Beyblade Burst to debut at Anime Expo this weekend

Japanese IP Specialist ADK Emotions NY Inc. (ADK) has confirmed that Beyblade Burst will be making its debut at Anime Expo 2022, the world’s biggest anime convention, which takes place in Los Angeles from 1–4 July, 2022.

Visitors to the consumer-facing event, a celebration of Japanese pop culture, are invited to visit the Beyblade Burst panel, which will feature screens showing the latest Beyblade Burst animation and a quiz where participants can answer questions to win a prize. The brand’s interactive booth will feature a free play area for some casual Bey-play and a stamp rally game where participants can collect stamps by winning matches. Formal tournament battles will also run throughout the weekend where players can battle it out for the chance to win a Swag Bag complete with toys, pins, stickers, merchandise, and limited-edition t-shirts.

A spokesperson says: “ADK Emotions is excited to make an interactive space for creators and fans to come together and celebrate in person, bringing the tournament atmosphere to the largest Anime Expo in the world.”

With the brand’s continued success including Beyblade Burst QuadDrive airing on Disney XD, ADK Emotions is enjoying the rise in popularity of the anime genre and is committed to exploring global growth opportunities for the franchise.

Trend-driven content agenda announced for B&LIS North America

Following Licensing Expo’s return to in-person events in Vegas this May – which welcomed a record number of retailers – the Global Licensing Group is shifting its focus to the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit (B&LIS) North America, which aims to deliver thought leadership on trends as well as forecasts, retailer insights, spotlights on growth categories, and deep dives into digital and content innovation.

B&LIS North America trails the successful European launch held last year and is confirmed to make its debut on November 8-9 at Convene in New York City. The in-person conference is designed to connect senior-level brand licensing leaders and decision-makers for a two-day conference focusing on the future of consumer products, the changing retail landscape, and the importance of transformation.

More than 200 licensing, manufacturing and retail executives will gather at B&LIS for a content-rich agenda structured to incite peer-to-peer dialogue and inspire action to propel the $300+ billion global licensing industry forward.

“The licensing and retail industries are undergoing disruptive change, from navigating supply chain challenges, the rising cost of living impacting consumer spend, to unprecedented levels of content consumption,” says Anna Knight, SVP of the Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets. “There is so much to discuss amongst the industry as societal behaviors continue to shift and B&LIS is the perfect platform to do this. While it’s an exciting time that presents a huge amount of opportunity for the licensing industry, adapting to these changes comes with challenges that require cross-industry discussion. With B&LIS, we’re initiating this much-needed conversation and providing a platform to bring new approaches into play that will shape how people view, shop for, and engage with brands.

“We look forward to re-convening the industry at B&LIS in New York following a well-attended and productive Licensing Expo held last month in Las Vegas, where thousands met in person for the first time since 2019 to renew relationships with customers, sign new partners, and discover the hottest new IPs. Our large-scale trade shows are designed to facilitate deal-making and trend discovery and are perfectly complemented by the thought-leadership-driven nature of B&LIS. The licensing industry’s leading change-makers have the opportunity to apply their learnings from Licensing Expo at B&LIS for two days of trend-driven education, discussion, and debate that will inspire the next new ideas and creative approaches to brand extension strategies.”

Content for the 2022 edition is highly curated to reflect the industry’s leading challenges and explore new growth opportunities. The focus of the conference sessions, workshops, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities will touch on major issues impacting business today and into 2023. Themes of the agenda include:

  • Market Trends – Join market leaders exploring the dynamics shaping licensed products, current trends in consumer behaviour, and what those changes mean for the future. Through presentations and panels, decipher how to spot emerging trends and where the next opportunity lies.
  • Retail Disruption – Explore ideas and strategies that are changing the face of retail, from direct-to-consumer tactics to the impact of retailtainment and more.
  • Digital Advances – New technological advances such as NFTs and the metaverse have opened up new opportunities for licensed consumer products. Discover what these opportunities are and how to create these experiences. Reaching consumers has greatly transferred to the digital space and recognising the right platform to use is critical for business growth.
  • Sustainability – Through a series of panels and presentations, understand how to practically realise environmentally sustainable business practices in your organisation and what roadblocks you may encounter along your journey.

“B&LIS provides the rare chance to learn from industry greats and brainstorm amongst notable retailers and licensors to drum up new approaches that may become the next viral idea,” concludes Knight.

