Total Licensing Summer 22

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Summer 2022



Regular Features

North America

Comment...................................................................... 10 Global news.................................................................. 12 Products of Change..................................................126 Legally Speaking.........................................................128 What’s On..................................................................130

Licensing Expo... back after three long years!....... 52 Exhibitor Preview................................................ 54 Fox Chapel Publishing........................................ 28 The Soul Publishing............................................. 70 Genius Debut New Brands............................... 74 Peter Rabbit in North America........................ 75 Pokemon at Expo................................................ 76 Boat Rocker in Las Vegas................................... 80 The World of Kidamento.......................................... 90


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TF1 Surfing the Summer trends.............................. 22 Warhammer and the growth of video games....... 68 Bluey marches on!....................................................... 78 Happy Anniversary Bulldog Licensing..................... 81 Jellyfish, seasickness and so much more... the Channel Swim!...............................................106 Mighty Mike strikes again........................................108 Ukraine’s Brave Bunnies - an update....................112

Asia Musiktiger from Korea............................................... 66 ADK - Beyblade Burst............................................... 72 Ace Fair - Korea’s Content Market........................ 89 Licensing Japanese Publishing IP............................... 99 12th Licensing Japan set for June/July...................101 India - new world and new beginnings.................114


Global The Power of Board, Dice and Card...................... 30 Changes in Kids’ Entertainment Consumption.... 32 Cover Story: Moonbug Entertainment Powerhouse........... 38 MeteoHeroes Fighting Climate Change through Stories...... 42 Gary Pope: Building Identities and Teens.............102 Brands Growing the Nostalgia Market................104 Nostalgia: The Gift that Keeps on Giving.............105 Trendwatch - a look at shopping

Latin America Latin America - the online revolution.................... 91 New formats from Brazil ......................................... 92 Interview: Elias Hofman, Exim Entertainment....... 93 KOPA: Working towards Vegas................................ 94 Redibra - a Brazilian licensing pioneer................... 96 Snapshot of the Brazilian, Mexican and Argentinian markets............................................. 97

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Art Lice





Visit or pick up a copy at Licensing Expo!

Co-Publisher Francesca Ash

Co-Publisher Jerry Wooldridge

Editorial Director Rebecca Ash

Office Manager Helen Bowerman

Japan Agent Roger Berman, ZenWorks

TOTAL LICENSING LTD 4 Wadhurst Business Park Faircrouch Lane, Wadhurst, East Sussex TN5 6PT UK Tel: +44 (0) 1892 782220 Fax: +44 (0) 1892 782226

Member of

© 2022 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


The ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign has never felt so welcoming or so appealing! Finally, after three very long and very strange years, the licensing industry is packing its bags and preparing for the trek across the desert to join the many others who will come together for Licensing Expo at the Mandalay Bay. Actually, the sign, which has been proudly sitting at the Southern end of Las Vegas since 1959, is in many ways a portend of things to come! We’ve all managed to function with Zoom, Teams and a host of other online facilitators over the last few years. It hasn’t been easy, and certainly not ideal, but to the most part, we’ve managed. Now, finally, we can come together as an industry. And judging by the reaction to last year’s Brand Licensing Europe, it should be quite a party! A lot has happened in the three years since the show closed its doors last. A significant number of retailers have gone to the wall or radically altered the way they do business. And significant mergers and buyouts have taken place – WarnerMedia and Discovery are now Warner Bros Discovery and Amazon bought MGM for $8.5 billion. Activision Blizzard are being actively courted by Microsoft and away from entertainment, the fashion world is undergoing change with G-111 Apparel buying fashion brand Karl Lagerfeld and David Beckham forming a partnership with Authentic Brands Group to develop the future of the David Beckham brand. Not to be left out, Netflix went into gaming in a very big way and, along the way, bought several businesses including The Roald Dahl Story Co. Interestingly, Amazon and Netflix are now up with the leading lights in entertainment such as Comcast, Sony and, of course, the mighty Disney. So, how different will the show be this year from when we were all last in Las Vegas? In reality not terribly different. There are still well over 250 exhibitors and the big names, generally, are there. What is interesting is how some of the show highlights have changed, in light of changes in our industry. Location-based entertainment (LBE) is playing an ever-increasingly important role in licensing. Millennials (1980-94), Gen-Z (1995-2015) and more recently Gen-Alpha (2015+), place great store in experiences, valuing memories above products in many cases. Of course part of this shift to LBE has been as a result of the shift in retail due to the pandemic. You can buy almost anything conveniently, and quickly, online. We all do it (my recent Amazon Prime tracking told me that in 350 days I had made 235 purchases!). But you can’t buy a memory online.

Savvy retailers realised, years ago that the inexorable shift to online retail was not going to go away. To succeed as a physical store or location, they had to offer more, something that went way beyond the purchase of a physical product. And that’s where LBE comes in. Disney, of course, was ahead of the game. Whilst the first theme park in America was Santa Claus Land in Indiana in 1946, Disney popularised themed entertainment when he opened Disneyland in California back in 1955. Although predicted at the time to be a commercial disaster, Disneyland was an immediate triumph and imitators followed throughout the United States, Six Flags Over Texas (built in 1961) being the most successful. The theme park era was born and new attractions were opened at major cities throughout the US. Walt Disney World in Florida followed in 1971 now consisting of four theme parks and regarded as the most visited theme park in the world. Disney theme park franchises also operate in Tokyo and Paris. And so back to Licensing Expo. This year’s theming embraces the new generation of locationbased experiences which are popping up around the world. The show will spotlight the world of LBE including Hasbro’s Transformers VR Arena, the My Little Pony & Transformers X Marriott Autograph Hotel Collection, Feld Entertainment’s Monster Truck Simulator Experience, BuzzFeed’s Hot Ones! Challenge Live Experience, the NEW Sports Bar and the Toy Café, designed to showcase products, brands, and innovative retail experiences from several of the exhibitors. The excitement is palpable. Many of those who were hesitant about rejoining the show this year have swept their hesitation aside and are ready to head out. Of course, Total Licensing will be there. We really hope we get the chance to see as many of our readers as possible. In the meantime, happy travels! Francesca Ash Co-Publisher

Jerry Wooldridge Co-Publisher



DISNEY’S GIFT OF PLAY Disney has brought together The Institute of Imagination, parenting experts and theatrical stage-masters to launch The Gift of Play – a new campaign hosted on a dedicated website, which is entrenched in Disney’s nearly 100year legacy of creative storytelling, to encourage adults and children to have more shared imaginative playtime together. A recent study from Disney suggests the shared imaginative play gap is widespread across the nation, with three in five (60 per cent) parents revealing they have ‘forgotten’ how to use their imagination when it comes to play. Disney’s The Gift of Play provides inspirational yet informative guidance, through a series of enjoyable activities and toy suggestions inspired

by the stories and characters from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel, to demonstrate how creativity, inventiveness and togetherness can help to reignite imagination. 5,000 adults across Europe - with children under the age of 12 - were asked

about their thoughts and behaviours around playtime, and whilst 80 per cent in the UK recognise the importance of play for a child’s development, nearly half (45 per cent) say that family life is too busy and 40 per cent of those feel they don’t have the time to join in when it comes to shared playtime. While eight in ten parents (77 per cent) admit their kids are happier when they play all together, almost half (48 per cent) say they feel uninspired and lost when it came to planning ways to play, and one in two (50 per cent) struggle to find the resources that could help them. To help re-ignite the nation’s imagination, Disney has created The Gift of Play - a dedicated website that hosts a range of free to view videos, including easy to follow ‘how-tos’ and resources devoted to families enjoying more imaginative play time together, including The Gift of Play guide. The free 22-page handbook, which includes a series of Disney Princess themed play-starter scenarios, has been created by parenting experts and theatrical stage-masters, to inspire adults and children to use their own surroundings and Disney stories to stimulate imagination, creativity - and most of all, have fun playing. To help put some of the suggested play-starters found in The Gift of Play guide to the test, Katie Piper was guided by the Disney Stage Masters – theatrical performers who teach adults and adults to make the most of playtime and performance through the

Disney stage shows and films. Katie Piper said, “Playtime with my children is a welcome escape from reality and we enjoy nothing more than that special time together, making up games and stories with our favourite Disney characters. Parents are going to get so much out of Disney’s new Gift of Play pack, they won’t run out of enjoyable and easy ways to inspire play together.” The Institute of Imagination added, “Imagination is the starting point for creativity in all areas of human culture and endeavour, but the pressures of modern life mean that opportunities for imaginative play amongst children, and with their parents and carers, can often be neglected. To ensure our children, young people, and indeed adults, develop the skills to be creative and inventive, we believe it is incredibly important we all find the time and space to put our imaginations to work and one of the best ways of doing this is through play. We are so excited to be helping Disney on The Gift of Play initiative.” Sarah Fox, VP Marketing and Communications, Disney Consumer Products, Games & Publishing EMEA, commented, “We know that shared play between adults and children can be a truly special experience and we want to support families through Disney’s The Gift of Play.We hope that through this campaign our characters and stories can inspire parents and caregivers, bringing magic and making memorable experiences through play.”

WILDBRAIN CPLG REBRAND LIFESTYLE DIVISION WildBrain CPLG has rebranded its rapidly growing Lifestyle division under the new name “ASPIRE” with an expanded mandate to accelerate growth of the agency’s Corporate and Lifestyle brands portfolio. The dedicated group and new brand, flying under the WildBrain CPLG banner, reflect the agency’s commitment to growing meaningful opportunities for existing and new partners in the Corporate Lifestyle space. ASPIRE will focus on building longterm strategic partnerships for lead-


ing global brands across such categories as art and heritage institutions, FMCG, fashion and lifestyle, hardware, and automotive. As part of the rebranding, the agency also recently unveiled a dedicated logo for the ASPIRE division. Under the continued leadership of Victoria Whellans, who takes on a new role as Commercial Director for ASPIRE (previously she was Group Brands Director, Lifestyle), the rebranded division will develop innovative, relevant and authentic brand

extensions, creating new consumer touchpoints and opening incremental revenue streams for partners. Victoria Whellans will work closely with Jasen Wright, Vice President North America, to drive the global strategy for ASPIRE, with a focus on North America as a key territory of initial expansion. The ASPIRE group will grow with new hires in key locations worldwide, including New York, Europe and APAC, supported by international and local sales teams.



SESAME WORKSHOP AND DISCOVERY EDUCATION TEAM UP Sesame Workshop and Discovery Education have announced the creation of a new Sesame Workshop-branded early learner channel designed to meet the needs of children from PreK to grade 2. Consistent with Discovery Education’s solutions for schools, the channel will include high-quality video content today’s students know and love, as well as lesson plans and educator resources; interactive games and activities for kids; and family partnership

supports—all focused on a wholechild approach. The Sesame Workshop channel, with innovative teaching and learning solutions, will be available in the fall on Discovery Education’s learning platform. Beginning with curricular resources designed to address new and continuing needs associated with interrupted schooling and prioritized by Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSR) funding, the content comprises social and emotional development and wellness; foundational academic skills in math and literacy; and a social studiesaligned curriculum focused on positive and healthy identity and sense of belonging. At the center of these resources will be research-based content from across the wide range of Sesame Workshop media, including Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and more. “Sesame Workshop is committed to ensuring school readiness and helping children develop the emotional, social, and cognitive skills needed to become lifelong learners,” said Akimi Gibson, Vice President & Educational Publisher, Sesame Workshop. “As part of this ongoing commitment, we are thrilled to partner with Discovery Education to distribute proven, cohesive yet flexible PreK-2 curricular resourc-

es directly into the hands of schools and the educators of our youngest learners. Discovery Education’s 20+ years of expertise in the learning space and their leadership in delivering highquality supplemental curriculum at tremendous scale make them an ideal collaborator in our efforts to help all children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.” “Sesame Workshop’s success can be attributed to its collaborative, research-intensive approach to the development of highly engaging, childcentered media and programs,” said Pete Weir, Chief Product Officer, Discovery Education. “Their offerings reflect both a deep understanding of children’s developmental needs and the best ways to address those needs. We are excited to partner with Sesame Workshop to bring the first dedicated PreK-2 channel to our award-winning K-12 platform, and are eager to collaborate with educators nationwide on their efforts to align their early childhood initiatives, state standards, and kindergarten readiness goals.” Additional content areas, such as STEAM, healthy habits, and coding are being prioritized through educator feedback and will be added in the future.

WORLD OF BARBIE SET TO LAUNCH Kilburn Live, a market leader in branded live entertainment, recently revealed a partnership with Mattel, Inc. for a new upcoming immersive attraction – World of Barbie. Created alongside Mattel, the interactive exhibition will allow fans the opportunity to step directly into Barbie’s world where they can explore her Dreamhouse, walk down her neighborhood streets into various interactive rooms, and even sit in her life-sized Camper Van, fabricated by the team at West Coast Customs. World of Barbie launches this summer in Toronto, Canada. From Toronto, the attraction will travel to multiple cities across the United States, with anticipated markets including New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and more. The immersive exhibition invites guests of all ages to imagine a world of possibilities, such as becoming a scientist, designer, music producer, astronaut and more. Activations include Barbie Dreamhouse, Barbie Camper Van, Fashion Studio, TV Studio and Space Center.




WARNER BROS UNVEIL CENTENNIAL LOGO Warner Bros recently unveiled its Centennial Logo to officially begin an extended rollout of activities leading up to and beyond the iconic Studio’s 100th Anniversary on April 4, 2023. Incorporating one of Southern California’s most recognizable landmarks, the WB Water Tower, the logo celebrates Warner Bros.’ legacy of a century of storytelling.

“We’re so excited to kick off the activities around this historic anniversary and share this commemorative logo with our fans and content partners around the centennial celebration of one of the world’s greatest entertainment studios,” said Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group. “Throughout Warner Bros.’ history,

its films and TV shows have been recognized as the gold standard of storytelling, and it was important to us to highlight the fact that telling stories that move the world is at the heart of everything we do.” Starting at the end of this year, and throughout 2023, Warner Bros.’ centennial celebration will include a fully realized, fan-focused campaign involving every division of the Studio – film, series, consumer products, videogames, themed entertainment, studio tours, live events and more – as well as its Studios and Networks sister companies, including HBO Max, the TNets (TNT, TBS and truTV), WarnerMedia Kids, Young Adults & Classics (including WB Animation, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and TCM) and others. Additional details regarding the centennial activities will be available in the coming months.

FIFTY YEARS OF GIANT PANDA CONSERVATION Zoo Guardians, a free, mobile zoo simulation game created by JumpStart Games in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, is celebrating 50 years of giant panda care, research and conservation at the Zoo. The game launched an exclusive Pandariffic celebration with in-game events and online downloadables in April. Zoo Guardians brings the real-life conservation efforts of the Zoo into players’ hands by allowing players to care for and understand the needs of a wide variety of threatened animals like the giant panda. April 16 marked the 50th anniversary of the Zoo’s ongoing care and conservation for giant pandas. “It’s inspiring to know generations of conservationists have dedicated their passion and skills to learning about the beloved giant panda,” says Julianne May, Marketing Manager at Jumpstart Games. “With Zoo Guardians, our team’s goal is to help nurture this spirit of conservation with an event that not only celebrates the giant panda, but also encourages adults


and children alike to continue learning with them.” From April through August, in addition to new in-game quests, players can now claim limited edition panda décor items to customize their zoos with by redeeming the promo code found on the Zoo’s website. Fans and conservationists can also download a free “Pandariffic Pack which includes two mobile backgrounds, coloring sheets and other panda-themed activities “This anniversary celebrates 50 years of collaboration and conservation success for the cherished giant panda,” says Pamela Baker-Masson, Associate Director, Office of

Communications and Exhibits . “The future lies with the next generations inspiration to become real-life Zoo Guardians.” Zoo Guardians is free and available to download in the App Store and on Google Play. With special features like augmented reality and “fun fact cards,” players have a number of unique ways to interact with the animals they love most, while getting a taste of conservation. This game is rated E for Everyone and recommended for players ages 9 and above. Players can continue their Zoo Guardians journey on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or using the hashtag #ZooGuardians.



UNIVERSAL AND MOSCHINO IN CAPSULE COLLECTION Illumination and Universal Brand Development have collaborated with Italian luxury brand, Moschino, to launch the Minions x Moschino Baby Kid Teen capsule collection, available now on Illumination’s new feature film, Minions: The Rise of Gru, arrives in theaters July 1, 2022. Minion icons Bob, Stuart and Kevin meet the iconic Moschino Teddy Bear in a limited-edition capsule collection that includes sweatshirts, T-shirts, dresses, bags, swimwear, footwear and accessories for babies, kids and teens. “The Minions x Moschino Baby Kid Teen capsule takes a joyful, fresh approach to Illumination’s beloved Minions by capturing their sweet and subversive nature and pairing it with the iconic Moschino Bear in a sophisticated collection,” said Stephanie Kraus, Senior Vice President, Global Lifestyle Design and Product Development, Universal Brand Development. This summer, from the biggest global animated franchise in history, comes the origin story of how the world’s greatest supervillain first met his iconic Minions, forged cinema’s most despicable crew and faced off against the most unstoppable criminal force ever assembled in Minions: The Rise of Gru. Featuring more spectacular action than any film in Illumination history and packed with the franchise’s signature subversive humor, Minions: The Rise of Gru stars a new cast, including, the Vicious 6: Taraji P. Henson as cool and confident leader Belle Bottom, whose chain belt doubles as a lethal disco-ball mace; Jean-Claude Van Damme as the nihilistic Jean Clawed, who’s armed (literally) with a giant robotic claw; Lucy Lawless as Nunchuck, whose traditional

nun’s habit hides her deadly nun-chucks; Dolph Lundgren as Swedish roller-skate champion Svengeance, who dispenses his enemies with spin kicks from his spiked skates; and Danny Trejo as Stronghold, whose giant iron hands are both a menace to others and a burden to him. The film also stars Russell Brand as Young Dr. Nefario, an aspiring mad scientist, Michelle Yeoh as Master Chow, an acupuncturist with mad kung fu skills, and Oscar winner Julie Andrews as Gru’s maddeningly self-absorbed mom. Steered by the franchise’s original creators, Minions: The Rise of Gru is produced by visionary Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborators Janet Healy and Chris Renaud. The film is directed by returning franchise filmmaker Kyle Balda, co-directed by Brad Ableson and Jonathan del Val and features the iconic voice of Pierre Coffin as the Minions and a ’70s soundtrack.

LICENSING TO HELP UKRAINE At this time of crisis for the people of Ukraine, three veterans of the licensing industry are set to implement a plan of action that they hope will benefit as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. Peter Van Raalte, Woody Browne and Alan Gordon, founders of Browne, Gordon & Van Raalte, LLC, (BG&VR), have used their collective experience to create a timely fundraising concept: Putin-Free is the siren call for these times. “Though the creation of the concept came up during the last election cycle, it is even more relevant today,” says Peter Van Raalte. “Watching the devastation, we all wanted to help and realized our best efforts would come from what we know how to do best.” The trio has fast-tracked the concept into a comprehensive licensing program and presented it to The Wildflower Group (TWG), which has


become the program’s initial licensee. TWG manages the full scope of ecommerce operations, builds online storefronts for product lines, and has the ability to print-on-demand domestically, so products can reach the market quickly. BG&VR is working with TWG to donate a portion of the sale of each item directly to World Central Kitchen. Customers will also have the option to make an additional donation during the pur-

chase process.World Central Kitchen began serving meals 24 hours a day to fleeing Ukrainians in Southern Poland soon after the invasion started. They have now expanded to serve people across the region in Romania, Moldavia, and Hungary as well. They are also partnering with restaurants inside Ukraine to provide meals to those who remain in the country. The initial launch will include tees, hoodies, and stickers. The team is also looking to increase donations by licensing the concept across other product groups and additional categories, according to Alan Gordon. “We will be donating all licensing profits to World Central Kitchen for their help with the people of Ukraine and we’re encouraging each Licensee to make a direct donation from the sale of every licensed product as well to similar charities,” he says.



BARBIE BEAUTY COLLECTION TO LAUNCH Licensed toiletry specialist Kokomo has debuted a new collaboration with the iconic Barbie brand across a new health and beauty range. The brands have collaborated on an inclusive, collection for consumers, that celebrate

diverse dolls, iconic Barbie logos and graphics, and encompass the Kokomo brand missions;‘Be Kind to Your Mind’ and ‘Just as You Are’. The collection of 17 products launched exclusively at Primark across accessories, skincare and cosmetics. Since 1959, as the original girl empowerment brand, Barbie has shown girls they can be anything. By providing purposeful play with over 200 careers, highlighting global role models, showcasing diversity and inclusion, and leading the mission to close the “Dream Gap”, Barbie continuously strives to help kids reach their limitless potential. As the world’s number #1 fashion doll Barbie doll is an international icon. Today, she continues to spark imaginations and influence

NEW SERIES OF OCTONAUTS Silvergate Media has confirmed that a second season of Octonauts: Above & Beyond will make its global debut on Netflix in May. The new episodes follow the debut of this Octonauts spin-off last September where the intrepid crew proved themselves as heroes on land as well as underwater. In the new episodes, the Octonauts will continue to explore dynamic landscapes, experience new climates, rescue animals and protect the land they live on. Highlights include a 22-minute special, Rainforest Rescue, which sees the Octonauts embark on an adventure through the Amazon rainforest canopy to rescue a baby eaglet. Fans will also be thrilled by the introduction of three new Terra Gups to the


Octonaut’s land-based vehicle fleet, based on a Giraffe Weevil, Turtle and Centipede retrospectively. The launch of Octonauts: Above & Beyond Series 2 is timed to support the roll out of the new toy range from global master toy licensee Moose Toys. Set to launch this summer, the new collection will include figures, vehicles, playsets, plush and more. Octonauts: Above & Beyond will feature alongside classic Octonauts lines adding depth to the growing consumer products programme. “The expansion of the Octonauts and the broadening of the much-loved universe onto land creates a wealth of exciting new opportunities for our consumer products programme,” said Ron Allen, EVP Commercial at Silvergate Media.

conversations around the world. From female firsts to famous collaborations, Barbie doll reflects the times – a snapshot of pop culture. Mattel has collaborated with Kokomo, an established health and beauty business specialising in sustainable, high quality, design-led products to launch a range of self-care products each with its own unique, empowering and positive message. Laura Jealous, Kokomo’s Sales & Marketing Director said “We are delighted to be working with Mattel on such an iconic brand with an important message to inspire and empower, working together we have designed a beautiful collection of Health & Beauty products which we can’t wait to see in stores!”


Guru Studio has recently announced that a full line of toys inspired by the hit series True and the Rainbow Kingdom is now available in the US and Canada on Amazon and at Toys R Us Canada. Fans of the popular show can visit the brand’s dedicated Amazon Store for the growing list of officially licensed products that includes toys, books, costumes, music, apparel, and more. Guru Studio teamed up with master toy partner United Smile and leading distributor Imports Dragon to bring the colorful and robust product line to market. “After so much anticipation and pent up demand from our fans, we’re excited to be unveiling a truly unique line of toys that we know kids will love,” said Jonathan Abraham, VP of Sales and Business Development at Guru Studio.


Summer is coming and TF1 Licensing is about to surf the trends! Very strong on kids’ brands, TF1 Licensing is also a major player with teens and how to make children’s brands attractive to teenagers. One great example is Miraculous. Although the show’s core target is children from 6 to 12, it is a great success among teenagers. Between 2021 and 2022 season 4 on Tfou (TF1) achieved an average of 28.9% audience share amongst those aged 15 to 34*, showing that even young adults watch the show and not just as co-viewers with their children. Moreover, Miraculous has created a strong trend in cosplayers as well, and we often see young adults dressed up as Ladybug and CatNoir on social media and events all over the world. A few years ago, a Miraculous cosplayers event allowed two fans of the show to meet and fall in love, creating a great story around this brand. Millions of people attend these events all over the world, creating a huge community. And to keep on attracting young adults, Zagtoon’s teams have started to work on new styleguides targeting this audience, including a new one reproducing the show’s universe in a manga style. Still not convinced? Well it would probably help

to know that the latest Miraculous World special episode happening in Shanghai achieved an audience share of 77% amongst 15 to 24 year olds* in April 2021 on Tfou - a record for a children’s show! TF1 Licensing is proud to represent brands that can be twisted from kids to teenagers and young adults. For example, IMPS, the Smurfs’ rightsholder, is always working on fashion styleguides, moving the Smurfs’ classic universe to one of college varsity. From Flower Power to Camo, the Smurfs can be adapted to any fashion trend that attracts teenagers and young


adults. And this explains why they’re already working with fashion brands such as Supreme in 2020 and Shein today. Another way for a kids’ brand to appeal to teenagers is to work on nostalgia. In an era where vintage is fashion, many evergreen brands are very successful amongst a younger audience. The key to this success stands in the fact that these brands that appeal to the older generations manage to renew themselves and surf new trends. TF1 Licensing’s major evergreen brand Barbapapa is playing its cards well. In 2022, the Barbapapa family are starring in fashion with a collaboration with Patou (LVMH Group) comprising


a whole range of textile and accessories promoted with a strong Social Media campaign that has already attracted the young ones and influencers all over the world. So as you can see, even brands targeting children can also work for teenagers and young adults, as long as you know how to adapt them. And that’s something TF1 Licensing is good at! But when it comes to TV Entertainment programs, teenagers are the most challenging target to talk to. They’re very volatile and, as we all know, spend less time in front of the TV. As the leading TV group in France, TF1 has managed to turn this around with major entertainment programs, which have conquered this target market. In 2022, Koh-Lanta (Survivor) has attracted a large number of young people with an average audience share of 49.8% amongst 15-24 year olds*. Last year, the 20th anniversary season ‘The Legend’ reached up to 49.3% amongst 15-24 years old* featuring people’s favourite past winners. A


wonderful success for this target audience and an something to aim at for all entertainment producers and channels. This allows TF1 Licensing to develop these brands in terms of consumer products, board games and even an apparel and accessories range by Sun City. And now the program has also moved into a live experience with Team Break’s Escape Game. TF1 Licensing is building up a strategy to conquer this special target, which are the teenagers and young adults, playing on nostalgia, creativity, and

powerful TV programs.And to improve this strategy, TF1 Licensing is also surfing the digital trend of the Metaverse. Thanks to the richness of its portfolio and some brands really appealing to wide targets, TF1 Licensing is matching with the NFT market. Convinced that some attractive and relevant developments on NFT can happen, TF1 Licensing is currently moving forward in terms of discussions with different actors. Launches could occur in the coming months. Since 2020, IMPS has brought the blue Smurfs characters and their Smurf Village world into the Sandbox metaverse. The Sandbox players will be able to socialize in a virtual Smurf Village land, play adventure games using their favourite characters from the IP, and purchase Smurfs-themed in-game content to use for building their very own Smurfs games and worlds. In 2022, the Sandbox is releasing blue NFTs with 10 Smurfs Avatars and a game developed in partnership with IMPS. Licensing allows TF1 Licensing to tell creative and varied stories, to talk to different targets in an effective way and to keep adapting in an always evolving market. There are more beautiful stories to come! *Médiamétrie - Médiamat



LIVE EVENTS FOR GORJUSS Back in 2020, Santoro developed Ruby, the character who started off the global phenomenon that is the Gorjuss brand today. However, two years of lockdowns led to Ruby patiently waiting to make her world debut. Now, in 2022, Santoro are absolutely delighted to announce that after much anticipation, Ruby finally made her debut with a series of live events at Avenue mall, Athens from 15-23rd April to celebrate this Easter, coordinated and managed by Licensee Bobos Club.

“The events mark the Company’s first foray into location-based experiences, currently the most in-demand form of brand entertainment, and look forward to exploring this channel of licensing further. This first meet-and-greet event offers Gorjuss fans the rare opportunity to connect with the character beyond the artworks that adorn a wealth of licensed products, bringing to life the brand that has resonated with millions of people worldwide,” said Jo Campbell, General Manager of Santoro. In a celebration of friendship and connection, two intrinsic Gorjuss brand values, the event offers generous giveaways and “alternative communications” activities based around positive emotions such as love, contemplation, thoughtfulness and gratitude. Ruby and her helpers lead the activities and games, encouraging the children and spectators to participate in emulating Ruby’s iconic poses and gestures. Certainly, in the modern era of brand engagement, audiences and consumers are seeking out experi-


ences, pop-ups and physical engagement more-so than ever in order to fully connect with their brands. Santoro’s licensees have united in support of the 9 events, donating over 2000 products for giveaways whilst Bobos Club have committed a promotional campaign involving Gorjuss buses, bus stops, posters, radio adverts and teaser trailers to be shared across a variety of Greek channels including Nickelodeon. “Gradually entering into conditions that remind us more and more of old, normal times, Avenue Mall were very excited to welcome Ruby from Santoro’s Gorjuss family to come all the way from London! We chose to host Ruby because the Gorjuss girls are unique in their ability to touch the hearts both of children and adults and prove that we can communicate and express our feelings in so many different ways. There’s been a huge collection of wonderful gifts that Ruby has been offering to the children and attendees, this has been the perfect event to celebrate Greek Easter!” says Lila Kalaitzi, Marketing and Communication Director of Avenue. “The Greek audience loves the girls from Santoro’s Gorjuss – the excitement was huge before the event even started from both younger and older audiences in Greece. It is our honour to host the first worldwide event of Santoro Gorjuss here in Greece,” says Panagiotis Demos, the CEO of Bobos Club. “Lots of things happened that changed the world in the past two years, the only thing that didn’t change at all, but quite the opposite - actually became strengthened, is our need to communicate with one another. Ruby coming to Avenue proves that nothing can stop us from communicating with one another through whatever means we each have at our disposal. The event is something that the Bobos Club team has designed and organized very carefully with a lot of love. It’s already been a huge success and an amazing experience for everyone involved,” said Stella Papadopoulou, Marketing Manager of Bobos Club.

PRECIOUS MOMENTS WeJoy Living hop has been granted the license to produce and sell Quilling Art featuring Precious Moments artwork. “WeJoy Living looks forward to sharing the joy and inspiration of life’s most memorable and meaningful moments with others through our oneof-a-kind Precious Moments quilling artwork,” says WeJoy Living Program Director Binbin Ma. Quilling is an intricate paper craft art form (also known as paper filigree) in which thin strips of paper are rolled and shaped to form basic shapes which are then glued into decorative designs. “Precious Moments is excited to add WeJoy Living to our licensing family as their beautiful quilling designs are a perfect match for our iconic characters and artwork. They join an extensive licensing roster that includes many wonderful and loyal licensees,” says Shehnaz Safiuddin, Vice President, Product and Marketing for Precious Moments, referring to the recent renewals of licensing agreements with several longtime licensees. Renewing Precious Moments licensees include: Direct Checks Unlimited as licensee for Precious Moments checks, checkbook covers, and personalized labels; Life Gift Group for a wide range of Spanish-language Precious Moments gifts; and licensee for print-on-demand applications. “Spotlight is always looking to add great new licensees like WeJoy Living, but we also really value the great work being done by existing licensees such as Direct Checks Unlimited, Life Gift Group, and Zazzle” says Carole Postal, President of Spotlight Licensing and Brand Management, the agency appointed by Precious Moments, Inc. to manage its domestic merchandise licensing program.

TOTAL LICENSING Harai and the Fox Chapel team also collaborated with innovative storyteller Rob Hudnut to create messagedriven stories for the series. Hudnut, who also helped launch popular stories for Barbie, Hot Wheels, Rescue Heroes, and other memorable Mattel brands, created storylines for the Ninja Kitties books that provide a strong family focus as well as social and emotional learning tools for kids today.

Ninja Kitties is a character-driven children’s book series and brand in which seven royal kitties transform into ninjas to save the ‘kin-dom’ of Kitlandia.

Stayed tuned on for updates on what these ferociously cute felines will do next!

The Ninja Kitties are siblings who go by the names of Zumi, Bee-Bee, Drago, Sora, Leon, Mia, and Hana. Each Ninja Kitty has his or her own superpower—super leaping, heat and glow power, super flying, super strength, water power, and floral power! Thanks to their super ninja gems from Grandma Tabby (their master ninja trainer), they have the power of Ninja Goodness on their side! But they must keep their gems hidden from the Fang Gang—Winty Wolf and his two rascal sidekicks, Cody Coyote and Jed Jackal, who will stop at nothing to steal them use their powers to bring harm to Kitlandia. Good thing Winty doesn’t know the Ninja Kitties true identities as Royal Kitties—but he’s certainly suspicious. The only creatures in Kitlandia who do know the Ninja Kitties’ secret are their parents, King Reo and Queen Mira, Grandma Tabby, and a loyal woodpecker named Pepper who delivers secret messages to them. The Ninja Kitties use their secret portal to get where they need to be in Kitlandia. They can do anything they set their paws to…. as long as there aren’t any balls of yarn lying around — those are just too fun to pass up!


And, always, the messages of Ninja Goodness – the importance of family, kindness, confidence, love, individuality, persistence, tolerance — are at the very heart of the Ninja Kitties and their adventures in Kitlandia. Each Ninja Kitty story provides a strong family focus, social and emotional learning, and life lessons for kids today. Fox Chapel Publishing, publisher and licensor of Ninja Kitties, worked closely with award-winning artist Kayomi Harai to introduce an empowering book series for young children. Harai originally envisioned Ninja Kitties to inspire children to believe in their inner strengths. “I believe in the power of helping children find their inner strengths through stories,” Harai says.

