Total Licensing Spring 24

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Spring 2024
Regular Features Comment 6 Global news ................................................................... 8 The Gary Pope Column 116 Products of Change ................................................. 118 Legally Speaking 120 What’s On 122 Europe Spotlight on Magic Light Pictures ........................... 14 Global following for HARI Brands 16 Pokemon Unveils European Plans .......................... 18 Keith Chapman - Aliens with Attitude 20 Beano Family Experiences ........................................ 21 The Evolving Face of Squishmallows 22 Focus on Italy An introduction to the Market ....................... 23 Industry Overview 24 News from Italy .................................................. 25 Italian Market Research 34 Moana 2 from Disney ................................................ 35 Hot Content from TF1 Licensing ........................... 36 Focus on France Cobrandz ........................................................... 104 France Licensing Day 105 French Market Spotlight ................................. 106 Trends in French Licensing ............................. 113 The Power of Nuremberg 114 Interview: Gill Archer, Disney EMEA .................... 115 Middle East/MENA/Asia The Expanding World of Spacetoon ...................... 98 Licensing Horizons Conference 100 Hong Kong Licensing Show Preview.................... 118 Global Looking Back at Kidscreen 24 95 Hybrid Meta - Demystifying Web3 ....................... 102 4 Australia Total Licensing Australia Australian News ......................................................... 44 Merchantwise 48 Minecraft ................................................................. 48 Sonic the Hedgehog 50 Activision Blizzard 52 Adopt Me!............................................................... 56 Sony Pictures 58 Legendary Entertainment .................................... 60 May Gibbs 61 Magic Mixies 64 Rainbow Brite ........................................................ 66 Elf on a Shelf 66 Aardman .................................................................. 68 Strawberry Shortcake 68 The Beatles ............................................................. 72 Blondie..................................................................... 72 Australian Olympic Team 73 The Wiggles Appoint Haven .................................... 74 Bluey Toys from Moose 76 Kidults, Nostalgia and Tween Power ...................... 78 A Cheeky Little Success Story 80 Paramount - from Preschool to Adult 81 Pink Poppy - Inspiring Imagination ......................... 86 ABC Licensing in 2024 88 Down Under Research ............................................. 90 Centa IP and Gorjuss 92 Interview: Paul Cannon, Caprice ............................. 94 106 21 80 14 22


Francesca Ash


Jerry Wooldridge

Gary Pope’s thought-provoking column in this issue deals with the explosion, and consequential fragmentation, of content.We live in a busy world and pretty much any content can be accessed at any time. As Gary Pope says, “It’s never been easier to bring an idea to life, but it’s never been harder to sell it.”

From an adult perspective, this enormous choice means you can watch what you want, pretty much whenever you want. A positive move in most people’s eyes.

grow and grow. But it does mean that whereas programs twenty or thirty years ago achieved huge viewing figures, the average viewing stats today are diluted as a result of the sheer volume of choice. Not necessarily helpful when it comes to taking on a children’s brand for licensing.

Editorial Director

Rebecca Ash Ffrench

Office Manager

Helen Bowerman

However, from a child’s perspective, particularly a small child, whilst it means that preschoolers can have their favorite program virtually on loop (as many tiny children want and need the repetition), but it also makes it hard, if not impossible, to figure out exactly how a show is doing.Yes, the terrestrial stations still publish viewing stats, but the majority of the streamers don’t publish stats detailed enough to really impact on a potential licensing program.

Away from the plethora of streaming, this issue puts the spotlight on Italy, France and, of course, includes Total Licensing Australia, an in-depth look at what’s happening in the Australasian marketplace. We also feature the Middle East and a conference held recently to discuss how licensing in the Middle East region is moving forwards at a rapid pace.

We try to demystify Web3 and how it relates (and will relate) to brands. We had just about mastered NFTs and Blockchain and along comes ‘phygital’, bridging the gap between physical and digital products.

Japan Agent

Roger Berman, ZenWorks

With thanks to those who contributed to this issue



Tel: +44 (0) 1892 782220

Fax: +44 (0) 1892 782226

BrandTrends, who are featured in this issue, do detailed research on children’s favorite characters. This, of course, helps enormously as it sheds the spotlight on certain key characters and brands. Similarly, but differently,The Insights Family provide global, regional and local intelligence.

But the root of the issue lies in the choice that caregivers, and children, have and where their favorite program is airing. YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, Disney+… the list is endless. Add on the impact, current and future of AI and VR and the maelstrom of viewing opportunities looks set to

This issue of Total Licensing will be at in the sunshine at MIPTV this April down in Cannes and, staying in France, the issue will be a Cobrandz in Paris.

And we’re only two months away from Licensing Expo in Las Vegas which many of our readers will be preparing for now. As always, we’ll have a bumper issue on show in Vegas. Do let us know if we can help promote your presence and activities to the thousands of attendees expected to be there. n

© 2024 Total Licensing Ltd Printed in England. All illustrations are reproduced by permission of their owners. No part of this magazine may be copied or quoted without permission from the Publishers first. Total Licensing Ltd does not warrant or assume any legal liability for the accuracy or legality of contents, images or advertisements submitted to the magazine. Opinions of the contributing writers are their own and do not reflect the opinion of Total Licensing Ltd. 6
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Barbie celebrates its 65th anniversary, as Mattel introduces two new limitededition commemorative dolls – the Barbie 65th Blue Sapphire Anniversary Dolls. The glamorous anniversary dolls paid homage to Barbie’s 9th March 1959 New York Toy Fair debut. A celebration of the icon’s heritage, her look has head-totoe details that nod to the original Barbie doll. The doll’s black and white gown harks back to Barbie’s original swimsuit, while sparkling “sapphire” earrings pay tribute to the gemstone associated with this remarkable milestone. Further details include cat-eye sunglasses, blue eyeshadow and red lips inspired by the first ever Barbie!

Barbie first entered the toy scene at the 1959 Toy Fair in New York City with creator Ruth Handler. As the first mainstream doll made in the likeness of an adult, Barbie defied all odds and broke the mold of how children played with and thought about their role with dolls. Handler believed that playing with dolls modeled after adult women would help girls imagine what they could be, which is a mission the brand upholds to this day. Her revolutionary take on dolls created a path for Barbie to become the most recognizable toy in the world. Of her invention, Ruth said: “My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices.”

Since its inception, the Barbie brand purpose has been to inspire the limitless potential in every girl, inspiring three generations of kids and highlighting over 250 careers. For 65 years, Barbie has been breaking down barriers and inspiring generations through storytelling. As the most inclusive doll line on the market, Barbie is continuing to teach young children to be confident, daring, brave and legendary – shaping their own future.

Marking the anniversary, this March Barbie will share stories of empowerment and impact across generations, highlighting the brand’s purpose of inspiring the next generation to reach their full potential. Recently, Barbie kicked off celebrations by unveiling the 2024 Role Model lineup, celebrating ‘female storytellers’ worldwide with the highest award honour from the Barbie brand – their own one-of-a-kind Barbie doll. New global Role Model honourees include acclaimed actresses Dame Helen Mirren and Viola Davis, superstar singer Kylie Minogue, and singer-songwriter Shania Twain.


Hybrid Meta is set to disrupt the brand licensing industry by introducing new physical-digital merchandise in a landmark deal with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products

In a deal that could change how consumers buy, own and resell licensed merchandise forever, Hybrid Meta is partnering with WBDGCP to bring limited-edition physical apparel paired with digital collectibles that offer realworld value and consumer experience. Both companies have announced a next generation offering: phygital merchandise (physical and digital).

The partnership will see the release of limited-edition collections, authenticated on the blockchain, including products from franchises such as DC, Hanna-Barbera, Looney Tunes, Rick and Morty and The Matrix, with potential one-of-akind collaborations with artists and designers.

Phygital products have grown in popularity over the past year due to demand for proof of authenticity, ownership of collectibles, and valuable digital experiences. Morgan Stanley estimates that revenue streams from digital mediums for brands will reach $50 billion by 2030, thereby captivating the attention of brand owners on how to get involved.

This deal with WBDGCP represents the world’s first ever phygital company partnership with a Hollywood studio and is part of Hybrid Meta’s strategy to secure world class licenses across Entertainment, Sports, Music, Gaming and Art sectors and help them monetise this revolutionary concept. Hybrid Meta is bridging the gap between the Web3 community and wider audiences in using blockchain technology to verify and authenticate official physical merchandise.

They offer both a limited-edition physical item paired with a digital collectible (or digital twin), via which consumers can use to access exclusive content, rewards and prizes from their favourite brands.



A local mom-of-two from Ilkley in the UK, who’s built her business from her kitchen table in Yorkshire to become a nationally recognised brand and award winning entrepreneur, is celebrating having acquired a new member to her flock this weekthe world renowned and multi-award-winning Aardman creation, Shaun the Sheep. Sarah Turner, 44, the only UK producer of 100% natural British wool dryer balls, and winner of the 2019 Wool Innovation Prize, is delighted to partner with Aardman, to create a special range of products using British wool featuring Shaun the Sheep and with fragrances inspired by the meadow flowers found on Mossy Bottom Farm - and the partnership is off to a great start with the products being selected as finalists for Branded Gift of the Year in the most highly respected industry accolades, The Gift of the Year Awards, run by the Giftware Association. Sarah, who has shared her views on the power of wool and the tragedy of it being an underrated material in a TedX talk, has worked with the Aardman licensing team to create a range of products including Laundry Balls, Laundry fragrance, Linen Spray and Felted Soap.

Having previewed the range at the Spring Fair in Birmingham, as nominated Gift of the Year, earlier this year the new range was warmly received by retailers scouring for innovative new products to stock. Sarah said; “One of the things I love most about my job is being able to advocate for this incredible magic material, collaborating with Shaun the Sheep allows us to take this message to a much wider audience.” Rachael Peacock, Senior Brand Manager at Aardman added: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Little Beau Sheep on this lovely collection of eco-friendly laundry products. The collaboration is a perfect match for Shaun the Sheep and goes hand in hand with our One Farm initiative, which actively promotes sustainable living through a planet friendly licensing programme. It’s also fantastic to see the collection already nominated for Gift of the Year! Mossy Bottom Farm has never smelled so good!”


Following the successful pop-up in London’s theatre district last year, Dick Bruna’s iconic Miffy is now hopping into the Mall of Berlin for a unique, limited time only (retail) experience from the 16th of March to the 15th of July 2024.

An unparalleled assortment of Miffy items and limited edition Berlin specific products can be found and visitors will be welcomed by a rainbow wall of coloured plush. Throughout the duration of this shop, rare Miffy products from around the world will be dropped to keep the experience fresh and exciting.

Miffy will personally open the shop on Saturday the 16th of March and greet visitors for unique photo opportunities on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Miffy was “born” on 21 June 1955, when Dutch artist Dick Bruna first drew the character to entertain his young son whilst on a rainy seaside holiday in Holland. The series of picture books which followed used simple illustrations and rhyming text to explore the universal experiences of childhood, immediately earning Bruna international critical ac-


King Features Syndicate has promoted Carla Silva to Senior VP, General Manager, and Head of Global Licensing. Silva brings over two decades of invaluable experience and expertise into her expanded role.

Throughout her tenure at King Features, Silva has played a pivotal role in spearheading the evolution of the licensing business, fostering the development of iconic franchises, and cultivating a team of talented professionals. Under her guidance, the company has successfully navigated a strategic shift towards a diverse portfolio, encompassing King Featuresowned brands including the iconic Popeye, Olive Oyl, Flash Gordon, The Phantom and others, and third-party representations such as Cuphead, Moomin, Rebel Girls, and Crazy Frog, while also increasing profitability. Silva will continue to report directly to King Features’ President, C.J. Kettler.

claim as an author and artist.

69 years later, the Miffy books have sold more than 85 million copies, and are currently published in more than 50 languages. Merchandise is available across five continents and highly integrated business units in the fields of publishing, media and licensing (Mercis bv) support Miffy’s global explorations.



Redibra in Brazil, has announced its new agreement as brand licensing agent for Unicorn Academy, a new fantasy-adventure franchise by Spin Master. This collaboration marks an exciting chapter in Redibra’s portfolio expansion, solidifying its position as a premier licensing agency in the Brazilian market. As the brand licensing agent for Unicorn Academy, Redibra is poised to introduce this enchanting world to Brazilian audiences. Unicorn Academy, a Netflix original CGI-animated series produced by Spin Master Entertainment, captivates viewers in over 190 territories and more than 30 languages.

With a 72-minute movie special and 8 x 22’ episodes already captivating fans, 2024 promises even more content alongside a lineup of consumer products, including toys and a digital games both by Spin Master. Short-form content for Unicorn Academy is also available on YouTube. The series, adapted from The New York Times bestselling books published by Nosy Crow, written by Julie Sykes, and distributed


in North America by Penguin Random House, follows the adventures of Sophia, her friends, and their majestic unicorns.

“As the licensing agency for Unicorn Academy in Brazil, Redibra is excited to offer a range of innovative products and experiences that resonate with the vibrant spirit of the brand, bringing this magical universe closer to Brazilian audiences”, said David Diesendruck, CEO at Redibra. “Unicorn Academy has engaging characters and exciting stories, and we are committed to extending its presence in Brazil through creative licensing initiatives and strategic collaborations.”

Additionally, Unicorn Academy toys debuted at the Brazilian Toy Fair in March, with Sunny Brinquedos as the local distributor.

Furthermore, Redibra’s partnership with Spin Master extends beyond Unicorn Academy to include Tech Deck and Rubik’s, further diversifying the range of brands brought to the Brazilian market.

“Unicorn Academy is a beautiful and

WildBrain CPLG, attended Korea’s largest interior design and lifestyle exhibition, The Seoul Living Design Fair 2024, with a comprehensive range celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beagle Scouts from beloved character brand Peanuts. WildBrain CPLG represents the Peanuts brand in Korea and additional territories across Asia Pacific, China and Europe on behalf of Peanuts Worldwide.

A dedicated Beagle Scouts-themed booth paid tribute to this milestone with a range of products including wooden furniture, camping themed items and Beagle Scouts artworks celebrating Snoopy’s Out door Adventures for both retailers and consumers in Korea.

During the fair, which took place February 28 – March 3, exhibiting Peanuts licensees showcased collections inspired by the famous Beagle Scouts, including stationery and home décor from online retail site Ten by Ten; small home appliances and tableware from licensee Inteco under its retail brand Bo-friends & Bo-Cuisine; pet care from Withrich, a specialist li censee who operates under brand name

dynamic property that’s quickly captivated audiences globally,” said André Lake Mayer, Spin Master’s SVP Global Strategic Partnerships & Consumer Products.

“With the premiere standing of Redibra and the influence of the Brazilian market we are confident that Unicorn Academy will become an undeniable leader in kid’s entertainment and consumer products.”

Paris Dog; branded socks from Popcorn and Kiki; and premium card covers from Gorilla District under brand name Ghosty. The Peanuts booth design featured quotes as well as scenes from Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz’s beloved comic strips, creating memorable moments for fans. In addition, SN Garden, a licensee who operates Snoopy Garden in Jeju, set up a special photo zone in the booth which showcased a selection of beautiful images from the popular themed Snoopy Garden. WildBrain CPLG also had several promotional interactive events in the booth for attendees, including a Snoopy character Meet and Greet and a daily event hosted by individual licensees to showcase their products.

Attracting interior designers, marketers, trend research institutions and cultural figures, The Seoul Living Design Fair is Korea’s largest interior design & lifestyle exhibition, attended by over 280,000 visitors annually. Participants include leading brands from Korea and abroad that stand at the forefront of interior design and lifestyle trends.



Classic evergreen brand The Gruffalo turns 25 this year, and Magic Light Pictures has designed a packed programme of experiences, activities, products and promotions to celebrate the landmark anniversary of the global family favourite in style.

son and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, The Gruffalo books – and their related products – continue to entertain and delight children worldwide.

Book sales for The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child currently stand at a whopping 38 million across all formats. The brand has proved hugely popular in the apparel space, with its beloved and charismatic characters adorning a wide array of quality clothing. More exciting new launches are set to mark the anniversary, with a flurry of apparel hitting shelves across March. Sainsburys has a high-profile The Gruffalo collection; high-street maternity and babywear retailer Jojo Maman Bébé has launched a new Gruffalo and Friends offering; an adorable new Gruffalo babywear collection has arrived from baby and sleepwear specialists MORI; and George at ASDA have just launched their beautiful Gruffalo Spring Summer range.

Meanwhile, John Lewis is supporting a new clothing range from Brand Threads with The Gruffalo costume character visits in store; and online fan shopping site Vanilla Underground released a new apparel col-

lection along with a special competition.

Elsewhere, Carex have announced the launch of a deliciously-scented forest fruits handwash in multiple grocers and pharmacies.

A huge favourite in the live space, The Gruffalo has inspired a range of interactive experiences, with its groundbreaking family trails at Forestry England proving hugely popular for over 10 years. Magic Light also works with smaller parks and attractions to create pop-up events and trails, with the most recent being a month-long collaboration with Wonderwood Green Forest in Milan, Italy – a beautiful covered space where nature comes to life and children are the protagonists.

A world of curiosity, learning and fun for children in the heart of Merlata Bloom, the brand-new lifestyle centre in Milan, Wonderwood Green Forest is a family experience where everyone can discover and learn together, in a world tailored to the whole family. Wonderwood is re-theming its play space throughout March as The Gruffalo, and also offering a selection of special Gruffalo-themed activities tailored to families.

Looking further ahead across 2024, Magic Light have more launches and activations in the pipeline to ensure that The Gruffalo’s 25th anniversary will be one to re member!



Another action-packed year for BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated production company Magic Light Pictures has started with a flourish with the continued success of its award-winning preschool animation Pip and Posy (104 x 7’). A busy programme of activity is set to delight fans and reinforce the on-screen popularity of Magic Light’s charming first-ever series, which celebrates play, imagination, fun and learning. Adapted from the books by awardwinning illustrator Axel Scheffler, Pip and Posy is one of Milkshake!’s toprated shows, attracting more than 4 million viewers since launch, with Nick Junior and Sky Kids (linear) added to UK broadcasters. A hugely successful second series launched in early 2023,

marketing and PR campaign including an influencer campaign, on-air support with Milkshake! and a pop-up store at the Bandai Cross Store in Camden. Apparel has enjoyed a successful start with Aykroyds and Asda, including nightwear and 100% cotton t-shirt. A new t-shirt from Blues is due for SS24, along with more pieces from TDP via Characterville, and Blues via

Further ahead,Tonies are launching Pip and Posy audio figures this Autumn; and Nosy Crow, publishers of both the classic and TV tie-in Pip and Posy formats, have scheduled three more TV tie-ins following their successful first range of activity books.

plus, an educational spin-off series –Pip and Posy Let’s Learn – launched on all Sky Kids platforms last autumn. Hot off the press having launched this February, Kennedy Publishing’s

Everything Pip and Posy Magazine contains educational content and activities – including a gardening set, seeds, and a sticker sheet – themed around the brand’s core values of friendship, messy play and the outdoors.

Pip and Posy hit the big screen this March, when the Pip and Posy and Friends cinema show launched at Vue, Odeon, Picturehouse, The Light and Showcase venues from 15th March. The audience can play, laugh and sing along with Pip, Posy and all their friends in a 50-minute film featuring seven amazing episodes, interactives games and catchy songs.

Spring sees the eagerly awaited Master toy launch as Bandai release an appealing range of toys and plush, supported by a heavyweight

And after a successful run in ‘22 and ‘23, Pip and Posy will make further character appearances in August at Playday, the national day for play and the biggest play sector event in the UK.

Packed with warmth and humour, the series follows the playful adventures of best friends Pip and Posy, whose lives revolve around a wonderful world of play and is a joyful celebration of their great friendship, its laughter and games, its highs and lows.

Also hugely popular on its growing social media platforms, Pip and Posy is winning friends globally too: over 40 international broadcasters and streamers are on board across 110 countries worldwide, translated into 30 local language versions. Pip and Posy licensees include Amscan (dress up/par ty), Brand Alliance (apparel), Rainbow Productions (costume character), Ravensburger (puzzles/games) and Star Editions (online gifts).

Magic Light Pictures’ in-house licensing team is actively looking to expand the brand into other categories to consolidate the show’s exciting outlook across 2024.



At HARI their global following is ever-expanding, with their evergreen characters growing their impressive foot (or paw!) print across the world.

With incredible storytelling and feature quality animation, Grizzy & the Lemmings and Mystery Lane have made bold moves into licensing and merchandising, with an array of brilliant partners on board and more in the offing! Reaching audiences across multiple windows and devices and finding fun new ways to engage with fans all over the world.

It’s been a brilliant time for HARI’s grizzly bear Grizzy, his eponymous crew of hilarious lemmings, their crime-solving hamster duo (in Mystery Lane) and the cast of colourful characters that support them. Last year Netflix produced a first-of-itskind report showing ‘hours viewed’ of their extensive library. HARI was

proud and delighted to see Grizzy & the Lemmings in the top ten animated series list, amassing a whopping 132 million hours (across two seasons) globally in a six-month period. Recent Unifrance data revealed that the series is the number one most broadcasted French animated series in major territories such as the UK, Germany and Brazil since 2019! Grizzy also delivers outstanding ratings on local TV channels around the world including key territories such as: France Television (France), Boing (Spain and Italy), Cartoonito and Discovery Kids (EMEA, LatAm, APAC), CBBC, Pop (UK), Mango TV (China), Super RTL (Germany).

The YouTube channel has amassed more than 7.7 million subscribers (+ 10% year on year) and more than one billion views per year. A much-anticipated season four will be released in 2024.

Mystery Lane - although earlier in its

Grizzy & the Lemmings and Mystery Lane have made bold moves into licensing and merchandising, with an array of brilliant partners on board and more in the offing!

Reaching audiences across multiple windows and devices and finding fun new ways to engage with fans all over the world.

journey - seems to be following in the paw prints of Grizzy.

This show, about two hamsters leading investigations in London, is a new classic à la Scooby Doo meets Sherlock Holmes: with lots of mysteries, action,

Grizzy & the Lemmings

suspense and fun. It offers sophisticated and accessible stories appealing to kids 6-12 and their families. The series has won the Pulcinella Award for Best Kids TV Show at Cartoons on The Bay (2023), praised for its “fascinating and sophisticated storytelling” and for “the high quality of the egregiously elaborate and dynamic animation”. It has also more recently scooped the Youth Prize at Lauriers de L’Audiovisuel in France.

Launched last year across the world, including the France (France TV), Germany (Disney Channel), UK (CiTV), Italy (Rai TV), China (YouKu), Switzerland (RTS), Norway (NRK), Sweden (SVT), Croatia (HRT), Spain (SX3), Latvia (TV3), Australia (ABC), Canada (Télé Québec), Hungary (MTVA), and Finland (YLE). The series has already made an impact. Disney Channel in Germany have reported market shares significantly above channel average with kids aged 3-13, and a very strong market share performance among the key target age group of 6-9. And the series amassed a massive one million views on Okoo (France TV) in just six weeks.

Such incredible exposure creates fans, followers and devotees craving ever-more ways to enjoy the character

At HARI their global following is everexpanding, with their evergreen characters growing their impressive foot (or paw!) print across the world.

driven shows, which is a golden opportunity for licensing partners and retailers to leverage this potential for a range of new and exciting products and experiences.

HARI has signed a deal with Hachette Jeunesse in France, to develop Grizzy and the Lemmings and  Mystery Lane on several formats such as story and chapter books available in bookstores from Spring/Summer 2024.

Société Française des Monnaies has come on board to produce a more niche collection of commemorative medals, medal bars and tokens made in silver and gold metal for Grizzy & the Lemmings, available online from the second quarter of this year.

Board game publisher Débâcle Jeux is also gearing up for a Grizzy & the

Lemmings board game, launching in France, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg. The game will be available in selected retailers both in stores and online, launching in the second half of 2024.

The glue brand UHU will be producing a series of limited-edition glue sticks with Grizzy & the Lemmings designs, with full support from more than 726 Leclerc hypermarket stores in France from January 2025. With key visuals at point-of-sale and a QR code leading to activities, competitions, and games from Christmas 2024.

Later this year HARI is partnering with Kinépolis theatres in France to deliver exclusive screening events with Grizzy & the Lemmings season 4 episodes premieres, alongside in-theatre activities, photocalls, quizzes and giveaways.

French toy retailer JouéClub from this April will offer shoppers a dedicated Grizzy & The Lemmings area, complete with a range of Grizzy toys and gifts, as well as immersive product and point-of-sale displays.

Finally, HARI is very excited that a deal with a major fast-food restaurant chain will be disclosed later this year! More to follow... n

Mystery Lane

Pokémon Unveils Dynamic Plans for Europe

Pokémon has started 2024 with a flourish, setting the scene for another sensational year for the world’s largest single property. A dynamic programme of activity across Europe is set to keep Pokémon riding high at the forefront of popular culture, with exciting new releases, collaborations and events keeping the iconic evergreen brand fresh, relevant and increasingly appealing to a wide range of fans both old and new.

UK highlights include a new musical collaboration with multi-platinum DJ and producer – and huge Pokémon fan

Four iconic Pokémon – Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle and Pikachu –each has a dedicated shoe style, and is brought to life by pixelated stitched graphics on the tongue.

The popular range of Die-Cast Poké Ball Replicas from The Wand Company is expanding in 2024. The first of five Mini Poké Ball Replicas launched in February, with the Mini Great Ball, Mini Ultra Ball, Mini Cherish Ball and Mini Premier Ball following throughout the year. A fabulous new full-size offering, the Beast Ball Replica, is due in October.

– Jax Jones. A sonic journey into the heart of music and friendship, his electrifying new single Never Be Lonely, featuring Zoe Wees, is a testament to the power of unity through music. Its video, set in a future world, features a mesmerising performance from Jax and Zoe, plus a grand entrance from Pikachu, whose electrifying sparks illuminate the stadium and unite the crowd.

Retail hits include a new adult Pokémon range from Clarks on the back of an award-winning kids’ collection. The pair joined forces again last December to reimagine the signature adults’ Torhill Hi profile. Its archive-inspired silhouette, crafted from premium suede, is big on bold vintage aesthetics.

In France,  Pokémon was again the No. 1 Circana toy property in 2023, with sales almost double that of the No. 2 brand for a third successive year. This year, for Pokémon Day (27 February)

a limited-edition set of four collector stamps was issued from La Poste featuring iconic Pokémon, with a further launch coming at the end of May.There were also special in-store promotions with branded spaces at retailers such as Auchan and King Jouet. The Pokémon Company International is exhibiting at CoBrandz in Paris (4-5 April.)

Pokémon continues to expand in Spain and Italy. In Spain, the brand won Best Digital License of the Year and the McDonald’s x Pokémon promotion won the Award for Best Licensed Promotion of the year at the LICENCIAS Actualidad Awards, while Italy saw a remarkable 68 percent growth yearon-year*.

January’s TV-advertised promotion with Phoskitos featured characterbranded boxes of cakes which include a fun Pokémon present. A variety of iconic Pokémon characters also recently decorated Actimel yoghurt drinks, the promotion offered customers in Spain and Portugal the chance to win prizes, the innovative range is due to launch at retail in the UK in the near future.

