Archive for May, 2006

Industry Veteran Melissa Segal Forms New Licensing Agency

Posted in Press Releases on May 30th, 2006

Industry Veteran Melissa Segal Forms New Licensing Agency Brandolution LLC 


Hollywood , CA (May 30th, 2006)—Industry veteran Melissa Segal has formed a new licensing agency, Brandolution LLC, to represent brands in a full service licensing agency capacity, and to act as a resource on a consulting basis.


“Brandolution combines the words ‘brand’ and ‘evolution,’ which describes the company’s commitment to helping brands advance to the next level,” says Segal, a former Disney executive and co-founder/co-owner of the highly successful boutique licensing agency Evergreen Concepts.  “We are committed to helping brands evolve through licensing, retail initiatives, or developing strategies for opening up new categories and markets.” 


 The Brandolution team consists of both a full time team of dedicated resources based in Los Angeles as well as a virtual network of senior level specialists located around the country.  These specialists are on call to be tapped when a project calls for a specific skill set relevant to a client’s business needs providing the benefit of best of class professionals on an outsourced basis. 


Segal believes that most companies today —  large and small —  have a mandate to keep overhead down, yet are overwhelmed with growth initiatives outside the day to day requirements of the business that require experienced personnel, strategic thinking and strong management skills.  “Brandolution provides a solution for this dilemma,” she says.


  Brandolution’s core competency resides in brand licensing, retail development, product design and creative development, and through the expanded team the company is also equipped to address public relations, promotions, direct marketing, and international expansion.   Segal’s mission for her company is to work with established brands who are seeking innovative growth solutions or new brands that are very successful in a certain niche and are looking to broaden their reach.


            Segal brings to her new company over 18 years experience in consumer products and brand marketing.  She started her career at Disney where she spent eight years in senior marketing and category management roles.  During her tenure there, Segal served as Vice President of Disney’s two billion dollar retail U.S. toy business, setting the strategies for the category, negotiating major deals with toy companies, managing product development and marketing, and supervising Disney’s relationship with leading manufacturers such as Mattel and Hasbro. 


In 2000, she joined Mommy & Me as Senior Vice President of Consumer Products and lead the start-up company in the development of Mommy & Me award-winning products until the company was acquired by DIC Entertainment in 2003.


In 2003, Segal, who has a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA and an MBA from Columbia Business School, formed Evergreen Concepts along with Jeffrey Fradin, a former Disney colleague.  This highly successful boutique licensing agency represented popular and well loved brands such as Build-A-Bear Workshop®, Alvin & the Chipmunks ®, Little Golden Books ®, and Pat the Bunny ®.  In only two years, Evergreen Concepts executed over 80 deals on behalf of its clients, and developed and placed product in all key categories and at all major retailers.  Evergreen was purchased by Global Icons in September 2005. 

For more information on Brandolution LLC or to contact Melissa Segal, call 323-962-1695 or email  Visit




Toy Castle Dances Onto DVD May 30

Posted in Press Releases on May 27th, 2006

  Arts Programs Cut From School?
Then Create a Love for the Arts When Children Enter


“The Toy Castle


Enchanting New DVD Series Presents
Imaginative Ballet Stories and Encourages Creative Play


Three Titles in the Launch
Dance into Stores May 30, 2006 from Questar Inc.

Chicago, IL (May 29, 2006)Technology, Technology, Technology! More school money for technology and comparatively little for art, drama, music, and dance are resulting in generations of children with little exposure to the performing arts. Enter The Toy Castle™, the award-winning live action series of narrated ballet stories, which dances into stores on DVD with three enchanting volumes “Beautiful Ballerina,” “Birthday Bash,” and “Twinkle, Twinkle,” May 30, 2006 from Questar Inc. Three additional titles in the series will be released in the fall.” Suggested retail price for each DVD is $14.99.

