Zenescope, Phicen, Executive Replicas Partner for Grimm Fairy Tales Action Figures

May26.GrimmZenescope has partnered with Phicen Ltd. for home collectible versions of their Grimm Fairy Tales characters. Each 1:6 scale action figure will be made with Phicen’s body and stainless steel skeleton, and will be handcrafted in the character’s signature outfit and packaged with signature weapons. Executive Replicas is producing the pieces.

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Alex Brands Buys French Toymaker Juratoys

AlexBrandsAlex Brands has acquired French toymaker Juratoys, marking the toy company’s first move into Europe. Juratoys, the parent company of European toy brands Janod and Kaloo, is based in Orgelet, France, and has offices in the U.K., the U.S., Hong Kong, and China. The news was reported by Propel Equity Partners, which backs Alex Brands.

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COMMENTARY: Licensed Figures? Not the Easiest Business to Figure Out

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Dancing Groot Premium Motion statue, from Factory Entertainment Inc.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Dancing Groot Premium Motion statue, from Factory Entertainment Inc.

A few months ago, I wrote a commentary about trends occurring in the world of licensed action figures. Since then, I worked on a longer piece for The Licensing Book, the sister publication of The Toy Book, looking at the process in between attaining a license for a movie, TV show, etc., and the production of the final toy. Licensed collectible figures was a fascinating subject to write about, and I am eternally grateful to all of the toy company officials who took time out of their busy lives to answer my unending barrage of (mostly) annoying questions.

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The Strong and Ritsumeikan University Partner for the Study of Video Game History

the strong, museumofplay logoThe Strong (home of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and the World Video Game Hall of Fame) and the Center for Games Studies and Art Research at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, have entered into a collaborative partnership on the study of video game history and on efforts to preserve video games. For their first effort, the museum and the university will develop an exhibit celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System, slated to open at The Strong later this fall.

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CJ Products Expands TMNT Licensing Agreement with Pillow Pets Plush

May27.TMNTPillowPetCJ Products has created licensed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pillow Pets plush products, which will be available this summer on pillowpets.com and select retail stores nationwide. [Read more...]

Cra-Z-Art Named Exclusive Partner of TIF’s Toy Bank Program for 2015

TIFLogoCra-Z-Art will be the exclusive sponsor of the Toy Industry Foundation’s (TIF) Toy Bank program for this year. Cra-Z-Art’s sponsorship includes a $10,000 donation, which will help TIF bring the magic of play to millions of children in need this year.

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Retail Groups Welcome Ratification of Port Contract, Call for Future Reform

Retail associations have responded to news that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has ratified a five-year labor contract with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), covering dockworkers at 29 ports on the West Coast.

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NPD Group Finds Interactive Gaming Toys Keep Families and Players Engaged in Play

NPDGrouplogoAccording to “Interactive Gaming Toys,” the latest report from The NPD Group, 70 percent of parents in the U.S. are familiar with Interactive Gaming Toys (IGT), also known as Toys to Life. As reported by Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group, 40 percent state that they own at least one franchise, and 41 percent of those who own an IGT indicate they own more than one franchise.

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ChizComm Ltd. Appointed New Agency of Record for Imperial Toy

ImperialLogoChizComm Ltd. has been named the agency of record (AOR) for Imperial Toy, and will lead public relations and marketing communications efforts across North American markets, as well as grow existing businesses and launch new brands.

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Build-A-Bear Debuts Exclusive, Make-Your-Own Plush Minions Collection

BuildABearMinionsBuild-A-Bear has added a line of exclusive, make-your-own plush based on Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Minions, which arrives in theaters on July 10. The collection features Minions Kevin, Stuart, and Bob, and is part of Build-A-Bear’s summer season lineup.

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