April 6, 2018
Macy's Inc. and FAO Schwarz have signed an exclusive agreement under which FAO Schwarz will open FAO-operated toy stores in up to 275 Macy's stores in fall 2008. FAO Schwarz stores are planned to expand into a total of approximately 685 Macy's stores over the next two years.
Under the agreement, FAO Schwarz has named Macy's the exclusive United States retail store host of FAO Schwarz departments, and FAO Schwarz will be the exclusive toy department in Macy's stores. FAO Schwarz continues to independently own and operate its own stores, including the Fifth Avenue Flagship store in the heart of New York City and its website,FAO.com
In fall 2008, full-size FAO Schwarz shops of between 1,000 and 3,500 square feet will open in approximately 75 Macy's locations across the country. Another approximately 200 Macy's stores will host smaller FAO Schwarz departments of between 200 and 300 square feet. Plans also call for FAO Schwarz products to be soldon macys.com
The FAO Schwarz assortment at Macy's will feature its own private label collection that is exclusive to Macy's and FAO Schwarz stores, in addition to the select group of brands that have made FAO famous for the last 146 years. The FAO Schwarz store-within-a-store concept was tested successfully in fall 2007 at Macy's on State Street in Chicago.
"This is an outstanding partnership that will bring toys back to Macy's in an exciting and unique way," says Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy's Inc. "FAO Schwarz is the world's most famous toy retailer with interesting and distinctive products that appeal to our customers and will drive store traffic, particularly to our children's departments. Following agreements with great names such as Martha Stewart, Donald Trump, Tommy Hilfiger, e-Spot electronics and Lush Cosmetics, this is the latest example of an exclusive partnership with a leading brand that differentiates the merchandise assortments at Macy's."
Scholastic Media’s ‘Goosebumps’ to Become Feature Film From Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures has acquired from Scholastic Media the right to adapt Scholastic's bestselling Goosebumps book series into a theatrical feature. The film will be produced by Deborah Forte and Neal H. Moritz. Goosebumps is one of the most popular series of books for children—in fact, only the Harry Potter novels have surpassed Goosebumps in total sales. New
books written by R.L. Stine hit stores last month and, this fall, Scholastic Interactive unveils a highly anticipated
Commenting on the announcement, Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures, says, "Goosebumps is an international multi-media phenomenon, a truly global brand that excites kids everywhere. Children and parents alike love the Goosebumps series—it's safe, scary fun that is completely accessible to audiences from 8 to 80. When kids think of Goosebumps, they're drawn not to a single character or mini-series, but to an entire environment. We're excited by that creative challenge and, with so much rich source material available to us, we expect to deliver a film that will chill and thrill fans of this unique family-friendly franchise."
The studio will begin developing the first Goosebumps movie immediately. Andrea Giannetti will oversee the project on behalf of the studio, working closely with Original Films and Scholastic.
Gap T-Shirts to Feature Contemporary Artists
Building on its long history of supporting the arts, Gap has introduced Artist Editions T-Shirts, a limited edition collection of T-shirts designed by 13 of today's most influential contemporary artists, including Chuck Close, Jeff Koons, Marilyn Minter, Kiki Smith, Cai Guo-Qiang, Barbara Kruger, Ashley Bickerton, Kenny Scharf, Glenn Ligon, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kerry James Marshall, Hanna Liden, and Sarah Sze.
"We're honored to have the opportunity to partner with such a distinguished and diverse group of artists," says Marka Hansen, president of Gap brand North America. "This collaboration celebrates the intersection of art and fashion and enables people to access contemporary art in a different way. These 13 works of art speak the importance of creative expression and individuality, and we can't wait for our customers to experience them in their own way."
Gap worked in close partnership with New York's Whitney Museum of American Art and Art Production Fund to create the collection with the 13 artists, who are all previous Whitney Biennial participants. The Whitney Biennial is a special exhibition held every two years at the Whitney Museum of American Art that features the most important contemporary art in the United States. Gap is a proud sponsor of the 2008 Whitney Biennial, currently on view at the Whitney until June 1, 2008.
