VIZ, LLC has teamed with Borders Group Inc., (BGI), the parent company of Borders and Waldenbooks, to co-promote the INUYASHA DVD and manga titles. The offerings will include the new feature film, INUYASHA: AFFECTIONS TOUCHING ACROSS TIME, the INUYASHA First Season DVD box set and a special Graphic Novel box set, which includes Vol. 19 and a limited edition INUYASHA figurine.
Wonderlens Studios, a small, independent animation house in Southern California, has landed a mucho big toy deal with Taco Bell Corp. -- 2.85 million toys, all based on characters created by Wonderlens, featured on its independently released DVD, WONDERLENS PRESENTS: AQUARIUM OF THE ALIENS. Participating Taco Bell locations throughout the U.S. will be distributing six different Wonderlens toys as part of a kids meal promo over a period of roughly six weeks, which started Sept. 1, 2004.
Go Fish Pictures, a subsidiary of DreamWorks Pictures, has selected Anime Network as the platform for its fall television advertising campaign for the highly-anticipated animated film GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE. The studio's ad commitment encompasses Anime Network's 24-hour cable channel as well as the network's video-on-demand (VOD) service and will include the airing of the full 75-second trailer for the film.
DreamWorks has awarded the trading card license for its forthcoming CG feature, MADAGASCAR, to Comic Images. The film follows a giraffe (David Schwimmer), a zebra (Chris Rock) and a hippo (Jada Pinkett-Smith) from New York's Central Park Zoo, who, in the process of being returned to the wild, are shipwrecked on the island of Madagascar. The film is set for release on May 27, 2005 with Comic Images planning to ship the trading cards a few weeks before the debut. Comic Images previously handled the SHREK 2 trading card series for DreamWorks.
Paramount Pictures has announced details for the SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW Air Combat Challenge" tournament, a three-week contest that began on Aug. 23, 2004. Playing the free downloadable game FLYING LEGION AIR COMBAT CHALLENGE, contestants will vie against one another for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to the London premiere of SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, opening in theaters nationwide Sept. 17, 2004.
DIC Ent. (DIC) has announced the continued expansion of the STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE publishing program in 2004 with new licensees, as well as augmented programs with existing licensees scheduled for 2005.
Walt Disney Records will release the soundtrack for the upcoming direct-to-video release, MICKEY -- DONALD -- GOOFY: THE THREE MUSKETEERS soundtrack on Aug. 10, 2004. The film premieres on DVD and video, Aug. 17. The soundtrack includes seven comedic spins on classical favorites by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and others and features the brand-new Radio Disney and Disney Channel hit THREE IS A MAGIC NUMBER by teen singing stars Stevie Brock, Greg Raposo and Matthew Ballinger. The CD will sell for $6.98.
Marvel Enterprises, Inc. has announced that it is consolidating important sub-categories of its toy licensing business with industry leader Russ Berrie and Co. for the plush and gift categories in the specialty markets. This new arrangement furthers Marvel's category management strategy, whereby Marvel seeks to enhance the potential market for its licensed products by selecting top-caliber partners who can expand the marketing and promotional support for Marvel-licensed product lines.
Lucasfilm and Dark Horse Comics are teaming up to create a graphic novel based on STAR WARS: EPISODE III - REVENGE OF THE SITH. Dark Horse and the concept artists behind the film will produce the graphic novel called STAR WARS: VISIONARIES, a collection of 12 tales told by the artists that helped envision the worlds, creatures, technologies and characters of EPISODE III.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and Scholastic have agreed to bring DAVEY AND GOLIATH to a new generation of children in the first major publishing deal for the religious, animated property.
DAVEY AND GOLIATH is a classic stop-motion animated television series that aired in the late 1960s and 1970s, starring Davey Hansen and his talking dog, Goliath, and is a property of the ELCA. The church's mission with DAVEY AND GOLIATH is to bring "moral and religious faith-based values to a new generation of children in lively and engaging ways."
Breakthrough Animation Inc. announced it has signed six new apparel and merchandise licensees for its ATOMIC BETTY property, and will preview a series of product lines at this year's MAGIC Marketplace conference.
Papa John's International Inc. continues its pizza and entertainment campaign with the introduction of four new DVDs and its featured specialty pizza during the month of July - the Barbeque Chicken and Bacon pizza. Along with the new flavor, customers may choose the JR. SCENE IT? game or one of three DVD movies - THE BEST OF ROCKY & BULLWINKLE AND FRIENDS, DURANGO KIDS or WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S II.
In a special window from July 8-15, 2004, fans of CLONE WARS will be able to purchase hand-painted animation model sheets of Yoda at StarWarsShop.com. The new image features the final Yoda character model set against a fine art Giclèe that depicts drawings from the original Yoda model pack developed by series artist Paul Rudish and series creator Genndy Tartakovsky. Gicleé (zhee-clay) is a digital fine art printmaking process wherein millions of ink droplets stream onto canvas or high-quality stock paper.
