WIT Honors Outstanding Business Leaders with 10th Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Awards

At a February 18 dinner attended by more than 400 executives, Women in Toys (WIT) celebrated 10 visionary women business leaders with the 2014 Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Awards. The award recipients are: Kiyomi Haverly of Mattel, Global Brands; Naz Cuevas of Rovio Entertainment Inc. and Donna Tobin of Hasbro Inc.; Rita Raiffe, design director at Gund; Stefanie Barone of M.Z. Berger & Co.; Susie Lecker of Fisher Price; Michele Litzky of Litzky Public Relations; Joan Packard Luks of The Seranata Group; Christina Jansa of Target; and Debra Sterling of GoldieBlox.

With support from major sponsors including Nickelodeon and Bandai, WIT also granted six scholarships to future toy industry leaders at toy design programs in universities worldwide.

Rabbids Product Line to Include Books

NICKELODEON RAVING RABBIDSUbisoft and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing have teamed up to expand Rabbids to a full line of books. The line will be based on the video game franchise and TV show Rabbids Invasion on Nickelodeon.

Simon Spotlight, part of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, will produce chapter books, beginning reader books, joke books, and novelty books for the line. They will be available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book versions this summer in the U.S. and Canada.

Power Rangers’ New Toy Line-Up from Bandai Revealed, Costume Licenses Renewed

Feb20.PowerRangersSuperMegaforceCoinciding with the February 15 launch of Saban BrandsPower Rangers Super Megaforce on Nickelodeon, Bandai unveiled the full toy line for the season at American International Toy Fair earlier this week. It includes show-accurate role play toys, action figures, and large-scale buildable robots.

Central to the new line are collectible Legendary Ranger Keys, which unlock the powers of all previous Power Rangers. A quick flip function morphs the figures into unique keys that can be inserted into multiple Super Megaforce toys to unlock special features and powers. There are over 60 different Ranger Keys to collect.

By using the Power Rangers Scanner app—available on both iOS and Android systems—on any smart phone or tablet, kids can scan any Ranger Key, morph themselves into that Power Ranger, and battle villains on-screen.

In other Power Rangers news, Saban Brands has renewed licenses with Disguise Inc., Rubie’s Costume Company, and Morphsuits, so each partner will continue producing character-inspired costumes through 2017.

There will also be a tournament, Morphin Madness, running from March 10 to April 7, in which fans can vote for their Power Rangers dream team. The bracket-style voting system rewards participants with coupons for Super Megaforce toys and a chance to win a 24K gold plated Deluxe Legendary Morpher and Legendary Ranger Key set of the fan-selected top five Rangers. Fans can vote at www.morphinmadness.com.

Saban Brands Reveals Next Season of Power Rangers, Partners with Cirque du Soleil

The next season of Saban Brands’ Power Rangers franchise, Power Rangers Dino Charge, will debut on Nickelodeon next year, and roll out globally later in 2015. Bandai America Inc. will continue as the global master toy licensee for the franchise, creating a new dinosaur-themed product line.

Saban Brands has also partnered with Cirque du Soleil Media to develop an original kids property inspired by the Cirque du Soleil brand. The deal includes a new TV series, web content, interactive content, and merchandise.

Paper Punk Signs Deal with Nickelodeon

Jan29.PaperPunk.SpongeBobPaper Punk has inked a deal with Nickelodeon to develop paper-based construction and craft kits inspired by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob Squarepants. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kits will be introduced at the American International Toy Fair in New York City.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kits will feature all four turtle characters and include a kit containing 16 punch-n-fold shapes, more than 30 stickers, and 40 adhesive dots to construct a 3-D paper figure. It will be available early February. The SpongeBob Squarepants kit will feature the two main characters from the show and include eight to 16 punch-n-fold shapes, more than 120 stickers, and 40 adhesive dots to construct a 3-D paper figure. It will be available mid-year.

Saban Brands Offers Fan Promotion and Online Game for Digimon Fusion Series

Jan15.DigimonSaban Brands will air the Digimon Fusion series on an additional TV network, offer fans online promotions, and release a new online game to engage fans with the series. The sixth season of the animated series will air January 25 on Vortexx on The CW every Saturday, following its fall 2013 debut on Nickelodeon and Nicktoons.

