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Special Report: Licensing In The Metaverse

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief This month in The Licensing Letter newsletter we’re covering what may be the biggest story in licensing over the past decade and for the decade to come; namely, the rise of licensing in what is known as the Metaverse. So, what is the Metaverse? Essentially, it refers to a virtual world that is entered into by human beings in the form of digital avatars, but where real commerce happens, just as in the real world. If you’ve ever seen the film Ready Player One, played the game Second Life, or read the novel Snow Crash, you already have some idea what the Metaverse is and how it works. What’s different today is that the Metaverse is being rapidly developed to replace what we… . . . read more

Collaborations Licensing New Agent For World’s Best Apron Maker

Collaborations Licensing has announced this week a new partnership with Hedley & Bennett, arguably the best and most innovative apron brand in the world. While many people think an apron is an apron is an apron, most Michelin chefs would disagree. Since 2012, Hedley & Bennett has been creating better working, better looking kitchen workwear for both professional and home consumers alike, working to make the most functional, most durable and most beautiful aprons worn by everyone from the most talented professionals in the world to the home cook just starting their cooking journey.  Hedley & Bennett aprons are worn by half of the 3-Michelin Star restaurants in the United States, over 6,000 restaurants worldwide, and across a wide array of entertainment programs including Bravo’s Top Chef, Michelle Obama’s Waffles &… . . . read more

Lola’s and Ghost Kitchen Bringing Venezuelan Foods to U.S.

A popular purveyor of Venezuelan delicacies is bringing that country’s tasty treats to America through a licensing partnership with Ghost Kitchen Brands, a company offering what it calls “virtual food courts” inside Walmart stores and other locations. Lola’s Latin Food is a true family enterprise that was founded in Toronto in 2017 by Venezuelan immigrants Mateo and Gabriela Maslov, who worked with other families in the Venezuelan community, producing and selling frozen empanadas, tequeños (cheese sticks), churros, and other Venezuelan and Latin American foods. Lola’s primarily sold its wares through ethnic food outlets and a variety of food service companies, but in 2020, the company launched an ecommerce site and mobile app, and began selling Direct to Consumer in the Toronto area. Lola’s also now supplies 23 Ghost Kitchen Brands locations,… . . . read more

Aardman Announces Hilarious New License Deals

The hilarious Animation studio Aardman has announced several new licensing deals for two of its most famous brands, Wallace & Gromit, and the spinoff Shaun the Sheep. The Wallace & Gromit series of short stop-action animation practically reinvented the genre, and brought the mild-mannered gadget freak Wallace and his much smarter dog Gromit to international fame. Shaun the Sheep was originally a character in the Wallace & Gromit shorts, but both brands have since inspired feature films. Wallace and Gromit’s love of cheese—particularly a nice Stilton—became so widely known that all you had to do to get a laugh at parties was say, “More cheese, Gromit?” in a bad Yorkshire accent, so it’s no surprise Aardman has now partnered with a cheese company. It would be more shocking if they… . . . read more

Ariella Maizner Puts The Young In Young Fashion For Walmart

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief By any measure, designer Ariella Maizner has had a remarkable career, and now, her teen clothing line THEME is being picked up by retail giant Walmart this spring. What is remarkable is that Maizner is experiencing this runaway success at the age of 12, after first seeing her fashion designs getting a major boost with fellow designers and social influencers. Her pieces have been worn by famous figures including Tik Tok sensations Charli and Dixie Damelio, stars Whitney Port, Tia Mowry and Karolina Kurkova, and fashion industry mainstays Rebecca Minkoff and Eva Chen. By contrast, when I was 12, I was delivering newspapers to people’s homes on my bike, back when that was a thing. “I always knew I wanted to be a… . . . read more

Who’s News: Parmar Promoted To MD Of Toymaster

Toymaster, the UK’s national association of toy stores, has promoted Yogi Parmar to the role of Managing Director. Parmar has worked with Toymaster for several years, and recently has served along with Colin Farrow as the company’s joint interim managing director. Toymaster chair Chris Blatcher says Parma is a long-serving, popular, and much respected leader of the Toymaster Head Office Team, whose promotion arrives in recognition of his dedication to the company, as well as his management skills and expertise in “all things Toymaster.” “I am pleased to announce that Yogi Parmar who is currently Joint Interim Managing Director  of Toymaster Ltd, has been promoted to the permanent role of Managing Director,” Blatcher said. “I am sure our members, suppliers and staff will all join me in congratulating Yogi on this… . . . read more

Eddie Bauer Being Acquired By Authentic Brands

Retail and consumer products giant Authentic Brands and its partially owned subsidiary SPARC Group have reached an agreement to buy the outdoor clothing chain Eddie Bauer in a deal expected to close June 1. Deal terms have not yet been disclosed. Authentic Brands Group LLC is a global force in retail with more than 6,000 outlets worldwide, generating roughly $14 billion in annual revenue. ABG is also a founding partner of SPARC Group, a global enterprise that designs, sources, manufactures, distributes and markets leading lifestyle brands. As the dedicated operating partner for Brooks Brothers, Nautica, Aéropostale, Forever 21 and Lucky Brand, SPARC supports 3,950-plus retail doors worldwide and approximately $7.2 billion in global retail sales annually. SPARC is co-owned in a partnership with Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in… . . . read more

What Consumers Will be Looking for in a Post-COVID World

By Alicia Rosa Brand Central Insights Consumers are starting to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. This new vaccinated world will be a testing ground to see if the pandemic-driven trends and habits will stay. At Brand Central Insights we’ve been able to look at the trends from the last year at a bird’s-eye view to see what’s going to stick around for the long haul and what will join the graveyard of TikTok fads. As we get closer to a post-COVID world, consumers will be looking to reclaim the time spent inside and celebrate extravagantly, but won’t want to lose the conveniences, communities, or creative hobbies they discovered in quarantine. E-Commerce & DTC Online shopping and e-commerce habits will likely continue post-COVID, despite the excitement… . . . read more

Vir The Robot Boy Is Now Teaching Kids

  New Partnership Between Wow Kidz and Twinkl to Create Educational Materials Schools have taken a real hit over the past year due to COVID-19, but Vir the Robot Boy is flying in to the rescue with a new range of themed educational resources. The initiative is due to a partnership between Wow Kidz, the kids’ animation brand owned by Cosmos-Maya,  with the global educational publisher Twinkl, to create a range of educational materials and resources based on Vir: The Robot Boy.  The new jointly-created teaching resources are designed to inspire children and engage them in learning by featuring one of India’s favorite cartoon robots, Vir: The Robot Boy. The animated superhero character, owned by Cosmos-Maya, is also much-loved around the world, with the series of the same name now streaming… . . . read more

Fanatics Partners With NFL and Amazon In Major Strategic Shift

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief Amazon is the dominant force in the Western world when it comes to ecommerce, with the one exception of pro-sports branded sports gear and memorabilia, and that’s because the market is largely cornered by Fanatics. Now, that may be changing due to a game changing new partnership between the National Football League, Fanatics, and Amazon. The NFL is now bringing thousands of its officially licensed products to the ecommerce site in a move that could permanently transform the market for sports fan products. The partnership does not exclude Fanatics, which is part of the three-way collaboration that will see Fanatics opening an NFL Shop storefront on Amazon’s website. Starting on Wednesday, March 31, the NFL will bring the first of thousands of branded… . . . read more