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.
The Frito-Lay, Inc. food company announced that it has partnered with Walt Disney Pictures on a promotion that gives kids free movie tickets to Disney's ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE. The promotion, which runs through July 14, 2001, began with the movies release on June 15, 2001. Specially marked bags of Lay's Potato Chips, Doritos Tortilla Chips, 3-D'S Snacks and Cheetos Cheese Flavored Snacks will feature characters from Disneys ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE and give an opportunity for kids to see the film at participating theaters.
Nickelodeon has signed a new SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS licensing deal with the fast food chain Burger King, launching on June 11. Big Kids Meal and Kids Meal customers will be able to collect seven SpongeBob toys designed to be used both on land and in the water. The four-week SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS promotion will be supported with in-restaurant merchandising, the first kids merchandising created by Draft Worldwide Chicago, as well as Web-based marketing and national kid-directed television advertising.
Chevy's Team Monte Carlo and Warner Bros. Consumer Products have announced a new partnership that will place seven classic Looney Tunes characters on Monte Carlo NASCAR racing cars. All seven characters will be featured on the special Monte Carlo pace car leading the pack at the NASCAR Winston Cup race at Richmond International Raceway on September 8, 2001.
New Line Cinema has signed an extensive deal with fast-food giant Burger King to promote THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. The agreement represents the single largest promotional arrangement for New Line and one of the largest programs ever launched by Burger King. The program will span more than 10,000 restaurants worldwide and will run longer than the first film runs in theaters.
Disney has announced the signing of a licensing deal with Kellogg Company, the worlds leading producer of cereal and convenience foods. Available nationwide beginning in May 2001, the adventure of Disney's ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE will come to life through Kellogg's licensed cereal, free package inserts, free mail-in offers and interactive Website. Atlantean Diving Water Toys will be available in 25 million packages of Kellogg's range of products. A "Search for the Journal," ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE prequel CD-Rom mail-in offer will appear on 75 million Kellogg's cereal packages.
On April 16, 2001, DreamWorks Consumer Products and The Kroger Co. announced a joint promotion that allows supermarket shoppers to earn free movie tickets to the upcoming computer-animated feature SHREK based on their grocery purchases during a four-week period beginning this week. The four-week promotion is scheduled for more than 2,000 Kroger-owned stores nationwide. Customers who purchase $300 in groceries using their shopper's card will earn two free tickets to SHREK, which opens May 18 in theaters around the country.
Wallcoverings designer 4walls.com has announced a licensing agreement to create and distribute murals and other wallcoverings based on characters from Infogrames, Inc.'s Humongous Entertainment division. The Humongous Entertainment line of wallcoverings from 4walls.com is now available in stores nationwide. "We are very excited to bring Putt-Putt, Pajama Sam and the Backyard Kids' to the walls of children everywhere," said Ronald Soeder, president of 4walls.com.
Big Idea Productions, creators of the made-for-video series VEGGIETALES, has teamed up with Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, for a chain-wide promotion of VEGGIETALES apparel, toys, videos, audio CDs and fabric. During April, more than 2,700 Wal-Mart stores across the United States will feature VeggieTales signage and merchandise. Shari Martin, executive director of licensing and consumer products for Big Idea Productions, said, "We are so excited to participate in this promotion with Wal-Mart, which clearly demonstrates how VEGGIETALES' popularity is exploding across the country.
Disney has signed a new licensing deal with Coca-Cola to place Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters on a new line of juices. No financial terms have been released for this 15-year marketing deal. However, Disney will receive royalty payments for Coke's use of all Disney characters on packages, in-store promotions and advertising. The first drinks, "Mickey's X-treme Coolers" and "Pooh's 100 Acre Wood Apple-Berry," will be sold in supermarkets in single-serve boxes and multi-serve plastic bottles.
