The Licensing Blog

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New Deal for Rocky Merchandise

Happy Halloween!

The news today (actually, it was late last week) is that Brandgenuity has brokered a deal between MGM Studios and streetwear manufacturer Undefeated (UNDFTD) for a line of apparel in time for Rocky‘s 35th anniversary. The collection will include T-shirts, snapback hats, knit hats, crewneck sweatshirts, hoodies, and accessories for Rocky Balboa and opponents including Apollo Creed and Clubber Lang.

The line includes more than 20 pieces and will be in stores for holiday.

TLB Digital Issue Now Available!

The Licensing Book’s October 2011 issue, featuring Brand Licensing Europe and a tribute to rock & roll, is now online. The issue covers international brands including Zinkia, Atlantyca Entertainment, and Saban Brands.

Feature: Our annual look at London’s licensing show, with 40 pages covering the biggest companies and properties, and what they’re planning on the world stage.

Feature: Power Rangers Samurai is exploding across the globe, and Saban Brands is expanding at superhero speed. We talk to Kirk Bloomgarden about the fearsome fivesome, as well as Paul Frank’s expansion into China.

Tribute to Rock & Roll: Music touches people in a way nothing else can, and music licensors try to capture that feeling with products that stir the imagination. We’ve got them covered with articles on Fender, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Vandor, Rolling Stone, and The Wildflower Group.

Five Questions with Mind Candy: Darran Garnham, head of global licensing, talks about the growth of Moshi Monsters.

Silver Screen Giants: Sony’s Smurfs and Spider-Man are giants on store shelves and silver screens. We look at Sony’s licensing program for its upcoming blockbusters and children’s films.

Geronimo! Atlantyca Speeds Ahead: Atlantyca Entertainment talks about plans for its properties, including Geronimo Stilton.

ITV Boosts Brands with Licensing: ITV Studios lays out its merchandising deals for Alan Titchmarsh and more.

Pocoyo, Grab Your Passport: Zinkia is shopping Pocoyo to Russia and Turkey.

Disney Channel Coming to Russia

In our Brand Licensing Europe issue, we talked about the difficulty of breaking into the Russian market. Now Disney has done it.

According to a report in The New York Times by Brooks Barnes, Disney will purchase 49 percent of SevenTV, a broadcast network reaching three-quarters of Russian television households. United TV Holding Russia will remain the majority owner of the channel, which will be rebranded as a Disney Channel and feature classic Disney children’s shows and new programs created in Russia.

This is potentially huge news for a licensing industry that has gained a foothold in western Europe but struggled to find its way against local brands in Russia. The backstory to this deal is probably incredible, and it obviously remains to be seen if this is a harbinger of things to come or whether Disney, with its considerable muscle, managed to place itself far enough ahead of a curve that we won’t see similar deals in the coming years.

Either way, it’ll be interesting.

—Bryan Joiner

Walking Dead Board Game Lurches Onto Shelves

Zombies!

The Walking Dead on AMC has been a hit, and now The Walking Dead board game is lurching onto store shelves from Cryptozoic Entertainment. The game lets players take on the role of characters in the series including Rick Grimes, Shane Walsh, or any of the other survivors as they scrounge for weapons to overcome dangerous encounters on their way to the Center for Disease Control.

The game is designed to  support 1-4 players, ages 15 and up. More information here. AMC’s The Walking Dead is the most watched drama series in basic cable history in the adults 18-49 demographic. It is based on a comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics.

Zombies!

Electrolux Selects Nancy Bailey & Associates to Expand Licensing Program

Nancy Bailey & Associates, a leading corporate brand licensing agency and division of Beanstalk, has been selected by Electrolux Home Products, Inc. as the brand licensing agency of record for three of household brands, Frigidaire, Kelvinator, and Tappan in selected product categories. Nancy Bailey & Associates will work in conjunction with the Electrolux Global Brand Licensing Unit to extend the brands in the North American market. With more than 50 brands worldwide, Electrolux is recognized as an innovator in the appliance industry. Leveraging Electrolux’s success in both home and professional appliances, Nancy Bailey & Associates will be creating and executing brand licensing programs in an effort to extend each of the three brands into a range of product categories to include cookware, housewares, consumer kitchen electronics, barbecues, patio heaters, lighting, and generators.

Each of the branded licensing programs will be unique to the respective brand attributes and objectives of Frigidaire, Kelvinator, and Tappan:

For Frigidaire, the legendary home appliance brand known for reliability and customer value, the licensing program will introduce innovative, contemporary products to complement Frigidaire’s core products and appeal to a broad audience in North America.

Kelvinator will leverage brand licensing to reintroduce the brand to the U.S. market and lead the way for expansion of the core brand into new product categories.

Tappan is synonymous with excellence and innovation in the kitchen and responsible for introducing the microwave for household use. Licensed products will help accomplish the goal of developing a broader mass appeal for the brand and will introduce Tappan to new consumers across all demographic segments.

