April 6, 2018
Rocks the Box Office
The latest Batman installment
The Dark Knight
has taken the top spot as best opening weekend for a movie garnering $155.3 million at the box office.
had held the record since May 2007 when that movie earned just over $151 million.
The Dark Knight
also earned the best debut at IMAX theaters with $6.2 million versus
with $4.7 million.
The movie’s success was spurred on, in part, by great reviews and the buzz surrounding the performance of the late Heath Ledger who plays the Joker.
The Dark Knight’s
dominance at the box office is great news for retailers who are hoping a successful movie will be the jumping off point for a robust offering of licensed goods that will extend into the all-important holiday selling season.
Kmart, for example, has partnered with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Comics, and is calling itself the "Official Batman Headquarters."
The retailer has opened in-store boutiques, located atthe front of Kmart stores, that include licensed products from the movie, such as toys, kids’ apparel, costumes, bedding and accessories, and men’s apparel, along with an exclusive Kmart
The Dark Knight
Mattel Wins in Bratz Case
Mattel has won its copyright infringement case against MGA. A jury found that designer Carter Bryant created the concept for Bratz dolls while under contract with Mattel. The verdict means that, going forward, Mattel can file an injunction preventing MGA from producing the dolls without Mattel’s permission or can claim damages and even part ownership of the brand that analysts estimate has annual sales between $500 million to as high as $2 billion. The judge also ruled that privately owned MGA will have to disclose how much Bratz has made in sales since its launch in 2001.
The next phase of the trial starts tomorrow when the same 10-person jury will decide the amount of damages against MGA.
E3 Uploads New Deals, Products
E3 may have been dramatically reduced in scale (and noise) this year, but that didn’t stop the big game console makers and software developers from announcing a slew of new partnerships and products. The biggest news came from the hardware manufacturers with Xbox 360 announcing a partnership with Netflix to stream video to the console and the launch of Xbox live, a virtual community that Microsoft is positioning to dominate the living room. Not to be outdone, Sony will be downloading media content to PS3 that can be transferred to a PSP to go.
There are plenty of play and sing-along music games with extensions of popular franchises including a High School Musical 3 game that teaches dance moves. Dance Dance Revolution is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a new release. Virtual worlds are getting more robust with places like Sims welcoming branded content and increasing licensing agreements with names like H&M and Ikea.
Some big entertainment properties have new games including Lego Batman, Bolt, Tinker Bell, Camp Rock, Street Fighter, Conan, Lara Croft and American Idol.
UK Licensing Awards Reveal Finalists
The UK Licensing Awards 2008 have named category finalists.
Five new categories have been added this year, covering brand licensing across sports, celebrities and general brands.
A panel of buyers from retailers including Amazon, Boots, Bhs, Clinton Cards, Debenhams, HMV, Mothercare, New Look, Tesco, WHSmith and Woolworths judges the product award categories.
The retailer categories are nominated by manufacturers, suppliers and importers of licensed products. The property categories are nominated by licensees and retailers.
