China Toy Fair


Penguin UK Reaching for the Skylands with First Licensed Magazine

SkylandersLogoPenguin UK is taking its first steps into licensed magazine publishing after acquiring the world representation rights to a new Skylanders Universe magazine, based on the Skylanders video games.

Penguin, which also owns the rights to the Skylanders Universe books, acquired the rights from brand owners Activision. It has appointed Immediate Media to produce the content and distribute the magazine in the UK.

The stories in the magazine will be based on characters from the Skylanders games—Skylanders Spyro’s Adventures, Skylanders Giants, and Skylanders Swap Force.

Rubie’s Supplies Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Costumes for NYSE Bell Ringing

rubielogoRubie’s Costume Co. Inc. supplied 50 officially licensed Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy costumes to attendees at last Tuesday’s ringing of the bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy stars Chris Pratt, who played Star-Lord, and Zoe Saldana, who portrayed Gamora, joined Marvel Entertainment executives as they marked the opening day of trading.

“To partner with Marvel on such a monumental tradition of the bell ringing at the NYSE was truly an honor for us, and we were delighted the movie’s stars had a chance to see our designs and their likeness captured in costume form,” said Howard Beige, Rubie’s executive vice president.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Costume Collection by Rubie’s is available for this Halloween.

Om Nom Toys in New Zeptolab and McDonald’s Happy Meal Promotion

OmNom.FruitSkewerZeptolab is teaming with McDonald’s on a new multi-market Happy Meal promotion for its popular mobile game brand, Cut the Rope. The deal was brokered by Zeptolab’s master licensing agent in Europe, ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE).

Through October, the promotion will run in 37 markets across Europe and will offer a new and exclusive app, Cut the Rope: Hungry for Fruit, which is available on McDonald’s Happy Studio on the iOS and Android platforms. The goal of the game is to get the candy-eating monster, Om Nom, a steady diet of fruit by popping floating bubbles that contain the fruit or Om Nom himself. During the promotion, every Happy Meal purchase will come with one of eight Om Nom fruit-themed toys.

Store window takeovers, fruit sampling, fun fruit recipe cards, and premium demos are among the activations that will support the new Cut the Rope game for the duration of the promotion.

COMMENTARY: Sports Video Games Are Getting More Realistic All the Time

Phil.NHL15.08.13

NHL 15, from EA Sports

Face it, sports fans: People of all ages love watching football, baseball, basketball, etc., and ever since the first video game based on any sport was released for home consoles, people have loved playing sports video games. I myself grew up with the Madden NFL and NBA Live series, both from Electronic Arts (EA Games), and I still remember the thrill of throwing a Dan Marino touchdown, or making Shaquille O’Neal uncharacteristically fire up a three-pointer. [Read more...]

Brandberry Enters Partnership with Worx Toys

PoopeezLicensing agency Brandberry has signed Worx Toys as its master toy partner. They will be focusing efforts on a book and plush program that introduces the characters from the Poopeez brand, which is aimed at all ages.

“Developing a children’s property that engages kids, equally as much as adults, is no easy feat,” said Gene Khasminsky, the president of Worx Toys. “Children ages 3 to 6 find the subject of poop to be the funniest on the planet, while the tastefully crafted potty humor is equally as engaging for adults.”

Poopeez is inspired by bathroom humor, but its characters have humanistic qualities and unique personalities. Current Poopeez licensees include Bare Tree Media, which is launching virtual goods, and Alley Oop Toys as the novelty toys licensee.

Collins to Publish The Little Book of Bananagrams with Foreword by Dame Judi Dench

Bananagrams LondonThis fall will see the release of The Collins Little Book of Bananagrams, which contains hints, winning strategies, and insider secrets for fans of the word game. Deej Johnson, the Bananagrams brand’s creative consultant, and word-game champion Mark Nyman wrote the book. It includes two ways to turn titles that save vital seconds when someone shouts, “Peel!”; things that a player must do in their first move; and more. Dame Judi Dench, a Bananagrams fan, provides a foreword.

The book, which will be available globally in October from Collins, also offers general word game advice, such as 135 proper nouns that can be played in any word game.

Rubie’s to Expand Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Costume Collection

Rubies.TMNTRubie’s Costume Co. Inc., under license with Nickelodeon, has launched officially licensed costumes, masks, and accessories based on the soon-to-be-released film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, by Nickelodeon Movies and distributed by Paramount Pictures. Available in child and adult sizes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Costume Collection includes: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello. The new product line reflects a modern day interpretation of the popular franchise.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arrives in theaters on August 8, and the costume collection by Rubie’s is available now for Halloween.

Jinx Introduces Minecraft Creeper Anatomy Vinyl Toy

minecraftJinx has launched the Minecraft Creeper Anatomy Vinyl toy, which is 8 inches tall and disassembles into seven parts. It was previewed at Minecon 2013 in Orlando, Florida, and is now available for purchase on the Jinx website and at Toys “R” Us stores.

To accompany the launch, Jinx has created a video for this new addition to the vinyl toy lineup, which expands on the thought process behind the design of the toy. It can be found on the Jinx YouTube channel.

Blue Orange Games to Launch New Disney Products

Blue-Orange-GamesBlue Orange Games—a leading designer of tabletop family games—will introduce nine new Disney licensed games by this fall.

The company will adapt its existing titles to feature Disney properties, enhancing ways that children can interact with favorite Disney characters.

The line will feature educational content from existing games Spot it! and Tell Tale. It will highlight popular Disney characters and movies such as Frozen, Disney Planes, and Disney television shows Sofia the First and Jake and the Never Land Pirates.

Alleghany Capital Corporation Invests in Jazwares

jazwaresAlleghany Capital Corporation (ACC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Alleghany Corporation, has acquired an interest in Jazwares LLC.

Judd Zebersky, CEO and president of Jazwares, commented, “Jazwares has grown significantly over the past number of years by delivering high quality, must-have toys and consumer electronics to children worldwide. As we pursue our next stage of growth, we are enthusiastic to partner with ACC given its unique long-term perspective and history of backing entrepreneurial management teams.”

Valufinder Group Inc. acted as financial advisor while Seyfarth Shaw LLP acted as legal counsel to ACC. Marketing Management Group Inc. acted as financial advisor and Pryor Cashman LLP acted as legal counsel to Jazwares.