20th Century Fox L&M (020 7437 7766)
Now in its 21st season, the popularity of The Simpsons is showing no signs of waning.
In the UK, Fox is continuing to develop it with both new and existing partners. Fundex is a new international partner (outdoor toys and games), while Mattel recently launched The Simpsons Scene It? DVD board game.
New products for this year include Unicorn's pool cue for kids; a new RC car driven by Bart from Halsall; and The Simpsons Puzzleball from Ravensburger. Early 2010 will see the fifth Top Trumps card game from Winning Moves, plus a new Homer cannon desktop accessory from Wesco.
In boys apparel, Fox L&M is widening the programme to cover both the younger and older age groups using Bart and Homer, plus additional characters such as Krusty, Chief Wiggum, Itchy and Scratchy. The new lines are supported by Next, BHS and Marks & Spencer. Meanwhile, Foska's range of professional cycling tops are currently listed in Evans Cycles and in Europe, Bershka is launching a new t-shirt collection this autumn/winter targeting teen boys and adults.
Bart will also be popular across homewares and stationery. International Greetings' stationery is listed in several key retailers, with a new range in development for 2010. Character World's bedding, meanwhile, is also popular.
Fox L&M is looking to extend the programme into new categories, while existing licensees in apparel, footwear and bedding continue to gain strong support at retail.
New partners to the Family Guy programme include Posh Paws, which is developing a line of barware, mugs and novelty gifts, plus Pedigree Books (annuals), figurines from The Promotions Factory, while Underground Toys has also refreshed the In Your Pocket keychain.
Bravado's teen boy-adult clothing is a high selling apparel line in entertainment and indie retailers, with two new designs - Trust and Anarchy - launched this autumn. Brand International's Stewie slipper is available from Play.com, while Character World's bedding range is performing well.
Long-term calendar and greeting card partner Danilo is planning wall and desk calendars for 2010. Season eight hit DVD this month to boost the franchise further, while the Star Wars spoof, Something, Something, Something Darkside will be released in December.
4Kids Entertainment (020 7297 5980)
The firsttrading card property specifically designed to combine trading card gameplay with an online multiplayer element, each Chaotic card is printed with a unique alphanumeric code which enables players to upload their personal collection onto the website.
The TV series has been sold to 18 territories across EMEA - including the UK, France and Germany - while the TCG is available in 11 EMEA countries. In the UK, the TCG launched at mass retail in March 2009 and is selling well. Indeed, Tesco is currently running a promotion on starter and booster packs, while a campaign on starter decks is due to run through this month in WH Smith.
Licensees include Activision, H Grossman, Ultra Pro, Mobile Inc, Tennesse (France), Mitos International (Israel) and Dracco, while Penguin is set to publish a range of Chaotic titles in summer 2010.
Yu Gi Oh 5D's
Over 22 billion trading cards have been sold since the original Yu Gi Oh launched in 2000, with it featuring in the Guinness World Records as the biggest TCG of all time.
The Konami property is supported by TV and print advertising, as well as organised play activity. The 5D's TV series has been sold to the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Portgual, Denmark, Sweden, Israel, Turkey and the Middle East.
A strong licensing drive is also in place - and the video games keep coming, too: Konami released Yu Gi Oh 5D's Wheelie Breakers in September, with a PSP title due to follow this month. Toys from Playmates (distributed by Upper Deck) have also launched in various territories across EMEA.
Other licensees include Soshi Zohar, Mitos International, Tel Bar Pop and Toys & Brands (Israel); Manifatture LINEA D and Giochi Preziosi (Italy); Play Factory (France); and Canadian Group (Croatia) among others.
The series is currently airing in 21 countries, while the TCG from Upper Deck is selling strongly across the world (it was recently placed in the top three sellng TCGs in the UK).
The brand has also struck a chord with licensees - toys are distributed by Vivid, Upper Deck and Top Toys have been launched in the UK, France, Benelux and the Nordics, with Germany due to follow this month.
Licensees are on board for more than 80 categories including in the UK Smith & Brooks (apparel), Aykroyds (nightwear and underwear), E1 (DVDs), William Lamb (footwear), Pyramid Posters, Tennesee (back to school), HarperCollins (publishing), plus Sun City for apparel in France and Benelux, Fly for footwear in Italy, Fipo Group for apparel, bags and housewares in the Nordics, Cookie Company (GAS) and Phabel/Art People for story books in Denmark, Sweden and Norway to name just a few.
BBC Worldwide (020 8433 2000)
With the original programme dating back to 1977, BBC's Top Gear was given an overhaul in 2002 and now regularly pulls in audiences of up to 8.5 million.
It was the wide appeal of the show that led to its expansion into the global brand that it has become. As Richard Hollis, head of UK licensing at BBCW, explains: "It's not only watched by the core male car enthusiasts, but also women, families and our younger fans; boys aged seven to 11." A range of product has been produced especially for the younger audience, while there are 25 licensees covering categories including homeware, games, stationery and racing cars.
