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News extra: More licensing news from this week

Including the launch of a new app for preschoolers featuring the classic Miffy character.

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

A new app has launched for preschoolers featuring the classic Miffy character. Created by StoryToys, Miffy’s World is based on the TV series Miffy’s Adventures: Big and Small. Designed to build early cognitive development, the app also aims to encourage creativity and to cultivate an interest in nature and outdoor activities.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products has named John Louie as svp, international. Reporting to Pam Lifford, president of WBCP, John joins from Mattel where he held positions both domestically and internationally. At WBCP, John will be responsible for the strategic development and overall management of Asia Pacific, Latin America and Canada across all categories of business, including top line revenue and P&L.

Cartoon Network has confirmed a number of new UK apparel and accessories partners for The Powerpuff Girls. Bioworld Europe, H&A, Trademark and Imagin8 are all now on board. The news follows the unveiling of fashion label Fyodor Golan‘s autumn/winter 2017 collaboration inspired by the trio.

Character World has launched a new LEGO Batman range to coincide with the hit movie. The collection includes a duvet cover with matching pillow case, cushion, poncho and fleece blanket.

Last month’s US Toy Fair attracted 31,133 ‘global play lovers’ to New York, according to the Toy Industry Association. 14,176 retailers, wholesalers, entertainment executives, importers, buying groups and trade guests from 96 countries were in attendance. The show drew notable increases in attendees from outside the US including international buyers (+10.9% year over year) and trade guests (+33.1%) and foreign press (+17.2%). The top five countries represented at the show (outside the US and Canada) were China, the UK, Hong Kong, Mexico and Japan. The show had 1,131 exhibitors, with 10,276 mass and specialty buyers (+2.4%) arriving to check out the product. Buyer attendance from bricks and mortar outlets grew 9.2%.

National Geographic Partners has appointed a brace of new executives to its consumer products and experiences division. Juan Gutierrez becomes svp of consumer products and live events – overseeing global licensing and location-based entertainment. Meanwhile, Cynthia Rapp has been named svp of creative, leading the development of the division’s creative strategy and execution.

The Smiley Company has teamed with leading European supermarket and hypermarket chain Auchan for a new cross category promotion. Auchan has created a special catalogue of Smiley products that will pay homage to the brand’s 20th anniversary. It will cover categories including apparel, food, home décor, kitchenware and publishing from a number of licensees.

Meanwhile, staying with Smiley, and German retail chain Rewe has signed up for an exclusive line of kitchenware and a catalogue promotion, which launched last week.

MD Licensing has secured a new licensing deal on behalf of Rovio for the Angry Birds brand. Milk-based product company Granarolo will product a number of Angry Birds special editions of its natural Domino yoghurt lines to retail in Italy.

Masha and the Bear continues to pull in viewers around the world, through both cinemas and TV broadcast. Several cinematic distribution companies have snapped up season three of the show prior to TV broadcast release. Pathé Live Kids has enjoyed success in France and Sweden; Mountain Road in the Netherlands and Belgium; and Warner Bros. Entertainment in Italy. Meanwhile, on TV, spin-off show Masha’s Spooky Stories is proving a hit with broadcasters. Boomerang (Latin America) and Cartoonito (UK) both screened the series last year, while Netflix made it available across a host of worldwide territories.

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