Weekly E-news, Issue #272, July 9, 2008

Untitled DocumentRap Stars to Launch Clothing Line at Wal-MartRapper Master P and son, fellow hip-hopper Romeo, are touting a line of clothing being promoted as designer-quality fashions at budget prices that will be available for this back-to-school

April 6, 2018

Rap Stars to Launch Clothing Line at Wal-Mart

Rapper Master P and son, fellow hip-hopper Romeo, are touting a line of clothing being promoted as designer-quality fashions at budget prices that will be available for this back-to-school season.

The father-son duo will launch their apparel line, P.Miller Designs, exclusively at Wal-Mart stores beginning in July. The men’s apparel brand will be available at 350 Wal-Mart stores nationwide and will include graphic t-shirts, fleece and hoodies.

Master P and Romeo have also created a women’s apparel line, Miller Peaches, and P.Miller brand shoes, jewelry, fragrances and eco-friendly organic cotton clothes are also planned.

In years past the rapper had clothing lines at kohl’s and Mervyns. P.Miller Designs marks the second partnership between Master P and Wal-Mart, who is the exclusive retailer for Master P and Romeo's 2007 CD, "Miller Boyz: Hip-Hop History.”

Campbell Goes Organic with Wolfgang Puck Soup

As part of its commitment to wellness and growing

presence in the organic market, Campbell Soup Company has acquired the Wolfgang Puck soup business, one of the leading organic soup brands in the United States from Country Gourmet Foods.

Campbell’s will be the master licensor for Wolfgang Puck Worldwide for the use of the Wolfgang Puck brand on soup, stock and broth products in North American retail locations, with an option to extend the brand into other related categories and channels.

The Wolfgang Puck business will operate as a distinct brand within the Campbell USA portfolio.

Kmart Adds

The Dark Knight


Kmart has partnered with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to promote next week’s theatrical release of

The Dark Knight

serving as the official Batman headquarters. The retailer will feature a Batman boutique at the front of its stores with a collection of licensed products including toys, costumes, men’s and kid’s apparel, bedding and an exclusive Kmart

The Dark Knight

Gift Card. In addition, Kmart will offer free movie tickets with the purchase of three bags of Reese’s Batman products and $5 off select Mattel toys with the purchase of five boxes of General Mills cereal and fruit snacks. Kmart is also planning a special advertising wrap to its circular and co-branded shopping bags.

Steve & Barry’s Bankruptcy Watch

The bankruptcy filing and possible liquidation of Steve & Barry’s, first reported in mid-June, appears imminent, according to various media reports. The retailer has been in last-minute discussions with Sears Holdings Corp. about a bailout or partial sale, according to

The Wall Street Journal

. Despite its financial difficulties, the bigger issue is what will happen to its portfolio of licensed celebrity brands, which was the strategy that catapulted the retailer to widespread publicity and popularity. If the retailer continues to operate, it could still promote its exclusive brands. However, if the retailer liquidates, the celebrity brands could find a possible home with other mass retail chains. Steve & Barry’s operates 270 stores in 40 states.

“The Office” Plays in Scranton

NBC’s “The Office” actress, writer and co-executive producer Mindy Kaling will visit Scranton, Penn., July 19 to launch “The Office” DVD Board Game and “The Office” Trivia Game by Pressman Toy and licensed by NBC Universal Television Consumer Products Group.

Kaling joins fans in the state where the Dunder Mifflin branch is located as Scranton becomes the first city to offer the new games. She will host “The Office Games,” consisting of a 2K run, beet-eating contest and trivia challenge. “The Office Games” event will raise funds for United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania, a Scranton-based charity.

French Luxury Goods Firm Wins Bid on eBay

French luxury product manufacturer LVMH, whose brands include Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Kenzo, Mark Jacobs and Donna Karan, has won a €40 million case in the French courts against eBay for failing to prevent the sales of fake perfumes on the auction site. The court also said that eBay had also breached LVMH’s selective distribution agreements on a number of perfume brands. Ebay plans to appeal on both counts, stating that LVMH was operating restrictive practices.

