Tickets now on sale for the Southern Light Fund Quiz 2022

The popular Southern Light Fund Quiz will be taking place on Thursday 13th October at Lords Cricket Ground. 

The Light Fund, a charity that raises money to help fund worthwhile charity projects that help children and adults, has announced that tickets for its hugely popular Southern Quiz are now available.

Since its inception back in 2004, The Light Fund has raised over £1.7m and funded hundreds of different charity projects. The quiz is one of a number of events the charity holds each year: this year, the charity’s major fundraising event was a cross-channel swim which took place in June. The total raised by the two teams of intrepid swimmers was boosted by the sale of a highly collectible Top Gun jacket bundle auctioned by Mark Kingston and Wow Stuff’s Richard North.

The quiz will raise even more much-needed money for the Light Fund’s chosen charities. Tickets, which include food, are £65 per person. Quiz teams should be between 4-8 people. The teams will be battling it out to either take home the ‘priceless’ (Perspex) winners’ trophy or return home the worst performing team, wearing the ‘pants of doom’.

Trevor Jones, chairman of the Light Fund Committee, told Toy World: “We are delighted to be holding our annual Southern Light Fund Quiz at Lord’s Cricket Ground on the 13th October. It is a great opportunity for networking within the brand and licensing community and to meet new contacts.”

On the night, attendees are advised that the bar opens at 6pm, with the quiz itself kicking off at 7pm. The quiz will wrap up at around 10.30pm though the bar will remain open until 12.30am for drinks and networking with friends and colleagues.

The Southern Light Fund Quiz will take place at The Thomas Lord Suite, Lords Cricket Ground, St Johns Wood Road, London NW8 9QN. The closest tube stations for those travelling by public transport are St Johns Wood (five minute walk), Marylebone (10 minute walk) and Maida Vale (10 minute walk).

Hey Duggee the Live Theatre Show extended by three months

More than 100 extra shows are being added to the first ever live theatre tour of hit children’s show Hey Duggee.

It was announced in June that Duggee, The Squirrels and their friends will come together for Hey Duggee The Live Theatre Show; ‘packed with non-stop fun, laughs, singing and dancing’. The demand for tickets has been so great that the producers behind the tour are adding a further 13 new venues in a three-month extension. The extra dates will see the live show visit 37 theatres across the UK and Ireland, from December to late August 2023.

The CBeebies series will be brought to life through innovative puppetry and storytelling in this new live show, featuring a light show and projections. The extension includes a four-week run at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall (London) from 14th December.

Hey Duggee The Live Theatre Show is presented by award-winning theatre producer Kenny Wax and theatre and live entertainment promoters Cuffe and Taylor, in association with Live Nation.

Kenny said: “We are so thrilled to be working with Live Nation, Cuffe and Taylor, Studio AKA and BBC Studios to create a brand new stage show with lots of surprises.”

Ben Hatton, director of theatre touring for Cuffe and Taylor, added: “The reaction to the initial Hey Duggee tour announcement was phenomenal, so we are delighted to be adding so many extra dates to the first ever live tour of this exciting new show. There is a great demand for more shows across the UK and Ireland, so we are meeting that by visiting 13 more regional theatres in what is now a nine-month tour.”

Mat Way, global director of Live Entertainment, Gaming and Interactive at BBC Studios, commented: “We are so pleased that even more families across the country will have the chance to enjoy what promises to be a fun-packed and captivating show that will delight Hey Duggee fans of all ages.”

Since its TV debut in 2014, the BBC and Studio AKA creation has won six BAFTAs and an international Emmy award. Hey Duggee was the most streamed children’s show on BBC iPlayer in 2021 and is popular with both children and parents alike.

Tickets to the shows will be available from www.heyduggeelive.com and direct from theatres.

Winners of Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition revealed

The winner of each category – Brand & Design, Character & Animation, and Product Design – was decided by a panel of expert judges from across all sectors of the licensing industry.

Winners of Kelvyn Gardner License This!

Crispin Lowrey receives his award from Start Licensing’s Ian Downes

The winners of the 2022 Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition were announced at Brand Licensing Europe last week after eight finalists battled it out in three pitches full of creativity, inspiration, laughter and emotion.

The winners are:

  • Brand & Design: The Spookysaurus
  • Character & Animation: Frobelles
  • Product Design: Penny Kyriacou

The Spookysaurus started as a character in a children’s picture book and is soon to be expanded into the children’s fantasy book: The Spookysaurus and the Boy with No Fear.

