Williams Sonoma Cooks Up Harry Potter Kitchenware


Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin inspire range of kitchen accessories for kids and adults.

NORTH AMERICA–Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Williams Sonoma have teamed up to create a new range of kitchen accessories based on the Harry Potter universe.

The new range highlights each of Hogwarts’ four houses–Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin–on a selection of spatulas and aprons for both kids and adults. In addition, each apron can be personalized with your name or initials (or the name or initials of your favorite Harry Potter character).

The new range is now available at Williams Sonoma.

Spencer’s Names New VP of Licensing


Rick Goralnick will lead the brand’s corporate licensing strategy as well as foster cross-functional relationships between Spencer’s and Spirit Halloween.

NORTH AMERICA–Spencer Spirit Holdings has tapped Rick Goralnick to serve as the company’s divisional vice president of licensing for both Spencer’s and Spirit Halloween.

Goralnick will now be responsible for the overall creation and leadership of the brand’s corporate licensing strategy, social media marketing and Spencer’s in-store marketing programs. He will also foster cross-functional relationships within Spirit Halloween and Spencer’s as well as with leading licensors across North America.

Goralnick brings more than 30 years of experience in licensing and acquisitions, marketing and brand management after working with companies such as Marvel Entertainment, Crayola, Hasbro and Reebok.

"Rick is a great addition to our dynamic team," says Steven Silverstein, president and chief executive officer, Spencer Spirit Holdings. "His extensive knowledge of the space will be vital in growing partnerships and experiences to support our brand's ongoing growth and to further deepen our commitment to our shoppers."

Goralnick also replaces Eric Morse, who recently stepped down to head up Redbubble’s licensing program.

Pepsi Ties Up Footwear in India


<description><![CDATA[ASIA&ndash;PepsiCo has teamed up with DVB Brands to launch a collection of sports footwear inspired by the popular beverage brand throughout India, according to The Economic Times.
<span style=”color:#a9a9a9″><em>DVB Brands will release the line via e-commerce sites such as Myntra.</em></span></h2>
<p><img alt=”” src=”/sites/www.licensingexpo.com/files/images/PepsiFootwearIndia.jpg” style=”width:300px; height:115px; float:right” />ASIA&ndash;PepsiCo has teamed up with DVB Brands to launch a collection of sports footwear inspired by the popular beverage brand throughout India, according to <em>The Economic Times</em>.</p>
<p>Further details about the footwear range have not been disclosed; however, Chandi Batra, chief executive officer of DVB Brands, says the range is &ldquo;directly youth-focused.&rdquo;</p>
<p>&ldquo;Our iconic brands have enabled us to provide consumers with new ways to engage with PepsiCo&ndash;whether it be in a can or apparel or accessories,&rdquo; says Kristin Patrick, senior vice president, global beverage group, PepsiCo. &ldquo;We are creating new opportunities for consumers to engage with our brands across multiple touch points and with strong partnerships with brands including Zara, H&amp;M and Fila.&rdquo;</p>
<p>The Pepsi-inspired footwear will be available in India via e-commerce sites such as Myntra.</p>

Nick Breaks the Mold with New Brand Canticos

Canticos Logo

Based on Spanish-language nursery rhymes, Nickelodeon new partnership with Encantos Media Studios showcases the company’s new approach to IP.

NORTH AMERICA-Nickelodeon is taking a big stake in both the Hispanic and infant markets through a new partnership with San Francisco-based Encantos Media Studios to expand the award-winning bilingual baby brand Canticos into consumer products and beyond.

Not only does the partnership mark Nickelodeon’s first entry into content for infants and toddlers, but it also showcases the company’s new model of taking external brands that fit the network’s DNA and building them out for a global audience, like it did with YouTube star JoJo Siwa.

“There’s a real need out there from a consumer purchasing perspective to reflect all audiences, and there are a lot of aisles that are under-represented. JoJo is one example of an aisle that was completely under-represented–the teen/tween aisle,” said Pam Kaufman, CMO and president, global consumer products, Nickelodeon. “With the rise of the Latino population, we felt like we were under-serving the Latino audience, and so we look at this as an area where Nickelodeon Consumer Products can really make a difference.”

