Weekly E-news, Issue #260, April 15, 2008

Untitled Document Disney Reveals Theatrical Slate Through 2012, ‘High School Musical 4’The Walt Disney Studios unveiled a diverse and ambitious slate of 10 new animated feature films from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios to be release

April 6, 2018

Disney Reveals Theatrical Slate Through 2012, ‘High School Musical 4’

The Walt Disney Studios unveiled a diverse and ambitious slate of 10 new animated feature films from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios to be released through 2012. Franchise films announced include 2010’s

Toy Story 3

and 2012’s

Cars 2

. The company also announced that work has begun on

High School Musical 4


The roster of new animated features includes six new films from Pixar Animation Studios, four from Walt Disney Animation Studios, and the first four in a series of direct-to-DVD films featuring Disney Fairies from DisneyToon Studios. Starting later this year with the release of Disney’s


, all Disney and Pixar animated features will be presented in state-of-the-art Disney Digital 3-D. Additionally, newly converted 3-D versions of classics

Toy Story


Toy Story 2

are set to debut in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Commenting on the announcement, Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios said, “With so many

great films literally on the drawing boards and computer screens, we felt that now was the perfect time to give moviegoers all over the world an update on the state of our art. In a year when our Studio is marking the 80th anniversary of Mickey Mouse, the character that started it all for us, it seems especially timely to share our plans for the future of animation. With John Lasseter and Ed Catmull guiding our creative efforts both at Emeryville and in Burbank, this is as exciting a time as any in our history.”

At the Disney Channel upfront, Rich Ross, president of Disney Channels worldwide, announced

High School Musical 4

as part of a slate of upcoming Disney Channel original movies, including the Jonas Brothers’

Camp Rock

. Unlike

High School Musical 3

, the fourth film is likely to air on Disney Channel rather than be a theatrical release, and might not feature the entire cast like the first three films have.

Highlights for 2009 and beyond include the 2-D animated

The Princess and the Frog

(Disney, Christmas 2009); fairy tale films


(Disney, Christmas 2010) and

The Bear and the Bow

(Pixar, Christmas 2011); and the sequels

Toy Story 3

(Pixar, June 2010) and

Cars 2

(Pixar, summer 2012).

Comme Des Garçons to Create Collection for H&M

Comme des Garçons’ founder and head designer Rei Kawakubo will create this autumn’s guest designer collection at H&M. Kawakubo, who is admired for her creativity and artistry, will design a women’s and men’s collection, with some pieces for children. Accessories and an exclusive unisex fragrance will also be included in the collection.

The world launch of the collection will be at the opening of H&M’s second store in Tokyo, Japan, in the beginning of Nov. Launch dates for other H&M markets will be a few days later.

Polo to Outfit U.S. Team

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. will be the official outfitter for the United States team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Polo, which signed a contract with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), replaces the Canadian apparel company Roots Ltd., which outfitted the United States team for the past three Olympic Games and was to continue through 2008. The two parted ways in January.

Polo will produce preppy styles for the athletes to wear during the Opening and Closing ceremonies and in the Olympic Village. The Olympics deal could translate into millions in sales of Olympics-branded products that will be carried at Polo boutiques in the United States and on the company’s Web site. The company is in talks with several United States department stores to carry the clothes and is working with officials to potentially set up shops in Beijing.

Polo is hoping its association with the Olympics will enhance its brand image as it expands overseas. While approximately 69 percent of the brand’s $5.5 billion in worldwide wholesale sales for the fiscal year 2007 were concentrated in the United States, sales in the European market have more than doubled in the past five years. The company is also looking for the Beijing Olympics to help accelerate expansion plans in the region.

Italian Toymaker Giochi Preziosi Buys UK’s Flair Leisure

Italian toy supplier and Gormiti licensor Giochi Preziosi Group has acquired 95 percent of the UK toymaker Flair Leisure Products. The two businesses already have a relationship through Gormiti, which Flair has been instrumental in launching into the UK.

