BBC Brings ‘Doctor Who’ to Facebook Camera Effects


The Facebook AR filter will celebrate the on-screen transformation of Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi into Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker.

GLOBAL–BBC Worldwide Americas has launched a new augmented reality filter for the Facebook Camera Effects platform to coincide with the Christmas special “Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time.”

The effect invites users around the world to undergo the “regeneration process” for the first time. “Doctor Who” fans can experience the “golden glow” and shapeshifting process that allows an alien Time Lord to change into a new body thanks to AR technology.

In addition, the Facebook Camera Effects feature will celebrate the on-screen metamorphosis of Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi into Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker during the 2017 Christmas special.

“Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time” will premiere on BBC America in the U.S. and Space in Canada on Dec. 25, and will be available in theaters nationwide for one night only on Dec. 27 through a partnership with Fathom Events.

Iconix Names Executive Chairman


Peter Cuneo will oversee the financial and legal functions for the brand management company.

NORTH AMERICA–Iconix Brand Group has promoted Peter Cuneo to serve as the company’s executive chairman of its board of directors, effective immediately.

In his new role, Cuneo will focus on evaluating strategic opportunities, overseeing the financial and legal functions and working towards stabilizing the company’s balance sheet.

Most recently, Cuneo served as the chairman of the board of directors at Iconix Brand Group and the interim chief executive officer from August 2015 to April 2016. Before joining Iconix’ Board in 2006, Cuneo worked across global entertainment and consumer product sectors where he spearheaded seven corporate turnarounds.

“Peter Cuneo is a recognized leader in business turnarounds with intimate knowledge of the Iconix operating model,” says John Haugh, chief executive officer, Iconix Brand Group. “I am thrilled to have Peter rejoin the management team of the company in his new role as executive chairman of the board. Peter’s involvement will free up more time for me to focus on our core licensing business while evolving the company to generate future growth.”

John Haugh will continue to serve as the company’s chief executive officer.

Cherokee Appoints New CFO


Steven Brink will replace Jason Boling as chief financial officer.

NORTH AMERICA–Cherokee Global Brands has named Steven Brink to replace Jason Boling as chief financial officer.

Steven Brink will take over the vacated role on Jan. 2 and will work closely with Boling through the end of the company’s fiscal year. In his new role role, Brink will oversee Cherokee Global Brand’s financial operations including accounting, forecasting and investor relations under Henry Stupp, chief executive officer, Cherokee.

Most recently, Brink held chief financial officer roles at major public and private global apparel companies, including Quiksilver and NYDJ Apparel, where he helped to restructure the organization’s financial operations during high growth periods.

“I’m pleased to welcome Steve in his new role,” says Stupp. “Steve is a proven financial leader with deep experience in our focus categories, having served in several leadership positions with public and private global apparel companies. As we look towards our next phase of growth, Steve’s track record of scaling global brands, along with his extensive M&A experience, will prove invaluable. Steve will play a vital role to ensure that Cherokee Global Brands maintains its solid financial foundation as we embark on key growth initiatives in 2018 and beyond.”

Boling’s resignation will go into effect Jan. 31.

Tomy Unveils Interactive Pokémon Toys


The new toys will be compatible with “Pokémon Ultra Sun” and “Pokémon Ultra Moon.”

NORTH AMERICA–Pokémon’s master toy licensee Tomy International has launched the second generation Pokémon Z-Power Ring and Z-Crystals to coincide with the release of the video games “Pokémon Ultra Sun” and “Pokémon Ultra Moon.”

The new Pokémon Z-Power Ring and Z-Crystals are Nintendo compatible bracelets that will provide players with additional in-game synchronization features for an enhanced gameplay experience through lights, sounds and vibrations.

“We know Pokémon fans will be thrilled to see these added features to the Z-Power Ring and Z-Crystals,” says Morgan Weyl, director, boys’ toys, Tomy International. “The feedback on the first generation of Z-Ring was very positive, and the idea was to provide a deeper experience than before thanks to more in-game synchronization when using Nintendo 3DS family systems as well as equal fun in role play mode. Enhancing your video game experience or simply acting out Pokémon adventures at home, you will truly feel like a Pokémon Trainer.”

