TRU Introduces Christmas Club
Toys “R” Us introduced its first-ever Christmas Savers Club this week. It’s a program that allows shoppers to begin setting aside money with the added benefit of earning a bonus, simply for saving early. Customers can start growing their holiday savings today by requesting a Christmas Savers Club Card at any Toys “R” Us store throughout the country.
Those who sign up between now and October 16, 2010, will receive a three percent bonus based on the total funds they save. Customers can save up to $2,500 per card, which means the most aggressive savers can earn up to $75 on top of the money they load on their cards. To maximize the amount of time to save for holiday purchases, the bonus will be added to shoppers’ cards on October 31, 2010, for the kickoff of the holiday shopping season.
Shoppers can use their Christmas Savers Club Card at all Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores across the United States. Additionally, shoppers can make purchases with their Christmas Savers Club Card online at Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com. With no fees associated with the program, shoppers can start their Christmas Savers Club Card with as little as $1, and the value on the card never expires. However, Toys “R” Us notes that cash and credit refunds on the Christmas Savers Club Cards are not allowed except where required by law. Receipts are needed to redeem funds on lost or misplaced Christmas Savers Club Cards.
Licensing Industry Down in 2009
During last week’s Licensing Show, the Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association (LIMA) announced the results of its Licensing Industry Survey. Brand owners collected nearly $5.2 billion in licensing royalty revenue in North America in 2009, down 8.7 percent from the year before. This marks the second year of decline. Overall royalty revenues declined 5.6 percent in 2008 after steadily rising each year since LIMA began collecting data.
LIMA’s numbers are derived from results of its annual survey of companies directly involved in the licensing business, examination of public financial documents, and interviews with licensing industry executives, with the goal of providing reliable data to help licensing professionals identify trends and growth opportunities.
“These results are not surprising as consumers continued to limit their spending on nonessential products for most of 2009,” says Charles Riotto, president of LIMA. “Looking ahead, however, as the economy continues to improve and retailers’ inventories come back into balance, I am optimistic that we are poised for improvement as we see our members exploring new and different opportunities and partnerships to ensure future growth.”
Nearly half (46 percent) of licensing industry royalty revenues are generated in the character segment, which includes characters from all portions of the entertainment business. This segment declined 7.9 percent in 2009. Other major segments of the licensing industry include corporate trademarks/brands, accounting for 17 percent of the business; fashion, which makes up 14 percent; and sports, which comprises 13 percent.
I Can Do That! Games Secures Chuggington Game Rights
I Can Do That! Games has secured the game rights to the Chuggington license, through a partnership with Ludorum. This marks the fourth preschool games license in as many years for I Can Do That! Games. The company is currently working with Dr. Seuss, Richard Scarry, and Curious George. The company will launch its first Chuggington game in spring 2011.
The Chuggington television series airs six days a week on Playhouse Disney. In 2011 Ludorum will launch a comprehensive Chuggington consumer product program for kids ages 3-6.
Discovery, Big Tent to License TLC Baby
Discovery Communications Inc., announced the launch of TLC Baby, a brand of products dedicated to new and expecting parents. As an extension of the network’s popular baby programming, TLC Baby will provide parents with all the essentials to care for and raise baby. Discovery Communications and Big Tent Entertainment are developing a comprehensive consumer products program for TLC Baby that represents practical items for “the everyday life, made simpler.”
Big Tent Entertainment will focus on securing several foundation partners for the TLC Baby brand across multiple categories including: learning and development, health and safety, bath, feeding, electronics, furniture, room décor, bedding/blankets, layette, and apparel.
TLC is the top choice for women 18–49 with children under 2 years old, among adult-focused cable networks. In more than 98 million U.S. homes, the network’s most popular baby shows includes A Baby Story, the longest running series in the history of Discovery Communications, as well as Bringing Home Baby.
LMA Representing Jack Squat
Licensing agency Lisa Marks Associates, Inc., (LMA) debuted Billy Attinger’s Jack Squat, The King of Leisure, at this year’s Licensing Show. LMA recently launched the brand’s new licensing program and have signed on Trau & Loevner as the apparel partner, which will begin with T-shirts and fleece. LMA’s plans for the licensing program cross multiple categories including accessories, stationery, publishing and art, gifts and collectibles, multimedia entertainment, mobile content, food and beverage, and more.
Jack Squat is the latest creation from Billy Attinger’s Inconceivable Studios, home of LMA-represented art brands Stick World, Palitos Locos, From the Crib, and Angel Babies. Jack Squat’s witty humor and laid-back “Chillosophical Words of Wisdom” encourage men of all ages to follow in Jack Squat’s footsteps, which means moving away from the rat race and into a life of leisure and relaxation. The brand appeals to men 18 and older.