February 28, 2013

Laser Pegs

Smart Toys and Games to Release Angry Birds Strategy Game

Angry BirdsSmart Toys and Games Inc., producer of single-player logic games and the SmartMax magnetic construction system, has partnered with Rovio Entertainment to develop Angry Birds strategy games.
Based on a SmartGames design, Angry Birds Under Construction challenges players ages 8 and up to solve 48 puzzles by using four playing pieces of varying shapes to cover the correct number and type of pigs and Angry Birds according to the pattern in the included booklet. The built-in storage case makes this game travel friendly.




Jakks Pacific to Bring Iconic Nintendo Characters to Life with Toys and Costumes

Jakks Pacific Inc. has been granted rights in major toy categories by Nintendo of America Inc. to manufacture, market, and distribute a line of toys and related consumer products based on a library of iconic Nintendo characters. In addition, Jakks’ Halloween costume division, Disguise Inc., has been given rights to offer Halloween costumes and accessories based on these Nintendo properties. Properties include Mario and Luigi, Donkey Kong, Princess Peach, Game Link, and Zelda.
The licensing agreement allows Jakks Pacific to manufacture, distribute, and market toys, games, playthings, novelties, plush, key chains, and costumes worldwide (excluding Japan and Korea). Jakks Pacific is expected to launch this new product line at retailers nationwide in the spring of next year. Disguise plans to launch Halloween costumes and accessories for the upcoming Halloween season.

Sophie la giraffe Publishing Program Announced

SophieDK Publishing has signed a deal to publish the first Sophie la girafe books with DeLiSo, licensor of the international toy line.
The four board books will be published in June. Titles include: My First: Sophie la girafe: Let’s Get Counting; Peekaboo! Sophie la girafe: Peekaboo Sophie!; Baby Touch and Feel: Sophie la girafe: Sophie’s Busy Day; and Baby: Sophie la girafe: Colors. All books are appropriate for babies and children up to age 3. 
Sophie la girafe, an all-natural rubber baby teether, has sold more than 50 million units worldwide since it was first produced in France in 1961. Sophie has been sold since 2000 in the U.S. where its sales continue to rise.



Margaret Weis Productions Ltd. to Develop Firefly RPG Products
Margaret Weis Productions (MWP) has entered into a partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products to publish tabletop role-playing products based on Joss Whedon’s TV series Firefly. Initial releases are expected in the spring with print and digital releases based on MWP’s award-winning Cortex system.
The adventures of Captain Malcolm Reynolds and the crew of Serenity continue to attract new fans a decade after the TV series first aired. MWP will develop a series of pick-up-and-play games and game supplements based on the characters, stories, and locations in the TV series.

Monsuno Combat Chaos Toys to Launch This Year

Pacific Animation Partners LLC expects to launch a full range of new Monsuno toys in the U.S. and internationally this year that reflects the second season of the animated action-adventures series, Monsuno Combat Chaos. The animated series will debut in the U.S. later this year on Nicktoons and internationally on Nickelodeon international channels and free-to-air networks.
Jakks Pacific will release new Monsuno toys and an all-new battle action game, accompanying the Combat Chaos theme. Designed to complement the new storylines, Monsuno Combat Chaos toys will deliver easy-to-learn and fast-paced gameplay while retaining all of the features and elements from the season one Monsuno toy program and the animated series.
Season two continues the adventures of a group of heroic kids wrestling with the power to command and battle creatures, while fending off larger threats including new villains and catastrophic events.

Marky Sparky Toys Announces Partnership with Everest Wholesale

Marky Sparky has partnered with Everest Wholesale, a Canadian toy and game distributor. Everest Wholesale will be the exclusive distributor of Marky Sparky Toys throughout Canada.
Everest Wholesale has been serving Canadian retailers since 1992. Everest is a toy, game, and gift manufacturer and distributor. Headquartered in Escondido, Calif., Marky Sparky invents all of its toys in-house. Toy lines include Mumbly’s, AniMails, Air Bolts, Blast Pads, Wahoos, Doinkit Darts, Faux Bows, Spinmallows, StixStrux, and California Chariots. Marky Sparky toys are sold to specialty toy retailers, education markets, craft and hobby, museums, zoos, aquariums, national parks, attractions, theme parks, gift stores, specialty catalogs, and online retailers.

