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The Jim Henson Co. Appoints Partners to Celebrate Labyrinth’s 30th Anniversary

Bowie

The Jim Henson Co. signed new apparel and figurines licensing partners to celebrate fantasy classic Labyrinth’s 30th anniversary. The film, starring David Bowie and Jennnifer Connelly, was produced by the Jim Henson Co. and Lucasfilm Ltd.

New apparel partners include Trademark Products in the U.K. and Zen Monkey Studios in the U.S., and new partners for figurines include Funko in the U.S.

Additionally, publisher Insight Editions will release Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History in October, featuring artwork, interviews, and on-set photos. Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The Board Game from River Horse will debut this summer. The classic will also launch on Blu-ray and next generation 4K Ultra HD on September 20 with special features that will take fans behind the scenes at the Center for Puppetry Arts. The film will be released in a Limited Edition Gift Set to include a Digibook in mirrorbox packaging inspired by the film’s climactic and iconic final scene, retailing initially exclusively at Amazon.

Night & Day Studios, Educational Insights Create Peekaboo Barn Board Game

BarnNight & Day Studios signed a licensing deal with Educational Insights for a board game based on preschool brand Peekaboo Barn.The game will debut early next year and will include characters from the original Peekaboo Barn app and its sequel app, Peekaboo Barn Farm Day.

Based on a Bedtime at the Barn story and gameplay concept by Night & Day Studios, Educational Insights’ board game will help develop social, cognitive, language, and physical skills in early childhood.

Season Two of Space Racers Set To Launch on Sprout

Space Racers

NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s preschool network Sprout will launch season two of the animated Space Racers series this fall. Currently in production with 40 11-minute episodes, Space Racers partnered with U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Space Camp to develop new educational curricular material to accompany the series.

Beginning this fall, Sprout will air new episodes of the second season of Space Racers in conjunction with re-airings of the 50 x 11-minute first season adventures. In addition to broadcast, the Space Racers series will be available on Sprout’s VOD and digital platforms.

Space Racers follows Eagle, Robyn, Hawk, Starling, Raven and their fellow cadets as they explore the solar system and the universe.

Rethink, Refresh Nonprofit Licensing

by Laura Ferry, founder and president, Good Company

It’s an exciting time for brands and retailers embracing social responsibility. Products that engage consumers in a shared mission to solve social problems are emerging at retail every day. This fundamental shift toward cause brands and brand citizenship opens new opportunities for the licensing community to work with nonprofits as charity partners that can bring social value to licensing and retail strategies.

This rising trend is in response to the demands of today’s socially conscious consumer, who expects businesses to take the lead in addressing social issues because they no longer believe in the government’s ability to do so.1 In fact, millennial market research shows: Read the rest of this entry »

Cartoon Network Launched Consumer Products Programs at Licensing Expo

updated key art 24x36 No LogosCartoon Network launched its portfolio at this year’s Licensing Expo, including its global launch of the re-imaged franchise The Powerpuff Girlsthe re-launch of Ben 10 in Europe and Asia this fall and in North America and South America next year, and new licensing deals for Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty.

The Powerpuff Girls has a worldwide licensing program with a roster of more than 30 licensing partners in the U.S. In addition to the previously announced global toy partner Spin Master, new licensing partners include Funko, Accessory Innovations, Jewelbots, Sakar International, Bulls I, and Galerie.

The re-launch of Ben 10 will reintroduce 10-year-old Ben Tennyson with international premieres in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) this fall, and in the U.S. and Latin America (LATAM) next year. The series will feature many new and fan-favorite aliens. Playmates Toys is the global toy partner for Ben 10 and will introduce figures, play sets, role play items, and more next year.

Adventure Time has more than 100 licensees globally. New Adventure Time licensing partners, which will include footwear, outerwear, and snowboards from DC Shoes, head phone speaker tags from Astro Gaming, and a library collection and cookbook from Insight Editions.

