Weekly E-news, Issue #59, May 18, 2004

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NBC Universal Is Born

NBC merged with Vivendi Universal, creating NBC Universal, an entity described by the company as “a 24-hour cross-promotional machine.” The new company will include all of NBC’s assets along with Universal’s movie and TV studios; theme parks; and cable networks USA, Sci Fi Channel, and Trio. NBC will own 80 percent of the new company and Vivendi 20 percent. Until now, NBC was the last of the networks not to be aligned with a major studio. The multibillion-dollar merger will put it on more equal footing with rivals such as CBS (part of Viacom), Fox (News Corp.), and ABC (Disney).

Target Targets Hamptons’ Eite
Target Stores is temporarily going to the Hamptons this summer with a new shop at the Bull’s Head Inn in Bridgehampton, NY. Dubbed The Bullseye Inn, the store (open until July 4) will offer exclusive products from designers such as Swell by Cynthia Rowley & Illene Rosenzweig; Simply Shabby Chic by Rachel Ashwell; Sean Conway Garden Style from nurseryman Sean Conway; and David Kirk’s Sunny Patch. Target will make a donation to the Bridgehampton Historical Society for a minimum amount of $25,000. Any remaining products at the close of business July 4 will be donated to a local nonprofit organization.

FUNimation’s Fullmetal Alchemist
FUNimation Productions, Ltd., acquired Fullmetal Alchemist, already a hit in Japan. The action property will be introduced at Licensing 2004 International Show with plans for a merchandising program already in the works. The series currently is scheduled to make its broadcast debut in October 2004; the DVD release is slated for early 2005.

Genius Products Goes Hollywood
Genius Products is going Hollywood, signing a multi-year licensing deal with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for the Hollywood Sign. The legendary image will be featured on Genius Products’ new Hollywood Movie Classics and Hollywood Television Classic brands. The initial line of DVDs will be on shelves June 8 with 24 movies and 24 TV programs, all digitally remastered and sound enhanced. Global Icons, a corporate and entertainment brand licensing agency, brokered the deal.

Nickelodeon Talks Up New Deal

Nickelodeon is calling on kids to talk to their favorite TV characters through a new deal with UVOX, the world’s first telephony broadcasting network. “Nickelodeon Calls You” is available exclusively on Nick.com and NickJr.com and offers a range of prerecorded voice message categories, call scheduling options, and personalized greetings from Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants. “Dora Calls You” offers seven different call categories to choose from (Party Invitations, Happy Birthday, Friendship, Get Well, Holiday and Events, Bedtime, and “You Did It!”), and “SpongeBob Calls You” offers five (Party Invitations, Happy Birthday, Holiday and Events, Congratulations, and Wake-Up) with a variety of subcategories within each. Each call costs $2.49 with a volume discount price when sending party invitation calls to more than one person.

Lollytogs Acquires Healthtex brand
Lollytogs, Ltd., acquired the Healthtex business of VF Playwear, Inc., a subsidiary of VF Corp., for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, Lollytogs now owns the Healthtex, HTX and Our Girl by Healthtex brands. Additionally, Lollytogs acquired rights to Healthtex’s Kidproof patented process, a knit fabric treatment that offers stain resistance and enhances the original feel of the garment. Healthtex by Lollytogs is slated for a holiday 2004 launch at mid-tier and specialty stores. Surf- and skate-inspired HTX will be on shelves in department stores.

Movin’ on Up in the Ranks

Executives are on the move as DIC Entertainment named Cindy Elfenbein executive director of retail consumer products. Elfenbein will be responsible for building relationships with retailers and developing support for properties, including Strawberry Shortcake and Trollz.
MGM Studios Inc. named Carol Laumen vice president, worldwide retail development, for its consumer products and interactive group.
At Cookie Jar Entertainment, Fonda Snyder will assume the newly created position of senior vice president, creative development.
PorchLight Entertainment promoted Stephanie Slack and Adam Wright to senior vice president, worldwide sales, each for specific territories.

Licensing Show Shuttle
The International Toy Center will provide shuttle bus service between the ITC and the Jacob Javits Convention Center during Licensing 2004 International Show, June 8 to 10. This first-time initiative will better accommodate the numerous buyer-tenant appointments that regularly take place at the ITC during the show. The shuttle will run between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. from the ITC’s 23rd Street entrance and the Javits Center. For further information on the shuttle schedule, visit www.thetoycenter.com

Licensing 2004 International Show
PREREGISTRATION has been EXTENDED to May 19. Don’t miss your opportunity for FREE EXHIBIT HALL ADMISSION and SEMINAR DISCOUNTS to Licensing 2004 International Show, June 8 to 10, NYC. Make your plans to attend and enjoy this year’s show’s special features, including:

• Expanded Art & Design Licensing Gallery with more than 200 artists and designers to explore.

• NEW! License To Style: An exciting live event demonstrating how pop culture is reflected in today’s apparel marketplace, Tuesday, June 8, on the Exhibit Floor.

• NEW! The Content Zone: Special exhibit area to meet TV, film, book, and interactive media content and rights owners offering hundreds of sought-after properties.

• NEW! Employment Opportunities: Out of work or looking to make a job change? We’re here to help with a job posting board located in the Registration Area.

• 13 NEW Sessions at L!censing University. Visit http://www.licensingshow.com/licensingshow/V40/conference/special.cvn?id=26&
p_navID=141
to explore the 27 in-depth, information-packed conference sessions offered this year.

Preregister by May 19 online at https://www.showreg.net/LSI2004 or call (800) 331-5706 or (218) 723-9130.

For complete show details, visit http://www.licensingshow.com

It’s a Wrap in July
Complete the Licensing International show cycle by following up with attendees and securing your ad message in our post-show July issue. Be the act to remember as the curtain closes and reviews are read. Let ad frequency give you the edge as retailers, licensees, agents, and consultants do their post-show follow-up. Call Ben Zachariah at (212) 951-6705 or Pauline Ng at (212) 951-6698 to discuss your post-show message.
For more licensing news and features, visit www.licensemag.com For more information on Licensing 2004 International Show, visit www.licensingshow.com

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