TIA Faces Big Decisions
Toys may not be the only things generating strong reactions at next week?s ToyFair as a series of meetings and presentations will be made regarding thesearch for a new permanent home for the trade shows. Failing to locate a siteduring its yearlong search, the Toy Industry Association is revisitingrelocating the show outside of New York. A February 9 TIA board of directorsmeeting will consider alternate venues such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Atlanta,and San Francisco. Also on the agenda is reconsidering the controversial 100Church Street locale, which the TIA shelved in October. A pro formapresentation by Jay Foreman, president of Play Along, will propose a 33rdStreet ?toy district? option. Seeking input about the future home of the toyindustry and the October and February trade shows, the TIA will hold anIndustry Forum Friday, February 10, at 8:30 a.m. at 1107 Broadway, 6th floor.
BBC Worldwide Inks Multiple Deals
BBC Worldwide chose Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment as the videodistributor for Little Robots in the U.S. and Canada. The first two releases inthe seven-year deal are planned for the second half of 2006. Fox also joinedforces with HIT Entertainment and will begin distributing its children?s titlesin fall 2006. The company also will distribute all of The Jim Henson Company?sHenson Family Classics, including Fraggle Rock and Animal Jam. HITEntertainment serves as U.S. agent for home entertainment, licensing, and merchandising.
In other BBC news, the company unveiled the branding program/strategy for TigerAspect?s Charlie and Lola, the preschool show based on the books of LaurenChild, which airs on Playhouse Disney in the U.S. Penguin Young Readers Grouplaunched a selection of Charlie and Lola books based on the TV show last month,with a full publishing rollout scheduled for July 2006. The Charlie and Lolabooks will be published by two imprints and formats, including hardcover fromDial and paperback from Grosset & Dunlap. BBC Video will release twoCharlie and Lola DVDs in August 2006. BBC Video is distributed by Warner HomeVideo in the U.S. and Canada. BBC Worldwide?s licensing agent, The WildflowerGroup, also signed several new licensees, including Roger la Borde (greetingscards and stationery, due in spring at upstairs retailers and specialtystores), Worldwide Dreams LLC (backpacks, handbags, and luggage, due in fall),and Dan River Inc. (bedding and bath products, due in spring 2007).
Taffy Entertainment Takes Sales and Marketing Reins
Taffy Entertainment will handle the marketing and sales efforts for MoonScoopand Mike Young Productions as the pair is consolidating distribution andlicensing initiatives. The move follows the recent acquisition by MoonScoop ofa 51 percent majority stake in Mike Young Productions. Taffy Entertainment willbe based in Europe, and the U.S. Distribution will be handled by Lionel Martyand Marie Conge for all MoonScoop programming and Regis Brown for MYP.Marketing and licensing of MoonScoop properties will be managed by Axel Dauchezwith Eric Stein for MYP. Production activity will continue to be under theseparate MoonScoop and MYP banners.
New Book Deal Is a Real Marvel
Reader?s Digest Children?s Publishing will bring Marvel Heroes to life in aseries of interactive books in the U.S., Canada, and UK in fall 2006. The firstline will include hardcover books, storybooks with DVDs, and the Movie TheaterStorybook format featuring characters such as Spider-Man, the X-Men, The IncredibleHulk, Fantastic Four, and the Avengers. Distributed in all channels by Simon& Schuster, the books will retail between $9.99 and $24.99.
The Turtles Fast-Forward to Season Five
4Kids Entertainment, Inc., is putting a new twist on the fifth season of theTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles slated for fall 2006 on 4Kids TV. Teenage MutantNinja Turtles?Fast-Forward catapults Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, andRaphael 99 years into the future where they emerge from the sewers and nolonger have to hide. The year is 2105, and the action heroes sport a whole newlook as they square off against new foes in a world of cutting-edge technology.A licensing and marketing campaign is due in July with action figures androle-play toys from master toy licensee Playmates Toys.
