Big announcements, star appearances and Las Vegas dancing showgirls are all expected at the first day of Licensing International 2008.
For the last time, New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center will play host to over 25,000 attendees from 82 countries across the three days, with organisers Advanstar promising this will be the largest assembly of licensing professionals anywhere, at any time – from IP property owners, licensees and agents to retailers and wholesalers.
Some 6,000 properties and brands will be showcased, ranging from the established to the up and coming and spanning such categories as entertainment, lifestyle, sports, fashion, food & beverage, automotive, home, publishing and art.
Steven Ekstract, group publisher of US trade magazine License Global, has chosen a few brands to watch out for.
Character licensing generates over $42 billion in global retail sales and, along with the various characters making their show debuts, there will also be some classics celebrating milestone anniversaries: Smurfs (50), Inspector Gadget (25), Angelina Ballerina (25), Veggie Tales (15), Where’s Waldo? (21), Cabbage Patch Kids (25), Casper (60 in 2009), Barbie (50 in 2009) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (25 in 2009).
Forthcoming films likely to generate a buzz include X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009), GI Joe (2009), Where the Wild Things Are (2009), Transformers 2 (2009), Conan (2009), Land of the Lost (2009) and The Last Airbender (2010) amongst others.
Green brands such as Peter Rabbit Naturally Better (Penguin), Planet Earth (BBC) and a range of products from Beanstalk Group and World Wildlife Fund are worth watching, along with sports brands such as NASCAR, Little League Baseball, FIFA, International Basketball Federation and the PGA Tour.
Timeless icons such as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Groucho Marks, John Wayne and Bruce Lee will also have product showcased.