Weekly E-News, Issue #234, October 16, 2007

At 25, Care Bears Continue to Grow InternationallyAmerican Greetings Properties, the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corp., continues to extend its 25-year old Care Bears property across various internatio

April 6, 2018

At 25, Care Bears Continue to Grow Internationally

American Greetings Properties, the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corp., continues to extend its 25-year old Care Bears property across various international licensing channels.

MindWorks Entertainment has signed as exclusive Japanese licensing agent, marking the first time the Care Bears have been officially licensed in that market.

This fall will also be an exciting time for the brand’s Australian presence, as American Greetings Properties’ new Australian licensing agent, Wild Pumpkin, in conjunction with local firm Hardy Marketing Solutions, takes the Care Bears on a 25th Anniversary jaunt.

“American Greetings Properties has always valued international expansion of its properties as a top priority and takes pride in the evolution of its brands across the globe. Taking the Care Bears as an example, we’ve successfully licensed and marketed this brand in more than 70 international territories, with

retail sales topping $2 billion worldwide over the past 25 years,” says Donna Bruschi, director of international licensing, American Greetings Properties. “Now with the Care Bears’ official entrance into Japan and fortified presence in Australia, this brand can truly be called a worldwide sensation."

American Greetings Properties, together with MindWorks Entertainment, plans on debuting the Care Bears at specialty retailers with high-end collectibles, fashion apparel and accessories, stationery, and customized mobile content, with a target audience of boys and girls ages 3 to 6. Upon entrance into Japan at the end of 2007, official Care Bears licensed goods will be sold in key retailers such as Village Vanguard, Sony Plaza, Kiddyland, and other venues that sell licensed character merchandise.

The Care Bears were launched onto the Australian and U.S. scene in 1983 as a social expressions line and in 2003 for the reintroduction of the brand. In turn, Australia has experienced huge growth and expansion beyond social expressions and toys, into apparel, house wares, games, footwear, sporting goods, accessories, and more. Hardy Marketing Solutions has worked on the brand for several years and helped bridge the transition between local agents by continuing to build retail programs, promotional events, and brand presence. Wild Pumpkin now serves as the Australian Licensing Agent and in concordance with Hardy Marketing, works directly with American Greetings Properties to expand the Care Bears across a variety of licensing and entertainment channels, with this fall being the biggest season yet.

The Care Bears’ CGI feature film “Oopsy Does It” will make its Australian debut in November, with a significant promotional push by kids’ charity, the Starlight Foundation.

Mipcom Names Mobile, TV Awards Winners

The Mipcom Mobile & Internet TV Awards 2007 were named last week at the 23rd annual MIPCOM held in Cannes. The winning titles were chosen by an international grand jury from a total of 32 nominated projects.

Organized in partnership with Any Screen Productions, Marché du Film de Cannes & Short Film Corner,

The Hollywood Reporter

, and


, there were 280 entries from 38 countries, and a record number of 180 companies participating in the competition.

The winners were:

• Best short-form audiovisual entertainment made for mobile and/or Internet comedy: Jeb’s Jobs, Weakend Productions, UK.
• Best short-form audiovisual entertainment made for mobile and/or Internet drama: Emmerdale Online Channel: Hoodlum, Australia.
• Best short-form audiovisual entertainment made for mobile and/or Internet lifestyle/music: History Rocks, A&E Television Networks, U.S.
• Best short-form audiovisual entertainment made for mobile and/or Internet factual: The Finer Things, Speedy Productions, South Africa.
• Best mobile service for social community & UGC: Vringo, Vringo Inc., Israel.
• Best made-for-mobile or film channel: Toei Anime Comic, Toei Animation Co., Japan.
• Best cross-platform & interactive mobile TV format: Best Show Ever, MTV Networks International, U.S.
• Best short film originally created or repurposed for mobile: King Boxer-Mobisode Celestial Pictures, Hong Kong.
• Best film shot on a mobile device: Colorful EU, Kodolanyi Janos University-Visual Workshop, Hungary.

