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Licensing Trends Hasbro Studios’ Stephen Davis Classic Media’s Andrew Kerr Moonscoop’s Cynthia Money www.tvkids.ws
LICENSING SHOW & DISCOP EDITION THE MAGAZINE OF CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING
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DECODE Enterprises www.decode-ent.com
IN THIS ISSUE Pirates, Adventures in Art
• Pirates, Adventures in Art • That’s So Weird • How to Be Indie • Animal Mechanicals • Grandpa in My Pocket
The newest show on the roster from DECODE Enterprises is the CBC-commissioned preschool series Pirates, Adventures in Art. Pirates launched at MIPTV, “where it had a great responses from buyers,” says Josh Scherba, the company’s senior VP of distribution. Also for preschoolers is Animal Mechanicals, which is slated to make its U.S. debut later this year on the new Discovery-Hasbro joint-venture channel, The Hub. It already airs on CBC in Canada, Playhouse Disney in the U.K. and Discovery Kids in Latin America. For older preschoolers is Grandpa in My Pocket, which was recently commissioned for a third season by CBeebies. Skewing even older, the sketch comedy That’s So Weird has been a strong ratings performer on commissioning broadcaster YTV. A further offering from the tween live-action slate is How to Be Indie. The series “has achieved exceptional ratings on YTV in Canada since its premiere...and this success is translating into deals in many countries around the world,” says Scherba.
Flocking to Retail Rights-owners are betting on classic brands and compelling ideas to secure shelf space 6
Interviews Hasbro Studios’ Stephen Davis Classic Media’s Andrew Kerr Moonscoop’s Cynthia Money
“We’re…winning recommissions across our production slate, which means we can offer buyers proven series and a larger volume of episodes.
12 13 14
Ricardo Seguin Guise
Publisher Anna Carugati
Group Editorial Director Mansha Daswani
Executive Editor Kristin Brzoznowski
Managing Editor Jen Gilbert
Production and Design Director Simon Weaver
Online Director Phyllis Q. Busell
Sales and Marketing Manager
mid.mediatoon.com The Magic Roundabout
• The Magic Roundabout • Contraptus • The Garfield Show • Yummy Toonies • The New Adventures of Lucky Luke
The Magic Roundabout is back for a second season with 52 new episodes. Jessica Delahaie, the international sales executive at Mediatoon Distribution, which represents the property for the worldwide market, says the series is an “ongoing confirmed success with major TV broadcasters worldwide,” and she points to channels such as Nick Jr. in the U.K., ZDF in Germany, RTP in Portugal and SRC in Canada. Another highlight on the Mediatoon slate is Contraptus, an HD comedy. Each 8-minute episode is followed by a 30-second interstitial called Did You Know?, providing explanations of the invention that Dr. Contraptus has tried to perfect before its time. Delahaie also notes that a dedicated website is available with games and interactivity. The website for The Garfield Show is translated into eight languages, a testament to its global appeal. The first season has already sold in more than 130 countries, Delahaie says, and a second is already under way. Mediatoon is also presenting Yummy Toonies and The New Adventures of Lucky Luke.
Business Affairs Manager Cesar Suero
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Ricardo Seguin Guise
President Anna Carugati
“ Thanks to the diversity
The Garfield Show
and originality of the catalogues from each producer that we represent, Mediatoon Distribution is able to bring to DISCOP a very wide choice and array of shows.
Executive VP and Group Editorial Director Mansha Daswani
VP of Strategic Development TV Kids © 2010 WSN INC. 1123 Broadway, #1207 New York, NY 10010 Phone: (212) 924-7620 Fax: (212) 924-6940 Website:
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Mondo TV S.p.A. www.mondotv.it • Puppy in My Pocket • Virus Attack • Angel’s Friends • Farhat, Prince of the Desert • Gladiators
Puppy in My Pocket is Mondo TV’s latest property. The HD 2-D animated series, which features CG effects, is based on the pocket-size collectable pets by Meg Toys U.S. “The adventures take place both in the fantastical world Pocketville, where the pets live before they’re assigned to a child in need of a friend, and in the real world, where children in need of friends are matched with pets,” explains Alessandro Venturi, who heads up European sales. Virus Attack is another lead property. The series features a group of superheroes who fight against an army of monstrous alien viruses. Further highlights include Angel’s Friends, in which five young angels aspiring to become 100-percent angels arrive on Earth and encounter five irresistible 99-percent devils; Farhat, Prince of the Desert, following the adventures of a young Arab prince; and Gladiators, set during the era of the Roman Empire.
