Becker Associates is an award-winning IP licensing and brand management agency. We provide International Licensing and Distribution in the infant, preschool, and toy industries. We also work in the apparel, pet, gift, and media industries.
Together with Anjar Co. LLC, we've licensed more than 1,500 products and our licensees have sold ~$2.5 billion of fun to children around the world. Gumby & Pokey, Barrel of Monkeys, Disappearing Magic Baby Bottle, Fireball Island, Fireball Island: Curse of Vul-Kar, Crimson Cutlass, Flipsiders, TimberTots, Battle Dome, Nerf Ping Pong, Baby Get Well, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Goops, Go For Broke, Pathfinder, Sliders, Pocket Games, Anne Geddes Plush, Anne Geddes Puzzles, Breaking Point (Tumball), The Game of the Generals, Pathfinder, Sonic Cyclone, Steve Kaufman Puzzles, and PlayTape are some of the products we’ve developed, licensed or marketed, many of which have become familiar household names and sold millions of pieces!
We represent inventors and entrepreneurs, who have ideas they want to see in the market. We help develop these ideas and present them to major manufacturers around the world for licensing, sparing the entrepreneur the cost of development, manufacturing, packaging, selling and inventorying their products. We negotiate and write the contracts, and oversee approvals, financials, and legal, including IP.
In addition to the inventors we represent, Anjar and Becker Associates are the exclusive licensing agents for some of the most famous and iconic brands in the world, including Wham-O's Frisbee, Hula Hoop, Super Ball, Hacky Sack, Slip 'N Slide, Boogie Boards, and Trac-Ball, Sophie la Girafe (the #1 infant brand in Europe), Steve Kaufman (Andy Warhol's protégé and assistant), and Anne Geddes.
We’re experts in licensing, and a recent niche has included the licensing of RETRO BRANDS, whose familiarity is highly desirable because of the uncertainty that resulted from the Covid epidemic, but, we also create and build new brands! Big Fat Yarn (a new craft brand using no tools, which we licensed to Jazwares) has gone viral, with OVER 18.8 million views and 550 million impressions! There were 1.8 million views in the first 12 days alone, and over 12.5 million views in the first 4 months!
We've licensed Wham-O (whose legacy products include Frisbee, Super Ball, Hacky Sack, Hula Hoop, Boogie Board, Trac-Ball, etc.) to American Eagle Outfitters and Bentex for apparel, Winning Moves for retro games, and Jazwares for pet toys - creating an entirely new multimillion dollar line of business and brand-new distribution channels! For Sophie la girafe (a 60-year-old teether), we licensed a plush line to DanDee and Animal Adventure. Fireball Island (the game), which was popular in the late 70s, raised $2.8 million on Kickstarter, making it the third highest Kickstarter fundraiser of all time in games. We hope to inspire play, which is universal, and create lifelong memories and experiences across our portfolio of new and retro products and brands and turn many of the best-known toys and games into global, world-famous brands in a sustainable way that improves the planet and the lives of all.
Our licensees include Hasbro, Mattel, Fisher-Price, Jazwares, Ravensburger, Simba-Dickie Group, Tomy, Schmidt Spiele, Brio, John Adams, Lansay, Vulli S.A.S., Funskool (India), Commonwealth Toy, Fat Brain Toys, Identity Games, Irwin Toys, Mandoo, MegaBleu, University Games, Hutter, Broadway Toys, Crown & Andrews, Hanall M&C, MJM Australia, Restoration Games, Trends, Grandi Giochi Group, Felix Toys, Epee and TCG Toys, DanDee, Winning Moves, American Eagle Outfitters, Bentex and more. Target, Walmart, Amazon, Toys "R" Us, and thousands of other retailers have sold our merchandise in more than 100 countries. Our products have been co-branded with Disney, Pokémon, Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros., Marvel, G.I. Joe, Barbie, Simpsons, Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Hello Kitty, Smiley, Steve Kaufman, and Anne Geddes, connecting kids with their favorite licensed brands and characters. We're the proud recipient of the prestigious 'OUTSTANDING LICENSING AGENT' Award.
Patti and Jonathan have over 80 combined years of toy industry and licensing experience. Patti and Jonathan’s unique, complementary backgrounds and expertise - child development, marketing, legal - adds tremendous value to the inventors and licensors we represent. We typically attend ~25 different trade shows around the world annually, and present new product ideas to nearly 500 different companies globally. In 2020 and 2019, we introduced over 100 new items each year. 2021 and 2022 were transformative years for us, as we expanded into new businesses including pets, apparel, content and media.
