Laurel, Hardy and an aubergine sex toy: This week's news in review

Robert Hutchins

By Robert Hutchins

January 19th 2017 at 3:36PM
UPDATED January 20th 2017 at 11:55AM
Laurel, Hardy and an aubergine sex toy: This week's news in review

We take a look back at some of the most attention grabbing articles by rounding up Licensing.biz’s most read stories this week.

They’re back, the comedy duo that, to many, defined an era of slapstick comedy and brought it to the masses.

No, we’re not talking about Paul and Barry Chuckle, though if they do decide to take a leap of faith into the licensing industry, we want to be the first to know.

We are of course talking about the iconic Laurel and Hardy.

Often times better known as Stan and Ollie, but always known for their expert timing and comedic delivery, the pair has made its return to the licensing scene in no small manner.

Under licence from Larry Harmon Pictures, BBC Films, Fable Pictures and Sonesta Films have set upon the task of bringing Laurel and Hardy back to the big screen.

Inspired by actual events – hilarious ladder antics, and having pianos dropped on them probably not included – the Stan and Ollie movie has been billed as an emotional tribute to two of the funniest men in movie history.

The film has been slated for a 2018 release, we can only imagine the kind of licensing opportunities the release will encompass – wonder if it’s one the adult toy firm Lovehoney might get involved with?  

While we’re on the topic, it was only a few months ago that the first emoji-inspired vibrator was revealed to the world, proving that mobile technology really has entered every aspect of our modern life.

While not officially licensed, the aubergine shaped sex toy was, none the less, inspirational if only to see the level of innovation companies will reach when the mood takes them.

We can probably conclude that an official range isn’t top of Sony Pictures Animation’s consumer products expansion plans for the upcoming release of The Emoji Movie, but we can all dream.

Elsewhere, this week has seen Mattel appoint a new CEO in the form of the former Google Americas president Margaret Georgiadis, who will also join the company’s board of directors from February 8th this year.

The move could prove to signal the start of some very exciting times ahead for the children’s entertainment and toy firm.

Sticking with toys and it falls to Jazwares to continue flying the flag for the runaway videogame franchise Minecraft as the company unveils its plans to boost its line of toy figures this year.

New figures in the collection will include Charged Creeper Pack, Alex with Diamond Armor Pack, Snow Golem Pack, Steve with Minecart Pack, the Witch Pack, and the Zombie Pigman Pack, which coincidentally, is very similar the name of the band I played in back in school.

Sticking with toys and the popular pre-school book and TV series, Q Pootle 5 – created by the children’s author Nick Butterworth, has been delighting the German market with a range of plush, toy figures and sets and more, all courtesy of WDR.

The firm is heading to Nuremberg Toy Fair to showcase the offering this February, after which it will be launching the range across Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The UK licensing agent Larkshead Media is currently eyeing further opportunities for the brand here in the UK where expectations are high that the property will become a pre-school classic.

And if you want to know what a pre-school classic looks like, then search no further than Teletubbies. In fact, you need not even look far, because once the Teletubbies live tour of the UK kicks off later this year, they’ll be coming straight to you.

There’s no word yet on whether Po will be looking for groupies, but rest assured – you’ve got a fight on your hands if you think I’m giving that chance up if it presents itself.

Cartoon Network has only gone and nabbed two places in the Licensing.biz top ten most read stories of the week, with news of the new Ben 10 app game Up to Speed and a new range of The Powerpuff Girls books arriving from Hachette piquing interest among our readers.

As the old saying goes, the pen is mightier than the sword. Especially when it’s none other than a flipping DC Super Hero Girls pen, boasting the power of a thousand suns.

That may be an exaggeration, but it does make up part of a new DC Super Hero Girls stationery collection from Pyramid International.

Completing this week’s listing is the news that fashion label Stella McCartney has teamed with Beano Studios for an autumn 2017 clothing line. The range will feature images from the iconic comic strip series The Dandy on a collection of dresses, jackets, denim jeans, t-shirts and jumpers.

Looks like that’s my wardrobe for Vegas this summer decided, then. And yes, I will be in a dress.