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HEADLINES AT A GLANCE
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DHX Media and Mattel Launch Kids Content Partnership

Leaner Leadership Structure at Rovio

eOne Signs New Licensees for The BFG

 
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Rubie’s Costume Co. Announces Star Wars: The Force Awakens Costume Collection

Dakota Grizzly Appoints Perpetual Licensing

Saban Partners with Blush for Glitter Force

DHX Media and Mattel Launch Kids Content Partnership

DHX Media Ltd. and Mattel Inc. have signed a long-term partnership agreement for the development, production, and distribution of a range of new, multi-platform content inspired by Mattel properties Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Little People, and Polly Pocket.
 
Under the terms of the partnership, Mattel and DHX Media will jointly fund, co-develop, and co-produce new episodic, short-form, and long-form content for the Mattel properties, designed for a variety of traditional and digital platforms. With Mattel’s additional expertise in brand franchise management, strategy, and consumer product licensing, and with DHX’s strength in global content distribution and creation, the companies will drive new production and growth for select Mattel properties.
 
The partnership, which covers multiple revenue streams, takes effect January 1, 2016, though Mattel and DHX will begin creative and strategic collaboration immediately. DHX Distribution will manage global sales of existing and new content for Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Little People, and Polly Pocket under the partnership, and DHX Studios will collaborate with Mattel to develop and produce multiple new seasons of content for the properties. Mattel will oversee global brand management and all other lines of business.

Leaner Leadership Structure at Rovio

Rovio is shifting more operational responsibility and decision-making into its two business divisions, Games and Media. As a consequence of this change, Pekka Rantala, who has successfully led Rovio through a period of change and strengthened the company’s focus, has decided to step aside. Rovio has appointed Kati Levoranta as the new CEO. As part of the leadership change, Mikael Hed will lead Rovio’s media business, including its licensing activities, and Wilhelm Taht will lead the company’s games unit.
 
“I want to thank Pekka for his dedication, change leadership and for steering Rovio through challenging times,” says incoming CEO Kati Levoranta. “We are now positioned to make the most of the release of The Angry Birds Movie in May and some exciting developments in the games and consumer products portfolios throughout 2016.”
 
“As we move into the next phase of the Rovio story, we will be getting back to our entrepreneurial roots with the leaner, more agile organization that Pekka leaves us with. Kati Levoranta has been an inspirational presence at Rovio since 2012, and I am certain that she is the right leader to empower the business units and take us to new successes in all our businesses,” says Kaj Hed, Rovio´s Chairman.
 
Levoranta has served Rovio since 2012 as Chief Legal Officer, and has also headed the company’s sales for the EMEA region since March 2015. Rantala will stay on as CEO until the end of the year to ensure a smooth leadership transition on January 1.
 
Mikael Hed, who will lead Rovio’s media business including the production of The Angry Birds Movie, is a board member and co-founder of Rovio and serves as chairman of the Rovio Animation Company. Wilhelm Taht, who will lead the company’s games business, has previously served as head of Rovio Stars, Rovio’s publisher of games produced by third-party developers.

eOne Signs New Licensees for The BFG

Entertainment One (eOne) has secured a raft of new licensing deals for The BFG movie ahead of Steven Spielberg’s big screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, which is slated for release in July 2016. New licensing partners have been signed across games, apparel, nightwear and confectionery and join a growing list of licensees that will be releasing The BFG merchandise at retail in summer 2016.
 
eOne handles pan-European licensing rights for The BFG movie and will be directly distributing the film in the UK. New licensing partners signed to the consumer products programme include Blues for a range of leisurewear, Winning Moves is on board for a Monopoly board game, C&M Licensing will produce a line of nightwear, underwear and socks and Kinnerton will be releasing chocolate confectionery. In addition to this latest crop of licensees, eOne has also appointed creative agency Imagin8 to manage cross-category FSDU solutions at retail.

Rubie’s Costume Co. Announces Star Wars: The Force Awakens Costume Collection

Rubie’s Costume Co. Inc. has launched Star Wars-inspired costumes and accessories based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opening in theaters on December 18.

Available in toddler, child, and adult sizes, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens collection includes costumes based on Finn, Rey, Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, Flametrooper, and Stormtrooper.

