In the latter weeks of the spring season, book publisher Podium (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) reached an agreement with Nickelodeon Consumer Products regarding a future educational program for Nick's preschool properties. Nickelodeon perennials Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego Go! will help educate local kindergarten students regarding basic counting and social-emotional skills, as well as for various language learning activities. According to sources, the program will be developed in line with the Dutch national curriculum with additional support from various electronic media platforms
Adventure Time fans are certainly getting their fill, what with all the comic books, TV episodes, and home video releases [recent A.I. news: "Finn & Jake Season One on DVD" (07/2012)] that stores keep needing to re-stock.
Earlier this year, the Penguin Young Readers Group of Penguin Group USA (New York, NY) announced a new line of activity books branded in the name of the popular Cartoon Network animation.
Adventure Time Mad Libs, for example, will go on sale in October 2012 ($3.99). Additional items arriving at later dates include a "Righteous Rules for Being Awesome" sticker book and a "Dude-It-Yourself Adventure Journal."
HIT Entertainment inked a licensing deal with Sakar International (Edison, NJ) that looks to develop, manufacture, and market a collection of Thomas & Friends merchandise that will include everything from clock radios, walkie-talkies, and text messengers to digital cameras, flashlights, and computer accessories. The agreement covers the U.S. and Canada. More recently for HIT Entertainment, toymaker Fisher-Price (East Aurora, NY) is reportedly close to an agreement that will find them marketing and manufacturing the global master toy range for the preschool CG series Mike the Knight. Role-play items, playsets, plush toys, figures, and more will comprise the toy line. The deal would exclude the UK and Japan.
MARVEL recorded $6 billion in retail sales this past year, and rests snugly as one of the top earners in worldwide licensing sales. The entertainment group's remarkable success with The Avengers and the anticipated success of this month's new Spider-Man feature leave many wondering what next year's numbers will look like.
Mattel, Inc. (El Segundo, CA) is now the global master toy licensee for Mia and Me, the hybrid live-action and CG animated television series from Italy's Rainbow Media. The new program is set to air in 50+ territories this year alone. Mattel will manufacture and distribute an array of toys, figures, plush dolls, collectibles, play sets, role-play and novelty items featuring the unicorns, elves and other characters of the series. Rainbow earned an estimated $3.8 billion in worldwide retail sales last year.
New partners on board for the series reboot include Bizak (Spain), Universal Trends (Germany), Cotiplas (Brazil), Emway (Indonesia), Tisak (Croatia), and OFY (Serbia). More than ten new doll collections are planned for 2012.
Winx Club dolls are produced for the worldwide market by Witty Toys, part of the Rainbow Group (except in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, where JAKKS Pacific is the master toy licensee).
DQ Entertainment's CG series The Jungle Book, recently debuting on U.S. television on Disney XD [recent A.I. news: "Animation Sales 2012 (Late Spring)" (06/2012)], is at the heart of a number of new licensing agreements. Brokered by SMC Entertainment Group, the new agreements include Phase 4 Films for home video and digital distribution, Isaac Morris as the brand's master apparel licensee, Komar for children's sleepwear, Seasons USA for seasonal costuming, and Nanco-nancy Sales for plush toys and novelty items. Additional licenses include Insights Editions for Young Readers for select book series, Barnes & Noble for e-books, Pacific Play Tents for children's tenting, and more as they relate to playing cards and sugary foods. SMC holds all North American home entertainment, licensing and merchandising rights, and promotional rights for The Jungle Book.