Following the brand’s start in France, Bernd Conrad, head of licensing at m4e believes that TOBOT will reach more territories in the future, with more publishing and apparel to follow.
How has 2015 been for TOBOT?
In general, 2015 was a great year for TOBOT. After the success the TV show had in Asia – it is a huge property in South Korea, from where it comes from – the brand is now ready to conquer the Western markets. France was the first European territory that saw the launch of TOBOT. The TV ratings as well as initial toy sales are very promising.
What brands have been popular for you this year?
Mia and Me is continuing to provide positive international track record. With the launch of 26 all-new episodes, the brand received the long-awaited support in terms of content.
Also Tip the Mouse performed very well internationally, and with Wissper there is the next potential hit-series waiting to get unleashed.
How big has the boys and men’s marketing space been for you?
The boys action and men’s market has always been highly competitive. Lacking a real property, we were in the outsider position, watching the market’s developments and getting in gear to re-enter it again with TOBOT, and with another new property that we recently acquired for the German-speaking territories, Yo-Kai Watch.
Are there any new areas you will be entering in the licensing space?
The Licensing industry is always on the move as new technology and new trends are also part of ‘our’ business. Remember the hype that the first apps created? We now all know that there is no multi-million dollar answer for the ‘Is there an app for?’ question, but we all see the growing importance and business relevance of streaming services for example. Digitalisation also affects certain publishing categories. So are we entering new areas? Yes, always and as we speak.
What does next year have in store for TOBOT?
Following the strong start in France, we are pretty confident to add more territories on the TOBOT list – with the right combination of toy distribution and TV presence. In a second step, further consumer products categories will follow for the brand such as publishing and apparel.