HoliDAY of Play 2015

Q&A with Mattel: Social Media, 3-D Printing, and More

logo_Mattel logoThe Toy Book (TTB): In what new ways are you using social media to correspond directly with consumers?

Mattel: We engage with consumers across all brand and corporate social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as retailer sites, like Wal-Mart and Kohl’s. At Mattel, we have a fully functioning reporting and engineering team dedicated to understanding what the consumer is saying and turning that data into actionable improvements for both our manufacturing and design process.

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American Greetings Hires Karen Vermeulen, Revamps Internal Licensing, Entertainment Teams

ResizedAGPLogoAmerican Greetings Properties (AGP), the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corporation, is revamping its licensing, entertainment, digital, and distribution teams, starting with the hire of former longtime Zodiak Kids executive Karen Vermeulen. Vermeulen joins AGP as its new head of global sales and co-productions, and will initially be based out of London.
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Funko Disney Heroes vs. Villains Mystery Minis Arriving in April

In April, Funko will release Disney Heroes vs. Villains Mystery Minis, a new blind box series made up of six Disney heroes and six Disney villains packaged individually. Each hero in the set has a villain counterpart, e.g., Ariel and Ursula, Anna and Marshmallow, Peter Pan and Captain Hook, etc.

The rarity scale is 1/12, making the chances for each figure roughly equal.

ToyBacker Launches First-Ever Crowdfunding Site Dedicated to the Toy Industry

ToyBacker.com LOGOToyBacker has launched toybacker.com, the first crowd-funding site dedicated solely to the toy industry. The site will serve as a hub for creative toy innovators of all types to share their ideas, gather funding, and bring their products to fruition with the financial support of the consumer. [Read more...]

Q&A with Willie Wilkov, Chief Marketing Officer, Tomy International

Willie Wilkov CMO TOMYThe Toy Book (TTB): Which licenses do you anticipate will be key drivers in 2015?

Willie Wilkov (WW): 2015 is a big year on the license front for Tomy. We are proud to have the opportunity to work with Disney on two new Disney•Pixar movie properties–Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur– as well as the new Disney Junior TV show Miles from Tomorrowland. While we expect these new licenses to be key drivers for us in 2015, we have a portfolio of licensed properties that perform for us year after year, and we are anticipating growth in those brands as well. John Deere is an evergreen brand with a loyal following that is perennially one of our strongest selling lines company-wide. Our partners at Sega and The Pokémon Company International continue to bring new fans into their incredibly popular franchises, Sonic Boom and Pokémon, with fresh, engaging content, giving us so much to work with in our toy development. In the classic play arena, we see both Chuggington Wooden Railway and Chuggington StackTrack continuing to provide that first train experience for kids and growing with them through their love of train and construction play, while Lamaze maintains its stronghold as a leader in the infant developmental toy aisle. [Read more...]

Christine Kelly to Head Toy and Game Initiatives for National Geographic’s Brand Licensing Division

ChristineKellyNational Geographic has named Christine Kelly as its director of licensing, toys, and games for National Geographic’s Brand Licensing division. In this new role, she has been tasked with National Geographic’s toy business—both licensing and strategic retail partnerships. She will oversee marketing, retail strategy and product development, including new franchises. [Read more...]

Disney Introduces First Latina Princess

DisneyPrincessElena

Disney has introduced its first Latina Princess: Elena of Avalor, a 16-year-old character inspired by “diverse Latin cultures and folklore.” Disney describes Elena as a “bold, caring, funny and clever ascendant to the throne in the fairytale kingdom of Avalor.” [Read more...]

Disney Interactive Launches Disney Infinity: Toy Box 2.0 Mobile App

DisneyInfinityAppforiPhone6PlusDisney Interactive has launched the free Disney Infinity: Toy Box 2.0 app for iPad and iPhone. A new addition to the Disney Infinity game universe, the app features all of the tools and enhanced features of Toy Box 2.0 from Disney Infinity (2.0 Edition), as well as all-new multiplayer functionality so mobile gamers can create Toy Boxes together using favorite Marvel and Disney characters, vehicles, settings, and items.

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Disguise Renews Multi-Year Agreement for Top Disney Property Costumes

Disguiselogo copyDisguise Inc., the Halloween costume division of Jakks Pacific Inc., has renewed its agreement with Disney Consumer Products to create, manufacture, and distribute Halloween costumes and accessories based on top Disney properties. Disguise will continue to build on its Disney costume portfolio with new additions including Big Hero 6, Frozen Fever, Descendants, and Disney Junior’s Miles from Tomorrowland. Costumes for Frozen, Doc McStuffins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Monsters, Inc., and more will expand this year.

Disguise’s costumes are available in sizes ranging from infant to adult.

Tomy and Disney Consumer Products Team Up for Disney∙Pixar’s Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur

InsideOut,JoyToday, Disney Consumer Products unveiled exclusive details about the new global toy lines for DisneyPixar’s Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, debuting theatrically in the U.S. on June 19, and November 25, respectively. Both movies will feature toy lines from licensee Tomy.

Tomy’s toy line for Inside Out will include poseable character figures with light-up features, and all of the toys allow for self-expression and re-creation of key movie moments. The toy range for The Good Dinosaur appeals to kids of all ages, for both action figure play and more sophisticated remote control walking and talking. The unique characteristics of the film’s dinosaurs, such as how they move and run, are reflected in the toy line. [Read more...]