Jakks Pacific Closes $19.3 Million Sale of Common Stock to Joint Venture Partner Hong Kong Meisheng Culture Co. Ltd.

Jakks Pacific Resized LogoJakks Pacific today closed the sale of 3,660,891 shares of the company’s common stock to Hong Kong Meisheng Culture Co. Ltd. for a total purchase price of $19.3 million; and that Xiaoqiang Zhao, executive director of Hong Kong Meisheng Culture Co. Ltd. and chairman of the board of its parent company Meisheng Cultural & Creative Corp. Ltd., joins Jakk’s board of directors.

Meisheng announced in Marchthat it acquired 1,578,647 shares of the company’s common stock in open market transactions. In addition to the joint venture companies established by Meisheng and Jakks, Meisheng Cultural & Creative Corp. Ltd. has  been a key manufacturer for the company.

Mattel Reports Q1 Financial Results

Mattel LogoMattel Inc. reported first quarter 2017 financial results, showing a worldwide net sales and gross sales were down 15 percent versus Q1 2016.

There were lower sales in North America and Europe, partially offset by strong performance in Asia Pacific (net sales and gross sales up 17 percent as reported), and continued momentum in Latin America (net sales down 1 percent and gross sales up 4 percent as reported). [Read more...]

MarcoPolo Learning Secures $8.5 Million in Series A

marcoMarcoPolo Learning raised $8.5 million in Series A funding, with proceeds to be used for expanding the company’s suite of early childhood apps and producing and distributing original animated series in partnership with Boat Rocker Media.

The financing round was led by Boat Rocker Ventures, the studio behind Orphan Black and The Next Step. Other investors include Horizons Ventures from Asia, Seedcamp in Europe, and managing partners of DST Global, as well as from industries such as Diapers.com and Maker Studios.

MGA Entertainment Unwraps New Global Licensing Program for L.O.L. Surprise! Doll Line

mgae_lolsurpriseMGA Entertainment Inc. (MGAE) will unwrap details for the new global licensing program for the L.O.L. Surprise! doll line at this year’s Licensing Expo. The line of licensed toys is slated to hit retail next year. [Read more...]

Hasbro Earns Top Spot on Best Corporate Citizens List

Hasbro LogoCR Magazine ranked Hasbro Inc. as the No.1 on its 2017 100 Best Corporate Citizens listThe corporate ethics publication ranks the most transparent and responsible companies in the U.S. This is the first time that Hasbro has been ranked first overall, and the third consecutive year it has ranked in the top five.

Hasbro’s methods of sustainable packaging, renewable energy, contribution to climate change and its human rights policies each helped to contribute to its top ranking ranking. Hasbro was also named a 2017 World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute; No. 1 in Newsweek’s 2016 Green Rankings; and recognition from Civic 50, a Points of Light initiative.

The Toy Insider Trend Experts Announce Hottest Summer Toys of 2017

TISS17The Toy Insider, the leading consumer resource for toy news, reviews and parenting tips, released its 2017 Spring and Summer Gift Guide online at thetoyinsider.com. Featuring nearly 200 toys in six different categories, the Toy Insider’s list includes toys, games, tech, and more for kids of all ages, from newborns to teens.

Top trends in summer toys include family activities that will keep multiple generations engaged and having fun together, outdoor toys that encourage active play, creative DIY kits that let kids customize original works of art, and educational toys that get kids interested in nature and STEM concepts. The guide is also loaded with toys from kids’ favorite blockbuster films and hit TV shows, including Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, Cars 3, Despicable Me 3, and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. [Read more...]

Deadline for Marbles IP Bid Approaches

Marbles_TheBrainStoreThe final bid deadline for the brand acquisition of Marbles: The Brain Store is today, April 20, at 5 p.m.  [Read more...]

Maple Landmark Owner Named Vermont’s Small Business Person of the Year

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President and owner of Maple Landmark Michael Rainville was named the 2017 Vermont Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Located in Middlebury, Vt., Maple Landmark is known for manufacturing eco-friendly wooden games and toys such as trains and jigsaw puzzles. Rainville, along with small business winners in other categories, will be honored at the 2017 Vermont Small Business Awards Ceremony in June.

Moose Toys, Koba Entertainment Announce Shopkins Live! National Tour

logoKoba Entertainment and Moose Toys announced Shopkins Live, the first live theatrical production based on the Shopkins figure toy brand.

The production will go on a six-month national tour across 75 U.S. cities and will premiere on September 14th in Buffalo, New York. Tickets for this will go on sale this Friday. The 90-minute show will feature an original story, pop music, and video highlights as the Shoppies and Shopkins characters prepare for Shopville’s annual Funtastic Food and Fashion Fair.

Marvel Launches Global #GrootDancebomb Tree-Planting Campaign in Honor of Earth Month

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In celebration of Earth Month and the upcoming release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Marvel launched the global #GrootDancebomb challenge to take place from April 18 to May 5.

Similar to photobombing, this challenge encourages participants to dance for unsuspecting bystanders, surprise people with a dancing Groot toy, or share Marvel’s promotional video featuring YouTube star D-trix—all while using the hashtag #GrootDancebomb on Instagram or Twitter. For every hashtag, Marvel and the Disney Conservation Fund will direct a $1 donation to The Nature Conservancy to plant a tree. The minimum donation is $50,000 and the maximum is $250,000.

Fans watching Marvel’s #GrootDancebomb video will also get to see D-trix’s signature dance style with Easter egg Groot toy cameos from Funko, Jakks Pacific, Hasbro, and KIDdesigns. These along with other exciting Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 merchandise are available now at major retailers and Disney Store and DisneyStore.com.