Weekly E-News, Issue #167, June 27, 2006

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Lord & Taylor Sold
Federated Department Stores agreed to sell its Lord & Taylor apparel chain to NRDC Equity Partners, LLC, for $1.195 billion in cash. According to NRDC Equity Partners, the firm will continue to operate the chain as a specialty department store.

"Marvelous" New Deals for Steve & Barry"s
Steve & Barry"s University Sportswear gets in the ring with new partner World Wrestling Entertainment with a direct-to-retail apparel line planned. Product will include polo and button-front shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants/athletic pants, jerseys, jackets, wind shirts, shorts, hats, underwear, pajamas, sleepwear, loungewear, and footwear for men, women, youth, and infants. WWE product will be available in limited quantities this fall, with a full product line to be launched in spring 2007. The retailer also introduced a full line of T-shirts featuring X-Men, Spider-Man, and other Marvel superheroes in all stores as part of a previously announced deal with Marvel Enterprises.

Del Monte Deal Encourages Healthy Habits
Sesame Workshop took a "can-do" attitude to its Healthy Habits for Life initiative, partnering with Del Monte on a line of vegetables featuring Sesame Street characters on the product packaging. Due on shelves in September, Elmo with Green Beans, Grover with Sweet Peas, and Cookie Monster with Corn will be offered in specialty four packs of each variety in grocery stores, and eight and 12 packs in select club retailers.

Gemstar-TV Guide Acquires Rights to Website
Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. acquired http://www.jumptheshark.com and related assets from Jump the Shark, Inc. The Internet site is where TV viewers debate whether popular TV programs have reached their peak. Gemstar-TV Guide will develop and promote Jump the Shark across its multiple media platforms with Jon Hein, founder of Jump the Shark, Inc., providing editorial and other related services for Gemstar-TV Guide on a cross-platform basis. The term, "Jump the Shark," refers to the episode of Happy Days, where Fonzie jumped over a shark during a water-skiing scene, an episode many TV fans believe signaled the show's demise.

Care Bears Is Focus of Entertainment Deal
AG Properties and Fox Home Entertainment are "bearing" it all, partnering on several multiplatform Care Bears entertainment launches. The new line will include an updated look, three new direct-to-video titles in 2007 and 2008, and a new CGI theatrical release in summer 2007, followed by a DVD release of the film.

Dr. Seuss' Whimsy Comes to New Product Line
Small World Toys will bring a range of products to all channels of distribution as part of a new licensing agreement with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, LP. Due on shelves in 2007, the line will include products such as puzzles, plush, stackers, and a melamine dinnerware set for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Guinness World Records Expands Program
With the 2007 edition of Guinness World Records hitting shelves this August, the brand seeks partners in the DVD, consumer products, apparel, interactive, Internet, TV, and mobile phone markets. The brand debuts in toys in August as ToyQuest introduces the first interactive Guinness World Records-themed electronic trivia robot. The company will partner with Wendy's on a five-week QSR promotion in fall and have trading cards in the November issue of National Geographic Kids.

HIT Entertainment Teams with TVHead
TVHead inked a deal with HIT Entertainment for the first iTV games based on Barney, Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder, and Angelina Ballerina. The new interactive preschool games launch in the fourth quarter and offer children a range of activities.

Bratz Expands Presence in Licensing
MGA Entertainment showed its passion for Bratz, signing a variety of deals. The Singing Machine will create a line of karaoke products via a two-year deal including a TFT DVD karaoke system, sing-along cassette players, deluxe microphones, electronic keyboards, and an electronic drum. The girls with a passion for fashion will star in Livin' It Up! With the Bratz, an interactive movie experience that blends the interactivity of gaming with the entertainment of a movie due in August. MGA Entertainment, Inc.; Avi Arad Productions; and Crystal Sky Pictures are teaming up on a movie tentatively entitled Bratz with production slated for fall 2006. International licensee Parragon Publishing will create a line of English publishing formats for April 2007 in the U.S., as well as the UK, Channel Islands, Eire, Isle of Mann, Gibraltar, South Africa, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean region.

New Agent to Manage Teddy Ruxpin Brand
BackPack Toys, master licensee for Teddy Ruxpin, appointed Nine Oaks Group as licensing agent for the property in North America. All categories of goods are available for licensing, although there will be an early emphasis on apparel and accessories, toys and interactive, domestics, publishing, and health and beauty.

Icon Inspires San Francisco Diner
Betty Boop is the inspiration behind a classic diner that opened in San Francisco in the area's Powell Street section. The diner reinforces the theme with patrons eating menu items such as The Boop-Oop-a-Doop Burger and surrounded by two original giant wall-sized murals commissioned to capture Betty Boop in San Francisco. A small on-site boutique will sell licensed merchandise and collectibles. Betty Boop's Diner will be managed by the owners of Sears Fine Food and Lori's Diners.

Mattel on Board for Spider Riders
Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc. is weaving together a strategy for its new Spider Riders series, naming Mattel Inc. master toy licensee and tapping FUNimation Entertainment to manufacture and distribute home video titles and personal video player content. The action-adventure series debuted on Kids' WB's! June 17 following the series' premiere earlier this year on Teletoon in Canada and TV Tokyo in Japan.

Execs on the Move
Brad Globe officially took over the reigns of Warner Bros. Consumer Products as president. Sony Pictures Consumer Products promoted Mark Caplan to vice president, hardlines, and Sharie Van Gilder to director of softlines. Lee Blevins was named director of community relations for Cartoon Network. Simon & Schuster named Lucille Rettino director of marketing, SSE and Simon Pulse; Elena Mechlin marketing assistant, trade; Lila Haber senior publicist; and promoted Bridget McCabe to associate managing editor.

Upcoming Industry Events
Seoul Character Fair 2006,
July 26-30, COEX, Seoul, Korea, http://www.characterfair.org/
 "How To Make a Great Preschool Series" Workshop, August 12-14, Little Airplane Productions, 86 Franklin Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY, 212.965.8999 or e-mail: melindarichards@littleairplane.com

Submit Licenses Granted & Available Now Online
The 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.

Cookie Jar Entertainment, Inc.
Cookie Jar Entertainment, Inc., is a leading global independent producer, licensor, and marketer of children's properties. Some of Cookie Jar's properties include preschool series Caillou and musical hit show The Doodlebops, along with Gerald McBoing Boing and Mona the Vampire for the international marketplace. Together with the Consumer Products Division, Cookie Jar Entertainment licenses and markets its properties around the world. For more information, visit http://www.thecookiejarcompany.com.

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

 

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