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Articles from 2021 In February


Pokémon, Chums Team for Merch

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The latest clothing collaboration has been announced for the Pokémon brand.

At Pokémon Center locations in Japan, Chums will be working with The Pokémon Company to release shirts, shorts, jackets, hats, backpacks, mugs and more.

The merchandise is set to be released on March 6. It is unknown if the items will be able to be purchased internationally.

Swatch, MoMA Make Time for Watch Collab

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Watch brand Swatch and the Museum of Modern Art have collaborated again to launch six special-edition watches that showcase some of the museum's finest collections.

"We're proud to continue MoMA's ongoing relationship with Swatch through this new collection of watches inspired by artworks from MoMA's collection,” Robin Sayetta, associate director, business development, the Museum of Modern Art told The Philippines Tattler. "MoMA's commitment to good design as a part of everyday life is exemplified by Swatch watches."

Watch designs include The Dream" (1910) by Henri Rosseau, "The Starry Night" (1889) by Vincent van Gogh, "The City and Design, The Wonders of Life on Earth, Isamu Kurita" (1966) by Tadanori Yokoo, "New York" (1968) by Tadanori Yokoo, "Composition in Oval with Colour Planes 1" (1914) by Piet Mondrian and "Hope, II" (1907-1908) by Gustav Klimt.

The watches will be available beginning March 4.

Grunt Style, Air Force, Space Force Suit-Up Apparel Deal

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Online patriotic lifestyle retailer Grunt Style has signed a deal with the United States Air Force and Space Force to offer officially licensed apparel. With the new product line, Grunt Style now carries licensed apparel for all five military branches of the Department of Defense.

The agreement adds to Grunt Style’s wide selection of military licensed attire. Now, in addition to Army, Navy and Marine Corps clothing, customers can choose from a selection of Air Force and Space Force t-shirts. Everything comes with Grunt Style’s lifetime guarantee.

“Grunt Style was founded with a very clear mission: to instill pride in self, in military and in country,” says Glenn Silbert, chief executive officer, Grunt Style. “As part of that, it was important to ensure all branches of our armed forces are represented within our product line. With our new Air Force and Space Force apparel, we have options for everyone, no matter which branch of military they serve in or support. Our customers have been asking for this, and we’re proud to deliver.”

Additional officially licensed Space Force and Air Force prints and styles, including hoodies, will be added later this year.

Hasbro Reveals ‘PJ Masks,’ ‘Peppa Pig’ Toy Lines

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Hasbro has shared details of its first toy lines based off the popular eOne brands “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks.”

These are the first Hasbro toys inspired by these brands following Hasbro's acquisition of eOne in December 2019.

From “Peppa’s” family motorhome toy to the “PJ Masks” bot builder, multiple new toys will become available beginning in August.

More details will arrive in the coming months.

DBG Inks EastPoint Sports Deals

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Dimensional Branding Group (DBG) has announced two new licensing agreements with EastPoint Sports. The home recreational expert will be bringing both the Pop-A-Shot and Skee-Ball brands to the sporting goods aisle.

“We are very excited to partner with EastPoint Sports to bring exciting products to the sporting goods aisle,” says Tony Stucker, owner, Pop-A-Shot.

Pop-A-Shot created the original arcade basketball game in 1981, subsequently introducing electronic scoreboards, dual shot versions, infrared scoring and steel frame before entering the home market where the brand flourished. Its current licensed games include NCAA teams from UCLA to University of Texas, while its licensee partners include Super Impulse, Basic Fun, Alchemy 3 and Trau & Loevner.

“We are excited to work with EastPoint to bring some great Skee-Ball product to market,” says Mathew Deith, director, Bay Tek Entertainment. “Both Skee-Ball and EastPoint’s products provide fun and joy, so it is the perfect combo.”

Both Pop-A-Shot and Skee-Ball products by EastPoint are targeted for this coming holiday season.

