You take one little break and look what happens… Walker Books have announced the formation of Walker Entertainment - grouping all media-related and media-inspired publishing (TV and film tie-ins as well as celebrity publishing) together.
Under the ever watchful eye of Helen McAleer - head of Walker Productions - Walker Entertainment will go one step further and act as licensee to third-party properties - with the first deal being nabbed for Aardman Animation’s Shaun the Sheep.
Expect more (MUCH more) as Hank Zipzer goes into live action production, Pig Sticks and Harold awaits greenlighting and more than a few other special treats coming (you’ve seen that backlist!)
When it comes to selling toys… TV is still ruling over feature films - at least that’s how it looks on the pre-holiday toy hit lists.
This years big hits for character toys include Disney’s Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins, Nick’s TMNT and Sesame Street’s Elmo (have you seen Big Hugs Elmo yet?!) After that you might see some Despicable Me love … and that’s about it. No mention of Turbo, Epic, Monsters University or Smurfs 2.
As ratings continue to climb for both Disney and Nick and animation feature releases become even busier - Deadline have a great line from Marty Brochstein of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association:
TV seems to be grabbing more of the attention and shelf space. In licensing it’s all about share of mind, and if you have several films vying with each other, it’s hard to focus.
The re-launch of iconic kids series Thunderbirds Are Go! is looking more and more promising - ITV Studios, Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshophave signed up Rosamund Pike to star alongside original cast member David Graham (reprising his role as chauffeur and International Rescue agent Parker), Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Rasmus Hardiker and David Menkin
The 26 half-hours won’t appear until 2015 - featuring a mix of CGI animation and live-action miniature sets.
All you need to know is that Rob Hoegee is writing and David Scott is helming.
The new trailer for Open Road’s The Nut Job - featuring Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, and Katherine Heigl - lands in January 2014.
Muppet making and falling in love with the kids books section of the NYT…