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News extra: More licensing news from this week

Including Factory revealing new deals and licensees for Mr Benn as it marks its 50th anniversary.

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

Factory has revealed a range of new deals and licensees for Mr Benn, tying in with the classic show’s 50th anniversary celebration. New partners include collectable coin and stamp specialist The Westminster Collection, Coach House Partners for a Mr Benn DVD gift set and Tartan Squirrel for a selection of pins, badges and keyrings. Other licensee partnerships include Signature Entertainment for the original Mr Benn TV series. Andersen Press will also be releasing four new Mr Benn books including Red Knight and Big Game in March, plus Big Top and 123456789 in July. Plus, a renewed deal has been signed with The Insurance Emporium for the fifth year in a row, which will showcase the brand across its website, social, events and advertising.

Mad Beauty has revealed its second collection with Warner Bros. Consumer Products. The licensee has unveiled a Looney Tunes range featuring characters such as Bugs Bunny, Tweety, Taz and Sylvester. The initial collection consists of 11 pieces of beauty, bath and body treats including clip and clean hand cleansers, scrunchies and sheet masks among others.

Top toy brand L.O.L. Surprise has partnered with Manchester Football Association to donate 500 samples of its new All Star B.B.s Football range. The toys will be distributed through Manchester FA’s FA Wildcats providers across Greater Manchester, with an aim to inspire young followers of the brand to get involved in the sport. As part of the campaign, L.O.L. Surprise has also teamed up with England and Manchester City captain, Steph Houghton MBE to encourage girls to get outside and playing football.

Hornby Hobbies is to launch its Scalextric brand as a global licensing programme. Michele Pearce has come on board as licensing consultant, with the programme focusing on both the retro archive and the new Scalextric branding.

The University of Cambridge – via its commercial rights subsidiary, FME – has appointed Plus Licens as its licensing agent for Europe (apart from the UK).

The Pokémon Company International has revealed that Pokemon delivered a significant increase in sales across Europe for its Pokemon Trading Card Game and Jazwares toy range in 2020, despite a challenging year for retail. According to NPD figures, sales figures increased in the UK, France, Germany and Benelux during the year for the TCG and toys. Year on year sales for Pokémon continue to outperform the market trend. Pokémon was the number one NPD toy property in France up to week 49 in 2020, finishing the year in third place overall with a total growth of 7%. YOY growth in key territories for the TCG included 15% in the UK, 6% in France and 28% in Benelux. According to TPCi’s own EPOS tracking service, which began in Germany four years ago, 2020 registered the best like for like retailer sales since tracking began, and Q4 was up 319% against the same period in 2018. The launch of Jazwares’ extended product range also resulted in a 36% uplift in sales across Europe. Its Advent calendar sold out well before the start of December and the Pokémon Carry Case Play-set sold out in the UK and performed well above expectations.

The Insights People has welcomed eight new starters to its rapidly growing business. Ricky Myers joins from Argentina-based kids media agency, KidsCorp, in the role of business development director for Latam; Georgie Martin joins from the BBC as research manager; and Rachel Gleave takes on the role of research executive. Meanwhile, on the tech side, Jon Parnham, Andy Patterson and Jack McKelvey all come on board as junior developers having graduated from Northcoders. In addition, Gemma Just and Victoriya Holland have joined to strengthen the marketing team as graphic designer and PR and marketing executive respectively.

Asmodee Entertainment has revealed that its fiction imprint, Aconyte has partnered with Ubisoft to publish a new Assassin’s Creed novel trilogy, starting this summer. Beginning with The Ming Storm, the trilogy is set in 16th century China.

Disguise – the costume division of Jakks Pacific – has confirmed an expanded offering in the US to design, market, manufacture and distribute Halloween costumes, accessories, inflatables, adaptive costumes and trunk or treat kits for Universal Brand Development properties. The expanded collaboration is the first time that Disguise has held multi-year portfolio rights for UBD’s key properties from its films, TV, vault and horror brands. As part of the deal, Disguise is designing a new version of the popular inflatable Jurassric World T.rex costume including updated innovations and modifications.

Animaccord’s Masha and the Bear has established itself as a top 20 show in Poland. According to international research agency, Parrot Analytics, the show ranks at number six among the preschool most demanded animated shows.

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