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The Licensing Awards 2023 winners head into the weekend on a high

“Absolutely thrilled”, “extremely grateful”, “could not be happier”, “a fantastic achievement”, “proud and humbled” were just some of the comments from the winners of The Licensing Awards 2023.

The winners are continuing their celebrations into the weekend following the awards, which took place on 12 September at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Richard Dickson, general manager UK and ROI at Spin Master – which picked up Best Licensed Toys or Games Range for its Gabby’s Dollhouse collection – told “We’re very excited to have won the Best Licensed Toys or Games Range at The Licensing Awards 2023 with our Gabby’s Dollhouse range. We’re extremely grateful to Universal Pictures for their support and for trusting us to bring Gabby and her friends to life for young fans across the country. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership and can’t wait to see what the future brings for Gabby’s Dollhouse.”

Nicola Nixon, commissioning editor, education at Penguin Random House, said she was “thrilled” to pick up Best Licensed Written, Listening or Learning Range for Learn with Peppa.

She commented: “The Learn with Peppa team from Penguin Random House Children’s is thrilled to have taken home the coveted award for Best Licensed Written, Listening or Learning Range against some incredibly strong competition. Being recognised in this way by the industry is a real testament to everyone’s hard work on the series and our wonderfully collaborative relationship with Hasbro, not to mention the enduring appeal of Peppa, still resonating with new fans after almost 20 years.”

In the retail categories, The Entertainer was celebrating being named Best Retailer of Preschool Licensed Products.

Claire Olewnik, senior licensing manager, commented: “It was a pleasure to be recognised by The Licensing Awards and win this category. Myself and the team are absolutely thrilled. We are proud that we can deliver a comprehensive range of licensed products to consumers.”

Meanwhile, HMV was also celebrating, having been named Best Retailer of Adult Licensed Products.

Gary Williamson, director of pop culture, UK and Europe at HMV, told “Absolutely delighted to win an award and to be recognised by the industry; it shows all the work we have put into what we have created in our stores for pop culture with our suppliers is leading the way. Both myself and the team could not be happier, but we know there is more to come.”

The winner of Best Licensed Retail Marketing Initiative was the Miffy Year of the Rabbit Campaign with Ichiba, with Marja Kerkhof, md at Mercis, commenting: “As we highly value our partnerships, this award is especially dear to us as it underlines our co-operations with retail partners.”

For Rich Smith, vp of sales, Loungefly Global, winning The Innovation Award was a “huge thrill”.

“Winning the Innovation Award at the 2023 Licensing Awards was a huge thrill and a testament to all the incredible people who work so hard behind the scenes at Loungefly making magic happen,” he commented. “Congratulations to our exceptional team for their design prowess that has transformed the iconic image of McDonald’s French Fries into an innovative work of art. I especially would like to thank Laci Wilson and her team – your product development, dedication and attention to detail is second to none and elevates the Loungefly brand.”

Amscan was also celebrating, having been awarded Best Licensed Dress-up or Partyware for its Bluey collection. Wonder’s group licensing director, Mel Beer, commented: “It is a fantastic achievement to have won this accolade for our Bluey party, balloons and costume collection and is testament to the creative talents of our fabulous product and design teams who have produced a high-quality range that truly resonates with consumers.

“Our Bluey collection has sustainability at its very core, with our costumes made from 100% sustainable fabric and party product, and packaging, designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. This is very much a differentiator for our product range when compared to others within our marketplace.”

Barbie was certainly a major star of the night – thanks in part to the dedicated entrance walkway, but also for the Best Children’s or Tweens Licensed Property win.

Jon Spalding, head of UK consumer products and hardlines EMEA at Mattel, told us: “The team at Mattel are incredibly proud and humbled to be recognised. With purpose being at the core of everything we do with Barbie, it is inspiring that Barbie has received this recognition and proves you can achieve anything. We are sharing this honour with all of our retail and licensing partners who have supported Barbie.”

Peter Rabbit helped the team at Cardology to its win for Best Licensed Paper Products or Stationery Range, with director David Falkner commenting: “When it comes to our licensing collaborations, Cardology have always aimed to produce the cards that live longest in our customers’ memories, so we’re made up that the Peter Rabbit cards our customers are giving for first arrivals, birthdays and Christmases have been recognised in this way.

“What made the evening extra special, though, was being in the company of talented industry friends who always push us to go further, and specifically with the fantastic team at Penguin Ventures who’ve supported us throughout.”

Julie Thomsett, global commercial planning director at Revolution Beauty, was also thrilled that the company’s work had been recognised by the licensing community – with Revolution Beauty picking up Best Licensed Giftware Range, Home Décor, Tableware or Housewares Range for its Grinch cosmetics collection.

Julie commented: “The Grinch collection was the most fun to create and shows best in class beauty licensing. As one of our most asked for licences from our fans and Revolution team, we were excited to be able to surprise and delight our customers when we launched last year. We are thrilled to now have been recognised by the licensing community for this collection. Thank you.”

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