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HEADLINES AT A GLANCE
American Greetings Entertainment Relaunches Madballs

Richmond Management Group Signs Partners for Tween Girls’ Brand Tiniez

FremantleMedia Kids & Family Signs New North American Deals for Kate & Mim-Mim
    Disney to Debut Frozen Northern Lights

Joester Loria Group Partners with Knockaround for Pacifico Sunglasses Collaboration

NBC Revs Up Global Merchandize Program for Fast & Furious

American Greetings Entertainment Relaunches Madballs

American Greetings Entertainment (AGE) and master toy partner Just Play entered into a co-production and joint venture partnership to relaunch a new series of the 1980s brand Madballs.
 
New Madballs animated shorts are currently in production and are set to launch this fall to support a consumer products program already underway with new and digital licensee commitments. Starting next spring, Just Play will launch a variety of products, including classic and mini-collectible Madballs, and expand with play sets and accessories at retailers worldwide. 
 
For specialty channels, Kidrobot will bring vinyl figures, collectibles, soft foam balls, and limited-edition items to market this holiday season. The growing list of licensees includes Brunswick Bowling Products, Roar Comics, Mondo Teese, and Gourmandise.
 
Rolling out in the digital marketplace, AGE advances its relationship with Miniclip. Las Maquinitas Studios is developing a free-to-play Madballs game for mobile devices; Neon Mob offers digital trading cards; and Bare Tree Media adds chat stickers in its Emojitap app.

Richmond Management Group Signs Partners for Tween Girls’ Brand Tiniez

Richmond Management Group (RMG) signed licensing partners for Tiniez, a tween girls’ aspirational brand in the toy and apparel category for launch next fall.
 
Master toy partner Jazwares will develop collectibles and plush for retail next fall and will support Tiniez with its network of social media influencers to focus on growing the digital footprint of the brand.
 
Kandy Kiss will develop a 30- to 40-piece apparel collection, including T-shirts, fashion tops, hoodies, leggings, skirts, rompers, and dresses. Bare Tree Media digital stickers are already available in the market.
 
Palamon Costumes (a division of Li & Fung) will introduce a select group of Tiniez characters chosen by Tiniez fans next Halloween that highlight each character’s passions such as fashion, science, music, dance, and animals. Each costume will have unique features and designs tailored to the Tiniez characters and their aspirations.
 
Jay Franco & Sons will launch home décor, including a range of bedding, bath, and beach products to launch in 2018.
 
A Tiniez YouTube series featuring do-it-yourself videos and tutorials will launch this summer with support on PopJam—the social content app for kids in the UK, which launches in North America this summer.
 
With more than 100 characters, each with her own aspiration and backstory, Tiniez creates a world for tweens where no dream is too big and no girl is too small. Feedback from Tiniez fans on social media will impact decisions on designs, products, and character introductions.




 

FremantleMedia Kids & Family Signs New North American Deals for Kate & Mim-Mim

FremantleMedia Kids & Family has signed multiple North American licensees for preschool series Kate & Mim-Mim. The series launched its second season in the U.S. earlier this year with new episodes on Disney Junior. 
 
New licensees include The Bentex Group and its divisions Dreamwave LLC, Extreme Concepts LLC, and H.I.S. International LLC, for girl’s sportswear, which includes sets, separates, dresses, T-shirts, and swimwear in the U.S. 
 
Global Brands Group’s AME signed for Kate & Mim-Mim sleepwear in the U.S. and Canada; Cardinal Industries for games and puzzles, Jay Franco for bedding, bath, and beach; and JCP Live Productions for live events and costumed character appearances.
 
Plus, global master toy partner Just Play will roll out plush, dolls, and figure packs in the U.S. beginning this fall.
 
North American publishing partner Penguin Young Readers will launch its initial line this fall, including storybooks, leveled readers, e-books, and sticker books.
 
Kate & Mim-Mim DVDs are currently available in the U.S. from Public Media Distribution, LLC via its SkipRope label. The first Kate & Mim-Mim DVD, Flight of the Flowers, was released in March, and the second, Balloon Buddies in May. Additional DVD releases planned for 2016 include The Mimiloo Zoo, which will debut in September, and A Christmas Wish, which will be available in October.  
 
Additionally, Digital apps are available from A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. Digital (worldwide).

Disney to Debut Frozen Northern Lights

Disney hasannounced Frozen Northern Lights, an original story from the kingdom of Arendelle spanning a collection of books, animated shorts from the LEGO Group and new digital extensions. Beginning in July, Frozen fans can follow Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven on an adventure to restore the glimmer of the Northern Lights.

“Natural phenomenon meets cultural phenomenon in this all new story, Frozen Northern Lights,” said Andrew Sugerman, Executive Vice President, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “We’re excited to share this new adventure and offer fans great new ways to connect with their favorite characters thanks to a host of related books, digital games and activities.”

The story titled, Disney Frozen Northern Lights: Journey to the Lights, published by Random House, will be introduced as a deluxe novelization in July ahead of an extended collection of books featuring the familiar characters, as well as a brand new protagonist , Little Rock. The storyline will be reimagined by the LEGO Group with four new animated shorts and a full compilation airing on Disney Channel this fall. The shorts will bring the unique brand of stylized animation and witty LEGO humor to the world of Frozen, with the voice talent from the movie reprising their roles.




 

Joester Loria Group Partners with Knockaround for Pacifico Sunglasses Collaboration

The Joester Loria Group partnered with Knockaround, the San Diego-based sunglasses brand, for a Pacifico design collaboration. The Pacifico sunglasses will be available for sale on June 15 on knockaround.com. Pacifico will also be the official sponsor of the U.S. Open of Surfing and the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships.
 
