Welcome to the new

Published on: 30th August 2022

Now powered by Toy World, is launching with a new look, enhanced focus and a regular newsflash service.

Welcome to the newly revamped, re-energised

We were delighted to receive a host of emails and calls when we first announced our acquisition of back in July – it seems that many of you remember the site fondly from its early days, when it was a true trailblazer and arguably the first licensing market website and email news alert service. So many people told us “that’s where I used to get all my licensing information when I first joined the licensing community.” And that’s what we want to get back to delivering – a site that will give you all the information you need to help you decide which properties and brands to partner with.

On a personal level, I have a connection with the licensing community which stretches back decades – not just through the many years I have worked on toy magazines, but also through my time working on a dedicated licensing title, which sadly fell into disrepair when I left my former company to set up Toy World 11 years ago. It feels good to be back, fully immersing myself in the licensing community once again – and the team is looking forward to doing the same.

You can sign up to receive the flash here. The site officially relaunches on 1st September, but we are just testing it out this week to make sure everything is working as it should be. If you think any of your colleagues would like to sign up to receive our regular email news alerts, you’re welcome to pass this on to them – we are happy for everyone to be part of what we’re doing.

You will notice some key differences we’ve made to the site straight away: we’ve refreshed the design, so it aligns with our market-leading Toy World website. We’ve also introduced a few important new features, including a dedicated recruitment section; an area for printed content from the Licensing World section of Toy World; several more impactful advertising slots and, of course, a weekly Blog post section.

Those of you from the licensing community who are already familiar with the Toy World website will know that each week, I post a personal Blog on the site. It has become a key part of our content strategy on Toy World, and I hope the licensing community will embrace the Licensing Blog equally enthusiastically. The idea of the Blog is to share my personal thoughts on the weeks’ events, offering opinion and analysis of what has been happening in what I hope is an entertaining way. It is frank, honest, pulls no punches, and it is certainly not afraid to express a view – all the things I was told that trade media wasn’t supposed to do, when I first started working on trade magazines all those years ago.

However, the world has changed: a content strategy consisting purely of copy & pasted press releases is no longer enough to drive genuine traction and engagement online, nor on social media. Over the past few years, the readership and online traffic numbers on Toy World have reached levels we never would have believed possible when we launched the site eleven years ago. This has partly been driven by an increased enthusiasm for digital content, although here at Alakat Publishing, we are still firm believers in the power of print – nothing beats a large format, quality magazine for delivering the best quality readership experience, and an unbeatable vehicle for impactful advertising.

So, we will continue to put print at the heart of everything we do across the toy and licensing markets, while simultaneously embracing the myriad opportunities presented by the digital realm, not least on a global level – for starters, the digital arena offers the opportunity to deliver information to every country across the globe in a matter of minutes.

Moving forward, I think you will also see a difference in the kind of content we prioritise, and in the kind of brands and companies we will look to work with. Our core audience is licensees and retailers – many of whom we already engage with via Toy World. We know the calibre of content and information they are looking for, and we will be aiming to deliver a similarly curated experience, just now in a more cross-category format. But we won’t lose sight of what they really want and need to know – and what they don’t. We will aim to join the dots between licensor, licensee and retailer – the vital chain which ultimately determines the success of a property in the vast majority of cases (although I dare say the subject of DTR will come up in the Blog at some stage…).

Whether you are an avid former reader or have never experienced before, we hope you will enjoy the way the site has evolved – and will continue to evolve over the coming months. We’re open to working with everyone in the licensing community, so feel free to get in touch with the team via phone or email to start the conversation. The team will also be at BLE in a few weeks’ time and we have just opened our diaries, so if you would like to meet up with us at the show, by all means drop us a line with your availability.

We’re looking forward to re-establishing as an important source of news and information for the licensing community – but we can only do that with your help and support. I hope you will join us on the journey.

John Baulch

Publisher and managing director, Toy World &


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