Sweet Suite 2016

You’re a Box Office Hit, Charlie Brown!

unnamed-1The Peanuts Movie launched in the U.S. this past weekend to box office success. The film earned $45 million over its first weekend, and will roll out globally to 100 countries over the next six weeks.

Digital efforts leading up to the movie launch included the PeanutizeMe website. To date, more than 6 million characters have been created. The Wah Wah machine brought the iconic Peanuts “adult voice” into the digital age. There is also a designated Peanuts Movie Sticker Pack on Facebook.

Peanuts has also invaded the toy aisle, where the property hasn’t had much presence in the past, with Just Play’s Happy Dance Snoopy leading the charge. Peanuts Worldwide/Iconix Entertainment recently announced that Peanuts shorts based on the strip will be on air in the U.S. on Cartoon Network and Boomerang.

This December will mark the 50th Anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and consumers can expect to see special events surrounding this milestone, including a new TV special hosted by Kristen Bell airing on ABC focusing on the enduring power of the original special. In additional news, Snoopy will fly in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Peanuts gang will star in Macy’s holiday windows, and Snoopy will serving as Macy’s 2015 Holiday Ambassador.

Kate and Mim-Mim Gets Second Season, Just Play Signs On as Global Master Toy Partner

Kate & Mim-MimFremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment (FMKFE) recently announced that it has greenlit the second season of the highly-rated preschool series, Kate & Mim-Mim. Series two is due to launch on Disney Junior US and will air globally late this year. The series is currently in pre-production and will include two themed seasonal specials.

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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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Q&A with Geoffrey Greenberg, Co-President, Just Play

JustPlay.GeoffreyGreenbergThe Toy Book (TTB): How do you use 3-D printing in your research and development? Will you incorporate 3-D printing into your consumer offerings in the future?

Geoffrey Greenberg (GG): We use 3-D printing extensively in our development process. The quick turnarounds enable for faster approvals and the ability to make changes as needed without a long wait. A designer can be much more precise when working with a printed sample, and it helps move the development process along more quickly. [Read more...]

Just Play Partners with MEG Toys to Relaunch Puppy In My Pocket

JustPlaylogoJust Play and MEG Toys have signed a master toy licensing deal for the Puppy In My Pocket property for North America, South America, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. Under the agreement, Just Play will manufacture and distribute figures, accessories, and play sets based on MEG Toys’ evergreen brand of collectible, pocket-sized puppies. [Read more...]

Disney Expands Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Merchandise Ahead of the Holiday Season

GG-408-1.EM Product Shot[2]Following the box office success of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Disney Consumer Products will launch new toys for the holiday season. The product release will coincide with the DVD and Blu-Ray launch of the film on December 9.

The new toy and collectible lineup will include KIDdesigns‘ Dancing Groot toy. Other key products include Funko‘s POP! Marvel: Dancing Groot Bobble-head, Funko’s Fabrikations Guardians of the Galaxy–Rocket Raccoon collectible, Hot Wheels‘ Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon Character Cars, Just Play’s Rocket Raccoon Plush, and Dragon Models’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Star-Lord Model Kit.

Toys “R” Us Announces Thanksgiving Weekend Doorbusters, Special Deals for Rewards “R” Us Members

toysrusOn Thanksgiving weekend, Toys “R” Us will offer more than $8,000 in potential toy savings to holiday shoppers. Toys “R” Us stores nationwide will open at 5 p.m. on November 27, and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., 4-hour doorbuster deals will include discounts on Disney Infinity Starter Packs and figures; Skylanders Trap Team Starter Packs, figures, and Traps; the V-Tech InnoTab 3S Connect; Frozen Jumbo Olaf Plush, from Just Play; and more.

Meanwhile, selected deals available on November 28 from 7 a.m. through November 29, as well as online at toysrus.com, include buy one, get one for 40 percent off on Disney Infinity and Skylanders Trap Team items, certain Disney Frozen toys, and more.

Toys “R” Us will also provide exclusive, early access to Black Friday deals on more than 100 items, both in-store and online, to Rewards “R” Us members beginning November 23. Not only can Rewards “R” Us members accumulate points on their purchases, those points can be applied to Toys “R” Us shopping into the new year.

In addition, throughout November and December, “R”Us credit cardholders are eligible to receive discounts off Toys “R” Us purchases when using their “R”Us credit card in-store on Thursdays, including Thanksgiving. Through December 20, existing cardholders can also save 10 percent every Saturday when they use their “R”Us credit card in-store.

Finally, the majority of Toys “R” Us Thanksgiving Weekend deals will be available starting on November 26 at 10 p.m. ET at toysrus.com/blackfriday.

AG Properties and Just Play Launch New Care Bears Toy Line

JustPlay.CareBearsA new partnership between AG Properties (AGP) and Just Play will bring an all-new Care Bears toy line to major retail outlets this fall. The Just Play toy line will feature plush, as well as an assortment of Care Bears figures and play sets that will give children the chance to create special connections and enjoy make-believe adventures.

Arriving at U.S. retailers nationwide in September, the line will feature Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear, Share Bear, Harmony Bear, Tenderheart Bear, and Grumpy Bear, all of which help teach kids about emotions, empathy and caring. The Just Play toys extend an expansive Care Bears consumer reach across multiple categories.

Marvel Launches Collection Inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy

Sept5GuardiansMarvel Entertainment, in conjunction with Disney Consumer Products, has unveiled a product collection to celebrate the new film, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Licensees for the products include Hasbro, Lego, Disguise, Hot Wheels, Her Universe, Café Press, Mad Engine, Just Play, KidDesigns, Rubie’s, C-Life, Jay Franco, and the Disney Store. Products in the line include action figures, plush, play sets, role play, costumes, and ’80s nostalgia-inspired lifestyle products.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy products are available now at national retailers, specialty stores, Marvel.com, Disney store locations nationwide, and DisneyStore.com. The movie opens in theaters on August 1.

COMMENTARY: Disney’s Frozen Toys Will Melt Your Heart

The thing that I like most about Disney’s Frozen was that it played with the idea of a typical Disney Princess movie. It touches on the idea of falling in love and being engaged within hours of meeting each other and changes the way the audience thinks about typical princesses and princes. There is, of course, a curse that’s lifted by “an act of true love,” but this act comes from (spoiler alert!) one of sisterly love rather than romantic love. A lot of the plot is focuses on the two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa, and the animation is so spectacular as it brings this truly magical story to life.

To go along with this great movie, Mattel has introduced an entire line of toys that capture the lively, magical spirit of Frozen. With quirky characters (Olaf!), Frozen quickly becomes a new Disney favorite, and the toys are sure to have the same effect on any toy box.

MusicalDollsOne of my favorite toys from this line is the Disney Frozen Musical Magic Elsa and Anna Dolls. These dolls feature glittery and glamorous gowns, but I think also do a fantastic job of capturing the familial bonds that are so important to the movie’s story. When kids hold the dolls hands, the dolls hold each other’s hands, OR you create a circle of humans and dolls holding hands, Anna and Elsa magically light up and play enchanting music. [Read more...]