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Weekly E-News, Issue #229, September 11, 2007

For 4Kids and Jetix, ‘Chaos’ Reigns4Kids Entertainment Inc. and Jetix have licensed U.S. cable television broadcast rights for the popular animated series, “Chaotic,” which will air on the Jetix Block and is anticipated to lau

April 6, 2018

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For 4Kids and Jetix, ‘Chaos’ Reigns
4Kids Entertainment Inc. and Jetix have licensed U.S. cable television broadcast rights for the popular animated series, “Chaotic,” which will air on the Jetix Block and is anticipated to launch October 2007.

“We are extremely delighted to forge this important relationship with Jetix that will ensure significant added broadcast coverage in the U.S. for the Chaotic animated series,” says Brian Lacey, executive vice president, international, for 4Kids Entertainment. “We are confident that the series will develop a strong and loyal kid audience with Jetix in the States, as well as Latin America.”   

“Chaotic” will continue to air on weekends in the U.S. on 4Kids TV—4Kids’ four-hour Saturday morning programming block on Fox Network—and is available for viewing on the Comcast VOD Channel. “Chaotic” is also broadcast in English on Teletoon in Canada, with a French language broadcast scheduled to begin this month.  

In addition, 4Kids has licensed the popular series to Jetix Latin America for pay satellite TV rights in that region.  
WBCP Aligns with Salvage for Apparel
Warner Bros. Consumer Products is “super”-sizing its apparel offerings by partnering with Salvage on a line of young men’s contemporary sportswear inspired by DC Comics’ Superman and Batman. The line, due spring 2008, will not only feature original DC Comics-themed attire of the duo, but will also incorporate items inspired by The Dark Knight due in 2008.  

Strawberry Shortcake Celebrates a Milestone
The evergreen girls’ brand, Strawberry Shortcake, reached a new milestone with more than $2 billion achieved in worldwide retail sales (cumulative 2003-2007) and continues to evolve as a multidimensional entertainment franchise. With more than 300 licensees worldwide and available at every major U.S. retailer, the Strawberry Shortcake brand celebrates another banner year in 2007 with fresh themes and the introduction of new product lines, multiple DVD releases, a theatrical feature, books, and music, as well as an upcoming broadcast network debut, major fourth-quarter QSR promotion, and continued online growth. DIC and American Greetings Properties will continue to work with partners to build the Strawberry Shortcake franchise with new brand themes (dance, Western, music, fairytale, and Hollywood glamour), content, categories, and distribution channels in development through 2010.

European Cartoon Tributes Finalists Named
The second annual Cartoon Tributes, the European Association of Animation Film’s recognition for contributions to the development of the European animation industry, will be named during Cartoon Forum to be held in Girona, Spain, later this month.

Created in 2006, the Cartoon Tributes has three categories: Broadcaster of the Year, Investor/Distributor of the Year, and Producer of the Year. The winners are voted on by the 750 participants in Cartoon Forum.

The nominees include:

Broadcaster of the Year—Cartoon Network Europe (UK/USA), KI.KA (Germany), Rai (Italy), Televisió de Catalunya (Spain), and TF1 (France)
Investor/Distributor of the Year—BKN International (Germany/UK/Spain), Luk Internacional (Spain), Mediatoon (France), Telescreen (The Netherlands), and TV-Loonland (UK/Germany/France)
Producer of the Year—Cromosoma (Spain), Marathon (France), Millimages (France), Neptuno (Spain), and TV Cartoons (UK).

License! Global is a media partner of Cartoon Forum.

Wal-Mart Sees Sales Rise on Back-to-School
Wal-Mart posted a 3.1 percent increase in U.S. same-store sales, excluding fuel sales, much stronger than the 1 percent to 2 percent growth it projected last month. The company said back-to-school shopping drove sales, with notable strength in electronics, school supplies, and children’s apparel.

The company's namesake stores saw a 2.8 percent increase in same-store sales, while Sam’s Club posted 5.2 percent growth. By comparison, warehouse club rival Costco Wholesale Corp. posted a much weaker-than-projected 2 percent increase, as U.S. same-store sales rose 1 percent.

