Retailers Monkey Around with Promotions
Retailers are "going bananas" creating unique promotions to support theSeptember 26 DVD release of Curious George from Universal Studios HomeEntertainment. Toys "R" Us is featuring the mischievous monkey on the GeoffreyTron outside the Times Square store and in an in-store boutique with plush,toys, books, and back-to-school items. Toys "R" Us also devoted space in allits 600 stores with a 4-foot end-cap display of plush from master toy partnerMarvel Toys. At Target, a costumed character visited its Children's BookFestivals, while Wal-Mart offered the DVD packaged with a Curious George DeluxeMovie Storybook. Barnes & Noble made a year-long commitment with 30 items,while FAO Schwarz' flagship store featured a front-of-store boutique and largetower signage in its windows facing Fifth Avenue and 58th Streets. Best Buyoffered a free Marvel Toys plush with the purchase of the DVD, and Sam'sClub/BJs included an activity book developed by Universal Studios ConsumerProducts licensee Dalmatian Press on-pack for any Curious George film DVDpurchased during release week.
Bratz Babyz Get "Mall"ed
Simon Brand Ventures, the business-to-consumer arm of Simon Property Group,teamed with MGA Entertainment and launched the first-ever animated Bratz BabyzDVD (released by Fox Home Entertainment) through a relationship that includesproduct placement, mall marketing, DVD inserts, live events, and paid media.The partnership marks Simon's first venture into product placement in the DVDgenre. To support the launch, Simon created a signage program at 88 of itsmalls around the country through mid-October. At nearly a dozen of its malls,Simon is hosting a "Rockin' DVD Release Party" featuring karaoke fun and music;Bratz Babyz "attitude" stations with things the Bratz Babyz typically like todo; prize giveaways; a sing-a-long of the Bratz Babyz theme song; and more.Simon also is hosting a Bratz Babyz sweepstakes targeted to moms athttp://www.Simonkidgitsclub.com
Kids Get Golden Opportunity to Win a Tamagotchi
Bandai America Inc. is going for the gold with its first-ever special-editionTamagotchi to reward fans of all ages for their support. Dubbed the "GoldenTamagotchi," this limited-edition toy is not available at retail, and only2,000 units have been created and individually numbered for distribution in theU.S. Kids can log ontohttp://www.Tamagotchi.com
throughout October to participate in "Golden Month," a month-long celebrationbeing thrown by the Tamagotchi King. After correctly answering the triviaquestion of the day, fans will qualify for a daily random drawing. A total of300 Golden Tamagotchis will be awarded for the month, with a list of thewinners posted on the site at the end of each week. Kids can increase theirchances of winning by tuning in to Radio Disney through the end of the year andparticipating in call-in contests.
Smith Wesson Guns for New Licensing Deal
Smith Wesson Holding Corporation, parent company of Smith Wesson Corp., enteredinto a licensing agreement with Wilsons Leather Holdings Inc., the inventoryholding company of Wilsons Leather. Under the terms of the deal, WilsonsLeather will create an exclusive line of Smith Wesson leather jackets and accessoryitems. Wilsons Leather also plans to develop a line of specialty leatherouterwear and accessories designed for the unique requirements of the military,law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and other emergency personnel, as wellas outdoor sportsmen. The companies plan to market the products through WilsonsLeather's wholesale channels; through Smith Wesson's Website and retail storein Springfield, MA; and retailers in select trade channels in spring 2007.
SpongeBob SquarePants in the Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness
Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products, in partnership with Ty, created anall-new, limited-edition "SpongeBob PinkPants" Ty Beanie Baby in support ofOctober's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Currently available at retailers nationwideand onhttp://www.nick.com
for about $6, theBeanie marks the first time the character was produced in plush in a colorother than yellow and the first time Ty produced a licensed character as afundraiser. Both companies will donate profits to various breast cancercharities. Nickelodeon also will create a limited-edition "SpongeBob PinkPants"graphic T-shirt that will be available exclusively at www.nick.com for $14.99with all profits from the T-shirt going to breast cancer charities.
