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:

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MGA Entertainment Sees Accelerated Growth in 2012

MGA Entertainment, the largest privately held U.S. based toy company, posted 41 percent dollar growth in Q3 2012 versus a year-ago, according to The NPD Group.

Within the U.S., retailers continued to see explosive growth with Lalaloopsy, a global toy powerhouse driven by robust product, entertainment, and licensing programs.  Interest in the brand continues to develop as seen with the strong sales of Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Star: Harmony B Sharpthe first-ever talking, singing, and dancing Lalaloopsy doll.

This summer, MGA debuted Bratzillaz and Novi Stars.  Bratzillaz takes girls’ imagination on a supernatural flight of imagination to reveal their own special powers. Novi Stars combines cosmic adventure with cutting edge toy features never before seen in doll play.

Outside of girls’ toys, broader support for Little Tikes helped drive sales.  Little Tikes hottest retail sellers include Little Tikes Pillow Racers and iTikesa new line of pre-school toys that can be enhanced through the technology of Apple iDevices.

MGA Entertainment Sues Lady Gaga for $10 Million-Plus

MGA Entertainment filed a suit against Lady Gaga in New York City on Tuesday for more than $10 million, according to the Associated Press. MGA alleges that Gaga improperly backed out of a deal to make a doll in her likeness that would play snippets of her music. The company claims it paid a $1 million advance to Bravado International, the company that handles Gaga’s merchandizing, and spent a mint racing to meet deadlines to ship the dolls this summer. The plan was allegedly derailed when Bravado International refused to allow the dolls to use the singer’s music and attempted to delay sales of the doll until next year.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, 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.

Toy Industry Foundation Celebrates “Christmas in July”

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) are showcasing a collection of toys and games that teach children about charity and social responsibility during a month-long “Christmas in July” media campaign.  The toys and games shown below were featured in a television segment that aired this week on “6 In the Mix” on WTVJ (NBC) Miami.

  • Hearts for Hearts, from Playmates Toys, features nine dolls from around the world that each have a story to share about female empowerment. Every doll purchased results in a donation to a program that helps girls around the world.
  • Wonder Glow Blocks, from Wonderworld Toys, are environmentally-friendly solid wood blocks that support a year-round program called the Tree Plus Project, a tree planting initiative.
  • Happy Nappers, from Jay at Play, are plush play pillows whose proceeds support the Home Sweet Home Fund benefitting the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation.
  • Harness the Healing Power of Horses, from Breyer, are pink horses. $1 from the sale of each will go to two breast cancer research organizations: Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
  • True Hope Dolls, from MGA Entertainment, consist of three Bratz dolls that support young girls and boys who suffer from hair loss or who are watching loved ones lose their hair from cancer treatments. $1 for every doll sold supports cancer research, treatment, and education at City of Hope.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, 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.

MGA Entertainment Joins the Fight Against Cancer

True Hope Bratz and Moxie Girlz Dolls

MGA Entertainment announced its commitment and support to the fight against cancer by launching new hairless versions of its Bratz and Moxie Girlz doll brands. MGA will release three Bratz dolls (Cloe, Yasmin and Cameron) and three Moxie Girlz dolls (Avery, Sophina, and Jaxson).

Available at Toys “R” Us stores and Toysrus.com beginning in June, MGA will donate $1 for every True Hope Bratz and Moxie Girlz doll, sold to distributors, to City of Hope for cancer research. The announcement comes on the heels of an ever-growing social media movement that calls for toymakers to create hairless dolls to emotionally comfort young girls and boys who suffer from hair loss due to cancer treatments.

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MGA Introduces Mini Lalaloopsy Dolls

MGA Entertainment has expanded its Lalaloopsy doll offering (formerly known as Bitty Buttons dolls) with the launch of Mini Lalaloopsy. Mini Lalaloopsy dolls come in their own collectible little houses, along with accessories such as Peanut’s Spinning Ferris Wheel, Pillow’s Sleepover Party, and Crumb’s Tea Party. The miniature versions—which fit in the palm of a hand—also come with a pet.

Lalaloopsy dolls are a collection of eight unique 13-inch rag dolls that have different personalities. Each doll was born on a special day in history and is fashioned in that theme; for instance, Crumbs Sugar Cookie was born on National Cookie Day and her clothes were made from pieces of a baking apron.

MGA Releases Statement About Ongoing Lawsuit with Mattel

MGA Entertainment has responded to a Mattel motion filed last night (Docket #8928) accusing MGA of additional wrongdoing:

“Mattel’s litany of lies in its ‘reply’ reveals the depths to which Mattel and its desperate lawyers will sink in order to deflect attention from MGA’s strong, written by Mattel, evidence discussed in recent hearings before the Court including: (1) Mattel’s how-to manual for sneaking into private showrooms at Toy Fairs, including tips on printing fake business cards and dummying up phony invoices for phony toy retailers and resale tax IDs for these phony retailers; and (2) a letter written by Mattel’s counsel in this same case while investigating MGA’s unfair competition claim that the Court recently stated on the record was sufficient to give rise to an inference that evidence had been deliberately suppressed by Mattel in this case.”

“We look forward to the trial in January 2011, when Mattel and the criminal activities of its executives will finally be exposed for the world to see and for MGA to be compensated for years of wrongs by Mattel.”