Weekly E-news, Issue #248, January 21, 2008

Untitled DocumentEntertainment Rights In Takeover BidUK IP owner Entertainment Rights, which names characters Rupert Bear, Basil Brush and Postman Pat among its portfolio and also owns US Classic Media, is in preliminary takeover talks following a profit

April 6, 2018

Entertainment Rights In Takeover Bid


UK IP owner Entertainment Rights, which names characters Rupert Bear, Basil Brush and Postman Pat among its portfolio and also owns US Classic Media, is in preliminary takeover talks following a profit warning on Friday. Reports suggest that several private equity firms and hedge funds in the UK and the US have made approaches – among them 3i, which owns Chorion, and Och-Ziff.

Classic Media’s properties include Lassie, The Lone Ranger, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and Casper the Friendly Ghost.


The profits warning came in a Christmas trading update that was worse than expected after crucial DVDs were not delivered to UK retailers in November and December. DVD sales in the US were up.

ER was forced to announce the talks under London Stock Exchange rules after an unexpected share price hike. Insiders suggest that an agreed sale is unlikely as the value of the business has dropped by over 75% in the past 12 months.

Top Brands To Co-Market Iron Man


Paramount

Pictures has joined forces with four major promotional partners for the upcoming Marvel Studios’ Production Iron Man, including Audi, Burger King, LG Mobile, and 7-Eleven Inc. The film opens in theaters on May 2, 2008.

  • The new Audi R8 sports car seen in the movie is one of several opportunities afforded the auto maker to tie in to the film. The global marketing campaign will creatively link Audi’s superior automotive design and engineering to the high-tech elements of Iron Man and character Tony Stark’s opulent lifestyle.
    • Global partner Burger King will incorporate the movie with a collectible premium program in approximately 11,200 locations worldwide, supported by a television, in-store and online campaign.
      • The mobile communication division of LG plans a national marketing campaign featuring television, print, retail, and online activation.
        • The 7-Eleven campaign will offer customers a series of collectible Iron Man Slurpee cups and straws at 6,000 locations in the United States and Canada marketed through an extensive radio, point-of-sale, in-store, and online campaign.

          In concert with the film promotion partnerships, Iron Man merchandise will be in the marketplace for consumers when the film is released. Leading those efforts, Marvel Entertainment has signed more than 100 licensees across the globe in a variety of product categories.

          “We’ve had a tremendous response from our Marvel licensees across the board in anticipation of Iron Man hitting the big screen, and we are ready at retail,” says Paul Gitter, president of Marvel Consumer Products.



          Gravity, Fox L&M Enter Sign Agreement for Ice Age Online


          Gravity Co. Ltd. has entered into a licensing agreement with Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising for an exclusive seven-year worldwide right to develop and publish Ice Age Online, an online game based on Fox’s Ice Age motion picture franchise. The game will include elements from both blockbuster films, Ice Age and Ice Age: The Meltdown.

          “We are thrilled to be embarking on this Ice Age project,” says Il-Young Ryu, chairman and CEO of Gravity. “It is our aim to produce a great online game that will meet the expectations of all game users and Ice Age fans throughout the world. In addition, Gravity has been pursuing detailed discussions with Fox to publish additional online game titles in the future.”

          Elie Dekel, executive vice president of licensing and merchandising for Fox, adds, “It’s important for us to have a committed online presence for the Ice Age brand. This agreement will ensure that a top-notch Ice Age gaming experience will be available to fans online for years to come.”

          Ice Age Online is expected to be released in the third quarter of 2009.

          Iconix Signs New Licensing Agreements


          Iconix Brand Group Inc. last week revealed new license agreements for several of its brands, expanding existing product categories and opening new markets. The New York-based company noted that it entered into license agreements for its newly acquired home brand Royal Velvet, with Mohawk Home to manufacture and distribute bath, scatter, and kitchen rugs in the United States and Canada.

          The company inked a long-term deal with Zalemark for Badgley Mischka to distribute a jewelry collection through high-end retail stores. In addition, the company entered into agreements with K&M Jewelry and Synclaire Brands/BCNY for its Rocawear brand and London Fog brand, respectively.

