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The B&LLAs 2019 Finalists Revealed
The finalists in the product, property and retail categories for the Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards 2019 have been confirmed.
The B&LLAs shine the light on all aspects of brand licensing, giving a platform for non-entertainment properties to be celebrated. These include lifestyle brands, as well as corporate, food and drink, heritage, fashion and talent among others.
“Now in its fourth year, the B&LLAs continues to go from strength to strength. The quality of entries across all the categories has once again been outstanding and really showcases just how much the brand licensing sector has flourished over the past year,” said Ian Hyder, joint md of Max Publishing, which organises and owns the B&LLAs.
“We look forward to welcoming our nominees to The Dorchester on April 25 and wish them all the best of luck.”
For the full list of nominees, please visit:
MD Licensing to Manage Zafari in Italy
Maurizio Distefano Licensing (MDL), has been appointed to manage licensing in Italy for animated series Zafari, on behalf of brand owner Ink Group.
Produced by Zafari Holdings and distributed worldwide by NBCUniversal/Dreamworks the series has already enjoyed a strong reception in France, Latin America and the UK and is about to launch in a number of other territories. It will appear in Italy on Rai YoYo, the free-to-air kids television channel owned by the Italian public broadcasting group RAI.
Aimed at audience of both boys and girls aged four to nine, Zafari takes up themes such as inclusion, tolerance and friendship through funny and exciting stories, creative characters and high-quality production values that bring beautiful locations and animals to life in stunning computer graphics.
In addition, a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has allowed the creation of 52 special mini videos, one of which will appear at the end of each episode. The videos will show real images of animals in their natural habitat, adding a touch of real-life magic to each delightful animated tale.

First Moomin Theme Park Outside of Finland Opens

Moominvalley Park in Hanno, Japan, is now officially open.
The park opened on Saturday March 16 and the first Moomin fans arrived to the location already at 6 AM. The line extended way past the neighbouring area, Metsä Village. 

The charming new home of Moominvalley Park is in Hanno, which is a small city surrounded by adventurous mountains and calming rivers, located just a 40 minute train trip away from the busy streets of Tokyo. 

Wild & Wolf Named Partner for Reese Witherspoon’s Lifestyle Brand
Wild & Wolf has announced its new partnership with Draper James, Reese Witherspoon’s Southern inspired lifestyle brand.
Under the new partnership, Wild & Wolf will create products across a broad range of categories including stationery, lunchware, drinkware, travel accessories, gardening products and more. The product design and development will be managed in-house by Wild & Wolf’s License Brand Team based in their Bath, UK office.
The range launched exclusively in Paper Source on February 15th, and then into the wider US retail market from March 15th. The launch collection features the contemporary, timeless southern style of Draper James across charming gifts, drinkware and stationery accessories.
The products tie in seamlessly with Draper James’, quintessentially Southern design featuring icons like their signature Magnolia print, gingham check pattern, Georgia peach theme and sayings like Think Happy Thoughts and Call Your Mama.

Fanattik Celebrates the 40th anniversary of Alien
Fanattik gets ready to launch its Alien gift range to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the iconic film this September.
Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. It follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo who encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extra-terrestrial set loose on the ship. The film stars Sigourney Weaver and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. 
“This franchise has spawned six films and has a multi-generational fan base, the whole team here at Fanattik geeked out when I announced we had signed this amazing license with 20th Century Fox Consumer Products,” commented Anthony Marks, Chief Fanattik.
The gift range will appeal to fans new and old with some collectibles limited to only 1,000 worldwide and retailing around £60.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Goes Gardening with the RHS
Rocket Licensing, the agent in the UK for Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has announced a major collaboration for summer 2019 between the classic children’s character and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
Inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s 50th anniversary, The Very Hungry Caterpillar-related events will be running through the charity’s four Gardens and four of its Flower Shows throughout the summer of 2019. The four RHS Gardens annually attract over two million visitors a year, more than 400,000 of them over the summer. The RHS Flower Shows at Cardiff, Chatsworth, Hampton Court Palace and Tatton Park together attract over 260,000 visitors.
At the RHS Flower Shows a family trail will guide families around each Show, starting with a giant walk-through sculpture of The Very Hungry Caterpillar created in willow.
adidas Skateboarding Reveals Second Capsule Collection Beavis and Butt-Head
adidas Skateboarding and MTV characters Beavis and Butt-Head reunite to deliver a second collection for spring 2019 that pays homage to the golden era of 90s skateboarding and the pop culture surrounding it.
The first five-piece adidas x Beavis and Butt-Head collection launched in October and played up themes of the duo’s infamous employer, Burger World. The new six-piece collection offers two sneaker silhouettes alongside four apparel pieces that blend Beavis and Butt-Head nostalgia with adidas brand heritage. 
9 Story Acquires Animated Mystery Series The Hollow
9 Story Distribution International  has entered into an agreement with Vancouver-based Slap Happy Cartoons to acquire the animated series The Hollow (10 x 22’), aimed at children 8 and up. Following its worldwide Netflix premiere, 9 Story Distribution has retained all other distribution rights worldwide and will be featuring the title at MIPTV in April.
The first season of The Hollow premiered June 2018 on Netflix and has received widespread critical acclaim.

