Global Licensed Toys Market is Growing as it Heads into Licensing Expo 2016

The dollar sales of licensed toys grew 11 percent from January through May, according to the NPD Group. Last year, the overall toy industry grew seven percent during this time.

The top toy license so far this year is Star Wars, whose sales have more than doubled over the past year, followed by Disney’s Frozen. For 2016 films, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the top selling toy license followed by Captain America: Civil War.

TIA Members at Licensing Expo Are Welcome at LIMA Lounge

TIAToy Industry Association (TIA) members attending Licensing Expo in June are invited to stop by the Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association (LIMA) members’ lounge, where they can regroup, refresh, and hold business meetings away from the show floor. The Expo will be held on June 9 to 11 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

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MGA Introduces New Fashion Doll Line, Lalaloopsy Girls

LalaloopsyGirls.art1.lowresThe Lalaloopsy doll brand, from MGA Entertainment, will make its first foray into fashion dolls with Lalaloopsy Girls. The brand’s storyline centers on 10 characters who attend a special magic academy for girls, Lalaloopsy Academy for Learning Arts, aka L.A.L.A. Prep. There they take magic classes on topics such as cloud-sculpting, and share dorm rooms, secrets, and humorous life moments.

Lalaloopsy Girls will feature vibrantly-colored, 11-inch dolls with different fashions, and each doll will have lanyard hair that magically colors when streaked with cold water. In addition, each doll will come packaged with an extra outfit consisting of a personal, two-piece pajama fashion set, as well as two hair clips and a pet.

The original Lalaloopsy brand debuted four years ago with a suggested age range of 4 and up. According to Rachel Moshe, brand manager at MGA Entertainment, the new line is intended for the oldest girls in that age group.

“If you fell in love with the brand in 2010 and were four years old, that would now make you 8, so you’d probably be going into fashion dolls,” says Moshe. “So we thought it would be appropriate to launch a fashion doll line-up that keeps girls into the brand a little bit longer. This is really to add a doll line-up for the older girl–still not much older than the current Lalaloopsy consumer, but a little bit older than what we’d been targeting before.” [Read more...]

Uglydoll Collaborates with KISS for New Plush Line

KissPlushUglydoll has partnered with the rock band KISS to create a global, co-branded set of plush collectibles. The KISS Uglydoll collaboration was previewed at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas last June and will officially debut at the American International Toy Fair in February. The collection will include plush dolls, from Gund, featuring Uglydoll dressed as KISS band members: Ox as The Demon, Babo as The Starchild, Big Toe as The Catman, and Wage as The Spaceman.

The dolls are expected to arrive in stores in March.

Licensing Expo, American International Toy Fair Announce Collaboration

licensingAdvanstar Licensing, organizers of Licensing Expo, and the Toy Industry Association Inc. (TIA), organizers of the American International Toy Fair, have announced a new collaboration to cross-promote attendance at their two complementary trade events next year.

Through this new alliance, Advanstar Licensing and TIA will introduce Licensing Expo exhibitors to current and emerging toy trends, and inform Toy Fair exhibitors of licensing issues and opportunities in emerging international markets. The collaboration will also provide cross-promotional opportunities via direct mail and electronic marketing, editorial content, and co-hosted seminars.

The American International Toy Fair will take place February 16 to 19 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Licensing Expo, which is sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, will take place June 17 to 19 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Outfit7′s Talking Friends Apps Hit One Billion Downloads

Talking Tom and Talking Friends reached the 1 billion downloaded apps mark. Talking Tom and the Talking Friends characters are known for their humorous talk back ability and reaction to touch.

Since the original Talking Tom debuted in July 2010, the Talking Friends family of characters has grown to 14 animal friends. With more than two dozen apps in the franchise, Talking Friends apps are played in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide by more than 170 million users each month. Play both on iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android systems, the download rate of Talking Friends apps is approximately 50 million per month. [Read more...]

Sanrio and Pretty Ugly Partner for Hello Kitty Uglydolls

1225Sanrio Inc., the global lifestyle brand best known for Hello Kitty, has partnered with Pretty Ugly LLC, owner of Uglydoll, to create global, co-branded collaboration with Hello Kitty and Uglydoll characters. Uglydoll’s unique aesthetic, defining “ugly” as distinctive and unique, will be combined with the iconic style of Hello Kitty to create a selection of limited-edition collectibles.    

The Hello Kitty Uglydoll collaboration will make its official debut at San Diego Comic-Con, held July 18 to 21. The collection will include a set of limited edition plush by Gund, featuring Hello Kitty dressed as Uglydoll’s popular characters—Ox, Trunko, Ice-Bat, and Wage—as well as a set of vinyl figures by Funko. Additional product exclusive to Comic-Con will include t-shirts by Mighty Fine, iPhone cases by Uncommon, and a collectible pin set by PinUSA. Specific items from the collection will also be shown at Licensing Expo, held June 18 to 20 in Las Vegas, and will be available later this summer at select Sanrio boutique stores,,, and specialty retailers.

One Direction Visits Hasbro at Licensing Expo

The music sensation One Direction stopped by the Hasbro booth at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas to play with some of the hottest toys and gear from Hasbro, including G.I. Joe, Transformers, and more. This fall, Hasbro will produce a line of toys, dolls and games, based on the band.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by For more news, visit, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Video: Wayne Newton Sings Phineas and Ferb Song at Licensing Expo

Video Caption: “Wayne Newton performs a Vegas-style musical number to celebrate the success of Disney’s animated television series Phineas and Ferb. Newton sang an updated version of the ‘Perry the Platypus Theme Song.’ The surprise production occurred as a special grand finale to the end of a private Disney event in Las Vegas for the 2010 Licensing International Expo.”

LIMA Cares Campaign to Raise Money for Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation at Licensing Expo

The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) will be supporting its LIMA Cares charity campaign at the Licensing International Expo 2010 in Las Vegas. The campaign will be raising money for the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation (CBTF) as part of a three-year commitment to raise $3 million to fund the CBTF Tissue Consortium. Attendees can support CBTF through a silent auction, the LIMA Climb, and a texting campaign.

“As our industry gathers for Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas, I can think of no better way for us to show our strength and unity than by supporting efforts to cure children’s brain cancer,” Charles Riotto, president of LIMA, says in a press release.

Bidding for the silent auction will start Tuesday, June 8, and items will include tickets to sporting and entertainment events such as: the U.S. Open Women’s Final, 2011 Final Four, X Games 16, Survivor finale taping, a CBS comedy taping, Beastly premiere and after party, Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards, Come Fly Away on Broadway, the 2010 American Idol Summer Live Tour and meet and greet passes, The Price is Right taping, Cartoon Network’s Hall of Game inaugural event, and a NASCAR Ride Along certificate. Bids will be taken through June 20 on Ebay.

Pledges will be taken for the LIMA Climb event to the base camp of Mt. Everest. The climb will take place October 13-31, and over $158,000 has already been pledged.

Attendees can also support CBTF by contributing $10 through a texting campaign by texting LIMA (5462) to 50555.