The Point.1888 doubles Moomin UK licensing programme with raft of new partnerships

The Point.1888 has announced a raft of new Moomin licensees for the UK market, including The Hut Group and Moonpig.

Since announcing its partnership with Moomin Characters Ltd and Rights & Brands in January 2020, The Point.1888 has focused its retail-first brand extension model to widen both retail and licensing partners on the much-loved heritage brand.

The last two years have been hugely exciting for the Moomin brand, from celebrating their 75th anniversary to launching their ABC initiative, a literacy programme to help develop young readers and writers. This initiative has been hugely successful and will be the basis of a touring exhibition, with the first stop being held at the Eden Project this February half term.

The Point.1888 has now added new partners to the licensing programme, covering a broad range of categories and distribution channels including, but not limited to:

The Hut Group for a DTR consisting of apparel, homewares, furniture, stationery & paper goods, own brand, and collaborations

Fashion UK for kids’ and adult daywear, hosiery, and accessories

Denicci for baby and kids’ day and nightwear

Aykroyds for nightwear, swimwear and underwear

William Lamb for footwear, bags, purses, wallets and umbrellas

Moonpig for personalised POD greeting cards

IAMFY for prints, cushions, and throws

PSTR for print on demand art prints

Heart & Soul for celebration crackers

Artisiana Miniatures for miniature figurines

Potato Cellar for tote bags via Etsy

The Point.1888 has worked alongside Moomin Characters to grow the depth of distribution over the past two years, with licensing deals ranging from a partnership with Oxfam to HMV cross-category activations, through to new lines with dedicated partner Truffle Shuffle for key trade events.

2021 also saw the launch of new babywear SKUs within ASDA George, and new ladieswear lines.

Katie Wilkinson, Head of Publishing & Operations at The Point.1888, says: “We are so privileged to work with Moomin Characters and Rights & Brands on Moomin. It’s a brand whose values are more relevant today than ever before and that chimes so clearly with us as a business and individuals.

“The love for Moomin from both retailers and licensees is palpable and we are excited for how much there is in the pipeline for this brand.”

The Point.1888 secures 7 more licensees for Percy the Park Keeper

Rovio Entertainment to launch the first Moomin games for mobiles this year

Rights & Brands has partnered with Rovio Entertainment in a worldwide exclusive mobile games deal for the Moomin IP.

Based in Stockholm, the global licensing agency, Rights & Brands is the worldwide master agent of the Moomins, while Rovio Entertainment is the most successful Finnish mobile gaming company globally and the creator of the Angry Birds franchise.

Under the partnership, Rovio will develop new Moomin based games for any platform while holding the exclusvie rights to Moomin based games for all mobile platforms. Rovio’s first Moomin game will be based on the original story and world created by Tove Jansson, and inspired by the animated series, Moominvalley.

The title is already in development and expected to soft launch later this year.

“Moomin Characters looks to expand their digital footprint and offering, it’s fantastic to join forces with Rovio Entertainment, who bring a wealth of expertise and success in this space. We’re confident this partnership will open up new opportunities not only to the Moomin trademark, but also to the additional Nordic story. This partnership marks an important milestone in our strategy to take local Nordic creations to the international marketplace,” said Roleff Kråkström, managing director of Moomin Characters.

Alex Pelletier-Normand, CEO of Rovio, added: “We are honored and excited to enter this partnership that will give us the opportunity to present this iconic brand to new audiences across the globe as well as delighting our existing fans. This partnership will diversify our IP portfolio, which is a key step in our consistent growth strategy.”

Patrick Ullman, CEO of Rights & Brands, said: “This is the strategic alliance and digital collaboration we have been striving to achieve since starting up Rights & Brands. This is an important part of our digital transformation and a key driver to take the Moomin story and global awareness further, reaching new target audiences.”

Rights & Brands and Moomin Characters have invested in the Emmy Award-nominated studio Gutsy Animations, creator of the internationally celebrated Moominvalley 3D animation series. Multi award-winning Moominvalley is the company’s flagship production, with a record-high of 16 million starts on Yle’s streaming platform in Finland and distribution sold to over 50 countries.

“Rovio’s first Moomin game is inspired by the Moominvalley visuals. The partnership between these companies, all major players in their respective fields, will support steady growth and brand awareness for the Moomins in all digital arenas,” said Patrick Ullman.

“This deal is the perfect match for the Moomins and shows the rare but massive impact a brand based on art and literature can have. The Moomins is a body of art and this certainly takes art to a new level.”

Rights & Brands signs ‘Master of horror’ artist Hans Arnold with portfolio of 2,000 illustrations

Rights & Brands has signed with Hans Arnold Productions to represent the ‘Master of Horror’ artist and illustrator and his portfolio of surrealistic, horror, mystery, and fantasy art.

A Swiss-Swedish artist who died in 2010, Hans Arnold has often been referred to as the ‘Swedish Salvador Dali’, recognised for a style that makes everyday items appear ghostlike and unsettling.

