Total Licensing Summer 23

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Summer 2023
Regular Features Comment 14 Global news ................................................................. 16 Products of Change 159 Legally Speaking ........................................................ 164 What’s On 166 Europe Latest from Kennedy Publishing.............................. 26 Future Positive for Smiley ........................................ 35 Research from The Insights Family 38 Toikido and Piñata Smashlings ................................. 42 Santoro: Nurturing Gorjuss 110 Brands & Retail Conference .................................. 117 Busy Summer for TF1 118 The World of Penguin Ventures 120 Wildbrain CPLG: Joyful Icons ................................ 122 Amscan: Making Life a Party! 124 Vegesaurs from Studio 100 .................................... 128 Talking Millimages 130 Warhammer Licensing ............................................ 153 Turtle Power: An Interview .................................... 157 License Connection Celebrates 158 Licensing the Afro Unicorn Brand ........................ 162 North America Minecraft: Interview 106 Mark Kingston talks Zag ......................................... 108 All Aboard with Sinking Ship 126 Thunderbirds Brands at Licensing Expo ............. 134 New York Toy Fair Preview .................................... 154 Latin America Olive Oyl in Brazil 59 An Introduction to Brazilian Licensing ................ 140 Kopa talks Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador 141 12 Surviving the Chilean Storm .................................. 143 News from Latin America ...................................... 144 Latam: The Facts 146 Asia and Middle East Ace Fair Preview 88 Spotlight on South Korea ......................................... 89 Robocar POLI Back in Action! 92 The World of Musiktiger .......................................... 96 Alchemy: Protecting Pocoyo 98 Anice debuts at Licensing Expo 108 Globalizing Middle Eastern Brands....................... 136 India: Trends to Watch 150 Global The Exciting World of Falcon’s Beyond................. 25 Navigating the power of AI 127 Exquisite Gaming...................................................... 133 Barbie: Blazing a Trail at 65 147 63 147 149 139 90 102 Happy Birthday Page 63 TOTAL LICENSING Anniversary! Memories of 20 Years Grahame Grassby Simon Foulkes Ian Downes Andrew Carley Carla Silva Carole Postal Claudio Massari Maura Regan Nicolas Loufrani Michael Lou Gunter Vetter Jane Garner Preview Page43


Francesca Ash

Welcome to the 20th Anniversary edition of Total Licensing. It’s amazing how the world has changed in the last two decades – both generally and, of course, in terms of our licensing activities.

Co-Publisher Jerry Wooldridge

Editorial Director Rebecca Ash

When we published our first edition, we were still a year away from Peppa Pig! Harry Potter was still relatively new. The latest Lord of the Rings released in theatres, along with the debut of Finding Nemo and Licensing Expo was still at the Javits Center in New York.

Of course, there were other factors in play that have, quite literally, changed all our lives.

Office Manager Helen Bowerman

work was created in 1999, and it was then that everyone started illegally downloading music for free instead of buying CDs. The service came with its fair share of issues, though, from songs that took hours to download to ones that ended up being the completely wrong file.

Today, you don’t have to painstakingly download your music illegally, you can just listen to whatever you want on a streaming service like Spotify. It might not be free if you don’t want to listen to commercials, but it’s certainly more convenient.

Japan Agent Roger Berman, ZenWorks

Today, all of us are on the internet more than we are not. Facebook didn’t exist in 2003, nor did Instagram, YouTube, Twitter,WhatsApp and a host of other platforms that we all now take for granted and use as part of our daily lives. Nobody knew what kale or quinoa was and ‘friend’ wasn’t a verb.

Even Presidents, Prime Ministers and other national leaders give updates on Twitter now – inconceivable twenty years ago.

Broadcasting has also changed profoundly over the last twenty years.TV is becoming more popular than movies – and if you want to watch a film you rent off Amazon Prime rather than heading to Blockbuster.

A tablet was something you took if you were sick. Nokia was the go-to cellphone - you made calls and played a few pretty basic games. It wasn’t until 2007 that Apple launched their ubiquitous iPhone and changed the world of communication as we know it. There’s no need to remember anybody’s phone number now. But lose your phone and it’s a nightmare!

Disposable cameras were everywhere and you couldn’t imagine using a phone to take a picture. In fact, taking a picture of yourself, considered rather odd twenty years ago, is now totally normal and even has a name.

It was another year before Google became available to the public and if music was your thing you burned CDs as opposed to making playlists now. Who can forget Napster? The file-sharing net-

The world was, without doubt, a very different place and the advances over the last twenty years have been phenomenal.

In Total Licensing’s twenty years we have seen countless companies come and go, buyouts, mergers and properties that became the hottest thing for a year or two and then died a death.

In the pages of this issue, we’ve asked various people around the world what they think has changed over the last two decades.Their answers make for interesting reading.

This issue is very much one of celebrations. Within these pages is a fun and fascinating feature celebrating 30 years of Haven – one of the leading licensing agencies in Australia. Our warmest congratulations to Tom, Yvonne and the rest of the crew at Haven. Thirty years is a fantastic achievement.

The issue also has an in-depth look at the Korean licensing marketplace and shines the spotlight on Latin America – from Brazil to Chile.

And, of course, as we are all heading to Las Vegas this June, the issue carries a preview feature of what attendees might be looking forward to seeing at Licensing Expo this year. This issue will be distributed at Licensing Expo, and the New York Toy Fair of course. And we will be in the aisles throughout the show days. We very much look forward to seeing many of our readers. And we’re looking forward to the next twenty years!

© 2023 Total Licensing Ltd. Printed in England. All illustrations are reproduced by permission of their owners. No part of this magazine may be copied or quoted without permission from the Publishers first. Total Licensing Ltd does not warrant or assume any legal liability for the accuracy or legality of contents, images or advertisements submitted to the magazine. Opinions of the contributing writers are their own and do not reflect the opinion of Total Licensing Ltd. 14 TOTAL LICENSING LTD 4 Wadhurst Business Park Faircrouch Lane, Wadhurst, East Sussex TN5 6PT UK Tel: +44 (0) 1892 782220
/totallicensing @totallicensing /totallicensing /totallicensing
With thanks to those who contributed to this issue


In the first console game based on the leading fashion doll Rainbow High, fans step into the colorful, immersive school environment that some have come to know, and have fun with fan favorite characters. The game will be available this fall on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Rainbow High: Runway Rush is a puzzle adventure game. Fans will put together their first creative assignment with the theme ‘Everything is Art.’ Fans can play as one of the six original Rainbow High characters – Ruby, Poppy, Sunny, Jade, Skyler, or Violet – and utilize their different creative skills as they play – including Sunny’s illustrations and Skyler’s Fashion design – to complete puzzles and help their classmates. Working together they must show their artistic flair to create a standout idea. The team with the best idea will be awarded a chance to plan a major project for the Creative Spring Challenge.  Rainbow High: Runway Rush features many locations from the series and gives players the opportunity to both play as and meet their favorite Rainbow High characters. Fans can play as Sunny and find everything she needs for the day in her bedroom, as Ruby to prepare croissants in the Rainbow Union, or as Skyler to design and make an outfit. In addition to the main story mode, players will be able to take on a series of quests, play mini games and find collectibles to level up their characters with unlockable outfits.

Beth Goss, CEO of Outright Games, said, “We have had the pleasure of previously adapting two of MGA’s fantastic IPs; L.O.L Surprise! and Bratz, into video games, and we are delighted to be the development and publishing partner for the first Rainbow High video game. Rainbow High is a fast-growing franchise and its core tenets of community and fashion translate incredibly well to dynamic game play in our new title, which we believe complements the overall development of MGA’s brand.”

Isaac Larian, Founder and CEO of MGA Entertainment said, “With the first ever console game for Rainbow High, the No. 1 fashion doll franchise, fans will enjoy the experience of playing as their favorite Rainbow High characters, exploring the school, and getting to know these popular characters in an entirely new and interactive way. Since we launched the brand nearly three years ago, we have continued to offer fans many ways to connect with the brand, whether through the fashion doll line, the YouTube and Netflix series, or this new game.”

Carla Bolaños Blanco from Xaloc Studios said: “The puzzle genre was a natural fit for Rainbow High: Runway Rush, as the franchise is centered so much on creativity, and this genre enables players to take on creative tasks and problem solve in a way that is unique to them.Working with Outright Games, we ensured gameplay was appropriate for logic and reading skills of different ages. To help younger players navigate and learn the game, we’ve incorporated a “Hint Scan” feature that helps identify at one sight every interactive element of the puzzles making navigation easier for younger players.”

Rainbow High is a line of fashion dolls and accessories that includes characters representing all the colors of the rainbow. The first line of dolls was released in 2020 by MGA and was hugely successful on its launch, including being named No. 1 New Toy at the 2020 Toy of the Year Awards in the U.S. The animated series aired the same year on YouTube and became available on Netflix in March 2021, accumulating more than one billion minutes watched on all platforms.


Established Licensing has announced its official launch as a strategic partnerships consulting agency, specializing in delivering solutions that help brands and businesses navigate complexity, ignite innovation, and accelerate growth. Established combines deep industry expertise and creative thinking to empower clients with modern partnership solutions that deliver results.

With over a decade of industry experience, the team at Established distinguishes itself with its unique blend of knowledge and forwardthinking approach. Their mission is to empower brands and businesses through innovative partnership solutions that drive growth and success.

“We are excited to make this announcement as we understand the power of collaboration and the value it can bring to both brands and businesses. Our goal is to help clients navigate the partnership landscape, connect with top-tier partners, and pave the way for fruitful collaborations. We believe in fostering a culture of integrity, innovation, collaboration, adaptability, and excellence that benefits all stakeholders involved,” says Peter Betts, Founder of Established Licensing.

Established offers a comprehensive suite of bespoke services, including partnership strategy development, partner sourcing, digital integration, negotiation, activation, and management. The agency is devoted to delivering unparalleled value and transformative results for its clients.

In addition to their core offerings, Established also focuses on identifying untapped opportunities for clients, employing data-driven insights to ensure their partnerships are strategically aligned with market trends and consumer preferences. This data-centric approach enables clients to stay ahead of the curve in today’s ever-evolving marketplace. For more information about Established Licensing’s strategic partnership consulting services, visit estbd. com or or get in touch at



Thousands of children’s toys damaged in the Brisbane floods 2022 have avoided landfill and instead been recycled and repurposed to build roads and other infrastructure, in what is believed to be a world-first for the $156 billion toy industry.

Queensland, Australia business Mizzie the Kangaroo has become fully-circular by repurposing more than 2000 of its iconic orange natural rubber teething toys, and launching a new initiative whereby customers can post or re-

now recycle our trademark products is huge for us and our customers.”

More than 12,000 units of Mizzie the Kangaroo’s educational books, puzzles, music boxes and teething toys worth $330,000 were destroyed in February 2022 when water tore through its Brisbane warehouse.

Thousands of its bright orange natural rubber teething toys were covered in mud, rendering them unsuitable for sale.

Having built the company with a firm focus on sustainability, Mrs Ebbott

turn their used products to the business for recycling.

The award-winning products, pulled from the company’s flooded warehouse, found a new home with Pearl Global, a pioneering Australian company committed to solving the global waste tyre problem. Mizzie the Kangaroo founder Sandra Ebbott described the partnership between the two Queensland companies as “perfect”.

“Our teething and educational toys are designed to give our children the best start in life,” she said. “We’re on a mission now to extend this notion, by ensuring our environmental impact is minimal, giving them a better future.

“We use natural and environmentallyfriendly materials, but the fact we can

couldn’t stand the thought of them going to waste, so on top of dealing with the clean-up, she spent months trying to find a second use for them.

Enter Pearl Global, who used its thermal desorption process to transform the toys into high-value fuel, carbon, steel and gas, while using almost zero emissions.

“To know the Mizzies that were damaged in the floods and those no longer needed by our customers won’t go to waste and will play a critical role in our local infrastructure, is pretty special,” Mrs Ebbott said. Pearl Global cofounder Gary Foster said the company was happy to provide a solution that ensured none of the damaged toys went to waste.

“It is a pleasure to support Mizzie the Kangaroo as a business that shares our values of circular economy and commitment to diverting waste from landfill through repurposing,” he said. The global toys industry is valued at $156 billion, with the Australian share worth $586 million.

Mrs Ebbott said with the sector only continuing to grow, it was crucial businesses found a way to reduce their environmental footprint. “Parents are buying fewer toys for their children and looking out for ones that are sustainably made and packaged, as a way to reduce the amount of waste their family produces,” she said. “It’s up to all of us to find new and creative ways of doing things.”

Mizzie the Kangaroo recently closed a $268,000 crowdfunding campaign to help it develop a suite of new products and increase its presence overseas. Its new recycling program means each Mizzie purchased can be returned to the company at the end of its lifespan, so it can be repurposed and diverted from landfill.

Mrs Ebbott said she was actively working with her Australian retail partners - which includes Myer, Kidstuff and Terry White Chemart - to create other collection points, to make it easier than ever for customers to recycle.

Brisbane Economic Development Agency CEO Anthony Ryan said he was proud to see local partnerships creating positive change.

“This is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when enterprising people come together to overcome challenges,” he said.

“Thanks to the passion and ingenuity of Sandra and her team, what could have been a disappointing loss has been given a new, sustainable purpose.

“Brisbane Economic Development Agency is proud to support businesses by making connections that help them grow, adapt and succeed.”

Pearl Global has processed more than two million tyres,with the materials produced going on to be used in the construction of several roads across Queensland.



Media I.M. Incorporated, the London-based content distribution company that specialises in premium animation and family entertainment, has sold the first six seasons of its hit property Sunny Bunnies to Televisa in Mexico. It also reports a string of global sales for the pre-school phenomenon, including its first deals in Austria, Hungary and Israel.

Mexican media giant Televisa has licensed Sunny Bunnies and will start airing the show this summer on its free-to-air channel Canal 5. The landmark deal will bring the Sunny Bunnies to Mexican terrestrial audiences for the first time. Following its merger with Univision last year, Televisa not only dominates its huge domestic market but is now the largest Spanish-language media company in the world.

Sunny Bunnies is also breaking new ground in Europe as a result of Media I.M.’s push into the German-speaking markets. Canal+ Austria has picked up SVOD rights for the first four seasons of the show, along with 26 episodes of spin-off Sunny Bunnies Get Busy, which offers a range of fun crafting activities inspired by the loveable creatures.

Another new territory — Hungary — has been added to the Bunnies global footprint thanks to a new deal with TV2 Kids, which has taken the first four seasons of the show for its pay-TV and SVOD/AVOD services. In addition, next month will see Sunny Bunnies roll out in Israel under a deal with Noga Communications for its kids’ channels YOYO and BUZZ.  Noga has acquired the exclusive pay-TV and non-exclusive OTT, internet, IPTV and VOD rights to seasons two, three and four.

Irina Nazarenko, co-founder of Media I.M., said: “We are thrilled to have placed Sunny Bunnies on Televisa, one of the largest and most powerful media groups in the Americas. In view of Televisa’s unbeatable ratings in Mexico, we feel sure this collaboration will make an important contribution to the growth of the Sunny Bunnies brand throughout the region. Latin America is not only one of the biggest, most vibrant markets in the world, but it’s also a notoriously difficult market to sell into — which makes the deal with Televisa a genuine milestone for Media I.M.”

Launched in 2015 on YouTube, Sunny Bunnies was picked up in 2016 by Disney Channel, Disney Junior and DisneyNOW in the US. A wave of high-profile sales across Europe and Asia-Pacific followed, as the pre-school animation’s popularity built around the world. The series now airs in more than 160 countries and is supported by a comprehensive L&M strategy encompassing toys, books, magazine, publishing and apparel.

The Sunny Bunnies are five beaming balls that can appear anywhere there is a source of light, from sunshine to moonlight. In each episode, the cheeky creatures bring their fun and games to a different location — a circus, a sports stadium, a park — embarking on mischievous adventures and spreading laughter and happiness wherever they go. And at the end of every episode, the fun continues with a collection of bloopers.


DreamWorks Animation’s hit preschool series, Gabby’s Dollhouse, has been brought to life in LEGO brick form with the launch of its first-ever line based on the popular global series.

With the March launch of season 7, the series was the #1 kids series in the US and a Top 10 overall original streaming series, in addition to being top 10 in over 89 markets. The Gabby’s ecosystem continues to drive significant engagement with the Gabby & Friends YouTube channel recently crossing the milestone of one billion lifetime views. And on the consumer products side, Gabby is a force at retail. The brand was the top growth property in preschool in 2022, with the award-winning Gabby’s Dollhouse Purrfect Playset becoming the #1 Preschool Item in the US.

On a different note, Nickelodeon will welcome preschoolers into the magical world of Gabby’s Dollhouse, marking the linear debut for the series on the Nick Jr. channel. The hybrid live-action and animated series follows the super fun adventures of Gabby, as she unboxes a brand-new surprise in every episode before jumping into a fantastical world full of adorable cat characters that live inside her magical dollhouse. Following the premiere, new episodes from the first season will continue to roll out Monday through Thursday for three consecutive weeks on the Nick Jr. channel.

Since the debut of DreamWorks Animation’s hit series?Gabby’s Dollhouse, kids around the world have been having one big sprinkle party with their new friend Gabby and all her kitty friends.?Rooted in growth mindset, Gabby’s activity-based episodes encourage flexible thinking and learning from your mistakes. The show has become one of the fastest growing brands in the preschool space, inspiring an award-winning toy line, publishing, home, apparel, and more, as well as original music, a top-rated app and a growing YouTube channel visited by millions of fans weekly. Additionally,?Gabby’s Dollhouse?continues to lend itself to global fan experiences including Universal theme park activations, live events and much more.?



Moonbug Entertainment recently announced a new refreshed look of the company’s 24/7 linear channel, “Moonbug KIDS”, and a new name, “Moonbug,” in line with its wider corporate rebrand. The new “Moonbug” channel identity aims to convey the same energy and fun as its colourful shows and characters.  While streaming and content on demand continue to gain popularity, linear channels are still relevant and, in 2022, Moonbug saw

a big expansion of its linear channel, reaching 75+ countries across the globe.

Moonbug has provided dedicated feeds to leading partners across EMEA and APAC including O2, Multichoice/ DStv, OSN, Turktelekom/Tivibu, Cignal, Astro, Turkcell/TV+, Telekom Malaysia/Unify TV, Telekom Indonesia/ Indihome and more.

“We want to give every family the opportunity to enjoy our shows on

their preferred and go-to platforms, whether it is on the go or at home on an ad-free linear channel,” said Moonbug’s Managing Director EMEA and APAC, Nicolas Eglau. “Especially with a preschool audience, linear channels can be a huge help for young families trying to establish healthy routines. Whether it is bedtime or mealtimes, our programming finds the suitable content to mirror families’ daily life.”   “Linear TV remains extremely relevant across many territories, where viewers favour ad-free content and a curated experience. It is also particularly relevant in markets where streaming penetration is not as extended and there is a big demand for linear services,” adds Dilek Doyran, Moonbug Director, Distribution & Content Partnerships in EMEA.

This rebrand further contributes towards moving everything under a cohesive Moonbug umbrella, elevating its brand positioning and encouraging industry and consumer recognition as the company behind some of the most beloved shows in kids’ entertainment.


2023 looks to be a record year for TeamTO, one of the leading kids content creators in the worldwide animation industry. Following their move to a brand new 2700 square meter studio in Paris, TeamTO has been going full throttle with a slew of shows either launching or on air this year, both high-profile, third party productions as well as original IP’s. Two of TeamTO’s own shows – Jade Armor (starring the teenage kung-fu aficionado and superheroing, Jade) and Behind the Beats (a maverick animated pop music documentary series) are up for a 2nd season, putting them on track for strong licensing and franchise potential. Some of the exciting new shows TeamTO is producing on a service basis for industry leaders include: Kiya & the Kimoja Heroes in collaboaration with eOne for Disney and Disney Plus; Plarium’s Raid: Call of the Arbiter airing on YouTube; Silvergate’s Creature Cases for Netflix; Dreamworks Dew Drop Diaries also for Netflix; and Season 6 of eOne/Frogbox’ mega hit PJ Masks.

In addition to the shows produced on a service basis, a half dozen of TeamTO’s original series are all currently airing around the globe including: Emmy-nominated Angelo Rules (26 x 22, Season 5), Jade Armor (26 x 22); Behind the Beats (26 x 5), Mighty Mike (78 x 7); and Presto! School of Magic (26 x 22). And to add to the excitement, two more shows currently in development will be pitched at Cartoon Forum and Mip Junior later this year, while several book rights deals will soon be announced.

Guillaume Helllouin, President, commented, “This has

been our busiest year ever as we continue to expand and take on a broad variety of projects, in many different styles, both for third parties and ourselves. On the originals side, we have half a dozen original shows at different stages of development, and on the service side we are especially pleased that our work is sought out by the best in the business, from Silvergate, eOne and Frogbox, to Dreamworks, Netflix, Plarium and Disney.”

As one of the most innovative and awarded CG studios in Europe, TeamTO has a long history of producing high-end series for industry leaders such as Disney’s Elena of Avalor and Sofia the First, and Ubisoft’s Rabbids Invasion. More recently they produced animation for Netflix’ acclaimed series City of Ghosts, Activision Blizzard’s Skylander Academy and eOne’s Ricky Zoom. And prior to creating TeamTO in 2005, founders Guillaume Hellouin and Corinne Kouper produced Disney’s first ever preschool show in CG, the multi-Emmy-winning Rolie Polie Oli.



Since its premiere in 2018, BBC Studios’ animated series Bluey has gained a massive following worldwide. The series’ success has been noticeable in Poland, where it ranked as number one on CBeebies and Disney Jr for the entirety of 2022, whilst its uplift in Denmark in Q1 of 2023 on DR Ramasjang from seventh to the number one spot further underlines the series popularity. The second part of season 3 landed on Disney+ worldwide in April.

Another character whose global popularity knows no bounds is Sanrio’s Hello Kitty, who recently joined forces with Danish fashion brand Soulland to create a unique collection that was met with joy by fans on social media and made headlines in Vogue and Hypebeast. Also from Denmark, Boyhood Design’s wooden Hello Kitty collectible was released in April and is available globally. Spring 2023 has also seen retailer Sinsay release a collection of self-care products and fashionable clothing pieces for both adults and children.

In the Nordics, Swedish author Elias Våhlund’s series of books, Handbook for Superheroes, had its eighth book titled The Longest Night hit shelves on March 31. March also saw Egmont’s new board game release at Adlibris and other retailers.

The new pre-school series Petronix Defenders followed a successful premiere on YLE in Finland late last year, with debuts in Norway (NRK), Denmark (DR), and Sweden (SVT) now in May. Season 1 of the pre-school hit Dino Ranch is now airing on Free TV in the Nordics, where Meet & Greet events are proving popular having premiered in April. Storybooks, coloring, and activity titles from Egmont have hit stores in Sweden and storybooks from Otava are launching in September in Finland.

After its premiere in Poland in September last year, the series also landed in Croatia on HRT back in April. Poland has also seen books released from Media Service Zawada, as well as magazine issues from Egmont.

The big screen is gaining crowds post-pandemic, and one of the biggest events this year is surely Legendary Entertainment’s highly anticipated Dune: Part Two premiering November 3, 2023.

Based on the classic novels by Frank Herbert, Denis Villeneuve returns to direct a star-studded cast led by Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya.

Legendary is also delivering a sequel for its global MonsterVerse franchise, with Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire that hits theaters in March 2024. Its predecessor in 2021 grossed close to $470M globally, proving that Monsters are in fashion!


Animated icon Betty Boop continues to shine with fitting brand collaborations and a much buzzed about Broadway musical, BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical, which is set for its world premiere in Chicago this November.

Recent brand collaborations have included streetwear collection BOOP Produced by: RGB at Fred Segal, a line of phone cases and accessories with Velvet Caviar, graphic tees with Princess Polly, and a collection of apparel and gifts with popular retailer Hot Topic.

Upcoming collaborations include a summer collection of apparel designs with Unique Vintage and a cosmetics drop with Glamlite Cosmetics. Betty Boop and other Fleischer Studios classic characters are represented by leading brand licensing agency Global Icons.

First introduced in 1930, Betty Boop was created by Max Fleischer for his “Talkartoons” series, the world’s first animated “talkies” which Max’s company, Fleischer Studios, produced for Paramount Studios. Betty initially appeared as a doglike stage performer who sang and danced with another dog-like character named Bimbo, joyfully entertaining vast audiences of other Fleischer characters from the animal kingdom.

Inspired by the collective energy, style and sound of the many popular Jazz Age flappers and entertainers of the 1920s, Betty quickly evolved into a full-fledged human character, and by 1932 she had become the only female animated screen star in the world. Voiced by Mae Questel, Betty starred in more than 100 cartoons, 90 of which are included in the official Betty Boop series, which ended in 1939. Since then, Betty has appeared in dozens of hit movies, television specials, commercials, and was the first cartoon character to be profiled by A&E’s Biography series.

Today, Fleischer Studios and their team of creative professionals, have parlayed the iconic Betty Boop into a worldwide licensing phenomenon entertaining millions of fans and collectors alike.


Falcon’s Beyond’s Katmandu IP Gets Preschool Treatment with New Animated Series

For Daryl White, Executive Vice President of Global Licensing and Business Development at Falcon’s Beyond, the last several months have been extremely busy with numerous rollouts to manage. But White wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, it’s all coming together according to plan.

To name a few recent accomplishments, Falcon’s Beyond opened a new theme park in the Dominican Republic (Katmandu Park | Punta Cana), launched its own e-commerce website, Shop Falcon’s Beyond™, and has released three different gaming products, all of which feature the Katmandu IP. The company’s two-player trading card game, Katmandu Age of Artifacts™, is currently for sale in the park and on the e-commerce site. BEYONDLAND™ is Falcon’s first Roblox experience and Katmandu: EtherMerge™ marks the media company’s first foray into the merge-2 mobile game space.

“Our achievements over the last few months underscore our company’s mission to activate and grow intellectual property concurrently across all forms of entertainment,” said White. “This 360-degree activation includes media content, video games, consumer products, and, of course, themed entertainment destinations. It all began when the original Katmandu Park opened in Mallorca, Spain more than a decade ago. This micro theme park, which complements the beach holiday

experience, has introduced millions of guests to Katmandu’s multiverse. Now, the franchise has grown into something truly special – and global. We’re so excited to introduce new fans to this unique brand, and every venture does that in a slightly different way.”

One of the company’s latest projects, and one that White is especially enthused about, is its first Katmandu animated series, now in development.

The preschool show will feature Boro the Yeti™, one of the breakout characters first introduced at the original Katmandu theme park, and a group of fun-loving, mischievous young yetis. In this mission-oriented show, the young yetis go on adventures across Katmandu. Helping them are Kilgore Goode™ and Busby the Robot™, also from the Katmandu franchise, who provide the young yetis with all the tech they need to complete their missions. Their headquarters is in the iconic upsidedown house as seen in both Katmandu theme parks.

“Shortly after opening Katmandu Park | Punta Cana, we realized just how popular yetis were for the visitors,” White added. “While we have seen that yetis can make a special connection with the whole family, we’ve especially witnessed it with our youngest guests, so as we started to explore the concept of a preschool series, we knew yetis had to be the focus of the show.”

This consumer interest in the company’s yetis, and the larger Katmandu brand as a whole, White said, is validation that Falcon’s Beyond is offering something truly unique to consumers.

“The most exciting IP activation I’ve ever worked on is the one we are doing now with our Katmandu brand. I’ve never been part of a project where we’ve developed the brand, story, and lore in-house, then concurrently built a theme park, a mobile game, a Roblox experience, retail merchandise, and an animated series all at the same time. It’s been incredibly busy but also absolutely amazing to be doing all these things at once so we can connect fans with the different brand activations through a cohesive underlying lore.”

So, what’s next for Falcon’s Beyond?

According to White, it will be more of the same – delivering to consumers what they are craving. “Consumers want to engage with their favorite characters and stories across several platforms, including brick-and-mortar entertainment destinations, consumer products, media content, and the metaverse. When they have access to these various touchpoints, they become more immersed in the brand, and their experience begins to take on a deeper meaning. That’s what Falcon’s does. We bring fans what they want across a multitude of channels, all at the same time.”

Daryl White

Sophie Prewett, Assistant Head of Editorial, Kennedy Publishing

Firstly, how was your preschool publishing business in 2022?

While the preschool magazine sector is down year-on-year, following two years of high performance resulting from lockdowns, as parents recognised the value of magazines as a resource for screen-free fun and learning during school closures, Kennedy continues to outperform the market. Our preschool portfolio has gone from strength to strength, particularly with the acquisition of Baby Shark magazine in 2022.

What were some of your big successes?

Our preschool portfolio continues to thrive in the most competitive category, particularly in licensed evergreens such as Fireman Sam, Octonauts and Peter Rabbit which are supported by strong TV programming and toy lines. Our own title Everything Dinosaurs also continues to be a bestseller, proving the dinosaur obsession isn’t disappearing anytime soon! We are always listening to our readers and publishing with sustainability in mind, which is why we launched a wooden fishing set on Baby Shark magazine last year. It was both one of the year’s bestselling issues and the most successful sustainability trial in

the entire market! We are delighted to be a leader in this field and will continue to trial sustainability initiatives moving forward.

What new launches do you have in the sector for 2023?

We are very excited by the launch of Go Jetters in April, Milkshake! magazine in May and CoComelon in August.

Thoughtful use of licensing is key to succeeding in this competitive market. We focus on identifying brands with engaging stories and heritage or evergreen brands that can be invigorated with a fresh approach. We consider how our readers will respond to the property – if it’s trusted by children and adults, then we know we can build quality products on that foundation and nurture their success for years to come.

What ingredients does a successful preschool magazine need, in your opinion?

We already have a relationship with the BBC through publishing Mr Tumble magazine, so we are eager to embrace the Go Jetters ethos of helping children learn about the planet through exploration and adventure. Milkshake! is based on the incredibly popular children’s TV channel and is packed with everyone’s favourite characters, including Peppa Pig, PAW Patrol and Thomas & Friends. We have a wealth of experience with preschool compilation titles which we have channeled into creating playful and interactive Milkshake! content. CoComelon focuses on positivity and finding the fun in learning, with an emphasis on music and movement.

How important is licensing in the preschool publishing sector?

Engaging storytelling and exciting artwork are vital to captivate and inspire young minds. Acknowledging that educational value is particularly important for this audience, we ensure that all our pre-school titles support the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and clearly signpost to adults how activities aid their child’s development, along with ideas for continued learning off the page.

It’s important to wrap this educational aspect in vibrant, stimulating activities supported by gifts that hold repeat play value. Magazines are not just a treat, but a fantastic route into reading for many children!

What would you most like to achieve in the category by the end of 2023?

We recently became the secondlargest children’s magazine publisher in the UK, a fantastic achievement. We will look to cement this by nurturing the preschool titles already in our portfolio, ensuring the content and gifts remain engaging for our readers, whilst seeking new opportunities.

I suspect we will have several new preschool launches secured by the end of the year, so watch this space!



Rocket Licensing has been appointed to manage licensing in the UK and other countries in Europe for The 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop, an innovative campaign that honours the legends and communities that birthed the cultural movement in 1973.

Determined to build a permanent bridge back to the communities that created the hip hop culture and to honour, support and uplift those communities, The 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop campaign is organising a number of concerts, events and collaborations, as well as investing in content creation and licensing. For the Culture Fund has been created, with an initial goal to raise $250 million dollars and issue grants to 50 US-based organisations that will improve the communities that birthed the hip hop culture. Partnering with NGO Beats Rhymes & Relief, as well as the Carver Federal Savings Bank (to house the fund), The 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop will communicate the message of peace, love and unity – capturing the spirit of the hip hop community in its formative years. Rocket Licensing is working with licensees to direct a portion of the royalties to both the For The Culture Fund and other local organizations. Making the most of Rocket Licensing’s experience and expertise in brand building development, The 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop already has plans for merchandising, activities and events highlighting the core elements of hip-hop – MCing, DJing, graffiti art, and breaking and knowledge. The potential product categories include apparel, footwear, headwear, sunglasses, records, stationery, tech accessories, gifts, games, toys and novelty items. Rocket will be managing the UK and parts of the European market, supported by master agent The Brand Liaison, in the US.


The Gigantosaurus toy line and plush collection, based on the Cyber Group Studios TV series, is now available in Italy, distributed under the Grandi Giochi brand through an agreement between the manufacturer, United Smile, and Giochi Preziosi. The collaboration between United Smile and leading producer and distributor Cyber Group Studios has resulted in a brand-new toy range that allows children to recreate their favorite adventures of the series’ dinosaur friends at home. The Gigantosaurus toy line features a wide assortment of mini figures that fans can collect through single-packs or the Mighty Mini Friends Egg, which contains a mini character and slime inside.

In fact, the first UK licensee for The 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop has already been signed. Pop culture product innovator and manufacturer of licensed apparel and accessories Bioworld International Ltd is planning to produce a range of daywear, loungewear, nightwear and accessories for adults and older children. It will reach retail in the UK and Europe in late summer this year, to coincide with The 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop. The daywear range includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, fashion tops, shirts, jackets and trousers. There will also be loungewear, including leggings, shorts, joggers and tops, as well as nightwear – pyjamas, nightshirts and robes. The apparel ranges are supported by an accessories range composed of headwear, bags, backpacks and small accessories.

Steven Heller, President & Founder of The Brand Liaison, commented “It’s a great honour to be part of a campaign that celebrates one of the most influential cultural and musical movements of the past half-century. We’re sure that The 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop will capture the imagination of millions and we’re thrilled to have the support of Rocket in the key markets of the UK and Europe.”

Rob Wijeratna, Joint Managing Director of Rocket Licensing, added: “Hip hop has been a phenomenon for fifty years – a major cultural landmark and one that undoubtedly needs to be celebrated! We are delighted to be part of this collaboration and to contribute in any way we can in raising awareness of this extremely important historic anniversary.”

The Soft Buddies plush collection includes four characters to collect, while the Gigantosaurus plush boasts roaring and stomping sounds. The top toy in the range is the Gigantosaurus action figure, featuring movable jaws and stomping paws. Maurizio Distefano Licensing, agent for Gigantosaurus in Italy, says: “We are excited about the launch of the new Gigantosaurus toy collection from Grandi Giochi. The Giochi Preziosi Group has been our longterm partner, ensuring the line’s success in the market. Fans of TV’s most beloved dinosaurs will finally be able to enjoy the new toys.”

Gigantosaurus is a TV series airing with both of its two seasons daily on Rai Yoyo in Italy, as well as streaming on Netflix and Disney+. Season three premiered on Disney+ and will soon be aired on Rai Yoyo Italy. The second season, with 52 11-minute episodes, explores locations from the Cretaceous period and brings to the screen all new adventures of young dinosaur friends Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu. It also introduces new characters, including baby dinosaurs and a T-rex named “T.” The series incorporates more than 40 real dinosaur species as well as realistically-rendered flora and fauna that is true to the time.



Moxie has partnered with WGBH, a public media powerhouse on the development of licensing programs across multiple brands including Antiques Roadshow, American Experience, NOVA, Frontline and Masterpiece Theater and will enter the first phase of product development in 2023. One of their most exciting success stories in the PBS kids space is the popular animated show Molly of Denali, which has captured the hearts of a new generation of kids and parents. Additionally, Moxie has collaborated with GBH to license and distribute Work it Out Wombats, an interactive children’s program that encourages computational thinking, physical activity and healthy living. This program has received high praise and in 6 short weeks from its launch, it

leaders to create exceptional products and cookbooks. Hamilton Beach is well-known for its high-quality kitchen appliances, while Weston specializes in food processing equipment for hunters, fishermen and outdoorsman. This partnership will allow Moxie to expand the reach of both brands via unique categories of product and

skyrocketed to the #2 most watched show on PBS kids; a hit with children and parents alike.

The success of these partnerships is a testament to the power of collaboration in the licensing industry. By working together, companies can leverage their strengths to create exceptional products that inspire and educate audiences worldwide. WGBH and Moxie are leading the way in creating innovative products that push the boundaries of what is possible in the industry.

Next, Moxie is now representing both Hamilton Beach and its Weston brand bringing together two industry

partnership while bringing the brands to new markets. Lastly, the licensing industry has witnessed yet another exciting collaboration that has caught the attention of the industry. FedEx, an industry leader that has been transforming the world for 50 years by connecting people and possibilities has joined forces with Moxie, a company that has made waves in the industry with its innovative collaborations and partnerships for more than 20 years.

For the last 50 years FedEx has transformed the world by connecting people and possibilities, and they just celebrated this milestone through

collaboration. They view licensing their trademarks as a facet of their growth and accessibility to their customers. They continue to maintain a steadfast commitment to deliver more than packages but also hope, opportunity, and good in the world. They are now looking forward to introducing FedEx to existing consumers and a whole new generation with the help of Moxie via exciting and new innovative product launches.

The licensing industry continues to evolve, and these new Moxie collaborations are proof of the power of working together to achieve more significant goals. The above-mentioned partnerships between Moxie and GBH and Hamilton Beach Brands have shown that combining expertise can lead to exceptional products that can impress even the most discerning customers. Now, with the addition of FedEx and Moxie’s partnership, we can look forward to more exciting innovations that will transform the industry.

In conclusion, the licensing industry is undoubtedly an exciting space to watch, with partnerships like these leading the way towards innovative and exceptional products. As we look to the future, we can only imagine what new opportunities will emerge and how they will shape the industry for years to come.

Moxie & Co. is a full-service global brand management and licensing agency. With offices in Westport CT, New Jersey and New York, Moxie represents a diverse portfolio of designers and well-known brands including The MTA (The New York City Subway), FedEx, Hamilton Beach Brands, Simon & Schuster Publishing, Ivory Ella, Yvonne Ellen and Hunt A Killer to name a few. Moxie develops and manages strategic licensing programs across a wide array of product categories at all levels of retail around the globe. For more information, visit



Milo, created and produced in-house by Fourth Wall in association with DeAPlaneta Entertainment is fast becoming a global pre-school phenomenon. Airing on Milkshake! in the UK, the series is hitting on the key touch points in timeslot, ratings, and popularity, and is heralded as a top performing show on the channel. In its debut year Milo won the 2022 Best Children’s Series at the prestigious British Animation Awards; just another example of the quality of the series.

International TV sales and ratings are equally as impressive. DeAPlaneta Entertainment, who also manage worldwide TV and consumer product rights, has gone on to achieve distribution in over 40 Territories, and on the most favourable networks including, Spain (Clan TV), Italy (Rai YoYo), Australia (ABC Kids), New Zealand (TVNZ), Poland (MiniMini+ and Pulse TV), Italy (DeAJunior), Hungary (MTVA), Latin America (HBO MAX / Cartoonito),

Finland (YLE), Czech Republic (Ceska TV), Sweden (SVT), The Baltic Countries, Portugal (Canal Panda/RTP),and Middle East and North Africa (Majid and JimJam), Mango TV (China) and Canada (CBC) to name but a few. Further TV announcements for France and Germany are anticipated soon, together with additional UK distribution on VOD and streaming platforms. With such strong TV distribution, it is no wonder the consumer products programme is following suit. UK partners include, Bandai (Master Toy), Penguin Random House (Publishing), Fashion UK (Apparel), Character World (Home Textiles), Egmont (Magazine), Ravensburger (Puzzles) and Tonies (Audible). With multi territory deals in place, Bandai, Penguin, Egmont and Ravensburger also join Milo’s international CP partners including Sony, Educa Borras, CYP, Cereal Italia, Harper Collins, Panini and Editorial Planeta to name a few.


