Lion Brand Yarn Company launches official Schitt’s Creek line to help fans recreate the show’s iconic looks

The hit Canadian sitcom series, Schitt’s Creek is embarking on a new licensing venture, enabling fans of the ‘must-watch TV series of the pandemic’ to recreate some of the most iconic looks from the pop culture phenomenon.

In partnership with ITV Studios – the global distributor of the award-winning Schitt’s Creek series – Lion Brand Yarn Company is helping the series’ biggest fans create those chic sweaters, tops, and outfits, thanks to its upcoming line of official products.

“We are excited and proud to be partnering with ITV Studios and launching a product line inspired by ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ a show that has captured the hearts of TV viewers in multiple countries,” said Chris Mills, president and CEO of Lion Brand Yarn Company.

“In addition to releasing exclusive yarns and patterns that will allow fans and crafters to recreate their favorite garments, we’re honored to be associated with a show that promotes positivity, warmth, and inclusivity – messages that are integral to Lion Brand’s mission as a company.”

Lion Brand’s line of Schitt’s Creek products will include varying styles and colors of yarn – including white, heather grey, blush, and jet black – all of which will bear an exclusive “Schitt’s Creek” label. It will also include a wide variety of patterns for both adults and children, with detailed instructions on how to create the clothing inspired by the “Schitt’s Creek” characters: David Rose’s unforgettable collection of sweaters; Alexis Rose’s spirited, bohemian cardigans; and more.

Matching merchandise such as pillows and throw blankets will also accompany the line.

“We were thrilled with the opportunity to work with Lion Brand on this first-of-its-kind Schitt’s Creek product line,” said Kim Dingler, CCO global entertainment, ITV Studios.

“Thanks to Lion Brand, a company that shares the Schitt’s Creek ethos of community, consumers and crafters will have a one-stop shop and be able to make their own ‘Schitt’s Creek’ outfits.”

Created by father-and-son duo Eugene and Dan Levy, who also star in the show opposite Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy, the Canadian comedy series Schitt’s Creek first debuted in 2015, before a migration to Netflix set it on course to become a worldwide phenomenon.

Over five years and six seasons, the story of a wealthy family displaced and brought down to earth in a modest small town exploded in popularity, and for its final season, it won nine awards at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series, as well as two Golden Globes.

Throughout its run, Schitt’s Creek became as beloved for its bold fashions as it did for its characters and storylines. The unique knits and patterns worn by David Rose (Dan Levy), Moira Rose (O’Hara) and Alexis Rose (Murphy), specifically, inspired countless Halloween costumes as well as major clothing retailers and fashion designers.

“For Lion Brand, the combination of the show’s striking knitwear and its warmhearted themes were a perfect match,” said Mills. “With everything we do, we strive to create a more colorful, connected, comforting, and caring world, and that’s exactly what the world of Schitt’s Creek is. We can’t wait for our customers to make, wear, and enjoy the stunning styles of that world.”

British animated kids’ property Moley appoints Bulldog Licensing as its global licensing agency

The British made children’s property, Moley, has appointed Bulldog Licensing as its global licensing agency, marking the latest step for the new animated kids’ IP following the adventures of a fun-loving mole who lives in bustling city of MoleTown.

The character, voiced by Warwick Davis, finds himself on a series of escapades as he explores the world around him with accompanying magic, comedy and adventure.

Bulldog will be launching the brand to the licensing world at a star-studded event, including talent from the Series, at Chelsea’s Physic Garden this July. As one of the first opportunities for the industry to get together since March 2020, the event, set in a four-acre site on the bank of the River Thames, promises to be a spectacular debut for the property and an opportunity to introduce the cast of the 52-episode animation.

Alongside Warwick Davis (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Maleficent), the voice cast includes Julie Walters (Harry Potter, Paddington, Billy Elliot), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, The Crown), Gemma Arterton (Tamara Drewe, Saint Trinians), Richard E Grant (Withnail and I, Logan) and Togo Igawa (Mama Mia, Star Wars).

Rob Corney, MD, Bulldog Licensing, said: “We are delighted to add Moley to Bulldog Licensing’s carefully selected portfolio of brands. It’s a truly unique property that has the potential to be a global powerhouse in licensing.

“Moley has an endearing appeal which really connects with children and their families. We can’t wait to start working with partners in building a range of products that will capture the essence of this brilliant property and ensure its success everywhere.”

