Licensing International 09: Show Preview

The move to Las Vegas has been a major industry talking point for over 18 months and now it's time to see what all the fuss has been about. Here's what some of the key exhibitors will be showcasing this year...
Publish date:

20th Century Fox L&M
Booth 900

Fox Licensing says it is bringing its strongest ever slate of entertainment properties to Vegas.
The Ice Age franchise will be returning to cinemas in July with the third film, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. The licensing drive represents one of the studio’s largest film merchandising programmes, with more than 200 global licensees including blue chip partners Activision, HarperCollins, Hallmark, Ferrero and Unilever, plus other licensees developing a full range of apparel, toys and games among other categories.
James Cameron’s action adventure film Avatar will be supported with a toy line from Mattel, plus a video game from Ubisoft, released to tie in with the film’s December opening.
Fox is also continuing to build another franchise film: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, due for Christmas 2009. Meanwhile, celebrations for the 20th anniversary year of The Simpsons will also be continuing.
This year will also see a new merchandising programme for Family Guy, as well as introducing The Cleveland Show, featuring Family Guy neighbour Cleveland Brown.
Fox will also be previewing the future of Halo licensing at the show.

4Kids Entertainment
Booth 2435

4Kids has a mix of classic brands and new properties lined up for Vegas.
First up, trading card property Chaotic already has over 1.4 million registered users to the website, who have collectively uploaded nearly 60 million cards. Spin Master is developing a line of toys for distribution in the UK, France and Mexico, while 4Kids will grant toy distribution rights for all other territories. A video game is also being planned by Activision.
Dinosaur King should also attract attention, with licensees already in place for such categories as publishing, apparel, footwear, home entertainment, stationery, posters and toys.
4Kids will also be showcasing the new toy line for Yu-Gi-Oh 5D’s, which Upper Deck will be distributing in the UK, Ireland, France, GAS, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Benelux, Nordics, Greece, Turkey, South Africa and Israel. Other licensees on board include Linea D (Italy), Play Factory (France) and Editions Oberthur (France, Belgium and Switzerland).
Other properties sharing stand space will include The Dog and The Cat from Artlist Collection, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Monster Jam and two new Arthur movies from director Luc Besson.

BBC Worldwide Children’s & Licensing
Booth 2811

The commercial arm of the BBC will be seeking new partners for some of its key properties as they roll out internationally. These include In The Night Garden, Charlie & Lola, Teletubbies and 3rd and Bird.
The firm will also be showcasing its adult line-up, with opportunities available for Top Gear, Strictly Come Dancing (known outside the UK as Dancing with the Stars) and Doctor Who.
The newly launched BBC Earth brand will be revealed for the first time, bringing together all of the BBC’s natural history content including Planet Earth which has enjoyed licensing success in the US since launch in early 2008.
BBC Worldwide will also be introducing two new properties for the first time – pre-teen multi-platform Tronji (created by Ragdoll Productions) and dirtgirlworld, a unique music-centric animation. Both will broadcast on BBC later this year.

Beanstalk Group
Booth 1646

Beanstalk arrives in Vegas with the addition of four brands to its client roster including HGTV, Lee Cooper, Airheads and Janet Reger, as well as the launch of several brand and product extensions for its existing clients such as Ford, Stanley, US Army and Vespa among others.
The firm is developing a range of baby products for Proctor and Gamble's Pampers brand, designing lifestyle products targeting African Americans for Ebony and Jet magazines, plus coordinating the launch of Purina Pet Gear pet accessories.
The Harley Davidson European youth licensing programme has also grown tremendously, with planned expansion into Australia and New Zealand. The Jack Daniels programme continues its strong performance with barbecue sauces, giftware and apparel, while the Jaguar brand launched a new Performancewear collection in key markets this year, as well as a limited edition fragrance, Jaguar Classic Black.
Moving on, and the Land Rover brand launched its premium collection of Range Rover eyewear, grew its apparel, outerwear and accessories business, as well as unveiling a new line of Land Rover bikes.
Beanstalk is also continuing to build the Paris Hilton programme worldwide, with the expansion of the Paris Hilton Footwear Collection into additional Macy's stores, the launch of scrapbooking and DIY craft kits, bedding, lingerie and beachwear, and the extension of fashion apparel and accessories throughout Europe.
Beanstalk's global services have also been bolstered with the opening of a Hong Kong office and various partnerships in Latin America.

BKN International
Booth 1811

BKN will be using Vegas as a platform to introduce Zorro Generation Z and Dork Hunters. The firm believes both brands have strong potential in terms of licensing, already demonstrated by the 30+ licensees they’ve already notched up around the world in categories such as toys, apparel, bed linen, sporting goods and confectionery among others.

