Weekly E-news, Issue #80, October 12, 2004



 

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MGA
Names Broadcast Partner; New Execs

MGA Entertainment makes its first big entry into the boys’ action
market partnering with 4Kids Entertainment on the broadcast of Alien Racers.
The CGI series will premiere Saturday mornings on FOX BOX in spring 2005.
SD Entertainment will produce the series in concert with MGA’s Alien
Racers creative team. MGA Entertainment will support the launch with radio-controlled
vehicles with integrated characters and a brand-new action figure line.
On-pack comic books and an interactive Website, www.alienracers.com will also drive awareness for the property. In other news, the company
adds three new industry veterans including Mel Woods as president, Sid
Kaufman as executive vice president of licensing worldwide, and Ron Brawer
as executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Big Tent to Support Dragon
Big Tent Entertainment was named the marketing and licensing agent for
Dragon, a preschool TV series created by Cite Amerique, Scopas Medien,
and Image Plus. As part of the deal, Big Tent Entertainment will manage
the marketing, promotional, and licensing initiatives for the property
in North and South America, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand. The property
is based on the book series by Dave Pilkey, author of “Captain Underpants.”

Sesame Workshop Expands Publishing Program
Sesame Workshop broadened its publishing focus with new categories planned
to launch between fall 2004 and summer 2005. Coming to shelves will be
Sesame Street novelty books from Reader’s Digest Children's Publishing,
educational workbooks and flashcards from Learning Horizons, coloring
and activity books from Bendon Publishing, storybooks from Dalmatian Press,
and new trade formats from Random House Children’s Books. Random
House Children’s Books continues its Sesame Beginning publishing
program featuring all-new baby versions of the Sesame Street characters.
Sesame Workshop is also in the midst of creating an online digital archive
system that will make 250 book and magazine titles available to licensees
by the end of the year.

Property Launches
G Studios recently launched four new properties: Earth 2 Jane, For Giving
Souls, The Land of Milk and Honey, and Tall Hats. Teen lifestyle brand
Earth 2 Jane has already attracted licensees including RC2, Townley, and
H.E.R. Accessories. A live-action and animation TV series is due in fall
2005. Inspirational brand For Giving Souls secured a range of licensees
for gifts targeted at woman. The Land of Milk and Honey combines nursery
rhymes and characters and is aimed at expectant moms and others with products
being created by Janlynn Corp., Springs Industries, and Harvest House.
Tall Hats, which celebrates the gifts of children around the world, will
be supported by Springs Industries, Borders Unlimited, and The Northwest
Co. A TV series is on tap for spring 2006. The company also plans to launch
three other brands next year.

The Koala Brothers to Make VHS/DVD Debut
Spellbound Entertainment inked a long-term deal with Lions Gate Family
Home Entertainment to bring The Koala Brothers to the VHS/DVD marketplace
in North America in 2005. In addition to the rights to the television
episodes currently on Playhouse Disney, the deal includes a new holiday
special presently in production in the UK. The show will soon debut in
Canada on TV Ontario, Knowledge Network, SCN, and Tele-Quebec. The licensing
program is up and running with Fisher Price (master toy), Random House
(publishing), American Greetings (social expressions), Children’s
Apparel Network (boys & girls apparel), Jay Franco & Sons (domestics),
and Spinmaster (novelty furniture and toys).

Nancy Bailey Relocates; Names New President
Nancy Bailey & Associates is moving its headquarters to Atlanta, GA.
The company has announced the promotion of Nell Roney to president with
Nancy Bailey becoming chairman. In her new role, Roney will manage the
overall business operations including brand management, client services,
product approvals, and contract and royalty compliance. Bailey will continue
to provide strategic direction for the company as a whole and focus on
new business development and international growth.

National Lampoon DVD Collection to Debut
National Lampoon, Inc. and Genius Products, Inc. signed a deal to create
and distribute a new comedy line of National Lampoon-branded DVDs in first
quarter 2005. The titles will be released through Genius Products’
new Branded Distribution Network, which consists of home entertainment
retailers of all sizes.

