Weekly E-news, Issue #270, June 24, 2008

Untitled DocumentCourt Blocks Cookie Jar and DIC Merger Cookie Jar has entered into a definitive agreement to merge with DIC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (DIC) and an Ohio Court has blocked the deal.Under the terms of the agreement, Cookie Jar wil

April 6, 2018

Court Blocks Cookie Jar and DIC Merger 


Cookie Jar has entered into a definitive agreement to merge with DIC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (DIC) and an Ohio Court has blocked the deal.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cookie Jar will pay approximately $31.5 million for all of the issued and outstanding equity in DIC in a transaction valued at approximately $87.6 million. DIC will continue as a subsidiary of Cookie Jar, which will remain a private company.


The deal will create one of the world’s largest independent children’s entertainment and education companies with an extensive portfolio of proprietary and licensed brands, and an animation library with nearly 6,000 half-hours of programming.

Following the announcement of the merger, American Greetings Corp. obtained a temporary restraining order blocking the proposed deal claming the sale “could violate AG’s rights as the owner of Strawberry Shortcake as set forth in its agreement with DIC.” AG claimed that its agreement with DIC from 2001

prohibits sale without AG’s consent and the company did notconsent.

Said Josef Mandelbaum, president and CEO, Intellectual Properties Group, American Greetings: "We are deeply disappointed that it had to come to this as it was not our desire to seek legal action. We were very open to having a conversation with Cookie Jar and DIC; however, they declined to engage in meaningful discussions with us.  With that said, we need to make sure we are doing all we can to protect one of our greatest intellectual properties in Strawberry Shortcake."

Said Cookie Jar’s CEO Michael Hirsh. “This transaction will bring together two dynamic and successful organizations with a shared passion for excellence in children’s entertainment. With the greater scale and resources of the combined company, we will be in a much stronger position to deliver on our promise of bringing the best entertainment and educational content to children and families around the world through the medium of their choice.”

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with Cookie Jar’s highly respected team,” said DIC’s chairman and CEO Andy Heyward. “Our two organizations are a perfect fit, with compelling brands, strong licensing and merchandising capabilities and a commitment to quality programming.”

The deal, which is subject to approval by DIC’s shareholders and expected to close by Fall 2008, must first settle the injucntion by American Greetings.

RC2 Acquires CPD Publishing


RC2 Corp. announced the acquisition of the Children’s Publishing Division (CPD) of Publications International, Ltd.

CPD, which sells more than 10 million books annually, has long-standing relationships with key children’s property licensors. CPD’s products, which include electronic books, story books, Story Reader and Poingo, are sold at toy, mass merchandising, warehouse clubs and book retailers throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Curt Stoelting, CEO of RC2, said, “The children’s publishing business is a strong strategic fit with our Learning Curve brand and creates an early learning platform which complements both our Mom, Infant and Toddler and Preschool product segments. CPD’s children’s book portfolio and its licensing relationships will leverage RC2’s operating infrastructure and enhance the growth opportunities for our Learning Curve brand.”

CPD’s net sales for the 12 months ended March 31, 2008 were $112.0 million. The deal is expected to close in July, 2008.

Chorion Signs Exim for Mr. Men and Little Miss


Chorion has signed Exim Licensing Group for its Mr. Men & Little Miss publishing-based brand for merchandising and promotions in Latin America, the Caribbean and Hispanic Puerto Rico.

Exim Licensing Group’s clients include WWE, Discovery Channel, United Media, MGM, American Greetings, DIC Entertainment, Nelvana, Pokemon and HIT Entertainment.

The Mr. Men & Little Miss property is based on the book series by Roger Hargreaves, which has sold more than 100 million books worldwide and the licensing program targets adults, teens and tweens with funky, fashion forward merchandise.

Viz Media Creates Publishing Entity


Viz Media has announced that one of its parent companies, Japanese publisher Shueisha, Inc., has made an investment in Shogakukan Production Company Ltd., the licensing and merchandising subsidiary of Japanese publisher Shogakukan, Inc., another of VIZ Media’s parent companies. ShoPro will be renamed Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions Co., Ltd. According to Viz, the new entity will help streamline operations and increase flexibility to license titles for global manga and anime markets.

Scholastic’s “Wordgirl” Honored


Scholastic Media’s animated children’s series

Wordgirl

, produced by its Boston-based, Soup2Nuts, has won a Daytime Emmy award for “Outstanding Writing in Animation.”  The series airs on PBS Kids Go!.

