BLE Interview: One man’s trash…

LTW.Media catches up with the Topps team at BLE to learn about the Garbage Pail Kids' return, developing its own IP and the evolution of its licensing business

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 09.10.2018 | Events

BLE Interview: One man’s trash… thumbnail

You’ll find no rubbish on the Topps stand – but plenty from the Garbage Pail Kids, the classic gross-out brand making a triumphant return under a renewed licensing programme.  

Known as The Garbage Gang in the UK, the brand has been rebooted and re-imagined for a new generation and has already found success in the States with some exciting licensing partners - from tiki glasses – a niche but quirky and growing category – to a new app, launching around the world very soon. 

“We have around 15 top licensees on board in the States and I think there is real potential here in the UK and across Europe,” Ira Friedman, Vice President, Licensing and Publishing, tells LTW.Media.

Santa Cruz x Garbage Pail Kids skateboards come packaged in blind bags

Ira is spearheading the Garbage Pail Kids’ refreshed image and says it is the perfect property to try new things. “So for example, we launched the first ever skateboard in a blind bag with Santa Cruz. Blind bags are not new to us with our lower value collectables, but an entirely different proposition for a higher value item like a skateboard. Fans had no idea what Garbage Pail Kids design they would get, but it was extremely popular – a very unique use of the license.”

Alongside the company’s core business of licensed collectable cards and stickers for the likes of Star Wars, MLB and UEFA, creation of its own IP is a fresh focus.

“Almost like the finance business, you have to stay ahead and not put all your investment into one thing,” Ira says.

Louise Ramplin, Head of Entertainment Marketing tells LTW.Media that creating new brands like the I Believe In… series, a quick and nimble brand able to jump on trends such as unicorns, mermaids and more, also gives the firm something new to offer licensors.

“Property owners want something new from their licensees – perhaps now more than ever. Brands like I Believe In… and Ring Pop Puppies gives us that point of difference and proven opportunities for licensors to capitalise on.”

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