The finalists in each of the three categories are:
The retail award finalists:
- Best Baby/Pre-School Retailer (aimed at 0-5 year olds) of licensed products: Asda (including George), Boots, M&S, Mothercare, Woolworths
- Best Schoolers Retailer (aimed at 5-9 year olds) of licensed products: Argos, The Entertainer, Tesco, Toys R Us, Woolworths
- Best Tweens and/or Teens Retailer (aimed at 9-16 year olds) of licensed products: Asda (including George), Clinton Cards, Littlewoods, New Look, Waterstones
- Best Brands Retailer: Bhs, Boots, Debenhams, HMV, JJB Sports
- Best Direct-Selling Retailer: Amazon.com, Play.com, Forbiddenplanet.com, Express Gifts, Avon
Product category finalists:
- Best Licensed Toys Or Games Range: Ben 10 Toy Collection from Bandai, Peppa Pig Activity Range from Character Options, In The Night Garden Toy Range from Hasbro, Indiana Jones Classic Collection from Lego, Roary The Racing Car Range from Vivid Imaginations
- Best Licensed Dress-up and/or Party Range: Lazy Town Dress-up Collection from Cesar UK, Disney Princesses Dress-up from The Christy Group, Dr Who Dress-up from The Christy Group, High School Musical Year Book Dress-up from Rubies Masquerade, Thunderbirds Adult Dress-up from Smiffy’s
- Best Licensed Children’s Apparel Or Accessories Range: In The Night Garden Nightwear from Aykroyd & Sons; High School Musical, Woolworths Exclusive Range from Blues Clothing; Dora The Explorer, Fruit Collection from Cohen & Wilkes; Haynes Children’s T-Shirts from Next; Dumbo, Sainsbury’s Exclusive Nursery Range from Westward
- Best Licensed Adult Apparel Or Accessories Range: Sesame Street T-Shirts from Famous Forever, Raleigh Chopper Accessories from Half Moon Bay, Born To Shop Nightwear from Intimas, Shaun The Sheep Ladies Leisurewear from Silverknit, Plain Lazy Nightwear and Underwear from TDP Textiles
- Best Licensed Written, Listening Or Learning Range: Life On Mars (Rules Of Modern Policing) from Bantam Press; High School Musical Book Range from Parragon Books; Flower Fairies Novelty Gift Format from Penguin Books; Vintage Ladybird Collection from Penguin Books; Dora The Explorer, Readers Digest Range from Simon & Schuster
- Best Licensed Paper Products Or Stationery Range: Emma Bridgewater Stationery from Blueprint Collections, High School Musical 2 Greeting Cards and Calendars from Danilo, Winnie The Pooh Silhouette Stationery from International Greetings, Paddington Retro Stationery Collection from Rainbow Designs, Charlie & Lola Stationery Range from Roger La Borde
- Best Licensed Giftware Range: Bobbypin 2008 Range from Disaster Designs, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Giftware from Portmeirion, Charlie & Lola Gift Range from Wild & Wolf, Natural History Museum Gift Range from Wow! Stuff, Science Museum Gift Range 2008 from Zeon
- Best Licensed Interactive Range: Go Diego Go! Safari Rescue Wii Game from 2K Games, Ben 10 "Protector Of Earth" Games Range from D3 Publisher Of Europe, Planet Earth DVD Game from Imagination Games, Deal Or No Deal Video Game Range from Mindscape, Ratatouille Video Game from THQ
- Best Licensed Home Décor, Housewares or Bedding Range: High School Musical 2 Lunch Range from DNC, Humphrey’s Corner Bedroom Range from Mothercare, Plain Lazy Lunchware from Navigate, In The Night Garden Children’s Homewares from Spearmark, High School Musical Room Makeover Range from Vogue International
- Best Licensed Food Or Drink Range: In The Night Garden Confectionery Range from Bon Bon Buddies, Batman Celebration Cake from Elisabeth the Chef, The Simpsons Seasonal Confectionery from Kinnerton Confectionery, Peter Rabbit Organics Range from Peter Rabbit Organics, Postman Pat Seasonal Confectionery from Teepee Creative
- The Innovation Award: Britain’s Got Talent Electronic Board Game from Drummond Park, Queen Tooth Tunes from Grosvenor, Haynes Internal Combustion Engine from Trends, Dr Who Dalek Wizz Watch from Wesco, Natural History Museum Radio Controlled Tarantula from Wow! Stuff
- Best Licensed Brand Range – Soft Goods: Jelly Belly Cosmetics from Baylis and Harding, V&A Bed Linen from Bedeck, Andy Warhol Snowboard Range from Burton, Haynes Workwear from Lee Cooper, Mensa Puzzles from Wow! Stuff
- Best Licensed Brand Range – Hard Goods: Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauces from Baxters Food Group, Jamie At Home from Royal Worcester, Marco Pierre White from Salton Europe, V&A Tools Home and Garden 2008 from Wild & Wolf, Michelin Automotive Products from Custom Accessories Europe
The property awards categories:
- Best Baby/Pre-School Licensed Property (aimed at 0-5 year olds): Dora The Explorer, In The Night Garden, Fifi and the Flowertots, Peppa Pig, Roary the Racing Car, Thomas & Friends
- Best Schoolers, Tween or Teen Licensed Property: Ben 10, Dr Who, Hannah Montana, High School Musical, The Simpsons, WWE
- Best Sports Licensed Property: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, England Football, England Rugby, Liverpool Football Club, Manchester Utd
- Best Celebrity Licensed Property: The Beatles, David Beckham, Elvis, Jamie Oliver, Marco Pierre White, Paris Hilton
- Best Brand Licensed Property: Haynes, Jack Daniels, Michelin, Natural History Museum, Playboy, V&A
The winners will be revealed at the The Licensing Awards 2008 on Sept. 17, 2008, at The Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.
