ALSO FROM IMAGI STUDIOS: 2007
For licensing information regarding Imagi Studios properties, please contact:
Russell Binder at Striker Entertainment - email@example.com / 818.225.9355 or Marc Mostman at Most Management - firstname.lastname@example.org / 818.880.0508
WWW.IMAGI.COM.HK © Summit Entertainment Ltd. All Rights Reserved. © 2009 Imagi Crystal Limited Original Manga © Tezuka Productions Co., Ltd.
1/27/09 10:48:05 AM
Volume 4, No. 2
Features 20 BY
JONAS Series Is Art Imitating Life
Finding Opportunities Amid Practical Caution
Toy Fair 2009
OBSERVATIONS & OPINIONS
ROYALTIE$ MARKETPLACE: THE OFFICE
Telling Stories in a Multi-Platform World MAVERICKS IN THE MARKET:
Henson Plan Comes Together
Imagi Teams with Astro Boy
G4 Targets Male Tech Audience
License Long and Prosper
Licensing the Future: Sci Fi Ventures
Sex in the Mainstream
Helping Others Through Licensing
Recession-Proof Fashion Becomes the New Trend in Licensed Apparel
LAURIE HAHN AND PAUL NARULA
ON THIS PAGE (CLOCKWISE FROM THE TOP): Penthouse 2010 PinUp Calendar by Village Lighthouse, The Jim Henson Company’s Sid the Science Kid, Bandai’s Ben 10 Alien Creation Transporter, The Jonas Brothers, and Spin Master’s Bakugan Display Case ON THE COVER: The model is wearing one of Mighty Fine’s The COVER BY DESIGN EDGE Samburu Project T-shirts.
PUBLISHED www.anb-media.com BY ANB MEDIA • Volume 3, Number 8
by Jim Silver
A HOMERUN ISN’T THE ONLY TYPE OF HIT
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER BOB GLASER BOB@ANBMEDIA.COM
s difficult as 2008 was in the
movie—Transformers: Revenge of the
signs in the toy marketplace. While it
be huge, and Ben 10 actually got
business world, there were some
was far from a banner year, the toy industry managed to perform better than
most other sectors. When there’s a tough
economic climate, parents tend to cut back on products for themselves first and cut products for their children last.
If you add up the numbers (and
many final numbers aren’t in as of press
time), an estimated $36 billion was spent in the toy and video game arena
in 2008. There were a handful of standouts: Bakugan (on fire), Elmo Live,
Ben 10, and The Clone Wars, to name a few. Disney Princess continues to be a
solid performer. While Hannah Montana didn’t stay as hot as it once was,
the doll and toy categories still sold through quite well. I was surprised to see very few Dora the Explorer toys left
on shelves; Dora looks primed for continued success as it celebrates a 10th anniversary this year.
In 2009, there will certainly be
property drivers in the toy category.
Besides Dora’s 10th anniversary, Bar-
bie, the largest brand in the toy business, will be celebrating her 50th
birthday. The second Transformers
PUBLISHER ANDY KRINNER ANDY@ANBMEDIA.COM
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
Fallen—is sure to generate a lot of heat in the toy aisle. Bakugan continues to stronger in its second year.
This year is going to be a tough year
and everyone knows it. In these times,
people still go to the movies, they rent even more movies, and watch many on television. As a retailer, you should be
looking to take more calculated risks on
media properties because they are all potential drivers. There are many movies
and shows that won’t be blockbusters, but they can be successful on a smaller
scale and have fans who will want the merchandise. I see and hear about too
many retailers passing on properties because they aren’t of blockbuster status.
CONTROLLER MARY GROGAN MARY@ANBMEDIA.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF JIM SILVER JIM@ANBMEDIA.COM EDITORIAL DIRECTOR NANCY LOMBARDI NANCY@ANBMEDIA.COM MANAGING EDITOR CHRIS ADAMS CHRISA@ANBMEDIA.COM EDITOR AT LARGE CHRISTOPHER BYRNE CHRISB@ANBMEDIA.COM ASSISTANT EDITOR LAURIE HAHN LAURIE@ANBMEDIA.COM ASSISTANT EDITOR PAUL NARULA PAUL@ANBMEDIA.COM WEB MASTER ERIK KIECKHAFER ERIK@ANBMEDIA.COM WEB CONTENT MANAGER BRENDAN SANABRIA BRENDAN@ANBMEDIA.COM CONTRIBUTOR MATT NUCCIO MATT@DESIGNEDGE.NET HONG KONG REPRESENTATIVE TONY LEE
We have to rethink what we consider a
SMART REGENT PRODUCTIONS LTD., 66–72 STANLEY STREET, ROOM 603,
seeing more and more properties per-
LITZKY PUBLIC RELATIONS, 320 SINATRA DR., HOBOKEN, NJ 07030
successful property and understand that
for all the broad-based exposure, we’re form in specific niches.
I would prefer to take a chance on
some of these properties instead of sitting out all together and not taking any chances. Take no risks and you could be wondering why people aren’t shopping
in your store. To use an old baseball
adage: You don’t always have to swing for the fences.
KAI TAK COMMERCIAL BUILDING, CENTRAL HONG KONG PHONE: 2815 0166 • FAX: 2815 6911 • SREGENT@NETVIGATOR.COM
PUBLIC RELATIONS REPRESENTATIVE JOSSLYNNE WELCH (201) 222–9118 EXT. 13 • JWELCH@LITZKYPR.COM
INTERESTED IN A SUBSCRIPTION? CONTACT SUBSCRIPTIONS@ANBMEDIA.COM ANB
229 WEST 28TH STREET, SUITE 401, NEW YORK, NY 10001 PHONE: (646) 763–8710 • FAX: (646) 763–8727 ROYALTIE$ is published 11 times a year by aNb Media, Inc. Copyright 2009 aNb Media, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Printed in the U.S.A. ROYALTIE$ is a registered trademark of aNb Media, Inc. Opinions and comments expressed in this publication by editors, contributing writers, or solicited or unsolicited documents are not necessarily those of ROYALTIE$ management.
MARVEL SUES MGA
Marvel Entertainment has sued MGA, claiming that the company breached the terms of its licensing agreement. In the suit filed on January 2, Marvel claims that MGA owes the company $1.88 million for failing to pay licensing fees and for violating the terms of several licensing agreements by making Spider-Man and Ghost Rider toys, which were not part of the original deal. Marvel claims that a November audit report indicates that MGA owes approximately $1.1 million in unpaid licensing fees, including a $375,000 minimum guarantee that was due by January 1. Marvel is seeking nearly $800,000 more to cover sales of toys that were not in the licensing agreement. MGA denies the allegations, and CEO Isaac Larian released a statement saying that Marvel’s claims are “without merit.”
KOHL’S UNVEILS CHARITY PROGRAM
Kohl’s has announced collector’s editions of favorite Dr. Seuss books and coordinating plush characters to benefit kids across the nation through the Kohl’s Cares for Kids program. For a limited time, Kohl’s will feature special collector’s editions of Dr. Seuss’ I Can Read With My Eyes Shut, Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?, If I Ran the Zoo, and And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, Seuss’ first children’s book. The books and exclusive coordinating plush, including the beloved Cat in the Hat, are available for $5 each at more than 1,000 Kohl’s stores nationwide and online at Kohls.com. One hundred percent of the net profits from sales of the Dr. Seuss books and plush will benefit children’s health and education initiatives nationwide.
FISHER-PRICE OBTAINS WORLDWIDE MASTER RIGHTS
HIT Entertainment has granted worldwide master toy licensee rights for the Thomas & Friends brand to Fisher-Price. Under the terms of the agreement, Fisher-Price will bring together core category rights and use its worldwide distribution capability to enhance and grow the long-term business for the brand. The first line of products will be available in 2010. Fisher-Price has been granted the global rights, excluding Japan, on vehicles, figures, playsets, the TrackMaster train system, preschool toys (including electronic learning and developmental toys), plush, games, puzzles, roleplay, water toys, battery-powered ride-ons, and plastic pedal trikes (North and South America and Asia only).
WATCHMEN CASE SETTLED
Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox have reached an out-of-court settlement in their dispute over the Watchmen movie. The film will be released on schedule on March 6. Under the terms of the deal, Warner will still get to distribute the film and Fox will receive an upfront payment (between $5–$10 million, according to Variety) to cover legal and development fees. Fox will also receive a percentage of the box-office gross and participation in any potential sequels or spin-offs. Fox had initially sued Warner Bros. last spring, and a Federal court ruled in December that Fox owned the copyright.
50-CITY DORA TOUR ANNOUNCED
New York actress Susan Oliveras has been tapped to portray Dora the Explorer in the tour of Dora the Explorer Live! Search for the City of Lost Toys. The tour kicked off in York, Penn., on January 27 and will hit 50 U.S. cities, including a stop at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, April 8–12. Search for the City of Lost Toys is a culturally rich theatrical show for preschoolers and their families and features Dora and all the characters
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
I WANT MY
Original 1979 BARBIE® DREAM HOUSE®
PURRQ^QZ` T[a_Q BARBIE® DREAM TOWNHOUSE™ Available Fall 2009
息 2009 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved. General Motors Trademarks used under license to Mattel, Inc. Vespa速 and Piaggio速 are registered trademarks of Piaggio速 and C.S.P.A.
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children have come to love: Backpack, Dora’s friend Boots, cousin Diego, Map, Swiper the Fox, and Tico and Benny. Each step of the gang’s journey consists of a problem or puzzle that Dora and the audience must solve together in order to move on to the next challenge.
NICK PLANS SPONGEBOB DOCUMENTARY
Nickelodeon has inked a deal with production company O’Malley Creadon to produce the first-ever SpongeBob SquarePants documentary in celebration of the series’ 10th anniversary. Patrick Creadon (Wordplay and I.O.U.S.A) will co-produce, direct, and write the documentary, along with co-producer Christine O’Malley. The one-hour original television documentary (title TBA) will chronicle the ascent of the absorbing character’s journey to pop culture stardom. It will be telecast across MTV Networks’ various TV platforms in July to commemorate the anniversary of the series’ first episode.
CARTOON NETWORK GOES LIVE
In a story first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Cartoon Network says that it has a dozen live-action projects in development. One of the new shows is based on the Necessary Evil comic book series from Desperado Publishing, about teen characters in a school for super-villains. In the article, Cartoon Network chief development officer Rob Sorcher described the initiative as “teenage boy wish-fulfillment,” and said that it is a complement to the ongoing animation programs.
NICK INKS DEAL WITH IMC FOR DORA
Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products has signed a three-year licensing deal, its first licensing deal with IMC Toys, one of Spain’s largest consumer electronics companies, to launch a line of electronic musical instruments and walkie talkies inspired by preschool hit Dora the Explorer. The line will be sold in 33 European territories including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK.
WILD PLANET AND CRAYOLA PAINT THE TOWN
Wild Planet has signed a deal with Crayola to develop a new line of toys and activity sets called Crayon Town. Each set allows kids to color, build and play in the world they create; kids can dream up an entire town, complete with three-dimensional structures. Kids can color the various pieces, which include a coloring mat, corrugate pop-up buildings, and accessories. Once the environments are colored and constructed, kids can play with the figures and vehicles. Free coloring sheet refills will also be available online.
