VeggieTales Turns 20

As everyone's favorite vegetables celebrate their two-decade anniversary, the Big Idea Entertainment brand has made new licensing deals, including game apps from Thruster and Weeblets, book apps from ScollMotion, online and phone greetings from ReelCards and GreetLink, book apps from Rukus Media Group, novelty format books from Ideals Publications and stickers from StickerYou. The company is still looking for partners in the various categories: school supplies, electronics and game, apparel, food and beverages, health and beauty, and book apps.

The Jungle Book in 3D

A new 3D adventure based on Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book is in the works at DQ Entertainment Ireland. This is the company's first film for its recently announced feature film division, which has already lined up projects for the coming years. The film's targeted release date is for 2014.

Car Seat Retailers Giving Poor Advice and Failing to Fit Seats Correctly

Undercover research by British consumer group Which? has found that parents seeking advice on car seats are being failed by retailers giving out misleading information and installing seats incorrectly. Babies "R" Us scored worst in the exercise. In seven visits by researchers to the store, the reporters said the seat was fitted correctly only once. Errors included misrouted and twisted seatbelts, both of which could compromise a child's safety.

Children’s Place Retail Stores COO Eric Bauer Steps Down

Children's Place Retail Stores Inc. announced on Wednesday that Chief Operating Officer Eric Bauer has left the company. He had held the position since May 2011. President and Chief Executive Jane Elfers will now oversee the company's supply chain, store operations, finance, information technology and real estate functions.

J.C. Penney’s Reworking Marketing Strategy

Last week J.C. Penney's president Michael Francis stepped down. The company's CEO Ron Johnson said he will not be looking for a replacement and will be taking full responsibility of improving the company's marketing efforts for its new low pricing strategy. J.C. Penney's stock tumbled the day after the department chain announced Francis' abrupt exit.

Pittsburgh’s Babyland Closes

After 61 years, Hillary and Mark Carrozza, owners of Babyland and Kidsroom in Pittsburgh, P.A., have closed their business. The store, which was first opened by Hillary's father in 1951, has stood in the same location since opening day.

Angry Birds Wins Big at LIMA

The gaming app took away three awards at the Licensing Excellence Awards during the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, NV, last week, including a win for Best Licensed Program and for Best Character or Toy Brand Program. The In Thing also announced last week that they will be creating a new range of products for the Rovio Entertainment app. Merchandise includes stationery sets, Plush Fingers and erasers.

Licensing Deals for Strawberry Shortcake

American Greetings Properties has announced several new licensing partners for the lovable Strawberry Shortcake. Koba Entertainment will create a new show that is set to tour the U.S. and Canada beginning in January; Newco will produce furniture based off of the character; Penguin will expand to include e-books; and Fruit of the Loom will develop a line of undershirts and underwear for girls and toddlers. Several international licensors will be creating product for China, Germany, Italy, the UK, and in Eastern Europe and Turkey.

Fancy Nancy Teams Up with Established Brands

The HarperCollins Children's Books series, a New York Times bestseller, is partnering with Established Brands as it expands on Fancy Nancy products. The company will create numerous products celebrating the children's book series, including stationery, toys, bedding, accessories and apparel. Bob Traub, president of Established Brands, is excited to work with HarperCollins on Fancy Nancy, which has sold more than 20 million books.

GUND to Make Pretty Ugly Plush

GUND has partnered with Pretty Ugly LLC to produce plush characters based on the UGLYDOLL brand, which was launched in January 2001 as a line that balances cuteness with observed unattractiveness. The plush dolls will be available this summer to current and new retail customers worldwide. GUND President Bruce Raiffe is excited at the opportunity. "Cute, funny and huggable, UGLYDOLL characters are a perfect addition to the GUND portfolio of soft toy brands that delight consumers around the world," he said.