Sweet Suite 2016

You’re a Box Office Hit, Charlie Brown!

unnamed-1The Peanuts Movie launched in the U.S. this past weekend to box office success. The film earned $45 million over its first weekend, and will roll out globally to 100 countries over the next six weeks.

Digital efforts leading up to the movie launch included the PeanutizeMe website. To date, more than 6 million characters have been created. The Wah Wah machine brought the iconic Peanuts “adult voice” into the digital age. There is also a designated Peanuts Movie Sticker Pack on Facebook.

Peanuts has also invaded the toy aisle, where the property hasn’t had much presence in the past, with Just Play’s Happy Dance Snoopy leading the charge. Peanuts Worldwide/Iconix Entertainment recently announced that Peanuts shorts based on the strip will be on air in the U.S. on Cartoon Network and Boomerang.

This December will mark the 50th Anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and consumers can expect to see special events surrounding this milestone, including a new TV special hosted by Kristen Bell airing on ABC focusing on the enduring power of the original special. In additional news, Snoopy will fly in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Peanuts gang will star in Macy’s holiday windows, and Snoopy will serving as Macy’s 2015 Holiday Ambassador.

Sakar Celebrates The Peanuts Movie with Themed Tech, Accessories

snoopyheadphonesSakar International has expanded its collection of branded products based on the Peanuts comic strip with a new line of youth electronics, audio products, mobile accessories, and musical instruments. The line features characters Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock, and more, with updated artwork the match the style of the 3-D computer-animated comedy, The Peanuts Movie.

Developed under license with Peanuts Worldwide, the new product include earbuds, kid-safe headphones, smartphone and tablet cases, light-up message boards, binoculars, flashlights, a dance mat showing Snoopy doing his happy dance surrounded by his gang, and more. The products will be available at Target and Toys “R” Us[Read more...]

Sakar to Introduce New Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, and Peanuts Electronics

Sesame StreetUnder a new licensing deal with Sesame Workshop, Sakar International will launch a new line of Sesame Street electronic products and accessories this spring. The company will preview the new line at the North American International Toy Fair in New York City. [Read more...]

Macy’s Holiday Arcade to Offer Toys from Build-A-Bear, Madame Alexander, Gund, and More

MacysLogoMacy’s will be introducing the Holiday Arcade, in-store gifting shops offering customers an eclectic assortment of distinctive and playful options for their holiday shopping lists. These shops will launch at six Macy’s locations between late October and mid-November:

The Holiday Arcade at five locations including Macy’s South Coast Plaza, Macy’s Union Square, Macy’s State Street, Macy’s Herald Square, and Macy’s Center City will be home to exclusive Build-A-Bear Workshop shop-in-shops. Visitors will have the opportunity to customize Build-A-Bear stuffed animals, as well as licensed products such as figures from Disney’s Frozen and Marvel’s superheroes. [Read more...]

Vintage Snoopy Astronaut Doll Sells at Auction for $1,300

SnoopyAstronautOn Tuesday, a Snoopy Astronaut doll was auctioned for $1,300 ($1,625 including premium) at Bonhams. Made out of plastic and textile and standing 10 inches tall, the doll features the Peanuts comic strip character in a space suit and helmet. It was produced in China by Determined Distributions of San Francisco for United Feature Syndicate in 1969.

Snoopy was adopted by NASA with the full blessing of creator Charles M. Schulz as the Manned Flight Awareness (MFA) program mascot, which used him as a “spokesperson,” to emphasize such topics as flight safety and good quality control during spacecraft manufacturing.

The lot included the original red and blue distribution and display box, and the doll helmet back is inscribed and signed, “Snoopy LM-4, GENE CERNAN, Apollo X LMP.” The Apollo X LM crew named their lunar module Snoopy partly to bring greater recognition to the MFA program.

Expanded Partnerships for Lionel Means More Licensed Trains

LionelLionel has expanded its partnerships with Warner Bros., Coca-Cola, and Peanuts. As a result of these agreements, this year will see a number of new G-Gauge and Ready to Run O-Gauge train sets, including Frosty the Snowman, Coca-Cola Holiday, and Snoopy Railways. The model train maker also enjoys a new license with Crayola.

“Lionel Trains is bringing the nostalgia of iconic train sets to the hearts of fans of all ages,” said Howard Hitchcock, SVP/GM of Lionel. “By securing new licenses and expanding partnerships to grow our G-Gauge and Ready to Run O-Gauge platforms, we’re putting trains from familiar and beloved brands into the hands of children of all ages.”

Peanuts Lands Own Island in Poptropica

The Peanuts cast has landed in Poptropica with the launch of a new island, Great Pumpkin Island. The website’s 15th island is now available to Poptropica members with Early Access and will premiere to the public on October 14.

Based on the comic property created by Charles M. Schulz, Great Pumpkin Island features the Peanuts characters as they get ready for Halloween. Throughout the Island quest, Poptropicans will experience memorable scenes from the Peanuts television special, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, including visiting the pumpkin patch with Linus, trick-or-treating with the whole gang, and taking flight with Snoopy as the World War I flying ace.

Iconix Completes Peanuts Acquisition

Iconix Brand Group, Inc. has completed the acquisition of the Peanuts brand and related assets of United Media Licensing, a division of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., through a newly formed joint venture company, Peanuts Worldwide, LLC. The new company is 80 percent owned by Iconix and 20 percent owned by Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, managed by the Schulz family.

This deal changes the landscape of Iconix and moves the company beyond fashion. Consumer products outside of fashion now represent approximately one-third of the company’s overall revenue.

In addition to Peanuts, Iconix has acquired the licensing and character representation for a number of character brands, including Dilbert and Fancy Nancy.

The purchase price for the acquisition was $175 million. Iconix funded its portion of the purchase price with cash on its balance sheet.

United Media Being Sold to Iconix

E.W. Scripps Co. said Tuesday it will sell United Media for $175 million to Joe Boxer owner Iconix Brand Group Inc. The sale of United Media Licensing also means Iconix has a new partnership with the family of the late “Peanuts” creator, Charles Schulz. They’ll receive 20 percent ownership in the unit that owns “Peanuts” and pay that percentage of the sale price. United Media Licensing also represents other character brands such as Dilbert and Fancy Nancy, but the bulk of its licensing business comes from “Peanuts.”

In 2009, revenue of the unit fell 10 percent to nearly $92 million. That figure includes United Media’s syndication operations, which Scripps will still own, meaning it will still syndicate comic strips and editorial features.

Scripps said the cash deal will close by the end of the second quarter.