COMMENTARY: USAopoly Gives Classic Games a Licensed Twist

You may love Monopoly, but it’s okay to admit that sometimes you get a little tired of playing the same game over and over again. Games become classics because they span generations, and they’re well-designed and challenging. In a way, they can become timeless. But you can only force your grandma to mortgage all of her properties and hand over all her piles of pastel-colored money so many times before enough is enough. Her little thimble token—and your interest and passion for the game—has been defeated.

USAopoly has solved this problem by taking our favorite classic games and slapping a license or five on them, making each edition more appealing and unique to the players. Properties include The Smurfs, The Wizard of Oz, My Little Pony, and many, many more, to appeal to all generations, collectors, and fans. The great thing about these licensed games is that they give your traditional family favorites a big twist—and turn it into a whole new game! So if you’re tiring of the same old games in your closet, these would be some great additions to your next family game night.

drwho_mn_3dbt_webI’m not one who’s all about sci-fi shows and aliens and such, but I have to admit that I find BBC‘s Doctor Who series highly addicting—and The Doctor has quite the cult following that will back me up on that. Now fans can travel through time and space with their favorite Doctor with USAopoly’s Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of Monopoly.  Two to six plays ages 8 and up can buy, sell, and trade iconic episodes, spaceships, and landmarks, spanning billions of years across the Doctor Who universe. The Poison Sky, A Good Man Goes to War, The Daleks, and the Arc of Infinity are all able to be purchased by time travelers. [Read more...]

Mister Maker Inks New Licensing Deals

Zodiak Kids has secured a slate of licensing and television sales deals for CBeebies’ arts and crafts show Mister Maker. In the UK, The Christy Group has acquired the rights to produce a Mister Maker kids’ dress-up range to launch in Q4 2011. Carte Blanche has acquired the rights to develop a range of Mister Maker children’s greetings cards, which will launch Q3 2011.

Exim Peru, one of Zodiak Kids’ international agents, has licensed a complete range of arts and crafts sets to Hipermercados Tottus in Peru. The range, currently in development, will include stationery sets, backpacks, and lunch boxes. Further licensees in Latin America will be announced soon.

In Israel, appointed licensing agent Hop has inked a deal with Event Pro to produce a Mister Maker-branded mall tour. Additionally, Empire, Zodiak Kids’ appointed agent in Asia, has signed a deal with EEO/Pen2Stage for Mister Maker-branded activity areas in shopping malls in Singapore.

Mister Maker and the spin-off series Mister Maker Comes to Town are produced by The Foundation, part of Zodiak Media Group. Zodiak Kids holds worldwide rights in all media for the property.

Teletubbies to be Made into Beanie Babies

Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po will soon hit store shelves in the form of Beanie Babies as a part of a new partnership between BBC Worldwide and Ty. The deal will transform the Teletubbies characters into six-inch Beanie Babies, which will be available in the UK and Ireland this fall/winter.

Teletubbies was created by Ragdoll Productions for BBC, and has aired in more than 120 countries. The brand has sold more than 33 million DVDs and videos and 50 million plush toys.

In the Night Garden to Be Aired in the U.S. on The Hub

In the Night Garden, a BBC Worldwide and Ragdoll Worldwide, Ltd. joint venture, will be premiering in the U.S. this fall on the new children’s network, The Hub. Starting this October, kids can join Igglepiggle and Upsy Daisy on their adventures with Makka Pakka and friends. The Hub has secured broadcasting rights for all 100 x 30 episodes of In the Night Garden.

Produced by Ragdoll Productions for Ragdoll Worldwide, In the Night Garden takes kids on an imaginative journey to meet toy characters living together within a caring woodland community. Shot in high-definition, words, rhymes, and music make the series both entertaining and relaxing.

In the Night Garden won Best Preschool Program at the 2010 Broadcast Awards and BAFTA’s Best Preschool Live Action in 2007 and 2008. The show has been sold to 35 countries including Canada, Australia, Spain, and China.

The Jim Henson Company Premieres New Properties, Looks for Partners

The Jim Henson Company is debuting several new properties at Licensing International Expo, and seeking licensing partners in an array of key areas.

Me and My Monsters tells the story of the Carlson family who moves from Australia to the UK and discovers there are three monsters living in their basement. Ten-year-old Eddie Carlson thinks the houseguests are the best friends a kid could have, but the monsters proves to be more stressful for Eddie’s working mom and his highly strung dad, and an ongoing embarrassment for his teenage sister.

Me and My Monsters stars human actors and three monster puppets, which are developed by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. The series will air on BBC in the UK, ZDF in Germany, and Network 10 in Australia. BBC Worldwide is spearheading licensing for the series in the UK, Germany, and Australia, and The Jim Henson Company is managing for the U.S. market.

Wilson & Ditch: Digging America is an internet destination produced for PBSKidsGo.org for kids ages 6 to 10. Kids can embark on a cross-country adventure with two comical gophers (brothers Wilson and Ditch) as they explore America’s most interesting destinations.

[Read more...]

Martin Yaffe to Produce ZingZillas Wheeled Toys

BBC Worldwide has appointed new licensees for the CBeebies’ new musical preschool series, ZingZillas.

Martin Yaffe has been picked to produce a range of wheeled toys for the brand. Other new licensees include Character World for ZingZillas bedding ranges, DNC for lunchware and melamine items, Trademark Collection for children’s bags and umbrellas, and Danilo for greeting cards and gift-wrap, among others. The new products are slated to hit retailers this autumn/winter.

ZingZillas premiered on April 5. BBC has already secured 14 licensees, including the master toy licensee, Vivid Imaginations.

The Toy Book Toy Report 4/13/2010

Read The Toy Book’s Toy Report for this week! (4/13/10)

BBC Worldwide Sells 3rd & Bird! to Disney Channel

Disney Channel has secured broadcasting rights for the UK animated preschool series, 3rd & Bird!, which will debut in the U.S. during the Playhouse Disney programming block in early 2011. The deal includes all 50 x 10 minute episodes of the series with one double episode, a 20-minute holiday special. Kate Livo, director, TV sales & co-productions for BBC Worldwide, brokered the deal.

Aimed at 3-5 year old children, the series features bold and colorful photo-puppetry, a style of animation created by production company Little Airplane. 3rd & Bird! follows the birds Muffin, Lovebird, and Samuel, and their friend Rudy, as they teach children diversity, tolerance, and perseverance.

3rd & Bird! has been sold to 17 territories, including Canada and Spain. Fisher-Price is currently the master toy licensee for the series and will develop electronic and non-electronic plastic figurines, toys, vehicles, playsets, and plush.

Hasbro’s License For In the Night Garden Renewed

nightgarden

BBC Worldwide has renewed Hasbro’s global master toy license for In the Night Garden. As part of the renewed agreement, Hasbro will extend its In the Night Garden product ranges, with the launch of the “friendship theme” this fall/winter. The theme will be extended across all BBC Worldwide-licensed categories.

[Read more...]