4Kids Entertainment Has Clear Vision for Chaotic Rollout
4Kids Entertainment hopes to play its cards right with a multiplatform Chaotic trading card game that will launch May 16 with kids given the first opportunity to purchase starter decks UnderWorld or OverWorld at comic and hobby stores nationwide. Each card has its own unique alphanumeric code and power structure that not only ensures virtually no two cards are alike, but also enables kids to upload their personal collection of Chaotic trading cards to battle and trade online at no additional cost. The companion Website, www.chaoticgame.com, also will go live May 16. Chaotic marks the first time 4Kids Entertainment is going to directly produce product to be sold at retail. The company created TC Digital Games LLC, a trading card company, and TC Websites LLC, an online multiplatform game company, last December in preparation for the new venture. 4Kids Entertainment is majority owner of TC Digital and a 50 percent owner of TC Websites.
Licensees Show Support for Upcoming Marvel Movies
Marvel Entertainment Inc. is gearing up for summer 2008 with consumer products programs already in the works for Iron Man (due May 2, 2008) and The Incredible Hulk (due June 13, 2008). Already signed on for both films are Hasbro (master toy licensee), Hallmark (social expressions and party goods), Kids Headquarters (boys’ and girls’ apparel), Jay Franco (domestics), Mad Engine (T-shirts), Fruit of the Loom (underwear), Disguise (costumes), BBC (footwear), Berkshire (headwear and cold weather), Mega Bloks (constructions toys), Jakks Pacific (plug ’n play games), AME (sleepwear/loungewear), Sideshow (collectibles), FAB (back-to-school and arts & crafts), and MGA (die-cast vehicles). Marvel currently looks to add partners in several other key categories.
Classic Media Bows New Lassie Series
Classic Media will unleash Lassie upon the viewing public with Lassie’s Pet Vet, an all new pet health-care and lifestyle series. The series is due to air on public television in July and co-stars celebrity veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber. American Public Television is distributing the series to local public television affiliates on behalf of Classic Media. Classic Media will support the Lassie’s Pet Vet affiliate partners through a variety of outreach efforts, including local events, Lassie station visits, custom on-air and online promos, in-school lesson plans, and a Web companion piece.
Fisher-Price Eyes Category
Fisher-Price is carrying its licensing vision a step further via a deal with Greattech Vision to produce sunglasses for infants and toddlers. Two collections, Animals of the Rainforest and Little People, will launch at retail in spring. Each collection is designed to specifically meet the sun protection needs of two age groups: infant/toddler (ages 0 to 3) and toddler (ages 2 1/2 to 5).
Fimbles Acquisition Prompts U.S. Debut in Spanish
Discovery Kids en Español acquired Fimbles from BBC Worldwide; the series will premiere in the U.S. for the first time in Spanish May 6, 2007. Produced by Novel Entertainment for the BBC and aimed at 2- to 4-year-old boys and girls, Fimbles is a preschool live-action series about Fimbo, Florrie, Baby Pom, and their friends in Fimbles Valley.
Yang Is the Ying in FremantleMedia Initiative
FremantleMedia Enterprises signed a first-look development deal with Serena Yang for a host of lifestyle titles. The deal was brokered by Lisa Honig, vice president of program distribution, U.S. and Canada, who will work with Yang to develop The Beauty Hunter; Truth, Love & Sex; Bionic Living; and Paradise Found.
The Wiggles Inspire Themed Areas at Six Flags Parks
The Wiggles are getting optimum exposure this spring when a themed area opens in Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. Other Wiggles World locations will open in Six Flags New England and Chicago later this year. The amusement area will feature rides such as the Big Red Car Ride and Dorothy the Dinosaur’s Racing to the Rainbow Balloon Ride, as well as consumer products and the Yummy Yummy Café. The Wiggles also plan to perform at the parks during the 2007 season. In other news, The Wiggles tapped Merchantwise to manage the consumer products and promotional licensing program for the group. Brand Manager Andria Michael and Senior Licensing Manager Con Goutzoulas are overseeing the program.
The Betesh Group Partners with Innova Group
Innovo Group Inc. signed a license agreement with The Betesh Group, in association with its Generation Company division, to produce and sell handbags and small leather goods, including belts and wallets, for men and women under the Joe’s brand. The deal is pending approval by Innova’s shareholders of a proposed merger to acquire the Joe’s and Joe’s Jeans brands and related marks from JD Holdings Inc.
Breyer “Horses Around” with The Saddle Club
Big Tent Entertainment is getting in the saddle with Breyer Animal Creation for a line of products based on The Saddle Club. The deal marks Breyer’s first partnership with an episodic television series. As master toy partner, Breyer will create products including model horses, playsets, and craft activity sets based on the characters, horses, and storylines that currently air on Discovery Kids TV and PBS. Breyer will launch the program in fall 2007 with collectible model horses. The new adventures of The Saddle Club, an Australian-Canadian co-production, will be filmed in North America this year, bringing the number of available episodes to 72. Big Tent Entertainment also is targeting other categories including fashion apparel and accessories, stationery, additional arts & crafts, puzzles, games, room décor, publishing, video games, and video entertainment.