Booth 3214

Capcom has created some of the most iconic characters and franchises in video game history, including Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Bionic Commando, Mega Man and Monster Hunter.
It is seeking licensing activities in sectors including apparel, automotive, food, gifts and novelties, healthy and beauty, publishing, mobile and toys among others.

CBS Consumer Products
Booth 910

CBS offers over 180 series including primetime hits such as CSI, 90210 and America’s Next Top Model, classics like I Love Lucy, Cheers and Happy Days, the Star Trek franchise and upcoming films including Consent to Kill and Beastly.
The stand will be well worth a look as, on top of the above, other properties on show will include NCIS, Dynasty, Frasier, Melrose Place, Mighty Mouse and Mork & Mindy among others.

Booth 814

Headlining Chorion’s slate is Olivia. Following a successful debut on Nickelodeon US, Five (UK), ABC Australia and TF1 (France), the animation is now starting to make waves internationally. It will air on 20 broadcasters around the world this year including YLE Finland, SVT Sweden, NRK Norway and RUV Iceland.
Spin Master is on board as master toy partner and will develop a wide range of pre-school toys for roll out in autumn 2010. TF1 has also recently picked up merchandising and licensing rights to the property in France, while Sony Pictures is the international DVD partner outside the US.
Chorion will also be pushing the Mr Men and Little Miss brand. More licensees are now on board for The Mr Men Show in categories including clothing, homewares, games and food. In the US, master toy licensee Fisher-Price will launch its range of collectible plush, play-sets and feature plush, while DVDs from Sony will arrive in the autumn.
Meanwhile, in Europe, Egmont, Unilever, Zara, H&M, Adidas, Women’s Secret, Marks & Spencer, Hachette and Sahinler are all signed up as licensees across a range of categories.
Noddy in Toyland will also be making its debut at the show, while Paddington Bear and The World of Eric Carle will also be showcased.

Classic Media
Booth 2835

All eyes will be on Classic Media at this year’s show following the recent acquisition of Entertainment Rights’ UK and US subsidiaries.
New series Tinga Tinga Tales and Guess with Jess will have a high profile presence, while the firm will be looking to strengthen its leadership position in the seasonal market – it boasts the likes of Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Casper the Friendly Ghost and Peter Cottontail in its portfolio.
Notably, the firm will be celebrating the 60th anniversary this year of Casper with an expanded merchandising drive including apparel, toy trains, cards and the re-issue of the first ever Casper comic book.
Also on display will be Where’s Waldo?, Postman Pat Special Delivery Service and The Long Ranger Rides Again.
The licensing programme for Big Idea’s Veggie Tales is also due to be expanded this year. Several key deals have recently been signed including Hallmark’s DaySpring subsidiary, Bendon Publishing and The Northwest Company.

Cookie Jar
Suite 18

Strawberry Shortcake will be a key focus for Cookie Jar throughout the expo with aspects from the classic and new-look programme on show.
Other properties on the company’s slate include Mommy & Me, Johnny Test, Caillou, Doodlebops Rockin’ Road Show, Lucha Libre and Mona the Vampire among others.

Disney Consumer Products
Booth 1835, 2235, 2241

DCP has some major plans afoot for 2009 and into 2010. A special media briefing is due to be held on the first day of the expo, but visitors to the booths should expect to see the likes of Disney Princess, Disney Fairies, pre-school hits Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Handy Manny, Hannah Montana, Jonas, Cars and Toy Story, as well as classic properties Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh among others.

E1 Entertainment
Booth 2205

This will be the first ever Licensing International for E1, the first trade show since it changed its name from Contender Entertainment Group and the first TV appearances of Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom.
It’s certainly shaping up to be a busy show for the firm. Peppa Pig will, of course, also be showcased, along with licensed product for the character’s brother George.
Humf is another new addition to the E1 roster. The pre-school series is currently airing on Nick Jr and is the number two ranked show on the channel for the year to date, with total viewing figures in excess of 1.3 million since its first appearance. A merchandising launch is planned for spring 2010.
E1 Entertainment will also be highlighting the half hour special Lost and Found, based on the book created and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. Established properties on display will include publishing brand Janet and John and Tractor Tom, while the firm will also be highlighting some of the properties it represents such as It’s A Big Big World, Hi-5 and the textile brand Kim Parker Home.
“We could hardly have chosen a better time for our first appearance at Licensing expo,” said Andrew Carley, head of licensing for E1 Entertainment. “Our rebranding, the growth of the Peppa Pig licensing programme and the extraordinary buzz around Ben & Holly, as well as the arrival of Humf and continuing success of our other established brands, gives us a lot to celebrate and talk about.”

