11.14 Yuri Anime 300X200

With Higher Profile Via Streaming Services, Anime Earning A Spot at Mass

With anime taking hold at mass merchants, characters and stories that once were relegated to specialty and niche distribution is moving into the mainstream.

Anime T-shirts at Hot Topic

The shifting fortunes of anime are being driven by the increasing availability of content through streaming services, TV and mobile devices and the sheer volume that is being produced. For example, Ellation’s Crunchyroll streaming service has doubled its number of paid subscribers in a little over a year to two million and releases 250-300 new series annually. That’s in addition to Funimation, which formally parted last week with Crunchyroll on a content-sharing agreement to focus on its own FunimationNow streaming service. The change follows Funimation’s acquisition by Sony Pictures Television last year. Adult Swim also has an evening block of anime. 

That kind of expansion hasn’t gone unnoticed. While specialty retailers such as Hot Topic, FYE Entertainment and GameStop have grown to be a key channel for anime, mass merchants are taking tentative steps into the arena. For example, Market sources say Target is expected to feature anime products – collectibles, apparel, mugs and other items – in 1,600 stores during a 2-3 month run beginning in March in its dedicated “license shop” — a scalable display within its entertainment department. (A Target spokesman declined comment.) 

For its part, Walmart launched a dedicated collectibles section with Loot Crate, Culture Fly and Funko at 3,500 stores in October and is expected to add anime-related items in early 2019.

“Anime has always been in the niche space, but it is quickly becoming more mainstream and relevant and if you are Target or Walmart, you start to notice that,” says Viz Media’s Brad Woods, whose firm is best known for its “Naruto”, “My Hero Academia” and “Sailor Moon” properties.

As they’re working to extend retail exposure, owners and licensors of anime IP also are trying to broaden the base of licensees. That’s not without challenges.

Many anime productions in Japan are funded by 3-4 different companies, all of whom have approval rights for merchandise along with the anime artist, a step that can be jarring for licensees accustomed to working via a more streamlined process with property owners in other parts of the world. 

Ramen noodle soup with Naruto characters

“It takes [properties with multiple ownership] longer sometimes to get through the system,” although the process is quicker for well-known properties like Naruto with an established track record, says Woods. “It can be a frustration for licensees; what we do with new groups is manage expectations and plan accordingly. If you come out and say ‘let’s do a shirt and hit the (retail) planogram in six weeks,’ you aren’t being very realistic. Sometimes it is better to say ‘let’s plan for next season’ to allow for enough time to make the process a little easier.”

Anime’s crossover to the mainstream has been evident this fall. Legendary Pictures announced plans for a live-action adaptation of “My Hero Academia.” That’s in addition to it currently being in production on the live-action film, Detective Pikachu

Separately, Fathom Events worked with Crunchyroll to bring its 12-episode “Yuri on Ice” series to 95 movie theaters on Oct. 13 for marathon screenings. And the Goku character from Dragon Ball Super: Broly, will be one of 15 big character floats (56 feet long) in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade later this month.

“Geek chic is popular now and people wear it with pride and it is totally acceptable,” says Rooster Teeth’s Geoff Yetter, whose firm developed the popular RWBY series that is among the few anime series produced in the U.S. “We had these fandoms, but they were kept behind closed doors. But now these people are adults with money to spend and there is a sense of nostalgia” for properties such as Dragon Ball and Naruto, which were released more than 20 years ago.

Given that increasingly monied-fan base, the once in inexpensive t-shirts and collectibles are being joined by premium products. For example, RWBY licensee McFarlane Toys developed a 12-inch resin RWBY Alpha Beowolf Battle statue the sells for $550. And the Benny Gold streetwear brand and boutique is working on a co-branded Crunchyroll collection that due in 2019.

“The execution and target price points have matured,” says Woods. “Before you might have a $10 t-shirt, now you have a $50 version that has a collaborative artist interpretation of one of the characters. It becomes trendier and higher quality and that does a lot to raise a brand’s image.”

RWBY high-end statue

While Dragon Ball, Naruto and My Hero Academia are among the top-selling licensed brands, finding the up and coming properties such as Re: Zero, Black Clover, Yuri on Ice, Goblin Slayer and others are of equal importance if anime is going to continue to raise its profile. To that end, Bioworld Merchandising launched Anime Pls as a platform for testing sales of new properties and using that data to sell retailers on carrying the product, says Bioworld’s Beth Taylor. It also uses the site to put a twist on proven properties with designs that appeal to hardcore fans but might be lost on mass consumers. For example, it is featuring a design with a “Great Ape Goku” design that has appeared only a few times in the Dragon Ball series.  Ellation also formed a studio division earlier to release original content on Crunchyroll in 2019, starting with “High Guardian Spice,” which will have a licensing program attached to it, says Crunchyroll’s Michael Melby.