Taffy Signs Book Licensing Deal


The MoonScoop Group's Taffy Entertainment announced an agreement with Italy-based Atlantyca Entertainment’s newly-established content-publishing division to produce a novelty book based on the popular animated kids' TV series “Code Lyoko.”  

The deal also marks the first licensing pact for Atlantyca’s new division, which expects to develop additional entertainment properties into novel books, with plans to publish approximately 50 products annually, according to Pietro Marietti, chairman of Atlantyca Entertainment.  


Atlantyca will create a series of four books for “Code Lyoko,” the first of which will be available by early 2009. Code Lyoko is a fantasy action-adventure series currently airing in over 100 countries.

Waldo Celebrates 21 with New Product Line


In honor of Waldo’s 21st birthday, Entertainment Rights is launching a multimedia marketing campaign and consumer products program aimed at 20-somethings––the generation that grew up with this character. Waldo is branching out into a number of new product lines including:

  • Digital. An official Waldo online presence has been established on social networking sites including Facebook, MySpace and Bebo. "The Great Online Photo Hunt" has launched on Flickr at http://canyoufindwaldo.com/flickr. A user-generated tool-kit providing Waldo Watchers with official character art, scenes, images, icons and graphics debuted last week. Waldo's new online destination, www.canyoufindwaldo.com/, will launch in September, timed to his 21st birthday.
    • Publishing. Candlewick Press is releasing new Waldo editions, including The Ultimate Travel Collection-a compact, travel-friendly bind-up of five classic Waldo titles, publishing this June. An additional title will follow this fall.
      • Apparel and Accessories. Local Celebrity, will roll out a line of Waldo-themed young men's and juniors' T-shirts. The on-trend screen printed shirts will be at hip department and specialty stores and boutiques in fall 2008. In addition, bags, headwear, wallets and luggage tags from BioWorld are being rolled out.
        • Halloween. Costumes will be available by fall 2008 through a new partnership with Elope ‑ a producer of specialty Halloween costumes. The Waldo costumes will include the iconic hat, glasses and red and white striped tops.
          • Puzzles. An adult puzzle line will be sold in collectible Waldo-themed boxes and tins at book and specialty stores beginning in 2009 through a partnership with USAOPOLY.

            Lucky Brand Jeans and Disney Debut Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Collection


            Lucky Brand Jeans and Disney Consumer Products announced the rebirth of Walt Disney's first icon, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The predecessor to Mickey Mouse, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, returned to The Walt Disney Company in 2006. The character made its original theatrical debut in 1927. A limited-edition collection of T-shirts, featuring Oswald and Mickey Mouse, will be sold exclusively at Lucky Kid, Lucky Brand Jeans stores and online at luckybrandjeans.com In addition, a special Oswald stencil t-shirt is being offered exclusively as part of the limited edition Oswald vinyl figure box set. "As the forerunner to Mickey Mouse and an important part of Walt Disney's creative legacy, the fun and mischievous Oswald is back with Disney,” said Pam Lifford, executive vice president, Global Home and Apparel for Disney Consumer Products.

            Adness Licenses 'Kamen Rider Dragon Knight'


            Adness Entertainment has licensed the U.S. broadcast of "Kamen Rider Dragon Knight" to 4Kids Entertainment. The half-hour live action series will air in the 2008-2009 television season on TheCW4Kids Saturday morning block."Kamen Rider Dragon Knight" is based on the original series, “Kamen Rider Ryuki,” produced by Toei Company and aired in Japan in 2002. The story follows the heroic adventures of teenager Kit Taylor, who discovers a mysterious deck of Advent Cards that grant him the power to transform into an ancient armored warrior called a Kamen Rider.

            Route 66

            Drives onto DVD this Summer


            The classic 1960s television series,

            Route 66

            , is coming to DVD this summer. The eight-disc collector set,

            Route 66 Complete First Season Television Series

            , from Roxbury Entertainment and Infinity Entertainment Group, also features original TV commercials, filmographies of the stars and special guests, and a Corvette photo gallery. It will hit stores August 5.

            Field & Stream Teams Up with FGX for Eyewear


            The Field & Stream Licenses Company has signed an exclusive agreement with FGX International, the owners of the Foster Grant brand of performance eyewear.

            The extensive Field & Stream collection features classic polarized casual and sport styles, a pro line of performance sunglasses with a choice of lens colors, specialized styles for fisherman, and Field & Stream non-prescription reading glasses in authentic outdoors styles. 

