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Fortnite rules at 2019 International Licensing Awards

Epic Games’ brand scoops five wins at event; Harry Potter, L.O.L Surprise also among winners.

Video games sensation Fortnite ruled the night with five wins at the 2019 International Licensing Awards, which took place during Licensing Expo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas yesterday (June 4).

In addition to bringing home three trophies for licensees – Spirit Halloween (costumes), Jazwares (Fortnite piñata) and Hasbro (Fortnite Monopoly) – the gaming brand was also named as the Best App/Video Game Brand of the Year and was the recipient of the inaugural Newcomer Award for brands or companies in their first year of licensing.

Other big winners included Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter, which picked up two product awards, a retail award and was also named as Best Live Action Entertainment/Character Brand.

The Retail awards were split into two categories this year with Galéries Lafayette taking home the trophy for Best Character/Entertainment Retailer for its Wizarding World initiative, while Forever 21 picked up Best Corporate/Lifestyle/Sports Retailer for its Coca Cola programme.

Viral video sensation ‘Home Alone Again’, in which actor Macaulay Culkin reprised his famous role on behalf of Google Assistant, was named Best Licensed Promotion.

In addition, Funko’s Warhammer 40,000 figurine series was the winner of the Community Choice Award, selected by a direct vote of the global licensing community from among all of the 154 finalists.

“2018 was an incredible year for our industry, which is reflected in this slate of winners and honorees,” said Maura Regan, president of Licensing International. “It’s been particularly satisfying to see the increasingly international nature of the licensing business reflected throughout the entire Awards process.

“Congratulations to tonight’s winners, who showcase the creativity and innovation that makes our global industry tick.”

As well as the awards presentation, Pam Lifford, president of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences, and Michael Stone, chairman and co-founder of Beanstalk, were inducted into the Licensing Industry Hall of Fame.

Eight up and coming licensing professionals were also named as Rising Stars including Sophie Booth from Brandgenuity.

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