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 The weekly newsletter connecting the industry around the world
April 4, 2013 

  PopCap Games to Launch Plants vs. Zombies Adventures

PopCap Games has announced the limited, regional launch of Plants vs. Zombies Adventures beta, the first social adaptation of PopCap's game for Facebook. During the first phase of the game's rollout, PopCap began testing PvZ Adventures in a closed beta release targeted to a limited audience of Facebook users with wider availability later this spring. The game offers exclusive new plants and zombies along with old favorites and features all-new forms of zombie combat.

This marks the second imminent new installment in the Plants vs. Zombies franchise, as PopCap has also confirmed that Plants vs. Zombies 2, the sequel to the original blockbuster game, is slated to launch early this summer.

  Roc Nation Launches Roc Nation Sports, Signs Yankees' Robinson Cano

Roc Nation, a full-service entertainment company founded by Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, has launched Roc Nation Sports, a full-service sports management company, and has signed Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees. Roc Nation Sports, led by Carter and Juan Perez, who serves as president, has partnered with CAA Sports, a division of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), a leading entertainment and sports agency, to co-represent Cano. Cano will be represented on the field by a team of agents led by CAA Sports' Brodie Van Wagenen.

  Walker Signs Licensees for Tilly and Friends

Walker Licensing has signed five new licensees for Tilly and Friends. Blues Clothing will produce leisurewear, Aykroyds & TDP will produce nightwear and essentials, Watermelon will produce M&S apparel, Woodmansterne will produce greetings cards and gift wrap, and Daredevil will produce gaming apps based on the property.

The new licensees join existing partner eOne for DVD, which will launch the first Tilly and Friends DVD in May, following the release of the first episodes of Tilly and Friends for download purchase on iTunes in February. Also on board are Immediate Media for magazines, and Walker Books for the first range of TV tie-in books set to release this fall.

  KISS Catalogue Ltd, Sanrio to Produce KISS Hello Kitty Animated Series

The Hub Network has optioned the rights to a new animated series, KISS Hello Kitty (working title). The KISS and Hello Kitty collaboration began in 2010 with a global collection of co-branded products, from Sanrio. The collection features hundreds of licensed items across all categories, including apparel, toys, electronics, stationery, and back-to-school merchandise.

KISS Hello Kitty will feature the four KISS x Hello Kitty characters living their rock 'n roll dreams and bringing pink anarchy to a number of situations. The series is in the initial stages of development and will be produced by KISS Catalogue Ltd. and Sanrio.

  DHX Signs Deal with Kidoodle.TV

DHX Media has secured a deal with the new, dedicated children's SVOD service, Kidoodle.TV. The new OTT platform has picked up 800 hours of DHX Media's premium and catalogue titles for its North American service set to launch this summer, including Inspector Gadget, Rastamouse, Strawberry Shortcake, Busytown Mysteries, Bo on the GO!, and Franny's Feet. DHX Media has also signed a significant raft of new VOD and SVOD deals for its programming across several key territories.

  Aurora, Hasbro Partner for My Little Pony Plush

Aurora World Inc. has signed a licensing agreement with Hasbro Inc. to launch a new line of My Little Pony plush. The My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic animated series is created by Hasbro Studios and is currently airing on The Hub TV Network in the U.S., Treehouse Network in Canada, and can be seen globally in more than 170 countries.

Aurora will initially release 18 My Little Pony styles, including 12 small, 6-inch ponies, each with a personalized carrying bag and six soft plush ponies about 10 inches in size. My Little Pony plush will be available for purchase in both the U.S. and Canada in Aurora's retail channel of more than 25,000 specialty stores and gift shops as well as online at http://shop.auroragift.com.

  Olly the Little White Van Licensing Program Bolstered

Ideas at Work has strengthened its UK and international licensing program for Olly the Little White Van with the launch of its UK publishing and a digital app for children.

Talking Olly is the third app to be released by Ideas at Work. It features a talkback ability along with six icon-based challenges and activities, such as a theme tune player to sing and dance along with Olly and an interactive game in which a range of responses can be solicited from Olly when his body parts are pressed. Talking Olly is now available on iTunes worldwide.

The UK publishing program launches at retail and online this month with publishing partner Autumn Books launching its first range of storybooks, sticker and activity books, and sticker and coloring books based on the TV series and characters. The first range features four book titles and is supported by an extensive marketing campaign in all major online and retail outlets.