Having grown up in a strict and conservative Catholic area in Sursee, Switzerland, Arnold has attributed his obsession with horror, fairytales, and women, to his upbringing.

“My sister adored nuns and dragged me to the Catholic church,” he said of his childhood. “Mother was a protestant and dragged me to the Protestant church. My grandfather was a train driver and took me to the pub.

“In church, I learned all about hell, at the pub I learned all about beer, swearing and telling filthy stories.”

After finishing art school in Luzern and traveling Europe, Arnold settled in Stockholm in Sweden where he worked as an illustrator for magazines, papers, and children’s books. He finally got his big break as the ‘Master of Horror’ while illustrating short stories known as Veckans chock in the women’s magazine Veckorevyn.

Alongside children’s book illustrations, Arnold is well known for ABBA’s Greatest hits cover. He also made a name for himself in animation, TV vignettes, opera, theatre, and TV scenorgraphy.

Rights & Brands now represents a portfolio of over 2,000 illustrations created by the artist.

Moomin grows its presence across the US as King Features adds publishing rights to the licensing slate

The classic literary and art-based brand, Moomin, is expanding its presence across North America as its US licensing agency King Features adds publishing rights to its licensing slate as well as brings the brand into active baby wear for the first time in the region.

As the Tove Jansson creation continues to celebrate its 75th anniversary this year, and as part of a global deal negotiated by its Nordic licensing agency, Rights & Brands, King Features has partnered with Reima, a leading kids activewear brand from Finland, to bring its Moomin Baby Kit for newborns to the US market.

Inspired by the carefree and adventurous Moomin characters, the collection includes a stylish wardrobe full of the essential wear that babies will need during the first six months, including 17 pieces of exclusive gender neutral Moomin items.

In addition to growing Moomin in new categories in North America, King Features has also added publishing rights for Moomin to its slate and is expecting a lineup of exciting titles to come.

“Moomin has been one of the world’s most beloved character properties for generations with a highly successful global licensing program,” said King Features vice president and general manager, global head of licensing, Carla Silva.

“We look forward to introducing the next generation of families across North America to the classic heartwarming adventures of the Moomin family and their friends through fresh publishing and products.”

Moomin already has an extensive fan base in European territories and is gaining popularity in North America. The classic publishing property consists of a library of illustrated editions that celebrate the Moomin values of friendship, love, kindness, adventure, courage, tolerance, equality, freedom, individuality and respect for nature.

Moomin characters also star in a new 3D CGI series, Moominvalley, currently airing in multiple territories around the world. The new Moomin Baby Kit from Reima is the latest product line available in the US, following the launch of Moomin plush from Aurora and apparel from Ripple Junction.

Moomin can be seen next at King Features virtual exhibitor booth during the upcoming Festival of Licensing Americas event from October 20 through 22. Registered attendees can click this link to make an appointment with the U.S. licensing team.

Rights & Brands named licensing agency for author and illustrator duo Astrid Lindgren and Ilon Wikland

Rights & Brands has been named the licensing and merchandising agent for the joint works of the Swedish author illustrator duo, Asrid Lindgren and Ilon Wikland, based on the artwork and characters created by the pair and enjoyed by children and adults across Scandinavia, the Nordics and beyond.

Lindgren’s books have been translated into 107 languages and have sold more than 165 million copies worldwide. Wikland is the artist who has illustrated the greatest number of these books, including the popular Brothers Lionheart, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter, The Children of Noisy Village, Karlsson on the Roof, Mardie, and more.

Under the guidance of Rights & Brands, and for the first time in many years, Astrid Lindgren Company and Design Ilon Wikland AB have agreed on a mutual merchandising programme, with the first products already launched.

“It’s a great honor for Rights & Brands to represent icons like Astrid and Ilon,” said Patrick Ullman, CEO of Rights & Brands. “We are presenting a program based on the pair’s amazing output of stories and artwork. The initial response has been overwhelming.”

Annika Lindgren, head of publishing at Astrid Lindgren Company and granddaughter of Astrid Lindgren, said: “At Astrid Lindgren Company we are happy that the close and creative collaboration that started between Astrid and Ilon already in 1954, now will deepen and evolve in yet another direction.

“In Ilon, Astrid found ‘her’ illustrator and between them something ‘blessed’ grew, as Astrid’s daughter Karin expressed it. Ilon could dress Astrid’s stories in images like no-one else – images loved by generations of children and families. And just as Astrid wrote for the child within her, Ilon draws for the child within.”

Representing the illustrator and member of the board at Design Ilon Wikland AB, Ilon Wikland’s daughter Fredrika Wikland, adds: “Me and my three sisters, Ilon’s daughters, grew up with a mother who drew and drew. We all got to experience the process of how the images of Astrid’s fantastic stories emerged.

“We got to take part in our mother’s joy, but also her great respect of visualizing the words. Mother always said: when I read Astrid’s text, I always see the images and characters before me. They are already alive. Our mother loved to illustrate for Astrid and their collaboration was filled with mutual respect and admiration.”

