Nickelodeon has agreed to license several of its popular cartoon properties to niche-market peripheral company KidzMouse. Several new KidzMouse computer mouse designs, sold under the "Nickelodeon by KidzMouse" name and based on Nick cartoon series, will debut in time for the holiday 2002 retail season. KidzMouse, is a "Kid-Friendly Computer Mouse" about half the size of a regular computer mouse with a squeezable "head" that replaces normal mouse buttons. The product is designed to make computers accessible and enjoyable for young computer users.
Egmont Imagination has signed an exclusive worldwide direct marketing agreement with Readers Digest to distribute THE FAIRYTALER on video and DVD. Launched this week at MIPCOM Jr., THE FAIRYTALER is a 26 x half-hour animated series that newly illustrates Hans Christian Andersens classic tales, which include THE UGLY DUCKLING, THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES, THUMBELINA and THE LITTLE MERMAID. The series is a co-production between Magma Film, Egmont Imagination and fellow Danish companies A. Film and Danmarks Radio, as well as Germany's Super RTL.
The U.S. Supreme Court now has the task of determining the legality of the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), a 1998 law that extended millions of existing copyrights by an additional 20 years. On Wednesday, October 9, 2002, the court will hear arguments in the matter of Eldred v. Ashcroft, which seeks to overturn the act on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. At the time of its enactment, the CTEA became known as the "Mickey Mouse Extension Act" because of aggressive lobbying by Disney.
In a major promotional licensing development, the Nelvana-distributed action series BEYBLADE will be promoted via all Kelloggs childrens cereal brands in the UK. Set to launch October 1, 2002, the Kelloggs UK campaign will place 12 million BEYBLADE spinning top toys in all leading Kelloggs cereals. The first of numerous global BEYBLADE promotions planned for 2002-2003, Kelloggs will support the BEYBLADE campaign with a comprehensive media program involving television and print.
Nickelodeon has extended its licensing agreement with Centrum Kids to launch a line of Centrum Kids Jimmy Neutron multivitamins. Centrum originally partnered with Nickelodeon to offer RUGRATS chewable multivitamins for kids, and will now present a new line featuring the characters Jimmy, Carl, Cindy and Goddard from the Oscar-nominated film JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS and the Nickelodeon series THE ADVENTURES OF JIMMY NEUTRON, BOY GENIUS. Animated characters have always featured prominently in the kids vitamin arena.
Family entertainment company Raven Moon Entertainment, Inc. hassigned a multi-faceted development deal with Pangea Corporation, astrategic marketing and content development entity, which specializesin the kids entertainment and toy industries. Pangea will assistRaven Moon in the further development of its intellectual properties,while also establishing licensing and cross-promotional opportunitiesfor Raven Moon's GINA D'S KIDS CLUB brand, a series oflive-action/animated videos for children. Pangea has worked with DIC
Target Stores have announced that they have struck a deal with Gullane Entertainment to carry an exclusive array of THOMAS & FRIENDS merchandise including apparel, toys and home entertainment. One Target exclusive will be a series of pocket-sized, die-cast, portable THOMAS & FRIENDS trains called "Take Along Thomas & Friends," which will be accompanied by all-in-one play sets. Target will also carry exclusive lines of THOMAS & FRIENDS apparel for toddlers and young children, and will introduce an exclusive line of children's footwear.
McFarlane Toys and Warner Bros. Consumer Products have joined forces to create action figures based on Warner Bros. Pictures' highly anticipated second and third installments of THE MATRIX Trilogy -- THE MATRIX RELOADED and THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, both slated for release in 2003. Action figures based on the films will debut in conjunction with each film's release. McFarlane Toys is working closely with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to determine which characters will become action figures.
In a considerable licensing deal, Cartoon Network has acquired over 600 half-hours of programming from Warner Bros. International Television Distribution to air on Cartoon Network UK. "In a fiercely competitive market, this is a major boost for Cartoon Network. With these titles added to our formidable library plus other Cartoon Network productions, co-productions and acquisitions, we have an unbeatable line up," said Finn Arnesen, vice president of programming, acquisitions and development for Cartoon Network, Europe.
Barcelona-based Grupo Neptuno has completed a major deal with Basque television producer Euskal Irrati Telebista (ETB) for the distribution of its catalogue worldwide, excluding Latin America and Spanish-speaking stations in the United States. ETB's complete line up of more than 1,000 hours of documentaries, entertainment, animation, feature films and live-action series will join Grupo Neptuno's existing catalog, which includes the preschool series CONNIE THE COW, distributed by AAC Kids and TV-Loonland, and the Flash animated series 2020, a co-production with Megatrix.
Manga publisher Tokyopop has acquired publishing rights to the highly popular manga series LUPIN THE 3RD and the movie books for Katsuhiro Otomo's AKIRA. Tokyopop plans to publish the LUPIN THE 3RD series in its original right-to-left format, while AKIRA will join the company's growing catalog of "Cine-Manga" titles (digitally captured screen stills laid out in a storyboard format). With titles in its catalog including SAILOR MOON, GUNDAM WING, INITIAL D, REAL BOUT HIGH SCHOOL and COWBOY BEBOP, Tokyopop also publishes several hit properties based on popular Cartoon Network and Kids!
Gullane Entertainments popular childrens property THOMAS & FRIENDS, has now been translated into Spanish and Portuguese and will be seen in eighteen countries across Central and South America including Argentina, Chile, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru and Puerto Rico, and throughout The Caribbean. The series launched in early July 2002 on Discovery Kids Latin Americas newly expanded pre-school block.
