It’s Apparel Hasbro Style at Steve & Barry’s HPG, licensing arm of Hasbro, Inc., will launch an apparel collection featuring 12 of its properties at Steve & Barry’s in spring and fall. The deal is the largest lineup HPG has granted to any single licensee in the apparel category to date. T-shirts, hoodies, casual bottoms, sports hats, and outerwear will feature brands such as Mr. Potato Head, Tonka, My Little Pony, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Candyland, Scrabble, Monopoly, Operation, Magic: The Gathering, and Dungeons & Dragons.
Sharper Image Enters Licensing World with New Division Sharper Image Corporation created a new licensing division with a goal of attracting manufacturers and retailers across a broad range of categories while also expanding its consumer base. The company also will provide licensing opportunities on other intellectual properties, including patents and trademarks. The new licensing division will be led by newly hired Senior Vice President of Brand Licensing John W. Spotts. Categories under consideration will include electronics, computers and communications, personal care, automotive, bed and bath, kitchen, home and home furnishings, luggage and travel, fitness and well-being, apparel, toys and games, and unique gifts. Products will be sold into mid-tier and better retail channels, such as electronics, specialty, and department stores with an on-shelf presence as early as fall 2007. Licensees also will have the opportunity to sell into Sharper Image’s retail stores, catalogs, and e-commerce Website.
Upfront Event Outlines Network 2007 Plans Cartoon Network plans five original new shows in 2007, including Santo (working title) based on the legend of the real-life iconic wrestling hero Santo, El Enmascarado de Plata (the silver masked man); Chowder, which centers around a young, aspiring chef who struggles not to eat everything in sight; The Secret Saturdays, a comedy-action series about a family of super-scientists; The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack about a boy who lives inside a whale and sets sail with an old pirate for Candied Island; and a series based on Re-Animated to debut this summer. In addition, Class of 3000 has been greenlit for its second season. The network also showed a sneak peek of its Massively Multi-Player Game due 2008, and introduced a new after-school franchise called Master Control, allowing kids to choose what they want to watch starting in late summer. Other initiatives: A Ben 10 live-action movie and Cartoon Network Invaded, a special event in May when Bloo from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends ends up letting loose aliens on Earth and in Cartoon Network original series. Every Friday in May, an alien will arrive in a new episode, culminating with an alien invasion marathon on Memorial Day. Another multimedia event, “Props,” celebrates inspirational, real-world kids who demonstrate exceptional talent, commitment, and accomplishment in a single area of expertise, such as a sport, a musical instrument, gaming, or a hobby. The company is creating CallToons, a new mobile application that integrates smart technology with entertainment.
Jelly Belly Cycles in New Partner Jelly Belly Candy Company and the Jelly Belly Pro Cycling Team signed a two-year sponsorship and licensing agreement with Champion System. As part of the deal brokered by The Licensing Company, Champion System will become the exclusive apparel provider for the Jelly Belly Pro Cycling Team and the licensee for cycling apparel for the Jelly Belly Candy Company. The apparel line will consist of technical cycling apparel, including jerseys for both adults and kids. The new Jelly Belly Pro Cycling Team line will include caps, socks, shorts, gloves, polo shirts, and Ts, as well as a “replica” team jersey.
Playboy Aficionados Gain Digital Access to Magazine Playboy Enterprises, Inc., and Bondi Digital Publishing LLC will create a one-of-a-kind series of DVD box sets featuring 53 years of Playboy magazine in an electronic format. The digital archive will contain the articles, interviews, cartoons, photographs, and even advertisements as they appeared in the original print editions. Released by decade, the first two sets, featuring every issue from the 1950s and 1960s, will hit stores in October 2007 with additional sets slated for release in 2008. Each box set (suggested retail, $100) will include a DVD with all the issues from a decade of the magazine’s history, as well as a 200-page companion book with never-before-seen photographs and correspondence, a Playboy timeline, and highlights of selected pages from the magazine.
Sesame Street Buddies Get New Series The fun antics of Bert and Ernie will be featured in a new claymation series in a deal between Sesame Workshop and German public broadcaster NDR and Kika, and UK Five’s preschool block, Milkshake. Slated for two seasons, The Adventures of Bert and Ernie finds Bert and Ernie recalling stories sparked by photos and memorabilia in their scrapbook. The series will be available in March 2008 with season two due in March 2009. Misseri Studio, based in Florence, Italy, will animate the stories, which qualify as European content. Broadcasters ABC (Australia), Cartoon Network India, DR-TV (Denmark), Disney Asia, Disney Spain, HOP (Israel), NPS/Zeppelin (Netherlands), NRK (Norway), and SVT (Sweden) each made pre-sale deals.
WBCP Sponsors Ándale Posse Tour Speedy Gonzales is sponsoring a team of professional skateboarders for a six-week journey across America. Joining him on his Ándale Posse Tour will be top pros Danny Gonzalez and Patrick Melcher, with special guest appearances by skateboarder Steve Caballero. The tour will be anchored around weekend stops at skate parks in 12 cities, where the Ándale Posse will participate in exhibitions for the local skating community. At each stop, they will be joined by other local pros, and will take part in skating demos, games, giveaways, and autograph signings. In between tour stops, the Posse will drive coast to coast in a Speedy-customized cruiser and tow vehicle. The tour will include a limited-edition line of Speedy skateboards, T-shirts, and hats, which will be available at tour stops and select retailers.
