Weekly E-news, Issue #268, June 10, 2008

Safeway, WB Partner on Healthy Eating Line for KidsWarner Bros’ characters such as Tweety and Bugs Bunny are banding together with Safeway, one of the biggest supermarket chains in the country, to promote healthier eating among kids.The charact

April 6, 2018

Safeway, WB Partner on Healthy Eating Line for Kids


Warner Bros’ characters such as Tweety and Bugs Bunny are banding together with Safeway, one of the biggest supermarket chains in the country, to promote healthier eating among kids.

The characters are shying away from almost all unhealthy fare in favor of the retailer’s new Eating Right Kids line that will debut this summer across 30 categories including dairy, snacks, and beverages.

As part of the licensing deal product packaging will feature Warner Bros. characters including Sylvester, Wile E. Coyote, Roadrunner, Marvin the Martian and Daffy Duck. The products incorporate guidelines from agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.

American Greetings, Paramount Team Up on Movie-Themed Line


American Greetings and Paramount Licensing have signed a multi-year deal giving the greeting card manufacturer access to the expansive library of movie titles from the film studio. The new line of social

expressions hit stores in July 2008 with ornaments and calendars rolling out later in the year. Available titles range from classics such as

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

and

The Godfather

to more current movies such as the upcoming comedy adventure

Hotel for Dogs.

“Paramount’s incredible library of films gives us the opportunity to capture the iconic images and famous lines that have become a part of our culture, to create truly memorable greeting cards for all consumers,” said Mike Brown, vice president of licensing at American Greetings. “We are looking forward to a very long and successful alliance.”

Another “Sex in the City” star seeks name in fashion


Kristin Davis, famous for playing Charlotte York in the

Sex in the City

series, is launching an exclusive, self-titled line of clothing in North Carolina-based Belk department stores this fall. Davis grew up in South Carolina and shopped at Belk stores growing up.

The line will include apparel, sleepwear and handbags and will be priced from $38 to $240.

Paramount Licensing, Daewoo Motor Team Up on Theme Park


Paramount Licensing and Daewoo Motor Sales Corp. have unveiled a completed master plan for the Paramount Pictures-branded theme park and resort complex to be developed in Incheon, South Korea. The park, scheduled to open in 2011, is expected to entertain approximately 5 million visitors annually. It will be the centerpiece of a $1.5 billion, 120-acre resort complex that will include a water park, two resort hotels, and an entertainment district.

The new destination will feature characters, attractions, and facilities based on Paramount Pictures’ history and motion pictures, as well as aspects of Korean entertainment and pop culture.  Films being incorporated into the attractions include

Mission: Impossible, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Grease, The Godfather,

and

Titanic.

In addition, DWMS has formed a joint venture company that will fund and assume ownership of the theme park.  PLI will not be a member of the joint venture or invest in the project, but is acting as licensor and managing the creative development of the park. 

“Paramount Movie Park Korea” and the surrounding amenities are designed to accommodate both day trips and overnight stays, catering to Korean and international visitors alike. The site is located near the Incheon International Airport.

“The first of its kind, ‘Paramount Movie Park Korea’ will be a landmark for Incheon and the country. The park’s convenient location in the city center and its resort amenities will make it a popular leisure destination. As seen with other destination theme parks around the world, we hope that the development of this park will spur further growth in the South Korean tourism industry,” said Dongho Lee, president and chief executive officer of DWMS.

TV-Loonland’s The Owl Adds Plush, TV, and Video


The international show “The Owl” is making in-roads around the globe with a host of new licensing agreements. The hit from TV-Loonland has a deal for a range of plush toys with No. 1 independent U.K. toy firm, Vivid Imaginations.

“We are fast-tracking production of a range of plush toys for this Christmas to reach territories where “The Owl” is already a hit including the United Kingdom, France, the United States and the Nordic region,” says Emma Sherski, Vivid’s marketing and licensing director.

