Nickelodeon Characters Star in First European Attraction
Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products will bring its characters to life inNickland via a deal with Movie Park Germany, a film and entertainment themepark. As a result of the multi-year partnership, the theme park operator willcreate a 15,000-square-meter interactive adventure zone this April inBottrop-Kirchellen, Germany, with seven all-new attractions. The firstattractions to premiere are Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Flyer and Splash Bash, aromp through the undersea world of SpongeBob SquarePants. Additionalattractions and areas will feature Dora the Explorer, The Backyardigans, MyLife as a Teenage Robot, and Danny Phantom. Costume characters such asSpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick, Dora the Explorer, and Jimmy Neutron will beat the park for meet-and-greets with kids and their families. The two companiesalso will create co-branded promotions and marketing campaigns; developlicensing and merchandising programs within the park; and increase advertisingon Nickelodeon's kids' channel, NICK in Germany.
In other news, NVCP signed a deal with Memcorp Inc. for a line of digital audioand video products due at retail in fall 2007.
Alliance Atlantis Acquired by Canadian Conglomerate
CanWest Global Communications Corp. and a private equity unit of Goldman Sachs& Co. will acquire Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. for C$2.3 billion(U.S. $1.96 billion). Alliance Atlantis co-produces the CSI: Crime SceneInvestigation TV show franchise and owns 13 specialty channels. Alliance'sstake in CSI will be fully owned by Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. As part ofthe deal, CBS will become the international distributor of the CSI franchise.
Foursome Sign Major Distribution Deal
Genius Products, LLC, The Weinstein Company LLC, and Entertainment Rights Plcand Classic Media Holdings, Inc., entered into long-term agreements for thedistribution, co-production, and co-financing of multiple home video and videogame productions for the family, children, and teen markets. ER recentlyannounced an agreement to acquire U.S.-based Classic Media, which is stillsubject to, among other things, ER shareholders' approval. Genius Products willbe the exclusive North American distributor of home video and certain digitalmedia distribution rights in Classic's and ER's libraries including Lassie; FatAlbert; Postman Pat; Rupert Bear; holiday specials Rudolph the Red-NosedReindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town; andVeggieTales. Genius also will have North American home video and digitaldistribution rights in new productions including The Lone Ranger, Gumby, andShe Ra. In addition, Genius will have North American distribution rights for aslate of up to 12 new video games to be produced and financed by Genius basedon titles in the ER and Filmation catalogs. ER, Classic, and TWC willco-produce and co-finance new animated children's productions including Gumby,Kung Fu Magoo, Lone Ranger, Rupert Bear, Postman Pat, and She-Ra. NorthAmerican home video and digital distribution of co-productions will be handledby Genius Products, and ER will distribute internationally. The productionswill be managed by Eric Robinson, vice president of production and development,TWC.
Abdul Lends Talent to First Bratz Movie
American Idol judge Paula Abdul joined the creative team of Bratz: The Movie,the first live-action feature based on the fashion doll property. Crystal SkyPictures is financing the film, while Arad Productions' Avi Arad, MGAEntertainment's Isaac Larian, and Crystal Sky's Steven Paul are producing thepicture, and Crystal Sky Pictures President Benedict Carver will executiveproduce. Lionsgate is distributing Bratz: The Movie in the U.S.; it isscheduled to open in August 2007. Besides playing one of the major charactersin the film, Abdul will serve as executive producer and be involved in creatingthe film's music, choreography, and fashion.
Ben 10 to Have a Major Presence for Back-to-School
Cartoon Network Enterprises hopes to transform the upcoming back-to-schoolseason into the season of Ben 10, signing its latest multi-year deal withFAB/Starpoint for a line of backpacks, accessories, school supplies, watches,and clocks.
Kinkade Branches Out with Multiplatform Launch
Andrews McMeel Universal teamed up with Thomas Kinkade on a multiplatform productlaunch. Andrews McMeel Universal will utilize its three affiliatedcompanies—AMP, uclick, and Universal Press Syndicate—to create arange of products. AMP will create a line of calendars; uclick will come tomarket with mobile wallpapers and screensavers; and Universal Press Syndicatewill introduce kids to Kinkade's artwork through Kolorful Kids, a weeklysyndicated column featuring a variety of interactive artistic activities.
