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Lego and Universal Music Group Launch Music Video Maker

In yet another example of how the world of music licensing has evolved over the past two years, LEGO and Universal Music Group (UMG) announced on Jan. 26 the launch of LEGO VIDIYO, “a playful and innovative music video maker experience designed to celebrate and expand children’s creativity and passion for music.” The companies say in a joint statement that LEGO VIDIYO is a brand-new way to play that helps children dream big by directing, producing, starring in, and sharing their own music videos, using tracks from across the globe, led by chart hits from UMG’s unrivalled artists.” It’s also another way that music publishers like Universal have expanded the ways in which they license music, with a pronounced accent on licensing to social media networks and video games. While LEGO is… . . . read more

Who’s News: The Point.1888 Continues to Expand

Licensing and branding firm The Point.1888 has successfully navigated the COVID-19 pandemic so successfully that it’s now in the fifth phase of corporate expansion, with five new key hires. The Point.1888 says the expansion, which will involve new roles in the Commercial, Product Development, Marketing and Legal divisions, is an exciting new stage but also very much a necessity as the company manages the increased attention and demand driven by an impressive year of successful partnerships in 2020. As well as a busy calendar of hugely successful Virtual Immersion Events and record breaking product launches such as Barratt’s partnership with Iceland which sold 1.3m units in its first 12 weeks, two of its management team won the industry’s most prestigious awards—Managing Director Will Stewart with BLLA’s Brand Ambassador of the… . . . read more

UFC Names Panini America Exclusive Collectible Global Trading Card Partner

UFC,  the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, has entered into a new, multi-year licensing agreement with Panini America, the world’s largest licensed sports and entertainment collectibles company. The partnership, negotiated by IMG, grants Panini America the rights to become UFC’s official and exclusive collectible trading card partner. “We are thrilled to welcome Panini America as UFC’s new official collectible trading card partner,” said UFC Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Products Tracey Bleczinski.  “Many of our fans use collectible trading cards to stay connected to our brand and to their favorite UFC athletes, and Panini America is the industry leader, creating innovative and unique products for our fans to enjoy.” The UFC  collaboration will officially launch in April with the release of Panini’s UFC Prizm collectible series. Panini will… . . . read more

Fortnite on Licensing Binge With New Game Characters

The wildly popular Fortnite video game has made an art form of incorporating popular celebrities or movie characters into its game play, and over the past week has outdone itself. Thanks to a trio of new agreements, Fortnite players can dress their game avatars as their favorite soccer (football) players from around the globe, go on the hunt as The Predator, or relentlessly stalk their opponent as either Sarah Connor or the Terminator T-800 from the Terminator film franchise. As of Jan. 23 players could choose from 10 different ‘Kickoff Set’ outfits to represent their favorite soccer team inside the game, and each outfit can be swapped for the uniforms of any of the 23 teams participating in the licensing deal, which includes: Manchester City FC Juventus AC Milan Inter… . . . read more

Funko Opens Virtual, COVID-Safe Showroom

It’s been a difficult year for B2B marketing teams when virtually every trade show and conference in the world has been canceled due to COVID-19, but Funko has found a way by launching its own “digital showroom.” Funko Europe, the pop culture product company, this week opened the doors to its first-ever virtual showroom, featuring more than 400 products for 2021. Normally the company has a brick-and-mortar showroom located at its headquarters in London, but with that currently locked down the virtual showroom becomes even more important. The pop culture consumer products specialist, Funko Europe, has opened the virtual doors of its first-ever online showroom, a platform launched in the absence of trade shows this season. Open to retail customers and media as of Jan. 25, the online showroom will… . . . read more

Debra Valencia Creates Shibori Bedding for Spectrum Home

Designer Debra Valencia has created an all new collection of Shibori style bedding for Spectrum Home Textiles in a deal brokered by The Brand Liaison, Valencia’s exclusive licensing agent. Valencia has spent years mastering the ancient Japanese hand dyed textile tradition of Shibori, studying under the guidance of a master instructor in Japan, and has personally created dozens of handmade textiles incorporating a variety of techniques, including handcut stencils, sewing, folding, binding and clamping. Each of her textile works is a one of a kind original, and select prints from Valencia’s Shibori Collection can be found on stationery, bedding and other home goods. The entire collection is now available for licensing across all product categories. Typically used only for textiles in the past, the Shibori collections are now a hot… . . . read more

Licensing Monster “Mobile Suit Gundam” Airing on Crunchyroll

The anime network Crunchyroll began airing “Mobile Suit Gundam,” the original series within the iconic Gundam franchise, as one of its library of more than 1,000 Gundam titles, opening up more opportunities for licensees. The Crunchyroll consumer products team currently manages the international merchandise rights for five Gundam titles with North American licensees including Bioworld Merchandising, Just Funky, FigPin, Trends Intl., and Loot Crate. For the uninitiated, it’s hard to overstate how popular Gundam products are in the anime fan world, and Mobile Suit Gundam is the classic show that started it all back in 1979. Crunchyroll says all 42 episodes of the original series will be aired on the streamer starting Jan. 25. The show follows a young pilot named Amuro Ray as he controls the gigantic Mobile Suit Gundam, essentially… . . . read more

Poetic Brands Creating Licensed Apparel and Face Masks for Na! Na! Na! Surprise

Following the enormous success of LOL Surprise and LOL Surprise OMG dolls from MGA Entertainment, Poetic Brands has snapped up a licensing deal with the toy giant for its latest collectible doll range, Na! Na! Na! Surprise. The specialist apparel licensee is working on a range of children’s apparel, outerwear and swimwear, nightwear and essentials based on the new property aimed at children aged three and older. Poetic Brands will also launch a range of face masks for Na! Na! Na! Surprise and LOL Surprise OMG dolls in the coming months. Na! Na! Na! Surprise launched in the US in late 2019, followed by the UK in September 2020. The collectible dolls offer a new unboxing experience, featuring a balloon that when blown up and then popped provides fans with… . . . read more

US Army Inks Licensing Deal With The Fan Brand

So, would you like that lampshade in camo? It’s a fair question, as the US Army became the first branch of the U.S. Armed Forces to execute a license agreement with The Fan-Brand to develop and sell officially licensed lighted wall signs, pool table lights and an assortment of wall décor products bearing the U.S. Army’s iconic logo and colors. Beanstalk, the US Army’s official global brand extension licensing agency, brokered the agreement.  “I can’t tell you how thrilled we are to welcome the U.S. Army as the first military branch in our family of licensed brands,” says Harrison Grimm, Founder & CEO of The Fan-Brand. “We are honored that the U.S. Army has selected us as a licensee and will strive to deliver products that our service men and… . . . read more

Patricia Nash Designs Appoints Evolution As Licensing Agency

Patricia Nash Designs, a designer brand of leather handbags, jewelry, and accessories, has appointed Evolution USA as the licensing and brand management agency for relevant category extensions. Evolution is being tasked with developing and managing a full-scale licensing program including identifying retail and licensee partnerships with initial focus on the North American market. The Patricia Nash brand, inspired by travel, memories, vintage craftsmanship and a sense of family will focus on natural category extensions that preserve the integrity and quality of the brand. Newly licensed categories will include a broad assortment of indoor and outdoor home furnishings and housewares, tabletop and drinkware, women’s dresses and resort wear, women’s swimsuits and cover-ups, sleepwear and slippers, and an extended line of accessories including watches, sunglasses, gifts and candles, stationery and paper goods… . . . read more