aNb Media News, May 3, 2011

LIMA Announces Nominees for 2011 International Licensing Excellence Awards

The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) announced a slate of 69 nominees for the annual LIMA International Licensing Excellence Awards. The awards, which recognize outstanding creativity and performance in trademark licensing, will be announced at LIMA’s Opening Night Awards Ceremony on June 14 during Licensing International Expo 2011 in Las Vegas.

Licensing Excellence Awards will be presented to licensors and licensees in the following seven categories: Art or Design; Character or Toy; Corporate; Film, Television, Celebrity, or Entertainment; Sports or Sports-Themed Entertainment; Licensed Promotion; and Retailer of the Year.

In addition, the Overall Best Licensed Program of the Year award will be presented. The finalists were chosen by the LIMA Awards Committee from among the category-specific nominees: Hello Kitty (Sanrio, Inc.), JCB (JC Bamford Excavators Ltd./JCB Consumer Products), Justin Bieber (Bravado International Group), PGA Tour (PGA Tour, Inc.), The Stanley Works (Beanstalk), Toy Story 3 (The Walt Disney Company), and Victoria and Albert Museum (Victoria and Albert Museum/V&A Enterprises).

Nominations were solicited from the licensing industry worldwide and LIMA members will vote for their favorites by May 13. For a complete list of the nominees in each award category as well as voting procedures, click here.

Imperial Toy Hires Genna Rosenberg

Imperial Toy has hired Genna Rosenberg as executive vice-president, strategic marketing, communications, and business development. Rosenberg served most recently as senior vice-president of communications, investor relations, and philanthropy for Jakks Pacific. Prior to joining Jakks, Rosenberg was employed by Sharpe PR & Marketing and also ran her own company, GennaRation Public Relations and Marketing.

First California Toy Day Set for June 7–8

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the first-ever California Toy Day, to be held June 7 and 8 in Sacramento.This series of meetings and small group discussions will bring toy company representatives together with some of the state’s most influential decision-makers to discuss the toy industry’s key issues and concerns.

Similar to TIA’s annual DC Fly-In, this event provides an opportunity for small, mid-size, and large toy companies to meet with California’s legislators and help them understand the vital economic role that our industry plays in both the state and the nation, and the impact their policy decisions have on real people and real companies in the world of toys and games.

California Toy Day activities will begin on Tuesday, June 7 with a kickoff reception and dinner with Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Fiona Ma. Following a day of meetings and breakout group discussions with state officials, in the early evening of Wednesday, June 8, the toy industry will host a legislative reception in California’s State Capitol Building to provide an intimate setting for attendees to interact with some of California’s leading lawmakers.

TIA staff will schedule and coordinate all meetings and events as well as coordinate meals and ground transportation; a block of hotel rooms in the Citizen Hotel has also been arranged. All toy companies are invited to participate, regardless of TIA membership status. Participation is limited, however, to toy manufacturers, toy importers, and toy distributors. There is no fee to participate in California Toy Day, but advance registration is required.

Iconix Acquires Ed Hardy Rights

Iconix Brand Group acquired the worldwide rights to tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy’s brand from Nervous Tattoo in a $55 million deal that raised its stake in the brand to 85 percent. Iconix acquired a 50 percent interest Hardy Way LLC—owner of the Ed Hardy brand and trademarks—in 2009.

As part of the deal, Don Ed Hardy will retain a 15 percent minority interest in the brand. Nervous Tattoo will continue as a licensee for Ed Hardy T-shirts, hats, and hoodies.

HIP Brands Acquires Global Licensing Rights to Psyclops

HIP Brands, the third-party licensing division within The Jim Henson Company, has acquired global licensing rights (excluding the Philippines) to Psyclops, the multiplatform product and online experience for tweens, teens, and young adults, featuring one-eyed characters that embrace the world of music, art, dance, and technology.

Under its global licensing contract, HIP Brands will seek to develop an extensive range of Psyclops-branded consumer products in key categories such as toys, designer plush, apparel, home furnishings, stationery, gifts, social expression, personal care, publishing, food, and electronics.

Psyclops was first introduced in 2009 in the form of a mobile application that allows consumers to create unique animations and music videos synced to their iPods. Since then, its creators leveraged the popularity of the app, introducing unique iPod and iPhone covers featuring the Psyclops characters and a fully interactive web-based music and dance community.