Wal-Mart Strengthens Portfolio with New Apparel Brand
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., is adding George Me by Mark Eisen, an encapsulated
sportswear collection from the designer to complement its George ladies'
assortment. The collection will feature tops, bottoms, jackets, and knits,
available in misses and plus sizes. It will be on shelves in mid-August.
Jakks Toys with New Apparel Line
Jakks Pacific, Inc., brings its Fly Wheels toy vehicle brand to the apparel
category, signing a deal with JEM Sportswear. Under the deal, JEM will offer
screen-printed T-shirts, as well as a special-edition Fly Wheels collectible
wheel at mass and specialty retailers in fall 2006.
Duo Partners on New Entertainment Entity
Decode Entertainment and The Halifax Film Co. joined forces to create DHX
Media. Key shareholders in the new company are Michael Donovan and Charles
Bishop of Halifax and Neil Court, Steven DeNure, Beth Stevenson, and John
Delmage from Decode. Michael Donovan is chairman and CEO, and Bishop, Court,
and DeNure will sit on the DHX Media board. The companies will retain their
individual identities and brands yet provide a stronger combined library of
1,150 half-hours of programming. Decode's titles include Planet Sketch
(co-produced with Aardman), Angela Anaconda, Franny's Feet, and Naturally
Sadie, while Halifax is in production on preschool series Poko, Bo on the Go,
and Mighty Jungle. Halifax's preschool series, Lunar Jim, is a co-production
with Alliance Atlantis, and the company also is a primetime comedy producer in
Canada, with series that include This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
Curious George Swings into Washington, D.C.
Curious George brings his unique brand of mischief to the nation's capital as
part of an appearance at Washington 2006 sponsored by the United States Postal
Service June 3, at the Washington D.C. Convention Center. George will meet and
greet children and their parents in the Kid Zone, where they can participate in
themed activities, hear classic Curious George adventures read by Postal
Service volunteers, and get a sneak peak at Curious George's new television
series coming to PBS KIDS September 4. In addition, the Postal Service will do
special unveilings of the Curious George stamp from the 2006 "Favorite
Children's Book Animal" commemorative stamp series.
TV Show Not Lost on Ubisoft
Ubisoft signed a long-term worldwide licensing agreement with Touchstone
Television to develop and publish a video game based on TV show Lost. The game
will be offered for home and portable consoles, as well as PCs in 2007.
Playboy Enterprises Inks Two New Deals
Playboy Enterprises, Inc., signed an exclusive licensing agreement with
BioWorld Merchandising for a line of men's and women's hats and headwear. The
line will be available at retailers such as Spencer's; Claire's; and the
Playboy Concept Boutique, Las Vegas at The Forum Shops this summer. The company
also secured UK-based Groovy Distribution Ltd. as its exclusive licensee for
gift and home collections throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the UK.
Groovy Distribution Ltd. will launch a collection of barware, key chains,
furniture, lighting, clocks, mirrors, and other gift items.
Nomination Brings on Superhero Bling
Warner Bros. Consumer Products brings its superheroes to the jewelry counter with
a collection of stainless steel fashion jewelry created by Nomination s.r.l.
The collections are inspired by Superman and Batman and include a combination
of female, male, and unisex pieces. They will feature necklaces, bracelets,
earrings, and jewelry accessories for handbags and pants/jeans. The Superman
line is designed around the iconic S-Shield and accented with zirconia to add a
sparkle to daywear. The Batman line, with its darker, moodier logo, is detailed
with zirconia stones and black steel suggestive of "nightwear."
?70s Series to Gain Exposure in UK
Celador International appointed Gosh International Plc master toy licensee for
"70s kids" animation property Roobarb & Custard, which recently was revived
in a new series, Roobarb & Custard Too, produced by A&B TV. Gosh will
create a line of plush toys, gifts, and stationery as part of the two-year deal
with distribution in all major high street retailers in the UK, Eire, and
Australia in time for Christmas 2006.
A. Smith & Co. Bullish on PBR
A. Smith & Co. inked an exclusive deal with Professional Bull Riders, Inc.,
to develop both scripted and non-scripted content across all platforms. This is
the first deal PBR has struck with a production company.
Everlast Lends Support for Fundraising Effort
Everlast Worldwide Inc. partnered with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation to
champion a fundraising effort for cancer research and prevention around the
world. Everlast will donate 5 percent from the sale of every pair of its pink
boxing gloves sold through sporting goods retailers and online retailers across
the country. Everlast also will launch a cause-related marketing campaign to
increase the awareness and funding of breast cancer research, with ramped up
efforts focused on National Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. The
campaign will involve partnerships with major sporting goods retailers, women?s
health fitness centers, athletes, and print advertising.
Execs on the Move
R. Russell Hampton, Jr., was named president, Disney Publishing Worldwide,
succeeding Deborah Dugan, who recently resigned. Pok