The psychology of play was also a key factor during the creation of Ninja Kitties. Brand advisor Sujata Luther, a former EVP of Nickelodeon Consumer Insights, was on the creative board to map out characters and situations that would make a strong impact on children and their families—especially during today’s environment. “As kids and parents are navigating today’s complicated and nuanced landscape in their journey through childhood, Ninja Kitties is the perfect stage for teaching valuable life lessons,” says Luther. Fox Chapel Publishing will launch six books in 2022 with several more to follow in 2023. The publisher and the whole Ninja Kitties team are excited to introduce Ninja Goodness to readers this year! For licensing inquiries, please contact:


The power of board, dice and card A catchup on Asmodee’s Licensing Tabletop games have been growing strongly for decades, but recent years have seen a veritable surge of players and fans. Whether it’s the traditional end to a family Christmas lunch, the ad hoc games night with friends or a weekly slot at the local game store, the majority of us have experience of tabletop gaming.


As A-list celebrities proudly define themselves as gamers and treats like Exploding Kittens are being included in Oscar nominee goodie bags, it’s easy to see the awareness of the variety of tabletop games available is rising and global fanbases growing with incredible speed. As the fanbases grow so does the demand for licensed products, as players look to incorporate the brands they love into other areas of their homes, lifestyle and entertainment. Since its inception Asmodee Entertainment, part of the Asmodee Group, one of the global leaders in boardgame publishing and distribution, has infiltrated the market to answer those demands. Having access to the massive portfolio of Asmodee’s game brands, Asmodee Entertainment has been pushing the scope of their brands in the past two years with great enthusiasm and success. The Werewolves of Millers Hollow is one of those brands. An immersive party game targeted at young adults and teens, the brand has been a part of pop culture for two decades, especially in France and Germany, and with players and game play captured in YouTube videos now running to

tens of millions of views, it’s no surprise that Asmodee Entertainment are keen to bring licensed products to those fans. Recently they announced an option agreement with the prolific French film & TV production company Radar Films (Mediawan), with the aim of developing a feature film providing further depth to the story and characters of the hugely successful original game. And in August 2021 it was announced that Mango Éditions would produce gamebooks based on The Werewolves of Millers Hollow brand, allowing players to continue their enjoyment as a solo experience, whether that be commuting to the office or sat on the sofa. Other Asmodee brands like Dobble (known as Spot it! in North America) and Ticket to Ride are also making the jump across platforms. A truly global brand, Dobble / Spot it! is an award-winning visual perception card game filling schools, family homes and parties with crossgenerational joy and laughter. With an upcoming original graphic novel currently in production with American publisher ABLAZE, young fans of the game’s ubiquitous mascot Dobbly, the famous anthropomorphic hand which features in the game’s logo, will be able to delve further into the adventures of this iconic character. Asmodee Entertainment also announced that a puzzle book is in the works with respected British publishers Welbeck Publishing, who have already successfully launched the Ticket to Ride Puzzle Book taking readers through a 100-puzzle journey across the world. Alexander Thieme, Licensing Manager for Asmodee Entertainment, explains, “When it comes to licensing, we always want to find the right partner with the right products for the brand at the right time. Our goal is to work with partners who can bring the brands to life in alternative formats, add new perspectives beyond the games for new fans to discover and

creating opportunities for existing fans to engage with the games they love outside of the original tabletop environment. With tabletop gaming forming an integral part of many social lives and generating positive experiences between friends and families, tabletop gaming brands like ours are showing true relevance in the everyday lives of millions of people across the globe. And it’s our mission to cater for this wit our existing and future partners.” With their wide portfolio of gaming brands and Ips, Asmodee Entertainment is at the forefront of a movement which will see more and more tabletop brands enter the licensing space. By actively developing movie, scripted and unscripted TV projects around a wider selection of popular games, Asmodee Entertainment are showing that tabletop gaming brands have an even wider reach when it comes to licensing. With partners and deals spanning across licensed publishing, consumer products, interactive gaming and the media, their commitment to bringing quality licensed products to their fans and developing rich world content is clear to see. It will be exciting to see what Asmodee Entertainment has to offer in the coming months and years.


BrandTrends global measurement shows changes in kids’ entertainment consumption BrandTrends global measurement has discovered that the changes in kid’s entertainment consumption along the past 2 years have benefited the brands with large catalogue of contents. Children from 0 to 14 years old have consumed more, but not broader. We’ve talked about it previously: with the pandemic, everyone, including kids, has spent more time on screens. It was the opportunity to discover new brands, to consider the preferred contents among the family, to be exposed to new types of entertainment. The pandemic also accelerated the massive trend of entertainment consumer’s empowerment. The contents consumption takes place when and where they want and cover a profusion of offers. This is what drives Netflix’s growth, with almost 222 million paid subscribers WW at Q4 2021, which represents +33% over the past 2 years. At the same time, the platform is becoming a way much bigger producer of content than it was in 2013 with the TV show ‘House of Cards’. This is also why Disney+ is pushing

This drives consumers to search harder for contents able to satisfy their thirst of watching. As a result, American kids spent time in (re)discovering brands during the pandemic and getting to know them. American kids know +5.7% more

brands post-pandemic v. pre-pandemic.They’ve overall spent more time on screens and scrolling across platforms and TV channels’ replay catalogues. However, if the number of brands mentioned by both genders remains stable over time, brands mentioned by one gender only tend to decrease. On the table below (Source, BrandTrends, USA, Kids 0 to 14 years old, October’21 vs. October’19, N=2,201 per period), you can see that the total number of different brands decrease on the 3-year period for rank 1 brands only: And when looking at the number of mentions, stable over time, respondents report more mentions on the top brands: • April 2019: 20 top brands represent 48,6% of the mentions, • October 2019: 20 top brands

Total Brands

Boys only

Boys and Girls

Girls only

April 2019





October 2019





April 2021





October 2021





Rank 1, 2 mentions at least


hard with Pixar movies launch on the platform only, not in cinema anymore. As an illustration, Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek said he still believed the streaming service, home to hits like “The Mandalorian” and “Black Widow”, would have 230 million to 260 million subscribers by 2024. The company acquired another 11.8 million Disney+ subscribers in the first quarter. Kid Consumer, a BrandTrends research conducted in December 2021, has also highlighted that children less than 14 yo are using their mobile devices more and more for accessing entertainment content. Their consumption becomes increasingly nomad and they watch more and more content through replay services.

TOTAL LICENSING represent 47,5% of the mentions, • April 2021: 20 top brands represent 51,7% of the mentions, • October 2021: 20 top brands represent 59,4% of the mentions. This means that top brands are capturing more and more kids’ attention. While spending more time on screens than before, they are also focusing on a smaller number of contents and brands. The combination of the need to satisfy a higher consumption and the higher concentration of brands and contents present in consumers’ mind benefits a certain type of brands. Brands with large catalogues are the big winners, properly meeting the need of relevant and trustworthy content (Source, BrandTrends, USA, Kids

0 to 14 years old, October’21 vs. October’19, N=2,201 per period) With a higher level of consumption comes a higher level of requirement and the need of quality. To feed the need, consumers tend to dig into already existing brands with a large catalogue that could satisfy their appetite for content. Once the quality is validated, no need to search further for new content. The Google and OMG ‘Personal Primetime’ study (US, n=3,200 respondents, Oct. 2018) bears this out: when people are choosing what to watch, relating to their passions is 1.6X more important than content production quality. If kids love the show and the characters, they’ll stick to it. This is how the top mentioned brands (Source, BrandTrends, USA, Kids 0 to 14 years old, October’21 vs. October’19, N=2,201 per period) are a combination of well-established, long-running IP that have “large catalogues”; but also streaming companies Disney+, Amazon Prime, Netflix as a whole.

carry on motivating consumers to connect with their content. For the established ones, this represents more opportunities to enlarge brand catalogue, develop spin-offs and promote new content – but this also means a need of new ideas fitting properly the brand DNA.

Based on those behaviors, new challenges are popping up for brands. For those with smaller penetration – still less known, this will request more efforts to go through the clutter and

Top 10 Spontaneous mentions of entertainment brands known by kids 0-14 (US – October 2021) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Spongebob Squarepants Tom & Jerry Spider-Man Disney Amazon Netflix Mickey Mouse Barbie Batman Superman

ABOUT BRANDTRENDS BrandTrends is a market research & consulting firm that provides intelligence on child, teen and family consumer markets in more than 50 countries around the world. BrandTrend’s full report contains even more valuable insights into the landscape of the kids’ market. The data is collected via its survey tracker, which reports on more than 115,000 respondents in 42 countries around the world. To know more about us and our research, check out our new website at






Sesame Workshop released new bilingual videos and resources recently as part of an ongoing initiative to help families have open and honest conversations with young children around diversity and celebrating their own unique identities. The new resources, which are free and available in English and Spanish, can be found at The resources aim to help children take pride in who they are, respect differences, and build the confidence to ask questions — three key ingredients for building community and a sense

In Queer Eye’s first-ever mobile app partnership, the cast joins Project Makeover’s characters to help them glamorize, accessorize and revamp their clients’ looks by completing puzzles to win coins, mystery boxes, and gems to transform clients into stylish trend-setting mavens. The partnership, which was facilitated by IMG, will see them take over Project Makeover’s “Time Makeover.” Instead of the game’s usual characters, players get to work with the Fab Five through a series of fun tasks throughout the game. Inspired by Queer Eye’s tips, makeovers and reveals, Project Makeover is more than clothing and makeup – homes and businesses are also part of the transformation fun. Queer Eye, the nine-time Emmy award-winning television show from Scout Productions debuted in 2018 on Netflix. The series, which boasts hundreds of millions of fans across the globe, follows a team of professionals as they perform transformative life makeovers. As a partner studio, Magic Tavern launched Project Makeover in 2020 and the title shot up to the #1 grossing game in 24 countries and the #1 most downloaded game in 142.

of belonging. The content features JiYoung, a Korean American Muppet recently introduced in the “See Us Coming Together” special, as well as new Sesame Street neighbors, 5-year-

old Wes and his dad, Elijah. Along with Abby, Elmo, and Rosita, the friends celebrate who they are on the inside and outside, explore the differences between themselves and others, and appreciate the diversity of their community. “Sesame Workshop has always been dedicated to helping children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder in all aspects of their lives,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President of US Social Impact, Sesame Workshop. “These past few years have presented unprecedented challenges for children everywhere, and these resources are here to help children foster their self-identity, connections to others, and appreciate the diversity of the world around them.” The new resources include The Welcome Garden, Community Song, Musical Show and Share, Welcome to Our Garden, an interactive art activity and printable pages. This package of resources is part of Coming Together, Sesame Workshop’s ongoing commitment to fostering children’s positive identity, including race, ethnicity, and cultural identities. Content is released on a rolling basis and available to parents and caregivers at

ANATOLE LATUILE FROM PYRAMIDE AND SUPERPROD Pyramide Productions and the Superprod Group are proud to announce the development of the family live action comedy movie Anatole Latuile, adapted from the comic book series published by Bayard. The film will be based on the books created by Olivier Muller, Anne Didier and Clément Devaux, which have appeared in the newspaper J’aime Lire since 2005. Fifteen volumes have been published to date, selling over 1,660,000 copies during the comic’s run. In 2021 alone, 373,000 copies were sold, along with an impressive number of special edition issues and games. Jean-André Yerles and Jonathan Barré are writing the film alongside the comic book authors Anne Didier and Olivier Muller, and Jonathan Barré is


directing. The script is underway, and shooting is scheduled for 2023. Stéphane Parthenay and Philippe Leconte, producers at Pyramide Productions, commented: “Our children were the ones who made us discover the adventures of Anatole Latuile and his friends. We are very honored by the trust that Bayard Publishing as well as Anne Didier and Olivier Muller, the creators of the comic book series drawn by Clément Devaux, have shown by allowing us to develop the live-action adaptation of their work. And we are elated that Super-

prod whose dynamism and creativity we appreciate, has enthusiastically accepted to accompany us on this venture!” Clément Calvet and Jérémie Fajner, founders and producers of Superprod added: “When our friends from Pyramide Productions asked us to collaborate on a film about Anatole Latuile, we immediately jumped at the chance! He is a very endearing character and the idol of a whole generation. Family comedy is our favorite genre, and it is with great pleasure that we join Anatole’s joyful band to bring him to life in a new way”.



NFT COLLECTION IN ASIA FOR POPEYE Popeye the Sailor Man is partnering with Medialink, the local agent of King Features’, Popeye’s brand owner in China and Undone, the world’s leading custom watch brand and MADworld to release a specialized NFT collection across Asia.The Popeye Metaverse Madness tells the story of Popeye in different parallels, where the balance of time and space is broken and chaos occurs.The program will include

more than 4,000 Popeye character variations dressed in an assortment of costumes, set against a variety of backgrounds, and released in the form of Algorithmically Generated NFTs. The Popeye Metaverse Madness campaign will consist of 4,000 Popeye NFTs. Each NFT is priced at 0.15ETH on the first drop of 2000 Popeye NFTs. These NFTs will be sold in the form of MAD:BOXX blind boxes, which helps ensure random distribution of the NFTs across all three tiers creating a fair environment for all buyers to acquire the more exclusive product. The boxes will be revealed on a set date for all the holders. The Whitelisted Mint date will be on May 18, 2022. The Public Mint date will be on May 20, 2022. Information regarding the whitelisting campaign, minting link, and scheduling will be released on a later official announcement. To maintain the brand prestige and potential of each NFT, it has been decided to present the differentiation in the form of creatives & metadata, which is coded into each NFT by the algorithm. This metadata will be critical in the future when Play to Earn mechanisms are introduced into the campaign.

PGS CLOSE DEALS FOR GUS THE ITSY BITSY KNIGHT PGS has closed several media deals across the world for Season 2 of the popular pre-school show Gus, The Itsy Bitsy Knight, produced by Technicolor Animation Productions. Tiny Pop (UK), DeAKids (Italy), Canal Panda (Portugal), Uyoung Culture & Media (China), Showmax (Africa), IFC media (Slovakia), and TV New Zealand (New Zealand) are the latest broadcasters joining for a second round of the show. Such early commitment after 6 months of airing season 1 confirms Gus’ success.They add to the long list of broadcasters who have already confirmed to the 2nd season: TF1 (France), RTVE (Spain), RTP (Portugal), NRK (Norway), MTVA (Hungary), Teletoon+, Minimini+ & TV Puls (Poland), Televisa (Mexico), Radio Canada, HBO Max (LATAM), Cartoonito (LATAM & Brazil), Myndform (Iceland), and Knowledge Network & Radio Canada (Canada). While Season 2 commitments are going strong, season 1 is still conquering charts. Since being on air last year, it has topped #1 positions in multiple territories including France and UK.


Recently, PGS has also expanded territories by signing deals for Season 1 with Nine Network (Australia), Mediacorp (Singapore), Czech TV (Czech Republic), LRT (Lithuania), TG4 (Ireland), and RSI (Switzerland). The Season 1 is also airing on Disney (Germany), Frisbee (Italy), RTBF (Belgium), Star channel (Greece), SVT (Sweden), MTV3 (Finland), Lattelecom (Latvia), Hop! (Israel), MBC (Middle East), and TV5 Monde (worldwide). The show is now airing in over 100 territories across the world and Gus is already speaking 21 languages. Mattel, the Toy Master for the franchise, has confirmed an ambitious roll-out by Fall 2022 in European countries, and a second world-wide roll-out for 2023. ”We are very excited of having achieved this level of commitment

at such an early stage of the brand. This has proved that Gus, the Itsy Bitsy Knight has generated high levels of satisfaction for our partners” says Philippe Soutter, founder of PGS Entertainment. “We couldn’t be prouder of Gus’ performance across the world. Achieving #3 positions in all of Europe is a reflection of our dedication to bring this unique and magical universe to life.” adds Sandrine Nguyen, President of Technicolor Animation Production. The series takes place in a world once upon a time … but now, where a little boy named Gus wants to become the greatest knight ever.Wielding his laser sword and mounted on his electric pony, Gus never misses an opportunity for adventure. Revolving around the theme of love, friendship and family, Gus will prove to one and all that a brave heart can overcome everything. Because there’s no greater cavalier than Gus, the Itsy Bitsy Knight! This CGI animated comedy adventure series targets the 4–7-year-olds, and season 1 is made of 52x11’ episodes. First episodes of season 2 will be ready by April 2023.


Moonbug is proving itself to be a content powerhouse. Over the following pages, read about the company, the shows, the licensing plans and more. Founded in 2018, Moonbug Entertainment is an award-winning global entertainment company behind some of the most popular kids’ titles in the world. Moonbug’s line-up includes global sensations CoComelon, Blippi, Little Baby Bum, Little Angel, My Magic Pet Morphle, Supa Strikas, Go Buster, Playtime with Twinkle, Gecko’s Garage, ARPO and many more. Moonbug’s shows are on more than 150 platforms globally, including YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, Super RTL, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Tencent, Youku and Roku. The company’s portfolio currently stands at 29 IPs and 100+ brand partners with content available in 32 languages. Moonbug is part of Candle Media, an independent, creator-friendly home for cutting-edge, high-quality, category-defining brands and franchises. By bringing together elite talent operating at the intersection of content, commu-

CoComelon™ Copyright © 2022 Moonbug Entertainment.


nity, and commerce, it helps to position leading entertainment businesses for accelerated, sustainable growth in the current market and beyond. Candle is run by its Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs, leading entertainment executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, and backed by investment capital from funds managed by Blackstone’s flagship private equity business. What sets Moonbug apart? Moonbug specializes in acquiring and creating IP and turning it into global entertainment franchises, by rapidly scaling the brand using data to increase and enhance the content, distributing broadly across Moonbug’s vast global distribution network, and creating new avenues for interaction through licensing and merchandising, original productions and brand partnerships. Mission The company’s mission is – through

its stories, characters and worlds – to propagate healthy values such as kindness, compassion and resilience to kids all over the world. Moonbug in numbers • Average monthly views to all Moonbug content (March 2021 March 2022): 6.1 billion – YouTube only • Content available in 32 languages • Number of IPs: 29 IPs • Moonbug content can be found on more than 150 platforms globally, including YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, Super RTL, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Tencent, Youku and Roku • CoComelon is the #1 mostwatched kids brand on YouTube globally


The Rise of Digital First IP: Introducing the Moonbug Shows COCOMELON • About the brand: CoComelon is fun show about childhood, celebrating the big moments for little kids. It follows JJ, his family and friends on fun everyday adventures exploring and learning through relatable situations and catchy songs. CoComelon is a warm and inviting world which all young kids will recognise. BLIPPI • About the brand: Blippi is a Modern Educator. He takes kids on the ultimate playdate to learn about vehicles, animals, professions, the natural world and so much more. Blippi encourages learning through doing, playing and exploring – inspiring a child’s natural curiosity about the world around them. Blippi makes learning fun with silly dance moves, fun songs, and awesome adventures. There is so much to learn about, it will make you want to shout ‘BLIPPI’! LITTLE BABY BUM • About the brand: Little Baby Bum is a musical brand that celebrates early childhood experiences and supports cognitive development through loveable characters, relatable stories and the magic of song, repetition, rhythm, and rhyme. Little Baby Bum is a show with broad appeal that supports every child, parent, and caregiver throughout the early stage of parenthood.

© 2022 Moonbug

LITTLE ANGEL • About the brand: Little Angel is an animated show for pre-schoolers. An irreverent comedy about the wacky and fun reality of growing up - sometimes it is messy, but it is always fun! The show is centred around Baby John and his family, who take on everyday adventures as seen through the eyes of Baby John. The show has been captivating families around the world with his irreverent humor, catchy and upbeat songs and nursery rhymes as they go fun adventures that kids and parents can relate to.


© 2022 Moonbug

• About the brand: My Magic Pet Morphle is an animated fantasy-adventure about Mila and her magical morphing pet, Morphle, who work together to save the day. My Magic Pet Morphle shows kids that you can solve any problem if you use your imagination! Mila’s dad owns the town’s magic pet store and he has gifted the most magic of all the pets, Morphle, to Mila. Morphle’s magic ability is that he is able to morph into anything and together Mila and Morphle save the day. LELLOBEE CITY FARM • About the brand: Lellobee City Farm is a vibrant, music-based show, set on Grandma Mei’s fun and slightly fantastical urban micro farm. A welcoming oasis in the middle of a culturally bustling cosmopolitan city, where Ella (Grandma Mei’s granddaughter) and her friend Rishi, play and learn with friendly farm animals and singing plants and vegetables. It’s a place where everyone is welcome and where good things grow. Lellobee City Farm is an explosion of fun, with charming characters and super-catchy songs, inspiring kids to go outside and play.



Profile: Francesca Romana Gianesin As Moonbug Entertainment’s Consumer Products business expands, the team has recently experienced phenomenal growth and welcomed Francesca Romana Gianesin as Head of Consumer Products Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). Based in London and working closely with the Moonbug licensing and merchandising teams in the USA., Gianesin is responsible for driving the consumer products business across the EMEA and ANZ regions. Gianesin is an experienced international business leader with vast experience managing top global brands and leading large-scale teams at global organisations. Prior to Moonbug she spent 20 years at The Walt Disney Company where she held a variety of leadership roles across different business segments, countries and regions. Most recently she was Senior Vice President and Board Member of Disneyland Paris, where she oversaw all the Resort’s experiences and products. Prior to this, she was based in London, at the Disney EMEA headquarters, serving as Vice President Consumer Products for EMEA. Gianesin started her career at Disney working as Vice President Consumer Products Italy and Vice President Retail, where she was responsible for driving commercial strategy, expanding businesses and seeking out new distribution opportunities across the Italian business. Prior to joining Disney, Gianesin held commercial roles for Johnson Wax, Unichips Group and Playtex. A native from Rome, Italy, Gianesin holds a degree in Economics and an MBA from la Sapienza University of Rome. She is a passionate champion for Diversity & Inclusion who has been ranked in the top Best Women Managers by Business People magazine Italy since 2008. She is also one of the first female leaders to sit in the Executive Committee of Centromarca, the Italian Consumer Brands Association, part of AIM.



Snapshot: Licensees Just Play Just Play is a leader in the children’s consumer goods industry making a mix of promotional and everyday items for the whole family. Three of the key CoComelon lines include: CoComelon JJ My First Phone This interactivity phone uses lights, sounds, music and over 50 phrases to encourage children to learn their letters, numbers, colours, shapes and so much more. CoComelon Learning Bus Shapes on the bus light up as it plays popular nursery rhymes including the ABCs and The Wheels on the Bus. Helping develop fine motor skills, reading and talking, cognitive learning, social emotional skills and creativity. CoComelon Learning JJ doll The interactive doll looks just like JJ and uses lights, sounds, music and over 50 phrases to encourage children to learn their letters, numbers and colour recognition. Jazzwares Since teaming up with Moonbug Entertainment in 2020, Jazwares has created a multi-award-winning Master Toy line supporting CoComelon, the No.1 kids’ and educational YouTube channel

in the world. Jazwares’ CoComelon toy line includes all of the characters from the show with a focus on JJ, his family, and his school friends. The product assortment offers a wide array of preschool-friendly play options, perfect for celebrating big moments for little kids. Last Christmas season, the CoComelon Deluxe Interactive JJ Doll was one of the season’s top toys. In 2022, new playsets, vehicles, and characters — including the CoComelon Boo Boo JJ Plush — will surely surprise and delight parents and kids everywhere. Blippi’s little fans will be delighted with the product innovations from

Jazwares Master Toy line in 2022 reflecting the exciting new content from the wildly popular entertainer. Alongside refreshed plush, figures, vehicles and playsets, are new introductions inspired by the animation Blippi Wonders. Hero items include the Spinning Go Kart, The Blippi Mobile and the Monster Truck Mechanica 6-inch vehicle with removable covers to activate unique sounds.



The success of MeteoHeroes in helping kids understand climate change proves that real superheroes don’t necessarily have to wear capes! Francesca Ash caught up with the team involved in creating and marketing the series to find out more about the project and the exciting plans for the future. Why did you want to make this series?

to respect nature and fight against pollution.

were published due to delays caused by the pandemic.”

Luigi Latini “It was a double strong motivation: as a father and as a professional. When I learned that I was going to be a father after a few months, I felt a sense of guilt for what my generation and I would bequeath to our children. As CEO of a meteorological center, we felt the moral need to communicate what is happening from a climate point of view to the new generations as well. We felt the civic urgency to find a way to be able to explain even to the little ones how important it is

Originally, MeteoHeroes was planned as a book series. The agreement called for release of the first book scheduled for Easter 2020 but then with Covid and the total quarantine of Italy (closure of all shops, shopping centers and bookstores) the release of the book was postponed for many months.

Kenn Viselman: “At this point there is NO point in trying to deny that I am much older than I look. In fact recently someone told me that I was older than dirt and they are pretty close. The reason I mention this is because I have seen more than my fair share of children’s series and have been blessed, over the past 30+ years, to work on some of the most recognizable children’s series of all time. In all that time, I have NEVER seen a series more imperative… more genuine in

Maria Bonaria Fois, CEO Mondo TV Studios S.A.


As a result, it was decided to air a preview of the MeteoHeroes on World Earth Day, April 22, 2020, so basically the cartoon aired before the books

Luigi Latini, Creator MeteoHeroes

Paolo Zecca, Head of Production Mondo TV S.p.A.

Kenn Viselman, Founder,The itsy bitsy Entertainment Company

TOTAL LICENSING its message and intent… more timely or more relevant than MeteoHeroes. Nearly two years ago, Emilia Nuccio introduced me to this series when it was in its infancy and I knew that I had to be a part of it. The difference between this series and virtually every other series I know of (with the exception of Sesame Street, of course) is that this series was created out of a true need and not just from some creator who had an idea for original characters in immersive worlds. This show was born out of, and answers with honesty and respect, the questions for which children are desperately searching. The reason I was determined to be part of this series is because I heard that children were suffering from newly diagnosed condition called “Climate Anxiety,” and I felt that it was important to be part of the solution. Recently (several months ago), I read a study that interviewed 10,000 children from 10 countries around the world about climate change and climate related issues. The study determined that 45% of these innocent kids were experiencing ‘High’ to ‘Extremely High’ levels of anxiety… Now I am doubling down to make sure that this series reaches meteoric proportions (pun intended).” Matteo Corradi:, President, Mondo Group: “When we first talked with Luigi Latini about this project, we immediately understood that it was going to be ‘the theme’ for years to come. The right subject at the right time, content that would really make a difference for children and kids of all ages. As a production and distribution company, Mondo TV has always focused on quality content and entertainment – MeteoHeroes indeed has been one of the absolute best choices of recent years. As a producer, ‘citizen of the world’ but mostly as a father I can say I am extremely proud to have decided to enter into coproduction of MeteoHeroes. On a personal level, seeing my own children at school so happy and proud of their dad for being behind

the show...makes me feel so honored because I’ve contributed bringing to life this fantastic content; there is no better incentive for me. I see the urgency to bring to our children some content that allows them to embrace the reality we are living in – which might be tough, due to the climate change urgency – in a joyful yet conscious, responsible way.” Was it hard to find the right tone to speak to children about Climate Change? Luigi Latini: “Yes, it was difficult because at first we couldn’t find the key to making such a complicated and scary topic understandable and fun without patronizing our audience of young children. When grownups talk about this topic we always talk about it in an adult and a way that is incomprehensible for children. The challenge for MeteoHeroes was to find the way to answer their questions and bring them an honest answer but in an understandable and ‘not worrying’ way. I cannot believe that MeteoHeroes is still the only children’s series that is dedicated entirely to climate change and the fight against pollution. I believe that it is because of how difficult it is to find that balance between education and entertainment. We are very fortunate to have built a global team of professionals committed to making the world healthier for the next generation. It helps to have global characters, an international meteorological center with almost 30 years of experience and a team of professionals from all over the world.”

Kenn Viselman: “I am a firm believer that if you come from a place of love, speak honestly and respectfully, you can communicate basically anything to anyone. This team has done a glorious job of finding that balance. Who would have thought it was possible to make a series about Climate Change that could be funny? A thought-provoking series that can make a child feel empowered and hopeful about the future? A series that could help children deal with their anxiety? This is a bit off topic, but I am still bewildered that psychologists and child psychiatrists in cities and countries around the globe are using MeteoHeroes as a part of treatment for children suffering from Climate Anxiety... I am so proud of this team and what they have been able to accomplish.” Paolo Zecca: “Speaking from the production side, we were very deliberate with our choices including the type of animation, the rhythm of the narrative, the space given to the life of the characters and the relationship between them. We wanted to balance the adventure side with the purely educational part – every detail with the aim of creating deep engagement with our audience. I can’t say that it was difficult to find the balance, but certainly it was a challenge for the entire team and everyone made a great effort to combine all these elements in a harmonious, successful way. Through all these efforts, you know what was really new to me in the production of MeteoHeroes? It was seeing how this series brought each con-

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TOTAL LICENSING tributor together with a single-minded focus despite distance, overcoming any cultural or language barrier. I saw a perfect orchestra: writers from Italy and the USA, story boarders from Spain, animators from China, music composers from Canada, a director who spent most of his time during production across Europe and Japan: the point is that in every corner of the world, we have this same issue, and we all need the same solutions for our children. Again, I have never seen an international coproduction with this kind of community feeling. It was great to be there.“

psychiatrists and our screenwriters who tend to exaggerate some events or phenomena for dramatic effect. Very often the scientific reliability is very high while sometimes, rarely, we let ourselves go a little and give something to the imagination. But at the end of each episode there is the Peeguu penguin corner that explains curiosity, dispenses advice, gives tips, all with the utmost relevance to the science that ties the theme of each episode in a nice little bow..”

How do you pick the events in nature and make sure that the information is correct?

Luigi Latini: “For this question I have two answers...Yes and No!

Luigi Latini: “One of the many unique features of MeteoHeroes is that each episode is based on a real story, on a news story that really happened. A striking example was the devastating fire in the Amazon rainforest in 2020. While there was this fire going on and footage of the fire being seen in all the news around the world, there was an episode of the MeteoHeroes dedicated to a vast fire in a South American forest. We had chosen it based on fires that had already occurred in the Amazon in previous years and therefore with that episode of the MeteoHeroes we were bringing real news to children who were watching the MeteoHeroes. This is the strength of our brand that no one else in the world has. Sometimes we changed the location and the narration became an animated episode of MeteoHeroes, otherwise we would be producing the Evening News, but what you see in the episodes of MeteoHeroes is reality. There is nothing invented in the facts that start every mission of the six little superheroes. It all starts with us telling the story from a point of view that leaves the audience feeling hopeful. After that there is the continuous negotiation between Meteo Expert meteorologists who carry out checks on the veracity of the scientific fact, our team of child psychologists/

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Are you surprised by the reaction to the series?

Yes, I was surprised by the hypocrisy of some broadcasters, by the reticence of some alleged environmental organizations, by the hesitation of some companies that proclaim themselves in favor of the ecological transition. I was surprised by the insensitivity of some great managers who do not understand how not taking the side of renewable energy and the side of safeguarding the planet should be a personal goal for them as

human beings and a strategic path for their company’s vision in the medium term. Let’s clarify one thing: like MeteoHeroes we are in favor of growth, development, and production. There is simply a sustainable and non-polluting way and now the time has come to change the mode or soon there will

not even be the field in which we play our business games. No, I was not surprised by how popular the series is with children and their families. The vast majority of children who watch MeteoHeroes adore them and fall in love with them. Schools and teachers greatly appreciate this completely unexpected and very useful tool for introducing lessons on such a complex topic.” Kenn Viselman: “Like Luigi, I would say’ yes and no,” but for different reasons. On one level, I am so surprised by how willing people are embracing this brilliant little series. Who would have thought it? A series about Climate Change for young children... I expected such push back from some of the potential media partners who are so out of touch with the needs and wants of their audience... I know so many broadcasters and streamers most of whom are really great and knowledgeable and then am often surprised by others...don’t get me started on that issue... it’s my pet peeve... In this case, I can honestly say that I haven’t had that expected ‘pushback.’ I just put a few episodes in people’s hands and let them judge for themselves... the reaction is extraordinary (knock wood) ... I feel a little like the Pied Piper, but this time when I get everyone to the water... I want them to stop and help me remove the pollution.” Maria Bonaria Fois: “There really isn’t anything like MeteoHeroes on TV anywhere, until this moment at least. And to be honest, we were hoping for this kind of reaction and acceptance to MeteoHeroes, so more than surprised, we are grateful. Grateful to our audience and the broadcasters and everyone who believed in this great project, which is far more than a TV series but a 360º product aim to spread positive change to the world!” Paolo Zecca: “We were hoping to create meaningful entertainment, which would inspire kids. Considering

TOTAL LICENSING the challenge of creating a fun animated children’s series while talking about important and controversial topics, in general I would say that yes - it has been a good surprise and standing out is the kind of result I was really hoping for!” How many countries is MeteoHeroes airing in? Maria Bonaria Fois: “MeteoHeroes is actually available now in 145 countries and it has been dubbed into 22 languages. A global phenomenon! Among the biggest hit shows on Cartoonito in Italy, the first series of MeteoHeroes has already been sold in many countries, among which are Spain (Clan/RTVE), Mexico (Canal Once), Chile (TVN), France and French-speaking territories (Canal +), Hungary (M2), Turkey (Minika çoçuk), Latvia (Smile TV and TV3), Poland (Canal +).”

once or twice with all the media outlets that we spoke to... I am delighted to see that most of the world understands and has truly embraced The MeteoHeroes.” Kenn Viselman: “One of the things that I admire most about this team is the unwillingness to compromise values or integrity, when it comes to the MeteoHeroes… this series is just too damn important. This team decided that they didn’t want and wouldn’t allow the MeteoHeroes to be used as a ‘political football’ for regimes that didn’t believe in Climate Change. There was no way to bring MeteoHeroes to America

of the US and State governments. Fortunately, President Biden feels that Climate Change is the greatest threat that mankind has to deal with some urgency. First Lady, Jill Biden, has said there is nothing more important than climate change education.”

