Warner Bros. looks to score licensees for soccer trilogy
Adding to its growing list of soccer properties, which include teams AC Milan and Mexico National, Warner Bros. Consumer Products has picked up worldwide licensing rights to the GOAL! trilogy of soccer films from Milkshake Productions and Goal Ltd. The movies follow Santiago, a young teen who dreams of nothing but becoming a professional soccer player, from poverty-stricken East L.A. all the way to his shot at superstardom in the FIFA World Cup Finals. The first film is being released in the U.K. at the end of this month, with a U.S. launch slated for March 2006. Adidas, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Philips are lined up for promotional tie-ins, and WBCP is currently on the hunt for apparel, sports accessory, gift & stationery and collectibles licensees to manufacture products for tween boys, teens and young men.
Thomas & Friends pulls into Amazon
Commandeering enough retail shelf space to showcase a property’s entire merch catalogue is equally impossible across the pond as it is in the U.S., but finding space on-line is a different story. And to that end, HIT Entertainment has partnered with the U.K. branch of on-line retail giant Amazon to create a virtual Thomas & Friends boutique. The on-line hub (www.amazon.co.uk/thomas) launched late last month and offers the complete range of toys and games based on the preschool classic. Along with 577 SKUs, HIT has set up a character guide that explains all things Thomas to parents and kids. Interestingly, according to industry researcher NPD EuroToy, on-line toy sales shot up 49% in the U.K. in 2004, and they now make up 1.3% of the region’s US$3.6-billion toy market.