Hasbro, Science Museum, and Aardman among Brand Licensing Europe 2021 line-up

MGA Entertainment, Hasbro Consumer Products, Mattel Brands, and the Science Museum Group are among the names confirmed to be exhibiting at this year’s Brand Licensing Europe as the industry readies to meet face-to-face once again at ExCeL London this November.

With just over four months until the in-person return of the London licensing event, the show’s organiser has detailed the first wave of exhibitors confirmed to take part in the trade event this year, spanning a range of countries and categories, from TV production and movie studios, to leaders in the toy space.

Confirmed exhibitors include The Smurfs, Magic Light Pictures, Crunchyroll, Asterix, and Aardman, alongside the likes of Sanrio, SEGA, National Basketball Association, and Gallimard Jeunesse. They join a roster of high profile toy companies who each continue to build on their global franchises through consumer products and licensing. These include Hasbro, Mattel, and MGA Entertainment.

Anna Knight, VP of Licensing, Informa Markets, said: “We are thrilled that BLE will return in-person this year. The support we’ve received from the industry has been amazing, proving that there is a genuine desire for the brand licensing community to reconnect face-to-face once more.

“We are delighted to welcome so many exhibitors already, including GO-N and The Scouts Store who will be new to the floor for 2021, and a wide range of European brands returning including Sophie La Girafe, FC Barcelona, Sagoo, Spain Licensing Pavilion, Tour de France and many more.”

Yana Esieva, Junior PR Manager, Masha and the Bear, said: “We are extremely happy Brand Licensing Europe will gather us in person again! This tough year made us realise the importance of in-person connections and communication, and now we’re anxiously waiting to reconnect face-to-face with our industry friends and partners.”

The exhibitor list is available to view on the BLE website, here.

Hasbro and Gamepath release first details of the Monopoly: Lifesized attraction coming to London this summer

Hasbro and Gamepath – a new division of Selladoor Worldwide – have released the first details of the Monopoly Lifesized experience – a new gameplay attraction due to open in London on August 14th this year.

The attraction will bring together the best of the iconic board game with escape room challenges and team co-operation for the ‘first of its kind in the world’ experience as players move around the board, participating in missions in order to acquire properties, earn money, and progress through the game.

Monopoly Lifesized is an immersive, on-your-feet version of the world’s favourite family game brand. Players will be able to experience the thrill of staging a heist in Mayfair, competing against the clock to build some of London’s most iconic buildings, or solve a baffling murder mystery.

The experience will be held at 213 – 215 Tottenham Court Road, a 22,000sq ft building over three floors in the West End. The building will house a retail outlet selling a range of Hasbro game merchandise, as well as The Top Hat – a Monopoly themed bar and restaurant serving signature cocktails and a British small plates menu.

Monopoly Lifesized will consist of a 75 minute gameplay segment on a 15 x 15m board, featuring eight properties, two Utility Companies, two Train Stations, Jail, Free Parking, Go, and Just Visiting. Each board can host between eight and 24 people split into four teams, all playing against each other.

Each team will have their own personal Monopoly token  – Scottie Dog, Boot, Racing Car, etc. – leading them around the game, taking scores, and giving hints where required. Each property square will have a full-sized location specific room behind it that players enter to participate in a challenge to ‘acquire’ that particular property.

The challenges will be a mixture of physical and mental puzzles and games that will test players’ skills and lateral thinking, and will be themed appropriately for the square, featuring either some historical or current day relationship with that part of London.

Monopoly: Lifesized will be created by a team drawn from across the immersive theatre, tech, and escape room worlds. Creative producers on the experience are Tom Beynon and Paul Mansfield, with set design by Tim McQuillen-Wright (designer for Secret Cinema experiences Stranger Things, Blade Runner, and Moulin Rouge) with costume design by Sarah Mercade, sound design by Luke Swaffield, and production management by Entourage.

Julia Posen, head of development at Gamepath, said: “Hasbro’s original board game continues to lead the market year in, year out and is loved globally by every generation that has grown up with the game. It has been an exciting journey to work with the talented Gamepath production team to bring this new experience to central London.

“We’re very excited as we know we have created something really special for people of all ages. When you step into the world we’re creating, we promise a dynamic, lively interactive experience and a great night out. Get ready for high risks and high rewards where there’s no ceiling to winning. As long as you can stay out of jail.”