The popular children’s streaming service KidsBeeTV has teamed up with Zinkia to bring Pocoyo to its platform. The deal includes the licensing of the third season of Pocoyo, entitled “Let’s Go Pocoyo”, along with 18 songs. The episodes and songs will be available on the KidsBeeTV apps starting this month.

Pocoyo is a beloved preschool series that follows the adventures of a curious and brave little boy and his group of friends. Each episode promotes important values such as honesty, tolerance, and respect. The show is both educational and entertaining, using a variety of visual elements like gestures, colors, shapes, and music to engage young viewers.

Season 3, “Let’s Go Pocoyo”, is the perfect way for young children to develop their early vocabulary. Each episode features segments that reinforce the concepts introduced in the story, seamlessly blending education and entertainment. The episodes conclude with a song that recaps the new words learned, featuring a range of musical genres from rock to opera.

From Doctors and Mechanics, to Hairdressers, Chefs and Postal Workers, Milo introduces pre-schoolers to a variety of professions in a positive and entertaining way. The series’ underlying theme is that every job is “AMAZING” giving a positive message to children that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up!

In addition to the “Let’s Go Pocoyo” episodes, KidsBeeTV will also feature 18 Pocoyo songs, including classics like “Old Macdonald Had a Farm” as well as original Pocoyo compositions like “Toothbrush Jazz”.

KidsBeeTV offers a variety of apps, including the main app KidsBeeTV Videos and Games, a Spanish-language version named KidsBeeTV en Español, Nursery Rhymes & Lullabies by Kids-

BeeTV, and Kids Learning: Videos & Games by KidsBeeTV, an educational app featuring a wide range of content.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Zinkia and bringing the beloved Pocoyo series to our platform,” said Hugo Ribeiro, CEO of KidsBeeTV. “We’re committed to providing highquality, educational content for young children, and Pocoyo is the perfect addition to our lineup.”



Mondo TV Studios has announced that the second series of its hit animated show MeteoHeroes has received the green badge known as the seal of sustainable production, awarded by the Tenerife Film Commission.

Mondo TV Studios, whose headquarters in Tenerife incorporates measures to minimise its carbon footprint, carried out the pre-production of series 2 of the children’s animation show on the island. Series 2 of MeteoHeroes consists of 52 x 11-minute episodes. During the production process, Mondo TV Studios carried out a sustainability plan and an environmental management plan, both of which are essential if a company is to obtain the green badge. For the sustainability plan, the company took advantage of the opening of its headquarters in Tenerife to adopt measures and resources that favour recycling. To carry out the environmental management plan, Mondo TV Studios partnered with the NGO Tree-Nation, which helped the company in calculating its carbon footprint and in adopting compensa-

tory measures.

The company has decided to offset not only direct emissions, but also indirect ones, such as those linked to business trips or the acquisition of goods.

The physical certificate was delivered during the Quirino Awards, which recognises the talent of the IberoAmerican animation industry, on Thursday, 11 May. This is also the date on which the presentation of the Tenerife studios to the forum participants is scheduled.

MeteoHeroes, a big hit with its core target audience of four-to-sevenyear-olds, stands out for its message focused on the fight against climate change and in favour of the protection of the environment. Each episode focuses on themes related to ecology and respect for nature through the adventures of six children who discover that they have superpowers through which they can control weather phenomena. In addition, the show advocates values such as friendship, solidarity, gender equality, teamwork and inclusion – values that are essential

in the field of sustainability and that the series aims to convey to its young audience. MeteoHeroes is not only a highly successful television series; it is also a strong brand with an increasing international reach. The first season is already available in 145 countries and 22 languages. In Italy it is among the most successful Cartoonito children’s programmes. It has enjoyed similar success in Spain, through Clan. The second season of MeteoHeroes had its world premiere on Cartoonito in Italy in April 2022. Show purchase or broadcast plans have been confirmed by many other international channels and platforms such as Canal+ France, M2, TVN Chile’s cultural and family channel NTV, and the SVOD platform Panda+ .

Maria Bonaria Fois, CEO at Mondo TV Studios, says: “The green seal awarded to MeteoHeroes 2 by the Tenerife Film Commission reaffirms our efforts in compliance with sustainable production standards and certifies our productions as respectful towards the environment.”


The First Lifestyle Brand Dedicated to Emotional Expression

For over 50 years, Smiley has been the go-to symbol for happiness and positivity around the world. Born in 1972 to spread feel-good news, Smiley has since become one of the most influential icons in graphic design and a universal symbol of happiness, inspiring people everywhere with its creative message of positivity. Smiley has always been committed to creating evergreen trends that also promote positive journalism and prioritize social and emotional learning. With universal values, so many innovative brands partner with Smiley to develop products, promotions, and marketing campaigns that reflect their ethos.  If the last 50 years of Smiley are any indication, an authentic smile is one thing we can all rally around.

But Smiley isn’t just another traditional IP. Bringing concrete brand values and creative expertise to everything they do, helping ambitious and authentic brands stand out from the competition. By adapting their message to your audience and providing exclusive concepts that keep you fresh and relevant, they can help you harness the power of the smile to lead the world toward a future we all want to be a part of.

As the market leader and the first lifestyle brand dedicated to emotional expression, The Original Smileys™ is a creative universe filled with thousands of unique icons that make emotional expression easy and fun. Smileys provide a shortcut to understanding complex emotions and kickstarting meaningful conversations.With a comprehensive library of over 3,000 icons, SmileyWorld® is a treasure trove of

emotional expression that embodies the spirit of the digital revolution.  Through curated products with an EQ focus, Smileys can help kids & adults understand each individual emotion better, helping people take the time to smile for 50 years, now they are helping kids explore their emotions and learn to deal with them in positive ways with the Happier Schools educational packs for teachers, parents & kids. The Happier Schools Project is a series of lesson plans putting EQ at the top of the educational agenda. A schools programme that will upskill children with vital EQ life tools, through inspiring and engaging in-schools learning packs utilising a range of SmileyWorld assets and educational content.

Featuring four teams of passionate specialists, with specialist categoryspecific knowledge and a history of working for industry-leading brands in their sectors, Smiley develops around 50 style guides and product pitches each season. The creative team works hand in hand with partners to find the best way to communicate their brand DNA, enhance their image and increase their sales - that’s why so many brands chose to work with them. A dedicated in-house marketing team build a Digital & Social Campaign supporting partner launches through both organic and paid across social channels. Investing marketing fund to back partner retail launches with creative assets they can use across events, VM and their social channels.

That’s not all though - Smiley is more than just a lifestyle brand – they’re committed to making a positive impact on the world. That’s why they’ve launched Future Positive,® a long-term sustainability initiative with the mission to make a difference and ‘make better’ with partners and licensees.

With a team and systems dedicated to sustainability and a commitment to implementing change with 450 licensees and 15,000 new products annually, they are working to create a more sustainable future. Within four years, hundreds of partners will be relaying the Future Positive® message across their marketing, and in their stores.

The Future Positive® campaign creates

a turnkey solution to your sustainability journey, with a 360-global campaign including sustainable lifestyle products, infused with brand experiences, live events, and charitable giving opportunities. Smiley is proud to be the only leading IP to have made a clear commitment to sustainability with one of the strongest trademarks across all countries and classes of goods and services: Future Positive® The campaign not only supports grassroots brands and designers, but also focuses on new partners who are legitimate in the world of sustainability. By leveraging major retail partners, sustainable trade show organizers, and sustainable auditing and mentoring organizations, Smiley offers a halo campaign around your sustainable practices.

Future Positive® products are made with responsibly sourced materials that reduce harmful impact on our natural environment. That’s why brands and partners from FMCG, home, lifestyle, and fashion are all joining Smiley on this journey. Together with Smiley you can create a more sustainable and positive future.

Puma Kids x SmileyWorld Smiley x ASOS Hoptimist x SmileyWorld

Memories of Grahame


20 Years with Total Licensing as My Witness!

In February, 2003, in New York, Fred Gaffney is the first inductee into the Kidscreen Hall of Fame.

At the Hall of Fame presentation, Fred Gaffney announces to the assembled audience that Grahame Grassby cannot be present as he is at that very moment in Paris proposing to his partner Deb Ryan.

In fact, Grahame Grassby is actually standing outside a bistro in Paris in the freezing cold on a conference phone call with The Wiggles manager, Mike Conway, who is on the call in Sydney with the Hit Entertainment Chief Operating Officer, Charlie Caminada on the call in New York and with the Disney TV buyer who is on the call in LA. The purpose of the call is to finalise the commercial terms of a deal to license the entire Wiggles TV catalogue to Disney for broadcast in the US, the call lasts 40 minutes, the deal is done, a triumphant Grahame goes back inside the restaurant to celebrate this great event but does not receive the expected congratulatory response, rather is met by an angry Deb Ryan who has a cold dinner sitting in front of her and who leaves the restaurant, advising Grahame that she will be returning to Australia alone.

Fast forward 20 Years

In March, 2023, at the Melbourne Toy Fair, Fred Gaffney and Grahame Grassby present the Fred & Grazza Go Bananas Live! show - a retrospective look at the history of them selling Bananas in Pyjamas around the world from 1994 until 2003.

Deb Ryan, the long-time partner of Grahame, is the technical producer of the Fred & Grazza show and is both filming the event on her iPhone in one hand and in the other hand, running the video playout on two TV monitors behind Fred and Grahame on stage.

Ten days later, after a quick dose of COVID, Deb and Grahame are on a day trip out of Hanoi, Vietnam, being driven by their driver Sun, who speaks no English.

Sun uses Google Translator and WhatsApp on his iPhone to communicate with Deb and Grahame in English throughout the day.

Prior to one of the stops during the day, Sun plays Deb and Grahame the following message: “The Grandparents should have bought more warm clothing as it will be cold on the boat for two hours.”

And towards the end of the day; “Would the Grandparents like to go to the Dancing Monkey Cave now or back to their hotel for rest?”

Funnily enough the Grandparents chose to go back to their hotel for a rest – and let the record show that neither Deb nor Grahame have any children, let alone grandchildren!

So, Fred, Deb and Grahame have been on work and personal journeys for the last twenty years and in answer to the question what has changed over that time, my response is everything and nothing at all.

Let me explain.

The changes I’ve seen over the last 20 years are nearly all the consequence of advances in technology:

* In 2003, business was conducted on phones – be it mobiles or landlines, phone calls were the primary way of conducting business – not any more. Over the last 20 years, everything moved first to e-mail, then texting, then social media brought the likes of Instagram, WhatsApp, WeChat, Snapchat and then COVID arrived, sending everyone home for two years and it all

became about Zoom.

To underline how much communication methods have changed, I was recently speaking to a publicist at one of the world’s largest book publishing companies and I said to her that she could always call me, and her shocked facial expression with her response; “Oh no, I’d never call someone directly on the phone!” told the story – if a publicist won’t make a phone call…...

* In 2003, there was no YouTube –“What do you mean there was no YouTube?” – I mean YouTube had not been invented yet, it was launched in 2008. “So what did you do, how did it work?” – Well, we transferred and watched content on DVDs – “What’s a DVD?” I once had a job as recently as 2018, buying and selling film and TV video content for release on DVD home entertainment and now I don’t – that industry is gone, along with all the shops that rented DVDs like Blockbuster - and it’s been replaced by SVOD streamers Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Disney +, Warner Max and Paramount +.

* Similarly, in 2003, visitors to our home didn’t break out laughing at our CD stacks but not anymore – in 2023, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube Music and Sound Cloud all offer competing music streaming services and our CD stacks evoke great hilarity from everyone who sees them.


But even now in 2023,YouTube itself is being runover by the Chinese juggernaut Tik Tok, which in turn is facing increased competition for eyeballs from Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and a whole bunch of recently launched FAST TV channels.

* In 2003, cash money was still a thing – we had notes, coins and plastic cards. In 2023, we pay with phones and watches - plastic cards still exist but cash money is becoming a rare sight. I was in a shop yesterday that had a sign saying “cash accepted at register one only.” And I find myself asking in shops “do you accept cash money?” and a condescending sales assistant usually replies, “no sir, only phone or card.” And I think to myself, “Go fxxx yourself.”

* In 2003, Amazon finally turned a profit after having lost money in every one of its first nine years in the home delivery business. In 2023, home delivery rules and Amazon is the king of the castle.Two years of COVID lock up certainly helped the popularity of home delivery, especially in the home meal delivery business, but buying on the internet and having everything home delivered is now the norm rather than the exception. And it’s wrong to fantasize about giving those blasted food delivery bikes a shove as they come at you the wrong way down a one way street!”

* In 2003, there were only dumb phones and cameras were still used to take photos. It wasn’t until 2007

when the first iPhone was launched with an inbuilt camera and the iTunes App store was launched in 2008. Now there is an App for everything – even an App to teach your child to do number twos called Crappa - and actual cameras, not ones in phones, are pretty much only used by professional photographers.

* In 2003, Google’s stated code of conduct was “Don’t be evil” noting that “We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served—as shareholders and in all other ways— by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short-term gains.” Google dropped the “Don’t be evil” slogan somewhere along the way.

In 2023, Google rules the internet but look what’s this coming over the horizon – the biggest changemaker we will witness in our lifetimes – it’s called AI (Artificial Intelligence) – ChatGPT and

similar AI apps are going to revolutionize the world in ways I cannot imagine but changes that will occur on a scale not seen before have already begun.

So, looking back at 2003 what were some of the biggest properties before all this change occurred? There was all things Disney, and Star Wars, Barbie, Sesame St, Lego and Pokémon - and what are some of the biggest properties in 2023 – there are all things Disney including Star Wars, and Barbie, Sesame St, Lego, Pokémon and oh that’s right, Bluey’s doing quite well, as is the YouTube property, Cocomelon and the video game based, mega movie hit, Super Mario Brothers.

So everything now is pretty much the same as it was except just add in a few new properties that are now spinning off the internet and computer games and there’s still a human with a great new idea for a TV show.

And as for the Grandparents, Deb & Grahame, they are the same, just 20 years older and will be off to Egypt for a holiday before seeing some of you at Kidscreen in February 2024 and Fred Gaffney, well Fred will attend Licensing Expo in May 2024 for one last time to celebrate his 80th year on Planet Earth – be sure to say hello as he says he won’t be back that way again – we’ll see.

Happy 20th Birthday Total Licensing – to Francesca, Jerry, Rebecca and Helen – thanks for being there.

TOTAL LICENSING 37 Memories of

A Very Prime Example

The Insights Family – a global leader in kids, teens, parents, and family market intelligence and MarTech company of the year – has the power to identify actionable real-time intelligence for organisations utilising its class-of-one methodology.

Using their super powerful propriety data, they enable clients and partners to foresee opportunities ahead of time, track the launch of new brands & products, identify specific opportunities (and challenges) which are unique to a brand or product and monitor the impact of macro events on them.

Focusing on one of the top trends of 2023, the internet sensation energy drink PRIME, which despite KSI’s recent slur continues to grow. According to the Founder of The Insights Family, Nick Richardson, this was an opportunity that they had foreseen for years.

“We have seen how consumers, retailers and media have all been surprised by the success of the PRIME energy drink. But the only surprise to us, was why has it taken so long to come about! Our market intelligence has tracked not only the popularity of KSI and Logan Paul, but has seen that KSI fans over the years have grown to trust him, and are significantly more likely to buy products which he is associated with.”

The Insights Family’s Kids Insights data shows that between 1st January 2020 and 1st January 2023, 9-18-year-olds in the UK spent more time watching YouTube than

any other TV platform, with more than 257,000 UK kids (between the age of 9-18) stating that KSI was their number one favourite YouTuber (and Logan Paul ranking 21st). The way that KSI has resonated with UK kids, has meant that they have significant demand to purchase products which he is associated with-specifically Video Games, Clothes, Music Tracks and of course Food & Drink.

Since the launch of the PRIME Energy on January 4th, PRIME has become one of the 56,000+ brands and IP which it

tracks in real-time. Since its launch on the January 4th, PRIME has established itself as the third most popular drink with UK Kids aged 9-18, and with UK kids between the age of 10-14 PRIME is now their favourite drink! And with PRIME fans, +62% more likely to influence friends/household spend, there shows no sign of this slowing down.

And whilst the subsequent KSI controversary has seen his popularity reduce with UK kids by nearly a third, the PRIME energy drinks popularity since then has continued to experience double-digit growth.

The Insights Family have put together a comprehensive report which demonstrates what they have seen, and how they have foreseen and tracked the opportunity, as well as identifying some key opportunities for other organisations, including the identification of a new UK retail partner for the drink sensation.

To download the FREE report, visit:


20 Years with Simon Foulkes, Rainbow Productions

How did you get into this business?

As I neared the end of my days at Rose Bruford Drama School in the early ‘90’s panic set in as to how I was going to make a living in the incredibly competitive world of acting. Whilst I had secured a role in a BBC production of House of Elliot and enjoyed every moment of filming on location in Bath I realised that life was set to be quite a financial struggle and needed other income streams.

Through a mutual friend I met with Daniel Avener (current CEO of MDR) who was working at the time at Copyright Promotions Limited (CPL) and then coincidentally another friend mentioned he had started working at Rainbow Productions, who were owned by CPL. Once I got a handle on how licensed promotions worked I applied to be a character performer. Fortunately in 1992 Captain Scarlet and the Thunderbirds were all the rage and lo and behold Rainbow needed 6’1 character performers.

Little did I know that my love and fascination with commedia dell’arte could actually earn me quite a good living. Shortly after finishing House of Elliot, the MD of Rainbow Productions at the time, David Scott, offered me a full-time role selling costume character events and generously gave me free reign to develop any other sales opportunities. On the back of the recommendations of Lord Justice Taylors report following the Hillsborough

footballing tragedy I visited almost every football club in the UK promoting the idea that a mascot could assist with changing the face of the clubs in the community and attract a completely new family audience.

The idea snowballed and before long we had made mascots for the top sides in the UK and Europe as well as those with growing aspirations in the lower leagues. So began my career in licensing and some 30 years later I am proud now to be at the helm of Rainbow Productions following David’s retirement in 2020.

Are there any standout moments for you over the last two decades?

There have been so many changes in the world of licensing over the last 20 years and from Rainbow’s perspective we have become a far more Global organisation.

All of the mascot production and events are still run and managed from our unique studios in South London and the size of the organisation has dramatically increased but fundamentally we still have the same passion and values that got us to where we are now. We have been incredibly fortunate to create mascots for some of the world’s leading studios; many of which we have worked with for over 25 years.

Seeing mascots at the world’s largest sporting tournaments, fronting international brand promotions, parading at Royal celebrations, dancing at Eurovision song contests and knowing these all started life in our studios is testament to the incredible people we have Rainbow that our products are regarded in such esteem.

Personally speaking, the Licensing Industry may have changed and grown but I have made so many friendships over the last 20 or 30 years and share so many memories with so many people who are still travelling from expo to expo and presentation to presentation today.

Working in the licensing industry has

taken me to parts of the world I never would have visited and when I think of some of the places I have done deals the stories mount up (and I am not even going to mention Rosie O’Gradys in New York and Eyecandy in Vegas ). On my knees in a church, giving blood in a donor centre, screaming on a rollercoaster, lost in a maze, on an 11 hour plane journey are just a few great memories I have of new licensing deals but the crowning glory has to be sealing the deal over Bob the Builder with a client in Poland, Magdalena, who is now my co-director and wife.

What are the key changes in licensing that you’ve seen over the last 20 years?

The licensing industry has certainly changed over the last 20 years and in many ways the market in all categories is far more diluted.

But, this has led to some exceptional entrepreneurial individuals stepping forward and some incredible licensing deals being done. Each week when I read Ian Downes’ Licensing Lookout I cast my mind back a couple of decades and some of those deals would and could never have happened. The core values of the industry clearly have not changed but social and environmental consciousness have become a guiding factor. Generally, the industry has adapted and modernised and become much more considerate following the mercurial events of the past few years. With very few exceptions in our part of the industry the relationships forged over the last few decades have remained solid and tremendous empathy was revealed.

Looking into your crystal ball, what key changes do you think will be important over the next 20 years?

As would be expected the industry parallels and, in some cases fashions, society and as we inhabit the shifting world we can be proud that our industry is ahead of the game. The licensing industry lives the legacy of change.

TOTAL LICENSING 40 Memories of

Welcome to the Piñataverse!

Founded by Darran Garnham in 2020, Toikido brings successful gaming properties, including Among Us and Gang Beasts, to toy and apparel retail for fans around the world. Since its launch, the London-based company has sold more than 20 million items across 75 countries and partnered with entertainment powerhouses like Roblox, Netflix, Skydance and Apple.

Ahead of its launch with Roblox in July, Toikido’s Piñata Smashlings is already attracting attention. Set to be a blockbuster game and children’s IP, Total Licensing caught up with Will Ochoa, CCO at Toikido to find out more. bination of my huge respect for Darran and Toikido’s progressive way of working. They have a forward-thinking approach and truly prioritize a ‘family first’ policy, which they genuinely put into action. Darran has an outstanding track record of success and has assembled a talented and agile team at Toikido many of whom are old colleagues of mine, so it is a great atmosphere. I am thrilled to be working with him again and the entire team.”

Recently appointing IMG as its exclusive licensing representative in key territories including Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America will ensure the development of a portfolio of products and experiences for Toikido’s first-ever in-house IP ‘Piñata Smashlings’. Will joined the company a few months ago but has known Darran for many years. “I first met Darran 12 years ago at Mind Candy. He gave me my initial opportunity in a commercial role, which eventually led to me joining CPLG. We collaborated once again on the Minions Brand. After that, I spent six years working in Asia, starting at One Animation in Singapore, which was recently acquired by Moonbug, and then at Zuru Toys, where I led their European business. From London to Singapore, Shenzhen to Hong Kong, Leeds to Bristol, and now I find myself here!”

“In the past year, the toy industry reached $100 billion, while the gaming industry surpassed $200 billion.”

What sets Toikido apart? Will elaborates, “Toikido has an exceptionally unique business model and a strategic advantage. We are a toy-led gaming studio, manufacturing our own intellectual properties with toys and gaming at the core of our business. In the past year, the toy industry reached approximately $100 billion, while the gaming industry surpassed $200 billion. We find ourselves in the perfect position, right in the sweet spot between these two thriving industries.”

closely with Retail Monster in the US, who are soon to announce numerous licensing partners on Smashlings. Additionally, we’re thrilled to announce the appointment of our new Managing Director of North America, Darryl Lai, who will work alongside Retail Monster. His expertise and presence on the ground in the States will greatly contribute to our conversations and growth.”

Even though Smashlings’ is not scheduled to launch until July, activity has been frenzied. Will reveals, “We are on the brink of unveiling numerous new licensees and brand partnerships as we head into Vegas. Furthermore, our fantastic toy range, being launched by our partner PMI, is gaining incredible momentum. Starting from September in the UK and October in the USA, our toys will be available across specialist retailers and grocers, including Walmart, which is monumental news for such a new brand.”

When asked what attracted him to the company, Will explains, “It’s a com-

Will further discusses his role at the company, stating, “I’m responsible for driving the commercial side of things. Given my background in brand licensing and toy sales, it’s been a great fit. These are exciting times, especially as we approach the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. As you may know, we’ve partnered with IMG for EMEA, LATAM and ASIA, and we’re working

“Smashlings is just the beginning when it comes to our own IP at Toikido. We are also in the process of developing four new gaming-driven IPs, with consumer product programs at their core. We take great pride in our strategic planning for Smashlings and our approach to building our new IPs. We have established a comprehensive 360-degree product strategy for our brands.”

Will continues: “For instance, Smashlings launches with our game, which is quickly accompanied by toys, publishing, and a magazine. In Spring 2024, we will introduce the next wave of licensed products alongside the release of our animated series and ingame brand integrations. By combining these elements, we have created a dynamic and interconnected phygital ecosystem around Smashlings. We are applying this same model to the new IPs we are developing, ensuring that both digital and physical offerings are integrated seamlessly. Stay tuned for more news on these new IP.”

Will Ochoa

Viva Las Vegas!

The industry heads to hit the jackpot this June

13 - 15 June 2023

Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas

As the licensing industry heads to Vegas, here is our comprehensive show preview of some of the top and new brands on offer.

WildBrain CPLG is heading to Licensing Expo 2023 following rapid growth of its global footprint – which now covers 22 offices servicing 90 territories worldwide – and an expansion of its full-service solutions for its partners. WildBrain CPLG has recently extended its operations into Asia-Pacific (APAC) and has continued to drive success and innovation across its representation portfolio, including WildBrain-owned properties

Strawberry Shortcake and Teletubbies as part of WildBrain’s 360° approach to brand building across production, distribution and consumer products. The firm’s ASPIRE division, which provides a dedicated home for corporate & lifestyle brands, also continues to grow and secure ambitious collaborations globally. At Licensing Expo, WildBrain CPLG’s passionate and collaborative team will showcase new brands, unique partnership opportu-

nities and fresh creative assets on behalf of its trusted partners across the entertainment, corporate & lifestyle, and sport sectors.

Following the season two launch of the Strawberry Shortcake animated series Berry in the Big City on Netflix and YouTube last year and with season three releasing in July, in addition to four seasonal CG specials coming exclusively to Netflix in Fall 2023 and Spring 2024, WildBrain CPLG is continuing to expand the licensing program for the world of Strawberry Shortcake for fans of all ages. The all-new Strawberry is seeing a surge in popularity, with multiple new cross-category partnerships spanning apparel, accessories, beauty, games, dolls, publishing and more, including recent collaborations with Loungefly for scented bags and accessories, Hot Topic for apparel accessories, Funko for pop figures, and American Girl for doll accessories.

WildBrain is also building on the momentum generated for the Tele-


tubbies following the brand’s 25th anniversary celebrations in 2022. Most recently, the Teletubbies teamed up with acclaimed fashion designer Christian Cowan for a limited-edition high-end fashion collaboration, which generated significant buzz worldwide, with several items selling out within the first week of release. On screen, a re-imagined live-action series debuted on Netflix in fall 2022, narrated by Emmy-nominee Tituss Burgess, and the new motion-captured animated series Teletubbies Let’s Go! also launched on YouTube, produced by WildBrain Spark’s digital studio. WildBrain CPLG will showcase further WildBrain-owned brands, including Brave Bunnies, In the Night Garden, Caillou and Inspector Gadget. Classic character brand Peanuts will also feature, with WildBrain CPLG having expanded its long-standing relationship with Peanuts Worldwide to represent Snoopy and the gang across EMEA, India, and Asia-Pacific/ China (excluding Japan). WildBrain CPLG continues to ink engaging new collaborations for Peanuts. WildBrain CPLG also recently partnered with PLAYMOBIL® and now handles rights for the iconic toy brand worldwide. The wider entertainment line-up features Hasbro/ eOne’s portfolio of popular properties.

attractions and premier partnerships. NERF shines as an active lifestyle and pop culture brand with new Franklin Sports products, NERF Action Xperience centers and the first-ever NERF Theme park land. Monopoly trails its award-winning Monopoly Lifesized Experience in London and passes go on MONOPOLY DREAMS in Melbourne, plus many all-new editions of the iconic board game to come. Kiya & the Kimoja Heroes, the popular animated series debuted on Disney+ this spring, with a Random House Children’s Books partnership and more adventures ahead

lifestyle and entertainment; Sports brands, teams and events; Corporate trademarks, institutions and non-profits; Food and Beverage brands; and Athletes, legends and personalities. While IMG will represent its entire global portfolio of clients at the Expo, including Toikido’s Piñata Smashlings, 3D Sparrow’s Booba, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Gap, NFL and more, the spotlight will be on Fortnite, Skydance Animation; Lionsgate; and Angry Birds.

Hasbro is returning to Las Vegas Licensing Expo 2023 to showcase the following brands that have shined across all licensing categories, guided by its Blueprint 2.0: Transformers, fresh off the release of the feature film Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, the brand continues to expand with immersive LBE experiences in China, premium collaborations with LEGO and Robosen, plus more. Dungeons & Dragons keeps the excitement going with the critically-acclaimed Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves movie with collabs across categories.

Peppa Pig continues to build hype for its 20th birthday in 2024 with a second North American theme park in Dallas and much more. My Little Pony celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2023 with brand-new content, LBE

With more than 200 brand licensing agents working across 25+ offices around the world, IMG is a world leader in licensing, providing local coverage and expertise through a single globally coordinated organisation.

The company provides a unique onestop-solution for its diverse portfolio of licensing clients, including: Fashion,

This June, Sony Pictures Consumer Products will announce an impressive lineup of licensees in tandem with new film and television launches. Across its iconic properties, this roster of licensees includes major names in retail, food and beverage, toys and games, and more.

Cobra Kai is back for its highly-anticipated sixth season. Fans of the martial arts action-comedy series can look forward to consumer product releases continuing throughout 2023.


The iconic multi-media Ghostbusters franchise continues to deliver exciting new content and collaborations as it approaches its 40-year anniversary in 2024. Just ahead of Licensing Expo, the franchise will celebrate Ghostbuster’s Day on June 8th.

To celebrate the premiere of the upcoming Gran Turismo film, the first silver-screen adaptation of the best-selling PlayStation video game, a robust lineup of licensees will be unveiled including die-cast vehicles, apparel, accessories, specialty retail and e-comm.

Premiering on Peacock and inspired by the post-apocalyptic video game Twisted Metal, beverage brand G Fuel will release a Twisted Metal licensed energy drink. Ripple Junction will release Twisted Metal licensed apparel and accessories.

Gen V, the college spinoff of wildly popular series The Boys, is set to release new apparel & accessories with Ripple Junction. Sony Pictures Consumer Products will also launch a Gen V themed storefront on Amazon. com.

Fans of time-traveling historical drama Outlander can expect a state of new collaborations retail collaborations. Her Universe and Torrid are set to introduce the showstopping fashions from the series, off-the-screen. The series will also be featured in a collection by Manos Wine launching in May, with designs from the show and fan-favorite quotes portrayed on deep-etched and hand-painted wine bottles.

is looking to bring these beautiful illustrations to a wider audience. And the company will share updates about preschool brand Spot.

Penguin Ventures, the licensing and consumer products division of Penguin Random House Children’s UK, will be showcasing its portfolio of iconic literary brands and characters at Licensing Expo 2023. 2022 marked the 120th anniversary of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which was celebrated around the world. The World of the Snowman™ offers magical experiences to families every year and remains a core part of annual festive family fun. This year Penguin Ventures also celebrates the 100-year anniversary of Cicely Mary Barker’s exquisite Flower Fairies™ and the company

Legendary Entertainment is creating opportunities for fans to physically experience the Monsterverse universe. Fans can take on the challenge of Godzilla vs. Kong escape rooms rolling out in Los Angeles and other cities in the summer of 2023. Additionally, a completely immersive in-universe experience is in development in the South of France, while projects in South Korea and Las Vegas will begin build later this year. With an anime series coming to Netflix, a live action TV show coming to Apple TV+ and the next film installment, “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” slated for March 15, 2024, the franchise has no shortage of exceptional new content to fuel fan excitement and appeal to new viewers. Numerous licensees have come to play in the Monsterverse. The toy category is of course a big area of focus including Playmates, Mattel’s MEGA, Jada Toys and Funko. InSpirit is on board as the licensee for costumes, while Bioworld and Ripple Junction offer apparel. Additional Monsterverse partners include Bandai, Prime 1, Bear Walker, Displate, Snow Commerce, Snapco and Golden Link.

Design Plus will exhibit in Las Vegas. Inspired by ICEE’s best-selling Cherry and Blue Raspberry flavors, Kellogg’s ICEE Cereal utilizes an innovative ingredient that cools your mouth as you eat, imitating that

familiar and refreshing first sip of an ICEE. The new cereal is the company’s first summertime cereal to feature this cooling sensation. As you experience the coolest breakfast in town, the fruity aroma evokes childhood memories so everyone can start their day with kid-like enthusiasm - now that’s living the ICEE life.

Says Carol Janet, CEO of Design Plus: “When the #1 frozen beverage and the #1 cereal come together, its branding at its best.”

Dr. Seuss Enterprises celebrates its 30th anniversary this year as a leading global children’s entertainment company.

Off the heels of a stellar year that included the debut of hit series Dr. Seuss Baking Challenge on Prime Video, Dr. Seuss Enterprises is continuing to bring the 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 followed by Thing One and Thing Two in an original feature length animated adventure. Bad Robot Productions has also 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.


Netflix and Dr. Seuss are currently working on 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. 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, Chicago, and Denver. Most recently it opened in Washington DC in April 2023.

Girls Crew, Komar, Top Trenz, and USAopoly’s Spot It! and CLUE.

The company looks to expand in areas such as toys and hardlines; food and beverage; accessories and more. Heading into the end of 2023/beginning of 2024, Dr. Seuss Enterprises already has some exciting deals and partnership plans queued up with major partners including USAopoly, International Delight, Adidas, Fall Guys, Eye Q, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, and Hershey, among many others.

Jazwares is the maker of lifestyle, pop-culture sensation Squishmallows, and will present the Squishmallows success story and what’s next for 2023 and beyond; New inbound and outbound Squishmallows collaborations for Licensing Expo–including leading fashion, gaming, and lifestyle brands NEW for 2023 including Buffalo Games, Ashtel, H.E.R. Accessories,

Jazwares has seen unprecedented growth as a toys and collectibles partner - from Pokémon to CoComelon, to Star Wars and beyond. Squishmallows’ monumental growth has fueled new cross-category collaborations across beauty, games, apparel, home decor, and more –– adding to its illustrious portfolio of over 60 best-in-class licensing partners. Banijay Brands, part of content powerhouse Banijay, controls the brand licensing rights to some of the most high profile and creative IP in the world. From entertainment and scripted through to animation and game shows, Banijay’s diverse portfolio offers commercial opportunities in multiple categories. Banijay is home to over 130 production companies across 21 territories, and a multi-genre catalogue boasting over 160,000 hours of original standout programming. With unrivalled commercial capabilities, Banijay Brands brings the group’s stories and brands to life through consumer products, live experiences and


Banijay Brands represents some of the biggest global brands including the award-winning anthology Black Mirror; epic crime drama Peaky Blinders; the most travelled food format in the world, MasterChef; the iconic reality format, Big Brother; one of the biggest animated YouTube sensations of recent years, Simon’s Cat; adventurereality stalwart Survivor; global game show phenomenon, Deal or No Deal; action-packed family entertainment brand Wipeout; and globally loved animation Mr Bean.


As the Tetris brand approaches its 40th anniversary, The Tetris Company has announced that it will release its first-ever podcast this fall. Tetris: The Podcast will explore the amazing origin story of one of the world’s most enduring video games with surprising stories of how the iconic game has touched people globally.

The new Apple Original Film, Tetris is available now globally on Apple TV+, and is a certifiable hit, holding a top 10 most-viewed streaming movies ranking for multi-weeks upon its debut, scoring top praise from the movie industry’s toughest critics from around the world, and earning Fresh status on Rotten Tomatoes. Starring Taron Egerton as Henk Rogers and Nikita Efremov as Alexey Pajitnov, Tetris explores how the two men came together in the midst of the Cold War to bring the game to the masses. With double-crossing villains, unlikely heroes, and a nail-biting race to the finish, this Cold War-era thriller is keeping audiences on the edge of their seat.

Mr Puppy is back and ready to play at Licensing Expo 2023! Mr Puppy, a cool lifestyle brand for people who love dogs and fun, has momentum arriving at the show with new licensing deals for pet products and apparel.

Mr Puppy’s graphic art has been a winner on products. “People connect with Mr Puppy and that translates to sales,” says Mike Lee, creator and owner of the brand. Originally targeted at kids Mr Puppy attracted a much wider audience. “Lots of adults are buying Mr Puppy merchandise, a real range, college coeds, moms, even bikers.”

The Mr Puppy brand got traction with a line of fun fashion and accessories featuring his image and classic name. The brand has had tremendous success at it’s e-store and pop-up shops across the USA.

“With his strong sales history and universal appeal, Mr Puppy is a winner!’, explains licensing agent Cynthia Hall Domine, owner of Synchonicity Licensing. “Mr Puppy makes products more fun. He’s perfect for licensing. His consumer-friendly images and

memorable name give products the advantage.”

Amici Pet is producing a fun, functional line of Mr Puppy pet products including dog bowls and canisters.

Super Retro is producing a cool, hip Mr Puppy apparel line including boxers and socks.

Internationally Mr Puppy has an exciting program going on in Australia with a fun line of Mr Puppy merchandise.

Mr Puppy also has deals in the works in Japan with Guia Licensing and Korea with Empire International. There’s more! Mr Puppy is breaking into entertainment and will soon take the stage in “Mr Puppy The Musical!’ The fun, multicultural show has music from Grammy winner David Tolley

and will be a great adventure for families everywhere to experience. The Mr Puppy brand is represented by Synchronicity Licensing.

Pokémon returns to Licensing Expo on the crest of a wave after yet another record-breaking year, winning Best Gaming Licensed Property at the UK Licensing Awards for the second year running.

Posting its best-ever NPD results, Pokémon achieved its highest-ever annual position in the UK, Germany and Italy while remaining No. 1 in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Its remarkable growth earned three significant NPD awards at Toy Fair Spielwarenmesse: Global Top Toy Property of the Year plus Europe’s


Top Gaining Property for Total Toys and for Games & Puzzles.

The success reflects the huge popularity of The Pokémon Trading Card Game and its fantastic and varied toy range, which includes Jazwares’ award-winning toy line —highlights include Battle Figures, 8-inch plush and the Clip-’N’-Go Belt Set — Mattel’s MEGA sets and new Squishmallows.

Pokémon continues to forge innovative, immersive collaborations at retail, from high-end to mass market. Recent highlights include a six-week pop-up branded space in Harrods’ toy department and fun-filled events at six major ASDA stores. An established global fashion icon, Pokémon’s latest collaborations include Clarks, Balmain and Puma. With more exciting activity due across 2023, Pokémon looks set for another spectacular year.

Moxie & Co. is a full-service global brand management and licensing

agency. With offices in Westport CT, New Jersey and New York, Moxie represents a diverse portfolio of designers and well-known brands including The MTA (The New York City Subway), FedEx, Hamilton Beach Brands, Simon & Schuster Publishing, Ivory Ella, Yvonne Ellen and Hunt A Killer to name a few. Moxie develops and manages strategic licensing programs across a wide array of product categories at all levels of retail around the globe.

Jewel Branding & Licensing (JBL) will be highlighting key initiatives and new clients at the 2023 Licensing Expo.

“We’re excited for another great Licensing Expo where we get to meet with so many new and existing partners,” said Julie Newman, Founder and CEO of Jewel Branding & Licensing. “We’re looking forward to shining a spotlight on our cause-related and female-founded brands as well as our diverse portfolio of talented artists

and designers.”

With expertise in cause-related brands, Jewel continues to develop meaningful licensing programs with products that give back.

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) licensing program continues to blossom around the globe. In 2023 the brand has seen significant growth globally, particularly in apparel and fashion accessories. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (FLWF) continues to introduce new partnerships that honor Wright’s legacy including the latest partnership with Kith to create Made in USA New Balance 998s inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is one of the world’s oldest and most trusted wildlife conservation nonprofits focused on protecting America’s natural resources for wildlife, for ourselves and for future generations. The licensing program has expanded into home with the launch of bedding from licensee, Britannica Home Fashions, which is now available at Fred Meyer. A new partnership with The Landmark Project, an apparel company focused on conservation and the stewardship of public land, includes a collection of NWF fashion tees. Acco partnered with NWF on back-to-school and recyclable planners that launch later this year.

