TIA Re-Elects Four Board Members

TIA LogoAt its Annual General Meeting, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) TIA members re-elected four directors to the Board, each for two-year terms of office expiring in 2019.

Howard Kahn, chairman of Madame Alexander and CEO of Kahn Lucas and Bruce Raiffe, president of GUND (a division of Enesco, LLC) were each re-elected for a second term. Richard Barry, global chief merchandising officer at Toys “R” Us, Inc., was re-elected for a third term, and Manuel Torres, executive vice president of worldwide consumer products at NBC Universal, was re-elected for a third term as a member of the board’s executive committee.

Open to both members and non-members, the 2017 TIA Annual General Meeting was held in conjunction with the 114th North American International Toy Fair currently underway at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Jakks Pacific Reports Q4 Financial Results

jakks_logo_new copyJakks Pacific reported financial results for the fourth quarter 2016, which ended Dec. 31, 2016.

Net sales for the fourth quarter were $167.0 million compared to $163.4 million in the fourth quarter 2015, ahead of the company’s latest guidance. As disclosed in mid-December, a number of key licensed products were performing well below prior expectations for the quarter, more than offsetting the strength of some core product lines.

Gross margin in the fourth quarter was 31.2 percent, up from 30.3 percent last year as a result of continuing margin expansion efforts, partially offset by higher tooling amortization. Operating margin was negative 1.4 percent, an improvement from last year due to the higher gross margin and lower SG&A expenses, offset in part by higher marketing expenses.

Reported net loss attributable to Jakks Pacific for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $7.6 million, or $0.47 per diluted share. This compares to net loss attributable to Jakks Pacific of $9.3 million, or $0.50 per diluted share in the same year-ago quarter. Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter was $4.0 million, up from the negative $2.1 million in the year-ago quarter due to the higher margins on slightly higher sales in 2016.

Disney Orders Second Season of Tangled: The Series Ahead of Season One Debut

TANGLEDTHESERIES_FEATUREDIMAGEDisney Channel has made an early commitment to a second season of the animated show Tangled: The Series ahead of the debut of the first season. A production of Disney Television Animation, the series is based on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ feature film Tangled[Read more...]

Star Wars Force Friday II to Take Place on Sept. 1

ForceFridayIIStar Wars Force Friday II, a global fan event celebrating the launch of new products inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi, will take place on Sept 1. Toys, collectibles, books, apparel, and more will go on sale beginning at 12:01 a.m. that morning, with stores around the world opening for a weekend-long celebration of all things Star Wars. [Read more...]

Ravensburger Launches Ravensburger North America Division

Ravensburger AG launched a new division of its global business, Ravensburger North America (RNA). For the first time, Ravensburger, Wonder Forge, and Brio toy brands will reside together under the same umbrella. [Read more...]

Super Impulse, The Jim Henson Co. Partner for Fraggle Rock Range

FraggleRockSuper Impulse and The Jim Henson Co. will introduce a line of Fraggle Rock toys, making its debut at the North American International Toy Fair this weekend. The range will be available this spring and will include 10-inch Plush Characters; 4-inch Plush Backpack Clips; 6-inch Beanbag Plush; and 15-inch Feature Plush.  [Read more...]

Monopoly Fans Vote to Remove Thimble Token

MonopolyThimbleMonopoly fans worldwide have spoken—the iconic Thimble token will be removed from the current Monopoly game.

After nearly a month of voting in the Monopoly Token Madness campaign, more than 4 million votes from fans around the world decided to remove the Thimble token from the game, which was originally added in 1935. [Read more...]

Jakks Pacific Enters Global Licensing Deal for DC Super Hero Girls

Jakks DCSHG SocialJakks Pacific Inc. partnered with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, for a multi-year, global licensing deal to manufacture, market, and distribute large action-pose dolls, dress-up, and Get Ready for Action items based on the DC Super Hero Girls universe.

DC Super Hero Girls follows female Super Heroes and Super Villains of the DC universe during their high school years, before they discover their full super power potential. Each character has his or her own storyline that explores what teen life is like as a Super Hero, including discovering unique abilities, nurturing powers, and mastering the fundamentals of being a hero.

Jakks’ DC Super Hero Girls line will be available at retailers this fall.

Mattel Kicks Off Thomas & Friends Global Brand Campaign

ThomasAndFriendsThomas & Friends, from Mattel Inc., kicked off its first global brand campaign with a year-long marketing program, Set Friendship in Motion.

The campaign aims to help preschoolers strengthen friendship skills, such as collaboration, communication, sharing, manners, kindness, and the abilities to express and understand feelings and emotions. Set Friendship in Motion will include ways for families to interact with kids including content, digital activations, and live events to bring the campaign to life. [Read more...]

CroJack Will Not Be Taking Orders for Collectible Erasers at NYTF

iwakoCrojack Capital Inc. will not be taking orders during the North American International Toy Fair for its latest collectibles line, IWAKO’s collectible puzzle erasers.

IWAKO’s line will make its North American debut at Toy Fair from Feb. 18 to 21 at Booth #4513. While attendees are encouraged to stop by the booth, due to an overwhelming demand, CroJack will not be writing orders for the collectibles. Instead, the IWAKO team will be at the show taking inquiries from customers and allocating product after the show is over.

“We’re probably the only company in history to go to Toy Fair planning not to write orders. To be fair to our specialty customers, we’ve decided to allocate product to retailers that sign up at the show, on a first-come, first-serve basis,” says Dan Wise, founder and CEO of CroJack. “The brand currently has a cult-following in Asia and the UK, and IWAKO has been trickling product in the U.S. and Canada on a limited basis. CroJack will work towards ultimately making IWAKO available to all retailers throughout North, Central, and South America.”