A new Sonic Boom toy line, from global master toy partner Tomy International, is now available at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and at toysrus.com. The line will feature items across best-selling categories including plush, action figures, R/C, vehicles, and more, and will include a 12-inch talking plush and the Sonic Boom Launcher. Additional products will become available next year.
PBS Kids and Whole Foods Market are partnering to bring PBS Kids’ line of educational and earth-friendly toys exclusively to the supermarket’s customers this holiday season. Starting this week, gift givers can find the PBS Kids line, including classic wooden toys and soft plush animals, at Whole Foods Markets nationwide in the retailer’s Whole Body department.
Appropriate for young children ages 6 months to 3 years, the PBS Kids toy line features race cars made from recycled milk bottles; colorful, wooden vehicles assembled by hand from local wood in Vermont; shape sorters and stackers intended to inspire a love for fruits and vegetables; and phthalate- and PVC-free plush. Each item is made with safe, non-toxic materials and inks, and all packaging is made from recycled materials.
Jakks Pacific Inc. reported results for the company’s third quarter ended September 30. Net sales for the third quarter increased to $349.4 million, up 12 percent from net sales of $310.9 million reported in the comparable period last year. Reported net income for the third quarter increased 16 percent to $44.1 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, compared to reported net income last year of $36.6 million, or $1.11 per diluted share.
Net sales for the nine months ending September 30 increased 12 percent to $556.0 million compared to $495.2 million last year. Reported net income for the nine-month period was $18.7 million, or $0.61 per diluted share. This compares to a net loss for the first nine months last year of $37.8 million, or $1.73 per diluted share. Strong sales of the Frozen Snow Glow Elsa doll and Light Up Musical Dresses, Disguise Halloween offerings, Nintendo plush and figure products, and licensed large-scale figures contributed to the company’s improved third quarter results.
Sago Sago has teamed up with Monster Factory to create a new plush toy line that reflects the Sago Mini app-based characters popular among preschoolers. The upcoming line includes Harvey the dog, Jinja the cat, Robin the bird, and Jack the rabbit. They will be available online and at specialty retailers throughout North America in late November.
Created in 2012 by husband-and-wife team Isaac Squires and Carly Gloge, Smart Toy is an interactive, huggable plush toy that uses apps and speech recognition software to interact with children. It encourages creative, active play by telling stories, embarking on adventures, and guiding activities. It also speaks five different languages.
According to Sunny Lauridsen, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Cartwheel Kids, the Smart Toy acquisition is in line with Cartwheel Kids’ strategy to expand its product portfolio into new categories that deliver meaningful play experiences to children. The next-generation Smart Toy will debut at International Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Gloge and Squires will join the Cartwheel Kids team as directors of technology and will continue to oversee development of the Smart Toy product line.
UK broadcaster CBeebies has commissioned a brand new preschool series, Twirlywoos, from Ragdoll Productions. The series, set to air next year, will revolve around the Twirlywoos: four small, bird-like characters who are inquisitive, enthusiastic, and constantly looking to learn something new about the world.
Twirlywoos will combine stop-frame animation and live action sequences set in the real world. It will be produced in association with DHX Media, which will handle global distribution, merchandising, brand management, and marketing. DHX Brands, the consumer products arm of DHX Media, has signed a global master toy deal with Golden Bear Toys, which will launch product in 2016, with a key focus on plush and plastics (play sets/figurines), bath toys and games, and activity products.
Madballs, the bouncing balls from the 1980s with grotesque faces, protruding eyeballs, and zany names, are back in a new line from Funrise Toys. AG Properties, the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corporation, announced the news.
The Funrise Madballs line will include plush and feature plush sports balls and soft accessories, including baseball bats and basketball hoops based on the brand’s satirical and gutter humor. Products are scheduled to hit retail in the fall of next year.
“We are thrilled to partner with Funrise on this new line for Madballs,” said Lindsay Martinez, vice president of licensing and business development for AG Properties. “The addition of this plush sports ball program gives the franchise a unique position in the toy aisle and allows for a new generation of kids to experience the Madballs brand.”
Funrise’s plush toys will extend the property’s consumer products program, which includes comics with Lion Forge. Madballs were first introduced by AmToy, a subsidiary of American Greetings, in 1986.
Kidrobot Inc. has signed Commonwealth Toys and Novelty Co. as a new toy licensee for its specialty brand, Yummy World. Yummy World products, which launched in 2006, consist of food-inspired plush toys and key chains. Commonwealth will create a line of products targeting a broad distribution and focused on Sprinkle Tree, a sweet and savory city that Yummy World friends call home.
“We’re excited to work with Kidrobot on Yummy World and look forward to bringing the colorful and collectible line to a larger audience. We’ll work closely with Kidrobot to maintain the quirky, unexpected aspects of the brand as we create fun products that kids of all ages will love,” said Alec Kessler, executive vice president of Commonwealth.
JLK Brand brokered the deal between Kidrobot and Commonwealth and will continue to add licensing partners for the Yummy World brand in games, apparel and accessories, home furnishings, and more.
When Sons of Anarchy returns to TV screens today, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products will have a multi-category global licensing program in place featuring new branded merchandise, including toys from Gale Force Nine and Mezco Toyz.
Gale Force Nine has already introduced Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem, a board game in which players control rival gangs and compete to be the most successful outlaw club. Mezco Toys will introduce branded action figures, plush, and bobble-heads.