Stone America Licensing, LLC, signed on two new clients: actress Amanda Bynes and anime company Central Park Media for claymation title Doggy Poo. The Doggy Poo DVD, book, and soundtrack CD are now available at retailers including amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Target, and fye. Stone America will pursue licensing in plush, figurines, and novelties, according to Robert A. Stone, president, Stone America.
Hush Puppies Plush to Debut
Wolverine World Wide, Inc., signed a multi-year contract with Russ Berrie and
Company, Inc., for a line of Hush Puppies-branded plush toys. This global licensing agreement enables the Hush Puppies plush program to be available through its network of licensees in more than 130 countries. The collection will be distributed in the U.S. through the RUSS sales team, and will be available in September at upscale gift, specialty, and toy stores. The initial product offering is an assortment of plush items varying in size from 5 to 18 inches. Suggested retails are expected to range from $5 to $50.
Artist Thomas Arvid Signs CBG
Artist Thomas Arvid has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with brand development and licensing agency Creative Brands Group, Inc. CBG will represent Arvid for future publishing and licensing opportunities. The subject of his work is wine and the pleasure it brings to life. A self-taught artist, Arvid says he depicts “the landscape between people drinking wine together.”
Jay Jay Goes Down Under
Australian broadcaster The Nine Network Australia selected PorchLight Entertainment’s animated preschool series, Jay Jay The Jet Plane, as part of its morning kids’ block. In addition to broadcast airing, Nine will support the series with a multi-layered marketing campaign that includes on-air promotion and dedicated Web space on ninemsn.com.au with links to the global Jay Jay Website. Additionally, it will use key consumer publications to target preschool parents, teachers, and caregivers, and aims to create national brand recognition.
Albertsons.com, the online grocery service of Albertsons, Inc., expanded its online grocery service to serve Sacramento area residents in 80 zip codes. With its expansion into Sacramento, Albertsons.com now serves 10 major metropolitan areas in California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Shoppers can go to Albertsons.com, register, and place their order for delivery or in-store pick-up. Online orders placed by midnight will be delivered by 10 a.m. the following day. Online orders placed by 10 a.m. can be picked up at selected Albertsons locations after 5 p.m. the same day. A fee of $9.95 is charged for door-to-door delivery and $4.95 for pick-up at any Albertsons store in the Sacramento area.
Bolds Steps for John Deere
Bold Games, a unit of Destineer, and Gabriel Entertainment announce the first computer game licensed by Deere & Company, John Deere American Farmer. The PC CD-ROM game allows players to build and manage a successful farm. Players can decide what crops to plant, livestock to raise, employees to hire, equipment to purchase, and structures to build. Plagues, weather, market trends, and employee skill level also are factors. The game is available at most mass merchant retailers nationwide and participating John Deere dealers for a suggested retail of $19.99.
RAAGS Rock Out on DVD
Rock n’ roll hits the right note with kids via the RAGGS Kids Club Band “Pawsuuup! Tour” on DVD and VHS August 17 from RAGGS, LLC. The RAGGS Kids Club Band is a touring troupe whose live concerts can be seen at malls, fairs/festivals, and daily summer shows at the Palace Theater in Myrtle Beach, SC. The “Pawsuuup! Tour” music video is the first in a new line of videos, DVDs, and CDs featuring the band. Future releases include “Unleashed,” music videos mixed with live action, available in October, and “Holiday Jam,” a live-action episodic program filmed on the ski slopes of Colorado and based on the band’s holiday CD, due in November. Each release will include a DVD, VHS, and accompanying musical CD. Suggested retails range from $12.98 (DVD) to $9.98 (VHS and CD).
Senario LLC introduces Sweet Thang plush candy-shaped pillows. The retro-inspired pillows, for ages 5 and up, feature candy and snack brands from Tootsie, Nestlè, and Hostess including Sugar Babies, Junior Mints, Butterfinger, Nestlé Crunch Bar, BabyRuth, SweetTarts, and Hostess Twinkie the Kid, to name a few. The pillows (suggested retail, $29.99) also feature huggable bodies, high-end embroidery, and realistic lamé labeling.
