MR Kinowelt Merchandising out of Munich has locked up merchandising rights to the cinematic The Lord of the Rings trilogy for German-speaking areas. The first movie is slated for release December 2001, with two and three following in 2002 and 2003. New Line gave the master toy nod to New York-based Marvel Enterprises’ Toy Biz, which will look at plumbing the following categories: Action figures and accessories, remote-control and infrared toys, collectible marbles, electronic and nonelectronic plush, flying toys and LCD watches.
HIT Consumer Products is releasing new Kipper book titles in September and October (Crazy Golf and Other Stories and The Big Freeze and Other Stories), along with a Kipper merchandising extravaganza in the U.K. and the U.S. Some licensees include New York’s Freeze (T-shirts and fleece shirts), PCA Apparel Industries (sleepwear), Rubie’s Costume (Halloween costumes and makeup), San Diego’s Harcourt (all book formats) and JayGur International/Gurilla Biscuit out of Montreal (plush backpacks, back-to-school).
In Germany, StudioCanal Licence Deutschland has been busy, signing Baumhaus Medien AG (Kipper story puzzles and videos), bb-direkt (children’s bags, fashion and hair accessories), Bullyland Volkmor Klaus (collectible figurines and snow globes), Frechverlag (window decoration kits), Julius Zoellner (baby bottles, home textiles and melamine), Verlag Jeurgen Doell (preschool stationery) and PTS (plush). StudioCanal Licence is also close to signing deals for socks, stickers and dishes, and will be rolling out a travelling Kipper road show this fall.
The late Bela Lugosi will live on through a joint licensing agreement between Universal Studios Consumer Products and his son Bela G. Lugosi (represented by L.A.-based Heat Licensing). The agreement covers Lugosi’s Dracula character (as well as any other monsters he portrayed) and spans collectibles, costumes, foods, gifts, home decor items and toys.