With David Tennant's stint as the Time Lord almost at an end, Doctor Who is once again likely to be one of the most talked about brands this Christmas. Toys, games, homeware and books are available, with one of the most popular items likely to be the Cyber Leader Voice Changer Helmet. This features cyber sounds and three speech modes, exposed brain, black mask and light up effects.
Also set to be in demand is the 12-inch Supreme Dalek, which has automated head an eye movement, posable gun arm and classic Dalek phrases.
Beanstalk Group (020 7031 7932)
One of the world's best loved children's book series, Dr Seuss has enjoyed sales of over 600 million books worldwide. There's also been two big budget films, while next year will see the launch of an animated educational TV series of The Cat in the Hat.
Although having equal appeal to both sexes, certain elements sit firmly in the boys camp.
After the success of Leapfrog's The Cat in the Hat TAG Reading System, the firm launched a TAG Junior range aimed at toddlers and nursery age children earlier this year. Further evidence of the educational brand message can be seen from Five Mile Press, which produces puzzles and stencil books based on the characters.
Children's t-shirt licensee Fabric Flavours is the latest addition to the European programme. The Cat in the Hat pyjamas are currently available in John Lewis stores, while this will be backed up with the launch of a full line of t-shirts in spring 2010.
Other licensees include Hype for greeting cards and Rubie's for dress-up.
The Harley-Davidson European youth licensing programme has been established for three years and can be seen in retailers across the UK and continental Europe.
Bedding and children's apparel by Contrast sit alongside back to school backpacks, accessories and stationery from Gruppo Cartorama (Italy) and Live (Eastern Europe). Partwork frm De Agostini has also recently extended its successful Harley-Davidson partwork in Brazil and Argentina.
On the back of the European success, the programme recently launched with Dryen for children's bedding in Australia and New Zealand exclusively in Target stores.
Big Bocca (+33 1 44 50 59 05)
Flagship boys property is Huntik: Secrets & Seekers, which is co-produced by Rainbow Spa, Big Bocca and m4e.
Huntik has been distributed in 46 countries (including the UK, US, Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia and Latin America). In addition, in the home entertainment sector, Huntil DVDs have been rolled out in Italy, GSE, Portugal, US, Canada, Benelux, Australia and New Zealand.
Last year, Huntik won the fifth annial Mipcom Junior Licensing Challenge - an impressive feat for a new IP - and now boasts 50 licensees. Upper Deck is the master toy partner, with various articulated action figures hitting retail this autumn. The firm also released the trading card game worldwide earlier this year.
Panini holds the European licence for sticker albums, plus southern European rights for 3D collectible figurines, flow packs and magazines.
In Italy, where the series has achieved 12 per cent in Rai Due's morning slot, a Nintendo DS and MMO game will be launched in 2010/2011. The publishing sector is also strong, with the first issue of Tridimensional's Huntik magazine selling 50,000 copies and Fabbri planning to launch a second novel this December.
Finally, in the UK, the brand continues to gain ground on Jetix and CITV, while a DVD deal has been struck with E1, Panini has 3D figurines, stickers and magazies, while Blues Clothing has apparel.
Bulldog Licensing (020 8325 5455)
Thumb Wrestling Federation
Since launching in the UK in2008,sales of the TWF toy line have surged. The show features bouts of thumb wrestling between 58 characters which fight for two teams - the Mighty Dexteras and the Sinistras - in a good versus evil showdown. The short format segments include wrestler bios, character gags and three and a half minutes of thumb wrestling.
Sambro's toy line includes TWF thumb masks and rings, which are apparently going down a storm in retailers including Tesco, The Entertainer, Asda, TRU and independent shops. More major retailers are due to come on board in Q1 2010. The line will also be boosted with further product development in the spring. Random House and Pyramid are also part of the licensing drive.
Gogo's Crazy Bones
Not only are Gogo's a smash hit in the UK, but strong sales have also been reported across Benelux, Spain and Germany. And Bulldog believes that these are set to soar even further, with the introduction of the Power Gogo's line. This features 90 new characters, plus a trading card game to add a fresh dimension. The new release is being backed by a heavyweight TV ad campaign.
It's not just Europe that is going Gogo's mad, however. South African agent Blowfish reported that Reggies stores had to put the Gogo's packs under lock and key because of the buying frenzy; collector bags had also completely sold out, with new stock being rushed in.
In addition, new Gogo's books are being launched in Australia and New Zealand by Random House and Penguin.
Other licensees for the brand include Alpa, Winning Moves, Vogue, Bacup, Sambro, Portico, Pyramid, Roy Lowe & Sons, Infocado, Zap, Halsall, Poetic Gem and MV Sports & Leisure.
One of the biggest character licences of the 1980s is back in a big way. Worldwide rights holder The Sharpe Company signed up Bulldog earlier this year to kick start the licensing drive for Roland Rat in the UK. Poetic Gem is the first partner on board (for branded apparel), while the character will also be fronting a promotional campaign to support the comeback of 80's favourite, Birds Eye Supermousse.