“The goal is to find the next big title and bring it to brick and mortar,” says Taylor. “Even within the more popular titles there will be more ‘insider’ art, which allows us to keep that pop culture fan happy and we can communicate to brick and mortar the results we are having.”

While the designs have traditionally found a home in apparel and accessories and collectibles, anime in finding its way into licensed food and beverages as well as home décor and bedding. Viz Media licensee CTC Food International  in the U.S. has launched Naruto-branded ramen noodle soup and soda featuring designs from the series that first ran in the early 2000s. The food is part of an effort to appeal to a younger audience than the typical teenager to young adult consumer attracted to the property, says Wood. In the case of Crunchyroll, it is targeting ramen noodles, ice cream and baked goods for 2019 and licensee Just Funky recently launched bedding sets using Black Clover, Yuri on Ice and Bananya, says Melby.

“It is about bringing a meaningful experience to the fans through content and merchandise. If you don’t have that and it’s just a money-grab, anime fans know that and won’t buy the product,” says Yetter.


Bioworld Merchandising, Beth Taylor, Licensing Dir., 888-831-2138 betht@bioworldmerch.com

Crunchyroll, Michael Melby, Consumer Products Dir., 415-770-9404, mmelby@crunchyroll.com

Rooster Teeth, Geoff Yetter, Licensing Mgr., 940-353-7144, Geoff.yetter@roosterteeth.com

Viz Media. Brad Woods, Chief Marketing Officer, 415-546-7073 x235, bradwoods@viz.com

Source: https://www.licensing.org/inside-licensing/with-higher-profile-via-streaming-services-anime-earning-a-spot-at-mass/

11.13 stan lee

Stan Lee Is Dead at 95; Superhero of Marvel Comics

If Stan Lee revolutionized the comic book world in the 1960s, which he did, he left as big a stamp — maybe bigger — on the even wider pop culture landscape of today.

Think of “Spider-Man,” the blockbuster movie franchise and Broadway spectacle. Think of “Iron Man,” another Hollywood gold-mine series personified by its star, Robert Downey Jr. Think of “Black Panther,” the box-office superhero smash that shattered big screen racial barriers in the process.

And that is to say nothing of the Hulk, the X-Men, Thor and other film and television juggernauts that have stirred the popular imagination and made many people very rich.

If all that entertainment product can be traced to one person, it would be Stan Lee, who died in Los Angeles on Monday at 95. From a cluttered office on Madison Avenue in Manhattan in the 1960s, he helped conjure a lineup of pulp-fiction heroes that has come to define much of popular culture in the early 21st century.


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Marvel takes action with new ‘INFINITY WAR’ figure

Marvel Studios and Diamond Select Toys have released the first Marvel Select action figure based on the film Avengers: Infinity War.

The Marvel Select Iron Man MK 50 Deluxe Action Figure sports the updated armor Tony Stark unveiled inAvengers: Infinity War and stands at seven inches with 16 points of articulations. Key features include interchangeable hands, Nanotech Handblades and a Nanotech Repulsor Cannon.

The figure is now available for purchase exclusively at the Disney Store as well as online at shopdisney.com and shop.marvel.com. The rest of the Marvel Select Avengers: Infinity War line will be released in late December.

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/movies/marvel-takes-action-new-infinity-war-figure

11.12 Nadiya Hussain 300X200

Nadiya Hussain’s BlissHome range goes live

British TV chef, author and TV personality Nadiya Hussain has launched her first homewares range, in collaboration with BlissHome.

The range went live on November 7 at www.nadiyahussain.shop and is already garnering positive comments across social media.

The collection features eight different designs across a full tableware range, as well as spice racks, candles, aprons, oven gloves and tea towels.

Nadiya says that her love of homeware comes from her mother: “She could never bear to throw away a plate, they all had different patterns and designs, everything was mixed and matched.

“I hate serving food on plain white dishes; I like beautiful plates to display my food. Then I can say to my family and friends, come on, get in and eat…”

Gabrielle Bliss, director of BlissHome, added: “We are thrilled to be working with Nadiya on this stunning range. Right from the start we loved her exciting, colourful mix and match designs.”

Start Licensing is working with Nadiya on building her licensing programme.

Source: https://www.licensingsource.net/nadiya-hussains-blisshome-range-goes-live/

Amazon reveals ‘biggest ever’ Black Friday event

Amazon.co.uk is preparing for its biggest ever Black Friday sale – with the retailer planning 10 days of deals plus the return of its pop-up experience to the UK.