RC2 HOLDS CHUGGINGTON RIGHTS
RC2 Corporation has announced that one of its wholly owned subsidiaries, Learning Curve, holds the master toy licensing rights for Chuggington, a new character-based children’s television program created and developed by Ludorum plc. The RC2 subsidiary has contributed 50 percent of Chuggington’s development costs and holds 50 percent of the program’s intellectual property rights. Chuggington has been designed as a property for pre- and early-school boys and girls with an interactive online play and learning component, as well as to cross over into other categories such as books and toys.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
CARTOON NETWORK AND JAZWARES
Cartoon Network has announced the consumer electronics debut of its boys’ property Ben 10 Alien Force. Jazwares will be the company’s first partner in the consumer electronics category. The Ben 10 Alien Force consumer electronics line will include a full line of electronic products that draw from key characters and items in the series. Items will include speakers, USB drives, and digital cameras designed to look like the Omnitrix, as well as an MP3 player designed to look like one of Ben’s alien alter egos, Echo Echo.
AMERICAN GREETINGS PROPERTIES AND LIONSGATE
Lionsgate is extending its existing relationship with American Greetings Properties (AGP) and has acquired the exclusive North American home entertainment distribution rights to AGP’s Care Bears titles. Having been a distributor of Care Bears titles before, Lionsgate will significantly expand its Care Bears content through this deal. It has obtained the rights to 48 episodes of the new television series, as well as the upcoming CGI-animated movie scheduled to launch on DVD this fall. Lionsgate has also extended its rights in the classic Care Bears catalog. The company has also obtained the rights to DVD and electronic distribution for AGP’s Sushi Pack, which airs on CBS.
MULTIPLE LICENSORS AND DIGITAL BLUE
Digital Blue has announced licensing partnerships with three entertainment properties—LEGO Systems, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and Bakugan. These deals will allow Digital Blue to expand upon its existing female-oriented product line and create new brand-inspired product lines for the youth and teen male audience. Under the agreement, Digital Blue will create digital cameras, video cameras, speakers, and accessory cases for LEGO; digital cameras, boom boxes, alarm clock radios, MP3 players, walkie talkies, and accessory cases for WWE; and a full consumer electronics line for Bakugan.
THE SHARPER IMAGE AND LONDON LUXURY
The Sharper Image has signed a five-year licensing agreement with London Luxury, a manufacturer of home textiles. The agreement covers the use of The Sharper Image brand and trademarks across a wide range of products, including bedding and bath products. London Luxury will release branded towels, pillows, sheets, comforters, and heated blankets. The agreement permits London Luxury to manufacture and distribute The Sharper Image products to a broad spectrum of retailers in the department, specialty, and club channels, throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
PROCTOR AND GAMBLE AND HEALTH-TECH, INC.
In a deal brokered by Nancy Bailey & Associates, Proctor & Gamble has partnered with Health-Tech, Inc., to license the Scope brand for new Scope Portable Breath Fresheners. The Portable Breath Fresheners from Health-Tech will be available in two forms, mist and drops, as well as in two flavors: Original Mint and Cool Peppermint. Both feature swivel covers and key rings for easy transport and use.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
CBS CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND THE VAUGHN COMPANY
CBS Consumer Products, a division of CBS Entertainment, has announced a partnership with The Vaughn Company (Vaughnco) for the launch of all-new electronic items based on two of CBS’ television brands. Vaughnco will produce a 90210 portable karaoke machine and a set of Ghost Whisperer headphones. Both products were unveiled initially at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
SHOWTIME NETWORKS AND THREE CUSTOM COLOR SPECIALISTS
In a deal brokered by 360ep, Three Custom Color Specialists has announced its partnership with the Showtime original series, The L Word. The company will produce a new collection of lipstick inspired by The L Word’s characters. Fans competed in a contest to pick a tag line for each lipstick and winners were announced in January and awarded a prize package featuring all four lipsticks and assorted gifts and prizes. The lipsticks are available online at threecustom.com or sho.com.
IDEA, LLC AND IMC LICENSING
IMC Licensing has announced that its recently established License Acquisition Division will be representing the Charleston, S.C.-based IDEA, LLC, an importer of consumer goods. The License Acquisition Division was established to help manufacturers and retailers deliver new consumer products by developing unique and memorable programs. IMC will do this by strategically identifying, soliciting, and securing brands that fit with IDEA’s needs. The company will help IDEA secure brands in several product lines, including cookware and textiles.
The L Word lipstick
SNAP FITNESS AND 360EP
360ep has announced that it will be representing gym chain Snap Fitness as its licensing agent. Snap Fitness, launched in 2004, features 2,000 locations open and under development across the globe. It is a franchisor of compact 24/7 fitness centers in the United States and Canada. Snap Fitness currently has more than 400,000 members. 360ep will be looking into categories such as exercise apparel and gear, video games, energy food and drink, and publishing.
MEREDITH CORPORATION AND FIVE STAR MATTRESS
Meredith Corporation, the media and marketing company that publishes Better Homes and Gardens, has announced a partnership with Five Star Mattress, a bedding company launched by the owners of Serta, to develop and license a new line of Better Homes and Gardens-branded mattresses as a part of the Better Homes and Gardens Dream Home Collection. The new collection will consist of innerspring and specialty beds. The line will be available at furniture and sleep shops nationwide beginning in March. Products will range in price from $799–$1,599.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
Kitson Accessorizes With LDI
Lucas Design International has been named the master accessory licensee for the store Kitson. This marks the first time that Lucas Design is developing and manufacturing in all accessory categories including jewelry, bags/purses/totes, hats, and belts/buckles. The Kitson Bright Pink Leather Wrap Bracelet features a variety of charms including ice cream cones, sundaes, cupcakes, and Kitson logos. It is 14k yellow gold and plated with pastel enamel accents.
New Paramount Licensees
Fifth Sun will produce T-shirts for Paramount Pictures’ films Grease (shown), Footloose, and Flashdance. Mighty Fine signed on for men’s Tshirts for Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tommy Boy, and Bad News Bears. 80sTees.com is an apparel licensee for Top Gun, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Footloose, The Warriors, and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
Le Tour de France Headwear
Headsweats, a manufacturer of performance- and sportsbranded headwear, has been granted the Le Tour de France license by Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), owner and organizer of Le Tour de France, through the efforts of its licensing agency MODA International Marketing. A new line of Le Tour de France licensed headwear including technical hats, caps, and visors made from moisture-wicking materials or high-quality cotton twill will launch this spring in bike shops, sporting goods stores, mass merchants, and online retailers in the U.S. and Canada.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
DCI Los Angeles has signed apparel licensees for its TV series, Chop Socky Chooks. ABG Headwear will produce a wide range of headwear, including fleece hats, beanies, knit caps, and baseball caps. The company’s Chop Socky Chooks signature Ninja Chimp acrylic knit novelty beanie (pictured) features embroidered ears and cut-out eyeholes. ABG also designed a traditional Chop Socky Chooks beanie with peak in acrylic jacquard knit with embroidered patch and features. Both have matching gripper print magic stretch gloves. Changes will introduce a range of high-kicking, actionpacked Chop Socky Chooks boys’, youth, and junior’s T-shirts featuring designs inspired by the urban vinyl look of the show.
by Paul Narula
DIVERSITY AND SYNERGY
he seed of Synergy Licensing was planted 15 years ago, in the first meeting of Karen Diamond and Randi Goodman. The women met while working together at Warner Bros. Consumer Products, each involved in the company’s extensive licensing programs. Goodman moved on from Warner Bros. before Diamond, eventually taking a position with New Line Cinema and rising to senior vice-president of licensing and working on the licensing programs for popular films and film franchises. Meanwhile, Diamond stayed at Warner Bros. Consumer Products for 10 more years, rising to the position of director of housewares and thirdparty licensing. Diamond left the company and took with her the Pillsbury brand as the first client of her new company, Karen Diamond Licensing. Working from home and partnering with Nancy Bailey & Associates, Diamond grew the Pillsbury brand from four licensees to 45, winning a few LIMA awards and nominations in the process. When Goodman decided she wanted to go beyond film licensing and work in other categories again, she joined forces with Diamond to pool their experience. “Randi and I have always talked about working together,” says Diamond. “So we joined forces and we created Synergy Licensing.” Synergy Licensing will take advantage of the experience that both women have in the licensing industry. One of the company’s largest goals is to make sure that it is not pigeon-holed
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
into any particular licensing category. “One of our goals at Synergy is to not just specialize in entertainment or film, but to really work on the whole gamut of things we’re passionate about,” says Goodman. The company’s initial clients range from professional MMA fighter Chuck Liddell to home and housewares brand Lifetime Brands and even to country music stars such as Monty Allen Lane. Going from sports to home goods to music may seem a bit of a stretch, but that is exactly what Goodman and Diamond want to do. Both have experience in multiple categories, but have previously only worked with one type of brand at a time. This independent venture will allow them to tap into every aspect of their former careers and turn their previous experience to new clients. Diamond and Goodman make sure that they have the maximum amount of hands-on time with their clients. Diamond describes Synergy as “a boutique agency with a large-agency perspective.” Both women have the experience and the knowledge to help smaller brands learn what it takes to get noticed. At Synergy, they are able to impart that knowledge to their clients first-hand. When Synergy picks up a new client, the company starts at the very roots of its licensing program. Diamond and Goodman build merchandising plans and help handle every
aspect of those plans, from television placement to corporate sponsorship to retailer relationships. “We’re full service in that aspect,” says Goodman, “and we give everything our own personal touch.” One of the abilities that both women believe is key to Synergy Licensing’s business is their creativity. “We are very creative in our ability to assess a brand and create something within the product category that is new and fresh and trendy and is going to sell in the marketplace,” says Diamond. That creativity is not only a part of how Synergy Licensing creates programs, but in how it recognizes potential in brands without licensing programs. Diamond and Goodman feel that there are still a number of companies that have powerful brands that haven’t even set foot into the licensing business. “There are a few things we feel have been untapped that we are going after and some large brands in sectors that haven’t been tapped previously. That’s where our creativity comes in,” says Goodman. While Goodman and Diamond were not able to talk about the specifics of their upcoming deals, they did say that in the next few months they are planning on adding a number of major clients to Synergy Licensing’s portfolio, including a nonprofit organization. While the company may have started small, there’s little doubt that Diamond and Goodman’s cumulative experience and licensing know-how is going to lead to great things for Synergy Licensing.
MAGIC IS HIS DESTINY
COMING TO NBC IN SUMMER 2009 Merlin is the exciting, ambitious and action-packed drama which sees the myths, monsters and magic of the legend brought to life with stunning CGI and captivating storytelling to enthral and enchant the whole family. Merlin has cast its spell over critics and audiences alike, making it the top drama series of the autumn season in the UK. A global phenomenon, the series has already sold to over 112 territories worldwide with significant home entertainment and licensing deals in place. Series 2 starts filming Spring 2009, promising even more magical adventures.
