Pinkfong announces second Baby Shark NFT collection

The Pinkfong Company, the global entertainment company behind the pop culture phenomenon “Baby Shark”, has announced a deeper dive into NFTs with the release of Baby Shark: Collection No. 2, a generative art collection of 10,000 unique NFTs featuring Baby Shark and his family, on digital collectibles marketplace MakersPlace.

With the world’s most viewed video in YouTube history, Pinkfong’s Baby Shark has grown into the most iconic earworm to emerge from the internet, recording a 20-week streak on the Billboard Hot 100 while its music video became the first video to hit 10 billion views on YouTube.

Baby Shark: Collection No. 2 is the latest in the company’s commitment to NFTs and Web3. Baby Shark’s initial NFT collection, Baby Shark: Collection No. 1, launched in December 2021, was an instant sell-out. Now, following their successful foray into the waters of NFTs, the company will release its second collection centered around strengthening and expanding the global Baby Shark community, both on and offline.

Pinkfong has joined forces with Nolcha Shows, the award winning events producers at the intersection of art, music and culture, to kick off celebrations for the upcoming Baby Shark NFT collection with an exclusive party during NFT.NYC. Expected to offer a night of fantastic entertainment, music and networking, Baby Shark Nite @ The Nolcha Shows: NFT Edition will take place on Monday June 20, featuring art from Baby Shark’s 1st NFT collection along with a teaser for the next collection.

With music serving as the pulse of Baby Shark, the company has plans to introduce a number of surprise remixes with notable musicians in the future. The project will also reward their community with unique perks, including special gifts and access to exclusive events and social activations (to view the roadmap in its entirety, click here).

“We’re incredibly excited to participate in and host our first offline title event at NFT.NYC as we lead up to the launch of our second NFT collection, Baby Shark: Collection No. 2. We will unveil a teaser of the collection for the first time during NFT.NYC and can’t wait to finally show our community what we’ve been working on,” says Bin Jeong, CEO of Pinkfong USA.

“Baby Shark has made its mark across generations and geographies,” says Craig Palmer, CEO of MakersPlace. “As early brand pioneers in the NFT space, they have displayed a true innovative spirit allowing for an even deeper appreciation and engagement from their massive fan base. It is an honour for MakersPlace to be a part of Baby Shark’s journey as they strengthen their impact both on and off the chain.”

Baby Shark: Collection No. 2 is set to launch on MakersPlace this summer. For more information, visit

Budweiser strikes snacktastic deal with Humdinger

Humdinger, the multi-category healthy snack company, has partnered with the King of Beers, Budweiser, to launch three brand-new flavours of peanuts, in a deal brokered by IMG.

Available in all-American flavours including Smokey Texan BBQ, Buffalo Chicken Wings and Flame Grilled Ribs, the crispy-coated peanuts have been crafted to pair perfectly with the leading beer brand. Set to launch from 26 June at select UK supermarkets, prices will range from £1 for a 60g bag to £1.75 for a 150g bag.

Emma Perrett, Marketing Controller at Humdinger, Zertus, says: “We are delighted to join forces with the Budweiser team to bring these products to market. This category has enjoyed strong sales in recent years and the increase in social gatherings and events like the FIFA World Cup coming up, this will no doubt continue. We are hoping to introduce new shoppers to nuts with this iconic brand and these exciting, bold flavours that are the perfect snack to enjoy with an ice-cold Bud.”

Georgia Doe, Senior Brand Manager at Budweiser, says: “We are thrilled to be working with Humdinger to launch our very own crispy-coated flavoured nuts. Expanding into more occasions is hugely important for the brand and these nuts were developed to pair perfectly with the smooth, crisp taste of Budweiser.”

Natalie Horne, Associate Vice President of Licensing at IMG, adds: “We are excited about this new collaboration between the famous Budweiser beer and Humdinger. Combining one of the world’s favourite premium beers with the quality, integrity and sustainability values of Humdinger, we believe shoppers will love this new snack and we are looking forward to its launch next month.”

Budweiser is the official sponsor of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and of the England Football team, and the official beer partner of the Premier League.

