Everything is coming up “blue” for The Smurfs, who return to the Brand Licensing Europe event next week.

License Global

November 11, 2021

3 Min Read

Everyone’s favorite blue characters, The Smurfs, are back at Brand Licensing Europe, taking place Nov. 17-19 in London, and showcasing a host of new opportunities.  

IMPS has represented the property around the globe since 1984 and taken The Smurfs into multiple categories including publishing, theme parks, family entertainment centers, live shows, videogames and music, as well as brokered retail and co-branded promotions, broadcasting and so much more. The efforts have secured The Smurfs a place in entertainment history.  

License Global caught up with Fabienne Gilles, head of consumer products and business development, IMPS – The Smurfs, for a chat around the latest with the brand. You can also find a longer conversation with Gilles in the November issue of License Global.  

License Global: What are your goals for this year’s Brand Licensing Europe?  

Fabienne Gilles: We can’t wait to be in London and reconnect in person with our friends and licensing partners! 

We are so proud of the new “The Smurfs” TV series and the global visibility it is getting thanks to our broadcast partners such as Nickelodeon, TF1, KiKA , Milkshake and Netflix. This is very exciting for us, and Brand Licensing Europe will be a great opportunity to “smurf” the wave and initiate new collaborations.  

As ambassadors, we also want to promote the sustainable development goals of the United Nations and help our partners and the industry to engage and take concrete actions to preserve our blue planet. And of course, we are ready to celebrate and bring some Smurf fun! 


What do you look for in a licensing partner?  

Matching values are very important for good and long-term, win-win partnerships, but we are also keen to explore territories where we are not expected such as fashion, which is what we did with The Smurfs x Supreme collaboration. 

Good products and powerful marketing are very important, “smurf-stainability” is a priority and out-of-the-box ideas are the most exciting! 

What changes have you seen in the industry?  

More and more brands are putting a priority on sustainability, and this is something we really want to encourage and accelerate with our partners. Also, with the pandemic, virtual and online have become bigger than ever. Gaming, AR, VR, the metaverse … it all brings many new ways to connect with fans, advertise brands and reach consumers. 

Why are events like BLE so important?  

It is so important for the industry to come together – it creates a lot of powerful energy! It is a unique opportunity to showcase our brand, discover novelties and create new contacts. And of course, we love to meet our partners in person, initiate new plans with them and share good moments. 

What are some of your recent product collaborations and how did they come about?  

With our partner Jazwares, we have a powerful new master toy deal in place to celebrate the arrival of the TV series. And you can expect many great Smurfs products and some unexpected collabs in the months and years to come in every category. The digital Smurfs offer is also growing fast, and many projects are already on their way with great partners such as Pop Reach, Microids, The Sandbox, Bare Tree Media and Azerion. The future looks bright and blue. 

Find IMPS at Brand Licensing Europe. Register for the event for free here.  


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License Global

License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.

Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.

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