0207FLW Merlin Royalties ad Jan 09.indd 1
For further information, please contact: James Ngo Sr. Director, FremantleMedia Enterprises T: (818) 748 1145 E: email@example.com www.fremantlemedia.com
NBC CONSUMER PRODUCTS’ by Paul Narula
n 2001, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Mer- slightly unbalanced assistant (to the) regional chant brought a television show about the manager Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson). The daily grind of a group show follows the personal of British office workers to interactions between these BBC 2. The mockumenand other cast members as tary format of the show, they go through their anycombined with the series’ thing-but-typical days at subtle and sometimes notthe office. so-subtle sense of humor The Office has become a led to great popularity, garwidely popular show in the nering the show a Golden U.S. NBC has extended Globe award and an the show beyond the teleEmmy nomination. The vision screen by making show enjoyed such sucepisodes available online cess that NBC commisand by creating exclusive the primary cast sioned a U.S. version. web content and storylines The American adaptation of The Office was featuring specialized segments focusing on difdeveloped by Greg Daniels, a veteran television ferent groups of characters. The show’s popularwriter and producer who has worked on Satur- ity and longevity have made it an ideal licensing day Night Live, King of the Hill, The Simpsons, property, especially for the 18–39 age demoand Rugrats. Gervais and Merchant both have graphic where it finds the most success. production credits and do occasionally write for NBC Consumer Products has established a the American show (such as when both wrote the number of licensing deals across multiple cateepisode “The Convict”). While the U.S. pilot has gories to bring The Office products to the fans. the same essential plot as the original UK pilot The show’s producers work closely with the liepisode, the series’ storylines and plots rapidly censing program to assure that products bearing diverge afterward, though some themes remain. the show’s brand help embody the humor and Steve Carell (Get Smart, The 40-Year-Old character of the show itself. Hallmark has signed Virgin) plays Michael Scott, the eccentric re- on for a line of greeting cards, while Pressman gional manager of the Scranton branch of the Toy will be handling board games and DVD fictitious paper company Dunder Mifflin. The games. Other licensees have signed on for apScranton outpost plays home to a variety of parel, calendars, and more. With the show in its unique characters, from the laid-back prankster fifth season, with more on the way, The Office Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) to the intense and brand is hard at work.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
Fast Facts ° The UK version of the
television show ran for only two seasons. The U.S. version is in its fifth season.
° Many of the show’s original writers, including B.J. Novak,
Mindy Kaling, Paul Lieberman, and Michael Schur, also play on-screen roles.
° The show is set in a fictionalized
version of Scranton, Pennsylvania. In the actual town of Scranton, Dunder Mifflin banners can be seen around the town and the town has hosted The Office Conventions since 2007.
° The episode “Gay Witch Hunt” from season three
earned Greg Daniels an Emmy in 2007 for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.
° NBC has created products for
fictional brands depicted in the show, including Dunder Mifflin, Serenity by Jan, and Schrute Farms.
MJC will be producing a full line of shirts and other apparel featuring The Office brand. The clothing will feature character imagery as well as The Office logo imagery.
The NBC Experience Store will carry a full line of The Office mugs, hats, bobbleheads, and travel mugs.
Hallmark has signed on as a licensee for greeting cards that will feature characters from The Office. Cards include specific Michael Scott cards for the holidays, as well as cast and group cards.
The Pressman Group’s The Office DVD Board Game lets players take on the role of any of 14 of the show’s characters as they compete to earn Schrute bucks. Players answer seven different types of questions and watch real scenes from the show as they play.
Trends International is making posters and calendars for The Office, including inspirational calendars and posters featuring characters from the show. The calendars include a DVD-ROM of material related to the show.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
RECESSION-PROOF FASHION BECOMES THE NEW TREND IN LICENSED APPAREL
rticles in the January ’09 issues of Real Simple and Glamour advised women on how to get the most out of their wardrobes using clothes they already owned. As many consumers are cutting back on spending, recycling or “making new” what they already own seems to be the hot trend these days, especially when it comes to apparel. “When the economy is not doing well, the first industries to feel the major effects are apparel and publishing,” says Nora Wong, senior manager, consumer products, FremantleMedia Enterprises. “Consumers hold on tighter to their purse strings on these particular buys not because they are luxury items but because they are not considered must-haves if you have a
by Laurie Hahn
budget. Licensed apparel takes an even harder hit as consumers have to limit their buys to their absolute favorite brands.” Retailers are limiting in-store stock to favorite brands, also, looking only for the top licenses that are sure to sell. Steve & Barry’s, which carries clothing lines from actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Amanda Bynes, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and began closing more than 100 of its stores last year. (BH S&B Holdings LLC acquired the chain in August, allowing Steve & Barry’s to continue to operate 173 stores.) With many stores shutting their doors and downsizing, retailers and buyers must be extra careful. At the same time, licensed apparel that makes it through retailers’ doors must be extra special in appearance, as well as affordable, in order to convince consumers to open their purse strings.
FASHION FOR ALL
CBS Consumer Products introduced an America’s Next Top Model direct-to-retail program with Wal-Mart.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
Many licensors are taking their brands into additional retail outlets as a way to reach a wider audience and offer their apparel at more affordable prices. The Farm Boy/Farm Girl brand attributes its continued success to its expansion into more stores, including 40 Boot Barn stores and 830 Tractor Supply stores. “We were primarily focusing on farm stores and we noticed that Western stores also did well with the brand, so we started marketing more and selling more to Western stores,” says Brian Goldenman, partner and director of sales and operations, Farm Boy/Farm Girl. Bradford Licensing has restructured the Aspen brand, taking it from a high-end apparel brand into a more affordable and eco-friendly
active lifestyle brand. “Licensed apparel offers a distinctive lifestyle that consumers are not a part of otherwise,” says Michelle Minieri, president of Bradford Licensing. “We offer the luxurious lifestyle that is attached to the Aspen brand image and pass that along to the mid-tier consumer. They then can act as a part of the larger community that they previously were not able to afford.” Wal-Mart has become the go-to retailer for many brands as of late. CopCorp placed the It’s Happy Bunny brand into Wal-Mart “as more and more consumers headed to mass retailers to stretch their apparel dollars,” says Carole Postal, CopCorp’s president. Last year, CBS Consumer Products introduced an America’s Next Top Model direct-to-retail program with Wal-Mart. Liz Kalodner, executive vice-president and general manager, CBS Consumer Products, says that the line, which targets 12–24year-old females, “makes fashion accessible but celebrates the uniqueness of each young woman.” Making fashion accessible is something that Target has been doing for several years through its GO International program. Target teams with fashion designers to produce limited-edition lines of fashion-forward clothing at affordable prices. “Designers partnering for mid-tier and other channels of distribution other than high-end continues to be really important to most retailers,” says Lisa Reiner, senior vice-president of brand management, The Beanstalk Group. She also mentions last fall’s partnership between H&M and Comme des Garçons and Vera
Wang’s ongoing partnership with Kohl’s. Celebrities such as LL Cool J, who partnered with Sears for apparel, are also entering the mid-tier and mass-market arena. These days, when consumers shop for their favorite brands, they also want those brands to be within their price range.
KEEPING IT COOL
using specialty washes, specialty printing techniques, and embellishments on its line of Bruce Springsteen tees for licensor Live Nation—all to keep consumers looking trendy when they showcase their love for The Boss. For the Disney Couture line, which focuses on classic Disney characters, trends and fashion come first and “then we try to weave the story in with our characters in a wink to be contemporary,” says Stephen Teglas, vice-president/general manager, home and fashion, Disney Consumer Products. In Disney’s Bloc 28 line, baseball caps from New Era feature street artists’ interpretations of Mickey Mouse, but also blend fashion with the use of a silk lining inside the caps. Harveys, the company that designed the original seatbelt bag, used classic Disney filmstrips in an assortment of seatbelt bags. Innovation not only in product design but also in how Mickey and other characters are used will attract consumers who are looking for something new and different.
Harveys designed a line of seatbelt bags using classic Disney filmstrips.
However, there is a second part to licensed apparel that must be met. Selling at lower price points and in more mass-market stores will not attract consumers if the apparel itself doesn’t properly reflect the brand or today’s trends. “The most important thing is to really understand what fans will want from that property and tailor your program accordingly,” says Virginia King, vice-president, U.S. licensing, Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising. The whole purpose of licensed apparel is to extend the experience a consumer has with a favorite brand. “Whether it’s sports, fashion, music, or a character, branded clothing resonates with consumers and motivates purchasing,” says Roz Nowicki, executive vice-president, licensing and marketing, 4Kids Entertainment. “These products provide comfort, good feelings, and make a statement about who consumers are or what they believe in.” Creating products that don’t resonate with consumers will cause them to pass up apparel for something else. With the competition among brands so high right now, the last thing licensors, licensees, and retailers want is a product that doesn’t sell. “We’re being more choosy about the licenses that we get because of the climate out there,” says Randi Kagan Spieker, vicepresident of marketing and licensing for JEM Sportswear. “We want them to be good, strong partnerships.” What will make a strong licensed apparel program? Number one, the brand has to be translated well and the apparel must exemplify its message or its artwork. Secondly, because this is fashion, the apparel has to be fashionable. Bold prints are very popular right now in the fashion world, as are a variety of embellishments—studs, rhinestones, jewels implemented onto the shirt. Kagan Spieker says that JEM Sportswear is
THE MAGIC OF APPAREL
New graphic packages featuring new logos for Pepsi and Mountain Dew give the brands a refreshed push for 2009, but The Joester Loria Group (TJLG), which represents the brands, is still entering the new year cautiously. “Consumers are cutting their discretionary spending and generally buying less,” says Debra Joester, president of TJLG. “Based on recent retail results, apparel sales have significantly declined, and with closets full of clothing, it is one of the easier discretionary spending cuts.” At MAGIC, being held at The Las Vegas Convention Center & Las Vegas Hilton February 17–19, the conversation over what consumers want to buy and if they will buy at all will be a big focus. Some feel that consumers will still buy licensed apparel. Others are using 2009 as a year of testing. TJLG will support existing programs while developing new projects for introduction in 2010 when the market is more robust. “We are looking forward to see what happens at MAGIC,” she says, “and expect to see improved confidence by February that may impact fall 2009 and provide renewed opportunities in spring 2010.”
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With consumers cutting back on spending these days, licensed apparel must feature the hottest properties, reflect the latest fashion trends, and remain affordable in order for consumers to buy. Below is a sampling of licensed apparel that strives to do just that. by Laurie Hahn
DISNEY CONSUMER PRODUCTS
Disney’s Bloc 28 targets men ages 18 and up looking for edgy street wear while remaining loyal to the Mickey Mouse they grew up with. The brand is a collaboration of Disney and contemporary artists. Featuring unique fabric treatments and limited-edition original designs, Disney’s Bloc 28 offers a fresh interpretation of Mickey that is relevant for men today. Licensees for the brand include Mighty Fine and New Era. Disney went global for its second series, working with artists around the world.
FARM BOY/ FARM GIRL
Not only did the brand expand into more stores in 2008, it also debuted a premium T-shirt line. The quality T-shirts under the Blue Premium label will be sold in the Western store market this spring. The company is currently transitioning from one licensee and will be at MAGIC to look for new licensees in categories that make sense, including premium items, shoes, and sleepwear.
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CBS CONSUMER PRODUCTS
CBS Consumer Products launched an exclusive clothing and accessories line at Wal-Mart stores based on America’s Next Top Model. The line introduces fashion-forward clothing, bags, hats, fragrances, and room décor designed for juniors and young women. The contemporary collections transcend the series, showing young women that they don’t have to be on the catwalk to look hot.