The Powerpuff Girls Celebrate The POW! Academy at the British Gymnastics Championships

The Powerpuff Girls arrived at the Liverpool M&S Bank Arena at the weekend to celebrate the POW! Academy at The British Gymnastics Championships.
An innovative joint venture between British Gymnastics and Cartoon Network, The POW! Academy was set up in 2018 to inspire and reward thousands of gymnasts across the country with the help of Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup. 
Aimed at budding gymnasts aged 5-11yrs, The POW! Academy challenges gymnasts to show off their talents and be proud of their achievements. By linking the skills they have learnt in their gymnastics sessions with eight exciting sequences, the POW! Academy empowers gymnasts for the level ahead. Upon completion of each sequence, gymnasts can be rewarded with POW! Academy badges and certificates. 
Over the course of the 4-day event, children from the Beth Tweddle Gymnastics Academy performed POW! Academy routines in the main arena whilst a presenter shot POW! T-shirts out of a T-shirt cannon into the family friendly crowd and The Powerpuff Girls costume characters hosted fan meet and greets. Co-branded POW! Academy product including T-Shirts and hoodies were available to buy on site.

Happy Socks Joins Forces with The Rolling Stones
Happy Socks, the Swedish sock and underwear brand, is joining forces with The Rolling Stones for a limited-edition collection launching for Spring/Summer 2019. Inspired by the British rock band’s iconic ‘Lick’ logo, the collaboration blends Happy Sock’s signature graphical elements with one of the most famous artworks in musical history, creating a vibrant collection.

“It's great to work with such a legendary band and its famous visuals” commented Viktor Tell, Happy Socks Founder and Creative Director. “Every time I’ve seen that iconic logo I've wished that someone would unleash its colorful potential. And now we finally have. Makes us feel like Sock n' Roll Stars”.

emoji Signs with Educa Borras
The emoji company has teamed up with Educa Borras, one of the leading companies in the board games industry in Spain, for a new puzzle series after their previous success with the emoji brand.
Following the positive reception of the 500 piece emoji puzzle last year, Educa Borras launched its newest puzzles in February in Spain and Portugal. Consumers will experience double the fun with the new 2x500 emoji brand Fix Puzzle.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with Educa Borras,” says Marco Hüsges, CEO of the emoji company. “The new emoji brand Fix Puzzle range contains a huge selection of the beloved emoji brand icons, and the product delivers great puzzle fun.”

Magic Light Brings Magical Room on The Broom Journey to Chessington
The new attraction Room on the Broom – A Magical Journey enchanted visitors at its launch recently at Chessington World of Adventures. A collaboration between Magic Light Pictures and Merlin Entertainment, it brings the much-loved children’s story to life in a captivating journey through the bestselling book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.
Families can visit the enchanted library and walk-through the pages of the book as the stormy wind blows, help the Witch find her lost belongings and meet much-loved characters Cat, Dog, Bird and Frog on their Magical Journey.
Room on the Broom – A Magical Journey is supported with bespoke merchandise at the park along with two new special themed bedrooms at the Chessington Safari Hotel.

Tetris Announces Major Lifestyle Expansion
The Tetris Company has announced the biggest expansion of its lifestyle product offering to date with a slate of fun, unique collections by many of the fashion and beauty industries’ most on-trend and innovative brands. The new product lines will debut, respectively, at each brand’s online or retail locations in the United States, China, Japan and beyond in 2019.
“It’s the Tetris brand’s 35th anniversary and our most stylish year yet.  We are very excited to announce an incredible slate of new licensee partners, consisting of many of the hottest names in beauty and fashion, who will be introducing new Tetris-inspired collaborations in the coming months,” said Maya Rogers, President and CEO of Blue Planet Software, the sole agent for the Tetris brand. “From makeup and accessories to T-shirts, day wear, socks, baby gear and more, fans will have a range of smart, modern designs to show their distinct personalities and affinity for Tetris.”

Prime Announces Moroccan Deal

Prime has announced a new package deal just signed with major public tv station Medi1 in Morocco for 44 episodes of the new season of its series Zoom In.
Medi1 TV is one of the most important TV news channels in Morocco with a great audience in the North African region. The producer/distributor Prime Entertainment Group and Medi1 TV have been partners since 2016 with at least 6 deals signed together already. The tv station has already licensed in the past multiple series produced by Prime.

The ongoing show Zoom In has more than 1,000 episodes.
PGS Secures New Presales Partners on Jungle Bunch S3
PGS Entertainment has secured a round of broadcast presales for The Jungle Bunch S3, produced by Toulouse-based TAT productions and Master Films and commissioned by France Television.
New partners across 30 territories include Cartoon Network (France), Fox Latam (Latin America), TV Azteca (Mexico), Wekids (China), RAI (Italy), Nickelodeon (Italy), RTBF (Fr. Belgium), Telequebec (Fr. Canada), E.TV (South Africa), Dreamia Canal Panda (Portugal), TVNZ (New Zealand ERR (Estonia), LRT (Lithuania), and Lattelecom (Latvia).

Driving with Dr. Suess
Announced this week, Dr. Seuss license plates, featuring the popular Cat in The Hat, are now available to Massachusetts residents. In celebration of the iconic author and his connection to his hometown of Springfield, the unique plates serve as a fundraiser for Dr. Seuss Enterprises' partner Springfield Museums, home of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum. Residents can purchase their very own Dr. Seuss-themed plates at $40 per set (there is a renewal fee every 2 years at a cost of an additional $100, $40 of which are donated again to the museums).
The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum honors the local author and his iconic writings – the museum drew 148,000 ticketed visitors in the first year of operation.

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19 March 2019

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