Showtime Launches New Dexter Site

Following last night’s episode of Dexter, Showtime Licensing & Merchandising launched a companion site that played heavily within the story’s plot line. BuyThisTreasure.com will serve as a sister commerce site to the SHO.com store, selling product directly related to one of the series’ most famous killers.

The products that will be sold include:

1. Dexter Collector’s Edition Ice Truck Killer Paperweight: $109.95
2. Dexter Ice Truck Killer Replica “Thumb” 2GB Drive: $39.95
3. Dexter Ice Truck Killer Replica “Finger” 2GB Drive (purple, orange, green, and gold variations): $35
4. Dexter “Kill and Grill” Set: $50

Episode Tie-In: In the show Masuka’s intern steals a prosthetic arm, a piece of evidence from season one’s Ice Truck Killer, and auctions it on the fictional auction site Buy This Treasure. Showtime has recreated the site based on the graphics seen on the show and will feature SHO.com store items themed around the Ice Truck Killer. The highlighted item is the “Thumb Drive” – a USB memory stick encased in a fake thumb. The prosthetic arm from the episode is also on the site, but the “auction” will “end” when it’s clicked – just like what happened to Masuka when he tried to reclaim the stolen evidence in the show.

StinkyKids, LLC Names Be More Consultants as Licensing Agent and Publicist

StinkyKids, LLC has appointed Tracey Beeker with Be More Consultants as licensing agent and publicist in support of the StinkyKids brand and characters. Additional scope of work will include promoting Britt Menzies, the award-winning children’s author and creator of StinkyKids.

StinkyKids is a hilarious and heart-warming new children’s property that centers around 10 diverse characters, each with their own personalities who help kids make right choices and live by the motto, “Always Be a Leader of Good.” Each hilarious and real-life adventure captures the innocence of childhood and the lessons we learn from our mistakes.

The StinkyKids property has a solid licensing program in place, which will be complemented by additional licensing and marketing partners. Current licensees and products include award-winning storybooks from Raven Tree Press; soft-bodied dolls by legendary toy maker, Madame Alexander; bikes, skates, skateboards, scooters, safety gear, and accessories from Cycle Force Group; and collectible labels and tags from Kiddo Tags. In addition, renowned children’s theater group Vital Theatre Company is producing StinkyKids, The Musical, which will debut next spring. Over time, a full licensing program across all major categories for children will be launched and available to consumers.

Atlantyca Signs Leading Chinese Publisher

Atlantyca Entertainment has signed China’s leading publisher, 21st Century Publishing House, to publish one million Geronimo Stilton books priced for children.

The agreement grants 21st Century Chinese-language rights to The Little Book of Nature, a book about ecology, for distribution to bookstores throughout China. The deal was brokered by Sara Wang, chief representative of Atlantyca’s foreign rights sales division office in Beijing.

The new book was created to attract Chinese children to visit bookstores and learn the principles of respect for nature and the environment from the words of Geronimo Stilton, Italy’s most famous mouse-author. One million Chinese-language books will be distributed throughout China at a value price designed to encourage young readers to experience the joys of reading.

Nickelodeon Consumer Products and Sakar Launch Victorious-Branded Line Internationally

Nickelodeon Consumer Products International signed a new deal with New Jersey-based consumer electronics retailer Sakar Interational to launch internationally a branded consumer electronics line inspired by Nickelodeon’s live-action series Victorious. Announced today by Michael Connolly, head of consumer products, VIMN, at Brand Licensing Europe, the two-year agreement will run until the end of December 2013 and covers all regions including Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Latin America.

The extensive Victorious range will comprise the same products internationally as for the U.S. and will be aimed primarily at girls ages 6-11. Included for retail are digital/video cameras and accessories, portable DVD players, digital keychain photo frames, clock radios, MP3/MP4 players, CD players and boomboxes, karaoke machines and other youth electronics devices. Also on sale will be a range of computer accessories, iPhone and iPod kits, and speaker docs, as well as headphones and video game accessories. Products will now be available across major European markets including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland/Eire, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, Australia, Canada, and Mexico.

The Victorious range will be available in mass-market toy shops and department stores, specialty toy stores, office supply retail outlets, convenience stores, electronics stores, pharmacies, and video game stores.

Mattel Is Reportedly Close to Purchasing Hit Entertainment

Mattel is in the final stages of negotiating a £500 million deal to buy Hit Entertainment, the children’s media group behind Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine, from Apax Partners, according to The Financial Times. Apax had bought Hit Entertainment in 2005 for £489 million.

Hit’s portfolio includes Thomas the Tank Engine, Angelina Ballerina, Fireman Sam, and Pingu. The sale of Hit reportedly doesn’t include the group’s stake in Sprout, a U.S. channel for children.

The Wall Street Journal published a full article today on the possible deal.

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