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ASOS launch Simpsons Collection

ASOS Design has teamed up with The Simpsons to create the ultimate summer collection launching this August. ASOS, the global fashion destination for 20-somethings, has a history of iconic collaborations with some of the world’s biggest names. 

Brightening up screens since 1989 and currently longest-running primetime scripted show in television history, The Simpsons is a household name. The dysfunctional, lovable family, including Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart, Maggie and their aunts Patty and Selma, are all featured in this inclusive collection which includes womenswear, menswear and unisex pieces with styles available in ASOS Curve and Plus. 

Adding that next-level ASOS spin and giving the customer the confidence to express their individuality, the collection, created by ASOS’s London design team, is inspired by 90s party culture, and features more than 30 pieces of streetwear-influenced styles – all with a big nod to The Simpsons’ much-loved characters.

In addition, Springfield’s Kwik-E-Mart features in the collection on classic rugby shirt shapes,  bucket hat and classic tote bag and the iconic Springfield clouds are featured on a number of denim pieces and jumper. Plus, The Simpsons characters can also be found on classic yellow swimsuits, hoodies, knitted jumpers and bags.

Changes at Walker Books Group

EVP and Commercial Director Julia Posen steps down from her role within the Walker Books Group after 8 years with the prestigious Children’s Publisher.

During her tenure at Walker, Posen was responsible for the set up and day-to-day running of a new in-house licensing division, integrating it into the core branded publishing business. She was also a director of Walker Productions, serving as Executive Producer on the animated adaptation of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’, Channel 4’s highest rating show of 2016, and on three seasons and a special of the 2018 International Emmy winning ‘Hank Zipzer’ for CBBC.

She joined Walker in 2010 to oversee the marketing and PR teams, leading commercial and promotional activity across major campaigns for authors and brands including Anthony Horowitz, Patrick Ness, Helen Oxenbury, ‘Guess How Much I Love You?’ and ‘Where’s Wally’?  Prior to that Posen held a number of senior roles at BBC Worldwide for 14 years.

As the children’s media landscape continues to expand into new and exciting areas, Julia has taken the decision to step down from her current role and pursue new opportunities within the international marketplace. 

“It’s been a privilege to work with Walker’s incredible publishing, brand and licensing teams, and the extraordinarily talented authors and illustrators behind the beautiful books on the list. The job has enabled me to work with many wonderful production, licensing and retail partners on projects that have been a pleasure to be part of. After 8 years at Walker I’m ready for a new challenge and the opportunity to explore new partnerships across all areas of an industry I love.”  said Posen.

Walker Books CEO Karen Lotz says, “I am full of admiration for Julia, and grateful for the lasting contribution she has made to Walker Books UK and the Walker/Candlewick Group across our marketing and brand development, TV production and licensing efforts. She has a rare understanding of both the creative and the commercial aspects of the licensed publishing and broadcast industries, and a vision for how they work together at their best.  Her excellent managerial skills, intelligence, diligence and broad industry experience will be very much missed, and I hope that someday soon we will have the opportunity to work together again. I wish her every success in the next exciting chapter of her career.” 

John Walsh

With sadness we report the passing of John Walsh in Australia. He was a few weeks short of his 80th birthday and had been ill for some time.

John was one of the founders of the Australian licensing industry joining it from retail in the mid 1980s when he and his business partner Bob Lee joined Fred Gaffney. They then set up Lee Walsh (latterly Licensing Works) and represented many major US properties including Snoopy, Garfield and King Features. Copyrights teamed up with them in 1988 when they established Copyrights Australasia which John ran very successfully until they were taken over by Chorion in 2007 and John retired. He is remembered as a character in his own right and was direct and forthright in a true Aussie way. The industry has lost a great friend and champion.

New global licensing partners for Miraculous

ZAG continues to build its aspirational brand ZAG HEROEZ Miraculous - Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir—winner of the 2018 Teen Choice Award for Choice Animated Series—and recently announced new global licensing partner, Ipanema Sandals, as well as Winning Moves for EMEA. The new partners join the Miraculous licensing and merchandising program that topped the $100 million mark in retail sales in 2017, and with top-TV ratings garnered worldwide, season two airing globally, season three launching mid-2019, and seasons four and five now in pre-production, Miraculous continues to gain momentum.

Ipanema sandals and flip flops will be developing a Miraculous-Ipanema collaboration footwear range for kids and adults. The collection, which consists of flip flops and back-strap sandals for kids, and an exclusive adult flip flop, will be available at retail in the southern hemisphere in November 2018, and rolling-out in the U.S. and Europe in April 2019. Winning Moves will be launching a Miraculous Monopoly Junior game just in time for the 2018 holiday season.  The Ipanema agreement was brokered by Gloob Licensing, and Winning Moves by Bulldog Licensing. 

