China Toy Fair


Mattel and Warner Bros. Extend Strategic Relationship for DC Comics Universe

Batman EvergreenWarner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), with DC Entertainment, has extended its alliance with Mattel Inc. with a new multi-year agreement granting Mattel rights to continue as master toy licensee for the DC Comics universe of characters. Under these terms, Mattel is granted unprecedented access to the DC Comics vault of characters, which includes more than a thousand DC Comics superheroes and super-villains, such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and The Joker. The deal continues Mattel’s support of DC Comics across its entire portfolio of core brands, including Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Barbie, Mattel Games, and Fisher-Price.

In addition to existing characters and content, the extension includes Mattel’s rights to produce toys based on future DC Comics films, animation, and TV projects that are developed and produced during the term of the agreement. Mattel is set to develop toy lines for two of Warner Bros.’ most highly anticipated theatrical releases: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is set for a summer 2016 release, and the recently announced Justice League film to follow. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: New Warner Bros. Licensed Games Look at Superheroes in a Different Light

I couldn’t be happier that 99 percent of all current movies—including Thor: The Dark World, due in theaters this week—seem to feature somebody in a cape or a miraculous suit of armor battling evil. Full disclosure: I was way into superhero comics when I was a kid. I managed to amass hundreds, which I kept in cardboard long boxes, re-reading them over and over throughout my tortured adolescence. I didn’t buy them for collecting purposes, thank goodness; years later, I traded in the entire lot for $10 and a key lime pie, and considered myself lucky to have gotten that much.

(Seriously, folks, if you started collecting comics during the 1990s or later, they’re not going to put your kid through college. It just won’t happen.)

My point is, I’m a huge superhero fan. However, I’ve started to feel super-saturated by all the licensed comic book-based movies and TV shows popping up of late. They always seem so serious, with all the world-saving and high drama, the death and epic romance and heroic posturing. It’s great the first time, pretty good the second, but around the umpteenth, I have to fight the urge to stand up and yell, “Hey, grown person in hockey pants! Aren’t we supposed to be having fun here?”

For that reason, I am grateful for the recent trend in video games based on licensed superhero properties, specifically those from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. While its offerings of late include the very seriously toned Batman: Arkham Origins, the company is also responsible for two titles that manage to be respectful of the superhero genre, while simultaneously turning it on its head in ways that are funny and downright fun. Both games are available now and suitable for kids ages 10 and up. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s Flying Superman Toys!

For decades, Superman has captured our imagination with his powers, one of the best-known being flight. Yet not many toys have focused on this aspect of Superman to create something fun and exciting. Luckily, thanks to this summer’s Man of Steel movie, The Toy Book received quite a few Superman items, some of which made good on the promise of taking playtime to new heights. I’m happy to share these flight-centric toys with you.

Superman Man of Steel Flight Speeders: Solar Force Launcher: “Faster than a speeding bullet” is often used to describe just how fast Superman is. Thanks to Mattel‘s Solar Force Launcher, he doesn’t travel quite that fast, but he’s fast enough, and can traverse a decent distance when he comes soaring out of this lightweight toy, which resembles an alien spaceship from Man of Steel. The cockpit on top swings open to allow any 3.75-inch Superman figure from Mattel to be placed inside. However, in the event that there’s an emergency at the far end of the backyard, pressing the plunger shoots a Superman foam figure in trouble’s direction. Superman launcher [Read more...]

Uglydoll Teams up with DC Comics for Superhero Toys and Accessories

Pretty Ugly, LLC and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, announced that they have entered into a co-branded 1209collaboration with DC Comics Super Heroes and Uglydoll characters. Gund, a division of Enesco, will produce a diverse range of colorful and collectible superhero plush based on the DC Comics and Uglydoll character universes. The initial release this fall will be a trio that includes two versions of Ice-Bat as Batman and Babo as Superman.

The plush characters will be offered at retail and will be available through Diamond Comics and a broad range of retailers. Funko is also set to offer a collection of vinyl figures based on the DC Comics and Uglydoll plush collaboration during the holiday season this year. Additional categories of merchandise and collaborative characters will be announced in the coming months.

Gund will be previewing their new collaborative plush merchandise at the summer Gift Shows and ASTRA show in June. Diamond Comics will be exhibiting at San Diego Comic-Con in July and in their infamous Previews catalog. Funko and others will launch merchandise in time for the holiday season.