WBCP Builds Relationship for Happy Feet
Warner Bros. Consumer Products is working with Build-A-Bear Workshop on apartnership that will allow consumers to make their own stuffed interactivepenguin, inspired by Mumble, the hero of Happy Feet due in theaters November17. Guests of all ages can make Mumble (suggested retail, $22) at Build-A-BearWorkshop stores beginning November 9 in North America. The retailer also willoffer other pre-stuffed characters inspired by Happy Feet, including 8-inchlil' friends Gloria, Lovelace, and Ramon (suggested retail, $7 each or a set ofthree for $15).
St. Martin's Press Secures Preschool Property
St. Martin's Press secured the worldwide publishing rights to Shushybye withbedtime storybooks, board books, soft-to-touch books, touch-and-feel books,cloth books, sticker books, activity books, and books with CDs in the mix. Thepublisher also plans to work with Shushybye licensees for bundling of toys,plush, DVDs, and music CDs. Parent company Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, willdistribute the Shushybye books internationally.
SG Adds to Licensee Portfolio
The SG Companies–comprising SGFootwear, SGI Apparel, and The MesserGroup–expanded its licensee roster to include Izod, Dockers, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!,Ben 10, Hilary Duff, Rebelde, and Curious George. These brands will beincorporated into offerings across the company's three main divisions: SGFootwear for footwear; SGI Apparel for children's sleepwear, loungewear, andunderwear sets; and The Messer Group for adult seasonal products such asslippers and beachwear.
HarperCollins Signs Deal for Narnia Pop-Up Book
HarperCollins Publishers acquired rights to the first-ever pop-up version ofC.S. Lewis' best-selling series, The Chronicles of Narnia, by master paperengineers Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart. The pop-up book will have onespread for each of the seven books in the series. World rights were acquiredfrom Jennie Dunham of Dunham Literary for Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart,and world English language rights were acquired from the C.S. Lewis Co. for theproperty. Simultaneous worldwide publication is due winter 2008.
Mattel Grants UK/Eire Rights
Entertainment Rights Plc inked a multi-picture, multi-year distributionagreement with Mattel for the long-term distribution rights to the entireBarbie film franchise in the UK/Eire and television rights on a multi-territorybasis. The agreement covers new movie releases of up to six additional movies,taking the number of Barbie films licensed to ER to 15, with rights to theentire Barbie film franchise extended on a long-term basis.
CLC Sports New Two-Year Deal
The Collegiate Licensing Company signed Florida Citrus Sports and two of itspremier collegiate properties, the Capital One Bowl and the Champs Sports Bowl,to a two-year licensing agreement. The Champs Sports Bowl, featuring the onlybowl matchup between the ACC and Big Ten, will be played on ESPN Friday,December 29, 2006, while the Capital One Bowl will kick off Monday, January 1,2007. The Capital One Bowl pits teams from the SEC and Big Ten and will betelevised live on ABC. Together, the two games will help FCSports establish itsbowl week festival in Orlando. The Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, FL,will host both games.
ESPN Gets Interactive with RealLive Sports
RealLive Sports teamed up with ESPN to introduce several new interactive sportstoys that allow children to enjoy sports in the booth as commentators or on thefield as superstars. The line includes: ESPN Play by Play (suggested retail,$99.95), ESPN Sportscast ($49.95), ESPN SportBytes SoundCards ($9.95), ESPNProMic ($19.95), ESPN ProHeadset ($19.95), and ESPN ProContracts and FantasyAwards (free; fans visithttp://www.RealLiveSports.com
to negotiate and customize their own professional fantasy contract).
Execs on the Move
Doug Kelly was named president of Russell Athletic. Ashley Maidy was promotedto vice president of softlines for Sony Pictures Consumer Products. Tiffany Ternanwas named vice president of licensing for THQ Inc. Harvey N. Dondero was namedCEO of World Market Center, and Michelle Monteferrante was appointed showdirector of Las Vegas Market.
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