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...]

USAopoly to Release Smurfs-Branded Monopoly

5.0.3USAopoly is set to release Monopoly: The Smurfs Collector’s Edition, under a license from Hasbro, in conjunction with Sony Pictures Consumer Marketing and the cartoon studio of Lafig Belgium. The game celebrates more than 55 years of the Smurfs and comes as the Smurfs prepare to return to the big screen in The Smurfs 2, the sequel to Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation’s hybrid live-action, animated family comedy.

The game board includes 22 Smurf Village locations such as Clumsy’s Forest, Grouchy’s Mushroom House, and Brainy’s Library. Boardwalk and Park Place, the prime properties in classic Monopoly, are replaced by Papa Smurf’s Lab and Smurfette’s Flower Garden. The traditional “chance” and “community chest” cards are transformed into “potions” and “surprises” cards. Monopoly money is transformed into Smurfberries, and game tokens include Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Lazy, Brainy, Vanity, and Handy. The game is designed for players ages 8 and up and will be available on amazon.com and at specialty retail stores across North America this month.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products Unveils Product Lineup for “The Wizard Of Oz” Anniversary

Warner Bros. Consumer Products has announced its roster of licensees set to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz next year. Master toy partner Jazwares, as well as USAopoly and Mattel, are among the partners. [Read more...]

USAopoly Introduces Beatles Scrabble Board Game

The Scrabble Beatles Edition makes its debut this fall, giving Beatles fans an opportunity to interact with the Fab Four in a whole new way. The Scrabble Beatles Edition fits the bill for fans who have a way with words.

Completely customized with Anthology-informed design, the game sports black Scrabble letter tiles, a themed tile bag and specialized grey racks. And what makes this game really unique? The Scrabble game can still be played the traditional way, but fans can now infuse Beatles-inspired words into their game play for an altogether different Scrabble experience. Twenty-six HELP! cards accompany this alternative game play allowing players opportunities to impact scoring, strategy, and their opponent’s fates.

Toy Industry Foundation Recognizes New “Power Players”

The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) has recently recognized iToys, Inc. and USAopoly as “Power Players,” in honor of their ongoing support of The Toy Bank.

iToys, Inc. has donated to the program every year since its inception in 2003. Most recently, the company contributed 10,000 toys for foster children across the company in TIF’s Do-Good-Stuff-a-Thon.

USAopoly also donates to the Toy Bank annually and most recently contributed to a Play Comforts event in May. TIF and national partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America Military Services distributed toys to thousands of military family members in San Diego, including a donation of games from USAopoly.

Monopoly “The Office” to Hit Store Shelves This Summer

USAOPOLY is introducing a brand new Monopoly Collector’s Edition based on NBC’s hit television show The Office. Monopoly “The Office” Collector’s Edition pits players against one another to compete for control of their favorite “Office” location.

In The Office edition, the classic Monopoly game board properties transform into popular locations in the show such as Dunder Mifflin Scranton, Dunder Mifflin Corporate, Michael’s Condo, and the Scranton Art Center.  Players might also land on “RUDIT-DIT-D’DOO!” (Community Chest), “That’s what she said!” (Chance), Donation to Rabies Fun Run (Luxury Tax), or Buy a Hug from Phyllis at Crime Aid Auction (Income Tax).

[Read more...]