Industry News


14 Sep - 2023

Tags from the story: Rocket Licensing.

Rocket Licensing is once again planning to be a powerful presence at BLE and stand A205 will highlight key updates and exicitng news from a portfolio that includes Beano, Elf on The Shelf, Miffy and much more!

Miffy, the classic brand created by Dick Bruna, is a global phenomenon, with over 85 million books sold worldwide. The ever-expanding portfolio of licensing partners, with a target market ranging from toddlers to teens and young adults, is being supported by television series, a YouTube channel, and a slew of influencers and celebrities. This summer the appeal of the brand was further reinforced with the huge success of the Miffy pop-up shop in London’s West End. There have been some fantastic collaborations in 2023 including Tommy Hillfiger and Mulberry with more to follow later this year and in 2024. The extensive licensing programme is growing, with new partners such as Skinny Dip and the Crafty Kit Company. The Rocket Licensing team will focus on further growing the UK licensing programme for Miffy next year in the run-up to her 70th anniversary in 2025.

Whether it’s living in orbit, exploring new worlds, leading the study of climate change on Earth or peering back in time to the beginning of the universe, The European Space Agency (ESA) has been part of the adventure. ESA is our space agency and offers a unique opportunity to share the excitement of space and space science with a real badge of authority and an exclusive range of assets. ESA provides an opportunity to develop product based on some of the most exciting adventures and scientific discoveries of our lifetime. The brand is supported by a new style guide and with the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2025 and new launches and missions the brand will continue to build momentum. The range of licensed products already includes apparel, model launchers and limitededition prints – and more partner announcements will be made very shortly.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is the title of a series of books that inspire children with real-life stories of artists, scientists, musicians and many more famous figures who have made a big impact on the world around them. This wonderful, instantly recognisable series has been hugely successful, selling millions of copies worldwide. The 100th edition (climate activist Vanessa Nakata) in the series was published earlier this year. The brand has a fabulous on-trend style guide and has already signed Poetic Brands for apparel. Announcements of partners in other categories will follow shortly. 

The Elf on the Shelf® tradition from The Lumistella Company has been enjoyed by families in the UK for nearly 15 years. It began in the US in 2005 when Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda A Bell self-published the keepsake boxed set The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, which includes an illustrated picture book and authentic Scout Elf® doll dressed in a solid red jumpsuit with a pointy white collar. The Santa-approved Scout Elves take note of a family’s Christmas adventures and report back to him at the North Pole each night. Every morning, the Scout Elf character magically returns to its family and perches in a new spot, waiting to be discovered.

The Elf on the Shelf has become one of the most fun-filled, popular, and magical Christmas traditions, capturing the hearts of children everywhere. Since launch, more than 25 million official The Elf on the Shelf® brand Scout Elves, Elf Pets and Elf Mates have been adopted globally. Millions of fans engage with the brands via a large and active social media presence and entertaining content, including music videos on YouTube and animated specials, that have been streaming on Netflix since 2021 and regularly rank #3 in Netflix’s UK top movies over the festive season.

Adding to its wide-ranging UK licensing programme, The Lumistella Company has recently announced a deal with HarperCollins Publishers. HarperCollins Children’s Books will release a range of 11 The Elf on the Shelf® universe-themed titles over the next five years. The publishing program will feature familiar and new characters from Santa’s North Pole and include an origin story that will introduce readers to an enchanted world beyond The Elf on the Shelf® brand characters.

TheSoul Publishing is one of the world’s most prolific and popular online media companies, with a social reach of more than 2 billion subscribers/followers across the world’s most popular social media platforms. TheSoul has a range of entertaining, original and fun channels but the focus at BLE will be on two of its biggest hits: 5-Minute Crafts and Baby Zoo. 5-Minute Crafts is the internet’s most popular crafting and DIY brand with 900M+ subscribers and followers with over half a trillion views to date. Rocket is targeting publishing, craft accessories, games, toys and creative play products. Baby Zoo, with 10m+ subscribers on YouTube and 7.6B YouTube views, known for its cheerful songs and edutaining stories, is a huge hit and the licensing program will be delivering fans a range of products including plush, toys, apparel and publishing.

Discover pop culture brand Fuzzballs, the #1 brand for kidult cute. Born as a beloved web comic, Fuzzballs has skyrocketed to fame on social media, garnering a staggering 1 billion sticker downloads. This adorable universe revolves around Whisky the Cat, Timmy the Tiger, Ollie the Bunny and a whole cast of friends as they go on the hunt for food, friendship and adventure. The brand has inspired a great range of licensees including Kap Toys, Brainbox Candy, Kawaji and Grindstore. With an undeniable charm and popularity, this has led to an extensive and broad retail presence, with listings including Hot Topic, Forbidden Planet, Forbidden Planet International, HMV, Scribbler and WHSmith. Visitors to the Rocket stand can meet the creator, explore a delightful array of products and be among the first to hear the latest and most exciting plans for the future. Be a part of the cuteness overload!

