The ‘Europe’ element to the name isn’t the only new addition: the introduction of The Licensing Academy conference programme and a bigger Screening Suite should please many. To help you decide what you want to see, here are the highlights of what to expect from some of the major exhibitors, plus essential show information…
20th Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising
While The Simpsons is nothing short of a run away success in the licensing business, Fox will be using the show to highlight some of its other properties.
One of its key areas of development is in the live-action drama category, including 24 and Prison Break. With strong viewer ratings across Europe, the licensing programmes for these two brands have seen substantial growth over the last six months.
Also on the show agenda will be the new Microsoft brand, Halo, for which Fox is now acting as the worldwide licensing agent. The animated TV comedy Family Guy has also been relaunched on BBC3 and is benefiting from good viewer ratings.
Within the film licensing area, the next instalment of the Ice Age franchise is on the horizon, while animated adventure film Space Chimps is due for release in summer 2008 and is receiving strong interest from both licensees and retailers. Walden Media has also appointed Fox as its worldwide licensing agent for future film projects. The are a number of movies in development, for which Fox will be developing merchandise, including City of Ember and The Tortoise and the Hippo, which are planned for 08/09 release.
This is the first time that 2waytraffic International will be showcasing itself to the market following the group’s acquisition of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and Celador International.
Director of consumer product licensing, Tina Louise Phipps and the rest of the team will be presenting the licensing opportunities available from its portfolio. These include healthy lifestyle show You Are What You Eat, which has already extended into a number of categories; quiz Take It or Leave It; Puzzler, the world’s largest puzzle content provider; plus Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
New brands including Chaotic, Jim Henson Designs, Pajanimals, Viva Pinata and Dinosaur King will be on show.
Chaotic brings together online and in-person trading card play. Each Chaotic Creature Card has a variable power structure to ensure virtually no two cards are alike. Players can battle opponents in person or upload each card’s unique code to build their decks and play online.
Dinosaur King, meanwhile, is a cartoon about the adventures of a group of kids who discover dinosaur cards. It launched in Japan earlier this year, with the trading cards already being a big hit.
Also new to the portfolio is Jim Henson Designs, which the firm is aiming to transform into a collection of lifestyle products.
Pajanimals is a collection of plush puppets from the Jim Henson Company, each coming with a DVD of bedtime stories, music and extra footage, plus a coordinating blanket to help children feel secure a bedtime.
The Vivia Pinata TV series is currently airing on Nicktoons and GMTV and recently launched in France. New games and other consumer products are due for this Christmas.
Other 4Kids brands on display will include The Dog, Monster Jam, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Royal Air Force.
The big news from Aardman is that it is teaming up with Jamie Oliver’s production company Fresh One Productions to develop a new animated series called Little J.
Aimed at seven to 11 year olds, the 52x11-minute production is due to be unveiled at Cartoon Forum in the autumn. The 2D show follows Jamie Oliver’s fictional ten year-old self on a comically surreal quest to discover the secret to becoming a truly great chef. Little J’s world is populated with bizarre characters, including talking food, a depress ham, a mad scientist called Eggs Benedict who sports a chicken on his head and his band, The Vulgar Vegetables, plus Nonna his culinary guru.
Agency Allsorts is active in a number of sectors including art, character, design, fashion, photo and lifestyle brands including Betty Boop, Marilyn Monroe and Popeye.
The company will be launching Flash Gordon – both the classic look and a new live action TV series – and Miss Dolly, a design/publishing property from France.
AT New Media
Positioned where ‘new media meets brand licensing’, AT’s properties include the Mosquito Tone which is a sound that apparently only kids can hear. A line of products are currently in development in a wide range of categories.
It also looks after Urban Freeflow - the organising body behind the sport of parkour or free running – plus Fuzzy Felt. Meanwhile, Roobarb & Custard will soon be launching an internet presence.
Bang on the Door
Bang on the Door is one of the leading design brands with over 600 characters including Groovy Chick and Football Crazy. It has 60 licensees covering territories from Europe, Australasia and the Far East, including soft toys, bedding, clothing and confectionery amongst others.
The brand now also includes a baby line of characters with nursery products for the 0 to three age group, as well as Bang on the Door kids for four to seven year olds.
A new style has been introduced, along with fresh lines from Mr Lucky Bags, Wesco, Hallmark, MV Sport and Zap amongst others. McLaggan Smith Mugs is the latest licensee to be appointed. A consumer website has also been unveiled.
To help celebrate the 21st anniversary of the company, Bang on the Door will be offering all visitors to its stand the chance to win £250 worth of product.