Maria Bonaria Fois: “Generally speaking, we can happily say that we have not found any restraint or reRumor is that you decided to serve from broadcasters. Neverthenot allow some countries to less, I should underline that on some air/stream/broadcast occasions we had to postpone or reMeteoHeroes… can you tell evaluate the sending of episodes that us which ones and why? were showing exactly what was going on at the moment in the same counLuigi Latini: “Well, as always, the rutry where we were presenting the semors are not 100% reliable but someries. This should make us reflect, once times they go close to reality. We had again, about the huge impact Climate “I have seen some “special” talks with some Change is causing and thus the impotential media partners portance of content such as more than my fair share of because the topic is very MeteoHeroes.” children’s series and have been blessed, important to us and we over the past 30+ years, to work on some would always like to be Paolo Zecca: “As we of the most recognizable children’s series of all in a “partnership” with said many times, the time. In all that time, I have NEVER seen a series those who believe in values of MeteoHeroes more imperative… more genuine in its the subjects that the are global, but for sure MeteoHeroes bring forthere are countries where message and intent… more timely or ward and want to comthe sensitivity of this topic more relevant than MeteoHeroes.” municate. If we feel that they is higher than others. Since our Kenn Viselman are not convinced by the meshope is that MeteoHeroes would sage or want to change some things help children to teach the adults in in promotion and communication, or their lives the importance of Cliwant to avoid broadcasting some top- with Donald Trump in ofmate Change, we were even more ics, then we prefer to close the nego- fice. He made his ill-informed focused in finding a way to reach tiation amicably. We would always like choices about Climate Change very those countries where we the MeteoHeroes to be welcomed clear with his actions including pulling have the feeling that the Cliwith affection and with open arms out of The Paris Accord and disman- mate Change topic is still a bit underby those who will help us spread the tling so much of the EPA. Our plans estimated. fundamental message in favor of the for this series in America could not So far, we have reached out 144 counEarth. Fortunately, this only happened possibly happen without the support tries airing MeteoHereos; there will

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TOTAL LICENSING be more to cover for sure, but we have walked a lot in the right direction.”

as high-quality content that means so much for us and we believe is very important for future generations.

We know that MeteoHeroes is a global brand, but it does have its roots in Italy, how does it feel to be the first Italian children’s series on PBS?

I would also like to mention that this achievement has also been possible thanks to the collaboration of major executive Emilia Nuccio, who has brilliantly brought us at Mondo TV and Luigi Latini together with Kenn Viselman – so that MeteoHeroes could launch and conquer the hearts of the American audience!“

Luigi Latini: “Joy, emotion, disbelief, pride. Being on PBS means reaching the Everest of public education and this was the initial goal when we thought about what the main objective of the MeteoHeroes should be: to carry the message of fighting pollution and fighting climate change. Now we want schools to understand how useful it can be to use MeteoHeroes to teach children respect for Nature, respect for animals and how to safeguard the place where they live and grow.” Maria Bonaria Fois: “The arrival of MeteoHeroes on PBS is a major statement about the quality, originality and potential of this new series. For the Mondo TV Group this is the first time one of our properties has entered the huge market of North America. It is an honor and we are so excited at the idea that finally the American audience will be able to enjoy MeteoHeroes,

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When did you know that the series was a hit? Luigi Latini: “Personally when I met the groups of children we had selected to watch the first episodes in order to give us feedback and their first impressions. Both the children and their parents were thrilled, excited and happy to have seen the MeteoHeroes and it was evident in their eyes that they were filled with joy. I think that the biggest criticism was that the episodes were too short! Practically while we were at the beginning of the production of Season 1 we had already decided that Season 2 would be with longer episodes.” Kenn Viselman: “I have a little test… well it’s actually a secret that I use to determine when is the right time to

start to put licensed products into the market… Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone…I look to see how many birthday cake pictures we receive from parents. Birthday cakes? Why birthday cakes? When a parent or caregiver asks their child what do you want the theme to be for your birthday… the child knows and usually refuses to be deterred. If there is no product in the market… resourceful caregivers will make their own and when that starts happening… I know that we need to brace for the storm (yes that pun was intended as well). In addition to the birthday test… I have been sharing the series with children for months and worked with the people at Kids First! Their kids gave the series a RESOUNDING cheer and when we won an award at their film festival a few months ago… I was certain that the MeteoHeroes have arrived. Although I probably shouldn’t say this, but here goes anyway… when we brought the MeteoHeroes Earth Day Special to PBS, we were told that it was awfully late and they didn’t want me to be disappointed that we might not get as much carriage as we had hoped. I got a call this morning that, the stations are really embracing the Special… I’m delighted”

TOTAL LICENSING Each episode covers a range of climate factors and impacts, including biodiversity, coral bleaching, deforestation, drought, extreme weather, sea-level rise. Educate while having fun, that is the main goal of our MeteoHeroes!” Because the series is deeply rooted in (Climate Change) education, do you have plans to reach out to children (and their families) beyond the screen?

What message do you want viewers and the world to take away from MeteoHeroes?

Maria Bonaria Fois: “Our main goal with the series is to raise a new generation of adults – today’s kids – more conscious about the importance of protecting Planet Earth, doing it by joining forces together, as a collaborative society. Everything is about people, and so it is in the sense that each and every one of us can make a difference, simply behaving correctly and respecting nature and the environment. We are committed to and feel

Luigi Latini: “Easy answer: the certainty that together we can do it. The certainty that it is not too late, it is late but not too late and together we can start to change climate change. There are the means, there are the technologies, there are the possibilities, but the point is that there is not enough pressure from ordinary people like you and me on those in power to make the right decisions for our fu“I cannot believe that ture and for the future of our heirs. We need a united and MeteoHeroes is still the only strong front from those children’s series that is dedicated who say “enough pollution, entirely to climate change and let’s protect the water, let’s the fight against pollution.” safeguard nature” Luigi Latini Kenn Viselman: “I am concerned that my response to this question may be interpreted as ‘melodramatic,’ but here goes… I want a responsibility to try children and their families to be able and offer to the youngest to take a breath… a deep breath… a something genuinely illuminatsigh of relief. I want them to know ing about the state of things, and the that there are people out there that tools needed to be part of the change are listening to their concerns, get- and the solution. ting them answers and taking action. Moreover, each main character in the I want them to feel hopeful, but most show comes from a different contiof all I want them to know that you nent allowing us to promote to our don’t need to wear a cape to be a su- young audience another very imporperhero. It is important, especially in tant message: the importance of diverthese deeply divided times that chil- sity and inclusiveness.” dren know that they have the power to change the world and clean up the Paolo Zecca: “The core message we mess that previous generations of would like to share with our viewers is that to fight against climate change adults have left behind for them.” you don’t need to be a superhero.

Luigi Latini: “In-school programs have been our primary focus ever since we started thinking about MeteoHeroes. We would like teachers from all over the world and pupils from all over the world to learn from MeteoHeroes to build a better world, a more balanced, less exploited, less polluted world. We are preparing Didactic Sheets that together with our episodes and our podcasts can carry out real lessons in which to talk about many topics related to climate change. Schools are the cornerstone of every democratic society so even at 3 or 4 years of age with the MeteoHeroes you can learn the greatest challenge of the coming decades: the protection of the beautiful planet on which we live.” Kenn Viselman: “Now you’re talking my language, this is a question that I could go on about for hours, because one of the most terrifying things about Climate Change and its devastating aftermath is that it effects and affects literally EVERY THING… and I, along with the support of this remarkable team, believe that therefore we need to be EVERYWHERE. The initial plans for this series in the US are the most aggressive I have ever undertaken on ANY project in my career. Here is the part of the plan that I can discuss with you. We are taking advantage of the fact that the first season of MeteoHeroes comprises seven minute episodes. We are bringing those episodes directly to schools across America with an age graded curriculum for children ranging in age from 4-10 years of age. Here’s the extraordinary part of this part

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TOTAL LICENSING of the story… after we reached out to KVCR, the PBS station in San Bernardino California, the San Bernardino City Unified School District reached out to us and said they LOVE this series and feel strongly that this subject is so important and so desperately needed that they offered to help create this soon to be… knock wood… national curriculum with us. In addition to the in-school program, which we will make available to every school in the country, we are creating an online curriculum for the 11 minute episodes that will be airing on PBS in the fall. The difference with this curriculum is that it creates engagement with all the participating PBS stations in the country and encourages the audience to make a difference in their local communities with this very unique community outreach program. Additionally, in order to reinforce the message that we have the power within us to make the difference, we are creating a companion series to pair with MeteoHeroes for PBS.This series, Real SuperHeroes Don’t Wear Capes focuses on children who are making that difference.

Passing the Kenn Viselman Cake Test! “I have a little test… well it’s actually a secret that I use to determine when is the right time to start to put licensed products into the market… Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone…I look to see how many birthday cake pictures we receive from parents. Birthday cakes? Why birthday cakes? When a parent or caregiver asks their child what do you want the theme to be for your birthday… the child knows and usually refuses to be deterred. If there is no product in the market… resourceful caregivers will make their own and when that starts happening… I know that we need to brace for the storm (yes that pun was intended as well).”

And although I can’t really talk about it, at this time, the licensing program that we are planning is truly inspirational on so many levels…literally. We have a unique opportunity with MeteoHeroes to represent ‘Good for you… Good for Earth,’ while at the same time have a hit character licensing program.. stay tuned… it’s going to be very exciting. Even though MeteoHeroes has always been a global project with a team from all over the world (Japan, Canada, The US, Thailand, China and many parts of Europe including Spain and Italy), the series made its debut in Italy and very reminiscent of my days with Teletubbies, we chose to respect the commitment of the network… Cartoonito in this case) has made and continues to make to MeteoHeroes. As a result, we have started a pilot program of merchandise that we are launching throughout the country of Italy and


the results are BEAUTIFUL! It’s extraordinary to have a project that EVERYONE … well almost everyone… really wants, believes in and is intent on supporting… we are delighted personally for selfish reasons, but in a bigger picture kind of way… it says

something great about the possibilities for the future of planet earth… I can’t believe I just said that…Who would have thought that it this stage in my life I would start talking like the ‘earthy chunchy’ people I used to ignorantly make fun of… if this old dog can learn

TOTAL LICENSING new tricks than there really is hope for the world. I am so excited for the International launch of products!” Speaking of which…The first INTERNATIONAL product that you put out was the MeteoHeroes: Save the Planet video game for PlayStation. How did it go? Luigi Latini: “I would say very well. Not only for the numbers but above all because it is yet another demonstration that MeteoHeroes are not just a cartoon but are at 360 degrees. They are a way to communicate, they are a way to reach the new digital generations.Today’s children are multitasking and MeteoHeroes allow them to be reached by any means, television, streaming, video games, social media, video platforms, apps and, as mentioned above, even schools. This is the world of MeteoHeroes: the whole world.” Kenn Viselman: “This exemplifies why we make a great team… Luigi usually comes from a place of modesty and I shout from the rooftops. This video game reinforces that a Tsunami is coming (yes, I know I have to stop with these storm references… last one I promise), but the truth is that the first day of sales for MeteoHeroes: Save the Planet exceeded PlayStation’s expectations for their first month. We will be expanding this strategy in the upcoming weeks. In fact by the time this story runs, we might be making announcements of other exciting global initiatives.” Maria Bonaria Fois: “The development of the videogame based on the series, with the collaboration of some of the best known-names in the field such as Sony Interactive Entertainment, has been a huge milestone for MeteoHeroes. The acceptance has been very good so far! It is a brilliant, wonderful tool to engage our audience and, at the same time, reach out even to those who

What Broadcasters and publishers say... “When I first saw MeteoHeroes, I knew this is the vehicle which will educate our children and their families in an entertaining and meaningful way. It is our hope children will in turn educate their parents,” she says. “Just look around. We need to empower our children with knowledge, and secure their futures… We need the MeteoHeroes now more than ever.” Lillian Vasquez, Executive Producer of KVCR PBS “PBS KVIE was proud to present the MeteoHeroes Earth Day special to stations nationally. Children can engage in the conversation about protecting the Earth and its resources and prepare for the future when they are the stewards of the planet.” David Lowe, President & General Manager, PBS KVIE “ We are always looking for good content. Content that is edutaining. MeteoHeroes fits the description for us. It bundles action, adventure, education, and information. Climate change and environmental challenges are mounting and will continue to be a significant issue we face today, and kids will face in the future, particularly with an overpopulated planet and shy attempts to solve it. MeteoHeroes will help portray these issues more straightforward, practical, and relevant for kids. MBC were able to extract research results.The numbers were very positive indeed! But what is more important was the completion rate which for some episodes was 100%.This proves that kids liked it and stayed the full length.The least was about 80%.” MBC3, Middle East “Why did we decide to buy MeteoHeroes for our television? For a special event on our channel about Ecology.We wanted to inform/educate children about this topic. And why did you think now was the right time for MeteoHeroes to air on your channel?:This event was in April. How is the series performing for you? At launch, this series was in the Top 20 of non linear audience.” Canal Plus, France and French-speaking territories “NTV Chile’s programming is enriched by the MeteoHeroes series.Through an agile, playful and ingenious story, always simple in terms of language, it allows us to bring complex issues about caring for the environment, sustainability closer to early childhood and link them with the world around us. And this way it allows us to validate the capacity that children themselves have as agents of change”. TVN, Chile “We decided to purchase MeteoHeroes from the first meeting with the project owners due to the idea, the quality and the message it gets over.We fully share its objectives and the urgency of offering children an educational and training entertainment product on a collective theme that is affecting their future, because we live in the real world and every day we verify the disturbing effects of climate change and the devastating effects of pollution. If we educate the little ones we not only save their future but we can hope to educate adults too.” Beatrice Fini, Editorial Director Kids,Teens and Young Adults Section, Giunti Editore Publishers (Firenze, Italy)

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TOTAL LICENSING don’t know (yet) about the TV show. The content is completely transversal, it is an exciting platform videogame, fabulous fun for children of all ages that can be enjoyed within the family. Learning, while having fun, to take care of the environment, get rid of pollution and, I would say, also review some geography – as the adventures take place within nine locations disseminated in all continents!

tween having a TV series or a brand and to go a step further it’s the difference between having a ‘flash’ or a long-term success… It’s all about the fabric of life. It’s important that we make the MeteoHeroes as American as baseball and apple pie… or as Italian as rigatoni or as Japanese as Onsens or Sumo wrestling and the same for 140+ other countries/territories and that’s tricky, but it’s the same strategy I employed with Thomas the Tank Engine. I can’t really tell you very much because it’s ‘the secret sauce’ to this brand’s long-term success… ask me again in 20 years and hopefully, I’ll be around to tell you then.

In the videogame we can see the soul of MeteoHeroes reflected: entertainment perfectly balanced with education!” Are there plans for other products? What role does licensing play in the MeteoHeroes brand and how is it different from other properties? How will you handle merchandising globally? Will products focus on sustainability or another strategy? Kenn Viselman: “The short answer is yes.. a resounding YES! In today’s world, merchandising/licensing plays an integral role in getting any children’s series funded and produced. For the most of us, broadcast fees don’t cover the cost of the productions so producers, especially independent producers, have to be resourceful and licensing is part of that equation. But the truth is that it has become much more complicated than that. Audiences are demanding products… parents and even grandparents of today’s children grew up with licensed products and they want them for the kids in their lives. Caregivers go out in search of products and whether on social media or other outlets they make their opinions and their frustrations known. In all cases, merchandising helps to promote the series and the series helps to promote the merchandise. As I mentioned before, MeteoHeroes is unique in that it has both the luxury and the curse of being ‘good for you


and good for the earth”… so we have to be a bit cautious that what we are creating follows that mantra. It’s not that everything needs to be sustainable per say, but we do need to be true to the brand and make sure that the brand is accessible to children and their families, that it does no harm to the environment (or at least is conscientious) and that it has the ‘essence’ of the brand… fun, funny and empowering… and of course if we can create products that give a child a feeling of hopefulness, then we have really hit the mark. When you have hit characters, there is an expectation that there will be products like bedding and slippers and of course we will make those products, but I am equally thrilled to create food products and vitamins and other categories that really emphasise the mantra. I’m sure it sounds complicated to others but I feel confident of the path we are embarking on and look forward to seeing other licensors following suit… we all have a role to play.” Kenn I have heard you say before that part of your strategy to make a brand successful is to make it part of “the fabric of life” in each territory … Do you have plans to do that for MeteoHeroes? Kenn Viselman: “It’s funny you asked me that, because it is literally the first conversation that I had with Maria and Luigi. For me it is the difference be-

I will give you one example though… This year, we introduced The North American MeteoHeroes’ Sunny Awards that we gave out to coincide with Earth Day to three EXTRAORDINARY people: a nine year old documentarian trying to save the national parks now Honorary SuperHero, a food company reducing methane and pollutants won Corporation of the Year and a well-known actress won the Humanitarian of the year award for her commitment to the environment. Just wait until you see what we have in store… so fun! Luigi Latini: “The MeteoHeroes adapt to every vehicle and every situation. We are now concluding agreements with the most important soccer teams in the world. We have already closed an agreement for the immense Real Madrid Summer Camp and we are in talks with other football clubs that play the famous Champion’s League. Combining sport and talking about the environment is another of the many perfect combinations that the MeteoHeroes manage. These agreements have incredible importance for our brand because when you are chosen in educational and training realities of such high global resonance, it means that the brand is being held up as a high-level brand capable of helping with the education of our youth and much more... ultimately it says “this brand relevant and is resonating.” This is a huge value that shouldn’t be underestimated.”


After three long years, Licensing Expo is back and the excitement is growing by the day. With over 250 exhibitors, covering every possible sector, there’s something for everyone. On the following pages, we highlight a few of the exhibitors and what they will have on show when the doors open on May 24th.


...and we’re back! When Licensing Expo opens its doors at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, it will be the first time the industry has been able to gather at its premier event in three years. More than 250 exhibitors span across a range of categories and multiple sectors with a new theme for 2022 – Location-Based Experiences. One of the hottest categories currently, new location-based experiences are, literally, popping up around the world and a number of location-based events and activations will entertain and enlighten visitors to the show floor. In addition, further new activations include a new Sports Bar and Toy Café, designed to spotlight these categories and showcase products, brands and retail experiences from various exhibitors. Exhibitors cover every category from entertainment, brand, sports, nonprofit, art and design and more and participating brands include Warner Bros, Jazwares, Paramount, Joester Loria, Mattel, MGA, Shell Oil, Hasbro, Beanstalk, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, Scholastic, Moonbug Entertainment, MGM, LEGO and many, many more. As always, the show is packed starting with a Golf fundraiser on the Sunday and the Licensing International Excellence Awards on the Monday night. From character parades to educational conferences and seminars covering all aspects of licensing including sustainability, a back-to-basics seminar,

a delve into the world of YouTube and TikTok, the opening day launches with a bang – and closes with a a party for all attendees, giving much-needed time for face to face networking and fun! Wednesday also has a myriad of events, presentations and seminars covering International distribution law, the power of location-based experiences and how to best use research currently available. Wednesday will also see the conclusion of the License This! Competition and a drinks reception for exhibitors. Commenting on the return of Licensing Expo, Anna Knight SVP of Licensing at organisers Informa Markets said, “Licensing Expo returns in-person for the first time since 2019, and excitement among the industry is palpable,” said Anna Knight, SVP of Licensing, Informa Markets. “This is a businesscritical time in the calendar for brands, manufacturers, and retailers alike

– they’re coming with a pen in hand ready to ink new deals and discover the new trends that will line their shelves in the coming years, but also to reconnect in-person possibly for the first time since the pandemic. The licensing industry is built on relationships, and we’re delighted to be able to provide a safe and comfortable environment for people to reconnect, strengthen existing partnerships, celebrate successes and do business at scale face-to-face for the first time in three years. We’re also extremely excited to showcase Location-Based Experiences as the event’s theme, creating even more opportunities for brands to engage and inspire attendees in new ways.” For those that haven’t yet registered to attend, we would urge you to go to and complete a registration form.

TOTAL LICENSING WildBrain CPLG, is exhibiting at Licensing Expo following robust global growth, having recently bolstered its North America operations, opened an office in India and announced plans for Asia Pacific that include expansion in Shanghai and new offices in Singapore, Taipei and Seoul. Also, the agency’s newly launched ASPIRE division provides a dedicated home for its rapidly growing Corporate & Lifestyle brand representation business. Now in its 50th year, WildBrain CPLG will showcase new brands, initiatives and creative assets across a robust portfolio of entertainment, corporate & lifestyle, and sport properties, with beloved WildBrain-owned brands Strawberry Shortcake, Chip and Potato and Teletubbies headlining the slate. With a popular new animated series – Berry in the Big City – featured on Netflix and YouTube, and with more global distribution partners in the pipeline, Strawberry Shortcake is back

with a cool new look and confident, savvy attitude for today’s kids. The allnew Strawberry enjoys an extensive licensing program including a master toy range from Moose Toys, publishing from Penguin Random House, a new Roblox game and partnerships spanning apparel, accessories, games, events and more. Promotional partnerships in the US include a produceaisle takeover in grocery stores with Sunkist Growers, Envy Apples and Naturipe, plus activations from Little Debbie, Pinkberry, I’m the Chef Too!, Snip-Its, Dippin’ Dots and Zolli Candy. The classic Strawberry Shortcake brand is also enjoying a surge in popu-


larity with multiple new deals signed across North America, including Boss Fight for articulated scented figures, fashion ranges from Unique Vintage, Samii Ryan (BSR), Dolls Kill and PacSun, and cosmetics from Glamlite, with many more soon to be announced. WildBrain’s original Chip and Potato brand, now enjoying its third season on Netflix, also features on this year’s slate, with new plush from JAKKS Pacific and homewares and bedding from Betesh launching in Fall 2023. Perennial favorite Teletubbies is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary year with a colorful calendar of partnerships and activations lined up, including lighting up the Empire State Building in iconic Teletubbies colors, influencer programs, surprise TV appearances and taking the brand into the metaverse with Azerion for virtual goods in online social games Habbo and Hotel Hideaway and Jibjab for egreeting cards. The wider entertainment line-up includes Moose Toys’ mega-hit brand Magic Mixies, for which WildBrain CPLG is signing its first US and Canadian deals across apparel, home, arts and crafts, accessories, back-to-school, sleepwear and hosiery. From ASPIRE, the agency’s newly rebranded Corporate & Lifestyle division, there are opportunities across new rights, including Sauber Motorsports’ Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN, The Master Lock Company and the University of Southern California. These stand in ASPIRE’s portfolio alongside the world’s number-one premium vodka brand, Absolut, and flavored spirit brand, Malibu, for which ASPIRE is focusing on apparel, fashion collaborations, frozen goods and chocolate. ASPIRE’s slate also features Yale University, which continues to deliver strong international success across apparel and accessories, including an upcoming collection with India’s largest fashion retailer, Reliance, and further expansion planned into homewares, gifting and back-to-school categories.

ASPIRE will also showcase luxury British leather goods brand OSPREY LONDON, with recent highlights including a Sitting Spiritually premium garden furniture range and new footwear collection from 33 Joints. At Falcon’s Beyond’s booth, guests will experience immersive and interactive technologies like no other through a tour of Falcon’s X-Lab. The X-Lab will offer a 20-minute demonstration

of a handful of Falcon’s ground-breaking products by appointment. These include SpectraVerse™, Falcon’s Vision®, ON!X™ Theater, and other exciting, themed attraction systems leveraging real-time gaming technologies and metaverse integrations. “We have already helped many of the world’s most iconic brands connect with their audience to build fandom at a whole new level,” said Cecil D. Magpuri, CEO of Falcon’s Beyond. “We cannot wait to showcase our experiential entertainment innovations and new themed destinations in development that will enable brands to take the connection with their desired audiences to new heights well `beyond’ what they could ever imagine.” ZAG is attending Licensing Expo 2022 following an incredible two years for flagship brand Miraculous™ - Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir and will also be presenting the newest property, Ghostforce.™ As of the end of 2021, retail sales for Miraculous™ - Tales of Ladybug and Cat hit US$1billion dollars with over 400 licensing partners on board around the world and over 230M products have been sold during the past four years. Season five of the series starts to roll out Q3 2022 and the $US100M+ animated feature will

TOTAL LICENSING premiere later this year. The movie release will be supported by a major QSR program; an expanded toyline from ZAG Lab and Playmates which will be available online and at brickand-mortar stores and incorporates new characters, the first vehicle featuring a convertible scooter, a collectible line of Kwamis, a movie 2-pack, and Movie Collector Ladybug; and from ZAG Games, the launch of the first Miraculous Console Game for XBOX, Playstation and Nintendo Switch and a new mobile puzzle game. Several cobranded partnerships are soon to be announced with some more of the most influential companies across the globe for numerous consumer products categories. Global licensing partners for the brand include Playmates, Ferrero, Good2grow, Volvic, PEZ, Swatch’s Flik Flak, Epopia, and TCC and pan-regional partners include Crayola,


InSpirit Designs, and Rubies, plus many others Miraculous has become a digital planetary craze – Miraculous just hit over 30 billion views on YouTube; 15 billion views on TikTok; there have been 200 million downloads of the official Miraculous app. Disney Channels U.S. premiered Ghostforce, an original comedy-action series for kids and families that follows three junior high school students who form a secret team to defend their city from the ghastly ghouls haunting it on October 4, 2021, on Disney XD. The series also launched in most European countries with great out-ofhome and digital visibility, and subsequently became the market leader in various kids target groups, with single airings reaching up to 40.9% among all kids 3-14, and 51.2% among kids 6-9! In Latin America, the series

will air very soon on Discovery Kids. ZAG Lab and Playmates is the master toy partner for the brand, and deals have already been signed for publishing, apparel, and costumes amongst others. Hasbro is among the brands that have revealed extensive LBE plans for the Licensing Expo this year, transforming their booth into an IP-based destination that will capture attendees’ attention. From turning show attendees

into NFTs and transporting guests into imagined worlds to a VR battle arena, this year’s event is gearing up to be highly interactive and trend-driven in order to provide a more seamless

TOTAL LICENSING experience that facilitates new IP discovery. At Hasbro’s Experience booth, the company will be previewing the Transformers: VR Battle Arena with Meta4 Interactive which enables players to play as a Transformers robot in a VR world. Players can choose from heroic Autobots such as Bumblebee and Optimus Prime or Decepticons such as Megatron and Soundwave. Once inside the game, each player will become a part of a legendary battle. Hasbro will also be showcasing inspiration from other LBE initiatives around the world with a sampling of mini experiences inspired by: My Little Pony & Transformers X Marriott Autograph Collection, Shanghai, the first of its kind, a Transformers and My Little Pony-themed Hotel outfitted with a Family Entertainment Center, is opening in Shanghai in Q4, 2022. The Hotel features 46 themed rooms operated by Marriott within their Autograph collection; Monopoly Life-sized and Top Hat Restaurant & Bar, London, guests immerse themselves in the world-famous game of Monopoly to compete in challenges, build houses, charge rent, escape jail and even control London’s waterworks as they travel around the life-sized board earning as much money as they can Matt Proulx, VP, Location Based Entertainment, Hasbro, said, “The demand for authentic, engaging, and exciting experiences has never been higher; fans of all ages can now uncover new ways to connect with the brands they love. We’re excited to demo the Transformers: VR Battle Arena with our partners at Meta4 Interactive at our booth this year. We’ll also be giving visitors a chance to sample other activations around the world, taking inspiration from our Monopoly Lifesized in London, Transformers & My Little Pony-themed Hotel in Shanghai, not to mention what’s fueling Nerf.We hope everyone can stop by and have a glimpse into the potential of LBE. This year, Feld Entertainment will have the Grave Digger Simulator Ride Experience, created in partnership with DOF Robotiks. This stand-alone attraction allows attendees to expe-


rience what it is like to take a ride in a Monster Jam truck. The simulator offers a range of movement on a 6-axis platform featuring pitch, roll and yaw movements. The realistic motion is combined with exciting video delivered through VR headsets, which makes it an unforgettable ride. Jeff Bialosky, Senior Vice President Global Partnerships, Feld Entertainment, said, “We are thrilled to have one of our Feld Entertainment location-based entertainment activations on site for attendees to experience during the upcoming LE. As a 2022 Industry Award nominee, Monster Jam continues to engage and entertain 10s of millions of fans around the world. The Monster Jam Grave Digger simulator displayed and operating in Booth #A209 will give those who are brave enough to ride it the true feeling of being behind the wheel of a 12,000-pound, 1500 HP Monster Jam truck.” Perfetti Van Melle’s licensing team is delighted to be back at the Licensing Expo and ready to welcome its business partners to offer them a sneak peek of the latest launches and artwork developments the candy house is renowned for. This year Mentos is in the spotlight. The brand has just released a fantastic new style guide which not only includes a fresh approach to the brand icons, but also cool to the core fashion trends and vintage holiday designs. The fresh DNA of the brand and its beautiful pastel shades make Mentos a natural in the beauty category too. After the success at retail of the Sally Han-

sen & Mentos nail polish line last year, new launches of beauty products are following suit this year. Perfetti Van Melle is witnessing a huge appetite in the F&B aisles for innovative collaborations with the signature flavors of its brands. Chupa Chups is a fore runner and its sparkling drinks by Korean licensee Namyang are now sold all over the world and nominated finalist this year for best Product in the category Food or Beverage for a Corporate Brand of the Licensing International Excellence Awards. Mentos jelly drinks will be next on the menu. Shortly after Bulla’s release of the dreamiest and creamiest Chupa Chups ice cream in Australia, the Fruittella brand is in the starting blocks for a promising launch of ice pops with Iceland in the UK. Meanwhile, international agreements are being put on track to develop protein products with Airheads and Chupa Chups. Location based licensing is also taking a leap for Perfetti Van Melle. Visitors stopping by Perfetti’s booth can check out images of the amazing themed installations that have been created with Mentos and Chupa Chups in Asian malls and venues.They typically involve larger than life candy theatres with a wow factor, topped by the latest event at the Changhi Airport in Singapore this March where a gigantic mega sized lollipop installation was proclaimed Singapore’s largest Chupa Chups lollipop by Singapore’s Book of Records. This year at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, The Smiley Company’s stand will be centred around how brands can become Future Positive. Extending Smiley’s mission to create a happier, kinder, more conscious world, ‘Future Positive’ will see Smiley curate with like minded partners a sustainable range of limited-edition lifestyle products, infused with brand experiences and charitable giving opportunities. For the past three years, this brand mission has been realised through Smiley Movement, a not-for-


profit that kick-starts meaningful engagement with consumers to build a social legacy. And now, brand representatives will have an exclusive early opportunity to register their interest in becoming a key part of this forwardthinking movement. Launching next year, Future Positive brings together the most forwardthinking brands to drive their business forward through an immersive 360° campaign which aims to boost sales and recognition by supporting change-makers in the brand extension community. Future Positive will also kick-start meaningful engagement with consumers across the online brand ecosystem. Using high-quality content to engage with a Future Positive community of over 5 million online consumers, creative activation takeovers ensure partners gain valuable exposure via marketing campaign promotions across the website and social channels. Whether in the form of artist collabs, podcasts, videography, animations and photography content, partners will benefit from featuring in exclusively curated content produced by Smiley’s in-house team. Leading toy and licensing powerhouse Jazwares brings a new level of fun to Las Vegas Licensing Expo with its popular Squishmallows plush brand. Squishmallows’ monumental growth has fuelled exciting global cross-category collaborations across beauty, games, apparel, home decor, and more adding to the brands’ impressive portfolio of best-in-class licensing partners. As Squishmallows continues to evolve into a global lifestyle brand, Jazwares will be talking


to new UK licensing partners, teaming with best-in-class licensees to create meaningful fan-first product extensions for UK fans and collectors. UK Squishmallows sales doubled in 2022, achieving mind-blowing rates of sale of over 100 at toy specialists, whilst ranking as the 2nd fastest growing property on UK NPD. Incredible results at retail are further fuelled by out-of-aisle activations across all major retailers supported by a robust marketing campaign where the UK’s biggest TikTok stars showcase their Squishmallows Squads. This year Squishmallows took the US toy industry’s top honour, the Toy Association’s coveted overall Toy of the Year Award, while also hitting a 125+ million plush sold milestone. On social media Squishmallows content has officially squished through the roof, generating over 6+ billion video views on TikTok and @Squishmallows (and related hashtags) tagged in more than one million Instagram posts. In addition, the Squishmallows social media channels have ballooned to more than 827,000 followers and nearly 100 global and local Facebook groups have been created by fans. In the metaverse, recently launched Squishmallows on Roblox continues to surprise and delight fans of all ages ascending to the #1 toy game by concurrent players with a massive 1.5M monthly active user base. Recognising the brand’s vast global audience and multi-generational appeal, Jazwares created its premiere Squishmallows global licensing programme last year supported by some of the biggest names in consumer and

lifestyle products including Bioworld, BigMouth, BBC International, Franco Mfg., Fashion Angels Enterprises, Primary Colors, HarperCollins Publishers, amongst others. Following a successful launch in the US, an extensive UK programme will debut with soonto-be-announced licensees across multiple categories including bath and beauty, swimwear and apparel, bedding and more. Tezuka Productions the Japanese animation studio founded by Osamu Tezuka in 1968, will be seeking licensing partners at Licensing Expo Online for a number of Astro Boy anniversaries. Promotional activities began in 2021 for the 70th anniversary of Astro Boy’s debut as an iconic character. 2022 is the 70th anniversary of the launch of the manga series, and 2023 will be the 60th anniversary of the first broadcast of the TV series. Tezuka Productions have been engaged in various activities including planning and licensing of premium products tjat for the celebrate the anniversaries. TSBA – The Sports and Brands Licensing Agency – is an award-winning licensing agency based in the UK. Their team of licensing experts have

a wealth of experience in delivering global licensing programmes for major sporting and heritage brands. These include: The Open - the oldest and most prestigious golf championship in the world; Transport for London (TfL) - the world’s first and most iconic underground network; the National Portrait Gallery – housing the most extensive collection of portraits in the world; and the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) – an epic motorsport adventure of man and machine against the elements. As part of the Cre8 Group of compa-

TOTAL LICENSING nies, TSBA offers a unique, holistic service to our clients with additional platforms to diversify their brand offerings and propel growth. Services include product design, development and production, and tailored e-commerce and event retail solutions. Now in their 13th year, TSBA continues to expand and build on its strong reputation within the licensing industry. They are immensely proud to have received finalist nominations at both the Licensing International Excellence Awards and the Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards. This year they have also welcomed an array of licensees from apparel and accessories to homewares and gifting to their licensing programmes. The 150th Open will be celebrated in July when the Championship will be played at St Andrews, the home of golf, while WRC celebrates its 50th rally season this year. The Elizabeth Line will open later this year, which will provide further licensing opportunities for the TfL brand. And, after a three-year refurbishment programme, the National Portrait Gallery will re-open its doors in Spring 2023, providing opportunities for collaborations to celebrate this landmark occasion. Consumer behavior has changed significantly during the past two years due to the global pandemic. In addition, Covid will continue to affect future developments. Experts assume that licensors worldwide will have to adapt their business models and rely on solutions that likewise address licensees and end consumers. The reason for this is that e-commerce continues growing and becoming more and more widespread. Many licensors and licensees are shifting to a comarket model. For that transition to succeed, they need secure and reliable solutions that enable full transparency and attract the customers’ attention. Meeting the industry’s needs, Leonhard Kurz and Scribos have joined forces to present a brand-new security label that offers three essential benefits: Reliable brand protection, convenient process management for both licensor and licensee, and bonus features for consumers.

