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News snapshot: what you might have missed

Including Fireman Sam and Child Safety Week, plus Thomas & Friends baby lines.

Fireman Sam has launched a nationwide campaign to highlight the importance of keeping safe this summer, in partnership with Child Safety Week. Launching alongside the initiative (June 6-12), the campaign will use Fireman Sam’s Top Ten Summer Safety Tips. These will include how to have fun and stay safe to reduce the risk of accidents. The character and his friends will also feature in animated videos to help support the Child Safety Week messages.

The Thomas & Friends brand has rolled out across key baby categories for the first time. The baby and infant collection will include babywear, baby products – including developmental and activity toys – and bedding.

Baby Cow Animation has launched 26 new episodes of Wussywat the Clumsy Cat on CBeebies. The company has also teamed with interactive games developer Playerthree to produce a series of integrated play and learn apps. The news comes as a boost to the licensing programme in the UK, which is being handled by Metrostar.

Golden Goose has partnered with HL Licensing to strengthen the international reach of the agency. A particular focus will be given to building the Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Runner’s World programmes.

Character World has extended its exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bedding and accessories range in line with the new movie release. New designs have joined the collection including duvet covers and pillow cases, fleece blankets, curtains and a poncho.

BabyTV has launched its brand licensing programme in collaboration with TSBA Group. The baby and toddler ad-free TV channel from Fox has a number of characters which could lend themselves to licensing opportunities. Categories including toys, publishing, apparel and babywares are natural fits, and TSBA is looking for licensing proposals on an international basis.

Hasbro has become the first partner to reveal its plans for Kidtropolis later this year. The company has confirmed that its My Little Pony Friendship Bus will be at the event, while visitors will also be able to get hands on the Transformers toy range and the Nerf Vault.

The preschool animation from Sixteen South, Lily’s Driftwood Bay, has picked up a prestigious Prix Jeunesse International 2016 award. The show triumphed in the Up to 6 Fiction category.

Hachette UK has joined forces with game developers New Star Games and Insight Studios – plus children’s authors The2Steves – to release a new app called New Star Soccer G-Story. The app is based on the New Star Soccer PC and mobile game, with the format mixing traditional written story narrative with real gameplay challenges. The initiative is part of Hachette’s drive to encourage children to read and enjoy books more.

SmileyWorld has launched a new collaboration with Orchestra, the childrenswear, maternity and childcare specialist. A new line of apparel and accessories will be backed with a 360-degree marketing campaign, including in-store activations, online competitions, social media and a gift with purchase mechanism with Smiley’s new digital sticker pack.

INK is to represent Beyblade, with the latest incarnation – Beyblade Burst – offering a fresh take on the original show.

Australia is celebrating the 80th anniversary of King Features’ comic strip The Phantom with a raft of special product from a number of licensees. Partners including Bradford Exchange, Frew Publications, Funko, Ikon Collectibles and Perth Bullion will launch anniversary product, while Australia Post will collaborate on a first day cover stamp and coin presentation.

Piloti – the makers of technologically advanced driving shoes – have secured a multi-year partnership with 24 Hours of Le Mans. Beginning in 2017, the driving shoes will be available at boutiques in Le Mans and Paris, as well as specialty motorsports boutiques worldwide.

MarVista Entertainment has appointed Latin American licensing and merchandising agency Tycoon Enterprises to represent Yo-Kai Watch across the region.

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