In the search to find unique and distinct styles from artists based around the globe, Jewel has organically grown their roster into a diverse and multicultural portfolio who tell compelling stories through their art. Over the past year, Jewel has launched many Artist Series programs, where manufacturers and retailers highlight an assortment of diverse artists with different viewpoints.

MHS Licensing + Consulting will be introducing promising new art brands Jaleh Sadravi, By the Lakeside, and Megan Mehu.

“The Licensing Expo is a highly successful tradeshow for us and has always been an excellent platform to launch new art brands.” Marty Segelbaum, President of MHS Licensing + Consulting continues, “While there’s always interest in seeing new artwork,


it’s critical to have a well-rounded repertoire of popular artists that span a broad spectrum of styles and themes to show our licensee partners. We are proud to be introducing such diverse and talented artists who not only possess a strong social media following, but also speak to the current cultural landscape.”

Jaleh Sadravi only started painting in 2020 during the pandemic. Just three years later and with nearly 550k followers, Jaleh is kicking down the door of art licensing.

By the Lakeside creator and surface designer Pooja Kenjale-Umrani, has a tremendous drive to see her bright and fresh paintings on everyday consumer products.

Megan Mehu is the inspiration behind Mehu Art. Megan enjoys working in a wide variety of mediums but is best known for her digital paintings. Brand Central will be highlighting its roster of clients and its diversity of services. For the past 22+ years, Brand Central has specialized in brands that drive cultural conversations in the pop culture zeitgeist.

A few of the leading CPG brands the agency is featuring include Mars Wrigley’s, portfolio of iconic brands such as M&M’S®, Snickers®, Twix®, Dove®, Skittles®, Starburst®, and Hubba Bubba®, as well as Kraft Heinz, which includes beloved brands such as Heinz®, Kraft Mac & Cheese ® , Oscar Mayer®, Jell-O® and KoolAid® – just to name a few. The agency also represents Bimbo Bakeries USA which includes popular brands such as Entenmann’s®, Little Bites®, Thomas®, Boboli® and many more, as

well as cult favorite food and beverage brands including: Tapatio Hot Sauce, and Yellow Tail wine. Although Brand Central is widely known for their food and beverage clients, they also represent pop

culture and lifestyle clients across a variety of genres like the beloved entertainment brand Mister Rogers Neighborhood, STEM brand Rube Goldberg, NFT collective Bored of

Directors, popular mattress brand Simmons, and brands rooted in inclusivity and diversity such as Black Paper Party and Alma’s Way.

Sesame Street continues to deliver unexpected surprises, introducing new collaborations that bring the iconic brand closer to fans. Just Play, master toy partner for North America, EMEA, and LatAm and a major supporter of Sesame Workshop’s new Emotional Well-Being initiative, began rolling out their new Sesame Street line and includes core categories like plush, figures, playsets, vehicles, role play/dress up, bath, and learning toys.

Super7 is leading the charge for Sesame Street’s entry into adult collectibles with the launch of their 16” SuperSize Count von Count figure. New multi-territory partner, DK Publishing, is launching a must-have first encyclopedia for little learners who are curious about the world and love Sesame Street.

HipDot has two Sesame Street collections—expanding their revolutionary “Eyecons” with the addition of four characters; and debuting a set of Snuffleupagus’ envy-worthy eyelashes.

Copper Pearl’s first licensed collaboration consists of 75+ items in their buttery soft fabrics, from bandana bibs to swaddles, all adorned with


Sesame Street characters. Inspired by modern streetwear, Cakeworthy drops a 12-piece Sesame Street line including matching sets, accessories, and dresses.

Sesame Workshop and Rockefeller Productions debuted the Off-Broadway production Sesame Street the Musical featuring live puppetry, iconic songs fans know and love, and new compositions by Broadway’s brightest songwriters.

Oscar the Grouch was named United Airlines’ first Chief Trash Officer. United’s campaign is designed to promote the expected benefit of sustainable aviation fuel. Oscar’s journey from job listing to c-suite office, starring alongside real United employees, is featured in original video, digital, social and out-of-home content.

Sony Pictures Television –Kids (SPT – Kids), (formerly Silvergate Media), will be showcasing its highly acclaimed and awardwinning slate of children’s television properties at International Licensing Expo including The Creature Cases and Octonauts: Above & Beyond as well as unveiling an exciting and fresh pipeline of content.

Hot on the heels of the global premiere of Chapter 3 of The Creature Cases on Netflix, SPT – Kids’ hit animal detective series, SPT – Kids will also outline plans for new consumer product retail launches and live events partnerships in key territories worldwide.

In gaming, Striker is promoting the award-winning Indie Game of the Year and BAFTA nominee Stray from Annapurna Interactive, from Squanch Games the XBOX breakout hit High on Life, and content from both Twin Atlas and The Gang Sweden, two of the top Roblox developers on the social gaming platform. TV/Streaming includes the return of The Dragon Prince for Season 5 on Netflix this Summer, Blade Runner on Amazon, and Physical on Apple TV+ and the breakout hit Don’t Hug Me I’m

Striker Entertainment is showcasing a dynamic portfolio of pop-culturally relevant IP from motion pictures, TV/Streaming series, and video games. From classic horror like Evil Dead and the new Evil Dead Rise, to Creepshow and The Walking Dead Universe. On the feature film front, Meg 2: The Trench, Boy Kills World, and from Blumhouse/Universal Studios Five Nights at Freddy’s based on the wildly successful indie game franchise that has spawned a billion-dollar merchandising business. FiveNights at Freddy’s is also celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2024 which will be featured year-round with our roster of licensees and retail partners.

Scared form Blink Industries. And for cross media exploitation, we introduce The Remarkables coming from a new partnership between our client The Doodle Boy and award-winning digital studio Orange Comet.

Bulldog Licensing will be promoting yet another strong line-up of brands, headlined by such worldbeating names as classic property Care Bears, toy phenomenon Magic Mixies, international hit pre-school TV show Odo, top-rating kids’ superhero brand Miraculous, the iconic Me to


You character brand, and evergreen hit Sesame Street.

Care Bears celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2022 with multiple fashion and food collaborations which were excitedly received by fans young and old alike. Cloudco Entertainment, owner of the Care Bears™ franchise, has been able to announce that, from a good base in 2019, retail sales of Care Bears in the UK have grown 894% to the end of 2022, with further strong growth expected in 2023. Sales continue to be phenomenally strong across high street, grocery and fast fashion.

As Care Bears’ UK agent, Bulldog Licensing has recently welcomed a wide range of partners that include Gibsons Games for jigsaw puzzles, Flamingo Candles for candles, Pawprint Trading for pin badges and embroidered badges, and Famous Forever for apparel including t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts.

Magic Mixies, the brand inspired by the award-winning and muti-millionselling Magic Mixies Cauldron, continues its unstoppable growth.

Bulldog and brand owner Moose Toys are building on Magic Mixies’ astonishing strength at retail.

Odo is a beautiful 2D-3D animated series for pre-schoolers in which a little owl at the Forest camp for Young Birds learns about friendship and self-belief among a diverse and delightful group of feathered creatures. Internationally, Odo has been sold to 145 countries and many major broadcasters.

Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, airing on Disney+, POP and Netflix, Miraculous is consistently one of the top shows for POP. Season five is currently available on Disney+ while season four is airing on POP. Two extended-episode specials have aired to date; both were number one ratings hits when aired on POP. Me To You and Sesame Street round off the strong slate!

A home for creative visionaries, Boat Rocker is an independent, integrated global entertainment company that tells stories and builds iconic brands across all genres and mediums, with robust licensing plans in place for its portfolio of properties. Dino Ranch (104 x 11’), a unique and imaginative combination of two preschooler passions – dinosaurs and cowboys – is emulating its US success in the UK. A hit on Disney+ since launch in April 2021, series three is currently in production and will premiere in the US later this year. Series two will launch on Tiny Pop this summer supported by a major marketing and PR tune in campaign.

Global phenomenon The Next Step – the UK’s best-loved reality dance drama for tweens – is now on its 8th series, which recently ran on CBBC and iPlayer. The virtual and in person The Next Step dance Workshops at Pineapple Dance Studios continue to be hugely popular along with the associated collaboration clothes line. The show celebrates its 10th anniversary next year, with an exiting programme of activity planned to

mark the impressive milestone.

Creative Licensing is proud to announce the success of new licensing partnerships in the digital gaming realm.

Epic Games reintroduced Sarah Connor and the Endoskeleton from Terminator 2: Judgment Day into the Fortnite universe through a re-feature of in-game content, including playable characters and accessories.

Ash Williams from Evil Dead 2 also made his debut appearance in Fortnite during Fortnitemares, a thrilling in-game experience during Spooky Season, leading up to Halloween 2022. Fortnite players were treated to a collection of Evil Dead 2 cosmetics, including Ash’s trademark chainsaw pickaxe, Necronomicon Ex-Mortis back bling, and a branded Emote.

Wargaming brought Terminator 2: Judgment Day into their wildly popular game World of Tanks through a two-weeks long in-game event titled Battle Pass: Judgment Day. Game players collected rewards, unique tank designs, and vehicle commanders all themed from the Terminator 2: Judgment Day universe. A premium tank, the T-832, was created especially for the event and contained special visual effects inspired by the classic 1991 film.

On the console front, Limited Run Games re-released the classic video game Bill and Ted’s Excellent Video Game for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. The now sold-out collection also included a skateboard deck and trading cards adorned with imagery from the two hit films Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.

Follow @totallicensing for all the news from the show!

Loungerie and Olive Oyl Celebrate Mother’s Day with New Collaboration in Brazil

Celebrating Mother’s Day, Loungerie, a reknown lingerie brand in Brazil, debuted a special collection starring Olive Oyl, a female character that has been making history since 1919 with her authenticity and unconventional behavior. Her independent, courageous, and selfconfident personality inspired this collection, which seeks to transcribe, through Olive’s image, a woman who can be anything she wants.

For this launch, the brand developed pajamas and gift items that follow its DNA incorporating imagery of Olive in ways that make the pieces special, nostalgic and fun, while conveying Olive Oyl’s message of freedom, empowerment, body positivity and self-confidence. “When we saw the opportunity to develop this collection, we were certain that it would be an intelligent strategy for our products, since Olive Oyl carries her strong characteristics as a form of manifest just like Loungerie, which seeks to position itself and reinforce that women are not constructed by stereotypes. And, thinking about Mother’s Day, despite the character not having children, the creative idea fits very well, assuming that, in addition to care and affection, a mother can also be daring and empowered,” shares Adriana Tapajós, Head of Prod-

uct at Loungerie.

“As a brand that embraces the qualities that make each woman unique and special, Loungerie is an ideal partner for Olive Oyl who has celebrated her individuality for over 100 years,” said Carla Silva, vice president and general manager, global head of licensing, King Features. “We are thrilled to celebrate Mother’s Day together with this special collaboration.”

As the highlight of the collection, the “Mother & Kids” coordinating pajamas feature special details from the nostalgic character. With classic modeling and a fun print applied to the back of the shirt, the striped pajamas in white and blue colors are unique and exclu-

sive pieces. The children’s model follows the same characteristics, but with a print of both Olive Oyl and Popeye. In addition to loungewear items, in a perfect match to Olive Oyl’s color palette and the collection pieces, Loungerie developed an exclusive cardholder for Mother’s Day and a red water bottle with the quote “I am what I am.”

Olive Oyl is owned by King Features Syndicate, a unit of Hearst and home to some of the world’s most popular entertainment characters. The Loungerie x Olive Oyl partnership was brokered by Vertical Licensing, King Features’ licensing representative in Brazil. The collection is available now at the brand’s physical stores and e-commerce shop.

Olive Oyl was on the scene delivering laughs to readers years before her future sweetheart Popeye entered the picture. Olive Oyl has always been ahead of her time. She genuinely loves herself and embraces those things that make her unusual — which is what makes her so appealing. Dynamic, relatable and real — she’s genuinely comfortable in her own skin. Confident and independent, she celebrates her unique self whole-heartedly, inspiring others to do the same. She’s unapologetic in voicing what she wants, knowing she’s entitled to change her mind. A smart and empowered woman with high standards, she is also lighthearted and adaptable with a wry sense of humor. Self-assured and strong, Olive is not afraid to stand up for herself, but she also knows when to lean on others. She shows that a woman can be many things — powerful, driven, vulnerable and sensitive — and that emotions are meant to be felt and expressed. Her personality radiates and inspires others of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate their unique selves. Olive is just Olive, and proud of it!


20 Years with Ian Downes, Start Licensing

What are the key changes in licensing that you’ve seen over the last 20 years?

On a personal note the biggest change was setting up and running my own Licensing agency. Start Licensing opened for business in 2003 so 2023 is a significant year for us as well. I had previously worked at CPLG and Fox Kids before starting Start. Both these companies gave me a good grounding in licensing and helped me understand the power of licensing. My focus then and now with Start Licensing was to provide our clients, both rights holders and licensees, with a focussed approach to licensing. Before licensing I worked in marketing and media roles which placed an emphasis on understanding the customer and I have tried to apply that approach to my licensing work. A change in licensing that has helped that is the deeper pool of rights in the market. When I first worked in the industry most licensing campaigns were being driven by entertainment properties whereas now there is more of a mix with rights emerging from sectors like brands, heritage, sports, cause related organisations and design. This has allowed new players to achieve success in the market but has increased competition. I think as an independent agent you have to try to find ‘significant gaps’ to operate in and the diversification of rights has helped with that. Conversely the entertainment space is in broad terms more consolidated with fewer rights holders and a smaller pool of players getting more dominant. Gaming properties have become more significant although I do remember at CPLG we had a lot of success with Sonic the Hedgehog first time around. There is always a danger that you think everything is new but in licensing there tends to be some past history and parallels you can point to.

I think licensing is more understood by more people and companies than it was but I still think it is a relatively closed world and there is much more work to do to spread the licensing

message into more industry sectors and to get new companies involved. I think we need more challenger companies in licensing in all sectors – I think this will help the overall market grow. The quality of product has also improved with more time and commitment taken over NPD, design and originality. We are also much more aware of the sourcing side of the business and of course thinking more about environmental issues.

Some of the fundamentals have stayed the same I think including the importance of networking : it is important to build a network of contacts and to be prepared to be proactive. Retailers were always part of the mix and I am sure many of my contemporaries can remember waiting in the receptions of retailers like Woolworths and Argos to meet with buyers. CPLG were always switched onto the importance of being retailer-led in their licensing work and I remember the late David Cardwell telling the story about his friendship with ex Tesco CEO Terry Leahy that started when Terry was the Pizza Buyer at Tesco and David persuaded him to take a Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles license for Pizzas.

Maybe more retail buyers are engaged with the business of licensing now –BLE have done a great job with their Retail Mentoring course but I still think there is more work to be done but there does seem to be more Direct to Retail business these days. We have also had to get used to E Com-

merce but in my mind this isn’t much different to mail order and direct response advertising. Before I managed the advertising accounts for K Tel and Teledisc – these were direct response businesses who sold via TV and magazine – we had to understand the consumer, how to reach them efficiently and the logistics behind direct selling.

Old skills can be applied to new markets. As someone who has been the industry for over 30 years it is easy to be complacent and to adopt a ‘been there seen that’ attitude but one constant in licensing has been the spirit of entrepreneurialism that runs through the industry.

This is something that hasn’t changed – indeed I think there is more scope for it now with the growth of e commerce, the emergence of new rights (particularly outside of ‘traditional’ entertainment ) and other market dynamics such as local sourcing.

Are there any standout moments for you over the last two decades?

I am very proud of the ongoing success of Start Licensing. Like many others who have started their own businesses in licensing particularly agencies I launched Start Licensing with a mixture of optimism, ambition and trepidation. Fortunately more things have gone right for me than wrong in my professional life. I think that is in part to staying focussed and trying to deliver good results for all parties but of course you need support from rights holders, licensees and retailers. I think licensing is a collaborative business and that suits my personality.

Over the course of 20 years there have been quite a few stand out moments and some very amusing ones. I was very proud to win the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Licensing Awards a few years ago : it is a great honour to be recognised by your industry ; I have been very pleased that we have brought a lot of companies

TOTAL LICENSING 60 Memories of

into licensing by ‘selling’ them their first license and even more pleased to see that the partnership we created has been a successful one. I think bringing in new companies is vital for the ongoing success of the industry. The same can be said of people. I have enjoyed mentoring people in the industry and giving quite a few people there first taste of licensing at events like BLE – we have had a number of helpers at BLE who have gone onto have successful licensing careers. I think it is important to nurture young talent and keep the licensing door open to new people.

There have of course been quite a few amusing moments along the way normally involving licensing friends. It is difficult to alight on one but for brevity the one I would pick was when I was representing the Gladiators.  We set up a presentation plus meet and greet at BLE.  It went really well in no small part due to the charm and professionalism of the Gladiators. The Gladiators who attended the event were fabulous and wonderful ambassadors for the series. The event was well attended and afterwards the

Gladiators agreed to pose for photos and sign autographs. There was a big queue.The Gladiators were in their leotards and stripped for action. One of the male Gladiators was asked for his autograph and then started fumbling around in his leotard. I was momentarily concerned that all the good-will built up at the event might disappear in the smoke of an unsavoury incident but I needn’t have worried – seeing my concerned look young Atlas said “Hold on a minute. I’m just getting my pen out” and then fished out a ballpoint pen from the lower reaches of his leotard. I was relieved but decided not to ask him where he actually kept the pen!

Looking into your crystal ball, what key changes do you think will be important over the next 20 years?

A very tough one!  Thinking about my own current portfolio and experience I have made a short list of 5 predictions. Inspired by Blue Peter I have put them in a time capsule, sealed it and buried it in my garden. Based on my work with the Ashmolean Museum and observing the heritage category in

general I predict that heritage licensing will become even more significant in the market and that it will open up new opportunities particularly in high end products and retailing ; seeing how successful our client Aardman are in live events and attractions I can imagine that Live Events and Experiential licensing will be even more important in licensing – I notice it is a theme at BLE this year – I can imagine it having a standalone show at some stage and can see new technology accelerating the growth of this category ; working with Nadiya Hussain has shown me that there is a real appetite for personality driven licensing but that the licensing and commercial activity associated with personalities has to be authentic. I can imagine personalities effectively becoming media owners and running their own channels; and finally I think we will see IP emerging from new areas and sources – licensing keeps evolving and changing – however the basics remain the same and I hope one of these which is the community spirit in the industry doesn’t change.  Many congratulations to everyone at Total Licensing – wishing you another successful 20 years!

20 Years with Andrew Carley, BBC

What are the key changes in licensing that you’ve seen over the last 20 years?

The key changes are how we watch and consume content and how that then translates into a licensing programme. 20 years ago there were 3 channels in the UK. By 2022 we had YouTube, streaming and other social feeds.

This is a blessing and curse – broad-

casters no longer act as gatekeepers but the audience is so diluted. There is also a consolidation of retail and the shift to online sales. And whilst preschool remains strong, the 6 – 9 age group and beyond is becoming increasingly increasingly difficult to navigate as children shift more and more from traditional content to social content.

Are there any standout moments for you over the last two decades?

My biggest standout moment was watching the hundreds of children standing behind the ribbon before the opening of Peppa Pig World at Paultons.

It was then that I realised that the childhood memories we have are being recreated by all of us in this generation of children by the work that we all do in licensing.

My funniest moment was a Peppa costume character unwittingly caught up in the launch of a labour election manifesto and the subsequent coverage by all the major news channels the following day

Looking into your crystal ball, what key changes do you think will be important over the next 20 years?

I think my biggest learning is you cannot predict. I could not have imagined the broadcast and retail landscape (on line) that exists today. But the fundamentals remain the same – we all love (children included) imaginative and well written content and that will always underpin what we do.

The rise of AI will give us the ability to better target what our audiences want – both in terms of content and product.

TOTAL LICENSING 61 Memories of

20 Years with Carla Silva, King Features

What are the key changes in licensing that you’ve seen over the last 20 years?

So much has changed… the Retail space was more readily available and retail relationships were primarily the licensee’s responsibility. Today, it is the licensing agent or brand owner who is working with the retailer on introducing the brand and getting the retailer to accept and promote the brand, together with investment from the licensee and/or licensor. Space has become very crowded given the many brands selling to the same target market, and retailers are hesitant to purchase a brand without entertainment support.

We’ve seen a major focus on sustainability in recent years. Engaging in eco-friendly practices and campaigns responds to both our responsibility and the rising demand for products that help reduce our carbon footprint. We’ve taken that to heart at King Features with the recent launch of the partnership between  Popeye x Von Dutch and The SeaCleaners through our local agent in France, MJA Licensing. This alliance emphasizes the strong values of each brand, with Popeye helping to expand The SeaCleaners’s education of eliminating plastic pollution through marketing initiatives and co-branded products that will see a portion of its proceeds benefit The SeaCleaners’s mission.

This Popeye x Von Dutch collection in support of The SeaCleaners was nominated for the 2023 Licensing International Awards in France, recognized as an outstanding sustainable initiative.  The bulk of the licensing business is still primarily in the  character and entertainment segments with toys and apparel as the largest product categories. However, during the last few years, we’ve seen tremendous growth in e-commerce, as well as gaming, LBE and Metaverse brand activations.

Licensing has been around for many

years and with all the advances in technology, fashion trends coming and going, and changes in consumer behaviour, one thing remains constant: licensing is still a very viable and credible marketing tool for companies to use in the development of their products to create a distinct difference from their competitors. The proof is in the increasing number of new brands that are introduced every year. The possibilities are limitless!

Are there any standout moments for you over the last two decades?

On this 20th Anniversary, I would like to congratulate  Francesca Ash and Jerry  Wooldridge on their success and support in the licensing industry. I’ve known them for many years now, and I’m thankful for their dedication and friendship! As a matter of fact, one of those stand out moments was a wonderful dinner with Jerry in Miami when we both attended Kidscreen. Jerry introduced me to a new brand, I got to meet two amazing women and now we are representing the brand globally. I ended up visiting Iceland a year later, which is an experience that I will never forget!

It’s been an amazing journey and I’m grateful for all the people I’ve met along the way. My career in licensing allowed me to meet so many fantastic professionals as well as travel across the globe. I still remember when we attended the Frankfurt Book Fair and organized a yearly dinner with our Int’l Agents… delicious food, great music,

dancing and inspiring conversations with our agents. I also recall many adventures in Asia! What an experience… I will never forget those moments and the people I was with.

I’ve had the privilege of working on some amazing brands during the past 20 years. I’m very proud of the Popeye 90th Anniversary Art Exhibition in Beijing that I worked on with our local agent, Medialink, and with Yoho!. The exhibit showcased over 100 pieces of unique Popeye art by 50 artists from 12 countries and it was all topped off with an 8-meter sailboat with Popeye’s pipe extending out from the bow. The final exhibition was truly amazing and it won the 2020 China Licensing Awards for Location-Based/Experiential Initiative of the year.

During the past few years, I’ve been mentoring young professionals. I love to bring people into the licensing industry and sharing my knowledge with our future leaders. I’m also on the board of the  Licensing International Foundation. The foundation’s mission focuses on the education of future licensing leaders through the Licensing International scholarship program which awards grants to deserving individuals who are interested in a career in brand licensing.

Looking into your crystal ball, what key changes do you think will be important over the next 20 years?

I think LBE, demand for experiences of all kinds will continue to grow; sustainability will be a business must; and we will continue to see endless opportunities in gaming and in the Artificial Intelligence space.

Despite all the advancements, I wonder if 20 years from now, we will be reverting back to basics and the simple things of life… More meaningful experiences, more in-person connections… The future is bright, and it’s up to us to turn challenges into opportunities!  We must focus on what’s truly important and find ways to connect brands with innovative products.

TOTAL LICENSING 62 Memories of

Someone once said in a well-known movie… ‘Show me the Money’… well Haven believes that doing the deal is the easy bit. It’s the hard work behind the deal where they bring their magic.

Haven puts the customer first, igniting the potential of their brands and customers alike. They tap into brand DNA and develop brand extension strategies that enhance brand positioning and deliver long-term revenue streams. They innovate and drive, facilitating great experiences and outcomes. They are ‘Market Makers.’

Today, Haven is celebrating 30 years creating eco-systems for global and local brands, cultivating relationships between manufacturers, retailers, brand owners and global partners to turn great ideas into commercial reality.

And… they have a lot of fun doing it all!

On the following pages, Tom and Yvonne share some of their memories over the last thirty years – serious ones, fun ones and all points in between!


YEARS The formative years…

Tom Punch: I’d been living in NY working for what is now called 4 Kidz for Al Kahn which was my first job out of college. I was overseeing the international licensing for them and responsible for many agencies around the world, including Australia.

Under our global agent agreement with Nintendo, we were not allowed to take on any competitive brands (namely Sega) and nor could we utilise any sub-agents that were. Our agent in Australia, who was completely dominant in the market happened to be doing both. We got on a conference call with Big Al and the Agent at the time, and politely told him he would have to rescind one of the brands as it contravened both his rep agreement and ours. His response, and I quote… “F*** off! I’m the King of Australia! I’m doing it all!”

After a quick agency termination, we

“What better way to celebrate 30 years than with a party, and at Amscan we definitely know how do just that!

Congratulations to Tom and the amazing team at Haven on their 30th anniversary! We have been incredibly lucky to work with the Haven team over many years, bringing to life their amazing portfolio of brands and characters and helping families celebrate birthdays, events and everyday fun!

From the classics including a cat that wears a special red hat, or the most famous little green caterpillar in the world, Dr Seuss and Eric Carl are some of our most nostalgic brands that evoke the child in everyone with our costumes and ranging much loved especially as the country celebrates book week in August.

In contrast we have the new kids on the block including every toddler’s favourite singing babies including JJ and his friends from Cocomelon and not to mention who doesn’t love dinosaurs, and who doesn’t love cowboys? Jon, Blitz, Miguel, Tango, Min and Clover bring these two favourite loves together on their Dino Ranch with our party range launching later this year! We like to catch em all here at Amscan, and we make sure we are here to capture every moment of a Pokémon party!

And if it’s not Pikachu that’s ready to party, it will certainly be Chase, Marshall, Sky and the Paw Patrol gang who are always up for an adventure!

Whether it’s our extensive party offering or costumes, the Paw Patrol pups are ready to save a cake, or inflate a few balloons for a party or even a parade!

It’s not always about the little kids, but the big kids and those favourite characters and brands that take you back to your childhood. Dressing up as your favourite Ninja Turtle, maybe Spongebob or Patrick from that little pineapple under the sea or even your favourite baby from the 90’s classic Rugrats. Amscan has it all to help you celebrate not just those special moments throughout the year, but bringing fun to everyday!

Congratulations again to the Haven team on this wonderful celebration, and we look forward to years of celebrations to come!”


“Vlad, Niki, and the entire Trend Media team are proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Haven Global and congratulate Tom, Yvonne, and the staff for their excellence in licensing, and look forward to many more successful years of creating exciting products for kids who love the Vlad & Niki brand,” said Sergey Vashketov, CEO of Content Media Group FZC, LLC/Trend Media, LLC and father of Vlad and Niki.

“Vlad & Niki” began five years ago when the family created their first YouTube video starring young sons Vlad and Niki Vashketov. Their popularity quickly skyrocketed around the globe, and today the ‘Vlad & Niki’ universe counts more than 96 million on their main English Channel and 330 million devoted subscribers on 21 YouTube channels in 18 languages. Fans enjoy watching inspiring content that explores creative play, learning, and using your imagination. The content utilizes an innovative mix of live-action, animation, and music to achieve comedic narratives that capture the attention of the preschool demographic.

With Haven Global at the helm of their licensing programs, Vlad and Niki partnered with Zuru Toys to create the “Vlad & Niki” Superhero Surprise Toy Eggs, which won a Silver License of the Year Award at Toy Shop’s U.K.’s 2021 Independent Toy Award and with Playmates Toys to create Vlad & Niki playsets, vehicles, interactive figurines, watches, and more. The toys are available at retail and online in 25 countries. Haven Global guides the process from design to retail placement for each product, ensuring that “Vlad & Niki” toys are developed around the play patterns on their YouTube channel. The Vashketov family is instrumental in the creation process, ensuring that each toy is one that they themselves love to play with and, by extension, their legion of fans will also enjoy.

With a clear vision towards creating a product line that exemplifies “Vlad & Niki” brand values, Haven assembled an all-star team of companies to bring the “Vlad & Niki” world to life, including Retail Monster in the U.S., Segal Licensing in Canada, CPLG in the U.K., Middle East, and Europe, and PPW in China.”

were on the hunt for a new agent. Al sent me down to Australia to look for alternatives, and after interviewing all the players (limited!) there at the time, my report back to NY was “That guy is the only game in town, I quit – I’ll be your Australian agent!” To which Al replied “What the hell makes you think I’d ever appoint you, Tommy?” Thankfully he did.

So I set about making plans for my return to Oz, and I needed someone with local knowledge. After a number of calls the one name that kept coming up was Yvonne’s so a couple of phone calls and a meeting in my Mum’s loungeroom later, she was on board. A mate’s father had a couple of spare offices buried down the back of his suite and offered to rent them to me on the cheap. There were already desks and chairs in them (bonus) and we had use of his receptionist so we could immediately look like a real company! A visit to Harvey Norman procured the rental of two computers and a fax machine and July 12, 1993 Haven was open for business!

So we kicked off with Nintendo as our first brand. The next came via a great mate, Frank Nakano. He called to say that a friend had just started with Nickelodeon with a remit to establish their international consumer products business.

Nickelodeon were the new kids on the block in TV at that time and were young and dynamic and doing things differently, so we immediately saw a


fit between us and Nick, and we were became their very first international licensing agent September of ’93.

Yvonne King: Rugrats was very much the jewel in the crown at Nick, and it was going gangbusters in the US. We had great TV in Australia but a global toy partner who was completely asleep on it, and a master publishing licensee who was not even in the kids business. Try getting a preschool brand up without toys and books!! Well we did try, to very little joy.

Thankfully out of the left field of the Nick portfolio, along came the other two founding members of Haven, in the form of Ren and Stimpy. The four of us got along famously! Ren and Stimpy was a massive hit in the Australian market, consumers of all ages went mad for it!

Tom Punch: Finally we were hitting our straps, even though at that point I was still living with my mum, driving a beaten up Honda civic, and paying rent



on my Visa card, and hanging out for the monthly Ren and Stimpy royalty cheques to pay wages.

The Haven Philosophy

Tom Punch: We set out really early on to provide a point of difference from the other agents in the market. Our mantra was simple: “service and results.”

I’d been on the licensor side of the fence and knew how frustrating it could be when agents couldn’t fill in a deal memo, wouldn’t return signed contracts, send in wrong royalty reports (or none at all!) and made more work for the licensors rather than less. So I had a firm vision of what level of service was required from a licensing agent, and our aim from day one was to be global best practice.

The licensing business was interesting at that point of time, there was a tendency among agents to scoop up everything because you never knew where the next hit was coming from. It was a vastly different business than it is today. There were no market-

ing plans or gap analysis. “Deep dive meant you were going for a swim and ‘blue sky’ meant it was a nice day!” We didn’t have email! Nobody met with retailers. You got appointed, took a style guide, signed up licensees getting whatever you could, and the royalty cheques rolled in. We saw an opportunity to delve deeper into brands. We felt very strongly that by taking less and doing more with them, we’d deliver a better result for all stakeholders concerned. The formula worked and the rest is history!

The Lessons...what 30 years in licensing has taught us..

Yvonne King: The last 30 years has been a wild ride and one of the blessings of being an independent agent is that you

get to work with some amazing operators. We’ve learned so much over the years from so many great people, however there are a few absolute standouts that really resonated and we frequently hear ourselves quoting to this day:

1. “Stay OFF the radar”

A valuable lesson taught to us by the indefatiguable Jeff Neiman whilst at Universal Studios, who were owned by NBC at the time. He said you know what your job is? When I’m reporting in at an NBC board meeting, and they start to go round the table and quiz everyone on their business, when they get to me and say How is Australia? I wanna say “good” and when they ask “On budget” I wanna say “yes”. And then let them go on and chew up the

Will DePippo, Senior Director, Asia Pacific, Sesame Workshop commented, “Haven is like the ultimate combination of our beloved characters. They have the unstoppable energy of Elmo and the vibrant curiosity of Abby Cadabby. Combining a Cookie Monster sized hunger for success with Grover’s unrelenting determination, the team at Haven is unbeatable. We feel lucky to collaborate with such a dynamic cast of characters, all rolled into one fantastic partner.”



“The Pokémon Company International would like to congratulate Haven on their 30th anniversary and thank them for their continued partnership in helping to bring the iconic Pokémon brand to life in Australia and New Zealand through a wide array of strategic licensing programs and products across softlines, hardlines, and fast-moving consumer goods.

Since the partnership’s inception, The Pokémon Company International and Haven have established an expansive lineup of licensees that appeal to all types of fans while reflecting the growing Pokémon consumer products portfolio, which spans gaming experiences, apparel, accessories, stationery, homewares, gifts, and more.

Stemming from this strategic alliance, many notable Pokémon branded partnerships have delighted fans in Australia and New Zealand. These include EB Games with its impressive breadth of programs across the Pokémon video games, Pokémon Trading Card Game, and other consumer products that speak to core fans; mass market brands like Mitch Dowd and Zak! Australia with themed apparel and mealtime fun for the whole family; and BlackMilk and Peter Alexander with highly creative apparel collections for fashion-forward Trainers. Other key partners include The Oodie, Cotton On Group, Australia Post, and Krispy Kreme Australia to help bolster the robust Pokémon licensing portfolio in the region.

“Haven has an unmatched passion for Pokémon and a depth of brand knowledge that has helped elevate our product offerings in Australia and New Zealand,” said Amy Sachtleben, senior director of licensing and promotions at The Pokémon Company International. “They’ve leveraged their strong retail relationships to expand the reach of Pokémon consumer products in this important territory, and we’re proud to celebrate Haven during this milestone year and beyond.”

guy in Korea or spend an hour on the problems in the UK. That’s YOUR JOB. Hit your numbers, make me look good and STAY OFF THE RADAR!!!”

2. “Excuses are NOT interesting”

Tom Punch: This one came from the incredible Robert Thorne, the one man juggernaut who singlehandledly turned Mary Kate and Ashley into a billion dollar phenomenon. The guy was unstoppable, we’ve never seen someone so skilled at making things happen, ploughing through retail roadblocks and achieving the unachievable. He constantly challenged us and any time we put forward a reason we could not do something, that was the response “Excuses are NOT interesting”.

It ended up becoming a bit of a running joke, so much so that when he came to Australia with the twins for our major brand launch at the Sydney Opera House, we all had t-shirts printed up with the saying on the front. But you know what, he was so right. We could all spend hours, days, years… talking about why things can’t be done – it’s a waste of time! You needed to be focused on what can be done, or how the heck you’re going to give it your best shot.”

3. (a) “Notice Cures All” and (b) “Learn to deliver bad news well”

Yvonne King: We’ll never forget the day these two important lessons were SCREAMED down the phone to us by Kel Purser, the then Divisional Merchandise Manager at Target. We’d had a program exclusively with them for a while, the window for which had run out and we’d sold the brand into another retailer who he’d discovered had just launched instore. Whilst we hadn’t done anything technically wrong, and I can’t remember if it was cowardice or forgetfulness that led to not advising Target ahead of time, either way the abuse was deserved and he was so right – the lessons were learned.

If you have to deliver bad news then the biggest favour you can do for the unfortunate recipient is give them as much notice as possible so they can


YEARS make the appropriate adjustments to their business, planning or overheads.

4. The Power of NO

We learned this from Roberto Lanzi who led the charge on the Hello Kitty global phenomenon first time round. He brought rock star style management to the licensing business and we’ve had the pleasure of hearing many a story of the ups and downs and challenges he faced in the process.

The power of “No” is all about having the mettle to say no to something that is not good for your brand or not good for your business and having the courage to walk away from big dollars, or big players for the greater good.

Once you get up the nerve to do it, it is amazing how often deals or business you thought you would lose as a result comes back bigger and stronger. Not always!! But we always keep The Power of No in mind.


5. The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

30 years after the fact, I can still hear Al Kahn in my ear “The squeaky wheel gets the grease, Tommy!” Push hard, persist, and drive. Al Kahn was one of the most persistent, passionate people I have ever met in the licensing industry. He never gave up. He drove the Pokemon merchandise phenomenon for its first wave of consumer products success in the early 90’s. He persisted and persisted, and this passion evolved into success. We work hard to bring this to our brands and overcoming the challenges to achieve our goals.

6. Schedule your priorities don’t prioritise your schedule

These words of wisdom from Isaac Larian ring in our ears every day. The constant challenge of wading through mountains of emails, administration, inconsequential meetings, redundant planning and reports is a battle we all fight every day. And it keeps us away from doing the things that really move the dial. We could all be working 24/7

but a focus on generating revenue is the only thing that delivers results to all stakeholders.

7. Trust but Verify

Yvonne King: This runs across the full gamut of the business. Doing the work and arming yourself with real information, asking the tough questions will lead you to make much better decisions. Navigating the smoke and mirrors we are presented with daily is one of the biggest challenges in this business. Whether we’re evaluating

new brand opportunities, negotiating deals or checking royalty reports due diligence essential.”

8. Don’t ask, don’t get Back in the heyday of South Park, we had an approach from two of the three major phone companies in our market, desperate to capture the youth market (it was all about phone cards then!) and South Park was it. They both put in similar six figure deals around the same time, the biggest deals we’d ever seen at Haven. We didn’t want to


waste time, so we told the company we were least keen to work with not to bother because we had a deal twice as big as theirs. They came back with a deal triple the size of their original offer! They quickly became our favourite!

9. Stick to what you know Whether it’s opening an office in the Philippines based on figures that shall we say we should have subjected to Rule #7 (trust but verify) or opening a Talent Management agency, which was one of the more interesting experiences we’ve had…

It hails back to … when the first reality series to hit our screens (Big Brother) took off and ratings were off the charts. We were doing the merchandise at the time and got a panicked call from the producers….

The first evictee had just come off the show and Southern Star’s phones were ringing hot. They asked whether we would take on the additional responsibilities of Talent Management for them.

Sure! How hard could it be? Not much different to licensing really, you take a popular character, strike up some endorsement deals, send them out on a few appearances and launch a bit of merchandise. Easy. Off we went to the lawyers and half an hour later we were a Licensed Entertainment Agent and Haven Management was born! Sadly we overlooked one major difference – when you send a Bart Simpson costume to an appearance he does not get drunk, feel up girls in the crowd or ring up screaming because he has no clean underwear.


YEARS The first evictee was a bondage queen and her schedule did the rounds of the S&M clubs, not really where you want to be spending your Tuesday nights. Another evictee was the heart-throb of the show and accompanying him on nightclub appearances regularly involved getting shoved, spat on and abused, as no-one was getting be tween him and his fans.

10. Build the right team

A priority from Day 1 was to invest the time and resources in fabulous people with a view to keeping them engaged and happy for the long term.

