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Licensing News - February 2006

WBCP Supports Heroes with New Deal

2/21/06 - Warner Bros. Consumer Products linked up with Priorities for a line of highly distressed, burnt-out fabric and vivid color palette Ts, tanks, thermals, and zip hoodies inspired by DC Comics characters such as Superman, Supergirl, Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, and Batman. The product lines are due at retail in April.

MagiCrayon Kids coloring T-Shirt and Curious George Team Up

2/21/06 - SBW Printing, a leading worldwide provider of decorated apparel, announced its presence at the New York Toy Fair in February 2006. MagiCrayon Kids Coloring Shirts have been added to the list of licensed products for Universal Studios' new Curious George movie released February 10th of 2006. "The MagiCrayon Kids Coloring Shirts have been picked up by over 500 retailers since hitting the market earlier this year and Curious George The Movie and MagiCrayon are the perfect fit for stimulating a child's artistic imagination," says Mr. Bob Davis, President of MagiCrayon. "The product combines a specially imprinted t-shirt with patented crayons and glitter that when heat is applied becomes colorfast and 100% washable. This product gives children the opportunity to wear their own piece of personalized art."

ELH Cuddles for a Cure

ELH Enterprises Inc. will donate 30 percent of sales from its new CURE product line to several health causes, including CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Children with Diabetes Foundation. The line includes plush bears, beanbag bears, character blankets, and blanket and pillow sets in pastel colors, plus a sterling silver necklace and bracelet, all bearing the CURE logo and retailing from $9-$60.

ELH Enterprises was also named the Gift and Specialty Plush Toys Licensee for the Spot children's book series through 2008. The series, written by Eric Hill, has sold more than 50 million copies of more than 100 titles worldwide, and has been translated into 65 languages. In July, ELH will introduce Spot plush and soft toys designed for toddlers and preschoolers, as well as a plush pillow and blanket set, several activity sets, blocks, balls and rattles.

RJM Licensing Inc., which handles the Spot property, also plans to pursue licensing in categories such as gift sets, stationery, bedding and accessories, apparel, and games and toys.

Isabel Bloom to Shift Production Overseas

2/10/06 - Citing the need to better compete in the global gift industry, Isabel Bloom LLC announced Thursday that it will shift production overseas while maintaining creative and design control from its Quad-City headquarters.The company announced ithat it will reduce its production work force through a phased process. About 50 associates - including mold-makers, casters, finishers and coaters - will lose their jobs around June.

Isabel Bloom, which is named for its founder, the late Isabel Bloom, will continue to employ about 100 people in distribution, sales and administration in the Quad-Cities. The company's three owners since 1995 - Hunt Harris, Tom Carter and Jeff Gilfillan - said they will continue its corporate citizenship. The company also remains committed to the Quad-City headquarters and retaining its four studio stores in The Village of East Davenport, downtown Moline, Naperville, Ill., and West Des Moines, Iowa.

"We believe these changes will allow us to continue to improve efficiency, appearance, durability and marketability of our sculptures," Gilfillan said, adding that all sculptures will continue to be made by hand. He said that virtually the entire U.S. gift industry bases its production overseas while retaining creative control in the United States.

Rowley Designs Dirty Dishes

Designer Cynthia Rowley has created a new dinnerware collection making its debut this spring called Dirty Dishes. The pattern features delicate watercolors of fashionably - if scantily - clad ladies, in an update of the vintage mudflap girl. Rowley designed Dirty Dishes for New York specialty store Fishs Eddy. The collection includes plates, bowls, cups and saucers, and will be available at Cynthia Rowley boutiques, Fishs Eddy retail locations, Gracious Home, and other department and specialty stores.

Wildflower Group to Represent Beatrix

Entertainment licensing agency The Wildflower Group was named North American agent for The World of Beatrix Potter by Frederick Warne, an imprint of the Penguin Group. Oregon-based Workshop Toys, the first of several licensees appointed by the agency, will create figurines and a playhouse filled with characters from the books. "We are honored to be part of this family of unforgettable characters that will enhance every child's library and playroom," said Michael Carlisle, principal and co-founder of The Wildflower Group.

All parties are very excited to be working together to bring The World of Beatrix Potter to a new generation. Nicholas Durbridge, CEO of The Copyrights Group, worldwide licensing agent for Beatrix Potter, said, "The Copyrights Group is delighted to be working with Wildflower. We believe that Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit sit comfortably with the agency's current portfolio of established properties, and we're working on a number of new initiatives that will continue to develop these classic properties in North America."

The most famous of the books is The Tale of Peter Rabbit the first in a series of 23 stories that make up The World of Beatrix Potter. Sales for Beatrix Potter books and merchandise already exceed $500 million annually, and The Wildflower Group plans to introduce a range of new books, gifts, baby products and accessories under the licensing program.

Anna Griffin Partners with Dept. 56 & C.R. Gibson

Anna Griffin, Inc. is launching an extensive licensing program with Tickle - a division of Department 56 and C.R. Gibson, with more than 40 SKUs each, featuring Griffin's wedding-invitation and scrapbook designs.

The Tickle line, "Wedding Ware," includes a wedding-shower kit, decorate-the-car kit, tote bags, party favors and more. C.R. Gibson's product launch includes wedding memory books, guest books and photo albums; and everyday photo albums, address books, journals, gift bags and paper tableware, featuring artwork from Anna Griffin's "Nina," "Marguerite," "Claire" and "Margot" collections. For more information on the Tickle product line, call 800-348-3749. For additional details on C.R. Gibson products, call 800-243-6004.

Mary Phillips Gets Rita Rudner

Mary Phillips Designs has launched the "Rita Rudner Collection" of magnetic notepads, framed art, cocktail napkins and greeting cards - all laced with comedienne Rita Rudner's trademark sense of humor. For additional information, call 800-825-4575

Powerful Greetings Introduces Disney Line

Powerful Greetings is offering a new Disney-themed line of "Powerful Greetings" - which combine an all-in-one battery and self-adhesive gift tag. The line features classic Disney characters as well as characters from upcoming films, and is available in AA an AAA sizes. For more information, call 888-642-0045.

Flavia Celebrates 40 Years in Licensing

Her latest collections include Tapestry, Flavia's Sketchbook and the upcoming Flavia's Story. Flavia signed her first licensing deal with Mission Cards in 1966.

Strawberry Shortcake and Dragon Booster at McDonald's

Fans of Strawberry Shortcake and Dragon Booster will be heading to McDonald's as the properties are the stars of a new QSR promotion through February 27. Young guests will receive one of eight "berry fun" Strawberry Shortcake characters or one of eight Dragon Booster action figures with the purchase of a Happy Meal or Mighty Kids Meal. The Strawberry Shortcake McDonald's Happy Meal collection is the first scented collection in Happy Meal history.

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