In ice cream parlour shops across Europe, fans can chill out with a delicious flavour inspired by Pokémon from CasaOptima. The Pokémon gelato was also presented at the recent SIGEP B2B fair in Rimini, Italy.

A firm fashion favourite across Europe, Pokémon is a staple in Primark,


H&M and Zara. In Iberia, Lefties stocks an expanded range including Tempe’s Pokémon-adorned shoes and bags. A new DTR partnership with Mango will see kids’ apparel available this year, and Italian streetwear brand Dolly Noire are set to launch a new collection shortly.

More Pokémon Day celebrations included an activation in OVS stores across Italy, featuring dedicated windows, in-store branded areas offering Pokémon product, and special events including a Pikachu Meet-and-Greet.

A new partnership with San Carlo crisps put branded packs plus an inbag surprise in supermarkets and

grocers across Italy. And following the success of their 2023 BTS promotion, Levissima and Pokémon are launching more Pokémon-branded water bottles in 2024.

Innovation and creativity is at the heart of Pokémon’s continued success, and 2024 is set for even more exciting releases, activity and events across the year.

The hugely popular Pokémon Trading Card Game releases a new special expansion, Scarlet & Violet – Temporal Forces in March, marking the return of powerful ACE SPEC cards. And later in the year will see a fun new way to enjoy Pokémon TCG with the launch of the free-to-start Pokémon Trading Card Game Pocket app for iOS and Android devices. Fans can collect digital cards and compete in quick battles with streamlined rules, while new “immersive cards” will allow players to leap into the world of card illustrations like never before.

There is also plenty of exciting new activity across Pokémon’s wide range of video games. Celebrating 4.5 years of Pokémon Masters EX is the arrival of new sync pairs, including Geeta & Glimmora and Silver (Champion) & Tyranitar in their featured sync pair scout, as well as the arrival of master sync pair Sygna Suit Gladion &

Magearna, and the return of the Master Fair Scouts of Lillie (Anniversary 2021) & Lunala and Sygna Suit Lusamine & Necrozma.

More Pokémon are coming to Pokémon UNITE too, while a series of 7-star Tera Raid Battles launched in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet in celebration of Pokémon Day, from the end of February.

Fans are eagerly looking forward to The Play! Pokémon European International Championships, featuring action, events, rewards and more, which come to Excel in London from 5-7 April.

Pokémon animation continues to offer enticing new content. Introducing the first new mainline Pokémon animated series released in over 25 years, “Pokémon Horizons: The Series” launched in the UK on the BBC last December, rolling out across Europe throughout 2024. It follows Liko, Roy and their partner Pokémon Sprigatito and Fuecoco as they uncover the mysteries of the Pokémon world. And from early March, a special Pokémon

Horizons: The Series collaboration arrived in Pokémon GO, introducing Pokémon and characters from the animation to the mobile game sensation.

And following this packed and pulsating 2024, there is more excitement on the horizon for next year too, with an ambitious new entry to the Pokémon video game series, Pokémon Legends: Z-A, exclusive to the Nintendo Switch family of systems, due for worldwide release in 2025. n

*(source: Circana Retail Tracking)


Aliens With Attitude

When we found out that industry legend Keith Chapman was developing a new intergalactic brand focused on Hip Hop & Aliens with a core target demo of kids 6-11yrs, we couldn’t wait to find out more! We sat down with both Keith and Stefan Maingot, the brand creator & founder of creative studio Jolly Exciting to journey into the world of A.W.A. (Aliens With Attitude)…

TL: As the creator of A.W.A. (Aliens With Attitude) what inspired you to develop this concept and bring it to life?

Stefan: The inspiration came from my talking to my nephews about my own experiences discovering Hip Hop in the 90s. Growing up in London my initial exposure came through watching a show called Yo MTV Raps which was broadcast from New York. This lead me to getting involved with

the music, fashion & art of the culture and eventually making a trip to New York to see it all first-hand and where I actually felt like an alien! It was just incredible to grasp how far the broadcast of this music had travelled and the impact it had not only on me, but on people around the world. By infusing elements of 90s Hip Hop culture with an intergalactic adventure storyline, almost like a cross between Star Wars and Boyz N The Hood, I aimed to create a one-of-a-kind property that offers something truly distinctive to audiences.

TL: With the incredible successes of Paw Patrol and Bob the Builder what made Keith realise that A.W.A. could be another smash hit brand?

Keith: I very rarely get involved in collaborating on another creator’s IP, but I immediately saw something special when Stefan presented A.W.A. to me. It is original and unique, with great standout, a strong story with heart and action potential, has universal appeal, huge L&M potential and it ticks every box. With the right partners behind it, this IP could easily be the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

TL: What strategies are you implementing to build and expand the A.W.A. brand beyond the initial animated film and TV show?

TL: What opportunities do you see for A.W.A. in terms of merchandising and licensing?

Keith: Stefan touches on some categories where we see great opportunities. Beyond that, Apparel, Toys and footwear are natural brand extensions for the Aliens With Attitude brand!

TL: Finally, what message do you hope

Stefan: Working with the incredible team at BIG PICTURE LICENSING, we are currently deep in development for the property and finalising the strategy and route to market to bring A.W.A. to a global audience with strategic partners. We envision A.W.A. as a multi-platform franchise with potential for merchandise, digital content, gaming, and publishing. Hip Hop music is also a very big part of the brand DNA, and we are creating our own catalogue of tracks which will open a wide range of opportunities including streaming revenues and live performances.

to convey to audiences through the adventures of A.W.A.?

Stefan: Through the adventures of A.W.A., I hope to inspire audiences to embrace creativity, diversity, and the power of friendship. By showcasing the importance of teamwork, perseverance, and self-expression, A.W.A. sends a positive and empowering message to viewers, encouraging them to follow their passions, overcome obstacles, and make a positive impact in their own lives and communities. We also want A.W.A. to inspire audiences to reach for the stars! n


A very Beano experience: family fun for everyone

From theme parks to hotels, shopping centres and climbing walls, there’s no limit to family fun when Beano is present. Eight decades of entertaining children, its cross-generational appeal and a commitment to bring the fun of the comic to wherever kids are, make Beano uniquely positioned to connect families, communities, and friends through great experiences.

A long-term champion of school holidays, Beano unleashed fun and mischief to The Lexicon, Bracknell this half term. The first collaboration between Beano and Bakehouse Factory brought to life the interactive ‘Create with Beano’ experience for children. This engaging workshop allowed kids to create their own comic characters and enjoy an array of Beano-themed daily activities, as well as experience laugh-out-loud interactive joke boxes. Retailers joined in the fun too, as the Gnasher Trail sent families on a search for Dennis’s mischievous hound in shop windows around the town centre, in pursuit of hidden punchlines to jokes and to win prizes.

Beano’s long-standing partnership with Gulliver’s Theme Park Resorts will see the comic-themed live-stage show launching across different locations this year. The recent Land of Lights experience at Gulliver’s World

Warrington was a 1-mile-long wonderland of illumination trail, featuring, among other family-favourites, lanterns of comic stars Dennis, Minnie and Gnasher.

The great fit between Beano’s ethos and the attractions industry will be explored further through Beano’s recent partnership with Blacklist Creative. Together with the multi-award winning independent creative agency, Beano will bring the comic world to life in more immersive, innovative, bespoke ways, addressing the needs of the UK’s family-themed spaces.

Nationwide, families can now reach new heights and challenge themselves on original Beano themed climbing walls at various Clip ‘n Climb centres.

Launched in 2023 to mark the hotel’s 20th anniversary and celebrate Dundee’s comic legacy, the activation includes special Beano decorations, a themed room, bespoke map, a personalised comic strip story, kids’ menus,

The experience includes Beano-themed activations, Easter events and comic characters-powered fun, on site and online. 2024 will see an additional number of Clip ‘n Climb centres offering the Beano experience for families.

In hospitality, Beano’s successful partnership with the Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa, in Dundee, the hometown of Beano, continues and evolves.

and even a unique ‘Splasher’ red and black striped duck for guests. Further Beano-themed celebrations such as birthday parties will be available this year.

The range of Beano licensed products with great retail listing across toys, apparel, dress-up, cards and calendars, puzzles, and gifts from licensees such as Kap Toys, Danilo, Star Editions, Oddballs and more continues with exciting new ranges coming soon.

Beano champions reading for fun, and its successful partnership with publisher Farshore includes more releases scheduled for 2024 and 2025, across fiction and activity books. Following the success of the first-ever book based on Minnie the Minx, a second book on the nation’s favourite Queen of Mischief is due to be published in July. n


The Evolving Face of Squishmallows

Over the last year, Jazwares has been focused on evolving Squishmallows as a lifestyle brand with world-class partners across fashion, gaming, and many lifestyle categories, adding to its illustrious portfolio of more than 60+ best-in-class global licensees.

The UK’s #1 toy Squishmallows continues to ascend beyond the toy aisle in 2024, evolving into an industry-leading lifestyle franchise with a 360-degree licensing portfolio and remaining steadfast in their vision to surprise and delight fans with their upcoming launches.

The main focus for 2024 is to accelerate the Squishmallows license programme across Europe with new and existing partners. Jazwares is delighted to work with over 30+ local licensing partners across many exciting categories, including fashion apparel & accessories, home, kitchenware, lunchware, hair accessories, jewellery, health & beauty, stationery & gifting, partyware, oral care, calendars & greetings, and board & card games.

Stationery partner Blueprint recently launched a cross category out-of-aisle placement across 550+ Tesco stores this March to capture those all impor-

tant back-to-school sales consisting of Plush Cam the Cat notebooks, novelty pens, pencil cases, stationery sets and lunchbag & bottle. Fans across our social channels have been going wild for these new lines with high school and college students alike sharing their love for the ranges.

Squishmallows Food Gifting partner Modern Gourmet has also been gaining great results with the launch of the seasonal and Easter focused collections. B&M in particular have hugely supported these ranges with hand iced cookies of Cam the Cat, Easter capsules, and egg hunt collection kits.

The long awaited Squishmallows: The Official Baking Book launched on pre-order in Q1 across all good bookshops and quickly made its way to the top of the Amazon charts in the baking section. Full of sweet treat recipes inspired by fan favourite Squishmallows, including the very special Elizabeth the

Unicorn celebration cake, the publication is sure to have everyone diving for their aprons!

With 400 million lifetime units sold to date, 100 million of those in 2023 alone, the brand is known for its ultra-soft feel and adorable designs, continues to take the world by storm and delighting fans of all ages. Squishmallows ended 2023 as the top-selling toy in the UK for a second year in a row as well as Circana’s Top Gaining Plush Property in Europe!

On social media, Squishmallows content has generated over 13.7 billion impressions on TikTok and @squishmallows (and related hashtags) tagged in more than one million Instagram posts. Additionally, the Squishmallows social media channels have ballooned to more than 1.6m followers and over 127 global and local Facebook groups have been created by fans. n

The team will once again be attending Licensing Expo in Las Vegas and would welcome the opportunity to meet with existing and prospective licensees and retailers!

Join Jazwares at Las Vegas Licensing Show Booth S212.


An Introduction to the Italian Market

According to the Global Licensing Industry Study 2023 commissioned annually by Licensing International, Italy is no. 3 in the European rankings (after Germany and France) for Sales of Licensed Merchandise and Services and no. 9 worldwide.

The above ranking hasn’t changed very much in the last five years though the licensing industry in Italy has gone through some major changes during the period.

2023 the “Associazione italiana content & digital creator” has been founded in order to provide a regulatory framework for the sector. Licensing Italia interviewed Sara Zanotelli, President of Aicdc https://www.licensingitalia. it/associazione-italiana-digital-contentcreator-subito-una-legge-per-un-codice-diregolamentazione-e-tutela-del-settore/ New original hit shows available on streaming platforms, such as La Casa di Carta, Emily in Paris, Bridgerton,

The leading market share category remains the Entertainment/Character sector in Italy. However, this category shows some minor growth and many licensees are seeking out more stable alternatives to licensing Entertainment properties.

Consumers, retailers, and licensees are migrating to more cross-category evergreen properties, whether it be nostalgic entertainment properties or well-established corporate brands. Licensees also demonstrate more willingness to embrace digital Influencer/ creator properties and video gaming properties, which have a high audience reach.

Licenses linked to digital influencers and creators have become more and more relevant and many licensees have begun regularly tracking digital fan bases to seek out new properties though some recent scandals involving one of the major italian influencers has had a quite negative impact. In July

have turned out to be valid alternatives to major Entertainment properties as shown this year in the Easter Eggs campaign.

Streaming platforms also have revived older entertainment properties and have brought the “long tail” consumption concept to the way consumers now partake in Entertainment content. This could pose significant changes to the Entertainment licensing category in the future as it becomes more fragmented with several smaller hits potentially occurring annually vs. blockbusters.

In addition, streamed anime along with the licensing of videogame characters are getting more and more relevance though these property types don’t have as much licensing cross-product category appeal as more classic Entertainment properties. Another significant trend is the steady growth in Corporate brand licensing and Art Licensing.

Most of the major independent Licensing Agencies have decided to expand their portfolio adding properties linked to Corporations and Artists. To underline the growing relevance of Art Licensing, Licensing Italia, the representative office of Licensing International, organized in 2023 in partnership with PwC Italy a seminar dedicated to Art and Museum Licensing inviting Carlo Giordanetti, CEO Swatch Art Peace Hotel, as keynote speaker. This year’s edition of the Licensing Seminars promoted by Licensing Italia – Licensing International Italy will take place on June 26th at PwC Italy’s headquarter in Milan ( Major topics will be the role of Metaverse in licensing, Inclusivity and Duration of copyright. n


Italian Market Overview

The global licensing business is strongly influenced by two factors: the entertainment content industry and the children and family purchasing system (leaving aside the fashion licensing system, which is a completely different story). Italy is no exception, so to look at the state of the Italian licensing business, a good starting point is to analyse the main industries that produce with a “family marketing” approach: cinema, toys, children’s clothing, publishing, media, back-toschool.

Kids Marketing Forum 2024, the unique event organised by BVA Doxa and MLD Entertainment to discuss these topics with the entire Italian marketing community through panels and workshops, has just finished and the state of Italian “family marketing” has been more than discussed. A few figures to start with: the consumer value of 0-14 year old apparel, toys and games, cinema, children’s publishing, themed and non themed parks, stationery, as an aggregated market, is worth around €7 billion in 2023. Although the value is the same as in 2022 (+0.4% growth), the different markets follow different dynamics. Cinema has grown at a rate of 83%, almost back to pre-pandemic

levels, whereas Clothing 0-14, the first market with a weight of 55% of the total of 7 bio, lost 3.75% points compared to 2022, although retail chains such as OVS, Terranova, Upim and the like mark a strong +7.4%. The same toys and games market, although declining by 2.05 p.p., shows segments such as pre-school toys, board games and collectible cards that are growing. If the pure numbers do not offer a key to interpretation, the qualitative pulse does, and “storytelling entertainment” seems to be the name of the game, according to the sentiment registered at the event and some evidence discussed. The Italian Association of Parks reports on the strong investments of its partners in live and animated shows, digital entertainment experiences, meet & greets with creators and influencers, which represent an investment of €15 million in 2023. Retail chains such as OVS, Gruppo Calzedonia, Terranova are attracting families back to their physical stores with iterative capsule collections, most of which are licensed. Collectible cards and board games are two of the growing segments in the toy market, thanks to the new narratives that toy manufacturers are applying to their marketing plans, turning “consumers” into “fans”, while retailers such as Feltrinelli, Mondadori Retail and Toys Center are creating new dedicated corners for the geek/ kidult target.

That said, Barbie, Marvel and Pokémon remain the top 3 franchises in Italy in 2023, according to Circana, the Barbie movie effect did not save Italy and 7 out of the top 10 films in the Italian box office in 2023 were franchises like Supermario, Marvel, Avatar, Fast & Furious.

The licensing business in Italy confirms its shape as a system of different variables, difficult to follow, but at least with a common ground of entertainment storytelling. To understand it better, a visit to Milano Licensing Day is highly recommended, in order to grasp in one day only the mood of the licensing status, both for Italian and foreign professionals. n

Last year, 1,200 professionals gathered at Milano Licensing Day for a full day of networking, meetings, pitch sessions and insights. This year, on September 12, the event returns for its 18th edition, packed with new features and a programme of brand presentations, trend showcases and business meetings that can give visitors all the information they need to navigate the Italian licensing market, while providing everyone with the key to next years’ strategies.

“The pitch sessions are the most appreciated by both licensors and licensees,” says Vanessa Stillitano, who manages the event with Gisella Barabino, “and we have basically booked every space months before the event. That’s why the programme has flourished in recent years, giving space to special showcase events such as the opening party, breakfast specials, the cake party and the cocktail that concludes a full day of networking. “Curated content is our strength,” says Gisella Barabino, “and last year we added a new feature, “Meet the Unexpected”, a special section of dedicated brand showcases, while our Business Matching service, specially tailored to save time for retailers and licensee delegations, will continue to support all exhibitors in their new business objectives.”

For more information, contact


What’s Happening in the Italian Market

Maurizio Distefano Licensing (MDL) is now celebrating ten years of licensing very successfully in Italy.

The MDL portfolio of properties is the result of extensive research and careful consideration, informed by experience in the field: the company’s president, Maurizio Distefano, boasts over 20 years in the sector.

The portfolio is organised into five distinct sections, within each of which is a carefully curated selection of successful properties.

For instance, the entertainment category boasts a line-up of highly sought-after properties, such as Bing, Bluey, Masha and The Bear,ALVINNN!!!

And the Chipmunks and CoComelon, all of which have attracted a significant number of licensees.

There’s also a videogame and NFT category, a place for IPs like Fall Guys, the wildly popular, cross-platform, massive multiplayer, party royale game; or IPs like Army of Apes, a selection of NFTs from the more than 10,000NFT collection, the Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Italy offers some challenges, of course.

Maurizio Distefano cites a falling birth rate and a decrease in demand for toy products, along with the continuing effects of the Covid years on budgets. However, there are also strong opportunities across various sectors, like fashion, accessories, food and beverage.

MDL has seen significant growth in the food category in particular. Baileys, for

example, has inspired an Easter cake from Bauli, Grisbì biscuits from Vicenzi Group, Cold Coffee Cream from Caffè Borbone, single-serve desserts from Dessert Manifattura and the new Baileys ice cream from Mec3.

Another positive trend is the popularity of properties targeting adults – notably in MDL brands such as Baileys, Il Milanese Imbruttito, LIFE magazine and even Asterix. Italy also boasts a rich industrial heritage, renowned for high-quality products –good support for licensing projects. But inflation, high prices and income squeezes are issues everywhere. How has MDL continued to thrive? It’s partly down to experience and approach. Distefano explains: “Our 360° client support starts from the signing of the deal and continues to product development, retail, marketing and digital activities.”

As for the future: “We hope and believe that 2024 and beyond will see families rediscover live experiences and in-store visits to be closer to their favourite properties – and we will be there, with our partners, to create touchpoints with fans and brands.”

From evergreen brands to new properties, ETS Licensing offers a rich portfolio of constantly evolving licenses to catch the most interesting market opportunities and develop innovative projects.

The success of Cry Babies, the IMC Toys doll brand, which placed #1 in

2023 in the nurturing dolls category (more than double the number of its main competitors) and in the Top 5 Best-Selling Dolls of 2023 continues. The Cry Babies Magic Tears are reconfirmed as the #2 brand of 2023 in the collectible dolls category and the Dress Me Up line is the most sold out collectible doll in the Italian market. Big numbers not only in toys but also in the animated series that returns in May with the 7th season aired on Frisbee and in streaming on Kitoons (more than 304m Views and 365k subscribers to the channel

with an average time of 14 minutes), Netflix and Prime Video. The Cry Babies are now an iconic brand that has also achieved great success as a license where interest from various companies to develop new products is constant. The year 2023 saw the highfashion baby collection for Monnalisa, Dedem’s rides and the Epiphany socks and Easter eggs collections from Più Buono Toys. 2024 began with personal hygiene products from Esseci and the success of The Magic Village in major Italian shopping centres operated by Publievent.

It’s going to be a very exciting 2024 for Hello Maestro, the iconic series with Once Upon a Time… The Objects.

A look at the activities of a cross-section of licensors, agents and licensees in the Italian marketplace


Through 78 x 7’ episodes, Maestro will accompany viewers to discover the history of 78 objects. The series will be aired on Cartoonito and Boomerang in the 2nd semester 2024; Procidis has maintened a longlasting relationship with Mediasetnow Warner Bros Discovery - which regularly broadcasts the existing series. Numerous companies are considering a licensing partnership with Hello Maestro, with a view to making unique products. These include the possibility to produce tailor-made video capsules with the Hello Maestro’s digital avatar.

Outfit7 is a leader in the entertainment industry, with its Talking Tom & Friends brand attracting over 105 million YouTube subscribers and featuring a portfolio of 20+ games with 22 billion downloads between them. It has been the most downloaded gaming IP over the past decade and has entertained up to 470 million monthly active users. From a talk back app launched in 2010 to an animated series that has been broadcast in 214 countries worldwide in 32 languages, Outfit7 has become a global entertainment powerhouse. In Italy, My Talking Tom & Friends airs on K2 and streams on Netflix. In 2024, Talking Tom Heroes Suddenly Super, a supercharged show packed with fun, humor, friendship, and great values, will be released. The power of the brand is not only in the variety of content suitable for a broad target audience but also in Outfit7’s focus on providing 360° opportunities for co-branding. Companies are provided with customized graphics, digital support, and the possibility to include ADV content inside gaming apps.

Finally, The Mini Pet Pals never stop entertaining thousands of kids with their sweetness and kindness. The new season, Mini Pet Pals & Mini Dinos, will air this autumn on Rai YoYo and is a Gruppo Alcuni/Rai Kids co-production made up of 52 x 6’ episodes.

Mattel is presenting a new collaboration with Monnalisa, high range childswear company at the Euronext Growth Milan.

After the great success achieved by Barbie over the last year, Monnalisa

will launch a Spring-Summer 2024 collection signed by Barbie, consisting of easy-to-match pieces.

Barbara Bertocci and Diletta Iacomoni, the creative duo behind the childrenswear brand, commented on the collaboration, “Barbie is an extraordinary character, a true icon of female empowerment, and represents a journey towards self-awareness and personal choices. We are honored to support these values, which we share as women, mothers, and professionals, via a capsule with a strong fashion content that has truly excited us.”

Ruth Henriquez - Head of Consumer Products, Publishing, and Live Events at Mattel EMEA said, “The project, supported by our licensing partner, Victoria Licensing, is part of a franchise-oriented strategy, and for Mattel, it is important to work on multiple levels. With a success that has lasted for 65 years, Barbie has built a global fan base and is a phenomenon that spans every generation, starting with the youngest. After so many milestones, the future of Barbie is truly limitless, and this is one of those important occasions that adds to its eternal strength.”

The Barbie capsule is available in more than 50 Monnalisa flagship boutiques worldwide, on the online shop, and in selected multibrand and department stores.

On a different note, Mattel has announced the collaboration between Hot Wheels, the toy cars and tracks, and the Italian fashion brand Vision of Super. The two brands have collaborated to create a capsule collection that speaks of engines, flames, and speed.

Born in 2018 from the creative idea of Dario Pozzi, the Italian brand Vision of Super has made its mark in the international casual luxury wear market with the goal of blending the three fundamental elements representing its DNA: fashion subcultures, the mood of rock-punk music, and urban trends, quickly becoming a reference point for enthusiasts of refined casual style. Thus, the idea was born to use the iconic elements of both brands to recreate an imaginary festival where T-shirts, sweatshirts, pants, hats, and socks are adorned with their distinctive characters.

To make the shots of the capsule collection even more captivating, one of the most suitable settings for this iconic collection was chosen: the garage, next to one of the finalist cars of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour 2023. This epic event gathers thousands of motor enthusiasts each year, each with their own customised car. The winner has the extraordinary opportunity to see their masterfully crafted creation transformed into a 1:64 scale Hot Wheels miniature.

It has been quite a busy year for Team Entertainment on various fronts. Their representation of Toonz has now expanded beyond Italy to cover English speaking USA and Canada beyond L&M coordination on a global basis. Working on a quite diversified catalogue for distribution of Toonz titles, the L&M is starting to take shape particularly on one specific IP: the Zoonicorn with a major Master Toy with United Smile who was present at the New York Toy Fair and, recently, at the Nuremberg Toy Fair.

Zoonicorn is currently broadcast in over 100 territories with partners like Cartoon Networks , Sky Kids, Clan International, Peacock, Kidoodle, Happy


Kids, MBC to name a few and has a very strong presence on a dedicated Official You Tube channel with shorts and music videos. There are several licensees on board, particularly in the US and Team Entertainment will be at the Bologna Licensing Show at the beginning of April.

They will showcase some of the great products so far produced.

Together with Timvision, starting with the Christmas Season Team has launched a special block for kids called “Cartoni in Pillole” with 5 different TV shows from the Toonz line-up and specifically Baby Einstein New Classics, Baby Einstein Ocean Explorers, Rat-ATat, Cat & Keet and Pajama. The Baby Einstein TV series are one of the most successful TV series for preschoolers around the world – with millions of subscribers on You Tube and Amazon Prime - , is loved by parents for their originality and the great educational tips. Rat-A-Tat, Cat & Keet and Pajama being non dialogue long TV series are loved by most networks for their comedy values and are a great kids & family viewing and entertainment! A special promotion is enjoying great success in Italy with a very high response and several thousand unique viewvers!

Last but not least, at the beginning of last year, Team Entertainment took on has taken on the representation of a very high end brand in the luxury segment. Monte-Carlo Lifestyle a trademark from the Monaco Royal Family has developed into several sub-brands and the market is responding very positively in various product categories and very soon a number of partners will be announced. Further important PR activities are planned for the Grand Prix and it will also be at Licensing Expo in May.

Santoro are thrilled to announce that Santoro Italia have obtained the rights to Smemoranda and will relaunch their diaries in 2025 to the delight of many Italians who will have grown up with their iconic stationery. Santoro Italia, distributors of Gorjuss and Ban-

goberry, will ensure that Smemoranda will once again fill students’ backpacks, retaining all the characteristics and values that made Smemo diaries such an unprecedented success in the Italian market and the faithful study companion

BOING S.p.A. is a leading publisher in the entertainment market targeting children and families with free to air channels Boing (DTT 40), Boing Plus (DTT 45), Cartoonito (DTT 46) and the respective AVOD services: Boing App and Cartoonito App, free applications - available on Android (Google Play), iOS (Apple Store) and Huawei’s App Gallery - which allow children to follow linear channels and enjoy a catalog of videos and episodes available on demand - also released in original, games and exclusive content.

Boing S.p.A. manages the merchandising of its channel brands Boing and Cartoonito; properties such as Simone and Dino Ranch, dedicated to the pre-school target; and the 80s cults including Lady Oscar, Holly and Benji, Hello! Spank, Once Upon a Time Pollon and Georgie for the Millennial and nostalgic target.

As part of the Boing S.p.A. portfolio there are the Cartoon Network franchises known and acclaimed all over the world, such as The Power Puff Girls, We Bear Bears and the spin-off We Baby Bears, Adventure Time, Ben 10, Steven Universe and the Cartoon Network Originals, including Johnny Bravo, Cowardly dog Lion and Cow and chicken.

