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Weekly E-news, Issue #284, September 30, 2008

Top news______________________________________________________________Paramount to Distribute Next Five Marvel Films WorldwideMarvel Studios, a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment, has extended its global distribution deal with Viacom’s Paramount

April 6, 2018

32 Min Read

Top news______________________________________________________________
Paramount to Distribute Next Five Marvel Films Worldwide
Marvel Studios, a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment, has extended its global distribution deal with Viacom’s Paramount Pictures for Marvel’s next five self-produced feature films.

Marvel’s upcoming films included in the deal are Iron Man 2 (May 7, 2010), Thor (July 16, 2010), The First Avenger: Captain America (May 6, 2011), The Avengers (July 15, 2011) and Iron Man 3 (no release date set).

“Coming off of Iron Man’s incredible success this summer, we could not be more excited about extending our relationship with Marvel,” says Robert Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures. “Marvel’s iconic brand, its popular characters and its proven ability to create compelling and visually spellbinding films complement Paramount’s great history of filmmaking. We look forward to a long and successful run together.”

This year’s release of Iron Man, starring Robert Downey Jr. and directed by Jon Favreau grossed $574 million worldwide for Marvel. The Paramount distributed film was released on DVD on Sept. 30.

Fox Beefs Up Video Game Biz with New Hire
Fifteen-year interactive and licensing veteran Gary Rosenfeld was recently appointed to senior vice president of new media licensing for Twentieth Century Fox.

“Gary has a phenomenal background in new media and video game licensing and will bring a wealth of knowledge and insight to our team,” says Elie Dekel, executive vice president of Fox Licensing and Merchandising. “We’re looking forward to his leading our group into brave new territory as we expand our video game business.”

Rosenfeld previously served as senior vice president of business development at THQ. While there he managed global activity for product acquisitions and licensing, where he secured long-term agreements for licensing rights to create video games for properties such as Ultimate Fighting Championship and Warhammer 40K.

At Fox, Rosenfeld will explore growth opportunities in the PC online game space and new partnerships with other gaming platforms, beginning with the company’s upcoming properties, Avatar, Night at the Museum 2: The Battle of the Smithsonian, Ice Age 3 and more.

Three New Reality Shows from Rive Gauche
Los Angeles-based Rive Gauche Entertainment has three new reality series ready for broadcast sale—“Saw for Hire,” “Stupid Criminals” and “The Cut.”

Six half-hour episodes are available for “Saw for Hire,” which features a closer look at the residential tree-cutting business, its daily encounters and the men behind the saws.

“Stupid Criminals” brings together clips of the funniest offenders, from reckless drivers to robbers in this weekly series. Thirteen half-hour episodes are available.

“The Cut,” is a behind-the-scenes look into the dangerous lives of lumberjacks in Northern California. This Rive Gauche reality series also has 13 half-hour episodes available for broadcast sale.

All three shows will premiere at MIPCOM next month.

BBC Worldwide Restructures Kids’ Business
BBC Worldwide has restructured its children’s business with a new name, a brand focus, an expansion of its U.S. operation and an extended relationship with Ragdoll in the U.S.

The new division is called Children’s and Licensing under the leadership of managing director Neil Ross Russell, who joined BBC Children’s in August.

The division will be structured with three strands—preschool, pre-teen and adult licensing. Ross Russell told License! Global that the aim of the new structure was: “To internally support and develop the brands and expand our licensing capability in the U.S.”

A commercial director, who will report to Ross Russell, will head each of the strands. Julia Posen, currently sales director of children’s, becomes commercial director of the preschool and pre-teen and Gavin Miller will take on adult. The existing licensing teams for the U.K. and international stay in place, while a new global head of licensing will be based in BBC Worldwide’s New York office.

The restructure results from the strategic review of the business started earlier this year. Ross Russell said: “The licensing teams, who have the expertise and relationships with the licensees, will still work across brands, but it is on the brand management side that we need to focus, as well as expanding our capability in the U.S.”

“The purpose of the name change is that we’ve traditionally been seen as the children’s licensing division, but that is not the case at all as you can see from what we’ve done with ‘Planet Earth,’ ‘Top Gear’ and ‘Dr Who.’”

Ross Russell continues: “We need to be able to compete in a global market. Outside of the U.K. we are just another producer, albeit with a great name. The growing success of BBC channels internationally provides us with great broadcast platforms, but we are not currently set up to make the most of licensing opportunities outside of the U.K.”

BBC Worldwide has also signed a new deal with joint venture partner Ragdoll, which gives BBC Worldwide oversight of U.S. and Canada TV sales and licensing for programs such as “Teletubbies” and “In the Night Garden.” With the addition of North America, BBC Worldwide now represents global distribution rights, excluding U.K. broadcast, for all Ragdoll properties.