          Internationally, Iconix Brand Group entered into a long-term master license agreement with Pena Group to distribute the Rampage brand exclusively in Thailand. The company has also extended a master license for its Op brand with MGS for men’s, women’s and children's apparel and accessories, including bags and backpacks in Israel.



          Liz Claiborne’s Dana Buchman Brand Licensed to Kohl’s


          In an effort to transform itself from a wholesaler of traditional women’s wear to a retailer of more trendy apparel, Liz Claiborne announced that its Dana Buchman brand is being licensed to Kohl’s Corp.

          In other news, renowned designer Isaac Mizrahi was named creative director for the Liz Claiborne brand. Mizrahi will oversee the design and marketing functions for women's apparel, accessories and licensing, and his first collection for Liz Claiborne will arrive in stores in spring 2009.

          Directors Settle; Will Writers Follow?


          The Directors Guild of America reached a tentative three-year deal with the major Hollywood studios, adding to pressure on striking screenwriters to either accept a similar deal or prolong their 11-week strike, possibly for months.

          The proposed deal between the directors’ guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which negotiates on behalf of the studios, addresses many of the critical issues that have divided the Hollywood creative community and the major studios and broadcast networks. The deal announced last week includes provisions to compensate directors for the use and reuse of their work on the Internet—both content created specifically for the Web and traditional programs and films that are streamed online or made available by the companies for download. Other issues, including wage increases, are also covered. The deal includes a so-called “sunset provision” that allows the two sides to revisit the new-media issues in three years.

          The deal, which must pass muster with the DGA’s board and the guild's 13,500 members, could spell the beginning of the end for the nearly three-month-old strike by the Writers Guild of America. The studios hope writers will, in turn, put enough pressure on their guild leadership to quickly force an end to the strike—perhaps in time to rescue part of the current television season and to prevent disruption of the Academy Awards in late February.

          Discovery Commerce, Excitations to Offer Experiences to Consumers


          Discovery Commerce , the consumer products, licensing and home video division of Discovery Communications, and Excitations , a provider of experience gifts, announced a partnership that will consumers to gift, or experience firsthand, the amazing and memorable adventures they see and learn about on Discovery Channel.

          Under terms of the multiyear agreement, Excitations will serve as the exclusive provider of Discovery Channel Experiences, which are now available for purchase online by consumers at

          www.discoverystore.com/experiences

          . The gift experiences are designed to invoke the sense of adventure and exploration found in Discovery Channel programming, from formula race car driving to shark diving to digging for dinosaur fossils.

          Wild Republic Dives into Deal With National Geographic


          Wild Republic signed a global agreement with National Geographic as an exclusive toy product partner for items based on National Geographic’s giant-screen film Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure, a worldwide IMAX release.

          The new products will be unveiled in the Wild Republic Booth #2503 at the 2008 International Toy Fair held in New York City in February. The product line, which will include plush, playsets, craft kits and puzzles, are replicas of the scenes and species of extraordinary marine reptiles of the dinosaur age featured in the 3-D and 2-D fact-based film.

          Mavic to Launch Branded Softgoods Line, Ending Adidas Deal


          Mavic will launch a full range of cycling footwear, apparel, and accessories next year for the spring/summer season. The line will replace the Adidas cycling line.

          Over the last five years, Mavic has been responsible for all aspects of the Adidas cycling line including design, development, production, sales and marketing. In order to focus on its own brand, Mavic decided not to renew its licensing agreement with Adidas beyond December 2008.

          “We decided to stop the licensing agreement and turn it into the Mavic softgoods line,” says Michael Berlinger, communications manager for Mavic. “The decision was influenced by the fact that the Mavic brand was centered at the heart of cycling. We are taking the know-how and technology and everything we’ve learned and repositioning it into a softgoods line that better reflects who we are as a brand.”

          The dedicated soft goods team in Annecy, France, has already begun working on the new Mavic line.

          Hasbro Inks Licensing Deal with Thorley


          Hasbro Inc. reached a licensing agreement with Thorley Industries LLC for two new products to be launched this year and additional products to be developed over the next 12 months. Financial terms were not disclosed.

