HoliDAY of Play 2015

Jakks Pacific Reports First Quarter Results

jakks_logoJakks Pacific Inc. reported results for the company’s first quarter ended March 31. Net sales increased 38 percent to $114.2 million, compared to $82.5 million reported in the comparable period last year. The reported net loss for the first quarter was $7.6 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $16.3 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, in the comparable period last year.

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Best-Selling Yo-Kai Watch Is Coming to U.S. on Nintendo 3DS

YoKaiWatchNintendo’s Yo-Kai Watch, a role-playing game that was a cultural phenomenon in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, is coming to the U.S. The title launched in 2013, became a top-seller, and beyond video games, manga, and anime TV shows, has generated more than $1 billion in retail sales of toys and other merchandise in Japan.

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Nintendo to Release Animal Crossing amiibo Cards, Yarn Yoshi, and More

Nintendo, amiibo cardsNintendo Animal Crossing amiibo? It’s in the cards.

In the most recent Nintendo Direct presentation, the video game maker revealed new amiibo cards based on characters from the Animal Crossing series, compatible with the upcoming Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Both the cards and the new game are scheduled for release this fall. Nintendo also announced a new line of Yoshi amiibo figures made of actual yarn, and more.

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Nintendo Forms Business Venture with DeNA, Hints at New Gaming Hardware

NintendoNintendo and DeNA will develop and operate new game apps based on Nintendo’s intellectual property (IP), including its iconic game characters, for smart devices. The alliance is intended to complement Nintendo’s video game systems business and extend Nintendo’s reach into the worldwide smart device market. [Read more...]

World Tech, Bulls I Toy, and Rubies Costumes Join Sonic Merchandising Program

SonicBoomThe Sonic Boom portfolio is expanding to include more promotional partners this year, including World Tech Toys, Bulls I Toy, and Rubies Costumes. [Read more...]

Jakks Pacific Reports Fourth Quarter and Year-End Results

jakks_logoJakks Pacific Inc. reported results for the company’s fourth quarter and full year ended December 31. Net sales for the fourth quarter were $254.0 million, compared to $137.7 million reported in the comparable period last year. Reported net income for the fourth quarter was $2.8 million, or $0.11 per diluted share. This compares to a net loss of $16.1 million, or $0.73 per diluted share, reported in the comparable period last year. Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter increased to $10.6 million, compared with negative EBITDA of $6.0 million in the fourth quarter of last year. [Read more...]

New Nintendo 3DS XL Gets a U.S. Release Date

NewNintendo3DSThe New Nintendo 3DS XL system will launch in the U.S. on February 13, according to a Nintendo Direct presentation today. The upcoming system features a wider range of controls with the addition of a C Stick and ZL/ZR buttons, super-stable 3-D via face-tracking technology, and built-in NFC functionality that allows for communication with amiibo figures.

The system also enhances certain games like Super Smash Bros. with amiibo functionality, faster processing speeds, and more control options when compared to the Nintendo 3DS system. In addition to the standard New Red and New Black, two other New Nintendo 3DS XL designs will be available at launch: one featuring artwork inspired by the soon-to-be-released The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, and one based on Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, available exclusively at GameStop with the game pre-installed.

COMMENTARY: Sibling Rivalries Exist in the Toy World, Too

FrozenproductsA real-life sibling rivalry exists between Disney’s Frozen Elsa and Anna products—with one sister clearly winning. According to a Wall Street Journal article published last month, Disney marketing executives expected the sisters to be equals in popularity. As such, they were caught off-guard by the overwhelming preference for Elsa, who outsells Anna in dolls, toys, costumes, and other items. Disney, in response, makes sure to keep Elsa items in-stock at stores: For example, about 10 percent more Elsa dolls are stocked than Anna ones at Wal-Mart, according to the same Wall Street Journal article.

To help combat the Frozen sibling rivalry, companies are selling dolls with both sisters, and sales data from last holiday season shows that girls want to play with dolls or role-play with costumes featuring both characters. In turn, companies such as Jakks Pacific, as well as retailers like Toys “R” Us, are making and selling products, respectively, that involve the two sisters. [Read more...]

Nintendo and Best Buy Team Up for Game Showcase Events

NintendoOn December 7, Nintendo and Best Buy will team up to provide hands-on game play featuring Captain Toad, Pikachu, and other iconic Nintendo characters. At select stores, shoppers can play four of Nintendo’s recent releases: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, for Wii U; Pokémon Art Academy, for Nintendo 3DS; and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. The four games are currently available in stores and in the Nintendo eShop.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time, and a full list of participating stores can be found at Best Buy’s web site. Visitors who play the demos become eligible to receive giveaways ranging from fun Pokémon items to in-store coupons, while supplies last. At the Best Buy store in Culver City, Calif., the Mario costumed character himself will pay a visit to take pictures with fans.

Nintendo Files U.S. Patent for Handheld Video Game Emulator

NintendoAs reported by The Wall Street Journal this past Tuesday, Nintendo has filed a patent with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office that could pave the way for Nintendo to offer its games on smartphones or other mobile devices.

The patent, which was published last Thursday and filed by Nintendo in June, is described as a software emulator for emulating a handheld video game platform. However, analysts are skeptical that Nintendo is planning a move into video games on mobile devices. The patent, originally filed in 2000 and extended in 2003 and 2012, could also be used to fight piracy.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata previously said the company would stick to using its intellectual property, which includes Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, solely on its own game device.