The design of the sunglasses reflects Knockaround and Pacifico’s Southern California roots and the spirit of the Pacific Coast lifestyle: laid-back attitude; active, optimistic, and spontaneous lifestyle; and appreciation for surf culture.
 
The glasses are form-fitting and provide full UV400 sun protection. They are packed in a Baja map box alongside a bottle opener (which doubles as a surf wax comb), a neoprene pouch that can store shades or chill beer, a topographic-print Knockaround sticker, and collector’s card.
 
The Pacifico sunglasses feature gradating Ocean Blue fronts, translucent Baja Yellow arms with a topographic print on the outside, matte Ocean Blue K logos, and polarized Coastal Sunset lenses with a life ring logo lens-etch.
 
The collaboration will be supported by cross-promotional marketing efforts, taking consumers on the “Path Less Taken” with a social media content campaign, product giveaways, targeted email blasts, and a Pacifico landing page on knockaround.com.

NBC Revs Up Global Merchandize Program for Fast & Furious

Timed with the upcoming release of the eighth film in the Fast & Furious franchise, NBCUniversal Brand Development and its NBCUniversal Consumer Products business unit have announced plans to expand the range of merchandise inspired by the multi-billion dollar franchise. Focusing on best-in-class creative partners that capture the essence of the property, NBCUniversal Consumer Products will debut a new vehicle toy line with Mattel, as well as an extensive cross-category merchandising program for the record-setting franchise in 2017.

FremantleMedia North America Signs Licensing Partners for American Gods Adaptation

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) will build an extensive licensing program for Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel American Gods, with the upcoming adaptation of the book into a TV series on Starz next year.
 
FMNA secured Chronicle Books to publish a book giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the TV series. FMNA also signed Dark Horse Deluxe to host novelty and collectible products, including a 3-D crystal laser-etched cube, a sculpted coin replica pin, playing cards, barware, embroidered patches, coaster sets, lenticular cards, journal/notebooks, and optical illusion products.
  
Translated into more than 30 languages, American Gods is a battle between old, traditional gods and new upstart gods. American Gods is produced by FremantleMedia North America.

Topps Expands Digital App Lineup

Topps, has announced continual growth of its lineup of digital apps. The app collection, which has grown over the last four years from one app in 2012 to 5 apps in 2016, now includes Topps, BUNT, Topps HUDDLE, Topps KICK, Star WarsSM: Card Trader, and The Walking Dead: Card Trader. All apps are available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

The most recent launch for Topps is The Walking Dead: Card Trader, which features new digital card releases on a daily basis covering the entire history of The Walking Dead. The unique app, for the first time ever, offers fans of Fear The Walking Dead the opportunity to collect and trade cars of new favourite characters as they experience the collapse of society. Topps will also be celebrating a 60-year relationship with the National Football League (NFL) having officially announced long-term agreements with the NFL and the National Football Players Association (NFLPA) to publish digital trading cards in the Topps NFL HUDDLE app. The deals allow Topps to continue to deliver some of its most popular brands such as Topps Chrome and Topps Inception to NFL fans in digital form.

Activision Publishing Inc. Partners with McDonalds for Skylanders SuperChargers Toys

Activision Publishing Inc. partnered with McDonald’s for Skylanders SuperChargers toys, available through July 5 at participating McDonald’s restaurants across North America. Part of the McDonald’s Happy Meal package, the toys include six characters equipped for sky, sea, and land travel.
 
This McDonald’s Happy Meal program includes toys inspired by supercharged pairings, such as Gill Grunt in Reef Ripper, Spit Fire in Hot Streak, Jet-Vac in Jet-Stream, and Nightfall in Sea Shadow, all based on the video game that pioneered the toys-to-life genre.

Entertainment One Launches Second Series of Preschool Series PJ Masks

Entertainment One (eOne) will launch a second series of its new preschool animated superhero TV series, PJ Masks, across Disney Junior channels worldwide beginning in fall 2018.
 
The new 52 x 11-minute episodes, produced by eOne and Frog Box, in collaboration with broadcasters Disney Junior and France 5, will bring fresh adventures and challenges for Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko as they save the day from the show’s nighttime villains Luna Girl, Romeo, and Night Ninja. 

Corus Entertainment Expands Partnership with Cartoon Network in Canada

Corus Entertainment extends its partnership with Turner’s Cartoon Network in a new multi-year broadcast and merchandise deal, which will now feature Corus’ Nelvana as the exclusive merchandising agent for the channel’s brands in Canada, including The Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time, Steven Universe, Ben 10, and more. Nelvana will showcase its key brands at Licensing Expo 2016, Booth H214, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, June 21-23.
 
Nelvana will develop an array of licensed merchandise for Cartoon Network’s properties, greatly expanding the product offerings currently available in Canada and maximize the opportunities around the re-launch of The Powerpuff Girls this fall and Ben 10 next year.

The new categories include secondary and seasonal toys, softlines, food and beverage, sporting goods, and consumer electronics. Among the latest consumer products programs launching this fall in Canada is an assortment of The Powerpuff Girls toys from master toy licensee Spin Master.

Peanuts Worldwide Renews Long-Term Partnership With Sony Creative Products

Peanuts Worldwide renewed its long-term partnership with Sony Creative Products (SCP) to manage and grow its business in Japan.

SCP, in charge of the Peanuts in Japan since 2010, will play a critical role in planning and executing the 2018 celebration of the 50 anniversary of Peanuts in Japan.

SCP has strategically grown the Peanuts business in Japan, with 23 Snoopy Town Shop Stores and three Peanuts cafes, and also helped launch the Snoopy Museum Tokyo, an  off-shoot of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa.

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