Weekly E-news, Issue #273, July 15, 2008

Untitled Document Martha Stewart Craft Lines Hit Wal-Mart Martha Stewart has expanded her Create and Celebrate lines into Wal-Mart stores in Canada and the United States. The Create line offers an extensive selection of scrapbooking and craft items inc

April 6, 2018

Martha Stewart Craft Lines Hit Wal-Mart

Martha Stewart has expanded her Create and Celebrate lines into Wal-Mart stores in Canada and the United States. The Create line offers an extensive selection of scrapbooking and craft items including quality papers, pens, cutting mats as well as activity kits for making jewelry, party décor and cards. Prior to this the line, which launched in 2007, could be found at arts and crafts stores such as Michael’s.

Martha Stewart Celebrate offers ready-made wedding essentials such as invitations, guest books, favor boxes and cake toppers. The Stewart’s deal with the world’s largest retailer is just the latest in a steady stream of partnerships, the most recent being last year’s home furnishings line at Macy’s and a line of frozen and fresh food co-branded with Costco. Stewart’s longstanding contract with Kmart ends in January 2010.

CBS Shows Spin Off into Lottery Tickets

CBS Consumer Products and MDI Entertainment are producing branded scratch-off lottery tickets

for “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “The Amazing Race” and “Survivor.” The instant scratch lottery tickets will be available in the United States and Canada and are expected to roll out as soon as this fall.”

The agreement expands MDI’s portfolio of licensed entertainment lottery tickets which already includes “American Idol,” “Major League Baseball” and “Deal or No Deal.”   

Kodak and Universal Pictures Partner to Promote The Mummy

Eastman Kodak Company and Universal Pictures have partnered to promote the latest installment of “The Mummy” franchise at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 12. Through Kodak’s partnership with Penske Racing and NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, the Kodak No. 12 Dodge will be painted to promote The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Kodak will also have its branding on the car.

The film’s star, Brendan Fraser, will serve as grand marshal of the race and give the command “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines.” Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman will wear a Kodak-The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor branded firesuit and helmet as will his pit crew.

In addition to the racecar branding, Kodak-The Mummy co-branded advertising will appear on trackside billboards and the film’s trailer will be shown on SprintVision inside Chicagoland Speedway throughout the race weekend. Additional advertising will appear in print and online, as well as the Kodak Times Square Gallery in New York City. Themed merchandise, including die-cast cars, t-shirts and hats, will be available starting the weekend of the race.

The movie debuts nationwide Aug. 1.

Mighty Fine Rolls Out New Initiatives for MAGIC

Mighty Fine has a host of initiative ready for the MAGIC show in Las Vegas including:

Imaginary People—a knit top collection targeting 16-24 year olds, incorporates collaborations with famous brands and characters and uses unique treatments including foil, rhinestones, buttons, studs, contrast trims, flocking and glitter. The label launches with key collaborations including Anthill Trading, Marvel, Hello Kitty, Spongebob Squarepants, Hot Wheels and Sesame Street. Available February 09 at boutique, specialty and better department stores (MSRP: $25-$40) ;

Public Library will showcase a new T-shirt collection in a new partnership with The Samburu Project, a non-profit organization that helps raise money to  provide the people of Samburu, Kenya with clean water. The collection will retail in boutique, specialty and better department stores. (MSRP $50-$60);

Street artists Triston Eaton, DEMO, Filth, Kalma and Double Roots have partnered with Mighty Fine’s men’s wear label Mustache Brigade for a collection of edgy designs. The product, a result of a collaboration with Thunderdog Collective, will debut at MAGIC and hit retail floors in September and November 08. Mustache Brigade, debuts July 08, and marks a continuation of Mighty Fine’s men’s initiative and growth. Additional collaborations include Anthill Trading, which will launch The Stooges, Blondie and ACDC, as well as partnerships with 007, Austin Powers and Dr. Seuss. (MSRP $40-$45);

Mini Fine will launch Anthill Trading properties including Blondie, ACDC and Run DMC in January 09. , Mini Fine will also roll out new fashion bodies including a tank dress, scoop neck and polo plus collaborations with Sesame Street, Disney and Yo Gabba Gabba. For tweens, Fine will display collaborations with Garfield, Sesame Street and Peanuts as well as Hello Kitty which has recently expanded their partnership with Mighty Fine to include the tween category. (MSRP $25-$40).

BBC Worldwide Children’s Division Takes a Hit

BBC Worldwide has called in consultants to strategically review its children’s business after posting a loss of over £7 million in financial year 2007/08.

