Transformers Come to the Big Screen
The Transformers will make some fireworks of their own July 4, 2007, with a live-action movie by DreamWorks Pictures, Hasbro, Inc., and Paramount Pictures. The feature will be directed by Michael Bay from a screenplay written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Steven Spielberg is executive producing the film, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Tom DeSanto, and Don Murphy serving as co-executive producers. DreamWorks will distribute the film domestically, while Paramount will handle the international release. Hasbro will work with the production team and DreamWorks on all aspects of the film's creative development, marketing, and promotions, and will manage merchandising in conjunction with the film's release.
Nickelodeon Initiative Encourages Healthier Choices
Nickelodeon partnered with several fresh produce distributors to bring its arsenal of characters to the fruit and veggie section in supermarkets. In fall, Grimmway Farms, Inc., will produce 1.6-ounce single-serving to 5-pound bags of baby cut and peeled carrots in packages featuring SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and Sportacus and Stephanie from LazyTown. Boskovich Farms will feature SpongeBob SquarePants on its bags of spinach. LGS Specialty Sales, distributor of oranges, tangerines, and clementines, will feature SpongeBob, Dora, Blue's Clues, and The Backyardigans characters on its bags of fruit. Upcoming deals also include using Nickelodeon characters on cartons of low-fat milk. Later this month, the network will air several PSAs that focus on the importance of starting the day by eating a balanced breakfast.
Ziggy to Star in Animated Feature
Ziggy and Friends, Inc., together with Universal Press Syndicate and licensing agent Moxie & Co., signed an exclusive deal with BFS Entertainment & Multimedia Limited to bring Ziggy to DVD this fall. The animated special will be backed by a full marketing and licensing campaign with new licensees signed in apparel and gift categories, as well as initiating current licensees to coordinate merchandise launches with the movie release. Russ Berrie will have holiday season Ziggy plush, dolls, and figurines; Andrews McMeel Publishing will release a Ziggy comic panel collection in a book of the same title, "Ziggy's Gift: A Holiday Collection"; and Sara Max has holiday-theme Ziggy pajamas and boxers for men and women.
Lifestyle Brand to Tough It Out in Licensing World
Pretty Tough, a new lifestyle brand developed for female athletes, signed Evergreen Concepts as its worldwide licensing agency. PrettyToughSports.com receives more than 1 million hits a month from girls searching for unique content and goods that reflect their active lifestyles. A fiction book series will launch in summer 2006 with Razor Bill, the young adult division of Penguin Putnam, and future entertainment is in development through ICM. Evergreen Concepts looks to extend the brand through apparel, accessories, personal care, stationery, room décor, and sporting goods. The starting lineup includes NTD Apparel, which will develop an active lifestyle clothing line that hits specialty and the sporting goods channel next spring; Worldwide Dreams, which will develop bags, tournament totes, duffels, and back to school/stationery products; and Browntrout Publishing, which will introduce four sports-specific calendars for 2006.
Reality Series Challenges Homeowners to Do More with Less
Breakthrough Films & Television has begun production on a new design reality series, Design Match, for Canada's HGTV and the U.S.' Fine Living TV Network. The half-hour series pits two homeowner design teams against each other as they try to duplicate a beautiful, professionally designed model room in their own homes, with one-tenth the budget of the original. The designer who created the original model room then judges the work, with the winner receiving a featured designer item from the model room.
New Partnership Extends Sesame Street Brand
Sesame Workshop partnered with Lagardere Active North America on a unique service where children can receive a phone call from Muppet Elmo. Parents and caregivers can choose from more than 100 different calls by clicking on http://www.sesameworkshop.org/elmocalls to set up the call.
MeadWestvaco Readies Brands for Licensing
MeadWestvaco Consumer & Office Products named Global Design Concepts Inc. backpack licensee for its Five Star and Mead brands. The deal, negotiated by Marathon Projects Ltd., is the first license for the company's Day Runner, At-A-Glance, Five Star, Cambridge, Columbian, and Mead brands. Going forward, Marathon Projects will explore various licensing opportunities including pens, calculators, organizers, school and office supplies (non-paper), apparel and accessories, eyewear, footwear, electronics, phones, PDAs, pagers, time management software, shredders, laminators, and office chairs and furniture.
Designer Is Going to the Dogs
Luxury designer Barry Kieselstein-Cord is joining forces with the American Kennel Club and 4Kids Entertainment on a new line of dog-themed accessories and apparel for canines and their owners. The AKC/Kieselstein-Cord collection will include a range of products including stylized leashes and rain boots fetching spots on shelves at high-end department stores in October.
Magazine Program Gets Pumped
American Iron teamed up with BoxSeat, Inc., to manage and grow the licensing program for its Harley-oriented magazine. American Iron Magazine is sold at 40,000-plus locations in North America and is read by more than a half million enthusiasts every month. Categories available for licensing include apparel, fashion accessories, collectibles, gifts/novelties, home furnishings, motorcycle and auto accessories, and toys. TAM Communications publishes American Iron Magazine and American Iron Retailer, a trade magazine for motorcycle retailers.
New American Idol Tour Extends Audition Process
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