April 6, 2018
4Kids Entertainment Inc. has finalized broadcast licensing agreements with TEN Network Australia, Cartoon Network Latin America, and Turkey’s Digiturk JOJO Channel for the children’s animated property, “Viva Piñata.” New episodes of “Viva Piñata” are scheduled to launch on TEN Network Australia on Feb. 15, Cartoon Network Latin America April 1, and Turkey’s Digiturk JOJO Channel in November 2008.
The popular animated series airs Saturday mornings in the United States on 4Kids TV. The global broadcast lineup for “Viva Piñata” also includes YTV (Canada), France 3 Television, Canal J Pay Satellite TV (France), RTL2 (Germany), Nickelodeon (UK, Netherlands, Spain, Australia & New Zealand), NRK (Norway), SIC (Portugal), Children’s Channel (Israel), TV3 (New Zealand), Televisa (Mexico), Animax (South Korea), Momo Kids TV (Taiwan), and MediaCorp TV12's Kid Central (Singapore), among others.
Viva Piñata” continues to extend its reach beyond television
In addition, kids in the UK and Europe will soon be able to enjoy the world of Viva Piñata beyond the video game console and television set following a number of licensing initiatives.
Among the new licensees for Viva Piñata are:
• BBS for party paperware—pan- Europe
• Zap for duvet sets, curtains, towels, fleece blankets, bean bags, valance sheets, and rugs —UK and Eire
• Aventure Diffusion for shoes, boots, and slippers—France
• Benjamin for socks—France
• GB Eye for posters—UK and Eire
The agreements follow a four-week Viva Piñata QSR promotion in November/December at Burger King in the UK, featuring eight collectible toys and video game releases.
Ty’s Toy Box Creates Online Marketplace for Care Bears, Holly Hobbie
In partnership with American Greetings, Ty’s Toy Box has created the official Care Bears online marketplace, offering a one-stop shop to find the full line of product available for the popular bears. The company also created an online marketplace for the Holly Hobbie Property, which launched Jan. 1.
Ty’s Toy Box launched the official Care Bears online store at tystoybox.com, which features three different brand-centric marketplaces—including Care Bears, Care Bears Baby, and Classic Care Bears—with product that includes the original look from the 1980s.
Ty’s will work with more than 120 Care Bears licensees to create a comprehensive online store offering a full breadth of officially licensed product. Ty’s will also develop exclusive Care Bears merchandise available only atwww.tystoybox.com
. The Care Bears marketplace will be supported with online marketing and promotions driving customers to the site, including links fromhttp://parents.agkidzone.com
The Holly Hobbie storefront encompasses both Holly Hobbie Classic and Holly Hobbie & Friends, a contemporary evolution of one of the most enduring characters of all time. Ty’s will work with American Greetings’ licensees for Holly Hobbie to create a comprehensive online store for the property and develop its own exclusive Holly merchandise. The Holly Hobbie marketplace will be supported with online marketing as well as integrated promotions on the popularwww.hollyhobbie.com
, a new online destination for kids with games, videos, and more.
‘Eon Kid’ Adds New Licensees
Animated action series “Eon Kid” is amassing an impressive lineup of merchandise partners, as four additional companies have joined the licensing program—C-Life Apparel, 3 Point Entertainment LLC, Mad Dog Apparel, and Concept 1 are joining the property’s master toy licensee Playmates Toys.
C-Life Apparel has the license for Ts and fashion tops; 3 Point Entertainment is licensing trading cards and trading card games; Mad Dog Apparel is handling sleepwear and socks; and Concept 1 has bags, hats, and cold-weather accessories. Playmates’ initial line of toys hits store shelves this month; products from the other licensees will be available in the spring.
Since launching on the Kid’s WB! Sept. 22, the series has achieved strong ratings, often holding the No. 1 spot of all broadcast programs in its time period. Manga Entertainment, a unit of Starz Media’s home entertainment company, Anchor Bay Entertainment, will release “Eon Kid” on DVD this fall.
Extreme to Sell Licensed Product in Europe
Extreme Group, developer of the Extreme Sports Channel and owner of production and distribution company Debut Sport, signed a five-year European licensing deal to create and distribute a range of high-quality outdoor sports products and equipment.
