New to BLE: “We are building solid foundations” catches up with newcomers to the show floor to find out more on their plans and why they see the event as vital to their brands’ growth. Today: Jazwares.

“Jazwares is on an amazing growth trajectory as one of the world’s premier toy licensees, bringing the industry’s biggest entertainment properties to life while also cultivating and expanding our own IP,” Sam Ferguson, senior vp global licensing at Jazwares, comments.

“Squishmallows, our leading global plush brand sensation, has been a key growth pillar and BLE opens the door for new category expanding opportunities. At BLE we will have a dedicated Squishmallows booth with the aim of introducing outside categories to the phenomenal Squishmallows lifestyle. We want to explore innovative ways to collaborate with new partners who can authentically bring the brand to life.”

The appearance at BLE follows on from the dedicated Squishmallows booth at Licensing Expo in May, and Sam explains that the company will be looking to create a similar colourful lifestyle experience at ExCeL. “We intend to show the UK industry the power of the brand and how they can be part of it in their own unique ways,” he says. “We saw huge fanfare in Vegas and expect to see the same interest in London, so will be ensuring we have a bookable meeting schedule as well as giving attendees the ability to take an initial look around to gain a deeper understanding about the brand and its DNA.”

Sam and the team will be catching up with the current family of licensees, discussing how their programmes can be expanded in 2023. In addition, it will be opening the door to explore new licensed partnerships, retail attendees and agents.

Jazwares launched its Squishmallows global licensing programme last year in the US and it is now looking forward to debuting an extensive UK programme, with some key product launches in Q3/Q4.

“We are teaming with some of the biggest names in consumer and lifestyle products including Bioworld, which is bringing a fantastic range of branded apparel and accessories; Character World with a cosy range of bedding; HarperCollins Publishers offering the Squishmallows Collectors Guide; Aykroyds and TDP Textiles with nightwear, loungewear, swimwear and underwear collectively; and Crackerjack UK launching Squishmallows lip and nail products,” says Sam.

Seven new licensees to the Squishmallows squad will be announced during the show, while there will also be a focus on speaking with new licensees which can offer meaningful collaborations across food and confectionery, as well as live events, publishing and home in the UK.

Locking in best in class partners is the short-term focus as Q1 2023 approaches, Sam continues: “We are building solid foundations throughout 2022 and educating retail about the success we are seeing in the toy aisle and beyond, to get everything in place for an exceptional 2023 consumer products programme at retail.”

Longer term, the aim is for Squishmallows to be an established lifestyle property across all of the brand’s touchpoints. “The vision is for all the various verticals from licensed products, to gaming and content to reach the heights of the success of the plush in the toy aisle, in a sustainable way. Squishmallows are a true phenomenon, we have something really special with this brand and our aim is to cultivate it for long-term success,” concludes Sam.

Jazwares can be found on stand B200 at BLE.

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