And long termers we had! We’ve had incredible longevity with our core business managers from the forma tive years – Sapienza Salerno, Gloria Carmona, Rita Viola, all of whom were with us 15 years plus .. and of course Di Markezic who is still with us heading into her 18th year. Current long termers include Daniel Luele who has just celebrated his 10th year, as has Tracy Chen, Aggie Kulinska and we hope


the rest of our current amazing team clocks up the same anniversaries down the track. A huge part of the enjoyment of the last 30 years has been taking this incredible group along for the ride.

Work hard, play hard!

Of course it wasn’t all hard work… some of our favourite memories include…

The time Kraft peanut butter (the market leader) was found to have traces of Salmonella. A nationwide recall resulted meant the only peanut butter available anywhere in Australia was our “Peanuts” peanut butter which didn’t taste that great due to no added salt, but went from generating royalties of around $10,000 a year to $500,000 plus!

The time we put Tia Maria in Tim Tams (Australia’s favourite biscuit). Must’ve been a light news day when we launched because every major bulletin expressed horror at the fact we had put alcohol in Tim Tams. We braced ourselves for backlash only to receive a call from the head of marketing who’d just put his $2m ad budget back in the bank because the priceless blanket news coverage and publicity. Sales were off the charts.

The Aussie Night parties we had every year in NY at Stitch Bar. You know you’ve made it when even Disney crash your party.

The Sony party on the roofdeck at 500 Fifth featuring Ray Parker Jr playing the Ghostbusters theme song. A current long serving Business Manager may have accidentally souvenired his tambourine!

Attending the filiming of the Darth Vader v. Anakin Skywalker fight scene – what a privilege and what a moment in film history.

Visiting George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch, seeing Luke Skywalker’s Light Sabre, Indiana Jones’s hat, whip and original grail diary, and meeting the master himself, George Lucas.

Being on set at the filming of Iron Man (Yvonne), getting to meet Robert

Continued on page 84


YEARS “Penguin Ventures would like to congratulate Haven on an incredible 30-year anniversary!

We are proud to have been working closely with Haven, as our licensing agent for Classic Peter Rabbit in Australia and New Zealand, since 2009.

As a global licensor, we consider our agents to be an extension of our core team and Haven demonstrate this principle effortlessly. They represent our interests with care and diligence, it is apparent that they have a real affection for Peter Rabbit and a clear understanding of our brand, in every deal they execute.

Haven in turn, has a unique talent for finding licensees who can interpret and translate our brand values into consumer products. We have been consistently impressed by their ability to build relationships that deliver outstanding results both creatively and commercially.

Haven currently manages a growing portfolio of licensees in Australia and New Zealand, and they also support multi territory licensees who distribute into their market. We have experienced phenomenal growth for Peter Rabbit in this territory which is a credit to the expertise that Haven brings.

Our established relationship with Haven has seen us celebrate significant tentpole moments for The World of Peter Rabbit. From important milestone anniversaries, to 2 box office smash hits, the launch of a preschool television series and Penguin Ventures bringing Peter Rabbit back in house. It has

been reassuring to have Ha ven alongside us at every step of the way, showing their continued support for Peter Rabbit as we have celebrated every milestone together.

During the 120th anni versary celebrations of The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 2022, Haven secured a stunning, anniversary pack of 12 commemorative stamps produced by Australia Post which was available to fans and collectors across the country. In addition, our plush partner Jasnor launched a gorgeous limited-edition Peter Rabbit in celebration. Haven continues to embrace Peter Rabbit, rolling out our global brand activity in territory to help us connect with fans and reach new audiences.

drives the brand forward, ensuring that Peter Rabbit is a year-round proposition.

Haven have maintained a solid relationship with licensee Park Avenue who create stunning Peter Rabbit confectionary gifting, ensuring that little ones have a delicious range of treats every Easter. Haven has also forged an innovative partnership with licensee Showtime Attractions, offering little bunnies the opportunity to dance and sing along with the Peter Rabbit character costume at various meet and greet appearances in major shopping malls.

The team at Haven have worked tirelessly to grow Peter Rabbit across key categories including apparel and nursery softlines; toys; homewares; gifting and confectionary.

Close relationships with local partners such as Jasnor; Bubba Blue; Designworks; Cotton-On dividends with key placement across retail environments. Peter

Australia and Myer

apparel with something for

Haven are brilliant collaborators, executing marketing and PR activity in territory but also making use of the official brand channels for Peter Rabbit, sharing product launches and activity to reach our core family audience across Australia and New Zealand. Local influencer campaigns enable us to connect with this audience whilst fans are kept up to date on brand activity and fabulous new product ranges.

We always feel that Di and Karla – our go-to women at Haven –treat Penguin Ventures and Peter Rabbit as a priority which is a real testament to their high level of care and professionalism. They are talented, entrepreneurial and honest.

The Warehouse all continue

They are so passionate about what they do, and this comes through in every conversation – not only are they trusted business partners, but they are also a delight to work with and have become dear friends. Huge congratulations once again to Tom, Yvonne, Di, Karla and everyone at Haven for this milestone celebration!”



Downey Jr, getting completely starstruck and not being able to remember Australia’s geography when he politely mentioned some of his favourite memories there and asked which state were they in… Not to mention bumping the door of the portaloo open as I turned around to pull my pants up, giving the cast and crew a scene they probably don’t care to remember.

The Independence Day party at FAO Schwartz in NY, meeting Harry Conick Jr., Will Smith and dancing on the floor piano like Tom Hanks from Big.

Hosting a wedding for one of our fabulous staff members (Karla Warchulski) in the Elvis Chapel in Las Vegas last year. No doubt she was thrilled to have our key licensees at her wedding…

Hanging out with the Spiderman 2 cast at a private party in Sydney. Toby Maguire may or may not have tried to crack onto one of our staff members…


The Lord of the Rings wrap party in Wellington NZ – the whole city turned out for it and we switched table names at the after party so we were on the A list star table. Partying with Gollum after was next level.. well “precious”… Tom’s soon to be wife was nearly whisked away by Orlando Bloom..

Having lunch in Rupert Murdoch’s private boardroom with all the Newscorp Execs. Tom spent the lunch quietly putting Austin Power’s teeth in his mouth and providing Yvonne with cheesy smiles that made her fall of her seat laughing. The execs thought she was quite stupid as they had no idea what the hysterics were about.

The live reading by the cast of The Simpsons in LA, and having a great chat with Matt Groening about his affection for Australia. We were so excited we decided to slow the adrenaline by having an after party in our hotel where everyone drained their mini-bar into pillow cases and converged on Tom’s




room to party. It was all good fun until the LAPD showed up at 4am and offered the choice of turning down the music or spending the night in jail.

In summary…

This is a great industry and without question the relationships we form are the highlight. First and foremost our partnership has been incredible – there’s not many business relationships in any industry that can survive and thrive over 30 years and we still share the same vigour passion for the industry we always have.

Our Licensors relationships too have been incredible – we’ve represented Paramount for 30 years, Sanrio for 20, Sesame for 18 years, MGA nearly 20 years, Lucafilm for 15, Marvel for 15 …. It’s an amazing privilege to have lasted the test of time with such major entertainment players.

And then there’s our team, many of whom were with us 10, 20 and more years. We’ve laughed, cried, seen weddings, births, deaths, had people leave and come back, we’ve always said Ha-

“Boatrocker would like to offer our warmest congratulations to Haven Global on the occasion of their 30th Anniversary.  We saddled up with Tom and his team for the Australian launch of our animated adventure series Dino Ranch and have been really impressed by their licensing expertise, strong partnership skills and enthusiasm for the brand.  We look forward to working with this best-in-class Australian licensing company for many more years to come.”

ven is our Haven and the strength of our friendships and the ties that bind us last beyond tenure with the business.

And there’s our fellow agents, our friends that have moved around the business over the years. It’s amazing to think that the people we are looking forward to catch up with in Vegas have been mates for decades now and we love every one of them.

Tom wanted to finish with “Thank you to everyone for a great adventure of 30 Years. But I have to give special thanks to Yvonne. Yvonne is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Professional, intelligent, honest, and hilarious. She keeps us all honest,

and us all laughing! We have just had the best time for 30 years – driving for excellence, and having a good time on the journey. I have been so lucky to have her as my business partner and great friend, and I think we make a pretty good team! I don’t know where to start but just to say thank you! And let’s go and celebrate!”

Yvonne of course had to have the last word….. and says “I have spent more time with Tom Punch than any other person in my life. I’m not sure whether that is a good thing but at this age it’s probably going to stay true for my existence on this planet, and I have to assume partnering with him was one of the best things that ever happened to me.”


GWANGJU ACE Fair Meet K-animations in September!

Asia Content & Entertainment Fair in Gwangju, September 14th - 17th REPUBLIC OF KOREA

The 18th ACE FAIR is coming!

Gwangju ACE Fair is the most extensive cultural content market in Korea – which covers Broadcast, Animation/ Character, Digital Content (Game, AR/VR, metaverse, etc.), and all types of licensing content.

Last year, CJ ENM, Monster studio, ICONIX, ZEE Entertainment Enterprises and many other companies and global pavilions participated on-site. Under the theme of “Digital transformation & Expansion of Content Value”, it comprised the mix of exhibition with business programs; theme zone which was called ‘Content Factory’; and the 2nd content developer conference.

This year, ACE Fair will completely return to the in-person - with an exhibition of K-Animation, conference and seminar, networking events and awards.

Here is a snapshot of some of the exhibitors will have on 2023 ACE Fair.

5Bricks is a content planning and production company specializing in animation. They are pursuing content creation based on original IP to introduce to consumers of all ages around the world. In 2022, short-form 2D animation ’Tata & Kuma’ was produced and launched in domestic and overseas markets. ‘Tata & Kuma’ is a slapstick comedy-adventure animation; the story is mainly about the comical adventure of the various characters who are dreaming of conquering the living room of the apartment. Also, 5Bricks are currently working on Season 2 of ’Tata & Kuma’ and preparing ‘CV Brothers’ and ‘Hana and Sock Molly’ for preschooler.

Campfire Aniworks (CFA) is a company that creates a cultural 3D animation production which devel-

oping content to enjoy with whole family members. Since CFA opened the studio in 2017, CFA has been focusing on overseas marketing –production of two main projects has done in English, Chinese and Korean. Most of members are fully experienced with production and they are the members of Olive Studio, which has created ‘Cocomong’. CFA is not only planning and producing content, but also creating content IP that has both artistic value and business feasibility to target the global market. CFA has produced various animation series - family-sitcom animation ‘The Bigfoots’, fantasy-adventure animation ‘Rainbow Bubblegum’ and educational animation ‘Hello Mr.Sunglass’.

Studio G.Baba is a creative animation studio. They have working on 3D animation production and consulting. With a variety of animation content

since its first broadcast on KBS in 2013, they have broadened their market base by producing works such as ‘Mask Masters’, ‘Hello Carbot’, ‘Magic Adventures’, and ‘Space Bug’ and others. Recently, they are focusing on the production of short-form animation series, and the major work ‘B Family’, the comic animation specially targeted at children, has been well known for collaboration with various fields.

Gonggam Media is a content production company, mainly produce and publish various cultural content such as webcomics, animations, and other convergence content. They currently publish webcomics - ‘Love So Pure’ and ‘The Esper’s Game’, on major webcomic platforms in Korea, US, China and Europe. They also operate webcomic background service platform ‘Background Kit for creators.’

VISIT KOREA in SEPTEMBER! You can meet and interact with all of these K-content at the GWANGJU ACE FAIR. Check out our website: for detailed information!

The busiest season for the Korean licensing industry calendar is concentrated in the first six months of the year.

It starts a little earlier with the yearend period in December, followed by the Korean Lunar New Year holiday in January, the new school year in March, the appropriately named “Family Month” in May (when there are a lot of family-orientated public holidays and observances), and finishing just before the summer vacation when there is a surge of licensed product launches. In this context, the twelve animals of the zodiac, that are so popular in oriental culture and symbolize a specific year, become the focus of attention in Korea until about June. Companies and brands actively utilize the zodiac animal characters in their marketing activities, mainly through promotions.

Rabbit Characters Hop Around in 2023, the Year of the Rabbit

In Korea, China, Japan, and other countries where Buddhist culture is

widespread, the zodiac sign culture is deeply engrained. The twelve different animals of the zodiac symbolize each year in the twelve-year cycle. This of course is music to the licensing industry where a great licensing opportunity avails itself once in every twelve years if the licensed character is based on one of the zodiac animals!

2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, and various world-famous rabbit characters such as Miffy, Bugs Bunny, and Peter Rabbit are expected to be the most popular character properties for brand collaborations. In Korea, we have Esther Bunny, a very popular cute pink rabbit character created by Esther Kim, a Korean-American artist (and licensed by my company!), has been enjoying unprecedented success.

Esther Bunny’s activities rolled out for Christmas 2022 in Seoul via a collaboration with COEX, Korea’s leading convention center, and with shopping centre collaborations and pop-up stores at the Times Square shopping mall and Play In The Box at

At the same time in the East Asian region, pop-up stores and promotions were held at Dream Mall, the largest shopping mall in Taiwan, Huahan 1914 Creative Park, and LCX Department Store in Hong Kong. As we moved into 2023, Esther Bunny brand promotions and collaborations expanded into the Korean CU convenience store chain and the Gong cha Taiwanese bubble tea shop franchise. Gong cha is especially worth mentioning as it is right on target for the Esther Bunny fan profile of Korean females in their teens-to-twenties. The tea shop

The Hyundai Seoul, a flagship department store of the Hyundai group that opened in 2021. Kim, President, KVISION INC.

franchise is hugely popular with this demographic and with 800 stores in Korea alone, it has been given us excellent brand promotion.

New Esther Bunny licensed product ranges hitting the market included LocknLock household goods, LOCA Mobility prepaid transportation cards, a fashion line from PLAYBOO, cosmetics from One-day’s You and DUFT & DOFT, and a publishing program from Woongjin.

Convenience Stores are Now the Heart of Character Merchandise Distribution

Convenience stores in South Korea are truly becoming the major distribution channel for character goods. They are easily accessible to people of all ages, but the main customer segments of Korean convenience stores have aged down from thirtyto-forty-year-olds to twenty-to-thirty-year-olds. Sales data also shows the percentage of elementary school students and other teenage customers has recently shown a rapid increase.

The influx of children into convenience stores is a trend that has emerged since convenience stores began handling toy and stationery ranges. This is because traditional small “mom-and-pop” type stationery stores around school neighborhoods have been closing due to the declining number of students due to the falling birthrate. Another factor was the availability of online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic which reduced

stationery store visits by students.

The convenience store industry – led by the three major chains, CU, GS25 and 7-Eleven - is increasing its lineup of various character toys, stationery, food and beverage products, toy candies, key chains, etc., in collaboration with well-known character properties to capture the teenage customer base.

Since GS25 launched its Pokemon Bread Bun in 2022, it also began selling other character products based on Snoopy and Crayon Shinchan. CU launched collaborations with Miffy, Esther Bunny, and Naganonokuma (a

bear character from Japan), followed by characters from the Warner Bros. stable such as Tom and Jerry, Tweety Pie, and Bugs Bunny. 7-Eleven made sure it didn’t miss out by using Sanrio characters such as Hello Kitty, My Melody, Cinnamoroll and Kuromi, while emart24, another chain, launched character products using Pinkfong’s Baby Shark and its own inhouse character called One One. In addition, each season, there is strong activity with characters being used in a steady stream of promotions and collaborations in various fields such as webtoons and games. Thus, in addition to actively targeting the twenties and thirties consumer, character marketing to teens has been expanding recently. Character properties targeted for collaboration have also expanded into various fields such as webtoons and games, creating interesting examples.

Social Media and Emoticons: Now a Must for Character Licensing

Recently, “social media”, “emoticons”, and “silly cuteness” are the common keyword denominators for licensed characters that are gaining popularity among the Korean teens-to thirtiesage group. Typical Korean character properties cited include Gosimperson, Broken Bear, and Shaky Animals. All these animal-based characters were created by solo artists and what they have in common that they actively use social media such as Twitter, Instagram, and KakaoTalk’s Emoticon service for branding. They upload content such as illustrations, toons, product launches, promotion schedules, etc., and the social media platforms serve as windows for building characters’ worldviews and communicating with fans.

Emoticons also serve as both content and revenue-generating digital goods. The most used messenger application in Korea is KakaoTalk and its emoticons store has many designs uploaded to the site, with various characters’ personalities on show. The emoticons that are gaining popu-


larity in Korea these days are characters that express a “silly cuteness” sensibility. The artwork is characterized by a warm message contained in seemingly casual phrases that seem to be drawn in broad strokes. Licensors of characters that appeal to this trivial cuteness are expanding their scope of activities into the licensing arena as their fandom grows. Mainly, products targeting women in their teens to thirties, such as plush toys, stationery, household goods, F&B, and smartphone accessories, are being released. Companies and brands are also actively engaged in collaborative promotions and pop-up stores.

In addition, characters owned by companies such as Choonsik, a pet cat belonging to popular Kakao Friends character Ryan, and Zanmang Loopy, a beaver girl from the popular Korean children’s cartoon Pom Pom Pororo produced by Iconix, are also gaining popularity in emoticons and licensing.

Recently, Korean licensors have shifted their focus from characters for younger kids to ones targeting teens and above. The most active target group for licensing in Korea remains toddlers and kids, but due to the declining population of these younger age groups due to the shrinking birth rate, new sales channels must be sought.

However, the older the age group, the fewer the product items to which the characters can be applied, and this is a deep concern. At the same time, however, positive signs are being felt that demand for character products is

increasing. Currently, licensing companies are tapping into the older age group by frequently conducting oneoff promotions through collabora tions. Due to short promotion periods, it is difficult to set guar antees and gener ate steady royalty

streams. As a result, it is not easy to build longterm, stable royalty revenue or guarantees that have been one of the key features of licensing. This is an issue that the Korean licensing industry needs to grapple with moving forward.

Hyon-Kyong Kim is president of Korean licensing agency,K-VISION Inc.

Ms. Kim studied for a Masters Degree in Journalism at Sophia Uni versity in Tokyo for two years. During that time, she also worked as an overseas video journalist for KBS 2 TV channel, part of Korean Broadcasting System, the national South Korean public broadcaster. Upon graduation, after working for Sumitomo Warehouse, she re-engaged with media joining H.C.P., Ja pan’s first magazine dedicated to the “Korean Wave” of popular Korean contents. Thereafter she worked for the Tokyo International Anime Fair Secretariat before estab lishing K-VISION in Japan in 2005 and then in Korea in 2010. Ms. Kim writes extensively on the Korean con tents industry. For three years, she authored a Korea market column for, a Japanese character industry portal site, and now continues to contribute to Korean licensing magazines.





As the COVID-19 pandemic is virtually over in South Korea, Robocar POLI offline events, which have slowed down so far, are actively being carried out, while various extensive brand collaboration marketing using Robocar POLI is being carried out.

Robocar POLI Musical

The Robocar POLI musical, which fans have been eagerly waiting for, will be available in more than eight cities across the Korea, including Seoul and Busan, starting with its performance in May 2023.


POLI x K-Drama

Robocar POLI toys also appear in the anticipated K-drama in 2023. Robocar POLI licensed products (road maps) and Master Toy products appear as props related to the main character in The Good Bad Mother and Wedding Impossible, which began airing on JTBC in April and is drawing attention as the next male lead of the Netflix drama The Glory. Roi Visual looks forward to Robocar POLI’s performance,

which will appear as a significant prop in the growth process of the main characters in the drama.

Robocar POLI x Lotte World Adventure

Robocar POLI collaborated with Lotte, Korea’s largest food and retail company. A Robocar POLI meet and greet event was held in LotteWorld Adventure in Jam-sil in May and a Robocar POLI pop-up store was also set up at LotteWorld in Jam-sil, Seoul, for two months, from April to May, and operated successfully.

Robocar POLI x Lotte


Under the motto of providing safe food for children, five types of Robocar POLI juice developed by Lotte Confectionery Pasteur are also set to be released soon. Robocar POLI juice will be sold in South Korea and Southeast Asian markets such as Vietnam and Thailand.

Robocar POLI x Multiplex CGV Safety Campaign

One hundred and nineteen theaters

nationwide of Korea’s multiplex cinema CGV are screening Robocar POLI Safety Class: Traffic Safety. Robocar POLI Safety Class: Fire Safety will be screened from July.

Robocar POLI x VOLVO

Robocar POLI can be seen in the Kids Zone of Swedish premium car brand Volvo’s seasonal event. Volvo and Robocar POLI will conduct child safety education together.

Robocar POLI x E-Mart

Robocar POLI videos are utilized to promote the “Children’s Anti-missing fingerprint registration campaign” by E-Mart, Korea’s No. 1 Supermarket franchise, mainly visited by mothers and infants.

Robocar POLI x Public campaign.

Robocar POLI’s safety campaign goes beyond cooperation with business partners and continues to spread to public campaigns. Robocar POLI con-


tinues to be used as safety education content at the request of each fire department and district office in Seoul. On May 5, Robocar POLI appeared at the International Children’s Marathon with International Children’s Rights NGO Save the Children and Korea Professional Baseball Games, bringing joy to many children who visited the baseball stadium.


Robocar POLI offline events, which had slowed down due to COVID-19, were revived.

In February, Robocar POLI participated as a host in the children’s bicycle competition “TRIPLES” (Speed, Strong, Skill), which had been delayed for three years due to COVID-19, giving children great joy. POLI and Amber encouraged the children who participated in the bicycle competition for the first time in a long time through a meet and greet. The Robocar POLI medals and plaques were awarded to the outstanding participants.The event continued until April.

Robocar POLI was also invited as a friendly mascot for Taiwan’s professional basketball team, the Lioneers, at the 2023 professional basketball season opening ceremony. A Meet and greet, held on home courts and outdoor stages, was a success, pleasing many fans with various events.

On February 11, 2023, Robocar POLI’s

shopping mall Meet and Greet event 2023 was held at SOGO, a famous department store in Taiwan. Starting with this event, Robocar POLI’s neverending Meet and Greet is expected to continue throughout Taiwan throughout the year.


Robocar POLI’s reopening of business in Southeast Asia has also actively begun. In particular, Robocar POLI, which has built brand awareness in Southeast Asia based on a high level of YouTube subscribers and views, will also accelerate its toy and licensing business with the start of public broadcasting.

In Vietnam, the Robocar POLI series have been broadcast sequentially since Robocar POLI season 1 on popular cable TV channels Bibi TV and See TV since the second half of 2022. Based on this popularity, Robocar POLI toys are distributed throughout Vietnam through local toy brand stores, My Kingdom. Throughout 2023, new works such as the Robocar POLI Safety Education Series and the Robocar POLI Song Song Museum are expected to continue to be aired.

In Indonesia, viewers can watch Robocar POLI Season 5 first in Southeast

Asia. On March 20, Robocar POLI Season 5 began airing on RTV, Indonesia’s most influential terrestrial channel. It airs regularly from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily and is very popular amongst viewers.

In Malaysia, Robocar POLI content has been released on the OTT app Durioo for Muslim children. Despite the prerelease of only Robocar POLI English videos, they are so popular that they ranked in the TOP3 within a month of their release and are expected to receive more positive responses in the future as they are set to be distributed in Malaysian during the second quarter.


Robocar POLI reopens EU market with a Cinema promotion from France and Poland

Robocar POLI Cinema promotions and TV broadcasts are being discussed in many European countries, mainly France, and the market is being revitalized.

In France, the music edutainment animation Robocar POLI SongSong Museum will be launched on Gulli TV and Piwi+ in the second half of 2023 and will meet French fans through various promotions. Robocar POLI SongSong Museum, which will be unveiled for the first time in French, is expected to captivate French children and parents with beautiful videos and music. In addition, the cinema promotion of Robocar POLI: The Story of the Desert Rescue, which features significant episodes of Robocar POLI Season 5 before the first release of Robocar POLI


Season 5, is actively being discussed in various countries, including France, Benelux, and Poland, to launch in the second half of 2023.

Based on solid media power, Robocar POLI toy sales are being revitalized in Turkey. On February 1, Fire Safety with Roy was first aired on Minika TV, a leading terrestrial children’s channel. It was aired regularly at 11:10 a.m. every morning during prime time, recording high ratings.The sequel, Daily Life Safe-

ty with Amber, is also set to air. Thanks to this media power, the distribution of Robocar POLI toys is also being actively discussed. Fake product control monitoring activities are also underway to support the distribution of Robocar POLI genuine toys in Turkey.

Robocar POLI, suspended during COVID in Eastern Europe, is rerunning. In commemorating the reruns of Robocar POLI season 1 and Robocar POLI Season 2, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Eastern Europe will hold several social media campaigns with children’s Pay TV channel Jimjam and present Robocar POLI products and JimJam children’s kits for the winners.

Despite the difficult economic conditions in Ukraine, the Robocar POLI local licensing business is developing. Since Roi Visual signed a licensing agent contract with Nerd Agency LLC in 2022, snacks for children such as Robocar POLI Vitamin Candy have also been released through pharma-

ceutical company Farmak.


Along with the restart of the French, Turkish, and Eastern European markets, the launch of the Robocar POLI brand in the Middle East is also being actively discussed. In the second half of this year, new Arabic programs such as Robocar POLI Season 3 will be aired through leading Arabicspeaking stations, and the popular Robocar POLI toys will also be distributed in the Middle East.


Robocar POLI shakes hands with Brand Liaison for the U.S. Robocar POLI recently signed a deal with Brand Liaison, a lead licensing agency in North America, signalling its entry into the North American market. Robocar POLI is currently serviced on Netflix,YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video, North America’s top 3 internet video services. YouTube, in particular, has performed well, with its English-based official account Robocar POLI TV single channel surpassing 6.6 million subscribers. Based on Robocar POLI’s high content competitiveness, Brand Liaison will launch various brand activities for Robocar POLI, starting with Licensing Expo in 2023.

Robocar POLI signed for 26 Fast TV Platforms for the U.S. market

Robocar POLI joined Toony Planet, a streaming channel specializing in kids available on 26 influential AVOD/Fast channels in the U.S. market. In April 2023, Robocar POLI was released on Roku, Plex, and L.G. Channels and is set to launch on more platforms.

Robocar POLI lands in new markets with master toy distribution

ROI TOYS, a newly launched toy brand by Roi Visual, successfully launched its line-up of Robocar POLI Best Selling

Master Toys in the Asian market in 2022. In 2022, it exported about 60 products, including popular products such as Robocar POLI 4-inch transform robots and die-casts, to Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Thailand. In the first quarter of 2023, it has expanding its export reach beyond Asia to European markets such as the Balkans and Turkey.

Toys are also scheduled to be distributed in the Middle East in the second half of this year, so it can be expected to see ROI TOYS products in more countries.

Along with distribution in each country, the Robocar POLI Amazon Brand Store, launched in 2022, is preparing to expand beyond the U.S. to Japan and Amazon Europe, based on Amazon U.S.’s successful testing. In 2023, Robocar POLI toys will be available through Amazon in more countries.



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 tiger has been a symbol from ancient times that defeats bad luck, the brand has given a great message of support and comfort.

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. 90 brands 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 117,000 followers on Instagram, which is more than double the figure from the previous year.

One of the remarkable practices of MUZIKTIGER is the collaboration with the luxury brand GUCCI. For the launch of Gucci Gaok, their new Seoul flagship store, the Kakao branded emoji set featuring DDOONG RANG was provided as a giveaway during the

event period. More than 60 million sets of this collaboration emoji went out of stock in only five hours.

CASETIFY, which is a Hong Kong company that designs and produces customized unique tech accessories, has released the exclusive MUZIKTIGER lineup including phone cases, iPad cases, AirTag holder and more. Thanks to the success of the first collection, Casetify expanded to the second lineup in early 2023 featuring PORUMEE, the rabbit character from MUZIKTIGER. In July 2022, MUZIKTIGER exclusive pop-up store was held for two weeks at THE HYUNDAI SEOUL, one of the biggest landmarks in Seoul which has attracted 80 million customers over the past two years since its opening. Since The Hyundai Seoul is a large shopping mall beloved by the main target age group of the IP, MUZIKTIGER has expanded its brand awareness and

fan base through this pop-up activity with approx. 300 SKUs of product of various categories.

Starting with the collaboration with a major entertainment company’s IP in the second half of 2023, MUZIKTIGER has established itself as one of the leading characters in the highly competitive IP industry.

With the help of success in Korea, this trendy tiger is now roaring towards other Asian markets.

In Taiwan, MUZIKTIGER emoji set was ranked at 6th in the daily sales in LINE TAIWAN upon its release. As LINE is a messaging application used by over 90% of Taiwanese population, the emoji set will continue to secure additional fans.

Moreover, a wide range of products are ready to be launched in Japan. From the third quarter of 2023, Japanese consumers will be able to enjoy MUZIKTIGER products including fashion accessories, home furnishings, kitchenware, stationery, and personal items. Last but not least, HANSHIN TIGERS, one of the top professional baseball clubs in Japan, will launch the extensive collaboration merchandises during the upcoming season.

For more information, contact: Nina Oh, Sales Manager,, +82-2-6373-3103


Protecting Pocoyo from The Pirates

New Alchemy Solutions’ Winning Approach to Anti-Counterfeiting for Zinkia Entertainment

Zinkia Entertainment creates entertainment brands and audiovisual and interactive products for family audiences worldwide. The global popularity of Pocoyo, their tentpole preschool kids show aired on Cartoon Network, HBO, Nickelodeon, and others, has continued to enjoy exponential growth.

However, this success also attracts the attention of unscrupulous businesses skilled at copying IP and churning out counterfeit products to earn huge profits for themselves.

Paul N. Holmes, Zinkia Entertainment’s Head of Licensing explains, “For our Pocoyo brand, we needed

To date, Zinkia Entertainment and its trusted IP protection partner, New Alchemy Solutions, have successfully filed legal cases and permanently shut down 3,941 infringing listings of Zinkia’s IP through enforcement actions against 1,887 commercial online counterfeit sellers and factories, all through ten lawsuits. The cases against these sellers have resulted in large compensation through statutory damage awards. Holmes compared traditional legal methods with New Alchemy Solutions’ method. “Takedown requests and cease & desist letter solutions have traditionally played a part but could only ever be reactive in nature, and so we are forced to participate in games of cat and mouse. Budgetary constraints on legal fee spending were also a factor we needed to consider in our search for the solution.”

proactive method

New Alchemy Solutions has successfully pioneered a ground-breaking approach to anti-counterfeiting. Their solution cuts through to the heart of the problem, i.e., the source of counterfeits, and interacts with the large commercial entities that the global supply chains depend on.

Zinkia Entertainment

is just one of the 150+ clients that New Alchemy Solutions serves. Its client base ranges from small mom-and-pop operations to large publicly-listed companies.

For further information on New Alchemy Solutions visit or contact info@

a solution to the huge numbers of pirates and fake merchandise across numerous e-platforms. Much of these originated from China, where it has always been difficult to enforce against infringers. We were also becoming very concerned about the safety of our valued customers as we have received reports of counterfeit toys with lead paint, non-fire-retardant materials, and contain chemicals which can harm children.”

Holmes knows about toys, having spent a decade as a toy manager for Warner Bros. He continued, “As our business grew, so did our corporate and social responsibility. Parents are not always aware that they are buying a counterfeit product. Aside from the consumer, workers in offshore factories are often exposed to inhuman unhealthy work conditions, not to mention the problems with child labor and low wages.”

“New Alchemy Solutions’ innovative service with user-friendly tailored software has been a true game changer for us. My main concern about signing up with New Alchemy was that I couldn’t find any downsides…which naturally caused some doubts, but I am glad we did it. Our favorite aspects are that with minimal effort and no costs but significant recovery return to us, we now have a service that eliminates online counterfeits permanently. Instead of dealing with take-down requests or cease and desist letters for hours on almost a daily base, our time and resources effort was reduced by 80%. Our partners, licensees, and customers have been pleased that we are enforcing rights in this way, and of course, we have had no negative PR from consumers now being protected.”

“After only working with New Alchemy Solution for a few months, we have seen a huge drop in Pocoyo infringements. This is something we’ve never seen before.” Holmes concluded. New Alchemy Solutions’ innovative and

Through asset freeze lawsuits, the manufacturers and wholesale distributors of counterfeit goods at the sources of global supply chains find themselves cornered and have no choice but to negotiate with New Alchemy Solutions specialist IP counsel. The resulting settlement agreements, along with monetary damage payouts (in most cases), are effective deterrents needed to stop the counterfeiters from being repeat offenders. New Alchemy Solutions firmly believes brand owners are the only rightful owners of their IP and no-one else. Why should any other entity derive revenue from it? Laws exist to protect an owner’s IP and prevent revenue that is rightly theirs from being diverted elsewhere.

IP owners! Let New Alchemy Solutions utilize its innovative solution with the law to stop the fraudulent multimillion-dollar income firms that exploit your IP and the end consumer for their illicit financial gain.

Would Paul N. Holmes continue to employ aggressive strategies to protect Pocoyo? “Yes, especially when children’s safety is on the line, an IP owner should use any method to protect its clients.”


New Alchemy Solutions has pioneered a greatly efficient IP rights enforcement strategy.

At zero cost to the IP owner, NAS expertise is to permanently remove online counterfeits by filing joint cases in the US against infringers and obtain an asset freeze court order.

Turn-Key Solution

Sustainable & Permanent Removal of infringements

Reduces Demands on in-house legal

IP Attracts
Protects Customer Boosts
Licensees/Distributors Secures Brand Increases Revenue via Legit Sales

The anime brand, ANICI™ (pronounced ah-nee-shee), was announced as part of NICI Corporation.

NICI Corporation was established to support the animé industry. It aims to create animé both original and made from wonderful encounters with engaging works together with a range of partners.

“Anime,” “Contents,” “Investment,” these are the three key points of the ANICI™ business.

ANICI™ works to provide content that everyone can enjoy, with the spirit of respect and taking on a challenge in

Visit us at Booth A136

content creation, under the umbrella theme, “The touch of a heart, even after many years”.

Along with the anime production companies, for the IPs that ANICI™ is investing in, it also has the gaming rights and the character collaboration rights to license out IPs.

The goal of such a business is to bring the best entertainment experience to the fans of the IP.

The company has worked on a variety of titles including Cells at Work! CODE BLACK, Shinobi no Ittoki, and YUREI DECO etc. alongside titles on air now for instance Otaku Elf, TENGOKU DAIMAKYO, and Kizuna no Allele.

Licensing EXPO is the first event outside of Japan that ANICI™ is attending and the company is looking forward to networking with the industry and exploring journeys with their friends globally seeking more opportunities and creating more exciting content for the world.

For more information, contact: Sandy Li English, Chinese, Japanese available


Laugh, Learn and Grow with Moonbug! Front Cover Story

Much has happened in the year since the last Licensing Expo. Moonbug, the next generation global kids’ entertainment company, has seen its IP expanded with new shows and channels launching; its geographical coverage has significantly grown, particularly in territories across EMEA, LatAm and APAC; and the company has also entered new product and content categories with a new videogame, podcasts and even personalised greetings all launching within the last twelve months. With a new brand identity and exciting plans ahead, the team is looking forward to a few busy days in Vegas!

Moonbug is an award-winning global entertainment company inspiring kids everywhere to laugh, learn and grow. The company believes every child should have access to its entertaining and enriching content, which is why its shows are available on more than

150 video platforms globally including Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer and YouTube Kids. Moonbug is also a global leader in pre-school music and audio experiences, which are available on 100+ audio platforms globally. Beyond the screen, Moonbug brands extend to include streaming music, consumer products and live entertainment (even theme park exhibits!). This wide offering allows kids to bring their favourite characters home and extend the storytelling to their playrooms or to the local theatre. One theme runs across all Moonbug properties and that is its values. The company aims to be a natural part of every child’s upbringing, regardless of geography, culture or background. By inspiring and engaging children with fun and responsible storytelling, Moonbug encourages kindness, compassion and resilience in the next generation. This is particularly significant

when learning the scale of the reach of Moonbug’s content. Its YouTube channels are viewed nearly 9 billion times on average every month, whilst its portfolio currently stands at 29 IPs available in 32 languages, including American Sign Language (ASL).

On the Licensing & Merchandise front, Moonbug has successfully developed an extremely strong consumer products programme with offerings in all major licensed categories including toys & games, fashion, accessories & footwear, party goods, FMCG, arts & crafts, home and more. In a relatively short amount of time, the company has built a world-class portfolio of best-in-class licensees and continues to build upon these relationships with new categories and brands. Music and songs play a huge role in Moonbug’s franchises, as the company understands that music is good for motor skills development, as well


as aiding with the learning process. Moonbug artists make up more than 40% of the Infant & Toddler music market in the US and as a whole, Moonbug generates about 200 million streams a month across major music distribution platforms around the world. The question around what contributes to the success of Moonbug’s shows is one that often comes up. Moonbug shows are varied in nature, but have certain core characteristics that make them successful:

- The themes covered in its shows have universal appeal (e.g. friendships or families, numbers and words), which means that regardless of background, kids find the worlds and situations portrayed relatable.

- Moonbug’s shows are relevant and age appropriate to their audience, they meet kids where they are and don’t talk down to them.

- The shows are fun and engaging, so they generate loyalty and repeat viewing.

- The songs, especially in shows such as CoComelon, support the early foundational years for both kids and parents.

- And, let’s not to forget, Moonbug’s content is always on and available across a wide range of platforms where kids are.

Moonbug Brands


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.

As the most-watched brand on YouTube Kids with more than 4.5 billion monthly views, global sensation CoComelon has cemented itself as a top preschool property. The brand, which supports kids in their foundational years through positivity, with a song for every big-little moment, has attracted the attention of many licensees and retailers as well as the hearts of its many little fans.

Throughout 2022, the franchise saw phenomenal expansion with new shows (Cody Time and CoComelon JJ’s Animal Time), a new Spotify podcast (CoComelon Story Time), a new video game (CoComelon: Play with JJ), as well as new consumer products and

live entertainment offerings launching across a number of categories. In 2023 we can look forward to further franchise expansion for CoComelon, including an additional beloved character getting their own show. Nina, JJ’s loveable, sporty classmate and friend, will get her own series. Another show to look forward to is CoComelon Lane, the first-ever narrative series featuring the CoComelon characters, which has been commissioned by Netflix and will launch later this year. Through these spin-offs and the strength of the original CoComelon show, the franchise continues to connect with new audiences across the world. Global YouTube fans currently amount to over 190 million. The company recently announced a CoComelon collaboration with PUMA, which resulted in a kids’ footwear and apparel co-branded collection inspired by characters from the show. And through its partnerships with leading toy companies such as Jazwares and Just Play, the company has won awards for its beloved toys such as the Boo Boo JJ doll, My Friend Cody doll and The Ultimate Learning Bus.


Blippi is a live action preschool program that takes kids on field trips where they explore kid-friendly and interactive destinations. These curiosity adventures elevate play time into a learning experience by meeting new people, exploring new words and learning new facts associated with the places they visit, which are familiar to kids in any neighbourhood. Blippi inspires curiosity in pre-schoolers around the world by creating


content and experiences that are relatable, accessible and make learning fun. Blippi has become a worldwide sensation with more than one billion monthly views across platforms including Netflix, HBO Max, Cartoonito, Sky, Amazon and YouTube and millions of fans around the world.

Building on the success of Meekah, Blippi’s first buddy, Moonbug has been expanding the Blippi universe with the launch of Juca, a live-action show set in Brazil, in January this year. Later this year Blippi, himself, will be taking kids on international field trips with episodes filmed in Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Mexico and the UAE.

