Good morning. It's Thursday, July 26, 2012, and this your first early morning briefing.
Kazaana (www.kazaana.com), an interactive social media platform targeted to K6-12 that until this week was known as PixyKids, launches in beta this week. Kazaana offers a range of interactive features, where kids can create, store and share kid-curated content, text and video chant, animated 3D avatars, and play games and apps. The platform is TRUSTe certified, and compliant with COPPA (the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act). Parents can also be actively involved in protecting their kids on the site by approving each friend request via the parental dashboard or select to auto-approve these requests. They can also check out what their kids are sharing through their kid's digital portfolio. Additionally, Kazaana appoints Shai Samet, founder of the KidSafe Seal Program and kid's privacy expert, to its board of advisors.
Kraft Foods and SodaStream International have expanded their relationship to include co-branded flavors with Kool-Aid. The initial Kool-Aid flavors as part of their ongoing partnership, which features the manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of Kraft Foods beverage brands for use with the SodaStream soda making system, will be cherry, grape and tropical punch. Under their existing deal, the co-branded portfolio includes several varieties of Crystal Light and Country Time. The new products are slated to be available at retail for Q4 2012.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Australia's Makedo is introducing its reusable creative play property to the US market via retailers including Fat Brain Toys and MindWare, via its exclusive US distributor Toysmith. Makedo encourages kids to use their hands to transform everyday and recycled materials into play objects. Created by Paul Justin, each Makedo kit has slightly different packaging materials making each design a unique creation. Each kit includes a safe-saw for cutting through materials, re-clips and lock-hinges for connecting. Makedo lines include Find & Make (a guided project to make a robot, plane or car), Freeplay (open-ended play) and Cup Critter (an activity for younger kids that they can easily complete).
Fisher-Price and Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin team up launch the new interactive Fantastic Gymnastics Dora doll. Based on Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer, the new Fantastic Gymnastics Dora doll performs two gymnastics routines, features seven moves - including splits, handstands and back-bends - and aims to encourage teamwork and imaginative role-play for K3+ as they coach Dora through her practice and performance. Fantastic Gymnastics Dora also features 40+ phrases in English and Spanish and a special teamwork song. Beginning this August 2012, the Fantastic Gymnastics Dora ($49.99) will be available at US retailers including Toys 'R' Us, Target, Walmart and Kmart, as well as via www.fisherprice.com. Additionally, a free Fantastic Gymnastics Dora augmented reality app will also be available this August from the App Store.
MORE KIDS STUFF
Gumball, he's a blue cat with the big head, and his pet goldfish buddy (yeah, he's got legs) Darwin return in the second season of the animated comedy The Amazing World of Gumball premiering on Cartoon Network August 14 at 7p. The Amazing World of Gumball, a combination of 2D and 3D animation in a live-action setting, is the first full-length animated series out of Cartoon Network Studio Europe. The new season will answer some of the most burning questions, well probably not really answered them but further them anyhow - questions such as... will Gumball ever win the affections of Penny? How will Darwin react when Banana Joe chews up his pen? And what happens when Gumball and Darwin get their first cell phone? The Amazing World of Gumball The DVD is comprised of 12 episodes from the first season - including the episode "The DVD" - and a character gallery special feature, the compilation DVD will be available on August 28, 2012.
Following the news that DreamWorks Animation SKG inked a deal to acquire Classic Media for $155 million in cash, is DreamWorks Animation considering its own programming channel? DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said in an interview with Reuters that a TV channel is indeed an option for the company, stating, "It could be a domestic cable channel, international, even an internet channel."
Discovery Bay Games, a developer of content and iOS-exclusive game accessories, adds of Dora the Explorer Let's Play Backpack to its Duo game accessories for the iPad, which is based of course on Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer brand. The Let's Play Backpack accessory is compatible with the new free Dora Let's Play Backpack Duo App that is available now. The Let's Play Backpack accessory ($39.99) is designed to get kids and families to play together on the iPad. The app features games that reinforce matching, listening and logic skills, as well as Spanish language. Each game includes four adventures: 'Let's Listen,' 'Let's Pack,' 'Let's Match,' and 'Say It Two Ways.' Within each adventure, players are presented with two choices that show up on the iPad screen. They can then place tokens on the corresponding spot on the backpack accessory to match their answer. The top of the backpack accessory will spin and collect tokens for each correct answer, thus keeping score.
Toei Animation Co. appoints Katsuhiro Takagi as President. A 30+ veteran of Toei Animation, Takagi was most recently Sr. Director. He previously served as Managing Director and prior to that as Director/Character Licensing Dept. In his new position, Takagi will continue to grow Toei Animation's international partnerships while also expanding the animation studio into new markets with its catalog of classic properties as well as its new slate of programming.
Rubicon Group Holding (RGH) appoints Ilyssa Goodman as Director of Distribution, heading up worldwide distribution for RGH's catalog of content for theatrical, television, DVD and digital platforms. First up for Goodman will be to identify US distribution partners for Postman Pat: The Movie, which is set for a theatrical release in the UK in May 2013. She will also be working on distribution efforts of the animated CG 3D Stereoscopic movie Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, which is currently in development with Toonz Entertainment for a 2013 holiday release. Goodman will be based in LA and report to RGH Executive Director North America, David Corbett. She most recently served as marketing consultant and independent producer to Warner Bros., FOX, Universal Home Family Entertainment, ABC Family Channel, E! and Animal Planet/Discovery Networks, among others. She previously was VP/Filmed Entertainment, Bonneville Worldwide Entertainment, and she held executive positions in production, finance and development at entertainment companies including Saskfilm in Canada and Universal Studios. She began her career in the acquisitions department at Miramax Films in NY.
Nickelodeon Australia sets an all time ratings record with the finale of Camp Orange: Boy V Girls both on July 24, 2012. As the network's highest-rated Camp Orange episode in its history, the finale was up +64% over last year's Camp Orange: Wrong Town finale, and up by +42% over the previous week.
Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 1261; K6-11 878; TWEENS 9-14 677
NICKELODEON° : K2-11 899; K6-11 576; TWEENS 9-14 472
CARTOON NETWORK** : K2-11 801; K6-11 561; TWEENS 9-14 411
DISNEY XD: K2-11 283; K6-11 218; TWEENS 9-14 207
NICKTOONS: K2-11 133; K6-11 89; TWEENS 9-14 65
°Nickelodeon Total Day: Mon-Thurs 7a-8p; Fri 7a-9p; Sat 6a-10p; Sun 6a-8p
**Cartoon Network & Adult Swim share channel space ADSM airs Sat.-Thurs. 9p-6a
Source: Disney from Nielsen Media Research Data
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What Nickelodeon cartoon series was named after the cartoonist's apartment manager? Ren & Stimpy. Kudos to: Chris Devine Dailey-Simply Devine Marketing Group/Deposit NY; Lauren Lorenzo-Nickelodeon/North Hollywood.
Today's Trivia Question: Which TV show had Russian spies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale? (Email John@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you've been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can't be mentioned again that calendar week.)
Later -- Gwen
Gwen Billings for Cynopsis Kids!
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