CLICK HERE to sign up for updates about B&LIS: receive an alert when registration opens to secure an Early Bird All Access Pass and enjoy a discounted pass; plus, be the first to know when the content schedule is announced and discover new networking opportunities.

Hey Duggee live show to tour UK

Hit children’s show Hey Duggee is to tour the UK for the first time ever in a vibrant and interactive stage show.

The smash hit CBeebies series is brought to life through innovative puppetry and storytelling in Hey Duggee The Live Theatre Show, which will tour across the UK from December through to summer 2023.

Visiting 24 theatres, Hey Duggee The Live Theatre Show includes a four-week run at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall (London) from December 14.

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday July 1 (regional theatres) and at 10am Monday July 4 (London) from and direct from theatres.

Since bursting onto TV screens in 2014, Hey Duggee, a BBC and Studio AKA creation, has won no fewer than six BAFTAs and is an international Emmy award-winning hit. It was the most streamed children’s show on BBC iPlayer in 2021.

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 Wax says: “We are so thrilled to be working with Live Nation, Cuffe & Taylor, Studio AKA and BBC Studios to create a brand new stage show with lots of surprises touring the country with a sit-down month in London over Christmas. I can’t wait.”

Ben Hatton, director of theatre touring for Cuffe and Taylor, adds: “This is an incredibly exciting tour. Hey Duggee is quite simply a phenomenon and has taken the world of children’s entertainment by storm.

“We are delighted to be working with Kenny and his team at Kenny Wax Family Entertainment, as well as all the extended Hey Duggee family at Studio AKA and BBC Studios. We look forward to Duggee and his friends filling theatres around the UK.”

For more information go to


Sat 3 – Sat 10 Dec Southampton, MAST Mayflower Studios
Wed 14 December – Sun 8 Jan London, Southbank Centre Royal Festival Hall
Thu 12 – Sun 15 Jan Bradford, St George’s Hall
Fri 20 – Sun 22 Jan Darlington, Hippodrome
Fri 27 – Sun 29 Jan Edinburgh, Festival Theatre
Thu 2  – Sat 4 Feb Liverpool, Empire Theatre
Tue 7 – Wed 8 Feb Brighton, Theatre Royal
Fri 10 – Sat 11 Feb Plymouth, Theatre Royal
Tue 14  – Wed 15 Feb Peterborough, New Theatre
Sat 18  – Sun 19 Feb Canterbury, The Marlowe
Tue 21 – Wed 22 Feb Cheltenham, Everyman Theatre
Sat 25 – Sun 26 Feb Poole, Lighthouse Theatre
Fri 10  – Sun 12 Mar Stoke, Regent Theatre
Thu 16 – Sat 18 Mar Sheffield, Lyceum Theatre
Fri 24 – Sun 26 Mar Salford, The Lowry
Mon 3 – Tue 4 Apr Ipswich, Regent Theatre
Fri 7 – Sat 8 Apr Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre
Mon 10 – Wed 12 Apr Birmingham, Town Hall
Fri 14 – Sat 15 Apr Leicester, Curve
Thu 20 – Sat 22 Apr Bath, The Forum
Mon 1 – Sat 6 May Nottingham, Theatre Royal
Sat 13 – Sun 14 May Southend, Cliffs Pavilion
Thu 25 – Sat 27 May Glasgow, Kings Theatre
Tue 30 May – Sat 4 Jun Kingston-Upon-Thames, Rose Theatre


Miffy pops up at Westfield London this summer

Miffy’s first UK food pop-up launches this summer at Westfield White City, when Dick Bruna’s classic character takes over Ichiba, Europe’s largest food hall, on 11 July (until 30 September 2022).

This summer’s take-over of Ichiba aims to delight Miffy’s broad audience – from families with young children to adult design fans, Westfield shoppers, London tourists and Instragrammers looking for the latest foodie vibe.

Located in Westfield’s new extension on the lower ground floor, Ichiba will deck out its 17,400 sq ft of dining and retail space with Miffy’s familiar form, including eye-catching window vinyls, brightly coloured POS and backdrops, plus a giant 2m high Miffy lamp (the perfect prop for selfie-lovers).

For the in-store dining experience, Ichiba’s chefs will serve up Miffy-shaped buns filled with red bean paste, carrot-shaped buns filled with matcha custard, matcha buttercream Miffy cookies, plus a range of Miffy-inspired lattes.

