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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

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

Mattel Reportedly Plans Game Show Based on ‘Uno’ Card Game

By Gary Symons If you’re going to launch a game show, what better way than to base it on an already popular game? That appears to be the thinking behind reports that toy and game giant Mattel is working Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens of Propagate to release a new show called The Uno Game Show. According to a story in The Hollywood Reporter, the show will see the classic card game turned into a competition, with four teams facing off each episode to become an Uno champion. If that sounds a bit dry for TV, the onscreen version of Uno will feature what Mattel is calling a “super-sized Uno experience” that includes trivia questions, audience participation, and physical challenges. Mind you, that was pretty much the same as… . . . read more

Ubisoft Unveils Immortals Fenyx Rising and Latest Assassin’s Creed

Ubisoft is on a tear this week, with two major announcements about the latest in its massively popular – and profitable – Assassin’s Creed series, plus an entirely new game, Immortals Fenyx Rising. Assassin’s Creed has been a highly successful licensing property since the first game was released in 2007, while the Immortals is being hyped as Ubisoft’s next major franchise. Thus far, Ubisoft’s prediction on the new Assassin’s Creed release have been right on the mark. Ubisoft announced on Nov. 17 that the early sales for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla sold more units in its first week than any previous Assassin’s Creed game for the same time period, which is saying a lot considering the franchise has been among the best selling in the entire video game industry. Even better, the… . . . read more

What’s Behind Eddy Grant’s ‘Electric Avenue’ Lawsuit Against Donald Trump

By Gary Symons Two things in the universe seem almost infinite; one being the number of stars in the universe, and the other being the number of lawsuits involving outgoing US President Donald Trump.  While most eyes are focused on the many lawsuits launched by Trump and his campaign team over the 2020 election, those in the licensing industry are on the lawsuit brought by singer songwriter Eddy Grant over Trump’s use of his song ‘Electric Avenue’ in a campaign ad.  This past week Trump’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the case, based on the argument that its use over an animated attack ad was “transformative,” intended to deliver a political message, and therefore qualifies as fair use.  The ad features the lyrics from Electric Avenue, “Now in the… . . . read more

Emmy Winner, White House Advisor Named Keynote Speaker for Kidscreen Summit

In a country roiled by racial conflict, facing protests through the Black Lives Matter, and faced with demands for inclusion by racial and gender minorities, the Kidscreen Summit Virtual has chosen Baratunde Thurston to deliver a critical keynote for the industry on February 16, 2021. Thurston comes with an impressive CV that includes an Emmy Award, his work for the satire site The Onion, for The Daily Show, and more seriously as an advisor to the White House during President Barack Obama’s term in office. Thurston also produced what MSNBC host Brian Williams called “…one of the greatest TED Talks of all time, and authored the New York Times bestseller How to be Black.” Kidscreen publicist Janet Balmforth says, “Thurston’s presentation will explore how we can all reframe the actions… . . . read more