Weekly E-News, Issue #237, November 6, 2007

Licensees Picking Up “Speed”Speed Racer Enterprises reports a slate of new licensing agreements for the classic “Speed Racer” animated television series and the new “Speed Racer: The Next Generation,” scheduled to air

April 6, 2018

Licensees Picking Up “Speed”

Speed Racer Enterprises reports a slate of new licensing agreements for the classic “Speed Racer” animated television series and the new “Speed Racer: The Next Generation,” scheduled to air on Nicktoons in 2008. The licensees include:

• Jada Toys: die-cast vehicles, battery-operated remote-control vehicles, pull-back vehicles, vinyl figures, and die-cast key chains based on the classic brand. Rollout in Q1 2008.

• Senario: plug-and-play video games with inflatable interfaces for the classic “Speed Racer” series with an option for “Speed Racer: The Next Generation.” Rollout in Q2 2008.

• ES Originals: children’s footwear including athletic, non-athletic, slippers, EVAs, boots, and sandals; a variety of bags such as backpacks, mini backpacks, rolling bags, luggage, totes, and lunch bags; small leather goods; and hosiery for both the classic and the new brands. Rollout in Q1 2008.

• Unique Industries: party goods for the classic “Speed Racer” brand, including paper

party ware, party hats, blowouts, loot bags, invitations, thank-you notes, party packs, latex and foil balloons, assorted party favors, decorative accessories, and piñatas. The company has also optioned “Speed Racer: The Next Generation.” Rollout in January 2008.

• Innovative Designs: stationery, portfolios, theme-books, composition books, memo pads, legal pads, assignment books, agendas, die-cut memos, sticky notepads, binders, pencil cases, book covers, pencils, pens, erasers, rulers, markers, and magnets for both the classic and new series. Rollout in April 2008.

Hollywood Writers’ Strike Begins As Talks Collapse

Hollywood writers went on strike Monday after last-minute talks aimed at ending a standoff with studios collapsed, with the union demanding a share of cash brought in from DVDs and online distribution of shows.

The strike deadline was a minute into Monday in each U.S. time zone. An 11th-hour negotiating session was held with the help of a federal mediator Sunday, but it broke down without achieving any results.

Members of the 12,000-strong union began picketing Monday morning at major studios in the Los Angeles area and outside NBC studio at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.

The first casualties of the walkout are likely to be talk shows, soap operas, and comedy programs that rely on fresh scripts.

Major motion picture studios and television programs typically have stockpiles of scripts that can insulate them from feeling the effects of the strike for a year or longer.

Writers want a greater share of residual profits from television series sold on DVDs and money made from programs shown on the Internet, cellular phones, and other new media outlets.

Producers acknowledge that online viewing is increasing and promise to study the issue, but argue that it is too early to say how profitable it will be.

.2Network Inks Licensing Deal with Sony Pictures Television

Guardian Enterprise Group Inc. will launch its new, nationwide multicast digital broadcast network called .2 Network (pronounced “dot two”) on Feb. 3 and has signed a licensing deal with Sony Pictures Television for more than 300 films.

Dubbed “Network-in-a-Box,” .2Network is the first to provide local station affiliates with a uniform, national network platform, affording stations a 24/7 option to simply plug and play the network onto their current available and unused digital multicast channel positions and receive back immediate nontraditional revenue in the form of revenue sharing. Among the Sony titles acquired by .2Network are films such as

ThePink Panther


Stuart Little 3


Marie Antoinette




Stranger Than Fiction


, and

Surf’s Up

. .2Network will be offering digital broadcast premieres for many of these titles.

HIT Names TOMY Master Toy Licensee for Thomas & Friends

HIT Entertainment announced the renewal and extension of TOMY as Master Toy Licensee for the classic preschool property Thomas & Friends across Europe. The new deal with TOMY reflects the company’s long history with Thomas & Friends and will see TOMY transition the Motor Road and Rail track system to a brand-new play system, Trackmaster, due for launch in autumn/winter 2008.  

