Barbie Unveils Dream Gap Project
Barbie announced the Dream Gap Project, a multi-year global initiative to raise awareness around limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential.
Research has identified that starting at age 5 many girls are less likely than boys to view their own gender as smart and begin to lose confidence in their own competence. Cultural stereotypes, implicit biases and representation in media work together to further this issue. In the United States, this has been referenced as the “Dream Gap,” but there are similar trends seen around the world.
Girls’ belief in themselves is impacted by these limiting factors, so Barbie is dedicated to funding research, highlighting positive role models and rallying a community around supporting girls through The Dream Gap Project.
The notion of a Dream Gap is still a relatively new concept and is under-researched, especially in girls ages 5–7. To help, the brand is collaborating with Associate Professor Andrei Cimpian of New York University to fund a two-year post-doctoral fellowship on this issue. Globally, Barbie will work with local researchers to extend these studies and find out more about girls around the world.
The brand is dedicated to helping close the Dream Gap and will be focused on:
- Raising awareness through impactful content developed to provide adults with resources on how they can support the girls in their lives available on Barbie.com. Barbie also created a new digital spot, that builds on the “You Can Be Anything” campaign and explains the Dream Gap.
- Showing girls more role models by highlighting at least 10 empowering female role models each year globally. Because telling a girl she can be anything is just the beginning, actually seeing that she can do anything makes all the difference.
- Leveraging Barbie as a role model and connecting with girls through inspiring content that is centered on teachable moments. By continuing to infuse purpose-driven themes in content, such as Barbie Vlogger, we are addressing issues that girls face in an unique and approachable way.
- Continuing to offer empowering products that allow girls to play out their dreams, while showing them they have choices. From the Inspiring Women series to highlighting underrepresented careers, Barbie is encouraging imagination, expression and discovery.
- Rallying partners around the world with any like-minded companies who are dedicated to girls’ empowerment.
BRON Ventures Invests in Epic Story Media
Veteran children’s television executive Ken Faier’s new independent company Epic Story Media Inc. (ESM) secured a key investment from BRON Ventures, a subsidiary of BRON Media Corp, which has taken a minority stake in the company and a place on the board.
The strategic backing from BRON will allow ESM to further invest in high-end children’s IP which can be exploited for the global marketplace.
Based between Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto, BRON Media Corp., operates subsidiaries BRON Studios, BRON Creative and BRON Animation, in addition to BRON Ventures. Launched in 2010 by Aaron L. and Brenda Gilbert, BRON is perhaps best known for such films as The Front Runner, Fences, Tully, Leave No Trace, and The Birth of a Nation. BRON Ventures has other strategic investments/partnerships with L.A.-based companies Media Res and Blackhand Media, and New York-based Animal Kingdom.
ESM will remain an independent company and will continue to look for strategic partners for each of its properties. The deal with BRON fits into the long-term plan for ESM to be a full-service kids franchise company.
Ken Faier launched ESM in 2017 to put creators at the centre of compelling and engaging franchises for kids. The company has an active slate of properties in development and will launch two of them at MIPCOM including Haley and the Hero Heart, created by Kevin Mowrer of Mowrer Meta Story, as well as Dolph N Fince, created by Todd Kaufman and Mark Thornton of Neptoon Studios.
UK’s POP Picks Up Mega Man: Fully Charged
DHX Media and Dentsu Entertainment U.S.A., announced season one of Mega Man: Fully Charged, has been picked up for linear broadcast and video-on-demand streaming by Pop on their channels and services in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Malta, and Iceland. Pop, the UK commercial kids’ broadcaster, debuted Mega Man: Fully Charged on the new on-demand Pop app, available to all PlayStation 4 console owners, and will launch it on the linear channel in early 2019.
Today’s news follows the summer premiere of Mega Man: Fully Charged in the U.S. on Cartoon Network and in Canada on DHX Media’s Family CHRGD. Clips and trailers are available on the dedicated Mega Man: Fully Charged YouTube channel on DHX Media’s WildBrain network in North America. The channel will launch in the UK, coinciding with the show’s debut on POP.
The new Mega Man: Fully Charged toy line from Jakks Pacific is anticipated to hit store shelves in the U.S. in spring 2019. The global master toy line exclusively includes action figures, figurines, playsets and accessories, roleplay items, and everyday dress-up and Halloween costumes. The robust line of products is anticipated to roll out in the U.K. in fall 2019.
Kidscreen to Feature 30 Animation Projects at AAS 2018
Thirty animation concepts were selected for the 2018 Asian Animation Summit showcase. Representing kids animated TV development work across Korea, Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, China and New Zealand, these projects will be presented live at the event to an audience of broadcasters, co-producers, distributors and investors from Asia and the international marketplace.
The 2018 Asian Animation Summit is owned and produced by Kidscreen, with support from hosting partner KOCCA (Korea); presenting partner BEKRAF (Indonesia); and supporting partners Create NSW and Screen Queensland (Australia), MDEC (Malaysia), DITP (Thailand), ASIFA China and Wellington Animation Group (New Zealand).
This year’s event is set to take place in Seoul, South Korea from November 28-30. Over the course of the three-day event, each project will be presented in a moderated live pitch and Q&A format, with time for follow-up meetings and casual networking built into the schedule.
It is anticipated that roughly 250 attendees will take part in Asian Animation Summit 2018, which is designed to attract producers of animation interested in co-producing projects with partners in Asia-Pacific countries, as well as broadcasters, distributors and investors from the region and beyond.
Roughly 50 percent of projects that debuted at previous AAS events have since gone into production, including such series as Bluey (2017), Bottersnikes & Gumbles (2012), Kuu Kuu Harajuku (2013), Wonderballs (2012) and Balloon Barnyard (2014).
To see the full list of animation concepts selected, click here.
Baby Shark Swims into BLE
With 1.7 billion YouTube views and counting, the K-Pop-inspired tune and YouTube phenomenon Baby Shark heads to Brand Licensing Europe. The brainchild of Smart Study, a Korean education start-up, and produced by Pinkfong, Baby Shark will feature in a conference session at this year’s Licensing Academy.
The show’s organizers also announced a second YouTube sensation, Tiana, will make an appearance at the show in connection with her brand new licensed range, Hearts by Tiana, between 12–3 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9 (stand C118). Last month, WowWee was tapped as a toy partner for the brand.
2014 MasterChef winner Ping Coombes has been confirmed for the BLE Kitchen. She will be cooking up a storm between 11am & 12pm and 3pm & 4pm on Wednesday 10 October alongside fellow winner Kenny Tutt as part of the show’s food and beverage theme, which will also see TV chef and Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain taking part in a live Q&A at 10:30am on Tuesday 9 October.
“Love it or hate it, it has been impossible to avoid Baby Shark this summer – it’s the ear worm to end all ear worms. It has been viewed nearly two billion times on YouTube and James Corden’s broadcast the biggest Baby Shark ever on The Late Late Show last week racked up nearly 37 million views on Facebook alone. In licensing terms, Baby Shark has the potential to be a global smash hit so we’re really excited for the 2018 Korean licensing showcase at BLE next week,” says BLE brand director Anna Knight.
The 20th Brand Licensing Europe opened its doors today, with more than 260 exhibitors and 2,500 brands in the hall. More than 7,500 attendees are anticipated to be at the show, which takes place between 9-11 October at Olympia London.