Mattel Inc. and 4Kids Entertainment Inc. have signed a multi-year, worldwide licensing agreement, with the exception of Asia, naming Mattel the master toy licensee for 4Kids' YU-GI-OH! Mattel will be manufacturing and marketing, among other items, action figures, games, puzzles, role-playing products and youth electronics based on the animated property. The first YU-GI-OH! product line will be available in 2002.
In an interesting promotional partnership, Universal Studios Home Video (USHV) and Hop-On have partnered to launch the first-of-its-kind, disposable cell phone in connection with the DVD/home video release of JURASSIC PARK III on December 11, 2001. The "Jurassic Park Survival Cell Phones" will offer 60 minutes of prepaid calling time without the requirement of a cellular service contract or monthly fee and will be available only via inserts in thousands of JURASSIC PARK III DVDs and videocassettes. Compact and fully recyclable, the cell phones require only two buttons: CALL and END.
McFarlane Toys has acquired its third major sports license this year, this time to create McFarlane's Sports Picks: NBA Basketball collectible figures officially licensed by the National Basketball Association. McFarlane Toys, known for its ability to craft facial likenesses, hopes to bring a new level of detail to the figures representing some of the NBA's leading players. Each action figure will feature official team logos and colors, and come with authentic game apparel specific to that player. Additionally, each player will be sculpted in an action pose.
PorchLight Entertainment has completed negotiations with Penguin Putnam, Inc. and Modern Publishing to license its animated preschool property JAY JAY THE JET PLANE. Under the agreement, Penguin will develop and produce JAY JAY THE JET PLANE story books for the preschooler as well as a variety of novelty books. With a commitment to produce a minimum of eight books throughout 2002, Penguin will adapt story lines from Jay Jay's worldly adventures and include both a Christmas and a spring-themed adaptation.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Sanrio Company, Ltd. have entered into an agreement under which they will develop and launch co-branded merchandise featuring the popular characters Tweety and Hello Kitty. The agreement, which calls for merchandise to be sold exclusively at Sanrio locations throughout Japan and most of Asia, is the first time industry-leading companies have partnered to develop and market a co-brand featuring their popular characters. Merchandise featuring the new co-brand will launch in March 2002 in Japan.
The LEGO Company has partnered with Canadian entertainment company CinéGroupe and secured full global merchandising rights to the television show GALIDOR: DEFENDERS OF THE OUTER DIMENSION. The show is scheduled to premiere in February 2002 on the Fox Kids Network in the U.S. and on YTV in Canada. The series GALIDOR: DEFENDERS OF THE OUTER DIMENSION is inspired by Web characters created by writer-creator-producer Tom Lynch, and combines live-action with computer-generated animation, 3D backgrounds and special effects.
Corus Entertainment's Nelvana has acquired all proprietary rights to BABAR. Laurent de Brunhoff, son of BABAR creator Jean de Brunhoff, made the deal through The Clifford Ross Company on behalf of the de Brunhoff family. The Nelvana acquisition includes 100 percent of all trademarks and copyrights to the BABAR property, as well as the de Brunhoff family's financial interests in the brand. The de Brunhoff family has reserved certain publishing rights, which will allow Laurent de Brunhoff to continue publishing his own BABAR books.
California-based chain Ralphs Supermarket has partnered with Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios, to allow its shoppers to earn free movie tickets to the animated feature MONSTERS, INC. based on their grocery purchases over a four-week period. From October 3 through October 30, 2001, Ralphs customers who accumulate $300 in grocery purchases using their Ralphs Club Card will earn two free tickets (adult matinee or child admission) to MONSTERS, INC. The free tickets may be used at any theater showing MONSTERS, INC. from November 2 to November 18, 2001.
Taking a cue from such successful childrens programs turned stage shows like BARNEY and BLUES CLUES, one of TV's longest-running animated series, SCOOBY DOO comes to life. The live-action stage show SCOOBY-DOO IN STAGEFRIGHT - LIVE ON STAGE will debut on October 26, 2001 at the Palace Theater in Louisville, Kentucky. The live show is scheduled to perform in 28 cities throughout the United States and Canada.
Kellogg USA and Fox Licensing and Merchandising (Fox L&M) have created two limited-edition cereals featuring THE SIMPSONS. Kellogg's Bart Simpson Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch and Kellogg's THE SIMPSONS Homer's Cinnamon Donut Cereal are now available nationwide for a limited time at a suggested retail price of $2.49 per box.
Burger King Corporation announced that it will greatly enhance its alliances with two entertainment industry companies, DreamWorks SKG and Nickelodeon. Burger King Corporation's new strategic alliance with DreamWorks encompasses five theatrical animated releases, starting with SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON, DreamWorks next animated feature release scheduled for Memorial Day weekend 2002, and first rights to all future live action, television, music and home entertainment properties.
The LEGO Company, makers of the world's best-selling construction toys, has created 11 new LEGO sets that capture the magic of the upcoming Warner Bros. film, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE. The sets are available now at retail. The LEGO Harry Potter sets include eight of the most popular characters from the magical world of Harry Potter - including Harry, Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, Draco Malfoy and Professors Dumbledore, Snape and Quirrell, as mini-figures, as well as a variety of other characters including animals, ghosts and imaginary creatures.
Midway Games Inc. has entered into several syndication agreements whereby it will license classic video games for play on a variety of emerging gaming mediums, including Websites, handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones and interactive television. Companies that have entered into licensing agreements with Midway include iWon, Heavy, RuneCraft, Index, Pocket Express and Terra Mobile-iobox. Financial terms of the licensing agreements were not disclosed. Midway announced three agreements focused on the handheld/wireless market.
