DreamWorks Teams Up with Hasbro for Two Franchises

dreamworks_animation_logo_1Hasbro, Inc. and DreamWorks Animation have entered into an agreement to create toys and games inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations and Trolls properties. Through this deal, Hasbro will unveil franchise-inspired product lines across major toy categories, with theatrical releases supporting B.O.O. and Trolls arriving in theaters in 2015 and 2016, respectively.Hasbro_logo_new 3.20.28 PM

B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations is the classified agency you’ve never heard of and certainly never seen. Dedicated to protecting the Universe from evil hauntings, the agents of B.O.O. have a secret weapon: they are ghosts themselves. When B.O.O. faces its biggest threat yet—an uber-villain with a ghastly plan—top agent Jackson Moss (Seth Rogen) and his wacky partner Watts (Melissa McCarthy) team up for the job.

DreamWorks Animation also recently announced the acquisition of the Trolls franchise. The Trolls experienced a resurgence in the 1990s, and in 2003, the Toy Industry Association named Trolls on its list of One Hundred of the Century’s Most Treasured Toys.

Disney Consumer Products Releases Disney’s Planes Collection

planesDisney Consumer Products (DCP) has announced a product collection inspired by Disneytoon Studios’ high-flying adventure, Disney’s Planes, with products that leverage technology and interactivity from Disney Store and companies, including Mattel, Thinkway, and Jay Franco. With track sets for side-by-side racing and stunts and launchers, kids will be able to recreate their favorite racing moments from the film. Fueling imagination and role play, the line also includes R/C planes that kids can guide with flight controllers that mirror their own body movements. The planes can be programmed to talk,  and move and turn with a programmable joystick. A collection from Disney Store and DisneyStore.com, as well as an assortment of fashion, home décor, lifestyle, and publishing products, rounds out the collection for fans of this new comedy-adventure from above the world of Cars.planes1

Disney’s Planes is set for release in theaters August 9, and takes off with Dusty (voiced by Dane Cook), a small town dreamer who longs to enter the most epic around-the-world air race despite his fear of heights.

COMMENTARY: Despicable Me 2: An Instant Feel-Good Favorite

DM2 LogoDespicable Me 2 explores all kinds of love: Father-daughter love, admiration for a co-worker, new love, puppy love, motherly love, male camaraderie, and, of course, Minion love. A fun flick for the whole family, the sequel to the 2010 hit is a heart-warming 98 minutes full of life lessons, slapstick, and downright adorableness.

Former super-villian Gru (Steve Carell) has given up the good (bad) life for his three little girls, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Elsie Fisher). Moving on from his evil days, he decides to explore the wonders of jam and jelly making and small business. However, his evil roots catch up to him soon enough and he is enlisted by the Anti Villian League (AVL). Together with his AVL partner, Lucy (Kristen Wiig), Gru goes undercover to apprehend a dangerous transmutation formula, which the AVL fears has fallen into the wrong hands. With a few likely suspects easily identified, Gru and Lucy embark on their mission to save the world.

Growing from the first film, Gru is now faced with all of the joys of fatherhood, including dressing up like a Fairy Princess, aiding in performance rehearsals, and steering love-sick boys away from his daughter’s direction. Though, he may appear to have become a bit love-sick himself. No longer orphans, the girls have clearly acclimated to their life with Gru as their dad, but they are eager for Gru to find love, and simultaneously, a mother figure. [Read more...]

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.