anderson classics which at the same time captures the essence of their appeal. These, stylish, original and fun mugs and coasters are an integral part of our ongoing plans for an expanded offering from the Gerry Anderson Store to meet growing demand. It’s going to be a very busy 2021!”
CROCS LICENSE FOR MASHA Animaccord in Russia has teamed up with Crocs, a global leader in innovative casual footwear, to produce and launch an exclusive range of Masha and the Bear branded footwear on various markets across the world. Crocs will bring the collection of licensed Clogs and Jibbitz to both e-commerce and Crocs original stores. The collection will be rolling out across key markets this summer.
BROADCAST DEALS FOR ONE ANIMATION One Animation has secured a wave of linear broadcast sales across the long-form, short-form and seasonal specials of its preschool series Oddbods and the kids’ animated adventure comedy, Insectibles. Mexican broadcaster Televisa has picked up seasons one and two of Oddbods’ seven-minute long-form version and the first season of the one-minute short-form content, while for Latin America, WarnerMedia takes the Oddbeard’s Curse Halloween 22-minute special for its Boomerang and Cartoon Network kids’ channels. In France, teleTOON+ (a Canal+ Group channel) has also added the title, as well as renewing rights to further 22-minute seasonal specials Party Monsters, The Festive Menace and Zee Force Five. Additionally, One Animation has secured new deals in partnership with distribution agent Zoland Distribution, including: Studio N in Poland who have picked up Free TV and SVOD rights to seasons one to three of Oddbods long-form, in addition to the The Festive Menace, Zee Force Five, Party Monsters and Oddbeard’s Curse specials; and season one of Insectibles (52 X 11 min) has been acquired by TRO (Russia) in the Tatar language, and RedHead SARL (South Africa) for Free TV distribution. Oddbods is a globally loved, threetime Emmy Award-nominated, nondialogue comedy featuring seven, highly unique pals. Together, despite their differences, they survive the perils of everyday life, unintentionally turning ordinary situations into unexpected, extraordinary, and always humorous events. Insectibles follows the adventures of Zak, Gramps, and three bio-mechanically enhanced insects as they search for the missing pieces of the Shrinkinator - the invention that shrunk Zak & Gramps before it exploded. They need to find the missing pieces and fix the Shrinkinator all while evading their enemies.
TOEI ANIMATION EUROPE SETS THE TONE FOR 2021! An outstanding celebration milestone, an increasing digital presence, remarkable collaborations and ever more engaging retail events : Toei Animation Europe will be present on all fronts this year. With over 50 licensees across Europe, Dragon Ball property has never been so hyped ! From toys to fashion, passing by collectible items : Dragon Ball products are everywhere in retail across EMEA. That’s why the property will be particulartly highlighted in stores. Earlier this year, Panini launched a caps collection in France that got noticed through a strong TV campaign. In May, a collection of girls apparel will also be designed by a famous French teenagers brand. In June, apparel specialist Animus will distibute Dragon Ball Z clothes dedicated to young adults and adults in sports stores Courir. During the same period, Pull & Bear will launch its dedicated collection too. More DTR collaborations will be announced throughout the year in France, Spain, Italy, and in the UK. In Germany, Italy and France, hobby stores, where the property is shinning bright, will be on the spotlight as well,
through an engaging loyalty operation will be settled end of this year, having fans get the possibility to receive attractive prizes. On the digital part, a 7 Dragon Ball quest will be organized all along the year across EMEA. This operation will invite people to find the 7 Dragon Balls hidden on retailers websites. 2021 is a special year for One Piece, as the property is about to celebrate the release of the 100th manga volume and especially the broadcast of the 1000th episode in Q4 ! With over 33K manga sold across Europe, the One Piece excitment is not slowing down. The celebration year is already loaded with activations. Bandai launched a One Piece toy collection earlier this year, while Abysse Corp released an acrylic Luffy figurine that met huge success. On the collaboration side, various fast fashion brands will create dedicated One Piece collections : Bershka (April) and Uniqlo (June) among others. For the occasion, European Uniqlo stores will adorn themselves with One Piece decoration, so as to immerge customers into the rich universe of the series. This Winter, fans will be able to discover a One Piece flip flaps collection, designed by Havaianas. From September, EMEA licensees will join the celebration with One Piece 1000th episode dedicated merchandising. Special visuals will be created for the occasion, making it possible to have very special products. Manga publishers will also create the event : in Italy, Star Comics will create special cover for the N°99 and N°100 volumes, while Glénat will organize a quizz competition game during 100 days prior to the launch of the N°100 volume. The celebration will also take place in retail where several loyalty operations will be implemented
in France, Italy, Germany and Spain : bookstores, cultural stores, hobby stores and more will cheer fans with dedicated operations aiming at retain and entertain European fans. TV and SVOD platform will also take part of this celebration. Starting this April a dedicated programming of One Piece movies will celebrate the title with 1 new movie aired every week from April 9 to May 21 on ProSieben MAXX in Germany ! The momentum will take place from September to December, when La Fée Sauvage will organize a symphonic concert paying tribute to the overall One Piece series in September. Alongside those special physical events, an ambitious B to C digital event will occur across Europe (more information to be disclosed soon)! Due to the health situation, some elements introduced above might be subject to change, or other operations might as well be added throughout the year. 2021 is an exciting year for Toei Animation Europe’s properties, and 2022 is promising, as Toei Animation prepares for thrilling announcements ! Stay tuned on Toei Animation Europe’s website to get the monthly update information https://www.toei-animation.com/
WOLFWALKERS NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR Cartoon Saloon’s latest feature film WolfWalkers has recently been nominated for an Academy Award. This Oscar nomination follows a Golden Globe, and BAFTA nomination, along with 10 Annie nominations, plus a whole host of Awards already won. Wolfwalkers completes a trilogy of Features based on Irish adventure Folklore, along with ‘The Secret of Kells’ and ‘Song of the Sea’, both of which were also nominated for an Oscar. To find out more, Becky Ash talked to Brian Tyrrell, General Manager of Cartoon Saloon. “As a company we are actually relatively new to Licensing, and only started focusing on consumer products during 2019, explained Brian. “At that time it became immediately apparent that we actually have two types of fan. People who are fans of the studio, and love our unique artistic approach and super story-telling. This cohort are looking for more conceptualized designs on product and we are actively chatting with a number of companies about a range of product across the trilogy, from mug sets across Kells, Song & Wolfwalkers to T-Shirts etc, stationary, posters etc “Then we have consumer fans, more interested in specific films. These are the intended demographic for the movie itself. To this end we have signed a number of deals for Wolfwalkers such as an Artbook with Abrams Books, and a super graphic novel (global deal) with Little Brown Young Readers. Additionally we are doing a board game and puzzle deal with Value Add Games, and also signed up with Cooneen by Design for a WolfWalkers apparel range. We are also in continued discussion with other potential partners. We are very happy with the level of interest in all our IP, especially given the obvious restrictions that Covid has played in limiting interaction at trade shows and so forth.” “I guess it helps greatly that as a studio we are truly gaining recognition globally in no small part due to our various Awards and nominations. “We are also producing a feature film ‘My Father’s Dragon’ for Netflix and also ‘Puffin Rock – The Movie’, based on our Award winning series ‘Puffin Rock’ which has been dubbed in over 30 languages and continues doing so well. In fact last year at the start of the pandemic it was Voted No. 1 Kids Show on Netflix by ‘Real Moms’. We have a number of discussions going on currently with licensing partners and have signed another apparel deal with Cooneen by Design for Puffin Rock, along with Caprice in Australia for a Puffin Rock Nursery Range which has already got retail placement there. Apart from Puffin Rock – The Movie, and My Father’s Dragon, we have another super fun pre-school series slated for 2022 called Silly Sundays. It’s a real fun and colorful series and we could not be happier with the licensee engagement so far. We have a number of other projects which are in early discussion but will let you know as thing develop.”
SPACETOON TO LICENSE LOVE, DIANA
Spacetoon, has recently announced signing a licensing deal with pocket.watch, the studio behind global franchises and characters, to be the master consumer product licensing agent in the MENA territory for the globally famous brand Love, Diana. As the CP licensing agent in the territory, Spacetoon will launch a new line of toys and products, bringing innovative items to the shelves of the MENA toy market. The brand-new consumer products line is completely inspired by Diana, one of the most popular kid superstars. In addition to becoming the master CP licensing agent of Love, Diana in MENA, Spacetoon has also secured the rights of localizing, dubbing, and broadcasting 2 of the most successful shows for the top kid-influencer, Diana, across Spacetoon free-to-air TV channel and Spacetoon GO online streaming service. The first show is Love, Diana Adventures; a series full of adventures that takes Diana to a new world, the Land of Play, where she is transformed from live action into an animated Princess of Play and protects her friends and the Land of Play from Boris the Baron of Boredom and his minions of the mundane. The Love, Diana Adventures show gained +10 million views globally in just 5 days on the 1st episode. The second show is Kids Diana Show Ultimate Mishmash; a mashup of super fun highlights from the Kids Diana Show YouTube channel starring Diana together with her brother, Roma. Collectively, Diana has nearly 5 billion monthly views on her 14 YouTube channels, which provide audiences with family-friendly content in 9 different languages. Commenting on this deal, Ahmad Weiss, Commercial Director of Spacetoon said, “We are thrilled to announce this collaboration with pocket.watch, to bring top-rated, family and kid-friendly content to the region, along with opening the doors for new merchandise related to the Love, Diana brand.”
The Trailer Park Boys have announced their collaboration with Devil’s Due Comics, to creatively extend their product and brand licensing. As the kick-off to an extensive celebration of the 20th anniversary of the brand, Devil’s Due Comics is creating a series of comics based on the mischief of the main characters of the show, Ricky, Julian and Bubbles. The comic book series serves as a new brand extension for the series and it will launch in July 2021, with new titles planned through the year, culminating in a massive anthology in November 2021. Devil’s Due has commissioned some of the most iconic names in comic book art to create a series of covers, including limited edition runs for the collectors. This particular collaboration is a new arena for the Trailer Park Boys designed to align with comic book and die-hard TPB fans alike around the world. With a flock of tier-one licensing partners around the corner, Devil’s Due is an ideal launchpad for the Trailer Park Boys brand licensing and celebrating 20 years of antics in Sunnyvale Trailer Park.
AUSTRALIAN APPAREL FOR STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE Strawberry Shortcake and Sarsparilly in Australia have teamed up to create an inspiring collection of women’s apparel to be released this Spring. A retro and classic brand, Strawberry Shortcake continues to delight fans of all ages nearly 40 years after she burst on to the scene. Sarsparilly is a women’s apparel destination for all things that live and breathe vintage charm with a kitsch spin, combining pop culture favourites with cool silhouettes from the past. Led by head designer and founder, Maria Murphy, the company’s motto is Wear Your True Colours as they are always looking for places to inject colour where it didn’t exist before. As a young child, Maria Murphy grew up in the 80s, so Strawberry Shortcake has a special place in her heart. “I remember watching Strawberry
Shortcake cartoons with my younger sister and can quote a lot of it still! I used to have a Strawberry Shortcake rag doll as a child, and the distant memory of the sweet smell of strawberries still lingers in my thoughts to this day,” says Maria. Sarsparilly will be launching a collection of women’s apparels featuring four key items available online at www. sarsparilly.com. The brand has focused on using prints and colours that will appeal to a wide audience, with an emphasis on quality fabrics that will last. “We are very ex-
cited for this launch and plan to bring out further collections with Strawberry Shortcake in the future,” Maria concludes. The deal with Sarsparilly was brokered by WP Brands in Melbourne on behalf of WildBrain.
LANDMARK APPOINT RADAR LICENSING FOR NICHOLAS CAGE HORROR MOVIE Following the successful day and date premiere of the February 12 PVOD release of Willy’s Wonderland, Landmark Studio Group, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. company, recently announced the appointment of Radar Licensing as the global licensing agent to spearhead the development of a worldwide consumer products retail program for the horror thriller, starring Nicolas Cage with Emily Tosta, Ric Reitz, Chris Warner, and Beth Grant. Radar Licensing will create a comprehensive licensing and merchandising program for mass, specialty, and online retailers across a multitude of categories, including apparel, accessories, publishing, electronics, toys, and costumes. The tshirt worn in Willy’s Wondeland by Cage has been consistently selling out of stock, and Radar Licensing has appointed its first licensee, Changes, as apparel partner to replicate the t-shirt for availability this Spring. Landmark and Radar Licensing anticipate additional products for Willy’s Wonderland to begin hitting retail in Q3 2021. “We are thrilled with the fan and critic reception of Willy’s Wonderland, which has received great reviews and millions of impressions to date across YouTube and social media platforms,” stated David Ozer, CEO, Landmark. “Fans want more engagement with the film, and this is the opportune time to partner with a seasoned licensing agent like Radar to create a line of products that reflect the quirky, fun, and adventurous vibe of the film delivered by the talents of Nic Cage to the marketplace!” “With its multi-genre appeal, Willy’s Wonderland has so many fantastical elements from which we can develop a merch program,” said David Imhoff, President, Radar Licensing. “We look forward to working with Landmark to develop and bring these products to retail.” Directed by Kevin Lewis from a screenplay written by G.O. Parsons, in Willy’s Wonderland a quiet loner (Cage) finds himself stranded in a remote town when his car breaks down. Unable to pay for the repairs he needs, he agrees to spend the night cleaning Willy’s Wonderland, an abandoned family fun center. But this wonderland has a dark secret that the “The Janitor” is about to discover. He soon finds himself trapped inside Willy’s and locked in an epic battle with the possessed animatronic mascots that roam the halls. To survive, he must fight his way through each of them. Willy’s Wonderland is produced by Nicolas Cage, Mike Nilon, Grant Cramer, Jeremy Daniel Davis, David Ozer, and Bryan Lord. The Executive Producers are Tim Rouhana, David Nagelberg, David Fannon, Mark Damon, Seth Needle, Tamara Birkemoe, Adam Rifkin,Victor Perillo, Scott Harbert, and Jake Seal. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment’s Screen Media Ventures, LLC, the film’s global distributor, has sold it into key territories around the world, including U.K., Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America.
HALF MOON BAY Great design is at the heart of everything Half Moon Bay do, and for 2021 they have expanded their portfolio of licenses and products to produce new and innovative designs. Collaborating with a number of its licensing partners, Half Moon Bay are launching a unique collectibles range. Featuring hanging decorations, mini mugs, table and wall vases inspired by iconic characters and memorabilia from across their licenses, each collectable is numbered so fans can collect them all.They have also developed new shapes for some of their
classic product formats, such as lunch bags and notebooks, and added a twist to their water bottles, which feature sculpted lids of various characters. Alongside new product formats, Half Moon Bay have introduced evergreen licenses including Jurassic Park and Jaws. Their Jurassic Park range celebrates the best of the film and features quotes and imagery ahead of its 30th anniversary in 2023 and the release of Jurassic World: Dominion in 2022. Jaws celebrates its 46th anniversary in 2021 and is a classic with timeless appeal. Half Moon Bay’s range takes the iconic poster artwork and brings it to life on various formats. Both collections feature stand-out products with a retro edge, reminiscent of the beloved films. Half Moon Bay have also created new ranges across their popular licenses for 2021. This includes their Captain America collection, which celebrates the Year of the Shield and combines new and classic formats. Other collections include Marvel, Disney’s Cruella de Vil, Harry Potter, Friends, Moomin and more.
NASTYA’S UNIVERSE: YOUTUBE’S BIGGEST STAR PREPARES FOR BIG YEAR OF NEW FUN, ADVENTURES AND PRODUCTS FOR FANS As parents have been looking for ways to entertain and educate children at home over the past year, kid influencers dominating social media have become more popular than ever. And with the ability to create engaging content and connect with millions of fans globally at their fingertips, more and more of these stars are edging into the world of licensed products. With more monthly average YouTube views than Nickelodeon and Disney combined and a flourishing consumer products programme, seven-year-old Anastasia (Nastya) Radzinskaya and her Like Nastya channels are leading the way. Nastya’s vibrant personality and playful adventures with her dad have generated more than 120 billion total YouTube views – more than any creator in the world. Speaking about what sets her apart from other young creators, her manager Eyal Baumel, CEO at Yoola, said: “Like Nastya was the first channel dur-
ing the pandemic to use their storytelling skills and experience to create useful and relevant content for children on the importance of washing their hands and wearing a mask. It’s this mix of educational, imaginative, fun and narrative-driven content, and the fact she localizes her videos in 12 different languages, that allows children and parents around the world to see her not just as a YouTube star, but as a great friend.” With the help of IMG as their licensing representative, the Like Nastya brand has partnered with Jazwares as master toy licensee, Bentex for apparel, Handcraft for underwear, Centric Brands for sleepwear, Jada-Simba Dickie for remote control vehicles and Betesh for toddler bedding. And that’s in addition to a wide range of partners already signed in Europe and Russia. Gary Krakower, VP of Licensing at IMG, commented, “Over the next
year, fans will be able to enjoy a huge range of Like Nastya products that reflect her favourite things, from clothing to remote-control cars, dolls to jewelry, and more. We’re particularly excited about the Jazwares collection which will be hitting shelves at some of the biggest retailers around the world this fall.” Earlier this year, Zazzle launched Like Nastya bespoke birthday-themed party goods to celebrate the star’s seventh birthday. The line included party hats, wrapping paper, paper plates, apparel, stationary, greeting cards, room décor and face masks, as well as a phone case and jigsaw. The products were integrated into her birthday party YouTube video, viewed by almost 100 million fans. Krakower added: “Looking to the future, we’re exploring licensing opportunities across education, food, bikes and ride-ons, outdoor play, and health and beauty.”
TOTAL LICENSING By Jacqueline Vong
Toronto-based Jacqueline Vong is a China market specialist and tracks Asian developments in the marketplace with her editorials. She currently owns a consultancy called Playology International specializing in licensing, franchise management and content development and sales for North America and Asia. You can reach her @PlayologyIntl or www.playologyintl.com
Josh Punin (above) and David Selvaraj, of DJ Indian Sourcing and Manufacture Consulting. You can reach both of them via Josh at email@example.com
India’s Toy Story As the anniversary of the first international reported case of Covid-19 has come, we have seen a growing interest in relying less on the Chinese market for manufacturing. There are a number of reasons to look beyond China including labour prices, exchange rates, container availabilities, long holidays delays. To further support this, Josh Punin of DJ India Sourcing and Manufacture Consulting states, this is “driven by retailers in US where they need to start seeing a diversification and production outside of China. It’s not about taking away opportunities from China.” As 75% of the world’s toy manufacturing comes out of China and only 1% currently comes out of India, it is time to explore the emergence of India as a manufacturing power. David Selvaraj, a partner from DJ India Sourcing, has highlighted some key advantages to manufacturing in India. Population: India is the only population in the world that can rival China’s workforce. 60% of the population of India are the younger generation and are in the labor force or entering.
Labor Cost: Labor cost is relatively stable with little indication that it will increase dramatically in the next 5 years. Comparatively, China’s labor cost has been rising year over year. Currently the labor cost in India is approximately one third of the Chinese. Language: The fact that international business is done predominantly in the English language, and there may be less lost in translation moments when dealing with manufacturers over in India. Experience: The manufacturing of toy goods has matured day by day with major companies paving the way such as Hasbro, Mattel and Spin Master. The manufacturers are expanding their factory capacities. And, under the guidance from international best in class companies like Walmart, and Amazon who just announced recently that they are setting up their first ever manufacturing line in India, the manufacturing sector is poised to learn from the best. Government support: The support of Modi’s Indian govern-
ment on labor laws, taxation and compliance, the foundation is being laid down for this country. The government is promoting state governments to open toy parks in special economic zones in various states like Bangalore, Gujarat to further create economic incentives for business owners to invest in manufacturing. Vaccination roll out: Manufacturers were prioritized in the Indian vaccination roll out so there is sufficient work force ready for any new business inquiries. Tech: Software vendors around the world consider India as one of the most lucrative and high potential markets in the world. The growing number of data centers in the market, the development of new age telecommunication and artificial intelligence automation coming out of India are proof that India is becoming a very important market in the technology world. India has come a long way and under the right conditions, it is quickly organizing itself on the global and domestic stage to be a big manufacturing player in the toy industry.
Data Everywhere: How Leading Licensing Firms Can Benefit from Advanced Data Management Strategies By Padraic Moore, Westend Software westendsoftware.com
Your boss calls first thing Monday morning and asks “Can you quickly get me answers to the following questions for my meeting this afternoon”: - Who were our top retail partners for plush products priced below $20 in 2020? - What countries saw the largest sales growth for action figures in 2020 vs. 2019? - What percentage of our licensees fully recouped their advances in 2020? And on average by how much? - How many days does it take for our products to go from concept stage to “onshelf ”? And for what categories did this lead time improve most in 2020? Not the quiet Monday you were hoping for and chances are none of us would have these answers at our fingertips. But we could and it’s very likely this will become an expectation for all of us moving forward. That’s because this is the reality of ever more popular data management applications and the licensing industry is no exception when it comes to both the need and the value these tools offer. But it’s important to consider some of the uniqueness of the licensing industry, evaluate where we are and identify what is a good strategy moving forward to get data under control and have it start working more effectively for all of us. Over the last decade the business world has hyper-accelerated the deployment of enterprise software solutions, online tools and digital applications into our daily work lives. As a result, most of us have now been exposed to or at least heard of the world of data analytics and business intelligence (BI) applications. As a quick overview, BI tools provide the ability to collect and combine different sets
of data, correlate them, analyze results and display important trends in real time to help organizations stay informed and make better decisions. But getting to the point where endusers can use BI to zero in on their most important info can be difficult. The licensing industry is not spared from these challenges as more of our companies try to implement better data management strategies. One aspect of the licensing industry that’s had a positive impact on data management is the proliferation of dedicated licensing software, such as WestEnd Software’s Workspace solution which offers integrated contract, royalty, product approval and BI tools. These “end-to-end” licensing software applications are great environments for collaboration, validation and reporting as products get approved and sold. As licensors, licensees and agencies utilize licensing solutions like Workspace more frequently, they are increasingly looking at data analytics as a next step and asking questions like “how can we leverage our data more effectively now that it is in one central location.” So how do we get to the data management finish line and what are the holdups? In the licensing world, a good way to think about data is to focus on where it comes from, how it gets processed and ultimately how it can be used for analytical purposes. This article attempts to breakdown the realities of licensing data and provide some best practices for companies to think about. While it goes without saying that not all licensing firms have identical software strategies, we are going to discuss scenarios for companies that are committed taking advantage of these exciting new IT trends. And this requires us to focus is on three
distinct sets of licensing data: collaborative data inputs, processed licensing results and data analytics for licensing. Together, these three areas are critically important to making data work for your organization, which will allow you to easily get your boss the answers to their Monday questions (or better yet, teach your boss how to use BI and get the answers themselves). Collaborative Data Inputs What is collaborative licensing data and where does it come from? There are two primary sets of collaborative licensing data: new products and new sales. Licensors and licensees enter into relationships that are dictated by: 1) the development and approval of new products that use licensed IP and 2) the reporting of actualized sales and royalties for these products. This is the basis of licensing partnerships and it represents much of the core data that is shared between licensors and licensees. But these data sets are not monoliths, as there are significant degrees of variance in the type, amount and quality for both product, sales and royalty data utilized across the licensing industry. It is therefore critical that firms define in very precise terms what data they need from their partners. For product data, there are myriad sets of data points that can be associated with a licensed product (i.e., meta data). This includes product name, SKU number, IP, product images, product category, product attributes, price points etc. As an example, WestEnd Software has implemented solutions for our clients where each licensed product has over 50 associated data points. However, just knowing that a product was made in a specific factory or approved for sales on a certain date is only valuable if it can be utilized by your data tools. Therefore, it is important that licensors and licensees work together to define product data re-
TOTAL LICENSING quirements that support their mutual data analytics strategies. For sales and royalty data reporting, it is imperative that licensees and licensors are again on the same page as to what is expected from these recurring financial reports. This is one of the advantages of implementing dedicated licensing software like Westend’s Workspace solution, as a licensee’s data upload process gives licensors and agencies confidence that they have the correct cumulative data required to support all their BI and analytic efforts. If it is important to be able to historically track sales by SKU or retailer, then this information has to be a required component of a licensee’s sales upload. Ultimately, what is provided during this collaboration process directly impacts all downstream data analytics programs. Processed Licensing Results The data generated by approving products for sale and processing corresponding sales transactions will serve as the backbone for most BI programs in the licensing industry. Raw product and sales data has some value, but the processing and validation of complex data sets derived equally from licensing contracts, approved product records and the associated sales uploads are the most important data sources for effective data strategies. This is because data is inherently relational and does not “live on an island”, as contract rights allow products to be developed, developed products generate sales and ultimately sales are validated against contracts. These three processes work in partnership and the resulting transactional data is a gold mine for the most effective BI implementations for licensing firms. On a more detailed level, once new products are approved and sales data is reported for royalty processing, a lot of manipulation and validation takes place. This is where licensing software can provide additional value by automating the processing of raw data. The resulting outputs, especially accounting data and royalty summary reports can easily be confirmed as ac-
curate. Key data processes include: - Sales validated against a licensing contract’s granted rights and restrictions - Guarantee recoupment positions are updated as sales are validated - Invoices can be issued for both advance payments and royalty overages - Finally, a company’s general ledger can be updated with all credit/debit transactions based on a company’s chart of accounts and GL posting rules. These results can then easily be integrated into a company’s primary ERP or corporate accounting system. But accounting data is only a piece of the puzzle as processing is taking place. Additional product and sales meta data (category, retailer, price etc.) is accumulated and these key transactional relationships are maintained. Now that we have accumulated large sets of valuable data, we are ready to explore how advanced data analytics and BI can be a benefit. Data Analytics for Licensing Let’s summarize where we are: we’ve defined our data inputs through collaboration with our licensing partners and we’ve processed raw licensing data as new products are developed, sold and royalties paid. Now what? How do we get the analytics we need to see trends, make better decisions or even just handle our boss’s urgent data requests? There are two primary methods licensing companies can leverage: embedded BI tools within licensing software solutions or use 3rd party BI applications. Not all licensing software vendors offer BI capabilities, but some like WestEnd Software do offer feature rich BI options including dashboards and drill-down tools. There is no right or wrong answer, but companies will likely be positioned better for one option vs. the other based on the investments they’ve already made (or are considering). Key factors in deciding the right path include company size, IT budget and if a 3rd party BI tool is already available, such as Tableau, MicroStrategy or Cognos. Regardless of which path your com-
pany is headed, you’ll need to work backwards from the finish line to set requirements and expectations for your eventual consumers of the BI data. And like all good requirement gathering activities, start by answering the questions that the business is asking. In the licensing world, BI implementations and underlying data warehouses can easily be configured to provide analytics on the performance of your company, your partners, your products or your employees. Examples include: - What are our sales trends for digital products in each EU country over the last 5 years? - Which licensees paid less in royalties in Q4 2019 vs. Q4 2020? - How many new products did we introduce in Jewelry vs. Eye Wear in 2020? - What departments struggled to meet their product approval benchmarks in Q1? These are the exact questions BI tools should be used to answer and as an example, our Workspace offering was designed with these use cases in mind. The ability to compare various data sets, drill down into specific data views, save templates, produce graphs and charts and export to Excel or PDF are all very important features that licensing companies should be looking to take advantage of as they become more available across the industry. In conclusion, increases in the amount of data generated in the licensing ecosystem is definitely not slowing down and in the coming years the need to utilize BI tools across our industry will become even more pervasive. That’s the bad news. The good news is this data is valuable and it can be leveraged to make your licensing program better, faster, bigger and more profitable. Whether you have a licensing software package that offers BI or use an external BI tool, the benefits are profound and will ultimately make your licensing program more effective and more efficient. So maybe this is the answer you should give your boss the next time they come with a Monday morning fire drill.
Padraic Moore is Director of Business Development at WestEnd Software, a leading developer of enterprise software solutions for the licensing, sponsorship and entertainment industries. WestEnd’s “Workspace” suite of solutions help licensors, licensees and agencies more effectively manage and grow their licensing programs through advanced tools that support key contract, royalty, accounting and product development workflow processes. Learn more at westendsoftware.com.
Innovative Toy & Game Releases for 2021 During a ‘normal’ year, the toy industry would be showcasing its new innovations and signings around the globe – but as we all know, this has not been a normal year. However, toys and games have proved incredibly resilient during the worldwide pandemic, with exciting news, new deals and creative partnerships exemplifying the fact that play has never been as important. Here, we bring you a snapshot of some of the diverse and exciting products that look set to be popular this year. This year, Spin Master is launching a new range of Batman 12-inch Action Figures, including the Caped Crusader himself, Robin, The Joker, Nightwing, The Riddler and more. Each action figure features 11 points of articulation and detailed comic styling that brings everyone’s favourite Gotham City characters to life. With many to add to the collection, children can let their imagination run wild whilst acting out epic storylines and battles. The new Batman toys will be supported by TV advertising throughout Spring and through a creative, influencer-led PR campaign. Following the success of PAW Patrol’s
Dino Rescue range, the popular preschool brand is launching its Moto Pups line in 2021 with new themed outfits and deluxe vehicles for all 6 pups. The unique motorcycles feature authentic graphics and details, large wheels and a pull-back function that allows the pups to perform wheelies and pawsome stunts. The highlight from the range is the Moto Pups HQ Playset which features exciting sounds, a motorcycle launch ramp and looks just like the PAW Patrol’s actionpacked headquarters from the show.
following its popularity in 2020, PAW Patrol Dino Rescue will be getting another push this year with TV advertising and digital support throughout Spring.
Nick Jr’s PAW Patrol Moto Pups hit screens in March alongside TV advertising, digital support and an influencer-led PR campaign to promote the new range of toys. On top of this, and
Aimed at 3-5 year olds, this will be available from August. A Bluey pool hits retailers in the first half of the year, as well as plush, figurines, and a Bluey Hopscotch Race Card Game set for August. Moose will also be releasing Heroes of Goo Jit Zu DC – Hero Pack; Heroes of Goo Jit Zu DC Mini; Kindi Kids Big Sisters and Kindi Kids Bubble N’ Sing Poppi Pearl and Bonnie Bubbles. Moose also has a wide campaign around Space Jam with much product to debut this year, including Space Jam: A New Legacy Mini Figures and Space Jam: A New Legacy Gametime Playset. The highly-anticipated movie Space Jam: A New Legacy will release this summer.
Moose Toys has some exciting toys lined up for this year. One of the priority releases from the company is Bluey’s Caravan Adventures, inspired by the “Camping” episode where Bluey meets a new friend Jean Luc, the playset includes an exclusive Jean Luc figure, firepit and food accessories.
Emma Lawrence Designs has announced a new local licensee in the baby toy world. When LeBorne Ltd were searching for an illustrator to create a new range of woodland themed products for babies and young children, they not only found someone with a similar ethos and passion for nature, but
TOTAL LICENSING courage, optimism, and perseverance still resonate and are worth celebrating today,” says Carole Postal, President of Spotlight Licensing and Brand Management, the agency appointed by Friendly Family Productions to manage the Little House on the Prairie merchandise licensing program.
they were local too. Emma Lawrence’s cute, fresh and friendly drawings of deer, badgers, squirrels and hedgehogs were perfect to bring their collaboration to life. Both based in Shropshire, the beautiful countryside provides much inspiration for Emma’s distinctive hand drawn designs. The project started last March and despite the current situation, the first 2 products in the Woodland Sensory Company range have recently been launched. Emma has designed a Fox Hand Puppet.The fox has already been used in a successful launch campaign for iCandy UK and been well received. Great for peekaboo, exploring texture, hiding toys for problem solving or for comfort and security, the soothing and warm colour palette and detailed illustrations encourage and stimulate an early interest in nature. LeBorne Ltd were delighted that Emma was able to design the logo for their sub brand and packaging which features another coordinating woodland pattern. Working with an illustrator who offers bespoke design as well as licensing existing artwork means that a complete brand can be developed which really stands out. Emma Lawrence is represented by MHG Licensing. Epic Story Media Inc. (ESM) and Milkcow Media have signed
a Master Toy deal for Piper’s Pony Tales. Targeted to preschoolers, the series brings the world of ponies to life through kids’ imagination using highly articulated puppets. The series will launch this month on a dedicated YouTube channel with Epic Story Media handling all licensing and merchandising, and global content distribution. ESM has signed Breyer Horses as the Master Toy partner for the project in North America and LATAM and is currently in discussion with other global partners for toy and broadcast placement. With most families spending more time at home this past year, Little House on the Prairie licensees Cubles and The Queen’s Treasures have been helping parents engage children with toys that provide solid, interactive, year-round play value and a connection to stories about family togetherness, homeschooling, gardening, baking and the joys of a simpler life. Both licensees are now poised to continue that work with new Little House on the Prairie products planned for 2021. “It’s wonderful to see Little House on the Prairie still inspiring licensees and captivating fans with stories of pioneer life set a century and a half ago and to know its themes of family, community,
Super Impulse announces the outrageous miniature collectible brand, Wacky Packages Minis, based on the classic stickers by iconic trading card company Topps with a new series of mini toys and mini stickers to collect. With Series 2 comes a whole whack of new toys and stickers shamelessly spoofing beloved household brands. There are 82 new minis and stickers to collect, now with 3 levels of rarity: Rare, Really Rare, and Fuggetaboutit Rare.