          “We are thrilled to be working with Hasbro,” says Robert Daley, founder and CEO of the Pittsburgh consumer products company. “Hasbro is a worldwide leader in children’s products, and we are excited to have reached this agreement.”

          Thorley, founded in 2005, focuses on leveraging low-cost electronics to develop new products for established industries. It is the creator of award-winning juvenile products under the 4moms brand—named for the four mothers of the company’s first focus group, who now lead its Council of Moms—that are sold at

          Amazon.com

          ,

          BabyCenter.com

          ,

          Target.com

          , Babies “R” Us, and specialty stores nationwide.

          BIC and UFC Join Forces


          Milford, Conn.-based BIC USA Inc. has signed the exciting sports phenomenon Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to an exclusive license for disposable pocket lighters.

          “UFC’s growth and popularity has increased at a rapid rate,” says Carole Francesca, president of Broad Street Licensing Group, which brokered the deal. “Their TV and live audiences are a perfect fit with the BIC consumer, and we’re expecting significant sales for the No. 1 pocket lighter brand.”

          Paramount Ready to Deal


          Paramount Licensing is now actively licensing two upcoming films—The Love Guru, starring Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, and Ben Kingsley, and Hotel for Dogs, based on the best-selling author Lois Duncan’s book by the same name and starring Emma Roberts. Licensees are currently being sought in all categories.

          Indy’s Got a Brand New Bag


          Global Design Concepts Inc. has partnered with Lucasfilm Ltd. to introduce a new line of bags and accessories focusing on the upcoming movie, Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

          The Indiana Jones collection will feature product ranging from backpacks and messenger bags to wallets and luggage focusing on key scenes from the new film as well as highlights and characters from some of the previous Indiana Jones films. The bags will also feature all the skulls, snakes, and other imagery that fans have come to associate with the Indiana Jones films.

          In the 25 years since he first hit the big screen, Indiana Jones has become the gold standard for action and adventure and the new bag collection from Global Design Concepts continues that trend. “With the worldwide anticipation of Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, we are thrilled to be partnering with Lucasfilm Ltd. and the Indiana Jones property,” says Dan Sabbah, president of Global Design Concepts. “We’re elated to be able to bring the excitement to consumers with a vibrant and original line of accessories.”

          Disney Among Firms to Buy Stake in NBA’s China Subsidiary


          The Walt Disney Company and four Chinese investment firms will invest in an 11 percent stake in the National Basketball Association’s subsidiary in China.

          The NBA and Disney, which broadcasts the league’s games through its ABC and ESPN subsidiaries, will be joined by the Bank of China, China Merchant Bank, and Legend Holdings, the investment firm that owns the largest share of computer maker Lenovo.

          The final investor is a firm owned by Li Ka-shing, a Hong Kong billionaire who controls Hutchison Whampoa, one of Asia’s largest companies.

          All told, the outside investors will pay about $250 million, valuing NBA China at about $2.3 billion. Disney will own 5 percent and the four Chinese investors will together own 6 percent.

          Toys ‘R’ Us Brings Smiles and Toys to Deserving Children


          Toys “R” Us Inc., along with the Toys “R” Us Children’s Fund, announced that its 2007 Ultimate Toy Drive to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation raised more than $3 million and collected over 600,000 toys this holiday season. As the largest retail partner in the 60-year history of Toys for Tots, the company collected toys and money in all Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us locations nationwide and online at

          www.Toysrus.com

          to help the organization provide gifts to many of the 13 million children living in poverty in the United States.



          University Games Introduces Spiderwick Line


          International toy and game company University Games is launching its Spiderwick Chronicles line, based on the books written by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi. The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Fantastical Field Guide Mystery Game and The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Secret Study Puzzle are the product line’s first two creations, timed for the February 2008 movie release and continuing the University Games promise of producing entertaining and enchanting games.

          Speed Racer Takes a Lap with New Licensees


          Speed Racer Enterprises has completed another set of licensing agreements for both the new animated television series, “Speed Racer: The Next Generation,” as well as the classic “Speed Racer” animated television series. “Speed Racer: The Next Generation” is scheduled to air on Nicktoons Network, Nickelodeon’s 24-hour animation network in May 2008.

