Regular Features Comment........................................................................ 8 Global news.................................................................. 10 Legally Speaking.........................................................124 The Licensing International Page...........................126 What’s On..................................................................128
Europe Exquisite Gaming......................................................... 34 El Ocho Update from Spain...................................... 39 How The Toniebox is helping children................... 42 MIPCOM and MIP Junior Preview........................... 61 Maya the Bee is buzzing!............................................ 62 Withit Celebrating 30 Years..................................... 68 A Taste of Freedom with TF1 Licences.................. 72 The Baby Club - a club for all.................................. 86 Paris 2024 - Let the Games Begin!......................... 88
Russia and CIS
Cover Story: CTC Media.......................................... 58 Moonzy: 10 Billion View and Counting................... 70
Interview: Robert Marick, MGM.............................. 26 Olive Oyl repositioned.............................................. 36 The Growing World of Guru Studios..................... 64 Spotlight on 9 Story................................................... 79 Dr Seuss - a beloved brand...................................... 84
The Voice from Colombia.......................................104 The Enduring World of Ayrton Senna..................106 Latin America News.................................................109
Asia and Australasia Continuing growth for Beyblade............................. 32 Expanding Program for Steven Rhodes.................. 48 Memories of Eric Carle............................................. 56 India - Current Licensing Trends.............................. 80 Licensing in Korea 2021............................................ 94
Global What can retailers learn from LEGO..................... 21 The World of Boat Rocker....................................... 30 Licensing to Teens....................................................... 44 Pokemon’s 25th........................................................... 46 Care Bears lead up to 40 years............................... 50 The Pandemic Aftermath........................................... 55 ViacomCBS spotlight.................................................. 66 Licensing Expo Virtual - Preview.............................. 74 Classics are On Trend................................................ 87 A Street-Smart Partnership...................................... 88 Experiences are finally back...................................... 91 Betty Boop - Queen of Cartoons........................... 96 The importance of Sustainability...........................100 Netflix joins direct-to-consumer boom..............114 Roundtable - Navigating a Covid World..............115
Co-Publisher Francesca Ash firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Publisher Jerry Wooldridge email@example.com
Editorial Director Rebecca Ash firstname.lastname@example.org
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© 2021 Total Licensing Ltd All illustrations are reproduced by permission of their owners. No part of this magazine may be copied or quoted without permission from the Publishers first. Total Licensing Ltd does not warrant or assume any legal liability for the accuracy or legality of contents, images or advertisements submitted to the magazine. Opinions of the contributing writers are their own and do not reflect the opinion of Total Licensing Ltd. Printed in England
Welcome to the Summer 2021 issue of Total Licensing. This is possibly one of the most varied issues we’ve ever published in terms of content. At a time when most of us are restricted in some way from international travel, we have deliberately tried to keep our content as broad as possible – keeping our readers in touch with what’s happening in other parts of the world and highlighting some of the opportunities. In Asia, we go in depth into India and South Korea and what’s happening in these markets. In Japan, we hear some of the fond memories of Eric Carle, who was so popular in the Japanese market. In Latin America we learn of some of the issues faced by Colombia and take a detailed look at the legacy left by Brazilian Formula One champion Ayrton Senna whose licensing program continues to thrive nearly thirty years after his untimely death. And from Russia we hear more about CTC Media’s brands as well as Moonzy from Melnitsa who recently surpassed ten billion views on YouTube. This issue, of course, covers some of the most important factors at play today. Sustainability is so much more than a buzz-word now and the licensing industry is without doubt growing more aware – not just of the steps they need to take but also how to future-proof business. It says a great deal that The Sustainability in Licensing Conference, which took place virtually in June, attracted over 500 attendees from around the world, all on a mission to be updated, educated and informed on the latest movements as the consumer products industry heads for a more sustainable future. Over and above all these, of course the subject top of the list is the pandemic. Our Global Roundtable this year focusses on how businesses coped with the early restrictions and lockdowns and how they are emerging from the grip of Covid-19. Our participants came from different parts of the world but, interestingly, had similar views on how the pandemic had affected business. Most seemed to fare significantly better than they expected through the initial turmoil and, generally speaking, are optimistic looking ahead.
Retail, of course, was the main topic of conversation. Online retail grew by 44% in the US in 2020. The UK grew by 21% and Australia by a substantial 57%. Nobody in our panel doubts that online retail will continue its upward trajectory. However, they do believe strongly that by regrouping and offering more in the way of an experience bricks & mortar retail will remain strong, despite the many lockdowns and long periods of inactivity. Consumers quickly adapted to the new world of Amazon, Alibaba and the rest. But clearly that doesn’t mean they don’t want to go to physical shops.You only have to look at the mile-long lines outside Primark in the UK on the day the shop reopened after lockdown. The future would seem most likely to be a mix of online and offline shopping. The key issue of concern amongst many is that of supply. Manufacturing, shipping, logistics and supply chains have suffered and continue to suffer which, of course, has a knock-on effect. The days of always manufacturing on the other side of the world may be numbered. More and more are looking to manufacture closer to home, thus eliminating part of the problem. Whether this is a temporary move or one that will become permanent even once the pandemic impact is over, remains to be seen. On a positive note, we are seeing the return of in-person trade events and plans are well underway for Brand Licensing Europe in November. Ahead of that, of course, we have Licensing Expo Virtual in August which is attracting a significant exhibitor and visitor roster. This issue carries a preview of some of the brands on show and information about what the event comprises this year. We very much hope, by the time we publish our Autumn/Fall issue that life will be returning to normal in as far as it can. In the meantime, our website (www.totallicensing.com) will keep you up to date on daily news and views from around the world. Have a great summer! Francesca Ash Jerry Wooldridge Co-Publisher Co-Publisher
With Thanks to this Issue’s Contributing Writers: Gregory Battersby Martin Brochstein
Carlos Carvajal Marici Ferreira Tetsuo Ishida
Hyon-kyong Kim Rutika Malaviya Will Stewart
Jelena Stosic Utku Tansel
LICENSING DEAL FOR KOREAN ARTIST South Korean artist Sung Hee Kim has licensed six of her artworks to Shanghai Fullmoon Network Technology Co, Ltd, an art company in Shanghai, China. Sung Hee Kim’s art posters are now being sold at Shanghai’s bookstores and landmarks including 1984 Bookstore, and Happiness Collection in Blackstone Apartments. The licensor, Sung Hee Kim founded a sole proprietorship in 2019 as a nationally registered artist. Her works vary from drawings and acrylic paints to digital prints and digital paintings. The six artworks licensed are all digital paintings created in 2020. It is her wish that the audience find their own light of happiness through her artworks. The licensee, Shanghai Fullmoon Network Technology Co, Ltd, signed the licensing contract with Sung Hee Kim as part of the Artoken Project - a global artworks digital copyright database of the Shanghai Fullmoon Network Technology Co, Ltd. This started in Shanghai in January 2021 and is in the process of expanding its online presence and broadening its distribution to other cities in China with more art products, starting with art posters. 1984 Bookstore located at the Former French Concession in Shanghai is the first bookstore that started to sell Sung Hee Kim’s art posters.The second distributor, Happiness Collection is an art themed bookstore in the Blackstone Apartments, which is the first luxury apartment block in Shanghai built in 1924 with bricks imported from the UK. Sung Hee Kim introduces her artworks in various ways to customers including an art rental service, art products, art fairs, and exhibitions. She has been registered at Opengallery since August 2020, which is an art rental service with the largest membership in South Korea. Her artworks are being continuously borrowed by the customers on a three-month basis. She is also transforming her artworks into diverse art products with her agent Young Woo Kim, a director of Characterline Inc, one of the leading marketing and management agents of Intellectual Property in South Korea. Her signature is a registered trademark which is also an essential part of her art products’ design. The art products were fist sold to the public at her exhibition, I chose to be Happy held in May 2019 at KT&G Sangsangnadang Gallery, in Seoul.
APC KIDS SECURE DEAL FOR ROGER APC Kids, the children’s entertainment division of co-production and distribution group APC Studios, has secured a far-reaching deal with WarnerMedia for its 3D CGI animated comedy series Roger (78 x 7’). The deal includes exclusive pay tv rights and non-exclusive non-linear rights in South East Asia, Taiwan and Australia for WarnerMedia Kids brands, which include Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Aimed at kids aged 6-9, Roger has a unique 3D stop motion rendering look, and is produced by Je Suis Bien Content for France Télévisions. APC Kids holds worldwide distribution and consumer products rights for the series. Previous deals for the hit series secured by APC Kids include TV5 Québec (Canada), TV5 Monde (worldwide excluding Europe), Ceská Televize (Czech Republic), Jetsen Huashi (China), TVB (Hong Kong), Bein (MENA) and ETB (Spain). The series follows the lively adventures of a little girl, the carefree, joyful and occasionally perky Fatou, and a clumsy alien called Roger, on a tropical island. Roger is expected to air on Boomerang in Australia, South East Asia and Taiwan in Q4 2021.
BLIPPI Moonbug Entertainment Ltd. and Amazon Kids+ are collaborating again on more content for kids starring the global sensation, Blippi. The two companies are creating a new, long-form episodic series called Blippi’s Treehouse, which will premiere exclusively on the Amazon Kids+ streaming service at a future date. “In just under a year, we have delivered on our promise to families around the world: bringing Blippi to more platforms, with new storylines, and even more great content,” said Andy Yeatman, Managing Director of the Americas at Moonbug. “Blippi’s contagious curiosity inspires kids everywhere to get excited about learning new things and we are thrilled by Amazon’s dedication to educational kids programming.” “We can’t wait for Blippi fans to get to know Blippi’s Treehouse and experience the Blippi they love like never before,” said Veronica Pickett, Head of Amazon Kids+ original series. “No one brings entertainment and education together for kids quite like Amazon Kids+ and our friend Blippi. We know the millions of Amazon Kids+ subscribers will love these new Blippi adventures.” Blippi started as an online live action, educational children’s show for kids ages 2-5 years old. In the few years since the show was first created, Blippi has become one of the world’s most popular preschool entertainers, with over 3 billion minutes streamed on Amazon Prime Video, more than one billion views on YouTube just last month and over 30 million dedicated followers.
MEDIALINK TO LICENSE SESAME STREET IN CHINA Sesame Workshop has named Medialink Group its licensing agent for the Greater China region including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau. Medialink Group will manage the brand licensing of Sesame Street’s consumer products, build retail relationships, and work with local licensees to create crosspromotional activations in the respective territories. With a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder, Sesame Workshop’s content is educational, impactful, heartfelt, furry, and fun. Sesame Street reaches 150 million kids worldwide, with programming in over 150 countries and 21.5 million YouTube subscribers. It has won a historymaking 204 Emmy Awards and was the first TV show ever to be awarded a Kennedy Center Honor. Today, Sesame Street in available on Tencent, BesTV, SiTV, Mampod and Ukids in Greater China, and generates $1.4 billion in worldwide retail sales of licensed products. “Sesame Street is everywhere kids are,” said Alvin Fu, Vice President and General Manager of Greater China for Sesame Workshop. “We achieve this by making our innovative video content available through TV and on-demand platforms and working with partners like Medialink to invite kids and fans of all ages to engage with our beloved characters through Sesame Street-branded consumer products and merchandise and interactive experiences.” “We are delighted to represent Sesame Street in Greater China. It is immensely meaningful for us to work with such a strong and trusted pre-school brand that shares a similar mission to ours. It is our great pleasure to work with Sesame Street,” said Ms Noletta Chiu, Managing Director of Medialink Animation International Limited and Medialink Cultural & Creative (Guangzhou) Limited.
PETS ROCK IN KOREA Mr. Time, a global platform that enables the application of customized smartwatch face (watch design) from mobile, and Pets Rock, the British pop art brand famous in more than 80 countries all over the world, have collaborated on a range for Samsung watches. Pets Rock Korean agent Brandkind workshop, signed a deal with Mr.Time in 2020 and the company has released watch faces with two characters from Pets Rock through Mr.Time app in both iOS and Android for the global market on as well as releasing a case specially designed for Samsung Galaxy S21, Buds—wireless earphone—and Samsung Galaxy Smart Watch strap, . As part of their first marketing activity, the Pets Rock digital accessories are spreading quickly in the crowdfunding platform Wadiz, and three more of Pets Rock watch faces will be additionally released through the Mr.Time app this summer.
MOOSE EXPAND IN CANADA
Australian based Moose Toys has announced it will continue its global expansion, embarking on a hybrid direct distribution model in the Canadian market. Beginning Fall 2021, Moose will distribute directly in Canada offering a strategic selection of new brands, including recent Aussie mega-hit Bluey and the just announced Akedo – Ultimate Gaming Warriors. While Moose will be handling the distribution for some curated brands, the long standing and successful relationships with trusted distribution partners Imports Dragon and Red Planet will continue forward, ensuring Moose’s most popular toys will remain widely available. “We have seen great success in the UK, France and Germany, using this distribution model,” said Ben Dart, Chief Operating Officer at Moose Toys. “As we continue to increase Moose’s footprint and brand growth globally, we will use locally based teams to handle the strategic distribution of new brands, and solidify our position in the market. Over the last few years, the Moose Toys business in Canada has continued to grow much in part due to the tireless commitment of our partners Imports Dragon and Red Planet. We are looking forward to continued success with both organisations as we enter this new and exciting phase.” Initially, Moose will handle direct distribution of the Bluey toy line, for which the brand holds the global master toy license, Akedo, and another yet to be revealed new brand. All will be available at major retailers nationwide.
EPIK PRIME LAUNCH FIRST NFT ACTIVATION Epik Prime, connecting brands and digital platforms to offer immersive digital experiences, recently announced an exclusive partnership whereby Gameloft will launch its first ever NFT activation powered by Epik Prime for an in-game tournament on Asphalt 9: Legends, the latest game in the Asphalt racing franchise, which recently crossed the 1 billion download mark across the series. Beginning July 5th, gamers were able to compete for exclusive trophies and an array of limited-edition digital collectibles (NFTs). Users were able to store and explore their NFTs inside of their Epik account. Epik’s blockchain-powered capabilities present a low-risk opportunity for brands to explore the NFT space by licensing their IP and creating unique digital assets for purchase. Epik has created a unique NFT solution whereby any brand can be featured in games. Epik and Gameloft for brands worked together to create this branded in-game experience. As their first foray into this technological partnership, Epik has opted to feature its own brand as the in-game advertising. This collaboration is an exciting event for the entire mainstream gaming and collectibles industry and a historic leap forward for the mass adoption of blockchain technologies. “Epik is excited to partner with the legendary Asphalt franchise through its latest game, Asphalt 9: Legends for the first Gameloft NFT activation,” says Epik CEO Victor David. Together we will clearly demonstrate how NFTs could be incorporated natively in-game to create new immersive digital experiences for players.” Epik will be making something possible which has never been done before – opening up entirely new doors for not just the blockchain industry, but for the gaming industry as well, allowing major gaming companies to engage with their audience in an entirely new way, sharing limited edition collectibles with its loyal fans and communities so that they can have something to take to their virtual homes, and hold onto, or trade, for years to come. Epik’s NFT platform optimizes the user experience by removing unnecessary latency associated with public blockchain transaction confirmations. By utilizing a hybrid on-and-off chain solution, whereby transactions (purchases, transfer of items) are conducted off-chain in real-time, Epik minimizes the frequency of on-chain transactions, thus incurring less gas and less energy usage for every transaction that occurs on the Epik system. The only time an on-chain transaction occurs is when a user transfers an NFT item out of the Epik system, such as onto a cold wallet or another marketplace. Additionally, Epik utilizes Huobi’s ECO Chain (HECO) HPoS consensus mechanism to ensure low transaction cost, low transaction delay, and high transaction concurrency to provide additional eco-friendly benefits. HECO Chain is an EVM-compatible public chain with an efficient and low-cost on-chain environment for DApps, smart contracts, and digital assets like NFTs.
LINE FRIENDS COLLABORATION Line Friends has collaborated with Maison Kitsuné to globally debut the limited-edition Maison Kitsuné X Line Friends collection, featuring the globally adored Brown & Friends characters. Through this collaboration, Kitsuné, the signature Fox logo, is reimagined into an animated character for the first time ever, and the story of how Brown Meets Kitsuné in Paris is told through a new video content. With its unrivaled creative design capabilities, Line Friends has reinterpreted the brand essence of Maison Kitsuné’s Parisian lifestyle for this newest collection, which encompasses 62 types of clothing and 11 types of tech accessories, and stationery essentials. This epic limited-edition Maison Kitsuné X Line Friends collection became available for purchase on the official on- and offline stores of Line Friends and Maison Kitsuné from July 8.
MINECRAFT STICKERS The new Panini official Minecraft Treasure Sticker Album is now available. With over 139 million people playing Minecraft every month and over 200 million copies sold worldwide, Minecraft is the best-selling video game in history. The collection of 256 stickers features special stickers which allow fans to see Minecraft videos through the Panini Collectors app. Fans can explore the Overworld, the Nether and the End; interact and create, play, enjoy the art and live the adventure!
MILANO DAY OF LICENSING SET FOR SEPTEMBER The Milano Day of Licensing, set to take place at the Nhow Milano on the 16 September, will be a live event, and organisers MLD Entertainment have announced that all available spaces and pitches slots sold out before the end of June. This year sees a wider representation of non-domestic licensors wishing to be in touch directly with the Italian licensing community, like Pokémon, Acamar Films (which will host Milano Licensing Day Cake Party), Toei, as well as Chupa Chups, Smiley, and all the others who were already onboard on the last events. Brand Jam will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a dedicated area, “Brand Jam Collaboration Lab”, where the top licensed collaboration products will be showcased, and some “Collaboration Talks” with CEOs of brands like Timex, Imec,WakeUp Cosmetics will be held on “how licensed collaborations are helping brand building”. Retailers such as Terranova, Calliope,Tezenis, Calzedonia, Intimissimi have already confirmed their presence through the special service “Retail Delegations”, dedicated business matching session in groups of 3 to 10 retailers each. As with last year, all Covid-19 standards will be followed to ensure visitors and exhibitors the maximum level of safety (details on the website). For tickets and information, please follow this link: : https://mldentertainment.it/ eventi/milano-licensing-day/
EMOJI RENEWALS The emoji company GmbH has announced the renewal of partnerships with best-in-class licensees across the apparel, accessories, health and beauty, and fabric categories. Brokered by its North American Licensee agent, Retail Monster LLC, emoji brand licensed product will continue for years to come from: ASO (bandages and first aid kits); American Marketing Enterprises Inc. and Briefly Stated Inc., divisions of Centric Brands LLC (sleepwear); David’s Textiles (fabric); Decopac (cake decorations); and Isaac Morris Limited, (apparel). Michael Connolly, Founder/CEO of Retail Monster, commented, “The emoji brand has proven universal, with emoji licensed products having become staples at across retail and e-commerce 365 days a year. Even in a year full of uncertainty, emoji - the Iconic Brand and our partners continue to deliver.” Marco Huesges, Founder and CEO of the emoji company, commented: “We have the strongest and most collaborative partners in the business. Each of these partners has been committed to ongoing innovation and new product development, and has had best-selling SKUs for years across retail. Coupled with our extensive portfolio of emoji - the Iconic Brand licensees, we remain confident the best is yet to come.”
9 STORY PARTNERS WITH RETAIL MONSTER 9 Story Brands has partnered with Retail Monster, a global brand extension company, to support its franchise, content and retail sales and marketing efforts for its growing portfolio of children’s brands. To kick off the partnership, Retail Monster is working closely with the 9 Story Brands team and leading US retailers to create bespoke retail programs for Karma’s World, 9 Story and Karma’s World Entertainment’s hotly anticipated property set to premiere on Netflix later this year. Based on a concept created by multi-award-winning American rapper, actor, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Karma’s World is a comingof-age story about a young girl finding her voice and using it to change her world. 9 Story Brands has already built out an impressive roster of licensees for the property, including global partnerships with Scholastic and Mattel, with additional partnerships to be announced soon. Retail Monster will also help support retail programs for key properties in the 9 Story Brands’ lineup, including Colorforms, Ladybird Lu, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum and more. “Retail Monster’s experience of driving successful retail programs in the kids’ space is unrivaled,” said Kyra Halperin, Co-VP, Consumer Products for 9 Story. “We are excited to collaborate on unique and innovative retail programs across our brands and offer additional retail support to 9 Story’s licensees.” “Retail Monster takes a great deal of pride in partnering with world-class licensors on franchise development and retail activations,” said Michael Connolly, CEO and Founder of Retail Monster. “Our team could not be more excited to support 9 Story as we work together to drive truly unique retail executions for Karma’s World and more!”
NEW RAFT OF EURO PARTNERS FOR PEANUTS
DREAMTEX SIGN AMONG US
WildBrain CPLG has secured a new wave of European partners for Peanuts. Brokered on behalf of Peanuts Worldwide, the latest collection of deals sees ranges launching across fashion, accessories, homewares and gifts for both children and adults. In addition, WildBrain CPLG is expanding its representation of Peanuts with Nordic representation rights being added to the agency’s existing remit from 1 July 2021. WildBrain CPLG’s Benelux team has inked deals with partners, including: Dutch beachwear brand Shiwi (Luxor Fashion Group) for a Spring/Summer 2021 collection targeted at boys, girls and men; Eastpak for a collection of Peanuts backpacks and travel bags, launching worldwide in July; and Leomil for a girls and women’s footwear range, set to roll out across Europe in Spring/Summer 2022. Additionally, WildBrain CPLG’s Germany, Austria and Switzerland team continues to extend its PUMA partnership with a second collection of kids’ footwear, apparel and accessories inspired by Peanuts launching worldwide in July 2021, following a successful first collection in Spring 2021. The premium pet food brand PLATINUM has also been signed for a promotional deal, featuring Snoopy as its brand ambassador for a digital marketing campaign across Europe. In Spain,Andres Gallardo has launched its second handcrafted Peanuts collection, Dime Que Me Quieres has recently debuted a handmade artisan jewellery range and Zara Home has introduced a new line of babywear, towels, homeware and accessories at its stores and website worldwide. In Greece, Giovas is set to launch bags and accessories in a new back-to-school Peanuts collection. For the UK, new Spring/Summer apparel collections have launched from existing partners, including the baby and kidswear brand Cribstar and the adult fashion brand Vintage Supply. In addition, childrenswear brand Lil’ Cubs, as well as candle company Flamingo Candles, have both debuted their first Peanuts ranges. For Italy, WildBrain CPLG’s local team has secured a deal with MyBeautyBox, which saw the monthly makeup subscription service’s June mystery box dedicated to Peanuts. Long-term Italian publishing partner Foto Edizoni is adding Peanuts comic strips to its monthly crossword magazine and is also launching its first bi-monthly Peanuts themed kids and teen crossword magazine. WildBrain CPLG’s France team has secured deals with Parisian fashion design studio Sandro, which saw the recent worldwide launch of a Peanuts men’s capsule collection, and also with local fashion brand Cyrillus for a baby and children’s collection. In Central and Eastern Europe, MPTECH has been signed for stationery and back-to-school items with the first collection launching for back-to-school 2021. Tara Botwick, Senior Director, Territory Management EMEA for Peanuts Worldwide, said: “A key part of our Peanuts brand strategy is ensuring we’re continually innovating and reaching our fans in unique ways. This latest wave of licensees and distinctive new collection launches promises to offer consumers of all ages some really fun and creative ways of engaging with Snoopy and the gang.” Maarten Weck, EVP and Managing Director at WildBrain CPLG, added: “The timeless Peanuts brand continues to prove its enduring popularity among a broad range of consumers, retailers and licensees across Europe and beyond, as demonstrated by these latest product ranges from both new and long-term partners. With the European licensing programme continuing to diversify and gain further momentum, it’s also fantastic to extend our remit and represent the brand across the Nordic market, which offers significant potential for additional growth.”
Boutique bedding specialist Dreamtex Ltd has partnered with entertainment company Toikido on a licensed homewares collection for the globally popular social deception game Among Us. Dreamtex will be launching Among Us themed bedding, blankets, towels and cushions later this year to celebrate and reflect the style of the smash-hit, spaceship survival game, featuring the 2D cartoon character graphics along with classic phrases and words from the game. “The sell-in so far has been phenomenal with orders already covering the majority of Dreamtex’ customer base,” Anthony Duckworth, MD of Dreamtex Ltd, comments. “Among Us is already proving to be one of our biggest success stories. It is a must-have brand that can only get stronger through 2021 and beyond, and we will endeavour to maximise all retail opportunities with our innovative approach to product development and design. We are delighted to be working with the team at Toikido and excited to have added Among Us to our growing portfolio of gaming brands. We know that Among Us merchandise is in high demand and we are thrilled to be playing our part in the game’s licensing story.” “We are delighted to bring Toikido & Dreamtex together on this project. Dreamtex’s quality, design, sourcing, and ethical standards are phenomenal, as is their passion for Toikido’s vision for the Among Us brand,” commented Darran Garnham, Founder Toikido.
WHAT CAN RETAILERS LEARN FROM LEGO'S SUCCESS? While the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing some retailers around the world to close, LEGO opened 134 new stores – of which 91 were in China last year. The company plans to open a further 120 new shops in 2021, including 80 in China alone, expanding its total global store count to almost 800 in 2021. This is part of LEGO’s business strategy towards – what it calls an ‘omnichannel network’ – operating in tandem with LEGO.com, whose online visits doubled over the last year. This ties with Mintel’s COVID-19 tracker showing that nearly half of British consumers are now doing more shopping online – a double digit increase since mid-April 2020. LEGO’s sales in 2020 grew by a substantial 13%, while operating profit rose by 19% worldwide. Its retail strategy is definitely working.
2020, which uniquely blends physical bricks with online games, has been one of LEGO’s most successful theme launches. The product line featured an interactive LEGO Mario figure that collects coins in real life game levels created with LEGO bricks. The figure has LCD screens in its eyes, mouth and belly to display a wide range of instant reactions to movement, colour and action bricks. Collaborating with Universal Music Group, the innovative company continues with this strategy in 2021 with
the LEGO Vidiyo release – which taps into kids’ creativity through music and play.
By Utku Tansel LLB, MBA https://www.linkedin.com/in/ utku-tansel-llb-mba-98231636/
Through LEGO Vidiyo, children can direct, produce, star in, and share their own music videos, using chart-topping tracks from Universal Music’s extensive variety of global artists. Its playful music video maker experience combines physical and digital play as special effect ‘BeatBits’ and music inspired minifigures integrate and come to life through AR in a vibrant new app. Mintel Trend Extend My Lego’s Super Mario Set
Merging online and offline In terms of new product launches, LEGO Super Mario set in
TOTAL LICENSING adults, since half of consumers who have purchased toys and games in the previous 12 months have done so for an adult.
Lego’s Vidiyo Brand investigates how brands are expanding into new categories and demographics to find new business as well as intrigue consumers. Brands are advised to assess the opportunity to use their company’s established image, visibility, and strong brand following to launch new product lines – which LEGO has been utilising very successfully in recent years. They are encouraged to explore new categories and price points that may cater to an extended clientele while still aligning with the brand’s identity. Brick by brick, LEGO, which dominates the construction category globally, has been expanding its presence in toys targeting beyond
its core business. In 2020, the company entered the arts & crafts category with the introduction of LEGO DOTS – a concept which offers kids a creative canvas for self-expression. Based on multiple shapes and colourful tiles, the line featured bracelets and items for home décor. Targeting stressed-out adults Aiming at adults, LEGO also released its 2nd 2D tile building theme, LEGO Arts, in 2020 featuring Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, Marvel Studios Iron Man, and Star Wars The Sith. Mintel Traditional Toys and Games, US, May 2020 report highlights that consumers need toys and games to bring more than just fun and brands can connect with adults by appealing to their need for wellness. With products for adults that can tout stress relief and relaxation, each LEGO Art design is accompanied by a bespoke soundtrack. These soundtracks dive deep into the inspiration behind each wall art set helping adults unwind and fully immerse themselves in the building experience. Our consumer research (US, March 2020) confirms that there is a large market for toys and games for Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe
Providing a unique retail theatre experience LEGO stores are a great example of retail theatre with plenty of life sized models and figurines as well as play stations. Their outlets are seen as a destination in their own right by consumers. Mintel Trend Experience Is All highlights that most consumers still put a premium on the advantages of shopping in-store, which includes the ability to try products in person and to be helped by customer service associates. This trend is not about countering online sales, but rather turning shops into enjoyable experiences that promote purchases—either in-store or remotely. Retailers are reminded that shops are windows and adverts as much as places to purchase stock and they need to extend the time people spend there as well as the frequency of their visits. What next? Post-pandemic, LEGO should be able to continue to build on its success. As I also investigated in my “Hamleys: an iconic UK Toy Retailer at Crossroads” Opinion piece in Total Licensing Spring edition 2021 and “Retail and E-commerce: The Impact of COVID-19 in the UK”* previously, for consumers, a shopping day out will continue to be a leisure activity and it will increasingly be a choice rather than a necessity. Overall, the retail landscape will be leaner, the battle for consumer attention will be fierce and when the economy recovers, consumers will remain value conscious. In city centres, particularly, newer and better retailers are coming in which will undoubtedly help with the footfall into the high street, moving forward.There is a huge opportunity and good retailers will continue to do well. LEGO is in a very good position to capitalise on these. *https://www.totallicensing.com/retailand-e-commerce-the-impact-of-covid19-in-the-uk/
SCHOLASTIC SIGN SPY NINJAS
Spy Ninjas, the YouTube “story-driven media franchise,” has signed a publishing deal with Scholastic for the U.S. and Canada. Surge Licensing, the exclusive licensing agent appointed to grow the Spy Ninjas brand, concluded the three-year agreement. In each episode of the YouTube serial drama—which attracts more than 400 million monthly views and has over 38 million subscribers—Chad Wild Clay, Vy Qwaint, and their Spy Ninjas team, set out to save the world from the evil hacking group, Project Zorgo, through detective work and martial arts. Every episode attracts an outstanding 1M+ views within the first hour of going live, and the series boasts remarkable engagement and linear TV broadcast habits not seen anywhere else online. Scholastic will be launching the Spy Ninjas publishing program with an official guidebook for the brand, followed by a number of graphic novels and activity books. Each book is interwoven with the storytelling on YouTube and fans will be able to decode messages, solve clues and find hints to help the Spy Ninjas team complete their missions. The first books are anticipated to start rolling out in fall 2021 ahead of the holiday gift-giving season. “Scholastic is the largest publisher and distributor of children’s books in the world, helping young readers to explore their imaginations and become lifelong lovers of books, and we couldn’t be more excited that they are our North American partner for the brand,” commented Surge’s VP, Elan Freedman. “The publishing line will provide myriad ways for the series’ huge fanbase to further connect with Chad and Vy and their Spy Ninjas team as they demonstrate loyalty, discipline, respect and courage on their mission to save the world!” The publishing agreement comes on the heels of the launch of the Roblox game, Spy Ninjas vs. Project Zorgo Hackers in Roblox, an organic extension of the Spy Ninjas world, which launched on July 3rd. The game launched to over 40,000 concurrent players and over 1 million game plays on its first day. The game launch was supported by the Spy Ninjas YouTube channels, including their gaming-focused channel that routinely airs #1 trending gaming videos on the YouTube platform. Through YouTube, Chad and Vy prompt gamers to join them on Roblox to help them solve riddles, spot clues, do detective work, as well as battle Project Zorgo. Playmates Toys launched the master toy program at Walmart.com, Target.com and Amazon.com. Brick and mortar retailers are starting to sell the line this year, with Target already carrying the line. The first wave of the toy rollout features spy gadgets that include secret electronic spy ninja gear, decoders, ninja weapons, a new Project Zorgo™ mask and spy activity kits from the series. Event Merchandising launched the official Spy Ninjas eCommerce global store in December, Spyninjasstore.com.
Outfit7 and its North American global licensing partner, Epic Story Media, have announced new deals for the award-winning family entertainment brand, Talking Tom & Friends. Fans can look forward to a new branded Talking Tom interactive product, as well as a range of consumer products at retailers across the U.S. Epic and Outfit7 are also developing a brand-new 3D CGI animated series for global distribution. The Talking Tom Heroes: Suddenly Super series is a new iteration of Outfit7’s successful Talking Tom Heroes brand. The series will see the popular characters transform into superheroes who must unlock their superpower potential to save the day – all while keeping their day jobs! “Talking Tom Heroes: Suddenly Super is an exciting new development for Outfit7’s groundbreaking entertainment brand, which already has 79 billion global views of its video content,” said Ken Faier, El Presidente and Founder of Epic Story Media. “We’re thrilled to be working with Outfit7 and take a brand with such incredible global reach to new heights.” The series is just one of three deals set to deliver more Talking Tom & Friends to its fans worldwide. Epic Story Media and Outfit7 have partnered with Lukis Global Corp, a multi-industry conglomerate and private label manufacturer, to launch a range of new Talking Tom & Friends products at U.S. retailers in the food, apparel, jewellery, and health & beauty categories. This fall will see the launch of the GameBud Talking Tom. The Talking Tom GameBud, which will be released for presale in Q4 this year, is the first product to launch from direct-to-fan premium play company, HUGE! Play. Kevin Mowrer and Adrian Roche, Co-CEOs of HUGE! Play, said: “We’re incredibly excited to introduce the world to GameBud, an innovative 3D interactive character that will liveconnect to your favorite Talking Tom games, while also acting as your very own in-home streamer!”
The digital edition of Total Licensing will be at Licensing Expo Virtual and the print edition will be at MIPCOM/MIP Junior and Milano Licensing Day. 24
TOTAL LICENSING Robert Marick, Executive Vice President Global Consumer Products & Experiences, MGM, gave Total Licensing an insight on the exciting plans the studio has for the next year and beyond...
The Lion’s Roar! Can you outline what you will be focusing on around the time of Licensing Expo Virtual? Over the past year, MGM has expanded its catalogue program and in particular the horror genre with initiatives around classic titles such as Killer Clowns. As we move into Licensing Expo Virtual, we will double-down into this very popular genre with the introduction of our “Midnite Movies” lineup. It’s a huge versatile collection of monsters, villains, themes and symbols that audiences have grown to love. We will be reviving the history of vintage MGM horror movies to a new generation of fans. If that wasn’t enough to scare you, we will be taking a similar genre approach and introducing a Sci-Fi catalogue program. This initiative, will bring together MGM’s most iconic sci-fi franchises under one licensing umbrella. From RoboCop, to Stargate, Species, War Games and more, this multidimensional genre will surely ignite fans interest from across the globe. Leading with the sci-fi fan favourite, RoboCop, we will be celebrating its 35th anniversary next year with a year-long celebration. We will use this opportunity to update the style guides and assets across both RoboCop and Stargate and will be looking for licensees to help create compelling products, programs and initiatives throughout 2022 and beyond. Last time we spoke, there were big plans for Addams Family 2, Legally Blonde and Rocky – can you tell us any updates or recent news for these properties? We are so fortunate to have such a broad roster of compelling properties to license. We have something for everyone in the family. Addams Family 2 will release in theatres on October 1st. We will be supporting the release with a licensing program that has significantly expanded from the previous theatrical release. We’ve added five new licensed categories including Console Games,
Fashion Collaborations, Home, Beauty and Subscription. These product manufacturers add to an already impressive roster of over 30 Addams Family licensees. Get ready as Legally Blonde turns 21 next year. We are kicking off this yearlong celebration with new products and programs that speak to the brands DNA of empowerment, education, pink and humor. Partners across various categories have already signed on. However, I am most excited about the recent announcement that we will be launching the first-ever Legally Blonde mobile game early next year.The game will combine puzzle and choice-based narrative mechanics with the empowering themes and positive messages of the Legally Blonde franchise Rocky turns 45 later this year, and is still “packing a punch” and with eight films in the franchise there is a lot to celebrate. MGM recently announced that Rocky IV will be limited theatrical release in November with a new directors cut that will include never-before released scenes. In addition, a new documentary about the making of the film will release at the same time. During the last year, families have often turned to classic franchises and movies for comfort – MGM has a huge catalogue of classics! How much has this propelled the licensing programs for your top properties? The pandemic had a significant impact on classic brands and movie licensing. During this past year, we heard from many licensees and retailers that during the early days of the pandemic, consumers were looking for a comfort outlet such as a favorite food, song or movie to stay positive. Fortunately, many MGM movies filled that niche including Rocky, Pink Panther, Legally Blonde and more. Classic brands felt new again. We used this renewed demand for our classic properties to stay relevant with new product ideas and ways to interact with our customer. As a result, MGM has been fortunate to come through in good form. But we could not have done it without the
support of our licensees and retailers. Thank YOU! Focusing on the Addams family – can you tell us more about the release, and the Wednesday spinoff? Past consumer research indicated how popular the Wednesday character was in the film and that popularity translated into merchandising sales for the last film. So, when MGM announced that they signed a deal with Netflix to create a Wednesday Addams series, we were very excited.
Our excitement only grew when it was announced that Tim Burton will be directing this live action adaptation. In addition, MGM announced that they found their Wednesday with the selection of Jenna Ortega to play the lead. All of this translates to an incredible consumer products program opportunity. We are in the process of developing our plans now and hope to start discussing our licensing plans with our current Addams Family licensees shortly. Anything else you’d like to add? It’s great time to be working with MGM Consumer Products. We have an incredible slate of new and classic properties that transcend demographics, regions and audiences. From the upcoming Creed 3 theatrical release, to the new Vikings: Valhalla series, the new MGM Trademark program or the evergreen Pink Panther licensing program, there is so much opportunity and excitement with MGM properties.
ZAG SIGNS FLIK FLAK ZAG has signed an exclusive global license (excluding China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) with Switzerland-based Swatch subsidiary Flik Flak for a range of Zag Heroez Miraculous branded watches to debut at retail in July in over 100 countries across five continents, with the U.S. launch on July 15. The announcement was made by Julian ZAG, Executive Vice President, Global Operations, ZAG. Swatch’s Flik Flak watches are the world’s most popular children’s timekeeper -- the first child’s watch to translate the concept of telling the time into accessible fun and entertainment. From July 2021, fans of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir can have their own “magic jewel” in the form of a Flik Flak watch-durable enough to stand up to any powers of destruction they may run into when the play gets tough. Developed in close collaboration with teachers, each timepiece seamlessly combines education with appealing looks. Available at Swatch stores, select retailers and online, Swatch’s Flik Flak watches have broad appeal for both boys and girls, matching the 60/40 girl/boy audience viewership for the series and specials. “Swatch’s Flik Flak has been helping children all over the world to tell the time for more than 30 years, and we are delighted that Miraculous branded watches will now be available to our millions of fans around the world,” commented Julian Zag. “Miraculous has become a global phenomenon, with the series scoring #1 ratings around the world, and over 200M products have been sold during the past four years. With our $100M+ movie Ladybug & Cat Noir: Awakening premiering later this year supported by a global QSR promotion, and the Miraculous toy line from Zag Labs and Playmates toys available at brick and mortar stores across the U.S. this fall, the future continues to look Miraculous!” “We are thrilled to be part of the Miraculous world!” commented Flik and Flak. “As they always say: “together, we’re stronger!” They are convinced that the 2 Miraculous themed watches will help any superhero wannabe around the world be on time and not miss any adventures of Ladybug and Cat Noir. Swatch’s Flik Flak joins Italian candy manufacturer Ferrero, and French company Epopia - whose unique epistolary letter format encourages children to read and write through interactive storytelling - as global Miraculous brand partners. Miraculous currently has more than 300 licensees across the globe across all major categories. During 2020, Miraculous grew its digital reach by 178%. Miraculous attracts over 19.6 million subscribers across its nine official YouTube channels, currently available in eight languages. With a total 25 billion views, fans have collectively viewed more than 1.7B hours of content. Miraculous is available on TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr—whose 12 official accounts feature dedicated accounts for the series’ main characters--boasting 6.6 million followers in total.