This year, the Amazon.co.uk Black Friday Deals Store will open from midnight on Friday November 16 to 23:59 on Sunday November 25.

Amazon will offer new ‘Deals of the Day’ everyday throughout the period across the site, with products ranging from must-have electronics, toys and fashion to sports, beauty, home items and more – no doubt with numerous licensed names included.

There will also be thousands of ‘Lightning Deals’ – products available at a discount, in limited quantities, for a short period of time – with new deals becoming available as often as every five minutes.

On top of this, Amazon’s Home of Black Friday pop-up will return, showcasing the best of Black Friday on the retailer.

Located at 3-10 Shoreditch High Street, London, the four-day multi-room experience will be open from Thursday November 22 to Sunday November 25.

Workshops will range from cocktail masterclasses hosted at the Amazon Beers, Wines and Spirits pop up bar; jewellery and candle making sessions from Amazon Handmade Artisans; beauty treatments from Foreo; hair styling from Nicky Clarke; cooking demonstrations; Prime Video screenings and more.

Among the brands showcasing deals, experiences or offering prize giveaways at the pop-up will be LEGO, Xbox, Yankee Candle, Hotel Chocolat, PlayStation and Nescafe among others.

“We know many of our customers are starting to think about Christmas presents, parties and decorations at this time of year and we’re excited to offer great deals when shoppers need them most,” said Doug Gurr, country manager at Amazon.co.uk. “We focus on making shopping as easy and enjoyable for the customer as possible so we hope customers will enjoy a new AR View feature in the app, which uses augmented reality technology to allow shoppers to see selected products in their own home before they decide to buy.”

Amazon Holidays 2018 ad

source: https://www.licensingsource.net/amazon-reveals-biggest-ever-black-friday-event/

Pikachu Maise

Pokemon catches Pokemon capsule

The Pokémon Company International has teamed with French fashion label Maison Labiche for a new capsule collection of apparel and accessories for men and children that celebrates its brand and characters.

The new range offers classic French silhouettes such as marinières (sailor shirts), t-shirts, baseball caps and more with embroidery inspired by Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle and Pikachu. The Pokémon capsule will be available for purchase beginning Nov. 15 online and at the Maison Labiche flagship in Paris as well as other high-end shops in France, such as Le Bon Marché, Printemps and Citadium. In the U.S., the collection will be available at Saks Fifth Avenue and The Webster.

The capsule’s launch date is set to coincide with the release of the video games “Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!” and “Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee!” which will launch exclusively on Nintendo Switch Nov. 16.

The new Pokémon film, Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us, will be released in theaters in select territories Nov. 24.

source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/entertainment/pokemon-catches-clothing-capsule


Final Nominees of LIMA Asian Licensing Awards 2018

The LIMA ASIAN Licensing Awards are widely recognized as the highest level of achievement in the industry and is dedicated to identifying the outstanding achievements in the Asian licensing markets. Winners will be announced during the Hong Kong International Licensing Show at the Opening Night Cocktail Reception on January 7, 2019:

This year, we have received nominations from 11 countries for 11 award categories and the number of nominations has increased by 30%.  The award judging mechanism is composed of 2 stages. At stage 1, the Awards judging panel gathered in October to shortlist final nominees. The 5 nominations with the highest total scores from each category will enter stage 2 where they will be placed online for a ballot by worldwide licensing industry players. Each voter (by company) will vote for one nomination in each category.

Asian Property of the Year

Property – Owner/Agent
Super Wings – ALPHA GROUP CO., LTD
Boonie Bears – Fantawild Animation Inc.

Corporate Brand / Lifestyle Property of the Year

Property – Owner/Agent
Coca-Cola – The Coca-Cola Company / CAA-GBG
Mickey Mouse – 90th Anniversary – The Walt Disney Company
Discovery Expedition – Discovery Communications, LLC / PPW Sports & Entertainment Limited
Pantone & Pantone Universe – Pantone LLC / PPW Sports & Entertainment Limited
Van Gogh Museum – Van Gogh Museum Enterprises B.V. / Shanghai Ruihe Culture & Art Development Co., Ltd

Digital Property of the Year

Property – Owner/Agent
Travel Frog – HIT-POINT / Alifish
Hatsune Miku – Crypton Future Media, Inc. / Shanghai Character Licensing Administrative Co., Ltd.