In preparation for Easter, Dick Bruna’s iconic bunny Miffy has paired up with Australia-based fashion brand Cotton On, and Douglas, one of the oldest and most respected plush companies in the United States, to launch a new line of baby apparel and plush toys, respectively. Both product lines are available online now. No Easter basket should go without a cuddly bunny, and Douglas offers a variety of sizes and styles that bring the iconic designs by Dick Bruna to life. From the classic colors Miffy is renowned for, to new twists on her fashionable outfit, to a meaningful mantra, there is a plush bunny for little trend setters everywhere.
The Future Today YouTube sensations PinkFong and Like Nastya - with a combined 276 million subscribers across platforms - are partnering with Future Today to launch new branded streaming channels on top platforms like Roku, Amazon FireTV and more. Why are some of the hottest YouTube stars launching their own ad-supported streaming apps? Future Today CEO & Co-Founder Vikrant Mathur is changing the game by elevating YouTube-centric brands and influencers to grow new audiences and monetize through branded, omni-platform streaming channels. Here, he tells us more... Can you tell us more about these partnerships? We will be leveraging our full-stack streaming solution to launch, manage, promote and monetize these new apps that we are launching across a variety of different streaming platforms. In addition, some of this content will also be available through the Happykids app. And can you tell us more about why AVOD is becoming so popular? The genesis behind streaming, specifically services such as Netflix, was to give consumers the choice of (a) watching content anytime, anywhere, and on any device; and (2) pay for only content that they want to watch. Consumers are fed up of paying hundreds of dollars for channels that are being offered to them as part of the legacy bundle-based system but don’t satisfy their content needs. However, with the recent proliferation of new SVOD services in the market, there are only
so many subscription services that a household can afford. There was a recent report that an average household is subscribing to nearly 7 paid streaming services on average; this number is unsustainable and going to drop significantly. AVOD is growing in popularity because it doesn’t compete for a share of your wallet, does not require a commitment, isn’t guarded by a registration wall, but still gives you the option of discovering new content at your convenience. Which brands are moving to AVOD and why? AVOD is an increasingly important part of a brand’s distribution strategy now. Whether it be a premium studio, distribution company, independent studio, or a digital influencer, everyone is looking to AVOD to increase their reach and boost their revenue. AVOD finally has the scale and the revenue potential that these brands have been looking for. Depending on each
brand’s specific goals, content is either being packaged into a standalone VOD branded app, a digital linear channel or simply syndicated out to streaming services that have scale on a nonexclusive basis.” How will this influence licensing plans? From a content licensing standpoint, AVOD is becoming an increasingly important window in every brand’s distribution plans. So content brands are paying more attention to their AVOD strategy and working closely with their tech partners such as Future Today to maximize the value of their content through these AVOD opportunities. From a merchandising standpoint, given how quickly kids are moving away from broadcast linear, AVOD presents kids content brands with an opportunity to increase their reach, and be in front of as many kids as possible, which can then directly translate to licensing and merchandising revenue.
Around the World A Children’s Survey
We asked kids (and their parents) around the globe about their viewing preferences, how they access content and how they pick the toys they want to play with. The answers provide fascinating insights into entertainment, social awareness and technological preferences around the world....
Italy Alice, 5 and Niccolò, 2 Alice likes to play with LEGO, the IKEA kids kitchen, PlayDoh and she is crazy about drawing all the time with pencils. Niccolò plays with everything Alice has! He also loves small cars like Hot Wheels or similar... and then he is crazy for his motorbike. In terms of TV they watch SKY and Netflix, cartoons like Masha and Bear, Peppa Pig, Bing, Hey Duggee, etc. Fortunately Alice is still not aware about social media... only with her school friends they talk about a Youtube channel called “Me contro te”, but at home we are not showing this to her. They talk about the gadgets that they see on the show. We don’t find it that good as it is definitely ‘built to sell’! About actual issues, Alice for the moment does not show particular signs of discrimination... I think, school, books, tv, movies made kids “open” and truly equal... let’s see if this will changes when she will grow older a bit more.
Canada Lily, 10 and Ollie, 7 Oliver loves Lego the most and puzzles. Lily loves all things horsey and arts and crafts. Fave shows on TV: Ollie loves Lego movies/shows (Ninjago), Lily likes “Free Rein” and Heartland. Our TV sources are regular cable, Netflix, movies. Lily is aware of social media, but only has access to Messenger Kids and this was mostly due to the pandemic – so she could connect with her friends while in lockdown. She does not have a cellphone or access to other social media sites. I think Lily is quite aware of social issues as she is a very sensitive soul, inclusivity is important to her as she hates to see people being left out. I love how neither child sees skin colour or any other difference visible or otherwise. I would say their shows don’t address social issues outright, but they contain diversity in a more subtle way (inclusivity). Influence of outside sources on toy choices: Ollie seems to be much more susceptible to TV ads in regards to toys he wants, though he rarely gets them. TV would be the most obvious influence, though school book fairs etc may also have an impact on their game/toy choices.
Australia Noah, 8 and Patrick, 5 Noah who is 9 in May is obsessed with all things fortnite... he plays the game and watches YouTube to learn all about it. Living where we do he is also very much in sport, he rides his bike and scooter, plays basketball and AFL football and cricket. He likes to draw as well and again goes to YouTube to learn. He uses an iPad at school that we have to provide for learning. Patrick who is 6 in July is still very much into playing, he loves crafts and making things, loves make believe play like shops and schools. Loves playing with cars and vehicles. He does watch some YouTube but we only allow Kids YouTube. He loves Netflix and watches all sorts of kids shows… he is more than happy to sit there and watch TV shows or movies for hours. Noah doesn’t and never has. They are both easily influenced by brands off tv shows.
Dubai Alice, 4 and Jasper, 2, Today, what are your children’s favourite toys/games? Jasper’s favourite toys are cars and all toys transport related i.e. cars, trains, planes etc! Alice’s favourite toys are dollies and pretend make up and jewelry things! Very gender specific! And what about what they’re watching – what are the go-to programmes? Alice’s favourite shows are Morphle and a few Disney shows. Jasper is a bit young to have favourites and will happily watch whatever is on! How do they source their content – traditional TV, Netflix,YouTube? Netflix and Youtube on smartTV. How aware do you think children are of pressing issues of today – equality, diversity, inclusivity, etc? Alice has an understanding and appreciation of this albeit at a level that can be expected of a four year old! If your kids have recently shown an interest in a toy/game, is this because of a TV programme/streaming show, or a book, or other? I don’t think so. Current likes and interests seem more likely to stem from friends and what they see at Nursery.
China TT, 9 TT’s favourite toys are Lego. Coding robots. Science experiment toys. And his go-to programmes are documentaries on food! How does he source content? Tencent, IQIYI, Bilibili. For the older kids, are they aware of social media and if so, which platforms are they present on/want to be involved with? Wechat. TikTok. Safety watch that can make phone calls and voice messages. How aware do you think children are of pressing issues of today – equality, diversity, inclusivity, etc? I think TT is quite aware of those as part of his life, as in the small family we already have the issue of equality, diversity, inclusivity. And do you think the programmes they watch have an influence on this? He watches different programmes from different cultures, which will help him to understand the diversity of the world too. If your kids have recently shown an interest in a toy/game, is this because of a TV programme/streaming show, or a book, or other? Yes, there is always an interest in new toys and games. The influence is more likely from his own interest, or peers/friends influence. Programmes influenced him more when he was little.
Hong Kong Michael, 8, and James, 10 Today, what are your children’s favourite toys/games? Michael: Toy: Stunt scooter. Games: cluedo, monopoly, mariocart, Zelda. James: Toy: football. Games: Cluedo, monopoly, fifa, Mariocart super smash bros. And what about what they’re watching – what are the go-to programmes? Michael: Thundermans, Alvin and the chipmunks, brainchild. James: Thundermans, Alvin and the chipmunks, brainchild, zumbo just desserts on Netflix. How do they source their content? Netflix,YouTube, NowTv For the older kids, are they aware of social media and if so, which platforms are they present on/want to be involved with? Both Watch YouTube. Michael wants to be a YouTuber. James does not. They are not on any other social media. They don’t like it when we post photos of them on Facebook. How aware do you think children are of pressing issues of today – equality, diversity, inclusivity, etc? They both didn’t know what those words meant but they did know that I support people with learning difficulties through my work at the charity and social enterprises. When asked about is everyone equal they replied they know some people have lots of money and some people live on the streets. Timely because I did a homeless walk the other day and so they’re aware of that. When asked about diversity they think everyone in Hong Kong, different nationalities have the same chance (opportunities for education at school). Lamma island and their school is a melting pot of nationalities so very diverse environments. And do you think the programmes they watch have an influence on this? “Mr Beast on YouTube helps people with no money, charities and plants trees,” says Michael. James said general studies online learning does talk about these things.
UK Serenity, 6 Today, what are your children’s favourite toys/games? LOL Surprise Dolls, Lego, Barbie. And what about what they’re watching – what are the go-to programmes? Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures, Sofia the First, Odd Squad, and Muppet Babies. How do they source their content – traditional TV, Netflix,YouTube? Disney+, Netflix,YouTube How aware do you think children are of pressing issues of today – equality, diversity, inclusivity, etc? We discussed gender equality on International Women’s Day, and racism during the Black Lives Matter protests last year. School also covers these questions so she is definitely aware. And do you think the programmes they watch have an influence on this? Not really as Serenity is more drawn to ‘girly’ programmes.YouTubers influence what Serenity plays with, she will often want a toy after seeing it on YouTube.
Netherlands Julius and Stella, 6 Today, what are your children’s favourite toys/games? Julius: Beyblade, Hot Wheels cars, Super Mario game Stella: Make-up doll, color by number game. But both also play outside a lot. And what about what they’re watching – what are the go-to programmes? Julius: Grizzly, Go Dog Go, Beyblade, Avatar, Henry Danger Stella: Go Dog Go, Avatar, Henry Danger, Barbie How do they source their content – traditional TV, Netflix,YouTube? Mostly Netflix, sometimes YouTube How aware do you think children are of pressing issues of today – equality, diversity, inclusivity, etc? I think already quite some, they experience this at school, while playing with their friends and while practising sports. And do you think the programmes they watch have an influence on this? Yes, although my kids are still watching the ‘light’ stuff. They are more influenced by friends and the toys they are playing with.
UK Edith, 10 and Rosa, 8
UK Olivia, 8 and Caitlin, 11 Olivia loves soft toys and playing piggy in the middle. Caitlin likes Harry Potter, ginger rabbit, Lego, making dolls house out of junk modelling. Olivia watches Mia and me, Miraculous and they both watch David Attenborough documentaries. Caitlin enjoys Harry Potter. She wants YouTube Kids! They are both very aware of climate change, and Caitlin is also passionate about women’s right and animal rights. David Attenborough has influenced this. In terms of showing interest in toys or games due to a programmes they have seen, Olivia especially so at Christmas, she wanted Miraculous dressing up, VIP pets seen in adverts, horses due to Mia and Me. Caitlin wants Harry Potter anything!
Today, what are your children’s favourite toys/games? Sylvanians, Maileg Mice, Ludo board game, Lego Friends, Minecraft, Dungeons and Dragons board game, Harry Potter Lego And what about what they’re watching – what are the go-to programmes? Minecraft Story Mode, Mako Mermaids, Horrible Histories, Junior Bake off, PrestonPlayz Mincraft. How do they source their content – traditional TV, Netflix,YouTube? BBC iPlayer, Netflix and YouTube. They don’t use social media. How aware do you think children are of pressing issues of today – equality, diversity, inclusivity, etc. I would say there is a strong acceptance for social, economic diversity and equality, this is heavily endorsed at school, home and on the shows they choose to watch.. And do you think the programmes they watch have an influence on this? The television they watch demonstrates a good cross section of society. I think it would be fair to say they don’t have a norm when they are describing the family unit, programmes like Horrible Histories make a mockery of past prejudices which has helped to enforce a strong recognition of how far we have come and why it’s so important to their lives. If your kids have recently shown an interest in a toy/game, is this because of a TV programme/streaming show, or a book, or other? Not that I can think of – they have their favourite toys and are always keen to grow those collections, as far as they are concerned you could never possibly have enough Lego or Sylvanians. Saying that they are definitely partial to a catalogue!
UK Evelyn, 7 and Henry, 5 Evelyn loves puzzles, Hama beads, Loom bands, Lego, she loves junk modelling and making things with cereal boxes etc. Henry: Puzzles and Lego. Evelyn watches PJ Masks, Octonauts, Peter Rabbit, Andy’s Aquarium Adventures. She likes listening to kids groups rip off Spice Girls songs on You Tube Kids. Henry: PJ Masks, Octonauts, Peter Rabbit, Andy’s Aquarium Adventures. Evelyn is definitely aware of pressing issues, especially in terms of BAME. Programmes like Jo Jo and Gran Gran opened up lots of conversations about people of colour.
USA Eli, 5 and Lauren, 12 His favorite toys right now are snuggly toys. His favorite games are building Legos, Hide and Seek, and Catch the Fox. His go-to programmes are Number Blocks, Alpha Blocks, FGTV to watch people play Amongus, Power Rangers, Paw Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines, and the Barbie cartoon series. He sources his content through cable TV, Netflix and Youtube. He is five and is only aware on inclusivity. He understands that not everyone has equal access to resources. He learned this through travel to Mexico and seeing how other kids his age struggle. He has show an interest in a Roblox through watching youtube videos of kids playing games. He is also interested in books based on what he reads. He generally looks at the back of the book and often times requests the book suggestions there. Lauren: Today, what are your favourite toys/games? My favourite toys and games are Hide and Seek, Snakes and Ladders, and Tag. What are your go-to programmes? I don’t really watch TV, However, when I do it is always Queen’s Gambit and Dawsons Creek. I find them through cable tv and Netflix. I am involved in Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat but I wouldn’t like to be involved with being internet famous. How aware do you think children are of pressing issues of today – equality, diversity, inclusivity, etc? I am aware of equality, diversity, and inclusivity, I am aware because I know and have learned that some people struggle with having a wealthy life and are very poor, I feel bad because I know they work hard and I try to donate them money so they can have meals for the night. And do you think the programmes you watch have an influence on this? I don’t really watch TV included with that kind of story in it so no I do not. But I read the news.
Austria Bogdan, 14 and Andrei, 11 Bogdan: I was a big fan of Lego when I was younger! I am often playing Chess on my computer and smartphone on the very popular platform Chess.com. I loved The Queen’s Gambit! I also like Pokemon Cards, and for gaming I prefer Pokemon Sword, Apex Legends, Super Mario Odyssey. ATV is popular here in Austria. I love it most because its selection of broadcastet movies is very good in my opinion from Agent 007 to Lucifer. Eurosport is just a great go-to programm if wanting to watch Sports. They are showing a huge variety of championships where I can follow the popular players. I watch a lot Netflix and Youtube. I find the most interesting discussions on “Ted Talks‘‘ about subjects I had no idea existed. I am using social media apps like Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat but I am not a big fan of those and so I am not a very active user. I am pretty aware pressing issues of today, and we discuss them often at school. Andrei: I love playing with Trickscooter, outside. Hill Climb racing 2: Hill Climb racing 2 is a free fun app on the phone where I play car racing, and you can do challenges with friends too. If I’m bored I will go to YouTube. I watch vloggers: Brent Rivera, Ben Azelart because they do a lot of pranks. Sometimes I watch: Dude Perfect, MrBeast, Browney. I used to like Netflix a lot but I now I prefer YouTube more. Some of my most loved TV channels are Nickelodeon and Disney Channel and if I don’t find anything entertaining enough, then I go to other channels where I know that there are always something nice, a movie or a tv series like Navy CIS. I think I am pretty aware of social media. I don’t have any social media apps or accounts except for WhatsApp. I once wanted to have Snapchat but my parents thought I am not old enough to have it. I think every time I want a new toy or game or anything else then it’s probably because I saw it on YouTube or TV. I saw Traxxas on YouTube and I want it badly.
Cover Story: Studio 100 Catching up with Joachim Knoedler, Head of Licensing at Studio 100 Tell us how you have found the last 12 months? It has been a strange and challenging year for all of us! Since last March, most people found retail to be very different and a challenge. As a licensor we knew we had to have flexibility in our contracts and shift our approach slightly as did our licensees and retailers with companies quickly looking at how to streamline their businesses. Licensed facemasks of course came out very quickly – this certainly showed innovation and flexibility in the industry. After months of lockdown where everything was closed, consumers certainly made up for it in the following months after as they wanted to be out and buying – and the toy industry especially flourished in the lockdown with games, puzzles, activities, and family games being very resilient. But of course, for all parties, the difficulties came in the restriction of production capacities and capabilities. In terms of this year, I read a recent statistic that said many people across Europe had saved a lot of money during the lockdown and were waiting for when they can freely consume again such as buying products, going on holiday, etc. We have had to be very flexible and show our partners and the retailers that we are loyal. How has Studio 100 fared during the pandemic? There are different components to Studio 100 – the consumer, licensing, merchandising, production, and entertainment – and certainly on the theme park side of things, consumers have
not been able to live and breathe the excitement of their favourite properties. Movies as well have been a challenge – we have three big movies ready to be released and we have seen a huge demand to bring these back into theatres. There is a huge responsibility to our licensees and all the platforms that we operate on. We have been helpful
and supportive to the licensing side of our business. In terms of alternative ways of releasing movies, we still have contracts of course with theatres and we believe in the experience of being at the movies. However, even when they start to re-open, initially some families will not take their children to the cinemas as they do not feel safe.
The future means that we need to have a more balanced approach to how we set release dates – but we still absolutely support the cinemas and the whole movie theatre experience. Are there any particular trends you have noticed? Gaming has been a huge trend, appealing to families, and this includes games, puzzles, family activity toys and so on. This has been a strong growth sector during the last year. A very big and upcoming trend I believe will be everything related to outdoor activities. Most of the world has been locked inside, and people are ready to enjoy the summer and the great outdoors. We have picked this outdoor theme with our Classic Heidi brand – she is after all ‘the girl of the Alps’. She has a proven track record of outdoor lifestyle success, and there are many avenues to explore including apparel, sports, gifting and accessories. Classic properties with outdoor elements I predict will be huge, postpandemic. What is some latest news you can share? We are currently working on the licensing and merchandising programme for our new launch, FriendZSpace. This is a fantastic TV series, focusing on three best friends who seem like regular kids but are really adventurous, risk-taking space friends.
The series will be available in 2022 and we received a great response when we introduced it to market. We are talking to toy partners and broadcasters worldwide, as well as publishing and audiobook partners to begin with. As Head of Licensing, are there any particular new strategies you have implemented? Studio 100 has a very solid business in licensing and our goal is now to set up and increase our IPs in various categories and extend the presence of our classic IPs globally and particularly in areas such as fashion. We are preparing a relaunch of Mia and me with the fourth season and the upcoming movie being available in late 2021/early 2022, with a wider execution and presence in 2022. We are focused on expanding our licensing business in international markets and for the experimental side of the business, we are looking particularly at Russia and Eastern Europe. Internationally, the classic properties in our portfolio provide some of our biggest opportunities. And they are extremely relevant as well – Maya the Bee is the perfect spokesperson to champion initiatives such as bee and insect protection, and very current issues such as sustainability, helping nature and ‘one planet’. Maya is a pop-culture phenomenon in many territories.
What do you see in the future of retail and the shift toward ecommerce? The re-opening will be so important to the whole of our industry – and it is crucial to future-proof for any future lockdowns and pandemics. Licensed goods will require multiple levels of support from marketing and flexible licensing models. Certainly, the companies that hadn’t invested in e-commerce platforms did struggle – but most retailers had of course moved into this space in one way or another. In the future, every retailer needs to be prepared for a modern way of selling, be this through e-commerce, or click and collect options – or finding smart, alternative delivery options that do not cost a fortune. Companies have also had to adjust to logistical problems very quickly. Consumers will go back to bricks and mortar retailers, but the retailers will need to think of more entertaining components to their business- this is becoming more and more important, and where the shopping experience used to be enough, now the entertainment experience makes the whole thing more enjoyable for both kids and parents. If you are a smart licensor, you need to reflect in certain areas how you can adapt and support all levels of business.
Soyuzmultfilm Celebrates 85 Years The legendary Russian Studio, SMF Studio (Soyuzmultfilm), looks at its rich history and past successes with a mindset decidedly in the future. New productions, a constant vision and a multimedia attraction are just a few of the ways the Studio is becoming a global player... SMF Studio (Soyuzmultfilm) is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year! Several generations have grown up on the cartoons, stories, and characters of the legendary animation studio. The number of cartoons—short, fulllength, multi-series—which were created within the walls of the most famous cartoon factory in the RF is near to 2,000, and new fairy-tale worlds and animated universes are being created even now, as you read this article. A bit of history SMF Studio is a truly unique phenomenon not only in Russia, but in worldwide animation. Over the past decades, since its foundation in 1936, the animation studio has been through several significant stages of development. In the early years the authors learned from the experience of the world’s animators and adopted their techniques, tailoring them to the ethnic aesthetics. Pilot projects, created by SMF, were very similar to Disney’s animation, but in the ‘40s and ‘50s the artists and directors turned their focus towards fairy tales, thus creating many memorable full-length and short films on their basis. Having gained experience, the authors began to create original works, applying different techniques and genres. During this period, many cartoons and characters appeared that defined the face of Russian animation as a whole: a series of cartoons about Cheburashka and Gena the Crocodile, the Bremen Town Musicians, Umka the bear, the comedy series I’ll get you!, the almanac Merry-go-round, and many others. A distinctive feature of
animation of the Soviet period was that it existed outside of commercial conditions, which allowed the studio to develop a huge authors’ school and creative potential. The films that were created in those years won prestigious awards around the world. Many significant figures in the history of animation, including, for example, the legendary Japanese director - Hayao Miyazaki, admitted that Soviet animation inspired them to create their own works. Political changes in the late ‘80s led to the fact that the legendary SMF Studio almost ceased to produce cartoons. However, since the beginning of the 2000s, commercial studios began to appear in Russia. The studios have started to create projects, focusing on the modern context and global trends. The artists managed to attract the attention of the state to the resurgent animation industry, and, having received the necessary support, SMF opened a new chapter in its history. New era — new animation In 2017, having assembled a new team, the studio moved to a modern, technologically equipped building and launched production in several directions at once: animated series for different age groups, full-length and auteur short films. In just three years, the new team has managed almost the impossible: today, the studio’s animated series are among the top leaders of children’s viewing according to the research company Mediascope and gather an audience of millions on the network. The range of these IPs is very wide, and each viewer can choose their “favorite.” For the youngest audience, SMF Studio has created a cheerful family of orange cows from the animated series Orange Moo-Cow, and amazing Claymotions that easily take a variety of forms and tell kids how this
world works, teach them to count and sing notes. Elder preschoolers can sing funny songs with Rockoons. Memorable musical compositions have always been part of the films of the SMF’s “Golden Collection,” and now the studio is reviving this tradition. A lot of the songs can also be found in the studio’s Squared Zebra. This unusual animated series, as well as Orange Moo-cow have already attracted the attention of foreign partners — together with the European producer and distributor of animated projects Cyber Group Studios, the studio is preparing their international versions. The series The Secrets of Honey Hills also has a great potential for the Russian and international market. This is a truly innovative animated series: the first kid’s animated detective on the domestic screens, with scripts from the famous Russian writer Daria Dontsova. The new vision is the principle that SMF Studio also applies when updating classic franchises. The perception of modern children requires a different picture and plot tempo; the studio, however, strives to preserve the spirit of popular cartoons of the Soviet era. The first such example was the animated series Mr Theo, Cat and Dog, which has been successfully running on screens for three years and has found its audience. This year, two more long-awaited premieres will also appear on the screens — the relaunch of the legendary animated series I’ll get you! and a series inspired by Inessa Kovalevskaya’s cartoon ScarecrowMeowow, called Meow Magic. To address the legendary Wolf-Hare chase years later is a very ambitious task, which the creative team has approached with great responsibility. Made in the 3D technique, the animated series will present new characters and modern locations. The musical
TOTAL LICENSING accompaniment of the show was created by the popular artist Ivan Dorn, and the main characters are voiced by famous showmen Garik Kharlamov and Dmitry Khrustalev. At the same time, the cartoon will remain the same gag non-dialogue comedy as the classic version. The new show Meow Magic is going to be fun too. The story of a girl and an unusual kitten will evolve: the main character will gain the magical ability to fulfill wishes. For this animated series, a stylish visual solution in 2D graphics has been developed, which will be loved by the preschool audience. Modern SMF, in its best traditions, is not afraid to experiment, creating content for older viewers. So, for more than a year, the animated series The Adventures of Peter & Wolf, has been gaining popularity on the web. This unusual cartoon ironically combines the realities of modern times and fairy-tale folklore from all over the world. At the same time, the studio is also working with historical material: this year, a full-length film Suvorov, which will tell a story from the biography of the famous commander in an exciting adventure film for family viewing, will appear in cinemas. In addition to the fascinating plot in Suvorov, there is a place for battle scenes, a romantic
storyline, and music. The film gathered a truly all-star cast and features the voices of Konstantin Khabensky, Philip Kirkorov, Anton Makarsky, Yulia Rutberg, Anna Ardova. In total, SMF Studio has 43 projects at various stages of production and development; so, in the coming years, many more premieres are expected for viewers of all ages. And not just cartoons! At the same time, SMF Studio today is not only the production of animated content: the company holds offline events throughout the country—film screenings, exhibitions, workshops, and city holidays. The studio team has developed two unique projects that are implemented as franchises—the entertainment and educational children’s center - Soyuzmultclub and the multimedia attraction Soyuzmultpark. Due to the latest VR and AR technologies, visitors get enter the world of both classic and new cartoons of the studio, can interact with their favorite characters and play educational games. This is a multi-functional space that has the ability to dynamically change to different formats of entertainment and educational events. The first such pavilion was opened in Moscow at VDNH, and another one is being designed in Perm. The large-scale work that has been done in recent years by the team of
the studio and a large number of new IPs have attracted and continue to attract partners from various fields to cooperate with SMF Studio. Thus, more than 100 agreements have already been signed with about 70 companies in the licensing area alone, such as Danone, Rosneft, Russian Post, and Rosa Khutor who have become partners of the studio on individual projects. In 2020, SMF Studio signed a strategic agreement with SBER, according to which, in the coming years, the studio will eventually become one of the largest plaers not only nationally but also in the global market. Creating content for international audience is one of the main goals, and the studio is actively gaining the necessary experience, working in co-production with Cyber Group Studios and Toonz Media Group. At the same time, more than 50 countries have already purchased SMS’s content for international distribution, and this list is constantly growing. Today, SMF is a company with a rich historical tradition and a huge creative talent, that regularly receives state support, and was able to win the trust of investors in a short time. The main mission of the company is to unite different generations that have grown up and are growing up on the animation movies of the SMF Studio, various techniques and technologies for creating animation, commercial companies and government agencies, andcountries of the world. That is why the company is developing in so many directions at once and is open to cooperation. The SMF team is confident that the studio has all the opportunities to become a legend in the 21st century too.
ITALY Classics leading the way
By Roberta Nebbia Licensing Italia Licensing International Italy Office www.licensingitalia.it
The first national lockdown in Italy started exactly one year ago in March 2020 and we are now aware that there’s still a long way to go before we can return to a “normal” situation. As everywhere in the world, we are facing both the worst global health emergency of the last 100 years and a phase of economic recession. This situation of uncertainty affects all sectors of the economy including of course the licensing industry where it has significant consequences on the decisions of licensees who tend to be very conservative in their selection of a new license and very prudent when discussing the terms and the conditions of new licensing agreements. The renegotiation of existing licensing agreements has been really helpful for all the licensees who suffered from the effects of the pandemic. If we analyse the Italian licensing market from the licensors’side we see that most of them are trying to tighten up the relationship with their licensees offering a wider range of services such as creative services, market research, social media support, etc. Webinars, virtual licensing meetings, videocalls are also another way to
maintain these relationships between licensors and licensees during the pandemic though everyone is missing face-to-face meetings and the international tradeshows. Regarding Entertainment Licensing in Italy, we see that the major licensors are now investing essentially in classic characters rather than taking the risk of launching brand new characters. Rainbow, for example, has recently announced the upcoming animated TV series based on the evergreen classic character Pinocchio. Warner Media is strongly promoting Space Jam: a New Legacy, 25 years after the first release. A further confirmation of the above trend can also be seen in the massive exploitation of anniversaries such as, for instance, in 2021 the 25th Pokémon anniversary and the 80th Wonder Woman anniversary. There are of course also few original new characters such as MeteoHeroes, an animated series produced by Mondo TV and Meteo Expert, which is focused on climate change issues and
was first broadcast in Italy on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day (April 22nd 2020). Another trend is the increasing growth of the properties coming from the world of videogames: from SuperMario to Fortnite and Minecraft. Last February Infovalue, a leading research institute, presented the results of the multiclient quantitative survey Licensing Talks. The field work took place in December 2020 in Italy. The research has confirmed the consolidation of the main pre-school characters (Bing, P J Mask, Masha and the Bear, Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol), the relevance of classic characters both amongst boys and girls 6-9 years and the strong appeal of influencers and lifestyle brands amongst the target age groups of 10-13 and 14-17 years.
The Italian Market Navigates the New Market Dynamics The general situation in the Italian licensing industry seems finally to be settling into a new normal. Last year passed in a continuous re-planning of seasonal launches, which retailers and manufacturers somehow tried to manage through a stop-and-go of emergency closures, and ended with a Christmas season seriously damaged by a last minute shutdown for most non-food categories. According to NPD, the toy market in Italy fell 7%, a decrease which can be largely put down to missed sales in week 50 (just prior to Christmas). Year 2021 started with the general hope of saving at least the last quarter sales period, while manufacturers and retailers are focusing on a spring and summer 2022 as the first “new normal” season. Retailers like Calzedonia Group’s Tezenis, Calzedonia, and Intimissimi, for example, that used to launch six to eight special licensed editions during a standard year, halved their launches for 2020 and the first part of 2021, but are looking at a regular approach for
their spring and summer 2022 collections. The same goes for other apparel retailers like Terranova, Piazza Italia, Zuiki. Licensed properties are still strongly present in most kids product categories, whilst marketers have to navigate through new dynamics. BVA Doxa, a major Italian market research firm, has just presented the highlights of Doxa Junior 2020, the annual survey of Italian kids aged 4 to 14. This points out how fantasy properties like Disney Princess, Cars, Minions, 44Cats are still most popular in the 5 to 7 age cluster, whilst 8 to 14 year old kids seem to be most attracted by YouTubers like MeControTe, social media celebrities like Fedez or Chiara Ferragni, or starred chefs from Master Chef like Antonino Cannavacciuolo. This duality between a fantasy and a real world seems to be bridged by Harry Potter, which stands out as the only non-fiction property in each cluster of boys and girls from 8 to 14 years.
