Moonbug grants MGA worldwide rights for Little Baby Bum

MGA to develop consumer products programme for Little Baby Bum brand to accelerate availability and accessibility globally.

Little Baby BumFollowing the success of its Little Tikes Little Baby Bum toy line, Moonbug has made MGA Entertainment the worldwide licensing agent for its global pre-school sensation Little Baby Bum brand. MGAE will develop an industry-leading consumer products programme for the brand to accelerate its availability and accessibility globally, managing new licensees and working with both physical and digital retailers.

“Little Baby Bum’s engaging and playful nursery rhymes have resonated with millions of kids around the world, and we’re excited to bring fans new ways to deepen their connection both online and offline,” said Simon Philips, Moonbug. “It is a favourite for parents, too. During these difficult times where educational content has been in high demand from parents, Little Baby Bum has seen a huge uptick in views as parents have chosen it to entertain their kids.”

As a part of this agreement, MGAE will manage new licensees and work with retailers on products from apparel to bedding to fast-moving consumer goods to digital and traditional publishing.

Isaac Larian, CEO and founder of MGAE, commented: “Little Baby Bum is a worldwide favourite among kids as we’ve seen with the initial launch of our Little Tikes Little Baby Bum toys that launched last fall. Our worldwide licensing team has generated much success for the L.O.L Surprise! brand and this is an exciting time to bring the Little Baby Bum digital IP into the real world for its millions of fans.”

Little Baby Bum can be found on over 40 platforms globally including Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. On YouTube alone, it garners over 1.5 billion views per month and has surpassed 80 million subscribers.

Panini reveals new Fortnite collection

The new Fortnite collection offers 315 cards to collect and swap, including special cards.

Panini FortnitePanini has announced that the brand-new official Fortnite trading card collection has arrived.

Fortnite, a online game from Epic Games, drops players on an island brimming with battles and experiences. Fans can battle solo, as a team, or create their own worlds with their own rules.

Panini aims to bring together all the thrills and action of the online video game in this collection. There are 315 cards to collect and swap, including 65 special cards with foil, glow in the dark or lenticular movement.

Fortnite fans can begin their collection with a starter pack, which includes a collector’s binder and 24 trading cards. Starter packs are priced at £8.99 while packets, which include eight trading cards, are £2.70 RRP.

Peter Rabbit content and activities to roll out for summer

Throughout the summer holidays, Peter Rabbit will be offering his key family audience brand new activities with two distinct campaigns.

Peter Rabbit contentWild Wednesdays, a new Peter Rabbit content campaign launched by Penguin Random House Children’s this summer, will provide families with weekly activities to enjoy at home.

Instagram influencers have been tasked to create weekly step by step tutorials inspired by Peter Rabbit’s love of the great outdoors. These activities will include recipes using foraged berries and herbs, tutorials to create a bug hotel and a vegetable patch, and nature-themed arts and crafts. The campaign will also promote Puffin Books’ newly launched Hoppy Holidays activity book and Rainbow Toys’ Peter Rabbit plush range.

Activity sheets created from the new Peter Rabbit content will be hosted at www.peterrabbit.com/fun-outside.

“We recognise that many families won’t have the opportunity to go on holiday this summer, and following the success of our Easter #AtHomeWithPeterRabbit campaign, we’re keen to continue to support parents with new family-friendly activities,” said Izzy Richardson, global brand director, Owned Brands, Penguin Random House Children’s. “We’ve worked with some brilliant influencers to create fantastic ideas that parents and children alike will love creating at home during the holidays.”

In addition, Peter Rabbit will be a partner for the National Trust’s new Play Week campaign. Play Week will run from 3-7th August and will offer National Trust members activities and suggestions, with a new play theme every day. Peter Rabbit colouring and activity sheets will be included alongside downloadable Audio stories from the newly announced audiobook, Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales.These have been made available exclusively to the National Trust to inspire play, ahead of release on September 17th.

Mulan set to head straight to Disney+

Disney’s announcement that its live-action remake of Mulan will premiere on Disney+ is the latest blow to struggling cinemas. 

Mulan

Mulan had originally been slated for a 27th March cinema release, but coronavirus has severely impacted this industry.