“ Mondo TV’s target is to improve, again, [our] already great presence in the Eastern Europe market.
Suzy’s Zoo Studios www.suzyszoo.com • Suzy’s Zoo • Little Suzy’s Zoo • Adventures in Duckport • Wags and Whiskers
The appeal of the Suzy’s Zoo brand spans a wide demographic, according to Cathy Malatesta, the president of Lawless Entertainment, which holds the licensing and merchandising rights for the property. As an example, she says, “the Plazastyle stores in Japan have found that the young women in their market have really taken to Suzy’s Zoo for items such as purses, apparel, notebooks/diaries, shoes, towels, cell-phone accessories, etc. The recent success in the U.S. for the brand has been in the baby and toddler worlds. However, the greeting cards have always been a big hit in the senior women’s marketplace.” Suzy’s Zoo Studios— creators of other brands such as Little Suzy’s Zoo, Adventures in Duckport and Wags and Whiskers—is looking to close licensing deals in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy, among other territories. Malatesta says that the company will be exploring all L&M categories, including publishing, apparel, footwear, social expressions, toys and baby items.
“ Suzy’s Zoo is an endearing and heartwarming brand that appeals to babies, toddlers, teens, 20-something girls, moms and grandmoms!
—Cathy Malatesta Suzy’s Zoo
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BBC Worldwide’s 3rd & Bird plush.
Rights-owners are betting on classic brands and compelling ideas to secure limited shelf space. By Mansha Daswani Against the backdrop of the heavy losses incurred by the advertising market in 2008 and 2009, the toy business held up comparatively well. Indeed, when it comes to spending during a recession, parents will always find a way to buy products that will make their children happy. According to research from the NPD Group, the U.S. toy industry alone generated $21.5 billion in sales last year, down just 1 percent on the same period a year ago. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s never been more challenging to get products into stores. “Retailers are consolidating their shelf space and carrying fewer brands, and are very cautious about the brands they select,” says Cynthia Money, the president of worldwide consumer products and marketing at the Moonscoop Group. “It’s a giant challenge,” concurs Cindy Davis, the senior VP of licensing at Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG) U.S., Cookie Jar Entertainment’s licensing company. Retailers like Walmart and Target, Davis notes, are “sticking hard to the tried and true. And there’s less shelf space being dedicated to licensed kids’ brands. [Retailers are] just going to private label. It used to be, in sleepwear, for example, you could sell multiple licenses—it might bring in eight
different licensed properties. Now that’s gone down to one or two.” Davis is comforted, however, by the fact that she’ll be talking about several well-known brands at the Licensing International Expo this year: Richard Scarry’s Busytown, which comes from a strong publishing heritage; Caillou, which has been performing well on preschool TV for years; and the perennial classic Strawberry Shortcake. “It’s just impossible to get something on shelves that’s new without equity,” Davis notes. PRESCHOOL PLAYGROUND
The preschool-product sector appears to hold the most promise for brand-owners angling for a slice of the retail pie, but it is also the most crowded space in the L&M business, and one of the hardest to crack into. “The buyers [all say] the same thing when it comes to preschool properties,” Davis says. “It has to be airing on a significant network for at least nine months, and it needs to be television advertised. [Retailers] review 60 preschool brands in a year. Even if something shows promise, there’s no way they could just pick one out that’s brand new with no equity and say, Wow, that really looks like it’s going to have legs.” She adds, “We’re getting people to sign on for our brands. We don’t have a roster of the hottest brands, but they’re good ones, they’re solid ones and they have equity.” The key is good TV placement, which will give retailers some peace of mind that a brand will secure mass exposure.
