CARROT & TOAST AND MY LITTLE OPERA WIN 2019 BLE LICENSE THIS! COMPETITION

  • 2019 competition sponsored by Wynne-Jones
  • BLE slated for 6-8 October 2020, ExCeL London

The winners of this year’s License This! competition – Carrot & Toast and My Little Opera – were announced at Brand Licensing Europe this afternoon following an hour of pitching and presentations from seven finalists.

The brainchild of Drew Bristow who was also a License This! finalist in 2018, Carrot & Toast are two best friends: an odd combination who adhere to the chaos/order theory. Carrot is grounded and sensible. Toast is a little haphazard, clumsy and silly. They both feature in a series of mini comics aimed at younger readers and their first adventure ‘Carrot & Toast Are Coming Home’ sees them get into trouble on holiday when Toast loses his passport.

License This! judge Will Stewart commented: “It really wasn’t an easy decision this year, we had quite the battle choosing just two winners. My Little Opera is visually very beautiful, but what I loved about Carrot & Toast is that Drew had taken on board everything we said to him in last year’s final and returned with characters who have a distinctive identity. I also loved that he shared the back story of how his two characters came about – few creatives will share that level of vulnerability but I think it’s a a really important thing to do.”

Chair Kelvyn Gardner added: “With over 50 entrants, it’s an achievement in its own right just to make the final.”

The Judges including the Giftware Associations Sarah Ward


My Little Opera is inspired by the world’s greatest operas and ballets and has a fresh visual illustrated narrative.

“Well known characters that were part of the contemporary culture a century ago have now been side-lined, unlike many from classic literature and myths,” said its creator Rosie Brooks. “I am bringing these characters to a modern audience through this new fun and humorous illustrated brand. The target demographic extends way beyond the ‘opera lovers’: it is a springboard for the creation a new world of characters with limitless global possibilities.”

This year’s License This! winners will receive a free exhibition stand at BLE 2020, one year’s Licensing International membership and PR support. Finalists will also receive legal consultation from competition sponsor Wynne-Jones. Previous entrants – both winners and finalists – have also signed lucrative agent and licensing deals off the back of the competition. Last year’s winners – Zara Picken and Sara Burman Designs – both exhibited at BLE 2019 in the Art, Design & Image zone.

The finalists were:

  • Adorabubbles
  • Carrot & Toast
  • Slime Fury (Argentina)
  • MINU’ Tiny Little Wonders (Italy)  
  • My Little Opera
  • Noodoll
  • Owlasanas

This year’s judges are:

  • Kelvyn Gardner, managing director, Licensing International (chair)
  • Sarah Ward, CEO, Giftware Association
  • Victor Caddy, partner, Wynne-Jones

Character & Entertainment award                                                                                            

  • Dan Grant, director of licensing, Danilo Promotions
  • Nikki Samuels, licensing director, Sambro                                
  • Clare Piggott, director, Larkshead Media
  • Julia Redman, head of buying, M&Co

Brand & Design award                                                                                                             

  • Stuart Cox, founder, I Like Birds
  • Vicki Thomas, owner, Vicki Thomas Associates                                      
  • Sarah Lawrence, owner, This is Iris                                
  • Jehane Boden Spiers, founder, Jehane  
  • Will Stewart, managing director, The Point 1888

BLE 2019 takes place at ExCeL London from 1-3 October 2019. Register for free at www.brandlicensing.eu/register-now

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