April 6, 2018
4Kids Entertainment Inc. is launching a multimillion-dollar marketing and advertising program to fuel excitement for its Chaotic Trading Card Game property.
In just over two months, the Chaotic Trading Card Game has firmly established a strong footprint at retail in both the specialty arena and mass market. The cards are now available in more than 10,000 locations across North America with a presence at such retail outlets as Target, Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, GameStop, Kmart, f.y.e., and Suncoast, as well as at hundreds of local comic and hobby stores.
The Chaotic Online Game Experience continues to increase in popularity, with more than 2 million online cards registered, over 1 million online visits logged, and nearly 200,000 games played online since its October 2007 beta launch. At the beginning of February 2008, traffic to the site increased 50 percent from the first week of January. While the physical cards are currently only available in the United States
4Kids Entertainment and TC Digital Games are supporting Chaotic with a multimillion-dollar television advertising campaign on kid-targeted media including 4Kids TV (the four-hour kids’ block on FOX Saturday mornings), Cartoon Network, Jetix/Toon Disney, Nickelodeon, KidsWB (the CW network), along with tween demo fare on Adult Swim, G4, and MTV.
Mattel Entrusts Its Toys to Creative Artists for Entertainment Marketing
Mattel Inc. signed with Creative Artists Agency to develop entertainment-based marketing programs that build upon the company’s toy brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, Masters of the Universe, Max Steel, UNO, and Polly Pocket, among many others. Creative Artists Marketing will identify and create opportunities across a variety of platforms, from movies, digital media, and music, to video games, television, and beyond, and will help further build brand relevance for Mattel’s library of intellectual properties.
“At Mattel, we are always looking at unique and innovative opportunities to leverage our brands,” says Barry Waldo, vice president, worldwide entertainment marketing and strategy. “In fact, Mattel has been very successful in producing original, quality family entertainment with our Barbie DVDs, globally distributed by Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and we have also recently partnered with Warner Bros. to develop a live-action re-imagination of Mattel’s property, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. We’re confident that the combination of Mattel and CAA Marketing will truly create a dynamic partnership.”
‘American Idol’ Is Going to Disney World
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will create an “American Idol” attraction that will bring the television and pop culture phenomenon to life at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The attraction, slated to debut in late 2008, will be located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park and will follow the model of the high-energy show. Disney guests will be able to experience the challenge of auditioning, the rush of performing on stage in competition, or the thrill of judging the performances in a live interactive entertainment setting with all the glitz and glamour of the distinctive “American Idol” set.
That experience will include an audition process, open to all who register, where guests perform “live” in video kiosks in full view of a panel of screeners. Singers who pass this screening test will move on to the next stage before a Disney’s Hollywood Studios producer to be cast in a theme park show. After backstage preparation—working with a vocal coach, hair, and make-up—it’s lights up and showtime in front of a “live” audience and a panel of judges.
Guest performers with the highest votes will compete in an end-of-day Grand Finale show at Walt Disney World, and the winner of the Grand Finale show will receive a guaranteed reservation for a future regional stadium audition to ensure no waiting in long lines.
Marvel Inks Extensive Deal with Kotobukiya
Marvel Entertainment Inc. and Kotobukiya have entered into an expansive, multiyear, worldwide licensing agreement for a wide range of high-end collectibles. Drawing not only from the vast library of Marvel Comic Book characters, the partnership will also allow Kotobukiya to produce goods from all Marvel Studios-produced films.
Seven different categories, including Kotobukiya’s signature line—the ARTFX Statue— will be produced, with the first releases focusing on the theatrical films
The Incredible Hulk
“We are excited to work with Kotobukiya as a premier collectible partner, and we are confident that their talented designers will bring a new, fresh perspective to our characters. Our comics feature the most recognizable characters in the world, and that matches up well with Kotobukiya’s international style and commitment to quality,” says Joe Quesada, Marvel editor-in-chief.