Giochi Preziosi, which has subsidiaries in France, Spain, Greece, and Germany, supplies snack foods, shoes, back-to-school products and other consumer products aimed at the youth market as well as toys.

BBC Worldwide Signs US Toymaker for Torchwood

BBC Worldwide has signed a deal with Underground Toys as licensee in North America and the UK for “Doctor Who” spin-off “Torchwood.”

Under the deal, Underground Toys takes on the international distribution of existing Torchwood product and the supply of new lines, including mugs, key chains, voice key chains, plastic prop replica items, playing cards, and resin busts for the United States and UK markets.

In the United States, action figures and MiniMates are also included in the deal. The products will begin shipping to United States and UK specialty stores this summer.

Corgi Sells Cards Inc. to Esdevium Games

UK games distributor Esdevium Games has bought the Cards Inc. brand name, its trading card game, sticker, and collectable trading card-based business from generic and licensed toymaker Corgi.

Cards Inc. will continue to distribute pop culture collectibles under the name Popco Distribution.

Rainbow and m4e Sign Broad-Reaching Deal

Italian hit animation studio Rainbow, which includes Winx Club, Monster Allergy, and Huntik in its portfolio, and the German brand management and media company m4e have signed a five-year deal. The agreement gives m4e the rights to the next season of “Winx Club” and its spin-off “Pixie” for TV, home entertainment, merchandising, publishing, and promotions.

The deal also gives m4e “first look rights” to Rainbow’s new shows, and a guarantee that it will acquire at least one show per year on a pre-sale basis.

A major part of the deal is the co-production agreement—the two businesses co-produce one show every two years, beginning with the new Rainbow development scheduled for delivery beginning of 2010.

US Retail Sales Make Slight Gain in March After February Drop

The United States Commerce Department reported that retail sales edged up 0.2 percent in March after a 0.4 percent decline in February. The March gain primarily reflected higher costs for gasoline, which climbed to record highs, as well as increased costs for food and higher auto sales. Excluding a big 1.1 percent rise in sales at gasoline service stations, retail sales would have been flat last month.

Sales of motor vehicles and parts increased 0.2 percent. Food and beverage sales increased 0.4 percent and gasoline rose 1.1 percent. Another large increase, of 2.1 percent, was seen in the category of non-store retailers.

Retailers were also impacted by this year’s early Easter. Gap Inc. and Kohl's Corp. saw same-store sales fall 18 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively, due to the earliest occurrence of the holiday in 95 years. Kohl's, as well as a handful of other retailers, have cut their quarterly expectations.

Bucking the trend was Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which boosted its fiscal first-quarter earnings forecast and saw a 0.7-percent rise in United States same-store sales excluding fuel, the lower end of its forecast. But the firm's Sam's Club chain posted a 0.7-percent drop because of losing a day of sales to Easter closures, which may have shaved as much as 2.5 percent off of sales for the month. Wal-Mart predicts overall United States same-store sales excluding fuel will be up 1 percent to 3 percent in April. In other big box stores, Target Corp. posted a bigger-than-expected 4.4 percent decline.

In contrast to Sam’s Club’s drop, its larger rival Costco Warehouse Corp. reported a 7 percent rise in March same-store sales. Same-store sales climbed 5 percent in the United States, with gas making up two percentage points of the gain. The increase internationally was 17 percent two-thirds of which was thanks to the weaker dollar.

Department stores were the weakest retail segment in March. Beyond Kohl's, J.C. Penney Co. reported a 12 percent drop in same-store sales. Saks Inc. was the only department-store operator expected to post higher same-store sales, but failed to, reporting a 2.9 percent decline.

Blockbuster Puts in $1 Billion Bid to Buy Circuit City

Blockbuster Inc. announced that it has made an unsolicited offer to acquire Circuit City Stores Inc. for at least $6.00 per share in cash, an offer worth roughly $1 billion. The offer was made in a letter sent to Circuit City Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Philip Schoonover on behalf of the Blockbuster Board of Directors.

Blockbuster noted the combination of the two companies would result in an $18 billion global retail enterprise uniquely positioned to capitalize on the growing convergence of media content and electronic devices.

