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Brands Taking A Deep Dive Into NFT Market

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief As many have predicted, the licensing industry and in particular companies involved with collectibles like comics and trading cards, have dived headfirst into the world of Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs. Some of the examples include DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Funko, and the collectible giant Topps Company, which has been into NFTs for close to a year now. Among them, Funko has likely taken the biggest step yet, as the company announced on April Fool’s Day that it has acquired a majority ownership stake in TokenWave, LLC, the developer of TokenHead, a leading mobile app and website for showcasing and tracking Non-Fungible Token (NFT) holdings. TokenHead is available on iOS and Android, and currently displays over 10 million NFTs and has more than… . . . read more

Special Report: The Downside of NFTs

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief If you’re like me, you’ve likely been reading about the recent NFT craze and wondering if these ‘Non-Fungible Tokens’ will be used in the licensing industry as a means to establish intellectual property ownership and licensing rights. The answer is both yes … and maybe no. Most of the news about NFTs over the past month has focused on the use of blockchain technology in the area of ‘rare’ collectibles. A variety of companies have been using and selling NFTs to establish someone’s ownership of a digital property, and to create an aura of ‘scarcity’ around that collectible. The most startling example to date is the sale for $69.3 million of a digital art collage by an artist known as Beeple, purchased by… . . . read more

Sesame Street Joins Blank Slate Art Platform

Sesame Street is the first brand to launch as part of “Blank Slate,” a new platform partnership between Champion Athleticwear and Foot Locker, Inc. The platform taps notable artists and content creators to bring exclusive collaborations to life through a unique lens. Jason Freeny and Naturel are two of the artists re-imagining Sesame Street’s iconic characters in these limited-edition styles. This week, the Jason Freeny collab debuts with adult t-shirts, hoodies, shorts, and pants featuring Cookie Monster, The Count, Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, and Elmo, and to say these are eye catching would be an understatement Freeny, a New York-based sculptor, is known for his anatomical character dissections. In other words, if you want to see what the inside of a Cookie Monster looks like, this is the collection for… . . . read more

University of Cambridge Unveils Licensing Plans

Globally renowned university Cambridge is set for a busy year of licensing programs, with plans unveiled this week by UK agent The Point.1888 and Fitzwilliam Museum Enterprises (FME), the Cambridge subsidiary responsible for licensing. The Point.1888 says the mission of the University of Cambridge has always been to contribute to society through education, learning and research at the highest international level. Renowned globally for its education and research excellence, there is growing interest among the public in its amazing range of museums, libraries and botanical gardens, which cover art, artifacts, polar exploration, anthropology, zoology, geology and the history of science. “All of our income goes to support the vital research and activities of our museums and botanic garden,” Len Dunne, CEO of FME Ltd, explains. “We are excited to expand our UK… . . . read more

Innovative Graffiti Fashion Line Features Banksy

Art Ask Agency has announced a major launch of its Brandalised licensing program, which it is carrying out in partnership with UK-based licensee Park Agencies. The Brandalised collection—a twist on the word ‘Vandalized’—features clothing with designs taken literally from the streets, in the form of graffiti art work created by enigmatic artist Banksy. Art Ask says the collection is launching this week with the Polish fashion retailer Medicine, across nearly 1,000 stores in Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus and online. The collection now has 27 SKUs available, ranging from T-shirts and hoodies, socks and denim jackets to tailored shirts for men and women. The designs are based on the most famous of Banksy’s Graffiti artworks, gathered from the streets of the largest cities across the world. The licensing deal made a… . . . read more

New Launches From Jewel For Black History Month

Jewel Branding & Licensing (JBL) is celebrating Black History Month by launching several new projects and highlighting some of their most talented designers, illustrators, influencers and TV personalities.  The company says it’s “proud to highlight the designers and artists of color in their portfolio, including illustrators and influencers Kendra Dandy of Bouffants & Broken Hearts, and Jessi Raulet of EttaVee, as well as celebrity interior designer and TV personality, Nikki Chu.” For their limited edition artist series, Athleta (part of Gap Inc.) joined forces with artist and designer Kendra Dandy on a fun collection of masks and t-shirts. Dandy’s art is featured on the home page of in celebration of Black History Month. American Greetings has also partnered with Kendra to launch an endcap collection of greeting cards slated for release at… . . . read more

EMPIK Launches Frida Kahlo Collection with Art Ask Agency

The iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo’s works will be featured in a new collection of licensed products in collaboration with the Polish cultural retailer EMPIK, in a deal reached with Barcelona-based Art Ask Agency. Art Ask says the Frida Kahlo licensing program continues to grow substantially, “despite these challenging times, and is pleased to announce its latest Frida Kahlo collection launch of licensed product in collaboration with Polish cultural retailer, EMPIK.” Empik is one of the most recognizable and popular Polish brands, a socially responsible company that organizes different events each year such as meetings with authors and workshops. Established in 1948, and today at the forefront in the field of innovative, omnichannel solutions, EMPIK has a network of over 260 stores in the EU, and is one of the largest… . . . read more

Poetic Brands Gets Artsy With Britain’s National Gallery

In response to a growing interest in art in the licensed fashion sector, specialist apparel licensee Poetic Brands has teamed up with Britain’s National Gallery, which houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world, to create a range of adult apparel and accessories based on its impressive and extensive artworks. The collection will incorporate a wide range of products including adult daywear apparel and outerwear, swimwear, flip flops, beach bags and towels, adult nightwear and essentials, and accessories including caps and luggage.  The National Gallery in London, England, was founded in 1824 and houses more than 2,600 paintings from the late 13th to the early 20th century in Trafalgar Square. With one of the greatest collections of art in the world, the Gallery displays many world-famous works,… . . . read more

Poetic Brands Launches Baby Line With Brambly Hedge

Poetic Brands is creating a line of baby clothing and accessories based on the Brambly Hedge children’s books by Jill Barklem. Poetic signed the deal this week with Rockpool Licensing, which manages the Brambly Hedge intellectual property worldwide. Under the agreement, Poetic plans to produce a new collection including layette and fashion daywear, nightwear, snow suits sleeping bags, accessories and changing bags inspired by the adventures of the iconic community of mice in the idyllic English countryside. Brambly Hedge joins a number of prestigious new children’s partners for Poetic Brands, as the licensee establishes its new Baby, Children’s Wear and Accessories division. Brambly Hedge began life in 1980 as a series of intricately illustrated books following a family of mice in the English countryside. Written by Jill Barklem, the brand… . . . read more

New Lego Sets Create Disney-based Art

It’s said that a single picture is worth a thousand words, but in the case of the new Lego Art series, that single picture is also worth 2,658 plastic blocks. Danish building toy giant Lego is once more expanding its line of Lego Art kits with the addition of two Disney-themed, 2-D mosaics, featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The kits are aimed at older Lego and Disney fans who enjoy the intricate nature of putting together the intricate mosaic-style picture. The kit can be configured to portray either Minnie or Mickey, and measures 15.5 square inches. The mosaic is designed to hang on the wall or sit on a table or mantlepiece, and also includes an immersive story soundtrack, put together by Disney. This is the second mosaic kit for Lego,… . . . read more