The collectable plush gift line, Squishmallows is making its move from toys into a full-scale, licensed character brand thanks to the launch of a new licensing programme, headed up by Kellytoy.
The toy firm has tapped Evolution USA to manage the global licensing and brand expansion plans for Squishmallows as it looks to build out a franchise in the children’s space. Evolution USA will showcase the brand at Brand Licensing Europe this year.
Squishmallows plush toys continue to enjoy a positive consumer response since its launch in autumn 2017, reportedly breaking sales records in multiple countries, with over 300 characters now available and more than 30 million units sold to date.
Each Squishmallow has its own unique storyline and personality and are made from a soft marshmallow like texture and polyester. The product line is currently distributed to over 40 countries with significant retailer support including: Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Amazon, Costco, Kroger, Party City, Five Below, Justice, CVS, and Aldi.
Kellytoy and Evolution are partnering with content developers and creative marketing agencies to develop new brand style guides, short form content, mobile games, influencer programs, celebrity seeding and other social media activations.
“We are very excited for the opportunity to work with the talented team at Evolution to expand our core brand on a global scale,” said Jonathan Kelly, CEO of Kellytoy. “Their knowledge and connections in the industry along with their full service agency solution is a perfect fit for our needs, as we take the next step in establishing a character franchise that can scale significantly.
“Several key retail partners are clamouring for additional Squishmallows products beyond plush and we are happy to deliver that via our licensed partners.”
Travis J. Rutherford, Evolution’s co-founder and chief revenue officer, added: “Having seen firsthand the unprecedented success that Kellytoy has had with Squishmallows, we all feel the time is right to expand the product into a multi-category licensed brand.
“The characters appeal to a very broad audience, from kids of all ages to core collectors. Since starting the project with the team at Kellytoy, we have already had key category licensees and retailers fully embrace the expansion strategy.”
Evolution is currently appointing a global network of sub-agents in non-english speaking territories and collectively are seeking licensing partners in the following product categories: apparel, sleepwear, accessories, headwear, home decor, health and beauty, back to school, stationery and paper goods, games and puzzles, novelty, publishing and magazines, food and beverage, and mobile gaming.