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The Spice Girls Become Little Miss Characters
 
Mr. Men Little Miss has announced a deal with the Spice Girls to create four new books and a range or merchandise adding to their iconic character range; Little Miss Baby, Little Miss Ginger, Little Miss Scary and Little Miss Sporty.
 
Both Spice Girls and Mr. Men Little Miss fans will be able to pre-order the books and buy a range of merchandise thorough the Mr. Men Little Miss shop exclusively with roll out to retail later in the autumn.
 
Mr. Men Little Miss comment: Alastair McHarrie, licensing director of Sanrio Global Ltd, said: “We are over the moon to be partnering with the Spice Girls on this extra special collaboration. We will be working with the Spice Girls and our partners to develop a range of merchandise for launch later in the year. We’re predicting huge sales as the Spice Girls have an enormous following, not only in the UK but worldwide.  With a lack of merchandise in the past there is a huge opportunity to engage Spice Girls fans. Tickets for the first reunion tour sold out in 38 seconds, the demand speaks for itself.”
 
The Spice Girls comment: ‘We love our Mr. Men Little Miss character books; they bring to life our individual personalities that our fans know and love. We wanted to celebrate our tour by collaborating with another iconic British brand and who better than Mr. Men Little Miss!”
 
Adam Hargreaves comments: “I am very proud to be working on this project with the Spice Girls and it has been great fun creating Little Miss stories and caricatures of them all. It has taken Mr Men into a whole new world, Spiceland! This will be an exciting venture, although I don't think anyone is more excited than my daughter! She’s a fan from a long way back.”
 
 
Aurora World partners WHSmith for YooHoo promotion

Aurora World has announced a major partnership with UK retail group WHSmith to bring a refreshed and expanded line of YooHoo plush based on characters from the new 3D Netflix Original series YooHoo to the Rescue to WHSmith stores.
 
The launch began on 15 April with the arrival in 200 WHSmith high street stores across the UK of specially designed clip strips containing YooHoo keychains. The formal YooHoo plush launch of 14 five-inch plush characters will take place from 5 May, also in 200 high street stores. It will be supported by special YooHoo CDUs along with advertising in-store throughout May.
 
All POS/advertising material will use imagery from YooHoo to the Rescue, which arrived on the global Netflix platform on 15 March.
 
The launch forms part of a continuing promotional push for the new show and YooHoo licensed product. The YooHoo brand and increased brand exposure in global markets, along with the strong promotional effect of the new animated series, are expected to drive demand for the plush range in particular. YooHoo plush is already popular – sales since 2007 have exceeded 80 million – but the line has now been refreshed to reflect the themes and characters of the new series.
 

Metrostar Appointed for Elmer
 
Andersen Press has consolidated its licensing plans for Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, and following a launch into apparel lead by Claire Potter of Metrostar, have appointed the agency lead agent across all categories for the brand, which is celebrating 30 years this year.
 
Penguin Ventures, part of Penguin Random House UK (PRH), had been acting on behalf of the brand.  Following recent changes to the book sales arrangements between Andersen Press and PRH, Andersen and Ventures have agreed that it is no longer practical for Ventures to continue their representation of Elmer for licensing and consumer products.
 
Metrostar has a proven track record with the brand, successfully launching Elmer in apparel in the UK.
 
Metrostar will oversee all categories in the UK as well as being appointed as head agent managing and working alongside Andersen’s network of sub-agents across all categories globally.
 
 
Very Hungry Caterpillar Partners with JoJo Maman Bébé

Rocket Licensing, the licensing agent for Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar in the UK and Eire, has announced a major direct to retail (DTR) licensing agreement for the much-loved caterpillar with JoJo Maman Bébé, the UK's favourite boutique mother and baby brand.
 
The first-ever JoJo Maman Bébé The Very Hungry Caterpillar apparel range, aimed at children aged 0-6, is available in more than 90 JoJo Maman Bébé stores nationwide and online from the 1st of May. The range will also be sold in JoJo Maman Bébé’s US stores and online in the US from the 13th of May.
 
