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.
Twentieth Century Fox has lined up a host of national, regional, retail and in-theater promotional partners for the studio's GARFIELD feature. National promotional partners include Pepperidge Farm, Wendy's, Ashley Furniture, Valpak and Dole.
Entertainment Rights (ER) has signed up GE Publishing to produce a 4-weekly BASIL BRUSH comic. The magazine is targeted toward the CBBC TV's popular THE BASIL BRUSH SHOW's loyal fan base of boys and girls ages 6-10.
Following up DIC Entertainments recent acquisition of worldwide entertainment and licensing rights to the colorful-haired Troll character from the Troll Company (a.k.a. Dam Things), DIC has concluded partnership deals with key licensees Hasbro Inc. and Scholastic to launch TROLLZ, the entertainment and lifestyle brand for tweens, scheduled for U.S. debut in 2005.
TOKYOPOP Inc. and Disney Publishing Worldwide are teaming on a new line of Cine-Manga books. The first new Disney Cine-Manga title, LILO & STITCH, is set to debut in stores April 2004, with versions of THAT'S SO RAVEN, PRINCESS DIARIES 2, THE INCREDIBLES and THE LIZZIE MCGUIRE MOVIE set to roll out throughout the year. In total, there will be more than 24 Disney Cine-Manga projects slated for release over the next three years.
Plan-B Toys and Radioactive Clown have announced a new series of highly detailed, historically accurate, WWII action figures based on Activision's award-winning PC game, CALL OF DUTY. Series 1 will be available in North America and Europe May 2004.
Cooper Owen is hosting an "At the Movies" auction, which will feature two original staff artist drawings of Mickey Mouse. The sketches from the Walt Disney Studios show multiple Mickey Mouse drawings running away from the viewer. Each sketch measures approximately 12x10 inches (30x25 cm). The starting bid will range between £150-200.
HarperCollins Childrens Books will launch a book series based on the new television series, ASTRO BOY, produced by Sony Pictures Ent. Japan and Tezuka Prods. HarperKids Ent. has been granted North American English-language rights from Sony Pictures Consumer Products. HarperCollins will launch the 30 book program in September 2004 with seven titles: one color and activity book, one color and sticker book, two beginning readers, two storybooks, and one chapter book.
ADV Toys, the new division of A.D. Vision Inc. that creates exclusive toys and collectible merchandise based upon the companys film, manga and original content holdings, has signed its first toy deal, an exclusive Jonathan the Seal plush animal from the anticipated KALEIDO STAR anime series from ADV Films.
Playhut Entertainment has announced a new LITTLE SIGNZ licensing deal with New Jersey-based Karmin International for the jig-saw puzzles category. Karmin will manufacture and market an array of LITTLE SIGNZ jig-saw puzzles housed within boxes and decorative tins.
Image Entertainment Inc., in conjunction with Treadstone Records, unveiled the April 6, 2004 release of the soundtrack GALERIANS: RION featuring a fusion of American rock and cutting-edge Japanese anime. Featuring 14 tracks from artists such as Slipknot, Fear Factory, The Ataris, Sevendust and Adema, the soundtrack is part of a unique DVD package.
For the first time, kids (and bigger kids) can truly join in the action of the next BATMAN animated series. Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) announced it has partnered with Mattel Inc. and VEIL Interactive Technologies to link action figure and vehicles with interactive television. The technology will be exclusive to WBCP and Mattel for 2004. VEIL (Video Encoded Invisible Light) technology transmits encoded digital data -- in the form of graphics, storyline components, gadgets and other features -- directly from show, which is captured by Mattel's new line of Batwave children's toys.
American Royal Arts has announced the very first release of signed original production artwork from Nickelodeon's SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS. The collection of cels and drawings are from various episodes, including the world premier releases of "Squidward, the Unfriendly Ghost" and "Jellyfish Jamboree." Each piece is hand-signed by the voice of SpongeBob -- Tom Kenny. American Royal Arts is offering original production drawings, original production cels, cel progressions and key master set-ups.
On March 3, 2004, the YU YU HAKUSHO fast food promotion began at Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants nationwide. The promotion features character premiums based on the animated action series YU YU HAKUSHO that airs on Cartoon Network's Toonami block.
Oh, it's happy, happy, joy, joy time for Ren and Stimpy fans. Palisades Toys has announced the release of the anticipated line of Ren & Stimpy products, including articulated action figures, non-articulated pvc scenes and polystone mini busts. The first series of action figures will launch in the second quarter of 2004 and will include Ren, Stimpy, Mr. Horse and Shaven Yak. The second series will be released in the fourth quarter with the lineup yet to be determined.
Breakthrough Animation has awarded worldwide licensing representation for its animated series ATOMIC BETTY to Joy Tashjian Marketing Group LLC.
Breakthrough Animation Inc., the newly-established animation production, marketing and distribution division of leading Canadian producer Breakthrough Films & Television, recently signed Cartoon Network as the broadcast home for ATOMIC BETTY, in the U.S.
Following are breaking briefs filed by AWNs correspondent, Karen Raugust, from the 2004 American International Toy Fair in New York City.
Bandai America Inc., a subsidiary of the third largest toy company in the world, Bandai Co. Ltd, is unveiling its hot new toy lineup this weekend at the 2004 American International Toy Fair in New York City. The company has 13 huge brands of beloved and soon to be classic toys, as well as its entry into the popular collectible games category.
PBS Kids' math-mystery property CYBERCHASE has moved into brand activity high gear this spring, including new marketing dollars and licensees. With INTEL and JIF signing on as national underwriters of the series, the deal brings a variety of promotional opportunities and marketing dollars to the show. As part, national student contests, educational outreach programs, consumer promotions and events are in the works to focus nationwide attention on math literacy.