The digital edition of Total Licensing will be at Licensing Expo Virtual and the print edition will be at MIPCOM, MIP Junior and Milano Licensing Day. 28
WOWWEE NAMED MASTER TOY FOR ARPO WowWee has announced a master toy agreement with Moonbug Entertainment to produce toys based on the upcoming ARPO Robot Babysitter series. WowWee’s 30+ years as a leading developer of consumer robotics and retail success in the licensed preschool aisle made for a natural fit with Moonbug’s content plans for the hit animated comedy show. Following the series launch on Amazon Kids+ this Fall, the new ARPO Robot Babysitter feature plush toys will be available at Amazon in the US just in time for the 2021 holiday shopping season. Additional North American and international retailers will carry the extended line in 2022, which will include robotics, STEM and early learning toys, as well as other figural items based on characters from the series. WowWee has innovative tech applications planned to bring the ARPO Robot Babysitter line to life for young fans of the show. “The new ARPO series is sure to be a hit with families – and this new toy line will bring those new adventures to life for all the fans,” said Simon Philips, Senior In-House Advisor, Global Consumer Products at Moonbug Entertainment. “ARPO is a very special show that makes children all over the world laugh and we couldn’t be more excited to work with WowWee, a leader in the toy industry, to find new ways for kids to connect with the characters they love.” ARPO, which stands for Army Robot Prototype Omega, uses slapstick humor aimed at children aged 3-7 years old. Its non-dialogue format entertains kids who speak all languages. The original production coming to Amazon Kids+ takes kids on a series of adventures as ARPO faces new challenges, between caring for Danny’s adopted Korean baby sister Cookie and adjusting to a team of new robots built by Mom. On YouTube alone, ARPO has more than 5 million subscribers, 110 million views per month, and 1.9 billion lifetime views.
An Action-Packed year for Boat Rocker’s Dino Ranch It’s been a packed 2021 so far for global entertainment company Boat Rocker and its success shows no signs of slowing down. The year got off to a great start with the launch of highly anticipated new preschool animated series Dino Ranch on Disney Junior in the US in January. Dino-charging right out of the gate, it quickly claimed the #1 cable series position for Kids 2-5 and has since stomped its way onto Disney+, where it launched in the UK and Australia in April followed by the US in June, with episodes continuing to drop in batches into early 2022. Other international markets are now getting ready to hatch, including Disney Junior Latam in Sept and a host of European partners: from Q3 21 the series will be available on Gulli plus TiJi and Gulli Africa (France), Cartoonito (Italy), Hop (Israel), SVT (Sweden), NRK (Norway), DR (Denmark) and YLE (Finland), with SUPER RTL/TOGGO Plus (Germany), TVP (Poland) and HRT (Croatia) following from Q1 22. With Boat Rocker’s ongoing investment in content, Series two has been greenlit and is now in production, due to premiere on Disney Junior and Disney+ US and Latin America in 2022. On the licensing front, Dino Ranch has
already lassoed an impressive herd of deals, Jazwares recently revealed their highly anticipated master toy line, set to be this season’s roarsome must-have! Backed by a fully integrated marketing campaign
across all major platforms, it goes on sale in the U.S. this Fall with all key retailers. Comprising of assorted figures, vehicle packs, playsets and huggable plush, the range will transform playtime by offering pre-schoolers an opportunity to build out their dino world with their own imaginative adventures. Partners have saddled up across multiple categories, including English language publisher Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and print and digital educational materials, who will release their first two titles in early 2022. In the U.S., our pre-school rancheroos can soon look the part with daywear, swimwear and outerwear from The Bentex Group, while Komar will be producing a range of sleepwear for kids to ride off to bed in. Oasis have signed to create walking costume characters in the U.S.; and Spirit Halloween are gearing up for a spooktacular range of kid’s and pet’s dress up costumes and accessories for Halloween 2022. Franco Mfg, are on board for a
range of bedding, bedding accessories, bath and beach. Whilst Accutime are launching Dino Ranch watches, smart watches, clocks and cameras. Elsewhere GBG (Global Brands Group) are on board for nightwear & daywear in the UK & Eire. Ravensburger for puzzles & games in the UK & Eire, France, Iberia, Italy, GAS, CEE and the Nordics; Character World for bedding, curtains, cushions and bean cubes and bags, in the UK & Eire; and Immediate Magazine for a standalone magazine in the UK & Eire. With licensing agents currently being appointed across key international territories, further announcements are expected in due course. Boat Rocker continues to invest in additional content to support growth of the hugely successful Dino Ranch YouTube channel. As well as a suite of 2D shorts featuring the popular baby dinos, the Dino-Mites, additional ancil-
lary content – including some roarsome songs – will launch this summer. The Dino Ranch YouTube channel, continues to grow from strength to strength and is smashing all KPIs. The Dino Ranch franchise is further supported with additional investment in dedicated consumer PR support, influencer campaigns and paid media. 2022 is looking set to be of Titanosaur proportions for Boat Rocker.
Success Keeps Rolling for Beyblade Since 1999, the Beyblade brand has captivated global audiences as an innovative, manga, anime, and toybased property that marries competitive gameplay with extraordinarily rich content. Twenty years ago, in 2001, the Beyblade animation launched and took international markets by storm. The brand has continued to grow through numerous iterations that have solidified its global relevance. Now, ADK Emotions NY Inc., is investing in brandnew narrative content, creative toy concepts, retail activations, and innovative social media strategies, to mark the animation’s 20th anniversary milestone. The future has never looked brighter for Beyblade. The first priority for Beyblade is to continue its substantial momentum, across all platforms, throughout 2021. On the content front, 2020’s successful launch of Beyblade Burst Rise has been followed up by the debut of Beyblade Burst Surge on Disney XD in February. The animated story arc, featuring a group of Bladers as they battle
their way to the top of the blading world, now enjoys significant global coverage. To cater to those fans that hunger to dig deeper and explore every imaginable angle of Beyblade Burst, ADK Emotions NY developed Beysically Science. The original YouTube mini-series takes a kid-friendly approach to investigating the intriguing physics and other dynamic scientific processes behind Beyblade’s iconic gameplay. The mini-series debuted in late 2020 and has continued to drop new monthly eps to the delight of a growing audience. Fans across the globe will also soon be able to enjoy Beysically Science with localized versions coming later in the year. To augment this diverse array of the latest content, classic episodes of the Beyblade Burst series are available on the brand’s global YouTube channel. The propulsive content flow, with numerous global touchpoints, provides the essential narrative foundation for the Beyblade universe. Of course, the strength of the IP
is Beyblade toys and ADK Emotions NY’s long-time Master Toy partnership with Hasbro. The legendary toy program, marked by indelible creativity and innovation, continues this year with the much-anticipated introduction of the Hasbro Beyblade BURST Surge Speedstorm Motor Strike Battle Set hitting retail this summer. The new set includes everything you might need for battle including the Speedstorm Motor Strike Beystadium, two right/leftspin launchers, and two spinning tops. This set features a battery-powered spinning energy zone at the center of the battle arena that is designed to redirect the battle and give tops the ultimate energy boost! To complement the exciting new toy line, this year’s 20th anniversary with digital initiatives to keep the fans excited Along with new and exciting merchandise from licensing partners including Scholastic (publishing), BioWorld, Bensons, Intimo, NTD, and EPIC. Another area of focus this year is Beyblade’s growing influence in the digital sphere. Since its launch in 2016, Hasbro’s Beyblade Burst App has hosted more than one billion battles; an astronomical number that clearly reveals the depth of engagement and enthusiasm shared by Beyblade fans the world over. To further tap into this boundless affinity, ADK Emotions NY is currently curating a roster of top online influencers including for upcoming collaborations. As plans to mark the 20th anniversary continue to unfold throughout 2021, ADK Emotions NY is more dedicated than ever to continuing to entertain, engage and nurture its growing fanbase into Beyblade’s third decade and beyond.
TOTAL LICENSING its belt as well as submitting its first worldwide patent on the R.E.S.T. holding system to further stylise Cableguys with functionality and grow the storytelling power of fan favourite characters. With a growing team all filled with passion for the licensed brands, EXG also hit a 2021 milestone of $100 million total global retail sales and will continue to move forward enthusiastically to ensure customers get their hands on the best possible products.
Total Licensing talked to Alan Fenwick, CEO and Ben Beattie, Creative Director to find out more about fast-growing licensee Exquisite Gaming.
Who are EXG? Exquisite Gaming Limited believes in creating Products with a Purpose. Based in London, we are passionate gaming and entertainment specialists, enthusiastically committed to delivering unique, authentic and collectable products, intended to surprise and delight fans all over the world.
the EXG licensing portfolio to include some of the worlds’ best entertainment brands. EXG’s current licenses serve passionate communities of retro gaming fans, hardcore gamers, pop culture and movie fan geeks, including to name a few, the likes of Disney, Marvel, Sega and Activision.
What products and licenses are at the core of EXG? Whether holding a gaming controller for charging or acting as a place to rest your mobile phone, the Cableguy is at the core of EXG adding value to collectibles through giving them a purpose. Made by a team of gaming, movie and comic fans, EXG’s Cableguys are created with those passions at the forefront and delivered as high quality, fun, functional collectibles to fans. Although the original Cableguy solution was primarily for the gaming community as a controller holder, fans sharing content of their extra everyday uses catapulted a rush to expand
For a young company, what have been EXG’s highlights?
What can we expect in the future from EXG? EXG is not just about Cableguys and enhancing EXG’s offering is a constant, evolving process. NADA eSports, Metamerch and Geekables complete EXG’s portfolio of brands complimenting Cableguys with other must have accessories built on fan favourites whilst there are further brand new, exciting product categories in development for these brands. The future of EXG is very bright and
EXG has come a long way and grown exponentially over the last four years with the appreciated support of retailers, licensors and fans from the original “Eureka moment” that brought the idea of a Cableguy to life, secured first licensing rights and got first orders to shelves in Europe, U.S. and Australia. 2020 saw EXG both doubling the portfolio of licensed brands under
busy with the endless ideas circulating on what to do with our current licenses as well as some incredibly exciting new licenses being added to the roster. The fan-inspired, engaged ecosystem driven by the cultural impact of social media and the changes in content consumption will continue to push EXG in developing fun collectibles and sharing those passions with fans.
Just call me Olive! King Features Syndicate has unveiled a new look and feel for one of animation’s most iconic characters, Olive Oyl. Due to her portrayal on screen over the years, Olive is often perceived as a damsel in distress, caught in an ever-present love triangle. But in reality, Olive Oyl was delivering laughs to readers 10 years before Popeye ever entered the picture and she is a much more complex and inspirational character than
most people realize. After decades of living in Popeye’s shadow, it’s time for the world to meet the true Olive, a woman who is dynamic, relatable and real. Created in 1919, Olive was groundbreaking for the era as one of the first, globally recognized female cartoon character who did not conform to traditional female stereotypes. Tough and independent, Olive never required support from a partner, providing for herself first as an entertainer and later through other careers. And while she had many interested suitors over the years, she chose never to marry or start a family. Her attributes make her timeless and as relevant today as she was 100 years ago. Olive Oyl is not a superstar or someone who per-
forms spectacular feats. Olive is just Olive, and proud of it. She genuinely loves herself. From her physical appearance to her personality quirks, Olive embraces those things that make her unusual — and that’s what makes her beautiful. She is a huge romantic who is proud to be a lady but doesn’t feel bound to act lady-like. A smart and empowered woman with high standards, she is also lighthearted and adaptable with a wry sense of humor. She shows that a woman can be many things — powerful, driven, vulnerable and sensitive — and that emotions are meant to be felt and expressed. Her confidence radiates and inspires others of all ages, genders and backgrounds to celebrate their unique selves. As part of her rebrand, King Features has launched a set of new Olive Oyl trend guides that target fashionable fans. Olive embodies a lifestyle filled with humor and love, so the new creative highlights her dynamic personality. Her appearance has been refreshed through the incorporation of modern twists on retro fashion but the physical details that make her appearance unique remain. Flexibility is also a key identifier for Olive, so several poses that showcase her physical elasticity are included. The character art is paired with entertaining yet insightful editorial, telling humorous stories on product that consumers can connect with. “Timing couldn’t be more appropriate to reintroduce audiences to Olive Oyl,” said Carla Silva, VP and GM, Global Head of Licensing at King Features. “For too long this strong, confident and fearlessly female character has been viewed through a singular lens. With this rebrand we are not just introducing Olive to younger consumers for the first-time, we are also presenting more established fans with sides of her personality that they have likely never known before. Olive is not just a character, she represents an attitude and a lifestyle that appeal to a wide audience, one not limited by age, geography, gender or background.
Olive is just Olive, and we’re ready to watch her take the world by storm.” Over the decades, Olive Oyl has a long, successful history in consumer products. Style makers around the world have been inspired by Olive’s immovable confidence and glamourous self-perception, particularly those in the high-fashion space. For over 20 years she has served as Moschino’s muse appearing in collections each year across product categories, most notably their CHEAPANDCHIC fragrance which is in its 7th iteration since launch in 1995. Other recent fashion collaborations of note include Iceberg, Joyrich, Monnalisa, Liu-Jo, Original Marines, and United Colors of Benetton, DTRs with GAP, C&A and Zara and a 2021 Valentine’s Day retail program with C&A in Mexico. Beginning in Spring 2022, fans will see Olive’s new style represented across a range of collaborations, with King Features seeking new partnerships for the character in categories including apparel, accessories, health & beauty, jewelry, handbags, wellness and more.
BARBIE MEETS BARBIE IN NEW MOVIE With 36 television specials, and countless episodic and YouTube series behind her, we’ve seen Barbie evolve from a fashion doll to a cultural icon and, in recent years, emerge as a relatable character and role model, sharing her own story and unique, perspective with the world. Whether traveling to exotic islands in Barbie in Rock ‘N Royals or to the Swiss Alps in Barbie
& Her Sisters in a Pony Tale, Barbie is always off on a new adventure of discovery. And now, she’s headed for the bright lights of Broadway. Following the success of this spring’s, Barbie & Chelsea The Lost Birthday and last year’s musical Barbie Princess Adventure, Mattel has announced the latest chapter of the Barbie content story… Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams. The movie will be in cinemas in the UK and Ireland from Friday 20th August. This new musical adventure follows Barbie as she says goodbye to the familiar beaches of Malibu and says hello to the hustle and bustle on New York City’s Times Square. She’s enrolled in a highly competitive summer program at the Handler School for Performing Arts and, upon arrival, meets a fellow student named… Barbie. The two become fast friends and quickly adopt nicknames inspired by their beloved hometowns, Malibu and Brooklyn. Barbie ‘Brooklyn’ Roberts is classically trained, while Barbie ‘Malibu’ Roberts
is self-taught, highlighting that there is more than one way to succeed, as long as you bring your best and share it with the world. The story of “Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams” is one of perseverance, mastery of a craft, and multiple paths to success, a story Mattel felt important to tell as they continue their core purpose of inspiring the limitless potential in every child through all their content. A 360-marketing programme will support the launch of this all-new musical movie.
CHUPA CHUPS Perfetti Van Melle group and Casio have teamed up to develop a capsule collection - a range of wrist watches designed by the Spanish fashion artist Maya Hansen for the Chinese market. Maya Hansen has created three different pieces of the classic BA-130 Baby-G model, combining soft colors (pink, white and light blue) with her own characteristic design elements, dots and ribbons, and the most popular icons of Chupa Chups, the logo and the lollipop shape.
INTERVIEW WITH PILAR FERNANDEZ-VEGA FROM EL OCHO LICENCIAS Y PROMOCIONES El Ocho Licencias y Promociones is a successful name in the licensing industry and the leading licensing agency in Iberia. To find out more Total Licensing talked to Pilar Fernandez-Vega, Marketing and Promotions director, about their wide range of brands and new additions to their catalogue.
programs and marketing strategies that support consumer products. El Ocho’s portfolio is very wide, we cover everything from preschool, entertainment, kidult, fashion, sport, celebrities, lifestyle, and classic brands. We chose brands we believe in. We look for brands with potential and that add value to the consumer. We help brands fulfill their potential and create programs to transform them into evergreen brands.
Which are the new brands in El Ocho’s Catalogue? 2020 has been a challenging year for the licensing industry and the world in general. However, we have able to grow due to our ability to look for new opportunities. In 2021, we have included
Tell us about El Ocho Licencias y Promociones. EL Ocho Licencias y Promociones is a major player in the Iberian Peninsula. We have over 20 years of experience and have created some of the most successful licensing programs in Spain and Portugal.We offer a wide range of services to the owners and work closely with licensees, retailers, TV broadcasters and other partners to create unique licensing
TOTAL LICENSING anything that Mila’s playful mind can imagine. Mila loves and takes care of Morphle. Morphle accumulates 360 million views per month on average and 18 million subscribers across all channels. Morphle is available on Apple TV, Kidoodle, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Roku, among other. El Ocho is preparing the licensing program for 2022 after Character Option launches the toys as Master Toy.
several new brands focusing on new trends and digital successes. El Ocho has included CoComelon, Blippi and My magic pet Morphle, Masha and the Bear, Brave Bunnies and Kid-e-Cats to our catalogue in 2021. CoComelon the #1 YouTube channel for kids in the world with over 103 billion total views and 113 million subscribers! The animated series has over 400 videos and 25 hours of content on digital platforms like YouTube and Netflix. Created by Moonbug, the brands’ primary goal is to engage families with entertaining and educational content that makes relatable preschool moments fun. El Ocho has created a strong licensing program in just a few months with Bandai as the Master Toy in Spain, and the following licensees developing consumer products: Cefa Toys (puzzles cubes and coloring sheets), Educa (puzzles, educational toys, and toy house), Leya (activity books), Penguin Random House (story books), Safta (back to school), Stor (homeware) and Atta cars (electric vehicles). Blippi helps children understand the world and encourages vocabulary development. With over 24 million subscribers on Youtube and over 13 billion views, Blippi is a total success. Available on YouTube, Netflix and prime video with more than 90 episodes and 30 hours of content. Jazwares is Blippi’s global Master Toy and Toy Partner is the toy distributor in Iberia. El Ocho is building the licensing program for a launch in 2022. My Magic Pet Morphle is an energetic little red creature who can morph into anything: a sweet puppy, a giant truck, a cool dinosaur, or
Masha and the Bear is the adventures of a little girl Masha and her friend, The Bear. The series created by Animacord became a hit for families around the globe, due to its smart ability to entertain and educate both children and adults on such timeless life values as real friendship, care, support, and freedom of creativity. Masha is a proven YouTube phenomenon with 83 billion views, 128 million subscribers. Masha is among the top favorite kids’ entertainment brands by gender and age group in EMEA and in Portugal has been the #1 series in Canal Panda since
2015. Simba is the Master Toy with a wide range of products from dolls, stuffed animals, figures, playsets and much more. In addition, the brand has other great partners including Penguin Random House (publishing), Grupo Anaya (publishing), Lemon (Live shows), Madhouse (Meet & Greets), Pez (Candy), Crocs (shoes), Havaianas (flipflops), Energizer (flashlight), Funiglobal (costumes), Angel Europa (stationery and mandalas) and Ataa cars (electric vehicles). Brave Bunnies is an inspiring story of two curious and adventurous bunny siblings, who proactively create joy and excitement in their life. The series created by Glowberry, and Anima Kitchen was recently launched on the UK’s Channel 5 and on Italy’s Rai Yoyo with great results. The series will be broadcast by Clan TVE in Q4 2021. El Ocho is preparing a licensing
What other brands do you continue representing and are strong in your catalogue?
program for Iberia following the launch of the Master Toy, Spin Master, in Spain. The agency is looking to creating partnerships with the best licensees across different categories such as toys, publishing, outdoor, educational. gifts, apparel and many more. Kid-e-Cats follows the story of three cute kittens who live in a small town. The show is currently on air in over 150 countries, with 3 seasons of 52 episodes each. The series is aired by Clan TVE in Spain and available on Netflix, Youtube and HBO. The global Master Toy is Toy Plus, and the toy range will be distributed by Bizak starting in July 2021. The toy launch will be accompanied by licensed products such as educational toys by Ravensburger and Clementoni, Panini books and Chocolate eggs.
We continue to represent top brands like Asterix, Bing, Dragon Ball Molang, Mafalda, MasterChef, Momonsters, Simon. For Momonsters Bandai is the Master Toy and El Ocho has signed over 10 licensing agreements with important partners like: Panini (books, magazine, and sticker albums), Toimsa (bicycles), Colorbaby (summer toys), CYP (back to school & arts and craft), Reig Musicales (Musical Toys), Anaya (curricular books), General de Juguetes (summer toys) and Adalberto (bedding). The series is on air in Spain on Clan TVE and soon will launch in RTP Portugal and via HBO Max in LATAM, among other territories. With Dragon Ball El Ocho has signed deals with important apparel retailers such as Bershka, Sprinter and Zara. Pull & Bear will be launching a new collection this summer 2021. This brand continues to grow each year in terms of sales, and we expect to have several marketing activations with retailers in Spain and Portugal. 2021 has been the year of Mafalda. Brands like Zara, Zara Kids, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius, Cortefiel, Springfield, Women Secret, El Corte Ingles, Carrefour, Alcampo have all launched Mafalda licensed products. More apparel collections and other product categories will launch in late 2021. After eight years on TV (RTVE), MasterChef keeps growing. El Ocho is signing new deals such as a new Master Chef Family game with Diset and toy kitchen by Educa. Other products launching soon are home accessories and textiles by SG hogar, new and refreshed kitchen utensils by Pasapair, personalized aprons by Saquito Mágico and kitchen magic ovetto by Tavola. For further info firstname.lastname@example.org https://el-ocho.com/en/
The audio-player is delighting millions of children and has serious licensing potential...
The tonies “Does everything have to flash and flicker these days?” That was the question Patric Fassbender – Inventor and founder of tonies asked and used to create the Toniebox. There are now over 10 million Tonieboxes in bedrooms and homes around the world, and the audio system is compatible with over 60 characters released to date. The idea behind the Tonies was simple – Patric Fassbender and Marcus Stahl, creators, wanted to evolve a simple, fun system that became part of the ethos of play and storytelling. They comment: “The term ‘audio player’ contains the word ‘play’ – but where’s the playful element in the established system? With all the recent developments in digital technology, there surely must be something we can do better. So we thought: let’s just invent it ourselves! “We came up with the idea for the Tonies and the Toniebox, and we founded our company Boxine GmbH to make sure it wouldn’t just stop at being a good idea and would instead become a fantastic reality. We’re both fathers, each with two children – in fact, we got to know each other through our children, who were at the same nursery. Simply meant to be! “It simply puts a twinkle in our children’s eyes.” One step further, the Creative-Tonies mean that children can upload existing audio files via the Toniecloud at my.tonies.com or use the Tonie-App to record their very own stories, songs or messages. The simple and creative idea of the Toniebox means it is a perfect fit for
intellectual property, and numerous deals have already been signed. The tonies ‘The Famous Five: A Short Story Collection’ Tonie character figurine recently launched, bringing the nostalgic classic stories of the Famous Five by Enid Blyton back to life to ignite discovery and a passion for outdoor adventure in children. tonies also announced the launch of its new Peter & The Wolf / Carnival of the Animals Tonie. Narrated by the legendary David Bowie and recorded in 1978, this classical music Tonie will take children on a musical adventure. Introducing children to one of the greatest creations of humankind, classical music, the new Peter & The Wolf / Carnival of the Animals Tonie plays a beautiful symphonic fairy tale. Pop icon, David Bowie, tells the children’s story of Peter and the Wolf while the Philadelphia Orchestra brings it to life. A combination of music and storytelling on this double bill, that also includes Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals, will delight children and parents alike. Popular new CBeebies and iPlayer show ‘Monty & Co’ will see a Monty tonie added to the line-up of preschool audio characters with a launch in the Summer of 2022. After the successful debut and consistent audience numbers of season one late last year (both in the linear space and on iPlayer, where Monty has already hit 1 million plays) new episodes are planned for production towards the back end of 2021.
Liz Peters, portfolio manager at tonies is confident that Monty will make a popular figurine within its collection. Liz commented: “We are very excited to add Monty Tonie to our portfolio for 2022. He’s going to make a very popular figurine that little ones will love to pop on their Toniebox! We are looking forward to working closely with the show’s producers to create bespoke audio content for the Tonie, incorporating all that humour, fun and silliness, as well the action and songs that fans enjoy and expect from Monty & Co.” Helping children Helping to bring play to children undergoing serious medical treatment across the UK, tonies has gifted 500 tonies and heavily discounted Toniebox storytelling audio devices to children’s charity, Starlight. Pinky Laing, UK Partnerships at tonies comments: “Our audio storytelling devices help to engage young minds, and we feel fortunate that we can help support and inspire children who are going through a tough time with our tonies interactive audio system.”
Jelena Stosic, Kids Industries
Licensing to Teens Key trends observed so far in 2021
Licensing to teens means: Embracing the power of communities I read something last year which made me reflect on teens’ audiences and their pandemic experience. Danah Boyd, a researcher at Microsoft, penned an article saying that “teens are addicted to socialising, not screens”. And whilst a part of me wants to say that we all are in need of a social fix, as someone working with the kids and family audience, I do recognise that this is particularly true for teens. Developmentally, teen years are the time when we are meant to rely more heavily on our peers, explore questions of identity and connection, and develop independence from our families. As product designers and marketers, we then ought to embrace the ways in which this fundamental developmental need comes to life and do away with the narratives of the “passive generation”, or the teen generation that doesn’t know how to socialise due to spending all of their time online. Notwithstanding the importance of a
balanced lifestyle, research shows that screen interactions are a far cry away from being an anti-social exercise. In fact, 84% of US teens say that they are ‘sometimes or often’ connecting with other people when they are using their phone. Online communities are not perfect but they have brought connection and kinship to many and this is why they are essential to the youth audiences. As such, Fortnite launched Party Royale to support the players’ socialising, GTA has its infamous casino with little in-game purpose but hanging out and “Just Chatting” is the most popular category on Twitch. Within licensing, we ought to honour and – where the strategy is right – use these communities, but there is also a bigger trend happening – merging community and shopping. The platform we’re most familiar with this is of course, Depop: a peer-to-peer social shopping app. But we also should be paying attention to the up and coming, to the projects which are currently a bit more ‘experiment like’ but have huge potential. One such initiative is Nike’s NbG (Nothing but gold), a platform designed specifically for Gen Z women. Still in private beta currently, it is expected to be merging ‘sport, style and self-care’, giving young women more say in what they buy, and acting as a social channel. I’ve shared a couple of creative visuals below from the graphic designer that is working on the project - as they do offer a sense of what the NbG brand will be like: strong and empowering. Nike is already hugely popular with teens (No 1 apparel and footwear brand in
the US for this group), and their innovations keep them both fresh and relevant. Another category of more community-led shopping platforms to watch is the type that embraces audience creativity and offers them a way to leverage and monetise it. For years, young fans have been creating art, merchandise interpretations, ezines and more, and selling this on Redbubble or Etsy. More recently, platforms like Metafactory are championing digitally-owned, decentralised brands which offer consumers a stake
in community-owned brands. At this stage, some of these innovations may feel extreme to many: do teens even know how to invest in brands and designs using crypto-currency? But we need to look beyond that. Firstly – what they don’t know, they can learn. Currently #cryptocurrency has over 1.4 billion views on TikTok, but more importantly, the specific means of participating in brand ownership, in designs, in decision-making, is only a matter of which tool offers the most at a given moment in time, and which brands manage to use it the best. The underlying shift of young audiences participating and investing in brands they love, as well as of trends and creativity coming from more peerto-peer dynamics (as opposed to top down only) is the north star we need to follow here.
Pokémon’s 25th Anniversary Pokémon continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary in style with a dynamic and ambitious program of activity across the rest of the year. The iconic evergreen brand, first launched in Japan in 1996 with two Game Boy™ titles, is now one of the world’s most popular and successful entertainment properties with an enormous, loyal and multigenerational global fanbase. Encompassing video games, mobile apps, a Trading Card Game, animation and movies, competitive events and licensed products, Pokémon continues to have a major impact on popular culture.
ing out across Europe starting with Germany, France and the UK with more countries set to follow. In Italy after a successful partnership with Estathé Ferrero in 2020, a new special 25th anniversary character selection of the iced tea drink is due to launch later this year.
Later in 2021 fans can enjoy Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl, faithful revitalisations of two iconic Pokémon games from 2006 reimagined with enhanced features. Pokémon continues to collaborate with some of the world’s best-known brands on innovative partnerships and has partnered this year with Levi’s®, Casio G-Shock and Zara Kids; while Jazwares, Mattel, Scholastic, Funko, PowerA and The Wand Company have launched exclusive anniversary merchandise.
Teaming up with other iconic brands and global superstars, Pokémon is helping fans celebrate the anniversary with unique promotions, merchandise and activations, including P25 Music, a year-long celebration of Pokémon through the power of music in partnership with Universal Music Group. Pokémon’s first strategic team battle game, Pokémon UNITE, was released in July on Nintendo Switch systems and is scheduled to launch in September on mobile devices. Pokémon UNITE will be free-to-start, with optional in-game purchases available.
Looking ahead, following the launch of the McDonalds Happy Meal in the US, the popular promotion is now roll-
Next year looks set to continue the excitement with more dynamic activity and intriguing partnerships, including an innovative children’s collaboration with leading Italian luxury fashion house Iceberg which launches in spring 2022.
TOEI ANIMATION EUROPE SETS THE TONE FOR 2021! An outstanding celebration milestone, an increasing digital presence, remarkable collaborations and ever more engaging retail events : Toei Animation Europe will be present on all fronts this year. With over 50 licensees across Europe, Dragon Ball property has never been so hyped ! From toys to fashion, passing by collectible items : Dragon Ball products are everywhere in retail across EMEA. That’s why the property will be particulartly highlighted in stores. Earlier this year, Panini launched a caps collection in France that got noticed through a strong TV campaign. In May, a collection of girls apparel was designed by a famous French teenagers brand. In June, apparel specialist Animus distributed Dragon Ball Z clothes dedicated to young adults and adults in sports stores Courir. During the same period, Pull & Bear launched its dedicated collection too. More DTR collaborations will be announced throughout the year in France, Spain, Italy, and in the UK. In Germany, Italy and France, hobby stores, where the property is shinning bright, will be on the spotlight as well, through an engaging loyalty operation
will be settled end of this year, having fans get the possibility to receive attractive prizes. On the digital part, a 7 Dragon Ball quest will be organized all along the year across EMEA. This operation will invite people to find the 7 Dragon Balls hidden on retailers websites. 2021 is a special year for One Piece, as the property is about to celebrate the release of the 100th manga volume and especially the broadcast of the 1000th episode in Q4 ! With over 33K manga sold across Europe, the One Piece excitment is not slowing down. The celebration year is already loaded with activations. Bandai launched a One Piece toy collection earlier this year, while Abysse Corp released an acrylic Luffy figurine that met huge success. On the collaboration side, various fast fashion brands will create dedicated One Piece collections : Bershka (April) and Uniqlo (June) among others. For the occasion, European Uniqlo stores will adorn themselves with One Piece decoration, so as to immerge customers into the rich universe of the series. This Winter, fans will be able to discover a One Piece flip flaps collection, designed by Havaianas. From September, EMEA licensees will join the celebration with One Piece 1000th episode dedicated merchandising. Special visuals will be created for the occasion, making it possible to have very special products. Manga publishers will also create the event : in Italy, Star Comics will create special cover for the N°99 and N°100 volumes, while Glénat will organize a quizz competition game during 100 days prior to the launch of the N°100 volume. The celebration will also take place in retail where several loyalty operations will be implemented in France, Italy, Germany and Spain :
bookstores, cultural stores, hobby stores and more will cheer fans with dedicated operations aiming at retain and entertain European fans. TV and SVOD platform will also take part of this celebration. Starting this April a dedicated programming of One Piece movies celebrated the title with 1 new movie aired every week from April 9 to May 21 on ProSieben MAXX in Germany ! The momentum will take place from September to December, when La Fée Sauvage will organize a symphonic concert paying tribute to the overall One Piece series in September. Alongside those special physical events, an ambitious B to C digital event will occur across Europe (more information to be disclosed soon)! Due to the health situation, some elements introduced above might be subject to change, or other operations might as well be added throughout the year. 2021 continues to be an exciting year for Toei Animation Europe’s properties, and 2022 is promising, as Toei Animation prepares for thrilling announcements! Stay tuned on Toei Animation Europe’s website to get the monthly update information https://www.toei-animation.com/
EXPANDING PROGRAM FOR STEVEN RHODES
For information, contact Anthony Harvey Blue Chip Brands Tel: 61 3 9510 2525 Mobile: 0425 767 358 anthony@bluechipbrands. com.au www.bluechipbrands.com.au
The consumer products program for Australian illustrator Steven Rhodes continues to gather momentum around the world. A new partnership with apparel supplier OSDM has led to retail powerhouse Zara embracing a range of T-shirts through its global store network. With designs such as ‘Let’s Summon Demons’ and ‘Pyrokinesis for Beginners’ you would be forgiven for thinking he has an affinity for the dark arts. In truth, Steven Rhodes’ illustrations are born from his dual love of retro nostalgia and pitch-black humour. Best known for his offbeat reimagining of children’s activity books from the 70s and 80s, his work pays tribute to everything from vintage horror and sci-fi, 50s pulp art, mid century modernism to 70s kitsch and 80s neon – basically anything in the realm of retro. The collection comprises 120 plus designs with new concepts added every month. After studying graphic design, Steven established his trademark style by combining sarcasm, retro typography, and nostalgia-heavy graphics. Licensing of Steven’s designs began through an association with Threadless, which promotes artists works to fans around the world across a variety of product categories. The partnership expanded with Threadless taking Steven’s designs to US retailer Spencers which embraced the brand across apparel, giftware and homewares to be one of, if not their biggest license to the current day. Fast forward to the beginning of 2019 and Australian licensing agent – Anthony Harvey of Blue Chip was appointed as the licensing representative for Ste-
ven Rhodes. Blue Chip Brands began to expand the program in both the Australian market and internationally. Signings include Pyramid International for wall art globally in addition to apparel, giftware & stationery for the UK and Europe. The Australasian program kicked off with support from licensees DFM Australia (apparel) and Impact Merch (giftware, stationery & wall art). The program continued to expand throughout the Covid-19 pandemic with new partners including Cryptozoic (games), Goodie Two Sleeves (online apparel), OSDM (apparel),
Cotton On Group (apparel, giftware, homewares, cards) & PSD (underwear). Steven Rhodes products are now supported by a growing number of leading retailers around the world including Spencers, Hot Topic, FYE, Modcloth and Torrid (North America), Zara, TYPO and Factorie (global), HMV, Urban Outfitters and Outland (UK/Europe) and Jay Jays (Australasia). Whilst Steven’s designs are influenced by the past, the licensing vision is firmly fixed on future opportunities including the expansion of the program in existing markets via new categories and establishing a presence in territories such as South America, Asia and Eastern Europe. Blue Chip Brands is a boutique licensing agency based in Melbourne, Australia headed by Anthony Harvey who has over 25 years of industry experi-
ence. Primarily focused on the management of corporate trademarks and lifestyle brands, the company has been responsible for launching and managing some of the best-known brands in the world including Ford Motor Company, Shelby, Jeep, Budweiser, LA Gear, IRONMAN, Steven McQueen, Albert Einstein and Betty Boop. The company was responsible for building the Jeep consumer products program in Australia from the ground up to becoming a legitimate lifestyle apparel, footwear & accessory brand with 21 retail concept stores nationally and distribution through leading outdoor adventure retailers. At a previous agency, Harvey was responsible for launching Ford’s foray into licensing across Australia and New Zealand back in 2002 and over a decade later Blue Chip Brands was appointed to take over the management of the brand for Australasia in 2014. Within four years the licensing revenues were more than tripled with the brand represented in all major product categories and retail distribution channels. 2021 has seen multi territory deals with Australian denim brand – Rollas and Australian based global retail chain Cotton On hit the market. The company has recently brokered a deal to launch Iconic Los Angeles athletic footwear brand LA Gear to Australasian consumers. In the coming months LA Gear will be reimagined across a range of footwear in addition to apparel and accessory collections. Brand collaborations have also been secured for Steve McQueen and American high performance automotive brand Shelby for collections of apparel and headwear that will launch for Spring/Summer 2021 through premium retail channels.
Nearly 40 years ago,Those Characters from Cleveland (TCFC), the character development division of American Greetings, was determined to create a brand that would replicate the success the group had recently enjoyed with Strawberry Shortcake. Those Characters from Cleveland co-presidents, Jack Chojnacki and Ralph Shaffer, believed that the secret to their new property was to convey emotions.Writer Dave Polter and freelance artist Elena Kucharik were enlisted to help turn a traditional teddy bear, which had been around since the early 1900’s, into an “ownable, huggable expression of emotions”. While Kucharik submitted sketches of adorable bears, hearts, and rainbows, and other symbols were being conceived by Polter, the “eureka moment” came when Shaffer placed one of the symbols on the bear’s belly. As he described in those early days, “Boom! The clouds opened up, and the sun shone!” After months of refining the design of the bear, Chojnacki and Shaffer felt pleased with the final results, and the American Greetings’ plush department translated their ideas into a three-dimensional plush design with a little extra volume for huggability and a notable heart-shape button on their rear ends.The symbol on the bear’s belly became known as the “belly badge” and helped to distinguish the different bear characters and define their individual personalities, missions, and power. Cleverly, the design on the bears’ stomach was patented by American Greetings to further distinguish their special bears from any other teddy bear on the market. TCFC realised they had something really special – a lovable, huggable bear that represented human emotions.These bears could help parents talk to their kids about sharing, caring, friendship, and love. After much brainstorming and discussion, the team experienced another magical moment when the bears were illustrated amongst the clouds in a giant cloud castle with a mission to spread sharing and caring to all. A detailed style guide was created for the initial ten bears, each with a different colour, story, and emotion. Among the first ten Care Bears were Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear, Good Luck Bear, Friend Bear, Bedtime Bear, Birthday Bear, Love-A-Lot Bear,Tenderheart Bear,Wish Bear, and Grumpy Bear. The Care Bears were born.
