Another year, another licensing industry temperature check courtesy of the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. Our 2017 pilgrimage (and the show as a whole) was more intense, focused, and efficient, revealing quite a few useful nuggets of information to roll around in our collective studio noggin as we move through the coming months. Some trends we noticed:
1. Big brands such as Universal, Sony, Mattel, Disney, Cartoon Network, and Beanstalk are still ruling the roost for now, but smaller, spunkier powerhouses like MGAE, EOne, and Brand Central are creeping in on their territory.
2. VR was making a big and important splash with major properties like Ghostbusters creating immersive experiences.
3. International brands, especially those from China, are more present than ever.
4. As one might expect, the presence of streaming services like Netflix and YouTube at the show directly mirrors their ever-expanding influence over the entertainment industry.
5. Asian-pop-art-inspired brands have hit a saturation point.
6. Everyone loves a seven-foot-tall stuffed animal.