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.
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.
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 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.
A Consumer Insights Panel survey has found that only two in five big box consumers believe that retailers value their input. The results of the report, conducted by customer experience management solution provider Empathica Inc. and released on Thursday, found that 85 percent of the 6,500 consumers surveyed have provided some form of feedback to big box retailers, but only 46 percent believe the stores used it.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in cooperation with Chicago-based Kolcraft Enterprises Inc. has announced a voluntary recall of the Kolcraft Contours Options three- and four-wheeled strollers. The recall affects about 36,000 units in the U.S. and 270 in Canada. Kolcraft and the CPSC have received five reports of injuries involving the hinge mechanism, including reports of three children whose fingertips were amputated and two adults whose fingers were either smashed or lacerated.
Sanrio is expanding their licensing team by bringing Laure Takaragawa on board for hard lines. Linh Forse is promoted to co-direct the division and handle soft lines. More management changes are expected to come in the next few weeks.
Sears Canada will launch a new baby-focused area in 55 stores. The area, which will be located near the Kids Room section, is set to offer new and expecting parents nursery, travel, activity, feeding and gifting items for baby. The Canadian retailer debuted the new area at an event in its Toronto Eaton Centre store with mommy bloggers in attendance.
Bananas, toys, video games and apparel are just a few of the licensed products that will be released based on the film Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, which debuted in theaters last Friday. Dole introduced 100 million bananas with stickers that include a QR code to guide customers to the mobile game Madagascar: Join the Circus. DreamWorks Animation head of national promotions and marketing services, Susan Spencer, is excited at the unique opportunity Dole created to market the 3D film.
As everyone's favorite bear family celebrates a big milestone, Nelvana Enterprises is speaking to potential retail and licensing partners to create more Berenstain Bears' products. The first book, The Big Honey Hunt, was published in 1962 and since then more than 300 books based on the characters have been written, as well as a 40 episode television series. Random House plans on re-issuing an anniversary edition of The Big Honey Hunt this year as well as a binded book featuring six titles. HarperCollins, who also publishes books on the Berenstain Bears, will release 19 new books.