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UK Show Floogals Zoom into Rocket’s Roster

Rocket Licensing announced this week it has acquired the representation rights for Nevison’s BAFTA and Emmy nominated preschool TV animation, Floogals. The popular programme follows the characters Fleeker, Flo and Boomer, three pint-sized but adventurous aliens from Planet Floog, as they discover the world, and its ‘hooman’ inhabitants through fresh eyes. Floogals has become extremely popular with preschoolers in the UK on Milkshake! where it has ranked as the #3 show on the channel in 2020, with a reach of 721,000 and 70,000 average audience. Series 2 of the show also enjoys a daily slot on Nick Jr Too, where it took the #6 spot in February and March 2020. Series 1-3 of the show are available on Universal Kids and on demand on Amazon Prime and YouTube Kids, reaching… . . . read more

Capcom Seeking Licensing Partners for Mega Man

Further to a story that first broke in May this year on the fan site Nintendo Wire, Capcom has updated their website to make it clear the company is actively seeking licensing partners for its Mega Man video game property. The original page was spotted on the Japanese website and was printed only in Japanese, but Capcom has now put out an update to their English language page saying, “Capcom is looking for licensing partners for Mega Man Battle Network’s 20th Anniversary.” The offering is for the 20th Anniversary of the PC version of the game. The original Mega Man debuted on Nintendo in 1987 and was one of that platform’s early successes. Capcom is opening up licensing for events, toys, figurines, apparel, food, and more. Anyone interested in licensing… . . . read more

Seismic Shakeup in Publishing as Bertelsmann Buys Simon & Schuster

The parent company of America’s largest publishing house, Penguin Random House, has emerged the victor in a bidding war for the country’s third largest book publisher. Bertelsmann says it has reached an agreement to purchase S&S for $2.175 billion, with the deal expecting to close in 2021 following regulatory approvals. Until that time, the companies say S&S will continue to operate independently under current president and CEO Jonathan Karp. The agreement will essentially merge two of America’s largest publishers and increase Penguin’s dominance in the North American industry. “Simon & Schuster aligns completely with the creative and entrepreneurial culture that we nurture by providing editorial autonomy to our publishers, funding their pursuit of new stories, ideas, and voices, and maximizing reach for our authors,” said CEO Markus Dohle in a… . . . read more

Merchantwise Brings Popeye Fitness Wear Down Under

Now all you need for your workout is a can of spinach. Australia’s Merchantwise Licensing, on behalf of King Features Syndicate has brokered the first ever Australian Popeye sportswear collection with popular online sportswear label, The WOD Life. The partners say the collection was a perfect fit for The WOD Life, who saw a strong correlation between its loyal customer base with Popeye’s strength and fun nature. The range features a number of iconic and incredibly familiar Popeye, Brutus and Olive Oyl images. Launching this month ahead of the Australian summer season, the limited-edition range of fashionably branded Popeye sportswear apparel for women and men includes a high-waisted booty short, fleet bra, motion shorts, slash crop, flex short and printed tank. Popeye will grace a wide range of branded sports… . . . read more

Melissa & Doug Partner with ViacomCBS

Toy company Melissa & Doug have scored what may be its biggest deal to date, signing an exclusive licensing partnership with ViacomCBS Consumer Products  to deliver PAW Patrol and Blue’s Clues & You! co-branded toy product lines for Fall 2021. The company says the toys will be designed to educate and empower preschoolers through active engagement with a focus on problem solving and creative thinking. This global partnership with ViacomCBS is the largest licensing agreement Melissa & Doug has ever signed, marking a major milestone for the company. Through the partnership, Melissa & Doug will bring innovative new toys to retail that will span multiple categories focused on learning and education. “Melissa & Doug has been at the forefront of children’s toys for over 30 years,” said Dion Vlachos, Executive Vice… . . . read more

Dick’s Sporting Goods Names New CEO as Sales Surge

Leadership at one of the world’s largest sporting goods companies is going through a major change, as longtime CEO Ed Stack hands the reins to Lauren Hobart. Stack is a legend in the company, having taken over the business in 1984 from his father, Dick Stack, who was the company’s founder and namesake. Starting in his new role at age 29, the younger Stack grew the firm rapidly and took the company public in 2002. Stack has now named Hobart as his successor, saying, “This is the perfect time for this transition. We have the best management team in the company’s history, and the investments we have made in our people, our stores, and our communities are paying off.” It also doesn’t hurt that Dick’s Sporting Goods is enjoying almost… . . . read more

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Bruce Lee Fight for Social Justice

By Gary Symons NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar announced this week his first-ever partnership with the estate of his dear friend, the late martial arts phenomenon Bruce Lee. The collaboration between these two iconic athletes and advocates for social justice kicks off with the release of a limited edition t-shirt on Nov. 27, which would have been Bruce Lee’s 80th birthday. “We had an unlikely friendship—a 7’2” basketball player and a 5’8” martial artist—but we had a shared interest in music, the arts, philosophy, and improving the lives of people who looked like us,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “We believe that tackling systemic racism starts with making a friend who doesn’t look like you and creating empathy for others. That’s what we’re hoping to promote with our social justice champion/social justice warrior efforts.”… . . . read more

Barbie and Tim Hortons ‘Double Double’ Down on Hockey For Girls

By Gary Symons Few people in the licensing biz know this about me, but among other things I was a minor hockey coach for many years, as my elder daughter was a bit of a pioneer among female players. She started out playing full contact hockey against boys, because there was no girl’s team in our city, and later joined a girl’s hockey team. Every weekend at the crack of dawn we’d get up, stop at Tim Horton’s, and I’d alternate between sucking down a Double Double and screaming at the top of my lungs. For all those reasons, I was quite impressed to see Tim Hortons is now working on a program to empower young, female hockey players in a partnership with Mattel. The Tim Hortons chain is working… . . . read more

How to Play the Game of Video Game Licensing

Video gaming has arguably become the single largest market for digital media licensing in the world, surpassing film, television, music and sports, and if there’s one thing that irritates Chris Petrovic and Shaan Akbar, it’s that video games are sometimes treated in the licensing world as the half-grown stepchild of more traditional media. The two men are gaming industry veterans heavily involved in licensing negotiations for various developers. Petrovic is SVP and Head of Corporate Strategy, M&A and Business Development at Zynga, while Akbar is a D2C entrepreneur and advisor to the gaming industry, who has worked with major brands including Disney and the Star Wars portfolio. “It wouldn’t be a gaming discussion without highlighting how big gaming is,” said Petrovic. “I think this is the statistic that keeps getting… . . . read more

McKinsey Report Studies Changing Face of China’s Retail Market

by Gary Symons An in-depth report on how COVID-19 is affecting the world’s second largest economy says companies wanting to sell into that market will face major challenges.  A report by McKinsey & Company entitled Understanding Chinese Consumers: Growth Engine of the World, says COVID-19 is accelerating already existing trends in the marketplace that will have huge impacts in 2021 and future years.  In their full report, McKinsey’s team of analysts identified five key trends that will impact manufacturers, distributors and the licensing industry for years to come. The five trends include:  Digitization of business processes; Declining exposure to the global market; Rising competition within China; Changing consumer patterns domestically; Increased role of the private sector in the economy.  DIGITIZATION McKinsey says COVID-19 has massively accelerated digitization of business processes,… . . . read more