The Licensing Blog

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Spin Master Heads to Summer Camp

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.57.43 AMSpin Master has announced a marketing partnership with Youth Venture Marketing and the American Camp Association. Spin Master’s products will be integrated into more than 135 camp programs across the U.S., which ship out in June. The program will run through August and will give campers a change to interact with top Spin Master brands, including DigiBirds, IONIX, Kinetic Sand, Meccano, Sew Cool, and Wackytivities. Spin Master plans to integrate construction toys and activity-based play into regular camp activities to support education development.

COMMENTARY: Licensed Video Game-Based Toys Can Ease Kids into Other Kinds of Play

KNEX.SuperMarioDesertIt’s summertime, which for a lot of kids means playing outside in the sunshine, swimming, and maybe even going on trips to visit nature. But for others, summer means staying indoors and playing video games all day. It’s probably best to moderate any activity that involves staring at a screen; however, the question is, how to get video game-obsessed kids to take up a different form of play? The answer may be toys based on popular video game titles, and there are quite a few of those available right now.

We kick off our non-comprehensive list with K’NEX, which since 2010, has partnered with Nintendo on construction toys based on its popular Mario property. Recently, I spoke to an executive at the company, who said that no small part of the partnership’s success came from replicating game elements in K’NEX’s construction sets: For example, many of its Super Mario building sets have a mechanism that simulates the avatar’s in-game jumping ability. Read the rest of this entry »

Take a Look at Licensing Expo 2014!

Licensing Expo 2014

Licensing Expo 2014

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Q&A with Tony Key, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Ubisoft

TonyKey.LBUbisoft is one of the biggest video game publishers in the world, with hit franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, which has sold 76 million games to-date. Licensed products (as well as an upcoming film version starring Michael Fassbender) are expected to increase the franchise’s visibility even further, giving it life beyond the game releases.

The Licensing Book recently spoke to Tony Key, Ubisoft’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, about licensing in relation to some of the company’s top franchises, how it can evolve with the franchise’s success, and the art of adapting video games into products.

The Licensing Book: When you compare the licensing programs of the most recent Assassin’s Creed with earlier installations, are the programs bigger now? Is it easier to convince licensees to jump on-board now?

Tony Key: The programs are definitely bigger and the range of products has broadened as well. The sales of the licensed products, as well as the games themselves, have each increased year-over-year, and this helps us secure new opportunities—whether they come to us or we reach out to them. Also, we have expanded our product assortment from what we would see as niche or genre products coming from boutique licensees, toward more mainstream, mass market products and powerhouse licensees, like Mega Brands or BioWorld. Read the rest of this entry »

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Merchandising Lineup Unveiled

UnknownNickelodeon has unveiled the merchandising lineup for the new Paramount Pictures movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, landing in theaters August 8. The full product line will be available this summer and throughout the holiday season.

Target will be the official destination for all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT). Toys and video games will be available from Playmates Toys, Lego, and Activision Publishing Inc. ACI, Accutime, Bentex, Berkshire, Bioworld, Crocs, FGX International, Freeze, Handcraft, Hanover, H.E.R. Accessories, High Point, Isaac Morris, LF USA, MZ Bergerm Nouveau, Pan Oceanic, PS Brands, Richard Leeds and Rubie’s Costume Co. will offer costumes, apparel, and accessories. Home décor will be form Accessory Innovations, Global Designs Concepts, Loungefly, Thermos, and Zak Designs. Insight Editions and Paramount Home Entertainment will provide publishing and home entertainment.

Linda Castillon Joins

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Linda Castillon has joined as senior vice president of licensing. She will define and execute the brand’s partnership strategy relating to brands and icons in art, entertainment, sports, and other categories.

Castillon has been in the licensing industry for more than 20 years and has previously served as senior vice president of licensing for Fathead LLC and Skinit LLC. She was responsible for bringing prominent entertainment properties to those companies including Disney, Nickelodeon, Hello Kitty, the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL), and other top brands and intellectual properties.

Marvel Reveals Merchandising Program

Merchandising licensee partners for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron include Hasbro, LEGO, Hot Wheels, Under Armour, Mad Engine, and Hallmark. The movie is set to hit theaters next summer, with merchandise being released throughout the year.