Target Enters Online Music Business
Target is getting into the online music business, partnering with Napster on the company's first "one-stop shop" in a retail environment. The product mix will be merchandised on end caps in the electronics section with a selection of prepaid Napster download cards, a Napster 2.0 and Roxio software pack, blank Napster-brand optical products from Imation that feature promotional codes for redeeming free music downloads, and Napster-brand CD cases. Target's online division, Target Direct, also will feature Napster products at Target.com. Visitors will be able to join Napster 2.0 on Target.com, available at www.target.com/napster, and within Target.com's music section. Target.com will be the first online retailer to carry all Napster-related products.
Rainbow Brite Is Star of New Site
Rainbow Brite and NickJr.com partnered on rainbowbrite.nickjr.com, a Website that will showcase a range of licensed merchandise. The site also will feature the Rainbow Brite story and interactive games. Banner and pop-up ads broke yesterday and run through May 31. A five-week sweepstakes begins February 23 with one grand-prize winner receiving a five-day trip to Orlando, $500 in spending money, and VIP-tour access to Nick Studios. In addition, 500 other winners will receive a Rainbow Brite doll.
Hasbro Takes Lead on Rave Master
Tokyopop named Hasbro master toy licensee for Rave Master. The show is due to air on Cartoon Network this year. The toymaker will begin shipping action figures, games, and accessories in fall '04. Going forward, Hasbro and Tokyopop plan a multi-tiered rollout that encapsulates elements of the series' building plot. In other news, Tokyopop names Dennis McGuirk to the newly appointed position of retail sales director, UK. In his new post, McGuirk will support the company's expansion plans throughout the UK. Most recently, he was director of sales and marketing for Chrysalis Children's Books.
Enesco Fashions Deal with MGA Entertainment
Enesco Group will create a line of Bratz seasonal giftware in a new deal with MGA Entertainment. Under the deal, Enesco will develop sculpted figurines, water globes, ornaments, tree lights, tree skirts, and hanging stockings for all channels through the end of 2006. First products will ship in third and fourth quarter with a three-year sales potential of at least $2 million, according to Enesco.
Woolrich Inks Deal with York Wallcoverings
Woolrich Inc. extends its licensing program, signing a deal with York Wallcoverings for a line of wallcoverings slated for June. The collection of three to four borders and coordinating sidewalls will be produced under York's St. James Fine Wallpaper and Fabrics Design division. The collection draws inspiration from Woolrich's signature style and historic patterns with borders priced at $30 and sidewalls retailing for $30 to $34.
Madacy Kids Takes Lead on Care Bears
American Greetings and the Joester Loria Group have chosen Madacy Kids as the official licensee for Care Bears music products. The initial release, Meet the Care Bears, is a collection of 12 original songs and traditional favorites due in February. Additional releases include Care Bears Karaoke in March along with four more titles during 2005 including Let's Be Friends, Holiday Hugs, Nighty-Night, and Share a Smile.
Viacom Signs Mighty Fine Deal
Viacom Consumer Products and Mighty Fine will create an upstairs line of products for Paramount Pictures' Breakfast at Tiffany's. As part of the deal, Mighty Fine will feature French Kitty as Holly Golightly on sportswear including tops, sweaters, skirts, and pants; sleepwear including pajamas, bras, underwear, nightgowns, and socks; and collectible figurines in the U.S, Canada, and UK. The pair also will collaborate on seeking licensees for additional categories such as higher-end toys, stationery, and lifestyle products for high-end fashion boutiques and upstairs department stores.
The Brass Key Takes on New Licenses
The Brass Key has partnered with Warner Bros. Consumer Products on a line of porcelain dolls from Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. The dolls will be available at the mass market in fall 2004.
Wal-Mart OKs Share Repurchase Program
Wal-Mart's board of directors authorized a new $7 billion share repurchase program, separate from and replacing the previous $5 billion program. Under prior authorizations, the company repurchased $3.1 billion in common shares through the third fiscal quarter. Purchases for the share repurchase program will be made from time to time in the open market and in privately negotiated transactions. In other news, the retailer will award up to $7 million in Sam Walton Community Scholarships in 2004. Every Wal-Mart and Sam's Club will have two $1,000 Sam Walton Community Scholarships to award in May. Applications are available at both chains and from high school counselors. The deadline is February 1 with all scholarships being funded by the Wal-Mart/Sam's Club Foundation.
Fun Boxers Signs Snood Deal
Fun Boxers signed a license agreement with Word of Mouse Games to create a line of men's and boys' boxer shorts, lounge pants, and ties bearing the likeness of the Snood characters, logos, and slogans. Snood is a free shareware computer game (www.snood.com) with more than 20 million downloads to date. The property is represented by The Wickerbill Group.