THE BEANSTALK GROUP
For The Beanstalk Group’s Paris Hilton brand, licensee Antevi Footwear designed a line of shoes (shown) available at Macy’s. The Beanstalk Group also signed a deal with designer Diane von Furstenberg for the Andy Warhol brand. The swimwear and resort range takes the art of Andy Warhol and reinterprets it into beautiful prints.
4Kids Entertainment continues its apparel program for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Licensees include Mighty Fine, Ripple Junction (a Ripple Junction T-shirt is shown), BioWorld, and Giant. One of the company’s newest deals is for Yu-Gi-Oh! T-shirts. 4Kids started a retro program using original Yu-Gi-Oh! graphics on adult apparel at Hot Topic. Another key apparel and accessories program will be in support of its trading card game, Chaotic.
THE JOESTER LORIA GROUP
The Joester Loria Group (TJLG) recently signed Headline Entertainment as a new T-shirt licensee for juniors and men for Mountain Dew (shown) and Pepsi. TJLG licensed Headline for specialty distribution. For the Discovery Channel, TJLG is launching collections for men and women that feature casual, functional, and technical outdoor gear.
JEM Sportswear is using specialty washes, specialty printing techniques, and embellishments on its line of Bruce Springsteen T-shirts for licensor Live Nation. JEM is also a licensee for Live Nation/Signatures Network’s Woodstock program. The shirts will be all about the iconic concert and the artists who performed there.
SG Footwear recently signed a contract as master apparel, accessories, and stationery licensee for HarleyDavidson. Other new deals include children’s footwear for the Monster Jam and Chaotic properties. For the Sealy and Goldtoe brands, SG Footwear will produce adult seasonal footwear, such as the Goldtoe Moccasin (shown).
For the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey family entertainment brand, CopCorp granted Freeze/Central Mills the rights to manufacture and sell Ringling Bros. infant/toddler knit tops (shown) and onesies. CopCorp also signed Concept One to make and market (not so) Scary Monsters headwear, cold weather gear, bags, and small leather goods for sale throughout the U.S. and Canada. HYP, which already produces Pink Cookie hosiery, headwear, and belts, has added categories including denim and T-shirts.
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HELPING OTHERS THROUGH LICENSING
MIGHTY FINE AND THE SAMBURU PROJECT
by Laurie Hahn risten Kosinski’s goals differed from other girls’ when she was growing up in Pittsburgh, Pa. She dreamt of one day working with African women. Three and a half years ago, that dream came true. Kosinski left her job as an executive with Paramount, working in television, for a chance to sit in a circle with 35 women from the North Kenyan tribe called the Samburu, learning about their lives. “I spent a lot of time there and traveled through the region, meeting women and women’s groups and just talking about their lives and asking a lot of questions,” she says. “I came to the conclusion that if there was anything I could do to assist these people and their communities, it was to bring them clean water.” Water is a major aspect of the lives of African women. Many women and young girls in Sub-Saharan Africa must walk an estimated six miles every day to get enough water for their families. This daily task prevents them from pursuing an education or earning an extra income. Sometimes they return with nothing. If they do bring back water, it is often contaminated. In 2004, 2.2 million deaths worldwide were attributed to unsafe water; nine out of 10 of these deaths were children under 5 years of age. Kosinski knew that so much could be fixed—disease, education, women’s empowerment—with better access to cleaner water. And so in 2005, she began the nonprofit The Samburu Project. Using donations from individual donors, foundations, and corporate partnerships, The Samburu Project has built 22
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wells in Samburu, Kenya (its goal is 25 wells) that bring clean water to 20,000 people. The Samburu Project doesn’t stop at building wells. It takes a holistic approach to helping the people of this region. “The goal is to drill wells and provide a solid foundation for development. We don’t just end it with water,” Kosinski says. Collaborating with communities in developing countries, The Samburu Project aims to enhance men, women, and children’s lives by providing resources that address immediate needs while promoting long-term sustainability and self-sufficiency along with cultural integrity. “Right now we’re working in terms of education with a number of communities we provide water for, women’s empowerment, distributing mosquito nets, and working in the realm of healthcare,” she says. The Samburu Project employs people on the ground in Africa in order to maintain sustainability in the region. An area in which The Samburu Project is expanding is corporate partnerships. Its first partnership is with the clothing manufacturer Mighty Fine for a variety of T-shirts that will aesthetically draw people’s attention but also help get the word out about The Samburu Project and the water crisis. “When Kristen shared her vision for the Samburu people, it was so inspiring we felt compelled to join her journey and help spread the story,” says Mighty Fine’s marketing director Sara Scargall.
“Through our partnerships with our boutique, specialty, and department stores, we are hoping to generate enough sales and donations to improve the quality of life for the people of Samburu.” Mighty Fine believes that the Tshirts, as well as other charity-licensed products, are a way for today’s generation to get involved with charitable initiatives. Consumers receive something tangible in the end, and still feel good about donating to a cause. Mighty Fine’s The Samburu Project Tshirts will debut next month under its Public Library and Trash & Luxury labels in boutiques, specialty, and better department stores nationwide. A portion of all proceeds goes directly to The Samburu Project. The theme of the shirts is hope, unity, and water as the foundation of life. Some of the artwork for the shirts is Mighty Fine-created, but the company also used art done by children in the Samburu community. In the future, Kosinski says The Samburu Project’s goal is to form other corporate partnerships to allow consumers to do something that matters while consuming. But first, there are three more wells to be built—the lifeline for Samburu women and their families. A portion of the proceeds from Mighty Fine’s Samburu Project T-shirt sales goes directly to The Samburu Project. For more information about The Samburu Project, visit www.thesamburuproject.org.
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by Paul Narula all it porn. Call it erotica. Whatever it’s called, adult entertainment and the industry surrounding it has been around for a long time. But the days of a stack of magazines hidden in a box in a corner of a closet have been over for quite some time. Now, adult entertainment can be obtained in a variety of ways, ranging from the traditional magazine to state-of-the-art high-def video. A consumer’s access to adult entertainment is far greater now than it ever was before. With the increased presence of the industry, it should come as no surprise that many adult companies are stepping up their licensing programs as well. Not every adult company can become a consumer brand. “It takes a strong market presence that can transcend the adult market,” says Dan Miller, editor in chief of AVN magazine, the adult industry’s largest business publication. According to Miller, it takes a solid foundation in the adult industry itself before a brand can cross over into licensing consumer products. While smaller companies must focus on building a fan base, larger companies can aggressively pursue the licensing front. Licensing can be an important part of an adult company’s business plan. “It helps broaden the appeal of the brand,” says Steven Hirsch, co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment. That appeal is based on the sensibilities that a company establishes for itself in the marketplace. Like any brand, an adult brand has to have aspects that appeal to both fans of the brand and consumers who may not be fans, but may be interested in the product. Because sex and sexuality are unavoidably a part of these brands, much of an adult company’s licensing program
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depends on what Chippendales vice-president of licensing, Kevin Denberg, describes as “walking the fine line of selling sex, but selling socially acceptable sex.” Different companies
Penthouse-brand shot glasses from VS International
draw the line in different places. Chippendales, which features no frontal nudity, positions itself and its shows not as a sexually titillating experience, but as “The Ultimate Girls’ Night Out,” focused more on the entertainment aspect of its choreographed performances. This allows the brand to enter the mainstream market. Meanwhile, a brand such as Penthouse does not shy away from sexual connotations in its licensing, but uses the reputation of its brands and the lifestyle it represents to give those products a mainstream appeal. “Brands from Abercrombie & Fitch to Red Bull are using sexual connotations to sell their products, while Penthouse and our products do not have to take those extra steps. We come from sex,” says Amanda Byrd,
president of licensing at Penthouse. A major help to licensing has been the steady decrease in negative opinion about the adult world in recent years. The AVN Expo, the largest trade show in the adult industry, receives national coverage from the G4 television network and was even mentioned over a two-day span on New York’s 1010 WINS news radio. Celebrity culture and media coverage has also increased the exposure of the mainstream audience to sex and sexuality. This shift could not be more opportune for the industry. Though easier access to adult material has helped the adult industry, it has had detrimental effects. Internet-based “tube” sites and peer-to-peer file sharing have reduced legitimate DVD purchases. Licensing helps offset this loss with an additional source of income and increased brand presence in the market. Arrow Productions, which markets brands based on classic adult entertainment properties such as Deep Throat and Johnny Wadd, has a program that sometimes outdoes the core product. “Our energy drinks are outselling our DVDs,” says Robert Interlandi, marketing and licensing director at Arrow Productions. “Licensing gives us a real consumable product. You buy a DVD and you’re done, but you can have four energy drinks a day.” Despite setbacks, many of the companies interviewed for this article are predicting growth for their licensing programs as adult entertainment becomes less and less taboo. “I think we’ll see more innovative and creative licensing deals happen as adult continues to penetrate the mainstream,” AVN’s Miller says, with (hopefully) no pun intended.
ADULT LICENSING With DVD sales down, licensing has become more important than ever to adult companies. Hereâ€™s a look at some of the recent deals and developments in the world of adult licensing.
Penthouse has signed Village Lighthouse as a licensee. Village Lighthouse will produce calendars featuring the Penthouse Pets for 2010. In addition, the company will produce a line of greeting cards that feature various Penthouse Pets for a number of holidays and special occasions.
Chippendales has teamed up with JibJab for a collection of email holiday and greeting cards, featuring the Chippendales dancers. Customers can put their own pictures on images of Chippendales men and send them to friends and family via email. Cards are both animated and non-animated.
Vivid has teamed up with Control MFG, a skateboard manufacturer, to produce a variety of skateboards featuring Vividâ€™s female talent paired with the names of top riders from skateboarding team Team Control. Sunny Leone is paired with Gabe Ekoe; Nikki Jayne with PIF; Hanna Hilton with Thomas Parent; and Meggan Malone with Casey McDonald. A fifth board features the Control Skateboard and Vivid logos.
Arrow will be expanding its licensed line of comic books with partner Terminal Press. In addition to continuing with current series based on Deep Throat and other Arrow properties, Terminal Press will introduce two new comic books based on the movies The Devil in Mrs. Jones and Tell Them Johnny Wadd Is Here.
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FUTURE: SCI FI VENTURES
by Paul Narula hen most people think of the science-fiction genre, they imagine space ships, aliens, and laser battles. While this is certainly not an incorrect image of the genre, to Dave Howe, president of the Sci Fi Channel, it is only a portion of what the genre really represents. “The category embraces everything, from space operas to fantasy to superheroes to the supernatural,” Howe says. The encompassing and diverse nature of the genre means that the Sci Fi Channel’s programming follows suit, with everything from classic space opera series to paranormal reality shows. With a wide audience and the growing popularity of the genre, Sci Fi has partnered with Brand Sense Partners (BSP) to create Sci Fi Ventures, a brand that will capitalize on the Sci Fi Channel’s position within the genre. The demographic for the Sci Fi Channel, as described by Howe, is “22–55-year-old adults, with a 50/50 gender balance.” These fans are also the main demographic for Sci Fi Ventures. While this is the group with the most interest in the genre, that doesn’t necessarily make them an easy sell. “The demographic of Sci Fi fans is a pretty tough group in terms of expectations,” says Ramez Toubassy, president of BSP. Toubassy believes that the Sci Fi Ventures brand will be a success because of the credibility of the Sci Fi Channel. “The channel delivers high quality product consistently to a very discerning audience,” Toubassy says. Because of this credibility, BSP intends to position the Sci Fi brand as a “curator” of content and quality. Rather than focusing on indi-
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vidual shows and properties, the Sci Fi brand will be an umbrella brand that can guarantee quality and authenticity on licensed products. “We want to be a brand where as soon as you see our logo on a product, you know that product, you know that product is a state-of-the-art cutting-edge product,” Howe says. By banking on the channel’s relevancy and reliability as a provider of quality content, BSP and Sci Fi hope to make the Sci Fi brand a symbol of quality products as well. However, the licensing program actually goes beyond the idea of simple product-only partnerships. Sci Fi is also hoping to use the Sci Fi Ventures property to create entirely new content and properties that will segue more easily into platforms outside of the small screen. “We will partner them with the best-in-class providers to create new content where the Sci Fi Channel logo itself and the platform behind it can bring the audience to them,” Toubassy says.