The new label combines innovative and secure product markings with cutting-edge digital tools. The established Trustseal Protect technology by Leonhard Kurz includes proprietary security features such as ‘Diffractive Gold’ or ‘Diffractive Red’ and is exceptionally counterfeit- and tamper-proof – especially when combined with the ValiGate security pattern by Scribos. Hidden inside a QR code, the intelligent structure provides the code with a copy-protected identity. Thanks to a connected digital platform, licensors can manage all licenses centrally. Licensees also benefit as they can simply order and receive the appropriate product markings online. This sustainable on-demand solution helps build a trusting business relationship and keeps the effort low for licensors and licensees. The management platform also allows companies to compare order volumes and sales reports, thus offering full transparency. Licensors build trust with end consumers by offering them a simple and reliable way to check the product’s authenticity:ValiGate gives direct feedback with just a convenient scan via smartphone. Also, the QR code offers the opportunity to implement different interaction options or bonus programs, creating a one-of-a-kind experience for consumers and fans. Last but not least, thanks to TRUSTSEAL SFX, the brilliant and customizable design attracts customers at the point of sale. MHS Licensing & Consulting will be introducing art brands Amira Rahim, Lindsay Kivi and Blue Chair Blessings for the very first time at the upcoming Licensing. “We’ve been longtime supporters of the Licensing Expo and first exhibited

there in 1996.The 2-year hiatus due to COVID really emphasized the importance of this show and the platform it provides for launching new art.” Marty Segelbaum, President of MHS Licensing & Consulting continues, “We are thrilled to be back which coincides perfectly with the launch of our talented new art brands.” Amira Rahim is a passionate abstract artist on a mission to make the world a more colorful place. Internationally collected, her globally recognized brand has been featured in major media and entertainment outlets, and her work is already distributed across multiple retailers. Amira’s bold color palette and extraordinary abstract paintings create an instant energy in any room they grace. A driving force behind the brands popularity is Amira’s impressive 118k active social media followers, many of which are emerging painters who inspire her. “Painting is my way of honoring my time on earth. It’s my way of paying homage to the human experience and it’s a process that moves me every day.” says Amira. Lindsay Kivi supports animal rescues, sanctuaries, and conservation organizations through her art and aims to inspire others to do the same. An animal lover to her core, Lindsay creates compelling art that deepens one’s connection to all living beings. From colorful fun-loving animal portraits to dramatic monochrome paintings, her stunning artwork is appropriate across multiple categories of consumer products. Emily Burger, creator of Blue Chair Blessing, is grateful for the opportunity to paint and illustrate as an instrument to share God’s word. Her charming watercolor and acrylic designs are a direct reflection of her faith. Emily explains, “While going through a very difficult time, I often found myself exhausted and sitting in a little blue chair outside my home to rest and pray. It is here where I found strength, comfort and grace, and the inspiration behind my art.” Emily’s painterly style and hand lettering lends itself well to a wide variety of product categories, including wall décor, tabletop, home textiles, stationery, and gift items.


TOTAL LICENSING In addition to these new art brands, MHS will also be introducing new images from their well established and sought-after art brands at Licensing Expo. Collectively these popular art properties generate over $130 million in annual sales through their licensee partners. Dr. Seuss Enterprises is focused on promoting literacy, education, selfconfidence, 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. At the 2022 Licensing Expo, 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 several categories including entertainment, food and toys, to the development of a new Back-to-School program in 2023, visitors will get a look ahead at all the places Dr. Seuss Enterprises is going! 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 and visionary director Jon Chu, set to debut in 2027. Netflix and Dr. Seuss are partnering to develop a slate of animated preschool series inspired by the incredible, treasured stories and characters of Dr. Seuss. This preschool line-up will introduce concepts of foundational learning and also explore themes of diversity and respect for others – while focusing first and foremost on fun and engaging stories, all with the distinctive visual style and rhythm and rhyme of Dr. Seuss. Netflix’s Green Eggs and Ham- Warner Bros. Animation’s hit Netflix series Green Eggs and Ham premiered a second season on April 8, 2022. Dr. Seuss Enterprises has been working with Kilburn Live since 2019 on The Dr. Seuss Experience, an immersive and interactive attraction that brings the iconic author’s famed books to life. The attraction first debuted in Toronto and then shifted to the States with stops in Houston and Chicago. Most recently it opened in Denver in March 2022. Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Random House Children’s Books will launch Seuss Studios, a line of books for early readers by new and emerging authors and illustrators who will create original stories inspired by Ted Geisel’s (aka Dr. Seuss) unpublished sketches and illustrations.Seuss Studios books will be geared towards readers ages 4 to 8. Additional details on the inaugural list will be announced later this year. Finally 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. Italy’s Rainbow Group is back at this year’s Licensing Expo with an extensive brand portfolio, and global licensing opportunities across preschool, kids, and young adult audiences. Among the new entries that will be showcased on its booth (A170), is their adaptation of the children’s classic Pinocchio and Friends. Already a

hit with Italian audiences, the 26x12’ series will soon debut on other international TV networks, beginning with the UK’s leading free-to-air channel CBeebies from 30th May. Summer & Todd Happy Farmers will join Pinocchio on the Rainbow stand at this year’s Expo. The 52 X 7’ CGI preschool show starring a team of animal farmers debuted last year and is growing steadily thanks to solid educational and entertainment foundations, which allow for great licensing opportunities. Many product categories are already involved, and as the show gains broadcast momentum, so will the licensing programme grow. This year also sees Rainbow showcasing two recently added third party licenses coming from the artistic scene, Lucia Heffernan, and Jack Ottanio, both of whom the group represents internationally. Lucia Heffernan is a visionary artist, a painter with a unique style, and her artistic universe gives voice to human emotions through the gestures of tender and colourful dimension of animals. Her art style provides numerous chances in the licensing sector. Jack Ottanio is the latest licensing addition to Rainbow’s client portfolio. A visionary, futuristic and eclectic artist, Ottanio’s feeling-driven pop art is unmistakable. His mix of techniques combines classic elements and innovation, providing a vast body of work

TOTAL LICENSING to tap into – featuring subjects like futuristic cities, gardens in lost galaxies, masks and faces of real and abstract characters and much more. Jack’s portfolio already includes more than 70 stylish and marketable designs. Last but not least, Rainbow’s top global successes, the classic Winx Club, and 44 Cats won’t miss out at this year’s Licensing Expo. Celebrating 18 years of steady growth, the Winx Club brand spans a global franchise across multiple formats, which includes the latest original liveaction Netflix series FATE: The Winx Saga. 44 Cats completes the licensing portfolio presented by Rainbow this year: the brand keeps growing amongst the most popular in the international pre-school licensing sector, with many long-standing and also new licensees who are taking up the brand. Cyber Group Studios has exhibited in Las Vegas for a number of years and this year have some key properties on show. An international company, based in Paris with studios in France, UK, Italy and Singapore, on the licensing side Cyber Group Studios works with a network of agents covering the world and representing them in local markets. Amongst brands on show will be new properties including Digital Girl, The McFire Family, Press Start! And timeless classic Final Fantasy 1X that will be adapted for the first time into animation. In addition, their key brand Gigantosaurus continues its expansion around the world with room to grow geographicallty and also across categories. TheSoul Publishing is a first-time exhibitor in Vegas this year. The global

leader in digital video views is diving into the merchandising world as it opens its doors to opportunity at the 2022 Las Vegas Licensing Expo. TheSoul Publishing, with its more than one billion followers and subscribers across social media, will be exploring potential licensing partnerships with a variety of industry leaders over the three day event with the goal of creating a compelling line of products showcasing the studio’s universe of uplifting brands. TheSoul’s top channels offer natural connections to a variety of product categories including beauty, toys, and publishing. For example, the studio’s flagship brand, 5-Minute Crafts, is the world’s top DIY brand and the only channel that consistently ranks among the top ten channels on both YouTube and Facebook. There are incredible opportunities for partners to connect with the brand’s global audience who want to emulate the incredible crafting creations on the channel. TheSoul Publishing is an award-winning digital studio that’s known for producing entertaining, positive and original content for a global audience. In capitalizing on crave worthy consumer trends including cutting-edge 3D technology, stop motion, fun liveaction, quirky music videos, inspirational craft projects, and vibrant animation, TheSoul Publishing is soaring on social media. TheSoul’s universally enjoyed portfolio of original channels are distributed across social media and streaming platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, TikTok, Roku, Amazon Prime, and Chinese platforms including Xigua, Douyin and Bilibili. Curtis Licensing will be unveiling new on-trend artwork collections alongside remastered classic images at Licensing Expo. The new collections include fresh florals, fun summer inspired designs, popular travel locations, whimsical Christmas illustrations and much more. The company will also feature the ever-popular retro

images that once graced the covers of The Saturday Evening Post magazine, making it a household name. As the licensing division for America’s oldest magazine, Curtis has an arsenal of over 200 years of nostalgic content, including an archive of over ten thousand illustrations by artists like John Falter, Stevan Dohanos, J.C. Leyendecker, George Hughes and the always popular, Norman Rockwell. In fact, the

wholesome, often humorous images that graced the covers and pages of the magazine were the cornerstone for the publication’s success in the first place. The illustrations created rich portrayals of daily American life that captured the public’s heart and mind for decades to come. These delightful images which keenly capture the innocence, love, dignity, and humor of life in decades past, have been featured on thousands of licensed products and countless promotional campaigns, both in the United States and internationally. In addition to the beloved retro art, the Curtis Licensing collection also offers the latest trends in art design. Curtis Licensing programs currently include seasonal and every day home décor, stationery and gifts, games and hobbies, publishing, educational and promotional uses and apparel. Boat Rocker’s Kids & Family division continues to go from strength to strength leading the charge of its international franchise expansion is its roaringly successful in-house show



Dino Ranch (104 x 11’). The #1 preschool US cable show for kids 2-5 in its 7pm primetime slot, it was also the most-watched CBC Kids program of 2021 for kids aged 2-11 in Canada. This fresh and unique mix of ranchers and dinosaurs is set to ride back onto those channels later this year with a brand-new 52 x 11’ season of thrilling adventures. New for this season is a series of tentpole episodes including a bonus double length episode of 1 x 22’. The “pre-westoric” exploits of the Cassidy family and their pack of dynamic dinosaurs has resonated with audiences worldwide, sold to 170 countries and translated into 15 languages. Now its consumer products programme is also going global. A hugely successful toy launch in the US was followed by Canada and Australia in 2021, rolling out to major in-store and e-retailers including Amazon,,, Toys’R’Us, Kohls, Barnes and Noble, and Big W. Roll-out in the UK and internationally is planned for this year across over 20 major retailers in more than 10 countries. In the US Scholastic has launched its English language books whilst US apparel licensees Bentex and Komar have daywear, sleepwear and outerwear ranges launching across the year and Hybrid have an exclusive range of t-shirts launching in Kohls. Major licensing agents have been signed to represent Dino Ranch in key European territories. Super RTL is managing the brand in France and Germany, and Plus Licens for the Nordics/CEE.


Fox Chapel Publishing have announced a new character-driven children’s book series and brand: Ninja Kitties. Packed with messages of goodness, kindness, and empathy, the Ninja Kitties—seven royal kitties who transform into ninja kitties to save the day—make their debut in Las Vegas at this year’s Licensing Expo. Fox Chapel Publishing worked closely with award-winning creator Kayomi Harai to introduce an empowering book series for young children. Harai originally envisioned Ninja Kitties to inspire children to believe in their inner strengths. Harai will be signing early copies of the first book in the Ninja Kitties series on May 24 and 25 of Licensing Expo to help celebrate the brand launch. Harai and the Fox Chapel team also collaborated with innovative storyteller Rob Hudnut to create messagedriven stories for the series. Hudnut, who also helped launch popular stories for Barbie, Hot Wheels, Rescue Heroes, and other memorable Mattel

to map out characters and situations that would make a strong impact on children and their families—especially during today’s environment. Fox Chapel Publishing will launch six books in 2022 with several more to follow in 2023. Greg Giordano, the Owner and Managing Operator of Greg & Company, LLC., has been in the Art Licensing industry for over 25 years, and his designs are featured on a variety of products, including greeting cards, apparel, personal checks, and blankets. After years spent as a wildlife gallery painter, Greg started his own business in the early 2000s. He licensed his first puzzle image, “Spring Days”, back in 2005. Initially, many of his images that were licensed as puzzles were reminiscent of the type of gallery paintings he did,

with a strong focus on wildlife animals and birds. In the past 20 years, Greg’s achievements in the puzzle industry speak for themselves. He now works with 26 puzzle licensees, and his puzzles are sold in over 30 countries worldwide, as well as digitally. He has created puzzle designs for co-branded licensing programs with John Deere and Farmall tractors, as well as Chevrolet, Dodge, Volkswagen and Ford automotive brands. Even more remarkable is the fact that in his archive of over 600 designs, 200 of them have been licensed as puzzle images. brands, created storylines for the Ninja Kitties books that provide a strong family focus as well as social and emotional learning tools for kids today. The psychology of play was also a key factor during the creation of Ninja Kitties. Brand advisor Sujata Luther, a former EVP of Nickelodeon Consumer Insights, was on the creative board

Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s (MGM), a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms and owns one of the world’s deepest libraries of film and television content, continues to expand and evolve the licensing strat-


egy for its roster of iconic entertainment properties. At Licensing Expo 2022, MGM is set to unveil exciting plans and initiatives, along with special sneak peaks for Pink Panther, Wednesday, the Creed franchise, Vikings: Valhalla and more. Over the years, MGM has built a large roster of licensees and other strategic partnerships in the apparel, accessories, gaming, home and collectibles categories, as well as live events and location-based experiences, and is continuing to expand programs for its broad portfolio. At the 2022 Licensing Expo, MGM will focus on showcasing licensing programs for their deep portfolio of iconic films, including Pink Panther’s 60th anniversary launching late next year and the debut of Netflix’s Wednesday series later this year. MGM is also putting the spotlight on Creed, with the third installment hitting theaters November 2022 and an expansive Vikings: Valhalla licensing program tied to the recently debuted Netflix series. MGM is also set to highlight the expansion of its sci-fi portfolio with Robocop’s 35th anniversary and Stargate SG-1’s 25 th anniversary this year, along with its extensive catalog of classic horror films like the re-

cent box office smash Candyman and Killer Klownz. Penguin Ventures will have a dedicated presence at Licensing Expo this year as Lindsay Pearl, Head of International Licensing will represent their portfolio of classic brands: Peter Rabbit, Spot,The Snowman and The Snowdog and Flower Fairies on the Penguin Random House US stand. In celebration of Peter Rabbit’s 120th birthday year Penguin Ventures has partnered both with new licensees as well as expanded ranges with current partners in North America as well as key global markets. New partners to the Classic Peter Rabbit programme in North America include Little Road Co. (formerly Lulu & Roo) who recently launched their Peter Rabbit apparel and accessories range which capitalises on the trend for matching sibling outfits and is aimed at boys and girls up to 8 years old. The collection has been a resounding success with over 58% of the inventory selling out on the first day. Also, new to the roster is Dreamland Baby. Featured on Shark Tank (the US version of Dragon’s Den), their range of safety-certified weighted sleep suits, pyjamas, bedding, and toddler blankets launches in August. Dreamland’s mom-designed, doctor-approved sleep solutions feature their proprietary CoverCalm Technology, even weight distribution from baby’s shoulders to toes, allowing little ones to feel calm, fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer. In the play and learning space, Phidal has followed up their success on the Peter Rabbit movie with a new range of Classic Peter Rabbit titles and will

be launching four books at retail later this year. The new licensee portfolio is rounded out with the addition of Craft Buddy, who have recently launched their stunning diamond art painting range in the UK and will continue to expand in key global markets including North America. The collection includes diamond art canvases, notebooks, pencil cases and greeting cards which are all designed for families to enjoy together. In addition, brand new licensee, Aspinline – will launch a range of Peter Rabbit fabric badges and pin badges later this year. WowWee’s hit Got2Glow Fairy Finder gives kids the ability to find and catch over 100 virtual fairies across three magical electronic jars. The play experience is adventurous, interactive, and filled with enchantment that includes the tech ability for long-term engagement. The response from consumers has been so overwhelming that WowWee has named Striker Entertainment as its premiere global licensing

agency to represent the Got2Glow Fairy Finder for a strategic licensing program. “WowWee continues to bring cutting edge technology to toys allowing kids to create their own magic and it’s simply enchanting! “Having worked on Fingerlings together, Striker is thrilled to continue its partnership with WowWee on this exciting IP,” said Meagan Renner of Striker Entertainment. “Our strategy is to spearhead a refined, yet strong, licensing program with companies that are magic makers - those additive in creating a captivating universe for kids and their fairies.”



The World of MUZIKTIGER Daewon Media in South Korea are enjoying growing success with their brand MUZIKTIGER which is now the most popular character in the current Korean market, particularly amongst Generation Z consumers.


MUZIKTIGER is a compound word of ‘Muzik’ which translates to ‘without a job’ in Korean and ‘tiger’. MUZIKTIGER is the brand that symbolizes everyone’s fantasy of being young, rich, and unbothered. The illustrations used in the brand are based upon a tiger motif which is strongly associated with Korean culture. Since the tiger has been a symbol from ancient times that defeats bad luck, the brand has given a great message of support during the recent pandemic period. The main character in the brand is a carefree and optimistic tiger called DDOONG RANG (Fat Tiger) who likes to goof around and chill out throughout the day. Daewon Media currently have collaborated with approx. 70 brands within a year covering all consumer product categories including fashion, food and beverage, personal care, tech accessories, home furnishings, promotions and more. The brand also has more than 107,000 followers on Instagram, a following that has grown rapidly and is more than twice the figure from the previous year. Despite the downturn in terms of licensing within the infant and toddler sector, MUZIKTIGER has been expanding its target audience and has collaborated with market-leading companies including baby apparel from Ettoi (Agabang & Company’s premium baby clothing brand). In addition, they have signed Mother-K (a premium brand for mother and baby care essentials including diapers and hygiene care) for a range of baby bottles. In addition, MUZIKTIGER collaborated with the luxury brand Gucci. For the launch of Gucci’s new Seoul flagship store, Gucci Gaok, MUZIKTIGER and Gucci designed the Kakao branded emoji set featuring DDOONG RANG which they provided as a giveaway during the event period. More than 60 million sets of Emojis went

out of stock in only five hours. Coca-Cola also released the Kakao branded emoji set with MUZIKTIGER in order to promote their Fanta range during Halloween 2021. In terms of promotions, Coex, the mall located in the center of Seoul, has featured a gigantic 8-metre character balloon of DDOONG RANG in the main square of mall as a photo opportunity for visitors. MUZIKTIGER has also begun to attract popularity outside Korea. Langham Place Mong Kok in Hong Kong held a recent mall promotion including mall decorations with a 3-metre DDOONG RANG, a drawing exhibition, pop-up store and more. On the promotional side, BCCard has launched IBK MUZIKTIGER credit and debit cards using various artworks in order to appeal to young adult customers. In food and beverage, international ice cream franchise Baskin-Robbins launched DDOONG RANG-shaped

ice cream cake and rug as a premium. Convenience store 7-Eleven launched a variety of MUZIKTIGER products ranging from popcorn to craft beer, targeting young adults and Lotte Confectionery launched a snack gift set in a MUZIKTIGER designed package. In terms of cosmetics, Etude House (Amore Pacific Group’s beauty brand) released a MUZIKTIGER collection of cosmetic products including eye shadow palettes, lip tints, blushers and various premiums not only in Korea but throughout other Asian countries including Hong Kong, Japan,Taiwan and Thailand. The collection has been very popular and has gone viral online. In addition, Spao, the apparel brand of E-Land Group which is considered trendy amongst Generation Z consumers, has released MUZIKTIGER apparel including loungewear, sweatshirts, etc over several seasons. On the home furnishing side, Nara Home Deco has launched around 40 different items such as cushions, blankets, bedding, etc which are distributed through Korea’s top three hypermarkets – Emart, Lotte Mart and Homeplus. Finally, in the tech sector, Casetify, which is a Hong Kong company that designs and produces customized unique phone cases and electronics, has the exclusive MUZIKTIGER lineup with a wide range of tech accessories including phone cases, iPad cases, AirTag holders and more.



GROWTH OF VIDEO GAME LICENSING Headed into Licensing Expo the team at Games Workshop are excited to get back to face to face meetings with partners and retailers. With a packed slate of video game releases, a big anniversary and potential entertainment content on the horizon, there’s plenty to talk about.

Consumer products based on adult targeted video games have seen huge and growing success over the past few years and this trend is set to continue. The Warhammer video game release schedule indicates a move to bigger games with broad appeal that can act as gateways into the vast universes of the Warhammer IP. The team’s licensing strategy is to focus on video games franchises that can then also support consumer products programs. This year already has seen the launch of Total War: Warhammer III, the third and final game in the trilogy. Coming from the teams at Creative Assembly and SEGA the game launched in February and is already seeing fantastic sales. A consumer products range is already rolling out and currently includes gaming peripherals from Razer, prints and artwork from Warhammer Art, print on demand apparel and accessories from Push Entertainment and collectibles and accessories from Starforged. Next to launch on September 13th will be Warhammer 40,000: Darktide. Coming from Fatshark, the company behind the incredibly successful and multi-million copy selling Vermintide and Vermintide 2 games, expectations for Darktide, a first person shooter set in the grim dark 41st millennium,


are already high. Already signed up to the consumer products roster are McFarlane Toys for action figures, Cubicle 7 for role play and card games, Razer for gaming peripherals, noblechairs for gaming chairs, Bioworld for apparel, Abysse for housewares, The Koyo Store for accessories, Laced Records for the soundtrack and AAA Merchandise for housewares and collectibles. Push Entertainment will add

print on demand Darktide products including apparel, houseware, phone cases and housewares to the Warhammer Merchandise online store. After that and with no release date yet announced is Space Marine 2. The game was announced at the Game Awards last December, viewed live by 85 million viewers from around the world. The game is the much antici-

TOTAL LICENSING hammer to the attention of a broader audience.

pated sequel to 2011’s Space Marine, often lauded as the best Warhammer video game ever. Coming from Focus Entertainment and Saber Interactive, and off the back of an exhilarating CGI trailer, expectations are already high. Clive Standen, best known for TV shows Vikings and Taken, was on hand to introduce the trailer as he was revealed as the voice of the main role of Captain Titus. For those not in the know, Space Marines are probably the best known part of the Warhammer IP - 10 foot tall super humans kitted out with serious weaponry. Space Marines are also the best selling Warhammer miniatures so the game will have built in audiences from both Warhammer tabletop and video games fans. The team at Warhammer are building their biggest licensed program to date around this franchise and it offers a serious opportunity to take the IP to its broadest audience yet. Aspirations are high and likely to be the main topic of conversation on the Warhammer stand at this year’s Licensing Expo. There’s also plenty to talk about

outside of video games. 2023 is the 40th anniversary of Warhammer. Although not much has been shared to date of the plans to celebrate this milestone, the first 6 months of 2023 are rumoured to see a celebration of all things Warhammer as the

IP partners with other iconic British brands across a number of categories to create products, experiences and moments that will both surprise and delight existing fans and bring War-

And furthermore it looks like Warhammer will also be branching into entertainment content in the coming years. Unsurprisingly as the IP has been around for decades, there is already a huge amount of Warhammer content for fans to immerse themselves in, with thousands of novels, including New York Times bestsellers, to choose from. So there is a limitless bank of source material for translating into live-action and animated content. This process has already begun with content rolling out on the Warhammer+ subscription service. This content is most likely to appeal to the hardcore fan base who subscribe to also gain access to weekly in-house

Warhammer hobby shows, a digital vault of classic Warhammer publications and White Dwarf issues and full access to all Warhammer Apps. Outside of this, and intended for a broader audience, Warhammer has an infinite supply of stories to be told that have the potential at crossing multiple genres outside of the obvious sci-fi and fantasy, such as suspense and thriller. A number of projects are already in development and a major LA based agency was recently signed so hopefully the wait to see Warhammer content appear on global streaming services isn’t too far off.

To learn more, book in a meeting with the team or drop by their Licensing Expo booth - M226



Total Licensing talked to TheSoul Publishing’s Director of Licensing, Ines Pacheco as the creator breaks ground as a first-time exhibitor at the 2022 Licensing Expo

Ines Pacheco

Global Digital Content Leader Offers Licensing Partners Unprecedented Audience Reach TheSoul Publishing has an incredible content portfolio! What took you so long to break into licensing? Ines Pacheco: “Over the last few years TheSoul Publishing has focused on creating some of the world’s most popular digital content. And global audiences have truly responded. In fact, Tubular Labs ranks TheSoul as the most viewed creator across social media. With an incredible global audience that includes more than one billion subscribers we feel now is a great time to join the licensing party and showcase in Vegas some of our most popular brands. I joined the company in October and am ready and excited to share with partners the unlimited potential we have to offer.” 5-Minute Crafts is your flagship brand. Can you tell us more about the channel and its reach? “5-Minute Crafts quite simply is a global phenomenon. It is the only

channel to consistently rank in the top ten on both Facebook and YouTube. It’s the top digital DIY brand in the world, and from a licensing standpoint I see an incredible variety of product opportunities across publishing, tools, art supplies, kits, toys, and gifts that could benefit from a partnership with 5-Minute Crafts.” Outside of 5-Minute Crafts, what does your studio’s content look like?


“TheSoul Publishing is known for producing entertaining, positive and original content for a global audience. Our content features cutting-edge 3D technology, stop motion, fun liveaction, music videos, inspirational craft projects, and vibrant animation. Our portfolio of popular channels – including 123 GO!, La La Life, Avocado

Couple, Polar, Baby Zoo, and SMOL — are distributed across social media and streaming platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, TikTok, Roku, Amazon Prime, and more.”

What categories are you most focused on? “We have an incredibly deep portfolio of brands. Everything from kids content, to DIY, to music, so we’re looking for partners across multiple categories. For our flagship channel, 5-Minute Crafts, we see potential in publishing, activities / crafts, tools, and novelty / gifts.The toy and game category makes a lot of sense for our Baby Zoo and Muffin Socks channels. And then there’s 123 GO! which given its fan base is a natural fit for beauty and apparel and accessories. While that’s just a few of our options, the bottom line is if you’re looking to work with a con-

tent creator with global reach, we’re going to be a great partner.” Tell us about you. How did you wind up at TheSoul? “Most recently I managed the global operations for brand licensing as BuzzFeed’s vice president of licensing and brand design operations. My brand experience includes kitchenware, toys and games, food and beverage, pets, apparel, and publishing. I also developed marketing campaigns for licensed products while I was there, while building brand guidelines, creating logos and overseeing package design. Before that, I worked on the advertising side of the business doing pricing and sales operations at BuzzFeed and The Wall Street Journal. It’s been a fun ride, and I couldn’t be more excited to be at TheSoul right now as we explore some incredible licensing opportunities.” Where can we find out more about TheSoul? “Visit, come see me at our Licensing Expo Booth, #Q192, or please email me at”


NEW DIGITAL DEVELOPMENTS FOR BEYBLADE Franchise extends beyond broadcast and consumer products with digital developments accelerating the international growth of the brand


Animé specialist ADK Emotions NY Inc. continues to accelerate the growth of BEYBLADE in key international markets, adding an official TikTok channel to the brands digital ecosystem that now includes YouTube, Instagram and facebook. A new frontier for the kids’ brand, for more than two action-packed decades, BEYBLADE has entertained audiences through animation and toys and now, ADK is extending its reach in the digital space, responding to demand from consumers for shorter form and socially accessible content on the platforms to which they are native. @beyblade_official showcases a variety of fast-paced and eye catching animated clips, character reels and battle videos. Playing to the brand’s multigenerational strength, footage from the vast BEYBLADE content archive will also be posted on the account offering young fans an opportunity to explore the back catalogue as well as giving fans of nostalgia the chance

to re-watch classic clips. An all-new content program of product unboxing and ASMR content, or ‘BEY-SMR’ as fans call it, has also launched and will be a regular feature of the brand’s digital output moving forward. With community and creativity at the heart of the brand, ADK Emotions NY Inc. remains committed to collaborating with BEYBLADE influencers including Osvaruto in Mexico and Beyblade Geeks in Canada to promote the animation and content, new toy concepts as well as updating fans on any brand related news. The digital space provides a natural home for BEYBLADE, chiming with the brand’s core values of creativity, collaboration and play which has been central to the success of the property since it launched in 1999. The TikTok launch follows the hugely successful launch of the official BEYBLADE YouTube channel (ex. Asia) which has accrued more than 3 million subscribers since it launched in 2016. ADK also thrived digitally when in 2020 the Pandemic forced the BEYBLADE World Championships to move from a physical event to online, providing BEYBLADE fans with a chance to battle it out in a one-of-a-kind virtual competition during lockdown.

This growing digital presence compliments the solid slate of global television partners that are currently broadcasting the animated series including Disney XD currently showing BEYBLADE Burst QuadDrive Season 6 and Netflix who is streaming BEYBLADE Burst Surge Season 5. Alongside the digital and broadcast success, BEYBLADE BURST is supported by a robust toy line from global master toy licensee Hasbro. Hasbro is a proven best-in-class partner who shares ADK’s passion for creativity and innovation which is expertly translated in the regularly refreshed toy range. Hero items include the best-selling Beyblade Burst QuadDrive Cosmic Vector Battle Set and Hasbro’s higher price point ProSeries aimed at core fans. Exciting fans globally with their 20th anniversary celebrations last year, ADK Emotions will be on the ground at Licensing Expo in May and the company is scheduled to exhibit at Animé Expo in LA from July 1-4 2022. The expert team is looking forward to connecting with key stakeholders and industry leaders once again, increasing their presence in person as well as the online sphere.

TOTAL LICENSING tman, Nick Fury, Guardians of the Galaxy, and numerous more! Genius Brands acquired the rights to the Stan Lee brand, which included rights to many unfinished works he left behind, as well as the rights to his name, physical likeness and signature, through a joint venture with POW! Entertainment called Stan Lee Universe.

Shaq’s Garage: Genius Brands International will debut two new brands at this year’s Licensing Expo Shaq’s Garage, and the Stan Lee celebrity brand.