TOTAL LICENSING In 1982, Chojnacki and Shaffer met with Kenner, the New York toy company well known for its successful Star Wars action figures, in what was described as a “magical meeting”. Teddy bears made up forty percent of the plush market at the time, and Kenner was keen to try something new and different with the Care Bears. With licensing still in its relative infancy, Kenner led the way in marketing the range of plush bears, and Chojnacki developed a strategy plan unlike any other. Together, they launched The reaction to the launch was Care Bears plush alongside thousands phenomenal! Quite literally, retailof licensed products including ranges ers couldn’t keep Care Bears on the of greeting cards, books, bedding, chil- shelves and by Christmas, Care Bears dren’s clothing, accessories, and more. were still leading the way. In fact, the As Chojnacki said, “One day, there lead story on CBS Evening News on were no Care Bears. And the next Christmas Eve 1983 was about the day, Care Bears were evCare Bears and how they © TCFC erywhere!” Once rewere outrunning all tailers saw that all competition. With of their leading 16 running feet of suppliers were Care Bear cards on board, they in stores, and committed over $40 milspace and adlion worth of vertising. Early greeting cards retail support sold in the first came from the year, American likes of Walmart, Greetings continKmart,Target,Woolued to support the worth, and Toys R Us, brand heavily and conamongst others. In all, there tributed over $1 million in were 26 licensees that went to market consumer advertising. The first Care at the same time in spring 1983 after Bears movie, which told the story of a months of strategic planning. There young brother and sister who had lost was even a Broadway-styled play to their trust in humanity, was released celebrate the launch! in 1985 and brought in an impressive $34 million worldwide. In 1986, The The Care Bear family has grown.There are now more than 60 different Care Bears, along with Care Bear Cousins. ©TCFC
Care Bear Family Storybook TV series aired on ABC’s Saturday morning lineup with over 70 episodes, and by 1987 Kenner had sold more than 40 million Care Bears. Within the first five years, Care Bears merchandise racked up $2 billion in retail sales, with over 1,000 licensees worldwide. Since then, the Care Bears have experienced incredibly successful relaunches in 2002, 2013, and again in 2018, with six feature-length films and more than 200 hours of television shows. In the mid-2000’s, Play Along became the brand’s new toy partner, achieving more than $800 million in retail toy sales within less than a five-year span . And by 2004, the Care Bears starred in their first ever CGI movie, Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-Lot, followed by a 52-episode series on CBS in the US. Additional series were launched globally in 2015 (the CGI animated Welcome to Care-A-Lot), in 2017 with the global launch of The Netflix Original Series Care Bears & Cousins, and in 2019, with the latest iteration of the brand, Care Bears: Unlock the Magic, airing on both Tiny Pop and Sky Kids in the UK and across the globe on various linear, SVOD, and other OTT platforms. Fast forward to today, and Cloudco Entertainment, successors to TCFC and recently spun out of American Greetings, is preparing for the Care Bears’ 40th Anniversary in 2022. A deal with Warner Brothers for a liveaction/animated feature has been reached and the movie is currently in active development. In fall 2020, in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic, Cloudco Entertainment and
TOTAL LICENSING that’s as relevant and popular today as it ever was! Collaborations are, of course, an integral part of the Care Bears strategy around the world. Food products have been particularly successful. For example, a new Baskin Robbins x Care Bears Café opened in Seoul, South Korea earlier this year and in Latin America, Care Bears partnered with burger chain, Bullguer, in Brazil to celebrate
Pride in June 2021. Live events and experiential opportunities are important as well. Care Bears by Kalidico, the first Care Bears-themed experience, opened in 2020. Located on The Bund in Central Shanghai, Kalidico is designed to inspire creativity and imagination. It offers whimsical, interactive, and content-driven play spaces, a dining experience that appeals to all ages, and
With huge levels of brand awareness, we talked to Rob Corney of Bulldog Licensing, whose agency represents Care Bears in the UK, to discuss some of their favorite moments, and their plans to continue successful licensing programs around the evergreen brand. Can you tell us about your recent Care Bears activities? As the world emerges from the challenges of the last 18 months, it needs a little more caring, and there is no better brand to fill that demand. We started working with Cloudco Entertainment, previously American Greetings, in 2017 and have since increased our licensing program to over 30 licensees working across a range of categories.
Basic Fun!, the Care Bears latest global master toy partner, debuted a new line of toys based on the successful look of the latest TV series with incredible success at retail. In fact, a single Care Bears plush SKU became the #2 best-selling girl’s toy at Walmart in the US for the full month of June 2021. It almost goes without saying that Cloudco and fans across the world are looking forward to celebrating a brand
Care Bears has topped the sales charts in every decade since it first launched in the ‘80s so there was always huge potential behind the brand. The key thing was to ensure the market was left fallow for a period to ensure a comeback could really move the needle for all stakeholders. Withdrawing the kids’ lines from retail enabled shelves to be cleared and market potential to be created. But establishing the brand’s fashion credentials has been the single biggest success story to-date, ensuring the property can, once again, be one of the key drivers in the primary girls’ space. Care Bears has a universal message that will always be fashionable – it’s bright, colourful, empathic, and loved across generations… delivering this into higher fashion areas through work with collaboration partners including Irregular Choice, Dolls Kill, and Skinny Dip has laid strong foundations for the hugely popular high street fashion lines for young adults which have driven strong sales through the last two years. Some of our high street partners have even seen stock sold © Basic Fun out within hours of launch!
Sarah Eichstedt Photography
Simultaneous with the development of the fashion lines, the teams have been working closely with the new master toy partner Basic Fun! ahead of their major new launch at the end of 2019. Driven by a strong media presence in both TV and digital channels, the toy
lines have proven an instant hit and the trickle-down effect of a brand which has huge sales amongst young adults and parents of young children has been instant. With massive sales of the master toy lines in the US, the UK is gaining similar momentum, ensuring the brand will be one of the must-have brands for both adults and kids in 2022. Coordinating ranges with the retail buying teams, dedicated local PR and marketing executions, and style guides developing bespoke looks to fulfill specific retail needs, has been fundamental in delivering a brand which topped the charts in the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and 10’s to put it right back at the top of the pedestal in the 20s. Perhaps you can highlight some collaborations that you are particularly pleased with? There are a number of collaborations which we are really pleased with: Skinny Dip (2021) is a 31-piece collection including accessories such as hats, bags, phone cases, make-up bags as well as apparel lines such as cardigans, cropped vests, t-shirts, hoodies, and nightwear. The first drop in March 2021 which was very successful and the second drop is launching August 2021. Tikiboo (2020) was another noteworthy collection comprised of a range of ladies and kids activewear, including mini-me designs. This was Tikiboo’s most successful licensing launch, and we are working on a second range. The team was likewise delighted with Truffle Shuffle (2019). The Care Bears capsule collection was designed and promoted by UK social media influencers. Some of the SKUs sold twice and thrice. The line was expanded with new colourways and mens’ styles following consumer requests. Roberta Einer’s SS20 collection for London Fashion Week was described as a “cloud of enchanting memory akin to that of a first love or childhood nostalgia: with Care Bears integrated into their runway pieces and an obvious homage to childhood nostalgia. The range comprised of five styles, including vintage illustrations and charming slogans, with Cloudco donating all licensing commissions from sales to charity partner Care.org.
Skinny Dip London
2022 looks set to be the biggest year for Care Bears fashion collaborations, yet, with a host of high-profile designers all lined up to help celebrate the brand’s 40th anniversary. And tell us about your key product lines. Of course, the Basic Fun! Toy master range is hugely important and comprises of Care Bears: Unlock the Magic interactive figures, medium plush, surprise figures, bean plush, and light up danglers available across Smyths, The Entertainer, Toymaster, Amazon, and Claire’s and Tesco now with full market distribution planned from 2022. Product launched AW20 was supported with social media influencer campaigns, competitions, and Care Bears Care Packages. Recently, we identified the need for a UK online shopping destination, so we partnered with Pogo for the Official Care Bears e-commerce storefront. The store has adult and kids clothing, accessories, homeware, toys, and stationery.
Softlines are key to our program, too. We’ve recently launched successful lines in ASOS, New Look, and George, complementing the ranges we’ve seen selling strongly in Primark, Zara, Urban Outfitters, Pull & Bear, and Little Pretty Thing. With 40 years’ worth of assets and new style guides launching each year, we can keep new collections fresh. Other important lines include a Care Bears baby lunch ware range from Zak and phone cases from Ecell.
Sarah Eichstedt Photography official Care Bears merchandise. The space allows families and design lovers to experience the Care Bears in a new, immersive way that brings the globally recognized characters to life in a growing region for the brand. Harves, the master licensee of the Care Bears in China, created and developed Kalidico in collaboration with award-winning architectural design firm X+Living, and plans to open several more of the experiential destinations in China. As Cloudco Entertainment is prepares for its milestone anniversary year, they are looking forward to celebrating the rich history of the Care Bears brand and 40 years of sharing, caring, kindness and inclusivity.
They are leaning heavily into nostalgia with never-before-seen original paintings from the early TCFC days and col-
laborating with brand-new partners to release monthly limited-edition collections. The year-long global celebration will include a continuation of the Care Bears Food Tour, collaborations with leading high-end apparel and beauty partners, an artist series with proceeds to benefit charity partners, and Care Bears Meet and Greets in various territories.They’re also continuing to develop and introduce brand-new characters to the kingdom of Carea-Lot alongside Basic Fun!, including a limited edition 40th Anniversary Care Bear. Without a doubt, the world is a better place thanks to Care Bears and their messages of love, acceptance, hope and happiness. We look forward to the next forty years!
Been There ... Done that ... The Pandemic Aftermath
In January 2020 I wrote passionately about the exciting roaring 2020s and how they would become the decade of honest collaboration that builds and delivers true purpose. Then, in July 2020 I wrote painfully about the light at the end of the tunnel and how we had “survived” Covid. If I had known it would be another year until I felt anything close to comfort I’m not sure I could have survived. I detailed the phases we went through; 1. Survive, 2. Adapt/Pivot, 3. Go Forth, and 4. Change the world. Since July we’ve moved frequently between stages 1 and 3 but never quite made 4. But today after recharging my batteries in Devon, stage four feels closer than ever before. So now to what feels like the final part of my Covid trilogy, I’m hopeful that my predictions will be a third time lucky type scenario. We’ve changed everything in our business over the last 12 months. Protecting our culture during such isolation was huge. We ran weekly Happy &
Kind full team meetings, ran team yoga sessions, and moved our summits and training to online platforms. As a team, so many of us have suffered individually but by continually reinforcing our family values we’ve made existing and new legends feel our culture of trust. We didn’t get it right all the time. We are a fast-growing business and our project is addictive so we did let our collective guard down at times. But we recognised and owned our errors in order to put them right. Ultimately, we acted with kindness in everything we did and this has now become central to everything we do. Beyond Covid so much has changed; the inclusivity and diversity movement, the calling out of fake purpose, and the devastating impact on our collective mental health. Retail will recover. Businesses that survive will recover. The job market will recover. But the real pandemic has only just begun. We are facing potentially an even bigger pandemic in global mental health, and this is where every single one of
OPINION By Will Stewart, The Point 1888
us can make an impact. We have all suffered. Pain is pain but there will be many who are in a worse position than you. We all now have a purpose to be kind and help others. Not all the time. We need to be brave also to ask for help. I know I have, and it was very uncomfortable for me. But talking about the mental impact of what we as a human race has been through, not judging others and encouraging them to be honest is free, simple and easy. The light is certainly still there, sometimes it feels close but then it fades and flickers throwing our mental health backwards once again. I am finally feeling shoots of positivity again. If the last 18 months have taught us anything then it’s that the simple, free things are those that are truly important. Having experienced the loss of loved ones like so many, time is our most valuable asset. Use it wisely and make every second count. The trouble is we think we have all the time in the world.... and we don’t.
MEMORIES OF ERIC CARLE By Tetsuo Ishida, Founder and Former President & Chairman, Cosmo Merchandising, Japan (retired 2021) to the USA and meet Eric Carle. My first impression of him was, as I expected, of a gentle, kind, and humorous man. The editor of MOE, a Japanese magazine specializing in picture books, accompanied our group for the interview. Eric Carle gave us a wonderful demonstration of his art by immediately making some pictures out of colored tissue
Eric Carle presented Tetsuo Ishida with an illustrated memory of their dinner at a Kyoto teahouse.The Very Hungry Caterpillar is holding a bottle of Japanese sake rice wine. Illustration © Eric Carle Photos courtesy of Tetsuo Ishida
“I first met Eric Carle in October 2006 in his studio in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA. Cosmo Merchandising, the Japanese licensing agency that I founded and ran, was the first company to obtain the merchandise and promotional licensing rights to represent Eric Carle’s work in Japan in 2005. As a result of our appointment as licensing agent, a small group consisting of Mr. Masaki Imamura, the president of Kaisei-Sha Publishing, the publisher of the Japanese editions of Eric Carle’s picture books, a few licensees (still about five at the time) and Roger Berman, Cosmo Merchandising’s international licensing manager at the time, decided to travel
Eric Carle at the Kyoto teahouse holding a note written by one of the Maiko dancers saying, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar - I have read this since I was small. It’s my favorite picture book”. (April 2017)
Eric Carle in a group shot at his Welcome Reception in Tokyo with Japanese licensees and other business partners (April 2017). paper. I was very fortunate to be able to see his creativity first-hand, which of course had a big influence on my subsequent licensing of his art. I will never forget being shown around The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, which is located in a beautiful setting in Amherst, Massachusetts, and being invited to a dinner party where his wife, Bobbie, was also present. Over the last few years, The World of Eric Carle Japan licensing program has considerably expanded. The number of licensees and product ranges have increased dramatically. Moreover, in terms of quality, many licensed products have been created that respect and preserve Eric’s work. In 2017, we invited Eric Carle to Japan
TOTAL LICENSING Surprisingly, out of our group of five or six of us, he was the one who drank the most sake rice wine and ate all the food, even the dessert of a large ohagi, Japanese bean cake. Eric Carle seemed to really like sake. All the maiko geisha dancers in the restaurant were fans of him and his books, especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and even the apprentice dancers, who are not usually seen in
the caterpillar spreading its wings to her now adult son, who has spread his wings to live his own independent life. Once again, I have been made aware of the greatness of Eric Carle. To have been able to meet him and and be involved with his art through my work became an invaluable asset to my life. Eric, thank you very much. I believe that he will now be together with Bobbie in heaven and will continue to produce great works of art for all of us from above.”
Eric Carle brought happiness to a young fan dressed up in The Very Hungry Caterpillar clothing at a meet-and-greet event. (April 2017) for the exhibition entitled The Art of Eric Carle that was held in Tokyo and elsewhere around Japan. We were honored by his acceptance of our invitation. For the Japan visit, at the age of 87 and after the death of Bobbie, we were very worried about his health, but we were relieved to see that he was in good health and attended the exhibition opening reception without any problems. After Eric Carle’s stay in Tokyo, we heard that he was going to Kyoto on a private visit, so we invited him to a teahouse I know well in Pontocho, a Kyoto area famous for geisha and traditional architecture. Eric Carle drawing his iconic caterpillar on a poster at the meet-and-greet event.
A baby The Very Hungry Caterpillar fan all dressed up. front of customers, came out to ask for his autograph. Eric Carle must have enjoyed that evening in Kyoto so much that he sent me an illustration after he returned to America. He drew for me “The Very Hungry Caterpillar With A Bottle Of Sake”, a precious original drawing that exists nowhere else in the world. Since his death on 23rd May, there has been a great deal of coverage on TV and in the newspapers in Japan, as well as letters from the general public. One letter to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, particularly moved me. A 55 year old housewife wrote that the passing away of Eric Carle prompted her to pull out an old copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar picture book. The book showed the holes in food that the caterpillar had nibbled on. Her son had put his finger in the holes so many times that they had to be repaired with tape. She fondly reminisced about her experience of raising her son and reading the book to him. She drew the wonderfully moving analogy of
28 May 2021 press clipping from the Asahi Shimbun national Japanese newspaper announcing the passing of Eric Carle, aged 91. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/ articles/14359922)
A clipping of the letter to the Asahi Shimbun from the housewife that I found particularly moving.
Interview with Ksenia Gordienko, Director of the Animation Department at CTC Media Total Licensing talked to Ksenia Gordienko to find out more about leading Russian animation and broadcasting company CTC Media.
op it back in 2015 when we launched our first animated TV series - KID-ECATS. Kid-e-Cats is a key brand for you, and one that you are taking globally. Can you tell us a little about Kid-e-Cats? Kid-E-Cats is our first animation series and it quickly became a resounding success in Russia and is now gaining more and more popularity all over the world. I’m proud to say that I’m one of those people who have been part of the Kid-E-Cats journey from the very beginning and one of those who helped bring the project to life. It’s amazing to see how the seed that was planted six years ago has grown into a massive, strong tree that will hopefully stay evergreen. Our preschool show tells the story of three kittens: Cookie, Pudding, and their kid sister Candy who are always ready to jump into action with endless enthusiasm and energy. Their imagination knows no bounds; these kittens can come up with the most absurdly funny problem-solving ideas.The show has a strong emphasis on friendship, family, and learning through play, it is positive, fun, and safe – that is why it
Can you tell us about CTC Media, and give us some background and details of your activities? CTC media is a leading Russian entertainment media holding. Our company incorporates four national TV channels and one Pay TV channel in Russia. CTC media is part of National Media Group, one of the largest private media holdings in Russia merging assets of key segments of the Russian media market. Animation is a relatively new business for the company: we started to devel-
has won the hearts of children and parents around the globe. What do you think makes this animated series ideal for overseas markets? International partners are looking for strong and interesting stories that are appealing to global audiences, for great animation and also for a largely supportive content owner who stands behind animation projects and who is easy to work with. If you want to see your animated series on a global scene as a content and as a consumer products franchise you need to develop your IP having international experts on board. Kid-E-Cats series is produced by Metrafilms Studio for CTC Media. The idea and the concept of the project were developed by Dmitry Vysotsky and Andrey Sikorsky, two professional animators and veterans of the Russian animation industry. The creators have put their heart and soul into this show and that care and attention is what makes it so special and beloved by millions of viewers. But we also have an international story editor working on the show based in London, and we also have input into the show from our
TOTAL LICENSING Kesnia Gordienko fline retail sales. Last September toys went on sale in Italy, Poland and several other European countries. In 2021 we are rolling out the licensing program in Spain with toys sales launch planned for September 2021 in all El Cortes Ingles stores.
global rights distributor APC Kids that is based in Paris. And dubbing of the series is done in New York. Can you tell us about the licensing program for Kid-e-Cats globally? Actually, we are just now gaining momentum globally. Together with our dear partners at APC Kids, we are building the brand in multiple Europe-
an and Latin American licensing markets. We have established a global network of fifteen licensing agents across the world, and we are working hand in hand with them to bring the brand to their territories. In China, we are partnering with the highly professional team of Joy Media, as China needs special attention and care. Kid-E-Cats licensed products are already in stores in Italy, Eastern Europe (Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, the Baltic states) and China. Despite the pandemic, we managed to get licensed Kid-E-Cats products (toys, publishing, candy) onto the shelves in Chinese stores in 2020. China is one of the first markets where we’ve started of-
A further project within your organisation is Little Tiaras. Can you tell us about this animated series? I think we have developed a great IP – not only beautiful, but also very up-to-date. Little Tiaras is targeting girls aged four to nine, teaching them about girl power, teamwork, tolerance, and diversity. We’ve had excellent results over the two years this project has been in existence. We have three seasons, 26 episodes each. In Season 3, we introduced two new main characters – Li Van (who is Asian) and Vasko (who is Black). We’re very proud to be the first animated series in Russia with racial and gender diversity among the main characters. The show has been at the top of the audience rating charts for Russian children’s television channels (Karusel) for over six months now, more than 200 licensed products have been put in big retail chains on the Russian market, and over 300 products are currently in development. Also, we are more than happy that
APC Kids and Joy Media came on board for the international distribution of the series. Together with our partners, we’re already taking our first steps into international markets: the exclusive free-to-air rights for Season 1 and 2 have been picked up by the Noga for The Children Channel in Israel, TVP for TVP ABC in Poland and All Media for Kanals 2 in Latvia and MBC in Middle East. Since October 2020, Little Tiaras series are available in Chinese on major local VOD platforms – Tencent and IQiYi – and on many other platforms in China. Earlier this year Little Tiaras was selected for a showcase (non-competition) by the 27th Shanghai TV Festival in China which is one of the most prestigious and well known TV Festivals in China. I should mention that Little Tiaras is owned by two major Russian companies – CTC media and CTB Film Company – and this partnership gives extra power to the brand.
Ksenia Gordienko is the Director of the Animation department in CTC Media. During 2012 – 2014 Ksenia worked at ELC, who represented such studios as Warner Bros, Cartoon Network, 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks in Russia. Ksenia’s responsibilities included the FMCG & Promotional licensing business for the studios’ operations in the Russian market. In May 2014, Ksenia joined CTC Media, as Head of the Licensing & Merchandising department and built the consumer product business for the company from scratch. In January 2019 and following promotion to the role of Director of the Animation department she assumed control of the Animation business in the company. She is responsible for the production, digital development, marketing, the licensing and merchandising of CTC Media’s own animation brands including Kid-ECats, Little Tiaras and a number of others and for their global development and expansion.
MIPCOM Returns to Cannes
A streamlined exhibition for both MIPCOM and MIPJunior is set to take place this October 11-14 in Cannes. Both events will be held in the Palais des Festivals. MIPJunior conferences and networking will take place in a dedicated location in the Palais. The MIPJunior Screenings Library will be integrated into the Digital MIPCOM platform, so will be the participation at MIPJunior into the physical MIPCOM. The Riviera 8 Hall will be transformed into a multi-purpose events venue (such as the MIPCOM Opening Party, Women in Global Entertainment Lunch, conference-led formats and a networking lounge). Lucy Smith, MIPCOM & MIPJunior Director, shared some important messages about the upcoming markets. “I wanted to update you on some important changes we are making to MIPCOM affecting the exhibition layout for 2021 as well as the schedule and format of MIPJunior. For many of us, MIPCOM 2021 will be the first international TV trade market we attend live in nearly 18 months and we want to make sure everyone who wants to be there, can be there.
We are responding to the unique challenges of planning for a major exhibition in the current circumstances, with the end goal of ensuring a flexible and vibrant marketplace for everyone participating in Cannes this October. We understand that plans put in place earlier in the year may need to be revised. In response, we are confirming a new show floor plan with a streamlined exhibition footprint. We are also offering all stand holders the flexibility to change the size of their stand if needed. We can also help with decoration and are offering a selection of turnkey decoration solutions of different sizes tailored to fit needs and budgets. We will be transforming the Riviera 8 Hall into a multi-purpose events venue, that will be spacious and light filled to accommodate the MIPCOM Opening Party, Women in Global Entertainment Lunch, a series of conference-led formats and a networking lounge. MIPJunior will now take place during MIPCOM (Oct 11-14) in the Palais des Festivals and will no longer be scheduled over the weekend exceptionally for 2021. MIPJunior conferences and networking will take place in a dedicated location in the Palais.The MIPJunior
Screenings Library will be integrated into the Digital MIPCOM platform. Participation at MIPJunior will be offered as part of MIPCOM and will not require a separate registration. Digital MIPCOM MIPCOM 2021 will be supported by a new digital extension, designed not as a virtual market, but as a networking, discovery, marketing and lead generation platform that can be used by everyone in Cannes, as well as those of you who are not able to travel, allowing you to connect with the MIPCOM community onsite. The MIPJunior Screenings Library will be integrated into the Digital MIPCOM platform. Safety Protocols MIPCOM, in association with parent company RX and the City of Cannes, is implementing a coherent and comprehensive programme of safety measures in response to Covid-19. These measures are updated on a regular basis. Again, our absolute priority this year is supporting the industry in getting back to in-person business, in whatever format works best for you and your business. We can’t wait to welcome you all back to Cannes for this long-awaited opportunity to re-connect face-to-face!”
The Bee-Loved Global Brand with a Mission A prosocial bee as a hero, timeless values and stories that meet the core of identification development makes “Maya the Bee” an evergreen global property bee-loved by three generations and sends a strong message: BEE AND NATURE PROTECTION! Studio 100‘s Maya the Bee has conquered the world, becoming a popular, beloved and successful brand for kids and families in many territories. Worldwide, more than 300 licensees have partnered with Maya, and more than 4,500 different products have been created and distributed.Amongst these licensees are multi-territory partners like Aldi, Arkopharma, jbc as well as local/international partners such as Herding, Ravensburger, Blue Ocean Entertainment, Sony Music, Boxine, Stovit, Privatmolkerei Bauer, Pepco and Heunec. Maya ranks on all the top spots when it comes to brand sympathy, making it an evergreen global property with universal and timeless values: bee lively, bee curious, bee friendly and bee attentive. Values that pay off the brand and its most important project: Project Poppy Meadow. Insects are indispensable for our environment and need our help to preserve endangered species. To keep creepy-crawlies humming and buzzing happily in gardens and meadows, it is important to teach our children about insect conservation. Maya the Bee is as helpful as ever as part of its “Project Poppy Meadow” initiative, which gets everyone involved. In 2018 Studio 100 Media launched
this initiative, featuring Maya the Bee as an ambassador for insects, biodiversity conservation, and sustainability with nature. The focus is to show families the often so simple ways to protect insects. The goal is to encourage as many people as possible to act through broad publicity. Currently, the Poppy Meadow project cooperates in Germany with NABU (Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union) and supports its insect protection projects. In addition to this environmental organization, more and more local partners are participating in Project Poppy Meadow by providing a wide range of support, such as Privatmolkerei Bauer, Ravensburger, Blue Ocean Entertainment, Sonnentracht and XOX Gebäck. Also, German retailer REWE has been using Maya the Bee as a brand ambassador for its insect protection campaigns since 2019. In 2021, Project Poppy Meadow became international: In Poland, Maya supported the nature protection organization OTOP in their insect pro-
tection campaign. Confirmed by the success of Project Poppy Meadow, Studio 100 Media is now aiming at extending this initiative to other territories. In Benelux, the parent company Studio 100 NV will handle all activities, and for the UK, Studio 100 Media is already connecting with its licensing agency for Maya the Bee - Brands with Influence Worldwide to support and aid with finding the right cooperation partners. To support Maya’s efforts in nature conservation and to leverage the changes in consumer behaviour that arise from the neo-ecology mega trend, Studio 100 Group is pushing ahead with ecological aspects in the value chain in all operational departments. With a brand-new Eco Trend Book, Studio 100 will soon hand out a special style guide that supports producing eco-friendly and sustainable products regarding design, packaging and materials such as wood, stone, cork or felt and even materials that are already recycled while leveraging sales with promotional icons or logo lock-up. Studio 100 aims to provide sustainable production and responsible use of the resources at our disposal. Future generations will not only see a colourful and diverse nature in Maya’s imaginative world - but will also have the opportunity to keep a healthy environment close at hand and in reality. Currently, the third movie adventure “Maya the Bee – The Golden Orb” is successfully being released theatrically worldwide.
TRUE AND THE RAINBOW KINGDOM SOARS AROUND THE WORLD Guru Studio, the Toronto-based entertainment powerhouse recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary. Founded and led by President and Executive Creative Director Frank Falcone, the studio has brought to life some of the world’s most successful children’s IP, including its hit preschool series True and the Rainbow Kingdom. Over the course of two decades, Guru Studio has become renowned for creating, developing and producing awardwinning hit shows that captivate and inspire kids and families all over the world. Shows such as Dino Paws, Ever After High, and even the 2018 Oscar nominated feature film The Breadwinner were all brought to life by the +400 artists who make up the talented team at Guru Studio. Most recently, Guru announced it’s working on Chris Nee’s (DocMcStuffin) newest series Dino Daycare for Netflix, as well as an exciting new series with Sesame Workshop called Mecha Builders, the first animated spin off of Sesame Street for HBO Max. And of course, Guru is in production on the
eighth season of the global phenomenon and consumer products smash hit PAW Patrol for Spin Master and Nickelodeon. But where the studio has experienced its most significant growth is in developing its roster of original IP. “Our focus over the last few years has been to create and develop new, original IP based on strong characters and storytelling,” said Frank Falcone. “Beginning with Justin Time which contin-
ues to rate extremely well in over a hundred countries around the world, we’re now also seeing tremendous success with True and the Rainbow Kingdom.” It’s True and the Rainbow Kingdom where the company is experiencing growth on the licensing front as well. The hit Netflix Original series is produced by Guru Studio based on the artwork of world renowned artists FriendsWithYou, and is Executive Produced by Pharrell Williams. The colorful series follows 8-year-old True and her hilarious best friend Bartleby the cat, as they come to the rescue of the Rainbow Kingdom’s whimsical citizens. True is the only one that can unleash the power of the Magical Wishes from the Wishing Tree in order to set things right and keep all the residents safe. True and Bartleby’s adventures empower both boys and girls to be mindful, courageous and respectful of all living things - themes which are also embodied in much of FriendsWithYou’s artwork.
Following its successful launch on Netflix worldwide, the hit preschool series has very quickly become a breakout hit on linear TV channels around the world. It’s now gearing up for the next phase of its global growth strategy as it prepares to roll out a full consumer products program for TRUE internationally later this year. “We’ve seen worldwide demand for TRUE products skyrocket over the last year,” said Jonathan Abraham, VP of Sales and Business Development at Guru Studio. “Families are falling in love with the colorful and imaginative world we’ve created, and it’s no surprise that ratings are soaring.” The series continues to be a breakout hit with broadcasters. In Canada, True and the Rainbow Kingdom is a top rated property on public broadcaster CBC Kids, and is currently the #2 Kids Property on CBC’s AVOD + SVOD platform GEM, up 46 percent this year alone. In the UK on Tiny Pop, the show very quickly rose to become a consistently top 5 property, and a high contributor to the channel’s overall growth. The show reaches roughly 2 million kids per month on average in the UK alone. On Gloob in Brazil,True and the Rainbow Kingdom is the 2nd highest rated series with girls amongst all Pay TV Kids channels. “In today’s crowded landscape, you need to be everywhere to break through.” said Abraham, “We premiered on Netflix which laid an incredible base for audiences to discover the series. With the launch on lin-
ear TV in local markets and the explosive growth of our YouTube channel, we’re seeing the brand really take off. It’s truly a winning combination.” On YouTube, the show’s official channel has reached over half a billion views with new content rolling out multiple times per week. Four seasons of the series are currently airing on Netflix and on linear television in over a hundred countries. The series also delivers a wide mix of content formats for kids including full episodes, seasonal specials, shorts and music videos. “Our amazing seasonal content has been a big driver of year round interest in the brand,” said Abraham. “We have Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Summer specials giving us a full year of incredible timely messages to rally around. Our Halloween special is a family favorite and every year we see thousands of TRUE themed costumes posted on social media where the whole family gets involved.” TRUE costumes officially launched three years ago at select retailers, such as Party City, Spirit Halloween and Fun.com. All three years, costumes have sold out. The series has also inspired a line of best selling plush by Aurora World, and story books and activity books by Bendon and Chouette. ≠Earlier this year, the studio announced it had appointed its master toy partner United Smile, led by Josue Rosenzweig, the former joint venture partner and executive at Hasbro and previously founder and CEO of Smart Christmas Solutions (SCS) and Toy Plus. A full line of figures, playsets, vehicles, plush and musical dolls based on the popular series are ready to roll out in select markets starting this Fall. “Josue and his team have decades of experience in the toy industry. In just a few short months United Smile has developed and
tooled a really unique and exciting product line that we know kids will love. ” said Abraham. United Smile is partnering with leading distributors to bring to market the robust toy line. The global distributors already on board include Bandai in the UK and Spain, Giochi Preciocci in Greece, Imports Dragon in Canada and the US, First Group in the Middle East with the support of Spacetoon, Toyrrific in Israel, Token Toys in Mexico, and Big Balloon in Australia with the support of Haven Licensing who will be launching the line exclusively at Target. In the UK, bRAND-WARD represents True and the Rainbow Kingdom across all consumer products categories, and they have already lined up several top licensees. FashionUK are launching clothing and accessories and Aykroyds and TDP are developing the nightwear, Roy Lowe are doing hosiery, Imagine8 are doing a range of fashion and hair accessories. Smiffys are on board for dress up and Warner Music Group have launched a line-up of albums and songs based on the popular hit series, which has already had over five million streams on Spotify since the launch of the first True album, TRUE Tunes. “Kids are really falling in love with TRUE and we’re seeing demand for products all across social media. We get flooded with emails asking when and where they can buy official merchandise.” said Abraham. “The licensing world is really starting to take notice and we’re getting inbound requests all the time. We’re excited to announce some new partners that will bring TRUE to even more families around the world.”
Blue’s Clues, Star Trek and The J Team.... Nickelodeon is commemorating 25 years of its groundbreaking animated series Blue’s Clues with the greenlight of a brand-new, original movie and an array of anniversary initiatives across multiple platforms. Celebrating one of the most iconic preschool series of all time, which launched on Sept. 8, 1996, the milestone anniversary will also be marked by a multitiered partnership with global nonprofit organization Save the Children, a TV tentpole event, a one-of-a-kind nostalgia-driven music video, exclu-
sive consumer products programs and more, kicking off this summer. As part of the anniversary celebration, Nickelodeon has greenlit a Blue’s Clues & You! movie that will follow Josh and Blue as they head to New York City to audition for a big Broadway musical. Matt Stawski (Side Effects) is onboard as director of the original as-yet-untitled movie, with writing by Angela C. Santomero (Blue’s Clues franchise, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) and Liz Maccie (Siren, Foxglove). Darlene Caamaño Loquet, Senior Vice President of Nickelodeon Movies, will oversee the production on the film. Nickelodeon Animation Studio will commence production on
the movie this summer, with additional details to be announced later. “Blue’s Clues is hands down one of the most successful and critically acclaimed preschool TV shows in history, and we’re so proud that Nickelodeon has been its home for the last 25 years,” said Ramsey Naito, President, Nickelodeon Animation. “The series’ creativity, interactivity and inclusivity has stood the test of time and we are continuing to empower, challenge, and build the self-esteem of a new generation of preschoolers with a brand-new Blue’s Clues & You! movie and multiple upcoming seasons of the series in our Animation Studio pipeline.” Nickelodeon has also expanded its partnership with Save the Children, the national leader in helping children prepare for and succeed in school across rural America. Blue’s Clues & You! is featured in Save the Children’s 100 Days of Reading Campaign this summer, with content integration across platforms and onthe-ground activations through the 100 Days of Reading Bus Tour and essential education resources to 20,000 children and families. Additional Blue’s Clues 25th anniversary highlights include two special TV events this fall: Blue’s Clues & You! “It’s YOUR birthday!” tentpole premiering Friday, Sept. 17. A further highlight is Blue’s Clues & You! Our New Neighbor, premiering Friday, Oct. 1 and featuring the return of classic fan-favorite character Periwinkle. Josh and Blue play Blue’s Clues to figure out how they can help Periwinkle feel welcome and learn more about their new kitten neighbor along the way. Over and above these will be an original 25th anniversary nostalgia-driven music video featuring Blue’s Clues & You! star Josh Dela Cruz and former Blue’s Clues hosts, Donovan Pat-
ton and Steve Burns and a limitedtime, dedicated “Bluetique” at FAO Schwarz’s NYC flagship location in Rockefeller Plaza. For August, the exclusive shop will feature the latest products while showcasing archival Blues Clue’s memorabilia. September will see the launch of the first half of season one (12 episodes) of Blues Clues & You! and the fifth and sixth seasons (40 episodes) of Blue’s Clues on Paramount+ joining the first four seasons of Blue’s Clues and seasons one and two of the live-action spin-off Blue’s Room. Over 20 original learning games, ebooks, and interactive episodes will be made available on Noggin, Nickelodeon’s interactive learning service for preschoolers, where kids can learn and play along with Josh and Blue. In addition, an all-day Blue’s Clues marathon on September 8, on the Nick Jr. Pluto TV channel and there will be a new assortment of consumer products inspired by Blue’s Clues & You!, spanning toy, home goods, accessories, DVD and party goods will be available beginning this summer, including a brand-new line of educational toys from Melissa & Doug. In terms of Paramount brands, Playmates Toys and ViacomCBS Consumer Products today announced that ViacomCBS has awarded the global toy company with the licensing rights for action figures, vehicles and ships, role play and other toy categories for all Star Trek properties. Playmates will launch its new Star Trek toy line in 2022, following Star Trek’s entry into kids’ content with the premiere of Star Trek: Prodigy, the first Star Trek series aimed at younger audiences. Among the qualities Playmates will bring to the Star Trek Universe are its attention to brand detail, authentic
portrait sculpting, and new product innovations it plans to introduce to its forthcoming Star Trek collections. Fans can look forward to a new lineup of action figures and accessories from Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Star Trek: Picard, and other Star Trek series throughout the universe coming soon, and future selections from the expansive Star Trek Universe of series and motion pictures, including the Paramount+ CG-animated series Star Trek: Prodigy produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio and CBS Studios. Details on forthcoming product lines from Playmates will be announced at a future date. “As Star Trek readies to beam into the kids’ space for the first time with Star Trek: Prodigy on Paramount+, we are thrilled to also enter the toy aisle with Playmates, offering a new generation of fans out of this world toys that will allow them to embark on their own Star Trek adventures at home,” Dion Vlachos, Executive Vice President, Hardlines and Retail,ViacomCBS Consumer Products. “Playmates Toys has deep experience in developing Star
Trek figures and playsets. The expertise and ingenuity they plan to bring to figures, ships and more will elevate the play experience for kids and collectors alike.” “We’re excited to be transported back into the Star Trek Universe, a brand and world that we know very well,” said Karl Aaronian, senior vice president, Playmates Toys. “Our product team includes some lifelong super fans, like me, and we are honored to join with ViacomCBS again to help further engage fans with the wealth of new content coming as well as captivate a new generation of kids with the positive values that Gene Roddenberry introduced in his Trek world.” Playmates was the master toy licensee for Star Trek from 1992–1999, launching award-winning collections of action figures and innovative accessories from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and classic Star Trek. In 2009, the company also released the official figures and accessories based
on the J.J. Abrams Star Trek motion picture. Finally, in up to date news, Paramount+, the streaming service from ViacomCBS, have announced that The J Team, a new live-action musical starring and executive produced by JoJo Siwa, will be available to stream exclusively on the service beginning Friday, September 3. In addition to Siwa, cast members of The J Team include NAACP Image Awards nominee Tisha CampbellMartin, Laura Soltis, Julia Marley, Kerrynton Jones and Kiara T. Romero. The J Team is a 90-minute featurelength film that follows a young girl named JoJo (Siwa) whose life is turned upside down when her beloved dance coach Val decides to retire and is replaced by a sparkle-hating instructor named Poppy. Wanting to stay in the running for an upcoming dance competition, JoJo and her best friends, The Rubies (Jones, Romero), must try their hardest to abide by Poppy’s new, harsh rules. Realizing she cannot hide her sparkle or bow anymore, JoJo is kicked out of her dance troupe and must rediscover what dancing means to her. Produced by Nickelodeon and Awesomeness, The J Team marked the first production under Awesomeness and Nickelodeon Live-Action Film Studio head Syrinthia Studer. An original soundtrack featuring six new songs from Siwa and more is set to release on Friday, August 27.