            The collection will be sold nationally at specialty, sport, outdoor and club retailers for $25 to $120.

            Additionally, FGX will produce a Field & Stream frame collection for ophthalmic outlets.

            Kohl's to Hang Ten


            In an exclusive deal with American Brand Holdings, Kohl’s will re-launch the Hang Ten brand of youth active wear and accessories in 240 of its stores and online at Kohls.com in spring 2009.



            The apparel line will sport the Hang Ten footprint logo and range in sizes from kids to young adults. Accessories will include sunglasses, handbags and jewelry. Quiksilver will design the Hang Ten collection and its packaging. Kohl’s and Quiksilver have already collaborated on the Tony Hawk line available at the retailer.



            Hang Ten was created by Duke Boyd in 1962 as a surfer/beach wear line and was popular in the 90s but hasn’t been sold in the United States since 2003.

            Rive Gauche Introduces New Men’s Programs


            Rive Gauche Motors & More, a division of Rive Gauche Entertainment, has introduced a new line-up of men’s lifestyle programming to international broadcasters. The extensive line-up features programs in motor-sport reality, classic cars and rallies, including

            Out of Control, Carrera Sudamericana, London to Dakar Rally and Worlds Top Ten Rally Cars.

            Additionally, Rive Gauche announced a new broadcast deal with Play TV in Poland for

            100 Most Popular Cars

            and

            Concept Cars.

            Golf Digest

            Tees Up for Licensing


            Golf Digest

            , the number one golf magazine in the world, will expand its licensing program in both the US and internationally in 2008 with brand extensions in new and existing product categories, such as men’s accessories and apparel, eyewear, luggage, wine, stationery, golf accessories and games.

            The magazine’s licensing program has already experience success with a line of Golf Digest-branded on-course accessories by Fitzsimmons Marketing sold exclusively at Target stores in the US.

            Current licensees include P3ProSwing, who will market and distribute a Golf Digest-branded Swing Simulator to be sold on their website, and The Ryder Group, who will develop a Web-based Golf Digest-branded Event Tournament Planner at

            www.GolfDigestPlanner.com

            . Other deals include programs with Legendary Headwear for a branded headwear line sold at various sporting goods stores; a credit card affinity program with The Bank of America; calendars with Workman Publishing; and playing cards distributed by Inkstone Design.

            Zuffa, Silver Buffalo Team Up


            Silver Buffalo, LLC, a New York-based licensing and merchandising company, has partnered with Zuffa, LLC, owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship brand, to create and market new UFC products and other related brands in North America this summer. Categories will include watches, barware, bar accessories, lighting, wall décor, and billiards and darts accessories. The UFC-branded products will be distributed at sporting goods stores, mid-tier retailers, specialty stores, music and media chains, independent gift stores, catalogs and e-commerce.

            "UFC’s roster of top fighters, incredible pay per view events, and non stop schedule including the live events and the weekly reality series The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV, coupled with Silver Buffalo’s expertise as the leader in licensed home décor and accessories for men 18-34, bodes well for this new partnership with Zuffa, LLC," said Silver Buffalo’s Vice President Greg Alprin.

            The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the world’s leading professional mixed martial arts organization. Silver Buffalo, LLC, specializes in developing unique licensed products for retailers and major consumer brands worldwide, including the World Wrestling Federation, Guinness and Miller Brewing Company.

            Corbis Rebrands as “GreenLight” and Signs Steve McQueen Licensing Deals


            Corbis has announced that its  Rights Services Division is being rebranded to “GreenLight.”

            GreenLight’s new visual identity, logo, website and brand embody the company’s mission to help companies and advertisers to quickly get approval for creative projects, such as innovative products and advertising, that require the use of iconic celebrities, music, film, TV or other intellectual property. Additionally, GreenLight will begin offering Talent Negotiation creating one place to handle all types of rights and clearance services.

            “There is phenomenal growth in the use of music and other iconic content in both advertising and consumer products, and the launch of GreenLight underscores what we see as a huge long term trend and business opportunity,” said Gary Shenk, CEO of Corbis Holdings. “The GreenLight brand will accelerate our momentum in this market while continuing to complement our image licensing businesses.”

