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Weekly E-News, Issue #120, July 26, 2005

  Sponsored by:    New American Idol Tour Extends Audition Process FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide, Americas teamed up with Glowcast Ventures to extend the audition process to 50 cities across the nation with The Idol Auditions Tou


Sponsored by:   



New American Idol Tour Extends Audition Process
FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide, Americas teamed up with Glowcast Ventures to extend the audition process to 50 cities across the nation with The Idol Auditions Tour. The tour launches at local malls and other locations in August and will allow nearly 20,000 more people to try out for the show's sixth season. The first 500 people to arrive at the audition site and meet all the requirements of an American Idol contestant then earn the right to perform in front of a live audience for the chance to gain access to one of the primary audition sites for the show. After performing, winners from each of the 50 local auditions will be fast-tracked through the stadium audition process in their region, having pre-cleared the early round of auditions. Each of the local events also will include a variety of fan-friendly experiences and interactive exhibits presented by the Tour sponsors.

Bratz to Have a Passion for TV
The Bratz will make their TV debut this fall as part of a deal between 4Kids Entertainment, Inc., and MGA Entertainment. The CGI-animated television series will air Saturday mornings on 4Kids TV on Fox. The 4Kids TV girls' block currently includes Winx Club and Mew Mew Power. Japanese-animated Magical Doremi also will join the block when the fourth season of 4Kids TV launches Saturday, September 10.

In other news, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are expected to come to the silver screen in early 2007 supported by 4Kids Entertainment handling exclusive worldwide merchandising and Playmates Toys with a new toy line. The Mirage Group, the group of companies that owns the property, had licensed the film animation rights to Imagi Animation Studios. Imagi has reached an agreement with The Weinstein Co. and Warner Bros. Pictures for those companies to distribute the CGI-animated feature film.

Partnership Supports Kid Inventors
By Kids For Kids Company and Mattel signed a global marketing partnership agreement giving Mattel the right of first refusal for toy and game concepts invented by kid inventors represented by BKFK. Mattel also will be the exclusive presenting toy sponsor of the By Kids For Kids-Xerox 2005 National Invention Competition and will sponsor the BKFK Brainstorm Challenge summer museum program. The competition will begin inviting submissions for toys, games, and sporting goods ideas in fall 2005. The Brainstorm Challenge is a BKFK-created innovative thinking camp program running in more than 50 children's and science museums across the country this summer. This experiential, hands-on program invites kids to explore their creativity by constructing toys and games with a BKFK-provided curriculum.

Chorion Acquires Silver Lining Productions
Chorion PLC acquired Silver Lining Productions Ltd. for an undisclosed amount. Through the acquisition, Chorion adds a portfolio of film, TV, and merchandising rights from children's authors such as Ian Falconer (Olivia), Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), Rosemary Wells (Max & Ruby), and Babette Cole (Princess Smartypants). The acquisition also will strengthen Chorion's position in the U.S., following the recent launch of Make Way for Noddy on PBS. Equally, Chorion's experience and presence in Europe and Asia will assist the growth of Silver Lining's brands around the world. Silver Lining co-founders Amory Millard and Diana Manson join the Chorion senior management team.

RJM Licensing to Rep Seasonal Titles
RJM Licensing Inc. partnered with The Copyrights Group to represent and further expand the North American merchandise programs for "The Snowman" and "Father Christmas." Initial categories under consideration for the seasonal books include ornaments, seasonal tins, throws, special occasion apparel, gift wrap, and stationery.

Sanrio Extends Hello Kitty into New Areas
Sanrio signed a co-branded deal with Little Lily to produce a collection of Hello Kitty apparel and accessories for dogs. The Hello Kitty Collection by Little Lily includes classic and couture styles for pups already fetching attention at upscale pet boutiques, as well as women's specialty and gift boutiques. The company also aligned with Fender for an assortment of guitars (suggested retails, $200 to $300) and musical accessories such as guitar picks, soft cases, and a portable battery-powered amplifier due in music stores and select Sanrio stores in October.

Jim Henson Inks Manga Deal with Tokyopop
The Jim Henson Company partnered with Tokyopop Inc. on an exclusive manga publishing deal to bring three of its fantasy titles to fans. Most notable among them is MirrorMask due in theaters September 30, 2005. Also included in the deal will be an all-new original graphic novel series for The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Tokyopop also plans to release a sequel manga to Labyrinth, which first hit the big screen in 1986 and serves as an inspiration for MirrorMask. The final title will be a prequel to 1982's The Dark Crystal, the classic tale of good vs. evil that broke ground as the first fully animatronic feature. Henson also recently announced it is in preproduction on a sequel theatrical film to this cult classic.

