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2015 highlights: November and December

The Source takes a look at some of the big licensing stories of the year.

2015 has been another bumper year in the UK licensing industry – from Force Friday to emerging new brands, from The Licensing Awards to The Light Fund challenges and another strong Brand Licensing Europe.

We round up some of the stories from the year, focusing today on November and December.

November

Movie-related toys – and Frozen and Star Wars in particular – are continuing to be the driving force behind toy market growth in the UK. New data from NPD – released ahead of the Dream Toys event (November 4) – shows that movie-related toys experienced a 28% increase in sales year on year. They represent 15% of all UK toy sales, compared to 12% in 2014. Frozen and Star Wars hold the number one and two spots respectively as the top toy properties.

Al Ahli Holding Group secures a deal with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products for a Fox-branded theme park and resort in Dubai. This will be the second 20th Century Fox World theme park and the first Fox-branded resort. The deal allows for a roll-out of up to three additional Fox-branded resorts in territories outside Dubai.

Rocket Licensing signs up to develop a licensing programme around BBC1 hit show, DIY SOS.

Entertainment One snaps up the worldwide licensing rights for David Brent’s big screen debut, Life on the Road. Directed, written by and starring Ricky Gervais, the film sees a documentary crew catching up with David – former star of The Office and now working as a travelling salesman – as he chases his dream of rock stardom by self-financing a tour with his band, Foregone Conclusion. eOne will be looking to sign partners across apparel and accessories, home and giftware, stationery, greetings and novelty toys.

The licensing industry takes over the Emirates Stadium’s Oak Room, raising over £15,000 for charity at The Light Fund London Quiz.

Licensed accessories, gift and collectables company, Rudolf Stein confirms it has gone into voluntary liquidation.

Mind Candy confirms to The Source that the business is currently being restructured, with the licensing team being affected by the move.

Licensing Link secures the licensing rights for Australian hit show Home and Away in the UK and Ireland.

December

MGA Entertainment beefs up its licensing agent roster to reach a number of new regions across EMEA. The Brand Residence is now on board to handle Germany, Austria and Switzerland; Partner Plus is looking after Greece and Cyprus; J&M Brands BV has taken on Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands; LiSANS AS has picked up Turkey and Cyprus; and Plus Licens is on board for the Nordic, Baltic and CEE regions.

Brand Licensing Europe confirms changes to the show layout for 2016, plus extended opening times due to the clash with Yom Kippur. Two central aisles will aim to encourage a free flow of visitors across the Character and Entertainment zone on the ground floor. Two central staircases will also be installed up to the Art, Design & Image and Brands & Lifestyle areas. In addition, some stands in the Character and Entertainment zone will undergo dramatic increases in size.

Aardman kicks off the celebrations for its 40th anniversary next year in style – with a special documentary airing on BBC1 on Boxing Day as well as the UK premiere of the new Shaun the Sheep special, The Farmer’s Llamas. A Grand Night In: The Aardman Story will celebrate the company’s greatest moments, past and present.

Tina McCann confirms she will stand down from her role as managing director at Nickelodeon in the New Year. Alison Bakunowich will become the new general manager in March 2016.

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