• Ashley Holman

Riverside Brands will manage and implement deals across all categories in the UK.

Riverside Brands has added popular kids’ cartoon Larva to its growing roster of clients. Created by South Korea’s Tuba, Larva follows the comic capers of Red and Yellow, two cheeky larvae who live beneath a city storm drain. Since launch, Larva has garnered over 2b views on YouTube, with Netflix commissioning its own exclusive series, Larva Island, in 2018. A second season aired earlier this month. There are 300 episodes, with new content in development and a feature movie slated for 2021.

Already a consumer product hit in Asia and Latin America and with a growing UK viewership across YouTube and Netflix, the brand now comes to the UK market. Riverside Brands will manage and implement deals across all categories in the UK, working closely with the UK master toy distributor, Re:creation.

The toy range debuted in The Entertainer earlier this month, with many more retailers launching shortly, as well as further categories expected from spring 2020. A large marketing campaign, set to kick off imminently, will further bolster the brand’s presence in the UK. Ashley Holman, MD of Riverside Brands, commented: “We’re thrilled to be representing Larva, which is undoubtedly set to be the next big hit for kids, due to the huge awareness, hilarious content and fantastic toy range. With overseas CP success, positive uptake from UK retailers and a host of savvy creative marketing initiatives from the team at Re:creation, it’s fair to say Red and Yellow’s cheeky antics will soon be found in every home with a 4-9 year old.”

Re:creation general manager, Adrian Mayes, added: ” This is a property with such exciting potential. We’re working closely with retail partners to create targeted and fun marketing campaigns that capitalise on the fantastic personality of the Larva brand. We welcome Riverside Brands’ support as we continue to roll out the toy range in the UK.”

Riverside Brands secures raft of key partnerships across a range of categories.

Following a successful start to the year, Riverside Brands has confirmed a number of new partnerships for Zuru’s Rainbocorns property. The popular mystery surprise plush – which features reversible sequin hearts that hide a special surprise – have been a huge hit with girls aged three to seven since their 2018 arrival. In addition, the brand has also picked up UK and Australian Plush Toy of the Year accolades, as well as winning the People’s Choice Award at the Toy Industry Association’s 2020 Toy of the Year Awards.

New partners to the licensing programme cover apparel, accessories, arts and craft, novelty toy collectables, magazines, back to school, puzzles, greeting cards and wrap in a variety of EMEA territories.

Licensees coming on board include Fashion UK/Global Licensing, Roy Lowe & Sons, Sambro, Sinco Creations, Redan Publishing, Kids First Group, W&O and Danilo. More partners are due to be announced across other key categories shortly.

“We’re thrilled that the brand’s ethos of all things magical and quirky has really transcended the toy category,” said Aneisha Vieira, global brand director at Zuru. “We’re excited to work with partners who share our vision for Rainbocorns and are bringing the brand to life in so many different spaces.”

Ashley Holman, md of Riverside Brands, added: “We are excited to be working with such great partners on Zuru Rainbocorns. The product looks fantastic and is launching in-store from spring onwards, so we look forward to seeing kids everywhere enjoying the wider Rainbocorns offer.”

To read the article please click the link below.

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

Riverside Brands’ Ashley Holman, who has clients in China and Hong Kong, shares an update on the current situation.

As we entered 2020, we had already been through whether the annual January toy industry road trip to Hong Kong was going to happen or not. However, with some of our largest clients here at Riverside Brands being HK/China-based toy companies, it was important for us to be there. While attendance was noticeably down, overall the feeling was that HK was recovering from the extreme demonstrations it had seen previously and things were getting back to some form of normality for the city.

It was in the last few days of the trip that the conversation started to change from demonstrations to the fact that in mainland China a few people were starting to get sick with a virus which we now know to be Coronavirus or Covid-19 as it’s officially named. Luckily, we were home before it really took hold of the region.

The virus started spreading very quickly over the Chinese New Year period and only businesses connected to the health sector were instructed not to close throughout the pandemic. The government in every district set up checkpoints to stop people crossing district lines and people were restricted from being out of their homes to try and stop the spread. Something the rest of the world is now going through. So, as Europe starts to live through what we are hearing China and Hong Kong (seems) to be coming out of, the question is where is China currently at? In early March, the central government of China instructed all businesses to return to normal gradually. It also supported financially with up to $250USD compensation to each worker that returned to their workplace. The incentive was given to encourage the manufacturing sector to return to normal output as quickly as possible. Three weeks ago, toy factories we work with were running at circa 25-33% capacity and their offices were empty. Today they are up to more like 75-80% with workers back on site and it won’t be long until they are back up to 100%.

The good news, therefore, is that commerce is returning to some form of normality. Albeit a new form of normal.

Workers have to ensure social distancing is in place, buildings are being regularly deep cleaned, masks are mandatory, but people are back at work and the toy industry is coming back to life.

Ports are dealing with the bottle neck now that product is once again coming through, but it’ll be back to normal soon enough. There are also some sectors that are seeing a spike in demand. Home delivery of food and digital businesses for example are in high demand. Viewership of OTT platforms has also been rapidly growing with three to four times the normal levels of traffic which will benefit some brand owners.

Schools are still shut so home education has become important. Restaurants, while still shut down have adapted and partnered home delivery services to try and maintains some level of business given the length of time they have been closed for.

Now of course the issue is, Europe was desperate for stock only weeks ago but as we enter the next phase of the virus here, do retailers want it?

There are already some big cancellation numbers being published and some very tough times ahead for us here as more and more stores shut temporarily.

The factories that worked so hard to get back to being open, don’t have the orders they thought they did. Only time will tell if retailers, suppliers, factories and everyone associated with the industry can come out the other side as cash becomes king for the foreseeable future.

One thing is for sure, things are now changing daily and who knows what the longer term ramifications will be once we get through the worst of this, but all we can do for now is do our part to support one another. Stay safe one and all.


IP Brand & Licensing Agency with New Media and Retail Distribution capabilities

Contact:  Riverside Brands  +44 (0)7775 903 223

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