Marvel comic company signed a deal in September with New York-based Topps for the production of trading cards (complete with sticker and album collections) based on all the Marvel characters, including X-Men. The cards will be available in June 2000 to coincide with the June 30 release of the X-Men feature film. Marvel has signed sportswear company Kids Headquarters to make kids Spider-Man clothing to be in stores by spring 2000. Both Spider-Man and Fox Kids’ series Spider-Man Unlimited are included in the line of knits, wovens, sets and separates.
Marvel also announced that it has hired consultant Carole Postal of New York-based COP to assist in developing the retail strategy for the X-Men film, along with other Marvel properties. Postal plans to concentrate on both the specialty and mass market with a mix of appropriately targeted products.
Lastly, Marvel signed a three-year licensing agreement with Activision that allows the Santa Monica, California-based game publisher to create interactive games based on the X-Men and Blade franchises. Activision will hold worldwide rights to any products spun off of the properties.
Toy Island was recently named master toy licensee in North America for Copyrights America’s Maisy. The company will produce plush, as well as electronic and educational toys and playsets, all of which will launch in Q1 2000.
Lyrick Studios has announced it will halt plans to use and license the Explore Your World theme and phrase for its Barney Products because it is already a trademark of Discovery Communications.
American Champion Marketing Group has signed a licensing agreement with Prestige Toys of New York for a plush toy line based on Adventures with Kanga Roddy. The toys will hit major U.S. retail outlets in spring 2000.
BBC Worldwide Americas and New York-based Harper Entertainment have inked a deal for an S Club 7 scrapbook, which will be distributed this month in the U.S. in tandem with the premiere of the kids drama/ comedy series on Fox Family. The show first launched in the U.K. in April. Toronto pubco McClelland & Stewart launched the book in Canada last month, when the new tween series debuted on Canada’s music station MuchMusic.
Montreal’s Cinar has added Smilemakers and Pressman Toys to its Wimzie’s House licensee list. South Carolina-based Pressman is producing a Wimzie’s game, available in February 2000, and Smilemakers, a New York marketer of mail order catalogs for medical/dental offices, schools, etc., will now include Wimzie’s House stickers. Cinar subsidiary Carson-Dellosa Publishing will also introduce four Wimzie’s House illustrated books, which will be available by Christmas, and eight more books will be on shelves by early 2000.
HIT Consumer Products has named literary agent the Eric Yang Agency to handle all licensing, merchandising and promotional rights for Bob the Builder in Korea.
Tribune Media Services of Chicago has granted an apparel license to Quebec-based apparel manufacturer Romeo & Juliette for apparel based on the Animal Crackers comic strip and animated series by Montreal’s Cinar. The clothing, for kids ages six to 11, includes sleepwear, activewear and outerwear and is expected to be in Canadian stores by next spring.