Inspired by NBA legend and superstar Shaquille ONeal’s real life love of cars, Shaq’s Garage is a modern day adventure series where Shaq brings his family of cars, called the “Shaq Paq,” to life and sends them on missions to do good in the neighborhood but hilarity & hijinxs always occur along the way. Shaq is an executive producer of the show and also stars in the series as both himself, and the leader of the Shaq Paq, Biggie D. Multiple Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski also joins the fun as both an producer and the cast as crazy, fun loving truck, Gronk. Currently in production on 52 x 11’ minute segments, the animated kid’s series will premiere spring next year and will feature themes of respecting differences, kindness, inclusivity, loyalty, teamwork, and giving back to the community Shaq’s Garage boasts an all-star creative team, including O’Neal, Emmy Award-winning writer Steve Banks (SpongeBob SquarePants); and multi-Emmy Award-winning Michael Maliani (Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?, The New Adventures of Madeline, Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century, Our Friend, Martin) as director and producers; David Neuman, Genius Brands’ Chief Creative Officer & former President of Disney Television; The series is executive produced by O’Neal, Genius Brands, Perry Rogers’ PRP, and ABG Entertainment. Genius Brands is currently developing a global consumer products campaign across broad categories, starting with the toy category which will feature

an extensive product line, including all sizes of die cast and light-and-sound vehicles as well as ride-ons, games, puzzles, crafts, bikes, collectibles and more. Additional categories include Apparel & Accessories, Party, Footwear, Home, Consumables, Stationary, Publishing, and more. The products are anticipated to start hitting retail shelves in North America in late summer/early fall 2023. The content launch and merchandise debut will be supported by multiple marketing initiatives – advertising, promotional partners, social media, influencer campaigns— with Shaq taking an active role in the marketing and promotion of the show, starting on his vast social media channels which reach of over 57M followers! Continued…

Stan Lee: Stan Lee is a legendary content creator; the world’s most famous comic book creator; and considered to be the “Godfather of Marvel Comics” He is a global icon whose inspirational messages of hope, diversity and inclusivity resonate globally today. Stan Lee was the co-creator of many of the most successful characters ever made, including The Avengers, Spiderman, Iron Man, Black Panther, The Incredible Hulk, X Men, Thor, Captain America, Ms. Marvel, Silver Surfer, An-

The Stan Lee Universe includes, • The Stan Lee Celebrity Brand • New content to be created from Stan Lee’s portfolio of approximately 150 unmined ideas and character creations in his post-Marvel career, along with consumer products programs to be developed for these new projects. Under the Stan Lee celebrity brand, which debuts at Licensing Expo this year, Genius Brands is celebrating Stan Lee’s 100thbirthday this year by creating a curated product capsule, The Stan Lee Centennial Collection, featuring a range of product categories-Apparel & Accessories, Collectibles, and more--to carry on his legacy and give fans a way to respect and honor him. Apparel and collectibles will be launching this year at retail with licensees including Funko, Hot Toys, Beast Kingdom, Royal Bobbles and more. The additional product categories will follow in early 2023. The Stan Lee Centennial campaign is the first phase of a much broader Stan Lee Universe program to come in the near future. Over the next two years, Genius Brands will be assessing Stan Lee’s post-Marvel catalogue to identify projects to develop with new content for multi-platform distribution and consumer products programs for the retail marketplace. Visit Genius Brands International at Licensing Expo Booth C178


Peter Rabbit ‘hops’ into new North American retail destinations for Penguin Ventures Penguin Ventures will have a dedicated presence at Licensing Expo this year as Lindsay Pearl, Head of International Licensing will represent their portfolio of classic brands: Peter Rabbit, Spot, The Snowman and The Snowdog and Flower Fairies on the Penguin Random House US stand. Lindsay Pearl, Head of International Licensing, Penguin Ventures said, “After a long absence due to the pandemic, I am delighted to be exhibiting the Penguin Ventures brands at Licensing Expo this year with my colleagues from Penguin Random House US. This is a long overdue opportunity to connect with existing and new licensees face to face, and to celebrate our partners’ achievements during what has been a challenging time, whilst thanking them for their continued support and remarkable resilience. Our portfolio of classic literary brands has performed incredibly well in all markets, demonstrating that families continue to turn to trusted and heritage character brands such as Peter Rabbit, Spot and The Snowman for comfort, learning opportunities and shared experiences. I’m looking forward to exploring how we can continue to bring the magic of our classic brands to new products and markets with our partners this year and beyond.” In celebration of Peter Rabbit’s 120th birthday year Penguin Ventures has partnered both with new licensees as

well as expanded ranges with current partners in North America as well as key global markets. New partners to the Classic Peter Rabbit programme in North America include Little Road Co. (formerly Lulu & Roo) who recently launched their Peter Rabbit apparel and accessories range which capitalises on the trend for matching sibling outfits and is aimed at boys and girls up to 8 years old. The collection has been a resounding success with over 58% of the inventory selling out on the first day. Also, new to the roster is Dreamland Baby. Featured on Shark Tank (the US version of Dragon’s Den), their range of safety-certified weighted sleep suits, pyjamas, bedding, and toddler blankets launches in August. Dreamland’s mom-designed, doctor-approved sleep solutions feature their proprietary CoverCalm™ Technology, even weight distribution from baby’s shoulders to toes, allowing little ones to feel calm, fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer. In the play and learning space, Phidal has followed up their success on PETER RABBIT movie with a new range of Classic Peter Rabbit titles and will be launching four books at retail later this year. The new licensee portfolio is rounded out with the addition of Craft Buddy, who have recently launched their stunning diamond art painting range in the UK and will continue to expand

Penguin Ventures will have a dedicated presence at Licensing Expo this year

in key global markets including North America. The collection includes diamond art canvases, notebooks, pencil cases and greeting cards which are all designed for families to enjoy together. In addition brand new licensee, Aspinline – will launch a range of Peter Rabbit fabric badges and pin badges later this year. Alongside this raft of new licensees Penguin Ventures have been working

on new and expanded ranges with key current partners including Kids Preferred who have launched a book and toy set for Carter’s® Story Hour book and plush program. Longstanding partners Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma continue to evolve and expand their collections which include homeware, confectionary and gifting, following established success with Peter Rabbit. This season saw exciting product refreshes launch with more planned for future release. Penguin Ventures’ partnership with Zrike also continues with the licensee launching a range of new Peter Rabbit homewares including dining sets, kitchen utensils and textiles with expanding distribution across the Marmaxx group which will see Peter Rabbit products available at over 3,000 physical stores across in North America. Lindsay Pearl will be on the Penguin Random House stand: E115 at Licensing Expo in Vegas.



POKEMON AT LICENSING EXPO Dynamic and exciting activity across 2022 is building on the sensational success of Pokémon’s 25th anniversary year in 2021, which saw the iconic brand reach new heights. Imaginative new releases, innovative collaborations and bold expansion are driving Pokémon’s increasing rise in popularity. Last year saw a significant increase in sales across Europe for Pokémon’s TCG and toy ranges. The #1 property for 2021 in France, Belgium and the Netherlands and the #1 gaining property in 2021 across the EU8 according to NPD, growing by +106% vs. 2020. After its highest-ever annual position in both Germany (#9) and the UK (#7), Pokémon continues to grow in 2022 and is currently #4 property year-to-date in the UK. Pokémon’s success has been recog-

Visit Pokemon at Licensing Expo Booth S202 76

nised and rewarded by the industry with a raft of award wins. Pokémon was named Best Gaming Licensed Property at the 2021 UK Licensing Awards, won Licensor of the Year, for the second year in a row, at the Licensing International France Awards. Pokémon’s collaborations have also been rewarded with the partnership with Poste Italiane taking the Best Kids Licensing Project at the Bologna Licensing Awards in Italy. Whilst the Pokémon X Baccarat collaboration is also up for Best Collaboration at the forthcoming International Licensing Excellence Awards at Licensing Expo. Following January’s new Nintendo Switch video game, Pokémon Legends:

Arceus, which expands the Pokémon world by exploring its past, fans are looking forward to autumn releases Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, which take a new evolutionary step in the Pokémon core series. In 2021 Pokémon TCG sales broke all previous records in Europe with astonishing three-digit year-on-year gains across most key territories. New TCG expansion Sword and Shield—

Astral Radiance arrives in May, featuring a new kind of Shiny Pokémon: Radiant; and the Pokémon TCG: Pokémon GO expansion, inspired by the popular mobile game, launches in special collections from July. Whilst a new version Battle Academy, the board game adaptation of the Pokémon TCG, introduces the Pokémon V gameplay me- chanic and an updated line-up of fan-favourite Pokémon. A big highlight for fans, the 2022 Pokémon World Championships is coming to the UK for the first time from

18-21 August at ExCel London. Top Pokémon players from around the globe will join together to compete over various formats for the title of Pokémon World Champion. Another exciting year for consumers sees the launch of Jazwares’ biggest ever toy range, with lots of innovative new products including the recently released Electric Charge Pikachu. Funko have added to their growing range of collectables, while Mattel’s Mega Construx™ Pokémon range continues to build sales with new lines. New fashion collaborations this year include the second in Uniqlo’s Pokémon Meets Artist collections. Renowned Japanese artist duo magma combined salvaged materials, plastics, and appliances to form unique silhouettes of five Pokémon: Pikachu, Magikarp, Psyduck, Magnemite, and Charizard. An innovative collaboration with leading Italian luxury fashion house Iceberg Junior saw a children’s collection of 20 garments launch in early 2022, available in multi-brand boutiques and e-commerce across Europe and US; and Bershka launched a new line of clothing and accessories in-store and online that features lovable Pokémon characters in graphic prints. With more intriguing and exciting collaborations in the pipeline, 2022 is set to be another incredible year for Pokémon.


With buzz brand Bluey in their portfolio, BBC Studios are set to turn heads in Las Vegas where they seek further opportunities and partnerships.

BBC Studios to Showcase Bluey Successes at Licensing Expo

Global-hit animation Bluey has understandably created a lot of industry chatter with number one rankings on channels such as Disney Junior, recent deals with Hasbro and plaudits from kids and parents alike. It would be no surprise then to see people congregating at their stand at Licensing Expo to find out what’s next for the brand and to talk about its rapid ascent. Andrew Carley, Director of Global Licensing at BBC Studios is happy to discuss the appeal of the hit Australian show, but is keen to build solid foundations rather than be carried away with recent success. “The appeal of Bluey is clear from first viewing,” he says. “First of all the quality of the writing shines through; it’s relatable, funny and clearly written from the heart – and that’s where kids and families connect with the show. Then there’s the quality of the animation, the colour palette and the rich world that the Heeler family live in (based on a version of Brisbane) which draws people in further. Praise must go to Joe Brumm, the writer and creator for this, and Ludo Studio who make the show.” Bluey follows the fun and games enjoyed by a six-year-old Blue Heeler


dog (Bluey), her sister Bingo, parents Bandit and Chilli, and wider family and friends. Each episode is centred on play and adventures with the sisters’ wild imaginations creating new games which inevitably pull others in. It has been praised for its modern depictions of parenting and family life, with mum and dad sharing the load and both working (Bandit as an archaeologist and Chilli as airport security). In a Guardian article, UK thinktank Fatherhood Institute called the show ‘revolutionary’ for its depiction of dads. Its humour and broad appeal with both children and their parents led to Rolling Stone naming the show as one

of its top 100 sitcoms of all time, while Vulture called it ‘the best kids’ show of our time’. So how does that appeal translate into BBC Studios’ licensing programme for the brand? “The global appeal of Bluey requires a global approach to licensing,” says Andrew. “With its existing infrastructure of multiple international licensing offices, relationships with leading licensing agencies and regional licensing specialist, BBC Studios is ideally placed to build a long-term global licensing programme. “As always, broadcast is vital and we now have top-tier broadcast partners in over 60 countries along with Disney who have global broadcast rights outside Australia and China.” Series three of Bluey debuted in its native Australia on ABC in November 2021 and is set for global release on Disney later this year. Consumers’ appetite for Bluey has already extended to the stage, with a recently announced US theatre show which previously toured Australia – playing over 300 shows in 66 venues. BBC Studios have signed up an impressive roster of global partners including master toy partner Moose Toys and master publisher Penguin Random


House as well as multi-territory deals with Crayola and Vtech. Recently it was announced that Hasbro are to produce licensed Bluey editions of classic games Monopoly and Trouble as well as Play-Doh. Bluey also became the first Australian brand to feature on Colgate products in a deal for Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. This is just one example of many regional licensing deals for Bluey around the world. Andrew says: “We have exceptional partners on board for Bluey, they

genuinely get the DNA of the brand and they’re committed to the values of the show and our values too.This goes for our regional licensees and licensing agents as well as our global partners. It was important for us that we’re able to match the quality of Bluey with the quality of our consumer product offer and that we’re able to build for the long-term. “We obviously have global ambitions for Bluey and we’ve put in place solid foundations for it to grow. For that we need the right partners whose enthu-

siasm matches our own.” The Moose Toys range has exceeded everyone’s expectations, including in the UK where it was the #1 new pre-school toy brand in 2021 according to NPD data, and has also been nominated for a prestigious Licensing International Excellence Award – with the winner set to be announced in Las Vegas With many partners already on board and Bluey having already bagged award wins and success at retail what does that leave open for Licensing Expo? “We’re always seeking partners who can help build Bluey fans’ off-screen experiences for the long term. We’re also looking for partners for promotional tie-ins and experiential opportunities that build on fan and consumer engagement. “Aside from that, it’s a good opportunity for us to meet with people from across the industry and to see a lot of our partners together in one place – it’s been a while since we were last able to do this. And we’re there to represent all markets and other brands too in addition to Bluey!” BBC Studios wider portfolio includes hit children’s preschool show Hey Duggee which was recently commissioned for a fourth series for broadcasters including CBeebies in the UK and has recently announced new deals for health and beauty products and wheeled toys. Doctor Who is also licensed and distributed by BBC Studios, with a new doctor set to be unveiled this year. Other brands include Top Gear, Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing With The Stars and BBC Earth.




See Boat Rocker at Licensing Expo Meeting Room J101 80

It’s been a year of rapid and remarkable growth for independent, integrated global entertainment company Boat Rocker – and the company has ambitious plans to drive its success even further. The home for creative visionaries, Boat Rocker went public last year and delivered a big leap in scale, building a strong, integrated platform that gives a 360-degree service for content. Its in-house creative, production, distribution, talent management, licensing and brand management teams are focused on delivering compelling stories and building iconic global franchises across all genres and mediums. Boat Rocker’s Kids & Family division continues to go from strength to strength leading the charge of its international franchise expansion is its roaringly successful in-house show Dino Ranch (104 x 11’). The #1 preschool US cable show for kids 2-5 in its 7pm primetime slot, it was also the most-watched CBC Kids program of 2021 for kids aged 2-11 in Canada. This fresh and unique mix of ranchers and dinosaurs is set to ride back onto those channels later this year with a brand-new 52 x 11’ season of adventures. New for this season is a series of tentpole episodes including a bonus double length episode of 1 x 22’. The “pre-westoric” exploits of the Cassidy family and their pack of dynamic dinosaurs has resonated with audiences worldwide, sold to 170 countries and translated into 15 languages. Now its consumer products programme is also going global. A hugely successful toy launch in the US was followed by Canada and Australia in 2021, rolling out to major in-store and e-retailers including Amazon,,, Toys’R’Us, Kohls, Barnes and Noble, and Big W. Roll-out in the UK and internationally is planned for this year across over 20 major retailers in more than 10 countries.

In the US Scholastic has launched its English language books whilst US apparel licensees Bentex and Komar have daywear, sleepwear and outerwear ranges launching across the year and Hybrid have an exclusive range of t-shirts launching in Kohls. Major licensing agents have been signed to represent Dino Ranch in key European territories. Super RTL is managing the brand in France and Germany, and Plus Licens for the Nordics/CEE. Phenomenally successful powerhouse show The Next Step is dancing on after being commissioned for season 8

by CBBC and Corus Canada, where it is set to air this autumn. A huge global hit, the reality dance drama for tweens is broadcast in more than 120 countries worldwide. For an older audience, new from the company’s Scripted division is Orphan Black: Echoes – the sequel to Boat Rocker’s hugely popular series Orphan Black. Coming to AMC Networks in 2023, the 10-episode series, set in the near future, follows a group of women as they weave their way into each other’s lives, in a wrenching story of love and betrayal that explores the scientific manipulation of human existence.


15 years and counting!

A lot has changed since Rob Corney set up his agency Bulldog Licensing. And some of that change was down to Rob himself. In 2007 he already had a fair amount of experience in the licensing business. He began at ITV on a graduate scheme and ended up working across all ITV’s entertainment properties. He then moved to 4Kids to get some agency experience. “4Kids was the second biggest agency in the world at the time,” he says. “I was running the programmes for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Pokemon among others.” But even then it was clear to him that licensing needed to change. Nobody at the time was really looking at retail.You might call a toy buyer at a major chain but that was about as sophisticated as the relationship got. “I realised things were changing,” Rob says. “We needed to be not just dealing with licensees but pushing marketing programmes and opportunities to do merchandise properly to help retailers sell more product.” Direct communication with retail, he realised, was definitely the future of the industry – “to create a triangular relationship between licensee, retailer and brand,” as he puts it. And so, “we were the first licensing agency with a retail-first approach – and to this day remain at the head of the pack when it comes to our relationships with retail.”

But there was something else. “My belief in 2007 was that we needed smaller agencies with a smaller portfolio able to react more dynamically to the needs of both brand and retail.” So with Bulldog he set about creating an agency that focused on finding the best staff and excellent properties. The remit was to always focus on what made the brands grow rather than constantly driving for the unmanaged elastic growth of internal overheads which epitomised many other agencies. Rob’s belief then, as it remains now, was always that “if we look after our brands, our brands will look after us. Anniversary specials aside,” he quips, “you’ll rarely find articles or advertising about us as an agency – it’s all about the brands.” This focus on the client and retail proved prescient. In 2008 when financial markets collapsed along with consumer confidence, “we offered more focus, greater dynamism and the ability to make quick decisions in a volatile market.This gave our licensors an increased advantage. Whilst other agencies navel gazed and wondered who had overspent on the stationery budget, we were focused at all times on what would deliver growth and value for our Licensors, Licensees and Retailers.”

of that over again. We’re not immune from market conditions but we’ve been careful with our rates of growth and always keep our portfolio manageable in order to protect our Licensors and deliver an efficient service for all our stakeholders.” In fact, Rob says, “Our portfolio is famously very difficult to get into. For every brand that gets into our portfolio, we’ve done the research; we believe that they’re fit for purpose.

Bulldog’s stellar successes with Gogo’s and Shopkins earned the company’s founder and MD Rob Corney the nickname Mr Collectable. But the leading European licensing agency is also the first choice of brands like Odo, Care Bears and Sesame Street and that, says Rob, is down to a focus on research, intelligent brand management, strong loyalty to clients and unparalleled relationships with retail.

And today? “I suspect the current market conditions are going to see quite a lot



We’ve never had a brand failure; that reputation is absolutely paramount for us.” As for retail, “Retailers know that they’re on safe ground with us. We do that background research. We don’t just hope for the best.” And that reputation is what has driven a number of Bulldog properties to top the sales charts – from Gogo’s, Shopkins, Care Bears and Sesame Street to, most recently, Odo and Magic Mixies. “Everything we’ve worked on has indexed above where it should have been in its relative market.” But all were carefully researched: none were simply signed up on a gut reaction. Rob explains, “We could be taking something to market that could drive an entire industry for a period of time on a global scale. Why do it on a whim?”

Bulldog hits the bullseye! For Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary, Bulldog Licensing brought the iconic brand to the catwalk during London Fashion Week. Designer JimmyPaul, and licensed lifestyle products company Difuzed, presented a memorable Sesame Street collection at the ON|OFF LFW Show. JimmyPaul’s collection was a celebration of show, creativity, and pop culture, while Difuzed launched a line of apparel and accessories for women based on the show. But the party didn’t end there. A recent highlight of Sesame Workshop’s partnership with Bulldog was the collaboration they put together for Sesame Street and Just Hype—vibrantly-animated adults’ and kids’ collections.The 55-piece capsule collection featured all-time favorite Sesame Street characters in a range of designs including hoodies, joggers, tees, backpacks, face coverings and reusable bottles in true Just Hype tradition. Rob Corney, MD, and his team have been expertly expanding Sesame Street’s softlines and range in untapped categories such as stationery, publishing and leisure. “Bulldog Licensing is part of our Sesame Street’s extended family, and we are humbled by their commitment to the brand,” said Stefan Kastenmüller, Vice President and General Manager, Europe, Sesame Workshop. “Under Rob’s leadership, Bulldog has grown the business both across the preschool and fan segments, and helped us keep multiple generations laughing and learning with Sesame Street. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next.” With Sesame Street programming airing on leading commercial preschool broadcaster Tiny Pop, Sesame Workshop is excited to continue delivering real substance, with lots of furry fun, with Bulldog extending those messages through new product offerings. Rob had been struck by the number of decisions being made across the industry which were based on blind faith. In creating Bulldog he was determined to introduce some science to the art of brand selection so created a checklist of 37 questions with which the agency could objectively evaluate the potential for a property. These ranged from really simple questions – like: What is it? How does it reach an audience? – through to more complex questions like: What’s

the social risk/reward we’re asking the consumer to take in buying a product with our brand on it?” The details of the assessment process are a closely guarded secret – they remain in use to this day and have guided the agency in selecting some of the industry’s biggest-ever success stories. However, every agency needs an early success and Gogo’s Crazy Bones from Magic Box most certainly was that. But Gogo’s was an unusual property for a

“As well as taking an ethical approach to the industry and our staff, we take our commitments to doing wider good very seriously. We make regular charity contributions and support the activities of charities which, over the years has seen us fund an incubator in a special care baby unit, swim round Malta, helping to raise over £50k for the Light Fund and captaining the Light Fund row from Tower Bridge in London to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and raise over £54k on the way!” Rob Corney



licensing agency to back at the time. This, after all, was not a TV show but a collectable – there was no media to drive the opportunity and licensing a blind-bagged plastic collectable had never been done before.

But there was a market. Rob explains, “Gogo’s didn’t have the traditional driver of reach – but what it did have was a visible presence on the cash desk of every newsagent in the country. It was reaching far more children

than the top TV shows. It ticked every single box on our checklist – but not necessarily in the most obvious way.” And it was a hit. Rob estimates “hundreds of millions of packs of Gogo’s

The Bulldog team at Brand Licensing Europe 2021. From left, Sophie Yates, Rob Corney,Vicky Miller and Sole Slater


TOTAL LICENSING sold around the world. It was the biggest boys’ collectable brand in the world. We had global rights to it. We signed 57 licensees. We were even nominated for licensing programme of the year by LIMA.”

Fun at the 2019 Christmas party!


This was revolutionary in its effect. “Some of the biggest retailers didn’t even have a collectable offering at the time and it was only through working with them that collectables aisles and the related merchandising became a thing… we ended up creating the concept of collectable licensing.”

“From 2013 onwards,Tempting Brands had growing successes with the ROUTE 66 brand in Germany where it ultimately sold more than 8 million pair of socks annually and a range of other apparel ranging from underwear,T-shirts, jogging pants, to hats, sportswear and winter jackets. It is therefore not strange that Tempting Brands had been on the lookout for similar success in the UK which started with finding the right partner. Jerry Wooldridge introduced Tempting Brands to Bulldog Licensing and there was great chemistry from the start. With their knowledge from experience and market knowledge that extends beyond the licensee to retail, the Bulldog team instilled trust and patience.The Tempting Brands team decided to follow the advice from Bulldog. It took a while, but the patience and trust paid off. Today, ROUTE 66 apparel is widely available throughout the United Kingdom.Thanks to the advice from Rob Corney – MD of Bulldog Licensing – who recommended Brand

Alliance as a licensee to Tempting Brands. Brand Alliance delivered on the promise.The design team of Brand Alliance continuously delivers incredibly creative and commercial designs.Their unique designs are now featured in retailers such as Tesco (F&F), George, Next, Matalan, Boohoo, PRETTYLITTLETHING, Asos and Peacocks. Moreover, there is a pipeline of new designs which are underway for each retailer later this year. Building on the market presence in apparel, Bulldog Licensing is now pursuing licensing arrangements for ROUTE 66 in apparel categories that are not covered yet such as socks, bags and footwear. But they are also actively searching for stationary and gifting licensees.We’re expecting new ROUTE 66 products on the British market also in categories such as home textiles, food and drinks and puzzles and games. Needless to say the the Tempting Brands team looks forward to continuing to build the ROUTE 66 brand in the UK with the team from Bulldog Licensing!”


It was a three-year campaign and, says Rob, “it put us on the map”. The rights to represent DreamWorks followed – not one property but the entire portfolio. “DreamWorks had seen the huge success of a brand with no media and were excited to see what we could do with one of the world’s biggest film studios. The rights had sat with other agencies both large and small beforehand, but Bulldog’s tenure grew opportunities in the UK across the whole of the studio’s offering in a way that had never been achieved before and Bulldog continued to work with the DreamWorks properties until the studio’s new owners, Universal, took the rights in-house, some while after they had bought them.” From unknown brands to huge household names like DreamWorks, Bulldog has proven its ability to deliver enormously successful licensing programmes. Today, Bulldog has a wideranging portfolio of brands, some represented on a global basis.

“King Features would like to congratulate Bulldog Licensing on an incredible 15 years in the industry! We are very proud to have them as our agent and thrilled they will continue secure and activate partnerships that truly bring the King Features characters to life for fans in the UK,” said Carla Silva, VP/ GM, global head of licensing, King Features. Since partnering in 2020, Bulldog Licensing and King Features have worked together on many successful collaborations that have kept the iconic properties Popeye, Olive Oyl, Flash Gordon, Cuphead and The Cuphead Show! at the forefront of pop culture. In continuing King Features’ momentum across the UK and Ireland, Bulldog Licensing brought Popeye to life with a craft collection from Create and Craft and pet treats and accessories from Fred & Ginger. The agent also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the cult classic 1980s Flash Gordon film with new partnerships and product lines ranging from limited edition wall art and pin badges from Vice Press to stylish pop art prints from Art & Hue. Rob explains, “We are now positioned in such a way that we have enough scale to be able to activate a property globally through our network if the property allows and the brand own-

er wants us to.” Pre-school hit Odo is the latest brand to undergo the Bulldog treatment – benefiting from placement on some of the world’s biggest broadcast platforms, Bulldog’s in-


TOTAL LICENSING ternational network is now rolling out the property in multiple territories, building a commercial programme which is widely tipped to make a huge impact at retail. And collectables remain a major focus for the company. Having already delivered some of the biggest collectable programmes ever seen, including Shopkins from Moose Toys, Bulldog is incredibly excited to be working with the Moose team again on their latest huge hit, Magic Mixies. “We do love collectables. It’s been a real privilege to have been central to this part of the industry as it evolved from a basic character toy offering to the incredibly sophisticated worlds we now see from Moose with brands driven by a mix of hero toys, playsets, collectable figures and compelling content. We love that adrenaline rush when a collectable goes big. And we’ve had so much success in that space that we know the metrics. We have data from years of working in the field, so we can look at something and know

when it’s time to green-light the licensing programme.” Portfolio management is at the very heart of Bulldog’s success and the ongoing successes of its brand owners. “Brand selection is a two-way process,” says Rob. “Whilst the brand owner needs to be assured that Bulldog is the right home for their brand

with the ability to deliver excellent results, Bulldog also takes very seriously our commitment to working with the right Licensors.” Of the hundreds of brand opportunities presented to the company each year, only a tiny number are ever selected. “As well as ensuring the brand itself is fit for purpose, we need to en-


sure clear blue water in terms of the competitive set within our portfolio so that brands aren’t competing against each other for the same space,” says Rob. “We need to ensure there’s a cultural fit between the brand owner and us as an extension of their operation; and crucially, they need to share our vision of ethical trading in which every transaction is intended to be ‘win/win’… we don’t feel this should be revolutionary, but it certainly rules out some property owners!” And this approach is reflected in both the properties, such as Sesame Street, the global non-profit educator, and the company’s regular charity contributions. These have ranged from Bulldog helping to fund an incubator for premature babies through to the most recent Light Fund escapade in which Rob captained a crew of rowers from Tower Bridge in London to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, raising over £54,000

Usborne’s That’s not my… is the UK’s bestselling baby and toddler book series with over 70 books and counting! Over 27 million copies have been sold worldwide and over 5.6 million books sold in the UK. One That’s not my… book is sold every minute in the UK! In 2021, That’s not my… books featured in the Preschool & Picture Book chart nine times and Usborne continues to reach new families every year with engaging print and digital advertising campaigns, plus partnerships with baby and parent classes. A range of licensed products are available through Bulldog Licensing, including wall stickers (Icon Stickers), a gift range (Widdop), plush toys and soft books (Rainbow Designs), clothing ranges for F&F, Nutmeg, George, Matalan and Tu (Dennicci). New for 2022 are bags, umbrellas, and lunch boxes (RJ Bags). along the way. As for 2022, and with Vegas imminent, one obvious focus is Care Bears. “We’ve got the big 40th anniversary this year and it’s a huge property. Like Sesame Street, we’ve seen astonishing

growth over the last few years and this is set to continue at real pace over the next two years and beyond.” Agency life of course is a fairly demanding environment. Expectations of


TOTAL LICENSING success come from all angles, but Bulldog can boast some team members coming up to their tenth anniversary. “You work very hard for your licensors and because we take on the retail communication role as well, we need to always be mindful that it can be very high pressure. But we keep it fun. We have a very open plan office where all conversations are on the table and we have a good laugh together. Having our ethics at the heart of our business helps with this – we would never ask a member of staff to do something that we fundamentally disagree with. We build brands. We don’t frame an inaccurate narrative in order to make sales.”

The London to Paris Row in 2019 was an epic adventure! In all the troupe of 13 heroic rowers embarked on the challenge of a lifetime in rowing more than 800km over 180 hours, starting at London Bridge and completing the challenge 585,000 calories later, by the Eiffel Tower!

He continues, “Our positioning has to be accurate.We don’t oversell a brand. It’s important to understand the potential scale behind a property; you can always scale up but you can’t scale back down again once you’ve oversold something and retail buyers recognise our honesty, leading to a greater likelihood of selection for our properties. It’s important to leave a positive legacy, both for the longer-term brand opportunity, but also for the opportunity that a Licensor will want to continue to build new opportunities within the industry.”

Bulldog has grown since its foundation in 2007 to become one of the leading agencies in Europe. But, says Rob, if another economic downturn hits, the company is ready. “We provide strength and stability in the market because we’ve been cautiously managed over the past 15 years. We’re proud of our reputation amongst every stakeholder group in the industry and believe those key pillars of fairness, hard work and high-level delivery will always be central to everything we do.”


Rob adds, “Tesco only ever did one licensing awards. We were the Tesco team of the year. To walk past the tables of the world’s biggest brand owners with their huge teams of people and pick up that award because my team was better at managing retail as judged by the UK’s biggest retailer was a huge moment for us. “I started this business to provide the industry’s best service for brand owners, licensees and retailers and, whilst we’re always striving to improve and will never rest on our past successes, it’s nice to pick up a few laurels along the way!”



Catch the Asia Content Market trends in Korea The 17th ACE FAIR is coming! The ACE Fair, which takes place in Gwangju, Korea is the most extensive cultural content exhibition in Korea, including Broadcast/OTT, Animation/Character, Digital Content (such as Metaverse, Game/VR/AR, AI), and all types of licensing content. ACE Fair is a government initiative and also worked with government groups and major companies in Korea. This year, ACE FAIR will be a hybrid and inperson event for all the participants. Currently, people who enter Korea are free from quarantine if fully vaccinated. Also, there will be two special networking events for the ACE Fair and the CDC (Content Developer Conference) participants. These

networking events will be the great opportunity to meet Korean governments, public institutions, and major companies in the content area. Last year, LG, Monster Studio, Locus, studio button, Daekyo Kids TV and many other companies participated on-site, despite the pandemic. Under the subject of “Metaverse, Beyond Content”, our theme zone, the “META-SHIP”, consisted of various Metaverse companies such as Facebook and Sidus.This year, as they are back to the in-person exhibition, they are excited to welcome international participants to showcase their content.What fantastic opportunities will there be

this year? Here is a snapshot of some of the content that you can see at the exhibition. Locus is one of Korea’s largest content creators, providing CGI/VFX services for films, games, and advertisements, and producing its own animated feature films and TV series through its animation arm, Sidus Animation Studios. Locus’s first original animated feature film, Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs was released throughout the world including in North America in September 2020 through Lionsgate. Locus slate also includes animated feature films and TV series adaptations of some of Korea’s most popular intellectual properties, including the hit variety program Running Man, univer-

sally beloved Webtoon Yumi’s Cells, and best-selling fantasy novel series Toemarok. 5Bricks is a professional animated contents company based in Korea. Composed of professionals such as writers and animators, designers, and musicians who have passion and love for the field of animation, they pursue producing content with creativity and diversity from warm stories to visual interest. They are working on a few animated projects, such as ‘Hana and Molly’ and ‘Amazing 12’, with highquality and warm-hearted stories to connect with the world. Especially, a slapstick-adventure comedy TV series animation, ‘Tata & Kuma’, the TV/OTT/ AVOD animated show from 5Bricks, is ready to debut on the various platforms, with the collaboration of the named global partners. Studio W.Baba is a creative animation studio. Their service includes developing content / 3D animation production and consulting. With a variety of animation content since its first broadcast on KBS in 2013, it has expanded its business scope by producing works such as “Mask Masters”, “Hello Carbot”, “Magic Adventures”, and “Space Bug” and others. Recently, they have expanded their content to short-form animation with various businesses, “B Family”. Studio Button is a company that brings together animation planners. They are focusing on content planning and planning and developing their own global and novel animation. More than 600 TV series animations have been planned and aired. VISIT KOREA in SEPTEMBER! You can meet and interact with all of these spectacular companies in GWANGJU ACE FAIR. Check out the advertisement on pages 4 and 5, and visit the website ( for detailed information!



