Kellytoy will transition its collectible plush brand, Squishmallows into a full-scale licensed character brand.
Kellytoy named global licensing and brand management agency Evolution USA to manage the Squishmallows global licensing initiative, effective immediately. Additionally, Evolution will showcase the Squishmallows brand at Brand Licensing Expo in London on October 1-3.
Squishmallows plush toys continue to enjoy a phenomenal consumer response since their launch in fall 2017, with breaking sales records in multiple countries, according to the company.
With more than 300 characters now available and more than 30 million units sold to date, Squishmallows can serve as couch companions, pillow pals, bedtime buddies, or travel mates. Each Squishmallow has its own unique storyline and personality and is made from a super soft marshmallow-like texture and polyester. The assortment is available in nine different sizes (3.5-inch, clip-on, five-inch, seven-inch, eight-inch, 12-inch, 13-inch, 16-inch, 20-inch, and 25-inch). The product line is currently distributed to more than 40 countries with significant retailer support, including Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Amazon, Costco, Kroger, Party City, Five Below, Justice, CVS, and Aldi.
To support the new licensing program, Kellytoy and Evolution are partnering with best-in-class content developers and creative marketing agencies to develop new brand style guides, short-form content, mobile games, influencer programs, celebrity seeding, and other social media activations.
“We are very excited for the opportunity to work with the talented team at Evolution to expand our core brand on a global scale” said Jonathan Kelly, CEO of Kellytoy. “Their knowledge and connections in the industry along with their full service agency solution is a perfect fit for our needs, as we take the next step in establishing a character franchise that can scale significantly. Several key retail partners are clamoring for additional Squishmallows products beyond plush, and we are happy to deliver that via our licensed partners.”
“Having seen firsthand the unprecedented success that Kellytoy has had with Squishmallows, we all feel the time is right to expand the product into a multi–category licensed brand,” said Travis J. Rutherford, Evolution’s co-founder and chief revenue officer. “The characters appeal to a very broad audience, from kids of all ages to core collectors. Since starting the project with the team at Kellytoy, we have already had key category licensees and retailers fully embrace the expansion strategy.”
Evolution is currently appointing a global network of sub-agents in non-english speaking territories and collectively are seeking licensing partners in the following product categories: apparel, sleepwear, accessories, headwear, home décor, health and beauty, back to school, stationery and paper goods, games and puzzles, novelty, publishing, food and beverage, and mobile gaming.