Real Deal

Mattel Acquires License for Phase 10 and iMAGiNiff

Mattel announced it has acquired the license for the exclusive, worldwide rights to classic rummy style card game Phase 10 from Fundex Games, Ltd. and in a separate transaction, has acquired the rights to iMAGiNiff from Blue Opal Australia Pty Ltd.

Phase 10 has been a top-selling card game with tens-of-millions of units purchased globally since its introduction at retail more than 20 years ago. Based on a popular variant of rummy known as Liverpool Rummy, Phase 10 is named after the game’s 10 phases of play, which a player must advance through in order to win.

The Phase 10 game portfolio currently includes: the Phase 10 Card Game, Phase 10 Masters Card Game, Phase 10 Dice Game, and Phase 10 Twist Game.

iMAGiNiff, a celebrated party game where players share opinions about each other, will reside alongside other games targeted to adults.

Thermos, Under Armour in Deal

Thermos has partnered with Under Armour for a line of co-branded bottles that integrate Under Armour branding into Thermos product designs to create a superior line of performance hydration bottles. The new BPA-free line will be available beginning in May 2011 at sporting goods retailers. It will include insulated stainless steel bottles, Tritan plastic bottles, and squeezable bottles. The entire line will feature a convenient interchangeable four-lid system, which includes a range of designs from a traditional screw top lid to an innovative fliptop spout lid with one-hand push-button operation.

Aurora, Hush Puppies Distribution Deal

Aurora World, Inc., announced a licensing deal with Wolverine World Wide, Inc., the company behind Hush Puppies and other footwear, apparel, and accessory brands. In the deal (effective through 2012), Aurora will offer worldwide distribution of the Hush Puppies plush animal line, featuring the trademark basset hound.

The Hush Puppies plush animal line will launch with a small (5-inch), medium (10-inch) and large (18-inch) Hush Puppies basset hound. It is expected to retail for $7, $15, and $32 respectively. The portable clip-ons are 3.5 inches with an expected retail price of $5.

Canadian Group, ZhuZhu Pets in Puzzle Deal

Lisle International Licensing announced that a multi-territory agreement has been made with The Canadian Group to produce a wide range of ZhuZhu Pets puzzles.

The partnership will bring a wide collection of jigsaws across Central and Eastern Europe and internationally in spring 2011.

Discovery Expands Licensed Products

Discovery Communications recently announced the expansion of its Discovery Expedition product line, the official lifestyle brand of Discovery Channel, through a number of licensing deals for the North American market. New products will be introduced at retail from existing licensee, MerchSource, as well as new partners Herff Jones, Inc., and Brands Unlimited.

MerchSource launched an expanded product line this holiday season in retailers nationwide. The new products for 2010 include sports water bottles, outdoor lanterns, utility flashlights, and a mini flashlight, which will range in retail price from $4.99–$19.99. This full line of Discovery Expedition product will be at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2011.

Brands Unlimited will also produce a line of Discovery Expedition branded consumer electronics, which will debut at CES in January. The new collection will include emergency radios, lanterns, and spotlights (a large handheld flashlight). Some features of the radios include LED lights, AM/FM capability, weather band, compass, thermometer, and sirens.

Herff Jones, Inc., will develop a collection of museum-quality globes, which will be sold with a pedestal base, sculptured base or tripod floor stand. Select styles will also feature functional home and office accessories including clocks, bookends, writing instrument holders, and desk storage caddies. This line will debut at the New York International Gift Show January 30–February 3, 2011.

The North-American deal was brokered on behalf of Discovery Communications by its licensing agent, The Joester Loria Group.

Holly Hobbie Heads to India

American Greetings Properties (AGP), the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corporation, announced that it has appointed Extend Brands as its licensing agent for Holly Hobbie in India. As India’s first independent licensing agency, Extend Brands has more than 10 years of experience in the Indian licensing industry.

CAA Signs Billy Blanks

CAA Licensing has signed Billy Blanks, the fitness personality, for representation in all of his licensing endeavors. The creator of Tae-Bo and Boot Camp brands, Blanks has sold more than $1 billion in fitness products throughout the world. Blanks will work closely with CAA Licensing to extend his brand into a variety of product categories including apparel and accessories, fitness equipment, food and beverage, sporting goods, and video games.

The following deals have already been signed for Billy Blanks: Anchor Bay Entertainment for DVDs and Twinlab for nutritional supplements.