Mediaset in Italy and RTVE in Spain are the latest broadcasters to pick up this series for TV placement and Spain’s Tribanda Pictures has secured home video rights.

“The Owl” is currently available on Verizon mobile network in the United States and will go live on U.K. operator ‘3’ this month with all other leading U.K. networks to follow in July.

“The Owl” continues to build momentum. Just one month after launch, “The Owl” ranked No. 3 overall across all U.K. multi-channels. FRANCE 3 decided created a special block called Chouette Toowam where the Owl introduces other TV series. The show is now sold into over 185 territories.

Chapman Entertainment opens own U.K. production studio


Chapman Entertainment is opening its own U.K. production studio in Altrincham, Cheshire, according to published reports. The new studio from the producer of the preschool animated series “Fifi” and the “Flowertots” and “Roary the Racing Car,” will be operational in July.

In line with the expansion Chapman has promoted two associates in its production crew—Emily Whinnett was named director of production and Nadia Harti head of production.

Neopets Set for Puzzle Adventure


Capcom Entertainment, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group’s Neopets are developing a new multi-platform puzzle adventure game, Neopets Puzzle Adventure for the Wii, Nintendo DS, and PC this holiday season. Neopets Puzzle Adventure is a new puzzle game being developed by Capcom and Infinite Interactive, developers of Puzzle Quest.

The game offers a fully integrated Neopets experience with 150 different quests across vast Neopian lands, a variety of the most popular customizable Neopets to choose from, and several fun mini-games to add depth and fun to gameplay. As a bonus to Neopets fans, players will be able to earn codes throughout the game that connect back to the Neopets site by achieving certain goals throughout the DS, Wii or PC game. These unique codes will allow players to unlock exclusive items back in their virtual world on neopets.com.

“As part of Neopets’ strategy to extend the property into a multiplatform brand, we are continuously giving our audiences new ways to play on and off of the site,” said Kyra Reppen, senior vice president and general manager, Neopets. “Our partnership with Capcom provides a new form of game play for Neopets that is relevant to the platforms our audience is using, and that complements the game play on the site.”

“Total Drama Island” Builds Global Momentum


Cake Distribution has sold its hit animated reality show “Total Drama Island” to Cartoon Network channels in the United States, Latin America, Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The store debuted most recently in the United States last week in primetime at 9pm with further launches following later in the year.

“We are excited to have secured the enthusiasm and support of such a large selection of channels within the Cartoon Network family in Europe, the Americas and beyond. Last week’s premier of “Total Drama Island” marked the start of a great demonstration that animation can still secure broad audiences,” says Edward Galton, managing director of Cake Distribution. 

Total Drama Island blends cartoon, sitcom, and event programming in a sequential elimination competition among 22 youths running over 26 episodes and leaving the audience with only one winner.

Lionsgate wins rights to first Little Tikes CGI animated series


In a multiyear deal, Lionsgate has secured the home entertainment distribution rights, including electronic sell-through and VOD, for the United States and Canada to product created under the new animated Little Tikes Entertainment label. Consisting of four CGI-animated stories, the first release under the new label — “Little Tikes Land” — is scheduled to hit retail this fall.

The Little Tikes announcement significantly expands Lionsgate’s existing relationship with MGA Entertainment, which began in 2006 with Bratz. The announcement continues Lionsgate’s momentum in the family genre, as it comes on the heels of the studio’s recent agreements with HIT Entertainment and LeapFrog Enterprises. Through those deals, Lionsgate became the exclusive distributor of HIT's catalog of children's non-theatrical product throughout North America and signed a worldwide agreement with LeapFrog to develop, produce, and distribute original direct-to-DVD features. With these agreements in place, Lionsgate expects its family home entertainment market share of non-theatrical product to grow to approximately 15%. 

Skunk Fu! Builds Momentum


Galleon Holdings plc is launching the Skunk Fu! merchandising line at this week’s Licensing Show in New York.  

The roll-out comes on the heels of Skunk Fu!’s launch on Cartoon Network on May 27.

