MGA Entertainment to Acquire Little Tikes
MGA Entertainment, Inc., is extending its portfolio with the acquisition of the
Little Tikes business unit from Newell Rubbermaid Inc. The transaction for the
toy company is expected to close in fourth quarter 2006, subject to, among
other things, completion of all required regulatory approvals, including
consultation proceedings with works councils, trade unions, and employee
representatives in certain affected European countries.
Cartoon Network Kicks Off Two Youth Initiatives
Cartoon Network is helping the Boys & Girls Clubs of America expand its
Latino Outreach Initiative through a campaign designed to appeal to Latino
professionals, youth leaders, and kids. Launched as the country celebrates
Hispanic Heritage Month, the new campaign will include a Cartoon
Network-sponsored Latino Staff Development Resource Guide for more than 3,900
clubs; English and Spanish PSAs on the Cartoon Network national feed through
October 15; and a club-exclusive promotion/contest where kids can learn the art
of computer animation by creating their own original animated
cartoons–highlighting Latino themes, customs, historical figures, etc.–through
Cartoon Network's "Animate Your World" Web-based application.
In other news, Cartoon Network partnered with the American Youth Soccer
Organization and Major League Soccer on Soccer Fiesta where kids in select
cities learn soccer firsthand from major league players and AYSO coaches, and
enjoy costumed characters, a carnival area, games, and a chance to win prizes.
All participants receive a free AYSO and Cartoon Network soccer ball and
Fisher-Price Explores New Marketing Opportunity
Fisher-Price is exploring new ways to reach out to Dora the Explorer fans with
the Dora the Explorer Interactive Toy Guide. The interactive guide is a DVD
that features all of this year's Dora toys, as well as a peek at the "must
have" toys for the holiday season. The DVD has two components: a "Toy Catalog,"
where consumers can browse through different categories to find a specific toy,
and the "Toy Video," which allows them to view and select "best of the best"
Dora toys in action. The DVD will be packed in Nick Jr. magazine's September
issue, as well as several Dora toys this fall and holiday season as a special
NBA Star Supports Movement with Nationwide Tour
Retailer Steve & Barry's and Stephon Marbury launched the "Starbury
Movement Tour," a 24-city, 20-day caravan where the NBA star will conduct
in-store autograph signings, work out at local gyms with high school basketball
teams, and meet with participants of youth programs to teach them about taking
responsibility for their actions and asking for their input on upcoming
Starbury Collection sneakers and clothes. The tour is part of Marbury's efforts
to reinforce the mission of the Starbury Movement, which is to eliminate the
pressure kids and parents feel to spend top dollar on the latest fashions.
Playmates Toys Plans "Dino"mite Program for New Series
Universal Studios Consumer Products Group named Playmates Toys master toy
licensee for upcoming animated television series The Land Before Time. The
22-minute series will air on Cartoon Network in spring 2007 with figures,
vehicles, playsets, and plush due for fall '07. Two DVD titles also will
release over the next 24 months, and Cartoon Network episodes will be available
on DVD starting in 2007. Licensing opportunities are available now across all
categories including apparel, accessories, interactive games, collectibles,
fine art, home furnishings, health and beauty aids, food and beverages, gifts,
stationery products, and wireless communication devices and accessories.
Barbie to Star in New DVD Release
Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses comes to DVD September 19 from Universal
Studios Home Entertainment. The all-new, full-length CGI-animated movie (suggested
retail, $19.98) features Barbie as Princess Genevieve and her 11 sisters who
dance in a secret magical world. The DVD features choreography from the New
York City Ballet, an original score, and special bonus features. The DVD also
will be supported by a line of toys including the interactive Let's Dance
Barbie as Princess Genevieve Doll and the Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses
Interactive Dance Mat.
WBCP to Support Pucca Brand in Brazil
Warner Bros. Consumer Products was appointed master licensee for the Pucca
brand in Brazil by Vooz Co. Ltd. Pucca is an online macromedia
flash/computer-generated imagery animated series that airs on Jetix. Warner
Bros. Consumer Products plans to develop a complete range of licensed products
including leisure apparel and accessories, toys and games, housewares and
domestics, stationery, and gifts and collectible items.
Parr's New Collection Pays Homage to Cool Parents
It's cool to be a baby now that artist/author Todd Parr created the My Really
Cool Baby by Todd Parr line of products. Directed at hipster parents, the line
includes apparel, bedding, gift and stationery items, feeding products,
furniture, cribs, and more. The brand stems from Parr?s baby book entitled, "My
Really Cool Baby Book." Merchandise partner SupperTime Entertainment plans on a
new version of the baby book and subsequent iterations in a range of book,
journal, and album formats. Also included in Parr's brand presentation is a
prototype design for a My Really Cool Baby retail concept shop.
Grim New Title Comes to Video Game Platforms
Midway Games Inc. created The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy for the
Nintendo Wii. The adventure/fighting game also will be released for PlayStation
2, Nintendo GameCube, and Game Boy Advance this holiday season.
Duo Extends Partnership to New Publications
Airborne Entertainment, a subsidiary of Cybird Co., Ltd., and Dennis Digital, a
subsidiary of Dennis Publishing Inc., extended their exclusive partnership,
bringing magazines Maxim, Blender, and Stuff deeper into the mobile market. To
drive awareness, Dennis Publishing will offer cross-platform media support in
its magazine pages and online. In addition, Dennis Digital will collaborate
with Airborne to create promotions that tie in with Maxim's exclusive parties and
VIZ Media Expands Library of Art Books
VIZ Media, LLC, adds five hardcover art books to its archives this fall with
the release of "Neon Genesis Evangelion"; "Fullmetal Alchemist"; "Fushigi
Yugi"; and "Hana Kimi," as well as the company's first instructional art book,