Sweet Suite 2016

Tetris the Movie Gets $80 Million Budget

Producer Larry Kasanoff’s Threshold Entertainment Group and Bruno Wu’s Seven Star Works announced a joint venture to develop and finance film projects for the world market under the new Threshold Global Studios banner. The new company’s inaugural project will be a film adaption based on the video game brand Tetris, with an $80 million budget attached. The venture marks one of the biggest U.S.-China co-production films, with plans to film in China and features Chinese cast in the ensemble.

The team has been working with The Tetris Co. for more than a year, and with the formation of Threshold Global Studios, financing has been secured, the story has been created, and Wu and Kasanoff will co-produce.

School Zone Broadens Digital Distribution for Charlie & Company Series

School Zone Publishing has partnered with Toon Goggles for digital distribution of its property Charlie & Company. The Toon Google SVOD platform features educational, action, and preschool shows. Charlie & Company will be added to the library content for more than 4.6 million registered users and more than 350,000 monthly active users.

Featuring original music from Brian Vander Ark, Charlie & Company is an educational series for children ages 3 to 7 that tells the story of a beloved Golden Retriever (Charlie), Miss Ellie, and all of Charlie’s friends as they learn about the alphabet, counting, creativity, reading, writing, math, and more.  Along the way, kids are taught lasting lessons in fun ways, such as a sing-along about shapes and colors.

In addition to Charlie & Company, School Zone Publishing Company is one of the world’s leading providers of kids’ education tools and resources, including the highly anticipated Little Scholar Mini tablet, new educational workbooks, and interactive flash card sets.

Mattel Creations, Driver Digital Studios Expands Partnership with Launch of New Thomas & Friends Content

36d46e95-f1c0-4e85-9943-105c41514bf3Mattel Creations is expanding its partnership with Driver Digital Studios to produce live-action Thomas & Friends digital content inspired by fans’ user generated content. The content is curated and produced using the Thomas Creator Collective (TCC), a team of Thomas & Friends fans and amateur filmmakers from across the globe, including the U.S., the UK, Australia, Chile, and Japan. [Read more...]

Little Cosmetics Receives Little Charmers License

Little Cosmetics has acquired the Little Charmers license for North America in the role-play category. The deal marks the first license acquisition for Little Cosmetics. The line will include pretend makeup kits and accessories, and will be available this fall.

ASTRA to Honor Industry Leaders at Marketplace & Academy

astra_logo_smallThe American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) has announced this year’s winners of ASTRA’s Excellence Awards. The awards recognize leading retailers, manufacturers, and sales representatives who represent the best of the specialty toy industry. [Read more...]

DHX Media, Iconix Partner to Grow Strawberry Shortcake Brand

8d24a029-04df-41ca-9862-038b85bb0371DHX Media and Iconix Brand Group have entered a long-term agreement to co-develop and co-produce an animated series based on Strawberry Shortcake. DHX will produce and globally distribute the content, and Iconix will handle worldwide merchandising and licensing for the brand with DHX’s international licensing agency, CPLG. Iconix and DHX will both participate on all revenue streams released to this agreement.

In addition to the deal, DHX has become the exclusive, global distributor for the Strawberry Shortcake back catalogue, adding 108 half-hours to the eight half-hours of Strawberry Shortcake content already in the DHX distribution library. [Read more...]

Tucker Toys Enters Special Needs Market

4a94f53e-6b82-42ff-baeb-a712c5675f1eLast spring, two of Tucker Toys’ products—the new E-Z Grip Playball and the Phlat Ball—received special needs approval from AblePlay, a division of Lekotek. Immediately after, Tucker Toys and Goliath Games, the U.S. distributor for the Phlat Ball, teamed up to donate a case of each product to all of Lekotek’s Toy Lending Libraries across the U.S. [Read more...]

Jakks Pacific Signs Two Exclusive Distribution Agreements

f6522ce2-21f1-46ac-8a7d-7d39d6bdf4f2Headstart International has selected Jakks Pacific as its exclusive distributor of Ooshies, a line of collectible characters featuring licenses such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The multi-year agreement allows Jakks to promote, market, and sell Ooshies in various channels nationwide.

In addition, Jakks has entered a worldwide distribution agreement with Roxo LLC for Glow Friends night-light products. The multi-year distribution agreement allows Jakks to exclusively promote, market, distribute, and sell Glow Friends in various channels worldwide. Glow Friends is a new line of interactive light-up characters available in 4-inch and 6-inch sizes. When tapped, the night-lights create a light show and the larger size includes sounds. [Read more...]

Toy Industry Execs to Open Licensing Expo

f878b8c4-ceee-4095-a906-e21b3b05e443Leading toy industry executives will open Licensing Expo 2016 with keynote session “Toys to Content: Where Do We Go From Here?” on June 21, from 8 to 9 a.m. at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. [Read more...]

Skyrocket Toys Forms New Media Division

Skyrocket.Jared WolfsonSkyrocket Toys has appointed kids and family entertainment executive and producer Jared Wolfson to lead the company’s newly formed media division, which will create original content for multi-media platforms in conjunction with the company’s toy and consumer products brands.

Skyrocket will develop original content for digital and broadcast platforms with a corresponding line of toys and ancillary products, and plans to launch their first property with a toy line in 2018. As senior vice president of the company’s media division, Wolfson will be responsible for developing, launching, and managing Skyrocket’s portfolio of integrated entertainment properties in coordination with the company’s toy and consumer products businesses. [Read more...]