Meet the 2019 Influentials: The Disruptors in License Global’s December Issue

Every year our content partner in the US, License Global comes out with something special to cap the year before jumping head first into the happy holidays. This year is NO exception.

The latest edition of License Global Magazine, pays special tribute to those who have shaken up brand licensing with their annual report, The Influentials. This year, they honour those who have taken the road less traveled or made bold choices that have left a lasting impact on the business of brand licensing. The issue also features must-read insights on the 90-year history of Betty Boop, the rapid global expansion of Line Friends and a look back at the top retail activations of the year.

Click here to read more


Merchantwise to rep ‘MINECRAFT’ in OZ

Australia’s Merchantwise Licensing has been tapped as the licensing agency for the “Minecraft” video game covering Australia and New Zealand.

Merchantwise will develop retail events and forge licensing and merchandising partnerships to stimulate engagement among the “Minecraft” community in the region. This marks the first time “Minecraft” has had local representation in Australia and New Zealand.

The agency appointment comes ahead of two major “Minecraft” game launches: “Minecraft Earth,” an augmented reality mobile game, and “Minecraft Dungeons,” a multiplayer dungeon-crawler style action game for gaming consoles and PCs.

“We are honored to be working with Microsoft and Mojang on this unique and exciting brand, which both entertains and promotes positive values,” says Alan Schauder, managing director, Merchantwise. “Celebrating its 10th birthday in 2019, ‘Minecraft’ is more popular than ever, with new games, film and TV entertainment all planned over the next few years. Above all, ‘Minecraft’ is a brand that parents and educators love because it encourages creativity, problem-solving, collaboration and other life skills.”


Adidas scores shoppable ‘Snapchat’ game

Adidas has partnered with AvatarLabs and Dick’s Sporting Goods to create an 8-bit “Snapchat” baseball title that unlocks access to purchase a pair of cleats in-game.

Called “Baseball’s Next Level,” the game is an old-school home run derby game that lets players swing away as some of Adidas’ MLB signed athletes. Playable characters include Aaron Judge (Yankees), Carlos Correa (Astros), Alex Bregman (Astros), Justin Turner (Dodgers) and Kiké Hernandez (Dodgers). According to Engadget, each of the athletes in the game have their own Adizero or Icon V cleats, which can be bought directly from the competition.

The Adidas partnership marks the first time “Snapchat” has sold real-life products inside a game. While the game is not considered a Snap Games title, such as the new “Subway Surfers” game from Sybo, Adidas has previously worked closely with “Snapchat” to create AR-based shopping experiences for its apparel and accessories. The AR experience lets users digitally try on the Adidas Ultraboost shoes directly in the “Snapchat” app.


Casio celebrates anniversary with Pokemon

To celebrate the 25thanniversary of the first women’s BABY-G shock-resistant watch, Casio has collaborated with The Pokémon Company – in particular Pokémon 025 in the Pokédex, Pikachu – to design a milestone watch.

Encapsulating 1996’s style, the BABY-G watch brings a polygon-style Pikachu, lightening marks and Poké Balls together for a bright new product for both kids and the original players of Pokémon Red and Blue.

Dubbed the BGD560PKC-1, the new brand licensing collaboration from Casio and Pokémon launches in November at select fashion boutiques, online at and at Macy’s.


Ed Hardy, Revlon extend personal care line

Iconix Brand Group has extended its licensing agreement with Revlon for the Ed Hardy brand in the fragrance and personal care categories for an additional four years.

Revlon will continue to partner with Ed Hardy to create items including deodorant, hair care products, body lotion, body wash and aftershave. It will extend Revlon’s collection, which currently offers nine Ed Hardy fragrances and two upcoming new unisex fragrances scheduled for a fall 2020 launch.

The deal follows Iconix’s partnership with Vanilla Star earlier this year, which saw the launch of Ed Hardy-branded apparel in the U.S. and Canada.


Disney, M&S partner for ‘Frozen 2’ holiday line

U.K. clothing and homewares retailer Marks & Spencer has partnered with Disney for a holiday collection based on the upcoming film “Frozen 2.”