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For example, the recent Nick Jr. U.S. deal on Pocoyo, a preschool series distributed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment, is serving as a key launch platform for the company’s licensing-and-merchandising campaign for the show. Discussing the strengths of Pocoyo, Marina Lum-Kang, senior VP of brand extensions and integrated marketing at ITV Studios Global Entertainment, remarks on the show’s appeal for both young ones and their caregivers. “It attracts the preschool demo and moms and grandparents,” she says. “There is a huge cuteness factor. Kids are immediately drawn to Pocoyo and his friends because of the vibrant colors and because he appears so huggable. Moms are enthralled, as the overarching theme of the Pocoyo brand and series is ‘Learning through laughter,’ so it touches on themes such as sharing, playing and working together, caring about friends, exercising, dancing, etc. The combination of the visual and the learning aspect is attractive to a consumer and also lends itself well to marketing activities.” With Bandai America already on board as the master toy partner in the U.S. and Canada, ITV Studios is exploring publishing, apparel and sleepwear, accessories, footwear, stationery, back-to-school and home furnishings, among other categories. “For parents of younger children, developmental play and edutainment is key for most products,” Lum-Kang explains. “However, in some instances, the item may just be so cute that they just ‘have to have it.’ At the same time, innovation, quality, price points and value are equally important components. The
child and the parent are captured by unique or innovative products of quality design and manufacture; the retailer is compelled by price points as well as the quality, and the consumer—usually the parent/caregiver—is attracted to and wants all of the above: unique products of good quality with prices that won’t hurt their wallet, but will also have some longevity, some form of interactivity and hopefully an element of education or positive messaging.” TENDING THE GARDEN
At BBC Worldwide, educational preschool brands account for a significant portion of its licensing business, given the tremendous output of its sister channel CBeebies. In the Night Garden, for example, has been one of the channel’s most successful shows, and has been licensed into numerous international territories by BBC Worldwide’s sales and distribution division. “One of the key things that I’m trying to do is to make sure that we really manage these brands to get the full life out of them,” says Neil Ross Russell, the managing director of children’s and licensing at BBC Worldwide.“In the Night Garden is just at the beginning of its life cycle. Whilst [the show is in its] fourth year [in the U.K.], in many markets it’s the first year, or it’s been one or two years. In some markets it hasn’t even started yet. That’s the challenge—how do we take the learnings we’ve got from the U.K. and some of the early lead markets and make sure that in the secondary markets or the markets that are following, we absolutely get it right?” Dog day afternoon: Mondo TV is working with the toy company MEG for an animated series, Puppy in My Pocket, based on an established toy line.
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A newer preschool property in the BBC Worldwide stable is 3rd & Bird, which has just begun its second season in the U.K. “We’re at retail now with the Fisher-Price line,” Ross Russell says, adding that a host of events are being developed to support the consumer-products rollout. Next up for his division will be the global launch of the new music-based series ZingZillas. Preschool also dominates the Classic Media stable, which is home to stalwarts like Postman Pat and Guess with Jess, and newer properties such as Tinga Tinga Tales. All three will be a key focus for Classic Media at this year’s Licensing Show. Andrew Kerr, the executive director of international marketing and consumer products at the company, explains that much thought has gone into the best way to extend these brands in order to maintain the integrity of the TV properties and deepen viewers’ connections to the shows. “Our starting point…is that every licensed good should extend the experience that begins onscreen. So rather than just be derivative, it should somehow give a child the chance to take what they see on-screen and extend it and make the experience more substantial or more imaginative.” GETTING OLDER YOUNGER
While the preschool business is certainly lucrative, rights-owners are well aware of the “age compression” taking place in the market, where young ones are growing out of their toys much earlier than they used to.“When we talk about all these brands on the preschool aisle, they’re pretty much done with them by 5 years old,” says CPLG’s Davis.“For boys, that means that by the time with 6 they’re done with action figures.” At Moonscoop, the strategy has been to offer up a range of properties that speak to a variety of age demos: from preschool with Chloe’s Closet to boys 6 to 11 with Hero:108 and the skateboarding-themed Wild Grinders. “We are in a good position because we have several new and interesting properties coming out,” Money says. Mondo TV is also promising a diverse portfolio, led by Puppy in My Pocket, Virus Attack and Angel’s Friends. The first is a preschool brand, for the 4-to-7 set, that already has awareness at retail—it is based on MEG’s In My Pocket toy brand, which has been distributed in more than 50 countries. Virus Attack, meanwhile, is a boy-skewing animated series that is premiering on Cartoon Network Italy this fall. “We are looking for a master toy partner,” says Micheline Azoury, the international sales manager at Mondo TV. Rounding out the Licensing Show priorities for Mondo TV is Angel’s Friends, which targets girls 7 to 12. A European toy deal is in place with Giochi Preziosi. Elsewhere, “for many territories where Angel’s Friends was sold to TV, we need to find a partner/agent who will explore the categories and open the door for a master toy licensee,” Azoury adds.