The Canticos brand– first launched in 2015 with dual-language English-Spanish books, apps and sing-along videos–is comfortable territory for Nickelodeon, which blazed new trails when it introduced the world to a 7-year-old bilingual girl named Dora back in 2001.

It’s been more than 15 years though since “Dora the Explorer” hit the airwaves, and according to Encantos founders Steven Wolfe Pereira and Nuria Santamaria Wolfe, who are of Dominican and Salvadorian descent (respectively) and are now based in San Francisco, there is a huge demand for authentic, enriching, Spanish-language content in the U.S.

Over one-third of the U.S. population is multi-cultural, with Hispanics making up close to 18 percent of the total population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest numbers.

Key to Canticos’ already significant success is its authenticity. Husband and wife duo Wolfe Pereira and Santamaria Wolfe, have an expansive background working for some of the biggest names in media from Univision to Twitter. But it wasn’t until the impending arrival of their first child that they decided to turn their talents to creating content that would bring their culture to life for their own child, and the millions of other children of Latino heritage across the U.S.

“We are living in a multi-cultural nation. By 2040 over a third of the U.S. population will be Hispanic, but you don’t have to wait until 2040, because today over 50 percent of Millennials are multi-cultural, with the largest percentage of the demographic being Hispanic,” said Wolfe Pereira. “When we found out that we were having our first child, it really hit us personally. I realized there was no way for us to share our culture with our son. Understanding the meaning of culture and what role that plays as you badge yourself as a family, you want to pass on these traditions.”

And so it was that, alongside the partners’ new baby, a new brand was also born. Targeting kids ages 0 to 24 months old, Canticos (which means “little songs” in Spanish) centers on Spanish-language nursery rhymes from all over the world, celebrating Latino culture by bringing songs such as “Los Pollitos,” “Elefantitos” and “Mi Burrito Sabanero” to life.

“I think the opportunity for parents and families to share their culture and share their language starts from the moment that a baby is born. It’s that moment when you first put your child to bed, or try to, and you want to sing to them. When I began to sing to my son, it wasn’t ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ it was ‘Los Pollitos,’ the songs that I had grown up with,” said Santamaria Wolfe. “And when I looked for books and apps and tools to help me pass on that culture and that language, there really wasn’t anything. We’ve heard this a lot from educators and librarians too. What they’re really lacking is tools to teach, especially those younger demographics.”

Encantos co-founders Nuria Santamaria Wolfe, CEO; Susie Jaramillo, Chief Creative Officer; and Steven Wolfe Pereira, chairman, with Pam Kaufman of Nickelodeon.

Without any active marketing to-date, the brand has racked up 103,000 subscribers on YouTube with its most popular video boasting 19 million views. The brand also includes four book titles published in-house by Encantos and distributed by PGW/Ingram–also available in digital form–as well as an app.

And the brand isn’t aimed just at Latino families. With engaging artwork and its focus on music, Canticos is well-placed to serve American parents of all stripes who increasingly want to expose their children to other languages and cultures from an early age.

Nickelodeon’s job now will be to “amplify” the brand, as Kaufman put it. The company will work with Encantos to develop the first collection of consumer products and promotional partners for the Canticos, spanning categories including layette, toy, accessories, home, publishing and more.

“This is a new model for us. Historically our content has been created by the Nickelodeon team, then it’s launched as a show, then you wait for the show to work and then you have consumer products,” Kaufman explains. “We’ve now created an IP for CP strategy. We are actually making shows to be successful in consumer products. If you think about ‘Turtles,’ we bought ‘Turtles’ to be in the action figure aisle. Even though this content is not made by Nickelodeon, it has the DNA of Nickelodeon.”

The audience demographic is also new for Nickelodeon, and Kaufman readily admits that this digital brand geared toward infants might not ever end up on television, making it a surprising move for a company that has its roots in network television.

“For kids under 2, you’re really not looking to expose them to TV. You have to really think about how you are introducing things at this really fragile, tender age,” says Wolfe Pereira. “You are so thoughtful about anything that is going to come into contact with your baby.”

