Real Deal

Guru Studio Signs Chinese Partner for True and the Rainbow Kingdom

Guru Studio has appointed Hengxin Shambala Kids (Guangzhou) Cultural Industry Development Co. Ltd. (HSK) to represent its flagship preschool property True and the Rainbow Kingdom in China.

HSK will look to secure opportunities for the brand in China across television, toys, publishing, non-toy merchandise, digital games and apps, theme parks, stage plays, educational centers, and carnivals. True and the Rainbow Kingdom continues to grow in popularity worldwide on Netflix as well as on Canada’s national public broadcaster the CBC where it has emerged as one of the top preschool shows. With a fourth season of the show recently greenlit, interest in the merchandising program continues to grow in North America and key territories in Europe and Asia.

“There’s no question China has emerged as one of the most significant new markets for building a global children’s brand,” says Frank Falcone, president and executive creative director of Guru Studio. “The fresh energy and creative possibilities in the Middle Kingdom are frankly overwhelming and we’re thrilled to be working with such a talented and knowledgeable team to guide us as we bring our flagship preschool series to China.”

Jeff Wen, general manager of HSK says, “We are extremely excited to be working with the incredible team at Guru. True and the Rainbow Kingdom is a property that’s filled with creativity and positive values, and has enormous potential in China.”

Earlier in the year, Guru Studio announced a series of US based licensing deals including Aurora World (plush), Palamon (costumes); American Marketing Enterprises (sleepwear); GBG Socks (hosiery); Chouette (master publishing); and Bendon Inc. for coloring books and art sets. True and the Rainbow Kingdom is a Netflix Original preschool series produced by Guru Studio in collaboration with Pharrell Williams’ i am OTHER, the FriendsWithYou artist collective, and Home Plate Entertainment.

The series follows hero True, and her hilarious best friend Bartleby the cat, as they come to the rescue of the Rainbow Kingdom’s whimsical citizens. True is the only one that can unleash the power of the Magical Wishes from the Wishing Tree in order to set things right and keep all the residents safe. True and Bartleby’s adventures empower both girls and boys to be mindful, courageous and respectful of all living things.

CBS Consumer Products Reveals New Partners for TV Brands

CBS Consumer Products unveiled a broad lineup of new licensees and product offerings to help further expand the merchandising programs for its hit TV properties. The new deals will see fans favorite brands represented in product categories ranging from apparel to gaming to novelty items and beyond.

The new additions will focus primarily on the CBS’ strong late-night presence with Gonzales/Fifth Sun developing new apparel tied to both The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and The Late Late Show With James Corden. In addition, Surreal will create home and automotive products for Corden while ACCO Brands will produce franchise-branded calendars. ACCO will also create new products featuring CBS’ long-running Friday night hit Blue Bloods.

Over at Showtime, Billions will see an expanded presence through a new line of Funko figures, Hit It Rich mobile slots with Zynga, and a gaming line overseen by Aristocrat. Breakout hit Our Cartoon President will be bolstered by a new line of messaging stickers from Bare Tree Media and apparel from Gonzales/Fifth Sun. Additionally, Alex and Ani has been signed to create a jewlery line for Twin Peaks. The David Lynch and Mark Frost created series will also see a new line of apparel from Amazon.

Yet the biggest influx of new agreements is tied to the CBS library of classic hits including new games based on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Skywind Holdings), The Love Boat (Gameloft) and MacGyver (Novomatic), as well as apparel based on Beverly Hills 90210 (Brand Design), The Brady Bunch (Malibu Shirts) and The Twilight Zone (Gonzales/Fifth Sun).

In addition, Mighty Mouse will see a range of new products in the forms of figures (Funko), apparel (GTO Co) and crane machines (Worldwide Video Entertainment). The company will also put a heavy emphasis on Charmed as the series celebrates its 20th anniversary with a line of products including messaging stickers (Bare Tree Media), subscription boxes (CineQuest), apparel (EMP Merchandising), home and automotive items (Surreal) and novelty items (Ata-Boy).

Gonzales/Fifth Sun will create new apparel lines for Jane The Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Killburn Live to Create Hasbro-Themed Family Entertainment Centers

Kilburn Live has entered into a licensing agreement with Hasbro to create, build and operate Hasbro-themed family entertainment centers across the U.S. and Canada.

The indoor family entertainment facilities will take iconic Hasbro brands and create interactive, immersive and innovative entertainment experiences in a gamified environment with multiple activity zones.

Kilburn Live, in partnership with Fort Worth-based private investment company Goff Capital, a substantial shareholder of Kilburn Live, hired Charlie Keegan, former CEO of Main Event Entertainment, to head the new division that will lead the development of the multiple location rollout across North America.

Current licensed brands include well-known franchises such as My Little Pony, Monopoly, Mr. Potato Head, GI Joe, Clue, Battleship, Hungry Hungry HIppo, Trivial Pursuit, Chutes and Ladders, and more.

“Hasbro is committed to ‘creating the world’s best play experiences.’ In our 95-year history, Hasbro has transcended the toy aisle to become a lifestyle brand that both kids and adults enjoy,” says Casey Collins, senior vice-president and general manager, Hasbro Consumer Products. “Our partnership with Kilburn will allow us—for the first time ever—to offer a wholly immersive and true play experience that unlocks a totally new and exciting way for fans to experience the Hasbro family of brands.”

Fathead to Create Echo Fox eSports Merch

Echo Fox, an esports entity of Vision Venture Partners (VVP), has partnered with Fathead to launch an all-new line of licensed Echo Fox team merchandise. The debut custom wall decals are now available for purchase at and the big heads will be available for purchase in December 2018.

The initial product rollout will include die-cut vinyl wall graphics of the Echo Fox team logos. Future products include Big Head cut-outs of some star players of the Echo Fox roster, vinyl murals, wallpaper designs, and exclusive laptop skins.

Epic Rights Fashions Hendrix Collab with Libertine

Epic Rights and Perryscope Productions, exclusive retail branding partners for Authentic Hendrix, announced a new, luxury apparel partnership with Libertine, founded by designer Johnson Hartig.

The Authentic Hendrix-Libertine capsule collection will feature luxury men’s and women’s apparel inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s style, interpreted and designed by Hartig. The collection is set to debut in spring 2019 and will be supported by a soon-to-be-announced event and marketing initiatives.

To kick-start the new collaboration and in celebration of the 50th anniversary release on November 9 of Hendrix’s seminal album Electric Ladyland (October 1968), the partners celebrated at a November 12 event at Fred Segal’s West Hollywood location, where Hartig unveiled a new, limited-edition Jimi Hendrix unisex shirt, inspired by the photograph Hendrix had originally wanted for the Electric Ladyland album cover: A photo of the band posing with children, taken by Linda Eastman who would later marry Paul McCartney. The shirt will be available for a limited time exclusively at Fred Segal.