Armani Comes to India

DLF, India’s largest real estate company, is close to signing a licensing deal with Italian luxury brand Giorgio Armani. DLF will have the rights to retail and market the brand in the Indian subcontinent. The first store is likely to open in Delhi at DLF’s luxury mall, Emporio, in the first quarter of 2008.

JAKKS Soaks Up Another Nick Property

Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products has turned to JAKKS Pacific Inc. to create toys and related products for SpongeBob SquarePants in preparation of the property’s 10th anniversary. JAKKS plans to launch the line in 2008 with a collectible micro-figure program and plush products of SpongeBob SquarePants and his friends from the television series. The agreement also covers playsets, preschool toys, youth electronics, water toys, novelty items, and more.

New Game for Kids Is in the Cards

Upper Deck Entertainment builds upon its relationship with Marvel Entertainment with the April 2008 release of a new multi-player superhero trading card game made especially for kids. Marvel Ultimate Battles will feature characters from Marvel comics and films, such as The Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-Man. The trading-card game features two starter sets, each themed either around The Hulk or Iron Man, and 48 cards, including an Ultimate Rare card, a fold-out playmat and rulebook.  Booster packs will consist of nine cards per pack, complete with common, rare, and Ultimate Rare cards. There will be 165 cards total in the set.

Nickelodeon Gets Serious about Casual Gaming

MTV Networks’ Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group is putting a new digital twist on Monopoly and Candy Land via a deal with Hasbro. The games, Monopoly: SpongeBob SquarePants Edition and Candy Land: Dora The Explorer Edition, are launching on CD-ROM and are also available in PC and Mac downloadable versions online. Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group recently announced a $100 million commitment to develop, distribute, and create casual gaming titles, sites, and platforms. MTV Networks recently committed to invest more than $500 million over the next two years in the development and distribution of its gaming business across its global portfolio.

Muscle Machines Drive Interest at Wal-Mart

Motorsports Authentics will relaunch the Muscle Machines brand at Wal-Mart this month with a special assortment of 1:64 scale street machines. Series One will be comprised of 16 different paint schemes and a chase car. A five-pack offering will also be available and cars will include classic rides from the 1930s through the 1950s and muscle cars from 1964-1972. Additional Muscle Machines product offerings are in the works for 2008. The cars were carefully selected based on their special connectivity to aficionados in the automotive industry.

Sesame Workshop Initiative Fosters Global Citizenship

Sesame Workshop and the Merrill Lynch Foundation have created Panwapa, a worldwide kids’ initiative complete with new characters Azibo, Athena, and Baabra. Panwapa, which means “here on this earth” in the Tshiluba language, aims to foster the foundation for global citizenship and community participation in 4- to 7-year-old children. Panwapa consists of an interactive Web site (


), a DVD, and print materials that are available in five languages to children around the world—Arabic, English, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish. Panwapa will be available for free on iTunes (


) and starting January 2008, Panwapa will be available on free video-on-demand via PBS KIDS Sprout. Panwapa games and information will also be available at



Burger King to Support Viva Piñata

4Kids Entertainment, Inc., Microsoft Game Studios, and Rare Ltd. inked a global promotional partnership with Burger King Corp. for Viva Piñata. A series of eight premiums will be available with the purchase of each BK Kids Meal through Nov. 4, 2007, at participating U.S. Burger King restaurants, or while supplies last. In-restaurant dates vary for participating markets. Viva Piñata, originally released exclusively for Xbox 360, will also be available for Windows XP and Windows Vista starting Nov. 6.

Columbia Sportswear Fetches Attention of Outdoor Consumers

Columbia Sportswear Co. is fetching a spot in the pet-care arena, signing a deal with RC Pet Products for a line of products aimed at outdoor consumers. The collection features coats and accessories for dogs, as well as a neoprene vest for hunting dogs. Features of the inaugural line include technical outdoor fabrics with durable construction and reflective piping for increased safety. The new products will be available during the third quarter of 2008.

