As Lisle Licensing celebrates its 10th anniversary, Toy World spoke to chairman Colin Lisle and managing director Frankie Lisle.
Lisle Licensing has plenty to celebrate this year, marking not only its 10th anniversary but also the promotion of Frankie to the position of managing director in May.
“We’ve learned a lot,” Frankie told Toy World, when asked how the past decade has been for the company. “We’ve represented several different brands of varying types over the years, and we’ve also weathered a lot both economically and societally – Covid, Brexit, even the ever-changing nature of kids’ content consumption. We are delighted with where the business is, and we’re grateful to be representing a strong mix of different brands and licensors.”
Colin explained how much harder it's become to predict how a property may perform, especially in the pre-school category. Remembering when any brand with a TV commercial tended to be picked up by retailers, nowadays,Colin notes, the elements Lisle looks for are considerably different: “You’ve got to hit so many different touchpoints to be a success.”
Lisle Licensing is well on the way to to curating a balanced portfolio of brands; Masha and the Bear, 44 Cats, Gormiti and SuperZings in kids’ entertainment, plus lifestyle, gaming and sports. Following the company's initial success with the ZhuZhu Pets property, there were big shoes to fill. The company notes that retailers today are often looking for properties that will perform quickly, despite the fact that it can take years to establish a property in the marketplace.
Coin and Frankie shared that Lisle Licensing is on the brink of announcing three new properties, one in the children’s entertainment space and two lifestyle brands. ,
The small, focused business prides itself on being hands-on and is always looking for the next opportunity. Part of Creative Product Solutions (CPS), the company is able to interact with a wide range of distributors and retailers.“Our Headu business, for example, has tripled year on year, and we’re doing particularly well with educational specialists and online retailers,” said Colin. "Another range in CPS’ portfolio is PDT, a manufacturer and distributor of consumer electronics, predominantly karaoke, speakers and musical instruments. The two areas of the business, Lisle as a licensing agent and Creative Product Solutions as a sales agency, have given us an understanding of both sides of the table. The two entities sit beautifully together, and we’ll be looking to expand the symbiotic nature of both moving forward.”
“To reach the 10-year mark, given all the various hurdles we’ve had to overcome, is something we’re really proud of,” says Frankie. “Over that time, we’ve also forged some incredible relationships with retail buyers and manufacturers alike. We’re seeing some testing times at the moment, but with the diversity of our portfolio, the strength of our relationships and our unique understanding of the marketplace, we’re optimistic of many more good years ahead.”
To find out more about what makes a great licence, and how the company’s unique knowledge of both toys and licensing keeps it ahead of the pack, read the full article, which appeared in the October issue of Toy World, here.