Electronic Arts
Booth 3220

A newcomer to Licensing International this year, one of the world’s largest video games companies, EA will form a key part of the new interactive area of the showfloor.
The firm’s brands include family friendly titles such as The Sims, through to sports titles under the EA Sports banner and more adult-aimed offerings like Mass Effect, Command & Conquer, Medal of Honor, Need for Speed and Spore.
Well worth a look.

FremantleMedia Enterprises
Booth 704

Headlining FME’s product slate will be two of its leading brands: Merlin and Rebecca Bonbon.
The international success of Merlin is continuing to drive interest in the property – the UK drama has been sold in 113 territories including China and the US, series two is in production and a number of licensees are already on board. These include 2entertain (North American home entertainment rights) and Random House (UK publishing rights).
Meanwhile, Rebecca Bonbon is the latest design property from the creator of Hello Kitty, Yuko Shimizu. Having recently inked deals with French licensee Alpa, Townley Cosmetics in America and Brazilian agent Faresak, FME will be looking to further build on this in Vegas.
Other major FME brands on show will include America’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent, The X Factor and American Idol.
Meanwhile, FME is one of the third party licensing agents having recently signed deals to represent CBS Consumer Products in Asia Pacific – Star Trek, CSI, Next Top Model and Cheers – and Paramont Licensing in Australia and New Zealand. It will be looking to add more brands to its third party catalogue at the show.
FME will also be showcasing its game show properties including Family Feud, The Price is Right and Going for Gold.
David Ellender, CEO of FME, said: “Through our global licensing operations we’re taking new and established brands to higher levels of consumer integration.”

Giochi Preziosi
Booth 2418

Gormiti - The Lords of Nature Returns will be showcased in Vegas.
Following the success of Gormiti's merchandising in Italy and already established toy line, the new TV series (co-produced with Marathon Media) will be rolling out across Europe this autumn. Already showing in Italy, next stops are France, Germany, Greece, Spain and the UK. In addition, Turkey, Israel and the Middle East have also confirmed broadcast.
In terms of licensing, over 100 deals across a variety of product categories have now been agreed in the EMEA region. Multi territory deals have been closed with international firms such as DeAgostinit for partworks and Konami for video games.

Booth 1825

Hasbro’s overall strategy is to present its core properties and how it has reinvented them. Transformers and GI Joe will, of course, be major focuses with the new films hitting cinemas worldwide this summer.
To date, the firm has hundreds of licensees worldwide lined up behind both Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The company will also have a solid showing of other key brands including Littlest Pet Shop, My Little Pony, Playskool, Nerf and Hasbro Games.

Hit Entertainment
Suite 21

Hit arrives in Vegas with a number of new offerings for its classic properties.
Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps sees the character at a new performing arts school, experiencing all forms of dance and music. The show will premiere in the US on PBS Kids and in the UK on Nick Jr in September, with a new website preceding this in August.
Bob the Builder will look to build on the huge awareness generated from his tenth birthday celebrations with the release of Project Planet in the autumn on DVD. The character’s first 4D movie, Bob the Builder and the Roller Coaster, will debut at Legoland Parks Worldwide, and will include wind and mist effects. Then there’s the move into CGI planned for 2010.
Meanwhile, Thomas the Tank Engine is celebrating a key milestone in 2010, with the character reaching 65. The brand’s first CGI movie – Hero of the Rails – is planned for this autumn, with new engines and destinations being introduced. Thomas and his friends will also debut individualised voices.
More than 50 tie in products will hit shelves globally from the autumn.

ITV Global Entertainment
Booth 3221

ITV will have a mixed portfolio to show off in Vegas. Bella Sara will be flying the flag, with a comprehensive licensing programme for the girls’ trading card concept debuting this autumn.
Plans for the 50th anniversary of Coronation Street are also eagerly awaited, with ITV Global planning to launch a diverse range of products to capture the essence of the nation’s favourite street. Other property highlights will include pre-school show Pocoyo, a remake of classic Sixties show The Prisoner and, of course, Thunderbirds.

