Author: James Zahn

Mattel Unveils New Masters of the Universe Toys at Power Con

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (MOTU) are on the road to a powerful comeback. Ahead of next year’s release of two new series on Netflix, Mattel took to this year’s virtual edition of Power Con to pull back the curtain on a new range of MOTU products, some of which position the brand in new categories for kids and collectors alike. New offerings include an expanded range of Mega Construx building sets, a MOTU-themed UNO, the first-ever MOTU tabletop role-playing game, and the franchise’s first preschool-centric Fisher-Price toys. Mega Construx Masters of the Universe Signature Series Available...

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DJ Marshmello Gets Animated in Mellodees’ ‘Wheels on the Bus’

When we last caught up with Marshmello, the popular EDM DJ was launching a new kids brand alongside manager Moe Shalizi. Now that the musically driven Mellodees has been out for a few weeks, the DJ himself is jumping into the animated action. Lil’ Mello makes his debut as a boppin’ bus driver in a new version of “Wheels on the Bus” that’s firmly targeting a new generation of preschoolers and their millennial parents. Mellodees is rolling out globally across social platforms including YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook. TSG plans to expand the Mellodees brand into toys and consumer...

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Spielwarenmesse to Take Place with Hygiene Protocols

The toy industry is already looking ahead to next year with uncertainty and caution as toy fair season approaches. Spielwarenmesse eG, the organizer of the 72nd Spielwarenmesse international toy fair, is moving ahead with plans for the event to take place Jan. 27-31 in Nuremberg, Germany. In an effort to ensure the greatest possible degree of safety, the organizers are collaborating with venue operator NürnbergMesse and local authorities to create a definitive “Health & Hygiene Concept” for the show. To help things move as smoothly as possible, Spielwarenmesse asks that attendees and exhibitors abide by a simple mantra: “follow...

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The Toy Insider Prepares to Unwrap Holiday of Play @ Home

Following the success of its first-ever virtual event, Sweet Suite @ Home, our sister publication, the Toy Insider is getting ready to help sleigh the holiday shopping season. Set to take place on October 22, the Toy Insider’s 9th annual Holiday of Play event is going virtual this year as Holiday of Play @ Home, an exclusive, invite-only media event designed for press, bloggers, influencers, and content creators to get up close and personal with the hottest toys of the holiday season. Like Sweet Suite @ Home — and unlike many virtual events — Holiday of Play @ Home...

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Funko Takes a 49% Sales Hit in Q2, Looks to Diversification, ‘Mandalorian’ Tailwind

Funko, Inc. beat expectations in the second quarter with a 49% decline in sales amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Heading into Q2, the company preemptively cautioned a decline of as much as 60% due to retail closures and the lack of live events. “Although our second quarter results were significantly impacted by store closures in both the U.S. and abroad, we were able to accelerate our connection and engagement with our fans through continued innovation and new product introductions as well as the expansion of our direct to consumer business,” says Funko CEO Brian Mariotti. “In Q2,...

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Monster Jam, Spin Master Kick Off Shark Week with Multiple World Record Attempts

This weekend, Feld Entertainment’s Monster Jam is taking to the airwaves with an all-new special, Diesel Brothers: Monster Jam Breaking World Records. Premiering Saturday, August 8, at 8 p.m. ET on Discovery, the new special finds Heavy D and Diesel Dave back with host Chris Jacobs a year after they successfully jumped their massive, 12,000-pound BroDozer Monster Jam truck over a flying airplane. This year, the team reunites with Monster Jam for a series of Guinness World Record attempts. One attempt finds Adam Anderson behind the wheel of Megalodon to kick off Shark Week. In preparation for his attempt...

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Toy Industry Mourns the Passing of Former Mattel CEO Bryan G. Stockton

The toy industry is saddened by the sudden loss of Bryan G. Stockton, former chairman and CEO of Mattel, and past chairman of the Toy Association board of directors. Stockton joined Mattel in 2000 as executive vice president of business planning and development, eventually moving up to CEO (2012-2015) and chairman (2013-2015). Stockton died in a car accent alongside his friend, attorney Peter Devereaux. “We are saddened by the news of Bryan’s sudden passing,” says Ynon Kreiz, chairman and CEO of Mattel. “The entire Mattel community joins me in sending our deepest condolences to his family. Bryan was a...

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Exclusive: Moonbug Appoints MGA Entertainment as Worldwide Licensing Agent for ‘Little Baby Bum’

Following the success of its Little Tikes toy line based on Moonbug‘s Little Baby Bum YouTube channel, MGA Entertainment (MGAE) is taking the reins as the worldwide licensing agent for the property. Moonbug appointed the company behind L.O.L. Surprise! and the iconic Cozy Coupe to develop a global consumer products program in an effort to expand the reach and availability of products based on the popular preschool brand. “Little Baby Bum is a worldwide favorite among kids as we’ve seen with the initial launch of Little Tikes Little Baby Bum products that launched last fall,” says Isaac Larian, CEO...

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Jam City, Cloudco Team Up for Care Bears x ‘Panda Pop’ Collaboration

As the relaunch of Cloudco Entertainment’s iconic Care Bears franchise continues, fans can now “unlock the magic” in a mobile game for the very first time. Unity Bear is a new Care Bear that was created specifically for Jam City’s award-winning Panda Pop mobile game. Unity Bear will join the game beginning Sept. 3. Until then, players can experience in-game Care Bears content developed as part of the collaboration between Jam City and Cloudco. “We have seen increased digital engagement amongst our fans, as they turn to digital expression to share how they are ‘sharing and caring’ during this...

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Spin Master Q2 Sales Dip 10.9% as POS Increases Begin

Spin Master Corp. faced a familiar plight for the second quarter of 2020 as the toy and entertainment company battled against the challenging conditions of business in the COVID-19 era. While the toy industry as a whole showed a 16% sales increase for the first half of the year, major toymakers are experiencing declines in sales and overall revenue as retailers moved through stock on hand as certain categories spiked in waves. The Toronto-based toy and entertainment company reported a 10.9% sales decrease in Q2 alongside a 12.4% decline in overall revenue versus the same period last year. Sales...

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