Licensing World May 2019

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May 2019



OF STATIONERY Blue Sky Studios can exclusively bring you the “Softer Side of Stationery” with our exciting new super soft and fluffy stationery range.Following the hugely successful launch of our own “Skwisheez” branded stationery we are delighted to announce the launch of our first Licensed range. With Harry Potter on board we have the strongest possible launch pad for this innovative new range, Harry Potter is a powerhouse of a brand and our new super soft stationery is the very latest development within the category, the two combined are really making magical waves. Making writing fun again, give them a squeeze to relieve your stress and then watch the slo-rise and shape reforming just like magic. The Blue Sky team has been

working hard to create and perfect a truly innovative stationery range featuring our patented Mini Clip Pens, alongside pen toppers, jumbo pens and a collection of notebooks. The majority of products come supplied in squeezable sweetie bag style packaging meaning you can try before you buy. With the impressive retail interest we’ve experienced since we were able to launch the prototype samples we are expecting this range to be a big “Back to School” amongst the traditional stationery products but to also do well in the impulse and collectables sectors as there are several characters to collect. Stay tuned for phase two launch over the coming months whereby Blue Sky will be rolling out this unique product range across other top licenses.

Blue Sky has redesigned the clicky pen into a squishy click pen. Our Smooshy Mooshy slow rising pen tops are a must-have in your pencil case for going back to school. The first of our soft top pen series kicks off with some amazing characters with Lolli Lamb, Suki Squirrel, & Kaley Kitten. Each pen is amazing to click and write.

Who doesn’t love Hedwig? We certainly love him at Blue Sky! Check out our plush Hedwig stationery range which includes an A5 Notebook with a secret Mini Notebook A6 lockable notebook with pencil and plush pencil case. This fluffy rnage of stationery is flying off the shelves so be quick to order

super soft


N m in no no he th

M Looking for a bag to go to the gym with? Or make a splash at the pool? Well, look no further

F To accompany the expanding bag range on offer Blue Sky have added into the range draw string gym bags. Stock is expected into the UK in time for back to school. Made from soft nylon these bags are a great

addition to our other school bags, they fold up small when not in use, and keep kids muddy footwear and wet towels separate from school books and lunch. Launching this summer contact our sales team.

If or T ba yo in H

d ds e g


etic “magcnlosure”

Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler & Ross are all coming to Blue Sky. We've developed a fantastic 90's vibe range based around the fictional Central Perk cafe. The show has been a massive hit since arriving on Netfix. With memorable quotes and sayings, we have some exciting products lined up for 2019. If you're looking to stock these lines for back to school / college please contact our sales team via email.

TM & © WBEI (s19)



New from Blue Sky is the magnetic series notebooks introduction, the Letter notebook. Unlike your standard notebook, we've turned it on its head creating a magical notebook that opens just like an envelope.




New to the Blue Sky Kawaii range is out light up notebook. Press the lighting bolt to watch Harry, Hermione and Ron all twinkle in the night sky. An added feature to this amazing notebook are the Harry, Ron and Hermione dividers which split this notebook into handy quarters.

The all new cute and collectables 3D erasers. Choose your favourite Hogwarts student. Series one contains Ron, Hermione and Harry. Each character is self standing or can be hung using the euro hook. Keep you eyes peeled for the 2nd series, more characters coming out later in the year.

The ultimate 10 coloured pen, to complete your back to Hogwarts requirements is on its way, tooling is in full swing and Blue Sky are delighted that this must have stationery product will be ready and available for retailers for this “Back to school” season. Featuring a metallic gold rotating Snitch, plus all the colours you’ll need.


Fully lined - Shoulder strap - Hard base If you’re a chaser, beater, goalie or seeker you need this kit bag! The Hogwarts School Quidditch bag is a fantastic sports holdall for you to keep your quidditch robes in when heading back to Hogwarts. Then for the super

quidditch fan the exclusive “Chudley Cannons” kit bag is a perfect on the road as you follow yours and Rons Favourite Quidditch team around the country.

HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros.

Are you looking to see what Blue Sky Stock is available? Or looking for something new and exciting to sell in your store? Well head on over to our online trade store to see all of our amazing gifting and licensed stationery lines.

52 x 11mi n CGI

Dennis and his trusty friends Gnasher, joined by Rubi, JJ, Pieface and his pet potato Paul, unleash their imagination to overcome aliens, robots, crazy scientists, zombie or spies Nominated for ‘Best Animated Series’ at the Kidscreen Awards 2019. Sold to 24 countries worldwide, with more to be announced soon. Our broadcast partners include CBBC UK, RTÉ Ireland, Super RTL Germany, Rai Italy, TVE Spain, NRK Norway, SVT Sweden, Yle, Finland, France Télévisions and many more. For blamtastic UK and international licensing opportunities please contact Angeles Blanco T 0207 400 1071 E




The Team...



John Baulch

Publisher and Managing Editor 01442 502 408 07932 651 207

May 2019


CONTENTS 14 Brand Profile: Warner Bros

20 Feature: Toy Story 4

Mark Austin

Sales Director 01442 502 405

Anita Baulch

Circulation and Financial Director 01442 502 406


Opinion Features

07 From the Publisher

18 Touching Base

20 Feature: Toy Story 4


08 Hot Properties

32 Feature: Licensing Expo Preview

10 Licensing News

39 Company Profile: Blue Sky Designs

LICENSING OP 40 Feature: Character LicensedFOR Merchandise

14 Brand Profile: Warner Bros

get in touch – consumerprodu

Rachael Simpson-Jones Editor 01442 502 406


40 Feature: Character Licensed Merchandise

32 Feature: Licensing Expo Preview

Mark Crowford

Design and Production Manager 01442 502 405

toyworld The business magazine with a passion for toys

Alakat Published by

61 Maxted Road, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP2 7DZ @toyworldmag @baulchtweet


Toy World Magazine

©2017 Viacom. SpongeBob SquarePants created by Stephen Hillenburg. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, Shimmer and Shine, Blaze and the Monster Machines © 2017 Viacom Overseas Holdings C.V. All Rights Reserved. PAW PATROL ©2017 Spin Master

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elcome to Toy World’s annual Licensing World supplement. Once again we’ve delved into the world of licensing to bring you all the latest news and developments that are of interest to the kids’ community here in the UK and across Europe. This year’s supplement includes a preview of the forthcoming Las Vegas Licensing Expo; a roundup of some of the hottest character merchandise which will be hitting shelves in the coming months and a look at some emerging brands in our ‘Hot Properties’ section.

from the publisher

John Baulch - @Baulchtweet

In addition, there is a special feature on Disney·Pixar’s Toy Story 4, which hits screens in the UK next month. I am going to be completely honest: when it was first announced that there was going to be a new Toy Story movie, I felt slightly conflicted. Like millions of people, I was a massive fan of the original trilogy: from beginning to end, the story arc was perfect. Like everyone else, I was in absolute bits by the end of Toy Story 3. The denouement was sublime and – on so many levels – definitive: where do you go from there? How do you improve on perfection? Perhaps this goes some way towards explaining the slightly muted reception which the first Toy Story 4 trailer received, although the second trailer was generally deemed a significant improvement. However, it is the latest trailer which really hits the spot: in particular, the inclusion of Beach Boys classic God Only Knows is nothing short of a masterstroke. As soon as I heard that song over the footage of Woody and Bo Peep, I knew this movie was in good hands. And with a whole new generation of children about to be captivated by old favourites and brand new characters, I am confident that the merchandise programme will be a major hit. Our feature looks at some of the key lines being launched at retail, while we also spoke to the two leading licensees – Thinkway and Mattel – to find out more about their ranges. We’ve also rounded up some of the characters which will be making their debut in the new movie, so you can be fully in the know when consumers come looking for them. There is a lot riding on the success of Toy Story 4. Since the stellar success of Frozen, the pendulum has swung away from movie-related properties over past few years, with some retailers suggesting that the relatively short window of opportunity can sometimes make it difficult to maximise on sales of movie merchandise – especially when several major movies are released in quick succession. Sequel fatigue has also become an issue. 2019 is undoubtedly a big movie year, with a succession of kids and family blockbusters hitting screens in the coming months. Toy Story 4 is the first big toy-related movie out of the gate, so retailers and licensees will be watching its performance with great interest.

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The Licensing World supplement also sees the welcome return of our Touching Base section, where we speak to a selection of licensees to get their thoughts about the current state of play in the licensing arena. As ever, we received some fascinating feedback: the importance of crosscategory launches, time-consuming forecasting and questions over the CMF (central marketing fund) strategy of certain licensors all get an honourable mention. The CMF debate is one which has been bubbling away for some while; some licensees have been curious to know exactly where the money goes, while one person I spoke to recently (not quoted in the feature, by the way) even went so far as to suggest that licensors should report this in the same way that licensees are required to detail their promotional support. One wonders how licensors would react to that suggestion… Another respondent lists a series of issues, including – and I quote – “long and fastidious approvals process” and “embargoes.” In the current climate, everyone in the chain – quite rightly – talks about the importance of speed to market, flexibility and nimble, reactive behaviour. Is it the case that some of the working practices of certain licensors actively work against this? I wrote a Blog earlier this year, reflecting comments made to me in Hong Kong by several licensees and retailers about the swing away from licensing, and some of the possible factors behind it. It turned into one of the most read pieces I have written for a while, and I was repeatedly stopped in the aisles at the London Toy Fair and Nuremberg by licensees and retailers, who almost unanimously identified with the points I raised. I have even been asked to speak at this year’s Lima Mind Mix in Paris, where I will be talking about the future of the toy industry and its relationship with the licensing community. I plan to be as honest and candid as the format allows. Over the next few months, we’ll be extending this concept into a broader piece of research which will explore attitudes of licensees and retailers to some of the working practices in the licensing community. In turn, this will form part of a wider content collaboration partnership which Toy World has entered into with UBM, organiser of the BLE and Licensing Expo shows. We’ll reveal more details of that soon, but in the meantime, if you can help by contributing to this piece of work, it would be hugely appreciated. We’ll be in touch with licensees and retailers shortly with details of how you can participate, and we guarantee complete confidentiality and anonymity. More on that soon: in the meantime, enjoy the supplement and if you’re heading to Vegas for Licensing Expo, I look forward to catching up with you there.


Properties Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed Beano Studios Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed is distributed in 24 countries worldwide, with more to be announced soon. Broadcast partners include CBBC UK, Super RTL Germany, France Télévisions, Rai Italy, RTÉ Ireland, TVE Spain, NRK Norway, SVT Sweden, Yle Finland, TVNZ New Zealand, ABC Australia and many more. It is scheduled to launch in the United States in late spring. The show features the notoriously cheeky TV duo, Dennis and Gnasher, as they unleash their imaginations to overcome aliens, robots, crazy scientists, zombies or spies. They are joined by their irrepressible friends Rubi, JJ, Pieface and his pet potato Paul, relatable characters who undertake everything as a team. The show is aspirational, packed with gadgets, and features adventurous locations; Beanotown, where all adventures come to life, is a world full of bold action, mischief and laughs. Fans can engage with the Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! universe through books, pocket money toys, nightwear, fancy dress, social stationery, bedding and more. TDP, Aykroyds and RMS International are among those partners secured by Beano’s UK agent, Rocket Licensing. A West End musical has also been commissioned, with details to follow soon. Beano Studios and its licensing agents are exploring partnerships in various categories, and discussions are underway with publishers, toy and apparel companies across international territories. Following the international demand for the show, a second season of 52 episodes is now in production, bringing the total number of available episodes to 104. The most recent Beano Studios research, conducted in early 2019 with children aged 4-12, has shown that the UK audience of Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! is particularly drawn to the show’s individual characters, gestures and catchphrases, while the slapstick comedy and pranks are popular across all age groups. The show is supported by continuous marketing, and by an extensive and engaging style guide available to new partners.

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Waffle the Wonder Dog Darrall Macqueen

National Geographic National Geographic The National Geographic licensing strategy is led by three core missions: to be sustainable, to explore and protect the planet, and to drive edutainment and storytelling through its products. The desire to fuel a deeper understanding of the world and humans’ role within it has, for many years, been led by the publishing success of the National Geographic Kids and Little Kids magazines, along with more than 100 additional book and magazine titles released each year. Kids can also access the brand through its multi-channel TV presence and strong social media reach. More recently, the brand has begun to see success with toys, especially STEM toys. This has been underpinned by National Geographic’s presence as headline sponsor at the recent Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair. A number of National Geographic toy licensees attended, including Bandai, which brought the world of science to life through mini volcanic eruptions and fossil excavations made possible with its line of engaging kits. The company’s edutainment mission overlaps naturally with another important part of the National Geographic commitment to kids - informing them about the preservation and conservation of the natural world, as well as fostering a love of exploration and science. Ravensburger’s 2D 1,000-piece 99 Amazing Animals puzzle is inspired by the Photo Ark initiative. A collaboration between National Geographic and photographer Joel Sartore, Photo Ark is a ground-breaking effort to document all animals in captivity before they disappear. Steiff’s Photo Ark premium plush collection also celebrates the beauty, uniqueness and fragility of threatened species. National Geographic’s most recent collaboration with Mattel will see the development of a line of Barbie dolls in a variety of exploration- and science-based careers, such as Astrophysicist, Polar Marine Biologist, Wildlife Conservationist, Entomologist and Photo Journalist. The worldwide partnership launches in autumn/winter and aims to inspire and empower young children.