But while traditional TV may not be in the cards, content certainly is. In fact, Canticos short-form content is slated to launch in spring 2018 on Nick’s preschool-facing digital platforms including NickJr.com, the “Nick Jr.” app and Noggin, Nick’s video subscription service. The content will be produced by Venezuelan-American artist Susie Jaramillo, who created the brand and is also a founder of Encantos, alongside Santamaria Wolfe and Wolfe Pereira. This new slate of digital content will focus on developing the characters that appear in the nursery rhymes featured in Canticos through animated webisodes.

“For example, ‘Los Pollitos’ is a beautiful nursery rhyme about these three newborn chickies with their mother hen taking care of them. It’s a beautiful nursery rhyme, and now we’re actually going to bring the characters to life. Then, those characters can be used to tell other stories, and that’s where we’ll leverage the power of Nickelodeon,” explains Wolfe Pereira.

Kaufman and her team already hard work at creating style guides for the brand’s CP line, and she says that the reception she’s received thus far from licensees and retailers has been overwhelmingly positive.

Walt Disney World Teams with Otterbox

Classic Disney Collection

The mobile case brand will also develop a variety of new case designs featuring Disney’s score of characters.

NORTH AMERICA–Disney has tapped OtterBox to serve as the “Official Protective Case” of Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

The agreement will see OtterBox cases brought to several D-Tech locations throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland. It will also see Otterbox collaborate with Disney Consumer Products to offer a variety of new case designs. The first designs will feature timeless Mickey and Minnie designs on the OtterBox Symmetry Series for iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus.

The Symmetry Series Classic Disney Collection cases are now available on Otterbox.com and will be available soon at D-Tech retail locations at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

Fatak Patak a new action figure out for kids


Mr. SuhasSundar CEO of NIHODO Media shares his thoughts on the hit new franchise FatakPatak which premiered on Hungama TV and Disney XD mid-Sept. and simultaneously hit stores offline for fans to play and watch!

1- Was the concept of FatakPatak – movie feature series and toy line launched keeping in mind Indian kids?

-Yes, the main character Sher Singh is Indian and trained by his grandfather Gama Singh. Rounding out the trio of protagonists is Jeff Green and Fifi from USA and France respectively. Though the premise is more science fiction based, the setting is India, though Sher Singh and his friends along with their Alienoids travel the globe rescuing Alienoids and taking part in tournaments.

2- What does the movie convey to the Indian kids – key message/takeaway from the movies?

-The key takeaway would be to always do the right thing and be resourceful. Sher Singh and his AlienoidGabru who are the main characters of the series, may not be the most skilled or even the best at Alienoid Wrestling and tournaments, but they never give up, always stand for what’s right and most importantly, think on their feet and adapt to situations by using their brains more than their brawn.

3- What is the investment incurred in launching the IP FatakPatak?

-A significant amount of time, effort and love has gone into making FatakPatak. Its an IP that has been built from scratch.

4- Is this the first IP that has a mix of the collectible figure and a game concept?

-This is the first IP from India that has an inbuilt collectible figure/battle toy

5- Why Disney as a medium to launch the movies?

– Disney is the undisputed leaders of kids entertainment worldwide. Furthermore, they have been working with us on this IP from day one and have contributed immensely towards the development of the show, building of the world, the look and feel etc. We could not have made this product without their involvement

6- What is the viewership we are expecting? 

– Like any other creator/producer, we are hoping for the best! Hope to see the movies rank among the top shows on the network and the toys find favor with kids. We believe this could be the next Beyblade or even Pokémon!

7- What is the marketing/promotion strategy done to launch FatakPatak

– All the promotions are spearheaded by Dream Theatre Pvt. Ltd. strongly on the network as well as on digital platforms.

8- Is it a worldwide premier? Countries where the movies of FatakPatak will be aired

– This is only an Indian Subcontinent premiere. We will be taking FatakPatak to other countries subsequently

9- What are the recent innovations seen in the Indian animation industry?

– The Indian animation industry has truly come of age. There are stellar Indian IP’s like ChhotaBheem, MotuPatlu and the like who have managed to win a very strong fan following. The whole space is very exciting.

10- When will the toy range be launched and where will it be available?

– The toys are available across 50+ cities and at 800+ outlets from the second week of September’17 coinciding with the premiere of the movies on Disney Hungama.


About Suhas Sundar

Suhas Sundar (CEO Nihodo Media) – Is an engineer+MBA and an award-winning writer, and producer who has worked with broadcasters, producers and creative talent across Japan, China and India on several comics, animation and toy projects.

