Thoughts on day one…it’s the Vegas blog!

Published on: 10th June 2015

Day one of the Licensing Expo has drawn to a close, although given the number of presentations given by licensors yesterday, it felt like it was effectively day two for many of the people I spoke to. Although media representatives aren’t invited to the majority of the aforementioned presentations, it’s always fun to hear about some of the wonderful jargon that is given an airing by enthusiastic presenters: “ It’s not just a phenomenon, it’s an icon”, “We are connecting the E of Entertainment with the L of Licensing” (delightfully David Brent-esque) and “It was the biggest movie opening weekend ever ……. for a February release” were just some of the contenders for the ‘Did they really just say that’ award. Someone also slipped in the ‘z’ word (zeitgeist), just to emphasise that the one thing the licensing community can’t be accused of is under-selling itself. Which is probably why Las Vegas – the home of ‘never knowingly understated’ – is the perfect home for the show.

Day one saw a raft of official announcements, many of which can be read in more detail on today’s newsflash bulletin. If you would prefer a brief round-up, Spin Master has been appointed as the master toy partner for the return of DreamWorks’ Noddy, and the company will also be launching a new range of Angry Birds toys; Mattel has been confirmed as the master toy partner for DreamWorks’ Monster Trux; MGA has finally gone public with the news that Bratz will be returning this autumn; Playmates has been unveiled as the global master toy licensee for the new Ben 10 series: Just Play has been announced as the master toy partner for Fremantle’s Kate and Mim Mim; eOne has announced a partnership with Build-a- Bear Workshop for Peppa Pig that will launch in the UK this October and Warner Bros unveiled the new Batmobile, which has been attracting large numbers of smart-phone wielding photographers to its stand. Other attractions causing aisle blockages included an appearance by some ladies associated with WWE (the Bella Twins) who I have never heard of, although several visitors told me they had been begged to ask for their autographs by young relatives, so I guess they’re popular in the right circles.

There was also a character parade, which saw 60 costume characters walk the show floor. Sure, it makes a wonderful photo opportunity and I don’t want to sound like a grinch, but to be honest all they did was clog up the aisles, which are confusing enough as it is without being blocked by a bunch of over-sized characters ambling along at a snail’s pace. Some of us have meetings to get to and are inevitably lost and running late….

Although toy retailers seem relatively thin on the ground, both The Entertainer and Tesco are well represented, and talking to Stuart Grant yesterday evening, he makes a compelling case for the importance of attending the show. You can read more about why he considers it a ‘must-attend’ event in our July issue.

The Blog will be back tomorrow, as long as I am not ruthlessly hunted down in the aisles by a marauding mob of angry costume characters who feel I’ve been giving them bad press.