The BBC always boasts a busy stand, and this year is likely to be no exception.
Doctor Who – the fastest growing toy property in 2006 – will be joined by new spin off series for children, The Sarah Jane Adventures. The popular Charlie & Lola will be showing a wide line of design-led gifts including new toys, while Ragdoll’s In The Night Garden is building up a real head of steam with consumers. Master toy licensee Hasbro’s range hit the shops earlier this summer, with supporting categories to follow soon.
In addition, opportunities will be presented by Torchwood, Teletubbies – which, of course, is now in its tenth year – Lunar Jim, Robin Hood and Primeval, with new animation Animalia also being launched this year.
Brit Chicks is a design-led lifestyle brand featuring a group of girls who represent the multi-cultural mix existing in society today. Honey, Mica and Eva are aimed at nine to 14 year-old girls whose primary interests are in music, mobiles, fashion and friends.
Meanwhile, Some Girls features sophisticated fashion inspired female characters illustrated by Robyn Nield. They are aimed at girls aged from 14 years.
Me to You is one of the fastest growing non-media based character brands worldwide, generating retail sales in excess of $800m annually.
The huge popularity can be shown through the 25 million website hits each month, 300,000 collectors and the expansion of licensing opportunities and new partnerships with some of the world’s biggest retailers.
The firm will be looking to secure further international licensees for Roary the Racing Car, which launched in the UK in May. There are already 24 licensees on board in the UK, with head of licensing Val Fry looking to duplicate this success overseas. Chapman will also be working with Target to bolster licensees for Fifi and the Flowertots.
Chorion will be launching its new landmark property, The Mr Men Show, to the European trade at the event. Airing on Five early on 2008 – and with Fisher-Price appointed as the master toy licensee – this animated sketch comedy for young children is creating a good deal of excitement in the licensing industry.
Also launching is the firm’s highly anticipated Famous Five, featuring the children from the original. The show is set to sit on the Disney Channel in the UK and France 3 in spring 2008.
Coolabi will be unveiling its plans for the Purple Ronnie franchise, having acquired all the rights earlier this year.
The design property will be joined on the firm’s booth by Scarlett and Crimson. This has recently been signed for a major international publishing deal with Simon & Schuster, while Danilo is producing a line of cards, calendars and diaries.
Web-based Flash animation property iloveegg has also been revitalised with major investment of fresh capital and ideas.
Copyrights will be launching a new girls character property based on the Princess Poppy books on the first day of the show.
In addition, activity planned for Paddington’s 50th anniversary in 2008 will be a major focus and there will be the opportunity to discuss this in a themed Paddington tearoom on the show floor.
The progress of the ethically founded Peter Rabbit Naturally better brand will be another highlight, as will the continued success of anarchic humour brand Violent Veg.
Finally, the momentum behind Horrible Histories’ merchandising programme continues to grow, while there will also be news and updates of Copyrights’ character, lifestyle and art brands.
Dorna Sports is a sports management company which owns the exclusive rights to licensing, commercial and TV to MotoGP. The firm will be showing a wide range of official products at BLE. Currently there are over 45 active licensees, carrying over 700 products worldwide. Some of the latest products – such as board games and toys – will be on display.
In addition, Dorna will be showcasing a show bike belonging to the current MotoGP world champion.
Miffy is currently making a mark in the nursery sector with babywear programmes in M&S, BHS, Geroge and Littlewoods. Rainbow Designs will be launching a line of new baby gifts, joining other recent signings in the toiletries, cosmetics, watches and jewellery areas.
Teenage fashion brand Bobbypin will be on display, while tween line Bubblegum Starz continues its success. Lunch bags and sports bottles have just launched, while spring will see the arrival of Halsall’s plush, with a collection of wheeled toys to follow.
Also on show will be the classic Roald Dahl and Guess How Much I Love You properties.
The firm’s flagship property Jakers continues to be a ratings success, with season three featuring new sets and characters including Shirley the Sheep (voiced by Joan Rivers).
Meanwhile, Those Scurvy Rascals is starting to generate some good attention – the quirky short-form CGI animation recently aired on Nick Toons and also now has exposure on ten million PlayStation test disks. New children’s animation The Adventures of Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist and Japanese property Domo will also be showcased.
In addition, Entara acts as the third party agent for Habbo, one of the largest online teen communities worldwide, which currently has over eight million unique users a month.
No doubt, new signing The Magic Roundabout will be creating a lot of attention, too, while the In My Pocket toy brand will also be displayed.
Entertainment Rights controls the rights to over 8,700 episodes of children’s and family characters and brands. It will be showcasing new licensing and promotional campaigns for some of the most popular brands including Postman Pat, Rupert Bear, Guess with Jess, Casper and George of the Jungle.
