Funko and Underground Toys Announce a European Partnership

Funko LLC, creators and manufacturers of entertainment-related toys, has partnered with London-based global entertainment merchandise company Underground Toys Ltd. This U.S. and UK company alliance will allow Underground Toys to incorporate the Funko line of products within their range of licensed merchandise to be distributed among European retailers, including Toys “R” Us, Tesco, ASDA, Carrefour, and FNAC.

With licenses for more than 70 different franchises, including Star Wars, Hello Kitty, Walking Dead, Disney, Marvel, WWE, and Teenage Mutant Ninja TutlesFunko currently services many U.S. retailers such as Hot TopicBarnes and Noble, FYE, and Walmart. With this new partnership, the products will be distributed by Underground Toys in Europe.

COMMENTARY: Kids Getting Older Younger—Or Younger Older?

Everyone always talks about how kids are getting older younger. Kids as young as 8 years old are swapping their Barbie dolls and Transformers for iPods and tablets—but this isn’t the case for everyone. There are big kids everywhere, and toys have a funny little habit of bringing an adult’s inner-child giggling wildly to the surface.

Nostalgia is a huge trend in toys today—classic properties such as The Smurfs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Pac-Man have resurfaced and are engaging a whole new generation. Traditional toys, such as Hasbro’s Easy Bake Oven, Kahootz’s Spirograph, and POOF-Slinky’s Slinky, all still appeal to young kids the same way they did decades ago. However, adults and older kids will find just as much fun in new products primarily targeted toward youngsters, too.

RainbowLoom.Butterfly Blossom braceletThis weekend, I was loomed. A family friend’s daughter, Karli, had her wrist covered in the colorful rubber bracelets that are a product of Rainbow Loom, from Choon’s Designs. A huge craze among kids, I was enamored by the bracelets and begged her to teach me how to make one. She did, and of course, hers came out better. I’ve been staring at it on my wrist every day since she made it for me, and I was extremely tempted to purchase my own loom when I went into a Michael’s craft store and saw the enormous display (but I thought to myself: “You’re 23 years old, Marissa! Taking home product samples is one thing, but you cannot justify BUYING a toy!”).

[Read more...]

Nickelodeon Signs with Rubie’s Costume Co.

Rubies LogoNickelodeon has signed a licensing deal with Rubie’s Costume Co. to develop and produce a line of Halloween costumes, accessories, and dress up products inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.

The new line will target kids, adults, and pets. The Costume Collection features Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Splinter, April O’Neil, and The Foot Clan.

Crayola and Nickelodeon Renew Licensing Partnership

Crayola-LogoNickelodeon and Crayola have announced a multi-year renewal of their licensing partnership to develop products based on the network’s preschool hit animated series. Under the social expressions agreement, Crayola will develop and produce Color Wonder Markers, Giant Coloring Pages, and Coloring and Activity Books for Dora the Explorer, Bubble Guppies,Go, Diego, Go!, Team Umizoomi, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The new Nickelodeon and Crayola products will be available at mass retailers this fall.

 

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Inspire Musical Instruments from Peavey Electronics

Nickelodeon and Peavey Electronics have partnered to create musical instruments and accessories inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brand. The instruments feature Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, April O’Neil, and Splinter artwork.

Products include custom designed guitars, straps, and guitar picks. The instruments will be specially designed for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles enthusiasts, collectors, and musicians of every skill level from beginner to professional. The instruments will be available this fall at specialty and major national retailers.

 

COMMENTARY: Spanning Generations: Modern Takes on Classic Brands

Nostalgia is a growing trend in the toy and licensing industry, but recently many classic brands have been given a modern reboot. The modernized take on classic brands offer fun for consumers both young and old, spanning generations and providing licensees with multiple new opportunities. Today, some modernized takes on old favorites live along side their predecessors.

