E-news, Issue #87, November 30, 2004 FAO Schwarz Reopens Its Doors FAO Schwarz is back in business, opening the doors to its famed Manhattan
location Thanksgiving Day. Forced into bankruptcy last February, the retailer
re-emerged with a new look including floor-to-ceiling windows and 20,000
colored lights on a gridded ceiling. In the center of the amphitheater-style
floor is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, FAO Schweetz. The merchandise
mix will remain on the upper end, although the chain also will sprinkle
in items that sell for less than $20.
ToddWorld Inks Deal with Publishing Partner ToddWorld goes from the airwaves to the bookshelves as Taffy Entertainment
signed a publishing deal with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (a
division of the Time Warner Book Group). The publishing program tentatively
will consist of approximately 20 titles, beginning in fall 2005 and continuing
through spring 2008. Formats include: 8 x 8 sticker books, sticker-storybooks,
oversized boardbooks, lift-the-flap and other novelty books. ToddWorld
currently airs on the READY SET LEARN! block on TLC and the Discovery
Kids Channel. L&G Licensing+ manages the licensing, publishing, and
merchandising for the property, while series owner Taffy Entertainment
is handling worldwide TV and video sales.
Shushybye Is a Real Sleeper Property Blue Box Toys acquired the worldwide master toy license for Shushybye,
an original infant through preschool entertainment brand created and managed
by The Shushybye Co. Plush, playsets, the Shushybye King’s Castle,
the Shushybye Train, and a Snoozles’ musical Dream Wand will debut
in fall 2005. The property launched in May as a book series and original
music entertainment brand that features characters who live in such Shushybye
villages as Nap Valley, Snore Shore, Yawn Island, and Slumber Heights.
The Shushies—led by Snoozles—make dreams, then place their
finished dreams in Dream Boxes. Conductor McCloud places the Dream Boxes
on the Shushybye Train and delivers them to children as they fall asleep.
RIOT Launches First Prong in Licensing Push RIOT Media, the new multiplatform brand developing products and entertainment
content for ’tween boys, signed its first deals for the brand. NTD
Apparel will create sportswear, including T-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts,
baseball shirts, knit tops, sweatpants, shorts, and bottoms due in spring
2005. Airborne Entertainment, a publisher of branded mobile entertainment,
will develop interactive games, ring tones, animated ringers, and wallpapers
for cell phones, while Tide-mark Press will come to market with 2006 wall
calendars. Other initiatives include a magazine, comic book, trading cards,
posters, and stickers in spring 2005. A Website with games, activities,
chats, and an on-line retail component also will debut early in 2005.
The CIA Extends into Apparel Aramark-Wearguard signed a deal with The Culinary Institute of America
to create a line of chef apparel for restaurants, hotels, and other food
service outlets. Aramark will unveil coats, jackets, hats, and eventually
footwear. Broad Street Licensing Group brokered the deal. CopCorp Licensing Is Big on Minor League Small Stars CopCorp Licensing, the exclusive global licensing agent for Minor League
Small Stars, inked deals with The Northwest Company and Kappa Books for
the new boys’ character-branded, sports-themed property from 2 City
Chicks, Inc. The Northwest Company will create sheet sets, comforters,
pillowcases, pillows, bed throw sets, woven throws, fleece throws, tufted
rugs, coordinating totes, and other bedding products. Kappa Books signed
on to publish coloring and activity books. Soon to be announced are deals
in mobile downloads and calendars. CopCorp also is negotiating with a
major apparel manufacturer and continues to seek partners in toys, stationery,
party goods, and boys’ accessories.
Jakks’ Got Game Jakks Pacific expanded its assortment of plug-and-play gaming systems
through a new deal with FremantleMedia North America. As part of the deal,
Jakks will market and distribute products featuring classic game show
titles The Price Is Right and Family Feud. In addition, Jakks secured
other titles including Password, Beat the Clock, Matchgame, Card Sharks,
and Press Your Luck. The Price Is Right TV Games and Family Feud TV Games
units are expected to launch in 2006.