Rocket Licensing launches into U.K. kids biz
U.K. licensing industry vets Charlie Donaldson and Rob Wijeratna are hanging their own shingle on a new boutique agency called Rocket Licensing. The pair met at BBC Worldwide some 10 years ago, and after their most recent stints at Granada Ventures and Entertainment Rights, respectively, they determined there was room in the U.K. market for smaller, focused licensing agencies. In addition to having acquired a number of adult lifestyle brands, Rocket was on the brink of picking up a new preschool entertainment brand at press time, and the goal is to add one more in the months ahead.
On the tween girl front, Rocket has just been granted rights in the U.K. and Ireland to publishing/art property Skelanimals from Art Impressions. With the tagline ‘Dead animals need love too,’ the brand is about to roll out chain-wide at Hot Topic stores in the U.S. with a line of apparel and accessories that straddles the line between Goth and cute. In terms of plans across the pond, Wijeratna says Rocket is looking to land apparel, accessories and mobile partners for an initial launch later this year.
Shaun the Sheep herds a pack of international partners
Since its debut as the most-screened show at MIPCOM Jr. last fall, Aardman Animations’ stop-motion series Shaun the Sheep has been busily adding to its flock of broadcasters and consumer products partners. France’s TF1 has acquired all rights in the territory, including broadcast, home video and L&M, while Sony Creative Products will be heading up TV and merch sales in Japan. And in Scandinavia, licensing agency Alicom will be brokering deals for the silent sheep, while Nordisk Film handles home video distribution.