COMMENTARY: Anticipated Summer Blockbusters Inspire “Super” Toys

This summer, the big screen will light up with superheroes, including the releases of Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel. And with summer superhero movies comes superhero toys, which range from role play to action figures to slingshots. Toys inspired by movies give kids the chance to be – and play with – superheroes. Here are some of my favorites from these two upcoming films:

Iron Man 3 (May 3)

Marvel Iron Man 3 Motorized ARC FX Gauntlet

0065356981893_300X300Kids can pretend to armor up like Iron Man with the wrist-mount disc-blasting gauntlet from Hasbro by firing foam discs more than 20 feet with the gauntlet’s motorized rapid-fire blasting action. Each Iron Man 3 Arc Fx Gauntlet comes with 10 Nerf foam discs.

 

Marvel Iron Man 3 Assemblers Action Figures

The Assemblers Action Figures allow fans to recreate the excitement of the film with this iron-man-toys-iron-man-3-avengers-initiative-assemblers-iron-patriot-figure-1buildable line from Hasbro. Each figure features an interchangeable Armor System, allowing one figure to create more than 25 armor combinations. The armor can be switched out between the 16 available figures in the line to create hundreds of more combinations.

Man of Steel (June 14)

Man of Steel Quick Shots Basic Figures Assortment

340x450Quick Shots figures from Mattel bring Superman’s flying abilities and heroism to life. The stretchy soft figures are designed to safely soar through the air, gently knocking down obstacles set-up in their path. And they’re simple to use! The Quick Shot figure attaches to the launcher figure and is pulled back and released like a slingshot. These will be available in May.

Man of Steel Movie Masters Action Figure

Movie Masters figures from Mattel are designed with authentic detail to bring Mattel - Man of Steel Superman Movie Masterfans’ favorite characters to life. This assortment of high-quality figures features heroes and villains from the movie Man of Steel. Fans can pose the figures in countless ways due to its high level of articulation. This action figures will be available in June.

Your adventure doesn’t have to stop once you leave the movie theater this summer. Continue fighting crime with your favorite heroes with great toys and collectibles.

For more commentary from Ali, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!

Parents Get a New, Not-So-Secret Headquarters with Launch of DC Comics Fan Family Blog

Fans both young and young at heart will get even more of the iconic characters they love as DC Entertainment unveils the DC Comics Fan Family blog. This new family-friendly site is designed to deliver the best of the celebrated super heroes, including Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, with a slew of family-oriented content for parents to share with their kids.

The DC Comics Fan Family blog will serve as an online hub for all DC Entertainment family-friendly news and information and offer readers a variety of content including DC Comics-themed activity sheets, DIY craft projects, guest blog posts featuring DC Comics talent, and the chance for fans to see their own artwork featured with a variety of creative submission contests.

The blog will also feature the recently announced nationwide contest with Capstone, “Be a Super Hero. Read!” in which students in grades three through six are encouraged to write about the real heroes in their lives.

To learn more about the DC Comics Fan Family blog, visit www.dccomicsfanfamily.com.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products Debuts Worldwide Man of Steel Toy Program

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) zooms into this year’s American International Toy Fair season with a roster of global licensees ready to support the studio’s portfolio, led by this summer’s tentpole film release Man of Steel, which will be supported by DC Comics master toy licensee Mattel, as well as many other toy partners.  [Read more...]

New Study Shows Girls Increasingly Becoming Fans Of Boy Brands

According to the annual study conducted by Smarty Pants, a youth and family research firm, girls are rapidly becoming fans of boy brands such as construction toys, superheroes, and sports gear. The study, Young Love, is conducted online among a representative sample of U.S. households with children ages 6 to 12. [Read more...]

New LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes to Save the Day

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games are partnering to create LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. The game is now available in North America for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, the Wii, Windows PC, Nintendo DS/Nintendo 3DS handheld systems, and PlayStation Vita handheld system. The video game is a sequel to LEGO Batman: the Videogame.

In LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, gamers team up with Batman, Robin, and other classic superheroes such as Superman, Wonderwoman, and the Flash. Players embrace the roles of the Caped Crusader, Boy Wonder, and others to go against Lex Luthor and The Joker.

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes was designed for ages 10 and up.

This post was originally written by Gigi Rubin 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.