As bold as it might seem, calling YO-KAI WATCH a “phenomenon” in its native country of Japan is actually an understatement. The animated show, manga and video game property has reported more than $2 billion in licensed retail merchandise sales (excluding music, games and publishing) since its debut less than two years ago.

The YO-KAI WATCH™ series has been the top-rated animated show for kids ages 4 to 12 years old on TV TOKYO, and more than 8 million Nintendo 3DS™ video game units and 200 million Medals have been distributed in Japan. Earlier this year, Forbes dubbed YO-KAI WATCH “The New Pokémon” because of its sales numbers and broad appeal to children, especially boys.

With the brand’s proven track record in its homeland, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that its creators are hoping to duplicate its success. 


When Energizer comes to mind, most thoughts turn to the pink marching bunny that keeps going and going and going.  While the Energizer Bunny is our first association, consumers know that he won’t stop marching or beating that drum because he’s powered by long-lasting Energizer® batteries. Strong consumer confidence and trust has allowed Energizer to expand beyond its core categories of batteries and portable lights into a rapidly growing licensing program.

The Energizer brand has 98 percent global awareness thanks to its reliable products and recognizable Energizer Bunny mascot. Additionally, the company’s legacy brand, Eveready®, is known worldwide for providing families with value-driven quality solutions in power and light. Licensed products, like mobile accessories, portable power, household lighting, automotive batteries and accessories, have expanded the brand’s reach worldwide. “Just like the Energizer Bunny, our brands keep going,” Chief Consumer Officer Michelle Atkinson says. 


More than 50 years ago, Ivor “Buss” Allsop created the Ski Boot-In, which was a new and more effective means of drying ski boots. In time, the company that became Allsop Inc. added cleaning products for the burgeoning audio cassette and VCR market. Today, the company is known for its wide line of products that include mobile phone accessories, monitor stands, CD and DVD storage, and mousepads.

No matter what type of product it is, Allsop Inc. has developed it with an emphasis on solving a problem for the consumer in an innovative fashion. COO and Co-President Ryan Allsop says this has been the guiding principle of the company since 1965, and the current generation of family leadership is committed to following that principle. “Our strength is not me-too products and filling the pipeline; it’s about finding that product niche,” Allsop says. 


It’s good to have a property that appeals to everyone, and Electronic Arts (EA) Inc. and PopCap Games have captured a broad audience with their “Plants vs. Zombies” game. “We appeal to ages three to 103,” EA Senior Manager of Production Management and Brand Licensing Shana Doerr declares.

But the game’s battles with ghouls do not feature the same gory action featured on “The Walking Dead.” Instead, “It’s cartoon violence,” she asserts, comparing it to the classic Road Runner cartoons. “The zombies are constantly coming up with plans to get your brains, but they’re not so smart.”  


It isn’t difficult to find a Briggs & Stratton engine. The company is the world’s largest manufacturer of small engines and is chosen by eight out of 10 leading power equipment brands in the United States to power their equipment.

“We’re an iconic brand that’s been around for more than 100 years,” says Steve Kruger, director of brand marketing for the Milwaukee-based company. “Briggs & Stratton is associated with engines and equipment that helps people get work done. We are a highly authentic brand that is strongly associated with trust, reliability and power.”


When it comes to the world of dogs, the American Kennel Club (AKC) is the nation’s leading authority since it was founded in 1884. The AKC is a registry of purebred dogs in the United States, also promoting and sanctioning events such as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the National Dog Show and the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.

The largest and only not-for-profit dog registry in the world, AKC’s reach extends beyond the sphere of purebred dog owners and breeders. The organization strives to be the resource for every dog lover, working to serve all dogs and owners and educating people on responsible pet ownership.

As such, AKC has become an innovative licensor in a wide array of product categories targeting dogs and their people. The organization works with licensees on many product initiatives and has expanded the categories where it has a presence. 


Consolidating two brands under one roof can create hurdles and uncertainty, but Rack Room Shoes and Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse have successfully shared resources while leveraging a larger imprint in the shoe industry to demand more consideration from the major footwear brands.

For the most part, the transition has gone smoothly because of the operational overlap between the two stores, despite catering to different customer bases. “They both have an intersection where they have similar products,” explains President and CEO Mark Lardie. “The best shoes are the best shoes.”


As the licensing arm of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), NFL Players Inc. certainly has a lot of star power to work with. After all, it can take advantage of the athletic prowess and celebrity status of NFL players, as well as the massive popularity of the sport. But according to Steve Scebelo, vice president of licensing and business development, the NFLPA doesn’t have to go it alone.

“We have a lot of conversations around looking to innovate and create new products and programs for players,” he says. 

“The market has been receptive. A healthy number of innovative, prospective licensees are coming to us with new ideas, while we are continually seeking new product extensions.”

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