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HEADLINES AT A GLANCE
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Danny Simon to Be Named to LIMA Licensing Hall of Fame

GBI to Launch Music and Fashion-Driven Tween Girls Brand This Summer

The RSPB Appoints Brands with Influence
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Moose Toys Announces New Shopkins Licensees

Licensing and Retail ‘Thumbs Up’ for Ghostbusters Preview
 
Fred Rogers’ Daniel Tiger Receives Support from Rite Aid

Danny Simon to Be Named to LIMA Licensing Hall of Fame

The board of directors of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) has elected veteran licensing agent Danny Simon, president of The Licensing Group, for induction into the LIMA Licensing Industry Hall of Fame. He will be honored at the annual LIMA Awards Ceremony on June 21 during Licensing Expo 2016, in Las Vegas.
 
With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, Simon is a recognized expert in domestic and international licensing and as a pioneer in entertainment. He headed up licensing departments at Lorimar Studios, 20th Century Fox, and Carolco Pictures. Since 1992, he has operated his own independent licensing agency, The Licensing Group Ltd.
Simon is credited with developing the first-ever successful feature film from a video game. Under his leadership, The Licensing Group has represented a number of major feature films and represented global entertainment, lifestyle, and corporate properties as well as a number of manufacturers.

In 1995, Simon was named chairman of the LIMA board of directors, in addition to serving multiple terms as a board member. He co-developed and continues to operate LIMA’s Coursework in Licensing Studies program, and has co-authored three books on the subject of licensing with Greg Battersby. For 18 years he taught a course on licensing at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and continues to lecture on the subject at other universities and law schools, as well as at seminars throughout the U.S. and in over two dozen international markets.

GBI to Launch Music and Fashion-Driven Tween Girls Brand This Summer

Genius Brands International Inc. (GBI) will produce Spacepop, a new music and fashion-driven brand for tween girls, which features music by Ron Fair, character and fashion design by Han Lee, and stories by Steve Banks.

Currently, Spacepop features more than 100 animated shorts. The chairman and CEO of GBI, Andy Heyward, responsible for producing more than 5,000 episodes of TV series including Inspector Gadget, Strawberry Shortcake, Super Mario Bros, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, is spearheading the production process.
 
GBI has appointed Spacepop’s first licensing partner, Imprint, as the global master publisher. Imprint will launch the brand’s book series in July, starting with Not Your Average Princesses written by Erin Downing and illustrated by Jen Bartel.

The RSPB Appoints Brands with Influence

The RSPB has announced the appointment of Brands with Influence (BWI), to help build the portfolio of merchandise and licensed product. On the back of a its recent successful TV campaign “Give nature a home” the charity sees an excellent opportunity to capitalise on its growing awareness, and massive consumer support.
 
Brands with Influence were granted the account after an extensive market review by the RSPB. Talking about the appointment Rebecca Porter (Product & Licensing Manager) explained: “We were keen to find an agency that was in tune with our objectives and able to convert deals across a range of products and retailers. BWI have a proven track record on delivering both in the charity and commercial sectors. We were impressed with their approach and look forward to working with them.”
 
Talking about the appointment Martin Lowde, founder and CEO said: “We are delighted to be working with the RSPB. They have a fantastic brand with a great deal of equity and we look forward to helping them develop the merchandise programme. Nature and the environment are increasingly important factors for a large section of consumers. The task now is to ensure we develop great products with best in class partners.”

Moose Toys Announces New Shopkins Licensees

Moose Toys announced eight new Shopkins licensees for North America, bringing the total licensee count to 51.
 
The licensees include Brendon Publishing for coloring and activity books; Frankford Candy for everyday and seasonal confections; Dynacraft BSC Inc. for bikes and scooters; and Edge Brands for swimming accessories, skateboards, and helmets in the U.S. and Canada.
 
Licensees for the U.S. include AME for sleepwear and Just Play LLC for plush toys. HG International has signed on for cold weather accessories in Canada.

Licensing and Retail ‘Thumbs Up’ for Ghostbusters Preview

Selected clips of the anticipated new film received a strong response from the audience.

Picturehouse Central in London, on Tuesday 12th January, showed a taster of Ghostbusters a full house of over 170 licensees, prospective licensees, retailers and other partners, who were in fits of laughter as the film’s director, Paul Feig, introduced six short clips from the eagerly anticipated reboot of the 1984 classic. The movie is due for release 15 July 2016.
 