The film introduces many new characters in its seventh installment of the episodic film series created by George Lucas, set 30 years after Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

Dakota Grizzly Appoints Perpetual Licensing

Dakota Grizzly, the apparel adventure company who makes menswear, has enlisted Perpetual Licensing as its exclusive licensing agent.
 
Perpetual will partner with Dakota Grizzly to develop a strategic brand-licensing program and secure licensing partnership for brand extensions that reinforce the Dakota Grizzly’s distinctive outdoor style. New licensed products will include: women’s apparel, headwear, undergarments, footwear, and accessories.
 
Rob Rosenblum, COO of Dakota Grizzly, said: “Expanding our brand into a wide range of new product categories is a natural fit and something we’ve been planning for a while. Working with Perpetual, we hope to partner with great companies and continue to grow Dakota Grizzly through increased product offerings and new retail partners.”

Saban Partners with Blush for Glitter Force

Saban Brands has partnered with pop music girl group Blush for its new Netflix original series Glitter Force. Blush recorded Glitter Force’s theme song and performed additional tracks for the series. 

Blush, a Pan-Asian music band with edgy, pop, and R&B music includes Angeli Flores and Nikita Vecino from the Philippines, Natsuko Danjo from Japan, Alisha Budhrani from India, and Victoria Chan from China.

Glitter Force is adapted from a Japanese TV series Pretty Cure, and follows five preteen girls who learn that they are legendary superheroes who must defend earth from fairytale villains. The first season will premiere on December 18 on Netflix and the music will digitally release via iTunes and Amazon next year.

Surtex Launches New Programs and Services for 2016

Surtex, North America’s exposition and conference for the selling and licensing of original art and design, is slated to run May 15-17 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The only event of its kind dedicated to the sale and license of original art or design for use in the manufacturing of home goods, bedding, paper products, toys, calendars, textiles and fabrics, Surtex has announced a number of new programs to improve the buyer and exhibitor experience.
 
Matchmaking 101, to be held Sunday during the show, it's a great opportunity for buyers and artists to mingle and meet with each other at their own pace. Matchmaking will be facilitated through the Surtex Show Online Show Planner and the Mobile App, allowing exhibitors and attendees to connect prior to the show as well.
 
A VIP buyer program is also being introduced. Buyers will have extra incentive to meet with exhibitors, place orders and make deals because they will have the chance to earn $5,000 toward a deal done with an exhibitor. More details on the program will be released in early 2016.

Additionally slated for 2016 is the Surtex Media Preview, a first-ever event set for Monday afternoon. Endemic and non-endemic media will be invited to come learn more about how art is being sourced at SURTEX, and the role the art plays in finished goods.
 
If you are interested in exhibiting, call John Erich at 914-421-3286 or email john.erich@emeraldexpo.com

CLC Extends Partnership with BYU

The Collegiate Licensing Co. (CLC) has extended its ongoing partnership with Brigham Young University (BYU) for another 10 years. CLC will continue to manage the school’s trademark licensing program.
 
Officially licensed products for BYU are sold at more than 883 retail locations, an increase of more than 100 percent since 2013. BYU has achieved greater in-store distribution by participating in CLC’s exclusive national retail marketing platforms, including College Colors Day, Rock Your Colors, and Holiday Cheer Section.
 
Revenue from sales of BYU licensed products helps support academic programs through scholarships and athletics.

The Brand & Lifestyle Awards 2016: A Guide to Entering

The inaugural Brand and Lifestyle Licensing Awards (aka the B&LLAs) are taking place in the Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London on the afternoon of Wednesday 20 April 2016. Entries are open now.
 
Max Publishing, organisers of the event, comment: “Your next questions may well be “can I enter — and how do I enter?” If so you’re in the right place. Here’s what you need to know.
First and foremost, entering is not complicated — and it is of course free — but getting it right is important to maximising your chances. (Please do not confuse these awards with the UK Licensing Awards, also organised by Max Publishing. The B&LLAs are new, additional awards which shine the spotlight on brand licensing).
Most of all you need to remember that:    
 

  • all entries must be made online
  • no physical marketing materials or products can be submitted
  • entries close on 3 February 2016
  • these awards are for brand and lifestyle licensed products and properties, (not entertainment ). Think ‘upstairs at BLE’.

