Author: Marissa DiBartolo

Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, and Mattel Unveil New All-Girl Superhero Franchise

This fall, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and Mattel will launch DC Super Hero Girls, a new universe of female-dominated superheroes and villains. The new franchise targets girls ages 6 to 12 and features DC Comics’ female characters as relatable teens, including Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumble Bee, Poison Ivy, and Katana. With a completely new artistic style and aesthetic, these female icons will make their unprecedented teenage introduction. Each character will have her own storyline, including discovering her unique abilities, nurturing her remarkable powers, and mastering the fundamentals of being a hero. The initial launch of DC Super Hero Girls will include an immersive digital experience, original digital content, and digital publishing—providing opportunities for girls to interact with characters, learn about the storylines, and engage in customizable play. TV specials, made-for-videos, toys, apparel, books, and other product categories will begin to roll out next year. As master toy licensee, Mattel is set to launch a toy line based on the new initiative next year, including new characters for the action figure category, and fashion dolls featuring strong, athletic bodies that stand on their own in heroic poses. As master publishing partner, the Random House Books for Young Readers imprint of Random House Children’s Books will launch books next spring, which will be complemented by a series of original graphic novels from DC Entertainment. The Lego Group has also signed on for...

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Toys “R” Us to Close Times Square Flagship Store

Toys “R” Us chose not to renew its lease at the 110,000-square-foot flagship store in the Times Square area, according to a report by the Commercial Observer (CO). “They have 21,000 square feet [on the ground floor]. There really is not a tenant that can rent that. The market has just escalated so,” Brad Mendelson of Cushman & Wakefield, who is marketing the Toys “R” Us space at 1514 Broadway between West 44 and West 45 Streets on behalf of landlord Charles Moss, tells the CO. According to Mendelson, the asking rent on the ground floor in the 150,000-square-foot building is $2,500 per square foot, $150 per foot on the lower level, and $350 a foot on the second floor. Toys “R” Us is paying about half that since commencing to rent at the location in 2000. Mendelson says the firm is looking for multiple tenants to fill the space. Toys “R” Us will vacate the space next February. The store has become a popular Times Square attraction, featuring a life-sized Jurassic Park-inspired T-Rex, a 60-foot indoor Ferris wheel featuring kids’ favorite cartoon characters, a 4,000-square-foot Barbie dollhouse, and—of course—thousands of toys. However, the toy retail giant may retain a presence in the hub of New York City. Rumors suggest Toys “R” Us may be moving to Vornado Realty Trust’s large retail space at the base of the Marriott Marquis at 1535...

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Disney Announces Sequel to Mega-Hit Frozen

Earlier today, the Walt Disney Co. announced plans to make a sequel to 2013’s Disney Frozen at the company’s annual shareholders meeting in San Francisco. Since its release in November 2013, Disney Frozen has made nearly $1.3 billion globally at the box office and won the Academy Award for best animated feature. The largest grossing animated film ever, Frozen also inspired a robust line of consumer products, and was the No. 1 best-selling toy brand among girls in 2014, according to the NPD...

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COMMENTARY: At Toy Fair 2015, Classic, Low-Tech Play Is Alive and Well

Tech toys that make you feel cooler than Marty McFly were in abundance at the North American International Toy Fair this week, such as robots that imitate your movements and a Segway-like device that tracks your thoughts. But not all of the toys at the Jacob K. Javits Center were reminiscent of what Captain Kirk probably played with as a child. There were also some stellar construction sets, high-quality hand puppets, and wooden toys that make you say, “wow.” Classic play is not dead, and not all quality toys require a microchip. Some of the most innovative new products for kids...

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Cartoon Network Names Spin Master Global Toy Partner for The Powerpuff Girls

Spin Master Ltd. will serve as the global master toy partner for Cartoon Network’s The Powerpuff Girls, anchoring the licensing program for the global franchise launch in 2016. Spin Master will have rights to create a full line of products based on the brand, including plush; figures; play sets; dolls; role-play items; and select electronic, activity, remote-control toys, and novelty and impulse items. The product line will begin its global retail rollout in the fall of 2016. The new Powerpuff Girls animated series produced by Cartoon Network Studios and the full worldwide licensing program will introduce a new generation...

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