People Awards 2017: Winners revealed

Members of the licensing industry all gathered together last night to celebrate this year’s People Awards.

Taking place at London’s Forge Bar, a raft of gongs were given out to commemorate licensing agents, licensing deals, managers and the buying teams that drive the innovative industry.

On the night, LIMA UK’s Kelvyn Gardner took home the Outstanding Contribution to Licensing award, thanks to his incredible efforts and work within the sector.

Meanwhile Start Licensing was named Licensing Agent of the Year and Merlin Entertainments and Magic Light Pictures took home the Brand Extension and Beyond gong for The Gruffalo theme park experience.

After the awards, guests were treated to a champagne tower to commemorate all of their achievements over the past year.

"My head’s pounding, my eyes are bloodshot and I can barely recognise myself in the mirror…all in all, it was a great night." said Robert Hutchins, editor of

"It was fantastic to see the industry come together to celebrate the vibrancy and innovation within it. The People Awards is all about championing the teams, individuals and personalities that make it such a fantastic space.

"It’s very handy, therefore, that you all remain, as ever, absolute diamonds. Thank you to everyone for coming and making this a successful night for the industry."

The complete list of People Awards 2017 winners can be found below:

Retail Buying Team of the Year – Major/Multiple


Retail Buying Team of the Year – Independent/SMB/Specialist


Licensing Agent of the Year

Start Licensing

Licensing Solutions Team of the Year

Imagine8 Creative Agency

Brand Extension and Beyond

Merlin Entertainments and Magic Light Pictures – The Gruffalo theme park experience

Licensee Team of the Year


Licensor Team of the Year – Major


Licensor Team of the Year – Small

Penguin Random House

Licensing Deal of the Year

Sanrio and BBC Worldwide – Mr Men x Doctor Who mash up

Manager of the Year

Helena Mansell Stopher – Bulldog Licensing

Rising Star Licensee

Jane Maxey – The Smiley Company

Rising Star Licensor

Stephanie Griggs – The Roald Dahl Literary Estate

Unsung Hero

Sam Byard – SEGA

Outstanding Contribution to Licensing

Kelvyn Gardner – LIMA UK

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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