Disney, Universal taps toy licensees for its upcoming movies


As Disney’s Cars and Universal’s Despicable Me head towards their release dates on June 16 and June 30 respectively, the two aren’t just looking at ticket sales. They hace prepared their licensing programmes both hinged on keeping the flame alive for young fans.

For Disney’s Cars 3, that involves a licensing push across every category from toys to soup.

“Some of our toy licensees include Mattel, Sphero, Thinkway, Funko and Lego,” reveals Josh Silverman, EVP of global licensing at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.”

In addition, we’re looking to reach new audiences through collaborations on the apparel and accessories side, with brands including Members Only, Illest, New Balance and New Era, just to name a few,” he adds.

On the consumables side, licensees include Campbell’s, Pepperidge Farms, Kraft, Juicy Juice, Johnson & Johnson, P&G and Coppertone.

Since the first Cars movie released in 2006, naturally, the audience for the third movie will be much older while the younger set of the audience will be entirely new. These aspects were taken into account when planning the licensing for the movie, it is understood.

The franchise is also banking on new characters to make kids interested in similar products from past licensing programmes.

The licensing programme of Cars 3 has additional pressure for master toy partner Mattel, which recently suffered major losses in Q1 and is banking on the brand to re-up sales.

Meanwhile, though Universal’s Despicable Me, has signed on fewer partners, but the production house is moving head-first into the collectibles trend.


“With Despicable Me 3, we’re launching our biggest and most expansive consumer products program for the franchise,” says Manuel Torres Port, EVP of worldwide consumer products for Universal Brand Development.

“We’ve added new product categories and partners including WowWee’s MiP Minion and the Moose Mineez collectibles line, which features the largest collection of Despicable Me characters ever,” he adds.

Universal has signed Thinkway as the master toy licensee and has partnered with c and more.

It is also trying to keep things fresh this time around by focusing on the latest toy trends including STEM toys. And Illumination is introducing new characters to the franchise, which according Port keeps the brand moving forward.