Products of Change


Thu 14 Apr 2022 | by Rob Hutchins

Tonies partners with Black Lives Matter in new measure to step up diversity and representation

The children’s audio storytelling platform, Tonies – a keen purveyor of licensing partnerships with some of the biggest brands in children’s entertainment – has this week taken new measures to step up diversity, inclusion, and representation through new efforts with Black Lives Matter Licensing Committee. Under the new pairing, Black Lives Matter Licensing Committee will work closely with the Tonies team to assist with its product development strategy and creative development, with all money received from the partnership going to a soon-to-be-announced beneficiary. Saphia Maxamed, founder of Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement, said: “Our group has identified an area where they can help move the industry forward by being a voice on how to diversify product ranges to ensure both authenticity and inclusivity. “We are aware that not every category can carry our license, after all, the products and partners need to make sense. However, we are extremely happy the industry is open to working through how they can best support the movement and make the changes needed to be supportive of the black community. “Being able to give guidance to such an important partner in our industry is incredible, and we’re looking forward to working together.” Tonies is an award-winning children’s audio storytelling platform that comprises a Toniebox portable audio speaker and a cast of hand-painted character figures that, when placed on the Toniebox, tell their story. The current content library consists of over 85 characters, from the Lion King to Peter Rabbit, the Gruffalo, and plenty more. Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement is a collective space for the licensing industry to move the Black Lives Matter movement forward and implement change within the licensing industry. The team acts to support the Black community through the coordination of industry initiatives with licensors, licensees, and retailers. A portion of the proceeds for all licensed products developed under the new partnership with Tonies will be set aside to benefit black lives by giving back to the community to uplift black lives, improve equity in licensing for Black IPS, and to help eradicate systemic racism. Liz Peters, head of UK and Eire portfolio at Tonies, said: “We are really happy to be working with the BLM Licensing Committee. Here at Tonies, we are committed to diversifying our portfolio and it is extremely important to us to make sure we are getting the look and feel of the product, as well as the content, right. “The advice and support we have received from the team at BLM Licensing has been invaluable to us in developing our portfolio of Tonies and we are delighted that our fee will be going back into the community.”