Additional details regarding the Marvel line of goods will be announced at Kotobukiya’s private showroom during American International Toy Fair located in New York City Feb. 17-20.
Spider-Man Spins Partnership with Pottery Barn Kids
Marvel Entertainment Inc. is partnering with Pottery Barn Kids to launch an exclusive collection of Spider-Man merchandise. The initial line of products featuring the superhero was recently launched at all Pottery Barn Kids stores in the United States and Canada, and is also available through the catalog and online atwww.potterybarnkids.com
Designed exclusively for Pottery Barn Kids, the Spider-Man products feature vintage character art and graphics that capture the charm and artistry of the original Marvel Comics. The line includes bedding, lighting, play furniture, room décor, and accessories.
“We are excited to work with Pottery Barn Kids to bring the Marvel brand to their broad consumer base with striking new interpretations of Spider-Man,” says Paul Gitter, president of consumer products for North America, Marvel Entertainment. “This partnership really enables Marvel to showcase our ability to collaborate with retailers like Pottery Barn Kids to create and design innovative, high-quality product lines tailored to their specific audience and underpins our overall strategy to help elevate the stature of our brands.”
Adds Jill Larue, senior vice president, GMM Catalog for Pottery Barn Kids: “Spider-Man, a favorite among children and adults alike, pairs well with the classic and timeless approach Pottery Barn Kids furnishings and accessories offer. We are excited to offer our consumers an innovative, high-quality, and classic collection featuring the popular super hero.”
2K Play To Publish Nickelodeon Preschool Games
Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP), a division of MTV Networks, and 2K Play, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., plan to expand their current U.S. handheld and console video game licensing agreement for multiple Nickelodeon preschool properties in the United States across 28 additional territories throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Canada. The new, three-year international partnership between NVCP and 2K Play, covers four of Nickelodeon’s most popular properties—Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, Wonder Pets, and The Backyardigans—and will see them licensed for the first time ever as console games on Nintendo DS, Playstation 2 computer entertainment system, and Wii home video game system from Nintendo.
Dora Saves the Mermaids and Go, Diego, Go! Safari Rescue will be the first Nickelodeon titles to launch internationally this spring. Release dates for Dora Saves the Mermaids on Nintendo DS and Playstation 2 system in Australia and the UK are scheduled for early March, with Go, Diego, Go! Safari Rescue set to launch on Nintendo DS, Playstation 2 system and Wii in early March in the UK and in late April in France.
New Characters Join ‘The Mr. Men Show’
Chorion’s “The Mr. Men Show,” which debuts in the UK on Five’s Milkshake! on Feb. 25, is launching with new characters including Little Miss Daredevil, Little Miss Calamity, Mr. Scatterbrain, and Mr. Stubborn.
Both Little Miss Daredevil and Mr. Stubborn appear in the first episode, called “Doctors and Nurses.” The crux of the comedy is putting the Mr. Men and Little Miss characters together in everyday situations and seeing the hilarious results.
The new TV show is a reimagining of the original Roger Hargreaves books and is set in the wacky town of Dillydale. It blends fast-paced physical humor and verbal wit. All the characters have been redrawn and updated and each themed episode features a number of different colorful comedy sketches designed to have young children in stitches.
Fisher-Price soft toys, playsets, figures, musical toys, and vehicles are set to hit shelves in autumn 2008.
The series was written by Kate Boutilier and Eryk Casemiro. The animation was produced in Los Angeles by Renegade Animation with Kurt A Mueller, the executive producer for Chorion Silver Lining.
Earnhardt to Debut adidas Line at Daytona
After months of research, development, and design collaboration, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is debuting his adidas apparel line at the 2008 Daytona Speedweek, which kicked off Feb. 9 with the Budweiser Shootout and ends Feb. 17 with the year's premier NASCAR event, the 50th anniversary of the Daytona 500. On Feb. 15, Earnhardt’s exclusive adidas JR. Nation Gear will go on sale at Sports Authority, available first in Daytona.