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In a preschool show that combines live-action comedy and a cute canine star, Waffle the Wonder Dog introduces the Brooklyn-Bell family, a newly blended family created when Doug’s dad Simon marries Evie’s mum Jess. Hiding amongst the wedding gifts, they discover red miniature poodle Waffle, who can talk (voiced by comedian Rufus Hound), and quickly becomes the glue that bonds the new family together. The stories combine the familiar drama and comedy of living with an unruly pet and create a warm and recognisable world for young viewers. The series was an instant success when it launched on CBeebies in Spring 2018, and new episodes, continual transmissions and strong ratings have boosted popularity since. Waffle proved a huge hit both on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer, leading to a renewed commission. 2019 sees the original 30 episodes boosted by 30 more, the new ones airing from April. Waffle has been created and produced by awardwinning pre-school independent Darrall Macqueen, the company behind Topsy and Tim, Baby Jake and the updated incarnation of Teletubbies The show has attracted enormous attention amongst parents on social media, demonstrating a demand for toys and other products and actively keen to support a merchandising campaign. As a result, Golden Bear signed the master toy licence last year and launched a Waffle plush toy, initially with limited distribution, but now trade-wide. Waffle sold out instantly and has continued to perform strongly throughout early 2019. Helped by a live appearance of the real-life Waffle, Golden Bear presented a new feature plush Waffle at Toy Fair, which was rewarded with a place on the BTHA’s Hero Toys list. Richard Hollis, ex BBC and Dreamworks executive, is looking after the licensing of Waffle on behalf of Darrall Macqueen. Licensees have been quick to pick up on Waffle’s appeal, with deals already signed with Ravensburger (games and puzzles), Cooneen (nightwear and underwear), and CWI Blues (daywear). Darrall Macqueen has also secured a major publishing deal with Scholastic, as well as with Immediate Media for magazines. The CBeebies Playtime Island app features a range of Waffle games, and a major standalone game has been developed for September release.

Licensing World Minecraft movie set for release 4th March 2022 The hugely successful construction game Minecraft has partnered with Warner Bros. on its debut movie release. Hitting cinema screens in March 2022, the film will be directed by Peter Sollett (Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist). In a blog post published on, the brand commented: “Since we’re a game developer first, making a movie will be new and very exciting. And while the movie has to be different from the game (otherwise, you’d be in for an infinite movie in very low resolution) one thing will definitely be the same. We want to make the movie just as we make the game - for you. We’re inspired by countless things, but none as much as the incredible stuff our community creates in Minecraft every day.” Since launching, Minecraft has garnered a slew of awards and accolades; by late 2018, over 154m copies had been sold across all platforms. The game has generated a number of successful toy lines, including from Jazwares and Lego.


All things SuperZings Toy World spoke to Julia Cake, commercial director at Magic Box, about the company’s hugely popular SuperZings brand and the licensing programme it is developing in partnership with Lisle Licensing. How does Magic Box’s heritage lend weight to the SuperZings brand? At Magic Box Toys we develop and build our own brands to create new trends in the collectible toy market - our products are filled with imagination and surprise. We are proud of the excitement we bring to children through our concepts, and we love the challenge of creating new products in order to continue entertaining children worldwide. What makes SuperZings a strong licence? SuperZings has all the ingredients you would look for in a strong character-based licence. Firstly, there are over 90 characters to collect in each series, which offers huge scope for any potential licensee in terms of creating a range. The level of detail and design that have gone into the characters is fantastic; they translate well into key categories such as publishing and clothing. Being based on a very simple and familiar premise - heroes and villains – SuperZings naturally appeals to children, and as it’s also rooted in collectability, the brand creates the desire to collect its licensed merchandise. What can products we expect from the Superzings licensing programme in the coming months? We have worked with DJ Murphy to create a bespoke monthly magazine which has just launched in the UK, and there will be an exciting range of games coming to market soon from John Adams. There is also a full licensing progamme launching in Spain, including Back to School, apparel and confectionary. What has the retail reaction to these initial ranges been like? The retail reaction has been very good. The magazine has achieved extremely strong listings and first sales data has exceeded expectations. John Adams has likewise seen a great reaction to its range during the recent toy fairs. We can’t wait to see the games launch; we’re positive consumers will love them. Which product categories do you hope to expand the programme into? SuperZings lend itself naturally to so many categories, but the next key categories we are looking to develop are publishing, apparel, trading games, Back to School & Bags, and homewares & home textiles. What major opportunities does the Superzings brand offer licensees? Superzings is one of the best-selling toy and collectible lines in the UK and has also performed very well internationally. Licensees can tap into a brand that kids already recognise. From the volume of sales achieved we know the brand has already reached the majority of children in the UK, having sold over 11m units in 2018. With an estimated brand retail value of £16m in 2019, SuperZings is now sold now in over 30 countries and more than 17, 500 ‘doors’ in the UK.

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These super soft bedtime buddies are the most cuddlesome companions, featuring self-soothing textural features. Perfect for little ones to snuggle at bedtime whilst listening to dreamy tales via the Moshi Twilight Sleep Stories App.


App Subscription Included in every pack

Created for kids and loved by parents, the Moshi Twilight Sleep Stories App features calming narration and magical melodies to lull little listeners to sleep. Best of all it is audio only - no need for screens. Unlock hours of enchanting Sleep Stories, Music, Meditations and Sounds, and MAKE BEDTIME A DREAM. * NHS & ** Online survey of 634 Moshi Twilight App Users. Conducted 3rd March 2019

© MindCandy2019 +44 (0) 1268 567317

Gloucester House Basildon Essex SS14 3BX UK

Company Profile

Mind Candy

A sleeping giant returns 2

How Mind Candy is making bedtime a dream by reimagining Moshi Monsters, using the power of storytelling.

019 is turning into a pivotal year for Mind Candy, nine years after the pioneering global kids’ phenomenon Moshi Monsters first took the toy industry by storm and gave birth to what we now know as the collectibles market. In that time, much has changed for kids. Their lives are now filled with vibrant digital experiences, instantly accessible, endlessly entertaining and increasingly demanding of their focus and time. For many parents this has become a constant concern. How much screen time should I allow my child to have? What does a balanced digital diet actually look like? How can I ensure my child enjoys the right blend of learning, play and rest? As parents themselves, these were the questions that the team at Mind Candy asked when they set about re-inventing Moshi Monsters to meet the needs of children and parents in the age of the iPhone. “When Moshi Monsters first launched it was a brand that appealed to both parents and kids,” explains Ian Chambers, Mind Candy CEO, “That was what made Ian Chambers, Mind Candy CEO

Moshi so accessible and enabled us to grow so quickly. For many kids it was the first time they were given access to a digital experience on a computer at home, crafted and designed just for them. Moshi was a place where they could play and explore with friends, a rich world filled with incredible characters and experiences. For parents, letting the kids play Moshi for an hour gave them precious time to focus on the things that made them happy. It was a win-win.” Before the idea of screen time was even considered by parents, this win-win was a fundamental selling point for the Moshi Monsters on-line game. Nowadays, parents approach screens with more caution and concern, carefully weighing up the benefits and risks of letting their children sit with digital devices. Ian and the team set out to answer the question of how to achieve another win-win for this more tech savvy and cautious generation of parents and their kids. They didn’t find the answer in traditional play during a child’s day, but at bedtime. “Sleep is something we all need,’’ says Chambers.

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“We are only just now waking up to the emerging evidence that good quality sleep is the cornerstone of physical and mental health, and probably the single most important lifestyle choice we can make. We saw the rapidly growing conversation and focus on sleep, and then reflected on the experiences we’d had during the first eight years of our own kids’ lives and how parents face serious struggles with their own sleep and health when their children cannot sleep. We realised that if we could create a product that kids loved, featuring beloved characters from the world of Moshi, that made bedtime less stressful for parents whilst helping kids get to sleep quicker and easier, that we would have something truly special. A real win-win.” In December 2017, the Mind Candy team created Moshi Twilight Sleep Stories, an audio app featuring melodic stories, meditations, music and sounds. Moshi Twilight was created in partnership with Calm, the No.1 wellbeing and mindfulness app and the brainchild of Mind Candy founder and entrepreneur Michael Acton Smith. Since Calm’s launch six years ago, the app has been downloaded

over 50m times, most recently propelling Calm to a $1b valuation and earning it the title of ‘the first mindfulness unicorn’. With a new market for mindfulness products and services emerging, this presented Mind Candy with the opportunity to extend this new market to kids. The move filled a need in the fast-growing space, whilst pioneering entertainment content that was focused on making kids happier and healthier; an antidote to screens and social media induced stress. “In the last 12 months we have transformed Moshi Monsters and opened the door to a new world; the world of Moshi with the lights turned down, where kids can roam freely in their imaginations as they gently drift off to sleep. Moshi Twilight is designed for the moment after children have been read a bedtime book and it is time for parents to turn off the light and leave them to go to sleep. This can be a difficult time. By playing our stories, parents are finding that their kids are more comfortable to be left alone, listening to our calm and relaxing musical stories which follow the natural pattern of sleep. As part of a regular bedtime routine, this helps them to learn how to fall asleep independently. For some parents, bedtime is changing from a two-hour struggle into a smooth twenty-minute dream. Quite simply, the app works, and for many parents it is life changing.”

A quick glance through some of the user reviews on app stores reveals some genuinely heart-warming and endearing stories that give a glimpse into the app’s transformational impact. With over four million kids having already fallen asleep to Moshi Sleep Stories during 20 million bedtimes, it is easy to see why Mind Candy is putting its focus onto the Moshi Twilight brand. The potential market is huge, as Ian says: “The addressable market is every parent on the planet. At one time in their child’s development, they will have trouble sleeping, we aim to be there to help when they need us most.” The recent announcement that Mind Candy is licensing the Moshi Twilight brand shows the company’s ambition to make it a household name. The first deal with PoshPaws International will see an autumn launch of a plush range in the UK, based on the most popular Moshi Twilight characters, The Sleepies. The launch of the range in the US will follow later in the year. More than just a soft toy, the focus on producing premium products that enhance the app’s core proposition of helping kids sleep has ensured that the upcoming plush products are sleep aids in themselves, with sleep supporting features to soothe kids at bedtime whilst they listen to their favourite Sleep Stories. Ian explains: “The Sleepies range includes four characters: SleepyPaws the Snoozy Koala, Nodkins

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the Bedtime Bunny, Yawnsy the Sleepwalking Otter and Professor Feathersnooze the Owl of Nod. Each is beautifully created, with super-soft fur and soothing texture features that help kids drift off to sleep easily at bedtime when the lights go out. Our licensing ambition for Moshi Twilight is to create a range of products that complement the app, all of which will bundle a Moshi Twilight subscription, giving families instant access to all of our audio content.” More Moshi Twilight products are in development and whilst Mind Candy is yet to reveal more details, the company insists that each licensing partner will provide a complementary product to grow aisle presence without creating unnecessary competition. “We are planning to work with market leading partners in relevant verticals”, Ian goes on to say, “We have a laser focus on ensuring that each product has its own space to grow in its category whilst always growing the Moshi Twilight brand and helping more parents and kids become happier and healthier. Sleep is an issue for millions every night, there is no seasonality. We are incredibly excited about the potential for our evergreen range of Moshi Twilight products based on the Moshi IP, with characters that have inspired 100m kids. We now have an opportunity to inspire a whole new generation of families.”

Brand Profile

Warner Bros

The year of the Bat Toy World spoke to Rachel Wakley, general manager, Warner Bros., about Batman, one of the company’s most successful and enduring franchises, as she detailed upcoming activity and opportunities for retail stockists. Batman is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year – why do you think this iconic character has stood the test of time? No other superhero character is so ingrained in pop culture as Batman, with unparalleled global influence in publishing, film, TV, video games, consumer products, experiences and theme park attractions. 2019 is Batman’s 80th anniversary, creating a unique opportunity to celebrate 80 years of The Dark Knight and inviting Batman’s fans to connect and share their love for the No.1 global super hero. We have also recently heard that Batman will be the first character ever inducted into the San Diego Comic-Con Museum Hall of Fame, so 2019 really is turning into a very memorable anniversary for Batman.

