Spielwarenmesse Postponed to Summer 2021


Spielwarenmesse, otherwise known as then Nuremberg International Toy Fair, has been postponed to 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event, which was originally scheduled to take place from Jan. 27-31, 2021, has been moved to the summer. Exhibitors were notified of the date shifts as of Sept. 29.

“Today, we regret to inform you that Spielwarenmesse 2021 will not take place in January,” organizers said in a release. “Instead, the fair will be held in summer 2021…. The significantly changed framework and the concern for the health of all involved parties mean that it will be difficult to hold Spielwarenmesse at the end of January with the quality you are used to. Developments in recent weeks have led to major concerns among exhibitors and visitors about taking part in an international fair – this uncertainty was also clear in discussions with the Spielwarenmesse team.”

Spielwarenmesse is in the process of finding a suitable date for the 2021 event and is currently in talks with NürnbergMesse to confirm.

“We very much regret the decision to postpone the Spielwarenmesse 2021,” says Ernst Kick, chief executive officer, Spielwarenmesse. “I’d like to thank everyone who joined us on this path, and I feel sure that the improvements we have made will benefit all future events and appearances.”

The new dates are set to be announced in the coming weeks.

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Kidz Bop, Chuck E. Cheese Unveil At-Home Halloween Party


Kidz Bop is kicking off Halloween season with a new album, Kidz Bop Halloween Party!, an at-home Halloween partnership with Chuck E. Cheese and an eight hour YouTube livestream hosted by the Kidz Bop Kids on Halloween day.

Kidz Bop and Chuck E. Cheese have teamed up to help families create the ultimate at-home Halloween party.

Available now through Oct. 31 at participating Chuck E. Cheese locations, all Chuck E. Cheese carry-out and delivery specials will include a Kidz Bop activity sheet and glow in the dark temporary tattoos. Throughout the promotion, families can visit KIDZBOP.com/Halloween to safely order carry-out or delivery, and enjoy Halloween entertainment from Chuck E. Cheese and the Kidz Bop Kids, including Kidz Bop music, videos and DIY at home party activities.

“With Halloween celebrations looking different this year, Kidz Bop wanted to provide fun ways for kids and families to still enjoy the Halloween holiday safely, right from their own homes,” says Sasha Junk, president, Kidz Bop.

Families can begin their celebrations at home by dancing and singing along to the newest Kidz Bop album featuring “Spooky Scary Skeletons,” “Monster Mash” and Kidz Bop’s newest original song, “Halloween Party!”

On October 31, the Kidz Bop Kids will host an 8-hour livestream on their YouTube Channel. The livestream will feature Kidz Bop’s Halloween music videos, dance-alongs and favorite Halloween moments from the Kidz Bop Kids.

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Viz Media Announces Broadcast Partners for ‘Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon’


Viz Media has announced that “Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon” is coming to Crunchyroll, Funimation and Hulu on Oct. 3. 

Crunchyroll is exhibiting at Festival of Licensing, a month-long large-scale digital gathering that unites the global licensing industry to connect, learn, strike deals and do business on an international stage. The event takes place Oct. 6-29. Register for free now!

The Inuyasha-inspired anime will be available for simulcast in North and Latin American territories subtitled, with the English dub to follow shortly after.

“We can’t wait for both Inuyasha and anime fans of all ages to discover the spirit of adventure and friendship in ‘Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon,’ which will be coming to Crunchyroll, Funimation and Hulu this October,” says Brad Woods, chief marketing officer, VIZ Media. “By partnering with multiple platforms, the iconic and much-loved property will have tremendous reach and availability for fans to enjoy this next chapter with half-demon twins Towa and Setsuna.”


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Thomasville Taps Craig Conover for Fall 2020 Collection


Furniture brand Thomasville has partnered with Sewing Down South, a sewing lifestyle brand created by sewing enthusiast and entrepreneur, Craig Conover, on an exclusive fall 2020 collection.  

The assortment of multipurpose pillows features designs that incorporate Thomasville’s seasonal fall color pallet with unique patterns, complimented by a modern take on classic southern home decor.

The Sewing Down South x Thomasville collection is available now exclusively on sewingdownsouth.com.


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Dolly Parton Launches Williams Sonoma Holiday Collaboration


Williams Sonoma has announced the launch of a new collaboration in partnership with entertainment and international icon, Dolly Parton.