            In addition, the company announced several licnensing agreements for Steve McQueen. They include: Métisse-Motorcyles, based in the UK and home of the classic British Motorcycle, will produce a Limited Edition “Steve McQueen” Mark 3 Moto Cross Bike;  Johnson Motors will create a signature line of McQueen-branded shirts, sweaters, hats, jackets, and other apparel; a2z Racer Gear, a U.S.-based high end auto racing apparel company will create a new Le Mans inspired racing apparel line; Toys McCoy, a Japanese apparel company, will produce a broad line of McQueen motorcycle racing apparel including hats, t-shirts, jackets, helmets and footwear for the Japanese market; Triumph Motorcycles, a UK based motorcycle manufacturer with dealerships worldwide, will produce a dedicated line of McQueen apparel and accessories to all of its dealerships.

            The company also represents such personas as Albert Einstein, Wright Brothers, and Maria Callas.

            Garfield Celebrates 30th Anniversary with New DVD


            America’s beloved fat cat, Garfield, is coming to DVD on August 5 in an all-new, full-length computer animated feature film from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. The film,

            Garfield’s Fun Fest

            , written by Garfield creator Jim Davis, arrives as the cat celebrates his 30th anniversary. The DVD, aimed at children ages 6-12, includes an exclusive comic book by Davis, DVD-ROM games “Destination Fun Fest” and “Tango Toss” and trailers for upcoming Garfield releases.

            DreamWorks Partners with ToyQuest for

            Monsters vs. Aliens


            ToyQuest will serve as the worldwide master toy licensee for DreamWorks Animation’s 2009 theatrical release

            Monsters vs. Aliens.

            The film, which is DreamWorks Animation’s first full-length feature film in 3-D, is scheduled for release on March 27, 2009.

            ToyQuest will create a wide range of products across multiple categories including action figures, non-electronic tabletop games, vehicles, playsets, role-play products, plush, youth electronics, seasonal toys, activity sets and rack toys. The entire line will be available early next year.

            Martha Speaks

            Books to Hit Store Shelves Next Fall


            WGBH Boston and Studio B Productions have named Houghton Mifflin as the master publishing licensee for its

            Martha Speaks

            animated TV series. The publisher will develop TV tie-in books based on the hit series, which will be available in North America in fall 2009.

            Houghton Mifflin will also re-launch the classic, best-selling

            Martha Speaks

            book series, written by Susan Meddaugh, this fall to coincide with the launch of the

            Martha Speaks

            animated series on PBS Kids on September 1. This announcement follows the appointment of Lindberg Licensing & Promotions as the exclusive North American licensing agent for the

            Martha Speaks

            property.

            May Shopping Spree Stuns UK Analysts


            The UK’s official figures for retail sales in May show a surprising jump in retail sales volumes by 3.5 percent compared with April. The figure, which came as a shock to retail analysts, was driven by non-food sales and clothing, textiles and footwear in particular as shoppers were inspired to buy the unusually hot weather. The figures were the largest month-on-month rise since March 1991 for these categories. Sales volumes for the three months to May were 5.4 percent  higher than the three moths to April. The Office of National Statistics figures are based on actual sales across all retailers.

            Hamleys Opens First Store in Jordan


            The UK’s world famous Hamleys toy store has opened its first international store in Jordan’s capital, Amman. The 20,000 square feet store is operated by retail franchise partner Jordan Centre. The opening marks the start of the company’s global expansion, which includes new stores in the UK and internationally this year and next. In August, Hamleys opens a 32,000 square foot store in Dubai and October will see the first European stand alone store in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. The stores will sell branded and Hamleys own-brand product.

            Hamleys operates eight UK travel stores located at Heathrow, Stansted, Manchester and Gatwick airports and St Pancras station. In 2007 it launched five large format concessions within sister business House of Fraser department stores. Both businesses are backed by Icelandic investment group Baugur. Further overseas expansion is planned for India, Russia, China and Turkey.

            H&M Sales Recover


            International fashion retailer H&M has turned in a six monthly report that shows sales up by 12 percent to SEK 41,351, up 1 percent like for like. Sales were boosted by a recovery in May with sales up 25 percent compared to the same month last year and up 14 percent like for like.

            Big Names to Exhibit at Brand Licensing Europe


            Nickelodeon and TLC are lined up to exhibit at Brand Licensing Europe in October to unveil some of the highest profile licensing properties available for business deals across Europe.