Along with frequent collaborators Deepak Sharma and ShoHiramatsu, Suhas is also the co-creator of FatakPatak and one of the inventors of the FatakPataktoyline and gameplay



The trading cards market in India and the experience of Topps!


Mr. Pravin Kalnawat – Head, Business & Operations, Topps India shares his views on the licensing business in India and some of his plans for Topps India with IndiaLicensingPost.com

1. Most people are familiar with Topps because of its high profile co-owner Michael Eisner former head of Disney Worldwide. Can you give us a little background on Topps and how has the journey in India been thus far?

-Founded in 1938, The Topps Company, Inc. is the pre-eminent creator and brand marketer of physical and digital sports cards, entertainment cards and collectibles, and distinctive confectionery products. Topps’ leading sports and entertainment products include Major League Baseball, National Football League, Major League Soccer, UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, Bundesliga, Indian Premier League, Star Wars, WWE, UFC, Wacky Packages, Garbage Pail Kids, Mars Attacks and other trading cards, sticker album collections and collectibles. Topps’ app portfolio, including Topps BUNT®, Topps NFL HUDDLE®, TOPPS KICK® and Topps® Star WarsSM: Card Trader, has been a hit with millions of fans around the world. Topps’ confectionery brands include Ring Pop®, Push Pop®, Baby Bottle Pop®, Juicy Drop ® Pop, Crunchkins™ and Bazooka® bubble gum.
In India, Topps produces & distributes the major Cricket, WWE & football league-licensed product under the Brand name Cricket Attax, Slam Attax & Match Attax. All the brands are a great hit amongst our TG and provide other brands an alliance opportunity to increase their product sales & movement.
Topps India has its own established distribution network which leads to fast product placement across the nation & across all channels. Our products are available at over 50,000 stores & additionally over all major e-Commerce platforms.

2. How big is the trading cards business globally and in India?

-Its evolving & has good potential to grow! The challenge & opportunity is our consumer base is always new & moving.

3. What has been the major licensing success for Topps in India?
-All our products and licenses have been a huge success amongst young TG & Collectors. Still to name IPL & WWE products launched under the brand name Cricket Attax & Match Attax have been very successful.

4. Can you shed some light on the product portfolio and if any particular SKU’s were launched only in the India market?

-Our product offering in India includes trading cards in the following sports & entertainment categories: IPL, WWE, STAR WARS, PREMIER LEAGUE, CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, MINIONS, DISNEY. Basic entry level SKU being a flow pack which usually starts from INR 15/20. All our SKUs are specially produced for India as per consumer demand. Sales of Single Flow pack at INR 15/20 is a very successful India market format. Along with it we have Multi Packs at 99, Carry box with 50 packets at INR 999. Some special SKUs like school tin for cricket, tumbler pack for WWE with official Mugs and then football pack with an exclusive Match Attax football in MA packs

5. How big is the fan base for your product and how have you been able to reach out to them?

-We reach out to over 1 million consumers in India. The base has been developed over a period of time with constant marketing efforts and establishment of a well-spread distribution network.

6. What would you say is the competitive advantage of Topps in India?

-Topps has exclusive trading Cards & sticker production rights for most of the successful licences in the world. Under some licences like IPL Topps offers products exclusively to the young TG with no other comparable licensed product. Topps brand awareness as a leader in World Trading Card Games is immense and brand recall is strong amongst its TG. It’s a great fit for any brand trying to maximise their reach amongst the youth as our product is a collectible and supports repeat purchase of the partner brand. It’s a brand of great repute already accepted by the target audience & parents.

7. You didn’t have any experience in the brand licensing space prior to Pidilite. Was this a boon or a bane? Please share some interesting anecdotes.

-Yes & No both , prior to Pidilite I was with Parker pens , I identified brand strengths, initiated & successfully established the Licensing / Enterprise business.
I believe any licencing opportunity should be seen in terms of VALUE than revenue to maximize business potential.

PEI Sews Up Shelli Segal Dresses

NMNY Group will further extend the Laundry by Shelli Segal brand with a new collection of dresses.

