Cookie Jar dials up its Canadian presence
Cookie Jar Entertainment is kicking things up a notch in its native land of Canada. In addition to working on domestic programs for its own IPs, including Caillou and The Doodlebops, the company has taken on Canadian licensing rights to MGM’s classic Pink Panther property. To lead the charge, Karen Hanson has been lured away from the NHL’s licensing unit and set up as Cookie Jar’s new director of Canadian licensing. She’ll start off building a Pink Panther fashion program for tweens, teens and young women, and then an infant and toddler line for spin-off property Pink Panther & Pals is on the books for 2006. Hanson and licensing manager Erin Bartley will initially be on the lookout for apparel, accessories, footwear, stationery and gift licensees for his Pinkness.
Cookie Jar senior VP of consumer products John Gildea isn’t ruling out the possibility of picking up Canuck rights to more third-party properties in the future, and he’ll be evaluating new prospects on a case-by-case basis.
Corneil & Bernie headed for U.S. retail
Looking to expand its fledgling brand management division, L.A.-based production, distribution and licensing company Earthworks Entertainment has picked up State-side licensing rights to French prodco Millimages’ 2-D animated series Corneil & Bernie. The show, which has aired on Nicktoons for the past two years, hasn’t been licensed in any territory yet. Earthworks director of licensing and marketing Cathy Malatesta plans to focus on the cheeky attitude of Corneil & Bernie, which is about a brainiac dog and his hapless walker, and she has set her sights on social expressions, publishing and apparel to drive a mass-market program aimed at boys six to eight. Malatesta is currently looking for licensees and would like to have product on shelves by 2006.
Earthworks is sussing out similar licensing opportunities with boutique European prodcos looking to break into the U.S. market, and Malatesta and Earthworks president Peter Keefe are also working on the winter 2006 launch of Earthworks’ own boys action property Z-Force.