An exclusive Japan Centre x Miffy tote bag will be available in-store at Ichiba and online at, plus other Miffy merchandise including on-the-go coffee mugs, plush, books, interior gifts and cooking utensils. Bunny-shaped baking pans and cookie cutters will be available to purchase so visitors can recreate the Ichiba x Miffy cookies at home.

Highlight PR, which brokered the 12-week pop up, is supporting the activation with an extensive marketing campaign, including a giant display unit filled with Miffy plush located in Westfield’s parenting area (part of a #FindMiffy social challenge to drive footfall to Ichiba), a paid influencer partnership with Great British Bake Off finalist Kim-Joy, plus a day of free family activities in-store on Saturday 23 July, comprising origami craft activities and a costume appearance.

Marja Kerkhof, MD of Mercis bv, which manages Miffy creator Dick Bruna’s worldwide copyrights, says: “Despite her Dutch roots, there is nevertheless a great synergy between Miffy and Japanese culture. This promotion with Ichiba will give the brand fantastic exposure in the UK within a luxury retail environment. It is also perfect timing ahead of the Year of the Rabbit in 2023.”

Licensing-X Germany gearing up for successful show

Event organiser Spielwarenmesse eG has issued an update on preparations for Licensing-X Germany, planned in close cooperation with Licensing International and set to take place from 5 to 7 October at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre alongside the stationery expo Insights-X. The event aims to offer new programming and networking opportunities for the entire licensing industry, which continues to grow rapidly. 

Rapid growth

According to the Global Sizing Study by Licensing International, the worldwide retail revenue in licensed products and services amounted to 320 billion US dollars in 2021. In the German market alone, the sum adds up to 12.5 billion US dollars, an increase of 4.5% in comparison to the last study in 2019.

The strongest growth was registered by corporate brands, which grew disproportionately in the last year. This is due to the “cocooning” trend during the pandemic, whereby consumers fell back on familiar, trusted brands. The categories with the highest revenue are fashion and accessories, toys, video games, sports, entertainment electronics and foodstuffs.

Promising trends

Licensors, licensees and licensing agents, service providers and specialist retailers will all have the opportunity at the show to exploit the second largest European market, get to know its particularities and conclude new licensing deals. Currently, tried and tested properties dominated by blockbusters and famous characters from the preschool sector as well as innovative licenses from digital worlds are trending. These include NFTs, platforms such as YouTube, and streaming services. At Licensing-X Germany, the possibilities span much more than just the toy industry, offering the opportunity to reach new horizons with exciting business opportunities.

“Licensing-X Germany follows the long tradition of Licensing Market, which we have been organising for the licensing industry in the German-speaking area for over 20 years,” says Peter Hollo, who runs Licensing International in Germany. “After the pandemic continuously threw a spanner into its works, it was high time to replace an outdated hotel trade-fair format with a professional licensing trade fair. That is why Licensing-X Germany is not just a place for licensors alone, but rather the large overarching platform for all who offer services in the German-speaking licensing business.”

Market-oriented speakers

The event will be rounded off with an informative supporting programme. Licensing International will contribute with its own, already established formats such as the Licensing Awards and the Licensing University. Among the first confirmed speakers who will report on current industry topics are Prof Karl Peter Fischer, lecturer for applied management and digital marketing, and patent lawyer Christian Fortmann. Anika Scharlock, Global Relations Manager – Brand Protection at Amazon, is a keynote speaker. In addition, there will be a get-together with all participants of Insights-X on the first evening of the event.

Synergies and services

Parallel event Insights-X is the only independent specialist expo for the international stationery industry in Germany. It offers strong points of contact to the licensing business with its back-to-school category. Visitors will especially profit from the KombiTicket: at a price of 10 euros, it provides access to both expos for the entire duration and can be used as a ticket for local public transport. Opening hours are from 9 am to 6 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, and from 9 am to 5 pm on Friday. Ticket sales will begin on 27 July.

In summary, Spielwarenmesse eG’s Christian Ulrich says: “With Licensing-X Germany, we are expanding our portfolio into a rapidly growing market that is well-known to us and does business across various industries. We are doing everything we can to make the event the ‘place to be’ in the German-speaking area.”

Constantly updated information is available at the two websites and

Last chance to register for Brands & Retail UK Summer conference

Retailers and licensees who have not yet signed up to the Brands and Retail UK Summer conference (sponsored by Fabacus), taking place at the British Library on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 July 22, are invited to do so now before the registration window closes at the end of this week.

