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Weekly E-News, Issue #192, December 19, 2006

Sponsored by: UK Company to Acquire Classic Media Entertainment Rights Plc will acquire Classic Media Holdings, Inc., for $210 million, creating a new company with nearly 8,700 episodes of programming, characters, and brands. Further, the deal will p

Sponsored by:



UK Company to Acquire Classic Media
Entertainment Rights Plc will acquire Classic Media Holdings, Inc., for $210 million, creating a new company with nearly 8,700 episodes of programming, characters, and brands. Further, the deal will provide Entertainment Rights with an opportunity to cross-sell Classic's existing properties and programming into Europe and other key international markets. Classic's strong relationships with broadcasters and key retailers in the U.S. present significant opportunities to leverage ER's extensive library of programming and brands in the U.S. market.

Concept One Buys Drew Pearson Marketing
Concept One Accessories announced plans to acquire the assets of Drew Pearson Marketing Inc. of Texas for $8 million in cash. The merger of the two companies will create a $90 million headwear and bag firm. Drew Pearson Marketing currently is owned by its largest resource, Mainland Headwear Holdings, LTD, a publicly held headwear factory based in Hong Kong. Mainland decided to divest itself of DPM in order to concentrate on building its manufacturing base, and to eliminate competitive issues with its U.S.-based customers. Under the terms of a separate manufacturing agreement, Mainland Headwear will build a dedicated 125,000-square-foot factory with 1,500 workers to handle the production of Concept One and Drew Pearson's woven headwear. Concept One's showroom and headquarters on 5th Avenue will feature all of the products from both companies. The company also will maintain its office in Dallas, and plans to open a sales office in downtown Minnesota across from Target headquarters, and in Bentonville, AK, near Wal-Mart's home office.

UK Strategies for Lost and Desperate Housewives
Walt Disney International appointed CPLG to develop a UK licensing strategy for TV series Lost and Desperate Housewives. Disney will work with CPLG to create a range of products, initially targeting mid- to high-end retail. "We're looking for licensees that understand and will perfectly capture the spirit of the shows," says CPLG MD Vickie O'Malley.

New Deal to Widen DIC's Retail Presence
DIC Entertainment inked a distribution deal with Alliance Entertainment Corporation for the home entertainment and non-exclusive digital rights in the U.S. and Canada for select animated and live-action titles. The three-year, multimillion-dollar agreement gives DIC's properties new first-time distribution at brick-and-mortar retail outlets while also providing options for delivery on digital platforms. AEC also will have a first-look option to distribute, for home video and in digital formats, shows (including Horseland) from DIC's KOL's Secret Slumber Party programming block on CBS. AEC will have the option to distribute direct-to-video properties, as well as content from DIC's extensive library of programming. First products are due first quarter of 2007. Additionally, AEC will have the option to deliver DIC content via digital streaming and downloads.

Mr. Bean Stars in PS2 Game
Mr. Bean will appear in a new Playstation 2 game next year. Tiger Aspects agreed to a deal with Blast! Entertainment to develop a game aimed at ages 5 to 12. It will be released in fall 2007 to tie in with the increased Mr. Bean retail activity following the release of the Mr. Bean's holiday movie next spring.

Barbie Is the Real Deal with Girls and Collectors
Mattel partnered with Emerson Radio Corp. on a line of Barbie Real Electronics due on shelves in spring. The line will include the Tune Blossom personal CD player, the Hour Garden talking alarm clock with nightlight, the Bloombox portable CD player, and a 13-inch television with digital tuner and a matching DVD player. Each of the consumer electronics will include a "gemstone" fun button that reveals special surprises featuring unique Barbie-themed play experiences. In other Barbie news, Mattel inked a deal with Jones Publishing, Inc., for the official Barbie Collector Magazine. The quarterly publication will include features on contemporary Barbie Collector dolls and Barbie play line dolls, as well as extensive coverage of vintage and mod era dolls and collectibles. The magazine, due at newsstands in April, also will include access to Mattel "behind the scenes," as well as coverage of the collector community doll clubs, doll shows, and more.

Starbury One Brand Sports New Relationship
Stephon Marbury and Steve & Barry's donated a free pair of Starbury One high performance basketball sneakers to every varsity high school boys' basketball player in New York City. Each box of sneakers includes a DVD containing a special message from Marbury. The donation of 3,000 pairs of Starbury Ones is part of a new agreement that makes the Starbury brand a Partner of the Public Schools Athletic League. The PSAL directs all athletic competition among the 193 public high schools in the five boroughs.

Pressman Toys to Support Ben 10
Cartoon Network Enterprises signed Pressman Toys to create games and puzzles for Ben 10. Under the multi-year agreement that includes the U.S. and Canada, Pressman will create games, puzzles, and card games for spring 2007 with integrated DVD board games available in fall 2007. In addition to toys and games, Ben 10 also will expand into a variety of categories in 2007 with deals in place for spring and summer that will include home furnishings, accessories, sleepwear, apparel, and headgear.

Hasbro Inks Agreement with Reebok
Hasbro, Inc., signed a deal with Reebok International to manufacture the Versaflex Play-Doh collection of toddler footwear with Play-Doh-compound-inspired gel-cushioning material built into the heel. Targeting toddlers ages 1 to 3, the new Reebok Play-Doh sneaker line is available at Kids Footlocker, Sears, and Shoe Show stores nationwide (suggested retail, $30; the sneakers are available in two styles and six colors and come with two 1-ounce cans of Play-Doh molding compound).

