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News extra: More licensing news from this week

Including Disney+ lining up new original content to mark Star Wars Day on May 4.

Source rounds up more news from the licensing industry across the globe from the week.

Disney+ is set to honour the global Star Wars fan community on May 4 (otherwise known as Star Wars Day), with new original content joining the streaming service’s collection of Star Wars movies and shows. This will be led by the global premiere of new eight episode documentary series, Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian – which gives an insight into the making of the show – plus the eagerly anticipated conclusion of Star Wars: The Clone Wars which is coming to an end after seven seasons.

Spin Master is helping to fill the need for personal protection equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19, producing face shields from the family game, Hedbanz. Using existing headbands from the game, along with plastic inserts, the team created a prototype face shield. Partnering with suppliers in Mexico, Spin Master initially produced 5,000 units which arrived in five hospitals in Ontario, Canada last week. This week, additional shipments are heading to the US and Mexico including hospitals in New York. Next week will see face shields sent to California, the UK and France. The company is now producing more than 10,000 face shields a day which will be shipped to where they are most needed globally.

Studio 100 Media and Lidl have revealed that the Zihadielko Playgrounds featuring Maya the Bee are proving to be a big hit in Slovakia. The corporate social responsibility project was launched in 2016 by Lidl Slovakia as a reaction to the lack of safe playgrounds for children. Over 40 playgrounds – at a cost of approximately €3.5m – have been built since its launch, with another ten planned for 2021. The playgrounds are branded with Maya the Bee.

Genius Brands International has expanded its programme for preschool brand, Llama Llama. Three new licensees have come on board: Core Home (hydration and feeding products), Everyday Kids (children’s bedding and home décor) and Spirit (book with plush).

Mexican confectionery brand Las Sevillanas has developed a new programme featuring the six main emoji brand icons. The icons feature on the packaging of the yellow circle wafers. “We couldn’t think of a better partnership to continue building our brand in Mexico,” said Marco Hüsges, ceo and founder of the emoji company.

Gutsy Animations’ Moominvalley series has been sold to SF Studios across the Nordics, NRK in Norway and RUV in Iceland through deals negotiated by PGS Entertainment.

Sasha Junk has been appointed as president of children’s entertainment brand, Kidz Bop. The brand will celebrate its 20th birthday in 2021, with Sasha leading Kidz Bop into a year-long anniversary celebration which will include new album releases, video collaborations, brand partnerships and activations and the expansion of the music franchise into the rest of Europe and Latin America.

Kids and family entertainment specialist, Toon2Tango has confirmed that German free to air TV network, Super RTL, has commissioned Monster Loving Maniacs, which aims to offer a new take on the concept of monster hunters. The gender neutral adventure comedy is aimed at 6-9 year olds and follows three children who are being trained as monster hunters by their tough old grandfather, Arthur, who has many years in the business.

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