Marks & Spencer Shocks with Trading Update

Marks & Spencer shocked the markets with a first quarter statement, reporting comparable sales for the 13 weeks to June 28 down by over 5 percent, as the controversy over Sir Stuart Rose’s joint role as chairman and chief executive continued.

Rose said that the retailer was “a strong business in a weak market,” as he again cautioned that market conditions continued to be difficult.

Group sales for the period were up 1.3 percent, U.K. sales were down 0.5 percent and international sales were up 24.5 percent, as the retailer ramps up its international expansion.

Rose said: “At our preliminary results in May, we reported a mixed start to our 2008/9 financial year and expressed caution about consumer sentiment. Since then, consumer confidence levels have deteriorated markedly and market conditions have become more challenging.

“General merchandise has been affected by the current market conditions, but we are holding market share in clothing, and home continues to outperform. Stock levels have been well controlled and our summer sale will start at the same time as last year.

“Our food business has delivered strong growth over the last three years, with the continued roll-out of our Simply Food format. In this quarter, pressures on consumer spending and increased competitor pricing and promotional activity, coupled with changes in consumer buying patterns, have resulted in a significantly weaker performance.”

Rose made a number of board changes. Director of food, Steven Esom – who joined the business from Waitrose last year – left and was replaced by John Dixon, who was director of home and the retailer’s online service M&S Direct.

Woolworth Names Top Toys for Christmas

The return of the 1980s classic Rubiks Cube, toys from the latest Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies, a Leapfrog pen reader and Upsy Daisy from In The Night Garden are top toy picks from Woolworth for Christmas.

The influential annual Top 10 Toy list from the U.K. retailer is seen as a bellwether for the Christmas toy trade, and this year includes seven licensed products. The U.K. market for toys and games is worth over £2 billion a year at retail, with half of sales taking place in October, November and December.

Steve Jebson, commercial director at Woolworths, says: “This year’s top 10 list is packed with a mix of new hits and old favorites. We have brand new toys like Leapfrog Tag, which will take the pre-school market by storm, Catcha Beast and Meebas, and good old-fashioned classics like toys from Star Wars and Indiana Jones and the Rubiks Cube.” 

Woolworths Top 10 toys for Christmas 2008 (in no order):

Rubiks Cube, £9.99;Star Wars Clone Wars Lego, from £34.99; Meebas, £16.99;Ben 10 deluxe Omnitrix, £15.99; High School Musical Sing Together Dolls, £20.99;Bakugan Battle Arena, £29.99; Leapfrog Tag, including books based on Go Diego Go, SpongeBob SquarePants and Kung Fu Panda, £39.99; In The Night Garden Upsy Daisy In Her Bed, £34.99; the Indiana Jones Whip, £19.99; and Catcha Beast, £19.99.

Game Plays on in First Half

European PC and video game retailer Game Group has broken the mold by reporting comparable sales up 24.8 percent for the 22 weeks to June 28, including Gamestation from May 1. Group sales were up 54 percent.

Chairman Peter Lewis, says: “The PC and video games market has continued to grow strongly in this period and Game is performing slightly ahead of our expectations for the first half of the year.”

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, total sales were up by 58.2 percent and comparable sales were up by 28.1 percent. The retailer’s international business total sales were up 43.9 percent and comparable sales were up 16.9 percent.

Game Group has 1,229 stores and will open 60 more, mostly outside the United Kingdom, in time for Christmas. It is buying back or closing its international store franchises as part of a strategy to own all its stores.

Google U.K. managing director Dennis Woodside has joined the board as a non-executive director.

MIPCOM Junior Hosts “The Licensing Challenge”

In partnership with License! Global, MIPCOM Junior will be hosting “The Licensing Challenge,” a pitching session designed to showcase the TV property with the highest licensing potential. An international jury (to be announced) will select a winner during the MIPCOM Junior show, to be held in Cannes Oct. 6 and 7, from a shortlist of five entrants. The winner will be offered advice on how to hit the international stores, plus receive prizes designed to establish the contestants’ global presence. For more information and to enter a submission, go to



LazyTown Creator Magnus Scheving Makes BLE Keynote Address

LazyTown creator and star Magnus Scheving will deliver the first Licensing Academy keynote at Brand Licensing Europe, organized by License! Global owner Advanstar, which takes place Oct. 1 and 2 at Olympia’s Grand Hall in London.

