The home of great brands


Jun, 2023
Bulldog announces new deals for Sesame Street’s grown-up fans!

New products for adults from TruffleShuffle and Pawprint Family arrive at retail

Bulldog Licensing, the leading licensing agency, which represents Sesame Street in the UK on behalf of non-profit organization Sesame Workshop, has announced the imminent arrival at retail of two new ranges to build on the brand’s significant presence across UK retail and which underline the enormous appeal of the brand to the fast-growing adult market.

TruffleShuffle, a leading name in exclusive retro t-shirts, men’s, women’s and unisex clothing, cool gifts and accessories, and Pawprint Family, which supplies patches and pins of fan-favourite characters, have both announced new Sesame Street collections for adults.

TruffleShuffle’s new Sesame Street collection launched on 23 June and highlights some of the best-loved characters from the show. Focusing on summery good vibes, t-shirts, sweaters, hoodies, mugs and tote bags in bright, bold colours in a washed style effect come together in a collection whose design highlights kindness, togetherness, and friendship – all core brand values for Sesame Street. Further additions to the range are planned throughout the year.

Pawprint Family’s new Sesame Street collection of pin badges and embroidered patches launches later this summer via its online store and other online sales channels. The new collectible range features single characters and group poses of well-known, much-loved Sesame Street characters, allowing collectors to use the badges to personalise garments, bags and accessories – or just about anything.

The upcoming debut will coincide with Pawprint Family launching over 200 new lines to the website as well as the annual Golden Ticket Giveaway competition. There are ten prize bundles up for grabs in the Golden Ticket Giveaway and each one is worth over £400. Each bundle includes prizes from well-known brands as well as the brand-new Sesame Street collection.

It’s no surprise that Sesame Street can boast such a strong appeal to the adult market. Generations of fans have grown up with the show and the brand, whose heritage stretches back through more than 50 successful years. Sesame Street remains relevant and popular today.

Sesame Street is also one of the best-known and best-loved children’s brands in the world, engaging fans of all ages, while delivering on its mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that 95% of UK parents are aware of the Sesame Street and over a million people in the UK follow the brand on social media. Bulldog Licensing Group MD Rob Corney says: “The strength of Sesame Street across a multitude of media platforms and at retail is a testament to its continuing relevance and enduring appeal across multiple generations, including a very receptive and enthusiastic adult market. TruffleShuffle and Pawprint Family are respected and popular names in their field, and we’re delighted to be partnering them as we continue the successful expansion of Sesame Street into carefully chosen adult-focused product lines.”

Jun, 2023
Bulldog Licensing announces licensing and broadcasting growth for Odo

Key licensing partners appointed as pre-school show is sold into multiple territories

Bulldog Licensing, one of the licensing industry’s leading agencies, has announced continuing licensing growth for Odo, the lovable little owl with BIG ideas, whose adventures are already a hit on Channel 5’s pre-school service Milkshake! in the UK and have now been sold to broadcasters around the world.

Odo is also spreading his wings in the world of licensing – beginning with publishing. The first two English-language book titles from Pan Macmillan launched in March, and a further two titles will publish later this year.

The first two titles – Odo ‘Super Owl!’ and Odo ‘The Egg’ – invite children to join Odo and his friends in their adventures at Forest Camp in warm and funny picture book stories that help to build self-confidence and empathy in pre-schoolers, just like the TV show.

Based on the brand’s core values of tolerance, acceptance and gentle lessons in social justice, the books in this new series include a special spread at the back with reading tips for parents and carers, as well as offering questions and prompts to encourage conversation about the books, the characters and key themes.

‘Super Owl’ has already been very well received by the pre-school audience – notably as part of the Milkshake! Mornings live book readings for kids at Parkdean Resorts, the UK’s largest holiday park operator. Readings of the books will also be featured in an upcoming season of Story Den on Milkshake!

With consumer interest in the property growing fast, the UK licensing programme for Odo is now well under way, with a number of best-in-class partners appointed. They include Poetic Brands (apparel), RJ Bags, Roy Lowe (character socks) and Rainbow Productions (children’s characters for commercial events). And, of course, there’s the Master Toy partner, Wow Stuff, a byword for innovation and an award-winning partner to Tier One brands. The licensing programme is also beginning to roll out in key international territories.