Two Picture Perfect Deals for Kim Anderson
Big Tent Entertainment inked two new deals for photographic artist Kim Anderson. USAopoly will create a line of puzzles packaged in a variety of specialty tins and boxes for various occasions. The line will be distributed in specialty stores, gift stores, mid-tier department stores, card shops, bookstores, and on the Internet. Hi-Look will come to market with a line of microfiber cleansing cloths, including four new products in time for the holiday season.

Companies in Bed Together for First Time
Matouk, a luxury linen company, is licensing the designs of Lulu de Kwiatkowski, founder and chief designer of Lulu DK Fabrics, for a bedding collection. The debut Lulu DK Matouk Collection features six different prints in up to seven different color choices. The collection also includes accompanying quilts in seven matching hues. Options include shams, pillowcases, fitted sheets, flat sheets, and duvet covers of varying sizes.

Agent Adds New Client; Signs Apparel Deal
Stone America Licensing, LLC, was appointed the North American licensing agent for Andy Capp (who will celebrate his 50th anniversary in 2007) and Mr. Crabtree by Mirrorpix. The agency will establish a licensing program that initially focuses on greeting cards, apparel and accessories, stationery, party paper, gifts/novelties, and publishing. In other news, the agency signed Sherry Manufacturing to create a fashion apparel collection based on global hair-care brand Bed Head TIGI. The line will include tops, pants, caps, and coordinating tote bags.

InGroup Licensing Adds hummel to Roster
InGroup Licensing added fashion brand hummel to its client roster with an eye on creating a wholesale, retail, and e-commerce licensing venture. The hummel brand was established in 1923 and currently has more than 100 retail shops throughout Europe and Asia.

Lifestyle Publication Comes to Mobile World
Airborne Entertainment, a subsidiary of Cybird Co., Ltd., and Complex magazine formed a new partnership that brings the lifestyle magazine into the mobile market. Airborne Entertainment will create wallpapers, ringtones, ringback tones, and more that target the interests of the magazine?s diverse urban readership.

New CSI Game Headed for PCs
Ubisoft and CBS Consumer Products will develop CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Hard Evidence, a new video game based on the characters and storylines from the original CSI television series, for the PC in spring 2007.

Upscale Retailers to Foster Character Brand
Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends will be making a home at specialty and boutique stores as part of a new agreement between Cartoon Network Enterprises and Mighty Fine. As part of the multi-year deal, the fashion design studio will create a line of knit tops, T-shirts, and fleece tops (suggested retails, $25 to $60) for juniors and 'tweens inspired by the show. The deal compliments the partnership with Logotel for the Foster's property that targets the young men?s market.

New Agency on Board for Skateboard Park Brand
Brandolution signed on as worldwide licensing agency for Skatelab, a skateboard park with two locations in Simi Valley, CA, and Atlantic Beach, FL. The program, targeted at 8- to 15-year-old boys, already has brought Jem Sportswear on board to create T-shirts for boys and young men due at retail spring 2007. Licensees also are being sought in the areas of accessories, footwear, home furnishings, stationery, beverages, interactive games, and sporting goods/equipment including quality skateboards and gear.

Execs on the Move
Nancy Dubuc was appointed executive vice president and general manager of The History Channel. Twentieth Century Fox named Alison Wallace director of licensing. Upper Deck tapped Greg Goldstein as vice president of gaming and entertainment. Ty's Toy Box, LLC, hired Lisa Hallond as its new chief operating officer. The Talbots, Inc., appointed Hilary Chasin senior vice president and chief marketing officer of the J. Jill Brand. InGroup Licensing appointed Leonard C. Rothschild executive vice president. LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., named Steve Anderson vice president of software engineering; Jeff Grant vice president of Web products; and Hilda West senior vice president of human resources.
 

Licensing 2007 International Show Registration Is Now Open—Book Your Hotel Early and Get a Great Rate
Save time and money by preregistering for the most important licensing event of the year taking place June 19- 21 at the Javits Convention Center, NYC. Registering in advance guarantees that you receive your badge in the mail prior to the show to avoid lines. Click here to register. Our new housing partner, Travel Planners, has put together a list of hotels to meet every budget. Contact Travel Planners at 800.221.3531 (domestic) or 212.532.1660 (international).

Introducing LICENSE's Monthly Survey Question
Give us your opinion! Each month, we'll feature a different survey question—on subjects ranging from product growth categories and international expansion to retail trends and consumer preferences—on our Website. Then, we'll feature the final results in the following month?s issue of LICENSE. December's question: For what licensed category do you foresee the most growth in 2007? See the choices and vote on www.licensemag.com.


Submit Licenses Granted & Available Now Online

The 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: agrala@advanstar.com.

Get Set for Toy Fair: February 11-14, 2007
American International Toy Fair is a must-attend event where you'll discover new markets, innovative products, and the latest ways to build business. In this garden of opportunity, industry flourishes. Chances are the competition will be here—will you? Register today at www.toyfairny.com/attendees.html


LICENSE's weekly e-news will be on hiatus next week. Best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday and New Year!


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

 

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