The partnership is a natural extension of Extreme’s licensing strategy and drives Debut’s existing portfolio and business to develop a new range of products that tie in with the Extreme lifestyle—all targeted at the youth market. Products bearing the Extreme brand will cover a wide range of sports including surfing, snowboarding, kite-boarding, skiing, and skate boarding.
Happy Holidays for Toys ‘R’ Us; Not So Happy for Others
Toys “R” Us Inc. announced its comparable-store sales for the nine-week holiday selling period from Nov. 4, 2007, to Jan. 5, 2008, as compared to the period from Nov. 5, 2006, to Jan. 6, 2007, reporting a comparable store sales increase of 3.1 percent. The results were driven by an effective marketing program, significant improvements in the store shopping environment, the early identification of key toy trends, better staffing at the store level, and a robust in-stock position on the season’s most popular items, including Smart Cycle Physical Learning Arcade System from Fisher-Price, Wii and DS Lite from Nintendo, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock video game software from Activision, and Hannah Montana products from JAKKS Pacific and other manufacturers.
The Babies “R” Us division experienced a comparable-store sales increase of 0.9 percent. The division’s performance was the result of continued growth and differentiation in its merchandise assortment, including new offerings that reinforced the division’s leadership position in the juvenile market, as well as compelling marketing efforts.
Internationally, the company continues to expand its global business and reported a comparable-store sales increase of 0.9 percent, driven by the performances of its UK, Southern Europe, and Canadian operations. The inclusion of Japan in the company’s international fiscal reporting reduced comparable-store sales by 1.7 percentage points. Results were favorably impacted by continued performance in the juvenile and core toy categories, as well as strong sales in video game hardware and software, most notably Wii from Nintendo and PlayStation 3 from Sony. The company continued to expand its global presence by opening 15 new stores in its wholly-owned international markets since last holiday season. In addition, the company opened its first licensed store in South Korea in December.
“We are pleased with our holiday sales results,” says Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO. “The team delivered a solid positive comp-sales performance for the second year in a row, despite not only a tough economic climate, but also the unique challenges in the toy industry during 2007. In delivering another strong performance across the company, we are excited about our strategic direction and the results we have achieved.”
For other retailers, the weakest holiday shopping season in five years ended dismally, with sales tumbling despite deep discounts and extended store hours, stoking fears that the economy is tipping into a recession.
Sales fell across the board, knocking down once seemingly invincible chains like Target (down 5 percent compared with last year); Abercrombie & Fitch (2 percent); Nordstrom (4 percent); and Kohl’s (11.4 percent).
One major chain was spared: Wal-Mart, whose relentless price slashing appeared to resonate with penny-pinching shoppers. Its sales rose 2.7 percent.
Wal-Mart’s lopsided victory—and the strength of off-price chains like TJ Maxx and Ross Dress for Less—suggested that jittery consumers, trying to cut back on spending, favored bargain chains over full-price stores during the 2007 holiday season.
Corus to Represent Nickelodeon Digital Assets in Canada
Canadian media company Corus Entertainment Inc. and MTV Networks International announced plans to extend their multiyear broadcast partnership for Nickelodeon content to encompass all digital rights for Nickelodeon and related brands, covering broadcast, broadband, mobile, video-on-demand, pay-per-view, electronic sell-through, and gaming. Under one new multiplatform agreement, Corus will have Canadian rights across all media for Nickelodeon’s award-winning TV properties, enabling multiplatform management across TV, Internet. and mobile.
As part of the agreement, Corus will also represent Nickelodeon's popular kids and family Web sites, including nick.com, for advertising sales in Canada.
New Deal Inked for Avia and Nevados Apparel
Athletic footwear and apparel company American Sporting Goods (ASG) named New York-based Castlewood Apparel Inc. as the official licensee for men’s and boy’s apparel for its Avia and Nevados divisions.
Launching in fall 2008, Castlewood has developed a line of competitively priced active, performance, and lifestyle product. The Avia product line will consist of related separate performance pants, jackets, textured knit tops, and shorts with technical features such as moisture management, UV protection, and anti-microbial treatment. Fabrications for the fashion-inspired active products include microfiber, performance fleece, and brushed-back pique knits.
Castlewood will also be presenting active-inspired outdoor apparel under the Avia Outdoors and Nevados labels. Fabrications include Sherpa, faux fur, solid brushed fleece, cotton fleece, cotton thermal, plaids, and bonded polyester.
