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Inside Licensing News and Notes April 28, 2017 image

Inside Licensing News and Notes April 28, 2017

Hot Topic and Build-A-Bear Collaborate on Apparel

Hot Topic and Build-A-Bear plan to launch in July co-designed apparel — in girls’ sizes in Hot Topic, and bear-sized in Build-a-Bear. The “Furry and Fierce” collection will include dresses, leather jackets and accessories, sources familiar with the plans said. With Hot Topic and Build-A-Bear being found in many of the same malls, the chains are developing digital content and will work to drive customer traffic to their respective stores. Hot Topic and Build-A-Bear spokeswomen confirmed plans for the collection and said more details will be disclosed in June.


Hot Topic, Cindy Levitt, VP and General Merchandise Mgr., 626-839-4681 x2216,

Build-A-Bear, Felicia Taylor, Senior Licensing Mgr., 314-423-8000 x5329,


Agency Appointments

Spotlight Licensing and Brand Management is representing the Imperial War Museum as the museum moves into licensing in North America for the first time. The museum’s collection has more than 12 million items spanning modern warfare, starting with World War I, including sound recordings, posters, photographs and other items. The museum has a licensing program in the UK that it manages internally… Striker Entertainment is representing Netflix’s “Ultimate Beastmaster” for licensing. The 10-episode series, which launched Feb. 24, features 108 competitors from six countries who tackle “The Beast” obstacle course with nine eventually advancing to battle to become the “Ultimate Beastmaster.” Striker also is handling licensing for “The Tick,” which starts its first full season on Amazon on Aug. 25. The Tick, based on the cult comic book by Ben Edlund, features an inept super hero.


Imperial War Museum, David Fenten, Head of Retail and Admissions, +44 1223 835000

Spotlight Licensing and Brand Management, Carol Postal, 212-947-5958,

Striker Entertainment, Russell Binder, Partner, 818-225-9355,


J&J Snack Foods Expands Churros Via Licenses

J&J Snack Foods is moving production of its licensed Oreo and Pillsbury churros pastries to its Pennsauken, NJ plant from another facility in Bellmawr, NJ as it seeks to widen retail and food service distribution for the products, Chief Financial Officer David Moore tells us. J&J launched sales of Pillsbury mini-pies last year, and introduced Pillsbury churros mini-bites at Walmart this month. J&J markets the Oreos churros under a licensing agreement with Mondelez International. The majority of J&J’s churros sales are generated by its own brands, but licensing Pillsbury and Oreos gives the company another avenue for gaining distribution with mass retailers, says Moore. Overall, J&J, which also sells frozen juice bars under the Minutemaid license, posted a 3% increase in net income to $15.9 million on a 7.3% gain in sales to $246.5 million.


J&J Snack Foods, Dennis Moore, Chief Financial Officer, 856-532-6603,


Six Flags Plans International Expansion of Its Brand

Six Flags Entertainment’s international licensing business will post “significant growth” this year building on a 7% gain in revenue in Q1 ended March 31, CEO John Duffey told analysts.

Six Flags didn’t disclose the amount of licensing fees it posted in Q1, but the increase was about $400,000, Duffey said.

The amusement park company, which licenses the Six Flags Entertainment and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (water parks) names, has signed five agreements, including two with Riverside Investment Group Co. for opening theme parks in Haiyan and Bishan, China in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

The company also is close to signing a deal for a theme park in Saudi Arabia. Another project in Vietnam with Navi Entertainment has been on hold since Navi defaulted on a payment last year amid a delay in gaining title to property needed for the park, Duffey said. In light of the delay, Six Flags has started negotiations with other companies, Duffey said.

Meanwhile, the company’s Q1 net loss widened to $57.5 million from $46.5 million as revenue fell 20% to $99.5 million. Six Flags is continuing to expand deployment of its “Justice League: Battle of Metropolis” dark ride with 3D graphics rollercoaster, with three more installations set for this year, bringing the total number of parks containing the ride to seven. Six Flags also is adding a “Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth” ride at its San Francisco, CA park.


Six Flags Entertainment, Stephen Purell, Investor Relations Mgr., 972-595-5180,


Kathy Ireland Licensee To Launch Wall Art

Kathy Ireland Worldwide’s new agreement for its first wall décor with The Buffalo Works and picture frame supplier Larson Juhl will launch with eight SKUs for shipments starting in June, says Buffalo Works’ Joanne Olds.

The line of paintings, which will partly draw from Buffalo Works’ roster of artists, will increase to 48-96 SKUs by 2018, consisting of gallery wrap canvas and framed canvas works, says Olds. Juhl, which also has a Kathy Ireland license, will handle distribution of the artwork, which will be sold through its existing base of retailers, says Olds. The initial collection will be unveiled at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting on May 6.  Berkshire owns Larson Juhl, and Ireland is a frequent guest at the annual meeting.


Kathy Ireland Worldwide, Steven Roseberry, Chief Marketing Officer, 310-557-2700

The Buffalo Works, Joanne Olds, Pres., 952-475-3013,


Jakks Pacific Lands Grumpy Cat Pet Toys at PetSmart

Jakks Pacific is the licensee behind a new Grumpy Cat products being sold exclusively through PetSmart and its ecommerce business. The 16-item line ranges from a cat pillow ($19.99) to plush door hanger ($9.99) and cigar-shaped catnip toy ($3.99). Jakks, which has been expanding its pet products business, also has a license for Boo: The World’s Cutest Dog that was signed late last year.


Jakks Pacific, Tony Lawlor, SVP Marketing,

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