Milano Licensing Day goes live again on 16 September 2021 Milano Licensing Day, one of the two licensing events to have survived in a “live” format around the world during annus horribilis 2020, has just announced the date of 2021 live edition – 16 September. Despite a controlled number of delegates and a complex organization made up of distancing, sanitation, face masks, controlled catering etc, Milano Licensing Day 2020 was the paradigm of effective social networking. The organizer MLD Entertainment are looking to replicate the same success this year, believing that by September the general situation will be beyond emergency mode. “Last year we spent more than eight months involved in the difficult organization of the event, knowing that even the most advanced digital platform cannot deliver the prime need of licensing business: the face-to-face relationship,” declared Paolo Lucci, event founder and organizer. “We are organising this year’s edition backed up by all this experience. Nevertheless we will include some ancillary digital features to enhance the core plug and play, one day only live format.” Digital was already included last year at the event’s Grand Opening, with Mattel Licensing’s Virtual Summit, and this year other similar forms will be studied to maximise content delivery. A new website has been developed to follow the progress of the event, and the Italian industry is responding positively: every licensing professional is saving 16th September as the date for the most effective business networking day. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org https://mldentertainment.it/eventi/milano-licensing-day/
The new licensed property generators – YouTube, social media and SvOD digital platforms are in the agenda of every Italian licensee. It is not a surprise (no pun intended) that a 2021 Easter Egg licensed campaign focused on LOL Surprise (Dolci Preziosi), Mickey/Minnie (Kinder Ferrero) and, at the same time, by new properties like Chiara Ferragni, or TwoPlayerOneConsole (DolciPreziosi), MeControTe (Dolfin). New properties quickly appearing on the scene in the wake of Baby Shark, like Cocomelon or Love, Diana, got the immediate attention of Italian licensees, although working with these new generations of licensed properties implies a completely different business and time-to-market model. The great success in terms of audience of Fate, the Netflix/Rainbow live action series based on the Winx concept, generated the same immediate interest among the Italian licensee community, and it will be interesting for market specialists to follow the product development and launch of Fate licensed products, whilst the second and future series will be released. Adults, young adults and millennials are becoming more and more interested in licensed products, although with a short term/limited edition model. These new consumers are looking for storytelling collaborations, and can find a more satisfactory and remarkable licensed product offering, not only in the apparel categories, but also in accessories, cosmetics, design objects and gift products. This new version of the short term licensing model is driven mainly by mass market / food brands, like Coca Cola, Pepsi, Kelloggs, Pringles, Chupa Chups, McDonalds, and by Anime-Manga or gaming properties like Pokèmon, Dragonball, Pac Man.
By Paolo Lucci Lucci & Partners email@example.com www.luccitm.com
THE ITALIAN MARKETPLACE
Baby Shark is fast becoming one of the most well-loved preschool properties on the Italian market with developments on digital, TV and in retail as ViacomCBS Italy celebrates the opening of the first Baby Shark YouTube channel, plans it debut TV series and launches new consumer products lines across multiple categories. ViacomCBS Italy is focused on growing the property Baby Shark, owned by Pinkfong, across all platforms in the country. Since the launch of the famous Baby Shark Dance on YouTube, in November 2015, Baby Shark has literally conquered the world with now over 7.9 billion views to date. Today Baby Shark continues as an online phenomenon with its own YouTube channel dedicated to Italian families. Now accessible to Italian children in their native language, new content created by child education experts is uploaded each week, including nursery rhymes, number songs, lullabies, children’s classics, fairy tales and much more. With more than 2 million views, the channel is set to engage families across Italy with more storytelling, fun and learning opportunities. Beyond digital, ViacomCBS Italy plans to debut the highly anticipated TV series Baby Shark’s Big Show, late spring this year. Following the success of the special Christmas episode of Baby Shark in December, which generated +52% share growth in the broadcast slot (compared to the same range of the previous 4 weeks), it was time to bring families more of the loveable shark. This runs in parallel with the expan-
sion of ViacomCBS Italy’s licensing and marketing activities around the successful property. An important online campaign was rolled out for Christmas 2020 in time for the baby Shark special, on major web and social media platforms, generating over 1 million contacts. Now the Italian ViacomCBS Consumer Products team is preparing for the launch of a new Baby Shark cross-category range for the entire 2021. The range will include over 15 collaborations with important players in toys, publishing categories, personal care and soft lines.
Leading Italian licensing agency and management consultancy Maurizio Distefano Licensing (MDL) has continued to work with licensees throughout the pandemic. MDL’s CEO Maurizio Distefano explains why he believes the Italian licensing market will continue to be resilient. No-one would pretend that 2020 was a great year for Italian licensing, although as Maurizio Distefano, founder and CEO of Maurizio Distefano Licensing (MDL) points out, it was looking that way until the February lockdown. However, as Distefano says, “Between March and June, we never stopped supporting our licensees and provided them with answers to their queries and digital support to keep them running.”
From June, business resumed, with digital marketing activities making up for the lack of trade shows and
face-to-face meetings. Now, Distefano says,“Our main goal is to consolidate 2020’s results for entertainment properties and to launch new properties we now represent. We also aim to expand our target audience.” Which MDL has – notably with a growing portfolio of fashion brands. MDL recently announced the launch of a new e-commerce outlet to bring accessible fashion design and sportswear from talented young Italian stylist Filippo Laterza to an even bigger audience. It also announced the arrival of Premoli + Di Bella home linen and high-end pet-focused design collections, inspired by the work of creative directors Giovanni Premoli and Dario Di Bella. A strong line-up of music brands received a major boost recently through a partnership with Global Merchandising Services, adding some of the most iconic artists in music history to MDL’s brand portfolio: Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Backstreet Boys, Little Mix and Louis Tomlinson, to name only a few. The same partnership is also bringing multi-Michelin starred chef Gordon Ramsay to the Italian market. But MDL still retains its traditional strength in children’s entertainment – a key sector during lockdown. Russian children’s animated series Leo & Tig is about to enter the world of publishing in Italy via Fabbri Editori. An MDL partnership with digital media company Moonbug Entertainment, will make MDL the licensing agent in the Italian market for the global sensations CoComelon, Blippi and My Magic Pet Morphle. And then there’s the massive pre-
TOTAL LICENSING school hit Bing. Recent licences include Lubex for car accessories, Adriatic for beach toys, and Smoby for scooters and tricycles. Sevi (through an existing agreement with Giochi Preziosi), will develop wooden toys. And with Easter on the way there is of course an Easter egg partner. The Bing Dolfin Easter chocolate eggs have already been a best-seller this season. And MDL’s established hits remain popular – few more so than Masha and the Bear, one of the world’s most successful children’s series with licensees for every product category, ranging from Easter eggs to olive oil, from footwear to children’s masks, and from toys to publishing. Given this success, Distefano is surely right to highlight continuity. As he says, “The Italian licensing market is resilient despite the pandemic and the lockdowns that the Italian government has put in place. Licensees are eager to do business and consumers are willing to shop. It’s all about meeting demand and offer – either through online retailers or bricks and mortar.” WildBrain CPLG’s news from Italy includes the arrival of the Peanuts brand to WildBrain CPLG’s Italian portfolio earlier this year. WildBrain CPLG assumed representation of the property following an agreement with BIC Licensing, which had managed the brand for over 30 years in Italy. The Peanuts characters were first created in 1950 by Charles M. Schulz and quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. Now, with a consumer awareness of over 90 percent and more than 17 million fans on social media, the brand enjoys high resonance not only in the United States but also throughout Europe and Asia. Snoopy and the Peanuts gang are hugely popular in Italy. The core target for Peanuts is very broad amongst fans who appreciate the iconic sta-
tus of the characters. Increased global awareness of the brand is also being driven by new Peanuts content on Apple TV+, created by WildBrain CPLG’s parent company, WildBrain. This February, Apple TV+ debuted the new animated series The Snoopy Show, following on last year’s debut of Snoopy in Space. On the consumer products side, Peanuts has an extensive international licensee base, including many collaborations in Italy, such as Zara and Zara Home, Oysho, Pull & Bear, Puma, Benetton, Iceberg and Original Marines, many of which are long-term partners. On the classic brands side, Mafalda also recently joined WildBrain CPLG’s Italy portfolio. Mafalda was first illustrated in 1964 by Argentinian cartoonist Quino. Her comics have sold over 50 million copies worldwide, while her character is one of the most loved on Facebook with over six million fans. Mafalda already boasts several important licensing partnerships with companies such as Clementoni, Salani, Sabor, Foto Edizioni and Akena.Another classic brand in the spotlight in Italy is Pink Panther, the evergreen icon that has inspired countless collections in the fashion world [SS1] thanks to its sophisticated and glamorous style. Among the most recent partnerships is Tezenis, which just launched a line of apparel, underwear and sleepwear for adults and children in all stores and online, and Original Marines, which has created a F/W 2020 collection with dedicated window displays, in-store activations, an influencer campaign, as well as new products which are planned for the S/S 2021 season. Continuing in the world of brands, in the lifestyle category, there is emoji The Iconic Brand, one of the most influential and well-known brands in the world that boasts over 1,000 licensing partnerships. It is an extremely contemporary brand, universally appealing to every target and product category, and provides the largest icon library in the world with over 20,000 emojis. WildBrain CPLG has several partnerships for emoji in Italy, including with Puma, Clementoni, San Carlo and Dolfin.
On entertainment brand side is Topo Gigio, the character created in 1959 by Maria Perego. Starting from October 5, 2020, a new animated series began airing daily on Rai YoYo. The series has enjoyed great success among YoYo’s young viewers, confirming itself as one of the most popular programs on the channel. The licensing programme WildBrain CPLG is creating around the property is also growing and many licensees have already launched the first wave of products into the market, including master toy partner Giochi Preziosi, as well as Gribaudo, Play Press, Hopplà, Bauli and Clementoni. Finally another well-known character around the world is Sonic the Hedgehog, which this year celebrates its 30th Anniversary. After the global success of the first feature film in 2020, a second movie is coming to theaters in Spring 2022. Also in 2022, a new animated series, Sonic Prime, co-produced by WildBrain and SEGA, will air on Netflix worldwide. Sonic boasts an extensive cross-category licensing programme around the world, including recent collaborations with Puma and Lego. Atlantyca Entertainment report that Geronimo Stilton has been honored by being appointed the Cultural Ambassador and Special Museum Mediator for the Brescia Museum Foundation. The famous Editor of the Rodent’s Gazzette will be playing the leading role in the new, innovative museum App-Game designed for use by the Brescia Museum Foundation, and developed by Way Srl. The historic and artistic content of the App will be handled by Fondazione Brescia Musei’s educational services with the creative adaptation, Stilton-style, will be managed by Atlantyca. With Fondazione Brescia Musei, Geronimo Stilton will, for the first time, be the lead character in a digital museum APP-Game, a new idea established for the art world. The project, based-on a new concept and modelled on cultural offering was established because of the desire to experiment with new digital languages by creating an interactive, educational game. In
TOTAL LICENSING the various museums belonging to the Brescia Museum Foundation, children will take part in a treasure hunt where Geronimo Stilton himself (appearing in augmented reality form) will provide the clues required to solve the challenging puzzles. Geronimo Stilton has always championed causes embodied with cultural experiences for children, thanks to his ability to communicate in a fun way positive values and educational content that might otherwise be difficult to convey to young audiences. Now, thanks to the Brescia Museum Foundation project, this commitment will also be renewed in 2021 involving both families and schools, as it will also be possible to access the App through the multimedia interactive whiteboards used in classrooms. In fact, the App-Game aims to encourage the involvement of different types of audiences, from schools to the general public, including foreign tourists, thanks to the English version of the App. This App-Game will also be central to projects focused on combatting educational poverty. It is scheduled for release in summer 2021. The Brescia Museum Foundation’s pilot project brings Geronimo Stilton together with several top historic venues and museums including Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo, Santa Giulia and the Archaeological Park and Brescia Castle. Since 2017, the project has been part of a number of partnerships between Geronimo and other important museums: the Mudec in Milan, the Prado in Madrid, the Galata in Genoa, the Leonardiano in Vinci, the Civic Museum Foundation in Rovereto, the Archaeological
Park of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata, the Archaeological Park of the Campi Flegrei. The Geronimo Stilton book series, published in Italy by Edizioni Piemme, has become a global phenomenon with 170 million books sold worldwide and 3 animated series co-produced with Rai Fiction and distributed to over 130 countries. Team Entertainment are working on four key brands in Italy – The Day Henry Met, Pure Norway, Carte Blanche and Coconut Dragon. The Day Henry Met is a TV Show airing on RAI Yoyo day – during lockdown four episodes were aired twice each day. Team Entertainment has launched the first 4 hard cover books and a sticker book by De Agostini. Further product categories are in negotiations in the areas of apparel and accessories and toys. Pure Norway is a Nordic brand inspired by Norwegian nature. It is designed for people with an active lifestyle and is a totally sustainable brand - environmentally friendly with recycled materials and responsible production through ethical labour + 1% of all turnover is donated by the Pure Norway foundation to help clean up the oceans around the world. The brand is gender and age neutral and has already inspired many companies around the world who have become partners launching in the markets a variety of products from leisure bags and leisure accessories, to shoes, outdoor apparel lines , home textiles, and a line of aluminium bottles! Team Entertainment represents the brands in Southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece), Turkey and Israel Carte Blanche is a very successful brand in northern Europe and beyond with plush, gift and greeting cards, 30 years of history, hundreds of Style guides, over 90 licensees and 40 distributors. The brand has a wide array of partners around the world including Russia, US, South Korea and China. Team Entertainment represents Carte Blanche in Italy and Malta and although the various lockdowns have slowed down work they have had
a very positive reaction from potential partners particularly in the core areas. Finally, Team Entertainment are licensing Coconut Dragon. The property comprises two TV series of 52 episodes each as well as two movies and a wide ranging publishing program through Enaudi Ragazzi who have sold more than half a million copies. Founded by Gianfranco Mari in 1973, DIC 2 is the oldest licensing agency in Italy. For the last 26 years, the company has been led by Gianfranco’s son Douglas. Over the years, the company has moved away from entertainment brands to focus on classic characters, brands and special projects. Today, there are a number of key brands in their portfolio including Nina and Other Little Things, an Italian property for which DIC 2 controls all the worldwide rights and which in few years has been licensed and distributed all over the world. DIC 2 and Nina have been the very first Italian company to be nominated for an International Licensing Award in 2018. Despite the pandemic DIC 2 has licensed Hot Topic in USA and Spreadshirt in EU + UK for Print-on-Demand products and Kashow in China for a promotion in three Malls.
TOTAL LICENSING In 2020 DIC 2 secured a Love Is…. license with DSquared2 for luxury apparel, a license with Faliero Sarti for high-end luxury scarfs, a license in China for Print-on-Demand products and a collaboration in 2021 with MC Saint Barth. Three new licenses have been closed on Sarah Kay, one in the UK for adult coloring books and two in France for publishing and calendars DIC 2 has also secured a worldwide deal for Route 66 wines with a prestigious award winner winery, distributed in the best wine shops, restaurant and hotels. The R66 wine collection has also become a sponsor of the Blues Foundation in the US thanks to a partnership with the singer Tony Moore and other Hollywood celebrities. Four years ago the company has also launched a Youtube division to help companies correctly approach Youtubers and develop Youtube campaigns with kids influencers. Several companies including Lisciani, Quercetti, KochMedia, Dynit have used DIC 2 services to create successful influencer marketing campaigns. DIC 2 also offers consultancy in the fashion and videogame markets helping licensees and brand owners to connect and do business. ETS Licensing is a leading independent Italian agency specializing in the management of licensing rights. With a history of success in the manage-
ment of major franchises, such as Peppa Pig and PJ Masks, ETS has built a large portfolio of constantly evolving licenses to effectively target different age groups, from preschool to teen, up to adults and kidults, combining content from television and digital entertainment. ETS has also entered into an important strategic partnership with Discovery Italia to manage licensing related to the brands of non-kids FTA TV channels and to network programs. Among the brands coming from the digital world, Gallina Puntolina has an important role. It appeared in Brazil in 2005 with videos of pre-school nursery rhymes that have become a phenomenon throughout Latin America. The property recently landed in Italy with a fun animated series broadcast on Frisbee TV channel. ETS has just started an ambitious licensing program and is ready to expand it to the rest of Europe. Another interesting property with digital origins is Talking Tom and Friends who first appeared 10 years ago with an innovative game app. After the launch of over 20 new apps and countless digital content, with billions of downloads and views all over the world, Tom and his friends have also landed on TV with an animated series, broadcast in Italy on K2 and Frisbee with very positive audience data. Among other brands that have recently joined the ETS team there are also the s comic puns by Pera Toons, which have become very popular on Italian social networks with almost 3 million fans. This is now a series of books and more products are planned. A further new entry is Chefclub, the innovative cooking which in 2020 has grown on social media globally, reaching a averages 62 million monthly views and 20 million unique viewers across all social platforms. Among the licenses related to animated series for children, Nefertine on the Nile is about to launch. This is an original animated series that tells the adventures of a little girl from Ancient Egypt. The first season is scheduled to air from May on Rai Yoyo. Additional preschool properties in the ETS portfolio include Mimi Pet Pals and Oggy and the Cockroaches. Finally, a further key brand is Pippi
Longstocking. Since last year and until December 2021 Pippi is the spokesperson for the international Pippi of Today campaign born from the partnership between the Astrid Lindgren Company and Save the Children. Funwood Media are promoting Tiny & Tony, the animated series featuring a baby elephant and a baby hippo that debuted in Italy on DeaJunior in April. Tina & Tony consists of an animated TV series 52 episodes of 5 minutes each and it is produced by the Russian company Riki Group. In Italy the brand is managed exclusively by Funwood Media which holds the television rights, as well as licensing and merchandising rights.
2021 is an important year for Panini as the company celebrates its 60th anniversary. Panini’s first brand collaboration goes back to 2006 with Adidas and in the last 15 years several companies have been added to this list. In recent years the company has explored different products categories such as school, toys, gifts, food and fashion. For 2021, Panini are starting with the launch of a new Panini Style Guide that will be officially presented to partners during an online workshop. Spring 2021 will see the launch of several Panini branded products. Fashion is important. Sem Manifatture have signed the third Tematico x Panini adult collection. Centex Spa will produce its first Panini Collection that will be exclusively distributed by Sonnybono stores around Italy. The new range includes tees, sweat sets, Polo t-shirts with the use of the iconic Panini bicycle kick and the famous slogan “Celo Celo Manca”, for both kids and adults. On the food side, the Panini Easter Eggs produced under license by Italian company Icam Spa went on shelves in mid-March.
On a totally different note is a brand new collaboration with an Italian company in the home décor world, a sector never explored by Panini up to now. The details of this collaboration will be released soon and products will be available worldwide started from mid-May. To complete the scenario, Panini partners with Franco Cosimo Panini for back to school, Bioworld Int., Copa Football for apparel & accessories, Mondo Spa for footballs, Coro Marketing for 3Ds promotions, Butterfly Effected for devices’ themes. Bavaria Media is Panini’s exclusive representative agency for Germany and Benelux. Non-exclusive agencies are CPLG for Spain & Portugal, Kopa Licensing for Colombia, Mexico, Perù and Chile and Vertical Licensing for Brazil. RAI’s licensing arm continues to grow programs for key broadcasting properties including Paddington, Moomin Valley, Alice & Lewis, Il Collegio, Fumbleland, Molang, Wolf, Pirata e Capitano and Paf il Cane. Series two of the CG-animated series of Paddington comprises 52 x 11 minutes and is being broadcast on Rai Yoyo targeting children aged 3 to 6. Each episode opens and close with Paddington writing to Aunt Lucy from
Windsor Gardens as he tells her what he has learned about life through the day’s new exciting adventure. ? Moomin Valley is a Finnish-British animated series, an adaptation of the classic Moomin books and comics by writer-illustrator Tove Jansson. It is created using new techniques in 3D CGI. Season 1 of the series is currently on Rai Yoyo and comprises 26 x 22 minute episodes, targeted at children aged 5 to 8. Alice & Lewis is coproduced by Mobo and Blue Spirit. Alice & Lewis takes inspiration from the classic Alice in Wonderland stories and the key characters are Alice, a six-year-old girl, and her friend Lewis a rabbit who lives in Wonderland.. Targeted at children aged 4 to 6, season one which comprises 52 x 11 minute episodes will begin airing on Rai
Yoyo in September. Il Collegio is a reality show now in its fifth season. The show stars 20 teenagers who are transported back to the past in an old-fashioned boarding school (in the 5 previous seasons the program took place in 1960, 1961, 1968, 1982 and 1992) where they will live an educational experience completely different from their daily real-
ity. Students have to deal with strong discipline and a behavioral expectation that nowadays is totally outdated. They have to study without Wikipedia, without smartphones or without a TV, computer and music running at the same time. A successful entertainement program, the series aired on Rai 2 with over 10% of total share and 37% on the target under 34 years old, and a web phenomenon with over 287 millions of views (YouTube + Rainplay). Created by JB Productions, Fumbleland is a hybrid series – a mix of animation and live action with a strong emphasis on virtual reality. The episodes of Fumbleland describe the adventures of a class of children struggling with the fumbles (spelling mistakes) that they generate at school. In each episode, during a spelling test, a fumble appears from a child’s notebook and immediately takes off for the virtual world of Fumbleland: the teacher and child’s avatars follow him there, where the child manages to find the error. The series is targeted at early school years and is broadcast on Rai Yoyo. Molang was born in 2010 from an idea of a Korean student who created him as an “emoticon” for the web. In a very short time, millions of clicks, downloads, views and shares generated a “phenomenon”. In 2013, French production company Millimages created the animated series for Europe and since then it has been broadcast in more than 200 countries around the world. In Italy, the show comprises 52 x 3 minute episodes and airs on Rai Yoyo. Based on Orianne Lallemand books , illustrated by Eleonore Thuillier, and published in more than 20 countries, the Wolf (Lupo) series is co-produced by Rai Ragazzi with Movimenti Production, Samka Production and Making Prod.
TOTAL LICENSING The animated series comprises 78 x 7 minute episodes aimed at children aged 4 to 7. Pirata e Capitano is a further Millimages series that airs on Rai Yoyo and is now broadcast in over twenty countries around the world. Pat the Dog (Paf Il Cane) is an animated children’s television series created by Patrick Ermosilla for Canal+ and Rai. It is based on the mobile app game Space Dog by Sylvain Seynhaeve. The series is about Pat the dog’s adventures as he tries to save his owner Lola from trouble. The series airs on Rai Gulp and comprises 78 x 7 minute episodes. Inspired by the world of the social networks, apps and web icons, 21 special characters were born, each one with its own personality, style and attitude. In an increasingly globalized and connected world, where men have become almost spectators, a virtual universe has grown and evolved and The Gkrs are the modern avatars of peo-
ple’s digita beings. They embody the most striking aspects of the web and each character has got its own soul and interacts with others with a new slang, synthetic and quick, understandable by everyone who wish to share its magic. The Gkrs are iconographic beings that reflect the world wide web and are connected together by a common sharing spirit, The Gkrs use web slang to talk with each other , it is the language of the network which by nature must be fast, smart and concise as a Twitter post. This particularity makes the scenario from the point of view creative very
large, both from the point of view of graphics but especially by the communication side. Examples include LOL (laughing out loud), OMG (Oh My God), GR8 (great) etc.
The Animation Band has been working in the Italian audio-visual sector since 1996. The company specialises in the production of high-quality animation series in 2D and 3D for children, teenagers and young adults. In its many years of activity, The Animation Band has developed, produced and coproduced a large variety of shows with major European broadcasters. The company offers an extensive portfolio of Italian animation titles ranging from 2 to 12 years old, including famous Italian animation brands such as Lupo Alberto, La Stefi, Spaghetti Family and Ulysses, which are popular on a multigenerational basis. The company has recently finished a new animated series co-produced with Italian national broadcaster RAI called Girls of Olympus, which will air on the broadcaster’s kids channels. The series is a 2D action fantasy drama, based on the best-selling book saga by Mondadori. The books have been published in 14 countries and sold around 150,000 copies in Italy alone The story revolves around three first-year high school students: Sid, Luce and Hoon. Sid is a fencing ace, Luce knows the secrets to winning a boy’s heart, and Hoon is simply a genius. The sudden appearance of a ruthless enemy, bizarre powers rekindled, rivers of tears turning to crystals and a messenger from a distant world cannot be merely coincidental. Sid, Luce and Hoon learn that
in ancient times they were the goddesses Artemis, Aphrodite and Athena, who fled from Olympus to escape the wrath of Ares, the god of war. Ares is still after them in order to gain possession of the twelve stones whose divine powers will allow him to unite Olympus and Earth under his savage command. The Animation Band is now beginning to sell the series overseas and is working to develop a licensing program as they hold all the merchandising rights for the series. Starbright Licensing reports that Sanrio and footwear giant Dr. Martens teamed up to celebrate both their joint 60th anniversaries. As a result of the success, the brands have once again teamed up for a collaborative capsule. This time around, the range features fan-favorite characters from the Sanrio family including Keroppi, My Melody, Badtz-Maru and Hello Kitty‘s signature red bow. The Hello Kitty and Friends graphic has been translated into the classic 1460 boot, enhanced with two sets of laces arriving in red or white hues. The platform Jadon boot is also available, as well as the low-top 1461 silhouette which features graphics all over in teal, yellow and pink colors. The Sanrio x Dr. Martens Hello Kitty and Friends collection launched in early March.
2021 - It’s all eyes on Rainbow! Rainbow Group steps into 2021 with a strong schedule of launches supporting new and flagship brands, along with a young adult target strategy for their timeless fairies.
WINX CLUB: A CLASSIC BRAND, STRONGER THAN EVER Boasting 17 years in the market, Winx Club has a track record of success and ranks among children’s most broadcast content globally, proving itself as an aspirational girl’s brand delivering empowering storylines and endless potential. Constantly evolving through eight original animated series, two animated series coproduced with Netflix, four TV movies, three theatrical movies and endless consumer products, initiatives and events revolving around the unique style of the brand, Winx Club has stood the test of time and the hardships of 2020 leading lots of long-time and new partners to on board with the brand in 2021 for a year fresh news, both in Italy and across the world. Among the names endorsing the brand since its first debut and continuing their partnership is global food group Ferrero, snack leader San Carlo and chocolate master Zaini, alongside Ravensburger and Clementoni plus toothcare expert Rolly Brush. The core kids target has never ceased to deliver excellent results, and the
supporting marketing and digital activities ensure strong brand loyalty continues, which in turn helpd to deliver new retail partnerships and promotional campaigns, starting with the official Amazon Store and the Toys Center franchise collaborations. To celebrate the engagement of evergreen fans and new audiences stemming from the 2021 live-action chapter of Winx Club, Rainbow has also announced a global marketing and licensing strategy to cover the young adult segment with a vast array of style guides and a look-book to support CP’s, focusing on teenage girls and young women, with an initial specific focus on fashion, accessories, beauty, and make-up.
FATE: UNLOCKING NEW HORIZONS Rainbow is the exclusive CP global licensor of FATE: The Winx Saga, the new Netflix original live action hit for the young adult audiences, available on the platform in 190 countries. The six-episode show re-imagining of the animated saga debuted in January (2021) and quickly established itself as a global ratings success, with a second season of a further 8 episodes already announced. Strong licensing agreements have already been signed with more to follow, which will establish the brand’s position in preparation for further episodes when they hit Netflix screens globally.
Key publishing partners are Mondadori for Italy, Scholastic Books for the USA and English-speaking countries, Hachette for France, RBA for Spain and Latin America, Loewe Verlag for Germany, Epsilon for Turkey, AST for Russia and many others. Also, Clementoni (worldwide) and Franco Panini Scuola (Italy) are on board to spread the style of this fresh brand. Among the first deals inked for fashion & apparel is the French licensee Don’t call me Jennyfer. FATE: The Winx Saga follows the coming-of-age journey of five fairies attending Alfea, a magical boarding school in the Otherworld where the girls learn to master their powers while navigating love, adventures, and challenges.
A CAT-TASTIC LICENSING TEAM The pre-school IP 44 Cats has continued to grow with strong ratings and establishing the show as one of the most loved amongst children aged 3 to 7+ years. Since 2018, partners such as Rai Yoyo and Nick Junior have been airing the pawesome adventures of the cutest cats on screen, while deals have been multiplying to reach audiences in 130 countries worldwide through free-to-air, VOD, AVOD and SVOD, and more than 70 licensees have adopted the brand alone in Italy, with sector market leaders in almost every CP category. Marketing and digital actions, promo and retail initiatives are constantly renewed in preparation for a fresh and dynamic 2021 with the official Amazon Brand Store and Toy Center collaborations in Italy. Theme parks Gardaland and Etnaland confirmed their presence for live events and attractions, ready for the season to begin and are looking forward to strong openings.
NEW IPS READY TO SHINE Among the many creative ventures in the pipeline, Rainbow has announced the debut of two new IPs for the Ital-
TOTAL LICENSING Miriam Leone and Valerio Mastandrea. As licensing partner of the brand for Italy, Rainbow has already inked solid deals beginning with renowned fashion partners Intimissimi and LIU JO for exclusive men collections.
THE SMURFS CHOOSE RAINBOW
ian territory due in Q4 2021. The first is Pinocchio & Friends, a fresh adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s masterpiece The Adventures of Pinocchio, turned into a contemporary 26 x 12’ bridge target show in high-quality CGI. The second is the pre-school animated series Summer & Todd Happy Farmers, a CGI that introduces children to the adventures of an industrious farm full of uniquely styled animal friends. These original brands are full of potential and the stunning style guides currently in development are set to deliver an exceptional array of CP lines.
LICENSING PARTNER OF GLOBAL BRANDS Rainbow has also been appointed as a global brand strategy partner in managing the Italian licensing rights of brands including Captain Tsubasa, The Smurfs, Diabolik. Rainbow teamed up with Crunchyroll to promote the comeback of legendary “Captain Tsubasa”, the globally popular brand which began as a football video game. In Italy last December the new on-screen series on Italia 1 delivered an equalling record-high audience on Boing, Cartoon Network and Italia 2 and totals 52 episodes of 25’ airing on more than 40 TV channels across Europe with leading broadcasters. Crunchyroll is sup-
porting the new show with a robust broadcast, retail, and licensing program in Italy, while Rainbow is building a strong program with partners on board like Clementoni, Admiranda, Mondadori Group and Wobinda. Rainbow is also partner of iconic Diabolik, the top selling noir comic in Italy that will soon ride a fresh wave of success thanks to the upcoming movie produced by Manetti Bros. and distributed by 01Distribution. The movie will star Italian actors Luca Marinelli,
Timeless brand The Smurfs IMPS / Lafig has appointed Rainbow Group to manage the licensing plan that will flank the new series of The Smurfs in the Italian market. Rainbow has already started gathering CP partners based on the countless possibilities offered by the brand, and a brand success which is supported by more than 4 generations of fans. The new season of the beloved IP will debut on Nickelodeon in fall ‘21 and on Italian free to air Rai Yoyo in spring 2022, with 52 episodes of 11 minutes and a target audience 5-10 years. Following its premiere, the series will then also land on TVOD, AVOD and finally SVOD platforms. From a heritage of more than 60 years that’s synonymous with friendship, tolerance and environmental awareness, The Smurfs will once again conquer the Italian market thanks to Rainbow’s CP strength in the territory.
A CASE FOR CHARACTERS HOW FICTIONAL CHARACTERS ARE UNDER-UTILISED IN ADVERTISING Born Licensing is focused solely on the licensing of entertainment based IP for the purposes of advertising and marketing. Founder David Born and his team have a deep understanding of how the licensing industry works and how advertising agencies and brands can license their intellectual property. In this article, following on from the publication of their recent White Paper, David Born and Amber Cheung look at why fictional characters are under-used in advertising campaigns. While there has been a significant level of research into the use and effectiveness of celebrity endorsements, there is surprisingly little research into the use of fictional characters in advertising. We regularly see celebrities used in advertising in an effort to add credibility, create a conversation and increase brand awareness, while fictional characters, whose impact could be even greater, are often overlooked.
Fictional characters can be a powerful tool for advertisers. They can instantly bring with them broad awareness, a loyal fan-base and positive attributes to align with a brand. They have the ability to tap into a range of emotions and memories. They can also pose a smaller risk than celebrities, as they’re much less likely to be associated with any scandals that could negatively impact a brand.
So, with the benefits clear to us, why is it that fictional characters appear in advertising significantly less than celebrities? We set out on a journey to investigate how and why fictional characters are under-utilised in advertising. The following is a summary of our white paper, which we believe is the first indepth research of its kind. What do the UK public think about fictional characters in advertising?
A White Paper by David Born and Amber Cheung from Born Licensing
Based in London, Born Licensing has recently been named by the Financial Times as the 58th Fastest Growing Company in Europe.
Source: Ipsos MORI survey 27 November 2020 n=999 adults aged 16-75 in the UK who selected either a famous character from a film,TV show or animation, a celebrity, a famous music artist or a famous sports star.