The Licensing Academy, in its second year, is a free, eight-session conference over the two-day show. The themes are advanced licensing and trends.

The advanced sessions tackle licensing finances, negotiating contracts, market data, cross-territory licensing and food licensing. The trend sessions will cover topics including the future of TV and licensing, online behavior of younger children, responsible business trends in the context of licensing, and a special session from NPD on shopping trends.

For more information on the Licensing Academy and to register to attend the show visit



“Big and Small” Gets CBeebies Premiere

Kindle Entertainment’s pre-school show “Big and Small” debuts on CBeebies late this autumn. The 52x11 series isa co-production between Kindle Entertainment and 3J’s Productions, produced in association with Treehouse in Canada. It features puppetry from The Grogs. Voice talent includes two British personalities, actor and comedian Lenny Henry and actress Imelda Staunton.

The licensing program, rolling out at the end of the year, focuses on music and will include toys, apparel, music downloads and plush.

EM and Your Family End Deal

German EM.Entertainment and Your Family Entertainment are ending their distribution co-operation deal, signed in March 2004, by mutual agreement on Sept. 30. In addition, the exclusivity granted to EM.Entertainment ended on June 30. The portfolio of programs will be distributed on a non-exclusive basis by both EM.Entertainment and Your Family Entertainment until the agreement expires on Sept. 30.

Nuremberg Toy Fair Heads for Hong Kong

German organizer of the Nuremberg Toy Fair, Spielwarenmesse, is launching an international trade fair pavilion for toy manufacturers under the name World of Toys. Following a co-operation agreement with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) a World of Toys pavilion will take part in the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair from Jan. 5 to 8, 2009.

Meanwhile, Spielwarenmesse has re-edited February’s Nuremberg show, creating a category for sport, leisure and outdoor products. The International Toy Fair Compass – the show directory – will include the new category.

Some 300 companies from over 30 countries have signed for the fair, which takes place from Feb. 5 to 10, 2009. 

Network Teams Up with Pokémon U.K. for DVDs

Independent distributor and publisher Network has teamed up with Pokémon U.K. to release Pokémon DVDs in the United Kingdom. The first of three launches will the moviePokémon: The Rise of Darkrai. Network will also release all TV seasons of the Japanese animation starting with the first season, Pokémon, Volume One and the most recent 10th season Pokémon, Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Volume One. It has exclusive DVD rights to all consecutive archive and new TV seasons and movies.

Disney Couture Launches in Europe

Disney Consumer Products used Europe’s young fashion trade show Bread & Butter in Barcelona last week to launch its European Disney Couture collection to retailers. The collection goes on sale in the autumn. The day-to-evening collection includes T-shirt designs for men, women and children, and fuses the latest in fabric developments, print techniques and styling with Disney heritage. Several collections will be available throughout the year, including limited-edition items.

Marc Low, vice president, apparel, accessories and footwear, Disney Consumer Products Europe, says: “Disney’s iconic characters are legends in their own right, instantly recognizable and hugely popular with people of all ages around the world. The Disney Couture range innovatively interprets Walt Disney’s creative heritage to produce modern and cutting-edge designs.”

Chorion Names Major Licensing Line Up for Noddy

Chorion has named three new major licensing deals for Noddy, which celebrates 60 years in 2009, starting at the beginning of next year.

NSR has been signed master toy licensee, Spin Master has signed to handle all product distribution for U.K. market and Lansay is appointed as distribution partner for France and Benelux

NSR joins a list of over 200 existing international Noddy licensees around the world. Chorion EVP global licensing and merchandising Eric Karp, said: “NSR, Spin Master and Lansay have excellent credentials to take the universally-loved Noddy property to the next stage in its already enormously successful life.”

Celebrations for Noddy’s 60th start this autumn with new television content supported by a year-long program in the U.K. and France including retail promotions, live events and other yet-to-be-announced consumer and trade activity.

