A Hectic Week of Global Brand Updates & Presentations at Licensing Expo 2018

by The Editor 0

Licensing Expo 2018 concluded after a hectic week of global brand presentations, increased space on the show floor and vigorous conversation as to where our industry is heading. Everyday we see more announcements of adjustments to the “bricks & mortar” retail space globally; much of this looks at closures. More recent news suggests that Macy’s reorganisation is paying off with increasing numbers shopping in their stores and tourists flocking to their flagship store in New York. More promising news suggests that along with the demise of Toys “R” Us in North America, recent trials by JC Penny could see them capitalising on the void that this will leave after all stores close.

Click here to see our photos from Licensing Expo 2018

We have also learned via LIMA’s Global Licensing Survey that options are diversifying and numbers growing across categories such as Corporate, Sport, Fashion, Lifestyle, Art and Clip Licensing. The hope here is that sooner or later our industry will return to a more sustainable model. Character and Entertainment brands will continue to be a big part of our business, however diversification is key now.

There were three brands specifically that I noticed with a presence at Licensing Expo that I think deserve some coverage. All have very interesting stories to tell and represent significant opportunities for the right partners!


Buzzfeed is the number one food network on the internet and a leading independent digital media company, delivering news and entertainment to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Their platforms include As/Is, Goodful, Animation, BuzzFeed News, Tasty, Nifty and Playful.

It is part of the future in licensing…

  • 200 million unique monthly visitors
  • 9 billion monthly content views
  • 70% of their traffic is on mobile devices
  • 60% of their video views occur on mobile devices
  • Pieces of content that BuzzFeed produces daily sit at 700

Erik Karp, who now heads up Licensing at BuzzFeed, will be writing for The Bugg Report under “The Buzz”. Erik will have some very thought provoking insights into model they have created.


Tokidoki has built a cult brand through strategic partnerships with icons such as:

  • Louis Ghost Chair with Arms by Philippe Starck for Kartell
  • Karl Lagerfeld collaborations
  • Clek, a leading manufacturer of thoughtful child seats and boosters

Tokidoki is an Italian brand that many mistake for being Japanese. It has used a succession of very cool brand partnerships to elevate the brand and tap into the passion of their fans through social media. A combination of Simone Legro’s artistic and creative talents and Pooneh Mohajer’s business acumen has meant that they have resisted the temptation for investment from bigger players along the way to navigate a long-term future for the brand with smart positioning.

(For licensing inquiries in Australia & New Zealand contact Ryan Smith at Haven Global via www.havenglobal.com)


We also have a short video from the Funko stand in Vegas. The collectable toy company that was recently awarded the People’s Choice of the Year at the prestigious 2018 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. Funko is has a vision to become a billion dollar toy company.