MR set to spread Spidey’s web in Germany
Spider-Man Merchandising LP (a Sony/Marvel joint-venture company) has appointed German licensing agency MR Merchandising & Retail to represent Spider-Man 2 and the Spider-Man animated TV series throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. MR will work with Sony/Marvel, licensees, retail partners and the film’s distributor to coordinate marketing activities and map out the best timing for the release of licensed products and promotions in 2004.
University Games and JP Kids converge
Educational board game manufacturer University Games has completed its merger with independent prodco JP Kids/Mindrocket Media (The Famous Jett Jackson), which will operate out of its San Francisco home base as a wholly-owned subsidiary of University Games. The going-forward strategy will be to create, develop and produce concepts that can work simultaneously as TV series, books, toys and games. University Games’ media division currently publishes books and calendars based on in-house franchises such as 20 Questions and Truth or Dare. JP Kids is currently developing live-action, half-hour tween comedy Gordy’s Rebellion with Noggin/The N and preschool series Seuss Tales with PBS affiliate station WTTW.
Basil Brush takes his yuks Down Under
Entertainment Rights’ feisty fox is set to return to the Aussie small screen after a 20-year absence this September. The ABC has secured television, licensing & merchandising and video/DVD rights in Australia to The Basil Brush Show. ER launched a Basil Brush merch program in the U.K. late last year to accompany the debut of the revamped series on CBBC, where it attracts an average audience of more than 1.4 million viewers. The ABC plans to replicate the program in Australia, supported by video and DVD releases from ABC/Roadshow.
Fox Kids Europe overhauls German operations
Pan-European entertainment company Fox Kids Europe has moved its German consumer products division from Cologne to Munich as part of an effort to increase consumer products revenues by operating more in line with FKE’s German channel and on-line businesses (based in Munich). As part of the restructuring, managing director of Saban Consumer Products Germany Markus Pottgeiser has left the company. All German operations are now overseen by Christophe Erbes, managing director of Fox Kids Germany.