MIPCOM Junior Hosts “The Licensing Challenge”
In partnership with
, 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 towww.mipcomjunior.com/ licensing.htm
Apple Opens in Beijing
This past weekend, Apple opened its first store in Beijing, China, the retailer’s 219th location worldwide. According to Apple executive, this store, located in the Village at Sanlitun, reflects Apple’s store design and is the first of many stores that will roll out in China. Two weeks ago the world’s largest Adidas store opened in the same development.
Chefs Become Hot Game Properties
Nintendo and Atari have partnered with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to launch What's Cooking? with Jamie Oliver, a combination cooking game and interactive cookbook, starring the English chef, more commonly known as The Naked Chef. The game will be created by Atari exclusively for Nintendo DS and is scheduled to ship to North America in October 2008.
In a separate deal, Ubisoft will publish Hell’s Kitchen: The Video Game featuring the fiery star of Hell’s Kitchen chef Gordon Ramsey. The game, developed by Ludia, reflects episodes of the Fox show where chefs prepare and serve meals with the winner receiving their own restaurant.
Heidi Sturgess Launches at BLE 2008
English designer Heidi Sturgess is launching her first range of artwork at The Brand Licensing Show. New imagery includes print designs and a wide range of illustrations suitable for merchandising, packaging and publications.
Sturgess is best known for her jewelry and accessory designs, which have been featured in fashion magazines including
. Sturgess is currently writing and illustrating her first children’s books.
She established her own fashion accessories label Heidi Sturgess in January 2001. In 2002 she designed her own label capsule collection for DCK at Topshop Oxford Circus which sold out within days and has gone on to sell her product range to over 130 shops throughout the UK and Europe.
M&M’s Campaign Targets Hispanic Community
M&M’s is extending Inner M, the ad campaign it launched in 2007, into the Hispanic community with the help of celebrities Wilmer Valderrama, formerly of “That '70s Show," and Spanish language TV talk show host Cristina Saralegui.
The celebrity spokespeople will appear in print ads in
People En Espanol
promoting how they embrace their “Inner M.” M&M will also sponsor the 2008 ALMA Awards.
Adrenalina Signs Deal for Fragrance, Footwear
Adrenalina, a retail entertainment destination designed for extreme sports enthusiasts, has signed exclusive licensing agreements to sell Adrenalina-branded children’s footwear and fragrances.
“With over 1 million people visiting each of our stores per year, a popular television program and three magazines, Adrenalina is rapidly becoming the ultimate extreme sports brand,” said Jeffrey Geller, president of Adrenalina.
Adrenalina has agreed to a five-year contract with children’s footwear company Kinderland to create girls and boys shoes with a concentration in skate shoes and fashion sneakers.
Product will be available in stores for spring/summer 2009. In another five-year deal, DLI Enterprises will produce fragrances for both men and women called Live Adrenalina. Targeted to the extreme sports lifestyle, the fragrance will be sold in Adrenalina stores and at other retailers as early as this Christmas.
