Published: June 27, 2018

aNb Media News, June 27, 2018

Compiled by: Jennifer Lynch

barbie robotics engineer dollsBarbie Amps up STEM Initiatives

Mattel launched Robotics Engineer Barbie as a means to further pique girls’ interest in STEM and shine a light on an underrepresented career field for women.

The new doll joins a lineup of more than 200 careers held by Barbie, all of which reinforce the brand’s purpose to inspire the limitless potential in every girl.

As part of a multi-year partnership with Tynker, Mattel is also launching six free Barbie-inspired coding experiences available now at tynker.com/BarbieYCBA. The lessons are designed to teach logic, problem-solving, and the building blocks of coding while casting young learners in different roles alongside Barbie. Leveraging Mattel’s portfolio of brands, the ongoing collaboration reinforces Tynker’s mission to make coding and STEM education accessible and appeal to all students by meeting them where their interests lie


To further build on its STEM initiatives for girls, the Barbie brand is also:

  • Partnering with Black Girls CODE—providing a grant of support to Black Girls CODE and gifting dolls at robotics workshops to reach young girls interested in developing skills in the field.
  • Debuting more Tynker coding content—continuing its multi-year partnership with Tynker to introduce seven lessons throughout the year and again timed to Hour of Code in December.
  • Releasing a Coding e-book – in collaboration with Information Science Professor and Coder Casey Fiesler, PhD, Barbie is releasing Code Camp for Barbie and Friends. The e-book is a kid-friendly introduction to the concepts of code and will be available for sale on Amazon.com.

The launch of Robotics Engineer Barbie is also dedicated to highlighting Mattel’s #MoreRoleModels initiative and coincides with a new video, launching today,  highlights career fields underrepresented by women with a call-to-action to inspire the next generation of girls.

2018-Empowerment-Day-Logo_BlackRegistration for WIT Empowerment Day, Annual Cocktails & Connections Party is Now Open

Registration is now open for the Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) 2018 Empowerment Day, to be held at Dallas Market Center on Monday, October 1, during Fall Toy Preview.

Held in collaboration with Walmart, WIT Empowerment Day gives women entrepreneurs a once-a-year opportunity to pitch products, get one-on-one mentoring, and spark valuable connections with the toy industry’s leading females, who volunteer their time and talent to help women take their businesses, products, and careers to the next level.

This event is designed for female startups and entrepreneurs, manufacturers, inventors, and business owners who want to grow their business or catapult their career in the areas of toys, games, licensing, and entertainment.

Participants will have access to private product pitches with Walmart buyers, and can pitch products and concepts to top toy companies for licensing or feedback, including Hasbro, Spin Master, PlayMonster, Jazwares, and Basic Fun!

Mentoring sessions give women the opportunity to seek guidance, knowledge, and wisdom from industry experts specializing in e-commerce, financing, intellectual property, product and packaging design, manufacturing, sales, distribution, marketing, social media, PR, and more.

Rounding out the day will be a keynote speaker and panels including a Walmart Buyer Panel, Inventor Relations Executives Panel, plus educational sessions on e-commerce, licensing, and Google and Facebook advertising.

To help prepare participants, WIT provides an Empowerment Day 101 Webinar, which gives an overview of the day’s activities, tips on how to prepare for product pitches, and details on qualifications needed to pitch Walmart.

Advance registration for WIT Empowerment Day is required. Pitch sessions are limited and will be scheduled on a first-come basis. Those wishing to pitch Walmart buyers must prequalify and be a women-owned or women-led business. Click here for more information and to register.

Following Empowerment Day, WIT will also host its annual Cocktails & Connections party. Click here for more information.

Will Smith, ‘Christopher Robin’ Director Marc Foster Acquire German Licensing & Distribution Co.

Actor and producer Will Smith has joined with Marc Forster, director of the upcoming Christopher Robin movie, to acquire Telepool GmbH, the German licensing and distribution company. As part of the sale, Telepool will become a development, financing and distribution partner for the projects of Will Smith and Marc Forster. The acquisition was made by The Smith Family Circle and Elysian Fields, a group of investors associated with Marc Forster.

Telepool’s core business is the acquisition, sale, and promotion of theatrical, DVD, TV, VoD and gaming content as well as merchandising and licensing of publishing and excerpt rights for German-speaking territories (GSA). Additionally, the group acts as a world sales company for theatrical and TV content. The Telepool group has offices in Munich, Zürich, Leipzig, Seesen, and Los Angeles.

As a part of the deal, Smith‬ and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment will have the option to develop and distribute film and television projects through Telepool. Overbrook remains its own independent production entity producing and developing film and television content. Smith is also a co-owner of Westbrook Entertainment, the management, branding and digital content production company that he and Jada Pinkett-Smith started with their partner Miguel Melendez in 2016.

Similarly, Marc Forster and Renee Wolfe’s independent production entity 2dux² will also have the option to develop and distribute film and television projects through Telepool while also remaining fully independent.

Telepool was acquired from the company’s former public-broadcasting shareholders Bayerischer Rundfunk, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, SWR Media Services GmbH (a subsidiary of Südwestrundfunk) and Telvetia S.A. (a subsidiary of SRF).

Zetra International AG, based in Zurich, acted as exclusive financial advisor to the sellers in the sale of Telepool.

New Disney Parks appDisney Launches New Immersive App for In-Park Experiences

Disney will launch its new Play Disney Parks mobile app to bring to life unique interactive experiences for guests at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California beginning June 30.

The Play Disney Parks app will enable guests of all ages to access a wide range of activities including themed games, Disney trivia, digital achievements, music, and more.

Developed in collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering, Play Disney Parks was designed for families and guests to play together, with group play options that enable everyone to join in while staying engaged in the environments of Disney parks. The app will be available for iOS and Android platforms and will be free to download.

The new Play Disney Parks app is the latest addition to the Disney Parks digital app portfolio and plans are already in place to grow and evolve the app over time with new experiences and offerings at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, including at the anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, coming to Disneyland Resort in summer 2019 and Walt Disney World Resort in late fall 2019.

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