Toys "R" Us Deal Approved
Shareholders for Toys "R" Us approved the sale of the company for $6.6 billion
to a consortium comprising Bain Capital, Inc., and Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts
& Co. On the heels of the news, CEO John Eyler left the company. Vice
Chairman Rick Markee will take his place on an interim basis.
Cartoon Network Restructures
Cartoon Network changed its operational structure to better support moving its
branded merchandising business to Cartoon Network Enterprises from Warner Bros.
Consumer Products. Kim McQuilken will oversee all licensing and merchandising
activity in addition to his current responsibilities in the new position of
executive vice president of kids advertising sales and marketing. John Friend,
senior vice president, will be responsible for consumer products in the U.S.
and internationally. Cynthia Rapp will continue to manage Cartoon Network
Enterprises' creative direction, but she now will report to Dennis Adamovich,
senior vice president of marketing. All other operations and programming
functions in the U.S. will continue to operate under the existing structure
headed by General Manager Jim Samples, with regional and country-specific feeds
of Cartoon Network outside the U.S. managed by the regional network heads.
Geneon Entertainment to Support Chop Socky Chooks
Geneon Entertainment acquired the North American merchandising and home
entertainment rights to CG-animated martial arts action comedy Chop Socky
Chooks. The program will be coproduced with Canada's Decode Entertainment,
Cartoon Network, and Teletoon, where the series also will air during the
2006-2007 broadcast season. The series follows The Chop Socky Chooks, a crack
team of Kung Fu Chickens, as they battle their evil arch nemesis, Dr. Wasabi-a
mutant piranha-and his diabolical plots to become a one-man global superpower.
American Idol Gets Underground Website
Fluid Audio Networks and FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide launched the first
online incarnation of American Idol, American Idol Underground (http://www.idolunderground.com/).
The site will offer talent competitions in several different music genres,
including pop, rock, country, R&B, classical, jazz, spoken word, and rap.
The American Idol Underground Website, due later this year, will be powered by
Fluid Audio's proprietary self-publishing software. Musicians will directly
upload their music to one of 13 genre-specific music channels for review by
Internet listeners and celebrity judges.
Brooks Launches New Girls' Line
Debbie Brooks, the pop artist turned handbag and accessories designer, will
partner with Creative Brands Group on her Lunachics brand for young girls. This
announcement comes on the heels of Brooks signing on Creative Brands Group as
her licensing agent. Lunachics consists of three main characters who act as
role models for young girls: Starlette, Serafine, and Alyssa. The Lunachics
brand will follow in much the same suit as the Debbie Brooks brand in cause
marketing to help grow the brand. The first product, Lunachics Magnetic
Dollhouse, was developed with Rose Art and will ship to Wal-Mart for
Raven to Star in Fragrance Line
Raven, star of Disney Channel series That's So Raven, and Disney Consumer
Products teamed up with boom! LLC to create a new fragrance line. Featuring
cologne sprays and a fragrance shimmer stick, the line will retail for $7.50
and $12 and will be in specialty, mid-tier, and mass-market retailers in
Zoey 101 Readied for Apparel and Accessories
Nickelodeon will create a line of apparel and accessories inspired by Zoey 101.
The apparel line will launch in fall at most major department stores, and the
sleepwear and accessories will be available exclusively at stores operated by
The May Department Stores Co. The apparel will be inspired by the looks of the
students at Malibu, CA, boarding school Pacific Coast Academy. The department
stores owned by The May Department Stores Co. (Famous-Barr, Filene's, Foley's,
Hecht's, Kaufmann's, L.S. Ayres, Meier & Frank, Robinsons-May,
Strawbridge's, and The Jones Store) will have a major role in the October
launch. May stores will carry the Zoey 101 apparel and will be the exclusive
retailer for all accessories in the line, including sleepwear, handbags,
jewelry, and watches.
Happy Tree Friends Court Interactive Marketplace
Cuddles, Giggles, Lumpy, Flippy, Nutty, and Petunia from the Happy Tree Friends
soon will appear on game consoles as part of a new deal between Mondo Media,
Signatures Network, Inc., and Flashman Studios. Flashman Studios seeks
publishers interested in bringing the brand to video games and other areas of
interactive entertainment. Flashman is working with Signatures Network, the
master rights holder for Happy Tree Friends, to represent the brand worldwide
within the interactive entertainment market.
