Garfield licensor Paws held a “Garfield Licensing Summit” hosted by its licensing agent, Hong Kong-based Medialink at Xi Yuan Hotel in Beijing.
More than 100 guests and 30 media outlets attended the daylong event aimed at expanding the property's presence in China.
Paws unveiled a new look for Garfield created for the Asian market based on popular trends and colors, a departure from the classic look established for Garfield 30 years ago.
The company awarded Medialink Far East “Agent of the Year." Paws also recognized Paclantic, Sky Unicorn and Industrial Bank for their efforts to bring the brand to China’s consumers at retail. Kid’s apparel maker Paclantic has produced Garfield apparel since 1998 for 110 stores and corner-stores in China that carry the Garfield brand. Industrial Bank has issued over 2 million Garfield credit cards since 2005; and Sky Unicorn, a licensee since 1992, has developed a full line of plush dolls for the market.
Garfield merchandise can also be found in 300 Baleno stores, specializing in adult apparel; 36 6ixty 8ight stores carrying women’s lingerie and at Garfield Coffee Cafes operated by Jin Feng Cheng Xiang Food are in five locations in China.
New deals have been inked for direct-to-retail, promotions, house wares, plush, stationery, redemption programs, domestics, publishing and gift.
CCTV Channel 14 picked up “The Garfield Show” in February and Wuhan Jiang Toon Toys launched a new website based on the CGI animated show, now in production for its third season.
“We’ve turned over a new page for Garfield in China," says Medialink’s vice president Noletta Chiu. "There is great interest in this classic character who is known to entertain people of all ages. I believe Garfield will be a shining star in character licensing.”
“Our program in China is stronger than ever under the leadership of Noletta Chiu and the Medialink Far East team. In just one year our Garfield business has grown 20 percent," says Karen Blank, vice president, international for Paws.