Licensing Link Inks Sweet Deal with Junkfood
Licensing Link, Ltd., kick-started the licensing program for the Ferrara-PanCandy Co., which includes candy brands such as Lemonheads, Red Hots, JawBusters, Black Forest, Gummy Bears, and Boston Baked Beans. Junkfood Foreverwill create vintage-style T-shirts and tops, as well as fleece bottoms. Theline is set to launch in department and specialty stores in spring 2007.
Waghappy Fetches Attention of Target and Mighty Fine
Greeting card and stationery company waghappy expands into the licensing worldwith a test at Target stores of 15 card styles from licensee AmericanGreetings. Mighty Fine also will introduce waghappy junior, 'tween, and toddlerknit tops to specialty and mid-tier retailers this month. Waghappy recentlysigned bomes · davis · branding (BDB) as its licensing agency.
The Weather Channel Blasts into Licensing
The Weather Channel is turning the tide on its licensing program with anexpansion plan that will take the brand into the kids' category for the firsttime and expand its presence in new categories. Existing partner ExcaliburElectronics will provide an expansion into the safety and preparedness categoryplus a new WeatherKids line with TWC's first-ever remote-control vehicle and alight for kids that is powered by the force of being squeezed. With Rayovac,the company lends its name to a new line of safety and preparedness lightsusing alkaline batteries. Other initiatives: entry into categories such as homeentertainment, home improvement, publishing, and toys.
Hot TV Series to "Figure" in Diamond Select Line
Diamond Select Toys and Collectibles will create Minimates (in conjunction withArt Asylum) for new license 24 via a deal with Twentieth Century FoxTelevision. The 12-inch figures are expected to be on shelves in 2007.
PixFusion to "Bear" It All in New Deal
PixFusion, creator of personalized, branded video products, will use Care Bearimages for a personalized video as part of a new deal signed with AmericanGreetings Properties. Using its patented technology, PixFusion will digitallyinsert a child's image into the Care Bears Winter Adventure: I Can Do Anythingvideo currently available through PixFusion's Kideo brand Website (
Footwear Maker Acquires Three Kids' Licenses
Leomil Europe plans to launch three footwear ranges in Europe's mainGerman-speaking markets of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. New footwearlines are due for Dora the Explorer, Thomas & Friends, and Naruto in August2007.
Execs on the Move
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., named Beth Goss executive vice president ofCartoon Network's ad sales, marketing, and enterprises group. Big TentEntertainment hired Scott Devine as its new vice president of retaildevelopment. Discovery Networks International appointed Phillip Luff senior vicepresident and general manager of Animal Planet International. LeapFrogEnterprises named Martin Pidel executive vice president, international. BobbyJones named Renee Beechler director of the Bobby Jones women's collection.
Licensing 2007 International Show Registration Is Now Open—Book YourHotel Early and Get a Great Rate
Save time and money by preregistering for the most important licensing event ofthe year taking place June 19-21 at the Javits Convention Center, NYC.Registering in advance guarantees that you receive your badge in the mail priorto the show to avoid lines. Click
to register. Our new housing partner, Travel Planners, has put together a listof hotels to meet every budget. If you don't see a property of interest,contact Travel Planners at 800.221.3531 (domestic) or 212.532.1660(international). To book now, click
Introducing License! Global's Monthly Survey Question
Give us your opinion! Each month, we'll feature a different surveyquestion—on subjects ranging from product growth categories andinternational expansion to retail trends and consumer preferences—on ourWebsite. Then, we'll feature the final results in the following month's issueof License! Global. January's question: What do you believe is the mosteffective method of marketing to teens and 'tweens? See the choices and vote on
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Don't Miss The Secret Show Reveal This Saturday, January 20
You may be you, but we're D.B.G. (
),The Secret Show's undercover licensing agency. Breaking News: The Secret Show (
) finally willbe revealed on the Nicktoons Network (
)this Saturday, January 20, at 8:30 p.m. (ET). The secret agent series will airregularly Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. as part of the channel's "Three HeadedMonster" programming block. Don't miss the premiere episode, "The Secret Thing"and "Who Stole Switzerland." Watching it will be the single most exciting thingyou could ever do, in the whole of your life, even if you live to be 100. BYOSG(Bring Your Own Sunglasses).
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