TOTAL LICENSING In a survey conducted by Ipsos MORI, a global leader in market research, the UK public told us overwhelmingly that they most like to see fictional characters in advertising when compared to celebrities, musicians and sports stars. When respondents were asked what they most like seeing in an advertisement, fictional characters were chosen 73% more than celebrities and musicians, and 111% more than sports stars. We also established that in comparison to celebrities, musicians, and sports stars, fictional characters were more likely to capture the UK public’s attention, make people remember the advert the next day, make people want to tell their friends or share on social media, and make people like the brand. We discovered that characters and celebrities are considered almost equally likely to make people want to purchase a product or a service – something that would probably surprise many. Furthermore, fictional characters outshine the celebrities best known for playing them. For example, when asked who would most likely capture their attention in an ad out of Wonder Woman or Gal Gadot, 78% of the UK public selected the fictional superhero over the stunning actress that currently plays her. Similarly, when asked to select 5 char-
acters that would capture their attention from a line-up of 8 fictional characters (such as Shrek or SpongeBob) and 8 brand characters (such as Tony the Tiger and Ronald McDonald), the UK public chosen fictional characters 54% of the time. How often are fictional characters used in advertising compared to celebrities, musicians, and sports stars? In a review of over 4,000 UK advertisements aired between 2018-2020 we discovered just 1% of ads featured a fictional character. 16% of UK ads featured a fictional character, celebrity, sports star or musician. Of this 16%, celebrities were the most common endorsement type (40%) followed by sports stars (34%), musicians (19%) and lastly fictional characters (7%). In other words, an advert in the UK is 13.4 x more likely to feature a celebrity, musician, or sports star than a fictional character. This revelation helped confirmed our suspicion that despite their clear benefits and popularity, fictional characters are significantly under-utilised in advertising. Why are fictional characters under-utilised in advertising? Talent agencies are robust and wellresourced. While celebrities, musi-
cians and sports stars have agents hunting down endorsement deals all year round, fictional characters don’t have anywhere near that level of proactive representation. (In fact, to our knowledge, Born Licensing is the only agency in the world focusing solely on character licensing in advertising). Celebrities have had agents representing their commercial interests for over a century. Writer Mark Twain was reported to have endorsed products including cigars and flour as early as 1895. Today endorsement deals play a big part of the talent agent role, and it’s big business. It has been reported that celebrity Kylie Jenner has made as much as US$1m for a single sponsored post on Instagram, music star Beyonce is said to have been paid $50m for signing a contract with Pepsi, and Tiger Woods is reportedly worth over $800m, but only 10% of that is from prize money. With celebrities, musicians and sports stars generating this kind of revenue, there’s no wonder why the talent agency industry has sufficient resource, funded in large part by their 10% commission. In contrast, Rights Holders as a whole are focused on box office, streaming deals and their own streaming services. Even within the licensing divisions, there naturally tends to be a focus on the categories that generate consistent royalty revenue year after year. Little resource is dedicated to their characters being licensed in advertising due to the sporadic nature of the deals, and most of the time it is on a reactive basis, i.e., character licensing will be considered if and when brands approach a Rights Holder, not the other way around. In addition, there are a number of barriers that make it difficult for professionals in the advertising industry to use fictional characters in their work. From our research
Source: Ipsos MORI survey 27 November 2020 n=1063 adults aged 16-75 who selected either fictional characters or celebrities.
TOTAL LICENSING advertising campaigns, damaged brands and pulled endorsements. A UK example comes as recently as January 2021 when EE dropped their latest campaign featuring Rita Ora after the singer breached quarantine and lockdown guidelines issued by the UK government. Another example is Jeep’s 2021 Super Bowl advertisement starring Bruce Springsteen, which was recently taken off air following reports of the musician driving under the influence. The commercial was reinstated after charges were lifted a few weeks later. From this study it appears that brands and advertisers who choose to appoint a famous character as their brand ambassador would certainly have a lot less risk to manage. In addition, they would also enjoy the benefit of the characters giving their consumers a higher intention to purchase their product or service. Source: A review of 4,032 UK ads listed on sourcecreative.com we discovered that 100% of Creatives and 61% of Producers experienced having a project with fictional characters shelved. The most common reason for projects being abandoned were the licensing fees being too high. This indicates that brands may not be willing to invest the required amount (of time or money) for licensing fictional characters, or that they don’t see the value and as a result choose a different script. It could also indicate that fictional characters are not being considered upfront and are only looked at when the production budget has already been set. One Creative Director said to us, “It feels like there are so many hurdles that (licensing fictional characters) is often something that is disregarded quite soon in the process.” A Producer told us the reason why they feel licensing fictional characters is more difficult than licensing music or hiring a celebrity came down to simply not having the previous experience.
Are fictional characters less risky for brands than celebrities? One of the most interesting pieces of research we discovered was a study undertaken in collaboration with Monash University. The study looked specifically at comparing film personas and the celebrities who play them when creating effective brand endorsements. The study concluded that film personas are likely to be shielded from the negative consequences of a celebrity transgression, which is more likely to protect the brand they’re endorsing from risk. Ms Amanda Kennedy, Sessional Academic (Marketing) at University of Newcastle, one of the authors of the study says, “Consumer attitudes towards the film personas should not be impacted by the actions of the corresponding celebrity.” There are countless examples of celebrities’ bad behaviour leading to cancelled
So, what next? In our white paper we use our extensive research and experience to identify seven areas in which we believe change can be made in order to see advertisers utilise fictional characters more. (Download a copy to find out what these seven points are!) Many advertising and marketing greats talk about the importance of storytelling. We believe that it makes sense to work with fictional characters that appear in some of the most popular, well-known and cherished stories in the world. This white paper focuses solely on the UK market. The next step is to see if these conclusions are shared in other markets, particularly, in the US where characters have been more commonly used in advertising. We hope this report will help raise the profile of character licensing within the advertising industry, as it’s our mission to see fictional characters in advertising as often as celebrities, musicians and sports stars. Readers can download your copy of A Case for Characters here. https://bornlicensing.com/a-case-forcharacters
Unlocking and Future-Proofing Ideas Catching up with Helena Mansell-Stopher, founder and CEO of Products of Change, who are curating day two of the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit, 9-11 June, online... Firstly, could you give us a quick overview of the B&LIS and why now is a great time for such a summit? When you look at the lifespan of a company a century ago, from 67 years in the 1920s to just 15 years today, the decrease in business survival is all down to the rate of change; it’s faster paced than ever before. When you look back to the start of 2020 and see the dramatic effects Covid has had on the world progressing change forward by an average of ten years, I cannot think of a better time to bring the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summits to the industry, as we all need to predict what the future might hold. The second day is dedicated to sustainability and will be run by Products of Change – can you give us an idea of what you will be covering on that day, key speakers, etc? As you might be aware Products of Change has been driving the sustainability conversation forward since 2019 when we started as an industry movement, we have been planning
our path forward and building the foundations to transition the industry to a sustainable future. Key areas of focus as we look to re-wire how the industry operates is our licensing agreements. Rikesh Desai, Licensing Director from BBC Studios, has been leading a work-stream across business including Hasbro, Lego, Viacom CBS, Discovery, The Natural History Museum, Brands In Limited and Asda. Rikesh will present the POC White Paper at the conference joined by members of that group to discuss the intricacies of the work developed and discuss how we can implement from a licensor through to a retailer. We will also focus on how to reduce your carbon impact with June Kirkwood, managing director at Nutmeg Licensing, discussing how we can plan to achieve this. We will have a panel of industry professionals present their stories and discuss quick wins. Sustainability is one of the most pressing matters facing the industry today and the summit focuses on innovation. What particularly innovative ideas have you seen lately that will lead to real change? There are some amazing innovations from 3D design, 3D printing, packaging that’s grown and revolutionary technologies which show efficiencies within production that I am sure we will start to see come through the
industry in the coming years, but for the summit we will showcase what the industry is already doing to move to a low carbon future, highlighting efficiencies and easy wins to get the industry moving in this direction. How will the summit help the industry unlock ideas? If you can’t see it, you can’t be it; if you haven’t learnt it, then you don’t know it exists. The summit will be forward facing to really showcase what the industry could look like, it’s meant to inspire business to see things differently. We will focus in on key categories such as legal, fashion, sport, toy, greetings and carbon neutrality to cover a wide section of the industry. On the subject of virtual events as a whole, do you see these being a valuable part of business going forward even when the pandemic is (hopefully) over? I think the increase in virtual events and online learning is now the norm, which is amazing. We are all consistently closing the knowledge gap to enable us to future proof our business and continue to innovate. I don’t see digital events going away, if anything I think a blended event (physical mixed with digital) will be the future. I do see an increase in digital events as we continue to build our hunger for knowledge. www.brandlicensinginnovationsummit.com www.productsofchange.com
All Eyes On
Daivd Beckham is keynote Global sporting icon, football club owner, entrepreneur and founder of production company Studio 99, Dsvid Beckham, will deliver the keynote speech at Digital MIPTV MIPTV confirmed David Beckham, global sporting icon, football club owner, entrepreneur and founder of production company Studio 99, as a keynote speaker at Digital MIPTV, which this year takes place exclusively online from 12-16 April. In his first in-depth television industry keynote, Beckham will talk about launching his own production company, his global ambitions for Studio 99, and current projects in production and development for a variety of global networks including A Whole New Ball Game, charting the contemporary history of the Premier League, World War Shoe, a documentary mini-series charting the untold story behind sports brands Adidas and Puma, and the upcoming definitive David Beckham biopic. In Conversation with David Beckham, hosted by award-winning Director and Producer Ben Winston, will take place on Tuesday 13 April at 18.00 CEST, and will be available on catch-up until 14 May. David Beckham OBE is one of the world’s most recognised personalities. After retiring from a football career that saw him play for over 20 years at some of the world’s most successful clubs, David has established himself as a successful entrepreneur, working strategically and creatively with many of the world’s leading brands. His independent brand management operation, DB Ventures, manages a number of partnerships including with Diageo, Adidas, Tudor and EA Sports in addition to overseeing investments such
as Guild Esports plc. In 2018, he fulfilled a lifelong ambition to become an owner of a football club, an opportunity following his time playing for LA Galaxy, and Inter Miami CF began its first season in the MLS last year. In 2019, David founded Studio 99 alongside long-time partners David Gardner and Nicola Howson. Studio 99 is a global production and content studio which focuses on documentary films, series and format development. The company is also a commercial studio and produces a wide range of both editorial and marketing content for global brand clients. Monica Levy, Head of Sales, Federation Kids & Family, spoke to Total Licensing about plans for the upcoming digital show. What are your plans for MIPTV? We have organised quite a few online meetings with clients who are also using the MIPTV digital platform and will be presenting our spring/summer line-up or let’s call it our ‘spring/summer collection’ of TV shows to existing clients and new ones. One such production produced by TeamTO is
While we might not be heading to the Croisette this year, the 12-16 April sees the industry gathering online for Digital MIPTV
Presto! School of Magic (52 x 11’), an animated comedy series based on the n’Wave, StudioCanal’s international hit feature, The House of Magic. Magic is a timeless theme and especially intriguing for children. The series features a band of talented and curious kids who dream of becoming magicians. Star students Dylan and Lisa cannot believe how lucky they are to be part of this new school. Lorenzo, a retired magician of international renown, and his nephew have turned their old mansion into Presto! School of Magic, where Lisa, Dylan and fellow aspiring magicians Nica,Violet and Vincent, learn the tricks of the trade. They all have a different reason for attending the school – but they have one thing in common: a passion for illusion, conjuring and the art of magic! And how have you managed to adapt to a digital show? Of course, like many, we were hoping to get back to the old days where we could have our face to face meetings in Cannes, but you could say we have been incredibly blessed to have such amazing technologies and organisers of shows such as Reed Midem (and others) are doing their best to create these interactive digital markets. For us, we are using this virtual market to set up personal chats and extend our reach to new buyers, especially the SVOD platforms. After so many digital shows and interactive sessions that emerged throughout the course of last year, we are all now very adept at navigating online markets in this manner. How has business been over the last 12 months, and what positives have you noticed that you might not have been expecting? It has been busier than ever. With
TOTAL LICENSING global lockdowns and social restrictions, there has been an unprecedented demand for content across all genres. Kids/teens have turned to their screens for entertainment, escapism and edutainment. With all the disruptions for children and their schooling, content that combine these three elements have seen a surge. We have one such show as an example The Ollie & Moon Show which airs on multiple channels/platforms such as NETFLIX, Tiny Pop, Discovery etc.. Based on the best-selling books (over 500k sold) by Diane Kredensor, the series targets pre-schoolers and shares the fun adventures of two globetrotting cats who act as excellent ambassadors of global awareness for their young viewers. Have you been showcasing content at other digital markets? Other digital markets have included Mip China and Mip Asia to mention a couple… And what about licensing plans going forward? As we know, licensing and merchandising has been impacted by the pandemic, but as vaccines continue to roll-out we are confident that things will pick up. FuturumKids may be a new company but the members of the FuturumKids team have worked on popular kids’ shows in the past. Will Paddles
the huggable Irish polar bear be their next big international hit? Having in your team the creators of a hit show can be no bad thing – but if members of your team were involved in worldwide success Jakers!, you know you have a hard act to follow. Luckily Paddles, the hot new CGI show for preschool (and older) kids from state-of-the art animation and media company FuturumKids, has hit the ground running. It was able to start 2021 with an anchor broadcast deal signed with Cartoonito UK and a number of other broadcast and licensing deals, including one with Irish broadcaster RTE, appropriately enough as Paddles is set in Ireland. In fact this charming, exciting and funny 52 x 11 series tells the story of a polar bear cub – Paddles – accidentally delivered by the Stork to a frozen River Shannon in Ireland, and brought up by a pack of Irish wolfhounds.Through the adventures, mistakes and discoveries of its funny and huggable star, and his friends Bracken, Bridie and Fagan, Paddles shows its young audience that being different is something to be celebrated and enjoyed. But Paddles is already staking its claim to a number of other markets outside the one in which it is set. Along with the UK there’s Asia, where Neon, a leading player in the Korean entertainment market and a specialist in the distribution of premium content, will distribute the 52 x 11 series in this key territory. For all other territories, brand management company Monster Entertainment has signed a global distribution deal for Paddles. As we noted earlier, the company’s founding principals include members of the team behind the seven-time Emmy-award-winning children’s series Jakers!. FuturumKids also contains senior figures from HIT Entertainment and its global franchises Bob the Builder, Barney and Thomas and Friends. It’s clear then that this is a specialist producer of children’s and family media content whose team has a strong track record serving the global TV market – but with Paddles it’s now looking to the next stage, with a merchandising strategy already in place.
This is led by Niall Watters, formerly Head of Brand Partnerships at ChannelSight, a leading e-commerce intelligence and performance optimisation platform. He is now Head of Commerce at Futurum Group and building a merchandising strategy that will start by bringing specially developed Paddles plush and other items to market at the same time as the show launches in a number of countries. In fact the first range of Paddles licensing and merchandising products is already on the way. It will comprise 10 SKUs, ranging from plush toys to apparel and school bags. These have already been manufactured and are being shipped to Futurum Group’s fulfilment centres in London, Dublin and Chicago. So Paddles is making an impression already. But much more is on the way. In late 2020 FuturumKids announced plans to establish a global HQ in Gran Canaria for its growing list of future productions. As Brendan Kelly, Head of Sales at Futurum, says: “The demand for high-quality pre-school children’s programming is, if anything, greater than ever right now and we want to be ready to meet it.” Dandelooo will debut several series at Digital MIPTV. Billy the Cowboy Hamster, in production at the moment, is aimed at preschool - 4 to 7 years old. It is a 2D animation and the synopsis is as follows: Growing up in the Wild West and raised on the exciting stories told by his father, Billy with his cowboy outfit has a burning desire to hit the trail! And since every new day presents him with an opportunity to go on an adventure worthy of the greatest cowboys, he is determined not to miss out... He takes with him his faithful friend Jean-Claude the worm, and his accomplice Suzie the stone marten, and off they go! Dandelooo will also present season 4 of The Treehouse Stories, as well as introducing Pompon Little Bear, Shooom’s Odyssey, as well as the available series Taina and the Amazon’s Guardians and Hungry Bear Tales. For the latter, a cookbook is being launched with each recipe linked to an episode.
France Total Licensing takes its annual look at the French marketplace with a roundup of licensing activities in different sectors of the industry.
STUDIOCANAL, a 100% affiliate of Canal+ Group held by Vivendi, is Europe’s leader in production, distribution and international sales of feature films and TV series, operating directly in all three major European markets France, the United Kingdom and Germany - as well as in Australia and New Zealand. Studiocanal Licensing’s ambition is to highlight French and European creativity on traditional properties with iconic brands for children such as Paddington, SamSam, Ernest & Celestine or Shaun The Sheep that are the subject of more than 25 million product sales around the world. Studiocanal is the producer of Paddington movies and TV series and represents Paddington brand in France. There are currently 160 licensees around the world for Paddington with 60 million products sold, 2 theme parks and more to come. The new TV series The Adventures of Paddington (52 x 11 minute episodes) is broadcast on French children’s chan-
nel Gulli every Saturday and Sunday morning and a second season is on its way and Paddington 3 is now in the works. In 2021, Studiocanal also celebrates the 40th anniversary of the brand Ernest & Celestine - the first book, written by Gabrielle Vincent, was published in 1981. Albums, animated movies (second one in 2022), television series, exhibitions, and new editions, the universe Ernest & Celestine has been an international success since its first appearance. On this occasion, many collaborations as well as events are planned throughout the year in Brussels and France, as well as a strong publishing program by Casterman. With a catalog of more than 6,000 titles, Studiocanal is also showcasing iconic classic properties from the 80’s such as Rambo 1,2,3, Terminator 1 and 2, Evil Dead 2 , Carpenter and Godard films. New deals with some major video games (Fortnite/ Epic Games for Terminator2, Mortal Kombat/ Warner for Rambo) and apparel partners (Pull&Bear, Etudes, Olympia Le Tan) have been signed recently.
More than 30 years after its theatrical release, Terminator continues to be passed down from generation to generation across the world thanks to its iconic character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and his unforgettable quotes. 2021 also marks the 30th anniversary of the film Terminator 2. For the occasion, Studiocanal is preparing events for the end of the year. In further news, Studiocanal report that Around the world in 80 days is a new animated film inspired by Jules Verne’s work.Theatrical release set for summer 2021 and a TV series already planned for 2022. French major book Publisher Editis is working on a publishing program available worldwide around the release date of the movie. A boy Called Christmas in collaboration with Netflix: Adapted from the bestseller written by Matt Haig, A boy Called Christmas, in collaboration with Netflix, tells the story of Santa Claus through the adventures of young Nikolas. The cast includes Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent, Michel Huisman, Sally Hawkins, Stephen Merchant and many others. Release planned for November 2021. This year’s winner of the Licensing International Awards with Koh-Lanta as the Best Lifestyle/ Corporate/ Celebrity Brand, TF1 LICENCES has around 40 brands in its portfolio and for 2021 the company is focusing on
TOTAL LICENSING three strategic areas – Heritage and Iconic Brands, Kids brands and Live Experiences. While the new season of Koh-Lanta has just been announced, the 2020 leading brand in TV entertainment is becoming a licensing success story. By Summer 2021, publishers will release books, novels, escape books and boxes on this iconic program. Numerous other releases are expected in the second quarter. The award-winning brand has already attracted partners such as Nintendo, Deliveroo, Paylib and Andros with others to be soon announced. As part of TF1’s major environmental strategy, Ushuaïa is expanding in 2021. Since January, it is back on TF1 with a new program - Génération Ushuaïa hosted by environmentalist icon Fanny Agostini. This new slot will also be an opportunity to strengthen the brand’s ties with the general public alongside major partnerships. Sun City is joining forces with the brand to offer a new ecoresponsible outdoor collection and partnering up with 1% for the Planet
to support environmental NGOs. TF1 Licences is also focusing on general interest’s topics with three brands: Doctissimo (Health), Auféminin (Beauty and Feminism) and Marmiton for cooking addicts. This first French social food brand has already attracted strong partners such as Jodas (kitchen utensils), Zifel (shopping bags and carts) and Françoise Saget (kitchen linen). So much more to come! On the kids side, once again, 2021 is a Smurfy year. TF1 Licences, IMPS and licensees gathered to create powerful synergies around the launch of the new series coming up soon in TF1. As part of their United Nations Sustainable Development Goals ambassador’s
role, the Smurfs partnered with McDonald’s to offer 4 OMY colourings inside the Happy Meal menu, the first step of McDonald’s initiative to remove plastic toys In 2021, many partners are joining Barbapapa’s adventure. The series achieves high performances on TF1. Nickelodeon has already launched the new series worldwide and in the new adventures, Barbapapa, allows you to protect the environment whilst caring for others. Product includes pPublishing, toys, board games, eco-responsible clothes, etc. 2021 is a Miraculous Year. With a special episode in Shanghai, the 4th season coming up on TF1, the Musical and the Movie, LadyBug and Cat Noir will be there with new heroes to tell us more about diversity and courage all around the world. Other kids properties include Super Wings, Chuggington, Imago and Ghost Force. Since January 2020, the affiliated network Campings Paradis Vacations has quickly become a success. 44 camping grounds in 2021 vs 12 in 2020. The whole universe of the popular TV show (4.3 M average viewers) is taking place for real. TF1 Licences is supporting IPE, specialists in children’s indoor leisure spaces for the development of the first indoor park branded TFOU, the TF1 kids block, in partnership with an independent leader in commercial estate. This new leisure park capitalizes on the power of TFOU to offer a live experience space. CRUNCHYROLL are focusing on key properties for 2021 including My Hero Academia, Captain Tsubasa, Jujutsu Kaisen, Bananya, Black Cover and Re:ZERO. The company has over 1000 titles with 30,000 episodes and, in terms of streaming, more than 100 million registered users with 50 million social followers and four million subscribers. In terms of consumer products, there
are now over 100 licensees supporting retailers globally. Anime continues to grow in popularity all over the world. There has been an evolution from an exclusively Japanese category to a worldwide sensation as one of the most fascinating case studies in modern branding history and
a testament to the power of anime’s ability to tell rich, captivating stories. Crunchyroll are looking to implement specific strategies to extend their broader 360-approach internationally within this next year. They will be focusing on key distribution partnerships, to bring fans linear offerings to connect. The world has changed this year, but the Crunchyroll team has participated in a number of virtual conventions, panels, and events and they have recently wrapped the firstever Anime Awards Virtual C lineup of guests. CHEFCLUB, the eat-ertainment brand, is a French digital cooking brand founded in 2016. The brand has grown rapidly worldwide as a result of its cooking videos distributed on social media. The company’s mission is to bring people together in the kitchen through the creation of fun, inspirational, and approachable content, products and services. Chefclub’s unique position between food and entertainment resonates well beyond the sphere of cooking enthusiasts: with more than 1.5 billion organic views every month and 100 million followers globally, Chefclub is the fastest growing global brand on
social media. In France, Chefclub is the number one cooking brand on social media with over 15 million engaged followers across all social media platforms with 250 million monthly views. Lately, Chefclub became the number one Frenchbased media property with the biggest global reach on Facebook and YouTube (source Tubular - Year 2020). Chefclub has successfully published over 22 in-house cookbook titles and collections offered on DTC and DTR with over 700.000 units sold in 3 years. Chefclub has also announced a new global licensing partnership with Groupe SEB, with the launch of a range of products under the brand license Chefclub by Tefal, including skillets, saucepans, kitchen tools and small domestic appliances. Created in collaboration with the Chefclub community, this range combines Chefclub’s expertise in the development of creative recipes with Tefal’s sustainable design for simple products to make cooking easier. The first products were launched in France at retail in January for the Crepes Day Celebration with a line of different pans, bakeware and an electric pancake maker. Specific POP materials were displayed across France in grocery stores. The rest of the Chefclub By Tefal line will be launched shortly in France and internationally (Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, Russia, Canada, Brazil and Mexico), and will be
sold offline and online as well as directly to customers on the Tefal and Chefclub websites. The new brand “Chefclub by Tefal” benefits from visibility on social networks and will broaden Groupe SEB’s reach, particularly with Millennials, who are discovering or rediscovering the joys of cooking thanks to the start-up’s content. Looking ahead is the launch of a range of Chefclub Kids culinary toys and games with Upyaa! in France at the end of March and in the rest of Europe later this year. Six new products for little ones will be offered, around the themes of chocolate, ice cream, and smoothies. Chefclub Kids is Chefclub’s initiative for children. The Chefclub Kids experience turns mealtime into playtime while creating family moments and opens the door to an immersive culinary universe that transforms cooking into a game. Chefclub Kids simplifies cooking for kids ages 4 and up, by creating a new fun cooking language. All Chefclub Kids recipes are conceived using 6 kids-friendly measuring cups, that replace complex measurement systems as the 6 measuring cups have a corresponding Chefclub character: the chef, the cat, the pig, the mouse, the hen, and the chicks. For extra help, each recipe has a QR code that, when scanned, brings kids directly to the video in the app. Today, Chefclub Kids products line includes 3 different sets and 10 different cooking utensils adapted for children with many more to come. All the Chefclub Kids products appear in Chefclub’s videos from beginning to end, racking millions of organic views and showcasing to parents over the world how the product revolutionises cooking with kids. In all, 150 000 Chefclub Kids products were sold in the last year in the French market. MILLIMAGES, who are celebrating their 30th an-
niversary, is an independent animation studio operating out of Paris, London and Shenzhen with a catalogue of over 1,500 hours of produced content. Millimages prides in developing, producing and worldwide distributing & licensing high profile family entertainment on all media. Millimages embraces digital production and distribution with over 75 IPs and over 100 digital networks generating 10M daily views. A key brand in the Millimages roster is, of course, Molang. The property has a number of key signings recently including Sylvoe who launched a range of Molang onesies and bibs on the BabyGeek website last year. In addition, Milan Presse has recently devoted a DIY page to Molang in three issues of its Manon mag and will launch a quarterly magazine entirely devoted to Molang. Staying with publishing, EDI 8 Livres Dragon D’Or will produce stationery products in France, Switzerland and Belgium. Two packs of scratch cards and a pack of 250 stickers are currently available. The release of the products has been supported by a contest in Manon Mag with prizes of scratch cards to be won for the readers as well as on Molang’s social media. The products are available in bookstores, toy stores and kiosks. In an exclusive deal, this June, will see the launch of Alcara/Prime’s tokens, wreaths, bags and wafer boxes as well as displays and candle holders all
TOTAL LICENSING featuring Molang. July will see Abysse launch several products in Europe including mugs, key rings, figures and make-up boxes. Abysse will also launch cellphone cases, notebooks and pens later this year. Finally EXOD will release a Molang board game in September. . The launch will be accompanied by a campaign on social media, demonstration videos, and press articles. The products will be sold in department stores, independent stores, bookstores, online stores and in specialized distributors. Millimages recently welcomed Marina Narishkin as the studio’s new General Manager brought in to oversee the transformation of the studio’s business model through the diversification of Millimages’ productions, the development of new TV series and feature films and enhanced licensing activities. For over ten years, CARBON12011 Licensing has built efficient licensing strategies for the brands they manage, taking into account their global strategy and adapting it to their licensing activity. Focusing on relevant and adding-value projects for brands, Carbon12011 Licensing manages both worldwide and local licensing programs in several countries such as Brazil, Japan and Russia and Europe. Their network is locally skillful and allows the best results for their clients. Consumer products and videogame industries are their fields of expertise and where they prospect and sign significant deals By managing licensing program for automotive companies, Carbon12011 Licensing integrates inherent values of the automotive universe developing licensing activity with the rigor of a car manufacturer and precision and reactivity equal to the one of an automotive sport competition! Renault, Alpine, Alpine F1 Team, Dacia and Mazzanti Automobili have put their trust in Carbon12011 Licensing for several years to help developing their licensing program. As French brands, Renault, Alpine and Alpine F1 Team enjoy success in France but also beyond Europe’s bor-
ders. Each brand has history with a different country all over the world. As an example, the historic and passionate love story between the Alpine brand and the Japanese market has grown year after year. Among some of the projects throughout recent years is the great Alpine GT4 Radio Control developed directly with the Kyosho Japanese team alongside Kyosho Europe. Formula One is a great flagship for brands all over the world. Last 2nd March, Alpine F1 Team launched its 2021 Campaign showcasing its new car, the Alpine A521. The car proudly showcases the colors of the French flag, as well as Alpine’s well-known and historic racing colors of blue, white and red. The worldwide licensing program continues to expand. 23 races are planned in 2021 on all continents. Local licensing projects are also important. A collaboration of French brands created an exciting Majorette range where consumers can find a Paris Saint Germain livery applied to Renault Mégane and Renault Twingo toy cars. CYBER GROUP’S Gigantosaurus is a global series of 156 episodes of 11 minutes on air in more than 193 territories. In France, Gigantosaurus aired for the first time on Disney Junior on April 20th 2019 and was been launched on France Télévisions in December 2019. Currently broadcasted every Saturday morning on France 5 as well as on Disney Junior, the first season of the series is also available on both Netflix and Disney+ as well as Okoo. Staying in France, season 2 will begin airing mid 2021 on Disney Junior and will be broadcast on France Télévisions. Season 3 is expected to be released in 2022.
In parallel, new content including shorts, music videos will be available on YouTube. Cyber Group Studios is also proud to launch the production of Giganto Club at their new studios in Roubaix. Planned to be released in 2021, Giganto Club is an original scripted animated series using realtime motion capture driven by XSENS technology and powered by Unreal Engine. On the licensing side, a videogame developed by Outright and distributed by Bandai was released in March 2020. Nine story books were launched by Larousse in September 2019 in specialist stores and mass markets and Cyber Group’s global master toy licensee, Jakks Pacific, developed a range of figurines, plush and vehicles. The products were on shelf last Christmas at King Jouet and also available on fnac.com and amazon. Dragon d’Or developed a coloring cards and scratch cards sets and also a board game and Clementoni launched a range of puzzles. In 2021, the ranges will be extended with new categories available in the market including apparel (Erve), tableware (Stor), puzzles (Ravensburger), bedding (Character World), bicycles (Pick and Roll). On a different note, the Droners series was successfully launched on TF1 with a market share going up to 34,2%. A strong publishing program has been developed with Glenat for books and novelizations, Dupuis for comics and Kana for Manga. Each has an ambitious publishing program. Glenat launched the first 3 titles
TOTAL LICENSING in February and the books are already listed in specialist stores such as Fnac and Cultura and also in mass market and digital retailers. In addition to the publishing program, IR Drone, a French-based company that specializes in drones, developed the first drone from the series: Maroro. The drone has been presented to retail for Christmas this year. Other product categories will be developed simultaneously with the release of the series in major licensing markets. PROCIDIS is an independent French production company created in the 1960s by Albert Barillé, a pioneer in his field and creator of the animated edutainment concept. Following the international success of COLARGOL, his first series for pre-school, Albert Barillé directed and produced“Once upon a time … Man, (1978), now restored and available in HD (2014), Once upon a time … Space (1982), Once upon a time … Life (1982), Once upon a time … the Americas (1991), Once upon a time … the Discoverers (1994), Once upon a time … the Explorers (1997), and the latest series produced in HD, Once upon a time … Planet Earth (2009). For more than 40 years, the Once upon a time… series, which are now brought together under the umbrella brand “Hello Maestro”, have continued to transmit knowledge to children. Once Upon a Time… is targeted at boys and girls aged six to ten and is certified as a National Learning Program by France’s Ministry of Education. To date, the animated series (26 x 26 minutes) have been translated into 40 languages and broadcast in over 100 countries through broadcasters including TV5 Monde, Cartoonito, RTBF, RTP,YLE and Aljazeera.
