MGA toy lines get an international management makeover with Vivid Imaginations
Bratz licensor MGA Entertainment has formed a joint-venture business with Haslemere, Surrey-based Vivid Imaginations, the U.K.’s third-largest toyco. The MGA division of Vivid is currently previewing Bratz and other MGA product lines for shipment next spring, while Bandai UK will continue to manage Bratz and L’il Bratz fashion dolls until the end of this year.
Lucas hunts for new international Star Wars agents
With Star Wars: Episode III on the box-office and merch horizon for summer 2005, Lucas Licensing has secured new agents in key international territories. London-based The Licensing Company (TLC) nabs rep rights for the U.K. and France, while Lucas is extending its deal with Plus Licens for Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Existing agents G-Squared (Canada), Tycoon Enterprises (Mexico) and Shogagukan Production Co. and Japan Uni (Japan) remain on-board, with Lucas searching for new partners in Latin America and the rest of the Asian region.
Muppet Babies poised for a British merch revamp
On the cusp of its 20th anniversary, the Jim Henson Company’s Muppet Babies franchise will hit U.K. retail next year with a merch program aimed at female youth and teens. U.S. master toy licensee Toy Play is close to signing a deal with a U.K. distributor for its line of cuddle pillows, plush, clip-ons and beanies. The British program will focus on greeting cards, mobile phone accessories, T-shirts, nightwear, underwear and accessories. The Muppet Babies animated series debuted in 1984 and has aired on BBC and GMTV in the U.K., as well as on the CBS Saturday morning block in the U.S. The toon is still in international syndication 12 years after its initial eight-year run.