British animation producer, tv4c, has seen its pre-school animation series, BUSY BUSES, picked up by two regional terrestrial broadcasters in Japan for their autumn schedules. The 26 x 5-minute series is also currently airing daily on Kids Station, Japans biggest childrens satellite broadcaster and is enjoying its second run on EBS, Korea and ABC, Australia. BUSY BUSES will return to Living TV in the UK in September 2002 for a six month run.
Warner Bros. Worldwide Consumer Products and Mattel, Inc. have announced a comprehensive, multi-year agreement that grants Mattel the master toy licenses for several of Warner Bros. core franchises including LOONEY TUNES, BABY LOONEY TUNES, BATMAN, SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE. Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Mattel will develop and market products such as vehicles, action figures, playsets, plush, games, puzzles, dolls, adult collectibles and other categories based on the properties.
Although DreamWorks has only recently begun production on its upcoming animated features SHREK 2 and SINBAD, it has been hard at work forging a strategic worldwide promotional partnership with consumer food products giant General Mills. The multiple-picture relationship will span several theatrical animated releases and home videos, including the July 2003 release SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS and the sequel SHREK 2, scheduled for 2004 release. Promotional programs will be created for numerous food product categories.
Disney has partnered with Hasbro, Inc. to bring the popular characters from Disney's summer hit LILO & STITCH to stores. The unruly alien is captured in numerous ways including SPITTIN' STITCH with "real spitting action" created by holding him underwater to fill him up, then squeezing him, ELECTRONIC EXPERIMENT 626 STITCH has electronic features which allow Stitch to make laser sounds and speak "alien." And if you want to transform an alien into a pet, the 2-in-1 SWITCHIN' STITCH turns Stitch from outlaw alien experiment into a family pet.
At the recent LicensingShow 2002 in New York, Canadian children's programmer Cinar signed onnew licensing partners for its award-winning preschool seriesCAILLOU. Handcraft will launch a line of boys and girls underwearfeaturing CALLIOU characters and stationery supplier MeadWestvacowill be supplying CAILLOU wall calendars for 2004. Rand will belaunching a line of sporting goods which will include CAILLOU bikes &accessories, Trudeau will supply a brand new CAILLOU line of melamine
DecodeEntertainment Inc. has appointed The Sharpe Company as theinternational licensing agent for its new 3D animated preschoolseries THE SAVE-UMS! The series is scheduled to debut in February2003 as part of Discovery Kids new "Ready, Set, Learn" programmingblock on TLC and Discovery Kids Channel in the U.S. and on CBCCanada. Sharpe, current licensing agent for properties such asHUMPHREY'S CORNER and THUNDERBIRDS, will license THE SAVE-UMS! in allterritories outside North America.
CorusEntertainment's Nelvana has signed up new licensees for some of itskey kids' properties. Saban Consumer Products Europe, the consumerproducts division of Fox Kids Europe, has signed a pan-Europeanlicensing agreement for the animated series BRACEFACE. The three-yearagreement covers 16 European territories and 21 categories includingapparel, cosmetics, toys, stationery, music and multimedia. Theagreement expands the existing relationship between the two companies
DreamWorks SKG and Hasbro, Inc. have announced that Hasbro willproduce a line of G.I. JOE Adventure Team figures based on theupcoming DreamWorks animated feature SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVENSEAS, scheduled for release in May 2003. To support the movie, Hasbrowill offer the new line of G.I. JOE Adventure Team featuring Sinbadbattling mythological monsters. The 12" action figure line willinclude Sinbad vs. The Roq, a monstrous bird of prey; Sinbad vs.Serpens, a dragon-like sky serpent; and Sinbad vs. Scorpious, a
Family media company Big Idea will be at this week's Licensing Show 2002 in New York to announce THE BOB & LARRY MOVIE, its second animated feature film, currently in pre-production. The film tells the story of the popular VEGGIETALES characters Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber. Big Idea has already locked in many licensees for its first animated feature film, JONAH: A VEGGIETALES MOVIE, set for release on October 4, 2002 from Artisan's FHE Pictures.
Licensing 2002 International is the annual trade show for the multi-billion dollar worldwide business of consumer product licensing, marketing and merchandising and the show continues to be the most important marketplace for concepts and creative ideas related to the biggest brands in the world. It is held June 11-13, 2002 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. Here is a preview of just a few of the major animation-related products that will be showcased at Licensing 2002. For more information visit www.licensingshow.com.
Mattel Masters He-Man
At the 2002 Licensing Show held June 11-13, 2002 in New York City, Mainframe Entertainment Inc. will present licensing opportunities for their new CG animated series, Tony Hawk's FEASTERS. Mainframe and skateboarding sensation Hawk are developing the series, which targets boys aged 11 to 14.
Corus Entertainments Nelvana has recently licensed a slew of animated series to broadcasters in a number of countries. Spain's Luk Entertainment picked up BRACEFACE, CYBERCHASE and SEVEN LITTLE MONSTERS, while RTP (Portugal) took BRACEFACE along with MEDABOTS, MAGGIE AND THE FEROCIOUS BEAST, MAX & RUBY and TIMOTHY. Globo TV in Brazil has licensed FAIRLY ODD PARENTS, RESCUE HEROES and BEYBLADE, which has also been acquired by TF1 Video. Hungary's Minimax picked up ROLIE POLIE OLIE and the first two seasons of BRACEFACE and FRANKLIN for the Minimax block on Romania's ProTV.
Mainframe Entertainment, Inc. is previewing two distinct new properties this June at the Licensing Show 2002. The preschool series WUBBIES was developed by John Martin Mokrenko and Christine Usvaltas, and Mainframe Entertainment will bring the cast of furry Wubbies to life. Joy Tashjian, president of Joy Tashjian Marketing Group, Mainframe's agency of record for property representation will be promoting the product line potential of this property at this year's Licensing Show in New York.