Celebrating in Style Continuing to forge ahead through the pandemic, Withit are pleased to announce that a retail partnership with HMV will see a bespoke range of 6 retro t-shirts each featuring iconic character designs being sold online this summer. Produced by licensee Heroes Ltd, the tshirts are available in on-trend colours in a host of finishes to appeal to both a new generation of Withit fans and those already familiar with the brand and its history. “This has been a challenging time for everyone” comments Brad Caines, Creative Director at Withit Studios. “However with Val Fry at CentaIP we’ve been able to create this exciting new collection as a direct to retailer deal. As online sales continue to dominate and the high street looks to recover from its drop in footfall, we have refocused our efforts on reaching our consumers at home.The famil-
iar character-based designs are bigger now in order to stand-out online with new distressed or solid print options, certain to appeal to different tastes among the HMV customer base.”
Celebrating their 30th year in 2021, Withit started in 1991 selling its designs on t-shirts before moving into licensing. Bringing back these refreshed designs to capture that retro vibe is bang on trend. To support the relaunch, Withit will work closely with Norton PR to actively engage with a number of social media influencers as a fast and effective way to re-engage with its customer base. TikTok will help bring apparel to life along with Instagram reaching a huge and diverse follower base and tapping into current social trends to amplify the campaign. The next big addition to Withit is its premium quality range of fashion bags for 7-12 year old. Cheeky Monkey and Glamour Puss ranges will be introduced later this year and consist of 8 different bags:- backpack, courier bag, X-body bag, tote bag, phone case bag, bum bag, coin purse and a pencil case/ makeup bag. Developed in conjunction with the company’s partners in Hong Kong, SNB Bags, these are the first two character designs to be released with others currently in devel-
opment. Cheeky Monkey is a denim focused range with patterned quilting and high detail foil vinyl finishing on the face design. Bold yellow straps combine with the matching name print with holographic foiling. Glamour Puss offers full-on bling with rose gold shimmer vinyl, gold glitter sunglasses with mirroring good enough to reflect your face. Withit Company Director, Dolph Zahid believes that “the quality is carried throughout the bag ranges to the minutest detail – even down to the branded zip pulls - so this range really sets a new level for Withit in terms of high calibre production.” Withit can also announce it has been actively involved with the Charity “Girls Out Loud” for whom it is creating a range of silver charms in conjunction with BluGoblin. Focused on empowering 8-15 year olds, the charity has instigated a number of programmes and workshops to build confidence in girls. Tracey Richardson from BluGoblin believes that “the charity is a great fit for both sides as Withit has always appealed to this demographic and its simple word play brand will be a winner on the new charms.” For more information go to girlsoutloud.org.uk To link all its new ranges and branding together, Withit has been busy creating a new, interactive and multifunctional website to support the brand and enable fans to really engage and learn more about the many characters and personalities across the Withit ranges. The new site, www.withitworld.com is designed to be used on mobile phones, where the Withit audience live, play and communicate. Packed with quizzes and insights into the characters’ likes, hobbies and best friends, the site aims to appeal to a younger audience, giving them ownership and control over how they interact and engage with the brand in their own safe Withit online space.
10 BILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE! Fifteen years ago, young author Sarra Anson knocked at the door of Melnitsa Animation Studio in St.Petersburg and suggested a story about a small alien who came to the Earth to make new friends. Together with producers Sergey Selyanov and Alexander Boyarksy, Sarra Anson and Darina Schmidt created the lovely pink fluffy character and named it Moonzy. Moonzy is a wonderful fuzzy creature from the Moon with four ears, four pupils and a mark on his tummy. He is very nice, sympathetic and slightly naive. Moonzy is incapable of cheating, bragging or being greedy. In spite of his unusual looks and behaviour, he makes a lot of friends among inhabitants of forest meadow because of his kind nature.
Since 2006 Melnitsa Animation Studio has produced 521 episodes of the TV preschool show about Moonzy and his friends: mischievous caterpillar brothers Woopsie and Poopsie, smart grasshopper Skip, cute lady-bug Dottie, thoughtful bee Webee, ideal grandparents Annie Granny and General Stinger and talented and gentle
dark-faced Mr. Webber. The episodes unfold in a very safe environment with nice insects, plants, berries, and flowers. The show helps kids of preschool age to understand the basic concepts of social relations in a very friendly and mild way. It teaches empathy and equity as Moonzy is absolutely different in appearance from all the local insects but everyone loves him. A lot of episodes are dedicated to teamwork and community spirit. The series hit the top TV ratings on kids TV channels not only in its home country in Russia but also in China, Poland and MENA. “We started the proactive internatIonalization of Moonzy recently with premieres in Poland on Puls Kids, in China on CCTV, the main state channel and in MENA on Spacetoon,” commented Sveta Barabanshchikova, Director for Business Development of Melnitsa Animation Studio. “Last year Kenn Viselman, multi-award-winning producer in the children’s entertainment world started to adapt Moonzy for the Americas under his itsy bitsy Entertainment banner.We are growing
the international scope of Moonzy and are open to new partnerships.” “Moonzy is simply filled with Love and Laughter and that is something the entire world is clamoring for right now,” commented Kenn Viselman. In 2021 Moonzy is celebrating its 15year jubilee achieving 10 billion views on YouTube. Fifty percent of that viewership comes from outside of Russia. Recently Melnitsa has launched the new season of Moonzy in CGI format. The new episodes are based on scripts by US scriptwriter Paul Pimenta. New season welcomes a new character
from the Moon - an adventurous, lively girl called Moona. In March 2021 Spielwarenmesse published the ratings by Richard Gottlieb, CEO of Global Toy about the most popular kids licensing brands from different countries and named Moonzy the most popular brand from Russia. In the domestic market Moonzy is present in almost all merchandising categories: toys, publishing, FMCG digital and live events. The current toy line comprises toys in the target audience 0-5 years old. Plush with sound and without sound, collectable toys,
figurines, plastic play sets, building blocks, educational toys, art & crafts goods, wooden toys, puzzles, bath toys are featured under Moonzy’s brand name. Moonzy’s magazines are also very popular in Russia with more than 6 million sold to date All publishing materials are available for adaptation, and Egmont has around 600 different titles. Books are filled with tasks for preschoolers: counting exercises, how to describe and compare the pictures, guessing riddles and learning more about our planet. All exercises are age-specific and form a positive learning experience, giving the child the opportunity to express themselves. Moonzy is one of the most popular brands for pre-school audiences in Russia and it has won the trust of international partners such as Proctor and Gamble, Ferrero, Reckitt Benckiser, Chupa Chups. Recently Melnitsa signed a new licensing deal with Unilever, the leader in the FMCG sector, to drive popular preschool property Moonzy in Russia. The product range with characters from the new season will include kids’ hygiene products such as shampoo, toothpaste and bathing foam.
For more information about Moonzy, contact: email@example.com
A Taste of Freedom with TF1 Licences It’s Summer and one noticeable pandemic aftermath is the need to go out, taste a bit of freedom and explore away from home activities. As always, TF1 Licences is surfing the wave with news that fits right in! As announced last May, TF1 Licences has been working with IPE to create a brand-new experience with “Les Hoofs de TFOU”. A leader case targeting a young audience, TFOU achieved 34% audience share among kids aged 4-10 kids between January and May 2021* A must-see show for children every morning on TF1,TFOU and its “Hoofs” crew are being brought to life in a new and ambitious concept, immersing the public in the fun and crazy world of the programme: TFOU Parc! The result of a collaboration with family leisure space designer and operator Indoor Park Entertainment (IPE), and leading independent commercial property company SCC, this new indoor leisure park capitalises on the power and values of the TFOU brand and will deliver a recreational, multi-experience space for the whole family: a surface area of 2600m², 25 activities and
experiences spread over 5 immersive zones, including the T HOOFS zone and its incredible playground featuring trampoline challenges and towering climbs, or T GONFLÉ, the 100% inflatable world full of twists and turns that covers over 350m² - a first in France! As Yann Geneste, Head of TF1 Licences said, “The opening of TFOU Parc confirms TF1 Licences’ capacity to offer brand new and premium activations to create a unique bound between brands and the public.” Staying with TFOU, some new shows were announced during the press Conference that was held on June 30th. Among them some new brands for TF1 Licences and its partners to look forward to. Gus the Itsy Bitsy Knight, Santiago or
even the much-anticipated Imago, so many new heroes to carry TF1’s partners’ projects! An innovation for one licensed classic property - 50 years after they were born, the Barbapapa family took their first steps on the big screen in “The Barbapapa go green”. While movie theatres are slowly reopening their doors, TF1 Studio and Kinepolis gave people a chance to meet the Barbapapa family. From June 9th to 27th, the little and big ones were able to find a selection of adventures of Barbapapa, Barbamama and their seven children in up to 70 movie theatres. “The Barbapapa go green” is an adventure at the heart of nature, that teaches children to save water and also to save Barbapapa’s and Barbamama’s birth tree. The perfect occasion to increase children’s awareness of sustainability for their first steps in movie theatres. A first in movie theatres for the Barbapapa family orchestrated in collaboration with TF1 Licences, brand agent, and in partnership with TFOU, La Grande Récré, Les Livres du Dragon
TOTAL LICENSING d’Or and Giochi Preziosi. This Summer TF1 Licences is heading straight to Ushuaïa! Six months after the launch of the new program “Generation Ushuaïa” on TF1 welcomed by the press, the brand has put some beach clothes on! In June Sun City developed an ecologically responsible range of beachwear products for the whole family available only through Carrefour. Made of organic cotton and recycled polyester, this range of swimsuits, shorts, dresses, tops and accessories is an invitation to escape whilst increasing awareness of ocean protection. Indeed as a partner of 1% for the Planet, Sun City supports the Surfrider Foundation. Through this beautiful operation, Ushuaïa makes a statement as an ecologically responsible lifestyle brand! Stay tuned because some other
velopment (tourism experts), the Camping Paradis network promises a unique experience, in a setting that picks up all the themes that have made the series a success, with guaranteed high-quality service and a friendly atmosphere. A great expansion of a concept that vacationers love. A fully immersive experience that transposes the successful TV Show into a real-life experience. With very selective choice of grounds, real screenwriting of the experience, and labelling of the grounds, under licensed products, etc., everything is there to offer a full experience for fans of the show and for those who are just camping lovers! diences. He created some important topics in the news that are all about the regions, trying to move them to the front of the stage. With this new
Premium indoor park, exclusive movie theatre experience, ecologically responsible outfits and accessories that invite us to travel, a brandnew magazine taken straight out of a successful News broadcast section and an under license camping grounds affiliated network… It seems that TF1 Licences goes where you don’t expect them to work on unique and prestigious projects. ** Source : Médiamétrie – Médiamat – jan-may 2021 – Case TFOU
great partnerships are coming soon. Because escaping does not have to mean going far, and because France is such a beautiful country with a rich diversity, TF1 Licences is happy to announce a great partnership. The Publishing House Burda Bleu, together with Media 5 and TF1 Licences just launched on June 25th the “Au Coeur des Régions” Magazine. With the former host of the 1pm News on TF1, Jean-Pierre Pernaut as Chief Editor, the magazine will give people the chance to discover France, and everything that makes this country so beautiful. Jean-Pierre Pernaut has been host of the news for many years and is most acknowledged by French au-
magazine, he’s going one step further into his actions. A brand-new concept that’s an important development focus for TF1 Licences to work with iconic personalities. This launch is a first for TF1 Licences that shows they can create great synergies on many territories - even new ones. And finally some good projects for the Summer! The Camping Paradis Holidays adventure keeps on growing. 32 campsites completed their makeovers in the series’ colours last May for this new season.A total of 44 locations will be opening their doors in 2021 against 12 in 2020. Launched in the spring of 2020 by JLA Productions, TF1 Licences and 5C De-
Licensing Expo Virtual, taking place this year August 24-26 is the largest event dedicated to licensing and brand extensions. We caught up with Anna Knight, Vice President of Licensing, Informa Markets to find out more about the event, the platform and what the industry can expect. “We’re very excited about Licensing Expo this year. We’ve got some fantastic names signed up, from the larger studios, to smaller, independent companies, and these are from all over the world, North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe, etc. “It’s also great to be able to announce that already there are 600 IPs at the show– we have a new brand directory so you can also see the listings and by the time we are ready for the show
there will be thousands of individual IPs. The platform is already open for exhibitors and attendees – you can browse, search and set up meetings. It has been specifically set up to help people find brands more easily - it’s a really intuitive platform. We have simplified a lot, so it is really user friendly. From a content perspective –Warner Bros. and Mattel will be doing the keynotes – the third is to be confirmed. The ever-popular and important Licensing university has three tracks this year – the basics, a look at categories
and then the much more advanced setting as well. We will have live sessions across all categories, in some of the really exciting parts of the industry. “And of course the Awards! Shining a light on some of the fantastic and creative business that has taken place over the last year. “We are working with Helena at POC who will be delivering sustainability sessions. There’s so much going on! “The names of attendees and exhibitors are displayed from the start of the show and all the way through which will be a very valuable tool – people can search via their needs as well to find companies they might not yet be connected with. People can get leads before the show, not just during the event. “We have added in a lot of extra elements to make the system simple to use and navigate. “A concierge service is on offer to key licensees and retailers to help to set up meetings, in addition to exhibitors being able to use this service. “We are anticipating around 6,000 visitors, which is about right for an event of this size. We are trying to bring business to the right companies. “We are focusing on getting the right people there. There is so much potential business. “We have nearly 200 exhibitors signed now! “We are also looking forwards - to Brand Licensing Europe 2021, taking place as a live event in November. We have a fantastic category representation – across all categories, at the show, we have worked hard to make sure that exists. A great number of Europeans have signed for the show as exhibitors and attendees. “As we know, rules change all the time due to COVID-19 so we are extremely mindful of this in all areas.BLE will
be an extremely safe exhibition and we work with all measures in place. “The event will support the industry as it collectively looks to a postpandemic future with a ‘What’s Next’ theme weaving throughout the show in 2021. BLE returns this year with a new multi-platform format taking place in-person from 17-19 November at ExCeL London followed by an online event on 30 November- 1 December. “It’s encouraging to see live events happening around the world – as I said earlier, we notice that people attending the shows are very serious about doing business, so even thought the phrase quality over quantity is a cliché, it’s very true!” Licensing Expo Virtual recently announced the agenda for the event’s 2021 edition taking place August 24-26 in a virtual format. This year’s event features the return of Licensing U, produced by Licensing International, the US market debut of License This!, and an opening keynote address from senior executives at Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and Mattel plus the launch of Digital Brand Roadshows, Retail Clinics, Sustainability Clinics produced in partnership with Products of Change, along with GLG educational content. Categories for the 2021 event live sessions include: • Collaborations and Partnerships • New Exhibitors to the Event • Heritage and Nostalgia • The Live Experience • Animation and Anime • Licensing Around the World • Sustainability Clinics • Retail Education & Ask Me Anything Sessions: • GLG Educational Content: • Changing the Channel: The Evolution of Kids’ Content
TOTAL LICENSING • Ordering Up: How F&B is Feeding Limited Edition Drops • Untapped Potential: How Mobile Gaming is Gearing Up for Big Change • Collectibles – Who’s Collecting• What Now? • WTF is an NFT???!! Licensing U: A Licensing Expo staple produced by Licensing International, Licensing U supports brand licensing newcomers and those interested in honing their expertise.This year’s educational offering will span three tracks: 1. Basics, offering an essential introduction to how the licensing industry works 2. Spotlights, providing insight into the latest topics and trends in key segments 3. Tactics and Strategies, offering insight into the topics and trends impacting the brand licensing industry Over the next few pages, we bring you a snapshot of some of the companies at Licensing Expo and what properties they will be bringing to market. 9 Story has announced several key launches at the show. Jakks “Back-To-School” Daniel Tiger Plush - Daniel Tiger back-to-school feature plush with 10 school-themed phrases/songs! Press Daniel’s hand to trigger the sounds. Daniel also comes with a removable soft backpack, and small Tigey plush that fits inside the backpack so Daniel can take Tigey with him. Storypod Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Edition - Storypod is an interactive screenless storyteller for kids ages 3+. Educational and entertaining stories and songs come to life when kids tap lovable yarn-characters (called Crafties) or read-along books on top of Storypod. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is joining the Storypod platform which will now feature an exclusive Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood-branded edition which also includes a Daniel Tiger Craftie with exciting audio stories from the original show. Cottage Door Press “Happy Birthday!” Book - Grr-ific! Happy Birthday, Neighbor! Join Daniel Tiger and friends as they help cel-
ebrate your child’s special day in this personalized birthday book designed for little Daniel Tiger fans! Enjoy cake, presents, and singing the Happy Birthday song with your favorite neighborhood pals in this lively rhyming Daniel Tiger birthday book for toddlers that captures all the giggles and fun a birthday party brings. This unique keepsake sturdy birthday board book includes a special cover flap designed for a personalized inscription as well as an envelope and seal for gift giving. Little ones will love this special greeting card alternative that can be read over and over again. Daniel Tiger books are the perfect birthday treat for any little Daniel Tiger fan. Asmodee Entertainment’s mission is to extend the most popular board games in Asmodee’s vast portfolio into truly global brands. Through Aconyte Books, publishing arm of Asmodee Entertainment, the company has created gripping fan fiction novels set in the rich worlds of its games (Arkham Horror, Legend of the Five Rings, KeyForge…) as well as through partnerships with leading content providers (Marvel, Ubisoft…). The interactive team, in cooperation with Asmodee Digitial, is establishing partnerships with leading console, PC, Mobile and digital tabletop companies. Several of Asmodee’s leading brands have already been licensed to category leading partners in the interactive space with many more to be announced in the coming months. AE’s consumer products licensing team is working with leading global manufacturers and retailers to develop curated product offerings for its biggest fans in categories such as apparel & accessories (Hot Topic), collectibles (Loot Crate), gift & novelties (FanSets), publishing (CMON & Welbeck) and social expressions (Artovision) to name a few. In the location-based entertainment space, Asmodee has partnered with leading escape room operators (Escape Games Canada and Hourglass Escapes) and have some exciting immersive experience projects in development. Alpha Group, the International Kids
content producer and toy manufacturer is investing in its famous preschool license Super Wings and in promising new brands for the licensing market. The successful Super Wings series has a great future ahead with 5 seasons on air in most countries, a season 6 in delivery, a season 7 in production and more than 200 licensees, thanks to all our partners trust and support. In the upcoming season 6, Jett and his friends will be facing new challenges with new powers, allowing them to become World Guardians! Ready to take-off? Alpha Group also works on new projects with the production of its new series Legends of Spark for 5-8 years old. The series has already been placed with more than thirty broadcasters including Gulli, Canal Panda, Karusel, MTVA, Ökko, Youtube, Canal J and many more to come. Spark is a car who dreams to become the fastest driver and will conquer TV screens in Q3 / Q4 2022. Kids will enjoy its adventures in a second season planned for fall 2022. Last but not least, soon to be released Petronix Defenders TV series is in production. A promising series following a team of heroic children whose backpacks transform into robotic pets.Together they travel the world to rescue endangered animals all around the planet! Super RTL, Gulli, Tiny Pop, Clan, Karousel, Discovery Kids and Radio-Canada are already on board and more to come soon. This upcoming show will be delivered in Q2 2022 and will be targeting 4-8 years old. ZAG will be at Licensing Expo this year with Miraculous - Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, and the upcoming series, Ghostforce. Miraculous continues to grow exponentially, and this year we hit over US$1 billion in retail sales for the
TOTAL LICENSING brand. Created by ZAG and co-produced with ON kids & family (Mediawan Group), the series is ranked by IMDB amongst the Top 10 Best Animated Shows in the last 20 years; and was listed among the Top 10 most popular TV shows on Netflix in the U.S. ZAG and ON kids & family are in production on the first Miraculous theatrical to debut in fall 2021.The movie is a great opportunity for us to further engage adult audiences with the brand. We’re delighted about the success of our consumer products program around the world with over 300 partners on board. Our new worldwide licensees include Swatch’s Flik Flak and Epopia, who join long-standing partners Ferrero and PEZ. Ghostforce is an original gender neutral series for kids 6 -10 years old, coming to Disney Channel across EMEA, Discovery Kids Latin America and TF1 in fall 2021. Equal parts comedy and action, the series follows three junior high school students who form a secret team to defend their city from the ghastly ghouls haunting it. As these ordinary kids become heroes, they must keep their own normal lives on track while battling paranormal perils and supernatural supervillains. From a licensing and merchandising perspective, we already closed with several major partners, with toys coming from Playmates Toys and ZAG Labs, plus yet to be announced publishing and apparel partners, amongst others. 2021 marks the 200th Anniversary of The Saturday Evening Post, America’s oldest and one of the most beloved magazines. As the licensing division for the publication, Curtis Licensing has an arsenal of content including over 10,000 illustrations by artists like Norman Rockwell, John Falter, J.C. Leyendecker and George Hughes among many others. The images cover a variety of themes including holiday, travel, retro, farm, glamour and nautical. Since they were first printed in the magazine and through the work of Curtis Licensing, these images have been featured on thousands of li-
censed products and countless promotional campaigns, both in the United States as well as internationally. Product categories include seasonal and every day home décor, tabletop, stationery and gifts, puzzles, games and hobbies, publishing, educational uses and apparel. “Flexibility has always been a core value at Curtis Licensing, not only when it came to the terms of an agreement, but also with regards to the use of the art. During meetings and discussions, we would often tell licensees to crop or modify the artwork to better fit their needs. However, whether due to a lack of time or resources, or whether it was an inherent fear to “change” original artwork, a lot of companies would shy away from this,” said Cris Piquinela, Director of Licensing at
Curtis. “So, bit by bit, we started taking care of this design work ourselves which has been a crucial shift in how we conduct business.” Using a variety of techniques and tools, Curtis designers have become experts in modifying, tailoring and even creating brand new original artwork to accommodate the specific needs of their licensees. “We have become a full-service design company that can create a whole custom art collection and even generate product mockups upon request, and in time for our Licensee’s presentations,” added Piquinela. Every month, in addition to custom projects and working collectively as a team, the Curtis executive team and designers also research the upcoming
color and thematic trends and create thematic collections ahead of schedule so as to always keep their already impressive archive of iconic images relevant and fresh. WildBrain CPLG’s recently expanded US team will be heading to this year’s Licensing Expo Virtual (LEV) to present new brands, initiatives, and opportunities across its varied and growing roster of lifestyle, entertainment, and classic properties. Experienced licensing executive, Jasen Wright, who recently joined WildBrain CPLG in the newly created role of Vice President for North America, is responsible for driving the agency’s efforts and portfolio in the market. He will attend LEV alongside Alyssa Gourlay, WildBrain CPLG’s local Director of Business Development, to showcase opportunities within the ambitious plans, this year and beyond, for WildBrain’s proprietary brands which include Strawberry Shortcake, Caillou, Teletubbies and Chip & Potato. Building on Wright’s extensive background in assembling consumer products programmes for some of the world’s leading lifestyle brands, the team will also present opportunities across WildBrain CPLG’s expanding lifestyle property line-up. Current brands include: Absolut, Malibu, Harvard and Yale universities, British luxury leather company OSPREY LONDON, one of the most recognisable images in the music industry, the Parental Advisory brand, and one of the most iconic figures in fitness, Richard Simmons. Additionally, the team will share updates on WildBrain CPLG’s wider portfolio of third-party entertainment brands and existing partners, including Square Enix and its iconic arcade gaming IP, Space Invaders. At LEV,WildBrain CPLG will also present insights into the agency’s digital and content capabilities for IP owners and licensors, which are available in collaboration with WildBrain’s AVOD
TOTAL LICENSING network and digital studio, WildBrain Spark. This offering has recently seen WildBrain CPLG’s long-standing partnership with the emoji Company evolve to include the creation of emojitown, a new digital-first series and consumer products extension of the iconic emoji brand for teens. In a further combined services partnership, WildBrain CPLG is now building a global cross-category merchandise offering to support Moose Toys’ new boys’ brand, Akedo – Ultimate Arcade Warriors, for which WildBrain Spark is also producing a dynamic new animated series that brings the world of Akedo to life. Dr. Seuss Enterprises is stepping into the spotlight and bringing the magical Dr. Seuss world and its characters to life with new entertainment and content deals including: • Warner Brothers Animation- The Cat in the Hat feature film will kick off the new Dr. Seuss movie slate in 2024, followed by Thing One and Thing Two in an original feature length animated adventure in 2026. Bad Robot Productions has been tapped to adapt Oh, the Places You’ll Go! for the big screen with J.J. Abrams and head of motion pictures Hannah Minghella as producers on the film, set to debut in 2027. • Netflix’s Green Eggs and Ham- Warner Bros. Animation’s hit Netflix series Green Eggs and Ham was renewed for a second season. • The Jim Henson Company- Dr. Seuss Enterprises recently partnered with The Jim Henson Company to bring Come Over to My House, a new television puppet-led docuseries, to fans. • Dapper Labs- Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Dapper Labs are partnering to create all new digital collectibles to the Flow blockchain. The web-based experience will enable fans of Dr. Seuss’s vast universe the ability to collect digital packs of their favorite characters and wholly own them on blockchain forever. • Seuss Chef - An inspirational “foodie” brand for kids that takes Dr. Seuss’s signature characters and teaches kids about healthy eating and safe cooking with a side of wild Seussian fun. Seuss Chef will have a variety of fun cooking
products and content, including cookbooks and cooking videos. Across the full portfolio of literary properties, Dr. Seuss Enterprises plans to grow licensing programs around the following four categories: Entertainment & Content;Toys; Food & Beverage; Health & Beauty; Infant & Baby. Thirty-eight years after its foundation, Exim comments: “We can assure potential partners that this distinction lies in the fact that we are the only agency that, in addition to the development of Consumer Products, generate a unique synergy due to the emphasis put on the production of Live Shows, Concerts and Events.
mor. “With HQs in Miami, Exim has created a new network of agencies and partnerships throughout the region: Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. With offices in Guatemala and Panama, the seven countries of Central America are also covered. “All along these decades we have built a strong bond between efficiency and creativity, where there is no limit to imagination. With a top-notch team, our main goal is to continue growing, offering our usual high standard of quality and trust… just like we’ve been doing for the past 38 years.”
“Excellence and quality have been our signature mark, and this effort has been rewarded with the opening of more than thirty shows that have been a box office success in most territories. In 2018 we premiered, at the prestigious Luna Park Stadium in the city of Buenos Aires: Elvis Sinfónico, a concert that as the Argentine newspaper Clarin quoted, “Made the public feel that Elvis was alive”. With 48 musicians on stage and a special presentation by Priscilla Presley herself, Elvis Sinfónico repeated the success in Chile and Mexico. This December we will go back to Chile and during 2022 we plan dates in Brazil as well as in Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay. “In order to continue growing our brands portfolio, we’ll promote ABG’s (Authentic Brands Group) consumer products in Latin America starting with some Legends and Celebrities. “It is an honor to also be able to represent PANINI and NASA, brands with infinite legacy and projection, under a strong brand seal and with a bank of thousands of images. “In partnership with AM-Licensing, we promote Brandalised (the provocative and impressive work of the World’s Most Famous Graffiti Artist: Banksy) and Pets Rock, which approaches the consumer with a unique sense of hu-
Tim Kilby, Brand and E-commerce director at Character World, made these comments on the business and hopes for the future: “These last 18 months have been a time like no other and licensing has never been more important. Our own core licensed business has grown with both UK retailers and our European partners and we are expecting continued growth in the next 12 months, despite the challenges facing the industry. Our existing brand portfolio continues to go from strength to strength and (thanks to Zoom!) we have worked even closer with our licensor and retail partners to maximise distribution of our amazing products. Alongside the existing brands we have made some new signings such as Rocket League, Playstation, Sonic the Hedgehog, Stranger Things and some excellent new preschool properties such as Cocomelon and Dino Ranch. “Here at Character World we have also
TOTAL LICENSING taken this time to launch some really innovative products in the wellness category with our brand, Rest Easy Sleep Better™. Our products are amongst the top performing in their category and we have even been featured in the Evening Standard and Glamour magazine. “This is not it for Character World; we have some really exciting new launches coming over the next 12 months which we can’t wait to share with everyone and are excited to see them come to market.” Greg Giordano, the Owner and Managing Operator of Greg & Company, has worked alongside Legacy Publishing Group to create original designs for The Heartland Wall Calendar collection. The year 2022 will mark the 4th year that this calendar line has been a successful and integral part of the consumer
market. The Heartland collection celebrates American nostalgia, featuring vintage antique trucks and tractors in a variety of rustic farm settings and small-town scenes. “What a joy it is to work with Greg! Time spent surrounded by his beautiful artwork is good for the soul”, shares Cathleen LLanso, President of Legacy Publishing Group. “His calendars have been a favorite of Legacy customers for years and Greg has been a favorite of ours as well. His talents spill past the canvas. He is that rare artist who becomes an invaluable partner. In sharing his experience and his years of work in the art and licens-
ing world, and his understanding of the production side of the business, Greg makes us better before, during and after we publish his art.” The popularity of Greg’s images for the Heartland collection has expanded beyond wall calendars, and have been featured on greeting cards, puzzles, and various wall decor items.
and her staff have designed for more than 50 manufacturers in a variety of product categories including stationery, greeting cards, giftware, tabletop, home décor and more. “Using your design specs or our own product concepts, we will work with you to develop a fresh, on trend and original product collection that will SELL!”
Endemol Shine North America, a Banijay Company, will present its latest portfolio across unscripted, scripted and digital properties for the 2021 Virtual Licensing expo – MasterChef and MasterChef Junior, Wipeout, Peaky Blinders, and legacy brands including digital animated series Simon’s Cat, British Icon Mr. Bean and Deal or No Deal. Hit culinary series MasterChef is currently on its 11th season on FOX while MasterChef Junior’s 8th season will premiere on FOX later this year. In recent years, its license program has grown to a diverse product offerings including housewares, toys and games, publishing, live events and more. Re-imagined, fan-favorite, extreme obstacle course series Wipeout is TBS’ #1 unscripted and most co-viewed show. The series has been renewed for a second season and will start production Q3 2021. The first consumer product offering in the toys category is set to debut this summer. Scripted series from the Banijay Brands portfolio, Peaky Blinders, is an award-winning crime period drama airing on Netflix and BBC One. The sixth and final season of the series is set to premiere soon. Its robust licensing program includes products across multiple consumer categories including games, beverage, apparel, digital, housewares, gifts/novelties, stationary, publishing and more. Other legacy brands to be featured include highly popular digital animated series Simon’s Cat who reached 18M+ followers across social media and earned 20M+ app downloads, Facebook’s #1 TV brand and British icon Mr. Bean and all-time favorite unscripted series Deal or No Deal.
Delta Children is trusted by some of the biggest names in licensing such as Disney, Nickolodeon, DC, Marvel, and more. From beds to chairs to tables, they make hundreds of styles guaranteed to fit any child’s needs. Delta Children is excited to be expanding their license offerings to include CoComelon. For over 50 years, Delta Children has provided everything kids need for their bedrooms, nurseries, playrooms and more. Now, they are thrilled to be entering the outdoor category.
Owner of Haley Art & Design, an art licensing studio, Connie Haley
As a market leader in anime, Funimation is everywhere fans want their anime, proudly delivering incredible fan experiences, including licensing and merchandise. Anime is a cultural phenomenon, and Funimation partners with the best global brands for the most coveted, passionate, and diverse fandom around the world. From current juggernaut brands like Attack on Titan, Dragon Ball and My Hero Academia, to nostalgic brands like Cowboy Bebop, Robotech and Afro Samurai, Funimation and its global alliance of partners delivers consistent top performers at key retailers, both in-person and online. Funimation is currently seeking new partners to grow anime together.
Welcome to Karma’s World! 9 Story presents the story of a young girl finding her voice in the world Netflix, 9 Story Media Group and Karma’s World Entertainment have recently announced a new CG animated series, Karma’sWorld, created by multi-award-winning American rapper, actor, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges.The 40 x 11 minute episode series for children ages 6-9 is a coming of age story about a young Black girl finding her voice and using it to change her world — originally inspired by Chris’s oldest daughter Karma. The series is produced in partnership with 9 Story’s Oscarnominated, Dublin-based studio Brown Bag Films and its Emmy Award-winning Creative Affairs Group as well as Karma’s World Entertainment, Chris Bridges’s production company. Karma’s World follows 10-year-old Karma Grant, an aspiring musical artist and rapper with big talent and an even bigger heart. Smart, resilient, and deeply empathetic, Karma pours her soul into songwriting, channeling her feelings into whip-smart rhymes with passion, courage and her signature brand of humor. In this series, Karma is only beginning to grasp the incredible emotional power that words and music can have. She doesn’t just want to share her music with the world…she wants to change the world with it! Set to premiere globally on Netflix later this fall, Karma’s World has already built out an impressive roster of licensees, including global partnerships with Scholastic and Mattel. Mattel has the global toy rights for the brand and will be launching a range focused on dolls and doll accessories, styling heads, role play, plush and more with music woven throughout the line. The collection is expected to launch at retailers across the globe beginning fall 2022. Scholastic has secured global publishing rights to the property across all storybook formats. Launching in January 2022 and releasing a second novel in March, the first two original chapter books will serve as companion stories to the Netflix series and bring aspiring rapper and hip-hop artist Karma Grant from the screen to the page. The Scholastic program will also include a picture book co-authored by Chris Bridges and series head writer Halcyon Person, and a guided journal to be published in summer 2022. Representing the brand outside of North America are a network of top tier licensing agents including Retail Monster in the UK,The Wizards in France, TBR The Brand Residence in Germany, Planeta Junior in Spain, Portugal and Italy, License Connection in Benelux, BLA! Boutique Licensing Agency in the Nordics and Eastern Europe, Haven in Australia & New Zealand, and Lotus in Latin America. Deals were secured by 9 Story Brands, 9 Story Media Group’s dedicated brand management and consumer products division.
Current Trends in the Licensing Industry 2021
By Rutika Malaviya Founder & Editor-In-Chief, Rooh Entertainment | Licensing Corner Mumbai, India rutika@roohentertainment. com www.roohentertainment.com www.licensingcorner.com
No points for guessing that the product licensing community has suffered due to the sudden advent of the COVID 19 pandemic.There has been a dramatic shift in the consumer’s buying patterns and businesses have struggled to keep up with the trends. 2021 is the light at the end of the tunnel, experts suggest that the economy will bounce back to normal after the second wave subsides and Licensing Corner believes brand licensing market size will significantly grow. The global market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% between 2020 and 2025. This means that licensing enterprises will remain exciting spaces to work in. Despite 2020 being a slow year in terms of revenue growth, licensing deals, issues concerning the overstocks due to lockdown and other restrictions, there are few trends that have stuck through the pandemic.
CURRENT STATE OF THE INDUSTRY We have all witnessed a paradigm shift in the way customers purchase products. Consumer spending is slowly increasing as the economy begins to reopen. From 14 INR trillion in the second quarter of 2020 to 17 INR trillion in the third quarter to now 22 trillion rupees in the first quarter of 2021, spending is only increasing. The earlier dip in numbers could be explained due
to the lockdown and the surge of COVID cases in India. After the steep fall in private consumption, the situation is only going to get better. In the first quarter of 2021, we saw new licensing projects being undertaken and the industry beginning to flourish. Today, every industry has adopted brand licensing, collaborations and extensions to earn an extra source of revenue and explore more ways to attract consumers. This trend is especially more apparent in the digital space.
Content Licensing Indian digital media is set to grow at 20% to reach a market size of 18,938 crores by 2021. Experts believe that by 2022, it will be over 70,000 crores with a CAGR of 11.59%. With digital media growing at such an exponential rate, it will only give rise to content creators and influencers. Today content creators can reach any brand’s ideal audience without being too salesy or preachy. A testimony of the growing popularity of influencers is google searches, in the last three years there has seen a 1500% increase in
the number of google searches for influencer marketing. The global influencer market is valued at 7.68 billion dollars and is only expected to grow. With good reach on social media, influencers can negotiate not only when it comes to sponsorship or brand deals, but also royalties and launching their own collection. In the last year alone, we have witnessed a stupendous growth of social media use and individual creators. Influencer marketing remains a lucrative option for brands across all niches. The crux of the influencer culture is that individual licenses will continue to grow. Big creators can now give permission to brands to use their content in projects. The Samai Raina
TOTAL LICENSING feature legendary artists such as Gulzar, R.D Burman and Geeta Dutta This was also mainly due to the TikTok ban in India and with the launch and rise of Instagram Reels, Facebook Shorts, and YouTube Shorts. Many other short video platforms have seen a surge. If 2020 was the year for OTT players, 2021 can easily be termed as year of short-video platforms.
Anubhav Singh Bassi
influencer market size is expected to grow from 1.7 billion dollars 2016 to 13.8 billion dollars in 2021. Content creators now have a newfound opportunity to make use of their licenses. Some of the recent examples of influencers using brand licensing for monetization are comedians selling their own merchandise. Comedian turned chess streamer Samay Raina launched his official merch in the first half of 2021 and it was an instant success. Another Indian comic Anubhav Singh Bassi who has a following of over 2 million YouTube subscribers launched his own merch in the midst of the pandemic. All products had a one-liner joke performed by Bassi. Needless to say, they sold like hotcakes. Another creator, Prajakta Koli also known as MostlySane hopped on the bandwagon and announced the launch of her merchandise on her Instagram. Social media has allowed us to maintain a direct connection with celebrities of our choice which is why content licensing and influencer marketing is there to stay and grow exponentially.