            Both of TLC’s division – entertainment and brands – will be at the show with Monsters vs Aliens and Madagascar 2 (DreamWorks), Clone Wars (LucasFilm), Bratz (MGA), Gruffulo (Magic Light Productions), LazyTown (LazyTown), Sex and the City (HBO) and Ghostbusters (Sony), Coca-Cola, Cosmopolitan, Jelly Belly, National Trust and Jeep among its properties. DreamWorks and Lucasfilm properties will also be showcased in the BLE Screening Suite: Where Films Become Brands.

            Nickelodeon’s portfolio includes Dora, Go Diego Go, Wonder Pets, Backyardigans, SpongeBob SquarePants, Avatar, H2O, Drake and Josh, iCarly, Southpark, MTV and its back catalogue.

            The show expects more than 5,000 European licensing industry professionals, 200 exhibitors and 3,000 properties to be at Brand Licensing Europe, held at London’s Olympia on October 1 and 2.

            Oxford University Goes International


            The UK’s University of Oxford has launched an international licensing program with the signing of a network of licensing agents. Oxford Limited, the commercial arm of the university has appointed Copyright Group for Japan and Australasia, IMG for the UK and Republic of Ireland, Interasia for China and South East Asia, Stone America for North America and Asiana Licensing for South Korea.

            Mashimaro Signs TeamWorks


            TeamWorks has been signed by Korean CLKO Entertaiment for licensing representation in Italy and Greece for animation Mashimaro. The property joins TeamWorks' roster of Italian and international brands including  “Jaja, “Arittown”, “Withit”, “Bflower”, “LucchettiPonteMilvio”, “Metazoidi”, “Little Princess”, “NICI” and “Little Wingels by NICI”.

            Dive Olly Dive Helps China Earthquake Victims


            Chinese opening weekend box office receipts for Movie Little Happy Submarines — aka Dive Olly Dive! — co-produced by US and UK-based Mike Young Productions (MYP) and China-based Global Digital Creations Holdings (GDC) are being donated GDC to the rebuilding elementary schools damaged by the recent earthquakes in Sichuan, China.

            WordWorld Takes an Emmy


            WordWorld, recently added to FremantleMedia’s roster of third party properties, has been awarded an Emmy for the best main title sequence in daytime television programming, which recognises creativity.

            WordWorld, which is airing on PBS in the US and Television Ontario in Canada, is a 3D animated show featuring a group of WordFriends who embark on adventures where the only way to save the day is to “build a word”. When a word is built correctly, it morphs into the object it represents — so the letters D-O-G form a dog.

            Creator Don Moody says: “We at WordWorld are thrilled to receive an Emmy Award and view it is a terrific endorsement by the television industry. We have been honoured to receive multiple top awards this year, including three Gold Parents’ Choice Awards which demonstrates widespread support by educators, kids and parents alike.”

            The show begins airing on Disney throughout Asia in July 2008. Toys, puzzles and games are currently sold exclusively at Target in the US.

            HarperCollins Signs Publishing Deal on Me to You


            HarperCollins Children’s Books have acquired the publishing rights for Carte Blanche Greeting’s Me to You brand. Launching in October 2008, the four year deal includes a variety of formats, including personalised Me to You books set to be published later this year.

            Me to You has annual sales of £800 million worldwide. Richard Edmondson, commercial director for Carte Blanche Greetings, says: “It is important for the future growth of the brand that we work with partners who can help us deliver our strategic objectives, our relationship with HarperCollins will ensure the brand continues to develop and succeed as a publishing programme worthy of its pedigree.”

            Underground Toys Renew UK License for Domo


            Underground Toys has renewed its UK license for Domo, which was originally the mascot of Japan’s NHK television station. The deal was signed with BigTent Entertainment via Parthenon Entertainment Group. Underground’s line includes all sizes of plush and plush keychains.

            Alongside Underground’s soft toys, Domo T-shirts from Bravado and GBEye’s posters are currently selling in Zavvi and on Play.com. Other Domo products are to be sold in Urban Outfitters. In the US Jakks Pacific’s Play-a-long division has won the master toy license.

            Hammer Enters Gaming Market with Europe-wide Deal


            Amusement industry player Barcrest Group has secured an exclusive license to produce a range of amusement and gaming machines with Hammer Films themes for markets throughout Europe.

            Initially the programme will roll out in the UK where the range of reel and video-based games will be targeted at the pub, arcade and bingo sectors. The games will take their themes from famous Hammer films as well as from the Hammer brand itself.  The first phase of the launch is expected in the fourth quarter of 2008.

