BLE 2012: Top ten retail drivers picks a selection of current brands that look set to have a big impact at retail.
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Brand Licensing Europe 2012 is chock full of companies with unique and exciting properties, but which will translate best into retail sales?

There are several new brands and off-shoot franchises on the way later this year and next, from Warner Bros. Consumer Products’ The Hobbit to Mind Candy’s Moshi Monster Poppet, the latter of which is being introduced as a stand alone brand.

We’ve listed our top ten retail drivers for BLE 2012 below:

Poppet (Mind Candy)
Stand B198

Moshi Monsters continues to go from strength to strength, with the children’s online virtual pet game translating extraordinarily well into the market for physical consumer goods.

Sales of the Moshling figurines from Vivid have reached well over 45 million, while over one million books from Penguin and more than 170 million trading cards from Topps have been sold globally. But now the company wants to expand even further in 2013, with plans to focus on its Poppet character (pictured) as a stand alone brand.

Planes (Disney)
Stand D010

Cars may have been a very well received Disney Pixar animated movie, but no one could have predicted the weight and phenomenal success of its merchandise campaign. One sequel and hundreds of millions of dollars in retail sales later, and now Disney is focusing on its next big transformation of the franchise: Planes.

The film arrives next year and Disney is working on a host of licensee partnerships for branded consumer products around its launch.

Monsters University (Disney)
Stand D010

The prequel to the popular Disney Pixar movie Monsters Inc arrives in cinemas next year, but not before the original gets the 3D treatment in theatres. With new DVDs on the way and a broad line-up of plush toys, figures and role-play items to accompany them, Disney will want to tap into its huge original Monsters Inc family fanbase, while attracting newcomers and younger children with Monsters University.

Cut the Rope (ITV Studios Global Entertainment)
Stand D040

While not quite as huge as Angry Birds, Cut the Rope is a highly popular app game in its own right, and now it has the potential to follow in the footsteps of Rovio’s classic, with an enviable licensing programme.

While Angry Birds has been busy launching itself into all manner of categories over the past couple of years, it has proved there is room for app brands in toys, clothing and accessories. With a brand like Cut the Rope already lending itself well to the app toy market (Mattel’s Apptivity range, for example), it has the opportunity to make a strong impact at retail in other categories.

The Hobbit (Warner Bros. Consumer Products)
Stand D125

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is set to be arguably one of, if not the Christmas movie blockbuster for 2012. It’s the first of a fresh trilogy, and follows the hugely successful Peter Jackson trilogy The Lord of the Rings, and acts as a precursor to those epic fantasy movies based on the novels by J.R.R. Tolkien.

A whole host of deals have already been announced, including Lego Lord of the Rings toys, official 3D puzzles from Coiledspring and more.

WBCP will share its licensing plans for with guests during screening suite presentations of The Hobbit on October 16th and 17th at BLE.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products)
Stand D070

As one of the biggest boys’ properties of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is now on its way back with a brand new cartoon and its own licensing programme, which already includes action figures from Flair, wheeled goods from Sambro and more.

Over 30 UK licensees have been signed up, marking the largest number of UK agreements attached to a Nickelodeon property before a series premiere.

Lego and Nickelodeon have also just announced that official Lego play-sets will hit stores next year.

The Great British Bake Off (Metrostar)
Stand G050

This competitive BBC2 cookery show celebrates Britain’s love of desserts, cakes and puddings, and viewing figures prove the UK has a sweet tooth for programmes like it. The TV show has gone from attracting a couple of million viewers per episode to topping the 5 million mark in the past few months.

Time will tell whether the public has a massive appetite for a range of consumer products too, but viewing figures show there is certainly a massive audience enjoying the show. 

Earlier this year Metrostar inked new licensing deals for the show. Portico Designs will be producing calendars, diaries and other dated products; Quadrille is lining up stationery and PBFA is creating a giftware collection exclusively for Marks & Spencer. Kitchenware partner, Ethos International, and consumer events partner, BBC Haymarket, are on board too.

Fifty Shades of Grey
Stand B085

Book phenomenon Fifty Shades of Grey has already sold well over a million copies in the UK to date and more than 13 million in the US. And now Caroline Mickler is on board to move the popular adult female-targeted brand into a range of consumer products, from nightwear to stockings.

With a Fifty Shades of Grey movie on the way, expect demand for the franchise at retail to continue to rise in possible Twilight-esque fashion.

Doctor Who (BBC Worldwide Consumer Products)
Stand E030

The much-loved sci-fi TV show celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, and BBC Worldwide already has a wide range of licensees on board producing everything from figures to games and even Sonic Screwdriver toothbrushes.

The appeal of Doctor Who also spans generations, with all members of the family drawn to the Time Lord.

Despicable Me 2 (Universal Partnerships & Licensing)
Stand H080

Universal Partnerships & Licensing will be presenting an array of properties at BLE 2012, including Despicable Me 2, the hotly tipped sequel to 2010’s $540 million blockbuster movie.

Universal will be working hard to ensure the licensing programme encompasses a host of toys and other consumer products, in order to meet the strong demand for the sequel.

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