  New Venture to Deliver Toy Licensing Consultancy to Gaming, Social Brands

Consultancy groups AT New Media and Virtual World Licensing have announced a new collaboration. AT New Media Virtual World Licensing will offer consultancy services to gaming, social, and virtual brands entering the toy-licensing arena. The new venture will manage the brand licensing roadmap for digital brands to ensure the brands are ready for licensing and to allow for tweaking to increase likely revenue before pursuing potential licensees and licensing partnerships. For more information, visit www.VirtualWorldLicensing.com.

  Licensing Japan Information Announced

Licensing Japan, the international trade show for character and brand business, will take place in Tokyo from July 3 to 5. The deadline for submitting company information and property information for exhibitors is April 11.

Organized by Reed Exhibitions Japan, LIMA is the official education provider for Licensing Japan. To find out more information on this show visit www.licensing-japan.jp/en/.

The show runs concurrently with Entertainment Production Expo Tokyo, Content Creation & Delivery Solutions Expo, Tokyo International Book Fair (TIBF), e-Book Expo Tokyo (eBooks), and Creators' Expo Tokyo.

  King Features Syndicate, Razor MD Partner for Popeye Shaving Collection

Popeye the Sailor Man is featured on a new line of shaving products through a collaboration between King Features Syndicate and Razor MD, a Florida-based manufacturer of natural men's shaving and grooming products. Razor MD rolled out the first of the special edition men's shaving gift sets that incorporate the likeness of Popeye and his signature clean-shaven look on March 31. The collection will be sold online at Nordstrom.com and will be carried in select brick-and-mortar stores, as well as select barbershops and grooming lounges throughout North America.

The Razor MD Popeye Shave Collection is an all-natural, American-made line of hand-crafted shave products that are sold as a three-piece shaving gift, housed in a handmade Popeye signature tin can. Razor MD also has products featuring Olive Oyl in the works for women.

  Mia and Me Deals Secured

Ahead of MIPTV, m4e AG and Rainbow Srl have secured a number of new international broadcasting deals for the TV series Mia and Me.

While Rainbow has signed free-TV deals with Clan TV for Spain and RTBF/OUFtivi for Belgium, the m4e subsidiary Telescreen BV sold the series to Yoyo TV for Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, and Taiwan, and KBSN for South Korea and Kazakhstan TV. The first season has been sold to more than 70 broadcasters worldwide.

Mia and Me is also heading into more territories for licensing and merchandising, as Rainbow and m4e have also appointed Exim Licensing as the agent for Latin America, Wild Pumpkin for Australia & New Zealand, PopCorn for Portugal, and Point of View for Israel.

  Big Tent Entertainment Signs New Deals for Domo

Big Tent Entertainment has signed a series of new licensing deals for Domo. Franco Manufacturing and PlayAction will launch products for consumers looking to outfit their rooms and enjoy Domo in the comfort of their homes. PlayAction's lenticular novelty items include mugs, coasters, storage bins, and wastebaskets, while Franco Manufacturing's home collection includes rugs, chairs, pillowcases, and other bed and bath accessories. Magnote will release new cube figures, novelty steel puzzles, and craft wooden décor kits.

PlayAction will also have a series of novelty items including cell phone cases and key chains. Franco Manufacturing will bring Domo to the beach with items such as beach towels and totes. Kellytoy USA will produce a variety of fair prizes, including plush, key chains, and inflatables.

  Harlem Shake Enters the World of Licensing

Russian licensing agency Megalicense performed the first licensing Harlem Shake on the final day of the Russian Licensing Forum 2013. The Harlem Shake viral video got Internet attention through YouTube and swiftly became a popular meme. To watch the dance at the show, click here.

  The Jim Henson Company, Discovery Kids Latin America Provide New Preschool Content

Continuing its relationship with Discovery Kids Latin America, The Jim Henson Company has licensed its new Doozers series and Sid the Science Kid: The Movie to the 24-hour, pan-regional preschool channel. A Jim Henson Company/DHX Media Production, the new CGI-animated Doozers series features the characters first introduced in Fraggle Rock, the classic live-action puppet series from the 1980s.

An extension of the Sid the Science Kid series, Sid the Science Kid: The Movie follows Sid and his friends, who encounter a quirky scientist, voiced by Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), who has designed robot tour guides of the future. When one of the robots goes haywire, it is up to Sid and his friends to work as a team to find the rogue robot and save the day. The feature film is a co-production between The Jim Henson Company, Nine Eyes Stone, and Shanghai Animation Film Studios. The Jim Henson Company represents worldwide rights to the movie outside of China, including all theatrical, TV, DVD, and digital platforms, and is also handling all ancillary distribution of the property including licensing, video, and merchandising.

