The Licensing Blog

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The Tetris Co., Bioworld Europe Partner for Apparel and Accessories Range

BioworldEuropeThe Tetris Co. LLC appointed Bioworld Europe as its new apparel and accessory licensee for Europe and the Middle East. Bioworld Europe will create a line of Tetris branded clothing and gear including T-shirts, hoodies, leggings, sleepwear, headwear, bags, belts, and more. The new products are expected to launch later this year.

 

The Tetris Co. Names Notorious Merchandising Licensing Agency in Iberia

Tetris logoThe Tetris Co. LLC, named Notorious Brands & People (Notorious) as the merchandising licensing agency for the Tetris brand in Iberia. Notorious will create new merchandising opportunities for a variety of product categories including apparel, consumer products, accessories, and toys for the Spanish and Portuguese markets.

Puyo Puyo Tetris Heads to the U.S. and Europe

PuyoPuyoTetrisTetris partnered with Puyo Puyo from SEGA to create a fast-paced, competitive party game. The game offers tons of gameplay styles with Tetris/Puyo variety. Plus, an in-game Shop enables players to unlock new characters and skins for Puyos and Tetriminos. The game will be available to retailers in the U.S. and Europe on PlayStation4 and Nintendo Switch in this spring. Read the rest of this entry »

The Tetris Co. Names Branding Streams as its New Merchandising Agent in Canada

Tetris logoThe Tetris Co. LLC named Branding Streams as its merchandising agent for the Tetris brand in Canada. Branding Streams will create new product merchandising and promotional opportunities for categories including toys, health and beauty, apparel, home décor, party goods, and more.

Caroline Mickler Ltd. Will Showcase at Brand Licensing Europe

Boutique agency Caroline Mickler Ltd. will bring together the continuing success of classic brands like The Beatles, Yellow Submarine, and Moomin alongside Tetris and Boo at this year’s Brand Licensing Europe.

Caroline Mickler Ltd. has been implementing the UK brand licensing strategy for The Beatles on behalf of Apple Corps Ltd. since 2003. The Beatles brand has been divided into a large number of categories, ranging from calendars, board games, cushions, and playing cards to slippers, award-winning fashion bags, and heritage T-shirts. The latest success has been in apparel with a Tommy Hilfiger range. The UK product extension program has also developed Yellow Submarine as an art and design-based property with both mass market and high-end appeal, covering categories including T-shirts, greeting cards, designer jewelry, and specialist print.

The launch of the official Fifty Shades Of Grey lingerie line from British lingerie company BlueBella was announced at Moda, the UK’s largest fashion trade show. The property is targeting sleepwear, apparel, beauty products, bedding, home furnishings, stationery, jewelry, and adult products. Caroline Mickler Ltd.’s strategy for Moomin addresses the young women’s market. The licensing program has quickly grown from its beginnings in independent design-led retailers and fashion influencers to wider-ranging categories and outlets, the most recent being Primark for ladies’ sleepwear.

COMMENTARY: The Licensing Book Turns 30!

by Jackie Breyer, editor in chief

This year marks the 30th anniversary of The Licensing Book. The licensing industry has evolved quite a bit over the past 30 years, from an industry still in its infancy to a sophisticated system that involves complex legal agreements, global property launches, dozens—or sometimes hundreds—of licensing partners, and the need for international business units to keep tabs on all of it.

As Jim Kipling mentions in our State of the Industry Q&A (beginning on page 34), when Kenner negotiated the first Star Wars trilogy deal in the late ’70s, they created the concept of the master toy and game license. Kipling notes that the agreement was a mere 12 pages long, as compared to the second Star Wars trilogy agreement negotiated on behalf of Hasbro in 1997, which exceeded 250 pages. As you can imagine, the dollars involved were quite different as well. What hasn’t changed is the fact that Star Wars remains one of the top licensed properties in the world.

Nowadays, licensing rights are sliced and diced to a sometimes comical degree. On the one hand, this offers more opportunity to more manufacturers when an A-list property is at stake, but it also causes licensees to compete with one another for retail shelf space.

Thirty years ago, much of the properties up for grabs were TV and movie properties, and there was a big trend toward Saturday morning TV programs based on licensed merchandise and toy and video game characters. The Smurfs, The Snorks, Care Bears, Pac-Man, Q*bert, Inspector Gadget, Peanuts, and Strawberry Shortcake were featured prominently in our inaugural issue. This is still the case, so it shouldn’t come as such a surprise that some of the hottest properties today are based on video games and apps. Super Mario, Tetris, and Sonic the Hedgehog are perennial favorites—and are now considered classic evergreens—though they didn’t even exist when the first issue of The Licensing Book went to press. Skylanders, a much newer video game property from Activision Publishing, has blown the industry out of the water, exceeding $1 billion in retail sales, including games and figures.