Next Day Art Expands Licensing Palette

Next Day Art signed several new artists to its licensing portfolio including Campus Images, a collection of more than 300 hand-rendered images of landmark college campus buildings; Walt Curlee, who paints and illustrates with a strong and varied range of interpretive contemporary and traditional works; HJ Gillespie, who creates bold and brilliantly spirited interpretations of childhood; and Alan Steinberg, who captures landscapes and scenes focused on nature and the environment.

Warner Home Video to Distribute Peanuts Titles

Warner Home Video entered into a multiyear, exclusive worldwide home video distribution deal with United Media, Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, and Lee Mendelson Film Productions for Peanuts. Under the terms of the agreement, WHV will exclusively distribute multiple Peanuts DVD titles, which include over 50 classic television specials and television series episodes. A deluxe edition of “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown,” is due Jan. 15, 2008, followed by a deluxe edition of “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown” on Feb. 26, 2008.

Shelcore Marvels at First-Time Product Category

Shelcore expands beyond preschool toys for the first time via a new partnership with Marvel Entertainment. The new line of kids’ home decor products will be available at retail next year and will include ceiling fan covers, an electronic snack mat, fan pulls, clothes valets, growth charts, and a door sentry—all featuring Spider-Man and Friends and other Marvel characters.

Naruto Marks U.S. Role-Playing Game Entry

TOMY Corp. and D3Publisher of America Inc. will come to market with Naruto: Path of the Ninja for the Nintendo DS on Oct. 23. The game marks the first role-playing game for Naruto in North America and will feature a unique time-based combat system in which players must determine each characters’ strengths and use them accurately to help them defeat the enemy. The companies are also partnering on Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution for the Wii due Oct. 23. The game will feature exclusive content and gameplay for the North American market.

Wal-Mart Inks Picture-Perfect Deal with Mattel

Kids visiting Wal-Mart are saying “cheese” even though they are not in the dairy aisle as the retailer offers custom Barbie and Hot Wheels photo panel backgrounds in its PictureMe! Portrait Studio. Girls will be photographed in front of a tropical backdrop featuring Barbie as Princess Rosella and her animal friends from the “Barbie as The Island Princess” made-for-DVD movie and corresponding toy line. Boys can race to the finish line surrounded by a Hot Wheels race car-inspired backdrop. Portraits are available in a variety of sizes and the backgrounds will be available through 2007 and beyond.

UK Toy Retailers Name Christmas Dream List

Technical toys dominate this year’s UK Toy Retailer’s Association annual “dream dozen” list of toys it expects to be best sellers this Christmas.

The list reveals a trend toward interactivity, while at the same time reflecting this year’s film and TV hits with toys inspired by

Transformers the Movie

, “Dr. Who,” “Roary the Racing Car,” and game show “Golden Balls.”

The overall Dream Dozen, in alphabetical order, are:

Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old?, Hasbro
Baby Annabell New V4, Zapf Creation
Barbie Girls, Mattel
Doctor Who Dalek Sec Hybrid Voice Changer Mask, Character Options
Flytech Dragonfly, Character Options
Golden Balls, Vivid Imaginations
GR8 Art Bindeez Super Deluxe Studio Centre, Character Options
In The Night Garden – Blanket Time Igglepiggle, Hasbro
Puppy Grows and Knows Your Name, Mattel
Roary the Racing Car car, Vivid Imaginations
Say What?, Radica
Transformers Movie Leader: Optimus Prime, Hasbro

HIT, Spargo Form Strategic Alliance

HIT Entertainment and UK-based animation producer Spargo Productions have gotten together to distribute children’s properties “Willo the Wisp,” “Little Monsters,” and “Microscopic Milton.”

Spargo was formed in 2004 by Bobbie Spargo and music publisher Tim Hollier to create the “Willo the Wisp” television series. It was originally created by Bobbie Spargo’s late father, Nick Spargo. The show is aired daily on Playhouse Disney UK. Spargo has also acquired children’s animation properties including “Microscopic Milton,” which has aired on Disney Channel in the United States, and “Little Monsters.”

BBC Worldwide Wins Rights to ‘

Harry and Toto’ and ‘3rd and Bird!’