Whole Foods, ImagiPlay Team Up For Line of Eco-toys
ImagiPlay, a manufacturer of eco-friendly, non-toxic educational toys, will have 13 items from its line selling at Whole Food Markets nationwide. In addition, Whole Food Markets in each region can select 20 to 40 additional items that are market-specific to promote to local customers.
The company produces uniquely designed juvenile products, including an extensive line of animal and environmentally-themed puzzles, playsets, adventure kits, bookends and coat hooks made from a variety of sustainable natural and recycled materials.
UK Sales Fall after May Blip
UK retail sales fell in June, after the heat-driven upward blip in May, according to the British Retail Consortium-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor. UK retail sales values fell 0.4% on a like-for-like basis, compared with June 2007. Sales have now been lower than a year ago in three of the past four months, the worst result since summer 2005.
The changeable weather, after May’s warm sun, hit sales in June, the BRC says. Some sunny days along with summer sales helped some retailers, but underlying trade remained tough, with widespread discounting.
The BRC reports that clothing and footwear fell back sharply after May’s boost, while furniture and homewares weakened further despite continued discounts and promotions. Food and drink was the only sector to show significant growth but that was against a weak June 2007. The survey for June covered five weeks from June to July 5.
Mothercare Pulls Off Growth in Difficult Market
International baby and mother retailer Mothercare bucked the trend and slightly increased first quarter growth in like-for-like sales by 1 percent for the 15 weeks to July 11. Total group sales were up over 20 percent, with the international franchise business up 9 percent like-for-like and over 50 percent in total sales.
Chairman Ian Peacock said: “'The multi-channel UK business has shown resilience in a slow economic environment, strengthened by the successful direct operations. The integration of the Early Learning Centre and the reshaping of the combined property portfolio are both progressing well. The international business goes from strength to strength, driven by strong franchisee like-for-like sales and 32 new store openings, including the opening of our first store in China in the quarter.”
H&M Posts Solid May/June Sales
Like-for-like sales at international fashion retailer H&M fell by 2 percent in June, compared to June 2007, while overall sales increased by 8 percent for the month against market forecasts of a 5.2 percent gain. This compares with a May total sales increase of 25 percent and a boost in like-for-likes of 14 percent, compared with May 2007.
H&M operated 1,600 on June 30, 2008, compared to 1,420 on June 30, 2007.
Ebay Wins Case Brought by Tiffany
Ebay has fended off the US legal challenge from Tiffany in which the jeweller claimed the auction Web site should be liable for the sale of counterfeit goods. If Ebay had lost the case, it could have been forced to check that goods being sold via its site were genuine, or stop sales of high-risk items.
Last month the Internet company lost a similar case brought by LVMH in the French courts, which Ebay is appealing.
Fluid Brands Says Hello Kitty
Fluid Brands, set up by licensing veteran Andrew Lane and former Manchester United licensing supreme Tom Howgate, has been signed by Sanrio as UK licensing agent for Hello Kitty across all categories.
Lane says: “Hello Kitty is a fabulous brand that has been under developed in the UK. We’re already talking to potential licensees and believe that the growth sector for the brand is in teens, tweens and young adults – and even older people with the right product.”
Libby Grant, formerly with Disney in the UK, joins the Fluid Brands team in August as account director for Hello Kitty.
Chorion Launches Brand Character Partnership Division
Chorion has launched new division Chorion Brand Partners, which will specialize in building consumer and corporate brands through marketing and promotional partnerships with blue-chip organizations.
The first deal signed is an agreement to make Paddington Bear the ‘face’ of British Airways children’s travel. From October, all international British Airways flights in and out of the UK will distribute Paddington Bear-branded travel packs for junior passengers aged 3 to 5. The initial two-year deal provides scope for further development onboard, in airports and online.
