What is a Junk Ball anyway? It’s a pitch that controls the movement of the baseball and allows the pitcher to throw off a batter’s timing – such as knuckleballs, curveballs, and sliders. The more junk balls a pitcher can throw, the more likely they are to strike out their batter. Now, for the first time, Junk Balls are getting wild with the Junk Ball Wild Pitch Collectible Balls. With a dozen different designs, and unique marbling and hydro-dipping manufacturing techniques, no two are alike. Packaged in fun collectible blind bags, consumers will receive balls at random. There are six common balls with names like World Champs, USAyy and Garbage! Lucky collectors might pick one of the five rare balls such as High Cheese, Ruby or Crash Test. Incredibly lucky ones will browse the aisles at Dick’s Sporting Goods and grab a limited edition Bone Rattler.
Award-winning animation company Omens Studios has secured a multi-season commission from Singapore’s national public broadcaster MediaCorp to produce two brand-new series based on its hit international IPs 123 Number Squad and Leo the Wildlife Ranger. The Mediacorp deal includes three seasons of 123 Number Squad spin off series Paula & Pals and four seasons of a refreshed version of Leo the Wildlife Ranger, which picks up where season two of the original show ends.
In February of 2021, at a time where everyone needed a hug, Douglas introduced the Softs’ Collection for the first time. Since then, the line has grown in popularity and numbers. This irresistibly soft, ultra-floppy and ultra huggable collection is expanding once again as the plush toy company and lifestyle gift creator adds 32 new Softs this year! Softs are available as a Mini or Original size. Minis range in size from 6” to 7.5” while originals range in size from 9” to 15”. This year will see 11 new Minis and 21 new original sizes. Douglas has gone well beyond the ordinary when it comes to detail. The fabric choices include texture and naturalistic, breed-specific coloring as well as whimsy.
In response to accelerated global growth over the past two years at ZAG for the company’s flagship brand Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, and Ghostforce, which has been earning top ratings across Europe, ZAG has appointed respected industry executive Mark Kingston to the newly created role of Senior Vice President, Global Consumer Products. The announcement was made by Jeremy Zag, ZAG’s Founder and CEO.
Amuse Animation, a boutique digital-centric animation studio, has entered an agreement with Hasbro entertainment studio, eOne to produce a digital-led animated series. The eOne deal marks Hasbro’s first collaboration with Amuse Animation, and their first ever original, direct-to-digital preschool project. “In an ever-changing media landscape, it is clear that digital-born properties are winning the hearts of children and families around the world now more than ever before. Hasbro has long been at the forefront of innovation in play and entertainment, and this move into digital-first IP generation will allow us to build fandom by reaching our audience directly via YouTube and learning from their viewing behavior in real-time,” commented Tom Hartley, VP of Digital Content at eOne / Hasbro. “With its strong positioning as a digital-first preschool animation studio and its rapid-response production, Amuse Animation is the perfect partner for this new endeavor.”
Licensing International is thrilled to announce that industry veterans George Leon and Maca Rotter will host the 2023 Licensing International Excellence Awards. With decades of experience, Leon and Rotter are beloved and respected experts in the global brand licensing industry. The pair will take center stage, microphones in hand, on June 12 at 6:00pm PST at the HyperX Arena Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. This marks the first time the Excellence Awards have been held at this flagship venue.
The B&LLAs attracted a record number of entries this year, from companies large and small. All of the main product categories were judged by a panel that comprised of retail buyers from right across the spectrum including Argos, ASDA, Boots, Dunelm, FatFace, Home Bargains, John Lewis & Partners, JoJo Maman Bébé, Matalan, Moonpig, Morrisons, Mothercare, New Look, Next, Sainsbury’s, Selfridges, Specsavers, Tesco, TruffleShuffle, Vanilla Underground, Waitrose and WHSmith.
During the recent D&D Direct video presentation, Wizards of the Coast was excited to announce new partnerships that expand the breadth of the D&D brand from digital games to physical collectibles from top toy manufacturers Hasbro and WizKids. The first of these new partnerships is with Minecraft and the launch of a new Minecraft D&D DLC, available on the Minecraft Marketplace Spring 2023! “We’re incredibly excited to partner with Wizards of the Coast, to introduce a brand new, story-driven Dungeons & Dragons DLC to Minecraft! We can’t wait for the community to dive in and experience a blocky take on the world of D&D,” said Riccardo Lenzi, Senior Producer at Mojang Studios.
PlayMonster Group LLC, a leading international toy and game company, and Hasbro Inc, a global branded entertainment leader, have announced that PlayMonster will bring the entire Playskool brand to the company’s dynamic roster in 2024 as part of an overall global growth strategy delivering innovation and re-imagined classic play to preschoolers and their families around the world. With a clear vision, Playskool has helped generations of babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their families play together for nearly a century, representing quality, trust and memorable play experiences that help define a child’s early years.