]>At this year's Licensing International Expo, artists not only had a dedicated section on the show floor, but were also featured in a virtual gallery at licensingexpo.com and had their work displayed near the entrance of the show floor. Artists came to the show with established collections looking to expand, as well as new collections looking to make their mark. The show was also an opportunity to announce recently signed licensing deals. Paul Frank Industries has partnered with Nestlé Crunch for a limited-edition Paul Frank Nestlé Crunch bar, his first confectionery deal. A Nestlé Crunch bar will be tucked inside a colorful gift envelope featuring holiday artwork and characters from the Paul Frank collection. The product doubles as a holiday card with space for a hand-written note and will be available this November. The company also announced a licensing partnership with Bento to produce footwear inspired by Paul Frank's design for baby and children up to 12 years old launching this month throughout Europe. Paul Frank and 26 Bars & a Band launched last month a line of pet products including beds, charms, collars and leashes. Artist Robin Zingone was able to network with clients at the expo and had a number of deals to talk about. "Licensing International Expo is a terrific venue, not only for meeting new clients, but for connecting face to face with many of my West Coast clients," says Zingone, who promoted properties such as Girlygirl. Skinit will launch the next wave of Zingone's designs for skins on electronics, wallskins and tailskins. Publications International is planning two new scrapbooks featuring the artist's designs and Deluxe Financial has plans for updated check packages. Zingone says she made many new contacts at the show, especially on the international side, and is in contract negotiations with companies in Brazil and Spain. Promoting new art property Sparky & Marie was a priority for MHS Licensing at the expo. Shortly after the show, MHS announced a deal with Checks In The Mail and their sister company Expressionery for art brand Sparky & Marie. Items include checks, check book covers, stationery, calendars, bookmarks, wallets, coin purses, bags, cell phone cases, key chains, plates, trays, placemats and coasters. British art brand, Lunartics, which brings a fantasy world inside the moon to life, was focused on promoting itself to the North American market and targeting agency representation in other international territories. "I am delighted with the number of serious inquiries received from South American, European and Asian markets. Lunartics, as an international brand, is now really starting to develop and we hope to announce a couple of high-profile appointments in the coming months in the build up to Brand Licensing Europe in the U.K. later in the year," says Simon Harris, managing director at Lunartics. Post-show, exhibitor The Working Girls was signed for a 365-day calendar with the Avalanche division of Perfect Timing Brands. The calendar will debut in 2012. A first timer at this year's expo, Rising Braves signed a deal with A&A Global Industries for collectible stickers, temporary tattoos, as well as novelties featuring the Skully Bunny Collection. Products will be available soon in the U.S. and Canada through vending machines. Morning Glory Licensing recently signed eight new licensees to produce Thomas Kinkade-branded products. Latest partners include Cra-Z-Art for art kits; The Mountain for T-shirts, tank tops and dresses; Saturday Knight Limited for home décor; KNG America for accent light boxes, lamps, home décor items and lenticular back-lit wall art; Joanna Sheen for international distribution of CDs for paper crafts, scrapbooking and card making, featuring Thomas Kinkade images; International Greetings for stationery products for fundraising activities; Icon Shoes for footwear, handbags and small leather goods; and Sherwood Brands for seasonal gift sets, baskets and containers. Products will begin rolling out this summer and continue throughout 2011.
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