China Toy Fair


Uglydoll Introduces The Wizard of Oz, Star Trek Product Lines

imagePretty Ugly LLC has teamed with CBS Consumer Products and Warner Bros. Consumer Products to launch new Uglydoll plush toys.

CBS will feature plush characters based on the Star Trek franchise. The line is set for release next year, will feature Wage as Captain James T. Kirk, Ox as first officer Spock, Ice-Bat as chief engineer Scotty, Babo as Doctor McCoy, and Tray as communications officer Uhura.

Warner Bros. is set to create plush toys based on The Wizard of OzThe whole Uglydoll crew–including Moxy, Wage, Jeero, Babo, and Ox–will dress as the iconic characters from the classic film. This series of dolls will be previewed at Licensing Expo this summer and will launch in stores in the fall.

HIT Entertainment Will Produce First Little People Series

imageHIT Entertainment, in collaboration with Fisher-Price, has announced that a new CG-animated series, Little Peopleis now in pre-production and is set to launch late next year. The new series is based on Fisher-Price’s Little People brand, and is being produced out of HIT’s UK content hub.

This is the first collaboration between HIT and Fisher-Price since Mattel acquired HIT in 2012.

The Little People line encourages open-ended, imaginative play among preschoolers, with environments built around familiar people and favorite places such as the zoo and farm. The Little People brand has been the No. 1 property in preschool playsets in the U.S. for the past two years, according to NPD Group data.

Rovio and Hasbro to Mash Up Transformers and Angry Birds

AngryBirdsTransformersRovio Entertainment and Hasbro Inc. are bringing together two of the world’s biggest entertainment brands and their fans through Angry Birds Transformers, to be brought to life in multiple forms, including a mobile game, consumer licensed goods, and a product line from Hasbro.

Later this year, Hasbro will introduce a product line featuring Telepods technology, which will enable fans to teleport their favorite Angry Birds Transformers characters into the game and gain unique powers. The Angry Birds Transformers franchise follows successful collaborations between Hasbro and Rovio, including the Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Go! product lines, as well as the upcoming Angry Birds Stella Telepods line, which will be available in September.

This year, the companies announced an expanded licensing agreement making Hasbro the premier toy and game licensee. More Angry Birds Transformers products and content will be revealed throughout the next few weeks.

Cowabunga! A Look at TMNT Toys Past and Present

TMNTby Brandon Engel

Fans eagerly await the big screen return of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello. Not the Italian master painters, but the pizza-scarfing, reptilian wise-crackers who have been delighting young audiences since the early ’80s. Although the characters were originally created by artists Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird as a parody of comic book franchises that were popular at the time, the turtle gang soon took on a life of its own, spawning multiple television programs, video games, films, and of course, toys.

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding the forthcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, and although we’ll have to wait until August for the film’s premiere, there’s a slew of new products to hold our interest until then. [Read more...]

Mattel and Warner Bros. Extend Strategic Relationship for DC Comics Universe

Batman EvergreenWarner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), with DC Entertainment, has extended its alliance with Mattel Inc. with a new multi-year agreement granting Mattel rights to continue as master toy licensee for the DC Comics universe of characters. Under these terms, Mattel is granted unprecedented access to the DC Comics vault of characters, which includes more than a thousand DC Comics superheroes and super-villains, such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and The Joker. The deal continues Mattel’s support of DC Comics across its entire portfolio of core brands, including Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Barbie, Mattel Games, and Fisher-Price.

In addition to existing characters and content, the extension includes Mattel’s rights to produce toys based on future DC Comics films, animation, and TV projects that are developed and produced during the term of the agreement. Mattel is set to develop toy lines for two of Warner Bros.’ most highly anticipated theatrical releases: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is set for a summer 2016 release, and the recently announced Justice League film to follow. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Video Game-Based Toys Can Ease Kids into Other Kinds of Play

KNEX.SuperMarioDesertIt’s summertime, which for a lot of kids means playing outside in the sunshine, swimming, and maybe even going on trips to visit nature. But for others, summer means staying indoors and playing video games all day. It’s probably best to moderate any activity that involves staring at a screen; however, the question is, how to get video game-obsessed kids to take up a different form of play? The answer may be toys based on popular video game titles, and there are quite a few of those available right now.