NORTH AMERICA–Perry Ellis International has partnered with NMNY Group to create a line of day and social occasion dresses under the Laundry by Shelli Segal and Laundry by Design brands in the U.S. and Canada.

The deal also builds on the brand’s current licensing program, which includes categories such as outerwear, fashion accessories, intimates, fragrance and home décor, among others.

“Our company looks forward to working closely with Marty, and his experienced NMNY Group, to expand the Laundry by Shelli Segal dress business,” says Oscar Feldenkreis, chief executive officer and president, PEI. “we believe this collaboration will enhance our larger efforts to grow this powerful brand across categories, channels and markets.”

NMNY will begin selling its Laundry by Shelli Segal and Laundry by Design dresses in November at department and specialty stores throughout the U.S. and Canada.

“We are very enthusiastic about the addition of Laundry by Shelli Segal to our portfolio of brands,” says Martin Schlossberg, chairman, NMNY Group. “This iconic brand has been a proven performer over many years and we are proud to support this heritage and the brand’s commitment to feminine, trend right styles for the modern woman.”

Marvel’s Black Panther Inspires Lexus

Black Panther will launch in U.S. theaters next February.

NORTH AMERICA–Marvel Studios has teamed up with Lexus for a 2018 LC Inspiration Series car based on the Black Panther.

Dubbed the Black Panther Inspired LC, the new vehicle will feature an exclusive structural blue color, pulsating underbody glow, a side-view mirror design based on a panther’s claw; Black Panther mask inlay on the hood; customized body-widening kit; and other additional (mythical) vibranium-infused elements. Vibranium is the mythical ore only found on Black Panther’s home of Wakanda.

The Black Panther-inspired LC will not be available for purchase; however, the vehicle will help promote Lexus’ 2018 LC Inspiration Series, which is the first in a succession of Inspiration Series vehicles the company plans to create for each of its flagship models.

Black Panther will launch in U.S. theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.

U.S. Holiday Spending Trends Upward

Total spending for the holiday season is expected to top between $678.75 billion and $682 billion.

NORTH AMERICA–As the holiday season begins to rev up, the National Retail Federation reports that consumers will spend an average of $967.13 this year, up 3.4 percent from the $935.58 consumers said they would spend last year.

The findings are part of the annual holiday spending survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for the NRF.

Furthermore, total spending for holiday retail sales in November and December are expected to top between $678.75 billion and $682 billion, up 3.6 percent and 4 percent, respectively, from last year’s $655.8 billion. This year’s forecast would also meet or exceed last year’s growth of 3.6 percent and the five-year average of 3.5 percent.

Holiday spending is segmented into three main categories–gifts at $608.06; products such as food, decorations, flowers and cards at $218.08; and other non-gift items consumers buy for themselves and their families at $140.99.

For the 11th year in a row, gift cards are the most popular items among consumers (requested by 61 percent of those surveyed), followed by clothing and accessories (55 percent); books, music or movies (39 percent); consumer electronics (33 percent); home décor (24 percent); jewelry (23 percent); personal care or beauty items (21 percent); sporting goods (20 percent); and home improvement items (18 percent).

When it comes to actually making a purchase, most consumers (59 percent) said they would shop online. The survey also found that 57 percent will shop at a department store, 54 percent at a discount store, 46 percent at a grocery store/supermarket and 35 percent at a clothing or accessories store. In addition, 27 percent plan to visit an electronics store, 25 percent a small or local business and 18 percent will go to a crafts store.

Furthermore, most consumers will wait until at least November to begin shopping. However, 22 percent of consumers started, or were planning to start, in October, while 19 percent started in September or earlier. Of these early shoppers, 65 percent say they are trying to spread out their budgets while 49 percent do not want the stress of last-minute shopping and 49 percent want to avoid crowds.

Additionally, the survey also found that 27 percent of consumer says their spending will be impacted by concerns about the nation’s economy, down from 32 percent from last year’s election.

“While many consumers are holding off until November or later to start their holiday shopping, retailers should be prepared for high traffic online and in stores come Thanksgiving weekend as customers start tackling their lists,” says Pam Goodfellow, principal analyst, Prosper Insights. “Although sales will remain an important factor for most consumers, many will lean on convenient locations and easy-to-use websites or mobile apps along with free shipping to complete their purchases.”