  JCB Launches Fresh Air Campaign

JCB Kids has launched a Fresh Air Campaign, which aims to promote outdoor play for children throughout the UK. The campaign links with the JCB Kids ethos of inspiring children in their play, encouraging them to use their imagination, and engaging in physical activity.

The campaign will kick off with a national survey of 2,000 parents to examine the play patterns of children today in comparison to their parents' generation and will be promoted and driven by micommsPR through national, regional, and online media. The second phase of the Fresh Air Campaign will take place in April when children from a local school will take part in a mock protest outside city hall sitting on JCB ride-ons and waving placards demanding more outdoor play, exercise, and fresh air fun.

  King Features Appoints License2Brand as Agent for Greece, Cyprus

King Features has appointed License2Brand as its agent for Greece and Cyprus, effective immediately. Based in Athens, the firm represents a number of character, entertainment, and design brands. License2Brand will work closely with King Features to develop programs for the company's Betty Boop, Baby Boop, Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Baby Popeye & Friends brands.

  Bazooka Candy Brands Launches My Ring Pop

Bazooka Candy Brands now offers customizable Ring Pops with My Ring Pop. The new e-commerce site, myringpop.com, allows consumers to personalize their pops. Consumers can choose the flavor (strawberry, cherry, blue raspberry, or watermelon), color, and wrapper design for their very own edible bling with a choice of birthday, wedding, and general celebration-themed wrappers. In addition, consumers can print personalized messages on the wrappers. Orders are available in increments of 25, up to 500. The site also offers pictures, articles, and ideas on ways to customize Ring Pops.

  JCC Unveils New Strategic Plan

JCC has revealed a new a organizational structure with the mission to become the preferred children's media experience provider in every Arab home and deliver relevant and inspiring content across all platforms.

JCC encompasses four separate but connected entities, including JeemTV, an advanced media platform for Arab children ages 7 to 12, and Baraem TV, the first preschool channel for children ages 2 to 6. The organization also offers educational and cultural initiatives such as Taalam.tv, the first video-on-demand (VOD) educational portal that offers curriculum complementing material to Arab scholars; and Siwar, the JCC children's choir that provides the opportunity for talented youngsters ages 9 to 16 to express themselves through singing.

  Character World Appoints New Managers

Character World has expanded its brand and marketing team with the appointment of a marketing manager and two senior brand managers.

Senior marketer Jenny Cainer has been appointed as marketing manager. She will work closely with licensors and the company's senior brand managers to develop new business initiatives across the UK and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Becky Langer joins Character World from HIT Entertainment as senior brand manager. Based in London, she will be responsible for building and maintaining key partnerships.

Following three years as senior licensing executive at Character World, Sarah Harding has been promoted to senior brand manager, responsible for Disney and Marvel.

  41e Grants Pac-Man Rights

41 Entertainment (41e) has granted the Free TV rights to CTC Network (CTC) for Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures in Russia. The TV series is slated to begin broadcast late this year or early next year. Plus Licens' Moscow office has been appointed to handle all local licensing and merchandising activities for the brand in Russia.

  Peppa Pig Apps Surpass 1 Million Downloads

Entertainment One (eOne) has reported that Peppa Pig apps have surpassed 1 million downloads in the UK. This figure accounts for total app downloads on iOS, Nokia, and Android devices from licensee P2 Games. The brand also has strong sales in the publishing category. Sales of Redan Publishing's Fun to Learn Peppa Pig magazine hit a high this month with 113,000 copies sold in just two weeks. Total sales reached 272,000 units in February, which accounts for £663,000 in retail sales and the title holds firm as the best-selling preschool magazine in the UK. Similarly, Ladybird reports a 6 percent growth in sales of Peppa Pig books in 2012 compared to 2011. Furthermore, eOne has revealed that total DVD sales have now exceeded 7.5 million units.

  Poppy Cat and Woodland Trust Team for Adventure Platform

The Woodland Trust will partner with Coolabi's Poppy Cat to launch an outdoor campaign for preschoolers with an adventure platform for its VisitWoods website for one month beginning April 19. VisitWoods.org.uk hosts information on more than 11,000 UK woods that are open to the public. Poppy Cat content has been created for the site with downloadable activity materials focusing on Mystery Trail Adventures available for children ages 2 to 6 to engage them during family outings in the woods.