Founded in 2001, Humdinger began when a group of ambitious people decided to create their own natural snack company and bought a factory in Hull. Today, they employ more than 200 people in the UK across three sites in the East of England. Now operating as part of Zertus, a German food company, Humdinger is a key part of a family of businesses committed to developing high quality food within growing market niches.


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.”

Surge Brands to develop retail programme for Cigarette Racing Team

Surge Brands is partnering with offshore racing-boat legend Cigarette Racing Team to develop a sophisticated global lifestyle retail programme based on the iconic high-powered luxury performance powerboat brand.

For over 50 years, Cigarette Racing Team has specialised in custom-made, hand-crafted, high-performance powerboats, and has built a reputation for impeccable engineering and exquisite design.

As the appointed global licensing agent for Cigarette Racing Team, Surge Brands will develop a retail programme focused on luxury and performance-based goods that reflect the sophistication and design that have become synonymous with the brand. Initial product categories will include apparel, accessories, swimwear, fragrance, watches, jewellery, eyewear, spirits and more.

“The Cigarette name itself evokes a jolt of energy to those who know or who have experienced the thrill of an open-water high-speed ride,” says Ari Freedman, Vice President, Surge Brands. “There is simply no other boat brand that can come close to delivering the level of performance, sophistication, attraction, and sex appeal of a Cigarette Racing boat.

“Cigarette Racing has built its reputation on building the finest high-performance powerboats in the world, and our new line of branded merchandise for this American offshore legend will represent the level of luxury and sophistication that fans of Cigarette know and love.”

“We are launching our iconic brand into a new era,” says Johnny Ruiz, COO of Cigarette Racing Team. “Through the development of a diversified line of products, we aim to reach a new wave of Cigarette enthusiasts. We look forward to working with Ari and the Surge team to develop and deliver innovative, stylish, sleek and cutting-edge goods to our legions of fans around the world in the coming years.”

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Cigarette Racing Team was launched in 1969 by Don Aronow, a passionate racer and businessman from South Florida. The brand became a household name thanks to the Miami Vice TV series, which ran from 1984 to 1990. Some notable boat owners have included President George H.W. Bush, King Juan Carlos of Spain, the Sultan of Brunei, King Hussein of Jordan, Princess Caroline of Monaco, and the King of Sweden.

Fanattik celebrates its 15th anniversary in blockbuster style

Fanattik, the award-winning gift and collectibles licensee, celebrated its 15th anniversary in style this week with a special screening of Jurassic World Dominion, a film for which the company is also a licensee.

Fanattik took over Art Deco cinema The Rex for the private screening. Attendees included fellow licensees, brands, retail buyers and influencers, who also enjoyed viewing various props from the franchise during the event. 

Explaining why the Jurassic World film was chosen for the event, Fanattik’s MD Anthony Marks says: “It was signing our licensing agreement with Universal Studios all those years ago for the Jurassic Park franchise that set Fanattik on the road to success, and I wanted to pay homage to the franchise at this, the first of our 15th anniversary events.”  

Fanattik supplies pop culture retailers throughout Europe, North America, Australasia and MENA territories via its own offices and network of distributors.

Not wanting to leave non-UK retailers out of the celebrations, the company sent Fanattik cakes to buying teams all over the world, including one of their furthest afield retailer partners, based almost 12,000 miles away from their UK head office in New Zealand.

The company is a licensee for some of the biggest film and video game studios in the entertainment world, including Konami, Hasbro, Universal Studios, Bethesda, Capcom, Paramount Studios, Microsoft, and many others. The company also creates exclusive product for retailers with DTR licenses as well as being a distributor for gift ranges featuring Star Wars and Marvel.

Before the film started, Anthony took to the stage to thank the entire Fanattik team, the colleagues who have helped the company grow from “a one-man enterprise working out of a spare bedroom to what is now a global player in the pop culture field”.

“We genuinely love what we do. The fans can see the effort we pour into each and every product we create and that is reflected in the sales we help generate for retailers,” says Melissa Tudor, Creative Director, Fanattik. “It also explains why so many of those retail buyers have turned up to help us celebrate our anniversary.”

Rubies promotes Graham Gardiner to Commercial Director

As part of its renewed strategy and continued business reinvigoration, costume specialist Rubies has announced that Graham Gardiner, a long-term and well-respected employee of the company, has been promoted to Commercial Director for the UK, Central and Northern Europe.

