Licensing Expo 2024 Las Vegas Highlights

Thousands of top retailers, manufacturers, and licensees from around the world gathered at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre for the Licensing Expo 2024. Running from Tuesday to Thursday, the event offered a prime opportunity to secure rights to thousands of brands across TV, film, sports, gaming, publishing, automotive, art, and more.

This year’s theme, “Brands at Play”, celebrated the power of play in every stage of life, highlighting the creativity and innovation it brings to brand building. For over 40 years, Licensing Expo has connected the most influential entertainment, character, art, and corporate brand owners with consumer goods manufacturers, licensees, and retailers.

Over 300 exhibiting companies, including Paramount, LEGO, Warner Bros., Nintendo, Riot Games, The Walt Disney Company, Netflix, SEGA, Mattel, Crunchyroll, Minecraft, NASCAR and many more attended this years event.

There was a strong contingent of Australian companies in attendance seeking new brands & innovation as attendances returned to pre-Covid levels and gathered the highest number of retailers in history according to organisers.

Highlights from Licensing Expo 2024 in Las Vegas

Theme: Brands at Play — This year’s expo emphasized the role of play in brand development, with immersive experiences and networking opportunities designed to foster creativity and innovation in licensing​.

Opening Night Party — The industry’s largest networking event of the year, Licensing Expo’s Opening Night Party included performances from headliner hip-hop and R&B superstar artist, CeeLo Green, country music vocal group, Chapel Hart, pop/R&B sensation, Jordyn Sugar and a spectacular night-time drone show featuring by Pixis featuring Minecraft, Transformers & Sonic The Hedgehog.

Licensing Expo 2024 Las Vegas

Keynote Address — “Video Games: Driving Billions to Play,” explored the “why” behind gaming’s massive growth in popularity, what gamers look for in a brand and how the next franchise model will lead with video games, either from brand-new IP or the revival of heritage titles.

As the gaming segment connects a community of billions globally, video games are quickly becoming the next major category for licensing growth. Licensing International reported 9.8% of the $340.8 billion global sales revenue of licensed merchandise and services in 2022 came from video games, software and apps.

Panelists included Nick McWhorter, Director of Global Licensing, CD Projekt Red; Doug Rosen, Senior Vice President, Games and Emerging Media, Paramount; Maya Rogers, CEO, Tetris; and Ivo Gerscovich, Chief Business and Brand Officer, SEGA of America;

Anime Brands — on the back of popularity of One Piece, Avatar The Last Airbender, Godzilla, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z this was definitely the hottest trends on the show floor. Anime and manga have become major players in brand licensing. According to the 2024 Global Licensing Industry Study, the Entertainment/Characters segment grew 6.9%, reaching almost $148 billion in revenue! Anime/Manga, Gaming, and Social Media account for 42% of that revenue, compared to Film & TV’s 38%.

Hello Kitty — is back! Did she ever really go anywhere!? Celebrating 50th her anniversary in 2024 the pop icon superstar from San Rio is set for an explosion in merchandise to celebrate the milestone.

Squishmallows’ — EMEA Expansion Squishmallows expanded its licensing program in the EMEA region, showcasing new products and collaborations to meet growing global demand.

Fuggler — the hot plush brand from Libertas Brands have agreed to hand over Fuggler plush licensing rights from Addo Play to Zuru with expanded licensing program to be rolled out globablly with Haven Global picking up the rights for Australian territory.

Disney — brought Deadpool & Wolverine to the floor with new apparel including denim jackets, new Doctor Who goodies showcasing TARDIS figurines and sonic screwdrivers. Plus a Bluey display featuring items for all ages to Licensing Expo.

Jazwares and Five Nights at Freddy’s — Jazwares was announced as the master toy licensee for the popular video game franchise Five Nights at Freddy’s, expanding their portfolio with new toy and plush products​.

Hasbro Consumer Products — showcased a vast array of licensed products from its extensive portfolio reinforcing its strong presence in the industry with new and ongoing partnerships.​ Hasbro has also named Merchantwise as its new Licensing Agent for the Pacific Region.

Peppa Pig on Audible — Peppa Pig, celebrating her 20th Anniversary, is set to debut a new podcast on Audible, expanding the character’s reach into the audio entertainment market​.

