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UK Show Floogals Zoom into Rocket’s Roster

Rocket Licensing announced this week it has acquired the representation rights for Nevison’s BAFTA and Emmy nominated preschool TV animation, Floogals. The popular programme follows the characters Fleeker, Flo and Boomer, three pint-sized but adventurous aliens from Planet Floog, as they discover the world, and its ‘hooman’ inhabitants through fresh eyes. Floogals has become extremely popular with preschoolers in the UK on Milkshake! where it has ranked as the #3 show on the channel in 2020, with a reach of 721,000 and 70,000 average audience. Series 2 of the show also enjoys a daily slot on Nick Jr Too, where it took the #6 spot in February and March 2020. Series 1-3 of the show are available on Universal Kids and on demand on Amazon Prime and YouTube Kids, reaching… . . . read more

Capcom Seeking Licensing Partners for Mega Man

Further to a story that first broke in May this year on the fan site Nintendo Wire, Capcom has updated their website to make it clear the company is actively seeking licensing partners for its Mega Man video game property. The original page was spotted on the Japanese website and was printed only in Japanese, but Capcom has now put out an update to their English language page saying, “Capcom is looking for licensing partners for Mega Man Battle Network’s 20th Anniversary.” The offering is for the 20th Anniversary of the PC version of the game. The original Mega Man debuted on Nintendo in 1987 and was one of that platform’s early successes. Capcom is opening up licensing for events, toys, figurines, apparel, food, and more. Anyone interested in licensing… . . . read more

Seismic Shakeup in Publishing as Bertelsmann Buys Simon & Schuster

The parent company of America’s largest publishing house, Penguin Random House, has emerged the victor in a bidding war for the country’s third largest book publisher. Bertelsmann says it has reached an agreement to purchase S&S for $2.175 billion, with the deal expecting to close in 2021 following regulatory approvals. Until that time, the companies say S&S will continue to operate independently under current president and CEO Jonathan Karp. The agreement will essentially merge two of America’s largest publishers and increase Penguin’s dominance in the North American industry. “Simon & Schuster aligns completely with the creative and entrepreneurial culture that we nurture by providing editorial autonomy to our publishers, funding their pursuit of new stories, ideas, and voices, and maximizing reach for our authors,” said CEO Markus Dohle in a… . . . read more

Merchantwise Brings Popeye Fitness Wear Down Under

Now all you need for your workout is a can of spinach. Australia’s Merchantwise Licensing, on behalf of King Features Syndicate has brokered the first ever Australian Popeye sportswear collection with popular online sportswear label, The WOD Life. The partners say the collection was a perfect fit for The WOD Life, who saw a strong correlation between its loyal customer base with Popeye’s strength and fun nature. The range features a number of iconic and incredibly familiar Popeye, Brutus and Olive Oyl images. Launching this month ahead of the Australian summer season, the limited-edition range of fashionably branded Popeye sportswear apparel for women and men includes a high-waisted booty short, fleet bra, motion shorts, slash crop, flex short and printed tank. Popeye will grace a wide range of branded sports… . . . read more

Melissa & Doug Partner with ViacomCBS

Toy company Melissa & Doug have scored what may be its biggest deal to date, signing an exclusive licensing partnership with ViacomCBS Consumer Products  to deliver PAW Patrol and Blue’s Clues & You! co-branded toy product lines for Fall 2021. The company says the toys will be designed to educate and empower preschoolers through active engagement with a focus on problem solving and creative thinking. This global partnership with ViacomCBS is the largest licensing agreement Melissa & Doug has ever signed, marking a major milestone for the company. Through the partnership, Melissa & Doug will bring innovative new toys to retail that will span multiple categories focused on learning and education. “Melissa & Doug has been at the forefront of children’s toys for over 30 years,” said Dion Vlachos, Executive Vice… . . . read more

How to Play the Game of Video Game Licensing

Video gaming has arguably become the single largest market for digital media licensing in the world, surpassing film, television, music and sports, and if there’s one thing that irritates Chris Petrovic and Shaan Akbar, it’s that video games are sometimes treated in the licensing world as the half-grown stepchild of more traditional media. The two men are gaming industry veterans heavily involved in licensing negotiations for various developers. Petrovic is SVP and Head of Corporate Strategy, M&A and Business Development at Zynga, while Akbar is a D2C entrepreneur and advisor to the gaming industry, who has worked with major brands including Disney and the Star Wars portfolio. “It wouldn’t be a gaming discussion without highlighting how big gaming is,” said Petrovic. “I think this is the statistic that keeps getting… . . . read more

Godzilla Lines Up Some Monster Deals

You just can’t keep a good monster down. The scaly, city-stomping colossus is back in action with Japanese studio Toho International with a slew of licensing deals, pegged around the company’s newly series of Godzilla Tales and the upcoming theatrical release of Godzilla vs. Kong. Toho has previously released … believe it or not … 32 different Godzilla movies, not to mention the four Hollywood productions and uncountable appearances in video games, books, comic books and TV shows. Godzilla vs. Kong will be #33 in the Toho franchise, featuring a rematch of the battle between RKO Pictures/Universal Studios own monster King Kong back in 1962. Toho International has revealed a slew of new Godzilla brand and licensing partnerships as it prepared to celebrate this year’s Godzilla Day with a wide… . . . read more

Redwood Named Exclusive Distributor of Moonlite Storybook Projector

RedwoodVentures, a fast-growing global children’s product company, announced this week an exclusive global licensing agreement with Moonlite World for its innovative ‘story time technology’ that works through mobile phones. Moonlite is a new product developed by an ex-Google employee that became a Kickstarter when it was successfully launched in 2017. The Kickstarter campaign surpassed its funding goals by nearly 2000 per cent. The mobile technology gizmo was invented by former Google manager Natalie Rebot, who was inspired by her daughters love of books and shadow play before bedtime. Many of the most popular children’s book titles are available for the Moonlite system including “Goodnight Moon,” “Love You Forever,” “Curious George” and many others. The innovative Moonlite™ projector attaches to virtually any mobile phone and uses the phone’s flashlight to vibrantly beam… . . . read more

Blue Planet, Sole Agent For The Tetris Brand, Gets New Name

Blue Planet Software Inc., known by video game and merchandise licensees worldwide as the sole agent for the Tetris brand, is now operating under the same name as the iconic brand that it represents —Tetris. The company also revealed 18 new and returning licensed merchandise partners who are bringing original products and entertainment experiences featuring the Tetris brand, from all kinds of new apparel and footwear to décor, debit cards, stationery, accessories, well-being, and much more to their respective markets this year and early 2021. This expansive lineup of new licensees showcases the continued growth of the brand’s lifestyle offering, enjoyed by Tetris devotees around the world. “Just as the Tetris brand has evolved over the past 36 years, so have we,” says Maya Rogers, president and CEO of Tetris…. . . . read more

Special Report: Toy Sector Proves Immune to Covid-19 Pandemic

By Gary Symons Toy manufacturers, retailers and licensors could be excused for expecting a rough ride this year as the Covid-19 pandemic raged across the globe, killing more than a million people to date, and devastating most of the world’s economies.  In fact, in a March survey from The Licensing Letter, licensing executives reported they felt overwhelmingly pessimistic about the upcoming year, with 75% of respondents predicting their business would drop by an average of 25% in 2020 as compared to 2019.  In many sectors, such as sporting events or film revenue, that’s turned out to be optimistic, as some industries have reported declines in revenue well in excess of 50 per cent.  By March two-thirds of all respondents in our survey said they were already working from home, 43%… . . . read more