Creator Crispin Lowrey said: “After coming to BLE for the last 20 years and seeing the likes of Keith Chapman with Roary the Racing Car, I always thought it would be nice to be there one day, so this is amazing. The Spookysaurus was this silly idea I came up with in the middle of the Natural History Museum with my nephew which then spiralled out of control. To be on the License This! stage and to have the opportunity to grow it as a brand is amazing.”

Winners of Kelvyn Gardner License This!

Yvonne Ottley won for her inspirational property Frobelles

Frobelles is a character and digital toys brand based on sisters Coco, Kelli and Krista. Through a gaming app, digital content, a fan club and activity magazine, the brand provides much-needed positive representation for girls with afro hair, it encourages self-confidence and fosters sisterhood.

Frobelles’ creator Yvonne Ottley said: “I’m so excited and so pleased to be able to share this with my daughter, who wanted to be here today and couldn’t. Winning this will give me so many fresh opportunities and just having the expertise of the judges is going to really help our brand to shine.”

The Product Design category was introduced by Mojo Nation’s Billy Langsworthy, who reminded the Kelvyn Gardner License This! audience: “For the first time ever, students are taking part in this category. Lorcan and Phoebe attend Brunel University and Penny starts at Central St Martins on Monday.”

Winners of Kelvyn Gardner License This!

L-R: Mojo Nation co-founder Billy Langsworthy, Penny Kyriacou, winner of the Product Design category, and Adam Vincent-Garland, business development manager at Aardman

Winner Penny Kyriacou presented her unique ‘Invent-A-Cards’, a card game inspired by Aardman’s Wallace & Gromit that encourages STEM skills among players.

When commenting on the final presentations, Ian Downes, chair of the judges and director of Start Licensing, said: “Thank you to the finalists for your presentations, efforts and dedication today – it’s a difficult ask at any time, but even more difficult in an environment like this, in front of a live audience and panel of judges.”

The judges were:

  • Ian Downes, director, Start Licensing, Chairman of the Judging Panel
  • Phil King, managing director, Trademark Products Ltd
  • Sabrina Segalov, senior licensing manager, Sanrio Global Limited
  • Emily Fawcett, head of Global Licensing, Abysse Corp
  • Dan Grant, licensing director, Danilo
  • Teri Niadna, managing director, Brandgenuity
  • Sarah Ward, chief executive, The Giftware Association
  • Clare Piggott, director of Licensing and Merchandising, Larkshead Licensing Ltd
  • Billy Langsworthy, co-founder, Mojo Nation & Brands Untapped
  • Sarah Lawrence, director, This Is Iris
  • Dale Boreham, senior design Manager, Moonpig
  • Maxine Lister, head of Licensing, Natural History Museum
  • Adam Vincent-Garland, business development manager, Aardman
  • Charlie Langhorne, director, Wild in Art

The other five finalists in this year’s Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition were:

Brand & Design:  

  • Animo: designs  based on the watercolour paintings of animals by the Swedish artist and stage designer Anna Gisle.
  • Klara Hawkins: distinctive, colourful and charming surface design that appeals to all ages.

Character & Animation:  

  • Let’s Go See: Based on the Pilot Ollie and Pilot Polly books written by Captain Rob Johnson, Let’s Go See uses animations, an augmented reality app, picture books and schools’ packs to entertain, educate and inspire children.

Product Design, in partnership with Mojo Nation and Aardman:

  • Lorcan O’Shea and his Contraption Creator
  • Phoebe Bamford and her Stop Motion Bonanza Boz Set

Moonbug reveals new look and episodes for Little Baby Bum

Moonbug says the move marks a new era for Little Baby Bum and reflects the success and popularity of the brand across the globe.

Moonbug Entertainment, a subsidiary of Candle Media, has announced the expansion of its infant music show Little Baby Bum, with the creation of new content and a creative refresh. A favourite of parents to babies and infants, Little Baby Bum is the No.2 nursery rhyme channel on YouTube, with over 600m monthly views from audiences across the globe.

Little Baby Bum’s next phase of growth includes animation enhancements with the creative evolution of the characters, new music and working closely with educational consultancy, Peeple. Little Baby Bum content has always been designed for parents and carers looking for safe, stimulating and developmentally appropriate content they can enjoy together with their children.

The brand is trusted by parents to create special, musical moments for them to enjoy with their little ones. From bedtime, bath time, creative play, getting dressed and more, supporting parents and early years learning through the power of song, rhythm and rhyme is at the heart of the Little Baby Bum brand.

“These are very exciting times for the Little Baby Bum brand. We know this show holds a special place in the hearts of people starting their parenthood journey,” commented Sylvia Scodro, general manager, Moonbug Entertainment. “This marks an exciting new era for Little Baby Bum and reflects the success and popularity of the brand across the globe.”