Creator of Moley, James Reatchlous, added: “The journey of Moley has been incredible – he has gone from a father’s bedtime stories to the star of an incredible animated show. I can’t wait for the Physic Garden event at which we will premiere a number of episodes to show the industry how Moley will reach new audiences around the world.

“With Bulldog now building the global licensing programme for Moley, I’m so excited for the next chapter of the brand.”

To find out more and catch up on all Moley news, please go to 

The LEGO Group unveils F.R.I.E.N.D.S Apartment Set complete with Janice minifigure

Ready? Altogether now: Oh. My. God.

It’s official. The LEGO Group has just detailed the launch of the new LEGO F.R.I.E.N.D.S Apartments Set, a 2,048 brick set that allows fans to recreate their favourite scenes from the now iconic Warner Bros. sitcom.

Setting the scene of some of TV comedy’s most memorable moments, the build features both Monica and Rachel’s, and Chandler and Joey’s New York apartments, as well as – quite possibly – TV’s most famous adjoining hallway.

The new release from The LEGO Group follows the success of the LEGO Ideas Central Perk set released in 2019 and arrives complete with features and props – including the moment Monica put the Thanksgiving turkey on her head, and the one where Joey and Chandler had only a canoe as furniture, as well as the episode in which Phoebe’s dollhouse went up in flames.

Other accessories from the show include the Poking Device; Gladys, Phoebe’s creepy art piece; the cheesecake that falls on the floor; Pat the Dog; the chick and duck, and more.  The set also gives fans the real sense of the original filming studio with set lights and allows them to display both apartments either separately or linked together with the hallway.

The set also arrives with new minifigures of the gang in some of their most memorable outfits; Rachel’s iconic plaid skirt; Ross’ too tight leather pants; Monica in an apron; Phoebe in a classic floral look; Chandler in a suit and loud designer tie; and Joey wearing all of Chandler’s clothes.

And for the first time ever, Janice will also feature as a minifigure in a classic over-the-top gaudy outfit.

Anderson Ward Grubb, LEGO Set Designer said: “Following the success of the LEGO Ideas Central Perk set, we wanted to develop another tribute to this iconic TV show with a focus on the famous apartments. We worked directly from production photos of the set as well as watching and re-watching a lot of episodes so we could capture as many iconic moments as possible.

“One fun challenge was figuring out how to represent some aspects that change over the course of the show that appear in some episodes and not in others. I am looking forward to seeing if the eagle-eyed fans will spot them.”

LEGO The Friends Apartments set is available exclusively for LEGO VIP members from May 19th and from LEGO Stores and from June 1st, 2021.

Toei Animation celebrates Goku Day with new Dragon Ball Super movie announcement

Fans worldwide received a special surprise this Goku Day –  the annual Dragon Ball celebration – when Toei Animation revealed that a new Dragon Ball Super film will be released in 2022, marking the second film based on the Dragon Ball Super manga title and anime series launched in 2015.

The Dragon Ball phenomena began in 1984 when Japan’s well-known manga from Akira Toriyama premiered in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump, becoming a top ranked title throughout its 10 and a half years of publication. Since then, the manga’s popularity has continued to grow with a record of 260 million copies sold worldwide and counting.

Dragon Ball’s ever-increasing popularity has seen it has expand beyond manga to include TV animation, movies, games and merchandising. Now, 37 years after the launch of the original manga, Dragon Ball continues to evolve.

The 2022 film follows the success of its first movie release in 2018, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, which achieved over $120 million at the worldwide box office.

Planning for the new film project was kicked-off in 2018, before the release of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, with the goal of telling a large-scale story that would build on the enthusiastic response for the previous theatrical series and the current global fervor for Broly.

Akira Toriyama himself has picked up his pen to deliver a story ‘for the fans.’ From the story composition to character design to the lines of the script, Toriyama has ‘worked with the greatest attention to detail and highest quality standards’ to create what Toei has billed as a ‘Dragon Ball movie unlike any other in its history and one that will surely be a blockbuster with fans.’

Akira Toriyama, creator of the original story, screenplay, and character design, wrote a special message to Dragon Ball fans. A signed copy of this message is available here.

Merchantwise Licensing heads up Australian and New Zealand licensing programme for Schitt’s Creek

ITV Studios has tapped Merchantwise Licensing to represent the hit comedy series, Schitt’s Creek for licensing opportunities across Australia and New Zealand. Work has already got underway on a licensing programme, with local partner Caprice Australia engaged for apparel, footwear, headwear, bags and more.

