Flybar Acquires Swurfer

Flybar Inc., “The Original Pogo Stick Company,” acquired the Swurfer IP, brand, and assets.

The Swurfer board is engineered for surfing the air, combining the tree swing play with swings and board sports. The announcement marks Flybar’s first acquisition under new management established in 2015.

The Toy Association Launches Major Rebrand

PrintThe Toy Association, formerly known as the Toy Industry Association, launched a major rebrand with a new mission statement and new name.

The organization’s new tagline, “Inspiring Generations of Play,” and its new mission statement to be “a unifying force for members’ creativity, responsibility, and global success, advocating for their needs and championing the benefits of play,” underscores more than 100 years of the Association’s service. [Read more...]

Erik Spindler Transfers Identity Games Ownership Shares

urlManaging director of Identity Games, Erik Spindler, transferred his ownership shares shares on March 31. Some of the shares went to the company’s new generation, including Jeroen Nugteren (general manager international) and Jan-Maurits Duparc (chief creation). [Read more...]

Moose Toys Launches Disney Crossy Road Merchandise

71007 DCR Mini Figs 7Pack

Moose Toys announced plans for its new toy line based on the mobile game Disney Crossy Road. In the game, players collect an 8-bit design of iconic Disney characters as they hop, dodge, and slide their way through busy lanes of traffic. Since its launch a year ago, the app has been downloaded more than 31 million times.

The initial collection from Moose will feature Disney and Pixar characters from the app including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Buzz Lightyear, Simba, Baymax, and more. The line will include collectible micro figures, backpack hangers, and plush, and will be available at select retailers beginning April 1.

Rovio Returns to Profitable Growth

RovioLogoRovio Entertainment returned to profitable growth in 2016, which saw a record performance in the company’s Games division and the blockbuster release of The Anry Birds MovieGross revenue of Rovio grew by 34 percent to $200.29 million (converted from 190.3 mEUR). Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) improved to $18.42 million (converted from 17.5 mEUR), which was negative $22.21 in 2015 (converted from -21.1 mEUR).  [Read more...]

Jakks Pacific Launches Smurfs Toy Line

Jakks_Smurfs

Jakks Pacific Inc., Lafig Belgium S.A., and Sony Pictures Consumer Products partnered for the global launch of Smurfs toys inspired by the animated film Smurfs: The Lost Village, from Sony Pictures Animation.

Jakks’ range includes figurines, play sets, and talking plush that will feature Smurfs characters including Smurfette, Clumsy, and Hefty. Key items include Smurfs and Animal Friends Assortment; 8-inch Bean Bag PlushSmurf Vehicle PacksTalking Feature Plush; Smurf Mushroom House Playsets; and Jumbo Basic Plush. [Read more...]

Gund Named Reader’s Choice Winner in HOW Logo Design Awards

GUND Bear LogoGund‘s recent rebranded logo was chosen as a Reader’s Choice winner in the 8th Annual HOW Logo Design Awards. The voting public chose Gund’s logo out of 20 award-winning designs from more than 1,200 total submissions. This prestigious competition sponsored by HOW magazine has been recognizing great logo design since 2008.

Gund’s rebranding project was conducted by NYC-based digital branding agency Cynda Media Lab.

Spielwarenmesse Sees Climb in Visitors, Exhibitors, and International Participation

Logo Spielwarenmesse 2016The 68th Spielwarenmesse took place from Feb. 1 to 6 and posted high numbers of international exhibitors and visitors. The show had 2,871 companies exhibiting from 63 countries, up from 2,851 in 2016. A total of 73,000 visitors, up 3.2 percent from 70,714 last year, travelled to Nuremberg from 123 countries. [Read more...]

Jazwares to Debut Roblox Toy Line

RoboxRoblox will debut an all-new toy line from Jazwares at major retailers. The line, inspired by popular games, characters, and developers in the user-generated gaming platform, marks the company’s first foray into merchandising and a major entrance into retail. The expansion coincides with Roblox’s highest monthly player count—44 million in December. [Read more...]

Build-A-Bear Workshop CEO Works in Disguise on Undercover Boss

Build a Bear WorkshopSharon Price John, president and CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, was featured in the Season 8 premiere episode of CBS’ reality series Undercover Boss.

John has served as president and CEO of the company since 2013. In the episode, she dons a disguise and assumes a new identity to train with a Build-A-Party leader, a sales associate, a warehouse associate, and an assistant manager. Since her arrival, Build-A-Bear has successfully undergone a financial turnaround and made key changes, including a brand refresh. While undercover, she saw and heard firsthand how recent changes were being received. [Read more...]