We kick off our non-comprehensive list with K’NEX, which since 2010, has partnered with Nintendo on construction toys based on its popular Mario property. Recently, I spoke to an executive at the company, who said that no small part of the partnership’s success came from replicating game elements in K’NEX’s construction sets: For example, many of its Super Mario building sets have a mechanism that simulates the avatar’s in-game jumping ability. [Read more...]

Toy Market Reflects FIFA World Cup Mania

According to The NPD Group, sales of World Cup-themed toys have been growing since the start of the year, as fever for the event starts to take hold across the UK. One toy out of every nine sold, or over 9.1 million toys, have been linked to the competition.

More than one quarter, or 27 percent, of all toys sold in the week commencing May 11 were related to the tournament, with the best-selling toy that week being Panini’s World Cup Brazil Official sticker album. Two other items in the top 15 directly linked to the competition were also collectibles: Panini’s World Cup Blister pack of 50 stickers and Topps Match Attax England trading cards. [Read more...]

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Licensed Products Set to Explode at Retail

guardians of the galaxy poster 2. jpgToy manufacturers including Hasbro, Lego, and Kiddesigns have developed a wide range across key product categories inspired by Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which arrives in theaters on August 1. Products include Hasbro’s 10-inch electronic figure, Lego’s The Milano Spaceship Rescue construction set, Funko’s vinyl bobble heads, Rubies Costume Co.’s and Disguise‘s Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon costumes, and more.

To date, Guardians of the Galaxy has received major mass retailer commitment, including a cross-category pallet program at Wal-Mart, top placement for Hasbro and Lego’s toy lines in all key accounts, and a heavily promoted party goods program with Party City. The Guardians of the Galaxy merchandising program will benefit from Marvel Studios‘ major marketing push for the film that will hit full force beginning later this month.

World Tech Toys Signs Deal with WWE

WorldTechToysWorld Tech Toys has signed a licensing agreement with World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) to design and manufacture licensed R/C helicopters based on WWE superstars Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and others.

“The WWE deal adds more muscle to our already robust portfolio of top licensed R/C helicopters and other vehicles,” said Ben Ibarra, World Tech Toys Vice President. “We’re beyond excited to bring WWE R/C to market, and expect both R/C and WWE fans will be as well.”

World Tech Toys is behind electric-powered R/C copters featuring built-in gyroscopes that automatically stabilize the craft, so users can focus on flying or hovering. Along with its own proprietary line of R/C toys, the company offers a variety of flying and driving R/C toys based on pop culture brands.

Aquarius Entertainment Signs Agreement with Hasbro, Expands into Toys and Games

LLC2NMRDC_PLAY24Aquarius Entertainment Merchandise (aka NMR Distribution America) has transitioned from a poster, calendar, and gift vendor to a toy and games gift resource. Its top-performing products include playing cards and puzzles in the game category and desk top standees, lunch tins, and tin signs in the gift category. A DC Comics board game is currently in development.

My Little Pony poster displayer, exclusive to Hot Topic stores.

My Little Pony poster displayer, exclusive to Hot Topic stores.

Recently, Aquarius entered into a licensing agreement with Hasbro to create a range of collectible classic lunch box tins, playing cards, tin deck sets, funky chunky magnets, and posters and décor featuring Hasbro’s classic brands, such as My Little Pony, Transformers, Mr. Potato Head, G.I. Joe, Monopoly, and Candyland. Products are now available on specialty retail shelves.

Aquarius/NMR also holds licenses including Marvel, the Beatles, Coca-Cola, and more.