Galleon has appointed The Sharpe Company as licensing agent for Skunk Fu! in North America and the Skunk Fu! toy line has been developed and made in-house by Croco Sourcing Worldwide, a wholly owned subsidiary of Galleon Holdings Plc.

Galleon is currently in talks with a DVD distribution partner for the United States.

Activision Releases Kung Fu Panda Video Game


Activision has launched the Kung Fu Panda video game based on DreamWorks Animation’s feature film. The game s now available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Wii and PlayStation3 computer entertainment system for a suggested retail price of $49.99, the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system for $39.99, Nintendo DS $29.99 and Games for Windows for $19.99.  

New Toys, Live Show Roll Out for VeggieTales


Big Idea is celebrating VeggieTales’ 15th anniversary in 2008 with an expanded licensing and merchandising campaign. The anniversary program will be led by a commemorative DVD release of “Where’s God When I’m S-Scared?,” new licensed product and an all-new VeggieTales Live Show beginning to roll out to consumers this summer.   

On Aug. 19, Big Idea and Genius Entertainment will release a special 15th anniversary DVD of VeggieTales’ first-ever animated video title, “Where’s God When I’m S-Scared?” Available just in time for Halloween, the DVD features two adventures that help kids learn valuable lessons about handling their fears.  

The VeggieTales crew are hitting the road again. The all-new “God Made You Special” Live Tour kicks-off this fall. The 10-week tour travels to more than 40 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada from September to November.  

Random House will also publish two new titles for VeggieTales this summer, “LarryBoy and the Fib from Outer Space” Little Golden Book and “Lyle the Kindly Viking” Little Golden Treasure.

Blue Box will expand its toy line with new SKUs hitting retail shelves this fall. Pint Sized Productions is also expanding their VeggieTales line with an assortment of new Bob and Larry plush items debuting in October. Additionally, a variety of new puzzles from Talicor will be added to the roster.

For holiday VeggieTales introduces a brand new line from Dicksons. There are over 10 new Christmas items including an assortment of VeggieTales themed ornaments, stockings and snow globes sure to melt anyone’s heart.   

And in apparel, Crossroads Apparel will roll out new toddler and youth sized The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything and Christmas-themed t-shirts this fall.

Casper Celebrates 60 scary Years


2009 marks the 60th anniversary of Casper The Friendly Ghost and Classic Media is gearing up for the big celebration with the launch of an expanded licensing program for key categories, including apparel, DVDs, music, digital content, games and social expressions beginning to roll out to retail in time for Halloween.

New partners include apparel licensees Local Celebrity, Mad Engine, Briefly Stated as well as Madacy (music), and renewed deals with American Greetings (social expressions) and MJC (men’s loungewear).  An all-new CGI Casper television series is also currently in production and slated for premiere in more than 60 territories next year.

This Halloween, Classic Media and Genius Products will release the first two volumes in the all-new Casper DVD collection—Casper: Trick-or-Treat Classic Collection Volume 1 and Casper & Wendy: Scare Up Some Fun Classic Collection Volume 2.  

Compedia has developed a line of CD-Rom games. Developed in cooperation with educators, the games will be available in over 31 countries and in 14 languages, the product debuts in North America later this year. 



Digimon Fans Can Customize Characters With Their Own Voice


Digimon, the popular Japanese brand featuring monsters living in a digital world, has pervaded almost all forms of media—anime, toys, video games, trading cards, TV, movies and more. Now Digimon characters are positioned to give fans the opportunity to experience their favorite characters in the digital world as well. Voki, a speaking avatar platform developed by Oddcast, launched a joint program that will give fans the power to record and upload voice to their favorite Digimon characters. Creations can then be shared through e-cards, social networking sites and blogs. Ten of the most popular Digimon characters can be customized including Agumon, Masaru, Gaomon, Thomas and Kudamon.

