Editor's Note: Top 150 Goes Beyond Disney

While Disney's iconic Star Wars franchise dominated the marketplace last year, here's a look at 12 other licensors that also influenced the brand licensing sector worldwide.

Tony Lisanti, editor-in-chief, License! Global

What do Margaritaville, Moomin and Moose Toys all have in common? They are among 12 new licensors that made the exclusive Top 150 Global Licensors report, published annually by License! Global.

They exemplify the idea that smaller licensors can succeed and thrive in a marketplace dominated by the high-profile brands that represent more than 52 percent ($137 billion) of the total retail sales of licensed merchandise worldwide for the Top 150 licensors. And while these 12 licensors reported total retail sales of $3.5 billion–a fraction of the Top 10 global licensors–they all achieved success and influenced the marketplace, won awards, and most importantly, connected with their fans and customers.

This diverse group of licensors, which range from lifestyle brands to kids', sports, corporate and non-profit brands, each represent the growth, significance, opportunity and essence of what licensing represents around the globe.

Consider the following:

  • Margaritaville–This lifestyle brand, inspired by Jimmy Buffet, has expanded into a multitude of categories and is the only $1 billion licensor to be added to this year's report.
  • Moomin–While this brand may be less known in the U.S., it is one of the most popular brands in the Nordic region, Japan and China, and has grown significantly with 600 licensees worldwide.
  • Telefunken–This venerable name, which has been synonymous with German engineering in consumer electronics, telecommunication and domestic appliances, now has more than 30 licensees across four continents.
  • 41 Entertainment–If you know "Pac-Man," then you should know this licensor, which continues to grow its classic brands at retail.
  • Girl Scouts of the USA–If you have ever bought a box of Girl Scout cookies, then you know the power of this organization, which had one of the most popular toys last year with its branded cookie oven.
  • Animaccord–The popular Russian preschool animation property "Masha and the Bear" launched licensed products across the EMEA in 2015, and it's heading to the U.S. this fall.
  • Sports Afield–This magazine title, which launched in 1887, is licensed worldwide in several categories including outdoor recreational products, security safes and apparel.
  • Paramount–This well-known studio holds the rights to such popular and classic franchises as The Godfather, Mission Impossible, Top Gun, Mean Girls, Grease, Anchorman, Gladiator, Clueless, Up in Smoke and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
  • Snuggle–The household fabric softener brand's licensing efforts include such products as bedding, pillows, mattresses, mattress toppers and air fresheners.
  • Moose Toys–The company's Shopkins brand, which experienced huge success at retail, was a finalist for the Toy Industry's Association's Toy of the Year this year, and the Shopkins Scoops Ice Cream Truck was the winner of the 2016 Girl Toy of the Year.
  • Genius Brands International–This licensor re-launched the Baby Genius brand in 2015 and has continued to expand its other properties including "Thomas Edison's Secret Lab" and "Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club."
  • Boy Scouts of America–This well known non-profit organization made the top licensor list at No. 150 and continues to expand with innovative lifestyle products.

Check out the Top 150 to see where these 12 companies ranked alongside the other 138 licensors that made the list, along with sales data, trends and properties that define brand licensing worldwide.

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