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The Bridge Direct and Tech 4 Kids Purchase Uncle Milton Assets

The new company formed by the merger of The Bridge Direct Inc. and Tech 4 Kids Inc. (the company) acquired the assets of Uncle Milton.
 
The Bridge Direct and Tech 4 Kids unveiled at this year's North American International Toy Fair the intent to combine the two companies. The Uncle Milton acquisition is the first of many as part of an accelerated roll-up strategy the company is executing. Read more…

Rubie’s Costume Co., Spin Master Partner for Hatchimals Costume Collection

Rubie’s Costume Co. Inc. partnered with Spin Master to produce the official licensed Hatchimal Costume Collection.
 
Available in child sizes extra small, small, and medium, the Hatchimals Collection will feature hatched and ready to hatch Pengualas and Draggles characters. Each costume is designed with plush fabrics and specific coloring replicating the traits of the Pengualas and Draggles. In addition, Imagine by Rubie’s offers dress-up costumes and accessories for kids in separates and boxed sets. Read more…

The Jim Henson Co. Selects ChizComm Ltd. to Expand Online Presence

ChizComm Ltd. is now an agency partner to The Jim Henson Co., adding to the company's roster of lifestyle, toys, and children's entertainment clients. ChizComm will help plan and execute digital and social media marketing initiatives for brands such as Dot., Word Party, Splash and Bubbles, and Fraggle Rock.

Zing Names JLG Exclusive Licensing Agent of Record for Stikbot

Zing appointed the Joester Loria Group (JLG) as its exclusive licensing agent of record for Stikbot in the U.S. and Canada. Launched in 2015, Stikbot drove 1 billion impressions last year.
 
The Joester Loria Group will feature a strategic merchandising and licensing program for Stikbot. The program will extend Stikbot and storylines from Stikbot animations into new categories that include R/C vehicles, take-along Stikbot characters, graphic novels, audio and electronic accessories, apparel, home décor, Halloween costumes, and food.

WowWee Launches Minion MiP Turbo Dave

Minion MiP Turbo Dave, from WowWee, is now available. This Minions-licensed MiP robot launched ahead of Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me 3, in theaters June 30.
 
Turbo Dave is kids' own personal Minion. It responds to hand gestures using GestureSense technology, and can navigate kids' rooms. The Turbo Dave app allows kids to control their Minion remotely, plan paths for it to self-navigate, add Minion emoticons, or have it interact with other characters and props from the Despicable Me franchise.
 
Minion MiP Turbo Dave is on sale now at Best Buy, and will be available soon at Target, Amazon, and other major retailers.

Beat Bugs Global Consumer Products Range to Launch Exclusively at Target and Tesco

Centa IP and Grace, a storytelling company, partnered with Target (U.S.) and Tesco (UK) to exclusively launch the global consumer products for Beat Bugs, the animated kids series that features music inspired by The Beatles. Read more…

Mastermind Toys to Expand National Retail Presence

The Canadian-owned and operated company Mastermind Toys will expand its national retail presence with the opening of more than 11 new locations this year, the largest expansion in the company's 33-year history. The company recently opened its 50th location in Peterborough, ON. Mastermind currently operates in five provinces: Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Read more…

Pre-Register for WIT Empowerment Day

Pre-registration is now open for Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment's (WIT) Empowerment Day to kick off Fall Toy Preview on Oct. 2 in Dallas. Top industry experts will share important trends and insights and provide the education, support, and guidance to help entrepreneurs grow their business or take a product or concept to the next level.
 
Attendees will have the chance to pitch products to Walmart buyers or products and concepts to top companies for feedback of licensing.

Limited pitch sessions are available. Click here to pre-register!

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 Set for November Release

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The Lego Group, and Marvel Entertainment announced LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, an all-new adventure and sequel to Lego Marvel Super Heroes. The game brings together Marvel superheroes and super villains from different eras and realities and transports players into a battle across a myriad of Marvel locations ripped from time and space into the open hub world of Chronopolis. Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 will be available on Nov. 14 for PlayStation4, Xbox One, and PC. The game will be also released for Nintendo Switch this holiday. Read more…

Jay@Play Launches Flip Zee Girls

Jay@Play, creators of the two-in-one FlipaZoo plush, launched Flip Zee Girls Dolls. Kids can flip the plush dolls from baby to girls.
 
The line now features six styles to collect, each with its own personality and pets: Zara Flower, Zabrina Ballerina, Zandy Candy, Zana Strawberry, and Zuri Cat. The dolls are outfitted in dresses and have colorful hair for kids to play with.
 
Flip Zee Girls will be available this month at Walmart, with additional retailers on board for the back-to-school season. New collectible minis will be available for back-to-school 2017 as well.

Imports Dragon Launches Teacher's Treasure Chest Contest

Imports Dragon is showing its appreciation to teachers across Canada with a Teacher's Treasure Chest contest. The company will give away 100 gift baskets, worth more than $250,000, on its Facebook page. Each prize will contain a variety of toys, stickers, and cards for teachers to use in their classrooms.
 
The contest is open to all elementary school teachers, students, and parents across Canada. To enter a teacher into the contest, users can like and share the contest post on their Facebook page and leave a comment with his/her teacher's name, school, grade, and city. All winners will be announced on the Imports Dragon Facebook page.
 
The deadline to enter the Teacher's Treasure Chest contest is May 26.

Spin Master Elects Directors

Spin Master Corp., in accordance with the requirements of the Toronto Stock Exchange, elected directors of the company at its Annual Meeting of Shareholders held on May 12.
 
On a vote by ballot, the following nominees proposed by management were elected as a director of Spin Master: John Cassaday, Jeffrey I. Cohen, Ben J. Gadbois, Ronnen Harary, Dina R. Howell, Anton Rabie, Todd Tappin, Ben Varadi, and Charles Winograd.

Damien Crocker Appointed HABA USA Sales Manager

Damien Crocker joined HABA USA as the company's new sales manager.
Crocker has more than 10 years of sales experience with toys. Before HABA, he worked at ORB Toys as its national sales manager. During Crocker’s tenure at ORB Toys, he helped win several industry vendor awards.
 
Crocker also currently serves as board director of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), where he works closely with other board directors and staff members to develop strategic plans and programs to aid the continued viability of the specialty toy industry.

Spin Master Reports Q1 2017 Financial Results

Spin Master Corp. reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017.
 
Highlights include a $227.7 million in revenue, a 40.8 percent increase from the same period last year. Excluding revenue from Swimways, acquired in Q3 last year, Q1 revenue grew 19.8 percent. In constant currency, revenue increased by 42.6 percent. Read more…

Nintendo Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe See Top Sales in April

The NPD Group reported that the Nintendo Switch gaming system was the best-selling video game hardware during the month of April. More than 280,000 Nintendo Switch gaming units were sold.
 
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe saw more than 460,000 physical units sold, making it the top-selling video game in April. The total reaches more than 550,000 units when digital sales are included. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was launched April 28, and the reported sales came from a two-day period before the cut off on April 29. Read more…

May 18, 2017
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