Steven Universe licensing partners will include also include Astro Gaming, as well as books and calendars from Abrams.

Adult Swim’s new Rick and Morty licensed products will include Astro Gaming products as well as a Rick and Morty Art of Book Dark Horse.

LIMA Releases Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey

Retail sales of licensed products grew to $251.7 billion in 2015, a gain of 4.2 percent from the previous year, according to the 2016 International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association’s (LIMA) Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey conducted by Brandar Consulting LLC.

Royalty revenue from retail sales of licensed merchandise jumped 7.8 percent to $13.9 billion, due to robust retail sales and higher royalty rates that averaged 8.5 percent last year versus 8.2 percent in 2014. Overall, Entertainment/Character licensing remains the largest category, accounting for $113.2 billion, or 45 percent of the total global licensing market.

The U.S. and Canada remain the largest global market for licensed merchandise with retail sales of $145.5 billion last year, up 3.9 percent for a 57.7 percent share of the market. The next largest global region was Western Europe, with strong results in the UK, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, tallying revenue of $51.8 billion. This was followed by Northern Asia, including China, Japan, and South Korea, with retail sales of $22.1 billion.

Stan Lee’s Pow! Entertainment, THR, and GBI Partner for Stan Lee’s Cosmic Crusaders

StanLee

Stan Lee‘s POW! Entertainment partners with The Hollywood Reporter and Genius Brands International Inc. (GBI) for adult animated series,  Stan Lee’s Cosmic Crusaders, written for adults ages 18 to 34.

The first four episodes will premiere exclusively on THR.com, with one episode airing each day during Comic-Con International 2016. Each webisode will feature a cliffhanger, and the first one will be in virtual reality (VR), with VR boxes distributed at Comic-Con, which consumers can place on smartphones.

The global consumer products program was introduced by GBI at Licensing Expo. GBI secured national retailer Hot Topic to launch the brand under a direct–to-retail apparel and accessories program in stores and online along with the webisode launch at Comic-Con International: San Diego.

Stan Lee’s Comic Crusaders, written by Fabian Nicieza, follows Lee, who chances upon seven alien superhero characters who crash-land U.S., while he’s suffering through a writers block.

Zag’s CGI-animated Series Miraculous Greenlit for Second and Third Seasons

MiraculousCGI-animated series Miraculous, Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, from Zag/Zagtoon and France’s Method Animation, has been greenlit for a second and third season (26 x 22 minutes, episodes 27 to 65), produced in collaboration with Disney Channel in Europe and French broadcaster TF1. Season two is set to premiere early next summer.

Miraculous currently airs on Nickelodeon in the U.S., Disney Channel Europe/LATAM/Korea, TF1 in France, EBS in Korea, Gloob in Brazil, and ABC in Australia. TV broadcast exposure of the first season will expand in Italy and the UK on SUPER and POP respectively, premiering next February and March.

The story will continue to feature the magically transforming Ladybug and her partner Cat Noir, as they encounter new “akumatized” villains in each episode and meet new superhero friends.

TF1 (France), Disney (EMEA), Gloob (Brazil), Super (Italy) and Tele-Quebec (Canada) have already committed to the second season.

CBeebies, FremantleMedia Kids & Family Launch Preschool Animated Series Bitz & Bob

Bitz & BobFremantleMedia Kids & Family and CBeebies will launch CGI-animated preschool comedy series, Bitz & Bob (44 x 11-minute), focused on making engineering fun for kids.

The series will combine whimsical stories with key principles of science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths (STEAM) as it follows the antics of inventor and creator 8-year-old Bitz and her younger brother Bob.

With an increasing need for more engineers and efforts to attract girls to STEAM-related industries, the show is aimed at inspiring kids, particularly girls, to understand how things are made, how they work, and the nature of the world around them.

To complement the series, a short-form, live-action 44 x 4-minute companion series, Bitz & Bob Let’s Make It, will provide kids with step-by-step ways to create things depicted in the main series.

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