Kidamento - Ready for Partnerships The Kidamento brand is ripe for licensing deals

The Kidamento brand Kidamento was launched in 2019 with the purpose of putting the ability to capture memories into the hands of children. Since then, Kidamento cameras have become one of the most wanted first cameras for kids. It is best known for its appealing design, great photo quality, simplicity, and durability. The name Kidamento comes from this belief, that kids capture photos as mementos to keep. Memories fade, yet through the use of a camera, children are given the ability to capture

a moment in time and revisit it as often as they desire. Beyond capturing memories, learning to take photos and videos unleashes kids’ imagination and creativity. Through the art of photography, they learn and practice core skills that become the building blocks that will benefit them for a lifetime to come. Kidamento cameras have been available to customers anywhere in the world via its Canada-based online store, as well as retail stores throughout Canada and the USA. Kidamento® digital cameras for kids With cameras created to stand apart from the rest, parents have come to trust the Kidamento brand as they are known for their usability and durability. This is because they use eco-friendly silicone to create soft yet strong cases that provide a smooth finish and feel, making them great to touch and hold as well as offering extra protection and the best handling for small hands. Kidamento offers three different models for children to capture their everyday and special moments. Their adorable and appealing design resonates with children of all ages and leaves a


lasting smile on their little faces. Parents love them because their children can focus on taking photos and not on the distracting video games that come with other cameras on the market. The story behind Kidamento® Kidamento was created by Zoe and Roland, a Canadian wife and husband duo, who have always loved the concept of photography and the meanings behind it. They wanted to offer the world of imagination to their toddler son, Nathan but were disappointed with the available options on the market. Not only did most of the toy camera choices promote games included, but also lacked quality in the photos they captured. Roland recalls fond memories of playing with his parents’ Kodak film camera as a young pre-schooler and wasting the expensive film on nonsense pictures. Despite these seemingly ruined films, his dad took them to a print shop to develop. As a dad now, Roland understands why his dad did it: they were the first pictures captured through his son’s own eyes. Zoe is the artistic eye behind all of Kidamento’s designs. Often making

sketches of her visions for their company, her input is one of the biggest assets in the design process. Together, they took an idea and their engineering knowledge and launched Kidamento in 2019. Partnering with your brand With full design, engineering, manufacturing and distribution capability, Kidamento is seeking to team up with brands to develop the coolest digtal camera products for children. We will create the designs that align with your brand identity, and that kids love to the greatest squeal of delight upon presentation. For further information, images and samples, please contact Roland Nan via



The Online Revolution Latin America has roughly 300 million digital consumers, a figure that is expected to grow over 20 percent by 2025.Although the adoption of e-commerce in this part of the world is still lower than in other emerging regions, online retail sales in Latin America are expected to reach 85 billion USD this year and hit 150 billion by 2025. On a regional level, Brazil and Mexico compete for the spotlight, accounting for 31 percent and 28 percent of the Latin American e-commerce markets although other countries, such as Argentina, Peru and Colombia have been the subject of attention because of their fast growth. In Brazil, after a year of restrictions, online shopping is ever bigger and more mobile-oriented. In 2020, Brazil’s online shopping revenue amounted to 126.3 billion Brazilian reals – more than twice as much as two years earlier. M-commerce – online sales through mobile devices – generated most of Brazil’s e-commerce revenue. Mexico is the 16th largest market for eCommerce with a revenue of US$23 billion in 2021, placing it ahead of Netherlands and behind Brazil. With an increase of 18%, the Mexican eCommerce market contributed to the worldwide growth rate of 29% in 2021.

It is no great surprise that the biggest player in the Mexican e-commerce market is The store had a revenue of $1.7 bilion in 2021. This is followed by with $1.1 billion revenue and shein. with $917 million. Together the three stores account for 15% of online revenue in Mexico. In Colombia, e-commerce sales revenue reached 10.6 billion USD with 272 million transactions. Millions of individuals in Colombia were forced to migrate many of their everyday activities to the virtual space, including groceries and supplies and by the end of 2020, the country was estimated to have close to 22 million

Population 46,245,668 Population 0-14 yrs: 24.02% Male 5,629,188 Female 5,294,723) 15-24 years: 15.19% Male 3,539,021 Female 3,367,321) GDP per cap: 22,100 USD

online buyers – equating to over 60 percent of the internet-using population. Colombia currently ranks as the fourth largest e-comerce market in Latin America, a position it is expected to maintain. Argentina is the third-largest e-commerce market in Latin America accounting for around nine percent of this region’s online sales revenue. The growth of Argentina’s online shopping segment surpasses, by far, its persistently high inflation rate. Between 2019 and 2020, the annual e-commerce revenue in Argentina more than doubled, achieving a growth of 125 percent. Purchases through mobile devices are particularly on the rise: they generated five billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and are projected to reach 13 billion dollars by 2024.

Largest Online Marketplaces in Latin America 1 Mercado Libre 2 Amazon 3 Americanas 4 Casas Bahia 5 Shopee 6 Dafiti 7 Netshoes 8 Extra 9 Falabella 10 Submarino

Latam Visits per month 667.7m 169.0m 129.6m 83.6m 40.7m 28.5m 27.0m 24.6m 24.2m 24.0m

Brazil Population 217,240,060 Population 0-14 yrs: 21.11% Male 22,790,634 Female 21,907,018) 15-24 years: 16.06% Male 17,254,363 Female 16,750,581 GDP per cap 14,800 USD

Chile Population 18,430,408 Population: 0-14 yrs: 19.79% Male 1,836,240 Female 1,763,124 15-24 years: 13.84% Male 1,283,710 Female 1,233,238 GDP per cap 25,000 USD

Colombia Population 49,059,221 Population 0-14 yrs: 23.27% Male 5,853,351 Female 5,567,196) 15-24 years: 16.38% Male 4,098,421 Female 3,939,870 GDP per cap 14,600 USD

Mexico Population 129,150,971 Population 0-14 yrs: 26.01% Male 17,111,199 Female 16,349,767 15-24 years: 16.97% Male 11,069,260 Female 10,762,784 GDP per cap 19,700 USD



New formats in Brazil

By Marici Ferreira @mariciferreira @epgrupo @licensingcon

The brand and character licensing market is still busy in Brazil. The feeling is that the not-so-recent changes continue to encourage companies’ strategies to differentiate themselves through this format that meets consumer desires very well, since they are more eager than ever for new experiences. We have observed two aspects that are dictating the rules of the game: offering and time. The number of properties available is extensive - since digital platforms are increasingly offering new titles and content for all audiences; and time, for the exact same reason. In other words, it is becoming even more relevant to choose the right property and to get the timing right, which is an issue that has always governed this business’ format. Gone are the days when you only invested in well-known and, consequently, safe entertainment brands and when planning licensed products for a movie premiere, for example, made everyone’s hair stand on end. The business dynamics are therefore

numerous collection items. A sector that has been gaining a lot of space, resulting in fans becoming even more engaged, is that of thematic restaurants/cafeterias.,, https://eatasia. and https://www.instagram. com/katon.oficial/ are good examples of this growing business in Brazil. Licensed events held in theaters and malls are also among the highlights. Meeting an immediate demand for live entertainment events, L.O.L Surprise, Peppa Pig, DPA, Galinha Pintadinha and Bolofofos are some of the box-office hits. Regarding the industry, some Brazilian

changing frantically. Perhaps this is a positive reason for the surprising increase in collabs. In the last year, numerous brands have gathered for special collections in the Brazilian retail market, such as Moça x Anacapri, Lacoste x Peanuts and Reserva x Netflix. It was interesting and pleasing to see such well-executed collaborations for the young adult niche sector. From a retail point of view, it’s also time for pop up stores in Brazil. Recently, major brands have been investing in this format and have gained the eyes of media and consumers. Smiley celebrating its 50 years and Lacoste collaborating with Minecraft have just happened. Retailers such as C&A, Renner and Riachuelo continue, as in recent years, to invest heavily in properties for their


sectors follow this new model, such as toys, Easter eggs, household items, accessories, party items and pets. Others find certain barriers of in terms of law, commercialization and even the peculiar changes of the sector, such as food and stationery. Given all these activities, the outlook is for a good year for the brand and character market in Brazil. The LicensingCon event – that gathers and promotes the licensing sector - will be happening in person once again in August.



Elias Hofman, Exim Entertainment LLC Exim Entertainment is one of the longest-running companies specializing in licensing within Latin America. Total Licensing talked to Elias Hofman, President of Exim Entertainment Division LLC to find out more about how Exim is gearing up in the postpandemic era.. live shows. In terms of the live stage shows, we continue to be the leader in the region.”

entertainment industry but we are already on the way up again and next October 2022 we return with Elvis Sinfonico to Chile in addition to a program already established for 2023. Together with the shows, we have reincorporated our Licensing activities but this time basically oriented towards brands and only characters that have high penetration.

In addition, and in parallel, we have already started our tour of the region with a children’s show The situaClick on the QR code “After that hard and tion in LATAM, and above to see Elvis at long road, we dethroughout the Luna Park cided to intensify and world in general expand our field of is not wonderful, live shows. Obviously but the entertainchildren’ shows followed, as can be ment industry has been asleep for seen on our, but two years as a result of Covid and adding families to the target audience will now enjoy a resurgence – always through musical shows. The clearest remembering that we strongly believe example is the Elvis Symphony. This that in a crisis lie opportunities.” comprised an orchestra of 50 musicians and a choir, projecting 32 songs by Elvis. It was so successful that a comment from the press after the event said ‘Elvis is Alive’!

How is business today? Have you been badly affected by the pandemic?

Can you tell us a little about Exim Entertainment?

Elias Hofman: “With all humility, we can say that Exim Entertainment is internationally known within the industry. It was the first in Latin America to produce television programs that favor licensing and the first to produce live shows based on As a result, we continue with the tribfamous people to create synergy for ute band and are taking other famous the characters. In addition, it was the people on the same path.Via the QR first agency to establish headquarters code, readers can see a song from in the USA and was the first agency the show – Burning to occupy a place Love, an Elvis classic Click on the QR code to on the Licensing and a two-minute see Burning Love from International (LIMA) video about the the Elvis Symphony board representing show.” Latin America. We can also say that it exercised leadership in Latin America, representing the main brands and licensors for both licensing and

How do you see your business growing? “The start of Covid in March 2020 stopped us along with the entire

How do you see the future of Exim Entertainment? “We see a great future step by step and our agencies covering all the region are anxious to see what we have in store for the industry from Exim Entertainment Division LLC.”



The long awaited return to Las Vegas Carlos Andrés Carvajal Managing Director & Founder KOPA

Licensing Expo 2022 transcends its trade purpose and it means rebirth for many in our industry It would be impossible to assess the past year without stopping for a minute to reflect on the impact the pandemic had on all our lives. @kopa_licensing

Back in 2019, no one could have imagined, as we said goodbye to clients, colleagues and friends in Las Vegas that we would only get to see each other again three years later. It is even disheartening to think that on top of all the businesses that disappeared and

the economic difficulties suffered; there are many faces that we will never see again. Without a doubt, Licensing Expo 2022 will become a milestone. Having the licensing industry gathered again after so long, transcends its commercial purpose and it even means rebirth for many of us. This year’s event is of great importance; because we will be meeting anew after having survived the hardest challenge humanity has ever faced in the last century. At the time of writing this article, just weeks before the 12-hour plus trip that awaits us from Colombia to Mccarran Airport; the feeling is one of gratitude and optimism. Gratitude to be able to return and optimism, because we got our lives back. The joy of knowing that very soon we will be walking through Mandalay Bay towards the Convention Center is immense. Our traditional summary of the achievements and activities of the last 12 months begins this time with news that fills us with pride and satisfaction at KOPA. The protein powder (mass gainer) inspired by Godzilla vs.


Kong, a product that we announced precisely a year ago in this publication, it’s nominated at the Licensing International Excellence Awards, in the category Best Licensed Product, Food or Beverage for an Entertainment Brand. The value and meaning of this recognition are considerable for all of us at the Agency. To comprehend the extent of this nomination, we must contextualize it first, understanding that everything was developed during times of the pandemic when the threat of a new variant was glooming and the Covid restrictions that had been lifted at the end 2020 were back in place. We knocked on many doors, in Chile, Peru and Ecuador, but it was in Colombia, where we were able to materialize the idea that we had had for months of a Godzilla-powered protein.Whims of life that an old personal friend, Luis Omar Cataño, with whom we reconnected during the lockdown, the one who introduced us to his old university classmate and current General Manager of Megaplex. There were months of meetings, all virtual obviously, until the negotiation was finally closed. That’s how the world’s first-ever Godzilla vs. Kong Mass Gainer came to life. The DNA of the IP was successfully transferred and assimilated by the product, making it recognizable and believable instantaneously. Megaplex harnessed the titans’ strength, energy and raw power into a whey protein powder. The product, campaign, video and competitions were unprecedented for Colombia and the product category.

TOTAL LICENSING video game, is also nominated, and in four categories! Best Product, Appliances, Electronics, Housewares for Corporate or Lifestyle Brands has two entries. The other two are in Food, Beverage Products for Corporate or Lifestyle Brands.

Godzilla and Megaplex really did write a new page in Colombia’s licensing history book. Luck was also on our side. By the time the film was released in March 2021, new Covid cases had decreased and consequently restrictions were eased. Godzilla vs. Kong went on to become the first blockbuster in times of pandemic; raising more than 439 million dollars worldwide and we were fortunate to see it in Colombia’s movie theaters. The video clip produced by the licensee to promote the product was shown in all Cinemark theaters, just before the start of the film. Seeing it on the big screen was really exciting. Despite all the logistical challenges due to the biosecurity protocols, the competitions held in different gyms across the country to support the product’s release, were a total success. The response from the public was amazing, men and women participated in the different trials, teaming up as #TeamGodzilla and #TeamKong. The good news for Godzilla does not end here. The joy we feel is double, because the King of the Monsters is also nominated in the Best Product, Appliances, Electronics, Housewares, Hardware for Entertainment Brands category. TOHO Co. and Stern Pinball are finalists. Both nominations are the first for Toho Co. and Godzilla in all its history. But Godzilla isn’t the only nominee this year. The newest addition to KOPA’s portfolio, Tetris®, the popular

What a great way to start with Tetris in Latin America! These nominations are a demonstration of the recognition and relevance of the brand in our industry. As of this year, KOPA represents Tetris® in Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. Still with a month to go until the event, several meetings have already been booked with potential licensees from Latin America. To conclude this year’s report, we should switch to our client -and also fellow nominee- Global Merchandising Services, as Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen cocktails are also finalists at the Licensing International Excellence Awards. As expected, it’s been a good year for our beloved Metal bands as their licensing programs continues to get louder and noisier throughout Latin America. Fans -and licensees- can’t get enough of Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Slayer and Megadeth. Soon, two new apparel licensees from Colombia will be announced and a new one from Mexico it’s on its way to join Toxic, which did a fantastic job with Iron Maiden’s Senjutsu capsule in 2021. There are several negotiations currently underway, great things are coming, but it will have to wait until the next edition of Total Licensing. What a great lesson these last 12 months have been! Thanks to all those who have always believed in KOPA, especially our clients, Licensing International and Total Licensing. See you in Las Vegas!



Redibra - a Licensing Pioneer Founded in 1965 as an agent for the Walt Disney Company in Brazil, Redibra is a pioneering licensing and brand extension agency in Brazil. Today, the agency works with a select portfolio of brands that includes: Coca-Cola, Netflix, Nintendo, Now United, Chevrolet, CoComelon, Luccas Neto, Capricho, Care Bears and Lottie Dottie Chicken. Besides all the work in licensing, Redibra is often sought out by corporate brands seeking a mentorship in brand extension work due to its experience and reputation with national and foreign brands in this segment. Recently, they were approached by Nestlé, and the result was that they joined Leite Moça and Anacapri, to make a collection inspired by the vintage look of the iconic character and can of the Moça brand. With a broad strategy, the campaign supported an Instagrammable window display in the flagship store, playlist on Spotify, seeding with influencers, posts and videos on social media. With this, the campaign generated great results, proving to be a successful collaboration. The largest specialized sunglasses chain in Latin America, Chilli Beans, has teamed up with one of the most iconic brands in history, Coca - Cola, to bring a collection of differentiated models with unique design, details, and iconography combining innovation with vintage. And another collab that they can highlight is Baw, lifestyle brand from the streetwear universe and Bauducco, a

major brand in the food sector, specialized on Christmas items. The partnership is a tribute to Christmas, and together the brands combined their names creating: Bawducco, with exclusive, limited edition pieces. It was the first time Bauducco teamed up with a Brazilian fashion brand, opening a new path of extension within the company. One case that stands out is Lottie Dottie Chicken. The evergreen brand celebrates 15 years in the market, after emerging from a Youtube video in 2006. Lottie Dottie’s trajectory is registered in records of views and successful partnerships: hundreds of official licensed products, with 22 toy releases at the last Trade Show and more than 33 billion views on the portuguese and international channels. With this, Redibra shows the importance of brand extension as one more marketing tool, and also the importance of having an agency that has the knowledge of the market, companies, and the brands themselves, that has the know-how to move forward with negotiations and the execution of the project. On a different note, The adventures in Care-a-Lot have arrived at the Melissa universe! To celebrate the Care Bears’ 40th anniversary, the Brazilian brand and the bears introduced in the eighties come together for a special launch of shoes and accessories for adults and kids for the Brazilian market. The collaborative collection launched in March at Clube Melissa and Mini Melissa stores, the Galeria

Melissa São Paulo (Brazil), the brand’s e-commerce platform. The campaign brings the analog aesthetic–reminiscent of the Care Bears’ first TV run–in combination with graphic digital interventions. Colors and playful elements from the animated series, which brought much joy to so many people’s childhoods, can be seen in four products tailored for the whole family. “We wanted to celebrate the emotional connection with our audience bringing generations together in an innovative way, with an interest shared between parents and their kids,” explains Raquel Scherer, General Manager of Melissa.

On the Mini Melissa Cloud Sandal + Care Bears for infants, the Care Bears appear as Melflex appliques on the sandal’s strap, in a very playful design. The Mini Melissa Cloud Slide + Care Bears for children has vibrant colors and designs. It comes in two versions: models with appliques of the characters or with the little Care Bears’ print pattern on the whole shoe. Following the same color pattern, the extended size adult line consists of the Melissa Beach Slide Next Gen + Care Bears. The insole has detailed imprints of the Care Bears and Melissa’s trademark transparent sole. All shoes have a biobased EVA insole made of sugar cane, adding both comfort and sustainability. Rounding up the collaboration, the Melissa Keyring + Care Bears are utterly cute and colorful collectible keyrings featuring four Care Bears’ characters.



Argentina is a highly spread market, with very few brands performing well among both boys and girls and the different age breaks. It is difficult to get through the clutter and reach a robust performance. However, a large part of the population is under 15 years old and this represents a big market and interest in brands is growing overall. There is a great interest in streaming sources which are good drivers of awareness and affinity. Brazil is a huge country which represents a big market. The interest in brands is significant and fairly stable. There is increasing interest in streaming sources which are good drivers of awareness, especially if you combine YouTube and Netflix. However, there is no clear leader in terms of brands with a large number of brands achieving consistent performances. Mexico is a highly spread market across age, gender and brands. A large percentage of the population is under 14 years old which represents a big market and the interest in brands is good and growing with particular interest in streaming services. For more information visit





The Licensing of Japanese Publishing IP In 2021, the total sales for print and electronic publications reached US$13.1 billion, an increase by 3.6% compared to 2020.In particular, sales of children’s books and literary fiction stood out due to the stay-at-home circumstances brought on by the pandemic.

Although video meetings are now mainstream, it has become difficult for licensees to obtain information on the latest trends in Japanese content.

The e-book market recorded a continuous achievement, rising by 18.6% compared to 2020. 88% of the market share is manga, which is mainly read by the younger generation. In particular, Demon Slayer (Shueisha) was a huge success and became a social phenomenon in Japan. Further hits for JUJUTSU KAISEN (Shueisha) and Tokyo Revengers (Kodansha) followed, boosting the sales of manga.

August 2021 in 240 countries thrilling fans everywhere. We can clearly see the popularity of Japanese publishing IP is expanding around the globe.

Book fairs are usually the venues where people exchange information, and where one can find new titles that have future potential. During COVID-19, while the big IPs from the top Japanese players are reaching their targets, everyone else is still eager to find the next big hit IP, especially as it might not always come from the same big company. The key issue is how we can grasp the latest fast-moving trends which point us towards the next internationally successful IP. Launch of the Japan Book Bank online licensing platform During the pandemic, an online licensing platform for publishing IP, Japan Book Bank, was launched in March 2021. It is jointly managed by the Visual Industry Promotion Organisation (VIPO) (, a non-profit entity that supports the Japanese content industry, and the Japan Book Publisher Association ( The Japan Book Bank is also supported by the company I work for - Tohan

During the pandemic, manga sales have done really well outside Japan. For example, in France, a “culture pass” was distributed during the lockdown in which 80% of it was used to buy books, mainly manga. It quickly became known as the “manga pass”. The popularity of Japanese content is not limited to manga. Evangelion: 3.0+1.01 THRICE UPON A TIME which recorded box-office revenues of over US$78.1 million in Japan, was released exclusively on Amazon Prime video in

By Yukari Inoue Assistant manager, Overseas Business Dept, Tohan Corporation Literary Agency of Japanese publishing IP and a supporter of the largest licensing platform “Japan Book Bank”

How COVID-19 has changed the licensing business While Japanese IPs have spread worldwide, COVID-19 has forced a change in the licensing business. Major international book fairs, which were the most significant opportunities to expand the licensing business, were canceled, and licensors and licensees lost opportunities to meet in person. Strict border control measures have been taken, making business visit to Japan impossible.


TOTAL LICENSING Corporation ( english/), who is a publishing distributor and a literary agency.

core publishing format but in other diverse ways too. The Japan Book Bank is the fastest and most convenient way to gather Japanese publishing IP information.

Since its launch a year ago, the platform now contains more than 2,500 titles from over 110 Japanese publishers including the top players such as Shueisha, Shogakukan, and Kadokawa, covering various genres such as manga, children’s books, and literary fiction. Every month, more than 100 new titles are added to the database. Overseas users register free of charge. Once they create an account, they can check the availability of rights in their territory with relevant information concerning the inquiry. Japanese publishers can promote their titles via this platform. Overseas users can check the latest Japanese book and related rights information from their desks while sipping their coffee. Since the platform was launched, licensing contracts for more than thirty titles have been concluded, and about twenty to thirty inquiries monthly are received from overseas publishers.

Challenge as an agent To sum up, as Japanese publishing IPs are building a strong foothold in the world, various new possibilities arise, such as collaborations with apparel brands, food brands, and cosmetic brands.

Manga is the most popular genre, followed by children’s books, non-fiction books, and literary works. Overseas users can also search for works for adaptations. Film and TV production companies have also registered to seek to find Japanese publishing IP for screen adaptation. Japanese publishing IP has been spreading worldwide, not only in its

While the use of Japanese IP overseas is expected to increase further, there are still many literary works and related IP in Japan that are unknown to the rest of the world. So, our mission as an agency is to promote Japanese publishing IP globally. At Tohan, as an agent, we would like to strengthen further the development of Japanese publishing IP throughout the world. We would love to hear from anyone wishing to collaborate with us. We look forward to continuing to connect the Japanese latest titles and classic masterpieces to people worldwide.




beloved character Gloomy Bear was created in 2000. By day a professional manga writer & illustrator, on the weekend Mori Chack sold Gloomy Bear art & merch on the bustling streets of Osaka. Cute-yetedgy, cuddly-but-violent, the character soon took hold when counter-culture enthusiasts embraced Gloomy Bear as the perfect antithesis to the typically cute but harmless characters loved by the mainstream. The license to love “kawaii” no matter who you are sets Gloomy

Bear apart from the pack and drives the brand’s massive appeal. Who wouldn’t love a 7 foot tall, pink grizzly bear that beats his owner to death ? In 2022, Gloomy Bear will go global! Funko, Bioworld, Isaac Morris, ID Supply, GE Animation and Fossil are already on board Fueled by 30 short humorous animé episodes that will stream everywhere, Gloomy Bear is being licensed around the globe & we saw a plethora of products hit the Japanese market in 2021, and now expect that to go global throughout 2022. From there, a long form Gloomy Bear anime series is planned, which will stream globally. Next up is All Purpose Bunny. Mori Chack’s politics are relevant - he’s an animal rights activist that explores his themes through his work. A common trend is cute animals getting revenge on humans for exploitation and abuse. All Purpose Bunny’s story begins with

it being an experimental rabbit in a test lab. Genetic modification led to its strange properties and unnaturally long ears, and it eventually retaliated against humans for the years of abuse. All Purpose Bunny and Gloomy Bear often team up to attack humans and get their revenge!. Finally we have Mimi and Neko. A friendly duo of a cat and a bunny with cute bum cheeks as their charm point. Their origin story begins with Mimi & Neko as regular pets who aspired to become human. Suddenly, a magic star came along and granted their wish. But the wish was only 50% effective! Mimi & Neko now have hands and feet; and distinctly cute behinds! Vince Shortino of Octas commented, “Octas bring Japanese artists and their IP to the World. We are delighted to have Reemsborko as the agent for all our cherished properties and look forward to the hussle they will bring.”


12th LICENSING JAPAN Japan’s largest show bringing together 1200 properties CHARACTER & BRAND LICENSING TRADESHOW June 29 (Wed) - July 1 (Fri), 2022 at Tokyo Big Sight, Japan Organised by: RX Japan Ltd. (Formerly Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd.) Held inside: CONTENT TOKYO 2022 Supported by: Character Brand Licensing Association (CBLA) The upcoming edition of LICENSING JAPAN, Japan’s largest licensing tradeshow, will take place at Tokyo Big Sight from June 29 - July 1, 2022. The last edition was held safely on-site under the pandemic situation and will be held on-site again this year with safety measures against COVID-19 in place. Now that things are getting back to normal in Japan, many business activities are active again, and many companies including major ones have already confirmed their participation. Gathering 1200 properties including characters, brands, sports and designs from around the world, LICENSING JAPAN will be the best business platform for those who are seeking out new properties. We look forward to welcoming you all to the show!


INFORMATION? For Visitors: Free Ticket Registration Able to visit Japan? Join us at the on-site show physically! Have agents in Japan? Tell them to visit our show! For Exhibitors: Exhibiting Info Request Applications for the 2023 edition will begin on June 29, the 1st day of the show.

LICENSING JAPAN Show Management c/o: RX Japan Ltd. ATTN: Ms Ayumi Seno Ms Mami Atarashi Tel: +81-3-3349-8507 lj.html

TEZUKA CELEBRATE AT LICENSING EXPO ONLINE Tezuka Productions, the Japanese animation studio founded by Osamu Tezuka in 1968, will be seeking licensing partners at Licensing Expo Online for a number of Astro Boy anniversaries. Promotional activities began in 2021 for the 70th anniversary of Astro Boy’s debut as an iconic character. 2022 is the 70th anniversary of the launch of the manga series, and 2023 will be the 60th anniversary of the first broadcast of the TV series. Tezuka Productions have been engaged in various activities including planning and licensing of premium products that celebrate the anniversaries. Tezuka Productions website: Osamu Tezuka official website:



In his latest column, Gary Pope, co-founder and CEO, Kids Industries, talks about the sometimes confusing world of teens.


Nearly 80 years ago (sometime in 1944), Americans started to use the word teenager as a shorthand to describe the developing consumer segment that marketers realised had their own spending power and the ambition to exert it. And as youth began to get marketed to, they were enabled to double down on this new-found identity and make the most of it. The optimism that followed the end of World War Two cemented the attitudes of this burgeoning group and by the time the 1950’s arrived…well, we’ve all seen Grease. Well, maybe teens today haven’t, but if you’ve got

time to read this then the chances are you have. If not, I recommend you Google it. For the next 50 years it was pretty straightforward, really. Music led fashion, fashion led music and as the genres emerged so did the style tribes…the Rockers, the Teddy Boys, the Mods, Skins, Punks, Casuals, Goths, Nu-Metallers, Soulstrels, Clubbers, Skaters and Emos. It was all so easy. Fast forward to today and the period of adolescence, as anyone who has had one of these creatures sleep, eat, repeat in their house will firmly attest, is more difficult than it has ever been. The internet has done away with the clarity of obvious style tribes and replaced them with a cornucopia of possible options in which to invest your tumultuous teenage self. And don’t even get me started on the role social media plays. But some things never change… When we first opened KI, twenty years ago, we cemented a foundation for our business that we’ve built on ever since. Understanding the development of children and young people


gives us a rock-solid base from which to make decisions about the wide range of projects we deliver for our clients. Knowing what happens to the brain and the body in a developing human being enables us to research, design and create based on science. And whilst the environment in which young people grow has changed unrecognisably in just a few generations, the biological development of our species has not. Evolutionary steps don’t just happen because Snapchat has released a new filter. As puberty begins the brain starts to rationalise - it gets rid of the unused stuff of childhood and starts to strengthen those connections that matter more to the individual. The last part of the brain to go through this rationalising process during development is the prefrontal cortex. And this is the part of the brain that is all about planning, making decisions, thinking through consequences, controlling impulses…sound familiar? See it’s not them, it’s their brains. During this developmental journey teens rely on the amygdala - the reptilian brain - to make decisions and solve problems. This is a little piece of

TOTAL LICENSING ancient brain at the bottom that is associated with emotions, impulses and instinctive behaviour. And when your world is in flux, anchoring around shared preferences is a great coping mechanism. Teens project the identity they “think” the world needs to see of them, sometimes to comic effect.They choose the brands, the imagery, the music, the sporting teams and entertainment experiences that matter to them that they can badge themselves with so as to signal solidarity to others that might think like them. And that is where licensing comes in. But as with so much of our world today, media ubiquity and access has made a substantial difference - not least in the expectations consumers have of the brands they choose

to advocate. Teens now expect every brand to have a continuum of experience across every extension and touchpoint - it’s a fact of our always on, instant consumption culture. So the demand is there and actually, so is the supply, even if the brand itself is relatively small. The rise and rise of micro-brands and niches that would never have seen a Consumer Products line, are now building their very own loyal fandom. But it’s worth remembering that today’s teenagers don’t call it licensing - far too commercial. No, it’s a collaboration. Money still changes hands in the same way, but nomenclature is important in the hyper-authentic world of the twenty-first century teen. 20 years ago if you were into anime,

the chances are you’d likely find yourself cast in the role of George McFly the geek that was destined to forever have his butt kicked. But today you can get your Avatar and Sailor Moon colourpop makeup collabs whilst stocks last…which isn’t long. Uniqlo has had t-shirt lines with Gege Akutami’s manga marvel Jujutsu Kaisen, Sui Ishida’s Tokyo Ghoul and Demon Slayer which tells the story of teenager Tanjiro Kamado’s journey to being a, well, Demon Slayer - his family was slaughtered and his younger sister Nezuko turned into a demon herself. Just the sort of dark, disidentification led content that teens love.

last twenty years. The re-rise of Von Dutch, the Y2K brand that Britney, Nicole and Jay-Z made strong twenty years ago is in full effect and looks like an opportunity for extension across categories and territories as the youth of today revisit what was…as they always seem to do. The indecision and self-discovery that comes with the teenage years has needed the support of brands since the 50’s - when the marketing men of Soho and Sixth Avenue decided that they were indeed a source of revenue. And they still are. They need brands, they want individuality and they are more likely than ever to engage with licensed products. The trick is to spot what they’re really into and to understand who they are. Without gaining that knowledge and insight, teens are going to give licensed products a hard pass. Go on, get to know them - they aren’t really that strange. I promise.

