Globe Joins WBCP in EVP Post
Brad Globe was appointed executive vice president and general manager, Warner Bros. Worldwide Consumer Products, effective February 7, 2005. The former head of global consumer products at DreamWorks will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Warner Bros. Consumer Products’ global business. Globe also will succeed Dan Romanelli, founder and president, effective July 2006. At that time, Romanelli will take a creative entrepreneurial role within the company.
ShoPro Entertainment to Merge with VIZ LLC
ShoPro Entertainment Inc. and VIZ, LLC, will merge this spring into an-as-yet-unnamed entertainment company. The venture, to be based in San Francisco, will leverage the collaboration, vision, and ownership of three global powerhouses in Japanese manga and animation: Shogakukan Inc.; Shueisha Inc.; and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (“ShoPro Japan”). The companies have worked together in the past on properties such as Inuyasha and Mega Man NT Warrior, among others.
FUNimation Nabs Rights to Noddy
FUNimation Productions, Ltd., acquired the rights to Noddy, a preschool brand in Europe that will debut on PBS Kids in July 2005. The literary property from Chorion PLC already has strong international appeal and is shown in 115 territories, including England and Australia, and will debut in three of the world’s largest markets in 2005: China, Japan, and the United States. A merchandising program in key international markets includes toys, interactive, apparel, plush, playsets, publishing, party goods, and games.
MTV Networks Makes First Global Acquisition
MTV Networks made its first-ever global program acquisition, securing the worldwide broadcast rights to Animation Collective’s property, Kappa Mikey, for Nicktoons in the U.S. and Nickelodeon’s international channels. The deal comprises 26 half-hour episodes of the animated action comedy that will premiere in 2006. MTV Networks International also secured international distribution rights for third-party broadcast sales.
Kids “Give a Piece of their Heart” for Promotion
Wal-Mart has partnered with American Greetings and DIC Entertainment on an in-store event featuring Strawberry Shortcake. The February 5 event invites kids to visit the girls’ department from 10 a.m. through 1 p.m. and write a Valentine’s note on a Strawberry Shortcake sticker, which will be placed on a Strawberry Shortcake standee. After each standee is filled with stickers, it will be donated to a local charitable organization (to be determined in each market). Children writing Valentine’s Day messages will receive a Strawberry Shortcake coloring sheet and a Strawberry Shortcake bookmark.
Cookie Jar Entertainment Broadens Audience for Three Properties
Cookie Jar Entertainment sold Arthur, The Little Lulu Show, and Mona the Vampire in a pan-regional broadcast deal to Cartoon Network Latin America. In addition to Cartoon Network Latin America, Arthur has been licensed to more than 150 countries including PBS (U.S.), CBC (Canada), BBC (UK), ABC (Australia), KIKA (Germany), TVE (Spain), and France 5 (France). Cartoon Network Latin America renewed The Little Lulu Show, picking up four complete seasons of 52 animated half-hours. Based on the books by Sonia Holleyman and Hiawyn Oran, Mona The Vampire has 65 animated half-hours and is co-produced by Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc.; Alphanim S.A.; and Animation Services (Hong Kong).
Jewelry Line to Support “The English Roses”
High IntenCity created a line of jewelry based on Madonna’s children’s book, “The English Roses.” Each Madonna-approved style is available at Nordstrom department stores and specialty boutiques nationwide. The English Roses collection (suggested retails, $4 to $8) offers various styles of bracelets and necklaces, from a silver linked charm set to a beaded toggle set. High IntenCity is the exclusive jewelry licensee of licensing agent Signature Networks.
The Simpsons Star in New Toy Line
Fox Licensing & Merchandising and McFarlane Toys inked a licensing deal for an all-new line of action figures based on The Simpsons. The action figures will be released in fall in two limited boxed sets with a different set of action figures recreating favorite moments. A full product line is due on shelves in 2006.
New Deals for Marvel
Marvel Enterprises, Inc., consolidated its apparel licensing business, signing on new partner Kids Headquarters as master apparel licensee and expanding its relationship with Mad Engine for T-shirts and tops. As part of the multi-year deals, Kids Headquarters will create all kids’ and adult apparel for characters including Spider-Man; X-Men; Fantastic Four; Iron Man; the Incredible Hulk; Captain America; Marvel Heroes; Marvel’s preschool line, Spider-Man and Friends; and Marvel’s infant brand, Marvel Babies. The initial product assortment will include boys’/girls’ (sizes 0-20) sets, separates, swimwear, T-shirts, layettes/boxed sets, and outerwear. Mad Engine will produce Ts and related knit tops for Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Iron Man and related Avengers characters, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Elektra, Daredevil, Punisher, Marvel Heroes, and Ghost Rider.
UbiSoft to bring Sony’s Movies to Video Market
UbiSoft partnered with Sony Pictures Consumer Products on an exclusive multi-title licensing agreement to develop and publish games based on Open Season (due September 2006) and Surf’s Up (summer 2007), the first two feature-length animated films from Sony Pictures Animation. The deal marks UbiSoft’s first venture into adapting CGI films for the video game market and the beginning of a long-term collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation and SPCP.
Hasbro Properties Group Expands Duel Masters
Duel Masters is strengthening its presence in the marketplace with an expanded product portfolio including a major focus on entertainment. A month-long McDonald’s Happy Meal promotion kicked off last week along with another Hasbro brand, My Little Pony. Paramount Home Video will follow up its Duel Masters DVD release in January with another in May, as well as three additional titles in fall 2005. Tokyopop adds four new Cine-Manga titles, while Scholastic Books comes to market with new book titles. Hallmark also will produce gift wrap in fall 2005. Other segments on the radar include lifestyle categories such as apparel, footwear, and accessories.
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