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Universal Partnerships and Licensing Expands Global Focus

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 9.51.55 AMUniversal Partnerships and Licensing (UP&L) is expanding its global focus to include consumer products for the NBC networks and Sprout. The expansion will maximize opportunity for consumer products and licensing efforts in order to benefit all of Universal’s film and TV properties.

UP&L is now responsible for consumer product opportunities and licensing for shows such as The Biggest Loser and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Universal will also leverage its strength in the children’s business by working with Illumination Entertainment to grow Sprouts consumer products.

Entertainment One Expands U.S. Reach of Peppa Pig Brand

June19 peppa pigEntertainment One Licensing (eOne) announced Peppa Pig’s U.S. expansion with the addition of five new licensing partners in the soft goods category. The announcement follows the brand’s new deal with Jazwares, which will be Peppa Pig’s master toy partner for North America beginning next year.

This year, Peppa Pig will extend the brand’s plush collection with new U.S. licensing partner Ty.  An assortment of Beanie Babies will feature Peppa, Brother George, and numerous other characters from the TV series.

The brand will also partner with Happy Threads to launch Peppa Pig-themed apparel for girls ages 1 to 7. Kids will also have access to a collection of backpacks, bags, lunch kits, luggage, headwear, hosiery, and cold weather accessories from Accessory Innovations.

In addition, Character World will launch a collection of Peppa Pig-themed bedding and home accessories, including blankets and throws, bath and beach towels, cushions, and inflatable and bean-filled chairs that will feature the show’s signature graphics and colors.

FAM Brands Signs Cameo for Bally Total Fitness Brand

June20.BallyFAM Brands plans to explore additional distribution channels for the Bally Total Fitness brand. FAM acquired Bally Total Fitness last January and under the original licensing agreement, FAM Brands had been manufacturing and marketing a comprehensive women’s activewear collection, including tops, sports bras, bottoms, and hoodies in sporting goods retailers, department stores, and specialty retailers. FAM has also launched a fitness accessory collection.

Cameo is one of the first licensees to sign on for Bally Total Fitness as it is strategizing to become a multi-project megabrand. The company will debut its soft launch of socks for the holiday season. For next spring and summer, its full roll-out will arrive at retail stores by March. The line will feature about 12 styles that will be sold in three packs.

FAM plans to continuously grow its roster of companies and license the brand.

Thomas Land Set to Open in North America

Thomas_and_Friends_LogoA full-scale Thomas & Friends attraction is set to debut in South Carver, Mass. next summer. This marks the largest permanent Thomas & Friends attraction in North America.

This family amusement park—which is currently in development with HIT Entertainment, a division of Fisher-Price—will be located near the greater Boston and Providence areas.

Thomas Land will cover 11.5 acres and feature 14 rides based on the Thomas & Friends Island of Sodor. The rides will feature iconic characters Thomas, Diesel, Toby, Cranky the Crane, and Harold the Helicopter.

Exclusive First Look: Disney’s Descendants

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 2.19.41 PMimage-1Disney’s Descendants, the newest Disney Channel original movie set to air next year, has announced the film’s main characters.

Set in the land of Auradon, Disney’s iconic characters are living out their happy endings, while the villains are miserable in a nearby remote island. In this film, the offspring of our favorite Disney characters—the villains and the good-guys—take on prep school alongside one another.

Dove Cameron will play daughter of Maleficent, Mal. Sofia Carson will portray the Evil Queen’s daughter, Evie. Cameron Boyce will play Carlos, son of Cruella de Vil, and Booboo Steward will play Jay, son of Jafar.

Kenny Ortega will direct and choreograph the contemporary live-action adventure comedy.

Saban Brands and Jakks Pacific Announce Emojiville

image-1Saban Brands and Jakks Pacific have partnered to develop a new web and TV series, Emojiville. The series will follow five emoji friends in the city of Emojiville. Jakks Pacific will act as a strategic partner by developing consumer and technology products, while Saban will lead the content, distribution and other licensing for the brand.

2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge Experiences Strong Start

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 3.43.58 PMThe ASPCA has announced that 4,914 dogs and cats were adopted in just the first week of the 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. Contestants aim to save more animals during the months of June, July, and August than they saved in previous years of the challenge. The participating animal shelters are competing for a chance at $600,000 in prize grants to help save more cats and dogs. Rachael Ray is a longtime advocate for animals and a supporter of animal welfare.

LIMA Announces Licensing Excellence Awards Winners at 2014 Licensing Expo

The International Licensing Industry Merchandiser’s Association has recognized the most successful and creative licensed properties and products of the past year at the 2014 Licensing Excellence Awards. There was a record number of 360 total entries, with 118 of them being nominated and then voted on by LIMA members.

The LIMA Licensing Excellence Awards honor the top licensed properties, products, and campaigns in 11 categories. This year’s 20 total winners are:

ART OR DESIGN

  • Best Art or Design Program of the Year
    • Dena (Dena Designs, Inc.)
  • Best Art or Design Licensee of the Year
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