Tomy’s new Z-Power Ring and Z-Crystals are now available at GameStop, Amazon, Target, Toys ‘R’ Us and other major retailers. The video games “Pokémon Ultra Sun” and “Pokémon Ultra Moon” are also available now.

NBA Teams for Online Stores in APAC


A new partnership will see ten new e-commerce sites launched across Asia-Pacific including Australia and Singapore.

GLOBAL–The National Basketball Association and Fanatics have teamed up to launch official online NBA stores across Asia-Pacific.

The partnership will expand the NBA’s existing relationship with the sports apparel company and will feature a variety of men’s, women’s and youth products from all 30 teams. In addition, the online stores will feature on-court apparel from Nike, the league’s official outfitter; a range of merchandise from partners including New Era and Mitchell & Ness; and exclusive fan products such as personalized team jerseys.

“The NBA is becoming an increasingly global league, and we’ve seen a significant uptick in fandom across several regions throughout Asia,” says Steve Davis, president, Fanatics International. “This level of growth is very exciting, and Fanatics is committed to providing a best-in-class online shopping experience to provide these passionate fans with easy access to the largest assortment of officially licensed NBA merchandise available for all 30 teams.”

The official online NBA stores are now available in Australia, Cambodia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Fanatics to provide NBA fans across Asia-Pacific with greater access to authentic NBA merchandise,” says Lesley Rulloda, associate vice president, global merchandising, NBA Asia. “Basketball’s popularity in Asia-Pacific continues to grow, and our new online NBA Stores with Fanatics will allow us to reach and engage with our expanding fan base throughout the region.”

Campbell’s & Hershey Pick Up New Snack Brands

Hershey's chocolate bars are shown in this photo illustration in Encinitas

Hershey’s will now own brands like Skinny Pop and Tyrrells, while Campbell’s will own Snyder’s of Hanover and Cape Cod.

NORTH AMERICA–Both The Hershey Company and Campbell Soup Company have revealed plans to acquire Amplify Snack Brands and Snyder’s-Lance, respectively, in a move to further bolster their presence in the snack aisle.

First, The Hershey Company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Amplify Snack Brands for $12 per share in cash. Through the agreement, Hershey will acquire the Skinny Pop, Tyrrells, Oatmega, Paqui and other international brands, further strengthening its position in the snack aisle.

In terms of licensing, Hershey most recently expanded its brand beyond the candy aisle and partnered with Chef’d to introduce branded meal kits. The company also revealed plans to grow its flagship Hershey’s Chocolate World in New York City.

The acquisition is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2018 and is expected to be accretive to adjusted earnings per share-diluted in the first-year post-closing, with accretion increasing in year two.

“The acquisition of Amplify and its product portfolio is an important step in our journey to becoming an innovative snacking powerhouse as together it will enable us to bring scale and category management capabilities to a key sub-segment of the warehouse snack aisle,” says Michele Buck, president and chief executive officer, The Hershey Company. “Hershey’s snack mix and meat snacks products, combined with Amplify’s Skinny Pop, Tyrrells, Oatmega, Paqui and other international brands, will allow us to capture more consumer snacking occasions by creating a broader portfolio of brands.”

Meanwhile, Campbell Soup Company revealed that it will buy Snyder’s-Lance for approximately $50 per share in an all-cash transaction. Snyder’s Lance’s portfolio currently includes brands such as Snyder’s of Hanover, Lance, Kettle Brand, Kettle Chips, Cape Code, Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, Pop Secret and many more. According to Campbell’s, the acquisition will also accelerate its access to faster-growing distribution channels.

Last year, Snyder’s-Lance entered tapped Brand Central to serve as its licensing agency for its portfolio of brands. The partnership aimed to extend the brands into new food spaces and was initially focused on Snyder’s of Hanover and Cape Cod.

“The acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance will accelerate Campbell’s strategy and is in line with our purpose, ‘real food that matters for life’s moments.’ It will provide our consumers with an even greater variety of better-for-you snacks,” says Denis Morrison, president and chief executive officer, Campbell’s. The combination of Snyder’s-Lance brands with Pepperidge Farm, Arnott’s and Kelsen will create a diversified snacking leader, drive sales growth and create value for shareholders. This acquisition will dramatically transform Campbell, shifting our center of gravity and further diversifying our portfolio into the faster-growing snacking category. We look forward to welcoming Snyder’s-Lance’s employees and their trusted family of leading brands to our company.”

