20th Century Fox
Taking centre stage for Fox will be the third instalment in the Ice Age franchise, Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Due for release in cinemas on July 3rd 2009 – with the DVD out in time to maximise on Christmas sales – there are already 70 partners signed up across Europe and the UK. Other key film releases will include a live-action movie version of the Japanese manga Dragonball franchise, an animated adaptation of Roald Dahl classic Fantastic Mr Fox and James Cameron’s Avatar. Sequels to Night at the Museum and Alvin and the Chipmunks will also be a focus at the show. The licensing programmes for TV properties The Simpsons, Family Guy, 24 and Prison Break will also be highlighted, while Halo and Garfield will be presented exclusively at Olympia.
New pre-school property Timmy Time will be a major focus. Having already secured Vivid as the master toy partner, Egmont as publishing partner and Hit to roll out consumer products across the US, Aardman will be looking to fill all other categories at the show.
The new Wallace & Gromit in A Matter of Loaf and Death will also be showcased. Currently in production, there will be a full licensing programme for the half hour special.
Shaun the Sheep continues to be a key property, having secured 28 UK licensees including Golden Bear as master toy partner. To date over 300,000 DVD units have been sold and two further releases, plus the complete box set, will be launched throughout 2008.
BBCW believes it has one of its strongest property portfolios yet as it heads into this year’s Brand Licensing Europe.
“We’re all set for a fantastic Christmas here at BBC Worldwide, with not one, not two but three of our hero products being in hot demand for kids’ gifts,” says Richard Hollis, head of UK licensing. “In the Night Garden’s Upsy Daisy and Her Bed and Doctor Who’s Dalek Voice Changer Helmet have been tipped as must-haves, but we’re also thrilled at the welcome return of the fab four themselves with the Dance with Me Teletubby.”
The firm will also be introducing new properties 3rd & Bird – which will get its first public showing at BLE – and Harry and Toto, which is currently airing on Cbeebies. Other brands at the show will include Charlie & Lola, Doctor Who, Planet Earth, Top Gear and Primeval.
Cartoon Network Enterprises
Another first time exhibitor, CNE will be showing off the next chapter of hit show Ben 10 called Ben 10 Alien Force, in which an older and wiser Ben will take on a new series of adventures and new alien super heroes.
New anime property Bakugan begins airing in September in the UK and rolls out across EMEA in early 2009. CNE will also be introducing Secret Saturdays, a family of adventure seeking scientists searching for mysterious creatures, which is due to air across EMEA in 2009/10. Finally, the Powerpuff Girls will celebrate its tenth anniversary in the UK in 2009, with high-end fashion events being planned.
In the last three years, Fifi and the Flowertots has blossomed at home and abroad, with 50 UK licensees representing over 600 skus and sales of the TV series to 162 countries. Meanwhile, Roary the Racing Car is looking to be just as successful. Since its launch last May, TV sales have been made to 110 countries and a raft of key licensing deals agreed in the UK and overseas. Chapman will be aiming to further consolidate both brands’ positions in the market at the show.
The firm will be showcasing its joint portfolio of key properties from the Chorion and Copyrights catalogues.
Noddy will be the main attraction as the character heads into its 60th anniversary year in 2009. A year of celebrations is planned with extensive consumer and retail marketing complementing a new 52-episode TV series, a fresh toy range and a new live experience.
Chorion will also be showing new 3D CGI animated TV series Olivia, which is based on the books by Ian Falconer. Commissioned by Nick Jr in the US and picked up by Five in the UK, the 52x11-minute pre-school series is currently in production with transmission due for early 2009.
The continued development of the ethically founded Peter Rabbit Naturally Better brand will also be a key highlight. The focus on Paddington Bear following the 50th anniversary will also continue, while latest updates on Princess Poppy, The Horribles, Country Diary and The Snowman among others will also be available.
Contender Entertainment Group
One of the UK’s leading pre-school properties, Peppa Pig will be a key focus on the Contender booth. The character boasts over 46 licensing agreements in the UK alone, with the series enjoying consistently high ratings on Five’s Milkshake block and Nick Jr, plus DVD sales of over a million in just three years. A third series is currently in production.
