Sony Pictures Consumers Products announced several licensees for the upcoming Smurfs sequel. Licensed products will range from toys, plushes and playsets from Jakks Pacific, a Monopoly game from USAopoly, a plush from the Build-A-Bear Workshop (complete with accessories), stationery and party goods from Trends and books from Bendon Publishing and Simon & Schuster. Junk Food will produce apparel, including classic tees and accessories, and Thursday Friday will develop high-end handbags, scarves and totes inspired by the girlie Smurfette.
Luxury children's wear manufacturer Pinco Pallino has signed a five-year licensing agreement for the production and distribution of Trussardi Junior, which will debut at Pitti Bimbo in Florence, Italy, in June. The collection will be divided into two lines, one of which will target high-end retailers. Pinco Pallino distributes through a network of flagship stores and more than 350 multi-brand shops and department stores worldwide.
The Wiggles are on the road again for their "Taking Off" tour, beginning in August, to introduce their new cast, which for the first time includes a female Wiggle. "The new cast will truly connect with today's generation," says Anthony Field, creator of the band. "There's a new energy within the group and we've got a lot of new songs as well as your Wiggly favorites." The Wiggles will introduce a new CD titled Taking Off!, a DVD with the same name and several licensing items.
Boo, the cutest dog on Facebook, is adding new categories through its licensing agent Knockout Licensing, including swimwear, apparel and gift. Boys' and girls' swimwear will be produced by Bentex Group; Department 56 will develop holiday ornaments, mugs, water globes and figurines featuring the canine; Enterplay LLC is making Boo Collectible Fun Packs, which comprises mini-games, charms, mini-figurines, trading cards, puzzles, temporary tattoos, stickers, trivia cards and other collectables; and Trends International LLC will create Boo posters.
Zodiak Kids announced last week that Scholastic will be the master publishing partner in North America for the preschool television show Tickety Toc. The publishing company is developing several products based around the show, including storybooks, e-books, sticker books, novelty books and board books. The television series airs on Nick Jr. in the U.S. and on Disney Junior in Canada.
The Jim Henson Company's Henson Independent Properties (HIP) has gained the global rights (outside of Asia) for the YouTube sensation out of Asia I Love Egg. The series began as a number of animated shorts on the Korean website www.iloveegg.com, and its cute and charming characters quickly become popular with children across Asia. Its popularity put the series on television networks, including Cartoon Network Japan, and developed collectible figurines for the series' characters. Apparel, books and food products soon followed.
The gaming system Nintendo of America is partnering with Jakks Pacific to create a line of costumes and toys featuring favorite characters from popular games, including Donkey Kong, Zelda and Mario. From toys, novelties, key chains, plush and games to accessories, Jakks Pacific plans on expanding the offering for Nintendo characters. "We are eager to offer a robust and comprehensive lineup of products to satisfy our fan base and generations of Nintendo enthusiasts," says Steve Singer, vice president of licensing at Nintendo of America.
Last week, the Joester Loria Group announced that it's partnered with G&W Industries for its apparel line in the U.S. The collection will feature pieces for newborns, infants and toddlers that display the author's illustrations. Categories will include layette, play wear, active wear and swimwear and will hit retail shelves for Fall '13, with a toddler collection in development for 2014.
The company will produce all of the toys for DreamWorks Animations' How to Train Your Dragon franchise, which includes the first film, a sequel and the television series, DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk.
Last week, Saban Brands announced that Fisher-Price will be the global master toy licensee for the animated series based on Paul Frank's characters and the famous monkey, Julius, Julius Jr., which will premiere on Nick Jr. later this year. "As we introduce audiences everywhere to this new entertainment property, based on the well-known Paul Frank brand and its characters, it is exciting to partner with a true leader in the toy industry and a company that knows preschool brands better than anyone," says President of Saban Brands, Elie Dekel.