Mega Brands, Mattel Donate Over $70,000 to Autism Speaks Canada

DonationMegaMega Brands Inc. has donated $72,000 to Autism Speaks Canada in support of Autism Awareness Month. The donation was presented at the 2014 Walk Now for Autism Speaks event in Montreal, which helps fund autism treatment, education, research, and advocacy throughout the country. Mega Brands was also the local presenting sponsor of the event.

The money was raised during April when Mega Brands pledged to donate one dollar for every Mega Bloks toy sold by Toys “R” Us Canada both in stores and online. This generated over $20,000 in proceeds. Philanthropic donors also contributed $29,000 to the pledge amount.

Mega Brands employees raised an additional $10,000 in donations through bake sales and auctions, an amount that was matched by Mattel.

WBIE Names David Haddad New Executive VP of Publishing

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) has announced a strategic management realignment to position it for growth, with changes designed to increase top-line global revenue and manage the continued digital transformation. This realignment was announced today by Martin Tremblay, president of WBIE.

As part of the management realignment, David Haddad was named to the newly created role of executive vice president of publishing operations and will report to Tremblay. Haddad will be responsible for driving all revenue activities across WBIE’s live and console game businesses as well as supporting the digital transition. Worldwide sales and distribution for console and digital games, digital publishing, live publishing, and business intelligence now report to Haddad.

Haddad most recently served as senior vice president of digital publishing at WBIE, and has held leadership roles at Etoys, Mattel, and The Walt Disney Company.

Team Hot Wheels: The Origin of Awesome Will Play at Cinemas for One Weekend in June

HotWheels.OriginofAwesomeOn June 7 and 8, at 11 a.m. local time, Fathom Events and Mattel will debut Team Hot Wheels: The Origin of Awesome in select movie theaters nationwide. The film tells the story of how series characters Gage, Rhett, Wyatt, and Brandon face off against a mysterious black car that begins transforming the sleepy town of Hilly Woodlands into a wild mess of orange track and outrageous obstacles.

Fans will get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look, learning how Team Hot Wheels was created through interviews with Mattel officials, a first-hand look at early sketches and concept art, and a glimpse into how the characters were developed.

Tickets are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.fathomevents.com.

Mega Brands Presented with Award Recognizing Successes and Responsible Environmental Practices

mega brands logoMega Brands was honored this past Thursday with the Prix Hommage from the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Saint-Laurent-Mont-Royal. The tribute award was given at the 30th Alpha Gala, which celebrates outstanding performances by companies in St-Laurent, Cartierville, and Mont-Royal.

Recently, Mega Brands repatriated a large part of its production from China to Montreal, thanks to technological advances. This has enabled the company to accelerate its own growth, while following principles of sustainable development.

Jean-François Albert, vice-president of manufacturing at Mega Brands, accepts the Tribute Award from minister and member of the National Assembly for Saint-Laurent, Jean-Marc Fournier, at the 30th Alpha 2014 Gala on May 15.

Jean-François Albert, vice-president of manufacturing at Mega Brands, accepts the Tribute Award from minister and member of the National Assembly for Saint-Laurent, Jean-Marc Fournier, at the 30th Alpha Gala on May 15.

Mega Brands’ St-Laurent plant, now the world’s first toy manufacturing facility to be recognized as environmentally responsible, produces six times as many toys as before with the same amount of energy. It also emits 500 times less greenhouse gas emissions than plants in China for the same level of production.

The Prettie Girls! from One World Doll Project Embraces a Multicultural World

OneWorldDolls-Group Prettie GirlsKids are easily influenced at a young age from the world around them, the people they interact with, and even the toys they play with. For young girls especially, something as simple as a doll can change the way they perceive themselves. One company’s solution is to make a positive impact through the doll category.

Trent. T. Daniel founded the One World Doll Project in 2010 with Stacey McBride-Irby, who began working for the company in February 2011. The company was established to bring multicultural dolls, products, and toys into the marketplace through the creation of The Prettie Girls! dolls.

“The days of there being this one prototype for the female figure–the blonde hair, blue eyes, and thin waist–is not a realistic representation of what our kids are seeing every day in their schools and mainstream America,” Daniel said.

The goal of the company is to create a line of products that represents true diversity in the melting pot society that the world is today. According to Daniel, the perfect place to start was with the development of a line of dolls that addresses and understands a certain market. [Read more...]

