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Articles from 2021 In January


Art Ask Agency Reveals Frida Kahlo x EMPIK Team Up

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Art Ask Agency has announced the latest Frida Kahlo collection launch of licensed product with a collaboration with EMPIK.

EMPIK’s range embraces the lifestyle brand aimed to consumers of all ages, including the youngest segment.The range has 48 different SKU’s in the categories of gifts, bags, accessories, stationery and home décor.

“Frida Kahlo is a character that needs no introduction,” says Ewa Ziemnicka, category manager, EMPIK. “The Mexican painter is a colorful bird and an extremely expressive personality that has become an icon of feminism and a symbol of charisma and bold expression of her views. At EMPIK, we were inspired by the art and personality of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century and have brought this to our customers with our Frida Kahlo collection.”

As the licensing agency for the Frida Kahlo brand, Art Ask Agency is also preparing for a launch of a second licensed collection with another brand from their roster in the month of March.

“I want it all,” says Maria Strid, owner, Art Ask Agency. “Empik have done an amazing job on this range and I’m confident their customers will snap up these irresistible products.”

Candyrific, Jelly Belly Reveal ‘Baby Shark’ Fans

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CandyRific has announced its new Pinkfong “Baby Shark” Fanimation Fans, filled with Jelly Belly organic jellybeans. 

CandyRific recently announced its Baby Shark Light & Sound Wands, which was its first release in collaboration with The Jelly Belly Candy Company and their Jelly Belly organic jellybeans. Around the same time, the new animated series, “Baby Shark’s Big Show!,” kicked-off with a 30-minute holiday special Dec. 11 on Nickelodeon. 

The display cases with the new fans are set to ship Feb.21, 2021.

Zavvi, Akedo Launch Exclusive Gaming Collection

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U.K. online retailer Zavvi has teamed up with footwear brand Akedo to launch a limited-edition gaming collection, celebrating two of the biggest gaming franchises in the world, “Borderlands 3” and “Assassin’s Creed.”

The collection will consist of two high-top trainer designs, featuring numerous motifs from the games covering one side of the sneaker, with the other side featuring their iconic logos.

The “Borderlands 3” trainers include eye-catching white logos on a black base, primed for action and ready to start raiding. Alternatively, choose the unique “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” signature high-tops, with a blue and white design inspired by the action-adventure game.

Made from high-quality materials, each pair of trainers are handmade and customized for every order, featuring classic lace-up fastening, a rubber toe cap and high-top silhouette.

The launch follows previous limited-edition Zavvi x Akedo footwear collections, including Wonder Woman, “The Goonies” and “Jaws.”

TeamTo Acquires Trio of Children’s Holiday Books

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TeamTo has acquired the TV, film and licensing rights to three popular children’s books: Snowman (“Snowy and the Snowman”), by  Jacques Duquennoy,  published by Editions de la Gouttière; Fox’s Garden (“The Winter I Met the Fox”), by Camille Garoche, published by Editions Soleil; and Jean Gouronas’ “Something’s Fishy” published by Phaidon Books (Penguin’s Ice Time).

The three winter-themed stories will be produced as individual specials for the 2022/2023 holiday season, suitable for both at-home TV or platform viewing, as well as cinema screening.

“We wanted to create an enchanting winter-themed program for preschoolers, designed for both TV and matinee theatre screenings,” Corrine Kouper, executive producer and co-founder, TeamTo. “The three stories, which are all quite different from each other, aim to bring wonder and excitement to a young audience, making it a unique experience for children, especially those who may never have been to the movies before.  Since we produce animation of cinematic quality, this is a natural extension of how we share our shows with a wider audience in different formats.”

TeamTo will be presenting “Winter is Here!” at this year’s Kidscreen, Cartoon Movie and Annecy.

“It has been exciting to develop short-form content because, as with short stories, you can really get to know a character in a very unique and often powerful way,” says Mary Bredin, creative development, TeamTo. “Also, working on short films provides a rare opportunity, in our busy production world, to focus on the heart of a story, and work closely with new directorial talent to bring their vision to life. It has been a great collaborative process.”

The Wiggles Celebrate 30 Years

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The Wiggles are celebrating 30 years of educating, enriching and entertaining children and families all over the globe with a series of new events, partnerships and songs.

