Nike to debut Stranger Things collection

Nostalgia of the 1980’s Netflix show has inspired new capsule collaboration.

Nike has been inspired by the 1980s nostalgia of Stranger Things, revealing it is to launch a new capsule collaboration with the hit Netflix show.

Set in the summer of 1985, the latest season of Stranger Things finds small town Hawkins, Indiana in the midst of change, with the core group on the cusp of high school, grappling with themes of love and friendship and – obviously – tackling a looming danger.

Classic Nike footwear and brands are common in the show, and the company has taken this off-screen into the collection, highlighting the Cortex, Blazer and Tailwind.

The first drop of the collaborative capsule incorporates Hawkins High’s green and orange colour scheme and Tiger mascot into a mix of apparel and footwear. Sweat suits and complementary t-shirts channel 1980s phys-ed class style, while three sneakers match accordingly. The pieces launch on June 27.

Meanwhile, a second drop of shoes is planned for July 1. Dubbed the ‘OG Pack’, each shoe carries a red, white and blue colour scheme and celebrates 1985 Independence Day with a year marker on the heel and special firework display sock liner.


Fanattik grabs SCARFACE license

Fanattik has added the film Scarface to its portfolio of licensed movie titles.

The 1983 American crime film tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony Montana (played by Al Pacino) who arrives in Miami and rises through the criminal underworld to become a drug kingpin. Written by Oliver Stone and directed by Brian De Palma, the film was a remake of the 1932 film of the same name.

Fanattik’s deal for Scarface adds to its growing portfolio of movie licenses which includes Rambo and Alien.



Peppa Pig set to jump into music with first album

Entertainment One will release new, original music based on its “Peppa Pig” TV property next month.

My First Album will be the first album for the “Peppa” property when it launched in English-speaking territories in July. A compilation of 16 newly-recorded music, My First Album includes extended versions of previously-released songs from the series.

Songs on the album are composed by Julian Nott, with additional arrangements by Paul Moessl. Harley Bird, the voice of Peppa Pig will also be featured on several tracks from the album.

“We’re very excited to be releasing an official Peppa Pig music album for the first time in the brand’s 15-year history,” says Rebecca Harvey, executive vice president global brand management, family and brands, eOne. “Music has always been central to the appeal of the show around the world, so we’re delighted to share these new musical arrangements with Peppa’s many fans during the brand’s anniversary year. We hope it will become the perfect soundtrack for families to enjoy at home, on the go and at party celebrations.”

“Peppa Pig’s” My First Album follows on from the launch of “PJ Masks” album Heroes Foreverin May, which generated more than 150,000 streams globally in its first week.



This year’s BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands List has seen a handful of new names join the ranks of some of the most successful companies.

New brands making the list this year include Chanel (No. 31), Xbox (No. 87), Haier (No. 89), TATA Consultancy Services (No. 97), Dell Technologies (No. 81), DiDi (No. 71), Meltuan (No.78) and Xiaomi No. 74). The new additions join the likes of current brand leaders such as Amazon and Apple.

Many of this year’s newcomers join the list from the technology field. Brands such as Xbox and Xiaomi are entering the Top 100 from the consumer tech arena, while TATA and Haier add to the list from the B2B space. BrandZ believes the trend of technology brands joining the report will be a common theme moving forward.

“Behind this headline, growth figure lies [in] the success coming from a new phenomenon of ecosystem brand building,” says David Roth, chief executive officer, The Store WPP EMEA and Asia and chairman, BrandZ. “We’re seeing a move from individual product and service brands to a new era of highly-disruptive ecosystems. Brands need to understand the value this type of model can create and should embrace its approach to be successful in the future.”

BrandZ reported that the technology category saw steady year-over-year growth with a four percent increase since last year. In total, the industry was the highest valued vertical on BrandZ’s report.


What Happened in Vegas: Taking a Look Back at What Happened and Was Talked About At Licensing Expo 2019

Licensing Expo 2019 is now in everyone’s rearview mirrors, and it’s time to take stock of what happened in Vegas, the effects of which will reverberate well into the future of this ever-changing licensing business.

Here are a few of the developments we noted:

Hemp and Cannabis Step Out — The growing interest in cannabis- and hemp-related products – mostly taking a health and wellness approach — was apparent, not just in the small “marketplace” assembled by PROHBTD, but also in a couple of other booths. Authentic Brands, which has several CBD-related agreements for its celebrity brands, as well as pacts with CBD products developer Green Growth Properties and CBD oil supplier Tilray, distributed CBD-based lip balm to showgoers. Kathy Ireland also showed some health and wellness products.

CBD Inside LicensingEntertainment companies also are in the mix. For example, Lionsgate is known to have been discussing ventures involving the brand of its Weeds series, among others.

Two other related notes: PROHBTD assembled a well-attended Licensing U session on cannabis and licensing (which included Allison Ames, CEO of Beanstalk, which now represents two of the company’s own brands), and more than one showgoer talked of their intention to research the subject by visiting retailer Planet 13. It’s legal there….