Nestlé Launching ‘American Idol’ Promotion
Just in time for the seventh season premiere of “American Idol,” Nestlé’s new “Idol Elimination” on-pack promotion features a $1 million grand prize for the person who successfully identifies who goes, who stays, and who ultimately becomes the next “American Idol.”
Consumers can look for specially marked packages of Nestlé Crunch Crisp, Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, Nestlé Crunch, and 100 Grand candy for a special game code to play the “Idol Elimination” bracket game online at the “American Idol” Web site,www.americanidol.com
. Game play begins on Thurs., Feb. 14, 2008, once the Final 24 contestants on “American Idol” are announced. Then, between Feb. 14 and 19, consumers can sign on, enter their game code, and create a game bracket to guess who will be eliminated each week from the top 24 down to the final contestant. If consumers guess the elimination order correctly, they could win the $1 million grand prize.
Jimmie Johnson Signs with CAA
Two-time defending NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has signed Creative Artists Agency to represent him in marketing, licensing, and endorsement deals. Michael Levine, co-head of CAA Sports, will lead a team that will attempt to capitalize on Johnson’s success on the track.
Johnson’s signing is the latest win for CAA Sports, which represents more than 350 athletes, including LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Sidney Crosby, LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson, and David Beckham. CAA Sports football agents Tom Condon and Ben Dogra also last week signed Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, expected to be one of the top quarterbacks in this year's NFL draft. In recent months, CAA Sports has signed the New York Yankees, the AVP Tour, and MMA brand TapouT as well.
Johnson considered eight agencies before selecting CAA Sports and Wasserman Media Group as his finalists. “We're confident that working with CAA will greatly enhance our ability to present the Jimmie Johnson brand to a variety of new and exciting marketing partners,” he says.
Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s car, has had a wide range of endorsements and sponsorships in seven seasons with Hendrick Motorsports, including Tylenol, Gatorade, XM, and Elizabeth Arden. But John Lewensten, vice president of operations at Jimmie Johnson Racing Inc., says Johnson is seeking corporate relationships that will transcend motorsports. That strategy likely will involve fewer, but more long-lasting endorsements.
‘Jimmy Two Shoes’ Hops into Gaming
SilverBirch Studios, a member of the SilverBirch Inc. group of companies, and Breakthrough New Media have signed an agreement to develop two games based on the upcoming animated kids television series, “Jimmy Two Shoes,” to be broadcast on Teletoon Canada and Jetix Europe.
As part of the agreement, SilverBirch Studios will develop one mobile game, which will be distributed through Global Fun and one online flash game that will be housed on the official Web site at Teletoon.com. Both games will concurrently launch when the “Jimmy Two Shoes” series debuts in early 2009.
Field & Stream Cuts a Deal
The Field & Stream Licenses Company has signed a license agreement with Master Cutlery Inc. of Secaucus, N.J., to produce and market a comprehensive collection of Field & Stream branded knives including fixed blade, folders, multi-tools, gentlemen’s pocket knives, nostalgic collectibles, and gift sets.
Master Cutlery’s Field & Stream collection will be sold nationally at sporting goods chains, mid-tier department stores, mass merchants, and leading knife dealers. Initial deliveries are slated for June through July and will retail from $19.99 to $59.99.
“We are pleased to have added Master Cutlery to our growing family of quality licensees,” says Mike Tewey, president of Field & Stream Licenses. “As a leading direct manufacturer, Master Cutlery posses unique assets enabling them to bring technically superior knives and multi-tools to our customers at excellent prices."
Field & Stream Licenses was acquired in September 2006 by a private investment group led by Tewey, Larry Martin, and Barry Sternlicht, CEO of Starwood Capital. The company owns 115 U.S. and international trademarks covering 600 products in 43 countries including China, Japan, and the European Union.
Toys ‘R’ Us Celebrates Chaotic Arrival with Dedicated Boutique
The Chaotic Trading Card Game, which integrates a collectible trading card game with a unique online game experience, made its debut at Toys “R” Us stores in the United States last Tuesday, Jan. 8. 4Kids Entertainment Inc. will continue to expand distribution of this innovative trading card property at other leading specialty and mass market retailers throughout the first quarter of 2008.