  BRB to Debut Filly at MIPTV

BRB Internacional will present the trailer for the animated series, Filly, at the 50th annual MIPTV and show the first images of the series, based on the brand created by Dracco. The property, No. 1 in toys and licensing aimed at girls in Germany, has sold more than 60 million collectible figurines all over the world. Simba Dickie Group is signed on as the master toy distributor and licensee for the brand.

  Second Series of Mike the Knight in Production

HIT Entertainment and Corus Entertainment's Nelvana have started production on a second season of the preschool series Mike the Knight. The second season, comprised of 52 x 12-minute episodes, is set to begin delivery to broadcasters late this spring. The series is produced jointly by HIT Entertainment in London, UK, and the Nelvana Studio in Toronto, Canada.

Treehouse in Canada, CBeebies in the UK, and Nick Jr. in the U.S. have committed to air the second season of Mike the Knight starting in May in Canada, this summer in the UK, and later in the fall in the U.S. The first season has been sold to 27 broadcasters in 112 territories around the world.

  Tractor Ted Appoints Brands With Influence

Brands With Influence (BWI) has been appointed by Tractorland Ltd., the owners of the Tractor Ted brand, to cultivate new business growth. BWI has been retained to work with the senior management team on worldwide brand strategy, sales and marketing, merchandise and licensing, and the overall business expansion.

  
EMPLOYMENT SECTION

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


   Head of Press & Publicity, Press & Marketing Co-ordinator for Zodiak

Zodiak Rights & Zodiak Kids are looking for candidates for two positions within the company:

  • Head of Press & Publicity (maternity cover contract)
  • Press & Marketing Co-ordinator (permanent)

Please contact Alice.East@Zodiakrights.com for all further information.

   Licensing/Sales Director

Boutique brand development & licensing agency is seeking a sales/retail business director to work closely with CEO on all aspects of sales, marketing, and retail development for the company's art & design lifestyle brands.

This position requires a motivated candidate who is adaptable and comfortable in a small company environment. Key responsibilities for this position include growing sales by identifying and qualifying potential licensees, soliciting and negotiating proposals, giving sales presentations to prospects and retail executives, and day-to-day account management. Director will also assist CEO with management of international sub-agents, execution of retail programs/pop-up shops and marketing initiatives, and implementation of marketing campaigns/social media strategies. This position entails moderate domestic and international travel, including attendance at trade events such as the Licensing Show, MAGIC, Comic-Con, Toy Fair, etc.

For information, please contact Alison@artimpressionsinc.com

   Merchandising & Promotions Rights Manager

Based in Genval (next to Brussels), IMPS is the worldwide licensor of the Smurfs. The company now seeks a Merchandising & Promotions Rights Manager.

The post is to be filled immediately.

If interested please send your CV and Letter of Motivation by e-mail to hr@smurf.com

   Professional with Two Decades Experience Seeks New Opportunities

Petrus J. Horemans is a trilingual (Dutch-French-English) Belgian professional and has more than 20 years in creative and brand licensing, partnership, co-branding, and line extension of character merchandising of IP rights. He has worked with The Adventures of Tintin, The Swatch Group, Orange, Renault France, Coca Cola, The Royal Mint of Belgium, among others, and has in-depth knowledge of the licensing industry, and general management.

He now seeks new opportunities in the licensing industry for a permanent position with licensors or licensees and is willing to relocate.

To contact: petrus.horemans@hotmail.be

   Business Professional Available for Opportunities

Paul Tamayo is an experienced business professional in competitive sales environments, throughout multiple industries. He has brand management experience with licensed consumer products.

He has strong management skills for creating and implementing strategic plans that deliver profitable financial results. He is bilingual and based in the States.

For further information and full CV, please contact: Phone (516) 318-2354 / E-mail tamayo.paul@gmail.com.

   Licensing/Marketing Professional Available for New Opportunities

Bruce Anthony has over 40 years of creative Licensing, Domestic and Overseas Sourcing, Marketing, Sales experience, and assisting in "Total Management" abilities.

He has hands-on experience of multiple successful projects and experience working within the world of consumer packaged goods, specializing in souvenir, gift & stationery, sporting goods, educational and generic toys, cosmetics, room/home décor fields. He has worked with The Walt Disney Company, Coca Cola Sony Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, among others, and has in-depth knowledge of most of the retail categories of trade, as well as the licensing industry! He is looking for new opportunities in the licensing industry for a permanent position with licensors or licensees.

To contact: banthony1991@hotmail.com.

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