Children’s, part of BBC Worldwide’s home entertainment division, racked up sales of £30.9 million in 2007/08, compared to £24.7 million for 2006/07 but turned in a loss of £7.2 million, compared to a loss of £1.6 million in 2006/07.

Home entertainment managing director Chris Weller said that write downs on some property investments had contributed to the loss. “Alongside the hits there have been some properties that have failed to break into the retail market… A radical review of the children’s rights portfolio in the light of the crowded global market for children’s properties has been carried out and strategy consultants have been appointed to help determine the best way forward,” he said. The BBC would not name the properties involved in the write-downs.

DVD sales—including sales from 2Entertainment, the 60/40 wholesale distribution venture with Woolworth—turned in sales of £164.6 million and a profits of £41.3 million for the year 2007/08, compared to £127.6 sales and £21.6 million profits in 2006/07.

M&S Adds Brands to Food Offer

M&S is rolling out its branded strategy as it adds 140 food and drink brands to 19 food stores in a trail that started last week. Some 350 products are included in the trial.

The retailer added a limited-selection of branded electrical goods to its offer in 2006, and now offers these in some 25 stores, as well as through M&S Direct.

Director of food Steve Esom, who joined the retailer from Waitrose last year, was fired last week after M&S food sales plummeted.

Meanwhile, Sir Stuart Rose’s promotion to executive chairman came under fire at the retailer’s annual meeting last week. Although the promotion was verified by the meeting, some 17 percent of institutional investors abstained from the vote as a sign of disquiet with the move.

Primark Sales Suffer in Inclement U.K. Spring

Sales at U.K. value fashion retailer Primark, part of Associated British Foods, were held back in the spring and early summer as a result of changing weather, the company reported last week.

Sales at Primark were up 14 percent in the 16 weeks to June 21, and 20 percent up for the 40 weeks to June 21 compared with the same period in 2007. No figures were given.

Associated British Foods reported: “Against a deteriorating consumer background, Primark’s trading in the third quarter was resilient although like-for-like sales growth was held back by weak trading in April when poor weather this year contrasted with warm weather and the benefit of Easter trading in the comparative period last year.”

The business has 179 stores including three new openings in Spain, where it now had eight branches. Two more stores are scheduled to open in Spain this year. It has recently opened two further branches in the United Kingdom and another is also planned for this year.

Sales Fall in Carrefour’s Home Market

Like-for-like sales in Carrefour’s large format hypermarkets in its home market of France fell by 2.4 percent, or 5.5 percent excluding fuel sales, in the second quarter as a result of a drop in non-food sales, a fall in branded food volumes and an increase in own-brand sales.

Overall group sales grew by 8.6 percent in the first half of the year and by 6.7 percent in the second quarter.

The retailer said that growth was being driven by its single brand strategy, including rebranding Champion supermarkets to Carrefour, international activities and the strength of the Carrefour brand.

Sports Direct Sales and Profits Tumble

U.K. sports retailer and brand owner Sports Direct International saw sales fall by 6.5 percent to £1.26 billion and profits slump to £150 million from £214 million for the year to April 27, 2008. The business, which owns brands including Everlast, Slazenger, Dunlop, Kangol and Lonsdale, said the slump was due to bad weather in the United Kingdom and the failure of England’s soccer team to qualify for this summer’s UEFA Euro 2008 tournament.

4Kids’ Mutant Ninja Turtles Hit 25

4Kids Entertainment is planning a licensing program of retro products aimed at young adults to mark Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ 25th anniversary.

Apparel, accessories and gifts have been highlighted to drive the retro program, and product from the first apparel licensees—Vacant Designs, Trademark Products and Chunk—is being launched to the retail trade this summer.

4Kids co-managing director Stephen Gould says: “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were an immediate hit with children and teens back in the 1980s and have continued to attract new fans ever since, while retaining the affection of their original fan base. That, we believe, is worth celebrating. We are confident that the retro program will be a fun, stylish and very popular way to mark the Turtles’ 25th anniversary.”

Nickelodeon Splats into Poland

MTV Networks International (MTVNI), owned by Viacom, has launched in Poland with its Nickelodeon Polish language channel dedicated to kids aged 2-12 years old on Vectra, UPC, Aster, and Multimedia among others.


Nickelodeon Poland

launched online with a Polish language rich media Web site, providing an online community, interactive elements such as games and downloads and a broadband video platform that allows kids to watch full-length shows online at any time. Content is also available on mobile via the Orange network.