After a sold out run of Blippi The Musical in London, the show will expand to more international markets including Canada, Mexico and the UAE with more countries to be announced.

Blippi The Musical brings the curious and fun character Blippi off the screen

and amazing music. Blippi encourages learning through doing, playing and exploring. In the live show kids continue to learn about the world around them while singing and dancing along with this one-of-a-kind show.

Blippi boasts over 1 billion monthly views and over 60 million fans. The show available in more than 20 languages, including ASL, and is distributed by more than 30 global broadcast and streaming partners.

Little Angel

Little Angel is an animated show for pre-schoolers, which is captivating families around the world with its humour, catchy and upbeat songs and familiar nursery rhymes. The show aims to inspire kids and families to have fun and to grow and learn through play.


Oddbods is a hilarious comedy that follows the adventures of a group of very individual and quirky friends as they survive the perils of everyday life, where ordinary situations quickly spiral into extraordinary events. Oddbods teach us to discover the best version of ourselves. Everyone is unique - and that’s what makes us totally awesome.

Moonbug in the News Moonbug’s New Look

Earlier this year Moonbug unveiled a fresh new look, featuring a new corporate style and logo that will be recognized by families around the world. Moonbug worked with brand agency DixonBaxi to refresh its corporate identity to convey the same energy and fun as its colourful shows and characters, including hits CoComelon and Blippi.

Since Moonbug’s launch nearly five years ago, the company has become a trusted brand for families around the world, known for delivering great entertainment for young kids that is rich in learning benefits and healthy values. While its shows have always had high brand recognition, Moonbug itself is now increasingly growing more audience-facing, such as through its hugely successful and global “Moonbug” channels.

The Moonbug identity is bursting with energy, and is synonymous with dy-

namism, excitement, and fun. This rebrand perfectly captures the spirit and energy of childhood while still maintaining the authority to live naturally amongst the leaders in the entertainment industry.

Moonbug Joins Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2023

Moonbug has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2023 in the Film and Television category.

This year’s list highlights the businesses at the forefront of their respective industries, paving the way for the innovations of tomorrow. These companies are setting the standard with some of the greatest accomplishments of the modern world. In addition to the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies, 540 organizations are recognized across 54 sectors and regions. Moonbug’s purpose is to be the most relevant and impactful kids’ media company in the world, and this award is a testament to the incredible team that supports that mission every day. In less than five years, Moonbug has achieved unprecedented growth and has become a trusted brand for families around the world, known for delivering great entertainment for young kids that is rich in learning benefits and healthy values. Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out the companies making the biggest strides around the globe. They also judged nominations received through their application process.

The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the


year. It provides a first-hand look at the inspiring and innovative efforts of companies across all sectors of the economy.

Moonbug Launches ‘Minibods’ Channel, A Spin-Off Of Global Phenomenon ‘Oddbods’

Moonbug’s portfolio of IPs is growing! Back in April, the company launched a new channel, Minibods, on YouTube. Minibods is a non-dialogue, slapstick preschool comedy series that follows the adventures of six furry friends who bring the silly to every situation and overcome life’s hurdles in unconventional ways.

Building on the success of 3-time International Emmy-nominated Oddbods, which has over 35 million YouTube subscribers across its various dedicated channels, Minibods comes from a team of award-winning writers and is targeted at young kids and families who want to enjoy some fun and humour together.

Minibods features five beloved characters from Oddbods – Bubbles, Jeff, Newt, Pogo, and Fuse – along with new addition Lulu. Each episode is told from the perspective of one of the six Minibods as they go through adventures and face kid-relatable obstacles, such as learning how to ride a bicycle and baking. Episode learnings are focused on the social-emotional development of pre-schoolers through ‘accidental learning,’ which teaches children by naturally modelling positive behaviours.

Show writers include BAFTA and Emmy Award winner Adam Redfern (Go Jetters, The Adventures of Paddington), BAFTA nominee and British Animation Award winner Dave Ingham (Lucas the Spider, Chip & Potato, Mush Mush & The Mushables), Jo Clegg (Hey Duggee, Gaspard & Lisa), and James Phelan (Oddbods). The series will feature 39 seven-minute episodes with one new episode being released weekly every Saturday.

Audible And Moonbug Entertainment

Launch Original Family Listening Podcasts

Audible and Moonbug have announced two original family listening podcasts, Little Baby Bum: Time to Dream and Lellobee City Farm: Grandma Mei’s

Fantastic Folktales. The two series, based on Moonbug’s beloved hit shows, feature a unique format, blending podcasts and audiobooks to engage parents with young children to help them grow and learn. The first family listening podcast from the deal, Little Baby Bum: Time to Dream, has a focus on sleep and mindfulness. This series is a calming collection of gentle ‘audio guided journeys’ into the enchanting nursery rhyme-inspired land of dream time, with episodes featuring a short story followed by a relaxing soundscape. Each 20-25-minute episode has been lovingly created for listeners as young as age one and up with the support

of Emily Faulkner, Sleep Consultant at, to encourage little ones to drift off into peaceful sleep.

Releasing on June 8th, Lellobee City Farm: Grandma Mei’s Fantastic Folktales is tailored for family listening with children from age three and up. This series is an immersive storytelling experience that showcases the beauty of the natural world and cultures from across the globe, created with the support of Educational and Cultural Consultant, Dr. Natascha Crandall.The series will feature 26 episodes in total, with the first half available on June 8th and the rest will be available at a future date.

The collaboration marks the first venture into dedicated audio experiences for the Little Baby Bum and Lellobee City Farm brands from Moonbug. Adding to the 200 million audio streams that Moonbug already does monthly, the Audible collaboration signals a continued expansion for Moonbug into the many audio verticals, including music, podcasts, and audiobooks.


Licensing Expo

Booth # R212



Federico San Martin Head of Consumer Products for the Minecraft brand

This is Minecraft’s first time as an exhibitor at Licensing Expo. Can you tell us why you decided to exhibit this year?

Federico San Martin: “Minecraft has previously participated in Licensing Expo, but yes, this is the first year we will have an official presence at the show. We decided to participate as an exhibitor to have an area for us to meet with our current and potential clients. We knew it was essential to have this space to unveil our upcoming plans for 2024 and beyond. We are very excited to be at the show!”

Can you give us some highlights of Minecraft since the game first launched in 2009?

Federico San Martin: “From the launch of Mojang Studios’ Minecraft game in Stockholm fourteen years ago in 2009, it has grown to become the best-selling video game of all time selling more than 238 million copies across all platforms and is played by millions of players in every country and territory around the world, including Antarctica and Vatican City!

Minecraft launched Marketplace in 2017 as an online store where play-

ers can purchase community-created content using Minecoins. Marketplace creators have generated more than $500m in revenue from downloads of skins, worlds, and other experiences. Minecraft Marketplace has partnered with some of the biggest entertainment brands to create content, including Star Wars, Minions, How to Train Your Dragon, Ben 10, Sonic the Hedgehog and many more.

In addition, Mojang Studios expanded its presence by launching Minecraft Dungeons in 2020. The game is set in the Minecraft universe but with a different gameplay style than the original game. Players must battle their way through multiple levels with one objective, to defeat the game’s main antagonist, the Arch-Illager! Continuing with those plans to expand Minecraft’s universe, Mojang Studios in partnership with Blackbird Interactive launched this April Minecraft Legends, an all-new action strategy game where you explore a familiar universe in unfamiliar ways. Minecraft Legends is an organic expansion of the Minecraft IP, it continues the Minecraft franchise’s legacy as an approachable, family-friendly way to jump into new genres. Plan your strategy and face the

piglings in an epic battle!

What started as a game is now a platform and canvas for creative expression that has evolved into an evergreen entertainment franchise with robust consumer products and retail programs that continues to evolve. For a bit of context in 2014, at the time Microsoft acquired Mojang, we had 8 licensees compared to now where we’re working across 150+. Minecraft has become the first game to top one trillion views on YouTube (as of December 2021) and as part of that ongoing evolution it recently announced that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures would be developing a Minecraft theatrical movie, set to star Jason Momoa (Aquaman), which will premiere on April 4, 2025!”

What potential do you believe there is for Minecraft in terms of licensing and merchandising?

Federico San Martin: “There are numerous areas of opportunity for Minecraft within licensing and beyond! We continue to evaluate our current licensee base to identify categories and products that will delight and surprise our Minecraft community. We have


great opportunities to capitalize in the young adult market that represents a very high percentage of our players as well as Girls. At the same time, we recognize that there is a big opportunity from international territories however, we are very strategic when it comes to our expansion plans.”

Can you tell us a little about your global licensing program? Maybe some information about key partners and product areas covered?

Federico San Martin: “The global licensing program for Minecraft has grown exponentially and now boasts over 150 partners worldwide in a multitude of categories, including toys, games, publishing, apparel/accessories, seasonal, paper goods, and more. Some of our existing best-in-class global partners include LEGO, Mattel, Random House, Hallmark, Hasbro, Crocs and Uniqlo as well as regional partners such as Fashion UK, Character World, Cataic, and Caprice to name a few. We have just signed a roster of new A-List partners, including American Greetings, Crunchpak, Dynacraft, Bladez Toys, Procos, L Founders, Andromeda, and Crayola. Our branded products are currently available at key retailers

around the globe and we continue to add new ones every year.We have also partnered with major fashion brands, including Burberry, Lacoste, Crocs, and Puma, to create dynamic collaborations that bridge the world of digital and physical.”

Minecraft is, of course, fully global. Are you looking to expand your roster of agents around the world? What are the key territories in terms of expansion?

Federico San Martin: “We currently have CAA as our agent representing the Minecraft brand in Europe, Japan, and throughout Latin America, as well as Merchantwise handing our con sumer products’ interest in Australia and New Zealand. As I mentioned before, we recognize that there is an opportunity to expand our licensing footprint in multiple territories and we always welcome conversations with new Agents to discuss how they might support our strategic goals for expansion. “

What plans do you have for Minecraft’s 15th anniversary next year?

Federico San Martin: “We are extremely excited about our

15th Anniversary in 2024! While we won’t be able to share too many details of our plans at this time, I can confirm that we are planning to celebrate our anniversary with the Minecraft Community and partners who have helped us achieve this milestone! From a Consumer Products point of view, we will have some fantastic, brand collaborations as well as commemorative product and retail executions to help us celebrate the anniversary.”

How do you see the future for Minecraft in terms of licensed products?

Federico San Martin: “The future is bright as we see Minecraft continuing to find new audiences around the world while remaining nostalgic and popular to the fans who helped build it into the best-selling video game and one of the most successful gaming franchises ever. For the consumer products’ business, our focus will be bringing newness to the market whether its category and territory expansions, product line extensions, or product refreshes. We are specifically looking to bring new partners on board for multiple categories including Food & Beverage, Collectibles, Health & Beauty, and Consumer Electronics.”


INTERVIEW: Mark Kingston, SVP, Global Licensing, ZAG

Congratulations on joining ZAG! Can you tell us what interested you about the company?

I was really attracted to the entrepreneurial nature of ZAG and have enormous respect for a smaller studio pushing beyond its weight to build Miraculous into such a successful global franchise. One of the reasons that ZAG’s content is so popular with families across the globe is that Jeremy and his creative team understand what kids are looking for in their content— it’s not only entertaining, but also aspirational programming that helps kids to believe in themselves. ZAG’s flagship brand, Miraculous, is about two ordinary teens navigating their everyday lives, but also managing their powers as secret superheroes defending their city of Paris. Fans are connecting throughout the series not only for their superhero adventures, but also on the themes of love, courage, humility, kindness, belief, perseverance, and loyalty that are woven throughout. All

of ZAG’s programming has one central theme and that is to help kids see the hero in themselves.

I’m looking forward to work closely with Julian, our EVP Global Operations and Head of Consumer Products to solidify cohesive franchise strategies and consolidate our approaches to licensing, retail support, brand marketing, and team structures, to ensure that we maximize the reach of our consumer products programs across all product categories and all applicable retail channels to deliver compelling products and experiences for our fans wherever they are. What is the focus for ZAG at Licensing Expo?

We’ll be updating partners on three of our core properties: Miraculous™, of course, but also the action-comedy series Ghostforce™ which has been securing top ratings across Europe and Latin America, and the animated feature Melody™, starring the voice of the incredibly talented, Katy Perry. With retail sales exceeding US$1billion, Miraculous continues to soar. Season 5 of Miraculous™ – Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir TV series is scoring top ratings in more than 120 countries around the globe across

multiple traditional media outlets and streaming platforms, including Disney+ and Netflix. With broad appeal across age demographics, Miraculous has become a digital planetary craze with over 35 billion views on YouTube (authorized and user-generated content); 550 million+ plays on Roblox; and the first console game Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx is the publishers #1 international title for 2022, and #2 US title for 2022, and sold out on Amazon on day one of launch.

And this summer, the US$100 million+ animated musical Miraculous Ladybug and Cat Noir: The Movie—a superhero blockbuster for the whole family— will debut. The movie is an ideal entry point for anyone who loves the superhero genre. Directed by Jeremy Zag and produced by ZAG and Mediawan Kids and Family, the movie takes fans on a journey of discovery, the origin story of how two ordinary teens embarked upon their superhero destinies! This epic quest is full of action, comedy, music, and magic, set against the dazzling backdrop of Paris. The movie will premiere theatrically in select territories in early July—in France by SND and in Germany by StudioCanal, followed by a global sum-

Mark Kingston Julian Zag

mer launch.

Multiple promotional partners are involved for the European theatrical releases. In Germany, StudioCanal has secured partnerships that involve fruit from Del Monte, branded water from Volvic; baked goods from Dunkin Donuts, and yoghurt from Fruchtzwerge, to name a few. And France’s SND has secured partnerships that include quick service restaurant Areas; and national public transit operator RATP; and in conjunction with TF1, national toy retailer Joueclub; and a special Miraculous Movie book from Hachette. What’s new in licensing over the next twelve months?

For Miraculous, products from global partners hitting shelves this year include Miraculous Chibi Mini Playsets from Playmates Toys and ZAG inspired by the viral phenomenon Miraculous Chibi Shorts on YouTube; game controllers from Hyperkin; and manga from Kodansha. They join other global and multi-territory partners including Ferrero, Panini, Rubies, Blue Ocean, Amscan, PEZ, and Tonies. And for a 2024 launch, PLAYMOBIL® will offer a wide range of playsets and seasonal toys presenting popular scenes from the series in the PLAYMOBIL® aesthetic.

We also have two major promotions that are ongoing. The first Miraculous breakfast cereal is available from Kellogg’s at grocery stores across the U.S.; and PUMA has launched a line of clothing and footwear globally.

In the U.S. a novelty Miraculous ice cream mobile vending program will launch pre-summer from Blue Bunny; Miraculous pet toys are at retail in the U.S. from Zippy Paws; and in the U.S. and U.K., Miraculous is available for the first time as a cuddly bear from Build-A-Bear. And we are expanding our apparel business with key partners Bentex, Hybrid, Jerry Leigh, and Isaac Morris. These are just a few highlights as we have over 400 partners across the globe with new product launches happening every month!

And for Ghostforce, new products are already available in Europe with magazines from Blue Ocean at retail across the continent, and books from Panini in the Germany, Switzerland, and Aus-

tria region. Rubies will soon launch a costume range across Europe, with Audiobooks and DVDs coming from Edel in the GSA region. In LatAm, the consumer products program launches for Halloween 2023 with 18-inch figurines of the heroes and villains as well as costumes from Novabrink. And Xalingo will debut wooden toy products alongside luggage, backpacks, and lunch boxes from Dermiwil, ice cream from Lolla Sorvestes, and experiences from C&E.

And we are currently in production on Melody, an animated feature to be directed by Jeremy, starring singer, songwriter, and actress, Katy Perry, in the title role. The feature will be produced by Jeremy Zag, Cross Creek’s Tyler Thompson, Katy Perry, and Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman). In this musical adventure, kind-hearted, insecure yet prodigious singer Melody must overcome the evil plans of Rose Stellar, a jealous wicked pop queen who has vowed to destroy her. Set against the backdrop of New York City, Melody will take audiences on an adventure of song, laughter and heroic quest with her Seven Dwarveslike musical notes that help guide her moral compass.

What plans does ZAG have for location-based experiences?

We continue to organize events across the globe to interact with fans at the local level. Last year, Prestige Events launched a Miraculous Cruise on the River Seine in Paris that was so successful that the company will relaunch the cruise this summer! And

in Latin America, numerous Miraculous-themed family running, walking and rollerblading events are taking place this year from BTS Eventos featuring the superhero characters and Miraculous merchandise. In Mexico, a Miraculous live show from Gerardo Quiroz Producciones has performed extremely well and will be rolling out in other countries across LatAm over the coming months. We are also in several discussions around more permanent experiences where fans can fully immerse themselves into the world of Miraculous around the globe, that we hope to announce very soon. ZAG launched an E-Commerce division – how has this strategy benefitted ZAG? With 21 shops across 12 countries, and with 20,000 products listed, ZAG has seen its revenues for the e-commerce division explode. And this quarter, we opened the first Miraculous Amazon stores in Australia and Sweden launch with three additional stores coming online later this year across the Middle East and APAC. We also provide strong online support to our licensees working on the quality of the product pages and running online retail media campaigns. The E-Commerce team also works closely with ZAG’s legal team headed Ben Johnson, Senior Vice President Legal & Litigation, to protect licensees by combating online piracy. In 2022, over 7 million counterfeit products were removed, a $US91 million stock value, protecting licensees. 250 platforms were monitored with 110,000+ listings removed, and 60,000 sellers reported.

Find ZAG at Licensing Expo Booth # Q202
“Gorjuss lives in the land of the imagination. Where no words are spoken, no adventures untaken…”

Santoro have methodically nurtured Gorjuss over the past 10yrs with a carefully curated licensing programme, being conscious to retain that same palpable authenticity. With an extensive style guide now featuring over 415 artworks, each unique image provides a window into a different world of curiosities and nostalgic romanticism. The atmospheric detail, thought-provoking titles, and compelling artworks imbued with heartfelt virtues have long-cemented Gorjuss as a timeless family brand, resonating with children, teens and adults alike.

Santoro’s Gorjuss first entered the market in 2010, after the Londonbased design house first spotted the compelling drawings of Glaswegian artist Suzanne Woolcott.

What started as an introspective series of portraits, has since grown into a licensing phenomenon with a brand value of over $239 million at retail and product in 98 countries.

Gorjuss has garnered a deep fanbase across the world, with particular strongholds in Europe. In Italy, Gorjuss continues to be the No. 1 brand for girls, with 2022 retail sales exceeding €7million for Santoro Italia (Santoro’s Italian distributor) alone, selling Back To School and gifting ranges into over 1,600 Cartoleria stores. In 2022, Santoro signed with agents Mondo TV S.p.a. who have been instrumental in widening Gorjuss’ current distribution channels in Italy with strategic new licensee signings such as Coriex, Sbabam, Emmeci, Coolthings and Cromo.

N.B.. Santoro’s existing licensees in Italy consist of longstanding, fruitful relationships, with the likes of Benetton holding a DTR license for over 10yrs. Similarly, in Spain, El Corte Ingles have held a DTR apparel license with Gorjuss for 9yrs, and Graffiti have maintained the Back To School license in Greece for 8yrs, with Gorjuss performing as their top license for the past 6 consecutive years. Time again, Gorjuss continues to demonstrate itself as an evergreen brand with true longevity and consistent innovation.

With proven success in both premium and mass markets across Europe, Gorjuss also continues to succeed in the kiosk channels. Partner of 6yrs DeAgostini continues to produce stunning collectable campaigns of mini figures and mouldable clay in tins. To date, DeAgostini’s flowpack 3D campaigns have sold in excess of 2.5million pieces, whilst Panini, a longstanding licensee of 6+ years has sold in excess of 75million stickers in Spain across the first 3 sticker campaigns and continue to invest in Gorjuss with enchanting sticker albums and collectable metal tag campaigns rolling out across Europe. Over the years, Gorjuss has enjoyed multiple highly successful FMCG campaigns – an exceptional achievement for an art brand, where these categories are typically flooded by animation brands. For personal care items, Gorjuss dominated several campaigns with Spanish supermarket Mercadona, which saw them sell over 1.3million tubes of Gorjuss toothpaste and over 650,000 Gorjuss toothbrushes. Moreover, an enormous 3.1 million units of Gorjuss bottled water were sold in Spain by Hijos de Rivera, and over 650,000 packs of pate containing Gorjuss promotional tattoos were sold in a single campaign by La Piara. In terms of food and confectionery, Gorjuss Easter Eggs continue to be a coveted product, consistently selling around 130,000 units for the past 4yrs in Italy alone. Whilst in Greece, popular food chain Goody’s recently embarked upon a huge promotion featuring Gorjuss magnets for their female demographic this Spring 2023. Indeed, Gorjuss’ innate magnetism and captivating artworks continue to connect with both consumers and licensors, ensuring that a stream of innovative, special products consistently and reliably excite the market.

ment for Gorjuss. The series at hand is ‘A Gorjuss Anthology;’ a charming series of Bedtime Stories for children and adults alike. Little Luna is the first Gorjuss girl to be brought to life, as big dreams of exploring outer space take her on a secret adventure. ‘Little Luna’ is currently available on YouTube, and subsequent shorts will be uploaded onto YouTube over the course of 2023. At Licensing Expo, Santoro look forward to sharing the Gorjuss phenomena in new territories, with plans to open up new markets in Latam, N America and Asia for both licensing and product distribution. A truly captivating brand with classic style, you never forget the moment you discovered Gorjuss…!

Gorjuss has achieved such phenomenal success as an art brand, and Santoro are now delighted to have embarked upon a new chapter in animation, a much-anticipated develop-

2023 also sees Santoro relaunch their beloved brand of the 2000s, Tutti Cuti, which now returns in its 20th anniversary year. Tutti Cuti has been making waves in the fashion and lifestyle industry since its launch in 2003 and has now been brought back with a fresh new style guide that is sure to appeal to a broad spectrum of audiences. Characterized by psychedelic shapes, girly glamour and a zest for fun, the brand’s noughties aesthetic particularly appeals to young audiences who are interested in retro, revivalist culture and fashion. At its peak, Tutti Cuti had a brand value of over $50 million at retail, with key territories including Latin America, USA, Turkey, United Kingdom, Israel and Australia. Santoro eagerly anticipate what heights it will reach in the coming year(s) and are now actively seeking licenses for Tutti Cuti in the categories of fashion bags, accessories, Back To School, apparel, cosmetics, health and beauty.

“You’ll never forget the moment you discovered Gorjuss…”


20 Years with Carole Postal, Spotlight

What are the key changes in licensing that you’ve seen over the last 20 years?

The licensing industry is constantly changing and adapting – that’s what makes it so fun and exciting for all of us (and why Total Licensing has become an essential read for keeping up with the latest trends and developments) – so 20 years seems like forever in licensing terms. The changes over the last two decades have been both numerous and monumental! If I had to choose just one, I’d say one of the biggest changes in licensing since the start of the new millennium is where licenses are coming from. Licenses based on film, television, celebrities, sports, arts, publishing, and

corporate or cultural brands are still big sellers but now we also have viable properties coming out of TikTok and other social media, influencers, toys, videogames, household products and more… in short, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING has licensing potential. It’s amazing how so many day to day moments can now be licensed because they connect with consumers. And the licensing world is now a truly global opportunity which allows creativity to come from many and all sources from creators all around the world!

Are there any standout moments for you over the last two decades?

As an agency, one of the keys to our success over the last two decades has been our willingness to take on smaller, niche and/or period properties such as Downton Abbey, Outlander, Little House on the Prairie, The Last Kingdom, Samurai Rabbit, and All Creatures Great and Small among others to compete against Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. and the other big blockbuster properties in the licensing arena. Our  Downton Abbey licensing program, which won several industry awards over the years, will always be

a standout moment near and dear to my heart as proof that there is room for all sorts of properties to succeed in licensing.

Looking into your crystal ball, what key changes do you think will be important over the next 20 years?

Working in licensing really can be like looking into a crystal ball to predict the future so that’s a great question!  Where will the next “big license” come from?  Will it come from yearnings for a simpler, gentler times or from outer space? What new forms of technology will arise to deliver new types of licensed product or launch new pop culture trends and stars?  Anything is possible and I see in my crystal ball a wealth of opportunities from the here and now, the past and the future. Personally, I am hopeful that sustainability will play an increasingly important role. Licensing is an industry of “stuff” so, as we think about the next twenty years and beyond, I hope we will see licensed “stuff” produced and distributed and consumed in increasingly sustainable as well as socially- and environmentallyresponsible ways.

20 Years with Claudio Massari, BIC

What are the key changes in licensing that you’ve seen over the last 20 years?

The licensing industry has faced significant change over the past two decades. I don’t know if it’s appropriate to say that the licensing industry I start working in the late ‘80s is no longer the same.

In addition to the business model changing, the pandemic has accelerated all the changes that the licensing industry was already ready to make. But, at the end of the day, it is still a very dynamic interesting business for the new generations. I personally love to listen to young talented people and hear their ideas about licensing.

Are there any standout moments for you over the last two decades?

OMG! As a licensing veteran I treasure a number of successes, amusing and amazing stories regarding licensing: it goes without saying that my experience and long term relationship with the Schulz family and Peanuts has given me the opportunity to enjoy the highlights of my business career.

Let’s put at the top of the podium the meeting I set up in Rome in October 1993 (so its more than 20 years!) between Sparky Schulz and Federico Fellini in Rome: I treasure every single second of that meeting.

Looking into your crystal ball, what key changes do you think will be important over the next 20 years?

Great question: the next twenty years? It’s hard to project what’s going happen in the next six months so you can imagine how hard is to predict what’s going happen in the next twenty years.

I guess there will be quicker changes in the industry, faster than those we have experienced before.

Every era has his own pros and cons, so I’m sure that the licensing industry will be very much alive, maybe only just different from the one before.

TOTAL LICENSING 111 Memories of

20 Years with Maura Regan, Licensing International

What are the key changes in licensing that you’ve seen over the last 20 years?

Some of the most significant changes we’ve seen in the licensing industry over the last 20 years are a direct result of changing consumer habits.

Licensing is all about creating connections between people and brands, which means our strategies have evolved as the wants and needs of people evolved. I have been lucky enough to be a part of the licensing community in a number of roles, and watched as friends and colleagues have innovated everything from the types of categories we offer (hello, NFTs) to the way we bring brands to life (consider all of the new LBE offerings) to our methods for selling licensed products (including eCommerce directly through social media). Some days, it feels like the only thing that hasn’t changed about licensing is how creative the executives are.

Are there any standout moments for you over the last two decades?

Something that truly stands out for me is the way the licensing community came together during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Not only did members of our industry support each other to continue business at a time when everyone was at

home and stores were shuttered, but I also watched as teams from around the world came together to provide supplies and support to their local communities. It was hugely inspiring and represents everything I love about this industry.

Looking into your crystal ball, what key changes do you think will be important over the next 20 years?

Over the next 20 years, it’s crucial that we focus on strengthening the global brand licensing industry as well as expanding it.

This includes ongoing efforts to develop products and programs that are sustainable as well as satisfying for consumers.

Another critical issue is brand protection and anti-counterfeiting efforts, which are necessary to protect not just brand owners, manufacturers, and retailers, but also consumers.

20 Years with Nicolas Loufrani, Smiley

What are the key changes in licensing that you’ve seen over the last 20 years?

Everything has changed but nothing has really changed… in the sense that you have a lot of new IPs, based on phones, games, NFTs, YouTubers, influencers and more. Licensing will always have new IPs based on new technology.

Then, on the other hand you have everygreen IPs like Smiley that develop using new technology, able to constantly adapt to the latest trends.

Are there any standout moments for you over the last two decades?

My stand-out moment of the last 20 years has to be the 2012 London Olympic Games. Being part of the opening ceremony was just incredible – we were so lucky to have Smiley as part of British pop culture.

Our 50th anniversary last year was also incredible. We had brand collaborations and hundreds of collections with 450 licensees. It was a wonderful success for us.

And we also launched a €1.1 million Smiley-branded watch as a limited edition – the products sold out in 24 hours!

Looking into your crystal ball, what key changes do you think will be important over the next 20 years?

In the next 20 years we will see new technology and new IPs come to market and a reduction in intermediaries.

The Metaverse is being talked about a lot – let’s see if any IPs last from this. And will IPs use the Metaverse as much as people are saying?

Emerging a bit slower than expected but AI will create new IPs. The

copyright law around this needs to be sorted out but we will, without doubt, see new platforms emerging. Sustainability is also a key to the next twenty years. It’s hugely important for the planet and, importantly, consumers want sustainable products now.

All in all, without a doubt, the future is going to be positive. To quote our Smiley campaign “Future Positive”!

TOTAL LICENSING 112 Memories of

From plush powerhouse to global lifestyle phenomenon, Squishmallows has emerged beyond the toy aisle into an industry-leading lifestyle franchise. Since Squishmallows’ debut in 2017, the brand has become known for its ultra-soft feel and adorable designs, delighting fans of all ages with the Squishmallows’ unique and lovable personalities. In 2022 Squishmallows became the #1 top-selling toy in the UK, US and Canada, according to NPD - winning an unprecedented seven Toy Of The Year Awards from the US Toy Association and the UK Toy Industry Award for Toy of the Year 2022! Now sold in over 55 countries, Squishmallows’ vast audience and multi-generational appeal have fuelled a milestone of over 200+ million plush sold YTD.

On social media Squishmallows content has officially squished through the roof, generating over 11 billion impressions on TikTok and @squishmallows (and related hashtags) tagged in more than one million Instagram posts. Additionally, the Squishmallows social media channels have ballooned to more than 1.3m followers and over 110 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 11.5m registered unique users.

Reflecting the brand’s vast global audience and multi-generational appeal, Jazwares’ premiere Squishmallows global licensing programme is grow-

ing from strength to strength. Following tremendous success in the US, an extensive global programme is now in place, supported by some of the biggest names in consumer and lifestyle products. The brand has signed an impressive 50+ licensing partners in 2022 across beauty, games, apparel,

home decor, and more. Jazwares will be introducing more plush product refreshes than ever to meet the demand of collectors and fans. Incredible results at retail are further fuelled by out-of-aisle activations across all major retailers supported by a robust marketing campaign.


Memories of

20 Years with Michael Lou, VIP

What are the key changes in licensing that you’ve seen over the last 20 years?

Well, before I can say what the key changes in the past 20 years were, I have to try to remember in what stage our industry was, in the early years of the new century? And if things had changed differently and faster than in the 20 years before. Based on my 40+ years in this industry and the privilege of having worked for some of the most successful properties, I believe to be rather well equipped to answer the question. Of course, also thanks to the comprehensive and in depth reports of Total Licensing, that I have read during that time.

The key changes, as I see it, were the fragmentation of consumers buying behaviour (largely caused by social media content) and the necessity of the licensing industry to adapt to it by more diverse properties and faster supply chains. On top of that, an increasing number of Direct to Retail licenses and major brand name companies have entered the market, while at the same time artist agencies have expanded by creating licensing concepts for their clients who need a “second life”.

Are there any standout moments for you over the last two decades?

A key moment for me personally was when I was asked in 2013 to write the coverage on licensing in the German

Speaking Markets for the International Edition of the LIMA-endorsed “Basics of Licensing”. Just a few weeks ago I wrote the update for the book that is now being published as “The New and Complete Business of Licensing”. But the moment that really stands out was when I “discovered” that the book was also translated into Chinese.

(I do not recall that the publishers asked me for my consent (aka license).

So much for handling IP by experts ;-). But which key changes will bring the next 20 years bring us?

Looking into your crystal ball, what key changes do you think will be important over the next 20 years?

Unfortunately, I still haven’t received the crystal ball I ordered. So I have to

do, of what often licensing consist of: Leverage experience and facts, add assumptions and marketing and a dash of “hot air”.

I believe that we will see even more large brand name companies entering licensing market, if it will be as brand extension or wide-spread licensing/ merchandising to propell their brand in front of the consumers eyes in “competitive-free” environment (usually mainly to strengthen the core brand). Moreover, I predict an increasing number of such key players using other leading properties, either by means of the currently hip “co-ops” (example Adidas x Gucci or Puma x Sponge Bob) or traditional license deals. Representing The Beatles since 20 years with my agency, we licensed a large variety of companies. But lately an increasing number of market leaders took a Beatles license such as Montblanc (Writing Instruments), Steiff (Plush) or Hohner (Harmonicas. And I see this trend continuing in the future. Lastly, of course, I see the prevailing trend of licensing social media content and PC/video games to grow significantly. I even believe that many of such contents will actually only be created for the sake of generating merchandise revenues. What is absolutely sure however, is that I will not be in the business for 20 more years. But I will certainly watch with excitement how the industry develops and which of my predictions will become true.

Twenty years of global information for the licensing community

Felipe Noriega, Vice President & Regional Director, EMEA, Licensing Matters Global

You introduced us to Licensing Matters earlier in the year and talked of your pride in developing a strong portfolio. Do you have any new client news to share with us three months down the line?

“Our partners at Perfetti Van Melle, an FMCG company that thoroughly understands and fosters the licensing of their key candy brands, have entrusted us, after several successes under our belt with lifestyle licensing executions for their famous Fruit-tella brand, with the task of seeking partnerships in the Food & Beverage category.

And we have got off to a great start with not one, but two brand new projects: Fruit-tella branded water enhancers and fruit juice pouches. We are thrilled to see the Fruit-tella brand expand its colourful, fruity identity into these mass-market categories.”

Back in March, you also highlighted your partnership with Peugeot. What’s next for this client with so much history but a very targeted licensing programme?

“The second half of 2023 will see the release of a brand-new line of cleaning, heating & cooling and food preparation appliances at key retailers in Latin American and Asian markets.This product range embodies the Peugeot brand promise of simplifying the daily lives of millennial families through technical ingenuity and elegant, ergonomic product design. They also capture the sleek design lines and premium quality for which Peugeot products are renowned worldwide.”

Do you have any thoughts on licensing partnerships which are focused rather than free-rein? And, if so, why? What makes them special?

“Especially when it comes to corporate brands that have a strong positioning in consumers’ minds, focused licensing executions are the only kind that makes sense from a brand protection point of view. Brand owners understand the logic of exploiting the latent value of their brands, but this only makes sense if the

brand extension feeds back into and adds value to the core brand proposition. The licensing partnership must tightly align with the DNA of the licensed brand if it is going to convince consumers to choose the product being offered instead of the competition; while not diluting the brand identity.”

Anything of note on the horizon?

“The KFC apparel range that we mentioned last time we spoke is gathering traction among US retailers thanks to the bold, fashion-forward design of the range, especially targeting discerning, style-conscious Gen Z consumers. Watch out for the first release during the second half of this year.”

When we last talked, you made reference to your ability to be focused on delivering licensing programmes that go beyond a ‘one size fits all’ strategy. Can you explain how you achieve this and why people should be knocking on your door? Isn’t this hard in a climate where margins are squeezed?

“At LMG we pride ourselves of being a boutique firm. This means that, at the outset of every new relationship, we in-

vest the time and resources required to create a long-term strategy that caters to the particular requirements of each and every one of our clients. Unlike some of the larger agency networks, we approach brand extensions as a surgical enterprise operation rather than a generalised, onesize-fits-all activity.We take great satisfaction in being nimble, strategic, and incredibly connected on a global scale.”

As a team, with offices in all key global licensing markets, how does your unique business model work in alignment for clients who may be interested in partnering with you for not only LMG, but also Yume Toys?

“That’s a great question. We are unique in the sense that we are part of a larger group of companies, Maxx Group, that encompasses, apart from LMG the licensing agency, a toy company (YuMe Toys) and a promotional marketing agency (Maxx Marketing).

This means we offer entertainment IP owners a one-stop-shop solution to handle their toys strategy and commercialization, their promotional activities and their licensing into product categories other than toys.

The benefits of this consolidation under one single roof are: (1) centralized strategic management of all consumer product efforts; (2) seamless licensor coordination with all 3 business verticals; and (3) consistency across all products & services.”


The red and black bunting is up, and mischief is in the air on the streets of Beanotown, as Beano celebrates its 85th Anniversary in 2023. Beano Studios will mark the moment with new licensing deals and partnerships, events and experiential, as well as brand partnerships, school campaigns, national marketing and PR. Mischief maker since 1938, Beano has always had its finger on the pulse of what kids in Britain think, want and dream of. The comic is the ear in the playground, the voice in the tree house and the entertainer in the home. In its 85th year, Beano celebrates the joy of childhood and reminds the nation that “Being a Kid Never Gets Old”. Family fun will be at the forefront in 2023, as Beano, the BBC Concert Orchestra, and the Southbank Centre have partnered to bring the hit TV show Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! to life this summer, for the world’s ever “comiconcerto”. Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed at the Orchestra will see the Beanotown friends conduct some epic classical music antics with the BBC Concert Orchestra and star percussionist Colin Currie. Reflecting its young audiences’ environmental awareness, Beano together with licensing agent Rocket Licensing will continue the partnerships centred around environment and conservation. Children and families are invited

at Whipsnade Zoo this summer, for Beano Goes Wild at Whipsnade Zoo, an inspiring, interactive, and fun-filled trail.

The characters will also take centre stage in various towns across the country, as a recent partnership with Outdoor Gaming Company brings Beano: The Outdoor Game to life. Families and Beano fans of all ages can accompany Dennis on a scavenger hunt in his search for Gnasher, cracking crucial clues and completing hilarious tasks along the way.

In hospitality, Beano Studios have welcomed a new partnership with Apex Hotels Dundee, to mark their 20th birthday and celebrate the city’s comic legacy. To add to the festivities, Bridget’s Bakery launches the Beano Afternoon Tea Bus in the City of London, equipped with themed food experiences onboard and fun activities for children of all ages.

In publishing, Beano’s partnership with Farshore Books will see new titles launching this year: the expanded and updated version of The Ultimate Guide to Beano; Dennis & Gnasher: Little Menace’s Great Escape, as well as a special anniversary book soon to be revealed, scheduled for the end of the year.

Successful Beano licensing partnerships with Hollywood Bowl, Blu Goblin and VisitScotland and Scotrail con-

tinue throughout 2023. Blu Goblin will launch a Beano-themed unique chess set in support of Save the Children, as well as anniversary badges, and Hollywood Bowl will welcome families in centres nationwide with Beano surprises throughout the year. VisitScotland and Scotrail’s tourism campaign in partnership with Beano continues, aiming to reignite families’ love of rail adventures. The two-year brand partnership promotes sustainable travel as part of Scottish tourism’s recovery. Happy Monkey x Beano smoothies are returning on shelves this summer, in stores across the country.

The range of Beano licensed products with great retail listing also includes apparel, dress-up, cards and calendars, puzzles and gifts from licensees such as Aykroyds, Danilo, Star Editions and Rubies Masquerade, with new partners to be revealed over the summer. The animated show Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed!, launched on CBBC in 2017 and distributed in over 100 countries, is now available on the PanAfrican SVOD service Showmax and Peacock USA.

Additionally, Beanotown will be celebrating several other significant milestones in the next 12 months, such as The Numskulls’ 30th Anniversary in October, Minnie the Minx’s 70th Anniversary in December, and The Bash Street Kids’ 70th early next year.


Summer Vibes

Ryan Beaird – CEO, Brands Retail Conferences

Our first conference took place in London on the 24th February 2022 in London and since then we have had over fifty brands present key IP updates, marketing plans and new IP launches to our audience of VIP Retailers and Licensees.

