Tetris readies for 40th anniversary with merchandising agent network update

The Tetris Company has announced changes to its global network of merchandise licensing agents for the world-famous Tetris brand, including new agent signings and renewals. These changes come as the company heads towards the iconic video game brand’s 40th anniversary in 2024.

“We’re always looking to bring new partners on board who will help grow the Tetris brand with fresh products and experiences that are innovative, fun and meaningful for our global fan base,” says Megan Buettner, head of consumer products at Tetris. “With the 40th anniversary of Tetris on the horizon, we look forward to working with all our new and existing network of licensing agents to make it the most memorable celebration yet.”

Updates to the Tetris brand’s merchandise licensing agent network include:

  • The Tetris Company has extended its agency agreement with Lisle Licensing for UK, Ireland and Channel Islands, managed by Francesca Lisle.
  • Brand Fresh Management, led by Janice Ross, will continue to manage licensing agreements for the United States and Canada.
  • IMG will continue to manage APAC (Asia-Pacific region), under the guidance of Miki Yamamoto, in addition to Brazil with support from Glenn Migliaccio.
  • CPLG, led by John Taylor, will now represent the Tetris brand in France, Italy and India. In addition, CPLG’s representation will continue in Iberia, CEE (Central Eastern Europe), CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States, including Russia), Benelux, Greece, Turkey, MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and the Nordics (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway).
  • The Tetris Company has signed Studio 100 to the agency roster for Germany, Switzerland and Austria, under the guidance of Joachim Knödler.
  • KOPA Licensing, with the support of Carlos Carvajal, will expand coverage for the brand in Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

Current representation for the Tetris brand also includes WP Brands in New Zealand and Australia, managed by Lim Mi-Kyoung, and Born Licensing for global promotions and advertising under David Born.

Billions of Tetris games are played online every year, and over 590 million Tetris mobile games have been downloaded to date. The Tetris brand’s global licensee network includes major video game publishers, including Nintendo and Sega, as well as many partners in electronics, toys, apparel, lifestyle goods, entertainment and more. For the latest information about the Tetris brand and Tetris products, visit www.tetris.com.

Studio 100 Media partners with Brandloyalty on preschool animation Vegesaurs

While the CGI-animated preschool series Vegesaurs is still in production, Studio 100 Media has joined forces with BrandLoyalty, signing a five-year agreement for international loyalty campaigns.

Claudia Mennen, CEO of BrandLoyalty commented, “We are delighted to be able to partner with Studio 100 on the upcoming Vegesaurs series. A continuing focus for food retailers is to encourage children to choose healthier options, and therefore making vegetables fun through the Vegesaurs is a perfect way to connect with kids across the globe.”

All 20 episodes, each five minutes long, will be available in autumn 2022 for linear and non-linear distribution. Due to the nature of the content, Studio 100 Media also wants to pursue an extensive digital strategy to further increase awareness among children and parents through a viral buzz.

The Vegesaurs are vegetable- and fruit-shaped dinosaurs ready to address and teach relatable themes to upper preschoolers such as getting to sleep, sharing, friendship, nurturing mealtimes, and play. Starring lead character Ginger, a young Tricarrotops (carrot) with others including P(ea)-Rex, Cornasaurus (corn), Bananaraptor, Coconutdon, Broccolisaurus, Bokchoydactyl, Tomatodon, Appleflyrus and Potatodon, Vegesaurs aims to enrich and enhance children’s imagination.

Vegesaurs is produced by independent Australian producer Cheeky Little for the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) and France TV. Principal production funding is provided by Screen Australia, with Studio 100 as co-investor. Based on a concept created by Gary Eck and Nick O’Sullivan, the series is targeted at preschoolers. ABC will broadcast the series in Australia under the title Ginger & the Vegesaurs.

Studio 100 Media is responsible for the worldwide distribution of content, and licensing and merchandising rights beyond Australia and New Zealand, where Cheeky Little Commercial is handling all rights.

Planeta Junior launches Maya the Bee ice cream across Poland with Cools Group Studio

The European entertainment company, Planeta Junior, has signed a new licensing agreement with Cools Group Studio and Studio 100 to launch Maya the Bee bio ice cream dots across Poland. The deal marks the first time that the ice cream brand has partnered with a character IP.

Available from the end of April this year, the range will deliver a variety of flavours like bubble gum, cream, cotton candy, and vanilla, while being made of natural ingredients and free of colourants or preservatives.