The Bulldog-managed licensing campaign is building on the growing popularity of the beautiful 2D-3D animated series for pre-schoolers in which a little owl at the Forest Camp for Young Birds learns about friendship and self-belief among a diverse and delightful group of feathered creatures.

Season one airs on weekdays on Milkshake! in the UK. Season two is currently in development. Internationally, Odo has been sold to 145 countries and a large number of major broadcasters including Kika (Germany), RAI (Italy), ABC Kids (Australia), Canal+ (France), MiniMini+ (Poland), Warner Discovery (Latin America), Tencent (China), Knowledge Kids & TVO Kids (Canada) and many more. The show is already delivering very strong ratings across all the key channels on which it has launched.

Sophie Yates, Brand Manager at Bulldog Licensing, commented: “Warmth, humour and very engaging characters are combined with themes of creativity, imagination, kindness and friendship in this winning and delightful TV series. Odo is enjoying a very strong response from broadcasters and viewers – and we have no doubt this appealing and original character will be equally popular with licensees.”

May, 2023
Magic Mixies the retail phenomenon is a licensing and broadcasting hit!

Bulldog Licensing and Moose Toys announce success across licensing categories and on screen

Bulldog Licensing, one of the licensing industry’s leading agencies, has announced major wins in licensing, broadcasting and at retail for Moose Toys’ Magic Mixies.

New product launches and continuing success for both product sales and the new-to-Netflix kids’ show are boosting an already phenomenally successful brand, which continues to grow within and beyond the toy category – with more licensing extensions signed or on the way. At retail, nightwear pyjamas and onesies company Aykroyds TDP launched a successful range of kids’ nightwear through a number of retailers including George at Asda and Meanwhile Kokomo, a market leader in the UK health and beauty market, will be launching a number of Magic Mixies ranges, including a Bath Potion gift set and Popping Bath Crystals, at the end of this year.

New licensing activity continues apace. Leading housewares specialist DNC is planning a spring/summer 2024 launch for its range of insulated, reusable containers for healthy food and drink and the first publishing lines, from Curious Universe, will be joining the programme when they launch later in 2023. Bulldog is now in advanced discussion with a number of partners across secondary toy, arts and crafts and activity, publishing, home and further soft lines, with new announcements expected shortly. Bulldog and Moose Toys are building on Magic Mixies’ astonishing strength at retail, which saw it hit the Number One Property spot in the Special Feature Plush listings in 2022 while, in the same period, the Cauldron was Number One Best Selling Item in the Special Feature Plush listings. In fact, the Mixies property saw a staggering 92% growth year on year in 2022 and 2023 has seen further success.

The New Magic Colour Surprise Cauldron entered the Special Feature Plush listing at number 8 in its launch month of February. The property has also had two top ten items in the Playsets, Dolls and Collectibles year to date chart including Number Two Property in the Special Feature Plush list and Number Three Property in Playsets, Dolls and Collectibles. And now there’s a content series, which has already had 17.5 million views on YouTube to date; it launched globally on Netflix on 3 April. In the show the adventurous Sienna accidentally finds an entrance to a mystical world that is inhabited by magical creatures such as Mixies and Mixlings. This activity builds on the incredible success of the Magic Mixies toys range, which all began with the Magic Mixies Cauldron. This special toy comes with a spell book and everything else needed to mix a potion to create an interactive magical Mixie pet. It has been a runaway hit since launch, both in its own right and as inspiration for licensed products.

Sophie Yates, Brand Manager at Bulldog Licensing, commented: “Magic Mixies is the latest Moose Toys original brand to take off beyond the toy aisle – and already one of the biggest. Its entertainment and licensing extensions have translated into incredible sales and helped fuel growth for the property. We’re looking forward to many more announcements in 2023.”

Lucy Wynn-Jones, Licensing Director at Moose Toys, added: “ We’re delighted with the phenomenal growth in popularity of the Magic Mixies brand. With retail demand still high, a hit streaming show and discussions under way with a number of potential partners about licensing in ever-more diverse categories, this is going to be a very busy year!”

