NECA Acquires Kidrobot
KR Purchase, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA), has acquired Kidrobot. Kidrobot, the creator of designer vinyl toys, joins the growing NECA family of specialty entertainment companies, and will proceed as an artist-run company under the creative direction of Frank Kozik, graphic artist and creator of the Labbit urban vinyl toy line.
“It’s rare to have the opportunity to join forces with an artist-centric company like this,” said Joel Weinshanker, COO of NECA. “We are doubly thrilled to be able to allow it to grow organically and flourish on its own, which is what we’re certain it will do with the involvement of Frank Kozik as creative director.”
Kidrobot will remain headquartered in its Boulder offices, while support will come from NECA’s vast network of suppliers, creatives, and internal team members.
Hello Kitty Unites with One Piece in New Agreement
Toei Animation Europe and Sanrio reached an exclusive agreement that will unite their iconic properties Hello Kitty and One Piece for a joint European licensing program. The co-branded development will offer an exclusive product line that joins One Piece hero Chopper with Hello Kitty for a co-branded licensing program to be managed by Sanrio.
Corus, Fingerprint Develop Entertainment Platform
Corus Entertainment has partnered with Fingerprint, the San Francisco-based mobile technology company, to create a new mobile entertainment platform for kids ages 2-7.
Set to launch globally in 2015, the platform will offer preschoolers a safe, branded environment to enjoy videos, games, music, and eBooks featuring Nelvana characters, such as Max & Ruby, Little Bear, Franklin, The Berenstain Bears, and more.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Fingerprint to develop our first global digital offering for kids,” said Colin Bohm, Vice President, Television, Head of Corus Kids. “Leveraging Fingerprint’s expertise to create compelling and fun mobile applications for children will enable our Nelvana brands to be enjoyed by even more kids in multiple languages and territories around the world.”
In 2012 and 2014, Corus invested in Fingerprint as part of Corus’ strategy to expand into new markets and unlock additional value in Nelvana’s rich library of branded content.
eOne Secures Global Broadcast Deals
Entertainment One Family (eOne) secured major broadcast agreements around the globe for more than 100 hours of children’s programming from its catalogue, the company says.
Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom continues to broaden its fan base and is gaining traction throughout Asia. The first two seasons were acquired by PBS Thai, while TVB Hong Kong and Okto Singapore picked up the second season. Germany’s ZDF also acquired the second season for its kids block and children’s channel KiKA. In New Zealand, FOUR secured the second season for broadcast, while Nickelodeon acquired the second season and renewed the global rights (excuding the U.S.) to broadcast season one.
Peppa Pig expands throughout Europe with ETV Estonia picking up the first two seasons. Star Greece has acquired the fourth season of the preschool show along with a 10-minute Christmas special episode. WDR Germany secured broadcast rights to seasons five and six and renewed the first two seasons of Peppa. The program also airs on KiKA in Germany.
eOne inked a home entertainment deal with Universal for the first two seasons of Peppa Pig. The agreement will see Peppa DVD titles distributed throughout Germany, Latin America, and Brazil. The deal is an extension of eOne’s existing partnership with Universal that released Peppa DVDs in Italy and France.
Peppa will be available on in-flight services after eOne concluded agreements with Virgin Atlantic, Air New Zealand, and Jet Star for a selection of Peppa compilation packages.
Asia for its preschool series, Humf, eOne negotiated several agreements in Asia. The complete 78 seven-minute episodes will air on PBS Thai, TVB Hong Kong, and Okto Singapore.
Okto Singapore has also acquired Magic Hockey Skates, which follows the adventures of pint-sized kid Joey, who is granted three wishes by his battered old skates. The half-hour special will also air on DR Denmark and SVT in Sweden.
MBC secured Rob the Robot to air across the Middle East. The 52 episode CG-animated preschool show follows the adventures of Rob and his friends as they explore the fantastical planets of the Robot Galaxy.
The animated film, Lost and Found, based on the best-selling Oliver Jeffers book, is set to debut in Latin America after eOne inked an agreement with Discovery Kids for the 24-minute special.