Circuit City, Blockbuster and their financial advisers have been in contact about the latest proposal, but Circuit City said it does not believe Blockbuster's proposal can be financed.

"In particular, Blockbuster's proposal appears to contemplate a rights offering of unprecedented size relative to the issuing company's market capitalization and at a price that is at a significant premium to Blockbuster's current market price," Circuit City said in a released statement.

Management Buys Back Licensed Bedding Firm Character World

The management team at bedding company Character World has bought the business in a deal backed by private equity house RJD Partners and part funded by The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which values the company at £20 million.

The deal sees co-founder and chairman Tommy Schweiger selling his stake of the business, which he founded in 1998, to his sons Danny and Mark, who continue to run the Cheadle-based business.

Licenses include The Simpsons, Spiderman, Thomas the Tank Engine, Noddy, Fifi and the Flowertots, Bob the Builder, SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and Star Wars, plus High School Musical, Hannah Montana, Cars, Power Rangers, and Disney Princess, Elvis Presley, Peppa Pig, Roary the Racing Car, and designs by award-winning animal portrait photographer Rachael Hale.

Ravensburger Signs Up ‘Ice Age 3’

Puzzle and games company Ravensburger has joined the Ice Age in a deal with Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising for

Ice Age 3

, scheduled for release on July 1, 2009.

Ravensburger is planning to introduce a puzzleball, a mammoth-size floor puzzle, a board game, and a card game featuring imagery from the third installment of the successful movie franchise. Products will be launched in time for the movie’s pre-publicity next summer.

Numberjacks Signs Deal With Tigerprint for M&S Exclusive

Granada Ventures has signed a deal with Tigerprint, a division of Hallmark Cards, which will see Numberjacks products in Marks & Spencer stores in the autumn.

Senior brand and licensing manager at Granada Ventures, Julie Quirke, says, “M&S has shown early commitment across a total of five SKU’s—a real testament to the quality and popularity of the Numberjacks brand. We have certainly underlined the appeal of the Numberjacks brand through a rapidly increasing number of licensees signing up—now 17 in total to date—and the firm commitment of M&S is a value added endorsement from a high street favorite.”

The first products confirmed for launch will be Numberjacks puzzles and dominoes and a range of children’s greeting cards and plush toys.

The deal with Tigerprint marks the latest in a succession of deals including a book range from Egmont, plush toys from Gosh, and ride-on toys from Gelert.

Borders Secures New Loan Rate for Turnaround Effort

United States bookseller Borders Group Inc. has negotiated a lower interest rate for a loan from investor William Ackman that will be used to finance a turnaround plan.

The $42.5-million loan from Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management LP will carry an interest rate of 9.8 percent, as opposed to the 12.5 percent annual rate originally announced.

Last month, Borders put itself up for sale, halted its dividend and arranged for financing from its largest shareholder as the chain ran short of cash and couldn't borrow. The company plans to use the funding for technology upgrades and store remodeling.

"We are pleased to have reached a final financing agreement with Pershing Square that includes more advantageous terms and still provides Borders with the necessary funding to continue implementing our key initiatives," says Borders Group CEO George Jones. "Borders is now turning its focus to the broader strategic alternatives process."

LIMA Wins Discount for New York Licensing Show Flights

Business-class-only airline Silverjet is offering LIMA UK members 10 percent off return flights to New York in May and June. To benefit from the deal, use the promotional code LIMA08 at flysilverjet.com when booking any fare type before April 30, 2008.

New-Gen—Licensed Publishing for a New Generation

Independent film producers and brothers J.D. and Chris Matonti had an idea for an epic, multi-platform fantasy adventure story with a superhero bent, vastly different from and more complicated than the street-level indies they were used to producing. So how to launch a superhero story?

“A comic has been a successful way to launch properties into the marketplace,” Chris Matonti tells

License! Global

. With that in mind, the Matonti brothers and their co-creator Julia Coppola sought out Marvel Comics to distribute the property, New-Gen, as a comic book first.