May, 2023
Bulldog Licensing announces partnership with PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS

Video game phenomenon will be licensed across multiple categories

Bulldog Licensing, one of the licensing industry’s leading agencies, has been appointed to represent PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS, the genre-defining battle royale game from leading global game company KRAFTON.

In PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS, up to 100 participants parachute onto strategic locations in a winner-takes-all showdown. Survivors must locate and scavenge their own weapons, vehicles, and supplies, and defeat other players in a visually and tactically rich battleground. PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS is free on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox Series X|S and PS5.

When PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS launched into Steam Early Access in 2017, it popularized the battle royale game genre. Before going free-to-play, the game has sold more than 75 million copies across PC and consoles, making it one of the best-selling games of all time. Its popularity has led to in-game collaborations and brand promotions in partnership with famous football players like Son Heung-min and Neymar Jr, actors like Don Lee, and pop stars like BLACKPINK, as well as major football clubs like Liverpool FC and vehicle and motorcycle brands like Maserati and Maclaren.

Now the brand has appointed Bulldog Licensing to build on the massive awareness of this multi-billion-dollar brand and develop licensed merchandise for the European market in several categories, including adult apparel, collectibles, gifts, novelties, accessories, housewares, publishing and, of course, game peripherals.

Bulldog Licensing Group MD Rob Corney says: “PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS is a video game like no other, defining a genre and gaining a devoted following and near-legendary status in only a few years. This is the perfect time to build on the stratospheric awareness of the brand as its fans seek out PUBG-branded merchandise to underline their devotion to this ground-breaking game.”

May, 2023

New content and consumer product launches feed the Care Bears’ growing performance in the UK at retail and in online commerce, as well as on TV, YouTube, and social media

Cloudco Entertainment, owner of the Care Bears™ franchise, is proud to announce six all-new animated Care Bears: Unlock the Magic specials set to air on Narrative Entertainment’s commercial children’s channel, Tiny Pop, as well as four new UK-based consumer product licensees. These additions provide further momentum to a brand already experiencing huge growth across all channels and audiences, on TV, in retail, on social media and YouTube, and across audiences of all demographics and genres.

Launched to great fanfare on free-to-air broadcasters Tiny Pop and POP in 2019, Care Bears: Unlock the Magic, will soon add six all-new animated specials to its existing Care Bears content slate, the first of which, “Grumpy’s Ginormous Adventure,” is set to premiere on Tiny Pop on May 20, 2023. The debut of the other specials will be announced shortly, with all of them leaning into bigger, more “theatrical” stories from the Care Bears while nonetheless remaining true to the look and style of the animated TV series on which they are based.

The success of the new Care Bears animated series has helped spark growing fan engagement of the Care Bears brand in the UK. From a good base in 2019, retail sales of Care Bears in the UK have grown 894% to the end of 2022, with further growth forecast in 2023 and notably brisk momentum across high street, grocery, and fast fashion. Capitalizing on that interest, Bulldog Licensing, Care Bears’ UK agent, has recently signed new brand partners, including Gibson’s Games for jigsaw puzzles, Flamingo Candles for candles, Pawprint Trading for pin badges and embroidered badges, and Famous Forever for apparel such as t-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts.  These new partners join a family of strongly performing UK Care Bears partners that include Fizz (gifting), Somerbond (loungewear and nightwear), Basic Fun! (toys, plush, and collectibles), Bioworld (clothes, bags, gifts, and accessories), Dennicci (infant and babywear), and many others.

The Care Bears also recently marked their 40th anniversary and had a strong brand presence at the most recent MegaCon. Those experiences, combined with a YouTube Channel that has recently surpassed 175 million views, collectively demonstrate that Care Bears is a brand that captivates its existing fans while simultaneously appealing strongly to the next generation.

“We’re thrilled to announce that the first of six brand-new Care Bears: Unlock the Magic 22’ specials. This fresh content continues the Care Bears’ commitment to promoting empathy and positivity, but also showcases a ton of (perhaps unexpected!) wild fantasy, humor, and fun.” said Sean Gorman, President of Cloudco Entertainment. “We’ve always promoted The Care Bears as the rare commercial brand that’s also authentically caring, sharing, and emotionally impactful.”


