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Looking Back: Year in Review

Somehow there are only a handful of days left in 2022. But before the year ends, take a look at the year that was in licensing with the most-read stories from each month.

Barbara Smith

December 8, 2022

7 Min Read
Crayola crayons.
Crayola crayons.Crayola

At a Glance

  • The biggest stories from 2022, categorized by month.

January

UGG Lands on ‘Sesame Street’

Lifestyle brand, UGG, announced a collaboration with Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind “Sesame Street.” A collection just for the little ones features Big Bird, Elmo and Cookie Monster.

Constellation Brands to Launch Fresca Spirit-Based Beverages

The Coca-Cola Company has signed a brand authorization agreement with Constellation Brands to launch Fresca Mixed, a line of spirit-based, ready-to-drink cocktails in the U.S.  The grapefruit citrus-flavored soft drink is frequently used as a cocktail mixer.

KLab Acquires Rights for ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’ Online Mobile Game

Expanding from the original territories of Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, KLab  acquired worldwide distribution rights, excluding Japan, for a mobile online game based on “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.”

February

Jim Henson Company Names VP of Global Distribution

Kerry Novick joined The Jim Henson Company as vice president of global distribution, overseeing sales and distribution of the company’s library of classic titles and new properties. She also handles opportunities and potential partnerships regarding co-production and co-financing of film and television projects.

Early Ticket Buyers for ‘The Batman’ at AMC Receive ‘The Batman’ NFT

AMC Theatres announced all guests who purchased or reserved an advance ticket by Feb. 14 for a showing of the DC and Warner Bros. “The Batman,” could scan their ticket and receive a limited-edition “The Batman” NFT.

Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen Launch Lilly Pulitzer Collection

Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Teen announced new collections with Lilly Pulitzer. The Lilly Pulitzer x Pottery Barn Kids and Lilly Pulitzer x Pottery Barn Teen collections introduced new product categories including décor, textiles, sleepwear, backpacks and water bottles in Lilly Pulitzer’s signature prints.

March

SEGA Gets HYPE

SEGA and U.K. lifestyle brand, HYPE., launched a line of clothing and accessories celebrating SEGA’s “Sonic the Hedgehog.” The 30-piece adult and childrenswear range celebrates the traditional “Sonic the Hedgehog” color palette, with a monochrome theme and neon accents, fusing HYPE.’s signature contemporary silhouette shapes with Sonic’s Japanese-inspired roots.

CupOfTherapy to Make Mental Health Visible at Target with Jerry Leigh

For Mental Health Awareness Month in May, Finnish mental health brand, CupOfTherapy, appointed manufacturer, Jerry Leigh, as their official apparel partner in the U.S.Released in Target stores, Jerry Leigh developed an apparel line consisting of designs aimed at juniors and ladies, featuring CupOfTherapy’s messages of positivity driven through their animal illustrations.

Denuo Novo Releases ‘Star Wars’ Luke Skywalker Helmet

Denuo released a “Star Wars” Luke Skywalker Red-5 Rebel Pilot X-wing helmet. The helmet costume accessory includes details recreated from 3D scans, measurements and references taken from original screen-used production assets.

April

Mattel Unveils Sustainable Toys

Mattel expanded its sustainable product offering with the debut of new products from its MEGA and Matchbox brands. The expanded offerings include Barbie Loves the Ocean, a fashion doll line made from recycled ocean-bound plastic; Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack and Fisher-Price Baby’s First Blocks, made from bio-based plastics; UNO Nothin’ But Paper, the first fully recyclable UNO deck without cellophane packing materials and three previously released MEGA Bloks sets made from bio-based plastics.

Bavaria Sonor Licensing Inks Deal with dm Store

Bavaria Sonor Licensing signed a new license agreement for its “Janosch” brand, “Nature pants,” with characters such as Little Tiger, Little Bear and Tiger Duck. The pants in the “Janosch” design are available in three sizes and printed with different motifs. The line is also entirely carbon neutral.

Creative Artists Agency Acquires Full Ownership of CAA-GBG Global Brand Management Group

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) acquired full ownership of the business of Global Brand Management Group (CAA-GBG). Prior to the transaction, the management group operated through a joint venture formed in 2016 between CAA and Global Brands Group (GBG).

May

Licensing Expo Returns to Las Vegas

After three years, Licensing Expo was back in full swing May 23-25 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Keynotes included Pam Kaufman, president and chief executive officer, international markets, global consumer products and experiences, Paramount, and Gary Vaynerchuk, chairman, VaynerX, chief executive officer, VaynerMedia and creator and chief executive officer, VeeFriends.

Crayola: Unleashing Creativity

The world’s most trusted back-to-school brand took over our May issue to show it is much more than the crayons that bear its name. It’s a cultural institution that is as “creatively alive” as its mission proclaims, and as relevant today as it was more than 100 years ago.

adidas, Gucci Join Forces

adidas x Gucci merged the emblems of the design house with those of the sportswear brand. The collection expanded on the sartorial streetwear creations that debuted on the runway in March with a spectrum of sport-inspired pieces, distinguished by the same kaleidoscopic aesthetics of the show.