It seems like the event has been going for years and we can probably put this down to us holding two a year, Winter in January, and Summer in July.

The event is now cemented in our industry’s mindset, and I am always delighted when new brands and manufacturers from around the world get in touch because they have heard great things about the event.

I made the call to move the Summer 23 event outside of London. This was due to researching where our audience was based in the UK. Most of our retailers and licensees are based outside of London and holding our new bigger event in the UK’s second biggest city, Birmingham means we will

have a lower carbon footprint for our audience to travel and we will also be promoting regional areas outside of London.

I have picked what I believe to be the two best venues in Birmingham for this new location. Millennium Point conference centre where we will be holding the screenings has one of the biggest cinema 4k IMAX screens in the UK. If you are a brand your presentation will look incredible on the giant screen.

Our new Gala dinner will be held at the 5 star Grand Hotel in the city centre. The Ballroom dates from the 1920’s when the hotel was built and is one of Birmingham’s oldest buildings. Having a Gala dinner will make Brands Retail more special and with packages for brands to host a table of 10 VIP Retailers and Licensees for the dinner will add something special to those taking part and attending. We are now building the program

and with some of the world’s biggest brands taking part such as Warner Bros. Discovery and Mattel, Jazwares, MGA, Magic Light Pictures (at time of writing) and our audience confirming their limited seats our new summer conference is going to be extra special.

For the first time I have brought in some education panels as well and inviting some of the most senior figures in our industry to share their wisdom with our audience. We have CEO’s from some of our biggest manufacturers, prominent retailers and also a panel dedicated to the women of our industry as well.

We are encouraging international brands, manufacturers and retailers to come along and take part in the summer conference. We guarantee you will be presenting to the biggest retailers in the UK and our best licensees so if you have a new IP for the UK market we are the best place to present.

Details are on our website and I look forward to seeing you in the summer in Birmingham UK.

4th July Birmingham UK
4th July 2023


After a pretty busy beginning of the year, the team of TF1 Licensing is happy to share some great newsa perfect way to welcome summer!

Let’s focus on some key features, starting with the wonderful topic of reimagining properties. With a few great evergreen brands, TF1 Licensing keeps on thinking out of the box to find new ways for them to come to life. For example, Barbapapa. This over-50-yearold brand is famous all over the world. Most adults have grown up with the Barbapapa and feel a nostalgic attachment to them. In 2019, a new series was released, giving the opportunity to present the Barbapapa to today’s children. And it has definitely proved to be a success! Indeed, with 53% audience share in the 4-10 age target in France in 2022*,TF1 Licensing can say that the new series is meeting its audience. So, faced with the obvious challenge of a double audience, TF1 Licensing decided to shake things up a little bit. In addition to usual licensing developments such as apparel with Sahinler, toys with Mekk Label/Label, Pabobo and Giochi Preziosi, publishing with Les Livres du Dragon d’Or, an historical partner of the brand, and Bayard, the team decided to work with more unusual partners, turning a classic children’s brand into a Lifestyle brand.

Last year, the Barbapapa family was chosen by a high-end couture brand from the LVMH Group - Patou - to create a unique collaboration entitled BarbaPatou. A both playful and nostalgic collection of clothes and accessories targeting pop culture lovers. In France, it was available in Le Bon Marché, a Parisian luxury department store, and also globally in Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Hong-Kong, Taïwan and online on the brand’s website. The launch was accompanied by a wonderful social media display with exclusive content. The collection was a real success, probably because of the

strong values shared by both brands. But you had to think about it, right?! The same can be said about the BarbaLouvre collection. In this arty collection the Barbapapa family appears re-creating the famous pieces of art from the Museum such as Mona Lisa embodied by Barbabelle. Sweaters, t-shirts, jewels, but also notebooks, pens and a memory game are still available at the Museum shop, the online shop and the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann and online. A unique project mixing two brands with very similar values and purposes.

And after this wonderful cobranding, TF1 Licensing’s team had a thought… how about some Barbapapa nail polish? Great idea, isn’t it? But to do it they had to find the perfect partner: Manucurist, a French brand comprising clean and green beauty products. Together, they worked on a range of nail polish for the whole family with natural ingredients and fashionable colors. A range of products, which will be launched by the end of the summer. Those are some great examples of how one can reimagine evergreen properties, and the great thing is that there are so many other opportunities and possibilities!

*Source: MédiamétrieMédiamat

For their 65th anniversary in 2023, the Smurfs are transposing the comics universe into the metaverse. And that’s something! IMPS recently revealed the first Smurfs range of NFTs branded as The Smurfs Society. 250 characters are available through 50 graphics created with renowned artists such as Richard Orlinski, André and many others still to come. This collection defines new norms for the NFTs, offering dedicated rewards to anybody who supports any global environment support initiative. With the Smurfs Society, the Smurfs prove that a traditional brand can build bridges between Web 2 and Web 3 and combine collective and individual benefit. Definitely disruptive!

With such innovative activations, both Barbapapa and Smurfs manage to conquer a very large target audience, including teens - the most difficult to get to because of their volatility.

Being part of the TF1 Group, the leading media group in France, TF1 Licensing is working on brands from TV entertainment shows. Since Covid and even before, these shows became big events attracting the whole family. For example, the French version of The Voice has reached a 44% audience share amongst 4-14 year olds in 2022 and 37% amongst the 15-24 age group*. This success has been attracting partners in major categories such as Lexibook (mics, karaokes and guitars) and Michel Lafon in publishing, with a range of novels and diaries,

which will be released in the summer. We can expect the 2023-2024 school year to be the red and black colors of the show! For 4 years in a row, Ibis, the hotel brand belonging to the Accor Group, has chosen the Voice to connect its strong link to the music universe. This Spring, five concerts have been, and will be taking place in ibis hotels all over France, with five Talents from the ongoing season, and a wonderful communication campaign across the whole country. A wonderful and innovative program carried out by the TF1 Licensing Team, TF1 Pub and ITV, rightsholder of the brand.

Last year, TF1 decided to relaunch the famous show Star Academy, 20 years after the first season aired on TV. And they decided to make it big. Every Saturday evening, the show was aired

on prime time (9pm) and was a wonderful event. The Show was also on access (6pm) every day and available almost 24/7 on digital for subscribers of MYTF1.

It was a great success among the teen target audience with the prime time achieving 43% audience share amongst the 4-14 year olds and 46% audience share amongst 15-24*. In addition, the show attracted over 150m videos viewed on digital. This success is partly due to the well-thought out communication plan, targeting teens on social media with dedicated content on Instagram and TikTok. After the show, the Star Academy online shop was launched, to a warm welcome from fans on social media and many products sold in the first weeks. TF1 Licensing is happy to have welcomed back Lansay as licensee on mics, karaokes, dance mat and other products for children and teens to enjoy Star Academy nights!

Reaching out to teens on TV and licensing is complicated. But with the right brands and the right communication, one can achieve wonderful success and write a beautiful story. TF1 Licensing has got it!

TF1 Licensing hopes that readers have enjoyed this article and that the many projects TF1 Licensing has been working on have made them curious. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the team if you wish to know more!


The World of Penguin Ventures



Peter Rabbit hopped onto the global fashion scene

Penguin Ventures, the licensing team at Penguin Random House Children’s UK, shares the most successful global fashion collections from the past 12 months which have resulted in exponential growth for The World of Peter Rabbit.

David Sprei, Commercial Director, Penguin Ventures said: “It has been a fantastic year for Peter Rabbit, and I am grateful to our team and our global licensing agents for their continued enthusiasm for the brand and their unmatched regional expertise which has delivered significant YOY growth. The 120th anniversary celebrations placed us in a superb position delivering opportunities for new partnerships and brand collaborations, elevating Peter on a global scale and securing unprecedented placement across the retail landscape. Peter Rabbit connects with fans around the world and resonates differently from territory to territory, with fashion collections being influ-

enced by culture, tentpole moments and trends which are unique to each market.”

Apparel collections have performed particularly strongly in the UK, as the home market for Peter Rabbit. Marks and Spencer were a halo partner during the 120th anniversary celebrations last year. They launched a stunning range of infant apparel, with the collection extending into nursery bedding and accessories. Impactful point of sale, window displays and a dedicated digital campaign featuring lifestyle photography, ensured a sell-out success and the continuation of the partnership into 2023.

Zoe Smith, Senior Category Manager, UK Softlines at Penguin Ventures said: “The demand for Peter Rabbit has seen a huge growth in UK apparel lines with collections available across all retail environments, providing fashion items for every member of the family. It is important that we are able to maintain the high quality and creative application associated with the Peter Rabbit brand and our fashion partners have shown exceptional care and attention to detail with these beautiful collections.”

A successful collaboration with Cath Kidston, paired their distinctive handwriting with the delicate drawings of Beatrix Potter, resulting in an entirely bespoke range including infant and adult fashion lines as well as homewares and accessories.

The Peter Rabbit Blade & Rose collaboration delivered a high end, highly desirable infant range for discerning new parents in a multi territory deal with Penguin Ventures. The first trendled collection

launched in the UK in January 2022 to immediate success, securing a second launch this year with expanded product range and to follow.

The 120th anniversary and the Year of the Rabbit celebrations have proved compelling hooks for China with capsule collections launched to mark both occasions. Shanghai Lingdong Trading Co. Ltd created a licensed range for premium Chinese loungewear brand, NEIWAI who announced their Peter Rabbit collaboration to welcome in the Year of the Rabbit. Their symbolic New Year Red head-to-toe outfit for the whole family formed part of this iconic collection and generated over 70 million social media impressions on launch.

Peacebird Men Fashion Co., Ltd. in China launched a Peter Rabbit menswear collection, to coincide with the Year of the Rabbit, the first-ever menswear range for the brand! Other successful apparel ranges for the Chinese market included lines from Chickabiddy, Hangzhou Zaiyi and Ribo who all launched major collections in collaboration with fashion retailers, as this classic British brand continues to appeal to an overwhelmingly diverse audience demographic in China. Peter Rabbit has also performed strongly in Australia over the past 3 years, with licensee, Designworks


supplying adult and infant clothing to key fashion retailers. Target has fast become the home of Peter Rabbit, stocking adult and children’s sleepwear and clothing ranges which include everything from rompers, dresses and trousers to tracksuits and swimwear. Other success stories for Australia include Peter Alexander who launched their third Peter Rabbit DTR collection – and Cotton On Body who launched women’s sleepwear and loungewear.

“We have seen incredible growth for Peter Rabbit across key global territo-

ries. Target in Australia is a standout success with the retailer being a year-round destination for the brand and Peter Rabbit being available at all of their 128 stores.” said Lindsay Pearl, Head of International Licensing, Penguin Ventures. “Meanwhile our North American apparel business has delivered its best year to date, with Peter Rabbit collections now available at major retailers. This impressive growth places us in a strong position looking ahead and I am excited to see the consumer response to our forthcoming global fashion collections.”

In North America, TJ Maxx and Marshalls both launched new Peter Rabbit collections from Children’s Apparel Network, whilst children’s brand, Mori launched a high-end Peter Rabbit collaboration for little ones which has been supported by an influential PR and marketing campaign, securing im-

pressive coverage with global fashion press.

Japan has also seen a sharp rise in Peter Rabbit apparel licensing over the past 12 months with a slightly different consumer profile for the brand. Classic Peter appeals strongly to young adults, providing a wealth of opportunities for fashion retailers.

Japanese licensee Melrose Co., Ltd designed trademark feminine ranges for Pink House, which included skirts and dresses and bags and accessories for women. Domace Co., Ltd launched a line of women’s pyjamas which sold exclusively via the Distribution shopping TV channel – which was the perfect retail environment for their customer base.

Peter Rabbit has provided the inspiration for fashion-led collections around the world, which in turn have been the catalyst in connecting him with brands and fans across a wide and diverse demographic. Penguin Ventures has capitalised on the timeless appeal of this classic property, taking Peter Rabbit off the page and positioning him at the forefront of this influential and exciting category.

Penguin Ventures celebrates 100 Years of Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies

The Flower Fairies were created by illustrator and author Cicely Mary Barker and first published in 1923 in Flower Fairies of The Spring. The Flower Fairies collection comprises an archive of 170 exquisite and botanically accurate illustrations which is managed and licensed by Penguin Ventures on behalf of brand owner Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd (now part of Penguin Random House Children’s). 2023 marks the centenary of this enchanting series and to commemorate this milestone, Lady Lever Gallery in Liverpool is hosting a brand-new exhibition in association with Penguin Ventures. FLOWER FAIRIES™ will run until 5th November this year. The exhibition looks at the delicate artwork and impact of Barker’s creations on popular culture and features around 45 original illustrations, including Barker’s best-loved flower fairy creations and early sketch works, alongside digital projections and costumes inspired by the fairies, designed by award-winning costume designer Vin Burnham. Sara Glenn, Commercial Curator at Penguin Ventures said: “It has been a pleasure working with the Lady Lever Art Gallery on the Flower Fairies exhibition, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first printing of Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies of the Spring. Highlights on loan from the Warne Archive will include a selection of original Flower Fairy artworks and three beautiful costumes specially created in quarter scale by Vin Burnham. We’re so excited to help bring this exhibition to the Lady Lever Art Gallery and hope that visitors of all ages will enjoy stepping into the magical world that Cicely created 100 years ago.”

In addition, Penguin Ventures recently acquired a private collection of Cicely Mary Barker’s original objects and ephemera on behalf of Frederick Warne & Co., which offers further insights into the artist herself. Comprising photographs, letters, sketchbooks, notebooks, and artworks of people she knew and places she visited, this new acquisition brings a wealth of historical reference and context to the existing Frederick Warne & Co. archive.

Penguin Ventures, the licensing team within Penguin Random House Children’s manages a global Flower Fairies consumer products licensing programme which includes apparel, accessories, textiles, homewares and gifting, on behalf of Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd. The Crocus Fairies. From Flower Fairies of the Spring © The Estate of Cicely Mary Barker 1944


Bringing Joyful Icons to Future Generations

Can you remind us a bit about the background to Teletubbies and Strawberry Shortcake?

Teletubbies first launched in 1997 as a TV series designed as a conversation between the characters and young viewers – inviting active participation and building connections. It’s this engagement that has fueled the fandom over the past 26 years; the Teletubbies and their colorful world break that fourth wall and become “first friends” for kids. Their joyful exuberance and innocent inquisitiveness lead to the sweet and silly adventures that resonate with the audience.

Strawberry Shortcake has similar roots in engaging audiences by build-

Melissa Goodrich, Director Franchise Management at WildBrain talks to Total Licensing about the enduring appeal of Teletubbies and Strawberry Shortcake and how they are being embraced by a brand new audience

ing a personal connection with fans - she evolved from a wildly popular greeting card design launched nearly 45 years ago. Her heritage from being a celebration shared between friends and loved ones holds true today, as she has greeted multiple generations of fans. From her classic Strawberry iteration and animation, which garners incredible love from fans, to her latest incarnation in WildBrain’s new animated series, Berry in the Big City, Strawberry continues to be a creator of all things delicious, making and baking throughout the decades, with an overlay of friendship and kindness. What about the appeal of both the Teletubbies and Strawberry Shortcake in terms of fashion and apparel?

We all know that Tinky Winky has always been a fashion maven with that signature red bag – and let’s not forget Dipsy with his statement cow-print hat! The environments and icons of the content are just so compelling, with bright, cheery colors, rounded, rolling hills and those iconic and instantly recognizable antennae. Design has always been an elemental and vital part of the Teletubbies’ universe which lends itself really well to a creative fashion response. And for Strawberry, a big part of her legacy is her ability to always be of-the-moment while holding true to the brand DNA. Her fashions are always reflective of the newest generation. What underpins them both, and what we at WildBrain as owners of both brands have aimed to demonstrate, is that by giving enough license and freedom to really play around with the brands, we can bring so much joy and

a fresh perspective to these franchises that can really resonate with fans. We allow our partners and licensees to interpret the brands in ways that resonate with their core audience while also staying true to the DNA and values of the brands. This creates a beautiful intersection and showcases authentic love for the brands.

You may have seen the extensive media coverage of a recent Teletubbies collaboration launched with high-end designer Christian Cowan, whose vibrant, colorful collections are beloved by celebrities. Christian grew up watching the Teletubbies as a child and has been a huge fan from the start, so he was expertly placed to tap into Teletubbies nostalgia and celebrate what adults love about the brand design. For his capsule, he treated the Teletubbies as VIPs, true celebri-


ties, standing shoulder-to-antennae with actual models, resulting in an eye-catching sell-out collection of streetwear with some incredible Dipsy boots that went viral. For Strawberry Shortcake, Dolls Kill took inspiration from the classic look of Strawberry Shortcake, interpreted in a dreamy and on-trend cottagecore collection that spans beyond apparel into lifestyle categories for their Gen Z audience. The first collection performed so well that we just dropped the second collection this spring, expanding further into apparel and lifestyle categories.

Bearing in mind both brands have been around for a long time, how do you keep the brands fresh?

Brands that have been around for generations and built tremendous fanbases, like Strawberry and Teletubbies, have established these connections to the consumer by staying true to their legacy. What compelled millennials to fall in love with Strawberry in the 1980s is reflected in what younger generations love about her today—sweetness, making and baking, friendship, and optimism—so we always ensure that these elements remain central in the brand’s DNA. Similarly, for the Teletubbies, they have always represented joyful innocence, wonder and discovery, all while embracing their own offbeat quirkiness and diversity. By remaining true to the powerful foundation that built each franchise, we have been able to deliver impactful campaigns and partnerships that build community and ensure longevity – inviting new fans in and reminding older generations why they fell in love in the first place.

With storytelling driving fan connections, we’re investing in more content across more platforms. Berry in the Big City Season 3 launches in July 2023, and we’ll have four seasonal specials hitting Netflix beginning later this year. Teletubbies Let’s Go!, produced by WildBrain Spark, has new episodes releasing on YouTube throughout 2023, with new content being planned. We’re also partnering further in the digital space, with special takes on “parent & me” baking content, and Budge and Tap Tap Tales on educational and gaming apps.

Can you tell us about the different age groups that SSC and TT appeal to? Has this changed over the years?

When we talk about the fandom, age plays less of a role. The fans of these brands are kids and ‘kidults’, the young and the young-at-heart.

For Teletubbies, preschool is the core demographic with children. We also have a sizable fanbase amongst young adults who grew up watching the show. There is also popularity for the

Teletubbies amongst members of the LGBTQ+ community, with the Teletubbies sponsoring activations at Pride and DragCon events .There are also adults who may not have experienced Teletubbyland as children, but for whom the Teletubbies enduring messages of love and acceptance can strike a chord, or pop culture fans who have encountered the Teletubbies via the celebrities who directly engage with us across our social media platforms.

For Strawberry, the core kid audience is age 5 to 8, but we’re also encountering adult fans who love our newest series, Berry in the Big City, because it captures that entrepreneurial spirit which Strawberry has always represented with making and baking – and they are excited to share their love of the brand with their children and the next generation. Each brand’s values remain consistent for all generations – everyone is welcome and encouraged to celebrate their love for these evergreen brands.

How do you see the SSC and TT brands growing moving forwards? What are your plans for the brands, particularly in the fashion space?

There is great momentum for both brands. We’re looking to expand into more fashion categories. For Strawberry, for example, we just launched a capsule toddler collection with select Mommy & Me options with Little Bird Bamboo, featuring rompers and loungewear. For Teletubbies, we’re expanding further into accessorieswhich is befitting a quartet known for their signature antennae. ONCH will be launching a special Teletubbies jewelry collaboration later in 2024, with a sneak preview this year. You’ll also see a fashion-forward take on costumes with apparel collections for both brands from A Leading Role. The great thing about Teletubbies and Strawberry Shortcake is that they are both very joyous and celebratory brands that can really bring playfulness into adulthood. I’m really looking forward to where we can take them next.


At Amscan, their portfolio of licenses continues to grow ready for a summer of celebration!

With several licenses celebrating their own milestone occasions this year too, it looks like the perfect time to party!

Celebrate 100 years of Disney with their range of foils balloons, covering every character from A-Z!

They also have some wonderful new styles of classic favourites including, Tinkerbell, 101 Dalmatians, Alice in Wonderland, Bambi, Simba and Winnie the Pooh!

In addition to this, their new Little Mermaid live action balloons have just launched, ready in line with the movie release this May and are available to pre-order on Amscan’s website now!

Warner Bros. also marks their cen-

tenary this year, and Amscan has a plethora of products to celebrate! Their DC range continues to grow from strength to strength across all three categories of party balloons and costumes; and with supporting products for a host of new movies this year including Black Adam, Blue Beetle, Shazam 2 and The Flash released June 2023, there’s something for every hero out there!

In addition, they are adding NEWness to their Harry Potter portfolio too!

With products covering all celebration categories, look out for their new Airloonz Hogwarts Crest balloon, as well as a new party ensemble later this year, offering a more themed party

style take on the Harry Potter franchise!

Happy 10th birthday to PAW Patrol too! This much loved pre-school range comprises party ensemble, foil balloons and an entire range of costumes to cover all price points!

They even have Halloween themed styles too, perfect for trick-or-treating toddlers this spooky season!

In line with the tenth anniversary, and following the success of their Chase character balloon, they have also launched individual Supershape foil styles in Skye, Marshall and Rubble, perfect to purchase as a gift for the birthday child, or to add to decoration bouquet!

There’s plenty more to see on line, with licenses including Roald Dahl, Pip and Posy, Peter Rabbit, Miffy and Bluey joining Amscan’s assortment for 2023, and NEW TMNT costumes to celebrate the NEW movie in August.

For information, head to: to see their full portfolio!


All Aboard with Sinking Ship Entertainment!

Canada’s Sinking Ship Entertainment is a globally renowned and industry leading children’s and family media company. Its current key kids’ brands include the math comedy series Odd Squad (PBS KIDS), the dinosaur adventures series Dino Dana (Amazon Prime), and newest kids’ brand Jane based on the mission of Dr. Jane Goodall (Apple TV+). With a global reputation for quality, ground breaking original series and companion interactive experiences, Sinking Ship has produced more than 24 series and won 24 Daytime

Emmy awards. Its licensing arm has expanded exponentially in the past few years, with the focus being on a 360

approach to brand extensions. The company believes the intersection of entertainment and education can be an important avenue in which kids today can role play, learn, and imagine. The Emmy award-winning brand has a successful publishing program with independent publisher Mango Publishing. Volumes I and II of Dino Dana’s Field Guides have been #1 best sellers in Children’s Fossil Books on Amazon, and have sold into over 15 countries worldwide. In Canada, the books are distributed by Raincoast Books. The newest addition to the program is Dino Dana’s Activity Guide, which is full of stickers, fun facts, recipes, crafts,

and other activities, along with 26 new dinosaurs like the Rugops, Gallimimus, and Animantarx.The activity guide was released on Dec 6th 2022 and is available wherever books are sold. Sinking Ship is excited about the next steps in the Dino world with the addition of the new series DINO DEX which goes into production for release Fall 2024!

In addition to publishing, the dinosaur franchise also has a worldwide toy deal with Safari Ltd, who manufactures and distributes a hard toy line for the brand. The location-based event strategy has also grown over the past few years, with Dino Dana The Movie set to screen in over 10 museums in 2023. Another popular brand is the math comedy brand ODD SQUAD, aimed at 4 - 9-year-olds. Recent licensing efforts include a partnership with Kids Licensing and Falcon’s Creative for Curiosity Playground complexes, an experiential edutainment destination to be developed by Falcon’s Beyond for multiple locations around the world. The Curiosity Playground experience will feature a few PBS Kids properties such as Odd Squad in interactive environments that integrate media with hands-on exploration. This experience launches this December in Punta Cana with a Melia resort location.

Another new addition to the company’s licensing arm is the new kids’ brand The Fabulous Show With Fay and Fluffy. This is a drag literacy series that aims to promote literacy and foster empathy with preschoolers. Sinking Ship is continuing its successful partnership with Mango Publishing with a line of children’s books based on The Fabulous Show with Fay and Fluffy, a preschool story time cabaret produced by Lopii Productions for Wildbrain Television. The first book under the deal, The Fabulous Show with Fay and Fluffy Presents: The Fabulous Book About Families, is set for release in June 2023.


What’s Next If Fake Matches Real Through Artificial Intelligence? by Jonathan Faber

Rote fear of technological developments serves little good, and the licensing industry always has navigated the issues and opportunities imposed by new technology. Inevitably, there are winners and losers in the typical equation: the Internet spawned global powerhouses like Amazon while hastening the demise of smaller operations, social media platforms migrated audiences away from network news, and DVD-in-the-mailbox companies expanded to rival traditional entertainment content producers. But it does not require donning a tinfoil hat to circle Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) as something more than mere technological evolution with predictable winners and losers in the equation, as the recent viral song Heart On My Sleeve “by AI Drake and The Weeknd” demonstrates.

Drake and The Weeknd had nothing to do with Heart On My Sleeve, which was released in late April before being removed. This is not a song created by sampling a portion of a prior release. This is not mimicking Drake and The Weeknd’s style. This is not an unlistenable experiment no fan would choose to hear. “This is the final straw AI,” Drake posted on Instagram. It is more than mere annoyance: some commentators stated the AI song is the best Drake release in years, and notable guitarist Alex Skolnick said “the takeaway here is that computers can…mimic music that already sounds largely computerized to begin with...” Shade-throwing aside, Heart On My Sleeve was neither the first nor will it be the last release to demonstrate the potential of AI to eliminate content creators altogether.

Universal Music Group apparently had the song removed, but it has been popping up elsewhere. Billboard reported that UMG believes training AI on the catalog of an artist is a “violation of copyright law” and added it “will not hesitate to take steps to protect our rights and those of our artists.” The voices of the performers are convincingly identifiable as Drake and The Weeknd. The original posting designated “AI Drake,” but does including “AI” serve as a legal panacea? The word artificial is in the very name, and sometimes, disclaimers can inadvertently emphasize that a given activity was known to be problematic.

The licensing industry overall would be well-advised to take notice. AI, deepfakes, and 3-D printing will press the scope and reach of the law.

The Supreme Court of the United States is currently deciding a case between the Andy Warhol Foundation and Lynn Goldsmith regarding Goldsmith’s 1981 photograph of Prince and Warhol’s use of that picture as a reference in his Prince Series (Docket Number 21-869). The case is rel-

evant to the AI Drake song because of the issue presented by a new work created from a reference work. A song “in the style of” another artist may not constitute copyright infringement; however, if AI trains itself on specific songs or even the entire canon of recorded works by an artist, a copyright violation may be occurring. One of the rights of a copyright holder is the ability to make derivative works. Using a song or collection of songs to create a new work may mean the new work is a derivative work. While any given situation would require further analysis of who the parties are, where jurisdiction is appropriate, and what country’s law governs, the legal systems of many countries also include privacy rights, performance rights, moral rights, fair dealing, passing off, unfair competition, and equitable interests, which could be in play.

Nevertheless, the stronger response to the AI Drake song resides in the legal doctrine known as the Right of Publicity. These interests also are known as personality rights, or name image likeness (NIL) rights, depending on the country. The Right of Publicity concerns commercial use of a person’s identity, and case law defining the right in the U.S. has determined soundalikes can be a violation. If there is confusion, passing off, or false endorsement, then a trademark claim also may be implicated. The careers of Drake and the Weeknd are built on releasing musical works, so a song they had nothing to do with using their names, and is a passable substitute for the real thing, creates potential Right of Publicity and trademark issues. If there is falsity, passing off, or confusion, then it may indicate bad faith which in turn can connect to damages. Pursuing a legal claim risks spending good money chasing bad if a defendant is anonymous, uncollectable, or located in a jurisdiction that may not be ideal. Still, injunctive relief which stops proliferation of an infringement may be meaningful in itself.

In considering Heart On My Sleeve in my interview for the above-mentioned Billboard article, I thought of the challenges rightsowners face with maker marketplaces. Performing sweeps and using verified rightsowner and take-down policies of e-commerce platforms that rely on individual users uploading content (maker marketplaces) is a best practice to follow.

Many maker marketplaces have provided assistance to rightsowners, but the elephant in the room is that they benefit financially from unauthorized product sales and they provide the forum for unauthorized goods to proliferate. Those who perform such sweeps recognize the near-futility in the task. Like casting a net into open water, as the net is removed, infringing content swims into the same open water.

In an interview with the University of Southern California radio on this topic, I said the law does not need new legislation for each emerging technology. We should not need a Tik-Tok statute or an Instagram law.

The judiciary has been quite adept at applying existing laws to emerging situations and upholding the spirit of a given law. In this way, the Right of Publicity in most countries may be expansive enough to address AI infringements. The AI Drake song is only the latest instance in which the Right of Publicity demonstrates the critical role it plays and policies it serves, distinct from copyright and trademark.

Most of what is capable of being licensed started with a creator: literary characters, brands with mascots, logos and goodwill associated therewith, celebrities and influencers, those who contribute to movies, shows and series, podcasts, or authors whose works support entire franchises, to name a few. Virtually everything in the licensing industry connects to creative output. If the integrity of creative output from authors, songwriters, producers, celebrities, or musicians is undermined, the licensing industry would suffer. To be fair, AI may prove to be a useful tool to creatives and a boon to the licensing industry. But anything with the ability to create passable-quality releases that a creator had nothing to do with should give us pause, and indications from Heart On My Sleeve suggest there may not be many winners in this particular equation.

Jonathan Faber is Managing Partner and General Counsel of Luminary Group LLC, the exclusive representative of Babe Ruth, Vince Lombardi, Jesse Owens, Major Taylor, John Wooden, Johnny Unitas and others. Faber often serves as an expert witness involving celebrities, brands, infringements, and valuations. Faber teaches The Right of Publicity at the IU McKinney School of Law. For more information on the Right of Publicity, visit RightOfPublicity. com, the leading online Right of Publicity resource.

Faber often serves as an expert witness involving celebrities, brands, infringements, and valuations.

Vegesaurs from Studio 100

Studio 100 are actively working on Vegesaurs – their animated series that looks and fruit and vegetables in a new and humourous way, intended to en courage children to eat healthily. Two seasons are currently available – each comprising 20 x 5 minute episodes. Season three, again 20 x 5’ is currently in development. The series is aimed at children aged four to seven.

Studio 100 have worldwide distribution and licensing rights (excluding Australia and New Zealand) and the series is produced by Cheeky Little Media (Australia) in as sociation with ABC Australia, France Television and Studio 100

The Series

Go Back through the mists of time to a rich and colourful prehistory you never knew existed. An era dominated by the juiciest and crunchiest creatures ever to rule the planet – the mighty Vegesaurs!

It‘s springtime in Vegesaur Valley: For Ginger, a young Tricarrotops, this time of the year means only one thing… time off for adventure!

The sweet heroine escapes by a hair’s breadth the sharp teeth of a hungry

crowd of Pea-Rexes. But obviously in her tail a souvenir got stuck – it turns out to be a pod with 3 little Pea-Rexbabies who after hatching immediately hover over Ginger like little duckbabies to their mummy. This randomly thrown together family is the center of the comedy series.

The stories lean into relatable themes for pre-schoolers like mealtimes, getting to sleep, sharing, friendship, nurturing and play.

TV Broadcast

Season 1 premiered on ABC Australia in May 2022. Since then, it has been successfully launched in many countries, such as France, Finland, Sweden and Canada, mostly among the Top 5 preschool programmes.

In the UK, the series was successfully launched on CBeebies (BBC) on 27th February 2023. The PR campaign reached 100m contacts in one week and the series is a Top 5 CBeebies brand on BBC iPlayer.

In terms of feedback, the reaction from the press and parents has been excellent. Vegesaurs is a meal-time game changer for everyone who needs a helping hand when it comes to healthy eating for kids. Season two will launch on ABC Australia at the end of May this year.


Vegesaurs is an IP tailormade for loyalty: BrandLoyalty (the international licensee for loyalty programmes) saw the potential of Vegesaurs early on and as a result there will be a first big loyalty campaign with a retail partner in various European countries this summer/autumn, accompanied by extensive advertising activities.

International Master Publishing partner Macmillan (UK) will publish various titles, starting with two picture books in July, followed by two board books this

In addition a new licensing partner in the UK – iLove Snacks - will launch Vegesaurs fruit and vegetable snacks without added sugar and nasties in infinitely recyclable and reusable packaging.

Sony Music is the international licensee for German audio drama and discussions are currently underway for a potential Master Toy and other partners.

Social Media

Social Media continues to play a large part. On YouTube, an extensive brand building roll-out is underway with localized channels including regular new content including a mix of clips, compilations and special moments as well as full episodes

In terms of TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Shorts Vegesaurs has recently launched dedicated international channels with continuous growth delivering brand awareness and future consumer product campaigns


Connecting the world of licensing


‘Everyone loves Molang. Molang loves everyone.’

Alexandra Algard-Mikanowski, Licensing Director, Millimages spoke to Total Licensing about the worldwide phenomenon that is Molang!

Molang started life in 2010 as a doodle by Hye Ji Yoon, a Korean illustrator, to express the emotions she was feeling as a young student.

In 2015, after meeting Hye Ji, Millimages acquired global rights, and then created and produced a Molang TV series with French author Marie Caroline Villand. The TV series has now over 312 episodes and is broadcast around the globe. The TV success quickly grew into a digital sensation, with over 26 billion views on GIPHY and more than 7 million social media followers, and has now evolved into a lifestyle brand with a successful consumer products program. Kind and affectionate Molang has a

unique, instantly recognizable style.

Molang is all about empathy, softness, tenderness and joy. Molang has no nationality, is ageless and gender-neutral. Molang cares for everyone and everything.

‘Everybody loves Molang. Molang loves everybody.’

Heading towards Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Molang now boasts 17 agents around the world – and Millimages has just named a new agent in the USA – Licensing Street. While this will increase business in the States, Millimages are also looking at further opportunities in South America, particularly Mexico, as well

as Indonesia, and of course Europe. One of the most important markets for Molang is the Millennial/Gen Z generation. With 716+ million views on social media, 25 billion views on GIPHY, 50k monthly visits on and 80+ licensees & 1 000+ products, 18-33 year olds represent 71% of Molang’s audience on all social media platforms

Looking at developing further into the lifestyle and young adult markets, in the next few years Millimages plans to develop 70% of products for young adults, 20% on kids and 10% on babies. The focus will be on apparel, gift & home accessories, food & beverage, and more.

Appealing to all, Molang is synonymous with the values of kindness and friendship as well as a positive attitude.

20 Years with Gunter Vetter, Euro Lizenzen

What are the key changes in licensing that you’ve seen over the last 20 years?

Being in the licensing business for over 45 years already, I can only say that the licensing business has grown enormously over the last 20 years and the trend is continuing. Today, we cannot imagine the toy industry without intellectual property rights. IP plays an extremely significant role in the world of toys, but also many other product categories from books to confectionary and everything in between. Obviously, the new technologies and social media help us to reach more companies and explain the importance of licensing, as an IP can significantly increase the awareness of a product. Brand collaborations especially are very popular. Recently, we have seen many epic fashion collabs like Gucci X Adidas, Louis Vuitton X Yayoi Kusama, H&M X Mugler, to name a few. Are there any standout moments for you over the last two decades?

I feel very privileged to work in the licensing industry and to be one of the pioneers in Europe. While working at my previous company, which produced the hit live TV-series Pippi Longstocking, I had the opportunity

of dancing with Astrid Lindgreen at a party in Stockholm. My most pleasant memories go back to the times, as my company Euro Lizenzen represented the brand Smiley in German-speaking territories. Working with Franklin Loufrani was not only a great experience but also fun! We had the most wonderful dinners and conversations after a productive meeting, whether it was in Paris, Cannes, London or New York. Also looking back, I can proudly say, how the licensing business of The Little Prince grew in the last decade and developed into a very successful IP worldwide. When I first started

working with my friend Olivier d’Agay 18 years ago, France and Germany were the leading markets for Le Petit Prince. Now, there is a highly successful licensing programme around the globe and several prestigious licensees such as IWC, Montblanc on board, a musical on Broadway and a theme park in Alsace.

The success of The Little Prince is in his DNA. The Little Prince, which is celebrating its 80th Anniversary this year, is an icon of sustainable developments, promoter of world peace and an advocate of children’s rights.

Looking into your crystal ball, what key changes do you think will be important over the next 20 years?

Everybody is talking about artificial intelligence (AI) nowadays, which continues to emerge as a new technology with widespread applications throughout the economy and daily life. I believe AI will have a great impact on the licensing business soon. As we all know, the licensing business is full of surprises, but  I am sure that quality programmes and evergreen classic properties will continue to dominate the market place over the next 20 years!

20 Years with Jane Garner, Kilogrammedia

I took a circuitous route into licensing – to say the least. After I left university (some years ago; don’t try to do the maths…) my first job was as an editorial assistant on a video review magazine with Northern & Shell, owned by Richard Desmond (who went on to buy The Express and Channel 5 as well as launch OK!)

I ultimately made it to Editor and had a wonderful time: we were paid peanuts, but the parties were great (I am proof that it’s possible to live on canapes and white wine alone).

Richard, who had never taken to me (and possibly anybody else, now I come to think of it), eventually said: “How much do I [expletive] have to pay you to go away?”. We agreed a fig-

ure and I went. I was a hero to the other editorial staff but I didn’t have a job!

Pretty quickly though, I got the role of Deputy Editor of Pony Magazine – run, ironically, by the wife of Nick (Vivid Imaginations) Austin. I was enjoying my new job until, one afternoon, I got a call from a friend saying: “I’ve seen the perfect job for you. Fax your CV to this number and buy the Media Guardian later.” Well, I did the former but didn’t do the latter, so it wasn’t until I got to the interview that I discovered the position was head of PR with CPL – now Wildbrain CPLG.

I was interviewed by Angela Farrugia, who went on to found TLC with Melvin Thomas. The PR side of things was

no issue but when it came to licensing I had no idea what she was talking about. Still, her enthusiasm was infectious. ‘”You really get it!” she was saying. I didn’t, but I knew I really wanted to be part of it.

Amazingly, I got the job and spent a fantastic time at CPL. I went on to work with Link Licensing and then briefly left the industry. However, as we all know, in licensing you can check out, but you can never leave...

Which brings me to Kilogrammedia, the licensing and broadcast specialist PR agency I established many years ago. I now spend my days working in my favourite industries with my favourite people – including Francesca, Jerry and Becky!

Memories of
Kilogrammedia’s Head of Security

EXG Pro: A Home for All Fans

EXG Pro is a leading pop culture brand that caters to passionate fans of gaming, collecting, and pop culture. With purpose-driven sub-brands that celebrate fandom while showcasing the latest tech, EXG Pro is the ultimate destination for fans who want to take their passion to the next level.

EXG Pro’s dedicated team made up of fresh talent and experienced industry professionals, embodies the company’s ethos of being a “Home for All Fans.”

Join us in celebrating the 20 anniversary of Total Licensing and take a closer look at some of the team members.

Alan Fenwick, our CEO, has brought a wealth of experience and strategic vision to our approach to licensed pop culture products, and it is easy to understand why when you consider his contribution as UK Retail Director for Warner Brothers for over six years, plus his 7 years as Vice President (EMEA) of Turner. His customer-centric approach and deep understanding of trends have led us to create some truly innovative and ground-breaking products that have set the bar for the industry. Alan’s passion for our products is contagious and has inspired our team to do their best work. He is a driving force behind our company’s success, and we are excited to see what he’ll lead us to next.

