Smith & Wollensky Bites into Licensing
InGroup Licensing took a “steak” in The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group with plans to create a licensing program for the chain. First categories on the radar include tabletop accessories, cooking, grilling and bakeware, and condiments and sauces targeted at better food stores and boutique and high-end food-related retailers. The original Smith & Wollensky currently is one of the largest-grossing à la carte restaurants in the country. Since its inception in 1977, the company has grown to 17 restaurants.
FUNimation Named Agent for Code Lyoko
Moonscoop named FUNimation Productions Ltd. exclusive licensing agent for Code Lyoko in the U.S. FUNimation will pursue licensees across all major categories with on-shelf presence planned for early next year. The deal also makes FUNimation the exclusive home video distributor to Code Lyoko for the U.S. and English-speaking Canada. The program currently airs on Cartoon Network’s action-adventure Miguzi slot. Moonscoop also sold the series internationally, including deals with Cartoon Network for Toonami in the UK and Cartoon Network Spain, Jetix Latin America, Canada’s YTV and Radio Canada, the Disney Channel Italy, NRK in Norway, Morocco’s 2M, Noga in Israel, and distributor CFI in Africa, as well as several distributors across India and the Middle East.
Russ Berrie and Co. to Support Madagascar
Russ Berrie and Co. signed a multi-year licensing agreement with DreamWorks Animation to create a line of gifts for upcoming film Madagascar. The line of plush, plush key chains and backpack danglers, hand puppets, picture frames, figurines, and mugs will be targeted at specialty chains and at grocery and drug mass-market retailers.
No More Dog Breath
Scholastic Entertainment and Charles Flora Consumer Products, LLC, will introduce a line of Lavoris Kids oral-care products featuring Clifford the Big Red Dog. The line launched exclusively at CVS this month with flavored dental rinse, toothpaste, and gel. The oral-care line will be available nationwide in spring 2005.
Mattel Acquires Rights to Popular Threesome
Mattel, Inc., acquired the rights to manufacture, distribute, and market Mad Gab, TriBond, and Blurt! board games from Patch Properties. Mattel entered into multi-year worldwide licensing agreements with the inventors of these three properties. Mattel will support the games with a multifaceted marketing program throughout the term of the agreement, including retail promotions and TV advertising.
Classic Media Gets “Malled”
Classic Media raised the profile on its properties such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Lassie, and the Little Golden Books brand through a new deal with mall owner and developer General Growth Properties. As part of the deal, GGP will create consumer events, theme entertainment areas, and mall décor, with the “12 Days of Rudolph” campaign kicking off at 177 locations December 1. Twelve shoppers at each mall location have the opportunity to win a life-sized Rudolph plush from Build-A-Bear Workshop. During the campaign, shoppers at each GGP mall will test their Rudolph knowledge by answering a daily trivia question. One winner per day will walk away with the giant Rudolph. Several locations also will feature Rudolph-themed holiday photo experiences, complete with sets and costume characters inspired by the original TV classic.
Weebles Star in Wendy’s QSR
The Hasbro Properties Group will partner with Wendy’s on a QSR promotion for Weebles through December 31. As part of the promotion, three different characters will be available in Kids Meals for children ages 3 and under. The program is being supported with in-store and out-of-store point-of-sale materials.
LeapFrog Names Exclusive Agent
Brandgenuity LLC will be the exclusive licensing agency for LeapFrog Enterprises with a goal of extending the brand into strategic product categories, both electronic and non-electronic. “The LeapFrog brand is all about setting new standards for educating and engaging kids,” says Jay Asher, managing director of Brandgenuity. “Now, through licensing we will be able to bring this leadership and expertise to a wide range of product categories targeted to infants, preschool, and elementary-school-aged children.”
LazyTown to Reach Canadian Audiences
LazyTown, a combination of CGI, live action, and puppets, began airing yesterday on Canadian kids’ network YTV. The series already airs on Nick Jr., as well as on the new Nick CBS Saturday morning lineup. Produced in Iceland, the series uses music, movement, and humor to help kids make healthier choices in their everyday lives. Inspiration for LazyTown, originally a series of books, comes from creator and world-class athlete Magnus Scheving’s experience talking to the public, and following numerous questions from parents and caregivers about how to create healthy regimens for children.
Chica Brand Extends to Sleepwear
Chica appointed Waterbury Garment Corp. it exclusive licensee for ’tween sleepwear under the Chica Girl label. The line will hit mid-tier shelves in fall 2005.
Fiesta Expands Distribution of MLB Plush
Fiesta extended its deal with Major League Baseball Properties beyond just concession stands and into retail stores. Fiesta’s Tug A Lug dogs and monkeys, its plush smiley faces, and OG Girl Bears will be designed with team logos, caps, or MLB team names. The line will range from $3.99 to $14.99 and be in stores early next year.
Sears and Kmart: Retail Deal of the Year
In January, License! profiles an historical milestone in the world of retail. For the first time, a mass merchant and traditional department store have combined talent, power, and resources to form the nation’s third-largest retailer with annual revenues of nearly $55 billion and approximately 3,500 stores. License! takes the lead on detailing how the merger could affect licensees, licensors, licensing agents, and other retailers. Keep your brand or property top-of-mind as the new super-retailer takes shape by advertising in this must-read issue. You also can take advantage of our 3 for 2 offer. Advertise in January and February and receive March as bonus. Contact Steven Ekstract at (212) 951-6684 or your advertising representative by December 14.
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