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Marvel Introduces Branded Small Appliances and New Home Goods

avengers waffle makerDisney Consumer Products (DCP) will expand Marvel’s housewares program with new initiatives for branded small appliances from Select Brands and others, in addition to new home goods and décor from existing partners. The new products mark Marvel’s first major launch into the small appliance category. Marvel’s presence in the home category currently includes sheets, towels, and other linens featuring the top heroes. The addition of small appliances provides innovative ways for fans and young adults to interact with the Marvel brand at home.
Fans will be able to furnish their homes and dorm rooms with Marvel-branded small appliances from Select Brands, including Avengers-themed waffle makers, toasters, single-serve coffee makers, and more. College students can now express their Marvel style at school with Robe Factory’s new Iron Man-themed mini-fridge.

Marvel will also offer drinkware, including Spider-Man heat reactive travel mugs from Vandor, sip-n-glo cups from Silver Buffalo, warm and hot beverage bottles from Thermos, and ergonomic teen and adult hydration water bottles from Zak Designs featuring such characters as Captain America. Other superhero-inspired home goods being showcased include kitchen utensils and aprons from Icup and a line of flameless candles from Northern International featuring Marvel’s Avengers and Spider-Man.

Demi Lovato, Robert Griffin III, Brian Orakpo, Jerry Hughes Become Co-Owners of Texas Tea

Texas TeaDemi Lovato, NFL stars Robert Griffin III, Brian Orakpo, and Jerry Hughes have become co-owners of the Texas-based D.B. Miller Inc., maker of Texas Tea, after each made an equity investment in the company. They will be involved in new product development and will support the company’s marketing efforts.
Each new co-owner has strong ties to Texas. Lovato is from Dallas, Griffin grew up in Copperas Cove and played quarterback for Baylor University, Orakpo was born in Houston and played for the University of Texas at Austin, and Hughes is from Houston and played for Texas Christian University.

Nifty, Betty Crocker Partner for Cookware

betty crockerNifty Home Products Inc. has partnered with General Mills for a collection of Betty Crocker-branded bakeware and cookware accessories to debut at retail this year. JRL Group, Nifty’s licensing agency, brokered the deal.
The collection will provide consumers with simple solutions to make working in the kitchen stress-free. The line will debut with oven accessories, including cooling racks, oven racks, and roasting racks.

FCP, FXX Unveil The Simpsons Kwik-E-Mart Truck

Simpsons Kwik-E-MartIn celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Kwik-E-Mart’s first appearance on The Simpsons, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products (FCP) and FXX have declared this year “The Year of the Kwik-E-Mart” and will host a series of activations true to the playful spirit of the longest-running scripted show on TV.

A classic food truck will be transformed into a Kwik-E-Mart on wheels to engage fans nationwide. The first stop on the Kwik-E-Mart Truck Tour will be at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas on March 14 and 15, to kick off SXSW Interactive 2015.

The Kwik-E-Mart Truck will offer fans free Squishees; “Simpsons World” experience demos, featuring full episodes of every The Simpsons episode with intuitive search and shareable features, a deep catalog of clips, fun facts, and more; a Kwik-E-Photo Booth; and exclusive new products.

Deer Little Forest Heads to the App Store

deer little forestDeer Little Forest has entered a license agreement with mobile content developer Playrific Inc. to create and distribute digital assets for the property. This marks the first foray into the U.S. market for the preschool property, created by Jo Rose. The deal was brokered by Think Tank Emporium.
Playrific Inc. will produce a stand-alone app for iOS and Android mobile devices and tablets that will be available on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Kindle App stores this summer. The app will use pre-existing images, characters, and digital assets to create e-books, puzzles, coloring, maker activities, Match3 games, and more. 
Deer Little Forest is currently being developed as a 52 x 11-minute preschool series with King Rollo Films. Licenses for magazine activity pages, greeting cards, and T-shirts have been signed both in the UK and abroad. All rights are managed by Lisa Hryniewicz at Koko Media; licensing rights are represented in the U.S. by Think Tank Emporium and in German Speaking territories by Burda Intermedia Merchandising. The Playrific deal was brokered by Think Tank Emporium.

TKO, Majesty Partner for Socks Collection

Technical Knockout Inc. (TKO) has partnered with Majesty Brands to develop a new line of athletic socks. The new collection is targeted to launch this spring/summer season and will include a full portfolio of performance athletic, fashion athletic, and basic crew socks.
The new collection complements a TKO active wear collection recently launched by Argento. Additional licensing opportunities for TKO are available in a range of categories, including bags and luggage, eyewear, footwear, swimwear, outerwear, youth apparel, and nutritional supplements.