              Appearing on many PBS stations nationwide, The Toy Castle is the first children’s DVD series to carry the American Public Television logo.  Performed in the universal language of dance and mime by members of the renowned Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The Toy Castle nurtures an appreciation for dance, promotes positive character development, and encourages creative play. The series has received numerous accolades from publications such as TV Guide and Parenting, and has been awarded the Film Advisory Board “Award of Excellence,” the Gemini Award for “Best Pre-School Series” and top prizes at New York International Festivals.

"At a time when funds for arts education in schools are being drastically cut, ‘The Toy Castle’ is an initiative that brings the experience of live performances to young people, and nurtures their appreciation for the performing arts, an essential part of a fully rounded education,” said Albert Nader, chairman Questar, Inc. “There is nothing like The Toy Castle on home video or television. It is an engaging change of pace from animation.  Children will embrace the delightful storybook characters.”

 “We are pleased and delighted to be partnering with Questar to bring our series into the homes of every American child,” said Katherine Jeans, who along with her husband Neil Bergman, created The Toy Castle™. “We hope to inspire children to become active, love dancing and perhaps even become the next generation of premier dancers.”

The Toy Castle is set in a Castle where the Toys come to life “only at night, when your eyes are shut tight.” The characters are familiar storybook icons, including Ballerina, Soldier, China Doll, Rag Doll, and others. Children learn how to constructively handle such personal and social issues as friendship, self-esteem, jealousy, being left out and expressing feelings.

Each 90-minute DVD features 12 delightful stories, and very special “Time to Dance” segments, in which Toy Castle characters demonstrate basic and fun ballet positions and movements. Each disc also contains DVD-ROM interactive educational activities and interactive games developed to enhance early learning skills and basic knowledge, such as “Memory Match,” “Puzzles,” “Strongman’s ABC’s,” “Goblin’s Piano Lesson,” “Learn to Count,” “Swaparoo” (where players can create their own Toy Castle friends), “Toy Castle Clean Up,” “Coloring Book, “Dress Up,” and much more.

              Initial titles in The Toy Castle DVD launch are:
·         “Twinkle, Twinkle” – The toys in the Toy Castle share all the magic of starry skies, bedtime stories and warm friendships. “Time to Dance” segment teaches Demi Pointe, Tendues, DegagĂ©es, the Clown Shuffle, and the Jack in the Box.

·         “Beautiful Ballerina” – Spend some quality time with one of the Toy Castle’s most beloved characters in stories of friendship, caring and self-esteem.  “Time to Dance” moves are Promenade, Promenade on Point, Chainnes, Pose Turns, Bourres.

·         “Birthday Bash” – Everybody loves a party, especially at the Toy Castle where all the toys magically come to life and friendship and thoughtfulness are the most precious gifts of all.  “Time to Dance” segment teaches Petits Jetes without Arms, Petits Jetes with Arms, Waltz for Two. Blancees, and Super Stretch.

Three new Toy Castle DVDs to be released in the fall are “Dance for Joy” and “Nursery Rhyme Time,” and “Nutcracker Sweet.”  For more information about The Toy Castle or to order please call 1-800-544-8244 or visit

About Questar Inc.
Questar, Inc. is one of the most distinguished independent producers and distributors of programming for television, the home, libraries, education and the Internet.  In addition to original productions, Questar distributes feature films in partnership with PorchLight Entertainment, classic television with SFM Entertainment and acclaimed non-fiction programming in association with such esteemed producers as Readers Digest and the award-wining public television series Nature. Visit

About The Toy Castle™
The Toy Castle was inspired by The Tin Soldier, a live ballet featuring Canada’s premier dancer, Frank Augustyn.  Neil Bregman saw the potential for a children’s TV classic and turned it into a one hour TV special for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  Developed for television by Bregman and his wife, Katherine Jeans, The Toy Castle was the first live action pre-school series introducing children to the world of classical dance and the performing arts.  Today, The Toy Castle is seen in many countries around the world, with touring live shows and an explosive fan base on the web with their interactive and educational website

# # #

Press Contact:
Andrea Blain
Andrea Blain Public Relations
9750 Crawford Avenue
Skokie, IL 60076
Phone 847-933-9884
Fax 847-673-5836

·         ·         ·