China Toy Fair


Iconix Completes Peanuts Acquisition

Iconix Brand Group, Inc. has completed the acquisition of the Peanuts brand and related assets of United Media Licensing, a division of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., through a newly formed joint venture company, Peanuts Worldwide, LLC. The new company is 80 percent owned by Iconix and 20 percent owned by Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, managed by the Schulz family.

This deal changes the landscape of Iconix and moves the company beyond fashion. Consumer products outside of fashion now represent approximately one-third of the company’s overall revenue.

In addition to Peanuts, Iconix has acquired the licensing and character representation for a number of character brands, including Dilbert and Fancy Nancy.

The purchase price for the acquisition was $175 million. Iconix funded its portion of the purchase price with cash on its balance sheet.

Saban Capital Group Acquires Power Rangers from The Walt Disney Company

Saban Capital Group, Inc. has acquired the Power Rangers property from The Walt Disney Company, marking the franchise as the first property to be managed by newly established Saban Brands. Saban Brands was recently formed as a subsidiary of Saban Capital Group to manage and license entertainment properties and consumer brands throughout the world.

The acquisition represents the return of the global franchise to its original developer, Haim Saban, who introduced the first Power Rangers series in 1993. The deal includes worldwide rights to the brand, as well as the more than 700 episodes produced over 17 years.

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K’NEX Donates Portion of Holiday Sales to Philadelphia Children’s Hospital

On April 6, K’NEX donated more than $20,000 to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), a donation that was the result of the company’s holiday fundraiser last year. During last November and December, K’NEX pledged to donate 10 percent of KNEX.com sales during those months to The Cancer Center at CHOP. The company also accepted additional donations through its website.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has been ranked No. 1 for pediatric cancer care by U.S. News and World Report and is the nation’s largest provider of services for pediatric cancer patients. Donations are helping CHOP researchers find the best non-invasive treatments and, ultimately, cures for every type of childhood cancer.

CHOP develops new therapies to treat pediatric leukemia and other blood disorders, brain tumors, sarcomas, retinoblastoma, and neuroblastoma.

The Toy Book Toy Report 4/13/2010

Read The Toy Book’s Toy Report for this week! (4/13/10)

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Buys Minority Stake in Munchkin

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (“Teachers’”) has acquired a significant minority stake of common stock in Munchkin, Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

This latest transaction follows Munchkin’s January acquisition of Lindam, a UK manufacturer of safety gates and safety accessories, adding to Munchkin’s existing portfolio of infant products and pet products through its Bamboo division.

Munchkin was established in 1991 and still privately held.

POOF-Slinky Acquires Cadaco

POOF-Slinky has acquired the assets of Cadaco, a division of Rapid Displays in Chicago. Cadaco manufactures the Ryan Oakes Magic line, the eco-friendly activity and construction line EnviroBLOX, and a line of board games such as Tripoley, among other products.

“We are pleased to be able to add the Cadaco product lines to our Ideal and POOF Brands,” said Ray Dallavecchia, Jr., president & CEO of POOF, in a press release.

Hobby Store Game Sales Up

Game sales in hobby stores were up from 5 to 10 percent in 2009 despite the worst economy in generations, according to a report in the new issue of Internal Correspondence. The growth was driven by a resurgence in Magic: The Gathering sales and by board game sales up by double-digit percentages. Yu-Gi-Oh! and the return of HeroClix also helped support improved sales. Non-collectible miniature sales were slightly down, and RPG sales were down approximately 10 percent in 2009.

WowWee Presidents Make Purchase Offer

Richard Yanofsky, president of WowWee Canada, and Peter Yanofsky, president of WowWee USA, have set up a company to buy out the current shareholders of the Optimal Group, of which WowWee is a wholly-owned subsidiary, and have the support of Optimal’s board of directors.

The offer of $2.40 per share represents a premium of approximately 50 percent over the closing price of the Class “A” shares of $1.60 on the NASDAQ on March 16, 2010. The purchase would make Optimal a privately held company.

Guangdong’s Toy Exports up 47.1% in February

According to www.chinaknowledge.com, the export value of toys in Guangdong Province amounted to $330 million in February, up 47.1 percent year on year, according to statistics from the local customs.

In the first two months of this year, the province’s toy export value rose 26.3 percent from the same period of last year to $720 million, with $260 million worth of toys exported to the U.S., accounting for 36.1 percent of the total toy exports of Guangdong.

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MGA Considers IPO

Bloomberg is reporting that MGA Entertainment Inc., will consider selling shares in an initial public offering, according to CEO Isaac Larian. Larian, who controls more than 80 percent of MGA Entertainment, ruled out a share sale this year. The toymaker didn’t proceed with IPO plans in the past because of litigation with rival toymaker Mattel Inc., he said.

Larian unveiled a distribution agreement for MGA’s Moxie Girlz fashion doll with Giochi Preziosi SpA, which CEO Dario Berte said may hold an IPO this fall. Giochi Preziosi will distribute the doll in Italy, France, Greece and Turkey.