May 19, 2024

TDmonthly Magazine

June 2004 | Vol. III - No. 6

Licensing 2004 International Show

By Janie Franz
June 2004

The Licensing 2004 International Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City on June 8-10 is one of the biggest trade shows of the year. Here over 20,000 attendees from 72 countries have access to some of the most innovative merchandising ideas on the planet. The trade show floor hosts over 500 artists, manufacturers, and other creativity vendors displaying more than 5,500 products, including toys, food and beverages, entertainment, apparel, sports, and art and corporate brands.

For the toy and collectible retailer, this is the place to find the next big thing. Elizabeth Waiksnis, show manager, says, “The Licensing 2004 International Show is a connection for trend spotting. Unlike a toy fair that shows actual new products, the Licensing 2004 International Show offers concepts that create those products.”

Here the toy retailer can view brand-new characters or figures from a new film or new products related to a familiar brand name. For instance, Pop Tarts will be releasing Pop Tart makeup and Popscicle will launch a line of lipglosses.

“Licenser and licensee come together here,” Waiksnis says. “It’s almost like a crystal ball for retailers. They hold meetings with some of the licensors for exclusives and often will strike deals on the show floor.” These exclusives offer the retailer the right to sell a particular line of products only through their stores.

Currently, the trend is toward retro products, Waiksnis says. “The public is returning to classics like Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake. These brands are nostalgic and offer quality.” This may be a reflection of the economy or the fact that boomers are now influencing the toy market.

Licensed movie merchandise is still popular, she adds. “Manufacturers no longer wait for the release of the movie to develop new products. Merchandise is being thought of while the move is still being produced.” This was pivotal in the marketing strategy of Harry Potter and Star Wars products that hit stores just before the movie release dates.

Exhibitors at the Licensing 2004 International Show this year include artists and designers, publishers, Hollywood’s major studios (including Disney Studios and MGM), Fortune 500 brands, and some non-profits. Elvis Presley Enterprises, Coca Cola, and Nickelodeon have expanded their exhibit space this year.

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