eOne’s New Animated Series Greenlit for Production
Entertainment One (eOne)’s new animated children’s series, Zak Storm, was greenlit for production. The new series, conceived by Man of Action, the creators behind Ben 10, will be produced by Zagtoon, Method Animation, and eOne Family. Philippe Guyenne (Iron Man animated series) will direct Zak Storm, which will begin airing across multiple broadcasters, including France’s kids network Gulli for 2015.
The CGI animated series is targeted for children ages 6–11. eOne holds the global distribution rights to Zak Storm, which will be available for pre-sale at MIPCOM.
Octonauts Signs U.S. Agent
Silvergate Media has signed Licensing Street to build a secondary licensing program for its animated preschool series Octonauts in the U.S. Licensing Street joins Octonaut’s existing partners, which includes Fisher-Price, Penguin, nCircle, and LeapFrog.
Mind Candy Names Moose as Toy Partner
Mind Candy has signed Moose Toys to develop and manufacture product tied to its new IP, World of Warriors with North American, Australian, and Asian distribution in 2015. Moose will be responsible for key toy categories, including collectibles and playsets.
“I’ve watched Moose’s expansion and the success of their own brands for many years and am proud to finally partner with them on a key Mind Candy property,” Darran Garnham, COO at Mind Candy says. “With our digital plans and their physical expertise this is set to be something special.”
World of Warriors is set to launch digitally as a game on iOS and Android in six languages in Q4 this year, with branded products, including toys, to follow throughout 2015.
Disney Unveils Licensees on Board for Latest Film Big Hero 6
Disney has announced a new range of toys across categories inspired by Walt Disney Animation Studios’ new action-packed comedy-adventure Big Hero 6.
Bandai has created a new toy line that extends the key themes of heroism, courage, friendship, and bravery in Big Hero 6. The line features action figures, such as the Deluxe Flying Baymax and Armour-Up Baymax, and plush toys. The line also allows kids to become their favorite Big Hero 6 characters through roleplay toys, including the Baymax Rocket Fist and masks.
Disney has also collaborated with several other licensees for a range of new products including: a home range with Stor featuring bottles, lunch boxes, bowls, plates, and cups; peel-and-stick wall decorations by Roommates; wall coverings by York; Big Hero 6 panel designs through Character World Ltd; Baymax kites, pouches, notebooks, kid and adult T-shirts, and canvas backpacks from WDSMP Premiums; apparel and accessories; and a Pocket Money range, including Big Hero 6 watches, caps, and sunglasses from Imagin 8.
The product range will be available across EMEA in conjunction with the film’s release. Big Hero 6 premieres worldwide from November 2014 into 2015
Sakar to Create New Sesame Street, Peanuts Electronics
Sakar signed a new licensing agreement with Sesame Workshop to produce a line of audio and electronics accessories featuring characters from Sesame Street. The new line will include a range of headphones, earbuds, and speakers as well as phone and tablet cases, all compatible with any mobile device. Additional products, including karaoke machines, musical instruments, and computer accessories, may also be added to the lineup. The first round of Sesame Street products is expected to hit store shelves in the spring.
Sakar will also produce a line of mobile, audio, electronic, and musical product for the Peanuts brand. Specific products will include personality packs for the Vivitar Camelio customizable tablet, including a Peanuts-themed bumper case, wallpapers, widgets, and photo editing software; smartphone and tablet cases, chargers, power banks, styluses, and USB flash drivers; Bluetooth wireless and corded speakers, headphones, and earbuds; consumer electronics, such as boom boxes, CD players, alarm/clock radios, digital and video cameras; flashlights, walkie-talkies, text messengers, a password journal, karaoke machines, and other youth electronics; and a wide range of musical instruments, such as acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, a mini piano, drums, tambourines, a recorder, and musical kits with a selection of multiple instruments. The Peanuts products are expected to hit store shelves this spring.
Peppa Pig Joins Leolandia Theme Park in Italy
Entertainment One Licensing secured an agreement for Peppa Pig to join the lineup at Milan’s Leolandia theme park. The four-year deal will see a themed Peppa Pig area created within the park. Attractions for 2015 include a water play area, playground area, and a fully interactive tour of the family’s two-story home, as well as a themed area for photographs. Five more Peppa Pig attractions will be added throughout 2016 and 2017. The agreement was facilitated by Peppa agents ETS Italy and Spanish-based El Ocho.
DC Thomson Brings The Beano Into Digital World
DC Thomson plans to expand and develop the iconic British children’s comic The Beano and its star characters Dennis the Menace and Gnasher into the digital marketplace. DC Thomson’s innovative, creative concepts will capture the entertaining qualities, such as the much-loved characters and the humour and cheek, of the classic brand through the launch of new apps and a range of interactive content for its official websites and social media platforms.
The brand will now reach fans across multiple touchpoints including the new and fully enhanced Beano.com website, updated social media offerings on the official Facebook and Twitter pages, and a series of brand new iOS apps, including interactive comics and action-packed games. These new and enhanced digital and social media initiatives join the recently released Dennis the Menace and Gnasher Prank Sticker app.
DC Thomson will also launch a dedicated The Beano YouTube channel this month. Promoting wholesome, positive play, the channel will allow kids to safely share video content and create an online community that enables young fans to showcase classic pranks on parents and families.
Pretty Ugly Names Fields as Licensing Agent for Japan
Pretty Ugly, LLC, owner of the Uglydoll brand, appointed Fields Corporation as its licensing agent for Japan. Fields will expand the Uglydoll merchandising and continue the brand’s momentum by licensing across categories including apparel and accessories, stationery, publishing, toys, and digital content targeted to a wide fan base.