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2016 Only Gets Better for $100+ Entertainment/Character Brands

Karina Masolova, additional reporting by Glenn Demby and Marcy Magiera

A total of 44 properties made TLL‘s latest list of entertainment/character brands that cleared $100 million in licensed retail sales in the U.S. and Canada. For the first time, we’re casting our predictions for what next year’s look will look like. See the retail sales breakdown here, and look below for what’s to come.

There are a number of brands TLL is considering for the 2016 list—including those that have been around for a while, such as Warner Bros.’ Wizarding World (including Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts). Also expected to land on the list next year is eOne’s preschool show Peppa Pig, which broke $1 billion in worldwide sales in 2015 and only really launched its program stateside in 2016. The biggest new kid on the block?—DreamWork’s Trolls.

We anticipate that 18.2% of brands on the list will experience a dip in retail sales in 2016. Declining brands account for 11.4% of retail sales on the list—but, with the gains from new additions and top performers, growth in 2016 retail sales is expected to outpace loses. Potential cuts are Monsters University, How to Train Your Dragon, and Ben 10.

In contrast, 43.2% of brands are expected to experience positive growth—these currently account for 41.5% of the list’s total sales. Some of the biggest expected growers launched extensive programs in connection with film releases (Angry Birds, Power Rangers, and Warner Bros.’ superheroes), anniversary celebrations (Star Trek and Pokémon), or just plain old-fashioned momentum (Shopkins).

Entertainment properties with expected flat growth (±2%, give or take) make up 38.6% of the list, accounting for almost half (47.1%) of the share of retail sales. These tend to be established brands that have secured their space on retail shelves—four are in the top 10. While Mickey & Friends and Hello Kitty are not exactly making headlines, they remain a bedrock of entertainment licensing.

Estimated Growth in Retail Sales of Licensed Merchandise Based on $100 Million+ Entertainment/Character Properties, U.S. & Canada, 2015–2016
Rank, 2015 Property Licensor Change in Global Retail Sales, 2015–2016
1 Mickey & Friends Disney FLAT
2 Star Wars Disney POS.
3 Disney Princess Disney FLAT
4 Hello Kitty Sanrio FLAT
5 Frozen Disney POS.
6 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Nickelodeon POS.
7 Winnie the Pooh Disney FLAT
9 Despicable Me/Minions Universal NEG.
10 Sesame Street Sesame Workshop FLAT
11 Batman Warner Bros. POS.
12 Spider-Man Disney POS.
13 Avengers Disney POS.
14 Peanuts Iconix POS.
15 Thomas & Friends Mattel POS.
16 Superman Warner Bros. POS.
17 Skylanders Activision NEG.
18 Transformers Hasbro POS.
19 Minecraft Mojang/Microsoft POS.
20 SpongeBob SquarePants Nickelodeon FLAT
21 Disney Cars Disney NEG.
22 Angry Birds Rovio POS.
23 Monsters University Disney NEG.
24 My Little Pony Hasbro POS.
25 Looney Tunes Warner Bros. FLAT
26 Power Rangers Saban POS.
27 Doc McStuffins Disney NEG.
28 Scooby-Doo Warner Bros. POS.
29 Monster High Mattel NEG.
30 Dora & Friends Nickelodeon FLAT
31 Simpsons 20th Century Fox FLAT
32 Minnie’s Bow-Tique Disney FLAT
33 Barbie Mattel FLAT
34 Sofia the First Disney FLAT
35 Ben 10 Cartoon Network NEG.
36 Betty Boop King Features FLAT
37 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Disney FLAT
38 Pokémon Pokémon Co. POS.
39 Doctor Who BBC FLAT
40 Star Trek CBS POS.
41 Adventure Time Cartoon Network FLAT
42 Garfield Paws Inc. FLAT
43 How to Train Your Dragon DreamWorks Animation NEG.
44 Shopkins Moose Toys POS.


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