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Licensing News - December 2005

Porterfield's Holiday Cards 2006

12/19/05 - Porterfield's Fine Art Licensing signed a major multi-artist license with the design division of Hallmark UK for Christmas cards to be distributed initially in the United States and Canada for Christmas 2006. The license focuses extensively on the Santa Claus images of Porterfield's painter Joseph Holodook and also includes numerous additional images by Porterfield's artists Maureen McCarthy, Thomas Wood, Frank Margasak, Barbara Ann Kenney, Richard De Wolfe, and John Richard Perry.

SPCP Seeks Licensees for New Animated Feature Film

12/19/05 - Sony Pictures Consumer Products seeks partners to catch the wave on the second animated feature film from Sony Pictures Animation, Surf's Up, due in theaters summer 2007. Surf's Up goes behind the scenes of the world of competitive penguin surfing. The merchandising program will take a fresh approach to character licensing, riding the waves of the surf culture through edgy graphics and stylized line art. The design palette consists of vibrant colors that reflect the tropical vibe of the film. Sony Pictures Consumer Products currently is licensing across all key product categories.

Self Esteem Creates Vintage Collection

12/19/05 - All Access Apparel, manufacturer of Self Esteem, signed two-year licensing agreements with five companies, giving Self Esteem usage rights to candy and automotive properties including Hershey's, PEZ, Turtle Wax, and General Motors, among others. The new Self Esteem Vintage will use authentic images, some dating back to the early 1900s, on juniors, tweens, and girls tops. Products will be on shelves in spring 2006.

Wizard Gift Appointed Lazart Distributor

12/16/05 - Wizard Gift Corporation has been appointed the new Canadian distributor for Lazart Production, Inc. Lazart, based in Gainesville, Texas, is a manufacturer of metal art home decor items. Products include clocks, magnets, wall art, clocks, bookmarks, night lights, candleholders, ornaments, switch covers, kitchen accessories and luminaries. The spring 2006 line will debut in Canada at the CGTA Spring Gift Show. For more information contact Wizard Gift Corporation at 1-800-267-4981.

Williamsburg Expands Into Home Fragrance

12/16/05 - Williamsburg has entered the home fragrance category through a new licensing agreement with Earth Elements. Three scents, available in a variety of products such as potpourri and candles, will debut at the Atlanta gift show in January. "Given Williamsburg's recent attention to the decorative accessories category, exploring home fragrance is an exciting and natural next step," said Jim Easton, vice president of the Williamsburg brand. In July, the line will be extended to include a new holiday collection featuring two festive scents.

WestPoint Home to Feature AOL Cartoon Character

12/16/05 - WestPoint Home has signed a license to produce a full line of bedding and bath products featuring Princess Natasha, a character from a cartoon series seen on America OnLine. The new line will make its debut at market next spring, with an anticipated shipping date of fall 2006.

"The Princess Natasha series is attracting a significant following and offers WestPoint Home a new opportunity to speak to our market both online and on television," said Joseph Pennacchio, chief executive officer. "This license offers significant new marketing possibilities for us." In bedding, the Princess Natasha line will include sheets and pillowcases, decorative pillows, comforters, blankets, bedspreads, throws and accessories. The bath collection will feature towels and towel sets, bath sheets, shower curtain, and hooks and bath accessories, such as a tumbler, soap dish, wastebasket, lotion pump, wall border and bath rug.

Lighthouse Marketing Acquires Harbour Lights Business

12/16/05 - Younger & Associates has announced that its award-winning Harbour Lights division has been acquired by Lighthouse Marketing Ltd., parent company of Lighthouse Depot, the country's major resource for lighthouse gifts, collectibles and home decor. Based in West Kennebunk, Maine, Lighthouse Marketing will operate Harbour Lights as an independent subsidiary. The acquisition was effective December 8. For more information, call Harbour Lights customer service at 800/365-1219 or Lighthouse Marketing at 207/985-4580.

Demdaco to introduce 30 new lines

12/13/05 - In January, Stilwell, Kan.-based DEMDACO, which specializes in everyday and holiday gifts, casual tableware, and home accents, will introduce 30 new lines and 660 new products. DEMDACO has also added extensions to 19 existing lines, including the popular Willow Tree line. Plus, DEMDACO will celebrate the grand opening of its newest corporate showroom in the Dallas Trade Mart - Suite 2030 - at the January market.

Shoe Sales to Benefit Children's Charity

12/12/05 - Charity Converse debuted a limited-edition children's Chuck Taylor All Star shoe at Kids Foot Locker featuring licensed artwork by real kids from Save the Children's library of children's art. The retailer, along with Converse, will each donate $1 for every pair sold to support Save the Children's educational initiatives around the world. Retailing for $30 to $35 depending on size, the shoes also will be carried at Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Footaction, and Champs Sports.

Cartoon Network Readies New Series

12/12/05 - Cartoon Network began work on its latest animated series, Squirrel Boy, due in summer 2006. Ten year-old Andy's best friend and pet (in that order) is Rodney, a know-it-all squirrel with a lot of big ideas.

