StartApp has entered a strategic partnership with Mattel to develop digital experiences for Mattel’s brands, including Barbie and Hot Wheels. Under the multi-year agreement, StartApp will become Mattels’ premier license to create digital stickers, emojis, wallpapers, GIFs, mobile app themes, avatars, memes, and related apps for a number of Mattel’s global consumer brands.
Mattel brand nabi has created three tablets to deliver an immersive experience based on the Barbie, Hot Wheels, and American Girl brands. The tablets—Barbie Tablet Powered by nabi, Hot Wheels Tablet Powered by nabi, and American Girl Tablet Powered by nabi—will feature digital content, experiences, and accessories around each brand. [Read more...]
Toy State will design a new line of R/C toys under its Nikko brand featuring Monster High under a licensing agreement with Mattel. The toys are scheduled to hit retail stores in the U.S. and Canada next fall.
This deal comes on the heels of Toy State signing agreements with Mattel for Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Thomas & Friends, marking the most recent expansion of the licensing relationship between the two companies.
Marvel’s Ant-Man is still going strong in theaters, and so is Disney Consumer Products’ (DCP) and Marvel‘s Ant-Man product collection. The lineup includes costumes, construction sets, action figures, and more from licensees such as Hasbro, LEGO, Funko, Hot Wheels, Rubie’s Costume Co., and Uncle Milton.
Having recently been promoted to the position of president of Toy State, it seemed like a good time to sit down with Andy Friess to talk about the state of his company, its high-profile sponsorship agreement with Tommy Baldwin Racing, its upcoming plans for the R/C brand, Nikko, and more.
The Toy Book (TTB): How important are new licensing agreements to the growth of Toy State?
Andy Friess (AF): Licensing plays a major role in our success. With the competition so tough in all toy categories, securing rights to strong licenses can provide the point-of-difference that separates us from our competitors. Toy State’s history of developing products featuring the highest levels of quality and innovation has been a great “selling” tool as we seek new licensing opportunities. We’ve been extremely fortunate to work with a core of outstanding global licensors, and these relationships have been instrumental to the successes we have achieved over our 30-plus-year history. The 13-year, multi-category relationship with Caterpillar has been the foundation of our licensing efforts.
Wonder Workshop has appointed Raghu Sethuraman as COO and Ned Ward as vice president of marketing. Sethuraman will lead global operations, finance, customer service, and reseller partner organizations. He brings more than 16 years of leadership experience to Wonder Workshop from fast growing global e-commerce, supply chain, manufacturing, finance, and customer service organizations including Amazon.
When it comes to creating great toys, games, or just about anything, it all boils down to the idea. Great things are often borne of flashes of inspiration, and more than ever, we’re seeing toy companies try to tap into the mental spark of their customers.