May, 2023
Bulldog Licensing announces another strong line-up of brands for Vegas

Adventure, magic, friendship, classics and much moreBulldog Licensing on Twitter: "New at the Shopville grocery store ...

Bulldog Licensing, one of the licensing industry’s leading agencies, has announced its plans for the Las Vegas Licensing Expo 2023*. Bulldog will be promoting yet another strong line-up of brands, headlined by such world-beating names as classic property Care Bears, toy phenomenon Magic Mixies, international hit pre-school TV show Odo, top-rating kids’ superhero brand Miraculous, the iconic Me to You character brand, and evergreen hit Sesame Street.

Care Bears celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2022 with multiple fashion and food collaborations which were excitedly received by fans young and old alike. Cloudco Entertainment, owner of the Care Bears™ franchise, has been able to announce that, from a good base in 2019, retail sales of Care Bears in the UK have grown 894% to the end of 2022, with further strong growth expected in 2023. Sales continue to be phenomenally strong across high street, grocery and fast fashion. As Care Bears’ UK agent, Bulldog Licensing has recently welcomed a wide range of partners that include Gibsons Games for jigsaw puzzles, Flamingo Candles for candles, Pawprint Trading for pin badges and embroidered badges, and Famous Forever for apparel including t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts. These partners are joining a flourishing licensing programme for one of the world’s best-known and best-loved family brands which sees huge retail traction across multiple categories ranging from Basic Fun’s top-selling plush line, through to apparel, accessories and homewares lines, making Care Bears one of the must-have brands in the UK.

Magic Mixies, the brand inspired by the award-winning and muti-million-selling Magic Mixies Cauldron, continues its unstoppable growth. The cauldron, which is used to create an interactive magical Mixie pet, has been a runaway hit since launch, both in its own right and as inspiration for licensed products. The Magic Mixies Mixlings collectable, featuring 40+ characters in cauldron vessels with wands and magical features, launched in the UK in May 2022 selling nearly 100,000 Mixlings in the first three months. Webisodes launched alongside the collectable featuring both Magic Mixies and Mixlings, building out the magical world of Mixia for fans. Originally launched on YouTube and Kidoodle, they are now available on Netflix. Bulldog and brand owner Moose Toys are building on Magic Mixies’ astonishing strength at retail, most recently in categories that include nightwear, health and beauty, and lunchware , and are now in advanced discussion with a number of partners across secondary toy, arts and crafts, publishing, home and soft lines, with new announcements expected shortly.

Odo is a beautiful 2D-3D animated series for pre-schoolers in which a little owl at the Forest camp for Young Birds learns about friendship and self-belief among a diverse and delightful group of feathered creatures. Internationally, Odo has been sold to 145 countries and many major broadcasters including Kika (Germany), RAI (Italy), ABC Kids (Australia), Canal+ (France), MiniMini+ (Poland), Warner Discovery (Latin America), Tencent (China), Knowledge Kids & TVO Kids (Canada) and many more. Season one airs weekdays on Milkshake in the UK while season two has been commissioned and is currently in development. The first two English-language Odo book titles from master publisher Macmillan were published in March 2023 and one – Super Owl – was included in the Milkshake Mornings live readings of books for kids at Parkdean Resorts, the UK’s largest holiday park operator. Best-in-class partners signed by Bulldog for the Odo UK licensing programme including master toy partner Wow Stuff, Poetic Brands, RJ Bags, Roy Lowe and Rainbow Productions.

Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir is a globally popular animated television show focusing on the lives of Marinette and Adrien, two outwardly ordinary teens living in Paris who transform into the superheroes Ladybug and Cat Noir to protect the streets of Paris from the evil Hawkmoth. Airing on Disney+, POP and Netflix, Miraculous is consistently one of the top shows for POP. Season five is currently available on Disney+ while season four is airing on POP. Two extended-episode specials have aired to date; both were number one ratings hits when aired on POP. Miraculous is also popular for gaming. The console game Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx launched last year becoming the #1 international title for the publisher, and the #2 title in the US. And the Roblox game Miraculous RP: Ladybug and Cat Noir, has had over 500 million plays and is the #1 brand for engagement on the platform. With over $1 billion+ in retail sales, Miraculous has already notched up more than 29 million subscribers across social media and over 35 billion views on YouTube. Playmates Toys is the brand’s master toy partner together with ZAG, with distribution by Bandai in the UK. Miraculous-inspired toys continue to see strong sales and growth year on year. This is supported by a cross-category licensing programme including apparel, accessories, health and beauty, games and homewares.

