Events Licensing News

Rocket Licensing Heads to BLE with Blockbuster Portfolio

Rocket Licensing

As the licensing industry prepares to return to ExCeL London from 20th – 22nd September, 2022, for Brand Licensing Europe, Rocket Licensing is putting the finishing touches to its exciting offering of properties including iconic children’s brands like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Beano, The Elf on the Shelf and Little People, Big Dreams, along with pop culture kawaii brand Fuzzballs, blockbuster entertainment brands Dune, Godzilla, Vikings Valhalla, Rocky and ESA (The European Space Agency), which unlocks the growing excitement around the new age of space exploration.


Rocket was recently appointed UK licensing agent for the iconic rabbit, Miffy. Dick Bruna’s simple designs have been inspiring children since 1955, and the brand’s core values of fun, imagination and respect for art and the world of the child, have resulted in over 85 million books being sold worldwide. The retail sales for licensed products have reached approximately $350 million, with over 300 licensees worldwide.


As we approach the year of the rabbit in 2023, the Rocket Licensing team will be growing the UK licensing program for Miffy with a range of new and existing licensees and retailers, engaging with current partners and exploring new products and categories. On the experiential side, a Miffy takeover of Japanese food hall Ichiba at Westfield London, runs from 11th July to 30th September.


With a mission to empower all children with the confidence to ‘be bold, be brave and dream big’, the Little People, BIG DREAMS book series from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, is going from strength to strength. The series features a huge range of inspirational figures from the past up to modern day and features over 70 titles, which have garnered sales of 7.5 million books. Rocket will be working on a 2023 licensing program for the inspirational brand across a number of key categories including apparel, gifting and more.


Celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2023, the world’s longest running comic, Beano, is set for a nationwide 360 campaign which will celebrate all readers who have been part of its history, leaving their mark on the comic and the huge impact Beano has had on generations of children and our licensing partners for the anniversary include: Rubies, Akyroyds, Spike Leisurewear, Cotton Division and Farshore, Gamebake, Eden Project, Outdoor Gaming, Visit Scotland and Scotrail.


Beano’s Britain’s Funniest Class competition has also been collecting entries this year, while a Beano for Schools campaign has been designed to instil key skills for children through a range of activities.


The Lumistella Company invites you to discover the enchanted world beyond The Elf on the Shelf brand. What began as one family’s self-published tradition, The Elf on the Shelf brand has become a global phenomenon which millions of families now enjoy every year. Since its launch in 2005, 22.9 million Scout Elves, Elf Pets and Elf Mates branded products have been adopted, with adoption centres in 19 countries. The brand’s social media boasts an incredible 8.1 million fans and followers globally and there were 7.6 billion media impressions worldwide in 2021 alone. Elf Pets: Santa’s Reindeer Rescue, one of The Lumistella Company’s featured animated specials, began streaming in November 2021 and reached Netflix Top Ten Movies in the UK and Eire, with new content plans pencilled in for upcoming years.


Present, past and ongoing partnerships and platforms for the Christmas favorite include: Netflix, Roblox, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland and Kellogg’s, with additional partnerships in the UK and Ireland to be announced later this year. The consumer products portfolio covers a wide range of categories, and product development is underway with H&A for toiletries, Aykroyd & Sons for nightwear, Dennicci for babywear, and Dreamtex for bedding, Thornycroft for confectionery, all for launch later in 2022, as the brand gears up for a bigger Christmas than ever before.


ESA, The European Space Agency continues to excite, inspire and inform across generations and nations. Since 1975, ESA has been responding to the biggest challenges facing life on Earth, including climate change and planetary protection. At the same time, ESA is at the forefront of in the exploration of space, humankind’s greatest adventure. This thrilling journey, is only just beginning and even now ESA working on putting humans back on the Moon after 40 years, searching for life on Jupiter’s moons and finding Earth-like planets around distant stars. Rocket Licensing’s objective is to build on ESA’s brand, and its passion for space exploration with a range of consumer products focussing on apparel, toys and games, homewares, gifting, publishing and more.


2024 will mark the 70th anniversary of the king of the monsters – Godzilla. A year-long celebration will begin on November 3rd, 2023 – Godzilla Day, encompassing epic partnerships bringing the classic brand to all corners of the globe; fan focused events to celebrate 70 years of monstrous story telling; best in class licensing and brand collaborations for fans to engage; and unique location based entertainment offerings, bringing Godzilla to life. The impressive roster of licensees for the monster property include Bioworld for menswear, Trademark Products for T-shirts, GB Eye for artwork, and Funko for toys and collectibles, while IDW, Simon & Schuster, Tops Digital and Welbeck bring a range of published products, based on the wealth of artwork available from the 70 year reign.


Also slated for 2024 is the new Monsterverse/Godzilla vs. Kong franchise movie form Legendary Entertainment. More details on production and licensing programs will be announced in the coming months approaching the 2024 release of the film.