Chorion partnership manager Vickie Holtom, who will head the division, says: “Consumers of all ages have a deep, emotional connection with both our heritage and characters. Our new division can offer organizations strategic promotional tie-ups, which will help build the company’s brand profile through association with one of our much-loved properties. Chorion Brand Partners will aim to deliver results through collaborative and innovative campaigns.”
The Chorion Brand Partners team was behind last year’s Paddington Bear and Marmite (Unilever Foods) partnership and the Mr Men/Persil deal.
Meanwhile, Chorion has appointed Bandai Spain as toy distributor for Noddy, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2009. This deal follows the signing of NSR as master toy licensee, Spin Master as UK distributor and Lansay as distributor for France and Benelux.
Bandai Spain joins a list of over 200 existing Noddy licensees around the world. The property’s anniversary is being marked with a year of celebrations planned with consumer and retail marketing complementing a new 52-episode television series, a new toy range and a live experience.
BRB Signs DVD Deals
Spain’s BRB Internacional has signed DVD deals for Angus&Cheryl with Urania for the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic; for Iron Kid and Gladiator Academy with Vision Film for Poland; for Teo and David, the Gnome, with Europa Records for Hungary; and the TV movies based on Dogtanian and The Gnomes with Rosmedia, also for Poland.
Taffy Entertainment Grows Eastern European Profile
The MoonScoop Group’s Taffy Entertainment has signed broadcast deals across its portfolio for Eastern Europe.
Lithuania’s LNK has obtained free TV rights to the animated series Dr. Dog and The Fantastic Four. Pet Alien, the 3D CGI-animated comedy series, has been picked up by Ukraine free TV broadcaster 1+1. Croatian distributor Blitz Films has obtained the free TV, pay TV and home video rights to Dive Olly Dive! and SamSam series for ex-Yugoslavian territories. Urania has picked up home video rights to Dive Olly Dive! in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. And Casper’s Scare School, the new CGI-animated series based on the iconic character, has been picked up for home video by SDT in the Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia territories.
“The Eastern European markets are continuing to grow and we’re happy to be meeting their ever-growing demand for quality children’s programming,” said Marie Conge, senior vice president, international sales, at Taffy Entertainment. “All of these new sales are for brands that have already been successful in other territories, so we are confident this trend will continue for our newest partners.”
Dive Olly Dive! Breaks Into Swimwear
EM.Entertainment has signed Beco-Beermann as swimwear and swim accessories licensee for Taffy Entertainment’s Dive Olly Dive! – known as Tauch Timmy Tauch! in Germany – for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The long-term agreement includes babies, toddlers and kids covering bathing suits, life jackets and bathing shoes, armbands, flippers, goggles, snorkels and dive rings. The Dive Olly Dive! line will be available from spring 2009 in sporting goods shops, department stores, children’s specialty shops and in the boutiques of waterparks.
The animated adventure series made its German TV premiere in October 2007 on KI.KA.
Miffy Ceramics Move Under the Rainbow Umbrella
Rainbow Designs is the new name behind the collection of Miffy nursery ceramics created and formerly distributed by Artistic License. Rainbow has reached a strategic agreement with Artistic License whereby Rainbow will take over full responsibility for the distribution and sales of the current collection.
Commenting on the agreement, Rainbow Designs managing director Anthony Temple says: “This delightful gift collection is a natural addition to the wide range of Miffy soft toys and gifts we currently offer. It is a contemporary, stylish range and we are confident it will continue to go from strength to strength in the coming months and years.”
Rainbow Designs’ licensed character gift ranges include Paddington Bear, Miffy, The World of Beatrix Potter, Snoopy ‘Original since 1950’ and Wallace & Gromit. Established in 1971, the company is also a children’s book specialist offering more than 130 character titles.
Mencap Recruits Ben 10 to Help Children Spell
Cartoon Network has teamed up with the UK’s learning disability charity, Mencap, to teach children to spell as part of the charity’s annual spelling competition, Spellathon.