It was late in 2022 that Carte Blanche Greetings, best known for the award-winning Me to You brand, its signature character Tatty Teddy and the nursery property Tiny Tatty Teddy, announced a partnership with Bulldog Licensing. Since 2001 Carte Blanche has partnered with best-in-class licensees to bring to market best-selling Me to You products across many categories including apparel, print on demand, food, gifting and nursery – selling 19 million products worldwide in 2022 alone. Now Bulldog plans to take the extraordinary reach of this brand to the next level. Achieving around $200m in retail sales value each year, Tatty Teddy is already one of the most popular character brands on the market and has a full, cross-category licensing programme reaching ladies, children and infant markets.

Hit pre-school brand Sesame Street is a key focus for Bulldog in the UK, on behalf of non-profit organisation Sesame Workshop, and the agency has announced new deals for the popular brand as Sesame Street continues to grow its presence on screen, on digital and at UK retail. New launches in the wellness and homeware categories, as well as Just Play’s successful high-quality toy range, designed to support children’s learning and development, have been boosted by Sesame Street’s hugely successful and growing presence on Tiny Pop, the UK’s number one commercial channel for pre-schoolers. There are now six Sesame Street programmes on the channel, all of which regularly top the viewing charts.In addition, Sesame Street Mecha Builders, airing on Milkshake – the UK’s leading commercial kids’ block – and a wildly successful YouTube channel make Sesame Street one of the UK’s must-have brands, both for the pre-school market and an adult fan market brought up on one of the first – and best –engaging educational shows.

Bulldog Licensing Group MD Rob Corney says: “It’s been another busy year for Bulldog Licensing as we build on established hits and continue to grow new favourites. From adventure and magic to comedy and classics, we think we have a lot to offer would-be partners across a wide range of kids’ and family brands.”

*To organise meetings and discuss opportunities during the Las Vegas Licensing Expo 2023, please email Bulldog Licensing Group MD Rob Corney

Apr, 2023
Bulldog announces new Sesame Street deals as TV presence grows

Kids’ wellness and homeware products join new toy range at retail

Bulldog Licensing, the leading licensing agency which represents Sesame Street in the UK on behalf of non-profit organization Sesame Workshop, has announced new deals for the much-loved brand as Sesame continues to grow its presence on screen, on digital and at UK retail. Two of the newest launches – in the wellness and homeware categories – underline the diverse appeal of the brand. Supreme Imports, a leading name in the wellness market, has launched a Sesame Street range through its Sealions brand of kids’ multivitamins. Containing eight essential nutrients, these gummies are sugar-free and vegan-friendly, with a delicious natural raspberry flavour little ones will love. The Sealions range is now available on the company’s website.

Meanwhile GHS Studio, one of Europe’s leading designers, manufacturers and distributors of upholstered furniture, is planning a range of kids’ beanbag sofas and chairs, homeware and onesies all decorated with your favourite Sesame Street characters, which will be launching later this year. And of course, the first products from the new Sesame Street master toy partner Just Play are now flying off the shelves of major retail outlets, including Smyths and The Entertainer.One of these high-quality toys – designed to support children’s learning and development – recently starred in the window of Hamley’s Regent Street store in London: the delightful Potty Time Elmo, an interactive kids’ plush toy that helps little ones to learn healthy habits. Sesame Street fans visiting Hamley’s were treated to free character soft toys and cookies when Elmo dropped in to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day on Friday the 17th of February.

This strong retail and licensing performance comes at a time when Sesame Street programming is enjoying a hugely successful and growing presence on Tiny Pop, the UK’s number one commercial channel for pre-schoolers. There are now six shows featuring on the channel: Cookie Monster’s Foodie Truck, Elmo’s World, Super Grover 2.0, Cookie’s Crumby Pictures, Smart Cookies and Elmo and Tango’s Mysterious Mysteries, with four of these formats ranking as Tiny Pop’s top performing titles last year, helping to continue the stellar growth of the brand.