Sci Fi will be creating content that can work not only when licensed to product, but also when licensed to other mediums of entertainment. Toubassy points out that many television properties do not do well when the property is moved to a new format, and vice versa. At Sci Fi, “they’ve determined that the reasoning for
this is that those properties are solely television properties, or solely publishing properties,” says Toubassy. Working with BSP and with its licensees, Sci Fi will create new properties that feature content that can span multiple entertainment mediums. It will build these new properties with that cross-channel goal in mind. Sci Fi Ventures will be focusing on a number of key categories. An obvious connection for the brand is gaming. Video games, online games, and casual games are areas of significant interest for the brand and will help expand its reach, especially among younger children. Games from Sci Fi could feature current IPs related to the channel’s properties, or entirely new ones. Sci Fi is already working with Trion Worldwide to produce a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) based on a fresh property. Publishing, especially comic books, also plays into the company’s interest and Sci Fi is working on a new property with Liquid Comics (formerly Virgin Comics) that will be built both as a comic book and television property. Toys are also a key category for the channel, where it will act as a seal of approval rather than just a provider of licensed characters. The Sci Fi Ventures program is a different take on a standard licensing program. BSP believes that this is the type of program that will be most beneficial for all television networks interested in licensing. “Sending out the logo and waiting for the royalties simply doesn’t work anymore,” says Toubassy. “This is the future of the TV network business.” And while it may not be a laser rifle or a flying car, it is a future to keep an eye on.
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STAR TREK: LICENSE LONG AND PROSPER
by Paul Narula
here do the phrases “Beam me up, Scotty!” and “Resistance is futile,” come from? Who is Captain Kirk? What do Spock’s ears look like? It would be a challenge to find someone in the U.S. who couldn’t answer at least one of those three questions, and that speaks to how popular Star Trek is. “It’s become a part of our culture,” says Bill Burke, vice-president of marketing at CBS Consumer Products. Since the original series first began in 1966, Star Trek has been a part of U.S. entertainment and pop culture in a very significant way. With six separate television series and 10 theatrical releases—an 11th is on the way this May—Star Trek has a staying power that many entertainment brands lack. Capitalizing both on that staying power and on the upcoming theatrical release, CBS Consumer Products has begun reinvigorating the Star Trek licensing program, with new licensees in a variety of categories. While Star Trek has always had a licensing program in place, now is an excellent time to expand the merchandising program. The upcoming movie is positioned as a summer blockbuster and has strengthened interest in the brand. “When you have a new movie premiering, it’s only natural to expand the program,” says Burke. Burke identifies three core demographics for the Star Trek brand. The first, and what he calls the “core” of the Star Trek licensed merchandise consumer base, is a group he calls “the collectors.” These are the “true” fans of Star Trek who have followed the series and movies and want to collect their favorite characters
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and movie moments. For these consumers, CBS Consumer Products will be releasing more than 700 products over the course of this year, ranging from toys and models from companies such as Diamond and Master Replica to collectible publishing and books. The next group that Burke identifies is what he calls “casual” fans. “These are the consumers who grew up with Star Trek,” says Burke. While they are not necessarily die-hard fans, they have been exposed to the brand for much of their lives and are familiar with the world. For these consumers, CBS will create a line of products based on the world of Star Trek, rather than any particular series. Burke calls this part of the line “branded and iconic products” that illustrate the entire universe and emphasize an umbrella brand that encompasses the attitude of the Star Trek world and brand. The third group, and the one that Burke is most excited about, is the group of new Star Trek fans. The upcoming Star Trek film is the first theatrical feature film from the brand since 2002. “These are the new fans that will experience Star Trek on the big screen for the first
Star Trek iPod by EtchStar
time in their lives this summer,” says Burke. CBS Consumer Products wants to go beyond just a line of movie tie-in products. Instead, the movie-licensed products will act as a tie-in that will help bring the consumer into the entire world of Star Trek that expands well beyond the film itself. “After they see the movie, they’re going to look for new ways to experience the brand,” says Burke. That is exactly what CBS is looking to do and will hopefully bring these fans further into the Star Trek fold. Because these fans are younger, one of the most important categories for the new licensing initiative is toys. Playmates has signed on to create a full line of action figures and Mattel will be producing games and die-cast models. Fundex has also signed on for games. Roleplay products are also slated to come out with the movie, as well as a soft line and children’s apparel. “We’re very confident that with the promotional backing and partners we’ve secured, we’ll attract a whole new generation of Star Trek fans,” says Burke. Though the upcoming release of the movie is a large part of the surge in licensing activity for the brand, Burke doesn’t intend to let the brand’s program slow down after the movie leaves theaters. “The key here is that this is the Star Trek brand,” he says. Rather than start and end with a particular movie or series, this brand encompasses more than 700 hours of entertainment. “There are a lot of adventures we still haven’t told yet,” says Burke. And, as was said in 1966 when the Enterprise made its first journey, there’s still plenty of space out there where no man (or perhaps brand) has gone before.
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G4 Targets Male Tech Audience by Nancy Lombardi
one time, the call of “I Want My MTV” defined a generation. The tagline was used when cable was in its infancy in the early/mid 1980s. Since that time, cable television has become standard in U.S. households. As a result, there are niche channels for every interest. Lifetime, Oxygen, and The Style Network are just a sampling of what is available for women. Men have ESPN (and its numerous iterations) not to mention custom sports packages for every type of fan. There is The Discovery Channel, The Food Network, and all the shopping channels a person could want. And, as for MTV, the original channel no longer even plays videos—you’ll have to choose one of its sister stations for that. Yet there is one segment of men in the 18–34 demographic who have been overlooked. This is not the typical ESPN viewer.
It’s not Discovery’s Dirty Jobs viewer, but a new generation of tech-savvy men who are looking for something different. Comcast Entertainment Group’s G4 is the network created to serve this group. G4 (part of the same family that created The Style Network and E!) is now seen in approximately 65 million U.S. households. G4 recently commissioned a study to find out all it could about its viewers in an effort to help the network itself, advertisers, and potential licensees. The study delved into the lives of 1,100 men ages 18–34. The results revealed that these viewers use games and technology as their biggest connector with friends and not sports. This is no longer a generation of “jock” or “frat boy,” but rather “geek chic” is what they relate to. “This is a very fickle group,” says David Palmer, senior vicepresident of brand development and talent alliances, Comcast
The G4 Network focuses on the male demographic 18–34. Recently it commissioned a study of its viewers. Here are some key findings: • 69 percent of G4 viewers own a video game console • Median household income is $43,000 • 64 percent of viewers are male; median age 31 • TV is still vital for entertainment • The internet is like air—can’t live without it • Being “in-the-know” is important; thirst for info; “one-upping” friends • Be a good human—74 percent identify themselves as “a sensitive guy” • Success with a soul—they want to be fulfilled and have balance in their lives Source: G4 Network, Hunting with Lightsabers, A Field Guide to Young Males 18–34
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Entertainment Group. “You let them find something and embrace it.” From that point they pass the message onto friends, creating a groundswell of awareness. “This audience does watch TV, but they watch it differently,” he says. This is not a group that wants to be told by advertisers or a network what’s cool or what they should be watching. This is an audience that is used to “discovering” things on the web and judging for themselves. It’s a thought process they adhere to for all aspects of life. Viewers are tuning into G4 for all types of programming. Palmer explains that some of the most popular shows are Attack of the Show, which is a daily 60minute variety show that attacks everything related to young men from viral videos, to gadgets, to video games and movies. XPlay is a daily 30-minute show that covers all aspects of the gaming industry. Code Monkeys is an animated comedy about office life dubbed a “comedy of eight-bit proportions.” As the network continues to grow in popularity, the next step is to develop a licensing program for the G4 brand as well as each individual show. SloaneVision Unlimited has been hired to develop a comprehensive licensing program. The
Attack of the Show is a 60-minute daily variety show that attacks everything affecting young men. It is hosted by Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira.
key opportunities are with the series previously mentioned. “We are looking into gift and novelty, publishing, apparel, and tech-type products,” says Palmer. SloaneVision is in the midst of signing licensees and Palmer says they hope to make announcements for Licensing Show. Since the viewing habits of this demographic are different from previous generations, their shopping habits are going to be unique as well. “This demographic shops differently. They get their items online, at Best Buy, or in non-traditional brick-and-mortar stores,” says Palmer. Armed with a deep understanding of its viewer, popular series, and a licensing program in development, G4 looks poised for growth in the U.S., which should lead to international expansion.
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Imagi Teams with Astro Boy by Nancy Lombardi
stro Boy, created in 1951, made its first appearance in manga in Japan. Created by Osamu Tezuka, who is known as the father of manga, it told a story set in the year 2000 when robot technology had advanced to an astounding level. In the story, Doctor Tenma, head of the ministry of science, has been trying to create a new type of robot. His obsession with his goal drives a wedge between him and his son. Dr. Tenma is then driven mad by grief over the loss of his son in a tragic accident. He then completes Astro Boy in the likeness of his son, Toby. In 1960, 193 Astro Boy episodes were shown on Fuji television in black and white. In 1982 more than 50 episodes were created in color and broadcast in 40 countries. The TV series made its Japanese premiere in 2003. For more than 50 years, Astro Boy has had an extensive worldwide licensing and promotional program spanning numerous categories. Now Imagi Studios announced that a new iteration of Astro Boy is expected to be in theaters on October 23. The story is set in futuristic Metro City and features Astro Boy as a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist. He embarks on a journey in search of adventure in a world of robot gladiators before returning to Metro City where he finds his place in the world. This animated, action/adventure comedy is expected to receive a PG rating. The film will feature the voice talent of Freddie Highmore (as Astro Boy), Nicholas Cage (as Dr. Tenma), Donald Sutherland (as President Stone), Kristen Bell (as Cora), Eugene Levy (as the robot Orrin), Nathan Lane (as Hammegg), and David Alan Grier (as Windex).
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“We have an opportunity and a challenge because there is such an awareness of classic Astro Boy,” says Russell Binder, president of Striker Entertainment, which is crafting the licensing program. “What Imagi Studios has done is ‘reboot’Astro Boy so it’s slightly more Astro Boy is scheduled to open in theaters October 23, 2009.