Beano’s 85th anniversary year has been a great one for events partnerships. The brand’s multi-generational appeal has brought families together on trails and experiences full of fun and mischief, such as Brigit’s Bakery Bus Tours, Whipsnade Zoo and The Eden Project. A brand-new trend-focussed style guide has been launched, and the extensive Beano licensing programme has also been refreshed, with new partners including Kap Toys and Oddballs. Beano’s 85th birthday national marketing and PR campaign highlighted the joy and power of being a kid, and the celebrations continue with Minnie’s 70th anniversary this winter, and The Bash Street Kids’ 70th birthday next year. Fans are looking forward to lots more fun Beano activities and mischief in 2024 and beyond!

Rocket is really excited about Dune: Part Two, which releases on 15th March 2024. The first movie in the blockbuster Dune franchise was a pop-culture phenomenon that earned an incredible $400+ million at the global box office and won six Academy Awards! There is an amazing range of Dune products from a top tier group of licensees which includes: Abysse Corp, Chronical Books, Dark Horse Comics, Funko, Macfarlane, Mad Engine, Trademark Products and Khadou. Awareness of the brand is strong and expected to grow, creating an amazing licensing opportunity for a franchise which is going from strength to strength.

2023 is the 30th anniversary of Horrible Histories, the multi-million bestselling book series that has inspired award-winning TV, a star-studded feature film, sell-out stage-shows, the Terrible Thames river-boat tour, experiential attractions and a licensed product programme. This year, the first escape room launched in Liverpool and the BBC Proms ’Orrible Opera was a highlight at the Royal Albert Hall. The bestselling Horrible Science range from Galt continues to perform strongly at retail and Rocket will have updates on plans for 2024 and beyond for both brands at the show.

There are some huge events roaring across the horizon in support of the Godzilla brand. Godzilla Minus One, which will hit the big screen in November this year, takes us back to post-war Japan (as the nation is threatened with going from Zero to Minus 1) and is certain to be a cult hit. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is the newest chapter in the fan favourite Monsterverse franchise from Legendary and Warner Bros. This highly anticipated film will be released in April 2024 and is sure to be another blockbuster thrill ride. 2024 will be a truly monster year as Toho kicks off a year-long celebration of Godzilla’s 70th anniversary which will begin on Godzilla Day 2024 (3 November). The licensing programme is going from strength to strength with a huge range of partners including Bandai, Flair, Bioworld, Heathside, Fanattik, Whitehouse Leisure and Pyramid International. Toho International has created an inspiring new style guide in preparation for the anniversary, and news and updates on the new movies and 70th anniversary plans for will follow shortly.

MGM’s Rocky is the ultimate motivator – with an inspirational message at the heart of the franchise. Rocky and Creed together – currently eight films with a global box office value of over $2 billion – combine to make a truly knockout franchise. The franchise has a huge social media presence with more than 76 million followers and a long-standing and very successful licensing programme. Partners include Groovy, Poetic Brands, Whitehouse/Posh Paws, Rubber Road & Smiffy’s.

MGM’s Vikings Valhalla franchise premiered Season 2 earlier this year, ranking in the Top 10 in 76 countries on Netflix. A third season has been ordered and there has never been a better time be part of this epic saga. MGM also has some of the most iconic and terrifying titles to ever hit the big screen including Carrie, Silence of the Lambs and Poltergeist.These titles have been curated into the ultimate horror collection – the Midnight Movies package – with amazing art packages that have a real retro appeal as well as to horror genre fans. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (Funko, Hell on Shirts & Rubies) is also part of MGM’s powerful horror package. MGM also has sci-fi covered with a package of greats including Robocop, Stargate and Wargames.

Kodak’s extensive archive, featuring captivating designs, iconic logos, stunning photography and influential styles, has led to relationships with leading designers and retailers. This archive has also propelled the success of Kodak’s licensed products, culminating in the esteemed Licensing International Best Brand Award this year. Building upon these achievements, Rocket is crafting captivating consumer products that are already inspiring the industry. With a focus on apparel and stationery, the licensing program is merging Kodak’s heritage with modern trends, resonating with today’s consumers.

Rob Wijeratna, Joint Managing Director of Rocket Licensing, says: “From classic kids’ characters and blockbuster movies to space agencies and iconic crafting brands, our portfolio of properties remains as diverse and exciting as ever. We’re looking forward to returning to BLE and telling prospective and existing partners about our plans for these extraordinary brands. We’ve got a lot of plans to talk about!

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