Activision says it is now in the top 100 licensing outfits in the world, thanks mainly to one product, Skylanders. The company announced it has doubled its licensing deals in the past 12 months, and it's made that top 100, according to License Global's Top 150 Licensors of 2012.
Today marks the first day of the glitzy Licensing Expo in Las Vegas where the world's entertainment companies seek to trade their leading IPs into everything from backpacks to breakfast cereals. Of course, Activision also trades in Call of Duty and World of Warcraft licensing deals — mainly video game-related gear like headsets and other peripherals — but Skylanders is where the pillows, plushies and pajamas are happening.
As well as the figures that play with the Skylanders games, there are decorative figurines, toy weapons, carry cases, jigsaw puzzles, clothing, stickers, posters and more, all of which are funneled through Activision to its 150 licensing partners, which include Penguin, Topps, Rubies, Mega Brands, and PowerA.
It's all about money, of course, but also it's about winning Activision's games some presence in toy retail aisles, alongside the products of Disney and Nickelodeon "Licensing has allowed us to secure space outside of the video game aisle, providing our fans with multiple touch points for consumer interactions," said licensing boss Ashley Maidy. "Overall, this holiday we are increasing our retail space by more than one third over last year.
This year the company pulled off the golden dream of all licensing agents, a Happy Meal deal with fast-food giant McDonalds. Activision says its big priority for the coming year is tying up some deals for its new franchise, Destiny.