Children's Author Lends Vision to Apparel Line

12/12/05 - ACT III Licensing inked World Apparel Group as an apparel licensee for children's book author Karen Katz. The Karen Katz "Just for Baby" licensing program takes elements from Katz's babies, patterns, elements, and color palette from her books, "Where Is Baby's Belly Button," "Counting Kisses," and "Toes, Ears & Nose," among others. World Apparel Group is planning onesies and toddler tops and bottoms with coordinating jackets and sweaters for sizes 0-3 months through 4T. Licenses are being sought for crib and toddler bedding, room decor, diaper bags, baby accessories, and soft toys.

'Stained Glass' Window Wins Tupperware Design Contest

12/12/05 - Tupperware Brands announced the winners of its first Translations in Tupperware global design contest. The four winning pieces were chosen from more than 1,000 entries from around the world. The U.S. winner, Tony Meredith, created a replica of a stained-glass rose window from vintage and contemporary Tupperware tumblers. Other winners included a clown-shaped kids' trunk made from a Tupperware bowl; a 10-foot wide sculpture of a woman and a donkey; and a wedding dress made from 500 tumblers. The winners and some of the other more innovative entries were on exhibit at MILK Gallery in New York until Dec. 11, then they tour galleries around the world.

Popcorn's Tale of Success

12/07/05 - Manchester, UK : Debbie Minton says the idea for her knitted bear, Popcorn, just "popped" into her head 15 months ago. "My husband, Graham, and I have collected bears for years," said Debbie, 52. "I wanted a scruffy bear to cuddle but I didn't have any soft bears. I wanted one with a big tummy and the 'aaah' factor, so I got my pad and pencil out and designed one. I told one of my design team what I wanted and a week later Popcorn was born."

Mother-of-three Debbie, who has worked in the arts and crafts industry for 16 years, has appeared on the TV shopping channel, QVC, for about a year and now sells her teddy bears through the station. But the brand is about much more than a single bear. Popcorn now has a host of teddy buddies, including Blueberry, Coconut and Coco, and a series of books are planned.

"We're also launching a set of greeting cards depicting Popcorn and his pals and have signed licensing deals in Asia, America and the UK. "Every time I go on QVC, Popcorn sells out and the potential for the brand is huge," Debbie says.

Pepper's Ghost to Rep Dr. Seuss

12/07/05 - Dr. Seuss Enterprises appointed Pepper's Ghost Productions the company's licensing representative in the UK and Europe. Pepper's Ghost will handle the licensing for all 44 of Dr. Seussâ literary properties and will work closely with HarperCollins, the UK publisher for the titles. Other initiatives: special licensing initiatives around landmark events such as the 50th birthday celebration in 2007 of The Cat in the Hat and The Grinch. A movie based on Horton Who Hears a Who! also is planned for release in 2008.

Penny Pinching Manual Published

12/07/05 - "Shopkeeper's Manual" by Retailer columnist Mary Liz Curtin, will be published by Wicked Queen Press in January, 2006. According to Curtin, the book, "is a workbook designed to help retailers raise their margins, lower their costs and have fun with their stores. It includes the columns from 2001 to 2005 as well as new material."

Curtin will be signing books this January at the following locations, with others possibly being added: Philadelphia Gift Show at the Peggy Lichty & Associates booth; LA Mart Net/30 showroom; Seattle Gift Show, Jenny Hammons/Northwest; San Francisco Gift Show, Jenny Hammons & Associates booth; Dallas Gift Show; Atlanta Gift show, and the Chicago Gift show. Ten percent of of the sales at all book signings will benefit Gift for Life.

Our Name Is Mud Names Canadian Distributor

12/07/05 - Our Name Is Mud, wholesaler of fun ceramic gifts, announces Samaco Trading Limited, one of the largest giftware distributors in Canada, is to represent their ceramic gift line. To visit Our Name is Mud's Canadian showroom: Samaco Trading Limited, 55E East Beaver Creek Road Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 1E8 Canada, call 800/263-3093

Coyne's & Company Buys A Breed Apart and Sherratt & Simpson

12/07/05 - In a joint announcement, Coyne's & Company and Willitts Designs made public their agreement for Coyne's & Company to purchase A Breed Apart and Sherratt & Simpson from Willitts Designs. Coyne's & Company, a family-owned giftware manufacturer for more than 50 years, and Willitts Designs founded in 1971, are know for their broad product offering and understanding of the need to change with the market see this as a growth opportunity for everyone; both companies and for the retailers. Transfer of inventories and all operations to Coyne's & Company will be effective January 1, 2006. For more information, call 800/336-8666

JAKKs' is the Cat's Meow

12/07/05 - JAKKS Pacific, Inc., signed a licensing agreement with the Cat Fanciers' Association and the organization's worldwide licensing and marketing agent, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc., for a line of pet products marketed under JAKKS new JPI pet division. First products will include toys, food, treats, apparel, carriers, and beds for cats and kittens in 2006.

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