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 The weekly newsletter connecting the industry around the world
August 8, 2013 

  Activision Blizzard Reports Second Quarter Financial Results

Activision Blizzard had the top-two best-selling games in North America and Europe combined for the first six months of this year, with Skylanders Giants and Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The quarter ended June 30, and Activision Blizzard's GAAP net revenues were $1.05 billion, as compared with $1.08 billion for the second quarter of last year. On a non–GAAP basis, the company's net revenues were $608 million, as compared with $1.05 billion for the second quarter of last year.

Activision Blizzard has unveiled an agreement under which the company will acquire approximately 429 million company shares from Vivendi, in exchange for approximately $5.83 billion in cash, or $13.60 per share. In a related transaction, ASAC II LP, an investment vehicle led by CEO Bobby Kotick and Activision Blizzard Co–Chairman Brian Kelly, will purchase approximately 172 million company shares from Vivendi. Following the completion of the transactions, Vivendi will no longer be the majority shareholder, but will retain a stake of approximately 83 million shares.

Based on its second quarter results, Activision Blizzard is raising its full year GAAP outlook. The company's third quarter and full year net revenue and earnings per share outlook do not include any potential impact from the transaction with Vivendi.

  Peter Capaldi Revealed as Twelfth Doctor Who

Peter Capaldi has been revealed as the twelfth Doctor in the long–running BBC series Doctor Who. Capaldi is known for his role in The Thick of It, and will replace Matt Smith who plays the current Doctor. BBC Worldwide has built a strong licensing program around Doctor Who, with Wow! Stuff recently expanding its product range. Several companies are already planning new ranges with the image of the new Doctor.

  Disney Launches Back–to–School and Party Goods Ranges

Disney Consumer Products has launched range of back–to–school items inspired by Disney, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Marvel characters. The range includes apparel, backpacks, school supplies, home décor, books, and digital apps. The items from the back-to-school collection are available at retailers including Target, Walmart, Kmart, jcpenney, Forever 21, Hot Topic, Nordstrom, and Claire's as well as the Disney Store, disneystore.com, and the iTunes store.

Disney has also partnered with Hallmark for the Hallmark Dream Party products line. The line features Disney, Pixar, and Marvel characters and goes beyond plates, napkins, and party favors to include décor, activities, and accessories. Some of the themes in the line are Disney Princess: The Royal Event of the Year, Disney–Pixar Cars: The Birthday Grand Prix, and Spider–Man: Spider Heroes Unite. The party collections can be found at Walmart and other party specialty stores.

  Licensing Awards Finalists Announced

The finalists of The Licensing Awards 2013 have been announced for the product, marketing communication, and retail awards. The Licensing Awards will take place on September 10 at London's Grosvenor House Hotel. For a full list of the finalists, visit: www.thelicensingawards.co.uk.

  DreamWorks Partners with Hasbro for Two Franchises

Hasbro Inc. and DreamWorks Animation have entered into an agreement to create toys and games inspired by DreamWorks Animation's B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations and Trolls properties. Through this deal, Hasbro will unveil franchise-inspired product lines across major toy categories, with theatrical releases supporting B.O.O. and Trolls arriving in theaters in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations is the classified agency you've never heard of and certainly never seen. Dedicated to protecting the universe from evil hauntings, the agents of B.O.O. have a secret weapon: they are ghosts themselves. When B.O.O. faces its biggest threat yet—an uber–villain with a ghastly plan—top agent Jackson Moss (Seth Rogen) and his wacky partner Watts (Melissa McCarthy) team up for the job.

DreamWorks Animation also recently announced the acquisition of the Trolls franchise. The Trolls experienced resurgence in the 1990s, and in 2003 the Toy Industry Association named Trolls on its list of One Hundred of the Century's Most Treasured Toys.

  Fourth Series of Chuggington Set to Air

Ludorum has announced that the fourth series of Chuggington will broadcast on CBeebies later this summer. The new series will air with a special extended 30–minute episode later this month titled "Chug Patrol Ready to Rescue," followed by 11 new adventures that will air on CBeebies from late August, with another 13 episodes transmitting next spring.

Immediately following the on-air launch of the series and special, a 3–D interactive storybook app, developed by Story Toys, Chug Patrol: Ready to Rescue, will launch in September. After the initial program publicity the marketing focus will turn to the refreshed Chuggington website www.chuggington.com, which will feature a new online game called Chug Control Challenge.

