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Licensing Expo offers sneak peek at exhibits, announcements

The organizers behind the Licensing Expo offered a sneak peek at the announcements, brands and trends on tap before the event opens to the public Tuesday.

After a nearly three-year break because of COVID-19, the expo will be back in full force at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center until Thursday with more than 11,000 people registered to attend.

More than 250 exhibitors were present, including Hasbro, Crayola, Paramount and Legendary Entertainment . Many of the exhibitors also made announcements about their brands and intellectual property.

The theme of this year’s event, organized by Informa Markets, is location-based experiences and brands were eager to show off their new products.

Hasbro displayed a life-size version of its Monopoly game as well as showcased its Monopoly-themed restaurant The Top Hat in London.

Other brands took advantage of virtual reality experiences such as Falcon’s Beyond.

The Orlando, Florida-based entertainment company gave a sneak peek of its augmented reality game that connects directly to a user’s smartphone.

Art supply maker Crayola shared its location-based experience expertise with programs such as Crayola Imagine Arts Experience, Crayola Experience and Crayola Idea Works. The three programs function as summer camps, immersive experiences and children’s exhibitions for families to engage with Crayola products.

Media companies were also on hand to announce franchise deals and special appearances.

Darryl McDaniels, known by his rapper name DMC of hip hop group Run-DMC, made an appearance with Paramount Consumer Products, the retail and licensing division of Paramount Global, to announce a collaboration with Nickelodeon on a new picture book, “Darryl’s Dream.” The book is supposed to help inspire the next generation and build confidence.

Paramount’s exhibit featured large posters of its movies and shows like “Yellowstone,” “Mean Girls” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.” It said viewers can look forward to a summer 2023 release of the movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” with Seth Rogen.

Legendary Entertainment, which produced films like “Dune” and “Godzilla vs. Kong,” announced the addition of two new Dune-themed personal computer and console games. Its exhibit had a costume worn by actor Timothee Chalamet in “Dune.”

Visitors at the Jazwares booth can step inside a bright playhouse. The company makes the popular plush toy Squishmallows, or “squishes.” With over 1,500 Squishmallows characters, Jazwares said it hopes to focus more on the narrative and backstory of their squishes.

For anime and manga lovers, entertainment company Viz Media announced new offerings of its three largest anime franchises — “Naruto,” “Bleach” and “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.”

With “Naruto” nearing its 20th anniversary, the brand collaborated with Nike to make a special edition Jordan shoe.

Fans can expect a new season of “Bleach” in October, which will animate the highly anticipated arc “1,000 Year Blood War.”

As for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, another season is coming in the fall animating the “Stone Ocean” arc.

Contact Emerson Drewes at edrewes@reviewjournal.com or via Twitter @EmersonDrewes.

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