This strong response will add to the powerful momentum behind the ongoing Ghostbusters licensing campaign. Rocket Licensing, appointed by Sony Pictures to manage the UK and Ireland licensing campaign for the Ghostbusters brand, has already announced accelerated growth in UK licensee signings ahead of the release of the new Ghostbusters movie. With a release date that takes in the summer break followed by Halloween, and a home entertainment release to capitalise on Q4 activation, Ghostbusters provides a multitude of opportunities at retail.
 
This event movie will be supported with a multi-million dollar marketing campaign from Sony Pictures.
 
Rob Wijeratna, Joint Managing Director, Rocket Licensing says: “The packed house says it all: this is the movie event that will define the second half of 2016 for many licensees and retailers. They — and we — can hardly wait for July!”

Fred Rogers’ Daniel Tiger Receives Support from Rite Aid

 
The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program donated $2 million to The Fred Rogers Co. The donation will be used to support the production of PBS Kids TV series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. CEO of Rite Aid stores and president of Rite Aid Corporation Ken Martindale and president of Fred Rogers Co. William Isler will host a press conference at the Heinz History Center on Jan. 18 at 10:30 a.m.
 
A special Rite Aid Foundation underwriting spot will air before and after every episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood starting next month. Underwriting credits will be included on digital platforms to build awareness about The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program.

Coolabi Appoints Two International Agents for Beast Quest

Coolabi Group today announces the appointment of two international licensing agents for Beast Quest: M.J.A Licensing in France and Belgium, and The Evolution of Licensing in Italy.
 
The Beast Quest book series published by Orchard Books, has already sold over 15 Million copies globally and the hit new Beast Quest gaming app, produced by Coolabi Group and Miniclip, has over six million downloads to date. Brand recognition is high for both books and games in Europe and now these new appointments mark Beast Quest’s first foray into the world of European licensing as both agents will develop partnerships with licensees and retailers across all categories.

The Jim Henson Co. Signs Media Partners for Dinosaur Train, Sid the Science Kid, and Pajanimals

The Jim Henson Co. has finalized licensing agreements for three preschool series, including Dinosaur Train, Sid the Science Kid, and Pajanimals.

The Jim Henson Co. has secured multiple deals for Dinosaur Train in key territories, including countries in Europe where Buena Vista has acquired seasons three and four of the series for Disney Channel in Germany; Watchever GmbH has licensed season two for Austria, Germany, and Switzerland; France’s cable and satellite provider Multithematiques has acquired season three; and Greece’s ERT has acquired season one.
 
In Canada, season three of Dinosaur Train was licensed to TFO (French Canada); and seasons three and four to Knowledge Network (British Columbia). SIC acquired seasons one and two for Angola & Mozambique; and Emirates Cable TV & Multimedia has acquired season three and four and renewed season one. In Brazil, Swen Entretenimientos acquired season one. Earlier this year, ABC Australia commenced broadcast of season one of Dinosaur Train.
 
In Asia, Sid the Science Kid season one was licensed to Singapore’s Mediacorp; and to Nagase Brothers Inc. in Japan for its Educational Network. Emirates Cable TV & Multimedia acquired SVOD rights to season two of the series for the United Arab Emirates, and renewed season one; and Greece’s ERT acquired season one. 
 
In Latin America, TV Film International Inc. has picked up rights to season one for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.
Finland’s MTV Oy has acquired Pajanimals, which was acquired by Greece’s ERT; RTB Brunei; POD Worldwide for Thailand; Emirates Cable TV & Multimedia; and  Swen Entretenimientos for Brazil.

Making a Pinata of Trump

RJM Licensing has signed a deal with NobleWorks, Inc., to produce an original Donald Trump Pinata Birthday Card.  This card was inspired by Trump’s anti-Mexican American comments he made when he announced his candidacy for President of the United States.  RJM took the colors of the Mexican flag - green, white and red - and incorporated them into the design along with a ubiquitous party symbol at many Mexican feasts, namely a piñata. 
 
Rob Mejia, President of RJM Licensing, Inc. explained: “I was trying to turn the tables on Trump by giving him the message that Mexican Americans are an important part of the American story and we will remember his comments when we go to the polls.”
 
Ron Kanfi, President and "Chief Cardologist" of NobleWorks, Inc. said, “We offer many humorous, politically themed cards that poke fun of presidents and presidential candidates from both parties, but Donald Trump has to be one of the funniest ever. He may not make America great again, but he makes a great subject for a hilarious greeting card!"

