Events | Highlights | Our reportages


3 Oct - 2023

Tags from the story: Brand Licensing Europe.

At Brand Licensing Europe (4-6 October, London) category representation is broad, with registrations covering toys, apparel, homeware, health & beauty, food & beverage, live experiences… Here some exciting updates from BLE Exhibitors!

Universal Products and Experiences (UP&E) is returning to Brand Licensing Europe 2023 (Stand A171) with a new name to reflect the division’s recent integration within the Universal Destinations & Experiences business (formerly Parks & Resorts); UP&E now also includes theme parks merchandise and retail. Universal’s culture-driving film and TV slate continues to fuel UP&E’s core franchises as well as introduce new IP to audiences and future fans, which includes Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Illumination, DreamWorks Animation, NBCUniversal and Peacock.

Jurassic Park celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, allowing for theme park celebrations, retail activations, digital content, and nostalgia-filled products and video game releases that generations of fans have enjoyed. More partners are moving into Gabby’s Dollhouse, the smash hit preschool series that has found home in the hearts of pre-schoolers, parents, and retailers across the globe. Consistently ranking among Netflix’s Top 10 Kids and Family Titles, Gabby’s Dollhouse continues to expand internationally with new free-to-air markets as well as across categories and retailers. And fans can look forward to more Minions mischief with the upcoming release of Despicable Me 4 in 2024.

From the DreamWorks Animation portfolio, the good vibes and glitter are set to roll again with the highly anticipated release of Trolls Band Together in October 2023. Additionally new content from one of DreamWorks most beloved franchises including Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon is making its debut in the coming years. 

The incredible U-Vault archive of classic favourites across more than 100 years of film and television, includes anniversaries of iconic IP in 2025, like JAWS and Saturday Night Live. 2024 will be quite popular for Universal as part 1 of Wicked will be releasing theatrically in November and part 2 is planned for fall 2025.

Moomin celebrates 80 years in 2025. During the anniversary year, Moomin Characters and the acclaimed licensing agency Rights & Brands (stand C181) will highlight some of the qualities that make the Moomin brand and stories so unique. The main theme of the year is “a sense of belonging”.

Arabia, widely known for its popular Moomin mugs, is now entering into a new product category by launching Moomin Home Textiles with bedroom and bathroom collections. The new collection features bed linen and towels from 100 % organic cotton in comforting muted tones and with stories woven into the fabric delight the grown-up consumer and everyone with a soft spot for the Moomins. 

Lindrizia AB, owner of the esteemed Maxi and Helium brand, is now taking a decisive step in its international expansion by partnering with Rights & Brands as its master agent for merchandising rights. Supported by its strong core values, Maxi & Helium (original title in the Nordic “Musse & Helium”) has already had a huge impact on the lives of children across the Nordics with over 3 million books sold – the fastest growing children’s book series ever in Sweden and Norway. 

Award winning creators, Karrot Entertainment has joined forces with creative licensing agency This is Iris to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of BAFTA award-winning pre-school show Sarah & Duck, about tuba-playing seven-year-old Sarah and her funny best friend Duck. 

This year has been focussed on bringing the show to families across key platforms: it has already received over 24 million views on iPlayer; the launch of a UK summer show program produced by MEI Theatrical & Toddler Time with cinema chain Picturehouse.

Together, Karrot & Iris are looking to the future with a new deal for China through UYoung. Brand Licensing Europe (Stand C110) will see the launch of the shows new consumer products program that offers a fantastic list of loyal partners, a brand new style guide and direct access to the Karrot team allowing for exciting new collaborative opportunities. This is Iris will be at the show meeting with partners to discuss all aspects of their portfolio which also covers art & design, fashion, heritage and charity.

Bulldog Licensing, one of the licensing industry’s leading agencies, has announced its plans for Brand Licensing Europe 2023.

At stand A190 Bulldog will be promoting yet another strong line-up of brands, headlined by such world-beating names as classic property Care Bears, toy phenomenon Magic Mixies, international hit pre-school TV show Odo, globally top-rating gaming brand PUBG, the iconic Me to You character brand, and evergreen hit Sesame Street.