While each individual toy company can only review products for their own product lines, Becker Associates looks for products that have potential with any one of hundreds of companies around the world. We also receive and study company ‘wish lists’, so we not only understand the company’s current product range, but also their strategic plans for product extensions and expansion into new categories. In relaxed, private conversations with friends and colleagues in the industry, we often learn about opportunities that others aren't aware of.
Although we’re all faced with unique challenges in the post-Covid era, we’re very excited about the future of our industry, especially as children and adults look to fill more time at home with games, puzzles and other toys. We’re grateful for the talented inventors and great manufacturers we represent, and the thousands of relationships that we’ve built over 50+ years and 1,500+ licenses. Selected as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Figures in the Toy and Game Industry for the past three years, we’re well-positioned to continue to provide innovative and exciting new toys, games and publishing to the industry.
Every day we make sustainable choices that we believe will have a long-term positive impact on the health of our planet and well-being of our society. At Becker Associates, our licensed products are increasingly made from non-toxic, ethically sourced ingredients by major manufacturers around the world who are prioritizing sustainability. We do our best to encourage our licensees to make and package our toys and games in eco-friendly packaging that can be recycled or repurposed. On a trip to Alaska several decades ago, we were made visibly aware of global warming, which continues to dramatically affect our planet. We were exposed to glaciers receding, which were marked with a simple sign with the year, placed next to the outermost edge of the glacier. The signs told the story effectively, with each year's sign dramatically depicting the receding glaciers as they melted. That visual was stunning. As advocates for children and the importance of play, we’re acutely aware of the role we have in protecting the environment for future generations.
Patti Becker, CEO & Founder of Becker Associates LLC, prides herself on empowering entrepreneurs, and inventors to develop their IP, and helping them market their brands and products to major manufacturers around the world. Patti has over 45 years of experience in the Toy Industry. Her background combines art, developmental child psychology, education (BA), and marketing (MBA). Before joining Anjar and founding Becker Associates, Patti held positions at three different US consumer products manufacturers. Patti is Past President of Women in Toys, Licensing and Entertainment, where she established the Women’s Empowerment Program with Walmart in 2012, encouraging 500+ women-owned businesses to pitch their ideas directly to Walmart buyers, discuss their experiences and share best practices. Patti transformed WIT from a small U.S.-based organization into an international organization with 3,500 members in over 24 countries, increased WIT’s operating budget 600%, created a stellar Advisory Board of International industry leaders, grew social media networking, expanded the awards and scholarship programs, and achieved global recognition for WIT. Patti is an advocate in the field of mental health and philanthropy.
Jonathan Becker, President of Anjar, is an IP Attorney, recognized as one the leading licensing attorneys in the Toy Business. Jonathan was “born” into the industry, and joined his Dad, Jim, at Anjar in1987, after practicing law for several years at the New York offices of Ladas & Parry, an international patent and trademark firm. Jonathan is an adjunct assistant professor in the Toy Design Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology (the first program in the world to offer a BFA in Toy Design), where he co-wrote the curriculum, and has taught Business Practices for over 30 years. Many FIT graduates have gone onto stellar careers in the toy industry, including several at Anjar where they’ve designed some of our best-selling products over the past three decades.
Roger Becker joined Anjar Co. in 1980, after Attending Berklee College of Music to major in Composition and Conducting, following in the footsteps of his father, James R. Becker, who got his start as a cornet player for the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. For over 24 years, Roger kept Anjar on the cutting edge of technology in both the Graphics and Operations departments. Anjar was the first in the business to have fully automated royalty and document processing, including automated licensee correspondence. In 2002, Roger left Anjar to become an accomplished graphic artist and IT consultant. Now, Roger is delighted to rejoin Anjar, as it grows and adapts to the ever-changing and exciting world of entertainment, online content, and streaming media.
James R. Becker, the Founder of Anjar Co. was recognized as a pioneer in toy licensing, becoming the 72nd inductee into the prestigious TOY INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME on Anjar's 50ᵗʰ Anniversary in 2018. Jim was responsible for creating, developing and licensing some of the most iconic toys and games of all time, including Gumby & Pokey, Barrel of Monkeys, the Magic (Disappearing) Baby Bottle, Othello, Battle Dome, Breaking Point, and hundreds of other products, many of which sold millions of units.
