Smiley – the Brand Created almost five decades ago has become the most adopted brand of the digital generation and licensed retail partnerships continue to be a substantial growth driver for it.
Boasting of a humongous fan-base in India, the Smiley Company has signed an exclusive licensee agreement with Ultra Toys to manufacture and retail toys and accessories of the popular emoticons and emojis.
As per the pact, Ultra Toys - a division of Ultra Media & Entertainment has acquired about 3000 varieties of smiley emoticons. They will manufacture and retail products ranging from cushions and backpacks to car and gifting accessories.
Smiley, founded by Franklin Loufrani in 1972, has been raking moolah by royalties collected on a symbol they trademarked in over 100 countries.
"Smiley as a product is widely accepted and has no age or social barrier. There is a huge pirated market for the brand which shows that there is a strong demand but is met by counterfeit manufacturers," said Madhu Kishore, business head at Ultra Toys. In the first phase, the company plans to launch nearly three dozen products. Priced between Rs 199 to Rs 999, the products will be manufactured at the Noida unit.
As one of the top 150 licensors in the world, according to License Global magazine, Smiley has over 300 licensees globally which sold over $400 million worth of products across categories. In India, Smiley has licensing deals with retail clothing brand Lifestyle and Archies and is represented by Dream Theatre.