The Licensing Q&A… with Katherine Buckland

We delve into the licensing life of Hasbro’s senior licensing director, Europe.

Katherine Buckland,

Senior Licensing Director – Europe, Hasbro Consumer Products

My route into the licensing industry went something like this…

My first experience in licensing started when I joined Disney back in 2005 working on the UK toy team. I was in a sales role at a well known Telecom company for seven years prior to that and decided I’d much prefer to work for a company where I liked the product and had a genuine interest in reading the trade press. Surprisingly, fibre optics can be incredibly dull! I liked licensing so much I found myself stopping by Toys R Us shops on the weekend just to see what was out there and how my licensees were performing.

How many years in the industry?

It’s going on 11 years now.

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

A fighter pilot. My dad is a pilot and I have always looked up to him. To this day, he’s always given me great career advice.

The deal I am most proud of is…

H&M.

My most interesting experience in licensing has been…

Seeing our My Little Pony and Transformers brands reinvented for the London catwalk by Fyodor Golan in 2015 has to be one of my highlights. When you work with partners who believe so deeply in a brand because it was their whole life as a kid, it’s exciting to see how their passion and loyalty come through in the development of their product.

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

Watch and learn from those who’ve come before you. Brands come and go, but if you invest and build your brand in the right way it has the potential to be enjoyed by consumers for generations to come.

If I wasn’t in licensing, I would be…

In the film industry, producing and directing motion pictures.

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

Brian Goldner, president and ceo of Hasbro, it’s a brave move to turn a toy business into an entertainment company. Without his confidence and vision Hasbro Consumer Products wouldn’t exist.

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

Edna Mode from the Incredibles. She’s a no-nonsense, get-to-the-point kind of woman and I like that!

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

It’s a fast-paced, constantly changing industry we’re in. An average day could include retail meetings, licensee meetings, internal meetings, showcase presentations and the list goes on. Slow down and pause to enjoy it… brands come and go, but it’s the relationships that make this industry special. They can last a lifetime.

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