Real Deal

eOne Names Jazwares Master Toy Licensee for Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom in the U.S.

Entertainment One (eOne) named Jazwares its master toy licensee for Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom. The newly named U.S master toy licensee will help translate the animated preschool series into an all-new collection of playthings, expected to launch at retailers nationwide this August.

Jazwares’ debut collection of Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom toys will include figures, accessories, multi-packs, vehicles, and playsets.

Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom follows Holly, a young fairy princess who is still learning how to fly and whose magic doesn’t always go quite according to plan. Her best friend, Ben the Elf, doesn’t have wings or do magic, but he, like all elves, are very good at making things, especially toys. They live in the Little Kingdom, a tiny land where flowers and grass rise above the tallest towers. The series is targeted to children ages 3–6.

Honda Teams With DreamWorks Animation to Create VR Experience

Honda has collaborated with DreamWorks Animation (DWA) to demonstrate a new augmented and virtual reality content-and-solutions test bed for the in-vehicle experience. Honda will demonstrate a proof of concept version of its Honda Dream Drive in-car virtual reality prototype featuring DWA’s animated movie Trolls at CES, which takes place January 5-8, 2017.

Honda and DWA will focus on creating a software development kit that fuses live telematics data to feed in-vehicle entertainment, education, and information applications.

Honda Dream Drive uses a VR headset to immerse passengers in a virtual reality world triggered by the motion of the vehicle.

Honda originated the alliance with DWA through the Honda Developer Studio, its Silicon Valley-based open innovation initiative.

Hulu Inks Disney Deal for 50+ Films

Hulu reached its first licensing agreement for theatrical features with The Walt Disney Studios, which owns 30 percent of Hulu. The new, multi-year deal grants the streaming service the exclusive SVOD rights to a collection of hit movies and family favorites from Disney’s film library.

Through the agreement, Hulu becomes the exclusive SVOD home to a selection of Disney favorites including The Nightmare Before Christmas, Mulan, Pocahontas, Hercules, Sister Act, and Air Bud. All are available to stream on Hulu now.

The agreement will also make more than 50 popular titles available to stream on Hulu for the first time. Titles include Con Air, Step Up, Gone in 60 Seconds, Pearl Harbor, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, and The Mighty Ducks, as well as family films, including Lilo & Stitch, Tarzan, The Emperor’s New Groove, Muppet Treasure Island, and The Princess and the Frog, which will be available on Hulu over the coming months.

Iconix Brand Sells Sharper Image

Iconix Brand Group has signed an agreement to sell the rights to the Sharper Image brand and related intellectual property assets to ThreeSixty Group, the brand’s largest licensee, for $100 million in cash.

The company plans to use the net proceeds from this transaction, plus additional cash, to pay down approximately $115 million of debt, a portion of which will be used to pay down the company’s senior secured notes issued under the company’s securitization facility. A portion of which will be used to pay down the company’s senior secured term loan.

Inter Milan Soccer Club Announces License Agreement with One Entertainment

One of Italy’s premiere soccer clubs, Inter Milan, has signed Las Vegas-based One Entertainment to be its licensing agent in the U.S. and Canada.

Inter Milan has been an established team in European soccer for decades. Over the last several years, the club has expanded internationally, with a determined focus on North America. The club is eager to expand and build on its success in the U.S. and Canada.

The first Inter Milan products are expected to be available this summer.

The transaction closed on December 30, 2016. The transaction is not reflected in the company’s current guidance; however, the company expected to record a gain on this transaction. For 2017, the company expects the net impact of the sale of the Sharper Image brand and the repayment of debt to be neutral to earnings.