What can you tell us about the Long Live the Bat campaign which will be marking this milestone? We have developed an integrated cross studio

plan to highlight and deliver new product, content and experiences to fans across the UK. The newly launched “dcukcomics” Instagram channel can be downloaded to find out all the latest information.

When will the campaign start, and how long will it run for? The campaign runs for the whole year, with a particular focus on September around Batman day (21st September).

What broadcast activity will be backing up the marketing campaign? Sky is one of our fantastic partners supporting Batman’s 80th. A Batman pop up channel aired in March and will run again in September, adding heavy weight media and channel support to the campaign. Fans will also continue to see content across both broadcast and digital channels.

Which new Batman-related ranges in the kids’ space are you excited about for this year? There are new product offerings from several of our key partners that are really exciting. There

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is a new range from Lego; some very cool new iterations from Funko, as well as both the classic fan & childrens’ favourites from Mattel’s Imaginext and Batman Missions ranges. We’re also excited to be partnering with the charity ‘Jeans for Genes’. As part of this partnership, we have exclusively designed Batman and Batgirl fashion inspired t-shirts, for both adults and children. These launch in June and will be available to buy right through to Jeans for Genes day on 20th September.

How can toy retailers make the most of the 80th anniversary year? Retailers can immerse consumers in our Long Live the Bat campaign through supporting the fantastic new product we have coming through from Lego, Funko and Mattel, as well as working with us on tailored activations to deliver that special moment for our fans. Whether that be through competitions or in-store events to celebrate Batman, we have a whole host of assets and money-can’t-buy prizes that can be used to give retailers an exclusive edge in Batman’s anniversary year.

For further details on our Batman 80th campaign please contact:

Brand Profile

Warner Bros

A kind of magic

Rachel Wakley, general manager, Warner Bros., discussed with Toy World the popular Wizarding World franchise and the plans the company has to build on momentum in 2019. How has the Wizarding World franchise performed over the past few years? The Wizarding World franchise has performed extremely well over the past few years. New content and experiences have been developed, ensuring that J.K. Rowling’s stories continue to come to life. The franchise has so many touch points for fans, whether that be new films via the Fantastic Beasts series; immersive experiences such as those delivered via our theme park partnerships; new video game content; the critically acclaimed stage show; or the vast array of consumer products. We have worked really hard to ensure that fans have been able to immerse themselves in this magical universe.

What do you think has been behind the recent surge in popularity? I’m not sure there has been a recent surge in popularity; I think the popularity level has always been there. Fans of all ages have always had a deep emotional connection to this franchise, however, I believe the way in which we have developed the brand and the consumer products programme over the last few years has helped elevate its visibility. The experiences that fans can engage with have expanded over the last few years. Over 12m fans have experienced ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London. In addition, the ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ production, which opened in London in 2016, has continued to delight fans, not only in London, but also around the world. Our ambition has always been to be relevant to our fan base, and the product developments that emerged in 2018 really seemed to spark imagination and resonate with people of all ages. We saw success with the likes of the Lego Harry Potter Range (which was a particular success in the toy market), but also with fan favourites such as the Funko range and the Mattel doll range.

Role play has played a key part in the success of our toy ranges, with one of the stand out achievements being the Interactive Jakks wand being named as one of the twelve Dream Toys last year.

whilst we can’t share too much at this stage, we are convinced that it will be a major driver once again. We again expect role play to play a key role in the franchises’ success this year, alongside continued new releases from Funko.

Other notable drivers of success came from some of our new partners, such as Wow! Stuff with its Light Painting Wands & Mystery Flying Snitch, plus Maxx Marketing with the Sorting Hat. Both these partners offer fans product that celebrates iconic moments in the franchise.

One of the key drivers this year will undoubtedly be the new Wow! Stuff Invisibility Cloak; the product is truly innovative, and I’m sure that it is poised to capture the imaginations of fans.

What plans do you have to build on the momentum in 2019? 2019 sees a host of exciting new developments for the Wizarding World, which will ensure the franchise keeps momentum but also stays relevant to its fan base. Firstly, there is the hotly anticipated release of ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’, a mobile game developed with Niantic (creators of Pokémon Go) where the players will embark on adventures, learn and cast spells, discover mysterious artefacts and encounter legendary beasts and iconic characters. In April, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London unveiled its biggest expansion to date, with the tour now featuring the wizarding bank of Gringotts, the Lestrange vault, a gallery of goblins and so much more. Further to this, we are continuing to work with trusted franchise partners and licensees throughout 2019 to bring innovative products to market, alongside engaging and entertaining activations at retail.

Which new Wizarding World products will be driving the franchise this year? We have some fantastic new products coming through this year, which are sure to delight fans once more. The new Lego range looks incredible and

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How can toy retailers maximise on sales of Wizarding World products? The Wizarding World is a truly unique franchise. It appeals across all ages and genders, which makes it a great selection choice at retail. We would encourage retailers to continue to focus on delivering product and marketing activations that connect with our fans. We have a great calendar of key beats through the year. The three that I would highlight to retail partners are: firstly, the release of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The game calls on all Witches and Wizards to solve the mystery and return the artefacts, beasts and characters to their rightful place in the Wizarding World. This immersive experience in becoming a witch or a wizard is sure to draw demand on role play items like dress up and wands – so retailers should ensure they are well stocked. Secondly, we have our Back to Hogwarts campaign, for retailers to excite fans through their Harry Potter Back to School offerings. Thirdly, we move into Christmas in the Wizarding World. The connection with the franchise and Christmas has always played a key part in its success, with this year set to be no different.

FANTASTIC BEASTS and HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. WB SHIELD: © & ™ WBEI. WIZARDING WORLD trademark and logo © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s19)


On the brand wagon In this year’s Licensing World Supplement, we asked a selection of licensing executives three in-depth questions - Which licensing practice(s) they find the most frustrating and counter-productive; whether they believe that licensors are realistic, and take into account prevailing trading conditions when negotiating a licence or planning their launch strategy; and what licensors could do to help improve their partnerships with toy licensees and retail partners. Here’s what our respondents had to say.

Emma Weber

Michelle Dalziel

Marketing and licensing director, Vivid

Licensing and marketing manager, HTI

In the past there has always been a belief that the master toy partner will ‘launch’ the licence at retail, but more recently the biggest successes have been through cross-category launches. These let the consumer see the licence at various touchpoints in-store, from the toy shelf to apparel and publishing, for example. It’s becoming increasingly hard to gain share of voice and awareness for a licensed property from the toy shelf alone. Times have changed, and most licensors are taking a far more proactive approach to engaging with retailers and planning launches across multiple categories. As a result, they have a more realistic view of the market and brand expectations. Licensing relationships work best with a triumvirate approach across the licensor, licensee and retailers. This allows for a much stronger result, from the product development process through to offering retailer exclusives and jointly funding marketing activation plans.

Generally, I find forecasting the most frustrating thing about licensing; it can take days out of a working week with some of the bigger licensors, and in a very busy industry it doesn’t seem to be a valuable way of spending time and resources. Surely working jointly to target new business would be a much more efficient use of all our time. We see some licensors acknowledging the current market. However, we still feel there is no licensor being proactive in this area at the current time. It still seems to be heavily led by licensees pushing for support as a direct result of the pressure we are getting at retail. The traditional approach to launch strategies is also something we believe needs to change - brands potentially have less longevity as a result of the way people are consuming today. As a licensee, we consistently feel we need more flexibility and a better understanding of product commerciality from a category perspective. Retail partners need to work more closely with licensees to offer a stronger pitch into retail; marketing plans and pitches still feel heavily focused around themes and content. This makes them relevant only to a master toy partner, so it’s very difficult to pitch for additional opportunities in secondary categories.

Anonymous I find the following things incredibly frustrating - grey importers soliciting business with impunity, annualised Minimum Guarantees (MGs), additional royalties over and above the standard rate, long and fastidious approvals processes, embargoes and the reluctance of some licensors to accept any responsibility - shared or otherwise - for a property which clearly hasn’t worked. Most licensors have internal targets to hit, some of which originate outside the UK, so it isn’t always possible for them to be as realistic as they would like to be. However, there are some licensors who value the overall business potential of working with a best in class partner; taking into account medium- to long-term potential earnings and investment in product as opposed to large up-front MGs. It’s about getting the balance right - making sure that an MG is challenging, as opposed to restrictive. You can’t paint all licensors with the same brush. Some are helpful, dynamic and collaborative, others restrictive. I guess it depends on corporate culture, individual personalities and financial targets.

Lucy Wynne-Jones Head of licensing, Worlds Apart

It’s been an extremely frustrating few years, with some licensors increasing royalty rates and including a CMF (central marketing fund). At a time when the view from many buyers is somewhat negative towards licensing, this has only made things tougher. With a promotional commitment the licensee can control its marketing using its expertise in its categories, whereas with a CMF there is no control, and often very little visibility. We have seen most licensors becoming more realistic, particularly when it comes to renewals as everybody is only too aware of how quickly the landscape can change. More open and honest communication would help improve relationships, as would more timely information on marketing plans and strategies, and proposed retail activity.

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Toy Story 4

Toy Story 4 for dummies

Nine years after cinema-goers wept into their popcorn watching Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Bullseye and the rest of the gang attempt to avoid incineration, we are now just a couple of months away from welcoming the fourth instalment in the Oscar-winning Toy Story franchise. Toy World takes a look at what we can expect from both the movie and its licensed products as Disney·Pixar opens the toy chest one more time.


et’s be honest; the announcement that a fourth Toy Story was in the works took a fair few of us by surprise. The new movie, set for release in the UK on 21st June, was originally announced as a standalone sequel in 2014 when John Lasseter – the director of Toy Story 1 and 2 - was set to take up the reins once more from Lee Unkrich, the man behind the third instalment in the franchise. However, with Lasseter departing Disney late last year, director Josh Cooley (Riley’s First Date?), producer Jonas Rivera (Inside Out, Up) and associate producer Mark Nielsen (Inside Out), have instead taken the movie in a different direction, picking up the storyline not far from where we saw it last; with Bonnie playing happily on the lawn with the newest additions to her toy collection. The plot is as follows - Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So, when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voiced by Tony Hale), declares himself as trash, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. When Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voiced by Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit

and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realise they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries. Joining the stellar cast this time around is Canadian actor, director, producer and musician Keanu Reeves, who lends his voice to new character Duke Caboom. “The first time Josh [Cooley] and I talked with Keanu about the role, Keanu became Duke Caboom,” says producer Jonas Rivera. “Keanu was asking great questions that dug deep to find the soul of the character. At one point he stood up on the table in the middle of Pixar’s atrium and struck poses while proclaiming victory. It was so funny. It’s all in the movie, and it’s all Keanu." Lending weight to the tried and tested good vs. bad formula which made Toy Story 3 such a success, the villains in the new movie take the shape of Gabby Gabby and her ventriloquist dummy henchmen. While Gabby, voiced by Christina Hendricks, is shrouded in malevolence thanks to her damaged voicebox, her henchmen are completely silent. “The dummies are some of the creepiest characters we’ve ever created by far,” comments producer Mark Nielsen. “Our animators really leaned into the truth in materials for how our ventriloquist dummies move. Dummies’ bodies are soft with no structure, so our dummies’ arms just dangle and their legs bend backwards.