In France the series is broadcast on Okoo France TV platforms including the educational platform Lumni. The series is also on Netflix and on OSC (Space). A brand new series is currently in production for a launch at the end of 2022 or early 2023. To date, more than fifteen licensees are on board including tys and games (Educa Borras, Upyaa, Winning Move, VTech, Klein), figurines (CFR Studios, La Fée Sauvage), plush (Anima), publishing (Hachette, Delcourt, Aedis, Hugo & Cie, Editions Animées), DVD (Sony), music (Sony and Velvetica), audio stories (Sony, Lunii), and apparel (Lobster & Lemonade). New products are in development for Fall/Christmas this year. TAT PRODUCTIONS is one of the leading animation companies in France. The company’s main activities are the production of original animated movies and TV series as well as consumer products development. Despite Covid-19, the Toulouse-based studio is expanding its production capacity and it will soon be capable of producing one new original movie each year. This will
help the company to reach an almost unique production standard in Europe. Furthermore the company recently announced that for the second time, its best-known franchise The Jungle Bunch will be adapted for the big screen. The Jungle Bunch 2 The Movie will be distributed in theaters around the globe in 2023 by the French giant SND (M6 Television group). In 2017, the first The Jungle Bunch The Movie gathered more than 700,000 spectators in France and became the 4th most popular French production in the world. At the same time, the Emmy Award-
winning animated series The Jungle Bunch to the rescue is currently experiencing a new boom, after the release of the record-breaking third season on the French national broadcast (France Télévision). At the moment the animated series is one of the strongest in France in terms of viewership. For this reason, TAT Productions is now planning to launch a new licensing program for The Jungle Bunch. Hundreds of licensed goods of this property have already been produced in the past few years, gathering licensing partners in more than five countries and demonstrating the licensing appeal of this brand. When TOEI ANIMATION EUROPE’S One Piece broadcasts its 1000th episode this year, it will make global television history by having the largest number of episodes for a continuous series. The 1000th episode will broadcast across the EMEA in November, 2021. Long-time broadcast partners in Europe will participate to this year’s celebration. In France, it will air on the pay TV networks, J One and Game One, and the SVOD networks, Anime Digital Network (ADN) and Crunchyroll. On the merchandising part, Toei Animation Europe has all corners covered in time for this celebration in France throughout the year. Early June, fashion retailer, Uniqlo will launch a dedicated apparel collection of 6 men t-shirts featuring exclusive series designs. Not only Uniqlo implement in-store activation to highlight the collection, but it will also oversee a digital competition giving fans the chance to win One Piece prizes. Throughout the year, worldwide famous brands will get One Piece in the spotlight, with different lines of products featuring designs of the anime series. More information will be disclosed soon. At the same time, Toei Animation Europe is securing retail partnerships in France to celebrate this milestone. In
Q2/Q3, a France-wide Stamp Rallye operation will have fans collect One Piece stickers to claim for One Piece prizes. This operation would occur in book and hobby stores across France. Later this year, Micromania-Zing would organize an exclusive in-store operation, dedicated to the 1000th episode celebration. This campaign is scheduled for Q4. Toei Animation Europe’s efforts for this milestone occasion are not stopping at licensing. Inspired consumer events are planned to engage One Piece’s international fan base. A dedicated landing page promises to share exciting news with visitors, and opportunities to experience exclusive content. French publisher Glénat will support the One Piece manga by organizing a countdown game 100 days prior to the publication of volume N°100. This daily trivia competition will include participation with other licensees, and elect a winner each day. Pending the easing up of COVID-related restrictions, Toei Animation Europe further hopes to arrange in-person events. Prior to the episode debut, Toei Animation Europe will organize a series of day-long movie marathons in
theater locations. A symphonic concert is also currently scheduled for September 25 at Salle Pleyel in Paris. The concert will feature an orchestral recreation of classic moments from the series alongside exciting audience activities. The event will resume in November with a special piano concert tour recognizing the 1000th One Piece episode. SOPHIE LA GIRAFE was born in 1961 in Paris, France. Made from 100% natural rubber, Sophie has soothed generations of teething babies who also love to hear her squeak when squeezed. Today, Sophie la girafe is still produced with 100% natural rubber derived from the sap of the Hevea tree and goes through 14 manual operations before completion. Parents trust Sophie la girafe and recognize the brand as a key ingredient in a newborn’s gift basket. Over recent months, Sophie la girafe license has welcomed many licensees and licensed products with new products in France. Alpine has teamed up with Sophie la girafe inviting all parents to take care of their baby’s ears in noisy environments. SES Creative has developed products specially adapted to Sophie la girafe’s young target: finger paints, baby markers, and aprons. Planet cards has created birth announcements in different themes and formats with Sophie la girafe and Haza has developed a Sophie la girafe deco-
ration kit to suit a party event. Novatex has launched a line of clothes, Prime will debut porcelain miniatures, Poree Havlik has a complete collection of bibs, Mayo Parasol has signed for swimwear and Marabout are producing baby and pregnancy diaries and books. Further licensees include Theo bebe Evoltive baby furniture, Angel cosmetics, Batt for chocolate, Ilado for maternity necklaces, Vondels for Christmas decorations, Stitch and Story for knitting accessories, Squiz for reusable feeding pouches, Charlie Banana for reusable diapers, Trousselier for plush, rattles, night lights and more, Anzou for publishing and Renolux for safety products including car seats, pushchairs, travel cots, playpens and more. BEL LICENSING are actively promoting The Laughing Cow (La vache qui rit), Babybel, Apericube and Leerdammer.
The Laughing Cow brand is turning 100 years old this year with a large number of retail and digital activations. In addition, some specific collector items are being sold on the company’s official e-boutique. With 2021 as the Year of the Ox in the Chinese calencdar, the Laughing Cow was selected by H&M for a Chinese New Year collaboration. In terms of licensing, the company is concentrating on four key categories: apparel, home décor and homewares, tableware and games. Designs include retro and vintage, contemporary and fun and childish.
Happy Birthday Kazachok! Kazachok is celebrating its 20th anniversary: what’s your perspective on the licensing industry?
Kazachok is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021. To mark the occasion, Nathalie Chouraqui, the agency’s General Manager, revisited those two decades for Total Licensing.
“Well... Licensing sure has changed over the past 20 years! It went from being a very new and high-growth field - in which everything was yet to be undertaken - to a market that must constantly reinvent itself, and most importantly, its business model. It’s more segmented and diversified than ever, with abundant and extremely creative opportunities for buyers. Those same buyers have become more demanding. Their behavior patterns in terms of contents are more versatile, due partly to platforms and streaming services. Furthermore, they want purchasing licensed products to be meaningful. I feel that consumer experience is more decisive than ever. A brand’s representation must be easy to understand, as well as being clear and prompting customer emotion. Licensing remains a fundamental tool to add value to newly imagined opportunities that focus on consumer-related expectations.
How did your business evolve over the past 20 years? We established this market step by step and provided a framework. Indeed, in the beginning, we launched the Kazachok Licensing Guide, whose ambition was to identify the various licensing players (rights owners, agents, manufacturers and retailers). Let’s not forget that back in 2001, the market was very secretive, with no dedicated information nor communication tools. Then in 2003, we professionalized the market by launching our newsletter Licensing News (now K-News) and providing consulting; in 2004, we launched the Kazachok Licensing Magazine; and soon thereafter, a trade fair, The Kazachok Licensing Forum, so that market players could physically meet in various prestigious venues in Paris. During 17 years, that event helped to establish the French licensing market thanks to a yearly encounter where brands and their partners were able to connect. Based on the strength of its suc-
cess, The Kazachok Licensing Forum also evolved in order to better meet brands’ expectations by becoming Cobrandz! Collabs, Contents, Co-branding & Copyright, Cobrandz has established itself as a real contents hub.This new kind of event, in continuation with former editions of The Kazachok Licensing Forum enables brands better expression and exploitation of brand content by enlarging the pool of visitors and exhibitors. The goal is to generate new business opportunities and anticipate the future thanks to collabs, partnerships and brand content that can be associated with brand projects. The whole Kazachok team is more than pleased to have been able to host the event during such a special year. We were the only physical licensing
event held in Europe in 2020! All of the participants felt it was a real breath of fresh air! Today, in the digital era, we are launching the latest Kazachok creation Brandz Data, a platform dedicated to brands and their content - the logical continuation of the initial printed version! During the past 20 years we always remained true to our DNA: service, anticipation, inventiveness, energy and developing new business models! We pride ourselves on providing the whole package in a friendly atmosphere with complete trust prevailing among partners.
What is your strategy for 2021 and beyond? What future developments are you working on? Under the very particular circumstances of the pandemic, we were forced to reshape our events so that our clients can continue to meet and remain updated on market evolution.
As I explained we just launched a brand new brand information and connection platform: Brandz Data. We’re very proud of it since it represents years of archive collection and market watch. It allows access to the interactive database of licensing players as well as daily updated content thanks to news, interviews and reports. Furthermore, you can access marketing brand data to keep a proactive watch on brand possibilities over the next 2 years called Brandz Review. This new digital tool continually feeds data to market players and others too! Indeed, it provides brands with insight on potential business opportunities they haven’t even envisioned yet (via collaborations, co-branding, endorsement marketing, licensing product creation, on-site promotions or licensed advertising campaigns). I feel certain that thanks to Brandz Data, new brand partnerships and novel projects will arise, in compliance with the latest trends (Social and Environmental Responsibility, quest for meaning, circular economy, etc.) Moreover, in January 2021, we set up the first Brandz Keynote, a 100% virtual event, in which brands showcase their strategy to meet potential partners on a one-toone basis, The next edition will take place on April 8th, 2021. Last but not least, the 2nd Edition of Cobrandz is scheduled for July 1st & 2nd at La Grande Crypte de Paris and we are proud to make it possible for market players to meet in person!
What do you take away from the past two decades? For sure, the past 20 years went by like a flash because the licensing world is enthralling. Each brand has its own strategy, and licensing is anything but boring! I take this opportunity to acknowledge all of my business pals. For sure, the past 20 years went by like a flash because the licensing world is enthralling. Each brand has its own strategy, and licensing is anything but boring! I take this opportunity to acknowledge all of my business pals. Yes, some of our clients became good friends of mine, thanks to Kazachok!
Pringles and Mr P – New and improved! Pink Key is buzzing about a total upgrade of the Pringles Style Guide alongside an update on the graphics for the brand and the moustachioed one globally. Pink Key has managed the Kellogg owned brand since the outset of the licensing programme, seeing growth every year driven by licensees including Helix and Roy Lowe, and with brilliant work from retailers such as Primark and H&M. The style guide was highly adaptable
Well …..now, as it turns out and this one is going to provide Pink Key’s licensee and retail partners even more flexibility as well some amazing new graphics, along with a new makeover for the man himself. Richard Pink and the team at Pink Key couldn’t be more delighted ! The new premise for the guide is built around what the brand call the ‘Passion Points’. In other words, it’s the things that the Pringles consumer feel passionate about – where they eat
with flexible use of slogans, colours and fonts, this alongside the distinctive shapes of the can and the chips have been the drivers of the tremendous growth that’s been seen. However things are moving on in the most exciting way!
The new graphics offer licensees bold colours that reflect the colours of the Pringles can. Crucially there is much more of a focus on the shapes that are uniquely ‘Pringles’ – the shapes of the chip, the can, and the bow tie, but best of all Pink Key thinks the ability to represent Mr P himself with the settings that been developed from the Passion Points.
A new licensing style guide is being launched. ‘When!?’ I hear you cry …..
their Pringles and what they like doing while they are eating their favourite chip. The guide is focused on four main areas that are focal points for the brand and its consumers - gaming, sports, music, summertime. There is also a whole section focused on seasonal events such as Halloween and Christmas.
In the new Style Guide he’s a footballer, a gamer, Santa, an Elf and a reindeer and, at Halloween, he’s a vampire! All of this is set against some amazing new backgrounds and designs. Commenting, Richard Pink said, “You can probably tell I like it – I can’t deny I’m very excited and I cannot wait to see some of the new designs making their way into the market.”
KIDDINX SIGNS NEW AGENCY AND PREPARES FOR NEW OGGLIES MOVIE Kiddinx Media GmbH, the owner of German evergreen properties Benjamin the Elephant and Bibi Blocksberg, and a leading distribution and marketing company for children’s audio plays and books, children’s music, animated films, and apps has announced recently that it has appointed bRAND-WARD Services, the licensing agency and consultancy founded by Jean-Philippe Randisi and Trudi Hayward, to develop and execute a strategy taking its brand Bibi & Tina to a global audience. bRANDWARD helps kids’ IP owners develop their business globally, combining brand, distribution and merchandising strategies and expertise. Bibi & Tina started as a radio play spin-off of Bibi Blocksberg, then turned into a TV series on ZDF and a whole range of audiovisual productions. It tells the adventures of Bibi, a girl with special powers, her best friend Tina, and their horses Sabrina and Amadeus. Fast forward 30 years, and Bibi & Tina is now a major brand in Germany: over 20 million storytellers sold (59 gold awards, 23 platinum awards), 5.6 million videos sold, a number 1 soundtrack album and 1.7 million books. The hit property has been on air with 54 episodes on TV for the last 13 years, a live action series on Amazon Prime, and four feature films. Bibi
& Tina has embraced the digital age with 105 million streams per month across all major platforms. The brand is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2021, and Kiddinx launched the 100th episode of the radio play in January and believe that it is now time to introduce kids around the world to these two bright teenagers and let them discover how their friendship, their love of horses and care for na-
ture can turn into thrilling storytelling. Holger Küchler, Managing Director at Kiddinx commented, “Internationalization has become a priority for our brands. We are pleased that we have found a committed and professional partner in Brand-Ward who will be accompanying us on this journey to bring a smile to every child’s face!” Karl Blatz, head of international business development at Kiddinx said:
TOTAL LICENSING “Bibi & Tina always stood for equality and sustainability. These core values have been with the brand for thirty years and are now more important than ever before. We truly believe that Bibi & Tina provide captivating entertainment that children won’t be able to get enough of.” Jean-Philippe Randisi, co-founder of bRAND-WARD, added: “Quietly and discreetly, Kiddinx has created over the last decades, a number of gems for children with an incredibly enduring success. Bibi & Tina is a favourite brand for kids there, and we are delighted to help Kiddinx fulfil their ambition of making it part of kids’ lives not just in Germany but around the world”. Kiddinx Media GmbH is one of the leading distribution and marketing companies for children’s audio plays and books, children’s music, children’s animated films and mobile applications for children (apps) in Germany. Whether it be Benjamin the Elephant, Bibi Blocksberg, Bibi & Tina, Gelini or Jan Tenner – you will find our brands in just about every German kid’s room. bRAND-WARD Services Ltd is a kids IP consultancy and UK Licensing Agency business based in London, helping IP owners/creators grow outside of their core business and monetise their IP globally. bRAND-WARD Services work with and for content producers, toy companies, digital studios, publishers, and all companies keen to expand their horizons. The company is co-owned by Jean-Philippe Randisi and Trudi Hayward, who both held senior roles at the likes of Nickelodeon, ITV, Zodiak Kids/Banijay, Saban and Disney. On a different note, Kiddinx report increasing activity in The Ogglies with a new film set to debut in 2021. The Ogglies are looking for a new home! The characters end up in Smelliville, a beautiful and peaceful village. Unfortunately, Smelliville has a stinky problem: The local garbage dump is spoiling the place. Something must happen! Max, son of the mayor and his ambitious wife, is a talented hob-
byist who secretly hopes to solve the stinky problem with a crazy machine that he develops together with Professor Foamworthy and his niece Lotta. When Max meets the Ogglies on the rubbish dump, it becomes clear what the Ogglies might mean for Smelliville: they eat garbage! And for the Ogglies, Smelliville‘s garbage dump means nothing less than having finally found a real home. Everything would be fine if there were not the plans of the mayor’s wife and the unscrupulous construction builder Hammer. In their eyes the garbage dump must be replaced with a wellness temple! The Oggly children need to save their new home together with their friends Max and Lotta.
GmbH with Verlag Frie Friedrich Oetinger GmbH, LEONINE Distribution GmbH, ZDF Anstalt des öffentlichen Rechts, GRID Animation bvba. The film is being distributed by Leonine in Germany and Arri Media Services internationally. For further information about any of Kiddinx Media’s properties, please contact Thomas Puchert, International Head of Licensing & Merchandising. firstname.lastname@example.org
The 85 minute film is directed by Jens Muller and Toby Genkel who also cowrote the screenplay with John Chambers. The film is produced by WunderWerk
DINO RANCH AND LOVE MONSTER FROM BOAT ROCKER Boat Rocker Studios has enjoyed whirlwind starts for two of its newest preschool animations, Dino Ranch and Love Monster, which are already becoming firm global favourites. Launched in January, on Disney Junior and DisneyNOW in the US and CBC/ CBC Gem in Canada, Dino Ranch – set in a “pre-westoric” setting where dinosaurs still roam – is already attracting strong audience engagement and huge interest from licensees. Launching straight out the gate as an immediate hit, as the #1 cable show in the US for its age group, Dino Ranch has sustained this number 1 position since launch. It has also amassed huge views on YouTube along with a strong social campaign. The official Dino Ranch YouTube channel, youtube.com/ DinoRanch has reached over 5.2 million views and 2.8 million unique viewers just 9 weeks since launch. The action-packed 52 x 11’ 3D animation, full of dino-driven fun and the thrill of ranch life while showing the value of friendship and community, is now beginning to roll out worldwide. The show is launching on Disney+ in the
UK and Australia in April with further markets to follow including Super RTL and Toggo Plus in GAS; Gulli in France; DR in Denmark, NRK in Norway and YLE in Finland. Jazwares and Scholastic signed prelaunch for master toy and English language publishing, and numerous additional key categories have also been signed and will be announced in the near future. Haven has been appointed as agent for Australia and NZ, more agents soon to be announced.
It has been an amazing year for heartwarming 2D animation Love Monster since its launch on CBeebies in January 2020, where it proved an instant hit, it has amassed an incredible 12 million+ BBC iPlayer requests. Based on Rachel Bright’s globally popular bestselling book series, with a strong family following, the 54 x 7’ series has proved popular with broadcasters worldwide, now airing on ABC (Australia), HBO Max (US), CBC Gem (Canada), RTE (Ireland) and TVNZ. Launching on YLE (Finland) and MBC (Middle East) from spring, followed by Canal Panda (Spain) and Viu TV (Hong Kong), it’s also seen a steady growth in its social channels. Winter saw the first Love Monster product roll out with the UK launch of an adorable range of huggable plush and fun figurines from master toy partner Golden Bear, quickly followed by nightwear, daywear, home textiles and dress up lines. With further line extensions planned later this year, the signs are that 2021 is going to be equally as exciting for our lovable Love Monster and his friends!
With a population approaching 30 million, the Benelux countries are nestled at the heart of Europe. Collectively, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg have some of the highest GDP per capita and digital access in the territories is approaching 100%. Of course, some of the properties that have come out of the region are world renowned - such as The Smurfs and Miffy. On the following pages we take a look at the activities of some of the key licensors and agents working in the Benelux region. J&M Brands B.V. is a leading independent licensing agency in the Benelux, a dynamic company founded in 2012 by Jannienke Mulder and Monique Beck. Within a short period J&M Brands has built up an impressive portfolio with many globally beloved brands such as: Hard Rock, Bob Ross, The Voice, Cry Babies, Hello Kitty, Miraculous, Care Bears, Sesame Street, Mr. Bean, Love Is…, Beyblade, Peter Rabbit and many more. The founders are two creative women, with over 25 years of experience in licensing, brand management and marketing. Each with her own strength, and together with their fantastic team, J&M Brands is perfectly able to position a brand in the market, create tar-
geted brand awareness and lift a brand to a new level. They do this with a professional, passionate, personal and powerful approach that focuses on profitable results. J&M Brands B.V. is an all-round partner that has an undeniable expertise in brand licensing. Even in these challenging times of Covid-19, J&M Brands has managed to welcome a lot of interesting new licensee partners for various brands. For Hello Kitty we’ve partnered up with Canenco, Durabo, Speelgoedland and The New Ways adding sustainable pluche, make-up, jewelry, watches, stationery, gift products to the Hello Kitty portfolio and Vondels Amsterdam is in the process of creating beautiful, stylish Christmas ornaments ready to hit stores this year. J&M Brands proudly presented for Valentine’s day, some new brokered deals for the worldwide known brand Love is…! Hallmark, Your Surprise and Hole in the Wall have been adding greeting cards, print-on-demand-products, accessories and gift items to the already impressive Love is… product portfolio in the Benelux market. Last but not least, for Miraculous J&M Brands brokered successful licensing deals for bedding, apparel
and stationery and accesoiries products with great partners like Aymax, Vadobag, Canenco and van der Erve to add even more success to this powerful brand. WildBrain CPLG’s Benelux office was first established in 1991 and is currently home to a team of 12 based in Amstelveen, just outside Amsterdam. The office also functions as the ‘back-office’ for WildBrain CPLG’s Northern Europe operations, including the Nordics and CEE regions. The team’s representation portfolio in Benelux spans entertainment and preschool brands, including My Little Pony, PAW Patrol, Baby Shark, Sonic the Hedgehog, emoji – The Iconic Brand, and Peppa Pig; alongside classic
character brands, such as Peanuts, Pink Panther; lifestyle brands, like Mohammed Ali, Marilyn Monroe and MTV; and local brands, such as Touzani and Hamsta. Additionally, in line with the growing popularity of gaming brands locally, WildBrain CPLG continues to add new IP in this space and represents iconic properties, such as Tetris
TOTAL LICENSING and Space Invaders. WildBrain CPLG’s Benelux team has recently secured a wave of high-profile collaborations, including a partnership with SMEG for a limited-edition refrigerator to mark the 70th anniversary of the beloved Peanuts brand in 2020; and an extension of its SpongeBob SquarePants fashion collaboration with Dutch designer Marlou Breuls, following the signing of a new partnership with luxury bag brand Laauw. Additionally, WildBrain CPLG’s Benelux team has recently scored a deal with premium Dutch footwear brand Floris Van Bommel for a Spring/Summer capsule collection inspired by the iconic arcade game, Space Invaders, which will launch this Spring across the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg at Floris Van Bommel’s stores and website; and a new fashion collection with Retour Jeans inspired by acclaimed freestyle footballer and YouTube phenomenon, Soufiane Touzani. Following the recent acceleration of growth in online retail, WildBrain CPLG’s Benelux team is focusing on e-commerce activity, toy retail and maximising opportunities for its partners at value chain. The team is also continuing to build upon its existing long-term partnerships with retailers across its portfolio. Prior to the pandemic, the Netherlands already ranked within the top European markets for online retail sales, and this has significantly increased since the start of the pandemic across all product categories. For NLC, a leading Nordics and Benelux licensing agency, the trend toward classic brands has supported success for the firm and its licensors, Warner Bros. Consumer Products (including HBO and Turner), Mattel, HIT Entertainment, and top European sports brands as Tour de France. Some of the popular classic entertainment brands in NLC´s portfolio are: Harry Potter, Batman, Wonder Woman, Looney Tunes, Friends, Barbie and Hot Wheels. “Navigating through 2020 was challenging for everyone, however our continued focus on representing a select group of major Global licensors and our close relationships with
licensees and retailers helped us deliver impressive results for these iconic brands despite challenging times,” says Kirsten Gyde, NLC Managing Director. “Our team at NLC goes the extra mile every year, but 2020 was truly remarkable, considering the challenged retail landscape.” Kirsten Gyde says the massive regional success of Harry Potter’s Wizarding World in 2020 is proof that the magic continues. As two examples, Pandora expanded their Harry Potter product offering with successful launch campaigns in July and November, and in August 2020, H&M quickly sold out of many items in their Harry Potter X H&M Back to School campaign. Tommy Jeans was listed with their Looney Tunes capsule collection as one of the “Top 10 favorite UK campaigns of 2020” selected by Snapchat. Launched March 2020, this collaboration was a great success worldwide. Another “Looney” collab just launched March 2021 by Belgian fashion brand Essentiel Antwerp. Diving into the Looney Tunes world, reliving their fun adventures, showcased on a colorful and playful collection. Both collabs are proof of the Looney Tunes Cartoon Classic’s, like Bugs Bunny and Tweety, eternal appeal. NLC expects to see continued success with Harry Potter, Batman, Space Jam, Wonder Woman, Game of Thrones, Barbie and Tour de France. All Dick Bruna’s illustrations and IP rights have been carefully managed globally over the last 50 years by Mercis bv. Dick Bruna’s design philosophy
and work still today form the basis; respect for art and the world of a child. The child in all of us. This Spring, Dick Bruna’s world famous creation will hop into the Westfield Mall of The Netherlands to open the first mono-branded European Miffy flagship store, managed by MTDay. Shoppers can take a look inside Miffy’s world by passing through the bunny shaped entry. High ceilings, minimalist design and special elements all contribute to a unique store experience, with Dick Bruna’s graphic design philosophy and his iconic creation Miffy as leading elements. With an emphasis on lifestyle, design and gift makes this store an inspiring experience for people of all ages. Of course, the popularity of Miffy as a licensed character began with the publishing of books.The last classic, square book by Dick Bruna was released in 2011, but even in 2021 new and interactive Miffy books are still produced
by Mercis Publishing. This spring five board books were published, including a touch-and-feel book with a squaky belly, a book with die-cuts about Miffy’s home, two books with a jigsaw in which Miffy and Melanie play the lead, and a lift-the-flap book about unwrapping presents. More books will be released in the upcoming weeks. In collaboration with Dutch design studio Maison Deux, a new and exclusive collection of Miffy rugs has been developed. The rugs, available in the forms of Miffy, Melanie, Snuffy and the Lion, are hand-tufted from 100% New
TOTAL LICENSING Zealand wool and have a slight 3D effect. The soft and cuddly rugs fit any type of children’s room. The rugs are certified with the GoodWeave label. At the end of May, Tiamo will release new Miffy soft toys. The Fun at Sea collection includes a great variety of baby products: from cuddly toys and rattles to a play mat and music box. The collection is blue/grey and white striped and is decorated with colourful sea-themed illustrations. The trendy Miffy soft toy collection by International Bon Ton Toys is expanding. This April, the popular corduroy Miffy will be available in even more colours, including a soft yellow buttercream and an orange pumpkin. And Miffy gets a new friend! A new snuffy design will be available in three different colours. The Smurfs, from Belgian creator Peyo, celebrated their 60th anniversary in 2018. The Smurf movies have taken over $1 billion in revenues and there are currently 9 seasons of the Smurfs television series. Two Smurf comic books are created each year and the Smurfs YouTube channel is planned to be translated into 41 languages. In terms of products, to date, over 100 million of the Schleich figurines have been sold and over 100 million Kinder Eggs in Europe since 2013. Over 60,000 tons of Haribo Smurf candies are sold each year. Beyond their hugely successful broadcasting career, the Smurfs are also proud ambassadors of the United Nationals goals set in 2015 with the aim of eradicating extreme poverty, combating inequalities and injustice and effectively tackling the problem of climate change by 2030. The Smurfs have communicated uni-
versal values such as solidarity, courage, tolerance, work, respect for nature and the environment and these values transcend age, gender and cultures. It is thus quite natural that the Smurfs wish to be involved in charitable works. They are preferred partners because they enable charities and organisations to popularize a message and make it accessible to all. Over the years, The Smurfs have been able to support good causes, for example Think Pink, FireSafe, UNICEF, International Day of Happiness, Android 34, Cap 48, and so on. IMPS, who manage the rights for the Smurfs, was founded by Veronique Culliford, Peyo’s daughter and, over the years, they have been associated with numerous licensees including Le Lombard, Dupuis, Hachette, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, De Agostini, Panini, Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony Home Entertainment, PEZ, Chupa Chups, Ferrero, Haribo, McDonald’s, Delacre, Gap, H&M, C&A, Benetton, Women’s Secret, Jakks, Schleich, Ubisoft, Capcom, Lidl, and Agrokor. IMPS are also developing new licenses based around other key characters from Peyo’s works – including Johan and Peewit and Benny Breakiron. Acamar Films’ hit pre-school show Bing continues to gather strength in the Benelux region. With eighteen licensees now on board, exciting new products and continued expansion in the digital space, Bing is being established as a top pre-school property. Leading Dutch cosmetics company Caresse BV is the latest partner to join Bing’s best-in-class licensees for the region, set to produce a range of health and beauty products. This new deal follows recent renewals with Vadobag (bags, cases and umbrellas), Aymax (bedding) and Veldkamp (meet & greet). TM Essentials have also widened their Bing portfolio to now offer bath accessories and kids room furniture.Thanks to the meaningful connection Bing has with its young audience, sustained strong performance
across all touchpoints and the efforts of local agent License Connection, Bing attracts licensees across a wide variety of categories. In addition, Master Toy Partner Spectron is expanding its range and is launching hero lines Bing’s Squeaking Talkie Taxi, Bedtime Bing with Owly and Train & Mini House Playsets for spring/summer 2021. Spectron has seen booming sales to date, with Bing stocked in all major toy retailers in the Netherlands and Belgium. Bing is broadcast in the Netherlands on NPO Zappelin where it is a top show among its age group. In Belgium, Ketnet launched the new series dubbed in Flemish in January this year, attracting a flood of Bingsters, with Bing achieving a majority audience share in its timeslot. Bing has also been
a hit on the big screen with the latest theatrical experience, Bing’s Christmas and Other Stories, ranking in the top 10 at the Dutch box office. Audience engagement deepens online, with Bing’s Dutch Facebook page seeing followers grow by 106% YoY. Bing’s Dutch YouTube channel has enjoyed a 58% YoY increase in views and 110% YoY increase in watch time hours, along with a growing subscriber base. Laura Clarke, Head of EMEA Licensing and Merchandising, Acamar Films, said: “We are delighted that Bing moves and delights an ever-growing number of fans in the Benelux region. Bing has been warmly embraced by audiences and retailers alike and we are working hard to continue its growth, especially looking forward to the brand new Bing live show coming this Autumn.We also have more very exciting news in the months ahead. Kidzroom is a bags & backpack brand owned by Dutch licensee Vadobag who have a long history of creating
TOTAL LICENSING licensed products with entertainment properties from Disney, Hasbro, Nickelodeon etc. The past few years they have been working hard on their own brand Kidzroom, and this has now taken off in the Netherlands and Germany. Kidzroom is a very visual brand, with recognizable d e s i g n s originating from the Scandinavian and Dutch design culture. The brand values are focused on experience and style. With Kidzroom Vodabag aims to empower kids to explore more and bring a moment of happiness to the life of kids and parents alike. Kidzroom is positioned in the market as a quality brand for an affordable price, squarely in the mid-market and with a very strong online distribution. The brand targets new parents with babies 0 – 4 years old, and parents with kids from 4-8 years old. The brand is carried by customers including Zalando, bol.com, Jollyroom, Babydump, DreamLand, BabySam, Kleertjes.com, Prenatal, Otto Group, Amazon, Wehkap and Babypark. This year Vadobag has released a licensing program for the brand. Currently they are in contact with several licensees from the Netherlands to introduce licensed products in the market in 2022. License Connection is an independent Licensing Agency & Consultancy Company with more than 20 years of experience in the Licensing Industry. Partnering with National and International Brand Owners by representing their rights in the Benelux and in Europe. Their personal and pro-active approach creates longstanding partnerships and successful campaigns in Retail and Consumer markets.
On of License Connection’s brands is Art Wise, and theirr IP Allie the Ellie. Allie the Ellie, designed by the Dutch creator, Ellen Langendam is a character especially for the little ones. Allie the Ellie has made a good start with its current daily exposure on NPO Zappelin, broadcasting Series I and II. They are working on new developments of Series III as well as an App, which will be an App based on intuition only. Furthermore they are currently discussing potential licensed products and a potential cinema event. Allie the Ellie will be ready for International distribution and is represented by License Connection for all International Licensing opportunities. Rainbow Pets is a new Dutch design brand, developed by TM Essentials and represented by License Connection. It is based on the story about little pets playing in the backyard and saw a rainbow. They ran into the rainbow and played with all the colors and turned into Rainbow Pets. Girls are really excited to have their pets coloured as a rainbow. And with Rainbow Pets this will be possible It is Rainbowlicious. License Connection is looking forward to cooperating with 3rd parties throughout Europe. The property is targeted at girls aged 5 to 10 years old. BN Licensing BV report that Loeki the Lion is celebrating his 50th anniversary this year. Loeki was born in 1971 and created by designer and puppet animation producer Joop Geesink. In 1972 Loeki started his successful career at the STER, (Stichting Ether Reclame), where he featured in more than 7.000 four-second animated clips over a period of 32 years.
From 1976 to 1986 he was also known as “Le petit Lion” on the French national television channel TF1 where he taught the French audience his typical expression Asjemenou and brought Voila back to the Netherlands. Recent years have seen Loeki as a full page cartoon in Okki, as the mascot of the Huis ten Bosch theme park in Japan, and as the recipient of the Gouden Loeki audience award for best commercial and featuring in the Carnival Festival in family park De Efteling (The Netherlands). Commercially he was hired to appear in advertising campaigns for supermarkets Edah and C-1000 and Samsung Nederland. This year Loeki will return to STER in his short animated films, featuring in commercial breaks on the Dutch national channels 1, 2 and 3. Commenting, STER director Frank Volmer said, “STER is a fan of Loeki and sees itself inextricably linked to the little lion because of their shared history.” Loeki will also start his TV appearances in Spring this year which is an important advertising year for many brands with sporting events like the Duropean Football Championships followed by the Tour de France and the Olympic Games in Japan. Loeki has been given a new look by Geesink Studio for his return.
Interview: Daphne Kellerman Daphne Kellerman heads up License Connection which has been a leading light in the Benelux region since it was formed in 2002. Becky Ash caught up with Daphne Kellerman to find out more. “License Connection is a highly proactive agency with a number of long lasting partnerships including Discovery Entertainment (Animal Planet, Eurosport and Discovery) which we have represented for over ten years.” explained Daphne Kellerman. “We have also represented Bing from Acamar for four years and, until the recent changes, represented Hasbro for ten years and eOne for eight years.” Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, License Connection signed a number of new brands and is looking forward to developing these over the coming years. One sector that is key for the company is publishing. License Connection now represents a number of bookbased properties including The Gruffalo, Paddington and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In addition, they have recently signed Walker Publishing for Guess How Much I Love You, Maisy and We are Going on a Bear Hunt. A further recent signing is Moonbug/ The Point 1888 for all their brands which include Cocomelon, Blippi and Morphie. “We are very proud to work with both teams,” explained Daphne Kellerman. “The Benelux is strong on the online side, both in terms of streaming and consumer products, so we are ready to create new licensing partnerships.” License Connection has also signed Chefclub, the online food and cookery brand which generates over a billion organic monthly views across all platforms around the world. Chefclub talks to more than 95 million followers across the globe and reaches more than 200 million people monthly by tailoring content to fit with each social platform’s DNA. Chefclub’s performance is very well balanced across all platforms and children, teenagers, men and women find a reason
looking forward to going to physical shows again. The licensing industry is an industry where we are all at our best if we see each other and, literally connect; where you can touch and feel the brands and talk to the people behind these brands. It’s all about connecting and that’s what we are all about at License Connection!”