Other developments for the brand include the recently re-launched Web site,


, online in the United Kingdom, France and Portugal. It is soon to be rolled out across other territories.

The new appointments do not affect other current European distribution partnerships. Concentra in Portugal and Epee in Eastern Europe will continue to distribute Noddy toys and will take NSR product in spring 2009.  

Panini Says Thumbs Up to Bulldog’s TWFLicensing Program

Bulldog Licensing has signed Panini to create collectable stickers and sticker albums based on the Thumb Wrestling Federation: TWF characters for the United Kingdom.

Commenting on the deal, Mark Warsop, marketing director at Panini, U.K., said: “With over 50 characters, the strongest broadcast platform around and a strong licensee list, this property has enormous potential. Just looking at the fun the design team is having working on the property, you know it will be a great hit with kids.”

Panini’s collection will launch later this year following June toys, apparel, publishing, greetings cards, calendars and DVDs based on the show. Other products will follow in the autumn and winter.

Animation Collective, which produces Thumb Wrestling Federation: TWF, has signed Delta Leisure Group for DVDs of the first four series of the show for the U.K. market, on sale this week.

New Media Signs Timbersports Deal

AT New Media has signed a deal to represent the lumberjack sports competition series, the Stihl Timbersports series. Under the agreement, AT New Media aims to exploit interactive games opportunities for platforms such as Nintendo Wii.

Tools and equipment supplier Stihl USA founded the Stihl Timbersports Series with sports television network ESPN in 1985. It launched in Europe on Eurosports television in 2001.

Kohl’s, Eric Carle Team Up for Children’s Charities

Kohl’s is offering an exclusive collection of the popular Eric Carle children’s bear book series through licensor Chorion in its stores this summer as part of the Kohl’s Cares for Kids program.

The books, as well as an accompanying line of plush bears, will be available in Kohl’s stores and online through September. Both the books and the bears will retail at $5 each. The line will benefit children’s health and education initiatives nationwide.

The Kohl’s Cares for Kids Program benefits more than 150 hospitals and has raised over $102 million for children’s initiatives nationwide since 2000.

EA and Hasbro Bring Scrabble to Web

Electronic Arts and Hasbro are launching Scrabble on Facebook later this month in the United States and Canada. Recently Scrabble became available on gaming site Pogo.com, the first of a slate of Hasbro titles to become available for free on the site in 2008.

Scrabble will be the first EA Hasbro-licensed property to go live on a social networking site, with many more Hasbro game properties in development to launch on social networking sites later this year. EA Scrabble games currently are available on mobile phones and the iPod in the United States and Canada.

Wicked Cow Signs NBA Star Julius Erving

Wicked Cow Entertainment, a New York-based creative brand management and business development firm, has inked a licensing deal with 11-time ABA/NBA star Julius Erving.

As part of the agreement, Wicked Cow will work with The Erving Group to further develop current and future business opportunities and create licensing programs for "Dr. J.”

Initial plans include consumer products and licensing programs in apparel and memorabilia, and speaking engagements and endorsements.

Sesame Workshop CEO Receives Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Gary E. Knell, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop, received Ernst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Young Metro New York Entrepreneur of The Year 2008 Awards

gala event in New York on June 26.

Knell’s tenure as president and CEO of Sesame Workshop began in 1999. He has restructured the nonprofit educational organization to promote collaboration and innovation, diversified the company’s revenues, shaped its philanthropic efforts and secured future distribution, co-founding the 24-hour pre-school channel, PBS KIDS Sprout.

Imperial Toy Creates Outdoor Fun with Barney Bubble and Sand Toys

Imperial Toy, LLC, a worldwide manufacturer of licensed and proprietary novelty and bubble toys, has acquired the rights to Barney bubble and sandbox toys beginning in spring 2009.

As part of the agreement between Imperial and HIT Entertainment, Imperial will manufacture and market a complete bubble toy line, including both battery-operated and dip and blow bubble toys. Leading the new toy collection is the battery-operated Barney Bubble Bellie, based on Imperial’s best-selling patented design.