The first issue—which, like all five subsequent issues, will be distributed for free—will launch this week at the New York Comic Con at the Jacob K. Javits Center.

The Matontis and their company, A.P.N.G. Enterprises Inc., have developed all the creative including story and art and retain all ownership of the New-Gen intellectual property, using Marvel as the comic’s distribution, advertising, and online partner. Marvel will distribute the print edition of the comics, as well as a digital comic available through Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited program on Marvel.com.

The idea is to establish New-Gen as a comic property and then expand to other media, and eventually a movie franchise. “Our dream is the motion picture franchise, but in order to turn this into the New-Gen brand, it may be best to build up the audience interest via publishing, television, games, and then the first of hopefully many sequels,” says J.D. Matonti. “This will give us the opportunity to monetize the brand along the way, rather than chase the potentially overnight success, awaiting a sequel.”

More information on New-Gen, including an art contest, is available at new-gen.info.

Pokémon and Nintendo Target Trading Card Piracy

Pokémon USA Inc. has announced the results of recent anti-piracy actions taken in cooperation with Nintendo of America Inc. to combat the production and distribution of counterfeit Pokémon Trading Card Game products. On March 26, law enforcement officials in New York raided seven stores known to be selling fraudulent Pokémon Trading Card Game merchandise. Thousands of products were seized and several arrests were made. In early April, one action at a production facility in China secured nearly 1.2 million counterfeit cards and investigations continue.

During the past 16 months, more than 47 million counterfeit products have been seized at production facilities in Thailand, Singapore, Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Australia, and China. One seizure in China in 2007 netted more than 26 million illegally produced cards. Nintendo and Pokémon will continue to target the retailers and manufacturers trafficking in counterfeit Pokémon product.

“Pokémon wants to send a message to importers and producers that we will not stand for the distribution of fraudulent Pokémon product,” says Pokémon spokesperson J.C. Smith. “Pokémon is committed to ensuring our fans receive the quality product they've come to expect.”

Turner International Set to Launch TV Channels in India

Turner International, a unit of Time Warner Inc., will launch a new entertainment channel and more television channels in India. It will also begin producing animated films in the region.

"India is one of the highest priority markets for us worldwide and the highest priority market in Asia," Steve Marcopoto, president of Turner Broadcasting System in Asia Pacific, says. "It becomes the biggest market in the region this year, surpassing Japan, and we are committed to growing our presence."

Turner International currently operates the Cartoon Network and Pogo kids' channels, as well as the news channel CNN-IBN in a venture with Global Broadcast News Ltd. The company will launch an English-language entertainment channel and a "multi-million dollar" production unit that will make animated films and live-action family television content. The new English-language entertainment channel will be a joint venture with Warner Bros. and should launch by the end of the year.

The new English-language entertainment channel, scheduled to go on air by year-end, will be a venture with group company Warner Bros. The animation studio will produce two films a year, with the first scheduled to release in 2009.

KidsCo to Debut Video On Demand Service in South Korea

KidsCo, the joint venture channel owned by leading media companies NBC Universal, DIC Entertainment, and Corus Entertainment Inc., is offering a video-on-demand service in South Korea. The new VOD service is a first for the channel and is the result of a major agreement between KidsCo and South Korean operator, hanaTV, the leading IPTV company in the territory.

The agreement sees leading KidsCo programming including “Babar,” “Madeline,” “Sonic the Hedgehog,” “Cyberchase,” “Franklin,” and “Rolie Polie Olie” available on demand in the region. KidsCo’s presence in South Korea follows its strategic expansion into the world’s TV markets with the channel now broadcasting in key territories including Romania, the Middle East, Hungary, Russia, Turkey, Poland, Singapore, the Philippines and territories across sub-Saharan Africa. It is anticipated that KidsCo will be airing in up to 40 territories including Europe and Latin America within the next 18 months.

Jeep Brand Makes Wii Debut With ‘Jeep Thrills’

Jeep Consumer Products will add

Jeep Thrills

by Destination Software Incorporated (DSI) to its range of products when it drives into retailers nationwide this summer for the Wii and PS2 systems. The deal was brokered by The Joester Loria Group—the exclusive worldwide licensing agent for the Jeep brand.

