Retailers Monkey Around with Promotions
Retailers are "going bananas" creating unique promotions to support the
September 26 DVD release of Curious George from Universal Studios Home
Entertainment. Toys "R" Us is featuring the mischievous monkey on the Geoffrey
Tron outside the Times Square store and in an in-store boutique with plush,
toys, books, and back-to-school items. Toys "R" Us also devoted space in all
its 600 stores with a 4-foot end-cap display of plush from master toy partner
Marvel Toys. At Target, a costumed character visited its Children's Book
Festivals, while Wal-Mart offered the DVD packaged with a Curious George Deluxe
Movie Storybook. Barnes & Noble made a year-long commitment with 30 items,
while FAO Schwarz' flagship store featured a front-of-store boutique and large
tower signage in its windows facing Fifth Avenue and 58th Streets. Best Buy
offered a free Marvel Toys plush with the purchase of the DVD, and Sam's
Club/BJs included an activity book developed by Universal Studios Consumer
Products licensee Dalmatian Press on-pack for any Curious George film DVD
purchased during release week.
Bratz Babyz Get "Mall"ed
Simon Brand Ventures, the business-to-consumer arm of Simon Property Group,
teamed with MGA Entertainment and launched the first-ever animated Bratz Babyz
DVD (released by Fox Home Entertainment) through a relationship that includes
product placement, mall marketing, DVD inserts, live events, and paid media.
The partnership marks Simon's first venture into product placement in the DVD
genre. To support the launch, Simon created a signage program at 88 of its
malls around the country through mid-October. At nearly a dozen of its malls,
Simon is hosting a "Rockin' DVD Release Party" featuring karaoke fun and music;
Bratz Babyz "attitude" stations with things the Bratz Babyz typically like to
do; prize giveaways; a sing-a-long of the Bratz Babyz theme song; and more.
Simon also is hosting a Bratz Babyz sweepstakes targeted to moms at http://www.Simonkidgitsclub.com.
Kids Get Golden Opportunity to Win a Tamagotchi
Bandai America Inc. is going for the gold with its first-ever special-edition
Tamagotchi to reward fans of all ages for their support. Dubbed the "Golden
Tamagotchi," this limited-edition toy is not available at retail, and only
2,000 units have been created and individually numbered for distribution in the
U.S. Kids can log onto http://www.Tamagotchi.com
throughout October to participate in "Golden Month," a month-long celebration
being thrown by the Tamagotchi King. After correctly answering the trivia
question of the day, fans will qualify for a daily random drawing. A total of
300 Golden Tamagotchis will be awarded for the month, with a list of the
winners posted on the site at the end of each week. Kids can increase their
chances of winning by tuning in to Radio Disney through the end of the year and
participating in call-in contests.
Smith Wesson Guns for New Licensing Deal
Smith Wesson Holding Corporation, parent company of Smith Wesson Corp., entered
into a licensing agreement with Wilsons Leather Holdings Inc., the inventory
holding company of Wilsons Leather. Under the terms of the deal, Wilsons
Leather will create an exclusive line of Smith Wesson leather jackets and accessory
items. Wilsons Leather also plans to develop a line of specialty leather
outerwear and accessories designed for the unique requirements of the military,
law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and other emergency personnel, as well
as outdoor sportsmen. The companies plan to market the products through Wilsons
Leather's wholesale channels; through Smith Wesson's Website and retail store
in Springfield, MA; and retailers in select trade channels in spring 2007.
SpongeBob SquarePants in the Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness
Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products, in partnership with Ty, created an
all-new, limited-edition "SpongeBob PinkPants" Ty Beanie Baby in support of
October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Currently available at retailers nationwide
and on http://www.nick.com for about $6, the
Beanie marks the first time the character was produced in plush in a color
other than yellow and the first time Ty produced a licensed character as a
fundraiser. Both companies will donate profits to various breast cancer
charities. Nickelodeon also will create a limited-edition "SpongeBob PinkPants"
graphic T-shirt that will be available exclusively at www.nick.com for $14.99
with all profits from the T-shirt going to breast cancer charities.