Chapman Entertainment (0870 403 0556)
Launched in 2007, Roary the Racing Car was an immediate hit for Chapman and now boasts 103 licensees. It is currently the number two pre-school licence in the UK for boys (Source: NPD September 2009) and has been sold to over 138 countries. Over nine million products have been sold to date, with over six million web visits achieved internationally.
The show has been nominated for Best Children's Programme at the Royal Television Society's North West Awards (taking place on November 14th) - with the Hellie's A Winner episode up for the accolade.
Produced at Chapman's studios in Altrincham, Roary the Racing Car includes stop frame animation, which means each character puppet is moved 25 times for every second on screen. This is then combined with CGI to help give audiences a sense of speed when the cars are racing around the track. Each animator produces up to 11-seconds of footage each day, which is then created into a ten-minute long programme.
Chorion (020 7061 3874)
The firm's Copyrights division secured representation of the international licensing rights to the iconic character earlier this year. It believes that Dan Dare appeals to a broad market, as well as tapping into the continuing trend for retro/vintage product. Suitable categories include apparel, gifts & novelty, homewares, collectibles and stationery. Licensed product will begin to roll out in 2010, with the first phase including toys, games, figurines and cards.
Next year also marks the 60th anniversary of Dan Dare and a programme of activity is planned. This will start with the release of special anniversary book titles - including the first ever biography, Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future, the first of Orion's Eagle Diaries and several graphic novels from Titan.
Horrible Histories/Horrible Science
Series one of Horrible Histories is currently airing on CBBC and has been nominated for two BAFTAs. A further series is in production for 2010 and 2011. Along with the current licensed product programme, a new Horrible Histories DVD release is planned for April 2010, while there is currently a Terrible Trenches exhibit at the Imperial War Museum and a stage show in Birmingham, with more events scheduled to take place around the country next year.
Horrible Science, meanwhile, launched in 1995 and has been published in 29 countries, twice winning the Junior Aventis Science Prize. Suitable products for this property would be puzzles, games, interactive toys, novelty & gift, accessories, stationery, electronic and new media. A stage show is planned for 2010.
Classic Media (020 8762 6203)
Postman Pat SDS continues to go from strength to strength. Character Options toy line is performing well, with the SDS Vehicle and Accessory Sets being a particular standout, ranking as the number three licensed pre-school toy in September (according to NPD). With sales on this line alone forecast at 250-300,000 units across UK this year, strong TV ad support, plus an appearance of Hide and Seek Postman Pat in Tesco's 09 Christmas toy ad campaign, the entire range is expected to perform well across the festive season.
A retail partnership is also currently in place with Toymaster, while the brand is continuing to receive strong TV expsure through its campaigns with Freeview and Specsavers. The first ever theatre tour is also due to kick off from February 2010, delivering over 150 shows across 90 venues. A 3D movie is also planned for 2011.
Cookie Jar Entertainment ((323) 297 0065)
Cookie Jar's global licensing division, CPLG, serves as the North American agent for Lucha Libre USA and the Lucha Libre AAA league.
The licensing drive will initially target the growing Hispanic population, as well as Lucha Libre AAA's existing fan base in the US. It will then tap into the already successful North American wrestling market, with product including action figures, apparel, books, back to school and novelty/collectible items.
Playmates Toys is already on board to create a range of toys and collectibles - including role play masks and play-sets - while Cookie Jar will distribute the first English language Lucha Libre AAA TV series in the US.
Coolabi (020 7258 7080)
Purple Ronnie is definitely one for the boys. A cheeky, self-styled expert in sex, romance, the family, drink and bottom burps, he expresses his views in catchy verses and grins out from millions of books, cards, t-shirts and underpants.
However, much of Ronnie's success (over 60 million greetings cards and 2.5 million books have been sold to date) is down to the fact that licensed product is often bought by women for their partners or male friends on special occasions.
Coolabi - which acquired the character from creator Giles Andreae in 2007 - is looking to build on this, signing a contract with Macmillan for 11 new titles recently.
It is also keen to leverage the appeal through previously untried publishing ventures - such as Purple Ronnie's Totally Brilliant Doodle Book and an iPhone card creation app - plus new approaches in the gifting market, for example Venom's computer games accessories and Fordville's range of underwear and nightwear.
The firm is also exploring the 'cool' side of Purple Ronnie. The Purple Ronnie Stand Up Poetry club was the first example of this, with two sell-out shows in Edinburgh and London, while Coolabi will also be looking at plans for consumers to do their own personalised online t-shirt designs and a range of tees designed by graffiti artists giving their own take on the character.
CPLG (020 8563 6400)
Created by award winning author Francesca Simon, Horrid Henry is now the most successful children's literary character in the UK after Harry Potter. The books have sold 15 million copies and have been translated into more than 21 languages.
The animated series - produced by Novel Entertainment - now totals 104 episodes and is CITV's most successful show ever. The DVDs from Abbey Home Media have combined sales of more than 600,000 units to date, while there's also a music album, a stage show and a new website.