Entertainment Property of the Year – ANIMATED

Property – Owner/Agent
Boonie Bears: The Big Shrink – Fantawild Animation Inc.
PAW Patrol – Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products / Guangzhou Art-land Holding Co., Ltd.
Mickey Mouse – 90th Anniversary – The Walt Disney Company
Ejen Ali – Primeworks Studios and Wau Animation
Peppa Pig – Entertainment One

Entertainment Property of the Year – LIVE ACTION

Property – Owner/Agent
Avengers: Infinity War – The Walt Disney Company
Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom – Universal Pictures
Monster Hunt 2 – Edko Films Ltd.

Licensed Promotion of the Year

Promotion Name – Owner/ Promotion Licensee
Doraemon Selfie Contest – Fujiko Pro / ITC Limited
Super Wings X Yili QQ Star 2018 Summer Joint Promotion Project – ALPHA GROUP CO., LTD / INNER MONGOLIA YILI INDUSTRIAL GROUP CO., LTD.
PETS ROCK X Starbucks “Lets Rock” (China and Taiwan) – Polyblank Designs LTD (t / a Takkoda) / Starbucks
China Merchants Bank (CMB)”Angry Birds” Debit Cards – Rovio Entertainment Corp. / China Merchants Bank

Location-Based or Experiential Initiative of the Year

Name – Owner/Venue Partner
Miffy meets Kumoya – Mercis BV / Bakemono Pte Ltd
Angry Birds Play Center (ABPC) – Rovio Entertainment Corp. / Kidgoland International (Shanghai) Company Limited
Changi Loves Kids: Sesame Street has Arrived!- Sesame Workshop / Singapore Changi Airport
Frozen Carnival in Taiwan – The Walt Disney Company / Taipei 101
MTR Malls x Garfield G40 – Paws Inc. / MTR Corporation Limited

Retailer of the Year

Retailer – Property
Tmall – Avengers: Infinity War
Watsons – B.Duck
Baskin-Robbins – Despicable Me Franchise (Minions)
MINISO – Teddy Bear Collection

Licensee of the Year – Apparel & Accessory

Company – Property
Nautica – The Rap Of China
Li Ning – Mickey Mouse – 90th Anniversary
Hyungji Fashion Group Korea (Castelbajac) – Despicable Me Franchise (Minions)

Licensee of the Year – Houseware

Company – Property 
Menred Group Ltd. – Electrolux
Chengdu Fast Horse – KUNGFOOD
P&G(Olay) – Alice in Wonderland/Frozen/Mickey Mouse
A.S. Watsons Group Limited – Miffy
Shanghai M&G Stationery Company – Miffy

Licensee of the Year – Toy

Company – Property
Kai Shu Story – Super Wings
ledafood(Dongguan)Co., Ltd. – Peppa Pig
Hot Toys – Disney/Marvel/Star Wars
Uni-Fun – B.Duck
Mattel Inc. – Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

The Snowman stars for Barbour in Christmas drive

New film uses real-life people to depict the impact that The Snowman has had on one family.

Heritage and lifestyle brand Barbour has launched its 2018 Christmas campaign which this year has once again been inspired by The Snowman.

In partnership with Snowman Enterprises and in conjunction with Penguin Ventures, Barbour has created a 110-second bespoke film.

It uses real life people to depict the impact that The Snowman has had on one family. Like the original film, it focuses on actions rather than words.

The film features the cast wearing a mix of Barbour product including classic styles alongside Barbour x The Snowman licensed product, exclusively produced in partnership with Penguin for this Christmas season.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Penguin Ventures to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Snowman,” said Paul Wilkinson, global marketing and commercial director at Barbour. “It is a classic and much loved story which has become an established part of family Christmas traditions.

“In our film, Evie’s enthusiasm and magical imagination really brings this story to life. It captures both the innocence of children and the nostalgia of adults. Everyone wants to believe that ‘Maybe just Maybe’, magic can happen.”

Thomas Merrington, creative director at Penguin Ventures, added: “It was a pleasure to work with Barbour again this year for the 40th anniversary of The Snowman. In this film, the team have beautifully captured the wonder and excitement that both children and adults alike experience when snow falls and that Raymond so eloquently conveyed in his timeless picture book The Snowman.

“The film is both a celebration of a much-loved story and a reminder that magic is still possible. We’re thrilled with the care and creativity that Barbour has shown in their execution of this entire campaign.”

The Barbour x The Snowman Christmas collection is available to purchase from Harrods, House of Fraser, Fenwick, Barbour.com and selected Barbour stores nationwide.

A special limited edition The Snowman pin will be given away with every Barbour purchase in-store and online.

