Suffice say, 2020 has been a year to remember. License Global takes a look back at the biggest news in licensing during this unique time, broken down by month. This overview covers the most clicked licensing stories in 2020, highlighting the biggest changes this year had to offer and what trends and deals will expand for years to come.
January: TikTok Influencers Sign with UTA
Social media influencers Charli and Dixie D’Amelio signed a licensing deal with UTA. The deal would see the sisters represented n more digital content, podcasts, live touring, books and TV and licensing endorsements. Their parents, Heidi and Marc, signed with the agency as well.
February: Mr. Men Little Miss Nab McDonald’s Deal
Mr. Men Little Miss worked with McDonald’s for a Happy Meal promotion across the U.K. and Ireland. The Happy Meal Box included a reusable character cup featuring characters Mr. Tickle, Little Miss Sunshine and Mr. Bump.
American Dream, the shopping experience in East Rutherford, New Jersey, was announced as the home to the world’s first and only DreamWorks Animation Water Park. The park’s opening was delayed from March to October.
April: Licensing Helps Combat COVID-19
As COVID impacted the world, several companies pivoted from its usual production to lend its help to those in need.
- Mattel created and donated emergency masks using Barbie and Fisher-Price fabric in addition to donating toys and art supplies to children in need.
- Trevco introduced MaskClub, a subscription-based mask service. Masks include licensed brands and characters. For every mask purchased, the company donates a medical grade mask to the First Responders Children’s Foundation.
- Hasbro launched the Hasbro Cares initiative, which included donations of toys and games, face shield and mask creation and donation and charity work for non-profits like Save the Children and more.
Carole Baskin of the Netflix series “Tiger King” released licensed product with Represent. The deal, consisting of a limited-run Big Cat Rescue t-shirt bearing Baskin’s viral catch phrase, “Hey, you cool cats and kittens,” was brokered by Buchwald, with proceeds benefiting Big Cat Rescue.
As school reopening efforts progressed during the summer, Crayola and SchoolMaskPack introduced Monday-through-Friday reus-able cloth face masks, with some of the proceeds going to #KidsHelpingKids, a charity that aids those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Country music star Luke Combs teamed with Crocs for the Bootlegger slides. The shoes come with Bootlegger-themed Jibbitz charms, including a real guitar pick and holder.
Japanese singer/songwriter Kenshi Yonezu took the virtual main stage for a digital concert in “Fortnite.” Yonezu’s online concert saw him join other musical acts who performed in the game, such as Major Lazer and Travis Scott.
September: Jazwares Debuts First ‘CoComelon’ Toy Line
Moonbug and Jazwares teamed up to create a line of toys inspired by the animated video series “CoComelon.” The line from Jazwares spanned several categories including plush, vehicles, figurines and roleplay.
As one of the inadvertent pioneers of music merchandise licensing, Wood shared how he and the group currently steer each aspect of their sophisticated, fan-driven consumer products offerings and more on “The Licensing Mixtape.”
November: Casetify Releases More Pokémon Gear
Casetify and Pokémon’s second collection, under the “Past, Present, and Future” theme, features accessories, including new case styles and returning favorites.
December: Kraft Heinz Gets Delicious Partnerships
The Kraft Heinz Company, together with its exclusive licensing agency Brand Central, expanded into new merchandise categories as it scales its consumer products program.