Global next-gen experience firm Harves has teamed up with U.S.-based Cloudco Entertainment in an xclusive, long-term partnership to extend the Care Bears brand into China. The two will work together to create deep, new relationships with millions of Chinese families and children. With this partnership, Harves becomes the master licensee of the brand’s consumer product, brand licensing and omnichannel retail distribution in China across all categories. The company will also develop new products for the Chinese market. Additionally, Harves will create and operate Care Bears-themed family entertainment experiences. The concept in development and the flagship site will be unveiled early in 2020, the first of many such properties the companies envision.
Sanrio and Funimation (the anime content division of Sony Pictures Television) announce a new product collection featuring a mash-up of pop culture icon Hello Kitty and characters from award-winning anime My Hero Academia. The globally beloved cutie joins the ultimate class of heroes to create a special collection of apparel, accessories and collectibles. From t-shirts, backpacks and hats to figures, plush and pins, the My Hero Academia x Hello Kitty & Friends designs feature some of Sanrio’s most popular characters, including Hello Kitty, Pochacco and Badtz-Maru dressed as standout favorites like All Might, Izuku Midoriya and Katsuki Bakugo. Bioworld, FiGPiN, Funko, Just Toys International and Great Eastern Entertainment have licensed the character collaboration to bring exciting products to market.
Dublin-based studio Zulleon have appointed Jay at Play as global master toy partner for its STEM-inspired kids’ property and digital play experience OOKS. The deal brokered by agency Weird Lime grants worldwide rights to create a range of plush, collectibles, accessories and gaming categories. Following the launch of the ground-breaking OOKS What’s That Rumbling? Storybook creator earlier in 2019, the property has grown at an exponential rate through Zulleon’s development of a suite of apps across multiple educational and gaming categories as well as an animated shorts series (22 x 2’ on YouTube Kids).
In less than a year, a staggering 8 million OOKS characters have been created by children all over the world. The suite of five apps and games (IOS & Android) have been downloaded in over 110 countries with close to half a million installs across all apps. Over 20,000 OOKS books have been created and over 1.5M views of online OOKS content to date.
WildBrain CPLG has secured a deal on behalf of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with contemporary fashion brand LC23 and popular sportswear company Diadora for a footwear collaboration inspired by the iconic character Pink Panther. Brokered by WildBrain CPLG Italy, the collaboration sees the launch of two limited edition trainer designs inspired by the elegance and surreal humor of the popular character: a fresh take on two of Diadora’s most popular styles – the Diadora “Rebound Ace” and “Whizz Run” – and feature bright embroidery style patch appliqués of both Pink Panther and Inspector Clouseau on a full grain leather/suede material mix. Available now at leading shoe retailers and www.diadora.com.
International lifestyle brand tokidoki has appointed IMG as its exclusive licensing representative in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Created by Italian artist Simone Legno and launched in 2005, tokidoki (Japanese for “sometimes”) has amassed a cult-like following for its diverse array of character families, each one with its own unique story. As well as its popular designs, the brand is known for high-profile collaborations with Hello Kitty, Karl Lagerfeld, LeSportsac, Barbie, Onitsuka Tiger, Sephora, Marvel and more. IMG will work with tokidoki to expand its global footprint in the three Asian territories through a program of mono-branded and collaborative consumer products, with an initial focus on apparel, accessories and toys across a variety of distribution channels.