As a newbie to Brand Licensing Europe, (having recently joined the agency), I was anxious to see if it really was as big, bold and colourful as my colleagues had claimed. Perhaps it was the grey London skyline that added to the contrast, but it really was Big, Bold, Colourful… and I jumped right in!

Armed with a camera, I followed the parade of childhood characters with heads slightly too big for their bodies and felt a bit guilty remembering I’d moaned about my perspiration on the morning commute. These guys are something to behold!

There was a lot of talk at the show about the move to Excel and the general consensus seemed to be that although the commute on the first day was a nightmare for some people, once you got to the show it was a much better experience and many of the exhibitors had had gone the extra mile with their stand designs.

As a die-hard fan of the Beano ever since I could remember (I was a devoted member of the Beano club in my youth), I made a beeline for their stand. Remember those mornings when you’d get into school and draw profanities all over the blackboard before your teacher came to class? The Beano team had re-created this on their stand so visitors could contribute their own renditions of Dennis’ face (minus the profanities) on a massive blackboard.

Sustainability is a major issue for the toy industry and understandably it is constantly challenged to find ways to reduce plastic. Visitors were reminded of this topic by the Trashcode stand which offered a visual demonstration of the plastics in our oceans in a slightly eerie display that highlights the importance of making sustainability a priority now and over the years to come.

The Mattel stand was a particular favourite of Hayley’s and we all loved the interactive Barbie booth, where you can re-live a childlhood dream and #barbieyourself for that perfect pink and perfect YOU Instagram post!

And of course no visit to BLE is complete without a picture at the Hello Kitty wall of dreams!

Heritage and anniversaries continue to be major talking points for licensors and the excitement these generate is a great way to boost revenue. Over at Nickelodeon, we saw a big push for Top Gun and MTV while our own clients Universal and Warner Bros. are armed with vast archives of pop culture favourites ripe for rediscovery. Universal has two big anniversaries on the horizon with Back to the Future’s 35th in 2020 and ET’s 30th in 2022 whilst Warner Bros. is gearing up for the global celebrations of Bugs Bunny’s 80th anniversary in 2020. Having just spent this year promoting Peppa Pig’s 15th anniversary and Very Hungry Caterpillar’s 50th it is very familiar territory for the team at LtPR and we look forward to planning activity for these major milestones.

This blog isn’t big enough to cover everything, but ultimately, it was a perfect opportunity to support our amazing clients – Universal, Warner Bros, eOne, Silvergate and Acamar – to meet with the teams, the trade media and to really get to the core of their brands.

Do let us know what you enjoyed about the show here, via our Facebook, or Linkedin page!

The License to PR Team x