Real Deal

Jakks Pacific Named Master Toy for Becca’s Bunch

On the heels of the launch of Becca’s Bunch on Nick Jr. U.S. on September 24, producer and property owner JAM Media has named Jakks Pacific as the global master toy licensee for the property.

Jakks secured the exclusive global rights to produce figurines, playsets and accessories, vehicles, musical instruments, plush (feature and non-feature), everyday dress-up, roleplay, arts and crafts, board games and accessories, Halloween costumes and accessories, outdoor/indoor furniture, wagons, ride-ons, play tents, ball pits, balls and outdoor games, all based on the spritely bird and her group of animal friends. Plush, figurines, musical instruments, vehicles and playsets are planned for a fall 2019 launch at U.S. retail.

Headstart, Turner Team for New Best Furry Friends Animated Series

Headstart International announced a production partnership with Turner. Together they will produce an animated series based on the global Headstart brand, Best Furry Friends, with content set to release in March 2019 on Turner’s Boomerang TV channel in Australia.

The series will feature the six core Best Furry Friends characters, the Besties, and their unique BFFs. Launching with 13 episodes, each will run 11 minutes and will be produced in the highest quality 3D and CGI animation. In addition to the initial launch on Boomerang in Australia, the content will further roll out on Boomerang’s digital platforms and the Best Furry Friends YouTube channel. As part of the agreement, Turner’s Cartoon Network will have first broadcast rights in additional global markets.

Best Furry Friends is a children’s brand sold globally. The BFF range currently includes collectibles, dolls and plush, with line extensions coming in the shape of playsets, interactive toys, and more.

Corus/Nelvana Enters Licensing/Merchandising Deal for Thomas & Friends

Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana announced its Canadian licensing and broadcasting partnership with Mattel for Thomas & Friends.

Nelvana becomes the exclusive Canadian licensing agent for Thomas & Friends across multiple merchandise categories excluding toys, which are manufactured and marketed by master toy licensee Mattel.

Treehouse becomes the new hub for the long-running Thomas & Friends series, which will be available across the network’s traditional and non-linear platforms, including Treehouse on Demand, Treehouse Classic, and the TreehouseGO app.

The deal starts with the broadcast of Thomas & Friends: The Adventure Begins movie on Treehouse on October 5 at 5:20 p.m. ET. Season 22 of the iconic show hits the network Saturday, October 13, airing weekends at 12:15 p.m. ET. Best of Thomas & Friends episodes will start rolling out on the channel starting Monday, October 15, airing weekdays at 11:50 a.m. ET and 7:55 p.m. ET.

Alita’s Brand Bar to Help Launch Inktober Brand Program

Jake Parker, founder of JP Creative LLC and his agent, Judith Hansen of Hansen Literary Management, have tapped Alita’s Brand Bar to work in conjunction with Hansen Literary to launch a global Inktober brand-licensing and promotional program.

Inktober started as a celebration of ink drawing, 31 Days, 31 Drawings in October 2009, by Parker, a New York Times bestselling illustrator, and author.
To start Inktober, Jake informally issued a list of prompts to his followers for fun, to inspire creativity, to challenge himself and his fans to draw every day for a month straight—no excuses. Seven years and more than seven million hashtags later, Inktober has become a global phenomenon with more than half a million participants in more than a dozen countries.

This year, with the help of Alita Friedman (CEO of Alita’s ’s Brand Bar), Parker has more than a dozen partnerships with consumer product companies to spread the Inktober message through contests, events and in-person appearances. Plans are in the works for a kid’s Inktober program for 2019 and to create Inktober conventions and branded experiences.

APC Kids Secures First European Partner for KID-E-CATS

APC Kids, the children’s entertainment distribution company of boutique financier and distributor About Premium Content (APC), has signed its first European licensing deals for its global children’s animated series KID-E-CATS.

Children’s publisher Egmont has picked up the publishing rights to the property for the Central and Eastern Europe region and will launch a new range of story books, picture books, coloring activity books, sticker books and novelty books across the region in 2019.

This is the start of APC Kids’ licensing and merchandising roll out for KID-E-CATS outside Russia together with TV series brand owner CTC media. Further partnerships across all consumer products categories and brand promotion to be announced imminently.

Xilam Animation Onboards Broadcast Partner in Germany

French studio Xilam Animation signed a trio of deals with free-to-air German broadcast partner, Super RTL. The channel has picked up rights to new upcoming animated series Mr Magoo and Moka, as well as the third season of slapstick comedy Zig & Sharko.

Spin Master Teams with Alibaba to Strengthen Growth in China

Spin Master announced a strategic partnership with Alibaba in China. The strategic cooperation is committed to creating a leading digital platform for retail, brand building, and data-powered marketing, demonstrating a mutual confidence and recognition of Spin Master’s global potential in China.

“We have been actively pursuing our objective of growing global sales,” said Ben Gadbois, Spin Master’s global president and COO. “China is a key part of our international growth strategy and Alibaba is a strong partner who shares our commitment to customer excellence. This strategic cooperation agreement with Alibaba represents a significant milestone in Spin Master’s efforts to exceed the expectations of Chinese consumers.”