The game enables players to choose from nearly 20 Jeep vehicles ranging from the classic World War II body style of the Willys, to the more recent Jeep Wrangler and Compass, to action-oriented concept cars.

Fans Rally to Nominate Thomas the Tank Engine to the National Toy Hall of Fame

As Thomas The Tank Engine steamed into Tavares, Florida on April 10, he enlisted the help of his friends on a new adventure—his hopeful journey to the National Toy Hall of Fame. Barney and Bob the Builder were on hand to kick off a national petition, along with Neil Bagaus, head engineer at the Inland Empire Railroad in Tavares and groups of local children.

By signing a petition at any of the scheduled 2008 Day Out with Thomas events, fans can help Thomas makes tracks to the National Toy Hall of Fame, which recognizes toys that have achieved icon status and enjoyed popularity over multiple generations. After leaving Tavares, Thomas the Tank Engine continued to steam its way across the nation visiting more than 45 heritage railroads in the US and Canada.

Corduroy Celebrates 40th Anniversary With New Merchandise From Applause

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Don Freeman’s Corduroy character, Applause from Russ, a brand of Russ Berrie and Company Inc. and its subsidiary Russ Berrie U.S. Gift Inc., has partnered with the Penguin Young Readers Group to create a line of products to introduce Corduroy, in his signature green overalls, to a new generation of youngsters, with the first items shipping this month.

The 2008 Corduroy line includes Read along Corduroy, a feature plush that reads the Corduroy story to children, as well as additional plush, such as a backpack clip and character bookmark.

VizWoz Launches Broadcast Features

VizWoz, the new UK-based teen virtual community, has launched two broadcast features, including a virtual cinema to stream clips from content providers, and a DJ studio.

VizWoz received 394,000 chat messages and 30,500 friend list invites during the first 10 days of going live on March 21. To date it has received one million screen-chat messages and room movements plus 125,000 games played.

Homestar Runner’s Strong Bad Set to Star in Episodic Video Game

Interactive entertainment company Telltale Inc. has announced a new licensed property—

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People



), a new series of episodic games for WiiWare, in partnership with Videlectrix. Starring Strong Bad, the self-proclaimed coolest person ever, the series is based on and licensed from Matt and Mike Chapman's online animated series, which has been running at Homestarrunner.com since 2000.


will launch on WiiWare this June.

As the very first episodic series for connected consoles,

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People

has been designed specifically for WiiWare, with easy-to-use controls and WiiConnect24 features. Like Telltale's episodic series of Sam & Max computer games,


will be released as a five-episode “season” akin to a season of television. The episodes will come out on a monthly schedule. Release dates and pricing details will be revealed soon.

Telltale is working closely with the Chapmans on the series’ art style, storylines, and scripts. The episodes play like extended cartoons, during which the player assumes the role of Strong Bad—controlling his actions, hearing his innermost thoughts, and becoming part of his awesome world.


features the cast of characters and locations from the Homestarrunner.com cartoons, and the games are fully voice-acted by Matt Chapman and the rest of the original cast.

In addition to WiiWare,

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People

will be available on PC.

‘Mama Mirabelle’ Sets Off for Portugal

Italian distribution and licensing business Elastic Rights has sold the free TV rights of the pre-schoolers animation and live action series “Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies” to Portugal’s state-owned network RTP.

The series, which is a co-production between National Geographic Kids Entertainment, BBC/CBeebies, and King Rollo Films, comprises a 52-episode series, interactive puzzle games, music, and videos.

EM.Entertainment and Deutsche Telekom Sign VOD Deal

EM.Entertainment has licensed a program package to Deutsche Telekom for Germany-wide exploitation of video-on-demand. The scope of the agreement makes titles from the EM.Entertainment portfolio available on Deutsche Telekom’s online video store “Videoload.”

Titles covered by the deal include “The Flying Classroom,” “Charlie & Louise—Das doppelte Lottchen,” “Emil and the Detectives,” “Annaluise & Anto,” “Lapitch, the Little Shoemaker,” and “Kaput and Zösky,” as well as “Felix the Cat.”

