Search Results for: toy story

WordGirl Receives Comic Book Series Through BOOM! Studios

Scholastic Media has announced that superhero series WordGirl will receive a comic book series this fall through BOOM! Studios. WordGirl comic books and graphic novels will be available throughout the U.S. and Canada, ranging from $2.99 to $9.99. The comics will feature all-new storylines. The deal follows the announcement that the WordGirl series has received three 2010 Daytime Emmy Award nominations. The series was awarded a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Writing in Animation in 2008. WordGirl airs daily on PBS. BOOM! Studios recently launched it BOOM Kids! imprint in spring 2009. The imprint serves as a home for BOOM!’s kid-friendly...

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The Jim Henson Company Premieres New Properties, Looks for Partners

The Jim Henson Company is debuting several new properties at Licensing International Expo, and seeking licensing partners in an array of key areas. Me and My Monsters tells the story of the Carlson family who moves from Australia to the UK and discovers there are three monsters living in their basement. Ten-year-old Eddie Carlson thinks the houseguests are the best friends a kid could have, but the monsters proves to be more stressful for Eddie’s working mom and his highly strung dad, and an ongoing embarrassment for his teenage sister. Me and My Monsters stars human actors and three monster puppets, which are developed by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. The series will air on BBC in the UK, ZDF in Germany, and Network 10 in Australia. BBC Worldwide is spearheading licensing for the series in the UK, Germany, and Australia, and The Jim Henson Company is managing for the U.S. market. Wilson & Ditch: Digging America is an internet destination produced for for kids ages 6 to 10. Kids can embark on a cross-country adventure with two comical gophers (brothers Wilson and Ditch) as they explore America’s most interesting destinations. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the property includes original online video and interactive games, as well as blogs and podcasts posted by the brothers. The Jim Henson Company is primarily seeking licensing partners in the...

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Penguin to Publish a Series of Moshi Monsters Books

Mind Candy, developer of Moshi Monsters, has signed its first major licensing deal. The deal gives Penguin Group the rights to publish a series of books based on the Moshi Monsters property. Moshi Monsters is a free-to-play online game that allows children around the world to adopt their own pet monster, play games, customize their homes, explore the virtual world, and solve educational puzzles. More than 20 million players have registered to date on the website. The first book to be published by Penguin will explore Moshlings––the cute, colorful, and collectible pet creatures of the Moshi Monsters. The book will tell the Moshlings’ backstory, habitats, quirks, and more. The book will also contain a unique code to unlock a secret Moshling at the Moshi Monsters website. Two books are planned for release this year globally, and five more will follow next...

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Madame Alexander Launches New e-Commerce Website

Alexander Doll Company, Inc. has launched a new e-commerce website,, for Madame Alexander doll collectors. The site, which is categorized by collectible, play and baby doll, size and age range, and more, allows Madame Alexander fans to purchase the dolls from one central location. Special features include zooming and a 360-degree viewing capability for detailed close-ups of Madame Alexander dolls’ artistry and costumes. The company’s authorized retailers are also participating in the e-commerce site as Madame Alexander/Shopatron fulfillment partners. Additionally, visitors can get an in-depth look into the history and features of the...

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DreamWorks Announces Ogre-Whelming Licensee Support for Shrek Forever After

DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. has announced a full slate of promotional partners and licensees in support of Shrek Forever After, which opened in theaters on Friday. Among the Shrek Forever After licensees are Activision for video games; Hasbro Games for a line of classic Shrek games and puzzles; Penguin for a variety of storybooks; Rubie’s Costume Co. for Halloween costumes; and VTech, which continues to feature Shrek in new key hardware systems and will launch the character Shrek on the MobiGo & FLiP platforms. Playmates, the master toy partner for Shrek Forever After, offers a full array of toys ranging from figures and plush to dolls and role play toys. For more information, please...