As for other retailers, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. trumped expectations with a 9.6 percent increase and Buckle Inc. topped already high estimates with a 17 percent jump in August same-store sales. American Eagle Outfitters Inc. and Zumiez Inc. also smashed analysts’ expectations.

Meanwhile, Limited Brands Inc., parent of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, reported a 1 percent increase. Gap Inc. posted a narrower-than-projected 1 percent decline, with its namesake stores in North America and the Banana Republic chain posting higher same-store sales.

Macy’s Inc. topped its forecast with sales growth of 2.4 percent. The company had projected August same-store sales to be down 1 percent to up 2 percent. Macy’s sees September sales down 1 percent to 3 percent, as the year-earlier period was aided by the company's nationwide launch of the Macy’s brand.

Kohl's Corp. reported a 0.6 percent decline, with chairman and CEO Larry Montgomery noting that while back-to-school sales went well, “demand in other areas of the business such as home, men’s, and women’s slowed vs. their year-to-date trend.”

Checks Unlimited Signs Deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Checks Unlimited secured a long-term licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to bring classic cartoons and new characters to its personal-check customers. Under the agreement, Direct Checks Unlimited LLC, a subsidiary of Deluxe Corp., will be the exclusive direct-to-consumer outlet for personal checks with designs including Looney Tunes favorites like Tweety and Bugs Bunny; Speed Racer; DC Comics Super Heroes such as Superman and Batman; scenes from classic films including The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind; and Hanna-Barbera classics such as Scooby-Doo, The Jetsons, and The Flintstones.

The expanded roster of check designs will begin appearing in scheduled advertising in January 2008. Checks Unlimited will feature these exclusive designs in direct-market advertisements that reach more than 44 million people weekly.

Iconix Purchases Official Pillowtex
Iconix Brand Group Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Official Pillowtex LLC, a licensing company that owns a large portfolio of home brands including four primary brands—Cannon, Royal Velvet, Fieldcrest, and Charisma—and numerous other home brands, including St. Mary’s and Santa Cruz. The purchase price will be $231 million in cash with contingent payments of up to an additional $15 million in cash based upon the brands surpassing specific revenue targets.

Zutano In Bed with Bananafish
Zutano Inc. has partnered with Bananafish, manufacturer of upscale baby bedding and nursery decor, and the newest division of The Betesh Group. Under license, Bananafish will produce the much-awaited collection of Zutano baby bedding and room decor accessories. The collection will marry Zutano’s whimsical mix-and-match approach with the interior-design expertise of Bananafish. Inspired by the Zutano spirit, the versatile bedding and accessory collections will maintain richly colorful, fun, and fashionable aesthetics. Product categories will include bedding sets, comforters, blankets, crib sheets, bumpers, mobiles, wall organizers, decorative pillows, lamps, and more. The premiere lines of Zutano baby bedding and room decor will be offered at retail third quarter of 2008.

Ben 10 Promotion to Land in over 20 Cities
Kids can enjoy in-store demos, score cool prizes and coupons, and test drive the new Ben 10 Deluxe Omnitrix role play toy as part of the “Release Your Inner Alien” promotion tour that just launched across the United States and Canada. Simultaneous events will take place in over 20 cities on both the east and west coasts through late October as two teams journey across the country in customized Ben 10 vehicles. They will be outfitted with a wearable flat-screen TV monitor that is built into a life-sized Omnitrix device.

Fans can see highlights of the LCD game play, footage from the TV series, and more. All kids in attendance will also get the chance to “spin and win” for prizes on a giant Omnitrix and can score temporary tattoos of the aliens from the show.

Super Launch for ‘Supernormal’
Granada Ventures has secured a broadcast platform for “Supernormal,” the new animation series for 8-to 12-year-olds, on CITV and the show launched this weekend on ITV1. For the digital audience, “Supernormal” will air on the CITV Channel every weekend, as well as every day in the last half of October. The television debut will coincide with the UK launch of the new property at Brand Licensing this October.

HIT Takes ‘Fireman Sam’ to CGI Animation
The sixth season of HIT Entertainment’s “Fireman Sam” will be in high-definition CGI Animation. It is in production until January 2009, with delivery starting in May 2008. Since acquiring “Fireman Sam” from Welsh broadcaster S4C in March 2007, HIT has teamed up with London-based Hibbert Ralph Animation (HRTV), which in turn has joined forces with Beijing-based animation studio Xing Xing to produce the new series.  