Barbie — Mattel introduced new Barbie dolls celebrating iconic women in sports, demonstrating their commitment to inspiring the next generation through diverse representation​.

Moonbug Entertainment — Blippi celebrates 10th Anniversary; new partners were announced for both Blippi & CoComelon, aiming to extend the brand’s reach and influence in various consumer product categories​.

Products Of Change — (POC) made a significant impact by promoting sustainable practices within the licensing industry. POC emphasized the importance of environmental responsibility and social impact, encouraging businesses to adopt more sustainable practices around product and packaging practices.

The Expo also emphasized diversity and inclusion with panels and events like the Women In Toys Empowerment Day, which provided a platform for women inventors and entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to major retailers like Walmart​.

The Expo’s closing program featured a panel discussion on “Building Teams” and “How Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Needs to Start at Recruitment, and the future of licensing, highlighting the event’s commitment to fostering industry growth and innovation​.

The Big Winners

Licensing Excellence Awards — The Licensing Excellence Awards ceremony highlighted the best in the industry, celebrating outstanding achievements in licensing at the Luxor Hotel & Casino​.

The winners were picked from 197 finalist in 32 major categories. Over 800 submissions were received and narrowed down by a panel of expert judges from 20 countries. The awards honour innovation and creativity in the licensing community.

Bluey, Barbie and The Minions were among the many winners honoured at Licensing International Excellence Awards in Las Vegas. Bluey won the Best Licensed Animated Brand Category in a competitive field that also included nominees Gabby’s Dollhouse, Peppa Pig, Naruto, Peanuts and South Park.

Mattel’s Barbie was the winner of the Best Toy Brand prize, as well as the Members’ Choice Award for Barbie x Zara.

Aussie Award Winners

Best Brand: Animated Bluey – Ludo Studio and BBC Studios

Circana data projected the world’s hottest Aussie franchise as the number-one preschool license in the UK and Australia last year, with BBC Studios rolling out two best-selling picture books, and soundtrack Bluey: Dance Mode! making a number-one debut on the Billboard Kids Albums Chart. Congratulations to Brisbane’s Ludo Studios and local Australian BBC Worldwide team and Moose Toys who have just re-signed as Global Master Toy Partner.

Best Product: Health & Beauty Hismile – Wonka Warner Bros Discovery Australia

Great to have Hismile’s Wonka Chocolate Toothpaste win the award for Best Product: Health and Beauty, at Licensing International’s 2024 Excellence Awards. Congratulations to Warner Bros. Discovery and Hismile teams in Australia who helped bring this innovative campaign to market.

A new category was introduced this year for Best Advertising Campaign Featuring a Brand, which honors print, radio, TV, cinema and outdoor media advertisements where a property is used to elevate and promote another brand.

Best Advertising Campaign Featuring a Licensed Brand Golf’s Happy Place – PGA TOUR Superstore (Born Licensing) which was won by David Born and team at Born Licensing for their Adam Sandler led reprising his famous role for PGA Tour Superstore.


  • Best Brand: Animated — Bluey (Ludo Studio & BBC Studios)
  • Best Brand: Food, Beverage, Restaurant — M&M’S (Mars Wrigley/Brand Central)
  • Best Brand: Publishing, Stationery or Social Expression — Moomin (Moomin Characters Oy/Rights & Brands)
  • Best Brand: Toy — Barbie (Mattel)


  • Best Product: Health & Beauty — Hismile (Wonka)
  • Best Product: Interactive or Digital — Apple (Peanuts)
  • Best Product: Toys, Games, Novelties, or Role Play (ages 0-8) — (Disney/Pixar)
  • Best Product: Toys, Games, Novelties, or Role Play (ages 8+) — U.S. Postal Inspection Service (Big Potato Games/Global Icons)


  • Best Licensed Promotion – 7-Eleven x Brown & Minions (CP All Public Company/ 7-Eleven/Pacific Licensing Studio)
  • Best Location-Based Experience or Initiative — Shrek x Airbnb
  • Best Retailer: Corporate, Lifestyle, Fashion, or Sports Brands — Kohl’s for Crayola (Retail Monster)
  • Members’ Choice Award – Barbie x Zara

To view the full list of Award Winners click here