Nickelodeon Poland will showcase a mix of international content such as pre-school hits “Dora The Explorer” as well as “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Jimmy Neutron” for older kids, tween live-action favorites “Drake and Josh” and “Unfabulous” and the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. The channel will also launch with an original local production, Dancing Nick (20 x 5’), which teaches kids how to perform dance moves.

Nickelodeon Poland will work in partnership with Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products, which oversees an existing licensing business across the region, for Nickelodeon’s global franchises such as “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Dora the Explorer.” The channel joins the other MTVNI channel brands currently available in Poland—MTV, VIVA, VH1 and Comedy Central, which was the first local Comedy Central service to launch outside of the United States.

MTVNI’s Emerging Markets group is one of the fastest-growing regions in the company’s portfolio of multi-platform businesses. The Emerging Markets group manages 24 television channels, 22 Web sites, two broadband channels and three mobile TV channels encompassing the MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, VIVA and Comedy Central brands in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa and the Middle East.

Fifi Blossoms as Target Entertainment Signs New Licensees for United Kingdom

Target Entertainment Group has secured three new licensing deals for pre-school property “Fifi and the Flowertots.”

A total of 48 licensees now represent Chapman Entertainment’s brand, which has one of the highest number of U.K. licensees of any European pre-school girl’s property.

The trio of new deals is with interactive software supplier GSP, which will bring Fifi to life in an activity game for Nintendo DS; Ben Ross has signed up for wooden furniture and bubble blowers; while BHL will provide a range of stationery.

In addition to these new signings existing licensee Halsall is adding instruments and outdoor garden games to its list of categories, while Mondo has renewed its deal for play balls and space hoppers. In 2007 Aykroyds/TDP sold 954,067 units of Fifi nightwear and underwear.

Val Fry, Chapman Entertainment’s director of licensing added: “The trio of new deals and additional renewals are further examples that Fifi’s success shows no sign of abating and that the brand continues to resonate loudly with licensees and retailers alike.”

AGP rolls out MAGIC initiatives

At MAGIC Marketplace 2008, American Greetings Properties’ featured roster will include Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake, as well as the crime-fighting Sushi Pack™ and the gross-out classic toy series Madballs.

On the heels of last year’s anniversary celebration, complete with a whole new look for the Care Bears, American Greetings Properties continues to expand the property with initiatives including Care Bears Baby and Care Bears Junior brand extensions, a recent spate of Care Bear video releases and an upcoming holiday gift set for release in October. In 2009, Care Bears will star in a new CGI movie slated for a September release and in August 2009 a line of toys from Hasbro will include plush bears featuring interactive technology under its Playskool brand.

AGP and the Joester Loria Group are seeking apparel and accessories partners for Care Bears for 2009.  

The company also has additional plans for Strawberry Shortcake including the development of a new classic Strawberry Shortcake program targeted to tweens, teens and young adults for specialty and mid-tier channels, including apparel from Junk Food and Fortune Fashions (t-shirts). And for the first time, classic Strawberry Shortcake will be available for the mass market, as well as the first-ever classic infant/toddler program for the mass market.  

In August 2008, American Greeting Properties will launch an exclusive lifestyle program with a wide range of Sushi Pack products in all American Greetings/Carlton Cards stores in the United States and Canada. Sushi Pack products, including plush, apparel, a backpack, note pads, key chains, wall decor, and lunch boxes, will be merchandised in a new area called AGKidZone, Carlton's new children’s section. 

American Greetings Properties is also working with Ty’s Toy Box on an all new online store front for Sushi Pack apparel as part of a custom print on-demand program including personalized t-shirts and sweatshirts.

American Greetings Properties is seeking key partners for Sushi Pack apparel, accessories and stationery for girls 4-8 and teen/tween girls.

Casper Expands Apparel Licenses

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, Casper is expanding its apparel licensing program, which will roll out to retail in time for Halloween. New high-end apparel licensees Local Celebrity (juniors) and Mad Engine (men’s and boys’) will debut their collections of printed tees and tops at fine department stores, specialty stores and boutiques.  For the 2009, the apparel line will continue to be refreshed with new Casper-inspired juniors loungewear, daywear and sleepwear from Briefly Stated. Current licensees MJC (men’s loungewear) and Logotel (tee shirts) have renewed their deals with Classic Media and will expand their popular lines at mass market and chain drug retailers.