“Digimon has been a global innovator in broadcast media, toys, games and now the Internet. We are breaking new ground with this powerful extension of the Digimon brand,” says Kanji Kazahaya, director of the international department for the Toei Animation Co., the global animation studio behind Digimon.

Thomas & Friends Movie Goes Direct to DVD with Pierce Brosnan As Narrator


Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment are releasing the first-ever feature length Thomas & Friends DVD movie on Sept. 9 with a SRP of $19.95.

The movie is narrated by Pierce Brosnan and will be supported by the biggest, fully-integrated marketing campaign of the year including TV, print, and online extending from August-November.

DIC Rolls Out Expansive Plans for Top Licenses


In fall 2008, DIC will debut an expanded line of Mommy & Me branded merchandise at Wal-Mart.  In 2009, DIC will extend the program to all retailers with new partners in categories, such as toys, infant, tools, apparel, and publishing.

The evergreen girls’ brand, Strawberry Shortcake, continues to evolve as an entertainment franchise with $2.5 billion in worldwide retail sales since its 2003 re-launch, and over 500 licensees around the globe.

DIC and American Greetings have additional plans for Strawberry Shortcake in 2008. Some of the new projects include a new classic Strawberry Shortcake program targeted to tweens, teens and young adults for the specialty, mid-tier and, for the first time, mass markets, as well as the first classic infant/toddler program for the mass market. The launch of the new programs will coincide with the 30th anniversary of the character in 2010.

The brand will also see fresh themes (dance, Western, music), content, categories and distribution channels in 2008.  The new product lines will include DVD releases (Fox Home Entertainment), toys (Playmates), books (Penguin Putnam) and music (Koch), as well as continued broadcast network coverage on the Saturday morning children’s programming block, “Kewlopolis” on CBS, QSR promotions and online growth.

In Europe, DIC has signed a deal with fashion designer and retailer H&M to create a wide range of Strawberry Shortcake branded apparel and accessories to be exclusively distributed in fall 2008 in more than 35 countries (Western & Central Europe, Scandinavia, Middle-East, U.S., and Japan).

Warner Bros. Prepare Big Initiative Behind Batman and Harry Potter


With a robust product line, The Dark Knight has created a new level of momentum for Batman that will carry Warner Bros. Consumer Products and its partners into 2009 and beyond. The film will continue to lend itself to original opportunities from such licensees as Mattel, Rubie’s Costumes, LOT 29, Thinkway Toys, Six Flags, Noble, EV.R. Inc., and Digital Blue.

The new television series Batman: The Brave and the Bold will be featured at this year’s Licensing Show.  The show is slated to air on Cartoon Network in the U.S. beginning in 2009 with an international roll-out to follow. Master toy licensee Mattel will lead the charge with a robust merchandising program to come. A new line of LEGO Batman merchandise will be featured at the Licensing Show and debuting in U.S. retail stores nationwide this fall.  The line includes fashion separates (C. Life), accessories (Berkshire), back-to-school supplies (Accessory Network), T-shirts (Giant) and sleepwear sets (AME).

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is slated for release around the world in November 2008 and will be supported by merchandise from licensees including PopCo Entertainment Ltd (formerly Corgi International), Noble Collection, NECA, Mattel, Panini, DeAgostini, Giant Merchandising, Tonner Doll, Gentle Giant, and Jibbitz.

Six Flag Theme Park Goes Virtual


Brash Entertainment and Six Flags are partnering on a video game for PlayStation 2, Wii, and Nintendo DS to debut this fall in North America. The game creates a virtual theme park and allows players to create their own characters and win prizes.

Horrid Henry Hits the Road


Novel Entertainment and Watershed Productions are bringing Horrid Henry to the stage in a U.K. tour this August. Horrid Henry — Live and Horrid! opens at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre on Aug. 28 and runs until Sept. 13. After that Henry goes on a nationwide tour with stops in St George’s Hall, Bradford, the Swan Theatre in High Wycombe, and the Churchill Theatre, Bromley. The tour will extend into 2009.

