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Harry Potter Taking Top Spot on UK Christmas Lists
In the final run up to Christmas, gifts and gadgets retailer Hawkin’s Bazaar revealed the top gifts Brits are searching for.
This year, Harry Potter gifts are on top, staying ahead of Fortnite which comes in third. Drones, retro consoles, and stocking fillers completed the top 5.
Hawkin’s Bazaar analysed search queries on their website,, to find the product categories Brits are searching for the most this Christmas. Fortnite may have become a global phenomenon online, but it’s still not able to take the Christmas gift crown from the Wizarding World – at least for now.
David Mordecai, CEO of Hawkin’s Bazaar, comments: “While the popularity of Fortnite shows no signs of stopping, kids and parents alike are still coming back to their old favourites. Even 21 years later, Harry Potter is still topping Christmas lists. It’s certainly set to be another magical Christmas for Potter fans of all ages.”

The 2019 Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards Open for Entries
The Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards (B&LLAs) are now open for entries.

The 2019 awards programme – now in its fourth year – will build on its strong reputation for rewarding excellence in brand licensed merchandise and IP management, as well as retail execution.

The entry and nomination process for all categories is free and via online submission. All the forms can be accessed from the dedicated B&LLAs website –

The deadline for entering is Wednesday 27 February 2019, following which a validation process for each of the awards sections will take place, involving panels of industry experts pertinent to the categories.

Brand Licensing Europe was quick to recommit as the headline sponsor of the B&LLAs, while trade body LIMA is also lending its support once again.
Leading industry names who have already pledged their support as sponsors include Style Library, MDR Brand Management, National Geographic, JELC, Vintage Kellogg’s, Start Licensing, Golden Goose, Discovery Consumer Products, Powerstation Studios, Spring Fair and Autumn Fair, TLP, H&A, Beanstalk, Country Living Magazine, TSBA, Brandgenuity and Octane5.

The winners of the Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards 2019 will be unveiled at a lavish afternoon event held at The Dorchester, Park Lane, London, on Thursday 25 April 2019. The event will be attended by over 425 retailers, licensees, brand owners and licensing representatives.

Createvents is once again managing the ticketing for the event. To find out more contact Clare Davies at Createvents on 01183 340085 or

For sponsorship, further information on how to enter or general enquiries about the 2019 B&LLAs, please contact Ian Hyder on 020 700 6740 or email him on

Toy Industry to Induct Three New Members into Hall of Fame
The Toy Association announced that it will induct the late Stan Lee, former editor-in-chief, publisher, and chairman of Marvel Comics, Brian Goldner, chairman & CEO of Hasbro, and the late Joe Mendelsohn, president of Kenner Products into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

These individuals were selected for induction by members of The Toy Association in recognition of their significant contributions to the industry and the impact they have had on the lives of children through a lifelong commitment to toys and play. They will join an impressive roster of 76 toy industry luminaries, including Ruth Handler, Jim Henson, George Lucas, and Joan Ganz Cooney, who have been inducted into the Hall since it was established in 1984.

Chinatown Market Launches SpongeBob SquarePants Collection Exclusively at Urban Outfitters
Presenting a new spin on a Nickelodeon classic, Urban Outfitters is introducing Chinatown Market x SpongeBob - an exclusive collection featuring SpongeBob SquarePants.
A sneak peek of the collection debuted at the Urban Outfitters booth at ComplexCon in Long Beach, CA, giving early access to one of the tees in the collection. SpongeBob also made a surprise appearance at the event and briefly took the reins at the Chinatown Market customization station.

Converse x Hello Kitty Returns
Hello Kitty has once again partnered with Converse for a head-to-toe collection featuring bold colorways, classic graphics and playful elements.
Available in both adult and youth styles, Converse x Hello Kitty features two classic Converse silhouettes: One Star and the iconic Chuck Taylor All Star (in Hi and Ox versions). 
The collection will be available at and selected retailers globally.

Primark Feels the Grinch Spirit This Christmas
Primark has gone green this Christmas with an extensive apparel, accessories and homeware collection based on the classic Dr. Seuss title, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
The range includes adult daywear and accessories from Park Agencies including a number of Christmas jumper options, with nightwear and onesies for kids and adults from Somerbond, BC International and Cooneen. Dreamtex have developed a homewares range, with socks from Misirli and slippers from Brand Group International and gift wrap from International Greetings.
Primark have supported the launch with a number of posts across their social media channels as well as POS throughout their stores.
Stacy Scimia, Retail and Softlines Director at CPLG UK, said, “We are incredibly excited to see this range launch. The Grinch is a classic Christmas staple and it’s been great to work with our licensees and Primark to bring this collection to stores in such a big way.”

The Swan Princess Program Kicking into High Gear in Anticipation of 25th Anniversary
The Swan Princess licensing program is taking off. Three new deals recently concluded, and fans will soon see a variety of new merchandise available in the marketplace – and just in time for the 25th anniversary in 2019.
The new deals are with Pixsona (high-end fleece blankets that will be sold on and throughout the United States), Star Cutouts (develop cut-out mannequins featuring the Swan Princess characters that will be sold throughout North America), and Graphics and More (t-shirts, clothing, jewelry and accessory items utilizing the characters from The Swan Princess movies that will be sold worldwide). 
Lawless Entertainment represents worldwide The Swan Princess brand for licensing, merchandising and publishing (except for India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, SEAsia, Philippines, Greater China and North China).