Graham will oversee new business, sales strategy and product life cycle, elements of which he is already keenly invested in through his current role as General Manager EMEA.

Since joining Rubies in 2006, Graham has been pivotal to business growth, retail relationship management and sales across the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, CIS and Asia. He is also responsible for warehousing expansions and B2B commercial opportunities.

With over 30 years of experience in the international toy industry and licensing, Graham has worked for some of the biggest names in the market, including Hasbro, Mattel and Kids2. His skills and responsibilities range from European Domestic to FOB business.

Mike O’Connell, Managing Director at Rubies, says: “Commercially, Rubies couldn’t be in better hands. With the combination of over 30 years of experience in the industry and 16 at Rubies, Graham understands the company direction and 365 business plans thoroughly. A natural evolution from his existing role as General Manager EMEA, the role of Commercial Director will be the driving force behind Rubies’ new forward-thinking vision whilst spearheading new trade initiatives.”


The Light Fund Channel Relay partners with the RNLI

There are many beneficiaries of this year’s Light Fund English Channel Relay fundraiser but, appropriately enough, a portion of the funds raised by the two teams’ swim to France will go to support the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and its work.

The RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews are well known. But the RNLI also supplies seasonal beach lifeguards and a Flood Rescue Team and offers educational outreach, all of which need funding to keep going. RNLI crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives since its inception in 1824 and The Light Fund is keen to support them as they continue their great work.

But there’s another, more personal link between the licensing industry and the RNLI. Kelvyn Gardner, founder of Asgard Media, died in January 2021. He was a much-loved and respected member of the licensing community and a long-term supporter of The Light Fund as well as a very active member of its committee.

As a mark of respect to a good friend and colleague, The Light Fund Swim team have asked the RNLI to include Kelvyn’s name on the RNLI’s soon to be launched new Wells-next-the-Sea Shannon Class Lifeboat. Kelvyn’s name will appear alongside a number of other people’s names on the boat as part of the RNLI’s Launch a Memory programme.

As a Light Fund supporter, Kelvyn would no doubt have been thrilled to hear of its latest fundraising effort, a swim to France scheduled to start between 30 June and 3 July, at around 2am on a day when conditions are optimal.

As the swim window gets closer, there are still many opportunities to sponsor the swim and help The Light Fund reach its target of £250,000 as well, of course, as being namechecked in the challenge event film presentation at the 2022 Licensing Awards in September.

You can find out more about corporate sponsorship options here. And individuals are very welcome to donate via the event’s Just Giving page, where you can also follow the teams preparing for the big day. There are also an Instagram feed and a Facebook page containing team photos and updates.

Team stalwart Mark Kingston says: The Light Fund supports a wide range of worthy causes, but, considering the theme of this year’s big fundraiser, helping one of the world’s oldest and best-known lifesaving organisations seems entirely appropriate. It’s also a great opportunity to offer a tribute to a valued friend and colleague. Kelvyn was a committed supporter of The Light Fund and this is a marvellous way to salute him.”

About the Light Fund

The Light (Licensing Industry Giving Help Together) Fund was born when a group of like-minded people from the UK licensing industry came up with the idea to form a committee to help those less fortunate than themselves. The Light Fund is a registered charity, which raises monies to fund worthwhile charity projects that help children, women and men. Since its inception, back in 2004, The Light Fund has raised over £1.7 million and funded hundreds of different charity projects.

MotoGP teams with Fanatics to serve fans worldwide

Dorna Sports has announced a long-term strategic partnership with Fanatics, a leading provider of licensed sports merchandise and global digital sports platform, to significantly enhance the shopping experience for MotoGP fans.

The deal will see MotoGP enjoy Fanatics’ innovative vertical commerce model, with Fanatics acquiring exclusive global e-commerce rights and obtaining the licence to create MotoGP apparel, increasing the range of merchandise available to fans, wherever they may be in the world.

MotoGP is the world’s first motorsport World Championship, having begun in 1949. Now racing in five continents over 20 races a season, the sport welcomes millions of fans through the gates each year at the track and reaches nearly half a billion homes across more than 200 countries – enjoying a truly global fanbase.

