Exclusive Pics from 2014 Licensing Expo

Licensing Expo, the annual meeting place for the global licensing industry, occurred last week in Las Vegas. The exhibitors included a number of the top toy companies, which were on-hand showing off upcoming play products and making announcements about new licensing deals.

Check out this exclusive gallery, which features lots of the licensed toys that we’re all sure to be excited about in the months ahead. [Read more...]

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...]

MGA Appoints Anne Gates as President

MGA Entertainment (MGAE) has appointed Anne Gates as president. Gates joined MGAE in early 2014 and MGA says she has proven to be a strategic and creative leader for the company’s portfolio of family entertainment franchises. In her new role, Gates will oversee all of MGAE’s global businesses and operations.

“Having Anne Gates as president will allow me to innovate and work more closely with the MGAE team on a vision for an exciting future, while Anne handles the day-to-day operation of the business. Anne and I will work very closely together to take MGAE to new heights,” says Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment. “Her incredible determination and proven performance in systematically growing businesses, paired with her exceptional management and entertainment experience, will help position the company for continued growth and leadership in the toy and entertainment world.” [Read more...]

MGA Entertainment Inks Deal with Viacom for Lalaloopsy TV Series

June5-Lalaloopsy_dolls-300x157MGA Entertainment has signed a two-year agreement with Viacom to air the first two seasons of the Lalaloopsy television program internationally on its Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. networks, kicking off the second season on Nick Jr. on June 7 in the U.S. Based on MGA’s doll line, the 52 episodes will also air in Germany, Russia, Benelux, Greece, Turkey, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa and Pan Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Palau, Brunei, Macau, Mongolia, South Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Myanmar, and U.S. military bases).

In addition, Viacom has granted Lalaloopsy Babies its own TV special, which will air on Nick Jr. and be available on DVD this October.

MGA Entertainment Unveils New Additions at Toy Fair

LalaloopsyAt the 2014 American International Toy Fair, MGA Entertainment will introduce its spring line-up for its Lalaloopsy, Mooshka, Moxie Girlz, and Little Tikes lines.

The Lalaloopsy brand will expand with Lalaloopsy Babies, featuring original characters Crumbs Sugar Cookie, Pillow Featherbed, Jewel Sparkles, and Mittens Fluff ‘N’ Stuff as soft, adorable babies. Lalaloopsy Bubbly Mermaids Pearly Seafoam and Ocean Seabreeze have hair that can be filled with bubble solution, and tails that can be squeezed to watch their bubble hair grow.

The newest additions to the Mooshka Fairytale lineup include Princess Palia, Ballerina Casia, Mermaid Sonia, and Fairy Ina. Each is adorned with a shimmering tulle dress, colorful soft ribbons, and lace crowns. In addition, each soft doll has Velcro hands that are perfect for holding hands with friends. [Read more...]

NPD: Fashion Dolls Still in Fashion for the Holidays

According to retail sales data from The NPD Group, year to date through October, the doll category is entering the holiday season with dollar sales up 1 percent compared to year ago. The Fashion Themed Dolls segment is the main driver of this growth with year-over-year sales growth of 6 percent through October.

This increase is due not only to several new brands such as My Little Pony Equestria Girls and Sofia The First, but also growth in some of last year’s more popular brands, including Monster High, Doc McStuffins, and Lalaloopsy.

Within dolls, other subclasses that have experienced strong growth are Fashion Styling & Dressup and Fashion Themed Clothes, which include items such as Monster High Fashion Sets and Barbie Ultimate Closet.

The following lists the Top 15 Fashion Doll items for the last 13 weeks ending November 9, ranked on dollar sales and in alphabetical order:

Little Tikes Promotes Early Learning, Interaction with New Website, Tagline

LittleTikesThe website for MGA Entertainment‘s brand Little Tikes has been redesigned to feature more content for customers. The brand has also rolled out a new tagline, “The Wonder of Little Tikes,” referencing the moments that connect parents and their children.

The refresh adds new and extended content that reinforces littletikes.com as a destination not only for the largest assortment of Little Tikes products, but also as the go-to resource for insights and tools related to early engagement in childhood development. The updates, stemming from feedback from Little Tikes customers online, provide a more interactive, complete experience.

Now there is an easier check out process and additional functionality to make shopping more efficient; educational and entertainment content, including online games, coloring pages, and an animated webisode series; an incorporated ratings and reviews system to collect feedback and engage customers; and posts from leading childhood development experts to inform parents of key trends.

MGA Entertainment Adds Three Senior Members

MGAMGA Entertainment Inc. (MGA) has added three new senior members to its leadership team: Bruce Morrison, executive vice president of sales and licensing; Efren Gonzalez, vice president of advertising and public relations; and Ame Cameron, vice president of marketing.

Morrison will focus on strengthening critical business relationships with MGA’s key retailers, licensees, and distribution partners in the U.S. and abroad. He will also serve an important strategic role in the areas of retail marketing, business development, and product planning in the global arena. Morrison most recently held the position of senior vice president retail sales for Disney Consumer Products (DCP) North America.

Gonzalez joins MGA after 11 years with Ogilvy & Mather, where he was most recently a senior partner and executive group director. He will fuel the creation of integrated programs for each MGA brand.

Cameron spent the past two and half years with Walmart Marketing. As vice president of marketing, she will leverage her consumer packaged goods background to infuse strategic business leadership into branding and marketing initiatives across MGA product lines. The MGA family includes such toy brands such as Little Tikes, Lalaloopsy, and more.

MGA Entertainment to Launch New Mooshka Brand of Soft Dolls

MGA Entertainment will launch Mooshka, the company’s newest entertainment and toy brand this August, which combines soft dolls with animated e-books. The Mooshka doll family includes: the Mooshka Girls, Mooshka Tots, and Mooshka: Sing Around the Rosie collections.
The flagship Mooshka Girls features six characters. The Mooshka Tots are four smaller characters, while the Mooshka: Sing Around the Rosie dolls sing “Ring-Around-the-Rosie” when their hands are held. MGA Entertainment introduces the dolls with a fall TV campaign, a website, a multi-category licensing program, and a national public relations campaign. The Mooshka e-book apps feature original Mooshka stories, and will be available for free in the App Store.

MGA Entertainment’s licensees for the Mooshka brand include Franco Manufacturing Co. Inc. for bedding and accessories, throws, beach towels, slumber bags, bath and accessories, and Thermos LLC for lunch kits, insulated and non-insulated bottles, food jars, and reusable ice.

MGA Entertainment Launches Real Bratz Campaign

In a national initiative to motivate and encourage girls to be the best they can be, contribute to their communities, and discover what it takes to make dreams come true, MGA Entertainment has launched Real Bratzan advocacy campaign aimed at inspiring girls and young adults with empowering messages of innovation and excellence. Through a wide range of social media, Real Bratz will put the spotlight on young women who have made a Real Difference—as so many from generations past have done to change their world—through their determination and drive.

The mission of the campaign is captured within the Real Bratz video:

[Read more...]