EM.Entertainment has also renewed its distribution partnership with Comarex for Latin America and the US. The deal covers TV and home entertainment, as well as merchandising rights.

Pocoyo Powers His Way Through Latin America

Pocoyo, the little blue chap who stars in the multi-award winning preschool series, has secured himself quality air time, lots of shelf space, and a high profile following a major TV and licensing deal with Zinkia (Spain) and Grupo Televisa (Mexico).

Zinkia has partnered with Latin American broadcaster Televisa, which will handle all TV and licensing rights for Pocoyo in Mexico. The CGI animated series will debut this summer on Televisa. To capitalize on Pocoyo’s popularity, a toy deal is currently being negotiated and is expected to hit retail in Mexico for holiday 2008. A home entertainment deal was also signed with top Mexican DVD distributor Tycoon, which will release a Pocoyo DVD collection in August.

Other Latin American deals signed recently by Zinkia include a pan-Latin American publishing deal with Planeta, and a licensing deal with Exim, which is handling all Latin American territories excluding Mexico.

Kinnerton Unwraps New Characters for Christmas

UK character confectionery company Kinnerton Confectionery has signed a raft of new licenses for Christmas 2008. Numberjacks, Ben 10 and The Mr Men Show will join existing licenses for The Simpsons, Thomas the Tank Engine, Spiderman, Barbie, and Winnie the Pooh.

Toffs Scores with Juventus

Toffs, the manufacturer and retailer of retro football shirts, has signed a three-year license agreement with Italian Football giant Juventus for Europe and the Middle East. The deal means that Juventus joins existing football licenses for international football teams including Arsenal, PSG, Ajax, and Chelsea in the Toffs portfolio.

Juventus is the most successful club in Italian football history, having won two European Cups and 27 Serie A titles. The first shirts will be launched for Christmas.

Mendia Licensing Takes ‘The 99’ to Iberia

Teshkeel Media Group has named Mendia Licensing as its new licensing representative in Spain, Portugal, and Andorra. Mendia Licensing will oversee all sales, retail, merchandising, and marketing of property The 99 in Iberian Europe.

Mendia Licensing will build relationships with Spanish and Portuguese licensees and develop new categories and products working with licensees on product development, positioning, and roll-out strategies for various merchandise categories. Mendia Licensing will also work with retailers.

“Sofia Noguera and her team at Mendia Licensing have knowledge and experience working in the Iberian territories. They have helped popularize classic brands like Felix the Cat and Route 66 in the region. Now, they will use that experience to leverage marketing and licensing efforts for our ‘new classic,’” says Dr Naif Al-Mutawa, chief executive of Teshkeel Media Group.

Artist Eric Brjan Grbich Signs with Wild Apple Licensing

West Coast based artist and designer Eric Brjan Grbich has signed on with Wild Apple Licensing. “Eric’s unique style and keen sense of trend make him a natural addition to our family of artists and designers,” says Jeff Grinspan, director of licensing, Wild Apple. Grbich believes each piece of art, no matter the size, has a soul and possesses the ability to affect people’s lives.

United Media to Represent Licensing Rights for ‘Deadliest Catch’

United Media announces an agreement with Original Productions—the production company behind such successful series as “Ice Road Truckers” and “Monster Garage”—and will serve as the exclusive merchandise licensing agent for the primetime Emmy-nominated television series “Deadliest Catch.” United Media will build a licensing program in North America and Canada that targets men 25 to 49 and gift givers of all ages. Initial categories include gaming, packaged goods, promotions, housewares, food, publishing, sporting goods, and apparel and accessories. Now in its fourth season, “Deadliest Catch” is broadcast on Discovery Channel and is on air in over 20 countries.

John Lennon’s Art Inspires Neckwear Collection

John Lennon’s artwork, which documents his journey as an artist, musician, and activist, will land on a new collection of silk neckwear. Yoko Ono and Bag One Arts, Inc., in collaboration with their merchandising and licensing agent, Signatures Network, have teamed up with Ralph Marlin & Company for the debut of the collection. New designs will be available soon at ralphmarlinstore.com.

