Weekly E-News, Issue #116, June, 28, 2005

 

 

 

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Toys "R" Us Deal Approved
Shareholders for Toys "R" Us approved the sale of the company for $6.6 billion to a consortium comprising Bain Capital, Inc., and Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. On the heels of the news, CEO John Eyler left the company. Vice Chairman Rick Markee will take his place on an interim basis.

Cartoon Network Restructures
Cartoon Network changed its operational structure to better support moving its branded merchandising business to Cartoon Network Enterprises from Warner Bros. Consumer Products. Kim McQuilken will oversee all licensing and merchandising activity in addition to his current responsibilities in the new position of executive vice president of kids advertising sales and marketing. John Friend, senior vice president, will be responsible for consumer products in the U.S. and internationally. Cynthia Rapp will continue to manage Cartoon Network Enterprises' creative direction, but she now will report to Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of marketing. All other operations and programming functions in the U.S. will continue to operate under the existing structure headed by General Manager Jim Samples, with regional and country-specific feeds of Cartoon Network outside the U.S. managed by the regional network heads.

Geneon Entertainment to Support Chop Socky Chooks
Geneon Entertainment acquired the North American merchandising and home entertainment rights to CG-animated martial arts action comedy Chop Socky Chooks. The program will be coproduced with Canada's Decode Entertainment, Cartoon Network, and Teletoon, where the series also will air during the 2006-2007 broadcast season. The series follows The Chop Socky Chooks, a crack team of Kung Fu Chickens, as they battle their evil arch nemesis, Dr. Wasabi-a mutant piranha-and his diabolical plots to become a one-man global superpower.

American Idol Gets Underground Website
Fluid Audio Networks and FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide launched the first online incarnation of American Idol, American Idol Underground (http://www.idolunderground.com/). The site will offer talent competitions in several different music genres, including pop, rock, country, R&B, classical, jazz, spoken word, and rap. The American Idol Underground Website, due later this year, will be powered by Fluid Audio's proprietary self-publishing software. Musicians will directly upload their music to one of 13 genre-specific music channels for review by Internet listeners and celebrity judges.

Brooks Launches New Girls' Line
Debbie Brooks, the pop artist turned handbag and accessories designer, will partner with Creative Brands Group on her Lunachics brand for young girls. This announcement comes on the heels of Brooks signing on Creative Brands Group as her licensing agent. Lunachics consists of three main characters who act as role models for young girls: Starlette, Serafine, and Alyssa. The Lunachics brand will follow in much the same suit as the Debbie Brooks brand in cause marketing to help grow the brand. The first product, Lunachics Magnetic Dollhouse, was developed with Rose Art and will ship to Wal-Mart for back-to-school.

Raven to Star in Fragrance Line
Raven, star of Disney Channel series That's So Raven, and Disney Consumer Products teamed up with boom! LLC to create a new fragrance line. Featuring cologne sprays and a fragrance shimmer stick, the line will retail for $7.50 and $12 and will be in specialty, mid-tier, and mass-market retailers in October.

Zoey 101 Readied for Apparel and Accessories
Nickelodeon will create a line of apparel and accessories inspired by Zoey 101. The apparel line will launch in fall at most major department stores, and the sleepwear and accessories will be available exclusively at stores operated by The May Department Stores Co. The apparel will be inspired by the looks of the students at Malibu, CA, boarding school Pacific Coast Academy. The department stores owned by The May Department Stores Co. (Famous-Barr, Filene's, Foley's, Hecht's, Kaufmann's, L.S. Ayres, Meier & Frank, Robinsons-May, Strawbridge's, and The Jones Store) will have a major role in the October launch. May stores will carry the Zoey 101 apparel and will be the exclusive retailer for all accessories in the line, including sleepwear, handbags, jewelry, and watches.

Happy Tree Friends Court Interactive Marketplace
Cuddles, Giggles, Lumpy, Flippy, Nutty, and Petunia from the Happy Tree Friends soon will appear on game consoles as part of a new deal between Mondo Media, Signatures Network, Inc., and Flashman Studios. Flashman Studios seeks publishers interested in bringing the brand to video games and other areas of interactive entertainment. Flashman is working with Signatures Network, the master rights holder for Happy Tree Friends, to represent the brand worldwide within the interactive entertainment market.

