In partnership with Go Baby Go, a research-based, national program that provides modified, ride-on toy cars to young children with disabilities, Toy State is sponsoring four workshops in four cities across the country. Each car will be outfitted to model the Toy State Nikko R/C No. 7 car currently driven by Alex Bowman on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit.
Having recently been promoted to the position of president of Toy State, it seemed like a good time to sit down with Andy Friess to talk about the state of his company, its high-profile sponsorship agreement with Tommy Baldwin Racing, its upcoming plans for the R/C brand, Nikko, and more.
The Toy Book (TTB): How important are new licensing agreements to the growth of Toy State?
Andy Friess (AF): Licensing plays a major role in our success. With the competition so tough in all toy categories, securing rights to strong licenses can provide the point-of-difference that separates us from our competitors. Toy State’s history of developing products featuring the highest levels of quality and innovation has been a great “selling” tool as we seek new licensing opportunities. We’ve been extremely fortunate to work with a core of outstanding global licensors, and these relationships have been instrumental to the successes we have achieved over our 30-plus-year history. The 13-year, multi-category relationship with Caterpillar has been the foundation of our licensing efforts.
Toy State has entered into a licensing agreement with WWE. The deal includes products developed for the R/C vehicle category for the North American market, the first of which will be in stores later this year. This agreement marks Toy State’s first licensing agreement under the Nikko brand since its acquisition of the company last year.
“There are few brands with as loyal and passionate a fan base as the WWE,” says Andy Friess, Toy State president. “The personality of the brand is perfectly aligned with the attitude and innovation of our toys, and we can’t wait for WWE fans to see our products when they hit the shelves.”
The Madame Alexander Doll Company has entered a partnership with NASCAR Team Properties to design and develop new NASCAR play doll collections, including dolls featuring superstar Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. [Read more...]
On April 26,
Spin Master Ltd. teamed up with legendary NASCAR driver Carl Edwards to bring the opportunity of a lifetime to Christopher Wooten, the lucky winner of this year’s Win a Ride to School Sweepstakes.
For Spin Master’s sweepstakes, children ages 5 to 17 throughout the U.S. were invited to enter online to win a free ride to school from Carl Edwards in a street-legal 2-seater version of his #99 Fastenal Ford Fusion car. With thousands of entries in the competition, Wooten was selected as the lucky recipient.
“It was definitely the coolest thing I have ever done.,” Wooten said. “I think we got some interesting looks along the way that morning. I was hoping no one was gonna wreck in front of us because we’d go by and they would be looking out the window to our side and not paying any attention to the road. I have never done anything close to what we did today, and it was such an incredible experience.”
Spin Master and NASCAR Team Properties have a multi-year, exclusive licensing agreement where children of all ages have been able to play and race like all of the pros with replica vehicles, play sets, and remote control items.
K’Nex, the U.S. construction toy company, is pleased to expand its officially licensed NASCAR building toys product line with new building sets that let young race fans expand their high-speed world. New building sets include the most popular cars and drivers of NASCAR and feature cool new paint schemes.
Each of the NASCAR: Driver Figure Bags Series #1 includes one buildable NASCAR driver. Drivers include No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 24 Jeff Gordon, No. 18 Kyle Bush, or No. 48 Jimmie Johnson, and each figure is compatible with the entire K’Nex NASCAR line of products. Each sold separately, so kids ages 5 and up can collect them all.
The K’Nex NASCAR Figure Bags are available on knex.com and at retailers nationwide.
Nascar Bashers will sponsor Nationwide Series driver Cole Whitt in the JR Motorsports No. 88 car at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge on November 3 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The Bashers car will run the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge on November 3 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
Bashers make kids feel like part of the action like never before, with crashes and radical car transformations. All Bashers explode on impact, and each car wrecks with a different transformation. After the crash, kids can reassemble the cars and are ready to race again in seconds.
In a multi-year, exclusive licensing agreement between Spin Master and Nascar, children of all ages will be able to play and race like the pros with replica vehicles, play sets, action figures, remote control items, and more. Additional products include 1:24 scale R/Cs by Spin Master’s Air Hogs brand as well as a line of Authentic 1:64 scale die cast Cars and Haulers, and Full Blast Pullback Vehicles.
Additionally, Spin Master is announcing the “Win a Ride to School” promotion, in which Nascar driver and Cartoon Network Hall of Game winner Carl Edwards will drive a lucky kid to school in a two-seater version of his No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion race car. Children aged 5 to 17 years old are eligible to win and can enter at www.winaride2school.com.
NASCAR has announced the official formation of the NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust, an industry-operated organization composed of NASCAR and participating racing teams. The NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust will manage the intellectual property rights for the teams and NASCAR in categories including apparel, collectible die-casts, toys, and trackside retail, with more licensing categories to be added in the future. NASCAR and the teams will manage their own respective licensing rights in categories outside the Licensing Trust.
To kick off the new formation, the NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust has partnered in a joint venture with Lionel Electric Trains to make and sell NASCAR replica die-cast race cars. Both the Licensing Trust and Lionel will actively manage and develop the business.
Lionel plans to offer die-cast models representing all of the teams and the more than 30 NASCAR national series drivers who are participating in the Licensing Trust. Lionel will take over the category from Motorsports Authentics, which will instead focus on trackside retail and be the exclusive die-cast car retailer at NASCAR tracks around the country.
K’NEX will be featured as the primary sponsor on the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Heluva Good! 200 race, held on May 15. To celebrate, K’NEX is partnering with Dover International Speedway and JR Motorsports for the “Guess the Number of Parts” contest.
The contest invites fans to guess the number of parts in a NASCAR No. 88 K’NEX Car replica, which measures five feet long and is currently on display at K’NEX headquarters. The 100 closest guesses will each win two tickets to the Heluva Good! 200 at Dover International Speedway to watch the actual No. 88 K’NEX Chevrolet compete in the 11th Nationwide Series event of the 2010 season.
The contest runs through May 2. To enter, click here.
Currently, the cars of Jeff Gordon (No. 24) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (No. 88) are featured as K’NEX NASCAR building toys. Additional sets will be released this July.