Contender will also be highlighting a strong group of established properties at the event. These will include publishing brand Janet and John, plus Contender’s first IP, Tractor Tom. The firm will also be highlighting a forthcoming Christmas special, Lost and Found, as well as its representation of It’s A Big Big World, a pre-school show from America with an environmental message.
Contender is also launching two new pre-school properties. Humf is an animated series for both TV and books aimed at three to five year-olds. Currently in production, a merchandising launch is being planned for spring 2010. Meanwhile, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom is the story of a fairy princess and her best friend from the creators of Peppa Pig. It has already secured an international TV launch through Nickelodeon for 2009 and merchandising should launch in spring 2010.
Purple Ronnie is now in its 21st year, but is still attracting new licensees, plus the first ever style guide and a new website due to go live later this year. An association with the Prostate Cancer Charity is opening up new opportunities for both retailers and licensees for Father's Day 2009, as well as year-round promotions. Five book titles are also on the way.
Meanwhile, Scarlett & Crimson launches in summer 2009 with the first book from publishing partner Simon & Schuster. An initial series of 16 titles are planned. The recent announcement of a range of cosmetics and toiletries in conjunction with Ruby & Hammer has also highlighted the broad licensing potential of the brand.
Finally, the Hammer Film Productions licensee list features such major names as Camelot, the Royal Mail and Barcrest, and reaches far beyond the usual realms of licensed product to include the likes of roller blinds, cufflinks, doors and other items.
Another stand likely to see a lot a footfall over the two days, ER will be showing off Postman Pat: Special Delivery Service, which features an expanded cast, vehicle fleet, new town and storylines. Character Options is the master toy, while there are 50+ other licensees on board.
Guess with Jess – airing on Cbeebies from autumn 2009 and with Fisher-Price as master toy – and Finley the Fire Engine – which has been sold to over 90 territories and has ten licensees currently on board – will also be on the stand.
Following the success of Scholastic's first release, The Skate Park After Dark, Fun Crew arrives at BLE with a new book deal for Spooky Skaters. The brand is also featured in UK boys' magazine Toxic and is offered to potential animation partners as a 26-episode series for development.
As well as Spooky Skaters, Fun Crew will also be showing off Lucky Cookie, Daft Dads and The Vegilantes.
First time exhibitor Funshine is celebrating its tenth anniversary at BLE and will be discussing licensing opportunities for Let's Get Fit 4 Life and Gary the Gardener.
The Italian toy giant will be making its debut at Olympia, showing boys’ fantasy property Gormiti.
Already the number one boys action figures across a number of European markets, the licensing programme is now rolling out. In the UK this will be backed up by the success Flair has enjoyed with the range, selling over 1,000,000 figures in the first six months.
“Gormiti has proved tremendously successful for its European partners and with the toys and collectable figures doing so well, it’s the perfect time for new licensees – from the UK and international – to come on board,” says Graziano Delmaestro, licensing director at Giochi Preziosi.
Plans for Thomas & Friends’ 65th anniversary in 2010 are already underway, but this year will see the character return to his roots with a new Discover Thomas campaign to coincide with the feature length special, The Great Discovery, voiced by Pierce Brosnan (in limited release at Vue cinemas on September 20th and on DVD from October 6th). The brand continues to grow with the continued success of Thomas Land in the UK, 30 million visitors to the refreshed website and the launch of new style guides. Plus, from 2009 Thomas will be making the move to CGI.
Bob the Builder is also readying for an anniversary, with the character notching up ten years next year. Celebrations will kick off with a new feature length special, Race To The Finish, at Vue ahead of its DVD release in November. Bob will also move to CGI animation with broadcast scheduled for 2009, has new packaging and style guides, plus a new website.
Fireman Sam is another character moving to CGI, again due for broadcast next year. A special DVD will debut the new look in the autumn.
Angelina Ballerina has just made a second tour of the English National Ballet’s Angelina’s Star Performance in theatres across the UK, with new CGI episodes set to air from autumn 2009. Meanwhile, Barney celebrated a 20th anniversary with a DVD special – Dinomite Birthday – a UK live tour, plus new broadcast on Cartoonito.
