Viacom to Purchase DreamWorks
Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures agreed to buy DreamWorks SKG for $1.6 billionin cash and debt. Paramount beat out General Electric Co.?s NBC Universal withan 11th hour bid. The deal includes a worldwide distributionagreement with DreamWorks Animation. DreamWorks will join Paramount as part ofa new Viacom when Chairman Sumner Redstone splits his company next month. Thefilm studios will be part of business run by CEO Tom Freston that holdsViacom?s MTV cable-television unit.
Electronic Arts Buys Jamdat
Console video game publisher Electronic Arts purchased mobile phone games makerJamdat Mobile for $680 million. EA has been focusing on converting many of itstitles to mobile versions over the last two years. The company said it plannedto publish more than 50 games with Jamdat in the first 12 months following thecompletion of the acquisition.
K?NEX Makes Management Changes
Norman Walker will step down after eight years as CEO and president of K?NEX atthe end of the month. He will continue with the company in a consultancy role.In other executive moves, Joel Glickman, co-founder and inventor of K?NEX, willreturn to his previous role as CEO while also maintaining his current position aschairman of the board. Michael Araten, who has been acting as a consultant,will be president and COO, responsible for all daily operations.
SEGA to Support Beijing Olympics
SEGA Corporation signed a worldwide partnership with International Sports Multimedia,exclusive licensee of the International Olympic Committee, to become thepublisher of the Official Video Game of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Thisagreement will allow SEGA to publish console, PC/Macintosh, arcade, andhandheld games worldwide. In addition, SEGA will publish mobile phone games inAsian markets.
Shoe Sales to Benefit Children?s Charity
Converse debuted a limited-edition children?s Chuck Taylor All Star shoe atKids Foot Locker featuring licensed artwork by real kids from Save theChildren?s library of children?s art. The retailer, along with Converse, willeach donate $1 for every pair sold to support Save the Children?s educationalinitiatives around the world. Retailing for $30 to $35 depending on size, theshoes also will be carried at Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Footaction, andChamps Sports.
Pet Alien to Land on Book Shelves
Taffy Entertainment signed an exclusive deal with Grosset & Dunlap, animprint of Penguin Young Readers Group and a division of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.,to produce a line of books based on Pet Alien, which airs on Cartoon Network.Due on shelves in spring 2007, the books will include chapter books,comic-style books, activity books, joke books, and coloring books.
Burger King to Have a Very Furby Holiday
Furby will help Burger King ring in the holidays as the feature QSR promotionthrough January 12. The Hasbro Properties Group promotion will feature miniFurby toys with a unique design that includes different body colors, patterns,hair colors, and their own carrying case. The QSR promotion is supported onlineathttp://www.bk.com/furby
, whichincludes details on the mini Furby toys.
VIZ Media Publication Sets Publishing Milestone
The largest issue ever of Shonen Jump magazine hit bookstores and newsstandslast week and included a ?Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon Yu-Gi-Oh!? trading card,courtesy of Upper Deck Entertainment and Konami. The 392-page January issuecontained the latest chapters of regularly featured serials such as Naruto andOne Piece, as well as a lengthy 55-page sneak peek at Gin Tama, a new sci-fiseries by Hideaki Sorachi currently being serialized in Japan?s Weekly ShonenJump. Gin Tama depicts the humorous adventures of a wacky samurai, his unfortunatesidekick, and an indestructible teenage girl. They are all ?freelancers? whosearch for work to pay the monthly rent, though the bill usually remains unpaidby the end of the story.
Children?s Author Lends Vision to Apparel Line
ACT III Licensing inked World Apparel Group as an apparel licensee forchildren?s book author Karen Katz. The Karen Katz?Just for Baby licensingprogram takes elements from Katz?s babies, patterns, elements, and colorpalette from her books, ?Where Is Baby?s Belly Button,? ?Counting Kisses,? and?Toes, Ears & Nose,? among others. World Apparel Group is planning onesiesand toddler tops and bottoms with coordinating jackets and sweaters for sizes0-3 months through 4T. Licenses are being sought for crib and toddler bedding,room d
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