The collection is inspired by Dolly’s holiday traditions and includes Dolly’s signature sugar cookie mix and a replica gingerbread log cabin reminiscent of her childhood home. Customers and fans of Parton will also be able to celebrate the holidays with festive aprons and linens decorated in a patchwork design inspired by her coat of many colors.  

“For over 60 years, William Sonoma has curated products from around the world to help our customers celebrate the holidays and create memories at home with loved ones,” says Ryan Ross, president, Williams Sonoma. “Our collaboration with Dolly Parton provides everything from cookie kits, aprons and oven mitts to bake and celebrate the holidays at home just like Dolly does.”

The complete Dolly Parton for Williams Sonoma collection will include:

  • Holly Dolly Sugar Cookie Mix;
  • Holly Dolly Cookie Baking Kit;
  • Dolly Parton Guitar Cookie;
  • Dolly Parton Log Cabin;
  • Dolly Parton Adult and Kid Apron; and
  • Dolly Parton Potholder and Oven Mitt Set.

"Sharing my families’ Christmas traditions is a dream come true, and who better to partner with than Williams Sonoma,” says Parton. “We joined together to create a whole bunch of goodies that will fit in perfectly with your family celebration or get you started on creating new traditions that will last a lifetime.  My mama always made us feel loved by making us treats in our little mountain cabin around the holidays. Now I get to invite all my nieces and nephews and their kids for what we like to call ‘cookie night’. It’s the perfect way to spend time with the special people on your Christmas list.”

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Early Exclusive: The Brand Liaison to Rep Grace Ciao


Grace Ciao, the social influencer and illustrator known for her many collaborations with luxury brands, has appointed The Brand Liaison to lead its licensing business in North America. 

The Grace Ciao brand has appointed The Brand Liaison as its licensing agent to manage its licensing program in North America. The Brand Liaison will continue to feature luxury collaborations as well as licensed products designed for department and specialty stores, off price and mid-tier retailers and mass merchants in various categories such as home goods, tabletops, gifts, wall art, social stationery and greetings cards. Featuring her distinctive watercolor, The Brand Liaison will debut multiple collections for Grace Ciao at the Festival of Licensing from Oct. 20-22. 

“Grace Ciao’s style of art is very unique,” says Steven Heller, president, The Brand Liaison. “We have never seen anything quite like this before. Her use of floral petals interwoven into the theme of the painting makes it both remarkable aesthetically, and seamlessly applied to consumer products.  That’s why all those luxury brands keep licensing her art. We are very excited about this program.” 

Grace has also been invited to illustrate at the luxury events of Chanel, Dior and Jaeger-LeCoultre. Grace Ciao also partnered with Korean skincare brand, Yehwadam, on their limited-edition skincare sets that are sold in TheFaceShop stores worldwide.

“We are very excited to form this strategic partnership with The Brand Liaison to expand and strengthen the Grace Ciao brand in North America,” says Ciao. “It was a straightforward decision for us, given the strong expertise and vast network that The Brand Liaison brings to the table. Through this partnership, we hope to continue creating beautiful artwork that come to live, yet timeless and suitable for all types of products out there.”  

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WildBrain CPLG Gets Creative with Charlotte Posner


WildBrain CPLG has been appointed as the European licensing agent for acclaimed British contemporary artist, Charlotte Posner.

WildBrain CPLG is exhibiting at Festival of Licensing, a month-long large-scale digital gathering that unites the global licensing industry to connect, learn, strike deals and do business on an international stage. The event takes place Oct. 6-29. Register for free now!

Under its lifestyle division, WildBrain CPLG, will assemble a design-led consumer products program inspired by Posner’s artwork with an initial focus on the U.K. market. Target categories will include beauty, stationery and greetings, homewares and soft furnishings, fashion and accessories, luxury ceramics and tableware and gifting. 

“Charlotte’s work is captivating and original, both accessible and uniquely creative and we are excited to collaborate with her to develop innovative and design-led product ranges,” says John Taylor, vice president, Northern Europe and managing director, U.K. and France, WildBrain CPLG. “The licensing program will sit closely alongside Charlotte’s art, offering fans of her work another chance to own a little piece of Posner magic.” 

Charlotte Posner’s style and popularity exploded onto the public scene in 2014 when she was featured as part of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and was profiled on the BBC’s “The Culture Show.” A social media frenzy then erupted when she first introduced her ‘Pop Dolls’ series to the public in 2015. Coca-Cola, Walls, Kellogg's and Cadbury’s all complimented the works, and one piece later became the creative for Magnum’s U.K. social media platforms.