WBCP Builds Relationship for Happy Feet
Warner Bros. Consumer Products is working with Build-A-Bear Workshop on a
partnership that will allow consumers to make their own stuffed interactive
penguin, inspired by Mumble, the hero of Happy Feet due in theaters November
17. Guests of all ages can make Mumble (suggested retail, $22) at Build-A-Bear
Workshop stores beginning November 9 in North America. The retailer also will
offer other pre-stuffed characters inspired by Happy Feet, including 8-inch
lil' friends Gloria, Lovelace, and Ramon (suggested retail, $7 each or a set of
three for $15).
St. Martin's Press Secures Preschool Property
St. Martin's Press secured the worldwide publishing rights to Shushybye with
bedtime storybooks, board books, soft-to-touch books, touch-and-feel books,
cloth books, sticker books, activity books, and books with CDs in the mix. The
publisher also plans to work with Shushybye licensees for bundling of toys,
plush, DVDs, and music CDs. Parent company Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, will
distribute the Shushybye books internationally.
SG Adds to Licensee Portfolio
The SG Companies–comprising SGFootwear, SGI Apparel, and The Messer
Group–expanded its licensee roster to include Izod, Dockers, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!,
Ben 10, Hilary Duff, Rebelde, and Curious George. These brands will be
incorporated into offerings across the company's three main divisions: SG
Footwear for footwear; SGI Apparel for children's sleepwear, loungewear, and
underwear sets; and The Messer Group for adult seasonal products such as
slippers and beachwear.
HarperCollins Signs Deal for Narnia Pop-Up Book
HarperCollins Publishers acquired rights to the first-ever pop-up version of
C.S. Lewis' best-selling series, The Chronicles of Narnia, by master paper
engineers Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart. The pop-up book will have one
spread for each of the seven books in the series. World rights were acquired
from Jennie Dunham of Dunham Literary for Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart,
and world English language rights were acquired from the C.S. Lewis Co. for the
property. Simultaneous worldwide publication is due winter 2008.
Mattel Grants UK/Eire Rights
Entertainment Rights Plc inked a multi-picture, multi-year distribution
agreement with Mattel for the long-term distribution rights to the entire
Barbie film franchise in the UK/Eire and television rights on a multi-territory
basis. The agreement covers new movie releases of up to six additional movies,
taking the number of Barbie films licensed to ER to 15, with rights to the
entire Barbie film franchise extended on a long-term basis.
CLC Sports New Two-Year Deal
The Collegiate Licensing Company signed Florida Citrus Sports and two of its
premier collegiate properties, the Capital One Bowl and the Champs Sports Bowl,
to a two-year licensing agreement. The Champs Sports Bowl, featuring the only
bowl matchup between the ACC and Big Ten, will be played on ESPN Friday,
December 29, 2006, while the Capital One Bowl will kick off Monday, January 1,
2007. The Capital One Bowl pits teams from the SEC and Big Ten and will be
televised live on ABC. Together, the two games will help FCSports establish its
bowl week festival in Orlando. The Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, FL,
will host both games.
ESPN Gets Interactive with RealLive Sports
RealLive Sports teamed up with ESPN to introduce several new interactive sports
toys that allow children to enjoy sports in the booth as commentators or on the
field as superstars. The line includes: ESPN Play by Play (suggested retail,
$99.95), ESPN Sportscast ($49.95), ESPN SportBytes SoundCards ($9.95), ESPN
ProMic ($19.95), ESPN ProHeadset ($19.95), and ESPN ProContracts and Fantasy
Awards (free; fans visit http://www.RealLiveSports.com
to negotiate and customize their own professional fantasy contract).
Execs on the Move
Doug Kelly was named president of Russell Athletic. Ashley Maidy was promoted
to vice president of softlines for Sony Pictures Consumer Products. Tiffany Ternan
was named vice president of licensing for THQ Inc. Harvey N. Dondero was named
CEO of World Market Center, and Michelle Monteferrante was appointed show
director of Las Vegas Market.
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