It was late in 2022 that Carte Blanche Greetings, best known for the award-winning Me to You brand, its signature character Tatty Teddy and the nursery property Tiny Tatty Teddy, announced a partnership with Bulldog Licensing. Since 2001 Carte Blanche has partnered with best-in-class licensees to bring to market best-selling Me to You products across many categories including apparel, print on demand, food, gifting and nursery – selling 19 million products worldwide in 2022 alone. Now Bulldog is taking the extraordinary reach of this brand to the next level. Recent licensing deals include Brand Threads for nightwear, Pawprint Family for patches and pins and Craft Buddy for arts and crafts kits.

Achieving around $200m in retail sales value each year, Tatty Teddy is already one of the most popular character brands on the market and has a full, cross-category licensing programme with a strong appeal particularly among adult women, children and infants, showing strong growth at retail across multiple categories.

Hit pre-school brand – with a strong appeal in the adult market – Sesame Street is a key focus for Bulldog in the UK, on behalf of non-profit organisation Sesame Workshop, and the agency has announced new deals for the popular brand as Sesame Street continues to grow its presence on screen, on digital and at UK retail.

New launches in the wellness and homeware categories, as well as Just Play’s successful high-quality toy range, designed to support children’s learning and development, have been boosted by Sesame Street’s hugely successful and growing presence on Tiny Pop, the UK’s number one commercial channel for pre-schoolers. There are now six Sesame Street programmes on the channel, all of which regularly top the viewing charts.

In addition, Sesame Street Mecha Builders, airing on Milkshake – the UK’s leading commercial kids’ block – and a wildly successful YouTube channel make Sesame Street one of the UK’s must-have brands, both for the pre-school market and an adult fan market brought up on one of the first – and best –engaging educational shows.

Of course generations of fans have grown up with the show and the brand, so it’s no surprise that it continues to increase its strong presence in the adult market. TruffleShuffle, a leading name in exclusive retro t-shirts, men’s, women’s and unisex clothing, cool gifts and accessories, and Pawprint Family, which supplies patches and pins of fan-favourite characters, have both recently launched new Sesame Street collections for adults.

Princess Sam Consumer Products (PSCP) has announced its appearance at Brand Licensing Europe (stand A162) as licensor for the massively successful children’s animated adventure-comedy-fantasy hit Tara Duncan

The past year has been a busy one for PSCP and its parent company the Princess Sam Entertainment Group, with the new Tara Duncan TV show, based on the multi-million-selling publishing phenomenon by Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian, already sold into more than 80 countries. A licensing campaign is now under way and PSCP is coming to BLE this October to build on the growing buzz around this unique property.

PSCP is launching its own range of figurines, playsets and dolls at retail in France from autumn this year, thanks to its French distributor WTT, and more territories are to follow soon. The Tara Duncan licensing campaign has also awarded a license in the French market to toy company Tonies and, of course, toys and games are expected to offer strong opportunities for the brand, but other categories being targeted include back to school, stationery, home textiles, apparel, fashion accessories, beauty & personal care, food & beverage, and gifts.

Edutainment Licensing (stand A188) is pleased to present two of the NSPCC’s owned character brands, Pantosaurus and Buddy, seeking licensees for their growing programmes, providing a simple route to partner with one of the best known and loved charities in the UK.

The friendly dinosaur Pantosaurus is the face of the NSPCC’s #TalkPANTS campaign which has helped over 1.5m UK parents have simple conversations with their children to help keep them safe. The downloadable materials, Pantosaurus song, story book and app provide a whole host of fun and engaging content for parents to use with their children.  

Buddy, the NSPCC’s green speech bubble is the mascot for the hugely successful Speak Out. Stay Safe. campaign.  Since 2011 Speak Out. Stay Safe. has been helping primary school children to speak out to a trusted adult if they have any problems or issues.  Buddy has been integral to that message supporting our NSPCC school service staff in delivering that message as well as teaching children about Childline. Over 90% of UK primary schools have received Speak Out. Stay Safe. meaning over 1.8m children interact with Buddy each year.  The NSPCC have been protecting children for over 100 years and partnering with the charity is proven to have a positive impact on the wider awareness of partners’ brands as well as increasing consumers’ intention to buy from both retailers and consumer products companies. 

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