Boing SpA is celebrating the 25th anniversary of The PowerPuff Girls, the cartoon franchise - in Italy known as Le Superchicche, with a licensing agreement signed with Graziella Braccialini, the Italian manufacturing company

which is today considered one of the most dynamic fashion houses thanks to a combination of bags and jewelry, for three capsule collections dedicated to the three iconic characters. Major players at the last edition of MIPEL - the largest international leather and fashion accessories fair - the Powerpuff Girls x Graziella Braccialini collections were launched in store in December 2023 and are made up of capsules including The Postcard Collection, with bags, wallets and t-shirts that see Lolly, Dolly and Molly as the stars of carefree postcards sent from a romantic Paris; the Macro Collection where the faces of the three heroines are depicted on backpacks and bags in the iconic black and white of Graziella Braccialini, while color bursts into the very fun and glamorous mini bags and key rings of the Shape Collection. The agreement kicks off the 25th anniversary celebrations in Italy of The Powerpuff Girls who have become true pop icons over the years. The Powerpuff Girls represents one of Cartoon Network’s most successful franchises that continues to inspire numerous apparel and fashion partners around the world. Since their debut on November 18, 1998, Lolly, Dolly and Molly have conquered and fascinated girls and women of all ages, establishing themselves as original ambassadors of “girl power”, saving the world every day before going to sleep.


Confident and courageous, super cute but at the same time super fierce, the Powerpuff Girls have become a symbol of empowerment, encouraging girls and women with their adventures to become what they desire, going beyond stereotypes.

The classic series is now available on demand on the Boing App - the free Boing application - released on Android (Google Play), iOS (Apple Store) and Huawei’s App Gallery -, within “I MITICI”, the special space that offers programming aimed at introducing cult series to today’s children.

Thanks to its strong and various portfolio, Starbright Licensing’s positive trend continues and 2024 looks bright and full of news.

Stumble Guys is Starbright’s newest acquisition and marks the agency’s debut in the gaming world. It is already an international sensation and Italy is the leading country with a growing licensing plan.

Dragon Ball confirms itself as the strongest anime character, an evergreen property, able to reach all targets, celebrating 2024, the Year of the Dragon, with many major collaborations and a new video game, long awaited by fans.

Starbright’s anime portfolio is enriched by some of the most iconic Japanese characters including Naruto, Attack on Titan, Neo Genesis Evangelion and My Hero Academia. In the past years anime has conquered a new generation of consumers and broadened the fan base. It is now super popular and recognized everywhere.

For Attack on Titan, the agency also acquired the rights of the Manga that will allow a highly anticipated new line of products inspired by the original comics designs.

Hello Kitty keeps going strong and 2024 will be a year of celebrations around the world thanks to her 50th Anniversary. Thanks to the new animated series broadcasted successfully on Rai Yo-Yo, she confirms to be one of the most loved characters by young girls.

range of products.

“With a history spanning decades, Burago has become an iconic symbol of childhood for multiple generations.

On the other hand, Hello Kitty is still able to charm teenagers and adults with is cool and trendy collections. Worth mentioning is the latest collaboration with GCDS, presented at last Milan Fashion Week, highlighting Giuliano Calza’s inspiration and vision on the brand, still fresh and original after many years of collaboration together.

Finally, Care Bears brought their coolness and 80s style to the recent Berlin Fashion Week: the mix of their caring and sharing appeal with Asian inspiration makes them cooler than ever.

The May Cheong Group, manufacturer of the famous die-cast brands Bburago (brand acquired in 2006 from the Italian company Bburago S.P.A. founded in 1974), Maisto and Polistil, opened the Italian branch Bburago Italia Srl on 1st January 2024, managed by Andrea Anelli and Paola Gravati, that will cover both Italian and Spanish markets.

The direct presence of the company will guarantee on one hand an increasingly broad and customized product portfolio offer for the Italian and Spanish markets, on the other it will provide an excellent and complete customer service, as both the logistical and administrative parts will be managed by the Italian headquarters.

The Bburago Italia company, with its flagship brand Bburago, already a leader in the industry of scale reproductions of automotive models, is entering the world of Licensing.

The heritage Italian brand Burago engages fans from every generation, kids and adults, through the collectability of the real model cars, thanks to the high quality, amazingly detailed and wide

The Burago brand, indeed, evokes a sense of nostalgia, triggering memories of happy moments of childhood, that allows the brand to transcend time.

Together with ETS Licensing we are developing licensing projects also involving the retailer” as Paola Gravati, Chief Operating Officer of BBurago Italia, explained.

“We will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Burago Brand, with a series of outstanding initiatives. We partnered with SPD of Milano, the first polytechnic school of Design in Italy, by asking 30 students, attending the Master of Car & Transportation Design, to work on the design of the iconic car of the brand, to be used as a Licensing image. It is crucial that our partners understand the DNA of the brand and reinterpret it properly. We have also worked on a style guide that is very representative of the historical path of the brand, aiming at a crossgenerational target” says Andrea Anelli, General Manager of Bburago Italia.

The next appointment is May 12-13, 2024, at Allianz MiCo (FieraMilanoCity), Italy, where the Bburago Italia team will be ready to enthusiastically welcome customers, buyers and stake holders to introduce them to the company and its flagship collections. Further interesting initiatives and events are on the way.

2024 is going to be another promising year for Sanrio and its characters. Hello Kitty, the iconic pop icon who keeps on winning the hearts of generations of kids, teenagers and young adults is celebrating her 50th anniversary. Celebrations started at the end of last year with a special Funko Pop minifigure and a collaboration with MGA Entertainment’s L.O.L. surprise


dolls. However, much more is to be expected in the upcoming months: exclusive collaborations, events and exhibits will allow Sanrio to foster that deep connection between Hello Kitty and women of all ages, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds.

Sanrio is planning also to expand its presence in the entertainment industry with the tv show Hello Kitty Super Style!, with new episodes coming out later this year. The show has performed consistently well in every market, Italy included (where it is distributed on RAI Yoyo thanks to a partnership with RAI), ranking in the top 5 pre-school shows on average. The series premiered with a launch event at Lucca Comics & Games last November. Since then, it continued to attract fans and enthusiasts thanks to the licensed toys manufactured by Simba Toys and to an exclusive experience in collaboration with the Italian amusement park Leolandia, where Hello Kitty hosted several meet-andgreet events and cute shows to enter-

traditional fashion fair Pitti Bimbo, while in February new items from GCDS targeting adults debuted at an exclusive fashion show during Milan’s Fashion Week.

tain attendees. Kids in southern and central Italy will also have the chance to meet Hello Kitty thanks to a partnership with Soluna Experience. The company is specialized in organized events at shopping malls and is setting up Hello Kitty’s pop-up corners in selected shopping centers (owned by CBRE). Here, attendees will be able to watch episodes from the TV Shows and engage in fun activities. Fashion will continue to be a key industry for Sanrio in 2024. In January Hello Kitty, who embodies Japanese cuteness (kawaii) and traditions was featured in Crocs’s collection presented in Florence during the

The coming months will see the release of collections by new and historical partners. After the 2023’s fall-winter collection, Sanrio and Adidas will be back in stores with their spring-summer drop. Adding to this, in fast fashion new collaborations will bring back Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters in the stores of Italian retailers Original Marines and Oviesse. International partners such as Zara, H&M, Claires and Primark will also join the party with new collaborations. The company efforts will not focus only on Hello Kitty, but also on some of those almost 450 characters created through the decades who are seeing an increase in popularity, such as Kuromi, who is winning the hearts of lots of women and girls. This interest has been noticed by many brands, who are now launching several collections featuring the iconic character with many more partnerships coming out in the upcoming months, such as the highly anticipated new drop by Bershka, that is going to be available later this year. Additionally, this quarter will welcome new collaborations also in the food industry. Spring and the upcoming Easter holidays will offer consumers new opportunity to engage with Hello Kitty’s brand: Walcor, Sanrio’s newest partner for Easter campaigns, is going to launch a new line of traditional chocolate eggs featuring Hello Kitty. Also, for the fifth year in a line, Sanrio’s historical partner San Carlo will launch a new Hello Kitty-branded chips, with a new gadget to celebrate the anniversary. The company is also excited to bring back its characters in quick service restaurants, offering fans new opportunities to engage with the brands.

Sanrio has a lot in store also for kids and teens. Poolover will bring Hello

Kitty in a new collection of back-toschool stationary with aspirational design: the iconic character will be on diaries, notes, pens, cases, and everything needed to get back to class in September. Finally, 2024 will see new iterations of the long-lasting partnership with Sbabam, that will bring to newsagents four different lines of toys in blind bags dedicated to Hello Kitty supported by TV campaigns on kids channels.

Founded by Davide Tromba and Valentina Canclini, Animoka Studios is an animation studio based in Turin with a team of over 40 skilled professionals. We are proud to have produced full 3D animated TV series, including Pat the Dog seasons 1 and 2, which has been sold in over 185 countries worldwide, including Disney Channel in the US, Cartoon Network in Europe, and Discovery Kids in South America. They have also recently fully produced Mumfie, a 78-episode series that is currently airing on major European channels and won the Best Preschool Series 2022 Pulcinella Award. They have also provided full services on 14 episodes of the 3D TV series Calimero for Disney, another successful show sold in over 150 countries. At the core of their business is a strong technical R&D team. They have an extensive history of utilizing Maya, Arnold, and Nuke pipelines, with many automated functions and tools. However, they have recently developed a powerful Maya-Houdini pipeline to Unreal Engine 5, which allows themto create even more complex visuals, including fur and procedural assets, rendering them in real-time. Their proprietary asset manager, which is based on the Tactic platform, has been instrumental in streamlining their operations. They have invested heavily in VR technology, and we have successfully produced an animated VR short. With their Optitrack system and Xsens full-body suits, they can capture highly accurate motion data, which they then process using Motion Builder and iClone.

In summary, they are a highly skilled and experienced animation studio with a strong technical background,


cutting-edge technology, and a proven track record of delivering high-quality animation services.

Carioca is one of the first international brands in the color industry, founded in 1954. For 60 years, Carioca has been producing markers and ballpoint pens, exported to over 80 countries from its factory in Settimo Torinese. Carioca is aspiring to become a leader in children’s creative education by developing innovative products designed to stimulate the creativity of young minds. Moreover, in addition to high safety standards, Carioca is also particularly attentive to environmental issues.

For the third consecutive year, Benetton and Carioca are supporting children and families to create an even more colorful and creative Back to School experience. In celebration of the return to school for young students, Carioca has developed a special set that includes all the essential tools to tackle the school year with style and inspiration. This

extraordinary set, comprising colored pencils, markers, and more, is available as an exclusive gift for those who choose to purchase products from Benetton’s kids line.

Pozzi Milano 1876, the first certified brand of Italian fashion, traces its origins back to the late 19th century

when Felice Pozzi founded a highend men’s fashion store in Milan. By the 1930s, the brand had established itself as a fashion icon, and today Pozzi Milano S.p.A. is listed on the Italian Stock Exchange.

Castello Pozzi, an iconic landmark and source of inspiration for the brand, is also home to significant contemporary art collections, while simultaneously hosting licensed collections developed by the brand.

In the past two years, Pozzi Milano 1876 has embarked on a journey focused on licensing development and has recently finalized significant agreements in various sectors, including tableware, homeware, fashion accessories (eyewear, travel bags and cashmere), and real estate.

Italian company Walcor, founded in Cremona seventy years ago, is famous throughout the world for its production of confectionery. It is a world leader company in the production of chocolate coins and one of the first producers in Italy of chocolate eggs, surprise eggs and other confectionery products for Halloween, Christmas, Epiphany and Easter, with its own brand and for private label. Starting in 2022, Walcor created Le Principesse Incantate, a new property for the

school-age female target characterized by the enchanted world of the three beautiful princesses Gioiallegra, Floriana and Acquamarina, each of them with a special magical power.

Walcor has developed this license by successfully offering a series of products for Easter (45g and 240g chocolate eggs) and for Christmas and Epiphany (Advent calendar, Epiphany stockings and Sweets bags) to the Italian market with packaging and surprises inspired by the magical world of the Le Principesse Incantate.

In collaboration with the publishing house Il Sole di Carta, a fun coloring activity book has been created, containing many games and curiosities about the princesses. The important news of this year is the agreement signed with Modecor (Casa Optima group), a leading European company producing cake decorations. Modecor will produce a range of products under license, such as biscuit and wafer decorations, cake wafers, sugar figurines and even flat candles.

“For many years we have been producing chocolate products using some of the best-known international properties for kids and teens, to which we have added this new activity as a licensor with Le Principesse Incantate”, explained Gianluca Cazzulo, Commercial Director of Walcor.

The Italian company is in fact one of the most important players in the licensing market in Italy and has signed several agreements for important licenses, such as Hello Kitty, One Piece, The Flash, Peanuts, Spongebob, 44 Gatti, Dinosaur Park and many others. “Our property Le Principesse Incantate”, concluded Cazzulo, “is raising considerable interest amongst new licensees in Italy and abroad”.

DeAPlaneta Entertainment is a veteran multinational entertainment company that operates globally


and is a leader especially in Europe. It has commercial offices in Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Poland.

DeAPlaneta Entertainment represents IPs with a global reach, as Miraculous Ladybug. It also co-produces animation series that can be viewed worldwide, such as Milo, a successful preschool animated series coproduced by Fourth Wall and DeAPlaneta Entertainment which is now available in more than 170 countries and more than 20 languages and has generated dozens of licensing agreements. Among its portfolio there are classic, timeless brands as Maya, the Bee, The Smurfs, Heidi or Vicky the Viking. There are also successful new brands such as Miraculous Ladybug and Hero Inside.

DeAPlaneta Entertainment is also focused on brand creation. One of its goals is to continue developing and growing its role as brand creators, with exciting co-production projects such as season two of Milo, Monster Shaker (with GO-N - France) and Magic Lilly (with The Magic Lilly Company - Germany) and the Superpigs (with Fourth Wall - UK) among many others. One of the essential characteristics of DeAPlaneta Entertainment is that the company not only co-produces, manages or represents properties, it also helps these properties (owned or third party) to become brands. To do this, the company designs a media distribution strategy with the best possible impact for each of the IPs.

Milo is a successful and multi-awarded preschool series co-produced by Fourth Wall (UK) and DeAPlaneta Entertainment. Its first season is already aired in more than 170 countries and has been dubbed into more than 20 languages; Milo will arrive in the US in May via PBS Kids and its free streaming platforms, and will also arrive in Germany, Austria and Switzerland via Super RTL channel. Its second season will be aired worldwide this Fall. Milo uses role play to explore the wonderful world of vocations - from doctors and mechanics, to hair-

dressers, chefs and postal workers, introducing pre-schoolers to a variety of professions in a positive, fun way. DeAPlaneta Entertainment recently launched recently the official Milo App which is available worldwide in five languages: Spanish, English, French, Italian and Portuguese.

In Italy, Milo has closed a number of licensing agreements including an agreement with Cerealitalia for Milo’s Easter Egg, a seasonal chocolate egg. Further Italian licensees include Ravensburger for puzzles, Panini for a Milo magazine, Soluna for live events and further deals for Milo books and food/snacks.

The Miraculous brand is based on the animated adventure series of the same name created by ZAG and co-produced with ON Kids & Family, which has been a global phenomenon since its premiere.

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir airs in more than 120 markets and has achieved #1 ratings in several territories, attracting fans of all ages around the world. Miraculous is a 360º franchise that includes: the TV series (to date 5 seasons with more than 100 episodes of 22 minutes each), movies (the last one, released in July 2023 and is already a global phenomenon on Netflix) and TV movies, global licensing, digital content, video games and a live musical show, among others. The brand has become a ratings leader in all the territories where it has been released, as well as on the VOD platforms. Miraculous has won more than 29 awards worldwide and its licensees have sold more than 220 million products. The series has a significant digi-

tal presence: it has accumulated more than 32 billion views on YouTube and more than 200 million downloads of its video games.

DeAPlaneta Entertainment manages licensing rights of Miraculous in Spain, Italy, Poland and CEE countries. Last year Miraculous premiered a special episode which had the aim of raising awareness of the environmental damage caused by microplastics. This “Action Special”, made in partnership with the Breteau Foundation - devoted to educate, inspire and empower children to motivate mass change and to make an impact -, shows young masked heroes Ladybug and Cat Noir, and their friends, actively fighting plastic pollution in Paris

Hero Inside is a new animated blockbuster created by the combined efforts of Korean powerhouses

CJ ENM, Million Volt Animation Studios, Tencent Video, and YGG Global. Warner Bros. Discovery has acquired the global rights for broadcasting this promising series and DeAPlaneta Entertainment is its licensing agent and distribution partner in Europe and Latin America.

The first season (11 episodes of 13 minutes each) was released last November in Latin America through Cartoon Network and HBO Max, becoming the fifth-ranked show in the VOD platform and securing the second position in “HBO Max TV Shows” across 19 Latin American countries, including Mexico and Argentina.

Hero Inside arrived in Italy at the beginning of January 2024 through Cartoon Network, where the show is enjoying great success: in the month of January, it was among the 5 most-viewed shows on Cartoon Network Italy. Hero Inside will also shortly be part of the programming of Boing Italy - the free tv channel. The show has already arrived in Spain, France and Portugal and will arrive on Boing Spain this March. Hero Inside will arrive in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia later this year, and to North America in the second half of 2024. n


The current report provides a detailed analysis of brand awareness, popularity, and purchase intent of the most important Entertainment brands within a country. The most crucial aspect is that it predicts product category purchasing intentions. The service reports on 11,500+ different Entertainment, Fashion, or Sports brands four times a year, and interviews 200,000+ people ranging in age from infants to seniors in 42 countries.


The BrandTrends Group is a unique, multi-country provider of marketing research, focusing on brand, lifestyle, consumer behavioral and attitudinal trends, with a particular focus on children, youth, and families. Their experienced rsearchers and analysts are renowned in the industry for their expertise in monitoring brand performances, consumer attitudes and behaviors across up to 53 markets annually, making them a reliable and respected authority in the field. One of their most interesting value points is their ability to look at facts from a different perspective, providing a unique reading of the true trends in the market. Their proprietary analytics, such as the Brand Popularity Index and Consumer Demand Gap, coupled with high-quality and accurate data enable clients to identify the best opportunities in retail activation, competitive environments, and brand line equity and design. As a respected and trusted leader in their field, they work with renowned global companies across a variety of industries, including consumer package goods corporations, entertainment studios, retailers, and industry bodies.

Italy’s Licensing Landscape: A Kaleidoscope of Brands and Trends

The BrandTrends Group has unveiled some major findings from its most recent research in Italy in the world of the Entertainment brands for Licensing.

Dive into the historical tapestry of Italy, where the world’s oldest university proudly stands.

Established in 1088, the University of Bologna predates even Oxford University by a decade, solidifying its position as the pioneer in higher education.

Notably, it was at this institution that the term “university” originated, a testament to its enduring legacy. Today, the University of Bologna remains a symbol of academic excellence, maintaining its prestigious status. However, Italy is not only a bastion of knowledge but also a vibrant center for leisure and entertainment.

Renowned for their zest for life, Italians infuse joy into every facet of their culture. Surprisingly, even the youngest among them are well-acquainted with the world of entertainment. On average, each Italian child is familiar with an impressive 120 different entertainment brands—a figure that has remained consistently high over the past year.

This cultural phenomenon poses a unique challenge and opportunity for manufacturers and licensors. To captivate the attention of this discerning audience, brands must showcase the pinnacle of creativity and innovation.

It is essential for them to stand out in a market where consumers seek products featuring their favorite entertainment brands. As Italy seamlessly weaves its rich historical tapestry with modern interests, the demand for captivating and culturally relevant products remains unwavering. In this dynamic landscape, where tradition meets contemporary flair, success lies in the ability to harmonize both. Now, the market presents some interesting dynamics, catering to both the younger and more mature audiences.

However, here’s a plot twist:

• Preferred brands tend to gravitate towards the top performers throughout the year, leaving limited space for smaller properties.

• The market’s concentration is further fueled by the rise of compact-sized properties among older boys. The graph illustrates the growth trajectory of key properties, with Pokemon (+2.2 percentage points), Mickey Mouse (+1.5 percentage points), and Dragon Ball (+1.4 percentage points) leading the pack in growth during the observed period.

• Cartoons, in particular, make up approximately 21.7% of all brands, marking a notable gain of 1.6 percentage points over the course of the year. This shift reflects the evolving landscape where certain properties assert their dominance, reshaping the dynamics of the market.

Highlighting key developments, specific categories within the Entertainment sector clearly stand out:

Two of the five fastest-growing brands originate from the digital space: Lucilla (+1.2 percentage points) and Me Contro Te (+1.1 percentage points,

securing the 3rd position among the most influential brands) collectively account for 5% of all mentions!

In the world of children’s entertainment, it’s a lively scene of alliances and rivalries: Bing Bunny (ranking 8th among the 0 to 14 age group, showing modest progress) and Bluey (experiencing strong growth with +0.9 percentage points) emerge as trendsetters, alongside the enduring popularity of Masha and the Bear.

Yet, Peppa Pig is currently in the midst of a transformation, marked by a decrease of 2.9 percentage points –signaling the need for a reinvention strategy!

Get ready to dive into the gaming scene, as videogames stand firm, constituting 12% of the brands. Minecraft, Super Mario, and Minecraft (experiencing a slight decline) claim the top three positions.

Notably, this trend in videogames echoes across developed countries, from the USA to various European countries.

However, there’s a disappearing act happening in the world of superheroes. The ‘superhero fatigue phenomenon’ is palpable, as an oversaturation of capes and masks leads to a decline in superhero stardom. Avengers and Spider-Man lead the way, experiencing a cumulative decline of -2.8 percentage points. Intriguingly, unlike various European counterparts, Marvel adeptly navigates through the chaos, affirming that heroes come in different forms—maybe just this one. n

To learn more, visit

Favourite Entertainment Brands for Children Italy - October 2023

Sitting Down with Disney

Two top execs from the Disney Consumer Products team catch Total Licensing up on the latest big news from the studio

Gill Archer, VP Hardlines, Disney Consumer Products EMEA, talks about the highly anticipated release of Moana 2

When will Moana 2 be released theatrically?

‘Moana 2’ will be released in cinemas this November. We can’t wait to bring fans more of Moana and Maui, along with a crew of new characters.

Some of the press say the announcement of a Moana sequel as a movie instead of a TV series is a surprise! Why do you think this is?

Moana remains an incredibly popular franchise, with the first film amassing an astounding 1 billion hours streaming on Disney+ in the last year alone. We know there’s huge appetite for more of Moana and while the content was initially developed as a series, it was so impressive that we felt it deserved to make a splash on the big screen as a feature film.

Can you give us some snippets of the adventures Moana will head on in this new movie?

‘Moana 2’ will take audiences on a new journey with fan favourites Moana and Maui, along with an ensemble of brandnew characters. When Moana receives an unexpected call from her ancestors, she must navigate unchartered waters in the dangerous and unpredictable far seas of Oceania.

The first Moana was of course a huge box-office success and the licensing program was equally so. Can you expand on some of the licensing plans around the new release?

Since its initial box-office success, Moana has become a streaming phenomenon that continues to capture audiences’ hearts. Nielsen found Moana to be the most streamed film in the US in 2023, with a staggering 11.6 billion viewing minutes – a true testament to its enduring appeal. The catchy soundtrack is another key reason for its success – as proven by

its 25 billion global music streams - 5.2 billion of which were in Europe and 1.5bn in the UK.

All of this is reflected in the affinity we see among consumers, and points to a wealth of product opportunities for licensees and retailers. Our recent consumer research shows that Moana ranks incredibly highly for affinity among girls aged 7-12 in our key EMEA markets. Moana as a franchise continues to excel, and the character is consistently among the top bestselling Disney Princess across our key toy product categories.

As we gear up for the release of ‘Moana 2’, the franchise’s continued popularity is evident across the board.

We are already working with key collaborators including Jakks to offer fans a full range of products and are excited by what we’re seeing. Watch this space…

And how will this differ, or tie-in, with the live-action version to be released next year?

The animated film and live-action film are separate, but fan reactions to both demonstrate how strongly the narrative resonates with audiences. We know fans are hugely excited about the animated sequel and our focus will be on ensuring our product offering truly brings to life Moana’s captivating world and all the beloved characters that inhabit it. n

Nigel Cook, VP Brand Commercialisation & Retail, Disney Consumer Products EMEA, talks pre-school with Total Licensing

Our pre-school offering remains a key strategic priority, and has gone from strength to strength over the past 12 months. Content is key to this as a central touchpoint for kids engaging with characters, stories and franchises. Some of our most successful evergreen properties like Spidey and his Amazing Friends and Mickey Mouse Funhouse are based on characters and stories

we know resonate, and developed with top play patterns firmly front of mind. We’re seeing the benefits of this in consumer engagement - for example, Spidey continues to rank among the most popular pre-school shows. Season two launched on freeto-air channels in October 2023, and there’s more to come: the brand new Webspinners theme has launched on YouTube and owned channels, and season four was announced in June 2023.

Excitingly, we now have pre-school expressions for a wide range of Disney brands, and this expanded line-up of shows combined with our multi-plex strategy gives us the ability to reach the widest possible audience. Newer properties like SuperKitties are also becoming more established and gaining fans in the pre-school space. Since launching early last year SuperKitties’ first full episode, has reached over 9.7 million views on Disney Junior YouTube, and season two is greenlit. The SuperKitties product ranges coming to market later this year promise to reinforce pre-schoolers’ connection to the franchise.

The same team behind the success of SuperKitties is also working on the upcoming pre-school Ariel series, which we’re incredibly excited about. This animated musical adventure series will build on the success of The Little Mermaid live action film last year, and also reflects the popularity of Princess and Mermaid play patterns with our target demographics. We’re already working with licensees on Ariel pre-school ranges that support skills building and key early development themes, and reflect the show’s fantastic musical repertoire; and we can’t wait for our preschool audience to see our new range of truly innovative products.

The Ariel series will be supported on our own Disney channels, YouTube and Free to Air. n



With Cobrandz coming up soon, TF1 Licensing wanted to share some hot content related to animation, toys and publishing!

Let’s start with a brand-new show:

1000 Bornes Challenge, a new animated series from Blue Spirit (Newen), is coming to TFOU (TF1 air case for children) this spring! This new show consists of 52 x 11-minute episodes, plus two special episodes.

The “1000 Bornes Challenge” is the most famous cross-country karting race for apprentice drivers. Five teams compete against each other and travel together to the four corners of the globe. They will experience 52 thrilling races across a wide variety of regions, and life as a touring caravan that’s just as exciting!

A taste for challenge, team spirit and, above all, a real sense of friendship will be key assets in winning the 1000 Bornes Challenge Trophy. In addition to these strong values, the show also promotes a sustainable approach with electric karting and the respect of nature, as much as inclusivity and diversity. One of the main messages is that no matter who you are, you can be a winner!

In terms of products, Dujardin (Jum-

bo Diset group), the rights holder and master toy for the brand, will be bringing out a range of toys at the end of the year. Action figures and playsets will be available to recreate the best 1000 Bornes Challenge races at home. This launch will mark the start of an exciting licensing program.

In 2023, the French success story Miraculous was very successful with 35.5% audience share on the 4-10 on TFOU* on TF1. Out in French theaters in July 2023, the movie became the best launch of an animated French movie ever with over 1.6m tickets sold.