Music Licensing The Indian music industry will be worth 19.2 billion INR by the end of 2021. The industry is said to grow at an annual CAGR of 10.8%. The digital music licensing industry is valued at 665 crores according to the music consumer study in 2021. Today consumers can take online licenses in exchange for online payments and the
digital sales contributed to the revenue by 78.5%. The music licensing journey flourishing with the introduction of big players entering the local market continues. India will be a battleground for these streaming services which could, in the end, spoil customer with too many choices. Music streaming services will license their catalogs to social media platforms or video platforms. In April 2021 Saregama licensed its entire catalog to short-form video platform Triller. Facebook launched a caravan with old songs, allowing it a robust music library of over 1,30,000 songs. Saregama was compensated well for the legacy they have built over the years. Saregama has a rich collection of songs in over 25 languages which Prajakta Koli
In 2021 more and more brands are likely to invest in experiential marketing which will, in turn, open avenues for new forms of licensing. Consumers are now more than willing to pay for an experience provided they see some potential value in the proposition. In fact, one third of consumers have paid for a brand experience. Live events can invoke a sense of nostalgia and community. We have all seen Louis Vuitton restaurants, FRIENDS cafes, or birthday parties themed ‘Sacred Games’ or ‘Tinkle’. Kidzania has built successful brand relationships by understanding the value of experiential licensing. One thing that we all can safely agree upon is that 2021 would keep reminding us of the “good old days of the past.” This isn’t by accident, after the initial lull in business, brands started to capitalize on Nostalgia. In 2019, Amar Chitra Katha Alive Centre hosted live events so that children could experience mythological stories. The program was called Kala Gurukul and it was a massive success. In a screen-dominated world, experiential licensing is a great gateway to exchange intangible value. The success of Disney Land, Jungle Book, and Robinhood theme indoor parks is proof that experiential licensing will only grow in the coming years. • Simplifying complicated products by licensing As Marvel continues to entice audiences, the use of its characters to simplify complicated products grows. There is an unending list of brands that have benefitted from this model. FIFA for example uses Marvel characters to explain strategies that could be used in football. This keeps the user’s interest alive despite the information
being seemingly educational in nature. Such propositions are endearing for the consumer, which is why there can be ample licensing opportunities in this segment. • Fandoms will continue to dominate By generating a revenue of over 11 billion dollars worldwide, Marvel remains one of the profitable franchises ever. In 2004 2005 Walt Disney merchandise was available in India, back then they featured characters who were meant for the school-going audiences. Disney now has a range of products that cater to the needs of everyone from toddlers to adults. A few years ago people would have been reluctant to buy a premium product simply because it had a picture of some Marvel character on it. Today, people are more than happy to spend on character-based products since these products are now associated with fandom and instil a sense of community. The success of McDonald’s collaboration with BTS is proof that people would be willing to spend more to experience a sense of belonging. After the collaboration, visits to McDonald’s rose by 12 % despite the ongoing pandemic. The success of Licensing enterprises like the Souled Store, is a proof that Fandom enterprises such as Marvel, DC, and F.R.I.E.N.D.S is not going away anytime soon.
Toy Licensing The Indian toy market was estimated to be worth approximately 38.1 billion in 2020. After the border dispute with China, India made the trade policies more rigid and discouraged the import of Chinese goods. The govern-
massive digital adoption. CoD is the preferred mode of payment in the ecommerce sector however 2020 has brought a shift in consumer behaviour towards selecting modes of payments with digital payments like GPay, Whatsapp Payment, PayTM etc. Mobile payment has grown considerably with 50% of online shopping is done on mobile. The pandemic pushed everyone to go digital and motivated people to shop online. There is no denying that the nationwide lockdown had an impact on the current commerce industry as well but the online retail sector quickly recovered with the onset of the festive season in 2020. Ecommerce sales were estimated to have risen by only 7 8% in India. Low consumer spending and travel restrictions have led to a slower growth. China and the USA both adopted contactless delivery and
ment had effectively imposed a BIS Bureau of India Standard certification mark for toys. The absence of the certification mark can lead to criminal prosecution. Such strict government policies have given a chance to local artisans to showcase indigenously produced toys along with Atmanirbhar and Make in India campaign by Government. Homegrown toys such as the ChhoAROUND THE WORLD: ta Bheem franE-COMMERCE GROWTH IN 2020 chise today have a brand value of over 300 crores. It is also one of the top-selling toys in the back-toschool category in the South Asian markets. After the 7 - 8% 18.5% 20.0% augmented viewership of over 40 million, the character is destined to be a success. India USA China Source: Forrester Research The show gets 40% of its revenue through licensed merchandise only. fewer travel restrictions to encourage people to spend more money which is E-commerce Industry Movement control restrictions owing why their e-commerce sector grew by to spread of COVID 19 in India has 18% and 20% respectively. propelled the E-commerce market, IIndian internet penetration has resultant sector turned out to be the reached 50% and it is expanding to most preferred shopping option dur- bring ing 2020. COVID 19 created strong internet access to more and more growth outlook for the E-commerce people. A report from Statista says as during the lockdown period this that the ecommerce retail businesses grew from US$ 3.535 trillion in 2019 channel worked as saviour for many. The pandemic has brought a massive to US$ 4.206 in 2020, and is poised to grow and cross US$ 5.695 trillion by change in the buying behaviour and preferences of people and led to 2021. No one can
TOTAL LICENSING Sports Licensing
doubt that the industry will continue its unrestrained streak in recent years and hit big numbers. If you are an investor, you will definitely want to develop a custom e-commerce website to leverage the unprecedented growth of the industry. That’s for sure. The number of users of e-commerce is set to hit 3.814 billion in 2021 with an excellent year-on-year growth of 10%. E-commerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart have managed to retain their target audience and are expecting strong sales in 2021. If there is one business that has distinctly gained during the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, particularly during the second wave in 2021, it is ecommerce. And this gain has occurred across all product categories and sectors. Building on this advantage, there will only be more traction for e-commerce in the coming year. What will particularly be more noticeable is the entry of a whole lot of new players, both big and small, democratizing the e-retail marketplace. However, this expanded and democratized e-commerce marketplace will coexist with the physical brick-and-mortar retail spaces. The sector saw big upsides from new online shoppers, existing shoppers buying more food and grocery, and mature shoppers moving more of their spending to online platforms.
Retail Sales Although Indian retail has opened up
after a year-long lockdown, the side effects of the lockdown still persist. The 900 billion dollar retail market has invariably suffered due to the pandemic. Leading brands have closed operations due to low sales. The Chief Executive of The Retailer’s Association Kumar Rajagopalan admits that the retail loss has been over $25 billion to $30 billion during April and May of 2021. The number of retail players will decline if consumer confidence remains low. Sales are set to revive only once the lockdown is fully at ease in most metropolitan cities. In 2020, there was a 45 percent drop in sales during the 1st lockdown period from March to October, however, the sales revived during the festive season. Experts believe that similar history would repeat itself in 2021 as well. Sales will resume as the lockdown begins to ease.
Live sports interaction remained limited. Merchandising played a pivotal role in maintaining an emotional connection between the sports players and the fans. There was disruption in the revenue collected due to the health emergency. BCCI had to recover major revenue loss, it was estimated that if the matches were called off there would have been a loss of 2,000 INR crore. Despite no ticket sales, the players were paid in full as per the contract. The official sponsors, Tata, Unacademy, Cred, Upstox, PayTM and Dream 11 had to pay 300 cr (approx) for the full season, however in 2020, they did not pay over INR 155 crore. The advertising budget was reduced by 60 percent and broadcasters such as Star Sports were forced to offer huge discounts to woo advertisers. Merchandising played a critical role in monetization. The sale of official jerseys, sports souvenirs, and sports equipment was the only light across the tunnel. With an incredible retail network, official merch was available despite the pandemic. FanCode & Shop by Arena was launched way ahead of IPL 2020/21 to provide an affordable range of fan gear from leading sports brands.
Conclusion While these are some trends that remain at the top of the chart, the world of licensing is as unpredictable as the year 2020. What it does tell us is that the industry needs to innovate otherwise brands are destined to fail.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go... The beloved brand that continues to inspire
Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr Seuss was born in 1904 and wrote more than 60 books in his lifetime
There have been six movies and dozens of TV specials and series adapted from his works
There are no straight lines on Seuss Landing, the attraction based at the Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida
Dr. Seuss Enterprises continues to expand its portfolio of content with new feature films coming with Warner Animation Group, Season 2 of Green Eggs & Ham on Netflix, and a partnership with Jim Henson to bring Come Over to My House to screen, among other deals. The team also recently partnered with Dapper Labs to bring the Dr. Seuss Enterprises catalog into the realm of NFT for the first time. They are also continuing to expand out their live events with the Dr. Seuss Experience hitting the road again after a pause during the pandemic. The trend of kids properties and NFT Last year, Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced that they were partnering with Dapper Labs to bring the Seuss Universe into the NFT world. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which has been a leading global children’s entertainment company since 1993, is focused on promoting literacy, education, self-confidence and the wonderful possibilities of a child’s imagination through the works of Dr. Seuss. The creative, whimsical world of Dr. Seuss and its characters have inspired generations of readers and continues to be a true pop culture and entertainment phenomenon, with major successes both on the page and on the screen. Over the past two and a half decades, Dr. Seuss Enterprises has built a formidable reputation by inking hundreds
of licensing deals in virtually every category and ramped up its global entertainment presence with several projects in development at the world’s most respected studios and publishers. At the 2021 virtual International Licensing Show, Dr. Seuss Enterprises will continue to celebrate the importance of literacy and creativity with the roll out of new product lines, programs, and initiatives, as well as growth of their entertainment and content portfolio. From expansion within a number of categories including entertainment, food and toys, to The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 65th anniversary celebrations in 2022, there is a lot going on. Entertainment and Digital Content Dr. Seuss Enterprises is stepping into the spotlight and bringing the magical Dr. Seuss world and its characters to life with new entertainment and content deals including: Warner Brothers Animation- The Cat in the Hat feature film will kick off the new Dr. Seuss movie slate in 2024, followed by Thing One and Thing Two in an original feature length animated adventure in 2026. Bad Robot Productions has been tapped to adapt Oh, the Places You’ll Go! for the big screen with J.J. Abrams and head of motion pictures Hannah Minghella as producers on the film, set to debut in 2027. Netflix’s Green Eggs and Ham- Warner Bros. Animation’s hit Netflix series Green Eggs and Ham was renewed for a second season. The Jim Henson Company- Dr. Seuss Enterprises recently partnered with The Jim Henson Company to bring Come Over to My House, a new tele-
vision puppet-led docuseries, to fans. Seuss Chef - An inspirational “foodie” brand for kids that takes Dr. Seuss’s signature characters and teaches kids about healthy eating and safe cooking with a side of wild Seussian fun. Seuss Chef will have a variety of fun cooking products and content, including cookbooks and cooking videos. In addition to the deals mentioned above, the Dr. Seuss Enterprises team is looking at ways to expand the portfolio into the realm of podcasting and other creative content executions. Expansion of Overall Merchandising Program Across the full portfolio of literary properties, Dr. Seuss Enterprises plans to grow licensing programs around Entertainment & Content; Toys; Food & Beverage; Health & Beauty; and Infant & Baby. Campaigns Dr. Seuss Enterprises is building out campaigns around some of the most popular characters and titles heading into the end of 2021 and 2022 including: Hats Off to Reading – In March 2022 Dr. Seuss Enterprises will celebrate the 65th anniversary of The Cat in the Hat; The Lorax – This year marked the 50th anniversary of The Lorax. To celebrate the iconic books and its environmental and community activism message, Random House Children’s Books announced a program launching at Barnes & Noble with One Tree Planted, along with a robust line up of new book titles. New sustainable partners that were on board for this year’s Lorax celebration include BarkBox and TenTree, which has a second drop coming in June. New and Expanded Partnerships: Heading into the end of 2021/beginning of 2022, Dr. Seuss Enterprises already has some exciting deals and partnership plans queued up including Skechers; Stance; Strike; BarkBox and more.
TOTAL LICENSING Becky Ash caught up with Emma Hyman, Executive Producer and Co-Creator, and Vickie O’Malley, Rockpool Licensing to talk about how The Baby Club has provided a tower of strength over the last eighteen months and how this is reflected in the growing merch programme...
“The Baby Club on CBeebies was a lifeline for a first-time mum during lockdown when all the baby groups were closed. We learnt some brilliant ideas of how to play with everyday objects and many of the songs are now our firm favourites!” “CBeebies is continuously on in our house and one programme all three kids agree on watching is The Baby Club, they’re all under 4 so they’ve really grown up with Giovanna and Nigel.” “You worry about your baby not being able to see people and be able to interact like they would have done in normal times - but that’s where The Baby Club has been so wonderful: normality in a very abnormal situation.”
The Baby Club - A Club for All The Baby Club has been going from strength to strength – can you highlight some recent exciting news? VM: 2021 has been a whirlwind so far! The new podcast “Baby Bear & Me” launched in January, the first series of The Toddler Club at Home launched in February, quickly flowed by the arrival of the latest series of The Baby Club in March. Then, at the start of May, we celebrated the exclusive launch of our babywear and plush lines at Tesco. The range can be found in top 160 Extra stores, in its very own bay in the in the baby aisle (a first for a license!) and with its own Mat in a further 40 stores within F & F. We’ve supported the launch with a social media and influencer campaign and we’re pretty excited about early sales and the incredible engagement and warmth with the range has been received on socials. We’ve even seen our Baby Bear plush being re-sold on Ebay for £30! What do you think is the magic formula that makes the show so special? EH: We are truly passionate about helping people and this is at the heart of the success of the brand. We work with experts and academics so we know how incredibly beneficial a baby club can be and that is at the forefront of every decision we make about the show and beyond.The Baby Club community trusts that we will provide brilliant content and latterly, merchandise,. Do you think it provided extra comfort and enjoyment during the last year? EH: The basic premise of The Baby Club was that if you can’t get to a real baby club, we’ll bring one to you. And never was that more needed than over the last year. With support networks stripped away, parents were
desperate to find new ways to feel connected and stimulate themselves and their babies. The Baby Club offers parents guilt-free, money-free, interactive entertainment for them and their babies. It also offers an opportunity for babies to watch other babies and for parents to see other parents. Anything goes at The Baby Club! How have you kept a balance between entertainment and information/education? EH: Having a baby in a global pandemic has tested new parents like never before. But it is still a real joy to have a baby and many families have found that with their jobs being furloughed or working from home, they’ve benefitted from having much MORE time with their babies than they would otherwise have had. We always consult our academic partners at every stage of our process and this time was no different. We made two lock-down series and one studio series during the pandemic and were acutely aware of the difficulties new parents were facing. We wanted to keep the series upbeat, entertaining and full of practical suggestions. The Baby Club has always focussed on exploring everyday household objects and during our lockdown series’, we showed home videos of families playing at home, together, in new and novel ways. We also beefed-up our social media presence, offering support, ideas and encouraging messages to our online community. Since you began the licensing programme, have you been inundated with potential partners wanting to work with the show? VM: It’s been a more complex journey than that! Our publishing partners, DK and Centum (adult and baby books re-
spectively) came on board early. They inherently understood the goals and value of the show. However, with The Baby Club being a completely unique proposition; parent and baby facing and live action to boot, some potential partners couldn’t see the opportunity early on. Add in C-19, lockdown and an aversion to anything ‘unproven’ and it wasn’t all plain sailing. Happily, there were partners, who watched the show, saw the viewing figures, social media engagement, BBC commitment and thought ‘Yes! This is what we’ve been waiting for!’ It helped that infant, as a category, has thrived in lockdown and that looks set to continue with prophesies of a baby boom coming true. With so many changes to the retail landscape for baby in recent years, retailers have identified an exciting opportunity to increase their share of a growing market – all of which helped momentum for The Baby Club snowball last year. What categories are you looking to expand into? VM: There’s so much scope for us to extend – we’re talking to partners in infant toy, toiletries, bed and bathroom textiles, travel, feeding and gifting but the story doesn’t end with physical products. As well as promotional partnerships, the show itself was born of the idea of bringing the benefits of a baby club into the home and we can now, finally, look at opportunities to take the brand back out into real world experiences that embody the goals and values of the show. With extension of the brand into The Toddler Club, we’re able to do the same for a second property for that older, 18mth – 3 yr age group too. The potential for a brand development and partnerships is absolutely thrilling.
Licensing and expanding classic properties Danger Mouse celebrates his 40th anniversary this September and Boat Rocker Studios is gearing up with new UK and US licensees and a range of special anniversary merchandise to celebrate the iconic animation. Major new licensees include Bioworld, Funko,Truffle Shuffle,The River Group, Blu Goblin and Redbubble. A worldwide deal with Funko will see a brand-new range of Danger Mouse Classic collectibles, including its trademark Pop! stylized vinyl figures and Vi-
nyl SODA! figures of the series’ heroes (and villains!). Bioworld are launching a new range of adult and children’s apparel and drinkware, while exclusively on TruffleShuffle.com is a new range of apparel, tote bags, mugs, art prints, metal signs, lunchboxes, enamel pins and door mats. The River Group’s 84-page Danger Mouse Anniversary Bookazine launches in October 2021. Blu Goblin will donate proceeds from their limited-edition anniversary figurine set towards Kids Out Charity, and
Redbubble have added Danger Mouse to their extensive range of apparel, accessories and home items. Smiffys and Trademark Products will continue to offer their adults’ and kids’ dress-up costumes and adults’ t-shirts respectively. Further celebratory products will be available later in the year across a wide range of categories, including annuals, novelty, cards and gifting, children’s nightwear and babywear and pet apparel and accessories.
WildBrain CPLG has secured a new wave of European partners for the beloved character brand Peanuts. Brokered on behalf of Peanuts Worldwide, the latest collection of deals sees ranges launching across fashion, accessories, homewares and gifts for both children and adults. In addition, WildBrain CPLG is expanding its representation of Peanuts with Nordic representation rights being added to the agency’s existing remit from 1 July 2021. WildBrain CPLG’s Benelux team has inked deals with partners, including: Dutch beachwear brand Shiwi (Luxor Fashion Group) for a Spring/Summer 2021 collection targeted at boys, girls and men; Eastpak for a collection of Peanuts backpacks and travel bags, launching worldwide in July; and Leomil for a girls and women’s footwear range, set to roll out across Europe in Spring/Summer 2022. Additionally, WildBrain CPLG’s Germany, Austria and Switzerland team continues to extend its PUMA partnership with a second collection of kids’ footwear, apparel and accessories inspired by Peanuts launching worldwide in July 2021, following a successful first collection in Spring 2021. The premium pet food brand PLATINUM has also been signed for a promotional deal, featuring Snoopy as its brand ambassador for a digital marketing campaign across Europe. In Spain, Andres Gallardo has launched its second handcrafted Peanuts collection, Dime Que Me Quieres has
recently debuted a handmade artisan jewellery range and Zara Home has introduced a new line of babywear, towels, homeware and accessories at its stores and website worldwide. In Greece, Giovas is set to launch bags and accessories in a new back-toschool Peanuts collection. For the UK, new Spring/Summer apparel collections have launched from existing partners, including the baby and kidswear brand Cribstar and the adult fashion brand Vintage Supply. In addition, childrenswear brand Lil’ Cubs, as well as candle company Flamingo Candles, have both debuted their first Peanuts ranges. For Italy, WildBrain CPLG’s local team has secured a deal with MyBeautyBox, which
saw the monthly makeup subscription service’s June mystery box dedicated to Peanuts. Long-term Italian publishing partner Foto Edizoni is adding Peanuts comic strips to its monthly crossword magazine and is also launching its first bi-monthly Peanuts themed kids and teen crossword magazine. WildBrain CPLG’s France team has secured deals with Parisian fashion design studio Sandro, which saw the recent worldwide launch of a Peanuts men’s capsule collection, and also with local fashion brand Cyrillus for a baby and children’s collection. In Central and Eastern Europe, MPTECH has been signed for stationery and backto-school items with the first collection launching for b-t-s 2021.
Looking at the licensing programs for two beloved brands
A Street-Smart Partnership Sesame Workshop has appointed Studio 100 Media as licensing agent for Germany and German-speaking territories. Becky Ash interviewed Stefan Kastenmüller, General Manager Sesame Workshop Europe and Joachim Knödler, Head of Licensing at Studio 100 Media, to find out more about the absolute synergy which has brought the companies to work together... Can you tell us more about how this partnership came about? Stefan: Sesame Workshop has identified Europe as a region for strategic growth – Germany is one of these key markets, as well as the UK. Sesame Workshop, which is an NGO committed to kids’ educational programs, made the decision to be more active in Germany and German-speaking territories. That is why we have established a local office in Munich which oversees the European region. With a very intensive and transparent process, Studio 100 Media delivered by far the most convincing concept and business proposition. Joachim: Stefan and I know each other well, we have worked in the licensing industry for many years! Friendship has become a business relationship now, alongside a firm belief that we will be very successful. I also worked for a couple of years with Sesame Workshop, so I know and understand their business model and ethos. I joined the licensing industry in 2003 working for many of the big studios as well, so it is a part of my history that we have already done business together – we have the mutual leverage to Joachim
launch into worldwide opportunities. We can now closely look at where we can deliver Sesame Street in the future, where will it be, and enter new categories. Licensing as we know is a very creative business and you don’t have to always follow the traditional path. We all know that Covid-19 has had a huge impact on business, consumer products has of course been a difficult area within the retail sector – the consumer cannot see the product visually [directly with his own eyes], so there’s a lack of emotional connection. Now it’s about thinking of new ways to connect. We cannot count on the retail landscape as it was a few years ago. But we can make the difference that lifts the brand to the next level of licensing success. How long is Sesame Workshop’s history in Germany, and how long has Sesamstrasse been airing? Stefan: Sesamstrasse has been airing as a co-production since 1973, we are looking forward to our 50th anniversary. It remains a loved brand, for all generations, and has over the years reinvented itself in terms of styling, creative execution, reaching a very widespread audience for kids as well as being a pop culture brand. Have people turned to classic, comforting brands, especially during the last 16 months? Stefan: With the whole pandemic situation we have realised the positioning
as an educational entertainment brand has come back into focus – we see that educational, quality content has gained momentum. Can you tell us some of the first steps in this partnership, ideas for expansion and so on? Stefan: When we look at developing and growing the franchise, Studio 100 Media offers the best ideas for our objectives. They have a multi-line business and 360-approach for traditional consumer products, market content distribution, as well as expanding into theme parks, live events, etc, all as part of the strategic approach. Of course, Studio 100 has a long and proven success in expanding IP into live events, and theme parks. How will you use this experience with Sesame? Joachim: This is where we have seen the benefit of the 360 approach – we have turned properties such as Maya the Bee, Mia and me into global brands and we are breaking new ground and new categories. What we are going to do, is offer this expertise to Sesame Workshop – which of course is not just the licensing side but also the legal, marketing, finance, PR, that we Stefan
TOTAL LICENSING have within our company. We have the benefit of having this hugely strong team with expertise, also in terms of publishing. We have a lot of experience and dedicated staff working on the fashion side, so we will be looking at fashion for teens and adults, but also into the younger area. Toys and games remain important, as well as publishing. With the pandemic, we have had children in home schooling for many months now – with a brand like Sesame Street we have the experience, and the trust of the brand – filling the gap for educational content. Theme parks are one of the most exciting topics for us, as we can already leverage our existing experience, our parks, meaning that people can live and breathe the brands. Another step is location-based-entertainment, bricks and mortar need an entertainment factor to encourage the consumer to come back. In the German market, after a long lockdown, online opportunities grew, and people are now not fully going back to bricks and mortar as they once did. On top of that, we manage our own content from the distribution side, we have our own broadcast channel in Germany. These are all part of the exciting aspects where we can work together. What are your first plans? Stefan:The contract began on 1 July, so we are at the very beginning of this partnership! Sesame is very well established all over the world as a muchloved brand.The potential for so many different designs, product categories is enormous – I have never seen such an inspiring collection of style guides for all the characters, such as Elmo, Cookie Monster – who is your favourite, by the way? Elmo! I interviewed him once actually… So, back to the plans – what is the most important factor right now? Stefan: Brand and retail will be a key focus in the coming months, as we want to be seen in 2023 our year of the 50th anniversary in Germany. Sesame Street has always had the themes of inclusivity, and diversity, and how do you plan to in-
clude these into consumer products and licensing plans? Stefan: This is a really good question – Sesame has always been more than a tv show and IP – we will always follow our mission to help kids grow stronger, smarter and kinder and this will be included in our products and in every area of expansion. Everything has evolved over the years – the mission is to produce quality and early education – this is always an aspect that is at the heart of everything we do. And, we add more relevant topics to our content of course, focusing on mindfulness, awareness – today kids are under more pressure and stress than ever before, we will create new content with aspects to make them feel stronger. We look at aspects like racism, introducing new characters to add to the current discussions. We also want to raise awareness that we are an NGO – every penny goes back into our social impact campaigns all over the world. Parents are very interested in buying educational products which are sustainable as well, buying a Sesame Street product is indirectly supporting our social initiatives as an NGO. Joachim: I can emphasise the importance of the mission, this will clearly define our strategy for consumer
products – so we will create a wide range of signature products in education. Diversity is one of the top priorities at Studio 100 Media, so we will passionately drive this forward from every aspect of the partnership. You will find these aspects in all angles of our business – when you live and breathe this, we feel that both company missions will benefit from each other. One key element is the appetite for German-speaking characters – as Stefan said, Sesame is a pop-culture brand in German-speaking territories, and on top of this, people in the licensing industry look for classic characters – our brand awareness is 98% with adults and 94% with kids, so there is hardly any property comparable to this! It has the history and its place in the market, and the characters are really much loved. We see the very worldwide aspects of the characters as well as the very localised initiatives – this is very important to audiences. Education, music, making people laugh, and addressing current social issues are always so important to Sesame Street. In order to inform the current license partners, and maybe new ones, we are looking forward to running a licensee summit within the next weeks.
Let the Games Begin Becky Ash caught up with Edouard Bardon, Licensing Managing Director for the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, about the innovative and creative licensing program which launched earlier this year
For more information, please contact licensing@Paris2024.org
First of all, tell us a bit about Paris 2024 Absolutely! Let me also give some context around our Games as well. This is a really positive outlook for business and the market – the licensing program will be ambitious, inclusive, creative and innovative. It will create jobs and be sustainable. Can you tell us about the initial call to begin the licensing program? The Games will be revolutionary and spectacular, and the licensing program will reflect this. We will rely on celebration, experience and legacy. The program will generate revenue to finance this great celebration. The consumers and fans can experience the Games through easy-to-reach and affordable merchandise. We want to legacy to be unique and memorable, through tangible and sustainable works. In 2020 we launched our first call for interest across initial categories including textiles, apparel, premiums and gifts. Last September we gathered together many potential licensees in a Parisian venue to present our vision and strategy. Paris 2024 is a public organisation, so we have to respect the public order regulations – we publish our opportunity of business, make it open access, guarantee equal treatment and transparency for the applicants. It is in our vision to bring both speciality items and mass-market, so the products are available to everyone on every budget.
And how many partners do you have so far, and which areas are of particular interest in licensing? We are in discussions with about 15/20 licensees at present. Next we are looking at publishing, stationary, back to school and so on. At present we have some categories still open, and some are almost closed! Later in 2021, we will open Toys & Games, Jewelry & accessories, Homeware & Decoration, Official stores operator (in & Off venue). What do you look for in potential licensing partners? We are looking for every kind of know-how! We want to respond to consumer needs - we expect a total of 10,000 SKUs, similar to previous games. We want to focus on of course apparel, which is predicted will make up to a third of our revenue, as well as gifts, novelties, toys and games, egaming, as well as collectible products, for example, stamps, coins, etc There is a huge opportunity to look at all categories and allows licensees to be innovative and creative. Given the last year has been challenging, what kind of potential does an event so huge as the Olympic Games pose for licensees and retailers around the globe? We expect that the business will represent 2 billion euro in the French market and online with our official stores; we will launch an official web store Olympic platform soon. This offers a huge international opportunity for the Games and potential revenue.
In France the Games will have 30,000 POS, with 10,000 SKUs. Each normal year, France has around 100 million visitors so we very much hope that this will return! We anticipate over 60 licensees for the assortment of our products. There is a difference of course between licensees and partners– partners are sponsors and licensees are our merchandising partners. Each will have their own expertise and skill in their own category, and will have the ability to innovate and create something special for our Games. Games are huge events, with enormous reputation at risk of course – we must be aware of everything including local sustainability, social issues, working environment, local economies. We commit to some very ambitious directives, like we want to be a carbon footprint free Games – even negative – and we will develop this with all our licensees and partners. Local production/close proximity will be used where possible – using local expertise, every licensee will be compliant with any kind of social regulation. Looking back over previous games, are there any elements of licensing programs that you are looking to emulate? Our mission is to create this licensing program which sees great success from a blank slate. London 2012 was certainly the closest event in similarities for us, but Paris 2024 will of course be completely unique and incredibly spectacular.
It’s All About the Experience... As we hopefully emerge from the worldwide pandemic, there is no doubt that we won’t be returning to the ‘norm’ as well knew it, and trends that may have begun have certainly been accelerated – not least in traditional retail. Experiential licensing is immersive and growing, and the fact that so many are tapping into this speaks volumes for where we can see the future of licensing – keeping brands and IP in front of consumers. Experiential brand extensions are going to be key to the growth of the market. Travel with American Girl American Girl and educational travel provider Academic Travel Abroad recently launched a new immersive travel program, American Girl Vacations. Designed for American Girl fans and their families, the first two vacation packages are inspired by two of the brand’s iconic historical characters: Nanea Mitchell, a Hawaiian girl growing up during wartime in 1941; and Rebecca Rubin, a Jewish American girl growing up during the peak of the
immigration period in 1914. The fully guided educational trips will take place in December 2021 and explore the islands of Oahu, Hawaii, and Manhattan, New York. Each vacation package features curated events and activities that bring the American Girl character stories to life in a culturally authentic and unique way. “American Girl has been celebrating girls and girlhood through engaging experiences for more than 35 years,” says Jodi Goldberg, head of content development for American Girl. “Through American Girl Vacations, we’ve combined the wonder of travel with the magic of storytelling to provide a fascinating glimpse into the worlds of our beloved characters. The personalized experiences inspire children and adults to discover more about the world around them, while making memories to last a lifetime.” “Travel is a life-changing experience for young people, and we have woven American Girl’s core values of kindness, tolerance, confidence and resilience into these trips,” said Chase Poffenberger, ATA Executive Vice President and a mother of two daughters. Academic Travel Abroad (ATA) is a 71-year-old, DC-based educational travel company, and creates immersive and experiential travel programs for organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution, The New York Times, and National Public Radio. Enjoy nature with Peter Rabbit The Peter Rabbit brand team at Penguin Random House UK (PRH) have launched Peter Rabbit: Friend to Nature, a new annual campaign aimed at encouraging children and their carers to enjoy being creative in nature during the summer. Laura Brand has been engaged as an ambassador for the campaign, to create and present a series of filmed tu-
torials. These fun, nature-based activities will be shared every Friday in July to provide parents with ideas and inspiration to enjoy the great outdoors with their little ones this summer. In addition, a series of classroom activities and learning resources have been developed for KS1 school children with Puffin. These will be hosted online and mailed to 37K primary teachers in the UK and made available to key English language-speaking territories. Izzy Richardson, Director Owned Brands at Penguin Random House said: “During her lifetime, Beatrix Potter was a pioneering conservationist who was passionate about the natural world. So who better than Peter Rabbit to champion the joy that spending time in nature can bring? Peter has an authentic connection to nature and this mid-year campaign will enable us to reach families with meaningful and engaging content beyond Easter. Friend to Nature is perfectly timed to drive awareness of our newly relaunched website, the first in a refresh of all of our Peter Rabbit digital platforms.”
TOTAL LICENSING Immersive Paddington experiences in Chinese hotels The Copyrights Group has announced new experiential partnership with The Langham, Shanghai, Xintiandi and Langham Place, Guangzhou. Guests of the luxury hotels in Shanghai and Guangzhou can now enjoy exclusive immersive Paddington experiences, including staycations in specially
appointed Paddington themed rooms, Paddington afternoon tea with adorable Paddington Bear cupcakes and themed pastries. Specially curated limited edition Paddington souvenirs are also available at the hotel shops. The Langham, London is the first hotel which served afternoon tea when it opened in 1865 and since then, Langham hotels around the world have been renowned for serving the best afternoon tea experiences. In Shanghai, the Paddington afternoon tea has already been awared most popular themed afternoon tea by the 2021 5th Hotel Discovery Awards.. The two hotel locations use different Paddington artwork, showcasing the diversity of the Paddington brand. The partnership is one of several key strategic activations for Paddington in China, which aims to strengthen the awareness and the brand’s engagement with consumers. These activations are initiated in conjunction with the launch of the new TV series, The Adventures of Paddington in China. Explore the ocean with Crayola Crayola and OceanX, a global nonprofit ocean exploration organization, are partnering to bring the wonders of the ocean to the next generation
through imagination and creativity in the first collaboration of its type for both parties. The multi-faceted relationship aims to creatively inspire the next generation of ocean explorers and aligns both organization’s goals—to educate young leaders through creativity, imagination, wonder and exploration. The partnership will include co-branded products and experiences including home adventure kits, creativity products, educational content, and the first ever takeover of Crayola’s premier family destination—Crayola Experience. The Crayola-inspired, interactive attractions at Crayola Experience encourage children and adults alike can unleash their imagination and experience creativity and color in a whole new way. The aquatic-themed, OceanX experience will put children in the front seat of exploration as they join a deep sea mission in search of the rare giant squid. Children will mold and craft marine creatures; learn about undersea wonders and conservation efforts; view sea creatures in their natural habitat through colorful “portholes” featuring OceanX Media content, and ultimately come face to face with the Giant Squid! Fully-integrated experiences Falcon’s Beyond Global has launched as a fully integrated enterprise to propel story-driven, experiential entertainment around the world. The new enterprise, supercharged by a joint venture with Meliá Hotels International, will be the only vertically-integrated entertainment powerhouse able to simultaneously activate an intellectual property across the full transmedia spectrum — with the potential to transform the $440 billion hospitality and entertainment category. Falcon’s Beyond was formalized this May when leading attraction design & master-planning firm Falcon’s Creative Group united with themed-entertainment company Katmandu Group. This powerful combination has instantly created the fully integrated source for simultaneous entertainment IP activations—from streaming media development to theme park
site acquisition; master planning to brick-and-mortar projects; immersive ride & attraction design to merchandise creation; right through worldclass park & resort operation. A first major focus of Falcon’s Beyond will be to apply its IP Expander model to the rapid evolution of its original and wholly-owned “Katmandu” IP— already popular with the millions of Europeans who have visited Sol Katmandu Park & Resort in Mallorca, Spain, and a growing list of Katmandubranded kids camps in Meliá’s Sol Hotels. Along with new characters, a streaming video series, and merchandise, the proven Katmandu IP will undergo a brick-and-mortar expansion. Through unique technological capabilities, Falcon’s Beyond will establish Katmandu as the first world-class theme park to have every ride and attraction customized to a centralized story “like chapters in the same legend,” and digitally tied to individual guest experiences. Development is moving forward on additional Katmandu parks on the grounds of Meliá resorts in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Tenerife, Spain and other key tourist destinations. Experience the Pink Panther month Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s (MGM) Licensing and Consumer Products division has announced the first Pink Panther Month celebration for June 2022. The month, which was chosen to sync up with National Pink Day on June 23rd, and the major celebratory moments of June including Father’s Day, Pride Month, and Graduation will feature something for everyone to fete. MGM’s Pink Panther Month will showcase innovative collaborations, exciting product launches, thematic retail activations, experiential initiatives, and will be supported with marketing and social media activations. Pink Panther Month is being unveiled on the heels of what has been a highly successful year for the beloved pop culture character featuring new licensees, retail partnerships, a nomination from the Licensing International Awards for Best Brand (Entertainment, Character,
Animated) and the unveil in 2020 of a new shade of pink in collaboration with Pantone—Pink Panther Pink. MGM is currently building a roster of new and first-time partners for Pink Panther Month in 2022 as they continue to expand the overall roster of new licensees for Pink Panther. Recently, MGM signed a number of new licensees that will debut between now and early next year. They include Nowhere Co. Ltd. (aka Bathing Ape) for Apparel, United Labels AG (Apparel/Accessories/Home Décor/Housewares— Germany, Australia, Switzerland, and UK), M.A. Al Abdulkarim & Co., LTD
(Apparel/Accessories/Home—Saudi Arabia), Tiga Entertainment Co. LTD (Apparel/Accessories—Thailand), and Grendene SA (Footwear—Brazil). All of the licensees will feature the new Pantone shade of Pink Panther Pink as well. Live and breathe dinosaurs with Dino Dana Dino Dana, star of Dino Dana The Movie, presented by Safari Ltd., and her friends roared into the Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS) this year. Guests can visit the new Dino Dana exhibit, see the coolest dino augmented reality (AR) experi-
ence and catch Dino Dana The Movie on the GIANT screen as part of the MODS Discovery Pass. “Fascination with prehistoric life never goes extinct, and MODS is excited to partner with Sinking Ship Entertainment and Safari Ltd. for the official U.S. launch of Dino Dana The Movie in South Florida,” said Joseph P. Cox, president and CEO of MODS. “Dino Dana The Movie is a fun and adventurous exhibit and film powered by fierce heroine paleontologist Dana, her friends and the augmented reality dinosaurs they encounter along the way.” “Exposure to science truly helps children link the wonders of the past to today’s environmental challenges using modern STEM applications. Families will flock to see dinosaurs in action through the latest technology at MODS,” Cox continued. MODS has partnered with Sinking Ship Entertainment, a multi-awardwinning children’s entertainment company and producer of Dino Dana The Movie, to bring Dino Dana’s adventures to life at the Museum with the film on the GIANT screen, as well as a Paleontologist in Training Live Show and the creation of an exhibit.
Trends in the Korean Content Licensing Market
By Hyon-kyong Kim, President, K VISION INC.
2020 was the year in which the COVID-19 pandemic covered the entire world. Korea was less affected than other countries, maintaining a relatively successful quarantine, but the consumer market was clearly weakened compared to previous years. The pandemic has brought about many changes in daily life. The expansion of non in-person services and the larger prominence of VOD media platforms are perhaps the most significant changes that have loomed. In a situation where it is imperative to avoid as much human contact as possible, the daily routine of more online shopping via the Internet and mobile devices and enjoying content consumption of the streamers such as Netflix and YouTube have strongly taken root in Korea.
channel called Sibling War has gained over 2 million subscribers. The channel shows funny scenes of siblings, with the scripts written by a comedian couple, became a big hit in the licensing market in 2020. Overall, the interest in YouTube channel-based content market has only increased.
selling more than 4 million copies up to series 5, and is especially popular among elementary school students. Despite the pandemic, the live-event musicals in which the two sibling characters appear have been very well attended and are currently on a nationwide tour. It is expected that licensing will continue to grow. Another example of YouTube driving the popularity of Korean content is the Giant Peng TV channel and the character Pengsoo, a large stuffed penguin character over two metres long. Pengsoo originally appeared in a short segment on EBS, a mainstream Korean educational terrestrial linear TV channel and became a big topic of conversation.
