Author: Jackie Breyer

Spin Master Expands Global Presence with Australian Subsidiary

Spin Master Corp. is forming an Australian subsidiary Spin Master Australia (Pty) Ltd. Spin Master Australia will begin trading in 2017 and will assume distribution for the majority of the company’s brands for Australia. Based on NPD data, Spin Master was the fourth largest toy, games, and entertainment company in North America in 2015 and ranks in the top 10 globally based on Euromonitor data. Spin Master has distributed product in Australia and New Zealand for over 15 years. Overseeing business operations will be Jacqui Webster, recently appointed as general manager, Australia and New Zealand, reporting into Derek Seidewand, vice president, International Sales. Prior to joining Spin Master, Webster held senior roles with Hasbro, Mattel, Paramount Pictures, and several international consumer packaged goods companies. Spin Master Australia will be based in Sydney, NSW, and a warehouse location will be finalized in the coming...

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UNESCO and CJ E&M Partner to Support Girls’ Education Global Campaign

CJ E&M, an Asian content and media company, and UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, have partnered to support UNESCO’s girls’ education global campaign with Rainbow Ruby, CJ E&M’s new preschool animation series. “Rainbow Ruby is the first original global animation series created by CJ E&M as a co-production project with China Entertainment that will reach out to a global audience,” said Sang Gill (Tschaik) Lee, EVP, CJ E&M. “Rainbow Ruby is a 3D CGI animation series that follows a 6-year-old girl named Ruby as she transports to Rainbow Village, where her toys come alive. Throughout the series Ruby experiences different professions, introducing preschool girls to the concept of a dream job, letting them imagine how their jobs can improve their lives in the future. I strongly believe it will be a fun and exciting experience for girls.” The “Better Life for Girls” campaign, launched in November 2014 by CJ E&M and UNESCO, aims to help address the lack of access to quality education faced by girls in developing regions. It is the first time that UNESCO joins a global partnership centered on an animation-based character for its key initiative. Rainbow Ruby aims to help empower young girls to dream big and look to a bright future. The animation series also brings awareness to the harsh reality that girls and young women in many developing regions...

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Statement from Tech 4 Kids on Passing of Elise Lachowyn

Tech 4 Kids announced the sudden passing of Elise Lachowyn on Friday, February 12. Elise was involved in a tragic accident in New York City on her way to North American International Toy Fair. Lachowyn leaves behind her husband Drew and 6-year-old daughter, Skyler. Lachowyn was a veteran of the toy industry and a friend and colleague to many.  As a member of the senior leadership team of Tech 4 Kids, Elise was a highly respected, admired, and accomplished individual who will be greatly missed by all. In loving memory of Elise Lachowyn, Tech 4 Kids has set up a trust fund for Skyler and will be matching all donations....

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VTech to Acquire LeapFrog in $72 Million Deal

VTech will acquire 100 percent of the outstanding common stock of LeapFrog through an all-cash tender offer followed by a second-step merger. In the tender offer, VTech will offer LeapFrog investors $1.00 per share for LeapFrog’s Class A and Class B shares, which represents a 75.4 percent premium over the closing price of LeapFrog’s Class A shares on February 4, 2016. The total purchase consideration amounts to approximately $72 million. VTech will fund the tender offer through internal resources. The tender offer will commence on or around March 3, 2016, and will be open for a minimum of 20 business days. The closing of the transaction is subject to satisfaction of certain conditions set forth in the merger agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. LeapFrog’s Board has agreed to unanimously recommend to its stockholders that they tender their shares of LeapFrog common stock pursuant to the tender offer. “We are delighted to have the LeapFrog brand joining VTech, bringing together two of the great names in children’s learning and entertainment,” says Allan Wong, chairman and group CEO of VTech Holdings Ltd., in a press release. “VTech has been a pioneer in the electronic learning toy category for 35 years. The acquisition will allow us to offer the broadest portfolio of products that enhances the education and development of children across the...

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Hasbro and Mattel in Merger Talks

Bloomberg is reporting that Hasbro Inc. and Mattel Inc. have held talks about merging two of the world’s biggest toymakers, according to people familiar with the matter. Hasbro approached Mattel about a potential transaction late last year, and the companies have held on-and-off talks about a deal, the people said. Representatives for Mattel declined to comment, while representatives for Hasbro didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Mattel shares rose 4 percent to $33.03 today, valuing the company at about $11.2 billion. Hasbro rose 1.6 percent to $76.19 after climbing as high as $78.45, valuing the company at about $9.5 billion. Last week, Mattel unveiled Barbie dolls with a wider array of body types and skin tones in an effort to expand the brand’s appeal. Hasbro is the toy licensee for Disney’s top properties, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney Princess, and Disney...

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