After a busy year in 2023, Miraculous is

still very hot in 2024 with big launches in the coming months.The most awaited collaboration between Miraculous and Playmobil is finally coming to the market in April with a beautiful range of products. These two main players in the children’s related business area share some common values such as courage, friendship, empathy and perseverance, and it was about time they partnered together! A beautiful addition to the large range of Miraculous toys!

But Miraculous is also really big in terms of publishing, particularly thanks to Hachette, a long-lasting partner in France. Since 2016, Hachette Jeunesse has already sold over 1.6m novels through the Bibliothèque Rose collection. In 2023, Nobi Nobi launched the first Miraculous Manga, with up to 60K pieces sold already!

And because Miraculous is not only appealing to children but also grownups,TF1 Licensing is really happy to announce a collaboration with the artist Richard Orlinski coming up very soon. Giant statues of Ladybug will be available, alongside with 20cm ones made by Plastoy for fans all over the world! Miraculous will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2025, a great occasion for


major activations and for new partners to join the family!

TF1 Licensing is also proudly representing the Smurfs in France and is happy that Master toy - Giochi Preziosi - is launching the new range of Smurfy toys in 10 territories including France this Spring. Figurines, playsets, plush toys and more are part of this fun and innovative collection! Trade activations with retailers will happen throughout the year to support the launch and to prepare the audience for the much-awaited Smurfs Movie produced by Paramount and coming up in February 2025! Rihanna has already been announced as producer for the movie’s songs and as the voice of the Smurfette, making this movie the main event of the year!

lished by Les Livres du Dragon d’Or -a historic partner of the brand. Then, a first range of products was launched, in which the museum’s most famous pieces of art were revisited by the Bar-

isode of the Barbapapa in the Museum was broadcast. It is already 3 years since the launch of this partnership, and it keeps on renewing and growing! In 2023, the Barbapapa family welcomed a new partner with Jemini Cijep, which will launch plush toys in 2024 to accompany Mekk, which offers Barbapapa wooden toys.

In 2025, the Barbapapa family will celebrate its 55th anniversary, promising major activations and launches!

One of TF1 Licensing’s strength is the ability to conquer children not only with animation series but also with entertainment shows broadcast on Prime Time. The perfect example is Koh-Lanta. The show came back on French Television on Feb. 13 and was a real success among children with 52%

These are only a part of all the fabulous brands TF1 Licensing has to offer in animation, toys and publishing.

With Cobrandz approaching, feel free to contact them to discuss some amazing opportunities by writing to

In 2023, the Smurfs CGI TV show was a great success with 32% audience share amongst the 4-10 and over 28m contacts throughout the year*! With at least 5 episodes per week since the beginning of 2024, it’s off to a very good start!

Let’s now get into a very 360° topic with Barbapapa. Realizing an average of 32.5% audience share in 2023 on TF1 and up to 52.7% in April 2023, the 2nd season will also be available in more than 100 territories all over the world in 2024! One of the most famous families in animation has entered the Louvre Museum in 2021 for a beautiful partnership mixing animation, live event, publishing and products. Indeed, the collaboration started with the launch of the “Barbapapa au Louvre” illustrated book telling the story of the incredible visit of the Barbapapa family to the Louvre Museum and pub-

bapapa characters. Picture Barbabelle as the Mona Lisa! During the Summer 2022, the Louvre Museum welcomed some Barbapapa branded workshops for children, welcoming many children! But the collaboration didn’t stop there! This Fall, a new range of very fashionable products was launched (sweaters, hats, etc.) and a special ep-

audience share amongst the 4-14 target*.

Thanks to great partners such as Les Livres du Dragon d’Or, Solar or Playbac, Koh-Lanta now has a very attractive publishing range to aimed at children of all ages from activity books to escape box and novels! n

*Source: MédiamétrieMédiamat
February 2024
News from the market 46 Merchantwise ........................................................................ 47 Minecraft ........................................................................... 48 Sonic the Hedgehog ....................................................... 50 Activision Blizzard ........................................................... 52 Adopt Me! ......................................................................... 56 Sony Pictures .................................................................... 58 Legendary Entertainment ............................................. 60 May Gibbs ......................................................................... 61 Magic Mixies .................................................................... 64 The Elf on the Shelf ....................................................... 66 Rainbow Brite 66 Aardman 68 Strawberry Shortcake 68 The Teletubbies 70 Pink Floyd 70 The Beatles 72 KISS 72 Blondie 72 Iron Maiden 73 Australian Olympic Team 73 The Wiggles appoint Haven 74 Moose Toys: Bluey & Beyond ............................................. 76 Asembl: Kidults, Nostalgia & Teen Power ....................... 78 A Cheeky Little Success Story! .......................................... 80 Cover Story: Paramount Consumer Products ................. 81 The World of Pink Poppy .................................................... 86 ABC Licensing ........................................................................ 88 Brandtrends: The Vibrant Licensing Market .................... 90 CentaIP Signs Santoro’s Gorjuss ....................................... 92 What’s in Store for Australia? ............................................ 94 TOTAL LICENSING AUSTRALIA 42 February2024 Co-Publisher Editor-in-Chief Francesca Ash Co-Publisher Jerry Wooldridge Editorial Director/ Editor Rebecca Ash Office Manager Helen Bowerman Subscriptions and Circulation Total Licensing Australia is published as a special issue of Total Licensing magazine. Total Licensing Ltd 4 Wadhurst Business Park Faircrouch Lane Wadhurst, East Sussex TN5 6PT England Tel: +44 1892 782220 Japan Agent Roger Berman, ZenWorks © 2024 Total Licensing Ltd Printed in Australia February 2024 /totallicensing @totallicensing /totallicensing /totallicensing

Wendy de Thame, Licensing Manager ABC Commercial

For licensing enquiries, please contact:



Bluey’s World, an immersive experience will open in August 2024, exclusive to Brisbane, Queensland.

Visitors will journey through a recreation of Bluey’s renowned home via impressive (for real) life-size sets, interactive play and a mesmerising soundscape, inspired by Bluey episodes.

From Bluey and Bingo’s bedroom to the living room and kitchen, fans will also get to play beneath the shady

branches of the Poinciana tree in Bluey’s backyard.  Visitors can also explore and enjoy a cafe, gift shop and playground following their interactive guided experience.

Housed in its own purpose-built, state-of-the-art, 4000 square metre venue – ‘Northshore Pavilion’ – Bluey’s World will be located in Brisbane’s newest arts and entertainment precinct, Northshore.

Annastacia Palaszczuk, Queensland Premier said  “Our Government has backed Bluey from the very beginning. Brisbane is at Bluey’s core and now the show is a global sensation, we want to invite fans from around the world to come and experience Bluey’s home.

“Queensland is a world-class place to live and play and I truly believe that is a big part of why Bluey has captured fans around the world.”

Adrian Schrinner, Lord Mayor of Brisbane  said the exclusive Bluey’s World experience pays homage to

the city’s most beloved export. “Bluey is a homegrown Brisbane superstar who has captured the imagination of families worldwide.

With an audience that spans more than 60 countries, Bluey’s World is a unique and significant tourism offering that will draw people to our city from around the globe while giving residents more to see and do here in Brisbane.”

Fiona Lang, General Manager, BBC Studios ANZ said: “BBC Studios is thrilled to announce the launch of Bluey’s World, a groundbreaking immersive experience that will transport fans into the heart of Bluey.

“Bluey’s World is not just an experience; it’s a celebration of the heartwarming moments that make Bluey so authentically Australian and that bring to life the joyful simplicity that can be found in families around the world.

Join us on this one-of-a-kind adventure, where the world of Bluey comes to life in real life.”


Two iconic brands, EMU Australia and Shaun the Sheep, have joined forces to create an exclusive collaboration that brings together the world’s favourite woolly sheep with a range of products, perfect for little feet. This partnership merges EMU’s renowned expertise in footwear with the Shaun the Sheep, resulting in a unique collection that captures the essence of both brands, adding a touch of whimsy and playfulness to EMU’s signature designs.

The Woolmark Company, a globally recognised authority on wool, has endorsed this collaboration, highlighting the significance of the natural, sustainable and versatile material that is a cornerstone of both EMU Australia and Shaun the Sheep’s appeal.

The collection features a range of stylish footwear inspired by Shaun the Sheep’s character and the picturesque landscapes of both Australia and the UK. From classic kids boots adorned with Shaun’s illustrations to boots that reflect the character’s mischievous spirit, each piece in the collection is a blend of comfort and creativity.

“We are thrilled to announce this exciting collaboration with Shaun the Sheep,” said Rebecca Fett, Global Marketing Manager at EMU Australia. “Shaun’s universal appeal and the heart-warming stories from Aardman resonate with people of all ages and it’s an opportunity to take our already loved kid’s products and introduce them to a new audience leveraging the nostalgia and love families and kids around the world have for Shaun the Sheep. Combining Shaun’s charm with EMU’s dedication to quality allows us to offer a truly unique and memorable collection.” Shaun the Sheep, created by Aardman, has become a global phenomenon since his debut in 2007. The character’s universal appeal, clever humour, and heart-warming stories have captured the hearts of audiences worldwide.

“We are excited to partner with EMU Australia for this special collaboration,” said Rachael Peacock, Senior Brand Manager at Aardman. “The synergy between Shaun the Sheep and EMU’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship is evident in every piece of this collection. We believe fans of both brands will appreciate the unique blend of comfort and character that this collaboration brings.”

The Shaun the Sheep x EMU Australia collaboration is set to launch in stores from 15th July 2024 and will be available at select retailers, as well as online at and other authorized online platforms.


Kando Art is a licensed distributor of wall art decals and home decor products, featuring nostalgic characters including Miffy, Thelwell, and Jane Davenport Art. The company has its own ecommerce site, where they sell retail directly to the public and ship worldwide, giving them full control over quality and service, and giving customers complete end-to-end service and support.

Norman Thelwell is regarded as the unofficial artist of the British countryside. His recognisable cartoon fat ponies capture the hearts of equestrians and bring a smile to their faces. Due to a large number of customer inquiries, Kando have added a range of outdoor/vehicle decals to their range, which have been popular within the equine communities. Backed by one of Australia’s best printing companies that specialises in domed products and acrylics, the product possibilities are only limited by our imaginations. Products include wall art decals, outdoor/ vehicle decals, wallpaper, keyrings (domed and acrylic shapes), 3D acrylic wall art, beer tap tops, bar stools and acrylic calendars /memo boards.


Authentic Brands Group recently announced an expansion of its strategic partnership with Liberated Brands, to take on Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, RVCA, DC Shoes, Element, VonZipper, Honolua and more, across Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Indonesia. Through the partnership, Liberated takes on the operations of the brands’ extensive retail network of more than two hundred locations, as well as e-commerce and marketing operations for the group of globally renowned action brands across Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Indonesia. Greg Healy, Global and APAC President of the former Boardriders company, will transition into a new role as Liberated’s President of APAC Liberated’s expertise in transforming action sports brands into full lifestyle offerings, combined with Authentic’s industry-leading brand development capabilities, empowers the brands to welcome a fresh infusion of energy.The partnership offers new perspectives that embrace the rich heritage of each brand while preserving the principles they are revered for.

“We are excited to welcome a new chapter of growth for these iconic brands,” said David Brooks, EVP, Action & Outdoor Sports, Lifestyle, Authentic. “These regions hold a special significance for Quiksilver and Billabong, as both brands were born amidst the vibrant surf culture of Australia. There is no better leader than Greg to continue connecting the brands with an active and passionate community.”


Merchantwise is a leading gaming and entertainment brand licensing agency with offices in Australia, Europe, the UK and China.

Merchantwise represents some of the world’s best loved brands and develops compelling consumer products, brand extensions and retail programs for fans of all ages.

Merchantwise is part of The Merchantwise Group, a full-service marketing agency that combines brand licensing, creative marketing and digital media to build and extend great brands. The Merchantwise Group also includes Asembl, market leading licensing agency in food, design & lifestyle.

Here’s sneak peek at the latest news from the world of gaming and entertainment in Australia and New Zealand:

Minecraft, officially the best-selling video game of all time, shows no signs of slowing down. Having surpassed over 300 million copies sold in October 2023, the Minecraft fanbase remains ever-present and continues to grow every day.

Appealing to a multi-generational player base with creativity at the forefront, the game has seen highs of over 141 million monthly active users, has reached over 1 trillion views on YouTube and is played in every country in the world!

What started as a simple crafting video game has evolved into a true evergreen entertainment franchise, comprising of an education edition, a booming consumer products program as well as a growing entertainment division – with the

announcement of the official Minecraft movie (starring Jack Black and Jason Momoa) coming to cinemas in April 2025. With new creatures and items being introduced regularly, annual game updates, diverse character customization options, and a thriving community of creators, there is an infinite amount of content to keep the Minecraft game fun and innovative for all fans.

2023’s Minecraft Live event went off spectacularly, showing fans everything to come for both the main game and their newest game title, Minecraft Legends. Also included every year is the renowned “Mob Vote”, allowing the community to vote for the newest creature to be added in the next main game update! The winner this year


is the Armadillo, currently in testing in the main game, for players to experience first-hand.

Also announced was Minecraft’s 15th Anniversary coming in 2024, which will be celebrated all year long, with many activations to be announced – watch this space!

Everyone’s favourite blue hedgehog is back, and this time he’s up against the greatest lifeform, Shadow!

Since his film success, Sonic the Hedgehog has become one of the most prevalent evergreen brands in consumer products. Sonic is a $1B+ franchise and continues his legacy as one of the most popular video game characters of all time.

After 2022’s overwhelming box-office success, Sonic the Hedgehog is zooming towards the third movie, coming to theatres on December 20th, 2024. With the post-credits scene of the second film teasing Shadow the Hedgehog, fans of the franchise are incredibly excited to see the two best hedgehogs battle it out on the big screen later this year!

Sonic The Hedgehog 2’s US $403 million box office success (and top 10 at the Australian box office for 2022), catapulted the brand into the spotlight.

In television news, Sonic Prime on Netflix recently released its third season with great reception! The original launch of the series in 2022 surged to #1 in Australia in the Kids category within one week of release and was the number one animated show on Netflix worldwide.

In gaming, 2023 saw some great new releases from SEGA, including Sonic Origins Plus and Sonic Superstars on all consoles, and Sonic Dream Team on Apple Arcade!

At PAX Aus 2023, the SEGA booth was the most popular of the event over the entire weekend, bringing in queues of fans almost two hours long, all itching to play the preview of Sonic Superstars before its launch in October.

Also coming soon is a brand-new Paramount+ TV series starring Knuckles and his adventures after the second Sonic film. The 6-episode series features our adventurous red echidna, voiced again by Idris Elba.

Sonic’s retail presence has expanded considerably in mass and specialty, with more retailers jumping on board in the lead-up to the next film. With so much in the pipeline, there is a lot of content to drive excitement for the Sonic space in the next few years!


Activision Blizzard® is one of the world’s most successful interactive entertainment companies. Its mission, to connect and engage the world through epic entertainment, has never been more important. Through communities rooted in its video games, the company enables hundreds of millions of people to experience joy, thrill and achievement.

Activision Blizzard’s enduring franchises are some of the world’s most popular, including Call of Duty®, Crash Bandicoot™, Warcraft®, Overwatch®, Diablo®, StarCraft®, Candy Crush™, Bubble Witch™, Pet Rescue™ and Farm Heroes™ The company’s sustained success has enabled it to support corporate social responsibility initiatives that are directly tied to its franchises. As an example, its Call of Duty Endowment has helped find employment for over 100,000 veterans.

Learn more information about Activision Blizzard at

Over the past 2 decades, Call of Duty® has cemented itself as one of the best-selling games of all time. Since launching in 2003, the Call of Duty franchise has sold more than 400 million copies and is played in over 170 countries across the globe.

‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III®’ launched on November 10th 2023, and has been a great success in the follow-up from its 2022 predecessor. This newest launch boasts the highest player engagement in the entire Modern Warfare reboot trilogy, which is no easy feat considering just how popular this 20 year old franchise is!

In just 10 days, Modern Warfare 11 made more than US $1 billion in sell-through, making it the quickest CoD title to do so.


One of the most popular and Iconic mascots to ever grace our screens is a small eastern barred bandicoot named Crash. With over 25 years of heritage, Crash Bandicoot® is as big as ever, and back like never before.

With its multi-generational appeal, Crash is enjoyed by over 14.5 million unique players and is loved by the Gen Z and


millennial audiences, ranging from 18 to 40 years old.

Crash Team Rumble®, the franchise’s latest title, launched in June 2023 and has been an absolute joy for fans! The Season 3 game update even brought our beloved purple dragon, Spyro!

Fans will remember this adorable 90’s gaming icon, Spyro! He is one of the most top ranking video gaming franchises there is. Gliding to popularity in the 90’s, this mischievous little dragon made his fiery return back in November 2018 with the compilation game: Spyro Reignited Trilogy®

Spyro is available across all platforms and with a surge in popularity, Spyro provides unique opportunities across mass and specialty retailers.

Activision Publishing has a long and storied history of

creating some of the industry’s best video game franchises, including three of Atari’s top 10 bestselling games of all time.

Merchantwise have the pleasure of representing iconic titles such as Pitfall!, Kaboom, Grand Prix and River Raid in Australia and New Zealand.

Overwatch 2®, World of Warcraft, and Diablo are the perfect titles to round out a diverse Activision Blizzard offering under the Merchantwise Group portfolio.

Since its initial launch in 2016, Overwatch quickly became a player-favourite amongst the gaming community, having received over 100+ game of the year (GOTY) awards by 2022, with millions of monthly players.

From October 2022, the universe’s second instalment, Overwatch 2® replaced its predecessor. With a diverse cast of old and new characters, with cross-play and cross-progression between PC and console, this release resulted in a whopping 25 million players joining the game in the first 10 days!

With the game releasing constant seasonal updates roughly every nine


weeks and events to entertain throughout the year (such as Lunar New Year, Halloween and Winter Wonderland events featuring exclusive cosmetic items players can purchase or earn), there is a wealth of content to be consumed by fans and players alike year-round.

Blizzard have successfully launched a range over consumer products partnerships in the retail space. Designworks is currently developing an apparel range for the brand, which is due to release in 2024.

World of Warcraft® is a massive online multiplayer role -playing game (MMORPG) in which players around the globe assume the roles of heroic fantasy characters and explore Azeroth, a world full of magic and endless adventure.

The game is often revered for revolutionising online social play, and the franchise has spawned multiple spin-offs and experiences, including a blockbuster movie, best-selling novels, board games, and remains an enduring pop culture phenomenon amongst millions of players worldwide.

In November 2022, WoW released their latest expansion, Dragonflight. This return to fantasy and adventure has been an absolute hit with everyone who has played so far!

2024 brings the next roadmap of World of Warcraft to fans, with the Worldsoul Saga announced at BlizzCon 2023 in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the game.

With a three-part series to be released over the course of the next few years, and World of Warcraft: The War Within as the first expansion shown with a cinematic trailer reaching over 3.5 million views – the brand is building excitement for fans looking to dive into this epic fantasy realm!

With a vault of assets and 2024 celebrating 20 years of this iconic brand, there is a lot of opportunity coming up for WoW!

Diablo® is an action role-playing game series of angels versus demons and takes place in the dark fantasy world of Sanctuary.

As heroes, players traverse Sanctuary on a quest to slay the hordes of The Burning Hells in epic, fast-paced combat.

The Diablo franchise is considered one of the most influential of all time, with its unique, dark lore and action-packed gameplay centred around customisable character classes and gear, it has a rich history that players have enjoyed for decades.


On June 6th 2023, more than 10 years since the previous title’s release, Diablo IV launched on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. Fans worldwide clamoured to serve Lilith in the incredible, action-packed game – with sales exceeding $666 million in less than 6 days!

Millions of players are logging in to play the game every month, with regular seasonal updates coming throughout the year. Join the fight between the High Heavens and Burning Hells as the battle for Sanctuary rages on in the latest addition to the dark franchise.

Activision Publishing has a long and storied history of creating some of the industry’s best video game franchises, including three of Atari’s top 10 bestselling games of all time. Merchantwise have the pleasure of representing iconic titles such as Pitfall!, Kaboom, Grand Prix and River Raid in Australia and New Zealand.

© 2024 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision, Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Guitar Hero and Skylanders are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc.

© 2024 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. Blizzard Entertainment, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm are trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are property of their respective owners.

Adopt Me! ‘collecting fans’

One game to look out for is Adopt Me!, the Premier Pet Game on Roblox. First launched in 2017, Adopt Me! is all about collecting pets, and is a top pick for Australian gamers with a rapidly growing popularity and user base. Since 2017, it has accrued an overwhelming 400 million plus players with fans engaging across all platforms including YouTube and Instagram - amassing over 12 million fans on its own social media outlets.

Australia is listed as a top country for the brand by player count and spend – amongst the US, UK, Brazil, and Germany.

Adopt Me! is already making its mark on retail internationally with an incredible line-up of toys, plush and playsets from master toy partner Jazwares.

The consumer products program has expanded across apparel and accessories, homewares, luggage, publishing, stationery, arts, activity and outdoor throughout 2023 and into 2024.

In November 2023, Adopt Me! and McDonalds launched a global Happy Meal program which featured collectible toys, trading cards and sticker sets contained in a collectable tin.

This has been supported with an extensive Marketing campaign, solidifying Adopt Me! as a popular game of choice on the Roblox platform.


Sony Consumer Products most successful franchises, Ghostbusters and Karate Kid have been generating winning licensing programs across the globe for more than 30 years. Both Ghostbusters and Karate Kid continue to evolve with film and television spin-offs.

In 2024, both Ghostbusters and Karate Kid will be celebrating 40 years with blockbuster movies starting with Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire releasing in March and Karate Kid in December.

A Global Phenomenon

Ghostbusters continues to be a powerhouse intergenerational franchise that kids and families love.

It is Sony Pictures’ most successful licensed brand franchise of all time.

With over 150 partners globally, across a broad cross-category representation including toys & collectibles, interactive & food, publishing, apparel, home, seasonal and more, Ghostbusters is a very successful licensing program for nearly 40 years.

The iconic multi-media franchise Ghostbusters approaches an incredibly exciting chapter, with an upcoming milestone 40-year anniversary in 2024.

In 2021 smash-hit, Ghostbusters: Afterlife introduced an iconic property to an entirely new generation of fans. Now there is a strong slate of new content in development including the much- anticipated sequel titled Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, which will premiere exclusively in theaters worldwide on 28 March 2024. In addition, two new offerings from Sony Pictures Animation – the first-ever Ghostbusters animated movie and a Ghostbusters animated series – are both currently in development.

The Karate Kid movie in 1984 was a huge theatrical success for Sony Pictures and the TV series Cobra Kai has become one of the most popular streaming series .

Daniel LaRusso returns to the big screen in an all new Karate Kid movie which is set to premiere exclusively in theatres on 13 December 2024.

Merchantwise will be seeking new opportunities across a wide array of consumer products, including apparel, accessories, home, collectibles and gift and novelty.

In August 2023, Merchantwise paired up Cobra Kai with the Jitsy Club in Australia for an officially licensed range of martial arts gear.

Designed to make martial arts practitioners look good on and off the mats, the branded range includes rash guards, training shorts and gis for adults and kids.

A New Hit Series

On Friday October 13th of last year, the world anticipated the new TV series Goosebumps, which premiered on Disney+ and hulu.

Merchantwise partnered with Culture Kings to launch a new streetwear collection that merges the haunting allure of

We eagerly await the sixth season of the hit series Cobra Kai

Following in the wake of the Gen V finale in November 2023, Prime Video has released a firstlook teaser trailer and posters for the upcoming season of The Boys. The show’s highly anticipated fourth season is coming to Prime Video in 2024.

the iconic Goosebumps series with streetwear. Relive your childhood terrors with Goosebumps’ signature designs with a Culture King twist. And Australia Post released a Goosebumps collectible stamp pack in October 2023.

Legendary Entertainment is a leading media company with film (Legendary Pictures), television and digital (Legendary Television and Digital Media) and comics (Legendary Comics) divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to worldwide audiences. Legendary has built a library of marquee media properties and has established itself as a trusted brand which consistently delivers high-quality, commercial entertainment including some of the world’s most popular intellectual property. In aggregate, Legendary Pictures-associated productions have realized grosses of more than $19 billion worldwide at the box office. To learn more visit:

The Monsterverse Expands

Beyond individual monsters, Legendary’s Monsterverse forms an expansive story universe with multi-layered experiences. It centers around humanity’s struggle for survival in a world in which the monsters from our myths and legends are real. The franchise began with “Godzilla” (2014), followed by “Kong: Skull Island” (2017), “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (2019), and the hit “Godzilla vs. Kong” (2021). The Monsterverse’s success at the box office, approaching two billion dollars globally, continues with the anticipated sequel “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” in theaters this Spring and the new TV series, “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” currently streaming on Apple TV+.

The epic battle continues! Legendary Pictures’ cinematic Monsterverse follows up the explosive showdown

of “Godzilla vs. Kong” with an all-new adventure that pits the almighty Kong and the fearsome Godzilla against a colossal undiscovered threat hidden within our world, challenging their very existence—and our own. “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” delves further into the histories of these Titans and their origins, as well as the mysteries of Skull Island and beyond, while uncovering the mythic battle that helped forge these extraordinary beings and tied them to humankind forever.

An Astounding Spectacle

The saga continues as award-winning filmmaker Denis Villeneuve embarks on “Dune: Part Two,” the next chapter of Frank Herbert’s celebrated novel Dune, with an expanded all-star international ensemble cast. The film, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, is the highly anticipated follow-up to 2021’s six-time Academy Award-winning “Dune.”

The big-screen epic continues the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s acclaimed bestseller Dune with returning and new stars, including Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet (“Wonka,” “Call Me by Your Name”), Zendaya (“Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Malcolm & Marie,” “Euphoria”), Rebecca Ferguson (“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning”), Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (“Avengers: End Game,” “Milk”), Oscar nominee Austin Butler (“Elvis,” “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood”), Oscar nominee Florence Pugh (“Black Widow,” “Little Women”), Dave Bautista (the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, “Thor: Love and Thunder”), Oscar winner Christopher Walken (“The Deer Hunter,” “Hairspray”), Léa Seydoux (the “James Bond” franchise and “Crimes of the Future”), Souheila Yacoub (“The Braves,” “Climax”), with Stellan Skarsgård (the “Mamma Mia!” films, “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), with Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years,” “Assassin’s Creed”), and Oscar winner Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men,” “Being the Ricardos”).


“Dune: Part Two” will explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a path of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.

Villeneuve directed from a screenplay he and Jon Spaihts wrote based on Herbert’s novel. The film is produced by Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Villeneuve, Tanya Lapointe and Patrick McCormick. The executive producers are Joshua Grode, Jon Spaihts, Thomas Tull, Herbert W. Gains, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, Kim Herbert, Richard P. Rubinstein and John Harrison, with Kevin J. Anderson serving as creative consultant.