“I’ve been wearing adidas my whole life. It’s who I am,” says Earhnardt. “Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to partner with brands that fit my lifestyle, and adidas fits. I’ve been working with adidas on the design of a new suit and I’m wearing what we came up with at Daytona." Earnhardt’s official adidas JR. Nation apparel line will launch with men’s and women’s apparel such as T-shirts, jackets, hats, and jerseys. The adidas JR. Nation fan collection features the same adidas ClimaCool technology that allows the racer to stay cool on the track and will be first available at Sports Authority in Daytona on Feb. 15 in conjunction with Speedweek. In celebration of the launch, the first 88 people to purchase adidas JR. Nation Gear will receive an autographed hat.
‘Survivor’ Brand Expands into Health and Fitness
CBS Consumer Products is expanding the “Survivor” brand with two new innovative deals for “Survivor” in the health and fitness categories. Illinois-based Fitness Team One has created the “Survivor Fitness Program,” a gym-based fitness workout designed to whip participants into shape, “Survivor” style. The group class incorporates familiar game elements and team competitions into a full-body training program. “Survivor Fitness Program” will launch in Chicago this spring.
In addition, Full Charge Energy Foods Inc., based in North Dakota, is introducing Survivor Supercharged Sunflower Seeds in March. The energy-enhanced, vitamin-infused snacks will feature the show’s iconic imagery on its packaging and displays. A one-bag serving equals the energy boost of some energy drinks and contains 100 percent of the daily recommended amount of B and C vitamins.
The 16th season of the “Survivor” franchise, “Survivor Micronesia—Fans vs. Favorites,” premiered last week on the CBS Television Network.
Broad Street Takes Burger King International
The Broad Street Licensing Group and its client, Miami-based fast-food giant Burger King Corp., have expanded Burger King’s brand licensing program to include international opportunities. Previously, the brand had only pursued domestic opportunities.
Carole Francesca, president of Broad Street Licensing, cited recent licenses, including snacks and downloadable cell phone games, as having application overseas. Other close-to-core categories include apparel and accessories in the “lifestyle” channel, and meat snacks and other food extensions tied to the expansion of the snack food rollout.
Sakar International to Launch Hello Kitty Electronics
Sakar International Inc. has been tapped by Sanrio Inc. to produce a full range of Hello Kitty consumer electronics. Sakar will debut the collection at the 2008 International Toy Fair taking place Feb. 17-20. Over the coming months, Sakar will be developing a comprehensive range of Hello Kitty electronics including digital, video, and web cameras; computer accessories, MP3/MP4 players; and a range of other products including youth electronics and toys. The full range is slated to hit shelves in early summer 2008 and will be marketed to kids, ‘tweens and teens.
“We’re extremely excited at this offering of electronics from Sakar International,” says Andrea Sobel, vice president of marketing, Sanrio Inc. “The [electronics] marketplace feels targeted at men & boys much of the time, and we’re thrilled to offer Hello Kitty fans a product offering targeted at girls of all ages.”
The Simpsons, Renault Partner for Car Launch
The Simpsons family will soon be exploring the real world in a deal between Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising and Renault, enabling the use of The Simpsons characters to promote the launch of the new 2008 Renault Kangoo, out this month.
The multi-territory deal covers 29 countries, principally across Europe, with The Simpsons family featured in ads for TV and the Internet, as well as outdoor and print advertising.
In addition, The Simpsons will appear in every aspect of the marketing campaign—from direct mail to customer loyalty kits, showroom decorations to giveaway materials, and the Simpsons campaign will have its own micro-site.
American Sporting Goods Licenses Icon Eyewear for AND1 and Avia
American Sporting Goods, a Southern California-based manufacturer of athletic footwear and apparel, recently entered into a contract with Icon Eyewear for the company to produce and distribute sunglasses under American Sporting Goods’ AND1 and Avia brands.