            Janet Woodward, head of licensing with Coolabi, the global licensing agent for the Hammer Films brand, says: “The visually arresting images associated with the Hammer brand are perfect for the amusement industry and Barcrest Group is the perfect partner to bring Hammer to the gaming sector.”

            Meanwhile, to mark Hammer Films 50th anniversary this year British Royal Mail has released a series of stamps to commemorate Hammer horror films and the Carry On series.

            Comedy Central Jokes its Way into Hungary


            MTV Networks International (MTVNI), owned by Viacom, will launch Comedy Central Hungary in October this year. It is the seventh localized MTVNI comedy channel to launch in two years and joins the portfolio of channels spanning the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland.

            Comedy Central Hungary, which is aimed at 18-39 year olds, will be a localized Hungarian language channel, available to over 1.5 million households via cable and satellite. It joins its sister MTVNI channel brands, MTV Hungary, VIVA and Nickelodeon, which are already available in Hungary.

            The channel will broadcast a mixture of locally produced and international programming, which will include shows dubbed in Hungarian from the Comedy Central stable such as The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, South Park and The Colbert Report, as well as acquired content including The Simpsons, Family Guy and My Name Is Earl. A Hungarian language Comedy Central website will support the channel launch.

            Bon Bon Buddies Gets New Look


            Confectionary and biscuit licensee Bon Bon Buddies has developed a new corporate identity that will begin to appear in all offices and on all communication and pack designs from this month onwards.

            The business has recently moved to a new £1 million purpose built Newport, South Wales, comprising 15,000 square feet of office and studio space.

            Martin Sutherland, marketing director, at Bon Bon Buddies, says: “This business is moving forward at pace, our new offices and our contemporary new corporate identity have kick started the process. Our new image, designed by our in-house team, combines the vibrancy and fun of the sector with a simple and instantly recognisable brand. Our financial targets over the next five years are very aggressive, and we know that to attain them we must be prepared to develop and grow in all key areas. This is a very exciting time.”

            Shaun the Sheep Plays on Nintendo


            Interactive entertainment software publisher and developer D3Publisher (D3P) has signed a deal to take Aardman Animation’s Shaun the Sheep to Nintendo DS in a game using characters and locations from the animated television series. The game will go on sale in the US and Europe this autumn.

            The Shaun the Sheep show has been sold in more than 150 countries including the United Kingdom (BBC), United States (Disney), France (TF1), Germany (WDR) and Japan (NHK).

            Charlie & Lola Hit Harrods


            Charlie and Lola will perform for Harrods customers this August in a puppet show based on an episode from the television series. At the same time the London store will showcase the new range of toys from Golden Bear.

            BBC picks up The Koala Brothers for Poland, Africa and Asia-Pacific


            UK children's rights owner and producer Spellbound Entertainment has inked a broadcast deal with BBC Worldwide Channels business for its pre-school series The Koala Brothers.

            CBeebies in Poland, Africa and Asia-Pacific have each acquired all 78 x 10 minute episodes plus the 46 minute Christmas Special, The Koala Brothers Outback Christmas, and will start broadcasting the series later this year.

            CBeebies was the first broadcaster to acquire The Koala Brothers for the UK market when Spellbound started production in 2002.

            CBeebies will start broadcasting the hit pre-school series on the Cyfrowy Polsat platform in Poland later this year alongside series such as In the Night Garden, Numberjacks and Toddworld. The Koala Brothers is already licensed in Poland to state broadcaster TVP.

            The Koala Brothers will also get its first airing across the whole of Africa on CBeebies, which will be available via MultiChoice's DStv platform from September 1. In Asia Pacific, CBeebies will screen the series in Hong Kong and Singapore alongside other children’s favourites such as Teletubbies and The Roly Mo Show.

            RTL2 Brings Back Digimon


            Toei Animation’s Digimon Data Squad and Dragonball GT are back on RTL2 in Germany. RTL2 has acquired 48 half hour episodes of Digimon Data Squad and 64 half hour episodes of Dragonball GT.

            TV-Loonland’s The Owl Flies in with Plush TV and Video Deals


            TV-Loonland has inked a deal for plush for The Owl (52 x 1 minute) with the UK’s Vivid Imaginations. In addition to Vivid’s new license, the short comedy continues to sign up with broadcasters and home video partners around the world.