Sesame Workshop and Sony Pictures Family Entertainment have inked two big licensing deals for their PBS series DRAGON TALES. Kellogg USA has renewed its sponsorship of the series. Kellogg will be a strong presence in the advertising and marketing of the show, including positioning in the English and Spanish editions of SESAME STREET magazine and a link swap between Kellogg, Sesame Workshop and PBS' DRAGON TALES Websites.
The Walt Disney Co. has inked a deal with Japan's second-largest toy maker, Tomy Co. Ltd., to market, produce and distribute its toys and games in Japan. The exclusive deal does allow Tomy to sublicense certain products to other toy producers. The pact takes affect in April 2001. "This agreement completes a restructuring of our toy business that we began in September, when we established licensing arrangements with Hasbro and Mattel," said Andy Mooney, president of Disney Consumer Products Worldwide.
Fox Licensing and Merchandising will unveil a whole slate of new SIMPSONS inspired products at Toy Fair in February. Fox has struck a deal with USAopoly to turn the town of Springfield into the classic Monopoly game. Instead of coveting Boardwalk game players will seek out the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. This new Monopoly take off comes after the release of the hot SIMPSONS "Clue" game, which is selling out at various stores around the U.S. Six new Playmate interactive figures will be released including Sunday Best Homer, Moe, Nelson, Milhouse and Kamp Krusty Bart.
To blur the lines even more between marketing adult themes to children, the animated characters from SOUTH PARK will be appearing on condoms. Comedy Central has signed a deal with the U.K.-based Licensing Company to provide the faces of Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny and Chef for Condomania prophylactics. The condoms will only be available in the U.K. for about US$20.
Disney has decided to divide its toy merchandising between rivals Hasbro and Mattel. Disney has had a long licensing relationship with Mattel, which now will only handle their preschool and plush toys, dolls, games and puzzles. Hasbro will handle the more lucrative toys, action figures and games portion of Walt Disney products.
ToyFare, a leading magazine about action figure collectibles, has put together a list of the best individual action figures of all-time. The October 2000 issue, on sale August 29, awarded 5 spots to Hasbro, with McFarlane Toys coming in second with 4 entries. "The list covers three decades of action figures," said editor Douglas Goldstein.
Europes top selling toy ACTION MAN has made it to American shelves. The entire Hasbro ACTION MAN toy line brings in US$300 million a year overseas and $1 billion in brand sales over the last five years. Various extreme sport versions of Action Man have hit the shelves along with his arch nemesis Dr. X. The figures range from $7.99 to $29.99. "Action Man has been huge overseas," said Perry Drosos, VP of U.S. marketing for ACTION MAN. "In fact, it has been the top-selling action figure line in Europe for several years. Right now, 80% of boys ages four to ten in the U.K.
MR Kinowelt Merchandising has nabbed the German-language merchandising rights to the highly anticipated fantasy trilogy THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The financial stats on the deal with New Line Cinema were not released. MR Kinowelt is made up of a joint venture between German indie distributor Kinowelt and MR Merchandising & Retail. The deal marks the first RINGS merchandising deal outside the States. The first film in the trilogy is scheduled to arrive in movie houses December 2001. Kinowelt is handling the release of all three pictures in Germany.
Disney has signed a new multiyear book licensing deal with Random House Inc. which sees the end to its 70-year relationship with Golden Books Family Entertainment. The golden spined children's books, which have graced the shelves of bookstores to grocery markets, will no longer feature Disney characters. The decision to sign with Random House came after the terms of their deal with Golden Books were not profitable. The financial terms of the five-year deal were not disclosed due to competitive reasons.
Mattel, Inc. has signed a new multiyear worldwide licensing pact with Nickelodeon to renew and expand its current toy license agreement. The deal will include toy categories such as action figures, dolls, plush toys, games, handheld games, puzzles, and infant and preschool products. Mattel now controls all properties from Nickelodeon's children's television programming services, as well as Nickelodeon's motion pictures division, Nickelodeon Movies. As part of the deal, Mattel will be the international toy licensee for Nickelodeon's RUGRATS and BLUE'S CLUES in more than 30 countries.