Licensing International Expo Preview: Paris Hilton, Barbie, John Wayne, Led Zeppelin Products Among New Offerings


More than 6,000 brands will be on display at the event, which kicks off June 14 in Las Vegas.

Beanstalk, a global brand licensing agency, will be promoting clients including Tutera, who just signed a multiyear extension to continue doing My Fair Wedding for WeTV: and Hilton, whose reality show The World According to Paris premieres Wednesday night on Oxygen.

Tutera is expanding his Wedding-themed merchandise lines. He recently made a deal with Sears, which carries his line of jewelry and engagement rings. He does webisodes for Sears to explain how to pick just the right ring.

Daniel Levin, managing director of West Coast operations for Beanstalk, says Hilton has a "huge" deal with a Hong Kong manufacturer for a line of eyewear hitting in the fourth quarter across Asia and Australia.

Hilton will be seen working on developing her licensing business in an episode on Oxygen. "It shows her as a businesswoman and dispels the notion that Paris is just famous for being famous," said Todd Kaufman, manager of brand management for Beanstalk.

Rosa Zeegers, Mattel's senior vp global consumer products, said her company considers Licensing Expo the most important event of the year and will use it to share Mattel's vision about the changing way kids spend leisure time.

"We want to create the future of play," Zeegers said. "Playing with toys is now just one option. Licensing is now part of our core business."

Mattel will be talking about the 50th anniversary of the Ken doll (Barbie celebrated her 50th last year). Barbie and Ken will continue to get makeovers from designers like Diane von Furstenberg and Karl Lagerfeld, and the new dolls will be showcased on runways in Sao Paulo, Frankfurt and elsewhere.

Mattel also will push extensions of the Hot Wheels line and a hot new product line of dolls, toys and accessories based on the Monster High books that Mattel commissioned.

Skechers will be pushing its line of 3,000 kinds of shoes, according to senior vp Paul Flett, and will have a second booth for entertainment products like Zevo-3, an animated Nicktoons series based on characters that first appeared in Skechers commercials, and Twinkle Toes, a movie that will get a DVD release in September.

Flett says they start by giving comic books to kids who buy shoes, and when the characters catch on, a show is developed. Skechers will announce brand extensions into watches, apparel and more.

"We use licensing as a tool to build brand equity," Flett said. "We have gone from shoe biz to showbiz."

Flett credits the cartoons for boosting sales of children's shoes 36% in 2010.

Saban Brands, formed two years ago, will announce global expansion plans for the Power Rangers, the series reacquired from Disney about a year ago that airs on Nickelodeon.

Saban sends licensed characters to parades and events all over the world and has developed a program to empower children using the characters to provide pointers on physical fitness, diet and more.

"We're finding that these new access points allow us to connect with fans as we never could before," Saban Brands exec Elie Dekel said.

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