The limited edition collection is available exclusively at select Gap stores in the United States, Canada, the UK, and franchise markets, as well as online in the United States at gap.com. It's also available at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and at Colette, a Paris-based boutique.
PopCo Continues With Licensing Business
Following the acquisition by Hornby of the brand name Corgi, the tooling, and the inventory for the Corgi die-cast range, the remaining parts of the business—PopCo and Master Replicas—will continue to produce their existing licenses for toys, collectible, and prop replicas. The new business name is likely to be PopCo Entertainment.
PopCo’s licenses include Harry Potter, Nintendo, Beatles, James Bond, Disney, Star Trek, and Halo.
Managing director Denis Horton says, “Our objective is to become the industry’s leading popular culture company. The sale of the Corgi die-cast collector business will allow us to focus on our key licenses and two, strong pop culture brands that concentrate on the younger consumer and retailers that cater for the younger gateway collector.”
MGM Consumer Products Signs Rocket Licensing for UK and Eire
Rocket Licensing has signed with MGM Consumer Products to represent MGM’s consumer products campaigns in the UK and The Republic of Ireland (excluding the Pink Panther brand).
The Rocket Licensing initiative will include campaigns for classic MGM films and franchises such as
The Great Escape
, (which celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2009),
The Good The Bad and The Ugly
The Magnificent Seven
, as well as popular television properties such as “Stargate Atlantis.”
“We are delighted to begin a working partnership with Rocket Licensing. They combine great relationships with retailers and licensees with a real flair for entertainment licensing,” says Travis Rutherford, executive vice president of MGM Consumer Products and Location Based Entertainment.
Rocket Licensing’s Charlie Donaldson says, “We now represent the most exciting roster of entertainment brands in the UK and this delivers a
phenomenal opportunity to create some fantastic product.”
Taffy’s ‘Dive Olly Dive’ Joins PBS Kids Sprout Network
PBS Kids Sprout has secured United States broadcast rights to “Dive Olly Dive!,” the award-winning, high-definition CGI-animated underwater adventure series from Taffy Entertainment. The preschool-oriented show is scheduled to debut June 7 within Sprout’s original weekend morning block, “The Let’s Go Show.”
“‘Dive Olly Dive’ is the perfect addition to our ‘Let’s Go Show’ weekend morning block, which is all about fun, exploration, and learning,” says Andrew Beecham, senior vice president of programming for Sprout. “The rich animation, charming storylines, and positive messages in every episode are sure to engage our young viewers, as well as their parents and caregivers.”
Trump Home Enters Fragrance Market
The Trump Organization has partnered with Pearlessence Ltd. to create a collection of home fragrance products, which will launch at July’s 2008 Las Vegas Market.
The Trump Home fragrance collection will include reed diffusers, scented candles, aromatic decorative objects, and exclusive botanical inspired items, which are new to the home fragrance market.
The Trump Home fragrance collection follows the success of the internationally distributed Trump Home program, which includes furniture with Lexington Home Brands, lighting with Elk Lighting, floor fashion with Miresco Decorative Rugs, and room accessories with IMAX Corporation.
Hot Topic, Viz Team for Special ‘Death Note’ Theatrical Promotion
Anime entertainment company Viz Media LLC will partner with music and pop culture retailer Hot Topic Inc. to promote the upcoming North American theatrical debut of the live-action film,
, which is based on the popular animated and manga (graphic novel) property. As part of the special promotion, customers who purchase a
T-shirt or DVD in select Hot Topic stores will receive a free ticket to attend the film event, while supplies last. More information on the premiere of
is available atwww.deathnotefilms.com
theatrical film event occurs on May 20 and 21 in 300 cities nationwide. Hot Topic will support the event in nearly 300 stores with in-store signage and special areas in each location offering a variety of Death Note apparel and related merchandise, including DVDs and other accessories.
