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Hot licenses home in on textiles suppliers

As owners of licensed properties strive to not only carve a niche at retail but establish a long-term presence, home textiles products are increasingly becoming the growth vehicle for these brands.

At the Licensing 2002 International Show, which is in town for three days next week at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, a number of licensors will be courting home textiles suppliers to produce everything from toddler bedding for Barney to all kinds of room decor items for teen fans of YM (Young Miss) magazine.

"This year marks our biggest push ever into the home textiles categories," Catherine Blazek, licensing executive for New York-based United Media, which owns Peanuts, Precious Moments and many other properties, told Home Textiles Today. "We have many properties that fit nicely for these categories, and it is these kinds of products that help us help our consumers express themselves and their lifestyles."

As its most recent film "Star Wars Episode II" plays in theaters through early summer, Lucasfilm Ltd. is already getting ready to create its product assortment for the third and final film of the trilogy, "Episode III," which releases in 2005. And home textiles will continue to be an important component of the merchandise mix.

"Home textiles are very important because we have a lot of fans who want to incorporate the movies into their homes and their rooms and their lifestyles," Kerry Phelan, director of domestic licensing and marketing, Lucasfilm LTD., told HTT.

For New York-based Nickelodeon, soft domestics goods "complete the child's experience with our TV programs," Hal Snik, senior director of consumer products, told HTT. "Kids love the shows, so they want to experience them, as well. They spend a lot of time in their bedrooms, so home textiles are another way for them to express themselves there and have their favorite characters with them all the time."

Here is a list of licensed properties in need of partners to produce home textile products.

  • Barbie: While this El Segundo, CA-based Mattel Girls/Entertainment property's home textiles program is complete, the company said it is always open to new and unexplored additions to its domestic goods roster.

  • Barney: Owned by Allen, TX-based HIT Entertainment PLC, the purple dinosaur children's property is in need of a toddler bedding supplier to add to its product line.

  • Care Bears: New York-based property owner Joester Loria Group says it's continually looking to expand the breadth of its children's Care Bears home textiles line to complement the existing bedding, beach towels and infant and toddler bedding programs. New categories the company is looking to enter include kitchen textiles and rugs.

  • Curious George: While this nostalgic children's character property owned by Universal City, CA-based Universal Studios already has bedding and cuddle pillows licensees, the search is on now for more partners to produce a comprehensive home textiles line for all categories in soft goods.

  • Dexter's Laboratory: This Warner Bros. property, one of the Burbank, CA-based company's newest, is based on the popular science-oriented series on the Cartoon Network for kids age 2 through 11, and now WB is seeking licensing partners in all product categories, including home textiles.

  • Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat: In preparation of the holiday 2003 release of this live-action movie, Universal Studios is looking to promote the property with an entire line of home textiles, including bedding for infants, toddlers and the juvenile market as well as throws, blankets, pillows, bath products, fabrics, rugs, and window treatments.

  • Fairly Odd Parents: This Nickelodeon property, based on the animated show for 6- to 11-year-old, is looking to develop a home textiles program with a new line of bedding, bath products, rugs, window treatments, blankets, throws, pillows and more.

  • Flower Fairies: New York-based United Media is open to adding all types of home textiles categories to help it develop this property, based on the children's book series.

  • Galidor: United Media needs to pair up with partners to produce collections of throws, rugs and bath products for this live-action children's TV program on the Fox Kids Network.

  • Hot Wheels and Matchbox: Mattel Boys/Entertainment is looking to continue growing its home textiles programs for these two complementary children's properties in the near future with fabrics, furniture and room decor items.

  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Culver City, CA-based Sony Pictures wants to add slumber bags to its home textiles program for this animated children's TV series.

  • Jeep: Joester Loria Group is looking to develop a new home textiles domestic program for this automotive lifestyle property, primarily for flannel blankets, throws and other related products.

  • Jumpstart: After having recently acquired this educational software brand as a licensed property, Universal Studios is now in search of licensees to produce a complete line of home textiles goods centered around the infant market.

  • Justice League: This new property owned by Warner Bros. is one of the company's newest and is based on the superhero series on the Cartoon Network. For Justice League, WB is looking for licensee partners in all categories, including home textiles.

  • Love Always, Magenta: Santa Monica, CA-based MGM, which owns this tween property, would like to support the initial product line of cosmetics with a complete home textiles program that includes juvenile bedding, rugs, window treatments, bath products, pillows and more.

  • Masters of the Universe: Mattel Boys/Entertainment wants to establish a new home textiles program in a broad range of categories for this animated children's program property.

  • Nascar: The licensing offices of Nascar, based in Charlotte, NC, are aggressively pursuing the expansion of the brand's home textiles programs. Nascar wants to add kitchen textiles, table linens, bath products and juvenile rugs, window treatments and furniture to its collection.

  • Oswald: This Nick Jr. property based on an animated TV program on Nickelodeon is looking to get into bedding, bath products, rugs, window treatments, blankets, throws, pillows and more home textiles categories.

  • Peanuts: United Media is still growing this well-established property, this time around seeking to add new throws, rugs and bath products to its line.

  • Pink Panther: For this upcoming film, for which no release date has been set yet, MGM is looking to create a complete domestics line that includes bedding, bed-in-a-bag, bath products, beach towels, fabrics and more.

  • Precious Moments: United Media wants to add bath products, for regular and seasonal lines and rugs for both the adult collector and juvenile markets.

  • Stargate Infinity: MGM, which owns this property based on the animated series set to air in September on the Fox Kids Network, is in search of partners to create juvenile boys bedding, bath products, rugs, window treatments, pillows and more domestics products.

  • Star Wars Episode III: For the 2005 release of the last part to the second Star Wars trilogy, property owner Lucasfilm LTD. might re-evaluate its home textiles program with new categories and partners.

  • Stuart Little 2: Sony Pictures is gearing up for the summer release of this sequel and wants to add bath products, beach towels, throws and rugs to its home textiles program.

  • TarePanda: United Media is open to launching all home textiles categories for new domestics programs for this Japanese-art brand for tweens and teens.

  • The Wiggles: This preschooler property, owned by HIT Entertainment PLC and based on an animated TV series on Disney, is looking at all home textiles categories for juvenile lines, including bedding, bathroom products, rugs, window treatments, pillows, blankets, throws and more.

  • YM (Young Miss magazine): Joester Loria Group would like to create a home textiles program for his teen-oriented lifestyle property, which the company describes as one of its fastest growing.

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