The Barney toy line-up joins Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder bubble sand toys, which are already in stores, on retail shelves in January 2009.

Starwood Teams With Davie Brown

Davie Brown Entertainment, an entertainment marketing consultancy, has partnered with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide to lead all entertainment initiatives within film, television and industry influencer outreach for the Westin Hotels & Resorts.

Davie Brown will integrate the Westin experience into industry events, film and television, celebrity and influencer seeding, and provide strategic counsel within the entertainment landscape.

Additionally, the company will also seek to leverage the brand’s long-standing Heavenly collection of bed, bath and home products.

Gund Teams With Enesco

Enesco, LLC, a producer of gift, garden and home décor items, has acquired the worldwide assets of the premier plush brand, Gund.

The 110-year old plush manufacturer joins other recently added Enesco brands, including: The Boyds Collection, Our Name is Mud, Country Artists, philoSophie’s and Jubilee Art.

Halo Board Game to Hit Retail

Genius Products’ and B1 Games’ are launching the first board game based on Halo, the hit video game series from Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie.

The new Halo Interactive Strategy Game combines elements from the original video games with fresh characters and unseen DVD content.

The family-friendly game, for ages 10 plus, arrives on store shelves this fall.

New Goosebumps Titles for Halloween

Fox Home Entertainment is releasing three new Goosebumps DVD collections on Sept. 16 in time for Halloween.


Day At HorrorLand, A Night In Terror Tower


Monster Blood

, based on Scholastic’s best-selling book series written by R.L. Stine,


available for the suggested retail price of $14.98 U.S. / $15.98 Canada. Fox Home Entertainment will offer a special on-pack discount to buy two of the new


titles, get $3.00 off the next purchase of any


titles; or buy all three, get $6.00 off other



Taffy Entertainment Grows Presence in Latin America

Taffy Entertainment’s animated shows “Code Lyoko,” “The Fantastic Four,” “Dive Olly Dive!” and “Creepie” have acquired additional broadcasters in Latin America. Canadian-based Hola Entertainment helped complete the deals.

“The Fantastic Four,” based on the Marvel superheroes, has been picked up by Canal 7 Teletica in Costa Rica, TV6 in Trinidad and Ecuador’s Ecuavisa. The show also continues to air on Cartoon Network Latin America and free TV broadcasters TV Globo in Brazil and TVN in Chile, among others.

“Code Lyoko,” the 2D/3D CGI action-adventure fantasy series, has been picked up by TV6 in Trinidad and Ecuavisa in Ecuador. It can also be found on Jetix Latin America and TVN in Chile, in addition to over 100 other countries.

Additional deals completed include Ecuador’s Tevecuador picking up the kids’ documentary series “Insectoscope,” Ecuavisa’s acquisition of “Dive Olly Dive!,” and CBC Barbados picking up “Dive Olly Dive!” and “Creepie.”


Executive Moves

American Greetings Properties has promoted Carla Silva from director, international licensing to vice president, international licensing. Silva is headquartered in the New York City office and will oversee international outbound licensing for American Greetings Properties. She joined AGP in fall 2007 and will continue to report to Tamra Knepfer, senior vice president, consumer products, American Greetings Properties.

The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association elected seven new members to its board of directors.

In addition, Bernie Leifer of SG Footwear was elected for a two-year term as chairman of the board, with Christina Miller of Cartoon Network as vice chairperson.

The new board of directors includes:

  • Adam J. Beder of Spin Master Ltd.
    • Rick Mallow of Elmer's Products
      • Maura Regan of Sesame Workshop
        • Stu Seltzer of Marketing on Demand
          • Holly Stein of Mattel
            • Robert Strand of Jarden Outdoor Solutions
              • Careen Yapp of Konami Digital Entertainment

                The directors were elected by a vote of the LIMA membership and their terms will run from July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2011.

                NBC Universal has promoted Vivi Zigler to president of its digital entertainment division, where she will be in charge of several websites, including









                Zigler, formerly executive vice president of NBC Digital Entertainment and New Media, will be responsible for overseeing the broader direction of the entertainment division in her new role.

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