          Among the new licensees, IMT Accessories will produce a myriad of indoor and outdoor merchandise for both brands through subsidiary companies Monkey Business and Street Flyers; Saramax Apparel Group has licensed both Speed Racer brands for boy’s sleepwear & underwear, pajamas, robes, blanket sleepers and boxer shorts; young men’s boxers, robes and loungewear; girl’s ages 4-14 sleepwear and intimate apparel; and infant sleepwear, apparel, bottles and frames; Star Ride Kids will design T-shirts, sweatshirts, sportswear, swimwear, knit, woven, denim garments and outerwear for boys aged two through seven for both Speed Racer brands; Hanes has been tapped to produce children’s packaged underwear for both Speed Racer brands; Rubie’s Costume Co. will lend its nearly 60 years of expertise to design a variety of costumes, masks, and accessories for both Speed Racer brands; DecoPac will create cake decorating kits and cupcake decorations for both brands.

          Jim Benton Expands It’s Happy Bunny, Total Trouble


          IMT Accessories has been granted the right to manufacture and market It’s Happy Bunny sporting goods (including skate boards, scooters, skates, and protective gear) as well as girl’s sunglasses and sunglass accessories. Jim Benton’s It’s Happy Bunny, the cute little bunny with the big attitude, is one of the best-selling properties in licensing today.

          For Total Trouble, IMT Accessories has been granted the license for sporting goods, stationery and stationery accessories, locker accessories, and boys’ underwear & sleepwear. Total Troubleis one of the newest properties from the J.K. Benton Design Studio.



          Macy’s Enters Partnership with Lush


          In an effort to create more exclusive alliances and drive traffic in former May Department Stores markets, Macy’s entered into a partnership with British cosmetics brand Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. Prior to the Macy’s alliance, Lush’s collection was only available in the United States through its own stores, via mail order, and the Internet. Lush started its relationship with Cincinnati-based Macy’s in 2006 with five Michigan and Illinois locations.

          Target Introduces DwellStudio Home and Baby Collection


          Home furnishings company DwellStudio introduces an exclusive home and baby collection at Target. DwellStudio for Target will roll out a graphic and colorful array of bed linens for adults and nurseries, including nursery furniture, baby layette, and a variety of accessories for the kitchen and table. The baby collection is due this month; suggested retails range from $2.99 for a set of booties to $79.99 for a three-piece crib set. The home collection will be available next month; suggested retails range from $99.99 for an ottoman to $299.99 for a crib.

          Sandra Magsamen Launches Baby Line at JCPenney


          JCPenney is launching Messages from the Heart, an infant apparel and gift brand by award-winning author and artist Sandra Magsamen. The line includes playful, imaginative infant clothing and accessories with messages such as “made with love” and “with tiny little hands babies touch our hearts forever.” The themes and designs that adorn the collection are branded with Magsamen’s recognizable script and hand-drawn motifs most widely seen on her creative plaques with beaded handles sold in upscale boutiques across the United States. The complete infant collection, which is displayed in special baby boutiques in store, consists of layette, sleepwear, and gifts and accessories. The line is also available online at

          jcp.com

          .

          Pink Panther Wins with Style


          The Pink Panther, one of MGM Consumer Products’ classic properties, continues to leave its paw print on people of all ages. Not only have Pink Panther products caught the attention of consumers, but they have caught the attention of the design industry, as the Communication Arts Design Annual has recognized MGM


          Consumer Products for its new Pink Panther Style Guide. Recognizing the best design of the year, including integrated campaigns, motion graphics, posters, brochures, packaging, trademarks, corporate identity, annual reports, catalogs, letterhead, and signage, the Communication Arts Design Annual awarded the Pink Panther Style Guide top billing in the Identity Program category.

          The Pink Panther Style Guide was designed to assist licensees in the creation of merchandise and contains five style programs geared at different age groups. Putting a fresh spin on Pink Panther’s retro charm, the programs incorporate art from the original cartoons and feature a playful “cat and mouse” theme. The guide demonstrates the way branding elements should come together, inspiring everyone to Think Pink.

          UK Sales Figures Confirm Retailer Caution


          Figures published by the UK’s Office of National Statistics confirm the experience of many retailers: Christmas trading was dismal.