A Shapely Licensing Program
Senario is sweet on licensing extending its Sweet Thang plush pillow line
to include new candy-shaped pillows such as Reese’s Peanut Butter
Cups, Dubble Bubble, and York Peppermint Patties. In 2005, the company
will move beyond the “candy aisle” with new licenses and shapes
such as Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, Orange Crush, Squirt, and A&W and cereal
brands such as Trix, Lucky Charms, and Coco Puffs.

TOKYOPOP Adds New Licensee
TOKYOPOP Inc. extends the licensee list for Rave Master signing on Antioch
Publishing to create bookmarks in early 2005. The line kicks off with
two beaded designs: one of the series’ teen hero, Haru, and the
other of his sidekick, Ellie. The new licensee joins Hasbro, Avalanche,
Dark Horse, Jay Franco & Sons, Mad Engine, and Toy Quest.

Op Extensions
Ocean Pacific Apparel Corp. signed a licensing deal with OS3 Distribution
LLC for a line of longboard skateboards. Under the agreement, OS3 will
design, produce, market, and sell “Op”-branded longboard skateboards
and slalom-style cruising skateboards through specialty surf and skate
shops, and at better sporting goods retail locations nationally.

Executives Take on New Roles
Emily Brenner has been promoted to vice president, editorial director
for
HarperFestival and HarperKidsEntertainment. In her new role, Brenner will
continue to work and build HarperFestival and HKE and take on the I Can
Read program. William V. Uzell was appointed executive vice president
of the Electronic Learning Products division of Oregon Scientific. He
will be responsible for the overall management, continued expansion of
the product line, licensing evaluations, sales, marketing, and branding
initiative activities for the division. Shawn Elmore was named national
sales manager at the Michael Weems Co. and will be responsible for hiring
and training sales representatives across the country and increasing key
account business. Bruce Nelson, chairman and CEO of Office Depot, resigned
by mutual agreement with the board of directors. Neil R. Austrian, a member
of the board of directors and chairman of the finance committee, will
serve as interim chairman and chief executive, while the board conducts
a search for a permanent replacement.

RoadShow Europe, October 24-25, Empire Cinema—Leicester
Square, London

The L.A. Office’s RoadShow Europe is the movie industry’s
first-ever European marketing and promotional event to introduce Hollywood’s
upcoming releases and future marketing opportunities intended for the
European market. Through on-screen multimedia property presentations by
the major film studios, RoadShow Europe will bring the power of Hollywood
to your brand. RoadShow Europe offers a unique, all-day program to explore
future marketing and product placement opportunities with top marketing
executives from Hollywood’s major studios. RoadShow is where brands
and entertainment connect! Call (310) 275-2088 or visit www.laoffice.com for more information.

LINK - Licensing International Networking Conference - is pleased to announce
Warren Kornblum, president and CEO of Shadow Entertainment Group and former
CMO of Toys "R" Us as a LINK keynote speaker. Latin American
Roundtable panelists include Davide Diesendruk, Redibra; Elias Fasja,
Tycoon Enterprises; and Elias Hofman, Exim Licensing Group. Local vs.
Global panelists include Marcus Macedo, Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Brazil and Lisa Weger, Cartoon Network Latin America. This is in addition
to a full roster of speakers, which can be viewed at www.linkconference.com Attendees of this executive-level educational and networking event presented
by License! include: FAB/Starpoint, General Motors, Hot Topic, Joester
Loria Group, Mervyn's, and Target Stores. A full list is available on
our Website. LINK takes place at the Doral Golf & Spa Resort in Miami
from November 2 - 4, 2004. WHERE WILL YOU BE? Only three weeks left to
register at www.linkconference.com

For more licensing
news and features, visit www.licensemag.com For more information on Action Performance Companies’ latest licensing
efforts, visit www.action-performance.com

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