In addition, Saban Brands has partnered with toy licensee Bandai to produce a product line including toys, trading cards, and digital apps for the series. The Digimon Fusion Collectable Card Game will be the first product available in this line. The game is now available for purchase. Saban Brands and Bandai will reveal card artwork through a “Tuesday FUSEday” online promotion running throughout January, where three cards will be unveiled on the Digimon Fusion Facebook page each week. Additional Digimon Fusion products will be available for purchase beginning mid-February at various retailers.

The Digimon Fusion Shoutmon Smash online game will be available this month on digimonfusion.com, myvortexx.com, and other websites worldwide. Saban Brands will supply additional digital games and digital assets to support TV partners globally for Digimon Fusion.

Cardinal Industries Turns 70

cardinalIn 1944, a young Les Berger, the founder of Cardinal Industries, started the company in Brooklyn. With his knowledge of plastics, Berger began manufacturing dominoes poker chip racks, hula hoops, and Mah Jongg sets.

Seventy years later, Cardinal has grown to become one of America’s top signature board game and puzzle companies offering more than 400 items including traditional games such as dominoes, checkers, and poker sets, as well as an extensive line of licensed games and lenticular, wood, and basic puzzles. With a worldwide reach Cardinal products can be found throughout North America, Europe, and Austraila. Cardinal has excelled in the licensed puzzle and game arena working with Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon, Sanrio, Twentieth Century Fox, NBS, Warner Bros, Sesame Street, HIT Entertainment, Lucas, Mattel, and Hasbro, among others.

Nickelodeon Suites Resort Hosts Power Rangers Weekends in February

PowerRangersSuperMegaforceNickelodeon Suites Resort will host Power Rangers weekends with two Power Rangers Super Megaforce-themed celebrations on February 14 to 17 and February 21 to 23. These weekends include activities for guests such as a super-charged Power Rangers lunch, featuring training sessions with all five Power Rangers; up close and personal meet and greets; Power Rangers-themed activities and crafts; and a sneak peek screening of an all-new episode of Power Rangers Super Megaforce.

In addition to the Power Rangers, SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be on-hand to celebrate these weekends with meet and greets, live shows, games, and prizes.

Guests can book a Power Rangers Super Megaforce weekend stay by visiting NickHotel.com/Power-Rangers.

Spin Master’s Paw Patrol Helps Boost Nickelodeon’s Ratings

paw-patrol-post-2Spin Master‘s Paw Patrol helped to tip the scales in Nickelodeon‘s favor, making it the children’s TV network leader in the battle between Disney and Nickelodeon for kids share, according to a report on Bloomberg News. The battle between these two large players grew even more after last year’s debut of Disney Junior, a channel aimed a preschoolers watching Nick Jr.

Nickelodeon cited Nielsen data that reported it averaging 918,000 viewers a day among kids ages 2 to 11 in the fourth quarter through December 15 compared to The Disney Channel’s 874,000 viewers. According to the Bloomberg News article, the ratings shift, is accelerating ad sales for Viacom, which posted its best quarterly growth in at least two years last month. The battle between the largest players in children’s TV intensified last year after the debut of Disney Junior, a channel aimed at preschoolers who watch Nick Jr.

Nickelodeon Introduces The Story of Me Research Study

In a presentation to advertisers, Nickelodeon released its latest research insights into today’s kids, born since 2005, who are growing up markedly different from the generation before them. For these kids, the hallmarks and traits include being closer to their parents than prior generations, being seen as smart and funny by peers and family, and creating their own relationship to technology.

Drawn from a proprietary Nickelodeon Consumer Insights study titled “The Story of Me,” the presentation at the network’s Times Square headquarters compared and contrasted the kids of today with kids of a similar age 10 years ago, as well as highlighting select third-party data about kids’ media consumption.

Today’s generation of kids is demonstrating defining characteristics that set them apart from generations prior. Select findings and highlights from the presentation include:

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