Meet the Brands

Animation Magazine - - Licensing -

The 2014 Li­cens­ing Expo, tak­ing place June 17-19 at Las Ve­gas’ Man­dalay Bay Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, is a great place to spot the lat­est good­ies sport­ing your toon he­roes’ mugs and the soon-to-be hot prop­er­ties of 2014 and be­yond. Here is just a taste of the Expo’s of­fer­ings. Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures has an ex­cit­ing slate of an­i­mated and vfx-heavy projects lined up for the next cou­ple years, and plans to snow­ball li­censees for these fresh and fa­mil­iar brands. Top pri­or­ity is LAIKA’s neo-Vic­to­rian stop-mo­tion flick The Box­trolls (Septem­ber 26) — so far, Chron­i­cle Books, Lit­tle Brown, Funko, Hy­brid JEM, Ru­bie’s Cos­tume Com­pany and Toy Fac­tory on board to bring or­phan Eggs and his troll fam­ily to shelves. Also on the docket are Juras­sic World (June 12, 2015) — Thinkway Toys is mas­ter toy li­censee, with Has­bro and Hy­brid JEM — and “Un­ti­tled Pets Project”, the up­com­ing CG com­edy ad­ven­ture from their an­i­ma­tion part­ner Il­lu­mi­na­tion En­ter­tain­ment. Nick­elodeon’s peren­nial, su­per-ab­sorbent star SpongeBob SquarePants could be com­ing to a putting green near you: the hy­per­ac­tive yel­low fel­low has been picked by Loud­mouth Golf to grace their new line of golf at­tire. On of­fer are mini-shorts, shorts, sko­rts and capris for women as well as pants and shorts for men, rang­ing in price from $85 to $395 — which is quite a few clams for the ca­sual fan. SpongeBob true be­liev­ers can also opt to deck them­selves out in a made-to-or­der Bikini Bot­tom-ready sport­coat.

For the tykes, Toys ‘R’ Us is the exclusive re­tailer of a new line of toys in­spired by preschool hit Paw Pa­trol. Ex­pand­ing to additional re­tail­ers in late June, the prod­uct range in­cludes a num­ber of col­lectible items fea­tur­ing Ry­der and his four­footed co­horts Chase, Mar­shall, Rocky, Rub­ble, Zuma and Skye, in­clud­ing fig­ures, ve­hi­cles, plush, talk­ing plush and play sets for kids ages three and up.

Af­ter nearly six decades in the pop cul­ture spot­light, good ol’ Dave Seville and his mis­chievous singing ro­dents will be un­der­go­ing yet an­other up­date in 2015 when the new an­i­mated se­ries Alvinnn!!! and The Chip­munks ar­rives. In an­tic­i­pa­tion of a global ‘munk takeover, Bag­dasar­ian Pro­duc­tions has built on its re­la­tion­ship with PGS En­ter­tain­ment, as­sign­ing the dis­tri­bu­tion part­ner world­wide (ex­clud­ing North Amer­ica) li­cens­ing stew­ard­ship. Com­mis­sioned by France’s M6, the CG se­ries will be the first small screen out­ing for the cud­dly char­ac­ters in 20 years and will present a fresh take dreamed up by Janice Kar­man, plus new orig­i­nal songs from Ross Bag­dasar­ian Jr. Dis­ney Con­sumer Prod­ucts is al­ready cash­ing in big time on its newly re­leased live-ac­tion anti-fairy­tale Malef­i­cent, which retells the story of Sleep­ing Beauty from the dark fairy’s per­spec­tive and fea­tures stun­ning vis­ual ef­fects and CG crea­ture work. Key col­lectibles in­spired by the film in­clude Malef­i­cent and Aurora fash­ion dolls and Malef­i­cent’s Glow Horns from Jakks Pa­cific and Pop! vinyl fig­ures from Funko fash­ioned af­ter the two hero­ines. Fur­ther li­censees in­clude Stella McCart­ney Kids (ap­parel and shoes), Crow’s Nest (jew­elry), David Lerner (ap­parel), MAC (cos­met­ics), HSN (Naeem Khan ap­parel, Heidi Daus jew­elry) and Hot Topic (fash­ion).

The Mouse House also continues to rack up part­ners for its box-of­fice smash hit, Academy Award win­ning CG fea­ture Frozen. The film and its ac­claimed mu­sic have been lever­aged into a va­ri­ety of prod­uct lines from top li­censees like Mat­tel, Jakks Pa­cific, Franco, North­west and Just Play, maker of the ad­dic­tive and adorable Pull Apart Talk­ing Olaf plush. DCP plans to ex­pand lines this fall and is look­ing into additional cat­e­gories that will take ad­van­tage of the film’s iconic mu­sic. DCP will likely be au­di­tion­ing part­ners for its up­com­ing an­i­mated fea­tures Planes: Fire & Res­cue and Big Hero 6 as well as its Marvel and Star Wars prop­er­ties at this year’s event.

Look at this Talk­ing Pup­pyCat Plush in­spired by Natasha Al­le­gri’s awe­some webtoon Bee & Pup­pyCat. Just look at it and try not to fall in love, we dare you. Exclusive to the “by fans, for fans” e-tailer WeLoveFine, the 10” toy fea­tures a real metal jin­gle bell on the col­lar, and speaks and sings when you squeeze its ear. Pay­ing $23 for a plush toy may sound steep, but the In­ter­net dis­agrees — Talk­ing Pup­pyCat is of­ten sold out, so get yours ASAP!

And while you’re on WeLoveFine’s site, you may as well pre­order the talk­ing Cat­bug Vinyl Fig­ure, an­other exclusive that will ship in July. The 8½ -inch tall fig­ure is priced at about $40, and in ad­di­tion to be­ing adorable (only Pendle­ton Ward s Bravest War­riors style could make a crazy fe­line-in­sect chimera look cute), Cat­bug has a built-in mo­tion-sen­sor which trig­gers eight dif­fer­ent phrases.

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