Based in Secaucus, N.J., with showrooms in New York, Icon Eyewear will create AND1 sunglasses featuring metal shields and plastic aviators. All styles will be consistent with AND1’s “street sport” styling.
The Avia brand eyewear will feature high-tech running and biking sunglasses for the competitive athlete, as well as a moderately priced collection of active-inspired styles for the everyday fitness consumer. The technical sunglasses will be made with aluminum and plastic frames featuring both polycarbonate and polycarbonate polarized lenses. All lenses will also have anti-reflective coatings and ventilation systems to reduce fogging.
John Deere Enters a New Field—Fashion
Machinery manufacturer John Deere is getting into the jean game, as the company is set to debut a new line of jeans at this week’s MAGIC show in Las Vegas. The clothing line, which will also include jackets and shirts, is the first produced by John Deere.
“In the past we treated merchandise as more of a promotional giveaway,” says Molly Reddish, category manager for John Deere brand licensing. “Now we look at it as a matter of if we are going to offer specific products, we want to build them. We’re at the point where we can offer differentiated product with the quality that reflects the brand.”
The Buntin Group, Nashville, Tenn., will now handle John Deere licensed product strategy. The company’s merchandise sales, which include hats, watches, golf umbrellas, and clocks, reached approximately $300 million last year.
JTMG to License ‘American Gladiators’
Joy Tashjian Marketing Group LLC (JTMG) was named licensing agency for “American Gladiators” by Reveille and MGM Consumer Products. The new show, a reinvention of the 1989 series that debuted on NBC in January, is hosted by Hulk Hogan and Laila Ali.
JTMG will focus on such key consumer categories as gaming, including interactive, handheld, board games, and videogames; as well as apparel, sporting goods, athletic equipment, food and beverage, and QSR promotions. JTMG will be representing rights to the original “American Gladiators” TV series as well as rights to the new “American Gladiators” TV series. To support the program, MGM Consumer Products is developing a comprehensive new style guide with separate sections for “Classic American Gladiators” and “New American Gladiators.” The Classic section will target kids and adults and have a retro, vintage feel, whereas the section supporting the current series will target boys with a younger feel.
DIC Greenlights New ‘Horseland’ Episodes, Announces Licensing Program
Television and brand management company DIC Entertainment has greenlit 26 new episodes of its girls’ series “Horseland
coinciding with a European merchandising drive. In 2008, the series will make its debut on Rai2 (Italy), Antenna TV (Cyprus), SIC (Portugal), M-Net (South Africa), D Smart (Turkey), and on Space Toon throughout the Middle East.
DIC has also secured European home entertainment deals for the series, scheduled for 2008 releases, with companies including CITEL (France); Scanbox (Scandinavia); Panini (German-speaking Europe); and Bridge Entertainment (Dutch-speaking Benelux).
With more than 20 licensees onboard across Europe, DIC and its licensing partners will now debut a new merchandise line for the Horseland brand in key categories, including toys, publishing, games, apparel and PC and DS games. In French-speaking Europe, the series will also be promoted in a fast-food restaurant campaign.
2K Play, Nickelodeon Launch ‘Diego’ Wii Game
2K Play, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., and Nickelodeon are shipping
Go, Diego, Go!: Safari Rescue
for the Wii home video game system and PlayStation2 in North America beginning on Feb. 12. The title represents 2K Play’s first Wii game engineered specifically for preschoolers and is based on extensive Nickelodeon in-home research that focused on how to best match the abilities and needs of younger children with the capabilities of the Wii system.
To celebrate the game’s launch, 2K Play, Nickelodeon, and Nintendo World hosted a special sneak preview for families in the New York area on Feb. 9 at the Nintendo World Store in New York City’s Rockefeller Center.