What would have been a bit shocking, I think, is if we could have taken a glimpse at a typical 2013 consumer. The concept of apps, tablet computers, smartphones, (or even personal computers), and online shopping would have had our heads spinning. It would seem so overwhelming and unreal. (I would reference Back to the Future and its predictions here, but even that wasn’t released until 1985.) However, I don’t think Angry Birds and its success would have been unfathomable.

As we ponder how licensing has become exceedingly more complicated, it’s clear that some things never change. What’s more difficult to consider is how things will be different over the course of the next 30 years. Let’s meet in 2043 to review. Until then, we at The Licensing Book will do our best to keep you up to speed!

For more commentary from the editors of The Licensing Book, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Licensing Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!

New Tetris-Themed Products Introduced at Toy Fair

The Tetris Company, LLC, the exclusive licensor of the Tetris brand, and its merchandising agent, Licensing Works!, announced several new Tetris-themed products from licensees Techno Source, Paladone, and Fundex, which showcased their new Tetris products at Toy Fair.

Techno Source introduced its new Tetris Illuminated Mega Screen game. The stand-alone handheld device is designed with a large, illuminated screen to play a choice of three Tetris games, including the marathon version. It is the first stand-alone handheld to include a hold button, which allows players to keep a Tetrimino (the Tetris playing pieces) shape to use later in the game. The Tetris Illuminated Mega Screen game is expected to ship this spring, with in-store availability at Target, Kmart, and Toys “R” Us retailers to come this fall.

Techno Source also showcased its Tetris Link 2-Player Edition, a family strategy game designed for play at home or on the go, as a follow up to the Tetris Link tabletop strategy game. Tetris Link 2-Player Edition is expected shipping this spring, with in-store availability to come this fall.

Paladone
debuted three new Tetris products at Toy Fair. The Tetris Desk Tidy is a new collection of office supplies, including a double highlighter pen, a pencil holder containing five pencils, a sharpener and eraser, a memo pad, a tape dispenser, a staple-free stapler, a desk organizer (with rubber bands and Tetrimino shaped paper clips), and Tetrimino-shaped stress blocks. Paladone also showed the Tetris Stackable Desk Light and the Tetris Alarm Clock, featuring numbers that change using falling Tetrimino shapes. All three new Tetris products will become available for purchase in September.

Fundex
offered demonstrations of its games: Tetris The Card Game, a multiplayer card game; Tetris Tumble, a multiplayer strategy dice game; and Tetris Matrix, a single player strategy puzzle game. All three Tetris products are available for purchase at Books-a-Million, Barnes & Noble, and Calendar Club.

Tetris Brand to Expand through Merchandise Licensing Ventures

Tetris is my favorite game of all time. I play it in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, on the train, in restaurants waiting for my food to be served (which is probably a bit rude), on my lunch break, and any other time I have more than two idle minutes in my day. Or at least I did, until a water bottle exploded onto my Nintendo DS and I found out video games aren’t great swimmers. Anyone want to contribute to my new DS fund?

Anyway, you can imagine why this news, just in from Licensing Show, is pretty freakin’ awesome, at least to me.

Blue Planet Software, Inc., the company that manages the exclusive licensing rights to the Tetris brand, today announced that the company will be expanding the Tetris brand into merchandise licensing. The company madethe announcement from its debut appearance at Licensing Show with Licensing Works!

Created in 1984 by Russian-born mathematician Alexey Pajitnov, Tetris has become a success model for the gaming industry. Over its 25-year history, the Tetris game has been sold on almost every gaming platform and has been translated into more than 50 languages in over 50 countries. Currently, the Tetris game is available on over 30 platforms—from handheld games to computers to mobile phones to iPads—and Guinness World Records recently named Tetris one of the top 50 console games of all time.

The Tetris brand kicked off its 25th anniversary on June 6, 2009 with a media campaign that reached more than 1 billion impressions from coverage in over 60 countries. Google even changed its home page around the world and in every time zone to honor the gaming legend’s “birthday.” In addition, the game recently surpassed 100 million paid mobile downloads, making it the most popular mobile game of all time. The announcement was made with licensee EA Mobile in January of this year.

By expanding into merchandise licensing, the company hopes to broaden its demographic reach and further solidify brand awareness.

Tetris Holding, LLC is the owner of Tetris rights worldwide and The Tetris Company, LLC is its exclusive licensee. The Tetris Company, through its agent Blue Planet Software, Inc., licenses and manages the Tetris intellectual property and franchise worldwide. Today, Blue Planet Software continues to work with licensees to deliver top quality Tetris products that are relevant, fun, and challenging for its millions of players.

For the latest information about the Tetris brand and Tetris products, check out the website.

Here’s a video of the original Tetris on Nintendo Gameboy. The video is guaranteed to 1) make you feel really old, if you used to play on this version, as I did, and 2) get that awesome Tetris song stuck in your head. Enjoy!

–Jennifer Sinclair

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