Weekly E-News, Issue #219, July 3, 2007

Untitled DocumentWBCP Names Mattel Master Toy Licensee for DC ComicsWarner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), on behalf of DC Comics, has entered into a multiyear deal with leading worldwide toy manufacturer, Mattel Inc., naming the company master toy l

April 6, 2018

WBCP Names Mattel Master Toy Licensee for DC Comics

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), on behalf of DC Comics, has entered into a multiyear deal with leading worldwide toy manufacturer, Mattel Inc., naming the company master toy licensee for the complete DC Universe property portfolio. Under the terms of this strategic alliance, Mattel is granted unprecedented access to the complete breadth and scope of the DC Comics vault of characters, which includes more than a thousand world-famous DC Super Heroes and Super Villains such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Joker, and The Riddler. Financial terms of the relationship were not released.

In addition to the rights to existing DC Comics characters, animation, and motion pictures, the deal gives Mattel rights to produce toys based on future DC Universe film and animation projects that are developed and produced during the term of the agreement. Mattel will support the DC Universe characters across all of its key brands including Hot

Wheels, Radica, Fisher-Price, Tyco, and Mattel Games.

 “Combining the power and richness of the DC Comics Universe with the creativity and expertise of Mattel makes for an incredible alliance,” says Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Knowing that the vast catalog of DC Comics properties will be in the hands of the world’s most successful toy manufacturer ensures a consistency and quality in product development for years to come.”

Sports Direct Raises Everlast Bid

 Everlast Worldwide is at the center of a takeover tussle as UK sportswear retailer Sports Direct International increased its takeover offer for the U.S. boxing equipment and sporting goods firm to $182.3 million.

Sports Direct's increased all-cash bid comes after the rival bidder for Everlast, U.S. investment fund Hidary, increased its own offer over the weekend.

Hidary on Saturday lifted its all-stock bid to $31.25 per share from $26.50.

Sports Direct is now offering Everlast shareholders $33 per share, up from its first bid of $30 per share worth $168 million.

Sports Direct is owned by UK billionaire Mike Ashley, who last week increased his stake in Newcastle United to 93.2 percent, allowing him to remove the football club from the stock market. Earlier this year he also bought the Lonsdale sportswear brand.

Sports Direct is the UK's largest seller of sporting goods through its Sports World stores. 

Paramount in UAE Theme Park Deal

Paramount Licensing and Rawaad Holdings announced a long-term deal to build a Paramount-themed amusement park in the United Arab Emirates. The Paramount theme park will sit alongside luxury resorts and lifestyle properties as a part of Rawaad’s planned $2.5 billion vacation destination. Instead of providing funding for the project, Paramount will grant International Destination Brands Ltd., a Rawaad affiliate charged with funding the project and scouting the location, access to its film library and “intellectual capital,” which will be used to oversee the design of the park. New Paramount titles will serve as the basis for future rides and attractions, and the park will boast a healthy dose of both Hollywood and Bollywood entertainment.

“We are very excited to collaborate with Rawaad on a themed world-class destination in the UAE,” says Michael Bartok, executive vice president and head of Paramount Licensing. “The UAE is a spectacular center of growing commerce, tourism, and entertainment and we look forward to working together to bring a taste of Paramount and Hollywood to this dynamic market.”

Nickelodeon, Chrysler Take the Wheel in New Partnership

Nickelodeon and Chrysler have signed a new deal for joint advertising and promotion. Chrysler will be promoting their new Town & Country minivan, which comes outfitted with a Sirius Backseat TV. Nicktoons will be among the networks offered. In return, Chrysler will sponsor Nickelodeon’s 20-stop Slime Across America tour, which commences July 7, 2007. Ads for the tour will be featured on Chrysler.com as well as on Nickelodeon’s Web sites and networks. Nick characters will also make appearances at car shows and mobile tours.

Champion, General Mills Bring Deal to Finish

Champion Systems has signed a deal with General Mills to produce a line of cycling caps and jerseys, along with other sporting equipment, with characters and logos of General Mills products. The items will feature brands such as Count Chocula, Trix, Nature Valley, and Cheerios. Under the agreement, Champion systems will create one new design for each character every one to two seasons. The line will be unveiled at the Annual Bike Show on Sept. 26-28 in Las Vegas.

Perfect Translation for “Angus & Cheryl”

A deal between Nickelodeon and BRB Internacional will bring new animated series “Angus & Cheryl” to Latin American and European markets. The 90-second episodes, which are currently produced by Catalonia’s Screen 21, feature no dialogue but plenty of laughs as they explore relationships between men and women.

“‘Angus & Cheryl’ contains a universal sense of humor,” explains Carlos Biern, head of co-productions and new development at BRB. “It is a unique, lighthearted comedy that reflects the relationships between boys and girls today and the series will deliver great new technological developments.”

Nickelodeon secured the television and satellite rights for “Angus & Cheryl” in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Spain, Latin America, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Portugal, and Scandinavia, and it will begin airing in these territories in Fall 2007.