The year will see the international debut of Postman Pat Special Delivery Service (SDS), which will air on BBC2 and Cbeebies from autumn 2008, securing a long-term broadcast platform for the show beyond 2012. The new show has an expanded diverse cast, a fleet of new vehicles, a new town and storylines.
Rupert Bear consumer products launch at retail this autumn with a £1 million multimedia campaign to support toy and publishing categories.
Meanwhile, a new animated series of George of the Jungle will launch on Nickelodeon UK this winter, alongside planned PS2, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii games.
Granada has a strong line-up in store for the event. Its portfolio has recently seen some new additions including Bella Sara, an internet-based horse themed property which will be celebrating its official UK launch at Olympia.
Brand Licensing also coincides with the launch of the first Numberjacks products this autumn. The Cbeebies show has been going from strength to strength, with the licensing programme beginning its roll out from this month.
New acquisitions Bernard the Bear – a CGI animation airing on CBBC in the UK – and Supernormal – a fast paced animation due to launch on CITV this month – will also be on display.
Big things are in store for pre-school hit Pocoyo, while the iconic Thunderbirds and sports licences for Liverpool and Arsenal will also be at the show.
Due to the ongoing interest in Animal Soup, Hip has developed a new style guide which is being launched in time for the show. The property has also been seen in Tesco this summer, with a range of stationery, tissues and a cool bag and drinks bottle.
Meanwhile, the firm has had a strong response to Bad Alice – a range from Claire’s has been well received this summer in the UK. At the show, Hip will be displaying a branded Bad Alice scooter, produced by Sikombi through its representatives at Telescreen BV.
Hip will also be presenting Little Bugs – the property already has over 15 exclusive product lines in Sainsbury’s.
It looks like it’s going to be another busy show for Hit. To start with, the global consumer products drive for Rainbow Magic will be kicking off.
Thomas & Friends global live tour will be steaming into the UK in February 2008 and the first European Thomas Land is set to open in March 2008. Year-long celebrations are planned for Barney as the character hits its 20-year anniversary, while Angelina Ballerina’s first ever live ballet with the English National Ballet takes to the stage this September for a 12-week regional tour across the UK.
Meanwhile, Fraggle Rock turns 25 and will be returning to British TV screens on Boomerang. Fireman Sam is currently in production for a new series which will boast fresh characters, new locations and more heroic deeds. Pingu will see a new half-hour format TV show air to celebrate its 21st birthday, Bob the Builder will be constructing a new town with new friends, while, finally, a new series of Wobbly Land will be airing on Nick Jr in the UK later in the year.
Cheeky greetings card and gift brand Juicy Lucy is another property making its debut at the show.
The fairies and angels first appeared in 1998 and since then have acquired a wide customer base in the UK independent, gift and greetings market, as well as appearing in High Street stores such as Oasis, River Island and Paperchase.
To complement the card and social stationery, Ignition has engineered deals for fashion and gift accessory products, ceramics, kitchen textiles and gift books. Further deals for calendars, datebooks and diaries, toiletries and apparel are in negotiation.
Jane Evans Licensing Consultancy
The firm develops and manages European licensing programmes on behalf of corporate, art, personality and fashion-based brands.
Targeted at the tween/teen girl are Bat Cat (a sassy cute feline), Lola Love (features in a series of books from Harper Collins offering guidance on lifestyle issues) and Withit (which has been going strong over the past five years).
It also looks after fashion brands Plain Lazy and French Kitty (aimed at 16-25 year-old women), as well as LeapFrog learning aids, M.I. Hummel and GroovyUV, which offers colour change technology.
Jellyhead 3D has been appointed by Tiger Aspect Productions to produce a Mr Bean costume based on the animated character.
The firm has been creating promotional costumes since 1998, and the agreement for Mr Bean marks its first foray into the character-led licensing arena. It is now looking to expand its roster with further licences in the coming months.
As well as this, the launch of its Event Management Department will give clients the opportunity to have Jellyhead maintain and store their costumes, as well as organise character appearances from staff and chaperones to delivery, storage and cleaning in the UK and abroad.
Jetix Consumer Products
JCP will be showcasing two new properties: quirky adventure comedy Iggy Arbuckle and action-comedy Urban Vermin. Jetix Europe owns European pay TV rights for both series.
The company will be managing home entertainment and consumer product agency rights for Iggy Arbuckle across Europe with the exception of Scandinavia, Central Eastern Europe, Middle East (and Africa for home entertainment).