Richard Hickey, chief creative officer, Moonbug Entertainment, added: “We are excited to share this new stage in the evolution of Little Baby Bum. The IP has a loyal parent and child following, as the show provides valuable support and comfort during key times of the day when parents need that extra helping hand.”

Dr Sally Smith, CEO of Peeple, said: “We have worked closely with Moonbug throughout the development and evolution of the brand, to maintain the strong early learning benefits, and are excited to see the value the show can bring to parents and children across the world.”

The new content can be viewed here.

New fashion licensees for Hasbro’s biggest brands

Hasbro Licensed Consumer Products announces diverse line-up of fashion collaborations across brands including My Little Pony, Peppa Pig and more.

As Brand Licensing Europe 2022 (BLE) kicks off, Hasbro is highlighting a comprehensive licensing line-up of new fashion partnerships across some of its biggest brands including My Little Pony, Peppa Pig, Transformers, Dungeons & Dragons and more. With the theme of BLE 2022 being Fashion, Hasbro plans to showcase some of its biggest fashion licensing deals for these brands in key Eurasia markets.

“Now, more than ever, are we committed to investing in our partners to create breakthrough moments during key pop culture entertainment and product periods across our diverse brand portfolio,” said Marianne James, VP Hasbro Licensed Consumer Products EMEA & Asia. “As we look to the future we’re thrilled to announce new partnerships and new apparel, footwear, accessories and more that will delight fans across the globe.”

From innovative new products to meaningful fashion tied to major pop culture moments, Hasbro plans to continue raising the bar and expanding its brand blueprint longevity over coming months and into 2023.

“The last few years have taught us to be resilient, adapt and leverage new opportunities as we continue to stay relevant and create amazing moments to make consumers happy, especially through fashion,” said Gabrielle Sims, head of UK Retail at Hasbro. “Our fashion business is in great shape as we continue to grow and expand. Our laser focused strategy, insights, partners and vision will absolutely set us apart as we enter a really exciting phase across our brand blueprint.”

All-new and existing successful Hasbro licensee fashion collaborations include:

EMEA Fashion Partnerships

  • UK-based kids partner Cribstar, which launches its second collection of Peppa Pig ribbed sets in September after seeing success with its first collection and personalisation set. A further exciting collaboration will be revealed on day 1 of BLE.
  • Fabric Flavours joins Hasbro as a strategic apparel partner to elevate brands such as My Little Pony, Peppa Pig and Transformers into premium UK department stores including John Lewis and Selfridges.
  • Irregular Choice will launch an exciting Transformers footwear range in June 2023 and a My Little Pony range in celebration of the brand’s 40th anniversary in summer 2024.
  • Mori will be collaborating with Peppa Pig on a babywear range in the UK. Launching in 2023, the range will comprise a curated collection of baby grows, nightwear, towels and hats.
  • Pretty Green will launch a Subbuteo UK fashion collection for November 2022 with the support of high-end online retailers.
  • Skinnydip will launch a 6-piece My Little Pony collection at the end of this year in the UK. The collection will consist of a phone case, makeup bag and wash bag with Retro artwork in celebration of the brand’s 40th anniversary.
  • Burgschneider, one of the most renowned suppliers of LARP fashion, plans to launch a premium, high-quality Dungeons & Dragons collection in EMEA and North America in early 2023 timed to the theatrical release of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.
  • Spring 2023 sees Cosnova Catrice launch limited edition My little Pony retro adult cosmetics worldwide in celebration of the brand’s 40th anniversary.
  • EMP, GSA’s leading online fan merch shop, will roll-out new Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering apparel, accessories and drinks for the EMEA region at the end of 2022 and into 2023.
  • Hasbro has also signed a multi-property contract with Tex-ass, as part of the Globetrade Group, and will launch a brand-new My Little Pony collection at Germany’s Kaufland beginning in 2023.

Asia Fashion Partnerships

  • The Adidas x Transformers collaboration collection in China used lights on sports shoes for the first time.
  • Casio and Transformers launched three new watches featuring Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron.
  • Malaysia’s Duck (Modest Wear) will be launching the second collection for Monopoly this December, this time expanding to UK.
  • Ledin, China’s well-known girls fashion brand, released the first of its kind fashion collection with Monopoly in July.
  • Ongoing partnership and annual product drops with China’s top tier children’s sportswear brand, Xtep Kids, support Transformers and My Little Pony.

Visitors to BLE 2022 are invited to visit the Hasbro stand, A211. Pre-registration is required.

Brands with Influence appointed UK licensing agent for Vegesaurs

Brand with Influence will be presenting the new animated pre-school show Vegesaurs, which promotes healthy eating, at BLE 2022 this week. 