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Throw in their fixed expressions, with their wide eyes and big hinged jaws, and they’re nightmare material - in the best way possible.” So, while not all the toys in Toy Story are going to be the stuff of sweet dreams, there no denying that this phenomenally successful franchise presents huge opportunities for toy licensees. Companies on board for Toy Story 4 include Thinkway, Mattel, Sambro, Funko, IMC Toys, Posh Paws, Lego, Hasbro, Siso Toys, Mondo, Ravensburger, Creata, Tomy, JustPlay/Flair, Spin Master, Jumbo, Winning Moves, Jakks, Rainbow Designs, Orange Tree Toys, Procos (Pioneer), Worlds Apart, Hornby and MV Sports. “Toy Story 4 is an incredible property with huge heritage and consumer love behind it,” enthuses Kelly Philp, UK marketing lead at Mattel. “Being part of continuing this legacy and introducing brand-new characters for a new generation of kids is really special. With it being the fourth film, it’s exciting for Mattel to re-interpret these much-loved characters and to also to bring innovation to the line. We have some engaging marketing plans that will allow us to bring these great characters to life for a whole new audience – and even some parents who were consumers of the toys the first time round.” Retail reaction to Toy Story 4 product ranges has been positive across the board, with Mayur Pattni, UK marketing manager at Siso Toys UK, telling Toy World: “With this being our first



Toy Story 4

trading year, Toy Story 4 has been a massive licence for us. Reaction to our range has been hugely positive, and the product looks really strong. With the marketing support we’ve put behind Toy Story 4, together with retailers, we’re looking to make our Toy Story 4 1:24 scale RC line the No. 1 RC range this year.” MV has seen a similarly positive reception to its Toy Story Classic and Toy Story 4 lines, especially its new Dream Den concept and Buzz Lightyear Space Cruiser. The company’s licensed offerings provide fans of the franchise with opportunities to engage in imaginative role-play and active outdoor fun, with character styling and graphics that will help kick-start play. “I would encourage all our customers to get behind the range with as much product as possible, with the key products in-store or in-catalogue and an extended range

offered online,” advises Phil Ratcliffe, sales & marketing director at MV Sports. Elsewhere, retail theatre can be created with Eolo’s licensed Toy Story 4 flying toys. Styled upon Buzz Lightyear, who famously learns to fly (or fall with style, if you’re more of Woody’s mindset) in the first movie, these toys will let kids experience the thrill of flight for themselves. “Toy Story 4 fits our flying toys range very well,” explains Alex Prieto, director of Fun at Eolo. “Our items are perfect for in-store demonstrations that offer the immediate wow-factor and attract customers. We also offer a great video content suitable for both in-store and online presentations.” With excitement continuing to build, and fans eager to discover if Toy Story 4 will live up the huge expectations surrounding it, it would be

easy to forget just what a stunning franchise this is. Not only was the first movie released 25 years ago, (doesn’t that make us all feel old?), it was also the first ever full-length computer animated movie. Proving Toy Story to be far more than just a gimmick, Disney·Pixar paved the way for an ever-expanding portfolio of animated films that have delighted audiences ever since; Monsters Inc., Brave, Finding Nemo, Up, The Incredibles - the list goes on. More than just movies about toys, the Toy Story franchise has truly taken the world of animated film-making to Infinity… and Beyond. (It had to be done.) Over the next few pages, we speak with the licensees working with Disney·Pixar on Toy Story 4, and take a look at some of the products hitting shelves in the weeks to come.

Who’s who in Disney • Pixar’s Toy Story 4 Bo Peep – voiced by Annie Potts This long-lost friend of Woody, Buzz and the gang, Bo always shared a special connection with Woody. Bo’s strength and sarcasm always belied her delicate porcelain exterior, and it turns out she’s an adventure-seeking free spirit who feels right at home on the road. When she and Woody are reunited under unlikely circumstances, they realise they’ve grown worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy.

Gabby Gabby – voiced by Christina Hendricks An adorable, talking pull-string doll from the 1950s; a manufacturing defect in her pull-string voice box has left Gabby Gabby sounding anything but cute. Having spent more than 60 years forgotten in the depths of an antique store, her only companions are a band of voiceless ventriloquist dummies. Gabby Gabby knows someone will want her, if only she can find a working voice box with which to repair hers.

Ducky and Bunny – voiced by KeeganMichael Key and Jordan Peele Ducky and Bunny are carnival prizes who are eager to be won. But when their plans are rudely interrupted, they find themselves on an unexpected adventure with a group of toys who have no idea what it feels like to be tacked to a prize wall.

Duke Caboom – voiced by Keanu Reeves Duke Caboom is a 1970s toy based on Canada’s greatest motorcycle stuntman. However, Woody learns quickly that Duke has an Achilles heel; he has never been able to do the stunts advertised in his own toy commercial. For years, Duke has been sitting in an antique store, constantly reliving the failures of his tragic past.

Benson – Benson is a classic, antique ventriloquist dummy, and Gabby Gabby’s right hand man. He leads a small group of ventriloquist dummies that serve as Gabby's henchmen. With no person to give them a voice, these silent toys patrol the antique store with a looming quietness that is inherently unsettling.

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Giggle McDimples – voiced by Ally Maki A miniature plastic doll from the 1980s Giggle McDimples toy line, Giggle is Bo Peep’s best friend. Small enough to perch on Bo’s shoulder, Giggle is Bo’s confidante, supporter and advisor. Forky – voiced by Tony Hales A spork turned craft project, Forky is plunged into an existential crisis when Bonnie takes him home and adds him to her motley collection of toys. Adamant he doesn’t belong, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy.


Thinkway Toys

Recreating the magic of Toy Story Thinkway Toys has been the master toy partner for the Toy Story franchise since the first movie aired back in 1995. With the imminent release of the long-awaited Toy Story 4 on the horizon, Toy World spoke to Darran Garnham, CEO of Thinkway's UK distributor MTW Toys, to find out what goes into making these products, and what level of innovation can be seen in the company’s latest ranges. What do you see as the hero lines from the Thinkway Disney•Pixar Toy Story 4 range? Those who have been lucky enough to see them will not easily forget our Feature Fall Down Buzz and Woody figures, talking, action products that react to commands. To be able to recreate the magic of the Toy Story movies within the Thinkway toy range is something we take very seriously, in order to ensure we offer truly unique lines. We’ll also be supporting other key characters with toys incorporating new and interactive features for added fun. We’re sure that our feature products will appear on every top toy list this Christmas, with reactions from every buyer who’s viewed the range indicating that it will resonate with kids of all ages. These items, which bring the magic of Disney•Pixar into the hands of the Toy Story fans, will be supported across all media channels.

by Thinkway, which really helps it translate from the big screen into real life. This is a significant point of difference. One of our media partners coined the phrase “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that string!” We know fans want authenticity in their Toy Story toys and are willing to invest in them, so this will be a focus within our PR and communication.

Thinkway is known for really pushing the boundaries when it comes to

How important is scale when it comes to your Disney•Pixar Toy Story 4 line? Scale is key, so we support the scale seen on screen in the movies. While other products are available, especially when other licensees come on-board during movie release years, Thinkway’s 12” scale remains No. 1 in terms of quality, price and play. Woody and Jessie’s pull string feature is only carried

product features – which new features and products are you particularly excited about this time round? Thinkway is always the booth or showroom everyone walks into expecting some to see some magic; our feature product range hasn’t disappointed, pushing development into areas not seen before. The features built into our Fall Down Buzz and Woody, which allow them to interact with the consumer, are exciting enough, but to be able to trigger the fall down action on command is really very special. Kids will feel in control. The line also offers our first free standing Woody. Given that this cowboy has rather skinny legs, it’s an incredible piece of engineering. Sometimes it seems that consumers can overlook how much work and skill has gone into developing a mechanism like that, or may not be willing to place the correct value upon it. We offer toys that match the content in the movies, providing fun and quality that can be passed down through the generations.

What really stands the whole Thinkway range out from other Disney•Pixar Toy Story 4 merchandise? Our range, from basic through to Signature, puts hero lines in the hands of every Toy Story fan across

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a range of budgets. The excitement we’ve seen at fairs, ranging from specialist retailers through to mass market buyers, was infectious. This is credit to the quality that Thinkway places across the line. A few products are extra special; the Signature collection offers an unprecedented level of detail. The packaging alone is a work of art, as are the materials used, the sculpt and build quality of each toy, and the play value offered by the different sounds and functions. When it comes to Woody and Jessie, the pull-cord in our Signature and Deluxe lines really is a stand out feature. However, even as price points decrease down the range, the passion behind the development of each product continues to shine through; while the features may reduce, the quality does not.

Who will be the core target audience for your various lines? The beauty of Pixar movies, and the reason why Thinkway has partnered on virtually every single one the studio has produced, is that they have a wide appeal both in terms of age and gender. Toy Story in particular offers fans a nostalgic and emotional trip, and we expect them to join us on the adventure of Disney•Pixar Toy Story 4 with new characters being introduced and old heroes returning. Of course, the under 10s who have never experienced a Toy Story theatrical release will be major players in terms of who will ultimately drive

sales of the product line. That said, Toy Story is a franchise which lets parents, kids and hard-core fans alike enjoy their own fond memories and love of the characters. We have images of Thinkway fans with their Buzz and Woody toys of 25 years ago, alongside those bought more recently for their own children. Not many toy companies have achieved this multi-generational connection.

What do you see as the main opportunities for retailers with the Disney•Pixar Toy Story 4 franchise across 2019 and 2020? The Thinkway Toy Story line has supported the franchise at retail both during and outside of movie years, acting as a constant partner to Disney to keep brand awareness on-shelf. In the last three years we have seen growth even without any new movies, and with plenty of other distractions drawing the eye of consumers. While other brands may come and go, Toy Story is a safe investment for retailers. We’re confident that the franchise will easily take us through to 2021 and beyond - the core 12” scale figures will always be sought after. Those retailers who perhaps have not operated through a Toy Story movie year, or are considering their first foray into the franchise, have a huge opportunity is to build sustainable business with a fantastic product line that will keep delivering year after year.

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Figuring it out Having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Toy Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Tara McGrath worked for Pace Development, inventing games, dolls, and pre-school toys for Hasbro, Fisher-Price, Mattel, Parker Brothers and Tyco Toys. Now design director at Mattel, based in California, Tara currently leads all Disney • Pixar Brands. Here, she speaks to Toy World about what it’s like to be involved with the Toy Story 4 licensing programme.

What’s different and unique about the Mattel Toy Story 4 toys? What sets your toys apart from other offerings on the market? One of Mattel’s biggest strengths is its ability to reach kids across all ages and stages, each with diverse needs and expectations of play. Because of this, the Toy Story 4 line Mattel has created is the most comprehensive toy line in decades, offering product for toddlers with Fisher-Price Little People, through to pre-school with Imaginext, and, of course, our action figure line for older kids. Our team has worked hard to create a new line of figures that encompass a great kid-to-toy scale for 2019. This versatile line-up allows kids to pose and articulate figures in any way, and provides incredible detail and variety; it’s an exciting range that fans of the franchise will really want to get behind. We’ve brought Toy Story 4 into the world of Imaginext with the fun activation points and playful designs which are characteristic of this particular brand. For example, our Duke Caboom Stuntman lets kids recreate the story they’ll see on screen, while adding projectiles and a make-believe ring of fire.

Can you take us through the process of designing a toy in partnership with Disney for a major movie?

It’s all about collaboration - Mattel, Disney and Pixar work side by side. Pixar Animation Studio will share content and storylines with our team, and we also get invited to screenings along the way. One of the perks of my job is getting a sneak peek at films. We can view rough line-art too, as well as the inspiration that the film makers use during development. After that, all the teams will brainstorm together; this is one of the most exciting parts of the process, during which we will select the top ideas. Once this is done, we then work closely with Disney and Pixar to ensure our characters are true to the film, have correct proportions, and spoton colours. The process is a true partnership.

How closely do you collaborate with Disney? We work very closely with our partners - we are in continuous contact and have weekly touchpoints during which we discuss milestones and review how the product is coming along. We are also kept abreast of any updates to the content of a movie, which allows us to align our toys as closely as possible with what the audience will see in the final version of the film. One of the most important elements of our relationship with Disney is that we trust each other implicitly, and that is why is works. It’s a relationship that has existed since 1955.

Which particular products in the range are you most excited about? I’m excited to talk about our new Ultimate Walking Buzz Lightyear. This amazing product marks the first time we have ever done a 7” (17 ¾ cm) action figure that actually walks. Buzz comes with various pre-programmed missions, can fire his laser and eject his wings, and boasts fluid, natural movement

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for an authentic play experience. I also love our True to Movie Figures. These feature a high level of articulation, and we’ve created a wide variety of them - there’s an entire world of Toy Story characters for kids to collect. It’s been so much fun to pose them and set them up in humorous ways as we re-create scenes from the movie in our office.

Is designing toys based upon such iconic toy characters a stifling or liberating undertaking?

Designing toys based on iconic toy characters is definitely a liberating experience. Pixar creates strong characters with identifiable personalities which helps us to come up with great features, and every single one of them has a story ready to be told through play. We select the core strengths of each character and then play them up during the toy design process - after that, the child’s imagination takes over.

Of the characters in the upcoming film, which was your favourite to work on and transform into toy? One of my favourite new characters is Forky. Although he starts off as a utensil in the film, it was fun to bring his personality to life with the bendy articulation and voice effects featured in our True Talker Forky figure. Every time I see him interact with Woody, he makes me laugh. I also enjoyed bringing the new Bo Peep character to life as multiple, different toys. Bo Beep has an awesome heroic role in Toy Story 4, which was fun to capture in our articulated fashion doll and action figure. She has a lot of courage, and I can’t wait to see how fans react to her.

adjustable size dial 48-54cm

Fun ch Grapharacter ics safety helmet anti-slip footplate


colour printed footplate enclosed printed chainguard

in-line scooter with lights

ŠDisney/Pixar Visit

Ride to the rescue!