BBC Worldwide has been awarded the global rights to two preschool programs, “Harry and Toto” and “3rd and Bird!”

“Harry and Toto” is a 26 x 10 minute flash animation series for preschoolers from Handle and Spout Productions. BBC Worldwide has secured world TV rights (excluding the United States, non-French-speaking Canada, and Poland) and all other world rights including DVD, interactive, and merchandise.

“3rd & Bird!” is a 26 x 30 animation series from Little Airplane Productions. The deal sees BBC Worldwide take on cross-media rights including global program distribution, merchandising, and DVD.

The series was created by Josh Selig, who also created “The Wonder Pets!,” and will use Little Airplane’s signature “photo-puppetry animation.” Each episode is filled with music and songs and features Samuel Lovebird, an adorable young bird who is learning all about his family, his community and his friends. It will debut on CBeebies in autumn 2008.

Entertainment Rights, AOL Take Jim Jam & Sunny to KOL Jr

Entertainment Rights joined forces with AOL’s preschool online destination KOL Jr in a partnership to launch Jim Jam & Sunny episodes, games, and short-form content on the broadband platform beginning this autumn.

Produced in a modular format, Jim Jam & Sunny is delivered in segments. It allows for the property to have greater flexibility to work across multiple platforms, in both digital and linear forms.

Jim Jam & Sunny is a live-action show that celebrates learning, discovery, and play through the use of musical participation, stories, and interactivity. It launched on television in the UK in the autumn of 2006 and currently airs every day on GMTV, CiTV, and Sunday mornings on ITV1 in the UK. Jim Jam & Sunny is the largest-ever preschool commission for ITV1 with 260 x 11 minute episodes.

Through the agreement with KOL Jr, Jim Jam & Sunny’s U.S. digital content launch includes episodes, games, editorial promotions, and printables.

Fremantle, Nelvana Sign UK Home Entertainment Deal

FremantleMedia Enterprises signed a four-year deal with Nelvana Enterprises that grants FME exclusive rights to distribute some of Nelvana’s portfolio of kids’ programming in the UK and Eire on DVD.

The deal allows FME to develop its kids’ home entertainment brands in the UK, which currently includes “DangerMouse,” “Count Duckula,” and “The Wind in the Willows.”

The partnership kicks off with FME releasing three new shows on to DVD in the UK early next year—“Grossology,” “Di-Gata Defenders,” and “Jane and the Dragon.” Other titles will include “Babar,” “Franklin,” and “Rolie Polie Olie.”

Taffy Kids Debuts on Veo in Spain

Taffy Entertainment, part of the French Moonscoop Group, signed a deal with Veo in Spain to create a two-hour Taffy-branded kids’ block called Taffy Kids. The programming block, targeted at children aged 6-12, will air on Saturdays and Sundays and will feature such Taffy Entertainment shows such as “Funky Cops” and “Wheel Squad.”

Bennett Media Signs Broadcast Deals at MIPCOM

Bennett Media Worldwide closed a number of licensing deals with global buyers for its HD programming at MIPCOM last week.

Among the deals, HDNET (U.S.) acquired HDTV and HDDVD rights for Taylor Hicks: Whomp at the Warfield and six new episodes of Bikini Destinations.

VTR (Chile) has secured pay TV rights for Bikini Destinations, Snowology, The Extremists, Destination X, Boost Mobile Snowboarding, and Billabong’s J-Bay.

Imagen Satelital (Pan Latin America) has acquired basic cable TV and direct-to-home rights for Mysteries.

ABS-CBN (Phillipines) has acquired pay TV rights for Flow, Bikini Life Adventures, Stag, Destination X, Bikini Destinations, and The Wild Side.

Tanweer Enlightenment Corporation (Middle East) has secured first negotiation TV and VOD rights for Bennett Media’s entire library of programming.

Execs on the Move

20th Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising promoted Carl Lumbard to the newly created position of senior vice president and managing director, Fox L&M Europe. The role recognizes Lumbard’s development of the licensing division across Europe over the last 10 years. 

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