The bumper autumn 2023 edition of Licensing Source Book is available to read – along with special publications for Hasbro, Rainbow Productions and Golden Goose, plus the launch issue of Licensing Sports Book.
Summer 2023 seems to have both stretched in time and been over in a flash, and we are now officially into autumn. For those festive-minded of us, there are 95 days (at time of writing) until Christmas, but there’s still plenty of pumpkin spice latte sipping to be had before then.
The vibe from licensees heading into the final quarter of the year – the championship rounds, if you like – is an upbeat one. Many that LSB spoke to for this issue had used the summer months to develop and launch new products across their respective sectors. The party and dress-up category in particular enjoyed an uplift from the host of festivals taking place across the UK and overseas, and there are positive comments about Halloween potentially being the best on record. According to one of our licensees, pumpkins really do sell in August.
It is, of course, easier to be positive as we head towards the fun end of the year, but it’s undeniable that for some categories and companies, summer has been strong. As ever, a lot is in the planning, and those that got their heads down and put the work in over the quieter holiday months will surely reap the benefits come Q1 and Q2 2024.
This edition is packed full of examples of companies putting in the work, too. From Paul Bufton, vp EMEA consumer products at Universal Products & Experiences, explaining how the good old fashioned retail roadshow has helped give new preschool hit Gabby’s Dollhouse a further boost; Character World Brands and Magic Light Pictures making the most of milestone anniversaries; and Toikido’s ambitious launch for its first in-house IP, Piñata Smashlings, through to newer categories such as collegiate brands and anime really beginning to make an impression and being noticed by suppliers and retailers.
There’s perhaps no better example of hard work, of course, than those which were honoured at The Licensing Awards in September. We relive the industry’s big night in a bumper special from pages 26-39.
The team behind Brand Licensing Europe has certainly been putting in the graft over the summer (pages 91-117). The location-based entertainment theme has really come together over recent weeks and some of the activations planned for the show floor sound spectacular and a great way to showcase a sector which embraces the entire brand licensing ecosphere.
The common theme, too, from the stars of our special publications with this issue – Rainbow Productions, which like any 40 year old has enjoyed something of a glow up to mark the milestone; Golden Goose, which is taking the Original Stormtrooper and Rocky Horror Show brands to new heights; and Hasbro, which at 100 years young is continuing to innovate with the enthusiasm of a 20-something – is that putting in the hard yards pays off in spades.
The LSB team has also been working hard on our new launch – the Licensing Sports Book – making this autumn one of our busiest and biggest for many years.
For those who have come along for the ride, our wholehearted thanks, and we’re looking forward to those BLE catch ups. We’ll see you in The Terminator Skynet bar (where we’re pretty sure they won’t serve pumpkin).