Also on board is Merch Mother who will develop products across the homewares, gifts and apparel categories.

Licensing opportunities will also be sought by Merchantwise Licensing across other categories including consumer electronics, food and beverage, gardening and outdoor, room décor, personal care, puzzles and games as well as consumer promotions and stationery and paper goods.

“We are pleased to commence this licensing partnership with ITV Studios – Schitt’s Creek enjoys great broadcast success in Australia and New Zealand across Netflix, ABC Comedy and Foxtel. With its historic nine Emmy awards last year, two Golden Globes wins and two Critics’ Awards in 2021 Schitt’s Creek combines great comedic storytelling with fabulous characters and an impressive cast line-up which will ensure its Australian and New Zealand retail licensing success,” said Merchantwise Licensing’s general manager, Kerryn McCormack.

When filthy-rich video store magnate Johnny Rose, his soap star wife Moira, and their two kids – uber-hipster son David and socialite daughter Alexis – suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to live in a small, depressing town they once bought as a joke. With their pampered lives now abandoned, they must confront their newfound poverty and discover what it means to be a family, all within the rural city limits of Schitt’s Creek, their new home.

Viewed in English speaking countries on Netflix, Schitt’s Creek also enjoys broadcast across multiple platforms around the world including Now in Germany, TV4 in the Nordics and Canal+ in France. Internationally, the brand has many partners signed across a number of retail categories including collectibles, apparel, gifts, toiletries, puzzles and games and mobile games.

Games Workshop builds out entertainment business with former Hasbro exec Finn Arnesen

Games Workshop Group is delving deeper into the entertainment business with the appointment of the former Turner Broadcasting and Hasbro Studios executive, Finn Arnesen as its first head of entertainment development.

In his new role, Arnesen will get to work mining the Warhammer library of novels and short stories in order to develop live-action and animated content for broadcast channels and platforms worldwide. Arenesen will be reporting into Games Workshop’s EVP of global licensing, Jon Gillard.

Moving over from Hasbro Studios where he was most recently SVP global distribution and development, Arnesen brings with him 25 years’ experience to a role that will see him inherit an initial content slate that includes an already announced live-action drama based on the Eisenhorn series of novels. The franchise is currently being developed with Frank Spotnitz, known for his work on The Man in the High Castle and The X Files.

Gillard said: “In its almost 40-year history, Warhammer has been a leader in the field of tabletop and video gaming, growing into one of the most fully realised examples of fantasy and sci-fi world-building ever devised. The characters we’ve explored and stories we’ve told during that time, through games, books, comics and more, are crying out to be brought to the screen.

“Getting Finn on board, with his wealth of expertise and knowledge across both programming and wider IP use, combined with his sheer energy and passion, will continue to cement Warhammer as one of the most unique and distinctive fantasy settings ever.”

Arnesen added: “This is a hugely exciting time to be joining Games Workshop, and I am relishing the opportunity to work with such an established yet, in terms of entertainment, relatively unexplored universe as Warhammer. There is a tremendous appetite at present for series set in unique, fantastical worlds, so, with Warhammer’s thousands of stories, numerous worlds and countless memorable characters, our options are virtually limitless.

“I was delighted to discover there are already early discussions in place with a variety of production companies around the world, from LA to Japan, and an array of highly sought after writing talent, to bring the vast Warhammer universe to all platforms.”

According to reports, the Warhammer Animation TEam is currently working with animation studios to help develop official animated content for the Warhammer Community, with three shows now nearing completion. It is expected that word on how this content will be delivered to fans will arrive later this year.

Andy Smillie, EVP digital and community at Games Workshop, said: “Over the decades, Warhammer has attracted the most dedicated and passionate fans of any gaming and publishing franchises. Every day they reach out, asking for more ways to enjoy Warhammer. This new project will offer Warhammer fans everywhere rich, unique content to meet their insatiable demand.

“Combined with the mainstream entertainment strategy, we will soon be successfully delivering more Warhammer, more often, in multiple ways for dedicated and casual fans alike.”

Mattel and Nickelodeon partner for Monster High TV series and TV movie musical

Mattel and Nickelodeon have drawn up plans to produce a new animated series and live-action television movie musical based on the popular toy franchise, Monster High – a brand centered on the children of some of pop culture’s most notorious monsters.