Source: https://www.licensingsource.net/the-snowman-stars-in-barbour-christmas-campaign/


20% Amazon brands account for 80% of private brand sales

Courtesy: Junglescout

Courtesy: Junglescout

The majority of Amazon’s private label brands are found in the apparel departments. Of those brands, 60 per cent target women. In terms of revenue and sales, approximately 20 per cent of its brands account for nearly 80 per cent of its private label brand sales, as per a report. AmazonBasics does nearly 3x the sales of its next most popular brand, Presto.

Currently, Amazon trails only Wal-mart as the top apparel retailer in the US, according to the Amazon Private Label Brands Analysis by JungleScout. It says that 42 per cent of customers who view Amazon Essentials products end up purchasing them. 

The report says that most consumers search for the brand when buying an Amazon private label product, indicating strong brand recognition. Only 1 per cent of Amazon’s total sales account for its private label brands. Amazon’s Brand Scout + Ro saw 6.4x YOY growth in 2017 and Amazon has added more than 22 private label brands since 2016. 

Amazon has invested heavily in women’s clothing labels and continues to do so. However, the analysis shows that women’s clothing performs poorly for them. Women’s clothing brands account for more than 51 per cent of Amazon’s private label brands overall (and 59 per cent of clothing brands). 

“Of the 10 worst performing Amazon private label brands, 9 were women’s or girls’ clothing labels. And 82 per cent of women’s clothing brands fail to sell more than 100 units per month,” notes the report. 

On average, men’s clothing performs three times better than women’s clothing per month. Clothing have difficult selling on Amazon as women want to try on their clothing before they buy it. The other successful brands on Amazon circumvent this issue by being lower cost, less public facing (for example, the women’s fashion labels that do well are casual/at-home wear, pajamas, and lingerie), or improved social proof, the report further adds. (KD)

Source: https://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/20-amazon-brands-account-for-80-of-private-brand-sales-245521-newsdetails.htm

The 2018 LIMA Australia & New Zealand Award Winners

Last night saw the first ever LIMA Australian & New Zealand Licensing Awards kick-off with a sold-out crowd at Leonda by the Yarra in Melbourne. The night featured Retail, Product and Licensing Awards as well as the introduction of the LIMA Australia Licensing Hall of Fame. The support from the industry across Australia & New Zealand was phenomenal and LIMA Australia would like to thank everyone for supporting this inaugural awards evening. A huge thanks also goes to the sponsors for being a part of the event and helping LIMA Australia to make the event a success.

See the full photo gallery below the awards winners via Facebook – Click Here



Best Retailer for Film, Television, Character and Entertainment Licensed Products

Best Retailer for Brand, Corporate, Fashion, Art and Digital Licensed Products

Best Retailer for Sports, Fitness, Street & Lifestyle Licensed Products

Best Online Retailer for Licensed Products

Best Retail Marketing Campaign (in-store, online, social media) for Licensed Products
COTTON ON BODY: Bouffants & Broken Hearts – Apparel & Accessories Collection


Apparel, accessories or soft lines licensing product or campaign of the Year
CAPRICE: Harry Potter – Infant & Toddler Apparel (Warner Bros.)

Hard lines licensing product or campaign of the Year
HEADSTART INTERNATIONAL: Sesame Street – Tickle Me Elmo Toy (Sesame Workshop & Haven Global)

Publishing and paper goods licensing product or campaign of the Year
FIVE MILE PRESS: The Wiggles – Emma’s Ballet Class (Book & Tutu Gift Set) (The Wiggles Pty Ltd)

FMCG, Licensed promotions and events product or campaign of the Year
KRISPY KREME: The Simpsons – Limited Edition Donut (20th Century Fox & Merchantwise)

Events product or campaign of the Year
SHOWTIME ATTRACTIONS: Peter Rabbit – Live Event Experience (Frederick Warne & Co & Haven Global)

Licensing product innovation of the Year
IMPACT ROCK MERCHANDISE: Licensed Doormat Program


Infant or Pre-school License of the Year
THE WIGGLES: The Wiggles Pty Ltd

Girl’s License of the Year
LOL SURPRISE!: MGA Entertainment & Haven Global

Boy’s License of the Year
MARVEL: The Walt Disney Company

Digital, Video Game or New Media License of the Year
EMOJI: The Emoji Company & Merchantwise

Brand, Corporate, Fashion or Art License of the Year
WHERE’S WALLY: NBC Universal DreamWorks & Centa IP

Sports, Fitness, Street or Lifestyle License of the Year
AFL: Australian Football League


2018 LIMA Australia Hall of Fame Inductee
Fred Gaffney

On behalf of the Licensing Industry, LIMA Australia would like to congratulate Fred Gaffney on his induction into the LIMA Australia Hall of Fame this year. Fred was one of the founding figures for licensing here in Australia and is our first inductee.