There are four different awards categories (each with their own entry procedure). Three of them — property, product and retailer — offer multiple award categories.  The fourth is a special Brand Ambassador of the Year award. You can enter some or all of these by going to the website — www.brandlicensingawards.co.uk. You can find the headings by clicking on How to Enter.”

Bare Tree Media Launches Star Trek Social Stickers Across Mobile Platforms

Bare Tree Media has released a series of mobile social stickers featuring the crew from Star Trek: The Original Series through a licensing deal with CBS Interactive. Fans can download the stickers through the emojiTap mobile app at www.emojitap.com.
 
The app and stickers are compatible with all iOS and Android devices.

Blue Ant Media and Smithsonian Networks Launch Blue Skye Entertainment

Blue Ant Media and Smithsonian Networks announced today that they are partnering on a new joint venture, Blue Skye Entertainment, to develop and distribute the world’s largest library of Ultra HD (4K) natural history and wildlife content. Blue Skye Entertainment, operating out of London, UK, will distribute this content globally via SVOD and linear television services under Blue Ant Media’s Love Nature brand and Smithsonian Network’s stand-alone streaming service, Smithsonian Earth.
 
“Together, Smithsonian Networks and Blue Ant Media will bring stunning and engaging 4K wildlife and nature content to audiences all over the world,” said Raja Khanna, CEO, Television & Digital, Blue Ant Media. “Blue Skye is the international evolution of our existing relationship with Smithsonian Networks, which has already seen us work together to bring Smithsonian Channel to Canadian audiences.”

Piege Co. Inc., Dreamwave LLC Partner to Launch Branded Swimwear

Piege Co. Inc. has signed a licensing deal with Dreamwave LLC for branded swimwear, including Felina, Jezbel, and Paramour, available at major retailers in 2017.

Felina brands will continue to expand into apparel and accessory product categories, including hosiery, socks, slippers, active wear, fragrance, and personal care.

m4e and Thomas Brezina to Develop and Co-Produce Adventure Series

The German brand management and media company m4e AG is counting on the creative power of the successful Austrian children’s and youth book author Thomas Brezina for the development of a new property. The adventure TV series for boys aged 6-12 years will be jointly developed, based on a hybrid style combining live action with state-of-the-art CGI animation, following the concept of the girls TV series Mia and me. At the same time, Brezina‘s Tower 10 GmbH will be co-producing the series with m4e, aiming at finishing the production by end of 2018/early 2019.

Toonz Animation, Gummybear International Inc. Partner

Toonz Animation has signed Gummybear International Inc. to expand Gummy Bear into entertainment and merchandising. YouTube has commissioned the two companies to produce the initial webisodes for an online series from its studio in India.
 
Additional plans are in place that will expand Gummy Bear’s presence online, in consumer products, and exploit the brand for TV and feature films.

Atlantyca Launches Atlantyca Live

Atlantyca Entertainment is expanding the company further with the establishment of a new division, called Atlantyca Live.  Headed by newly promoted Atlantyca executive Rachele Geraci, the integrated division will be dedicated to the planning, creation, production and development of live stage shows for all of Atlantyca’s owned properties which include the Geronimo Stilton brands, its spin-off series, Bat Pat and Agatha Mystery.
 
The new division will bring its first U.S. stage show on January 16, 2016 with the premiere of The Oregon Children’s Theater “Geronimo Stilton: Mouse in Space” — an American debut adaption of the best-selling book series.
 
In addition, Rachele Geraci has been appointed to Stage Rights Sales and Development Manager, Atlantyca Entertainment.  

DreamWorks Animation Appoints Marsh as Head of Global Live-Action TV

DreamWorks Animation appointed Katie O’Connell Marsh as the head of global live-action TV. In her new role, Marsh will oversee the expansion of DWA’s TV business into the live-action genre.

Previously, Marsh was the CEO of Gaumont International TV (GIT), which established itself as a leading global programmer with shows such as Hannibal (NBC), Narcos (Netflix), and Hemlock Grove (Netflix) under her leadership. Marsh has also served as the senior vice president of development and drama programming for NBC, and executive vice president of development and current programming at Imagine TV.

