“Star Wars” to Be a Force at TRU Toys “R” Us stores across the country will open their doors at 12:01 a.m. April 2 for Star Wars fans hankering for new merchandise for Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. The collection also will be available at Toysrus.com when the virtual store opens at the same time. The biggest celebration will take place at the Times Square location where fans are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite character. There also will be trivia contests and special appearances. Action figures, games, and playsets from Hasbro, Plug ’n Play TV Games from Jakks Pacific, and LEGO construction versions of vehicles and scenes will be featured in special shops in all stores.
Seeing Pink in Canada MGM Consumer Products and Interactive appointed The Cookie Jar Entertainment Company, Inc., the exclusive agent for all Pink Panther licensing initiatives in Canada. In this new role, Cookie Jar will leverage The Pink Panther film release as a catalyst for reintroducing the brand to Canada. Fashion apparel is a first priority with products geared to ’tween and teen girls, as well as young adult women. Fame Jeans already is on board as a confirmed licensee. Other areas of emphasis include the accessory, footwear, stationery, and gift categories. A second wave of activity will focus on developing and creating licensees for Pink Panther and Pals, the new Pink Panther infant and toddler line, which will include baby apparel, baby nursery, and gift items.
Genius Products Acquires AVMC Genius Products acquired American Vantage Media Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Vantage Companies. AVMC owns the Wellspring brand, which consists of a film/TV library with more than 750 titles, an 800-title short film library, an interest in The O.C. television show, and other assets.
Global Icons to Lead Dirty Girl Blue Q, the creator behind beauty brand Dirty Girl, chose Global Icons to develop a merchandise program for the lifestyle brand. Dirty Girl’s quirky personal-care products are known for their retro graphics and are available in more than 1,000 retail outlets including: Ulta, Pure Beauty, Borders, Barnes & Noble College, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, Henri Bendel, and Tower Records. Global Icons will build an irreverent licensing program targeting women ages 15 to 49 by partnering with choice licensees in apparel, accessories, home furnishings, social expressions, and gifts, looking to create decadent, ultra-girlie products that are as smart as they are sexy.
Reader’s Digest Trucks Out New Line Reader’s Digest Children’s Publishing aligned with the Hasbro Properties Group to publish and distribute books in the U.S. and Canada based on Hasbro’s Tonka brand. The first three books, due in spring 2005, include Tonka Board Books: Busy Dump Truck (suggested retail, $7.99) and Super Concrete Mixer ($7.99), and Tonka Sound Book: Construction Zone! ($15.99).
Madagascar Program Ready to Roll DreamWorks Animation Consumer Products launched a promotional and licensing program for Madagascar coming to theaters May 27, 2005. Partnering with industry leaders ranging from Hewlett-Packard, General Mills, Denny’s, and Payless ShoeSource to Ralph’s Grocery and Krispy Kreme, DreamWorks Animation Consumer Products has developed unique themes and custom animation for its TV campaigns. Other partners include master toy licensee Hasbro; Scholastic, Inc.; Activision; KHQ/Wear Me Apparel; and Hallmark with products due at more than 45,000 retail locations this spring.
Eric Carle Heads to Retail Silver Lining Productions announced the first wave of licensing partners on board to translate author/illustrator Eric Carle’s “books to play with, toys to read” vision into product for young children. Galison/Mudpuppy, Mrs. Grossman’s Paper Company, Small World Toys, and University Games join existing licensees Crocodile Creek, Lunt Silversmiths, and Peaceable Kingdom Press. The retail launch for The World of Eric Carle-branded consumer products is planned for spring 2006. Kick Design is on board to develop the graphic branding elements and style guide for consumer products.
Lohan to Be Poster Girl Lindsay Lohan retained SloaneVision Unlimited to investigate licensing opportunities in certain product categories. The first agreement was struck between Trends International and Lohan for posters. Though Lohan’s likeness was used to promote various movies, this is the first time a poster was released bearing her image as a celebrity.
