China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: Spanning Generations: Modern Takes on Classic Brands

Nostalgia is a growing trend in the toy and licensing industry, but recently many classic brands have been given a modern reboot. The modernized take on classic brands offer fun for consumers both young and old, spanning generations and providing licensees with multiple new opportunities. Today, some modernized takes on old favorites live along side their predecessors.

PlaymatesToys.BasicMutagenOozeTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT), for example, launched in the 1980s. A huge, revolutionary boys’ property, the brand was given a reboot last year when a new TMNT animated series launched in September on Nickelodeon. The brand has seen massive success in the toy industry, with partners including Playmates Toys with a full line of figures and play sets, bubbles and water toys from Little Kids, and awesome electronics from Sakar International, including adorable TMNT earbuds. In addition to producing toys based on the new animated series, Playmates Toys also offers a classic collection including all four turtles, which reflects the look of the characters in the original series. [Read more...]

DreamWorks Announces Licensees for Mr. Peabody & Sherman

dreamworksDreamWorks Animation has secured a collection of consumer products partners in North America for Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which will debut in theaters March 7, 2014. The licensing program will be anchored by Random House Children’s Books as master publisher and also includes IDW Publishing (comic books and graphic novels); Hallmark Cards Inc. (stationery); Ludia (iOS, Android, and Facebook games); Hybrid Jem (knit tops, tees, and apparel for kids); Concept One (accessories); Funko (vinyl figures and bobbleheads); Comic Images (plush); Rasta Imposta (costumes); PopFun (glassware and decorative refrigerator magnets); SmileMakers (stickers); Multipet International (pet toys).

DreamWorks Animation brings Jay Ward’s classic cartoon Mr. Peabody & Sherman to life in an all new 3-D comedy adventure. The film is directed by Rob Minkoff (Stuart Little, The Lion King) and produced by Alex Schwartz and Denise Nolan Cascino. Bullwinkle Studios’ Tiffany Ward, Eric Ellenbogen, and Jason Clark also serve as executive producers.

Hasbro and Rovio Expand Angry Birds Licensing Agreement

hasbro_2Hasbro Inc. and Rovio Entertainment have expanded a licensing agreement for toys and physical games based on the Angry Birds brand. The new agreement makes Hasbro the premier toy licensee for Angry Birds, including the upcoming game Angry Birds Go!, set to release this year. In addition, Hasbro will continue to develop and expand its line based on Angry Birds Star Wars from Rovio Entertainment and LucasFilm.

The original Angry Birds mobile game launched in 2009 and remains the No. 1 paid app of all time. Angry Birds has expanded rapidly into consumer products, publishing, and animation. In March, Rovio released Angry Birds Toons, a weekly animated cartoon series distributed through Angry Birds games, TV broadcasters, and on-demand networks. A full-length, animated Angry Birds movie opening is slated for July 1, 2016.

The terms of the agreement grant Hasbro worldwide licensing rights. More details will be released later in the year.

Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios Distribute My Little Pony Equestria Girls

MLPEG General Key Art NOT COVER 300dpiShout! Factory and Hasbro Studios, the Los Angeles-based production and distribution division of Hasbro Inc., announced a new worldwide distribution alliance for the animated movie My Little Pony Equestria Girls. Produced and developed by Hasbro Studios, this new animated family adventure delivers a new take on the popular My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic animated series, packed with familiar characters, vibrant animation, and original music that the whole family will enjoy.

My Little Pony Equestria Girls is set to hit the home entertainment marketplace and a variety of digital entertainment platforms in North America and international territories later this year. When a crown is stolen from the Crystal Empire, Twilight Sparkle pursues the thief into an alternate world where she transforms into a teenage girl who must survive her biggest challenge yet—high school. With help from her new friends who remind her of Ponyville’s Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy, she embarks upon a quest to find the crown and change the destiny of these two parallel worlds.

Britney Spears to Release New Song for New Smurfs Movie

smurfs2Britney Spears will release a song for Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation‘s family comedy The Smurfs 2, titled “Ooh La La,” via Kemosabe/RCA Records. “Ooh La La” will play at the end credits of the film. The Smurfs 2, the sequel to the hybrid live action/animated film released in 2011, is set to hit theaters on July 31.