To celebrate the arrival of Chaotic, approximately 500 Toys “R” Us stores began selling Chaotic “Dawn of Perim OverWorld” and “Dawn of Perim UnderWorld” starter decks and “Dawn of Perim Secrets” booster packs Jan. 8. Additionally, on Jan. 15, Toys “R” Us Times Square, the retailer’s international flagship store, will open a dedicated Chaotic boutique that will remain open through March. Guests visiting The Center of the Toy Universe will be able to learn about Chaotic and play the game in the boutique.
The Chaotic Trading Card Game had a successful October 2007 launch at comic and hobby stores across the United States and Canada and debuted at leading mall-based entertainment retailers f.y.e. and Suncoast in December 2007.
Mad Catz Joins the Band
Mad Catz Interactive Inc. has entered into a multiyear licensing agreement with MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), whereby Mad Catz has secured the North American and other worldwide territory rights to produce and distribute game peripherals and other products for the critically acclaimed Rock Band game.
Published by MTV Games and developed by MTV Network's Harmonix Music Systems, Rock Band is a platform for music fans and gamers to interact with music, challenging users to master the lead/bass guitar, drums and vocals as solo artists or cooperatively as part of their own band. Built on deals with the world’s biggest record labels and music publishers, the music featured in Rock Band spans all genres of rock and includes many master recordings from the greatest songs and artists of all time. Rock Band is currently available on the Xbox 360 3 and PlayStation 2 consoles in North America.
Pursuant to the agreement, Mad Catz has secured the rights to manufacture, market, and sell game accessories, including both wired and wireless bass guitars, a drum percussion set bundled with professional quality wooden drumsticks, and a wired microphone. Mad Catz expects its initial offerings under this license agreement to be available in the first half of 2008.
M&S Disappoints with Latest Results
The UK’s Marks & Spencer Group sent a shiver through the country’s retail industry with its first fall in sales in over two years. M&S disappointed the market with its Christmas trading report of group sales up by just 2.8 percent for the 13 weeks to Dec. 29, 2007. While international sales rose by 15.1 percent, the crucial UK like-for-likes were down by 2.2 percent.
“Market conditions became more challenging through November and December,” said CEO Sir Stuart Rose. “We continued to drive footfall, and volume growth in general merchandise was strong at 5 percent. Price deflation was 6 percent, reflecting our continued focus on offering customers better values.”
M&S’s online business, which was relaunched earlier in 2007 in partnership with Amazon, was strong, Rose said, with sales up by 78 percent.
“We expect trading conditions to remain tough throughout 2008. We are well positioned with a strong product offer and better-than-ever values across our business. We now have 70 percent of our stores in the modernized format and a strong pipeline of new space for 2008 and beyond. Direct and International continue to make good progress.”
Brand Licensing Europe Hits Targets
Exhibitor numbers for Brand Licensing Europe 2008 have hit the 100 mark with 10 months to go before the October show. This marks an increase of 12 percent compared with bookings this time last year.
The show, organized by License! Global publisher Advanstar Communications, is on course to achieve its target of 220-plus exhibitors, compared with 196 exhibitors at the October 2007 event.
Companies already signed up include Aardman Animations, Bang on the Door, BBC Worldwide, The Beanstalk Group, Chapman Entertainment, Chorion, Christie’s Images, Dorna Sports, Entertainment Rights, Granada Ventures, HIT Entertainment Consumer Products, Jetix Consumer Products, Lego Company, Manchester United Merchandising, RDF Rights, Target Entertainment, The Natural History Museum, Twentieth Century Fox, and V&A Enterprises.
American Retro Museum, Cartoon Network, Ludorum, and Punch Cartoon Library are new companies on the 2008 exhibitor list.
Brand Licensing Europe takes place at the Grand Hall, Olympia on Oct. 1 and 2.
Martin Yaffe to Little Princess Line for Spring
Master toy licensee Martin Yaffe International will be showcasing TV-Loonland’s “Little Princess” spring and autumn product at London’s Toy Fair this month.
Under the Born to Play brand, the spring collection for the preschool property includes beanies of characters Gilbert, Puss, Scruff, and Little Princess and plush toys of Little Princess and Gilbert. A Little Princess musical TV, which plays the show theme tune, will also be shown at the exhibition, together with a range of inflatables.
