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Weekly E-News, Issue #144, January 17, 2006

Sponsored by:    Marc Ecko Acquires Avirex Marc Ecko Enterprises acquired the Avirex brand and its related trademarks in all existing product categories?including apparel, outerwear, leather, and accessories, for all countries other than Europe

Sponsored by:   

Marc Ecko Acquires Avirex
Marc Ecko Enterprises acquired the Avirex brand and its related trademarks in all existing product categories?including apparel, outerwear, leather, and accessories, for all countries other than Europe and Japan?from Avirex Ltd. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but it also grants the company rights to Avirex Ltd.?s license with Kids Headquarters for boys? apparel and with Caccia Fashions Inc. for the Canadian market. MEE anticipates announcing new licenses for additional product categories in the near future. Marketing Management Group, Inc., initiated and negotiated the transaction on behalf of Avirex Ltd.

4Kids and AKC Extend Partnership
4Kids Entertainment, Inc., and the American Kennel Club signed a multi-year extension of their worldwide representation agreement. This renewed partnership will enable 4Kids and the AKC to continue building the brand with plans to expand into such categories as pet cleaning products, pet safety products, and collectible artwork.

Everlast Signs ?Sleeper? of a Deal
Everlast Worldwide Inc. signed an agreement with H Best Ltd. for a line of men?s/boys? underwear and men?s loungewear and sleepwear under its 2(x)ist division. First products will launch this year at sporting goods chains and department stores. In other news, the company renewed and expanded its licensing agreement with Tomen America Inc., in which Tomen will continue to produce men?s, women?s, and children?s apparel, as well as exercise equipment including aerobic fitness products, treadmills, and weight-lifting equipment in Japan. Tomen also will design a new line of men?s and women?s underwear.

HIT Strengthens Position in Latin America
HIT Entertainment Ltd. is stepping up its presence in Latin America, signing a series of broadcast, video, publishing, and consumer products deals. Pingu will air on TV Cultura in Brazil, while the Children?s Favourite series of compilation video and DVD, which includes episodes of Barney, Bob the Builder, Rubbadubbers, Angelina Ballerina, Pingu, and Thomas & Friends, will be available for the first time in Mexico and Central America from Tycoon Entertainment. Other deals include a deal with ST2 in Brazil for Portuguese language storybooks, coloring books, and activity books, and a renewed deal with Rhein Chile for Barney crayons and markers for Chile. Adhesivos Internacionales will create bandages featuring images of Barney for Mexico and Central America, and Top Cau?s Barney Easter Eggs will be seen on shelf throughout Brazil. Argentina will have a new line of Bob the Builder preschool dinnerware and lunch boxes via Daysal S.R.L, while Pharma Express will release a new line of Barney apparel in Colombia.

Simon & Schuster Expands Partnership with VIZ Media
Simon & Schuster will expand its relationship with VIZ Media by handling domestic sales for all the lines in its book division. Simon & Schuster will use its sales and distribution division to further raise the visibility of the manga genre and continue to grow revenue streams from traditional book retailers, as well as from newly emerging channels.

McDonald?s Names McKids Partner Across Asia
McDonald?s Corporation named Cornerstone Group?s China Retail Management subsidiary the master licensee for its McKids line across Asia, excluding Japan and India. The multimillion-dollar deal is the first major international initiative undertaken as part of DIC?s new role as global consumer products and entertainment agent for McDonald?s Corporation. CRM will work with DIC and McDonald?s to develop the retail consumer product line for Asia, and will design, produce, market, and distribute McDonald?s McKids product lines that support McDonald?s ?balanced, active lifestyles? brand strategy.

Waverly Embraces Licensing Model with New Deal
Waverly Home Fashions converted its existing business into a licensing model via a long-term licensing deal with Ellery Homestyles LLC. The agreement gives Ellery Homestyles the right to manufacture branded home fashions products including bedding, window treatments, and other home categories utilizing Waverly?s design archives. Waverly will continue to concentrate on its core competencies of design and marketing for the Waverly brand, in addition to continuing its various licensing partnerships in other key product categories. Ellery Home Brands Company will utilize its expertise in sourcing and execution to further increase the multichannel distribution of the home fashion business.

Classic Kids? Brand Marks 25th Anniversary
FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide is revamping the nostalgia kids? brand, Dangermouse, in preparation for its 25th anniversary this year. As part of the anniversary celebration, FLW developed a new logo, and creative and signed on new partners including TDP Textiles for men?s nightwear and underwear; Bravado International for T-shirts and fashion tops for record retailers; and Samuel Eden for adults? and children?s socks. In addition, FLW renewed its agreement with The Big Badge Co. to produce Dangermouse pin badges, which will be distributed at retail and through banks and corporate offices to raise money for the charitable brain injury association, Headway, throughout 2006. Going forward, FLW will extend the brand into women?s apparel, plush, collectibles, gifts, gadgets, and fine arts, and is reviewing the use of original cell animation from Brian Cosgrove, the creator of Dangermouse.

Children?s Imaginations Celebrated in New Book Series
Paddywhack Lane LLC and Penguin Young Readers Group partnered on a multiple book publishing deal for a new series of Paddywhack Lane story and activity books. The first two books are due in fall 2006, with additional titles to follow. The books were created by Sandy Fuller and celebrate the imaginative world of children at play. The books will be published by Grossett & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group.

Playboy Enters Hong Kong Market
Playboy Enterprises, Inc., opened its first freestanding Playboy Concept Boutique in Hong Kong in Causeway Bay?s ultra-modern Fashion Walk area. The 1,300-square-foot upscale shopping destination is owned and operated under license by Speedplan. The store will offer Playboy apparel, jewelry, accessories, and swimwear in addition to the new high-end ?White Label? lingerie collection. The next freestanding Playboy store, a 2,500-square-foot store in the Mid-Valley Mall in Kuala Lumpur, one of Malaysia?s premier fashion areas, will open in early 2006.

Quilting Event to Benefit Breast Cancer Research
The KN Karen Neuburger lifestyle brand and Quilting Treasures by Cranston are sponsoring a quilt block event to raise money for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Individuals are invited to submit quilt blocks directly to Cranston between January 1 and May 1, 2006. The finished blocks will be 10 inches square and can be either pieced or appliqu

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