Friday, June 23, 2006

Dancing with the Ugly Dolls

This week I attended the Licensing International 2006 trade show at the Javits Center in NYC. The reason I went was to learn more about the licensing industry and how it applies to Mochi Kids!™, see what other artists are doing regarding licensing out their artwork and/or characters, figure out what next steps I need to take, and meet people who might be able to help me take those next steps.

But most importantly, I went to dance with the Ugly Dolls! I think the Ugly Dolls are hilariously cute in their ugly sort of way. It happened that their trade show booth was right next to Sonic the Hedgehog's booth. And it just so happened that I walked by Sonic the Hedgehog's booth right when the folks at Sega were celebrating Sonic's 15th anniversary. They had a little band playing music, all the Sega people were wearing blue hair in honor of Sonic, and they had a giant birthday cake that they cut up and served to all the passers-by, of which I was one. The Ugly Dolls came over from their booth to dance with Sonic and celebrate with him. So of course I had to get a picture of me dancing with them too!

I also got to play with some other fun characters, like Pikachu and Miffy! But I don't know where my Miffy picture went. When I find it, I'll post it here. There are also some other pictures of me posing with random characters and monster trucks, but my friend, Robert, took those pictures on his camera so someday hopefully he'll get around to sending them to me.

So anyway, some things I learned while I was at the trade show... Well, I already knew this one - which is that I have a whole lot of work to do to really get started. But the benefit of attending Licensing International is that I have more concrete ideas of what some of those things are.

For example, I need to beef up my portfolio of designs, including increasing the number of cetral images I have. And to go with each central image, creating background graphics and patterns, icons and border images. This is necessary to make it easier for licensees to apply my images to different types of products - some products, like t-shirts, lend themselves nicely to central images. While others, like bed linens, work better with a repeating pattern of images.

I'll also need an intellectual property attorney, and I'm pretty certain that I will want to work with an agent, to assist me with developing the brand and connecting and negotiating with potential licensees.

And I also want to add depth to the Mochi Kids! characters. Since I don't have the expertise to create animations, or the funding to hire someone who does, I'm going to start the kids off with their own little blogs. Of course the challenge I'm running into here is thinking of things the kids can post about. Unless I'm just babbling off the top of my head like I do here, I do find it a challenge to write things that require more direction. Plus the other thing they told us at one of the seminars that pertained to using blogs and other forms of digital media for marketing was if you are using a blog to promote your character, buisness, etc., "post often, post short, and always post a picture!" So I gotta try to keep the kids' babblings to a minimum, and make pictures for them to post. And my goal to start with is have the kids post at least once a week.

What I need is more time! So yes, I'll be quitting one of my jobs in the not-so-distant future... I'd say by the end of August.

1 comment:

Michael Lamy said...

Hey, you're back stateside and out dancing again eh?! Shoot me an email. You can find my address on Splanky