Globetrotting “Franny’s Feet” Expands Reach

Decode Entertainment has closed several new deals on behalf of children’s property “Franny’s Feet.” Broadcast agreements have been signed with Disney Network in Germany, which secured TV pay rights to the series; Cartoon Network Korea has picked up seasons one and two; and Cartoon Network Taiwan renewed its contract. Hasbro’s Playskool division is now the exclusive toy licensee for the property, with a new line of toys, dolls, puzzles, and games expected in to launch in fall 2008. Penguin and Simon & Schuster will partner up as the publishing licensees. Grosset & Dunlap, of Penguin Young Readers Group, will produce a collection of sticker books, storybooks, and various lift-the-flap game books for release in 2008. Simon & Schuster will create coloring book and activity book sets, which will also launch in 2008.

Piglet Pals “Toot & Puddle” to Come to Noggin

National Geographic Kids and Mercury Filmworks have struck a deal to bring the “Toot and Puddle” animated series to Noggin, Nickelodeon’s educational preschool network, in fall 2008. The series builds on the success of the property’s first-ever holiday special, “Toot and Puddle: I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Toot and Puddle are the creations of famed illustrator Holly Hobbie, and follows the adventures of two piglet friends. Production has already begun on 52, 11-minute episodes, with themes based on the existing book series.

Yamaha Revved Up Over Video Game Deal

Yamaha Motor Corp. and Destination Software will team up to create supercross video games. The first game, Yamaha Supercross, will be released in fall 2007 for Nintendo DS and Playstation 2 consoles. It will be available for Nintendo’s Wii system in 2008. In the game, players will race off-road motorcycles on dirt tracks in a variety of track and weather conditions, perfecting jumps and tricks while competing against other players.

In other news, Destination Software also signed a deal with King Features to produce a video game based on cartoon icon Betty Boop for the Nintendo DS game system. “Betty Boop: Double Shift” will allow gamers to assist Betty Boop in running a restaurant. The game will utilize the DS’s touchscreen, allowing users to move Betty with the stylus as she seats customers, takes orders, and earns the cash to revitalize her restaurant and her community.

Bennett Media Makes Sales Dream a Reality

Bennett Media Worldwide has sold 200 hours since April’s MIPTV Media Market, signing new deals for its reality television series. Australian cable provider Foxtel secured the pay-TV rights for “Bikini Destination,” “Stag,” “Best of Hawaiian Tropic Girls,” “American Wild Side,” and “Hawaiian Tropic Spring Break.” France’s The Box Distribution acquired the TV, cable, and VOD rights for “Bikini Destinations.” Direct 8 TV snagged the free TV rights to “Bikini Destinations” in France. ILC Sport got the DVD rights to “Billionaires Car Club” and “Shelby Lynne Concert” for the UK.

Icon Seals Deals

Icon Animation signed several new deals from its catalog of animated properties. Greece’s 06TV secured the television and DVD rights to “Vitaminix,” “Mimi & Mr. Bobo,” and “Lola and Virginia”—all animated by Icon Animation—as well as “Rat Man,” “The Nimbos,” “Cloud Trotters,” and “Christopher Coolumbus.” Icon also signed several deals with broadcasters in Iberia. IB3 picked up “Vitaminix,” “Skyland,” and “Corniel & Bernie.” “Postman Pat” will be broadcast via RTP on RTP2, following a joint deal between Icon and Entertainment Rights. RTP will also show “The Edebits.”

SpongeBob Soaks Up New European Markets

MTV Networks International signed agreements with Central Eastern European broadcasters to air “SpongeBob SquarePants.” Albania’s Top Channel and Macedonia’s A1 picked up all 90 episodes of the show, making it the first time that “SpongeBob” will air in either territory. Additionally, Hungary’s TV2 renewed its license to include new episodes of the show.

Jessica Simpson Latest to Join Parlux

Parlux Fragrances Inc. and Camuto group signed a deal with pop star Jessica Simpson to produce her first signature fragrance. Parlux—which holds among its licensees Paris Hilton and Maria Sharapova—expects to launch the fragrance in the U.S. in July 2008, followed by an international launch.

True Religion Splashes into Swimwear

True Religion Apparel and InGear Swimwear are teaming up to produce a line of True Religion brand swimsuits. The collection is expected to reach department and specialty stores in November 2007. “You can expect the latest designs in our first-ever swimwear line, with an extensive range of vintage-inspired prints, bold hippie florals, intricate paisleys, crocheted patterns, ombre and beaded swimsuits in a bright, extensive range of colors,” said Jeffrey Lubell, chairman and CEO, True Religion.

Exec Moves

Fox L&R named Adam Kline the new vice president of New Media Enterprises, a newly created position. Kline will be responsible for maintaining and expanding Fox’s portfolio of video game properties, as well as pursuing future opportunities in e-commerce. Prior to joining Fox, Kline consulted with prominent video game publishers first as vice present of business development of Ubisoft, and later in his own company.

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