LICENSE CONNECTION SIGNS MOONBUG ENTERTAINMENT to engage with their content – they are leaders on all social networks: on Tiktok talking to teenagers, on Snapchat, with young adults; with women on Facebook and Instagram, and so on. Bing has been a License Conection success story and the program has grown to include seventeen partners now. Product ranges range from toys and creative products to apparel and health and beauty products. License Connection works closely with local retailers and are delighted with Bing’s sell-through, both in physical stores and, more so since the pandemic, online. Daphne Kellerman commented on the brands that they represent.“As a company we are very proud that we represent such a variety of brands – from Baby (Allie the Ellie, a local Dutch brand) and pre-school (Bing and Cocomelon) to classic book brands (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Gruffalo, Paddington) to Millennial brands such as Bouffant & Broken Hearts of Kendra Dandy and Chefclub.” Daphne Kellerman sees huge potential in the Benelux region. “With a 30 million population, people in the Benelux countries are early adapters. Online streaming is very accepted and growing and online consumer product sales are show tremendous growth.” And the future? “We are very much
License Connection has extended its brand portfolio with Moonbug Entertainment Ltd., thanks to an appointment by its Master Agency, The Point.1888. Moonbug Entertainment, one of the largest digital media companies in the world, has a portfolio, rich with some of the biggest children’s brands in the world.The portfolio achieves approximately 6.5 billion digital views per month across YouTube, Sky, Netflix and other platforms. As a part of this relationship, License Connection will oversee the development and distribution of products for three key Moonbug properties, CoComelon, Blippi and My Magic Pet Morphle, in the Benelux market. By connecting new partners and existing licensees in relation to local retailers, License Connection will build a solid licensing program in the Benelux. CoComelon is the number one kids’YouTube channel in the world and teaches children how to take on everyday activities with a positive attitude and enthusiasm. Kids can easily relate to the universal themes and everyday narratives such as eating your vegetables, learning to tie your shoes and getting ready for bed. Blippi is another of Moonbug’s most popular brands with over 12 billion views worldwide. Blippi is a fun and playful character who educates and entertains 2-6-year-olds. With over 18 million subscribers around the world, My Magic Pet Morphle follows a magical friendship between a little girl, Mila, and her pet, Morphle, who can morph into anything - a sweet puppy, a giant truck, a cool dinosaur or anything that Mila’s playful mind can imagine. As the lead agent for the Benelux region, License Connection is now part of an EMEA wide brand licensing programme. “We are excited to work together with such innovative companies as Moonbug Entertainment and The Point.1888.The content of the Series combined with its digital distribution are a new, fresh and powerful combination that will strongly resonate with young families in both Holland and Belgium.We are very much looking forward to cooperate close together with both teams,” said Daphne Kellerman, owner of License Connection. Commenting on the new partnership, Gabbi Langdorf, Senior International and Brand Manager at The Point.1888, said: “For a brand licensing programme of this scale and stature, we wanted to have the world’s best agents on side. License Connection really understands the new digital world that kids live in and that properties on Youtube, Netflix, Amazon and others can have just as successful a launch at retail as those on a traditional broadcaster, if not more so.”
By Alice Yang, Licensing Project Manager, China Toy & Juvenile Products Association email@example.com and Charles Sun
Spring Festival: Golden Week for Licensing in China The Spring Festival is the most important traditional festival in China, like Christmas in the West. It is an important festival for brand marketing and sales, as well as for the distribution of film and television entertainment content. In the Spring Festival of 2021, the li-
censing industry in China witnessed a highlighted holiday week. A new total box office record was set, reaching RMB 7.8 billion in a week. Films and network entertainment programs were really enjoyed by many young audiences.
Chinese films better prepared for licensing Several new Chinese films were released during the 2021 Chinese New Year holiday. A welcome change for these films was when the movies were on at the cinema, their licensing products also launched in the market at the same time. A detective comedy film series entitled Detective Chinatown 3 was one of the most popular movies during the Spring Festival week and was responsible for an excellent performance in terms of licensing business too. Chen Sicheng, the director and producer of
the Detective Chinatown series, commented that his wish is to build up a characters’ kingdom for Detective Chinatown in the way that the heroes from Marvel have. During this Spring Festival, Detective Chinatown 3 and an e-commerce giant company JD.com launched promotional campaigns both online and offline. Also, Detective Chinatown 3 licensed merchandise, including toys, digital products, board and role-playing games and gifts, were promoted as part of the campaign. It was only a few years ago that the income from Chinese films relied heavily on their box office receipts and ignored the mer-
TOTAL LICENSING chandising opportunities. Now they are catching up very quickly. Animated Chinese films also performed well in terms of licensing. During the Spring Festival, Boonie Bears: The Wild Life, the seventh film in the series, was enjoyed by many families, and continued the positive reputation that it has built up since 2012. The producer, Fantawild, one of the top local licensors in the Chinese market, is strong in terms of theme parks, cartoon series, animation films, and licensing. Another Chinese animation film Nezha Rebirth, produced by Light Chaser Animation, also became also widely known in licensing. Nezha Rebirth
and China’s popular art toy company POP MART produced several sets of designer toys for the movie. What is interesting is that POP MART, listed on the Hong Kong stock market last winter, was also one of the movie’s production companies. The line between licensor and licensee is becoming vague. And the most popular movie entitled Hi, Mom set many records at the box office, and also led to an industrial zone area in Hubei Provence, where the film was shot, to become a popular tourist destination. Over 10 thousand tourists came to visit the factory every day, a perfect opportunity for local themed tourism, which has become a hot topic in recent years.
Traditional Chinese culture became popular on social networks A dance program entitled Palace Banquet in Tang Dynasty hit the headlines quickly after it was performed at the Henan Province Spring Festival Gala
2021. It was hotly discussed by audiences on social network because of its traditional cultural creativity. The creativity of the characters in the show comes from the Tang Dynasty artifacts collected in the museum - named the Tang Dynasty figurines which have a history of nearly a thousand years. The actresses in the show imitated the ancient sculptures from the museum and added dramatic body language to them. What’s more, the program applied AR technology to integrate many national treasures and cultural relics into stage background, such as a famous Chinese painting Thousands of Miles of Mountains and Rivers with a history of more than 900 years. After years of encouraging Chinese museums to explore the potential of the licensing business, more and more museums have started to tap into licensing industry. As a result of the popular discussion about the dancing program, Henan Museum initiated a Palace Banquet in Tang Dynasty HandPainting Contest on social network, in which many Tang Palace characters were created by talented citizens. Many amongst the dance show’s young audiences also left floods of messages on social network, asking Henan Museum to produce or license more cultural products based on the Tang figurines. On request, Henan Museum acted very quickly and launched a mystery toy box set for collectible figures, themed around Palace Banquet in Tang Dynasty, two weeks later.
dia methods as well as licensed products, can all mix together to bring an experience to the modern generation. Both movie and art licensing are trendy and fashionable in China, and more high-end consumers prefer to choose those products to identify with their lifestyle and taste. Licensing is a promising industry in China and, of course, so is the China Licensing Expo. From October 19th to October 21st, licensors of animation, films, museums, art and other categories will gather again at the 15th edition of the China Licensing Expo at the Shanghai New International Expo Center in order to promote the continued development of the licensing business. After fifteen years of development, China Licensing Expo is widely recognized as the most effective channel to understand the licensing market, promote brands, and expand a licensing business in China and Asia.
During the Spring Festival this year, Chinese features and content raised further attention from the public. Chinese cartoons, animation, films and traditional Chinese cultural content, modern technology and multiple me-
An Extremely Unique Brand Total Licensing takes a look at the many layers of EXTREME
EXTREME is a unique brand that lives at the nexus of sports, entertainment and lifestyle. This is realised through the integrated approach that encompasses strategy, design, development, and management of some of the world’s most innovative destinations, spectacular events, entertaining media, and engaging brand campaigns - as well as a strong commitment to real change and sustainability in the environment and the world around us. In fact, EXTREME joined the United Nations for climate action, an initiative to help ensure a path is forged to achieve carbon neutrality and to drive awareness, and with a commitment to be sustainable, EXTREME is signed up to Planet Mark to measure impact, which is a sustainability certification for every type of organisation. The brand’s vision is to ‘drive positive changes through extreme and adven-
ture sports – and has a mass appeal around the globe. In operation for over 25 years, the EXTREME sports channel launched 1999 in operation for over 25 years and the brand has gone on to grow to over a 20-million strong community. Through supporting over 125 ambassadors, activation, and sponsorship of over 80 events
Annually, EXTREME’S media network delivers over 50 million video views monthly. The brand and marketing activity inspires, supports and promotes all of EXTREME’s activities. So what’s next for the brand that appeals to many different generations, has its roots in sport and adventure and is using its platform to make real global changes? Extreme has its headquarters in London, with bases in central Europe, Asia and the Middle East, including Dubai. Increasingly, eyes have turned to Saudi Arabia. The tourism and adventure sport industry are a focus for EXTREME. Founder Chief Exectuvie Officer Alstair Gosling sits on the International Advisory Board of the Saudi Arabian
Qiddiya project, which plans to transform the village of Qiddiya, located South of Riyadh into a world hub for sport, leisure and entertainment. The project in Qiddiya draws upon EXTREME’S experience in adventure sports travel and will use the partnership to promote tourism to the new city which is set to be built as part of the Saudi government’s Vision 2030 project. While the pandemic has presented challenges for the sports, entertainment and adventure travel industries, EXTREME reports an increase in people’s desire to return to the brand’s core beliefs, which are to entertain, inspire, explore and experience. EXTREME sees this through its interaction across its social media platforms – the company reports an additional 74,000 facebook followers from March 2020 – March 2021. In fact, its social media channels including Instagram and TikTok reach hundreds of thousands. The Coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges for the sports, entertainment and adventure travel industry but despite this we have seen an increase in desire for people wanting to return to EXTREME’s core beliefs, which are to entertain, inspire, explore and experience. Of course, EXTREME has a long and successful licensing program around the brand, extending from apparel to mobile networks and much more – and it is clear to see how it will appeal to and play a strong part in the lives of new generations as well.
Hamleys: an iconic UK Toy Retailer at Crossroads Founded in 1760, Hamleys has become famous worldwide for its brick-andmortar stores, captivating experiences as well as eye-catching shop windows. However, it has faced an increasing struggle to survive in recent years failing to make a profit for some time in the UK. The company’s accounts for 2019 reported a loss of nearly £10m on revenue of around £48m. In August 2020, it also parted ways with its UK chief executive only after seven months in the role. Like many stores deemed non-essential closed to curb the spread of COVID-19 around the world, its London flagship store was forced to close during lockdowns and even when trading, the lack of tourism and lower consumer footfall have made a big impact on sales while the big chunk of office workers have continued to stay away. In October 2020, the company made 60 (out of 208 staff) redundancies from its Regent Street flagship as a result of the negative effects caused by COVID-19. The ongoing pandemic has also delayed its plans to refurbish the seven-storey store which has become a key attraction in the West End for tourists. Ecommerce offers a glimpse of hope Despite the gloomy brick-and-mortar sales, it was reported that Hamleys’ online sales have been ‘through the roof’. The retailer was a relative latecomer to multichannel retailing, which means rivals have managed to bypass it with stronger cross-channel propositions. In December 2020, it was announced that the toy store was preparing to launch its entire range of products on eBay’s marketplace as it hopes to modernise and expand its online presence selling over 1,600 products via the online marketplace. Office for National Statistics (ONS) data highlights that in January 2021, the proportion of online sales within
total retailing reached a record high of 35.2% up from 19.5% a year ago, a true reflection of the impact the pandemic has had on British consumer behaviours. According to ONS, the proportion of online in non-food stores, which also includes toy specialists, jumped to 39.4%due largely to the imposed lockdown and the forced closure of non-essential shops in the UK. The store experience is one of Hamleys’ USPs differentiating it from rivals making its outlets a destination in their own right. This approach also enables the company to command high prices. Considering the forced store closures, the restrictions on its signature instore interactive toy demonstrations/ puppet shows due to the pandemic, the retailer has a steep hill to climb when it tries to make up for the loss trade through online sales.
quires an understanding of the new consumer. Going forward, like many other retailers, Hamleys will need to be much more agile, continue to invest in online services ensuring a seamless shopping experience for its customers. The company may also have to adopt a completely new pricing strategy to increase sales and be able to compete with Amazon and other online retailers. These are undoubtedly transformative times and Hamleys UK will either adapt and become a viable/profitable business as a result of it or fail to address the shifting consumer priorities at its peril.
By Utku Tansel LLB, MBA, Analyst Utku has 17 years of success in driving global thought leadership, project and content management, delivering strategic business intelligence and insight to major international companies. Throughout his career, he has led many global research programs across a wide range of diverse industries including Toys & Games, Licensed Consumer Products, Consumer Electronics, Apparel and Footwear, Homewares and Home Furnishings and Personal Accessories and Eyewear and he has always been a firm believe of ‘knowledge is power.’ https://www.linkedin. com/in/utku-tansel-llbmba-982316351 *https://www.totallicensing. com/retail-and-e-commercethe-impact-of-covid-19-inthe-uk
Sink or swim As I also highlighted in my “Retail and E-commerce: The Impact of COVID-19 in the UK” Opinion piece previously*, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed shopping behaviour completely in the UK making a profound effect on the retail industry. One of UK Proportion (%) of Online Sales in Total Retail and Non-Food the biggest outcomes is the Stores (inc toy specialists). Value, Jan 2019 - Jan 2021 accelerated shift to online 50 48 which has resulted in boom46 44 ing e-commerce while tradi42 tional shopping experiences 40 38 are challenged. For consum36 ers, a shopping day out will 34 32 continue to be a leisure ac30 tivity and it will increasingly 28 26 be a choice rather than a 24 22 necessity. Overall, the retail 20 landscape will be leaner, the 18 16 battle for consumer atten14 tion will be fierce and even 12 10 if the economy recovers, 2019 Jan 2019 May 2019 Sep 2020 Jan 2020 May 2020 Sep 2021 Jan consumers will remain value conscious. Total retail excl fuel Non-Food Stores The future of retail reSource: Office for National Statistics, UK. Monthly Business Survey
Differentiating Classic vs Studio Versions of a Property By: Gregory J. Battersby
BOOK AVAILABLE! THE BUSINESS OF LICENSING The Essential Guide for Intellectual Properties Licensing has has exploded into a $250+ billion worldwide industry at retail and generates more than $7 billion in royalty income for those property owners who are savvy enough to license their properties for a wide variety of consumer products. About 8 years ago, lawyer Gregory J Battersby and licensing veteran Danny Simon introduced the first Basics of Licensing book. They published a revised version a couple of years later and followed it with a Licensee edition and then finally an International edition. Recognizing that there was a degree of commonality between these editions, Battersby and Simon concluded that it was time for the definitive work on licensing, hence, The Business of Licensing which combines the best of all three prior editions and takes the subject to the next level. This book takes the reader through the nuts and bolts of how to conduct a licensing program and handle many of the problems that it might face There is a substantial amount of reference material. They have included an expanded history of merchandising, and an extensive collection of the forms that any licensing professional may need which they intend to provide to purchasers with electronic access to the forms via Dropbox. The Complete Business of Licensing is available at a cost of $39.95 ($34.95) for LI members). https://www.totallicensingworld.com/ site/business_of_licensing
Gregory J. Battersby Battersby Law Group, LLC 25 Poplar Plains Rd. Westport, CT 06880 (203) 454-9646 firstname.lastname@example.org www.gbiplaw.com 78
The ultimate objective for most property owners, particularly the owners of a character property, is to license their rights for a motion picture, television series, or other entertainment vehicles. The belief is that the increased exposure that the motion picture or television show will help drive sales of the underlying licensing revenue. That is certainly true. The issue, however, is how is that accomplished, i.e., how does one align the original licensing program for the classic property with a new one involving the entertainment version. Most studios look at merchandising revenue as a way to help fund the motion picture or television show and, as such, will demand a piece of resultant licensing revenue. That is easily handled if there is no existing licensing revenue from the classic version but it becomes a problem, albeit a happy problem, where the classic version of the property was already generating licensing revenue. The problem is not an uncommon one since a strong licensing program involving the classic character was probably the very reason why the studio was first attracted to the property. So, the question presented is how to balance the licensing revenues derived from studio licensing vs. classic licensing programs? That is almost always a matter of negotiation. The first step is to differentiate the two versions of the property, i.e., classic vs. studio or entertainment version. This is typically accomplished by the studio and property owner developing a unique version of the property that will be featured in the motion picture or television show. We see that all the time involving characters that were created in print media, e.g., comic books or other publications, that are translated into motion pictures. Many retain their names but that can change, e.g., the classic ARCHIE comic book characters became featured in the Netflix series RIVERDALE by Warner Bros. with the same basic characters and names but with a different look and feel. The studio may also develop a unique logo for the motion picture to differentiate it from the classic property. For example, years ago Paramount Pictures released the GREASE motion picture that was based on the original Broadway show. Paramount devel-
oped a unique logo for the GREASE motion picture that was used to support its licensing program. The style guides for the two versions become the “bible” for differentiation. The two licensing programs can operate simultaneously provided each restricts their use to the version of the property in their respective style guide. Once the properties are differentiated, the negotiations begin as to how licensing revenues will be shared. For the studio version, there will typically be a sharing between the studio and the property owner, frequently after the deduction of expenses or an agent commission. The splits can be anywhere from 50/50 of the net revenues to as high as 80/20 in favor of one of the parties which will depend upon the strength of the property. These revenues are usually shared for a predefined period, e.g., six to nine months before the release of the motion picture to a year or more after release. During this time, the property owner may continue to license the classic version of the property unabated but the parties may agree to pause the classic licensing while studio merchandise is being sold so as not to have potentially competing merchandise in the market. In some cases, the studio may look to obtain a piece of the classic licensing revenues under the theory that the motion picture or television series will result in increased exposure for the classic property and, as such, the studio should be entitled to a piece of the classic licensing revenues. To quote one famous studio executive “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Then again, that is always negotiable; there are too many examples of a high-profile entertainment disappointment harming a classic licensing program. To compound the problem, if the classic licensing was done by a licensing agent, the agent may seek to obtain a piece of the pie from the studio’s licensing efforts, although that might be a bridge too far in some negotiations. In any event, there are no set standards for how licensing revenues are shared and it is almost always the subject of negotiation with the same goal--to use the entertainment vehicle to raise the stature of the property across all channels of trade to a new audience, creating increased relevance and revenue for years to come.
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Diversity is at the Core, Not an Add-On
“Diversity isn’t something you get to when you aren’t focusing on the rest of the business. It is now very much the state of the business.”
That assertion from Marva Smalls, Global Head of Inclusion and EVP, Public Affairs, Kids & Family Entertainment Brands at ViacomCBS, encapsulated one of several themes running through the virtual Licensing International workshop, “Advancing Diversity in the Licensing Business,” earlier this year. (Licensing International has a D&I toolkit available for download.) While the subject of diversity and inclusion (D&I) is often tied to race and gender, the discussion has evolved over time to include such areas as sexual orientation, physical disabilities and others. The overarching goal: to achieve, in the words of one participant, “diversity of thought” that impacts decision-making. It’s also important to note that “diversity” differs from country to country, and from culture to culture. It’s means one thing in Australia, another in Brazil, has other elements in Germany, and is defined entirely differently in Japan. How the principles of D&I are applied depends on how one defines the dominant groups, and those whose voices have more trouble being heard. During the webinar, D&I issues were approached from a number of angles, including communication with employees and recruiting new talent; identifying and addressing new business opportunities; establishing goals and measuring (and incentivizing) individuals’ and the organization’s progress; and creating a structure to achieve those goals. “It really comes from the top,” said Richelle Parham, Managing Director at the venture capital firm West
“I need you to recognize that a significant number of your subscribers are people of color, and they’re loyal, so why not have people in the business who can speak for them and might market to them a little differently because they recognize they have some similarity in culture.” Payne Brown, President of the NBA Players Assocation’s Think450
River Group. “You have to have a diverse board [and] executive team and then that needs to get pushed down through the organization. The other thing we know, at least form the organizations that I’ve been in, is that if it’s not part of someone’s goals, they don’t actually do it.” Or, as Smalls succinctly observed: “What gets measured gets done, what gets done gets rewarded and what gets rewarded gets repeated.” “If your leadership doesn’t look like the people you serve,” Parham continued,” you actually have a problem. Because the decisions that are going to be made at the company level need to be based who you are actually serving, and creating the right type of content to not only deliver what they are looking for but to give them other options.” But it takes a conscious effort to broaden the perspective, from establishing internal employee resource groups (as is the case at ViacomCBS) to going outside one’s natural comfort zone in hiring. “Don’t always go to your own Rolodex,” said Pam Kaufman, President of ViacomCBS Consumer Products.
“Really be intentional about meeting new people. We need to bring fresh talent into this industry; too often people dial [who they] know, and that creates homogenous teams.” It’s just good business. Payne Brown, President of the National Basketball Players Association’s Think450 licensing arm, recalled his days in the Comcast executive suite, when he often was faced with making “the business case” for employee diversity: “I need you to recognize that a significant number of your subscribers are people of color, and they’re loyal, so why not have people in the business who can speak for them and might market to them a little differently because they recognize they have some similarity in culture.” Whatever business you’re in, he continued, “you not only have to understand who your audience is, but the question is do you value that audience? Do you respect their culture? Do you speak to them in a language they understand?” That “language” may be music, he said, pointing to the production of the NBA 2K videogame. But those lines are blurring. As Parham noted, “Because of the internet,YouTube, TikTok and Instagram, [kids] can actually choose the content they want to consume. And when you look at the music they’re listening to, the content they’re viewing, they’re actually choosing to look across diverse content.” Or, as Steven Wolfe Pereira, CEO of Encantos Media Studios, put it: “It’s not about multicultural marketing, it’s about marketing to a multicultural nation.”
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News from the market .....................................................85 Merchantwise Minecraft ........................................................................90 Xbox ................................................................................92 Halo .................................................................................92 Activision .........................................................................92 Call of Duty.....................................................................94 Crash Bandicoot.............................................................94 emoji..................................................................................96 Sonic the Hedgehog .....................................................98 Pac Man ....................................................................... 100 Sony Pictures................................................................ 100 Ghostbusters................................................................ 102 Cobra Kai...................................................................... 102 Schitt’s Creek............................................................... 102 Miraculous ................................................................... 104 Gruffalo.......................................................................... 104 Kiri and Lou ................................................................ 106 The Elf on the Shelf .................................................. 106 May Gibbs ................................................................... 110 Blinky Bill ...................................................................... 112
Popeye .......................................................................... 112 The Phantom .............................................................. 112 London Underground ................................................ 113 AC/DC ........................................................................... 113 David Bowie ................................................................ 113 Manhead ..................................................................... 113 What do kids spend money on? ................................. 114 Cover Story:ViacomCBS captivating kids across Australia and NZ ............ 116 Disney – optimism, activity, connections and joy ..... 120 Haven Global – market update .................................. 122 The NFL and UFC in Australia ..................................... 124 Moose – making kids Superhappy! ........................... 125 Tips for licensing trademarks in the toy market...... 126 Amscan – A host of newness! ...................................... 128
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BLUE CHIP BRANDS ANNOUNCES NEW MINIONS HELP DEALS ACROSS PORTFOLIO SURF LIFE SAVING Specialist brand licensing company, Blue Chip Brands has brokered a number of new deals for clients that will see products introduced at retail throughout 2021. The Ford consumer products program continues to flourish across Australia and New Zealand with some new apparel and accessory programs set to launch throughout the year. A vintage inspired range of apparel and headwear will be available through premium retailers including General Pants & David Jones as well as selling internationally through Urban Outfitters and fashion boutiques in Japan. Cotton On will also debut a range of apparel and accessories for men and boys through its’ global store footprint midway through 2021. For something a little different, Unique Wrought Iron will be developing a range of doors with wrought iron logo detailing, perfect for the entrance to the man cave, cinema room or garage. Steve McQueen, also popularly known as ‘the king of cool,’ was the ultimate man’s man and will feature on a range of apparel and accessories through a brand collaboration with Australian label, Mr Simple, and will be sold through department stores, Mr Simple stores and apparel boutiques nationally. Mr Simple is also collaborating with American high performance automotive brand Shelby which featured so prominently in the recent movie hit Ford v Ferrari for a collection of apparel and headwear. Iconic Los Angeles athletic footwear brand LA Gear is set to be reintroduced to Australasian consumers through deals negotiated by Blue Chip Brands. The brand which ranked third in sales in the early 1990s (behind only Nike & Reebok) and with brand ambassadors including Karl Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jackson, Belinda Carlisle, Heather Locklear & Paula Abdul will be reimagined across a range of footwear in addition to apparel and accessory collections. Finally, the merchandise program for Australian illustrator Steven Rhodes continues to gather momentum domestically and internationally through deals brokered by global agent – Blue Chip Brands. Cotton On has inked an international deal to feature the illustrations across a variety of product categories through its TYPO stores.
This Summer, Surf Life Saving Australia teamed up with Illumination and Universal Brand Development to create a range of free, downloadable educational activity sheets and posters featuring the Minions. Surf Life Saving exists to save lives and build better communities. Despite significant advancements in technology, techniques and knowledge, people still drown off the Australian coast in unacceptable numbers. SLSA is motivated to create new and engaging ways to educate Australian families about beach safety and this summer SLSA and the Minions are on a mission to keep Aussie families safe by sharing these new beach safety resources. SLSA General Manager Coastal Safety, Shane Daw ESM said that the partnership presented a great opportunity to extend the importance of beach safety to all members of the community. “Illumination’s Despicable Me franchise has become a global pop culture phenomenon and we know Australian families love the Minions. SLSA is thrilled to have collaborated with Illumination and Universal Brand Development to create these fun, free educational materials that make learning about beach safety fun for Aussie kids,” said Mr Daw. “Seeing the Minions dressed in our iconic red and yellow uniform is sure to raise smiles across the country but also drive home those important beach safety messages for parents and children alike.” SLSA is proud to have partnered with Illumination and Universal Brand Development to make sun and beach safety messages accessible to all ages.
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SUSTAINABILITY FROM CAPRICE Sustainability is at the forefront of what Caprice Australia does. Which is why they are excited to share their new Vegemite range available at BIG W. The apparel is made from Australian Cotton in collaboration with Cotton Australia. Australian Cotton is a natural fibre grown by local Aussie farmers who carefully nurture their plants from seed to harvest, using leading sustainable practices. Through the use of Australian cotton, they are able to help support these farmers and their rural communities all while creating quality products that are perfect for every member of the family. Caprice are proud to be supporting Aussie brands and Aussie farmers. The Vegemite range can be found instore and online at Big W Australia Caprice is passionate about becoming a leader in sustainability and are committed to a sustainable future for their business, their people, the environment and the communities in which they operate. To ensure their sustainability commitment is met, they have developed a Sustainability Strategy that will guide their actions for the next five years and provide the foundation for continuous improvement. The Caprice sustainability strategy is supported by four pillars. Environment: To reduce Caprice’s environmental impacts, both in their operations and the products supplied to the market, while harnessing the new opportunities in sustainable products and sustainable product design. Ethical Sourcing: To uplift the Caprice Ethical sourcing program so that it will maintain its position as a best in class program. People: To reinforce their commitment to a workplace which lives the values of integrity and respect, diversity and inclusion, and employee wellbeing. Community: To build on the commitment of Caprice and Caprice team members to community giving and supporting the communities in which they operate.
SELFIES BRING A SMILE As the COVID-19 virus appeared and spread and the whole world seemed to be put on hold it has been a good time to reflect at where we are and what we are doing. As the news has been totally dominated with lock-downs, masks, social distancing and hospital reports it has been nice to see new Selfie installations in children’s wards, schools, dentist and veterinary surgeries and doctors waiting rooms intending to create a calming space in these stressful situations. The brand new Dubbo Base Hospital in NSW, Australia have recently revealed a new Selfie mural installation in their Medical Imaging Department. Not surprisingly the lock down had created a renewed interest in hobbies and crafts with jigsaw puzzles becoming one of the go to activities to fill in the time and keep people sane, many stores running out of stock.
HUNTER PRODUCTS SIGN FOR TOIKIDO ‘Among Us’, the video game taking over the world, is set to become even more popular Down-under! Thanks to an exciting new partnership between Toikido and Hunter Products, crew mates and impostors from Australia & New
Zealand will have access to all the latest Among Us toys! General Manager of Hunter Products, James Hunter says kids can expect to see action figures, collectables, plush, playsets, RC and much more on shelves in Australia and New Zealand very soon. “Judging by the hype around this game worldwide, we predict Among Us to be one of the hottest brands of 2021. We are delighted to partner with Darran and his team. Brands like this don’t come around often,” commented James Hunter. Among Us first launched in 2018 by US Software company Innersloth. In October alone, the mobile version of the game was downloaded more than 85 million times according to Sensor Tower. Research from SuperData shows it had about half a billion active users last November. CEO of Toikido, Darran Garnham is excited about the partnership with Hunter Products and commented, “I am really pleased to be with the Hunter team again.Their experience and passion for Among Us made them the perfect distribution partner for Toikido in Australasia.”
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RYAN AND DIANA TAKING THE WORLD BY STORM!
Centa IP is representing two of the hottest YouTube influencers today across Australia & New Zealand. Centa IP represents pocket.watch in Australia and New Zealand and represent five of the top Youtube creators globally. Ryan’s World sales growth continued to defy the odds during the pandemic reaching nearly a $500m sales in over 50 categories and 5000 SKU’s. Pocket. watch, the studio partner for Ryan’s World has continued to develop the brand to create newness, differentiation and exclusivity while expanding it beyond the YouTube channel and aiming to make Ryan’s World THE number one global brand for kids 4-8. In Australia the Ryan’s World YouTube channel regularly achieves up to 28 million views a month and up to 5 million views in New Zealand (December 2020). But, Ryan’s World is not just a YouTube channel. Ryan’s World content has expanded to Amazon Kids+ with Super Spy Ryan which launched in November 2020 and in 2021 Ryan’s World content will be everywhere with specials, original content (Super Spy Ryan and Ryan’s Mystery Playdate) and Ryan & Friends. New consumer product programs through 2021 include Ryan’s World Tour with Ryan and his friends going on a World Tour visiting 80 countries and landmarks with lead retailer Big W launching in February 2021. Then in September 2021, Big W will launch Galaxy Explorers. In Australia and New Zealand, Ryan’s World is a stellar franchise and there’s more to come. The franchise is growing and the opportunities have never
been better. Centa IP will continue to build the brand with new and unique programs that are across all platforms and types of businesses, with more marketing and promotional support than ever before to ensure that they maximize business together. Centa IP has also recently launched pocket.watch’s newest franchise Love, Diana — The Princess of Play. Starring Diana from the YouTube channel Kids Diana Show, the second-largest YouTube channel in the world (Tubefilter 4th January, 2021), her massive global reach across her YouTube channels has garnered over 166 million subscribers and over 85 billion lifetime views since the first channel launched in 2015. In Australia Kids Diana Show’s meteoric rise has captivated over 26 million monthly viewers and over 4 million in New Zealand in December 2020. Six-year-old Ukrainian-born Diana takes viewers on adventures, with her brother Roma and parents Olena and Volodymyr. Fans of the Kids Diana
Show channels are seeing the new “Love, Diana” brand come to life, with elements of it woven naturally into the core Kids Diana Show channel, creating a more diverse video experience. Targeted to children between ages 2-7, the Love, Diana lifestyle product line encompasses the core characteristics of imagination, playfulness, creativity, empowerment and friendship that Diana’s audience appreciates. In October last year Headstart’s range of dolls and Mitch Dowd’s apparel launched in Australia and New Zealand and sales are off to a strong start. Headstart dolls are already the number five (#5) girls toy in Big W with excellent sell through. Both Target and Kmart are committed to Diana for 2021 and will continue to support the Headstart range with confirmed exclusives for the remainder of the year. Pocket.watch has also extended the Love, Diana brand into mobile gaming on the heels of their pocket.watch games division’s success with Tag with Ryan which has garnered 12 million downloads and over 450,000 daily active users. The Love, Diana mobile game features a collection of fun minigames designed to empower kids to design their very own Princess of Play. It is available in the App Store and Google Play. Centa IP is looking to expand the license into other categories including games and puzzles, outdoor, health & beauty, jewelry, confectionery, wheeled/sports as well as STEAM.