Taking a ride: CPLG is working on L&M campaigns for a host of brands, including several from its parent company, Cookie Jar Entertainment, such as the preschool classic Caillou.
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Taking flight: Postman Pat SDS is one of three key preschool brands from Classic Media.
For Japan’s Toei Animation, the goal is to hit both the girls’ and boys’ toy aisles with Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z Kai, respectively, according to Kenji Ebato, the chief manager of the international department. The plan is to secure toy and video-game partners first, followed by stationery, apparel and trading cards. According to Ebato, boys’ action merchandise will likely be an easier sell—the challenge, he notes, will be securing partners for the company’s Japanese girl’s properties, especially given the competition at retail. SURVIVAL STRATEGIES
The difficulties of getting into Walmart and Target have prompted rights-owners to explore other avenues. “We definitely have programs with the dollar chains,” says CPLG’s Davis, referring to U.S. discount retail chains like the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. “And you can grow your products in the specialty market, and then bring it into the mass [market] if you can prove success.” In addition, Davis says, “Toys ‘R’ Us will definitely try things more than Walmart or Target will. They seem to be a little more flexible.” A multiplatform approach is also essential to any L&M strategy, Davis continues. “It’s just a given now. It used to be that the home entertainment, the publishing and the toys were your tent poles. Now you have online and interactive games as well.” And with the economy showing signs of a recovery, L&M executives are cautiously optimistic that the market is improving. “As consumer confidence grows, the licensor, the licensee and the retailer are becoming more flexible, less averse to risk in terms of considering new properties and how a brand is marketed and merchandised,” says ITV Studios’ Lum-Kang. At the end of the day, however, there is no guarantee of success anywhere, even if you do have all the right pieces in place. “Trying to predict what is going to work and what isn’t is so challenging,” says Classic Media’s Kerr. “I’m still a firm believer that you can create great content and tick every box in terms of the right partner, the right marketing, the right preparation, and still have it tank on shelf. It is so much more art than science. For Classic Media, it’s about making sure that every box that you can tick to give something a chance of success is ticked, from the quality of the partners to the range of touch points with the consumer, talking to all the key constituents—whether it be the children themselves, their parents, their grandparents—at home on the TV, at retail on shelf, and in school via outreach. Then you go to the retailer, tell them you’ve done everything you can possibly do to expose this brand, and that the content itself is different enough or well-produced enough to resonate with the consumer. Then you hope that it’s sticky!”
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The Power of Family Viewing
Hasbro Studios’ Stephen Davis
By Anna Carugati
focused on building significant businesses around its brands, we are mindful that with respect to television you do have to reimagine and reignite them. Sometimes that means flexing the brand DNA a little bit. And our creative stewards really appreciate that we give them the freedom and the flexibility to reimagine these brands as they see them best suited for television. That’s a quite liberating environment to work within. There are not a lot of studios, we believe, that allow that kind of freedom.
