Inside Licensing News & Notes, Sept. 18, 2017

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Netflix Expanding Stranger Things Licensing Program

A year after first dipping into licensing with “Stranger Things”, market sources say that Netflix is expanding the program for the hit series with a range of licensing agreements, including a direct-to-retail program for Halloween costumes with Spirit Halloween. The series’second season is slated to drop on Oct. 27.

Spirit’s collection of 37 items ranging from Eleven ($49) and Sheriff Jim Hopper ($59) adult costumes to a Christmas light up necklace ($6.99) and waffle purse ($9.99). The licensing roster for “Stranger Things” also includes McFarlane Toys (nine-inch Eleven and Hopper action figures due in November), Hybrid Apparel (t-shirts), Funko (vinyl figures) and Trends International (posters). The popularity of the series caught Netflix by surprise a year ago and a licensing program was rushed to market as an exclusive at Hot Topic that included Hybrid Apparel and Funko (vinyl figures).

Contacts:

Funko, Mark Robben, Head of Marketing, 425-783-3616 x191, mark@funko.com
Hybrid Apparel, Derrick Baca, EVP Global Licensing, 714-947-8347, dbaca@hybridapparel.com
McFarlane Toys, Todd McFarlane, CEO, 480-491-7070
Netflix, Jess Richardson, Global Licensing Dir., 408-540-3700
Trends International, Paul Beck, Licensing Mgr., 317-388-4031, paul@trendsinternational.co

 

Agencies

Rocket Licensing is representing the “Outlander” TV series for licensing in the UK. Sony Pictures Television’s shift to an agency follows the series’ debut earlier this year on the More4 free-to-air channel in the UK that drew more than one million viewers. The first agreements are expected by year-end with product, including apparel and accessories, expected to arrive in fall 2018… Seltzer Licensing Group is representing Care Bears for food and beverage as American Greetings seeks to build out a category that already includes snacks, baked goods and frozen novelties.… IMG College Licensing is handling licensing for Mississippi State University, replacing Learfield Licensing…

Contacts:

American Greetings, Janice Ross, Head of Global Licensing, 310- 426-8608, jross@ag.com
IMG College Licensing, Joseph Hutchinson, SVP Licensing, 770-956-0520 joseph.hutchinson@img.com
Rocket Licensing, Charles Donaldson, Joint Managing Dir., +44 207 207 6241, charlie@rocketlicensing.com
Seltzer Licensing Group, Stuart Seltzer, Pres., 212-244-5548, stu@seltzerlicensing.com

 

Executives

Reginald Thornton, ex-Matterport, named Director of Brand Licensing at LMCA;  Hal Worsham retires as Managing Director of Brand Licensing…Jeff Gunshor, ex-Baltic Linen, named Director of Marketing at Creative Home Ideas… Gary Philbin, Dollar Tree Enterprise Pres., named CEO effective immediately, replacing Bob Sasser, who shifts the Executive Chairman.

 

Peanuts License with Cedar Fair Extended to 2025

DHX Media subsidiary Peanuts Worldwide extends its licensing pact with amusement park operator Cedar Fair Entertainment through 2025 with a five-year option. The previous contract was going to be up for renewal in 2019, says Peanuts’ Melissa Menta. The new pact calls for an “expanded presence” in the parks, says Menta. The Peanuts brand, whose presence in Cedar Fair parks started with Camp Snoopy at Knotts Berry Farm in 1983, can be used for live events, rides, food and beverage and lodging.

Meanwhile, Hybrid Apparel’s 20-30 piece Love Tribe/Peanuts junior’s athleisure collection launched earlier this month as an exclusive at 250 Macy’s stores. The line is built around Snoopy and Woodstock characters and features slogans such as “Be Stronger Than Your Excuses” and “Squad Leader” printed on the clothing.

Contact:

Peanuts Worldwide, Melissa Menta, SVP Marketing, 212-293-8500

 

Oxford Industries Buys Back Licensed Lilly Pulitzer Stores

Oxford Industries has purchased a dozen Lilly Pulitzer Signature stores back from licensees, but has no immediate plans to buy any others, Oxford executives told analysts. Oxford bought five stores from licensee The Pink Palm, which had had operated them since 2002 in Arlington, Alexandria, Charlottesville and McLean, VA and Bethesda, MD. Another seven were purchased from a separate operator including locations on Cape Cod and in Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Boston. Oxford had 40 Lilly Pulitzer stores as of July 29. “It wasn’t like we decided to go on a full-scale assault to buy as many Signature stores as we could as quickly as we could,” Oxford CEO Thomas Chubb said. “Our future plans will be on a case-by-case basis. There are a lot of markets that are best suited for partner (licensed) stores rather than a company-owned store.”

Contact:

Oxford Industries, Betts Copenhaven, Dir. Strategic Planning and Business Development, 404-659-2424

 

French Connection Licenses Creative Home Ideas for Bedding

Fashion brand French Connection licenses Creative Home Ideas for bedding and bath products as part of a broader move into the home. Creative Home will field a line of more than 500 SKUs in bedding, throws, bath towels and mats,  window treatments. sheets, accent rugs and decorative pillows starting in the spring. Creative and French Connection already share some retailers including Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, says Creative’s Yaron Shemesh. “It will be helpful that many customers will already have connection with the brand when they come into the store,” says Jonathan Shemesh. “It is an iconic brand in apparel that has aesthetics that work for us and it is known for quality without breaking the bank.”

French Connection, best known for its use of the “FCUK” logo, has been increasingly moving into the home goods category, having recently signed a deal with UK-based DFS for sofas, dining chairs and coffee tables. French Connection has struggled financially, having closing several stores in the UK as part of a larger effort to eventually cut the number of retail locations across the UK and Europe to 30 from 52. It has four stores remaining in North America, down from its peak of 23. Harris-Sachs served as a consultant on the deal.

Contacts:

Creative Home Ideas, Yaron Shemesh, EVP, yshemesh@ymfinc.com
French Connection, Andrea Fonseca, andreaf@frenchconnection-usa.com, 212-221-3157.
Harris-Sachs LLC Licensing, Kenneth Harris, Senior Account Executive, 732-297-6544, kenh@licenseadvisor.com

 

Thomas and Friends Home Décor Bows at Pottery Barn Kids Stores

Thomas the Tank Engine is returning to its roots in a 20-piece direct-to-retail home décor line at 87 Pottery Barn Kids stores in the U.S. (81) and Canada (6) starting Sept. 22. The Thomas and Friends From Pottery Barn Kids line, which includes products ranging from train whistles ($4) and sheet sets ($16.50) to a train-theme trundle bed ($1,999). It also is available in PB Kids stores in the Philippines, Australia, South Korea East and The Middle East, the latter having the largest store base with 12 locations across six countries.  While Mattel’s Thomas the Tank Engine has previously been in home décor, the new line is the first to borrow from the properties’ original illustrations produced in 1945. Previous Thomas home décor items carried more contemporary designs.

Contacts:

Mattel, Juliana Chugg, Chief Brand Officer, 310-252-2000. Juliana.chugg@mattel.com
Pottery Barn Kids, Jennifer Kellor, Pres., 415-421-7700, jkellor@wsgc.com