Disney has announced a 4th September premiere date for its blockbuster live-action remake of Mulan. Consumers in the US and other territories will be asked to pay $29.99 (approximately £22) to rent the film, on top of their monthly Disney+ subscription fee. In territories where this option isn’t available, Mulan will play in cinemas.

The price tag is around $10 more than Trolls: World Tour, which went straight to home release near the start of the pandemic – but the move will act as a test to show Disney+ how much consumers are willing to part with in order to watch new movies this way.

Walt Disney Co CEO Bob Chapek commented: “Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, we’ve continued to build on the incredible success of Disney+ as we grow our global direct-to-consumer businesses. The global reach of our full portfolio of direct-to-consumer services now exceeds an astounding 100 million paid subscriptions – a significant milestone and a reaffirmation of our DTC strategy, which we view as key to the future growth of our company.”

Mulan was one of a number of feature films originally slated for release during the pandemic (27th of March, in this case), but was ultimately pushed back. Disney’s announcement will come as a major blow for cinemas, who had been hoping that the movie, once it could be shown, would drive footfall and inject much-needed cash into an industry which has felt the effects of coronavirus arguably more severely than others.

John Fithian, president and chief executive of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) had previously determined the coronavirus pandemic as “existential” for the film industry. As such, his organisation had been encouraging studios to start releasing their big titles this month, to avoid causing permanent damage to the industry. “If we go a year without new movies, it’s over,” John said. This will not be the sort of news he was hoping for.

Panini poised to launch new NFL and NFLPA collection

The Panini NFL/NFLPA 2020/21 Sticker Book Collection rolls out from 20th August following strong initial launch in 2019. 

PaniniNFL and NFLPA collection is set to launch an officially licensed NFL and NFLPA collection of stickers and cards for the second year in the UK & Ireland market.

The 2019 version of the collection, comprising 563 stickers and 100 trading cards featuring the most high-profile players from all 32 teams in the National
Football League, became the best-selling NFL sticker book collection in the region since the 90s. The collection was stocked at retailers including WHSmith, McColl’s and One Stop; the same accounts will stock the range in 2020, but will also be joined by Sainsbury’s and Asda.

Panini says interest in American football is growing considerably in the UK thanks to free-to-air and paid TV broadcasting, more player activity in the market, and continuous efforts both on and off the field to engage with local fans. The season kicks off in September, creating buzz and excitement around the 2020/21 season and helping to raise the profile of American football, NFL players and NFL/NFLPA product in the UK and Eire.

Building on strong marketing support last year – a gift-with-purchase incentive with Fanatics on NFL Shop Europe – plans are in place to help drive awareness once more. WHSmith will run a free album pick-up promotion, and marketing activity featuring players themselves will be backed by strong support from NFL UK social media. Sampling through the NFL flag community with schools up and down the country will also take place, helping to support retail and drive awareness ahead of the 2020/21 season kick-off.

Chris Clover, head of marketing at Panini, said: “Panini is a proud partner of the NFL and NFLPA and we are committed to collaborating closely to ensure continuous growth. With such a strong performance in 2019, we are excited to see how the journey  continues into next season.”

Flowhaven announces new London office

Built on Salesforce, Flowhaven provides a centralised, end-to-end solution that helps companies manage and scale their brand licensing programmes.

FlowhavenFlowhaven has announced a new office in London and the expansion of its UK client roster, following the company’s expansion beyond its Helsinki HQ with an office in Los Angeles. The company says that its new London office, where Jeremy Robinson has taken on the role of EMEA head of sales, brings it closer to its clients in the region, and marks the latest achievement in a year of rapid company growth.

Kalle Törmä, CEO and founder of Flowhaven, said: “The UK is Europe’s largest licensing market. The country is home to the international offices of most US brands and has a vast number of domestic brands that continue to grow and perform extremely well.”

Jeremy added: “The continued growth we are seeing in our client base made the decision to open a standalone office in the UK an easy choice. From there I am perfectly placed to be able to work alongside the UK team and customers, as well as liaise with and travel to colleagues and prospects in other locations. The rapid pace of development we are seeing in our customer base and system capabilities are a fantastic combination; I am very excited by the discussions we are having, and the continued future development for Flowhaven”

Recent customer signing Games Workshop Group joins a growing number of clients in the UK including Lisle Licensing, which represents Tetris, Masha and the Bear, and 44 Cats, Full Colour Black and Licensing Link Europe.

