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Licensing International UK Rising Star 2023 Nominees: Max Pilcher finds out more about this year’s UK Rising Star nominees. Today, Mattel’s consumer products coordinator, Max Pilcher.

Max Pilcher, consumer products coordinator, Mattel


My route into licensing went something like this…

My brother was actually the one who introduced me to licensing; however, he’s on the creative side of the industry and I’m very happy on the commercial side. He had told me about some internships that were going in Nickelodeon’s consumer products team back in 2019 which I applied to, and the rest is history.

How long in the industry?

I think I’m coming up to my fourth year in the industry at this point, but it’s absolutely flown by.

When I was growing up, I had no idea that ‘licensing’ was an industry, so I wanted to be…

I really always wanted to be a chef, and so it’s worked out in a way given that I currently look after FMCG at Mattel. There was always something about the tradition and mystique of the job that really appealed to me.

Biggest inspiration in the licensing industry?

I don’t know if there’s any one person necessarily that has been my biggest inspiration, but I get a massively inspired by the people in the industry who can think outside the box, and lead the industry into interesting and innovative new areas. I think it’s happening more and more now, with other industries being drawn in by the allure of licensed brands.

Best thing about your current role?

I mean telling everyone I know that I work for Barbie hasn’t sucked… But being part of Mattel’s shift to a content powerhouse has been incredibly exciting. Beyond the brands themselves, the team I work with on a day to day basis have been so incredibly supportive, and have really pushed me to be my best.

What are you most proud of within your licensing career to date?

Being a part of the Barbie Movie campaign has absolutely been the highlight, and is the thing I’m proudest of. We had the opportunity to put Barbie at the front of everyone’s mind, and turn it into a true lifestyle brand, and I think it’s something that we delivered in the best way we possibly could. Walking through London on premiere day, with the city awash with people wearing pink is something I’ll never forget.

Licensed character you can most identify with (and why)?

I think I’m going to have to say Homer Simpson. Unironically he’s very inspiring (not that I’m saying I am), but he’ll happily give anything a go – whether that’s being an astronaut, a farmer or a fortune cookie writer – and, luckily for someone with so many careers, he’s resilient and won’t let past failures stop him.

What were your first thoughts when you were revealed as a nominee for the UK Rising Star Award?

I genuinely never expected to have been nominated, but I suddenly had an influx of messages from people that I’ve worked with during my career. And, to be honest, my first thought was “oh god what have I done wrong”.

The Licensing Awards 2023 takes place on Tuesday 12 September at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Tickets and tables can be reserved quickly and securely online by visiting or by contacting Clare Hollick at Create Events: or +44 (0)1183 340085.

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