Sweet Suite 2016

Zag, Family Entertainment Heavyweights Partner on New Hybrid TV Series

ZAG announces an aspirational, heroics-based TV series under its Zag Heroez’ label, with family entertainment film company 1492 Pictures, master toy partner Playmates, and French producer Method Animation. It will include 52 episodes of CGI-live action hybrid entertainment.

The currently untitled hybrid series has garnered the commissioning support of French Television Network France Télévisions. The series is set to release in the spring of 2018, with a comprehensive toy licensing program release in the fall of 2018.

Giggle Acquires Right Start

Giggle Inc. has acquired Right Start Inc., a subsidiary of Liberty Interactive. Giggle Inc. will be the majority owner of the combined business, with Liberty Interactive maintaining a meaningful stake.

Giggle and Right Start will maintain their separate brands as the new structure increases their presence in key existing markets, enhances customer service, and accelerates branded product development.

Emmet, Wyldstyle, and Friends Return in The Lego Movie 4D

LEGOLAND CaliforniaThe Lego Movie 4D: A New Adventure has officially opened at LEGOLAND California Resort. The movie reunites Emmet with Wyldstyle, MetalBeard, Benny, and Unikitty and introduces a new character, Risky Business, brother of villain President Business. [Read more...]

TIF Sets Goals for Winter

tblogoToy Industry Foundations’s Toy Bank will once again distribute to 35 military bases in the U.S. over the course of this year, with its first stop of back-to-back toy deliveries on April 4 and 5. The Toy Bank, in partnership with Boys and Girls Club of America Military Services (BGCA), hopes to reach 9,000 children at the two bases stationed at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii and USAG Hawaii CYS services. Brand new toy needs for children ages 0 to 12 include: ride-ons, plush, books, crafts, dolls, action figures, board games, and puzzles. [Read more...]

Mattel to Host Q&A Session with Securities Analysts

Mattel LogoMattel will host a live Q&A session with securities analysts on Feb. 16. Christopher Sinclair, chairman and chief executive officer, Richard Dickson, president and chief operating officer, and Kevin Farr, chief financial officer, will lead the session. [Read more...]

CBS Consumer Products Unveils New Star Trek Licensees

CBS consumer product logoCBS Consumer Products unveiled a lineup of new licensees who have signed on to expand Star Trek’s merchandising program with dozens of new product lines inspired by the iconic intergalactic franchise. From Spin Masters’ remote controlled vehicles to Wooden Expressions’ Tridimensional chess set, fans will get to relive, share, and celebrate the Star Trek franchise in many ways.

In celebration of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, the merchandising program includes domestic and international partners that will contribute to a landmark year for the franchise. The new licensees will pay tribute to both the legacy and the future of Star Trek across key categories. [Read more...]

VTech to Acquire LeapFrog in $72 Million Deal

VtechLFVTech will acquire 100 percent of the outstanding common stock of LeapFrog through an all-cash tender offer followed by a second-step merger. In the tender offer, VTech will offer LeapFrog investors $1.00 per share for LeapFrog’s Class A and Class B shares, which represents a 75.4 percent premium over the closing price of LeapFrog’s Class A shares on February 4, 2016. The total purchase consideration amounts to approximately $72 million. VTech will fund the tender offer through internal resources.

The tender offer will commence on or around March 3, 2016, and will be open for a minimum of 20 business days. The closing of the transaction is subject to satisfaction of certain conditions set forth in the merger agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. LeapFrog’s Board has agreed to unanimously recommend to its stockholders that they tender their shares of LeapFrog common stock pursuant to the tender offer. [Read more...]

Hasbro and Mattel in Merger Talks

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 1.52.52 PMBloomberg is reporting that Hasbro Inc. and Mattel Inc. have held talks about merging two of the world’s biggest toymakers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hasbro approached Mattel about a potential transaction late last year, and the companies have held on-and-off talks about a deal, the people said. Representatives for Mattel declined to comment, while representatives for Hasbro didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mattel shares rose 4 percent to $33.03 today, valuing the company at about $11.2 billion. Hasbro rose 1.6 percent to $76.19 after climbing as high as $78.45, valuing the company at about $9.5 billion.

Last week, Mattel unveiled Barbie dolls with a wider array of body types and skin tones in an effort to expand the brand’s appeal. Hasbro is the toy licensee for Disney’s top properties, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney Princess, and Disney Frozen.

Licensing Street Becomes U.S. Agent for Ready Jet Go!

ReadyJetGoWind Dancer Films has appointed Licensing Street LCC as its U.S. agent for Ready Jet Go! The consumer products program for the new animated space themed series will launch licensed toys, publishing, and apparel nationwide next year. [Read more...]

National Brands Come to Play at Berkshire Museum

Berkshire Museum will add national brands to its Ten Days of Play experience.

During the event, museum spaces will offer an array of modular building toys, including a LEGO station courtesy of Pley, an architectural building set from Bilderhoos, Tegu magnetic blocks, and big blue blocks from KaBOOM’s Imagination Playground. [Read more...]