COMMENTARY: Sibling Rivalries Exist in the Toy World, Too

FrozenproductsA real-life sibling rivalry exists between Disney’s Frozen Elsa and Anna products—with one sister clearly winning. According to a Wall Street Journal article published last month, Disney marketing executives expected the sisters to be equals in popularity. As such, they were caught off-guard by the overwhelming preference for Elsa, who outsells Anna in dolls, toys, costumes, and other items. Disney, in response, makes sure to keep Elsa items in-stock at stores: For example, about 10 percent more Elsa dolls are stocked than Anna ones at Wal-Mart, according to the same Wall Street Journal article.

To help combat the Frozen sibling rivalry, companies are selling dolls with both sisters, and sales data from last holiday season shows that girls want to play with dolls or role-play with costumes featuring both characters. In turn, companies such as Jakks Pacific, as well as retailers like Toys “R” Us, are making and selling products, respectively, that involve the two sisters. [Read more...]

Jakks Pacific Renews Global Toy License for Slugterra

slugterraJakks Pacific has extended its contract for the hit boys action property Slugterra from Nerd Corps Entertainment Inc. The toy manufacturer’s Slugterra toy line launched in the U.S. in February of 2013, several months after the series’ premiere in October of 2012.

Originally consisting of collectible slug figures, blasters, and darts, Jakks Pacific has since expanded the line to include human action figures, vehicles, plush, and stretchy velocimorph flyers. New styles of blasters and darts, as well as several waves of new slug figures have also been introduced.

To date, Jakks Pacific’s Slugterra toys have launched in dozens of countries, and the inclusion of exclusive game codes for Nerd Corps’ online Slugterra games and mobile game, Slug It Out!, will soon be implemented globally. The fourth wave of slug figures is slated to arrive at Toys “R” Us across the U.S. this fall, accompanied by a Toys “R” Us-exclusive 10-pack of the second wave of slugs.

Nerd Corps recently announced a green light for a third season of Slugterra, slated to begin rolling out next summer. Jakks Pacific, meanwhile, will introduce new waves of toys through next year.

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.

Disguise Celebrates Halloween with Popular Licenses

DisguiselogoDisguise Inc.’s Halloween costume line-up for this year includes popular characters for the entire family based on theatrical blockbusters, popular television shows, pop culture, and more.

This year’s line-up includes toddler and children’s costumes for Elsa, Anna, and Olaf from Disney’s Frozen, as well as an adult Elsa costume. From Disney’s Maleficent, Maleficent and Aurora costumes are available in sizes for children and adults. Disney Junior properties such as Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins have costumes in baby, toddler, and child sizes.

The classic Minnie Mouse costume is available in sizes ranging from baby to adult. Super Mario Bros fans can dress up as their favorite characters including Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach. Costumes for Bumblebee and Optimus Prime from Hasbro’s Transformers are available in baby to adult sizes.

Children and adult fans of Hasbro’s My Little Pony can dress up as their favorite characters, including Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie. Accessories and costumes for Saban’s Power Rangers span from baby, to child, to adult.

The costumes are available at mass market, specialty, and online retail outlets including Target, Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us, Spirit, Buy Seasons, and more.

Disguise Renews Agreements with Top Entertainment Properties and Brands

july28 Jakks-Pacific-LogoJakks Pacific Inc. announced that its Halloween costume division, Disguise, has renewed and expanded agreements for multiple top entertainment properties to produce Halloween costumes and accessories launching at retailers nationwide this Halloween season.

Disguise has renewed its licensing contract with American Greetings Properties to create costumes and accessories for the Care Bears property and has expanded their agreement to now include Strawberry Shortcake.

Disguise has also renewed its agreements with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Warner Bros. Consumer Products  to produce costumes and accessories for The Simpsons, Family Guy, and the Austin Powers franchise, which will be available at retailers nationwide for the 2014 Halloween season.

 

Saban Brands, Jakks Pacific Team Up for Emojiville

EmojivilleSaban Brands and Jakks Pacific Inc. have collaborated on a multi-platform property, Emojiville. Saban Brands will launch Emojiville as an original web series this fall, and is developing a TV series for the brand. The new series will follow five emoji friends in the town Emojiville.

Jakks Pacific will develop consumer products, a toy line, and technology products for the property. Saban Brands will lead the content, distribution, marketing, promotion, and other licensing for the brand.

Disguise Receives Vendor Partner of the Year Award from Spirit Halloween

DisguiselogoDisguise, the Halloween costume division of Jakks Pacific Inc., has received the Vendor Partner of the Year Award from Spirit Halloween for its contributions to the costumes and accessories categories. The award is based on innovations, new licenses, service level, and strategic approaches to sales and profit.

“We are honored to receive the Vendor Partner of the Year Award from Spirit Halloween,” said Joe Anton, president of Disguise. “It has been a pleasure collaborating with the entire Spirit team on unique Disguise programs to make Spirit stores the ultimate Halloween destination for families. Our partnership with Spirit Halloween has allowed us to create unique products not offered in any other retail channel while increasing sales year after year.”

Disney Releases Toys in Time for Maleficent Film Premiere

Aurora.MaleficentDisney Consumer Products has unveiled a new collection of products based on Maleficent, the impending Walt Disney Studios live-action movie that explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic film, Sleeping Beauty. The collection includes dolls, figures, and role-play items.

Jakks Pacific will introduce Maleficent and Aurora Collector Fashion Dolls, which stand 11.5 inches tall, as well as Maleficent’s Glow Horns, inspired by the iconic horns from the film. Funko will have Maleficent and Aurora POP! figures.

The Disney Store will introduce the Aurora Deluxe Costume Collection, which includes a deluxe costume featuring lace detailing, floral accents, and other embellishments. Meanwhile, the Disney Store’s Maleficent Film Collection Dolls are designed to depict the title character and Aurora from the film.

Maleficent arrives in theaters on May 30.

The Future of Jakks Pacific Is Looking Marvel-ous

JakksJakks Pacific Inc. will launch a line of toys based on existing and upcoming Marvel characters and properties. The collection will include R/C vehicles, electric- and battery-operated train and track sets, and handheld 3D character flashlights based on Marvel animated series Ultimate Spider-Man, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., and Marvel’s Avengers Assemble. There will also be toys based on upcoming Marvel theatrical releases, including Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and Marvel’s Ant-Man. These products are expected on retailers’ shelves nationwide next year.

Toys “R” Us Canada Honors Jakks Pacific for Cabbage Patch Kids Launch

JakksJakks Pacific was honored with the 2013 Product Launch of the Year award from Toys “R” Us Canada. Toys “R” Us recognized Jakks Pacific both for its overall business partnership, as well as the exceptional launch of the 30th anniversary of Cabbage Patch Kids last year.

toysrus“We accept this award with gratitude and look forward to continually growing our partnership with Toys “R” Us, as we bring innovative products to all children,” said Steve Morris, senior vice president of Jakks Pacific Canada.

For the anniversary, Jakks Pacific Canada and Toys “R” Us Canada appealed to multiple generations with a program that included media events, exclusive product offerings, and a 30th birthday celebration in select Toys “R” Us stores throughout Canada. The award marks the third consecutive year that Jakks has received an honor by the toy retailer.