aNb Media News, May 17, 2017

The Bridge Direct, Tech 4 Kids Purchase Assets of Uncle Milton

The new company formed by the merger of The Bridge Direct Inc and Tech 4 Kids Inc (The Company) announced the recent acquisition of the assets of Uncle Milton, a leading manufacturer of science and nature exploration products.

The Bridge Direct and Tech 4 Kids unveiled at this year’s New York Toy Fair their intent to combine the companies in order to build a dynamic enterprise of substantial scale over the coming years. This acquisition is the first of many as part of an accelerated rollup strategy the company is executing.

“This acquisition is in line with our strategy to offer smaller industry players an opportunity to de-risk, scale up and grow, as part of our larger platform which will position us among the top tier of toy manufacturers in North America,” says Jay Foreman, CEO of The Bridge Direct Inc.

The Company will take over the Uncle Milton name, brands, and product-related intellectual property, as well as all other assets from the “Assignee Company” administering the transaction, following the filing of an ABC by the Parent Company.

“Uncle Milton’s portfolio of STEM and licensed products is an excellent addition to the breadth of product lines we currently offer, positioning us to deliver even more value to retailers,” says Brad Pedersen, president and CEO of Tech 4 Kids Inc.

The Company has been able to retain a significant number of key staff members and senior leaders, while continuing to operate Uncle Milton from its LA office. The line-up of products will include well-known brands like The Original Ant Farm, Star Wars Science, In My Room, and Ever Wonder.

The Jim Henson Company Selects ChizComm Ltd. to Help Expand Online Presence

ChizComm Ltd. is now an agency partner to The Jim Henson Company.

Adding to its roster of lifestyle, toys and children’s entertainment clients, ChizComm will work to combine The Jim Henson Company’s fanbase with the expertise of its team. Building on Henson’s digital and social media marketing, ChizComm will aid in the planning and execution of these initiatives with popular brands such as Dot., Word Party, Splash and Bubbles, and Fraggle Rock.

“We are honored to represent The Jim Henson Company and to further expand our roster in the entertainment space,” says Harold Chizick, president and CEO, ChizComm Ltd. “We are confident this partnership will bring both ChizComm Ltd. and The Jim Henson Company to new and undiscovered heights.”

“The Jim Henson Company and ChizComm Ltd. are a wonderful fit,” says Nicole Goldman, executive vice-president of marketing/PR and education initiatives, The Jim Henson Company. “Their unique strategies and innovative marketing methods will be key to expanding our online presence and reaching key markets.”

Netflix Original Series Beat Bugs Lands Retail-Exclusive Consumer Product Program

Beat Bugs, a Netflix original series available globally and on the Seven Network in Australia, will launch a full line of consumers products at Target and Tesco this summer. The curated assortment of interactive Beat Bugs merchandise across multiple categories will hit Target stores in July to coincide with back to school, followed by Tesco in August. The line seeks to embody the musicality, humor, and heart of the show, across several aisles.

Beat Bugs introduces a new generation to the songs of the most influential band in rock history, The Beatles. The series, created by Josh Wakely, features five charming and funny child-like bugs who adventure together in an overgrown backyard. Each episode features a beloved song made famous by The Beatles, some sung by special celebrity guests who double as one of the Beat Bugs adorable and eclectic friends. Whether it be “Magical Mystery Tour” with Eddie Vedder, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” with Rod Stewart, “I’ll Follow the Sun” covered by Jennifer Hudson, or “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” featuring P!nk, the Beat Bugs get by with a little help from their friends.

LIMA Names 2017 Rising Star Award Winners

The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) has named the licensing industry’s Rising Stars Award winners for 2017. The group of 13 young professionals will be recognized at LIMA’s 2017 International Licensing Awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 23, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas during Licensing Expo.

“The Rising Stars Awards recognize the next generation of leaders in the licensing business,” said LIMA Executive Vice-President Maura Regan. “We’re thrilled to honor so many deserving individuals with this special distinction this year, and look forward to hearing more from these future game-changers in the years to come.”

The Rising Stars Award identifies professionals up to 35 years old with one to seven years of experience who have demonstrated a strong commitment to and passion for the licensing business. Other criteria for the award include: individuals who seek additional professional development opportunities to improve their skills, have shown innovation in planning and implementing successful licensing strategies, and have demonstrated leadership potential.

This year’s Rising Stars Award winners follows:

· Scott Halpern, Senior Licensing Manager, WWE
· Yuki Jinza, Laura Ashley Japan
· Curtis Matthews, Director of Product Approval, Striker Entertainment
· Ryan McDonald, Coordinator, Business Development & Digital Licensing, NFL Players Inc.
· Lauren Montemaro, Associate Director, Beanstalk
· Will Ochoa, Associate Category Manager – Hardlines, Turner Broadcasting
· Claire Pierce, Sales Director, Brand Licensing, Meredith Corporation
· Becky Quinn, Manager, North America Licensing, Sesame Workshop
· Naomi Rosenzweig, Licensing Coordinator, Berkshire Fashions
· Nancy Sanieoff, Licensing Director, Brand Central LLC
· Andi Scher, Senior Licensing & Marketing Manager, Richmond Management Group
· Nicole Silberstein, Content Manager, Digital & Interactive, License! Global
· Samantha Yang, Senior Brand Manager, Shanghai Skynet Brand Management Corp., Ltd