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News extra: More licensing news from this week

Including Rocket Licensing continuing to welcome partners for the classic Beano brand.

Source rounds up more news from the licensing industry across the globe from the week.

Rocket Licensing is continuing to grow the classic Beano brand ahead of Dennis’ 70th birthday in 2021. Five new licensing deals for the UK and Ireland have been confirmed, spanning categories including apparel, games, health and beauty, food and beverage and partyware. Smiffys will be offering a range of products including paper plates, bowls, cups, napkins and straws, as well as paper decorations and bunting; Rachel Lowe will create a collection of puzzles, board games and card games; Great Gifts will launch Beano confectionery in personalised packaging, including gift boxes, jars and advent calendars; H&A is developing a creative range of Beano products to include everyday essentials, play cosmetics, health and beauty accessories and hair care; while Park Agencies currently has adult and kids tees in development.

Animation studio ZAG has expanded its licensing and merchandising department as it eyes further growth. Industry veteran Kirk Bloomgarden has joined the company as head of consumer products; while Rebekah Belzer joins as senior director, licensing and merchandising, North America; and Eva Rodriguez will serve as director, Latin American licensing.

Home & Gift Harrogate – which is due to take place from July 19-22 – is currently set to continue as planned, with event director, Kelly Grant, saying that the show will offer an opportunity to ‘bring the industry back together at a critical time’. However, the show organiser is closely monitoring the public health and government advice, pledging to keep exhibitors and visitors updated.

Household linen brand, Blanc Cerise has secured a deal with Sagoo to create new children’s bed linen sets inspired by Japan’s most relaxed bear cub, Rilakkuma. The new collection will consist of two mixed and reversible bedding sets, one for children and one for babies.

Mondo TV‘s new children’s animated series, MeteoHeroes is coming to Italy, having its worldwide premiere on Cartoonito, accompanied by a major marketing campaign and a growing licensee list. The show – which features six kids using their superpowers to protect the planet from extreme weather events and pollution – will premiere with a special four-episode sneak preview on April 22, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The series will then fully launch in June, with the four opening episodes appearing again, followed by 14 new episodes. The first licensed products are expected to be on shelves by October 2020, with partners on board including Giunti, Playpress, Mondadori, Ravensburger, Koch Media, Kimbe and Eu.Promotions.

Asterix illustrator and co-creator, Albert Uderzo, has sadly passed away at the age of 92. A statement from Arnaud Nourry, ceo of Groupe Hachette Livre, said that we are “losing an exceptional individual, cherished by everyone who was lucky enough to meet him. Alberto Uderzo has gone down in the history of the arts as one of the greatest geniuses to come out of France, and he will stay in our hearts forever.”

The London Stationery Show will now take place on September 11 at the Business Design Centre, Islington. The decision to postpone from its April slot was taken by organiser Ocean Media Group due to the evolving coronavirus situation and government advice. All existing registrations will remain in place for the rescheduled date and pre-registration will stay open to enable visitors to register for fast-track entry. The one-day format of the show will be for 2020 only, with the 2021 edition running as usual over two days.

Sesame Workshop is offering a broad variety of free resources to help children and families during the coronavirus pandemic. The Caring for Each Other initiative will include new content from the Sesame Street Muppets, sharing messages of love and kindness, playful learning activities and virtual play dates. Resources will be designed to help parents and caregivers provide comfort and manage anxiety, as well as help with creating routines, fostering playful learning at home and staying physically and mentally healthy.

In an effort to provide valuable information to parents and children amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Genius Brands International has produced a series of Public Service Announcements starring Warren Buffet and Jennifer Garner to inform children about safe hygiene, using brands from its catalogue. These include Llama Llama, Warren Buffet’s Secret Millionaires Club and Rainbow Rangers.

NASCAR and iRacing have formed the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series – a sim racing exhibition format featuring some of the biggest names in the sport. In addition, to supplement the series, NASCAR has worked with its licensing partners to create a special product assortment. Interest in NASCAR is growing with licensed products coming off a strong 2019 holiday season, with double-digit growth in Q4 and year to date sales continuing to register double-digit growth both trackside and on NASCAR shop. Additionally, comparable NASCAR Cup Series race broadcasts were up 5% year over year in 2019 and continue to rise in 2020, prior to the coronavirus postponement.

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