Westernized. It’s been updated, modernized, and it’s globally appealing.” Binder does note that all involved have been working closely with the estate of Osamu Tezuka for approval. Major marketing support is expected for the film with nearly $40 million in marketing spending coming from Imagi Studios and another estimated $100 million coming from its partners. Some of the licensees already on board for the film, which is a separate licensing program from the classic story, include American Greetings for gift wrap, cards, party goods, stationery, ornaments, calendars, tableware, and juvenile boxed Valentine’s Day cards. Penguin Publishing has been signed for a storybook, novelization with full-color insert, activity book, and movie photobook with pull-out poster. D3 Interactive has been signed for games for
Nintendo DS, Wii, PSP, and PS2. Jazwares is the master toy licensee for mass-market action figures, playsets, and roleplay items. Hot Toys will create high-end collector figures for the specialty market. Imagi Studios has been hard at work on Astro Boy. The obvious goal is to make the movie a success. Yet, at the same time, this property is being used as a launch pad to put Imagi Studios on the map. The company is in the process of developing a deeper licensing and marketing division to support upcoming properties. The company plans to make a splash at this year’s Las Vegas Licensing Show using Astro Boy as its anchor, according to Erin Corbett, president of Imagi Studios, U.S. In addition, Imagi will be introducing the Gatchaman property at Licensing Show. Gatchaman is derived from Japanese anime. “The story unfolds in a future world that is grappling with technological and environmental issues,” according to Imagi. “The story focuses on five reluctant heroes whose remarkable genetic code makes them Earth’s only hope of defeating extraterrestrial invaders,” says Imagi. The effects-rich film is scheduled for a 2010 release. “We have been talking to potential licensees for the past three months so we are hoping to lock in our QSR partner, our toy partner, and promotional partner in the next four–six weeks,” says Corbett. While Astro Boy (along with the 2007 release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) is helping to establish the Imagi Studios name, a diverse and interesting roster of properties will build its future.
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MAY 17–19, 2009
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York City www.surtex.com
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1/5/09 3:32 PM
HENSON PLAN COMES TOGETHER by Nancy Lombardi
try not to quote the A-Team more than once a day but ‘I do love it
when a plan comes together’,” says
Peter Schube, president and COO of The Jim Henson Company.
Although it’s not evoking Shakespeare, it
Mommy and Me brand prior to its acquisition by DIC. In 2003 she co-founded Evergreen Concepts and launched Brandolution in 2006.
Under Segal’s leadership, Sid the Science Kid
may be the most fitting way to describe just what
will have a soft launch at retail in the fall and a
Henson happenings, in May 2003 The Jim
expected to be named shortly. The DVD partner,
than Henson’s two previously mentioned
to be named. From there the remainder of the key
years building awareness in an alternative way
is happening with The Jim Henson Company as
2009 gets underway. To recap the most recent Henson Company was repurchased by the late Jim Henson’s five children from German media
company EM.TV & Merchandising AG for $78
million in cash. All five Henson children serve on the company’s board with Brian Henson and Lisa Henson serving as co-chairpersons.
Nearly one year later, in February 2004, the
Henson family announced the sale of the
Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House to Disney. The family said that before Jim Henson’s
death in 1990 he was in active discussions with Disney because he believed that Disney was the
proper home for his characters. And while the Henson name is synonymous with The Muppets, Kermit and his crew remain with Disney.
Now as the industry navigates through
uncertain economic times, The Jim Henson
Company is generating excitement with new properties, most notably Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train, as well as classics such as Fraggle Rock and The Dark Crystal.
In addition to notable properties, the compa-
ny has been adding key staff—the latest of whom is Melissa Segal, recently named senior vice-
president of global consumer products. Segal has more then 18 years of experience as a consumer
products and brand marketing specialist. She
spent eight years at Disney and worked on the
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
full launch in spring 2010. The series is current-
ly airing on PBS and a master toy licensee is NCircle Entertainment, is expected to have prod-
uct out in August. A publishing licensee has yet
categories will fall into place, according to Segal. The next new property on tap is Dinosaur
Train—the name could not be more “toyetic.”
As a result Segal says they had interest early
This property is designed for an older child
properties. The Skrumps have already been
featured on yahookids.com for the past two to a traditional TV launch.
The Jim Henson Company also owns the
on from licensees “before our relationship was
classic properties Fraggle Rock, Emmet Otter’s
Buddy, a preschool-aged T-Rex. Buddy and his
specific fan bases. Plans are in development for
even finalized with PBS.”
Dinosaur Train follows the adventures of
adoptive family of Pteranodons go on adven-
tures on the Dinosaur Train. The CGI-animated series is expected to debut in the fall and will encourage basic scientific thinking as
viewers learn about natural science, natural history, and paleontology. Product is expected to be on shelf in fall 2010, according to Segal.
A master toy and publishing partner are expected to be announced soon.
Next in the lineup is the Skrumps. Following
the digital puppetry style of Sid the Science Kid,
this series is about “a universe of characters with endless numbers of Skrumps much like there are endless Smurfs or Muppets,” says
Segal. “They live in Skrumpland and it follows closely the relationship between two main characters: Wishbone and Skrumpy.”
Jug Band, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and Farscape. Each has a rich history with deep,
each to nurture the classic while introducing the properties to a new generation.
The company is able to embark on this new
path of development and licensing partly because
it is at the end of a deal with HIT Entertainment, which was acting as Henson’s licensing agent. As
this deal came to a close it “prompted us to take
a look at what is the most efficient and effective way going forward to manage these valuable properties,” says Schube. “Now is the time to
internalize this function. We are happily back in
the business of administering the merchandising rights to our properties ourselves. We have spent the past several years focusing our efforts and resources on our film and television develop-
ment,” says Schube. “The plans have come together in a wonderful way.”
TELLING STORIES IN
by Laurie Hahn allaway Arts & Entertainment has always understood the importance of books. The company got its start 28 years ago as an illustrated book publisher earning a reputation for producing high-quality illustrated books aimed at a wide audience. Today Callaway has evolved into more than just a book publisher in an effort to keep up with evolution in the media world. “We’re a brand creator and producer,” says Nicholas Callaway, chairman and founder of Callaway. “The next generation are multi-platform consumers and we have developed an expertise on how to eloquently tell stories, create characters, and design products in the way the young generation consumes today.” To do this, Callaway created products around the books it publishes, such as David Kirk’s Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends books, and will do the same for Madonna’s The English Roses books. “We still see that books are a powerful and long-lasting way to root a cross-platform property,” Callaway says. The Sunny Patch product line came to life in 2003 in the seasonal/lawn and garden areas of Target stores. Callaway says the brand entered those areas because the company noticed a trend of “parents with young children finding more ways to spend time together outdoors and perhaps in the backyard or in the garden.” New products featuring new character art and designs are available every year between January and June. All of the Sunny Patch products are designed by Callaway designers and manufactured by Target vendors in Asia. The in-house design process ensures that each product embodies the right look and feel.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
Translating the artwork from page to product is very important to Callaway and, according to newly appointed CEO John Lee, it is one of the areas in which the company ed to hit stores this spring. New Sunny Patch products include the excels. “When you see the prod- Toppy Triceratops Tunnel. GR Branding is the apparel and ucts that are brought to life in health and beauty licensing agent Target in the Sunny Patch collection, you for the brand in North America and Europe. have great character art married with a fun, The Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends TV functional 3-D product design,” says Lee, series, based on the books and art, debuted on who joined the company last year. Nick Jr. in 2004 and continues to air daily on Lee came to Callaway to build new business Nickelodeon’s Noggin channel. and increase revenues while sustaining a fun, For Madonna’s The English Roses, creative, inspiring, and entrepreneurial culture. Callaway will create a web-centric, multimeThe former president and founder of Learning dia lifestyle consumer product collection that Curve, Lee remained with that company after focuses on teens and tweens. The product the 2003 merger with Racing Champions design process for the brand will begin at (forming the RC2 Corporation) to help build Callaway. Jeffrey Fulvimari, fashion designLearning Curve. “My passion is to help build er and illustrator of The English Roses books, small ideas into big ones,” Lee says. By 2006, will be creative director for the brand. he was ready for a new challenge and left It’s not just children’s books that Learning Curve to help Don Moody grow Callaway is focusing on for 2009 and WordWorld. As a member of the senior man- beyond. The company worked with The New agement team, Lee focused on brand strategy, York Times on the book Obama: The Historic business development, and fundraising. In July Journey. The book covers Barack Obama’s 2008, he cut back his role with WordWorld to life from childhood through his inauguration part-time—he is still a business and brand as the 44th president of the United States. development advisor for WordWorld, as well as The book will be published in collaboration a member of the company’s board and an angel with Riverhead Books and hits shelves on investor—to join Callaway and develop new President’s Day, February 16. There will also business opportunities from its existing IP be a young readers’ edition. “This is just the assets, such as Sunny Patch. beginning of what Nicholas and I hope to be Callaway hopes to turn Sunny Patch into a a great brand-building enterprise,” Lee says. lifestyle brand and has signed Melissa & For Callaway Arts & Entertainment, Doug as the North American partner for all building a brand means having great art and play categories, room décor, and furnishings great stories. As Callaway says, “At the heart for the specialty market. Products are expect- of everything we do is telling great stories.”
onventional wisdom in the licensing industry says that tween girls’ fickle nature makes them a tough demographic to accurately target, but don’t mention that to Disney Consumer Products. The licensor has been on a tear over the past few years with High School Musical, Hannah Montana, and Camp Rock, which features the Jonas Brothers. The next phase in the Jonas Brothers marketing machine will be the release of the JONAS television series in May. This series is poised to experience great success if the Jonas phenomenon’s past endeavors are any indication. Camp Rock, which premiered on June 20, 2008, had nearly 25 million viewers. The latest Jonas Brothers album, which launched on August 12, 2008, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. And the group’s tour reached more than 1 million fans. “We have been very successful at merchandising tween properties for quite some time and we have key licensing partners that we work with that specialize in developing product for that consumer,” says Lisa Avent, vice-president and general manager of global television franchise development at Disney Consumer Products. “They react quickly to what’s happening with tweens and the current trends.” Since fashion is so much at the forefront of the Jonas Brothers’ appeal, Jerry Leigh is a key licensee in the JONAS licensing program. Product from the manufacturer will hit in April, just prior to the show’s launch, with a full line in the works for back to school. “This line will be more fashion driven than image driven,” says Gina Cappi, sales executive for girls 4–16 at Jerry Leigh. “We took the whole prep school trend and we’re making it fun and fresh. This style isn’t really out there for tween consumers, so they are really looking for it.” The JONAS television series and licensing program won’t suffer from lack of support from the greater Walt Disney Company. The show and the Jonas Brothers band touch a wide array of the company’s segments, including home entertainment, records, publishing, and theatrical. Avent says the many touchstones “expand the visibility of [multimedia] properties really quickly and give them longevity.” If Disney’s and the Jonas Brothers’ track record are any indication, the JONAS licensing program could be a highlight of what is poised to be a trying year at retail.
by Chris Adams
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
JONAS will begin airing in May on the Disney Channel.
On the show, the roles of the Lucas brothers, who play in a band called Jonas, mirror the real lives of the Jonas Brothers.
Jonas Brothers concerts in 2008 were attended by more than 1 million people and were filmed for a 3-D theatrical release that will launch this month.