Tags Curtail Counterfeit FIFA Products

De La Rue Holographics is again supplying a secure anti-counterfeit solution to protect FIFA’s official licensed merchandise, including products for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. The solution, which will be deployed globally, incorporates an easy to authenticate holographic label and holographic swing tag with SLSNet, an online ordering and tracking system. It will enable FIFA to uphold its brand values and help football fans identify original official products. The new FIFA holograms integrate advanced design techniques with De La Rue’s latest hologram technology. The system provides a strong deterrent for preventing fraud and grey market diversion as under-reporting becomes highly visible and out of territory sales are easily traceable. It allows FIFA’s enforcement officials to track and verify genuine products wherever they are in the world.

Expanded Licensing Potential for Biltmore

The Valen Group, a licensing agency specializing in food and beverages, has developed a strategic plan for licensing Biltmore into retail food and beverage product categories congruent with the Biltmore brand and heritage.

Set among 8,000 acres in Asheville, N.C., including 75 acres of gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Biltmore House was completed in 1895 through the vision of George Vanderbilt. The estate encompasses a fully operational farm that supplies Biltmore’s five restaurants with fresh produce and award-winning wines.

Deal Expands Geneon Titles North American Distribution

FUNimation Entertainment and Geneon Entertainment, a producer of Japanese animation, are teaming up to distribute select DVD titles in North America. FUNimation Entertainment obtained the exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of Geneon titles, including international successes "Ergo Proxy," "Hellsing Ultimate" and "Black Lagoon."

Among the first titles to be released includes the special edition of "Hellsing Ultimate," directed by Tomokazu Tokoro and produced by Satelight (“Aquarion” and “Baldr Force EXE Resolution”).

Follow up releases include "Black Lagoon Second Barrage," “Karin,” "Kyo Kara Maoh Season 2" and "Lyrical Nanoha."

Naruto Energy Drink Hits Shelves

Naruto’s energy drink, Jutsu Power Energy Drink, has been shipped to regional and national retailers including Hot Topic, Hastings Entertainment, Trans World Entertainment and Spencer Gifts, according to Boston America Corp. Each 8.4-ounce can contains a green melon-flavored energy drink. 

Boston America manufactures licensed tinned candies, cosmetics and energy drinks that are distributed to the specialty market.


National Geographic Partners with kidthing

National Geographic is expanding its brand through learning games, read-along stories, creativity products, videos and more through kidthing.  As part of the multiyear, wide-ranging relationship, National Geographic titles about animals, habitats, space, geography, dinosaurs and more are being created for exclusive distribution on kidthing and will be featured in National Geographic’s own learning area within the kidthing store. This learning area will open in fall 2008.       

Kidthing is a Web 2.0 digital platform, free downloadable digital media player and a connected store filled with a variety of entertaining and engaging content. At kidthing, parents choose content for their children by browsing, previewing and purchasing digital versions of books, interactive games, creativity products and videos. Products are available for purchase in the kidthing store on an a la carte basis starting at 99 cents.

Rust-Oleum Expands Portfolio of Licenses

The Valen Group has negotiated three new brand extension agreements for their client, Rust-Oleum.

Primesource International BP have licensed “Certified Protection by Rust-Oleum” for a line of specially coated screws and nails used for decks and other exterior wood projects. The Certified by Rust-Oleum fasteners will be available in The Home Depot, Lowes and other major hardware retailers nationwide this summer.

Linzer Products have licensed and launched a fully branded line of Rust-Oleum paint brushes and roller covers that target both professionals and do-it-yourselfers with high-quality affordable paint applicators. Products can be found in Home Depot stores.

Four Seasons Global Marketing has licensed “Certified Protection by Rust-Oleum” for their wrought iron patio furniture and gazebos. Products will launch in spring 2009.

Toei Animation Launches Web Site for One Piece

Toei Animation Europe, a subsidiary of the Japanese business Toei Animation, has launched a Web site for animated property One Piece.

The Web site,


, features complete series overviews, historical information and character descriptions, video clips, and business information. 

More Licensees Sign Up for Linguaphone’s Pingu English

Language training business, The Linguaphone Group, has signed a raft of new licensees for character-based pre-school English language course, Pingu’s English.

Al-Khaleej Training and Education, which has been running adult language training centers in the Middle East with the Linguaphone Group since 1998, has signed as Pingu’s English master licensee for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. 

Awan Sensory Marketing has signed as Pingu’s English master licensee for Malaysia and business entrepreneur Hatice Karahan Piskin has just secured the rights to develop Pingu’s English throughout Turkey, launching in Istanbul in the autumn.