With Ben 10 backing the competition, Mencap hopes to motivate children to take part in Spellathon to improve their spelling. Successful schools will receive a visit from one of Ben’s alien superheroes as a reward for their good work.
Turner Broadcasting’s head of corporate social responsibility Nick Hart says: “Ben’s popularity with young kids is a great way to engage them to learn about words, while getting the chance to raise money for people with a learning disability.”
Keeping Dora in the Picture
Nickelodeon UK has awarded a license to electronic designer and developer In Phase International for Dora The Explorer-branded digital photo frames.
The photo frames ‘play’ photographs that have been uploaded with an SD card, MDXD card or a USB. Between plays of their own photos the Dora Digital Photo Frame displays images of Dora The Explorer and her companions.
Jennyfer Gets Smiley
Smiley Licensing has signed a deal with 350-store value fashion chain Jennyfer to launch the Smileyworld brand using images and icons from the Smiley style guide on T-shirts, sweatshirts and underwear. Jennyfer also sells costume jewelry from Smileyworld licensee SID Bijoux.
Studio100 Media Takes Big and Small to Telepool
Studio100 Media, a subsidiary of Studio100 (Belgium), has signed a deal for new puppetry series Big and Small with Munich-based licensing and distribution company Telepool.
Telepool has acquired TV and home entertainment rights including IPTV and VOD for the series. As part of the deal, Telepool will also be the agent for licensing rights in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Produced by Kindle Entertainment for the BBC, in association with 3J’s Entertainment, Treehouse TV and Studio100 (Belgium), the series of 52 x 11 minute episodes is currently in production and scheduled for delivery in autumn 2008.
Reebok Rolling Out Vince Young Cleat
Reebok is launching the VY Electrify football cleat and trainer, named for Titans quarterback Vince Young. The line will offer three styles of football cleat, plus a preseason trainer and will be available at Dick's Sporting Goods stores and online at DicksSportingGoods.com.
The cleats improve traction on grass and field turf and incorporate Reebok’s pump technology, an external heal counter for comfort and a detachable speed plate for arch stability.
Sherman named to CEO Post at Hudson's Bay
Jeffrey Sherman has been named chief executive of Hudson's Bay Co., which was acquired last Wednesday by Lord & Taylor owner NRDC Equity Partners. Prior to this Sherman held positions at Polo Ralph Lauren, Limited Brands and Federated Department Stores.
According to NRDC the combined companies represent more than $8 billion in retail sales and employ 75,000 people. Richard Baker, NRDC's current chief executive, will lead the new holding company called Hudson's Bay Trading Co.
Marilyn Monroe Images Expand to Blues Clothing
Shaw Family Archives and Bradford Licensing Associates are expanding their global licensing program of Marilyn Monroe images to Blues Clothing.
Blues Clothing, with the help of local French representative RMP, signed a three-year license agreement to use Marilyn Monroe imagery on products such as T-shirts, tops, trousers, dresses and underwear. The clothing will be available first quarter 2009 throughout France, Dom Tom and Benelux.
The partnership represents one of the newest for UK-based manufacturer Blues Clothing, adding to their current portfolio of over 50 licenses.
Van Heusen to Launch Sportswear Program and Retail Stores in Mexico
Van Heusen is partnering with Euro CVH to manufacture and market a full range of Van Heusen sportswear and accessories and expects to open seven Van Heusen retail stores in Mexico by 2012.
Euro CVH, a manufacturer and distributor of fashion apparel and footwear in Mexico and Latin America, will market products under the Van Heusen brand as well as Editions by Van Heusen and Studio by Van Heusen.
In addition to the Van Heusen retail stores to be opened under the agreement, the products will also be available at Sears Mexico and other specialty stores. The Van Heusen brand has been available in Mexico for over 60 years.
Westin Partners with Floral Designer Jane Packer
Westin Hotels & Resorts worldwide will debut original arrangements designed by Jane Packer, a partnership that represents a first of its kind in the industry.