The line will debut in “Frozen 2” store sections across M&S brick-and-mortar shops and online. Sections will include kidswear costumes, pajamas, advent calendars and soft toys. The collection will also see selfie stations appear at 54 of the largest M&S shops. Each station will offer fans the chance to take special festive pictures of Elsa or Anna from the film.

“Growing M&S kidswear is an important focus at M&S as we work to appeal to family-aged customers,” says Nathan Ansell, director of clothing and home marketing, M&S. “’Frozen 2′ is a highly-anticipated film and when the trailer landed it was record-breaking so we know lots of our customers will be excited to visit our special ‘Frozen 2’ shops and check out our exclusive product.

As part of the collaboration, M&S will also be joining Disney in supporting the U.K. charity Together for Short Lives. The charity aims to support more than 49,000 seriously ill children and their families in the U.K. to receive the necessary financial, medical and emotional support. This holiday season, M&S will show its support for the charity’s work by selling an exclusive tote bag starting later this month.

“Frozen 2” opens in the U.K. Nov. 22. The film will arrive with a slate of licensing deals including some that were announced as part of an influencer event.


LEGO punches it with Jaguar set

A new LEGO Speed Champions set has been announced during the unveiling of the new Jaguar I-TYPE 4.

Panasonic Jaguar Racing has revealed the new electric race car for season six of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship during a launch event at Jaguar’s brand-new design studio in Gaydon, Warwickshire, U.K..

The miniature replicas are eight studs wide rather than usual six stud wide format that has been used in the Speed Champions theme so far

Six Speed Champions sets were also launched earlier this year:

  • 75895 1974 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0;
  • 75890 Ferrari F40 Competizione;
  • 75891 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Race Car;
  • 75892 LEGO Speed Champions McLaren Senna;
  • 75893 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and 1970 Dodge Charger R/T and
  • 75894 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally and 2018 MINI John Cooper Works Buggy.

“The start of a new season is an exciting time for the team,” says James Barclay, director, Panasonic Jaguar Racing Team. “After months of hard work we are excited to show the world the new Jaguar I-TYPE 4. We have applied all of our experience in Formula E to date and our latest innovations into the new racecar and the development team have created what we believe will be our most competitive Formula E car to date,” “We’ve learned how to win as a team and we are hungry for more in season six. We can’t wait to get racing!”

LEGO Speed Champions 76898 Formula E Panasonic Jaguar Racing GEN 2 car & Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will be released on January 1, 2020.


‘Peppa Pig’ Master Toy Licensee buys Wicked Cool Toys

Jazwares, a member of the Alleghany Capital Corporation, has acquired Wicked Cool Toys, the toy licensee behind brands such as Hasbro’s Micro Machines and Pokémon.

Jazwares has found success with master toy licensee deals for Entertainment One’s “Peppa Pig” and the upcoming Sony Pictures property “VIVO.” Together, WCT will join Jazwares as a division of the Company and stay in its current headquarters of Bristol, Penn.

“Led by Michael Rinzler, Jeremy Padawer and Thomas Poon, WCT has built an impressive reputation in the industry for spotting on-trend licenses, reinvigorating nostalgic brands, and collaborating with inventors to develop new products,” says Judd Zebersky, chief executive officer and president, Jazwares. “We are thrilled to partner with WCT and its talented employees, leveraging the Company’s offices in Pennsylvania, California, and Hong Kong. WCT will operate as a division of Jazwares and day-to-day operations will not be impacted by this transaction.”

For WCT, the decision to partner with Jazwares and Alleghany Capital was driven by the long-term investment strategy offered to it under its new parent company. Michael Rinzler, co-president and founding partner, WCT, also believes Jazwares makes for a cultural fit.

“We are excited to join Jazwares and the Alleghany Capital family of companies,” adds Michael Rinzler, co-president and founding partner, WCT. “Jazwares is a perfect strategic and cultural fit for WCT, driven by the vision and leadership of Judd and Laura Zebersky. “In addition, we believe that Alleghany Capital’s long-term investment horizon and strategy of supporting entrepreneurial companies such as Jazwares and WCT will accelerate our combined growth potential.”


Beanstalk reps Gandhi

On Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, we thought it appropriate to re-share this post from July 2016.


The Estate of Mahatma Gandhi has appointed Beanstalk to represent the late political leader for advertising, media campaigns and long-term brand associations.

