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Amazon Changing the Game With Do, Re & Mi Licensing Deal

By Gary Symons

TLL Editor in Chief

The global play company Jazwares announced this week the release of its exclusive Do, Re & Mi product line, licensed from the Amazon original series.

And while The Licensing Letter writes about product releases on a daily basis, the deal on the Do, Re & Mi warrants some special attention by readers, as it signifies a coming sea change in the licensing industry.

The difference here is that the Do, Re, Mi line is not only based on an Amazon original program, but the toys inspired by the show are only available to consumers through Amazon’s ecommerce operation.

As reported earlier in TLL (see link below for full story), Amazon has recently changed the game in the way it deals with some properties. On Sept. 14, TLL reported on a groundbreaking deal with LEGO, that saw Amazon winning the exclusive right to air the Asian hit Monkie Kid in the US and Canada, and also gaining the exclusive rights to distribute toys inspired by the series.

That distribution will occur through Amazon’s massive ecommerce network, the largest in the world, and points to a new strategy from a company that is becoming a licensing juggernaut.

“This is profound, this is really an historic moment,” said Richard Gottlieb, the founder and CEO of Global Toy Experts, and Publisher of Global Toy News. “I mean, Walmart, Amazon and Target can all sell lots and lots of product, but what Amazon has that Walmart and Target do not have is the ability to stream video to a very broad audience.”

By contrast, through its ownership of Prime Video, Amazon now creates its own content, distributes content to more than 100 million people, and now also sells the products licensed from that content. It is not the only company to close the circle in this way, as both Disney and Netflix also sell licensed content online, but Amazon is different because it is the largest online distributor on the planet.

“No one else that unique ability to so completely combine media with product,” Gottlieb said, when asked about the Monkie Kid deal. “I’ve maintained for a while that the silos have just collapsed, and that entertainment and product have merged. I think this is highly significant.”

How LEGO’s Monkie Kid Deal With Amazon Could Change Toy Licensing

The deal with Jazwares on the Do, Re, Mi line is the second to involve exclusively over both content and consumer product sales, but it differs because Amazon isn’t licensing the content as it did with LEGO Monkie Kid, but actually owns the content outright as it was acquired as an Amazon Original, co-produced with Gaumont, a company formed in 1895 as the world’s first film studio.

The show was created by Michael Scharf and Jackie Tohn and is geared toward pre-school children. It centers on the musical adventures of three “best birdie buddies,” voiced by Kristen Bell, Tohn, and Luke Youngblood. Based on the characters from the show, the collectible plush toys are the first from the line to hit retail exclusively on Amazon, in conjunction with the series debut, with additional toys to follow on Amazon over the coming months.

Do’s House from the Amazon Original series Do, Re & Mi is among the first toys based on the series to be sold exclusively through Amazon.

Amazon’s new strategy isn’t necessarily a threat to other licensing industry companies, as Amazon has engaged Jazwares to design the toy line. However, it does signal the advent of new licensing tactics by one of the world’s largest and most powerful companies—a tactic more threatening to competing retailers than to licensees like Jazwares.

The show itself portrays the world of Do the owl, Re the hummingbird, and Mi the blue jay, who are now brought to life through Jazwares’ toy line, which encourages friendship, fun, and adventure, all while exploring the unifying power of music. Huggable plush, colorful figures, interactive playsets, and vibrant musical instruments will strike a chord with preschoolers everywhere.

“From the soft character plush to the interactive piano mat, not only are these exciting toys important for improving fine motor skills, and creativity, but they also cultivate a love and appreciation for music,” said Laura Zebersky, President of Jazwares. “We are excited to bring the musical adventures from the Do, Re & Mi series to life through our new preschool line.”

The new Do, Re & Mi product line includes:

  • Do, Re & Mi House Playset: Let’s all go exploring Do’s House in the Do, Re & Mi Playset, the adorable playset that features melodies and phrases from Do, Re & Mi! Discover all three floors of Do’s house with the manual basket elevator, sliding down to the bottom when you’re done!
  • Mi the Blue Jay Singing & Light-Up 10″ Plush: Level up your child’s love for Mi, the Blue Jay, with this 10-inch deluxe feature plush toy! Illuminate the stage with Mi as the little bird plays along to its light-up guitar.
  • Do the Owl, ‘Re’ the Hummingbird Plush, and Mi the Blue Jay 8″ Plush with Sounds: Bring the musical trio of Do, Re & Mi to life with these character-inspired plush toys. Collect all three snuggly toys, which feature sounds and voices from the series characters themselves! Each sold separately.
  • Do, Re & Mi Musical Guitar, 23.5-inch: The Do, Re & Mi Musical Guitar is perfectly sized with your child in mind! Press the button on the front face of the guitar to play Do, Re & Mi Theme Song. The sturdy nylon strings make this the perfect introduction to guitars for your child. Sing and strum along!
  • Do, Re & Mi Musical Piano Mat, 48-inch: The Do, Re & Mi inspired piano mat features eight built-in songs so fans can play along to their favorite tunes. Each of the eight keys plays a different melody so they can explore new sounds and make their own music.
  • Do, Re & Mi 3-Inch Figures 5-Pack: The Do, Re & Mi multipack features five 3-inch figures that your little ones can play with to recreate their favorite scenes at home. Collect all of the playful figures from the town of Beebopsburgh and watch the musical adventures with your favorite birdies by your side.

The new Amazon Original animated series Do, Re & Mi is available now on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide, as well as on Amazon Kids+ in the U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, and Japan. Also launching in the world of Do, Re & Mi  is a book (The Mysterious Beat), a mobile game , and a teacher and family guide—all of which are meant to help inspire a love and appreciation for music from an early age.

It will be interesting to see if Jazwares secures future deals to produce toys based on Amazon Original content, or whether licensing deals are handled on a case by case basis. Jazwares, of course, has a long record of success producing a wide range of licensed toy lines. The company’s portfolio includes wholly-owned and licensed brands like preschool powerhouses Blippi, Cabbage Patch Kids, CoComelon and Dino Ranch; action and gaming brands like Fortnite, Halo, Micro Machines, Nerf, Pokémon and Roblox; leading lifestyle and entertainment brands like All Elite Wrestling, BLACKPINK, Blinger, Marvel and UFC; the musical property First Act, and plush lines like Squishmallows, Petooties, Pets, and Russ Berrie, to name a few.

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