          While retail sales volume in the three months from October to December rose by 0.4 percent compared with the previous three months, total sales volume decreased by 0.4 percent between November and December. Sales volume for non-food stores decreased by 0.9 percent and sales volume for non-specialist stores (which includes department stores) decreased by 4.3 percent, the largest decrease for this sector since February 1994.

          The ONS figures come after a week of mixed trading updates from retailers. Game Group, Debenhams, Mothercare, and Clintons Cards all turned in positive reports while Burberry and outdoors retailer Blacks gave profits warnings. Woolworth’s sales were down over the Christmas period and speculation that the business will be split re-emerged.

          Fifa Store Opens in Singapore


          Global Brands Group and Nuance Watsons opened the first Fifa store in Singapore’s Changi Airport last week. The store is designed to evoke “the passion of football fans around the world” and sells product inspired by the game.

          Entertainment Rights Signs Up ‘Transformers Animated’


          Entertainment Rights has sealed broadcast agreements for the new “Transformers Animated” series (26 x 22 minute) plus a 70-minute special episode. Deals with European broadcasters include Nickelodeon in the UK, Gulli in France, and Super RTL in Germany. ER has also sold the series to more than 24 territories, with a number of other key deals in negotiation.

          Chloe van den Berg, director of international, Entertainment Rights Plc, said, “We have had an overwhelming interest from international broadcasters post-Mipcom for the new series. We recently extended distribution rights to include Latin America, where broadcasters are also showing great demand for the series and we expect to announce new agreements in due course. The recent agreements with European broadcasters demonstrate ER’s success at securing premier television platforms for the franchise around the world.”

          ‘Famous 5’ Delivered to Disney Channel Europe


          The first episodes of Enid Blyton’s “Famous 5 On The Case,” the 26 x 26 minute series co-produced by French animator Marathon Media, Chorion (UK), Disney Europe, and France 3 co-production, have been delivered to Disney Channel Europe.

          The series has also sold to Super RTL in Germany, Belgium’s RTBF, Disney Asia and Australia, the Netherlands’ Jetix, Disney France, Disney Europe, Disney Africa, Disney Middle-East, and LNK (Lithuania).

          Decode Signs First Apparel Deals for ‘Franny’s Feet’


          Decode Entertainment has signed its first apparel partner for preschool property “Franny’s Feet.” The UK deal, brokered through brand development and licensing agent Rocket Licensing, has been signed with Cooneen for pajamas, knitted nightshirts, walking sleepers, dressing gowns, and underwear categories. “Franny’s Feet” airs in the UK on Five’s preschool strand Milkshake.

          The licensing program includes recent deals with Allumination Filmworks for U.S. home entertainment, U.S. deals for Halloween costumes with Disguise Inc., and Cadaco for crayon and paper arts activity products and glue-based cling molds and frames for activity. In Argentina, IMC has signed up Ediciones B as publisher of storybooks and softcover titles in Argentina and Uruguay.

          Playskool, part of Hasbro, has the worldwide master toy and game license for Franny’s Feet. A series of toys and games incorporating dolls, accessories, role play, games, and puzzles are set to launch this year.

          Additionally in the United States this month, Penguin Group (USA) is to launch storybooks, readers, sticker books, a series of novelty books such as board, lift-the-flap, and word-game activity books, and Simon & Schuster will launch activity books and kits that will also roll out in stores in 2008.

          Decode has also recently signed up a number of international licensing sub-agents through The Sharpe Company. In addition to Rocket Licensing in the UK, new agents include CPLG in France and Italy, Scandinavia’s Alicom Licensing, IMC in Argentina, and Korea’s Asiana Licensing

          Barcode Kitties Expands in France


          CopCorp Licensing’s French agent MJA Licensing has signed up Mc.Diffusion to produce bed, bath, beach, kitchen, and home textile products for sale throughout France and the Benelux region for Seikodo Corp.’s Barcode Kitties.

          MC.Diffusion joins Embassy (girls’ apparel and baby clothes) and Maroquinerie Luc D’arvillers (backpacks, bags, and leather goods) on the roster of Barcode Kitties licensees in France.

          HIT Takes Pingu to Linguaphone


          HIT Entertainment and the Linguaphone Group have joined forces to license Pingu for preschool English language training.