Amandine Reid, EXG Pro’s Director of Production and Supply, has a wealth of experience and expertise. Having come from a background where she created bespoke licensed products for IPs including Gruffalo and DreamWorks, among others, she instantly made her mark on both our products our vision. Amandine’s unwavering attention to detail and commitment to quality has resulted in long-lasting, high-quality, and innovative products. Her passion for her work has inspired her team to achieve excellence in everything they create. Amandine and her team are the unsung heroes of EXG Pro’s success.

Jenna Chalkley, Head of Product Development, has brought a wealth of experience to the company, resulting in the success of the award-winning Cable Guys range. Having previously worked in licensed products for the likes of Disney and Cartoon Network, focusing on brands still beloved by fans today, you can see how her deep understanding of the market has allowed us to create products that meet the needs of consumers and resonate with fans.

Donovan De Klerk, Licensing Manager, has secured exciting new licenses for the company, expanding EXG Pro’s brand portfolio into new categories and markets. Having started his licensing career at Disney three years ago, his strategic approach to licensing and ability to identify emerging trends have solidified EXG Pro’s position as a leader in the market.

Christine Huckley, Product Development Manager, has been instrumental in driving the company’s success with her exceptional expertise and organisational skills. Having come from a background in retail product development at Merlin she has brought a deep understanding of the market and emerging trends which has enabled EXG Pro to stay ahead of the competition and remain innovative.

Christopher Jobson, the newest addition to the Product Development team, has already made a significant impact at EXG Pro with his exceptional expertise and innovative ideas. Bringing with him over five years of experience in product design and

development, his ability to identify emerging trends and capitalise on them has resulted in products that push the boundaries of new technology. Welcome to the team, Chris! Alongside our dedicated licensing and product development teams, we also are deeply honoured to have an amazing wider team who connect our products to our customers, and who ensure that EXG Pro continues to succeed, and we are excited to have the opportunity to share them with you in the future.

With license agreements in place with major names in gaming and entertainment, including Disney, Microsoft, Sega, and Sony, EXG Pro’s success is a testament to the quality of our products and the dedication of our team.

In 2022, we embarked on a five-year roadmap into the Metaverse, beginning with the integration of AR technology. This innovation will allow consumers to enjoy EXG Pro’s products in a whole new immersive way, and the company is excited to be at the forefront of this technological revolution.

To explore our sub-brands, visit Don’t settle for ordinary –choose EXG Pro and take your fandom to the next level.


Thunderbird Brands makes Licensing Expo Debut

Meet production powerhouse Thunderbird Entertainment’s new CP label

Canadian super-indie producer

Thunderbird Entertainment has consolidated its consumer products operations under the Thunderbird Brands banner. Led by industry veteran Richard Goldsmith, Thunderbird Brands represents licensing rights for the 20-year-old production company’s original series from its Atomic Cartoons (animation, kids & family), Great Pacific Media (unscripted) and Thunderbird Scripted (comedy, drama) labels and select third-party properties. Goldsmith joined Thunderbird in 2021 as President of Global Distribution & Consumer Products with the express goal of expanding the company’s footprint in both media distribution and ancillary exploitation of its owned IPs and new third-party acquisitions and got to work.

In 2022, Thunderbird acquired global media and consumer products rights to Mittens & Pants, an adorable live-action preschool series featuring a host of baby animals living in the tiny town of Kibble Corners. Produced by Windy Isle Entertainment, and created by its CEO Phil McCordic, Mittens & Pants (82 x 7 minutes) was commissioned by CBC Kids in Canada and promptly acquired by Sky Kids in the UK. The series debuted on both broadcast-

ers in February and quickly received a Season 2 greenlight. It is performing well for both outlets and has become the top kids series on CBC’s stream-

ing service.

At Licensing Expo, Goldsmith and his team will introduce the property from a CP perspective to the industry. The series revolves around the comedic adventures of Mittens the kitten and Pants the puppy. It also features animals living in a world where houses and vehicles are all their size. From Monsieur LaFleur, the bunny farmer driving his tractor-load of carrots, to tortoise Fire Chief Grapefruit and his custom fire truck, this adorable show also has a strong message — having friends who are different from you means accepting them without expecting anyone to change. Cats and dogs can be friends, if they know that being different is good.

The lead characters are all voiced by children, and in the UK it’s narrated by the iconic Marcus Bentley (Big Broth-

Mittens & Pants

er). Thunderbird Distribution is actively selling the series globally. Moreover, Mittens & Pants’ environments, houses and vehicles are inherently toyetic, making the series ripe for an expansion into consumer products. At Licensing Expo, Thunderbird Brands will be looking to meet with potential manufacturing and retail partners for toy, publishing, apparel, gift & novelty categories, focusing on the UK and North America.

In addition to Mittens & Pants, Thunderbird Brands will be unveiling Mermicorno: Starfall (26 x 22 minutes), the brand-new Atomic Cartoons original and epic animated adventurecomedy for kids six to nine based on the hit tokidoki collectibles, lifestyle and fashion brand, Mermicorno. It will debut on major US and international platforms in late 2024/early 2025. The series invites viewers into a fantastical,

magical undersea world where eight unique Mermicornos (unicorn/mermaids) join together on a quest, using their creative powers (art, dance, writing, photography etc.) to save the ocean from the threat of the evil Ika Inkblot. In terms of licensing, themes of creativity will underpin product extensions that primarily target girls. Right now, the focus is on introducing the IP to long-lead partners, including publishing, live entertainment and interactive gaming.

Thunderbird Brands is also dipping into its unscripted catalogue to bring high-stakes reality series Highway Thru Hell to the consumer products market for the first time. With 11 seasons, distribution in more than 170 countries and hundreds of hair-raising rescues captured on film, Highway Thru Hell has attracted a legion of fans across the globe who are in awe of

“At Licensing Expo, Thunderbird Brands will be looking to meet with potential manufacturing and retail partners for toy, publishing, apparel, gift & novelty categories, focusing on the UK and North America for Mittens & Pants.”

the show’s everyday “highway heroes” who risk their own safety daily to save those helplessly stranded in Canada’s “Bermuda Triangle of trucking.” Lifestyle and stationery categories will be a priority for the brand. Finally, the company will also be showcasing The Last Kids on Earth based

Goldsmith President, Thunderbird Brands

on Max Brallier’s massively bestselling book series (10 million copies and counting) and the hit Atomic Cartoons Netflix series of the same name. Thunderbird Brands will be on the lookout for North American partners as it’s now representing the IP in that territory.

Booth #K236

The Last Kids on Earth Highway Thru Hell Mermicorno: Starfall
In his latest column, Amer Bitar, head of Markettcom in Dubai gives readers an overview of the growing power of Middle Eastern brands.

Licensing is essential for businesses looking to expand their reach and revenue streams. By licensing their intellectual property, they can leverage the expertise and resources of other businesses to penetrate new markets and generate additional revenue streams. Through licensing, companies can also capitalize on the goodwill and reputation of their brands, thereby increasing brand recognition and customer loyalty.

In the Middle East, there is growing interest in licensing deals between local brands and international licensors. This trend reflects the fact that Middle Eastern brands are recognizing the benefits of licensing in terms of reaching and tapping into new markets, and international licensors see the potential of partnering with them to gain a foothold in this dynamic and rapidly expanding market. Middle East-

ern brands are known for a distinctive blend of tradition and modernity and a strong emphasis on quality and luxury. Recognizable examples include Dubaibased Emirates Airlines, the Saudi Arabian oil and gas company Aramco, the Qatar-based media company Al Jazeera, the massive Dubai Mall, and the Saudi Arabian food and beverage company Almarai.

As the Middle East continues to grow and develop, the licensing of local brands is becoming an ever more important part of the region’s business landscape. In recent years, these brands have increasingly turned to licensing to expand and increase their revenues. The success stories include the Dubaibased luxury hotel operator Jumeirah

Group, which has licensed its brand to other companies to operate hotels and restaurants in various locations, capitalizing on its reputation for luxury and quality while minimizing the risk and cost of operating in new markets. The aforementioned Emirates Airlines has licensed its brand to companies in various industries, including hospitality and interactive location-based entertainment, to increase brand awareness and increase its profitability. Even the Dubai Police has licensed its brand, partnering with a toy company as a means of self-promotion through products that appeal to both children and adults.

Amid these great opportunities is a unique set of challenges that lo-


cal brands tend to face when crafting licensing strategies. While there are many similarities across Middle Eastern countries, they also differ in language, customs, and laws, including those relating to business operations. Brands must, therefore, remain in compliance with local laws and regulations. For example, some countries in the region have strict rules regarding foreign ownership of businesses and/ or require specific licenses for certain activities.

Another major challenge for Middle Eastern brands is finding the right partner. From suppliers and distributors to licensing agencies and other businesses, brands must carefully vet potential partners to ensure that they are trustworthy and aligned with their values and goals. One consideration when choosing partners is their understanding of the local market and culture, which needs to be comprehensive and up-to-date. Other factors to consider include, naturally, a potential partner’s reputation, track record, and commitment to building long-term relationships.

Also crucial are efforts to protect brand identity in the region, for counterfeiting and intellectual property theft are not uncommon. A key step in this regard is the registration of

the Armani Hotel Dubai located in the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Both of these partnerships have been mutually beneficial, with each party leveraging the other’s strengths to create successful ventures. Licensing, then, is a proven approach for Middle Eastern brands seeking to extend their reach and identify additional revenue streams. By leveraging the expertise and resources of an international partner, a regional brand can create opportunities to penetrate new markets and capitalize on its reputation for craftsmanship and refinement. Successful licensing partnerships have allowed brands such as Emirates Airlines and Emaar Properties to extend their reach and increase brand awareness while minimizing the risks and costs associated with entering new markets. To be sure, local brands

trademarks and other intellectual property with the relevant authorities to discourage the unauthorized use of brand names and logos and provide for legal recourse when intellectual property is infringed upon. Monitoring the market for infringing products is a significant part of this effort, and brands may need to work with local law enforcement and other partners to identify and take action against knockoffs and counterfeiters.

A couple of examples of successful licensing partnerships between Middle Eastern brands and global companies will serve to demonstrate the potential for the businesses in the region. In one licensing agreement, Al Tayer Group joined forces with Bloomingdale’s to open several stores across the region. In another, Emaar Properties partnered with Armani to develop a series of luxury hotels and resorts under that brand, resulting in the development of iconic properties, including

About the Author

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

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

For information, contact: amer.bitar@markettcom. com

seeking to grow through licensing face challenges, especially when it comes to navigating the various languages, customs, and laws across the region, finding the right partners, and protecting their identity. These challenges are surmountable, though, and the licensing of Middle Eastern brands is expected to become increasingly important for the region’s businesses since the opportunities for growth and collaboration between Middle Eastern brands and global companies are bountiful.


Spotlight on

Those who follow international headlines know that Latin American countries are experiencing an adverse political and economic context; the rise in inflation, the impoverishment of the population, party conflicts, manifestations and representatives’ speeches that affect foreign investment in Latam countries.

In Brazil, the current scenario is more optimistic. Despite the problems of some large retailers and a certain fear about the country’s direction in the coming months, brand and character licensing is establishing itself as a very important marketing tool in the eyes of manufacturers, importers and retailers. The market remains hot with properties originating from ondemand platforms, movie premieres, collabs and events that promote experiences with brands and characters. After all, around here, we have consumers/fans who drive demand for the biggest entertainment company portfolios.

Some sector-specific exhibitions have already been held this year - toys, baby products, parties and home decor – all are proof that the industry continues to invest in licensing as a competitive differential and brand reinforcement. Many of the new products presented to Brazilian retailers are combining licenses with innovation. Another re-

cent finding was the record sales of licensed Easter eggs this year. The diversity of properties and gifts for Brazilian consumers focused on Easter was the greatest ever seen in our market.

In Brazil, we also note the investment in fixed and itinerant events that deliver experience to fans, as well as retailers investing in the point of sale as a stage for experimenting with certain properties.

And this movement was also validated by brands and character owners and agents who participated in the Licensing Day, in April, promoted by EP Grupo. On this occasion, companies presented to around 120 suppliers and retailers all the news and strategies that make up their company planning and their respective properties for 2023.

Brazil is also preparing the best edition ever of LicensingCon!

Scheduled to take place on August 23 and 24 in Sao Paulo, leading players in the market have already confirmed their presence.

For information visit



Recap of the most important news from Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador and Chile

Before getting started with our usual summary of the past 12 months, I would like to start by sincerely congratulating Total Licensing on its 20th anniversary. It is quite a milestone. Congratulations to Francesca and all her team.

Let’s start with news that fills us with pride and satisfaction. Our clients, Iron Maiden, Mötley Crüe and Global Merchandising Services have been nominated along with Toxic (the licensee) for Best Retailer, Corporate, Lifestyle, Fashion, Sports, at the Licensing International Excellence Awards 2023.

This is the second consecutive nomination for KOPA. We are extremely happy, especially for our Mexican licensee. The passion and attention to detail shown by Benny Levy and the entire Toxic team welldeserved this recognition. We are grateful to Licensing International for this great honor.

Toxic is truly at the forefront of the music category while setting up an example worth following by other licensees in LATAM. The licensed capsules, store atmosphere, product display, and marketing campaigns in support of Iron Maiden and Mötley Crüe during their visits to Mexico were unprecedented.

renewed and widened its licensing contract for two more years.

Each collection was composed of tees, hoodies, denim jackets, caps, backpacks, and even skateboards. It was available at 16 brick-and-mortar stores across popular malls, plus nine more pop-up stores.

On the night of September 7th of 2022, Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maiden, cheered on the more than 65,000 fans gathered at the Foro Solo with his classic battle cry. Scream for me Mexico City! Scream for me Mexico City! There is nothing more exciting and fulfilling than being immersed in that celebration, to look around and thinking that we were all there to see Iron Maiden (a.k.a. our client!). It truly was a dream come true.

Thanks to our dear friend José Santiago, International Licensing Manager at Global Merchandising Services, we pulled off the unthinkable when it was Mötley Crüe’s turn.

Hours before the show in Mexico City, with the help of Kyle Compton (a colleague who was traveling with the tour) the four members of the band signed five skateboards inspired by 1989 Dr. Feelgood album. The skateboards, produced locally by Toxic, were later on raffled off among its customers. That’s what you call connecting a brand with its fans!

At the beginning of the year Toxic

Who would’ve believed it, rock is in fashion in LATAM and the program keeps growing in the territory. In the last 12 months it got to a total of eight licensees.

Distribuidora de Textiles Avante is currently working on a collection inspired by Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Mötorhead, Mötley Crue and Megadeth. It is expected by the end of this year and will be available at top department stores in Mexico, including specialized retailers such as Cuidado con el Perro, Optima and Tops & Bottoms.

Apparel Studio will strengthen the offer on the modern Mexican channel with Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Alicie Cooper, Judas Priest and Rob Zombie. The collection, made up of t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts and pajamas, will be available at Liverpool, C&A, Coppel and Suburbia.

In Colombia, besides Rock Activity (announced a year ago), two more licensees joined the program, Permoda and Stilotex.

The overall experience with Rock Activity, a Colombian family-owned business, has been very positive. Their designs and screen print quality is outstanding. So much so that John 5, guitarist of Mötley Crüe, loved the t-shirts we were wearing on the day of the concert in Bogota. He highlighted the design and the clever use of just

TOTAL LICENSING 140 @kopa_licensing
Carlos Andrés Carvajal Managing Director & Founder KOPA

two inks. We had the opportunity to meet the musician at his hotel, hours before the show. The metal fan inside me was freaking out; my hands were so shaky that I barely managed to take a selfie!

The grey hoodies that we are wearing in the group photo were produced by Stilotex. The first collection was available on Pepe Ganga’s online site and at some physical stores. In addition to Mötley Crüe, the Christmas collection featured Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest.

Permoda, another Colombian manufacturer, renewed its contract with Iron Maiden for two more years.The new collection will be at Koaj’s fashion stores in Colombia, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

Global Merchandising Services will be at booth H226.

Precisely a year ago, in the summer issue, we announced that KOPA would be representing Tetris in Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. Well, shortly after returning from Las Vegas our good friends at The Brands Club signed the license for Chile, Peru and Colombia.

The first collection, designed by YOU (the licensee’s fashion brand), was available online and at their physical stores in Chile. The release was right on time for the film’s premiere on Apple TV, on March 31st. If you haven’t seen it yet, we highly recommend it. Everyone who is part of the industry should see it. In addition to being exciting, it is a master class in licensing.

The brand will soon be bolstered up in the region thanks to the arrival of a new licensee. Cornejotex, an Ecuadorian company with more than 35 years of experience in the textile industry, it’s Tetris’ most recent licensee. In addition to t-shirts, jackets, hoodies and sweatshirts, it will produce underwear, pajamas and accessories.

We’ve been working intensively on this property with our good friend Megan Forst Buettner and more is coming soon! Tetris will be at booth N226.

News regarding Godzilla is also very satisfying. Our beloved monster had its first official apparel collection in Colombia. Stilotex developed a beautiful line for kids ages 6 to 9, which was available for Christmas at all Pepe Ganga stores in the territory.

On a very personal note, I had the satisfaction of gifting several garments to my niece Melissa. She loves her black Mechagodzilla hoodie; she wears it all the time!

There are more negotiations currently underway and we already foresee that we are going to be booked solid this year at Licensing Expo, and that is actually very good!

It hasn’t been easy, this business has never been, but it was a good year.

We continue to grow and learn. Thank you very much to all those who continue to believe in KOPA, Total Licensing, our clients, Licensing International, friends and family. See you in Las Vegas!



Andres Donoso, Doce Ltda, Chile explains.

The year was 2019, people still didn’t know about a certain virus that was going to change our lives forever. It was business as usual all around the globe... but not in Chile!

October 18, a bunch of organized secondary students broke through the capital’s subway stations on a widespread fare evasion. The reason:

the fare had increased by 30 pesos (like 4 cents of a dollar). Hence, the movement slogan: “it’s not 30 pesos, it’s 30 years” in reference to the number of years politicians ruled the country after Pinochet’s dictatorship, without keeping campaign promises. This was followed by extended riots and demonstrations, looting, public and private property destruction, subway stations, churches, monuments, bus stops, shops and businesses burned down throughout the country. Many shops never opened up again. And the licensing business? Get out of here! All of this carried on until … guess when,

March 2020. That month, people were sent home by local health authorities, and the rest is history.

For two years, the licensing business, and all businesses around the world have been struggling to overcome the crisis brought in by Covid-19. In DOCE’s case, the struggle has been not only to overcome, but to survive a perfect storm unleashed by the social outburst first, the pandemic later on, the loss of our main representation after more than 40 years as a licensing agent and recently the loss of yet another agency upon a decision by the same entertainment giant. And before you ask, NO; it was not about performance. Some companies prefer to work with one multinational agent who handles many countries at once. This time Goliath did step over David. But that’s not all, folks!

The licensing industry is in constant change, business is in constant change, no mystery there. Companies adapt or die. After the catastrophic effects of the social outburst, the pandemic and the political mayhem in Chile, the commercial players have been forced to shrink and to expand. Come again? Shrink their expenses, their payroll, and their costs; expand their creativity, their efforts, and their line of business. And yes, we are there. It is a smaller DOCE these days; we rely on the


Cartoonito begins airing the preschool series

May 1st, saw TV channel Cartoonito premiere MILO in Latin America. The award-winning hit show for preschoolers is a Fourth Wall and DeAPlaneta Entertainment coproduction. Cartoonito is a children’s brand operated by Warner Bros. Discovery, which has been broadcasting since 2021. MILO was already available in LATAM on HBO Max, Warner’s SVOD platform, but including the property in Cartoonito’s offering connects the show with over 30 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean via a linear and subscrip-

professional skills and experience of the elders and the strength, leadership and vision of the younger ones in our ranks. What was unthinkable in the past is now a reality: we are distributing toys and working on product development as well in order to expand our reach and to provide a more comprehensive service to our clients. And it is the market itself along with the trust generated by the excellent relationship with local retailers that has given us the chance to immerse ourselves into product development.

A storm came to the industry and hit us all hard; harder in this country. Some keep struggling, others could not survive; at some time, we feared the worst, but hold on a second, we are still here; we are still the leading licensing agent in Chile, the most recognized award winning and stable company in this country’s licensing industry.

And we have our more than 40 years of continued history to back this up. Today, like in the past, our clients trust our expertise and seek out our beloved brands from Toei Animation, King Features, WMX, emoji Company, CloudCo., Animaccord, John Sands, Boat Rocker Rights. Shall we continue? Yes we shall!


tion-based multi-territory channel. MILO is continuing its global expansion with multiple licensing deals, covering several categories (fashion, publishing, educational games and toys, food, etc.) and territories (Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, UK, Ireland, Andorra, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, as well as Latin America and Spanishspeaking areas in the US). Furthermore, this year renowned brand Bandai will roll out the first ever MILO toy range, including soft toys, figurines

and playsets, vehicles and electronic educational devices, among others.

MILO has also launched YouTube channels in another five languages (Spanish, LATAM Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese and Polish), which have accumulated 9.5 million views and 4.1 million individual viewers.  MILO is a preschool television series produced by Fourth Wall and DeAPlaneta Entertainment, a leading European entertainment company. The production was supported by the

British Government’s Youth Content Fund, which is managed by the BFI and supports the creation of distinctive and quality content for young audiences. The fund aims to provide content that informs our understanding of the world, stimulate knowledge and learning, while representing diversity and alternative points of view. DeAPlaneta Entertainment owns and manages worldwide consumer products rights for the series.


Music, brands and more

With more than a decade of experience in the licensing market, Brazilian agency Brand House works strongly with the music segment, representing major international agencies such as Global Merch (Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Motorhead, and more than 50 artists) , Apple Corps (The Beatles and Yellow Submarine), Perryscope (Pink Floyd, ACDC, Janis Joplin, The Police, Woodstock, David Bowie, Myles Davis, etc), Manhead (Billy Idol, Alice in Chains, Fall out Boy, Morrisey, among others). and many others. In total, the company has more than 100 artists available for licensing in the Brazilian market and some for Latin America.

As agents for the Frida Kahlo brand for almost 10 years, they have created many inspiring projects for Frida Kahlo, including sandals with Grendene, Makeup with Quem disse Berenice, decor with Urban and fine silver jewelery with Cadena Joias. They also represent other fashion brands, such as the Brazilian sports brand Pretorian and the iconic Californian brand, Hang Ten. In addition, they have a partnership with an independent agent in the US and represent the iconic musical instrument Fender in the brazilian territory.

Recently Brand House Licensing & Marketing signed an agreement with ASO, organizer of Tour de France cycling race, to act as their licensing agent in Brazil.

Among the many projects already carried out over many years in the market, they have strong and solid partners in various segments of retail, decoration, footwear and events. They

also have partnerships with the largest national retailers such as Lojas Renner, Riachuelo, C&A, Havan, and they also work with clients in wholesale like Band Up and Consulado do Rock, selling to marketplaces like Mercado LIvre and Amazon.

Over and above these, they also work with partners in Latin America, in Chile with The Brands Club, in Colombia with Koaj and soon they will be in Mexico with another great partner. Their work is focused on bringing new business, transcending pure licensing and going far beyond that. They create and execute innovative projects always thinking about greater brand presence and increasing customers, generating better results.


REDIBRA: A Leading Brazilian Licensing and Brand Extension Agency

A pioneer in the brand licensing and extension agency in Brazil, works with a select portfolio of globally recognized brands, including Netflix, Nintendo, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Care Bears, Now United, Moonbug, Paul Frank, Galinha Pintadinha and Luccas Neto.  Innovative and strategic planning, led Redibra to numerous national and international awards.

“There is a lot of talk about how the pandemic disrupted and accelerated trends and behaviours. In our market, it was no different. We need to seek new paths and opportunities. To do things differently to achieve differentiated results. The consumption of content and products has found new connection platforms, and the speed is much faster than before. The digital and customer journey experience has become essential. In Brazil, the focus on children’s characters is notorious, while in more developed markets, there are numerous audiences to be worked with. New markets are opening, and we want to maintain our leadership in the sector” says David Diesendruck, CEO of Redibra.

The last year was very exciting for Redibra, since many projects impacted their brands’ fans.

To celebrate the launch of Stranger Things, season 4 and make fans ready to face the Upside-Down invasion, they created unique partnerships with Burger King, Melissa and many other licensees.

made Christmas even more surprising. The result was a set of fun socks and Holiday decorations. Easter 2023 was even more special with the release of Care Bears chocolate eggs with Cacau Show, where social media was flooded with posts from fans since it was an instant success and quickly selling out.

tively. Both have extensive experience in the industry, and are already members of the Redibra team. Heitor Nogueira had his first contact with licensing in 2008 with a background in licensing companies such as Cartoon Network and Walt Disney Company. As commercial manager at Redibra, he was instrumental in expanding the agency’s business and establishing relationships with its commercial partners. Leading Redibra’s commercial team, Heitor will be focused on business and sales development.

To highlight a few examples, a Waffle burger was developed by Burger King to rescue Eleven’s power, the Hellfire Fries were made to be part of the new Club and the Demogorgon Sundae to devour the enemy. Melissa created a capsule collection, and a product which surprised Stranger Things fansthe Melissa Beach Slide revealed a surprise after it was peeled with water.  Redibra´s consulting division has grown year after year, with a focus on collabs with corporate brands to generate buzz and awareness.

The end of year was also a great moment to celebrate Bauducco´s Collabs, with Casa Rchlo and Lupo, which

Redibra also expanded its portfolio, launching an online course, bringing new solutions to the Brazilian market. Believing that Brazil still has many unexplored opportunities in the brand extension market, whether through licensing or “collabs” David Diesendruck, CEO of Redibra, decided to expand its portfolio by creating an online course where he shares his experiences and stories with the public. “To collaborate with the expansion of our business, we believe that the course is a way to boost creators and companies. We seek to present a well-structure, professional and accessible entry point to the licensing ecosystem” says David.

On a different note, Redibra recently announced the promotion of Heitor Nogueira and Julia Abeid as commercial and marketing directors, respec-

Julia Abeid entered the licensing market in 2016 when she joined the Redibra team as a marketing manager, having previously worked in advertising agencies, branding agencies and in the entertainment business.

Julia leads the internal marketing team ensuring the agency continues to support its clients throughout the licensing journey. Julia also leads the consulting area. This new vertical was created to explore different possibilities for brand extension, licensing and collabs, allowing Redibra to offer more personalized and creative solutions to its customers.



The BrandTrends Group unveils some major findings from its most recent research, and some key facts can be extracted when compared to the previous three years.

Latin America is a region with a rich cultural heritage, significant economic power, political importance, and environmental concerns. Its impact on the world is felt in various ways, and the region’s future is closely linked to global development and sustainability. The region has many emerging markets and is home to some of the world’s largest economies, including Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina; the three countries we will detail the licensing market in this article.

If those three countries don’t have the same language (Portuguese is the official language of Brazil), they all share a passion for soccer (football), as well as for music and celebrations. Brazil

Carnival is famous around the globe, Argentinian tango is danced across countries and Mexican animations are well-known across borders, at the same level than its popular cuisine, including – among many others – tacos, enchiladas and guacamole.

The population of children under the age of 15 in those three countries sum up to 94.4 million (44.7 in Brazil, 39.9 in Mexico and 9.8 in Argentina) which represents huge opportunities for brands.

A stable market which combines different realities

Latin America’s consumer market exhibits similarities across countries. However, a lack of enthusiasm persists post-COVID, as evidenced by the low ratio of new brands compared to two years ago, with some of the three countries experiencing no growth at all; Argentina not to mention it. The distribution of brands across age groups is significant and makes it difficult for companies to appeal to a broad audience, especially in Argentina, where there is a pronounced split

between age groups and genders. In all three markets, many brands have a similar level of attractiveness, with average scores for popularity, preference, and purchase intent, making it challenging for companies to stand out from the competition. Additionally, the number of entertainment brands known is proportional to the children’s population, resulting in significant differences across the three countries, with Brazil leading with 320 brands, followed by Mexico with 240 and Argentina with ‘only’ 146.

A LatAm market hold by Marvel and Disney

The table below highlights the fragmentation of the market, with numerous brands achieving only an average level of preference.

However, Marvel emerges as the clear winner, outscoring the second-ranked Disney by a staggering 9.5 points, solidifying the superheroes’ supremacy. This superiority is consistent across all three countries, with Marvel ranking first by a significant margin (+11.4 points in Mexico, +8.8 points in Brazil, and +7.5 points in Argentina), leaving the competition in the dust. Disney secures the second position in all three countries, but the margin between them and the third-ranked brand is narrow (+2.7 points in Argentina, +2.0 points in Brazil and Mexico), making it a less comfortable position to maintain.

The same holds true for Barbie and LEGO, with their overall good positioning masking significant performance differences. LEGO dominates in Mexico, ranking third, but fails to make it to the Top 15 in Brazil, whereas Barbie doesn’t even feature among the top brands in Argentina.

The rankings below illustrate how different are the 3 markets.

The local brands hold a large part of the ranking in Brazil with Monica’s Gang, Galinha Pintadinha and Mundo Bita.This leads to major differences for other brand’s performance compared to the other countries.

The second strongest difference in this country is owned by Netflix, which ranks #11 while the streaming service doesn’t appear in Argentina or Mexico. Again, this highlights how difficult it is for global contents to be visible in this country.

If the local La Granga de Zenon is in good place in Argentina, there is no additional representation of country’s specificities, all other brands are global ones.

The key difference compared to the other country comes from The Simpsons, which ranks #14 in this country, while if doesn’t appear in the other ones.

In Mexico, the main specificity is linked to youngest kids and their ability to love brands at a highest level than older. Then, Paw Patrol and Play-Doh are well positioned. If the first one is also

BrandTrends shares the Most favorite Entertainment brands in the Autumn of 2022


Most Favorite Entertainment Brands - Mexico 0 - 14 years old. Oct/Nov 22 % Respondents - Multi choice questions

Most Favorite Entertainment Brands - Brazil 0 - 14 years old. Oct/Nov 22 % Respondents - Multi choice questions

itive advantage proves that opportunities do exist. The key lies in universality and the amount and relevance of content. By providing multiple exposure opportunities and delivering consistent and innovative offers, brands can succeed across Latin American markets.

Given the sizable children’s population, brands must prioritize understanding their needs and expectations and develop approaches that resonate with this significant portion of the market.


Most Favorite Entertainment Brands - Argentina 0 - 14 years old. Oct/Nov 22 % Respondents - Multi choice questions

The current report provides a detailed analysis of brand awareness, popularity, and purchase intent of the most important Entertainment brands within a country.

The most crucial aspect is that it predicts product category purchasing intentions. The service reports on 11,500+ different Entertainment, Fashion, or Sports brands four times a year, and interviews 200,000+ people ranging in age from infants to seniors in 42 countries, including Latin American Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

Most Favorite Entertainment Brands - Argentina/Brazil/Mexico 0 - 14 years old. Oct/Nov 22 % Respondents - Multi choice questions


At the BrandTrends Group, we are a leading market research firm that specializes in providing consumer insights, data analytics, and market intelligence to help businesses make informed decisions. Our experienced team of experts is dedicated to delivering actionable insights that help our clients understand their customers, competitors, and market trends.

present in Brazil and LatAm rankings, the second one is exclusive to Mexico.

Video Games as a key point of interest

Roblox and Minecraft’s good positioning highlights the challenges of the declining trend in the video game category, with Fortnite and FIFA Soccer Series completing the set in Argentina and Mario Bros in Mexico.

This is an interesting observation, as the category faces diverse challenges around the globe. The never-ending pursuit of new content detracts from

its appeal, and the emergence of new competitors in virtual reality and Web 3.0 exacerbates the difficulty of remaining competitive.

Ownership and Licensing Opportunities

Navigating the Latin American market is no easy feat, given the disparities across countries and the lack of perceived brand transversality. As previously mentioned, this lack of dynamism makes it difficult to establish a positioning.

However, Marvel’s enormous compet-

We offer a range of research services, including survey research, customer experience analysis, brand tracking, and digital marketing research. Our social media analytics capabilities allow us to gather and analyze data from various social media platforms to provide insights into consumer sentiment, behavior, and trends.

The BrandTrends Group clients are renowned global companies, spanning from consumer package goods corporations, Entertainment studios, retailers, and industry bodies.

More? visit


The Ultimate Icon: Barbie Blazing Trails for 65 Years

In this issue we are celebrating 20 years of Total Licensing, but of course Barbie has been around much longer than that! We are loving the continuous evolution of the brand and the increasing inclusivity. Kelly, can you outline some recent examples of how Barbie has changed since her beginnings?

In Barbie’s 64- year history, the brand has remained true to the core ethos, inspiring girls and offering them choices with over 250+ career dolls since its inception, endless storytelling and fun fashion play. Over the past decade the brand has diversified further to offer even more dolls that children can relate to with more skin tones, hair textures and fashions, different body types with tall, petite, curvy, original, and dolls that represent physical disabilities like those requiring a wheelchair, hearing aids, those with prosthetic limbs, and more recently a doll with Down’s Syndrome. We’re all excited for the movie! Why is now the right time for a full-length motion picture?

Barbie has never been more relevant and is a pop culture icon; we are so exciting to see the filmmaker’s interpretation of Barbie. The movie is another dimension to the brand and will hold a place in history. And can you tell us some of the licensing activities prior to and around the launch?

With the movie being the pop-culture moment of the year, we are planning some truly (but top secret) special moments to celebrate Barbie across retail and marketing. So far, we have seen the incredible response to the trailers and the Barbie social media filter, which has had over 3m downloads to-date. With Barbie being a

“Over the past decade the brand has diversified further to offer even more dolls that children can relate to.”

Kelly Philp, UK Marketing Director, Mattel, sat down with Total Licensing to talk all things Barbie.

brand that has spanned 64 years, and many audiences there will be significant demand for Barbie products this summer.

I’m sure you can’t give too much away, but are the same themes that are in the many different doll lines – empowerment, feminism, representation – present in the movie as well?

You will have to watch and find out –but hopefully from the tease through to the first trailer and marketing that the movie is very much in-line with the important brand purpose of Barbie.

You recently announced the first Barbie with Down’s syndrome and launched this in a campaign with British model Ellie Goldstein. Can you tell us more about this?

The Barbie brand is always looking to how we can enable even more people to see themselves in the doll, and Barbie has brought this new doll to life in close partnership with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) in the USA. As the first-ever Barbie doll with Down’s syndrome, it was important that the doll not only accurately represented a person with Down’s syndrome but celebrated the Down’s syndrome community – through the Barbie’s clothing, accessories and packaging.

Consultation with the NDSS and medical professionals informed the design process, introducing a new face and body sculpt to be more illustrative of women with Down’s syndrome, including a shorter frame and a longer torso. The new face sculpt features a rounder shape, smaller ears, and a flat nasal bridge, while the eyes are

almond shaped. The doll’s palms even include a single line, a characteristic often associated with those with Down’s syndrome.

Guided by the NDSS, the doll’s pink pendant necklace with 3 upward chevrons represents the three copies of the 21st chromosome, which is the genetic material that causes the characteristics associated with the condition. The chevrons, or arrows, are synonymous with “The Lucky Few,” meant to represent the lucky few who have someone with Down’s syndrome in their lives.

What’s next for Barbie?

With the movie being a significant moment for Barbie in 2023, we have another landmark year in 2024 with Barbie’s 65th anniversary and a full year of activities planned.

“...are the same themes that are in the many different doll lines – empowerment, feminism, representation – present in the movie as well?”

“You will have to watch and find out! The movie is very much in-line with the brand purpose, let’s say that!”




As a licensing and merchandising expert, I have seen the evolution of this industry in India over the years. The licensing and merchandising industry has grown rapidly in India and has become a significant contributor to the country’s economy. However, the industry is also going through a phase of transformation due to various factors. In this article, I will discuss the current state of licensing and merchandising in India, factors driving the change, trends and predictions for 2023, opportunities, and challenges, strategies for success, case studies of successful licensing and merchandising in India, key players, future outlook, and the impact of technology and e-commerce.

Current State of Licensing and Merchandising in India

The licensing and merchandising industry in India has grown significantly over the past few years. The industry has been driven by the entertainment and sports sectors, with Bollywood, cricket, and other sports leagues being the major drivers. The licensing and merchandising industry in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.4% between 2020 and 2025, reaching a market value of $1.5 billion by 2025 and it is projected to reach $2.8 billion by 2025. The growth is driven by factors such as increasing disposable income, the rise of the middle class, and the popularity of licensed products. In India, licensing and merchandising are prevalent across various industries, including entertainment, sports, fash-

ion, and corporate branding. The most popular licensed products in India are apparel, toys, and accessories. The licensing industry in India is dominated by international brands, and there is a growing demand for Indian brands.The licensing and merchandising industry in India has also seen the entry of international players. Brands like Warner Bros, Disney, and Marvel have entered the Indian market and are partnering with local licensees to create merchandise for the Indian market. The Indian licensing and merchandising industry has also seen the emergence of local players, who have been successful in creating merchandise for Indian IPs.

Factors Driving the Change in the Licensing and Merchandising Industry

Several factors are driving the change in the licensing and merchandising industry in India. One of the significant

factors is the rise of e-commerce. Ecommerce has made it easier for consumers to access licensed products, and it has opened up new distribution channels for licensors and licensees. The growth of e-commerce has also led to the emergence of new players in the licensing and merchandising industry. Another factor driving the change is the increasing demand for local content and local brands. Indian consumers are becoming more aware of their culture and heritage, and they prefer products that reflect their identity. This has led to the growth of licensed products based on local movies, television shows, and celebrities.The growth of the licensing and merchandising industry is also driven by the increasing popularity of sports in India.The Indian Premier League (IPL) has become one of the most popular sports leagues in the world, and it has created a massive market for licensed products.


Trends and Predictions for Licensing and Merchandising in India in 2023

In 2023, the licensing and merchandising industry in India is expected to continue growing at a steady pace.The industry is projected to be worth $3.7 billion by 2023.

Rise of e-commerce

India is experiencing a boom in ecommerce, driven by increasing smartphone penetration and the growth of digital payments. This has created a major opportunity for businesses looking to sell licensed products online, as consumers increasingly turn to e-commerce platforms to purchase everything from clothing to home goods. This has led to a surge in online marketplaces, such as Amazon and Flipkart, which offer businesses a platform to sell their licensed products.

Growing demand for sustainable products

As Indian consumers become more conscious of their impact on the environment, there is a growing demand for sustainable and ethical products. This presents a major opportunity for businesses looking to differentiate themselves in the market by offering products that are eco-friendly, socially responsible, and ethical. Businesses that are able to meet this demand are likely to see increased success in the Indian market.

Popularity of local brands

While international brands are increasingly popular in India, there is also a strong preference for local

brands that reflect Indian culture and tradition. This presents a major opportunity for businesses looking to tap into the Indian market by creating products that are inspired by Indian culture and traditions. This can include everything from clothing and accessories to food and beverages.

Emerging Consumer Trends in India.

In addition to the trends shaping the licensing and merchandising market, there are also a number of emerging consumer trends that businesses need to be aware of as they seek to succeed in the Indian market. Some of the key trends to watch include:

Increased Spending Power. As the Indian economy continues to grow, consumers are experiencing increased spending power. This has led to a rise in discretionary spending, particularly among the middle class. Businesses that are able to tap into this increased spending power are likely to see success in the Indian market.