And Sesame Street’s digital content is also boosting brand awareness: its YouTube channel has an incredible 94 million annual views in the UK and Ireland, totalling over eight million hours watched, while the brand has over one million UK followers on social media. The incredible availability of Sesame Street content, which also now boasts Sesame Workshop’s Mecha Builders, airing on Milkshake, acts alongside the heavyweight marketing support of Just Play’s master toy programme and a rapidly growing licensed product offering at all major retailers, to make Sesame Street one of the UK’s must-have pre-school brands. Sesame Street is one of the best-known and best-loved children’s brands in the world, engaging fans of all ages while delivering on its mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder.

Bulldog Licensing Group MD Rob Corney says: “The strength of Sesame Street both at retail and on TV is a testament to its continuing relevance and enduring appeal across multiple generations. As more youngsters discover this wonderful brand, we expect to see an even stronger retail presence in the UK for Sesame Street in the coming years.”

Apr, 2023
Catch up with Two Daughters Entertainment and Bulldog for all things Moley!

Can you tell us a little about Two Daughters Entertainment? (They’re clearly expanding – I see they have just appointed Finn Arnesen as COO).
Two Daughters Entertainment was founded by James Reatchlous, born out of the love he had for telling bedtime stories to his children. He wrote these stories down in journals, which his daughters later brought to him to lift his spirits during a lengthy hospital stay. This inspired the creation of Moley, the company’s first production. Featuring an all-star cast including Warwick Davis, Stanley Tucci, Jessica Henwick, Julie Walters and Gemma Arterton, Moley has been hugely successful and is now distributed in over 140 countries and 30 languages. It’s been a pleasure to see TDE grow. As you’ve mentioned, they’ve just brought Finn Arnesen on board as COO, who will bring years of experience in the kids and family entertainment world to the table. He previously spent 10 years at Hasbro Studios, where he oversaw the global expansion of properties like My Little Pony and Transformers, as well as 16 years at Cartoon Network, so it just goes to show the international level of ambition at TDE right now. Following the success of Moley, they’re now working on three new properties which will start rolling out soon.

What’s so special about Moley? How does this IP stand out in a crowded market? (It’s certainly got an all-star cast.)
Moley is a beautifully animated show with a fun storyline set in a unique environment, compelling characters and a world of adventure. The voice talent in the show is stellar, the scripting is superb and we’re seeing incredible levels of support from our media partners around the world. The brand has been conceptualised as a multi-media property with high levels of marketing investment both in physical and digital worlds, providing a huge platform from which the merchandise sales will build.

What has been the reaction to the series in the UK market?
We’ve had a phenomenal reaction to Moley from multiple partners. Initially our discussions are focused on master toy and publishing with a number of the industry’s leading partners looking to pitch.

In which categories do you think Moley could score big? Toys? Stationery? Publishing? Apparel? Food and Drink? Gaming?
Moley lends itself ideally to a full cross-category merchandise programme. There are amazing, interactive venues, vehicles and strong characters for our toy partners, great storylines and imagery for our publishing partners and an incredible styleguide for apparel, home and stationery partners. Upcycling is a major theme throughout the show with the inventor Mish Mosh creating all sorts of useful (and some less than useful!) items from discarded products and we intend to focus on this as a major theme in the development of STEM toys and opportunities which kids can explore in the world around them.

Can you share details of any collaborations currently in the works? Are any goods expected to hit retail in time for Christmas?
We’re in advanced discussions with a number of partners in both toy and publishing with expressions of interest across a very wide range of categories. From a UK perspective the show has been attracting good audiences on Boomerang who have been supporting the broadcast with an expansive marketing plan. It will launch on our free to air partner, Pop later this year and we are targeting a 2024 launch of our initial product lines. We are seeing similar successes in international territories with good viewership across the whole of EMEA on Boomerang and free to air partners such as Kika, who launched the show in December, will pre-empt the rollout of our related licensing programme.

Mar, 2023
How the classic Route 66 brand is revving up its UK licensing plans.

