“ASTRA always asks our exhibitors and our retailers what we can do better, and they came through loud and clear that they need more time on the exhibit floor,” said Kimberly Mosley, president of ASTRA. “About 70 percent of members surveyed asked ASTRA to expand the time they have available for exploring products and writing orders.” [Read more...]
Funrise Inc. announced two executive appointments to accelerate the company’s brand growth strategy and drive international expansion.
Randy Shoemaker has been appointed as vice president of global brand marketing, leading the global development, consumer marketing, and retail promotion of all Funrise brands. Shoemaker joins Funrise from Lionsgate and has more than 20 years of experience from companies including DreamWorks Animation, THQ, Hasbro, and Electronic Arts.
Martin Good joins Funrise as vice president international, leading the company’s expansion across Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. With more than 25 years of experience, Good will be responsible for managing Funrise’s preexisting global sales and supply chain operations while spearheading the company’s expansion into new markets.
Aterian Investment Partners affiliate Backyard Discovery acquired North American branded toy manufacturer Step2. The combined company will have market share positions in swing sets, playhouses, activity tables, play kitchens, and ride-ons, as well as outdoor, home, and garden products. The company will be led by Chris Quinn and headquartered in Streetsboro, Ohio.
GoldieBlox expanded its entertainment and marketing teams with the hiring of Kenny Davis as chief marketing officer, Jenna Boyd as chief content officer, and Jennifer Rahardjanoto as creative director. Davis, Boyd, and Rahardjanoto will play key roles in expanding the company’s presence across media and product categories. Each specializes in launching new kids’ entertainment properties for companies such as Hasbro, Nickelodeon, and Mattel.
Davis brings more than 20 years of experience to his new role in the form of launching new IPs in the form of kids’ TV shows, video games, and toys. He previously was behind the relaunch of Hasbro’s Furby brand, and the launch of Activision’s Skylanders and Spin Master’s Bakugan.
Boyd will focus on storytelling and creating content for the GoldieBlox brand through written, animated, and live-action content for kids across multiple distribution channels. In his most recent role at Nickelodeon, he launched the global animated shorts program resulting in the animated series The Loud House.
Rahardjanoto’s role is to bring the GoldieBlox brand to life through story, color and design. Previously at Mattel, she was responsible for creating the look and feel of DC Super Hero Girls for animation and was also involved in the art direction, animation, and rebranding of product lines including Polly Pocket, American Girl, and the new Monster High movie.
Earlier this year, GoldieBlox announced a licensing deal with Random House for an original book series coming early next year. The company also launched its first coding app, GoldieBlox: Adventures in Coding—The Rocket Cupcake Co., an iOS app designed to teach kids the fundamentals of coding. Most recently, the GoldieBlox launched Toy Hackers, a weekly YouTube series teaching kids how to hack their toys.
A new report commissioned by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) examined 11 different plastics for the presence of 10 specified phthalates, including six phthalates currently regulated in the U.S., according to the Toy Industry Association (TIA). The research was completed in support of the CPSC’s mandate to reduce third-party testing costs for toy and children’s product manufacturers. [Read more...]
Silvergate Media and Mattel in China partnered for Octonauts, the undersea preschool adventure property. As part of the deal, Mattel China will manage the Octonauts consumer products and retail program in China, in partnership with local licensees. The partnership will establish a greater synergy between TV, content, toys, publishing, and merchandising for the brand.
Octonauts airs in China on CCTV.
Hasbro Inc. is launching the first-ever HasCon family and fan event to be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin Donuts Center. Coming next September 8 to 10, the three-day convention will treat attendees to live interactive experiences, exclusive products, talent appearances, and more. [Read more...]