Toy Fair 2009
FINDING OPPORTUNITIES AMID PRACTICAL CAUTION oming out of what was a
products out there and look for
elements that has occurred over the
lenges out there in the toy and
beyond, licensors across the board
alternative channels of distribu-
world of children’s entertainment,
mean that the year should be writ-
by Chris Adams
very difficult 2008 and
looking toward 2009 and
are exercising practical caution in developing licensing programs for
children’s properties. The lay of the land at retail at the end of 2008
has made savvy marketers very
conscious of responsibly sizing product lines and SKU counts.
“Retailers will be making
very conservative purchases for 2009 and inventory levels will be
very low so they can avoid the mass sales that they had to have at the end of 2008,” says Joy Tashjian, Tashjian
“That translates to having a very
difficult time getting new product on the shelf.”
Because the weak economy and
deep discounts at the end of 2008 have made retailers very wary, licensors need to be very targeted and inventive to create opportunities for themselves.
“We need to be creative in our
deal making to take some of the risk away from licensees,” says
Bill McClinton, vice-president of licensing at Global Icons. “On the
flipside, we have got to come up
with some creative ways to get the
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
In addition to looking toward
tion, licensors are looking to emerging categories to develop
product that will prove interesting to retailers and consumers alike.
“There are certainly opportuni-
ties out there for new properties,”
says Gary Krakower, senior vicepresident, U.S. licensing and live
events at HIT Entertainment.
“There are a lot of companies out there in the electronics markets looking for content.”
Sure, television is still a very
strong driver for children’s properties, but in such a competitive mar-
ketplace TV can only be one facet of what constitutes a successful licensing
media and online content aren’t add-ons in this day, age, and economic climate; they are necessary.
“Properties that have success-
ful content drivers are going to perform well once again,” says
Leslye Schaefer, senior vice-president of marketing and consumer products at Scholastic Media.
“There will also be some growth in those properties that have an inherent online play pattern.”
The shift to electronic and online
past decade would seem like a com-
pletely changed paradigm in the but that really isn’t the case.
“Overall, children want the
same things they always have: to have fun, express themselves and
their individuality, be social with their friends and peers, and enjoy
quality time with their families,”
says Lisa Marks, president of Lisa Marks & Associates. “Of
course, these attributes express themselves differently through the lens of time.”
This shift is part of the ongo-
ing age-compression that has influenced the toy and children’s entertainment
many years. While some in the
toy and licensing industries have pooh-poohed this trend, those who have exploited the trend have fared extremely well.
“Children are getting out of
animated shows earlier,” says Lisa Streff,
domestic licensing, at Cookie Jar
Entertainment. “This has changed the landscape of kids’ programming and entertainment; this is
why the live-action shows have been able to make a difference.”
Sure, there are scores of chal-
children’s licensing world looking into 2009. But that doesn’t
ten off completely. Even in a weak economy, there is business
that will happen. And those positioned to exploit the available opportunities will succeed.
“If you can find the opportu-
nities that are out there—and they are fewer and further
between—you can be surprised,”
says Christina Miller, vice-president, consumer products, at Cartoon Network. “People are
willing to do business differently and try new things.”
And even if 2009 proves to be
as difficult a year as some are pre-
dicting, it is not the end of the world as we know it. “There is no escaping the realities of our economy and it is wise to adjust 2009
expectations and initiatives to reflect reality,” says Debra Joester,
president of The Joester Loria
Group. “On the other hand, we are
a forward-looking industry and products and promotions are cur-
rently being developed for 2010.
We are being reasonably aggressive about fall 2010 and believe
there will be terrific opportunities as consumer confidence returns.”
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Toy Fair 2009 BANDAI
The following pages represent just some of what will be on display at this year’s show in New York City’s Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Ben 10 Alien Creation Chamber Transporter
Bandai’s line of Ben 10 products includes an expanded lineup of four-inch Collectible Alien Figures. Each alien figure comes with a unique translucent mini figure. Kids can use the mini figure with the Ultimate Omnitrix (sold separately) to project the alien’s silhouette and unlock new light and sound effects. The aliens also include a collectible bio card that reveals fun facts and trivia about their home planet. New Ben 10 roleplay items include the Omnitrix Illuminator. Place the included image discs in the Omnitrix and, with the press of a button, the Omnitrix will project images of aliens on any flat surface. It includes three image discs. Create custom Ben 10 aliens on the go with the Alien Creation Chamber Transporter. Mix and match parts to create a unique alien. The transporter includes two figures, an alien key, and two combo cards. The black translucent Alien X edition transporter features an exclusive Alien X 2.5-inch figure. The portable playset is also available in blue and green.
FISHER-PRICE It’s Sesame Street’s 40th birthday and Fisher-Price is taking two of Elmo’s signature toy features—tickling and dancing—and putting the tickling power right into kids’ hands with Elmo Tickle Hands. These two furry red Elmo hands fit on a child’s hands. One tickle hand is activated with a press of Elmo’s nose. When the child touches a surface, the hand will vibrate and play sound effects and phrases from Elmo. When kids press Elmo’s nose again, the dance mode is activated. Elmo Tickle Hands will be packaged with a special DVD. It requires two AA batteries, which are included. It is for ages 18 months and up. With Manny’s Repair Shop, kids can work on projects just like Handy Manny. Grab the blueprints, choose a project, and slide the blueprint into the diagnostic center. Manny will recognize the project that was chosen and walk the child through the steps to complete the project. There are six main projects, each with a set of blueprints and one jumbo blueprint showing how to do additional projects, totaling more than 20 projects. The set includes more than 40 parts, as well as two of Manny’s tools, Pat the Hammer and Felipe the Screwdriver. The set requires three AA batteries, which are included. It is for ages 3 and up.
NICKELODEON & VIACOM CONSUMER PRODUCTS Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP) will unveil new partners creating educational and interactive toys for Nick Jr.’s Ni Hao, Kai-lan. NVCP will also debut new partners for iCarly. SpongeBob SquarePants kicks off its 10th anniversary with talking plush from Play Along, a line of classic games from Hasbro, and educational toys from LeapFrog. Fisher-Price will introduce an interactive dancing doll inspired by the Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom TV event, along with an interactive kitchen. Go, Diego, Go! and The Wonder Pets will also come to life with new products from Fisher-Price. New iconic green Slime products from Jakks Pacific will debut. Nickelodeon will also unveil environmentally friendly products including organic plush, wooden toys, and a recyclable dollhouse from Toy Island.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
THE WEATHER CHANNEL The Weather Channel will introduce new products based on Radar, the dog mascot of theweatherchannelkids.com. Radar appears on the Weather Games section of the site, which offers coloring pages featuring Radar in his many meteorologist pursuits. Other interactive games offer experiences in severe weather preparedness, safety, and helping the environment. Radar will step off of the computer screen to become a wide variety of licensed products that will include children’s toys, plush, books, and learning games. Radar has a likability and relevance that lends well to merchandise extensions in the many varied topics on the website, including forecasting activities, careers in meteorology, tips on pet safety for all weather conditions, climate awareness, and exploring the amazing sides of weather and nature.
TECHNO SOURCE Techno Source and IAC Consumer Applications & Portals have partnered to create Smiley Central Studio toys and SmileyCentralStudio.com. Smiley Central Studio toys allow kids to show the world who they are, how they feel, and who they want to be. Kids can collect Smiley Central Studio characters in the form of plush, collectibles, and activity kits. Each Smiley Central Studio toy includes a studio token with a secret code to unlock smiley parts, accessories, and even art assets at SmileyCentralStudio.com. Techno Source products include Smiley Central Three-Pack Charms that can be attached to cell phones, bags, zippers, backpacks, and more. Activity kits include the Wall Art Kit, which allows kids to color and decorate their own pieces of art and then stick them on their walls. The Mood Jewelry Kit lets kids decorate beads and pendants with stickers, glue, and glitter. Smiley Central products are for ages 6 and up.
Bob the Builder Live! Spud’s Big Mess
This year, HIT Entertainment’s Bob the Builder embarks on new building projects, including a live stage show, Bob the Builder Live! Spud’s Big Mess. It is set to travel to more than 70 cities from January through June. Bob the Builder is also laying a foundation at LEGOLAND family theme parks worldwide with a 4-D movie. Bob the Builder and the Roller Coaster debuts at LEGOLAND California and LEGOLAND Windsor in the UK in March and will be screened in LEGOLAND theaters daily. And this fall, Bob the Builder’s new CGI series launches on PBS Kids with new machines and building destinations. Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps is a new CGI series that sees Angelina Ballerina at a new performing arts school where she’ll experience new forms of music and dance. The show is slated for a fall 2009 premiere on PBS Kids. The program will be supported with a new CGI website this spring. ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
Toy Fair 2009 SESAME WORKSHOP
Celebrating 40 years, Sesame Workshop will work with the industry’s top licensees for products that utilize the latest technology as well as offer back-to-basic classics that will engage retailers and consumers alike. This month, Sesame Street co-founder, Joan Ganz Cooney, will be inducted into the Toy Industry Association’s Hall of Fame for her contributions to the trade.
Scholastic Media will unravel the mystery surrounding its new multi-platform property, The 39 Clues, with both University Games and Trends as licensees. Briarpatch signed on for Scholastic’s Wordgirl, with product set to release in 2010. Scholastic will also introduce its new series on qubo, Turbo Dogs. There are new The Magic School Bus kits from The Young Scientists Club and Clifford the Big Red Dog will have tails wagging in conjunction with licensees, such as Yottoy and Mattel.
DISNEY CONSUMER PRODUCTS For Disney Consumer Products’ Disney Princess brand, a 10th anniversary will be celebrated in 2010. Backed by a strong slate of original and classic content releasing from 2009 and into 2012, Disney Princess will bring to market an assortment of toys and roleplay products from key licensees Mattel, CDI, and Playmates. Disney Princess will also welcome its newest princess in more than 10 years, Princess Tiana from Walt Disney Pictures’ animated theatrical film, The Princess and the Frog, releasing this holiday. The film returns to Disney’s classic fairytale storytelling and hand drawn 2-D animation, and introduces its first African-American Disney Princess. Toy Story 3 is set to release in theaters in 2010. In an effort to reacquaint fans and introduce new audiences, while setting the stage for the movie, Disney will re-release Toy Story as a special 3-D feature in theaters this fall, followed by Toy Story 2 in 3-D in spring 2010. Disney Consumer Products will embark on a ramp-up strategy releasing a focused assortment of new toys inspired by the first two films with a major push behind Toy Story 3.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
MATTEL Mattel will be expanding the Barbie line with nostalgic and modern products to celebrate Barbie’s 50th anniversary, which kicks off next month. The Bathing Suit Barbie Doll is a throwback to the original black-and-white bathing suit Barbie of 1959, updated with a new look for 2009. Mattel will also introduce a new assortment of dolls called Barbie Pink, which features pink fashions and accessories to match. The My House Playset can be rearranged and configured to girls’ desires and is designed for 360 degrees of play. The Barbie Totally Nails Stylin’ Hands Playset is a pair of fashion styling hands that allow girls to create and design their own manicures before giving one to themselves. Girls can also give the Barbie Totally Nails dolls their own manicure with the easy color-change function. The Barbie Thumbelina DVD, a new animated Barbie movie, will be released in March. Accompanying the release will be a new line of dolls and accessories based on the Thumbelina character.
