Atoms with Attitude” and “Hunnie Bumble and Friends” crowned License This! Contest Winners at Licensing Expo


“Catoms: Atoms with Attitude” and “Hunnie Bumble and Friends” crowned License This! Contest Winners at Licensing Expo

The competition provides a platform for creatives to showcase their concepts and get started in the licensing industry.

Las Vegas, Nevada (May 25, 2022)Licensing Fairthe world’s largest trade show connecting the $292 billion global licensing industry, hosted the live finale of the License that! competition today where selected illustrators, designers and animators had the opportunity to present their concepts in front of a panel of expert judges. Catoms: Atoms with Attitudedesigned by Kieche Meleson O’Connell, was selected as the winner in the Character & Animation category, and Stef “Sharky” Shultz won the Brand & Design category with Hunnie Bumble and his friends.

The two winners of the competition, sponsored by Flowhaven, presented themselves alongside four other finalists before an audience of registered Licensing Expo guests and world-renowned experts in the licensing industry. Each winner wins a much-appreciated grand prize including:

  • Free 100 square foot booth at Licensing Expo 2023 worth $2,500
  • One year International license membership worth $1,000 for a small business
  • One year Products of change membership, worth up to $450 for a small business
  • Individual consultation with License This! judges

“Congratulations to our winners” said Anna Knight, SVP of the Global Licensing Group, organizer of Licensing Expo. “It’s new creators and original thinkers like Kieche and Stef who keep our dynamic industry fresh and imaginative. Each of the finalists brought incredible insights and will be the next IPs to watch for years to come.

The judging panel was made up of nine senior executives representing industry-leading brands.” Global magazine license, flowhaven, International license, Global Licensing Advisors, Studio Rocker Boat, Power Station Studios, Redbubble, Lisa Mark Associatesand Product Advisor. After each stage presentation, the judges asked questions and shared actionable feedback to help designers, animators, and creators refine their designs and ideas as they bring their products to market. Comments focused on how to identify their target audience to work with retailers.

Character & Animation

  • Catoms: Atoms with Attitude – Kieche Meleson O’Connell
    I took the periodic table and turned each element into a cat that represents its unique scientific qualities in the form of coat patterns, superpowers, and personalities. The universe of Catoms offers fun stories where the characters take you into the mysterious and often unseen world of chemistry but from Catom’s point of view. Catoms are basically edutainment entertainment. The characters and stories are engaging but based on scientific fact, so they indirectly teach real science.

Brand and design

  • Hunnie Bumble and Friends – Stef “Sharky” Schultz
    Hunnie Bumble is a whimsical queen bee who lives in a colorful world comfortably far from our own reality – with her husband “Hubbie Bumble” and all their friends. Buzzing with adorable antics, absurdly wacky humor and new friends being introduced all the time, Hunnie Bumble and Friends will always keep him cute, adventurous and wacky in the countless adventures to be had – from cooking to hide-and-seek, to skydiving, rock climbing, caving…and whatever else they fancy in the next five minutes!

“I’m speechless,” commented Kieche Meleson O’Connell, winner of the Character and Animation category. “I didn’t expect it, to be honest; I am a chemist by trade and I tried to switch into this creative world. When I first came to Licensing Expo, although I was super excited, I felt like a fish out of water, so it’s nice to see people recognizing Catoms: Atoms with Attitude as a good project.

“I’m so honored to win – it was a pleasure and such a great opportunity,” said Stef “Sharky” Schultz, winner of the Brand & Design category. “I’m very grateful and want to use this brand to bring about change in the world. There is a niche that Hunnie Bunnie and Friends supports, raising awareness of how we recycle and that there is such a divide in the care. I want everyone to have access to good things; I want people to have the opportunity to have access to sustainable things and to afford sustainable products and to increase the demand for sustainable recycled materials. Hunnie Bunnie and Friends is that catalyst!

Other finalists in the License This! competition presented on stage at Licensing Expo includes:

Character & Animation

  • I want to be a ballerina – Finalist Cherie Mays
  • Sunny the Apathetic Rabbit – Finalist Claire Schechinger

Brand and design

  • Toy Game – Finalist Alexandre Silva
  • Monsters and Martians – Finalist Ken Reil

Licensing Expo is produced in partnership with the industry trade association International license. Register to attend the exhibition in person on the last day of the live show or to participate in the event’s online platform for the following four weeks.

Follow Licensing Expo on social media: #LicensingExpo

About the Licensing Fair

Launched in 1980, Licensing Expo is the world’s largest and most influential annual exhibition dedicated to licensing and brand extension. Every year, more than 5,000 brands and 16,000 retailers, licensees, manufacturers, distributors and licensing agents attend Licensing Expo in over 70 countries. Licensing Expo is part of the Global Licensing Group of Informa Markets, the licensing industry’s leading trade show organizer and media partner. Its mission is to provide worldwide licensing opportunities by bringing brands and products together.

About the Global Licensing Group
Informa Markets’ Global Licensing Group is the licensing industry’s leading trade show organizer and media partner. Its mission is to provide worldwide licensing opportunities by bringing brands and products together. The following events and information products are produced for the licensing industry by Informa Markets’ Global Licensing Group: Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai, The Licensing Leadership Summit, License Global magazine, License Global Daily E-News and The Licensing Mixtape podcast. Global Licensing Group events are sponsored by Licensing International.

About Licensing International
Licensing International is the leading trade organization for the global licensing industry. The mission of Licensing International is to foster the growth and expansion of licensing worldwide, to elevate the level of professionalism of licensing practitioners and to further the awareness of the business community in its together with the benefits of licensing. Founded in 1985, Licensing International members in more than 40 countries enjoy access to a range of benefits, including extensive educational programming and global networking events. Visit for more information and to use the definitive online licensing resource.

Daniel Pickett

AFi’s founder and editor, Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett, has been around toys his entire life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Superhero line in the 70s. He’s been surrounded by collectibles ever since. In 1999 he was baffled by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite lines of toys he collected. Since he couldn’t find the information, he decided to search for it himself, thinking that other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and an action figure for a toy news site and within a year he tripled the site’s daily traffic with his updates, reviews and features. of products. He has established relationships with all the major toy manufacturers and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He has turned his hobby into a global expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they started their own website Daniel has been quoted both in the industry and in the mass media. Over the years, Daniel and AFi have been sought after as experts in the field. Daniel has been featured regularly on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 Network as a top contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our homepage has been linked to USA’s “Pop Candy” blog twice. Today. Daniel’s content has also been featured on Bloomberg News,,, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post,,,, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo .com, Ain’t It Cool News, the official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet, and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But it all sounds really cocky and ‘tootin’ his own horn’ – basically it’s that Daniel loves toys and LOVES talking about them.


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