WBCP Inks Apparel Deals Warner Bros. Consumer Products is working with designer label Heatherette on the first-ever line of The Wizard of Oz junior apparel. The collection includes T-shirts, sportswear, and accessories, and will launch at retail in fall 2007. In another deal, WBCP teamed with LOT29, a division of Wicked Apparel, on sportswear for young men and juniors inspired by Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern, as well as The Penguin, The Riddler, and The Joker. The line will launch in fall 2007.
TMNT Shells Out Host of Promotional/Retail Initiatives The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are coming out of their shells with major support from a variety of partners for the March 23 theatrical release of TMNT. 4Kids Entertainment Inc. and Warner Bros. Pictures are teaming with McDonald’s, Airheads, Hot Topic, and other retailers, including Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Toys “R” Us, on promotions that run through March. Other initiatives: Time Warner Cable will air TV spots promoting a TMNT sweepstakes; Cool Cuts 4 Kids will offer coloring books and card games to customers, who also will have a chance to win a sweepstakes for a private screening of TMNT; and starting March 3, 4Kids TV and Fox will host weekly promotions including the First Annual NinjAcademy Awards. The awards allow kids to vote for the Best Turtle, Best Villain, Best Invention, Best Monster, and more online. As voting results come in, episodes that feature each winner will air. In addition, a special “lost episode” will air on March 24, as well as new episodes of Fast Forward throughout the month. 4Kids also signed on 35 licensees with products ranging from action playsets and vehicles (Playmates) and video games (Ubisoft) to an exclusive line of retro and movie apparel at Hot Topic.
The Ideal Camp for Idol Fans FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment created Idol Camp, the first performing arts summer camp for kids between the ages of 12 and 15. Located in Northfield, MA, the non-competitive camp will include master classes from surprise celebrity guest performing artists, former American Idol contestants, and other top industry professionals. Daily instruction also will be provided in a variety of classes, from singing, dancing, and acting to songwriting and audition techniques, as well as traditional camp activities such as swimming and field sports. FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment will reward a certain percentage of students with fully paid scholarships based on financial need in an effort to reach a wide range of the country’s most eager performers. Limited enrollment is not audition based and doesn’t guarantee entrance into the TV series competition, nor will it provide inside information or any other advantage in the audition process for the TV show. Interested parties can visit www.americanidol.com/idolcamp for more details.
High IntenCity’s Pet Project High IntenCity Corp.’s newly established pet division launched its specialty brand, Sweet Pea, Biscuit & Jam. The collection of pet apparel and accessories includes T-shirts, pajamas, fur-lined coats, cashmere and novelty knits, jewelry, charms, collars, leashes, bedding, pet carriers, and toys. Leading the new initiative is Carmen Slaven, the newly appointed director, pet division.
Bleach Scores with Trading Card Game Score Entertainment has big plans for the rollout of its Bleach Trading Card Game, based on animated TV series Shonen Jump Bleach from VIZ Media airing on Cartoon Network. Marketing plans tied to the May 23 release include both retail and consumer initiatives such as free retailer-only promo kits, Premier Sneak Peek events, and a wrapper redemption program. Interested retailers can visit www.ScoreEnt.com, where they can sign up for a free promo kit, as well as register for the SEVEN (Score Entertainment’s Verified Event Network) program. Beginning April 16, SEVEN hosts will be able to sign up for free tournament kits containing support for a 20-player event including exclusive promo cards and assorted premium items such as playmats and deck boxes. A fan site (www.OfficialBleachTCG.com) also is launching in March with new content to follow in May, including a preview of the Premiere Set cards, deck builder, rules, store and event locators, and wrapper redemption information.
Nick Jr. Series Attracts Licensing Partners Preschool series Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, produced by Bolder Media Inc. and Starz Media LLC, readied the launch of its consumer products program by securing 14 partners in a variety of categories. Fisher-Price signed on as master toy licensee with a line of preschool toys due August 2008. Other products due on shelves at the same time include a DVD/video from Starz Home Entertainment, games and puzzles from Hasbro, publishing from Scholastic Media, coloring and activity books from Simon & Schuster, sound storybooks from Meredith, apparel from Children’s Apparel Network, footwear from SG Footwear, sleepwear from Dream Apparel, party goods from Unique, headwear/accessories from Berkshire, wholesale cake decorations from Bakery Crafts, over-the-counter fabric from A.E. Nathan, and mylar balloons from CTI Industries.
