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M&A, Experiential & Legal

Experiential Theme Parks, Shows & Digital Content

In a multi-year partnership negotiated by IMG, Legends Hospitality will manage UFC‘s retail shops at all events and fan experiences worldwide.

HBO Global Licensing‘s Game of Thrones launches a touring exhibition filled with images and artifacts from the TV series. Global events provider GES is designing the 10,000 sq. ft. experience and will tour the exhibition to worldwide destinations starting this autumn.

Hasbro’s first-ever family convention HASCON (Sept. 8–10) will feature brand experience activities for Transformers, My Little Pony, Nerf, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Marvel, and Play-Doh. The activities include meet-and-greets, improv shows, themed cafés, and sneak peeks at upcoming toys.

The open source Webster dictionary adds “ponify” (v.) to its lexicon. The official definition: “to bestow the harmonious qualities relating to the magic of friendship (such as loyalty, generosity, kindness, laughter, and honesty) as featured in Hasbro’s animated show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, upon a person, creature, fictional figure, or inanimate object by converting into the likeness of an animated My Little Pony character.”

Cartoon Network’s Asian waterpark Amazone is named one of the top waterparks in Asia by the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards 2017. The park’s attractions include Jake’s Jump, Johnny Bravo’s Banana Bowl Spin, Alien Attack Super speed water slide, and Ben 10’s Humungaslide.

The BBC pledges to invest an additional $44 million in kid-friendly digital content over the next three years, including interactive and live shows, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, quizzes, guides, games, and apps. The total spend on children’s will reach $161 million by 2020, up from $142 million today.

LoTR Suit Settled; eOne Fights Piracy

A 2012 suit by J.R.R. Tolkien estate and HarperCollins against Warner Bros., New Line, and Saul Zaentz Co. has been settled. The rights dispute over The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings centered around the licensing of characters from the hit films in online slot machines and other games, which the original rights holders alleged that the studio never had rights to. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but neither party asked the court to award fees or costs.

eOne has seized over 250,000 counterfeit products in first half of 2017 worldwide via port seizures and market raids, as well as removed infringing listings on social media platforms and e-commerce platforms like Alibaba, Mercado Libre, and Amazon. The top counterfeited products are toys and apparel.

M&A Consolidation

Rubie’s Costume Co. acquires BuySeasons, a fulfillment company in the costume and party category. The move will allow Rubie’s to improve its delivery system for its wholesale customers, expanding the range and variety of products available in the market.

QVC parent Liberty Interactive agrees to acquire HSNi, whose divisions include HSN and Cornerstone Brands (Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road, and Improvements).

U.K. communications agency for family brands, Kids Industries, merges with strategy and insights service, The Little Big Partnership. Gary Pope is CEO of the new Kids Industries, with Maurice Wheeler as CSO, Jennifer Blows as COO, Raj Pathmanathan as Creative Director, Matan Uberstein as CTO, and Jelena Stosic as Head Research.


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