A national marketing program will support the game’s launch, which will include TV commercials on Nick Jr., Toon Disney, and Treehouse; print advertising in
magazine; and Web support and cross-promotions with Nickelodeon licensees.
Ludorum Secures Global Deals, Licensing for ‘Chuggington’
Ludorum, the interactive media investment company formed by Rob Lawes, the former CEO and COO of HIT Entertainment, has secured a new set of global agreements for “Chuggington,” a 3-D animated series and interactive Web site for children aged 3 to 6.
Ludorum has secured broadcast commitments for “Chuggington”with the BBC in the UK, Super RTL in Germany, TF1 in France, and ABC in Australia, with additional territories still in negotiation. The serieswas launched at MIPCOM 2007, and global broadcast is anticipated to begin in spring 2009.
Additionally, Learning Curve Brands has signed on as the global toy partner for the property. Learning Curve will develop lines of new and innovative toys with both on- and offline applications for “Chuggington,” which will be brought to the marketplace in early 2010. The company has also been exploring potential partners for the representation of home-entertainment and publishing rights.
“We are very encouraged by the positive reaction ‘Chuggington’ has received,” says Lawes, Ludorum’s CEO. “The high-quality broadcasting contracts already in place are indicative of the tremendous enthusiasm and excitement for ‘Chuggington.’ We are excited about Learning Curve’s involvement as global toy partner and we believe their expertise in toy development and marketing will add great momentum to the ‘Chuggington’ property.”
MGM Names Big Tent Licensor for Argentina, Chile
MGM Consumer Products tapped New York-based Big Tent Entertainment as the exclusive licensing agent for Argentina and Chile, responsible for supporting its entire portfolio of properties. Big Tent will handle all licensing deals for MGM Consumer Products’ portfolio offerings, including consumer products, retail, clips and stills, and promotions. MGM Consumer Products’ portfolio includes
, and the third-party property
. Big Tent will develop a customized marketing plan for each MGM property, aligning them with appropriate partners that will provide added value and equity. The key focus for licensing categories will include apparel, accessories, plush, and stationery, as well as identifying appropriate promotional partners.
“Latin America is a burgeoning marketplace for branded entertainment and I believe it will continue to be so for the foreseeable future,” says Richard K. Collins, president and CEO of Big Tent Entertainment. “As such, we’re extremely excited to be given this opportunity to work with a legendary studio like MGM to help strengthen awareness and recognition for its popular brands and expand brand equity across a wide variety of categories.”
Paul Flett, vice president of worldwide marketing and promotions for MGM, adds, “Working with Big Tent will provide MGM’s classic brands with exciting opportunities among new groups of consumers in Chile and Argentina. Knowing that these are two very complex territories, we’re confident that Big Tent’s knowledge of branded entertainment and the Latin American marketplace will provide our brands with much success.”
Bon Bon Buddies Adds Scooby-Doo Biscuits
Scooby-Doo Jammeroos, to be launched in the UK in March, are the latest addition to the Bon Bon Buddies biscuit range, which feature characters Winnie the Pooh, Disney’s Cars, Disney Princess, and The Simpsons.
Bon Bon Buddies, based in Crumlin, Gwent, is one of Europe’s major suppliers of licensed confectionery and novelty biscuits, including seasonal and year-round product lines. The company supplies retailers across Europe including Tesco, Asda, Wilkinson, Auchan, and Carrefour.
Sports Direct Signs Up China Deal
Sports Direct signed a strategic alliance agreement in China with multibrand apparel retailer ITAT, based in Shenzhen. The deal is to supply product from Sports Direct’s portfolio of brands—which includes Lonsdale, Dunlop, and Slazenger—to ITAT’s large-format Super Club stores. It is expected to cost Sports Direct some £20 million in the first year in store fits and working capital, against a slice of revenue from sales.
ITAT is the largest branded apparel retailer in China with more than 700 stores in 275 cities. The 120 Super Club stores will have branded store-in-store concepts of approximately 250 square meters per store.
