The Licensing Blog

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ITV Studios Re-Invents Classic Thunderbirds Series

ITV Studios and New Zealand-based Pukeko Pictures, in collaboration with world-famous Weta Workshop, will co-produce Thunderbirds are Go! (working title), a new children’s series consisting of 26 30-minute episodes set to debut on ITV and UK’s CITV Channel in 2015.

The series will be produced using a mix of CGI animation and live-action model sets, delivering a new level of action-adventure animation for today’s audience, while paying tribute to the legacy of model locations from the classic series.

Thunderbirds are Go! will be executive produced by Estelle Hughes for ITV Studios, Giles Ridge for ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE), and Richard Taylor and Andrew Smith for Pukeko Pictures. The series head writer is Rob Hoegee.

Thunderbirds are Go! is commissioned by Jamila Metran, Head of Programming for CITV, and is currently in pre-production.

Scooby-Doo Joins Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam Circuit Next Year

Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Feld Motor Sports have announced that Scooby-Doo will be touring and competing at Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam next year. The Scooby-Doo truck, which has been designed to resemble the character, will join the Warner Bros. Monster Jam trucks, Superman and Batman, as the Monster Jam tour kicks off the season in early January in various cities and venues across the country.

Tickets for the 2013 Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam tour are available at

Disney and Pixar Team Up With NASCAR To Bring the Cars “Take Flight” Experience To Race Fans

Disney•Pixar Cars fans teamed up with NASCAR driver Casey Mears to wave the green flag and kick off the Cars “Take Flight” experience during Chase weekend at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14-16.  In celebration of the world television premieres of the Cars Toons short films “Air Mater” and “Moon Mater” this fall on Disney Channel, and the launch of a new Cars “Take Flight” product collection, Disney has created a fun and immersive family experience for race fans to enjoy the world of Cars.

The world of Cars is brought to life through Cars themed “pit stops” at Chicagoland Speedway Kids Zone in Champions Park. Fans can snap photos of the life-size LEGO® replica of Lightning McQueen made of 250,000 bricks, create Cars scenes at the puzzle building station, enjoy story time, race against friends on the Cars video game, see the new collectible die-cast cars and play with the products in the new “Take Flight” collection. The new Cars “Take Flight” product line features die-cast, race tracks, games, books and more and is available now at retailers nationwide.

Since its release in 2006, Cars has remained Disney Consumer Products’ leading boys franchise. Several of NASCAR’s biggest stars voiced characters in the first two Cars films which have grossed over $1 billion in box office revenue, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Humpy Wheeler. New Cars Toons animated film shorts released through Disney Channel and Walt Disney Home Entertainment, continue to keep fans “revved up” about Cars. This weekend only, the public can view Cars Toons in the Kids Zone, located in Chicagoland Speedway’s Champions Park.

Brando Lives on in Car and Apparel Campaigns

Brando Enterprises and its exclusive licensing representative Brand Sense Partners, LLC (bsp), have closed their latest Marlon Brando licensing agreements in alliance with Renault Auto in the UK and Liu Jo Jeans in Italy. French company Renault Auto licensed clips from Brando’s performance in On the Waterfront for a television campaign promoting Renault’s new Clio model. Additionally, Getty Images, on behalf of Italian retailer Liu Jo Jeans, licensed images of Brando for a print advertising campaign throughout key fashion and lifestyle publications, as well as an in-store point of sale display campaign, including posters and counter displays.

DeLorean Motor Company Expands Licensing Program

New licensing deals are in the works for DeLorean Motor Company. Mattel has released DeLorean Hot Wheels in black and gold, and Urban Outfitters will be selling Trademarked DeLorean T-shirts in select stores and on Nike will be producing a DeLorean sneaker, scheduled to debut this fall.

Additionally, DeLorean has partnered with Facebook to be part of a new game called Car Town. You can learn more about Car Town and view a clip here.

NASCAR Forms NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust

The NASCAR industry has announced the official formation of the NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust, an industry operated organization created to provide NASCAR fans with new and innovative licensed products. The Licensing Trust, which along with the sanctioning body is initially composed of NASCAR teams including more than 30 NASCAR national series drivers, will streamline the licensing opportunities and processes for its partners and bring operational efficiency to the entire industry.