In other HIT news, the company entered into a strategic partnership with TTB Marketplace to expand and grow its e-commerce strategy for its property portfolio. TTB Marketplace will assume full operations and assist in the expansion of HIT’s current online store (www.hitshopusa.co) with more product categories and exclusive product. In addition, TTB Marketplace will work with HIT in developing and executing a fully integrated e-commerce strategy.

Kabillion Adds Series, Updates Web Site
Kabillion comes off of its biggest month ever with several new announcements, including its addition on Bresnan Communications cable systems, a new series, and three new video games on its Web site. The new multiplatform kids’ program service was recently added on Bresnan Digital Cable throughout Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming with additional MSOs expected to be added by year’s end. New animated series “Staines Down Drains” was launched from EM.TV on all platforms and users will have access to three original video games based on the network’s top rated series. “Playworld Invasion” finds two of the aliens from the “Pet Alien” series, wreaking havoc in an amusement park; “Big Fish” features the lead character from “Bobby’s World” in an underwater adventure; and “Rocket Lander” is based on new series “I Got A Rocket!” and asks players to help navigate Rocket back to Vinnie’s house and avoid the evil Ducky kids, all before he runs out of fuel.  

All Wrapped Up by CPS
The UK’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) has teamed up with Wrapstar, which produces vinyl ‘skins’ for gaming hardware, iPods, and mobile phones, to launch a range of skins for the Rugby World Cup in France this month. Featuring the England Rugby team’s rose emblem as well as the Twickenham Stadium logo, the skins are available in a wide range of designs and colors to suit a variety of gaming machines and iPods. They are precision-cut to ensure a snug fit and are made of cast-vinyl to ensure fuss-free application and removal. CPS manages all licensing on behalf of the RFU.

‘Magic Roundabout’ Premieres in UK
The world premiere of the new “Magic Roundabout” CGI TV series takes place on Nick Jr simultaneously on-air and online, in a first for kids’ TV. The UK licensing rights to “Magic Roundabout” have recently been acquired by entertainment rights company Entara.

The first episode of “Magic Roundabout” will broadcast on-air and online on Oct. 22 at 8 a.m. It will air simultaneously on cable and satellite preschool TV channels Nick Jr and Nick Jr 2, plus on the Nick Jr on TMF programming block, available in all digital TV homes on music channel TMF. The episode can also be watched online via Nick Jr Video, the free broadband video player on Nick Jr’s Web site, www.nickjr.co.uk. Subsequent episodes can be watched on Nick Jr every day at 8 a.m. and also daily at 4 p.m. on sister channel Nick Jr 2.

Kids Take Pokémon Back to School
Kids will be having lunch with their favorite Pokémon characters as part of a new deal inked between Pokémon USA Inc. and Armour-Eckrich Meats LLC. As part of the promotion, the company will create a line of LunchMakers portable lunch products featuring classic characters such as Pikachu and new favorites from Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl. Kids can win prizes instantly in over 30 million special-edition LunchMakers packages including 10 trips to Nintendo World in New York City, 110 Nintendo DS and Pokémon Diamond or Pokémon Pearl video games, 5,000 Pokémon DVDs, 5,000 Pokémon figures, and much more.  The promotion runs through November 2007.
Simpsons Fans Can Customize their Skins
Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising launched a “Customize It” feature at TheSimpsonsShop.com, which allows fans to customize their electronics with skins of their favorite characters. Devices available for customizable skins include iPods, phones, laptops, PDAs, digital cameras, and Bluetooth headsets. Another module will soon launch that allows users to create their own mugs, postcards, postage stamps, and posters.

Peaceable Kingdom Press Debuts Duets Line
Peaceable Kingdom Press will mark Valentine’s Day with its new Boxed Valentine’s Duets, a collection of two styles of cards in one box. Among the properties is first-time license Calico Critters in addition to Fairies, Sesame Street, Sock Monkey, Thomas & Friends, Dr. Seuss, Dinosaurs, Where the Wild Things Are, Pussy Cat Love, and Curious George.
Bucket Full of Activity Planned for Preschool Property
Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs launched a new online shop as well as a live tour planned for 2008. The online shop, run by Digital Stores, provides a one-stop shop for the full range of Harry merchandise. There will be a link to the shop from the Harry Web site as well as www.digitalstores.co.uk/harryandhisbucketfullofdinosaurs.  The nine-month tour is already confirmed in 50 theaters and kicks off February 2008.    