Synonymous with freedom, the open road and limitless adventure, Route 66 is a slice of Americana that’s recognised the world over. catches up with Job van Dijk, co-founder and managing director of boutique licensing company Tempting Brands – worldwide brand owner for ROUTE 66 – and Rob Corney, group managing director of Bulldog Licensing, about their plans to grow the brand in the UK market.

Can you tell us about the back story to Route 66? When did it become a lifestyle brand and how did you recognise that it had so much potential in that area?

JOB: It all started back in 1993 when I started a software company with the name ROUTE 66. I was contacted by a Dutchman by the name of Groeneveld, who said that I needed a license to sell ROUTE 66 software. We struck a licensing deal with him and stayed in contact ever since. In 2006 – he was in his early 60’s then – he contacted us to see if we would be interested in running the brand licensing business for ROUTE 66. We agreed, and that is how Tempting Brands was born in 2008. With the ambition to do brands that are well known to the general public simply because the name is well known and has a good vibe to the target audience. Meanwhile, our longest running ROUTE 66 licensee is for sunglasses with Primetta GmbH, a daughter company of well-known UVEX.  Primetta is now in its 27th year of ROUTE 66 sunglasses and is still setting record sales year after year. And next to ROUTE 66 which is so incredibly well known whether you ask someone in the UK, in China or India, we meanwhile have also launched Marie-Antoinette and Hi Puppy. 

Why do you think Route 66 has such strong potential in the apparel sector? Is there a particular demographic it ‘speaks’ to – Gen X? Millennials, Gen Z? Male/female? Or a particular sector it sits well in? What are you looking for in future apparel partners?

JOB: ROUTE 66 is a timeless, ageless brand for men and women alike. The versatility of ROUTE 66 assists our licensees in leveraging the consumer audience in a dynamic market where something can become trendy and old fashioned overnight. Our currents partners in Europe covering products like cosmetics, apparel or eyewear branded products are renowned companies with broad distribution and well considered products and marketing strategies. For our future partners in the UK, we would love to find a strong partner who can bring ROUTE 66 basic clothing items to the UK. Those products are currently sold by European retailers in millions of units.

The Route 66 brand is just starting out its journey in the UK, but it’s been hugely successful elsewhere. Can you tell us a little about your highlights in international markets?

JOB: Our longest running ROUTE 66 licensee is for sunglasses. Primetta GmbH, a daughter company of well-known UVEX.  Primetta is now in its 27th year of ROUTE 66 sunglasses and is still setting record sales year after year. ROUTE 66 sunglasses can be found in any gas station in Germany. We have another long-lasting partnership for sunglasses and readers that we are very proud and which will soon reach its 15th year anniversary. FGX, part of Essilor-Luxotica, has made available in European gas stations and retailers, a ROUTE 66 eyewear collection designed in Italy. The ROUTE 66 brand has done extremely well for more than a decade at K-MART in the US where more than 600 different ROUTE 66 items were sold. We also currently have great DTR relationships with Woolworth in Germany and with TEDi throughout Europe for a wide range of products. Another highlight is the presence of ROUTE 66 fragrances in personal care retailers like DM, Rossmann, Muller and BIPA in 20+ countries. Together provide distribution of the brand to more than 13,000 points-of-sale throughout Europe.

Can you tell us why you think Route 66 is such a powerful brand, and why you wanted to take it on? How does it ‘sit’ in the Bulldog portfolio? And how do you see it developing in the UK market?

ROB : Bulldog has always represented a wide range of brands from our market-leading baby brand That’s not my… through to brands for all ages such as Care Bears and Sesame Street. On the non-character side of the business, we felt Route 66 had a huge opportunity to establish a permanent space in the UK fashion market before extending across areas including home, stationery, gift and HBA. The brand is already a huge hit on apparel and we’re now expanding into these additional markets.

You’ve recently secured partnerships in the apparel area with licensees including Brand Alliance and Roy Lowe. Can you tell us a little about those deals? And are any other partnerships in the pipeline you can let us in on.

ROB: The apparel ranges from Brand Alliance have been a huge hit, which is no surprise when you look at the success of Route 66 in other territories. From grocery to high street and fast fashion, we’re seeing huge sales every single quarter and the commitment continues to build despite the obvious market challenges right now. Roy Lowe are in initial sell-in now but we’re expecting to see similarly great results when their socks hit the market – in Germany alone, the brand sees sales of 7m pairs of socks annually so there’s great potential for this agreement here. Partnerships in other categories are in the works now and we’re in advanced discussions in areas including stationery, home and gift so watch this space for more announcements soon.