“We couldn’t be more excited about our new partnership with Skee-Ball and Pop-A-Shot,” says Ben Taylor, senior director, marketing and licensing, EastPoint Sports. “The power and brand affinity that both of these brands possess, coupled with our expertise in the casual sporting goods category, will allow us to bring amazing innovation to the marketplace and excite consumers across North America for years to come.”

Beyond Announces Yum! Partnership

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Beyond Meat has announced a global strategic partnership with Yum! Brands to co-create and offer plant-based protein menu items that can be found at KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell over the next several years.

Beyond Meat and Yum! Brands expect to leverage their industry-leading research and development capabilities to meet the evolving tastes of the consumers of today and tomorrow.

“We are honored to enter into a global strategic partnership with Yum! Brands, one of the world's largest restaurant companies,” says Ethan Brown, founder and chief executive officer, Beyond Meat. “We look forward to expanding our work with the teams at Yum's iconic KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands to together bring truly delicious plant-based product innovation to consumers.”

Beyond Meat’s strategic partnership with Yum! Brands will be an expansion of the companies’ growing track record of collaborations to offer plant-based products. KFC was the first national U.S. quick-service restaurant to introduce plant-based chicken when it tested Beyond Fried Chicken at an Atlanta-area restaurant in 2019. Since the initial rollout, KFC has expanded testing of Beyond Fried Chicken in other U.S. cities. In 2020, Pizza Hut U.S. launched the Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza and the Great Beyond Pizza nationwide, becoming the first national pizza chain to introduce a plant-based meat pizza coast-to-coast.

Through this collaboration, Yum! Brands will build on its tradition of food innovation and creating new consumer markets for industry-defining items and increase the number of plant-based options that appeal to flexitarians, those looking to incorporate plant-based meat or more diverse protein options into their diets.

“Today’s announcement builds on our strong relationship with Beyond Meat and given the consumer response during recent tests with Beyond Meat, we’re excited about the long-term potential plant-based protein menu items have to attract more customers to our brands, especially younger consumers,” says Chris Turner, chief financial officer, Yum! Brands. “We expect this Beyond Meat partnership to strengthen our brands’ capability to offer delicious, plant-based menu items that are driven by consumer demand for more diverse protein options and our brands’ strategies in local markets.”

Popular Science and Saveur Ink Centennial Media Publishing Deal

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North Equity, a venture equity firm that owns and operates more than 15 media properties, has agreed to terms with Centennial Media to produce special interest magazines and books for Popular Science and Saveur. 

“Centennial Media is the best partner to help us create a diverse line of print products,” says Richard Oren, licensing head, Camden Media, a portfolio company of North. “They understand the value of our brands, and their unique data-driven approach and commitment to quality content will help us produce well-conceived, high-performing products for years to come. Focusing on one topic allows our editorial teams to bring readers a collection of in-depth stories presented in a concise and accessible way. We’re particularly excited about the opportunity to help young readers demystify complex topics and engage with our new line of Popular Science children’s books.”

Centennial, a leading book and magazine publisher that specializes in illustrated publications, will produce six single-topic, Special Interest Publications (SIPs) for Popular Science, and three for Saveur, in 2021. They will also publish two children’s books for Popular Science to bring kids the fascinating science behind everyday topics and engage them in STEAM subjects. The parties plan to expand their program in 2022 to include some of North Equity’s other enthusiast brands such as The Drive, Field & Stream, Domino and Outdoor Life. 

“We’ve been fans of many of these brands for a long time and have already started working with their extremely talented editors,” says Ben Harris, president, Centennial Media. “Our team prides itself on creating high quality, engaging and timely products. By combining that with these brands’ rich history of storytelling, we’ll be able to create something that is incredibly appealing to lifelong enthusiasts and new readers alike.” 

Distribution will be available in supermarkets, mass merchandisers, drug stores and book retailers throughout the United States. Popular Science’s first SIP will be available in April 2021, followed by a new SIP roughly every eight weeks. The first Popular Science children’s book will be on sale in September, while Saveur’s SIPs will be on shelves in June, September and December 2021.