The year-long celebration for the 30th anniversary will unfold throughout 2021 and will include a new single, commemorative logo, new music releases, new and exclusive content on FTA, STV, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, special events, concert tours and collaborations across fashion and lifestyle brands.

“For the past three decades, it has been an absolute joy and privilege to reach children and families around the world through our music,” says Murray Cook, original red Wiggle. “Our purpose as entertainers has, and continues to be, to nurture growth and development in a fun and engaging way, brought to life through song and dance.”

To help celebrate the landmark milestone, The Wiggles are also releasing their brand-new single, “We’re All Fruit Salad!” across all digital music platforms.

“If you want to see a room light up, watch what happens when children start singing,” says Anthony Field, blue Wiggle. “It’s a joy that spreads through young and old. It has been a real adventure over the last thirty years, and we hope to be having this much fun for at least another 30 years to come! 2021 marks a very important moment for us and we cannot wait to celebrate this milestone with all our fans, young and young-at-heart.”

Novel Entertainment Launches Story a Day Initiative

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Novel Entertainment is launching a month-long ‘Story a Day’ offering as part of their Hibernating with Henry initiative, which will see a free audio stories posted daily on “Horrid Henry’s” website.

Starting from Feb. 1, the first title available will be “Horrid Henry and the Antiques Rogue Show” with additional stories including “Horrid Henry Computer Whizz” and “Horrid Henry’s Favorite Day” to follow.

Novel Entertainment’s “Horrid Henry” audio content takes the form of dramatizations from its hit “Horrid Henry” TV series, featuring the show’s voice talent with additional narrative from Henry and songs. A “Horrid Henry” podcast also launched in 2020 presented by radio host Sean Thorne, voice actor Lizzie Waterworth and Henry himself. It offers fans insights into the inner workings of the world of “Horrid Henry.”

“Henry’s been hard at work, thinking up ways to share his top hibernation tips,” says Lucinda Whiteley, creative director and co-founder, Novel Entertainment. “Of course, being Henry, he’s full of ideas, but first up we’re excited for Henry fans to be able to settle down after finishing their school day, with or without their grown-up and listen to a different story every day throughout February.” 

Novel Entertainment first launched “Horrid Henry” audio content in Spring 2020 and continues to expand the offering for fans. Most recently, Novel Entertainment launched a ‘Horrid Henry’s Winter Wonderland’ audiobook compilation and the ‘Super Scary One’ compilation. These latest offerings are available on major platforms including Audible, Amazon and Spotify and join the initial six ‘Totally Horrid Collections’ which debuted last year.

Season five of “Horrid Henry” is currently airing on Netflix in the U.K., and also on Nickelodeon and Nicktoons U.K. & Ireland.

Louis Kennedy Becomes Part of Products of Change

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Louis Kennedy has joined the Products of Change sustainability initiative.

When Louis Kennedy was founded in 1991 three core commitments were established: to reduce our environmental impact – strive to reduce waste, energy and carbon emissions; to promote sustainability – only use recycled materials and make recyclable products; and an ethical partner – only associate with highly audited manufacturers who promote the highest standards of fairness and safety.

These values quietly drive the business on and on, so much so Louis Kennedy is currently building a U.K. based supply chain that only uses recycled raw materials to produce recyclable items. The long-standing relationship Louis Kennedy enjoys with Living Streets, the U.K. charity championing everyday walking, is an example of these values in action.

“Living Streets has worked with Louis Kennedy for almost 10 years, providing sustainable WOW reward badges for primary school pupils, and the badges ticked all of our boxes,” says Kevin Croasdale, services head, Living Streets. “They are made in the U.K. meaning minimal carbon footprint, from recycled material which was destined for landfill, and they can be recycled again for alternative products, helping to reduce waste. The team are brilliant to work with and have played a huge part in the successes we have seen across the country in helping children stay fit and healthy”.

Now, Louis Kennedy is joining product of change to align with these values even more.

“We have not been so vocal in assessing our contribution in the past but we are going to join the trend and speak out about our successes going forward,” says Grant Morgan, chief executive officer, Louis Kennedy. “Becoming a member of Products of Change is an important step in this strategy.”