At the end of last year, Flowhaven closed a $5.2m (€4.75m) seed round of financing. Global Founders Capital led the investment round with participation from existing investors including Icebreaker.vc. Following the round, Flowhaven entered a portfolio of investments that includes Facebook, Slack, Trivago, Canva, Eventbrite, and more. The company has also grown to more than 30 team members across its permanent and satellite locations, tripling in size year over year.

Speakers announced for Licensing Leadership Summit

The Licensing Leadership Summit will take place 28th-29th October 2020. 

The Licensing Leadership Summit, which was set to take place this November in New York City, will now go virtual as part of the Festival of Licensing. The summit is the only virtual conference to unite C-level executives from the world’s largest players across manufacturing, retail and brands to discuss, debate and collaborate on the future of brand licensing. The executive conference will take place 28th-29th October.

Festival of Licensing is a four-week, large-scale virtual gathering bringing together the licensing industry from all corners of the world to connect, learn, strike deals and do business on an international stage. Read more about the Festival of Licensing here.

Drawing from modern art and youth culture to tackle top brand licensing trends and topics such as TikTok, eSports and gaming, to evergreens like museum licensing, early Licensing Leadership Summit speakers will include:

  • Sid Kaufman, UTA, and Stevin John (Blippi), YouTube star – Digital Talent: The Future
  • Lauren Winarski, Funko – I Want it Now!: Using the Fan to Expand Distribution
  • Robin Sayetta, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) – Different by Design: MoMA’s Modern Approach to Museum Licensing
  • Stone Newman, Pocket.watch, and Shion Kaji, Ryan’s World – Influencers: Are they Delivering on their Brand Promise?
  • Chris Petrovic, Zynga – How Games Ate the Licensing World
  • Maca Rotter, Panaderia – eSports: The Hottest New Licensing Category
  • Greg Goodfried, UTA – Session on TikTok
  • Max Luthy, Trendwatching – Finding Opportunity in the Overwhelm: Key Trends in Consumerism
  • Connie Chang, C-Life Group, and Tonya Kirby, Retro Brands – What Do Licensees Want?

The Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets, the organisation behind Licensing Leadership Summit and Festival of Licensing, is calling for additional speakers now. Interested parties are asked to visit Call For Papers to submit for topics or speaking opportunities.

Amanda Cioletti, event and content director, Global Licensing Group, Informa Markets, said: “As with everything, if you look in the right places, there is always a silver lining. Transitioning Licensing Leadership Summit online and bringing live broadcast content to our attendees means our event is now more accessible than ever to a truly global C-suite audience, which means more diversity of speakers, more opportunities to connect and richer content on offer. We are excited for our speakers and content to reflect a world vision of the future of the brand licensing industry.”

Anna Knight, vice president, Global Licensing Group, Informa Markets, adds: “The Licensing Leadership Summit will bring together leaders and decision makers from around the world with the experience, expertise and influence to shape the future of the industry. They will analyze the huge, world-changing events of 2020 including, of course, the impact of COVID-19, and draw on key learnings from the previous three weeks of Festival of Licensing to drive strategic direction for this sector in 2021. It is an unmissable two-day event for all senior leaders working directly or indirectly with the licensing industry to play a critical role in ensuring this sector is fighting fit for a future beyond the pandemic.”

Delegate information can be found at www.licensingleadershipsummit.com.

Thomas & Friends celebrates International Friendship Day

A new mosaic artwork features pictures created by schoolkids alongside images of famous friendships by illustrator Daniel Crisp. 

International Friendship DayThomas & friends unveiled a new digital artwork by renowned artist Nathan Wyburn in celebration of this year’s International Friendship Day on 30th July. The interactive mosaic image is made up of 400 pictures of kids and their friends, drawn by children from around the UK on their return to nursery and pre-school earlier this month.

The interactive mosaic image features a zoom function that allows viewers to look closely at each individual picture. Collectively, the drawings make up a gigantic image of Thomas, The Fat Controller and royal engine Duchess based on a poster image of ‘Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine’, the episode which aired earlier this year as part of the brand’s 75th Anniversary celebrations. The 22-minute special featured an introduction from Harry, the Duke of Sussex and starred actress Rosamund Pike as the voice of royal engine Duchess, and now has its own toy line.