  Saban Brands and MarVista Debut Latest Power Rangers Installment

Saban Brands and MarVista Entertainment have licensed the latest installment of the Power Rangers franchise, Saban's Power Rangers Megaforce, to the UK's Channel 5, where it will debut this summer. In addition, the upcoming season of Power Rangers Super Megaforce will officially debut to the international TV market at MIPJunior this year. The Rangers have an added special ability to morph into any team of Power Rangers from the past. Saban's Power Rangers Super Megaforce will debut on Nickelodeon in various world markets next year.

  Automobili Lamborghini to Exhibit at Brand Licensing Europe

Italian super sport luxury carmaker, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., will exhibit at Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) for the first time this year. The brand will take its place in the newly created Brands section of BLE, in the West Hall of London's Olympia. It joins adidas–A.C. Milan, adidas–Real Madrid, Manchester United Merchandising Ltd., Chupa Chups, NBA Europe, The Royal Ballet, Discovery, Maui & Sons, and many other sport, lifestyle and consumer brands.

Darren Brechin, BLE event director, comments: "We are very pleased to welcome Automobili Lamborghini to Brand Licensing Europe 2013. It is a brand with an extraordinary heritage and powerful associations. We wish the team a very successful show and look forward to learning about the opportunities they bring to potential partners. Automobili Lamborghini is a very exciting addition to the brands on offer to retailers, licensees and other visitors at BLE this year."

  USAopoly Produces The Walking Dead-Themed Board Games

USAopoly, under license by Hasbro Inc., is set to debut Monopoly: The Walking Dead Survival Edition and Risk: The Walking Dead Survival Edition. Each game is based off Robert Kirkman's best–selling, Eisner Award–winning comic book series and graphic novels. Available exclusively from Skybound, Kirkman's imprint at Image Comics, and Diamond Comic Distributor, both games will be released in late September.

  Augmented Reality Annuals Hit Shelves

A range of augmented reality (AR) titles are now on sale due to a collaboration between Pedigree Books and Zappar. The books are being sold as Super Interactive Annuals 2014 and have been available since August 1.

AR allows consumers to get added value from annuals by downloading a free app onto tablets and smartphones that enables them to read images throughout the book and unlock "Super Interactive" features. Simply holding the device over selected pages creates brand new content such as extended character profiles and extra stories and activities, including coloring, mazes, puzzles, and make–your–own–poster features. Although the titles can still be enjoyed as traditional annuals, around 20 percent of the pages have an "Exclusive Super Interactive Unlock" icon that will add an exciting new dimension to the Annuals experience for Pedigree consumers.

The new technology will feature across Pedigree's gaming and new media range, which includes brands such as Annoying Orange, Cut the Rope, Angry Birds, Angry Birds Star Wars, and Sonic The Hedgehog.

  Nestlé, Fox Consumer Products Partner for New Campaign

Nestlé USA and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products have revealed a new promotion involving Bart Simpson. The campaign has fans solve a mystery by entering the "Who Laid a Finger on Bart's Butterfinger" online instant win game and sweepstakes promotion on Facebook.

To solve the mystery, consumers can find codes inside the wrappers of three limited–edition Butterfinger candy bars featuring Bart Simpson. The online instant win game and sweepstakes feature more than 100,000 prizes, including Homer Simpson snowboards and Bart Model Cruzers, from Santa Cruz Skateboards; Simpsons Kidrobot figurines; and a digital download of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror II. The sweepstakes grand prize includes a trip to Los Angeles and a personalized illustrated portrait in The Simpson's graphic style.

The nationwide search starts on August 1, with a "Who Stole Bart's Bar?" van tour showcasing a lineup of the 12 potential suspects. The nine-city tour includes stops at three Springfield cities across the country as homage to the Simpson's hometown. The first person to arrive on the scene can participate in a promotional T-shirt giveaway that features designs of The Simpsons suspects. Brand ambassadors will also hand out coupons for free limited–edition Bart Simpson Butterfinger bars.

  Planeta Junior Outlines MIPJunior Plans

Planeta Junior will attend the upcoming MIPJunior with three animation series of which it is co–producer. Sendokai Champions, Egyxos, and Bubble Bip will lead the company's portfolio next season, as it continues to foster agreements with leading international producers in order to co-produce animated series that includes a global plan (publishing and toy program) and also licensing rights in different European markets.