John Wayne Enterprises Taps Licensing Haüs as Exclusive Licensing Agent

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Licensing Haüs has been appointed by John Wayne Enterprises (JWE) as their exclusive worldwide licensing agent.

“We’re honored to be trusted with brand stewardship of the John Wayne legacy and look forward to growing the licensing program with thoughtful partnerships that excite fans and introduce his brand ethos to new admirers alike,” says Maria Alcaide, principal, Licensing Haüs.

This appointment comes on the heels of the grand opening of “John Wayne: An American Experience,” a 10,000-square-foot exhibit that gives an intimate tour into the life of John Wayne and boasts a retail space stocked with licensed and limited-edition products. The exhibit is located in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, a Texas entertainment complex.

Building upon this momentum, Licensing Haüs is tasked with key initiatives that include further establishing John Wayne as a leading brand in Western Lifestyle, identifying themed licensed experiences, expanding the packaged food program and growing the international presence. The John Wayne brand has been a strong licensed brand for decades with a foothold in the apparel, accessories, collectibles, experiences, insurance, alcohol and packaged food categories.

“The John Wayne brand is timeless over trend and inspires people to become their best selves through honor, courage and grit – hallmarks of the John Wayne ethos,” says Ethan Wayne, chief executive officer, John Wayne Enterprises. “Licensing enables us to broaden our reach and develop new products that can inspire this message at scale, and we are excited to partner with Licensing Haus to help us grow into the future.”

What Gen Z Gamers Want: Crey Explains the Trends Behind Community-Powered Gaming

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Crey – a community-powered game creator built for players and young developers to create their own games, share online and stream each new world – is a combination of numerous modern trends in gaming. 

Fabien Rossini, chief executive officer, Crey, shines a light on the trends that brought this innovative European gaming platform to the world. 

License Global: In a rapidly changing marketplace filled with the rise and fall of brands, category shifts and product innovation, what is the one trend in gaming and gaming brands that's catching your attention right now?

Rossini: If we can start by setting the scene, because gaming has changed over the last 12 months, there are over 2 billion gamers worldwide now enabling an industry worth US$160 billion in 2020 (Newzoo: December 2020). 43 million games were sold in 2020 in the U.K. alone (GSD: January 2021). Gaming is fully mainstream and now bigger than the global film industry, so it’s critical for brands to keep an eye on gaming and be in step with trends. 

One huge trend in gaming this year – and one that has been powered by the pandemic to some degree – is the way gaming is becoming a commodity and one that is sitting at the epicenter of social interaction, particularly for Gen Z. These days, young people define themselves by the gaming community they belong to, the same way previous generations (like mine) did through music, films or the football team they support.

Gen Z demands games that are social, and that means offering them a multiplayer experience where players can have an impact on each other’s experience (i.e., dynamic gameplay based on who is in the game), and this can be any physics-based game or just virtual hang-out games.

I believe we’re going to see significantly greater recognition of this in 2021 because, at the moment, the gaming platforms being used by Gen Z as social hangouts are by default, not by design, and Crey is tipping that on its head. 

How is this trend making waves across brand collaborations, licensing and/or consumer behavior?

The latest buzz word is multiverse or metaverse, and it’s often defined as a persistent 3D virtual world where millions meet online to hang out and share experiences. These social hubs represent huge opportunities for brands to directly access and stay connected with millions, if not billions, of users. This has been well demonstrated in social events (virtual concert, film trailers releases) on the likes of “Fortnite” and “Roblox.”

Talk to us about Crey. How is this a personification of Gen Z gaming trends (i.e., community, social, creativity and characters)?

What’s unique about Gen Z is the fact they are the first true digitally native generation. They live and breathe this digital world we inhabit, and a growing trend has seen Gen Z slowly shunning traditional social media platforms. In the U.S., for example, the number of teenagers on Facebook has dropped by almost a quarter in the past few years. Instead, gaming has increasingly – and unsurprisingly - become the Gen Z social hangout of choice. It’s interesting because they need to belong to a social digital community, and they not only want consumer entertainment but also to be involved in actively shaping it. I really believe the future of gaming/consumer entertainment is user-generated, and that’s where Crey fits in. 

