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News extra: More licensing news from this week

Including DRi Licensing looking back on some landmark activity celebrating Miffy’s 65th anniversary.

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

2020 has seen Dick Bruna’s Miffy celebrate her landmark 65th birthday in style. A highlight of the celebrations has been the Miffy Design Challenge where brand owner Mercis invited design and fashion students from across the world to reimagine the character by designing a new outfit for a 3D Miffy. From the 82 entries received, the 10 winners’ creations have been produced as an exclusive limited edition plush collection by Dutch licensee, Bon Ton Toys. The summer saw the launch of a high-end collection of Miffy bags and purses from Strathberry; a range of new craft kits from Stitch and Story; plus gold Miffy-inspired jewellery from Licensed to Charm. Still to come is a new Miffy Christmas charm and bamboo plates from gift partner Magpie. In publishing, Dick Bruna became the star of the latest edition of Thames & Hudson’s The Illustrators, while a new treasury of four Miffy classic stories was also published by Simon & Schuster in October. In addition, Tobias and the Bear launched a new baby and toddler collection. A partnership with Next in girlswear has received a nomination in The Licensing Awards, while the Miffy NHS Heroes t-shirt initiative was another great success.

Guarachi Wine Partners and Hearst Magazines have launched a new wine brand, Uncorked by Cosmopolitan, in a deal brokered by IMG.

Meanwhile, LUXE Brands has teamed with Cosmopolitan for the launch of its Eau de Juice fragrance in the UK.

Alibaba Group has revealed a partnership with Bravado to help bring artists’ merchandise and exclusive collaborations to Chinese consumers. A new Bravado store has launched on Tmall Global and will showcase merchandise from a roster of artists including Tupac, Guns N’ Roses, The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley and Taylor Swift, who will be the store’s first featured artist. Other artist collections and collaborations will be added each month. The store launch marks the first time that merchandise from Taylor’s most recent album, folklore, will be available in China. In addition, she will debut her newest collection exclusively on Tmall Global during Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.

Josh Berger, president and md of Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain, and president of Harry Potter global franchise development, is to leave the company after over 30 years of service. He will step down in December and will remain as an advisor to the senior management until the middle of 2021 for the Harry Potter franchise in his capacity as an executive producer on the third installment of the Fantastic Beasts film series and upcoming BBC documentary, Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History, among other projects.

Meanwhile, WarnerMedia UK and Ireland has named Polly Cochrane to the executive leadership team. Polly has been promoted to country manager for WarnerMedia UK and Ireland, overseeing all commercial and group marketing activities in the region. She will report directly to Priya Dogra, head of WarnerMedia EMEA & Asia (excluding China).

Buddi, the Netflix original animated series for early preschoolers, returns for a second season this autumn, with Keith Chapman once again taking the helm alongside Jason Jameson from Unanico Studios. The second series will consist of eight new episodes where the five Buddi friends interact with one another, working as teams to overcome hurdles.

Jazwares has been named as the new global master toy partner for The Smurfs. The new toy line is scheduled to hit retail in 2022. “The Smurfs is an evergreen franchise with a rich history and timeless values that has ignited children’s curiosity and creativity for decades,” said Laura Zebersky, chief commercial officer at Jazwares. “We are looking forward to working with IMPS to create a toy line that appeals to today’s kids while also capturing the nostalgia that other generations feel for the brand.”

American-based eclectic fashion house, Robert Graham has partnered with the Van Gogh Museum to interpret the artist’s work in its autumn/winter 20/21 collection.

The Gormiti series is continuing to expand across the globe, landing in the US, Canada and Latin America on streaming platforms Netflix, TUBI and Amazon Prime Video. Advanced negotiations are also being held with ROKU.

Greek company Chipita is renewing its Fineti dips and sticks products with an emoji collectable toy. The deal was brokered by WildBrain CPLG on behalf of the emoji company.

Former Nickelodeon and Netflix executive, Jenna Boyd has partnered with The Cartel to launch Field Day Entertainment, a talent-centric production company which will focus on premium kids and family content for streaming platforms.

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