  Zodiak Kids Partners with Dennicci for Mister Maker Apparel

Zodiak Kids has collaborated with Paul Dennicci to launch the first Mister Maker apparel range. The range, which is inspired by the character from the CBeebies series, will launch in the UK next spring and will include T-shirts, hoodies, and painting coveralls.

In a further agreement, Zodiak has inked an agreement with Dennicci to renew the Waybuloo license for babywear. Dennicci's Waybuloo apparel line launched in January with hooded towels, vests, pajamas, and sleepsuits for boys and girls ages 0 to 2. The renewal will see the introduction of new lines within sleepwear and outerwear, and will extend out to all retailers next spring.

  New Chapter for Kimmidoll Junior

DRi's Japanese–inspired lifestyle trend brand Kimmidoll has entered into a deal with Scholastic. Kimmidoll Junior will star in a publishing program, which will roll out in January. Targeting girls ages 4 to 8, the new Scholastic collection will kick–off with two Kimmidoll Junior Sticker Books. A Press–Out–And–Play book along with search book, Where are the Kimmidolls?, will launch in April and a Kimmidoll Junior 2015 Annual will launch next August.

Alicia Davenport, Licensing Director at DRi Licensing said, "We are delighted to welcome Scholastic to the Kimmidoll licensing program, which is rapidly gaining momentum."

  Cinedigm Acquires Rights to Disney Junior's The Hive

Cinedigm has acquired the North American home video, video on demand, and digital rights to Disney Junior's The Hive, a CGI-animated series for preschoolers airing in more than 150 global markets. The deal involves all 26 half–hour episodes of the series, which features the Bee Family and focuses on themes such as playing, being friendly, spending time with family, and learning about the world and how it works.

The Joester Loria Group (JLG) represents the series in the U.S., where licensees include Bakery Crafts (baking décor), Ceaco (puzzles), and Leapfrog (apps, console, and educational toys), with publishing and other categories to be announced. International licensees include Avanquest (iOS mobile apps), Jupiter Toys (wooden toys and furniture), Mookie Toys (plush and wheeled toys), Ravensburger (puzzles), 360 Wall (wall stickers), EMI Publishing (music), Blues Clothing, and Aykroyds.

On November 5, Cinedigm will introduce the brand to the physical market with three new thematic DVDs. Cinedigm will introduce the brand to digital platforms with the complete first season encompassing all 47 eight-minute episodes. The DVD releases include A Very Buzzbee Christmas, Buzzbee's Family Adventures, and Party in Honeybee Hive.

  Maraj to Join Scholastic

Scholastic has announced that licensing specialist Maya Maraj will join its Children's Publishing division as Licensing Scout with a remit to expand Scholastic's licensing list.

Maraj has a long track record within both publishing and licensing, having begun her career at Penguin working on the Disney portfolio before joining Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment where she helped manage licensing for artists and brands including David and Victoria Beckham, Andy Murray, and American Idol.

Maraj has most recently worked at Warner Bros. and at Shine 360, where she managed publishing deals for MasterChef, Merlin and The Biggest Loser. She said, "I'm thrilled to be working with Scholastic. It has a fantastic heritage but is also vibrant and forward thinking, and I very much look forward to helping to develop a licensing list that will really engage and excite children."

Catherine Bell, Co Group MD, commented, "I am delighted that Maya is joining us at such an exciting time for the business. Her track record in spotting trends combined with her expertise, energy, passion and knowledge of the licensing industry will allow us to find and develop exciting new brand partnerships. This appointment reflects our ambition for growth in our licensing business, complementing the already stellar list of authors and brands that make up our trade list."

  Mr. Men Little Miss to Re–launch in Hollywood

Mr. Men Little Miss will re-launch this summer with two events in Los Angeles. The Mr. Men Little Miss Go to Hollywood launch event will be held on August 10, and is open to the public. The collection features T-shirts and knit tops for men, women, and kids by celebrity T–shirt emporium Junk Food Clothing Co. Loungefly will also feature the designs on tote bags and backpacks. Additional Mr. Men Little Miss products will include iPhone cases, giclee prints, stationery, and drinkware.

iam8bit Gallery will host the Everybody's a Somebody! Over 50 Artists Explore the World of Mr. Men Little Miss art show at their Echo Park location from August 22 to September 8. Participating artists include Gina Martynova, Hine Mizushima, Jim Mahfood, and more. Artists will showcase their Mr. Men Little Miss–inspired works on a range of mediums.