Also slated for 2024 is the latest entry in the Monsterverse/Godzilla vs. Kong franchise form Legendary Entertainment. More details on production and licensing programs will be announced in the coming months approaching the March 15, 2024, release of the film.


Also from Legendary Entertainment is the next installment in the phenomenal Dune franchise; Dune: Part Two will be released on November 17, 2023. The original 2021 film was a pop culture phenomenon and took in an incredible $400 million at the worldwide box office and won six Oscars! The trailer for Part Two was watched 45 million times in the 24 hours after its release, and audiences and journalists were blown away by the teaser. The content rich franchise spans film, TV, publishing and video games, and has a huge social media following. Rocket will be looking to expand the consumer products offering ahead of the release of the new film, as well as working with its existing best in class licensing partners to create ranges for this powerful franchise.


Bringing a literary classic to a new audience, Enola Holmes is a standout hit for family audiences and was viewed by 77 million households in the first four weeks of release, ranking at #1 in 78 countries in the weeks surrounding its debut. Ranking at #5 in the top ten Netflix original movies of all time, Enola Holmes was the second most watched content in its first five days of release. The multi-award-winning film features Millie Bobby Brown as Enola, and is based on Edgar award-winning author, Nancy Springer’s books series, which puts a fresh, young spin on the Sherlock Holmes legend, bringing a new female audience to the iconic world of Victorian mystery and adventure. Fans can delight anew with a new movie in the franchise due on Netflix in autumn 2022.


Pop culture Kawaii brand Fuzzballs began as a web comic staring a cat, tiger, bunny and a whole cast of friends as they go on the hunt for adventure and has grown enormously in popularity across social media and in particular social media stickers. The brands sense of humour coupled with a complete cuteness overload has really begun to grab attention. The brand hit a huge milestone in the spring with one billion digital sticker downloads across the range of social media platforms earlier this year. This success in the digital world has resulted in growing success in the real world, with huge support at retail and a growing group of licensees including: Kap Toys for plush, Pyramid for various gift lines, Indigo for apparel, VNR Trading for chocolate and drinks and Brain Box Candy for social stationery.


2023 is the 30th anniversary of household family brand, Horrible Histories. With over 30 million copies of the bestselling books in print, the hit stage show, the BAFTA award-winning TV series, and long-running attractions the brand drives a successful licensing range and is well-placed to celebrate in style next year. Three new books will launch during the anniversary year, and publisher Scholastic and Rocket have a year-long marketing campaign planned to reach children, parents and families, including major brand partnerships, media interviews with the author and illustrator, Terry Deary and Martin Brown; a media partnership for holiday coverage; reviews and giveaways; retail partnerships and social campaigns.


Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar has sold over 55 million books – in fact one copy is sold every 15 seconds. With almost 30 licensees and partners on board, Rocket continues to innovate with the licensing program. New style guide and assets are available this year focusing on butterflies and forest friends. Strong retail partnerships across the high street including with Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, and will see continued new designs and product development launching throughout this year, 2023 and beyond. At the core of the brand is the hugely successful published range from Puffin who continue to release fresh content with new book launches.


From iconic films like Rocky, Legally Blonde and Creed, to fan-favorite TV series like Vikings: Valhalla and TeenWolf, MGM’s vast library of brands continues to excite fans around the globe today. In celebration of Legally Blonde’s 21st anniversary in 2022 and a third Legally Blonde film currently in development, Rocket has partnered with Poetic Brands and Solent Group on an exciting new campaign for nightwear and toiletry products inspired by the pop culture phenomenon.


Vikings: Valhalla premiered earlier this year on Netflix, hitting #1 in the UK on the platform after its launch in February. The series, which is a continuation of the Vikings legend, has also been in the top ten in 90 countries, and an astounding 270 million hours were viewed in the first 30 days from launch. A number of top tier licensees have come aboard the series across apparel, gifting, tech accessories and games and puzzles, and the excitement will continue as season 2 is anticipated to drop in spring 2023, and season 3 airing in 2024.


Rocket has curated a knock-out licensing program for classic film, Rocky, with apparel, dress-up, publishing, giftware, homeware and more available to satiate the thirst of the army of fans, in time for the premiere of Creed III in March 2023. MGM has also revived the history of vintage MGM horror movies to a new generation of fans, with 26 titles including TeenWolf, Jeepers Creepers, The Silence of the Lambs and more. Additionally, Hell on Shirts is already on board for sweatshirts, T shirts and joggers for the cult-classic horror film Killer Klowns.


Charlie Donaldson, Joint MD at Rocket Licensing commented: “We have an incredible portfolio of brands to bring to Brand Licensing Europe again this year. All of our properties are going from strength to strength and we are excited to discuss with new and existing licensees, new projects and ranges for all our brands.”