Mark Hollingsworth, CEO of Ragdoll said: “Following the creation of the joint venture between Ragdoll and BBC Worldwide, it is a natural progression for Ragdoll to merge its North American division with the Children’s and Licensing team at BBC Worldwide in New York. This further strengthens our partnership with BBC Worldwide as we extend our collaboration in managing the Ragdoll portfolio in the U.S. and Canada.”

From Games to Lifestyle, Atari Teams with Brandgenuity
Atari plans to expand its brand into the lifestyle category with help from Brandgenuity, its new licensing agent.

With Brandgenuity on board, Atari will expand into non-gaming products, such as apparel, domestics, social expression and accessories. The program will go beyond the Atari logo and into its game brands—Asteroids, Breakout, Missile Command and Pong.

Brandgenuity adds Atari to a client load including MGM, Food Network and World Poker Tour.

Editor's Note__________________________________________________________
Brand Licensing Europe—better than ever
Tuesday sees the kick-off of the key European licensing exhibition, Brand Licensing Europe, in London's Olympia. This year some 200 exhibitors are promising to make it the best event yet, with over 2,000 properties on show. Many of these will be revitalized evergreens seeking out new markets plus a new crop of properties looking for their first break. 

BLE celebrates its 10th anniversary with this event—alongside Bob the Builder who is also 10—and has put together a program that marks the growing professionalism and sophistication of the licensing business in Europe. New this year is the TV Lounge where broadcasters can showcase their licensing plans, as a complement to the existing Screening Suite for movie studios. And this year's Licensing Academy, which runs concurrently with the show and is free to visitors, has brought together industry leaders and thinkers in a stimulating program.

And BLE is also the best two days of the year for networking across the industry in Europe—enjoy it.

Josephine Collins
European Editor

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MIPCOM news__________________________________________________________
From Books to a New Series, Geronimo Stilton Visits MIPCOM
The first trailer of Atlantyca Entertainment’s and MoonScoop Production’s “Geronimo Stilton” is set to debut at MIPCOM later this month.

“Geronimo Stilton” is based on the international series of children’s chapter books of the same title and centers on the life and adventures of a talking journalist mouse named Geronimo Stilton. The book series is published worldwide in 30 languages, including Italian by Edizioni Piemme (Mondadori Group); in English by Scholastic; in French by Albin Michel Jeunesse; and in Spanish by Editorial Planeta.

“We have now brought the same great mix of comedy and adventure to the TV series,” says Nicolas Atlan, chief executive officer of MoonScoop, “and we look forward to giving broadcasters a glimpse of what they can expect when the completed episodes are available after the end of the year.”

Twenty-six episodes (26x22) are available for fall 2009’s broadcast season. Taffy Entertainment and Atlantyca will co-distribute the series globally.

Jim Henson’s “Sid the Science Kid” to Air in North and South America
New preschool property “Sid the Science Kid” has finalized broadcast deals in the Canada and Latin America.

In Canada, the series will be shown on TV Ontario, SCN-Saskatchewan and British Columbia’s Knowledge.

Discovery Kids Latin America has also agreed to air “Sid the Science Kid.”

The Jim Henson Company series recently debuted in the U.S. on PBSKids. The animated show uses comedy to promote exploration, discovery and science readiness among preschoolers. “Sid the Science Kid” will debut to other international TV broadcaster, at MIPCOM Jr. next month.

AGM To Showcase Extreme Sports Properties
Founded in 2003, Apparent Gravity Media plans to launch five of its properties for broadcast sale internationally.

“Re:Evolution of Sports” (13x26) an original production for Showtime in the U.S., is a 13-part HD series combining sports footage with story lines and exotic locations.

“Untracked” (24x22) and “Untracked HD” (13x24) follow athletes daring to overcome nature through extreme sports such as freeskiing, showboarding, heli-skiing and skibase.

World-class surfers compete amongst 60-foot waves in “Mavericks Surf Contest” (4x44).

“10 Count” (52x30) showcases extreme sports footage based on international action sports stars, places and topics.

“Project Detention” (52x23) covers four sports segments in each episode, including skate, BMX, FMX, snow and wake. The series is aimed at 14- to 29-year-olds.

AGM’s properties will air at MIPCOM next month. This is the first time that the extreme sports entertainment producer/distributor will attend the event.

Jude Law and Other Celebs to Promote Projects at MIPCOM
Many TV and film stars are expected to attend the audiovisual content event, MIPCOM in Cannes, next month.