A portion of the proceeds from the two–week event will benefit 826LA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students. Mr. Men Little Miss will also partner with 826LA to develop a creative writing workshop event on August 24.

  Fluid World Goes Galactic

Fluid World has been appointed Virgin Galactic licensing program covering global territories outside of North America.

Fluid World will manage the licensing program from its London offices, while appointing sub–agents to oversee activity in localized territories outside of the UK.

Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial space line owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments PJS, is in the final stages of its test flight program, which should see the Virgin Galactic first full space flight by the end of this year. Commercial operations will begin soon thereafter, when Sir Richard Branson and his family take off on the inaugural flight.

The global media coverage generated by that first flight will provide a platform for the Virgin Galactic brand. Subsequent media activity, including documentaries, reality competition shows, and concert events, will all serve to keep the brand in the public eye.

The licensing program is due to launch next fall and will cover all major categories to further extend the Virgin Galactic brand.

  Snuggle Partners with Jeffco Fibres for Bedding Products

Jeffco Fibres Inc. has signed a trademark licensing agreement with the Sun Products Corp. to develop and market Snuggle-branded bedding. The new line of Snuggle Home branded pillows, mattresses, and mattress toppers will be sold at major retailers in the U.S. and Canada later this year.

  University of Oxford Partners with Science4you

Oxford Ltd. has signed a three-year deal with Portuguese toy company Science4you to develop a range of co–branded scientific–themed kits for distribution and retail across Europe. The deal was brokered by Oxford's European and UK agents Performance Brands.

The initial range of seven University of Oxford-approved science kits, including Chemistry 1000 set and DNA Detective and Solar Car, is scheduled for release at retail this fall. Further products will be developed in partnership with Oxford over the length of the three–year contract.

"This partnership sees one of the world's most prestigious universities join forces with one of the youngest and most dynamic companies in this market. By joining the University of Oxford we take the next step in our mission to demystify science to children around the world," says Miguel Pina Martins, Science4you CEO.

"Oxford's rich history of scientific research and discovery provides a strong platform of relevance to support the proposed science kit range at retail," commented Hannah Aspey, Head of Brand & Communications at Oxford Limited. "Science4you has already established a good track record of working with academic institutions in Portugal, and we look forward to an equally productive and successful relationship with them as an Oxford licensee."

  Univision Launches Delicioso Lifestyle Brand Products

Univision Communications Inc. and Univision host and cookbook author Ingrid Hoffmann have partnered with leading multichannel retailer HSN, to debut Simplemente Delicioso, a new line of tabletop and kitchenware. Developed through a licensing partnership with Gibson Overseas Inc., the new lifestyle products will be unveiled exclusively on HSN, HSN.com, and HSN Mobile on August 9 and 10.

The multipurpose line includes an array of tabletop and kitchenware items in seven distinct designs, including the San Miguel, Sonora, Casa Balboa, Papel Picado, Orinda, Abila, Mosaico Naranja, and Evita.

  Ravensburger Signs Deal for Woolly and Tig

Woolly and Tig has signed a new deal with Ravensburger for puzzles and jigsaws. The deal was finalized by Brands with Influence, and adds to the growing list of licensees, which includes Golden Bear, Random House Children's Publishing, Abbey Home Media, Cooneen, and Alfred Franks Butler.

Talking about the deal, Helen Doherty of Tattiemoon production company, commented, "We are delighted to be working with Ravensburger, they are an absolutely brilliant company and produce really great quality products. Having seen the amazing sell through on Golden Bear's toys I am sure this is going to be a success."

  Glory Sports International Appoints New Vice President

Glory Sports International has appointed Florence DiGiorgio to the role of vice President for global licensing and merchandising at Glory Sports International (GSI).

DiGiorgio is an 18–year consumer products veteran who previously worked at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). DiGiorgio's journey at WWE from a junior administrative post to vice president of global licensing placed her at the center of the overall industry with a top-five brand in apparel, toy, and collectible categories. While at WWE, DiGiorgio negotiated and secured a master agreement with Mattel that is still in place today and is one of the largest in the company's history.

  
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


   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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