MGA Names Broadcast Partner; New Execs
MGA Entertainment makes its first big entry into the boys’ action market partnering with 4Kids Entertainment on the broadcast of Alien Racers. The CGI series will premiere Saturday mornings on FOX BOX in spring 2005. SD Entertainment will produce the series in concert with MGA’s Alien Racers creative team. MGA Entertainment will support the launch with radio-controlled vehicles with integrated characters and a brand-new action figure line. On-pack comic books and an interactive Website,
will also drive awareness for the property. In other news, the company adds three new industry veterans including Mel Woods as president, Sid Kaufman as executive vice president of licensing worldwide, and Ron Brawer as executive vice president of sales and marketing.
Big Tent to Support Dragon
Big Tent Entertainment was named the marketing and licensing agent for
Dragon, a preschool TV series created by Cite Amerique, Scopas Medien, and Image Plus. As part of the deal, Big Tent Entertainment will manage the marketing, promotional, and licensing initiatives for the property in North and South America, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand. The property is based on the book series by Dave Pilkey, author of “Captain Underpants.”
Sesame Workshop Expands Publishing Program
Sesame Workshop broadened its publishing focus with new categories planned to launch between fall 2004 and summer 2005. Coming to shelves will be Sesame Street novelty books from Reader’s Digest Children's Publishing, educational workbooks and flashcards from Learning Horizons, coloring and activity books from Bendon Publishing, storybooks from Dalmatian Press, and new trade formats from Random House Children’s Books. Random House Children’s Books continues its Sesame Beginning publishing program featuring all-new baby versions of the Sesame Street characters. Sesame Workshop is also in the midst of creating an online digital archive system that will make 250 book and magazine titles available to licensees by the end of the year.
G Studios recently launched four new properties: Earth 2 Jane, For Giving Souls, The Land of Milk and Honey, and Tall Hats. Teen lifestyle brand Earth 2 Jane has already attracted licensees including RC2, Townley, and H.E.R. Accessories. A live-action and animation TV series is due in fall 2005. Inspirational brand For Giving Souls secured a range of licensees for gifts targeted at woman. The Land of Milk and Honey combines nursery rhymes and characters and is aimed at expectant moms and others with products being created by Janlynn Corp., Springs Industries, and Harvest House. Tall Hats, which celebrates the gifts of children around the world, will be supported by Springs Industries, Borders Unlimited, and The Northwest Co. A TV series is on tap for spring 2006. The company also plans to launch three other brands next year.
The Koala Brothers to Make VHS/DVD Debut
Spellbound Entertainment inked a long-term deal with Lions Gate Family Home Entertainment to bring The Koala Brothers to the VHS/DVD marketplace in North America in 2005. In addition to the rights to the television episodes currently on Playhouse Disney, the deal includes a new holiday special presently in production in the UK. The show will soon debut in Canada on TV Ontario, Knowledge Network, SCN, and Tele-Quebec. The licensing program is up and running with Fisher Price (master toy), Random House (publishing), American Greetings (social expressions), Children’s Apparel Network (boys & girls apparel), Jay Franco & Sons (domestics), and Spinmaster (novelty furniture and toys).
Nancy Bailey Relocates; Names New President
Nancy Bailey & Associates is moving its headquarters to Atlanta, GA. The company has announced the promotion of Nell Roney to president with Nancy Bailey becoming chairman. In her new role, Roney will manage the overall business operations including brand management, client services, product approvals, and contract and royalty compliance. Bailey will continue to provide strategic direction for the company as a whole and focus on new business development and international growth.
National Lampoon DVD Collection to Debut
National Lampoon, Inc. and Genius Products, Inc. signed a deal to create and distribute a new comedy line of National Lampoon-branded DVDs in first quarter 2005. The titles will be released through Genius Products’ new Branded Distribution Network, which consists of home entertainment retailers of all sizes.
A Shapely Licensing Program
Senario is sweet on licensing extending its Sweet Thang plush pillow line to include new candy-shaped pillows such as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Dubble Bubble, and York Peppermint Patties. In 2005, the company will move beyond the “candy aisle” with new licenses and shapes such as Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, Orange Crush, Squirt, and A&W and cereal brands such as Trix, Lucky Charms, and Coco Puffs.
TOKYOPOP Adds New Licensee
TOKYOPOP Inc. extends the licensee list for Rave Master signing on Antioch Publishing to create bookmarks in early 2005. The line kicks off with two beaded designs: one of the series’ teen hero, Haru, and the other of his sidekick, Ellie. The new licensee joins Hasbro, Avalanche, Dark Horse, Jay Franco & Sons, Mad Engine, and Toy Quest.
Ocean Pacific Apparel Corp. signed a licensing deal with OS3 Distribution LLC for a line of longboard skateboards. Under the agreement, OS3 will design, produce, market, and sell “Op”-branded longboard skateboards and slalom-style cruising skateboards through specialty surf and skate shops, and at better sporting goods retail locations nationally.
Executives Take on New Roles
Emily Brenner has been promoted to vice president, editorial director for
HarperFestival and HarperKidsEntertainment. In her new role, Brenner will continue to work and build HarperFestival and HKE and take on the I Can Read program. William V. Uzell was appointed executive vice president of the Electronic Learning Products division of Oregon Scientific. He will be responsible for the overall management, continued expansion of the product line, licensing evaluations, sales, marketing, and branding initiative activities for the division. Shawn Elmore was named national sales manager at the Michael Weems Co. and will be responsible for hiring and training sales representatives across the country and increasing key account business. Bruce Nelson, chairman and CEO of Office Depot, resigned by mutual agreement with the board of directors. Neil R. Austrian, a member of the board of directors and chairman of the finance committee, will serve as interim chairman and chief executive, while the board conducts a search for a permanent replacement.
RoadShow Europe, October 24-25, Empire Cinema—Leicester Square, London
The L.A. Office’s RoadShow Europe is the movie industry’s first-ever European marketing and promotional event to introduce Hollywood’s upcoming releases and future marketing opportunities intended for the European market. Through on-screen multimedia property presentations by the major film studios, RoadShow Europe will bring the power of Hollywood to your brand. RoadShow Europe offers a unique, all-day program to explore future marketing and product placement opportunities with top marketing executives from Hollywood’s major studios. RoadShow is where brands and entertainment connect! Call (310) 275-2088 or visit
for more information.
LINK - Licensing International Networking Conference - is pleased to announce Warren Kornblum, president and CEO of Shadow Entertainment Group and former CMO of Toys "R" Us as a LINK keynote speaker. Latin American Roundtable panelists include Davide Diesendruk, Redibra; Elias Fasja, Tycoon Enterprises; and Elias Hofman, Exim Licensing Group. Local vs. Global panelists include Marcus Macedo, Warner Bros. Consumer Products Brazil and Lisa Weger, Cartoon Network Latin America. This is in addition to a full roster of speakers, which can be viewed at
Attendees of this executive-level educational and networking event presented by License! include: FAB/Starpoint, General Motors, Hot Topic, Joester Loria Group, Mervyn's, and Target Stores. A full list is available on our Website. LINK takes place at the Doral Golf & Spa Resort in Miami from November 2 - 4, 2004. WHERE WILL YOU BE? Only three weeks left to register at
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