Lowe’s To Enter Indian Market

Lowe’s, the second-largest multibrand home improvement company worth $50 billion, is close to sealing a partnership with Reliance Retail in India. Talks between Reliance and Lowe’s are at a fairly advanced stage, although the proposal hasn’t gone to the boards of the two companies. The plan is to have two companies: a cash-and-carry venture where Reliance is likely to have majority stake and a front-end retail venture, owned and managed by Reliance Retail.

India is going through a consumer boom and foreign retailers are setting up shop by licensing their brands to Indian partners amidst severe protests from local shop owners. Indian laws permit foreign investment up to 51 percent in single-brand retail and up to 100 percent in wholesale business. However, multibrand retailers like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Tesco, Carrefour, and Lowe’s are not allowed to own and manage stores in India.

Reliance has big plans in the home decor and improvement space given the rapid pace with which Indians are building homes and renovating.

Kellwood Closes Perry Ellis Deal

Kellwood Co., which markets apparel, signed a licensing deal with Perry Ellis International Inc. to market a men’s dress shirt collection. The deal between Perry Ellis and Kellwood’s distribution division, the marketing arm of Smart Shirts Ltd., includes the marketing of shirts under the Perry Ellis and Perry Ellis Portfolio brand names. The new collection will be available at major U.S. department stores and specialty stores in the fall of 2008.

Retailer Sharpens Focus on Licensing

Sharper Image Corp. will raise the volume on its brand name by signing five multi-year deals. LG International Inc. will create a line of electronic products for the holiday season; Pure HiTech Inc. will sell cellular telephones and related accessories; Sensio Inc. will come to market with a line of kitchen electric products while Futai USA Inc. will create umbrellas and packable rainwear. Also on board is Rilliant Systems Inc. with plans to create self-installed home surveillance and security systems. The products will be sold at Sharper Image stores, through catalogs and other retailers in the United States and Canada.

4Kids Inks Global Broadcast Deals

4Kids Entertainment Inc. is expanding the broadcast reach for “Viva Piñata,” signing deals with several global broadcasters. New episodes are due on Televisa (Mexico), TV3 (New Zealand), Animax (South Korea), Momo Kids TV (Taiwan), and Kids Central (Singapore). The property also continues to extend its reach beyond television to interactive entertainment through video-on demand services, the introduction of a new social party game on Xbox 360, and the PC debut of the original game. Viva Piñata will also be available for Windows XP and Windows Vista starting Nov. 6.

Lagerfeld Signs with Italian Manufacturer

Parent company Tommy Hilfiger Corp. has licensed Karl Lagerfeld’s ready-to-wear collection to Italian manufacturer Vaprio Stile, with the deal due to kick in with Lagerfeld’s autumn/winter 2008-09 offering. The new partnership will ensure improved delivery times, merchandising, and price positioning, as well as generating expansion plans for America and the Far East and securing further capsule collection link-ups in the mold of Lagerfeld's successful collaboration with high-end retailer H&M in 2004.

Sandbox Summit to Debut at CES

The Consumer Electronics Association and Parents’ Choice Foundation have created the Sandbox Summit: A Playdate with Technology, a conference and exhibition that will debut at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, set to run from Jan. 7–10, 2008. The conference portion of the Sandbox Summit, scheduled for Jan. 8, will bring together educators, toy manufacturers, consumer electronics companies, policy makers, and media to discuss how technology is changing the ways kids play, learn, and connect in the new digital world. The Sandbox Summit’s exhibition, which runs for the entire four-day CES event, will showcase the latest high-tech toys and media that children are using today, and explore toys being designed for the kids of tomorrow.

For more information, visit



Evian Becomes Official Bottled Water of Wimbledon

Evian Natural Spring Water is now the Official Bottled Water of The Championship, Wimbledon after signing a multimillion-dollar deal that will span the next five years. The brand currently holds the title of “official bottled water” for both the U.S. Open and Australian Open tennis championships, two other tournaments that comprise the Grand Slam group.

The new partnership with the All England Club, the London venue for Wimbledon, will run until 2012 and will see Evian provide players, officials, and spectators with water throughout The Championships, building on the brand’s successful existing global strategy within international tennis.


Barcode Kitties in Tasty Deal with Peru Burger Chain

P&L Global Network has struck a deal allowing Peru’s famous Bembos Burger Grill fast-food chain to feature Barcode Kitties characters in an upcoming Kids Meal Box promotion. As part of the three-month promotion (scheduled to run November 2007–January 2008), Bembos will include Barcode Kitties Puzzles and Mini Activity/Coloring Books with its Kids Meal Boxes.

