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Taffy Ent. Launches New Licensing Division

Taffy Entertainment, the new business unit of Mike Young Productions (MYP) has launched its brand new licensing division to be headed by veteran licensing specialist Eric Stein as vp of licensing.

Stein is a former licensing exec with Lucasfilm and MGM/United Artists and the founder of consulting firm Eric Stein Entertainment (ESE). Topping on his agenda is to develop and implement the licensing strategy and program for the companys groundbreaking 3D, CGI-animated character-comedy PET ALIEN.

With licensing being such an important area in the success of any property, we decided that by managing it in-house we could offer licensees a stronger, more productive partnership, said Bill Schultz, a partner at MYP and Taffy Ent. Eric is one of the most creative licensing executives around and the perfect complement to our creative studio atmosphere. This combination will absolutely lead to better brand-building.

Were delighted to have Eric on board to head up Taffys licensing division, adds Mike Young, a partner at MYP and Taffy Ent. Erics experience with everything from promotions, location-based entertainment and interactive games to traditional licensing will be invaluable as we launch PET ALIEN around the world.

Formatted as 26 half-hour episodes (52x11) aimed at kids 6-11, PET ALIEN is a screwball non-sequitur comedy with a strong spine of physical gags à la Tex Averys LOONEY TUNES. Much of the humor is also derived from looking at a kids life and relationships through alien eyes specifically the eyes of Dinko, Gumpers, Flip, Swanky and Scruffy, who take up residence with 12-year-old Earth boy Tommy Cadle. Realizing that Tommy is a bit of an underdog, the aliens try to help him in every aspect of his complicated pre-adolescent Earth life and typically turn his existence inside out and upside down.

Stein is a former licensing exec with Lucasfilm Ltd., MGM/United Artists, and DIC Merchandising Enterprises, where he managed and developed licensing programs for properties including STAR WARS, INDIANA JONES, PINK PANTHER, CAPTAIN PLANET, HEATHCLIFF, INSPECTOR GADGET and MADELINE. Stein has negotiated deals with companies including Microsoft, Mattel, American Greetings and Burger King.

Prior to joining Taffy Ent., Stein founded and ran Eric Stein Ent. (ESE), a creative resource for fully integrated licensing, marketing and promotional programs and an innovative content development source for television, film, publishing and the Internet. ESE consulted on projects for networks, record companies, television and film production companies, product development companies, non-profit organizations and most recently, for The Learning Channels preschool television series, HI-5.

Steins entertainment-industry experience also includes serving as director of marketing and promotions for The Greek Theatre, where he created and executed promotions for more than 80 shows. He was also a supervising producer on DEFENDERS OF DYNATRON CITY, an animated childrens special which was the highest rated show for its timeslot on the Fox Children's Network; wrote six episodes of Star Street, a European kids television series; and wrote the book, EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LIFE I LEARNED FROM TRASH TALK TV (CCC Publications, 1999).

One of the most prolific independent animation studios in Hollywood today, Mike Young Productions represents the convergence of three major talents: Mike Young, creator of the British Academy award-winning series SUPERTED; Liz Young, supervising producer of the Emmy Award-winning JAKERS! THE ADVENTURES OF PIGGLEY WINKS; and Bill Schultz, Emmy Award-winning producer of THE SIMPSONS. With more than 12 years experience in the industry, MYP has a long and successful track record of creating quality animated series that touch, teach and delight their audiences. MYP recently announced the creation of Taffy Entertainment, a new business unit dedicated to the rights management and worldwide distribution of family and childrens programming. In addition to PET ALIEN, other Taffy properties in distribution include JAKERS! and TODDWORLD.