Registration to watch the screenings closes this Friday (24 June), with 37 tickets still available for the ‘Meet the Buyers’ networking party which will end the conference.

The final line-up of global brands is now confirmed – with recent additions including:

Crayola (Retail Monster) – Day Two

Quorn & Vimto (Pink Key – FMCG) – Day One

The London Taxi Company (GTL – London Electric Vehicle co) – Day One

EttaVee and Bouffants & Broken Hearts (Start Licensing – Art) – Day One

Silvergate Media – Day Two

Dino Ranch (Boat Rocker) – Day Two

These 15-minute back-to-back screenings are for all retailers of licensed products and UK manufacturers interested in licensing, and existing licensees and partners of the brands.

Retailers attending include Tesco, ASDA, Boots, Vanilla Underground, The Entertainer, Toys “R” Us, Primark, and eBay.

The conference is free to attend, and a free lunch is provided.

Brands & Retail UK is also pleased to announce dates for the Winter conference are now confirmed. The event will be returning to the British Library in London on 18 and 19 January 2023.

“I am currently speaking with the founding brand partners who took part this year and offering them first choice of slots for the January ’23 event,” says event director Ryan Beaird.

“The concept for the Winter conference allows licensors to get their annual brand and company updates/plans out to the industry in 15 minutes before the global trade show season starts – saving them time at trade shows and helping them move deals forward.”

Brands wishing to present to UK retailers and licensees in January 2023 can contact Ryan by e-mailing

Licensees and retailers can book their FREE tickets for the conference and purchase their ‘Meet the Buyers’ party tickets (priced at £65 each) at the conference website:

Ki appointed creative partner for Morph’s Epic Art Adventure

Family-focused marketing agency Kids Industries (Ki) has today announced that it is the creative partner for a major new initiative – Morph’s Epic Art Adventure in London, set to be the first accessible, step-free cultural event of its kind.

The launch event, which took place at The Museum of London earlier this week, announced the partnership between Whizz-Kidz, Wild in Art, and Aardman – the award-winning animation studio and creator of the childhood-favourite and much-loved animated character, Morph.

The spectacular public art trail and tourist attraction will see up to 70 super-sized sculptures of Morph take over the streets of central London in summer 2023. The step-free family-friendly art trail of colourful Morphs will span iconic London landmarks including St Pauls, Tate Modern, the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe and Borough Market.

Whizz-Kidz is embarking on this fun, fully accessible trail across London to raise awareness of the need for better access and inclusion for young wheelchair users, and to raise vital funds to support their work.

The money raised will enable the charity to provide life-changing wheelchairs and confidence-building opportunities for young wheelchair users in the capital and across the UK. The Morph sculptures will be canvases for conversations about diversity and inclusion for wheelchair users.

Each of the 70 Morph sculptures stands at 6ft tall and will be adorned with bespoke designs from a range of artists, supported by sponsors including Sky, Barratt Developments, EY, Kids Industries, Evenbreak, and Govia Thameslink Railway Ltd. Once the trail has closed, each of the bespoke Morph sculptures will be auctioned with the aim of raising £500,000 for Whizz-Kidz.

A trail app, website, map, guidebook and dedicated social media channels will enable trail-goers to navigate the route, tracking down each sculpture and unlocking fun facts and rewards.

Sarah Pugh, chief executive of Whizz-Kidz, says: “We are delighted to launch Morph’s Epic Art Adventure in London. This accessible and fun trail will bring the London business community, creative artists, schools and families together in the summer of 2023. The awareness and money raised will have a huge legacy for young wheelchair users we support for years to come.”

“We are totally thrilled to be working with the excellent charity Whizz-Kidz on London’s first step-free art trail,” says Peter Lord, the co-founder of Aardman and creator of Morph. “I’m sure that local residents and visitors to London – young and old – will also be inspired to get creative and join Morph for an Epic Art Adventure.”

Gary Pope, CEO and Co-Founder at Ki, adds: We are super excited to support the important work Whizz-Kidz does as the official creative partner on such an important project – giving our time and resources to make this a huge success.

“The work that Whizz-Kidz does is incredible. Morph is incredible. London is incredible. Mashing the three together is pure genius – of course we wanted to be involved!

