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Fox’s Empire Partners with Saks Fifth Avenue

Fox’s Empire and Saks Fifth Avenue have announced an exclusive partnership to bring the fashion inspired by the broadcast entertainment series to life. Empire and Saks Fifth Avenue’s multi-platform collections will be available in-store and online and will celebrate the drama’s dynamic fashion timed to the series’ second season premiere in September.

The partnership will feature curated collections from luxury fashion brands that represent Empire’s glamorous aesthetic, including fine jewelry from Alexis Bittar, women’s ready-to-wear from Cushnie et Ochs, men’s and women’s footwear from Jimmy Choo, and handbags and accessories from MCM. Items from each designer will be curated to create an Empire collection available at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores nationwide and saks.com. The Empire looks will also be available online at each brand’s website and stand-alone retail locations.

GBI Adds Thread Collective to Psycho Bunny Roster

GBIGenius Brands International (GBI) and its wholly owned subsidiary, A Squared Entertainment, have partnered with apparel manufacturer Thread Collective to create a line of high-end Psycho Bunny branded outerwear for the global retail market. Thread Collective joins a growing roster of licensees developing a coordinated spectrum of product lines under the Psycho Bunny brand.

Thread Collective will create a fashion-forward collection of essential outerwear crafted from high-performing cloth primed for cold weather. Its features will include creative use of materials such as technical stretch shells, impervious heat-sealed seams, impermeable zippers, and other functional embellishments. The new apparel line is anticipated to debut at high-end department and specialty retail stores at fall of next year. Licensing agent Sheldon Nutkevitch, the president of Brand Appeal Inc., brokered the deal on behalf of Thread Collective.

GBI continues to actively seek partners worldwide to expand the Psycho Bunny brand into additional product lines, including active and athleisure wear, bags and luggage, women’s and children’s active wear, accessories, fragrance, electronics, and more.

Trevco Becomes One-Stop Shop for Print-On-Demand Licensed Merchandise

TrevcoThis past week, Trevco announced the next technological advancement of its platform: a major print-on-demand product expansion. With this technology, Trevco is able to offer licensors the ability to launch a comprehensive print on demand program across not only various apparel styles but home goods, mobile phone cases, and wall art.

Trevco has formed three strategic partnerships with best in class manufacturers of their respective product categories to help produce the products. After Trevco creates artwork and acquires approval, the product is then available for sale. From the time of receiving the order, each product is made and printed in the U.S. and shipped out within five days.

Rashti & Rashti Acquires Prestige Toy Corporation

RashtiandRashtiRashti & Rashti has acquired Prestige Toy Corporation, a producer of infant plush toy products. Along with the Prestige brand, Rashti & Rashti has obtained several licenses for plush through the deal, including Elf on a Shelf, Fisher Price, Sesame Street, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and both Garanimals and Grin and Grow, which are exclusive to Wal-Mart.

Rashti & Rashti will use the acquisition to add to its own licensing portfolio, which includes Carters, Taggies, and Boppy. The company’s expanded line of plush and toys can be seen at Rashti & Rashti’s New York Showroom, as well as at the ABC Kids Expo in October.

Hasbro to Launch Yo-Kai Watch Toy Line Early Next Year

Nintendo,YoKaiWatchWith Nintendo‘s Yo-Kai Watch launching in the U.S. on November 6, Hasbro will be introducing new play items based on the Yo-Kai Watch franchise in North America and Australia in January. Hasbro’s line, which will expand to additional global markets by the end of next year, will include toys and games centered around collectible medals, each representing a unique Yo-kai.

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First Official Betty Boop Online Store Launches in Japan

King Features has announced that the first official Betty Boop online store has launched in Japan by Myatt Inc., in a deal brokered by King’s agent, Copyrights Asia Ltd.

King Features is the exclusive worldwide licensing agent for Betty Boop, working closely with Fleischer Studios to keep Betty entertaining millions of fans and collectors around the globe.

Myatt, an experienced operator of licensed e-tail stores, launched the site in conjunction with the publication of a special Betty Boop commemorative magazine published through Sanrio and Gakken.

The store, www.bettyboop-shop.jp, offers a variety of Betty Boop accessory, cosmetic and gift products from Sanrio and other Japanese licensees, including a selection of items from the new Betty Boop and Shinzi Katoh design and brand collaboration.

Pukeko Pictures Announces Clive Spink as CEO

Pukeko Pictures has announced the appointment of Clive Spink as Chief Executive Officer.  He will replace Andrew Smith who will be leaving in August to take up the position of Chief Executive Officer of Touchtech.

Clive has been with Pukeko Pictures for over a year in the position of Chief Operating Officer.  He will take up the role of Chief Executive Officer from August 1 2015.  In his new role he will continue to drive Pukeko Picture’s business growth including its development and production momentum.

Clive brings to the role both a strong commercial background and broadcasting/production experience.  Prior to Pukeko Pictures his most recent roles were in the IT and telecommunications industries where he led the commercial team responsible for all of Vodafone New Zealand’s Enterprise customers.  He was also the Finance Director for Unisys New Zealand and also had time running their Australian commercial team.

Clive’s broadcasting and production experience stems from time at Television New Zealand working for their local production company Kotuku Productions which produced iconic New Zealand brands including Fair Go, Country Calendar, Crimewatch and Holiday.  Following this Clive was the Commercial Manager at TVNZ’s TV One.

Nutmeg Licensing Signs with Gallery Thea

Nutmeg Licensing has been appointed licensing agent to the Suffolk-based ceramics studio Gallery Thea.

Galley Thea will be working with Nutmeg Licensing to extend the reach of its distinctive designs through a new range of licensed products.  The agency agreement heralds a new stage in Gallery Thea’s development, with the initial focus on reaching a wider audience through licensed stationery and home products.  Preliminary discussions are already taking place with potential licensees, with approaches from other interested parties to be welcomed too.

Nutmeg Licensing’s June Kirkwood says “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce the Gallery Thea designs to a wider audience.  Thea’s whimsical illustrations evoke such a positive response and are already starting to attract the attention they deserve.”

Thea Cutting, the illustrator behind Gallery Thea, says “I’m truly excited that we’re moving forward with the licensing programme and I can’t wait to get

Angry Birds 2 Hits 30 Million Downloads Worldwide

Angry-Birds-2-logoA little less than two weeks since its worldwide release, Angry Birds 2, from Rovio Entertainment Ltd., has been downloaded 30 million times. According to Rovio, approximately one third of those downloads came from China.

Sesame Street to Start Airing First on HBO

As reported by news outlets including The New York Times, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind the children’s television program, Sesame Street, has struck a deal with HBO that will bring the show’s next five seasons to the premium cable network and its streaming outlets beginning this fall.

The partnership will allow Sesame Workshop to significantly increase its production of Sesame Street and other new programming. It will produce 35 new Sesame Street episodes per year, up from the 18 it produces now. Sesame Workshop will also create a spinoff series based on the Sesame Street Muppets and a new educational series for children.

Under the deal, after nine months of programming exclusively on HBO, the shows will be available free on PBS. Sesame Street will also continue its run on PBS this fall, with the season featuring a selection of episodes from the last several seasons.

The partnership with HBO comes at a time of declining licensing revenue for Sesame Workshop. Historically, less than 10 percent of the funding for Sesame Street episodes came from PBS, with the rest financed through licensing revenue, such as DVD sales.

The deal also comes as Amazon, Netflix, and other online outlets are investing resources into acquiring and developing original children’s series. The Sesame Street episodes available on Amazon and Netflix will no longer be on those outlets because of the HBO deal.

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