HoliDAY of Play 2015

COMMENTARY: The More Things Change with Star Wars Licensed Toys…

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Kylo Ren 20-inch figure, from Jakks Pacific

A long weekend ago, in a toy store far, far more crowded than I had anticipated (Toys “R” Us Times Square, though I really should have known better at that point), I checked out Destination: Star Wars—The Exhibition, which showed off Star Wars toys past and present. It closed this past Monday, but photos of all the exhibits can still be found online. Besides the opportunity to see vintage Star Wars toys, it was worth visiting because located over in its own themed corner of the store were all the new toys launched in anticipation of the upcoming, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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Disney Interactive Takes Fans Deeper into Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition Toy Box

DisneyInfinityWith the second annual Toy Box Summit kicking off this past Wednesday in Anaheim, Calif., Disney Interactive announced details of the new Toy Box features, tools, and toys in Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition.

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The Walt Disney Company Reports Third Quarter and Nine Months Earnings

TheWaltDisneyCompanyLogoOn Tuesday, the Walt Disney Company reported record quarterly earnings of $2.5 billion for its third fiscal quarter ended June 27, compared to $2.2 billion during the prior-year quarter. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the third quarter increased 13 percent to $1.45 from $1.28 in the prior-year quarter. EPS for the nine months ended June 27 increased 16 percent to $3.95 from $3.40 in the prior-year period, while excluding certain items affecting comparability, EPS for the nine months increased 15 percent.

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New Disney Segment Will Combine Consumer Products and Interactive Divisions

TheWaltDisneyCompanyLogoThe Walt Disney Company is realigning two of its divisions, Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive. The new combined segment, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), will be run jointly by Leslie Ferraro, co-chair, DCPI and president, Disney Consumer Products; and Jimmy Pitaro, co-chair, DCPI and president, Disney Interactive.

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Leslie Ferraro Named President, Disney Consumer Products

DCPLogoLeslie Ferraro has been named president, Disney Consumer Products, effective immediately. A 16-year Disney veteran, she most recently served as Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ executive vice president, global marketing, sales and travel operations, where she was responsible for leading the marketing and sales teams in developing numerous highly successful consumer campaigns worldwide.

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Star Wars Joins Forces with Disney, Disney•Pixar, and Marvel for Disney Infinity 3.0

StarWarsDisneyInfinity3.0This fall, the Star Wars universe will join Disney, Disney•Pixar, and Marvel in Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition, as announced by Disney Interactive. The latest edition of the video game series will include five Play Sets, new Toy Box expansion games, and fan-favorite characters from across the Walt Disney Company.

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TOTY Awards Recognize the Most Outstanding Toys and Games of the Year

TOTY2015logoHundreds of global toy executives and guests gathered in New York City this past Saturday to pay tribute to the toy industry’s best and brightest toys, games and individuals at the 15th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Zoomer Dino, from Spin Master, took home the overall Toy of the Year award prize and was named Boy Toy of the Year. Spin Master’s pet dinosaur lets kids train it to sit, speak, and react to commands. Crayola‘s Paint Maker, a customizable arts and crafts kit, earned the People’s Choice award and was also named Activity Toy of the Year. [Read more...]

The Walt Disney Company Announces Second Startup Accelerator Program

DisneyAcceleratorLogoThe Walt Disney Company is accepting applications for its second Disney Accelerator program powered by Techstars. Disney Accelerator will select 10 startup companies for a three-month mentorship and investment program beginning July 6 and concluding with a Demo Day on October 6. [Read more...]

Mattel Makes Changes to Executive Leadership Team

logo_Mattel logoMattel Inc. has made key changes to its executive leadership team, effective immediately. Richard Dickson and Tim Kilpin will assume expanded responsibilities as president, chief brands officer, and president, chief commercial officer, respectively. Both will report to Mattel Chairman and CEO, Bryan G. Stockton. [Read more...]

MGA Appoints Anne Gates as President

MGA Entertainment (MGAE) has appointed Anne Gates as president. Gates joined MGAE in early 2014 and MGA says she has proven to be a strategic and creative leader for the company’s portfolio of family entertainment franchises. In her new role, Gates will oversee all of MGAE’s global businesses and operations.

“Having Anne Gates as president will allow me to innovate and work more closely with the MGAE team on a vision for an exciting future, while Anne handles the day-to-day operation of the business. Anne and I will work very closely together to take MGAE to new heights,” says Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment. “Her incredible determination and proven performance in systematically growing businesses, paired with her exceptional management and entertainment experience, will help position the company for continued growth and leadership in the toy and entertainment world.” [Read more...]