Villeneuve is again collaborating with his “Dune” creatives: Oscar-winning director of photography Greig Fraser; Oscar-winning production designer Patrice Vermette; Oscar-winning editor Joe Walker; Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert; Oscar-nominated costume designer Jacqueline West. Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer is again on hand to create the score.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present A Legendary Pictures Production, A Film By Denis Villeneuve, “Dune: Part Two.” The film is slated for a March 1, 2024 release in theaters and IMAX nationwide and internationally beginning on 28 February 2024, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of “Gojira” (1954), “Godzilla Minus One” is an engrossing and bracing triumph that really delivers what everybody wants by embracing the beloved traditional roots of classic cinema, while adding something new and fresh for the new generation. Godzilla, he is an omnipotent prehistoric leviathan of monstrous proportions that represents the wrath of nature, as well as the devastating consequences of nuclear war. Takashi Yamazaki (director/ writer) embraces these significant themes that made the 1954 original a timeless classic, while emphasizing the im-

portant value of courage and community in general, as well as unveiling awareness of how weapons were made and developed to bring peace to our country. These new themes are a major asset for this enthralling character-driven story. Takashi’s attention to detail is considerable via emotionally effective delivery; his direction is gripping in spades with great timing to provide taut execution, intense drama that feels lively, breathtaking awe, and eye-popping thrills alongside its jaw-dropping shock value.

The film grossed $11 million at the US box office during opening weekend, making Godzilla Minus One the biggest North American opening for a foreign-language film in 2023. The film continues to dominate the box office. As of 10 January 2024, the global box office has achieved of US$90M. Godzilla Minus One debuted with an “A” CinemaScore rating, making it the best reception ever for a non-English Godzilla film and matching Godzilla vs. Kong. The film has a 97% positive critic rating (75 reviews) and 98% positive audience sore (1k+ verified ratings) on Rotten Tomatoes.

Australiana – A Blossoming Trend in Licensed Consumer Products

In recent years, Australiana-inspired fashion has experienced a notable surge in popularity, with many fashion trends now embracing Aussie’s rich cultural and natural heritage in their product design philosophy. These iconic elements have found its way to Australian retail and consumer products, establishing a notable presence nationwide.


Emerging as a dominant trend, Australiana has provided a platform for many licensed properties to flourish in Australian retail. Among these, May Gibbs stands out as a cultural icon in Australian storytelling and heritage, her stories and characters are a staple in many Aussie households. Her bush fantasy world has captured the imaginations of Australians for over a century. Evoking a sense of nostalgia and cultural pride, May Gibbs’ artworks are a natural fit to seamlessly translate to a diverse array of consumer products, offering Australians an opportunity to pass on their special connection to their own children and establishing a new generation of fans.

In 2023, Merchantwise has been strategically steering the beloved May Gibbs brand into exciting new territories through a series of innovative brand collaborations and partnerships.

May Gibbs continues to be a strong property in BIG W, launching an all-new range of May Gibbs-inspired babywear, kidswear, and womenswear. The timeless appeal of the Gumnut Babies extends into seasonal celebrations including Easter and Christmas, with a strong range of homewares and seasonal décor to complement the extensive product range.

Walnut Melbourne, taking a refreshing new direction in kidswear, embodies the playful, fun and stylish spirit of May Gibbs without compromising on style. Launched in September, Walnut introduced a new summer May Gibbs range, featuring wearable and comfy summer styles for kids adorned with iconic May Gibbs characters and prints.

Celebrating 7 years in partnership with May Gibbs, Kip&Co has launched a new range of bedding, kidswear and

baby clothing. Renowned for its allure in elevated living, the collection not only embodies the whimsical charm of the Gumnut Babies, but the idea of keeping them as cherished heirlooms, much like the shared stories passed down to our children.

In a delightful fusion of creativity and sweetness, May Gibbs collaborated with Ministry of Chocolate to launch a new range just in time for Christmas. Indulging in a whimsical world of chocolatey goodness, featuring iconic May Gibbs artwork and a new range of Australiana inspired flavours, perfect for gifting and festive indulgence.

Partnering with Erstwilder, May Gibbs brings Aussies an allnew range of limited-edition collection of wearable accessories. Launched in November, this collection of brooches, earrings, necklaces, pins and hair accessories draws inspirations from iconic characters in May Gibbs’ collection of stories. The highly anticipated collection saw nearly half its items flying off shelves within 4 hours of the launch.

In a strategic convergence of Aussie storytelling and modern tech, Casetify has launched a new range of May Gibbs phone cases and tech accessories. Featuring beloved May Gibbs characters and iconic designs, this strategic partnership aims to introduce May Gibbs to a younger demographic, fostering a deeper appreciation for May’s work among diverse age groups.

Extending the May Gibbs magic to baby care, the May Gibbs x Bondi Wash range of natural baby care products is perfect

for all gumnut babies. Introducing a line of naturally formulated baby products including a gentle Baby Wash to clean and heal, and a soothing Baby Balm to protect the skin, the range also includes a copy of May Gibbs ‘Goodnight Gumnuts’ book to help ease little ones into slumber.

In conclusion, the surge in Australiana-inspired fashion and trends attests to an enduring movement of celebrating Australia’s unique flora and fauna and connection to the local culture. It’s not just about what looks good; it’s about wearing a piece of one’s own history and identity. As the Australiana trend continues to grow, Merchantwise is excited about the brand’s trajectory in 2024 and beyond, and are proud to be part of the magic that has made the May Gibbs brand an integral part of Australia’s cultural heritage.

Originally released in 1989, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is the beloved storybook of a family traipsing through the stunning English countryside to find a bear. The brand is now available for licensing in the Australia and New Zealand territory for the first time!

With rhythmical story-telling by Michael Rosen, and timeless watercolour illustrations by Helen Oxenbury, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt has enchanted children and parents alike with its story of perseverance, optimism and a love of nature.

Since it’s 1989 release, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt has sold over 14 million books worldwide, with 1.4 million of those copies have been sold in Australia alone.

For over 34 years, readers young and old have been swishy-swashing and splash-sploshing through the award-winning and much-beloved picture book. In 2024,

Bear Hunt will be celebrating its 35th anniversary, making it the perfect time to launch a licensing program.

The licensing program for Bear Hunt has been exceptionally popular in the UK, and in 2023, Merchantwise launched a range of toddler and babywear exclusively in Big W during Baby Week in August. The consumer products program will extend into other categories in Australia and New Zealand in 2024.

Magicus Mixus!

Moose Toys continues to deliver the magic with the Magic Mixies franchise. In 2024, Moose Toys will be revealing their new franchise branding Magicus Mixus by Magic Mixies.

The toy line continues to be a huge success with the original Magic Cauldron continuing to be a top seller around the world and the third series of the Mixlings collectibles, Crystal Woods achieving global sales success this season.

In July, the world of Mixia evolved to become bigger and better than ever with the introduction of Pixlings dolls. With a brand-new potion, you can create Marena, the mermaid Pixling, Unia, the unicorn Pixling and Faye, the fairy Pixling. Fans have embraced these cute little dolls, around the globe and will be excited when the licensed merchandise will be available from July 2024.

But that’s not all, there are more Mixlings to love in 2024, with the introduction of the Mixies Minis! We know that collectible fans love to collect, display, and play with their collectible toys, whether they are bought frequently as a treat or in bulk, consumers will love to try to complete their collection. Along with some of the hero characters like Dawne and Parlo, there are more Mixie Mini’s to love with over 90+ figures to collect & all new magical reveals.

Moose has continued with their extensive franchise strategy for the brand, which encompasses a true “Magic” play


experience with toys, creating rich worlds and characters with animated content in the Magic Mixies TV series, now featuring over 4 seasons and 26 episodes, available to watch on Netflix,YouTube and Channel 9’s digital channel, Go., and digital gaming with 2 new integrated experiences on Roblox.

The first publishing titles featuring a wide array of colour and activity formats from Scholastic and Hinkler, hit the shelves in July 2023, and continually sell out, with new formats in development and will be launching from Q1 2024. Apparel, accessories, footwear and bags will continue to find placement at mass retail, and new categories will be available throughout 2024.

Far off at the end of the rainbow lies a magical land where all the colors in the universe were born. Armed with a magical color belt and a host of delightful friends — including the Sprites and her faithful horse Starlite —Rainbow Brite leads the charge, battling the forces of gloom and bringing color to those who need it throughout the universe.

Rainbow Brite, one of the most beloved cartoons from the 1980s, appeared in a 13-episode TV series, in addition to a feature film. Rainbow Brite’s original licensing program was extremely successful, and she has been an iconic character for decades.

At a time when demand for nostalgic properties is growing, Rainbow Brite is back in 2024 celebrating 40 years of all that sparkles.

For the 40th anniversary, The Loyal Subjects (TLS Toy), a

prominent U.S. brand that produces high-quality collectibles and toys, has developed an exciting new classic Rainbow Brite product line that will be enjoyed by fans of all ages---including today’s kids. This collection is being distributed in Australia by Ikon Collectables in 2024.

Every world needs a hero … and in Rainbowland that hero is Rainbow Brite. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Rainbow Brite, there will be additional halo collaborations and product launches throughout the year.

For further information or licensing opportunities, please contact Merchantwise.

The Elf on the Shelf has been available / supported by Australian retailers for over +10 years now and has consistently experienced significant YOY growth carving out a robust and clear position as an iconic, ‘must have’ evergreen Christmas brand.

Every Christmas season, The Elf on the Shelf® continues to be extremely popular with families. The core range of products, including the Elf On The Shelf book was again available at Myer Giftorium, Kmart and a range of independents.

Merchantwise partnered with Vicinity Centres with Elf On The Shelf activations for a second year running, with Chadstone featuring a “Find The Elf” every day at Chadstone



Shopping Centres to be in the running to win a Luxury Escape Family Holiday to Bali.

The Australian licensing program managed by Merchantwise features an array of products at retail which includes outerwear and sleepwear, publishing, confectionery, Christmas décor, drinkware and dinnerware, and puzzles and games.

Christmas PJs are very popular at this time of year, where families can all dress up to open their presents on Christmas morning.

In December 2023, Aardman and Astrea announced that Wallace & Gromit in The Grand Getaway launched for the Meta Quest platform, including the hilariously fun Mixed Reality experience Jamtastic!

The Grand Getaway is Wallace & Gromit’s first foray into virtual reality, and this new adventure also includes their first venture to the realm of mixed reality with Jamtastic! A chaotic shooting gallery style game that will be included with the purchase of The Grand Getaway VR adventure, on the Meta Quest store.

& Sheep A.R. Trail & App, developed by Aardman, launched at Paradise Country on the Gold Coast, Rippon Lea Estate in Melbourne and at the Agrodome NZ in 2023. The challenge is simple - explore the site; whether it’s a forest, a shopping centre or a museum, and look out for the Shaun the Sheep markers where Shaun will be hiding. Other locations around Australia will be launching Shaun The Sheep Hide & Sheep A.R. Trail & App in 2024.

Merchantwise, positioned at the forefront of nostalgia-driven properties, boasts a portfolio featuring beloved icons from the past. The team has been actively pursuing strategic partnerships and collaborations with iconic properties such as Strawberry Shortcake, Teletubbies and Inspector Gadget Strawberry Shortcake, an popular symbol of childhood innocence for those who grew up in the ‘80s, is making a triumphant return, leading the charge, and setting the gold standard in nostalgic licensing for what it means for treasured characters to be reimagined for every generation.

The World of Strawberry Shortcake

The eagerly anticipated sequel to the highest-grossing stop-motion animated film of all time, launched exclusively on Netflix in December 2023. Like it’s predecessor, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is a comedy action-adventure and has had an extensive PR and marketing campaign for the launch. The movie also made it into Netflix’s Top 10 movies in Australia!

Shaun the Sheep absolutely loves to play games - and ‘hide and seek’ is a firm favourite! The new Shaun The Sheep Hide

She’s an attitude, an outlook, an original …. In 2024, Strawberry Shortcake celebrates 45 years of berry-sweetness. The darling of deliciousness is defined by her sweet style and kindness.

2023 saw several successful halo collaborations and collections across the globe celebrating Strawberry Shortcake’s fandom, including The Loyal Subjects, Hunnideux, Dolls Kill, PSD, Dumb Good, Hot Topic, Loungefly and Goose Creek.

The consumer products program features products across softlines and hardlines in mass, mid-tier and specialty retailers, including Walmart, Target, Hot Topic, PACSUN, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 in the US, and in Australia, Jay Jays and Cotton On.

In January 2023, Peter Alexander launched a sleepwear col-

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lection for baby girls, girls and women’s pyjamas.

Further collections in Q4 2023, included collaborations with Rock Your Baby (Australia’s leading retailer for chic and stylish Kidswear), who have launched a brand-new Strawberry Shortcake collection, blending timeless charm and contemporary style.

The collection is all about living and bringing the sweet life to your little one’s wardrobe, one strawberry-inspired piece at a time.

Celebrating Diversity & Being Yourself

The Teletubbies foster the imagination of audiences young and young-at-heart in a wonder-fuelled world with joyful exploration, visual anticipation, and silly surprises while

and being yourself with a sleepwear collaboration to celebrate Pride month in March 2023. December saw the first Teletubbies plush toys launch in Toy World and David Jones in January 2024.

Go Go Gadget!

The world’s most absent-minded detective with an impressive array of gadgets and gizmos has gained a loyal fan base across the ages by defeating villains around the world with the help of his fearless niece Penny.

Inspector Gadget celebrated 40 years in 2023 and the first collectible product to hit the shelves was the Inspector Gadget Collectible Stamp Pack

Celebrating Iconic Moments

2023 has seen a celebration of multiple music icons achieving music history, reaching milestones that only a few successful music bands and artists can achieve.

embracing their own offbeat quirkiness and diversity.

In 2023, Merchantwise partnered with Peter Alexander to celebrate diversity

This past year, we have been celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the release of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. The Dark Side Of The Moon album was partly developed in 1972 during live performances, and the band premiered an early version of the suite at London’s Rainbow Theatre

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several months before recording began. It is the eighth studio album by Pink Floyd, originally released in the US on 1 March and then in the UK on 16th March 1973. ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ has sold over 50 million copies worldwide.

Now and Then –The Last Beatles Song

Together and apart, The Beatles have always had a talent for the unexpected.

And now, 2023 brought one of the most anticipated releases of their long and endlessly eventful history.

“Now And Then” is the last Beatles song – written and sung by John Lennon, developed and worked on by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and now finally finished by Paul and Ringo over four decades later.

“Now And Then” released worldwide on Thursday, November 2 by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe. The double A-side single pairs the last Beatles song with the first: the band’s 1962 debut UK single, “Love Me Do,” a truly fitting full-circle counterpart to “Now And Then.” Both songs are mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos®, and the release features original cover art by renowned artist Ed Ruscha. The new music video for “Now And Then” also debuted on Friday, November 3.

In addition, a 12-minute “Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song” documentary film, written and directed by Oliver Murray, also debuted on November 1. The film’s global online premiere was hosted on The Beatles’ YouTube channel. This poignant short film tells the story behind the last Beatles song, with exclusive footage and commentary from Paul, Ringo, George, Sean Ono Lennon and Peter Jackson.

lion record sales worldwide, from more than 40 albums. The band has been a force to be reckoned with since its creation in 1973, by Paul Stanley (vocals, rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (vocals, bass), Ace Frehley (lead guitar, vocals) and Peter Criss (drums, vocals). These original four members were inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. The current line-up comprises Stanley, Simmons, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer.

Known for the distinctive stage make-up, personas and costumes of its band members, KISS has delivered electrifying performances to legions of fans across the world, including in Australia. On-stage antics, such as fire-breathing, levitating drum kits, smoking guitars and pyrotechnics, are synonymous with the band’s shock-rock style. KISS has been touring the globe for their final tour dates and even came back one final time to Australia, to play at the AFL Grand Final. Australia Post launched a commemorative stamp pack in honour of KISS’s 50th anniversary, selling out within the first three weeks of the sales date.

Blondie, is an American rock group known for incorporating varied influences, including avant-garde, reggae, and hip-hop, into the new wave sound of the 1970s and ’80s. Blondie was formed in 1974 by vocalist Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. The band played New York punk clubs such as CBGB alongside, contemporaries such as Talking Heads, Television, and Patti Smith, and released its self-titled debut album on Private Stock Records in 1976. Major label Chrysalis Records released Plastic Letters the following year, earning the group a fol-

American rock band KISS is one of the most influential and best-selling bands of all time, amassing more than 100 mil-

lowing in the United Kingdom. Parallel Lines (1978) broke the band into the rock mainstream thanks to hits such as “Picture This,” “One Way or Another,” and the disco-influenced “Heart of Glass.” Eat to the Beat (1979) was similarly successful.

The group’s image was always defined by bleach blonde Harry’s sly streetwise vocal delivery and sexually charged public persona. A collaboration with Europop producer Giorgio Moroder led to the single “Call Me,” which topped the charts in 1980 and served as the theme for the film American Gigolo.

In April 2024, Blondie will be touring Australia as part of Pandemonium Rock, other artists in the lineup include Deep Purple, Placebo, the Dead Kennedy’s and Alice Cooper!

In 2024, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Blondie and will be launching a range of merchandise to commemorate the occasion.

Merchantwise represents a wide array of music artists and bands for merchandise licensing, including The Beatles, AC/ DC, KISS, Blondie, Ed Sheeran, Grateful Dead and many

more. In the last month of 2023, we saw a lot of bands tour in Australia, including Weezer, DEVO, Kraftwerk, and Fall Out Boy. In 2024, there are several iconic music artists touring including Iron Maiden for The Future Past Tour which begins on 1st September 2024 in Perth.


Australians love their sport and there is no bigger sporting event than the Olympic Games.

Australians have watched more than 4.6 billion minutes of Olympics coverage on 7plus, making it the biggest digital event in Australian TV history.

Ahead of the Paris Olympics in 2024, The AOC licensing program will see a wide-ranging and recognisable asset base become available for license, including official Olympic logos as well as the iconic Team mascot, the Boxing Kangaroo. The program will also incorporate specially created assets of Indigenous art commissioned for the Australian Olympic Team.


For more than 30-years The Wiggles have educated and entertained children around the world, establishing themselves as one of the most respected and beloved brands in the edutainment space.

The brand has continually grown and evolved through the years to remain fresh and culturally relevant.

The Wiggles Appoint Haven Global to Manage Licensing for Consumer Products

To assist in maintaining the visibility a brand of this stature requires, The Wiggles have brought on Haven Global, a multi-award winning Australian-based licensing agency, as their global licensing agent to further expand their presence in the global consumer products market. Haven will provide strategic brand direction, explore relevant and new brand opportunities, spearhead negotiations for new licensing and promotional partnerships, all while identifying and mining new categories of brand opportunity.

“We are thrilled to have the honor to look at The Wiggles with a fresh set of eyes and expand this legacy brand through new avenues for preschoolers all over the world,” said Tom Punch, Managing Director, Haven Global. “In essence they are a child’s first rock band, and we will reignite this passion through fabulous creative and marketing endeavours.”

One of the biggest priorities for Haven is further enhancing The Wiggles brand presence in North America. As their dedicated licensing partner for consumer products, Haven Global will work closely with The Wiggles to develop and manage a wide range of consumer products ranging from toys and apparel to FMCG products and other licensing opportunities as the partnership aims to create magical moments for children while extending The Wiggles’ brand reach into new and exciting areas.

Known and beloved by children and families worldwide for their infectious music and captivating live shows steeped in early-childhood training, The Wiggles have been entertaining young audiences for over three decades. Their appointment of Haven Global marks a significant step in their journey to bring their beloved skivvy wearing performers and music to even more children and families around the world.

“As The Wiggles continue to evolve and enter new markets, we’re excited to partner with Haven Global to bring a fresh perspective to consumer products and licensing opportunities worldwide, said Luke O’Neill, CEO of The Wiggles. “The Wiggles remain one of the most trusted brands for children, and continue to go from strength to strength, entertaining families around the world.”

The Wiggles expanded their lineup in 2021 to be gender balanced and to better reflect today’s multicultural society. With “double The Wiggles, double the fun,” the cast each bring new talents and skills to the group that children love. Joining Anthony, Simon and Lachy and their combined earlychildhood and musical expertise are

Strong John, a fitness enthusiast who can backflip on demand; Evie, an exceptional ballet dancer; Caterina, the band’s long-time choreographer who also loves to ride her scooter; and Lucia who enjoys dancing, painting and playing the drums. These skills and the group’s broadened appeal provide even more opportunities for brands seeking to align with the children’s supergroup.

For three decades, The Wiggles, the world’s most popular children’s entertainment group, have educated, entertained and enriched the lives of millions of pre-schoolers (and their parents) all over the globe. Today, generations of fans that grew up watching The Wiggles are sharing their love of them with their own children. Widely regarded as the hardest working band in the business, The Wiggles have sold over 30 million albums and DVDs, 8 million books globally, and over two billion music streams and three billion views on YouTube, The Wiggles continue to dominate the preschool entertainment scene. Their live shows annually sell out to audiences on three continents, and their videos are seen in over 190 countries worldwide.

Most recently, The Wiggles’ captivating story was brought to life from its early beginnings to their current diversified lineup in the widely watched documentary Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles, which premiered on Amazon Prime in


Moose Toys’ Phenomenal Success in the Licensing Industry: Bluey and Beyond

Moose Toys continues to solidify its position as a global leader in innovation and licensing deals.

The Australian-based company has been making waves by securing partnerships with some of the world’s most exciting properties, including Trolls, Minions, and the beloved Bluey.

One standout success for Moose Toys has been its collaboration with BBC Studios and bringing everyone’s favourite Blue Heeler, Bluey, to life via an extensive array of products. These quality toys help bring the much-loved characters from the show into the households of enthusiastic viewers.

“Bluey continues to be a runaway hit around the globe and we are so proud as fellow Aussies, that we remain in a unique position to bring the magic of the show directly to fans,” said Ben Sage, General Manager of Australia at Moose Toys.

“Through the ever-engag ing television series and this new release of Bluey toys we are so excited to continue to help kids bring Bluey’s adventures into their own homes.”

One standout addition is the Bluey’s Tradie Ute, featuring Bluey and Sparky on an adven ture to get some work done. The set includes the exclusive vehicle and figures, encour aging imaginative play as kids customise the Ute with the included sticker sheet.

Another hot addition is Bluey’s Firetruck, a must-have for young fans.

The firetruck comes with Bluey, Bingo, and Bob Bilby figures, equipped to battle any blaze with its built-in extension ladder and retractable fire hose.The themed sticker sheet allows kids to personalise the firetruck for a unique play experience.

Moose Toys’ extensive line of products, including action figures, playsets, roleplay, and collectibles, is set to hit shelves in late Spring 2024, aligning with the theatrical release of Despicable Me 4 on June 20, 2024.

For those who enjoy role-playing shopping adventures, the Farmers Market Mini Playset and Ice Cream Shop Mini Playset offer delightful experiences inspired by popular Bluey episodes.

The Mini Heeler Home provides a move-in-ready playset, allowing kids to tap into their inner interior designer and redecorate Bluey’s living space. Looking beyond Bluey, Moose Toys has set its sights on a groundbreaking partnership with Universal Products & Experiences. The company has secured the master toy license for Illumination’s Despicable Me and Minions franchise, the most successful animated franchise of all time.

Joe Smith, Vice President of Global and U.S. Marketing, Licensed Brands at Moose Toys, expressed excitement about the collaboration.

“This global partnership represents both a major expansion of Moose Toys’ licensed portfolio and an extension of our relationship with Universal Products & Experiences.”

The partnership with Illumination’s beloved franchise perfectly aligns with Moose Toys’ brand and personality, promising to infuse the beloved Minions universe with Moose Toys innovation.

Moose Toys’ success in the licensing industry, particularly with Bluey and the upcoming Despicable Me and Minions collaboration, showcases its’ commitment to delivering innovative and engaging products that capture the hearts and imaginations of children worldwide.

As Moose continues to evolve and expand its licensed portfolio, it remains a frontrunner in bringing beloved characters and stories to life.


Toy Trends 2024: Kidults, Nostalgia, and Tween Power

As we step into 2024, the toy industry is being driven by three key trends that promise to redefine playtime.

Firstly, the surge of adult toy consumers, affectionately known as “Kidults,” is ushering in a remarkable boom. This phenomenon isn’t just captivating adults but is also inspiring play among teens and tweens. From captivating collectibles and engaging games to the soothing allure of fidget toys, the market is witnessing a delightful fusion that knows no age boundaries. In a recent study by the US Toy Association, a staggering 89% of parents indicated they intended to buy toys for themselves.

Secondly, Pop Culture takes centre stage, with a particular spotlight on Nostalgic brands from the 90’s and Y2K era. Asembl has observed the power of nostalgia in food categories, where consumers connect with brands through flavour. Now it’s time to extend that sentiment into the realm of play, toys, arts and craft using design, scent and fragrance. Iconic brands such as Streets Ice Cream, Aeroplane Jelly, Violet Crumble, Chupa Chups, Mentos, Rainbow Brite & Strawberry Shortcake are perfect brands to tap into this trend.

Thirdly, a tween takeover is in full

Asembl is Asia Pacific’s premier design, lifestyle & FMCG brand extension agency. Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and led by Co-Founder and Managing Director, Justin Watson

Our capabilities extend across strategy, brand management, retail engagement, product development, creative, contract administration, marketing, and digital media Asembl delivers a truly holistic end-to-end approach grounded in trusted relationships with brand owners, retailers and manufacturers. Clients includes Coca-Cola, Diageo, Perfetti Van Melle, and Unilever.

Asembl is a part of the Merchantwise Group, an integrated group of brand management, digital media & marketing businesses. We combine brand licensing, creative marketing and digital media to build and extend great brands.

media. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are shaping perceptions, infusing a cool factor into collecting, customizing, and proudly displaying toys. Responding swiftly to this cultural shift, the toy industry is boosting production to cater specifically to the dynamic and tech-savvy tween demographic. As 2024 unfolds, the world of toys is not just evolving; it’s becoming a playground where Kidults and Tweens coexist, and nostalgia meets the vibrant future of play.

If you would like to collaborate with best-in-class global brands, please get in touch:

Bottom right: Coca-Cola X Bear Brick Bottom left: Chupa Chups X Snackles Right: Chupa Chups X Allkinds

Cheeky Little Media marked a momentous milestone in July 2023 as it celebrated its 10th birthday.

The company was founded in 2013 by David Webster and Patrick Egerton to create and produce hit animated content for kids and family audiences worldwide.

However production in itself has never been the end game for a company recently voted into the top ten producers globally, by industry peers in the Kidscreen Hot 50.

The content is obviously the key, but the core objective remains simple - to create evergreen kids’ brands for long term commercialisation.


A decade in Australian animation years is about five shows, which Cheeky Little has successfully produced for leading networks such as CBBC, ABC Kids, and Netflix worldwide. After early successes with shows like Bottersnikes & Gumbles, Kazoops, and Spongo Fuzz & Jalapena, Cheeky Little found its first

in Canada. The series, which is being distributed internationally by Studio 100, is a prime example of Cheeky Little’s commitment to strategically commercialise its brands.

major hit with Kangaroo Beach. The first season of Kangaroo Beach made such a splash on the ABC in 2020 that the public broadcaster requested a second season only weeks into its initial run. Fast forward to 2023 and Kangaroo Beach is now in production of its third season and is returning stellar audience figures with a growing fan base in the UK, Canada, Europe, China and LATAM.