Outdoor items include an inflatable space hopper and an inflatable bouncy castle. The Nessie Stick horse is based on the General’s hobby horse and has sound effects that are activated by pressing the toy’s ears. Also available will be the inflatable spray pool and a selection of wheeled toys.
An activity center—the Little Princess Castle Playset—will also be previewed.
The second series of “Little Princess” is currently airing on the UK’s Five Milkshake! block and has been sold in over 150 countries.
Coolroom Signs Kids’ Digital Retail Deal with Nelvana
Coolroom has signed its first kids’ digital retail agreement with Canadian animation company Nelvana Enterprises.
More than 650 episodes from Nelvana Enterprises’ library will be made available digitally at both Coolroom’s download store atwww.coolroom.com
and on Coolroom’s IPTV channel through Microsoft Media Center for people with Windows XP or Vista PCs. Programs can also be played on TV screens via a remote-controlled home entertainment PC.
Toy Deals for Buyers at London Toy Fair
Toy retailers who pre-register for London’s Toy Fair can benefit from special offers from exhibitors at the event. Offers include discounts of up to 20 percent, free products, and exclusive viewings when pre-registered retailers place orders.
Organized by the British Toy & Hobby Association and now in it’s 55th year, the show runs from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 at ExCeL in London’s Docklands. Some 230 toy companies are exhibiting.
The Toy Fair party, sponsored by Monopoly, takes place on Jan. 30.
To pre-register, visitwww.toyfair.co.uk
and complete the online form.
Entara Takes on Parthenon Name
UK rights company Entara has adopted the Parthenon Entertainment Group name, following the merger of the businesses.
All Entara’s properties including Magic Roundabout, Domo, the Puppy in my Pocket toy brands, HABBO, Jakers!, and Those Scurvy Rascals will be managed within a Parthenon Entertainment Group structure, which includes both a factual and children’s IP portfolio.
The business has appointed brand and licensing consultant Caroline Mickler to advise and assist in building the group’s licensing opportunities.
Decode Enterprises Ups Slate with ‘Animal-Mechanicals’
Decode Enterprises, the distribution subsidiary of DHX Media, is boosting its slate of preschool shows with new series “Animal-Mechanicals,” produced by its sister company under DHX, Halifax Film, and commissioned by CBC in Canada.
“Animal-Mechanicals” is a preschool action-adventure series that combines monster truck rallies with the world of mythical animals on quests.
Character World Goes to the Movies
Character World has won a quartet of licenses from LucasFilm and Marvel to produce bedroom ranges for 2008 movie blockbusters Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Indiana Jones IV, and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, as well as the animated TV series, “Star Wars: Clone Wars.”
The license covers bedroom textiles including single- and double-duvet covers, fleece blankets, blinds, ponchos, and bean bags. Products will be available in stores across the UK including Woolworths, Tesco, Debenhams, Littlewoods/Shop Direct, Argos, and Express Gifts.
Gorillabox Partners with TIM w.e.
Gorillabox, the mobile TV enabler, and TIM w.e., the new media entertainment content aggregator, have partnered to provide video streaming capabilities to mobile operators globally.
Through the “g-box platform,” plus retail video content, TIM w.e. manages content for mobile operators such as Telefonica, Vodafone, and Tigo in almost 60 countries. Discussions are underway with operators in Europe and South America who are seeking a carrier-grade mobile streaming capability and a range of live channels that can be easily deployed and are language-free.
Corgi to Launch Beatles Die-Cast Range
Two of Britain’s cultural icons—The Beatles and Corgi Toys—are joining forces with a new range of collectable die-cast models. The original die-cast toys were produced in the 1960s and reissued in the 1990s. The new models will include new versions of the classic Yellow Submarine and the Magical Mystery Tour Bus, as well as a Revolver taxi and an Abbey Road Routemaster bus.
Kidz Entertainment Gets Pokémon
Kidz Entertainment is to represent Pokémon for the Nordic region and in Eastern Europe.
The move comes as a new era of Pokémon starts with the launch of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, which introduces new characters and adventures into the hit property. New video games have been launched on Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii featuring the new characters, and the Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Trading Card Game has launched across Europe.
Wide Eye Set for International Distribution
Abbey Home Media Group (AHMG) has signed a raft of deals for Wide Eye, its preschool series that airs on CBBC and CBeebies. The deals secure distribution of the Wide Eye DVD across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Russia.
