Weekly E-News, Issue #155, April 4, 2006

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Companies to Enhance Services with New Partnership
Gaffney International Licensing and Big Tent Entertainment will synergize their strengths by working together on a broad range of strategic marketing initiatives. Through the new relationship, the pair will enhance their global brand-building capabilities for new and existing clients across an array of licensing, marketing, and promotional spectrums. Gaffney Licensing International has represented brands such as Care Bears, Crocodile Hunter, Jack Daniels, Pepsi, Playboy, Strawberry Shortcake, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Wiggles, WWE, and Yu-Gi-Oh!, while Big Tent reps the Alaska Momma art library, Miffy, the Koala Brothers, and teen online community Habbo Hotel. Under the agreement, Big Tent and Gaffney will establish a joint content board consisting of executives from both companies.
In other Big Tent Entertainment news, the company was appointed the marketing and licensing agent for the Body Doubles International Twins Search by One Degree Entertainment. As part of the deal, Big Tent Entertainment has obtained the worldwide promotional and licensing rights for the property and will focus on establishing Body Doubles as a long-term brand that fuses beauty, fashion, and entertainment. Body Doubles is spanning the globe to crown "The Most Beautiful Twins in the World." Preliminary international competitions are being held in Vancouver, Sydney, Detroit, Rio de Janeiro, London, Shanghai, Los Angeles, and New York. Finalists from the international competitions then will take part in the two-day world finals competition this month at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Initial categories will include calendars, posters, video, and mobile entertainment aimed at 18- to 35-year-old males.

Target Gets "Naughty" During Easter
Target is taking a hip approach to Easter this year with Bunny Business, an exclusive line of products by Naughty Naughty Pets creator Wendy Ann Gardner. Characters such as Cousin Louise, Cousin Harris, Cousin Edie, Cousin Ben, Cousin Sydney, Cousin Elliot, and Mitchell with a Twitchell are featured on everything from clothing, Easter baskets, toys, and candy to home décor, stationery, and plush. All products are branded "I'm a Naughty Naughty Pet." Target's Website (http://www.target.com/) also features Bunny Business cartoons created exclusively for the retailer by Decode Entertainment and e-cards from American Greetings. The Sharpe Company represents Naughty Naughty Pets for all merchandising. A U.S. television broadcast partner will be announced shortly.

Scholastic Media Readies Five New Shows
Scholastic Media has a slate of five new programs currently under development. Pet School is aimed at ages 6 to 11 and chronicles the antics of misfit pets. Deals currently are pending with U.S., UK, and French broadcasters. Bugables is an interactive life-science show for ages 2 to 6. Fly Guy, based on the new Scholastic book series by Tedd Arnold, follows the adventures of the world's only talking fly and Hollywood megastar and his biggest fan, Buzz Bussinger. Scholastic Media and its animation and production studio, Soup2Nuts, will present Word Girl and Fuzz & Sparkle. Word Girl helps kids ages 6 to 9 learn the power of new words and see them in crime-fighting action and has a dedicated companion Website. Targeting ages 6 to 11, Fuzz & Sparkle chronicles the lives of two best friends who live on the pink and purple planet of Dianthus.

Duo to Collaborate on Manga Series
HarperCollins Publishers and Tokyopop joined forces in a co-publishing agreement to create a line of co-branded manga titles. The first manga titles produced by the partnership will be based on Meg Cabot's best-selling young adult novels. Tokyopop writers and artists, working closely with Cabot and her HarperCollins editor, will convert her books into manga format. Other manga titles will include those based on key middle grade and young adult franchises from the HarperCollins portfolio. First books are due in 2007. HarperCollins also will sell and distribute the entire Tokyopop line in North America starting in mid-June.

Sassy License Expands U.S. Presence
Santoro's Tutti Cuti brand has gone beyond flirting with the North American market by signing new partnerships with American Marketing Enterprises for sleepwear, cami tops, and fashion underwear for girls, while its junior division, Next Craze, develops and launches adult and junior loungewear, cami tops, and daywear. In addition, Zak Designs will develop melamine dinnerware, drinkware, lunch kits, and bags. These programs will begin to hit retail this fall with negotiations underway for other key categories, including apparel and accessories, cosmetics, bedding and throws, and dolls. The deals were coordinated by Lisa Marks & Associates, Inc., Santoro's North American licensing agency for Tutti Cuti.

The Flavia Co. Inks Two Deals
The Flavia Co. signed on AD Sutton for a line of infant layette and children's apparel, gift sets, diaper bags, ceramic frames, albums, and coin banks. PEM America will be the new licensee for infant bedding, blankets, window treatments, and rugs, as well as adult bedding and bath accessories. Opportunities still exist for infant wallcoverings, nursery décor, books, and plush. The company also is seeking all baby categories for the Bessie Pease brand.

First National Pictures Acquires Cartoon Series
First National Pictures acquired all video rights for the primetime Corneil & Bernie cartoon series from Earthworks Entertainment. The series airs nightly and on the weekends on Nicktoons Network.

Olivia to Star in New Holiday Book
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, will publish "Olivia's Christmas, a fifth picture book starring Ian Falconer's piglet heroine in October 2007. The book will show what Olivia loves about Christmas: the family spirit, presents, decorating, presents, caroling, not to mention presents.

Shushybye Show to Air on Satellite Radio
XM Satellite Radio will become the exclusive national radio home for The Shushybye Show on XMKiDS, a nightly program of original Shushybye songs and stories designed to serve as part of the parent-child bedtime ritual. The show premieres Monday, May 15, and will be hosted by Shushies Snoozles, Dozie, and Zeez with stories read by XMKiDS on-air personality and program director Kenny Curtis and call-ins from children sharing their Shushybye Dream Wishes for the night. The preschool property encourages children to look forward to bedtime, and to help parents prepare their children for sleep with a fun and interactive nightly ritual that includes storybooks, music, toys, pajamas/apparel, and bedding accessories.

Execs on the Move
Toys "R" Us, Inc., appointed Greg Ahearn senior vice president, marketing. U.S. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. created a New Media division and named Douglas A. Lee to oversee the new unit as executive vice president. Jordan Brown was promoted to assistant editor, Atheneum Books for Young Readers. HIT Entertainment named Denielle Webb, director, public relations, and Claudia Scott-Hansen vice president, U.S. TV distribution. FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide named Jack Alfandary vice president, licensing and new business development. National Geographic Television & Film's Kids' Programming and Production unit promoted Michael Karsh to manager, current series & development.

Licensing Show Webinar
Because of popular demand, Licensing 2006 International Show organizers are repeating their free Webinar entitled, "Maximize Your Licensing International ROI: Best Practices for Savvy Exhibitors," Tuesday, April 11, from 12 to 12:45 p.m. EDT. 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 and to register, visit http://www.licensingshow.com/webinar.

Upcoming Industry Events
LIMA UK Introduction to Licensing Spring Seminar and LIMA and Friends Spring Fling, May 25, No. 4 Hamilton Place, London, http://www.brandlicensingexpo.com/

Licensing Interational 2006 Show, June 20-22, Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, NY, http://www.licensingshow.com/

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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