In 2020, Cheeky Little Commercial was set up to drive the development, launch, and ongoing management of the company’s flagship brands worldwide. This initiative aims to secure the best licensing and merchandising opportunities for shows across all categories, enhance audience engagement and sales, drive demand to finance subsequent series, and yield net revenue for Cheeky Little’s investors. Innovative launch strategies and carefully-managed relationships with licensing partners form the strategy. The proven success stories on Kangaroo Beach and Vegesaurs highlight the commercial division’s prowess in securing substantial rights deals in key categories such as toys, books, and apparel; creating sev-

lies. Beyond being an animated series, Defence Kidz aspires to become a self-funded resource; with potential extensions into toys, merchandise and live appearances that will inspire the audience and foster a sense of community and shared experience.

Looking ahead, the next five years promises to be an exciting growth phase for Cheeky Little. With a strong lineup of preschool properties in the pipeline and two kids’ family features in advanced development, the company is poised for further expansion. All these endeavors align with Cheeky Little Media’s overarching mission to build series into enduring brands that consistently deliver entertaining and franchisable content for global consumers.


- Cheeky Little Media celebrated its 10th birthday in July 2023.

For information contact

David Taylor

Cheeky Little Commercial david.taylor +61 414 648 444

Cheeky Little’s latest preschool offering, Vegesaurs, has had an even swifter success story. A top performer on the ABC, the series quickly became a runaway hit on the BBC, jointly holding the position of most popular show alongside Bluey. Vegesaurs’ triumph also extends to France TV, various European territories, as well as on TVO and Knowledge

eral consumer touchpoints that form lasting relationships with the kids and family fanbase.

The next logical step in nurturing these brand-customer relationships was the launch of the Cheeky Little Shop in November 2023. The online store offers exclusive Kangaroo Beach and Vegesaurs merchandise, and subscribers receive a monthly newsletter brimming with special offers, downloadable activities, and exciting updates about customers’ favourite shows.

The company’s latest brand in development is Defence Kidz, a series targeted at children from defence fami-

- 3rd seasons of Kangaroo Beach & Vegesaurs - evidence as a company in creating enduring brands.

- Cheeky Little Commercial expanding their reach.

- Cheeky Little Shop in their evolution as an IP creation and management company. Logical next step to connect directly with consumers.

- Defence Kidz new brand.

- Preschool properties in the pipeline for green light and two kids and family features in advanced development.



Yipose Trading Company (Australian owned) has established (1987) itself as a prominent player in the children’s marketplace, offering a wide range of products under their brand Pink Poppy, as well as through their licensing partnerships with renowned brands such as Disney Frozen, Disney Princess, Disney The Little Mermaid, Claris the Chicest Mouse in Paris, & the upcoming license, Emma Memma.

Each licensed brand & collection tells a unique story, capturing the hearts of young ones with its delightful collections, with a focus on creativity, quality and enchantment, that spark imagination and bring joy to children worldwide.

Let us delve into the magical world of Pink Poppy & explore its enduring appeal.

Pink Poppy Collection

Pink Poppy, the flagship brand, offers a delightful range of products for children.

Known for its charming designs and

attention to detail, Pink Poppy captures the imagination of young ones and brings joy to their playtime. The brand’s product line includes a wide variety of accessories, dress-up items, gifts & toys that cater to different themes and interests. Whether it’s a pretty pink tiara, a magical wand, a rainbow-coloured handbag, a whimsical costume, a musical jewellery box or a tea set, Pink Poppy’s products bring a touch of wonder and excitement to children’s lives.

One of the standout features of Pink Poppy is its diverse range of themes. From fairytales princesses, mermaids and unicorns, Pink Poppy offers a world of enchantment and fantasy for children to explore. Whether it’s a tea party with fairies or a journey through a mystical garden. Each theme is thoughtfully designed with colourful and eye-catching details, allowing children to immerse themselves in imaginative play. Embracing vibrant and playful colour palettes of pinks, purples, blues, and pastel hues dominate the brand’s colour schemes, creating a visually appealing and cheerful aesthetic. These colours not only add a sense of fun and liveliness to the products but also resonate with children’s love for vibrant and eye-catching hues.

Exclusive artworks and prints are an-

other standout feature of Pink Poppy’s designs. Delicate florals, whimsical butterflies, rainbow unicorns with shimmery mermaids are just a few examples of the delightful patterns that adorn their products. These limited-edition prints add a touch of whimsy and charm, making each item truly special and unique. Their attention to detail and commitment to quality ensure that each product is not only visually appealing but also durable & safe for children to enjoy.

With Pink Poppy, children can express their individuality and embrace their imagination through a world of colourful and enchanting products.

Disney Frozen Collection:

The Disney Frozen collection is a magical tribute to the beloved animated film. Inspired by the enchanting world of Elsa, Anna, & Olaf, featuring an array of accessories and dress-up items that allow children to immerse themselves in the wintry wonderland of Arendelle. From sparkling tiaras and snowflake-themed jewellery to shimmering bags & hair accessories, this collection brings the magic of the film to life.

Disney Princess Collection:

Every child dreams of being a princess, and this collection helps turn those dreams into reality. With a wide range


of accessories and dress-up items inspired by iconic Disney princesses like Cinderella, Belle, Aurora and Jasmine, this collection allows children to step into the shoes of their favourite characters. From sparkly tiaras & jewellery with pendants to enchanting handbags and sequin tutus along with tea sets and home décor items, all encourages imaginative play and empowers children to embrace their inner royalty.

Disney The Little Mermaid Collection:

Under the sea adventures come to life with Disney’s The Little Mermaid collection. Inspired by the beloved tale of Ariel & friends, with colours of the ocean›s hues, shades of aqua, coral and pearl this collection features a delightful range of accessories and dress-up items that transport children to an underwater world of magic and friendship. From mermaid-themed tutu to shimmering bags, Iridescent jewellery and toys, this exclusive collection allows children to dive into their own imaginative oceanic adventures.

Claris the Chicest Mouse in Paris Collection:

Inspired by the popular children’s book series written by Megan Hess, the collection revolves around Claris, a fashionable mouse who embarks on stylish adventures in the city of lights. Showcasing a range of fashionable hair

and jewellery accessories, handbags, dresses all adorned with embellished motifs, along with collectable toys and gifts all capturing the essence of Parisian fashion and elegance through its whimsical designs, soft colourways, luxurious fabrications. Pink Poppy’s Claris collection allows young fashionistas to embrace their inner style icon and add a touch of Parisian flair to their outfits.

Emma Memma

The upcoming Emma Memma Collection embraces the new children’s entertainment and education brand.

Emma Memma focuses on a new generation of communication. Sing. Dance. Sign. Where Emma and her friends embark on navigating challenges and musical adventures. The capsule will feature a range of accessories including hair, jewellery, handbags, along with toys & gifts with Emma Memma brands stand out colorways and unique artwork.

What sets Pink Poppy apart is its unwavering commitment to quality & attention to detail. Each product is meticulously designed in Australia with care, ensuring durability and safety for children. Pink Poppy understands the importance of imaginative play in a child’s development and strives to provide products that inspire creativity and storytelling. The brand’s dedi-

cation to creating products that spark joy and inspire creativity has earned it a loyal following worldwide.

Whether it’s a tiara fit for a princess, or a bag adorned with magical characters, Pink Poppy’s collections encourage children to dream, create, and explore their own unique worlds.

Yipose Trading Company along with its brands has established itself as a leading brand in the realm of children’s accessories toys & gifts. With collections inspired by beloved franchises like Disney Frozen, Disney Princess, Disney The Little Mermaid, Claris the Chicest Mouse in Paris, Emma Memma, & Pink Poppy that all bring joy, enchantment, & imaginative play to children worldwide. Through their commitment to quality, creativity, & attention to detail, Pink Poppy continues to inspire young minds, allowing them to embrace their imagination and embark on countless magical adventures.

Yipose Trading Company & its Collections will offer a wide range of options to choose from. there will be something for every little fashionista or aspiring prince or princess!


Representing some of Australia’s most iconic brands and TV programs, ABC Licensing is looking to build on the success of 2023 and explore opportunities with new partners this year.


ABC Licensing is excited to announce the appointment of Scholastic Australia as novelty publishing partner for Australia’s #1 channel for pre-school children, ABC Kids.


‘Scholastic Australia is thrilled to be partnering with the ABC for a new novelty publishing program,’ said Michelle Lee, Scholastic Australia. ‘ABC Kids is one of the most trusted and loved children’s channels in Australia and is synonymous with learning through play and entertainment. We can’t wait to bring these values and iconic characters to life in an exciting range of activity books.’

A long-standing partnership between ABC Licensing and Queensland theme park Dreamworld saw a new $15 million kids area open just in time for the summer holidays.

“ABC Kids’ partnership with Dreamworld has given families the chance to create long-lasting memories with their favourite ABC Kids brands,” said Jessica Ellis, Head ABC Commercial.

“The recent opening of Kenny and Belinda’s Dreamland, complete with Bananas in Pyjamas Carousel and Fun Maze plus the Play School HumptyGo-Round ride and themed Wheel, now provides even more fun and excitement.”


The Bananas in Pyjamas brand continues to delight young and old audiences alike. ABC Licensing partnered with Peter Alexander again in 2023 to create a gorgeous range of pyjamas for the whole family, which was a huge hit with customers.

In 2024, stylish children’s clothing brand Goldie+Ace is coming on board to create something magical and unapologetically vintage that taps into the nostalgic value of the brand.

The international success of Bananas in Pyjamas also continues, with Small Planet releasing an apparel and giftware range in Japan, Sleepy Sloth producing apparel and sleepwear for the US and Canadian markets, and Smiffy’s continuing their success with dressups for the UK, EMEA and Australia.


With the ABC’s iconic Gardening Australia entering its 35th season, audiences were excited to see its youthful offshoot, Gardening Australia Junior, premiere on ABC Kids.

Hosted by beloved gardening guru Costa Georgiadis, the series guides kids and their families through the


wondrous world of gardening. Making it as relatable as possible, Gardening Australia Junior covers all manner of gardens, from the luxurious open country to the smallest balcony gardens – wherever something grows – and is packed with gardening tips, tricks and activities that all kids will dig.

There are huge opportunities to bring this show to life in product form, and ABC Licensing is continuing discussions with interested licensees. Please reach out if you haven’t already!


The highly-anticipated second season of Muster Dogs launched on the ABC in mid-January, as five adorable Australian Border Collie puppies met their new owners and began a year-long competition to be crowned top dog.

The first season of the program,

deemed ‘a pick-me-up show’ by The New York Times, was a ratings juggernaut for the ABC and reached a series average of more than 2 million. It’s currently available on Netflix in multiple English-speaking territories, and continues to capture the hearts of audiences around the world.

Warm, relatable, sometimes funny and often moving, it is the perfect family brand. The series has already spawned two bestselling books and a muchloved 2024 wall calendar. We have more fantastic content in the pipeline for Muster Dogs and would love to discuss licensing opportunities.


Game shows are much-loved at the ABC and two of the best are back again in 2024.

Tom Gleeson, host of the top rating Hard Quiz, returns for a 9th season as he sets out to find Australia’s hardest quiz champion, pitting four contestants against each other in a battle of attrition. Popular music quiz show Spicks & Specks is also back this year, with

music, games and good times led by Myf Warhurst, Adam Hills and Alan Brough.

Following a successful partnership with U Games Australia that has seen the release of two Hard Quiz games, ABC Licensing is pleased to announce U Games as the new board game licensee for Spicks & Specks.

For licensing enquiries please contact:


If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Philippe Guinaudeau - BrandTrends at philippe.guinaudeau@


The Australia’s vibrant Licensing market is a booming landscape of diversity and opportunity, no matter what!

BrandTrends Group has released its latest extensive global research, spanning 40 countries, and shares valuable insights into the performance of entertainment brands. This exhaustive study explores consumer preferences and trends, offering a nuanced understanding of the dynamic landscape, with a particular focus on Australia.

Australia, the sixth-biggest country on the map, is known for its vast stunning landscapes and unique wildlife. Despite having just around 27 million people, it’s like having a giant backyard to yourself – making it one of the most spread-out places around.

The Aussies aren’t just enjoying the sunshine; they’re basking in some of the highest living standards globally. Australia’s got the golden ticket with one of the highest GDPs per capita, and it’s rocking the charts in most quality-of-life metrics.

And guess what? It’s not just the locals soaking up the good vibes. Australia’s irresistible charm makes it a hot spot for migrants worldwide.

The Australian advantage: A unique Licensing environment

All of this has fostered a unique environment for the licensing market, where the fusion of homegrown –such as worldwide success Bluey - and international intellectual properties (IPs) creates a dynamic, exciting and growing marketplace.

With an estimated 27 million inhabitants, the Australian population is characterized by a significant proportion of children aged 0-14 years, constituting approximately 19% of the total population.

Australia Most Favorite Brands Autumn 2023

The highly fragmented and gender-divided market dynamics

The Australian licensing market is marked by its high fragmentation, with a myriad of brands catering to diverse consumer preferences. In general, Aussies know about 256 different Entertainment brands in average, a slight increase of 14 brands vs. a year ago.

This fragmentation is amplified by a clear gender divide in the types of entertainment brands preferred by different demographics, especially the younger (46% of the brands infants are exposed to are reported by both boys & girls... OK, reported by their parents!). Brands that resonate with boys often differ significantly from those favored by girls, creating a nuanced landscape for licensing opportunities.

The graph clearly depicts this fragmentation and gender-divided market.

Teenagers up to 14 years old

Source: BrandTrends Entertainment, Autumn 2023, N=2,640
Boys Girls



Shift towards digital content: A window of opportunity

Examining the top 10 favorite entertainment brands across different age groups highlights the nuanced landscape, ranging from animated characters like Australian Bluey and Paw Patrol for children to iconic franchises like Marvel and Star Wars for the broader population.

The table illustrates the popularity of these brands among children aged 0-14 and the entire Australian population.

However, the numbers from the latest set of reports from BrandTrends Group also indicate a stronger shift towards digital content, with a decline in traditional mediums like comics and cartoons. And the surge in popularity of TV series, video games, and films, fueled by key releases in 2023 such as the blockbuster Barbie movie, creates lucrative opportunities for licensing partnerships in these growing sectors. Impressive gains in favoritism among children are led by Bluey (+4.8 percentage points in a year), Barbie (+3.8 points), as well as Spider-Man, Minecraft, and One Piece (each experiencing around a 3-point increase). Barbie secures an impressive 4th place among the preferences of children, showcasing its widespread appeal in younger demographics. Among adults aged 26 and above, Barbie holds the 11th spot,

narrowly trailing the beloved TV series Friends and preceding the iconic video game Mario Bros.

Conversely, superhero icons like Batman, Superman, Iron Man, along with the venerable Mickey Mouse and star brand Peppa Pig, face the largest declines in the top 100 most favorite entertainment brands for kids.

Lastly, the growing interest in books and corporate brands further diversifies the market, opening new avenues for innovation.

Navigating the complexities of the Licensing market

Before you head out, here are a few friendly tips to help players thrive in this market:

• Segment your Licensing strategies: Just like a custom-fit outfit, tailor your licensing strategy to specific demographics. Consider the unique preferences of both the littlest fans and the grown-ups.

• Embrace the digital vibe: Embrace the digital landscape by exploring licensing opportunities in TV series, video games, and streaming sources. It’s like giving your brand a tech-savvy twist.

• Adaptability is key: For licensees, it’s like choosing a dance partner. Go for a brand that can adapt to the changing beats of the market and loves to

try out new moves. And for licensors, create a stage that’s ready for any dance style the market throws at you.

• Team up through collaborations and partnerships: Forge partnerships with popular entertainment brands. Share the spotlight and tap into their fan base and leverage their established fan bases to enhance your products’ appeal. It’s like a dynamic duo, making your offerings even more irresistible. In short, it’s not just about playing the game – it’s about creating a symphony of success in the ever-evolving world of licensing.

Cheers to the land Down Under! ABOUT THE REPORT

The current report provides a detailed analysis of brand awareness, popularity, and purchase intent of the most important Entertainment brands within a country. The most crucial aspect is that it predicts product category purchasing intentions. The service reports on 11,500+ different entertainment, fashion, or sports brands four times a year, and interviews 200,000+ people ranging in age from infants to seniors in 42 countries.


The BrandTrends Group is a unique goto, multi-country source for cutting-edge marketing research. Specializing in brand, lifestyle, and consumer trends, with a focus on children and families. Their proprietary analytics, such as the Brand Popularity Index and Consumer Demand Gap, coupled with high-quality and accurate data and their ability to look at facts from a different perspective enable clients to identify the best opportunities in retail activation, competitive environments, and brand line equity and design.

As a respected and trusted leader in their field, they work with renowned global companies across a variety of industries, including consumer package goods corporations, Entertainment studios, retailers, and industry bodies. To learn more, visit

Bluey 13.5% Spider-Man 10.6% Marvel 9.6% Barbie 8.2% Fortnite 5.6% Minecraft 5.5%
Pig 4.9%
Paw Patrol
Wiggles 4.4%
% individuals Marvel 14.5% Harry Potter 7.6% Star Wars 7.4% DC Comics 6.2% The Simpsons 5.9% Pokemon 5.7% Barbie 5.3% Game/Thrones 4.7% Spider-Man 4.3% Bluey 4.1%
% individuals
years old -
Australian Population, including children -

For further information on licensing opportunities, please contact



Centa IP is delighted to announce that they have signed SANTORO’s Gorjuss™ for Australia, New Zealand. This exciting development will see Centa IP develop the Gorjuss brand across these emerging territories, as well as seeking fresh opportunities within the existing UK market and the USA.

The Gorjuss collection is a premium portfolio of fine artwork detailing the adventures of stripey-socked girls through dreamy environments, surrounded by animal companions and comforting childhood toys. With its classic style and subtle, nostalgic qualities, Gorjuss is truly timeless - creating today, the heirlooms of tomorrow.

An evergreen brand licensed for 14yrs with a brand value at retail of over USD$239 million, Gorjuss has had suc-

cess in both premium and mass channels. Appealing to girls and women, products are available in over 90 countries with 60+ licensees and 60+ key distributors.

Gail Mitchell, CEO of Centa IP says, “We’re thrilled to be working on this truly unique brand in our markets and building on the retail success of the brand. The wealth of artwork available to licensees is just magnificent. We’re a passionate and highly respected team with proven results and we very much look forward to working with Santoro

on this evergreen brand.”

Unique compared with other character brands, Gorjuss is the embodiment of true feeling, its wide range of over 400 mesmerising artworks instilling heart-warming contemplations in their viewer. The Gorjuss girls are found in an abundance of scenes and themes, shrouded in layers of detail and embellishment that encourage you to look closer… fostering that unmistakably compelling Gorjuss quality. It is this soft sentimentality that has made the brand a roaring success across Europe, its relatable imagery capturing the imaginations of children and adults alike, and Santoro look forward to Centa IP recreating this success across the Pacific in ANZ.

Jo Campbell, General Manager of Santoro London says “It is a pleasure to be working with Gail and her formidable team on this new venture. Gail’s invaluable expertise and leadership are sure to nurture and develop the Gorjuss brand in these emerging markets and we’re eager explore their untapped potential under Centa IP’s guidance.”

Centa IP will represent Gorjuss across all consumer product categories and have hit the ground running. Santoro are delighted with this new partnership and look forward to seeing what new heights Gorjuss will reach in ANZ, the USA and UK.


Licensors • Licensees • Service Companies

We are pleased to announce that Total Licensing are launching a new licensing directory later this year called the Total Licensing Directory.

As part of our launch, we are re-building our database of licensors, licensees and service companiesfrom scratch. We are keen to see fresh and relevant entries in the directory to provide the most up to date contact details for those involved in licensing.

This directory will be the essential tool for connecting the industry and an integral part of Total Licensing’s media offering. . Your listing, which of course is important, is only the first step – the new directory will also act as a connecting force across the global industry.

This is a completely FREE listing for your company and will enable the right people to search for your business and contacts.

To Register a free listing in the Total Licensing Directory,simply click below:

What’s in Store for Australia in 2024?

Despite a changing retail landscape and an anticipated decline in consumer spending, there are significant opportunities for licensing in Australia as we look ahead to 2024.

Global retail sales totaled $27.4 trillion in 2023, according to Statista. This marked a 6% increase compared to 2022 and Statista estimates worldwide retail sales will reach $29 trillion in 2024.

Despite this anticipated growth, brand owners, manufacturers, and retailers across Australia are bracing for a potentially challenging year. Like many markets, the region is forecasting a decline in discretionary spending due to the ongoing inflationary pressures consumers are facing.

However, recent data from the global trade association, Licensing International, shows that brands are a difference-maker for consumers.

Global sales of licensed products and services reached $340 billion in 2022, an 8% increase over 2021 and an outperformance of the growth rate of the overall retail market. Moving forward, consumers who are unable or unwilling to purchase expensive items will turn to beloved brands to lend everyday purchases a sense of value or even luxury.

This is especially true in Australia. The South Asia/PAC region saw sales of licensed products and services increase 3.7% in 2022, according to Licensing International, driven in part by strong growth in Australia.

Australia’s retail licensing revenue grew 12.3% to $4.5 billion in 2022, with consumer spending in the mar-

ket increasing 7.8% during the same period.

Key categories that are expected to show strength this year include apparel, homewares, and toys. Additionally, entertainment, corporate, and sports brands are expected to be areas of focus in 2024.

And while evergreen properties from the likes of Disney, Warner Bros., Mattel, and Nickelodeon will contribute to significant sales in the coming months, local favorites like Bluey continue to expand their share of consumers’ attention and spending.

A number of brands are also expected to be major players this year thanks to milestone anniversaries. For example, Hello Kitty is turning 50 while Adidas is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Retailers are leaning into these activations, partnering with brand owners and licensees to launch products that will appeal not only to consumers who grew up with these classic properties, but also to entirely new demographics.

Finding these hooks will be key to securing shelf space in 2024, as most retailers are being cautious around range architecture. Customers are looking for newness as well as value and the retailers that can provide this are performing well, which means they are buying down in certain areas.

Other complicating factors at retail are shipping delays caused by ongoing

industrial disputes at various ports as well as delays as a result of products being re-routed due to political unrest, and inflationary pressures creating a cost-of-living challenge for many consumers, impacting discretionary spend.

Additionally, consolidation in Australia’s retail landscape—retail conglomerate Wesfarmers is merging the business units of budget department store Kmart and discount retailer Target in the region—will likely result in further contraction within the local supply chain, which means we could see fewer options for consumers. Consumers will also, however, likely benefit from improved cost efficiencies as a result of the merger.

These challenges will require brand owners, manufacturers, and retailers to collaborate more closely and develop new, more creative strategies in order to adjust. But the past several years have taught us that, in times of change or conflict, brands become even more important because of the emotional connection they create with consumers.

I look forward to seeing the ways in which the licensing industry—in Australia, especially—engages with properties and the people who love them in the coming months.


Looking back at Kidscreen...

...with David Michel, President & Co-Founder, Cottonwood Media and MD, Federation Kids & Family

First of all, how did you enjoy Kidscreen in its new San Diego location?

Moving to San Diego was an exciting change, as the proximity to LA also gave many buyers and sellers the opportunity to stop over for meetings.

How important is the Summit to your business, annually?

The summit is a cornerstone event for both Federation Kids & Family as a distributor, and Cottonwood Media as a producer. It’s obviously a great place to pitch new properties and forge partnerships. And since most of the industry gathers there, it’s also a great moment to check the pulse of the kids’ business.

And what were you pitching/ presenting?

We will soon be launching production on our CGI ballet series “20 Dance Street” and finalized our partner lineup in San Diego. This is a heartwarming animated drama series (26 x ½ hrs) which targets 6 – 11 year olds. It centres around a young girl who leaves the Caribbean to join the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet School, unaware her destiny is about to change forever in the most unimaginable way. What makes this show unique is its realistic 3D CGI animation which incorporates dance scenes performed in motion capture by professional dancers, creating an immersive experience for kids on a par with any live action drama series, and at times, they might even forget they are watching

an animation.

During the summit, we also presented a few early-stage concepts for other animation and live- action productions. Did you notice any interesting trends at the Summit?

As expected, lots of interest for anything AI, from creation to animation. The industry, and especially the US streamers, are still very much focused on a big-IP strategy. There is a sense of needing to shift our business models, both on the production and broadcast/streaming side. This is a work in progress and there are no definitive answers just yet, but this was very much a discussion topic.

Although some of the US streamers/ networks are still in a hard place as far as restructuring and budgets being cut, we are starting to see a few streamers looking for new content, both for copros and acquisition. Were there any particular talks or sessions that you found particularly pertinent to your business?

The panel I was on was quite interesting as it addressed the porous boundaries between the age range for live action programming that covered kids, tweens, and YA demographic. Where ‘kids’ live action programming has usually come under the 6-12 target audience, this is now spilling over into older viewers, thus expanding that specific category. The panel also focused on production values, and how to attain high budgets through

co-production without compromising creative choices. The fact that we had a British broadcaster, French producer, and a Canadian producer on this panel shed light on how differently we are approaching these questions of age, budget and how it skews.


Spacetoon Celebrates 24 Years of Growth and Announces Expansion into Turkey

Spacetoon, the Dubai-based entertainment powerhouse, is celebrating a momentous milestone – 24 years of captivating children and young adults across the MENA region.

What began as a Free-To-Air TV channel has blossomed into a multifaceted media giant, strategically expanding into consumer products, events, digital streaming, and theatrical releases. This remarkable trajectory positions Spacetoon as a leader in providing immersive, 360-degree entertainment experiences.

Capitalizing on the Booming Licensing Market

To seize the opportunities presented by the flourishing licensing market, Spacetoon is expanding its portfolio to offer a wider range of brands.

Spacetoon’s extensive network of retailers and distributors empowers them to drive significant growth for their partners, leveraging their established brand reach. Spacetoon has so far enhanced the reach of multiple brands for Moonbug Entertainment, BBC, TV Tokyo, ADK, in addition to Spacetoon’s strategic partnership with Toei Animation.

From Products to Experiences: The Power of Themed Events

Spacetoon isn’t stopping at consumer products. They’ve identified themed events as a key area of focus, consistently exceeding expectations with innovative concepts. Their event arm has introduced engaging experiences like the “Toy Festival” (touring Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar) and the “Riyadh Homecoming” event coinciding with the back-to-school season. Even shopping experiences get

revamped – Spacetoon’s “ Shop Qatar “ participation incorporated themed corner activities for the first time.

A Legacy of Collaboration: The Japan Connection

Spacetoon boasts a long-standing, successful partnership with Japanese brands, exceeding 40 years of fruitful collaboration. This strategic alliance, combined with partnerships with top MENA retailers, has allowed Spacetoon to establish a direct line of communication with customers, ensuring their favorite characters and content come to life.

Setting Sights on Turkey: A Market Ripe for Expansion

The Turkish market presents exciting opportunities due to its similarities with the MENA market. Recognizing this potential, Spacetoon has set its sights on Turkish expansion in 2024.


This strategic move involves a planned TV launch, aiming to replicate their success in a new market. Further solidifying their commitment to the Turkish market, Spacetoon has assembled a powerhouse team.

By bringing on board ex-Disney leaders with over 25 years of experience in licensing, media, and entertainment, Spacetoon is wellequipped to navigate the Turkish landscape and ensure a successful launch.