In terms of licensing, key partners include Re:creation, which holds the master toy rights with items including figures, games and joke and trick sets. The firm is planning a TV ad campaign for the range, as is Asylum Entertainment, which is producing video games across a variety of platforms.
CPLG UK MD Vickie O'Malley says: "The brand has huge awareness among its target audience and by its very nature offers a wealth of creative opportunities for licensing. It's already a classic name and one that we expect to go from strength to strengh in the months and years to come."
DCD Media (020 7297 8000)
Produced by September Films in association with Hamster's Wheel Productions for CBBC, the first series of Richard Hammond's Blast Lab is currently airing on CBBC in the UK. 26 new episodes have just completed production and will be broadcast here from January 2010.
The show has been something of an instant hit and the merchandising drive has also got off to a good start. Dorling Kindersley has published seven titles, selling over 300,000 units, while science toys are on the way from Trends. Egmont is also on board, while DCD is in discussions over the interactive games, apparel and food sectors.
Richard Hammond has also been nominated for a children's BAFTA in the Best Presenter category.
E1 Entertainment (020 7907 3797)
Peppa Pig continues to go from strength to strength, now ranking in the top five properties listing alongside Transformers, Ben 10, Star Wars and Thomas & Friends (Source: NPD).
Over two years ago, retailers and consumers started to request product based on Peppa's brother, George. Mothercare and Next both ran a trial on apparel, with E1 transferring the space theme from Character Options' toy spaceship to other products including bedding, clothing and accessories.
The programme grew organically, with no active marketing or promotion, and it is now available in every retailer, with George ranking in the top three licensed boy brands at Next and Mothercare. Spring 2010 will see Character launching a complete boys range including Grandad Dog's garage.
Formula Fun Entertainment (01608 738134)
Having won The Licensing Challenge at Mip Junior in October, Franco and Formula Fun has been receiving high levels of interest. It has already secured five international broadcast deals.
The company itself was formed less than a year ago, making its achievements to date even more remarkable. Production of the animated series is now being finalised and discussions are taking place within the licensing area. Categories being targeted include toys and games.
FremantleMedia Enterprises (020 7691 6000)
Over the last three decades, Dangermouse has gone from his secret headquarters in London onto TV screens around the world - plus there's a comprehensive licensing programme. There are almost 20 licensees covering apparel, plush, toys, giftware, mugs, keyrings, underwear and dress-up.
The cartoon's 11-year TV run was a consistent ratings winner and attracted an all-time high of 21.6 million viewers in the UK. Internationally, Dangermouse is a favourite in 80 countries. FME has targeted apparel, giftware, artwork and collectibles as key global categories for 2010.
FME revealed its acquisition of the licensing rights to merchandise for TLC's brand in North America last month. It is now looking for a number of new partners to build on the existing popularity of the property. For example, the firm is eyeing up mobile, iPhone and online games, accessories, collectibles and back to school for 2010.
The Adventures of Merlin
Series one launched on BBC1 in 2008 and FME - through its international distribution division - has subsequently sold it to more than 180 countries worldwide.
In the UK, the show peaked with a 32 per cent share for children aged four to 15, doubling BBC1's primetime average. The second series consistently wins its ratings slot.
The licensing drive currently includes young fiction, an annual, activity books and a complete guide from Random House, dress up from Christy's, sticker products from Topps and calendars from Danilo. For 2010, the firm is looking at stationery, apparel, bedding, back to school and a variety of other categories.
Fun Crew (07956 370 037)
Spooky Skaters is made up of five central characters, all of which are skeleton skaters.
The brand offers good scope for cross platform development and Fun Crew is going to be focusing on this in 2010, extending out from the existing successful publishing programme.
Scholastic has so far published two Spooky Skaters books with accompanying CDs, The Skate Park After Dark and The Graffit Ghost. In addition, Dandy Xtreme runs a fortnightly comic strip which is going down a storm with its readers, according to editor Craig Graham.
Giochi Preziosi (+39 02 964 751)
The European toy group, together with Marathon Media, is continuing to bolster the presence of Gormiti across the globe.
It has most recently appointed agents in the US and Canada (JTMG), Turkey (Sinerji) and Israel (Yooka). These firms join Mediaset (Italy), Planeta Junior (Iberia and Greece), Plus Licens (Nordic/Eastern Europe), Telescreen (Benelux), The Licensing Company (UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland), Character Licensing & Marketing (South Africa), Wild Pumpkin (Australia and NZ), Tycoon Enterprise (Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Chile), IMC Licensing (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia) and Luiz Angelotti (Brazil).
Hit Entertainment (020 7554 2500)
Bob the Builder
With the character having celebrated ten years, Hit has further plans up its sleeve for 2010. Moving from Sunflower Valley to Fixham Harbour, Bob and his team will return in a new CGI series: Bob the Builder Ready, Steady, Build on CBBC from early next year. The new shows take the character back to his roots of building and team spirit, expanding the viewing age window to appeal to an even larger audience.
Launching in April with the release of DVD special, The Legend of the Golden Hammer, the new programming is supported by a major marketing and retail campaign, as well as new licensed product, lead by master toy Martin Yaffe.