Licensing Link to represent Finnish design brand Finlayson in the UK

Brand extension and licensing agency, Licensing Link has been appointed to represent the design-led heritage brand Finlayson in the UK.

Finlayson was established in 1820 when it began designing and manufacturing its own homewares ranges. Finlayson studio, founded in 1951, was a pioneer of the Scandinavian fabric design movement with its original, minimalist, colourful fresh approach. Finlayson is known throughout Scandinavia for its affordable, high quality product ranges. A successful licensing programme has also been established in Japan.
 
The appointment of Licensing Link in the UK represents a key initiative for Finlayson in the development of the international expansion of the brand.
Licensing Link will be matching its high quality designs with best in class licensees, with the focus being on the homewares, bedding and soft furnishings categories, kitchenware, stationery and accessories.
 
“We are excited to have Licensing Link as a partner. Our international growth strategy is based on global licensing and so far we have received a lot of interest from different markets globally.  In 2016 we are expecting several new partner in UK market to join license the Finlayson brand and Licensing Link has an important role in the process,” says Risto Voutilainen, Chairman of the Board at Finlayson.

Licensing Link director, Ian Wickham added: “This is a hugely exciting opportunity and we are incredibly honoured to be working with Finlayson. The new owners undertook some extensive quantitative customer research with TNS before deciding in which countries they would start to roll out their global strategy. Of the sample used in the UK (20-65 year old women), 85% living in conurbations said they value contemporary design and 84% referenced a like of those designs coming from Scandinavia, so we see this as significant”.

“We have in excess of 100,000 different designs to utilise, built up over almost 200 years. With retailers, this has to be of interest as they continue to cry out for differentiation.” 
 

Tommy Bahama, Riviera Paddlesurf Partner for Paddleboards

Tommy Bahama and Riviera Paddlesurf have collaborated on a select offering of paddleboards that combine the latest technology with island-inspired style.

The paddleboards feature custom Tommy Bahama-inspired artwork, a customized SUP paddle with an aluminum shaft to accommodate the paddler’s height, and a logoed blade for efficient movement.

The Tommy Bahama by Riviera Paddlesurf paddleboards are available at tommybahama.com and select Tommy Bahama stores, including Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, La Jolla, and Scottsdale.

Total Intensity Brand Partners with WWE

Prestige Cosmetics Group is announcing the partnership of their Total Intensity Brand with WWE and its hit reality show Total Divas.
 
Linking Total Intensity and Total Divas, which airs on Tuesday nights at 9/8c on E!, will give fans a connection to their favorite reality stars and WWE Divas. Special Total Intensity product collections such as Go To The Matte Collection, Stand Out In The Ring Set, and the Ring the Bell Makeup Set, will be available starting in early 2016 at cosmetic retailers including: Ulta Beauty, Rite Aid, Walmart, Kmart, Fred Meyer, and various divisions of Walgreen and CVS drugstore chains. 
 
“We are very excited to embark on this relationship with WWE and Total Divas, and feel that the Total Intensity Brand has met its soul mate,” said Alan Kearl, President of Prestige Cosmetics Group. “Total Intensity is an original, fierce, upbeat makeup line that motivates women to express themselves, look their best and have the confidence to break the mold and shake the world.  WWE Divas are the perfect reflection of the Total Intensity consumer.”
 
“WWE Divas are role models who exemplify a unique blend of confidence, strength, athleticism and beauty,” said Casey Collins, WWE Executive Vice President, Consumer Products. “This new product collection from Total Intensity encourages women to express their unique personalities, much like our WWE Divas.”
 

GBI and NCircle Entertainment Debut First Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab DVD

Genius Brands International (GBI) and NCircle Entertainment have released the first DVD from the Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab animated series that shows kids how much fun science can be. The DVD was released nationwide at Walmart stores and digitally on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Hoopla on December 15.  
  
The company will partner with Wicked Cool Toys to launch merchandise, including STEM-based toys, next year.

Titan Comics Signs CBS and Showtime for Penny Dreadful

Titan Comics has entered a licensing deal with CBS Consumer Products and Showtime to publish an all-new comic prequel to the Penny Dreadful Showtime series. The first Penny Dreadful comic series will hit stores next spring.

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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