14 inch bike

Toy Story 4

Eolo Toys 01604401719 | In partnership with Disney Pixar, Eolo has announced the launch of its new products, Buzz Lightyear Real Flyer and Buzz Lightyear Helix Flyer. The Buzz Lightyear Real Flyer lets kids launch Buzz high into the sky, thanks to its generous 45cm wingspan and crash resistant material. The flyer can travel up to 25 meters in distance. Constructed from high quality EPP foam for hours of outdoor fun, the product will be available in two packaging options - a closed box or blister card. No batteries are required, making the flyer suitable for play right out of the box. The Buzz Lightyear Helix Flyer can be launched up to 10 meters. Kids provide the energy, and Buzz will fly. This product includes a launcher and two stabiliser propellers, and does not require batteries. Eolo continues to innovate within the outdoor play category, and considers Buzz Lightyear to be an ideal fit for its engaging flying toys. Both the Buzz Lightyear Real Flyer and Helix Flyer are available from May.

MV Sports 01217 488 000 |

Mattel 01628 500 000 |

MV is supporting Toy Story 4 with a new licensed range of scooters, bikes and helmets. Featuring bold colours and graphics based on both the classic and new characters, the range will also integrate elements that reflect the film’s funfair theme. Set to be one of the main characters in the new movie, MV has created a tilt n turn scooter based on Forky, with a full length Forky-shape stem plaque and quirky character graphics. The Toy Story 4 Fixed Inline Scooter features brightly coloured character grip tape and integrated lights in the deck. MV’s My Perfect Dream Den is an ideal sleepover solution. Complete with an inflatable mattress, which blows up easily and folds away quickly into the included storage bag, the den boasts fully printed side panels featuring bold character graphics depicting Woody, Buzz, Forky and Bo Peep. The addition of 10 fairy lights and tie-back doors make this the ultimate addition to any fan’s bedroom. MV’s bespoke Buzz Lightyear 6v Space Cruiser ride-on features integrated lights, an easy to use foot pedal, and forward and reverse gears. An extended range of Buzz Lightyear scooters, skateboards and cruiser boards is also available; the products have been designed to reflect Buzz’s classic suit and features. The company also offers a classic Toy Story range comprising scooters, bikes, accessories, go-karts and tepees.

Mattel’s Toy Story 4 Action Figures range includes the 7” Figure Assortment, which features iconic and new characters including Woody, Buzz, Rex, Bo-Peep, Jessie, Slinky, Ducky and Bunny. Each authentically designed figure has multiple points of articulation. The 7” True Talkers figures feature over 20 sounds and phrases plus new facial expressions, while multiple points of articulation allow fans to recreate signature poses. The 7” Real Walking Buzz comes to life with lights, sounds and some special moves. He walks forwards and backwards whilst speaking key lines from the film. Several role-play products inspired by Buzz Lightyear are also on offer. The Buzz Helmet features action activated lights and fun sounds from the movie, while the Buzz Wrist Blaster and Buzz Rapid Disc Communicator shoot projectiles and discs. Suitable for a younger demographic, Fisher-Price’s Imaginext range features the BuzzBot, an all-in-one space station, launch pad and play set. Claw action and Power Pads, which reveal projectile launchers, add to the play potential. The Imaginext Basic Figure Assortment sees favourite characters team up with new faces. The range includes Woody & Forky, Buzz & Bunny, and Bo-Peep & Combat Carl. The Duke Caboom Stunt Set, from Mattel’s Feature Figure Assortment, allows kids to recreate daredevil movie moments from the movie as they launch Duke Caboom and his motorcycle into the ring of fire. Fans can also recreate carnival adventures with the Imaginext Carnival Playset, as they take a ride on the spinning rocket with Woody and Ducky. Legacy characters and play sets are also available, including the Imaginext Legendary Pizza Planet and the Legacy Vehicle Assortment.

Flair/Just Play 020 8643 0320 | Flair/Just Play’s feature-packed Toy Story 4 plush collection includes all the familiar heroes from the beloved film franchise, plus a few new faces from the upcoming summer blockbuster. Kids can watch Buzz and Woody come to life with the Talking Plush toys. A simple squeeze of their tummies triggers a whole host of familiar phrases from the films. Kids can also enjoy the 13” Interactive Flying Buzz soft toy. This innovative toy’s motion sensors can detect when he is being flown; when kids lift him in the air his wings will deploy, and he’ll strike a flying pose when tilted, all while making authentic flying sounds. Woody’s trusty steed, Giddy Up Bullseye, is 13” tall and features sound effects plus walking action.

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Toy Story 4

Siso Toys UK 01620 674 778 | Siso Toys UK has Toy Story 4 covered on RC with a range of lines that are sure to be popular among Toy Story Fans. The core of the range will be made up of impressive 1:24 scale RC toys; iconic toys Woody and Buzz are joined by new character Duke Caboom and his motorcycle. Woody and Buzz figures sit atop the RC character buggy, which boasts Turbo Speed features, while the articulated Duke figure can perform forward flips or be posed for impressive tricks. The 1:18 scale Crash Buzz RC includes a Buzz Lightyear figure; when kids crash the vehicle into a wall or object as they are racing, Buzz will topple over comically for added entertainmet value. Siso’s RC range is supported with heavyweight TV, YouTube and digital activations.

Jumbo Games 01707 289 289 | Jumbo’s Toy Story 4 lines launched last month. The range comprises a 4 Shaped Puzzle Set, a 4-in-1 Puzzle Pack, a 50-piece Movie Poster Puzzle and a 4-in-1 Round Puzzles set, as well as the Puzzle & Colour Box Set for creative puzzlers.

Tomy 01271 336 155 |

Winning Moves 0207 298 9507 |

Tomy will be launching a brand-new range of Lamaze Disney/Pixar Toy Story Clip & Go characters to coincide with the eagerly anticipate release of Toy Story 4. Parents and gift-givers can introduce their little ones to seven of the main characters from the Toy Story movie franchise, including Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie, Hamm, Bullseye, Bo Peep and Rex. Each Clip & Go character will feature plenty for babies to explore: surprise crinkles, textures that make grabbing and squeezing more fun and colourful features to develop fine motor skills. Suitable from 0 – 24 months, the Clip & Gos will be available from June 2019.

Top Trumps, the family favourite card game in a travelready case, is back thanks to Winning Moves’ new Toy Story 4 edition. Players can join Woody, Buzz and the rest of the gang in this entertaining and educational game, which features new characters alongside iconic favourites. Comparing stats and rating each other against Teamwork, Humour and Courage will reveal who the overall Top Trump is.

IMC Toys 01904 720 908 | With the release of the highly anticipated movie fast approaching, IMC Toys is excited to be releasing a new range of Toy Story 4 lines. The new and exclusive Deluxe Intercom includes two intercoms, designed to look like Buzz Lightyear’s arms. Working like a classic walkie-talkie, the intercoms fit around the forearm, allowing role play. Once flipped open, the arm piece reveals details such as a contact button, volume regulator and laser feature. IMC Toys is also releasing a Toy Story 4 walkie-talkie, as well as lifelike Buzz and Woody figures that have the same usability as the rest of the walkietalkies in the range. A hero line in the collection is the Mega Laser set. This two-player action game comes with two laser guns and two adjustable armour plates in the style of the Buzz’s chest. The laser guns fire light beams, as kids aim to hit the chest piece of their opponent; six successful hits will win the game. The set includes light and sound effects.

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Orange Tree Toys 01242 244 500 | Orange Tree is developing a toy line based on the fourth instalment of the Toy Story franchise. The range is set to include toy styles that the company has become well-known for, such as wooden skittles and push-alongs, modelled on both the classic Toy Story characters and new faces from the upcoming movie. While more information will be revealed at a later date, the company hopes that the toy line will be ready for release this year.

Posh Paws 01268 567317 | With the premier of Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 4 set for June, official plush partner Posh Paws is readying itself for the launch of its licensed soft toys. The range consists of longstanding favourites alongside some of the new characters from the final instalment in the movie franchise, in a range of sizes.

Worlds Apart 0800 389 8591 | Worlds Apart is launching Toy Story 4 products across all categories. Key new characters have been incorporated alongside old favourites, resulting in vibrant and differentiated products. For Toy Story 3, the company saw particular success with the Alien GoGlow Pal and has now produced a Ducky and Bunny version. The Slinky Tunnel provides a fun, iconic solution to keep kids active, indoors and out. Worlds Apart has also secured strong listings across its ReadyBed, Beds and Furniture ranges.

Spin Master 01628 535 000 | Spin Master’s Toy Story 4 line-up includes the extraterrestrial Alien Grab Game. This classic fishing game challenges players to hook as many aliens as they can while the spaceship-themed gameboard spins. Flying Frenzy sees players don their Western hats as they take turns catapulting squishy Ducky and Bunny characters into the air. The range also features nine Toy Story 4 puzzles, alongside the 6-in-1 Game set - the 3-pack game bundle, a Pop Up Game and Dominoes in a Tin.

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Licensing Expo

Nevada know-how

The Mandalay Bay Convention Centre is once again set to play host to the Las Vegas Licensing Expo, although this year’s event takes place several weeks later than in recent years – the 2019 show runs from 4-6th June. With some 16,000 licensees, retailers, and manufacturers expected to attend, the stage is set for another informative and entertaining event. Toy World spoke to Jess Blue, senior vice president, licensing, UBM, to find out more.


ccording to the 2018 LIMA Global Licensing Industry Survey, retail sales of brand licensed products grew 3.3% in 2018 to $271.6b worldwide. 79% of those sales were from brick & mortar retailers, while 21% were from online retailers. For many, licensing has offered brand owners a competitive advantage in the ever-changing retail landscape. “Today’s changing retail landscape is a primary challenge for the licensing industry,” explains Jess Blue. “People consume products differently than before; they seek an emotional connection and crave a constant flow of new products. To survive, brands are forced to rethink how they’re reaching and connecting with consumers. This also opens the door to another challenge – speed to market. Simply deploying a licensing strategy isn’t enough. If you want to remain relevant in the consumer’s eyes, you need to get products on shelves, fast.” Shows such as the Licensing Expo and Brand Licensing Europe continue to play a vital part for those within the licensing community, drawing visitors from around the globe year after year. Roughly 30% of LE 2019 attendees will come from overseas, with a significant portion of traveling from Europe, making it a truly global event.

“Licensing Expo and Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) cater to very different audiences,” says Jess. “BLE is focused on the European market, whereas Licensing Expo is focused on the US and global markets. Attendees can expect to find that the content and exhibitors of each show reflect these differences – the crossover in exhibitors is only 20%”. The Licensing Expo programme has been refreshed with plenty of new topics on offer this year – highlights include a focus on sustainability; how to use crowdfunding; visual displays; anticounterfeiting; negotiating strategies, and eSports. Jess adds: “Another highlight of the show, and new for this year, is Pitch the Brands. It’s a new programme we drummed up with InventHelp to

support budding inventors. Securing a meeting with and receiving feedback from brands like NFL Players or Viacom Nickelodeon is immensely difficult, so we are bringing these brands to the entrepreneurs. For two minutes, they have our expert panel’s full attention and will receive valuable feedback and direction. And, they have a chance to win a prize package valued at more than $18,000.”

