Spin Master Ltd. will serve as the global master toy partner for Cartoon Network’s The Powerpuff Girls, anchoring the licensing program for the global franchise launch in 2016. Spin Master will have rights to create a full line of products based on the brand, including plush; figures; play sets; dolls; role-play items; and select electronic, activity, remote-control toys, and novelty and impulse items. The product line will begin its global retail rollout in the fall of 2016. [Read more...]
As initially reported by Deadline, Hasbro Inc. is in early talks to buy DreamWorks Animation SKG. The deal would give the toy maker, which has clout with major retailers, an animation studio that just recently began diversifying beyond the movies.
For each company, a deal could help accelerate movement beyond their core businesses. DreamWorks Animation has expanded into consumer products in recent years, but still lags behind Walt Disney Co., while Hasbro recently sold off some of its stake in the Hub cable network.
Through its relatively new film label, Allspark Pictures, Hasbro has movies in the works based on its toy brands, My Little Pony and Jem and the Holograms. It is also launching a new Transformers cartoon series on the Cartoon Network, having had trouble edging in on children’s networks Nickelodeon and Disney Channel.
Should a deal be reached, it would likely come during the next two to four weeks, and would result in a family entertainment powerhouse to be called DreamWorks-Hasbro, according to a source in the article. Hasbro could also have management of the new entity already in place: On Wednesday, the company appointed Stephen Davis, who has led Hasbro Studios since its launch in 2009, to the role of executive vice president, chief content officer.
In this new role, Davis will be responsible for developing content for Hasbro’s brands across multiple platforms. He will also work closely with Hasbro’s president and chief executive officer, Brian Goldner, to oversee Allspark Pictures (This aspect of Davis’ role was announced prior to news about the possible Hasbro-DreamWorks deal), as well as franchise films such as Transformers that are produced in partnership with major studios.
PGS Entertainment is announcing a raft of global sales for Super 4, the new animated series inspired by Playmobil, which will debut in early 2015. Produced by Method Animation and Morgen Studios, and commissioned by France Télévisions, PGS represents the series in all territories and has secured broadcast licensing agreements across Europe, Asia, and North America.
Current sales include Neox Kidz (Atresmedia) in Spain, TV3 in Catalonia, Canal Panda in Portugal, RTBF in Belgium, RTS in Switzerland, RTL téléKids in Netherlands & Luxembourg, MTV3 in Finland, Canal+ in Poland; Noga in Israel; Workpoint in Thailand; and Radio-Canada in Canada.
PGS Entertainment has secured broadcast deals with Cartoon Network in Italy and Latin America for the new animated series Super 4. Inspired by Playmobil’s universe, Super 4 is a CGI comedy-adventure that marks the first time the children’s brand has come to TV.
Spin Master Ltd. has launched the Tenkai Knights toy line. Tenkai Knights is the first franchise to launch under the Ionix construction brand, a revolutionary new construction system featuring shape-shifting building bricks. Ionix bricks are fully compatible with other construction sets, which allows kids to build whatever their imagination can create. Tenkai Knights by Ionix is available at Toys “R” Us and Target, and will be available at Walmart on December 1.
Kids of all ages will be able to bring the Tenkai Knight’s world to life by unleashing the Tenkai power inside each unique construction brick. The building bricks are packed with surprises and infused with a special kind of shape-shifting Ionix magic that will allow kids worldwide to experience classic construction play in a brand new way. The toys bring the characters and the world of the Tenkai Knights animated TV series to life.
The Tenkai Knights TV Show, which airs Saturday mornings on Cartoon Network, is a U.S. and Japanese co-production. The Spin Master entertainment team worked with production company, Shogakukan-Shueisha (ShoPro), to create the series. Tenkai Knights has a unique style, mixing traditional 2-D animation with CGI, creating a distinct look that separates Tenkai Knights from other series.
The first is a Super Best Friends Forever: Poison Ivy PVC Figure, designed by Lauren Faust and sculpted by Irene Matar. Super Best Friends Forever is from the popular interstitial shorts shown during DC Nation on Cartoon Network. Poison Ivy measures approximately 6.625 inches tall.
The second con exclusive is a DC Comics Super Heroes: Hal Jordan & Saint Walker Action Figure 2-pack sculpted by Robert Lynders. This set is the latest in the 3.75-inch scale. The 3.75-inch action figures continue to be a must-have con exclusive from DC Collectibles.
Check out DC Collectibles’ blog for more information.