Moomin appoints Bavaria Sonor Licensing to grow presence in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland

Moomin has bolstered its global network of licensing partners with the recent appointment of Bavaria Sonor Licensing, the licensing division of Bavaria Media GmbH, to manage the character brand’s licensing across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

The move was made by Moomin’s master agent, Rights & Brands in part of its ongoing efforts that have seen the firm revamp the Moomin licensing programme over the past year to mark its 75th anniversary.

Moomin has seen turnover grow ‘at a tremendous rate’ over the pas ten years with the number of licensee almost tripling worldwide.

The Moomins are the central characters in a series of books and a comic strip created by Finnish-Swedish writer and artist Tove Jansson between 1944 and 1971. Jansson achieved worldwide fame as writer of the stories which follow the characters’ adventures in the idyllic and peaceful Moomin Valley.

Meanwhile, Bavaria Media has a track record helping its brands produce memorable moments and create stories in people’s minds. Founded in 1983 and based in Germany, the company manages international film, tv and music licensing, as well as content distribution. Bavaria Sonor Licensing – the licensing division of Bavaria Media – was named ‘Licensing Agency of the Year 2019’ at the Licensing International Awards in Germany. Its numerous clients Include Playmobil, Emoji, Bud Spencer & Terence Hill, Janosch, Big-Bobby-Car and Panini.

“We are delighted to welcome the Moomins to Bavaria Media – we feel honoured to have the opportunity to represent this timeless, classic brand,” said Ivica Maracic, licensing and sales director at Bavaria Sonor Licensing.

“The Moomin Characters have been loved for generations and we are thrilled to extend the licensing success story into Germany, Austria and Switzerland.”

“It’s wonderful to add a new sub-agent in these important markets,” added Roleff Kråkström, CEO of Moomin Characters. “And it’s great timing to have Bavaria Media onboard when the Moominvalley TV show is about to launch in Germany and Switzerland.

“The Moomin brand is constantly growing, both in revenue and awareness and we are actively building on this momentum. Bavaria Media is exactly the kind of partner we need in order to expand the Moomin market share in this region.”

The appointmet coincides with the recent acquisition of Moominvalley by ZDF, the German public-service television broadcaster, to be shown on ZDF’s platforms and on KiKA, their free-to-air children’s channel.

“I feel happy and proud that ZDF is our partner in Germany,” said Marika Makaroff, executive producer and creative director of Moominvalley at Gutsy Animations.

Moomin first ventured into brand licensing in the 1950s with a range of hand-painted mugs released by Tove and her mother. Moomin now has an established global licensing programme with over 700 licensees worldwide. These include theme parks and branded cafés, as well as companies selling homeware, food and apparel.

This global network has increased the dedicated customer base – working with Bavaria Media will help reach an even wider range of retailers, to offer fans a more diverse range of products.

Patrick Ullman, CEO of Rights & Brands, has said that this partnership is ‘another step in the plan to maximise the Moomin’s international presence.’

“We are excited to welcome Bavaria Media into the family as part of our strategy – they are a great company with a lot of experience and success managing iconic brands,” he said. “The Moomins and Nordic literature are very popular in Germany, so it’s a huge potential market.”

Rights & Brands secures Design House Stockholm furniture collaboration for Carl and Karin Larsson

Rights & Brands, the worldwide agent on behalf of the Swedish artists Carl and Karin Larsson, has launched a creative furniture collaboration with Design House Stockholm.

Karin Larsson created furniture and textiles in a pre-modernist style in the late nineteenth century. The rich, bold colour palette is celebrated in paintings by her husband Carl Larsson.

Both are fixtures of the Swedish art and design world.

“Nordic designers have been at the forefront of the international design scene for decades. But haven’t we been a bit restricted in terms of colour? Design House Stockholm has decided to reach across the centuries and dress up nine objects selected from our contemporary collection of accessory furniture pieces with four of the bold colours of Karin Larsson, a legend of Swedish art and design,” said Anders Färdig, founder and CEO of Design House Stockholm.

The collection Colour Accent inspired by Karin & Carl Larsson is launching today at Stockholm Furniture Fair. The pre-launch took place on Monday, February 3rd at the distinguished National Museum in Stockholm, with over 150 renowned design guests, influencers, journalists and buyers.

“Together with the creative team at Design House Stockholm we are putting a modern take on heritage licensing. It’s been delightful seeing how Karin’s creative, modernist thinking of yesterday marries so well with the objects of today’s top furniture designers,” said Anna Lawrence, rights director at Rights & Brands.

“This collaboration really sets the tone for the year,” said Patrick Ullman, CEO at Rights & Brands. “We are looking forward to adding more creative collaborations to our heritage and art-based brands and showcasing Rights & Brands innovative and progressive take on licensing.”

Design House Stockholm’s contemporary collection includes accessory furniture with straightforward and functional simplicity that pays tribute to the creativity of the Larsson family.