Weekly E-News, Issue #209, April 24, 2007


Disney Expands Princess Brand to All Maidens
Disney wants to make girls of all ages feel like princesses with a new collection of wedding gowns inspired by the spirit and style of Disney Princesses Ariel, Beauty, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, and Snow White. Kirstie Kelly For Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings collection will feature gowns priced between $1,100 and $3,500 and a Maidens for bridesmaids collection at specialty boutiques in North America, Japan, and Europe beginning in June. The collection features fabrics like organza, chantilly, chiffon, satins, and tulle accented with embellishments including lace, ribbons, crystals, pearls, and embroidered beading. The collection will soon expand to include jewelry.

Fox To Sport Consumer Products Program
20th Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising is building a consumer products program around the iconic FOX Sports logo in a variety of categories. The program will target, but will not be limited to, apparel and accessories, toys/collectibles/games, tailgate/housewares, consumer electronics, automotive aftermarket, nutrition and sports beverages, sporting goods, and exercise equipment. FOX Sports currently covers Major League Baseball, the National Football League, NASCAR, and The Daytona 500, and is the exclusive home of college football’s Bowl Championship Series. And in 2008, FOX Sports will also broadcast Super Bowl XLII.

American Greetings Properties Seals Two Partnerships
American Greetings Properties and DIC Entertainment will launch three new animated programs on CBS’s Saturday morning programming block, including Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, and Sushi Pack. Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake will target children ages 4 to 8, while Sushi Pack will skew to older children ages 6 to 11. All three series are scheduled to launch September 2007. In other news, American Greetings Properties partnered with Mike Young Productions and DQ Entertainment to create a new CGI animation television series for the Twisted Whiskers property.  In total, 26 half-hour episodes will be created and the series will be distributed to broadcasters by Taffy Entertainment.  

Barbie Beta Site Offers Girls Broader Experience
Mattel launched the beta site for BarbieGirls.com as part of its Barbie Girls platform being unveiled on Thursday, April 26, in New York City. BarbieGirls.com is a global online community designed exclusively for girls, giving them the creative power to customize their own virtual character, design their own “room,” shop at the mall, play games, hang out, and chat live with other girls.
 
Girl Scouts Expands Licensing Push
Girl Scouts of the USA hopes to reach more girls, enlist more volunteers, and reconnect with alumnae through an expanded licensing program. Spearheading the effort is Karina Gee, named to the newly created position of manager of licensing. The fledgling licensing program has attracted K&Company with a line of themed scrapbooks and scrapbook materials, followed in July by a line of Groovy Girls dolls and accessories inspired by the Girl Scouts from Manhattan Toy.

VIZ Media Secures Rights to Blue Dragon
VIZ Media LLC has secured the television, home video, and non-video game merchandising rights for the Americas, Europe, and Oceania to Blue Dragon from a consortium including TV Tokyo Corp. and Shueisha Inc. The new anime series is based on the Microsoft Xbox 360 role playing game, which debuted in Japan on TV Tokyo on April 7. The game already has a strong fan base in Japan and will be released in North America and Europe in August 2007. In the European market, VIZ Media will distribute and market Blue Dragon through VIZ Media Europe, S.A.R.L, its Paris-based subsidiary established in late 2006.

Joint Venture Launches in Asian Markets
A&E Television Networks and ASTRO All Asia Networks plc, through its subsidiary ASTRO All Asia Entertainment Networks Ltd., have formed a joint venture, AETN All Asia Networks Pte. Ltd., to launch and operate branded channels and services across Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. AETN All Asia Networks will also have operations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The venture will launch The History Channel and Crime & Investigation Network in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei in the second and third quarter 2007. The channels will launch in Taiwan by year-end. The History Channel and Crime & Investigation Network will be fully language-versioned in Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, and Chinese. AETN All Asia Networks also plans to launch The Biography Channel in the region, and to deploy the brands and programming via VOD, mobile, broadband, and HD.    

JTMG To Spearhead Life with Derek
Shaftesbury Films appointed JTMG, headed by Joy Tashjian, as the licensing and merchandising agency for Life with Derek. The initial focus of the program will be on publishing, electronics, mobile, apparel, and accessories. The Disney Channel series has been sold to broadcasters in more than 14 territories and 114 countries worldwide and focuses on a modern blended family, with two type-A 15-year-olds who fight for control of their house, their school, and their world.

New Distributor Tapped for Edgar & Ellen
Cake Entertainment was appointed the European distribution partner for the Edgar & Ellen TV series produced by Star Farm Productions and Bardel Entertainment Inc. Cake has brokered deals for the TV series, specials, and shorts with broadcasters NRK in Norway and Noga Communications in Israel. LUK Internacional SA has also acquired all rights to the TV shows in Spain, Portugal, and Andorra and will serve as a specialized distribution partner. In addition, with Cake’s support, Star Farm partner Bardel Entertainment has secured all Edgar & Ellen TV rights with broadcaster SRC in Canada. The series will premiere on Nicktoons Network in the U.S. in August and on YTV in Canada in September.

Taffy Entertainment Brings Fantastic Four to UK
Taffy Entertainment signed a UK deal for Fantastic Four with GMTV, acquiring the program for its weekend children’s strand, Toonattik, which airs on ITV1 and CITV. In separate deals, the series has also been snapped up by TV Globo in Brazil, MRTL in Hungary, and Fox Video for Europe and Latin America.

Cartoon Network Series to Star in Video Games
Capcom Entertainment is in production on Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, an interactive fiction game that merges the fun and mayhem of the Adult Swim TV show with Capcom’s unique style of game play. The game, for PSP and PS2, hits shelves this fall.

Execs on the Move
Rubie’s Costume Co. named Lauren Rabinowitz as licensing manager. Disguise Inc. promoted Bernice Nesbit to senior manager, marketing & retail business development.

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