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· Six finalists advance to compete in the final hosted live at Licensing Expo on May 25
· A winner will be selected from each category: Character & Animation and Brand & Design
· Registered participants can come along and view the pitches in person – register for free here
Las Vegas, NV (Thursday, April 21) – Licensing Expo, a must-attend trade show produced in partnership with industry trade association Licensing International that is slated to take place May 24-26 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, celebrates the six finalists selected to advance to the final round of the License This! Competition. The judging panel comprising nine senior-level experts from across the licensing industry nominated three finalists per category – Characters & Animation and Brand & Design – to present on-stage in front of a live audience and esteemed panel of judges and compete for the prestigious grand prize package.
Registered Licensing Expo participants are encouraged to attend the live finale held in the Licensing U theater located on the show floor on Wednesday, May 25, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. for a preview of the industry’s emergent creatives, designers, and animators. The License This! Competition’s final presentations will also be accessible on-demand via the event’s platform.
Finalists for the 2022 competition, sponsored by Flowhaven, include:
Character & Animation
· I want to be a baller-ina – Finalist Cherie Mays
Tina the Baller-ina is a storybook character that loves to play basketball but is good at ballet. She would rather play than do pirouettes. She is confident and is always helping out her friends find their confidence and positivity in anything they can be great at. Despite others’ expectations of them.
· Sunny The Apathetic Bunny – Finalist Claire Schechinger
Sunny The Apathetic Bunny is a sometimes sarcastic introvert with a heart of gold (most of the time) who appears to care only about his phone, food, and sometimes his friends. Sound like anyone you know?
· Catoms: Atoms with Attitude – Finalist Kieche Meleson O'Connell
I took the periodic table and made each element into a cat that represents its unique scientific qualities in the form of coat patterns, superpowers, and personalities. The Catoms universe offers fun stories where the characters take you through the mysterious and often invisible world of chemistry but from the Catom’s point of view. Catoms are essentially edutainment. The characters and stories are engaging but based on scientific fact, so they are indirectly teaching real science.
Brand & Design
· Game Toy – Finalist Alexandre Silva
The character is a video game controller with a body. It can be any character, license, or brand. It can be replicated and edited to talk to all audiences, especially Geeks and Gamers.
· Monsters & Martians – Finalist Ken Reil
Weird. Diabolical. Wicked Sick. Twisted. These words have been used to describe our vision for art. Monsters and Martians is lowbrow monster and alien art. With a psychobilly, rockabilly, and horror punk flair that merges for an unusual take on art and popular monster culture. From freaked-out zombies to sexy tattoo pinups, they were influenced by the early pop Kustom Kulture scene of the 1950s and 1960s. Mixed with today's goth aesthetic of dark arts and anything horror, you have our edgy collection of custom content. Wild, wacky, and way off absurd, you will find us creating it.
· Hunnie Bumble and Friends – Finalist Stefanie Leigh Schultz
Hunnie Bumble is a whimsical queen bee who lives in a colorful world comfortably far from our own reality -- along with her husband "Hubbie Bumble" and all of their friends. Buzzing with adorable antics, absurdly zany humor, and with new friends being introduced all the time, Hunnie Bumble and Friends will always keep it cute, adventurous, and zany on the countless adventures to be had -- from cooking and hide-and-go-seek, all the way to skydiving, rock climbing, spelunking... and whatever else they feel like in the next five minutes!
Stefanie Leigh Schultz commented, “I could not be more excited to be named a finalist for the License This! Competition. Hunnie Bumble and Friends is a character brand overflowing with heart and humor, involving the antics and adventures of a quirky queen bumblebee and all of her friends, who live in a world comfortably far from our own reality – but who also will, through adorable comics, animations, and products, influence our own world, by cultivating the mounting interest that eco-friendliness is already generating in most marketplaces, and driving such an overwhelming demand for sustainable products and practices that it becomes easier and easier to be green – and easier on pocketbooks, too!"
Kieche Meleson O'Connell stated, "I am so excited to be a finalist in the License This! competition. I’m really looking forward to meeting industry leaders in the toy and animation space and love the prospect of developing strong partnerships to help bring my characters and stories to market. There are so many fun brands and companies to see in one place, I feel like a kid in a candy store."
Ken Reil said, "We are excited to have been chosen a finalist for License This! 2022. The opportunity to learn from industry experts as we share our brand of horror art at the Licensing Expo is going to be a rush."
“Congratulations to our finalists, each of which stood out amongst this year’s strong pool of entrants for their elevated ideas that carry immense brand extension potential across multiple categories,” said Amanda Cioletti, Vice President, Content and Strategy, License Global, and Chair of the Judges. “We look forward to an exciting finale on May 25 as our finalists take the stage after refining their pitch in the weeks leading up to live final round.”
Flowhaven, an end-to-end solution that manages and scales complex licensing programs, serves as the Competition’s sponsor and brings valuable licensing relationship management insight to the judging panel. Timo Olkkola, Co-Founder, Flowhaven and sponsor judge of License This!, added, “This industry relies on creativity and fresh ideas that will spark excitement and emotion in consumers – each of the finalists uniquely achieved this and has the potential to become the next ‘IP to watch.’ Best of luck to each finalist!”
Each category winner will receive:
The judging panel comprises nine senior executives representing industry-leading brands, including License Global magazine, Flowhaven, Licensing International, Global Licensing Advisors, Boat Rocker Studio, PowerStation Studios, Redbubble, Lisa Mark Associates, and Product Counsel.
Industry press are encouraged to register for Licensing Expo and tune into the License This! Competition finale – the request form is accessible here.
For media information:
Lauren Lloyd, PR Director
About Licensing Expo
Launched in 1980, Licensing Expo is the world's largest and most influential annual tradeshow dedicated to licensing and brand extension. Every year, more than 5,000 brands and 16,000 retailers, licensees, manufacturers, distributors, and licensing agents attend Licensing Expo from more than 70 countries. Licensing Expo is a part of the Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets, the licensing industry's leading tradeshow organizer and media partner. Its mission is to provide licensing opportunities around the world by bringing brands and products together.
About Global Licensing Group
The Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets is the licensing industry’s leading tradeshow organizer and media partner. Its mission is to provide licensing opportunities around the world by bringing brands and products together. The following events and information products are produced for the licensing industry by the Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets: Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai, The Licensing Leadership Summit, License Global magazine, License Global Daily E-News and The Licensing Mixtape podcast. Global Licensing Group events are sponsored by Licensing International.
About Licensing International
Licensing International is the leading trade organization for the global licensing industry. Licensing International’s mission is to foster the growth and expansion of licensing around the world, raise the level of professionalism for licensing practitioners, and create greater awareness of the benefits of licensing to the business community at large. Founded in 1985, Licensing International members in over 40 countries enjoy access to an array of benefits, including extensive educational programming and worldwide networking events. Visit LicensingInternational.org for more information and to utilize licensing’s definitive online resource.