New licences will also be building up with deals signed with Halsall for die-cast vehicles, Zap for bedding and accessories, and bikes from MV Sports.
Character Options takes on the role of new master toy licensee, launching its line of toys from January 2010. In line with the CG series, Character will be creating The World of Fireman Sam, with play-sets and locations featured in the show, including the fire station, mountain rescue lodge and Whole Fish Café. Product will be available for distribution and opportunities throughout EMEA.
2010 will also see the release of the first ever feature length Fireman Sam DVD special, The Great Fire of Pontypandy. It will hit Vue cinemas in March and DVD from April 5th. Tying in with the new release, MV Sports will have a line of wheeled products, while Fashion UK is launching a range of CG inspired apparel.
Thomas & Friends
With an impressive product portfolio, numerous events and a long standing TV series, Thomas & Friends has ranked as the UK's number one pre-school licence for nine consecutive years.
2010, of course, is the property's 65th anniversary, and the milestone will be supported with a comprehensive marketing campaign across the whole year. This will include PR stunts, standout events and customised retail programmes. The year also sees the broadcast debut of the all-new CGI animation and product offerings from Fisher-Price - with its Take n Play range (spring) - and Mega Brands - with its construction toys (autumn).
Ignition Licensing (01932 826280)
The licensing drive for The Bogies continues to grow; the latest version of the style guide has just been released and includes over 100 characters, poses and backgrounds. For 2010, over a dozen brand new characters - including World Slop Footballers - will roll out.
Just some of the recent licensing activity includes strong sell-through from Joystick Junkies range of t-shirts and long-sleeved tops in Next; TDP Aykroyd signing on for children's pyjamas and underwear; Bravado coming on board for adult t-shirts; Fashion UK signing for kids' outerwear to supply retailers such as Tesco and Asda; E-max launching stickers and albums; plus the continued success of Copywrite's stationery line.
And it's not just the UK where the property is a hit. Sub agents are in place for North America (Jewel Licensing) and Italy (Teamworks), with negotiations on track (post BLE) for appointments in ANZ, Far East, Spain and Central America for Bogies brand roll outs throughout 2010.
JCB (01889 593499)
Europe's number one construction brand is celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2010. On the pre-school boys side, a new My 1st JCB style guide is launched in January. Golden Bear (toys), Kidsaw (bedroom furniture) and Peter Haddock Publishing are joined by new partners including Cohen & Wilks, Aykroyds TDP, VMC, Character World and Grosvenor.
Halsall is also planning to refresh its line of vehicles, wheeled and role play toys all geared around real JCB machines and power tools. Further new collectable toys are due to be launched at Nuremberg in February, while an array of live experiences are also planned.
LMI (01425 403430)
As well as having had considerable exposure on CBBC, The Likeaballs are also the official cartoon of the Premier League, meaning licensees are also able to use the Premier League logo on product (subject to the category being approved).
Recent deals for the brand include a promotion in Hong Kong with a major electrical retailer, as well as a range of football-related products including water bottles and gym sacks. Back to school items are also in development for the UK.
Two costume characters have been created by Rainbow Productions: Kickaball and Count Horriball, while interest from international markets, including South America, is growing.
London Taxi International/British Motor Heritage
The licensing programme includes such well-established marques as Triumph, Austin Cooper, Austin Healey, Morris, Morris Cooper, Austin Rover and MG. It covers over 100 licensees in areas including die-cast, radio controlled, computer games, apparel, ceramics and watches among others. New deals include mobile phone products in Mexico and licensed apparel in Malaysia.
The retro appeal of the brands has seen companies such as Wild & Wolf producing gifts and memorabilia, while a range of children's clothing was recently launched into Asda through Fashion UK.
LMI has also secured several other international apparel licensees with MLP in France, Batrax and Loredana in Italy, Cool Think Licensing in Spain and Olaes Enterprises in the US. A strong response has also been noted in China to a number of the BMH marques, while an agent is currently being sought for the Indian market.
Meanwhile, the London Taxi brand boasts six die-cast licensees, including the Corgi division of Hornby, which has recently been granted a licence for the 2012 London Olympics.
Mattel (01628 500000)
Following the successful launch of a new range of publishing titles this year, Hot Wheels has again joined forces with Harper Collins. A new collection of books will aim to bring to life the core messages of the brand: speed, power, performance and attitude.
The deal will see the launch of four activity books, with formats including colouring, stickers and posters, plus a stunt book that allows boys to make their own stunt sets for their Hot Wheels collections. The books will begin to hit stores from January, with prices starting from £3.99.
Metrostar (020 7317 0963)
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Viz is undergoing something of a renaissance. Book sales are at record levels and magazine readership is at 500,000.
Viz began its licensing programme with Metrostar in October 2008 and brand extensions are already performing well. Blueprint Gaming has launched Viz Online Slots onto Sky Vegas - its most successful launch ever - while Famous Forever is enjoying success in Next with its t-shirts; Push Merchandising has launched apparel into HMV and Play.com; while The Officers Club and Smiffy's will launch ranges in 2010. The 2009 annual, The Council Gritter and mini Profanisaurus, The Magna Fartlet are both selling well.
