Spielwarenmesse: Global Licensing Trends 2020: Russia, Germany

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Lizenztrends weltweit 2020: Russland, Deutschland
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Global Licensing Trends 2020: Russia, Germany

from Spielwarenmesse eG

Which licences work in which country? This is the big question for manufacturers and distributors. With a little background information, licensees and purchasers can evaluate the different licensing markets better. Spielwarenmesse® joins forces with editors in chief and publishers from the specialist licensing press to present the trends for 2020.


Licensing Trends in Russia

in cooperation with Francesca Ash, Publisher

Total Licensing

Russia is the 15th largest licensing market in the world now, despite being a relatively young market. It is only 20 years since licensing began in Russia.

Growing interest in brand and sports licenses

Entertainment licensing still leads the way in the market. However, as a result of the success of the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and the 2019 FIFA World Cup more interest is being shown in brand and sports licenses as these events succeeded in bringing new companies into the marketplace. Automotive licensing is also growing in popularity as is brand licensing in general, as well as art and heritage and museum licensing, both of which are showing very promising signs of growth and generating substantial interest.

Masha and the Bear paved the way for Russian properties

The fixies by Аeroplan Productions

The global success of Masha and the Bear from Animaccord has led to further international success for Russian properties: Kikoriki is one of the longest running children’s properties, the Fixies is currently the leading property amongst boys aged 4 to 10, Moonzy and Kid-E-Cats all becoming more and more accepted in overseas markets, as well as being popular in their home market. Other properties enjoying success in Russia include Fantasy Patrol and Be-Be-Bears from 0+, The Snow Queen, The Three Bogatyrs and Golden Collection and other brands from Soyuzmultfilm, the largest Soviet Union animation studio.

Masha and the Bear paved the way for Russian properties

Overseas entertainment properties that are popular in Russia include Princesses, Cars and other Disney Properties including Star Wars, Paw Patrol and teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Nickelodeon, Winx from Rainbow, Robocar POLI from Roi Visual in Korea and Minions. On the brand side, football clubs such as Spartak, CSKA and Zenith all have licensing programmes as well as Chupa Chups, Pepsi and Discovery.

All in all, the market for licensed merchandise is growing substantially in Russia with popularity spread fairly evenly amongst home-grown and international brands.


Licensing Trends in Germany

in cooperation with Fred Göpfardt, Publisher and Editor in Chief

Licensing Press

Compared to other countries, the German market always seems to function a little differently, i.e. it is rather more conservative and traditional. Themes usually need longer to take hold here. Fast trends and hype only work on rare occasions.

Comeback of the classics

It tends to be the classic licensing themes that are registering more of a comeback. Consumers also like to put their trust in home-grown and local themes. It is the things that parents remember and love from their own childhood that they want to pass on to the next generation. Demand is also rather subdued when it comes to the integration of technical frills and apps to extend and deepen the playing experience. The gaming themes that have been riding high in markets abroad have, for a long time now, been less in demand than you would expect, at least as far as “shoot-em-up games” are concerned.

Baby Shark by Pinkfong

Social media channels as a cradle for new licensing themes

One thing is clear: social media channels are gaining in significance. Examples like the Baby Shark video on YouTube make this apparent. It has had more than 3.8 billion views to date – not counting any of the remakes – and the brand is now also establishing itself in the merchandising realm.

Scope for variation of license characters

The range of themes seems to be simply endless. And many of them are interchangeable in certain respects. Unicorns in all variations, superheroes and princesses... First the theme is yellow, then black again, a little bit pink and, in between all that, multicoloured. So, back to our roots: tradition and educational value are attractive. There is a fondness for using these buzzwords in advertising in Germany; it’s what the conservatively inclined German consumer wants to hear. Sustainability and authenticity fall into the same category. Really important!


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the Licensing partners and do not necessarily reflect the views of Spielwarenmesse eG.

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