The eSports Conundrum – The licensing community is still trying to get its arms around the best way to leverage the exploding eSports community via licensed product. For the time being, it appears from our conversations at Licensing Expo, the category is best left to eCommerce, rather than brick-and-mortar retail, particularly given the target youthful audience and the fact the entire “sport” lives online.

The most visible effort to date (showcased at Licensing Expo) has been Activision Blizzard’s program for overwatch League, which closely mirrors the centralized structure of a traditional U.S. sports league, and signed a big deal late last year with Fanatics.

Potential licensees who are viewing the space are trying to figure out whether it makes more sense to attach themselves to teams or to well-known players. Agency Brand Central showcased its representation of gaming management firm Loaded and its roster of “gaming influencers,” who include Fortnite star Ninja, who has a handful of licensing deals already.

Licensing International Awards - Inside LicensingSpeaking of Fortnite… — Fortnite and Harry Potter were the big winners at Licensing International’s Annual Licensing Awards, with five honors taken home by publisher Epic Games and its licensees, and Warner Bros. Consumer Products and its licensees. For a full list of the winners, go to

Big congratulations at the Awards celebration also to the eight up-and-comers spotlighted as Rising Stars in the licensing business, as well as to newly inducted Hall of Famers Pam Clifford of Warner Bros. Consumer Products & Experiences and Michael Stone of Beanstalk.

Licensing U Comes to Licensing Expo – For the first time, the entire lineup of 25 Licensing U seminars and presentations was staged on the Expo floor in a specially constructed 300-seat Licensing U

Licensing U - Inside Licensing Licensing International

Theater. More than 50 executives from around the world touched on the ABCs (Amazon, Basics, Brexit, Cannabis, Collaborations) and so much more. The Licensing U Theater also hosted….

A Fascinating STORY – In a packed keynote presentation, Macy’s Brand Experience Officer Rachel Shechtman offered an intriguing look at how she brought the philosophy of her single-store STORY retail location in Manhattan (which was reformulated and remerchandised several times a year) into Macy’s. The challenge for all physical retailers, she said, is to think in terms of “experiences per square foot,” rather than sales per square foot, giving consumers a reason to visit the store rather than rely on their keyboards to shop.

She also touted STORY’s ability to act as a test tube for Macy’s, suppliers and brand owners. “Testing and learning is important, because when you have 600 plus stores it takes a while, and it’s expensive, and if it doesn’t work it can be really expensive,” Shechtman said.  “This gives Macy’s an opportunity to try small businesses and new concepts, and see how they work as a sister to the [Macy’s larger] system and taking those learning and make some decisions in four months, not eighteen months.”

Tariffs in the Air — With the Trump administration threatening or actually imposing tariffs on goods from China, Mexico and elsewhere, the added costs and their impact on brand owners, manufacturers and retailers were a hot topic of conversation.

This has left licensees weighing a range of options from switching to suppliers in non-tariffed countries to seeking concessions from licensors on minimum guarantees and royalty rates in a bid to offset rising costs.

For the time being, licensees we spoke to say they’ll likely absorb the added costs, but if the tariffs extend into the fall retail price increases are close to inevitable. For their part, licensors appeared willing to work with licensees on reducing costs tied to tariffs, but what form that would take was unclear given the constantly moving deadline for imposing the tariffs.

Don’t Just Buy the Brand, Live the Brand – Location-based licensing – activity centers, hotels, theme parks, cafes, etc. — was at the top of many licensors’ priorities as they sought expand their business beyond merchandise sales and attract consumers increasingly accustomed to not only buying brands, but experiencing them as well. Entertainment brands have been the biggest players, but corporate brands are increasing their activity, too.

Hello Kitty - Inside Licensing Licensing International

Meredith Corp., which gained the Southern Living magazine brand in buying Time Inc., plans to expand on the current roster of 21 boutique hotels, while also increasing the number of developments affiliated with the Coastal Living label. The Coca-Cola Co., which has four stores in the U.S., is planning to add more locations in international markets, while Sanrio, is opening a Hello Kitty Café at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas and nearing agreements for locations in Orlando, New Jersey and New York.

Meanwhile, Hasbro reached an agreement with Kingsmen which will open a Nerf-themed family entertainment center in Singapore later this year with a U.S. location due in 2020, and Mattel licensee IP2Entertainment plans to open a 25,000-sq.-ft. family entertainment in Toronto next year featuring Barbie, Hot Wheels and Mega Construx.

Old Becomes New Again — Licensors mined their IP vaults for nostalgia brands, some of which are being licensed for the first time.

Hasbro licensed Wicked Cool Toys to make Micro Machines, which peaked in popularity in the 1980s under Galoob Toys and is entering licensing for the first time. Hasbro plans to roll out new programs for Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs and Pound Puppies as it delves into its 1,500 brands. Mattel likewise is readying plans for six films based on its IP starting in 2021 with Masters of the Universe, which is making a return to the big screen after a 32-year absence with plan for extensive licensing.

Crayola is refreshing Silly Putty, which it acquired in 1977, with licensed products to follow in 2020 across a range of categories including apparel as the brand marks its 70th anniversary.

This fits in with…

Safety in Evergreens – Several licensees were scouting the show specifically for well-established evergreen properties with proven track records and fan bases, rather than taking a chance on the potential new hot thing.