Developing international distribution channels is part of Sports Direct’s growth plan.
Commenting on the partnership, Dave Forsey, Sports Direct chief executive, says, “This alliance offers us an ideal opportunity to access ITAT’s fast-growing store network, and through it, to be able to offer our brands to the Chinese consumer.”
Sequoia Signs with Warner Bros. for Licensed Media
Sequoia Media Group LC, developer of the aVinci Experience product line—which allows users to create themed DVD movie productions, posters, and photo books from their digital photos—signed an agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to feature
The Polar Express
licensed media in the aVinci photo movie templates.
Sequoia’s first licensed media product offering,
The Polar Express
from Warner Bros. Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment, was introduced during the 2007 holiday season in select markets and showcased user photos in actual full-motion scenes from the movie.
Sequoia is developing an extensive lineup of themed templates featuring licensed media from popular movies, TV shows, and music artists with scheduled release dates throughout 2008. Last week, Sequoia unveiled myMovieProducer, featuring
The Polar Express
. myMovieProducer, to be available through photo retailers, transforms personal digital photos into themed DVD movie productions.
Toys“R”Us Reaffirms Commitment to Fighting Autism
Toys “R” Us and the Toys “R” Us Children’s Fund last week announced their continued support of Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to facilitating research that will uncover the causes of autism, develop effective biomedical treatments and hasten the discovery of a cure. For the second consecutive year, Toys “R” Us will serve as the national sponsor of the Autism Speaks Walk Now for Autism program, a series of more than 75 fundraising walk events held in communities across the country. In addition, Toys “R” Us, in connection with the Toys “R” Us Children’s Fund, will conduct a nine-week, in-store fundraising campaign in its 585 U.S. locations to coincide with Autism Awareness Month in April. To kick off the 2008 partnership, the Toys “R” Us Children’s Fund has awarded Autism Speaks a $250,000 grant.
School of Rock Partners with Stone America
Stone America Licensing LLC was appointed exclusive licensing and sponsorship agency for School of Rock, the performance-based, interactive music school. The newly launched licensing program will expand on School of Rock’s current logos for licensing in major categories including apparel, music accessories, professional music equipment, electronic media such as DVDs and CDs, interactive video games, school supplies, and more.
In addition, Stone America will be implementing a fully integrated School of Rock tour sponsorship program for national All-Star tours and local School of Rock shows.
A portion of all School of Rock licensed products will help fund scholarships via the company’s non-profit foundation.
Elizabeth Murdoch To Address MIPTV
Elisabeth Murdoch, chief executive and chairman of UK TV producer Shine Group, is to give a keynote speech at MIPTV featuring MILIA on April 7.
In “Creativity Without Borders,” Murdoch will set out to explain why creativity forms the foundation of her beliefs and is the catalyst to success.
“Encouraging creativity is central to the Shine Group’s expansion, both at home and internationally,” says Murdoch. “It is a precursor to commercial success for us all and has the power to transcend all geographical and cultural borders. I’m looking forward to exploring how we as an industry can create the right conditions for it to thrive.”
The 45th MIPTV featuring MILIA will be held in Cannes, April 7-11, 2008
Henzo Set to Bring Intrinsic to Europe
Australian inspirational stationery company Intrinsic Enterprises will expand its international trade by signing a European licensing agreement with Henzo International Group B.V. The partnership will make Intrinsic stationery available across Europe, with the initial launch starting in the Benelux, an economic union that includes Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. A wider rollout will follow to countries including France, Germany, Greece, Russia, and the UK.
Netherlands-based Henzo, a specialist manufacturer of photo storage resources and luxury office items, plans to launch its inaugural Intrinsic stationery range in the second half of this year, with a spring and autumn release in 2009, along with plans for a back-to-school offering. The Intrinsic collection from Henzo will include 12 to 15 social stationery items such as photo albums and frames, notebooks, blank books, address books, ring binders, desk box diaries, keepsake boxes, and guest books. Henzo’s current licenses include Disney, Rachael Hale, and National Geographic.
