News in Brief

Trendmasters toy brand Rumbles into licensing
April 1, 2002

Trendmasters toy brand Rumbles into licensing

With an 80% sell-through rate and sales at the US$100-million mark, Trendmasters’ battling robots toy line–Rumble Robots–has won over retailers and consumers alike. The bots are poised to dominate the licensing world as well, with Trendmasters seeking licensees in categories including publishing, video games, apparel, footwear, accessories, back-to-school, paper goods, domestic products and promotions. Trendmasters will also consider teaming up with entertainment partners to develop a TV or video series.

Sony scopes the market for I Spy licensees

With I Spy–an action-comedy starring Eddie Murphy–set for a November 2 theatrical debut, Sony Pictures Consumer Products is launching an accompanying licensing program targeted at boys 12 and up. At press time, licensing opportunities were available across multiple categories, including apparel, interactive, toys, games and publishing.

Domestic licensing–Julie Boyan (310-244-4155)

International licensing–Bettina Kockler, Europe/the Middle East/South Africa (49-89-2323-0606) or Lisa Storms, Asia Pacific/Latin America (310-244-4154)

Entertainment Rights looks to stack its deck with Todd Parr cards

The quirky images and positive life messages of U.S. author Todd Parr’s books will soon translate to a line of greeting cards and stationery in the U.K. Agent Entertainment Rights is seeking licensees to develop product based on the book series’ key themes: feelings, being different, do’s and dont’s, and best friends. Walker Books launched the first six Todd Parr titles in the U.K. at the end of 2001, with plans to roll out further titles this year. On the entertainment front, ToddWorld–an animated preschool series based on Parr’s artwork–is in development at Jem Entertainment and Imaginease Entertainment, with Entertainment Rights handling international distribution.

Fox nabs Dragonball film rights

Twentieth Century Fox division Fox 2000 will develop Japanese author Akira Toriyama’s graphic novel Dragonball–which spawned Cartoon Network series and merch phenomenon Dragon Ball Z–as a live-action feature film under terms of a deal with Toriayma and publisher Shueisha. The agreement also awards Fox the film-based licensing and merchandising rights, and the studio has future plans to pursue development on other manga/anime properties controlled by Shueisha.

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