And just a generation ago video games were deemed squarely for the basement dwellers - those (almost invariably) teenage boys with little hope of a social life outside of weekly Dungeons & Dragons get togethers. But that’s all changed. Animal Crossing’s cuddly little game characters have made the jump to street wear - their collab with Puma sold out for top dollar in minutes. And at the harder end, the brilliant work of Power Station Studios on Call of Duty has delivered both clever and compelling products that have broken out of the basement and firmly into the mainstream. And that’s not all that changed in the



Beloved Brands: Four Licenses that are Growing the Nostalgia Market As we begin to settle into ‘the new norm’, the licensing sector is continuing to experience a significant boom in demand for nostalgic products. This trend was kickstarted during lockdown, with many consumers rekindling childhood hobbies and interests as a source of comfort during a turbulent time. Here, Konrad Hoeing, CEO of Aquarius, takes a look at the licenses that are driving this continued growth within the nostalgia market. Care Bears Created in 1981 by the artist Elena Kucharik, Care Bears quickly became a household name within the USA. With six films released over three decades and multiple television shows, the Care Bears franchise is loved by multiple generations, providing light relief to both adults and children alike. The influence of American media over the years has now created an equally strong presence for Care Bears across the pond in the UK and Europe. Above all else, the Care Bears provide comfort and familiarity to those who love the license, a winning combination during uncertain times. With a multitude of new licensed products launched for the Kidult market over the last 12 months, Care Bears is undoubtedly contributing to the resurgence of the nostalgia market. Lord of the Rings With an enormous fan base across the globe for both the original books written by J. R. R. Tolkien and consequent films, Lord of the Rings (LOTR) has proven itself to be a true powerhouse

in the licensing market. The brand was one of the first to bring the fantasy genre into the mainstream, with the release of its three record-breaking films during the early 2000s. This resulted in a broad range of die-hard fans who continue to fuel the brand’s ongoing success as they grow older and benefit from more accessible income. On top of this, the recent news of Amazon’s revival of this franchise has brought renewed interest in the license, and it will undoubtedly be a key player in the continued growth of nostalgic licenses for the kidult market. Harry Potter Another license that took the world by storm in the early part of this millennium, the Harry Potter franchise, is one of, if not the most, well-known licenses in the world, especially within the European and American markets. With books, films, plays, theme parks, and even a studio tour available for fans, this fantasy franchise continues to go from strength-to-strength. Despite the main franchise of films ending in 2011, new releases, such as the Fantastic Beasts series of films, continue to keep the license in the mainstream. As a result, the franchise remains as relevant as it was over a decade ago with a strong following of cult fans who are beginning to introduce the license to their own children. With such a wide demographic of fans, Harry Potter-themed consumer

products, including Aquarius’ range of games, puzzles and card games, remain extremely popular amongst the kidult and family markets alike, helping to fuel the growing nostalgia trend. Elf One of the most popular and successful Christmas films in history, Elf is a nostalgic classic that is still avidly watched by so many each year. Having grossed a staggering $220,885,524, it’s the sixth highest-grossing Christ-

mas film of all time. Combine this with the film’s much-loved character, Buddy, and it’s easy to see how the license has maintained a strong fan-base for retailers to tap into during the holidays. To view Aquarius’ full range of nostalgic licenses, please visit:



Nostalgia: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The appetite for allthings nostalgic sees no signs of abating.

The Birth Gift of Choice Sophie la giraffe is the cult toy that crosses generations. The famous Sophie la girafe is now 61 years old. Handmade in Rumilly, in France, with 100% natural rubber, it has passed through many generations: grandparents, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, all of whom have been very attached to the favourite toy since being very young. Today, it has become one of the world’s most popular and timeless childcare toys, with 70 million sales in 85 countries since 1961. In September 2021, Sophie la girafe entered alongside the biggest celebrities at the Grévin Museum in Paris. The famous Sophie la girafe has now become a classic character in her own right! Thanks to its worldwide success, Sophie la girafe has become a must-have licensee for 12 years. It now covers all baby’s needs from birth: clothes, furniture, childcare accessories, books and more. No doubt Sophie la girafe will remain for a long time to come the birth gift of choice and will accompany many generations throughout the world.

Reliving Sweet Memories of Youth This month shopping malls across many cities started to deck out with Ramadan and Raya decorations, cultural delights as well as a host of festive shopping deals. WCT Malls Management Sdn Bhd, the property investment and management business under WCT Holdings Berhad (“WCT Group”) of Malaysia has once again embarked on a collaboration with Chupa Chups to embellish its premises Paradigm Mall Petaling Jaya, Paradigm Mall Johor Bahru, and gateway@klia2 in Sepang, with a unique selection of Hari Raya Aidilfitri decorations. Childhood memories are often the most profound recollections that come to mind when people look back in their lives. Inspired by the nostalgic local elements, the main atriums of these malls have been recreated into a fascinating Chupa Chups Malay-Village with a beautiful lollipop flower garden, the characteristic ‘kampung’ houses, the classic railway station and the traditional games which take visitors back down memory lane. Alongside the unique embellishments, WCT Malls has also lined up a variety of activities and performances, as well as unique Raya shopping rewards for mall visitors. With all of these exciting activities going on, shoppers can experience a lively, colourful, and vibrant Hari Raya shopping ambience, with a range of booths offering mainly festive goods such as Kuih Raya, apparel, hampers, assorted local delicacies, and many more.



Fancy doing a relay swim across the channel for charity? Two Light Fund teams did – and now it’s just less than two months away. Here’s how they’re getting ready for the cold, the dark, seasickness, pollution, jellyfish, passing boats, a very heavy training schedule ... and the indignities of chafing!


Jellyfish, seasickness and the truth about goose fat! The Light Fund has attracted a large and growing number of sponsors and donations for its forthcoming English Channel Relay fundraiser. The money raised and pledged so far has taken two intrepid teams almost two-thirds of the way to their target of £250,000 – which will be a record for any single Light Fund challenge. Now all the 14 volunteers have to do is swim the channel, though, as you may already have guessed, that’s not quite as straightforward as it sounds. First, however, a quick recap. The Light (Licensing Industry Giving Help Together) Fund was born when a group of like-minded people from the UK licensing industry came up with the idea of forming a committee to help those less fortunate. This includes an annual fundraising challenge. Its batty ideas in the past have included a charity bobsleigh race (“absolutely terrifying” as one bobsleigher put it) and a 100-kilometre walk across the South Downs (“both horrendous and joyous” according to one participant), but the English Channel Relay may beat them all for both the commitment required and, let’s be honest, the danger faced.

First of all no one is absolutely sure when the relay will take place: slots on either the last day of June or one of the first three days of July have been left open but the actual start depends on weather conditions. And yes, when the conditions look good you can start – but they may not stay that way as the Channel is notoriously unpredictable.

There was of course a qualifying swim – which everyone has successfully completed – in water of 16C or less. “Ninety minutes in the water, 60 minutes out and back in for another 60 minute swim,” explains Tasmyn Knight, Retail Franchise Manager at Hasbro UK. “It was so much tougher than expected – but that was just the start, so quite a reality check!” Mark Kingston and Stephen Gould


The training is not just about getting fit and building up endurance and stamina to be able to swim for several hours. It’s also about developing a tolerance for the cold water. The rules don’t allow wetsuits but, the team members all hope, after training in water as cold as nine degrees the Channel will feel like bath water in comparison! “People are always horrified when you tell them wetsuits aren’t allowed,” says Anna Hewitt, Senior, Director, International Franchise Development & Communication at Spin Master. “I never in a million years would have thought I could cope with that kind of cold – but now I love it and can’t walk past a river or lake without wanting to jump in!” To add to the pressure, training schedules have been interrupted by events outside the control of the organisers. “I had Covid and couldn’t train for a month,” says Katie Price, Head of Books at The Roald Dahl Story Company. “I was completely wiped out.” And now she is training again, she may find herself having to get psyched up for a night swim. The race kicks off about 2am, mainly because, depending upon the weather and tides, a successful crossing could take 12 or more hours and, ideally, the race needs to finish in daylight; it’s hard to photo someone clambering onto a French beach with no light. “If we don’t get to France before a tidal shift that can add another four to five hours to our crossing,” Stephen Gould, MD of Bear Conran and a team leader, explains. There will be some company of course: not just the support boats but tankers, sewage, other boats and maybe even the occasional jellyfish could make an unwelcome appearance. Is that all? Not quite. Simon Gresswell of sports licensing consultancy SGLP says, “We’ll need to practice in the sea dosed up with our anti-seasick medi-

cine. Seasickness can get so bad that you just don’t want to carry on.” Except the rules say you must. Everyone has to swim for an hour in the order that their team has decided on. And everyone needs to cover – at least – three kilometres in that time slot. That means (in case you were wondering) that everyone will be swimming front crawl, the most efficient and fastest of all swimming strokes. After an hour another person will go in and do this, and then another on repeat until they reach France. As you can tell, the rules, laid out by the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation, are pretty unforgiving. “No wet suits, just one swimming hat and you certainly can’t wear a Garmin watch – or any other sort of device that could give you an advantage over anyone else in any way,” says Anne Bradford, Director at Poetic Brands. There are also strict rules about people not helping you. If someone puts a hand out and helps you back in the boat your whole team is disqualified. You may be part of a team but, apart from your fellow team members cheering you on, once you’re in the water you’re on your own. Until that daunting day, however, it’s train, train, train. “We all need to be swimming a minimum of four to six hours a week,” says Stephen. “I’m doing at least six swim sessions in water ranging from 9C (lake) to 31C (indoor pool). A weekly target of 12 to 15 kilometres is pretty much what we’re all aiming for as the swim gets closer. And that doesn’t include gym sessions and upper body weight training, both of which are very important.” There will soon be team-based training, including a serious trial run which won’t just be about swimming but about other important stuff such as getting back into the boat unassisted

and deep water starts “because,” says Simon, “in a pool you push off the side to get a start. In the water you just have to start swimming.” If you actually get to that point. All team members have to have forms signed by a doctor to say they are fit to swim. One of the biggest issues has been high blood pressure, but Kevin Langstaff, Senior Account Manager at GB eye Ltd, has overcome slightly tougher challenges.When he damaged his leg in a motorcycle accident nearly a decade ago he was told he might not even walk again – but he’s been passed as fit to swim the Channel. However, he says: “I have one leg largely made of metal, so my fellow team members are convinced I’m going to sink.” Are there any positives? Well, nutrition perhaps. As Stephen says, “This is not the time to lose weight. You should pile it on to keep warm.” But, oddly, none of this interests the public as much as one very specific topic. Jason Goonery, Licensing Coordinator at SEGA Europe, says, “The first thing they say to me is ‘Oh, are you going to cover yourself in goose fat?’. I’ve been asked about 100 times.” He continues, “No one does that – though you do put Vaseline on bits that might chafe.” But if you do use Vaseline, wear medical gloves. Jason explains, “If you have it on your hands then touch your goggles, your goggles get all greasy and smeared. Then you can’t see.” Despite all the dangers and challenges involved we shouldn’t forget that this is a magnificent charity effort – and, by the way, it really is a race. “We’ve each been matched with a similar-level swimmer on each boat to create a bit of drama with the two teams racing,” says Stephen.

You can find out more about corporate sponsorship options here. maxpublishing/docs/ light_fund_channel_ swim__final_-2) And individuals are very welcome to donate via the event’s Just Giving page the-light-fund, where you can also follow the teams preparing for the big day. There’s also an Instagram feed and a Facebook page containing team photos and updates.

So are the Light Fund swimmers wondering what they’ve let themselves in for? Probably. Are they going to change their minds? Ask Katie Price. “I swam competitively when I was younger and when I heard about it I really fancied the idea. I’d just turned 50 and thought ‘Big birthday, big challenge, chance to get really fit – why not?’ So I signed up. And once I signed up I knew there was no going back.”

107 xx

TOTAL LICENSING Reporting exclusively for Total Licensing, pup-tastic inquisitor Mighty Mike brings us all the hot topics as the industry heads back to Vegas for Licensing Expo...


Mike Strikes Again! Have you heard that Las Vegas has a new motto: What happens here, only happens here? And one of the things that only happens here is the Las Vegas Licensing Expo, back live from May 2426! On the exciting occasion of the industry’s return to this fabulous city, intrepid pug reporter Mighty Mike asked executives what they are looking forward to this year. As an avid cook and consummate entertainer (primarily for his love-interest Iris, the dog next door), Mike has put his talents to work researching a few Vegas shows and restaurants not to miss. Food For American classics try the spectacular Southbelly BBQ or, 20 minutes away on a Lake, Americana. For top of the line, exquisite food and famous chefs, try Jean-Georges, Guy Savoy, SW Steakhouse or Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen. For a chance to see spectacular dishes prepared before your eyes, it’s L’Atelier de Joel Robluchon, and for a touch of Asia, Blossom, Nobu or Mizumi. Vegas hotels can be very pricey, so here are some cheap-eat lists:, and Circus Shows Did you know that Cirque de Soleil is not the only circus show in town? ABSINTHE was named “the #1 greatest show in Las Vegas history” by Las Vegas Weekly and Huffington Post said, “If you only see one show in your entire life, make it Absinthe!” Comedy Chris Rock brings a new meaning to “slapstick comedy” in his Vegas shows

but sadly none during Expo. But you can catch the Grammy-nominated comedian Bill Burr, author of one of the most downloaded comedy podcasts Monday Morning Podcast. Magic For a classic, big spectacle show there is David Copperfield. For more recent talent try Mat Franco, America’s Got Talent 2014 winner, or Farrell Dillon, Hollywood’s Magic Castle’s Stage Magician of the Year. Music Concerts There are no big concerts during Expo, but a wide choice of tribute shows for the Bee Gees, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and the Rat Pack. So what are licensing executives looking forward to in Las Vegas? Leslie Levine, Owner/Founder, Licensing Works! - And Las Vegas Resident! (Booth B142) In addition to celebrating our own 15th Anniversary in 2022, we have

several exciting IP anniversaries ramping up for major programs in 2023 to be discussed at this year’s physical and virtual Licensing Expo in addition to sharing details on new live action and animated television programming, new publishing, new promotional partners and new Licensees. To name a few: • Winchester Mystery House celebrates its 100th Anniversary throughout 2023 with a robust licensing program and great promotional activations. • The Little Prince is celebrating its 80th Anniversary worldwide in 2023! • Puppy In My Pocket® turns 30 in 2023! • Zorro is celebrating the 65th Anniversary of Guy Williams Zorro in 2022 and 2023 is the 25th Anniv. of The Mask of Zorro. Zorro introduces an all-new slate of entertainment support, with new live action series already announced from Disney+ and The CW; additional live action series will be announced shortly at two different major streamers with a new animated series from Sony soon to follow. Wilmer Valderrama stars in a 1950’s classic series remake at Disney+. Famed filmmakers Rebecca and Robert Rodriguez are delivering a stylish, modern day female Zorro lead for The CW. And more personally, we are really looking forward to seeing our clients, licensees and promotional partners in person again — virtual meetings have been an incredible resource over the


last couple of years for keeping all ontrack, but it’s been way too long from all being together. As far as tips go, I’ve been living in Las Vegas now for over six years, so this is now home to me. We love it here. The strip has a great deal to offer visitors as it is home to world class restaurants and entertainment. If you are lucky enough to spend a few extra days here, venture outside of the strip. Vegas has so much to offer, especially if you are into golf, hiking and if you love all kinds of sports…we’ve got the Raiders, the Golden Knights, the Aces, the Aviators and the Las Vegas Lights, with more teams rumored to be moving here. Feel free to reach out or stop by our booth B142, if you want any restaurant suggestions.

Laura Nevanlinna, CEO Ferly This is the first time in a long while the industry from both EMEA and NAM will be together, so we at Ferly are super excited to share loads of new brands and developments with both new and existing licensees as well as potential agents. I would love to find more partners for many of our brands, like the hugely popular girls’ gaming brand Star Stable (which has just gone mobile) and Momolu & Friends, our educational preschool series with a global toy partner already in place. I am also really looking forward to finding new brands for Ferly to collaborate with, be it as an agent or in the capacity of an animation partner. And looking forward to surprising new opportunities! Those always happen at industry events. Personally, I’m just really excited to

meet my partners and friends in the industry! It’s been way too long, and with a few of the partners this will be the very first time we meet in person. I’m also very much looking forward to a short road trip from Vegas to LA with an industry friend after the show. I do hope she does the driving in Vegas, though! Jasen Wright, VP North America, WildBrain CPLG We’ve got a great and varied line-up of brands across our entertainment portfolio and ASPIRE, our newly launched Corporate & Lifestyle division, to present at the show. We are looking forward to finding some new partners that share our global vision and creative approach. And, I’m excited to be with colleagues and friends in person again and discovering new places to relax after a day of ‘speed pitching’ other than EyeCandy! Michael Connoly, Founder & CEO of Retail Monster Licensing Expo is a great event to gauge interest in upcoming IPs in the hopes of clinching a future, longer deep-dive opportunity post-show. Having been in this industry for so long, I look forward to talking with and watching all the folks who I have worked with, or that have worked for me, in their leadership roles running major CP divisions. There’s no greater satisfaction than watching those you’ve led become leaders themselves.





SHOPPING TRENDS By Valentina Candeloro, International Marketing Director Mood Media

to truly personalise their trainers by commissioning an artist to ‘paint’ a design to their specification, so they truly stand out on the running track. Later this year Amazon is expected to take retail technology to new levels with a fashion store concept, due to debut in Los Angeles. Shoppers will be able to select items to be tried on and then join a virtual queue for a changing room which can be unlocked by an app on their mobile phone. Touch screen monitors will make suggestions of other items a customer might like to try and when they are ready, they need only use their palm print to check out. High tech and sustainable retail experiences are driving shopper loyalty The high street is back in business and new tech is exciting consumers while sustainability drives are winning their loyalty Improving footfall figures show that retail is getting back on its feet after a couple of very testing years. Mood Media research shows that, while there is still some understandable caution, 80% of global shoppers now feel confident to shop in-store again. The majority plan to spend around the same amount of money and time shopping as before the pandemic, with 17% aiming to spend more. Retailers are tapping into their return by rewarding shoppers with experiences that immerse them in an environment that looks, sounds, and even smells, perfect. Advanced retail technology can then take experiences to the next level, such as Adidas introducing a gait measuring system that maps how a person runs on an in-store treadmill before matching them with the perfect running shoes. This can go beyond the style and fit to allow customers


Sustainable loyalty Some of these new ideas may take a while to catch on and involve a heavy investment in technology but where retailers can make huge gains right now is tapping into environmental issues. These are top of most people’s minds after the pandemic and so are being embraced by savvy brands eager to earn customer trust and build up a deeper sense of loyalty. Indeed Mood Media research found that 67% of consumers worldwide reveal it is important the brands they shop at are committed to being environmentally friendly. While sustainably minded consumers will do what they can to recycle, it is not always clear whether some containers can be used again. For customers who do not always know how to dispose of items responsibly after use, Boots now allows beauty and personal care ‘empties’ to be recycled in-store in return for Advantage card points. Not only does the initiative empower consumers to ensure they are making an environmentally sound decision, the retailer is encouraging shoppers who need to buy a replacement back into their stores, and it’s all tied in to the loyalty programme it hopes will see many future visits.

Tesco is taking this idea a step further with a new service which loans out containers to shoppers for a 20p deposit. There are 88 products that can be dispensed into the containers, including washing powder, condiments and cosmetics. On the trip back to the supermarket, the container is returned and washed for the next user. The 20p deposit is also refunded. In-store audio and visual experiences are also moving towards greater sustainability with speaker systems and screens developed to professional quality standards that mean they need less maintenance while also consuming as little electricity as possible. This is being embraced alongside LED lighting and, in the case of Clarins’ new store in Paris, even the fabric of the shop. The flagship store’s floors are made of left-over marble and the walls are coated in beech wood sourced from fair trade forest scheme. This trend to embrace consumer demand for more sustainable shopping is felt particularly strongly in the fashion industry where recycling materials and extending items’ lives through second hand markets is a huge trend. It is so big, in fact, that major brands, including Adidas, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger and Selfridges offer second hand corners where pre-owned items can be bought to extend their lives. Lululemon and Patagonia have taken this a step further with stores dedicated to selling second hand clothes from their ranges. This trend towards fitting out stores with sustainably sourced materials and then empowering shoppers to buy (and recycle) goods that have a reduced impact on the environment is sure to last. Concern is felt too deeply by shoppers for it to be a fad. As early adopters are showing, people want to come back to the high street but they want to ensure retailers to show they share their desire to live a more sustainable life that is in balance with the environment.


Kidscreen is back! Kidscreen Summit is renowned as one of the kids entertainment industry’s most important annual event. In 2020, the last in-person Summit welcomed more than 2,000 attendees from 50plus countries. Top executives attend

regularly to take advantage of the year’s best business networking, and to engage in critical dialogue on issues that affect the industry. This Kidscreen Summit will offer unrivalled access to leaders in the international kids space, bringing together creators, buyers and distributors of

children’s programming for meaningful pitching and networking. Through facilitated networking sessions such as Speed Pitching, Coffee and Cocktails with…, Brainpick and Pitch Doctoring, it’s easy to connect with potential partners and investors who can propel your business forward.

Property Spotlight Canada’s Mercury Filmworks is developing a new animated children’s series based on Scott Rothman’s popular children’s picture book Attack of the Underwear Dragon (October 2020, Random House), an Amazon Editor’s Pick and National Indie Bestseller, illustrated by New York Times’ Best-Selling illustrator and Annie Award-nominated animator, Pete Oswald. The series, to be titled Tales of the Underwear Dragon, will feature an original song in every episode written by Tony, Emmy and Grammy Award-winning composer, producer, arranger, and orchestrator Bill Sherman (Sesame Street, In the Heights, Hamilton). Medieval stories about valiant knights and dastardly dragons infused with a fresh new spin will be delivered in Tales of The Underwear Dragon, a 2D animated comedy series (11’ x 52) for kids ages 6-11. “Behind every hit show is an amazing team, and we are lucky enough to have a truly fantastic trio. Thanks to a hilarious and heartfelt tale by Scott, the magical illustration style of Pete Oswald, and original songs from Bill, our show won’t look or sound like anything that kids have seen before,” stated Heath Kenny, Chief Content Officer, Mercury Filmworks. “And while Tales of the Underwear Dragon will be a fun and adventurous comedy, it will also stand out because the series will wear its heart on its sleeve and kids will recognize themselves as our pint-sized hero overcomes all kinds of obstacles to become a true hero, or should I say assistant hero.” “Comedy will be the main goal of this series, but there will also be plenty of heart,” commented Rothman.



Ukraine’s Brave Bunnies... it’s not busin At the recent Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards (B&LLAs) lunch in London, Dan Frugtniet from Big Picture Licensing gave a heartfelt and moving speech on behalf of Glowberry, the Ukrainian company behind the success of animated property Brave Bunnies. Dan is working tirelessly to help Glowberry in any way that he can at the moment. Because of the extraordinary circumstances, we felt we wanted to publish his talk in full – hopefully explaining the position at the moment and highlighting how our industry can help. “Ian Hyder from Max Publishing, the creators and organisers of the B&LLAs kindly asked me to say a few words on behalf of a wonderful team of people from Ukraine who work for a company called Glowberr y

which created the only (ever!) kids property to come from Ukraine and to make it onto the global stage as a beautiful preschool property called Brave Bunnies. Olga (Cherepanova), the creator of Brave Bunnies was supposed to record you all a personal video, but she told me it’s all too emotional for her and she kept breaking down to cry as she is so worried about her family still in Ukraine and she cannot think straight. We have all been shocked and surprised at what is happening in Ukraine, in the modern world we thought we had seen the last of this in Europe. Over the last 16 years I have been fortunate in my licensing career to have managed the emerging markets for different global licensors and travelled frequently to both Dan Frugtniet

The Story so far... In just two years, the animated series from Ukrainian creators has gone from a festival pilot to one of the most popular children’s television shows in dozens of countries. Today, BRAVE BUNNIES is on air in more than 60 territories – from Great Britain to South Korea, from Australia to Latin America and the Caribbean. In some markets, the series topped the ratings of children’s shows in the first month of broadcasting. The release of books and toys based on the BRAVE BUNNIES only confirmed the relevance of this adorable and instructive show from Ukraine. BRAVE BUNNIES is a fascinating sto-


ry about growing up. About exploring the big world around you, about accepting yourself and others, about the ability to make friends and cooperate, about socializing and healthy relationships. It was these qualities that helped the Glowberry team create, launch and promote the first season of the series. After all, there were studies with child psychologists and international consultants, and the development of characters and stories to present more diversity to an international audience. And, of course, there were strong healthy relationships within the team and with foreign partners, which helped the project

“The team are now spread to the winds, with the women as refugees all over Europe and the men still in Ukraine to fight or volunteer.” Russia and Ukraine during this time and set up licensing businesses there for companies like Viacom. Visiting these countries was always an experience, both good and bad and I have witnessed a fundamental change in how both markets operate within the licensing industry and how they have transitioned from territories rife with counterfeit product (which was even sold in retail chains) to the modern licensing markets they are - or were until this year. What I will say is how amazing it’s been to see how the licensing industry is like a big international family of like-minded people and it has brought us together all over the world and I consider many people friends in both Russia and Ukraine. This is what makes it all so sad. While our sympathies are of course with our Ukrainian licensing family, I also want to support our Russian licensing family “grow up” successful and useful. The concepts of the series, stories, and characters were created by two Ukrainian women – creative producer Olga Cherepanova and art director Anna Sarvira. The co-production of the first season was done by the Spanish animation studio Anima, and the distribution was the Oscar-winning British studio Aardman. A successful combination of talents, powerful international expertise, and a topical idea have borne fruit together – a bright and exciting 52 episodes show with unique art and sound. The BRAVE BUNNIES have since been noted by both industry professionals and ordinary viewers in dozens of countries. In the wake of popularity, the BRAVE


ness as usual, but please don’t forget us! as they have now had their livelihoods and businesses likely destroyed for the next 5-10 years as licensors pull their brands out of Russia and embargo the territory. It’s unbelievable how fast and far things have changed for Ukrainians and Russians and that they are now enemies rather than the shared family ties they once were. Glowberry who are based in Kyiv, have worked tirelessly to develop Brave Bunnies and I have had the honour and pleasure of working with them very closely as master-agent for the last three years. The team are now spread to the winds with the women as refugees all over Europe and the men still in Ukraine to fight or volunteer. This is an unprecedented time and not one that anybody could expect to deal with in our normally lovely Licensing industry. As our partners will attest to, the Glowberry team are such a pleasure to work with, they have always been willing partners and so positive and happy to bring Brave Bunnies to a global audience. Having worked with licensees and agents all over the world I know how rare it is to work with such friendly, happy, willing and proactive people.

BUNNIES franchise is developing rapidly – now it is not only a cartoon series, but also children’s books from Penguin Random House (UK), DeA Libri (Italy), and Five Mile (Australia); on-

Over the last 3 years we hit so many milestones and signed up key partners and then disaster struck and while we secure the right strategic partner to help us finish Season 2, it’s obviously a very challenging and stressful time for the Glowberry team both personally and in business right now. So, on behalf of the team, I would like to thank all our international partners for their ongoing support during this crazy time, they have all really stepped up and its shown how amazing the licensing family really is when the proverbial shit hits the fan.

line games from Super RTL (Germany), sets of soft toys and action figures from Spin Master in Italy, Germany, and soon – in other countries. As well as clothing, merch and accessories from PMI (Israel), Caprice (New Zealand) and Roy Lowe & Sons (UK). Prior to the Russian invasion, work on the second season was in full swing in Glowberry. And these are new unexpected stories and games, meetings with old friends and new characters. And also new songs and dances, and even more diversity and inclusivity. Despite

We would also like to thank Ian, Jakki Brown and Sam Loveday - as well as all of you for your kind donations towards their chosen good cause of UNICEFs Ukrainian Children’s Charity. Let’s be honest the kids will need all the help they can get! So on behalf of Glowberry and Brave Bunnies thank you again for your support. It’s not business as usual, but please don’t forget us! Thank you / Dyakuyu!” Dan Frugtniet, Big Picture Licensing

all the difficulties faced by the Ukrainian company due to the war, work on the new season continues – as well as work on licensed products and entering the new areas of broadcasting. However, the main priority now is the safety of the team and the defense of the country. We look forward to news of peace and new brave announcements from the creators of the most popular children’s cartoon series from Ukraine. For more information: Glowberry will be supporting UNICEF during the crisis.

113 xx


India, the golden bird of the world has never been so alluring for both global and domestic brands. As I had covered in my previous article, there has been a dramatic shift in the consumer’s buying patterns and businesses have struggled to keep up with the trends. The Post-Pandemic India has given birth to New World... New Beginning... New India.

By Rutika Malaviya Founder & Editor-In-Chief, Rooh Entertainment | Licensing Corner Mumbai, India rutika@roohentertainment. com


Even though the market has been lucid, with the implementation of GST and FDI been approved for single brand outlets, the fresh crop of B School grads opting for start-ups and a new breed of incubators as well as investors showing interest in boosting businesses across the board and geographies, the business world is buzzing with fresh ideas and resources. 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 apparent in the digital space. Brand Licensing is rapidly becoming a most important and vital step in brands marketing & extentions strategy. The digital media growth at an exponential rate has provided opportunities to content creators and influencers to launch their very own merch collections. A testimony to the growing popularity of influencers

in google searches, in the last three years there has seen a 1500% increase in the number of google searches for influencer marketing. 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 (pictured) 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. Music licensing programs are flourishing in the nation with the introduction of big players entering the local market continues while also independent music is gaining its momentum. India has become a battleground for these streaming services that have spoiled the customer with too many choices. There has been series of new ventures since the Tiktok ban eg. Rizzle, Chingari etc. alluring audiences to their platforms that has led music streaming services to license their catalogs to these social media platforms or video platforms. The exciting front and the buzz word

TOTAL LICENSING building strong emotional connect and nostalgia.

that shook the nation was the rise of NFT’s. Celebrities from Sunny Leone to Salman Khan to Amitabh Bachan and brands like Viacom has entered into strategic partnerships to create NFT world & digital assets for the fans. The NFT is here to stay, with Facebook takeover of the metaverse and it will only be more exciting to look forward to how the brand creates a space for itself in the Virtual world. The world has always been a fan of NASA merchandise, however The launch of India’s ISRO space collection took-off the Indian licensing industry in the space of global recognition where we have notably seen celebrities like Priyanka Chopra sporting the ISRO t-shirt. The government consciousness towards the power of merchandising surely ensures the growth of the industry and stronger IP laws within the country. The 15th edition of TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 began on March 26 at the Wankhede Stadium. It is set to become one of the most anticipated events as it marks the comeback of IPL fans to the stadiums after two years. Fans can choose from a wide array of official merchandise right from match jerseys, t-shirts, polo t-shirts, joggers, caps, to accessories like bags, cups, coasters, keychains, wristbands, and much more, to enhance their IPL experience and cheer for their favorite team.


Forbes reported in 2019 that the counterfeit product industry generates $500 billion each year, out of which $5.2 billion is from India alone. The quality of the merchandise sold of poor quality, ill fitting, one-time use and throw which often lets the fan down. For IPL franchises to crack the market, a crackdown on the fakes is imperative. But, that’s easier said than done, which resulted in the Egeez, a global marketplace for licensed merchandise is set to launch this year 2022 - starting from India eventually to other countries by the end of the year. Egeez is a platform by the licensees for the licensees and licensors of the industry to tackle everything related to counterfeit products to overstocking concerns. Finally, a place where fans can buy the official merchandise blindly as Egeez verifies every licensee before onboarding on the platform with certification. To put that into perspective, merchandise sales contributed to 15-20% of the revenue generated by football clubs like Man United, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona whereas in the case of IPL it is less than 5%. The whole concept of official merchandise is still at a very nascent stage and awareness is still not as strong. It’s still, let me go on Amazon or Google and see what products are there and if the price is cheap, if it’s got a decent rating, let me just go for it. Egeez aims to change that preview to not only educate and bring awareness but also make it accessible at one place to trust the fans merchandising needs,

While the sales numbers aren’t known, Forbes reported that the response to Puma’s athleisure collection emboldened the franchise to further its foray into becoming a lifestyle brand. At the Unboxing event, RCB Vice President Rajesh Menon announced that aside from the RCB Bar and Puma tie up, the franchise will also be launching its own fitness app and also venturing into the NFT space. RCB’s transition into becoming a lifestyle brand seems like the logical next step for IPL franchises looking to generate revenue all year round. The role of merchandise will only grow as teams enter the next phase of their evolution. Fan culture too, will evolve with them. WildBrain CPLG, one of the world’s leading entertainment, sport and brand licensing agencies, further strengthen its global footprint with the launch of a dedicated office in India & extending Peanuts licensing for India market is putting India on global map for licensing & merchandising. The team has already signed its first wave of deals in the Indian market, including Trucarekidz for a Yale University apparel line; Reliance for an Archie Comics apparel, back to school and stationery line; and Myntra as fashion partners for emoji; Alpha Digital Corp for Aeropostale accessories; and Suditi for a Juventus Football club apparel range. The licensing and consumer products industries are rapidly accelerating in India, as both local and international IP owners increasingly tune in to the significant growth and revenue potential this burgeoning market presents. Even though the growth of the industry is placid, under ‘Aatmanirbhar’ initiative of PM Narendra Modi, there is a high probability that more homegrown brands will engage & partner adopting licensing as a vital strategy to make the start-ups self-reliant.