EA’s New Hasbro Video Game is Six Games in One
From the Casual Entertainment Label of Electronic Arts Inc. comes
Hasbro Family Game Night
, launching fall 2008 on Wii and the PlayStation2. The title features six games, including
Battleship, Yahtzee, Boggle, Connect Four, Sorry!
, and the all-new
“We’re giving families a new way to bond and play together,” says Chip Lange, vice president and general manager of EA’s Casual Entertainment Label. “
Hasbro Family Game Night
offers parents and their children a digital party experience full of classic brands they know and love. Between original and new rule settings, an easy-to-play party mode and a customizable game room feature, the variety and choice promise hours of fun family play.”
New Balance to Produce Sesame Street Sneakers for Kids
New Balance and non-profit Sesame Workshop have entered into an agreement that will see New Balance producing a range of Sesame Street branded sneakers for kids, hitting shelves in July of 2008. The shoes will debut at Finish Line, Foot Locker, Hibbett Sports and others, in addition to New Balance’s own stores.
DKNY Children’s Apparel On Its Way to United States
Donna Karan International and Parigi Group Ltd. entered into a licensing agreement to develop the DKNY children’s wear collection for the United States, launching Fall 2008. Under the terms of the agreement, the DKNY children’s wear collection will be sold in better department and specialty stores in designated DKNY children’s wear sales environments. The DKNY children’s wear line will include segments for girls, boys, infant, toddler, and layette.
“The children’s apparel business is a natural extension of the DKNY brand. It is a huge opportunity for us at Parigi to build upon the tremendous success of all of the DKNY apparel and accessory categories,” states Marco Srour, president of Parigi Group Ltd. “Together we will be able to provide the best quality children’s clothes with a fresh approach to merchandising and retail presentation.”
‘Ben 10’ Gears Up With Licensees
Cartoon Network’s action adventure show “Ben 10” has signed up six more licensees across categories including apparel, bedding, food, and publishing, resulting in some 25 UK licenses coming to market this year.
Blueprint Collections will unveil a range of stationery, pencil cases, gadgets, and school sets in June, and Flair Leisure is on board to produce toys including a jigsaw book, shakermaker, comic-maker, and pocket Etch a Sketch. Pyramid adds posters, badges, key rings, and calendars, and Gemma its range of cards, wrap, and tags. For outdoorsy “Ben 10” fans, MV Sports will produce Ben 10 bikes, scooters, skates, pads, and helmets. Mr Lucky Bags adds activity, toy, and confectionery-filled Ben 10 Lucky Bags.
There are now 30 Ben 10 licensees covering the UK.
Brown Shoe and Recording Artist Fergie Team for Footwear
Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and actress Fergie will team with Brown Shoe to create a namesake shoe brand, appealing to fashionistas and Fergie fans alike.
Brown Shoe product developers are collaborating with Fergie to capture her style sensibilities in a debut collection for spring 2009. Retailers can take a sneak peek at early designs at the June 2008 Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFANY) shoe show. Plans for the launch of Fergie footwear include a dedicated Web site and personal appearances.
"I have always loved fashion because it's a great way to express your mood. And I'm definitely a shoe lover," says Fergie. "The right pair of shoes can change the feel of an outfit, and even change how a woman feels about herself. A woman can wear confidence on her feet with a high stiletto, or slip into weekend comfort with a soft ballet flat."
The partnership was facilitated by Fergie's marketing agents at Wilhelmina Artist Management.
The Licensing Machine and SIC Join Forces
The Licensing Machine, a new division of Panini UK, covering TV, home video, promotional, merchandise, marketing, and licensing services, and SIC, the independent commercial TV channel broadcasting in Portugal, have signed a deal on TV animated series “Naruto” and “FullMetal Alchemist.”
“Naruto” will premiere on SIC Radical in the original uncut subtitled version in July 2008 and SIC will premiere the children’s Portuguese version for back to school this year. “FullMetal Alchemist” is also on-air later this year in an original subtitled version.
Surface View and V&A Images Launch Bespoke Print Service
Interiors specialist Surface View, in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, have partnered to produce bespoke large-scale canvases of prints (of up to 3m by 3m) from the V&A collections.
