Month: January 2010

Enesco Inks VeggieTales License

Enesco, LLC is entering into a licensing agreement with Big Idea, Inc., to develop and distribute new products featuring VeggieTales characters and their faith-based messages. Enesco’s portfolio of brands includes its Gund plush division and its Gregg Gift division, one of the nation’s leading producers of faith-based gift products. VeggieTales products from Enesco are expected to be offered to retailers by midyear 2010 and be available in stores by the...

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Sakar Signs Licenses for Iron Man 2, EA Sports

Sakar International is developing an Iron Man 2-branded line of spy gear, inspired by the upcoming movie release. The products are being developed under a license agreement with Marvel Entertainment. Expected to feature over a dozen SKUs, the product line will include spy watches, walkie talkie/voice changers, digital and video cameras, nightvision goggles, blacklight decoders, micro-listening devices, and video game accessories. Release dates will coincide with the movie’s slated opening on May 7. Sakar has also announced a license agreement with Electronic Arts, Inc. to produce Wii and Nintendo DS gaming accessories and youth electronics under the EA Sports brand. Products will include gaming controls, skins and styluses for EA Sports and EA Sports Active titles, and a full range of audio and computer accessories, such as MP3 players with sports-themed faceplates. The first items are expected to be released in spring 2010. The agreement marks the first time that the company will work directly with a game developer to design gaming accessories for game...

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Report: 31 Percent of Kids Obtained Both Physical and Digital Content

According to Kids and Entertainment Content, a recent report from The NPD Group, 79 percent of kids ages 2-14 acquired some form of physical or digital content in the past year, with 31 percent acquiring both physical and digital content. In terms of money, $0.85 of every content dollar spent by kids went to physical items, while $0.15 went to digital. According to the report, video rental services and online music services were the top content-based household services or subscriptions used by kids ages 2-14 in the past year. Nineteen percent of kids used an in-store video rental service, 12 percent used an online video rental service, and 14 percent used an online music service. Paid subscriptions to online video game rental services and online gaming websites ranked towards the bottom. The report also stated that the average age at which kids make their first digital download is 7 years old, and 41 percent of kids who own digital content said music was the first type they downloaded (game downloads followed behind with 38 percent). The report focuses on kids’ ages 2-14 consumption of entertainment content including video and PC games, music, movies, TV shows, cell phone tones, and music...

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Disney to Release 3-D Movies on Blu-ray

Walt Disney Studios will start releasing Disney Digital 3-D content for the home on Blu-ray disc beginning with Disney’s A Christmas Carol and a special 3-D Showcase Disc. The new 3-D content for homes will be made available in coordination with hardware manufacturers’ to-be-released, 3-D home entertainment systems. The 3-D enabled, Blu-ray release of Disney’s A Christmas Carol will be available in fourth quarter 2010, and will be the debut title that will launch a line up of Disney Digital 3-D movies for the home. The 3-D Showcase Disc will be a compilation of upcoming 3-D product, footage, and promotional trailers from Disney’s 3-D content library, including Walt Disney’s 1953 animated short Working for Peanuts, and trailers of upcoming Blu-ray releases such as Disney’s A Christmas Carol and Alice in...

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Marvel Files Federal Lawsuit over Comic Copyrights

Marvel Worldwide, Inc. filed a federal lawsuit in Manhattan on Friday asking a judge to invalidate 45 notices sent by the heirs of artist Jack Kirby that aimed to terminate Marvel’s copyrights. The notices said Marvel’s copyrights would terminate on dates ranging from 2014 through 2019.  The heirs notified several companies last year that the rights would revert from Marvel to Kirby’s estate. Marvel argues that Kirby’s work on the comics were “for hire,” which makes the heirs’ claims invalid. According to the lawsuit, Kirby contributed to titles such as Amazing Spider-Man, The Avenger, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, and The X-Men. Marvel shareholders recently approved the acquisition of the company by The Walt Disney...

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Hong Kong’s Toy Exports Fall in 2009

According to figures released by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Hong Kong’s toy exports fell 10 percent to $88.55 billion HK ($11.35 billion U.S.) in the first 11 months of 2009. While toy exports to Czech rose 58.2 percent, exports to Russia fell 57.1 percent, exports to the U.S. dropped 23.6 percent, and exports to the European Union dipped 8 percent. Baby product exports reached approximately $6 billion HK ($726 million U.S.) in the first 11 months of 2009. Hong Kong’s top export markets were the U.S., UK, Macao, Italy, and...

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JAKKS Partners with Dentsu for New Boys Action Property

JAKKS Pacific, Inc. is teaming up with Dentsu Inc. to produce an animated television series based on Monsuno, a new original boys’ action property. The Monsuno property follows adventure-seeking boys who get their hands on re-awakened Monster DNA. The property is being developed as 52 animated episodes and will be launched as a toy line, both targeted to boys ages 6-11. Monsuno is slated to launch in 2011 in North America, Europe, and Asia. Monsuno will be developed by JAKKS and Dentsu in conjunction with Dentsu’s Los Angeles-headquartered subsidiary, DCI-LA. Former producer of Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Mitsuharu Inoue, will serve as creative...

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WHAM-O to Bring Frisbee Production to U.S.

Starting at the end of the month, WHAM-O will produce half of its Frisbees in the United States, which the company says is an effort to increase manufacturing jobs in the domestic market. The domestic production is part of a partnership with Manufacturing Marvel America, a division of the international Manufacturing Marvel Group, which specializes in plastic injection molding for toys and operates facilities in California and Michigan. Last August, WHAM-O began producing one of its PoolZone products in...

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Disney Store to Open in Times Square

A new Disney store is slated to open in New York City’s Times Square in the fall. The retail space at 1540 Broadway, between 45th and 46th streets, will include an interactive Disney Princess castle, a children’s theater featuring the latest Disney entertainment, and special events such as celebrity appearances and children’s activities. Renovations will begin soon. Over the next five years, Disney Store plans to strategically balance its retail portfolio, enter new markets, and transform more than 300 locations across the U.S. and Europe to feature the new design. The lease for the new space was signed with Vornado Realty Trust, negotiated by RCS Real Estate Advisors, and brokered by SRS Real Estate...

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