June

Funko Releases Digital POP! Packs for My Little Pony

Funko announced a collection of NFTs based on Hasbro’s My Little Pony characters including Pinkie Pie, Princess Luna and Rainbow Dash, among others. Each pack of Digital Pop! gives collectors the chance to reveal one of the rare Funko Digital Pop! when opened, which could be redeemed for a free, limited-edition, physical vinyl collectible.

Miffy Pops Up at Westfield London

A Miffy food pop-up launched at Westfield White City. Ichiba decked out its dining and retail space with Miffy’s familiar form, including window vinyls, brightly colored point-of-sale and backdrops– plus a giant Miffy lamp. There were Miffy-inspired treats and lattes.

July

‘Friends’ Fan Week Debuts

For International Friendship Day on July 30, Warner Bros. Discovery held “Friends” Fan Week, a weeklong celebration of friendship inspired by the “Friends” TV show.

ZAG Appoints Head of Consumer Products for Europe

ZAG announced the appointment of Luca Bonecchi to the position of consumer products head, Europe (excluding Germany and France).Bonecchi spearheads the licensing and new business development efforts in the region for ZAG’s portfolio of “ZAG Heroez” brands.

Bandai Namco Toys, Collectibles America Debut ‘Stranger Things’ Figures

Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America released two “Stranger Things” collectible figures and an Amazon 4-pack deal that featured season 4 villain, Vecna.

August

Fisher-Price Unveils Line of ‘Ted Lasso’ Toys

Fisher-Price and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, introduced the “Ted Lasso:” Little People collector set, celebrating Ted Lasso and the AFC Richmond gang.

Bored of Directors Signs Master Apparel Licensee

Bored of Directors, the collective of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, kicked off its U.S. licensing program with Bioworld Merchandising.

Steve Aoki: From Making Merch to Mastering the Metaverse

License Global spoke to Steve Aoki, the Grammy-nominated DJ, about how he diversified his label, Dim Make, as an events company and lifestyle brand, and reeledin collaborations with companies like “Dragon Ball Z,” Hasbro, Paramount Pictures, Diamond Supply and beyond.

September

Hasbro Licensed Consumer Products Showcases Diverse Lineup of New Fashion Collaborations at BLE

Hasbro highlighted a comprehensive licensing lineup of new fashion partnerships at Brand Licensing Europe (BLE). Brands including My Little Pony, “Peppa Pig,” “Transformers,” “Dungeons & Dragons” and more were on display.

Disney: 100 Years of Wonder 

License Global sat down with The Walt Disney Company to discuss how its 100-year celebrations will mark a new phase of milestone moments across 2022, 2023 and beyond.

Inside Barbie’s World

Richard Dickson, president and chief operating o­fficer, Mattel, shared the global impact of the Barbie brand before his BLE keynote.

October

Marvel Design Collection App Launches on Shopify

Marvel announced the launch of the Marvel Design Collection app on Shopify, powered by Mad Engine Global, which manufactures and distributes the licensed products. 

JoJo Siwa’s XOMG POP! Gets First Wave of Major Licensing Deals

JoJo Siwa and her mother, entrepreneur and business partner, Jessalynn Siwa, announced a series of new licensing deals and consumer product partnerships for their all-girl group, XOMG POP!, brokered in conjunction with Thomas Global Media. Categories for the deals include accessories, sleepwear, arts and crafts, beauty, costumes and toys.

November

Batman: Live in Concert!

CG Entertainment, in conjunction with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment, have announced “The Batman” will be the first in a new “DC In Concert” Series presented by MGP Live. Combining the feature film with a live symphony performing the score, the tour will stop in Europe and the U.S.

Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit Held in NYC

Brand and Licensing Innovation Summit was held in New York City at Convene New York on Nov. 8-9. Topics discussed included NFTs and the metaverse, supply chain challenges and retail disruption and more at the two-day event.

Umbro Brazil Launches Collection with Panini

Umbro and Panini have come together to present a collaboration aimed at fans of the stickers, football lovers and collectors of exclusive pieces of clothing and accessories that combine the love of football and the traditions of both brands.

December

MGA: In With the New

MGA Entertainment talks about its release of Miniverse Make It Minis Food this month at retail (see pg. 63 for more).

Universal: Universally Unified

On the heels of the opening of UNIVRS, Universal Products & Experiences, led by Vince Klaseus, combines the company’s commercial consumer products and retail business, leveraging its vast IP (read the full story on pg. 19).

About the Author(s)

Barbara Smith

Digital Editor , License Global

Barbara Smith is a Digital Editor for License Global. Based in the U.S., while Barbara's remit is general news coverage, she enjoys focusing on apparel, travel and social media throughout North America. Barbara loves all things fashion, fitness and food!

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