Trade you a Gorgeous for a Hitman?
World Championship Wrestling is elbowing its way into the lucrative trading card game category. The Atlanta-based wrestling league recently licensed Hasbro subsidiary Wizards of the Coast to publish a line of trading card games that will feature the mugs of WCW personalities such as Brett the Hitman Hart, Ric Flair, The Total Package and Gorgeous George. Under the worldwide agreement, Renton, Washington-based Wizards will incorporate WCW wrestlers and story lines into a standard trading card game format, as well as game accessories and electronic card games that will hit stores in the spring. Wizards’ most popular trading card line, based on the Pokémon property, grossed US$450 million in `99 and is expected to rack up sales of US$600 million this year, according to brokerage house and toy tracker Gerard Klauer Mattison of New York.
Precocious pins WWF, plucks Gravity Games
Everything you wanted to know about the WWF (plus many things you wish you didn’t) are now just a mouse click away. The bards of bombast have inked a multiyear deal with New Hampshire-based Precocious Software, to develop informational CD-ROMs and DVDs based on the WWF. Each title will include choice video and audio clips and photos of scenes from various WWF series. PS’s first CD-ROM, EncycRAWpedia (US$39.95), based on WWF show Monday Night Raw, hit stores in late November. A second title, WWF Interactive, is slated to roll out later this spring.
Precocious has also signed on with New York’s Petersen Publishing to produce CD-ROM and DVD titles based on NBC’s Gravity Games, the channel’s extreme sports TV property. The GG titles will follow the same format as the WWF CD-ROMs, mixing video, audio and stills of Gravity Games athletes in action. PS will begin shipping the first title, Gravity Games Interactive, Summer `99 (US$29.95), to retailers on February 1.
NHL and Nike face off with new clothing deal
Nike Team Sports has inked a six-year, worldwide deal with the NHL to make a line of sports apparel and headwear using league and team logos.
Nike will manufacture the merch under two brands-SPL28, which will feature casual lifestyle togs; and Nike, which will sport more contemporary athletic designs. All the Nike/NHL gear is expected to skate into mass and sports specialty stores next month.
Where’s the beef, Earnhardt?
Chew on this fact: Last year, U.S. consumers spent close to US$1 billion on beef jerky, according to foodco Famous Fixins. Now the New York-based company will try to marry Americans’ craving for high-cholesterol meat products with their love of stock-car racing. FF has signed a deal with NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt and his licensing agent, Henry Licensing, for the production of a line of beef jerky products that will bear Earnhardt’s name. Beginning this quarter, Famous Fixins plans to distribute the Earnhardt jerky to grocery and convenience stores in the south-eastern U.S.-where NASCAR’s popularity is strongest-and will roll out the meat sticks nationally in the spring. Consumers will also be able to order the jerky from FF’s Web site (www.famousfixins.com).
With the deal, Earnhardt joins Famous Fixins’ growing roster of sports celebrities lending their names to edibles. Other players on the FF team include baseball’s Sammy Sosa (Slammin’ Sammy’s Frosted Flakes), Cal Ripken (Cal’s Classic O’s) and Derek Jeter (Jeter’s). All three products are breakfast cereals.