Actor Jude Law is expected to attend to promote the documentary, The Day After Peace, about his and the film’s director, Jeremy Gilley’s travels to Afghanistan. The documentary is a BBC/Passion Pictures/Peace One Day production, distributed by 3DD Entertainment.

“Entourage” star Adrian Grenier will also attend as the executive producer of an environmental-themed documentary, Alter Ego, distributed and produced by GRB Entertainment.

Other celebrities include actress Neve Campbell for the TV miniseries, “Sea Wolf,” and actress Jane Seymour for the TV movie, “Dear Prudence.”

“League of Super Evil” Takes Over Cannes
Nerd Corps launches its 3D comedy series “League of Super Evil” at MIPCOM Jr. in Cannes next month following debuts in the U.K. and Canada on CBBC and YTV. Pre-sales include Jetix in Latin America and Canal +, Canal J and Gulli in France starting in 2009.

Nerd Corps, with funding from the Bell New Media Fund, is developing a multi-player online game and interactive fan site aimed at 6- to 11-year-olds. 

9 Story To Debut “Survive This!” Trailer
Les Stroud of “Survivorman” and 9 Story Entertainment are ready to give the public a sneak peak at their kids’ live-action adventure series, “Survive This!” (13x22).

The show takes a group of 14- to 16-year-olds into the wilderness for three weeks. Stroud serves as the teens’ mentor, as they learn how to confront themselves and nature.

The trailer will be shown at MIPCOM in October. “Survive This!,” commissioned by YTV, Canada, is expected to be fully available by March 2009.

Better Homes and Gardens Line Available at Walmart
Walmart stores nationwide are now carrying an exclusive home line from Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

The collection features more than 550 Better Homes and Gardens-branded products with coordinating fabric patterns, and decorative metals and ceramics for the entire home, including bath towels and accessories, shower curtains, quilts, comforter sets, dinnerware, placemats, napkins, chair pads, tablecloths, window hardware, candle-holders, picture frames and ready-to-assemble furniture. The collection can also be viewed in a virtual showroom at www.BHGLiveBetter.com.

The Meredith Corporation-owned Better Homes and Gardens publication and Walmart plan to expand the line to include more bedding and bath products, as well as outdoor and garden pieces for fall 2009.

Gap Adds Athleta To Online Store, Universality
Women’s sports and active apparel company, Athleta was recently acquired by Gap for approximately $150 million.

Athleta will be featured on Gap’s Universality online platform with other brands, such as Banana Republic, Old Navy and Piperlime. The Web site allows consumers to shop for all five brands in one area, where they can make purchases with one shopping cart for a single shipping fee.

The 10-year-old California-based Althleta carries a variety of lifestyle apparel for yoga, running, skiing, snowboarding and surfing. Customers may also make purchases from the company’s catalog.

In other Gap news, the company looks to expand internationally as it recently gave rights to Mexico’s leading department store chain to exclusively sell Gap brand merchandise in a franchise store-within-a-store concept. The deal was made with Distribuidora Liverpool with plans to begin selling in spring 2009. Through another franchise agreement with the Fawaz Alhokair Group, Gap products will also be available in Egypt and Jordan within the next five years.

Goody’s Debuts Southern Style Care Line
Knoxville, Tenn.-based Goody’s Family Clothing recently launched a Southern-inspired women’s care line.

The Magnolia Spa line features body lotion, shower and bath gels, hand cream, body splash, antibacterial hand soap, body butter and bath salts, ranging from $3-$7. Scents include berry, vanilla, raspberry pomegranate, mango jasmine and more.

The exclusive line is available now at all 286 Goody’s locations in 20 states.

Bloomingdale’s Moves into Dubai in 2010
Macy’s is set to launch Bloomingdale’s stores outside of the U.S. for the first time—a 2010 home in Dubai.

Two stores are in the works, including a 146,000-square-foot, three-level apparel and accessories store, and a 54,000-square-foot, one-level home store to anchor The Dubai Mall. The mall is slated for completion at the end of this year.

“Our Dubai store will feature the events, theater of retailing, visual excitement and outstanding luxury brands that customers associate with Bloomingdale’s,” says Michael Gould, chairman and chief executive officer of New York-based Bloomingdale’s.

The international move is part of a deal with United Arab Emirates-based Al Tayer Group. Both Dubai Bloomingdale’s will be operated by Al Tayer Insignia.

Sears Debuts Online Virtual Model
When shopping on Sears.com, consumers now have the ability to create a virtual model in their likeness to try on its entire online catalog.

The updated Web site is run by IBM WebSphere Commerce and My Virtual Model. In addition to the “try on” model feature, online shoppers will be available to search for merchandise by using 3D images versus words in late October. Consumers have the ability to choose style, color, pattern and fit, then apply it to their virtual likeness, which can be viewed from the front, side and back. The feature also gives shoppers the capability to e-mail their looks to others.