          Pingu’s English is the Linguaphone Group’s first character-based preschool English language course. It is a three-level course and teaches English to children of 3 to 7 years. Pingu’s English also provides lessons in socialization, numeracy, and computer skills.

          TV-Loonland Restructure Complete


          TV-Loonland has completed the restructuring agreement signed with the banking syndicate in August 2007, leaving the company with a new, reduced debt of 5 million euros.

          The original loan of 20 million euros has been reduced by 15 million by a cash repayment and a debt-to-equity swap, following a convertible bond issue in December.


          Discussions are continuing for the sale of TV-Loonland’s stake in Metrodome Group

          Alien Entomologist Gets Green Light


          “Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist,” a new animated comedy adventure series about an intrepid young explorer, has begun production, with delivery slated for autumn 2008.

          Australian commercial broadcaster Ten Network has already pre-bought the series, which is created by Matthew Fenandez and is a Canadian/Australian co-production between Toronto and Sudbury-based March Entertainment and Sydney-based SLR Productions. Parthenon Kids is also a co-production partner on the series and will be distributing it internationally.

          Aimed at 6- to 11-year-olds, the series follows the adventures of Dex Hamilton, a young naturalist, scientist, and leading mind in alien entomology, who is tasked with conquering a mysterious alien epidemic and preserving the ecosystem.

          Aardman Appoints Latin American Agent


          UK animator Aardman International, which produces “Shaun the Sheep,” is extending its presence in Latin America by appointing Spiral International as its distribution agency. Spiral will represent the whole of Aardman’s catalog across free TV, DVD, and digital rights in Latin America.

          Spiral International is a specialist distributor for the Latin American market with sales offices in Miami and Mexico.

          Spiral will also be pre-selling Aardman’s fourth “Wallace and Gromit” special. The plasticine duo’s new adventure will be a half-hour special made for TV and DVD, and will be shown on BBC One in 2008.

          Galleon Launches Skunk Fu! at Toy Fair


          Galleon Holdings is to debut a Skunk Fu! range at Toy Fair in London later this month. The range is produced by Croco Sourcing Worldwide, a wholly owned subsidiary of Galleon, and will consist of collectable action figures, fighting plush, a deluxe action figures assortment with added play features, Skunk Fu! bop bag with sounds, and electronic-feature plush, and will be supported by marketing across the UK.

          Skunk Fu! licensed merchandise debuted last year with a UK DVD licensing deal with Warner Music Group. Licensing deals are to follow publishing, video games, and apparel categories.

          Copyrights Promotions Signs Up re:creation for ‘Horrid Henry’


          Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG) signed a master toy deal with re:creation on “Horrid Henry,” the animated TV series produced by Novel Entertainment.

          re:creation will launch a range of cross-gender products that reflect Henry’s mischievous and spontaneous nature at Toy Fair in London later this month.

          Joke and trick products and science and experimentation kits and sets will be the first products to roll out in autumn 2008. These will be followed by games and outdoor toys including wheeled toys, water pistols, and shooters. Figurines, action figures, playsets, and plush are in development.

          CBeebies Goes on Tour as Animalia Goes Online


          BBC Worldwide has announced the dates for the first CBeebies at the Theatre show. The 45-venue national tour will open this March.

          Following the success of CBeebies Live!, BBC Worldwide has produced a musical family adventure for local theaters across the UK.

          The show features CBeebies’ characters including PC Plum, Jenny Jumble, Postman Pat and Jess, Boo, Bill & Ben, the Jakers and the Koala Brothers, Tamba from Tikkabilla, and Tommy Zoom.

          Craig Stanley, general manager of live entertainment, BBC Worldwide, says, “Our ambition for CBeebies at the Theatre was to take some of the elements of the arena tour and transfer it to a more intimate experience for children. We are taking the show around the country to ensure that as many children as possible get to see their favorite characters up close. For parents, the recycling theme has educational benefit packed into this entertaining show. Let’s Play has something for everyone and we have high hopes for its success now that tickets have gone on sale.”