Rainbow Magic will be transformed from print to the small screen, with a DVD due in 2009. Book sales have reached 12.5 million in the UK and the brand’s refreshed website attracted more than 1.4 million page views in its first month.
On top of all of this, Hit is continuing to expand its live events and attractions business with a new concept called The Little Big Club set to launch in early 2009.
The first outing for the newly merged Granada Ventures and Granada International, ITV Worldwide will be showcasing a wide slate of brands across all genres.
From a toy point of view, there will be opportunities from big autumn TV hope Britannia High, plus a new look for the classic Thunderbirds. Pre-school brand Numberjacks and Bella Sara – which created a stir in New York in June – will also form a key part of the firm’s stand.
Construction equipment manufacturer JCB has over 20 licensees and at BLE will be launching My 1st JCB, a range of new pre-school characters all based around real machines. The characters will include Joey JCB, Larry Loadall, Doug the Dumptruck, Rex Roller and Roxy Robot. Golden Bear is the master toy licensee and is rolling out talking vehicles for autumn/winter.
Jetix Consumer Products
JCP will be unveiling three new properties. The firm has home entertainment and merchandising rights for both action/adventure series Magi-Nation and action/comedy World of Quest in selected EMEA markets. In addition, Combo Niños is a new comedy/action series which features four normal kids who go to school but are also training in the martial art of ‘capoeira’. JCP has TV, merchandising and home entertainment rights in Europe and the Middle East.
A collection of characters which live in the moon, a new Lunartics trading card game will be at Olympia. A map of the inside of the moon, showing the seven zones where the characters live, will also be on display, along with a series of seven books including stories and anecdotes.
The characters are available for licence with the original background artwork or as cut outs. A number of licensees have been signed up in the past year across a wide range of categories.
It’s Marvel’s 70th anniversary in 2009 and the firm will be unveiling its celebration plans at the show. In addition it will be launching Super Hero Squad, the latest brand from its portfolio.
Key partners will be invited for updates on Mattel’s portfolio including Barbie, Hot Wheels, Polly Pocket, Scrabble and Fisher-Price. The firm is continuing to grow its list of successes, with recent deals including sporting goods and outdoor play with Martin Yaffe, Halsall and MV Sports, as well as aligning with more adult companies and retailers to celebrate Barbie’s 50th anniversary.
Fisher-Price will be launching its Summer Fun range in spring 2009 offering a selection of outdoor toys: Martin Yaffe, Toy Quest and Moose Mountain have created products including wheeled toys, roto-moulded playhouses and inflatable pools, ballpits and sprinklers.
Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go, Spongebob Squarepants, South Park, Backyardigans, Avatar and the Legend of Aang, plus new properties Wonder Pets and iCarly will all be on the Nick stand, which is likely to be one of the most popular at the show.
“At this year’s Brand Licensing Europe, Nickelodeon UK is again proving its dedication both to popular, innovative new programming and to the support and development of our established hits,” says Clare Piggott, VP of consumer products at Nick UK. “Visitors to stand 799 will be able to hear more about how we are building on our success and the attractive licensing opportunities offered by all our properties.”
It’s all eyes on the new-look Pinky & Perky on the PPC stand, another newcomer to the show. Due to air on CBBC and BBC1 from this autumn, The Pinky & Perky Show has been given a makeover for the 21st Century. Master toy and home entertainment deals have already been secured and international TV sales agreed in a number of territories. Next targets for the PPC team are publishing, apparel, collectables and homewares.
The show will also see the debut of the new Pinky and Perky costume characters created by Rainbow Productions. In addition, PPC will also be presenting The Hive - a cartoon about a hive of bees - and the evergreen Monty Python, as well as promoting its 3DTV concept.
It has been a year of rapid expansion for RDF Kids, which launched its licensing division at last year’s show, and has seen its growing portfolio enjoy good TV ratings and secure some strong licensing interest.
Yo Gabba Gabba has a number of partners in the UK, including a book range with Simon & Schuster and annuals from Egmont. Other licensees include Character World, Drew Brady, GB Eye, H Grossman, Rainbow Productions, Worlds Apart, Spinmaster (master toy) and Paramount (DVD).