The collection will be merchandised in stores on a feature display alongside other popular The Very Hungry Caterpillar licensed products: Rainbow Design toys and Penguin books, with product by Paul Lamond Games displayed in the main range.
 

SPLiCE Celebrates 15 Years
 
The Society of Product Licensors Excellent (SPLiCE) celebrates 15 years of collaboration between brand licensors across the globe. With a common belief that we are “stronger together,” a community of licensors (which spans across a wide range of brands) has been able to share amongst each other best practices for protecting, promoting, and enhancing brand integrity.
 
With Founding Member companies The Coca-Cola Company, Mattel Inc., The Walt Disney Company, and Kimberly A. Kociencki, CEO, recognized a need in the industry to be able to provide brand licensing with the ability to better network with similar departments in different corporations. This was the motivation and founding spirit behind SPLiCE, established in 2004, and proudly remains the driving force today. What began that first year as a 17 company “think tank” has quickly evolved into a collaboration of 70+ organizations spanning across 40 industry sectors representing 20% of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. 89% of those responsible or accountable for their licensing programs are actively engaged in SPLiCE.

Kociencki, while reflecting on the organization’s 15th anniversary said, “This has been the busiest, most rewarding 15 years of my professional career. It’s amazing how quickly it’s flown by. The original vision stands today to continuously improve brand licensing. Each year, we are proactive in our approaches to protect, promote, and enhance our vision through sharing best practices. Our network of licensors is strong and growing on a daily basis. With that said, I’d love to take this opportunity to thank our community for their passion, input and collaboration to enhance brand integrity, and most importantly for those of you who have had faith in SPLiCE from the beginning.”
 
 
Smiley Going for Gold

The Smiley Company has entered into new deal with Shenzhen Gold100 Art Corporation, which will see them create a range of stylish jewellery and commemorative gold products in China and Hong Kong, in a deal advised by IP Innovation Partners. 
 
The line, which is set for launch later in 2019, will feature pendants, bracelets, necklaces, rings, broaches, 3D pendants and ornaments, commemorative coins, bars of gold and tableware, and will be distributed through banks, post offices, financial institutions and via co-branded partnerships.
 
 
Born Licensing and JoyPixels Celebrate Ad Campaigns
 
JoyPixels, owner of over 2,800 emoji icons, and agent Born Licensing are
celebrating the launch of a variety of advertising campaigns featuring their high quality emojis.
 
The campaigns have covered a broad range of categories including telecommunications, FMCG, financial services, reproductive health, child safety and retail.
 
The most recent campaign launch was with New Zealand telecommunications provider 2degrees who has incorporated JoyPixels emojis across their new major advertising push which includes TV, online, social media, outdoor, in-store and other platforms.
In February JoyPixels emojis helped celebrate The BAFTA awards with British mobile network operator EE who launched a chatbot featuring Shudu – the world’s first AI stylist. Shudu shared snaps live from the red carpet with viewers via an innovative new online chatbot.
 
British supermarket chain Morrison’s licensed JoyPixels emojis to celebrate World Book Day in March. The emoji designs were used to illustrate children’s book titles and the supporting copy encouraged their followers to guess them.
 
JoyPixels emojis were also used to send a clear message by Police of Scotland who aligned with child protection charity Stop It Now! in a campaign to protect children from online predators.
 
Other companies to license JoyPixels emojis in their advertising include Monzo Bank, restaurant app Just Eat and German supermarket chain Edeka.
 
 
Xilam Animation Greenlights Preschool Series Oggy Oggy,
 
French animation studio Xilam Animation is developing a new take on its iconic property Oggy and the Cockroaches with an original preschool comedy series, Oggy Oggy.
 
Marking Xilam’s first ever CGI animated series, the studio will start production next summer with two straight consecutive seasons (156 x 7’) and a global budget of 22 million USD. 
 
Over the next two years, a team of 150 people will be actively working on the production in Xilam studios, with the first season expected to launch late 2020 and the second season the following year
 
The show will follow the adventures of the titular character of Oggy and the Cockroaches in his youth - as an eager and enthusiastic kitten.
 