2010 will see stationery, giftware and games launch, as well as more apparel aimed at Viz's core readers.
With Ashes to Ashes returning for a third series in 2010, Metrostar is seeking further partners for the Gene Hunt property, with categories being targeted including iPhone apps, mobile gaming, giftware and men's apparel and accessories.
Hunt has already authored two books - including The Rules of Modern Policing - and been the subject of three more. There is also a line of t-shirts, a trivia game, calendar and greetings cards.
NBA (020 7795 8932)
The National Basketball Association is a global sports and entertainment property featuring 30 teams in the US and Canada. The NBA licence offers the rights of the NBA brand, the teams (including the likes of the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics and LA Lakers) and the players on a collective basis.
The brand is recognised by 80 per cent of young Europeans, with the NBA having experienced particularly strong development in terms of licensing in the EMEA region recently. Over 60 licensed partners are on board including Adidas, Panini and Electronic Arts.
Nickelodeon (020 7462 1000)
Although certainly a property with appeal for both sexes, Spongebob Squarepants has a high male audience (both kid and adult).
This year has been 'The Year of the Sponge' meaning the character has been pretty much everywhere. Just some of the new spaces and platforms Nickelodeon has expanded into with Spongebob include a starring role in the summer issue of i-D magazine, a feature area at UK music festival, Camp Bestival, and a regional UK shopping centre tour.
In terms of licensees, BCI is enjoying success with both men's and women's apparel in a number of fashion retailers such as Top Man, New Look and Tammy.
Spongebob is one of the top performing properties for six to 12 year olds and boasts more than 80 licensees producing products in the UK. Items are as diverse as digital photo frames from Linmark and musical instruments from John Hornby Skewes, both new for this Christmas. After ten years, Spongebob ranks in the top three kids programmes in every major broadcast market in the world. It is syndicated in 178 markets in 25 languages and has consumer products programmes in 22 territories.
Performance Brands (020 7730 9606)
Sports Direct has a host of new products aimed at the male audience. These include new Everlast Worldwide accessories for Nintendo's Wii Fit from Company X Accessories. The first product to market will be the Everlast Wii Boxing Gloves, which will help deliver swift upper cuts, jabs and knock out blows in all Wii boxing titles. Company X will be following up with the Everlast 2lb dumbbells which aim to work in conjunction with Nintendo's remote and nunchuck controllers to give a better gym style workout for arms and upper body.
Rocket Licensing (020 7207 6242)
You can't get much more quintessentially boys' toys than the Hornby Hobbies brands: Scalextric, Hornby, Airfix and Corgi. All appeal to a wide range of ages, right from children up to the adult collector.
Hornby, for example, is both a father and son brand, and one with strong appeal to males over 25, making it ideal for publishing, stationery, gifts and computer accessories. Scalextric has a core market of boys aged six to 11, but also has a special place for grown ups and, while a classic, is also seen as modern and exciting. This makes the name and associated images ideal for an adult make gifting range as well as a boys range.
Meanwhile, the appeal of Airfix is strongest among the under 14 and over 35 male demographic. As well as apparel, accessories and publishing items that reflect the iconography of the name, there is an opportunity to brand gifts, games and art and crafts items which reflect the brand's creative side.
Finally, there are opportunities for the Corgi brand in stationery, publishing and housewares as well as the core model vehicles.
Rocket is the UK licensing agent for The Hub's Skatelab. The property will be positioned primarily as a lifestyle sports brand, with a market among the core skateboarding age group of six to 15 year-olds. A style guide is available, with Rocket initially targeting the apparel and accessories sectors. Once established, Rocket will be looking to move the brand into a wider range of categories including food, drink, gift, music compilations, home textiles, mobile phone, computer and video game accessories.
The licensing programme for this retro classic initially focused on apparel, taking Atari and its associated images to high-end boutiques. Licensees include Impact Innovations for PC bags and accessories; Trademark Products and Joystick Junkies for t-shirts; OTL for fashion bags, belts and wallets; and TDP Textiles for nightwear and underwear.
Such is the success that Rocket is now looking to move the campaign into the mainstream.
Dangerous Book for Boys
Three years after it first hit bookshelves, DBFB has successfully moved into the licensing arena. A style guide was developed that uses the look and feel of the book itself for the design and packaging. Conventional products include t-shirts, confectionery, cards and calendars that use the imagery from the book, plus a range that plays on the content - including card, board and travel games, wooden puzzles, tins, puzzle balls and science kits.
Awareness continues to grow. A TV series on Five - Dangerous Adventures for Boys - brought famous fathers and their sons together to learn about history and rediscover the skills of yesteryear. Meanwhile, an ongoing retail partnership with Marks & Spencer, and a programme of weekend outdoor activities through the summer at Staffordshire's Trentham Estate, further boosted the campaign.
The Dangerous Book for Heroes is due to be published in the autumn.