DSW Licensing Grows Licensee List
Over a dozen new manufacturers recently signed on with several DSW Licensing artists.

Les Deux Amies, created by artists Peggy Jo Ackley and Lisa Brussel, teamed up with Dimensions for needlepoint kits (available in 2009), Creative Converting for paper tableware (available in 2009), Leadin’ Tree for greeting cards (available in 2008-09), Merritt for melamine serveware (available in 2009), IdeaStix for peel-and-stick designs and wall prints (available in 2008-09) and Tweel Home for kitchen textiles (available in 2008-09).

Artist Kimberly Montgomery’s designs have been contracted with Current for file folders and note pads (available in 2009), Brownlow Gifts for books and giftware (available in 2009), Amia for stained-glass giftware (available in 2009), Lindy Bowman for gift bags and boxes (available 2008-09), Leanin’ Tree for greeting cards (available 2008-09), Sellers Publishing for calendar (available 2009), Tweel Home for kitchen textiles (available 2008-09) and PC Crafter for digital scrapbooking (available 2008). Currently, Montgomery’s BOO! illustration appears on a line of partyware, exclusively for Walmart through Gartner Studios.

“Bob the Builder” Hammers Out U.K. Anniversary Party for 2009
HIT Entertainment will mark “Bob the Builder’s” 10th anniversary with a year-long campaign with DVD specials, events, new products, a follow-up album and music video.

The kick-off is today at the annual Brand Licensing Show, where attendees will preview the single “Big Fish Little Fish” from the forthcoming album, Bob the Builder – Never Mind the Breeze Blocks, set for its U.K. debut on Nov. 24.

A direct-to-DVD release, entitled “Bob the Builder – Race to the Finish,” is also expected on Nov. 3. The special will also be viewed at 40 special screenings at VUE Cinemas throughout the U.K. Other DVD specials are also expected during the year of celebration, concluding with Bob’s first CGI special, “The Legend of the Golden Hammer,” in November 2009.

Bob’s Spud’s Big Mess live theater show will begin its 13-city tour across the U.S. Across Europe 40,000 people have attended 84 shows.

Also in 2009, “Bob the Builder” will get a new look as the TV series moves into CGI animation for the first time. The new format will air on CBeebies and Nick Jr. in the U.K. late 2009.

“Bob the Builder” debuted in the U.K. in 1999 and is now seen in 250 territories worldwide and translated into 45 different languages.

Nick’s “iCarly” and More To Get Décor and Fleece Kits
Springs Creative Products Group has signed on to create fabric and craft kits for a variety of Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. shows.

In the deal with Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products, room décor and fleece throw kits will be themed by shows, such as “SpongeBob SqaurePants,” “iCarly,” “The Backyardigans,” “Blue’s Clues,” “Go, Diego, Go,” “Dora the Explorer,” “Ni Hao, Kai-Ian” and “WonderPets!”

Springs Creative Products Group client list also includes Disney, NASCAR, Coca-Cola, Hershey, John Deere and others. The licensed retail fabric and craft kit supplier works with retailers, such as Wal-Mart, JoAnn Fabrics, Hancock Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, Target and JCPenney.

Urban Smalls Baby Apparel Lands Famous Dirty Dancing Quote
The famous, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” quote from the film, Dirty Dancing is set to appear on a line of baby apparel from Urban Smalls.

In a deal with Lionsgate, Urban Smalls will market, sell and distribute infant and children’s clothing with the phrase on its bodysuits and t-shirts.

United Media handles licensing deals for Lionsgate’s Dirty Dancing. Currently, the movie has partnered with Cold Crush by Awake for teen t-shirts, American Greetings for ornaments and greeting cards and Rizzoli for calendars.

RDF Kids Signs First “Waybuloo” Deals
RDF Kids & Family, part of the RDF Media Group, has signed Fisher-Price, Egmont and 2entertain for The Foundation’s new CBeebies preschool series “Waybuloo.”

Fisher-Price is master toy licensee on “Waybuloo,” Egmont is the master publisher for “Waybuloo” in all territories except North America, and 2entertain is the U.K. DVD distributor for “Waybuloo.”

Rachel Barke, director of consumer products, RDF Kids & Family, says: “Fisher-Price, Egmont and 2entertain are all market leaders in preschool, and everyone at RDF looks forward to working with them on building a successful long-term licensing program for this unique new property.”

The 100x20 series is a mix of animation and live action and focuses on children’s emotions. It transports children to Nara, a live-action world inhabited by animated characters called Piplings who embody a range of emotions such as love, wisdom, happiness and harmony. Production has started in Scotland and Canada.

