Toy State has entered into a global licensing agreement with NASCAR to introduce NASCAR-licensed products specially designed to connect with the next generation of NASCAR fans. Development on the toy line, which will be co-branded with Toy State’s flagship Nikko and Road Rippers brands, is currently underway. Product is expected to hit retail shelves early next year. [Read more...]
Toy State will design a new line of R/C toys under its Nikko brand featuring Monster High under a licensing agreement with Mattel. The toys are scheduled to hit retail stores in the U.S. and Canada next fall.
This deal comes on the heels of Toy State signing agreements with Mattel for Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Thomas & Friends, marking the most recent expansion of the licensing relationship between the two companies.
Mattel has partnered with Toy State, manufacturer of stylized lights-and-sound radio controlled (R/C) vehicles for a Barbie R/C. Toy State will manufacture an innovative lineup of Barbie licensed and custom R/C vehicles under the Nikko franchise. The Barbie R/C vehicles are scheduled to hit retail stores in the U.S. and Canada starting next fall.
Toy State has entered into a worldwide partnership with Sébastien Loeb Racing (SLR), a deal that includes both race sponsorships and product licensing components. The four-year global licensing agreement grants Toy State exclusive rights to develop ranges of toys in the R/C and lights and sound categories.
Toy State has been awarded platinum status by the Caterpillar Trademark Licensing Licensee Excellence and Recognition Program for 2014. Toy State has been a Caterpiller licensee since 2002, and its products include the Lights & Sound, Preschool, and Diecast Cat-licensed lines of machines.
In partnership with Go Baby Go, a research-based, national program that provides modified, ride-on toy cars to young children with disabilities, Toy State is sponsoring four workshops in four cities across the country. Each car will be outfitted to model the Toy State Nikko R/C No. 7 car currently driven by Alex Bowman on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit.
Having recently been promoted to the position of president of Toy State, it seemed like a good time to sit down with Andy Friess to talk about the state of his company, its high-profile sponsorship agreement with Tommy Baldwin Racing, its upcoming plans for the R/C brand, Nikko, and more.
The Toy Book (TTB): How important are new licensing agreements to the growth of Toy State?
Andy Friess (AF): Licensing plays a major role in our success. With the competition so tough in all toy categories, securing rights to strong licenses can provide the point-of-difference that separates us from our competitors. Toy State’s history of developing products featuring the highest levels of quality and innovation has been a great “selling” tool as we seek new licensing opportunities. We’ve been extremely fortunate to work with a core of outstanding global licensors, and these relationships have been instrumental to the successes we have achieved over our 30-plus-year history. The 13-year, multi-category relationship with Caterpillar has been the foundation of our licensing efforts.
Toy State has entered into a licensing agreement with WWE. The deal includes products developed for the R/C vehicle category for the North American market, the first of which will be in stores later this year. This agreement marks Toy State’s first licensing agreement under the Nikko brand since its acquisition of the company last year.
“There are few brands with as loyal and passionate a fan base as the WWE,” says Andy Friess, Toy State president. “The personality of the brand is perfectly aligned with the attitude and innovation of our toys, and we can’t wait for WWE fans to see our products when they hit the shelves.”