 
Downton Abbey Exhibition Set for Boston
 
NBCUniversal International Studios and Imagine Exhibitions today announced that Downton Abbey: The Exhibition is moving to Boston. Following its widely acclaimed residency in South Florida, the immersive experience celebrating the global hit series, will open in The Castle at Park Plaza on June 15.
 
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition offers a chance to step inside the world of Carnival Films’ multi-award-winning global television phenomenon and soon to be released feature film. Boston marks the third stop of the exhibition’s hugely popular US tour, which yesterday (April 22) completed a six-month stop in West Palm Beach; this followed it’s US debut in New York City where it was hailed by the New York Times as “a cleverly immersive experience mounted with the same exacting care as the show itself.”
 
 
Southpole x Tootsie Fashion Collab Unwrapped at MAGIC
 
Southpole unwrapped its Tootsie Roll Candy Brands fashion collaboration at the Las Vegas MAGIC Show to rave reviews. The Southpole x Tootsie Collab was instantly recognized by many US and international specialty retailers as fresh and relevant approach proving collaborations are the new cool thing to do in the world of fashion.
 
The Tootsie x Southpole line includes young men, junior and youth T-shirts, hoodies, jean jackets, vests, shorts and pants with eye-catching treatments like chenille patches, appliques and denim fabric combinations of the classic and iconic candy brands – Tootsie Roll, Tootsie Pop, DOTS, Sugar Daddy and BlowPop. Just as the well-known and beloved Tootsie candies are a part of our collective DNA, the colorful logos and wrappers were cleverly melded into each piece. 
 
Synchronicity, Tootsie Roll’s worldwide exclusive licensing agent, brokered the deal.
 
 
Emily Sprinkles Happy News on 2019
 
Emily Coxhead continues to spread joy and happiness through The Happy News, the inspirational brand based on a quarterly newspaper crammed full of optimistic and uplifting stories from around the world.
 
Figures show that one in four people will experience mental health issues in their lifetime and Emily has brought this to the forefront by demonstrating how being kind and thoughtful is where happiness starts. In September Emily rightfully earned herself a place on The Independent’s Happy List 2018, which highlights inspirational heroes who deserve to be celebrated for their kindness, courage and selflessness. She was more recently featured in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards’ Top 20 Most Exciting Young Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2019.

Also in April Emily started working with teenage magazine Shout (500,000+ circulation) on a regular column in which she will share her insight on staying positive, friendship, social media and other related matters. To celebrate International Kindness Day in November The Happy News (newspaper) will be featured as a covermount to the magazine.
 
The brand is now established on the high street with a successful greetings card range as well as extensive gift and stationery ranges from licensees Widdop & Co and Blueprint.  John Lewis continues to be a major partner for the brand, as is Boots with an eye-catching Happy News gondola currently in 80+ stores.
 
2019 will see extensions to both these ranges with a host of new exciting products. Also launching this spring is a range of super-cool confectionery from Crème D’Or including unicorn and star and jellies, chocolate neapolitans with fun and uplifting messages, marshmallow clouds and chocolate donuts.  Penny Kennedy will follow in the autumn with a range of beautiful gift wrap and bags featuring Emily’s unmistakable handwriting as well as introducing the new sassy leopard illustration.
 
Alicia Davenport, Licensing Director at DRi said, “It is a very exciting time for this inspiring property especially with the elevation of both Emily’s and The Happy News’ profiles. The Happy News brand established itself at retail during 2018 and with many new exciting product lines coming through 2019 certainly promises to be another exceptional year for this heart-warming and on-trend brand.”
                                                                                       
 
Asmodee Entertainment Announces Fiction Imprint
 
Asmodee Entertainment has announced the creation of their own fiction
imprint. Called Aconyte, it will be publishing novels based on many of Asmodee’s best
game properties. Aconyte are also actively pursuing licenses for third-party tie-in fiction,
with the first of these at the contract stage. Aconyte will start a monthly publication
schedule from early summer 2020, producing paperbacks and ebooks for the US, UK and
export trade.
 
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