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Pitch the Brands, which takes place on the Wednesday (5th June), is just a small part of the wider Licensing Week programme, which runs from Monday 3rd June – though those attendees wishing to start their week in a feel-good way can take part in the LIMA Charity Bike Ride on the Sunday, which will wend its way through the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Monday night plays host to the LIMA Young Professionals Networking Event at Mandalay Bay’s Rhythm and Riff. This casual, ‘come-as-you-are’ networking event will help guests to connect with their industry peers, before LE starts in earnest on the Tuesday. The ever-popular Costume Character Parade will take place at 11am on Tuesday and Wednesday, affording valuable opportunities for brands to get their mascots in front of visitors and cameras. The Global Licensing Group Party takes place on Wednesday in the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas. This year's party will include a battle royale, drinks, appetisers and more. International Market Panels will also run on the Wednesday and Thursday, on Asia and Latin America respectively. With so much to see and do, visitors to Licensing Expo are assured of a busy few days. And for those who can’t make it, Toy World Publisher John Baulch will be once more providing readers with the Vegas Blog straight from the show floor. “We are seeing a golden age of content,” concludes Jess. “There is more original programming than ever before, new property categories are opening up, and consumers are spending. It’s an exciting time to be part of the licensing industry.” To learn more about Licensing Expo, and to register for free, visit

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Vegas Licensing Expo

Nickelodeon 020 3580 2000 | Stand O180 In kids’ franchises, SpongeBob SquarePants will be a key focus, as Nickelodeon celebrates the 20th anniversary and the character’s influence is felt across social media memes, fashion and pop culture. Paw Patrol, in its sixth year, continues to be a global pre-school power house franchise, successful in every product category and market the property has launched. Meanwhile, Blue’s Clues Nickelodeon’s first billion-dollar consumer products franchise - is being updated for today’s generation with Blue’s Clues and You. Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has already reached 1.3m kids in the UK. The new series reinvented the franchise and has laid the groundwork to fuel the property for years to come. Finally, JoJo Siwa remains the No.1 live action licensed property in the US. This year will see new episodes of her web-series, a US music tour and new consumer products and retail activations to support her Dream Birthday celebration. In the adult space, the MTV consumer products business is up more than 40% vs last year, driven by successful collaborations with brands such as Moschino, Fyodor Golan, PUMA, adidas and global retailers such as ASOS and H&M. South Park is a truly global franchise in 130+ territories with 47m+ social fans, who research shows want more products at retail. Paramount’s 100+ year history has produced some of the most iconic films of all time. With nostalgia trending, this translates to opportunities across multiple categories, with deals inked with K-Swiss (Clueless), Skinny Dip (Mean Girls + Clueless clothing/loungewear + accessories range) on top of existing deals with Funko/Loungefly for Clueless and Godfather. VNCP will present theatrical tentpoles, including live-action Dora and the Lost City of Gold, animated film, Monster on the Hill, sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, and The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge.

Sega Europe 020 8996 4594 | Stand Q236 It’s set to be a big year for Sonic as he and his friends hit the silver screen in Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog. The movie, which combines live-action and CGI, stars Parks and Recreation actor Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic and Jim Carrey as his arch nemesis, Doctor Ivo Robotnik. James Marsden, of Westworld fame, plays the role of cop Tom Wachowski in the town of Green Hills, helping Sonic escape the clutches of his would-be captors. Sega Europe has teamed up with industry leaders TVM Fashion Lab and Cooneen & Misirli for a movie-themed range of apparel and accessories to support this major launch. On 21st May, Sonic will be back behind the wheel in Team Sonic Racing on Microsoft Xbox One, Sony PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC. Developed by award-winning studio Sumo Digital, Team Sonic Racing is the ultimate, fast-paced, competitive kart racing arcade experience. Toy company Nkok has partnered with Sega Europe to produce a Team Sonic Racing RC Vehicle which will be available to purchase soon. The vehicle offers fans the perfect way to bring the arcade action of Sonic into the real world. A new line of Sonic the Hedgehog action figures, play sets, plush, collectibles and novelty items will be on show from new partner Jakks Pacific. This will include the Pinball Track Set, which brings Green Hill Zone, the iconic level from the videogame series, to life with its customisable track. Fans simply pull the pinball launcher and shoot the Sonic Spheres through the loops and turns. The set comes with an exclusive Sonic Sphere and removable figure. Retro continues to be a key focus for Sega Europe, particularly with the global launch of the Sega Mega Drive Mini on 19th September. The Sega Shop (www. will continue to support the nostalgia wave with several new retro ranges planned to launch throughout the year. This has been bolstered by the expansion of Sega Europe’s partnership with global licensing agency CPLG, to include the retro programme and broaden its reach to new territories such as Russia and CIS.

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Vegas Licensing Expo

The Pokémon Company International 0207 381 7000 | Stand G196 In partnership with Legendary Entertainment/Warner Brothers, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, directed by Rob Letterman with a cast including Ryan Reynolds, Rita Ora and Bill Nighy, hits cinemas worldwide from May. With the movie boosting awareness across the retail landscape, products from a range of Pokémon licensees will be available for fans of all ages. A new Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) tie-in, including more than 25 new cards featuring CGI versions of Pokémon as seen in the film, is available now, supported by strong promotions across a wide range of retailers in the UK and across Europe. This month, the latest TCG regular expansion, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon: Unbroken Bonds is released, featuring the innovative new Tag Team mechanic. This new element, which offers high-risk and high-reward battles, has proved extremely popular, helping to further boost the appeal of the popular TCG. Pokémon TCG players and fans from around the globe attended the Pokémon Europe International Championship in Berlin at the end of April, while the August World Championship in Washington DC will test their strategies and allow them to make new friends. Following its first award-winning master toy range for Pokémon, Wicked Cool Toys - distributed in the UK and Ireland by Character Options - is launching new ranges across plush and figures. New releases in 2”, 3”, 8” and 12” plush include existing favourites such as Pikachu, Eevee and Jigglypuff along with new characters such as Psyduck, Lucario and Snorlax. There are also new ranges of clip-on plush, Poké Ball plush and 4.5” battle feature figures. Wicked Cool’s range is joined by Pokémon’s other leading partners, including Build-A-Bear (plush, US and Europe) and Toy Factory (amusement plush, Europe); Ravensburger (puzzles, Europe) and Zanzoon (interactive games, Europe); TeknoFun (lights/alarm clocks, Europe) and OTL (headphones, Europe); Amscan (party goods, Europe) and Rubie’s (dress-up, Europe); and GB Eye (gifting/posters, Europe). Pokémon’s core role-play video games remain popular, with the latest in the series, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, due to arrive exclusively on Nintendo Switch in late 2019. The Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee video games were shortlisted in the BAFTA Games Awards Family category this year. The award-winning Pokémon Go continues to innovate. Its latest activation, Legendary Lunch Hour, features an increased number of raids to test players’ battle skills alongside their friends, co-workers and classmates from 12-1pm (local time.) The 22nd season of the TV animation, Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Legends, is rolling out across the EU over the coming months, and The Pokémon Company International is also preparing a programme to launch the new generation of Pokémon in late 2019. This looks set to cap another strong year for the brand, as it inspires further innovation and success throughout 2020.

Entertainment One 020 3691 8600 | Stand O208 Global licensing phenomenon Peppa Pig now boasts over 1,000 licensees around the world and has a standout retail presence in the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand, China, Italy, Brazil and France. A highly successful brand with instant name recognition, 2019 is set to be Peppa Pig’s biggest year yet. This year, brand activations under the theme of Family Celebrations started in February with the Chinese theatrical debut of a new film, The Year of the Pig, in honour of Chinese New Year. In the UK and Australia, the brand is celebrating its 15th anniversary with nationwide cinema releases. Global partnerships include a collaboration with the footwear brand Hunter, and an ongoing relationship with charity partner Save The Children. The latter has resulted in the creation of the successful annual mass-participation event, Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk. Experiential Peppa Pig activations continue to be popular. The Peppa Pig Live! show plays to sold-out audiences around the world, while Peppa Pig theme parks in Italy, Germany and the UK attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Merlin’s Peppa Pig World of Play soft play attraction continues its successful global roll-out, with a new venue opening in Michigan following recent launches in Dallas and Shanghai. Additional ongoing retail activity, new episodes and family festival appearances – including a headline performance at Lollapalooza’s kids festival in Argentina – will also ensure the brand remains fresh for its global audience. PJ Masks is now a firmly established pre-school favorite and international hit. The brand has strengthened its global success with the launch of new episodes from Series 2, soon-to-air Series 3, and the expansion of its licensing programme. The introduction of new categories and the development of new product ranges have attracted internationally-renowned brands, and the number of licensees has now risen to over 650 partners worldwide. Broadcast exposure continues to build with recently announced CCTV in China joining a long list of broadcasters that spans over 150 territories. The brand’s first stage show, PJ Masks Live! Time to be a Hero, has been a hit with audiences and is currently on its third successful run in the USA, leading a live show album which has gained over 1.3m streams on Apple Music and Spotify. The show also toured Latin America and Australia last year. eOne’s newest pre-school property, Ricky Zoom, is revving up for its broadcast launch in selected territories from autumn. The CGI action comedy adventure series follows the adventures of Ricky, a little red motorbike with a zest for speed, and focuses on friendship, family and learning to stand on your own two wheels. Currently in production, a number of leading broadcasters have already committed to the show including Gulli (France), Rai (Italy), Discovery Kids (Latin America), CLAN (Spain), Super RTL (Germany) and Youku (China). The licensing programme is already taking shape, spearheaded by Tomy as global master toy partner. Tomy is set to introduce an initial range that will include vehicles and play sets, which will be hitting shelves from spring 2020.

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EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA: Jason Rice Email: Tel: +44 (0) 208 996 4568


US, CANADA & LATIN AMERICA: Anoulay Tsai Email: Tel: +1 (747) 400 2410, ext.203 Social icon

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REST OF THE WORLD: Shigefumi Tanzawa Email: Tel: +81 3 6871 7122


Vegas Licensing Expo

ITV Studios Global Entertainment 020 8433 3460 | Stand L204 Leading the ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) slate following its recent broadcast launch is the animated series Robozuna, which follows 14-yearold Ariston and his homemade robot, Mangle. In this adventure series, Ariston and Mangle attempt to free their oppressed nation from the evil Corvus Imperium. Having launched on ITV and CITV in the UK to positive ratings, and globally (excluding the UK) on Netflix, this original IP benefits from linear broadcast, global VOD, and exclusive YouTube short-form content created with the high-profile influencers Ali-A and Ethan Gamer. Both also star in the series. The spring/summer toy line hit shelves in April, distributed in the UK by Bandai and in the US by Basic Fun!. The range will be supported with a heavyweight TV campaign from launch, a pre-roll campaign and costume character appearances at retail in the UK. A second toy line will land in autumn/winter, and opportunities are now available to licensees for the CP rollout. Thunderbirds Are Go is gearing up for all-new episodes to launch on ITV and CITV, in addition to a blanket repeat schedule throughout 2019 with over 69 episodes now available to air. The new toy line - distributed in the UK by Bandai, in New Zealand by Planet Fun, and in Australia by Modern Brands - retails from autumn/winter this year. The range includes 12” action figures, vehicles with new technology, collectible items and role-play SKUs. As well as a strong presence in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, the series continues to build in China; CCTV has just green-lit Season 2 after Season 1 became the No. 1 animated show in the country across all channels when it aired in 2017. In other markets, Season 1 will soon be available on CBC’s VOD platform in Canada, Season 2 is about to air on Rai Gulp in Italy, and Season 3 will launch in the Nordics by 2020. The extensive catalogue at ITVS GE also includes popular evergreen and cult titles such as Space: 1999, UFO, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Schitt’s Creek, Poldark, Victoria, Watership Down, Love Island, Hell’s Kitchen, The Last Unicorn and more.

Alpha Animation and Toys

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Stand R228 Alpha Group’s pre-school animated hit Super Wings airs on both Tiny Pop and Cartoonito and has just launched its third season. Alpha’s unique position as both master toy partner and animation studio allows for unrivalled co-ordination between storyline and toy line. This, combined with Alpha’s experience in content-creation, has proved a strong draw for several major licensees. Aykroyd/ TDP and Fashion UK/Global have launched apparel with Next, Tesco, Asda and, among others. The Roy Lowe and Sons 4-pack sock set is out now and benefits from Super Wings’ social media channels backing the launch. Dreamtex’s reversible duvet will be widely available on-line and in-store from autumn. In publishing, Kennedy’s stand-alone Super Wings magazine hit shelves in March and has proved popular with young fans. Centum’s book range launches in July with four titles to choose from; a storybook, picture book, sticker book, and a colour & carry pad. Alpha’s latest licensee, William Lamb, will launch its first backpack at around the same time, while MV Sports’ wheeled toys and ride-ons will be available in autumn. Alpha’s support for licensees through its social media channels, content delivery - season 5 of Top Wing is already greenlit - and consistent, continuous broadcast support gives licensors strong foundations that help to set the company apart in the competitive pre-school market.

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BBC Studios 020 8433 3460 | Stand N204 The BBC is showcasing several of its children’s properties at the Vegas Licensing Expo 2019. Golden Bear’s Hey Duggee toys have enjoyed an increase in orders of over 400% since March last year, with new product launches hitting shelves in autumn/winter 2019. The new series Bluey will be making an appearance at the show for the first time, having shot to success across Australia since its launch last year. The series has performed particularly well on ABC Australia, and the studio looks forward to discussions with partners at the show. Finally, new Go Jetters, Something Special and Sarah & Duck toys will launch this June, thanks to new plush and wooden toy ranges from 8th Wonder.

Blue Sky Designs

Company Profile

Sky high ambitions Toy World spoke to Gavin Holden, director at Blue Sky Designs about the company’s latest licensed offerings and how the design studio keeps on top of industry trends. Harry Potter continues to be the most sought-after brand from our licensed portfolio; as a response to market demands, we are launching fresh artwork, brand new product formats and a host of innovative signature products.