Children from around the country have shared drawings of themselves with their best friends. Friends of the brand, including Peter Andre and his children Theo and Millie, also joined the fun.

The picture also includes  well-known celebrity friendships, including Ant and Dec, Ed Sheeran and Stomzy, Geri Horner and Emma Bunton and Idris Elba and Dwayne Johnson. These images were drawn by Thomas & Friends book illustrator, Daniel Crisp and included in the digital artwork for people to hunt for at www.thomasfriendshipday.com.

Claudia Caron, marketing manager at Mattel, said: “In this special 75th anniversary year for Thomas & Friends, we are celebrating friendship in as many ways as possible. This includes taking a look at what it means to be a good friend and how we can nurture these important relationships, so they bring us a lifetime of joy and happiness. We know how difficult it has been for children not being able to see their friends recently, so we wanted to commission this very special artwork made up of all their pictures to immortalise these special friendships, and to raise a smile amongst everyone who sees it during these challenging times.”

The partnership is also being supported with further marketing support, including digital and social activations.

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous set for September release

Season one of the new animated Netflix series takes place before, during and after the events of the Jurassic World movie. 

Jurassic World Camp CretaceousThe trailer for the new Netflix animated series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous has landed, giving fans a glimpse at never-before-seen dinosaurs and exciting new plotlines. Pitched as a continuation of the Jurassic World story, the show promises expansion into new themes and adventures. A trailer can be viewed below.

Season one of the show, which is slated to debut on the VOD platform from 18th September, centres on five main characters enjoying a summer camp at the Jurassic World park. Set before, during and after the turbulent events of the feature Jurassic World film, which was released in 2015, the plot follows the five adventurous campers as the Indominus Rex breaks loose and causes havoc in the park. Newly released artwork gives fans plenty to look forward to, including bioluminescent new dinosaurs and no shortage of action.

According to the fan-site Jurassic Outpost, voice talent comes in the form of Paul-Mikél Williams (Westworld) as resident dinosaur expert Darius; Jenna Ortega (You) as Brooklynn; Ryan Potter (Big Hero 6: The Series) as Kenji; Raini Rodriguez (Bunk’d) as Sammy; Sean Giambrone (The Goldbergs) as Ben; and Kausar Mohammed (Silicon Valley) as Yaz. Jameela Jamil (Legendary) and Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick) play camp counsellors Roxie and Dave.

The 8-episode Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous series sees showrunners Scott Kreamer and Aaron Hammersly joined by Steven Spielberg – director of the original 1993 blockbuster – Colin Trevorrow, Lane Lueras and Frank Marshall, who all serve as executive producers.

This isn’t the first spin-off series based on the Jurassic World franchise; Lego Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar, a 13-episode animated mini-series, premiered on CITV last September.

Interplay launches Peppa Pig Grow & Play

The new set from Interplay encourages children to plant easy-to-grow seeds while having fun playing with Peppa Pig characters.

Interplay Peppa Pig

Interplay UK has launched the new Peppa Pig Grow & Play range. Following the success of My Fairy Garden, the brand encourages children to plant ‘easy-to-grow’ seeds and nurture their plants, while interacting with Peppa Pig characters. In the new range, kids can choose from Peppa Pig, her brother George and their friends Suzy Sheep and Rebecca Rabbit.

The first sets in the range, Peppa Pots, are colourful flowerpot houses for Peppa, George and friends to grow their own plant – cress, pea shoots, basil or red amaranth. The four collectible Peppa Pots attach to each other by clipping the fence from one set to the house of another, to form a Peppa Pig street.

Meriç Pekcan-Butcher, marketing manager, Interplay UK commented: “We are really excited to introduce the new Peppa Pig Grow & Play range. Within days of announcing it, we have already seen a huge interest on social media with lots of positive feedback. Influencer campaigns will be running over the next few months, showcasing how lovely the fun and green-fingered grow & play concept is. We are also supporting the new brand with digital marketing, lifestyle PR campaigns and awards programme running over summer to Christmas.”