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...]

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.