Televisa to Rep Dragon Booster in Mexico
Televisa will act as the licensing agent for Dragon Booster in Mexico, overseeing the development of all merchandising categories. The CGI-animated series from Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. launched on the channel in late September and airs weekly. Alliance Atlantis previously announced a worldwide master toy licensing agreement with Jakks Pacific, Inc.; a worldwide trading card deal with Score Entertainment; an agreement with Konami for video games; a publishing deal with Hyperion Books for Children; an apparel deal with Extreme Concepts; home entertainment (VHS/DVD) deals with FUNimation (U.S.) and Sony Wonder (Canada). The company is continuing to finalize agreements with other key merchandising categories and international broadcasters.
Majestic Athletic Goes to Bat for World Baseball Classic
Majestic Athletic will manufacture on-field uniforms, outerwear, authentic T-shirts, and fleece for 11 of the 16 teams participating in the inaugural World Baseball Classic. These fully outfitted teams include Australia, Canada, Dominican Republic, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Venezuela, and the United States. In addition, Majestic Athletic will manufacture batting practice jerseys for those teams, as well as China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Korea. The inaugural World Baseball Classic will bring the best players in the world, including Major League players, together to compete for their home countries. The tournament will run concurrent with Major League Baseball spring training, from March 3 to 20, 2006. As part of the global agreement with the World Baseball Classic, Majestic Athletic is an exclusive supplier of replica game jerseys along with a full assortment of championship and authentic locker room products including T-shirts, fleece, and outerwear. Apparel currently is available at select retailers and online at http://www.worldbaseballclassic.com/. The second World Baseball Classic is scheduled for 2009 and will be held every four years thereafter.
Deal Expands Reach of Motor Trend Brand
Primedia Enterprises plans to expand Motor Trend?s wireless offerings by collaborating with PowerMate Cellular. Together, the companies will develop a line of branded cell phone and MP3/iPod accessories including headsets, power adapters, cases, and antennas. PowerMate?s DigiCom Digital will produce batteries, chargers, and digital accessories. Beyond cellular, PowerMate will introduce power adapters, FM modulators, cases, and headsets for the MP3/iPod user. The complete line will roll out in multiple channels of distribution by April 2006.
DIC Entertainment ?iZ? on Board
DIC Entertainment was appointed the global entertainment licensing agent for iZ, a hybrid electronic product from Zizzle Toys. DIC will create a global merchandising program with first products in spring in key ?tween/teen and young adult categories. DIC also will create an entertainment program with direct-to-DVD movies reaching a broader audience that will coincide with additional categories, including items such as games, puzzles, activities, apparel, home products, and publishing.
Hot Topic Shelves Take on Hispanic Flair
Hot Topic is reaching out to its Hispanic customers with an exclusive line of men?s and women?s retro-inspired apparel and accessories from El Chavo. Merchandise for the Spanish language cable program will be available in key regional stores in California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Puerto Rico, and across the country at http://www.hottopic.com/. The initial product selection includes Ts, stickers, pins, chains, and wristbands with familiar phrases from the live-action sitcom, which has 1,300 episodes and recently celebrated its 35th on-air anniversary in Mexico. United Media, which represents the brand in the U.S. on behalf of Televisa, worked closely with Hot Topic and distributor Headline Entertainment to secure this exclusive launch contract.
New Deal in the Bag
Westcoast Contempo, the parent company of kenzie, signed a deal with Rosetti Handbags and Accessories for a line of handbags. The collection will include 40 styles in key colors including licorice, hunter green, sienna, and coordinating prints. Fabrications will include canvas, updated synthetics, and velvets with delicate hardware with products due on shelves in fall 2006.
HIT Restructures European Business
HIT Entertainment reorganized its European consumer products business to simplify future communications with its partners and support future growth across a new category-based infrastructure. Disbanding the multiple brand group structure, HIT created three new business units. UK Consumer Products will focus on the core UK licensing business teams aligned by category, supported by an international marketing group, managing the entire HIT portfolio of brands. EMEA-Business Development is a new division created to develop, grow, and maximize new EMEA business; support agent territories; and provide additional retail development, third-party promotions, and sponsorships in support of all category and brand initiatives. A separate European team will grow and develop the EMEA DVD and audio business. This group also will be responsible for expanding the company?s interactive merchandise, as well as growing live events and creating themed location-based entertainment concepts. New appointments include: Katie Rollings, promoted to vice president of consumer products; Dave King, promoted to vice president of entertainment; Laura Clarke, promoted to director of licensing, EMEA; and Katie Price, promoted to director of publishing, EMEA.
In other HIT news, Barney Live! The Let?s Go Tour kicks off in more than 60 cities in 2006. The stage show features new songs and classic Barney favorites. Along with Barney Live! The Let?s Go Tour, HIT Entertainment will release the third installment in the Let?s Go series, Barney: Let?s Go to the Beach on DVD and VHS February 7.
KOCCA Taps The Licensing Factory for New Property
KOCCA (The Korea Culture & Content Agency) secured a licensing agreement with The Licensing Factory for its Korean character, Jongno 7. The Licensing Factory will represent the property across Europe, especially in Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Jongno 7, designed by INJIS Content Studio, is a fantasy village where magic fairy Moll and other creatures live. Character Korea currently is producing the series, a 3-D TV animation (20 x 5 minutes) and a 3-D mobile animation (100 x 1 minute) that are due to be completed by May 2006.
Artist Inks Deal with Kurt S. Adler
Debbie Taylor-Kerman partnered with Kurt S. Adler to create an extensive new collection of Christmas decorations for holiday 2006. The Doodlers collection, which comprises more than 50 items including ornaments and holiday giftware, will be sold in fine department stores and specialty retailers across the country.
Household Brand Deepens Licensing Presence
Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc., signed an exclusive representation agreement with Brand Sense Partners, LLC, with a goal of launching a fully integrated strategic brand extension program that will encompass a broad array of high-quality household appliance products.
TIA Toy Fair Education Program
Toy Industry Association, Inc.?s 2006 Education Program will take place during American International Toy Fair, Saturday, February 11, and Sunday, February 12. Education program attendees can choose from 28 sessions on key industry issues, including Breakthrough Marketing Tactics and Sales Motivation. Education Program registrants will be guaranteed seating at the February 12 General Session at the Jacob Javits Convention Center featuring Malcolm Gladwell, author of ?Blink!? and ?The Tipping Point.? Toy Fair attendees can find information on the Education Program sessions and register at http://www.toy-tia.org/. Industry professionals who register by January 6 will receive a $50 discount.
Upcoming Industry Events
American International Toy Fair, February 12-15, 2006, Toy District and Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, NY, http://www.toy-tia.org/AITF
New York Comic-Con, February 24-26, 2006, Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, NY, http://www.nycomiccon.com/
Youth Marketing Mega-Event 2006, March 27-29, 2006, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, Huntington Beach, CA, http://www.youthmarketingmegaevent.com/
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Televisa to Rep Dragon Booster in Mexico