Of course, the definition of “evergreen” may be in the eye of the beholder. How many generations of fans need a property have to be considered multigenerational? Two? Three? For example, we were struck by the number of Licensing Award winners that involved Harry Potter. Does the number of millennials (now parents) who grew up with the books (first one was published in 1997) and films (2001) make the property an evergreen for the ages?


eOne Gets cozy with ‘PJ Masks’, ‘Peppa Pig’ comfy critters

Infinity Product Group has partnered with Entertainment One (eOne) to develop Comfy Critters products based on the “PJ Masks” and “Peppa Pig” properties.

Comfy Critters are wearable stuffed animals that offering multifunctional use as pillows, blankets or costumes. Infinity Product Group has previously partnered with Nickelodeon properties “Grumpy Cat” and Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar to create branded toys in the collection.

“Infinity Product Group continues unprecedented growth of the Comfy Critter Wearable Stuffed Animals, and we are excited to partner with the ‘PJ Masks’ and ‘Peppa Pig’ brands,” says Doug Keller, president and chief executive officer, Infinity Product Group. “The additions of these licensed characters are a testament to the relevancy and growth of Comfy Critters.”

The “PJ Masks” and “Peppa Pig” Comfy Critter characters are expected to debut in the fall.


Submit Now: Top 150 Global Licensors

License Global is now officially calling for submissions for its annual Top 150 Global Licensors and Top 20 Global Licensing Agents reports.

License Global’s annual reports are the most comprehensive analysis of their kind and prove a benchmark for licensed merchandise worldwide. The lists provide valuable data on the world’s largest licensors and agents in the entertainment, sports, fashion, corporate brands, art as well as non-profit sectors. Both reports not only rank the world’s leading licensors and agencies but also provide valuable insight into the world’s most essential and well-known brands.

The Top 150 Global Licensors report and the Top Global Licensing Agents reports will be published in the August issue of License Global. Referenced throughout the year by retail executives, licensees, agents, brand executives and business-to-business/consumer media, this report is also distributed at key trade shows and meetings and offered digitally on the License Global website.

Interested agencies and licensors are encouraged to apply via the links below as soon as possible. The deadline for submissions is Friday, June 14.

Submit now for the 2019 Top 150 Licensors Report

Submit now for the 2019 Top 20 Global Licensing Agents List



Smiley unveils Smiffys tie up for festival season

The Smiley Company has secured a new deal with Smiffys, which will see the costume and dress-up specialist launch a line of products that pay homage to Smiley’s iconic status in the music scene.

The 17-piece collection will feature apparel including bodysuits, unitards, rain ponchos and boilersuits, as well as a selection of must-have music festival accessories including flags, hats and sunglasses emblazoned with the Smiley logo.

The first line of products will launch globally for the kick off of the festival season this month. Smiffys also has plans for a second wave of products in time for carnival season in February 2020.

“Smiley’s status as a world-famous symbol of festivals and the global music scene is a perfect fit for brands who want to tap into this booming trend,” says Lori Heiss-Tiplady, vp brand strategy at The Smiley Company. “Leading brands around the world continue to leverage our authentic heritage in this space, and we are excited to partner with Smiffys to apply our iconic artwork which will bring happiness to festivals for summer 2019 and beyond.”


Trevco Buys Graphics & More, Expands Accessories Business

Trevco buys Graphics & More in expanding into the accessories print-on-demand business for the first time.

Terms of deal, which includes production facilities in Rancho Cordova, CA, were not disclosed. David Nielson and Heather Dykes, who founded the company in 2008, are being retained on short-term consulting agreements, Trevco President Trevor George said.

Graphics largely focused on non-licensed accessories across automotive (license plate frames, air fresheners), home & office (can coolers, bookmarks, coasters), tech (cellphone covers), sports (bike belts, camping mugs) and jewelry (bracelet, charms). Trevco, which largely focuses on apparel, has a small number of home products, including throws, fleece blankets and beach towels.

Trevco, which has more than 800 licenses, will focus the business on direct-to-consumer marketplaces such as Amazon, where Graphics was ranked among the Top 400 third-party sellers, George said.

Graphics had a small number of licenses, including for Legendary Television’s “Lost in Space”, illustrator Howard Robinson, U.S. Marines and Jim Henson Productions (Muppets). Trevco will retain the licenses.


Trevco, Trevor George, CEO, 248-526-1400 x145,

Pocket.Watch announces ‘Ryan’s Mystery Playdate program’ has announced the launch of a comprehensive licensing program based on the Nickelodeon show “Ryan’s Mystery Playdate”.

This marks the second franchise within the year that and Ryan’s ToysReview have launched since the successful debut of Ryan’s World in August 2018.

The show’s inaugural line will include toys and apparel, incorporating unique elements from “Ryan’s Mystery Playdate.” Fans can expect challenges, mystery boxes, mystery splashers and playdates with Ryan as part of the merchandise program.

Licensees so far include Just Play (master toy), Simon & Schuster (master publishing), Franco Manufacturing (bedding and home), Taste Beauty (bath, health and beauty) and Komar (sleep).