Louis Kennedy has followed the development of Products of Change and recognized its potential to help drive and support this initiative. As a membership organization, Products of Change is designed to support, encourage and perpetuate companies and brands in meeting their sustainability goals through educating to inform change and peer-to-peer networking.

“Louis Kennedy have been connecting the brand and licensing industry to charities and NGOs for decades; bringing brands with purpose to the forefront of their ethos and driving real social impact,” says Helena Mansell-Stopher, founder, Product of Change. “It’s an honor to have Louis Kennedy be part of ‘Products of Change’ and I look forward to what we can achieve together as a group.”

Steven Choi Turns the Page on ‘Le Petit Prince’ Solo Exhibition Book

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From Jan. 29 to Feb. 21, Hongkonger illustrator Steven Choi will be joining forces with Medialink Group Limited, the Hong Kong licensee for “Le Petit Prine,” to hold the “Le Petit Prince – Le Havre” exhibition at Gallery by the Harbour in Harbour City.

A prelude to Part II of “Le Petit Prince,” this exhibition will showcase more than 30 artworks illustrating the Prince’s everyday life while wandering around the galaxy.

Choi has made history by becoming the first Chinese artist to be officially authorized to illustrate a “Le Petit Prince” picture book, as well as the artist chosen to create an officially authorized 75th anniversary special-edition picture book.

The first edition of Choi’s book debuted back in July 2019 and was quickly sold out. Building on this remarkable success, Choi predicts that his new special edition will be a worthy sequel, breathing new life into “Le Petit Prince’s” quest for Rose.

2021 marks the 75th anniversary of “Le Petit Prince’s” original publication in French. A record holder as the most read and most translated literature in French literature, this classic novella has an extensive licensing program.

JoJo Maman Bebe, Elmer Launch Clothing Collection

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JoJo Maman Bebe has launched its fourth Elmer clothing collection featuring new styles and graphics specially created by the retailer’s design team.

The range comprises nine items including a hoodie, joggers, sleepsuit, t-shirt, two dresses, cardigan, leggings set and dungarees set. It is available online.

“We are so excited at JoJo to have our favorite elephant, Elmer, return for our fourth ‘JoJo Loves Elmer’ collection,” says Sarah Liversidge, childrenswear buyer, JoJo Maman Bebe. “The fresh design direction is bolder and more playful than ever whilst reflecting Elmer’s joy, colorfulness and diversity, all combined with our practical styles, great quality and JoJo sense of humor. We have really enjoyed collaborating with Andersen Press and Metrostar once again and hope our customers will enjoy the complimentary Elmer’s Little Library gifted by Andersen Press.”

The launch has been supported by digital marketing and social media from the retailer and Elmer publisher, Andersen Press. Shoppers who buy two or more items will receive a complimentary copy of Elmer’s Little Library.

The deal is managed by licensing agent, Metrostar.

“This DTR was one of our first signings for Elmer back in 2017 and it’s wonderful to see the partnership going strong,” says Claire Potter, managing director, Metrostar. “The design team at JoJo really embrace Elmer’s aesthetic; creating garments which are original yet very obviously Elmer. Their ability to develop fresh treatments is undoubtedly a key reason that consumers keep coming back for more.”

Braille Skateboarding, Trinity and Beyond Release Series Two of Toy Line

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Semaphore Licensing Solutions’ talent Trinity and Beyond and Braille Skateboarding are continuing their retail offering on Target.com and in Target stores nationwide.

The two have teamed with Bonkers Toys again to release series two for each of their toy lines. All lines feature a new toy line-up showcasing elevated versions of fan favorites from the initial toy release.

Braille Skateboarding, the number skateboarding channel on YouTube, has released a fresh series of blind bags featuring collectible mini skateboards, as well as a mystery two pack and a mystery six pack of mini skateboards.

Meanwhile, Trinity and Beyond have released buildable miniature figure blind bags along with a mystery figure two pack and a mystery figure six pack.

“We are thrilled by the fan response to the licensed products from Bonkers Toys for Semaphore YouTube stars Braille Skateboarding and Trinity and Beyond,” says Lisa Berlin Wright, senior vice president, licensing, Semaphore Licensing Solutions. “Semaphore Licensing is delighted to represent some of the best social media stars on YouTube and other dynamic platforms.”

The new toys are available now.