Weekly E-News, Issue #145, January 24, 2006

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New Kids? Programming Block to Air in Fall
CBS and DIC Entertainment are joining forces on a new Saturday morning kids? programming block, CBS? Secret Saturday Morning Slumber Party. Slated for the airwaves in fall, the three-hour programming block will feature series from DIC?s animated library including Madeline and Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego; Sabrina: The Animated Series; Strawberry Shortcake; Liberty?s Kids; Trollz; Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century; Archie?s Weird Mysteries; The Littles; Inspector Gadget?s Field Trip; and Sonic Underground.

Pacific Entertainment Adopts Baby Genius Brand
Genius Products, Inc., sold its Baby Genius brand to Pacific Entertainment Corporation, a newly formed company headed by Klaus Moeller. The $3 million deal includes all worldwide rights and existing licensing agreements for Baby Genius and Wee Worship preschool brands, along with a production deal for Little Tikes music and DVD series. Genius Products will continue to distribute Baby Genius, Little Tikes, and Wee Worship DVDs and music CDs and all new products under these brands. Pacific Entertainment plans to release two new Baby Genius DVDs and two new Little Tikes DVDs this year in addition to new music CDs.

Wal-Mart and Sesame Workshop Support Military Families
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., donated nearly $1 million to help Sesame Workshop develop an outreach program to help young children of the United States Armed Services, National Guard, and Reserves deal with the stresses of military life. The New York State Office of Mental Health also will serve as a partner. The project launches in July with a bilingual (English/Spanish) kit with a DVD for children and adults featuring the Muppets and a print guide and poster for children, parents, and caregivers. Sesame Workshop will produce and distribute 125,000 of these kits at no cost to schools, child-care programs, family support centers, and other organizations serving the needs of military families. A particular effort will be made to reach families of the Reserves and National Guard.

4Kids Entertainment in on the Ground Floor with New Property
4Kids Entertainment, Inc., will align with Microsoft Corp. on the development of a children?s entertainment property. Under the agreement, 4Kids Entertainment will serve as the licensing agent for a Microsoft Game Studios property on a global basis. The exclusive representation agreement encompasses all broadcast, home video, music, and merchandise licensing rights. In other 4Kids news, the company finalized a UK free TV broadcast agreement with ITV Network for Season 4 of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles due in early 2006.

Superman Flies Into Consumer Electronics
Warner Bros. Consumer Products extended the Superman franchise into consumer electronics, signing a deal with Kids Station Toys Int?l. for a line of TVs, DVD players, MP3 players, personal CD players, phones, and two-way communication devices. Two separate lines will hit shelves in June, one featuring Superman for men and boys and another featuring Supergirl for women and girls. In addition, Kids Station will launch new Batman items in May 2006, including a 256MB Batman MP3 player, a new CD player, and a new portable Batman DVD player.

Cartoon Network Airs New CG Series
Mainframe Entertainment, Inc., began airing its CG-animated/live-action hybrid television series, Zixx, on Cartoon Network January 21. The show is produced by Thunderbird Films in association with YTV Canada. Zixx chronicles the adventures of an unlikely team of heroes who join forces in a quest to save the universe from evil. Mainframe also appointed Al Ovadia of Al Ovadia and Associates its worldwide licensing agent with plans to roll out the licensing program simultaneously with the launch of the show.

Granada Ventures to Rep World Poker Tour in Europe
WPT Enterprises Inc. named Granada Ventures its European licensing agent for World Poker Tour merchandise. Granada Ventures will be charged with expanding the growing base of regional licensees with products in stores by spring 2006. Granada also will participate in the marketing of WPTE?s global online gaming platform, WPTonline.com.

Hymowitz Named to VP Spot at Scholastic Media
Scholastic Media appointed Gary Hymowitz vice president of consumer products. He will oversee the strategic development, direction, and implementation of all consumer products based on properties including Clifford The Big Red Dog, Clifford?s Puppy Days, The Magic School Bus, I SPY, His Dark Materials, Maya & Miguel, Goosebumps, and Counting in the Garden, as well as the Scholastic brand line of products. He also will be responsible for creating innovative and strategic licensing campaigns targeting Scholastic?s retail and licensing constituents.

Graziano Tapped for Director Spot at FRV Media
Mary Graziano was named director, sales and acquisitions, FRV Media International Inc. In her new post, the ex-Cookie Jar exec will be responsible for TV sales to broadcasters, DVD partners, and others for the company?s TV titles, ranging from family films to series and documentaries.

LIMA Seminar Program
The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers? Association (LIMA) will hold seminars for licensing, financial, and accounting professionals; attorneys; and business executives March 15 and 16 at the Williams Club in New York City and March 27 and 28 at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The same classes will be offered on both coasts with different moderators. The seminars are co-sponsored by LICENSE magazine and Aspen Publishers. Visit http://www.licensing.org/ for fee information and a registration form.

Licensing International Webinar
Licensing 2006 International Show organizers are offering a free Webinar, entitled ?Maximize your Licensing International ROI: Best Practices for Savvy Exhibitors,? Wednesday, February 1, from 12 to 12:45 p.m. An optional Q&A will follow. This event will provide insights into how to use the industry?s annual gathering to grow licensing revenue and develop new promotional partnerships. Participation is limited. For details, visit http://www.licensingshow.com/webinar.

Upcoming Industry Events

American International Toy Fair, February 12-15, 2006, Toy District and Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, NY, http://www.toy-tia.org/AITF
New York Comic-Con, February 24-26, 2006, Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, NY, http://www.nycomiccon.com/
Youth Marketing Mega-Event 2006, March 27-29, 2006, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, Huntington Beach, CA, http://www.youthmarketingmegaevent.com/

Are You on the List?
Submissions for LICENSE?s Leading Licensors list are due February 6. Licensors with $25-plus million in 2005 worldwide sales of licensed merchandise are eligible for the list. You must submit your 2005 sales figure (can be estimated); licensing executive contact name, title, and phone number; and a 100-word blurb about 2006 initiatives. Submissions should be e-mailed to Dawn Wilensky at onretail@optonline.net.

Submit Licenses Granted & Available Now Online
LICENSE?s License! Finder 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: agrala@advanstar.com.

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

 

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