Published: February 28, 2018

aNb Media News, February 28, 2018

Compiled by: Jennifer Lynch

Diaframma, Mark TV Form New Production Company, Diamark

The international production houses Diaframma and Mark TV & Communication have merged to form Diamark. Each brings extensive experience in TV commercials and plans to use the merger to further improve the effectiveness of the TV commercial sector, and kids content in general, in the ever-changing global market.

After many years competing, both companies come together to commence a new project, that, through scalability, will enable the company to invest in new technologies across all sectors of content creation.

Each of the companies bring 40-plus years of experience in the field to the new merger, as well as different expertise and skills in the many categories each covers.

“We’ve created Diamark by combining our professionalism, our hard work, our enthusiasm and our love for the work that we do with our team. The result is a single production house, and a company of true industry experts,” says Pino Marchi, president of Diamark.

Duccio Abolaffio, co-founder of Diamark, adds, “We have a five year plan to build and reinforce the leadership in our market with constant investment in the best equipment and talent available. We are always looking for high value partnerships to provide high quality TV commercials, that turn views into sales for our customers.”

Toy Association Announces 2018-2019 Show Dates, Locations

The Toy Association has announced show dates for Toy Fair 2019 and future Play Fairs.

Toy Fair will be held Saturday, February 16 through Tuesday, February 19 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Toy Fair 2018 drew 26,236 attendees including more than 11,000 retailers, wholesalers, entertainment executives, importers, and buying groups from 97 countries. It also saw an increase in international trade guests (up 26 percent), as well as large delegations of attendees from outside the U.S., including 3,802 international visitors, of which 1,589 were global buyers.

From veteran toymakers to first-time exhibitors in the Launch Pad section of the show, Toy Fair’s 1,049 exhibiting companies showcased new product lines and key drivers in front of 8,775 mass and specialty buyers, including delegations from more than 3,900 unique retail outlets and 22 of the nation’s top 25 toy sellers, such as, Walmart, Target Stores, Kohl’s, American Girl, Costco, Best Buy, Family Dollar, Disney Store, Lego/Legoland Mail Order, and Dollar Tree.

Licensing executives from NBCUniversal Brand Development, Netflix, Nickelodeon Consumer Products, Paramount Pictures, Sesame Workshop, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and others were also on-site to scout new trends and forge licensing agreements with toymakers.

The Toy Association also announced that Play Fair is going on the road in 2018 and 2019. Hosted by The Toy Association and LeftField Media, the immersive, experience-rich event has two new dates and locations:

  • Play Fair PDX, co-located within Rose City Comic Con, will take place September 7–9, 2018 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, OR; and
  • Play Fair DC, co-located within Awesome Con, will take place April 26–28, 2019 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

At Play Fair’s second annual show, held last November in New York City, more than 20,000 children, parents, families, and fans got a first look at the toys and games expected to top wish lists for the 2017 holiday season. Guests were also treated to dozens of hands-on exhibits, displays, character meet & greets, and activities with favorite brands. The show featured more than 75 exhibitors, including presenting sponsors Spin Master and Toys “R” Us.

In the coming weeks, Play Fair will announce confirmed exhibiting brands, new sponsors, and special entertainment highlights planned for the shows. Visit and for more information.

Frederator Picks Up Children’s Book ‘Catlantis’ for Animated Series

Frederator Studios, a WOW! Unlimited Media company, has acquired rights to develop and pitch an animated series based on the children’s book Catlantis, by Russian novelist and children’s book author Anna Starobinets. Selected as a children’s book of the year, by both The Telegraph and The Observer, the tale will be story edited by Brydie Lee-Kennedy (The Amazing World of Gumball, Bravest Warriors).

The adventure of The Odyssey mixed with the characters of The Canterbury Tales, Catlantis follows Baguette, a loafing house cat, who must travel back through time to complete a true hero’s task in order to marry the love of his life and restore peace to the ancient fabled city of Catlantis.

Catlantis is the latest project from Frederator Studios, founded in 1998 by former Hanna-Barbera president, Fred Seibert. The studio is also behind hits such as Butch Hartman’s The Fairly OddParents on Nickeloden, Pendleton Ward’s Adventure Time on Cartoon Network, and Netflix’s Castlevania.

Anna Starobinets is an award-winning Russian novelist, children’s author, scriptwriter, and journalist. She is perhaps best known as a writer of dystopian, metaphysical and horror novels and short stories, and has been called the Russian Queen of Horror. Catlantis is her second children’s book.

Catlantis and Anna Staroninets are represented by Natasha Banke and Julia Gumen at Banke, Goumen & Smirnova literary agency in Sweden. Brydie Lee-Kennedy is represented by Katie Langridge at Knight Hall Agency.

Disney Announces Transformative Multi-Year Expansion for Disneyland Paris

The Walt Disney Company announced plans for a two billion euro, multi-year expansion for Disneyland Paris. The new development will include a transformation of the Walt Disney Studios Park, adding three new areas based on Marvel, Frozen and Star Wars, along with multiple new attractions and live entertainment experiences.

The expansion plan is one of the most ambitious development projects at Disneyland Paris since its opening in 1992 and underscores the company’s commitment to the long-term success of the resort as Disney’s brand beacon in Europe.

The new areas will infuse some of Disney’s most popular stories and characters into this unique destination, building upon the success of the resort’s 25th Anniversary celebration and continuing to enhance the guest experience for millions of Europeans.

With more than 320 million visits since 1992 and representing 6.2 percent of France’s tourism income, Disneyland Paris has played a key leadership role in tourism for the region. The resort continues to be a driver of economic and social development with more than 16,000 employees representing 100 nationalities. This investment is expected to help make the region more dynamic and appealing and open up more opportunities for French and European citizens in the tourism industry.

The multi-year development will roll out in phases beginning in 2021, significantly expanding the Walt Disney Studios Park. In addition to the three new areas, the creative vision includes a new lake, which will be the focal point for entertainment experiences and will also connect each of the new park areas.

In the spring of 2017, Disneyland Paris kicked off its 25th anniversary celebration including new entertainment and experiences for guests. The resort also completed a two-year refurbishment program, updating and renovating many of the classic attractions in the parks as well as opening multiple new entertainment shows such as Mickey and the Magician, which won a 2017 International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions theme park industry award for “Best Theatrical Production.” Additionally, several major renovations took place at the resort’s hotels including Disney’s Newport Bay Club, which is now a four-star hotel.

Just this month, Disneyland Paris announced plans for a new Marvel-themed attraction that will be part of the new Marvel area development in Walt Disney Studios. In 2020, the resort will open Disney’s Hotel New York—The Art of Marvel, a reimagining of Disney’s Hotel New York that will showcase the worlds of Iron Man, The Avengers, and Spider-Man, among others. This summer, the Marvel Summer of Super Heroes seasonal event will take place at Disneyland Paris, where guests can meet their favorite heroes and experience new live entertainment.

Disneyland Paris boasts two theme parks (Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park) and seven themed Disney hotels with 5,800 rooms (more than 2,700 rooms are available in Selected and Associated Hotels). Two full-service convention centers and a world-class 27-hole golf course are also present. The destination is also home to Disney Village, one of the largest entertainment complexes in the Ile-de-France region. Spread over more than 30,000m², Disney Village offers themed dining, shopping, and cinema experiences. Disneyland Paris comprises 59 attractions, 63 shops, and 55 restaurants.

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