Quattro Consumer Products Gets Comfy with New Client
Amity Entertainment, Inc., holder of worldwide merchandising and licensingrights to The Big Comfy Couch, tapped Quattro Consumer Products (formerly J.A.Roth & Associates) to represent the preschool property. The licensingagreement follows on the heels of Amity?s recent partnership with Weekly ReaderCorporation to bring the property?s new emphasis on healthy living into 65,000kindergarten classrooms reaching more than 1 million children daily in2006-2007. Twenty-two new episodes currently are in production and due inspring and summer.
Hot Properties Star in QSR Promotion
Fans of Strawberry Shortcake and Dragon Booster will be heading to theirfavorite McDonald?s as the properties are the stars of a new QSR promotionthrough February 27. Young guests will receive one of eight ?berry fun?Strawberry Shortcake characters or one of eight Dragon Booster action figureswith the purchase of a Happy Meal or Mighty Kids Meal. The Strawberry ShortcakeMcDonald?s Happy Meal collection is the first scented collection in Happy Mealhistory.
National Trust Inks Floorcoverings Deal
The National Trust for Historic Preservation partnered with Karastan, adivision of Mohawk Industries, on a collection of eight patterned carpets andtwo coordinates inspired by Design in America, the National Trust?s licensingprogram. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the organization?s preservationwork. The license between Mohawk Industries and The National Trust was initiated,facilitated, and will be managed by MODA International Marketing, the licensingagency representing the Trust.
New Deal in Play for New Motion
New Motion, Inc., the operator of MobileSidewalk?a consumer Internet portal forcell phone content?and AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, Inc., signed amulti-year, multifaceted sponsorship agreement that makes MobileSidewalk theofficial sponsor of the AVP Tour. The AVP Tour is a national touring seriesfeaturing more than 150 of the nation?s top professional beach volleyballplayers. As part of the deal, MobileSidewalk will be the primary provider of anofficial mobile fan club for AVP and its tour, with a mix of mobileentertainment products, news, interactive features, on-site promotions, andtelevision tie-ins.
Execs Get the Nod
HIT Entertainment named Chris Taday to the newly created role of director ofpromotions and sponsorship. Ocean Pacific named Gary Hunt president of OpApparel USA. IMG Worldwide, Inc., named former NASCAR COO George Pyne presidentof its sports and entertainment business. 4Kids Entertainment, Inc., promotedGia DeLaney to director of international program sales. Vertis named Bill Tysonvice president of sales, and San Francisco Network appointed Donna TrizzinoNocco vice president of design for the KN Karen Neuburger-branded family ofsleepwear.
LIMA Seminar Program
The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers? Association (LIMA) willhold seminars for licensing, financial, and accounting professionals;attorneys; and business executives March 15 and 16 at the Williams Club in NewYork City and March 27 and 28 at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The sameclasses will be offered on both coasts with different moderators. The seminarsare co-sponsored by LICENSE magazine and Aspen Publishers. Visit
for feeinformation and a registration form.
Upcoming Industry Events
American International Toy Fair,
February12-15, Toy District and Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, NY,
New York Comic-Con,
February24-26, Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, NY,
Youth Marketing Mega-Event 2006,
March 27-29, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, Huntington Beach,CA,
Are You on the List?
Submissions for LICENSE?s Leading Licensors list are due February 10. Licensorswith $25-plus million in 2005 worldwide sales of licensed merchandise areeligible for the list. You must submit your 2005 sales figure (can beestimated); licensing executive contact name, title, and phone number; and a100-word blurb about 2006 initiatives. Submissions should be e-mailed to DawnWilensky at
Submit Licenses Granted & Available Now Online
LICENSE?s License! Finder allows you to submit licenses granted and availablenow online, which will be published on the LICENSE Website (
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to fill out the verification form and submit your licenses granted or availablenow. Highlights from each month?s online submissions will be published inLICENSE magazine. Any questions, contact Alyson Grala at (212) 951-6743 or viae-mail:
For more information on licensing news and features, visit LICENSE magazine?sWebsite,
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