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Articles from 2019 In August


Marquee Eyes Millennial Market with Martha Stewart Brand

Marquee Eyes Millennial Market with Martha Stewart Brand

Marquee Brands has teased plans to leverage its recently acquired Martha Stewart license to engage with the Millennial market.

Marquee Brands bought the Martha Stewart brand from Sequential Brands Group earlier this year. In a conversation with Licensing International, Cory Baker, chief operating officer, Marquee Brands, reported that the company plans to use the license to engage with the Millennial demographic through a variety of partnerships with licensees in the cafes, restaurants and digital products and services spaces.

Along with new ventures, Marquee Brands is also aiming to continue partnerships that carried over with the deal including licensed agreements with meal delivery service Marley Spoon.

Hasbro Passes Go with Sonic for ‘Monopoly’

Hasbro Passes Go with Sonic for ‘Monopoly’

Hasbro has partnered with SEGA for a special-edition version of “Monopoly” inspired by the world of “Sonic the Hedgehog.”

According to ToyBook, the board game will feature all of the classic “Monopoly” gameplay mechanics with the added bonus of a speedy die. “Monopoly Gamer: Sonic The Hedgehog Edition” also includes character pieces of Sonic, Tails, Amy and Knuckles in place of the traditional game pieces.

Sonic’s special-edition “Monopoly” board will be available at Walmart stores and online on Sept. 15 as part of an exclusive launch window. The game debuts at additional retailers beginning Oct. 1.

The new title comes as part of the Monopoly Gamer collection that previously highlighted video games such as “Mario Kart.”

Funko Pops Out Collectibles for Netflix’s ‘Umbrella Academy’

Funko Pops Out Collectibles for Netflix’s ‘Umbrella Academy’

Funko has announced a new line of Pop! figurines inspired by the Netflix original series “Umbrella Academy.”

The collection will include collectibles of series characters such as Luther Hargreeves, Diego Hargreeves, Allison Hargreeves, Klaus Hargreeves, Ben Hargreeves, Vanya Hargreeves Number Five and Pogo the chimpanzee, Cha-Cha and Hazel.

Netflix’s “Umbrella Academy” is based on the graphic novel of the same name by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá. It follows an adult family of superheroes who come back together after the passing of their father.

The property’s license has previously been leveraged for a line of toys from Xtreme Play Toys.

MGA Toys Make Walmart’s Top-Rated Toy List

MGA Toys Make Walmart’s Top-Rated Toy List

Four of MGA’s latest toys have made Walmart’s list of Top-Rated Toys for the holidays.

This year’s list recognized L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Fashion Doll, L.O.L. Surprise! 2-in-1 Glamper Fashion Camper, Rainbow Surprise Dolls and the What’s in My Purse–Doll Purse. MGA’s products joined the other items on the 48-toy list that was chosen by a panel of children.

“Having only submitted four toys for review, these results mark a 100 percent validation that MGA is primed for the holiday season,” says Isaac Larian, chief executive and founder, MGA. “We need more innovative and creative toys for kids–less copying and leveraging of franchise entertainment properties. The MGA team brings creativity and fun to all of our products.”

In a press release of the wins, Larian also reported that MGA has a slate of other new toys in the works for this holiday season. He said a lineup of upcoming toys and activations will be announced later this year.

“The four toys reviewed by Walmart’s kid toy test are just a sampling of what kids can expect for the holidays,” adds Larian. “From new products to memorable events to entertainment content and more, this fall/holiday season MGA Entertainment will delight and bring joy to children around the world!”

Along with the recognition from Walmart, MGA’s L.O.L. Surprise! brand also took home top honors at the 2019 International Licensing Awards.

Laughing Cow, Label Chaussette Pull Up Sock Deal

Laughing Cow, Label Chaussette Pull Up Sock Deal

The Laughing Cow brand has partnered with Label Chaussette for a collection of licensed socks.

The new line will debut on the Label Chaussette website next month. It joins previously announced licensing agreements with companies such as Kreisy.

Gorilla Cinema Boards Pan Am Pop-Up

Gorilla Cinema Boards Pan Am Pop-Up

Gorilla Cinema has launched a limited-run pop-up experience in Cincinnati, Ohio based on classic air travel company Pan Am.

The pop-up will see guests take a “trip” on a Pan Am Clipper with service to five of the airline’s most-famous destinations: Tokyo, Hawaii, Mexico City, London and even the Moon.

Guests will be greeted by Pan Am flight attendants and escorted though a VIP layover lounge during their trip. The lounge will provide cocktails and snacks for guests during the 45-minute experience.

Along with the experience, Gorilla will also be creating a limited-edition retail pop-up in the front room of the Tokyo Kitty bar in Cincinnati. The shop will offer limited-edition prints, baggage and other nostalgic Pan Am-licensed merchandise.

DHX Media Names Ellenbogen CEO

DHX Media Names Ellenbogen CEO

DHX Media has named Eric Ellenbogen chief executive officer and vice chair of the board of directors.

