Co-Licensing Venture Unites Licensing Icons
Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products and Sanrio formed an exclusive co-licensing joint venture and master license agreement to develop Blue's Clues in Japan. The co-licensing deal, a creative and business first for any Nickelodeon property, will see the two companies bring together Blue and Hello Kitty in a specially designed product line for 'tweens and young adults. The upcoming line is an original concept based on Blue the dog and Hello Kitty the cat adapted by Sanrio into Hello Kitty's familiar world and product range. The new Hello Kitty and Blues Clue's limited-edition line from Sanrio will debut in spring 2007 and will be available for a short time only at select retailers. NVCP also granted Sanrio the master license for Blue's Clues across all toys, apparel, packaged goods, home furnishings, stationery, gifts, accessories, consumer electronics, party supplies, and sporting goods with first product due in Japan in summer 2007.
Exclusive Retailer Deals Expose Manga Property
VIZ Media, LLC, will reach fans of Shonen Jump Bleach by launching the manga teen property at Borders, Waldenbooks, and Hot Topic. Products will include apparel and accessories geared to the property's core demographic. The book series also will be available at all Borders and Waldenbooks stores. The series premiered on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim last month.
MLB and Reebok Deal Has a lot of Sole
Major League Baseball Properties is joining with Reebok International, the MLB Authentic Collection official supplier of footwear, to give fans the opportunity to design customized footwear with their favorite Major League Baseball Club logos and colors. The new platform at www.rbkcustom.com marks the first time MLB licensed shoes can be customized online. Design options include multiple team logo options (including current and vintage marks and designs), 16-plus leather materials, contrast stitching options, and personalizing with the wearer's name on the back heel. Other customized features include heel clips, lace eyelets, and soles.
Snoopy Is Flying High at Macy's
Snoopy will be top dog at Macy's this year as the property is the retailer's first-ever nationwide holiday plush promotion premiering at more than 800 locations. Snoopy, along with his pal, Woodstock, will be dressed in a festive red hoodie and will rock to the latest holiday tunes with his accompanying miniature FM radio player that can be detached for personal use. Snoopy fans can buy the plush for $14.95 with any purchase of $35 or more. Snoopy also takes to the Manhattan skies in the form of a new giant helium balloon in the 80th Anniversary Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
In other parade news, the History Channel will showcase landmarks and landmark moments in New York's history with a new float in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Designed to mirror a child's tin wind-up toy, the float will feature a giant replica of the Empire State Building and will reveal through its wind-up motion, iconic dates, celebrations, and locations tracing the history of New York City. The History Channel also will air an hour-long documentary on the parade Wednesday, November 22, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. It will trace the parade's roots from its inception in 1924 by a group of immigrant Macy's employees to its immortalization in holiday film classic Miracle on 34th Street and its present-day holiday-defining status.
Scholastic Leads Publishing Efforts for The Golden Compass
Scholastic acquired worldwide rights in all languages for the tie-in publishing program for The Golden Compass, the first book in Philip Pullman's trilogy, His Dark Materials.
Scholastic will publish a range of English-language tie-in books throughout the world, while Scholastic UK will sell publishing rights for non-English-language tie-in books worldwide. Published properties will include a range of titles and formats, including an Official Illustrated Movie Companion, a poster book, and movie storybooks. New Line Cinema began production on the feature film this month in the UK with a release date of November 2007.
Disney Expands High-End Furniture Collection
Drexel Heritage expands its Walt Disney Signature collection with new bedroom and dining room pieces. The introduction follows the April launch of Disney's first high-end, non-character adult furniture collaboration between the two companies. The latest designs reflect the art deco styling of the initial 12 office pieces, which were inspired by furnishings found in Walt Disney's studio and living spaces.
New HarperCollins Imprint Hosts Online Competition
HarperCollins and social media company FanLib will join forces for an online writing event, HarperTeen FanLit: "Your Words. Everybody's Story." Author Meg Cabot and a panel of HarperTeen authors and editors will serve as the creative guides for the online community. The panel will invite ages 13 to 21 to collaborate on the creation of an original short story. The short story will be published in the new HarperTeen imprint as an e-book featuring the winning teen authors, and Fox Television Studios will produce an original animated or live-action 3- to 5-minute video Webisode based on one teen's submitted chapter. Participants will be invited to integrate their MySpace profiles into the site and will be able to utilize MySpace's network and tools to further build the online community of aspiring teen writers and book lovers. The Next Step Magazine, a teen publication covering college and career planning, will promote the contest, as will partner ELLEgirl.com, which will highlight winning content and generate original feature material on careers in publishing.