The new series will follow the story of Clawdeen Wolf, Draculaura, and Frankie Stein as they navigate high school in the hallowed halls of Monster High. The series will be available globally across Nickelodeon platforms with a scheduled premiere date of 2022.

Similarly, the movie musical event, which marks the first time Monster High will be brought to life in live action, will be available on Nickelodeon platforms globally next year.

“Monster High’s strong message of inclusivity is more relevant than ever,” said Fred Soulie, general manager, Mattel Television. “Nickelodeon shares our passion for the brand and its purpose having worked on the franchise when it first launched more than a decade ago. They are the ideal partners to bring these beloved characters and their stories to life through episodic television and the live-action television movie.”

Ramsey Naito, president of Nickelodeon Animation, added: “These classic monsters have always captured kids’ imaginations and we are so excited and proud to welcome Monster High to our brand for a new generation of kids.

“We have terrific partners on board at Mattel to create original content in different formats, and, with the expertise of the Nick creative team helmed by Claudia Spinelli on the animation development side, and Zack Olin and Shauna Phelan on the live-action side, we can’t wait to showcase the comedy and adventure of these characters as they defy expectations and take on the world.”

Adam Bonnet, executive producer, Mattel Television, said: “We could not be more excited to work with Ramsey, Claudia, Zack, Shauna, our writers and the entire Nickelodeon animation and live-action teams to introduce Monster High to a new audience.

“This property has always resonated deeply with fans and our reimagination of the franchise will focus on addressing important themes of identity and empowerment for kids today.”

The Monster High series and movie musical event join other Mattel Television content in production, including series and specials based on Barbie, Masters of the Universe, Thomas & Friends, Polly Pocket and Fireman Sam, to name a few.

The forthcoming Monster High series and movie underscore a key element of Nickelodeon’s content strategy, to build and expand the worlds of enormously popular franchises such as Star Trek, SpongeBob SquarePantsHenry Danger, Big Nate and Real Pigeons Fight Crime among others, to give audiences more of what they love.

Production on the Monster High animated TV series is overseen for Nickelodeon by Claudia Spinelli, senior vice president, Animation Development. Shea Fontana (Polly Pocket, DC Super Hero Girls) is serving as the showrunner. Jenny Jaffe (Big Hero 6: The Series, Rugrats) and the writing team of Greg Erb and Jason Oremland (Princess and the Frog, Playmobil: The Movie) have been tapped to write the Monster High live-action television movie.

Monster High was first introduced in 2010 with a global fan base embracing its message of inclusivity. Beginning in 2022, Mattel will be refueling the franchise and introducing Monster High to a whole new generation of kids.

Toikido signs master toy partnership for Netflix’s feature animation Back to the Outback

Toikido has been named the master toy partner for Netflix’s upcoming feature film, Back to the Outback, an animated adventure following a ragtag group of animals and their daring escape from captivity.

With the film scheduled to make its global debut this autumn, Toikido has secured the rights to manufacture a master toy range including action figures and plush across global markets.

Tired of being locked in a reptile house where humans gawk at them like they’re monsters, Back to the Outback is centered on a group of Australia’s deadliest creatures as they plot their escape back to the Outback, a place where they’ll fit in without being judged for their scales and fangs.

Leading the group is Maddie (Isla Fisher), a poisonous snake with a heart of gold, who bands together with a self-assured Thorny Devil lizard Zoe (Miranda Tapsell), a lovelorn hairy spider Frank (Guy Pearce), and a sensitive scorpion Nigel (Angus Imrie).

When their nemesis – Pretty Boy (Tim Minchin), a cute but obnoxious koala – unexpectedly joins their escape, Maddie and the gang have no choice but to take him with them. So begins a hair-raising and hilarious road trip across Australia, as they are pursued by a zookeeper Chaz (Eric Bana) and his adventure-seeking mini-me (Diesel Cash La Torraca).

Directed by Clare Knight and Harry Cripps, Back to the Outback also featuring the voices of Rachel House, Keith Urban, Celeste Barber, Wayne Knight, Lachlan Ross Power, and Jacki Weaver.

Lead by the toy and licensing industry expert, Darran Garnham, Toikido is a London-based entertainment company boasting a global reach and ecosystem across licensing, gaming, music, and entertainment.