Hampshire Launches Joseph Abboud Line
Hampshire Group Ltd. is launching Joseph Abboud Components, a new men’s sportswear line targeting the 35- to 55-year-old consumer. The premier fall 2008 line will was unveiled at the MAGIC show in Las Vegas, and will debut in select department stores nationwide in August 2008.
Designed to reflect classic American fashion, Joseph Abboud Components focuses on texture and rich detail, using natural fibers and unique treatments such as leather elbow patches. The merchandise assortment includes sweaters, knits, woven tops, blazers, and a range of cotton, blends, and 100 percent wool pants.
“This is an important step for our company, as it reflects our strategic drive to expand our market share in the better market with multiple category presentations,” says Michael Culang, interim CEO of Hampshire Group. “We continue to seek additional opportunities to build or acquire leading brands that will enable us to further strengthen our position in this category and offer our customers distinctive fashion with a strong quality-value proposition.”
Hurley Hits the Beach in South Africa
Hurley, the global youth brand with strong roots in surf, skate, art, music, and beach culture, signed an agreement with Future Distribution in South Africa to offer key apparel and accessories styles from both the men’s and young contemporary collections. The mix of Hurley product, which will be available in stores in July, will focus on the brand’s classic styles including graphic Ts and baseball caps, boardshorts, and technically advanced products like the Movement Sandal and Phantom series boardshorts.
Sakar International Rolls Out New Crayola-Branded Electronics
Sakar International Inc. will add a digital video camera and a line of flashlights to its range of Crayola consumer electronics for kids. The line currently includes digital cameras and computer accessories. Products are available at mass retailers and electronics stores nationwide.
The new products include a digital video camera with color preview swivel screen, an upgraded 2.1-Megapixel digital camera, and flashlights designed to play flashlight tag, to project Crayola colors, and several crank-operated flashlights that do not require batteries.
Dark Horse Inks Deal to Distribute MINDStyle
Comic book and collectible company Dark Horse will act as exclusive sales agent for the entire program of licensed products for MINDstyle, a manufacturer of high-end collectible figures. The initial offerings, slated for release beginning in March, will include deluxe limited-edition vinyl figures and specialty products based on the classic Jim Henson film
The Dark Crystal
, comics artist Frank Cho’s
and award-winning painter Brom’s acclaimed book
MINDStyle’s 2008 plans include a series of 25th-anniversary Fraggle Rock vinyl collectibles, more Dark Crystal figures art replicas from the late Viktor Schreckengost, and 12-inch figures from the Shaw Brothers’ kung fu classics,
36th Chamber of Shao Lin
Shao Lin Temple.
Sierra Entertainment, a division of Vivendi Games, shipped
The Spiderwick Chronicles
, a video game based on the upcoming 2008 theatrical release of the same name by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Films, on Feb. 5 for Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 2, Nintendo DS, Windows PC, and mobile phones.
Like the movie, the game recreates the adventures of Jared, Simon, Mallory, and the mysterious book that offers them entrance into the unseen universe of fairies, goblins, pixies, elves, ogres, and other creatures who have lived among people for centuries but are invisible to the human eye.
Players can take the role of all three Grace siblings, each with unique abilities, along with Thimbletack the Brownie, whose small size allows players to discover the inner passages of the enchanted Spiderwick home. Featuring several areas from the film to explore, gamers must solve quests by engaging in kid-friendly combat, while capturing and cataloging all the creatures they find along the way.
‘Life With Derek’ Gains Literary Life with Penguin
Shaftesbury Films’ live-action kids’ comedy television series “Life with Derek” has been licensed to Grosset & Dunlap, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, for chapter novels. In a deal brokered by Joy Tashjian Marketing Group L.L.C., Grosset & Dunlap’s first novel will hit North American shelves during the summer of 2008.