The newly revamped online MotoGP store,, which launches today, ensures fans have access to a new, technology-laced e-commerce platform powered by Fanatics’ industry-leading Cloud Commerce Platform. The global nature of the MotoGP fanbase will see Fanatics launch the site in six different languages: English, Spanish, Italian, French, German and Japanese. The transformed site will provide MotoGP fans with a best-in-class shopping experience, whether shopping online or via mobile, featuring hi-resolution product displays, frictionless checkout, and the quickest access to new product offerings.

Fanatics, which has offices and distribution centres in 13 countries, partners with more than 900 of the most recognised and successful sporting organisations in the world, including the NFL, NBA, Manchester United, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, England Rugby and Formula One.

Marc Saurina, Senior Director of Global Commercial Partnerships at Dorna Sports, says: “We’re delighted to partner with Fanatics to revolutionise the shopping experience for our fans around the world. The new store looks incredible and we look forward to working together on creating an even wider range of MotoGP merchandise, with something for every fan. With our sport enjoying such a global audience, Fanatics is the perfect partner for MotoGP thanks to their global presence and vast experience.”

Matthew Primack, Senior Vice-President of International Business Development at Fanatics, adds: “We are proud to partner with MotoGP to help serve its passionate global fanbase. We’ll work closely with the great MotoGP team to create a comprehensive offering that will provide fans with the widest assortment of on-trend, quality merchandise. With our experience, global capabilities and passion to serve fans with the merchandise they want, when they want it, MotoGP fans will enjoy an assortment of quality products, wherever they are shopping in the world.”

Brands for Fans launches two Def Leppard gins

Rock legends Def Leppard are celebrating their 45th anniversary in 2022, and to commemorate the occasion, award-winning Swedish liquor producer Brands For Fans is releasing two premium gin products.

The Brands for Fans gins are named after two songs on Def Leppard’s iconic album Hysteria: “Animal” and “Rocket.” Expertly created by globally recognised in-house master blender Daniel Henriksson, the gins aim to deliver a rock ’n’ roll lifestyle into the homes of both life-long fans and spirits connoisseurs.

Brands for Fans worked with Epic Rights, a licensing agency of Def Leppard, to develop the products.

Def Leppard ‘Animal’ is a classic London Dry Gin with a high intensity of flavours. The grain-based distillate is heavy with juniper, lemon, and botanicals. It is spicy, big, and bold and has all the classic gin characters you should expect in a London Dry Gin. This gin’s label design is inspired by the hit single “Animal” from the album Hysteria.

Def Leppard ‘Rocket’ is a premium distilled gin with a high intensity of flavours. Also, with this gin, the grain-based distillate is bold with juniper and herbaceous tones. Taking inspiration from the lavender labyrinths in Sheffield (Manor Lodge), and to get an even more developed experience of botanical character, additional flavors of lavender and lemon are macerated and blended with the distillate. There are no added sweeteners, ensuring the purest quality of liquid. The label design is based on the hit single “Rocket” from the album Hysteria.

The products launched on June 10 in the UK, mainland Europe, Sweden, the Nordics, and the USA, and are available to order here:

Osan and Sockshop acquire Caroline Gardner licence

Leading sock retailers Osan and Sockshop have acquired the licence for Caroline Gardner socks to be sold in the UK.

Launching for SS22, the Caroline Gardner sock collection incorporates the distinctive patterns and colour palette that the boutique brand is renowned for. The collection features fun floral and dainty love heart motifs that are instantly recognisable and consistent with Caroline Gardner’s wider product offering, in wearable tones of grey, black and blush pink. Designs are available in classic anklet and trainer styles.

A spokesperson for Osan commented: “We are delighted to announce our licensing agreement with such an iconic and much-loved brand. We’re really proud of the Caroline Gardner collection and we hope the designs bring as much joy to our customers as they will comfort.”

Angus Gardner, Director at Caroline Gardner, adds: “We are delighted to be partnering with Osan and Sockshop. Their professionalism and commitment to quality have been our own keystones whilst building our business over the last 30 years. We see such relationships as long-term partnerships and very much look forward to working with the team for many years to come.”

Discover the collection at here. Styles are available in sizes 4-8 and retail from £6.99.