Hasbro and Falcon’s Beyond among brands bringing LBE experiences to Licensing Expo

Licensing Expo, produced in partnership with industry trade association Licensing International, returns to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this May 24-26 with a location-based experiences (LBE) theme that draws on consumers’ growing interest in immersive, IP-based experiences.

Of the 200+ exhibitors confirmed to date, with more signing on daily, many brands are showcasing their foray into LBE at Licensing Expo in search of new licensees, manufacturers, and retailer partners that will help bring their IP-based experiences to life.

Hasbro, Falcon’s Beyond, NAFTOS, and Feld Entertainment are among the brands that have revealed extensive LBE plans for the May event, transforming their booths into an IP-based destination that will capture attendees’ attention. From turning show attendees into NFTs and transporting guests into imagined worlds to a VR battle arena, this year’s event is gearing up to be highly interactive and trend-driven in order to provide a more seamless experience that facilitates new IP discovery.

“We landed on the theme of location-based experiences in order to strategically align with society’s transition from product-focused to experience-centric behaviors,” says Anna Knight, SVP of the Global Licensing Group, organisers of Licensing Expo. “More than ever before, people develop profoundly strong connections with the brands and content they engage with daily; LBE enables IP-owners to foster an even deeper connection that lays the groundwork for a loyal fanbase. We’re so excited to showcase the power and potential of LBE and be a catalyst for its adoption across the globe.”

LBE-activations confirmed to date include:

Hasbro, Inc booth #A159 & Hasbro Experience booth #A143

  • At Hasbro’s Experience booth, the company will be previewing the Transformers: VR Battle Arena with Meta4 Interactive which enables players to play as a TRANSFORMERS robot in a VR world. Players can choose from heroic Autobots such as Bumblebee and Optimus Prime or Decepticons such as Megatron and Soundwave. Once inside the game, each player will become a part of a legendary battle.
  • Hasbro will also be showcasing inspiration from other LBE initiatives around the world with a sampling of mini experiences inspired by:
    • My Little Pony & Transformers X Marriott Autograph Collection, Shanghai. The first of its kind, a Transformers and My Little Pony-themed Hotel outfitted with a Family Entertainment Center, is opening in Shanghai in Q4, 2022. The Hotel features 46 themed rooms operated by Marriott within their Autograph collection.
    • Monopoly Life-sized and Top Hat Restaurant & Bar, London. Guests immerse themselves in the world-famous game of Monopoly to compete in challenges, build houses, charge rent, escape jail and even control London’s waterworks as they travel around the life-sized board earning as much money as they can.
    • Nerf Challenge, North America (touring). The ultimate Nerf playground is currently touring North America. Among the many interactive activations to experience are Tryathlon, Nerfhoop Doubleshot, Colossal Football, Field Goal, Dodge Blast, Strange Cargo, and much more. With thousands of blasters and millions of darts, this immersive experience is every NERF fan’s dream come to life.
    • NAX, Singapore. The NERF Action Xperience family entertainment centre brings the NERF brand to life through fun-filled experiences in an indoor arena packed with multiple-themed activity zones, incorporating NERF sports and blasters that are directed towards igniting adrenaline, inspiring empowerment and fostering connections.

Matt Proulx, VP, Location Based Entertainment, Hasbro, says: “The demand for authentic, engaging, and exciting experiences has never been higher; fans of all ages can now uncover new ways to connect with the brands they love. We’re excited to demo the Transformers: VR Battle Arena with our partners at Meta4 Interactive at our booth this year. We’ll also be giving visitors a chance to sample other activations around the world, taking inspiration from our Monopoly Life-sized in London, Transformers & My Little Pony-themed Hotel in Shanghai, not to mention what’s fueling Nerf. We hope everyone can stop by and have a glimpse into the potential of LBE

Falcon’s Beyond, booth U188

  • At Falcon’s Beyond’s booth, guests will experience immersive and interactive technologies like no other through a tour of Falcon’s X-Lab. The X-Lab will offer a 20-minute demonstration of a handful of Falcon’s ground-breaking products by appointment. These include SpectraVerse™, Falcon’s Vision®, ON!X™ Theater, and other exciting, themed attraction systems leveraging real-time gaming technologies and metaverse integrations.