4Kids Entertainment Shells Out New Deals for TMNT
4Kids Entertainment, Inc., is powering up its licensing program for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film due March 23, 2007, with a portfolio of top-shelf partners. On board for TMNT are Playmates Toys (master toy licensee), Ubisoft (interactive video games), uclick (mobile entertainment), Simon & Schuster (publishing), and Giant (apparel). Additionally, more than 35 companies have obtained the licensing rights for the property in key categories, including: apparel, food and beverage, health and beauty, home furnishings, publishing, stationery and paper, toys, video games, and electronics.
New Channel Gets Mobilized on Sprint
FremantleMedia and Mobliss partnered for the first time on Atomic Wedgie available on the Sprint network in the U.S. The new channel will feature hours of original programming, as well as content from FremantleMedia's extensive library including animated and live-action shorts and comedic series. Atomic Wedgie will be available through a monthly subscription on Sprint and will debut in the U.S. with eight categories of short-form comedy targeted at the 18- to 34-year-old male demographic.
Japanese Property Makes Inroads on International Screens
Big Tent Entertainment finalized a broadcasting agreement with Nickelodeon's international channels for Domo. Nickelodeon will premiere the 26 shorts on its networks in Europe, Latin America, Australia, and New Zealand. Domo shorts will be offered in more than 17 languages and will begin airing in 2007. Terrestrial rights remain available in many territories with distributor Lambur & Associates currently exploring additional and complementary broadcast arrangements. Domo producer Media International Corporation will handle sales in the Asian territories.
WWE Helps Kids Wrestle with Literacy; Signs DVD Deal
World Wrestling Entertainment and the Young Adult Library Services Association partnered on the WrestleMania Reading Challenge as part of national Teen Read Week activities. The literacy initiative encourages teens in grades 9 to 12 to visit their local public or school library to sign up for the program. Those enrolling will be challenged to read a combination of 10 books and magazines between now and January 16, 2007, including required books "Athletic Shorts" by Chris Crutcher and "Black and White" by Paul Volponi. Teens then can write an essay or design a Webpage describing their interpretation of one of the two required books to win prizes from WWE. The top five nationwide finalists will earn a monetary donation for their local library and a trip for two to WrestleMania 23 (Sunday, April 1, 2007), where they will compete to become the national WrestleMania Reading Champion.
In other news, WWE named Genius Products, LLC, the exclusive home entertainment distributor of all its DVD titles, effective November 1, 2006. Genius will release a minimum of 25 new titles in 2007, with additional plans to exploit WWE?s DVD catalog of more than 100 titles.
One Stop Toy Spins New Toy Collection
One Stop Toy Co., Inc., will introduce a novelty product line inspired by Columbia Pictures' Spider-Man 3 due in theaters May 4, 2007. The line will include classic items such as yo-yos; paddleballs and gliders; rubber, vinyl, and foam balls, along with mini-mats, spinning tops, and more due at retail in conjunction with the film's release.
Execs on the Move
Julie Dill was promoted to vice president, marketing and licensing, and Alyssa J. Tucker was named senior vice president of marketing and licensing sales at 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. William Colvin was promoted to president of Applejack Art Partners. Fredrik Malmberg was named president and CEO of Paradox Entertainment.
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The Secret's Out
The Secret Show will make its U.S. debut on the Nicktoons Network, the 24-hour animation network owned by Nickelodeon, beginning in January 2007. The Secret Show is about "secret people doing secret things." Special agents Victor Volt and Anita Knight work for U.Z.Z protecting the world against the evil forces of T.H.E.M. Managed by a boss whose name is, quite literally, "changed daily," and assisted on their madcap missions by an insane scientist, "Professor Professor," Victor and Anita manage to save the world—or large parts thereof—once or sometimes even twice a week. For more information, visit our special licensing agents at www.dimensionalbranding.com.
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