Atomic Betty Adds Blue Chip Licensees The roster of Atomic Betty licensees continues to grow with the addition of Fisher-Price, Inc., and Armitron Watches. Fisher-Price will manufacture and market proprietary software exclusively for Pixter, while Armitron Watches will come to market with watches and clocks. Both product launches arrive on shelves for fall 2005.
Leboffe Takes on Marketing Role at TIA Francesco C. Leboffe joined the Toy Industry Association, Inc., as vice president of marketing. Leboffe will support TIA’s strategic plan to build its portfolio of events and conferences while expanding membership and strategic alliances to include the broader youth industry.
DIC Appoints Three New Executives DIC Entertainment promoted Ryan Gagerman to vice president, international consumer products. In his new position, Gagerman will manage worldwide publishing agents and licensees, as well as the company’s international licensing programs. The company also appointed Lorne Bloch director of licensing, and Stephanie Mente manager of international consumer products. Bloch will manage the apparel, accessories, and health and beauty categories, while Mente primarily will concentrate her efforts on growing the international business. Celebrate 25 Years of Licensing International, June 21-23, 2005, Javits Convention Center, NYC Preregister now for Licensing 2005 International to get free exhibits admission ($100 value) and to take advantage of conference registration savings. Plus, discover new and profitable properties/brands, forge merchandising and promotional partnerships, preview the latest trends in consumer retailing, network with the largest gathering of licensing professionals in the world, and attend seminars given by industry experts at Licensing University. For complete show details, including a list of exhibitors, networking events, and registration and conference information, visit www.licensingshow.com or call (800) 331-5706 / (218) 723-9130 (8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday).
License! Show Preview Deadline Attention, all Licensing 2005 International Show exhibitors: The deadline for License!’s May Show Preview is Monday, April 4. Please submit a 100-word editorial blurb including properties you will be highlighting at the show, new licensing deals signed, and/or categories available for licensing, plus ONE piece of artwork and contact information (name, phone number, e-mail address, and Website) to Managing Editor Lorri Freifeld (email@example.com).
License! Advertising Opportunities This May, June, and July, you have a License! to meet the industry’s deal-brokers, contract-signers, and decision-makers. License! is where you can make your pitch to 25,000 subscribers and 20,000 attendees, including licensees, licensors, licensing agents, and retailers. And everything’s been nicely packaged to save you money before, during, and after the biggest industry show around—Licensing 2005 International. To find out more about show packages and being part of our May digital edition, visit www.licensemag.com or contact Steven Ekstract at (212) 951-6684 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Advertising Fact: License! is the only official publication at Licensing 2005 International and is the only publication that is hand-distributed to attendees at all show entrances.
LINK - Licensing International Networking Conference LINK currently is conducting a Call For Speakers for its Las Vegas (August 31-September 1, 2005) and its New York (October 5-7, 2005) events. The deadline for submissions is April 1 for Las Vegas and May 2 for New York. For more information, visit http://www.linkconference.com/linkconf/v42/index.cvn?id=10030
Licensing Days at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair For the first time, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair will host two days of seminars entirely focused on the licensing business. In cooperation with License! magazine and LIMA, keynote speakers from licensing and entertainment will meet publishers April 14 and 15 to focus on merchandising, brands, and more. The seminars, “Learning about Licensing,” are organized in the framework of the TV/Film & Licensing Rights Centre of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Seminars include: Licensing by the Numbers, Publishing + Entertainment, and Beyond the Books: Strategies for Licensing & Merchandising Publishing Properties. The TV/Film & Licensing Rights Centre is an international copyright marketplace focused on children’s content. Here, TV and film licensing professionals – including producers, broadcasters, agents responsible for selling/buying rights, as well as those responsible for business development and new projects, licensors, and licensees – can access a constantly updated list of visual rights available from leading children’s publishers and literary agents exhibiting at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and add their own descriptions of intellectual properties they wish to offer to show participants. All LIMA members can register at the centre, saving 20 percent on the registration fee.