Sajak Launches Gaming Site
Pat Sajak launched PatSajakgames.com, a partnership between Sajak's production company, P.A.T. Productions, and uclick, LLC, a provider of syndicated digital content to online and mobile publishers. The site will feature a blend of games available for download and play on desktop computers. Joining the Sajak team is puzzle and game developer David L. Hoyt, who will work as head of development and licensing.

P-Brains Set for Publishing Deal
P-Brains, the collectible brain-switching electronic toys manufactured by Uncle Milton Industries, now are available for book publishing via SupperTime Entertainment. The SupperTime Entertainment publishing plans focus on a range of interactive book formats including electronic novelty books, sound and/or computer chip books, and gift books. P-Brains characters are sold in "unlikely" pairs of two with a baby/soldier making up one set and a teacher/skateboarder making up the other. When their squishy brains are pressed, each character speaks up to 18 different phrases, but the most unique aspect is the ability to interchange brains, allowing character personalities to be switched.

Hricik to Helm Entertainment Rights
Entertainment Rights Plc named Kathleen Hricik to the newly created post of executive vice president and managing director of the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. Hricik will be responsible for the strategic direction of ER's growing business in the U.S., as well as overseeing all television, home entertainment, and licensing and merchandising activities for the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.

Licensing Fact: Did you know that with our newly remodeled site, you now can search articles by categories including art, brands, character/entertainment, sports, interactive, and retail? Check it out at http://www.licensemag.com/.

LINK Las Vegas-The Perfect Follow-Up to Licensing International

LINK Las Vegas is the premier networking and educational event for business leaders from the fashion, entertainment, and consumer products industries who are involved in brand extensions, licensing, and merchandising. Taking place during the last one-and-a-half days of MAGIC Marketplace August 31 and September 1, 2005, LINK is a forum for deal-making and idea generation among licensing professionals, brand owners, manufacturers, and retailers. With three keynotes from esteemed journalists and industry insiders, plus 10 breakout sessions focusing on licensing and brand extensions in the fashion, entertainment, and retail sectors, LINK will stimulate your thinking on how to drive growth in your business. At LINK's networking opportunities, you will identify cross-marketing opportunities and foster new business partnerships that otherwise could take months to develop. Register at http://www.linkconference.com/.

Brand Your Magic in August
No matter what property you license, you fit into fashion. And in August, License! weaves together stories on sports and fashion, bringing all to life at LINK in Las Vegas. As the official licensing publication of MAGIC Marketplace, License! has more show distribution than any other industry magazine. In addition to MAGIC Marketplace, we distribute August License! at LINK Las Vegas, Outdoor Retailer, and Action Sports. Our Xtension supplement focuses specifically on building fashion brands and offers exposure via company profiles. For more information on advertising in August License!, contact Steven Ekstract at (212) 951-6684 or sekstract@advanstar.com.

Submit Licenses Granted & Available Now Online

License!'s new License! Finder now allows you to submit licenses granted and available now online, which will be published on the License! Website (http://www.licensemag.com/) on a weekly basis once approved by an editor. Go to http://www.finder.licensemag.com/ to fill out the verification form and submit your licenses granted or available now. Highlights from each month's online submissions will be published in License! magazine. Any questions, contact Alyson Grala at (212) 951-6743 or via e-mail: mailto:agrala@advanstar.com.

News from The L.A. Office
Big changes are ahead for The L.A. Office RoadShow. RoadShow Hollywood begins with an innovative day dedicated to video gaming (September 26) including showcases of promotional opportunities. Also, new to RoadShow Europe is a day of Power Sessions (October 24) in London, promotional sessions by studio executives and industry leaders followed by a day of European Film & Home Entertainment property reviews. Finally, The L.A. Office launches The Entertainment Exchange on http://www.laoffice.com/, an easily navigable resource providing innumerable properties, entertainment contacts, and promotion tracking. Visit http://www.laoffice.com/ for more about RoadShow and take a tour of its Membership Program-the resource for all your entertainment marketing needs.


For more information on licensing news and features, visit License! magazine's Website, http://www.licensemag.com.


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