Jakks Pacific Reports Fourth Quarter and Year-End Results

jakks_logoJakks Pacific Inc. reported results for the company’s fourth quarter and full year ended December 31. Net sales for the fourth quarter were $254.0 million, compared to $137.7 million reported in the comparable period last year. Reported net income for the fourth quarter was $2.8 million, or $0.11 per diluted share. This compares to a net loss of $16.1 million, or $0.73 per diluted share, reported in the comparable period last year. Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter increased to $10.6 million, compared with negative EBITDA of $6.0 million in the fourth quarter of last year. [Read more...]

Deal Reached to End Severe West Coast Port Backlog

Multiple sources report that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year labor contract, ending several months of back-ups and delays at 29 West Coast ports.

The deal was reached with the assistance of U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh, following more than nine months of talks. As reported by Bloomberg News this past Friday, talks had broken down this month over a union demand that it be able to fire arbitrators in workplace grievances. The two sides had reached terms over salaries, benefits, the right of union members to maintain and repair truck chassis used to haul shipping containers, and health care. [Read more...]

North American International Toy Fair Still Largest Toy Show in Western Hemisphere

ToyFair15LogoLast week’s 112th North American International Toy Fair—the largest toy marketplace held in the Western Hemisphere—opened its doors to nearly 25,000 global play professionals. Owned and operated by the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) in partnership with the Canadian Toy Association (CTA), Toy Fair 2015 grew in size and scope over the previous year, with a record-breaking 421,300 net square feet of exhibit space filled with 1,064 exhibitors, importers, distributors, and sales agents, and hundreds of thousands of brand-new toys and games. [Read more...]

Jakks Pacific Awarded Vendor of the Year by Toys “R” Us

jakks_logoJakks Pacific Inc. was awarded the Vendor of the Year Award from Toys “R” Us. The award is presented annually to business partners that have helped the company become a resource for kids and families.

“We are honored to receive the ‘Vendor of the Year’ Award from Toys “R” Us,” says Jack McGrath, Chief Operating Officer, Jakks Pacific Inc. “The partnership between Jakks and Toys “R” Us is truly collaborative. Toys “R” Us highlighted our ability to spot trends early in the year and swiftly and efficiently bring products to market. We look forward to continue being a valuable business partner to Toys “R” Us.”

Brandberry and Flux Animation Studio Team Up on Furmaids

Basic CMYKBrandberry has joined forces with Flux Animation Studio to develop Furmaids, and is searching for broadcast partners around the globe, in addition to a toy partner. Furmaids are magical animals that transform into animal/mermaid hybrids when they enter the water. The brand features themes of transformation, exploration, and cooperation—with an ecological twist. [Read more...]

CPSC Commissioners Emphasize Testing Burden Relief at TIA’s Toy Safety Update

CPSCIn their remarks during the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) annual Toy Safety Update, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Elliot Kaye and Commissioners Ann Marie Buerkle and Marietta Robinson emphasized that easing unnecessary third-party testing burdens for toy manufacturers will be a priority focus for the agency during the coming year. [Read more...]

Toy Industry Association (TIA) Elects New Leadership at Annual General Meeting

TIAAt its annual general meeting held on Monday, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the election of three new members to the TIA Board of Directors for two-year terms of office expiring in February of 2017. Nominated to serve their first terms on the TIA Board were Kerry Cunnion, senior vice president of sales at Tomy International; Howard Kahn, chairman of Madame Alexander and CEO of Kahn Lucas; and Bruce Raiffe, president of Gund. [Read more...]

Wal-Mart to Boost Pay of U.S. Workers

logo-walmartAs reported by The Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to boost the pay of all its U.S. employees to at least $9 an hour by April. This raise would top the federal minimum wage by 24 percent and take a bite out of the company’s profit this year. Wal-Mart has stated that the investment in higher wages and better training will cost the company.

The wage announcement came as Wal-Mart reported a relatively strong holiday season, with sales at its core U.S. business up 1.5 percent. For the quarter ended January 31, Wal-Mart reported earnings of $4.97 billion, up from $4.43 billion a year earlier, while revenue rose 1.4 percent to $131.6 billion.

Jakks Pacific Secures Licensing Agreement for Despicable Me Franchise and Minions

MinionsMovieheaderJakks Pacific Inc. has been granted the rights to manufacture, market, and distribute a line of consumer products based on the Minions from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me franchise, as well as their upcoming film, Minions, which arrives in theaters in July. The licensing agreement, awarded by Universal Partnerships & Licensing, covers inflatable ball pits, wagons, arcade games, The Original Big Wheel, outdoor children’s furniture, and more. These products are expected to launch at North American retailers this spring.

“We are pleased to be a part of the phenomenally successful Despicable Me franchise, and the highly anticipated Minions film, by offering an array of products that feature popular characters from the films,” says Tara Hefter, vice president of licensing, Jakks Pacific Inc. “We are excited to bring a new line of products to these films’ fans.”

WIT Presents Awards to Women Leaders at Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment Dinner

WIT.logoWomen leaders were honored by more than 500 industry executives at the 11th Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT) Awards Dinner, which took place on Sunday night. Hosted by WIT, and coinciding with the North American International Toy Fair in New York City, the gala awarded winners from more than 40 distinguished nominees from around the world. WIT also presented Special Honoree Awards to executives from Sesame Workshop, amazon.com, and Disney Consumer Products. [Read more...]