University Games Acquires Briarpatch Inc.

UniversityGameslogoUniversity Games will acquire the assets of Briarpatch Inc., a manufacturer of preschool specialty games and puzzles based on popular literary properties such as I Spy and Fancy Nancy.

The merger will increase University Games’ domestic revenue by approximately 20 percent. Additionally, the Briarpatch licenses will augment University Games’ Colorforms business. University Games will begin shipping Briarpatch products this month.

John Donofrio and Martine Redman founded Briarpatch in 1991, and Donofrio will join University Games in a consulting role.

Spin Master Ltd. Launches Tenkai Knights Gaming App

TenkaiKnightsSpin Master Ltd. has released, Tenkai Knights Battle for Quarton, a free mobile gaming app based on the hit kids’ TV series, Tenkai Knights. The new game-based app is available for download to iOS devices in the App Store.

Players tap and swipe to help their favorite Tenkai warriors to defeat the evil Vilius and his corrupted army to save the planet Quarton. Developed by Game Pill, the app features all four Tenkai Knights as they race through four different levels.

Expanded Partnerships for Lionel Means More Licensed Trains

LionelLionel has expanded its partnerships with Warner Bros., Coca-Cola, and Peanuts. As a result of these agreements, this year will see a number of new G-Gauge and Ready to Run O-Gauge train sets, including Frosty the Snowman, Coca-Cola Holiday, and Snoopy Railways. The model train maker also enjoys a new license with Crayola.

“Lionel Trains is bringing the nostalgia of iconic train sets to the hearts of fans of all ages,” said Howard Hitchcock, SVP/GM of Lionel. “By securing new licenses and expanding partnerships to grow our G-Gauge and Ready to Run O-Gauge platforms, we’re putting trains from familiar and beloved brands into the hands of children of all ages.”

Funko Goes Pop! for How to Train Your Dragon 2

Funko.Dragon.2Hiccup, Toothless, and rest of the gang return to screens in DreamWorks Animation‘s How To Train Your Dragon 2, which arrives in theaters this June. In April, Funko will be releasing favorite characters from the series in Pop! form, alongside some new dragons.

Funko to Launch New Licensed Fabrikations, Hikari Japanese Vinyl Toys

Funko is set to launch two new lines of licensed figures this year. Fabrikations consists of 6-inch soft-sculpted figures featuring a rotating head as well as vinyl accessories. Each Fabrikation is weighted, allowing it to stand securely on a surface.

DC Universe, Marvel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars will be the first licenses to be released in the Fabrikations line.

This spring and summer, Funko will also be launching Hikari Japanese Vinyl, a collectible line of clear Sofubi vinyl inspired by Japanese vinyl figures. Each piece will be hand-numbered, limited edition, and come packaged in a clear tube with an on/off LED light for display purposes.

Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be the first licenses in the Hikari line. Star Wars, Marvel, and Ghostbusters will follow this year.

Funko and Wizards of the Coast Joining Forces for Magic: The Gathering Figures

Funko has entered a new licensing agreement with Wizards of the Coast Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro Inc., to produce Magic: The Gathering Planeswalkers figures for Funko’s Pop! Vinyl and Legacy Collection action figures lines.

The first series of vinyl figures is set for release in April, and will feature 3.75-inch versions of Planeswalkers characters Jace Beleren, Garruk Wildspeaker, Chandra Nalaar, Liliana Vess, Ajani Goldmane, and Nissa Revane. The Planeswalkers will also be among the first Legacy Collection figures released; each one features more than 20 points of articulation as well as removable accessories.

Sculptors at Gentle Giant are collaborating with Funko on the new Legacy Collection, which is set for release in August and suitable for ages 14 and up.

Discovery Kids Launches Kid’s Meal Promotion at Sonic

Sonic Drive-In restaurants will distribute a new line of toys in its Wacky Pack Kid’s Meals as part of a partnership with Discovery Communications Inc. Each kid’s meal will include one of five toys and the opportunity for kids to play with any of the three online games offered on DiscoverKids.com.

The toys are targeted toward kids ages 4 to 12 to encourage them to play outside, explore, and use their imaginations. The assortment in the line includes the Lightning Bug Lantern, Bug-Nocs, Venus Fly Trap, Ladybug Pack, and Spider Pack. The promotion will run through March 22.

Jazwares’ Gravity Falls Toys to Arrive This Fall

Jazwares.GravityFallsJazwares has created a new Gravity Falls toy line based on the popular Disney TV series. The line-up will include figures, plush, role-play, and play-set toys, and the first wave will see release this fall at retailers across the U.S.

The initial retail focus of the toy line will be in specialty stores nationwide. Currently, Gravity Falls is a top-rated show on Disney Channel among kids ages 2 to 11 and 6 to 11, and tweens ages 9 to 14. It follows the adventures of Dipper and Mabel Pines, twins spending the summer with their eccentric great-uncle Stan in the town of Gravity Falls, Oregon, where things are never as they seem.

Viewers Can Now Play the Hollywood Game Night Party Game

cardinalCardinal Industries has teamed up with NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products to create a card game based on the show, Hollywood Game Night. The product was initially available at Walmart for an exclusive window and at the NBC online store.

The game is composed of five different card games, which mimics the games played on the show. The game also includes dual-purpose coasters, a timer, and dry erase score sheet card with a marker to keep score.

Saban Brands Teams Up with Random House on Julius Jr. Children’s Books

Julius JrSaban Brands has entered a global publishing deal with Random House Children’s Books for the preschool property Julius Jr. New products will include an interactive collection of books inspired by the TV series, which airs on Nick Jr. Random House has acquired worldwide English rights, and the books will be available starting this fall and published under the company’s Golden Books and Random House Books for Young Readers imprints.

“The Julius Jr. series will be a natural fit with young readers and we’re happy to share the fantastic adventures of Julius Jr. and his friends through visual storytelling,” said Elie Dekel, President of Saban Brands.

The fall collection will include a full range of color and activity books, leveled readers, storybooks, and novelty books for preschool-aged children.