In addition to this big announcement, Spacetoon has secured the licensing rights for the popular anime series Naruto in Turkey. Turkish anime fans can look forward to seeing Naruto on TV screens this year, followed by a wave of Naruto merchandise flooding store shelves shortly thereafter. n


An Annual Business Conference for the Licensing Industry in the Middle East

The brand licensing industry in the Middle East has emerged as a fundamental force in the regional business landscape, driving the expansion and depth of brand influence across various sectors. The industry’s growth reflects a broader global trend in which brands leverage licensing to extend their reach, diversify their product offerings, and engage new audiences. In the Middle East, licensing has not only helped international brands solidify their presence but also enabled local brands to scale and compete on a global stage. The significance of brand licensing in

the region is on full display at strategic business gatherings, among which Licensing Horizons stands out as a premier event in terms of catalyzing industry growth and fostering unparalleled networking opportunities.

The Role of Brand Licensing in the Middle East

Brand licensing is a smart way for companies to grow in the Middle East, a region known for its young, brand-loving consumers, strong online presence, and high spending power. In the wealthy Gulf countries especially, branded items are in high demand.

Through licensing, brands team up with local partners that know what people like and how to reach them. In this way, brands launch products that fit well with local tastes and are likely to prove popular with customers. For brands from other countries, licensing offers an easy and costeffective path to enter or grow in the Middle East without the expense of setting up a new local business from scratch. As a result, brands increase their sales and reach more potential customers while keeping risks low. At the same time, local brands benefit from licensing by partnering with well-known global brands, increasing their appeal through association with an internationally known name. Such partnerships are highly valuable in a region characterized by a preference for global brands.

Licensing Horizons: Fostering Industry Growth

Licensing Horizons, created by Markettcom Licensing Agency and BrandTrends, showcases the commitment to growth and teamwork in the Middle East’s brand licensing sector. This event has quickly become crucial for business leaders looking to understand and take advantage of the


region’s brand-licensing opportunities.

Held at the Sofitel Dubai Downtown Hotel on February 27, 2024, this year’s event, the second of its kind, drew more than 100 business leaders from the region and beyond.

Titled Immersive Odyssey, the event focused on the growing importance of blending the real and virtual worlds in brand licensing. Featured were 14 speakers from various industries associated with licensing in some way. Among the standout speakers was Maura Regan, CEO and president of Licensing International, who traveled from New York to Dubai to attend. Her participation served to support the region’s growing industry, and she freely shared her insights with local business leaders.

The conference consisted of five sessions, each of which considered a specific aspect of the industry. In the first session, the discussion focused on the connections among licensing, media, and sports, highlighting new strategies, the role of entertainment in sports, and how creativity is changing audience engagement and opening new collaboration opportunities.

The second session provided a glimpse at the latest technologies for immersive experiences, how they shape interactive environments and storytelling, and their use in entertainment, marketing, and events. The third session explored the future of art licensing, in particular, the impact on the ways in which artists reach audiences beyond galleries and museums and the challenges and opportunities involved in protecting art in the digital age.

The impact of generative AI on brand licensing was the focus of the fourth session.

The event wrapped up with the keynote by Maura Regan, who summarized the day’s discussion and offered some thoughts about the future of immersive licensing in the entertainment industry. The strong attendance and high quality of the speakers were indicative of the event’s success.

Licensing Horizons is crucial for sharing knowledge, networking, and building partnerships in the brand licensing world.

The event brings together a wide range of industry players to discuss trends, challenges, and opportunities. This year, the emphasis was on the increasing role of the Middle East in the global licensing market and exploring new strategies to tap into this potential.

Plans are already underway for the third Licensing Horizons event, expected to be held in the first quarter of 2025 in Dubai. There are plans to look for venues in Saudi Arabia, a growing market for the licensing and entertainment industry. This planning highlights the importance of the event in driving future brand licensing in the Middle East and creating a community of innovators to tackle the industry’s challenges.

The Impact of Business Gatherings on the Industry

Business gatherings such as Licensing Horizons have been instrumental in the growth and evolution of the brand licensing industry in the Middle East.

They serve several critical functions. Knowledge Sharing. Licensing Horizons and similar gatherings offer insights into global and regional trends, consumer behaviors, and technological advancements, equipping attendees with the information necessary to make informed business decisions.

Networking Opportunities. These events provide a unique setting for networking with industry peers, potential partners, and market experts, thereby facilitating collaborations that can lead to new licensing opportunities and ventures.

Showcasing Innovation. By highlighting innovative approaches and success stories in the industry, these events inspire companies to adopt creative strategies in their licensing endeavors.

Addressing Challenges. By bringing together a wide range of industry participants, these events foster discussion of shared challenges, from legal and regulatory issues to market entry strategies, and provide opportunities to explore collective solutions.


The brand licensing industry in the Middle East is at a pivotal juncture, with immense potential to influence the region’s economic landscape and the global positioning of its brands. Events such as Licensing Horizons are a crucial part of this ecosystem, serving as a platform for industry leaders to converge, share insights, and forge partnerships that drive the business of licensing.

As the industry continues to evolve, the success of Licensing Horizons underscores the importance of collaboration and innovation in navigating the complexities of the market. The region’s growing significance in the global licensing landscape and its potential to serve as a hub for brand expansion and cultural exchange fuel the demand for such events. In the dynamic environment of the Middle East, the future of brand licensing is bright, promising new opportunities for growth, diversification, and strategic alliances that will shape the business landscape for years to come. n

About the Author Amer Bitar is an international executive specializing in brand licensing, IP monetization, media, and sports entertainment.

As the CEO of Markettcom, a boutique agency focused on brand licensing, he helps global brands expand their presence in the Middle East and North Africa.

For information, contact:


Demystifying Web3 for Brand Owners

Q&A with Dan Frugtniet, Co-Founder & SVP Global Licensing at

Total Licensing: Good day, Dan. Thank you for joining us today. A hot topic recently has been the expansion of brands in Web3, could you help break that down for us?

DF: Thank you for having us! First, I’d like to distinguish Web2 and Web3. Web2 is the internet as we know it now, whereas Web3’s main characteristic is that it is built on a blockchain and is therefore decentralised, transparent, and more secure than what we would expect from the current status quo. With some of the negative news revolving around Web3, NFTs, and cryptocurrency in general, IP owners are understandably cautious in using this new technology.

TL: Discussing this caution, what would you say are the major pitfalls or hurdles that brands face when entering Web3?

DF: Brands have been finding it difficult to enter Web3 on their own due to the technological knowledge gap, a different market demographic and Web3 being a relatively small market, especially in the metaverse for example, and the challenges towards mass consumer adoption of metaverse use. For these reasons it has been hard for brands to justify the large amount of investment necessary to enter Web3 effectively.

TL: These are big challenges; would you say that they outweigh the benefits of entering Web3?

DF: At Hybrid Meta, we believe that

the benefits greatly outweigh the challenges of entering this space, and we are finding that partnering with Web3, or better yet Web2.5 companies is becoming the norm for larger IP owners and talent across sectors. Web2.5 companies sit at the intersection in that they are integrated into the blockchain but do not rely on Web3 native consumers or users, making the transition and transactions simpler for users. Some of these benefits include digital monetisation strategies, 24/7 engagement with fans and cross-sale opportunities. For example, over 60% of Web3 users are keen to use and own branded virtual items!

TL: With these benefits and challenges in mind, how does Hybrid Meta approach the integration of Web3 into the licensing industry differently?

DF: At Hybrid Meta, we recognise that for Web3 to be fully embraced by the licensing industry and consumers alike, it must provide real-world utility and align with the brands’ core values. For example, 40% of Web3 users hope to gain access to exclusive communities with added-value benefits like in-reallife (IRL) experiences by engaging with digital collectibles of their favourite licensed brand properties. Even more, 84% of users would buy NFTs backed by physical items like apparel. Our differentiated product solves this by offering physical apparel merchandise paired with a digital

Hybrid Meta

collectible, or digital twin, which proves its authenticity. It can then be worn in the metaverse with avatars and best of all, it provides the owner with real-life engagement and rewards, emphasising utility and value to the end-consumer. This strategy aims at mass-market adoption without the typical pitfalls of Web3 by focusing on the tangible benefits to both the brands and their consumers.

TL: Can you elaborate on how Hybrid Meta’s products bridge the gap between physical and digital in a way that’s beneficial for brands and consumers?

DF: With our limited-edition ‘phygital’ fashion drops, the digital twin of our physical licensed merchandise provides proof of authenticity to a high standard only capable with blockchain provenance. The digital collectible is also wearable in the metaverse and the token can include social-media filters, video content from the brand and geo/meta-data on the product itself including the fabric type used in the garment, when/where it was produced and the inks used for a fully transparent consumer product journey. This is in addition to the consumer experiences that increases the number of fan engagement points that brands have with their loyal fanbase. Combining key Web2 players like the Shopify platform and standard payment methods like Visa and MasterCard with Web3 utility and


ownership Hybrid Meta aims high at mass-market adoption.

As a company we are committed to sustainability across our product and supply-chain and have been careful to minimise the potential emissions associated with using blockchain technology. Our use of energyefficient blockchain solutions and partners on our DRPP consumer platform (pronounced DROP) emphases the longevity and utility of our digital products. In addition, our physical apparel is more aligned

with the ‘slow-fashion’ approach than the ‘fast-fashion’ model as our product and packaging is built to last a long-time in the modern world of disposable consumer products. With this approach, we are a credible choice for ESG conscious brands and consumers. We are proud to say that this targeted strategy has been affirmed by our existing global license partners, with many more in the pipeline to be announced soon.

TL: There’s been significant buzz around Hybrid Meta’s recent license

acquisitions including Warner Bros. Discovery, can you talk about your brand partnerships and their impact on the licensing and Web3 space?

DF: It’s an undeniable leap forward in bridging the gap between licensors and the burgeoning Web3 space. Our team are honoured to partner with a major global studio of this size, making it a first for Hybrid Meta! Our unique ‘phygital’ approach introduces a new era of consumer engagement for all of our strategic global IP partners across Entertainment, Sports, Music, Gaming and Art categories with their extensive portfolio of beloved characters and franchises.

We have already started work on creating immersive, multi-layered consumer engagements that combine the tangible appeal of physical merchandise with the dynamic, interactive elements of digital collectibles and rewards. We’re not just creating products; we’re building ecosystems and communities that deepen fan engagement and will introduce all our brand partners to new consumers in innovative ways across the product offering and route to market.

For members of the licensing industry faced with the decision of whether or not to jump on the Web3 model, we will let our collaborations with our global brand partners be their case study to reorient towards integrated and engagement-driven ‘phygital’ consumer products for global fans of all demographics.

TL: Thank you, Dan, for sharing your insights with us today.

DF: It’s been my pleasure. Thank you for the opportunity to DRPP into your Spring issue and discuss these innovative developments that will impact on consumers, retailers, licensors and licensees alike. n

Please visit this link for a list of sources cited: sources-cited-demystifying-web3-forbrand-owners/




With Cobrandz set to take place on 4 and 5 April in Paris, and the France Day of Licensing and the Licensing International France Licensing Awards scheduled for 27 June, the spring quarter looks busy in terms of French licensing.

Total Licensing talked to Nathalie Chouraqui-Gerson to find out more about Cobrandz.

CoBrandz is the name of something which was born 20 years ago, and which has grown throughout the years. First of all, how does it feel to have a 20 year old ‘baby’?

I’m very proud of this, because when I presented Cobrandz (formerly Kazachok Forum) to the industry in 2004, it wasn’t at all easy for rights holders to accept the idea that they were going to become exhibitors and that visitors were going to come and see them. We had to convince them that marketing and communication were an important business approach. We had to reverse the need to present brand news at a time when the culture of secrecy in licensing was the rule in France. In any case, 20 years on, the first 7 exhibitors are still there, and with a few exceptions, the exhibitors are very loyal to this event, which proves that it is useful and has its raison d’être. What’s more, visitors love the very special atmosphere of relaxation and business that we’ve managed to maintain whatever the state of the market.

I guess that the evolution of the event reflects the evolution of the French licensing business itself. What are its milestones over all these years based on your experience?

Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen a number of revolutions, not least the diversification of business models, which has led to a wider range of licensed consumers. The range of players has changed dramatically, and business models have diversified, from the global multi-license group to the capsule license, covering licenses from pre-schoolers to adults. The development of promotional activities, the world of manga and the integration of sporting or artistic collaborations have considerably broadened the scope of licensing. And while mass appeal is still the aim, collaborations have moved towards higher quality, with an emphasis on meticulous design and meaningful messages, marking a shift towards a more thoughtful and sustainable approach. We’ve also seen the emergence of capsule and ephemeral collaborations, or co-branding showing a closer collaboration between different brands. All customer strata are now being addressed, from discount to luxury.

The growth of retail players, both physical and digital, has opened up new opportunities with direct access to the consumer. The power of retailers and pure players means that we can work on the visibility as well as the promotion of derived products. These new capabilities have enabled manufacturers to become producers of content and their own licenses (e.g. Lego, Spin Master).

The Licensing industry has undergone

a major transformation over the last two decades, moving from a less strategic approach to a more global, targeted and sustainable strategy, while integrating ethical practices and exploiting the advantages of retail to reach consumers.

Collaborations and co-branded licensed activations are now mainstream. What is your perspective, and how does CoBrandz reflect this trend?

Co-branding and collabs have become almost normal. Consumers are increasingly divided into niches, and licenses are being associated with highly specialised designer brands, for which brand awareness is no longer the only factor, but the association with values that engage the brand with the expectations of these new followers. This is particularly true of fashion accessories, beauty and textile collections.

Finally, what is your opinion about the future of the licensed market, in France and overall? Where do you think it is going?

I’ve noticed that the market is evolving and continuing to grow, testing new approaches to adapt to the current era.

In particular, digitalisation and hybridisation of models are expected, with a multiplication of players at all levels, including an increase in the toy licensing market.

The emergence of real experiences, such as pop-ups and corners, expresses a desire to combine digital with tangible experiences.

Similarly, the expansion of the licensing-experience market with licensed theme parks and themed experiences is a trend that is set to continue in the years ahead.

All over the world, the rise of secondhand products will have to be taken into account in the management of product ranges, as will a ‘CSR’ commitment on the part of manufacturers and brands, potentially influenced by rights holders. A trend is emerging towards more environmentally-friendly derivative products, with distribution geared more towards direct-to-consumer (DTC) thanks to digital technology. n


France Licensing Day

Now in its second year, France Licensing Day and Licensing International France Awards is a collaboration between The Global Licensing Group (organisers of Brand Licensing Europe) and Licensing International France, the leading industry body.

Their wealth of experience organising world-leading licensing events, combined with an unparalleled knowledge of the industry makes this one-day event on June 27th a key date in the French licensing calendar.

Primarily directed towards the French market, France Licensing Day is unique in its makeup, with key moments throughout the day. A full day of meetings between retailers, licensees, brand owners and licensing agents (more than 50 tables are already booked 3 months before the event). Everyone will then get a quick lunch break, where a fantastic keynote will take place in the theatre (Stay tunedspeakers will be revealed soon!).

Finally, the evening will be marked by a celebration of the industry’s stand out achievements and collaborations from 2023: the Licensing International France Awards. The event will end by giving everyone the opportunity to keep networking while enjoying canapes and champagne within our beautiful venue, la Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris.

The organisers aim to make this event the perfect occasion before summer to come together and enjoy a convivial day with the brilliant French licensing community - expect networking, innovation, inspiration, and business! n

More Information? Contact:

Matthieu Battini, EMEA Account & Business Development Director, Global Licensing Group

Florence Ayem Co-President, Licensing International France

Laurent Taieb Co-President, Licensing International France


The French Marketplace

2024 is going to be a busy year for Sanrio in France. Hello Kitty is celebrating her 50th anniversary and the company has announces an array of collaborations, events, and promotions.

In February, the Sanrio character made it to the titles thanks to an innovative collaboration with French artist Jo Di Bona and Leblon Delienne, who created eight exceptional sculptures of Hello Kitty, made entirely by hand. This year will see the release of other collectibles for the country: a commemorative coin manufactured by the Monnaie de Paris and a set of high-end mini statues crafted by French luxury house and manufacturer of fine crystal, Baccarat.

These highlight the great potential of Hello Kitty as it offers French brands

the chance to reach new targets and present themselves in a fresh and inno vative way. Spring will bring new products in the fashion industry. For instance, Flotte will launch a collec tion of Hello Kitty branded rainwear, while in March Sanrio launched an ex clusive fashion collec tion in partnership with Carrefour, offering stylish apparel and accessories for both kids and adults. International fashion partnerships will target the French market as well. Adidas will be back in stores with their spring-summer collection, while retailers Zara, H&M, Claires, Bershka and Primark will also join the party with new collaborations.

Soon fans will be able to bring even more cuteness to their everyday life, thanks to several collaboration that will allow consumers to have Hello Kitty always by their side. Teknofun is launching a collection of domestic appliances with Hello Kitty’s iconic and adorable design, while starting from this Fall IML group will include the character in a new line of branded luggage, accessories, and travel bags. The product range will be further expanded also by new mobile accessories from CG Mobile and gaming accessories and gift from Innelec. Plans for this year include also quick

service restaurants, starting with Quick, where in partnership with TV Tokyo and French agent Mediatoon, Sanrio will launch an IP x IP collaboration with Naruto customizing the kids’ menu. This IP x IP collaboration is a winning one: the characters were featured on branded merchandise and band-aids made by Take Care and available at both Miniso shops and pharmacies, where sales performed extremely well.

Sanrio’s efforts will focus also on the entertainment industry. Since September fans have been able to watch Hello Kitty Super Style on Canal+ Kids and M6, which was accompanied by a redesigned magazine inspired by the show.

The coming months will be crucial also for Monsieur Madame (Mr Men and Little Miss), a brand deeply rooted in French heritage. After the exhibition in 2023, powered by Fever, 2024 started strongly. The collaboration with concept stores chain “La chaise Longue” brought their new branded collection to stores windows and in dedicated corners in all their 80 shops. The first months of the year saw also the beloved characters featured in a collaboration with Burger King. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as there’s much more in store for the


brand. Publishing will play a major role, with new books from the “Bien grandir” series, which allows kids to learn and discover their emotions with Monsieur Madame’s characters. Hachette is also publishing new entries in the “Les Monsieur Madame visitent la France”series, dedicated to France and its different regions. The new books are being supported by an intensive communication campaign that also included an interview on France Bleu Nord radio.

However, kids from all over France will have many more chances to engage with the brand: Winning Moves has already launched a new version of monopoly themed after Monsieur Madame, but many more products are going to reach the market thanks to partners such as Educa Borras and Cijep, who will continue to immerse children in the wonderful world of the characters created by Roger Hargreaves.

StudioCanal, a 100% affiliate of Canal+ Group held by Vivendi, is Europe’s leader in production, distribution and international sales of feature films and series, operating directly in all nine major European markets - France, United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Denmark and Benelux - as well as in Australia, in New Zealand and with a Licensing office in the United States and China.

Last year, StudioCanal Licensing had an exceptional year by strongly betting on the video games industry. Evil Dead 2, one of the star IPs of the company was featured in popular games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty, as well as its stand-alone game “Evil Dead: The Game” that launched on Steam in 2023. Terminator was not left behind as the iconic and menacing T-800 was featured to public acclaim in Fortnite, and the franchise appeared in World of Tanks. StudioCanal works in collaboration with the agent Creative Licensing Company based in US.

For its classics line-up, StudioCanal is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Terminator franchise that will take place this coming month of October. As part of this celebration, this year marks the release of the highly anticipated open-world Terminator Survival Game developed by Nacon. New focus is set on its vintage IP, The Avengers, as the spy series has been picked up for a reboot that is coming up soon, creating new exciting licensing opportunities. “We are proud to allow these wonderful pop culture and horror movies to be highlighted through these great collaborations, entertaining our fans and the younger generations”, says Valérie Rolandez-Barrios, VP of IP Licensing and Partnerships. Iconic and staple titles like Highlander and Rambo remain strong with interesting updates coming up soon, such as a new series of figurines produced by Spanish toy maker, Minix.

France TV are licensing their Sam & Julia TV series which began airing last December, based on the original books.

The series was one of the most scre-

ened series at MIP Junior last year and is aimed at boys and girls of preschool age, featuring friendship, imagination, curiosity, resourcefulness and caring. Sam lives in the center of the Mouse Mansion. He is very shy and well-behaved. Julia lives at the very top of the Mouse Mansion and is rather curious and stubborn. Whenever she is bored, she heads off in search of adventure, together with her friend Sam.

To date there are 78 x 7 minute episodes co-producted by ZDF and France Televisions. Twenty six episodes have been available on the Okoo platform since last December.

In terms of products the books have been published by Rubinstein since 2011 with 22 formats to date and 1 million books sold in 27 languages. Plus is available from Dam Distributor and a Mouse Mansion shop opened in Amsterdam last summer.

France has long been a key market for Tara Duncan, even before its present incarnation as a 52 x 13’ adventure-comedy-fantasy with a growing global reach.

In fact well before the TV series burst onto the scene in 2022, Tara Duncan was better known as a range of 12 books by Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian, first published in 2003 in France and then around the world, selling tens of millions of copies.

The TV show also launched in France. The success of the show there was led by Disney and Gulli, where the first series was launched in spring 2022 to a great audience response, charting top among kids aged 4-10 in April of that year. It then returned to Disney+ and had a second run on Gulli’s SVOD service GulliMax.


Laurent Taieb, Head of Licensing for Princess Sam Consumer Products (PSCP), the company formed to manage the property’s licensing growth, is bringing more than 30 years of proven operational experience in all aspects of consumer products and licensing to the Tara Duncan licensing campaign –and France has led the way.

The first licensed products – toys –had a limited release in the French market last autumn when PSCP launched its own range of figurines, playsets and dolls at retail, thanks to its French distributor WTT.

France is a very big market, of course, but it has been hit in recent years, like everywhere else, by energy costs, supply issues and blows to consumer confidence.

However, Laurent Taieb suggests the French licensing scene is improving –and he should know. As Co-President and Board member Licensing International France since 2017 he’s had a first-hand view of a licensing business that, he says, still offers a lot of opportunities and an interesting mix of brands. International brands, like Barbie, Pokémon, Super Mario or Paw Patrol, are always going to be big but local entertainment brands like The Little Prince and Asterix or sporting brands like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Tour De France remain strong. As for his work on Tara Duncan, he expects to see the property address more toy and game categories in the coming year, building on the wealth of characters and design excellence of the show.

So toys matter for Tara Duncan, but, Laurent Taieb says that isn’t unusual:

“As in most countries, toys still lead the way when it comes to licensed products in France and remain a strong pillar – along with publishing –of any successful license programme.”

TF1 Licensing is widely developing the Live Experience vertical in the French Market, choosing the perfect partners to match major IPs and create fully immersive premium experiences. Launched in 2020, the Camping Paradis network has already met the success it deserves with 90 sites and over 1m vacationers in 2023.

The Miraculous Cruise on the Seine in Paris welcomed over 100,000 visitors between 2022 and 2023, and the TFOU Parcs are welcoming families in two branded FECs in France at the moment.

Fresh from these successes,

TF1 Licensing recently announced a couple of major developments in the Live Experience business:

At the beginning of 2024, Neocamp launched a new vacation offer under the brand Ushuaïa Villages for vacationers looking for nature, discovery and authenticity. This new network relies on the powerful values of Ushuaïa, a Group TF1 heritage brand and managed by TF1 Licensing.

active tourism approach both sustainable and responsible. In middle terms, it aims at getting the Green Key label for the whole network. 17 sites are opening in April 2024!

Presenting a world premiere, the first The Voice Café will open in France in 2024. It will be a one-of-the-kind leisure spot with restaurant, karaoke and live music. More information to be revealed very soon! Some other great projects are under discussions and should be released soon (see separate feature page 36).

Bayard Jeunesse and Educa Borras have kicked off 2024 in style, with a brand-new collaboration based on Petit Ours Brun !

A brand-new range of educational games is available. From age 2 upwards, children can play with their hero, Petit Ours Brun, to learn about logic,

In the Ushuaïa Villages, the sites’ owners aim at sharing their passion of their country allowing vacationers to recharge in authentic or unexpected outdoor accommodations, and through activities to discover nature in harmony. The differentiating and identifiable Ushuaïa Villages’ offer is built on an

memorization, colors and shapes. An iconic character who spans the generations, Petit Ours Brun is an indispensable early childhood hero with a strong following (82% unaided awareness according to the Ipsos 2023 survey).

He gently and aptly accompanies the little ones in their joy of growing up, and brings together today’s parents and grandparents. Its universe is regularly enriched by new developments, in addition to 2.5 million magazines and 800,000 books sold every year, a millionaire Youtube channel, 2 animated series, derivative products, audio stories, songs and more.


Family Trademark TLM is the worldwide Master Licensee of the Brigitte Bardot brand. Since 2020, the company develops a lifestyle and complete universe around the French muse, symbol of insouciance and “joie de vivre” from the 50’s to the 70’s.

A legendary icon, Brigitte Bardot embodies a positive sensuality that is authentic, bold, and resolutely French.

From the charming Parisian to the world-known celebrity, BB. covers every role: actress, singer, model, and dancer. TLM celebrates all these facets of Brigitte Bardot through unique licenses and collaborations

Since 2016, the Lingerie and Swimwear licensee designed the Brigitte Bardot collections aimed at the premium category of mass market and offered to a wider customer audience on a dedicated e-commerce website. The brand reinvents itself every season to bring to the market trendy sets with pretty, French retro-chic touches..

The Spring-Summer 2024 season features the theme of fashion. After winning over the hearts of journalists at the beginning of the year, the Brigitte Bardot Ready-To-Wear collection, entirely created in Paris, is now available in specialised boutiques and multi-brand department stores. The wardrobe, composed of about fifty pieces, revisits BB.’s signature style as well as emblematic codes: the iconic Vichy, the marinière, the inevitable daisy or even the broderie anglaise. The ballerina, until then confined to the world of ballet, has become THE must-have accessory in town thanks to BB. who adopted it on a daily basis during the shooting of “And God….

Created Woman”. The Brigitte Bardot x Bagllerina collaboration places it in the spotlight through a capsule collection in raffia, perfect for every occasion.

Emblematic symbol of sunshine and seaside holidays, Brigitte Bardot naturally inspires a solar frames line signed in collaboration with the French eyewear craftsman François Pinton. Through scenes reminiscent of key places and moments of her life (Méribel, Paris, Cancun, Buzios, and Madrague) the collection pays tribute to BB style. Her effortless beauty and inimitable style make Brigitte Bardot a timeless muse who fascinates many artists. LNG artiste and JP. Simon draw their inspiration from the different aspects of the icon’s personality to imagine unique works of art.

Sophie la Girafe was born in 1961 in Paris, France. Made of 100% natural rubber, Sophie has been soothing generations of teething babies and loving to hear her squeak when squeezed for over 60 years. Today, Sophie la girafe is still produced with 100% natural rubber from rubber tree soap and undergoes 14 manual operations before being finished.

Parents trust Sophie la girafe and recognise the brand as a key ingredient of a newborn’s gift basket.

The love for Sophie la girafe and her world continues to grow each year for many reasons: the quality of the

products, the image of a chic, refined brand, full of tenderness and softness, the consumer and environmental approach...