YouTube Has Become The Treasure Trove of Hit Content YouTube, in particular, is becoming an established platform with high viewership across almost all generations. The power of YouTube has become the foundation for the birth of popular content. The brands that kicked off the licensing of YouTube based content have been the kids’ toy play channel Carrie and Toys, and the Minecraft game broadcasting channel, Ddotty and Sleepground. Since then, another
Sibling War with its subscriber base of 2.18 million viewers as of mid-June 2021, has been the driver in establishing a character licensing business across more than 300 product categories including stationery, toys, fancy goods, household products, and food and beverage. The manga based on the original story has been a huge hit,
Pengsoo has become as popular as general TV entertainment programming. In particular, EBS has skillfully maximized the exposure of the Pengsoo content through the active use of
TOTAL LICENSING the YouTube channel and their main linear terrestrial channel. The continuous dialogues and comical situations of Pensoo have captured the hearts of children and adults alike. As a result, there have been a series of collaborations with various companies and the constant release of new licensed products, as well as TV commercials for major companies such as banks and confectionary manufacturers. Due to the birth of these types of content, most of the legacy broadcasters and media have adopted the strategy of establishing YouTube channels as essential content distribution platforms..
BTS Are Also Kings Of The Entertainment Character Category Entertainment industry companies and their talent also seem to be aggressively entering the licensing space through creating character properties based on the content they own. The one group that has attracted a great deal of attention is BTS, the Korean boyband who created the character BT21 in collaboration with LINE Friends in 2017. BT21 is a character property that has attractive designs and solid storylines and was developed in honor of each BTS member. In particular, BT21 became THE hot property because the BTS members directly participated in the entire character development process, from the initial character design sketches to giving the character a personality. BTS also took part in product planning. Another element of the BT21 property has been interactivity with the fans. The brand has pursued the value of creating things together by actively communicating with global fans and incorporating their opinions and ideas to develop and expand the unique worldview dubbed as the BT21 Universe. In addition, another new BTS character, TinyTAN (previously known
as BTS Character) was created by BTS’s management company, Big Hit Entertainment (now known as Hybe Corporation). TinyTAN was officially launched in late 2019, and brand licensing and other commercialization is now well under way. LINE Friends have also been expanding their content monetization stable. Building on their success in developing BT21 with BTS, LINE Friends recently collaborated with Jisoo, a member of the Korean girl group Black Pink, to create the new character called Chichi. Chichi is featured in the popular Korean developed online multiplayer racing game, Kartrider Rush+. Chichi also been used for 16 types of emoticons on social messaging platforms. Plans are afoot for expansion into more licensing categories.
Newtro? A New Look at Retro Brand Characters A mash up of the words “new” and “retro” has produced the term “newtro”. Recently, Korea has been experiencing a newtro fever, especially among the MZ generation, a demographic formed from the pairing of Millennials and Gen Z groups. Korean companies seem to be actively using this newtro fever for marketing. The Korean liquor company Hite JINRO has brought back and refreshed
the design of a frog character that appeared on popular alcoholic beverage packages from the 1970s. Besides
marketing the beverage, the frog character can be seen in collaborations with other companies products and services across food, fashion, communications, finance, and distribution. In fact, sales of the drink itself are showing strong growth. Another corporate character has been making a successful comeback in character marketing. Daehan Flour Mills have sold their Gom Pyo brand flour since 1952 featuring their signature polar bear character. A recently refreshed design and newtro marketing has helped to increase the appeal of the flour brand to the MZ generation. A successful spin-off three party collaboration using the refreshed polar bear has been Gom Pyo Wheat Beer, produced in cooperation with a smallscale beer brewer, a major convenience store chain and Daehan Flour Mills. Besides beer, Gom Pyo has been releasing a variety of limited-edition collaborative goods with brands in clothing, food, cosmetics, and stationery. This trend has triggered an extension in the direction of giving new value to traditional brands.
Innovation Through Collaboration: Revitalization of the Korean Character Licensing Market. The character licensing market in Korea is expanding into very diverse areas. It is moving very organically through collaborations between different industries, and I am very much looking forward to more innovative, intriguing, and fun examples appearing in the future. As we continue through 2021, the Korean market is showing signs of recovery, and licensing is expected to revitalize not only through online but the offline market as well.
Hyon-kyong Kim is president of Korean licensing agency, K-VISION Inc. Ms. Kim studied for a Masters Degree in Journalism at Sophia University in Tokyo for two years. During that time, she also worked as an overseas video journalist for KBS 2 TV channel, part of Korean Broadcasting System, the national South Korean public broadcaster. Upon graduation, after working for Sumitomo Warehouse, she re-engaged with media joining H.C.P., Japan’s first magazine dedicated to the “Korean Wave” of popular Korean contents. Thereafter she worked for the Tokyo International Anime Fair Secretariat before establishing K-VISION in Japan in 2005 and then in Korea in 2010. Ms. Kim writes extensively on the Korean contents industry. For three years, she authored a Korea market column for Charabiz.com, a Japanese character industry portal site, and now continues to contribute to Korean licensing magazines. www.k-vision.com firstname.lastname@example.org
She’s a glamorous, sassy, beloved international icon... and after 48 years she’s got a new licensing agent!
Celebrating the Queen of Cartoons! This year Betty Boop made the leap to leading brand-licensing agency Global Icons, where their experienced team hit the ground running with Betty’s dedicated longtime licensees and a number of innovative new collaborations. Working with major clients such as Hostess Brands, Southern Comfort, Turtle Wax, Automobili Lamborghini, and USPS, Global Icons now takes on their first animated cartoon character with Betty Boop. It seems the celebrated Queen of Cartoons is a natural fit for the agency, which has already locked in several high-profile collaborations through 2022. The new collaborations kicked off in June when famed L.A. based retailer Fred Segal featured a limited-edition Betty Boop “Proud to be Me” graphic tee for LGBTQ+ Pride Month with the profits benefiting the dynamic media force for LGBTQ+ acceptance, GLAAD. “We’re thrilled with the incredibly enthusiastic response we’ve received working with Betty,” says Jeff Lotman, CEO of Global Icons and a longtime
fan of the character. “She truly is a beloved classic superstar and icon on so many levels. We’ve been having a great time putting together some fun and unique collaborations, and we couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come.”
In addition to working with the knowledgeable team at Fleischer Studios, Global Icons has brought in renowned cartoonist and Creative Director Frank Caruso to lead the art department. Caruso, who has worked with
Betty Boop and a number of classic cartoon characters for over 30 years, will help oversee the brand’s new direction, while bringing a new creative eye to the company’s other initiatives. It’s a good thing Betty Boop has a dream team, because satisfying the appetites of fans looking for great products and content in a classic car-
derful endorsements, and a new book entitled Betty Boop’s Guide to a Bold and Balanced Life, penned by Susan Wilking Horan and Kristi Ling Spencer, both of whom are long-time Fleischer Studios team members and voices for female empowerment in their own right. Adds Mark Fleischer, Chairman and CEO of Fleischer Studios, “Coming off a long run of 90 years, we’re excited and impressed with Global Icons and what they’ve done with Betty Boop and all the Fleischer Studios characters in just a few months. We’re looking forward to a new chapter for Betty and Fleischer Studios, and to new opportunities with Global Icons in which Betty can continue to share her message of hope, independence and inspiration with fans around the world.”
toon character who’s considered a style icon, a trailblazer, and a symbol of women’s empowerment is no small feat. It’s one they’re all taking on with impressive expertise as Betty’s fan base continues to grow on social media and in modern pop-culture. Numerous A-list celebrities and influencers have been vocal about their appreciation for the beloved star. Fashion magazines, advertisers, designers, and entertainment producers regularly include and reference Betty in their works. It’s no wonder Elle magazine has called her “everybody’s favorite liberated cartoon woman.” Moreover, 2020 marked Betty’s 90th anniversary, a year that was celebrated with several cross-promotions, won-
And now that we’ve caught up with Betty Boop and the exciting new developments in her world, we had the chance to share an intimate conversation with Mark Fleischer, and to pick his brain about the past, the present and the future of Betty Boop and Fleischer Studios.
Betty Boop was, of course, created by your Grandfather, the animator Max Fleischer. What can you tell us about Max that people may not know? Mark Fleischer: “When most people think of my grandfather, they think of an artist. It’s true, of course – he was. But Max was also an inventor. He was fascinated by how machines worked and attended the Mechanic’s and Tradesmen’s Evening High School before attending art school. This combined education led him to create several inventions and new technologies, and to build one of the most successful animation studios in his day, Fleischer Studios, which contributed significant gold to the Golden Age of Animation.”
After he opened a new studio in Florida, a speculator in Miami, a fledgling city in those days, offered to sell Max Fleischer Miami Beach for $2 an acre. Max responded, “What would I do with all that sand?”
What gave Max the inspiration to create the first game-changing technology? “Having risen to the position of art editor at the magazine, Popular Science Monthly in Brooklyn, the editorin-chief made the fateful suggestion to Max that he find a way to make the jerky, awkward animated cartoons of the day “look better, smoother, more lifelike.” In response, Max created the rotoscope, a device that gave fluid, human movement to animation for the first time in its history. It was from this point that Max combined his invention, artistic talent, and madcap and sometimes bizarre sense of humor, to found Fleischer Studios where he created Betty Boop and where he, along with his four brothers, brought Betty Boop, Popeye, Superman and other great characters to the screen to delight millions of people. In fact, Betty’s beloved grandfather,
TOTAL LICENSING Grampy, the lovable, somewhat crazy inventor, is actually Max’s animated alter-ego.” Did Max have a motto that helped guide his animation? “That’s a great question. Ultimately, Max lived at the intersection of art, humor and surrealism. I remember as a young boy him saying to me, “If you can do it in real life, why animate it?” Fleischer Studios was one of the first animation studios in the world. What can you tell us about it? “Max considered his employees family. He expected them all to work hard together toward a common goal with
discipline and respect for each other. I remember my father, Max’s son Richard Fleischer, a prominent motion picture director himself, once telling me how frustrated Max would become when the animators, for example, were expected to do all the work. A classic example was when a writer put a stage direction in a cartoon screenplay which read “He gets on the horse in a funny way.” Now, whatever that meant, Max felt it was unfairly left up to the animators to figure out. So, Max worked hard to bring all the different facets and personalities of the studio together. He promoted family values within the studio and guided and mentored many of the great animators of the day, including George Stallings, Grim Natwick, Myron Waldman, and freshman animator Joe Oriolo, who went on to co-create Felix the Cat when he left Fleischer Studios. And, of course, Fleischer Stu-
dios was also the first to employ a female animator, the wonderful Lillian Friedman.” Max was such a trailbrazer in this new world of animation, was he ahead of his time in other areas of his life as well? “Hah, not always! Poppamax, as we called him, was a dichotomy. In 1938 he opened a new studio in Miami, Florida. He paid for all of his employees to move to Florida and created for them a beautiful state-of-the-art animation studio in the first fully air-conditioned building in Florida. So far, so good. Yet, when a speculator in Miami, a fledgling city in those days, offered to sell him Miami Beach for $2 an acre, Max responded, “What would I do with all that sand?” Had he responded differently, I might well have been doing this interview from Fleischer Island!” Now, Fleischer Studios only produced cartoons.Yet there is a long history of Betty Boop merchandise and memorabilia dating back to the 1930s. How did that happen? “In the 1930s, the merchandising of Betty Boop was driven by the meteoric rise of her cartoon popularity. So, as early as 1931 Betty Boop dolls, socks, toilet soap, figurines, wall clocks and apparel flooded the global marketplace. After Fleischer Studios closed its doors in 1941, however, Betty’s cartoons were exhibited on a limited basis, and her merchandise program slowed. It wasn’t really rekindled until August of 1972, one month before Max’s death. Since then, our merchandising program has expanded exponentially around the world, and with that we’ve noticed a sharp increase of interest in the old cartoons. So, it appears that where once the cartoons drove interest in the merchandising, the merchandising is now driving interest in the cartoons.” We’ve all just come off a very long difficult period in our world’s history. How has Fleischer Studios been affected by the pandemic?
“We’ve been very fortunate at Fleischer Studios. We’ve been able to conduct our business from our homes, work with our new agent Global Icons, and communicate with our licensees thanks to modern technology and the internet. We’ve become Zoom experts, which has allowed us the privilege of speaking face to face with our business partners and licensees around the world. We’ve managed to remain productive, innovative and in touch with the emerging post-Covid markets.” While technology and the internet have allowed many of us to continue working through the pandemic, what are the drawbacks to a world ruled by the internet? “Misinformation. In the age of the Internet, not everyone takes the time to do their own research and homework, so there’s a lot of false and misleading information out there. We’ve even faced it here at Fleischer Studios. For example, there are misunderstandings online about who actually inspired Betty Boop. The truth is that she wasn’t inspired by any single individual, but by popular performing styles of the day that my grandfather Max really appreciated. The truth of Betty’s story and her creation is a matter of public record, information which can be found in historical archives, old court rulings and numerous media articles.
The fact that Betty was a child of the Jazz Age and was inspired by the collective creativity of the fabulous artists, music, style and energy of the time is also summarized on our Fleischer Stu-
dios website, which guides interested readers to additional factually correct and historical sources.” In fact, Betty wasn’t even quite human when she made her cartoon debut, was she? “No, she wasn’t. Betty began her career in the 1930 cartoon Dizzy Dishes where she appeared as a quasi-canine singer and dancer, performing in a nightclub owned by another caninetype character known as Bimbo. Betty had droopy Cocker Spaniel eyes and long puppy dog ears that swung back and forth as she moved. By 1932 in the cartoon Any Rags, however, Betty had evolved into the character her fans know and love today. Her big eyes became more girl-like with their prominent lashes, and her puppy dog ears became Betty’s signature hoop earrings.” Why are the facts important? “Facts are important because we’re entering a new age in which we all hope to bring more social, cultural and racial inclusion, equality and equity into a world starved for all three. But to do so, we all need to come from a point of truth, personal integrity and social responsibility -- not misguided extrapolation. Misinformation can be very hurtful in the real world. And once misinformation is out there it takes off like a rocket and is, unfortunately, very hard to contain and correct.” Betty’s been around for a long time. To what do you think she owes her longevity? “Her underlying human values. For nearly 100 years, Betty has been a symbol of courage, confidence, sass and class. She has always stood up for
herself and others. She was ahead of her time and a trailblazer who led the charge. She was the first female, human or cartoon, to run for President of the United States in the 1934 cartoon, Betty Boop for President, in which her campaign slogan was, “Don’t be a poop.Vote for Boop.” She was the first animated character to stand up for animal rights and against animal cruelty in the 1936 cartoon, Be Human. Betty even showed us the importance of recycling, reusing and repurposing in the 1932 and 1933 cartoons Any Rags and Crazy Inventions.”
Has Betty always had a smooth ride? “Oh gosh, no. I’m not saying that Betty Boop never made a mistake or that the Fleischer Studios’ cartoons were always examples of doing the right thing. Early animation was an experiment and a creative work in progress. Some cartoons fell short in their messaging. Some displayed caricatures that were hurtful. And some included themes or images that were inappropriate then and are inappropriate now. But over the body of her work, which includes more than 100 cartoons and films, Betty’s overall message has remained one of hope, courage, kindness, respect, love and of course, humor. These are things that our world has always treasured, especially now after the events of the last year and a half. And these are the qualities that keep Betty both timely and timeless.”
a real human character. None of us is perfect and we all make mistakes. And unfortunately, when we do, we can’t erase those mistakes or pretend they didn’t happen. But we can acknowledge them, learn from them, and vow not to repeat them. This is what we try to do every day with Betty’s current licensing and merchandising programs. We take the very best of her attributes and amplify them. We make sure her message in every piece of merchandise reflects positivity, wellbeing and the conviction that if we believe in ourselves, we can overcome anything.” And now that Betty just celebrated her 90th anniversary as an animated icon, what are your goals for her next 90 years? “Our goal is to have Betty continue to personify the best of human values and qualities, and to inspire, support and promote the theme of personal empowerment for all. After all, Betty’s been through the Great Depression, numerous wars including World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, political turmoil, creative censorship, civil unrest, years of sexual, racial and cultural inequity, and now the Pandemic. And, as we cross into the new frontier of a post-Pandemic world, Betty Boop, with the full commitment and support of Fleischer Studios and its worldwide licensing agent Global Icons, is looking forward rather than backward to the exciting opportunities and challenges that are even now knocking at her door.”
Betty began her career in the 1930 cartoon Dizzy Dishes where she appeared as a quasi-canine singer and dancer, performing in a nightclub owned by another canine-type character known as Bimbo. Betty had droopy Cocker Spaniel eyes and long puppy dog ears. By 1932 in the cartoon Any Rags, she had evolved into the character her fans know today. Her big eyes became more girl-like with their prominent lashes, and her puppy dog ears became Betty’s signature hoop earrings.
You said early animation was a work in progress. Can the same be said for animated characters? “Absolutely. It’s all about evolution. A cartoon character is very much like
Sustainability is so much more than a buzz-word, and the industry is certainly growing more aware, not just of the steps needed to take now but also how to future-proof business. Here we catch up with some experts who share opinions and examples of how sustainability is become the norm.
The Sustainability In Licensing Conference 2021 took place in June, joined by over 500 attendees from around the globe - all on a mission to be updated, educated and informed on the latest movements as the consumer products industry heads for a more sustainable future. The conference was attended by brand owners, product suppliers and retailers from all core categories; toy, housewares, gift, greetings, apparel, textiles, and many, many more. We caught up with Helena Mansell-Stopher, Founder of Products of Change about the conference and what the industry can take from it: “At the beginning of the year we thought we would be in a position to host SILC live, but alas that was not to be due to Covid. We did however welcome over 500 delegates across the platform from 20 countries for
the two day conference, which was an increase from last year showcasing the focus from the industry to drive sustainable change, a poll on day one of the conference actually showed that 75% of the audience already have a team in place dedicated to building sustainable practices up from last year which is extremely encouraging to see. “Across the two days we learned what retail is driving and requiring of the industry from Asda, Tesco, Dayrize and Character.com to brand owners and manufacturers such as Lego and Zuru showcasing their current sustainable journeys. The Eden Project, the gaming industry and marketeers focused on how as brand owners we can use the industry to drive real social and environmental change, we also learned what government is requiring with new EU legislation. With over 70% of a manufacturers scope 3 emissions coming from their supply chain it was important that we focused on how to reduce this with 3 sessions across the two days showcasing solutions. “The two days were pack with insights to transform and advance the industry, taking feedback from last year’s conference and making sure we kept the conversation moving forward. Summing up the conference, Helena said: “Our industry has been given a great opportunity to drive social and environmental change through the brands we manage, a responsibility to use this opportunity to make a difference and
SILC is very much part of this. “Following the conference we are now creating specific workstreams within the Products of Change community to build change, and have already started working on the SILC22 agenda, more to be announced in the coming months.” Publishing In other recent achievements, Wastebuster’s not for profit, toy, and tech recycling programme, Recycle to Read, is now working with HarperCollins who will be supplying books as rewards to participating schools The Recycle to Read campaign aims to develop a UK wide infrastructure for the recycling of hard to recycle plastics and engage children in environmental education by showing them the value of their old and unwanted toys. Phase one of the programme, which is currently in the pilot stage, will see toy and tech takeback collections organised in schools throughout the UK. HarperCollins will be rewarding participating schools with a hand-picked list of fiction and non-fiction selected for the Recycle to Read campaign. Books from the Collins, Farshore and HarperCollins Children’s Books imprints are included, all available at 30% less than RRP for all schools collecting old toys and tech in exchange for vouchers to pay for books. In working with HarperCollins the programme ensures that participating schools will not only benefit from free
TOTAL LICENSING environmental education, they will also be able to claim back books and literacy materials in exchange for the recyclable materials they collect. HarperCollins will be joining all major UK children’s magazine publishers, local authorities, universities, plastic industry associations, trusts and NGOs, in this ground-breaking not-for-profit education, research and infrastructure development project that is designed to deliver on several UN Sustainable Development Goals and unlock considerable social, economic, and environmental benefits for the communities in which it operates. Wastebuster is an environmental education company specialising in recycling reward programmes. Developed by Wastebuster and in association with EPPIC and Products of Change, the Recycle to Read programme is a not for profit, consumerfriendly, infrastructure solution for recycling all plastic toys. Sustainability Comes to the Fore with a Strong Footing Utku Tansel LLB, MBA looks at heightened awareness in the fashion sector. The fashion sector is seeing a heightened awareness about its impact on climate, which has been accelerated by the pandemic. As mentioned in Mintel Trend Rethink Plastic, brands and consumers are reviewing their own behaviours to prevent plastic pollution. Our throwaway culture is also becoming a contentious issue and as highlighted in Mintel Trend Hungry Planet, consumers are looking for ways to conserve the planet’s resources. Over the past year we have seen a number of initiatives bringing footwear brands more in alignment with the concept of the circular economy. In light of this, we explore what steps European footwear retailers are taking to reduce their carbon footprint. Foot Locker Europe’s recent move to open a new sustainability driven store in Barcelona, Spain with recycled materials such as mannequins created from reused sneakers, is a clear confirmation that sustainability is gaining further traction in footwear, as highlighted in our latest Footwear Retailing Europe Report.
In September 2020, French outdoor brand Salomon designed a pair of running shoes that are completely recyclable. The thread used to sew the shoes is the same material as the rest of the upper. The shoe’s upper, itself is made from recycled polyester, can be recycled again into new thread for fabric, and the foam sole can be ground up and used in the brand’s ski boots. Savana, a sustainable Portuguese footwear company, launched a new brand, Contagious, made entirely of 100% recyclable materials. The outside of the shoe is made of cork, recycled mesh and the entire lining is made of 100% organic cotton. Zouri, another Portuguese-based footwear brand – which is known for using plastic waste collected from the ocean in its productive process – is now using apple waste in its products. The brand has launched a new range of children’s footwear using apple peel as a material to make shoes. In October 2020, fashion designer Rick Owens teamed up with French sustainable footwear label Veja to create a range of eco-friendly shoes for the Autumn/Winter season. The collaboration is made up of two seasonally-appropriate knitted items, combining Owens’ signature aesthetic with Veja’s eco-conscious messaging. Both models are fully sustainable and feature Veja’s first-ever natural cork sole. In March 2021, footwear brand Melissa teamed up with Paris-based “hardcore vegan” brand Rombaut to launch a fully vegan collection of jelly shoes. The Melissa x Rombaut collection features two styles that have been reinvented in vegan jelly form. Each pair is made out of 50% recycled PVC sourced from factory waste and 30% bio-based renewable carbon content. What we think Strong environmental credentials could well become a clear product differentiator across Europe. It should be noted that it could be quite a challenge to communicate the benefits and the overall sustainability initiative to consumers. In order to overcome this, retailers could offer various incentives to tap into the opportunity and with the issue of waste high on the agenda, they should be looking at how they encourage their customers
to recycle unwanted footwear. One way they could do this is via a reward scheme (perhaps linked to a wider loyalty scheme). We’ve seen retailers like TK Maxx in the UK trialling a scheme which rewards customers by exchanging unwanted items for vouchers that can be spent in store, while the US start-up For Days gives shop credits in return for clothes they no longer wear, which are then resold or recycled. Furthermore, specialist footwear retailers could look at creating areas in-store and online dedicated to sustainable footwear, so that customers can choose products based on their environmental preferences. For example, we’ve seen online giant Amazon launch an ‘eco-friendly’ shopping platform offering more than 40,000 sustainable products, initially in the US, but this has now been rolled out to Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the UK.
Alex Willcocks, Co-Founder of Digital Marketing Agency Engage, discusses why businesses should invest in sustainability marketing and how they can best showcase their credentials. Sustainability isn’t only great for people and the planet, it’s great for business too. Customers today have their pick of competitively priced, high quality products and services. Adopting a visible and positive stance on the issues of environment, social and governance (ESG) that is authentic and aligned to consumer values will make a business stand out from the crowd. Thanks to the climate crisis and COVID-19, sustainability has never been so high on the consumer agenda. It’s therefore important that brands communicate their efforts clearly to drive loyalty in current customers, and generate new business. Evidence repeatedly shows that investment in combating the challenges faced by ESG increases business profits, with eight out of 10 customers happy to pay a 20 percent premium for products and services delivered through sustainable practices1. Why invest?
TOTAL LICENSING While companies should invest in environmentally friendly initiatives to take care of the planet, businesses leading the way in sustainability, especially from a marketing perspective, are often proven to financially outperform those lagging behind. A new international study by Unilever revealed that a third of consumers (33%) are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good. A strong story is a powerful marketing tool with a proven positive influence on both brand and reputation. Aligning with what consumers care about also builds equity and value, and mitigates key challenges including strengthening stakeholder relationships, increasing attractiveness to investors, and offering a competitive advantage in a crowded market. This is particularly true for Gen-Z and Millennials who are increasingly using their spending power to affect the change they want to see. In fact,
58 percent of Gen-Z and 61 percent of millennials would pay more for ecofriendly products. While the future of business holds unparalleled opportunities, this is reserved for organisations which have a proven positive influence on society and the environment, and use marketing to showcase this effectively. Inaction can risk significant negative financial impacts and slower growth. How to market? It can be challenging to understand where to start when it comes to mar-
keting and showcasing credentials to consumers and stakeholders. Posting across multiple internal and external channels for different brands, audiences and purposes can lead to inconsistent content, limited visibility, duplication of internal effort, and complex user journeys. Sustainability hubs are a great option for brands keen to invest in marketing. A centralised, user-friendly hub facilitates engaging content aimed at all audiences, which provides clear insights into a brand’s eco-friendly efforts. Businesses should also consider supplementing their external marketing strategy with internal training and education as this can lead to a cultural shift amongst employees, and greater movement towards sustainably conscious leadership. A study by SHRM found that morale was 55 percent improved in companies with strong sustainability programs, and employee loyalty was 38 percent higher4. Securing eco-credentials should be a priority for all companies, no matter their sector or customer-base, and sharing these externally is a great method of driving customer loyalty, invigorating investment and encouraging other organisations to follow suit. Marketing in action Sustainability is at the heart of everything that Taylors of Harrogate do, however the company previously had no single resource for consumers to find out about the projects, hard work and success stories. The tea and coffee merchant invested in an innovative hub and interactive annual reports in December 2019 to ensure the wealth of content is easily accessible and to drive engagement around its sustainability journey.
Latin America Latin America has a population of 659 million, roughly equating to 8.5% of the total world population, with 24% of the population in the 0 to 14 age group. The GDP of the region varies significantly from a per capita GDP of $24,226 in Chile, through Mexico with $19,795, Brazil with $14,652 and down to Venezuela with $7,704. Compare these with, say, the United States on $62,530 or Germany with $53,919 and it is clear that the Latam economy has a long way to go. The pandemic has had a profound impact on Latin America, specifically on its retail industry. Mandated stay-at-home orders in several countries forced retailers to close physical stores, wreaking havoc on many companies’ bottom lines. Still, retailers’ and consumers’ warm embrace of ecommerce has been a silver lining. Retail ecommerce sales will grow 36.7% this year to $84.95 billion, nearly three times more than the 12.5% that was forecast pre pandemic. This impressive growth will also make Latin America the fastestgrowing regional retail ecommerce market for the first time, overtaking Asia Pacific.
BRAZIL - THE REINVENTION OF BUSINESS
A year after the pandemic paralyzed the world and gave us the feeling of being in one of those films that we follow only from a licensing point of view, we survived, didn’t we? And in such an adverse context, each territory experienced the consequences of its socioeconomic moments. In Brazil the challenge was huge. In addition to all the chaos of the first few months - fears, insecurities and deaths - we came across companies and businesses that were not prepared to sell online. As a result, with the lockdown, industry and retail realized that their relationship with the consumer was blocked. The scenario was clear: reinventing itself was needed urgently to survive economically. That is exactly what happened. Specialists claim that Brazil has advanced, digitally speaking, about seven years in six months of the pandemic. From accessible technology like WhatsApp to creating highperformance sales platforms, all methods were used to make sales come back. And, believe me, the consumer, especially those aged over 45 years old, had to learn to buy
online. It was a collective movement. Many establishments closed permanently. Others opened in delivery formats. Some sectors such as toys, ondemand entertainment, pets and household items enjoyed a sales boom. Back to school, clothing and automobile segments are experiencing difficult times here. Speaking specifically in terms of licensing, the first few months of 2020 were very cautious; both in terms of property owners/agents and potential licensees. Contracts were cancelled, reevaluated and some business rules changed, such as minimum guarantee and royalty rates, in addition to deadlines. The boldest players decided to invest rather than give up and what we saw were some amazing licensed collections. Storytellings that made perfect sense at the time ended up inspiring other companies to use great characters. As a consequence, the opening and closing of stores began to bother people less; Brazil was, as a population, more prepared and less frightened. The country started to produce
By Marici Ferreira @maricirosana is CEO at EP Grupo and Abral/Licensing International
vaccines and today the calendar is ahead of the first forecasts. This excites us a lot. The political and economic scenario is far from good. But Brazilians are already hardened and have an immense eagerness for changes. From a marketing point of view and, specifically from a licensing point of view, business was reinvented. And Brazil continues to follow excellent launches with impressive sales results. After all, a good story is what we all need right now!
By the Power of Licensing! From Masters of the Universe to Iron Maiden, the remarkable 10-year journey of KOPA Carlos Andrés Carvajal Managing Director & Founder KOPA
email@example.com www.kopa.com.co @kopa_licensing
Reflecting on these past 10 years wasn’t easy.This is an article I meant to publish in November of 2020, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of KOPA, but at that moment I couldn’t find the will or the energy to write it. Like most companies around the globe, we were heavily impacted by the pandemic. The story of KOPA started back in the mid-80s with Masters of the Universe and G.I.JOE. I was just a kid, and those toys blew me away and captured my imagination with their impressive illustrations on the packaging. It ignited a passion for graphic design that ultimately -and without knowing it- led me into licensing.
until one day my father suggested that I meet a friend of his that owned a printing company. Dvinni was known in Colombia for producing agendas (planners), but had recently launched a line of back-to-school supplies, mainly composition notebooks. I was hired as creative director. Looking back now I was actually more of a product manager because I ended up with the huge responsibility of looking after the content and appearance of all the notebooks that came out of the factory, including recommending the licenses the company should sign.
Through my teenage years, I ended up adding movies, television, rock music, comics and design to my passion for toys and illustration. When the time came to pick a career the closest thing in Colombia to that particular set of “hobbies” was advertising.
During that time, I met all the local agents and pretty soon I was talking on a daily basis about Spider-Man, Shrek, American Chopper, Happy Feet, High School Musical and Disney’s Princesses. By the end of 2007, the company received the Disney award for best product development for Disney’s Princesses notebook collection.
Between 2001 and 2005 I held different positions at advertising agencies,
Despite the good work and accomplishments, dealing with all the hustle
inside a factory proved to be life-consuming and I felt it was time for me to leave Dvinni to follow this new trail that I have found, licensing. In January 2008 I joined two former classmates on its entrepreneurial dream of running a creative agency. Originally the purpose of C14 Studio was web development and multimedia, but my partners supported me on this weird idea of providing graphic design services to licensees. It was quite a challenge, but we did a fantastic job. Every new notebook collection, every submission, not only was approved with minor adjustments but also praised by the licensor due to the graphic skills and creativity. Nonetheless, at the same time, something was starting to really bother me, the lack of interest of some agents for the properties they represented. It was inconceivable for me that someone would represent a superhero without any idea of who his archnemesis was. But it wasn’t only that they didn’t care about the characters, it was the poor service provided to their licensees. I thought we could do it much better as an agent, but what could we possibly represent? All the mainstream properties already had a local or regional agent, except one, the FIFA World Cup. The 2010 World Cup in South Africa was two years away and I managed to contact someone from the Latin American branch. This person confirmed my suspicion, they had not yet assigned an agent and he was willing to meet me in New York at the Licensing Expo. I got on the plane and attended the meeting. I didn’t know what to expect, I’ve never been to the Licensing Expo and it was my first visit to New York. I remember walking into the Javits Cen-
TOTAL LICENSING ter on a hot summer day and the first thing I saw was Hasbro’s huge exhibition of their upcoming movie, G.I.JOE, The Rise of Cobra. I knew it then, there was no turning back, licensing was going to be my life from that day on. We didn’t get to represent the World Cup, but the following year we signed our first properties, Charuca and Chicaloca. Unknown to the market and without any sponsor, things weren’t easy for the young independent agency, but we managed to close a respectful number of licensing agreements for both brands.Things terminated for C14 Studio by the end of 2010. For personal and financial reasons partners called quits and each one followed its own path. Broke and unemployed, I stubbornly decided that I wasn’t ready to let my dream die. That’s the day when KOPA was born. One night I sat down with my Star Wars notebook and began drawing doodles and sketching ideas. I narrowed it down to two words, knowledge and passion. The two initials gave birth to the word KOPA. It had a real meaning and it could also be pronounced exactly the same in any language. It wasn’t instantaneous, but after the summer of 2012 things started to finally move in the right direction. Martine Berreitter, from Striker Entertainment, entrusted KOPA with the hottest IP at the moment, The Walking Dead. Soon after other properties followed: Me To You, Maya the Bee (2103), Jewel B&L (2013), Pocoyo (2013), The Trash Pack (2014), Condorito (2016), Dakar (2015), Pacific Rim Uprising (2017), Godzilla (2018), Emoji (2018), Route 66 (2019) and Panini (2019). For obvious reasons, 2020 proved to be suffocating. For a moment I really thought it could mean the end of our agency, but providentially we were helped by an organization that prefers to remain anonymous. It wasn’t only the financial aid; it was what it represented that brought us back to life. We felt appreciated and recognized. All those years of sweat, blood and tears were finally being acknowledged.
Properties currently represented by KOPA: • Panini
By the end of the year, a former colleague, José Santiago, contacted us to check upon us. We exchanged a couple of emails and in the process; we discovered that we both were into rock and heavy metal music. Starting this year KOPA is representing the Global Merchandising Services roster in Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The metal head inside me couldn’t be happier and prouder. It’s been only six months since we took on our duties as agents and we already have signed with two apparel licensees, Toxic from Mexico and Arval from Peru. We also have several deals in the pipeline. Right around the same time, while still struggling with the effects of the pandemic, we signed Megaplex, a manufacturer of nutritional supplements that
launched the world’s first-ever Godzilla’s whey protein. The match between Godzilla vs. Kong and a protein is an idea that didn’t pop up by accident; it is the result of our knowledge of the property and our ability to creatively transfer it into the right product. KOPA is a professional licensing agency and a creative powerhouse. It is also honest and sincere, like this article. Our motto, knowledge and passion, reflects across everything we do and defines our character as an agency.
• Godzilla • The Walking Dead • Global • Route 66 • Marie Antoinette • Me To You
Special thanks to: Martine Berreitter, Meagan Vaughan, Kalman J. Istok, Marie-Laure Marchand, David Recasens, Francesca Ash, Marty Brochstein,
If that kid born in Cali, Colombia, the one who kept the packaging of all his toys and later in the 90s used to listen to Iron Maiden at top volume, could look into the future and see what we have achieved, I think he would be very proud.
Maria Ungaro, Maura J. Regan, Carol Spieckerman, Jamie Kampel, Lisa Lilly, Rui Machida, Chris Mowry, Tony Verdini, Jose Santiago, Nahima Rujeles, Juan M. Agudelo
“IN ADVERSITY SOME GIVE UP WHILE OTHERS BEAT RECORDS”
Senna Brands is a Brazilian company created by the family of the threetime F1 world champion to manage and maximize the assets of the Ayrton Senna, Senna and Senninha brands, which are inspired by the driver’s legacy and achievements. Part of the revenue obtained from the licensing of these brands is destined to support the Ayrton Senna Institute’s educational programs. Ayrton Senna is considered one of the best drivers of all time. Three-time Formula 1 champion, “Magic Senna” pushed his limits at every circuit, with absolute passion and resourcefulness. He is one of three Formula One drivers from Brazil to win the World Championship and won 41 Grand Prix and 65 pole positions, with the latter being the record until 2006. He died in an accident leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix driving for the Williams team. More than a champion, he became a symbol of overcoming difficulties. In a country with historically unequal socio-economic conditions, Senna delivered dignity and pride to millions of Brazilians who watched him with their families on Sundays. In research, Ayrton Senna achieved 96.1% awareness amongst Brazilian Internet users aged 16 or over. Senna stands out at the top among all athletes assessed in the survey, above Neymar and a percentage point from Pelé, reaching 2nd place.
