Toys "R" Us Deal Approved
Shareholders for Toys "R" Us approved the sale of the company for $6.6 billionto a consortium comprising Bain Capital, Inc., and Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts& Co. On the heels of the news, CEO John Eyler left the company. ViceChairman Rick Markee will take his place on an interim basis.
Cartoon Network Restructures
Cartoon Network changed its operational structure to better support moving itsbranded merchandising business to Cartoon Network Enterprises from Warner Bros.Consumer Products. Kim McQuilken will oversee all licensing and merchandisingactivity in addition to his current responsibilities in the new position ofexecutive 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 NetworkEnterprises' creative direction, but she now will report to Dennis Adamovich,senior vice president of marketing. All other operations and programmingfunctions in the U.S. will continue to operate under the existing structureheaded by General Manager Jim Samples, with regional and country-specific feedsof 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 homeentertainment rights to CG-animated martial arts action comedy Chop SockyChooks. The program will be coproduced with Canada's Decode Entertainment,Cartoon Network, and Teletoon, where the series also will air during the2006-2007 broadcast season. The series follows The Chop Socky Chooks, a crackteam of Kung Fu Chickens, as they battle their evil arch nemesis, Dr. Wasabi-amutant 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 firstonline incarnation of American Idol, American Idol Underground (
).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 byFluid Audio's proprietary self-publishing software. Musicians will directlyupload their music to one of 13 genre-specific music channels for review byInternet listeners and celebrity judges.
Brooks Launches New Girls' Line
Debbie Brooks, the pop artist turned handbag and accessories designer, willpartner with Creative Brands Group on her Lunachics brand for young girls. Thisannouncement comes on the heels of Brooks signing on Creative Brands Group asher licensing agent. Lunachics consists of three main characters who act asrole models for young girls: Starlette, Serafine, and Alyssa. The Lunachicsbrand will follow in much the same suit as the Debbie Brooks brand in causemarketing to help grow the brand. The first product, Lunachics MagneticDollhouse, was developed with Rose Art and will ship to Wal-Mart forback-to-school.
Raven to Star in Fragrance Line
Raven, star of Disney Channel series That's So Raven, and Disney ConsumerProducts teamed up with boom! LLC to create a new fragrance line. Featuringcologne sprays and a fragrance shimmer stick, the line will retail for $7.50and $12 and will be in specialty, mid-tier, and mass-market retailers inOctober.
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 thesleepwear and accessories will be available exclusively at stores operated byThe May Department Stores Co. The apparel will be inspired by the looks of thestudents at Malibu, CA, boarding school Pacific Coast Academy. The departmentstores 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 Octoberlaunch. May stores will carry the Zoey 101 apparel and will be the exclusiveretailer 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 Friendssoon will appear on game consoles as part of a new deal between Mondo Media,Signatures Network, Inc., and Flashman Studios. Flashman Studios seekspublishers interested in bringing the brand to video games and other areas ofinteractive entertainment. Flashman is working with Signatures Network, themaster rights holder for Happy Tree Friends, to represent the brand worldwidewithin the interactive entertainment market.
Sajak Launches Gaming Site
Pat Sajak launched
,a partnership between Sajak's production company, P.A.T. Productions, anduclick, LLC, a provider of syndicated digital content to online and mobilepublishers. The site will feature a blend of games available for download andplay on desktop computers. Joining the Sajak team is puzzle and game developerDavid 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 UncleMilton Industries, now are available for book publishing via SupperTimeEntertainment. The SupperTime Entertainment publishing plans focus on a rangeof interactive book formats including electronic novelty books, sound and/orcomputer 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/skateboardermaking up the other. When their squishy brains are pressed, each characterspeaks up to 18 different phrases, but the most unique aspect is the ability tointerchange brains, allowing character personalities to be switched.
Hricik to Helm Entertainment Rights
Entertainment Rights Plc named Kathleen Hricik to the newly created post ofexecutive vice president and managing director of the U.S., Canada, and LatinAmerica. Hricik will be responsible for the strategic direction of ER's growingbusiness in the U.S., as well as overseeing all television, home entertainment,and licensing and merchandising activities for the U.S., Canada, and LatinAmerica.
Did you know that with ournewly remodeled site, you now can search articles by categories including art,brands, character/entertainment, sports, interactive, and retail? Check it outat
LINK Las Vegas-The Perfect Follow-Up to Licensing International
LINK Las Vegas is the premier networking and educational event for businessleaders from the fashion, entertainment, and consumer products industries whoare involved in brand extensions, licensing, and merchandising. Taking placeduring the last one-and-a-half days of MAGIC Marketplace August 31 andSeptember 1, 2005, LINK is a forum for deal-making and idea generation amonglicensing professionals, brand owners, manufacturers, and retailers. With threekeynotes from esteemed journalists and industry insiders, plus 10 breakoutsessions focusing on licensing and brand extensions in the fashion,entertainment, and retail sectors, LINK will stimulate your thinking on how todrive growth in your business. At LINK's networking opportunities, you willidentify cross-marketing opportunities and foster new business partnershipsthat otherwise could take months to develop. Register at
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 atLINK in Las Vegas. As the official licensing publication of MAGIC Marketplace,License! has more show distribution than any other industry magazine. Inaddition to MAGIC Marketplace, we distribute August License! at LINK Las Vegas,Outdoor Retailer, and Action Sports. Our Xtension supplement focusesspecifically on building fashion brands and offers exposure via companyprofiles. For more information on advertising in August License!, contactSteven Ekstract at (212) 951-6684 or
Submit Licenses Granted & Available Now Online
License!'s new License! Finder now allows you to submit licenses granted andavailable now online, which will be published on the License! Website (
) on a weeklybasis once approved by an editor. Go to
to fill out the verification form and submit your licenses granted or availablenow. Highlights from each month's online submissions will be published inLicense! magazine. Any questions, contact Alyson Grala at (212) 951-6743 or viae-mail:
Big changes are ahead for The L.A. Office RoadShow. RoadShow Hollywood beginswith an innovative day dedicated to video gaming (September 26) includingshowcases of promotional opportunities. Also, new to RoadShow Europe is a dayof Power Sessions (October 24) in London, promotional sessions by studioexecutives and industry leaders followed by a day of European Film & HomeEntertainment property reviews. Finally, The L.A. Office launches The EntertainmentExchange on
, aneasily navigable resource providing innumerable properties, entertainmentcontacts, and promotion tracking. Visit
for more about RoadShow and take a tour of its Membership Program-the resourcefor all your entertainment marketing needs.
For more information on licensing news and features, visit License! magazine'sWebsite,
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