In the face of severe dyslexia, Charlotte has now collaborated and worked with some of the world’s leading luxury brands and retailers including Brown Thomas, Louis Vuitton, Nicholas Kirkwood, Crème de la Mer, London Fashion Week and Japanese cosmetics brand Shiseido.

“I am excited to be working with WildBrain CPLG to expand my brand,” says Posner. “We are at an exciting stage of development and it is a great opportunity to share our creativity with more companies.”

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Brandgenuity Gets Spooky with Zak Bagans of ‘Ghost Adventures’


Zak Bagans, host of Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures,” has selected Brandgenuity to develop a licensing program for fans of all things supernatural and macabre.

Brandgenuity is exhibiting at Festival of Licensing, a month-long large-scale digital gathering that unites the global licensing industry to connect, learn, strike deals and do business on an international stage. The event takes place Oct. 6-29. Register for free now!

The Zak Bagans licensing program will reward fans of the paranormal with products and experiences that transport them into their own other-worldly adventures.

“There’s been a great wave of growing interest in all things haunted and my fans want more; more stories, more intriguingly haunted objects and more ways to engage,” says Bagans. “I liked the energy that Brandgenuity brought to the table. They understand my work, why fans connect with me and can help tell my stories to a broad audience.”

Brandgenuity has partnered with the A3 Artists Agency talent agents for Zak Bagans on this effort.

“Zak is an epic storyteller and engaging entertainer who brings credibility to every haunted, curious project he takes on,” says Allison Lort, vice president, business development, Brandgenuity. “Interest in the paranormal and the haunted is trending and Zak Bagans is the undisputed leader in serving up curiosities oddities, wonders and haunts to his millions of fans.”

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Banijay, Sanrio and Diageo Confirmed as Festival of Licensing Keynotes on Crunchyroll Live Stage


The final three keynotes for the Festival of Licensing Live Stage, sponsored by Crunchyroll, have been announced. They include Banijay, the world’s largest international content producer and distributor thanks to its recent acquisition of Endemol Shine Group; Sanrio, the global lifestyle brand best-known for pop icons like Hello Kitty; and Diageo, a powerhouse behind beverage, spirit and beer brands such as Johnnie Walker, Baileys, Guinness and Captain Morgan. These keynotes join The Smiley Co., Alibaba and Authentic Brands Group, among others.

“Banijay, Sanrio and Diageo are huge brands and home to some of the world’s most creative and successful licensing programs, which have – unsurprisingly – captured the hearts and loyalty of their fans and consumers,” says Anna Knight, vice president, licensing, Informa Markets. “We are delighted to have them join us on the Festival of Licensing Live Stage next month.”

A month-long virtual celebration of the global licensing industry running from Oct. 6-29, Festival of Licensing incorporates three regional events linked to the world’s biggest markets – Europe, Asia and the Americas – and culminates with the global C-suite and executive-level virtual conference, Licensing Leadership Summit. Register for free now!

The live presentations will take place as follows:

  • Europe Keynote – Powered by Brand Licensing Europe on Thursday, Oct. 8, 9am BST:

The Role of Licensing in Building Global Brands
Speakers: Jane Smith, Group Director Brand Licensing and Gaming, Banijay/Endemol Shine

  • Asia Keynote – Powered by Licensing Expo China and Licensing Expo Japan on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2pm CST:

Small Gift, Big Smile: Evolving a Global Heritage Brand While Maintaining Core Values
Speaker: Linh Forse, Senior Director, Sales and Business Development, Sanrio Inc.

  • Americas Keynote – Powered by Licensing Expo on Thursday, Oct. 22, 9am PST:

How Diageo Leverages Licensing to Fuel Growth in an Ever-changing Marketplace

Speakers: Declan Hassett, Senior Licensing Manager, Diageo, and Shane Grogan, Senior Licensing Manager, Diageo

“Crunchyroll has been the world’s best home for anime for over 10 years and is also an established licensor and distributor worldwide, so it made perfect sense for us to partner with Festival of Licensing as the Live Stage sponsor and we're really looking forward to enjoying the program, along with thousands of other visitors across Europe, Asia and the Americas,” says Waell Oueslati, director, acquisitions and licensing, Crunchyroll SAS (EMEA).