Michael Carrington, controller of CBeebies, says: “‘Waybuloo’ with its high production values, innovative filming techniques, and wonderful design style, will break new ground for CBeebies.”

RDF Kids & Family holds worldwide rights in all media in the property and will distribute “Waybuloo” to the global preschool market.

Meanwhile, RDF Rights (RDFR) has inked a deal for the international distribution rights to the first original comedy series from Spike TV in the U.S.. The 6x30 show, entitled “Factory,” is a day-to-day look at the lives of four disinterested small town factory workers. RDFR holds all rights outside the U.S.

Galleon’s “Soccer Super Star” to Air in Malaysia
Radio Television Malaysia will air Galleon’s “Soccer Super Star” on prime time in January 2009.

Through the agreement between Malaysia’s Nafalia Corporation Sdn Bhd  and Galleon Holdings, 13 episodes will debut in the country in the new year, as well as online recruitment and TV promotion in October.

“Super Soccer Star” is a family reality series to find the world’s next soccer star. The show is produced in association with the Chelsea Football Club. It was recently launched in China and already has many sponsorships, live and online events, and branded merchandise.

Recently, the U.K.-based Galleon joined forces with Dragonfruit Studios to debut “Super Soccer Star” in the U.S.

ITV Global Strengthens Commercial Team
ITV Global Entertainment has tapped retail and design consultancy Watermelon’s Aysha Kidwai as director, merchandising and licensing as part of a new team of four senior executives to head its commercial brand division.

Kidwai is joined by Corine Poivreau Miles as director, promotions and new business; Mara Gardner as director, product and brand development; and Marina Lum-Kang, who will be based in the Los Angeles office, as senior vice president, brand extensions and integrated marketing.

All four new directors will report to Gustavo Antonioni, commercial brand director. Last month Melanie Beer resigned as merchandising and licensing director of the business.

Key brands at ITV Global Entertainment include the U.K.’s two longest running soaps “Coronation Street” and “Emmerdale,” the new music and entertainment drama series “Britannia High,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Dancing on Ice” and “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!” and award-winning children’s properties “Pocoyo,” “Numberjacks” and “Bella Sara.”

Gustavo Antonioni comments: “I am delighted to have put such a strong and talented team in place, combining both global experience and in-depth knowledge of the U.K. market. Bringing the finest talent to ITV Global Entertainment puts us in the optimal position to leverage the ITV brand, which has massive exposure in the U.K., enabling us to deliver across M&L, broadcast, digital, sponsorship platforms. We have already started to create ‘best in class’ partnerships with leading companies in many different industries and we’re extremely excited by the huge opportunities that these alliances will bring.”

Jane Evans Gets a Wiggle On
Jane Evans Licensing Consultancy has inked a deal to represent television show “The Wiggles” for licensing rights in the U.K. Key initial categories for the licensing roll out will be toys and publishing.

“The Wiggles” live-action preschool children’s entertainers have a strong focus on education and learning through music and dance. It is already known to parents and preschool children worldwide through live-action shows, TV series, DVDs and CDs.

The new series airs on Nickelodeon U.K. from January 2009, with new DVD releases planned for later this year and 2009.

The property already has an established licensing program in Australia, Canada and the U.S.

Cartoon Forum 2008 Ends on a High
Some 33% of the projects shown at Cartoon Forum 2008, held in Ludwigsburg Germany last week, secured short-term financing, accounting for a total budget of €70 million.

At the three-day event, over 765 broadcasters, investors, producers and distributors previewed the latest European animation projects for television and new media platforms. A total of 63 projects were presented from 14 countries. France was responsible for producing 28% of the projects presented, although overall the industry relies largely on co-production agreements to get new projects off the ground.

Multi-media platforms continue to gain force in European animation, with 21% of this year’s projects conceived for new platforms such as mobile phones, Internet or videogames. The majority of episodes presented this year were under 10 minutes long.

The Cartoon Tributes, which recognize companies or personalities who have had a positive influence on the European animation industry over the last year, were Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon (Producer of the Year); the U.K.’s Rubber Duck Entertainment (Investor/Distributor of the Year); and France 3 (Broadcaster of the Year).

In 2009, Cartoon Forum will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Stavanger/Sandnes in Rogaland, Norway, from Sept. 22 to 25.

Aardman Secures a Raft of International TV Deals for “Shaun the Sheep”
CBBC has acquired the second series of Aardman Animations’ “Shaun the Sheep.” The 40x7 episodes start shooting in early 2009 and Aardman has already secured a number of pre-sales for the show.

Among the broadcasters signed are ABC Australia, TF1 France, WDR Germany, YLE Finland, SVT Sweden, DR Denmark and Noga in Israel.

