Weekly E-News, Issue #133, October 25, 2005


 

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New Digs for Toy Industry

Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA), selected 100 Church Street in New York
City as the future home of the North American toy industry. The toy industry
plans to occupy in excess of 400,000 square feet at the location, a 1
million-square-foot office building one block north of the World Trade Center
site. This move was necessitated by the recent sale of the current
International Toy Center, 200 Fifth Avenue and 1107 Broadway, to new owners who
plan to use it differently. The new location was selected by a Relocation
Committee that includes officials of TIA and the 200 Fifth Avenue Tenants
Association. It then was unanimously ratified by the TIA Board during a conference
call last Thursday evening.

Omnicom Group Joins with The Beanstalk Group

Omnicom Group and senior management of The Beanstalk Group joined together to
acquire Beanstalk from the Ford Motor Company. The Beanstalk Group will operate
as part of Omnicom?s Diversified Agency Services group and maintain its
existing offices in the U.S. and UK. Beanstalk will draw upon Omnicom?s
worldwide resources and global relationships to offer clients strategic counsel
on the use of licensing to leverage brand image. The Beanstalk Group will
continue to represent many of Ford Motor Company?s key brands.

Noddy News

Chorion secured increased television exposure of its Noddy preschool brand in
the UK and U.S. In the UK, Five extended its commitment to Make Way for Noddy, agreeing
to air the show for a minimum of 30 weeks per year until 2012. The program
currently is broadcast seven mornings a week in preschool programming bloc
Milkshake!. In the U.S., Make Way for Noddy was selected as a key programming
component for Sprout, the new American preschool television network jointly
owned by Comcast, PBS, Sesame Workshop, and HIT Entertainment. Chorion?s 100
original 10-minute episodes are airing four times a day initially to 20 million
U.S. television households via digital satellite platform DirecTV and Comcast?s
and Insight Communications? digital cable networks. The Sprout carriage deal is
in addition to Make Way for Noddy's exposure on public broadcaster PBS Kids.

Barbie Film Franchise Grows

Entertainment Rights Plc is dolling up its portfolio, signing on with Mattel
Inc., for the home entertainment and TV distribution rights to the next three
animated Barbie feature-length movies due in 2006. The first title, Barbie
Diaries, is a new phase in the film franchise as Barbie plays herself as a
suburban high school teenager for the first time. Barbie Mermaidia follows, as
does a third title from the Barbie Princess series of movies. Entertainment
Rights also secured certain international television rights (excluding U.S.) to
the films.

Handleman Acquires Crave Entertainment

Handleman Company acquired Crave Entertainment Group, Inc., a distributor of
video game software, hardware, and accessories. Products distributed by CEG
support all Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft video game platforms. The transaction
is expected to close in the next 45 days.

Virgin Megastore Takes Exclusive on Playboy Property

Playboy Enterprises, Inc., launched ?The Girls Next Door? fashion collection
exclusively at Virgin Megastores nationwide. The line, based on E!
Entertainment Television?s reality show, includes baby Ts, tank tops, camisole
sets, underwear, and trucker caps that reflect the styles of Hugh Hefner?s
girlfriends: Holly ?The Sweet One? Madison, Bridget ?The Beauty and Brains?
Marquardt, and Kendra ?The Wild One? Wilkinson. Virgin Megastores also will
offer men?s boxer shorts and T-shirts. The line also can be found at the
Playboy Concept Boutique at The Forum Shops in Las Vegas.

Partnership Expands Nelvana?s Portfolio

Nelvana and Cartoon Network Latin America signed a two-show deal giving Cartoon
Network the rights to The Magic School Bus (episodes 1-52) and Being Ian
(episodes 1-52). The move will help facilitate Nelvana?s goal of balancing its
programming slate with animation for preschoolers, kids, and ?tweens.

Manga Properties Come to Home Video

VIZ Media, LLC, will launch the Shonen Jump home video line with first titles
to include Hikaru No Go in December 2005 and Naruto in March 2006. Hikaru No Go
includes more than 75 episodes and an established licensing program in Japan,
while Naruto debuted on Cartoon Network in September.

Platinum Disc Takes on New Moniker

Platinum Disc is assuming the name of its corporate parent, Echo Bridge Home
Entertainment, with President Tim Clott at the helm of the home entertainment
group and Dan Gant joining the company as head of sales. In spring 2005,
Platinum Disc merged with Echo Bridge Entertainment, which is an independent
acquirer and distributor of premium original programming for global film, TV, cable,
satellite, and video markets.

Teen Titans Bow First Video Game

Majesco Entertainment and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment joined forces
on the release of Teen Titans for Nintendo Game Boy Advance. The game
(suggested retail, $29.99) is the first for the Cartoon Network series with
console versions planned for early 2006. Developed by Artificial Mind &
Movement, Teen Titans lets players switch control in real time between Robin,
Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven so they can capitalize on each Teen
Titan?s trademark moves and abilities.

Feature Film Attracts Licensees Worldwide

Sony Pictures Consumer Products inked deals with a roster of domestic and
international licensees for Columbia Pictures? upcoming feature film, Zathura:
A Space Adventure, due November 11, 2005. Pressman Toy Corp. is coming to
market with a game, as well as three puzzles. Schylling Associates, Inc.,
created a wind-up walking Robot, a wind-up collectible tin Zorgon Rocket Ship,
and a tin pinball game. 2K Games will debut video games for PlayStation 2 and
Xbox, while Houghton Mifflin will create a tie-in book program, and JEM
Sportswear will make boys? T-shirts. International partners include Hong Jin
P&M with a movie storybook, activity book, puzzles, diaries, stickers, memo
pads, and notebooks, and Ta-Ke Shobo with a novelization in Japanese.

Cantar Cleans Up with Dirt Devil

Cantar Pool Products licensed the Dirt Devil brand from Royal Appliance
Manufacturing Company. Cantar?s first Dirt Devil product will be an automatic
pool vacuum that will be launched at the International Pool and Spa Expo next
month. Follow-on products will include additional swimming pool care and
maintenance products with retail price points ranging from $139.99 to $399.99.
The products will be distributed through specialty stores, mail-order catalogs,
and select big-box outlets. Levin M&A Consulting served as agent to the
licensor.

Trio Partners on Original Series

Kids? WB!, Cartoon Network, and Italian animation production company Rainbow
S.r.l. are joining forces on original series Monster Allergy. The joint
acquisition includes 26 episodes that follow the daily adventures of
10-year-old Zick, who has an eye for the supernatural and a sixth sense that
allows him to see the ghosts and monsters that invisibly walk and live among
us.

A Monster of a New Property

Meteor the Monster Truck Company, LLC?a joint venture between Endgame

Entertainment, Brandissimo! Inc., and RC2 Corporation?appointed CCI Releasing
the international distributor for Meteor the Monster Truck, a computer-animated
cartoon for preschool-aged children. Under the terms of the agreement, CCI
Releasing will distribute the initial 52 11-minute episodes and 26 32-minute
episodes to air in fall 2006.

Upcoming Industry Events
Brand Licensing 2005, October
25-26, Earls Court, London, http://www.brandlicensingexpo.com/
SEMA Show and AAPEX, November
1-4, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV, http://www.sema.org/
Paperworld, November 9-11, Las
Vegas, NV, http://www.shopa.org/
International Halloween Show,
December 5-8, 200 Fifth Avenue, 1107 Broadway, and other toy district
showrooms, New York, NY, http://www.toy-tia.org/

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 licensing news and features, visit License! magazine?s
Website, http://www.licensemag.com.

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