Jetix Consumer Products
Booth 2408

Monster Buster Club will be a key focus for JCP at the show. The 3D action comedy series is aimed at five to 11 year-olds and follows the adventures of a top secret club of five ten year-olds who are the only ones aware that their town is threatened by an alien invasion. JCP manages the licensing rights in Europe and will be looking at moving into all product categories, starting with collectibles and publishing.
Pucca also remains a key property. The second series is currently airing on Jetix channels across Europe and JCP is handling consumer products for Europe and the Middle East. Fashion and accessories are key categories, while the firm is also focusing on the toy and gift categories at the show.
JCP is also representing Sega’s original Sonic The Hedgehog in key markets across Europe. It will be focusing on the toys and games category and will also be looking to extend into fashion. The firm also represents Sonic X across EMEA and will again be looking to expand the toy category and capitalise on existing success within the apparel sector.
Finally, JCP is managing the licensing rights to Galactik Football across Europe.

Booth 830

Mattel will be aiming to showcase the power of its portfolio, as well as its ability to deliver unparalleled play, whether in the guise of licensor or by providing branded experiences across its girls, boys, games and infant brands.
Look out for Barbie – which is the middle of 50th birthday celebrations – Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines.

Natural History Museum
Booth 2011

London’s Natural History Museum welcomes around four million visitors and ten million online visitors annually and is home to one of the largest and most important natural history collections in the world.
NHM currently has over 20 licensees which have created product inspired by some of its 70 million specimens.
In Vegas, NHM will be showing a variety of children’s licensed products, ranging from the best selling radio controlled tarantula to dinosaur plush. It will also be showcasing new accurate 3D artwork of the most popular and famous dinosaurs; ideal for use on boys’ products.
In contrast to this, NHM also has a licensing programme inspired by its collection of natural history artwork. This includes botanical illustrations, ideal for home ware and stationery. The company will be presenting a range of greetings cards and wrap inspired by some of the art.
In addition, NHM will also be seeking potential agents.

Nelvana Enterprises
Booth 2211

Nelvana will showcase The New Adventures of Babar, a 3D animated update of the classic story that will introduce King Babar’s eight year-old grandson, along with a cast of new animal characters. Broadcast is set for TF1 in France and YTV in Canada, with further sales to be announced soon.
Also featured will be Willa’s Wild Life, which follows the adventures of a little girl who, instead of bringing home the usual stray cats and dogs, rescues penguins and hippos instead. The series is due to air in several countries including Canada, the US, the UK and Italy.
Ruby Gloom is continuing to rack up the international licensing deals and will have a strong presence in Vegas, as will Bakugan. Finally, Nelvana will be seeking potential Canadian licensees for Chorion’s Mr Men and Little Miss brand.

Paramount Licensing
Booth 817

Paramount has enjoyed solid success monetising some of its key catalogue titles over the past year, including Top Gun, Grease and The Godfather, while The Warriors has grown steadily in the US.
At this year’s show, the company will be highlighting some upcoming theatrical releases, both live action and animated, as well as some innovative looks at some of its retro properties.

Booth 1700

Environmental brand PlanetPals will be introducing two new characters, as well as new themes.
Characters Clean Jean (Earth Queen) and Recycle Michael (It’s in to put it in the bin) will make their debut. Meanwhile, new themes will include Happy Trails Nature Park, with slogans such as ‘Fish for a healthy dish’, plus collections based on PlanetPals Peacepal characters taking visitors back to the days of Woodstock. The brand is available for educational products, media, publishing and eco friendly items.

RDF Rights
Booth 3246

A number of kids and non-kids brands will be appearing on the RDF stand in Vegas.
Following on from the recent launch of Waybuloo on the Cbeebies channel in the UK, and with a healthy mix of UK licensees now on board, RDF is officially launching the property to the international market.
The firm will also be looking to appoint agents and licensees for Yo Gabba Gabba internationally. The show recently launched on Channel 4, helping to attract a new audience demographic through the T4 strand.
Other RDF brands to be showcased include Don’t Forget the Lyrics, Big Barn Farm, Being Human, How to Look Good Naked and So You Think You Can Dance.

Sesame Workshop
Suite 8

Sesame Workshop will be unveiling its 40th anniversary plans at the show, but is keeping them close to its chest for now. Click here to read our interview with VP and general manager of global licensing, Maura Regan.

Smiley Company
Booth 1219

The firm will be presenting products from three of its brands: Smiley World, Smiley Collection and Smiley.
Smiley World will be showcasing the already successful vintage t-shirt line by Adventureland – currently being sold throughout Europe and the US – complemented by jewellery from N2. Several titles from Smiley World’s publishing portfolio will also line up alongside pieces from its stationery ranges, plush and home and giftware items.
For Smiley, there will be a selection of clothing and footwear from the recently launched Smiley Happy Sports line from Adventureland and Intermedium. Long standing beauty and fragrance range – Smiley Happy Therapy – and photo-based art line Smiley Photo Gallery will also be present on stationery products from Cartorama.
Finally, featured products for Smiley Collection will include 100 per cent organic fashion pieces for men and women inspired by the brand’s retro roots.