The Hub, a new joint-venture channel from Discovery Communications and Hasbro, recently announced its programming lineup. This service, which launches on October 10, wants to become a destination for children and their families by offering entertaining, empowering and enriching shows, a mission that matches the programming philosophy of the president of Hasbro Studios, Stephen Davis. In fact, Hasbro Studios is providing The Hub with a variety of shows that range from G.I. Joe: Renegades, Family Game Night and Transformers: Prime to Pound Puppies and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
very important. We recently hired Finn Arnesen to build our international business, and certainly we want to make shows with international appeal and we want to work with international partners where appropriate. Our primary mission in our first year is to supply The Hub, but there is no question that we are very aggressively pursuing our international strategy.
TV KIDS: Children have a lot of entertainment choices. What
TV KIDS: You are interested in developing brands that Hasbro
kind of shows is Hasbro Studios looking to produce? DAVIS: Because our brands lend themselves to so many different genres, we are not limited to just animation or just live action. We are producing as a real reflection of the diversity of our global brands. Our primary focus right now is producing shows for our new network, The Hub. The exciting thing is that because The Hub is meant to be a destination for kids and family and it wants to attract that variety of viewers, and co-viewing at that, we are offering a very diverse slate to the network, based on the programming priorities that they are setting. TV KIDS: What kind of talent have you attracted to the studio? DAVIS: We have been very fortunate to attract some of the best
and brightest creative stewards in Hollywood. For instance, Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci are writing and show-running Transformers: Prime. Alex and Bob did the first Transformers movie, they did Star Trek, Fringe, they worked with J. J. Abrams, they are real top, top notch.With G.I. Joe: Renegades we are working with Henry Gilroy and Marty Isenberg, and their credits include Ben 10 and Rugrats—again, top, top writers. And Lauren Faust, who won an Emmy for The Powerpuff Girls and worked on a number of other top shows, is on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. And these are just a few of the shows we are currently producing. It’s very exciting. And for a lot of talent it’s a labor of love. They grew up with these brands and they have a real affinity for them. They love being involved in the reimagination of these brands for television. Although Hasbro has certainly
TV KIDS: Are you looking to work with international partners? DAVIS: The international component of our strategy is
has but also ideas from third parties? DAVIS: We are absolutely open to third-party ideas. While
we have an amazing stable of more than 1,500 brands, which certainly gives us a lot to do, and provides a lot of opportunity, we are definitely open to other people’s ideas. TV KIDS: On a personal level, what challenge does working in the children’s arena present for you? DAVIS: For two and a half years I had my own company called Family Entertainment Group, and we were really focused on programming, principally in the family-entertainment space. While I was at Carlton and at Granada I had a lot of exposure to kids’ programming on the production and the sales sides. For me this is just a natural extension of my experience and I love it. I started Family Entertainment Group because I saw there was a real need in the market to provide whole-family programming experiences that other companies were not providing. To now be able to realize that dream within Hasbro in such a significantly greater way, with such an amazing array of brands and such an incredible company that is very supportive of the 360-degree approach to building enterprises around brands, is a phenomenal opportunity. I love it because I draw upon all my skills every day. It really allows me to flex my creative and business abilities. Also, I’ve tried to surround myself with people who are really at the top of their game, and I think we have succeeded. We have a great team. We have a lot of energy, a lot of creativity, tremendous resources and an amazing platform.
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Home to a stable of some of the world’s most popular children’s, family and pop-culture brands, Classic Media has a treasure trove of characters from which to develop properties. From Casper the Friendly Ghost and Postman Pat to Lassie and the Lone Ranger, Classic Media has something for every demographic. Andrew Kerr, the executive VP of international marketing and consumer products, is in charge of developing licensing and merchandising strategies for these popular brands.
Extending the Magic
TV screen. That’s the center circle, and then in rings around that you draw on the imagination and passion of the licensee to create physical products that help kids in their imaginative journey. With older kids it’s a different story. As kids get to be 6, 7, 8 or 9, they become all the more conscious of lifestyle products or of the brand statement they are making relative to their friends. For example, older kids prefer daywear while in preschool there is a big focus on nightwear. As they get older, it’s about what kids are willing to be seen in at school rather than what they are happy to go to bed in at night. So it’s about the socialization that children go through and the product tends to reflect that. Post-preschool you get into stationery categories more substantially, as well as lifestyle-focused categories and interactive categories that reflect the devices children are engaging with.
