Jakks Pacific Secures Worldwide Master Toy Agreement for The Smurfs

jakks_logoJakks Pacific Inc. has secured a licensing agreement with Lafig and Sony Pictures Consumer Products to produce toys and related products based on the Smurfs franchise, including the classic Smurfs brand and the upcoming Smurfs feature film premiering in August 2016. The worldwide master toy agreement includes the rights to produce figures, play sets, plush, and more.

Jakks Pacific’s new Smurfs toys will be available at retailers nationwide this fall.

The Art of the Brick to Feature Lego Sculptures Inspired by DC Comics

TheArtoftheBrick,DCComicsWarner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), on behalf of DC Entertainment, is collaborating with The Art of the Brick to create a contemporary art exhibition featuring large-scale sculptures, inspired by DC Comics superheroes and super-villains and made entirely out of Lego bricks. The new exhibition, The Art of the Brick: DC Comics, created by artist Nathan Sawaya, will feature Sawaya’s take on the breadth and depth of the characters and stories from DC Comics’ 80-year history, told through his Lego lens. [Read more...]

PlayCon 2015 Speakers to Include UK Specialty Toy Store Founder

HyattGaineyInnovative business research and trends related to youth, play, and technology will be shared at the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) upcoming educational and networking conference, PlayCon 2015, schedule to take place from April 29 to May 1 at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz. Attendees who sign up by February 28 will receive PlayCon’s early bird registration rate. [Read more...]

New Super Mario amiibo Sets Gold Standard

NOVEL_ura_0613On March 20, Nintendo will launch the Super Mario amiibo—Gold Edition, a gold-colored Mario figure that arrives on the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for the Wii U console. The new gold-colored Mario is compatible with multiple games that support the amiibo line of figures.

Mario Party 10 features a new amiibo Party mode that players can only access by tapping their compatible amiibo figures on the Wii U GamePad controller to bring them into the game as customizable board pieces. Players can also save items to their amiibo and use them strategically.

At launch, the Super Mario amiibo—Gold Edition will be sold exclusively at 3,000 Wal-Mart stores in the U.S.

TIA Launches 2015 Toy Industry Financial and Operating Benchmark Study

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) will again partner with Industry Insights Inc. to conduct a confidential Toy Industry Financial and Operating Benchmark Study, which will enable toy companies to see how their numbers compare to companies of similar size, category, and distribution channel. [Read more...]

Funko and Marvel Announce Variant Cover for Marvel Collector Corps Debut

Funko,MarvelAvengersFunko has announced a variant cover for its Marvel Collector Corps debut box, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which ships in April. The variant will highlight the first edition of Marvel’s new series, Guardians Team Up Meet the Avengers, and will be exclusive to Marvel Collector Corps. [Read more...]

Jelly Jam and Kids Preferred to Launch The Moodsters Exclusively at Target

The MoodstersJelly Jam Entertainment has partnered with Kids Preferred to launch The Moodsters, a new line of toys and books designed to teach kids the fundamentals of feelings.

The Moodsters consist of five lovable detectives—Coz, Lolly, Snorf, Razzy, and Quigly—who come to the rescue whenever their friends, Zach and Zoey, have a feelings emergency. The stories and toys teach simple strategies to build social and emotional intelligence skills in young children. [Read more...]

The Lego Group’s Strong 2014 Led by Global Growth

legoworldmapLast year, the Lego Group enjoyed revenue growth of 15 percent year over year on a local currency basis, excluding foreign exchange impacts. Revenue increased by 13 percent to DKK 28.6 billion (USD $4,349,545,486) compared to DKK 25.3 billion (USD $3,847,850,941) in the previous year, while the year’s operating profit increased to DKK 9.7 billion (USD $1,475,318,881) compared to DKK 8.3 billion (USD $1,262,184,735) in the previous year, an increase of 16 percent. Net profit was DKK 7.0 billion (USD $1,064,493,150) compared to DKK 6.1 billion USD $927,777,853) in the prior year, an increase of 15 percent. [Read more...]

Jakks Pacific Reports Fourth Quarter and Year-End Results

jakks_logoJakks Pacific Inc. reported results for the company’s fourth quarter and full year ended December 31. Net sales for the fourth quarter were $254.0 million, compared to $137.7 million reported in the comparable period last year. Reported net income for the fourth quarter was $2.8 million, or $0.11 per diluted share. This compares to a net loss of $16.1 million, or $0.73 per diluted share, reported in the comparable period last year. Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter increased to $10.6 million, compared with negative EBITDA of $6.0 million in the fourth quarter of last year. [Read more...]

Deal Reached to End Severe West Coast Port Backlog

Multiple sources report that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year labor contract, ending several months of back-ups and delays at 29 West Coast ports.

The deal was reached with the assistance of U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh, following more than nine months of talks. As reported by Bloomberg News this past Friday, talks had broken down this month over a union demand that it be able to fire arbitrators in workplace grievances. The two sides had reached terms over salaries, benefits, the right of union members to maintain and repair truck chassis used to haul shipping containers, and health care. [Read more...]