“As one of the most revered leaders in history, Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy of non-violent resistance inspired civil rights leaders throughout the world,” says Allison Ames, president and chief executive officer, Beanstalk. “We are honored to work with Arun Gandhi and represent his grandfather’s legacy.”

Gandhi is considered one of the greatest spiritual and political leaders of all time. By practicing non-violent civil disobedience, he led the Indian independence movement that gained the country freedom from British rule.


BLE 2019: A new era of Brand Licensing in Europe

Brand Licensing Europe is the gateway to more than 7,800 manufactures and retailers, 260 leading brand owners, as well as a long line of licensees and visitors to the European market. Debuting at ExCeL London this year, BLE 2019 marks a new era for the 360-degree licensing experience, bringing hundreds of exhibitors together on one floor and offering more to the licensing community than ever before. License Global takes a look at the additional draws to BLE, which takes place Oct. 1-3.

AAA Activation: Gaming and Esports

It’s a universal truth that most AAA game titles inspire a world of licensed collaborations. But when you consider the adaptation of how games or developers engage their consumers, or how the rise of esports is well on its way to creating a $1 billion dollar industry in its own right, the sheer scale of video game brand licensing becomes clear.

Partnering with PowerStation Studios, the Character & Entertainment zone at BLE will play host to a vibrant, interactive gaming and esports activation, reflecting the growing power of the video game market. The activation will offer illustrative murals, graphic timelines with hidden AR triggers for extra Easter eggs and tons of interactive content to showcase the latest licensing initiatives in gaming. For those looking to stay in the loop, Day 3 even offers a keynote insight into esports trends.

Going Beyond the Book: Publishing

The publishing industry often encompasses the biggest licensing properties known to consumers. From picking up your own live illustrations from Adam Hargreaves, illustrator and author of titles in the Mr. Men Little Miss series, to attending a Q&A session with Terry Deary, author of the Horrible Histories book series, Beyond the Book brings together both established and up-and-coming authors, so you can experience the potential of the $18.3 billion publishing sector firsthand.

Homes with History: Heritage x Interiors

The heritage industry is changing. Its old, stuffy reputation has faded thanks to the incredible collaborations only centuries of expertise and art could create. As the Brands & Lifestyle zone grows, BLE’s first Heritage x Interiors area has been created to reflect the trendy new lifestyle options of heritage brands.

While we can’t give too much away before the grand opening, brands like the V&A, Natural History Museum, Style Library and the Van Gogh Museum have trendsetting reveals that will make BLE visitors want to start redecorating their home.

License Global Theatre: A New School of Thought

Join the collective industry think tank at the License Global Theatre, offering an extensive list of seminars, presentations, panels, demonstrations and keynotes daily.

Watch round-table discussions as the thought leaders of licensing weigh in on pressing topics, or change your perspective with expert-driven talks from all verticals, across all levels of business.

Covering everything from Heritage brands to esports, sustainability and retail, the License Global Theatre illustrates the modern landscape and future of brand licensing.

Enter the Sports Zone

This is BLE’s largest collection of governing sports bodies to date. The exclusive collection of champions–including world-famous teams Juventus, Arsenal, FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, to name a few–will be onsite to discuss game plans for 2020. Discuss the ideal brand collaborations with FIFA before hopping over the aisle to tackle Manchester City. With heavyweight brands in one venue, the sky is the limit.

New Retail Program

Attending retailers will enjoy show content designed especially for them. They are invited to start each day with an informal breakfast briefing pre-show, outlining retail-relevant highlights to look out for. The new Retail Trends Lounge will host sessions putting consumer behavior in the spotlight and offering insight into everything from e-commerce to experiential shopping. Daily tours of the Gaming & Esports Activation will also be available and retailers will have plenty of time between sessions to shop the floor for the latest brands available for license.

With more space, an expansive floor and both new and returning exhibitors, the debut of BLE at ExCeL London is an evolution of Europe’s biggest and best licensing tradeshow. With five more years confirmed at the venue, BLE will continue developing an amazing event experience.

To register to BLE for FREE, visit the Brand Licensing Europe website.

This article comes from the Sept./Oct. issue of License Global. Read the full issue online now!