Target Entertainment Group
Booth 2803

TEG’s major focus at the show will be the recently announced PlayStation games deal. The firm signed an agreement with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe back in April to act as the consumer products agent for PlayStation software IPs in Europe and Australasia.
At the show, TEG will be looking to sign up prospective licenses across numerous categories for a range of titles including LittleBigPlanet, EyePet, Wipeout, God of War and Buzz. It will also be looking for sub agents to work on the PlayStation account in Australia and across Europe.
In addition to this, other properties the firm will be pushing include StormHawks, family feature film The Nutcracker: The Real Story and pre-school animation Fluffy Gardens.

The Sharpe Company
Booth 604

Sharpe will have a classic 1970s Norton motorcycle on its stand to attract visitors. In addition, the firm will be making Rubik’s Cube, Mr Bean (see Tiger Aspect entry) and Humphrey’s Corner major focuses, with all reaching important milestones over the coming months.
New to its roster is Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist, while the company also represents pre-school animation Animal Mechanicals and Bo on the Go.
The artwork portfolio of design studio Bang on the Door – including its latest creations FABric Animals and Make Me Famous – will be featured on the booth. Also making an appearance will be the Naughty Naughty Pets, which are based on real-life city pets and enjoy a mainly female following.
Finally, The Daring Book for Girls and The Dangerous Book for Boys will also be showcased.

Thomas Kinkade
Booth 2652

Painter of Light, Thomas Kinkiade is celebrating his 25th anniversary as a pubished artist this year. Highlights for 2009 include the releases of the second Studio Masterwork in the artist's Disney Dreams Collection, Pinocchio Wishes Upon a Star, plus the centennial celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for which Kinkade became the official artist. His new work - Indy Excitement, 100 Years of Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - is a celebration on canvas spanning 100 years of motorway history.
Graceland, Major League Baseball and NASCAR have also engaged Kinkade to produce work for them.

Tiger Aspect
Booth 604

Sharing stand space with US agent The Sharpe Company, Tiger Aspect will be looking to sign up further licensees for Mr Bean, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2010.
The original live action series of just 14 episodes was followed by the animated show of 26 half hours. There have also been two hits at the box office – Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie in 1997 and Mr Bean’s Holiday in 2007. Video sales of the TV series have topped the 20 million mark.
Tiger Aspect is planning to celebrate the milestone with a refresh of the brand across all media. New logos are being design showing the character enjoying all the fun of his birthday party. The brand styling will follow through from television broadcast to DVD sales and across a full range of merchandising.

Turner CN Enterprises
Booth 2426

Following a phenomenal year for Ben 10, Turner CN Enterprises’ slate will focus on the EMEA roll out of the show and the licensing programme for the latest offering, Ben 10 Alien Force. Bandai’s new toy line has already enjoyed success – pushing up Turner’s UK market share, meaning it is now number two behind Disney (source: NPD, April 2009).
In addition to this, the company will also unveil details of the EMEA roll out strategy for Bakugan. The programme has already picked up strong viewing figures in the US and in the UK and France. The licensing drive is led by Spin Master and the toy line, while over 50 deals across a variety of product categories have now been agreed.
Vegas will also act as a platform to launch The Secret Saturdays. Mattel is on board as master toy licensee, while D3 Publisher is the interactive partner.

V&A Licensing
Booth 2110

The V&A stand design will look to demonstrate and echo the creative process and progression of a product design – from the adaptation of the original V&A archive material through to the pattern application on a finished product.
The licensing programme for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London has been enjoying a strong year so far. The Ancesters V&A Inspired jewellery collection has recently launched on shopping channels in the UK, Canada, Japan and QVC USA.
The firm’s main objective is to increase the territories in which products are produced and distributed, as well as expend into new categories. Areas available for licensing include interiors, homeware, stationery and gifts. Following the success of the exclusive Debenhams menswear collaboration – which will be on the fashion runway at Licensing International – V&A Licensing is now keen to expand into the female fashion sector with apparel and accessories.

Warner Bros Consumer Products
Booth 930

WBCP’s current slate is anchored by the blockbuster Harry Potter franchise, led by the upcoming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, premiering this summer.
The firm will also be showcasing DC Comics’ Batman, as well as new Cartoon Network show, Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Other evergreen characters such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Green Lantern and The Flash will also be on display.
Additionally, the Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, Hanna-Barbera and the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz get top billing.


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