ViacomCBS Consumer Products, which is sponsoring the Festival of Licensing Community & Wellbeing Program, has also added fresh details to its well-being workshop content, which is available to view, download and start grooving to from Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 7am BST.

Community & Wellbeing Program:


Take a break from the day and invite your kids to join as your favorite Nick Jr. friends guide you through family friendly dance moves, yoga poses and stretching exercises.


Take a trip to Bikini Bottom for a SpongeBob-themed yoga class. Hosted by yoga enthusiast Adanna Paul, viewers will experience a calming yoga practice, set to tropical music and ocean sounds, providing a healthy break to stretch and relax.


Get up and move in between business sessions with fitness influencer Sydney Cummings, who will lead viewers through an MTV-themed workout. Don’t worry about skill level, there are options and modifications for everyone! 

Festival of Licensing is organized and produced by the Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets.

Visitors can register for free at www.festivaloflicensing.com.

View the full Festival of Licensing agenda here:  


View the full Community & Wellbeing program at: https://www.thegloballicensinggroup.com/en/community-programmes.html#communitywellbeing

To register or learn more about Licensing Leadership Summit, visit:



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Toonbox Studios Outlines Big Plans for ‘Kit^N^Kate’

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Exhibiting at Festival of Licensing after garnering leads and deals at Brand Licensing Europe, Toonbox currently has four animated series in the works including popular preschool property “Kit^N^Kate” and the upcoming teen and adult show “Take My Muff-in.” 

Toonbox Studios is exhibiting at Festival of Licensing, a month-long large-scale digital gathering that unites the global licensing industry to connect, learn, strike deals and do business on an international stage. The event takes place Oct. 6-29. Register for free now!

License Global spoke with Pavel Muntyan, co-founder, Toonbox, to gain insight into the properties and plans this animation studio has for the future. 

License Global: “Kit^N^Kate” now has over 500m views on YouTube and several successful broadcast deals, what makes this series different? 

Muntyan: Every content producer claims his product is the most unique ever. There are such a great number of various series in the world nowadays that overlapping is inevitable. Well, let’s say, “Kit^N^Kate” is different. We spent two years to shape it and form its brand awareness. The characters are easy to remember, to identify and to draw. Even young kids manage to reproduce the characters easily. 

Episode plots are another hallmark. We tried to stick to the most important ‘kiddie problems’ while creating two first seasons (104 episodes). [Our target demographic of 3 - 5-years old is when] a young person starts to face conflicts, responsibility and different social patterns. We managed to represent these problems via adventures and stories. Basically, it is a catalogue for a young parent who can just watch a certain episode together with their child to make things work. 

What are the key partners you're working with to take that brand further? What are you looking to do with “Kit^N^Kate” in the future? 

We have a number of key partners [including] TV channels RAI (Italy), VGTRK (Russia), our YouTube partner – X-Media Digital – as well as our agents Play Big and Maurizio DiStefano.

We are currently working on a spin-off project with two seasons of songs (for all 104 episodes) which are being produced in several languages at a time. Just five to six years ago every animated project was mainly aimed at consumer goods licenses which brought up to 70 percent of the total profit. Now we are looking at digital licensing with all the market changes, including shifts in budgets, production terms and the total approach to content production. Our further focus regarding “Kit^N^Kate” includes more spin-off projects as well as the expansion of the project itself with a target on VOD-platforms. 

What are you looking to achieve from Festival of Licensing and how are you looking to reach the next step with licensing? 

As for licensing, we’re first and foremost looking for partners who can assist in promoting brands called “123GO!” and “5-Minutes Craft.” Only three years ago they were not represented on YouTube but on Facebook only. Once they entered the world’s major VOD platform, these brands took key positions and became some of the most successful brands in the digital world. We are now looking for a master-toy partner for “123GO!” and a general partner in the U. S. for “5-Minutes Craft.” 

We are also looking for a general SVOD-partner for “Take My Muff-in.” The series is fully localized and aimed at the U.S. so our target audience is American youth aged 17-25. The team of the project includes a number of professionals who took part in more than 14 projects launched in the U.S. which managed to conquer the whole world. 

For “Bobby and the Bottle Brigade” we are looking for a general broadcaster. The project is executed as classic animation, but the script structure is reminiscent of computer games with video inserts including YouTube videos popular among kids. This project features a new form, a fresh approach and an innovative format.

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