Indeed, there are always many requests for other products such as clothing, decorative objects, etc... bearing the effigy of Sophie. This is why Sophie la Girafe continues to partner with licensees to meet the needs of parents and babies.

In recent months, the Sophie la Girafe license has welcomed many licensees and licensed products with exciting plans for Spain.

At the end of 2023 Vulli presented a unique collaboration between H&M and Sophie la girafe.

The collection brings together a range of soft, neutral colours and materials that are comfortable and stimulating to the touch, such as knitwear, fur, velvet and soft jersey.

This collection is part of the “H&M conscious” range, which is committed to the environment.

This and future collections are available worldwide except Japan.

Vulli’s licensee Baby Bamboo develops nomadic changing mats, designed in France and Portugal. Founded in 2017, the brand offers a solution to keep baby occupied during nappy changing to prevent him from putting his little hands in the nappy. They are proud to offer French products to their consumers.

Econaps is a company specialising in the manufacture of reusable baby nappies. Founded in 2013, Econaps is encouraging more families to choose eco-friendly alternatives, to reduce single-use plastic pollution and create a brighter future for children and the planet. Sophie la girafe and Econaps have teamed up to create a beautiful and stylish collection.

Finally, Kadokawa is a company that creates and markets children’s books. It has become one of the most respected publishers of children’s books in Japan. It also plans to develop an e-book of this publication to feature Sophie la girafe.

Back on October 20th, 1999, One Piece made its debut in Japanese television letting fans discover this animated universe created by Toei Animation for the first time. Based on the eponymous manga sold over 500 million copies and #1 worldwide, Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2024, the series will pay tribute to the legacy of the Straw Hat Crew and the love and dedication of “One Piece” fans around the world.

Klépierre, the European leader in shopping centers, partners with Toei Animation Europe to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the animated series of One Piece. 13 shopping centers in France and Belgium will host an action game filled with action, adventure, and humor, which captivates with its values: friendship, courage, loyalty and the importance of pursuing one’s dreams. Skill and memory challenges will allow participants to accumulate points that they can later exchange for gifts inspired by the anime universe.

This exclusive tour will first stop at the Passages center in BoulogneBillancourt, before sailing to 12 other shopping centers to engage the general public in a new fantastic adventure: a unique and free One Piece action game.


Once Upon a Time…, the iconic edutainment saga, celebrated its 45th anniversary last October at MIPJunior. In 2024, Maestro returns with a new series dedicated to everyday objects in a resolutely cartoonish and contemporary spirit: Once Upon a Time… The Objects (78 x 7’).

Behind every object, even those we no longer see, lie exciting stories... Maestro will reveal them while having fun, pursuing its mission: to provide free access to knowledge and inspire the desire to learn!

Co-produced with Samka (Wolf, The Sisters…) and HOT, in association with France Télévisions, TV5 Monde and RTS, the series premiered on Swiss RTS in December, followed by France Televisions with daily slots since February, and will be broadcast in Italy on Cartoonito and Boomerang next Fall.

It joins the seven first series, Once Upon a Time…: Man, Space, Life, the Americas, the Discoverers, the Explorers and Planet Earth, evergreens that have become a reference in educational programs for the past 40 years. Translated into 80 languages, they are well known in more than 100 countries, among both kids and parents. More than 2 out of 3 children know Maestro and 86% of parents trust the programs to deliver accurate information to their kids (source: Survey conducted by BVA Doxa Kids for Procidis in June/July 2022 in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Poland).

Once Upon A Time… Life ranks in the top third of the Netflix “What we watched” report, with more than 3 million hours watched during 2023 first semester!

Today, all the series have been restored and are encompassed with the licensed products under the umbrella



Banijay Kids & Family


Bel Licensing


Brand Energy


Cyber Group Studios


France TV Distribution

Gault&Millau International

HARI Studio


Home Made Licensing


Editions Albert Rene

MJA Licensing




Dare to be CSR

brand Hello Maestro!

To date, 40 licensees are on board across Europe, with games, publishing, DVD & music, audio stories, promotional deals… Tailored-made content, involving Maestro’s digital avatar, is also developed to leverage partners’ messages.

TV International sales are handled by APC Kids (Italy, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Middle East/ Africa, APAC, French-speaking Canada) and Jet Pack (UK, Turkey, Russia, China, USA, English-speaking Canada, Latin America).

Bel Licensing is developing the licensing program of BEL SA food trademarks. BEL SA is a +150-year-old family owned company active in cheese, dairy, fruit and plant-based food products with worldwide famous iconic brands such as The Laughing cow, Babybel Kiri and GoGo squeeZ but also Boursin, Apéricube, Pom’Potes and Mont Blanc. Beyond food licenses and cobranding, Bel Licensing majors on four key categories in terms of licensing : apparel,



Richard Orlinsky






TAT Productions

TF1 Licensing

Pokemon Company

Toei Animation


Universal Products & Experiences

WB Discovery

Women in Toys

Wildbrain CPLG

List correct at time of going to press.

home decoration and homewares, kitchenware and tableware and games.

Bel Licensing has agents around the world including Pink Key Licensing, Design Plus Licensing, Infiniss, Copyright Asia, Markettcom and PPW.

Most recent deals include renditions of the old The laughing cow adverts by Akimoff, The Laughing cow decoration by Design by Jaler, Babybel T-shirts at Pretty Little Things and The Laughing cow at BooHoo. In addition there is the full line of The Laughing cow, Apéricube and Babybel underwear by Freegun.

Bel will be at Cobrandz in Paris this year, booth A14. n


Lights, Cameras, Trends: Discover the entertaining odyssey of France - decoding the pulse of French Entertainment

The BrandTrends Group has unveiled some major findings from its most recent research in France in the world of the Entertainment brands for Licensing.

Dig into the cinematic time machine, and you’ll find France hogging the spotlight as the birthplace of the firstever commercial movie screening.

Picture this: 1895, Grand Cafe in Paris, and the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, pulling off the ultimate showstopper with their game-changing invention—the Cinematographe. The ripple effect? It birthed terms we toss around in the movie biz today!

But let’s fast forward to our modern playground of entertainment brands in France. Hold on to your popcorn because here’s a jaw-dropper: Kids up to 14 can rattle off a whopping 142 different brands! Talk about brand wizards in the making.

Now, the market’s got some age tricks up its sleeve - catering to both kiddos and the not-so-kiddos. But, hey, there’s a plot twist:

• Favorite brands tend to concentrate to the top ones over the year, leaving less room for the smaller properties,

• That concentration is also accelerated by the growth among the girls. The graph shows that some of the properties, lead by Harry Potter (+3.8 pts of percentages among girls only) moved from a ‘neutral’ gender position to a more ‘girlish’ one.

In addition to that particular trend (concentration through genderorientated push), some of the categories within Entertainment are clearly winners:

In the blockbuster category of books, Harry Potter’s the OG wizard (+2.4 percentage pts among both boys & girls), maintaining its charm despite the digital tsunami. However, some other more specific titles, such as ‘One Piece’ (+1 percentage pt), ‘Mortèle Adèle’ (+0.7 percentage pt), ‘The Sisters’ (+0.6 percentage pts) or Astérix (+0.4 percentage pts) tend to grow the category. Publishers, take note: beef up that online presence and ride the digital wave!

Hold on to your game controllers because video games are storming the scene. Mario Bros is the undisputed champ (+1.1 percentage pts), but FIFA Soccer Series (+0.8 percentage pts) and Grand Theft Auto (+0.6 percentage pts) are flexing their pixels too. It’s not just gaming; it’s a whole interactive universe.

In the kiddie corner, it’s alliances and rivalries: Bluey (+1 percentage pt), and Cocomelon (+0.8 percentage pt) are the cool kids on the block. Paw Patrol’s keeping the toddler crowd hooked and reeling in the older kiddos. However, Peppa Pig’s going through a makeover (-4.2 percentage pts) - cue the reinvention alarm!

Now, superheroes are pulling a disappearing act. The ‘superhero fatigue phenomenon’ is real. Too many capes and masks have led to a decline


The current report provides a detailed analysis of brand awareness, popularity, and purchase intent of the most important Entertainment brands within a country. The most crucial aspect is that it predicts product category purchasing intentions. The service reports on 11,500+ different Entertainment, Fashion, or Sports brands four times a year, and interviews 200,000+ people ranging in age from infants to seniors in 42 countries.


in superhero stardom. But Spider-Man is swinging through the chaos, proving that not all heroes wear capes - or maybe just him.

What about Nike’s standing among the top 30 favorite entertainment brands? Well, Nike isn’t merely a giant in sportswear; it’s actively forging a path in the expansive world of gaming. While its robust presence in Roblox has already caught the eye, the brand took center stage with a strategic collaboration in mid-2023, venturing into the widely embraced world of Fortnite.

This collaboration goes far beyond a simple logo placement. As stated in the official announcement, ‘From gliders to emotes to harvesting tools, every facet of the gaming experience is permeated with Nike’s aesthetics.’ This intentional infusion reflects a concerted effort to seamlessly weave Nike’s iconic style into the very fabric of the Fortnite gaming landscape.

In a nutshell, the entertainment landscape is a rollercoaster ride. Brands rise, fall, and shape-shift. It’s not just about movies and books; it’s an ever-evolving saga of what clicks with the audience. So buckle up, fellow entertainment enthusiasts, because the show must go on, and it’s getting wilder by the minute! n

The BrandTrends Group is a unique, multi-country provider of marketing research, focusing on brand, lifestyle, consumer behavioral and attitudinal trends, with a particular focus on children, youth, and families. Their experienced researchers and analysts are renowned in the industry for their expertise in monitoring brand performances, consumer attitudes and behaviors across up to 53 markets annually, making them a reliable and respected authority in the field. One of their most interesting value points is their ability to look at facts from a different perspective, providing a unique reading of the true trends in the market. Their proprietary analytics, such as the Brand Popularity Index and Consumer Demand Gap, coupled with high-quality and accurate data enable clients to identify the best opportunities in retail activation, competitive environments, and brand line equity and design. As a respected and trusted leader in their field, they work with renowned global companies across a variety of industries, including consumer package goods corporations, entertainment studios, retailers, and industry bodies. To learn more, visit

Most Favorite Entertainment Brands for Children France - October ‘23


The (Nuremberg) Toy Fair has succeeded in asserting its unique leading role in the global market. Between 30 January and 3 February, the industry came together at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre for the event. 2,354 exhibitors from 68 countries – an increase of 10% over the previous year – took the opportunity to publicise their trends and new ideas. Alongside the product innovations, a multitude of different networking opportunities and stimulating ideas on the lead theme of Kidults awaited the 57,000 visitors from 125 nations who gathered there.

“The Spielwarenmesse is the one constant to rely on in the current era of the regional and national toy shows working to find their new rhythm,” was the view of Helena Perheentupa of US company Wyncor.

As a consequence, the importance of the trade event continues to rise. 97% of the exhibitors (2023: 95%) considered participation in Nuremberg to be important or very important.

“As the leading trade fair, the Spielwarenmesse is the place where everyone from all over the world meets.You won’t find these opportunities anywhere else,” declares Ram Ronen of PMI Trading & Enterprise. For the Vice President, the fair is the ideal opportunity to meet up with existing custom-

Across all five days of the fair, small and mid-sized retailers were as heavily represented as the leading retail groups –which included firms such as Auchan, Amazon, Costco, Müller, Target, Smyths Toys and Walmart.

ers and to generate new contacts. “We were able to welcome customers, potential customers and press representatives from all over the world –from New Zealand, Asia, Europe, and the USA to South America – to our stand,” added Paul Heinz Bruder, CEO of Bruder Spielwaren. Andrea Herre of Spin Master International rated visitor quality very highly, too: “We had all the relevant decision-makers and key accounts meeting us at our stand.”

Christian Ulrich, Spokesperson of the Executive Board at Spielwarenmesse eG, notes that China, one of the most important consumer markets, was able to

re-establish its very high pre-pandemic levels. In addition, central Asian countries (such as Kazakhstan) and Ukraine have acquired a dynamism that compensates to some extent for Russia’s absence. The USA, too, which was already showing high potential last year, is among the top 10 countries for visitors.

Overall, more than 90% of exhibitors were satisfied with their participation.

“The Spielwarenmesse is the centre of the toy universe!” explains Jennifer McIver of the Wishbone Design Studio. “We can show our new products to so many countries all in one place. And we discover the latest trends here, too.

“With its key focal themes, the Spielwarenmesse has once again proved itself to be the initiating force for the sector. “We were particularly interested by the Kidults focus, which we seized on with enthusiasm where new ideas were concerned,” says Fischertechnik MD, Thomas Bußhart.

With its special area ‘Life’s a Playground – Toys for Kidsters, Kidults & Co.’, an international study and expert talks, the Spielwarenmesse highlighted adults as a target group, offering promising new suggestions for the trade.

“Renowned exhibitors such as Mattel took up the Kidults theme in a big way. And the market figures from market


research company Circana also demonstrate that we’ve picked up on the spirit of the age,” emphasises Christian Ulrich.

In addition, the large number of events taking place during the Spielwarenmesse underlines its global relevance: both the Disney Group’s breakfast, which takes place every year, and that of Circana have grown from being European to worldwide events. Licenses, moreover, are becoming ever more prominent.

The partnerships with Licensing International and with BRANDmate – the B2B event for partnerships, collaboration and licensing – have thus continued to expand. “The LicenseTalks were a perfect opportunity for us to generate new knowledge,” says Maria Gunderson from the Flops startup company. The LicenseLounge brought together everyone who is anyone. Licensors such as Paramount, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. were represented. “At the Spielwarenmesse, all the stakeholders are there,” underlined Martina Vierkötter of Haba, for whom winning the ToyAward in the Baby & Infant category was the icing on the cake.

“It’s a great place to have conversations, it put a noticeable wind into our sails and generated various spontaneous meetings.” Winning the ToyAward in the Teenagers & Adults field brought many visitors to the Fizz Creations stand, too. “We’re very fortunate to be

part of this incredible trade fair,” says Caroline Hedges.  Exhibitors’ opinions of the supporting programme were every bit as positive as their views on the range of services. For the second RedNight on the Thursday evening, over 100 exhibitors invited interested trade fair visitors directly to their stands. “Personal discussions with customers, networking at the RedNight, which is still in its infancy, and the inspiring atmosphere are all important elements,” commented Waltraud Maria Iden of the Iden Group. Vedes Board Director Julia Graeber was another who spoke

in praise of the positive atmosphere: “The Spielwarenmesse is a lively platform for intense discussion – a true class reunion that reflects the warmth and sense of belonging in our industry.” Across all five days of the fair, small and mid-sized retailers were as heavily represented as the leading retail groups – which included firms such as Auchan, Amazon, Costco, Müller, Target, Smyths Toys and Walmart. 84% of exhibitors (2023: 83%) plan to participate in the Spielwarenmesse again. The next edition of the fair takes place between Tuesday 28 January and Saturday 1 February 2025. n

Gill Archer, VP Hardlines, Disney Consumer Products EMEA

“Nuremberg Toy Fair is a crucial calendar moment for us from a toys perspective. As the biggest licensor in the world, this event is a great way to connect with both long standing and newer partners. This year was no differ ent - the event was packed with innovation, energy, and possibilities for the future of play.

“We always look forward to sharing upcoming brand and fran chise plans and the exciting new product ideas they can generate. At Nuremberg 2024 our goal was to build on the success we saw during Disney100 last year, and inspire even more marketleading products that reflect kids’ play patterns and parents’ priorities, and bring Disney’s much loved stories and characters to life. A great recent example of this is the variety of ranges inspired by Disney’s Wish, which launched in October, and al lowed families to immerse themselves in the world of Rosas.

“Disney’s range of brands and beloved characters provide rich material for our partners in the toy space. Pre-school remains a huge focus for us and we had many encouraging conversations with licensees at Nuremberg who share our excitement about the potential surround ing our preschool content. Spidey and His Amazing Friends, Ariel Jr and the return of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are taking us from strength to strength, while our Princess and Disney Classics brands provide endless opportunities for reinvention and fresh storytelling.

“This is also true of standout characters like Stitch, whose mischievous personality has allowed us to be adventurous with product and translated into cross-category success. Combining all of this with the creativity of our licensees, we are in a strong position to continue outperforming the EMEA toy industry.” n


In the latest of his regular columns for Total Licensing, Gary Pope, CEO and Co-Founder of Kids Industries and Children’s Commissioner for Products of Change talks about building franchises in a world of ‘noise’.

Is it just me or is everything always everywhere all at once?

I guess when the basis for the planet’s economy is continual growth this is to be expected but sometimes I wonder whether we humans are actually built for all this.

There’s just so much noise.

You may have noticed a very useful little phrase having crept into the English language: “It’s a lot”. Not new in and of itself, but new in how it’s used and emphasised. A kind of shorthand for “everything is all a bit much and it’s really quite stressful” and it seems to be always delivered in a resigned kind of way.

And what a useful phrase it is too.

It’s fair to say that building a franchise, getting a retailer onboard and engaging an audience are all “a lot”. Despite all the advances in all areas of the licensing industry, it is getting a good deal harder.

It’s never been easier to bring an idea to life but it’s never been harder to sell it. There are myriad more ways to distribute your content but discoverability has never been more difficult. Audiences have never had more access to content and yet have never been more fragmented.

The Yerkes–Dodson law, originally developed by psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson in 1908, explores the notion that we are able to take in only so much information before we close down to the stimuli in order to preserve our wired brains.Too much of a good thing can really be too much.

In capitalism we’re told that consumer choice is a core driver for market health. That this is what ensures competition is strong and that the consumer benefits. But I wonder, in the case of the children’s media landscape right now, if this is true. Right now we

have more access and choice when it comes to entertainment, socialisation, and information than ever before. From our research - the global family has on average, six types of devices and five different platforms they use to access content. And that’s just the average. It’s, as the young people say, “a lot”.

In another study we undertook at the start of this year the fragmentation in fandom became startlingly clear.

“It’s never been easier to bring an idea to life but it’s never been harder to sell it.”

We asked children, along with the parents, what they were fans of.We discovered 179 different fandoms for 227 kids aged 6 - 8, 175 different fandoms amongst 214 kids aged 9 -11, and 190 different fandoms for 193 kids aged 12 - 14. Yes, of course there was crossover and Roblox, Taylor Swift, YouTube and Disney appeared for every age range. But the point is that we are now in a completely different competitor landscape than we were just a few years ago.

Overwhelming choice leads to continuous partial attention - we only have the capacity to actually take in so much and so how on earth are you, the brand owner, supposed to build an audience? Yes, people will say get something up on Roblox - sure, you and the over 60 million others. In the old days, you know, the 2000’s, discovery was never a problem - now it is the problem.

In this fragmented yet content choked landscape, the key to success is no different to what it has always been. Yes, you need an audience but what you really need is fans. Nurturing and maintaining Fandom is without doubt the single most important thing to do.

Fans are tribes. They talk, they share and they evangelise. Engaging them is absolutely necessary.

But it seems to me that many with power in the content and licensing industry seem to think that if you have the content available that’ll be enough, newsflash...IT WON’T.

Build it and they will come has never, ever been true. And even if it ever was, it categorically isn’t now.You have to show people where your stuff is, tell them why they might like it and once they get to where you want them you have to treat them with such reverence that they stay. In the real world they’d call it customer service.

More than ever, you really, really need to understand your audience and how their fandom of your brand works. My work focuses on families and our research indicates that Millennial and Gen Z parents are now far more engaged than they have ever been in their children’s content consumption.

And it’s important to note that families who moderate their child’s media habits - those children who are less likely to be inundated with choice and barraged with content - are 70% likely to have a Fandom - slightly higher than the global average.

In contrast, children who have free rein - to view and watch what they like, how they want to - are much less likely to have a Fandom - less than half in fact! This is a hugely significant difference and represents potentially $billions of dollars in lost revenue for brands.

Now, more than ever before it is critical that you not only develop and create for children, but that you take the whole family with you to create deeper, more meaningful connections that last generations. n


Providing the Tools for Positive Change

Robert Hutchins, Editor, Products of Change, writes about the industry playing an active role in change

By the time you read this, intelligent and fiercely passionate negotiators from around the world would have sat down for the fourth round of discussions over what on earth we’re all going to do about this plastic pollution problem we have.

From sustainable production and consumption to a necessary shift towards a circular plastic approach, it would have been all on the table when representative stakeholders and policy-makers convened for the fourth time this April to thrash out the wording of a legally-binding instrument to tackle the issue globally.

430 million tonnes of plastic

To recap, the issue is that we are currently producing 430 million tonnes of plastic a year. Two-thirds of this is simply thrown away, into the environment and ultimately – you would have all seen by now – into the food chain. And that’s a problem because not many things on the planet are predisposed for eating plastic particles…

Heading to double figures?

What it’s costing us – in terms of impact upon ecosystems, climate, the economy, and human health is somewhere between $300bn and $600bn a year. And, if we continue unabated, all these figures would have doubled in the next 20 years.

Which is why these impassioned negotiators are eking out the details of what is to be the UN Plastic Treaty. And you can rest assured it’s going to impact business in a big way. But then, if you’ve been keeping up to date with your policy negotiations, you’d know this is just the latest in a long line of legislative levers destined to turn the business landscape completely on its head.


We have EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility), which is both now in force (in terms of collecting and supplying your packaging data) and in the pipeline (in terms of introducing its financial obligations in 2025); DRS (Deposit Return Schemes) in effect

in three of the four devolved nations (of course we’re waiting for England to catch up); CSRD (the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive); and at some point or another – and entirely dependent on when certain EU Member States stop playing for time – CSDDD (Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive). There are more, but this is enough to comprehend.

Time to make the changes

The thing is, business is a beautiful vehicle for change. And while much of the above will present a rather tasty looking tax revenue for governments looking to reinvest in infrastructure for a circular economy, far better that businesses make the positive changes now and transition for a more sustainable future. Before the taxman comes knocking.

Connecting, working together

To help the many, wonderful businesses in our vastly creative sector navigate this tsunami of incoming legislation, Products of Change is galvanizing industry, bringing us all together to create and provide the tools and resources to build towards that better future. Via our revamped website, Products of Change members can connect quickly and easily, access resources, education, and join the working groups and conversations that are now laying the foundations for how our businesses can adapt and move with the shifting landscape. You may have spotted, we recently went not-for-profit on our membership business. It’s been a dream from the very start, that we can now reinvest directly into the industry to drive positive impact through the resources and tools for change we provide. So, play an active role in this global strive for a better tomorrow and get stuck in. n

Get involved...

Boosting Creativity and Nurturing Innovative Partnerships through Licensing

Approaching the year 2024, the licensing industry is undergoing a remarkable and exciting transformation, opening doors to a dynamic and collaborative future. It is no longer solely about character collaborations; instead, the industry is embracing creativity and fostering innovative partnerships among licensors, brands and retailers.

The HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show (HKILS), set to take place from 27 to 29 April 2024, has firmly established itself as the leading platform within Asia’s thriving licensing industry. It offers unparalleled opportunities for licensors and brands to forge new business alliances. Furthermore, HKILS will be held concurrently with the HKTDC Gifts & Premium Fair, presenting an excellent opportunity to explore prospects in lifestyle licensing. To ensure unmatched access to industry players from around the world, HKILS will offer vast business matching opportunities.

A diverse array of international intellectual properties (IPs) from various sectors, including art licensing, character licensing, corporate licensing, lifestyle licensing, sports licensing and more, will participate in the event, showcasing over 500 brands

and properties. Prominent names such as Doraemon, SPY x FAMILY, Tokidoki and University of Cambridge will be featured, among many others. Moreover, there will be more than 70 home-grown Hong Kong brands, including newcomers like Plastic Thing and Dustykid, exhibitors from DLAB as well as local designers. Running parallel to the HKILS is the Asian Licensing Conference (ALC), a key event for industry players seeking to capitalise on emerging trends and opportunities. This three-day conference brings together top-notch global licensing industry players, sharing the latest market intelligence, trends and opportunities within the global licensing industry. The conference will cover a wide range of topics, including legal issues surrounding Generative AI and the innovative channels introduced by new technologies in beauty licensing. Additionally, sustainability and the emergence of new intellectual properties (IPs) will be prominently discussed. n

Register now for free admission!

Registration link:

For details, please visit:

HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show & Asian Licensing Conference 2024

Legally Speaking


The Essential Guide for Intellectual Properties

Artificial Intelligence - A Powerful Tool Against Counterfeiters

The counterfeit industry is big business. It is estimated that more than $3 trillion of counterfeit merchandise is sold annually. In merchandising, most counterfeiters focus on fashion and luxury products, such as clothing, shoes, leather items, electronic products, and watches, many of which carry well-known trademarks and properties. The cost to property owners is in the billions of dollars annually.

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.

The economic impact of counterfeiting on brand owners extends far beyond the loss of direct sales. It can also affect consumer trust, brand reputation, market competition, and tax revenues. Since counterfeiting and infringement activities are often difficult to track, a significant portion goes unreported.

Sadly, brand owners have been hard-pressed to make a significant dent in this illicit global trade.  Technology, particularly artificial intelligence (“AI”), now offers real hope for IP owners to find and identify counterfeiters and infringers and permits them to shut them down before they can have a severe impact. The following uses of AI are the most prominent applications, many of which are already in use.

Detecting Infringements.

Property owners have, for years, regularly monitored the Internet and its assortment of websites, marketplaces, and platforms that may carry potentially infringing products. This has been a tedious and time-consuming process until now. AI algorithms can analyze online data at literally break-neck

speed to identify possible infringements and counterfeits sold on e-commerce platforms or pirated content on digital channels. Using Natural Language Processing (“NLP”), AI can scan and interpret text across various online platforms, flagging instances where copyrighted or trademarked content is used without authorization.

Since AI technologies can recognize images and videos, making it easier to spot unauthorized use of visual content, they are valuable tools in identifying instances of trademark misuse or alterations. AI is now effectively used to monitor social media platforms for any potential mention or discussion of selected properties and trademarks. This allows property owners to find potential infringements or misuse of their property and act in real time. These tools can quickly identify unauthorized use of trademarks, counterfeit products, and brand impersonation. AI can also use historical data on prior infringement cases to predict future trends and anticipate potential threats. This proactive approach can help businesses stay ahead of infringers.

Prioritizing Infringement Actions.

While all property owners experience some counterfeiting and infringement activity, successful property owners are forced to deal with a wide range of infringers worldwide.

Every property owner’s limited litigation budget forces them to prioritize which actions to take and where AI changes that. Since AI can process vast amounts of data from different sources to identify patterns and trends related to trademarks, it allows property owners to focus on infringers or counterfeiters that pose the greatest threat to the owner or property. Since AI can monitor trademarks globally, it can assist in determining the international nature of the threat, which allows businesses to identify cross-border infringement more effectively.

Property Management.

AI can also assist a property owner in managing extensive trademark portfolios by providing insights into which marks require more attention based on infringement risks and emerging trends. It can also assist the property owner’s legal department identify past cases and relevant precedents related to trademark infringement, streamlining the legal process.

As AI technology advances, creative minds will find more and more applications to aid property owners. More to follow... n

Gregory J. Battersby Battersby Law Group, LLC 25 Poplar Plains Rd. Westport, CT 06880 (203) 454-9646

Magic Nashville



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