For over 55 years, Jim Becker devoted his energy and life's blood to developing andlicensing products in the Toy Industry. He helped create global licensing as we know it today. He was a legend to the Toy Industry he loved. By creating Gumby and Pokey Bendy Toys, brand extensions and other merchandise from a TV Show, he helped spawn an $80 billion (2011) Licensing Industry. He was one of the true genius' in the Toy Industry and a pioneer in the Licensing Industry. He recognized and created many trends, like Gumby, Pokey, Barrel of Monkeys, Disappearing Magic Baby Bottle, Othello, Nerf Ping Pong, Battle Dome and The Betsy McCall Fashion Designer Set. Before Jim, no one adapted items made for the US to appeal and sell in foreign markets, including the most difficult of all to penetrate, Japan. He also innovated the concept of developing Japanese and European toys and games for the American market. In those days, the 1940s-1970s, global marketing didn't exist; global companies didn't exist, and neither Hasbro nor Mattel had worldwide distribution or subsidiaries in most foreign markets.
When Othello® was first created by Japanese game enthusiast, Goro Hasegawa in 1971, he chose one of the leading toy inventors in the world, James R. Becker, to help him develop and market the game. Inspired by the ancient Japanese strategy game 'Go', Hasegawa sought to create a game that was rich in strategy, but still approachable by the casual player. Becker simplified the game play, coined the tagline, 'A Minute to Learn...A Lifetime to Master'® and named this new game after Shakespeare's classic play, because of the black and white chips.
Othello® was first introduced in Japan in 1973, byTsukuda Original Co., who at Becker's suggestion organized the Japanese Othello® Association. Today, Othello® Associations exist in over 20 different countries. In 1975, Anjar licensed the item to Gabriel Industries for the U.S. market. Othello became one of the best-selling classic, licensed strategy games of all time. In 1977, Becker organized the first World Othello Championship™, bringing together many licensees from all over the world to share ideas, advertising and marketing strategies on an annual basis. The Othello Brand was subsequently recognized by Playthings Magazine, the principle Toy Industry publication at the time, as one of the 'Classic Toys and Games of the 20th Century' still in production. Other prestigious awards that Othello has won includes the Parents' Choice Classic Toy Award, and Games Magazine's Hall of Fame. Othello game sales have exceeded $600 million and more than 40 million classic games have been sold in over 100 different countries, making Othello the most successfully licensed strategy game in the world, as of 2011 when Jim was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Jim created the concept of World Othello Championships and Othello Victory Dinners and the 35th Annual World Othello Championship was held in New York, November 2011.
Jim Becker was a pioneer representing Japanese products in the U.S. This approach was brilliant and unprecedented. He also partnered with inventors and manufacturers to develop and represent their ideas for licensing around the world. Prior to founding Anjar, Jim was President of Lakeside Toys, where he worked for Zom Levine, one of Jim's many bosses, like Mort Levy and Jerry Fryer, who went on to become lifelong friends. At Lakeside, Jim developed another innovative product that became a category. Based on the TV show, and working with Art Clokey, Jim developed Gumby and Pokey which were an instant success. These toys were extended to include a multitude of licenses including Bozo, Laurel and Hardy, and others, and along with Barrel of Monkeys became another craze created by Jim through his merchandising finess when he suggested using huge barrels in the stores to merchandise the smaller Barrel of Monkeys in the 1960s.
In addition to Othello, Gumby, Pokey and Barrel of Monkeys, Jim's other product development credits include the Disappearing Magic Milk Bottle, Nerf Ping Pong, Elmo's Trike, Barbie 'Really Works' Activity Toys, 'Land Before Time' Hand Puppets, Shirt Pocket Games, GI Joe Earthquake Vehicle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Foldable Flying Saucers, the Betsy McCall Fashion Designer Set, Grabbin' Dragons, and over 500 others.
Jim used his expertise, his charisma, his sense of humor, and the strength of his personal relationships to create one of the most successful product development and licensing companies in the world, Anjar. Anjar is an acronym for Jim's four sons: Arto, Neil, Jonny and Roger. 'Dad' as I called him, was an inspiration and mentor to me, his sons, and countless others. His integrity is such that when a street inventor calls the Toy Industry Association or a major company trying to show a new product concept, they are often referred to Anjar. It's a rare person who has not played with at least one of Jim's famous toys, be it Gumby, Pokey, Barrel of Monkeys or Othello, he has touched the lives of so many.
Married for over 57 years to Frances, his son, Jonathan continues to uphold his high business ethics, principles and integrity. Following World War II, Jim Becker's initiatives sparked the beginnings of modern product licensing from the Orient to the U.S., Europe and the rest of the World, changing both the Toy and Licensing Industries in a profound way.
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