Iconix Appoints Cathy Hoffman Glosser to SVP, Licensing and Retail Business Development

Iconix Brand Group Inc. has appointed Cathy Hoffman Glosser to the position of senior vice president of licensing and retail development at Iconix Entertainment. In her new role, Glosser will lead business development for Strawberry Shortcake, the company’s most recent acquisition. She will also continue to support the growth of Iconix Entertainment, a developing new division for the company.
Glosser previously created and developed the Trump brand licensing program from inception into a full service licensing division for Donald Trump. There, she developed a consistent and growing program in numerous categories and territories. She also spearheaded entrepreneurial deal flow on a global basis. Glosser has also worked at Saban and Marvel in senior licensing roles. 

Kate Spade, DWI Holdings Partner for Kate Spade New York Bedding and Bath

Kate Spade and DWI Holdings have partnered for a global licensing agreement for the design, development, and distribution of Kate Spade New York bedding and bath collections through 2020. DWI Holdings will offer the assortment through its distribution network, and will launch the first collection during March market week at its showrooms in New York.

Boppy Co. Expands into Layette, Plush, and Bedding with Rashti & Rashti

The Boppy Co. has partnered with Rashti & Rashti to create a collection of layette, infant plush toys, blankets, and infant bedding. The collection of Boppy licensed apparel, plush, and bedding will showcase versions of the patterns and characters from the original pillow.
The layette line will feature multi-piece collections for infants, which include jackets, bodysuits, buntings, leggings, and sleepers. The line of plush products includes an assortment of toys for tiny hands that are tailored for three milestones of infancy.

Lawless Entertainment Appointed Worldwide Rep For Elie’s Puzzle Pet Friends

ElieLawless Entertainment is now the worldwide representative for children’s property Elie’s Puzzle Pet Friends, and is seeking licensing and merchandising opportunities for the property including plush, apparel, and co-production partners for the animated project.
Elie is a 7-year-old only child who longs for a pet, but his parents work long hours and don’t want to increase the burden at home. Two puzzle pets, Sene the lion from Senegal and Lily the lamb from New Zealand, came alive when the puzzles were assembled, and Elie’s life was changed.

SURTEX Announces Comprehensive Conference Program

SURTEX, North America’s exposition and conference for the selling and licensing of original art and design has announced a comprehensive conference program at the upcoming 29th annual edition of the event. The three days of programming will be presented in three distinct educational tracks—Core, Advanced, and Trend & Beyond, to complement the market experience. SURTEX is slated to run May 17 to 19, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
As part of the 10-part seminar series, design and licensing experts will address best business practices. In a wide variety of categories, such as licensing, monetizing art and trend-spotting, will be among topics covered for an audience of art buyers and licensees. 
“The SURTEX conference program is designed to share business strategies and design intelligence from a creative perspective,” said Liz Crawford, vice president and group show director.  “SURTEX attendees and exhibitors, whether new to market or industry veterans, will benefit from the comprehensive series which will provide takeaways that can be immediately implemented into their daily business practices.”

Genius Brands Highlights Distribution Partners

Genius Brands International Inc. has announced several new distribution partners for its growing portfolio of original content including Stan Lee’s Mighty 7, Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab and the library of Baby Genius videos and music.  The announcement was made by GBI’s Senior Vice President of Distribution Andrew Berman.
GBI has finalized several new distribution partners for Stan Lee’s Mighty 7, the animated superhero movie from legendary comic book creator Stan Lee. France’s TF1 has acquired all European, French-speaking VOD, SVOD, and EST rights to the movie. Canadian broadcaster Teletoon has acquired the rights for Canadian broadcast. The UK’s CSC Media has secured rights for its free-to-air POP channel, and The Movie Partnership will represent all digital rights in the UK.  Beirut, Lebanon based Telepictures Promoters has acquired free-to-air television rights for all Arabic speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
GBI has also licensed free-to-air broadcast television rights in all Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa to Telepictures Promoters for its newest animated series Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab, which brings the genius inventor to life and makes science fun for kids. E-Vision has acquired the exclusive Pay TV rights for the series in the United Arab Emirates. Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab will debut next month on U.S. public television stations.
Additionally, GBI has partnered with Taiwan based Lai’s Intelligence Network Inc. for a Baby Genius audio picture book.


LIMA UK’s Licensing Essentials Course, Legendary Licensing Debate, and Spring Fling Networking Party Set for May 7

The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) will host its annual UK Licensing Essentials Course on May 7 at 54 Buckingham Gate in London. Topics will include How to Make Licensing Work In-store and The Effect of Traditional vs. Digital Play Patterns on Licensing. The day will feature seminars on best practices, basic licensing know-how, new opportunities, and current industry trends.

