Licensing Expo 2012: Hangin’ Out with the ‘Toons

We’re back from the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. And this time, what happened in Vegas did not stay in Vegas. We brought back pictures, so you could have a peek into studio life from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center … which is not exactly the Vegas experience of which 21st birthday dreams are made … but we had fun in our own trade-show-lovin’ kinda way.

Most of our time was spent in this lovely 10’ x 10’ rainbow-themed booth. For this show, Hecklette number three, Margaret, came to help us. Although she is studying animal science in college, she has grown up in the studio and knows how to get a trade show booth up and running. After our booth was assembled, we spent the next three days talking with our licensees to plan new collections and meeting with possible new clients to describe the way we work. Occasionally, we had to sneak over to the Two Town Studios’ booth to harass Ronnie and Jim during the few moments that they were not deep in client negotiations. (We can’t figure out why they keep moving farther away from us each show.)


Throughout our stay, we showed our portfolios to visitors from all over the world, we discussed our methods of working, we attended meetings, we took turns grabbing lunch, we froze to death (because all trade shows are freezing), we took pages of notes, and we shared tips with other exhibiting artists. And, only at the Licensing Expo are we able to hang with the ‘toons. Yep. This show is always filled with every bigger-than-life character you can imagine from television, movies and video games. Every booth is beeping and blinging. If SURTEX is a lovely gallery opening, Licensing Expo is Fourth of July at Disneyland. The giant characters walk the aisles (with their handlers guiding them, lest they run into a booth pole and take an entire aisle down due to the fact that their eyes are not really their eyes. Here we are with a few favorites below.


On the last day, after two trade shows within four weeks, and three days inside the halls of Mandalay Bay without seeing sunlight, my troops did begin to show signs of delirium. But thankfully, Ronnie’s agent, Lisa Marks, provided us with an excellent supply of Peeps® to fortify us for our booth take-down. (And, yes, you can call Lisa to license Peeps® for all your perfect-for-Peeps products, as well as Ronnie’s Real Women, Real Country™.)


Happily, after our booth was packed and palleted, we did finally make it outside. And, when we did, still no daylight. It was night. (But that’s okay, Las Vegas is really prettier at night … or something … not sure prettier is the word … dazzling-er?) Either way, we walked along the strip and then had a lazy fun dinner at Todd English’s Olives and watched the fountains dance at the Bellagio. It was as if they were saying, “Congratulations! Trade show season is over, now go make all that art you’ve been talking about!”



  1. Maria Brophy June 25, 2012

    Cathy, you have some great photos from the show!

    I saw the Peeps booth – I walked by it every day. It was in a great spot!

    And I agree, it was a little cold in there. I was regretting not packing a sweater.

    Excellent recap. See you there next year!

  2. Lady Sippington June 26, 2012

    Cathy Heck and her Hecklettes! I love it! A great post. The mascots are so sweet. Thanks for bringing Vegas to me, I did wonder what it was like. Good work and happy creating!

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