AHMG will be working with Mondo Entertainment Germany on the distribution of Wide Eye DVD in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and with Masterdisc Russia for the distribution of the DVD in Russia and the Russian Federation markets.
Wide Eye is co-produced by the BBC and AHMG and made by the BAFTA award-winning King Rollo Films. The series was developed from the Early Learning Programme, which teaches skills and life lessons in a gentle, child-friendly way and is set in the Natterjack Forest, a magical place that is full of adventure.
HIT Appoints Funtastic for Thomas & Friends Down Under
HIT Entertainment has appointed Funtastic as the Thomas & Friends Trackmaster distribution partner for Australia.
Funtastic will oversee the transition of the Thomas & Friends Motor Road and Rail track system to the new play system called Trackmaster. The new Trackmaster system is due for launch in 2009.
Funtastic will also continue to distribute the Tomy Thomas & Friends Pre-School Range.
A HIT licensee for over 10 years, Funtastic has been an important partner in the preschool toys, homewares, apparel, accessories, and footwear categories.
Imira Signs Latin American Deals
Spain’s Imira Entertainment (formerly Icon Animation) has signed a raft of deals across its library for Spanish-speaking channels in the United States and Latin America.
In the United States, free TV channel ¡Sorpresa! TV has snapped up Spanish-language rights to “Lola & Virginia,” which airs on Animania in the United States, on Nickelodeon Latin America, and SBT in Brazil.
Millimage’s “Louie,” which is represented by Imira Entertainment for all Spanish-speaking territories, has been acquired by Discovery Kids Latin America for a launch in March 2008, and home video rights have been taken by En Pentalla for Mexico.
“Skyland” has been picked up by Ecuadorian Free TV channel Ecuavisa, following the launch of the show on Nickelodeon International channels and Nicktoons in the United States, and Miami’s Beverly Hills Entertainment has picked up TV and home video rights to the new animated film Christopher Coolumbus for Latin America.
Cromosoma Adds ‘Tom’ to Al Jazeera Deal
Following agreements for “The Triplets,” “Juanito Jones,” “Miniman,” and “The Baby Triplets,” Al Jazeera’s Children Channel has picked up the Cromosoma series “Tom,” including 12 new episodes just finished.
Tom follows a dinosaur’s adventures through different towns and countries and is a co-production with EBU, BBC, FR2, FR3, RAI, TVE, RTBF, TSR, TSI, VRT, ZDF. The second series will premiere on those channels this year.
Tuttu Cuti Goes to Turkey
Max Licensing has been appointed to represent girls’ brand Tutti Cuti in Turkey and Northern Cyprus, opening up a new territory to the brand, which is already sold in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Diana Magarino, managing director of Max Licensing, says, “The distinctive look of the brand combined with the sweet demeanor of the property has made an impact among our licensees.”
Product is likely to be available at retail in fall 2008.
Cherokee Hits Target
Cherokee Inc. has extended its licensing agreement for the Cherokee brand with Target Corp. until Jan. 31, 2012. The new deal replaces an agreement that was set to expire Jan. 31, 2009, and also includes several minor modifications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Van Nuys, Calif.-based Cherokee is a marketer, licensor, and manager of a variety of brands it represents, along with the brands it owns, which include Cherokee, Sideout, and Carole Little.
Skechers Teams Up with Bebe
Sketchers USA Inc. signed a licensing agreement with bebe stores Inc. to launch a line of Bebe Sport women's footwear. The line is set to launch in spring 2008 with a campaign featuring actress Eva Longoria and will launch worldwide in coming seasons. The line will be available at Bebe Sport stores, better department stores, multibranded footwear specialty chains, and upscale footwear specialty boutiques. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. Signs Deal with Sony
Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. signed a multiyear agreement with Sony USA to integrate TV Guide On Screen, Gemstar-TV Guide's interactive program guide for consumer electronics devices, into Sony’s primary line of television products. Sony USA is the first partner to employ hybrid integration, meaning Gemstar-TV Guide’s IPG will be built directly into Sony's custom-user interface and be made immediately available for consumer use. This agreement builds on pre-established, successful global licensing agreements between Gemstar-TV Guide and the Sony Corp. in the important U.S., Japanese, and European consumer markets.