Jakks Pacific will be producing a new line of figures and playsets for Smurfs. The new Smurf figure Theme Packs feature five 2.25-inch figures following a different theme, such as sports or music. Accessory packs feature three Smurf figures and come in beach, picnic, and bakery themes. The vehicle packs feature one Smurf figure and a vehicle with a backwind motor. The Smurfs Mushroom House playset is available in three different styles and opens up into a detailed playset with one posable Smurf figure. The Deluxe Windmill playset opens up to reveal two levels of play and multiple play features, as well as two Smurf figures exclusive to the playset. Jakks will also be updating its Pokémon line. The new National Pokédex includes all 493 Pokémon from across the series. It features touch-screen technology to allow access to Pokémon information and games. The Pop n’ Battle Pokéball simulates action from the Pokémon series. When the ball is closed and the button pressed, kids can throw the Pokéball and watch a figure pop out.
AMERICAN GREETINGS American Greetings Properties (AGP) will continue to expand its brands in 2009. The Care Bears brand has a new global master toy and game partner in Hasbro. Hasbro’s upcoming products will complement the release of the Care Bears: Share Bear Shines Movie, in theaters and on DVD. AGP is also continuing to work with Cookie Jar on the Strawberry Shortcake brand. The characters have a new look and Hasbro will be acting as the master toy partner for the brand. Hasbro’s line will feature dolls, mini-dolls, playsets, figurines, and more. Fox will support the relaunch with a new CGI animated adventure, The Sky’s the Limit. Sushi Pack is one of AGP’s newest properties, targeted at girls and boys ages 4–8. Big Time Toys will introduce a new line of toys for 2009 and AGP is seeking additional partners. AGP will also be developing a new Holly Hobbie Classic brand, based on the original image of the Holly Hobbie rag doll. The nostalgic brand will be expanded into categories such as toys, gifts, novelties, collectibles, bedding, and more.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
Toy Fair 2009 CARTOON NETWORK
Cartoon Network has named Mattel as the master toy licensee for its original series, The Secret Saturdays. Mattel will manufacture, market, and sell a wide range of toys inspired by the new series, including action figures, playsets, roleplay, and more.
Hasbro is adding a wide variety of new products to the My Little Pony line. The My Little Pony Newborn Cuties are a new collection of baby ponies for girls to play with. The Newborn Rainbow Dash Room playset features a dino ride and a cloudshaped cradle for the included Newborn Rainbow Dash figure. The Ponyville La-Ti-Da Hair & Spa playset gives girls the chance to style and service their ponies in a full-service pretend hair salon with five different hair options before moving on to the bubble bath and changing room. Also coming up are two new additions to the So Soft Newborn Collection, Belle and Cheerilee. Both say fun phrases. New from Hasbroâ€™s Nerf N-Force line is the N-Force Short Sword assortment. The Nerf N-Force Shadow Fury and N-Force Thunder Fury Short Swords are both 32 inches in length and made of flexible and durable plastic.
The Secret Saturdays
So Soft Cheerilee
SPIN MASTER Throughout 2009, Spin Master will expand its Bakugan Battle Brawlers line of toys. The Bakugan Display Case is a lightweight case for transporting Bakugan that comes with an additional large-size Bakugan as a bonus. The Bakugan Hand Launcher gives players the ability to launch Bakugan Brawlers with backspins, sidespins, and other techniques that allow them to direct the ball more accurately. The new Bakugan Character Super Pack includes one Bakugan monster, one metal Gate card, and one two-inch figure.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
LEARNING CURVE Learning Curve has teamed up with Out of the Blue Enterprises to launch a line of products based on Super WHY! The line consists of plush, roleplay sets, action figures and dolls, vehicles, and electronic learning aids. Super WHY! Vehicle Two-Packs feature two Super WHY! characters in their plastic Why Flyer Vehicles. The Electronic Roleplay sets feature lights, sounds, and fun accessories for kids to dress up as Super Why and Princess Presto. Super WHY! action figures are also available, featuring Super Why (shown) and Alpha Pig.
LISA MARKS & ASSOCIATES Lisa Marks & Associates (LMA) will be developing new programs for Colorforms, from University Games. The brand will be licensed to a number of new partners. Tara Toy will create mini playset party favors. IDM Group will produce juvenile layette, baby apparel, and sleepwear. Briefly Stated/Giant Merchandising has signed on for juniors’ and men’s sleepwear, loungewear, underwear, juniors’ T-shirts, and more.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
Toy Fair 2009 FILM PREVIEW
compiled by Chris Adams
Posted on the next two pages are a sample of high-profile films expected to be released on the big screen in the next few years. These films either have full licensing programs in the works or at least offer licensing potential. The majority of the films are family-friendly offerings or at least have aspects to them that could be translated into toy products.
TITLE The Hannah Montana Movie
EXPECTED RELEASE DATE April 10, 2009
STUDIO Walt Disney Pictures
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
May 1, 2009
20th Century Fox
May 8, 2009
Land of the Lost
June 5, 2009
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
June 26, 2009
July 1, 2009 July 17, 2009
20th Century Fox Warner Bros. Pictures
G.I. JOE: Rise of Cobra
August 7, 2009
Toy Story 2
October 2, 2009
Walt Disney Pictures
Where the Wild Things Are
October 16, 2009
Warner Bros. Pictures
October 23, 2009
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
EXPECTED RELEASE DATE
STUDIO Walt Disney Pictures
A Christmas Carol
November 6, 2009
The Three Stooges
November 20, 2009
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
December 25, 2009
20th Century Fox
Alice in Wonderland How to Train Your Dragon Iron Man 2
March 5, 2010 March 26, 2010 May 7, 2010
Walt Disney Pictures DreamWorks Animation Paramount Pictures/Marvel Studios
Shrek Goes Fourth
May 21, 2010
Toy Story 3
June 18, 2010
Walt Disney Pictures
The Green Hornet
June 25, 2010
The Last Airbender
July 2, 2010
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
November 19, 2010
Warner Bros. Pictures
December 17, 2010
The First Avenger: Captain America
May 6, 2011
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
Pandamonium (Kung Fu Panda sequel)
June 3, 2011
June 24, 2011
Paramount Pictures Warner Bros. Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
Answers on page 54
Bobcats Bulls Cavaliers Celtics
Grizzlies Hawks Heat Jazz
Knicks Lakers Mavericks Pacers
Pistons Raptors Rockets Spurs
When it comes to his company’s brands this licensing exec knows just who they’re
“four”: Kids! From anthropomorphic reptilian martial artists to adorable babies of vegetable origin, he can find the right deals for the right property, and still makes time to teach. Who is he?
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
Sun Thunder Timberwolves Wizards
Halloween Costume & Party Show
The Sands Expo & Convention Center
International Housewares Show
Western Toy and Hobby Show
Palais des Festivals
Pomona, CA Cannes, France
Las Vegas Convention Center
Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa
Litchfield Park, AZ
All Candy Expo
High Point Market
International Home Furnishings Center
Jacob Javits Convention Center
High Point, NC
New York City
Los Angeles Convention Center
San Diego Convention Center
Licensing International Expo
Mandalay Bay Convention Center
Solutions to Puzzles on Page 52
Barry Stagg, senior vice-president of corporate
communications at 4Kids Entertainment, has two decades of experience to bring to his position. Previ-
ously, Stagg worked at Ascent Media Group as vice-
president, corporate marketing communications, where he helped distribute and manage content for more than
70 facilities worldwide. He has also worked as general
manager and senior vice-president at Smith
Public Relations, and was senior vice-president, corporate communications at Fox Family World-
wide/Saban Entertainment. Stagg has also worked as a writer and reporter for
WINS Radio, The Associated Press, and the New York Daily News. He is also an adjunct professor of public relations at the University of South Carolina.
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
by Christopher Byrne
BELOW IS A SAMPLING OF WHAT
TOP TV EPISODE DOWNLOADS, JANUARY 20, 2009 Source: iTunes 1. The Office—“Duel” 2. Desperate Housewives—“The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened” 3. The Suite Life on Deck—“Maddie On Deck” 4. Battlestar Galactica—“Sometimes a Great Notion” 5. Gossip Girl—“Gone with the Will” 6. Grey’s Anatomy—“Sympathy for the Devil” 7. 24—“Day 7: 11:00 A.M.–12:00 P.M.” 8. 24—“Day 7: 10:00 A.M.–11:00 A.M.” 9. 24—“Day 7: 8:00 A.M.–9:00 A.M.” 10. Star Wars: The Clone Wars—“Jedi Crash”
CONSUMERS ARE INTERESTED IN THIS MONTH .
5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Hotel for Dogs • Paramount/DreamWorks • $22.5 million Bride Wars • Fox • $14 million The Unborn • Universal • $11 million Defiance • Paramount • $10.7 million Marley & Me • Fox • $7.5 million Slumdog Millionaire • Fox Searchlight • $7.2 million
TOP 10 FITTEST AND FATTEST CITIES 2009 Source: Men’s Fitness
FITTEST CITIES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
BESTSELLING ELECTRONICS PRODUCTS, JANUARY 20, 2009
Source: Amazon 1. Kindle: Amazon’s Wireless Reading Device 2. Canon Power Shot A5901S 3. Apple iPod Touch 8 GB (second generation) 4. Sony BDP-SS550 1080p Blu-ray Player ¨ 760 Bluetooth GPS Navigator 5. Garmin Nuvi 6. Apple iPod Classic 120 GB Black (sixth generation) 7. Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 (black) 8. Western Digital My Passport Portable Hard Drive 9. Apple iPod Nano 8 GB Black (fourth generation) 10. Iomega Prestige 500 GB External Hard Drive
TOP MOVIE BOX OFFICE, WEEK OF JANUARY 16–19
Source: Box Office Mojo 1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop • Sony • $39 million 2. Gran Torino • Warner Bros. • $26.2 million 3. My Bloody Valentine 3-D • Lionsgate • $24.2 million 4. Notorious • Fox Searchlight • $24 million
Colorado Springs, Colorado Minneapolis, Minnesota Albuquerque, New Mexico Denver, Colorado Portland, Oregon Virginia Beach, Virginia Seattle, Washington Honolulu, Hawaii San Francisco, California Milwaukee, Wisconsin
FATTEST CITIES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Miami, Florida Oklahoma City, Oklahoma San Antonio, Texas Las Vegas, Nevada New York, New York Houston, Texas El Paso, Texas Jacksonville, Florida Charlotte, North Carolina Louisville, Kentucky
ROYALTIE$ FEBRUARY 2009
Young Guys Are Attracted to Two Things. Girls Are One.
G4 is TV’s destination for gamers, gadget-lovers and geeks – with over 78 million total unique viewers in 2008. Attack of the Show and XPlay have double-digit percent growth among a loyal audience of young men... that is, when they’re not checking out girls.
Contact Glenn Hendricks | SloaneVision Unlimted 212.922.0555 (Ext. 5) | email@example.com ©2009 G4 Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Source: Nielsen Media. Network Reach based on NPower Reach & Frequency Report. Live Data. Program Growth based on StarTrak Report. Live Data, Coverage Ratings. 2008 based on 12/31/07 to 12/28/08, 2007 based on 1/1/07 to 12/30/07.
Royalties is a monthly magazine highlighting the hottest trends in the licensing industry.