Ellenbogen comes to DHX with more than 30 years running entertainment businesses. He previously held senior-level positions with companies including senior management roles at Broadway Video Entertainment, Golden Books Family Entertainment and Marvel Enterprises before its acquisition by Disney.

“DHX Media has an unmatched portfolio of kids’ and family content with high-profile, beloved characters, including Peanuts, ‘Teletubbies,’ Strawberry Shortcake, Caillou, and Inspector Gadget,” says Ellenbogen. “In addition to its library and leading animation studios, DHX Media has built a truly unique asset in WildBrain–one of the largest kids’ networks on YouTube–with unparalleled reach and engagement. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to work with the management team, employees and our many valued partners and customers to deliver leading content and brands for audiences worldwide.”

Ellenbogen succeeds Michael Donovan, who will continue to serve on the board as founding chair. Donald Wright has been appointed as the non-executive chair.

Lisa Frank Signs Sparkly Deal with Casetify

Lisa Frank Signs Sparkly Deal with Casetify

Mobile phone accessories maker Casetify has created a new line of products inspired by classic designs from the Lisa Frank portfolio.

The collection includes iPhone cases, MacBook cases, Apple Watch bands, iRings and chargers. Designs come in colorful tie-die and neon prints that mirror classic Lisa Frank designs from the ‘90s.

“Calling all ’90s babies! Lisa Frank x CASETiFY is here to bring tie dye, playful stickers and rainbow cheetah print back into your life,” reads CASETiFY’s product website.

Lisa Frank art was popularized in the early ‘90s with its neon colors and stylized depictions of animals such as dolphins, pandas and unicorns. The artist and her work were previously licensed for collaborations with brands such as ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ and Hot Topic.

Nick Jonas, John Varvatos Toast to Tequila Deal with Stoli

Nick Jonas, John Varvatos Toast to Tequila Deal with Stoli

Musician Nick Jonas and designer John Varvatos have partnered with the Stoli Group to create a new line of spirits called Villa One Tequila.

The premium tequila brand will come in Silver, Reposado and Añejo expressions and will begin a national rollout across the U.S. later this month. To craft the spirit, Jonas and Varvatos worked with Stoli Group’s Fabrica de Tequilas Finos distillery, which sits at the foot of Tequila Hill in Jalisco, Mexico. Production was led by master distiller Arturo Fuentes, who has more than three decades of distilling experience.

"John and I forged a great relationship while working together,” says Jonas. “When we brought our friends together over tequila in Mexico, we learned that we share the same values–enjoying time with friends and family, old and new, one glass at a time. When it came to Villa One, it was critical to us that we take part in the decision-making process every step of the way and, now, we feel that this is exactly the tequila we sought out to create almost two years ago."

Villa One is made with artesian well water and sustainably sourced, 100-percent blue weber agave, matured five-to-seven years and sourced from both the Highland and Lowland regions. The drink’s bottle was designed by Varvatos and Jonas with each expression featuring jewelry-inspired metalwork around the neck.

"The experience Nick and I have shared in creating the Villa One spirit has been incredible,” adds Varvatos. “We found nimble, creative, well-connected partners in Stoli Group and a genuine artisan in Arturo, who worked with us to guarantee that the liquid inside the bottle was unlike anything else on the market. We believe the Villa One bottle mirrors the 'life as it should be' mentality of celebrating good times with family and friends."

Overwatch League Goes Co-op with Kellogg Cheez-It, Pringles Deal

Overwatch League Goes Co-op with Kellogg Cheez-It, Pringles Deal

Activision Blizzard esports organization The Overwatch League has announced an exclusive deal with the Kellogg Company to leverage the Cheez-It and Pringles brands.

The deal will include co-marketing and product packaging for the snack brands. The partnership kicks off during the Overwatch League playoffs in the U.S. Cheez-It Grooves and Pringles Wavy brands will be the presenting sponsor of the halftime show and featured in highlights segments during the 2019 Grand Finals on Sept. 29.

“We are thrilled to announce this important partnership on behalf of the Overwatch League,” says Brandon Snow, chief revenue officer, Activision Blizzard Esports. “Working with brands like Cheez-It and Pringles, that we know our fans really enjoy, allows us to create unique experiences that are exciting and genuine.”

In 2020, Kellogg will take things further by releasing co-branded packaging for both Cheez-It Grooves and Pringles Wavy products that highlight Overwatch League branding. The initiative will also include a U.S. sweepstakes where consumers will have the chance to win tickets to the Overwatch League finals and other prizes.

“We know snack lovers of Cheez-It and Pringles are active in esports, especially the Overwatch League, so this is a great opportunity to connect two passion points together,” says Zion Doran, senior director, integrated promotions, Kellogg.

The deal adds to recent Overwatch esports tournament partnerships that have been announced in 2019. In July, LEGO joined the fray with the Twitch Rivals tournament for charity.