Blue Sky is constantly designing new and innovative product offerings. What has the company been working on most recently? It has been a very busy few months for Blue Sky in the product development and design departments, which have been working across all our key product categories. Now that our expanded licensed ranges cover school bags, lunchware and stationery, we are working hard to provide the most cohesive ranges with consistent quality and design throughout. The back to school season is fast approaching, a trading period which is hugely important to Blue Sky.

What are the highlights of the latest Blue Sky ranges this year, and when can retailers expect to see them?

Our Harry Potter bag range has been expanded for Summer 2019 with the addition of swim bags, holdalls and new backpack formats, all featuring a choice of colours and striking metallic gold prints. The holdalls in particular have been very popular so far, appealing to gym-goers and Hogwarts fans alike. The full range of Harry Potter bags is due into stock early June 2019.

Can you tell us about other Harry Potter merchandise that will be available? On the stationery side of Harry Potter, we are introducing several exciting new formats, the most notable of which are the Super Soft character pens and notebooks, featuring some of Hogwarts’ best loved characters; there will be five to collect in total. We also have new Premium chunky notebooks joining the range. These notebooks are super heavyweight with premium leather effect coverings; a favourite of mine is the Dark Arts snakeskin version which looks (and feels) fantastic.

What other licensed properties can retailers expect to see from Blue Sky this year? Friends the TV series is another licence which is very much in demand, we are aiming to launch a full range of social stationery and bags into the market towards the middle of August. This range features the inventive use of textured papers and materials on notebooks, a novel Spinning Quote Pen and some cleverly themed stationery that you’d expect to find in use at Central Perk. Work is well under way on several additional new licensed ranges which Blue Sky will be launching this September; these include Wonder Woman, Tom & Jerry, Batman and Looney Tunes amongst others, and will all feature the high attention to detail and innovative approach to product that we know our customers have come to expect from Blue Sky Studios.

Are you finding the demand for licensed products remains buoyant? There has been talk across the industry recently of a declining demand for licensed

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products, however I believe that there is still a huge market. Companies need to remain focused on moving with the latest trends and staying close to the consumer, understanding the brands for which there is a following and reacting accordingly. From our experience, we have seen increased demand for better product quality, better detail and longer lifespan on product, as consumers move away from the throw away culture of cheap licensed products. We find consumers make more considered decisions nowadays, spending more time looking at the materials, quality, functionality, asking themselves, “is it unique?”

Have you noticed any changes in the type of licences that are in demand? Within the categories we produce, we are seeing a shift towards pop culture brands and less interest in the big blockbuster movies. I think Hollywood movies come so thick and fast these days that nothing really sticks around long enough to build good momentum. Perhaps this is why our consumers like to revert back to popular culture, and brands they can identify with, which carry associations either from growing up or from when life was maybe a little slower paced.

And how do you ensure that you provide what the customer is looking for? It is our job to ensure we achieve both a ‘wow factor’ and desirability, together with a guarantee of quality with all of our products. I think if you continue to consistently achieve those factors, your reliability will encourage repeat customers and you remain quite resilient to market downturns.


Character Licensed Merchandise

Character Licensed Merchandise Over the following pages, Licensing World presents a selection of the latest character licensed products and ranges which will be hitting the market over the coming months.

Dreamtex 0844 499 8465 | Dreamtex’s portfolio of home textiles continues to grow, covering brands from character, publishing and gaming, to home entertainment and lifestyle. Licensed highlights for 2019 include L.O.L. Surprise! and PJ Masks, the story-time classic The Gruffalo, the iconic Sony PlayStation, and the recently announced partnership with National Geographic. A further new addition for the coming months will be a bedding range created for the new CBeebies series Moon and Me. Dreamtex has worked closely with MGA Entertainment to introduce the L.O.L. Surprise! phenomenon into the world of interior décor, giving young fans the chance to have a L.O.L. themed bedroom. The company’s biggest licensed range to date includes a hot pink BBFs 4 Eva design in single and double duvet sizes, along with a selection of colourful fleece blankets. Kids can choose from a variety of cushion designs to add the finishing touch to their bed, including the shaped Glitter Queen and Queen Bee cushions. Dreamtex has also launched a reversible 2-in-1 cushion, bringing the company’s own surprise element to the range. For bathrooms, several colourful towels featuring striking character art are available; these would also look great at the beach or by a pool. A selection of face cloths is also available, as well as hooded towel ponchos ideal for summer holidays. Recognised for its innovation, The PJ Masks bedding collection includes a unique design inspired by Catboy's cat car. The single duvet features shaped edges that follow the outline of Catboy's signature stealth vehicle, to help bring it to life on a bed and provide role-playing fun. Themed blankets, towels and ponchos are also available, plus character pyjama cases for storing nightwear that double up as soft and cuddly cushions. Other character licensed ranges to look out for include Bing, Hey Duggee and In The Night Garden, plus Super Wings. The Super Wings duvet design features a fun and interactive airport road map on the reverse, which kids can use alongside their Super Wings action figures. Dreamtex is also breaking new ground this summer with the launch of the first licensed recycled bedding collection in collaboration with National Geographic. Each duvet set, featuring National Geographic inspired designs and promoting important messages about looking after our planet, will be made from recycled plastic bottles using a leading performance fibre created by Repreve. The eco-friendly range will be sold in recycled packaging, and supported by a marketing and PR campaign.

Casdon 01253 608 428 | Casdon offers an expansive collection of Henry and Hetty toys to help children feel just like mum or dad. The Henry/Hetty Vacuum Cleaner is a Casdon classic, and a favourite with both boys and girls. Each vacuum cleaner comes with full branding plus working suction and a removable debris drawer. The Casdon Dyson cord-free cordless vacuum is a direct replica of the life size Dyson and has been specifically designed to be true to life, right down to the last detail. The model features working suction, spinning beads, realistic sounds and twist & turn action, just like the real thing, for an immersive play experience as kids help out around the house. The company’s Morphy Richards and DeLonghi ranges are an ideal addition to any pretend-play kitchen. The Morphy Richards Microwave, Kettle and Toaster Set comprises a microwave with a realistic touch pad and lights, plus a kettle and pop-up toaster, while the DeLonghi Microwave has a rotating turntable, flashing lights and cooking sounds. Each set looks just like the appliances used in real life. Featuring the famous ‘tea folk’, the new Tetley Tea Set will appeal to kids and adults alike thanks to its durability and nostalgic charm. Children can enjoy endless imaginative fun with this traditionallystyled set, which contains a tin teapot, tray, cups, saucers and plates, all housed within a carry-case for take-along tea parties. The Mr Kipling Cake Stand & Tea Set, from the Little Cooks collection, allows little ones to treat friends and family to afternoon tea. This brightly coloured shape-sorting cake stand includes a selection of cakes, plus plates and cutlery to help with serving. For summertime, the Flymo Lawn Mower features a foldable handle for easy storage and makes a mechanical click when it’s on the move. It also features the iconic orange base.

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Character Licensed Merchandise

Asmodee 01420 593 593 | It’s set to be a big year for Asmodee UK, with two major new licensed products arriving this summer. The company expects the new Harry Potter Dobble, a combination of J.K. Rowling’s phenomenally popular Wizarding World with the UK’s best-selling game of 2018, to make a particularly big impact. The iconic gameplay formula is unchanged from the original Dobble, but now Harry Potter fans can eye up stylised imagery of Harry, Hermione, Ron and a variety of magical symbols as they try to spot the single matching image between two cards. Everything from magical creatures to wands and the Hogwarts house symbols are present and correct in this new version. Asmodee is also set to welcome Tenable this summer, a board-game adaptation of the hit ITV quiz show hosted by Star Wars and Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis. Ideal for families and trivia enthusiasts, Tenable challenges players to complete top-10 lists from a wide variety of categories. Retailers can also benefit from Asmodee’s broad portfolio of critically acclaimed Star Wars board games, including the space-combat action of Star Wars: X-Wing. Relaunched in its Second Edition in 2018, the miniature combat game features accessible gameplay to appeal to Star Wars fans of all skill levels and includes detailed prepainted models of the iconic Star Wars battle ships.

Wow! Stuff 01902 390 428 | Wow! Stuff recently unveiled its hugely anticipated Invisibility Cloak, in an exclusive global Toy World reveal straight from the February New York Toy Fair. Wow! Stuff CEO Richard North was on hand to give show attendees a demonstration behind closed doors, covering his body to leave only his head visible – and floating. Aimed at Harry Potter fans from 8 to 80, the Invisibility Cloak, which was developed by Wow! Stuff in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, allows users to recreate iconic scenes from the Harry Potter films using the free downloadable app. Easy to set up and use, Wizarding World fans simply enter the unique authentication code that comes with each Invisibility Cloak to film or photograph themselves or their friends disappearing in less than 30 seconds. The Invisibility Cloak, which features authentic patterning as seen in the films and a green silk style interior, is available in two versions; the Deluxe Version includes a deluxe table-top tripod to hold a smart device while in use, while the Standard Version includes a foldaway stand. Since being presented for the first time, the Invisibility Cloak has been selected by major toy retailers across the globe, from the USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, and has already won its first major toy award, taking home Innovative Toy of the Year 2019 at Sweden’s Toy Awards.

8th Wonder 01942 829 811 | Following a number of successful and award-winning wooden ranges released in 2017/18, 8th Wonder is bringing to the market an innovative range of licensed pre-school wooden and plush products for 2019. The company has partnered with BBC Studios for popular preschool properties Hey Duggee, Something Special, Go Jetters and Sarah and Duck. The toy ranges will feature talking plush, wooden vehicles, sound puzzles, dominoes, skittles and tumbling towers. 8th Wonder has also welcomed Bing to its portfolio. Working closely with Acamar Films to produce a high quality wooden toy range, the company’s products will reflect elements from series 4 which launches in autumn/winter. Finally, a collaboration with Sanrio on Mr Men and Little Miss will see new heatable, sequin and microfibre plush hit shelves from July. Drawn to Mr Men for its nostalgic feel and broad age appeal, 8th Wonder’s range incorporates both new and traditional characters in modern day scenarios.

Posh Paws 01268 567317 | Posh Paws is taking plush licensing to new levels with a strong line up for evergreen classic The Lion King. The plush range has been created to mark the 25th anniversary of the original Lion King movie, as well as the new live action film which is due for release in July. The classically-styled range of soft plush brings Simba and his friends to life, making it ideal for new and old fans alike.

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Coming soon to Orange Tree Toys email: call:+44 (0)1242 244500 TM & Š 2019 TTL & MMPL Designs subject to approval

Character Licensed Merchandise

Rainbow Designs 01329 227300 | Rainbow’s popular Paddington Bear Classic collection features Michael Bond’s best-selling storybook character. The plush Paddington toys are created from the highest quality fabrics and feature appealing detailing. The collection includes the premium Large Classic Paddington with Boots and Suitcase, the Classic Cuddly Paddington, the Classic Paddington in a Union flag-designed bag, and the Classic Bean Toy Paddington. David McKee’s colourful patchwork elephant Elmer turns 30 this year. A cheerful and optimistic ambassador that celebrates differences, the globally-loved Elmer is one of the most iconic children’s book characters of all time. The collection features a range of nursery toys and essentials including a ring rattle, a rattle toy and comforter, as well as the Trumpeting Elmer feature plush toy. Joining Rainbow’s portfolio of classic characters this year is the new Spot collection. Launching just ahead of Spot’s 40th anniversary in 2020, the range includes plush, developmental toys, on-the-go toys and activity toys. Other prestigious licensed character collections in Rainbow’s portfolio include Peter Rabbit, Disney’s Classic Winnie the Pooh, Disney Baby and Dumbo, Guess How Much I Love You, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, My First Thomas & Friends, Peppa Pig for Baby, Miffy, The Snowman and Snowdog, That’s Not My…, and Roald Dahl. Rainbow Designs also offers Universal DreamWorks’s heritage collection, including characters from Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda, as well as the new movie for autumn, Abominable.

Jazwares 020 3598 5119 |

Orange Tree Toys 01242 244 500 | Orange Tree Toys holds several strong licences and is extending its range of products for autumn/winter. The company originally launched its Disney Winnie the Pooh range towards the end of 2017. This collection has been a best-seller throughout 2018, and is joined by Dumbo, The Lion King and Toy Story this year. The focus will be on the classic characters rather than the new movie versions; Orange Tree Toys sees these ranges as evergreen infant/pre-school favourites, and anticipates that demand will be ongoing, much as it is for its existing Peter Rabbit and Paddington Bear licences. The toy ranges will include best-selling products such as push-alongs, puzzles and skittles. Orange Tree Toys will also be releasing a set of Mickey Mouse skittles. This set includes all the classic characters and will be launched later in the year. The company is also an official licensee for the muchanticipated Moon and Me. The new production, from the team behind Teletubbies and In The Night Garden, has received very positive feedback since its first showing on CBeebies in February. Orange Tree Toys will release its new range of Moon and Me products in time for Christmas gifting.

