aNb Media News, June 19, 2014

Licensing Industry Sales Rise Says LIMA

Sales of licensed products continued their upward trajectory in 2013 for the third straight year resulting in an estimated $5.655 billion in royalty revenue in the U.S. and Canada, translating to $115.75 billion in retail sales, an increase of 3.3 percent and 3.25 percent, respectively, above 2012 levels, according to the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association’s (LIMA) Annual Licensing Industry Survey. Leading the advance are the industry’s five largest categories: Character, Corporate Trademarks, Sports, Fashion, and Collegiate. Together, they represent 94 percent of the overall licensing revenues in 2013. Following are just a few highlights from the report.

• Character-related merchandise (encompassing Entertainment/TV/Movie and Celebrities: The largest classification, accounting for $2.66 billion in royalty revenues and an estimated $51.44 billion in retail sales, up 4.3 percent from 2012. Royalty rates are generally higher in this category compared with others, accounting for 47.2 percent of total industry revenues.

Key Findings: Digital technology continues to adversely impact the appeal of traditional toys, and the world of digital apps has created new brands that have expanded to both digital and physical retail channels.

• Corporate and Brand Name: Licensing royalties in the second largest category were estimated at $965 million, representing about 17.1 percent of industry revenues, and an estimated $22.5 billion in retail sales, or 19.4 percent of the overall licensed retail business.

Key Findings: Strong growth in home improvement and home décor are expected this year and in the future.

• Fashion: The third largest category in licensing, Fashion royalties rose to an estimated $770 million, accounting for 13.7 percent of total revenues, up 2 percent from the prior year. Based on these royalty rates, retail sales of licensed fashions translated to $16.9 billion in 2013.

Key Findings: The changes in the industry are being driven by greater use of exclusives for mid-tier and mass merchandising segments. Category growth is linked to beauty (i.e., fragrances/perfumes) as well as strong performance in the apparel and the accessories segments.

• Sports (Leagues, Individuals): Consisting of major sports leagues, which account for a majority of the licensing revenue generated, royalty revenue rose 1.9 percent to $698 million over the previous year, translating into retail sales of about $12.8 billion.

Key Findings: Longer strategic partnerships, continued reorganization at retail, growth opportunity in retailers’ own label products, and direct-to-consumer sales through digital and specialty physical channels show strength. An important long-term opportunity is the extension of sports properties in healthier food and beverage segments, travel, and the women’s market.

In addition to these categories, the annual survey presented royalty revenues and retail sales results for Collegiate, Music, Publishing, Non-Profit, and Art. The latest annual report from LIMA, which was researched and assembled by a team from the Yale School of Management, is now available free to LIMA members and $295 for non-members. It can be ordered at

Nickelodeon to Launch Licensing Program for Blaze and the Monster Machines

Nickelodeon announced the launch of a new merchandising program for its upcoming preschool series, Blaze and the Monster Machines. It features a curriculum dedicated to all areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), premiering this fall. Nickelodeon will seek major merchandising and promotional partners, spanning categories including apparel, toys, accessories, home décor, packaged goods, social expressions, and more.

Debuting this October, the series features an 8-year-old boy named AJ and his monster truck Blaze who together go on action-packed chases and adventures. As AJ and the viewer help Blaze accomplish his missions, they also explore the physics of how things move, master mathematics, and discover how everyday technologies work.

Thomas the Tank Engine Theme Park to Open

HIT Entertainment’s Thomas the Tank Engine will come to life next year with the opening of the Thomas Land theme park within Edaville USA, a family amusement park and heritage railroad located in South Carver, Mass., convenient to the greater Boston and Providence areas. Thomas Land will be the largest permanent Thomas & Friends attraction in North America.

The park is currently in development and is slated to open in early summer 2015, with an official ground breaking in early July.

The new Thomas Land will cover 11.5 acres with 14 rides based on Thomas & Friends and the Island of Sodor. Attractions at Thomas Land will feature a 20-minute long, scenic train ride on a life-sized Thomas the Tank Engine, and theme park favorites including a roller coaster, drop tower, Ferris wheel, soft-play area, and much more.

There are currently two other Thomas Lands in operation worldwide. The first was opened in 1998 at Fujikyu Highland amusement park in Japan, 90 minutes from Tokyo. The second Thomas Land was opened in 2008 at Drayton Manor Theme Park in the UK. Together, both parks attract nearly three million visitors each year, according to HIT.

Thomas & Friends will celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2015.

My1Story Heads to TV, Digital Platforms

Snap Global Solutions and OddBot, Inc., have joined forces to bring Snap’s My1Story fairy tale brand to television and other digital platforms.

My1Story is a modern, preschool-friendly take on classic fairy tales. It’s a world of unlikely friendships where Lil’ Riding Hood and Wolfie are best friends and mysteries solvers; Jack (of beanstalk fame) and his not-so-giant pal Beanie, hang out together in the clouds; and where Goldie and the Three Bears team up for action-packed adventures.

OddBot, an animation production company, is currently looking for production, distribution, and interactive partners.

Trending on TTPM: Activity Toys

TTPM is showcasing what’s trending in each specific product category. Today it’s Activity Toys. This trending list is determined by consumers. It’s the number of page views for that item in the previous 30 days and is updated every 24 hours.