David Hutchinson, CEO of Gamepath, added: “For us, Monopoly: Lifesized represents a major entry into a growing and exciting marketplace. Audiences want to consume live performance differently, and what better way than to jump into a lifesized version of the world’s favourite board game? Our creative team has been working their magic to fuse an experience that puts our audiences centre place on the board, and brings together our theatrical roots with innovative, digital and immersive storytelling.

“After everything we’ve missed out on individually and collectively and given the decimation of our high streets and city centres, it’s really exciting to be launching this now – we hope that we’ll be able to contribute to the recovery of Central London, and bring people back together in our fabulous Capital with a major new attraction in a major new destination building.”

Matt Proulx, vice president, Location Based Experiences at Hasbro said: “We are thrilled to be working with our best-in-class partners at Gamepath. Given its track record creating world class live performances, we believe that combining their skills along with our beloved Monopoly brand will create an exceptional, one-of-a-kind experience that truly brings the Monopoly game to life in a way only once imagined. We cannot wait for individuals of all ages to be able to once again get out and play together.”

The venue will be Covid-secure, adhering to all latest government guidelines, including one-way systems for the retail and food and beverage areas, hand sanitisers throughout the building, an enhanced deep cleaning regime, and with temperature checks undertaken for patrons and staff on arrival.

The capacity for each gameboard is limited to 24 maximum, and players are encouraged to form teams within their household bubbles. The producers will keep guidelines under constant review.

Flowhaven bolsters is US sales team with a suit of licensing expert new hires

The licensing relationship management platform, Flowhaven, has strengthened its US sales team with a raft of new leadership hires, including the appointment of Adam Christensen as the US sales director, and Chris Davlin and Rebecca Dennis as US sales managers.

The new additions to the growing Flowhaven team will report directly to Jessica Trinca, the firm’s US general manager.

This suite of new hires is just the latest in a series of developments to sustain the company’s accelerated growth. Flowhaven had a record-breaking first quarter in 2021 with a number of customer acquisitions across new verticals including universities, record labels and more.

In the last year, Flowhaven raised $16M in funding led by Sapphire Sport, and more than doubled its team in Helsinki, Finland, Los Angeles and London. The company also has plans to open offices this year in New York, Berlin and Tokyo to support customers locally.

“Hiring the best and brightest leaders has always been core to our company’s success, and Adam, Chris, and Rebecca are the perfect example,” said Kalle Torma, Flowhaven.

“Not only do they have proven expertise leading teams at companies like Electronic Arts, Disney, and Lucasfilm; they also embody Flowhaven’s values of collaboration, community and trust. Their contributions will be key for us as we continue to innovate and expand globally.”

Christensen brings more than 15 years of sales and operations experience to Flowhaven. As US sales director, he will be responsible for the company’s national sales strategy and execution. Most recently, he served as Director of Alliances and Partner Sales at Claravine, where he led the company’s strategic channel efforts. Previously, he was senior licensing business development manager at Electronic Arts managing the company’s strategic brand licensing initiatives.

There, Christensen closed seven-figure partnerships with household brands such as Walmart, Toys-R-Us, Barnes & Noble, GameStop, Target, Liverpool and many more. Previous roles included Disney Interactive, among others.

As US sales manager, Dennis will be responsible for scaling revenue operations across the Western United States. Prior to joining Flowhaven, she held several positions at Global Licensing Group, a division of Informa, with a focus on Licensing Global Magazine.

She also worked on the company’s Licensing Expo and Brand Licensing Europe events. Prior to joining Flowhaven, Rebecca spent nearly a decade in sales and revenue operations positions within the fashion industry.

Chris Davlin joins Flowhaven as US sales manager and will oversee the brand’s continued growth across the Eastern United States, with a focus on New York City where Flowhaven plans to open offices by end of year. Her responsibilities will include synergizing the company’s sales efforts with centralized marketing support to deliver curated content to experts in the licensing space.

Previously, Davlin held a number of sales roles at such companies as Hint, and ran her own licensing and business development consultancy. She also held licensing roles at prominent brands, including Lucasfilm for Disney Consumer Products, where she acted as Project Manager for Star Wars Day 2014. There, she successfully executed Maythe4th campaign, performed all preparation for Disney Consumer Products division, and doubled Star Wars Day social media presence by exceeding 2.1B impressions and 1.1M global posts.