Six finalists announced for 2018 Ble License This! competition

25 Sep - 2018

Tags from the story: BLE, Brand Licensing Europe, License This!.

Final confirmed for Thursday 11 October, 12:30pm at BLE.

Brand Licensing Europe has announced six finalists for this year’s License This! competition following a record number of entries and an intense judging day last Friday in London.

For the first time in the competition’s 10-year history, there are two award categories: Character & Animation and Brand & Design. The final will take place in the Brands & Lifestyle Theatre at BLE at 12:30 pm on Thursday 11 October and everyone is welcome to attend.

There are three finalists in the Character & Animation category:

Gail Grisham

Gail Grisham is a vintage doll that posts regularly on social media about family life. Her unique observational comedy truths are relatable, particularly to mothers, and are laugh out loud funny. 


Oddcats is a pre-school property from Zara Picken; a mob of mischievous creatures with a taste for adventure and socks! Cute, colourful, a little bit quirky and with a distinct stitch design, the Oddcats borrow odd socks to help them along on their globetrotting travels.

The Real Monster Show

Hailing from Argentina, the Real Monster Show is a world full of colourful monsters targeting 6-11 year olds with an anti-bullying and diversity message and the potential to become an animated TV series and much more.

There are an additional three finalists in the Brand & Design award category:


Animals from Sarah Burman is a range of colourful, characterful quirky animal designs with a unique patchwork texture, strong colours and a hint of retro. 


Adorable blue smudges that came into the world by accident, Blubz are funny, heartwarming blobs of fun illustrating great copy from Drew Bristow.


Vintage inspired imagery with a contemporary twist, timeless and unattached to temporary trends, Pabuku’s designs are high end and refreshingly unique.

This year’s two License This! winners will receive a free exhibition stand at BLE 2019, one year’s LIMA membership, PR support and advice from a panel of industry experts. For the first time, all finalists will receive legal consultation from competition sponsor Wynn-Jones. Previous entrants – both winners and finalists – have also signed lucrative agent and licensing deals off the back of the competition.

“This year, we had the most entries we’ve ever had for License This!, which is testament to the growing appeal and importance of the competition. Such is the depth and breadth of entries we have received over the years, this year we have introduced two award categories,” said LIMA UK managing director and License This! chair Kelvyn Gardner.

We were especially impressed by the diversity of the 2018 submissions and the clear depth of thought that the entrants had put in to their applications – we’re sure our shortlist will provide a compelling spectacle for the final at BLE next month.”

BLE brand manager Laura Freedman-Dagg added: “The ethos behind License This! is to support the growth of the licensing industry by attracting, supporting and engaging new blood as well as promoting it as a potentially lucrative sector to do business in.

This year’s judges have done an amazing job of spreading the word – which resulted in a record numbers of entries – and then whittling that big list down to just six finalists, so a huge thank you to all of them. We know there’s a lot of love in the industry for the competition, and we hope that even more people will get behind it next year.

The 2018 License This! judges are:

Chair: Kelvyn Gardner – LIMA UK

Cross category judge: Christina Schiavone – Wynne-Jones

Character & Animation judges

  • Dan Grant – Danilo Promotions
  • Nikki Samuels – Sambro
  • Clare Piggott – Larkshead Media
  • Julia Redman – M&Co
  • Steve Manners – CPLG

Brand & Design judges

  • Stuart Cox – I Like Birds
  • Will Stewart – The Point 1888
  • Vicki Thomas – Vicki Thomas Associates
  • Sarah Lawrence – This is Iris
  • Jehane Boden Spiers – Jehane Ltd.

BLE is the definitive event for the licensing industry in Europe, taking place 9-11 October 2018 at Olympia London. Over 7,500 retailers, licensees and marketers are expected to attend, over one third of whom will travel to London from overseas.

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