JAKKS Pacific's Flying Colors division has signed a licensing agreement with 4Kids Entertainment to manufacture and market a line of toys based on the new CGI-animated television series, CUBIX - ROBOTS FOR EVERYONE. CUBIX features a world of colorful robots equipped with an emotion processing unit (EPU) that gives each robot a personality of its own. The Flying Colors line of CUBIX merchandise will include activity kits, sleeping bags and back to school items. The line is scheduled to hit shelves nationwide in spring 2002. The CUBIX series will premiere to global broadcasters at MIPCOM 2001.
DreamWorks Consumer Products has named Hasbro's WowWee subsidiary as master toy licensee for the upcoming theatrical animated release SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON. The film tells the story of a wild mustang stallion named Spirit and his journey through the untamed American West. Under the agreement, WowWee will offer a line of products based on the film including basic figures, playsets, deluxe figures, electronic and animatronic figures, accessories and role play items.
Sony Pictures Consumer Products has appointed HarperCollins as the worldwide publishing licensee for the HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON animated series set to debut in January 2002 on HBO Family. The series, based on the classic book by Crockett Johnson, is produced by Sony Pictures Family Entertainment. The new HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON book series will include six early reader books. The book series is expected to hit retail shelves in January 2002 to coincide with the release of the animated series.
Target Stores and Nickelodeon announced an exclusive marketing partnership for the fall retail launch of Nickelodeon's popular animated character, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS. Available in all 1,019 Target stores nationwide, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS merchandise includes school supplies, men's, women's and children's apparel, toys and more. Select items also are available online at target.com.
The Sharpe Company has appointed Italys BIC Licensing and Australian apparel company Barrymores Pty. Ltd., as licensing agents for Great Britains popular pre-school program HUMPHREYS CORNER. These agents join the HUMPHREYS CORNER licensing team headed by Charles Day, president of The Sharpe Company, worldwide licensee of the elephant character. HUMPHREYS CORNER is based on characters created and written by Sally Hunter in a series of books for preschool children about an elephant named Humphrey.
Activision has acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and publish interactive games based on THE FANTASTIC FOUR and IRONMAN for the next-generation console systems and the PC. These brands complement the company's current slate of Marvel Super Heroes that include SPIDER-MAN, X-MEN and BLADE. Possessing unique powers, THE FANTASTIC FOUR challenge the unknown to benefit humanity. Reed Richards (Mr.
JAKKS Pacific Inc. has signed a master toy licensing agreement with Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising for the studio's 2002 animated epic ICE AGE. Capitalizing on the film's three main characters -- an acerbic woolly mammoth named Manfred (voiced by Ray Romano), an un-socialized giant sloth named Sid (voiced by John Leguizamo), and a scheming saber-toothed tiger named Diego (voiced by Denis Leary) -- JAKKS Pacific's Flying Colors division will create a full line of toys and merchandise for the digitally animated feature.
Racing Champions Ertl has announced it will be releasing a collection of SCOOBY-DOO-themed toy cars. The first release will be 1:64-scale die-cast cars, featuring characters and logos from the series. Ten cars will be introduced including a Scooby-Doo '68 Camaro, a Fred '80 Ford Bronco, a Dracula '63 Corvette, a Wolfman '40 Ford Pick-Up, a Creeper '49 Mercury, a Ghost Clown '75 Chevy Van, a Zombie '56 Chevy Nomad, a Velma '67 Chevy Chevelle, a Daphne '68 Ford Mustang and a Shaggy '96 Dodge Ram. They will sell for US$1.49 each.
Cartoon Network is launching a multi-media advertising campaign in Europe featuring The Powerpuff Girls' arch-enemy Mojo Jojo and his plan to bankrupt the Euro by introducing his own currency "The Mojo." Viewers of Cartoon Network's channels in Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the U.K. will see bulletins informing them of Mojo Jojo's replacement of real money with "Mojos." Viewers will be encouraged to log onto local CartoonNetwork.com Websites to help the Powerpuff Girls stop Mojo Jojo from ruining the European economy.
Nickelodeon and Jive Records have inked a deal to distribute records under the new Nick Records label. Under the multiyear deal, Jive and Nick Records will team for marketing, promotion and distribution of joint venture releases worldwide. The first album due out under the pact is the soundtrack to the Paramount/Nickelodeon Movies feature JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS, scheduled to hit theaters on November 6. Jive's 13-year-old pop sensation Aaron Carter will provide several tracks for the project.
4Kids Entertainment, Inc. has teamed with Burger King for a national promotion to launch Kids WB!'s upcoming 3D series CUBIX. The series is the first original production for 4Kids and is set to premiere on Saturday morning August 11. The 5-week promotion will run nationally in participating U.S. Burger King restaurants from August 27 through September 30. Burger King will run national TV spots, in-store advertisements, a kids newsletter and a birthday mailer to kids club members in support of the campaign.
Cartoon Network and Kellogg have teamed up to create THE POWERPUFF GIRLS Pop-Tarts. The toaster pastries contain "Powberry" filling with lavender icing topped with green, blue, pink and yellow sprinkles. "Kellogg is glad this crime-fighting trio is on our side to help ensure kids have a wholesome, fun breakfast," said Kim Miller, director of marketing for Pop-Tarts.