Horrid Henry books were first published in 1993 and later became a popular TV show.

Meijer promoting Jeep line of camping gear


Beginning this month, Jeep Consumer Products will begin promoting its new line of camping gear at Meijer. JCP is driving interest in the new licensing effort with in-store promotions and a sweepstakes that will allow consumers to win a trip to the Grand Canyon. The line includes sleeping bags, tents, and duffels.

Waverly on International Expansion Roll


NexCen Brands is bringing the Waverly brand to Greece, and eventually to The Balkans, Romania, Albania, Serbia, and Bulgaria via home furnishings retailer Bed and Bath. Bed and Bath will offer an expansive array of products including sheets, pillowcases, blankets, comforters, quilts, towels, rugs, throws, table linens, and mattresses.

“The relationship with Bed and Bath S.A. is a key move toward the goal to expand Waverly into a more global presence.  Waverly is already a highly recognizable name in the U.S. and will be welcomed by loyal consumers internationally,” says Rick Platt, president of NexCen Home Studios.

Executive Moves

Weight Watchers Creates New Licensing Position
Weight Watchers International has appointed Dana Kuperman to the newly formed position of director of licensing business development. Under Kuperman’s leadership, the organization will accelerate the efforts to build a pipeline of new licensees that extend the Weight Watchers brand and help meet the needs of weight-conscious consumers in a variety of product categories. Kuperman will develop new licensing programs, partnerships and retail relationships with a focus on packaged foods, restaurants, food retailers and hard goods. Based at the company’s headquarters in New York City, Kuperman brings more than 15 years of experience in licensing, brand management and business development to her new role. Most recently, she served as regional director of international projects for the nonprofit education organization for Sesame Workshop.
Warner Consumer Products Promotes Ziehl
Barry Ziehl has been named senior vice president of worldwide public relations and marketing for Warner Bros. Consumer Products. In this new role, Ziehl will continue to drive the global public relations efforts for WBCP and its affiliated entertainment brands, as well as oversee the DC Comics and franchise films marketing group within WBCP.
Ziehl will maintain his responsibilities for the global development and strategic implementation of public relations activities for worldwide licensing, retail, promotional and marketing initiatives for all properties represented by Warner Bros. Consumer Products. 
Hot Topic Taps Senior Executives
Michael Crooke was named Hot Topic division president. Crooke was formerly president of Patagonia Inc. In addition, Jerry Cook was named chief operating officer of the teen apparel retailer.
American Greetings Properties Adds Two to Marketing Team
American Greetings Properties has appointed Julie Davis senior brand manager and Matt Schweitzer as brand manager. Both Davis and Schweitzer will be based out of the New York City office.
As senior brand manager, Davis will focus on building and maintaining brand awareness, developing and managing marketing programs and liaising with key internal departments.  Her main responsibilities will be for classic properties, Care Bears and Holly Hobbie and emerging AGP brands such as Maryoku Yummy.  As brand manager, Schweitzer will be responsible for developing and executing plans for merchandising the company’s proprietary brands with a focus on Strawberry Shortcake, Sushi Pack, Twisted Whiskers and Madballs.
Discovery Communications bolsters senior staff
Discovery Communications has appointed Julie Robertson vice president, domestic licensing and Jo Edwards has been promoted to vice president, international licensing.
Robertson brings to Discovery more than 20 years experience in brand marketing and product development and will lead and manage all aspects of Discovery?s domestic licensing enterprise and develop new strategies for growth through complementary brand extension initiatives including cross-divisional programs and external partnerships.
An eight-year veteran of Discovery?s international licensing operations, Edwards has built partnerships with licensees to develop consumer product categories that are closely aligned with Discovery's core brands and properties throughout Europe, including American Chopper and Miami Ink product lines. Edwards also played an integral role in the launch of Discovery?s international home video line, including the successful releases of Deadliest Catch, Meerkat Manor and Everest.

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