This result is even more impressive when compared to the other athletes evaluated in the survey. Considering only male athletes, the average knowledge was 76.9%, about twenty percentage points less than Senna. The Senna image has been associated with a wide range of products and and is described as a mix of boldness, unwavering determination and style. Brand partnerships tend to target individuals aged between 35 and 50. The partnership between Ayrton Senna and the Swiss brand TAG Heuer is almost 30 years old. Senna was the face of the first “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” campaign by the renowned watch manufacturer in 1991, just a year after creating the Senna brand. Several watches inspired by the pilot were released and the partnership remains current and will have a new release in November 2021. Among the greatest quotes that Ayrton Senna left as a legacy of his total
commitment into the pursuit of victory and perfection, one is emblematic: “You commit yourself to such a level where there is no compromise. You give everything you have; everything, absolutely everything”. And this famous quote was mentioned during the presentation of the newest McLaren’s sport supercar: the McLaren Senna. This new car comes with a McLaren Automotive supercar recipe, founded in 2010. Ultra-lightweight construction with a carbon fiber chassis features a 4.0-liter McLaren V8 engine with 789 bhp, the fastest McLaren ever made in its history. 500 units were produced, and the price is 750,000 pounds. The car was designed and developed with a single goal: to become the best McLaren designed for the streets with the best concept coming from the tracks. The new LEGO Technic McLaren Senna GTR is the result of a partnership between McLaren Automotive and the LEGO group and honors the Brazilian driver who won his world titles in 1988, 1990 and 1991. McLaren Senna also illustrates the cover of the Forza Horizon 4 game. Mongrip and Senna brand launched a limited edition of bracelets from an original tire used by Ayrton Senna during legendary F1 Grand Prix at Donington Park. The limited edition bracelet is made with straps from a McLaren MP4/8 tire, the car
TOTAL LICENSING with which Ayrton Senna won the legendary race. The collection consists of 161 bracelets, a quantity chosen to represent the amount of GPS touched by the driver in Formula 1 In addition, Ducati, in a partnership with the Senna brand, made a special motorcycle in honor of the Brazilian idol. The Ducatis sold at R$100 thousand. In a deal between Netflix and the Senna family, an eight-episode miniseries based on the life of the Brazilian driver depicts the man who became a national hero and conquered the world. The project will give fans the chance to cross the finish line not with Senna, but with Beco or Becão, the driver’s affectionate nicknames among friends and family. The eight-episode minise-
of the Senna family, whilst the original helmet will be auctioned, the 1:2 scale model can be purchased on Gasly’s official website in partnership with the Senna Foundation.
ries, which will be shot in English and Brazilian Portuguese, is set to launch in 2023. Beyond the Senna Brand, the Ayrton Senna brand, which launched in 1993, is a reinterpretation of the signature of Senna. Even before it was launched, it was already used to sign products. Work has focused on the milestones of Senna’s career, the legacy he left and his values. Activities include editorial, audiovisual actions, exhibitions, events, campaigns, social media, collectives, apparel and memorabilia. In terms of licensing partnerships, Gasly, in conjunction with the Senna family, announced the launch of a 1:2 scale model, of Gasly’s special edition helmet worn at the 2020 F1 Imola GP in honor of his idol, Ayrton Senna. The model was created with the approval
In addition, Codemasters and EA SPORTS introduced the seven iconic drivers who feature as part of the F1 2021 digital Deluxe content for My Team. The carefully crafted threetiered roster, which allows players to select an Icon from the start of the My Team game mode, features some of the greatest drivers to grace motorsport. Planeta DeAgostini made a replica of the car model that gave the driver his first F1 victory at the 1985 Portuguese GP - The Lotus Renault 97T. The modeling, based on the original car and drawings kept by Classic Team Lotus, is real in all the internal and external details, such as engine, cockpit, tires and finish. Product will be sold in several countries including Japan, Brazil, United
States, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal. Iron Studios, the first Brazilian manufacturer of high-end collectible figures, has already made several themed statues of Ayrton and British sculptor Paul Oz created a bronze statue of Senna depicting the Brazilian driver at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, leaving Eau Rouge and entering the Radillion, both traditional F1 corners. In the statue, Senna is wearing the famous racing suit in which he won the 1991 title as a McLaren driver. Formula 1 fans celebrated the work of art on social media, which was exhibited at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, England. Senna Brands also have a Senna Shop online selling official Senna products and there is also a kiosk at the Morumbi Shopping mall in São Paulo. A temporary shop experience with a concept store at the Villa Lobos shopping mall in São Paulo was also opened for a year.. In honor of Ayrton Senna, Moët & Chandon recreated in an exclusive limited edition of 41 pieces the iconic Jeroboam bottles of Moët & Chandon Impérial champagne that marked the 41 victories of the champion. Each of the 3-liter bottles is unique and has a silver medal indicating one of the 41 Grand Prix won by Senna, packaged in a wooden box with a certificate of authenticity. In 2015, to celebrate the return of Formula 1 to Mexico, the local Moët & Chandon organized a major event and auctioned 2 kits with a bottle and a replica of one of the driver’s helmets. As part of the celebrations for the
TOTAL LICENSING 20 years of Ayrton Senna’s legacy, an exhibition of Vespa motorcycles was held, including one customized by Alan Mosca. The exhibition of this Vespa took place on June 10 at the Museu da Casa Brasileira, after that date, the motorcycle was taken to the Maremonti São Paulo restaurant, to Global Scooters and FNAC Paulista store. Throughout this period, a virtual auction was held, part of the sale of which was donated to the Institute. On the children’s side, Senna Brands have Senninha. Conceived and launched by Ayrton Senna on January 28, 1994, Senninha is an eight-year-old boy who loves speed and wants to be a Formula 1 pilot.Senninha is the realization of one of Ayrton’s dreams: to pass values to the younger generation through entertainment. The Senninha brand’s mission is to positively influence children, working their social-emotional and motor skills in a fun and playful way. In terms of partners, Senninha on the Crazy race is a preschool animation about the adventures of the F1 driver and his friends on the neighborhood racetrack. Thanks to Tracktrix, a machine created by one of the kids, they will live the most incredible experiences and face different challenges in new and extraordinary worlds like a Jurassic valley, a haunted castle, and a glacier. The first season comprises 13 x 15 minute episodes and seasons two and three are in production. The series is aired around the world and on GloboPlay. The animated short series Zupt with Senninha was shown on the children’s channel Discovery Kids and is currently on cultural television. There are 13 episodes lasting one minute. The aim of the series is to demonstrate values such as determination, respect, and collaboration for children Live Senninha includes stories and adventures for the kids, being a great entertainment opportunity for the whole family during this period when many people are at home.
In terms of licensed products Styllbaby and Pakitoys have created licensed toys and bicycles, Schio and Malmann have food productions, Suzano and Jandaia have signed for stationery and school products, Kanechom are producing shampoo and hair care and Speed Park have a park in the centre of Sao Paulo with an electric Kart track for children inspired by the Senninha track. Similarly, Senninha Racing Day is a children’s race for children from 3 to 10 years old with different distances. The day involves over 2000 children.
Several tribute events and campaigns have also taken place. Dance of the Waters is a partnership between the Senna brand and Divinia Comedia. The 20 minute show comprised projections of images and water jets synchronized with music to tell the Senna story. In 2014, the 20th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s passing, the Unidos da Tijuca Samba School paid a tribute to him as part of Rio’s Carnival. Further activations included Azul Airlines who covered one of their planes in honor of Senna and in 2015 Ayrton Senna’s helmet was given to driver Lewis Hamilton in honor of his achieving his 65th pole position, equalling Senna’s record. Further deals include a campaign in China with Honda China, an exhibition in Japan, a musical in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and a custom truck which appeared at a fair in Curitiba. AYRTON SENNA´S SQUARE: In São Paulo, near Ibirapuera Park, the most famous park in São Paulo, they built a square in honor of Ayrton Senna. They placed a sculpture, and it became a
tourist spot for the city of fans around the world. On October 1, Nike and Corinthians unveil a never-before-seen collection honoring Ayrton Senna, including the team’s new third kit. The collection #LuteAtéSerEterno [fight until you’re eternal] is a tribute to the 30th anniversary of the driver’s first world title, which he won at Suzuka, in Japan. A few hours before the start of the most important sports event in the world, the World Cup, Nike unveiled an ad featuring the words of international idol Ayrton Senna da Silva. In the spot Chegue Lá (Get There). “Our country is living a unique moment. And we wanted Brazilians to reflect upon the words of a man who – more than most – understood that victory comes in many forms, and that you always have a shot at getting there.”, says Henry Rabello, Nike Brazil’s marketing VP. Amongst the many exhibitions and activations, with many attractions and tributes to Ayrton Senna, the Senna Day Festival, was held in 2019 at the Autódromo de Interlagos. “Senna Day” was a festival of sport, music and speed, guaranteeing a day of unforgettable experiences for the whole family. The event involved more than 15,000 people and 80 million people were impacted through campaigns. For more than 20 years, the Ayrton Senna Institute has been contributing to expand opportunities to children and young people through education. Their mission is to fully develop human beings, preparing them for the 21st century life in all its aspects. Driven by the will of the Formula 1 three-time champion Ayrton Senna of building a better Brazil, it acts in partnership with public administrators, teachers, researchers and other organizations to create educational policies and practices based on evidence. It is in a permanent innovation process, investigating new knowledge on an ongoing basis to face the challenges of an ever-changing world.
TOTAL LICENSING REDIBRA When a challenge meets an experienced, creative and committed team, innovation comes as a natural. Prioritizing the well-being of employees, upon pandemic strike, Redibra shifted to a home office format. Four weeks later a weekly instagram live program - R.Talks - was launched bringing relevant content to partners through interviews with industry experts reaching 3000 views. Its content was later transcribed into a book and published in December. All the while the team kept strong and united - working and supporting licensees full steam. The agency welcomed Now United, Netflix and Moonbug (Cocomelon) to its selective portfolio, that also includes Coca-Cola, Nintendo, Chevrolet, Capricho, Care Bears, Galinha Pin-
tadinha (Lottie Dottie Chicken), Paul Frank, Keith Haring and Basquiat. Redibra also offers all of its expertise in a brand extension consulting service, ranging from big corporate brands to small creators that want to know more about the licensing universe. Even during such a challenging year, great partnerships have been created, such as Impala + Now United. Impala - a top local player - brought a selection of 14 nail polishes to the Brazilian fans of the musical group.The collection was specially developed for the “Uniters” with a vegan, hypoallergenic and cruelty-free formula. It was launched with a social media campaign that resulted in 37 million impressions, increasing Impala’s Instagram followers
by 10%, equal to about 77,000 people. With 9 million units sold, retail sales surpassed US$3m. The nail polishes can be found in over 30.000 stores all over Brazil. Another great example is Keith Hering’s pet accessories collection with Zee.Dog. It was an unprecedented milestone in the Brazilian pet market, bringing together Keith Haring’s exceptional work with Zee.Dog’s innovative products. The collection comprises 15 items and is available at Zee Dog’s stores, pet markets and online stores in Brazil and in the US. They launched it on their social media, reaching over 450 thousand impressions. A brand that always surprises consumers, Coca-Cola joined forces with the traditional appliances brand in Brazil, Brastemp (Whirlpool), to offer a limited edition of an iconic Retro minibar, customized with the classic glass bottle and part of the Coca-Cola logo. This partnership began in Coca-Cola’s 2020 Christmas campaign through the ‘CocaCola Gifts’ promotion, in which consumers began to ask for the Coca-Cola minibar to be made available for sale. The demand grew even bigger after the minibar made an appearance at the insanely popular Big Brother Brazil in a sponsored activation Coca-Cola promoted at the reality show. Last but not least, it’s worth mentioning an adorable partnership: all of Care Bears’ cuteness was transformed into sweet fragrances by Água de Cheiro! The cosmetics company appealed to 80’s and 90’s nostalgia by bringing five fragrances in perfumes, body splashes, soaps and body lotions - all in fun packaging with the Care Bear characters. The perfumes were sold with a toy figurine of the characters in a cross collaboration with toy manufacturer Estrela. The collection created a buzz on social media due to an Instagram
filter and a campaign with influencers, reaching over 5 million impressions. It was sold online and in 110 Água de Cheiro chain stores. We are going through challenging times and this is the moment to find alternatives that help not only the market, but mostly help people. Redibra believes these initiatives can make a difference both now and in the future. It is time to get ready and look ahead, thinking about attitudes where everybody can contribute positively. SANRIO Founded in 1960, by Shintaro Tsuji, Sanrio is a Japanese company responsible for the creation and licensing of various character brands, including the world-famous Hello Kitty. Other wellknown Sanrio brands include, Chococat, Keroppi, Badtz-Maru, MyMelody and more recently, Gudetama and Aggretsuko, a 25-year-old red panda, who is the star of her own series on Netflix, with the 4th season confirmed for 2021. Sanrio operates in over 100 countries throughout the world with annual sales of over 4 billion USD. The company´s slogan, “Small Gift, Big Smile”, is more than just a catchy phrase; it is the foundation of everything Sanrio does, and they are proud to say they have been creating smiles for over 50 years. Sanrio believes that a gift is more than just a gift. Rather, a gift is a means of expressing heartfelt feelings for others. This philosophy guides all their activities, whether they are designing a stationery set, a retail store, or an animated television series. Sanrio do Brasil is responsible for the company´s operations in Latin America and their ever-growing licensing program has a full range of consumer products and customer experiences, targeting a wide variety of categories and age groups, from young children to adults. In Brazil, during 2020, Sanrio’s 80 licensing partners sold more than 8 million Hello Kitty products and they had important product launches and retail initiatives with key partners such as Havaianas, C&A, Carrefour, and Panini, amongst others. Sanrio fans in the Japanese neighborhood of Liber-
TOTAL LICENSING dade in Sao Paulo can also visit the one-of-a-kind Hello Kitty themed café and restaurant, with a special menu of food and desserts that has something to make everyone smile. Sanrio has also had great success in other key markets in Latin America, with more than a 100 active licensing partners throughout the region. In Mexico, they have been present for more than 30 years and they
continue to innovate and bring fans new and exciting initiatives and unexpected surprises such as the hugely successful Hello Kitty Fun Run and their recently opened online store, https://sanrio.fanarmy.shop/, where customers can find the latest Sanrio styles from all their favorite characters. More recently, one of the keys to success of their licensing program has been their focus on providing fans with a growing library of digital content that can be found across various platforms. Today, fans can enjoy different videos series such as - O Mundo da Hello Kitty, Hello Kitty Fun, Hello Kitty & Amigos, and coming soon, Hello Kitty & Friends - Super Cute Adventures – all available for free on the official Hello YouTube pages in both Brazil and Latin America, with more than 90 million views and 120 thousand subscribers. In addition to Sanrio’s YouTube pages, fans can also find this content on other leading platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, PlayKids and Reino Infantil. Their
recently completed agreement with Reino Infantil, which is considered the #1 digital community for kids in the world, will give children throughout Latin America access to this great content. ISPARTNER Ispartner is the only Brazilian agency that specialises in lifestyle and fashion licensing projects. Brazil is the 9th largest market for licensed products in the world with retail sales of US$3.8 billion/year and still presents many licensing opportunities given the large Brazilian consumer market of 210 million inhabitants. Of this total, about 60%, the largest volume of business, so called entertainment, is indeed all about characters. A market that presents the biggest barrier of entry for entrepreneurs and new brands since 80% are well-known characters established in movies and on TV/Internet shows and are properties that greatly limit their adoption due to the high cost and very low deployment flexibility. The strategy for developing properties in 2021/22 are DTR (direct to retail), collaborations and online NFT projects.As of I June 2.021 Ispartner has grown more that 200% year on year and we are also being a first mover in the music collectible NFT models with the Mamonas Assassinas Brand. A key brand in the Ispartner portfolio is Route 66. The brand is an authentic American lifestyle brand with timeless appeal. The first products were launched in the 70’s. The ROUTE 66 brand is instantly recognised around the globe and stands for freedom, hope, authenticity, originality and adventure. Products available in Brazil in-
clude apparel, footwear and cosmetics via DTR deals with small and medium retailers and large wholesalers. KVRA is a lifestyle clothing brand created in 2013 in Sao Paolo that currently has products in the apparel, footwear, pet, bags, cosmetics and food supplement categories via DTR. Samual Cirnansck occupies a prominent position in terms of contemporary Brazilian fashion. He participated in seven editions of the Amni Hot Spot and after successfully presenting 22 collections at Sao Paulo Fashion Week, he has an increasingly high profile in the national and international fashion market. Products licensed via DTR include apparel, jewely, cosmetics and premium homeware. Manonas is a rock band that has played more than 190 shows in 25 cities and has a growing licensing program comprising food, cosmetics, theme park, gifts, books and exclusive collectibles. Finally, Charlie Brown Jr is Spotify’s most listened to pop/rock band and Universal Music Brasil’s best-selling POP/Rock label to date. Products licensed include apparel, skateboards and cosmetics. DISTROLLER Distroller is a retail entertainment brand that is dedicated to creating concepts, ideas and content, and most importantly, emotional connections through its products and experiences at point of sale. It develops brands and content that explore new frontiers of design, and imaginative play concepts that create and spread joy to the world for ages 0 to 102 years. Distroller known for its distinct style of graphic art, founded in 2004 in Mexico by artist and entrepreneur Amparo “Amparin” Serrano, has become one of the top companies in the toy industry in the Mexican market and other countries. The brand has seven business lines, more than 90 licensing partners, 2,000 products, 80 points of sale in Mexico and presence in countries such as Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Chile, Spain, USA and Mexico. Distroller is a multicategory
TOTAL LICENSING brand whose licensing program was launched in 2007, spanning softlines, hardlines and promotions in product categories including back to school, apparel and licensed toys. Its partners include international companies such as Unilever, Walmart, Avon and Danone among others and recently added collaborations with leading companies in their fields such as Aeropostal (Authentic Brand Group), Bershka (Grupo Inditex) and Pandora Jewelry. With these partnerships, Distroller is covering Mexico, Spain, Central and South America, always offering optimum quality, customized projects and innovation through our brands: Virgencita Plis, Chamoy & Amiguis, Neonatos and more Distroller World characters! The brand´s strategy for growth is to
reinvent itself and continually innovate, and this is the main reason for which the international licensing program is handled by the brand itself to preserve and transmit the brand essence in every product and project. EP GRUPO EP Grupo report increasing activity on a number of key brands including Bolofofos and SOS Mata Atlantica. Bolofofos is a digital property which has been a huge success on YouTube. The songs are fun and the videos are in vivid colors that children love. Each character has their own personality and they are all very cute. The most known video is “Pão de Queijo” with more than 408 million views. The aver-
age is 34 million views per video.There are songs in Italian, English and Spanish as well, such as “Baila!”, “The Halloween Song”, “Lasagna Song”, “Christmas, Natal & Navidad” and “Fiesta Latina”. EP Grupo believe that the property, aimed at children aged 0 to 6, has great potential to go worldwide Licensees include Festcolor for party supplies,View Cosmeticos for cosmetics, Lider Brinquedos for toys, Clio Style for backpacks and Zoopy Toys for baby supplies.. SOS Mata Atlântica is a Brazilian foundation focused on saving the Atlantic Forest, an area where 72% Brazilians live. Unfortunately, only 12,4% of the original forest remains, due to deforestation and urbanization. The foundation is 35 years old, is very recognized for its amazing and serious actions, working only with private resources to preserve what is left, reforestation, knowledge and so on. The organization is used to working with big companies promoting environmental projects, such as Heineken, Coca-Cola, Colgate, Microsoft, Nespresso, Curaprox and so many others. They are beginning a licensing program to get more resources to invest in the environment. EP Grupo has developed two style guides using all that the Atlantic Forest has the best. Flora and Fauna, ocean and landscapes. Products licensed to date include toothbrushes from Curaprox, clothing from Farm Rio, T-shirts from Chico Rei and school supplies of Sao Domingos. IMC With over 40 years in the territory, IMC, based in Argentina, is a local agent with deep knowledge of their local market. They currently have over 300 licensees in their portfolio. The company covers the LATAM South Cone with local offices overseeing Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. The company handles a wide variety of brands including classic characters, celebrities, lifesytyle brands, sports and movies. The licensing business has historically had its highest results within the children’s audience, but it would be a mistake to limit it to the target kids.
Among IMC brands they also have: preschool - a sector with increasingly important sales volumes; kidults - adults who consume products traditionally considered “for children”, a market segment that is expanding quickly; fans - the ties between brands and consumers go beyond imagination, there are brands that unite grandparents and grandchildren, parents and children as they are well recognized by consumers even when they are not on air, cable or film; classics - licenses located in the heart of the public for decades whose effectiveness is beyond fashions, as they are well recognized by consumers even when they are not on TV or on the big screen; multimedia - fast-growing content in the licensing industry; films - filmmaking is a strong business generator of licenses, promotions and merchandising; artistic - music, painting, designing are the ideal content for lifestyle brands; sport business - sports attract consumers of all ages; soccer, motor racing are the most resonant when licensing. Current representations include Zag, Cloudco, Bavaria Media, Toei Animation, Line Friends, Zorro, Little Prince, Cyber Group, Chespirito, Epic Rights, Paramount and General Motors.
VERTICAL LICENSING One of the most prominent agencies in the licensing and brand extension industry in Brazil, Vertical Licensing is based in São Paulo, and represents licensors such as Sony Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation), IMPS (The Smurfs), Rainbow (44 Cats, Winx), King Features (Popeye & Olive Oyl), Mercis (Miffy ), Panini, Epic Rights (Kiss, AC/DC, David Bowie, Britney Spears), Media I.M. (Sunny Bunnies), APC Kids (Kid-E-Cats) and some Brazilian brands that are beginning to expand programs internationally, such as Tom Veiga (surf artist), Bubu e as Corujinhas (Bubu and the Little Owls) and 3 Palavrinhas (3 Little Words). Vertical Licensing has put together a licensing program forPlayStation, recognized by Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) as the most successful in Latin America. Keeping up with the excellent result that the games industry has achieved in recent years, they have signed more than 30 contracts for PlayStation in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Their licensees are large retailers such as Lojas Renner, C&A, Riachuelo, Kalunga, Lojas Americanas and leading licensees in their sectors, such as Malwee (clothing), Grendene (footwear), Tilibra (stationery), Pacific (backpacks), Lepper (bed & bath linen), Zona Criativa (gifts & houseware) and Festcolor (party goods). Vertical ended Sony’s 2020 Fiscal Year (from April 2020 to March 2021) with a 29% revenue growth in USD over the previous financial year. That was a great achievement despite the Co-
vid19 pandemic throughout this entire period, with all the restrictions in the market and with a major devaluation of the Brazilian currency (more than 30%). This result represents a 72% growth considering the local currency. The PlayStation IPs are among the leading selling properties in Brazil and Vertical is starting to expand its reach to the countries of the Southern Cone (Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay). On a different note, one of Vertical’s key focus areas this year will be the classic property The Smurfs, which announced the release of a new CGI animated series that debuts in Latin America on Nickelodeon later this year. In addition to this important debut, the Smurfs are increasingly in tune with the environment and sustainability matters. As ambassadors of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Vertical Licensing will bring the Smurfs as key players in a broad awareness campaign in partnership with the credit union institution Sicredi in Brazil, scheduled for release on Q4, 2021. On the merchandising front, new contracts have just been signed, with major fast fashion retailers such as Lojas Renner and C&A, and Vertical are focusing on important categories such as toys, in addition to the global master toy partner Jazwares, Food & Beverages, Gifts and Entertainment. Since the IMPS property reaches all audiences, family-oriented events will be among Vertical’s big announcements for 2022 onwards. The company is also reaping good results from the efforts they made together with Mercis last year to celebrate 65 years of Miffy, the beloved little bunny created by Dick Bruna. In addition to Decorfun’s lamps, which have been distributed in Brazil since 2018, and a complete line of backpacks and accessories developed by GoSuper, Vertical launched two important programs with Miffy in 2021. The first one is a DTR program with Riachuelo in Brazil and the second one is a worldwide deal with the famous Brazilian fashion brand Melissa. Both targeting the baby and
toddler audience, the Miffy collection developed by the fast fashion retailer Riachuelo was launched in April 21, during the worst period of pandemic in Brazil, which means that the majority of 332 Riachuelo’s stores were closed. The collection was launched online and, according to the retailer, performed very well. Now, with the reopening of the stores, all the products are hitting the physical shelves again, with POS materials Grendene’s iconic global footwear and fashion brand, Melissa also launched a Miffy collection. The famous Melissa’s jelly shoes are made of plastic that is 100% recyclable. The products were launched in June 2021 in Brazil and will hit the shelves globally in Summer 2022. With 20,000 sales points outside Brazil and 65,000 in the Brazilian market, Melissa has 3 concept stores called “Galeria Melissa” in São Paulo, New York and London. Grendene is also Vertical’s licensee for another important property they are representing in Brazil. Rainbow’s animated series 44 Cats has already more than 10 licensees in Vertical’s territory, covering important categories such as toys, H&B, publishing, back-to-school, footwear and events. With Popeye, Vertical is investing in fashion collaborations with the most important brands in the national scene. Besides regular programs with top Brazilian retailers such as C&A,
TOTAL LICENSING Lojas Renner and Pernambucanas, Vertical Licensing and King Features are working in promoting 3 collaborations in 2021, with Starter (September), Gangster (July) and A La Garconne (May). Launched in May 2021, the collab with the luxury fashion house À La Garçonne has debuted a limited-edition collection, featuring Popeye the sailor man and his longtime love Olive Oyl. Designed by famous Brazilian stylist Alexandre Herchcovitch, the exclusive Popeye X À La Garçonne collection comprise T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, pants, shorts and raincoats for men and women. Gangster are launching a streetwear collab with Popeye and Olive Oyl for T-shirts to be launched in July/August. The Popeye x Starter Collab is planned to hit the shelves in September 2021. The Starter brand was inspired by the narrative of the sailor Popeye, the sea, nautical objects, the maritime territory and the sailor’s lifestyle. From international to domestic brands and Vertical Licensing has global rights for the Brazilian artist Tom Veiga, one of the most recognized surf artists in the world, accumulating international collaborations with brands like Billabong, Globe, Reef, Havaianas, Lightning Bolt and, most recently with a Brazilian beachwear brand called UV. Tom Veiga has a striking language and an unmistakable style, characterized by curves, vivid colors and lots of movement. His art is inspired by his passion for the waves. Vertical is open to explore Tom Veiga in other markets and they already have sub agents in Argentina and France. SATO COMPANY Founded in 1985 as a distributor of films for homevideo, Sato Company has, over time, expanded its business, operating in the areas of cinema, television, OTT , product licensing and content production (films, series , formats. etc.), becoming a 360-degree company. As a distributor, it is a pioneer in anime and Tokusatsu, with Japanese productions such as: Akira, Ghost in the Shell, National Kid, Ultraman, Jaspion, Jiraiya, among many others.
In Netflix’s first content aggregator in Latin America (since 2011), the company stands out for locating content of interest and relevance to consumers, becoming a reference in the market. In terms of consumer products, Sato has acquired fourteen titles of the Kamen Riders franchise for Latam audiovisual and also for consumer products. They are also licensing Tuca – The Master Cook, a brand new animation and Mofy. Tuca is a 2D animated series, aimed at children aged 5 to 7 and comprising 26 x 11 minute episodes produced by Belli Studio. The series surrounds the adventures of a boy who loves cooking and his life with his parents, friends and mischievous sister.
in 2020. This year the property has already developed products with new licensees in categories such as toddler sippy cups, bedroom decor, natural juices and role-play toys. The COVID-19 pandemic also enabled Pinguim to strengthen the brand’s awareness through educational initiatives with Luna’s natural science subjects. Through innovative agreements with educational secretaries in 13 different Brazilian states and more than 40 cities in Brazil, Pinguim’s productions are now being used to help teachers with their virtual classes for 4- to 8-year-old students. Pinguim’s globally popular series Earth to Luna! and Fishstronaut can also be found on Discovery Education, a global platform reaching over 51 million students in 90 different countries that helps them to learn about science and environmental subjects in a fun and playful way.
PINGUIM Pinguim Content, one of Latin America’s leading animation production company, continues to thrive in the licensing scene, finding opportunities in new categories and boosting current licensees with updated and trendy assets inspired by Earth to Luna!’s latest season at the Space Station. Since the end of last year, the company has launched more than 60 licensed space-themed items reflecting Luna’s new home in the stars, and her latest space adventures have also influenced the new apparel collections. Season 7 is already in production, exploring more fascinating questions from Luna in the Antares Space Station. Despite a tough year, Earth to Luna! continues to grow in sales and number of licensees, experiencing 11% growth
TOTAL LICENSING By Utku Tansel LLB, MBA
Utku has 17 years of success in driving global thought leadership, project and content management, delivering strategic business intelligence and actionable insight to major international companies, retailers and financial institutions. Throughout his career, he has led many global research programs across a wide range of diverse and dynamic industries including Toys & Games, Licensed Consumer Products, Consumer Electronics, Apparel & Footwear, Homewares & Home Furnishings, and Personal Accessories & Eyewear.With a solid market research background, Utku regularly writes for leading industry publications including Total Licensing focusing on the most recent trends and developments. A sought-after speaker, he also presented at world-renowned industry events including Licensing International Mind Mix Executive Conference, Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, PlayCon,World Congress of Play, and Walmart Global Toy Summit highlighting key findings from the latest global research studies.
Netflix Aims to Ride on the Direct-to-Consumer Boom with New Show-themed Online Shop Netflix’s announcement to unveil an online shop for show-themed licensed merchandise has definitely raised some eyebrows. The entertainment giant’s new platform will sell limited-edition show tiein apparel, merch, and other collectibles. Among the items that will make a debut this month are streetwear and action figures inspired by anime series Yasuke and Eden, as well as apparel and decorative items based on Lupin in partnership with the Musée du Louvre. There are also other exclusive products in the pipeline which will leverage the licensing power of its popular titles such as The Witcher and Stranger
Things. Furthermore, there will be a new Netflix logo-wear from Japanese fashion house BEAMS. As the escalated streaming wars take their toll on the company, Netflix.shop, which was developed and launched with the e-commerce site Shopify, should provide a brand new revenue source, and will witness an expansion of a product line that already offers through partners like Walmart, Amazon, H&M, Sephora, Target, and others. Now available in the US, Netflix’s new online is set to expand abroad over the coming months. With its recent move, Netflix’s aims to ride on the rising popularity of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) which
has been one of the emerging retiling models in recent years. The ongoing pandemic has accelerated this considerably prompting many companies to shift their models. 2020 saw a number of brands increase their focus and investment in developing their DTC offerings. Spending more time at home has undoubtedly encouraged more consumers to embrace DTC particularly in grocery and clothing. In the fashion space, VF Corporation (The North Face, Timberland) acquired Supreme. It was reported that over 60% of the company’s revenue comes from its online operations, and VF announced a cornerstone of its strategy will be expanding the brand’s Directto-Consumer offering. Meanwhile, in the toy industry, Hasbro and Mattel expanded their DTC operations in order to meet the growing demand for e-commerce. As COVID-19 continues to cause significant disruption to bricks and mortar retail, DTC is in a good place to be one of the headline trends for 2021. It is the preferred choice for many businesses and brands already as they increasingly become more agile, more authentic and produce more personalised products en masse.
Regular readers of Total Licensing will remember that each year we run an Industry Roundtable, asking a selected group of licensors, agents and others how they see the industry and asking them for their take on some of the key issues of the day.
handled business over the last year and a half. It is interesting to see how businesses reacted to restrictions and lockdowns and how they compensated for the lack of personal contact with clients.
This year is no exception but, of course, there’s really only one issue up for discussion that most people are concerned about – that of the COVID-19 pandemic. How has it impacted on the licensing industry and how are companies finally beginning to be able to plan for the future.
We also asked them for their objectives moving forwards and what they feel they learned from their experiences over the last year and a half - how they dealt with swift changes in retail and, of course, the inability to travel which is such an integral part of the global licensing community. We also asked if they see life returning to pre-pandemic normal or not.
We asked various licensors, agents and others in the USA, UK and Australia for their take on the situation, how they have
Their answers and thoughts are outlined on the following pages.
THE PANEL Rob Corney, Group Managing Director, Bulldog Licensing, UK
Mark Kingston, Senior Vice President, International Licensing ViacomCBS, UK
Robert Marick, EVP Global Consumer Products and Experiences, MGM, USA
Ciarán Coyle, President and COO, LMCA, USA
Ted Larkins, Global Head of Licensing, Brainbase, USA
Alan Schauder, Group CEO, Merchantwise Group, Australia
Bethan Garton, Commercial Director, The Point 1888, UK
Jeff Lotman, CEO, Global Icons, USA
Jamie Stevens, EVP Worldwide Consumer Products, Sony Pictures Entertainment, USA
TOTAL LICENSING First of all, how have you and your company fared during the pandemic? Rob Corney: It’s been a remarkable sign of the resilience of the licensing industry that, despite being a sector entirely reliant on the sale of non-essential goods in a world in which those sales are largely restricted by law, many of the key stakeholders are able to say that the last eighteen months have been less terrible than feared and, in some cases not bad at all. Of course, many areas have been decimated by the restrictions – events, live performances and many of the other areas which we took as a standard part of brand building and entertainment have been left with no possible revenue stream whilst lockdowns have been in place. But the industry is one which supports its own and it has been great to see everyone pulling together to bring plans back on track in double-quick time as things begin to open back up again. The pandemic has served to reinforce the long-standing industry dynamic that it is at its strongest when all of its parts work together and it is this unusual industry-wide cohesion which has been at the heart of its ability to respond to unprecedented challenges with astonishing robustness. Ciaran Coyle: Like most businesses, inside and outside licensing, we had a very uncertain first half of 2020 but then had a good second half including a very strong last quarter of 2020. As we know, consumer spending on products and services in-and-around the home was high during the pandemic so licensed product sales in these categories were high. Bethan Garton: Personally I was very lucky as my 5 year old was able to keep going to school as a ‘key worker kid’ and therefore I was able to keep working throughout and did not have to worry so much about home schooling. I honestly have such admiration for all those who had to home school and juggle work or even just do the home schooling - none of us are trained teachers. The Point.1888 has fared well and we put that down to the brands we represent and being kind. Our brands cover a wide spectrum of areas from Battersea Cats and Dogs Home to Barratt confectionery - both of which had their best year ever in licensing.
Our Entertainment portfolio saw the positive impact of kids watching more digital content and so brands such as Cocomelon, Morphle, and Moomins are all going into what will be a bumper AW. Our design brands such as MissPrint also performed well as people were at home more and purchasing more homewares and home decoration. Kids publishing properties Percy the Park keeper and Tom Gates which we had just started working on pre-pandemic have also weathered this storm with great success and we have retail partnerships launching this year.With all of this we actually hired people during the various stages of lockdowns and have grown the team to 28 people and also partnered with 14 sub agents across EMEA, Japan and the US which has proven really successful.
including Rocky, Pink Panther, Legally Blonde and more. Many of our properties were viewed as inspirational. I will never forget reading about the hospital staff who helped celebrate the strength and resilience of recovered COVID-19 patients. Announced as “Code Rocky,” health care workers gathered in the hospital lobby while the Rocky Balboa theme song was played in the background. Classic brands felt new again. We used this renewed demand on our classic properties to stay relevant with new product ideas and ways to interact with our customer. MGM Consumer Products was fortunate to come through in good form.
Jeff Lotman: Surprisingly well – actually we closed 8 new clients… our highest for the duration of the pandemic. The pandemic also taught us to adapt, communicate, and work harder together, to execute some big licensing deals despite the challenges.
Alan Schauder: The pandemic has generally been well handled by the Australian and NZ governments. We are lucky to have lived in one of the few places in the world to have low infection and death rates. Long periods of lockdown and border closures have taken their economic toll on many businesses, particularly in industry segments such as live entertainment, tourism, food service and hospitality. Nevertheless, government subsidies have helped to maintain employment and spending through the worst period. Our licensing businesses have been fortunate to enjoy a strong year bolstered by the surprisingly robust performance of the retail sector, which grew by 9.7% in 2020. Many retailers have enjoyed their best sales in years, particularly in segments such as food and beverage, video games, toys, puzzles and games, leisurewear and all areas of home improvement including household appliances and homewares. Merchantwise Licensing has enjoyed strong growth from gaming giants such as Minecraft and Xbox, as well as local heritage brands May Gibbs and Blinky Bill. Asembl Brands is also enjoying strong consumer demand for new food extensions such as Hershey’s ice cream and Golden Gaytime popcorn, as well as non-food extensions of beloved global icons such as Coca Cola.
Robert Marick: During this past year, we heard from many licensees and retailers that during the early days of the pandemic, consumers were looking for a comfort outlet such as a favorite food, song or movie to stay positive. Fortunately, many MGM movies filled that niche
Jamie Stevens: While the past year had its challenges, I would say that we were able to overcome and even find new ways of managing our business despite many roadblocks. Our film and TV operations were able to restart production after developing state of the art protocols and
Mark Kingston: It’s been a challenging time for everyone around the world but we feel like we’ve mastered the art of the pivot. We have delivered solutions for our partners to ensure that our fans were able to access and purchase products across our franchises and adapted to the changing needs of the consumer over the past year and a half. It’s been a very collaborative process. Ted Larkins: As a technology company with online and cloud-based products, Brainbase did quite well during the pandemic. We found that people had time to look at and evaluate current processes with the downtime.They also realized that unifying their global licensing business with a product like Brainbase Assist was needed in the changing times brought on by the individual working situation.
TOTAL LICENSING we delivered a variety of new distribution strategies for our content. Employees quickly and efficiently switched to working remotely and all of the teams really banded together despite the disruption.
What steps were you able to take to mitigate the issues caused by the pandemic? Rob Corney: At its foundation 14 years ago, Bulldog was the first agency to launch with a ‘retail first’ approach, ensuring from the outset that our brands and activities are all geared towards support for the gatekeeper to the consumer. This close alignment with retailers enabled us to re-work long-agreed plans to happen at a point in the future when restrictions were lifted, rather than seeing them written off altogether. We were able to support our Licensees through an open dialogues surrounding contractual terms and plans to help ensure that the least possible damage was caused throughout the stakeholder chain. But most of all, our recognition several years ago that onlines would become an increasingly important part of our business meant that the optimisation work, the brand stores and the marketing plans we already had in place at the start of lockdown could be rapidly scaled to help support sell-through as the brick and mortar estates were forced to close. Ciaran Coyle: As with most companies, our first step was to carefully manage cost and eliminate all discretional spending. All agency staff also agreed to a temporary pay cut as part of the cost management initiative. It was essential to respond early to the situation, not knowing at that time what was ahead. Bethan Garton: As a company we did a number of things during the first few weeks of the pandemic including creating our own version of the government R rate - ours was the S rate (Survival Rate) and we tracked this week on week and have done ever since. It’s an excellent way of tracking how we are performing as a business and meant that although we did not thrive during covid (no one did); we did survive. As a business who employs a lot of parents we made use of the furlough scheme to ensure that they could
get through home schooling without the pressure of trying to juggle work and home schooling - it was a lifeline for many of them. Mark Kingston: It was all about adapting creatively and staying connected to one another, our partners and the consumer. We remained in regular dialogue with our colleagues, licensees and retailers leading to swift changes to adapt to our new remote way of life. One of the solutions was to create multiple ‘virtual’ partner presentations at a global, regional and local level which helped keep our partners fully updated on our franchise plans and performance while keeping everyone engaged including acoustic performances with our social stars -- Nickelodeon’s That Girl Lay Lay and Johnny Orlando for MTV. Ted Larkins: Since we’re a technology company to start, the new work-fromhome format worked well, and we didn’t experience any issues. Of course, nothing beats in-person meetings, and we’ve already had a gathering at our new office in Santa Monica, California, which created some great synergy as a team. Jeff Lotman: During these uncertain times, flexibility became key in our business model. It triggered a sudden transition to a fully remote and more flexible working environment which was a big shift from our physical 9-5 office environment - no landlord relief unfortunately Due to travel reductions, we had to cancel numerous marketing initiatives such as our annual Licensing Expo, which we showcase at, and other industry trade shows. Robert Marick: We saw how the pandemic had an immediate impact on our licensees, retailers and end-user consumers, and knew we could not just wait for time to pass. Instead, we needed to quickly pivot. Whether it was agreeing to modify some licensee terms; fast track new COVID related product development and agreements or creating new ways to interact with our customers through one of the industry’s first virtual summits, every day was new business challenge or better yet, a new opportunity to think differently.
Alan Schauder: Most of our staff and clients quickly adapted to working from home, and video conferencing tools have been critical to keeping business going. Working with retailers, we have tried to shift emphasis and spend from physical in-store marketing to digital marketing. We exhibited digitally for the first time at the recent Australian Toy and Licensing Show. It has also been important to monitor and try to maintain the morale and motivation of our team during this strange time.
Rob Corney, Bulldog Licensing
Jamie Stevens: When we knew we were going to have to move film release dates due to the pandemic we worked with our licensees, agents and retailers to pivot either moving our programs to new dates or working on strategies for new distribution models. Since we are a diverse company we were able to rely on the success of our TV content such as Cobra Kai and leaned into that business globally.
Retail, with the exception of online, was severely affected. Do you think the online trend will continue upwards? Why do you think this? Rob Corney: The pandemic has undoubtedly provided a catalyst for an existing trend towards the convenience of online shopping. When SARS and MERS hit the Asian markets, traditional retail channels were hit hard, but online commerce grew at a huge rate, helping to give rise to the dominance of etailers such as Alibaba… and the trend didn’t reverse when the epidemic ended. In a similar way, Covid has seen many consumergroups move to online for whom brick and mortar shopping was the norm prepandemic. Whilst there will undoubtedly be a shift back to some degree, the convenience of online will prove too alluring for many. In some respects, this can be an opportunity for the licensing world… by its very nature, licensed brands deal in entertainment and theatre as well as an opportunity for measures of exclusivity. As retailers turn their attention to driving footfall back into store, the opportunity for experiential events and in-person exclusives can form a key factor in encouraging people out of their homes and into the stores, marrying the interests of brand owners and retailers.