BritBox expands its Anderson Entertainment offering as SVOD audiences grow for Thunderbirds creator

BritBox, the subscription-based streaming service, is expanding its Gerry Anderson offering as part of its popular Old School collection of cult kids’ TV shows.

Gerry Anderson, the founder of Anderson Entertainment, is the name behind iconic shows like Thunderbirds and Space:1999, as well as more modern hits like Space Precinct and the 2005 re-imagining of Captain Scarlet.

The entertainment studio had previously secured a broadcast deal with BritBox for four of its best-loved series: the original Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, UFO, and Space 1999. Following the success of the partnership and the growing audience numbers for Anderson Entertainment productions, BritBox is expanding its Gerry Anderson output.

Already, 2021 has seen the addition of 1964’s Stingray (one of the earliest Anderson hits and the first British TV series to be produced entirely in colour) and 1969’s The Secret Service, a mix of live action and puppetry and the last Anderson series to use puppets before the arrival of Terrahawks in 1983.

Further expansion is expected over the course of the coming year, building on BritBox’s portfolio of British TV from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5, as well as its library of iconic films, remastered classic, and BritBox Originals.

Meanwhile, a multitude of international SVOD platforms have underlined the enduring popularity of classic Anderson Entertainment series. Terrahawks on Amazon Prime and shows on other platforms like Shout Factory, Comet and Pluto, as well, of course, as BritBox, are helping to build a new, younger following alongside the longer-term fanbase.

Linear programming is also getting in on the act through Forces TV and the Horror Channel, while shows on DVD and Blu-Ray continue to enjoy impressive sales.

Anderson Entertainment’s growth in broadcast and streaming partners will now combine with the arrival of new content and an expanded direct-to-consumer and retail merchandising offering to grow the company’s market presence throughout 2021. 

The strategy is being led by the company’s highly successful e-commerce site, the Gerry Anderson Store, which boasts a growing list both of licensee-supplied product and new items developed and created by Anderson Entertainment.

A new corporate website,, was launched in 2021 to support this ongoing expansion.

Jamie Anderson, MD of Anderson Entertainment, said: “We’re thrilled that BritBox, the premier home for the best of British creativity has extended its Gerry Anderson offering. This confirms the continuing strength of the Anderson brand among viewers of all ages, a strength that will underpin our ongoing expansion strategy for the coming year.”

Craig Morris, programming and scheduling lead for BritBox, added: “We’ve been delighted with the huge popularity of Gerry Anderson’s shows on BritBox and are proud to be working with the team at Anderson Entertainment to bring these beloved TV classics together on a streaming platform for the first time.”

Mattel and rapper Lil Yachty to co-produce UNO live-action comedy heist film

Mattel’s best-selling family card game, UNO has landed its own live-action motion picture, the global toy maker has revealed, tapping the Grammy-nominated rapper Lil Yachty to co-produce.

The toy maker’s entertainment division, Mattel Films has confirmed that the production will work from a screenplay for an action heist comedy, set in the underground hip hop world of Atlanta. Robbie Brenner, executive producer, and Kevin McKeon, supervising producer, will lead the project for the company.

In addition, Quality Control’s Kevin “Coach K” Lee, Pierre “P” Thomas and Brian Sher will produce for Quality Films.

“At Mattel Films, we are looking to explore stories that bring our brands to life in unexpected ways,” said Brenner. “UNO is a game that transcends generations and cultures and we look forward to partnering with Lil Yachty, as well as with Coach, P and Brian Sher, to transform the classic UNO game into a comedic action adventure.”

“I’m so excited to be part of this film with Mattel,” added Yachty. “I played UNO as a kid and still do today, so to spin that into a movie based on the Atlanta hip hop scene I came out of is really special. It hits close to home for me.”

Conceived in 1971 in a barbershop in Cincinnati, Ohio, UNO was created as a way for families to spend time together, and quickly became a household staple. Five decades later, UNO, now available in over 80 countries, has grown into a global sensation that offers fans of all ages a variety of innovative card-based and digital games.

In celebration of UNO’s 50th anniversary this year, Mattel is releasing one of the brand’s largest product lines offering new twists on gameplay, is planning a global UNO Tournament and is collaborating with a variety of iconic names across art, fashion, sports and more.

UNO joins other Mattel Films projects in development including movies based on American Girl, Barbie, Barney, Hot Wheels, Magic 8 Ball, Major Matt Mason, Masters of the Universe, Thomas & Friends, View Master and Wishbone.