To be successful at licensing, Lamond stresses that the owner of a property needs to be actively involved in the process. “They need to be engaged on their own,” he emphasizes. “It doesn’t make any difference how good a brand it is. Without the active participation of the brand owners, it is difficult to move things forward.”
Several new projects that C3 Entertainment is introducing have that owner involvement. “We’ve actually picked up a lot of new brands recently – one after the other – that we’re going to be launching, and they’re very diverse and very unique,” announces Ani Khachoian, executive vice president of licensing, merchandising and distribution.
The first new brand is the Winter Dance Party, which recreates the 1959 tour by rock stars Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens that they performed before their fatal plane crash. “All the families are supporting it, and we now represent that brand,” Lamond says. “We also represent the Big Bopper, and so it dovetailed nicely. Wherever they tour, they’re selling it out. You’re talking about three legends from the early days of rock-and-roll. Their music is still popular, and it draws really well.”
The next new property is Katz About Towne from Barbi Sargent, the creator of children’s characters such as Strawberry Shortcake, Poppyseed and Gretchen, and Alan Jude Summa, the creator of the Interplanetary Lizards of the Texas Plains comic book series. He also is a toy designer, author and an illustrator with more than 20 years of experience in the licensing industry.
“It consists of children’s books, greeting cards, stationery and many more categories,” Khachoian says. “We are also going to be working on an animation project with the cats. Each cat has a name and profile with their characters. They have quite the spectrum of style of the different cats, with characters ranging from cute to edgy, such as Bad-Ass Cat, and will appeal to all ages of men and women.”
C3 Entertainment also represents magician Michael Grandinetti, who is featured on the CW television series “Masters of Illusion” and played at Harrah’s Southern California and Atlantic City casinos. C3 currently is developing a television special for him.
Celebrity Chef Jason Santos of Abby Lane and Back Bay Harry’s in Boston is licensed and merchandised by C3 Entertainment. He has made numerous appearances this year on the television program “The Talk and has his own licensed debit card. He also has appeared as a finalist on “Hell’s Kitchen” and the Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay.” A cooking television program is being developed for him by C3. “He’s a great guy to boot and he’s very personable, down-to-earth and funny,” Khachoian points out.
C3 Entertainment also licensed The Three Stooges to Zynga for the online social casino slots game called “Hit It Rich” that is available on Facebook and mobile devices; a Three Stooges arcade game; an online gambling game named after the Big Bopper; and a new boxed set of three DVDs with memorabilia commemorating The Three Stooges.
“The set has a lot of footage and photos provided by the families never seen before, plus a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff,” Lamond notes. “It’s a nine-episode series on three DVDs with three episodes on each DVD.” C3 Entertainment also has licensed with Photorealism and Doug Bloodworth to create Three Stooges fine artwork. An oil-painted portrait of the trio was displayed this year in Times Square.
Additionally, C3 Entertainment licenses artist Marc Lacourciere, internationally known as “Motor Marc,” and his Motorgraphics Collection Inc. It consists of classic automobile and motorcycle high-end artwork that is painted with gauche watercolor and accented with acrylics to look like oil. Motor Marc’s art has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and Speed TV, and he has appeared on “Jay Leno’s Garage.”
“Our company has been very successful in the licensing part of our business, and all these brands have come to us,” Khachoian maintains. “Our company owns the rights to The Three Stooges. We’ve been so successful in licensing the property and kept it alive that other brands have come to us so we can do the same for them.”