Kelvyn Gardner, managing director of LIMA UK, will kick off the day with an Introduction to Licensing session. Licensing Essentials speakers will include Mike Stagg (managing licensing programs at retail); Gurminder Panesar (essential legal know-how); Henrique Carvalho (essential financial know-how); Max Templeman (scope and value of research into consumer products & licensing); Gary Pope (insights into child behavior and the retail experience); and Dave Collins (why great design is at the heart of successful licensing).
The Legendary Licensing Debate is a lively and often provocative discussion on licensing. Following the debate will be the Spring Fling networking party, expected to draw more than 150 senior industry executives.

Me to You Welcomes New Blogger Ambassadors at FunFest

Carte Blanche Group is heading to the FunFest Blogger Summit to build on existing and create new relationships with parenting and lifestyle bloggers.
The company is behind the Me to You brand, with its signature Tatty Teddy character, plus nursery brand Tiny Tatty Teddy. Over 80 million Me to You plush bears having been sold since 2000.
Me to You will be celebrating 21 years in 2016, and Carte Blanche will be building towards this milestone with a range of new licensed product lines. The brand will be showcased at FunFest, with Carte Blanche hoping to secure new brand ambassador partnerships with the blogger delegates.
In addition, there will be costume character appearances from Tatty Teddy throughout the day, along with creative activities for all the family, and exclusive giveaways.
Kirsty Barr, MD of miPR, the company behind the FunFest Blogger Summit, added: “Everyone loves the classic blue-nosed Tatty Teddy and we are delighted that this much loved bear and the Me to You brand will be joining us on Saturday April 25th.”

Football Licensing Is Coming Home

For the first time in its history, The FA is to manage its own licensing program for the domestic market, a role previously undertaken largely by external agencies. 
The greater revenues generated from licensed products will be ploughed back into football.
Several stakeholders will benefit to this change in play from The FA, who during each of the last four seasons invested over £100 million back into the game.  Licensees will profit from dedicated service and support from The FA team, creating stronger partnerships. 
The net result is a closer working relationship between The FA and companies seeking to use the license for their products - and who want to support The FA’s core aim of developing “Football for Everyone”.
Nicky Stanton, of The FA’s Commercial division, said: “This is a real opportunity for us to work more closely with businesses who truly believe and share the values of The FA to each other’s mutual benefit. We will be supporting our licensees and retailers with the launch of a new style guide and design direction to help develop an exciting new range of products. This will include a focus on specific consumer related products of all age ranges, including a kid’s option for the first time. Watch this space for some potential new developments set to hold great appeal with young England Lions.”

World of Warriors Prepares to Invade UK Market

Mind Candy has revealed it will be ramping up its World of Warriors marketing campaign from next week until the end of July 2015. 
The objective of the campaign is to build awareness and educate boys and gamers about the World of Warriors app and backstory to drive downloads and brand engagement. 
The campaign highlights include heavyweight TV, cinema and YouTube advertising. This will prepare the way for a strong takeover at retail, starting with Topps trading cards from the 9th April.
The TV spot will air from the 12th March 2015 until July and will be featured over 7,000 times across Cartoon Network, Disney XD, Citv and more. Cinema advertising will hit UK 700 UK screens.

Hacker T Dog’s Program Grows

Entrepreneur MagazineHacker T Dog’s personal appearance and launch of his eponymous toy range at Toy Fair saw strong crowds and a demand from retailers.
Kid Kreations (the Master Toy licensee) has created a realistic range of toys in two sizes to accommodate two price points for retail. This toy range is being distributed by Trends UK.
Following on from the Master Toy is a range of smaller beanies, key rings, stationery, and publishing and giftware based on this comic character. 

Ingo Devices Growing Its German Presence

ingo devicesIngo Devices is boosting the German market by signing strategic distribution agreements. The company estimates that the German market will represent 20% of its sales in three years
The company concluded strategic distribution agreements with the Kaufland hypermarket chain (Schwarz Group, also owner of Lidl), the online platform MyToys: Alles für Ihr Kind and the German stores pertaining to the multinational Toys “R” Us and Media Markt.
Having signed these contracts, Ingo Devices’ target is for the German market to represent 20% of the group’s international turnover within the next three years. This division currently represents 70% of its overall business volume with outstanding presence in mature markets such as those in the United Kingdom and France. These two countries, along with Spain, Italy and Germany, constitute the five largest markets in European toys. The company, which has a product development centre in Hong Kong, also has a natural commercial expansion area in the Chinese market.
“Germany is a demanding market and receptive to value-added products such as ours. Moreover, neither licences nor electronic toys are categories which have been extensively developed in this country, there is therefore a clear business niche which, with our experience, we can lead’,” states Oriol Canet, CEO and founder of Ingo Devices.
The Spanish multinational holds the exclusive licence to Frozen (Disney) for Europe and for its product category.