Jazwares is preparing to launch its Angry Birds toy line, ahead of the 4th October 2019 release of The Angry Birds Movie 2, the sequel to the 2016 blockbuster. The new toy line, which will hit shelves in July, follows Jazwares’ appointment as global master toy partner for Rovio Entertainment Corp. The collaboration, which leverages Jazwares’ extensive expertise with digital brands to deliver new and engaging interactive experiences, brings the Angry Birds universe to fans in a character-branded product line. The action-packed toys reflect the DNA of the Angry Birds brand. The collection features splat balls, plush, a figure pack, a game pack, a Pig City Build n Launch play set, and ‘catablind’ collectible figures – blind-bagged figures inspired by the catapult action in the game. Selected Angry Birds toys also come with digital unlock features, which allow consumers to scan the product and unlock Jazwares’ exclusive game content, once they’ve downloaded the new Angry Birds Explore app. Angry Birds Explore is a fun and engaging way to bring the Angry Birds world to living rooms through augmented reality. The toy line offers true-to-game play patterns and character recognition that fans will love. Plus, the new collection delivers an Angry Birds offering at all the key price points, starting from pocket money up to £19.99. The launch of a new toy range comes at an exciting time for the brand. The core Angry Birds games have more players than ever before, with over 50m global monthly active users. The brand roadmap features a 360-degree content strategy for engaging fans across diverse platforms, with the Angry Birds Movie 2 plus new game releases and fresh content in the pipeline. Jazwares will be supporting Angry Birds with digital, social and PR campaigns. Listings have already been secured with major retailers.

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Character Licensed Merchandise

Paul Lamond Games 020 7154 0100 | Paul Lamond Games has a portfolio full of licensed characters, many of which are inspired by some of Britain’s greatest authors and star iconic literary characters. This year celebrates the 50th Birthday of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and a full schedule of activities is in place to mark the occasion. Paul Lamond’s Very Hungry Caterpillar range includes the popular Let’s Feed the Very Hungry Caterpillar board game, the 4-in-1 Games Cube, a Memory Card Game, the 24 piece Floor Puzzle and a 4-in-1 Puzzle Set. All the products have been created specifically for the pre-school sector. Arriving this summer is a fun new pre-school board game from The World of Dinosaur Roar. Dinosaurs Galore sees Dinosaur Squeak looking for all her Dinosaur friends. Players must answer prehistoric questions, name different dinosaurs and make the loudest roar to collect dinosaur figures and help Dinosaur Squeak in her search. Other lines in this range include a Memory Card Game, a 35-piece Puzzle, a 24-piece Giant Floor Puzzle and a 4-in-1 Puzzle Set. Also available for the pre-school sector is a colourful series of 35-piece puzzles and an educational Matching Game in an embossed tin, starring the Oi Frog!, Oi Cat! and Oi Dog! characters from the award-winning rhyming storybooks. There are two new additions to the children’s games portfolio this year. The award-winning Gangsta Granny Stash the Swag Board Game hails straight from The World of David Walliams, while the Horrible Histories board game challenges players to race through history as they answer ‘horrible’ multiple choice questions, act out charades and try to avoid Rattus and his tricky Chance cards.

Pioneer 01279 501 090 | New licensed additions to the Q1 portfolio include new bubble designs from TV favourites such as Disney’s Fancy Nancy Clancy and Vampirina. A new licensed range for Marvel’s Avengers is predicted to be in high demand due to the Avengers: Endgame film release this spring, while Princess Jasmine will make a striking appearance as a new bubble balloon, well in time for the theatrical release of Disney’s live action Aladdin in May. A licensed collection featuring Disney’s Minnie Unicorn has been introduced, and a Cars High Speed range, in addition to a Marvel Spiderman Super Hero design, are expected to prove popular.

Pyramid International 0116 284 3645 | The popularity of superheroes looks set to increase even further in 2019. The culmination of 22 interconnected films, Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame will draw audiences keen to witness the stunning conclusion of the epic journey. With Endgame having been out in cinemas since the 26th April in the UK, fans are now looking to licensed merchandise from Pyramid International to demonstrate their love of the sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe. 2019 is also the 80th anniversary of DC Comic’s Batman. First published in 1939, Batman is one of the most iconic characters in comic book history and remains a firm favourite among fans. His 80th celebration gives fans a fantastic reason to celebrate the Dark Knight and provides retailers with strong opportunities to offer engaging Batman-related products to their customers. Batman-themed events throughout the year are set to further increase the buzz surrounding the superhero’s landmark anniversary, while the upcoming release of the Joker movie will again drive demand for licensed Batman merchandise, and that of his famous nemesis. Pyramid International’s retail options are ideally positioned to help retailers take advantage of these properties with a range of products including UK-produced mugs and posters depicting the iconic characters. Pyramid’s comprehensive portfolio also includes on-trend reusable metal drinks bottles and travel mugs, stationery sets, premium notebooks, and much more. Pyramid is also able to offer several space-conscious display options, designed to help retailers maximise their sales opportunities.

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Character Licensed Merchandise

Bandai 020 8324 6160 | Bandai is introducing fully articulated 14cm Action Figures of new characters from the popular Disney show Miraculous, as well as updated versions of existing product lines. These include a core Ladybug Fashion doll with soft hair, 26cm Fashion Dolls, 15cm plush characters, a Ladybug Role Play Accessory set and Compact Caller. Bandai will follow its spring/summer toy launch for the ITV series Robozuna with a second phase set for autumn/ winter. The range will include role-play and articulated figures; the 30cm Mega Clunk articulated feature action figure spins at the waist and includes an interchangeable, spinning arm for recreating battles from the show. Key roleplay lines include the Deluxe Mangle Mask complete with voice-changer activation, and Mangle’s Flash Welder with lights and sounds effects. Bandai is re-launching the toy range for the much-loved brand Thunderbirds Are Go in autumn. Already a hit on ITV, Season 3 is set to continue this year in the UK. The new toy line consists of collectibles, action figures and vehicles.

Funrise 01908 555 640 | Master toy licensee Funrise has created the toy line for Paramount Pictures’ Wonder Park. As a lovable main character in the movie, the super-soft Sleep Talking Boomer 12” plush is bound to be popular among fans. Boomer says 20 different phrases from the film, if he’s not asleep; when he nods off, his bear snores can be heard. At the heart of the range are the Wonder Chimps, available as blind-bag collectibles, wind-up toys and scented plush. With over 5,200 cute chimps featured in the film, there will be plenty for fans to choose from. In keeping with the fairground theme, the Wonder Chimp Surprise Packs contain a Wonder Chimp together with its own Roller Coaster Cart, which kids can bring to life with the Wonder Chimp Wind Up assortment. Available in single or three packs, kids can collect the chimps and swap them with their friends. Finally, the Build Your Own Wonder Chimp comes with different outfits and accessories to mix & match.

Revell 0845 459 0747 | With its child-friendly screw system, the Super Wings Junior Kits let kids instantly transform flying hero Jett and gadget guru Donnie from aeroplanes into robots. These newly tooled, easy-to-assemble construction toys for ages 4+ feature moveable arms and legs, sturdy construction and stickers for decoration. The Revell Junior Kit range is an ideal way for kids to enter the world of model kits. Combining the imagination of a play set with the motor skill development of a construction toy, the kits include large parts that are connected easily using plastic screws and a child-friendly safety screwdriver. Once completed, each model kit transforms into a durable, fully functioning toy. The detailed step-by-step colour instruction manual not only takes kids through the construction stages, but can also be used to disassemble and re-build the toy at a later stage. The kits will benefit from high impact digital marketing campaigns aimed at the core audiences of children aged 5-10 and their parents, run during the key shopping periods of Easter, summer holidays and pre-Christmas. The campaigns will boost awareness of the range, while targeted pre-roll campaigns will run across traditional YouTube channels, achieving over 130,000 views, supported by Google ad campaigns across the Google Display Network.

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In UK Cin June 21st emas 2019

U.S. Patent No. 6,782,675


It's going to be a great summer for new film releases. So talk to Pioneer® Europe today about stocking the host of exciting new Disney balloons. View the official Latex and Bubble Balloon™ ranges at or call our friendly team on 01279 501090 to arrange a meeting.

© 2019 MARVEL U.S. Patent No. 6,782,675 CG-TW1903032 ©2019 PBC

Character Licensed Merchandise

Geomagworld 07831 886 997 | Geomagworld, in partnership with Viacom/Nickelodeon Consumer Products (VNCP), has created a range of Magicube Paw Patrol Character and Vehicle Sets. Magicube allows even the youngest children to develop their first manual and dexterity skills, enabling solid 3D building through simple and creative play activities. Each Magicube Paw Patrol character set contains three cubes, with each side featuring a part of one of the heroic pups. Two SKUs are available; the first featuring Chase, Skye and Rocky, and the second containing Marshall, Zuma and Rubble. Each pack shows the pups in different positions and poses, so fans can enjoy mixing and matching them all. Also available are Paw Patrol Vehicle 5-piece Magicube sets. The three available SKUs feature the vehicles of Skye, Chase and Marshall, and allow kids to build 3D models of each character’s vehicle or badge.

Jumbo Games 01707 289 289 | As well as its successful own brand lines, Jumbo Games creates premium licensed puzzles and games across a broad range of children’s brands. This year, the company will be supporting Disney movie releases with a range of new products. With Frozen II on every child’s must-watch list, Jumbo is investing in five brand new puzzles based on the hit property. The range comprises a 4 Shaped Puzzle Set, a 4-in-1 Puzzle Pack, a 50-piece Movie Poster Puzzle and 4-in-1 Round Puzzles, as well as the Puzzle & Colour Box Set for creative puzzlers. Frozen fans will enjoy Jumbo’s new board game; set to feature key themes and characters from the movie, the game allows children to work together whilst interacting with various elements of the game. Frozen II products will hit retail in October. Older audiences are a key target for Jumbo, which has developed a new 1,000-piece Dumbo puzzle using classic artwork from the original movie. Later in the year, Jumbo will also be supporting the live-action releases of The Lion King and Aladdin with 1,000-piece puzzles for each. These new additions bolsters Jumbo’s existing offering, which includes a Mickey 90th Anniversary 1,000-piece puzzle, and Snow White and Bambi 1,000-piece Movie Poster Puzzles. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Disney classic The Little Mermaid, Jumbo is launching two eye-catching new lines; the 1,000-piece puzzle and 50-piece Movie Collection Puzzle are sure to appeal to all fans of the movie, young and old. CBeebies’ pre-school bedtime show, Moon and Me, first aired in February and has already proved a hit with children and parents. The colourful characters, unique storylines and imaginative scenes created by Andrew Davenport provide the perfect backdrop for Jumbo Games’ new range of puzzles, which launches in September.

Smiffys 0800 590 599 | Working closely with agencies and licensors allows Smiffys to continually bring new licensed dress-up products to life. By listening closely to its customers and consumers, the dress up and party specialist aims to place itself at the forefront of the latest trends with its inspired designs, excellent service and innovative products. Recent signings for kids’ licensed products include The Elf on the Shelf and Miffy. 2019 also sees the introduction of new toddler costumes aimed at the pre-school market, with characters including CBeebies favourites such as Bing and Postman Pat, as well as the TV classic Wind in the Willows. Licensed adults’ costumes are also available. Smiffys offers an entire party package, comprising award-winning costumes and accessories to wigs, make up, and décor, offering great value for money across the board. All costumes and accessories are designed in-house in the UK, and exceed the safety standards required by law, complying with both EN71 regulations and Nightwear (Flammability) Standards BS 5722.

Worlds Apart 0800 389 8591 | 0800 389 8591 The Collection from Moose Toys is distributed in the UK by Worlds Apart. New figures include fanfavourites Tomato Head, Crackshot and DJ Yonder, while a new Battle Bus play set will also be launching later this summer. A fresh supply drop of the pocket money collectibles and a new Port-a-Fort play set land in stores in May. The range will feature limited edition figures of Dire and Calamity, complete with swappable weapons, accessories and Back Bling. The Fortnite Battle Royale Collection is available in Solo (one figure, £4.99) Duo (two figures, £9.99) and Squad (four figures, £19.99) packs. With the collection growing to a Royale-sized roster of 100 characters in 2019, fans will never know who’s dropping next.

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