Sajak Launches Gaming Site
Pat Sajak launched PatSajakgames.com,
a partnership between Sajak's production company, P.A.T. Productions, and
uclick, LLC, a provider of syndicated digital content to online and mobile
publishers. The site will feature a blend of games available for download and
play on desktop computers. Joining the Sajak team is puzzle and game developer
David L. Hoyt, who will work as head of development and licensing.
P-Brains Set for Publishing Deal
P-Brains, the collectible brain-switching electronic toys manufactured by Uncle
Milton Industries, now are available for book publishing via SupperTime
Entertainment. The SupperTime Entertainment publishing plans focus on a range
of interactive book formats including electronic novelty books, sound and/or
computer chip books, and gift books. P-Brains characters are sold in "unlikely"
pairs of two with a baby/soldier making up one set and a teacher/skateboarder
making up the other. When their squishy brains are pressed, each character
speaks up to 18 different phrases, but the most unique aspect is the ability to
interchange brains, allowing character personalities to be switched.
Hricik to Helm Entertainment Rights
Entertainment Rights Plc named Kathleen Hricik to the newly created post of
executive vice president and managing director of the U.S., Canada, and Latin
America. Hricik will be responsible for the strategic direction of ER's growing
business in the U.S., as well as overseeing all television, home entertainment,
and licensing and merchandising activities for the U.S., Canada, and Latin
Licensing Fact: Did you know that with our
newly remodeled site, you now can search articles by categories including art,
brands, character/entertainment, sports, interactive, and retail? Check it out
LINK Las Vegas-The Perfect Follow-Up to Licensing International
LINK Las Vegas is the premier networking and educational event for business
leaders from the fashion, entertainment, and consumer products industries who
are involved in brand extensions, licensing, and merchandising. Taking place
during the last one-and-a-half days of MAGIC Marketplace August 31 and
September 1, 2005, LINK is a forum for deal-making and idea generation among
licensing professionals, brand owners, manufacturers, and retailers. With three
keynotes from esteemed journalists and industry insiders, plus 10 breakout
sessions focusing on licensing and brand extensions in the fashion,
entertainment, and retail sectors, LINK will stimulate your thinking on how to
drive growth in your business. At LINK's networking opportunities, you will
identify cross-marketing opportunities and foster new business partnerships
that otherwise could take months to develop. Register at http://www.linkconference.com/.
Brand Your Magic in August
No matter what property you license, you fit into fashion. And in August,
License! weaves together stories on sports and fashion, bringing all to life at
LINK in Las Vegas. As the official licensing publication of MAGIC Marketplace,
License! has more show distribution than any other industry magazine. In
addition to MAGIC Marketplace, we distribute August License! at LINK Las Vegas,
Outdoor Retailer, and Action Sports. Our Xtension supplement focuses
specifically on building fashion brands and offers exposure via company
profiles. For more information on advertising in August License!, contact
Steven Ekstract at (212) 951-6684 or [email protected].
Submit Licenses Granted & Available Now Online
License!'s new License! Finder now allows you to submit licenses granted and
available now online, which will be published on the License! Website (http://www.licensemag.com/) on a weekly
basis once approved by an editor. Go to http://www.finder.licensemag.com/
to fill out the verification form and submit your licenses granted or available
now. Highlights from each month's online submissions will be published in
License! magazine. Any questions, contact Alyson Grala at (212) 951-6743 or via
e-mail: mailto:[email protected].
News from The L.A.
Big changes are ahead for The L.A. Office RoadShow. RoadShow Hollywood begins
with an innovative day dedicated to video gaming (September 26) including
showcases of promotional opportunities. Also, new to RoadShow Europe is a day
of Power Sessions (October 24) in London, promotional sessions by studio
executives and industry leaders followed by a day of European Film & Home
Entertainment property reviews. Finally, The L.A. Office launches The Entertainment
Exchange on http://www.laoffice.com/, an
easily navigable resource providing innumerable properties, entertainment
contacts, and promotion tracking. Visit http://www.laoffice.com/
for more about RoadShow and take a tour of its Membership Program-the resource
for all your entertainment marketing needs.
For more information on licensing news and features, visit License! magazine's
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