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News snapshot: what you might have missed

Including the launch of a new Thomas & Friends brand campaign starring Frankie Bridge.

A new brand campaign has been unveiled for Thomas & Friends, called #TeamThomas. The initiative was launched by celebrity mum Frankie Bridge – of The Saturdays fame – and her son Parker, and is aiming to communicate Thomas’ core values of friendship, determination and teamwork, as well as build towards the launch of The Great Race in May.

Disney Store is hosting a series of in-store activities to celebrate the launch of Captain America: Civil War. The Marvel Team Challenge will encourage fans to support either Captain America or Iron Man, with them being taken on a quest to complete four team building tasks in order to win puzzle pieces. There will also be a quiz to test Avenger knowledge, an Avenger training session and a communication task to pass on a top secret code. The challenge runs in selected stores until Saturday June 4.

FremantleMedia Kids & Family has made a brace of new appointments to its London team. Kirstie Brockett has joined in the role of brand manager, and will be working across the company’s preschool shows Kate & Mim-Mim and Ella the Elephant, as well as the classic archive. Meanwhile, Chapman Maddox has been promoted to vp development and production, and will relocate to London from LA.

Following its success within the cakes and confectionery sectors, Carte Blanche is adding biscuits to its list, signing Lightbody Ventures to work with the Me to You brand. The first product range will hit retail in the autumn.

A host of new names have signed up for the Licensing & Merchandising Showcase next month. Debenhams, Brecrest, Vivid, Centum Books, Creativity International and IC Innovation are all now on board. Meanwhile, the latest brand owners to sign up include Jargon from Australia – with its Glitter Friends property – and character-based lifestyle brand Lil’ Ledy from Croatia. The event takes place on May 5 at Chelsea FC.

Beanstalk is expanding its European footprint through a new partnership with Munich-based agency The two companies will work together on exploring local opportunities, while further expanding the reach of Beanstalk’s existing clients across a range of sectors such as digital entertainment, hard goods and food and beverages.

Acamar Films and its home entertainment partner StudioCanal are celebrating Bing DVD sales of 250,000 units in just over a year since launch. Over the last 12 months, five different Bing DVD box sets have been sold to audiences in the UK.

Knockout Licensing has been appointed to represent Scandinavian design and fabric brand Finlayson across the US and Canada. Working with global licensing agent 5th Wave Brands, Knockout Licensing will be looking at sectors including home furnishings, home décor, housewares, fashion accessories, gifts, paper products and fabrics.

Albert René Editions is teaming with Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe for its Asterix and Friends game. The title is already a hit on Facebook and is available in four languages: French, English, German and Spanish.

Kids’ entertainment channel Boomerang is to launch in Turkey on April 23. This means the Turner station will now be available in 60 countries and over 55 million homes across EMEA.

Super RTL is taking on the licensing for TeamTO’s Angelo Rules for German speaking territories, signalling a high profile move into consumer products for the property.

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