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The Wizard of Oz Turns 75 with Massive Promotional Push

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, Warner Bros. is launching a comprehensive campaign that includes theatrical, home entertainment, and consumer products. Top licensees include McDonald’s, which will feature limited edition The Wizard of Oz toys in Happy Meals at over 14,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada from Sept. 20 through Oct. 10.

The Happy Meal program features six adorable stylized figures based on the most beloved and popular characters in the film. Kids can receive Dorothy, Scarecrow, Wicked Witch of the West, Tin Man, Glinda the Good Witch, or Cowardly Lion. In addition, each figure comes with a Yellow Brick Road base to stand on, and all the bases can connect to recreate The Wizard of Oz friends walking down the Yellow Brick Road.

Other national corporate marketing partners include Amtrak, which will be promoting an adventure sweepstakes supported by online and social media from Nov. to Dec. 2013; Gourmet Trading Company; Langer Juice Company Inc.; and One Kings Lane, which will be celebrating the anniversary with cinema memorabilia and objects of the era on September 20 at OneKingsLane.com. There will also be a giant hot-air balloon and balloonheads of The Wizard of Oz characters at the 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Toy and game partners supporting the milestone anniversary include Jazwares, Mattel, and Adora Dolls, the latter of which will be introducing special edition Wizard of Oz Toddlers. Meanwhile, commemorative collections of toys are expected to be part of “The Wizard of Oz’ 75th Anniversary Celebration,” scheduled to debut on QVC on Sept. 26 at 9pm EST.

The Wizard of Oz will receive its first-ever IMAX release in more than 300 IMAX theatres beginning Sept. 20, followed by a limited and numbered The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Collector’s Edition five-disc set to be released on Oct. 1.

LIMA UK to Hold flip Career Development Networking Event

Junior licensing professionals looking to progress their career are being encouraged to attend the second LIMA UK flip (Future LIMA Industry Professionals) networking event on September 25, which focuses on how to develop a successful career and find peer-to-peer support within the licensing community. The event will take place in The Dana Centre Café, adjacent to the Science Museum in London.

Highlighting the event will be a talk by Victoria Saint from Turner, Cartoon Network Enterprises, who will draw on her career in brand and entertainment properties to give attendees insights and advice on how to succeed in licensing. Following Anya Hollis’ talk, there will be an opportunity for attendees to have a drink and network with others within the licensing community.

flip remains one of the key elements of LIMA’s mission to educate professionals about the licensing industry and to support people in their licensing careers.

Admission is £10, and includes refreshments at The Science Museum’s Dana Centre. The ticket also grants access to the Science Museum’s free Lates Events, which begin immediately after the event at 7:30 p.m.
For bookings or questions, contact Ryan Beaird at +44 1908 802 863 or at: rbeaird@licensing.org.

Caroline Mickler Ltd. Will Showcase at Brand Licensing Europe

Boutique agency Caroline Mickler Ltd. will bring together the continuing success of classic brands like The Beatles, Yellow Submarine, and Moomin alongside Tetris and Boo at this year’s Brand Licensing Europe.

Caroline Mickler Ltd. has been implementing the UK brand licensing strategy for The Beatles on behalf of Apple Corps Ltd. since 2003. The Beatles brand has been divided into a large number of categories, ranging from calendars, board games, cushions, and playing cards to slippers, award-winning fashion bags, and heritage T-shirts. The latest success has been in apparel with a Tommy Hilfiger range. The UK product extension program has also developed Yellow Submarine as an art and design-based property with both mass market and high-end appeal, covering categories including T-shirts, greeting cards, designer jewelry, and specialist print.

The launch of the official Fifty Shades Of Grey lingerie line from British lingerie company BlueBella was announced at Moda, the UK’s largest fashion trade show. The property is targeting sleepwear, apparel, beauty products, bedding, home furnishings, stationery, jewelry, and adult products. Caroline Mickler Ltd.’s strategy for Moomin addresses the young women’s market. The licensing program has quickly grown from its beginnings in independent design-led retailers and fashion influencers to wider-ranging categories and outlets, the most recent being Primark for ladies’ sleepwear.

Wide Range of Disney’s Planes Toys Ready to Take Off

Coinciding with the release of Disney’s Planes in theatres, My Baby Excels and Thinkway Toys have launched an interactive range of high-quality toys and plush of the movie characters including Dusty, Ripslinger, and El Chupacabra. All toys are suitable for kids ages 4 and up.

