After careful consideration, a panel of judges comprised of 152 executives from around the world evaluated more than 600 entries from companies in 22 countries to determine the nominees for the 2020 Licensing International Excellence Awards. This week, the winners were announced across 23 categories in a first-ever virtual event that was attended by nearly 1,000 industry execs.
Hosted by Handcraft Vice President and stand-up comic Marshall Mizrahi, the event featured the annual Hall of Fame induction. This year, Martha Stewart joined the Hall of Fame in honor of her years of building her personal brand into a licensing powerhouse.
The toy and kids’ entertainment industries were well-represented with wins for WowWee, The LEGO Group, and Sesame Workshop, among others.
“This year marks the 35th anniversary of the International Licensing Awards, and while we had, of course, looked forward to celebrating in person, this virtual gathering was an amazing event,” says Maura Regan, president, Licensing International. “Perhaps more than ever it was important to celebrate the incredible creativity and innovation of our industry. Seeing the very best work of this industry on display, alongside some of the dynamic executives who drive it, was a powerful reminder that, in the wake of uncertainty, the power of trusted brands and well-known licenses is more critical than ever before.”
Select categories and winners include:
BEST LICENSED PRODUCT: TOYS/GAMES/NOVELTIES 0-8
- WowWee | Pinkfong Baby Shark Song Puppets with Tempo Control
BEST LICENSED PRODUCT: TOYS/GAMES/NOVELTIES 8 AND UP
- The LEGO Group | Stranger Things The Upside Down LEGO Set
BEST LICENSED PRODUCT: APPS/SOFTWARE/VIDEO GAMES
- Story Toys/Touch Press | LEGO DUPLO World App
BEST LICENSED PRODUCT: PUBLISHING/BACK-TO-SCHOOL
- Party City | Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year Partygoods & Tableware
BEST BRAND – DIGITAL/APPS/VIDEO GAME
- Brown & Friends | LINE Friends
BEST BRAND: ENTERTAINMENT/CHARACTER (ANIMATED)
- Peppa Pig | eOne/Hasbro
BEST BRAND: ENTERTAINMENT/CHARACTER (LIVE ACTION)
- Sesame Street | Sesame Workshop
BEST LICENSED PRODUCT: APPAREL/FOOTWEAR/ACCESSORIES
- Vans | David Bowie Line
BEST LICENSED PRODUCT: APPLIANCES/AUTOMOTIVE/HOUSEWARES
- Pro-Ject Audio Systems | The Beatles Turntable
BEST BRAND: ART/DESIGN/CELEBRITY/FASHION
- V&A | Victoria and Albert Museum
BEST LICENSED PROMOTION
- Squarespace & Sesame Street “A Cautionary Tale” | Sesame Workshop/Squarespace
BEST LICENSED COLLABORATION
- SpongeBob SquarePants x Nike | ViacomCBS/Nike
BEST EXPERIENTIAL OR LOCATION-BASED INITIATIVE
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar at the Royal Horticultural Society | Royal Horticultural Society
BEST RETAILER: ENTERTAINMENT/CHARACTER
- Galeries Lafayette | Batman
BEST AGENCY/MANUFACTURER’S REP
Additionally, this year’s virtual event includes a showcase of six international Rising Stars: Krystyna Braxton (NFL Players Inc.); Allison Cimino (RockLove); Carolina Garcia Souza (Cinecolor Colombia, representative of The Walt Disney Company); Gao Qiang (Tencent); Hannah Stevens (The Point.1888); and Louis Yenik (Crunchyroll).
Finally, the Licensing International Small Business Global Grants Fund has raised more than $110,000 to aid small businesses in the licensing community that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies interested in donating to the fund or applying for a grant can find information on the Licensing International website.