Month: December 2009

Buffalo Games to Introduce William Wegman Puzzles

Buffalo Games is partnering with award-winning artist William Wegman to release four of his photographs in a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle, each a unique visual interpretation of his classic Weimaraners. The William Wegman 500 Piece Series of jigsaw puzzles will include Roller Rover, Stanley, Dockers, and Farm Days, and will be released in...

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THQ, WWE, JAKKS Pacific Reach Settlements

THQ Inc., World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., and JAKKS Pacific, Inc. have reached settlement agreements with respect to the WWE video game and toy licenses, and the THQ/JAKKS Pacific joint venture. Under the three-party settlement, all claims have been withdrawn and all litigation ended among the parties without any party admitting any wrongdoing. THQ will pay WWE $13.2 million and, additionally, THQ has entered into a new eight-year video game license directly with WWE starting January 1.  The license is three years longer than the renewal term under the previous arrangement. THQ will also pay JAKKS Pacific $20 million over the next four year, in addition to its preferred return payment to JAKKS for the period ending December 31, 2009. The payments will be $6 million due June 2010 and June 2011, and $4 million due June 2012 and June 2013. The THQ/JAKKS Pacific joint venture will terminate effective December 31, 2009. For more information regarding the new license agreement between WWE and THQ, visit...

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German Toy Fair to Include Global Toy Summit

The first Global Toy Summit will premiere at February’s Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair Nuernberg. The summit, “Understanding Markets and Implementing Marketing Strategies,” will feature a trade summit on February 8-9 and a manufacturers summit on February 9. The trade summit will be focused on boosting sales by inspiring customers, and will conclude with a lecture by consultant and author Alexander Christiani, where he will reveal successful strategies by the world’s top sales people. The manufacturers summit will feature a panel discussion on toy safety by industry representatives; Luis Montoya, head of Unit for International Regulatory Agreements, Toy Safety; and Maureen Logghe, policy officer, toy safety legislation. Other speakers will include Carter Keithley, president of the American Toy Industry Association, and Hsiao-Ni Liu from the inspection body TÜV Rheinland. For more information, visit...

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Chuggington to Premiere on Playhouse Disney

Ludorum’s first preschool property, Chuggington, will premiere on Playhouse Disney in the U.S. on January 18. The train-centric series features 26 interactive episodes, following three best friends who explore, work, and play. Each episode teaches social-emotional values for “riding the rails of life.” Chuggington debuted in the UK on BBC Two in September 2008 and CBeebies in January 2009. The CGI-animated show is also broadcasted in France, Australia, Germany, Japan, and Canada. Episodes will air Tuesday through Friday at 10:30 a.m. ET/PT and weekends at 7:30 a.m....

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ToyQuest Named Master Toy Licensee for Megamind

DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. and ToyQuest have entered into a licensing agreement for DreamWorks’ upcoming movie, Megamind, to be released November 5. ToyQuest will serve as the worldwide master toy licensee, producing a line of products based on the film that includes action figures, vehicles, plush, role play products, and playsets. The line will be available fall...

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The World of Beatrix Potter to Come to Animated TV

Frederick Warne & Co., Ltd, owner of the Beatrix Potter property, and Chorion are creating a new animation based on Beatrix Potter’s famous characters, including Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck, Benjamin Bunny, and Mr. Jeremy Fisher. The animated TV series will be distributed internationally. Chorion’s Copyrights Group has been Frederick Warne’s licensing agent for more than 25 years. Chorion and Frederick Warne will continue to develop the licensing program for Beatrix Potter’s characters, while Warne will retain all publishing rights to the property. The World of Beatrix Potter has more than 350 licensees worldwide and is worth $300 million annually at...

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Vermont Teddy Bears to Debut at Toy Fair

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company will be making their debut appearance at this year’s Toy Fair in February with new bear items. Until now, Vermont Teddy Bears have only been available for purchase online, by phone, or in the company’s Vermont retail store, but the bears will soon be available at toy stores and other retailers. At Toy Fair, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company will unveil its new Soft Floppy Bears, Take-Along Teddies, Go Green Bears that are made from recycled post consumer plastic bottles, and Woolen Bears that are made from all-natural wool, among others. All of the company’s teddy bears are individually handmade in Vermont and have a lifetime...

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“Augmented-Reality” Toys Premiere as Part of Fox Licensing’s Avatar Merchandise Campaign

To support the December 18th premiere of James Cameron’s movie Avatar, Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising is launching a vast merchandising campaign, introducing more than 125 products in the categories of video games, toys, apparel, and publishing. Mattel, Inc. will release action figures, vehicles, and creatures based on the movie that use “augmented-reality.” Each product in the line will come with a 3-D web tag, called an i-TAG, which consumers can “scan” using a home computer’s webcam.  After the tag is scanned, special content, such as biographical information, additional images, and animated models of the figures, is revealed onscreen that is unique to the product. Animated 3-D models of the products will come alive when the i-TAG for deluxe figures is scanned by a webcam, and when two i-TAGS from a Battle Pack are scanned, the 3-D images will interact with each other. Fox is also partnering with Ubisoft to release James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game, available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, and PC. Ubisoft will also release a limited edition version of the game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. Other licenses include Sideshow Collectibles for a line of collectible statues, maquettes, life-size busts, and dioramas; and HarperCollins and Abrams for five new...

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