Market Report: The German Licensing Industry


A look at the cultural, political and economic factors driving consumer behavior and the licensing business in the world’s fourth largest brand licensing market.

Germany is the largest economy in Europe by a significant margin and the fourth largest in the world, behind only the U.S., China and Japan.

The German reputation for efficiency is well-earned. Its engineering prowess has given rise to some of the biggest brand names in the automotive world including BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Porsche. Its financial expertise is cemented by big names like Allianz and Deutsche Bank, and the quality of its domestic products have seen Braun, Siemens and Bosch become worldwide household names.

At the other end of the scale, its demand for cost-efficiency has given rise to the supermarket chains Aldi and Lidl, which are not only two of the most valuable brands domestically, but also have a strong presence internationally, particularly in the U.K. German consumers are perceived as being discerning about quality and savvy about how and where they shop.

As the names above indicate, the Germans favor heritage when it comes to brands. However, the country isn’t purely inward-looking. Some of the biggest character brands in the country have been adopted from elsewhere, such as the Swiss-created Heidi and Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking. An aging population has also strengthened classic brands even more.

Supported by robust employment levels, strong private consumption, a healthy construction sector and steady exports, Germany is expected to maintain its momentum into 2018.

‘Ranger Rob’ Inks North American Pub Deal


Chouette Publishing will release the first “Ranger Rob”-inspired titles in spring 2018.

NORTH AMERICA–Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana has tapped Chouette Publishing to bring the preschool adventure series “Ranger Rob” to life through a variety of children’s books.

Under the terms of the agreement, Chouette Publishing will initially launch two new titles–A Campfire Story and Nature Quest–with plans to expand the line into storybooks, readers and novelty formats beyond 2018.

“As we continue to build on the success and momentum of ‘Ranger Rob,’ we’re excited to partner with Chouette Publishing on this new chapter for the series,” says Pam Westman, head, Nelvana Enterprises. “Chouette’s masterful ability to capture ‘Ranger Rob’s’ distinct sense of exploration and wonder through their books will offer young fans the delight of experiencing their favorite characters and Big Sky Park on every page.”

The “Ranger Rob” storybooks are anticipated for release in the U.S. and Canada in April 2018.

“We are incredibly thrilled to partner with Nelvana to bring ‘Ranger Rob’ into publishing,” says Simon Payette, general manager of Chouette Publishing. “We’ve had tremendous publishing success with our own property, ‘Caillou,’ and are excited to take that expertise and use it to make ‘Ranger Rob’ a huge publishing hit that kids everywhere will love.”

‘Bush Baby World’ Secures Three U.K. Licensees


Brands with Influence deals for branded novelty books, stationery, bags and more to further expand the children’s brand.

EUROPE–Brands with Influence has signed on three new licensees to develop a variety of new products for the U.K. market inspired by its kids’ series “Bush Baby World.”

Alligator Publishing has been tapped to create and publish a range of novelty coloring, sticker and activity books. Meanwhile, Blueprint Collections will develop a line of stationary and a variety of bags.

Finally, Immediate Media will produce storyline pages under their ToyBox title.

“To have Alligator, Blueprint and Immediate join the ‘Bush Baby World’ licensing program is terrific and a testament to the growing strength and awareness of the brand,” says Dom Wheeler, director, Brands with Influence. “We are working closely with all licensees in developing their ranges and content, ensuring we reflect the brand’s identity, values, and humor. We know, through continued strong toy sales and online viewing, children have bought into the brand, and we’re delighted that we’ll be able to add to their enjoyment with these new products and content being available next year.”

The new “Bush Baby World” products are slated to hit U.K. shelves in 2018.

2018 LIMA Awards Now Accepting Entries


The annual awards ceremony will take place during Licensing Expo, May 22-24.

GLOBAL–The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association is now accepting nominations for its annual International Licensing Excellence Awards.

Recognizing outstanding creativity and performance in all major segments of licensing, the winners will be announced at Licensing Expo, May 22-24, 2018, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

The awards are open to the entire industry; companies need not be a member of LIMA to participate. However, each company must strictly adhere to the entry guidelines and criteria detailed by LIMA.

The deadline to submit nominations is Feb. 1.

To fill out the nomination form, click here.