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The Licensing Q&A… with Alison Downie

We delve into the licensing life of HTI’s global licensing and brand director.

Alison Downie,

Global licensing and brand director, HTI

My route into the licensing industry went something like this…

From toy buyer at Boots to product manager at Golden Bear, where I was given the opportunity to get involved in licensing and move into the role of licensing manager.

How many years in the industry?

11 marvellous years in licensing, but 25 amazing years in the toy industry as a whole.

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

A window dresser
.

The deal I am proudest of is…

All the deals I have done over the years are special in a different way, for me it’s difficult to single one out. However having worked with JCB right through my career, firstly as a buyer and later as a licensing manager, JCB deals hold a special place in my heart – and I get to deal with them again at HTI with a longstanding partnership for vehicles, role-play and ride-ons.

JCB500x500

My most interesting experience in licensing has been…

Working with David Scott from Rainbow Productions at the Queens 80th Birthday Party at the Palace, where I found myself chaperoning Wallace and Gromit to the front of the Palace. As I stood behind where the Queen’s guards stand in front for the palace I had to pinch myself.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is…

To listen to other people’s views and see the bigger picture.

If I wasn’t in licensing, I would be…

Unemployed!

Who do you admire most in the industry (and why)?

It has to be Ian Downes, for me he is fundamentally my licensing mentor. He understands every part of the industry and is always there with his generous and helpful nature. He is the most dedicated person I know and is always looking at every possible angle to improve and move things on for the better.

In a film of your life, which licensed character would play you?

Forgive me, but it has to be Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

If I could change anything about the industry, it would be…

For all companies involved in the licensing industry to have no restrictions so they could support The Light Fund – the official charity for the licensing community.

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