 “Miraculous continues to build its fan base, demonstrated through TV ratings that are still #1 in many countries for kids and girls (4-11) and we keep winning awards,” commented André Lake Mayer, President, Global Consumer Products for ZAG.  “We are honored to have Ipanema Sandals and Winning Moves, two best in class Licensees giving their perennial products a Miraculous spin, allowing kids and kids at heart to engage with their favorite relatable heroes, Ladybug and Cat Noir!

The new deals fall on the heels of the recent announcement that Tab Tale launched the first official global mobile game on April 24, 2018, that attracted 20 million downloads in the first 2 months; Funko is just rolling out a must-have trio of collectible “POP!” stylized vinyl figures available on shelves worldwide (excluding Japan, China and Korea) beginning in May 2018; PEZ will be debuting the series iconic heroes in their unique PEZ candy dispenser configuration’s in August 2018 in France, Spain, U.K., Italy, Germany and more (excluding U.S. and Canada); and the GUESS x “Be Miraculous” Ladybug Fashion kids capsule collection will debut in August 2018 in USA and EMEA. Additional global and pan-regional licensing partners include Bandai (master toy), Ferrero (Kinder Joy & Surprise Egg), Zara (perfume), and Panini (magazines and sticker books).

Peppa Pig to make big screen debut in China

Entertainment One and Alibaba Pictures Group jointly announced plans for their first co-production which will mark Peppa Pig’s big screen debut in cinemas throughout China. The pre-school phenomenon will appear in theaters in China for the first time this Chinese New Year, which coincides with the 2019 Year of the Pig. eOne and Alibaba Pictures are co-producing a full-length feature film which contains live action and brand new animated content, based on the Peppa Pig television series created by Astley Baker Davies. The film, “Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year,” is scheduled for release in China on February 5, 2019, and will be distributed by Alibaba Pictures.

"This cooperation is an important opportunity to promote cultural exchange between China and the West. Alibaba Pictures is excited to share China's traditions and culture with the rest of the world with a new fun filled storyline featuring a character as popular as Peppa. The Peppa Pig series emphasizes the importance of family values, and that is something that will deeply resonate with Chinese audiences. We hope this family film will pave the way for further development of films for young audiences in China," said Wei Zhang, president of Alibaba Pictures.

The film’s storyline was developed specifically for young families celebrating Chinese New Year and it incorporates many Chinese New Year traditions, such as dragon dancing, dumpling wrapping, and other traditional customs. The film will also introduce brand new characters – including Panda twins. Limited-edition panda-themed merchandise will be released exclusively through Ali Fish, the licensing and entertainment business unit under Alibaba Pictures.

Super Wings takes off with Flybe

Alpha Animation and Toys UK has announced that preschool property, Super Wings, will be embarking on a collaboration with Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline.

The partnership, co-ordinated by Hello Communications Group, saw Super Wings branded activity sheets on board Flybe flights as of 15th August 2018. Aimed at providing fun and educational activities for pre-schoolers on over 200 routes, the sheets will entertain up to 30,000 children throughout the remainder of the summer holidays with a mixture of visual, interactive and puzzling tasks, all relating back to the Super Wings characters and their core values.

The on-board activity will be supported by additional digital and social media content across both and Super Wings channels, giving customers the chance to win Flybe flights and Super Wings toy bundles worth thousands of pounds.

“This collaboration was a no brainer for us,” began Mark Hyndman, General Country Manager at Alpha Animation and Toys UK. “Super Wings’ core values centre around travel, culture, friendship and families, all of which resonate with Flybe and their brand values. This summer is going to be a great time to be a Super Wings fan and we’re really looking forward to seeing this collaboration get off the ground and where it will take us moving forwards.”

New signing for Bulldog

Bulldog Licensing has announced a new deal for children’s publishing sensation That’s not my…– with Rainbow Designs coming on board with a range of soft toys and baby and infant toys.

Published by Usborne, That’s not my… is the best-selling series of touchy-feely board books aimed at babies and pre-schoolers by author Fiona Watt and illustrator Rachel Wells. The series has sold over 5 million books in the UK, and over 20 million worldwide. There are over 50 That’s not my… titles including That’s not my puppy…, That’s not my fairy… and That’s not my teddy…, as well as a number of seasonal favourites including That’s not my chick… for Easter and That’s not my elf… for Christmas. Each page features a different texture, such as soft fur or fuzzy tummy, which is designed to encourage sensory awareness and interactive play. That’s not my unicorn… - published last year as the special 50th title – is the highest seller to date, and was the best-selling baby book of 2017.

The Rainbow Designs range will feature soft toys, developmental toys and wooden toys, as well as gift sets, and soft teether books. This adds to an existing deal with Dennicci, who launched their baby apparel range into Mothercare just before Christmas, and TU at Sainsburys in July. Bulldog is also in talks with several potential partners across a range of categories.

“For many little ones, That’s not my… is their first introduction to books and so the brand is much-loved and instantly recognisable, giving it huge awareness,” says Bulldog Licensing Director Vicky Hill. “Licensees are anxious to tap into this, which is translating into significant levels of interest from across the sector.”


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23 August 2018

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