Industry Roundtable

OUR PANELISTS Andrew Carley BBC Studios Rhys Fleming Dependable Solutions Francesca Gianesin Moonbug Entertainment Roz Nowicki Mattel Inc Carla Silva King Features Syndicate Justin Watson Asembl Brands Pty Ltd Julian Zag Zag America LLC

Each year in Total Licensing we run an Industry Roundtable, asking a selected group of expert licensors, agents and others how they see the industry and asking them for their take on some of the key issues of the day. This year, understandably, we are focusing on navigating a post-Covid world – how companies have fared over the last two years, how they are emerging from the pandemic and what they have learned along the way. Their answers and thoughts can be seen on the following pages. Firstly, how have you and your company fared during the pandemic? Andrew Carley: On a personal basis the pandemic has meant very different things to different people and we have to respect that as we move on. Personally speaking I think I got off lightly. From a company perspective it’s been about learning to work differently and taking the opportunity to approach things in a new way. The natural point of conversation is the growth of online meetings and whilst I don’t want it to be the only way we work there are certainly efficiencies to be gained in certain circumstances – particularly when it comes to building international relationships. By necessity we’ve had to strip out some of the layers of decision making that were considered essential and at times take a far more pragmatic approach which has to be good. From a big picture point of view, the business hasn’t suffered unduly and certainly not in the long term. In many cases covid has been a catalyst for necessary change Rhys Fleming: The pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone. Our hearts and


our thoughts are with those that have lost loved ones and had their lives impacted in a myriad of different ways. We have been very fortunate. Adapting to remote work was relatively straightforward for us, as many of our employees were already working within a flexible work paradigm. Francesca Gianesin: When the pandemic hit, parents around the world found themselves in a situation where they were home and they needed to entertain their children and many parents needed to work. What we saw was a significant increase in viewership. Parents used content, amongst other tools, to entertain their children and to help their children learn and grow. A lot of parents discovered the value of our content and got to know our world and have stayed with us since. Audience behaviour has changed, and technology has evolved. We are evolving with the changing dynamics in kids’ media, becoming the most influential contemporary kids’ entertainment company. By merging world class creativity with data insight, we create the most relevant and desired entertainment brands for kids. Our brands live everywhere, across distribution plat-

forms and channels, geographies, formats and consumer products. We have a unique business model that allows us to build megabrands out of trending and evergreen shows. We developed a global portfolio of familyfriendly, focused brands with unprecedented reach. A lot has happened for us over the past couple of years. We have grown significantly. Since its launch in 2018 Moonbug Entertainment has become an award-winning global entertainment company behind some of the most popular kids’ titles in the world. Moonbug’s line-up includes global sensations CoComelon, Blippi, Little Baby Bum, Little Angel, My Magic Pet Morphle, Supa Strikas, Go Buster, Playtime with Twinkle, Gecko’s Garage, ARPO and many more. Moonbug’s shows are on more than 150 platforms globally, including YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, Super RTL, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Tencent,Youku and Roku. In May 2020, Tubular Labs named Moonbug one of the leading digital kids’ entertainment companies in the world based on the total number of minutes watched worldwide. The company’s YouTube channels are viewed over 9 billion times on average every month globally and has more than 440m subscribers. Its portfolio currently stands at 29 IPs and 100+ brand partners and is available in 32 languages. In 2021 Moonbug was acquired by Candle Media, an independent, creator-friendly home for cutting-edge, high-quality, category-defining brands and franchises. By bringing together elite talent operating at the intersection of content, community, and commerce, it helps to position leading entertainment businesses for acceler-

TOTAL LICENSING ated, sustainable growth in the current market and beyond. Candle is run by its Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs, leading entertainment executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, and backed by investment capital from funds managed by Blackstone’s flagship private equity business. In February 2022 we acquired Little Angel, one of the fastest-growing kids channels on YouTube. The Little Angel Network, which houses Little Angel and Little World, boasts more than 88 million subscribers on YouTube globally. Since 2019, the brand has seen its global viewership double. Moonbug plans to grow Little Angel exponentially by investing in content, expanding distribution to its global network, and creating more ways for audiences to engage with the brand. Roz Nowicki: 2021 was a pivotal year for Mattel. Our strategy has worked, our turnaround is now complete, and Mattel is firmly in growth mode. We are beginning to capture the full value of our IP in highly accretive business verticals, including content, consumer products, and digital experiences, which are directly adjacent to the toy industry. The global consumer products and franchise team delivered the strongest growth in nearly a decade. My team and I have performed well during the pandemic and continue to stay positive. We have maintained regular communication and checked-in with each other to ensure all are doing well personally. Carla Silva: As difficult and challenging as the pandemic has been over the past two years, one positive impact is that we have seen an increase in the popularity of classic characters, which is great for our diverse portfolio of brands. 2021 was a very good year for KFS especially considering the ongoing uncertainty in the world. Resilience, focus and innovation were key to our progress.Thanks to the hard work and dedication of my amazing team, our network of International Agents, and licensees, we experienced substantial growth.

Justin Watson: At Asembl, we are very fortunate to be entrusted to manage many great global brands which have a FMCG/CPG category focus which have weathered the pandemic well. On a personal level both for myself and the team we have all had various challenges and gotten through them by trusting and leaning on each other for support when and where it was needed. I like to think we have come out of it stronger and more resilient. Julian Zag: Despite the pandemic, the past two years have been incredible for ZAG! In fact, as of last year, we’ve hit over US$1 billion in retail sales for Miraculous™ - Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir worldwide. We believe our success during this period is two-fold. Firstly, we have great content available at all touch points for our fans to engage (free-to-air, VOD, YouTube) -- we reach kids and families everywhere. And secondly, we executed a wellcoordinated and broad-ranging consumer products strategy that includes a diverse product offering across retail and e-commerce. The new ZAG Global E-Commerce division manages all our e-commerce efforts on a dayto-day basis alongside our major partners, licensees, and retailers Now that the worst of the pandemic seems to be behind us, how would you say that the last two years have impacted – positively or negatively – on business? Andrew Carley: From a negative perspective it’s been challenging driving new business. The focus has been on making what is working work harder with less risk taking. The difficult conversations that require a more nuanced approach are so much easier face to face. Maintaining momentum on projects that require ongoing dialogue with multiple facets of the business also has its challenges. Very hard on boarding new starters particularly those new to the industry and as we return to normality the more experienced individuals will have to make an extra effort to support those new starters.

On a positive note, and as mentioned above, processes by necessity have been streamlined. There has been the opportunity to focus on what really makes a difference and drive that. It’s offered a clarity of purpose without getting caught up in peripheral issues. There are efficiencies from being able to arrange multiple meetings across the business in a single day – but it has its drawbacks – namely it becomes a very soulless and transactional conversation Rhys Fleming: During the pandemic, we certainly saw a number of companies, change the structure of their teams and focus, understandably, more on survival than expansion and innovation. Coming out the other side of this, I know we’re not 100% there just yet; we are seeing many businesses now looking for ways to do more with less. They are turning to systems like ours to help them do that. It’s really exciting to see even very traditional businesses looking to technology for new ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their brand licensing programs.

Andrew Carley BBC Studios

Francesca Gianesin: Moonbug is growing rapidly: The number of views to all Moonbug content for the month of March 2022: 7.8bn (Youtube only). The average views to all Moonbug monthly content (March 2021-March 2022) averages 6,147,093,573 (6bn) Youtube only. The total subscribers to Moonbug channels is estimated at 340 million. Content is available in 32 languages. Roz Nowicki: There’s been such a desire and need for fun over the last two years. People are looking for ways to lighten the heaviness and companies have responded to that. Consumers have taken comfort in brands that they know and trust. We’ve witnessed a trend toward nostalgia during the pandemic, and the comfort nostalgic brands offer. Fisher-Price is over 90 years old, producing some of the most iconic toys of the last century, Barbie is the #1 selling Doll in the world, now just over 60 years old, and Hot Wheels is over 50 years old and is the top sell-

Rhys Fleming Dependable Solutions


TOTAL LICENSING ing toy in the world.We see the appeal of our brands that span generations and bring families together in play. While the pandemic did drive some demand for toys, it also introduced supply chain challenges. We are proud to have been able to navigate and succeed through those challenges.

Francesca Gianesin Moonbug Entertainment

Carla Silva: While the pandemic kept us physically apart, it also brought the world together unlike anything ever before.We bonded through the shared struggle to keep business moving forward, while simultaneously enduring forced separation from loved ones, fear around health and safety, and new challenges at home. We learned that working remotely could not only be done, but that it could make our workflow even more effective and efficient, and that Zoom and Teams could strengthen work relationships in ways we never thought possible. Justin Watson: Our business was founded as a specialised licensed brand extension agency for Design, Lifestyle and FMCG/CPG brand owners in our region, so there was an existing and growing demand for our expertise way before the pandemic started and we have continued to execute our business plan accordingly. The competition at retail for our brand owners has become much fiercer, marketing budgets have been reduced so brand extensions are a very attractive tool for marketers to drive penetration and saliency.

Roz Nowicki Mattel


Julian Zag: The last two years haven’t particularly impacted us. But during this time, ZAG has ramped up the consumer products team significantly in the past 12 months with new offices in Miami, Florida; and Mexico City to serve the Latin American marketplace; in Germany to serve Eastern Europe; in Tel Aviv, Israel, with the launch of the gaming division; and in Dubai to serve the Middle East and Africa. Plus, we already have offices in Paris, Los Angeles, Montreal. We are perfectly poised to handle the increasing demand around the world to engage with Miraculous, and to build our new franchises, including our newest series, Ghostforce.

Are you finding that retail has changed in any way as a result of the pandemic? Andrew Carley: The pandemic has accelerated the shift from physical shopping but that’s nothing new. When the consumer engages in physical shopping they are far more demanding of the overall experience and rightly so. I think in many cases the high street shopper was taken for granted with minimal investment in the broader environment. That has to change and thankfully it is changing. The interest in activities that actively create a participation between the brand and the consumer has grown out of all recognition. The consumer is willing to spend fairly significant sums of money on interactive/immersive brand engagement. How that squares with inflationary pressures remains to be seen but overall brands are offering many more immersive experiences that extend beyond a theme park or a stage show. Rhys Fleming: The pandemic created a number of micro-trends that appear to be largely short term in nature. There were a few product categories, for example, that performed very well as people were forced to change their way of life during the various lockdowns that were imposed. Roz Nowicki: E-commerce was already a high growth area and it accelerated at a rapid rate due to the pandemic. Consumers have become more comfortable making purchases online, without the benefit of seeing the products in person. Another area of change is the continued growth of store brands globally, across most every category, in all tiers of distribution. Carla Silva: Yes! Retail saw many challenges over the past couple of years and the success of ecommerce has opened up so many opportunities. Online shopping is here to stay and we see more growth ahead as direct to consumer (DTC) retail continues to thrive with consumers who crave instant access to products they can buy anytime and anywhere. DTC has

emerged as a retail “must.” The ease of convenience (especially as a result of the pandemic) and immediacy of delivery are huge drivers for on-line shopping. This can be seen in many different areas, not just consumer products. As a parent, I’ve been increasingly focused on positive learning outcomes for my two boys. I’ve seen the development of new companies in this sector that present exciting opportunities for new brands, particularly ones with a strong gaming/digital fan base. Justin Watson: Due to the pandemic shipping delays are refocusing consumer attention on provenance and where their goods are coming from. It’s also redirecting the attention of retailers and suppliers who are evaluating supply chains. Julian Zag: As I mentioned, on-line shopping hastened during the pandemic, and here at ZAG we were able to act nimbly to create a well-executed a well-coordinated and broad-ranging consumer products strategy that delivers a diverse product offering across retail and e-commerce. However, I also believe there is strong demand now for more in-person shopping, in particular where brands can offer retail experiences for fans that go beyond product purchases. Brick and mortar retailers now have a chance to find ways to bring people back into stores and retail experiences will be a key component to bring buyers back in-store. We anticipate seeing more pop-up experiences and retail activations Which elements of the pandemic really affected your business – eg retail closures, trade show cancellations, factory and supply chain issues etc? Andrew Carley: The consolidation of retail hasn’t affected revenues in the short to medium term. However it is going to make it increasingly harder to launch new properties as choices will become limited – look at the US to see the direction of travel. That being said online does offer alternatives


Carla Silva King Features Syndicate

Justin Watson Asembl Brands

it’s just diluted. Aside from retail the greatest impact in 2021 which no one predicted was supply chain issues. I don’t recall hearing a single economist predicting that the wheels of industry would take a significant amount of time to return to pre pandemic levels. Supply chain issues unquestionably impacted our revenues particularly in the last quarter of 2021. I think the feeling in October was by mid 2022 we would have overcome those issues but I’m not seeing evidence of that. Then layer on the inflationary pressures driven by oil prices and the second half of 2022 is going to be challenging with discretionary spending inevitably taking a hit. The growth of SVOD/streaming, Disney+. Linear broadcasters are increasingly scratching their heads and trying to understand how to compete with global streamers and the pandemic has accelerated that. It’s difficult to see defined answers at this stage but I have no doubt opportunities will emerge as the broadcast environment adapts to the change. Rhys Fleming: With regards to the macro-trends, I would suggest that the pandemic accelerated a number of pre-existing trends, rather than necessarily being responsible for creating new ones.We saw the adoption of digital commerce pushed forward a few years from where we were expecting it to be. When locations and stores re-opened, the focus on experiential retail seemed to be much greater than before. Discussions around the blockchain, NFTs, and the metaverse have become much more widespread. But all of these things were, to some extent, already happening. We continue to adapt and upgrade our software offering to best handle anything this ever-changing industry throws at our clients. That’s why we come to work. It’s what we do. Francesca Gianesin: We, like everyone else, had to send our workforce home for long periods of time and we saw an interesting trend that animation continued at an increased pace because everyone was at home, whereas live action stopped because people couldn’t attend a shoot. How-


ever, our main focus is animation, so our productivity increased. Roz Nowicki: Like all companies, the pandemic disrupted our day-to-day business, but the key is how we innovated to ensure we continued to grow during this time. Our supply chain and commercial organizations were successful in working through global supply chain disruption and closely collaborated with our retail partners in trying to meet consumer demand. The strong performance of our supply chain this year is attributable to our scale, expertise, and flexible model.We anticipated short supply and longer lead times and factored that into our planning with mitigating actions. Carla Silva: All of the above! The Pandemic brought uncertainty to all aspects of business including retail closures, factories closing due to workers being sick, power restrictions, product making it into the warehouses in time for launches, among other issues. However, we continued bringing great quality products to market and we are excited about how 2022 is rolling out so far. There are still new opportunities out there and we are expanding our e-commerce offerings – it is a target growth area for us. The online retail environment gives us more shelf space to explore new products. Justin Watson: In Melbourne – Australia, where our team is headquartered, we were in lockdown for 262 days with retail except for grocery, closed for four months. Soft lines programs took the immediate impact which saw retailers move to a home deliveries model but that of course did impact buying. With grocery channels remaining open we saw food & beverage sales grow including specific categories like baking however we are finding the impact to this category is being affected right now mainly due to shipping and packaging delays not just from China, but specialised packaging and components coming from Italy and other parts of Europe. Julian Zag: Yes, we did have problems getting inventory due to factory closings, especially in light of the surge in

demand for products that we experienced. This was partly due to the availability of the new season four content around the globe, increased awareness across social media, and kids having more at home time during the pandemic. The pandemic and the current world instability are creating supply chain issues around the world. How, if at all, are these affecting you? How will they impact on how you do business moving forwards? Rhys Fleming: Most of these bigger trends have impacted us indirectly. It impacts our clients and therefore impacts us. The lack of trade events, however, was much more of a direct impact. We spend a lot of time meeting licensing professionals on the road. It’s often the most effective way for us to be able to see and speak to people. With this gone, we adapted. We held digital events and webinars. We collaborated with other organisations to expand our reach. There’s always a way to engage with people – we just had to get creative. Francesca Gianesin: We were in the awkward situation where we had the most wanted toy for Christmas in 2020 and 2021 and we left a lot of customers unhappy because we couldn’t keep up with demand and fill the empty shelves. We saw a lucrative secondary market where people would buy our product when they hit the shelves, which created a bad customer experience for some parents. This has however normalised now. Roz Nowicki: Mattel and our licensees are working tirelessly to ensure that we stay ahead of the supply chain challenges. Our supply chain is a competitive advantage, and we feel that we have the capabilities, the scale to continue to meet together, to work collaboratively with the retail partners to meet the strong consumer demand for our product. In mid-March, Mattel announced that we have consolidated North American manufacturing opera-

TOTAL LICENSING tions in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, in an effort to move our supply chain closer to home. This plant is now our largest manufacturing facility in the world. Carla Silva: Supply chain issues have certainly impacted our business over the past year. We experienced several programs missing delivery because product was stuck on the water or in port. We also heard from several licensees that they were forced to cancel retail orders because the costs of containers and freight became so inflated, that it became impossible to meet the PO price agreed upon months before. We are working with our licensees to ensure that they bring in product earlier in the year. This will help us avoid many potential unforeseen pitfalls later in the year, especially around the holiday season. Rising costs of materials have also impacted our licensees (i.e. printing costs for our publishers). At KFS, we’ve felt the strain from reduced supply chains, retail closings and government shutdowns, but we’ve also discovered and leveraged expanded business opportunities in ecommerce as well as new product categories that emerged due to cultural shifts. Justin Watson: Just like most countries, the island continent of Australia’s supply chain has been compromised and impacted. Just this week Shanghai was shut down to continue to pursue ‘CovidZero’ seeing factory workers, truck drivers and port workers stopped mid-shift which means no goods are being despatched. These supply issues are highlighting how reliant the Australian market is on China, especially on anything that has a lot of components and it’s now refocusing the consumer on where the goods they purchase come from. To adapt, we are reviewing partner supply chains in greater detail to ensure they have flexibility and options. Julian Zag: Fortunately, we are not affected anymore, in part due to learning from our experiences and advance planning.

Are there any specific areas where you think the changes over the last two years have had a positive impact on your business or how you do business? Francesca Gianesin: Thanks to the change in audience behaviour, the evolution of technology and wider penetration of connected devices, families have now become a lot more familiar with our content and the demand for products is getting higher and higher. Roz Nowicki: Our team has worked exceptionally well remotely and recently as we have returned to office, we have implemented a successful hybrid approach to work. Carla Silva: Absolutely! We’ve been able to connect with many more licensees, retailers and International Agents via video conferencing. Because we were unable to meet in person and everyone was meeting over Zoom and Teams, we had the opportunity to connect with people that we may not have otherwise been able to travel to and present to them face to face. We also focused on new product trends and leveraged those learnings by securing licensees in new product categories. In addition, it forced us to be more flexible and creative – two main ingredients for continuous growth in any industry! Justin Watson: Overall our relationships with clients, suppliers, retailers and especially our team has had the biggest change. Working from home has opened a new window into everyone’s personal lives that we probably wouldn’t have seen – kids popping up on screen, home deliveries, shared tales of Wi-Fi issues and just general shared tales of life in a pandemic have strengthened relationships and made them more human and personal. Julian Zag: Yes, in particular we established our e-commerce division so that products are more readily online than they had been, and this is a strategy that will continue to work well for us going forward.

How are you incorporating any trends that have emerged in the last two years into your business model moving forwards? Francesca Gianesin: Unlike older viewers we know that younger audiences are looking to re-watch content. They replay and repeat. We deliberately focus on the age demographic of up to 8 years old because within this group all kids follow certain patterns and like to watch content repeatedly. Beyond that age group their interests fragment into different and individual areas. Our audience is less sensitive to trends and more reactive to which developmental stage they are at. Children are looking for something they have seen before, and therefore the more platforms we are on, the better. For us the trends are more family specific trends rather than child trends such as learning through song and music and relatable scenarios that every child and family can recognise. We believe that entertainment has a powerful impact in children’s lives, which is why we create shows to support children’s development of life skills and model positive behaviour promoting core values such as kindness, empathy and resilience. Our mission is to become a natural part of any child’s upbringing to make the world a better place in the future.

Julian Zag Zag America

Roz Nowicki: As retailers are leaning into developing and growing their own brands, it is imperative that we, as licensors, offer opportunities for our brands to be a part of these private label programs. Carla Silva: We’re deepening our brand presence in categories that we’ve seen gain traction during the pandemic including personal care, fitness, mental wellness, entertainment (such as gaming), healthy eating (spinach), eco-consciousness and comfort. The discussions regarding diversity and inclusion and those around sustainability are positively progressing across our industry and we are prioritizing the commitment to take steps to meet the expectations and needs of


TOTAL LICENSING our consumers. We’ve also started exploring how to introduce our brands into the NFT space responsibly. Together, we can make a difference and create a better world for our children and future generation of fans. After everything everyone has been going through, we all need to have a little fun! This offers unique opportunities for gaming brands to further engage with their new audiences through new products, content and brand experiences. We’re super excited with the recent launch of The Cuphead Show on Netflix and we are launching some amazing products and titles for our Cuphead fans around the globe. How do you view the future – short-term and long-term? Andrew Carley: Streamlining decision making, reducing friction in processes and being willing to take risks.We look at what really adds value and focus on it. We are increasingly working with a global mindset with regional variations. Success on a scale that really makes a difference has to be global. The platforms that people use to watch to content – notably SVOD and AVOD and the digital short form content that supports that on social AVOD has necessitated an accelerated change in approach that at times creates difficult conversations for an established linear broadcaster. On a positive note consumers access to content has never been easier. On a negative driving the necessary momentum over the medium to long term when platforms allow binge watching has it’s challenges and we are working with that. Lots of creative thinking on social media to support brands. In terms of the future I’m an optimist. The next twelve months will unquestionably be challenging. However business is adaptable and opportunities will emerge. There is little point in predicting the future – the last twelve months has proved that. The key is focusing on what you are good at, recognise your strengths and delivering the very best product/experience.


Rhys Fleming: What does the future look like for Dependable Solutions? A new and evolving opportunity for us to support licensing professionals. Whatever that means. Whether you’re a client of ours or a company that’s brand new to licensing. It’s our job, and our privilege, to work with you and make licensing that little bit easier. Francesca Gianesin: Short term we plan to expand on our existing franchises, ensuring we engage kids and families wherever they are. Long term it is making sure we stay relevant on the other platforms where kids are consuming content i.e. gaming. We have a strong portfolio of licensees that we are working with and are looking forward to continuing growing these relationships. These include Jazwares, Just Play, Hasbro, Spinmaster, V-Tech, Character Options, Centric, Aykroyds and Character World Roz Nowicki: Short term, our focus will be on maintaining the steady growth trajectory we have established in 2021 and celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Barbie Dreamhouse in 2022; a celebration we kicked off with a partnership with Habitat for Humanity in January. In the long term, we have major events that present incremental growth opportunities, including the new Mattel Adventure Park that will open in Arizona in 2023. We continue to expand our IP and leverage our iconic properties across content. The highly anticipated Barbie live-action film just started shooting in the UK, starring Margo Robbie and Ryan Gosling, cowritten and directed by Greta Gerwig. Expect to see more major film & tv news from Mattel. Carla Silva: We are very optimistic about 2022 and beyond. Diversification remains a key initiative for KFS and our goal is to have a diverse portfolio of brands, a range of licensees in many different categories, and distribution at all retail levels around the globe. We will continue to focus on new markets and new categories such as experiential opportunities in both

physical and digital experiences. Immersive experiences increase fans’ engagement with the brands. These branded experiences result in strong brand affinity which tends to grow our social media engagement and the desire for fans to purchase licensed products. NFTs, metaverse and live streaming shows are and will be a huge potential for brands to bring to life new experiences, and new licensing opportunities. So little time and so many opportunities ahead…. Let’s make the most of it! Justin Watson: At Asembl our clients have a core product or core product range at the heart of what they do, and it is these products we see providing longevity and growth in the licensing sector. For us, it isn’t about rushing new licensed products to market, it is about taking a long-term view of where the product currently is and where it can grow sustainably. The short-term will continue to present challenges as we navigate supply chain issues however, we are now familiar with these issues compared to the start of the pandemic, so we have adjusted accordingly. In the long-term our goal continues to be to build sustainable revenue streams for our clients and we will do so through our strategic planning and product execution. Julian Zag: I think that consumer habits are changing with almost everything going online. Fans are demanding engagement across all touch-points and we can no longer provide just products but also an experience behind the products. We continue to adapt and move quickly to try and stay ahead of the trends, and maximize opportunities and fan experiences as new trends and technologies arise. A good example here is how we moved quickly into the Roblox platform and brought the first game based on a TV series to the platform. Miraculous RP: Quests of Ladybug & Cat Noir, which debuted on May 1, 2021, has to date has exceeded 300 million plays!


Betting on Better Business With new research suggesting that sustainability measures are now driving 20 per cent of business’ financials, while 87 per cent of consumers now seek out sustainable brands over those without purpose, there’s no better time to bet on doing business better. Products of Change explores... Businesses like yours are stepping up. They are shouldering the responsibility, going the lengths needed to place better sustainable practices and products in the hands of the consumer, and they are getting the recognition they deserve. When we look at the licensing industry today, we’re a far cry now in 2022 from the shape it took in any given year of the decade prior. Today, businesses like yours are the ones answering the call to do better by our planet, and they are winning the spotlight. Don’t believe us? Let’s look at the industry’s latest celebration: The Brand and Lifestyle Licensing Awards (or The B&LLAs, for those in favour of an acronym). This year, the awards welcomed its first ever Best Sustainability BrandLicensed Product or Range category to proceedings, a title that was – on the day – secured by the Eden Project and its partnership with Fresh Coffee Shop for a range of Compostable Coffee Pods. Now Eden Project, we know, has worked tirelessly over the last ten years to develop a licensing programme with sustainability at its very core and given the work the team puts into extending the message and


education of conservation across the globe, is altogether a more-thanworthy winner of this accolade. But the truth is, so were all the category’s finalists. Because each and every effort made towards doing things better and pushing businesses to act differently is an occasion to celebrate. Reducing plastic packaging, finding more sustainable solutions, eradicat-

ing waste, manufacturing and sourcing responsibly – this has now all become top line stuff. Sustainable brands are already outpacing those that don’t demonstrate a positive approach to environmental sustainability. If you’re in need of proof, simply pick a survey… the consumer industries are (somewhat ironically) now littered with them. One of the latest from SmartestEnergy reveals that as much as 81 per cent of consumers now prefer ‘sustainable brands’ to non-sustainable ones. In other words, that’s four out of five customers who now describe themselves as ‘likely to choose a brand with a positive approach to environmental sustainability.’ That, it could be argued, is somewhat of a ‘seismic shift’ in sensibilities. Meanwhile, an even more recent whitepaper from the supplier collaboration expert, Supply Pilot, describes the reality that today, the adoption of sustainable practices is now driving around 20 per cent of business for

TOTAL LICENSING both brands and retailers. Within the data captured, supplier collaboration has been earmarked as the most effective sustainable practice that businesses can undertake – a practice that emphasises the need for brands and retailers to engage with their suppliers, share data, and crucially, establish mutual understandings of responsibility around sustainability. This is the very same drum that Products of Change has been beating since its formation in 2019. Today an educational platform, media hub, and resource bank for the consumer products industries, Products of Change is an organisation built on the foundations of uniting experts, teams, and individuals across our own supply chains to drive positive and sustainable change. Our mission? To help the licensing industry transition to a sustainable – or even regenerative – future of business in which both people and the planet prosper. And we’ve got to say; the response from the global licensing industry to the call for better sustainability has been wonderful to witness.

Four out of five customers now describe themselves as ‘likely to choose a brand with a positive approach to environmental sustainability.’

Products of Change’s Sustainability 101 sessions, part of the Licensing University’s series of discussions taking place at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas this month, will highlight exactly that. It’s here that attendees will witness brands including The LEGO Group, Natural History Museum, and For-

mula E talk about the integral role that sustainability now plays within their business success, while the likes of the purpose-driven fashion brand Piping Hot and the sustainable stationery specialist, Greenre offer an international flavour on where their respective journeys have taken them so far. Smiley, Beanstalk, and The Smurfs will also be on the roster, all of them united by their common enemy in climate change, and their common desired goal: to do business better and play their part in mitigating the effects of it. If you’re in Vegas for Licensing Expo and looking for a bigger fix of sustainability chatter, however, Products of Change will also be playing host to its own Sustainability Business Lounge – in partnership with the show’s organisers, Informa - where the team and its North Amercian ambassadors and Advisors, Andrea Green and Brenda Seto will be on hand to offer free counsel to anyone looking to take their next – or even their first – steps on their journey with sustainability. Let us together continue to celebrate the positive changes beginning to be implemented across this innovative industry. When facing a challenge as large as the one before us, it’s important we celebrate those wins, because every victory is a step towards a far healthier planet and a far more prosperous future for everyone upon it.


Legally Speaking


The Impact of the Pandemic on ‘Effective Royalty Rates 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). site/business_of_licensing

Gregory J. Battersby Battersby Law Group, LLC 25 Poplar Plains Rd. Westport, CT 06880 (203) 454-9646 128

Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, manufacturers have struggled, facing government lockdowns, supply chain problems, rising component and labor costs, and spotty demand at retail. This is particularly true for manufacturers of licensed products who also face the challenge of meeting their contractual requirements under license agreements entered into pre-pandemic. As many licensed products are manufactured in China, the internal problems in that country have had a significant impact on a licensee’s ability to market and sell products in a manner and amount initially contemplated. Specifically: •

• •

Lockdowns throughout different cities and provinces in China have limited factory production and impacted shipping; The closing of roads and highways surrounding factories have created delivery problems both to and out of the factories; Predicting production schedules has been challenging; and Stay home orders have resulted in many factories’ slowing down or closing.

In addition, the Russia/Ukraine war has significantly impacted the shipping industry, which relies heavily on Russian and Ukrainian seafarers, who make up about 15% of the shipping industry personnel. These delays and rising costs have resulted in many licensees “underperforming” in their sales of licensed products and their ability to meet the Minimum Guaranteed Royalty (“MGR”) obligation of their license agreements. While virtually all license agreements are royaltybased, most licensors will also require that the licensee meet a MGR obligation if the licensee’s earned royalties do not meet this MGR. Unfortunately, the problems created by the pandemic have had a significant impact on the ability of many licensees to meet this MGR obligation.

The impact of this can be seen when calculating a licensee’s “Effective Royalty Rate,” which is calculated by dividing the licensee’s actual sales by the MGR. Where the licensee’s sales are significantly lower than initially projected, the “Effective Royalty Rate” can be a multiple of the contractual royalty rate. This has a double whammy on the licensee, who experienced higher costs and expenses and lower profits on its sales of the licensed products and then must pay an Effective Royalty Rate of five or even ten times the negotiated rate. For example, some licensees had previously negotiated a 12% royalty rate, but the Effective Royalty Rate was 50% or higher when factoring in the MGR. Manufacturers cannot remain in business with such a burden. Licensees have been carefully reviewing their agreements to see whether they can find some relief from such obligations. While most contracts include a force majeure provision that protects the licensee from acts of God, terrorism, governmental action, and even pandemics, the vast majority of such provisions contemplate a limited period of non-performance, e.g., 3 or 4 months, followed by a return to normal. Few, if any, consider a 2+ year impact. During the Great Recession, the courts ruled that an economic downturn was not a force majeure event. Thus, many licensing “partners” now face the problem of trying to find a reasonable business solution to a problem that was the fault of neither party, relying on the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing” that is inherent in all license agreements. While licensors and licensees have both been reluctant to discuss how they are handling the problem publicly, the most common solution is to extend the term of the license agreement to allow the licensee to “earn out” the MGR, reduce or even eliminate the MGR, or agree to early termination of the agreement.Those are difficult situations but are ones that good licensing partners need to resolve.


Licensing Expo May 24 - 26 Cartoons on the Bay June 1 - 5 Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit June 21 - 22 Licensing Japan June 29 - July 1 Seoul Character & Licensing Fair July 14 - 17 Children’s Media Conference July 5 - 7 Kidscreen Summit July 18 - 21 Magic Las Vegas August 8 - 11 Licensing Awards Sept 13 Brand Licensing Europe Sept 20 - 22 Toy Fair Dallas Sept 20 - 22 Toy Fair NY Sept 30 - Oct 3 MIP Junior Oct 15 - 16 MIPCOM Oct 17 - 20 Frankfurt Book Fair Oct 19 - 23 China Licensing Expo Oct 19 - 21 Brand & Licensing Innovation N America Nov 8 - 9 CES Jan 5 - 8 2023 Atlanta Market Jan 10 - 16 London Toy Fair Jan 24 - 26 Nuremberg Toy Fair Feb 1 - 5 These dates were correct at time of going to press.

Ace Fair ........................................................................... 4, 5 ADK ...................................................................................73 Asmodee ...........................................................................11 BBC Studios .....................................................................25 Beano .................................................................................27 Boat Rocker ....................................................................... 9 Brand Licensing Europe .................................................37 Bulldog Licensing .............................................................19 China Licensing Expo ...................................................129 CloudCo ...........................................................................86 Daewon Media ................................................................67 Fox Chapel Publishing ....................................................29 Genius Brands International .........................................59 Glowberry/Brave Bunnies ........................................... 6, 7 Howard Robinson ..........................................................31 King Features Syndicate ..........................................51, 85 Konami ........................................................................55, 57 Licensing China ..............................................................125


Licensing Expo 2022 ....................................................131 Mercis ................................................................................53 MeteoHeroes.................................................................. 2, 3 Milano Day of Licensing .................................................77 MIPCOM/MIP Junior ....................................................121 Moonbug Entertainment ................................................. 1 Paramount Global/Viacom ..........................................132 Penguin Ventures .............................................................15 Pokemon ...........................................................................21 SEGA Europe ...................................................................17 Sesame Workshop ........................... Button Ads plus 83 Tempting Brands .............................................................84 TF1 Licensing ...................................................................23 The Licensing Awards ..................................................117 TheSoul Publishing ..........................................................71 Usborne ............................................................................87 Warhammer ...............................................................13, 35 List correct at time of going to press

Articles from Total Licensing Summer 22

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The World of Kidamento