Fisher-Price Commemorates Birthday with Sweepstakes
Fisher-Price kicked off its 75th birthday July 18 with a 75-day sweepstakes that awards 75 $75 toy shopping sprees daily. Consumers can spend their winnings online or at participating retailers. One lucky family also will win the Grand Prize: a family trip for eight to New York City, where they will receive VIP seating at the 2005 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, stay in The Regency hotel, see the sights, and more. Consumers can log onto http://www.fisher-price.com/ and click on the tile featuring the 75th Birthday Sweeps or the 75th birthday logo.

Crave Entertainment Signs Rockin' New Deal
Crave Entertainment entered into an agreement with Hard Rock International to license and develop Hard Rock Casino video games for PlayStation2 and other video game systems. The Hard Rock Casino video game captures the excitement of becoming a rockin' high roller in The Hard Rock Casino. Gamers can try their luck at more than 20 different casino games, while experiencing high-stakes areas, invitation-only tournaments, and many unlockable upgrades.

DVD Series to Sport Young Fan Base
Team Baby Entertainment created a new sports DVD series geared toward the infant and preschool set. The series, whose tagline is "Raising tomorrow's fans today," features five 40-minute titles with officially licensed footage of the team, stadiums, fans, and mascots, all interspersed with imagery of kids decked out in related gear and playing with a variety of team-specific products. The series kicks off in time for spring training 2006 with a lineup that includes Baby Yankee, Baby Red Sox, Baby Dodger, Baby Cub, and Baby Astro. Titles for additional teams also are in development.


Licensing Fact:
Did you know that Licensing 2005 International was visited by licensing professionals from 100 countries? To see photos, go to www.licensingshow.com and click on the photo gallery link on the home page.

September Drives Your Property
Whatever your mode of transport, License! puts your automotive/motorcycle property in front of the right group of licensees and retailers. The September issue focuses on licensing related to dirt bikes and automotive accessories. In addition, September focuses on TV licensing trends at MIPCOM and brands. Space reservation is 8/15, and materials are due 8/19. For more information on advertising in September License!, contact Steven Ekstract at (212) 951-6684 or sekstract@advanstar.com.

Doneger Group and Marshal Cohen of NPD Group to Speak at LINK Las Vegas
With ongoing business shifts and trends both at the wholesale and retail levels, executives from The Doneger Group take part in a panel discussion about trends and challenges at retail and wholesale as they relate to the apparel and accessory categories and as they affect potential or existing licensing strategies for retailers and wholesalers. In operation for more than 59 years, The Doneger Group is recognized as a leading retail merchandising, consulting, and trend forecasting and analysis firm. In addition, Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst of The NPD Group and national expert on the apparel, footwear, and accessory market, will discuss the current state of licensing, where the licensed category is headed, and how to create a forward-looking viewpoint. Cohen has in-depth knowledge of consumer behavioral shopping patterns, and has appeared as an expert commentator on many broadcast news outlets including The Today Show and Good Morning America. Register at http://www.linkconference.com/ or call Sylvester Jones at (212) 951-6764.

News from The L.A. Office
Big changes are ahead for The L.A. Office RoadShow. RoadShow Hollywood begins with an innovative day dedicated to video gaming (September 26) including showcases of promotional opportunities. Also, new to RoadShow Europe is a day of Power Sessions (October 24) in London, promotional sessions by studio executives and industry leaders followed by a day of European Film & Home Entertainment property reviews. Finally, The L.A. Office launches The Entertainment Exchange on http://www.laoffice.com/, an easily navigable resource providing innumerable properties, entertainment contacts, and promotion tracking. Visit http://www.laoffice.com/ for more about RoadShow and take a tour of its Membership Program-the resource for all your entertainment marketing needs.


Submit Licenses Granted & Available Now Online
License!'s License! Finder allows you to submit licenses granted and available now online, which will be published on the License! Website (http://www.licensemag.com/) on a weekly basis once approved by an editor. Go to http://www.finder.licensemag.com/ to fill out the verification form and submit your licenses granted or available now. Highlights from each month's online submissions will be published in License! magazine. Any questions, contact Alyson Grala at (212) 951-6743 or via e-mail: mailto:agrala@advanstar.com.

For more information on LINK, visit http://www.linkconference.com. For more information on licensing news and features, visit License! magazine's Website, http://www.licensemag.com.


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