Surface View has digitally re-mastered over 140 images from V&A’s collections. High-resolution digital files for each image allow for use of crops and enlargements, enabling online customers to create an interior feature, by choosing the size and editing the image to their taste.
Canvas sizes range from 1000mm x 1000mm up to 3000mm x 3000mm. A linen textured finish, rather than the standard canvas, and the best quality coating technology allow the colors to be vibrant and long-lasting.
TV-Loonland Sells Back Hasbro Library and Gains Offer for Metrodome
TV-Loonland has sold its rights to the Hasbro Classics Library back to Hasbro for $7 million, in the same week that it has been made an offer for its stake in its UK subsidiary Metrodome.
The Metrodome deal sees MediaPro Management of Bucharest, Romania, initially purchasing a 50.1% stake in Metrodome from TV-Loonland’s 61.7% holding. The deal values TV-Loonland entire stake at approximately £2 million (€2.5 million).
TV-Loonland bought the Hasbro Classics Library, which includes titles “Transformers,” “My Little Pony,” and “G.I. Joe,” from Sony BMG in December 2000.
Simon Flamank, chief executive of TV-Loonland, comments, “The effect of these transactions has enabled the group to repay all of its remaining €5 million of bank debt and therefore become a debt free business for the first time in the past seven years, which was always our first objective.
“We will now consider further the various alternative scenarios which may exist for the remaining core children’s animation business and in particular the new properties that we have been developing. The remaining operative business and its current properties such as ‘Little Princess,’ ‘The Owl,’ ‘Raymond,’ ‘Penelope,’ and ‘Pat and Stan’ will now benefit from our Hasbro transaction as we look to increase the value of the company again.”
The acquisition of the Sunbow library increases Hasbro’s content library to nearly 2,000 episodes of programming covering over 30 brands. “As we deliver new immersive entertainment experiences to audiences worldwide, it was extremely important that we had the rights to fully control the usage of our intellectual properties,” says Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s COO. “Entertainment is becoming increasingly important in helping us to strengthen and build our brands globally, and this will enable us to engage consumers in new and exciting ways.”
‘Electric Company’ Re-Charges Back Onto Television
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street,” announced that it’s ‘turning on the power’ to its classic children’s series, “The Electric Company,” with new production currently underway on the streets of New York City and in a studio in Newark, New Jersey. With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Department of Education, today’s “The Electric Company” carries the same goal of the original series, combating the literacy crisis facing America’s second graders, but is re-energized to recognize the media-driven generation of today.
Targeted at 6-9 year-olds, the new version of “The Electric Company” is a multi-media, multi-platform literacy campaign charged with reducing the literacy gap between low and middle-income families and advance the ideal that ‘reading is cool.’ Weekly episodes are slated to run nationally in Jan. 2009 on PBS Kids, and will be supplemented with a richly interactive online environment as well as community-based outreach activities taking place in 20 cities across the country.
The Electric Company platforms will focus initially on TV, outreach, and broadband, but will extend over time to include books and other print materials, portable media, hand-held and console games.
Capcom Partners With Devil’s Due for Comic Books
Comic book publisher Devil’s Due Productions and video game publisher Capcom have signed an expansive deal that will see Devil's Due launch four new titles based on Capcom game properties, including
"DDP is very excited to be joining forces with Capcom," says DDP President Josh Blaylock. "Not only are these awesome games, but they have great stories behind them ripe for comics, including a vintage classic with Bionic Commando that's been revived along with the new sequel."
More details about Devil's Due's plans for Bionic Commando, Lost Planet, and other new Capcom books will be announced at July's San Diego Comic-Con.
HIT Entertainment and South Star Sign Strategic Agreement
HIT Entertainment has signed a strategic agreement with Southern Star International to represent two of its preschool shows, “Bear Behaving Badly” and “The Beeps
”in the UK.
The deal covers all UK home entertainment rights for both pre-school properties with new releases scheduled for this year.
“Bear Behaving Badly,” produced by Darrall McQueen for the BBC in the UK, is a live-action series and is currently broadcast on CBBC and BBC1 in the UK.
