News in Brief

Hasbro has been named master toy licensee for U.K.-based HIT Entertainment property Bob the Builder....
May 1, 2000

Hasbro has been named master toy licensee for U.K.-based HIT Entertainment property Bob the Builder.

Munich-based media giant EM.TV & Merchandising scooped up the TV, video and merchandising rights to the anime craze-riding Digimon series by Japan’s Toei Animation. EM.TV holds rights for Scandinavia, Benelux and Eastern Europe. A broadcaster for these territories has not been announced.

Viacom’s recently-appointed U.K. agent, Copyright Promotions, is developing a licensing program for the 65-ep Sabrina: The Animated Series in that territory. It’s currently airing on GMTV.

Harvey Entertainment has appointed Felix the Cat Productions as its exclusive Harvey properties’ licensing agent for Latin America. In return, Felix the Cat Productions (which spawned Casper and other Joseph Oriolo characters such as Betty Boop and Popeye) and other heirs of Casper the Ghost creator Joseph Oriolo have turned over all rights and claims to the trademarks and copyrights of the Casper character back to the THEC.

Toronto’s Nelvana recently acquired worldwide development, production, distribution and merchandise licensing rights to the Little Critter book series by Mercer Mayer.

A major U.K. push is on the way for Mopatop’s Shop merch, being launched by Carlton International for spring. U.K.-based Panini launched a Mopatop’s Shop comic late last month and U.K.-based CYP Children’s Audio is launching a cassette this spring. A CD release, also by CYP, is forthcoming. Another 40 episodes of the series have been ordered by CITV and from now until December, the show will run daily on CITV.

Carlton International is steering a U.K. licensing program for its Dream Street series, having inked a deal with TOMY for preschool toys to launch in that territory in June. The U.K.’s Panini will do a comic book, Germany’s Ravensburger will do a jigsaw puzzle, London-based SR Gent will do sleepwear and Scotland based Lightbodies will produce birthday cakes.

BBC Worldwide is introducing a Rotten Ralph interactive CD in the U.K., and has signed an agreement with U.K.-based Peaceable Kingdom Press for a holiday greeting card to launch by fall 2000. Licensed plush based on the cranky cat is expected for a U.K. launch soon, along with other novelty items. BBC Worldwide intends to focus on mass but will make some items available for the specialty and gift market. CBS/Fox Home Video plans a release of two videos originally produced by BBC Worldwide for August 2000 in the U.S. North American rights for apparel and toys are still up for grabs. Discussions are ongoing for Rotten Ralph books for the U.S. Four titles have already been published by BBC Worldwide in the U.K., including a jokebook and a game book.

Barcelona’s Neptuno has granted Korean rights to its Ugly Duckling property to Asiana Licensing due to the success of the series that airs on the EBS network. Newest Spanish licensees for the property include Alicante, Spain-based Industrias Falca for pencil cases and key holders, Barcelona’s Comansi for PVC figures, and Terrassa, Spain’s St.5 Textil for baby trousers.

Keeping with their motto of ‘Saving the world before bedtime,’ Warner Bros. Consumer Products The Powerpuff Girls are tackling domestics with a new line of bedding from Georgia’s Dan River, bath towels and accessories from Jay Franco & Sons of New York, blankets and throws from North Carolina’s Owen Manufacturing, and decorative throws and pillows from Georgia’s Crown Crafts. Most merch hits retail in in summer 2000.

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