Jane Packer, a globally established florist with a list of celebrity clients and 13 best-selling floral books, created a style guide to be used to create the new signature Westin Hotels botanicals. The arrangements are architectural and classic in style and designed to create an organic welcome experience for guests.
The partnership joins a host of initiatives aimed at renewal and personal wellness recently introduced by Westin Hotels. Recent licensing strategies include a deal with SuperFoods Partners in fall 2007 to create a health-conscious menu for the hotel.
Disney to Roll Out Karaoke Game
Disney Interactive Studios is launching the Disney Sing It karaoke game in October 2008 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 and 3, Wii and Windows-based PCs. The game includes dozens of songs and videos from Disney hit properties including Camp Rock, Hannah Montana and High School Musical.
Cartoon Network, National Basketball Association Partner on Ben 10 Apparel Line
The National Basketball Association and Cartoon Network are partnering on a joint consumer products and promotional campaign based on the television series "Ben 10: Alien Force." The youth apparel product line, which integrates the program’s characters with NBA league and team logos and mascots, will launch at the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix. Distribution of the product, which includes long- and short-sleeved T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies, will be available at NBA Stores, as well as online at NBAStore.com and CartoonNetworkShop.com.
Warner Bros., Swarovski Kick Up Ruby Slippers
In celebration of the 70th anniversary of
The Wizard of Oz
in 2009, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, in partnership with Crystallized - Swarovski Elements, have asked top shoe designers to reinterpret Dorothy’s iconic ruby slippers for modern times. The exclusive collection will be auctioned with the proceeds benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Designers on tap include A. Testoni, Alberta Ferretti, Betsey Johnson, Botkier, Christian Louboutin, Diane von Furstenberg, Jimmy Choo, L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani, Manolo Blahnik, Moschino, Roger Vivier, Stuart Weitzman and Tuleh.
The Wizard of Oz ruby slipper collection will be officially unveiled at Saks Fifth Avenue and on display for one week in the store's windows. An in-store gala event on the evening of Sept. 4 will launch Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. The collection will also be showcased at an installation surrounding the fountain area at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week’s Bryant Park tents beginning Sept. 5.
InGroup Inks Exclusive Agreement With Canada’s Kersh
Fashion agency InGroup Licensing has been named exclusive licensing agent for Kersh, the Canadian fashion label focused on the young contemporary women’s market. InGroup will work to bring Kersh’s international reputation for natural, chic and sexy sportswear to a wide range of juniors and young women’s products, from footwear and jewelry to outerwear, intimates and accessories.
Kersh fashions are sold throughout Europe, Asia and North America at over 1,400 leading department and specialty stores. U.S. retailers include Macy’s, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Von Maur, Gottschalk’s, Buckle, Bloomingdales and Costco.
Headquartered in Vancouver, Kersh maintains showrooms in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. With the signing of this agreement, Kersh joins current InGroup clients including True Religion Brand Jeans, now licensed into footwear, fragrance, swimwear, handbags, hats and outerwear; and Angels So Sweet, a junior denim brand with handbag, intimates/sleepwear and footwear licenses.
Spawns Video Game
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is partnering with Grin to develop a video game based on the recent movie release
starring Angelina Jolie. The game will launch in late 2008.
New Campaign Promotes Wall•E Game
THQ, a video game and interactive game producer, and WonderGroup are creating a launch campaign for the Wall•E video game coinciding with the release of Disney/Pixar's Wall•E movie.
The campaign includes building a full Web site, an online rich media banner campaign, print advertisements and television development.
In the 3D-filled Web site, visitors can learn about the new game, solve puzzles, interact with the characters and download a demo of the new game.
Universal Launches Family Music Collection
The Universal Music Family collection, featuring singers from Stevie Wonder to Marvin Gaye, Ella Fitzgerald to the Jackson 5, will hit stores Aug. 19.
