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Monday, 23 November 2009

Coming together for Children in Need

By now, many of you, especially in the UK, will have seen the extravaganza that is Peter Kay’s single aimed at raising money for Children in Need 2009, The Official BBC Children in Need Medley, from his Animated All Star Band.
The single is a medley of songs including Can You Feel It by The Jacksons, Never Forget by Take That, Tubthumping by Chumawamba and Hey Jude by The Beatles. It took 132 hours to mix the vocals of the seven different songs included, with the project taking around two years to complete.
The remarkable thing from a licensing point of view is the sheer number of characters that are singing together, complete with the original voice actors. Over 100 animated characters appear, with all companies involved waiving their right to a fee in support of Children in Need, with all money raised going to organisations working with disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.
One can only imagine the feat it was to bring all these characters together, and the companies involved are in deserve of full praise.
Some of the characters involved include Bob the Builder, Paddington Bear, Angelina Ballerina, Pingu, Sooty, Bagpuss, Thunderbirds, Muffin the Mule, Thomas the Tank Engine, Peppa Pig, and the video plays out as a who’s who of children’s entertainment, old and new.
Well done to all involved!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Leading the way

Yet again, Total Licensing was leading the way into overseas markets as the only international licensing magazine to have a presence at the Dubai Character and Licensing Fair, held last week.
The show, held alongside the Dubai Games Expo, again proved that the Middle East has not only a growing creative industry but a significantly growing and sophisticated licensing industry based on local, as well as international characters.

Last year’s inaugural show was a deal struck between NestlĂ© and Tashkeel – owners of The 99 – for over a million dollars. This year, two major deals were signed at the show. The first was signed between Emari Toons, one of the regions biggest animation studios, and Speedy Productions from South Africa. The deal surrounds the South African company’s Know Your Nation – a series of two minute animated series which Emari Toons will produce 100 for each of the 22 Arab League nations.

Another major signing involved Lammtara and their Freej characters. Lammtara signed a strategic alliance with Al Hokair Group to launch the first of six themed merchandise areas in shopping malls throughout Saudi Arabia.

All told, the exhibition and attendant conference again provided a valuable snapshot of the industry in a rapidly emerging region. We’ve said, time and time again, that you can only understand a a country or a region by visiting it, talking to people and listening to what makes a market tick. That’s why we, and of course the magazine, have been at events around the world over the last twelve months and why we will continue to be there.