BLE NEW EXHIBITOR SPOTLIGHT: Royal Navy

The senior service in the Forces is focusing on three areas of licensing.
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To build on the successful launch of Character Options recent range of HM Armed Forces toys, the Navy (stand 772) is firstly looking to expand its licensing programme with new kids product licences.

Simon Gresswell, VP of licensing at IMG, the agency responsible for handling the brand explains: “The kids' market has always been a key part of the Royal Navy’s licensing strategy and we’re now looking to build on the success of the Royal Navy/HM Armed Forces toy range and develop other kids product like back to school, kids publishing and apparel.”

Also on the wish list is apparel to complement the technical footwear range, currently in development, and outdoor product for adults and kids, building on the performance ethos of the brand.

The Royal Navy as a brand represents a unique combination of history, heritage and professionalism. As a service, it has integrated land, air and sea capabilities. All of which makes it a rich brand for licensees to tap into with plenty of opportunities and inspiration for new products.

With over 500 years of history, the Royal Navy includes the Royal Marines Commandos, the Fleet Air Arm and the Submarine Service. Within its licensing programme, IMG and the Royal Navy have adopted a strategic approach to ensure the brand values and ethos are properly represented.

The aim is to ensure that all products maintain a guarantee of quality and performance worthy of the Royal Navy, with ranges fit for purpose, durable, nautical and elite.

So far, the growing licensing programme includes Dorling Kindersley, Haynes and Airfix among others.

The toy range from Character was launched to coincide with VE day this year and created a large range of coverage in national press and broadcast stations.
Airfix has produced a range of gift sets bringing models to life with Navy photographs and information. The first product was a Falklands Edition Sea Harrier gift set with pilot’s logs and photographs of aircraft, carriers and crew, launched in early 2008. Next were HMS Ark Royal and HMS Hood, which included exclusive photographs of the ships in action.

In Q4 2009, the firm will introduce two gift sets of operational craft, which is a first for the company, which, until now has made only historical ships. HMS Illustrious and HMS Trafalgar will include brochures with cutaway diagrams, day-in-the-life stories of crew and exclusive photographs.

Dorling Kindersley has published a new book in association with the Royal Navy entitle Battle at Sea, written by RG Grant and verified by Captain Page of the Royal Navy Historic Branch, covering 3,000 years of warfare history.

The firm also published a Survival Handbook in association with the Royal Marines in April 2009. The book is written by a Navy survival instructor along with specialist Royal Marines mountain leader expertise.
SK Watches developed a range of commemorative, teen and gents special interest technical watches based on the three key branches of the Navy, The Fleet Air, Royal Marines and the Surface Fleet.

Haynes Publishing worked closely with the Fleet Air Arm Museum to research the definitive guide to 100 Years of British Naval Aviation, spanning a century of flight, both at sea and on land.

Christmas 2009 will see the launch of the Royal Marines Fitness Manual, written by a team of experts at the Royal Marines Commando Training Centre, Lympstone.

LBML has designed a footwear range including casual deck shoes, deck shoes for use on boats and Royal Marines boots for outdoor activities, all upholding a mark of quality expected from one of the leading Naval Forces in the world.

Finally, Slow Dazzle has developed a calendar that highlights the past and present of the Royal Navy, with the 2010 theme of Royal Navy Battles from the Battle of the Armada to the present day.

At BLE, the stand will be include examples of current product and development samples of product that’s soon to be launched and of course Royal Navy Officers – a mine of information for future product development and potential licensees.

There will also be new material on display on the stand. Gresswell explains: “The Royal Navy will be sharing its latest category developments and plans and exhibiting the latest collection of 200 stunning photographs from the Peregrine Trophy photographic competition, available for licensees to use in products and on in-store and online marketing materials.”

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The Royal Navy

The Royal Navy may not immediately spring to mind as a typical licensed property. For a start, it?s owned by the Ministry of Defence and it has a serious function, unlike the many children?s/adult entertainment brands which exist solely, well, to entertain.

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