The film franchise has generated over $1 billion since the first movie debuted in 1976, and has also been a major attraction within licensing. A celebratory programme in the US attracted over 40 partners including Everlast, Jakks Pacific, Unisoft and Marc Echo, with product placement in over 15,000 US retail locations.
The original artwork and key art from the films have now inspired a new style guide, which will be used to introduce the next phase of the licensing programme in the UK. Trademark Products, GB Eye, Barcrest, Pyramid and Groovy have already signed up in categories including t-shirts, posters, arcade machines and robes.
Santoro (020 8781 1104)
The art driven brand has a 'cool surf/adventure style' giving it a strong appeal for boys. Launched exclusively in Harrods in the UK in 2003, Jeli.Deli is now a successful global brand, with new collections launched every year.
The latest is the Urban Jungle range, which already includes stationery, bags and fashion accessories. In addition, apparel, gift lines and confectionery are launching in 2010.
Another design-led property, Drop 720 was inspired by urban underground and outdoor life. It caters for the younger end of the extreme sports and streetwear market and launched exclusively with Harrods three years ago. Retailers including Debenhams and Boots are also now on board, with key product categories being apparel, wheeled toys, fashion accessories, stationery and gift.
Sony Pictures Consumer Products (+1 (310) 244 4154)
The Karate Kid
The remake is due for release in summer 2010 and SPCP is looking to target boys aged six to 12 with the merchandise. The firm has developed an art programme which blends modern martial arts graphic with sport and street designs. The art has a young, energetic and edgy look and feel.
Target categories include apparel, domestics, food/drink, gifts and novelties, paper goods, toys and games. Licensing opportunities for the classic Karate Kid brand are also available.
The Green Hornet
The classic character from film, TV, radio and comic books returns next December in a Columbia Pictures' feature film, starring Seth Rogan.
SPCP is targeting males 13 and over. The art programme features retro design element, as well as drawing from contemporary and iconic moments from the film, including martial arts sequences, designer fashion and the LA backdrop. Target areas include apparel, accessories, food/drink, gifts and novelties, domestics, paper goods, collectibles and games.
Start Licensing (020 8337 7958)
Start has been working with DC Thomson to develop licensing campaigns based on its comic archive. This encompasses The Beano, The Dandy, Commando, Hotspur, Rover, Adventure and Victor.
A key driver in licensing has been apparel, with Secret Ingredient's line of adult t-shirts performing well in retailers such as Next. The range includes character art such as Desperate Dan and artwork from stories including Mister Ninety Minutes targeting the football market.
Wild & Wolf is another licensee which has embraced the brand. Its Beano line includes thermos flasks, notebooks and giftwrap, using an all-over print technique featuring cover and interior art from The Beano and The Dandy.
Commando has also been successfully published by Carlton Books over recent years in compilation format, sitting alongside the regular digest sized comic. Fine Digital Print has also enjoyed success with screenprinted canvases of front covers of titles like Hotspur and Victor.
Other licensees that have used The Beano and The Dandy to target the male adult market include Paladone Products (novelty gift and toys), Ethos (mugs and cookie jars), plus More For Your Store (tin moneyboxes).
Bananaman has also been the subject of a successful licensing drive, with BC International at the forefront with a range of t-shirts and leisurewear, J Fox Sox with socks, Smiffy's with dress-up and Delta for DVDs.
Sky's science series continues to attract a strong audience on a variety of channels, including free-to-view channel Sky 3.
There have been two successful stage tours - produced by Dan Colman - taking in venues such as the Hammersmith Apollo. Paladone Products has a range of 'boys toys' and gadgets using the signature yellow and black graphics, coupled with key themes from the show to develop products such as rocket launchers, shocking products and fun items like heat sensitive colour change mugs. More products are due in 2010, building on the core themes of the show.
Turner CN Enterprises (020 7693 1121)
There's not much that can be said about Ben 10 that isn't already known. Its success across EMEA has been nothing short of phenomenal, with Turner CN Enterprises having developed an award winning licensing programme. Ben 10 is ranked in the top five properties by sales (alongside Transformers, Star Wars, Thomas & Friends and Peppa Pig), while Bandai's Ben 10 Alien Force Kevin's DX Action Cruiser was chosen by the Toy Retailers Association to be part of this year's Dream Toys listing.
Across EMEA 500 million products have been sold. Bandai Europe has sold 20 million Ben 10 toys across EMEA (50 per cent in the UK) since its launch in 2007, while five million video games have been sold worldwide.
Turner is now gearing up for the broadcast premiere of Ben 10: Alien Swarm. Throughout November, countries including the US, UK, Australia, Poland, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Mexico and the Philippines will host premiere events and screenings in 26 languages.
Turner CN acts as the brand's licensing agent for non-toy related categories across Europe and Africa. Bakugan made its EMEA TV debut in the UK and France in October 2008 and has been supported by Spin Master's toy line. The show now broadcasts on Cartoon Network across EMEA, with addition free to air rights secured in Germany (Tele 5), Spain (Telecino), Italy (Mediaset) and France (M6).
