There was a high turnout for the early Monday morning ‘Licensing Summit’ which I mentioned yesterday. Indeed, I understand that there were several similar events in various hostelries around Vegas. To sum up proceedings, basically we all agreed that licensing is quite important really, traded some interesting gossip (most of which should probably stay off the record) and got on with the task of watching England draw with France. It does make me wonder whether other nationalities congregate during trade shows to watch their team in action (I see little evidence that this is the case), or whether this is a peculiarly English trait. We were even graced with the presence of Marvel president Simon Phillips at one point – although to be fair he was there to conduct a genuine meeting with a licensee!
I love the unbridled enthusiasm at the start of a trade show. Everyone is hyped up to the gills and raring to share their good news. I had several pre-show meetings today, and all of them were held with people who had plenty of positive information to share: V+S were excited about series 3 of Everything’s Rosie, which starts broadcasting on Cbeebies next Monday. There are 26 brand new episodes which will air twice daily, and a 22 minute special is also in production. Space Enterprises were buoyed by news that they’ve secured a high profile broadcast partner for the American market for The Hive (which can’t be revealed for a few more weeks yet); I saw samples of Mookie’s master toy range last week, and I have to say it’s looking really strong, and by all accounts retail feedback has been positive.
International trade shows also offer the chance to catch up with old acquaintances from across the globe, many of whom tell me they read Toy World online, and all of whom seem to regularly read the blog (which is very flattering). The ‘big gun’ American licensees have started to roll up today, and it was nice to bump into an exuberant John Barbour, one of the UK’s most successful toy trade ‘exports’, who is suitably enthused about some big developments which LeapFrog will be unveiling soon.
I also attended the Saban summit, at which Haim Saban himself put in a brief but rousing appearance. Of particular interest to the toy trade, there are big plans for next year’s 20th anniversary of Power Rangers, and 80’s favourites Popples and My Pet Monster will be relaunched in 2013. Saban will also be taking the Paul Frank brand into the Pre-School market with the introduction of Julius Jr, for which worldwide TV is promised next year.
The day was rounded off nicely by a series of social events; I took in the Mattel party at the Mix Lounge (which boasts the most breathtaking views over the city) and if I stop typing now, I may even manage a brief appearance at the Fremantle soiree. So that’s it for today. The show opens tomorrow, so I’m sure there will be lots more good news to share over the coming days.