Brands with Influence has been appointed by Studio 100 Media, Germany, to manage the UK licensing rights for Vegesaurs, the upcoming new comedy adventure series airing on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer. The series is produced by independent Australian producer Cheeky Little Media in association with the Australian Broadcast Company (ABC), France TV and Studio 100.

Vegesaurs is an original take on the much-loved dinosaur genre, inviting pre-school audiences into a unique and immersive world where healthy, natural foods come to life in the most playful and surprising ways. A unique cast of characters promises to thrill young children, including Ginger the Tricarrotops, three baby Pea-Rexes, Broccolisaurus, Bananaraptors, and Chillipedes, among others. They all adventure through Vegesaur Valley introducing different fruit and vegetables to young children, building in comedy, imagination and relatable pre-school themes.

In addition to the BBC broadcast platform, Macmillan Children’s Books has secured the worldwide publishing rights with the first two picture books launching in spring 2023, and two further story board books set for release in summer 2023.

Dom Wheeler, commercial director of Brands with Influence, explained: “It is brilliant to be working with Studio 100, the BBC and Macmillan on this fabulous new pre-school series. We will be presenting the brand at BLE and over the coming months look forward to working with a great range of licensees who are keen to take advantage of this innovative and comedic brand.”

The Point.1888 set to showcase new Battersea licensees at BLE

The new licensing deals will see the creation of a raft of Battersea merchandise and products suitable for humans, cats and dogs alike. 

The newly appointed licensees all have an eye on creating practical and/or desirable Battersea products for two- or four-legged consumers.

The Point.1888 has announced that five more licensees have joined the growing list of Battersea licensing partners, which has doubled during 2022.

Suitable for dog and cat lovers of all ages, the softlines offering has been boosted with the appointment of new daywear and nightwear licensee Bro Global, which is due to bring its first clothing ranges to UK retailers in spring 2023. Whether consumers are Team Dog or Team Cat, the ranges have been designed to celebrate the joy and love  pets bring as well as reminding everyone that Rescue is Best – not just for dogs and cats but also for fashion. Battersea apparel will either encourage consumers to rehome an item to someone else, or rescue it by repurposing fabrics, turning unwanted material into easy-to-make dog and cat toys.

Alongside Bro Global, Cityfax and Meller Designs join existing accessories licensee Drew Pearson, completing the line-up of fashion accessories. Beautifully designed adult and kids’ soft accessories, bags, blankets, jewellery, socks and hosiery will be available for Battersea fans, designed for everything from best-dressed dog walking to snuggling up on the sofa with a four-legged friend.

Grooming products by Amber House will be launching in 2023. The new range of freshly fragranced pet-care shampoos, conditioners and accessories will have been trialled by some of Battersea’s fussiest residents.

Saxon will also launch its extensive range of car travel products, ensuring pets have everything they need by law and for their welfare when out on the road. Products to help keep cars protected are also in development.

Gabbi Langdorf, senior international & brand manager at The Point.1888, said: “Battersea is a brand with purpose – it truly resonates with consumers and makes a difference to the lives of the animals in its care. Battersea’s licensing programme is going from strength to strength, and we are delighted to continue this growth into exciting new categories and launch products for all the family, whether they have two legs or four.”

Warren Traeger, Battersea’s licensing manager, said: “We are thrilled to welcome the latest additions to our licensing programme. With half of UK households owning a dog or cat, there has never been a better time for the Battersea brand to make an impact across UK retail. We have been working hard with the Point.1888 and our licensees developing fun, relevant and well-designed products for both pets and humans, and cannot wait for visitors to BLE to visit the Battersea stand (B269) or The Point.1888’s stand (C235).”

Moonbug names DeAPlaneta as Iberia, Germany and France licensing agent

DeAPlaneta’s responsibilities will include identifying new licensees, developing the existing portfolio in each of the territories and managing retail partnerships.

DeAPlanetaMoonbug Entertainment, a subsidiary of Candle Media, has announced the appointment of DeAPlaneta Entertainment, a European leader in entertainment for kids and families, as its new licensing agent in Iberia. DeAPlaneta will represent CoComelon, Blippi, Little Baby Bum, Little Angel, My Magic Pet Morphle, Supa Strikas, Go Buster, Oddbods, Playtime with Twinkle, Gecko’s Garage and Arpo in the region.

The partnership will also extend to Germany and France, where DeAPlaneta Entertainment will represent Moonbug Entertainment’s brands with the exception of CoComelon.