Ciáran Coyle, LMCA
Bethan Garton The Point 1888
TOTAL LICENSING Ciaran Coyle: The trend to shop more online and for brands to sell directly to consumers was already there before the pandemic. The effect of the pandemic was to accelerate that trend and those brick-and-mortar retailers that maintained a strong online offering (e.g., WalMart,Target, Best Buy etc.) weathered the storm well.
example, my sister went to buy a sofa the other day. It was $1,500 at the retail store. She got online and found the same product, with free delivery, for $1,000. She went to the store owner and asked if they could price-match. They agreed, but can they stay in business as this type of request becomes more prevalent?
Bethan Garton: Yes it will continue. I myself rarely shopped online pre-covid; I love going into shops and experiencing that buzz of seeing the product before I buy it. Browsing is almost a hobby of mine. I think it’s part of being in licensing - you can’t help but look at what’s going on instore so there is no such thing as popping in just for milk. During lockdown there was a real uptake in supporting local businesses and I hope this continues - click and collect from a local cafe or butcher for example. The pandemic has meant many shops have had to move with the digital times and implement things like click and collect or delivery which is great as they can in some small way compete with the big guys.
Jeff Lotman: Definitely, as convenience matters – but so does experiences and connections. So, stores will always matter too. It is true, the pandemic has accelerated online sales even more rapidly, especially with non-essential physical stores forced to close. E-commerce platforms such as Amazon and AliBaba came out as the big winners and will continue to take over. Consumers were forced to adopt shortterm behaviors that in many cases will become permanent. With the flexibility and convenience of online, it will be difficult for some to return to old habits.That is why stores will have to begin to adapt, and offer new experiences to create new connections.
Mark Kingston: In reality, the last 1218 months have accelerated online migration. Research has shown that ecommerce adoption over the past year was the equivalent of what would happened over the course of five years under normal circumstances. And in particular in regions where online penetration was low, for example Southern Europe, we are seeing significant investment from retailers in improving their omni-channel and online capabilities. Online sales will continue to be strong but brick & mortar retailers that offer destination retailing and a point of difference versus the online option will flourish as markets re-open. There’s a balance to be worked out. Ted Larkins: The pandemic pushed online to the forefront in a way that had been several years away. Online commerce is in its infancy (yes, even in 2021). But the exponential growth of Amazon, and even providers like Shopify, show that things are only going to grow more. I live in Orlando, Florida, and the number of shopping malls that are deserted, if not completely closed, can’t be ignored. For
Robert Marick: Yes, I do. Online shopping was already trending prior to the pandemic. These past 15 months only expedited online shopping preferences. As a consumer, I can see it with my own shopping habits. Whether it manifested itself through discovering broader assortments, quick price comparisons, or easily discovering products and services I didn’t know I needed, all impacted my purchase decisions and I am certain it did with others as well. That being said, nothing replaces the shopping experience when you can touch, feel or view more closely a potential purchase. This can only be done in person. Again, as consumer, I had several online shopping experiences, that felt disappointing once I opened the package. Bottom line, brick & mortar shopping will never go away, but it’s the in-store experience that will need to adapt. The bigger question to me is how can the online shopping enhance the brick & mortar retail experience and vice versa. Alan Schauder: In Australia, the sale of online goods has grown by a staggering 57% in just one year, now accounting for
16.3% of total retail spend. We expect this trend to continue strongly, mirroring uptake rates in the rest of the world. All major Australian & NZ retailers are investing heavily in their ecommerce and digital marketing capabilities as consumers develop more confidence and familiarity in online shopping. According to a recent survey from Australia Post, Australian shoppers expect their online shopping frequency to remain 28% higher than before the pandemic. Jamie Stevens: Research suggests that people are shopping more across channel. Consumers now more than ever want choices. Online shopping can be great for certain purchases but I don’t think brick and mortar retail is dead. People will always want to touch, feel and try on a product. I think it is up to the retailers to provide the best experience in store for their consumers and also offer an omni channel experience to give people options to how they shop.
It has been said that the pandemic accelerated changes in retail which were already happening? Do you think this is right? What changes do you see in retail moving forwards? Rob Corney: Aside from the shift from brick and mortar to online retailing, one of the key trends to emerge from the pandemic will be a greater focus on licensed ranges with key messaging. From out of times of adversity, there always arises an opportunity for classic brands as consumers look for comfort from the familiar – brands like Care Bears with its overt message of caring will thrive as the consumer looks for a way to express their emotional and sympathetic responses to the challenges of the last year. But it’s also an opportunity for licensing as retail recognises that brands which have not over-proliferated provide a healthier margin to the bottom line. Retailers who have been forced to mark-down generic lines in order to achieve sell-through will recognise the more robust nature of licensed brands which require far lower elasticity in the pricing model to sellthrough. The opportunity for driving interest, sales and footfall through the predetermined purchase decision of licensed
TOTAL LICENSING ranges will see a significant focus moving forwards as shoppers look to fill the latency created by having consumed more content than ever before without the commensurate supply of product availability at the time… there is appetite amongst consumers and an opportunity for retail. Ciaran Coyle: As already mentioned, the trend for increased direct-to-consumer online business was already there before the pandemic. However, I think that traditional retail will see a significant bump post-pandemic and consumers feel the need to get out and shop, but the longterm trend is still for the growth of online over offline. Global online retailers like Amazon will continue to mix their offering between digital and brick-and-mortar acquisitions (e.g.,Wholefoods). Bethan Garton: With retailers such as Topshop being bought by Boohoo, Debenhams closing, and JLP closing stores, it’s sad but the writing was on the wall in many ways. Online competition is fierce and whilst many of these retailers used to hang a lot on customer service, once they started struggling this went out of the window and that leaves them with very little to differentiate. Ted Larkins: Brick & mortar retail is not going away. I took my 13-year old daughter to Ross (which was trending on TikTok) last night, and she wants to go to Barnes & Noble today. But the trend toward online means that stores must be incredibly savvy in ordering, store location, and incorporating online (if they haven’t already) into their mix. As online pricing can be more competitive, traditional retailers must strategize on sourcing the lowest price (without sacrificing quality, lest they be “canceled”) to compete.That means a more vertical process of manufacturing, distribution, and sales. And it means more “store-owned brands” so they don’t need to pay licensing royalties. Jeff Lotman: I do agree, it has accelerated changes that were inevitable. At the same time, new trends are also emerging; For example, grocery retailers… online order volumes from full-assortment grocery merchants rose exponentially. Innovation in customer service with video
chats and investment in fulfillment and delivery are all trends for 2021 and beyond. Covid-19 is also forcing consumers beyond their preferred brands like never before.Those consumers could emerge from the pandemic with entirely new brand preferences and lower overall brand loyalty. This could have a huge impact on our industry as companies invest more in brand collaborations and partnerships to capture awareness. The key for retail moving forward is experiential. Consumers want to see shopping as an event or destination experience post-Covid. This is something Fred Segal has done for quite some time now, and will implement more in the future with activations, launches, and events. An alignment of in-store and online experiences will also be key, particularly as consumers might be reluctant to return, so the connection ensures a smoother transition. Robert Marick: Absolutely! It’s not just at retail, but every aspect of our lives has changed. All of us just participated in a global “focus group”. Whether it’s brick & mortar or online, there is a lot to be learned on both ends. Specifically, for brick & mortar, infusing more experiential elements, elevated customer service, product customization and bridging the online shopping discovery with the brick & mortar immediate gratifications can all make a difference for the future. Alan Schauder: The pandemic has certainly accelerated pre-existing trends in ecommerce and digital migration, as well as continued consolidation of the industry amongst market leaders.We are also seeing new retail trends arising from the pandemic, such as a greater focus on buying local, and changing consumption patterns towards home and leisure categories. Jamie Stevens: Retail like all businesses needs to evolve. I think these changes were happening but the pandemic probably made retailers move faster. Retail has to become a more personalized experience. I want to feel like I have a relationship with the store and the associates, that they know me and reward me for my business.
Which elements really affected your business specifically - eg retail closures, trade show cancellations, factory and supply chain delays, logistical distributions, travel bans, etc? Rob Corney: Undoubtedly retail closures were the biggest challenge through 2020 as we re-worked plans which had been agreed a year earlier and looked for ways to help our licensees find alternative distribution channels. But the subsequent logistics chaos is proving the biggest issue through 2021 and is likely to be problematic for some time still. As the lockdowns hit and factories closed, the enormous shipping vessels were forced to hibernate in any convenient location, meaning they were in the wrong parts of the world once the factories re-opened. This has caused huge knock-on effects and the pent-up demand has driven a need for containers far greater than the available supply. Stories coming out of Asia of gazumping of containers at the docks as companies looking to ship high value items pay higher and higher prices for shipping, keeping the costs artificially high and out of the reach of purveyors of lower margin items were only compounded when the Ever Given undertook an unplanned three-point turn in the Suez… it’s a mess at the minute and is likely to take several months yet to fully unwind.
Mark Kingston, ViacomCBS
Ted Larkins Brainbase
Ciaran Coyle: There were 3 key areas that impacted our business: (1) retail closures and slow-downs affected the sale of licensed products, (2) manufacturing shut-downs, supply chain, and logistics issues also significantly slowed the product development and go-to-market timelines and, (3) licensee confidence was greatly affected and resulted in a reluctance to take on further risk in the form of new licenses Bethan Garton: All of the above - as an agent we were indirectly hit with all of these through our many partners. Not a day goes by where we don’t talk about one of these issues with a partner.
Jeff Lotman, Global Icons
Mark Kingston: We had many factors to contend with including factory and port closures in the Far East and retail closures. However, once retailers started
TOTAL LICENSING pivoting and licensees were able to open new channels of distribution, in particular in the discount, convenience, online channels, the impact has been less severe. Not being able to physically meet with people, and see what is happening in different markets has taken its toll as well but again, we have gotten creative with a lot of success. Ted Larkins: The only real issue for us was the lack of in-person meetings. Presenting a demo live in person is much more effective than on a Zoom call. Of course, there were decreased budgets, but we could offer reduced pricing to help people out. Jeff Lotman: All the above have really impacted our licensing business in one way or another, and we’ve seen an impact on licensing deals, the terms, the re-negotiation process and payment schedules. Travel bans also showed us that we don’t need to travel as much, and a lot can be done by Video. Honestly, trade show cancelations did not hurt us, they are so expensive, and we never really see the cost benefit of these from displaying. Logistics will continue to be a huge issue, as supply chains are a nightmare on anything that is not made locally. Even when it is, if an ingredient, part or fabric has to come from overseas – the issue is still there, and delays are very common. Robert Marick: They all did in one form or another, but from your list, I believe the factory, supply chain and distribution impacted the business the most. It was a waterfall effect. If you don’t have products to sell, it hurts everyone. Alan Schauder: Major theatrical properties such as Sony’s Ghostbusters Afterlife and Paramount’s Top Gun 2 have been severely affected by cinema closures and release date changes, making it almost impossible to plan product launches. Some major films have shifted to distribution via Netflix and other streaming services, which is an interesting trend to monitor. Travel bans have clearly made life difficult for the licensing industry. Australia and NZ still largely remain closed to the outside world and that is not likely to change until 2022 at the earliest. Not visiting
other markets or attending international tradeshows makes it harder to identify new trends and opportunities that are the lifeblood of our business. Jamie Stevens: For our film business the theatre closures resulted in us having to shift on shelf dates around the world. We have fantastic partners who were extremely collaborative and we were able to work with them to move our programs to a later dates.
And do you think this will specifically apply to e-commerce vs traditional retail? Rob Corney: Although ecommerce is immune from the effects of retail closures, they are still faced with huge logistics challenges in getting hold of goods in the first place.The huge growth of new technology such as print on demand give opportunities for on-shoring elements of the supply of licensed products which have traditionally been the preserve of factories on the other side of the world. But currently, scale and price leaves the industry still reliant on far-shore factories and it will take a paradigm shift for this to change. Such large-scale re-alignments are not normally industry-specific, but generally driven by commodities or governments. There is every possibility that changes to some supplier bases could come about through a robust governmental response to subjects such as the plight of the Uyghurs, something the UK government is championing, but it is unlikely that unilateral moves from the UK will make significant changes without more support from international communities and it’s unclear where the changes would re-align to… simply moving one off-shore base to a similarly distant one does not seem to be any kind of permanent solution to shoring up the global supply chain, though having options in two distinct geographic locations, whilst embracing new technologies with large-scale government infrastructure projects domestically would help to a degree. Ciaran Coyle: Whether a product is sold via e-commerce or traditional retail, it still needs to be manufactured, shipped, and distributed.
Many of the delays that we saw during the pandemic affected both online and offline retail. The main difference lay in the consumer’s ability to select and purchase products and services which, of course, favoured ecommerce when brick-and-mortar stores were closed, or the offline shopping experience was deemed uncomfortable or risky. Bethan Garton: Whilst retail closures have meant a boom for ecommerce business, they are all being impacted by factory closures, logistical disturbances, travel bans, trade show cancellations etc. Licensees have huge container issues at the moment and that alongside everything else is just one HUGE headache for everyone - ecom and brick and mortar. Jeff Lotman: It will affect both Robert Marick: Definitely all aspects of the business. Depending on e-commerce or traditional retail, some experienced more in one way than others. However, factory, supply chain and distribution impacted both channels equally. Alan Schauder: While traditional retail will remain an important part of the landscape, licensors and agents will have to embrace the reality of ecommerce and interpret what this means for our businesses going forward. In our case, we are investing in new technologies and marketing capabilities to enable the continued growth of ecommerce for our clients. Last year we added a digital marketing business to our Group (inc Digital Media) and we are developing high end email marketing technology to enable more impactful communication between brands and their fans (MashrLab). Jamie Stevens: Ecommerce gives us an opportunity to get products to market quickly and test certain product categories or designs. It is also more flexible in a situation if release dates shift. Brick and Mortar offers the ability to tell a story. It’s obviously more difficult to get product through a big supply chain but our retail partners and licensees are much more nimble then in the past.
TOTAL LICENSING And what about the long-term effects on globalisation? Ciaran Coyle: If anything, the pandemic accelerated not only e-commerce but the consolidation of industries as companies struggled and were acquired by their nimbler competitors. This was especially true in the U.S. where traditional mid-market and upmarket retailers were either closed by their owners or acquired by venture capital backed entities (e.g., Forever 21, Henri Bendel, Brooks Brothers, Barney’s). Mark Kingston: Globalisation was already happening. Interestingly, I think the pandemic, along with other factors such as trade policies, sustainability and overall costs of shipping will see more diversity in supplier base and countries manufacturing products. Over time, I think that will reduce the huge reliance the industry has on the Far East as a manufacturing hub. Ted Larkins: Globalization has been in the works for hundreds of years. Yes, the invention of international cargo (sea, air, and otherwise), along with the rise of the internet, have sped things up over the last century but, it’s been part of human evolution for a long time. There will be trends to source locally, but low price and good quality will naturally win out. I don’t look at any of this as a negative, which “long-term effects” hints at, but more the natural and changing environment of human migration. Jeff Lotman: It has all gotten even smaller as we can see that we can reach out and do a lot more business by NOT being there than we would of imagine. The online trend will continue upwards as we see developing countries such as Morocco, Chile, and the Phillipines playing a more active role not only as consumers, but as producers. Robert Marick: For the licensing industry, globalization can have a positive impact. With new and evolving ways to view content, consumers around the world have the same “front row seat” with what’s happening in pop culture. This impacts the trends in what we wear, play or interact with brands. Global retailers can then deliver licensed merchandise to feed those trends and product needs. Whether
those retailers are brick & mortar or ecommerce, this allows consumers broader selection based on their own taste. Bottom line, globalization can help grow the licensing industry. Alan Schauder: Interestingly, globalization seems to have taken a backward step in the past year and a half. Where once you could do business anywhere in the world within a few days, now the uncertainty of Covid combined with geopolitical challenges such as the challenging relations between Australia and China is forcing our market to re-evaluate our global priorities. This week Australia signed a free-trade agreement with the UK, which is something of a reversion to the past. We even appear to be investing in our own manufacturing capabilities again after years of outsourcing to Asia. Personally, I feel this could be a positive development for our national identity and self-sufficiency. We are huge, resource rich country with endless potential to develop our own tech-forward industries with more local investment. Jamie Stevens: Our business for the most part is global. It is important that our strategies take into account consumer taste and behavior in specific markets and make changes when necessary.
Are there any positive trends that you noticed during the last fifteen months? Ciaran Coyle: From a pure economic perspective, consolidation in a category or an industry is a normal part of the cycle but the rate at which it has happened over the past 18 months is stunning. In the licensing industry, some venture capital backed agencies have over-extended their brand acquisition programs and, as a result of the retail slowdown during the pandemic, are now struggling to survive. And others, with perhaps a more diverse holding, are thriving. In the end, it’s about being close to consumer preferences in terms of both what they shop for and, crucially, how they shop. Bethan Garton: As a business who has always offered flexible working for all team members, we have seen everyone
have to move to home working which has meant that more businesses have seen the positives of allowing staff to work from home. You get so much more from your staff if you give them flexibility - it shows you trust them and that is key. We have team members who were desperate to get back into the office and see people face to face again and that is great but you have to have a good balance. I live 5 hours drive from our office and I have always worked from home. It’s not for everyone but I love it. I get so much done in my day. I still love going into the office but I can do that when I need to and when I choose. There is also the impact on the environment to consider, having a video call if face to face is not needed is better. I love nothing better than visiting licensees and seeing their showrooms however I think everyone is now more mindful of what that meeting will achieve and making the most of the time. Everything has a pro and a con and whilst working from home works for me, it doesn’t for everyone and there are business who have suffered terribly e.g. coffee shops in city centres who are not getting the commuters. Everything is one big eco system. Mark Kingston: Fortunately, yes, I believe there have been some positive trends that have come out of the last fifteen months. The focus on true costs and speed to market has been amplified as is how to use technology to improve day to day business. Spending more time (albeit virtually) with colleagues around the world and allowing them to have a voice and seat at the virtual table has been extremely valuable.We have incredibly innovative and creative teams and partners and their feedback was invaluable. That type of collaboration across borders is much more difficult in the physical world.
Robert Marick, MGM
Alan Schauder, Merchantwise Group
Ted Larkins: Yes, people have realized that WFH is viable, and in moderation, better for their health. As a result, they spend the saved-commute times with family or are more productive at work. Jeff Lotman: The pandemic has taught people adaptation and flexibility. It forced many companies to reconfigure their operations for the better, which in turn increases productivity.
Jamie Stevens, Sony Pictures Entertainment
TOTAL LICENSING Robert Marick: Absolutely! Efficiency, customer interaction and new selling tools were positive outcomes. We learned to effectively and efficiently work via video conferencing. We learned to run our business with zero travel. Globally speaking, time zones were less of an issue and we were able to effectively function with clients around the world. We also learned to conduct major presentations via virtual summits, presenting to more people, at a fraction of the cost. Alan Schauder: As mentioned earlier, there have been a surprising number of positives in the last 15 months: Growth in local retail sales, including increased demand for many categories of licensed products; Surging interest in gaming and digital brands, an area of focus for our business; Strong performance from Australian retailers led by Big W, Target, Kmart, Woolworths and Coles – with a much greater degree of sophistication in online sales and digital marketing; Increased focus on local properties and local manufacturing capabilities Jamie Stevens: We had many categories such as interactive gaming, board games and puzzles that were outstanding performers. While people were stuck at home they used the time to reconnect with family which I think was the biggest shining light in all of this.
And what are your plans post-COVID? Ciaran Coyle: At LMCA, we recently announced a joint-venture enterprise with the private equity company, Warburg Pincus. This JV, Full Sail IP Partners, will acquire brands with the intention of licensing the IP. LMCA will be the exclusive global agency for all brands acquired in this way. Outside the JV, we will expand both our client portfolio and our geographical presence. LMCA has had an office in China for the past 15 years which is being prepared for growth, but we are also making plans for an enhanced presence in South East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and South America. Bethan Garton: Here at The Point.1888 we are planning for our first
Trade Show in November (BLE) and we cannot wait to be back with our industry friends and colleagues once more. It’s our 7th Anniversary this year so we are planning a team celebration - a day to relax, have some fun and celebrate the fact we have survived the pandemic. It’s not over but we can see a huge light at the end of the tunnel. Our team has grown immensely over the last 18 months to 28 people and so bedding everyone in and supporting them in this new world is a key focus. We will continue with our retail first approach as this has been crucial during the pandemic - we listen to what retailers are telling us and in turn they listen to us. Interestingly we now have more time with retail buyers as they have more time by working digitally and they are keen to maintain this which is great news. Mark Kingston: At ViacomCBS, we have some of the biggest franchises in the world. We are focused on the first PAW Patrol theatrical release in August, expanding the Star Trek universe to the kids space with Star Trek: Prodigy, the rollout of Blue’s Clues & You! and Baby Shark’s Big Show to key markets around the world, and the exciting premieres of the highly-anticipated SpongeBob SquarePants spin-offs Kamp Koral and The Patrick Star Show. We have fantastic consumer products programs hitting across multiple categories and are so excited to bring new items to the market that we know kids and families will love. Jeff Lotman: Full steam ahead! I am very happy with the sales increase we are seeing and the new clients and responses that we are seeing from licensees to our clients. Robert Marick: I want to focus on the positive. We are going to start with doubling-down on what worked; Learn from our mistakes; Challenge the status-quo and continue to think outside-the-box. It’s also important to model a better work / life balance and appreciate what we take for granted. I am confident that with these simple practices, our licensing business will continue to evolve and grow. Alan Schauder: I fear that COVID will
be with us all for some time to come, but we will need to learn to adjust to the new normal. Of course we are always looking for blue chip and high potential brands and properties with strong licensing development potential in Australia and NZ. Personally, I look forward to being able to travel internationally again with our team. From a broader group perspective, we are investing in the continued expansion of our creative, marketing and digital services to support our clients. Jamie Stevens: I am going to run to the movies and see family and friends I have not been able to see.
What plans, if any, do you want to put in place in case of another global crisis in the near future? Ciaran Coyle: I feel it’s important to be sufficiently diversified to weather any future global crisis.That means representing brands across different industries, categories, channels and across different geographies and consumer demographics. It also means, importantly, having a diversified agency team in terms of background, ethnicity, gender, skillset etc. Bethan Garton: Our ‘s’rate is key for us - I would suggest everyone works out what their ‘s’ rate is and have contingencies for when needed. Trust your team, you hired them therefore let them do what they do best and support each other. This pandemic has impacted every single person - lots of people have underlying anxieties or have reevaluated what is important to them and need support in this new world. Be there for each other even if it is virtually, as they will be there for you and the business when you need them most. Mark Kingston: There have been so many lessons from this crisis. Certainly one of the key learnings is the importance of being connected, another is how essential it is to be flexible and thirdly we can be successful working from home when we have access to the proper tools. Ted Larkins: Of course, we will stay vigilant in staying as prepared as possible. The ideal is to be as efficient as possible during normal times and challenging times. I believe that COVID helped us be
TOTAL LICENSING more conscious of the need to be aware of things that may arise. Jeff Lotman: Sorry I am an optimist, and I don’t plan for pandemics, and I hope I never see one again– besides no one could have planned for this or counted on how this would affect us all in anyway. Robert Marick: There are so many variables to that question. But I would start with focusing on what worked in the past global crisis; Learn from our past mistakes; Think outside-the-box and finally, don’t be afraid to fail, because it will happen. It’s how we respond and react failure that will make a difference. Alan Schauder: That’s a difficult question to answer because it’s impossible to predict the nature of the next global crisis and what impact it may have. COVID has reminded us never to take life – and business – for granted. We will continue to focus on the diversification of our business and capabilities to not be too reliant on any one type of client or revenue stream. We will also try to remain nimble and adaptable to changing business conditions. Jamie Stevens: This time has taught me that we need to be as nimble as possible and be open to change.
Finally, on a general note, how do you think that the pandemic has affected the licensing industry? Ciaran Coyle: In connection to my last point, those licensing businesses that were not sufficiently diversified suffered the most during the pandemic. As live events, movies and shows were cancelled, so the entertainment business and the associated licensed products and services also suffered. I think licensees will look to diversify more across the brands and products they serve and agencies that were pure-play entertainment or talent will look to add other areas to their portfolio, including corporate. The key is to get the balance right to avoid dilution of resources (financial and human) which may then result in a lack of business focus.
Bethan Garton: The licensing industry is such a sociable industry and I know a lot of the industry has struggled not being able to mingle and go to events. We hope that this will change soon. Licensing has become more agile and decisions are made a lot faster. Layers of decision makers were temporarily removed due to the furlough scheme which has made companies realise fewer people can make decisions much faster. It’s not that there isn’t a place for those people back from furlough; it’s just a new way of working and we are a very adaptable industry. We are a very tactile industry - all about product - not being able to go shopping, go to show rooms, or trade shows has been a big hole in a lot of people’s work life and it’s an area we all want to get back to normality. Mark Kingston: The industry has learned how to identify opportunities and service consumer needs more than ever before. We are so proud of our reusable face mask partnership with Save The Children. We have entered into multiple licensing agreements to create facemasks with iconic Nickelodeon characters including SpongeBob SquarePants and PAW Patrol with all of the ViacomCBS royalties to be donated to Save the Children. All of the ViacomCBS royalties along with generous donations from many of our licensees, generated over $3 million for Save the Children’s COVID-19 global response. Ted Larkins: Although many companies and people were negatively affected by the pandemic, I believe that the licensing industry fared well overall. People purchased more licensed products online than ever, new products (can anyone say branded masks?) evolved, digital shows found a new audience and new product lines were created from those. I also believe that the pent-up appetite for our favorite brands will be released, and traditional retail and online sales of licensed products will explode into the holiday season! Jeff Lotman: The pandemic has obviously affected the licensing industry in one way or another, with its effect on retail, supply chain, conservative budgets,
shifts in consumer behaviors…but I am positive that the licensing industry will recover in 2021 and 2022. Robert Marick: That’s a tough question and I think it’s too soon to answer. I would imagine that every aspect of the consumer brand experience will be impacted. First, consumers content viewing habits have changed. We have so many more content platform options than ever before. Connecting the content to merchandise will be crucial. Second, creating great products and getting it into the hands of the end consumer to buy it will follow. Finding a cohesive shopping experience that brings brick & mortar retail with ecommerce will be the key. And finally, finding opportunities for consumers to live the brand will be important. I am big believer in anything experiential. Whether its shopping, location-based or live entertainment all help connect consumers to the brands they love, which all fuel licensed merchandise opportunities. Alan Schauder: Clearly large parts of the world have been decimated by COVID, with prolonged retail closures having a devastating impact on brand owners, agents and licensees. Industry segments such as location-based entertainment (theme parks, stage shows and live attractions) have been the hardest hit. That being said, many licensing and retail businesses have also done well through the pandemic, and Australia and NZ have generally been fortunate. Government subsidies and changing patterns of consumer behaviour have driven a spending surge in many parts of the industry, from puzzles and leisurewear to video games and consumer electronics. Ultimately, licensing is an adaptable industry and I expect it to continue to reinvent itself, whether through new types of properties, new categories or new methods of sales, marketing and distribution. Jamie Stevens: Like all businesses we all had to quickly pivot and find new ways to reach consumers. While some product categories may have been down others were way up. I think it showed us that we need to be more agile and less traditional in our approach.
Can COVID-19 be a Force Majeure Event By: Gregory J. Battersby
BOOK AVAILABLE! THE BUSINESS OF LICENSING The Essential Guide for Intellectual Properties Licensing has has exploded into a $250+ billion worldwide industry at retail and generates more than $7 billion in royalty income for those property owners who are savvy enough to license their properties for a wide variety of consumer products. About 8 years ago, lawyer Gregory J Battersby and licensing veteran Danny Simon introduced the first Basics of Licensing book. They published a revised version a couple of years later and followed it with a Licensee edition and then finally an International edition. Recognizing that there was a degree of commonality between these editions, Battersby and Simon concluded that it was time for the definitive work on licensing, hence, The Business of Licensing which combines the best of all three prior editions and takes the subject to the next level. This book takes the reader through the nuts and bolts of how to conduct a licensing program and handle many of the problems that it might face There is a substantial amount of reference material. They have included an expanded history of merchandising, and an extensive collection of the forms that any licensing professional may need which they intend to provide to purchasers with electronic access to the forms via Dropbox. The Complete Business of Licensing is available at a cost of $39.95 ($34.95 for LI members). https://www. totallicensingworld.com/site/business_ of_licensing
Gregory J. Battersby Battersby Law Group, LLC 25 Poplar Plains Rd. Westport, CT 06880 (203) 454-9646 firstname.lastname@example.org www.gbiplaw.com 124
A force majeure clause is a provision that is ordinarily requested by a licensee in a license agreement and is typically agreed to by the property owner/licensor. Such a provision provides that the licensee’s obligations to perform will be relieved if the licensee’s failure to perform results from a contingency beyond its reasonable control. Force majeure provisions are also commonly included in agent or representative agreements. Force majeure clauses can vary in their specificity and coverage. Many types of occurrences qualify as a force majeure event, e.g., everything from government sanctions to weather events such as tornados or hurricanes have been regularly included for decades. The events of September 11, 2001, and its aftermath make it important to include “terrorism” as a triggering event in any such provision and now the COVID 19 pandemic of 2020 has become yet another example of why such a provision could be important. Some companies have tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to include adverse economic conditions such as the Great Recession as a triggering event. Several factors must be considered when drafting such a force majeure clause. First, the parties must decide what constitutes the force majeure event. Second, the impact of the force majeure event must be decided, i.e., whether an event is a permanent excuse for nonperformance or merely a temporary excuse that allows the nonperforming party to be held in default is a key consideration. Third, attention should be paid to substitute performance, also known as cover. The parties should agree beforehand as to whether the licensor can secure substitute performance by a third party in the case of a force majeure event. The recent events have caused lawyers to revise their “boilerplate” force majeure clauses to one similar to the one contained at the end of this article. The real question, however, is whether pre-pandemic clauses will cover such an event. In reviewing such clauses, the following issues should be considered: • Whether COVID 19, a pandemic or similar described event, e.g., public health emergency, is specifically listed as a force majeure event in the contract. Even if they are listed, however, other requirements such as causation may still need to be satisfied.
• If COVID 19 or similar language is not contained in the provision, could it fall under such general wording as “other similar events” or “Acts of God” recognizing that courts generally narrowly interpret such clauses? • Does the clause exclude foreseeable events? Events that may have been reasonably expected may be excluded. • Does causation have to be established, i.e., does the party claiming the benefit of the right need to show a causal link between COVID 19 and that its failure to perform was specifically due to COVID 19. • Whether there is any duty to mitigate, i.e., did the impacted party take reasonable steps, in good faith and with due diligence, to mitigate or avoid the effects of the force majeure event. • Was this type of event specifically excluded by the clause? A sample clause specifying force majeure events follows: “Force majeure” shall mean the occurrence of any of the following events beyond the control of the party claiming delay, which results in the delay of some performance mandated by this License Agreement: including, but not limited to failure of the manufacture and sale of the Licensed Products, failure of facilities due to drought, flood, earthquake, storm, fire, lightning, epidemic, pandemic, war, riot, acts of terrorism, civil disturbance, sabotage, strike or labor difficulty, accident or curtailment of supply or equipment, casualty to equipment or other unavailability or equipment or replacement equipment, inability to obtain and maintain rights-of-way, permits, licenses, and other required authorizations from any local, state or federal agency or person for any of the facilities or equipment necessary to provide or receive service hereunder, and restraint by a court or public authority.” This has particular application to whether the term of the license agreement should be extended as a result of the force majeure event and whether the licensee should be relieved of its obligations to pay a guaranteed minimum royalty if the period extends for a substantial period. Most licensors are reluctant to extend, although equity does dictate that consideration should be given to grant an extension of the term and relief from paying any guarantee in extreme situations.
TOTAL LICENSING By Martin Brochstein SVP Industry Relations and Information Licensing International www.licensinginternational. org
A Transformed Sense of ‘Normal’
For the licensing business – as well as for the consumer products and services business in general – the outlook is generally positive. Vaccination rates in many (if not most) major economies around the globe are steadily increasing, government-mandated health restrictions are being relaxed, and businesses such as physical retail, cinemas, theme parks and in-person attendance at sports events is moving toward “normalcy.” But the definition of “normalcy” may have been transformed in ways both large and small, and companies’ ability to recognize those changes and the pace at which they are being adopted, and to factor them into their businesses will be a key determinant of success.
The pace and shape of recovery continues to be uneven around the world, essentially tracking vaccination rates. China’s economy was the first to show signs of significant bounceback, growing 18.3% (compared to the yearearlier period) in the first three months of 2021, the fastest rate since records began in the early 1990s. That’s not surprising, given that China entered lockdown before the rest of the world. In Japan, on the other hand, where vaccination rates stood at about 10% of the population in late June, retail restrictions remained in place, and the staging of the Olympic Games in July-August will be in front of virtually empty stadiums and arenas, and no foreigners aside from athletes and official delegations permitted to enter the country. In the U.S., discretionary retail sales revenue in the U.S in 2021 grew 17% through May 8, according to The NPD Group, which also points out that
that’s an 18% jump over 2019. Growth in the U.S. economy, it says, “continues to rise as vaccination rates increase and as more consumers, as well as businesses and schools, begin to map their post-pandemic paths forward.”
That’s a faster bounceback than some had envisioned. Said one U.S. licensor in late 2020: “I don’t expect 2021 to be a magic turnaround year, I think it is going to take more time to get things back to a new normal. My biggest question is, when will people go to live events again?” That question was slowly being answered in the U.S. in June, with concerts beginning to be staged, sporting events played in front of crowds (though with restrictions in
place in some parts of the country), cinema attendance slowly rising, and theme parks reopening. Hopefully, writes one U.S.-based brand owner – who forecasts a “continued growth trajectory” – there will be “less disruption because we know better what to expect with COVID, (and have instituted) better supply change management. I hope we can get back to live trade shows; I believe a lot of the networking is lost in translation at virtuals.” But even among any dour forecasts and predictions, there’s an overriding sense of cautious optimism among most of the respondents. “We are anticipating conservative growth
through 2021 and working to manage everyone’s expectations for increased revenues,” writes one U.S.-based agent. “Hopefully the same or a little better than this year,” says another U.S. agent about 2021. “We are more than holding our own, which is great!” If there’s a single key word that’s implicit in many of the comments and insights contained in this report, it’s “comfort.” Office-goers suddenly working from home dressed for comfort in 2020; will that remain a factor in their apparel choices even as they return to offices? The year 2020, with lives upended in so many ways, was characterized by a notable uptick for many classic brands as consumers gravitated toward the familiar. And comfort is an aspect of a phenomenon that came to the fore in recent conversations with Licensing International Managing Directors around the globe. Several of them say that people at all levels of the licensing food chain are “looking inward on brands” – seeking names and suppliers from within their own borders and cultures. For business people, that may be rooted in ongoing supply chain issues -- “Retailers are asking for suppliers from within our country or within Europe,” said one -- but there’s a sense that it’s more fundamental than that. It bears watching whether that’s a short-term reaction to the troubled times we’ve lived through, or a more fundamental change. This has been excerpted from the Licensing International White Paper, Looking Forward: The State of the Licensing Business, available at: www.licensinginternational.org free to members.
Licensing Expo (V) August 24 - 26 The Licensing Awards (L) Sept 14 Milano Licensing Day (L) Sept 16 Brand Licensing Europe (L,V) Nov 17 - 19 MIP Junior (L) Oct 9 - 10 MIPCOM (L) Oct 11 - 14 China Licensing Expo (L) Oct 19 - 21 Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards (L) Oct 20 Brand & Lifestyle Innovation Summit (L,V) Oct 27 - 28 Brand Licensing Europe (L,V) Nov 17 - 19 Korea Character Licensing Fair (L) Nov 25 - 28 British Toy & Hobby Fair (L) Jan 25 - 27 2022 Nuremberg Toy Fair (L) Feb 2 - 6 Kidscreen Summit (L) Feb 14 - 17 New York Toy Fair (L) Feb 19 - 22 Licensing World Russia (L) March 1 - 3 Australian Toy Fair (L) March 6 - 9 Licensing China (Shenzhen) (L) March 30 - 1 April MIP.TV (L) April 4 - 6 London Book Fair (L) April 5 - 7 Hong Kong Int. Licensing Show (L) April 27 - 29 (L) Live (V) Virtual (L,V) Hybrid of Live and Virtual
www.licensingexpo.com www.thelicensingawards.co.uk www.milanolicensingday.it www.brandlicensing.eu www.mipcom.com/mipjunior www.mipcom.com www.chinalicensingexpo.com www.brandlicensingawards.co.uk www.brandlicensinginnovationsummit.com www.brandlicensing.eu www.characterfair.kr www.toyfair.co.uk www.spielwarenmesse.de/toys/trade-fair-2019 www.summit.kidscreen.com/2019/ www.toyfairny.com/ www.licensingworld.ru www.toyfair.com.au www.licensing-china.hk.messefrankfurt.com www.miptv.com www.londonbookfair.co.uk www.hktdc.com/fair/hklicensingshow-en
Next Issue alert...
The Autumn/Fall issue of Total Licensing will be published in November Key features include: Brand Licensing Europe Preview, Nostalgia, The Revival of Live Events, Changing Face of Retail and more Bonus distribution: Brand Licensing Europe Editorial Deadline: 15 October 2021 • Ad Material deadline: 1 November 2021
King Features .............................................................19, 20
Beano Studios ..................................................................27
Konami ........................................................................23, 25
Blue Chip Brands .............................................................. 9
Licensing Awards .............................................................38
Boat Rocker ....................................................................... 7
Licensing Day Milano .....................................................85
Boxine GmbH ..................................................................43
Licensing Expo Virtual ....................................................29
Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards ..........................129
MIPCOM/MIP Junior ......................................................37
Brand Licensing Europe .................................................31
SEGA Europe ...................................................................17
China Licensing Expo ...................................................125
Sesame Workshop ..........................................................13
CloudCo ..................................................................50 – 54
Studio 100 ......................................................................130
CTB Film Company ...................................................... 4, 5
TF1 Licences ....................................................................45
CTC Media ......................................................................... 1
Toei Animation .................................................................47
El Ocho ................................................................ 39, 40, 41
ViacomCBS ..................................................................... 2, 3
Exquisite Gaming ............................................................35
Withit Studios .................................................................69
Guru Studios ....................................................................11
List correct at time of going to press
The 2021 winners will be unveiled on Wednesday 20 October 2021 A lavish afternoon event at Hilton Park Lane, London