U-Command Super Charged Dusty: This deluxe infrared remote-controlled Dusty has interactive features including Dusty’s original film voice and phrases, sound effects, and moving eyes and mouth while speaking. Kids can control Dusty with joysticks or by pressing the wireless remote to make him talk, move, and turn in more than 1,000 action combinations. U-Command Super Charged Dusty has a suggested retail price of $69.99.

Dusty Bubbles Plane: Thanks to the bubble attachment on his wings, bubbles come out when Dusty is launched into the air. The package includes bubble solution and dipping trays, and has a suggested retail price of $16.99.

Rubber Band Sky Gliders: A combination slingshot sky glider and rubber band launcher. Kids can race their favorite plane among Dusty, Bravo, and Ripslinger, each made from light, soft, harmless materials. Sky Gliders have a suggested retail price of $6.99.

Plush Toys: Kids can cuddle up to their favorite Planes character with 10-inch plush figures of Dusty and Skipper. Each is made of soft felt and priced at $6.99.

The interactive Disney’s Planes toy range is available across leading stores and e-commerce websites.

Ink to Showcase New Properties at BLE 2013

Ink will be showcasing Subway Surfers and Masha and the Bear at BLE 2013. Subway Surfers is the 3-D platform game that puts the player in the role of young graffiti artists as they evade a railway security guard and his dog. Challenges involve dodging oncoming trains and other hazards, whilst picking up coins and useful objects. Developed by Danish digital company SYBO Games and distributed by Kiloo, the app has 200 million downloads less than twelve months of launch. Ink has appointed a global network of sub-agents to help popularise the brand and a consumer product programme is in place in North America, with all key categories signed.

Masha and the Bear , the Russian animation that chronicles the adventures of a little girl called Masha and the bear who becomes her reluctant playmate, wilL also be at BLE. Masha and the Bear is going global and agreements are in place with broadcasters around the world to screen the cartoon. The next stage will see Ink taking the brand into the consumer products field through a global network of sub-agents. Masha and the Bear’s Russian licensing market includes Kinder, Egmont, Orkla, and Ferrero has generated more than 400 individual SKUs there.

25-Hour Gaming Marathon for Madden NFL 25 Release

Two official game guide writers for the upcoming Madden NFL 25 <http://www.easports.com/madden-nfl>  will be playing the new game for 25 straight hours leading up to its launch on Tuesday, August 27. The authors, Stephen “SGibs” Gibbons and Zach “ZFarls” Farley, are scheduled to begin playing Madden NFL 25 on Monday, August 26th at 11 am ET. The marathon gaming session will be viewable online at www.twitch.tv/maddentips <http://www.twitch.tv/maddentips> .

The two will take on virtual challenges from professional athletes including Ryan Hollins of the L.A. Clippers, select media, and developers for EA Sports <http://www.easports.com/> , the game’s publisher.

Gibbons and Farley write for Prima Games <http://toybook.com/wp-admin/www.primagames.com> , an imprint of Random House, LLC. <http://www.randomhouse.com/>  They had spent several months in Orlando, FL, working with EA Sports developers and learning the nuances of the new game.

Ubisoft Motion Pictures to Release a Watch Dogs Film

Ubisoft has announced that its film and television division, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, is collaborating with Sony Pictures Entertainment and New Regency on a film based on Watch Dogs, Ubisoft’s open-world action-adventure video game. Ubisoft and Sony will also release the Watch Dogs gameplay that will be available for PlayStation 4 this holiday.

Watch Dogs centers on Aiden Pearce, a hacker inflicting his own brand of justice after a violent family tragedy. Using his skills, Pearce hacks into Chicago’s Central Operating System (ctOS), which controls the city’s infrastructure. In the game, Pearce turns the entire city of Chicago into his ultimate weapon. The game received awards at E3 2012, including Best of Show from GamingExcellence and three awards (Biggest Surprise, Best New Franchise, and Best PC Game) from IGN. The game also won GameSpot’s People’s Choice Most Exciting Game of E3 2013.

Ubisoft Motion Pictures will oversee the project at Ubisoft, and at Columbia, Hannah Minghella and Sam Dickerman will oversee development while Alexandra Milchan and Andrew Calof will work on the film for New Regency.

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