Palisades Toys has announced the release of the first series of action figures based on the FAIRLY ODDPARENTS. Series 1 includes fully articulated action figures with episode specific accessories, and each figure is packed with Wanda and Cosmo in one of their many disguises. The figures will sell for $14.99.
The Timmy Turner figure includes a Goldfish Bowl with Nightstand, Baseball, an Enchanted Microphone, a Crimson Chin Comic Book, Eddie the Gerbil, and a FAIRLY ODDPARENTS logo figure stand, plus, Wanda and Cosmo in their signature Goldfish disguises.
Burger King Corp. announced the availability of eight kids meal toys based on Sony Pictures' SPIDER-MAN 2. These Spider-Active toys are Burger King's first premiums with sun-reveal technology that enables a secret Spidey symbol to appear when the toys are in sunlight. The premiums are available at participating Burger King restaurants nationwide with the purchase of a kids meal from June 28, 2004, to Aug. 8, 2004, while supplies last.
Playmates Toys will toy around with the characters from the upcoming computer animated feature film DELGO. Fathom Studios and its licensing agency Joy Tashjian Marketing Group (JTMG) have scored a bit of a coup awarding the master toy license for the unfinished indie film with a distributor and release date still to be set. The toy line includes dolls and figures at several price points, as well as play sets, action figures, vehicles, play environments, and toy accessories.
The U.S. Postal Service has issued a set of four stamps featuring Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and a host of Disney friends, the first of three Disney-themed stamp panes that will be issued over as many years.
"With the dedication of the Disney stamps, we get the chance to capture the spirit of friendship as it appears in the art, the imagination and the creative tradition of Walt Disney," said postmaster general John Potter, who officiated at the first-day-of-issue stamp dedication ceremony in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Park on June 23, 2004.
Crayola's new SPIDER-MAN 2 inspired activity line allows kids to melt crayons and mold them into their own Spider-Man and Dock Ock characters with the SPIDER-MAN 2 Character Maker, draw webby designs with Crayola Spider Writers, pens that ooze a spider-web-like ink and even decorate their windows with all things "Spidey" with SPIDER-MAN 2 Window Markers and Window Clingers.
Poore Brothers Inc., the owners of T.G.I. Friday's restaurants, has discontinued its Crunch Toons product line of salted snacks featuring Warner Bros. cartoon characters. The company decided to discontinue the brand since testing of different consumer marketing variables did not significantly improve sales. In connection, Poore Brothers negotiated amendments to its license agreements with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, which will stop Poore Brothers' right to use the characters after September 30, 2004.
Entara has announced that it has signed a home video deal for JAKERS! THE ADVENTURES OF PIGGLEY WINKS with Paramount Home Ent. as well as a book deal with Simon Spotlight, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Childrens Publishing.
Breakthrough Animation's licensing agency Joy Tashjian Marketing Group has awarded Playmates Toys the master toy license for ATOMIC BETTY. January '05 is set for roll-out of the ATOMIC BETTY line, which will encompass dolls, playsets, action figures and toy accessories based on the animated series, which makes its debut on Cartoon Network this fall as well as TELETOON (Canada), M6 (France), TELETOON (France) and Cartoon Network (UK). In addition, the series has thus far been licensed to more than 55 countries worldwide.
Palisades Toys is readying its release of the first series of INVADER ZIM action figures to quickly follow the release of the TV series on DVD in August. The cult hit, created by Jhonen Vasquez (JOHNNY THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC), was cancelled by Nickelodeon after only 26 episodes. The first series of action figures, each of which has a MSRP of $14.99, includes Invader Zim; GIR, his robot helper; The Almighty Tallest Purple, the leader of the Irken invaders; Ms.
Hasbro Inc. welcomes Shrek and friends back with a full line of SHREK 2 plush, playsets, figures and games available in spring 2004 at retail stores in the U.S.
The Hasbro's SHREK 2 line includes WISE CRACKIN' SHREK/DONKEY, kind of an interactive companion doll. Press on his fuzzy muzzle and say "I love you, Donkey" to activate the plush donkey's buddy mode. But watch out, when he hears "Go away Donkey" his mood turns sour. (Approximate retail price: $29.99 for kids 5+.)
DreamWorks Consumer Products has lined up a host of partners to support the computer animated feature film SHARK TALE, which arrives in theatres October 1, 2004. The film has attracted a diverse mix of promotional support including returning partners Burger King Corp., General Mills and Hewlett-Packard, as well as new partnerships with Coca-Cola, Krispy Kreme and Great Clips.