New Agent Signs Up for Fun Crew

Fun Crew has enlisted licensing agency KJG to represent its design-led properties including girls’ brand, Lucky Cookie, and comic horror characters, Spooky Skaters, in the UK and Europe.

Fun Crew director, Angela Harrison says, “Fun Crew are relative newcomers to the licensing industry but, in a short space of time, we have made great progress. We have established ourselves as a vibrant creative company with a fresh approach and impressed prestigious licensees who have backed us from the very beginning: Mr. Lucky Bags, Scholastic and Van der Erve were the first to spot the potential of our properties and have faith to sign up with us. Our agent for the United States and the rest of the world, George Gross of G Squared, is currently negotiating with agents in Brazil for Lucky Cookie.”

Kidsco Inks Broadcast Debut in Africa

KidsCo, the joint venture channel owned by NBC Universal, DIC Entertainment (DIC), and Corus Entertainment, has secured a major broadcast agreement with African platform operator, Gateway Broadcast Services (GTV). The channel made its debut earlier this month in sub-Saharan African territories including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Botswana, Namibia, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.

The announcement underlines the success of KidsCo’s aggressive rollout strategy with the channel now broadcasting in key territories including Romania, Hungary, Russia, Turkey, Poland, Singapore, and the Philippines. It is anticipated that KidsCo will be airing in up to 40 territories, including Europe and Latin America within the next 18 months.

Fossil India to Manufacture Armani and Diesel Product

Fossil Inc. will set up a plant in Himachal Pradesh to manufacture and sell watches for top international brands such as DKNY, Diesel, and Emporio Armani, apart from its own brands Fossil and Relic. The fully owned domestic subsidiary Fossil India Ltd. is expected to be ready later this year. Fossil India is planning to start with eight international brands of watches and jewelry. The list will include the Zodiac, Burberry, and Adidas brands.


Shawn Lawson Cummings has joined United Media as senior vice president of international licensing, overseeing all aspects of the company’s international licensing business including Japan, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Lawson Cummings most recently held the position of vice president international licensing and sponsorship for Major League Baseball.

Iconix Brand Group announces the promotions of three executives. Lanie Pilnock has been promoted to senior vice president, brand management. Pilnock has been at Iconix for the last four years directing trend and fashion as well as brand management. Yehuda Shmidman has been promoted to senior vice president, business development. Shmidman has been at Iconix for more than two years and his responsibilities include sourcing new licensees and supporting the acquisition team in seeking out new brands. Gary Klein has been promoted to vice president, finance. Klein, who has been with Iconix for more than two years, is responsible for financial planning, reporting, and analysis as well as supporting the acquisition efforts.

Nickelodeon has named John Paul Geurts to the new role of vice president and creative director, Nickelodeon Recreation. In this role, Geurts will be responsible for overseeing all creative and design development for Nickelodeon’s Recreation business segments including hotels, theme parks, cruises, and live entertainment. He will also continue to oversee Nickelodeon Recreation’s Design Studio based in Orlando, Florida. Geurts was formerly Nickelodeon's Creative Director.

London-based department store company Harrods Ltd. appointed former Gucci Group director James McArthur as its chief executive officer. McArthur will be in charge of the overall group.

New Italian licensing agency TeamWorks has appointed Maria Romanelli as vice president responsible for running the Milan and Rome offices. Romanelli has worked for Copyright Promotions, Warner Bros., Saban, and Jetix. TeamWorks portfolio includes Italian and international brands including Arittown, Jaja, Withit, B Flower, Metazoidi, Little Princess, and Lucchetti di Ponte Milvio.

Leading licensed and fashion jewelery manufacturer Lucas Design has completed a top-level organizational restructuring, officially naming Daniel Landver chief executive officer and Jason Landver president. The company also named industry veteran John Caruso as chief operating officer. Senior executives and founding partners Michael and Leon Landver step down, but remain major shareholders.

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