Bembos, founded in 1988, has established itself as Peru’s most popular fast-food company by serving up hamburgers and a variety of other foods made with high-quality ingredients and spices designed to cater to the “Peruvian palate.” Bembos operates 35 restaurants in three Peruvian cities (29 in Lima alone). 

Crack & Bonky Looking to Expand Outside Latin America

Crack & Bonky continues to win over the Latin American market as the kid- and teen-based original franchise wrapped up Expo Licensing Latin America with a roster of newly added licensees. On the heels of the burgeoning success of the offbeat brand, Adness Entertainment has embarked on introducing the duo from another dimension in the United States and Asia.

Newest Latin American licensees signing on to Crack & Bonky following its successful appearance at Expo Licensing include Doobalo S.A/ de C.V. (socks); PIC S.A. de C.V. (sleepwear, underwear); and Manny Distribuciones S.A. de C.V. (coin purses, nylon wallets, markers, retractable erasers, pencil sharpeners). They join such Latin American licensees as Chicabum (cellular content in Mexico and Latin America); Office Max (customized stationery); DTM (toys/figures); Chenson (backpacks and bags); Bondifiesta (bubble gum and confectionery); Majtán (gel stickers, decorations); Bonsa (gifts, office supplies, accessories); PTI/K.com (cellular accessories;) MAE (gift and office supplies); and Editorial Radar (children’s magazines).

Bandai Renews Commitment to Dragon Ball Z

Bandai America Inc. will take over once again as master toy licensee for Dragon Ball Z after a seven-year hiatus. Together with FUNimation Entertainment, Bandai will create a line of products for spring 2008, including action figures. The Dragon Ball franchise consists of three dynamic sagas—Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT—and is one of the most successful anime properties of all time.

UK Retailers Report on Poor Year

The UK’s largest retailer of licensed products, 800-plus store Woolworth, reported flat like-for-like sales for the 38 weeks to Oct. 27, with a decrease of 0.4 percent compared to the same period last year. Chief executive Trevor Bish-Jones said trading at the start of the second half was impacted by bad weather as well as sporting events including the Rugby World Cup, keeping shoppers out of stores. He said the full year results were also likely to be “flattish.” The business usually makes a loss the first half, and a profit in the second, which includes the crucial Christmas trading period.

Department store chain Debenhams reported profit before tax of £131.4 million for the year to Sept. 1, with total sales up 5.1 percent to £2.3 billion, driven by the acquisition of the Irish Roches stores group. However, like-for-like sales were down 5 percent. Benefits going forward are predicted to come from a new sourcing office in Turkey and the further rollout of its small-format, fashion-led Desire stores.

Arcadia, the high street portfolio owned by retail billionaire Philip Green, reported pretax profits down to £199.2 million for the year ending Sept. 1, from £202.4 million in the previous year. However, the previous year was accounted as 53 weeks, so with adjustment the PBT figure goes up by 4.6 percent. Arcadia does not break down the figures, but the best-performing fascias are thought to be the fashion-led Topshop, Topman, and Miss Selfridge.

FOX Sports Icon Turns into Action Figure

FOX Sports and 20th Century FOX Licensing & Merchandising plan to build a licensing program around the FOX Sports Robot, which will be transformed into a tangible action figure. The first initiative is an on-air “Name the Robot” promotion that launched during the Nov. 4 edition of the FOX NFL Sunday pregame show with fans able to submit names (


) for the animation-turned-action figure and earn a chance to visit the NFL on FOX studios in Los Angeles. Action Heads will create a 10-inch posable action figure that will be available online at FOXsports.com on Nov. 15 and through select retailers on Dec. 1.

M&M’s To Star in Video Games

Destination Software Inc. and Mars Inc. partnered on “M&M’S Kart Racing” due on the Nintendo DS and Wii. This will be the second video game title released since the two companies signed a licensing agreement in December. The Wii game heads to stores later this month while the Nintendo DS version is due 1Q 2008. The deal was facilitated by DSI’s licensing agent, 360ep Inc.