The series introduces kids to jazz and Motown as well as the ‘80s, the best of Broadway and traveling songs. Each CD is age-graded, comes in recyclable packaging, and includes free temporary tattoos of the label art.
Digimon Adventure 2 and Pretty Cure Available Online
Toei Animation will debut their two most popular animated series, Digimon Adventure 02 and Pretty Cure online this July. Each series will be available for download on IGN.com’s Direct2Drive section.
Slam Dunk and Fist of the North Star were the first titles to premiere online last month. Other animated titles from Toei’s extensive catalog will roll out later this year.
Will & Dewitt Titles Launch DVDs and Cross-promotional Deal with P&G
NCircle Entertainment announced that two new Will & Dewitt titles, “Frog-tastic Family Fun!” and “My BFF (Best Frog Friend),” will be released on DVD for the first time to retail outlets throughout the United States starting Aug. 26 as part of the company’s home entertainment distribution deal with Cookie Jar Entertainment. The DVDs will be made available at the suggested retail price of $11.99.
Will & Dewitt currently airs on the CW4Kids programming block.
The DVD launch includes cross-promotional support from Procter & Gamble Kandoo Products. Through an agreement with P&G, Cookie Jar optioned the use of the frog on the packaging of Kandoo, P&G’s personal care line for toddlers, for a central role in Will & Dewitt. Kandoo is the No. 1 toddler personal care brand in North America and Western Europe.
NCircle is collaborating with P&G to share shelf space at US grocery stores for strategic promotion and placement of the DVDs alongside Kandoo products. In addition, each of the new Will & Dewitt DVDs will include a catalog featuring all of NCircle’s family and children’s home entertainment offerings with a coupon for $1 off Procter & Gamble Kandoo products.
American Idol Develops Next Installment of Game
Konami Digital Entertainment and FremantleMedia Enterprises are developing Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore 2 for Xbox 360, Wii and Playstation 3. Slated for a 2008 holiday launch, the game lets players sing and perform through a full season of competition to claim the virtual winning title of “American Idol.” It features 40 new hit songs and several unique modes of play. Digital versions of Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell judge every performance.
David Palmer has been appointed senior vice president, brand development and talent alliances at Comcast Entertainment Group. Palmer is charged with maximizing exposure and revenue associated with brand extensions and business opportunities in partnership with network talent and key franchises across E! Entertainment, The Style Network and G4.
VF Outdoor has named Paul Sline director of collegiate sales, JanSport. Sline will have responsibility for growing the JanSport collegiate business, which includes backpacks and collegiate apparel. He will report to Steve Munn, president of JanSport, and will be based at the JanSport office in Appleton, Wisc. Sline most recently worked for Stride-Rite and Reebok.
Andy Holtz has joined the Halo Group as a senior account executive at the New York City-based branding agency. Prior to this, Holtz managed product launches, TV productions, ad campaigns and media plans for clients including Verizon Wireless Retail, AutoTrader.com and Chiquita.
Mark Hollingsworth has become chief executive officer of Ragdoll and will oversee the future development of the company, extending his role as Ragdoll’s commercial director. Andrew Davenport, the co-creator of Teletubbies, and creator and author of "In the Night Garden," who joined the board of Ragdoll in 2006, assumes a wider role as creative director and will also contribute to the creative direction of the company as a whole. Davenport will join Hollingsworth, as a director of Ragdoll Worldwide, the joint venture between Ragdoll and BBC Worldwide. Anne Wood, who founded Ragdoll and has been responsible for its creative direction to date, will chair the board while continuing to work with writers and producers in an originating role.
Italy-based Atlantyca Entertainment has appointed author Pierdomenico Baccalario as editor-in-chief to head the company’s content-publishing division, which is dedicated to creating and developing new content for books based on entertainment properties and characters. Baccalario’s first task is to develop the content for Taffy Entertainment’s "Code Lyoko" books.
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