8 Oct - 2019

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Carrot & Toast and My Little Opera win 2019 BLE License This! competition

  • 2019 competition sponsored by Wynne-Jones
  • BLE slated for 6-8 October 2020, ExCeL London
The winners of this year’s License This! competition – Carrot & Toast and My Little Opera – were announced at Brand Licensing Europe following an hour of pitching and presentations from seven finalists.
The brainchild of Drew Bristow who was also a License This! finalist in 2018, Carrot & Toast are two best friends: an odd combination who adhere to the chaos/order theory. Carrot is grounded and sensible. Toast is a little haphazard, clumsy and silly. They both feature in a series of mini comics aimed at younger readers and their first adventure ‘Carrot & Toast Are Coming Home’ sees them get into trouble on holiday when Toast loses his passport.
License This! judge Will Stewart commented: “It really wasn’t an easy decision this year, we had quite the battle choosing just two winners. My Little Opera is visually very beautiful, but what I loved about Carrot & Toast is that Drew had taken on board everything we said to him in last year’s final and returned with characters who have a distinctive identity. I also loved that he shared the back story of how his two characters came about – few creatives will share that level of vulnerability but I think it’s a a really important thing to do.
Chair Kelvyn Gardner added: “With over 50 entrants, it’s an achievement in its own right just to make the final.”
My Little Opera is inspired by the world’s greatest operas and ballets and has a fresh visual illustrated narrative.
Well known characters that were part of the contemporary culture a century ago have now been side-lined, unlike many from classic literature and myths,” said its creator Rosie Brooks. “I am bringing these characters to a modern audience through this new fun and humorous illustrated brand. The target demographic extends way beyond the ‘opera lovers’: it is a springboard for the creation a new world of characters with limitless global possibilities.”
This year’s License This! winners will receive a free exhibition stand at BLE 2020, one year’s Licensing International membership and PR support. Finalists will also receive legal consultation from competition sponsor Wynne-Jones. Previous entrants – both winners and finalists – have also signed lucrative agent and licensing deals off the back of the competition. Last year’s winners – Zara Picken and Sara Burman Designs – both exhibited at BLE 2019 in the Art, Design & Image zone.
The finalists were:
  • Adorabubbles
  • Carrot & Toast
  • Slime Fury (Argentina)
  • MINU’ Tiny Little Wonders (Italy)
  • My Little Opera
  • Noodoll
  • Owlasanas
This year’s judges are:
  • Kelvyn Gardner, managing director, Licensing International (chair)
  • Sarah Ward, CEO, Giftware Association
  • Victor Caddy, partner, Wynne-Jones
Character & Entertainment award
  • Dan Grant, director of licensing, Danilo Promotions
  • Nikki Samuels, licensing director, Sambro
  • Clare Piggott, director, Larkshead Media
  • Julia Redman, head of buying, M&Co
Brand & Design award
  • Stuart Cox, founder, I Like Birds
  • Vicki Thomas, owner, Vicki Thomas Associates
  • Sarah Lawrence, owner, This is Iris
  • Jehane Boden Spiers, founder, Jehane
  • Will Stewart, managing director, The Point 1888

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