Funko and Marvel Announce Variant Cover for Marvel Collector Corps Debut

Funko,MarvelAvengersFunko has announced a variant cover for its Marvel Collector Corps debut box, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which ships in April. The variant will highlight the first edition of Marvel’s new series, Guardians Team Up Meet the Avengers, and will be exclusive to Marvel Collector Corps. [Read more...]

Jelly Jam and Kids Preferred to Launch The Moodsters Exclusively at Target

The MoodstersJelly Jam Entertainment has partnered with Kids Preferred to launch The Moodsters, a new line of toys and books designed to teach kids the fundamentals of feelings.

The Moodsters consist of five lovable detectives—Coz, Lolly, Snorf, Razzy, and Quigly—who come to the rescue whenever their friends, Zach and Zoey, have a feelings emergency. The stories and toys teach simple strategies to build social and emotional intelligence skills in young children. [Read more...]

The Lego Group’s Strong 2014 Led by Global Growth

legoworldmapLast year, the Lego Group enjoyed revenue growth of 15 percent year over year on a local currency basis, excluding foreign exchange impacts. Revenue increased by 13 percent to DKK 28.6 billion (USD $4,349,545,486) compared to DKK 25.3 billion (USD $3,847,850,941) in the previous year, while the year’s operating profit increased to DKK 9.7 billion (USD $1,475,318,881) compared to DKK 8.3 billion (USD $1,262,184,735) in the previous year, an increase of 16 percent. Net profit was DKK 7.0 billion (USD $1,064,493,150) compared to DKK 6.1 billion USD $927,777,853) in the prior year, an increase of 15 percent. [Read more...]

Newest Assortment of The Walking Dead Minimates Coming to Toys “R” Us

TheWalkingDead,TRUfiguresThe fifth season of TV series The Walking Dead will be accompanied by new The Walking Dead Minimates, from Diamond Select Toys and arriving at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and toysrus.com in March. The new assortment features characters from the “All Out War” story arc featured in issues No. 115 to 126 of The Walking Dead comic book series, in which Rick’s group teams up with other communities against the powerful Saviors group. [Read more...]

Brandberry and Flux Animation Studio Team Up on Furmaids

Basic CMYKBrandberry has joined forces with Flux Animation Studio to develop Furmaids, and is searching for broadcast partners around the globe, in addition to a toy partner. Furmaids are magical animals that transform into animal/mermaid hybrids when they enter the water. The brand features themes of transformation, exploration, and cooperation—with an ecological twist. [Read more...]

CPSC Commissioners Emphasize Testing Burden Relief at TIA’s Toy Safety Update

CPSCIn their remarks during the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) annual Toy Safety Update, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Elliot Kaye and Commissioners Ann Marie Buerkle and Marietta Robinson emphasized that easing unnecessary third-party testing burdens for toy manufacturers will be a priority focus for the agency during the coming year. [Read more...]

Nelvana to Create New TV Series and Drive Global Merchandising for Cepia’s Zhu Zhu Pets

ZhuZhuPets, JillyCorus Entertainment‘s Nelvana has entered a partnership with Cepia LLC to bring the Zhu Zhu Pets brand back to store shelves, with Nelvana Studio producing a new animated series based upon the property. Nelvana Enterprises will also oversee global merchandising of the brand in conjunction with the distribution of the new series. [Read more...]

Toy Industry Association (TIA) Elects New Leadership at Annual General Meeting

TIAAt its annual general meeting held on Monday, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the election of three new members to the TIA Board of Directors for two-year terms of office expiring in February of 2017. Nominated to serve their first terms on the TIA Board were Kerry Cunnion, senior vice president of sales at Tomy International; Howard Kahn, chairman of Madame Alexander and CEO of Kahn Lucas; and Bruce Raiffe, president of Gund. [Read more...]

Colorforms Launches New Disney, Marvel, and Disney•Pixar Play Sets

DisneyDocMcStuffinsColorformsColorforms Brand debuted an all-new line of Colorforms vinyl stick-on play sets at this year’s North American International Toy Fair. The initial launch, which hits shelves in the fall, includes such properties as Disney’s Frozen and Doc McStuffins; Disney•Pixar’s Cars; and Marvel’s The Avengers and Spider-Man. [Read more...]

Wal-Mart to Boost Pay of U.S. Workers

logo-walmartAs reported by The Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to boost the pay of all its U.S. employees to at least $9 an hour by April. This raise would top the federal minimum wage by 24 percent and take a bite out of the company’s profit this year. Wal-Mart has stated that the investment in higher wages and better training will cost the company.

The wage announcement came as Wal-Mart reported a relatively strong holiday season, with sales at its core U.S. business up 1.5 percent. For the quarter ended January 31, Wal-Mart reported earnings of $4.97 billion, up from $4.43 billion a year earlier, while revenue rose 1.4 percent to $131.6 billion.