*Canada’s NFB increases efforts in kids and family market
In a five-year deal with Motion International, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will release at least four children’s and family titles in Canadian retail stores and video outlets per year. The agreement marks the NFB’s most significant entry into the retail home video market.
Titles appearing for the holiday season are A Christmas Gift, a package of eight family films, including The Sweater based on Roch Carrier’s well-known children’s story, and reality-based Dinosaurs: Piecing It All Together, each available for Cdn$14.95.
According to NFB marketers, the deal is designed to ensure that NFB productions remain accessible to Canadians across the country, and to increase revenues for the film board.
*Simon & Schuster rockets into on-line retailing
Red Rocket, a Web site designed to offer service, guidance and product information concerning learning products for kids ages 0 to12, was launched by educational publisher Simon & Schuster last month. The site, located at www.redrocket.com, will highlight products such as books, games, software and toys from Simon & Schuster, The Learning Company, Educational Insights and others, and will offer visitors the opportunity to purchase products on-line.
Features of the site include a Personal Shopper page, where products can be researched using criteria such as age, price, product type, subject and developmental skill; a Top Picks section containing recommendations and product reviews; product listings and a teacher’s page using a search engine designed specifically for instructors.
*Warner Bros. store opens in Japan
Warner Bros. has opened its latest studio retail store, described as a flagship location, in the Ginza shopping district of Tokyo.
The store occupies three floors and features interactive elements, a theatrical theme, an animation art gallery, as well as an assortment of merchandise derived from Warner Bros. characters.
The new store is Warner Bros.’ seventh location in Japan operated by The Daiei, Warner Bros.’ retail partner in Japan.
Warner Bros. opened its first retail store in Los Angeles in 1991, and had grown to 161 at the end of last year, with 25 new stores planned to be in operation by the end of this year.
*University Games acquires Topline Toys
University Games, a board game company based in Burlingame, California, has acquired Topline Toys, a supplier of craft and novelty products.