HL Group Extends Services to Los Angeles
HL Group, a New York City-based communications, marketing, and strategic planning agency, is opening a new entity in Los Angeles, HL LA, LLC. The office will be headed by newly appointed President Karine Joret. Joret joins HL Group after most recently serving as senior vice president, worldwide communications and live events for Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
Thomas & Friends Steams into New Product Categories
HIT Entertainment expands into new indoor and outdoor product categories for Thomas & Friends with Mega Brands America (Rose Art) creating MagiColor, a patented color reveal process for Mega Brands Rose Art, and Super Draw Art and Dough products. The Huffy Corporation comes to market with a 12-inch sidewalk bike; PTI Sports, LLC, is on board with a Multi-Protective Pack that includes a helmet, elbow, and knee pads; and Planet Toys created an Inflatable Bounce Around and Ball Pit.
’80s Comic Book Re-Energized with Deals
Eagle One Media, Inc., will create a DVD based on Voltron: Defender of the Universe utilizing the published content from the comic books from Devil’s Due Publishing. Voltron: Defender of the Universe—Revelations, due in June, will be presented as an Eagle One Media animated digital comic production. In addition, World Event Productions is working on a new interactive series and the release of the first-ever OVA, and a movie is soon to be announced.
Adult Swim Series Make DVD Debut
Adult Swim and Warner Home Video present two of the network’s newest comedy series on DVD with the release of Tom Goes to the Mayor: The Complete Series and Moral Orel: Volume One. Tom Goes to the Mayor: The Complete Series, which represents the first time Adult Swim has released a completed series on DVD, will be available as a three-disc collector’s edition April 3, at a suggested retail of $34.98. Included in the set will be all 30 series episodes, as well as special features including promos and original Web episodes. Moral Orel: Volume One, which will feature 15 episodes, will be available for the first time on a two-disc, boxed set beginning April 24, at a suggested retail of $29.98. The set will include selected uncensored commentaries and special features including deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes information.
wonderbrand Inks Deal with Knotty Woodpecker
wonderbrand LLC—formerly National Underpants—signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Knotty Woodpecker for men’s and women’s loungewear and underwear. The log cabin couture collection launches in fall at fine department stores, outdoor retailers, and specialty stores.
Execs on the Move
Anne Gates was appointed to the newly created position of executive vice president and managing director of Disney Consumer Products Europe. Ana de Castro was promoted to senior vice president, business and legal affairs, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. The Camuto Group named Joseph Diaz executive vice president and Lisa Appleby senior vice president of licensing with a goal of expanding the Jessica Simpson brand into additional fashion and lifestyle categories. Kathy Ireland Home by Martin named four new sales associates: Brian Coutu, who will cover Western Pennsylvania; Bruce Marmer for South New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania; David Tuite for Arkansas and Oklahoma; and Drew Nolte of McCaffery & Associates, who will handle key big box retailers worldwide.
Licensing 2007 International Show Is Just Around the Corner
More than 525 exhibitors and 23,000 attendees are expected to converge on Licensing 2007 International Show, to be held June 19-21 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. The show will include first-time exhibitors Bolder Media; Boy Scouts of America; Madison Square Garden Entertainment; Playhut, Inc.; and Taffy Entertainment. Save time and money by preregistering, which guarantees that you receive your badge in the mail prior to the show to avoid lines. Click here to register. Our new housing partner, Travel Planners, has put together a list of 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 here.
LIMA UK Licensing Essentials Course & Spring Fling
The LIMA UK Licensing Essentials course is an intensive full-day seminar designed to educate, inspire, and motivate. Using thought-provoking case studies, lively panel debates, and detailed presentations, the course provides an unrivaled educational opportunity for those new to licensing or those in need of a refresher. Taking place Tuesday, May 22, in central London, the 2007 event offers a new format, new topics, and a host of new speakers. It will be followed by the annual Spring Fling, which offers the opportunity to hear a panel of industry heavyweights as they debate “The Challenges Facing Licensing in 2007 and Beyond,” and the chance to relax with industry peers at the networking party, which will feature surprise entertainment. To view the full program and to register, visit www.brandlicensingexpo.com/lima or call the hotline at +44 (0) 20 8956 2669.
License! Global’s Monthly Survey Question
Give us your opinion! Each month, we’ll feature a different survey question—on subjects ranging from product growth categories and international expansion to retail trends and consumer preferences—on our Website. Then, we’ll feature the final results in the following month’s issue of License! Global. March’s question: How important do you believe retail exclusives are when it comes to launching a property or brand? Let us know at www.licensemag.com.
Submit Licenses Granted & Available Now Online
The License! Finder allows you to submit licenses granted and available now online, which will be published on the License! Global Website (http://www.licensemag.com/) on a weekly basis once approved by an editor. Go to http://www.finder.licensemag.com/ to fill out the verification form and submit your licenses granted or available now. Highlights from each month’s online submissions will be published in License! Global. Any questions, contact Alyson Grala at 212.951.6743 or via e-mail: email@example.com.
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