“We have already helped many of the world’s most iconic brands connect with their audience to build fandom at a whole new level,” says Cecil D. Magpuri, CEO of Falcon’s Beyond. “We cannot wait to showcase our experiential entertainment innovations and new themed destinations in development that will enable brands to take the connection with their desired audiences to new heights well `beyond’ what they could ever imagine.”

NAFTOS, Lobby Display near Entrance D, Executive Suite D101

  • Licensing Expo newcomer NAFTOS, an industry leader in minting 2D, 3D, and 3D interactive NFTs, takes the mystery out of digital collectibles by showcasing actual NFT creations on the exhibition floor at the entrance of the show, booth D3. Companies interested in learning more about NFTs and the Metaverse for their brands can schedule an appointment with NAFTOS at Executive Suite D101 on the show floor.

Barry Rosenbaum, CEO and President of NAFTOS, comments: “We are honoured to become a key exhibiter at the Licensing Expo to showcase our expertise in NFTs and the Metaverse. Our highly experienced team employs the newest technology to create dynamic interactive NFTs, unlike any others.”

Feld Entertainment, booth A209

  • This year, Feld Entertainment will have the Grave Digger® Simulator Ride Experience, created in partnership with DOF Robotiks. This stand-alone attraction allows attendees to experience what it is like to take a ride in a Monster Jam truck. The simulator offers a range of movement on a 6-axis platform featuring pitch, roll and yaw movements. The realistic motion is combined with exciting video delivered through VR headsets, which makes it an unforgettable ride.

Jeff Bialosky, Senior Vice President Global Partnerships, Feld Entertainment, says: “We are thrilled to have one of our Feld Entertainment location-based entertainment activations on site for attendees to experience during the upcoming LE. As a 2022 Industry Award nominee, Monster Jam continues to engage and entertain tens of millions of fans around the world. The Monster Jam Grave Digger simulator displayed and operating in Booth #A209 will give those who are brave enough to ride it the true feeling of being behind the wheel of a 12,000-pound, 1500 HP Monster Jam truck.”

In addition to these immersive exhibitor experiences, visitors can visit the new Sports Bar and Toy Café to discover new products and be inspired by best-in-class examples from both categories. Confirmed participants include:

  • Sports Bar: Major League Baseball Players, Inc., NFL Players Inc., NASCAR, NFL Int’l, WWE and Motul
  • Toy Café: Hasbro, Inc., Mattel, Inc., MGA Entertainment, Spin Master, WildBrain CPLG, Jazwares, Brand Activation Consulting
  • Art & Design Lounge: Art Brand Studios, Giordano Studios, Jewel Branding & Licensing, Inc., Mitchell Black Wallpaper, Tate & Co Licensing, Artestar

There are 200+ exhibiting brands confirmed at Licensing Expo this May 24-26, with latest names confirmed including Riot Games, Laika Studios, United Talent Agency, kathy ireland Worldwide, Amazon Studios, Konami Cross Media NY, MLB Players, Netflix, TSBA, Sesame Workshop, Thomas Global Media and more.

Registered attendees now have access to the event’s online platform and can begin sifting through discoverable IP and setting up meetings both online and for the in-person event.

About Tessa Clayton

A former Chief Sub of Red magazine, Tessa Clayton is the Digital Editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. As a freelance journalist she specialised in writing about parenting and family life, and has contributed to a wide variety of publications and websites including Tesco online, Mother & Baby, Livingetc, Junior, Boots Health & Beauty, Practical Parenting and babycentre.co.uk. Get in touch at tessa.clayton@biz-media.co.uk

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