“Little Princess” Travels to Japan and Korea

The Illuminated Film Company, working with TV-Loonland, has signed a deal for broadcasting, DVD and licensing rights to “Little Princess” in Japan with Japanese distributor Chuo Eiga Boeki (Central Film Trading), working in conjunction with H&M Incorporated. Kids Station has already taken both series (65 episodes) and will debut the show this month.

Illuminated has also sold both series to Educational Broadcasting System (EBS) in Korea, where broadcasting of the series will begin in September. The producer is also in negotiations on the video (DVD) and licensing rights for the same territory.

AEG Live Gets Together with ThemeStar

Live entertainment producer and presenter AEG Live and ThemeStar have entered a joint venture to develop and secure intellectual property rights to produce and present arena spectacles and family entertainment worldwide.

ThemeStar produces and tours shows in more than 25 countries, and AEG owns and operates venues throughout the world, including Australia’s AEG-Ogden venues, China’s Beijing Arena, London’s O2 Arena and Berlin’s O2 World.

The venture will widen the scope of ThemesStar’s work from stage shows to arena spectaculars and other multi-faceted events.

The Simpsons Expands into Vinyl Mini-figures

This August, Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising and “The Simpsons” creator, Matt Groening, team up with Kidrobot, a creator and retailer of limited-edition art toys and apparel, to release the first Simpsons vinyl toy mini-figure series. With 24 figures in total, it will be the biggest Kidrobot-produced mini-figure series to date. Each vinyl stands 3 inches tall, includes a character sticker, and comes blind-boxed to preserve its identity. Figures will be sold separately (or can be purchased by the case) for $7.95 at all four Kidrobot stores, kidrobot.com and at select retailers worldwide.

Modigliani Appoints Marathon Projects Its Licensing Agent

Modigliani Italian Design, makers of Italian ceramics, blown glass and flatware, has named Marathon Projects as their licensing agent. Marathon Projects will oversee the program with a focus on complementary home décor, furniture and gift products such as bedding, melamine dinnerware, placemats, storage boxes, table linens, towels, wall paper, ceramic tiles, carpeting, furniture and party goods.

Character World Wins Wall-E License

Disney Pixar has signed the U.K.’s Character World to produce bedroom ranges for summer blockbuster, Wall-E. The Wall-E collection includes duvets, curtains, fleece blankets and snuggle sacs.

Danny Schweiger, director at Character World, says: “There is a real buzz around Wall-E, especially after the hugely successful release in America. It looks set to be the family movie of the summer and its wide appeal means the brand looks set to be around for a long time. It complements our ever expanding range of movie licenses for 2008 and beyond.”

Character World, supplies brands including Disney Princess, Roary the Racing Car, High School Musical, Thomas, Dora the Explorer and the Simpsons.

AT New Media and Granada Ventures Name First Interactive Deals

Interactive games and content licensing agency AT New Media and Granada Ventures have started signing deals with games publishers and developers across Granada’s portfolio.

Among the deals are mobile games for Krypton Factor with Gameloft; compendium board games with Tigerprint for Bullseye; a mobile game for University Challenge with Capcom; and skill-with-prizes games for Ant & Dec Saturday Night Takeaway and for Coronation Street with Bell Fruit.

Other deals for casual games, IDTV, console, handheld, and gaming products on and offline are being negotiated.

Executive Moves

  • MODA International Marketing has hired John Fraser as vice president of licensing and marketing. Prior to joining MODA, Fraser was vice president of marketing for Classic Media and its Lassie Pet Products subsidiary.

    • Salvador Viramontes has been promoted to vice president sales, retail and marketing, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and Javier Garza has been promoted to vice president, Latin America, at Warner Bros. Consumer Products. 
      In his new role, Viramontes will be based in London and report to Bruno Schwobthaler, senior vice president sales and business development for WBCP in that region. His primary responsibilities will include: supervising category sales for the EMEA region, overseeing implementation of retail business development programs and supervising the development and implementation of marketing initiatives within the region.
      Garza, who will continue to be based in Mexico, will step into the regional vice president role vacated by Viramontes. In addition to continuing to direct WBCP operations in Mexico, he will oversee the development of business throughout Latin America managing all key entertainment properties as well as the division’s soccer representations.  He will report to Jeffrey Whalen, senior vice president and  general manager Asia Pacific, Latin America and third party licensing.

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