Toy Industry Unveils Nominees for 2015 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards

TOTY2015logoToday, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the 83 finalists for the prestigious 2015 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY). Between now and January 11, toy consumers of all ages can visit www.toyawards.org to vote for their favorite toys, games, and properties across 12 categories.

The 2015 finalists were selected from more than 600 nominees submitted for consideration by 159 companies. Sixty academics, journalists, toy trend experts, play therapists, toy inventors and designers, and toy retailers staffed the nomination committees that narrowed the field to the slate of finalists.

Votes from mass retailers, specialty toy retailers, media, TIA members, and consumers will be weighted and used to determine each of the 12 category winners. The winners—including the overall Toy of the Year and the People’s Choice awards—will be announced at the TOTY Awards ceremony held on February 13, 2015 as the kick-off to the 112th North American International Toy Fair. [Read more...]

Wal-Mart to Offer More Disney Frozen Items than Any Other Retailer

During the coming holiday season, Wal-Mart will offer more than 700 licensed Disney Frozen items, which is more than any other retailer. The toy items include Jakks Pacific’s Frozen Snow Glow Elsa, Blip’s Frozen Dancing Olaf, Disney‘s Frozen Sing-Along DVD, and more.

Jakks Pacific Teams with Meisheng Culture & Creative Corp. to Bring Jakks Products to China

jakks_logoJakks Pacific Inc. and Meisheng Culture & Creative Corp. Ltd., a Chinese entertainment and cultural production industry group, have entered into a joint venture to provide Jakks licensed and non-licensed toys and consumer products to certain territories in China. The joint venture will include a subsidiary in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, which is expected to sell, distribute, and market the products.

Jakks Pacific will provide dolls, plush, role play products, action figures, costumes, seasonal items, technology and app-enhanced toys, and more, based on its entertainment licenses and proprietary brands.

“Through our partnership with Meisheng, with their trusted name and strong foothold in the Chinese market, we are aiming to bring our diverse portfolio of toys and consumer products into the robust Chinese market to allow millions of families to enjoy our great brands and products,” said Stephen Berman, chief executive officer at Jakks Pacific.

In a statement, Xiaoqiang Zhao, the chairman of Meisheng Cultural & Creative Corp. Ltd., cited the joint venture with Jakks as advantageous to the development of the Chinese toy market.

Jakks Pacific Reports Third Quarter Results

Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa doll

Jakks Pacific Inc. reported results for the company’s third quarter ended September 30. Net sales for the third quarter increased to $349.4 million, up 12 percent from net sales of $310.9 million reported in the comparable period last year. Reported net income for the third quarter increased 16 percent to $44.1 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, compared to reported net income last year of $36.6 million, or $1.11 per diluted share.

Net sales for the nine months ending September 30 increased 12 percent to $556.0 million compared to $495.2 million last year. Reported net income for the nine-month period was $18.7 million, or $0.61 per diluted share. This compares to a net loss for the first nine months last year of $37.8 million, or $1.73 per diluted share. Strong sales of the Frozen Snow Glow Elsa doll and Light Up Musical Dresses, Disguise Halloween offerings, Nintendo plush and figure products, and licensed large-scale figures contributed to the company’s improved third quarter results.

Jakks Teams Up with Skechers for New miWorld, Cabbage Patch Kids Toys

JakksJakks Pacific Inc. has entered a long-term licensing agreement with Skechers USA Inc. to manufacture, distribute, and market a line of toys and products inspired by the Skechers and Twinkle Toes brands. The agreement encompasses multiple product categories, including collectibles, dress-up, and role play.

Jakks will launch a miWorld Skechers play set, allowing kids to build and design their very own Skechers mini replica store, and to play in ways that are authentic to the lifestyle footwear brand. The play set will be compatible with the miWorld Mall DreamPlay app, which brings the miWorld play sets to life on smartphone and tablet devices. [Read more...]