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Thinker-Tinker To Launch Trolls Music Stars

Thinker-Tinker, Inc., an innovative kid’s tech startup, has entered into a potentially lucrative deal with Dreamworks Animation to produce a line of interactive, collectible plush toys inspired by the studio’s popular Trolls franchise. The young toy company is now launching Trolls Music Stars, which are toys that interact with a companion mobile app, on the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, on Feb. 23, 2021. The designers say the innovative plush characters connect to a companion mobile app and enable users to bring their favorite Trolls characters to life. Fans can create music through the power of rhythm, remixing and endless play. Users can enjoy their favorite songs from the Trolls franchise, unlock different characters, customize their Trolls’ avatar and collect special items in the game. Based in Pasadena, Calif., Thinker-Tinker was launched out of Comcast… . . . read more

WildBrain Lands European Deals For The Boys, Outlander and Cobra Kai

WildBrain CPLG has secured a wave of cross-category licensees in Europe for a trio of Sony Pictures hit TV series; The Boys, Cobra Kai and Outlander. The Boys is a superhero series with a twist, in which the ‘supers’ are more villainous than heroic. Wildbrain has secured licensing deals in the UK for the popular Amazon show with the following parties: Forbidden Planet, for a t-shirt and gifting line; The Hut Group, for apparel and accessories; Fashion UK, for an apparel and accessories range; and Pyramid International for posters and accessories. From Germany, Spreadshirt is on board for print-on-demand apparel, and for an apparel range available across Europe. Additionally, Cotton Division is developing apparel for the French market; and in Spain, Stor SL is creating homewares and Grupo Erik has signed… . . . read more

Google Gives Ground in War Over Who Pays For News

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief US tech giant Google has announced a new policy to pay for some licensed news content in the UK, after coming under intense fire in Europe and Australia for allegedly profiting from news content without compensating the news organizations that produce that content. Google is now faced with new legislation that could force it to pay massive sums to news organizations, in return for posting their content as search results. While the outcome is uncertain, Google and fellow tech giants like Facebook are fighting hard to prevent governments from forcing them to pay for the news content they are serving up through their respective platforms. In doing so, it appears Google is now giving up some ground, and trying to work with news… . . . read more

TreImage Adds BALL’N Lifestyle Brand To Its Roster

The Marketing and Licensing Agency TreImage, LLC continues to gain street cred with the addition of the BALL’N brand to its roster. “BALL’N is very pleased to announce our new partnership with Trelmage.” said Rod Jeter, founder of the BALL’N brand. “Charles and his team have a proven track record as a successful licensing agency. This partnership, being formed by two successful black-owned businesses during Black History Month, is very special for myself and BALL’N, as it represents a giant step forward in building our own table.” Rod Jeter is a Chicago native who attended Wichita State University and began his career in 1991 after serving time in the US Army. The idea that someone could launch a clothing company while serving in the Army might see counter-intuitive, but Jeter… . . . read more

Penguin Random House Lands Netflix Deal For Redwall

Publishing giant Penguin Random House has inked a potentially lucrative deal with Netflix for the rights to all 23 books in the popular Redwall series, by author Brian Jaques. The world’s dominant streamer is now planning an animated feature film and TV series based on the animal adventure franchise, which is aimed at a middle school children’s audience. The Redwall series comes with a large, built-in audience, having sold 30 million copies worldwide. The books chronicle the adventures of a society of heroic animals that inhabit the forest haven of Redwall Abbey. It is the first time that the film rights to the entire series of books have been held by a single company and Netflix is already working on the adaptations for film and a series. The streamer has… . . . read more

A Tale of Two Toymakers Influences Their Content Goals

Hasbro Restructuring Eone, Mattel Creating More Content By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief The toy industry enjoyed a surprisingly strong year in 2020, despite and partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean toymakers haven’t faced serious challenges in their operations. Despite the strong year for toy sales overall, Hasbro has seen a drop in their share price this week after the company forecast a decline in its operating cash flow this year. As well, Hasbro has announced cuts to its newly acquired Entertainment One film and TV division. Entertainment One is known for highly successful children’s programming like the Peppa Pig and PJ Masks children’s shows, which it sells to media outlets. Hasbro bought out Entertainment One a little over a year ago for $4 billion,… . . . read more

Under Armour Ending Licensing Deal With NFL

Sports clothing and equipment company Under Armour is preparing to end its licensing contract with the National Football League, according to a report in the Financial Times. Under Armour has not officially confirmed the contract termination, but the Financial Times reported this week the deal will end later this year. The company’s licensing deal with the NFL allowed the brand to be displayed on accessories such as gloves and boots during games. The arrangement has been somewhat awkward over the past week, as Nike is the official supplier of uniforms and apparel for the NFL, but Under Armour has a licensing agreement with Tom Brady, who took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to an historic Super Bowl victory on Sunday. During a post-game interview, Brady courted some controversy as some sports… . . . read more

EA Expands Mobile Game With Glu Acquisition

Electronic Arts is making a huge move in the video gaming space as it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire mobile game developer GluMobile Inc. GluMobile is a leading global developer and publisher of mobile games including Design Home, Covet Fashion, and MLB Tap Sports Baseball. Under the terms of the agreement, EA will acquire Glu for $2.1 billion in enterprise value. Glu stockholders will receive $12.50 in cash for each share of Glu stock, representing a 36% premium to Glu’s closing share price on February 5, 2021. Upon closing, the acquisition will be immediately accretive to Electronic Arts’ total net bookings, and is expected to grow underlying profitability beginning in its first year. EA officials say the acquisition will immediately add significant scale to Electronic Arts’ mobile games business…. . . . read more

Disney/Pixar Release Nascar Products for #CarsWeek

Disney and Pixar’s Cars Week is back, leading up to this year’s Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, with all new products and activations inspired by popular real-life NASCAR drivers and iconic Disney and Pixar’s Cars characters. Disney says its classic Cars characters like Lightning McQueen, Jackson Storm, Mater, Luigi and Guido have been “NASCAR-ified,” and some of the most notable NASCAR drivers including Chase Elliot, Austin Dillon, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Daniel Suarez, Aric Almirola, and Kyle Busch have been transformed into die-cast characters. The Disney and Pixar’s Cars NASCAR die-cast vehicles are 1:55-scale singles are available now and feature core characters like Lightning McQueen, Jackson Storm, Mater, Luigi and Guido with special NASCAR-inspired designs. There will be a series of new Pixar’s Cars NASCAR releases rolling out throughout the year on Disney has also released a new Cars-themed… . . . read more

ICY PARK: The Third Ivy Park Collection with Beyoncé

Pop star and fashion icon Beyoncé has partnered with adidas on their third collection in the ongoing IVY PARK partnership. The latest collection, aptly titled “ICY PARK”, brings the streets to the ski slopes, infusing alpine-ready silhouettes with classic streetwear elements to deliver an array of apparel, footwear, and accessories that champion all forms of creative self-expression. Expanding on the partnership’s collaborative mantra, “Where is My Park”, the collection is supported by a multi-media campaign, playfully dubbed “ICY PARK”, which seeks to inspire creativity, individuality, and imagination. The new collaboration features model Hailey Bieber, record label CEO and rapper Gucci Mane, singer Kaash Paige, and models Akesha Murray, Shi Gray, and Kyla Coleman, to celebrate freedom of expression. Challenging perceptions of traditional performance-focused design and encouraging the wearer to ‘make their park a wonderland’, the ICY PARK collection is… . . . read more