Sith Named Year’s Best License

Lucasfilm Ltd.’s Star Wars: Episode III ‘ Revenge of the Sith was named Overall Best License of the Year at last night’s International Licensing Excellence Awards gala, which wrapped up the 2006 Licensing Int’l expo in New York City. Toys and other consumer products based on the latest installment in George Lucas’ space opera have been extremely popular with both kids and adult collectors, contributing to Hasbro’s win for Best Film, TV, Entertainment Licensee in the Hard Goods category.

Nickelodeon’s popular animated preschool series Dora the Explorer was also a big winner, taking Best Film, TV, Entertainment Brand License and earning Kids Headquarters the award for Best Film, TV, Entertainment Brand Licensee’Soft Goods.

Disney’s Cinderella proved its evergreen appeal by winning Best Character Brand License, while Best Character Brand Licensee went to CSS Industries for Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head hard goods and to Jerry Leigh Apparel for It’s Happy Bunny soft goods.

Best Corporate Brand License was awarded to Crayola (Binney Smith, Inc./Nancy Bailey Associates, Inc.). The year’s top corporate licensees are Fisher-Price Inc. for Cadillac Escalade (hard goods) and Mighty Fine for Ford (soft goods).

Digital Blue was named Best Sports Brand Licensee for products based on pro skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, who has conquered the video game market and will soon be the star of a direct-to-video animated feature from IDT Ent. and Mainframe. Meanwhile, Best Sports Brand License was give to Brandgenuity’s World Poker Tour.

Hot Topic claimed the award for Best Retailer for its sales of merchandise based on the hit comedy Napoleon Dynamite, while The Andy Warhol Foundation and The Beanstalk Group LLC’s Andy Warhol brand took top honors in the Art category. Rounding out the list of winners are Sesame Workshop and Sunkist, whose Healthy Habits for Life was named Best Promotion of the Year.