Archive | Character/Entertainment

The Experience Economy

As entertainment licensors create experiential extensions of their properties, such as theme park attractions, stage plays, and exhibitions, it is standard practice to create merchandise dedicated to the special event, to be sold at the venue as well as in the licensor’s and sometimes the licensee’s proprietary online and retail channels. For the biggest licensors, […]

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Turning the Channel

News came to light this summer that three key players in kids’ animation are leaving the original production business, although they will remain active as distributors or licensing specialists: Amazon is moving away from investing in original children’s programming in favor of shows for family and young adult audiences. It will continue to acquire licensed […]

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In-World Meets High-Tech

In-world products, which take a fictional item from a film, TV show, or videogame and make it real, represent the ultimate way to differentiate entertainment/character-licensed goods from their competitors. In-world merchandise can assume a variety of forms, from Barco Uniforms’ Grey’s Anatomy scrubs, to Schwinn’s Stranger Things bikes, to Cubicall’s Bill & Ted phone booths, […]

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Real Characters

Celebrities have been making appearances, in cartoon form, across key storytelling and communications platforms. The initiatives are mostly for children, but there is sometimes appeal for adults as well, depending on the project. They involve a variety of media configurations: Animated TV shows and films. In June, Ellen DeGeneres’ Ellen Digital Ventures and Warner Bros. […]

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Creators as Brands

A handful of celebrity- and estate-licensing programs exhibiting this year at Licensing Expo, held last week in Las Vegas, were centered not on actors or musicians, but on creators of entertainment properties. For example: Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment was founded by the late comic book creator to manage and license newly created IP not owned […]

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Moonlighting Beyond Late Night

The hosts of several of the leading late-night talk shows in the U.S. have been moonlighting in other areas of the content business. They are becoming involved in side projects, sometimes spin-offs of their main gig and sometimes ventures entirely unrelated to their primary series. These initiatives occasionally lend themselves to licensed products. For example: […]

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Comfort TV

Some very wholesome TV shows from the past have spurred merchandise programs in recent years, and their efforts continue to expand. Modern consumers likely gravitate to these brands in large part due to their nostalgic appeal, but also, at least to a degree, because they serve as an antidote to today’s digitally driven, politically charged, […]

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Sticking to the Message

Characters and other imagery associated with instant messaging apps have given rise to a number of licensed product initiatives, many of which have become strong programs globally in terms of retail sales. Such initiatives can be organized into three major groups: Proprietary characters created by messaging apps. LINE Corporation oversees a wide range of products […]

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