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  • Licensing Hotline: August 2012

    After two years, books tied to the PBS Kids series Dinosaur Train, produced and licensed by Jim Henson Productions, continue to sell well, with Penguin and Random House both recently renewing their deals. Publications International and Reader's Digest are also on board.

  • Licensing: Back to School

    Over the past five years, licensed books and supplemental educational materials have increasingly made their way into school libraries and classrooms. Educators have come to accept that licensed titles are a way to bring in reluctant readers and sustain interest in subjects like math and science. Meanwhile, licensors value the exposure their properties can generate in schools, something that can be difficult to replicate through traditional entertainment or retail channels these days.

  • 50 Shades of Sleepwear

    CopCorp Licensing, the agency that represents E.L. James's 50 Shades of Grey for merchandising activities in North America, has announced the signing of its first licensees for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

  • Random House U.K. Forms Merchandise and Media Unit

    Random House Group in the U.K. has formed Random House Enterprises, a new unit devoted to extending its content and trademarks, for both children and adults, into consumer products and content platforms including television, live events, and gaming.

  • Licensed Characters Add Spice to Cookbooks

    Whether you're a fan of Star Wars, Sesame Street, or True Blood—there's a cookbook out there for you.

  • Out of This World

    Publishers are increasingly creating real-life versions of “in-world” books as stand-alone titles or, more commonly, as part of broader licensing deals related to the TV show, film, or videogame in which the fictional versions of the books appear.

  • DreamWorks Animation to Buy Classic Media

    DreamWorks Animation, the studio responsible for the Madagascar and Shrek film series, has agreed to acquire Classic Media, owner of vintage and new entertainment properties including Rocky & Bullwinkle, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and VeggieTales, for $155 million.

  • CafePress Partners with Penguin Young Readers Group

    From “I think I can” magnets based on Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could, illus. by Loren Long, to Betty Bunny books and infant bodysuits based on stories by Michael B. Kaplan, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch, CafePress.com has begun showcasing products from children’s books published by Penguin Young Readers Group.

  • Expanding the Halo Universe

    Interactive gamers are awaiting the holiday 2012 release of Halo 4 from 343 Industries and Microsoft Game Studios; it’s the latest in one of the all-time bestselling videogame series. The Halo franchise, which encompasses games, publishing, and merchandise, has generated nearly $3 billion in retail sales worldwide since 2001.

  • Licensing International Expo 2012

    The Licensing International Expo offers a microcosm of the trends being tracked by publishers who acquire licensed properties. This year’s show, held last week in Las Vegas, not only spotlighted key trends but seemed to confirm that the licensing business is gaining strength after several tough years.

  • Book-Based Brand Extensions Highlighted at Las Vegas Licensing Expo

    Publishing properties are making news at the 32nd annual Licensing International Expo this week, with several licensors and licensing agents announcing new launches and new representation of book-based licensing programs.

  • Penguin Acquires Moshi Monsters License for U.S.

    Moshi Monsters, the online virtual world for children licensed by Mind Candy, has expanded its U.S. publishing program. Penguin Young Readers Group will serve as the master licensee, with plans including sticker/activity books, pick-a-path chapter books, 8x8s, and guidebooks, among other formats.

  • Peppa Pig Picks U.S. Publishing Partners

    Entertainment One Family has signed its first U.S. publishing deals, with Scholastic and Candlewick, for Peppa Pig, an animated TV series for preschoolers.

  • Immedium Ties In with 'Justin Time'

    Immedium, the publisher of the Octonauts book series, has signed a license with Guru Studio for a series of books based on the preschool adventure TV series, Justin Time. The relationship between Immedium and Guru goes back to around 2006, when a Guru producer contacted Immedium shortly after the first Octonauts title came out, according to publisher Oliver Chin.

  • Finn and Jake's Next Adventure: Books with Penguin

    Cartoon Network has licensed Penguin Young Readers Group for books tied to its series Adventure Time, starring Finn the Human and Jake the Dog. The show is in its fourth season and is the #1 television program on Mondays for children 6-11.

  • Licensing Hotline: May 2012

    Candlewick plans to expand its MoshiMoshiKawaii publishing program, launched in 2011 with three search-and-find titles, with the addition of two smaller-format activity/search books in August of this year.

  • Tie-Ins Attract TV Viewers to the Mystery Genre

    Television shows, from Columbo to Criminal Minds, have long inspired book series in the mystery genre. Creating licensed novels based on a detective show—attracting TV fans and satisfying the show’s producers, while not alienating avid mystery readers—can be difficult. Yet the track record of such publishing programs is good, with several achieving bestseller status and some outliving the show on which they’re based.

  • HMH Adds Tie-Ins to Hobbit List

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, longtime U.S. publisher of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, has secured the U.S. rights to release tie-in books for the films The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

  • Big Bird and Friends Go Ape for Comics

    Sesame Workshop has licensed Ape Entertainment and its Kidzoic imprint to produce original print and digital comic books for young readers featuring the Sesame Street characters.

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