Rubie’s Extends Commitment with Lucasfilm

Rubie’s Costume Co. Inc. extended the term of its licensing deal with Lucasfilm for worldwide manufacturing rights to the entire Star Wars Saga for costumes, costume accessories, and boxed costume sets. Rubie’s also has the rights for costumes, costume accessories, and boxed costume sets to the classic Indiana Jones trilogy as well as

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

, due May 22, 2008.

In other news, Rubie’s will be opening the largest showroom in the Halloween industry on Dec. 3 at the Halloween Tower in New York. The 21,750-square-foot, state-of-the-art showroom features all new construction as well as its new Dress-Up Division. Each display area has been designed with a New York City neighborhood theme including Greenwich Village, Chinatown, and Broadway.


Parthenon Kids to Support ‘Rescue Rookies’

Parthenon Kids optioned the rights to “Rescue Rookies,” an animated preschool series from UK production company Bada Bling. As part of the deal, Parthenon has the exclusive rights to further develop the series and pitch the idea to broadcasters. Parthenon will own the rights in all media worldwide for broadcast to license. “Rescue Rookies” features the adventures of a gang of young and enthusiastic emergency workers happy to lend a helping hand.  

Sports Direct Scuppers Nike/Umbro Deal?

UK retailer and brand owner Sports Direct may be in the process of scuppering the Nike takeover of Umbro after it increased its shareholding in the football sports brand to 29.9 percent last week, at a cost of £40 million. This is the maximum shareholding allowed under UK Stock Exchange rules before a full takeover bid is launched. As the Nike agreed deal with Umbro is a scheme of arrangement that requires agreement from 75% of shareholders, the market is watching to see what will happen next.

Game Wins Golden Joystick Award

European and Australian video game retailer Game has been named Retailer of the Year in the UK’s Golden Joystick Awards for the second year running. The Golden Joysticks are voted for by UK gamers.

Lisa Morgan, CEO of Game, says, “We’re very honored to win this coveted award for the second year in a row. It’s been an amazing year for the games industry—with a great variety of terrific products available and so many new customers buying games for the first time. Everyone at Game has worked exceptionally hard to help customers and give them specialist service during this busy time, and this award is a great tribute to them.”

Fifi Heads East

Target Entertainment signed a raft of deals for Chapman Entertainment’s preschool property “Fifi and the Flowertots” in Eastern Europe.

One2Play has signed to represent Fifi across the former Yugoslavian territories for food and beverage lines, textiles, toiletries, and Corgi die-cast products. One2Play’s planned range includes multivitamin juice packets and bioactive yogurt pots.

Modell and Hobby have signed distribution deals in Hungary and Romania for French toy company Jemini and Corgi’s Fifi ranges. In Latvia and Estonia, Target Entertainment has signed an exclusive toy distribution deal with Edutoys.

MTV’s Arabic Channel Set to Go Live

MTV Arabia, the region’s first Arabic free-to-air youth entertainment and lifestyle channel, goes on air Nov. 17, reaching a potential audience of 190 million people across the Middle East—MTV’s biggest potential audience at launch of any in the brand’s 25-year history.

MTV Arabia is operated through a licensing partnership between MTV Networks International (MTVNI) and TECOM Investments and its media unit, Arab Media Group (AMG). The channel will fall under the umbrella of Arabian Television Network (ATN), AMG’s TV broadcasting arm that also will incorporate three other stations to launch before the end of 2007, as well as Nickelodeon Arabia, which was recently announced to launch in 2008 as part of the MTVNI agreement.

Nickelodeon Germany Picks Up ‘Naturally Sadie’

Kids’ and family entertainment specialist Decode Entertainment has penned new broadcast deals for its live action show “Naturally Sadie.” Nickelodeon Germany has picked up the first two seasons (39 episodes), while season three has been sold into territories worldwide.

Nickelodeon channels in Australia, Italy, Israel, Scandinavia, and Spain have made a further commitment to the show, following Nickelodeon UK in picking up the third season. In addition, 7 Arts in the Middle East has acquired the third series and France’s Planete Juniors has picked up season one.