Can you tell us a little about the resources/style guide you have available for the brand?

JOB: The ROUTE 66 Style Guide is objectively a remarkable collection of our finest artworks. Famous meanwhile for its breath of materials and the fact that we print the over 400 page book, the guide has been developed starting with 2008 and refreshed periodically. We have our own team of designers who are working hard to bring together a rich content to satisfy all tastes. From hundreds of ROUTE 66 shield variations and sophisticated calligraphed phrases to unique vintage and authentic compositions – every style is in! To get the latest trends in and keep the hype up, we update our comprehensive guides every 2 years and provide access not just to the last Style Guide but also to every previous guide that we published.

The next year is going to be tricky for manufacturers/suppliers/retailers – are you adopting any strategies in the face of economic uncertainty?

JOB: Our strategy to deal with these challenging circumstances have already been set in motion early on during the pandemic. We are seeking distribution of non-food items with food retailers to make sure that distribution is uninterrupted by lockdowns. We’re also well underway to sign up DTR’s with mass market retailers for not just one product category but a wide range of product categories. This way, we become less vulnerable for lockdowns and ups and downs in particular product categories. Another step we’ve already taken is to improve the overall flow of our licensing activities. Product approvals, artwork deliveries or product concept development are all handled with the goal of reducing time to market in mind. We have succeeded to reach our goal being a responsive and flexible licensor.

ROB : Undoubtedly there are significant headwinds going into 2023, but despite this, brands with a strong track record will always bring with them opportunities. The launch of our Route 66 ranges so far have proven to be phenomenally popular with both men and women and, whilst we can see that the market generally is likely to see some contraction in the next year, Route 66 provides a safe opportunity for buyers to back so we are expecting to see continued growth on this brand.


Mar, 2023
Bulldog and Home Leisure Direct hit a Bullseye!

Exclusive launch event is a huge success for Bullseye and Mind

Bulldog Licensing, one of the licensing industry’s leading agencies, are proud to announce the success of an exclusive launch event on behalf of Home Leisure Direct, the UK’s premier games room retailer. Specialising in the finest and highest quality products from pool table to pinball machines, Home Leisure Direct, have an unrivalled reputation for being the best in the market. Their new Augmented Reality Bullseye Darts Game and Bullseye App were presented to visitors and professional players alike at PDC – Cazoo World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palance between 15th December 2022 and 3rd January 2023. Allowing over 3,900 attendees to throw some flights outside of viewing the Championship competition, the launch raised an impressive £7,322 for Home Leisure Direct’s charity partner, Mind – which makes a huge difference in the lives of those suffering from mental health and mental well-being issues.

Augmented Reality (AR) darts systems are taking the UK by storm and providing a whole new interactive level to the darts game. The games system features true-to-life darts, trivia rounds, rotating star prizes from Bully’s prize board and full commentary and scoring by Richard Ashdown from Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow, the Bullseye Edition. There were 906 lucky players at the launch event who won more than 101 or more points with six darts against Round 3 of the Bullseye AR Dart game. They were then entered into a prize draw to win a full home darts set including a Unicorn Bluetooth Smartboard dartboard, Bullseye surround, 40” Samsung TV, Samsung Galaxy A7 tablet, two sets of Bully darts, a Bullseye Oche Mat and a year’s full subscription to the Bullseye Mobile Game app launching this month. The app is ideal for players who can’t get enough of the AR game at their local venue. Players can download the game and play through the whole thing twice for free, before subscribing with a monthly cost of just £2.99 to play the entire game show from the comfort of their own home. Home Leisure Direct are also looking to roll out online play as a free upgrade to enable friends and online competitors to play against each other and attempt to reach the top of the Bully scoreboard.

Rob Corney, Managing Director of Bulldog Licensing said of the exclusive event: “We couldn’t be happier for Home Leisure Direct and for Mind. The money we raised is for such a good cause, and the new Augmented Reality Bullseye Darts Game and Bullseye App look spectacular fun!”