Notes to Santa

Mulberry handbag? Time machine? Jedward for PM? It may be frivolous, but after this year, we deserve it...
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I admit that it was by no means the most in-depth feature I've ever put together, but then the piece on key licensing industry executives Christmas wishes was never meant to be.

I could've asked them for their views on retail discounting in the lead up to the festive selling period, or how the High Street will cope with its first Christmas without Woolworths. But, as we head into the final four weeks before Christmas, I wanted to give them something lighthearted and frivolous - and the response was fabulous.

My favourite was probably the time machine chosen by E1's Andrew Carley - after all, who would be able to resist a peek into the future (even if it's only to see how next March's Light Fund Bobsleigh Challenge turns out, and if those lycra suits Stephen Gould keeps talking about are really as horrific as they sound).

Advanstar's Jon Gibson's request for a full-scale Cluedo game (only without the murder) came a very close second, followed by CPLG UK MD Vickie O'Malley's choice of dinner at Theo Randall.

Dreamworks' marketing manager, Chris Taday, loses points, however, for making Team Licensing incredibly jealous by spending Christmas in Sydney.

Of course, among the requests for George Clooney, Robert Pattinson, Mulberry handbags and tickets for the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup, many of the respondents also wished for successful sell-through of their products on the High Street this Christmas and that the market as a whole experiences a healthy 2010.

Many of the companies (from licensors, to licensees and retailers) I've written about over the past few weeks - Warner Bros Consumer Products, Tomy Europe, JCB, Nickelodeon, Chapman, Mothercare, Hit and Aardman to name just a few - are all heading into 2010 on a high, celebrating new licence wins, acquisitions, anniversaries and solid financial performances.

Indeed, the general vibe I've been getting from speaking to people and attending events over the past weeks is one of optimism; they know it's still tough, but are confident their companies have made the necessary changes and have the right brands to get through 2010.

And on my note to Santa? An Omega Seamaster and a week in Cape Verde post toy trade show madness. And I could use Carley's time machine to see if my wishes are granted...


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