Magic Light and Yorkshire Tea Join Forces

Magic Light Pictures has signed a licensing deal with Yorkshire Tea, which sees The Gruffalo become the face of the tea brand’s Yorkshire Tree campaign. This is the first time a FMCG brand has formed a promotional licensing agreement with The Gruffalo brand.
The national Yorkshire Tree campaign launched on the 6th March to support Yorkshire Tea’s five year pledge to plant one million trees; 500,000 in the UK and 500,00 in Kenya, one of the places from which it sources its tea.
As part of the campaign a Gruffalo themed microsite and interactive game will be created, and downloadable assets will be made available to engage consumers above and beyond the tree planting. Yorkshire Tea has also partnered with The Woodland Trust to plant thousands of trees throughout the UK this week for Tree Planting Week (9th-13th March), with a total of 100,000 being planted in 2015. To encourage children to get involved, ten schools across the UK will be visited by The Gruffalo who will be helping children to plant their own trees. The campaign will also be supported by PR and on-pack promotion later on in the year.

Masha and The Bear Bags Best Animation Award

Masha and the BearMasha and the Bear has been recognised at the 2015 Kidscreen Awards, scooping the gong for best animation in the Creative Talent category at a glittering ceremony in Miami.
The award reflects the high quality animation created by leading Russian animation studio, Animaccord, who have delivered 48 x 7minute episodes (with planned delivery of  78 episodes by Mid 2017) and 26 x 5.5min Masha Tales, which chronicle the adventures of a little girl called Masha and the bear who becomes her reluctant playmate. Ink Global represents the brand in the broadcasting and licensing sectors, while Lisle International Licensing is the local UK representative for the brand and Animaccord Corporation itself represents the property across the Americas.
In the UK, Cartoonito is now broadcasting the show six times every day including weekends and it is one of the TOP 3 most popular shows on the channel, recording high viewing figures for both kids and parents. Masha is also a massive presence on YouTube.  As UK views demonstrate, consumers are enjoying Masha and the Bear any time they choose and repeatedly. National UK newspapers, such as The Guardian, are also now recognising Masha as one of the world’s most popular YouTube kids’ channels.
Licensees have tapped into the brand’s popularity and merchandise is set to hit UK retail in the summer, through partners including Egmont, Simba Dickie and Comansi.

The Red Harlequin Inspires Bespoke Jewelry Line

Red HarlequinLisa Hryniewicz, agent for The Red Harlequin, has announce a jewelry licensing deal with Paris-based Zor Creations. The deal is a first consumer product deal for the Transmedia publishing property created by Roberto Ricci.
Established bespoke jewelry maker Zor Creations will design a series of eight jewelry lines inspired by the colors and characteristics of each of the Chrome Nations and harlequins featured in The Red Harlequin.  Established over 20 years ago, Zor Creations is the brainchild of artists and designer Stephanie Lagier, who designs and creates each original design herself by hand. Wholesale orders are fulfilled entirely by artisans based in France, with her creations sold to retail in her own store in the heart of Paris, and wholesale across France and international markets. 

The Sooty Show Gets Stuck on Stickers

Sooty StickersRedan Alchemy Ltd has announced a deal with Fun Stickers Ltd to design and produce sticker sets for the Sooty Show.
Fun Stickers are joining a growing band of Sooty licensees who are seeing strong results at retail for their new product lines.  They have produced a wide range of sticker sets from pocket money sheets, to wall stickers, delux lines and 3D packs.
Sooty brand owner Richard Cadell, said: “Sooty, Sweep, Soo and I are delighted that Fun Stickers have joined Sooty’s gang! Their designs have captured the brand’s madcap humour and sense of fun perfectly and the wide range of products is hugely impressive.  We’ve already ordered a set of wall stickers to decorate the caravan and Sweep has covered his bone in stickers so everyone knows it’s his.”
Andrew Chase, Director of Fun Stickers, says: “I remember watching The Sooty Show as a child and it’s great to see that the current series has introduced a new generation of fans to Sooty’s unique brand of humour.  Our sticker range has been designed to appeal to fans both old and new and we’re looking forward to taking it out to retail.”


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