            Mediaset in Italy and RTVE in Spain are the latest partners to pick up this series for TV, while The Owl will also further her presence in Spain with Tribanda Pictures for video rights. The Owl is already available on the Verizon mobile network in the US and will be going live on UK operator ‘3’ this month with other UK networks to follow in July.

            Vivid’s marketing and licensing director Emma Sherski says: “The Owl has a merciless charm that appeals to everyone’s mischievous side and we immediately likened the character and the opportunity to that of global hits Flat Eric and the Crazy Frog. 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 UK, France, US and the Nordic region”

            ELC Opens New Office in Bucharest and Expands in Moscow


            The European Licensing Company (ELC) has opened an office in Bucharest, Romania, and has moved to larger premises in Moscow where it will recruit additional team members.

            ELC, which represents licensors such as Warner Bros, Cartoon Network and Marvel in Eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS, now operates out of four offices in the region, as well as in London, and has affiliate offices in Istanbul and Athens.

            Orsum Island Is on the Map


            Pineapple Squared Productions has confirmed sales for its multi-platform children’s series Orsum Island. With three episodes completed, the show’s distributor VGI Entertainment has sold the first series to TV2 of Norway and RTE of Ireland. More deals are expected soon.

            The high definition 3D series uses motion capture technology on real backgrounds. The series has already launched on its website

            www.orsumisland.com

            .

            Bulldog Licensing manages the worldwide licensing and merchandising rights for Orsum Island. GSquared covers Canada and North America.

            CPLG France Drives WRC into Europe


            Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG) France has signed car customizing specialists Impex to extend its range of FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) motor accessories for distribution across Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Austria, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the Middle East.

            In an extension of a former French deal, products carrying the WRC brand will include wheel trims, hubcaps, interior textiles and adhesive decorations. Product is set to roll out from late 2008.

            The deal coincides with the extension of CPLG’s licensing partnership with WRC to 2010, continuing a three-year relationship.

            Postman Pat gets on His Bike


            Entertainment Rights (ER) has named Universal Cycles, a leading importer and distributor of bicycles in the UK, as licensee for Postman Pat Special Delivery Service (SDS) to cover all wheeled and ride-on products.

            The agreement is to include bicycles, trikes, scooters, and accessory packs including helmets and safety pads, across UK, Eire, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The product is currently in development and will roll out across to retailers in spring 2009 following airing of the new series on CBeebies autumn 08.

            Andrew Kerr, executive director, consumer products and marketing - international, says:

            “The new BBC series of Postman Pat SDS takes on a new momentum and features a brand new fleet of vehicles that help Pat deliver any place, anytime, anywhere, which provides an excellent basis from which to develop a range of innovative ride-on’s.”

            Wii and DS Lite to be Accessorized by Dora and Diego!


            Nickelodeon UK has awarded a licence to Accessories 4 Technology (A4T) to design and produce Dora The Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!-branded video gaming console accessories primarily for the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS Lite systems. The retail launch is expected in September.

            MultiChoice Takes Nick to southern Africa


            African pay-TV operator, MultiChoice Africa has signed a multi-year distribution deal with MTV Networks International to carry Nickelodeon, in southern Africa. Starting in July, Nickelodeon will launch as a 24-hour English language channel, broadcasting to more than one and a half million DStv subscribers in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

            The channel will carry Nickelodeon’s programming for preschool, primary school and tween-age kids, plus Nick Jr and Nick at Nite, a primetime slot created for older kids. 

            Distribution and marketing for Nickelodeon in sub-Saharan Africa will be managed by Johannesburg-based MTV Networks Africa, which is also responsible for MTV, MTV base, MTV France, MTV Portugal and VH1 in the region.

            EXECUTIVE MOVES

            Licensing Group Appoints Kleine-Erfkamp


            Copyright Promotions Licensing Group has appointed Stefan Kleine-Erfkamp to the newly-created role of head of business development, focussing on the development of the Fanshirt project, which enables fans to have their names printed onto their team’s playing or replica kit. Kleine-Erfkamp joins from Swiss-based marketing company Sports & Licensing where he led the introduction of Fanshirt into the German football market.

            Harry Vasavada Joins Lightworks Enterprises


            Lightworks Enterprises, a vertically integrated television, film and new media production and distribution company, named Harry Vasavada as senior vice president, Finance. Most recently he was consulting for major entertainment companies, such as DIC Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions. Previously he was VP, Finance and Operations for GRB Entertainment, CFO of Reelplay.com, and CFO of I.R.S. Media.

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