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FREE BOOKS FOR KIDS INITIATIVE PARTNERS WITH SESAME WORKSHOP BIG W’s much loved Free Books for Kids program returned nationwide on Thursday 18 February, this time partnering with Sesame Workshop. Customers will enjoy the stories, featuring favourite Sesame Street characters, including Elmo, Grover, Abby Cadabby and Cookie Monster, that share inspiring messages for kids around individuality, dreaming big and understanding differences. Excitingly, some special friends of Sesame Street with a shared passion for reading and literacy are lending their support to BIG W’s program to help the stories reach even more families
across Australia. Olivia Newton-John, Rose Byrne, Rove McManus, Mitch Tambo, Gorgi Coghlan, Allison Langdon and Gyton Grantley are some of the well-known personalities who will be hosting storytime readings on BIG W’s YouTube channel and the BIG W Free Books for Kids Podcast.
Teresa Rendo, BIG W’s Acting Managing Director commented, “Reading is one of the most important and engaging tools to help with a child’s development, and BIG W is proud to partner with leaders in learning and literacy to deliver a collection of books that will not only teach kids valuable lessons about the world around them, but also foster a love of reading. The extension into video recordings and Podcasts also means families from all over Australia can enjoy these stories together.” Sesame Workshop’s mission is to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder, and according to Ed Wells, EVP and Head of Global Media and Education, Sesame Workshop, there are so many benefits to reading: “Reading builds school readiness, vocabulary, and comprehension skills; it allows the imagination to soar; and it creates bonding time for families. Simply, reading encourages a lifelong love of learning, something for which Sesame Street has done for over 50 years. We’re pleased to partner with BIG W, who is also committed to building healthy minds and futures of children in Australia, to make Sesame Street books available for free for families.” In addition to the 2.6 million Sesame Street books given away in stores and via streaming options, BIG W is further committed to making books for early learning accessible to even more Australians by donating another 40,000 to
the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation and Good360 for families living in remote and rural areas, and communities in need. Kim Kelly, ALNF Co-Founder and Executive Director says that children from disadvantaged backgrounds may experience barriers to literacy, which can have serious, life-long consequences: “Reading to your child is one of the greatest gifts you can give them, and we are excited to be part of a project that helps our children to develop into confident, autonomous and happy lifelong learners.Together with BIG W, we are working to share these fantastic books with the communities that need them the most .” Alison Covington, Founder and MD of Good360 says they are delighted to return as a partner of BIG W’s Free Books for Kids program: “We’ve seen first hand how this initiative from BIG W is making a real difference to families and we’re delighted to help give the gift of new books to children, some of whom generally don’t have access to such valuable resources.” Aussie families can collect each of the eight books from all BIG W stores weekly with no purchase necessary (available nationally while stocks last). Weekly storytime video readings will also be available on BIG W’s YouTube channel, and audio recordings on the ‘BIG W Free Books for Kids’ podcast which can be found on Acast, Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
NEW STREAMING DEALS FOR YUGIOH Continuing to expand its digital reach, Konami Cross Media NY, Inc. has secured new streaming/digital agreements for its flagship anime property Yu-Gi-Oh! in the United Kingdom and in Australia/New Zealand. AnimeLab, one of the premier stand-alone streaming platforms for anime in Australia and New Zealand, managed by Madman Entertainment, has added Yu-GiOh! Duel Monsters Seasons
1 - 5. AnimeLab, which offers a basic free and a premium subscription service, has amassed more than one million users since it launched more than six years ago. “AnimeLab is the ultimate destination and online streaming solution for anime fans Down Under,” commented Dean Prenc of Madman. “We are excited to expand our offerings with the Yu-GiOh! franchise.”
Established back in 1996 by a couple of self-confessed nerds, keen to share their passion for awesome content, Madman Entertainment is proudly independent, run by fans, for fans, and is still managed by founders Tim Anderson and Paul Wiegard. Madman showcases the best in collectible and special interest genres including Australian film, world cinema, TV, kids content, Anime, sports and more.
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Merchantwise Licensing is a leading brand licensing and merchandising agency in Australia and New Zealand, representing some of the world’s best loved brands in gaming, kids’ entertainment, film & television, music, icons & legends. The company is part of the Merchantwise Group, a fullservice brand extension and marketing agency based in Melbourne, Sydney, Paris and Tel Aviv. Merchantwise Licensing shares the latest news on its exciting portfolio of popular and emerging brands and properties.
Minecraft rules down under Minecraft is a cultural phenomenon and the best-selling video game of all time, selling over 200 million copies across all platforms. Appealing to a wide-ranging player base, the game has over 132 million monthly active users, the most watched game on YouTube in 2020 with over 200 billion views, and is played in every country in the world. Minecraft is very popular down under, rated by BrandTrends as the no. 1 video game brand for players 6 – 14 years in Australia. What started as a game has now evolved into a true evergreen entertainment franchise, comprising of education, live events, products as well as a movie on the horizon. In June 2021, Minecraft will launch its highly anticipated new core game update Caves & Cliffs. Eagerly requested by players, Caves & Cliffs introduces beautiful new underground experiences as well as scenic views from the mountaintops.
It presents gorgeous new cave biomes, from lush, plantfilled caves to icy, snowy depths. Players will be thrilled to meet new mobs such as the Axolotl and the intimidating Warden. The Minecraft community will be able to scale the tall, dramatic peaks of new terrain and meet mischievous goats that might head-butt them off a cliff! Minecraft merchandise is now available across all major Australian and New Zealand retailers, with BIG W, Target and EB Games leading the charge. In October 2020, EB Games launched a broad Minecraft collection designed for fans across the age spectrum. The range now includes apparel, accessories, homewares, stationery and gifting, all utilising new, never-before-seen Minecraft artwork.
In the same month, BIG W launched Australia’s first Minecraft cross category marketing event. The campaign featured product from partners including LEGO (construction toys); Mattel (action figures, playsets and roleplay); Banter Toys (J!NX plush and collectibles); Hunter Leisure (stationery), Funko (pop vinyl), Caprice (apparel and homewares), Zak! Australia (lunching, drinkware and home décor), Impact! (puzzles and gifting) and Harper Collins (publishing). In November 2020, Hunter Leisure launched the world’s first Minecraft outdoor sports range including bikes, skateboards, scooters and helmets. In January 2021, BIG W, Microsoft and Merchantwise Licensing also delivered the world’s first Minecraft augmented reality digital scavenger hunt, across all stores nationwide. Over 5,000 Aussie fans participated in the event, exploring BIG W stores and collecting clues in order to solve a puzzle. All players completing the game were rewarded with a $5 discount redemption code on their next Minecraft purchase. Back to School has never looked so good, with Clarks launching the world’s first range of Minecraft school shoes in early 2021. The extensive range for both boys and girls features subtle Minecraft detailing on the shoe, as well as a Minecraft themed box containing a hidden Minecraft collectible toy. The range was exclusively available from Clarks, Shoes and Sox, Myer, The Tribe, and Hannah’s in New Zealand.
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Celebrating 20 Years of Gaming 2021 marks the 20th Anniversary for gaming juggernaut Xbox. The popular console has over 100 million monthly active users and features first party game franchises including Halo, Forza and Gears of War. Xbox has a highly engaged audience with over 50 million followers across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Its popular subscription service Xbox Game Pass lets users access over one hundred high quality games for a single low monthly price and has proven successful with over 18 million subscribers. Eagerly anticipated new console Xbox Series X is the fastest and most powerful Xbox ever. Launched in November 2020, it quickly became the biggest console launch in Xbox history, selling out within the first 24 hours. More new consoles were sold during the launch than any previous generation consoles. In keeping with the success of the console, enthusiasm for the brand has been reflected in strong Xbox merchandise sales across categories including apparel, sleepwear, accessories, home and gifting. Leading Australian retail partners include BIG W, Target, EB Games and Best & Less. Huge Year for Halo in 2021 Xbox’s #1 exclusive franchise Halo also celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021. November will mark 20 years since the first game was released. Halo is the most recognised Sci-Fi video game franchise of all time, selling over 82 million games and generating over $US 5 billion in sales. In spring 2021, the legendary Halo series returns with the
biggest and most ambitious Halo game ever created. Halo Infinite will continue the saga of the Master Chief with stunning open world game play, new weapons, threats and free-to-play multiplayer universe. If that wasn’t exciting enough, the Halo Showtime original live action series is currently in production and coming soon. Directed by Otto Bathurst (Black Mirror, Robin Hood) and starring Pablo Schreiber (American Gods, First Man, Orange is the New Black) as the Master Chief, with Natascha McElhone (Californication, The Truman Show, Ronin) as Dr Halsey, and Jen Taylor (Voice actress, Cortana, Halo Franchise) as Cortana. Halo is very popular in licensing and merchandising, generating over $US 1.7 billion in merchandise sales to date. Aussie fans can expect to see an expanding range of products at retail. After overwhelming demand, Hasbro will release new Halo x Nerf blasters in the coming months. Other toys include action figures and vehicles from Wicked Cool Toys (distributed by Banter), Mega Construx sets from Mattel and costumes from Disguise (distributed by HeadStart). Other categories include older boys and men’s apparel, accessories and bedding (Caprice), drink and lunchware (Zak Australia), gifting (Rubber Road) and showbags (Bensons).
Activision is one of the world’s most successful interactive entertainment and gaming companies with hundreds of millions of monthly active users. The video game market is bigger than both music and the box office combined and is enjoying strong growth. For more than 40 years, Activision has been changing the way people play. In the process, Activision has built one of the largest portfolios of recognised brands, led by global giant Call of Duty and other well known gaming franchises Crash Bandicoot and Spyro. Merchantwise Licensing is now working with Activision to make commercial partnership opportunities available to licensees and retailers in Australia and New Zealand.
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Call of Duty breaks records in 2020 First launched in 2003, Call of Duty is the most successful video game franchise ever created in the USA and the third highest selling gaming franchise of all time. 2020 was a massive year for the Call of Duty franchise, setting new records and surpassing over $US 3 Billion in revenues. The franchise ecosystem comprises premium console and PC games (including the Modern Warfare and Black Ops series), free-to-play Warzone™ as well as Call of Duty: Mobile. New title Black Ops Cold War released worldwide in November 2020 and quickly became the number 1 selling game in the USA in 2020.
2020 and selling over 400,000 units in its first month. The title will also soon launch on the 12th of March globally on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch. With multi-generational appeal, Crash is loved by a growing Kidult audience of 25 – 40 year olds and a Gen Z audience aged 18-25 who is discovering Crash for the first time. With local representation from Merchantwise Licensing, fans can expect to see a growing range of consumer products featuring their favourite zany marsupial - including new collectibles, apparel and accessories. Other Activision classics Also now available for local licensing is Spyro, the mischievous little dragon that became a global gaming hit in the ‘90s on PlayStation.
Call of Duty has a strong global merchandising program, targeting adults 18+ and Merchantwise Licensing is now in the process of developing new partnerships and retail programs in Australia and NZ to support the continued growth of this powerhouse franchise. Priority categories include apparel and accessories, peripherals, publishing, stationery, homewares and collectibles. Crash is back and bigger than ever One of the world’s most iconic gaming mascots is a genetically enhanced bandicoot named Crash, synonymous with the launch of the first PlayStation in the nineties. With over 20 years of gaming heritage, Crash Bandicoot is as popular as ever with enduring sales of the original ‘90s trilogy (remastered and released in 2017) and Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled (2019). Now Crash is back in the long awaited new game Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, released on the PS4 in late
Spyro made his fiery return to gaming in November 2018 with release of the Spyro Reignited Trilogy on all leading gaming platforms. Unique merchandise and fashion capsule opportunities are now available across mass and specialty retailers. Activision has a long and storied history of creating some of the industry’s favourite classic video games, including Pitfall, Laser Blast, Freeway, Kaboom!, Megamania and River Raid. Merchantwise Licensing is pleased to now make the iconic Activision logo and intellectual property from these classic games available for licensing across fashion and other special merchandise applications.
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emoji® brings a smile in tough times 2020 was a turbulent year to say at the least. However, emoji® has helped to keep a smile on our faces. Catering to unprecedented demand for face masks and other hygienic care products, emoji® has appointed partners across the globe to fill the category in a humorous take. As well as brightening consumers faces during the pandemic, the new mask partnership with Vistaprint will see emoji® donate 10 percent of sales to help empower small businesses across the U.S. and Canada. Emojis are the ultimate universal expressive language over 6 billion are sent daily through messaging and social media platforms. Inspired by this phenomenon, the emoji® company was founded in 2013, creating an iconic lifestyle brand with an unprecedented global popularity. Today, the emoji® trademark is registered in over 100 territories across up to 30 classes of goods and services. There
are now more than 25,000 high vectorized icons available for licensing. emoji® has attracted more than 1,000 partners from all over the world, winning multiple awards. In Australia and New Zealand, the brand continues to be popular with partners across diverse categories, including fashion, publishing, automotive and FMCG. Internationally, emoji® continues to collaborate with iconic brands. The PUMA x emoji® collaboration was developed to showcase the way people communicate in the modern world. Designed through the lens of instant messaging, the collection pairs emoji® icons with bright colour combinations, creating a range that is young and vibrant. The collection includes footwear, apparel and accessories for both kids and adults.
Sustainability is becoming a focus for many brand owners and emoji® is right in the mix. emoji® have recently partnered with Canadian eco-focused brand, Greenre.Together they will launch new sustainable products that extend from stationery to activity, craft, novelty, office and select home products. The products will be made from recycled, natural materials, recyclables, non-toxic, bio-fibres, as well as new age biopolymers.
TOTAL LICENSING AUSTRALIA sold out. New stock will be delivered in 2021 and Nanobock be releasing new characters later in the year to celebrate the 30th anniversary. In September 2020, Peter Alexander launched its first Kids vs Dads sleepwear collection featuring Sonic the Hedgehog and SEGA to celebrate Father’s Day to the excitement for all Sonic fans.
30 years on, Sonic hits his prime SEGA’s Sonic is a billion-dollar franchise and one of the most popular and enduring video game characters of all time. Now the franchise is set to reach even greater heights with a new movie sequel, Netflix TV series, video games, toys and merchandise all in the works. Throughout 2021, SEGA will be celebrating Sonic’s 30th anniversary with new game content, a music concert with special guests and a wide array of new licensing and merchandising partnerships. The Sonic the Hedgehog movie starring Jim Carey released in February 2020 and achieved US$306M at the global box office, with a sequel already confirmed to whirl back onto our screens in April 2022.
Sonic Prime, a new 3D animated high octane adventure TV series, is currently in development by Man of Action Entertainment and WildBrain. The 24-episode series will release on Netflix some time in 2022. LEGO ideas recently announced that the Sonic Mania – Green Hill design has been approved for development and will become an official LEGO set. In Australia, the thirst for Sonic The Hedgehog continues at retail. The Sonic toy range from Jakks Pacific, distributed by Headstart into mass retailers and VR Distribution into independent toy retailers, sold out soon after release. New toys to celebrate the 30th anniversary will be launching in 2021. Kawada Japan’s Nanoblock range of Sonic pixel figurines launched globally in July 2020 to great fanfare and quickly
Other Australian licensees including Bensons Trading, Caprice Australia, Omni Merchandising and Universal Candy will be launching ranges of new products in 2021, including toys, novelties and gifting, confectionery and apparel and accessories across multiple retailers. In February 2021, Cotton On released a Sonic capsule collection of apparel and accessories in Factorie stores for the first time. Product includes short and long sleeve tees, socks and headwear.
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Arcade classics shine at retail Created in 1980, PAC-MAN is one of the most popular and influential video games of all time and with global brand awareness of 98%, one of the most recognized brands on the planet. What started as an addictive arcade game is now available on all gaming platforms, including iOS and Android with over 110 million mobile downloads. PAC-MAN is a full brand franchise, extending beyond gaming into film, live events and activations, fashion and consumer products, live events and promotions. 2020 marked PAC-MAN’s 40th anniversary. Global celebrations included a range of fashion collaborations and partnerships, including Champion, Paul Smith, Coach, Moleskine, Diesel, H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, Pull & Bear, Havaianas and PUMA. In April 2020, Australian retailer Best & Less celebrated the 40th anniversary with an exclusive retro gaming retail ac-
In Australia, Bensons Trading released the PAC-MAN showbag and Caprice Australia launched men’s outerwear for the first time. Space Invaders also continues to be popular in the world of fashion collaborations and retail partnerships. In April, Australian retailer Best & Less launched an exclusive retro gaming collection and competition with Space Invaders alongside PAC-MAN. The range from Caprice comprises of t-shirts and sleepwear for kids and teens. The opportunity to win an arcade gaming machine was the retailer’s most popular competition in 2020.
tivation featuring an extensive apparel range from Caprice Australia and Hotsprings including outerwear and sleepwear for the whole family, from toddlers to adults. In May 2020, Minecraft and PAC-MAN joined forces to launch a Minecraft Adventure World DLC to the delight of fans.
Sony Pictures Entertainment includes the films of Columbia Pictures. The library includes over 4,000 films, more than 35,000 episodes from over 270 TV series and 22,000 game show episodes. In the world of Sony Pictures Television, recent hits include Outlander, The Boys and Cobra Kai. After a challenging period for all film studios, the future
TOTAL LICENSING AUSTRALIA looks bright with the return of Sony Pictures’ best-loved film franchise as well as a host of other strong new releases in 2021 and 2022. Get ready for Ghostbusters! Ghostbusters Afterlife is the most eagerly anticipated film and merchandising event of the year, releasing in November 2021. #1 show in Australia for over 4 weeks. The tense conflict between Daniel and Johnny, which culminated in the violent high school brawl between the dojos, became the most viewed series in January across the globe. Season 4 has already been renewed and it is scheduled to air on Netflix in January 2022.
The new film is co-written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Jason Reitman (Up in the Air, Juno), son of original Ghostbusters’ director and producer Ivan Reitman. It stars Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace and Paul Rudd, while original cast members Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts reprise their roles from the original films. There are now more than 180+ worldwide licensing and merchandising partners across Ghostbusters Classic and the new film. Master toy partner Hasbro has developed a comprehensive product range, including surprise collectibles, role play, action figures, playsets, vehicles, plush, board games and special edition collector lines. Other global partners include LEGO (construction), Rubies (costumes), Funko (pop vinyl) and Reebok. Australian licensees include Caprice (movie apparel, accessories, footwear, bedding, bags & backpacks), Designworks (classic apparel), and Park Avenue Foods (novelty confectionery) and Lvl Up Energy – who launched the first ever Ghostbusters energy powder drink. New film and classic merchandise will be available across a wide variety of retailers in Australia and NZ, led by mass market retailers Just Jeans, BIG W, Target and Kmart. Drac Pack set to return for Halloween To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Hotel Transylvania franchise, Sony Pictures Animation’s fourth instalment to this billon dollar franchise is coming to cinemas this September, just in time for Halloween. COBRA KAI a smash hit on Netflix The classic Karate Kid franchise is back, enthralling fans both old and young. In its rookie season, Cobra Kai received 11 award nominations (including an Emmy) for Best TV drama and a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes – making it the highest reviewed reboot of all time. Season 3 premiered on Netflix in January 2021 and was the
Anti-hero TV thrills viewers The Boys is the gritty TV series from Sony Pictures Television, airing worldwide on Amazon Prime and quickly developing a cult following. Season 2 aired in September 2020 to the delight of fans, while season 3 is now in production.
Schitt’s Creek - Now available to license downunder! When filthy-rich video store magnate Johnny Rose, his soap star wife Moira, and their two kids – uber-hipster son David and socialite daughter Alexis – suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to live in a small, depressing town they once bought as a joke. With their pampered lives now abandoned, they must confront their newfound poverty and discover what it means to be a family, all within the rural city limits of Schitt’s Creek, their new home. Schitt’s Creek received an historic 9 Emmy® awards in 2020, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Lead Actress for a Comedy Series, Outstand-
TOTAL LICENSING AUSTRALIA ing Supporting Actor and Outstanding Supporting Actress for a Comedy Series. Season 6 launched on Netflix US in early October 2020 and became the most watched series across the platform. All seasons are available now on Netflix in Australia. Global agent ITV has recently appointed Merchantwise Licensing to develop the licensing program in Australia and New Zealand and opportunities are now available for discussion.
Miraculous Merch launches in Australia
From Zag Entertainment comes Miraculous™, an inspiring, CGI-animated superhero TV series set in modern-day Paris. It tells the story of a Parisian teenager who transforms into a superhero, Ladybug, and fights villains to save her beloved city, together with her partner, Cat Noir. In just a few short years, Miraculous™ has enjoyed extraordinary growth, becoming a worldwide entertainment and merchandise sensation. It has been voted one of the Top 10 best animated shows in the last 20 years and widely celebrated and hailed for its diversity and kid friendly superhero storylines. The show is currently broadcasted across 120+ territories, as well as being widely enjoyed and engaged with across all major media platforms. Seasons 1-3 are available to watch on Netflix, ABC Me and iView, with two more seasons in production. In addition, the highly anticipated animation feature film directed by Jeremy Zag is set to premiere towards the end of 2021. .
In April 2021, to coincide with the global premiere of “Miraculous World – Shanghai – Lady Dragon”, the new adventure quest game will be the first to bring a TV series to the Roblox metaverse. Globally there have been over 150 million products sold and Merchantwise Licensing is now actively expanding the consumer products program in Australia and New Zealand. The Miraculous publishing program from Five Mile Press includes chapter books, puzzles, sticker sheets and activity books. The core fashion doll range from Playmates, distributed in Australia by HeadStart, launched at BIG W in October 2020 and sold out in just three weeks. New market activity is currently in development with local licensees and retailers focusing on a core program to include apparel, accessories, collectibles, plush and costumes from June 2021. The Gruffalo continues to grow at retail The Gruffalo is one of the world’s best-loved children’s literary creations. Since it was first published in 1999, the award-winning story about a little brown mouse in the deep dark wood has continued to delight children and adults the world over. Created by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, The Gruffalo has become a modern classic spanning publishing, film, stage, theme parks, digital and merchandise. In 2020, the Gruffalo Spotters 2.0 AR App and adventure trail has been featured at a variety of popular attractions including Ripponlea Victoria, Wildlife Sydney Zoo, Illawarra Fly and most recently The Ginger Factory on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Additional locations for 2021 will soon be announced. Australian licensing partners Smiffy’s (UK) launched its first
TOTAL LICENSING AUSTRALIA Gruffalo dress-up costume in Spotlight for book week and will launch in BIG W in 2021 along with partyware for the first time. New partner Mitch Dowd will launch a range of outerwear, sleepwear, headwear and accessories from July 2021.
When a family adopts a Scout Elf™ (from a Santa-approved adoption centre), they receive the Scout Elf™, an artfully illustrated hardbound storybook and a keepsake box. In Australia in 2020, The Elf on the Shelf® core range has been extremely popular at Myer Giftorium, Kmart and Best and Less, distributed by PMG Australia. For Christmas
Kiri and Lou – Handcrafted in New Zealand From New Zealand comes a charming, award-winning new animated preschool series making waves around the world. Kiri and Lou centres on the friendship between Kiri, a feisty little dinosaur, and Lou, a gentle and thoughtful creature, as they explore the world of feelings through laughter, song and outdoor adventure.
Original and imaginative, Kiri and Lou invites children to learn about empathy and how to get along, through warm-hearted and gently humorous storylines which are resonating with audiences of all ages. The show is hand-crafted in paper and clay and created using traditional stop-motion animation from Antony Elworthy (Coraline, Corpse Bride, Isle of Dogs), the series is voiced by Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords, Moana, Rio) and Olivia Tennet (Lord of the Rings) and is written and directed by feature film director Harry Sinclair. It is produced by Fiona Copland for Stretchy and Heather Walker of Yowza Animation. 41 x 5-minute episodes have now been released with a further 12 episodes coming throughout 2021. Kiri and Lou has broadcast on TVNZ since March 2019 and ABC Kids since June 2019. On ABC Kids, it airs daily at 6.25pm and streams on ABC iView. The show broadcasts globally on the best preschool networks including Cbeebies (UK), CBC Canada, YLE in Finland, SVT in Sweden, Czech Television, Paka Paka in Argentina, EVision and BeIN in the Middle East and Showmax in Africa. Merchantwise is delighted to be representing the licensing and merchandising for this special new property in Australia and NZ. New Kiri and Lou publishing titles will be launched from August 2021 in time for book week, and additional categories such as toys and apparel are now in active development. Australians love The Elf On The Shelf® The Elf on the Shelf® is a fun-filled Christmas tradition that has captured the hearts of children everywhere who welcome home one of Santa’s Scout Elves each holiday season.
2020, Westfield continues to embrace The Elf on the Shelf® with major live activations across 35 malls over the holiday period. The Australian licensing program managed by Merchantwise Licensing and launched in 2020 has been a huge success, with a wide array of products at retail including outerwear and sleepwear by Mitch Dowd, publishing from Hinkler Books, and confectionery by Park Avenue. New categories - including dress-ups, activity books, Christmas décor, bedding, drinkware and dinnerware, and puzzles and games - will be launching for Christmas 2021.
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May Gibbs – Inspired by Nature Iconic Australian author and illustrator May Gibbs continues to capture the hearts and imaginations of generations of Australians with her lovable bush characters, which hold a special place in the Australian consciousness. Today, May Gibbs is a fashion and lifestyle brand inspired by the Australian bush with a unique licensing program of over 20 partners across publishing, apparel, bedding, homewares, fabric, toys, stationery, partyware and collectables. May Gibbs is proud to partner with leading Australian brands to bring the stories and characters to life for fans of all ages. Publishing is at the heart of the May Gibbs brand with May Gibbs’ original books, Gumnut Babies and Snugglepot and
Cuddlepie never out of print for over 100 years. Publishing partner Scholastic Australia has continued to expand its catalogue of licensed May Gibbs storybooks for children with May Gibbs becoming their third best-selling licensed property. Scholastic Australia have also began publishing a newly imagined range of May Gibbs’s classic stories and never before published works, ensuring that every Australian child has the opportunity to experience these classic tales. A host of new product releases, partnerships and retail activations will continue throughout 2021. May Gibbs apparel launched at mass retail with the brand taking centre stage as part of the BIG W Baby Week event in August 2020. The cross-category campaign featured a broad range of products supported by a comprehensive marketing campaign including front of catalogue and strong merchandising both in store and online. The success of the campaign saw several prod-
ucts sell out on day 1 of the event. New apparel ranges continue to release in BIG W with ranges for Toddler Boys, Tween Girls and Men added to the mix. Extensive plans are in development for Baby Week and Christmas gifting in 2021 along with ongoing apparel range releases to take May Gibbs at BIG W to new heights! May Gibbs launched for the first time in Cotton On in 2020 with a range of apparel and pyjamas for babies and kids. The Summer and Winter collections proved popular with many styles quickly selling out online and in stores. A new collection is in development for late 2021. A new partnership with Spotlight Australia sees a compre-
hensive cross-category range of May Gibbs product launch in stores from March 2021. The beautiful sew and furnishing fabric range will be joined by bedding, napery and home décor items to appeal to makers and home decorators Australia-wide. Longstanding partner Kip&Co will be back in 2021 with a new range of May Gibbs bedding, home décor and apparel. The designs feature the signature Kip&Co style with detailed prints and beautiful quality we’ve come to expect from one of Australia’s leading independent homewares brands. Creative, high-end Australian fashion brand Romance Was Born continues to release exciting new capsule collections for women and men, uniquely showcasing the art of May Gibbs. With the success of the first homewares
TOTAL LICENSING AUSTRALIA Australia, will be launching a range of product in the second half of this year including confectionery, biscuits, nursery, ceramics, gifting and melamine.
collection developed exclusively for Australia Post in April 2020, a new collection is in development for Christmas 2021 and will include homewares, stationery and decorations designed by leading Australian gifting and homewares brand La La Land. The partnership with Walnut Melbourne continues in 2021 with brand new Winter and Summer children’s apparel collections releasing including the popular new Swimwear line. The collection will be ranged in Myer for the first time from April 2021. A new outdoor stage show of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie developed by Eaton Gorge Theatre Company will premiere in 2021 at Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Australian Botanic Gardens Mount Annan and Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens. The brand continues to be supported with strong marketing and publicity campaigns, along with continued growth of the May Gibbs Official Online Store and the social media communities. Blinky Bill – An Australian Treasure Created by Dorothy Wall in 1939, Blinky Bill is the original Aussie larrikin. The stories of Blinky Bill from ‘The Complete Adventures of Blinky Bill’ has never been out of print in Australia. The little koala with the heart of gold continues to delight audiences around the world, starring in several TV series and movies. The TV series “The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill” is currently broadcast on Netlix. In January 2021, a Blinky Bill apparel collection from Caprice Australia and made out of 100% cotton from Cotton Australia launched at BIG W in time for Australia Day. The collection, included a range of infant, boys, girls, and Mum’s and Dad’s t-shirts for the very first time. New licensing partners including Park Avenue and Zak
Popeye – Strong to the Finish Popeye is tough, he’s fit, and he’s got grit. He’s a rugged sailor who is always up to the challenge and never backs down. Popeye is the embodiment of strength, and inspires us all to work hard, be persistent, and be “strong to the finish” – with the help of a hefty amount of spinach. The first ever Australian Popeye sportswear collection with online sportswear label, The WOD Life launched in November 2020, ahead of the Australian summer season. The limited-edition range of fashionably branded Popeye sportswear apparel for women and men includes a high-waisted booty short, fleet bra, motion shorts, slash crop, flex short and printed tank. Popeye’s heart of gold, brave and compassionate personality shines across a number of branded sports and training accessories including a scrunchie, printed socks, an immerse headband as well as a quick dry towel and a face mask covering.
The branded range also extended to training support items including wrist wraps, strength wraps, a 4-inch Velcro lifting belt as well as knee sleeves. 85th Anniversary of The Phantom Eighty-five years of Phantom history has provided a wealth of material for an 85th year anniversary commemorative diary published by Mallon Publishing. The content and design is a coherent and interesting presentation of The Phantom’s rich history. It provides an overview of how the creative spark in Lee Falk’s newspaper strip in 1936 inspired many artists, publishers, and, eventually, other writers to work on The Phantom and keep it alive until this day.
TOTAL LICENSING AUSTRALIA London Underground x Budgy Smuggler Aussies have a deep and abiding connection with London and the UK. The London Underground network or the Tube, operated by Transport for London (TFL), has been an integral part of London’s history for over 150 years and transports 1.4 billion passengers per year. New product launches from licensed partners Budgy Smuggler and Caprice Australia will be launching from June 2021 in the UK and in Australia.
Representing many of the world’s biggest names in music for Australia and New Zealand, Merchantwise Licensing is the go-to for band merchandising and licensing. The Beatles – Get Back Beatlemaniacs can expect to learn more about Peter Jackson’s Get Back film, as well as the re-release of the original documentary classic, in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the album’s original release. A sneak peek from Peter Jackson was released to fans in November 2020 providing insight into the direction of the documentary. The film will be releasing globally in August 2021. A wide variety of licensing partners continue to celebrate The Beatles in Australia and NZ with new product releases, including puzzles from Hinkler, gifts and novelties from Rubber Road, posters and wall art from Impact! and a new range of homewares and drinkware from Licensing Essentials. Cotton On’s retail partnership with The Beatles continues to go strong with ongoing ranges of apparel, sleepwear, accessories and gifting. AC/DC – POWER UP! PWR-UP is the seventeenth studio album by Australian rock band AC/DC, released on 13 November 2020 through Columbia Records and
Sony Music Australia. It is the band’s sixteenth internationally released studio album and the seventeenth to be released in Australia. The album immediately reached the #1 spot in the charts around the globe. AC/DC fans have been snapping up a Royal Australian Mint and Australia Post coin and PNC collection commemorating milestone anniversaries of six of the band’s album releases. This year marks 45 years since the iconic rock legends put out their debut album High Voltage. This cupro-nickel colour print collection is designed to shoot to thrill and features a bonus limited edition coin.