“Penguin has a distinguished reputation for producing books with strong characters and the kind of engaging stories that make us confident they are an ideal book partner for ‘Life with Derek,’” says Shane Kinnear, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Shaftesbury Films.
Palomita Signs with Jerry Leigh for Sportswear
Palomita, a junior and girl’s fashion brand with a focus on the Hispanic market, announced a new licensing agreement with Jerry Leigh of California for the manufacture and distribution of junior fashion tops and sportswear. The Palomita spring 2008 line will launch with distribution ranging from specialty stores, department and mass-market nationwide. As with all Palomita products, the line will feature designs that highlight popular logos and images from Hispanic consumer products and characters.
Jerry Leigh is a contemporary apparel licensing company. Included in the company’s portfolio of licenses are Harajuku Lovers, Tokidoki, and Smurfs. It is also in partnership with major studios and companies such as Disney, Warner Bros., and Nickelodeon.
Scholastic Teams with All Wrapped Up
Scholastic Media and Kim Parker Kids have inked a deal with stationery company All Wrapped Up to bring Parker’s signature floral designs to retail in 2008. Based on Parker’s children’s book,
Counting in the Garden
, All Wrapped Up will produce a line of stationery, wrapping paper and cards.
The Kim Parker Kidsline is inspired by the rich colors and floral designs of Parker’s illustrations. Launched in February 2006, Kim Parker Kidsis a children's brand which features wall art, stationery, back-to-school accessories, educational toys, and soon apparel and bedding.
DIC Names Australian Agent
DIC Entertainment appointed International Film Group (IFG) the licensing and merchandising agent for DIC’s key properties throughout Australia. IFG will manage the licensing and merchandising programs across Australia, representing key intellectual properties from DIC, including new and classic brands from DIC’s library such as “Inspector Gadget,” the activity-based “Cake,” and the parent-targeted “Mommy and Me” franchise, which will be localized for the Australian market as “Mummy and Me.”
FREEZE Granted Renewal for Marilyn Monroe Images
Bradford Licensing Associates, the licensing agent for Shaw Family Archives—the family of photographers renowned for its vast collection of more than 500 rare and exclusive Marilyn Monroe images—renewed its agreement with FREEZE, a division of Central Mills Inc. A licensee since 2005, FREEZE has been creating trendy T-shirts for juniors using a variety of images from the Shaw Family Archives collection. This renewal grants FREEZE the rights to continue manufacturing and distributing fashion Ts for a term of two years through mass and specialty channels.
American Greetings Properties appointed Ashley Banker director of retail marketing. Banker will be responsible for building the company’s relationships with key accounts, securing retailer support for American Greetings’ properties, including Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake, and developing and executing retail marketing programs. Banker will split her time between American Greetings Properties’ New York and Cleveland offices, and her hometown of Allen, TX.
Former senior VP of programming at Kids’ WB! John Hardman joined LA's Radar Cartoons to help drive new series and film output. In his new role, Hardman will assist Radar’s clients through a series of one-on-one development talks on series and film concepts, as well as helping with international sales and attending major markets for the company.
Bonita Siegel, former director of productions for the Corus Kids channels, was tapped as creative producer and head of development for Montreal-based Image Entertainment. In her new role, Siegel will produce and develop television and film content for the company, and will also liaise between Image and Paris-based Marathon Media.
Galleon Entertainment named Erick Rouillé sales and licensing director. Rouillé will oversee international sales and licensing activities of the company’s property portfolio that includes “Skunk Fu!,” “Apollo’s Pad,” “Sokator-442,” and “Mysti.”
Carlos Biern Lliviria, directing manager at BRB Internacional, has widened the scope of his responsibilities to include the area of international licensing. In this new post, Lliviria will be responsible for sales, co-productions and new technologies such as the licensing agreements managed by BRB worldwide, except in Spain and Portugal.
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