According to LIMA, the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, character goods now account for 45% of retail sales of all licensed products, or around $113 billion retail worldwide in 2015.  The licensing industry gathered last week at Licensing Expo, and we round up here some news bits on various products of interest to geek culture retailers.

Grumpyface has launched Teeny Titans, a new mobile game that includes characters from Teen Titans Go!, from the original Teen Titans TV series, and from DC Comics.  Voice talent includes the Titan Titans Go! cast, plus George Takei on a new character specific to the mobile game.  The app retails for $3.99; there are no in-app purchases.

American Greetings has begun to reveal the scope of its new Madballs program, with Just Play the master toy partner, Mondo Tees for collectibles, Kidrobot for vinyl figures, collectibles, soft foam balls and limited editions items, and yes, Brunswick for bowling balls.  Just Play will launch classic and mini-collectible Madballs next Spring, followed by play-sets and accessories.  A series of web shorts will launch this Fall, Las Maquinitias Studios is developing a mobile game, and Neon Mob is creating digital trading cards. 

We first saw Madballs in the form of an oversize Madballs comic anthology at New York Comic Con last fall (see “NYCC Photos – Part 4”); Lion Forge has the comics (see “Preview:  ‘Madballs’ #3 – Covers”). 

The first licensed playsets from Playmobil will be tied to the classic Ghostbusters property, the companies announced.  They’ll be launched worldwide in early summer 2017. 

Cartoon Network is rolling out a new Ben 10 TV series in the U.S. and Latin America in 2017.  Playmates will release toys beginning Fall 2017. 

Abrams will launch books and calendars tied to Steven Universe at Comic-Con 2017.

Dark Horse will launch an Art of Rick and Morty book at Comic-Con 2017.

Licensing legend Al Kahn will work with pop artist Sean Danconia’s SupaPop to help create a 6-11 toy-based animation property.  Meanwhile, former President of Marvel Animation Eric Rollman has signed animation development deals for SupaPop characters Suzi Sixty-6 and J-Soul 7; and Manga Entertainment is developing a TV series with SupaPop characters Bebe Bardo and Loli Pop.  

Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, Genius Brands, and The Hollywood Reporter are co-producing a new adult animated series created by Lee and written by Fabian Nicieza.  Lee will edit and voice himself as a main character.  The new series will launch in connection with THR’s special Comic-Con issue:  “Stan Lee:  75 Years in the Business.”  Todd McFarlane (Spawn) will create the cover graphics for the issue.