Sesame Workshop Extends Apparel Distribution
Sesame Workshop will extend distribution of its newborn, infant, and toddler apparel beyond Kmart to all channels. While Kmart no longer will have the exclusive, the retailer will have its own styles and designs. First products from new master apparel licensee Children’s Apparel Network will head to shelves in July 2005. The Workshop also will spotlight two new Sesame Street lines, Sesame Beginnings and “Sesame Street by Nicole Miller,” at MAGIC Marketplace in February. Sesame Beginnings and “Sesame Street by Nicole Miller” both launch this spring.
American Greetings Takes a Stake in The Hatchery
American Greetings Corp. made a major equity investment in The Hatchery, LLC. As part of the deal, American Greetings will become a co-owner of the entertainment production and marketing company headed by TV industry executive Margaret Loesch and strategic marketing executive Bruce Stein. Under the new partnership, Loesch and Stein will be co-chief executive officers. The new partnership, which will continue to operate as The Hatchery, LLC, leverages American Greetings’ catalog of intellectual properties, creative resources, and retail relationships with The Hatchery’s experience in identifying and building successful franchises in family and children’s entertainment and consumer products. Among American Greetings’ most current properties are Twisted Whiskers and the upcoming Maryoku Yummy franchises.
Hasbro Deals for G.I. Joe and Candy Land
Diamond Select Toys and Collectibles added G.I. Joe to its portfolio after signing a deal with Hasbro Properties Group. Diamond will start development and production on several collectible lines with replicas, motion globes, bookends, and wall mountable statues due late 2005.
The Hasbro Properties Group plans to extend the Candy Land license by signing on new licensees. In fall, American Greetings will produce party goods and decorations, while Bendon Publishing will create color and activity books. Publications International will publish interactive sound books next summer. Penguin Putnam plans to add Candy Land titles to its Junior Mad Libs line, pending contract. For onscreen fun, Paramount Home Entertainment is scheduled to release a direct-to-video entitled “The Great Lollipop Adventure” in March 2005.
Trader Vic’s Puts Licensing on Its Plate
Moda International Marketing will develop, execute, and manage a licensing program for Trader Vic’s. The program aims to draw on Trader Vic’s as a sustainable “brand experience” that offers differentiation to the mid-tier, specialty, and department store channels in categories including food, beverage, gift/stationery, apparel, entertainment, and home furnishings.
New “Bode” of Work
Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount Pictures jointly acquired motion picture rights to “The Anybodies,” a book by Julianna Baggott, under the pseudonym “N.E. Bode.” The first installment in a planned trilogy from HarperCollins Children’s Books, “The Anybodies” follows the adventures of Fern, who is a rare breed of human “anybodies” with the power to change shape. Fern is swapped at birth and raised by a “tragically dull” family until her real father finds her and takes her on a wild adventure. The sequel, “The Nobodies,” is scheduled for release in 2005, with “The Somebodies” to follow.
New Licensees to Support itty bitty HeartBeats
LevyMann Entertainment teamed with new licensee partners Franco Manufacturing, Baby Boom Consumer Products, Wiesner Products, and Waterbury Garments for several new lines of itty bitty HeartBeats products. Baby Boom will create cuddle pillows, while Franco Manufacturing will come to market with bedding and accessories, as well as beach gear and bath products. Wiesner Products will license all footwear and slipper socks, while Waterbury Garments will produce sleepwear including two-piece pajama sets, sleep pants, robes, blanket sleepers, nightgowns, and nightshirts. In a three-year deal, Fruit of the Loom will manufacture undergarments in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Jay Jay the Jet Plane Gets Musical
Genius Products, Inc., is developing a new line of music CDs under the terms of a licensing agreement with PorchLight Entertainment for Jay Jay the Jet Plane. The CDs will feature favorite tunes from the TV series along with original compositions, to be sold both individually and in multi-packs at retail beginning February 2005.
PAAS to Put Its Eggs in More Baskets
Signature Brands, LLC, will bring its PAAS egg-decorating brand into new categories, signing deals with What Kids Want and Annalee Mobilitee Dolls Inc. What Kids Want will create a line of basket stuffers such as wind-ups, jacks/balls, yo-yos, parachuters, and squishies depicting classic PAAS characters and icons for next Easter. Annalee Mobilitee Dolls is on board to produce a limited-edition, plush version of Cotton, the rabbit depicted on PAAS brand Easter egg-decorating kits. Cotton will be marketed at PAAS point-of-purchase displays across the U.S. prior to Easter 2005.
edibles inc. Sweet on Literary Property
edibles, inc.. will create a line of cookies based on “Guess How Much I Love You” in a deal signed with Candlewick Press and RJM Licensing, Inc. The cookies will launch exclusively on
in February and feature the characters, text, and artwork that appear in the book. A special gift pack, which includes a copy of the book and a cookie decorated and personalized from a page in the book, also will be available.
New, Expanded TOY FAIR Education Program
subscribers receive an additional 20 percent discount off Early Bird pricing for TOY FAIR seminars (held February 21 and 22 at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York City)—that’s a savings of $90 off the regular price of the new and expanded education program.
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This year’s program is the most comprehensive ever, featuring eight subject tracks, including: Licensing and Legal, Manufacturing, Online Experience, Marketing and Promotion, Safety, Business Development, Business Innovation, and Retail. Plus more than 40 information-packed panels and presentations on relevant, timely issues that are shaping the future of the industry and strategies that can save you time and money. Visit
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