PlaymatesToys.BasicMutagenOozeTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT), for example, launched in the 1980s. A huge, revolutionary boys’ property, the brand was given a reboot last year when a new TMNT animated series launched in September on Nickelodeon. The brand has seen massive success in the toy industry, with partners including Playmates Toys with a full line of figures and play sets, bubbles and water toys from Little Kids, and awesome electronics from Sakar International, including adorable TMNT earbuds. In addition to producing toys based on the new animated series, Playmates Toys also offers a classic collection including all four turtles, which reflects the look of the characters in the original series. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Playmates Has Turtle Power

Those teenage “heroes in a half-shell” are back, and their pizza-slinging and sewer-crawling skills are better than ever. As a child of the late 80s and early 90s, I was a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and all their Southern California-inspired catch phrases—from “cowabunga” to “tubuloso.” Lucky for me, if I’m in need of a totally far out fight scene featuring Michelangelo and Shredder’s foot soldiers, I can flip to Nickelodeon’s re-vamp of the 1987 cartoon. Playmates Toys, which produced the toys for the original television series, is also back with fresh products featuring the new generation of Splinter’s ninja apprentices. Here are a few favorites from Playmates Toys’ TMNT lineup:

flingersactionfigures_group1Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Flingers Deluxe Action Figures                       

With the ability to fling out projectiles to take out the enemy, the Flingers Deluxe Action Figures come fully equipped and ready for battle. Kids simply load the different projectiles into the backpacks of each figure, roll the figures across a hard surface and watch as the contents of their backpacks launch. [Read more...]

Nickelodeon, Fuhu Inc. Sign Multi-Year Deal

NICKELODEON NABI JR. TABLETS

Nickelodeon and Fuhu Inc. have signed a multi-year deal to produce and distribute Nickelodeon-themed tablet accessories and nabi Jr. tablets pre-loaded with the network’s content. The first release of the partnership is the recently launched, touchscreen nabi Jr. tablet, filled with educational apps, games, and videos, from Nickelodeon preschoolseries including, Dora the ExplorerTeam Umizoomi, and Bubble Guppies. This spring, a line of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-inspired mobile tablet accessories, such as character bumpers, Kinabis, and stands, will be available nationwide.

Additionally, Fuhu, Inc. is an associate sponsor of Nickelodeon’s 26th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards, airing March 23 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

COMMENTARY: Everyone Has One, But I Want Mine to be Unique

Last Friday marked my niece Courtney’s eighth birthday, and what was she hoping for most? An iPod. Now, in my opinion, an 8-year-old doesn’t have much business with an iPod, but kids today are getting into electronics at a much younger age. Though part of Courtney’s argument for “needing” an iPod was, “everyone has one except for me,” the first thing she did when she got it was personalize it. Before even putting a song on it, she slapped a peace-sign sticker right on the back of it—10 minutes out of the box (hence why 8-year-olds probably shouldn’t have iPods). But, this was her way of making it her own.

For parents buying their children expensive devices such as smartphones, iPods, or even portable gaming devices like the Nintendo 3DS or the PS Vita, there are some awesome products on the market that will allow kids to dazzle and personalize their devices without placing a never-gonna-come-off, gooey-backed sticker on said device.

Plugy

Plugy, from Hashy, is a universal 3.5mm plug that fits snuggly into all standard headphone jacks. Plugys come in more than 40 different styles, including zoo animals, robots, and glow-in-the-dark options. Plugy has something for everyone, including a rainbow, Eiffel Tower, and an apple stem, and allows kids to  take their smart device to a more personal level in a not-so-permanent way. Plugys are made of rubber and will not break when inserted into the headphone jack. They even protect the device from rain, dust, and sand when earphones are not plugged in. Plugys are available on amazon.com and from Hanging Mobile Gallery. For more information on Plugys, email plugyUSA@gmail.com. [Read more...]

PHOTO: The Toy Book Previews TMNT Line from Playmates Toys

Jackie Breyer and Laurie Schacht have some fun at Playmates ToysTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toy Fair Preview in New York last week. Aside from the fun role-play lineup, we also love the Mutagen Ooze Action Figures, and the Pop-Up Pizza Playset Anchovy Alley. The pizza box pops open into a subway scene that stands 18-inches tall. Ninja action features in the play set include a portable pizza oven that flings fresh pizzas, floor traps, a tricky sewer cover that throws the bad guys for a loop, and an abandoned subway tunnel.