Entertainment Rights Launches Online Store

Entertainment Rights is launching a UK-based online store for its key properties as part of its multiplatform strategy. In partnership with Digital Stores, which has built the store and is acting as a complete fulfillment house, characters such as Rupert Bear, Postman Pat, Basil Brush, and Jim Jam and Sunny will be available.

The launch of the store is being supported by advertisements in the

Rupert Bear


Jim Jam and Sunny

, and

Postman Pat

preschool magazines as well as promotion on the brands’ Web sites. There is also an online promotional campaign that includes mainstream entertainment, parenting, and children’s sites.

‘Orsum Island’ Goes Online

UK boys’ adventure program “Orsum Island,” from Pineapple Squared Entertainment, aimed at 7- through 11-year olds will launch interactively on the Web and on television with the first 13 episodes completed for summer 2008. Bulldog Licensing is handling the rights for Orsum Island.

‘Frankenstein’s Cat’ Is Purr-fect for Nickelodeon

CCI Entertainment’s “Frankenstein’s Cat” has been acquired by Nickelodeon International to be aired in six territories worldwide including Spain, Benelux, Southeast Asia, Australia, Latin America, and Israel. Nickelodeon joins CBBC, ABC Australia, France 3, and Cartoon France in airing the animated comedy series for 6- to 11-year-olds. The 2D digital series is licensed and distributed by Toronto’s CCI Entertainment, and produced by Manchester, UK-based puppetmasters Mackinnon and Saunders with Paris-based Kayenta Production.

Masterpieces Builds on Bella Sara Brand

MasterPieces Puzzle Company introduced a line of products based on the Bella Sara horse-themed trading cards and online world for girls. The extensive collection of puzzles, games, and crafts represent the largest licensed expansion of the Bella Sara brand, which has already experienced explosive growth since launching in the United States earlier this year, landing in over 15,000 retail outlets and scooping up a slew of awards and accolades along the way.

Literary Property Put to Music  

Pacific Entertainment launched a line of audiocassettes and CDs featuring classical music, lullabies, and nursery rhymes from

The Snowman

, written by Raymond Briggs. RJM Licensing Inc. has additional categories available for the literary property, which celebrates its 30th year in 2008 including apparel, bedding, gift sets, food and beverage, and some accessories.


Little Airplane Academy To Host Winter Workshop

Little Airplane Academy will hold its three-day intensive course “How to Make A Great Preschool Series” on Sat., Feb. 16 through Mon., Feb. 18. The workshop, which costs $1,500, will educate participants in the fundamentals of creating a preschool series from pitching through writing, character design, directing, and producing both live action and animated shows. Space is limited and requires an application and resume. For questions, call 212-965-8999 or e-mail

[email protected]

 or visit




Daywind Music Group To Support Wumblers  

Daywind Music Group acquired the worldwide home entertainment license for “The Wumblers” from The Giddy Gander Company. DVDs and CDs top the expanding list of products licensed to date, joining plush, toys, games, and apparel. Daywind plans to launch DVDs based upon the inspirational preschool series in 2008.  


Execs on the Move

Toys “R” Us Inc. named Monika Merz CEO, Toys “R” Us Japan.

Janet Boye Jenkins joined Sesame Workshop as vice president of creative services. MHS Licensing named Lindsey Everson as an account executive.

Classic Media appointed Karyn Schneider vice president, licensing for its operations in North America.

Mel Beer, the new head of licensing at Granada Ventures, has restructured the licensing team. Julie Quirke has been promoted to senior brand and licensing manager for preschool; Van Uong has added promotions to his new-media responsibilities and becomes brand and licensing manager new media and promotions; Martin Binyon will be brand and licensing manager responsible for the Gerry Anderson portfolio, drama, comedy and entertainment; and Ed Abis, commercial sports manager, will report to Beer on all sports licensing activity. Binyon and Abis will be supported by Emily Briggs, who has been promoted to brand and licensing executive sports, drama, comedy, and entertainment. Nicole Withers is now responsible for retail in addition to her existing marketing role, and becomes retail and marketing manager. This area will be given a renewed focus in 2008. 

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.

Join 62,000+ members. Yes, it’s completely free.

You May Also Like




This site uses cookies to provide you with the best user experience possible. By using License Global, you accept our use of cookies.