Nuremberg Toy Fair 2019: Licenses Take Center Stage

Nuremberg Toy Fair, the largest toy fair in the world, celebrated its 70th year in style Jan. 30 through Feb. 3.

Busy and buzzy, Spielwarenmesse, as the fair is known globally, reflected the continued strength of licenses for toys, as well as toy intellectual property being licensed in other product categories and entertainment.

Evident throughout Spielwarenmesse were the major toyetic films headed to the big screen this year, such as LEGO’s expansive toy lines surrounding The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, which hits theaters Feb. 8.

Many toy exhibitors held licenses for Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 4, in theaters this June, and toy brand Playmobil was heavily promoting Playmobil: The Movie, scheduled for release in August. LEGO’s licensed toy lines continue to feature Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, “Minecraft” and Disney’s classic princesses, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse characters.

Some of the hottest licenses at this year’s fair involve classic properties. “Peppa Pig,” celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, once again proved to be a top global toy license, as well as the Pokémon and Harry Potter brands. “Paw Patrol” from Spin Master and Nickelodeon held its position as a top preschool license, and Avengers: Endgame, the next installment of The Avengers movie franchise due out in April, will help Hasbro’s toy line stay strong.

Jazwares’ licensed toy lines, which largely focus on video games, continued unabated with “Roblox” and “Fortnite,” a property that also has a strong showing with Funko’s collectible figures. Feisty Pets, a new property that won the “One to Watch” contest at Licensing Expo 2018, is the latest license for Jazwares, most likely thanks to the strength of “Feisty Pets” content on YouTube.

Both LEGO and Hasbro’s Nerf highlighted Blizzard Entertainment’s “Overwatch” video game franchise with significant toy introductions.

In all, Spielwarenmesse 2019 revealed that classic licensed properties continue to be strong sellers in the toy sector, while gaming and internet-based properties are gaining significant traction in the category.

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