“The Beeps” is an Impossible Television production for Five UK.
Barbie Launches First Adult Program in the UK
Mattel has launched Barbie’s first UK adult accessories program with giftware company Half Moon Bay.
Using imagery from the Barbie archive, Half Moon Bay has created bags, vanity cases, and umbrellas, as well as stationery and cards that use some of the original 1950s and 1960s artwork.
The range, which goes into stores in May, is the first in a series of initiatives from Mattel UK’s brand licensing team to develop the adult proposition for the brand.
Claire Atherton, licensing director, Mattel Brands, explains: “In 2009 we will be celebrating Barbie’s 50th Anniversary and we feel the time is right to develop a targeted adult collection of giftware and accessories. The range really plays on the nostalgia of the brand and uses some of the great art that we have from her rich history.”
Chapman Entertainment Signs Telescreen for Roary in Benelux
Chapman Entertainment has signed a deal with Telescreen to be licensing agent for Roary the Racing Car in Benelux.
Chapman director of licensing, Val Fry says, “Telescreen is a leading licensing agency in Benelux, and has the experience and know how to help place Roary in pole position in these territories.”
Hanny Brands, Benelux licensing director at Telescreen, comments, “Roary is a beautiful pre-school series of which all of us at Telescreen believe it is a fantastic brand for the development of a fun and high-quality merchandising program; a valuable addition to Telescreen’s licensing catalogue.”
Bandai has the master toy license and Telescreen is set to expand the licensing program and incorporate further categories.
Since launching in the UK in May last year Roary has signed 31 British licensees and the TV series has been sold to 60 territories.
Strum Along with SpongeBob
Nickelodeon UK has awarded a license to John Hornby Skewes to produce SpongeBob-branded electric guitars, ukuleles, and other real musical instruments.
JHS, a worldwide distributor of musical merchandise, instrument amplification and pro-audio equipment, already has a SpongeBob Uke and Junior acoustic guitar in the market. It will be expand its SpongeBob range during 2008 with a Junior electric guitar, a full size electric guitar outfit, and two new SpongeBob ukes, decorated with images of the character.
New Barbie Bike Lets Girls Ride Along With Barbie
This May, Mattel’s Barbie “gears” up for National Bike Month with the all-new “Ride with Me” Barbie Bicycle from licensee Dynacraft, allowing girls to ride with a Barbie doll for the first time ever. The “Ride with Me” Barbie bicycle includes a pink, removable, Barbie-sized bike that attaches to the handle bar, so a Barbie doll can ride along with girls or can be removed for increased toy play.
“A big part of a girl’s life is playing outdoors and the ‘Ride with Me’ Barbie Bicycle is a great way to infuse ‘play’ and fun into being active,” says Rosa Zeegers, vice president, consumer products, Mattel Brands. “The unique ‘Ride with Me’ Barbie Bicycle feature lets girls ride safely alongside Barbie, letting them bring a little bit of the imagination and friendship they have with their favorite doll on every bike ride adventure.”
The “Ride with Me” Barbie Bicycle is available now at major retailers.
Blockbuster Properties Screen at Brand Licensing Europe
Four of the world’s leading movie studios will descend on London this October to present the hottest Hollywood properties to the European licensing industry.
Marvel, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, and Warner Brothers Consumer Products will unveil licensing opportunities across a wide range of categories from features films and TV shows including
Ice Age 3, Avatar, Fantastic Mr Fox, Iron Man 2, Wolverine, Spectacular Spider-Man, Super Hero Squad, Thor, Captain America
Sizzles, trailers, teasers and film footage will be screened at BLE’s Screening Suite, which is a purpose-built cinema housed in the Pillar Room at Olympia’s Grand Hall. The Screening Suite was first launched in 2006 and has since been doubled in size by organiser Advanstar Communications, which also publishes License! Global.
The studios will be among more than 200 exhibitors lining up at Brand Licensing Europe, which takes place in London on Oct. 1 and 2.
