Pioneers Once Again

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If I were asked to sum up some of the trends and topics covered in this issue in one word, the reply would have to be "pioneering." Indeed, most of the executives interviewed for this month's feature stories are taking the reins to pioneer new strategies in an industry where, quite frankly, at the moment there isn't one "it" property. That's not a criticism. We're living in a global world that is both large and small; we're challenged with new consumers enticed by new technological platforms; we're overwhelmed by risk-adverse retailers in a numbers crunchin' game; we're faced with consumers who just have too many choices and we're marketing to them in traditional and nontraditional ways. And, guess what? None of this will be changing. And, you've come to terms with it...finally.

Funny enough, the answers were in front of you all along...and you already had been applying some of the tactics to reach these new consumers via new retail channels, co-branding deals, new international territories, and new marketing mediums. You are pioneers once again in an industry with a long history. And, only now will the industry grow to new worldwide retail sales heights. In this issue, we delve into some of the hot-button topics...mobile/wireless, broadband, China, what sells in what territories, alternative marketing such as museum exhibits and mall-based playscapes. Exclusively, as further proof of the future of licensing, we spoke with Brad Globe of WBCP, Neil Friedman of Mattel Brands, Elie Dekel of Twentieth Century Fox, and the newly hired consumer products team at American Greetings.

Last month, I left you wondering about our cover story for this issue. By now (because you had to pass the cover to get to this page), you know that Marvel Entertainment's Tim Rothwell and Bruno Maglione are in the LICENSE spotlight. Need you ask, "why?" Some eight years ago, Marvel was being bailed out of bankruptcy, and today, it claims the No. 4 spot on LICENSE's annual list of leading licensors with $5 billion in worldwide retail sales in 2005. That's what I call a story...exclusive, too! Plus, at press time, X-Men: The Last Stand had a major blockbuster opening weekend. Learn all about their current and future initiatives by turning.

There's so much in this issue that I'd like to tell you about, particularly the rebate story, as I've personally decided not to request a rebate check in the future on product I've purchased, since I was recently beat for rebates I mailed. There's a fun Day in the Life of...story that focuses on five different professional lives—licensor, licensee, licensing agent, retailer, and public relations firm. And, we have exclusive stories with Big Tent Holdings, MGM Consumer Products and Marathon Entertainment, and Ragdoll. Are you ready? This month, the LICENSE publishing team releases more than 400 pages to the industry, with this issue, The Art of Licensing supplement, and Show Dailies.

By the time you receive this issue, it will be Licensing 2006 International Show time in New York. And, most of the pioneers I mention will be there. Will you?

Joyceann Cooney jcooney@advanstar.com 212.951.6707

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