Amtrak Names New Multicultural Ad Agency Amtrak named Images USA its multicultural advertising agency of record for both its nationwide long-distance service and its premium Acela Express service between Boston and Washington, DC. In addition to new creative development, Images USA will provide Amtrak with support for a full slate of marketing initiatives, including promotions, special events, and public relations. The new campaigns, launching this month, will target multicultural audiences via print, radio, and online advertising in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, and Miami.
Max & Ruby Maximize Impact with New Deal Nelvana Enterprises’ preschool animated television series, Max & Ruby, will debut new episodes and merchandise timed with the Easter season. Nick Jr. will launch the new episodes starting April 6 and Noggin April 7. Lots of products are on tap, including DVDs, beanie babies, a bowling set, character bouncers, and hollow Easter chocolate. The pair also will star in a stage show in fall 2007 produced by TheatreworksUSA with stops in more than 1,800 venues and a small-format stage show and meet-and-greet appearances in the U.S. from Paquin Entertainment. In Canada, a stage show and live appearances produced by Sphere Entertainment continue to tour the country.
Taste Matters in Latest American Idol Deal Ice cream fans will be idol this winter as Dreyer’s Slow Churned is debuting five flavors inspired by American Idol. Fans can choose their favorite flavor such as Choc ’N Roll Caramel, Hollywood Cheesecake, Soulful Sundae Cone, Triple Talent, or Take the Cake by logging onto www.slowchurned.com. The winning flavor will earn a permanent spot in the Slow Churned ice cream lineup.
Franco Manufacturing Goes Soft on It’s Happy Bunny Franco Manufacturing now has the right to make and market It’s Happy Bunny bedding, beach towels, bath towels, and bath accessories. CopCorp Licensing brokered the deal.
Bob the Builder Says Cheese HIT Entertainment signed a licensing agreement with The Good Food Village for the launch of Secret Shapes cheese in the UK. Bob the Builder will be the “shape” of the first product line due in stores in March. The launch will be supported by TV and print advertising, a sampling campaign, PR, and competitions, with Bob lending a helping hand at key locations throughout the UK.
Retail Exec Forms New Company Former Best Buy executive Kevin Freeland created Optimal Advantage, which combines the varied skill sets of former retail executives to deliver process improvements, drive out costs, and improve profits. The company consults with retailers to implement process improvement services in planning, assortment optimization, localization, procurement, forecasting, space management, logistics, allocation, execution, promotion, and price.
Licensing Community Wanted to Support UK Charity Stephen Gould, senior vice president, UK licensing, retail, and promotions at 4Kids International, wants members of the licensing community to join him for a three-day charity swimathon around the Maltese islands of Gozo, Comino, and Malta. The goal is to assemble a team of 14 swimmers, plus two support personnel. The team will generate sponsorship from commercial entities, friends, family, and colleagues to raise thousands of pounds for The Light Fund, the official charity of the UK licensing industry. The five-day trip from September 24 to 28 will include three days of swimming. Anyone interested should contact Stephen Gould at +44 (0) 20 7297 5993.
Execs on the Move Cookie Jar Entertainment added two executives, with Brian Gladman named director of consumer products, Canada, and Cathy Parks appointed to the newly created position of vice president, retail and promotions for North America.
Licensing 2007 International Show Is Just Around the Corner More than 525 exhibitors and 23,000 attendees are expected to converge on Licensing 2007 International Show, to be held June 19-21 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. Save time and money by preregistering, which guarantees that you receive your badge in the mail prior to the show to avoid lines. Click here to register. Our new housing partner, Travel Planners, has put together a list of hotels to meet every budget. If you don’t see a property of interest, contact Travel Planners at 800.221.3531 (domestic) or 212.532.1660 (international). To book now, click here.
License! Global’s Monthly Survey Question Give us your opinion! Each month, we’ll feature a different survey question—on subjects ranging from product growth categories and international expansion to retail trends and consumer preferences—on our Website. Then, we’ll feature the final results in the following month’s issue of License! Global. February’s question: Do you think brand owners are beginning to utilize a strategy of fewer licensees (and perhaps more master licensees) and longer-term deals in 2007? Vote at www.licensemag.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! Global 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! Global. Any questions, contact Alyson Grala at 212.951.6743 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Retna Images Available for Licensing Retna is one of the largest independent photo agencies in the world. The collection includes celebrity, music, lifestyle, nature, pets, and more. All images are available for licensing by professional picture buyers and are available for all forms of merchandising. Retna offers a unique collection and will facilitate the research for you free of charge on image requests. The company’s services also include assignment work. Retna can provide coverage in all areas including portrait, events, parties, reportage, corporate/trade, and concerts. It will get the job done within your deadline and handle all post-production. Retna’s worldwide media reach will ensure the images from your event get the exposure they deserve. Visit www.retna.com for more information.