LPGA Licensing to Debut at PGA Merchandise Show

The LPGA and The Brand Liaison will entertain licensing proposals at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida from January 27 to 29. 

The Brand Liaison continues to expand the LPGA brand and the new Girl’s Golf brand into a variety of consumer products including apparel, accessories, and golf apparatus for on course performance and aspirational lifestyle.

DHX Renews In the Night Garden Master Toy Deal with Golden Bear

DHX Brands has renewed its In the Night Garden master toy deal with Golden Bear for an additional five years. The renewal covers the UK & Eire, and follows a successful year in those territories for the hit pre-school property, where it is one of the fastest-selling pre-school toy licenses and a top-five pre-school brand overall, according to retail tracking firm, NPD Group. 
 
Future new product development from Golden Bear will include a Pinky Ponk toy line to complement the existing popular range, including the In the Night Garden Talking Soft Toys assortment and Ninky Nonk Musical Activity Train, which were in the top 5 pre-school licensed items in 2015 in value, according to NPD UK/Eire figures. The award-winning Ninky Nonk Musical Activity Train, sold in excess of 65k units in the first six months of launch in 2014 and has remained in the top 10 licensed pre-school items for the last 18 months, according to NPD UK/Eire figures.
 
Golden Bear has also secured from DHX Brands the UK & Eire toy rights for the new In the Night Garden Baby licensing programme and is looking at developing products for a standalone nursery toy range expected to launch Spring/Summer 2017.

Iconicfuture Signs DBG

Iconicfuture signed Dimensional Branding Group (DBG) to expand its sales and licensing services. DBG focuses on interactive and digital brand licensing extensions.
 
The two companies will work together to create digital brand integration solutions for game developer publishers and licensors grounded in brand affinity.

Ilaria Rossi Named Licensing Director of Turner Italy

Ilaria Rossi joins Turner Italy, a Time Warner Company, as Licensing Director. She will be responsible for all licensing & merchandising activities including properties such as Adventure Time, The Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10 and The Amazing World of Gumball. She will report to Jaime Ondarza, Senior Vice President and General Manager Turner Italy, South EMEA and Africa, and Johanne Broadfield, VP Licensing & Merchandising EMEA.
 
After graduating in Business Administration, Ilaria Rossi started her career in Versace Fragrances Spa as Export Area Manager in Fragrances, then she continued her career in Ratti Spa Brand as Sales Fashion Manager. She joined Warner Bros. Consumer Products in 2005 as Senior Category Manager with responsibility on the categories Apparel, Accessories, Homeware and Sporting Goods for the Warner brands. In 2008 she started her experience in adidas as Senior Manager Licensing.

Hasbro Studios Powers Up for the Second Season of Transformers: Robots in Disguise

Transformers: Robots in Disguise will return for a second season on Cartoon Network in the U.S according to Hasbro Studios. Set years after Transformers: Prime, Robots in Disguise stars the Bumblebee character summoned by Optimus Prime to lead a fight to save Earth from a new faction of escaped Decepticon prisoners by assembling a rogue team of unlikely Autobot heroes.
 
Season two will see the return of a more confident, battle-tested Bumblebee as the leader of the Autobots, including his teammates Grimlock, Sideswipe, Strongarm, Fixit, Windblade, and Drift.

Sticky Pictures Appoints Michael Drake as Development Executive

Australian kids and comedy production house Sticky Pictures has announced the appointment of Michael Drake as the company’s Development Executive.  
 
Having previously worked with the Sticky Pictures team in freelance writing and production capacities, Michael’s Development Executive position will see him spearheading the development of all original and co-production content.  He will also play a role in leading writer sessions and in the story-editing of Sticky Pictures’ kids and comedy productions under the mentorship of Sticky Pictures’ partner, Stu Connolly.
  
“I am thrilled to be welcoming Michael back to Sticky Pictures – this time in the capacity of Development Executive.  Michael has a strong and enthusiastic interest in the entertainment space and has a passion for developing great storytelling and translating these story ideas to the animation world.  Early on in his role at Sticky Pictures, we recognised Michael had strong skills in project assessment, script review and development which will make him an invaluable asset to our team at Sticky Pictures,” said Sticky Pictures’ Partner, Stu Connolly.