The first series of “Shaun the Sheep” has racked up television sales and licensing deals in over 150 territories and has won several awards including the Cristal Award for Best TV Production at the Annecy Animated Film Festival 2007, the Audience Choice Award at the World Comedy Film Festival 2007 and winner of the Age 5-10 Audience and Parent’s Choice Awards at the New York International Film Festival 2007.

The property has 28 U.K. licensees, including Golden Bear as master toy partner and Egmont as publishing partner, in addition to international partners.

Death Note Movie Heads for Hungary
Panini U.K.’s The Licensing Machine and Elemental Media & Merchandising, an affiliate of Mangafan Publishing, have signed a distribution deal in the Hungarian market for Japanese film Death Note, the two-part live-action movie based on the manga title. 

The movie debuts this month and will be followed by a DVD release in November, together with the launch of the second installment in cinemas.

Taffy Signs Home Entertainment Deal for “Dive Olly Dive!”
“Dive Olly Dive!,” the environmentally-conscious preschool series from Taffy Entertainment and Mike Young Productions, will be released on DVD in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, South Africa, Brazil and other selected territories by Universal Pictures International Entertainment in 2009.

The show is a winner of the 2008 Parents’ Choice Award and Hugo Television Award (Certificate of Merit), in addition to being nominated for an Emmy Award, Prix Jeunesse and Best Animated Series at the 2008 Annecy International Festival of Animated Film.

“Bakugan” Second Season in Production, Also Comics Deal
Twenty-six new episodes are now in the creation stages for the second season of anime TV series, “Bakugan.”

Set to air in spring 2009, the second series will be titled, “Bakugan: New Vestoria.” The show currently airs on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and on Teletoon in Canada. Other broadcast launches are expected in Europe throughout 2009. It’s co-produced by Nelvana Enterprises, Spin Master, Sega Toys and TMS Entertainment with animation by TMS Entertainment in association with Sega Toys.

In line with the new season of “Bakugan,” Cartoon Network Enterprises has inked many new soft-line partners, for categories in apparel, sleepwear, footwear, swimwear and accessories. A “Bakugan” toy line, already available in the U.S. and Canada, is set to debut in France and the U.K. this Christmas. The first season was recently released on DVD in August through Cartoon Network and Warner Home Video in the U.S. and Vivendi Home Entertainment in Canada.

In other news, “Bakugan Battle Brawlers” has also inked a comics deal with Del Rey Manga, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group. The first book will be released in December, called “Bakugan Battle Brawlers: The Battle Begins.” The agreement with Cartoon Network also includes a series of “Ben 10 Alien Force” comics.

TV-Loonland Storms Down Under with ABC TV Australia Deal
TV-Loonland has inked a multi-content deal with its long-term partner ABC TV Australia. This deal seals the acquisition of “The Owl” (52x1), “Pat & Stan” (39x7), “Raymond” (26x7) and preschool property “Penelope” (54x5). ABC TV has also picked up Little Princess seasonal specials in addition to airing series one and two.

Toys & Games__________________________________________________________
Playhouse Disney Shows Get New Fall Toy Lines
Disney Consumer Products has launched a new holiday line of preschool toys and electronics based on the popular Playhouse Disney show line-up.

The new fall line includes, “Handy Manny” Fix-It-Right Transforming Tool Truck ($49.99), Disney V-Tech Create-A-Story with My Friends Tigger and Pooh software ($49.99), “Little Einsteins” Transform & Go Rocket ($39.99), “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” Mickey Motors Speedway ($49.99) and Disney Pix Jr. Digital Camera ($59.99).

To celebrate, Disney debuted the toys at a special Toys “R” Us Times Square event on Sept. 20 with celebrities, including Whoopi Goldberg from “The View,” Cameron Mathison from “Dancing with the Stars” and others, where preschoolers could participate in product demos, a reading station, sing-alongs, face painting and more.

Toys “R” Us Releases Holiday Hot Toy List
The 2008 holiday hot toy list from Toys “R” Us is out, featuring a top 15 “best of” list and an expanded selection divided up by age group.

The Fabulous 15, includes the Sesame Street Elmo Live! doll (Fisher-Price), Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Twilight Ship model set (LEGO Systems), 50’s Diner role-play kitchen set (Step2), Bakugan Bakubelt Action Kit (Spin Master), Circus Ring play set (Playmobil), Classic Lights and Sounds Trike (Radio Flyer), Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker (Jakks Pacific), EyeClops Night Vision Infrared Stealth Goggles (Jakks Pacific), Furreal Friends Biscuit, My Lovin’s Pup plush dog (Hasbro), Imaginext remote control Spike the Ultra Dinosaur (Fisher-Price), Laugh & Learn Shop & Learn Walker (Fisher-Price), Little Mommy Sweet As Me Baby Knows Dolls (Mattel), Pink 8GB iPod nano (Apple), Pink Tag Reading System (LeapFrog) and Wii Fit (Nintendo).