“One of our six immovable pillars of childhood, what we call the Super 6, is Diversity & Inclusion. As such, we are committed to equality in all its forms and to have the chance to play a small part in ensuring more children are able experience the epic-ness of London through a truly accessible epic adventure trail of Morphs is something our whole team stands behind.”

Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit postponed

The organisers of B&LIS Europe have issued an update about the event, which was due to take place on 21 June, 2022.

Due to national rail strikes on June 21, 23 & 25, and a London tube strike on June 21, the event will now take place later in the year, at a date to be confirmed shortly.

The Sustainability in Licensing Conference, which was slated for 22 June, is also being postponed and will now take place on 18 October 2022.

If you have booked a ticket for B&LIS, you will be issued with a full refund. If you have booked a ticket for B&LIS and SILC, the organisers will refund 50% of the ticket price and leave the remaining 50% to go towards the postponed SILC date. If you are unable to make the postponed date, contact the organisers for a full refund. All questions should be directed to the B&LIS customer service team at

Wrangler named official denim sponsor of iconic music festivals

One of America’s most recognised denim labels, Wrangler, has announced a collaboration with three iconic music festivals. The sponsorship kicks off with “75 Days of Summer”, a sweepstake offering 75 days of prizes to destination music festivals Lollapalooza (Chicago and Berlin) and Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL Fest).

At each festival, Wrangler will activate onsite showcasing its brand heritage to music fans in a variety of ways. In the Wrangler booth, an interactive customer space, fans can buy exclusive denim festival merchandise and personalise it with free laser customisation specific to the festival. The brand will also offer enhanced personalisation options for select artists and VIPs behind the scenes. A complete line of Wrangler x Lollapalooza apparel, including tees and denim, will also be available on

“Fans are thrilled to be back to experiencing music and showcasing festival fashion in real life,” says Holly Wheeler, vice president global marketing for Wrangler. “At a time when Western influence continues to surge in the world of fashion, festivals are combining different genres, fan bases, lifestyles and experiences across the globe. With a record-breaking summer season, diverse lineups and trailblazing interactive options for fans, we’re thrilled to collaborate with C3 Presents and Live Nation to celebrate with music fans in ways we haven’t before.”

“Music festivals have always acted as launchpads for the latest and most creative fashion trends,” adds Stephanie Adamson, senior merchandise manager at C3 Presents. “Festivals invite a spirit of individuality, and the creative possibilities are endless at the intersection of fashion and music. Our collaboration with Wrangler is a relevant and timely expression of that.”

Visit Wrangler at Lollapalooza Chicago July 28-31, 2022; Lollapalooza Berlin September 24-25, 2022; and at ACL on October 7-9 and October 14-16, 2022. Visit for additional details regarding the ‘75 Days of Summer Music’ sweepstakes. To learn more about the Wrangler’s collaboration with Live Nation festivals and #Wrangler75, visit

SPYSCAPE brings the world of Batman to life

Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment on behalf of DC and SPYSCAPE have announced the opening of BATMAN x SPYSCAPE, a brand-new interactive experience that will drop fans into the heart of a Gotham City mystery. Public previews began on June 8 in New York City, and fans can sign-up online at

Top scientists in Gotham City are missing and the world is in upheaval. The Bat-Signal is in the sky. Who will step in and help Batman solve the mystery at hand?  BATMAN x SPYSCAPE will take fans on a top-secret mission to infiltrate an underworld organisation, Leviathan, whose goal is to disrupt the Super Hero and Super-Villain communities.

The adventure features a seamless combination of an immersive physical experience enhanced with an interactive real-time app. Guests will be asked to download the BATMAN x SPYSCAPE app from the Apple or Google app stores in advance of their visit and immediately enter the story world. The experience plays out in three acts where they will be recruited by the mysterious Oracle, an alternate identity of Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), to help solve some mysterious kidnappings, all while interacting with some of Gotham City’s most compelling characters via the app.

BATMAN x SPYSCAPE features an original narrative by critically acclaimed writer Gail Simone (who has penned both BATGIRL and WONDER WOMAN), an immersive exhibition design by Mona Kim Projects, and interactive experience design by SPYSCAPE, all aimed at bringing the world of DC’s Batman to life like never before.

The BATMAN x SPYSCAPE experience will also be supported with a highly curated range of bespoke merchandise including a BATMAN x SPYSCAPE Companion Book, also penned by Gail Simone with art by award-winning artist Jim Calafiore.