Weekly E-news, Issue #75, September 7, 2004

 

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Target Completes Mervyn’s Sale
Target completed the sale of Mervyn’s to an investment consortium including Sun Capital Partners, Inc.; Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.; Lubert-Adler and Klaff Partners, L.P., and completed the sale of Mervyn’s credit card receivables to GE Consumer Finance, a unit of General Electric Company. The aggregate consideration of these transactions was approximately $1.65 billion in cash. Following the sale, Target will continue to operate 1,272 stores in 47 states and Target.com

Marathon Projects Goes to the Office
MeadWestvaco Consumer & Office Products appointed Marathon Projects as its licensing agent with a goal of enhancing its school and office supply brands including Day Runner, At-A-Glance, Five Star, Cambridge, and Mead. As part of the strategy, Marathon Projects will enhance each brand through various licensing opportunities, including pens, handbags, business attaches, computer bags, apparel, accessories, eyewear, footwear, electronics, phones, PDAs, pagers, and office furniture and products.

Crave Entertainment Group Secures Financing
Crave Entertainment Group completed a new three-year $58 million credit facility with GE Capital Corporation. The package includes a $55 million revolving line of credit for growing working capital needs and a $3 million term loan for refinancing some existing term and subordinated debt. The previous line of credit with GE Capital was $35 million. The company also relocated its warehouse operations from Rancho Dominguez, CA, to nearby Carson, CA. The newly leased 107,000-square-foot facility is more than double CEG’s previous capacity. In other news, the company appointed Vincent Bitetti president of Crave Entertainment, the company’s publishing subsidiary.

Primedia Enterprises Expands Brands with New Deals
Primedia Enterprises signed two new deals to expand the Lowrider and Rod & Custom brands into the apparel market. ADTN will create a line of boys’ wear that will mirror the colors, patterns, and styles currently in the men’s line. ADTN also will manufacture Lowrider-branded outerwear for both men and boys for all retail channels. Primedia is joining forces with The Source to produce a line of men’s Rod & Custom T-shirts. The product lines are due on shelves for holiday 2004.

New Property Helps Ease Nighttime Fears
Glick Entertainment launched a direct-response television campaign this month to introduce its new Monster Zappers toy line to consumers. Retail exposure is due later this year. The campaign broke September 1 with a two-minute TV spot that airs nationally. Monster Zappers is targeted at kids ages 4 to 10 and features the Deluxe Starter Kit (suggested retail, $19.99) that contains everything a child needs to take care of any unwelcome nighttime guests.

CopCorp to Rep Dear Dumb Diary
CopCorp Licensing takes on the licensing program for Jim Benton’s “Dear Dumb Diary,” the debut property in Benton’s newest book series. Discussions with licensees already are underway in categories such as sleepwear, stationery, diaries, and social expressions. In addition, the agency will continue to explore and pursue opportunities to add licensees in all ’tween product categories, both hard and soft goods. “Dear Dumb Diary, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” is the first book in Benton’s “Tales of Mackerel Middle School” series for Scholastic Inc. “Dear Dumb Diary” is written as a first-person account of Jamie Kelly’s life in Mackerel Middle School as recorded in her personal diary over the course of several weeks.

Solid Entertainment Inks Deal with Moriah Films
Solid Entertainment signed an exclusive two-year distribution deal with production company Moriah Films for five documentaries. The deal—which includes worldwide broadcast, home video, and DVD rights—includes such films as Genocide, the first Holocaust documentary to win an Academy Award; The Long Way Home; In Search Of Peace; Liberation; and the recently completed Unlikely Heroes.

Majesco to Develop Jaws for Multiple Platforms

Majesco secured the interactive entertainment rights to Jaws with on-shelf presence planned for summer 2005 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the film’s theatrical release. In the title developed by Appaloosa, players assume the role of a great white shark driven to a predacious frenzy by the sonic emanations of underwater oil drilling equipment. To defend their underwater territory, players undertake a campaign to drive the raiders away while simultaneously solving a series of action-based puzzles designed to thwart players. Jaws is scheduled for release in 2005 for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC.

Children’s Beauty Products on Tap for Literary Property
Candlewick Press and RJM Licensing Inc. signed a deal with DGMS for a line of health- and beauty-care products based on literary property “Guess How Much I Love You.” The characters, text, and artwork in the book will appear on children’s body-care products by year-end. Other products in the line will include baby lotion, diaper cream, baby body wash, shampoo, bubble bath, and possibly gift sets.

Volosin Upped to EVP and COO

Action Performance Companies Inc. named Melodee Volosin executive vice president and chief operating officer. Volosin also will continue her role in the company’s corporate sales division where she supervises all sales managers and is responsible for monitoring sales of Action’s product lines. She also will retain her position on the company’s board of directors; she has been a member since 1997.

Hollywood Goes to London
L.A. Office’s RoadShow Europe is the movie industry’s first-ever European marketing and promotional event to introduce Hollywood’s upcoming releases and future marketing opportunities intended for the European marketplace. Through on-screen multimedia property presentations by the major film studios, RoadShow Europe will bring the power of Hollywood to your brand. RoadShow Europe offers an all-day program to explore future marketing and product placement opportunities with marketing executives from Hollywood’s major studios.
RoadShow Hollywood: September 21-23, 2004, Hollywood, CA
RoadShow Europe: October 24-25, 2004, London, UK
(310) 275-2088; www.laoffice.com/license.asp

October Opportunity
Chock full of retail sales figures, statistics, trends, and property predictions, License!’s October Industry Annual Report provides the perfect editorial environment for your ad message and corporate profile. In addition, License! puts your property front and center with bonus distribution at the American International Fall Toy Show, as well as at Brand Licensing London. Contact your account managers, Ben Zachariah at (212) 951-6705 or Pauline Ng at (212) 951-6698, for more information.

For more licensing news and features, visit www.licensemag.com For more information on DIC Entertainment’s latest licensing efforts, visit www.dicentertainment.com

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