The Licensing Trust, which is open to any NASCAR national series race team that chooses to participate, will initially explore merchandising opportunities in four key categories – apparel, collectable die-cast, toys, and trackside retail. The Licensing Trust is structured to add licensing categories in the future. NASCAR and the teams will directly manage their respective licensing rights in categories outside the Licensing Trust.

The NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust has recently formed a joint venture with Lionel Electric Trains to make and sell NASCAR replica die-cast racecars.

The joint venture is not a traditional licensee agreement; both the Licensing Trust and Lionel will actively manage and develop the business, in which it will be partners.

Lionel has plans to offer fans and collectors die-cast models representing all of the teams and more than 30 NASCAR national series drivers included in the Licensing Trust. The joint venture will take over the category from Motorsports Authentics, a Concord, N.C.-based company that will instead focus on its core competency of trackside retail and be the exclusive die-cast car retailer at NASCAR tracks around the country.

CBS Celebrates 50th Anniversary of The Andy Griffith Show

The Andy Griffith Show is returning to North Carolina with the debut of an original commemorative racecar that pays tribute to the iconic series. CBS Consumer Products, in conjunction with HLG Licensing, has announced a partnership with Front Row Motorsports and the No. 34 Ford Fusion team. The car, to be driven by NASCAR driver Travis Kvapil, is slated to make its first appearance in the NASCAR Banking 500 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 16, broadcast by ABC.

The partnership marks the second time that CBS Consumer Products has come together with the NASCAR organization to feature a car scheme based on The Andy Griffith Show. In addition, CBS Consumer Products will be developing a merchandising and promotional program around the NASCAR partnership and will soon be announcing a line of products in the apparel, accessories, gift, and toy categories.

BMW Springs Into Action With Global Icons, Performance Brands

We’ve been accused of having spring fever around here… and that’s true, if spring fever consists of commercial-length daydreams of buzzing around Manhattan in drop-top Beamers. Guilty as charged; until you’ve ridden around the city in a convertible, you cannot imagine the rush of watching the buildings fly by overhead, all street-level eyes on you as your eyes tend to the heavens. (If you’re driving, of course, eyes forward.)

So it’s a tad ironic that the most recent announcement to snap us out of one of our mini-stupors was that the BMW Group had teamed with Global Icons (in the U.S.) and Performance Brands (Europe) for representation. And if we had a spring fever, it just went up.

Ferrari Unveils GT Roller Coaster

We love fast cars. We love faster roller coasters. Wouldn’t it be cool if someone, somewhere, combined these two super-fast, super-awesome things?

As it turns out, someone has.

This week in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari previewed its GT Roller Coaster. The cars on the coaster are replicas of the Ferrari F430 Spider—two coasters on parallel tracks “race” to the finish line.

The coaster will be part of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world’s first Ferrari theme park, which will also be the world’s largest indoor park.

If that’s not enough world records, the park will also host another roller coaster billed as the world’s fastest coaster, with speeds up to 125 mph.

The Ferrari GT theme is not only carried out in the park via the roller coaster, but also in the roof of the enclosed theme park. The roof is inspired by the “classic double-curve side profile” of the Ferrari GT.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the result of a partnership between Ferrari and Aldar Properties PJSC, Abu Dhabi’s leading property development, management, and investment company.

Check out the theme park’s website for really cool photos and info about the construction and development. The park is set to open later this year.

What other licensed roller coasters can you think of? I’m pretty sure there have been coasters to honor Batman, Spider-Man, and Superman. There’s also the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney in Orlando, which blasts Aerosmith music during the ride and features a giant guitar at its entrance. Are there others? What’s your favorite coaster?

NASCAR Simplifies Licensing Model

Get your motor running. NASCAR has started its engines on a new licensing project, hoping to simplify the process of getting NASCAR-branded goods to shelves.

According to NASCAR.COM, the unit will be a one-stop shop for licensees with revenue based on sales and not revenue-sharing. Participation by teams is voluntary, but JR Motorsports, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, and Dale Earnhardt Inc. are in. The teams will allow NASCAR properties to license their images in certain categories, with apparel being the first to which everyone has agreed.

The new model replaces an older one where the teams, acting as independent contractors, needed to approve every request individually, leading to a cumbersome process for licensees looking to put out a full NASCAR product line.

New NASCAR licensing agency emerging []

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