“The adventures of Maya the Bee bring joy to successive generations. I myself perfectly remember the cartoons from my youth. We are very much looking forward to working with Studio 100 and Planeta Junior and I am convinced that together we will create an excellent product,” said Przemyslaw Rogowski, CEO of Cools Group. 

Joachim Knödler, head of licensing at Studio 100 Media, added: “We are thankful for the trust Cools Group places in us and in Maya to be the first ever license signed for their delicious Bio ice cream. We cannot wait for the first warm days and summer to be here, to bring this amazing product to kids and their families.” 

Planeta Junior holds the licensing and broadcasting rights to the Maya the Bee brand in Iberia, Italy, Greece and licensing rights in the CEE as Studio 100 agents. 

With strong values of respect for the environment, care of nature, biodiversity, freedom and friendship, Maya has become the face of a number of bio and natural products as well as social responsibility actions such as the recent Greenpeace campaign #SOSABEJAS, aimed at raising awareness and sensitizing children to the need to save bees. 

Studio 100 names Joachim Knödler its new head of licensing as company veteran Gerd Russwurm announces retirement

Studio 100 has named the former WildBrain CPLG Central Europe managing director, Joachim Knödler its new head of licensing, taking over the role from Gerd Russwurm who is retiring at the end of the year after more than 24 years with the company.

In his new role, Knödler will be responsible for the international licensing of the Studio 100 Group and will report to Martin Krieger, CEO of Studio 100 Media. He was most recently the managing director at Wildbrain CPLG Central Europe. Under his leadership, the business in Central Europe was restructured and during his 17 years there, he gained extensive experience in brand licensing, entertainment and the launch of private label brands including the implementation of DTR licensing.

Knödler developed fundamental licensing strategies with all major Hollywood Studios for a successful introduction of the company’s portfolio in GSA and Europe. Another focus of Knödler’s work is the development of Master Toy lines.

Previous positions at Hasbro and Simon Marketing / The Marketing Store have given him extensive experience in the toy sector. In various roles, he was responsible for the relaunch of the Star Wars Toy Line together with the launch of E1 and the roll-out of the Pokémon Master Toy Line and the Nerf Toy Line in the German-speaking territories.

He also supervised the development of the Happy Meal Toys for McDonald’s Germany and was accountable for the first McDonald’s Monopoly, which was rewarded with significant sales growth. In addition, Knödler was responsible for initiating the success of Sesame Street and Minions in the German-speaking world.

Joachim Knödler said: “I very much look forward to bringing my experience and expertise to such a fantastic licensor as the Studio 100 Group. In my new role, it is important for me to drive a coherent licensing strategy that fits the target group and that includes the right choice of licensing partners.

“My goal is to have a wide range of consumer products on the market. I know that I’m following and stepping into really big footsteps when I take over from Gerd – and that’s precisely why I’m extremely grateful for the trust that is placed in me and look forward to this new challenge.”

Martin Krieger, CEO at Studio 100 Media, added: “Joachim’s reputation and achievements speak for themselves. I am confident that as head of our licensing team together with the entire Studio 100 Group, he will help us grow and continue to meet and exceed the needs of our partners worldwide.

“Moreover, I look forward to working with him, and to the many new products and collaborations, it will bring under his management. At this point I would like to take the opportunity to express my sincere thanks to Gerd: It was not easy to find a successor. Gerd’s dedication and commitment, his experience in the industry and his personality have shaped our company and the brands: In December, an era will come to an end.”

Gerd Russwurm will remain at Knödler’s side over the next few months and will pass the baton on at the end of the year.  After more than 24 years with the company and countless successes in the industry, including thousands of licensed products for Maya the Bee, Vik the Viking, Mia and me, the World Cup and Mickey Mouse with nine working for Disney Russwurm will then retire.

Studio 100 to handle licensing, merchandising, and global distribution for new CGI comedy FriendZSpace

Studio 100 Group is the handle the licensing and merchandising programme, as well as the worldwide distribution of a new CGI animated series called FriendZSpace, a comedy adventure series about three human children who are dedicated to making friends with young aliens from across the universe.

The project is the work of a collaboration between Studio 100 and T&B Media Global in partnership with Flying Bark Productions. The trio will be presenting the series at this year’s MIPCOM Rendezvous Cannes.

Created by Dan Clark (“Team Smithereen”, Disney and “Yo Gabba Gabba”, Nick Jr.) and Oscar Covar (“Team Smithereen”, Disney and “Tasty Tales of The Food Truckers”, T&B) – the first season is set for delivery in 2021.