Master Toy Licensee for Delgo
Fathom Studios and its licensing agency, Joy Tashjian Marketing Group (JTMG), awarded the master toy license for computer-animated feature film Delgo to Playmates Toys. The toy line includes dolls and figures at several price points, as well as play sets, action figures, vehicles, play environments, and toy accessories. Delgo is a fantasy adventure film and the first independently produced computer-animated feature in the U.S. The voice cast includes Freddie Prinze, Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt, Anne Bancroft, Val Kilmer, Chris Kattan, Kelly Ripa, Eric Idle, Michael Clarke Duncan, Malcolm McDowell, Burt Reynolds, and Lou Gossett, Jr. The toy licensing agreement follows a publishing deal with Penguin Group (USA) Inc. for illustrated picture books, novelizations, storybooks, hardcover novels, Mad Libs, and movie scrapbooks.
Bill Strickland joined Collegiate Images as president of business development and sales. He previously spent 11 years at the University of Massachusetts where he served as associate athletic director of media relations, associate director of external affairs, and most recently, associate athletic director of administration and operations. Strickland will develop new business opportunities for video-on-demand, DVDs, and the emerging technologies. He also will serve as Collegiate Images’ account manager for ESPN.
Matthew Uppenbrink was promoted to director of licensing at Pokémon USA, Inc. In the newly created position, Uppenbrink is responsible for growing the consumer products licensing programs for the Pokémon brand including feature movies, the animated TV series, video games, trading cards, and a roster of more than 40 licensees/manufacturers. He previously handled international licenses for a variety of Nickelodeon properties at MTV Networks.
Lynn Kastin joined Pokémon USA, Inc., and will manage all licensing categories for North America, Latin America, and Australia. She previously was with the consumer products division of Sesame Workshop and handled product development for Sesame Street, Dragon Tales, and Sagwa.
What’s in a Name?
As part of its efforts to establish a globally consistent corporate brand image, Square Enix U.S.A., Inc., now will be called Square Enix, Inc. Additionally, Yoichi Wada, president of Square Enix Co., Ltd., also will be CEO of Square Enix, Inc. Jun Iwasaki and Ichiro Otobe, both co-COOs of Square Enix, Inc., will lead the video game business, and the mobile and new network entertainment business, respectively.
Silver Lining Productions signed on Little Packrats to develop specialized Olivia backpacks. The new collection, based on the piglet from Ian Falconer’s children’s book series, will debut at the 2004 New York International Gift Fair from August 14 to 18. Suggested retails range from $60 for a 15-inch backpack featuring an Olivia school-girl pose with appliquéd and 3-D elements to $40 for a fashion backpack featuring an Olivia dress-up pose with adjustable straps and top carry handle.
Bradshaw and A. Aronson Partner
Bradshaw International and A. Aronson will partner to consolidate licensed products and cross-merchandising promotions. Bradshaw will assume responsibility for all distribution and sales of A. Aronson’s licensed products in the North American market. A. Aronson will continue to manage the creative direction and product development of these products, as well as Bradshaw’s new XMP cross-merchandising program. A. Aronson’s customer service function was transferred to Bradshaw July 1, 2004; all shipments will move to Bradshaw’s new distribution center in Rancho Cucamonga, CA October 1.
Majesco continued its Game Boy Advance Video roll out with The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius. The title (suggested retail, $19.99) contains four episodes including “Brobot,” “The Big Pinch,” “Granny Baby,” and “Time is Money.” As part of Majesco’s expanded GBA Video lineup, Jimmy Neutron joins such other Nickelodeon properties as SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents, All Grown Up!, and Dora the Explorer. Notes Jesse Sutton, CEO, Majesco, “We will continue our planned roll out of family friendly titles, while simultaneously looking to grow the category by publishing more mature content in the future.”
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