Toys “R” Us has announced that next month it will debut tabeo e2, the next generation of its Wi-Fi Android tablet for kids that launched during the last holiday season. Designed by the kids authority, the upgraded, 8-inch, multi-touch screen tablet is bigger and faster than the original tabeo and still provides content that kids love and safety features parents desire. tabeo e2 offers access to thousands of free apps in the tabeo App store and comes preloaded with dozens of premium apps carefully selected to entertain and educate kids ages 6 to 11. Featuring enhanced technology, such as the Android Jelly Bean 4.2 operating system, Bluetooth, and a dual-core 1.0 GHz processor for faster performance, tabeo e2 also includes improved parental controls and high-impact screen protection. tabeo e2 will be available in three colors exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at tabeo.com beginning in October.
Designed to provide users with an even more compelling tablet experience, tabeo e2 has been engineered specifically for kids of the digital generation. The larger 8-inch multi-touch screen displays more than 16 million colors with an advanced screen resolution. That, combined with a faster dual-core 1.0 GHz processor and quad-core graphics processing unit (GPU), lets users switch between browsing the Internet, watching movies, and playing games quickly and easily. tabeo e2 is also Bluetooth-enabled, allowing it to work with all Bluetooth wireless speakers and accessories.
tabeo e2 will be available in a blue, pink, or clear custom-made protective case. Every tabeo e2 also comes complete with one micro USB cable and one specially designed charging pin to ensure easy connection to a computer or wall outlet for charging. [Read more...]
Lego’s Legends of Chima was first introduced as a series of play sets featuring classic Lego designs similar to Lego’s Ninjago. However, the toy has branched out beyond action figures with a new TV series bearing the same name. Cartoon Network has started airing weekly episodes of the series, and before the show is ruled out as just another form of advertising for Lego toys, it’s worth a closer look.
Prior to actually watching, I was a little wary. I was never really a big fan of Lego toys, and the cartoons were even less appealing to me. My justification was that the hands on their characters were shaped like a “c.” I always found myself asking, “Where are their fingers?” Needless to say, I was skeptical when the 6-year-old I babysit insisted we watch the premiere. I was expecting another feel-good show with a few laughs here and there, and was pleasantly surprised at what I saw.
The show is an animated series made in the same vein as most children’s cartoons, with a charismatic hero. Legends of Chima, however, follows a group of animals at war in the land of Chima, and the hero at the center of it all is a lion name Laval. Laval is the prince of the Lion Tribe, who suddenly finds himself and his tribe at war with his best-friend-turned-enemy, Cragger, and his Crocodile Tribe.
The plot sounds simple enough, but the show also explores heavy themes such as conspiracy, emotional manipulation, and prejudice. These are, of course, introduced at an age-appropriate level, but teach a message nonetheless. At the end of each episode, kids are taught important lessons, such as being altruistic, compassionate, honest, and merciful.
The issue between Cragger and Laval stems from Cragger’s misuse of Chi. Chi is an energy source that randomly appeared in the distant past. Different groups of animals drank from the mystical pool of Chi and evolved to be smarter forms of their predecessors, and now walk on two feet. A caveat however is that an animal from each tribe did not drink from the pool, and therefore remained “pure.” It is said that these legendary animals will return to Chima one day when they are needed.
Every tribe is given Chi, even if the lions who guard the Chi don’t agree with their views (another important lesson). In spite of this, rather than waiting until his coming of age ceremony to get his Chi, Cragger tricks Laval into showing him the Chi pool, and proceeds to use it, even though he’s not ready. This leads to negative consequences, and ultimately war between the lions and crocodiles and their allies.
Besides the interesting storyline, Legends of Chima also offers laughs characteristic of any clever children’s show. Laval doesn’t just defeat his foes, but does so with witty banter that even adults can appreciate. The show is aesthetically pleasing, and well crafted, making way for beautifully designed toys kids will no doubt want to play with.
For more commentary from Abby, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!
The Lego Group unveiled the world’s largest Lego model, a 1:1 replica of the Lego Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter, in New York’s Times Square today. To celebrate the upcoming premiere of The Yoda Chronicles on Cartoon Network on May 29 at 8:00 p.m., the massive replica took 32 master builders, five million Lego bricks and over 17,000 hours to complete. The model weighs nearly 46,000 pounds, stands 11 feet tall and 43 feet long, with a wingspan of 44 feet. The model will “take off” for a summer landing at Legoland California Resort where it will be installed through the remainder of the year.
Lego Star Wars is the original licensed product collection from The Lego Group and remains among the best-selling global toy lines. The theme appeals to fans across generations with a steady introduction of digital content such as The Yoda Chronicles to compliment the building experience.