Bandai America to Reignite Tamagotchi Fever
Bandai America is coming to market August 15 with the next generation
of Tamagotchi digital pets. Tamagotchi Connection (suggested retail, $14.99)
is an egg-shaped digital pet that simulates the life cycle of a pet, letting
kids experience the fun and responsibility of feeding, tending to, and
caring for their pet. Special unopened packages of Tamagotchi
Connection and Tamagotchi Connection T-shirts will be available for a
10-day auction on eBay starting June 21. The products will be specially
autographed by celebrities with all proceeds to benefit the Elizabeth
Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Ranks; Opens New Offices
Geneon Entertainment (formerly Pioneer Entertainment) is expanding its
North American operations and adding senior management in the wake of
its acquisition by global advertising agency Dentsu Inc. As part of the
expansion, Geneon President Yosuke Kobayashi was promoted to president
and CEO. Other executive moves include the appointment of Eiji Orii as
senior vice president and chief planning officer, Takashi Tanaka as executive
vice president and COO, and Yushin Soga as senior vice president and CFO.
Additional appointments include Jason Meyers as director, business &
legal affairs; Jim Yardley as director, sales planning; Neil Birk as national
account manager; and Kimberly Healy as manager, programming sales. The
company also will open new offices in New York City and Minneapolis.
DIC Signs New Interactive
DIC Entertainment signed a deal with One World Interactive U.S.A., a distributor
of content, billing, and access solutions in the telecommunications industry,
and its partner, U.S. Cellnet Information, to provide worldwide wireless
content for its new Trollz property. As part of the deal, the companies
will provide DIC with a creative marketing and global distribution of
interactive Premium SMS (text messaging) Solutions to be delivered across
multiple network standards and to a wide range of handset protocols. Trollz
will utilize Premium SMS as a marketing tool as well as an interactive
entertainment product offering for the teen and tween market. The
Trollz community comprises music, fashion, toys, DVDs, books, film, and
other merchandise categories.
Takes Lead on Atomic Betty
Playmates Toys was named master toy licensee for Breakthrough Animations
new property, Atomic Betty. The animated series makes its Cartoon Network
debut in fall with first products arriving on shelves in January 2005.
Playmates will offer dolls and figures at several price points, as well
as transforming figures and play environments, accessories, and playsets.
In other news, Breakthrough Animation landed
Childrens ITV as the UK broadcaster for Atomic Betty with programming
due in November. The property has been licensed in 55 countries with broadcasters
including Teletoon (Canada and France), Cartoon Network (U.S. and Canada),
M6 (France), and ABC (Australia).
Looney Tunes to
Star in Live Shows
Warner Bros. Consumer Products will launch live shows throughout Europe
via a new licensing deal with Rainbow Productions. The live shows will
play in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain and star the Looney
Tunes characters. There also will be character mall shows and activity
events in those markets.
NKOK Expands Product
NKOK Inc. is moving beyond the radio-controlled business with a new brand
of childrens do-it-yourself toys. The new HomePlay brand will launch
with an exclusive license agreement with Singer for a line of toy sewing
machines and toy knitting machines. The first four products are due on
shelves in third quarter 2004. All are scaled-down variations of the adult
machines and are made to look and perform just like their full-size counterparts.
Latin Hero to Star
on Apparel Line
Brand Impact Group is seeking partners to help in the development of a
line of Latino apparel marketed under its Jose Marti brand name. First
products will be presented to retailers for fall 2005. Going forward,
the company plans to expand the brand into accessories, fragrances, and
home furnishings. Jose Marti was a great hero, freedom fighter,
statesman, and accomplished writer of the Hispanic world, says Dave
Soderquist, founder and CEO of Brand Impact Group.
Hot Kiss Inks Deal
with Merries International
Hot Kiss expands its line beyond juniors sportswear, signing a deal
with Merries International Inc. for a line of juniors outerwear.
The collection will range from shells to insulated vests and jackets and
be on store shelves for holiday 2004 with more styles due for spring 2005.
The Hot Kiss outerwear collection will be sold through Merries sales
Hasbro Games Wins
Hasbro Games won a Gold EFFIE award for the TV commercial for its Trivial
Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition game called Thank You in
the Leisure Products category. The award was presented by the American
Marketing Association to recognize creative achievement in meeting and
exceeding advertising objectives.
Ragdoll Makes Executive
Ragdoll named Lori Heiss to the newly created position of director of
marketing in its New York offices. Heiss will report to Andrew Kerr, senior
vice president, global licensing and marketing, who assumes responsibility
for the worldwide marketing and licensing efforts and is relocating to
the UK in July.
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No matter what property you license, you fit into fashion. And in August,
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For more licensing news and features, visit www.licensemag.com
For more information on the International Toy Center, visit www.thetoycenter.com