Signature Books to create Personalised 'Horace & Co’ gift books 
When Lynette’s (the co founder of Flossy and Jim) son was diagnosed with autism she struggled to find any books or materials to help her prepare him for new experiences and situations.
So she set about writing her own humorous stories adding lots of fun illustrations and using these to help and encourage him to try new foods, with meeting new friends and prior to visiting new places.
Working with Master Licensee for Publishing, Ferley, this idea went on to become “Horace and Co’.
Now partnering for personalised Horace & Co picture books with Signature Books, three titles will launch in early 2019.
Signature already produce other licensed properties including: Beatrix Potter, Thunderbirds, The Beano, and Ladybird.

Egmont Celebrates 30 Years of Thomas Magazine
Egmont Publishing is celebrating the 30th birthday of Thomas & Friends magazine with licensing partner Mattel.
The latest ABC results demonstrate that Thomas & Friends magazine is still delivering sales growth an astonishing 30 years after it first launched into the UK market.
Thomas & Friends magazine is the oldest single character magazine in the UK market. This phenomenal performance is testament to the strength of the Thomas & Friends brand, as well as the successful publishing partnership between Egmont and Mattel.

Peppa’s Japanese Fanbase Grows
Entertainment One (eOne) is building on the growing fanbase of Peppa Pig in Japan as 26 new episodes have begun airing weekly on TV Tokyo. The animated series first aired on the Japanese broadcaster in October 2017 and has quickly become a ratings hit with preschool audiences.
The broadcast line up has been further bolstered by additional platforms including Disney Japan, Hulu Japan and Netflix which have the rights to the series and have expanded the show’s availability throughout the region.
eOne is accelerating the brand’s licensing drive in the market led by master licensee Sega Toys Co. Ltd. Consumer products from 20 local licensees debuted in March 2018 via an exclusive Peppa Pig pop-up shop in the Takashimaya department store in Tokyo which was attended by the British Ambassador. Less than a year later, the licensing program now boasts 33 licensing partners as the brand’s popularity has soared in the region, with more exciting retail partnerships planned in 2019. Sales of Peppa Pig DVDs have reached 10,000 copies with a new release set to launch in April 2019 and product is now available in all 170 Toys “R” Us stores throughout Japan.
Baileys Treat Bar Opens in London
Beanstalk client Baileys has opened its Baileys Treat Bar pop-up for the second time in Covent Garden, London from 7 to 22 December 2018
This year’s luxurious alpine-themed Baileys Treat Bar will be serving indulgent hot chocolates, lattes, cocktails and even includes vegan options. Guests can let their imagination run free when creating the ultimate hot drink with either Baileys Original Irish Cream, Baileys Chocolat Luxe or Baileys Almande by adding sweet toppings including gingerbread men, edible glitter and honeycomb to #TreatUp their drink.

Kidz Bop Announces Global Franchise Expansion
Kidz Bop announces a global franchise expansion in Japan, Germany, Australia and New Zealand following its successful launch in the UK last year. The music brand for kids is currently casting the first-ever groups of dedicated Kidz Bop Kids in both Germany and Japan, while the U.S. KIDZ BOP Kids will be the face and voice of the brand in Australia and New Zealand.
Ranked as Billboard Magazine’s ‘‘#1 Kids’ Artist” for 8 consecutive years in the U.S., KIDZ BOP has outsold some of today’s biggest artists, including Beyoncé, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry` - and the franchise’s success has expanded across the pond with the first KIDZ BOP UK album spending nine weeks in the UK Top 40 chart and debuting at #7 on the Artist Album Chart in 2017.

Simon’s Cat Launches YouTube Merch Shelf
Simon’s Cat, the famous animated YouTube character, is launching a Merch Shelf feature on YouTube.
Just as the brand has hit 1 billion views on its channel, for the first time, fans of one of YouTube’s most popular pets can shop while they watch, directly under videos.
YouTube and Teespring recently announced the expansion of their merch shelf feature in Europe, giving content creators the opportunity to sell custom merchandise directly under their videos. The feature was launched in the US in June, which saw click-throughs grow to 30% greater than all other traffic sources, a place where creators can get closer to their viewers by offering them convenient access to products they have made themselves.
Pip Ahoy! Extends Apparel License
CHF Pip! plc and Branded Clothing International (BCI) have announced plans to extend the apparel license for Pip Ahoy! to produce a new range of nightwear, swimwear and underwear aimed at pre-schoolers across the UK.
Hot on the heels of a renewed toy partnership with John Adams Leisure Ltd in October and with a brand new third series of Pip Ahoy! currently airing each weekday on ITVBe’s littleBe, the Company is planning a big roll out of fresh Pip Ahoy! merchandise in 2019 and will launch the Pip Ahoy! apparel range with BCI at retail from Summer 2019 onwards.


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11 December 2018

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