TIA Hall of Fame Recognizes Industry Pioneers
Film producer George Lucas and Crayola crayon creators Edwin Binney and C.Harold Smith were named the 2006 Toy Industry Hall of Fame inductees. Theposthumous award for Binney and Smith will be accepted by Mark Schwab,president and CEO of Binney & Smith, at the sixth annual T.O.T.Y. (Toy OfThe Year) Awards Saturday, February 11, 2006, in Manhattan at the MarriottMarquis Times Square.
HIT Entertainment Enters Asian Broadcast Market
HIT Entertainment Ltd. took a major stance in the Asian market, signing dealswith both pay-TV and free-to-air broadcasters. The deals will see Thomas &Friends available on terrestrial television for the first time across Indonesiavia Indosiar, as well as exposure on pay-TV broadcaster Astro with Bob theBuilder, Thomas & Friends, Pingu, Fireman Sam, Mopatop Shop, and Kipper.The rollout begins December 1 and covers the Malaysia, Indonesia, and Bruneiregions. In December, TVB?s free-to-air English language channel, Pearl, willair Angelina Ballerina specials, and in March, the latest episodes of Pingu forHong Kong. Taiwanese pay-TV broadcaster ETTV licensed Thomas & Friends, Rubbadubbers,Bob the Builder, and Pingu for the Taiwan region. In addition, free-to-airbroadcaster MediaCorp TV12 takes Bob the Builder for its Kids Central channelin Singapore. Thai pay-TV broadcaster UBC will air Bob the Builder, Thomas& Friends, and Pingu for Thailand.
Duo Extends Video Game Partnership
Activision, Inc., and Marvel Entertainment, Inc. expanded their long-term,broad-based strategic alliance by signing a multi-year extension to theircurrent video game licensing agreements for the Spider-Man and X-Men franchisesthrough 2017. This agreement replaces all previous agreements between thecompanies.
In other news, Activision shipped first Xbox 360 versions of Infinity Ward?sCall of Duty 2 and Neversoft Entertainment?s Tony Hawk?s American Wasteland inanticipation of the launch of the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment systemfrom Microsoft.
UK Broadcaster Picks Up Gerald McBoing Boing
Cookie Jar Entertainment sold animated series Gerald McBoing Boing to Five UKfor broadcast. Five UK is the latest major broadcaster embracing the property,which airs on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and Teletoon in Canada. Cookie Jarteamed with Classic Media to produce the series.
Famed Doctor Lends Name to Consumer Products
The Dr. Spock Company will lend its name to consumer products for the firsttime, partnering with Kid Care on a line of children?s bath and body products.Under the terms of the agreement, brokered by TippingSprung, Kid Care willproduce a line of natural and organic products such as body washes and lotionin 2006. Other categories under development include feeding accessories, toys,prenatal and infant vitamins, oral care, electronic health, and safety.
PBS Kids Inks Publishing Deal
PBS Kids is booking a spot on retail shelves, inking a publishing deal withBrighter Minds Children?s Publishing for a new preschool book series. The line,which embraces free play, exploration, and imagination, will include board,novelty, early reader, chapter, and activity books, along with educationalsupplemental materials. The line will hit store shelves in summer 2006 in theU.S. and Canada.
Nintendo Signs ?Vital? Deal
Nintendo of America Inc. selected VitalMarketing as its urban agency of record. In this capacity, Vital Marketing willtarget young adult gamers in the urban marketplace through marketing andbranding efforts. In addition, Vital Marketing will create proprietary programsfor Nintendo and advise it on existing events and programs, and help constructthe brand?s urban positioning statements, as well as develop image-buildingprograms targeting various influencer groups within the entertainment industry.
Turtles Shell Out Thanksgiving Cheer in Parade
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are coming out of their shells this Thanksgiving,making their first appearance in the Macy?s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday,November 24.
Sesame Beginnings Captured on DVD
Sesame Workshop extended its Sesame Beginnings curriculum with a research-basedDVD series that encourages learning through parent-child interactions. TheSesame Beginnings DVDs, which feature baby versions of the Sesame StreetMuppets and their caregivers, are supplemented by a printed guide offeringparents additional tips for ways to extend learning after viewing throughactivities such as feeding, bath time, and playtime.
Online Greetings Hasbro Style
Loved ones can get an online greeting from some Hasbro Properties Groupproperties as a result of a new deal with American Greetings. Building on theexisting relationship between the duo, e-cards with Candyland, Tonka, The Gameof Life, Operation, Clue, Mr. Potato Head, My Little Pony, and Monopoly can besent via AmericanGreetings.com and its online partner sites, AOL, Yahoo, andMSN, starting January 1, 2006. An annual subscription to American Greetingsonline enables consumers to send an unlimited number of expressions to friendsand family.
Suzy?s Zoo in Store for Sony Plaza Stores
Earthworks Entertainment announced that Sony Plaza Company Ltd., theJapan-based retail sales division of the Sony Group, acquired the rights forand will distribute licensed products for Suzy?s Zoo in all major merchandisecategories via its group of more than 100 retail stores throughout Japan. SonyPlaza Stores also will act as the master licensor for the territory of Japan.In this capacity, Sony Plaza Stores will market the brand in the mass channel,as well as specialty stores, countrywide.
Pepper?s Ghost to Rep Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss Enterprises appointed Pepper?s Ghost Productions the company?slicensing representative in the UK and Europe. Pepper?s Ghost will handle thelicensing for all 44 of Dr. Seuss? literary properties and will work closelywith HarperCollins, the UK publisher for the titles. Other initiatives: speciallicensing initiatives around landmark events such as the 50th birthdaycelebration in 2007 of The Cat in the Hat and The Grinch. A movie based onHorton Who Hears a Who! also is planned for release in 2008.
Upcoming Industry Events
International Halloween Show, December 5-8, 200 Fifth Avenue, 1107 Broadway,and other toy district showrooms, New York, NY,
American International Toy Fair, February 12-15, 2006, Toy District and JacobJavits Convention Center, New York, NY,
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Acquire Global Recognition
BellSouth Intellectual Property Marketing Corporation is seeking to align theBellSouth brand with forward-thinking companies worldwide, with an immediatedesire for opportunities in Latin America. BellSouth is interested in hearingabout licensing opportunities that extend the BellSouth brand to products thatare aligned with the brand?s core equities and that deliver the promisecustomers have come to expect from BellSouth. For more information, visit
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