Sean John “Socks It” to Category Sean John signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Mountain High Hosiery for a collection of men’s and boys’ socks within the U.S. and Canada. The Sean John Hosiery collection will debut at retail in spring 2008 and will be sold in the Sean John flagship store, select specialty stores, and better department stores across the U.S. and Canada.
Disney Movie Provides Fizz for Sweepstakes The Fizzy Fruit Company and HarperCollins Children’s Books are collaborating on a Keep Moving Forward Sweepstakes to promote Disney’s theatrical film, Meet The Robinsons, scheduled for release March 30. The contest, which can be accessed by visiting www.FizzyFruit.com, www.HarperCollinsChildrens.com, or www.SpaceCamp.com, will run from March 1 to May 30, 2007. Fizzy Fruit is a patented process that infuses carbonation into the water already contained in fruit, giving the fruit a light and refreshing effervescence.
Lifestyle Brand Adds Three Licensees The Be As You Are brand is expanding its licensee base with American Greetings set to debut greeting cards and Tri-Coastal Design on board to create notebooks, diaries, and stationery sets. Both lines will launch in May. Sixfifteen, LLC, is producing a broad line of accessories for ’tweens, teens, juniors, and young men and women, including bags, small leather goods, and headwear. Set to launch in July, items in the collection include everything from backpacks, handbags, and messenger bags to wallets, key chains, and coin purses. Lisa Marks and Associates, Inc., brokered the deal.
Pet Peeves Characters Gain Entry into New Areas Pet Peeves, LLC, brings its characters online via a deal with AG Interactive, a media subsidiary of American Greetings, for a collection of online greeting cards. The company also aligned with Goffa International Corp. for a line of plush toys geared toward the amusement industry.
Animation Studio Changes Moniker RichCrest Animation, the U.S.-based production arm of CGI animation studio Crest Animation Studios, Ltd., is changing its name and expanding its business to become a full-service animation studio specializing in the development and production of CGI-animated properties for theatrical, television, home entertainment, and interactive distribution. The newly named Crest Animation Productions, Inc., appointed Noah Fogelson CEO to spearhead the expansion, leveraging a multimillion-dollar injection of funds from the D.E. Shaw group, a global investment firm with approximately $25 billion in aggregate investment capital.
Execs on the Move DreamWorks Animation SKG appointed Kerry Phelan head of worldwide licensing. Sharper Image Corporation promoted John Yotnakparian to senior vice president, retail stores. K’NEX Industries promoted Robert Haines to senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer and named Joseph Smith senior vice president of product development. Al Karo joined Shelcore as vice president, North American sales. HIT Entertainment named Andi Copley managing director/executive producer of its animation studio, HOT Animation. Exodus Film Group named Max Howard president.
JPMA Time You’re invited to join leading professionals in the prenatal to preschool market in Orlando, FL, April 23-25 for the 2007 International JPMA Show. Nearly 350 companies have contracted to be a part of the industry’s must-attend event, including 86 first-time exhibitors. Add to that hundreds of new and innovative product introductions and all of the special show features—you won’t want to miss a minute of the show. Log on to www.jpma.org for complete details.
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. The show will include first-time exhibitors Bolder Media; Boy Scouts of America; Madison Square Garden Entertainment; Playhut, Inc.; and Taffy Entertainment. 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.
LIMA UK Licensing Essentials Course & Spring Fling The LIMA UK Licensing Essentials course is an intensive full-day seminar designed to educate, inspire, and motivate. Using thought-provoking case studies, lively panel debates, and detailed presentations, the course provides an unrivaled educational opportunity for those new to licensing or those in need of a refresher. Taking place Tuesday, May 22, in central London, the 2007 event offers a new format, new topics, and a host of new speakers. It will be followed by the annual Spring Fling, which offers the opportunity to hear a panel of industry heavyweights as they debate “The Challenges Facing Licensing in 2007 and Beyond,” and the chance to relax with industry peers at the networking party, which will feature surprise entertainment. To view the full program and to register, visit www.brandlicensingexpo.com/lima or call the hotline at +44 (0) 20 8956 2669.
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.