Toy Fair 2015 Promises to Be the Largest Yet

ToyFair15LogoThe global toy industry will gather at the 112th North American International Toy Fair this weekend for a sneak peek at this year’s new creative and skill-building toys and games. An exclusive event for trade guests and media hosted by the Toy Industry Association, Toy Fair will open its doors on February 14 for a four-day run. [Read more...]

Kerry Cunnion Named New Head of North American Toys for Tomy International

Kerry Cunnion has been promoted to senior vice president, sales and North American toy, for Tomy International. In this new role, he will oversee design, product development, and product marketing in addition to continuing his role leading Tomy International’s North American sales force.

Cunnion joined the company in 2009 as vice president of sales for the Mother, Infant and Toddler business unit, and brings three decades of consumer product sales experience. In 2011, he assumed responsibility for the integrated sales organization.

Prior to Tomy, Cunnion held various sales and marketing positions with organizations including Publications International, Huffy Bicycle Company, and Crayola.

Alex Brands Enters Licensing Agreement with Nickelodeon

AlexBrands Alex Brands has signed a licensing agreement with Nickelodeon to manufacture, distribute, and market a broad array of products based on popular characters including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora and Friends, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The multi-year agreement covers multiple brands from Alex Brands including Alex Toys and Shrinky Dinks, as well as product categories such as craft kits and bath toys. Alex Brands will launch more than 30 new Nickelodeon products during North American International Toy Fair, which runs from February 14 to 17 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The items will be available to consumers starting late summer.

Etch A Sketch Turns 55

Edited.OhioArtEtch A Sketch, which turns 55 this year, was first introduced in the U.S. by The Ohio Art Company as a mechanical drawing toy. Since debuting at the American International Toy Fair in New York City in 1960 (It became the No. 1 selling toy for Christmas of 1960), it has sold more than 175 million units. [Read more...]

Madame Alexander and Crayola Enter Licensing Agreement Beginning This Year

MadameAlexanderlogoA new line of co-branded dolls will combine Madame Alexander with Crayola. Madame Alexander will design and develop new doll collections that allow girls to craft and draw on age appropriate dolls and doll accessories. The DIY products are intended to appeal to toddlers, preschoolers, and young girls. [Read more...]

Dirk Engehausen Appointed New CEO of Schleich Group

SchleichlogoDirk Engehausen has been appointed CEO of the Schleich Group. Dr. Thomas van Kaldenkerken will relinquish his role as CEO, and together with Dr. Konrad Nilbers, will co-chair the advisory board for the Schleich Group.

Engehausen has been a member of the advisory board since mid-2014, and brings extensive experiences from his 20-year career with Lego, where he played a major role in the strategic repositioning of the company. Engehausen intends to implement and further develop the strategic and operative realignment of the company initiated by van Kaldenkerken.

The operations of Schleich USA Inc. will continue to be under the leadership and direction of Sören Hjorth, Schleich USA president, from Schleich’s facility in Charlotte, N.C.

Mezco Inks Deal for Bugs Bunny

Mezco,BugsBunnyMezco Toyz is set to immortalize Bugs Bunny as part of a new licensing agreement, with a planned third quarter release date for product.

Since his debut on screens in Porky’s Hare Hunt in 1938, Bugs Bunny has appeared in more than 200 cartoons, as well as numerous films. He was also the first cartoon character to appear on a postage stamp and to have his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Iconix Signs Agreement to Acquire Strawberry Shortcake Brand

StrawberryShortcakeIconix Brand Group Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Strawberry Shortcake brand and related intangible assets from American Greetings for $105 million in cash. [Read more...]

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner to Become Chairman

Hasbro logoHasbro President and CEO Brian Goldner will become chairman on May 21, the date of the toy maker’s annual shareholder meeting, according to Hasbro this past Thursday. Goldner has been Hasbro’s president and CEO since 2008.

Chairman Al Verrecchia will step down in accordance with the company’s target retirement age of 72. Four other Hasbro directors will also retire from the board because they are close to retirement age: Frank Biondi Jr., John Connors Jr., Michael Garrett, and Jack Greenberg.

Hasbro has stated that current director Basil Anderson will become its lead independent director. The company is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results tomorrow.

Activision Blizzard Announces Record Fourth Quarter and Full Year Earnings Per Share

On Thursday, Activision Blizzard Inc. announced record fourth quarter and full year earnings per share. For calendar year 2014, Activision Blizzard delivered record non-GAAP earnings per diluted share of $1.42, compared to $0.94 per diluted share for the previous year. On a GAAP basis, the company delivered record earnings per diluted share of $1.13, compared to $0.95 per diluted share for the prior year. [Read more...]