Weekly E-news, Issue #87, November 30, 2004
FAO Schwarz Reopens Its Doors
FAO Schwarz is back in business, opening the doors to its famed Manhattan location Thanksgiving Day. Forced into bankruptcy last February, the retailer re-emerged with a new look including floor-to-ceiling windows and 20,000 colored lights on a gridded ceiling. In the center of the amphitheater-style floor is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, FAO Schweetz. The merchandise mix will remain on the upper end, although the chain also will sprinkle in items that sell for less than $20.
ToddWorld Inks Deal with Publishing Partner
ToddWorld goes from the airwaves to the bookshelves as Taffy Entertainment signed a publishing deal with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (a division of the Time Warner Book Group). The publishing program tentatively will consist of approximately 20 titles, beginning in fall 2005 and continuing through spring 2008. Formats include: 8 x 8 sticker books, sticker-storybooks, oversized boardbooks, lift-the-flap and other novelty books. ToddWorld currently airs on the READY SET LEARN! block on TLC and the Discovery Kids Channel. L&G Licensing+ manages the licensing, publishing, and merchandising for the property, while series owner Taffy Entertainment is handling worldwide TV and video sales.
Shushybye Is a Real Sleeper Property
Blue Box Toys acquired the worldwide master toy license for Shushybye, an original infant through preschool entertainment brand created and managed by The Shushybye Co. Plush, playsets, the Shushybye King’s Castle, the Shushybye Train, and a Snoozles’ musical Dream Wand will debut in fall 2005. The property launched in May as a book series and original music entertainment brand that features characters who live in such Shushybye villages as Nap Valley, Snore Shore, Yawn Island, and Slumber Heights. The Shushies—led by Snoozles—make dreams, then place their finished dreams in Dream Boxes. Conductor McCloud places the Dream Boxes on the Shushybye Train and delivers them to children as they fall asleep.
RIOT Launches First Prong in Licensing Push
RIOT Media, the new multiplatform brand developing products and entertainment content for ’tween boys, signed its first deals for the brand. NTD Apparel will create sportswear, including T-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, baseball shirts, knit tops, sweatpants, shorts, and bottoms due in spring 2005. Airborne Entertainment, a publisher of branded mobile entertainment, will develop interactive games, ring tones, animated ringers, and wallpapers for cell phones, while Tide-mark Press will come to market with 2006 wall calendars. Other initiatives include a magazine, comic book, trading cards, posters, and stickers in spring 2005. A Website with games, activities, chats, and an on-line retail component also will debut early in 2005.
The CIA Extends into Apparel
Aramark-Wearguard signed a deal with The Culinary Institute of America to create a line of chef apparel for restaurants, hotels, and other food service outlets. Aramark will unveil coats, jackets, hats, and eventually footwear. Broad Street Licensing Group brokered the deal.
CopCorp Licensing Is Big on Minor League Small Stars
CopCorp Licensing, the exclusive global licensing agent for Minor League Small Stars, inked deals with The Northwest Company and Kappa Books for the new boys’ character-branded, sports-themed property from 2 City Chicks, Inc. The Northwest Company will create sheet sets, comforters, pillowcases, pillows, bed throw sets, woven throws, fleece throws, tufted rugs, coordinating totes, and other bedding products. Kappa Books signed on to publish coloring and activity books. Soon to be announced are deals in mobile downloads and calendars. CopCorp also is negotiating with a major apparel manufacturer and continues to seek partners in toys, stationery, party goods, and boys’ accessories.
Jakks’ Got Game
Jakks Pacific expanded its assortment of plug-and-play gaming systems through a new deal with FremantleMedia North America. As part of the deal, Jakks will market and distribute products featuring classic game show titles The Price Is Right and Family Feud. In addition, Jakks secured other titles including Password, Beat the Clock, Matchgame, Card Sharks, and Press Your Luck. The Price Is Right TV Games and Family Feud TV Games units are expected to launch in 2006.
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