Today we profile those companies listed as finalists in the Licensee Team category.

LICENSING.BIZ PEOPLE AWARDS: Licensee Team continues its round-up of the big names in the running for a coveted People Award on Thursday April 30th.

Today we profile those companies listed as Finalists in the Licensee Team category.

Underground Toys

Underground Toys has shown impressive growth in new brands and new categories over the past year. The company has expanded its Star Wars and Doctor Who licences into new areas, which have already begun to prove successful in Europe and the US.

The firm is also extending its relationships with its existing licensors to good effect. For example, with the BBC by taking Sherlock (to complement Doctor Who) and Marvel (to complement Star Wars), as well as supporting Striker by taking Ted 2 after the original Ted programme from 2012.

In addition, Underground Toys has marketed itself well and sold into a brand new gifting/homeware space over the past year.

Paul Dennicci

Paul Dennici has enjoyed a glowing nomination from the Mothercare Group’s head of licensing and character Barbara Robinson: “I nominated Dennicci for a People Award for a number of reasons: great customer service, attention to detail, understanding their market, ability to design for different retailers – whilst maintaining the individuality of each brand and the characteristics of the licensed properties. They are rapidly becoming the go-to licensee for baby character product, balancing the needs of both licensor and customer.”

Half Moon Bay

From a converted stables in the heart of Bath, a small but dedicated team are hard at work developing licensed ranges for such illustrious brands as Star Wars, VW, Dr Who, Disney, DC Comics – as well as other household brands more traditionally at home in the kitchen, including McDougall’s and Marmite.

Across adult giftware and kitchenware products what Half Moon Bay does best is take style guides and put its own stamp on them to ensure a point of difference in a crowded marketplace. It doesn’t hurt that the team claim to be huge fans of all the brands it works on – and this shows in the end result, with product Half Moon Bay is proud to call its own.

Half Moon Bay deals with all the usual suspects on the High Street, as well as a much valued large independent base across the UK. The company claims it never underestimates the importance of being able to offer something new and is constantly reviewing its product offer, ensuring that all the core bases are covered whilst making sure that every range has its fair share of hero product that consumers are going to love – a great example of this is the company’s Gift Of the Year award-winning Cadburys Roses puzzle.


VMC works to secure the best brands and develop the very best products for licensors. The company is a specialist in its field, constantly driving product innovation and keeping ahead of the ever changing UK retail scene. 

The company boasts a portfolio of over 40 licences and has been partners with key licensors such as Disney and Mattel for over 20 years.

The products are second to none, and the team offers retailers an all-round solution with a diverse product range which covers all ages and gender – from Headwear to Sunglasses, Phone/Tablet Cases & Accessories to Belts, Fashion Bags to Earmuffs.

Character World

Character World designs and manufactures character bedding and associated bedroom accessories for the world’s leading character, gaming and music entertainment companies including Disney, Lego and Nickelodeon. Products are supplied to UK retailers including Next, Tesco, Asda and John Lewis.

Led by brothers Danny and Mark Schweiger, the business has recently expanded internationally, securing licensing rights for a number of brands across EMEA territories.

Character World employs over 80 people. The business has achieved substantial growth since its creation in 1998 and was recently the subject of a £36m secondary management buyout backed by Palatine Private Equity.

Panini UK

With a turnover around $1 billion last year, an international presence in over 120 countries and over a 1,000,000 retail outlets reached globally, Panini is a brand leader within the collectable product and publishing categories. 

Panini UK’s 2014 Official FIFA World Cup sticker collection created collectable history, driving more RSV than any other collection to date. This single collectable launch delivered a much-needed revenue boost to the toy and newstrade and was the biggest selling collectable in the UK this last decade. It took the UK by storm and captured the imaginations and hearts of young and old. It generated headline after headline in the national press and soon became the biggest craze that has been seen in some time. Panini invested in an unprecedented level of support to deliver our hardest hitting and most integrated above the line campaign to date. Coupled with complete ownership of retail space, this made for a winning recipe to drive an unprecedented level of sales. 

Following on from a record breaking year Panini has a packed launch schedule for 2015 including sticker and trading card launches on the hottest licence around – Disney’s Frozen – in the form of Photocards, Trading Cards and a further sticker collection.

Founded in 2004, is the brainchild of two self-confessed ‘proud children of the 80s.’ Billed as the ultimate destination for all things cool, cult and retro, the thriving e-tailer boasts a range of over 3,000 products covering everything from T-Shirts and clothing to gifts, accessories and homewares from the likes of premium licensed brands Chunk, Disney Couture Amplified, Fabric Flavours, Eleven Paris and Worn By to name but a few.

Where the company is unable to find designs to satisfy its customer base from existing licensees, it also designs and manufactures clothing under its own in-house label and now hold 30+ DTR licences, working on the likes of Labyrinth, Top Gun, Sesame Street, Care Bears, Coca-Cola, Roald Dahl and Mr Men and Little Miss. Gathering fan feedback and reaching out to customers via various social media channels, the design team works to create unique and exclusive designs that you just won’t find anywhere else.

Nominated for a Drapers E-tail award, a Growing Business Award, two Fabulous High Street Fashion Awards and winner of the Reveal Magazine ‘click to buy’ award, also boasts an ever-growing celebrity and influential blogger fan base including the likes of The Saturdays, Lucy Watson, Jennifer Lawrence, Little Mix, Bip Ling, Jourdan Dunn, Ella Henderson and hundreds more.

The People Awards take place on Thursday April 30th at Sway Bar, London.

Tickets are priced at just £79 and can be purchased by clicking here.

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Jodie Holdway via or Carole Eagles via, or call 01992 535647 to find out more.

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