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Mascots Unveiled for London 2012 Olympic Games

London 2012 Olympic Games organizers have unveiled two alien-like creatures, Mandeville and Wenlock, as the mascots for the 2012 Games. Looking for something that would engage kids, London 2012 organizers created a cartoon and teamed with children’s writer Michael Morpurgo to create a background story for the characters. According to the story, Out of the Rainbow, Wenlock and Mandeville were crafted by Grandpa George from the last drops of steels used to build the Olympic Stadium. The characters will be featured on products such as toys and mugs when the mascots go on sale. The mascots are seen as key revenue for the Olympics, which must raise £2billion from the private sector to host the event. Wenlock is named after the Shropshire village of Much Wenlock, the site of the Wenlock Games, which was one of the inspirations for Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic movement. Mandeville’s name is inspired by Stoke Mandeville in...

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Adorable Teddy Bear from Me To You!

Roger Murphy, CEO of Carte Blanche Greetings Ltd. in the UK, loved our coverage of their Me To You brand in our March/April issue so much, he sent me an adorable Tatty Teddy Bear! Isn’t it just the cutest, hippest little bear on the block? Tatty Teddy is headed to the U.S. in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled. Thanks, Bryan Joiner, for writing such a great story about the humble beginnings of Tatty Teddy and the evolution of Me To You!...

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JAKKS Pacific Founder Dies

JAKKS Pacific founder, Jack Friedman, died on Monday, May 3, after being hospitalized for several weeks. Friedman was 70. JAKKS’ CEO Stephen Berman said, “Jack was a legendary toymaker and a real titan in our industry. He dedicated his talents to JAKKS Pacific for 15 years, and he will be sorely missed. On behalf of all JAKKS employees, we send our sincere condolences to his wife Karen and his children for their loss.” Friedman founded JAKKS Pacific in January 1995, and he served as the company’s chairman and CEO through March 31, 2010. He retired from his regular duties at the company to spend more time with his family. Under his leadership, JAKKS has grown into a Top 5 U.S. publicly traded diversified toy company. Before founding JAKKS, Friedman led LJN Toys until its sale to MCA in 1985. After LJN, he went on to found THQ, Inc. in 1989 and led it until 1995. Friedman was a generous philanthropist and supporter of the company’s JAKKS Cares program, which has benefited organizations such as The Toy Industry Foundation, Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, The Special Olympics, Feed the Children, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Marine Toys for Tots, and more. Under the program, the company has donated more than $40 million worth of toys and school supplies to children around the world. Image Credit:...

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A2 to Premiere Secret Millionaire’s Club This Saturday

A2 Entertainment will premiere Secret Millionaire’s Club, a new animated series inspired by the teachings of Warren Buffett, at this year’s annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting on May 1. Created in partnership by A2 and AOL, Secret Millionaires Club teaches kids about finance through a series of webisodes, online games, and other activities. The show tells the story of four kids who save their community center by selling old baseball memorabilia. Little did they know, the memorabilia was worth millions, and after paying off their creditors the kids turn to Buffett (who voices himself in the series) to help them manage their newfound wealth. The animated Buffett teaches the group about business and how the world around them works, exploring concepts such as supply and demand, the importance of location, pursuing your dreams, understanding the best investment you can make is in yourself, and more. Starting Saturday, kids can visit, where the 26 weekly webisodes will be located. will feature games, a Buffett Bucks rewards program, the “Ask Warren” feature which allows kids to interact directly with Buffett. and other activities. AOL created and developed in partnership with Area 17 and MGX. A television series based on Secret Millionaire’s Club is in...

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Vikings Take Over Times Square!

This morning, instead of going directly to my office, I made a stop in Times Square, which was overrun by Vikings… could be a little scary… but they were all smiling, taking pictures and generally enjoying the fact that their big Viking Boat (40 ft) was grounded in the heart of NYC. (Since I’m a native New Yorker, I have to say it was grounded in the heart of America). After taking a few pictures… trying to hear what actress America Ferrera (Ugly Betty and the voice of Astrid) was saying to the cameras, I had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with Walmart’s SVP and General Manager of Entertainment, Gary Severson. So how does America’s giant retailer decide when and how much muscle to put behind a new movie launch/property, well, Gary gave me some insight. There are a lot of great movies that come out every year, but not all translate into merchandise, specifically toys, very well. But the How to Train Your Dragon property has such appeal, especially to boys, that it was clear that this was something to look at. Dragons are a terrific play pattern, and there is a demand for this type of product. Compound this with the studio behind the movie, DreamWorks, and the first toy partner to see the potential—Spin Master—well Walmart knew that this could be something big. This great...

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