Partners have been secured across a number of product categories including apparel, sleepwear, footwear, swimwear, accessories, confectionery, stationery, publishing and posters. There are now over 160 licensees.
This brand houses original animated comedy shows like Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Metalocalypse, Superjail, Squidbillies, Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job and The Venture Bros.
It targets adults aged 18 to 34 with a strong male bias. Adult Swim is already well established in the US, where it is the number one channel for its target age group over the last three years. During that time, Turner Broadcasting has been rolling out the brand throughout EMEA territories via online, on-air and DVD. It has a growing on-air presence in Germany, Spain, the Nordic regions, Russia and South Africa.
Strategically, the licensing of Adult Swim allows Turner to target an older demographic and particularly exploit new media channels. Deals with PlayStation Home and iTunes have already been signed.
The Secret Saturdays
A classic mystery series, The Secret Saturdays is set in modern times with hidden cities, evil villains and magical powers. The show currently airs on Cartoon Network across EMEA and on Kabel eins in Germany.
GMTV will be the official UK terrestrial home, with other terrestrial partners due to be announced soon.
In terms of licensing, it is still early days, but D3 is launching a video game across EMEA on November 29th.
Rainbow Productions will be the official costume partners. The first territories to roll out licensing programmes will be the UK and Spain, with deals covering food, toys, apparel, footwear and accessories. A broader EMEA roll out will follow in 2010.
Warner Bros Consumer Products (020 7984 5000)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
The new cartoon series is a more light hearted, humorous take on the brooding, deep thinking superhero, with Batman teaming up with other characters from the DC universe such as the Red Tornado, the Blue Beetle and Aquaman.
The show launched in the UK on GMTV and Cartoon Network in June and has smashed TV ratings records; it's been fast-tracked into GMTV's number one slot and is a top five rated show on Cartoon Network. It is also picking up pace across Europe, launching in Spain, Italy and France this year, while a roll out in Germany and across the rest of EMEA is planned for 2010.
In terms of licensing, a toy range from Mattel and dress-up from Rubie's have already launched.
Since Harry Potter made its publishing debut in 1997, the seven book series has shifted 400 million copies worldwide, while Harry Potter has also become the biggest film franchise in history.
There are two movies left, of course, plus the accompanying DVD releases, so WBCP's focus now will be on establishing Harry Potter as an evergreen brand. This process has already started, but will move up a gear with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in November 2010 and July 2011.
Several global scale events have been set to make sure Potter remains an exciting licensing opportunity long after the final movie is released. These include the global touring Harry Potter: The Exhibition and the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida by Christmas 2010.
Throughout the next four years, the merchandise drive will also be gaining momentum. Tomy Europe was recently unveiled as the new master EMEA toy licensee, adding to the array of product already available including sticker albums, children's books, dress up, board games and video games.
The Scooby-Doo licensing programme boasts over 500 licensees worldwide. A new video game - Scooby-Doo First Frights - was released in September, while Scooby-Doo The Mystery Begins, the first feature length live action movie from the franchise in five years, was released on DVD in October.
The toy market is very strong for the brand, with Character Options the EMEA master toy licensee. Panini has also enjoyed success with the Scooby-Doo Magazine and sticker collection, while Pontin's Holiday Parks have created an on-site Scooby-Doo stage show. This will be performed in six holiday parks across the UK.
Looney Tunes Active
Looney Tunes Active is a global initiative under the Looney Tunes umbrella which uses the characters as ambassadors of fitness for children.
It was launched in 2006, with key product lines featuring a variety of characters such as Bugs Bunny, Tweety, Sylvester, Daffy Duck, Wile E Coyote, Roadrunner and Taz.
There are several initiatives underway across EMEA involving development of new content for TV, partnerships with sports associations, leagues, federations and sports manufacturers. Over 200 licensees across EMEA have transitioned including global deals with Nestle Waters and Adidas.
Global and country specific brand marketing initiatives will include a European Bugs Bunny on Ice show, a regional Looney Tunes-themed shopping mall tour and a new TV series in France. Italy, the UK and France are also working closely with their official Basketball Federations to promote Looney Tunes Active.
WWE (020 8834 1016)
This month sees the World Wrestling Entertainment live events running up and down the country. A huge awareness raiser for the property, the sell-out events support not just the seven different shows broadcast to UK audiences on Sky One and Sky Sports, but the successful licensing programme, too.
Managed by CPLG in the UK, more than 20 licensees are currently on board including new global master toy, Mattel. For adults there will be collectible action figures, which will be to scale for the first time, while Mattel will also be launching some lines targeting children from age six including Ultimate WWE Championship belts, megaphones, action figures and replica masks. A caricuture based line is also currently in development and due for roll out in 2010.
Vickie O'Malley, CPLG UK MD, says: "This brand is truly amazing; fans are incredibly loyal and the live shows invariably sell out. The team at WWE are hugely supportive and invest heavily in media, which helps to keep our primary target audience of boys aged six to 12 engaged with their heroes. Mattel taking on the master toy licence from 2010 is sure to give the property yet another boost."