News in Brief

Disney set to strike merch gold with Little Mermaid
April 1, 2006

Disney set to strike merch gold with Little Mermaid
Disney’s 50th anniversary DVD of Cinderella rang up more than US$100 million in sales and drove a 2,000-plus SKU licensing program at retail last year that added US$350 million in incremental sales to company coffers. Disney Consumer Products is looking to the October platinum-edition DVD release of The Little Mermaid to replicate Cindy’s merch magic. It’s the movie’s first time out in seven years and according to DCP its star Ariel is the number-one Disney Princess with moms of preschool-age girls. The DVD will hit shelves alongside more than 1,500 new product SKUs from licensees including Mattel, Playmates and Hallmark and the marketing campaign also promises to be a doozey, with a budget in the US$100-plus million range and Under the Sea-themed in-store boutiques are in the works.

Agency roundup: Look who’s reppin’ who
New York’s 4Kids Entertainment has picked up exclusive worldwide licensing rights to Animation Collective’s new children’s yoga-inspired series YoMonkeys, which should launch on the Healthy 4Kids website (‘ >www.4kids.TV/healthy) in the second half of 2006. Creator and AC head honcho Larry Schwarz, got the idea for the 52-ep interstitial after watching kids classes being held at the yoga studio located below the company’s offices. *BBC Worldwide has inked a deal with U.K. independent Collingwood O’Hare Entertainment for tween-skewing The Secret Show, slated to start airing on Nicktoons US in 2007. BBCW now has all cross-media rights, including global program distribution, licensing and home entertainment. *Toronto’s CCI Entertainment has tapped Target Entertainment to rep preschool property Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs in the U.K. Currently airing on U.K. terrestrial Five, Target’s on the lookout for apparel, footwear, stationery, housewares, gift & novelty, greeting card and outdoor toy licensees to complement the show. *PorchLight Entertainment has acquired licensing & merch, TV distribution and home video rights to Sardine Productions’ toon comedy My Goldfish is Evil! PorchLight plans to kick off worldwide sales of the first 13 half-hour eps at MIPTV this month.

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