For Urban Vermin, JCP has home entertainment and consumer product agency rights for Europe and Middle East.
The focus for both properties is on publishing, back to school products, stationery, apparel, games and bags.
The Lego Group sees licensing as an opportunity to further strengthen its brand and give fans the opportunity to experience it in other ways than through the core toys.
The firm has licensed products in a number of different categories including video games, apparel, footwear, school bags, pens, publishing and furniture, and is looking to extend the Lego brand equity further globally.
Licensing by Design
The firm will be celebrating the arrival of Charlie’s Ark, the latest creation from Mike Payne which launched with a range of 68 sepia cards through Paper House earlier in the year. Posh Paws has already been signed up in the plush and gift category.
Girl du Jour – which launched with a range of 15 cards in 200 Clinton stores and independents across the UK in June – Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine, Perfect Pets and Lickle Ted will also be on display.
It’s going to be all about Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk for Marvel at Olympia. The firm’s first self-published movies are due next summer.
The company is also focused on the continued support of its successful character licensing business with Spider-Man, Marvel Comics, Spider-Man & Friends and Marvel Heroes.
Upper Deck will be launching the master toy line in EMEA territories for Nelvana’s animated series Grossology. The range includes play-sets, plastic toys, novelty toys, trading cards and figurines.
The show airs on TF1 in France, Discovery Kids in the US and YTV in Canada and is due to launch soon with a number of other broadcasters including jetix in the UK, Nickelodeon in Germany, Holland and Benelux, Mediaset in Italy and RTE in Ireland. Grossology is aimed at six to ten year olds and follows the crime solving adventures of Ty and Abby Archer, a brother and sister crime solving team who report to the government’s secret Department of Grossology.
In addition, Upper deck is also distributing the Spin Master toy line in Germany and Austria for Nelvana’s Di-Gata Defenders.
NMSI will be showcasing the Science Museum brand, with rockets and space being the key themes.
There will be a selection of activity rockets from Wow Stuff and a lift-off rocket money bank from Zeon, as well as space pyjamas and anti-gravity boots.
The Flight category is represented by a new tiny infra-red helicopter from Wow, while 2007/08 also sees the arrival of its first brand diffusions – a series of green kits from Great Gizmos and a line of Top Secret Spy toys from Wow.
The Science Museum is now looking to extend its current offering of toys, kits and gadgets into new areas having recently inked a deal with pre-school hit Numberjacks. Also new for 2008, to celebrate the opening of the Museum’s new inter-active LaunchPad galleries will be an exclusive line of LaunchPad products designed by Middlesex University.
The internationally recognised lifestyle brand boasts a varied selection of products, aimed at those who appreciate a more relaxed attitude to life. The brand is based on promoting choice, encouraging freedom of expression and demonstrating individuality.
Having passed its ten-year milestone, the Pokemon brand is on to its next phase, Diamond and Pearl. Visitors to the stand can expect to find out more about the existing licensing programme and also discover how the two new iterations have injected new life into the franchise.
Rainbow Productions will be exhibiting for the first time to mark its 25 years of working with the licensing industry. Of course, the characters will be walking the show floor on behalf of the brand owners, too.
Rainbow offers a portfolio of over 90 licensed characters available to book for personal appearances, while it also creates live shows, brand and sports mascots.
Rocket is making its debut at the show with a strong line-up including The Dangerous Book for Boys. With more than 750,000 copies sold in the UK alone, the book has been in the bestseller charts for more than a year. There has also recently been a bidding war between major studios for the film rights and a TV series is in development.
Rocket has acquired the global merchandising rights and will be unveiling its plans at the show.
Elsewhere, pre-school show Franny’s Feet has already had good interest from potential licensees and Rocket is close to announcing some more key deals. Skelanimals is also key to the firm’s Brand Licensing strategy: these are five animals who have met an untimely demise due to their own recklessness and general ill-advised behaviour.
Start will be presenting four key properties. The Beano celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2008 and will be featured on the stand with a strong focus on Dennis the Menace. The property currently has around 35 licensees with a number in the toy sector including Flair, Rubie’s, Smiffy’s and Gibson’s Games.
The firm will also be presenting DC Thomson’s classic Jackie Magazine – originally a hit in the Seventies, Start is now working on a new licensing drive.
Stop frame animation Hana’s Helpline has recently signed up a number of new broadcasters and has also been chosen by Barnado’s to feature on collectable zip pulls to be sold in Boots outlets. Golden Bear, Random House and 2Entertain have also signed up as licensees.
Start also represents Polly Pocket and the licensing programme is developing rapidly. Head along to the stand for details of the latest partners.
