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Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Positive response from Vegas

Now the jetlag has finally faded, time to reflect on the the recent Licensing Show, held for the first time in the Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas.
Obviously it is too early to tell how much business the show generated, but suffice to say, aside from the occasional grumble about the location, layout, etc, the industry threw itself into the new location and, on the whole, triumphed. One thing about this industry is the enthusiasm from individuals that comes across so clearly.
The trend many people noticed is that classics continue to reign, which is a sign of the times of course. Tried and trusted brands and characters, with known staying power, are much less of a risk, as we wade through the much-discussed credit-crunch. Evergreen properties can be seen as a safer bet, and there’s no harm in that. The film industry capitalized on this many years ago, remaking much-loved classics to varying successes. That said, we noticed a fair amount of the new and bold at 2009’s show that is definitely worth keeping an eye on. Have a look at this week’s Total Licensing Report for our and Licensing Book’s in-depth news from the show.
It was great to see names that had been absent from the industry make a return. Kenny Viselman debuted his new Oogieloves movie projects at a cocktail party, Vegas-style, and Fred Gaffney made a welcome return after a couple of years. Total Licensing saw some of its favourite characters such as Betty Boop, Heathcliff, Daktari and Tintin enjoy a resurgence.
We were also lucky enough to meet with and interview the legendary Tony Curtis, whom we featured in the summer issue of Total Licensing, and who is a very charming chap, full of enthusiasm for the show despite being there on his birthday. (Pictured above with star-struck editor, Rebecca Ash.)
Las Vegas provided a colourful backdrop for the show. Some people were seeing it with fresh eyes, some had been frequent visitors. And what a city it is. Everywhere you look, there is something to entertain. From the flashing lights to the grandeur of the hotels, from the pirate battles and volcano to the splendour of the Belaggio fountains, it is quite a spectacle. The dates for next year’s show have already been announced – the 8 – 10 June 2010.
What outcomes emerge from the show still remain to be seen, but we would like to congratulate everyone who participated, exhibiting and visiting, for shining in uncertain times.