Mattel and Hasbro Named Among 100 Best Corporate Citizens

Hasbro Inc. has been ranked No. 22 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens list for 2014. This is the third time that Hasbro has been honored in the top 25 and recognized for responsible business practices and transparency.

In the same list, Mattel Inc. was recognized as one of America’s best corporate citizens, receiving the publication’s highest honors in the toy industry. The magazine also recognized Mattel as the fifth most socially responsible public company in the U.S. The 2014 ranking marks the sixth consecutive appearance by Mattel.

The 100 Best Corporate Citizens List documents hundreds of data points from publicly available information in seven categories: environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance, and philanthropy. The list can be found at www.thecro.com.

Sony Pictures Entertainment and Mattel Bring Barbie to the Big Screen

barbie-logoSony Pictures Entertainment, Mattel, and Parkes+MacDonald/Image Nation have partnered on a live-action comedy based on the iconic Barbie doll. The film will go into production at the end of this year. In her live-action big screen debut, Barbie will be shown inhabiting many of the 150 roles she has played throughout the franchise’s more than 50-year history, including a mermaid, a movie star, and the president.

The project marks the second collaboration between Sony Pictures and Mattel, which are currently developing a film adaptation of Masters of the Universe, based on Mattel’s popular action figures. The live-action Barbie film will be written by Jenny Bicks, produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, and executive produced by Parkes+MacDonald’s president Marc Resteghini alongside Julia Pistor, who will executive produce for Mattel’s Playground Productions.

Mattel’s First Quarter Results Include Gross Sales Decline for Top Brands

logo_Mattel logoMattel reported 2014 first quarter financial results, which included a decline in worldwide sales for Barbie, but strength in some of the company’s other girls brands.

For the first quarter, worldwide gross sales for Mattel girls and boys brands were $656.9 million, down 5 percent versus the previous year. This included a decline in worldwide gross sales for the Barbie brand of 14 percent. Worldwide gross sales for Mattel’s other girls brands increased 4 percent on the strength of Disney Princess and Ever After High, partially offset by Monster High. [Read more...]

Mattel’s BOOMco Set to Blast Off!

BC_LogoMattel has released BOOMco, a new line of blasters available in select markets, including the UK, France, and Benelux. International market rollouts will continue over the next few months, with a North America debut in July timed for summer.

For BOOMco, Mattel is introducing the Smart Stick system, a dart and target system to go with amped-up blasters. With Smart Stick, darts can only bond to Smart Stick surfaces, and integrated blaster shields—which can retract or be removed—deflect or collect opponents’ darts. Targets in the Smart Stick system feature loud graphics so kids can easily see how true their aim is.

BOOMco Rapid Madness

BOOMco Rapid Madness

BOOMco blasters feature air blast performance that is 100-percent kid-powered, and have an adrenaline-inspired design. Blasters include the Twisted Spinner, which includes a 310-degree rotating barrel that can blast darts up to 70 feet away; fast-acting, push-button transformable shields; and 8 Smart Stick darts and a Smart Stick target. Meanwhile, the Rapid Madness is an air-powered blaster that can fling 20 Smart Stick darts in seconds, and has the capability of blasting up to 50 feet away. The Rapid Madness includes a quick push-button, removable transforming Smart Stick shield for the catch and defense of darts, and 30 darts. Both the Twisted Spinner and Rapid Madness are recommended for kids ages 6 and older.

BOOMco will be supported by a strong digital presence in which fans can continuously engage and interact on popular platforms. A YouTube channel will offer blaster-in-action videos and behind-the-scenes footage. Meanwhile, an Instagram account will feature photos and visual play inspirations. BOOMco will also be issuing monthly challenges to fans that will show fun ways to play with the new blasters. In addition, a mobile app released later this year will feature gaming options and the ability to record and edit action favorite moments.

Updates on the availability of BOOMco products can be found at www.boom-co.com.

Latest Monster High Film Available Now

MonsterHighThe fourth direct-to-DVD Monster High release, Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action! is now available at retailers. Centered on Draculaura, the film introduces new ghouls Elissabat, Honey Swamp, Viperine Gorgon, and Clawdia Wolf.

Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action! is being accompanied by a line of new character themed dolls.