New Deal for Horse Tales
A long-term publishing agreement brings together Breyer, the manufacturer of equestrian-themed toys and collectibles, with Feiwel and Friends, the new Macmillan imprint helmed by veteran publisher Jean Feiwel, whose first Feiwel and Friends’ book On the Night You Were Born went right to top of The New York Times bestseller list. Together, Breyer and Feiwel and Friends will bring a number of new books and series to the children’s market each year.
In fall 2008, Feiwel and Friends will launch its publishing collaboration with Breyer with the release of four “Wind Dancers titles, a new series based on Breyer’s beautifully colored, winged Wind Dancers model horses. The books will tell the stories of four tiny fantasy horses with childlike personalities with which young readers will readily identify.
Breyer will develop a comprehensive marketing and publicity program for each book or book series. Feiwel and Friends is currently working on targeted marketing and publicity plans for the Wind Dancers books’ publication in fall 2008.
Sotheby’s Signs Realty Deal in Vietnam
Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC signed an exclusive 25-year licensing agreement with Indochina Land to develop the Sotheby's International Realty brand in Vietnam, with its first office set to open in April 2008.
According to Michael R. Good, president and CEO, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, Vietnam is an attractive market for the brand and an important step forward in its overall international growth plans. “Vietnam’s gross domestic product has increased approximately 8 percent annually for the last three years, and it has a projected growth of 8 to 8.5 percent over the next several years, second only to China in the Asia Pacific region. In addition, luxury development projects in the area are booming.”
The Sotheby's International Realty network has more than 8,500 sales associates located in more than 450 offices in the U.S. and 27 other countries and territories.
The Orchard ‘Be Jammin’’ with New Deal
The Orchard, a global leader in digital music and entertainment, and Jamdown Limited, announced an exclusive worldwide digital license agreement for the masters catalog of Jamdown Recordings/Jamdown UK, the record label arm of the Jamdown/Abood Group of companies.
The deal features Jamdown artists Smujji, MBC, Ward 21, Suncycle, and FYA, as well as the first new studio album in almost 20 years from the legendary trombonist Rico Rodriguez. An early release will be Soundclash Round 1, the first volume of a concept series featuring “musical battles” between major Jamaican artists and producers including Skatta, Arrows, South Rakkas, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Sean Paul, and Elephant Man. With an established history of hits over the past two decades, the catalog boasts titles from the top names from Jamaica—both past and present—as well as international urban crossover titles.
Hilco, Gordon Brothers Acquire The Bombay Company
The Bombay Company Inc. has agreed to sell its intellectual property, which includes the Bombay brand name, to Bombay Brands LLC, a joint venture of Hilco Consumer Capital and Gordon Brothers Group. In a unique transaction structure, The Bombay Company bankruptcy estate retains a 25 percent interest in Bombay Brands. The acquisition is subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division.
Until its recent bankruptcy and liquidation of assets, The Bombay Company designed, sourced, and marketed a unique line of home accessories, wall décor, and furniture through 384 retail outlets and the Internet in the United States and internationally.
Hilco Consumer Capital will assume day-to-day brand-management responsibilities and will immediately undertake a strategic brand rebuilding program designed to leverage the intrinsic value of the Bombay name. Through licensing strategies with retailers, wholesalers, and franchisees, a broad range of new consumer products will be created and marketed internationally. Assistance will be provided by The Bombay Company estate and brand strategies and marketing firm Graj+Gustavsen, also a partner in the joint venture group.
John Collins, an executive with Hilco, was named president and chief marketing officer of Bombay Brands.
The Licensing Company (TLC) has joined forces with Germany’s MR Merchandising & Retail, based in Munich, to form TLC Germany. This brings the number of TLC offices to five—London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, and Munich.
La Jolla Group announced the promotion of Erik Forsell to vice president of brand development for the La Jolla Group and Bill Gage to vice president of sales and marketing for Metal Mulisha.
Target named president Gregg Steinhafel its new chief executive, succeeding Bob Ulrich, who is retiring May 1. Steinhafel has been with the company since 1979. Ulrich, who began his career at a former division of Target in 1967, will remain as chairman through the end of fiscal 2008.
Dominique Bazay is joining Vrak.TV as vice president of programming from Canada’s Decode Entertainment, where she was vice president, distribution. She has also worked at BBC Worldwide and Paragon Entertainment.
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