Finalists for the prestigious 2023 TAGIE Awards have been announced by People of Play (POP). The TAGIEs, now in its 16th year, honor the most innovative inventors, designers, suppliers, retailers, marketers and PR teams in the toy and game industry. Public voting starts Thursday, September 21 and ends on October 20, 2023. Visit the TAGIE Awards 2023 Finalist page to learn about the finalists and cast your vote. Winners in nine categories will receive their TAGIE Awards 2023 trophies on November 3, 2023, in front of a live audience of their peers at Joe’s Live Concert Venue.
Being part of a military family can be an adventure, but at times, it can also feel isolating. Both children and grown-ups can experience feelings of loneliness, and the unique circumstances of military life, such as being far away from relatives or friends, frequent changes to routine, or moving to new places can make those feelings more intense. For over 15 years, Sesame Street for Military Families has helped children and families in the military community navigate challenges. When a parent serves, the whole family serves as well, and that’s something military kids can be proud of.
Jada Toys, one of the world’s leading toy and collectible companies, has announced a new licensing partnership with Fred Rogers Productions, the iconic children’s media company behind multiple well-loved, Emmy-winning PBS KIDS series, to create and distribute consumer products based on its hit preschool series, Donkey Hodie. This will be the first time Donkey Hodie inspired toys will be available for retail purchase. The initial Donkey Hodie toys to be available for young viewers and their families starting in fall of 2023 on Amazon include a 14-inch Donkey Hodie plush and 16-inch Purple Panda plush. These first two plushies will be followed by four more items set to launch through 2023 into 2024. Among the additional products in the new lineup are figures, vehicles, and finger puppets.
Moonbug Entertainment, a subsidiary of Candle Media, has announced the launch of its Netflix preschool series Little Baby Bum Music Time and its corresponding new soundtrack, which will be available on all music streaming platforms. The Music Time series and soundtrack, which are the latest in a string of the franchise’s expansions including the recent launch of Baby Sensory content on YouTube (2M subscribers), the Audible podcast Time to Dream, and a Lullabies music collection, are also supported by a fully re-imagined look and a new curriculum developed in partnership with educational non-profit organization Peeple. Little Baby Bum, Moonbug Entertainment’s first-ever franchise acquisition, has more than 95 million worldwide subscribers on YouTube and has generated more than two billion views across its content so far this year.
Pudgy Penguins, the IP and brand development company behind the series of globally recognized characters, has announced that its line of Pudgy Toys is available in 2,000 Walmart stores nationwide. Pudgy Toys plushies and collectibles are now sold alongside legacy consumer brands, a testament to both the growing popularity of the character brand and its unique approach of developing community-driven and owned IP that leverages social media and blockchain technology. With this milestone collaboration, Pudgy Penguins, a brand that has already achieved $400M in digital collectible sales, is set to disrupt retail standards. This signals a transformative shift in IP development, as the industry moves to leverage a mix of community engagement, social media influence, and innovative blockchain-backed experiences. Since its launch, Pudgy Penguins has forged a unique path, blending traditional digital platforms with the new age of blockchain to offer consumers tailored interactive experiences.
Moose Toys, a leading innovator in the toy industry, today announced industry veteran Jeff Hurst joins the company as senior vice president, North American sales. He will be based out of the company’s U.S. operation in El Segundo, Calif., beginning in October. In this leadership position, Hurst is responsible for defining, leading and driving the execution of the North American strategic sales plan and annual goals for emerging and established markets. “I found this opportunity with Moose irresistible. My team and I are not just selling toys, we are selling Moose innovation and that is what ultimately attracted me to the company and this role,” said Hurst. “With their wildly creative original brands and impressive licensing portfolio, the stage is set for Moose’s next level growth. I look forward to expanding Moose’s already world-class sales team and contributing to the company’s continued success.”
The Jim Henson Company, an established leader in family entertainment for more than 65 years and recognized as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics, and digital animation, has named MGA Entertainment (MGA), one of the largest and fastest growing privately held toy and entertainment companies in the world, the master toy licensee for its Emmy-winning series Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock, currently available exclusively on Apple TV+, in a multi-year agreement. The two-year global agreement includes toys as well as opportunities to sub-license Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock and the classic Fraggle Rock IP to MGA brand Little Tikes and into other product categories.
WildBrain CPLG, one of the world’s leading entertainment, sport and brand licensing agencies, is collaborating with MGM Consumer Products on an extensive consumer products program for the studio’s smash-hit series Wednesday. The program includes the signing of new and expanded partnerships across fashion, gifting, homewares and more. Wednesday, which debuted in November 2022 on Netflix, launched at number one in 83 countries. It has recently become Netflix’s most watched English-language series of all time.
WildBrain CPLG, one of the world’s leading entertainment, sport and brand licensing agencies, is expanding the consumer products offering for the beloved character brand Peanuts with the signing of new and expanded partnerships across the globe. WildBrain CPLG represents licensing for Peanuts on behalf of Peanuts Worldwide across Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA), Asia-Pacific (APAC) and India. WildBrain CPLG’s licensing activity builds on the growing offering of popular Peanuts content produced by WildBrain for Apple TV+. The latest family special, Snoopy Presents: One-of-a-Kind Marcie, debuted on the platform in August, and a third season of The Snoopy Show premiered in June. Additionally, the brand new series, Camp Snoopy, and the new special, Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home, Franklin, are both slated to launch in 2024.