Archive | Design and content themes

Space Age

Saturday is the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. In the days and weeks leading up to the milestone, licensors, retailers, and licensees have been announcing space-themed content, promotions, and products, especially in the realms of entertainment, toys, and fashion. The initiatives, most of which incorporate […]

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Acknowledging ASMR

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos have become a big trend online, especially among viewers 18-24. ASMR is the scientifically unproven but increasingly popular idea that certain soft, slow, and/or repetitive sounds tend to make users happy and relaxed, sometimes to the point that they feel a tingling sensation starting at the back of the […]

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Superpowers Revealed

The “girl power” trend that has been so prevalent in entertainment, toys, and other products for the past few years is not limited only to children. There are also more female-focused initiatives geared toward teen and adult consumers—of both genders—especially in the video game, comic book, and other segments of “geek culture.” Examples include: Books […]

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As Simple as Black and White

A black-and-white color palette—expressed in patterns, prints, or blocking—remains a top choice for designers in home furnishings, streetwear, hair accessories, and other sectors. Licensors and their licensees have been taking note of this trend in a variety of ways over the past year or more as they develop style guides and products: Many of Disney’s […]

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Magical Mash-Ups

Ultra-cute, ultra-positive, and often-magical characters and images have permeated the toy industry and other categories of late and continue to represent a strong trend. Examples include unicorns in particular, as well as mermaids, rainbows, kittens, and the like. A newer, but already ubiquitous development consists of hybrids of some or all of the above, with […]

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Celebrating the Year of the Pig

Tomorrow (February 5, 2019) is Chinese New Year, marking the start of the Year of the Pig on the Chinese lunar calendar. Global marketers in recent years have increasingly been embracing Chinese New Year in their January and February messaging and product releases, and that includes property owners involved in licensing and collaborations. The most […]

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Are Prints Losing Their Power?

Four licensed lifestyle brands known for their distinctive all-over prints have been struggling of late: Orla Kiely, the 1970s-infused label tied to the Irish designer billed as the “queen of prints,” announced in September that it would liquidate, shutting its stores, located in the U.K. and Ireland, and its website. The 20-plus-year-old brand’s licensing business, […]

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Revisiting the ‘90s

Licensing initiatives targeting the millennial market frequently highlight styles and themes from the 1990s. The strategy makes sense when you consider that millennials, born from 1981 to 1996 and currently between 22 and 37 years old, spent their childhood and/or teen years in that decade and often have fond memories. It follows that marketers’ inclination […]

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Holiday Cheer

With Black Friday coming up next week, it seems like a good time to take a look at what’s up with some of the key Christmas-themed licenses whose annual prime time is just beginning. These evergreen properties expand their reach each year, increasingly extending well beyond traditional holiday-centric categories. A few recent examples: • Universal […]

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