WBCP Partners with Hendrick Motorsports to Promote Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) and Hendrick Motorsports announced the latest pairing in their ongoing partnership featuring two special paint schemes for drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson in the NASCAR race in California on March 20. The partnership promotes the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Earnhardt's paint scheme will showcase the Batman emblem and textures of the caped crusader’s suit, while Johnson's car will feature the iconic S-shield and Superman suit textures. Earnhardt and Johnson will wear custom-designed fire suits during the race weekend that feature the respective superhero logos.

Hendrick Motorsports, Nationwide, and Lowe’s have also partnered with WBCP to create Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at-track activations for fans of all ages during the California race. Licensed merchandise featuring the paint schemes for the Nos. 48 and 88 cars will be available at participating retailers and online starting January 22.

Nationwide is offering one lucky fan an opportunity to attend the premiere of the film. The prize package includes airfare, lodging, two tickets to Sunday’s race, a meet-and-greet opportunity with Earnhardt, and two tickets to the red carpet premiere. Fans can visit www.nationwidebatman88.com to enter the contest.

Allsorts Spreading the Adult Coloring Trend

Allsorts is representing five adult coloring titles, from Michael O’Mara Books, the most successful for these being Art Therapy & Animorphia. Adult coloring is a stress-relieving craze, and is now spreading into new product categories.
 
Pyramid Posters are first to develop coloring posters, which have just launched.
 
Partners sought include textiles, ceramics, gifting, and many more categories.

Zodiak Kids Studios Secures Recommissions for Scrambled!

Zodiak Kids has announced that CITV has ordered another two series CITV’s Scrambled! to be produced by Zodiak Kids Studios.
 
Following the success of the first two series Scrambled! has been recommissioned for a further 88 episodes as CITV orders Series 3 and 4 of the studio based weekend morning show Scrambled!
 
Zodiak Kids owns worldwide distribution rights to Scrambled!

Rainbow Magic Set to Cast A Spell at NATPE Conference

Rainbow will be presenting three of its biggest brands – Winx Club, Regal Academy and My American Friend (working title) – at the upcoming NATPE conference at Miami Beach.
 
This represents the first time Rainbow has been present at NATPE as Exhibitor and will be at booth 120 under the ICE/ATP Italian umbrella.
 

EMPLOYMENT

A feature of the Total Licensing Weekly Report is the Employment section - this includes 'Jobs Available' and 'Jobs Wanted'. So if you have a position in your company that needs to be filled, or you yourself are looking for employment opportunities, don't hesitate to send your information to:

Becky becky@totallicensing.com
or
to our general mailbox subscriptions@totallicensing.com

JOB POSTING

Sunrights Inc. Seeks a Licensing Coordinator
New York
 
Sunrights Inc. is an entertainment rights management company operated by one of the top advertising agencies in Japan, Asatsu DK, and the trading conglomerate Mitsubishi Corp. Located in New York City, Sunrights directly manages the development of intellectual property globally outside of Asia.  Properties include B-Daman and Beyblade Burst.
 
Please submit your resume to recruit@sunrights-inc.com.
Only candidates chosen for the interview process will be contacted.

 

JOB POSTING

Bright Group Seeks New Publishing Agent
UK
 
The Bright Group is looking for a new agent to manage existing relationships with established artists and publishers, as well as grow and develop new talent and an expanded client base within the picture book trade and commercial sector for illustration. The new agent would be working with a truly beautiful list of artistic talent.
 
If you are interested in applying for this role or require further information, please send a covering letter along with your CV for the attention of Ayla Smith: Ayla@brightgroupinternational.com

 

JOB POSTING

Designer 
Berkshire is looking for a NY-based designer.
 
Job Description: Design licensed/private label accessories for adults and children; making detailed CAD’s of your designs for factories. Compiling boards of designers to show to buyers. Making revisions if needed. Our categories include: hosiery, cold weather, fashion hats/scarves, rain wear, and hand bags.
 
Job Qualifications: Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop fluent. Knowledge of knits, trims, embroidery, accessory applications, and basic specking. 
Job Qualifications: Good communication skills need. A team player in a fast-paced environment. Resume and portfolio required.
Company: Berkshire is a powerhouse in the accessories business, being one of the largest accessory manufacturers in the business today. We merchandise, design, manufacture and sell trend right, high quality accessories for a variety of price points. Specializing in both licensed and private label manufacturing, we offer leadership market positioning in both adult and children's accessories.
 
Work Environment: This is a very fast-paced, team-orientated business casual environment. 
 
Contact: Please send resume to Jodi Colburn at jodic@berkshireinc.com.
 

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