Hasbro, Paramount Home Entertainment Partner on Video Line
Hasbro, Inc., and Paramount Home Entertainment formed a new partnership
whereby Paramount will distribute a line of home videos based on G.I.
Joe, Transformers, Tonka, Duel Masters, Secret Central, Weebles, and Candy
Land. First titles, G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom and Tonka Tough Truck Adventures:
The Biggest Show on Wheels, are due in September. Transformers Energon
and Have You Heard? Secret Central will follow in October. Remaining titles
are slated for store shelves in spring 2005. We are excited about
this deal because the brands that shape childhood will be the brands that
shape home entertainment, says Megan Burrows, president of Paramount
Home Entertainment Worldwide.
RC2 Acquires Two Companies
RC2 Corp. acquired The First Years Inc. and Playing Mantis, Inc., as the
company furthers its strategy of marketing its brands through multiple
sales channels and growing its retail presence, particularly in chain
stores. The First Years will be acquired in a cash merger estimated at
approximately $136.8 million and will close in RC2s third quarter.
The Playing Mantis transaction is an asset purchase and calls for closing
consideration of $17 million in cash and $2.5 million in shares of RC2s
common stock. Additional cash consideration of up to $4 million may be
earned based on achieving net sales and margin targets for 2004 and net
sales targets for 2005.
Target to Sell Marshall Fields
Target plans to sell Marshall Fields to The May Department Stores
Co. for approximately $3.2 billion in cash. Under the terms of the deal,
Target will sell substantially all of Marshall Fields assets including
62 stores, three distribution centers, and approximately $600 million
of credit card receivables. The May Department Stores Co. will offer all
current employees employment. The transaction is subject to regulatory
approval and is expected to be completed shortly after approval is obtained.
Barbie as the Next American Idol
Barbie is set to audition for American Idol and Global Idol next spring
in a deal between Mattel, Idol creator Fremantle Media, and 19 Entertainment
(creator of music-based entertainment). Barbie and friends will offer
girls a new way to play out their favorite American Idol fantasies, including
three new friends Barbie meets at the open call auditions and new products
to enrich storylines such as a stage set and a music feature that offers
friendship-themed songs. Fans will vote online at www.barbie.com
Sesame Workshop Vacations at Beaches
Sesame Workshop is going on vacation, signing a deal with Beaches, the
first-ever resort company to sponsor Sesame Street. The year-long sponsorship
will include a variety of features including new Sesame Street activities
at Beaches resorts beginning in September. The initiatives include daily
walk-around character appearances; on-site Sesame Street-themed events
including character dining, story times, activities, and parenting seminars.
Specially priced packages for fall vacations will feature all of the above,
plus, on select dates, live performances by Gordon from Sesame Street
and the real Elmo, themed welcome gifts, and other amenities that will
be announced soon.
WBCP to represent FIFA
FIFA appointed Warner Bros. Consumer Products as its sole and exclusive
worldwide licensing representative for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany
in all markets outside Europe and Japan. Under the deal, WBCP offices
outside of Europe and Japan will take charge of the licensing, merchandising,
and retail program supporting the 2006 FIFA World Cup. WBCP will license
the rights to use the Official 2006 FIFA World Cup event emblem, official
mascot, and the FIFA World Cup Trophy for products in key merchandise
Classic Toys Focus of New Deal
Fisher-Price will partner with Sababa Toys on a line of classic Fisher-Price
toy replicas and card games for specialty, furniture, and home lifestyle
stores. The reproductions will be based on Fisher-Price pull toys
such as the Snoopy Sniffer and Doctor Doodle and will be available in
October. Sababa also will launch a line of card games in June including
such classics as Go Fish, Crazy Eights, and Old Maid.
New Stamp Celebrates
The U.S. Postal Service is dedicating a set of four commemorative postage
stamps honoring friendship as it appears in the art of Walt Disney, Wednesday,
June 23. The first-day-of-issue ceremony will take place at Disneyland
and be attended by Postmaster General John Potter and Walt Disney Co.
CEO Michael Eisner. The stamps feature Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck,
and a host of Disney friends. A set of stamped postal cards and stamped
stationery also will be available.
Silver Lining Signs Two New Deals
Silver Lining obtained the merchandising rights to create brand extensions
for Dragonology in a new deal with The Templar Co. As part of the deal,
Silver Lining is developing concepts for television (kids ages 6 to 11)
and special merchandise collections that will appeal to dragon devotees
of all ages. Dragonology is a definitive book about dragons, an essential
guide for budding dragonologists or students of dragon lore. In other
news, Silver Lining is the first agency to be granted worldwide merchandising
rights to develop the works of Eric Carle, the award-winning author and
illustrator of childrens picture books such as The Very Hungry
Silverwing Program to Take Flight
Bardel Entertainment partnered with The Sharpe Co. to launch the merchandising
program for Silverwing worldwide. The epic fantasy-adventure is based
on a series of novels, Silverwing, Sunwing, and
Firewing. The series currently airs on TV2 Denmark and Teletoon
Canada. TV2 Norway and DQ Entertainment in India also have bought the
series. Bardel owns the worldwide rights including the TV series, gaming
Website, console game, publishing, and merchandise.
A Fanciful Licensed Collection
Roman Inc. will work with artist Karen Rossi, creator of Fanciful Flights.
The first designs in the Roman-Rossi collaboration are a dozen mixed media
lapel pins just hitting shelves. In September, a collection of functional
accessories pairs Rossis red hat ladies theme with interests such
as golfing, dining, and gardening. A selection of gifts for cats and cat
lovers also will be available in September.
Lucasfilm, Cartoon Network Extend Clone Wars Franchise
Lucasfilm Ltd. and Cartoon Network will partner on a new Star Wars: Clone
Wars mini-series to air five nights beginning March 21. Each of the episodes
in the as-yet-unnamed mini-series will be 12 minutes vs. three minutes
in the original Star Wars: Clone Wars episodes. The film, Star Wars: Episode
III, is scheduled for May 19, 2005.
Thinking About Expanding
Your Licensing Business? THINK LINK.
Presented by License! magazine, Link (Licensing International Networking
Conference) is an executive-level conference that brings together the leaders
of todays licensing industry. Top licensors, licensees, retailers,
agents, marketers, and the media will come together in one of the most exciting
global markets in the country. Conference sessions will cover a full spectrum
of licensing topics including: Promotions and Co-Branding, Marketing to
Demographics, The State of Retail, Financial & Legal Licensing Issues,
and a special concentration on international markets. For information on
becoming a Link sponsor, contact Steven
Ekstract at (212) 951-6684 or [email protected] For general information, contact Diane
Waltersdorf at (203) 701-0142 or [email protected] or visit www.linkconference.com
a Wrap in July
Complete the Licensing International show cycle by following up with attendees
and securing your ad message in our post-show July issue. Be the act to
remember as the curtain closes and reviews are read. Let ad frequency
give you the edge as retailers, licensees, agents, and consultants do
their post-show follow-up. Call Ben
Zachariah at (212) 951-6705 or Pauline
Ng at (212) 951-6698 to discuss your post-show message.
For more licensing news and features, visit www.licensemag.com For more information on Mudds latest licensing efforts, visit www.ingrouplicensing.com