Spears says, “I have always loved the Smurfs as a kid and now my boys are the biggest Smurfs fans ever. I wanted to surprise them with a song in the movie. I know they’ll think it’s Smurftastic!”

Start Your Engines and Zip Around with Turbo

Turbo is a high-velocity 3-D comedy about an ordinary snail who dares to dream big and fast.

After a freak accident miraculously gives him the power of super-speed, Turbo kicks his dreaming into overdrive and embarks on an extraordinary journey to achieve the seemingly impossible: competing in most famous auto race in the world. But not everyone thinks this mollusk has the muscle to make it to the winners circle, and it’s only with the help of his tricked-out streetwise snail crew that this ultimate underdog proves that no dream is too big, and no dreamer too small.

Check out the movie trailer!

Mattel and DreamWorks Animation bring the story to life with toys capturing key movie moments and characters so kids can play out favorite scenes or create their own adventures.

For more information about Turbo, visit www.turbomovie.com. Check out the roundup of fun, new Turbo toys below!

  • Turbo Shell Racers Vehicles: Featuring character favorites from the movie, kids can be just like Turbo playing out their own adventures with snail racing speed. The collectible character two-packs feature racing action in “snail scale” size that make Turbo Shell Racers perfect for anytime, anywhere play. The complete set has more than a dozen snail characters for the ultimate race showdown.
  • Turbo Stunt Set Assortment: The action-packed Turbo Stunt Set assortment is the perfect place to park, race, and play with Turbo Shell Racers vehicles. The assortment includes two challenging sets that bring big movie moments to life in the playroom. The “Ring of Fire” set has a harrowing vertical loop that must be braved in order to launch through a ring of fire while the “Zip Line Stunt Race” set recreates a key competition scene in the film.

For more information on Mattel toys, visit http://mattelbrandsmedia.com.

“Barbie in The Pink Shoes” Marks 25th Title for Iconic Doll

Barbie takes center stage as a ballerina in the new DVD movie Barbie in The Pink Shoes, available now. After 12 years and more than 110 million DVDs sold to date, the newest title marks a milestone for Barbie Entertainment as the 25th release. In the movie, Barbie stars as Kristyn Farraday, a ballerina with big dreams. When she tries on a pair of sparkling pink shoes, she and her best friend are whisked away to a fantastical place. Embarking on a magical adventure, she learns when you dance from your heart, dreams can come true. Girls can continue dancing with a Barbie In The Pink Shoes line of dolls and toys currently available at retailers nationwide.

Spin Master, DreamWorks Animation Take Flight with Global Licensing Relationship for DreamWorks Dragons Franchise

Spin Master Ltd. and DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. have entered into an exclusive licensing relationship. Spin Master will serve as the worldwide master toy licensee for the DreamWorks Dragons slate of upcoming franchise properties, which includes a television series and a sequel to the original film.

Spin Master previously served as master toy partner for How to Train Your Dragon, released globally in 2009, and this fall will debut a toy line inspired by last year’s debut of Cartoon Network’s DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk, which features the original voice cast from the feature film.

Now kids everywhere will be able to step into the world of Vikings and dragons with a line of immersive and imaginative toys inspired by DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is set for release on July 20, 2014.

Netflix, DreamWorks Animation Launch First Ever Netflix Original Series for Kids

Netflix Inc. and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. have announced that they will create the first ever Netflix Original Series for kids. Based on the DreamWorks Animation movie Turbo, premiering in theaters this summer, the Netflix series Turbo: F.A.S.T. (Fast Action Stunt Team) debuts exclusively this December in the U.S. and across the globe in the 40 countries where Netflix offers its service. [Read more...]

Meet The Small Potatoes Set to Premiere on Disney Channel and Disney Junior, Licensed to Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Little Airplane ProductionsMeet the Small Potatoes is set to make its world television broadcast premiere Friday, February 15 on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Hundreds of avatars of fans, selected through an on-line promotion, are now part of the Meet the Small Potatoes cast and are included in shots throughout the film. [Read more...]