Brand Licensing Europe has announced six finalists for this year’s License This! competition following a record number of entries and an intense judging day last Friday in London.

License Global

September 25, 2018

4 Min Read

Brand Licensing Europe has announced six finalists for this year’s License This! competition following a record number of entries and an intense judging day last Friday in London.

For the first time in the competition’s 10-year history, there are two award categories: Character & Animation and Brand & Design. The final round of the competition will take place in the Brands & Lifestyle Theatre at BLE at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11. All are welcome to attend. 

There are three finalists in the Character & Animation category:

Gail Grisham

Gail Grisham is a vintage doll that posts regularly on social media about family life. Her unique observational comedy truths are relatable, particularly to mothers, and are laugh-out-loud funny.


Oddcats is a preschool property from Zara Picken, about a mob of mischievous creatures with a taste for adventure and socks. Cute, colorful, a little bit quirky and with a distinct stitch design, the Oddcats borrow odd socks to help them along their globetrotting travels.

The Real Monster Show

Hailing from Argentina, the Real Monster Show is a world full of colorful monsters. The show appeals to a target audience of 6 to 11-year-olds and offers an anti-bullying and pro-diversity message. The show has the potential to become a television series and more. 

There are an additional three finalists in the Brand & Design award category:


Animals from Sarah Burman is a range of colorful, characterful quirky animal designs with a unique patchwork texture, strong colors and a hint of retro.


Adorable blue smudges that came into the world by accident, Blubz are funny, heartwarming blobs of fun illustrating great copy from Drew Bristow.


Vintage-inspired imagery with a contemporary twist, timeless and unattached to temporary trends, Pabuku’s designs are high-end and refreshingly unique.

This year’s two License This! winners will receive a free exhibition stand at BLE 2019, one year of LIMA membership and PR support and advice from a panel of industry experts. For the first time, all finalists will receive legal consultation from competition sponsor Wynne-Jones. Previous entrants, both winners and finalists, have also signed lucrative agent and licensing deals off the back of the competition. 

“This year, we had the most entries we’ve ever had for License This!, which is a testament to the growing appeal and importance of the competition,” says Kelvyn Gardner, managing director, LIMA U.K. and chair, License This! “Such is the depth and breadth of entries we have received over the years, this year we have introduced two award categories. We were especially impressed by the diversity of the 2018 submissions and the clear depth of thought that the entrants had put into their applications. We’re sure our shortlist will provide a compelling spectacle for the final at BLE next month.”

“The ethos behind License This! is to support the growth of the licensing industry by attracting, supporting and engaging new blood as well as promoting it as a potentially lucrative sector to do business in,” says Laura Freedman-Dagg, brand manager, BLE. “This year’s judges have done an amazing job of spreading the word, which resulted in a record number of entries; and then whittling that big list down to just six finalists, so a huge thank you to all of them. We know there’s a lot of love in the industry for the competition, and we hope that even more people will get behind it next year.”

The 2018 License This! judges are:

Chair: Kelvyn Gardner – LIMA U.K.

Cross Category judge: Christina Schiavone – Wynne-Jones

Character & Animation judges

  • Dan Grant – Danilo Promotions

  • Nikki Samuels – Sambro

  • Clare Piggott – Larkshead Media

  • Julia Redman – M&Co

  • Steve Manners – CPLG

Brand & Design judges

  • Stuart Cox – I Like Birds

  • Will Stewart – The Point.1888

  • Vicki Thomas – Vicki Thomas Associates

  • Sarah Lawrence – This is Iris

  • Jehane Boden Spiers – Jehane Ltd.

BLE is the definitive event for the licensing industry in Europe, taking place Oct. 9-11 at Olympia London. Over 7,500 retailers, licensees and marketers are expected to attend, over one-third of whom will travel to London from overseas.

For more information and to register for BLE click here. 

About the Author(s)

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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