Star Wars was named the Overall Best License of the Year by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA) at its awards ceremony the night of June 21 in New York City. This is the top award from the association representing an industry that many say the original Star Wars movie jump-started nearly 30 years ago.
Star Wars was chosen as the year's top license by the board of LIMA from among dozens of other licensed brands and entertainment properties. Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing accepted the award with seven other members of his team, and thanked LIMA and its members.
"It definitely helps to have a property as great as Star Wars that has been around for 30 years, and comes from a brilliant visionary like George Lucas. But it took more than that to make Star Wars a licensing success. It began with our team at Lucas Licensing, which I think is the best team in the business. We're also lucky to have a great group of licensees who have a real passion for Star Wars," Roffman added. "And we couldn't have done it without the tremendous support from retailers, particularly Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys "R" Us, as well as our promotional partners."
LIMA noted that its "best in show" award recognizes "the property that has had a significant and profound impact on the licensing community at retail and in the general marketplace during calendar year 2005." Last year was the biggest ever for Star Wars merchandise, with $3 billion of worldwide retail sales. Not only was Episode III Revenge of the Sith the highest grossing film at the global box-office, but Star Wars was the Number 1 Entertainment License of the year, Boys Toy line, Movie-based Video Game franchise, and Licensed Publishing franchise.
The Licensing International show is a 3-day annual trade event that gives owners and agents of intellectual properties the opportunity to showcase their brands to high-profile manufacturers, retailers, licensees, and promotional partners. This year marked the first time in a decade that Lucasfilm has been a show exhibitor, but most of the action took place off the floor where Licensing team members had wall to wall private discussions about both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones brands.
Also at the awards ceremony, attended by a record 1,100 guests, the award for Best Film, Television & Entertainment Brand Licensee of the Year Award went to Hasbro Inc. for its Star Wars Light Saber Battle Game.