Meanwhile, Mister Maker has been a big success for the firm, ranking as the number one highest rating show of 2007 on Cbeebies (source: Broadcast). Two further series are in production for 2009, and the first products will be arriving this autumn, leading with an arts and crafts range by Creativity International and a DVD from 2entertain. The brand will expand further in 2009 with activity books from Dorling Kindersley and Ladybird in the spring.
Also on display will be Big Barn Farm – a DVD is due this autumn, while Penguin Books will be creating a storybook and activity book range for spring 2009.
Rocket will be celebrating 18 months in the business at this year's show, with a new, bigger London team and HQ and a growing raft of properties.
The brand which started it - The Dangerous Book for Boys - will be on display, having seen its first licensed product launch this summer in the form of a board game from Hasbro. A range of male gifting items are also on the way later in the autumn.
Earlier this year, Rocket also signed up MGM Consumer Products to represent the studio's licensing rights (excluding The Pink Panther) in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Visitors to the stand will be able to hear about the firm's plans for classic titles including Rocky, Fame, Robocop, The Great Escape, Some Like It Hot (which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2009), Legally Blonde; westerns like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and The Magnificent Seven; and cult TV properties such as Stargate Atlantis.
Rocket will also be working on new genre-based collections from MGM including Midnite Movies (off beat horror), Tough Guy (Chuck Norris) and Soul Cinema (70s action).
Rocket has also recently linked with Atari, which will be another big focus on the stand. Atari has appointed Rocket as licensor in the UK of its trademark, the images and icons associated with certain Atari games, plus one of its best-known brands, Alone in the Dark.
The original creator and manufacturer of the Monchhichi and Bebichhichi plush doll characters is another first time exhibitor. The company is now offering licensing opportunities in all categories for the brand, which was created by Mr K Sekiguchi back in 1974.
Target Entertainment Group
The firm claims to be bringing its most diverse property line-up yet to the show, spanning children’s, feature films and entertainment.
Boy’s property Storm Hawks will be heading its children’s portfolio, along with Chapman’s Fifi and the Flowertots and Monster Animation’s Fluffy Gardens. The firm will also have the licensing rights to classic character Emu as it aims to tap into the current trend for retro toys.
Another priority will be securing more licensees for Nutcracker: The Real Story, which is due for a Christmas 2009 release. Target will also use the show to launch programmes for two new entertainment properties: Charley Boorman’s latest travel odyssey, By Any Means, and even format The World’s Fittest Woman.
Little Princess continues to be a key focus for the firm. Airing on Five’s Milkshake block, the pre-school show has been sold to over 160 countries worldwide. Highlights this year include the successful launch of the first wave of toys from Martin Yaffe, plus the launch of its online store. Two 22-minute seasonal specials are also planned based around autumn and winter.
The Owl is gaining good exposure on BBC and CBBC Channel, with Vivid gearing up for the launch of a plush line. Finally, online stars Pat & Stan are continuing to grow in popularity with a TV show in production.
The firm will be revealing its latest licensee updates, as well as the latest products associated with Huntik.
Huntik: Secrets & Seekers will be on display, including 26 episodes from season one, promotional items and a listing of licensing opportunities. Aimed at six to 12 year-olds, Upper Deck is managing the marketing, promotional and licensing for the property in the US, UK, Japan, China and Korea.
The firm, best known for icons such as Mad Cow and Cheeky Monkey, will be exhibiting for the eighth successive year in association with Jane Evans Licensing Consultancy. This year will see the launch of a range of eco characters, including the Green Green Frog.
Fashion and accessories are also growing categories for the firm and it is capable of producing bespoke designs for specific retailers. Withit is now expanding across the European market through agents in each territory and with a pan-European apparel launch through C&A.
Warner Bros Consumer Products
Screening Suite/Business Suite 699
One of the firms returning to BLE this year, WBCP will be taking over one of the screening facilities to present the latest from its priority brands for 2009/10 including Scooby-Doo, Batman, Harry Potter, Looney Tunes Active and Tom & Jerry. Existing and prospective key partners and retailers will also be treated to a first look at the firm’s new take on its classic WB Retro properties including The Banana Splits.