WBCP Signs Two Monster Deals
Warner Bros. Consumer Products named Funrise Toy Corp. the global master toy licensee for upcoming theatrical release Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures. As part of the deal, Funrise will create a line of playsets, action figures, activities, puzzles, pinball, and games for summer 2005. In other news, WBCP is teaming with Clear Channel Entertainment and 4Kids Entertainment to feature Superman, Batman, and Taz on custom-designed monster trucks in the 2005 Monster Jam series. The Superman truck made its competition debut at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta January 8. The Batman and Taz trucks will make their official debut at future events later in the year. Mattel also will introduce character-specific Monster Jam toys at retail including toy trucks, radio-control vehicles, puzzles, and board games. Additional merchandise will be available onsite at live Monster Jam arena events and online.
Kaufman Upped to EVP Role at Nickelodeon
Pamela Kaufman was promoted to executive vice president, marketing and worldwide promotions, Nickelodeon. In her new post, Kaufman will take on additional responsibility for the strategic planning of worldwide programming launches and global partnership deals. Kaufman’s promotion is part of the network’s reorganization to support the strategic goals of MTV Networks’ international business. She will continue to be responsible for all of the network’s domestic advertising, promotions marketing, and property planning, as well as the marketing of its movie business with Paramount Pictures.
Carson-Dellosa Acquires Specialty Publisher
The Cookie Jar Group’s educational products business, Carson-Dellosa Publishing Co., publisher of supplemental materials and teaching aids, acquired Rainbow Bridge Publishing as part of the group’s continuing strategy to expand its educational properties and product catalog. Rainbow Bridge Publishing, which targets the preschool to 8-year-old segment, will operate as a stand-alone division of Carson-Dellosa.
Hasbro Nabs Patent for New Product Line
Hasbro, Inc., obtained exclusive rights to develop and manufacture a new line of toys and children’s products that are protected by a patent owned by GestureTek,
Inc. (formerly JesterTek, Inc.). The GestureTek patent encompasses a video image base control system that uses cameras to capture people’s images, allowing them to control a video game using gestures alone. Hasbro expects to introduce new products protected by the GestureTek patent in 2005.
Philips-Van Heusen Trumps New Deal
Philips-Van Heusen Corp. and The Trump Organization signed a licensing agreement to manufacture and distribute dress shirts and neckwear under the Donald J. Trump Signature Collection label. The line will launch exclusively at Federated Department Stores for pre-Father’s Day with shirts and neckwear retailing in the $45 range.
Russ Berrie Inks Licensing and Acquisition Deals
Russ Berrie and Co. signed a deal with Sanrio International Marketing to create a line of plush, gift, and lifestyle collections based on Keroppi, a Sanrio character first introduced in 1987. First products based on the liveliest frog in Donut Pond will be on shelves in spring 2005. Among the products are finger puppets and plush toys; water globes; trinket boxes and banks; room décor including frames, pillows, and message boards; as well as stationery; cell phone cases; and key chains. Russ Berrie and Co. also recently acquired Kids Line, LLC, a privately held designer and distributor of infant bedding products for approximately $128 million in cash.
Mott’s Launches Licensing Program
Brandgenuity LLC extended its relationship with Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages by taking charge of the new licensing program for Mott’s. The company also handles Snapple and Yoo-hoo. “We look forward to helping Mott’s branch out into new categories,” says Adina Avery-Grossman, managing director of Brandgenuity. “There are lots of categories where Mott’s wholesome equities and apple taste credentials make sense, including cereal, fruit snacks, snack bars, and healthy desserts, to name a few.”
Lollytogs Partners with Robin International
Lollytogs, Ltd., signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Robin International, Inc. The two-pronged deal begins in fall 2005 with Robin International creating outerwear under the Healthtex brand for boys and girls. In spring 2006, the company will bring swimwear under the Healthtex brand name to market. Both lines will be targeted to the mid-tier and specialty channels of distribution.
Primedia Enterprises Appoints New Execs
Primedia Enterprises announced several promotions in its sales, marketing, and finance groups, as well as a new addition to the sales team. Erin Morris was named senior director, marketing and retail development; Eric Goldman takes on the role of director, licensing; and Holly Royer was promoted to director, operations. Dan Carella joins the company as senior manager, licensing. Also on the move are Sean Holzman, who was upped to senior vice president of sales & marketing and retail development, and Karen Cahill to senior vice president of merchandising.
Rogers to Lead Ragdoll’s UK Licensing Efforts
Ragdoll promoted Emma Rogers to the position of head of UK licensing and marketing. Rogers’ new role will be to manage all category licensing and product development and oversee all UK marketing-related activity. She also will be responsible for working with new and existing partners on all of Ragdoll’s brands including Teletubbies, Boohbah, Brum, and Tots TV, and new programs currently in development.
Anderson to Head SHOPA Division
The School, Home, Office Products Association named Marshall H. Anderson the new executive vice president of its Buyer-2-Seller Marketplace. Anderson will be responsible for the business development and success of the initiative.
“Baby It’s Happy Bunny” Launches Exclusively at Hot Topic
Hot Topic extended its “It’s Happy Bunny” exclusive with a selection of onesies, bibs, and baby bonnets featuring “Baby It’s Happy Bunny.” The new Jim Benton artwork stars a diaper-clad version of the little bunny accompanied by Benton’s custom-created edgy phrases delivering appropriately infantile attitude.
New, Expanded TOY FAIR Education Program
License! 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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February License! Focuses on Toys and Fashion
If your objective is to communicate the value of your property to toy or fashion retailers, licensees, and licensing agents, February License! is for you. The issue includes our Toy Fair Product Preview and Halloween Open-to-Buy Forecast. Our February fashion supplement, Xtension, focuses on the $37 billion fashion market. February License! and Xtension will have bonus distribution at the American International Toy Fair and MAGIC Marketplace, extending the reach of your advertising dollar. For more information, contact your account executive or License! Publisher Steven Ekstract at (212) 951-6684 or
New Addition: License! Online Tracker
Every month, License! publishes the most up-to-date information on licenses currently available and licenses recently granted. This is one of the most widely read sections of the magazine, and now it’s available online. You can search by properties, products, licensees, licensors, licensing agents, categories, and dates. Click on the tracker logo on
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