Finally, Start is working with Bang on the Door to licence its full design range.
The South German company designs, manufacturers and distributes high-end gift, back to school, plush, greeting cards and gift books.
It was founded ten years ago and now has products available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Britain, Benelux, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and Norway. The company is also currently launching its first postcard range of 48 designs in France and is seeking further licensing partners for various other categories in the territory, as well as in the UK, Benelux and Scandinavia. Sheepworld has over 20 licensees in various categories ranging from bedding to bicycles. Licensees include Ravensburger, Herding, teNeues, Heye, Bertelsmann, Quelle, BIC in Germany, Passion Cards in Poland and Danilo and GB Posters in the UK.
Target will be formally launching The Nutcracker in the UK and Europe at Olympia. The licensing roll out will begin with the film’s general release next winter and the firm is now working hard to secure licensees. Based on the classic Nutcracker story, the film went into production in Budapest in July and will combine live action and the latest in CGI and visual effects.
A drinks reception will be held on the stand to celebrate the launch of Storm Hawks, for which the firm has the UK rights from Nerd Corp. The boys’ action adventure series debuted on Cartoon Network last month and Spin Master is the master toy licensee.
Following its UK launch on Cartoonito, further licensees are being sought for pre-school animation Fluffy Gardens.
Finally, ahead of the start of the new series and next year’s theatre show, Target is seeking new licensees for Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs.
The Licensing Company
TLC is returning to Brand Licensing after four years and will be showcasing a number of new properties from its entertainment division.
Two Lucas Film events will be run in the screening rooms: the first showcasing Indian Jones IV and the second, Clone Wars, the new Star Wars TV series set in the period between Episode II and Episode III.
Another key studio property, The Golden Compass hits cinemas on December 7th and already has a good line-up of licensees, while Bond 22 and Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons will also be featured.
Future activity for LazyTown will be highlighted, while TLC will exhibit a selection of properties from MGA including Baby Annabell, Baby Born, Little Tikes, Yummi Land and, of course, Bratz.
Catering to the younger market, the latest activity from GoochiCoo and Humphrey’s Corner will be showcased. Finally, Minikim’s Love Is… has been refreshed and now carries a fresh, colourful look.
The National Basketball Association is a global sports and entertainment property featuring 30 teams in the USA and Canada. The NBA will play in London this autumn, as part of NBA Europe Live presented by EA Sports, when the Boston Celtics face the Minnesota Timberwolves.
UK fans can experience the NBA through the large range of products available across Europe (including apparel, shoes, sporting goods, electronic games, school supplies, bags and home furnishings).
Based on the bestselling children’s picture books, Little Princess is a 65x11-minute animation series for two to six year olds. It currently airs on Five’s Milkshake block and Five Life and has already been sold to over 100 countries worldwide.
This year, DVDs have been successfully released, Martin Yaffe has scooped the master toy licence and a dedicated consumer website has been launched. A second series will be rolling out later this year and a further two books will be released by Andersen Press bringing the total number of TV tie-in book titles to ten.
TV Loonland is also focusing more on formats that lend themselves to digital media in order to become a market leader in distributing short formats. Short-form CGI animations including The Owl and Pat & Stan will both be exhibited at the show.
Upper Deck Entertainment already manufactures and distributes World of Warcraft trading card game, Marvel, DC Comics TCGs and other licensed toy and game products.
At the show it will be presenting new children’s TV series Huntik. Primarily aimed at eight to 12 year-old boys, the adventure show is from Rainbow and is coproduced with Irish firm Big Bocca. It takes children on adventures all over the world form Venice to Egypt: the central plot focuses on the classic battle between good and evil, with four heroes searching for ancient amulets that have myth-evoking powers.
Some of the licensees already on board will be revealed at Olympia, while there will be exclusive viewings of the first episode.
Wiley’s best selling brands include For Dummies, Frommer’s and CliffsNotes. With more than 150 million books in print, on over 1,100 topics, For Dummies is the world’s number one reference series. Its extensive licensed product line includes DVDs, software, consumer electronics, cooking, cleaning, automotive products, craft and hobby kits and games.
New partnerships include SMB Auto for Automotive Cleaners & Coolants For Dummies; Atech Scientific Measures for Weather Stations and Instruments For Dummies; T&S Accessories with Manicure & Pedicure Kits For Dummies, plus Women’s Hair Accessories For Dummies; and Unicorn Products with Cricket Starter Sets and Dart Board Sets For Dummies.
Frommer’s, meanwhile, is the number one travel brand in North America with over 350 guidebooks, with its licensed products including games and luggage.