          BBC Worldwide is also launching a Web site to accompany children’s TV series “Animalia” at

          www.animalia.tv

          , based on the book by Graeme Base. The CGI animated “Animalia” charts the adventures of human heroes Alex and Zoe as they are swept from their local library into Animalia, a world of speaking animals.

          The Web site, created by children’s new media agency Complete Control, features games and activities, including the chance to play along on drums, develop memory skills, and coordination techniques.

          BBC Worldwide is the distributor and licensing agent for “Animalia.” Opportunities exist for a master toy license, plus board games, computer games, action figures, plush, back-to-school products, and stationery.

          The DVD, “Animalia: Where Animals Rule!,” will be available from March 2008, published by BBC Worldwide.

          Slide-Lok Expands NASCAR Licensing Rights into Canada


          Slide-Lok, an industry leader in home and garage storage, has been granted licensing and distribution rights for its plywood garage cabinets, garage flooring, Slat-Wall, and closet systems throughout Canada. Slide-Lok now has approval to use the popular NASCAR bar logo in conjunction with the top drivers’ signatures and car numbers as a secondary brand for its new Slide-Lok Racing Garage product line set to debut in February 2008 in both the United States and Canadian markets.

          This latest licensing contract complements the existing agreement with NASCAR, encompassing the continental United States, which already includes the top drivers who participate in NASCAR-sanctioned events. Slide-Lok’s Racing Garage will showcase the names, numbers, color schemes, and signature logos of the top drivers who participate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series incorporated into Slide-Lok’s patented plywood garage cabinets, Slat-Wall systems, and inlaid into Slide-Lok’s garage floor coating.

          NexCen to Expand Waverly Brand


          NexCen Brands Inc., parent company of the Waverly brand has aligned with Welspun USA in a key strategic partnership to expand the Waverly brand into new lifestyle categories. Welspun will immediately become the Waverly licensee for bath towels, bath, accent and scatter rugs, comforters/blankets, and pillows and mattress pads catapulting the Waverly brand into new home categories and broadening its complete consumer offerings at retail.

          (not so) Scary Monsters Chicken Out in Colombia


          P&L Global Network—the agency appointed by CopCorp Licensing to represent The Monster Factory’s (not so) Scary Monsters for licensing within Latin America—has struck a deal allowing Colombia’s famous Frisby SA fried chicken restaurant chain to provide its customers with a (not so) Scary Monsters character plush as a premium with purchase of a Kids Meal Box.

          As part of the promotion (scheduled to run from mid-April through the end of July 2008), customers who buy a Kids Meal Box at Frisby restaurants in Colombia will receive a (not so) Scary Monsters character plush as a premium (while supplies last).

          Executive Moves


          Calvin Klein Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., appointed Robert Vignola president, Calvin Klein Collection, a newly created position to support the brand’s global business.

          Entertainment Rights plc appointed Helen Fielding senior licensing manager and has also promoted Catherine Murison to senior licensing manager.

          Modell’s Sporting Goods named Seth Horowitz, former CEO of Everlast Worldwide Inc., executive vice president of merchandise, advertising, marketing, planning, and allocation, a new role. Horowitz left Everlast in November after it was acquired by Brands Holdings Ltd. Based in New York, Horowitz reports to Mitchell Modell, president and CEO of the 136-store sporting goods chain.

          Joan J. Grasso has joined American Greetings Properties as vice president, domestic licensing, while Carla Silva takes the position of director, international licensing, and Tony Chien moves from brand manager to senior brand manager.



          DECODE Entertainment, a subsidiary of DHX Media, promoted Janice Walker to vice president of animation production from her previous role of producer.

          Jackie Ferguson joined BKN New Media Ltd. in London in a consulting capacity focused on the United Kingdom and Ireland. Jane Kennedy joins as vice president, international licensing and merchandising. In addition, David Recasens recently joined the company as vice president, licensing and merchandising handling Spain and Portugal, and Irene Civico was promoted to licensing and merchandising manager, supporting all sales activities.

          Samuel J. “Sandy” Zusmann III was appointed global vice president of marketing for Proudfoot Consulting, an operational consultant and a member of the Management Consulting Group Plc. In the newly created position, Zusmann assumes responsibility for branding and marketing strategy and execution across the firm’s operating units.


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