Report – Licensing Masterminds

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2016 10:17am by Gabrielle Smith

Four experts on kids brand licensing from take on the challenge of Mastermind ‘style’ questioning in specialist and general rounds of knowledge.  Susan Bolsover from PenguinRandom house along with Rob Goodchild from Aardman, Stephen Gould from CPLG and Helena Mansell-Stopher from Bulldog discussed the opportunities in the market.


  • Try to make products that are ‘evergreen’ so you can recharge them and bring them back
  • brands need a good story to build on
  • children use media in a way that allows them to cut through the noise and find what they want


This session took on the unusual format of the ‘Mastermind’ quiz show and the panel were put to the test by LIMA UK’s own MD Kelvyn Gardner. In testing the ‘experts’ on the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of selling rights, manufacturing and product licensing (to name a few areas), some of the questions directed at the contestants came from the ‘Basics of Licensing’ which is co-published by LIMA.

The format was used to booked discussions in more detail of some of the topics the quiz format opened up in its questioning.

Covering expert areas of knowledge such as publishing, intellectual property, and licensing within the retail sector, Helena Mansell-Stopher from Bulldog Licensing discussed the way in which trends from the market place come from different areas. She observes that, ‘because of the way children are consuming media online these days, they are able to cut through and find the material themselves.’

In investing in the wider media that is consumed, the experts discussed the possibilities of ‘getting to the child in a different way’.

In locating and rooting out what is considered to be niche content, the way licensing operates in other territories was also a topic of discussion.

In between each round of questions, the conversation between host and contestants covered the real situation within the contemporary market. In pointing to the loss of the high street retailer, the general consensus was that many people are just not finding products in the same way, leading to some feeling less willing to experiment.

Stephen Gould from CPLG talked the audience through the concept of some brands as ‘evergreen’, that with a good product and solid brand power some can make regenerate multiple times, especially with a driven investment to bring something back.

Although there is a difficult balance on working on a new version of a product, character or toy without potentially alienating the original audience.

Event Reports CPLG helena mansell-stopher kelvyn gardner licensing LIMA Mastermind Report: Licensing Mastermind CMC 2016 rob goodchild stephen gould susan bolsover

Gabrielle Smith

About the author

Gabrielle Smith

Northumbria University, Ph.D Student

Gabrielle Smith is a second year Ph.D candidate at Northumbria University, Newcastle and is a Film and Television graduate from the universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow. Her current research explores the role of the British children’s television presenter. Additionally, Gaby’s passion for working with children and young adults has been… Read more