Classic Media’s Andrew Kerr By Anna Carugati
TV KIDS: What is Classic Media’s general philosophy with regard to licensing and merchandising? KERR: Generally speaking, we try to bring the same level of passion, ambition and attention to detail to what we deliver on shelf as...we deliver on screen. There has been a huge amount of time, energy and resources spent on shows like Guess with Jess or reinventing Pat with Special Delivery Service (SDS), or more recently with Tinga Tinga Tales, produced in Nairobi with local artists and artisans. It’s one of those things where you either believe that what kids engage with dimensionally based on a license is as important, if not more important, as what they see on screen, or you don’t. And if you don’t, you live with the kind of product that simply has a label slapped on to it—things that use the license just to sell the product. Whereas our starting point (and we are blessed with a team that believes in this) is that every licensed good should extend the experience that begins on screen. So rather than just [being] derivative, it should somehow give a child the chance to take what they see on-screen and extend it and make the experience more substantial or more imaginative. TV KIDS: Does your strategy toward licensing and merchandising change according to the age group? KERR: I’ve always looked at [developing preschool merchandising] as a series of concentric circles. First, you need to do a very good job of recreating [in the products] what exists in the show, so that kids have the chance to engage with what they see in front of them on the
TV KIDS: Is it more difficult to launch a property that is based on a new idea than one that is based on an existing character? KERR: Both present their array of challenges. If you think about the third parties with whom a licensor has to engage to physically get product on shelf—licensees and retailers, manufacturing organizations, trade organizations, however many layers there are—some of those layers will find comfort in a history, or in a publishing background, or in an association with a piece of intellectual property, or in the fact that an icon is being extended into a brand. From our perspective, when we take existing IP, publishing or otherwise, we have to do it with the history of the brand in mind, and that can be a good thing and a bad thing. You bear the burden of the history, good or bad—it works both ways. I’ve enjoyed bringing new IP to the table because I just think the idea of being involved in something that starts from scratch, that is wholly new, and potentially will influence the lives of children for decades to come, is a lovely, wonderful, rare process. Ideally, to have something that you are launching iterate several times over in different ways is a cool payoff for all that effort. TV KIDS: Tell us about your new properties. KERR: We are proud of having a portfolio of three pre-
school brands that are all meaningful to the U.K. high street mass market. All will be on shelf at the same time, and that is a first for Classic Media. We have never been in a situation where we have had three vibrant, substantial brands sitting alongside each other at mass [market]. In the case of Postman Pat, over the past few years we have enjoyed a really nice turnaround with the brand on the strength of reinventing it with Postman Pat SDS. To take a brand that is seen by many as dated and classic, which is challenging in its own right, and to have it enjoy current success, is terrific. In addition we have Guess with Jess and Tinga Tinga Tales, for which we have really global ambitions. It’s cool to have three big brands. It’s a challenge, in terms of resource, capability and management, but we are really excited about the prospect of having these massmarket brands up and running—and succeeding!
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Helping Kids Have Fun
Moonscoop’s Cynthia Money The Moonscoop Group has been on a constant growth trajectory for the past few years. The company was born from the merger of Antefilms Production and France Animation and the subsequent acquisition of a majority stake in Mike Young Productions and Taffy Entertainment. Earlier this year, Moonscoop announced its foray into live action and its intention to expand its animation work-for-hire business in the U.S. All of this activity bodes well for Cynthia Money, the company’s president of worldwide consumer products and marketing, as she can work with a wide range of properties that target various age groups.
