ThinkTank is always on the lookout for innovative products, and this time our curiosity brought us back to Brand Licensing Europe.
Now in its 17th year, with over 7,000 retailers, licensees, manufacturers and sales promotion professionals from over 70 countries, BLE is the definitive event for the European licensing industry, a perfect place to explore the latest trends in merchandise from the hottest brands like BBC, Warner Brothers, V&A and more.
From classic to quirky, we selected our Top 10 favourite items that mark where merchandise is at right now, with the creativity and quality that are key to successful products.
1. Death Star BBQ
A must have for every Star Wars lover, the Death Star Barbecue combines creativity and functionality, the only thing left to do is fire it up!
One of the most beloved board games ever, with merchandise up to the same standard. Branded clothes, shoes and FANTASTIC bags echoing unmistakeable features of the game. Pass Go, collect $200 and head straight for the checkout!
3. Motorhead & Music Merch
If it's got your favourite band name on it, it's already on your wish list. Top quality and functionality do the rest of the convincing. Sex Pistols Vans? Yes please.
4. Rugby Shaun Sheep Merch
The Rugby World Cup is one of the world's biggest sports events. Hosted in London this year, the event rode a wave of promotional items adorned with cute mascot Shaun The Sheep. The vast range of products and the presence of an amiable mascot communicate a sport approachable and enjoyable by everyone.
Video games, movies, comics: figurines are a strong presence in every sector. The collectable aspect makes them a most wanted item and the fact they look more and more detailed is a definite plus.
6. Pac Man Lamp
No need to be a geek to fall in love with this Pac Man ghost lamp, a product that wins your heart with its simplicity. A fun representation of an ageless game icon.
7. All Blacks
From simple to high end, the All Blacks, New Zealand's rugby team, aim to reach a wide range of supporters by offering products from a classy watch to a practical phone case, whilst never losing its unique identity.
The beauty of V&A merchandise is palpable, each and every piece communicating the elegance and high standards of this exclusive brand. The collaboration with Clarks is the cherry on the top.
It's a love or hate thing for the product but there's no debating the effectiveness of their promotional collateral, Marmite's strong brand reinvigorating merchandise classics such as notebooks and tea towels. Oldies but goldies.
10. Thunderbirds Bedroom Set Up
Appealing to a younger audience doesn't look like a challenge for ITV. The station brings back the glorious TV Series Thunderbirds with fantastic revivalist merchandise, setting the controls for the hearts of a whole new generation of fans.