Crey is a new gaming platform with three points of differentiation. One, it has – and still is – being designed and developed specifically for Gen Z. Two, it’s super accessible. You don’t have to know how to code in order to create games and build game worlds in Crey. It’s as simple as point and click. Three, it’s being developed as the first true social gaming network. Yes, you can create games in Crey, and publish them, and play other people’s games, but it also makes it really easy for users to connect, collaborate and just socialize and hang out. 

The idea came from Janos Flösser (co-founder of iO Interactive and Crey), who realized the future of gaming would lie in user-generated content. Since then, the market has matured and is now ripe for disruption by user-generated platforms such as Roblox and now Crey, which was founded at the end of 2016 to do exactly that: disrupt the future of gaming and social networking.

The idea behind Crey was to democratize game development, to fill the gap between Roblox and Unity (which is a very popular gaming engine) and create a platform for the creative and collaborative minds of Generation Z for them to connect, create, play and express themselves socially. Crey is a portmanteau of the words create and play, which lie at the heart of our platform.

We are currently at the start of an incredibly ambitious plan to change the world of gaming and to grow significantly. We are also working incredibly closely with our existing content creators to take their games to the next level as well as working hard to drive new content creation. We’re also building a new initiative where we plan to teach creators how to better use our platform and adopt deeper approaches to game design. We are unleashing Crey on mobile this year to complete our ecosystem and driving a richer player experience with a brand new, customizable avatar system and many more social features. All of this is important as we build on existing player engagement and retention, which will be needed to accelerate our growth. 

What do you see for gaming trends in Europe and beyond over the next few years, and how are you nurturing them within the Crey platform (i.e., inspiring young gaming developers, designers and more)?

If you believe the future is user-generated, you have to believe that the key is to deliver the tools that will enable users to unleash their creativity, and this will happen by lowering the complexity of creation and publishing. Collaboration is increasingly important in the creative process, as we see more collectives of builders joining forces to build together, whether that’s worlds, characters, code or gameplay. This is also something we are seeing from a school project in Denmark that’s using our platform: they are already wanting to share and cooperate with other schools.

BTS Signs ‘On’ Casetify for Tech Accessories

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Lifestyle brand Casetify is once again teaming up with global K-Pop superstars BTS to create a tech accessory collection.

Launching worldwide on www.casetify.com/bts, the new capsule collection features exclusive artwork paying tribute to the band’s popular song “On,” released one year ago on the studio album MAP OF THE SOUL: 7. The public can now sign up for priority access to the collection, available to shop on March 9.

Following the popular sold-out previous line launched in 2019, the upcoming BTS collection invites customers to experience new accessories designed around the single “On.” The capsule features two renditions of the exclusive artwork, giving customers the freedom to choose case styles that match their mood.

Shoppers familiar with the song lyrics will recognize phrases like “bring the pain” featured on Casetify’s impact cases. Additional phone cases in the collection include the “On” album artwork upon Casetify’s reflective mirror cases and a sticker-style collage inspired by elements from the music video. Customers can enjoy customizable options with the BTS DIY Photo Frame Case, on which they can add their names to cases designed around personal pictures. Phone cases and matching accessories for AirPods cases, Apple Watch bands, grip stands, sling bag, and wireless chargers are included in the release.

“We’re honored to join BTS for the celebration of their hit song, giving customers all over the world a chance to shop the merchandise designed specially for them,” says Wes Ng, co-founder and chief executive officer, Casetify. “Our hope is that the community enjoys this collection while finding accessories that represent their passion for self-expression.”

As part of the collaboration’s global release, accessories from the collection will be available to ship worldwide from Casetify’s website and debut in Casetify retail locations for a limited time.