Growing Interest in Health and Wellness. As Indian consumers become more health-conscious, there is a growing interest in health and wellness products.This includes everything from organic food and supplements to fitness equipment and apparel. Businesses that are able to cater to this growing interest in health and wellness are likely to see increased success in the Indian market.

Demand for Authenticity. Finally, Indian consumers are increasingly looking for authenticity in the prod-

ucts they buy. This means that businesses that are able to create products that are authentic and genuine, rather than just copying trends from other markets, are likely to be successful.

Increasing preference for experiential purchases. As Indian consumers become more affluent, there is a growing preference for experiential purchases that offer a unique and memorable experience. This presents a major opportunity for businesses looking to create licensed products that offer a unique and memorable experience for consumers.

Growing demand for personalization. Indian consumers value products that are tailored to their individual tastes and preferences, and there is a growing demand for personalized products and experiences. This presents a major opportunity for businesses looking to differentiate themselves in the market by offering personalized licensed products. Preference for premium products As the Indian middle class continues to grow, there is a growing preference for premium products that offer high quality and exclusivity. This presents a major opportunity for businesses looking to tap into the Indian market by creating licensed products that are premium and exclusive.

Strategies for Success in the Changing Licensing and Merchandising Landscape

To succeed in the changing licensing and merchandising landscape, brands and licensees need to be innovative and agile. Brands need to focus on localization and create merchandise


Resources for Licensing and Merchandising in India.

For businesses looking to expand into the Indian market, there are a range of resources available to help navigate the complex landscape of licensing and merchandising. Some of the key resources to consider include:

Licensing Corner

India’s only magazine on Licensing & Merchandising businesses to navigate the Indian market and provides a range of resources and support.

Licensing International India

Licensing International India is a trade organization that represents the licensing industry in India, and provides a range of resources and networking opportunities for businesses.

The India Brand Licensing Show (TIBLS)

The India Brand Licensing Show is an annual event that brings together key players in the Indian licensing and merchandising market, and provides a platform for businesses to showcase their products and services.

that resonates with the Indian audience. Technology can be used to create more engaging and interactive licensed products. Augmented reality and virtual reality can be used to create immersive experiences for consumers. Licensees need to be innovative and create merchandise that stands out in a crowded market. Another strategy for success in the changing licensing and merchandising landscape is to leverage technology. Brands and licensees need to embrace technology and create a seamless online shopping experience for consumers. They also need to leverage social media to create a buzz around their merchandise. Collaboration is also critical for success in the licensing and merchandising industry. Collaborating with local partners can help licensors and licensees understand the local market and consumer preferences better. Collaboration also allows for the creation of unique and innovative licensed products that appeal to consumers.

Bheem has also collaborated with local partners to create unique and innovative licensed products.

Key Players in the Indian Licensing and Merchandising Industry

To succeed in the Indian market for licensing and merchandising, businesses need to adopt a range of strategies that are tailored to the unique characteristics of the market. Some of the key strategies to consider include:

Partnering with a local company. Partnering with a local company can be a highly effective way to navigate the complex regulatory landscape and gain access to local knowledge and distribution networks.

Case Studies of Successful Licensing and Merchandising in India

One of the most successful licensing and merchandising programs in India is the IPL. The IPL has created a massive fan base in India, and the league has been successful in creating merchandise that resonates with the Indian audience. The IPL has partnered with licensees to create merchandise that is innovative and stands out in a crowded market. Another successful licensing and merchandising program in India is the Baahubali franchise. The Baahubali franchise has been successful in creating merchandise that is unique and resonates with the Indian audience. The franchise has also been successful in creating experiential licensing, with the creation of the Baahubali VR experience. Another successful brand is Chhota Bheem, a popular Indian animated television series. Chhota Bheem has created a vast market for licensed products, including apparel, toys, and accessories. Chhota

The licensing and merchandising industry in India is dominated by international brands. The key players in the industry include Disney, Warner Bros, Marvel, and Nickelodeon. There are also several Indian brands that are emerging in the industry, including Chhota Bheem, Baahubali, and Krrish. These brands have entered the Indian market and are partnering with local licensees to create merchandise for the Indian market. The industry has also seen the emergence of local players, who have been successful in creating merchandise for Indian IPs Green Gold Animation, and Viacom18 Consumer Products, Cosmos Maya etc. Some of the key players in the Indian licensing and merchandising industry include agencies and consultants like Rooh Licensing, Licensing Corner, Licensing Works, Dream Theatre, Black White Orange and many more.

Future Outlook for the Licensing and Merchandising Industry in India.

The licensing and merchandising industry in India is expected to continue growing in the coming years. The industry is projected to be worth $5.7 billion by 2028. The growth is driven by increasing consumer awareness and demand for licensed products, the rise of e-commerce, and the increasing popularity of sports in India.

Strategies for Successfully Navigating the Indian Licensing and Merchandising Market.

Investing in research and development. Investing in research and development can help businesses to better understand the unique tastes and preferences of Indian consumers, and create products that are tailored to their needs.

Differentiating through quality and exclusivity. In a highly competitive market, businesses need to differentiate themselves by offering high quality and exclusive products that stand out from the competition.

Be Flexible. Finally, businesses need to be flexible when entering the Indian market. This means being willing to adapt their products and strategies to meet the unique needs of the Indian market.


The licensing and merchandising industry in India is poised for significant growth in the coming years. The industry presents numerous opportunities for licensors and licensees, but it also presents several challenges. Licensors and licensees need to focus on building strong relationships with consumers, collaborating with local partners, and leveraging technology to succeed in the changing landscape of licensing and merchandising in India. The future outlook for the licensing and merchandising industry in India is positive, and the industry is expected to continue its growth trajectory in the coming years.

Why video games have become an essential part of Games Workshop’s licensing strategy for Warhammer, says Layer CEO Rachit Moti

Games Workshop has been licensing the Warhammer IP and other Games Workshop IPs to video game developers since 1983. This has served it well – in 2021 alone, the miniature toymaker made over $25 million from its video games, leading to Games Workshop setting up a separate division for gaming. The value the company sees in building the Warhammer brand beyond tabletop and into virtual worlds is plain to see.

What’s interesting though, is just how much of this value has been capitalised on in recent years. Its licensing strategy shows no signs of slowing down, with more than 10 video games currently in development as of August 2022. Moreover, despite its 40-year history of out-sourcing its IP in this way, more than a fifth of the 100-plus Warhammer video games have been released in the last three years. That’s over 20 games in 36 months.

It’s astonishingly rare for any publisher to release so many IP spin-offs in such a short period of time. So what prompted this change of pace? And how has Games Workshop managed to build such a dynamic and highly profitable licensing strategy around video games after so many years?

The Warhammer brand is a natural fit for a diverse range of game genres Warhammer is split into multiple subbrands, including Age of Sigmar, Horus Heresy and the futuristic Warhammer 40K, each comprising individual factions with extensive lore. This effectively makes for endless opportunities that game developers can experiment with to build their own unique titles.

As a miniature wargame, it’s unsurprising that some of its most successful games are in the real-time strategy genre. Relic Entertainment’s Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War, for example, was so successful it sold over four million copies and spawned numerous sequels and expansions. But the series also hit a high with the 2011 release of Warhammer 40K: Space Marine, a third-person hack-and-slash-shooter hybrid which went on to ship over 1.2m units. Since then, there’s been a

focus on creating Warhammer games that deliver explosive action. The success of these titles has demonstrated the versatility of the Warhammer IP as being adaptable across so many game genres.

Why Games Workshop’s gaming strategy is finally booming after 40 years

One could state that maybe you really never can have too many video games based on a single IP if it has the necessary depth to sustain multiple genres, storylines and concepts simultaneously. However, there are also numerous other factors contributing to the booming sales of Games Workshop’s Warhammer games. These include the growing popularity of games based on well-known IP, with the latest success being the release of Hogwarts: Legacy, which amassed over 12 million sales within the first two weeks to earn over $850M. Similarly, Newzoo’s report on IP-based mobile games found that the vast majority of games hitting top-grossing positions are based on existing franchises. These together almost make the acceleration of GW’s licensing strategy a no-brainer. And let’s not forget the overwhelming popularity of Games Workshop itself. Sales of the miniature wargame skyrocketed during the pandemic as tabletop fans got more invested in the hobby, but while sales continue to soar, profits have fallen. A multimedia Warhammer strategy may be its solution to fill the gaps, especially given the revenue it has secured so far. That strategy also seems to go beyond just games, with an Amazon TV series also in development with Warhammer superfan Henry Cavill.

The future of Warhammer and video games

There’s no denying that video games are (and will likely continue to be) a huge source of revenue for Games Workshop and Warhammer. The 2021 financial year alone saw six new Warhammer games contributing to an increase in the company’s overall licensing revenue from £11.7 million in 2020/2021 to £28 million in 2021/2022, this seems to be the case

for Games Workshop and its IP. The question is, what should be their next move?

The best-selling Warhammer games have traditionally been those which have been able to blend the tabletop elements into the real-time strategy genre.

And that’s just mentioning a handful of games; we’ve not covered the RPGnature of Warhammer: Chaos Bane, the collectable card-based gameplay of Age of Sigmar: Champions or even the football-fantasy-inspired Blood Bowl. We can only surmise that with such a layered IP and varied output, Games Workshop are experimenting across the board to see which genres resonate with fans the most, as well as which game studios make for the best licensing partners. For now, that approach seems to be working well, although they eventually may have to be more selective in their licensing approach if they intend to eventually double down within a particular genre and go all-in with the hopes of delivering a breakout hit.

Key Takeaways

License holders with the rights to such a varied IP should keep a few key things in mind before moving forward with any prospective video game developer or publisher:

• Has the game studio in question demonstrated that they have a genuine passion for my IP and have the necessary knowledge to accurately portray this in their game?

• Am I ready to move forward with an IP-based game? If you’re new to brandbased collaborations, it may be better to start with LiveOps opportunities while you find your feet.

• Is the prospective genre the right fit for my IP? Your brand will likely work best when featured in video games that share a similar audience to your core demographic.

• What timeline did you have in mind? If the developer in question focuses on PC and console, this could take a long time to come to fruition, whereas a mobile title can be turned around much faster.

“License holders with the rights to varied IP should keep a few key things in mind before moving forward with any prospective video game developer or publisher.”

Licensed to Play: Toy Fair 2023 Showcases the Power of Licensing

The dynamic collaboration between toys and licensing has given rise to timeless and beloved products that have captured the hearts and imaginations of generations of consumers.This winning combination has proven to be a recipe for success, producing billions of dollars in revenue (representing 30 percent of total global toy sales in 2022, according to Circana). Beyond the nostalgia and entertainment factor, the toy and licensing industries share a common goal of creating consumercentric products that resonate with audiences, making it a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Recognizing the immense value of licensing in the toy industry, The Toy Association’s Toy Fair® is set to showcase this powerful synergy from September 30 to October 3 at the Javits Center in New York City. Drawing in tens of thousands of industry professionals from across the globe, including buyers, manufacturers, distributors, and media representatives, the event serves as a hub for networking, forging partnerships, and keeping a finger on the pulse of industry trends.

“Toy Fair is where the vibrant play ecosystem thrives, fostering relationship-building, idea exchange, and deal-making,” said Kimberly Carcone, executive vice president of global market events at The Toy Association.

“The global event provides a platform for the licensing and entertainment communities to unveil their latest properties to potential partners and gain valuable insights into the current trends shaping the toy industry. For toy companies, it presents an opportunity to delve into untapped licensing prospects and cultivate strong partnerships with licensors, paving the way for long-term collaborations and sus-

tainable revenue streams.”

Toy Fair University: Staying Ahead of the Game

This year’s Toy Fair is set to offer the most comprehensive lineup of educational programming in its history, with Toy Fair University taking center stage. Throughout all four days of the show, attendees will have access to a wide range of seminars and workshops covering various topics, including a track dedicated to licensing and intellectual property protection. These sessions, led by industry experts, will provide valuable insights into the latest business acumen and best practices, equipping participants with the tools and strategies needed to gain a competitive edge.

The educational sessions also cater to the evolving needs of the industry, addressing key topics such as social media marketing; diversity, equity, and inclusion; updates on safety and compliance issues; effective retail strategies; and more. The Toy Association’s trends team will also present a Q4 toy trends briefing at the show, providing insight into new and developing trends in the licensing and entertain-


Toy Fair will take place September 30 to October 3 in New York City. Attendee registration is now open. Visit ToyFairNY. com to learn more.

ment space, among other toy and play trends to watch for 2024.

By curating a diverse curriculum, Toy Fair aims to meet the pressing needs of industry professionals, enabling them to adapt to the complex and crowded marketplace. Attendees will have the flexibility to build a personalized schedule that aligns with their specific goals, providing them with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in today’s dynamic industry landscape.

Licensing Shines at the TOTY Awards

The Toy Foundation’s 24th edition of the Toy of the Year (TOTY®) Awards will kick off Toy Fair on September 29 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. In addition to unveiling the hottest license of the year alongside winners across 16 additional toy and game categories, the event will feature six new people- and campaign-based

tertainment brand’s style guide, these new categories provide specific avenues to honor and highlight the contributions of individuals and initiatives that drive success and innovation in the toy industry.

Toy and entertainment companies can

award categories for the first time. The new categories are: Marketing Campaign of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign of the Year, Champion of Sustainability, Champion of Diversity & Inclusion, Package Designer of the Year, and PR/ Marketer of the Year.

From creating compelling marketing campaigns that leverage popular licensed properties to achieving impeccable package design using an en-

submit their nominations for all TOTY categories starting May 30 though July 7. Find more information at

Stop by new Neighborhoods Renowned for offering attendees an inside look at must-have products, this year’s Toy Fair will go above and beyond to showcase the hottest, trending toys and games in the toy industry by introducing several “neighborhoods” at prime locations within

the Javits Center.

Strategically positioned in high-traffic locations like the Crystal Palace and registration lobby, these areas ensure that industry buyers and decisionmakers will encounter attractive displays while on the lookout for the next big hit. In addition to the traditional show floor, these neighborhoods will feature licensed products inspired by beloved movies, TV shows, and popular toy brands, creating an unrivaled experience for all attendees, including:

• Halloween BOOlevard & Pavilion (spotlighting products and experiences unique to the Halloween season and helping attendees plan for 2024);

• Pet PLAYce (dedicated to pet products, including toys and accessories); and

• Hot for Holiday Showcase (featuring the most sought-after toys and games of this year’s holiday season).

“The convergence of all of these new components to the show brings a fresh perspective to Toy Fair, enabling attendees to witness the fusion of popular media properties with captivating and inventive product,” Carcone continued.

“This holds tremendous significance for both the toy and licensing industries, as it fosters an environment conducive to forging new partnerships and collaborations, igniting innovation, and propelling growth within the licensing and entertainment sectors. And, rest assured, there are even more exciting announcements on the horizon, so stay tuned for what’s to come!”


Exclusive: Turtle Power

Venetia Davie, Vice President, Consumer Products, UK & Ireland at Paramount talks about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as you’ve never seen them before

Ahead of the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem in August, can you tell us why now is a good time to be bringing the Turtles to a fresh audience?

It’s hard to believe but 2024 marks the 40th anniversary since the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) first appeared in comic books; each generation develops a lasting, nostalgic affinity for the style of Turtles that they grew up with and this year we couldn’t be more excited to bring the newest iteration to today’s audience. In addition to the mass appeal of TMNT, fans who grew up with the brand now have children in the sweet spot for new TMNT content which creates engaging multigenerational co-viewing opportunities for parents and their children.

Can you outline some history to the TMNT, including some of the biggest licensing deals in the past?

There’s always been huge demand for TMNT products across all categories from comic strips to toys and video games to apparel. Playmates have been our toy partner from the very start, having gone through every iteration they are true TMNT fans and continue to deliver iconic action figures that we know are going to be a sell out. But one of my favourite partnerships has to be Supreme – super disruptive and super cool.

What about key demographics – what are the age ranges you look to appeal to?

With such a long history and heritage, we have two core audiences –kids

aged between 6-11 and adult fans. We’ve been seeding and servicing the adult fan audience over the last 2 years in many ways, including a global collaboration dropped with Supreme, the launch of key classic video games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, to building out high-end collector figurines and Funko Pops. The latter end of 2023 sees a pushback into our kids business, whilst also continuing to serve and broaden the adult market.

Tell us about the new movie CP program – what product categories will you be looking at?

Toys underpin everything we do and the global toy line developed by Playmates and distributed by Character Options in the UK delivers innovation, depth of play and amazing packaging design that will pop in the toy aisle.We launch with toys, gaming and strong apparel collections and we’re rapidly expanding into all other categories for Spring 2024.

Is there a strong nostalgic feel for TMNT?

There’s definitely strong nostalgia for the brand – the number of retro and fan collector ranges we have in market is a testament to that. The first look trailer had well over 200M views in a week and the fan excitement is palpable.

And lastly, how are you bringing the brand ‘up to date’ while retaining your

core fan base?

Great question. The essence of the brand – the characters and the humour all remain true to the original Turtles but how we are building the TMNT franchise has certainly changed. We are relaunching the brand into a fragmented media landscape. We all know today’s kids find and consume content in multiple ways which is why you will find the brand on YouTube, free TV, paid TV and streaming platforms. We will be on the big screen with the movie release and we’re also excited about gaming – whether that’s console gaming or immersed in virtual worlds like Roblox. The core essence of the brand remains the same but how we are engaging and building heart-share with our key audience has certainly been adapted to the needs of today’s consumers.


Keeping Connected for over 20 Years

License Connection has evolved into a dedicated licensing agency in Benelux with strong retail relationships and is very well-known and respected in the industry.

Going back 20 years, the chosen company name, License Connection is still relevant.

CONNECT is not only part of the name of License Connection, but in its DNA and therefore part of the success of the company.

Covering the 360 approach that brands need more and more today, there are various points of contact such as PR, Marketing, Socials, Licensees, Licensors and Retailers - all who ned to be CONNECTED and collaborate together to create a successful brand.

“We love to make combinations that are unexpected but remain very valuable”, says Daphne Kellerman, owner of License Connection. “To link partners to each other where possible and everybody benefits from. Figures show that the licensed segment is growing strongly over the last years in the BNL region. And we are proud to contribute to that growth.”

Looking forward to celebrating our 25th anniversary!

Allie the Ellie

Entertain and educate through fun, sweet and appealing content. Embrace differences and celebrate superfriendships; just because someone is

has a catchy and fun final song that repeats what the story was about.

Allie the Ellie is a cheerful animal character of a female elephant. The signature gumdrop shape, tilting trunk, her beady eyes and three hairsprings give her a funny and sweet appearance

different doesn’t mean they don’t belong. Simplified for the youngest viewer, without too many elements (less is more). Sweet storytelling, cheerful music to sing along with.

Allie the Ellie brings sweet episodes for preschoolers. Children can learn how wonderful the world of Allie the Ellie is; Allie encounters a problem where one of the friends is unable to participate due to his character trait. Allie the Ellie always thinks of a way to include this friend ánd get everyone involved. We learn that everyone has a different way to bloom. Each episode

and makes her instantly recognizable. What makes Allie the Ellie sweet, is her personality. She has interest that sets her apart; in each episode, Allie encounters a problem where one friend can’t join the rest. Allie always has a suitable solution for that! Allie the Ellie wants to make sure everyone feels included! Currently the 2D animated series (20x3’) is shown daily on the Dutch Public Broadcaster (NPO Zappelin). The book series that Allie the Ellie has in collaboration with master publisher Kluitman is a success in the Netherlands.

Art Wise has produced a new series TV format (13x6 min). These new episodes have a recurring theme - in every episode she includes other characters -, have a voice-over ánd original music and songs composed by Pheadra Kwant. Phaedra Kwant is a genuine musical chameleon, she works in the highest regions of the Dutch jazz, pop and theatre scenes, enjoying the diversity of playing all kinds of music. All the original songs will be published in various languages at streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music with the Music Label Rose Mile Records. The new app for babies and toddlers of Allie the Ellie went live in May 2023. There have been over 121m views of Allie the Ellie stickers through social media via Giphy. Just recently License Connection signed a L&M deal for greeting cards and stationary products with Bekking & Blitz.

License Connection represents the brand as Master Agent and is looking for Licensing Agents worldwide.

Similarly to Total Licensing’s 20th anniversary, License Connection celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.

Fandom is a funny thing. Not so long ago a mere mention of the word conjured images of boxed collections of 40 year old Star Wars action figures displayed in man caves and unseen by any but the most interested and knowledgeable.

Fast forward to today and Fandom has evolved significantly. In fact as our Global Family Study revealed, the very nature of it has changed. In this survey, 65% of children across the globe considered themselves a strong fan of something or someone, making fandom no longer a niche thing for kidults and collectors. Fandom has gone mainstream and it is manifesting in ways well beyond the playing of a game or watching a TV show.

Children today express fandoms in many different ways - it’s not just the pencil case and T-Shirt anymore. As media has evolved it has become an infinitely more important thing to express and define yourself by your fandom. Children share more than they ever have - yes, that’s often via the dubious double edged sword of social media, but it is also a fact. Young fans acquire branded products more readily than ever before, they actively seek as many touchpoints as possible and of course, they need to know every little detail of a particularly popular franchise, making them just a little bit cooler in the playground. In many ways it was always like this, but now the volume seems to have been turned up to eleven. And the market has responded. There is so much noise now, that it’s more difficult than ever to achieve cut through.

Ask any marketing or sales person and they will admit, albeit in private, that it’s getting harder to acquire and retain fans. And nowhere is this more true than with children and young people. The virtually limitless access and increasingly low barriers to entry when it comes to entertainment, social media, and information sharing, simply means there is more to choose


from, more readily than ever before.

The Global Family uses an average of six types of devices & accesses content across five different platforms.And that means that audience fragmentation is partly the cause for the rising difficulty in onboarding the legions of fans brands enjoyed just a few years ago. As has ever been the case, great content is key. But this ubiquity of availability means that the content world has gone into hyperdrive, forcing a race to the bottom as eyeballs trump hearts and minds.

There has been a marked rise in children who engage with quantitybased platforms that have a UX designed to move through different types of content and brands at lightning speed in the pursuit of views, likes and shares. The data is telling us that this is happening with children as young as five, and right now it shows no sign of abating.This dopamine-laden content tsunami is driving continuous partial attention and that means that the memories needed to connect with character, narrative and brand values are severely restricted.

Brands that cut through to build fandoms understand the consumer ecosystem, they know people want ‘the same but different’ and offer diversified experiences to deliver on this need. Fortnite and Roblox regularly turn themselves into digital real-time experiences that children can enjoy alongside friends and millions of other concurrent players.

This experience of a platform or brand in a new but comprehensible context engages the brain and enables new connections to be made. And, if they’re good enough, these new connections make that all important memory that enables recall and perhaps, if you’re very lucky, request one of your shiny new products.

But as the task gets ever harder, how do those outlier IPs, the ones that are

“Brands that cut through to build fandoms understand the consumer ecosystem, they know people want ‘the same but different’ and offer diversified experiences to deliver on this need.”

creator born with love and care’ but without the support of a multinational entertainment corporation, build their fanbase?

It is perhaps almost impossible. This worries me deeply. In the new age of fandom there is a risk of increasing the homogeneity that is all too often obvious in our industry and that isn’t good for anyone.

Ideas are the currency of licensing and if we don’t nurture new ideas we’ll never really break through and give the fans what they really, really want.

In the latest of his regular columns for Total Licensing, Gary Pope, CEO and Co-Founder of Kids Industries and Children’s Commissioner for Products of Change talks about the world of Fandom.


Good Things Come in Fourths

We’re in the fourth industrial revolution, and that’s an incredibly exciting place to be. Not least, because we get to set the tone, the standards, and the landscape for what business can look like and how it can operate for the benefit of everyone: people, planet, and profit.

“We’re in the fourth industrial revolution, and that’s an incredibly exciting place to be.”

It seems highly unlikely that something quite so profound could emanate from Las Vegas, but as the licensing industry straps itself in for another rollercoaster of Licensing Expo emotions, it is exactly here where that conversation can begin.

“ three of Las Vegas Licensing Expo will be a dedicated Day of Purpose.”

It’s not often we get this opportunity. But around us, industry is moving and evolving as fast as AI is learning. Industry 4.0 is the next phase in the digitisation of the manufacturing sector, driven by the rise of data and connectivity, analytics, human-machine interaction, and improvements in robotics. But what has all that got to do with licensing? Moreover, what’s that got to do with sustainability? Aren’t we supposed to be planting a tree, not agonising over ChatGPT gaining consciousness? Well, yes. And no. This new industrial revolution isn’t something simply happening to us – we are living in it. We, in this moment now, get to choose what the future of business looks like, what we can do with data, how we can record impact, and how we can deploy technology – or perhaps more importantly, how we don’t – to set the scene for a wildly exciting and sustainable industry of tomorrow. Alright, less of the TED Talk, more about Vegas? It comes as no surprise – when you dive into the fantastically thorough ESG strategy in place at Informa and therefore Informa Markets

This year’s Licensing Expo sets the scene wonderfully to host some bold new conversations and advance some pioneering new steps into the fourth industrial revolution. Rob Hutchins, Editor and Community Manager at Products of Change explores what’s on the table – and off it – in Las Vegas this year. And there, in amongst it all, will be Products of Change – doing what we do to bring industry together to figure out the pathway towards that better and prosperous future for all. Like previous years, we will use our space to showcase the pioneering brands and manufacturers who really are moving the needle when it comes to producing things differently with a greater awareness of and action towards reducing their environmental impact – whether that’s by using more recycled content, being more efficient with their resources such as energy and materials, removing single-use plastic, or using their brand and position to give back to the planet and communities in some way.

– that day three of Las Vegas Licensing Expo will be a dedicated Day of Purpose.

As such Sustainable Development – of which climate action and environmentalism is but a slice of the 17-portion pie (there are 17 Sustainable Development Goals) – will be a theme running across the Vegas trade show this year.

As before again, we will be utilising our space to bring conversations around those next steps of sustainable development to the surface, enabling brands, manufacturers, licensees, and anyone else in the industry the space to explore the topic and tap into the educational resources and community that Products of Change provides. Unlike anything else we have ever done in a trade show situation before, this year we will also be hosting a schedule of roundtable discussions to bring the industry together around common areas and thrash out our goals and ambitions as we look to transition across each of them towards better business. These roundtables will mirror the various work streams we have underway across the Products of Change community, including a Sports Licensing discussion, showcasing the latest innovations and collaborations across the continents, a Carbon Roundtable, a Products of Change Member Meet, and on the dedicated Day of Purpose, a special Transparency Roundtable in which we will begin to carve out the most efficient system of delivering transparency across supply chains in preparation for the introduction of the Digital Product Passport. Not only that, but Licensing Expo will also become the official launch pad of

the long-awaited Industry Framework, a cross-sector collaborative effort now two years in the making to deliver a framework and set of guidelines the licensing industry can use – from manufacturers to brand owners – to set out upon their transition towards reducing impact. It is with this Framework that we – the Products of Change community – hopes to help businesses across this vastly creative sector set the course and destination point for the future of business they want to see, one where profit doesn’t come to the detriment of but in harmony with people and the planet. So, to say this is an exciting juncture on the story of the global licensing industry is a bit of an understatement. We are well and truly in the thick of it now, where sustainability no longer sits in a cordoned-off section but is becoming ever more interwoven with the day-to-day running of the fantastic brands and businesses we work in and alongside.

If you want to become a part of the conversation and join the Products of Change community, drop us a line at or and discover what your next steps with sustainable development could look like.

“More than a brand, Afro Unicorn is a movement.”

Total Licensing sat down with April Showers - entrepreneur, innovator, and creator of Afro Unicorn®, a fully licensed character amplifying representation for women and children of color to celebrate how magical, unique, and divine they truly are.

When April realized that her favorite emoji—the unicorn!—was only available in white, she was inspired to create a more inclusive, conscious brand. Shattering the glass ceiling, trailblazer

Ms. Showers is the first Black woman to own a fully licensed character brand with a presence in seven major retailers across the United States and Canada with 25 categories, from apparel and accessories to toys, puzzles, books, bedding, backpacks, collectibles, and an original Afro Unicorn Holiday EP.

Children will soon be able to live and play in a world of Afro Unicorn. A new line of six original Afro Unicorn® books under the Random House Books for Young Readers imprint will be released widely in Fall 2023, featuring three Afro Unicorn characters by name across all Afro Unicorn® products.

April is a prolific public speaker, and ABC News Good Morning America

3: What You Need To Know and CBS Mornings created segments on Afro Unicorn®. Oprah Daily, Viola Davis, Sherri Shepherd, Alicia Keys, and Tina Knowles are all early believers. Ms.

Showers hopes her success is the “blueprint” to empower and inspire fellow entrepreneurs to enter the licensing space with 45 + licensee partners worldwide.

Let’s find out some more...

Can you give our readers a little history of Afro Unicorn – your background and how the brand came about?

Afro Unicorn® is a conscious brand that has upheld its intentional mission to uplift and impact women and children of color. The brand represents the beauty and uniqueness of vanilla, caramel, and mocha complexions.

The name Afro Unicorn signifies two ideas. The first is to empower and elevate emerging entrepreneurs. The second is an homage to Africa and a promise to amplify representation through my fully-licensed character brand.

Building the brand from the ground up, Afro Unicorn started in the e-commerce industry in 2019. Back then, it was an organic, grassroots brand, and I was pressing shirts and selling them through my eCommerce store, adding logos to T-shirts and bags at my customers’ request.

Afro Unicorn burst onto the scene as a brand in August 2021 after a video of a little girl wearing an Afro Unicorn shirt went viral. Then, I received

an email from Walmart with the subject title “Afro Unicorn x Walmart” collaboration, marking my start with Walmart as one of the first Black Women to enter the party supplies/ celebration category, with Afro Unicorn gaining prime shelf placement next to Marvel characters and Disney princesses.

Our goal has always been to become a household name. Askia Fountain, my extraordinary brand manager is a creative genius, and he asked me to create unicorn characters named Unique, Divine, and Magical and define their characteristics. I am delighted that these distinct characters are debuting in my new line of original Afro Unicorn® books under the Random House Books for Young Readers imprint. They will be released widely in Fall 2023, featuring three Afro Unicorn characters by name across all Afro Unicorn® products.

You identified a gap in the market for representation and inclusion for women and children of colour – would you share some personal anecdotes on how you identified this?

I was a tomboy who loved video games and basketball. My favorite toy was She-Ra, Princess of Power. She-Ra represented empowerment and was a badass! While she did not look like me, she reflected exactly who I was on the inside. My parents were conscientious of that. They bought dolls that looked like me growing up.

Kids need to see themselves in the clothes they wear and the toys they play with.

I see the tide shifting and a positive trend for bigger toy companies to become more inclusive. George Floyd’s death became a catalyst for change, and the world came together to demand it.

Multicultural toys are essential for kids to incorporate into playtime because they learn how to interact with people


who look like them. How do you fit in this world if you only have Barbie and Ken dolls? We emulate adults as children; we are products of our environment. It is imperative to value yourself as being beautiful from an early age. It is critical to play with dolls that have coarse hair. We must teach children to love themselves through authentic representation in everything we do. Today, Afro Unicorn sits on the shelves next to Disney Princesses and Marvel characters; these brands all have toys. Our mission is to create a line of Afro Unicorn toys that children play with. Kids love to see themselves represented in our party and apparel lines. And tell us, why a unicorn!

I was repeatedly referred to as a unicorn by a friend because I was doing it all at an extraordinary level—running my businesses, taking care of my boys, and enjoying a bustling social life. I researched these magical creatures to learn more and found that unicorns were white. Unicorns are magical, mythical, unique, and a good representation of myself, so I set out to find a unicorn emoji that represented me better. When I couldn’t find one, she hired an illustrator, who also happens to be my cousin, to create it myself. That image would eventually become a fully licensed character and a visual representation of my empowerment brand.

Since its creation, the brand has exploded in popularity and as well as now being cross-category and in multiple retail outlets. How do you maintain the inclusive nature of the brand?

More than a brand, Afro Unicorn is a movement. It’s the change I want to see. I am proud to say that 2023 is my Jordan Year. The brand is skyrocketing with 25+ categories in seven major retail stores, from apparel and accessories to toys, puzzles, books, bedding, bandages, backpacks, collectibles, swimwear, and more. Children will soon be able to live and play in a world of Afro Unicorn with music, plushies, games, puzzles, books, playsets, rideons, outdoor play, and live animation in the works.

My vision for Afronia is an empower-

ing and impactful physical space for authentic representation. Children can live and play in the world of Afro Unicorn, where they can be their authentic selves and get over that European standard of beauty. I envision a place where you can spend time together as a family in a fun, supervised place to play, create, or relax. Kids can be their authentic selves, bringing self-esteem and motivating them in a positive light. Creating an Afronia playspace will embrace who they are – unique, divine, and magical.

Have you seen a skyrocketing of social and viral appreciation as well?

Afro Unicorn is a social media family! We have seen an overwhelming outpouring of excitement for the brand in general. The industry is thrilled that this is an organic, grassroots brand. We are honored to have kid influencers who serve as our brand ambassadors. It’s a movement, and we are creating new authentic retail opportunities right before their eyes.

Daily shared it, which is ultimately how Walmart saw it. Our community showed up in the comments. What about international plans – which markets are next to explore?

Afro Unicorn entered the Canadian market in February 2023, and we now have 3-piece travel luggage sets in Walmart stores throughout the country. The adorable, one-of-a-kind kids’

Afro Unicorn started with us highlighting our customers. All posts have been organic. Influencers and celebrities have all promoted Afro Unicorn because of its authenticity.

We saw tremendous growth on social media because our focus was to shine the light on our followers. From the very beginning, we have featured customers on our page, supporting sales, and catching the eyes of Tiffany Haddish and Alicia Keys early on. Our platforms speak directly to the underrepresented black woman and child, giving them a sense of empowerment.

As a personal anecdote, when an old video of incredible kid influencer Cassidy Brianna resurfaced and was shared by Viola Davis without a mention or tag, our Afro Unicorn community got us noticed. I strategically pushed this post to other influencers whom I knew would get eyes on it, like Beyonce’s mom which is how Oprah

carry-on comes in pink and purple. This month, we will also be debuting in the toddlers and girls apparel category. Next, we are looking to expand the brand into the European market. We are also exploring location-based possibilities in the coming years.

Afro Unicorn will continue to expand its presence until it becomes a household name.



The Essential Guide for Intellectual Properties

Compensation Provisions in License Agreements

While compensation provisions in license agreements can vary greatly, the most common form of compensation is a “royalty” paid by the licensee based on its “Net Sales” of licensed products. In addition, in most instances, the licensor will require that a licensee pay an advance against future royalties due upon execution of the agreement and then agree to certain Minimum Guarantee payments throughout the agreement term.

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).

“Net Sales” is always a defined term and is one of the most critical provisions in the agreement for two reasons: a) it is the base on which the royalty rate is calculated, and b) because licensees and licensors will frequently have a different understanding of what should be included in net sales. For example, licensors will want the definition to include virtually every sale the licensee makes to maximize earned royalties. In contrast, licensees will want to be able to offset as many costs as possible to Minimum earned royalties. As such, both parties must carefully consider how “net sales” is defined, as this can enormously impact a licensee’s royalty obligation.

The “wholesale” or “domestic” royalty rate is the most common royalty rate stated in license agreements and covers sales to a retailer or distributor. However,

agreements will also frequently provide for other types of royalty rates, depending upon how the licensed products will be sold. For example, the FOB Royalty Rate applies to sales made to a retailer at the place of manufacture, frequently off-shore. The retailer assumes all transportation and insurance costs back to the retail outlet. FOB rates are generally between two and four percentage points higher than wholesale rates because the FOB selling price will be lower.

Where the licensee intends to sell products on a directto-consumer basis on, for example, its website, the agreement will typically include a “direct sales” royalty rate. However, since that royalty is based on a higher retail selling price, most licensees will negotiate a lower royalty rate than the wholesale rate.

Most licensors require licensees to pay an advance against royalties due upon execution of the license agreement and some form of minimum guarantee obligation. The advance against royalties is just that—an advance against the licensee’s actual earned royalty obligations. It is usually creditable against the licensee’s future earned royalty payments due to the licensor.

Advances are important to licensors as they accelerate the licensor’s cash flow rather than waiting months or even years before royalties begin to flow. The other reason is that an advance ensures that the licensee takes the license seriously since it has “skin in the game.”

There may be instances where a licensor requires a licensee to pay of non-refundable, non-creditable licensee fee upon execution. While not common, it does occur in some categories.

Many license agreements also include a minimum royalty and/or a minimum guarantee provision. A minimum royalty provision is just that—if the licensee fails to achieve a minimum level of royalties, the licensor can terminate the agreement. In contrast, a minimum guarantee ensures that the licensor will receive a minimum compensation if all else fails.

Setting guarantees and advances is a bit of black art. In most instances, a licensor will set the guarantee at fifty percent (50%) of the licensee’s projected royalties for a particular period, with the advance being set at half the initial guarantee.

Legally Speaking TOTAL LICENSING
TOTAL LICENSING 166 Licensing Expo 13 - 15 June Licensing Expo China 28 - 30 June Licensing Japan 28 - 30 June Children’s Media Conference 4 - 6 July Korea Character Licensing Fair 13 - 16 July Comic Con 20 - 23 July Magic Las Vegas 7 - 9 Aug Licensing Con 31 Aug - 1 Sept The Licensing Awards 12 Sept New York Toy Fair 30 Sep - 3 Oct Milano Day of Licensing Sept 14 Brand Licensing Europe 4 - 6 Oct MIP Junior 14 - 15 Oct MIPCOM 16 - 19 Oct China Licensing Expo 17 - 19 Oct Frankfurt Book Fair 18 - 22 Oct India Licensing Expo 2023 19 - 20 Nov Ace Fair 10, 11 Amscan 23, 79 Anici 101 Beano ................................................................................ 39 Big Balloon ....................................................................... 74 Boatrocker 71 Brand Licensing Europe 167 China Licensing Expo 149 CKN Toys ......................................................................... 85 Daewon Media 97 Designworks 78 Exquisite Gaming 33 Falcon’s Beyond .............................................................. 25 Haven Global .................................................................. 63 Headstart International 82 Howard Robinson 41 Jasnor 69 Jazwares ........................................................................... 17 Joester Loria 84 Kennedy Publishing 27 King Features 45 Konami .......................................................................53, 55 Korea Character Licensing Fair .................................. 95 Licensing China 161 Licensing Con 2023 138 Licensing Expo 125 Licensing Matters Global .............................................. 15 Mercis ............................................................................... 51 Milano Day of Licensing 131 Millimages 31 Minecraft 2, 3 MIPCOM ........................................................................165 Moonbug ............................................................................ 1 New Alchemy Solutions 99 New York Toy Fair 155 Paramount 67, 168 Penguin Ventures ......................................................21, 73 Pokemon 77 Roi Visual 4, 5 Santoro London 47 SEGA ................................................................................ 57 Sesame Workshop .............................. 83 + Button ads Showtime Attractions 81 Sinking Ship Entertainment 29 Spacetoon 167 Start Licensing ................................................................ 34 Studio 100 13 TF1 19 Thunderbirds Studios 49 Toikido ............................................................................ 8, 9 Vlad & Niki ...................................................................... 75 Wildbrain CPLG 65 Zag 6, 7 ZenWorks 101 List correct at time of going to press

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