Celebrating Bowie David Bowie is no longer with us and yet in these past five years since his passing, his star shines even brighter. January 2022 will mark Bowie’s 75th birthday. Expect major media involvement and initiatives from the estate, the label and Perryscope – including special commemorative merchandise. Manhead Merch now available in Australia for the very first time Merchantwise Licensing is pleased to be representing Manhead in Australia and NZ. Manhead is a worldwide merchandise company catering to the music and entertainment industry. High profile artists include Australia’s very own SIA, Alanis Morissette, Billy Idol, Hole, Weezer, Fall Out Boy, Garbage, The B52s and Panic! At The Disco. Look out for new fashion collaborations and other merchandise, rolling out from May 2021.
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POCKET MONEY ON TOYS GOES DIGITAL Every twelve months, Kids Insights survey 21,300 kids in Australia to give an unrivaled viewpoint into the world of Australian kids, tweens and teens.
The latest data from Kids Insights shows that 12% of teenagers use or own digital currencies. Almost half of Australian tweens and teens now spend the majority of their money online. With kids now spending so much money and time online, The Insights People have launched Media Mix Compass to help brands and agencies improve the effectiveness of their advertising & media spend. The Insights People surveys more than 5000 children every week aged 3-18 in 17 countries across five continents, and in total surveys more than 340,000 kids a year. As Australia is getting the pandemic under control, kids have expressed more relaxed attitude toward the situation, which has had influence on their spending habits.They are inclined to spend more on activities which were previously hindered due to the pandemic. According to the data, in the lead up to Christmas, kids received more monthly allowances, which on average increased +35% since Q3 2020, with tweens receiving the most generous amount (AUD$359 (USD$283), +82% quarter-on-quarter increase). This results in tweens’ increasing their spending on most categories, which was spread evenly rather than focused heavily in one category. Expenditure on food, drinks and snacks has experienced an uptick of +92% since last quarter, overtaking saving to become the highest spending. At the same time, the amount of 3-9s reporting to buy licensed food in relation to their favourite movie has increased by +34% over the last 3 months. This highlights an opportunity for brands to expand their licensing offering into food products. In terms of other shopping expenses, the last quarter saw children mostly spending pocket money on fashion, toys and video-games. Amazon Australia, kids’ favourite online shop (15%), identified ‘Toys for Creativity’ and ‘Comfort in Classics’ as the two key trends last Christmas. The Kids Insights data shows that
LEGO being the favourite toys as well as most wanted new toys for kids across all age groups. Barbie ranks 4th among favourite toys of under 10s, an increase of +264% since November. Kids who favour Barbie over-index
on feeling happy frequently (50%, vs 43% average), highlighting the positive impacts of playing with dolls on kids’ well-being. Brands need to keep in mind that toy purchase related to favourite TV show
TOTAL LICENSING AUSTRALIA (38.0%), Movie (31.0%), Game (21.0%), YouTube (16.0%). For example, the number of under 13s considering Trolls to be their favourite toys has increased +100% since November. This can be attributed to the release of Australia’s Biggest Trolls Dance Party and the popularity of the new film, which was released last year. Across all age groups, 10-15s are the demographic most inclined to spend online by a slim majority (51%), which is the 3rd highest rate globally, behind UK and US. However, a slight decline of -7% in this trend was seen from November in place of a rise in offline shopping (+8%), suggestive of a gradual shift to pre-COVID spending habits. Despite being less pressing, coronavirus remains the top concern (43%) and the top topic that kids aged 10-15 discuss with their friends (4%). As kids who shop offline mostly are +22% more likely to be concerned about coronavirus, besides improving in-store shopping experiences, brands should pay more attention to enhancing store safety with a view to increasing in-store footprint. Interesting facts: Australian kids have demonstrated greater independence in spending money, even from an early age. The number of kids aged 6-9 having their parents spend money for them has fallen by +29% since October. Whilst cash remains their most preferred payment method (64%), debit card (+36%) and cash card (+73%) have increased in popularity since June, when Kids Insights began surveying Australia. Despite the rise of offline shopping, cash-less payment methods are expected to experience further growth. These methods give parents greater control over kids’ spending, and also, help kids to manage their spending better, enabling them to learn personal finance management from an early age. This growth of cash-less payment also provides opportunities for brands to integrate and utilise social shopping and DTC models to their platforms. It could be noted that older kids are more inclined to use websites to keep up-to-date with their favourite shops as they get older. Younger kids, on the other hand, demonstrate the most significant interest in using Facebook
PRESCHOOLERS (GIRLS AGES 3 - 5) FAVOURITE ONLINE SHOP Kmart 10.2% Amazon 8.8% eBay 6.8% Big W 2.7% MYER 2.7% Target 2.7% H&M 1.4% Coles 1.0% Food 1.0% Shein 1.0%
PRESCHOOLERS (BOYS AGES 3 - 5) FAVOURITE ONLINE SHOP Amazon 13.4% eBay 7.6% Kmart 6.1% Big W 2.2% ASOS 1.9% Catch 1.6% Target 1.6% Woolworths 1.6% Kogan 1.3% Nike 1.3%
KIDS (GIRLS AGES 6 - 9) FAVOURITE ONLINE SHOP Amazon 12.0% eBay 8.5% Kmart 6.0% MYER 2.7% Target 2.1% Big W 1.7% LEGO 1.5% Nike 1.5% ASOS 1.0% Smiggle 1.0%
KIDS (BOYS AGES 6 - 9) FAVOURITE ONLINE SHOP Amazon 16.6% eBay 9.0% Kmart 4.8% Adidas 2.1% Nike 2.1% Walmart 1.4% Aldi 1.2% EB Games 1.2% Rebel Sport 1.2% The Iconic 1.2%
TWEENS (GIRLS AGES 10 - 12) FAVOURITE ONLINE SHOP Amazon 15.3% eBay 7.8% Nike 3.3% Kmart 2.1% City Beach 1.8% Target 1.8% Wish 1.8% Zara 1.8% Shein 1.5% The Iconic 1.5%
TWEENS (BOYS AGES 10 - 12) FAVOURITE ONLINE SHOP Amazon 25.8% eBay 8.5% EB Games 4.6% Nike 3.9% Aldi 1.6% Target 1.6% Adidas 1.3% Coles 1.0% Google Play 1.0% Woolworths 1.0%
TEENAGERS (GIRLS AGES 13 - 18) FAVOURITE ONLINE SHOP Amazon 13.2% eBay 8.3% None 5.4% The Iconic 3.8% Shein 3.6% Cotton On 3.4% ASOS 2.6% Nike 2.3% Pretty Little Thing 1.8% Wish 1.8%
TEENAGERS (BOYS AGES 13 - 18) FAVOURITE ONLINE SHOP Amazon 18.6% eBay 12.1% Nike 5.7% JB Hi-Fi 1.7% Adidas 1.6% Coles 1.2% Culture Kings 1.0% Kmart 1.0% MYER 1.0% Wish 1.0%
and YouTube. This can be a huge opportunity for brands looking for new ways to engage with their audience and new places for media planning. Therefore, at the Insights People they try to show the power of each media type for a specific audience. In February they launched the first real-time media tool: The Media Mix Compass. It provides an independent account of kids’ media consumption which will help improve brands decision making in an increasingly fragmented ecosystem. With a 360° view of kids, tweens, and teens ecosystems, brands can segment the data on a global, country, regional, gender or age view, or by their specific attitudes, behaviors and consumption. PRESCHOOLERS (AGES 3 - 5) FAVOURITE SHOP Kmart 12.3% Big W 4.6% Target 4.0% MYER 3.5% Woolworths 1.8% Nike 1.5% Zara 1.5% Coles 1.3% Dept Store 1.0% Adidas 0.7%
Kids today have more influence and decision-making power within the home than any other previous generation. This is true for categories such as toys & games or streaming platforms as you might expect. But also, we see kids’ influence growing over many other new categories, such as the purchase of a new car.As the world becomes increasingly digitally focused with more information available, will kids’ pester power in family decision making continue to grow in influence? And will we eventually see household decisions being made at a democratic family level? How brands enter into the family conversation should be considered and activity targeted at speaking to both on a level parents and kids alike will align with.
KIDS (AGES 6 - 9) FAVOURITE SHOP Kmart 11.8% MYER 3.4% Nike 2.8% Big W 2.3% Coles 2.0% Target 2.0% EB Games 1.7% Zara 1.7% Amazon 1.6% Woolworths 1.6%
TWEENS (AGES 10 - 12) FAVOURITE SHOP Kmart 6.3% Nike 4.9% Amazon 2.7% Coles 2.2% EB Games 2.0% MYER 2.0% Adidas 1.9% Aldi 1.7% Target 1.7% Rebel 1.1%
To learn more about the Kids Insights Media Mix Compass, and to receive complimentary access to the tool and a copy of an example report please visit: www. kidsinsights.com/ mediamix To learn more about the attitudes, behavior and consumption patterns of kids, parents and families, and to get freemium access to the Insights People real-time data portal, please visit: https:// kidsinsights.com/ totallicensing/ TEENAGERS (AGES 13 - 18) FAVOURITE SHOP Nike 4.6% Kmart 3.8% MYER 3.4% EB Games 2.7% Cotton On 2.6% Coles 2.1% Zara 1.7% JB Hi-Fi 1.6% H&M 1.4% Aldi 1.3%
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It continues to be a very unpredictable time, but one constant is that consumers are looking for optimism, products and activities that provide moments of connection and joy. Disney Consumer Products has plenty of these planned for 2021. In the Disney portfolio, they start the year celebrating the 95th anniversary of Winnie the Pooh. The year-long celebration kicked off recently, but there is plenty more to come. Disney are beyond excited for the release of Raya and the last Dragon next month, an exciting, epic journey to the fantasy world of Kumandra. Raya is on a journey to track down the legendary last Dragon to restore the fractured
land and its divided people. Raya features an outstanding voice cast, including Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina,
Gemma Chan and Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim (of Crazy Rich Asians) wrote the screenplay.
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Raya is not the only Princess with big plans this year and Disney is excited to reveal more later in the year. Also coming up for Disney, 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella will hit the big screen in 2021. Cruella is played by Emma Stone, set in and inspired by 70’s punk rock London, it is an original story that takes place prior to the events of 101 Dalmatians. It’s a unique opportunity for ‘inspired by’ products based on unique looks, icons and accessories in the film. Following the impact of Pixar Animation Studio’s Soul, released in late 2020, Luca is the next Pixar Animation Studio original film and is scheduled for release in June. It is set in the breathtaking Italian Riveria and described by the director as a “love letter to the friendships of our youth”. In exciting news for Disney+, inspired by the classic fan favourite, Monsters Inc, Monsters at Work will launch later this year. Consumers can also expect to hear plenty of noise as Disney celebrates Pixar Cars 15th anniversary in the second half of the year. Moving to Marvel, Disney has come out of the gates strong with WandaVision on Disney+ heralding “Phase Four” on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Viewers can expect more
interconnected storylines that not only span the years to come but span mediums—including theatrical and Disney+. In 2021 they have upcoming new content releases planned including Falcon & the Winter Soldier, Loki, Avengers Mech Strike, What if…?, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spidey and his Amazing Friends. Beyond this incredible slate, another reason to celebrate is Deadpool turning 30. This key fan beat will allow Disney to
have some fun with new creative and product across all categories leaning into the character’s unique and outrageous humour. For Star Wars, following their epic Mando Mondays campaign in 2020, there are no signs of the pop culture sensation Grogu or the momentum of The Mandalorian slowing down. This will be complemented by a celebration of the first 50 years of LucasFilm, kicking off with commemorative, fan-favourite 50th anniversary Star Wars products. The launch starts in January and will continue throughout the year with special edition product releases. There will also be several new content and gaming releases scheduled for Star Wars. One of the most anticipated is the new animated series from Lucasfilm, Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Fresh off of the critically-acclaimed series finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Disney+ original series will premiere on the streaming service in May 2021. But it does not end there. Disney also has exciting plans for their Fox and new IP portfolios. Stay tuned for exciting announcements from National Geographic, ESPN, and more.
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Established over 27 years ago, Haven Global represents blue chip licensors including Nickelodeon, Sanrio, Sesame Workshop, MGA Entertainment, The Pokémon Company and more for the Australian and New Zealand market, as well as representing global rights for You Tube powerhouse brands including Vlad & Niki, and CKN Toys.
VLAD & NIKI Vlad & Niki is the global preschool phenomenon and highest rated boys channel on YouTube starring the imaginative personalities and antics of brothers Vlad and Niki, who are showcased in non-stop fun adventures. Since launching on YouTube in 2018,Vlad & Niki have attracted more than 152+million subscribers worldwide, 62+ million subscribers to their English Channel and 80+ billion views, while averaging five billion monthly views on 16 channels and translated into 13 languages. Each episode is produced with a creative mix of live action, animation
and music to create comedic videos for the preschool demographic. Vlad & Niki is headed by co-founders Sergey and Victoria Vashketov, the parents of Vlad and Niki. Haven Global is leading all licensing efforts for Vlad and Niki on a worldwide basis and have a growing licensing program. Recent highlights include Zuru Toys who will release product at retail in early Summer along with Playmates Toys. In terms of fashion and branded merchandise, Haven have signed deals with the Entertainment Retail Enterprisese for North America and Evode Group Ltd for international territories. Vlad & Niki were recognized by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences’ 10th Annual Lovie Awards for outstanding work in the Shortlist category. They received numerous YouTube Creative Awards, commonly known as Play Buttons, including a Ruby Play Button for 50 million subscribers; three Diamond Ruby Play Buttons for 10 million subscribers; 16 Gold Ruby Play Buttons for a million subscribers; and 16 Silver Ruby Play Buttons for one hundred thousand subscribers. Vlad is the rambunctious, adventurous and competitive older brother who enjoys playing soccer, kickboxing, and water sports. A natural performer, Vlad is obsessed with animals and, when not in school, he spends his free time hip hop dancing and singing to his favorite performers including Maroon 5 and Imagine Dragons. Vlad is in second grade and speaks English and Russian. Niki is the precocious younger brother who loves traveling,
fashion, singing, dancing, painting and being creative. In his free time he enjoys do-ityourself projects, arts and crafts, cooking and baking - pies are his favorite. Niki is in kindergarten and speaks English and Russian. Victoria is the fun-loving mother whose lively personality is essential to the Vlad & Niki storytelling. The mother of three began her career performing as a competitive gymnast in Russia. She had a reputation for being the lively, expressive gymnast showcasing her exuberant personality during competition. The Vlad & Niki video-streaming property is created, written and produced by Sergey, the boys’ father, and his wife Victoria. Before garnering viral global attention, Sergey was a successful salesman and applied his skills to help create a worldwide brand that includes international licensing deals and brand integration.
BLIPPI On a different note, Haven has added Kids entertainment sensation Blippi to their powerhouse portfolio, rounding out their partnership with Moonbug Entertainment, the largest kids digital entertainment company in the world. With over 16 billion lifetime views and 650 million monthly views, Blippi’s lively blue & orange outfit has become synonymous with the contagious curiosity that fuels the fun & educational content loved by millions of 2-6 year olds worldwide. “We are absolutely thrilled to add Blippi to our portfolio” says Tom Punch, Managing Director, Haven Global. “We have been chasing this brand for years and are delighted through our relationship with Moonbug and their recent acquisition of the brand to welcome Blippi to the Hav-
TOTAL LICENSING AUSTRALIA Mr. Men Little Miss 50th Anniversary in 2021 provides an opportunity to reflect on the role the brand has played for many generations of kids and adults across the world. Our celebrations will lead with two new characters chosen by our fans joining our family of well-loved characters and we can’t wait to see which 2 are chosen.”
en family. Jazwares was named master toy licensee late last year and the range including figures, vehicles, plush & educational sets is already off to a good start, with distribution locally by Banter Toys”. “There’s a huge amount of pent up demand for Blippi product in our market”,Yvonne King, Director, goes on to say.“Blippi’s enthusiasm is so infectious & the breadth of educational categories he covers allows us to bring the brand to life across a vast array of products”. “Bringing the beloved Blippi brand to more kids throughout the world requires trusted partners that share our vision,” said Simon Philips from Moonbug. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Haven to expand the Blippi merchandise and toy lines, and are confident that kids and families will love what we have in store for them.” Haven Global is an internationally recognised multi-award winning Australian based licensing agency established over 27 years. Haven Global represents blue chip licensors including Nickelodeon, Sanrio, Sesame Workshop, MGA Entertainment, The Pokémon Company and more for the Australian and New Zealand market, as well as representing global rights for You Tube powerhouse brands including Vlad & Niki, and CKN Toys.
MR MEN LITTLE MISS Haven Global report that the Mr. Men Little Miss will celebrate their 50th
Anniversary by inviting consumers to vote for two new characters In a world-first, fans will have the chance to cast their vote from a selection of new diverse faces and help decide on two new characters, in order to shape the next 50 years of the brand.
A family favourite for 50 years, there’s a Mr. Men Little Miss character (or two!) inside us all, with a diverse cast of over 90 characters to discover. For the first time ever, the general public will be able to decide the next characters to be turned into classic Mr. Men Little Miss books. The contenders are Mr Calm, Little Miss Brave, Mr Brilliant, Little Miss Kind and Little Miss Energy.
When the late Roger Hargreaves created the Mr. Men character, Mr. Tickle, in 1971, the book went on to sell a million copies in just three years. Adam Hargreaves, son of the original creator adds: “It’s amazing to see people are still connecting to the books after 50 years, they have always been about getting people to relate with the unique characters and identify the different traits of their own personalities, so it’s great to involve the fans and let them help shape the next 50 years of Mr. Men.” Currently one Mr. Men and Little Miss book is sold every 2.5 seconds worldwide, and lifetime sales total 250 million books. In total, Mr. Men Little Miss books are published in 17 languages worldwide. In Australia, the top selling books for 2020 including Little Miss Sunshine and Little Miss Hug. Creator Roger Hargreaves passed away in 1988 and his son, Adam Hargreaves continued the business writing and drawing the Mr. Men Little Miss books. Currently, the largest European growth markets are Greece and Israel, which have seen year on year sales double since 2017 and double sales figures since 2018 retrospectively. China is predicted to expand the Mr. Men Little Miss business with the 25% market share following doubling year on year sales
Fans can vote for their favourite via www.mrmen.com: Voting closes on the 31st March, with the winners announced later in the year. Alastair McHarrie, Sanrio Licensing Director, comments: “The
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NFL AND UFC ARE BIG IN AUSTRALIA IMG report that the NFL’s Australian and New Zealand-based licensing portfolio is growing with a number of recent deals. Most recently, the hugely popular U.S. league partnered with Melbourne watch designer Uncle Jack to produce limited-edition NFLbranded watches in a deal brokered by IMG. The Super Bowl Champions watch is the first to launch featuring 2021 champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is available now through Uncle Jack’s online store. Additionally, NFL has partnered with Cotton On Group, Australia’s largest global retailer, to launch a men’s activewear collection, and The Stubby Club to launch NFLbranded barware and sports games. The latter is available from June 2021 on The Stubby Club’s online store, and includes beer growlers, beer pong tables, mini table tennis tables, and whiskey stone sets. Assassin’s Creed, one of the bestselling series in video game history, recently partnered with Licensing Essentials to launch a gifting and apparel collection in a deal brokered by IMG. The collection was aligned with
the release of the Valhalla game in November 2020 and has been selling very well. As one of the strongest pound for pound markets for the organisation, UFC in Australia continues to grow and celebrate record-breaking events, crowned champions and an evolving fan base. The region holds the record for the world’s largest attendance for an MMA event, set in October 2019 with 57,127 fans packing Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium at UFC 243: Whittaker vs. Adesanya with 57, 127. The previous record, also broken in Australia by UFC at the same stadium was UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm in November 2015 with the attendance marked at 56, 214. In 2020, UFC not only celebrated 10 years of live events across Australia and New Zealand but a dramatic increase in social media followers, video views and engagement across all platforms. In addition to numerous worldwide deals, UFC’s new exclusive global outfitting and apparel partner, Venum, will kick off their partnership in April this year. UFC is launching new products in Australia and New Zealand through additional deals brokered by IMG. UFC recently partnered with GiftBox, Australian home and gifts retailer, to launch a collection of sleepwear, underwear, socks, gifts, accessories, and hardgoods. The line is available now in the country’s 200 GiftBox stores and online at https://www.giftbox.com.au/ sports/ufc. Additionally, Licensing Essentials has been appointed to launch UFC lifestyle and fan apparel and accessories, which will be available across various retail outlets in Australia and New Zealand later this year.
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Making Children Superhappy! kids can ninja-chop the block to discover the treasure (1 in 10 are dipped in real gold)! Armed with bounty, the ninjas are ready to fight, explore and hunt some more.
Bluey Crowned the #1 growth property in the Aussie toy market and the winner of the 2020 Pre-School License of the Year, Bluey is capturing hearts the whole world over.
Moose exists to make children superhappy and 2021 will bring more Moose magic than ever before.
their Dream Seeker will keep them safe. With silky soft hair, posable legs and swappable shoes, each fairy doll offers endless imaginative ways to play.
The long-anticipated launch of Dream Seeker dolls has finally arrived. Hope, Luna and Bella are the magical best friends who help kids grow in confidence. These kind, mystical dolls share in kids’ dreams and wish for them to come true.
Teeny sized but with big play potential, Moose are sure that Real Littles will be clipped to every school bag. Super cute mini backpacks, handbags and lockers are stuffed with awesome collectable school supplies.
Dream Seekers bring an innovative kind of interaction to market. They’re modern and fashionable with a cuddly, wholesome touch. Kids can write down their dreams using the beautiful packaging, and know
The relatable take on Aussie family life has proved irresistible for adults and kids alike. Bluey encourages parents and kids to get super creative with imaginative play. From gripping board games to collectable figurines to snuggable plush toys, preschool kids can create endless worlds of their own.
Tradeable and wearable, Real Littles re full of surprises. Whether a stylish backpack with tiny stationery, a glam handbag with micro accessories or a novelty-sized school locker, Moose are sure that kids will want to collect them all.
Treasure X Ninja Hunters Unboxing doesn’t get cooler than Treasure X Ninja Hunters. Kids use the Power Sword to carve their Treasure X Ninja from wax. Once the fighter is free,
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TOTAL LICENSING AUSTRALIA By Noelene Treloar, of Counsel and Adrian Trioli, Principal Adrian M Trioli Patent and Trade Mark Attorney
Top Three Tips for Licensing Trade Marks in the Toy Industry**
Noelene Treloar The Toy Industry is increasingly relying on intellectual property (IP) to protect innovation and to use as part of a licensing strategy to increase sales revenue opportunities and maximise exposure to new customers throughout the world. Trade marks are one form of IP and play a key role in brand recognition for toy products. As an extension to our Total Licensing March 2020 article on “Protecting Innovation in the Toy Industry – Intellectual Property 101” (click here to view], we outline below our Top 3 Tips for Licensing Trade Marks in the Toy Industry.** Trade Marks A trade mark is a ‘sign’ used to distinguish the goods and services of one trader from another – it is a bade of commercial origin. A ‘sign’ can take many forms including any letter, word, name, signature, numeral, device, brand, heading, label, ticket, aspect of packaging, shape, colour, sound or scent. Trade marks may be registered or unregistered. Each territory has its own trade mark registration
process and procedure, and there are generally similarities in approach between major trading regions. For example, when trade mark rights are acquired through a trade mark registration process, the mark will commonly be classified into a subcategory of 45 different classes – 34 classes for goods, and 11 classed for services. Toys and playthings are classified in class 28, books in class 16, clothing and headgear in class 25, and software products in class 9. Registration of a trade mark provides an owner* with significant legal rights of potentially indefinite duration. This includes the ability to bring infringement proceedings against unauthorised persons using the same or similar trade mark on goods and services covered by a trade mark registration. Licensing When considering whether to licence the trade marks associated with your toy product, we recommend the top 3 considerations outlined below. However, it is important to note that there are many other factors to consider when entering into a licencing arrangement including realistically assessing whether the toy product would benefit from a licensing strategy, whether the licence is exclusive or non-exclusive, the term of any licence, royalties and advances, product exclusions etc List the Trade Marks in a Licence Agreement Preparing for negotiations relating to the Licence Agreement can provide the licensor with a timely reminder to review their
portfolio and identify any gaps in protection. Whether registered or unregistered, a License Agreement should specifically list the trade marks being licensed by the licensor, the relevant goods or services the subject of the licence (i.e. the licensed product) and the territory. This will help to avoid any confusion between the licensor and the licensee on whether appropriate rights have been granted. The simplest approach is to set out the details in the Schedule to an overarching Licence Agreement. Alternatively, the parties may decide to enter into a separate Trade Mark Licence Agreement specifically addressing aspects associated with the licence of the trade mark rights by the licensor. Register Your Trade Marks We recommend that you take steps to register your trade marks in your territories of interest, and in the territories that any licensee is authorised to offer, manufacture, distribute or sell the toy product. The registered marks should be for the key goods and services relevant for the trade mark and the licensor should consider any brand extension categories for the toy product – with food being a popular expansion category at the moment given the stay-at-home directives.
TOTAL LICENSING AUSTRALIA The Licence Agreement should then include details of the registered trade marks (or trade mark applications); responsibility for renewals; responsibility for management of infringement proceedings and notification of similar marks; confirmation that the licensee will not challenge the validity of the trade marks; confirmation that any reputation or goodwill generated through the use of the trade marks by the licensee belongs to the licensor and will be assigned on termination of the licence; and quality standards (see below). Quality Control and Use Requirements Any authorised use of the trade mark by the licensee will reflect upon the licensor. It is therefore important for a licensor to provide the licensee with guidelines on how the trade mark may be used in relation to the licensed goods/services. The aim is for the trade mark to be used on behalf of the licensor in a consistent manner across all products, packaging, labelling, promotion, Winter 2021
• Register your trade marks in the territories of interest and across all goods and services of interest; and
communications, advertising, sales and territories. A Licence Agreement should also outline the quality control requirements for the use of the trade mark. The licensor should closely review the licensed goods/services throughout the duration of the Licence Agreement and provide feedback to the licensee. Failure to do so by the licensor may result in the licensor losing control of the trade mark. Summary Trade marks are one form of IP and play a key role in brand recognition for toy products. Trade marks can be licensed to increase sales revenue opportunities and maximise exposure to new customers throughout the world. While there are many factors to consider when licensing trade marks associated with your toy product, our top 3 suggestions to consider are • List the trade marks in the Licence Agreement;
• Include quality control and use requirements in the Licence Agreement. What other categories can your toy brand expand into? *Note: This article assumes that you have conducted your due diligent to confirm that you own all IP rights in your toy product. This should be done before you enter into any Licence Agreement. **Note: This article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not for the purposes of providing legal advice. Please contact the authors if you require assistance in Australia or New Zealand (www.adriantrioli. com). Noelene Treloar will also be participating in the Virtual Australian Toy Fair from 1-5 March 2021. Otherwise, please liaise with your local IP Counsel to put measures in place to best protect your IP.
A TOTAL LICENSING GROUP PUBLICATION
Magazines covering the world of licensing Total Licensing • Total Brand Licensing • Total Licensing China • Total Licensing Australia • Total Art Licensing
A TOTAL LICENSING GROUP PUBLICATION
A TOTAL LICENSING GROUP PUBLICATION
October 十月 2020
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NEW LICENSES FROM AMSCAN Amscan Asia Pacific is excited to launch a whole host of newness for 2021! With a plethora of new licenses and generic products, there’s everything consumers need to celebrate any occasion throughout the year! With the anticipated launch of their Costume Range coming in Autumn, they welcome the arrival of the Nickelodeon and Viacom portfolio. There are plenty of firm favourites to choose from with sizes starting at 6 months through to adults. Join Chase, Marshall, Rubble and the gang with Amscan’s PAW Patrol range. Comprising six characters and an option of standard or deluxe costumes to meet varying price points sizes range from 6 months to 12 years. In terms of the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles styles, these are available in baby, child and adult sizes.With both jumpsuit and dress styles available, consumers can customise their look depending on their preference, and what’s more, each costume comes with all four bandana masks so customers can choose between Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo, as many times as they wish! Additional designs include those little genies Shimmer and Shine, complete with clip in hair extensions, as well as SpongeBob and Patrick costumes, again for children and adults. There are also new movie character costumes too, including Cher from Clueless’ iconic plaid suit, that
Flashdance outfit, Forrest Gump’s running attire, Ron Burgundy’s Anchorman ensemble, as well as all the favourites from Grease! The portfolio is enhanced even further with those nostalgic costumes from both South Park and Rugrats! Amscan see these as a great addition to their licensed portfolio, and they are sure their customers are going to be just excited as they are for costumes to land down under at Amscan. Amscan’s party ranges also have new ensembles added, ready to celebrate more in 2021! Preschool character, Bluey, joins Amscan’s licensed portfolio this Winter. Bluey and Bingo set the ultimate party line up complete with foil balloons to coordinate with all those core essentials. Alongside a photo booth kit for those perfect party snaps, are paper kraft bags for that those take-home goodies and also cupcake picks. Another addition to our licensed ranges available this Autumn, is Spirit: Spirit Riding Free. A popular toy franchise and currently airing on Netflix, Amscan’s party range is sure to be a hit with fans of the DreamWorks animation series. Comprising a new party and balloon range, product is
in its iconic colour palette complete with boho and Spirit style motifs.With just under 20 items in the range, customers can create the ultimate setting complete with décor for the table, décor for the room and also Spirit Riding Free treat boxes to take home which can be packed with our party toys including tiaras and tattoos. The educational animated series of Blue’s Clues, joins the portfolio later this year. Amscan will have everything needed to set the scene, from decorations and photo props through to candles and stickers. There will also be latex and foil balloons to coordinate or for customers to purchase as a birthday gift for a standalone statement! Ones to watch for later this year, include the new preschool franchise Cocomelon including both a party and balloon assortment and also a range of May Gibbs inspired designs for all the little gumnut babies out there! Balloons were heroes of 2020 and this is set to continue throughout 2021. There is plenty to choose from. New Airloonz have been a real success story and there are licensed additions coming soon to the assortment! The trend for celebrating at home also maintains popularity and with this in mind there are plenty of items available for customers to continue to be creative.
Brandz Keynote (V) April 8 MIPTV Digital (V) April 12 - 16 Licensing Japan (L) April 14 - 16 CMC China Connect (V) April 21 - 22 Blueprint (V) May 18 - 20 Brand & Lifestyle Innovation Summit (V) June 9 - 11 Sustainability in Licensing (L,V) June 24 Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards (L) July 7 CMC 2021 Online (V) July 5 - 9 Licensing Expo China (L) July 14 - 16 Licensing Expo (L,V) August 10 - 12 The Licensing Awards (L) Sept 14 Milano Licensing Day (L) Sept 16 Brand Licensing Europe (L,V) Nov 17 - 19 MIP Junior (L) Oct 9 - 10 MIPCOM (L) Oct 11 - 14 China Licensing Expo (L) Oct 19 - 21 Brand & Lifestyle Innovation Summit (L,V) Oct 27 - 28 Brand Licensing Europe (L,V) Nov 17 - 19 Korea Character Licensing Fair (L) Nov 25 - 28 (L) Live (V) Virtual (L,V) Hybrid of Live and Virtual
www.brandzkeynote.kazachok.fr www.miptv.com https://www.licensing-japan.jp/en-gb.html www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/ www.blueprintshows.com www.brandlicensinginnovationsummit.com sustainabilityinlicensing.com www.brandlicensingawards.co.uk www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/ http://www.licensingexpochina.com/ www.licensingexpo.com www.thelicensingawards.co.uk www.milanolicensingday.it www.brandlicensing.eu www.mipcom.com/mipjunior www.mipcom.com www.chinalicensingexpo.com www.brandlicensinginnovationsummit.com www.brandlicensing.eu www.characterfair.kr
Next Issue alert...
The Summer issue of Total Licensing will be published in July. Key features include: Licensing Expo Preview 2021 • Preschool Licensing • Licensing Classic Properties • Esports • Prequels, sequels and reimagined properties Bonus distribution: Licensing Expo 2021 Editorial Deadline: 25 June 2021 • Ad Material deadline: 15 July 2021
May Gibbs/Merchantwise ...................................108, 109
Beano ................................................................................... 5
Blinky Bill/Merchantwise .............................................111
Blue Print Show ...............................................................57
Milano Day of Licensing .................................................43
Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit .......................23
Brand Licensing Europe .................................................21
China Licensing Expo .....................................................25
Pacific Sportswear & Emblem ......................................17
Pink Key .............................................................................. 7
Howard Robinson ........................................................132
Studio 100 .......................................................................... 1
Kiri and Lou/Merchantwise ........................................107
Toei Animation .................................................................15
License Connection .......................................................13
ViacomCBS ...............................................................2, 3, 81
Licensing Awards ............................................................... 9
WestEnd Software ..........................................................19
Licensing China ................................................................82
Licensing International .................................................131
This list was correct at time of going to press.