David Binnie, general manager, Warner Bros. Consumer Products UK says, “We are delighted to be returning to Brand Licensing in 2008. Over a very short period of time we have noticed an impressive increase in the attendance of retail buyers and European visitors to the show. This coupled with the bespoke screening suite facilities positions BLE as must attend event in our licensing calendar.”
m4e Brings ‘Winx Club’ Film to Cinemas
German brand management and media specialist m4e AG in Gruenwald has acquired the rights to the film
Winx Club— The Secret of the Lost Kingdom
from the Italian production studio Rainbow. m4e will bring the 3D animated adventure, which is based on the TV series “Winx Club” to German cinemas on Sept. 4, 2008.
This s the first feature film launch from m4e, who will be supported by the Munich film agency 24 Bilder. 24 Bilder was responsible for the recent distribution of the Oscar-premiered film
and the German comedy
. In the PR field, m4e AG works with the Public Insight agency, and Promotionshaus deals with promotions.
Bennett Schneir, most recently vice president of creative affairs for ImageMovers Digital, is joining Hasbro in the newly created position of senior vice president and managing director, motion pictures. Based in Los Angeles, Mr. Schneir will serve as Hasbro’s lead creative executive for feature films, focused on the company’s new six-year strategic partnership with Universal Pictures. Mr. Schneir will work closely with Lisa Licht, who joined Hasbro earlier this year as general manager of entertainment and licensing.
Shari Black has been promoted to senior vice president, retail business development for Warner Bros. Consumer Products. In her new position, Black will hold responsibility for Warner Bros. Consumer Products’ retail sales, marketing, promotions, and merchandising strategies. She will be responsible for identifying growth opportunities for all key product categories and retailers in order to sustain current business initiatives as well as securing incremental revenue and marketing exposure for Warner Bros. Entertainment brands.
Guenther Hake has been promoted to senior vice president and managing director, Disney Consumer Products and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE) in China. Hake will drive an integrated business, including DCP’s licensing business and the sales teams for DCP and WDSHE, and develop the Disney brand to create an immersive experience for Chinese consumers.
Target Entertainment has appointed Helen Howells to the newly created position of global brand director. Howells was formerly director of international licensing, at Target. Her brief is to commercially drive Target’s brands across all platforms and media on a global basis working with all Target’s departments, including TV, film, licensing, and DVD. Howells began her career with S4C International. She joined Target in 2004 from entertainment company 4 Kids Entertainment.
Family entertainment producer and distributor Chorion is expanding its London-based retail and licensing teams with the appointment of David Walton as senior retail manager, Europe and the promotion of Melanie Humberstone-Garley as UK territory manager. Walton will be responsible for driving retail for all Chorion brands across the UK and Europe, with an emphasis on cross-category activity. He joins Chorion from Hasbro UK. Olivia Rodgers, retail and promotions executive, will work with Walton, focusing on the UK toy and gift categories, retail promotions and live events. Humberstone-Garley takes up the post of UK territory manager with responsibility for delivery of Chorion’s UK licensing revenue targets, managing a team of four. She has worked at Chorion as UK senior licensing manager since Oct. 2007.
Entertainment Rights Plc has appointed Fabian Milburn, formerly senior vice president of business operations at Oxygen Media LLC, to the position of senior vice president, business affairs, North America and global digital. Based at the Company’s North American headquarters in New York, Milburn will also work closely with Entertainment Rights’ international team on its global digital strategy roll out.
Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG) has promoted Marianne Kittinger to head of design, Europe, succeeded by Stacy Scimia, who has been promoted to Product Development Manager, UK. Kittinger will work on corporate branding, overseeing the product design processes for all offices, including designing styleguides, product concepts and presentations. She will also manage the implementation across all territories of ©PASS, CPLG’s paper-free approval system that has been effective in the UK office for the last 12 months.
UK gift company Rainbow Designs has appointed two new sales executives. Joanne Slator and Stephen Baison have been brought on board to strengthen Rainbow’s sales team for the company’s expanding portfolio of gifts and toy products.
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