Pop Culture Powerhouses: Iconic Brands Gear Up for Anniversaries


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Beloved Brands Celebrate Milestones

Members of our team just returned from the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, and boy, it was a treasure trove of nostalgic characters and childhood favorites! Amidst the buzz, a special spotlight shone on some iconic brands on the verge of exciting anniversaries. It was a fabulous learning experience for everyone involved.

It was impressive to see just how these brands have utilized strategic marketing and product placement to stay top-of-mind after all these years. In this article, Hollywood Branded pulls back the curtain on how the power of pop culture marketing has kept these iconic brands relevant for generations.

Pop Culture Powershouses- Iconic Brands Gear Up For Anniversaries! -1

our pop culture heroes are growing up

The 2024 Licensing Expo wasn't just a showcase of shiny new characters and trends. This year, a wave of nostalgia washed over the event as iconic brands celebrated upcoming milestones. From the little blue Smurfs turning a sprightly 65 to the Care Bears reminding us to spread kindness for their 45th anniversary, these pop culture powerhouses are proving that staying relevant is an art form. Let's take a trip down memory lane and rediscover the magic that's endured for generations, all while peeking at how these brands are gearing up for their anniversary celebrations!

Care Bears: Spreading Love and Kindness for 45 Years 

These cuddly bears with belly badges reminding us to care, are approaching their 45th anniversary in 2024. Originally a greeting card line, the Care Bears found massive success as animated characters, spreading their message of love and kindness. We've even seen Care Bear product placement in movies like "Ted" (2012), keeping them playfully relevant. Get ready for a wave of warm and fuzzy nostalgia as Care Bears celebrate their anniversary! 

Cool Partnership/Placement: The Care Bears partnered with Build-A-Bear Workshop for a special huggable Care Bear collection (ongoing). 


Photo Credit: Dreamstime


This playful Christmas tradition, born from a children's book in 2005, has become a global phenomenon. Elf on the Shelf has cleverly expanded its world with the Santaverse, a narrative universe filled with new characters and stories. Products like the Santaverse Elf Door add to the magic, allowing the scout elves to come and go from the North Pole with ease. 

Cool Partnership/Placement: Beyond toys and games, Elf on the Shelf has partnered with major brands to create delicious treats that spread holiday cheer. In a fun collaboration with IHOP® in 2019, scout elves were featured on a special limited-time menu with festive dishes like "Jolly Cakes" – fluffy green pancakes topped with sweet cream cheese icing and shimmery elf sprinkles.


Photo Credit: Dreamstime

The flash races toward his 90th anniversary

The Scarlet Speedster has been racing through the pages of DC Comics since 1934. The Flash's popularity soared with animated appearances like "Super Friends" and later, his own dedicated series. With a new movie on the horizon, expect a lightning bolt of excitement surrounding The Flash's 90th anniversary. 

Cool Partnership/Placement: Partnered with DC Universe Online for an in-game Flash costume inspired by the movie "The Flash" (2023). 


Photo Credit: Dreamstime


Miffy the rabbit, also known as Nijntje in Dutch, has been a beloved children's character since her creation in 1955. This simple yet endearing character has found her way onto books, toys, and merchandise, captivating hearts around the world with her friendly personality. With a recent museum exhibition and an enduring presence in pop culture, Miffy shows no signs of slowing down! 

Cool Partnership/Placement: This adorable Dutch rabbit teamed up with the Rijksmuseum for a 2021 exhibition celebrating her 65th anniversary. Miffy also has a longstanding partnership with the Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo.


Photo Credit: Dreamstime


Julius the mischievous monkey has been a fashion icon for nearly three decades. Paul Frank's colorful characters found their way onto clothing and accessories, becoming a staple in youth fashion. Expect a resurgence of Paul Frank's funky designs and playful characters as they celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2025. 

Cool Partnership/Placement: Paul Frank partnered with Japanese streetwear brand A Bathing Ape (BAPE) for a limited-edition collection featuring Julius the monkey in 2019. 


Photo Credit: Dreamstime

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Charles Schulz's timeless comic strip continues to bring joy to readers of all ages. Peanuts transcended print with appearances in television specials and even a feature film, ensuring Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the whole Peanuts gang remained relevant across generations. Get ready for their 75th anniversary in 2025 to be a celebration of good ol' fashioned comic strip magic! 

Cool Partnership/Placement: Snoopy and the Peanuts gang collaborated with Lacoste for a limited-edition clothing line celebrating Snoopy as a tennis player (2015). 


Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Rainbow Brite

Sparkle up! Rainbow Brite's vibrant world of colors and whimsical characters turns 40 in 2026. Originally an animated series, Rainbow Brite's colorful characters have found new life on apparel and accessories, reminding everyone of the power of imagination. Expect a resurgence of bright and colorful merchandise to bring back all the childhood feels. 

Cool Partnership/Placement: Sparkle up! Rainbow Brite partnered with Converse for a line of colorful sneakers in the early 2000s, reminding everyone that glitter  never goes out of style. 

RainbowPhoto Credit: Pin IMG

Smurftastic fun: the smurfs turn 65! 

Those little blue guys from Smurf Village have been entertaining audiences since 1958. Smurfs were a Saturday morning cartoon mainstay, captivating viewers with their quirky personalities and adventures. Later, they made a splashy entrance into the movie world, reminding a whole new generation of their charm. Look out for a smurftastic wave of new merchandise and activations as they celebrate their 65th birthday! 

Cool Partnership/Placement: Smurfed their way into a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade collaboration with Nickelodeon (2018). 


Photo Credit: Dreamstime


The magical adventures of the Winx fairies have captivated audiences for two decades. The Winx Club found success as an animated series, inspiring a generation of young girls to embrace their inner magic. With a live-action adaptation coming soon, the Winx Club is poised for a whole new generation of fans to join the magical fun as they celebrate their 20th anniversary this year! 

Cool Partnership/Placement: The Winx fairies have collaborated with a variety of fashion brands over the years, including Moschino and Diesel.


Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Eager To Learn More?

Pop culture, through cartoons, movies, and product placement, has played a vital role in keeping brands relevant. Explore more of our team's insights on similar topics in these additional articles.     

Want to stay in the know with all things pop culture? Look no further than our Hot in Hollywood newsletter! Each week, we compile a list of the most talked-about moments in the entertainment industry, all for you to enjoy!

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