Traci Paige Johnson and Caroline Baron Launch Children’s Media Company
Traci Paige Johnson, creator of the preschool TV series Blue’s Clues and co-creator of SuperWhy, and Caroline Baron, award-winning producer of acclaimed feature films, including the Oscar-nominated Capote and Monsoon Wedding, have teamed up to launch the new interactive children’s media company yummico. yummico produces entertaining media for preschoolers across multiple platforms, with a focus on digital games, interactive shows, apps, and e-books, as well as traditional narrative animation, print books, and other consumer products.
The new company kicks off with the musical food adventure series Yummiloo. Yummiloo gives the phrase “playing with your food” an entirely new meaning as it makes trying new foods fun and sets a foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating. Featuring the Yum Yums, a band of creatures who live in a world made entirely of food, Yummiloo uses story-based games to help kids discover the basics of food identification and nutrition. The first Yummiloo app, Yummiloo Rainbow Power, is an interactive game produced in collaboration with Night and Day Studios. It launches on the iTunes store on March 20. yummico will be rolling out additional content shortly.

INI LLC Partners with Ziosk to Bring Dabble Game to Diners

DabbleCasual dining restaurants across the U.S. that use Ziosk will soon feature INI LLC’s new app, Dabble, the Fast Thinking Word Game. Ziosk is an interactive Android touchscreen offering entertainment and pay-at-the table convenience for the casual dining restaurant market.
The goal of Dabble is to spell out five separate words with just 20 letters as quickly as possible. The trick is that the five words must be comprised of two-letter, three-letter, four-letter, five-letter, and six-letter words. Dabble challenges players to think fast and strategically and dig deep into their vocabularies.


The NPD Group Announces Organizational Changes

The NPD Group Inc. has announced changes to its senior management organizational structure. Karyn Schoenbart, president and COO, will continue to oversee NPD’s commercial practice areas and product functions around the world. In addition, IT and operations will now report to Schoenbart.
Steve Coffey, chief research officer, will shift his focus from overseeing the firm’s research science team to another role, which will center on emerging technology and shifting consumer and retail trends to develop and implement research and marketing solutions for the future.
Randy Smith has been named group president of product management and development, a new position. He was previously group president of U.S. food, automotive, Canada, and Latin America. Smith will lead all product management and product development within NPD’s growing portfolio of services including industry-focused consumer and retail tracking services, price evaluation, forecasting, and other business solutions. He will also oversee NPD’s research science and advanced analytics teams.
Dennis Brown has been named group president of the Americas commercial business, a new position. He was formerly group president of technology and hardlines. Brown will oversee the commercial teams for all industry sectors, including technology, hardlines, softlines, and food in the U.S. He will also oversee the firm’s Canada and Latin America businesses.

The Lego Group Releases Annual Report

The Lego Group has released its 2012 Annual Report, highlighting its year-over-year financial figures along with an overview of its most popular lines. Last year, the Lego Group increased its revenue by 25 percent to $4.04 billion, nearly triple the sales of 2007. This represents the fifth consecutive year in which the Lego Group delivered year-over-year revenue growth in excess of 15 percent.
Other key data from the LEGO Group’s annual report for 2012 include:
—The year’s operating profit increased to $1.37 billion against $1.08 billion in 2011, an increase of 40 percent.
— The operating margin increased to 34 percent from 30 percent in 2011.
— The year's net profit increased to $969 million against $776 million in 2011.
— The revenue increased by 25 percent to $4.04 billion against $3.495 billion in 2011.
The Lego Group reports in DKK currency, and conversion from DKK to USD is based on an annual average currency rate in 2012 and 2011 respectively.

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