|LICENSING HOTLINE HEADLINES, 8/26/2002|
|VeggieTales from Zonderkidz|
|Traveling into New Categories|
Big Idea Productions, licensor of VeggieTales and other values-based video series, is launching a book program with Zondervan's Zonderkidz imprint. The publisher will introduce 10 titles in 2002, including five tied to Big Idea's first film, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, and 20 more in 2003. Other properties included in the agreement are LarryBoy, 3-2-1 Penguins! and The Great Cheese Squeeze: A Gruntly and Iggy Adventure. The last is an original book concept; the publishing program will be used to launch new franchises as well as support the company's existing brands, according to Bob Starnes, Big Idea's v-p of publishing and consumer products.
Formats for toddlers through age 12 will include story, sticker, activity, picture and chapter books, as well as a collectors' edition movie tie-in, and will be carried in all levels of distribution. "We're getting as much exposure in other distribution as we are even in the CBA channel," Starnes said. Previous VeggieTales publishing included six preschool titles from Tommy Nelson, released from 1997 through 2000, totaling six million copies in print.
Traveling into New Categories
Fodor's, the travel guide brand introduced in the 1930s, has embarked on a licensing effort that will extend its name into luggage and travel accessories such as wallets and skin-care products. The company publishes 14 distinct guidebook series, offering opportunities for products targeting everyone from the backpacker-through-Europe to the upscale business or pleasure traveler, according to Neal Seideman, v-p at IMG Licensing, Fodor's licensing agency. Products will be available in all retail channels, and Seideman expects cross-promotional activity between the books and merchandise.
Dalmatian Press will publish coloring, sticker and activity books tied to candy brand M&M's, under license from Masterfoods USA.... Five new licensees will market Caillou snow shovels, stationery, underwear, sporting goods, dinnerware, drinkware and foam furniture, according to licensor Cinar.... iBooks will publish young-adult novels tied to the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day, handled by The Licensing Group.... Scholastic's Clifford will be featured on playground equipment and backyard products from PlayCore.... In October, Running Press will publish Everything I Learned About Business I Learned from Monopoly by Alan Axelrod, author of Patton on Leadership . Hasbro is Monopoly's licensor.... DIC Entertainment has purchased the book, video, audio and toy brand Mommy & Me.... Ian Falconer's Olivia, licensed by Silver Lining Productions, has added licensees for activity kits, stationery, tin toys and calendars.... Marc Brown Studios retained The Firm as its licensing agent and is expected to announce an Arthur film deal soon.... Dick Bruna's Miffy& Friends is now licensed by United Media in North America.... Another United Media property, Raggedy Ann & Andy, has attracted 40 licensees over the past few years and has seen sales of Simon & Schuster's books reach 750,000 units in the same period.... Nelvana signed Modern Publishing as its coloring and activity book licensee for Medabots.... Ballantine is going ahead with the first two books in its original novel series based on Twentieth Century Fox's recently canceled Dark Angel. The first title will be released in October.... Viacom Consumer Products has licensed the online brand NeoPets to Simon & Schuster for four to six books starting in fall 2003....Discovery Network is relaunching its Ready Set Learn! programming block with book-inspired shows, including The Magic School Bus (licensed by Scholastic), ToddWorld (L&G Licensing+) and Peep (WGBH). The block's spokescharacter is Paz the Penguin, star of books by Mary Murphy, published in Europe by Egmont.... The Discovery Kids programming block on NBC Saturday mornings will include The Saddle Club, a show based on books by Bonnie Bryant. Worldwide licensing is handled by Australian agency Gaffney International; U.S. representation is in negotiation....Three of the series in PBS's Bookworm Bunch programming block are expanding to five days a week. The shows, George Shrinks, The Berenstain Bears and Seven Little Monsters, may see more licensing activity because of the increased exposure, depending on ratings, according to licensor Nelvana.