DeAPlaneta Entertainment’s responsibilities will include identifying new licensees, developing the existing portfolio in each of the territories and managing retail partnerships. As part of the agreement, DeAPlaneta Entertainment’s rights will include merchandising, publishing, non-ticketed mall shows and costume character appearances for all Moonbug IPs across the three territories, except for CoComelon in Germany and France.

“The appointment of DeAPlaneta Entertainment is a reflection of Moonbug’s continued and rapid expansion across EMEA,” said Francesca Romana Gianesin, head of EMEA & ANZ at Moonbug Entertainment.

Danny Spronz, global head of Agents, Gaming, Loyalty & Promotion at Moonbug Entertainment, added: “Having worked with DeAPlaneta Entertainment in the past, I am confident it is the right partner to develop opportunities that will enable our fans to interact and have access to our much loved characters and IPs.”

“We are delighted to bring our licensing experience to Moonbug Entertainment’s line-up, which includes worldwide leading pre-school series such as CoComelon, Blippi and Little Baby Bum,” concluded Antonella Cesaro, Consumer Products director at DeAPlaneta Entertainment. “Moonbug Entertainment is a leading digital entertainment company and, with each one of its IPs, has demonstrated a strong sense of innovation. With our expertise, we aim to take all its successful brands to the next level.”

Merger sees formation of new Universal Products & Experiences division

Universal Brand Development and Universal Parks & Resorts Merchandise Group have come together to form the new Universal Products & Experiences division.

Universal Products & Experiences

In a strategic expansion of its global consumer products and retail business, Universal Parks & Resorts has announced that it has merged two of its key businesses, Universal Brand Development and Universal Parks & Resorts Merchandise Group, to create a new division, Universal Products & Experiences (UP&E). The company says this will further deepen its connection to fans, consumers and guests with high-quality, fan-first products and retail experiences across the globe.

UP&E’s overall mission is to extend the company’s characters and stories by bringing them to life in immersive experiences, in product categories such as toys, collectibles, books, apparel, lifestyle categories, video games and digital initiatives like NFTs and more. UP&E activates the business through world-class licensee partnerships or through direct operations, and across its expansive theme park locations, eCommerce platforms, live-entertainment venues and retailer relationships around the world. The division will be led by current Universal Brand Development president Vince Klaseus, and report directly to Mark Woodbury, chairman and CEO, Universal Parks & Resorts.

“Combining these two talented teams into one group creates a powerhouse division focused on compelling consumer products and experiences both inside and outside our theme parks,” said Mark Woodbury. “Our goal is to create products and experiences for fans that are as innovative and compelling as our lands and attractions. This team can now deliver and execute that on a much larger scale.”

“We’ve built a robust, successful and expansive CP business over the last few years, and now, by combining the creativity and innovation capabilities of the theme park’s direct consumer and retail skills, we’re going to take our collective business to new heights for consumers, our team and the company overall,” said Vince Klaseus. “2022 has been a phenomenal year for our CP business with properties like Jurassic World, Minions and Gabby’s Dollhouse taking off to new heights. That strength, plus the phenomenal theme park performance and guest experiences, makes this team coming together even more powerful. I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish together with the combined team focused on new areas of growth and collaboration across physical and digital product categories and retail.”

Kate Dickson appointed Acamar’s director of Communications

Kate began her new role on Tuesday 13th September and reports to Mikael Shields, CEO of Acamar Films.

Kate DicksonAcamar Films, producer of the multi-award-winning pre-school hit series Bing, has appointed Kate Dickson as director of Communications for the Camden-based independent studio.

In her new role, Kate is responsible for Acamar’s overall communications strategy and for audience communications on Bing as the property continues its global expansion, launching into new markets and expanding across a variety of platforms.

“We’re all genuinely excited about Kate joining our team,” said Mikael Shields, CEO Acamar Films, to whom Kate reports. “She brings a wealth of communications expertise to Acamar Films. But more than that, she has a real appreciation of Bing, his world and the impact of the series on viewers. Kate will play a leadership role in Acamar’s communications strategy, introducing Bing to audiences as we forge new partnerships, launch across platforms and bring the series to new international territories.”

From 2012 until 2018, Kate served as director of Communications at Nickelodeon UK and Ireland where she was responsible for all communications for Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Nick Jr. and their properties as well as Channel 5’s Milkshake!. Prior to her time at Nickelodeon, Kate held communications positions at Canada’s Family Channel and Teletoon.

“Children’s entertainment has always held my heart and I am honoured to be given the opportunity to work on Bing, a series that has meant so much to my own family,” commented Kate. “I have seen first-hand the way that Bing provides a framework for young children to understand their world. It is brilliant to be part of the Acamar team as Bing continues to grow and find new fans.”