The toy list also features Crayola Beginnings Baby TaDoodles Rainbow Tower and Scribble & Sing Art Station (Crayola), Nick Jr. WonderPets This is Serious Ming-Ming plush pet (Fisher-Price), Barbie & The Diamond Castle Princess Liana and Princess Alexa Dolls (Mattel), Nick Jr. Yo Gabba Gabba! Dance Time Brobee doll (Spin Master), Disney Hannah Montana Malibu Beach House (Play Along), Disney Pixar U-Command WALL-E doll (Thinkway Toys), Star Wars: Legacy Collection Millennium Falcon ship (Hasbro), Nickelodeon iCarly Webcam (Imation) and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game (LucasArts).

The complete list can be viewed at www.Toysrus.com.

GameStop, Best Buy Offer Pre-Order Specials for Quantum of Solace Game
This month and continuing into early November, those who pre-order the Quantum of Solace video game from GameStop will receive a token for a multi-player map pack on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

At Best Buy, consumers who participate in the game’s pre-order program will get a $10-off coupon for any James Bond movie DVD.

The game will be available in North America stores on Nov. 4. It features various locations from both films, Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale and includes character likeness and voice over from its stars—Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Olga Kurylenko and Mathieu Amalric.

The Quantum of Solace film will release in U.S. theaters on Nov. 14 (Oct. 31 in the U.K.). It’s the 22nd installment of the James Bond series by EON Productions.

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl to Build Brand with CLC
The Collegiate Licensing Company has added the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl to its licensing program roster of nearly 200 properties.

“We’ve partnered with CLC due to their vast knowledge of bowl licensing and the strong relationship they have with manufacturers and retailers alike,” says Scott Ramsey, president and chief executive officer, Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl. “CLC will play a major role in building the Music City Bowl brand for years to come.”

The Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl is an annual post-season collegiate bowl featuring the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast Conferences in Nashville, Tenn. This year, the game will be played on Dec. 31. The game is televised nationally on ESPN.

First Hello Kitty Album Released, Hello World
Hello Kitty’s first album, Hello World, will be sold exclusively at Walmart on Oct. 7.

The album’s first single, “Come On, Come One” is sung by actress and musician, Keke Palmer (Akeelah & the Bee and The Longshots). The single will be available for download on iTunes, beginning Sept. 30.

A merchandise program is set coincide with the release, including t-shirts and accessories with the album’s Japan-Pop artwork.

Hello World, available on Lakeshore Records, was created in partnership between Sanrio and New York’s Cherry Lane Music Publishing through a multi-year deal to produce original music for Hello Kitty and Sanrio’s other character brands.

Gogo’s Crazy Bones Adds Licensees
Bulldog Licensing has signed Roy Lowe and Sons for socks, Infocado for calendars and Poetic Gem for apparel for Gogo’s Crazy Bones, the collectable figures produced by Magic Box International and Promociones Premier International.

Aimed at boys and girls from 4 to 11 years old, Gogo’s Crazy Bones are based on a 2,000-year-old game that was originally played with pieces of bone. There are 400 ordinary Crazy Bones—80 characters in five colors—as well as five rare figures.

Bulldog has also signed deals with Halsall for wheeled toys, Portico for greetings cards, and Pyramid for posters.

The Scrap Kins Go Back To School
The Scrap Kins characters and artwork head to class on stationery, flash cards, stickers and more through several deals, reports Brian Yanish Designs.

Aljan Corp will produce a back-to-school stationery line using recycled paper, as well as lunchkits.

Lafayette Puzzle Company is creating puzzles and educational flash cards.

Some Publishing plans to make 2010 interactive sticker calendars.

The Scrap Kins, based on the childhood drawings of Brian Yanish, are a group of creatures that live in a recycling center and build a world out of things people discard to spread eco-awareness and encourage kids to use their imagination.

Hanes to Cut 8,100 Jobs, Up Asia Production
Consolidation and global cost-cutting strategies at Hanesbrands will result in a total of 8,100 employees in five countries in the Western Hemisphere losing their jobs. Hanesbrands plans to close nine plants by the end of summer 2009, with most of the sewing production in Central America moving to new Asian facilities.

“Globalizing out supply chain,” says Richard Noll, Hanesbrands chief executive officer, “and eventually balancing production between Asia and the Western Hemisphere, is a critical plank in our strategic efforts to reduce costs, improve product flow and increase our competitiveness.”

