License This: What happened next

We take a look at how past winners and finalists of BLE's License This have got on since they took part in the competition.
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Mr Trafalgar.jpg

With the deadline for entries to this year's License This set for Friday, September 5th, this got us thinking how previous entrants have fared in the licensing business since taking part in the competition.

Last year's winner was Mr Trafalgar. From the mind of Newcastle artist and illustrator, Jamie Patterson, Mr Trafalgar is a mysterious penny farthing-riding rat who inhabits a world of humanised animal characters (pictured above). It will return to the event with a fully furnished stand to start to build its business.

Find out what happened to some of the other winners and finalists below.

Sarah Watts, 2 Little Boys – 2011 winner – How to for the inept

We entered our brand 'How to... for the inept' into the License This! competition in 2011. A range of designs aimed at the elusive male teenage gift market. Depicting a young guy challenged by the everyday. With humour and beautifully designed, distinctively colourful 'cells' the range informs on every aspect of life. From 'How to Survive Valentine's Day' to 'How to Tell if You're Drunk', it's all covered in, often not very useful, graphic detail. We were delighted to win License This.

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How did things develop within a year of first showing it as part of License This?

After winning the competition, we spent a year developing the range, fine tuning and pushing it toward a more commercially viable property. We signed a publishing agent contract on our free stand (competition prize) at BLE 2012 and we picked up some important contacts at that show as well as signing with Gift Creation on gifting sets for the range.

How have things gone since – are there any deals signed or planned?

It wasn't until our return to BLE 2013 that we really saw a huge difference in interest. We spent a lot of our time there talking to potential licensees and, from the show, have signed contracts with Carousel Calendars as well as Portico Designs. As Simon Harrison at Portico says: "It isn't often one drags industry friends to a stand at BLE just to show them something that made you laugh. This rare event happened to me at BLE 2013 when I wandered past the How To... stand on the upper level. The eye catching graphics hooked me and the humour landed me. A few conversations later and we had signed the brand for Greetings Cards; now we get chance to let our customers join in the joke."

Contact: Sarah Watts, sarah@2littleboys.co.uk, 020 8400 3606/07889 655072

Turizmo – finalist

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How did things develop within a year of first showing it as part of License This?

Very well indeed. Turizmo is the only boys’ licensing brand which has leading car and vehicle models attached to it which makes it very attractive to licensees. A lot of development went into the brand immediately after the competition which put us in a really good place for signing licences the following year.

How have things gone since – are there any deals signed or planned?

We have signed licences for apparel, wall-coverings, game apps and stationery, some of which feature augmented reality, in the UK and Russia. A website is now complete and about to launch, as well as magazine publishing and backpacks.

Contact: Janet Woodward/Jane Evans (JELC), 01225 819030, jane@jelc.co.uk

Lillipippins – www.lillipippins.com - finalist 2012

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How did things develop within a year of first showing it as part of License This?

Excellently – we signed licences in UK, US, Russia/CIS, Germany and Australia – we always knew Lillipippins was a truly international brand.

How have things gone since – are there any deals signed or planned?

See above – we are now building on the first wave of licences which are performing really well at retail. Lillipippins’ creator Lisa Johnson has provided a whole new batch of images and product designs. We have agents in USA (Blue Trellis) and Australia (Bluechip Brands) and we have the basis for a classic international licensing property. The thing which attracted us to Lillipippins in the first place was its uniqueness – combined with Lisa’s consummate professionalism it is an absolute delight to work on.

Contact: Janet Woodward/Jane Evans (JELC), 01225 819030, jane@jelc.co.uk

Sarah Watts – Railway of Life 2013 finalist

We entered our Railway of Life range of designs in the 2013 License This! Awards. In 1926, my Great Uncle Reg had a Christmas card designed in the form of a rail ticket, wishing everyone a 'pleasant journey on the Railway of Life'. We took his original evocative wording and put our own modern spin on the idea.
We had a great time at the presentation and appreciated the instant feedback from the judging panel. Disappointed that we didn't win for a second time, but left feeling extremely positive.

How did things develop within a year of first showing it as part of License This?

We were exhibiting at BLE 2013 with our other property and were grabbing various potential licensees on the stand to look at the Railway of Life. We were able to sign with The Coaster Company within weeks of the show and we're continuing to develop the brand, coming up with new ways to graphically illustrate the property; continuing conversations and, more importantly, gearing up for BLE 2014 where we will showcase our two very different properties on our stand.

How have things gone since – are there any deals signed or planned?

We are always looking to sign more deals and we hope that BLE 2014 will give us the opportunity to show off the latest designs in both of our ranges. We have an enormous amount of IP now and we just can't seem to be able to stop producing more and more. It's a shame that we haven't managed to come up with anything entirely new to enter in the License This! competition 2014, but watch out 2015.

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