Highlights | Interviews


4 Apr - 2024

Tags from the story: Starbright Licensing, Stumble Guys.

In Italy, a year after its launch, Stumble Guys has become a real phenomenon, welcoming a growing number of partners and fans. To find out more, LM interviewed Giada Paterlini, President, and Isabella Barone, Managing Director, at Starbright Licensing, the agency that launched and develops the brand in Italy.

Can you tell us what is behind the Stumble Guys phenomenon?

Stumble Guys is a knockout multiplayer online game – up to 32 players simultaneously – where players stumble through unique maps round after round until a winner is crowned. The game is enjoyed by tens of millions of players every week and has quickly become a global viral phenomenon.

The game continues to grow thanks to its fun and fast-paced gameplay suitable for all ages, its ever-growing collection of characters and maps, its large community of creators and its monthly collaborations with famous IPs and brands (e.g. NERF, Barbie, Monopoly, Tetris or the famous Gen-Z creator Mr Beast, who recently became a character in the game!). In a very short time, the Scopely team has expanded the game and entered the world of licensing and merchandising, where it met a great success and still has enormous potential.

Stumble Guys has attracted a large number of players of all ages. What is its strength?

It is not easy to sum up in a few words the success of this game in the consumer products: the Stumble Guys licensing programme was launched early last spring, in 2023, transforming a primarily digital experience (playable on mobile phones) into a real experience with physical products capable of capturing the interest of consumers.

Can you tell us more about this first year of brand development in Italy?

We were the first licensing agency in the world to recognise the potential and adaptability of this IP in consumer goods. We therefore made our know-how available to the licensor to create an innovative licensing project in Italy. We were able to achieve excellent results in a very short time, thanks to our partners who believed in the project from the outset, invested in it with their products and took up the challenge!

So far, we have already signed several licensing agreements in Italy, among which we can mention Diramix for trading cards, stickers, 3D mini figures and stretchables; Poolover for back-to-school; Grani & Partners as preferred supplier for promotional and loyalty products; Preziosi Food for chips; ELG Food for confectionery, Easter eggs and seasonal products; Clementoni for puzzles; RollyBrush for oral care and Pon Pon Edizioni for publishing.

In terms of international partners, PMI (master toys) and Panini (stickers) have already started their global launch programme, planned in 2024, together with Diramix for the stretchables and 3D collectibles in flow and blister packs.

In particular, Diramix launched cards and 3D minis on newsstands in the Spring of 2023, with immediate consumers’ success. The plan was then strengthened in 2024 with the launch of stickers, new collections of 3D minis and Monsterflex, the first collection of Stumble Guys’ stretchables, which was a huge success!

Fashion, thanks to OVS and Calliope, together with publishing, coming soon, contribute to increasing the brand’s visibility in the respective channels, reinforcing its presence, and we are only at the beginning!

The arrival of PMI toys, distributed in Italy by Rocco Giocattoli, gave a further boost to the licensing development programme.

What other variations of the brand are possible, according to you?

There are no limits, neither for the product nor for the target audience. Stumble Guys appeals to all audiences because it is gender neutral: diversity and inclusion are key elements of the game, which appeals to all ages and genders. The list of over 500 characters (with new ones added monthly) keeps the brand fresh and trendy, with enough variety to make consumers want to collect them all!

Stumble Guys has had and will have co-branding partnerships with Barbie, How Wheels, Smurfs, to name a few. How will these collaborations evolve into products or events outside of the game?

These partnerships are designed for a limited period of time during which players will have the opportunity to play with their favourite characters in unique worlds and special events.

The key to success is the constant renewal of new partnerships that inspire new experiences for players. This is certainly one of the keys to the game’s success.

What marketing and communication campaigns support the launch of new Stumble Guys branded products?

The licensor is strongly committed to supporting the launch of products with marketing activities and aims to constantly renew the products in line with the evolution of the game. Scopely, the licensor, is focusing on trade marketing initiatives to be planned worldwide. In 2024, Stumble Guys will be everywhere!

The brand has generated more than 45 billion views on social media channels such as TikTok, YouTube and Discord with original content, fan art and more. How do you plan to harness the power of Stumble Guys on social?

From TikTok to Discord to YouTube, the viral elements of Stumble Guys on social media make it extremely appealing, especially to those partners looking to engage the Gen Z audience and create products specifically for them. The official Stumble Guys content creation programme is an example of how fans spend hours every week telling others about the game, the new maps, characters, and other exciting events that are released in the game each month. The Stumble Guys community is one of the most loyal in the world.

Currently available on mobile, Stumble Guys will soon be available even on more platforms, as Xbox, PC and Twitch. How will this expansion into new gaming media impact the brand?

I think this expansion will further enhance the playability, brand awareness and target audience of this brand, providing an expanded gaming experience on multiple levels.

Having a presence not only on mobile, but also on PC, Xbox and Twitch is an important milestone in its growth trajectory and we are excited to see what new things the licensor will reserve to us!

Besides Stumble Guys, what are the other novelties you showcase in Bologna this year?

For this edition of BLTF/K, we have decided to focus on the brands already well established and included in our portfolio, such as Dragon Ball, Hello Kitty, Stumble Guys, together with the other selected anime that complement our offer. This choice is also reflected in the placement of each brand in its own unique and exclusive place in our stand, which we invite to visit during the show. The new products that we present and invite professionals to discover are the ones offered by the brands we already represent, in an ongoing dialogue with the market.

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