Hanesbrands plans to increase its Asian workforce from 4,000 today to 6,000 by the end of 2008.

In addition to the brand Hanes, the company also markets Champion, Playtex, Bali, Just My Size, barely there and Wonderbra.

Goodyear Brand to Expand Outside North America
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has chosen IMG Licensing to further its brand on a bigger international scale.

Bob Paciulan, manager of licensed products for Goodyear, says the company has almost 70 companies around the world producing its products and carrying the brand. Through IMG, he says, the tiremaker hopes to gain more local offices and licensing professionals worldwide.

Princess Poppy Hits 1 Million Book Sales
Princess Poppy, represented by Chorion, has reached 1 million book sales, according to Random House Children’s Books, which launched the series by Janey Louise Jones in March 2006. The first Princess Poppy merchandise goes into stores this autumn.

The Princess Poppy series now includes over 30 books in six different formats—picture books, young fiction, audio books, gift books, DVD and activity books.

Chorion is in discussion on a number of new deals including apparel, fashion accessories, stationery, toys and games and general gifting with launches planned for autumn 2009.

Chorion European marketing manager Keith Pashley says: “Princess Poppy is a publishing phenomenon that is not TV reliant, but is currently growing simply through word of mouth and realization that the books contain stories and illustrations which children can identify with. We enjoy a very close and effective working relationship with Random House and know, from experience, that a successful and innovative publishing program is the foundation to the long-term success of a property of this type.”

DCD Signs Raft of Publishing Deals
DCD Publishing, the newly formed subsidiary of DCD Media set up to exploit book publishing, merchandising, licensing and U.K. DVD rights, has secured a raft of book and DVD deals worth £2 million for TV series “Stephen Fry In America,” “Richard Hammond’s Blast Lab,” “Alan Whicker’s Journey Of A Lifetime,” “Last Chance To See,” “Escape From Baghdad” and “Stairway To Heaven”—all produced by companies within the DCD Media Group.

DCD Publishing’s chief executive Adrian Sington says: “DCD Publishing was formed not only to oversee the exploitation of ancillary rights for the companies within the DCD Media Group but also those of third-party producers and rights holders. Our aim is to build brands through coordinated licensing of consumer facing products and to negotiate for producers more influence in the planning and marketing process to ensure that products are front of mind with consumers at launch.”

More news_____________________________________________________________
Executive moves
Calvin Klein has promoted several senior executives to corporate roles, including Tom Murry to president and chief executive officer. Previously, Murry served as president and chief operating officer for the last six years. Other promotions include Melisa Goldie from senior vice president, creative services, to executive vice president and chief creative officer, and Malcolm Carfrae from senior vice president, global offices to executive vice president, global communications.

The Nickelodeon Kids and Family Games Group has appointed several new management positions. David Bergantino was named vice president of premium games. Bergantino had been head of game design for Visual Science in Scotland. Shaan Kandawalla was hired as vice president of retail and licensed games. Kandawalla previously worked for Hasbro and Goldman Sachs. Pete Banks was appointed to vice president of engineering. Prior to his hire, Banks spent over six years leading major site development initiatives for Shockwave.

Italy-based Atlantyca Entertainment has appointed Maria Giovanna Gurrieri as director of licensing for the company, effective immediately. Gurrieri joins Atlantyca Entertainment from Gianni Versace and Warner Bros. Consumer Products. She replaces Martyn Ingram who will join Cardiff-based indie Presentable as the company’s head of development. Presentable is part of the RDF Media group.

FitzRoy Media recently hired Nadia Belhiba as director of international sales. She begins in her new position at MIPCOM next month and will be responsible for global sales of the company’s new children’s entertainment properties. Belhiba previously worked for Reed MIDEM’s TV division as an account manager in TV, digital media and advertising.

Christie Communications has expanded its international reach with the creation of a global licensing department to be led by Cindy Faith. Faith previously worked for Warner Bros. for 12 years—licensing properties such as Bugs Bunny. Since 2002, she was a consultant in business development and licensing for expansion of brands within and outside the U.S. Christie Communications is a full-service public relations, marketing and advertising agency.

Kate Sullivan was named vice president of marketing and public relations for Phat Fashions, a division of Kellwood Company. Sullivan, who previously worked at Diane Von Furstenberg Studio, will be responsible for collaborating with key executives of the brands, Baby Phat, KLS, Phat Premium and Phat Classic.

Dan Guthrie was named president of Minneapolis, Minn.- based PTI Group, a seasonal décor company. He was previously president of PTI Sports. Guthrie replaces one of the company’s founders, Todd Grispff, who will remain as the chief executive officer for the company.

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