Jwanwat “Dr. Tan” Ahriyavraromp, founder and CEO at T&B Media Global, said: “Every new friend is a new window into a world totally unknown to us. It is my hope that FriendZSpace will show our young viewers how to connect with the wonderful tapestry of humanity that we share this planet with.”

Dan Clark, executive producer and co-creator of FriendZSpace, added: “FriendZSpace is about three human kids traveling from planet to planet for the sole purpose of befriending dozens of funny and cool alien kids. The production itself is based across Thailand, Australia, Germany, Mexico, and the US, mirroring the series itself. Many cultures, much creativity, all working remotely (Covid-style), sharing a positive vision and, most importantly, making new friends.”

Martin Krieger, CEO at Studio 100 Media, concluded: “Many shows circle around ‘having’ friends. With FriendZSpace the core of the show is how to find friends. It’s very easy to make friends with others who are just like you, but it’s so rewarding to make friends with completely unique people – even if they are aliens in all shapes and sizes.

“Making friends as the essence of the show means being open, showing kids that they should have fun exploring diverse perspectives on life, cultures, ideas and people. This is what enthused us about FriendZSpace, right from the very beginning. With such ingenious creators like Dan Clark and Oscar Covar, together with T&B Media Global and Flying Bark Productions, we are excited about FriendZSpace – a brand-new show that is literally reaching for the stars.”

Playmobil and Studio 100 bring Heidi toy partnership to the screen with CGI specials

Studio 100 Media and the European toymaker, Playmobil, have joined forces to bring the Heidi Special: Spring is here to TV channels across Europe this spring.

Under the partnership, Heidi has been rendered to life with a CGI animated Playmobil styling, riffing off the already existing Heidi-licensed toy line from the toymaker, and dropped into the idyllic Alpine setting she is known for.

Among the channels to premiere the Heidi Special: Spring is here are Canal Panda in Portugal, Kidzone in the Baltics, Studio 100 TV in Belgium, Toggolino on Super RTL for the German-speaking territories, TVPabc in Poland, and the Rai Yoyo App in Italy.

A second Heidi Playmobil special, Heidi Special: Winter in Dörfli will follow in autumn this year, and will take audiences to a winter landscape to follow Heidi’s snowy adventures. Both specials are produced by Studio 100 Animation and distributed by Studio 100 Media.

Martin Krieger, CEO of Studio 100 Media, said: “Watching Heidi and her world come to life in Playmobil’s wonderful play-sets as well as in the new CGI animations has been a great pleasure over the last months.

“This exciting cooperation with Playmobil as a strong strategic partner both in the toys sector and on the content production side allows us to bring the Heidi brand experience to a new level.”

Studio 100 Media and Brandstätter Group have signed an extensive license deal for Heidi, covering the worldwide rights with the exception of some territories in Asia. As part of the agreement, six detailed Playmobil play-sets bring Heidi’s Swiss Alps home to any playroom including characters, locations and stories from the series.

Original details and sophisticated features allow fans of Heidi to immerse themselves fully in Swiss mountain life, as well as experience Heidi’s adventures in friendship and family.

Studio 100 appoints Vanessa Windhager as sales executive global distribution

Studio 100 has appointed Vanessa Windhager as its sales executive global distribution where she will be responsible for all global distribution activities for the company in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Joining the international sales department with immediate effect, Windhager will report in to Dorian Bühr, head of global distribution.

With extensive experience in the TV industry and content sales Windhager has over the past seven years worked for NBC Universal International Television Distribution, most recently as sales manager liaison, where she was in charge of distribution in Switzerland, as well as managing various product categories in Germany and Austria.

Prior to this, she helped open and establish CBS Studios International’s first office in Germany.

Bühr, head of global distribution at Studio 100 Media, said: “We are delighted to have Vanessa on board. With her long-term experience in the industry, she is a great addition to our team for the important markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.”

Studio 100 welcomes Aleksandra Gebauer international licensing sales manager role

Studio 100 has welcomed Aleksandra Gebauer to the role of sales manager international licensing, becoming the point of contact for the company’s expanding international licensing business.

Gebauer will report into Gerd Russwurm, head of licensing at Studio 100.

With extensive experience in the licensing industry, Gebauer was most recently responsible for the planning and development of licensed products within toys, publishing, stationery and home entertainment, as well as project management and the acquisition of new license partners at CPLG.

Russwurm, head of licensing at Studio 100 Media GmbH, said: “We are delighted to welcome Aleksandra Gebauer to our team. Her vast experience with a broad licensing portfolio that includes feature films, TV series, fashion brands and design brands for children and adults, Aleksandra is an ideal addition to our international sales team.”