Jurassic Park Inspires DVD Game
Brighter Minds Media LLC partnered with Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group on Jurassic Park Explorer ($24.99), a new DVD game based on the top dinosaur brand of all time. The DVD game format combines traditional board-game elements with interactive DVD features, including more than 300 dinosaur trivia questions, seven different DVD activities, clips from all three Jurassic Park movies, and hours of all-new 3D animation.

V-me Media To Give ‘The Fairies’ International Exposure
V-me Media Inc. will create the first international production based on “The Fairies” with 26 half-hour episodes and two direct-to-DVD specials planned in Spanish and Portuguese. V-me will have exclusive broadcast rights in the United States, and will distribute the series to Spanish-speaking Latin America, Spain, Brazil, and Portugal. Next targeted markets include Germany, Scandinavia, Chinese language territories, and India.

Spinal Injuries Association Goes Sonic
Jetix Consumer Products signed a deal with the UK Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) to use Classic Sonic the Hedgehog as its charity mascot.

SIA is official charity of the Flora London Marathon 2008 and this deal will see Classic Sonic the Hedgehog being featured throughout SIA’s participation in the marathon and other athletic events next year, including the Great North Run, the Hydro Active Challenge, and the London Triathlon.

The character will be featured on running vests, a dedicated Web site, and as part of the charity’s marketing and advertising campaigns until the end of 2008.

‘Lola & Virginia’ Gets Collectable
Barcelona-based Icon Animation signed a multi-territory deal with Panini for its girl’s animated show “Lola & Virginia,” which will see a series of products launched across Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Brazil, including a sticker stack book, story albums, and puzzle and coloring books. The rollout will commence in Italy, where the series airs on the Disney Channel.

Rock Band Game Adds Grateful Dead
Harmonix, MTV Games, and Rhino Entertainment have struck a deal that will bring the legendary band Grateful Dead to the Rock Band electronic game. The deal will allow for 18 classic Dead master recordings to be utilized within the Rock Band platform including such seminal tracks as “Truckin’,” “Uncle John’s Band,” “Touch of Grey,” “Sugar Magnolia,” and “Casey Jones,” just to name a few. The Grateful Dead are the latest well-known musical act to join the downloadable multi-track master offerings of Rock Band. The game, which is slated for a Holiday 2007 release, will be available for Xbox 360 and PS3.

Executive Moves
Bang on the Door, with more than 600 characters including Groovy Chick, Fairy Girl, and Football Crazy, appointed four licensing agents covering Spain and Portugal, Benelux, Scandinavia, and South Korea. Each agent will be responsible for developing a licensing strategy for their territory with a localized approach and identifying relevant licensing partnerships. Sophia Noguera from Mendia Licensing takes on Spain and Portugal. Managing director of License Connection Daphne Kellerman will represent the Benelux territory; while Freddy Larsen of Mega Merchandising is agent for Scandinavia. Finally, character licensing company Dick Bruna Korea will handle the licensing and merchandising for Bang on the Door in that country. 

Kidz Entertainment named Gabriel Sturm vice president of sales and marketing for the Nordic countries. Sturm, who joins from Alicom Licensing in Stockholm, will work out of the Kidz new dedicated office in Stockholm.

4Kids Entertainment Inc. appointed Jennifer Askin as manager, international broadcast and digital sales.

Mel Beer, previously UK licensing director at Jetix Consumer Products, joins Granada Ventures as head of licensing, and Julie Quirke joins Granada as licensing and brand manager, responsible for preschool brand Pocoyo.

Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP), a division of Viacom, appointed Ulrich W. Klein vice president, Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products, Germany.

Nelvana Enterprises' appointed Marie-Laure Marchand as head of Paris office.

David Ledoux has been promoted to licensing coordinator and will be succeeded by Sarah Sakr who takes over as licensing and marketing assistant.

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