Toys “R” Us Supports Autism with In-Store and Online Initiatives
Toys “R” Us and the Toys “R” Us Children’s Fund will help raise money for Autism Speaks, an organization devoted to autism awareness, advocacy, and research, by accepting cash donations through May 4. Online shoppers also can contribute by visiting www.toysrus.com/autismspeaks. The retailer will offer customers information about autism, both in stores and online, and has created a special edition of the Toy Guide for Differently Abled Kids that identifies “Ten Toys That Speak to Autism.” All money raised during the seven-week campaign will go directly to Autism Speaks to fund research into the causes, prevention, and treatments to ultimately find a cure for autism.
Cartoon Network Sports New Licensees; Bows DVD
Cartoon Network Enterprises is transforming the licensing program for Ben 10 once again, signing on three sporting goods licensees. Huffy is on board to produce bicycles for the U.S. and Canada; Bravo Sports will create skateboards under a multi-year agreement that covers the U.S. and Canada, while Bell Sports will come to market with helmets and protective gear including knee and elbow pads, as well as wrist guards. Bell Sports is a designer and marketer of helmets and accessories in auto racing, motorcycling, cycling, and action sports categories. In other news, Cartoon Network joined forces with Warner Home Video on The Powerpuff Girls: Season One special edition DVD this summer in anticipation of the property’s 10th anniversary in 2008. The two-disc set (suggested retail, $26.99) will include all 13 original episodes and never-before-released special features handpicked by series creator Craig McCracken.
Harry Potter Gets Stamp of Approval
Warner Bros. Consumer Products in collaboration with the French Postal Service, La Poste, created a new Harry Potter stamp collection. Valid as postage, the stamp collection costs €6.18 (U.S. $8.17) and recently was unveiled at La Fête du Timbre et de l’Ecrit 2007 (the Festival of the Stamp) in France. The collection of 10 stamps features images of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. La Poste is hosting a contest through May 10 asking participants in two categories—juniors under 18 years old and adults 18 and older—to create their best drawing inspired by the world of Harry Potter and mail in their entry. There will be 500 winners (250 in each category) who will receive Harry Potter merchandise. The first-prize winner receives a trip for two to London.
The Beanstalk Group Beefs Up International Roster
The Beanstalk Group adds Sophie Grigson, one of Britain’s cookery writers and presenters, to its international client roster. The Beanstalk Group will manage and develop a UK-focused licensing program that builds on the strength of the Grigson reputation as the friend cooks should have by their side.
HIT Entertainment Acquires Rainbow Magic Property
HIT Entertainment acquired girls’ publishing property Rainbow Magic with plans to create a television format of the books and launch a range of consumer products. The property, geared to girls ages 5 to 9, is a collection of more than 60 books that follow the magical adventures of Kirsty and Rachel and their interactions with different groups of fairies and other creatures in Fairyland. The company also will launch a new style guide to support the licensing program and the subsequent series of books.
Alfred Haber to Support Spike TV Series
Alfred Haber Distribution, Inc., will serve as the international distributor of Bullrun, which premiered on Spike TV March 13. The series is based on the international automotive rally of the same name and features 12 teams of two drivers who use their own cars in a rally that takes them across America.
GoFish Corp. Aligns with Bennett Media Worldwide
Bennett Media Worldwide will bring its original video content to GoFish’s community of nearly 6 million monthly unique users via a new licensing deal. The online video company will provide an audience for programs such as The Extremists, hosted by athletes Laird Hamilton and Gabrielle Reece; Xoticxtreme, a reality series showcasing footage from extreme sports; The Wild Side, a stimulating journey into forbidden destinations around the world; and Bikini Destinations, which features beautiful women in exotic locations around the globe.
Licensing Link Reps Two Trendy Brands
Licensing Link, Ltd., signed on as the exclusive licensing agent for the Fly Girls brand with plans to expand the surf-inspired sunglass brand into apparel, footwear, and accessories. In another deal, Licensing Link, Ltd., signed on as the exclusive agent for the Caution brand with plans to expand into men’s loungewear and boxers with current licensee Knothe Apparel.
Retailer Seeks Consumer Product Opportunities
Trans World Entertainment will expand its selection of licensed products with a goal of creating shop concepts across all entertainment properties. The range of consumer products will appeal to its core 15- to 25-year-old demographic. The retailer brought on John Guest as vice president of merchandising to head up trend and licensed product initiatives, and hired former LMCA COO Beth Schlansky to act as a licensing industry conduit. Trans World Entertainment is the parent company of F.Y.E. for your entertainment, Musicland, Sam Goody’s, Coconuts, Wherehouse Music, and Suncoast.
TIA Changes Date for Fall Toy Preview
The Toy Industry Association will host its Fall Toy Preview October 9 through 12 after the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday. The 2007 Fall Toy Preview will be held in the Dallas Market Center, which offers private, enclosed showroom space, as well as exhibit areas.
Random House Nabs Publishing Rights to Milkshake! Brand
Target Entertainment granted the publishing rights for Five’s Milkshake! brand to Random House Children’s Books, with the first books due in spring 2008. The three-year deal will see the publication of novelty and activity titles and includes a Milkshake! annual featuring characters from preschool properties such as Fifi and the Flowertots, Harry and His Bucketful of Dinosaurs, and Peppa Pig. Going forward, Target Entertainment will expand the brand further into arts & crafts and educational toys.
Execs on the Move
The Beanstalk Group named Steve Manners vice president, brand development, working out of the London office.
Licensing University Conference Registration Is Now Open
In addition to the best introductory workshops you’ll find on the strategies, trends, best practices, and legalities of the licensing business, Licensing International offers many targeted and advanced sessions for current professionals seeking the competitive edge they need now. This year’s program features 20 new sessions addressing vertical trends including “Mobile Licensing 101” and “3 Steps to Building a Successful Food & Beverage Licensing Program.” Flexible Package options can save you hundreds of dollars. Click here for package details, then register here today. 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.
Brand Licensing Europe Exhibitor Numbers Up 43 Percent
Brand Licensing Europe may be six months away, but nearly 100 companies—including many first-timers—already have signed up to exhibit: an increase of 43 percent over this time last year. Twentieth Century Fox, BBC Worldwide, HIT Entertainment, Granada Ventures, LEGO, Jetix Consumer Products, Brandsauce, Bang On The Door, The Beanstalk Group, Coolabi, Global Brands Group, Licensing Management International, Start Licensing, and Target Entertainment are among those taking prime positions on the show floor. For more information, visit www.brandlicensingeurope.com.
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. The current question: Will UK retailer Tesco take market share from U.S. retailers when it begins opening stores in America this year? 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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