By Anna Carugati
TV KIDS: What has been your merchandising strategy for a preschool property like Chloe’s Closet? MONEY: The overall philosophy for Moonscoop is to make quality content that kids like to watch. That’s a consistent philosophy for any brand we work on for any demographic. That said, when we are creating a preschool property versus one for boys 6 to 11, there are different ways we go about connecting to the audience. For a beautiful show like Chloe’s Closet, it’s all about Chloe going on adventures and using her imagination—it’s an incredibly sweet property. We’ve got Bandai America on board as our master toy licensee, and they will begin launching some of the toys in 2011, following the launch of the show in many territories this year. TV KIDS: In a boys’ property like Hero:108, games are very
important, aren’t they? MONEY: Hero:108 has been really interesting because it’s a co-
production between Cartoon Network International, Moonscoop, Telegael Teo and Gamania Digital Entertainment, which is one of the largest MMOG [massively multiplayer online game] companies in the world. Hero:108 is a multiplatform property. There are Flash games we are releasing through multiple websites that kids can play and identify with the property, social-networking sites, and the MMOG, which is going to launch this summer. In addition, we’ve got our first publishing partner on board, Atlantyca Entertainment, which is creating books loosely based on the TV series. Playmates Toys will also be releasing a unique toy line in the fall that ties back to the MMOG with exclusive codes. With Hero:108 we want to provide a transmedia experience. It’s more a world than simply a TV show.
ing up and it’s a show that includes skateboarding but it’s not just about skateboarding. If you’ve seen Rob on TV you know his sense of humor, and a lot of that comes across in the show. Although it’s all very authentic—the characters, their moves and their personalities are very true to form— there are a lot of comedic elements directed at skateboarders within the stories that all audiences will find funny. Rob is very involved in the development of the show, and any skateboard tricks that they have to do must be authentic. Even though the show is being created for a very large-scale audience, Rob wanted to make sure the true skateboarding fans look at it and know the moves are what they are supposed to be. He insists on being accurate. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to work with him. Also, you’ll see that comedy plays a huge role in the appeal of Hero:108. The producers have come up with some incredibly funny and bizarre battles for the action sequences. TV KIDS: What would you say are the major challenges and
opportunities in the next 12 to 24 months? MONEY: The challenges that we all face are in the retail
channel. Retailers are consolidating their shelf space and carrying fewer brands, and are very cautious about the brands they select. Although this presents challenges, we are really fortunate because this is a time of opportunity for us. We are in a good position because we have several new and interesting properties coming out. Hero:108 launched on Cartoon Network worldwide in many key territories this spring, the MMOG launches this summer, and toys [will be introduced to the market] this fall. And then we’ve got an established brand like Geronimo Stilton, which has a huge fan base of kids who love the chapter-book series. On top of this, we have brands like Wild Grinders, which I think is very timely, and Chloe’s Closet, launching in Europe and debuting on PBS KIDS Sprout in the U.S. this summer. It’s an incredibly exciting time for all of us at the company.
TV KIDS: And comedy is really
important? MONEY: Comedy is really important.
For example, Wild Grinders is based on [TV star, entrepreneur and skateboarder] To the rescue: Moonscoop’s diverse portfolio of brands includes Hero:108, which will target Rob Dyrdek’s experience as a kid grow- boys in the retail space with video games and toys, among other categories.
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Distributors Guide 2010/2011 TV Kids Distributors Guide is the only portable annual reference book for the international childrenâ€™s programming industry. DISTRIBUTION The Guide will have its own publication bin at MIP Junior and MIPCOM and will be available at all the top hotels in Cannes during MIP Junior and MIPCOM.
MAILING The Guide will be mailed to approximately 2,000 programming decision-makers and licensing executives throughout the world. It will also be sent to toy manufacturers, producers and advertising agencies worldwide.
COMPANY EXPOSURE Advertisers will receive an editorial page opposite their advertisement.
Distributors GUIDE 2009/2010
ONLINE EXPOSURE Your advertisement and editorial page will also appear in the digital edition of the Guide, which will be sent to 35,000 media executives two weeks before MIP Junior and will be available on our website for one year.
ADVERTISING DEADLINES: Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 1 Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 6 For more information, please contact Ricardo Guise at (212) 924-7620 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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