Bravado Signs Superstar Artists
Bravado, the global music merchandising company, has signed artists Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, and Whitney Houston to create merchandise in support of each artist’s individual recent release and concert tour.
All four chart-topping superstar divas will be touring in 2010 in support of their respective recent album releases. These artists join a star-studded roster of Bravado artists, which includes female superstars Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Gwen Stefani, Pink, Tina
Turner, and Katy Perry, among many others.
Fusion Licensing to Represent Magic Johnson
Fusion Licensing recently announced that it is now representing Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE) for a line of consumer products. Fusion will develop new business opportunities that amplify the core values of the brand, including leadership, excellence, perseverance, and community. Fusion will initially focus on food and beverage, personal care, and sports and fitness.
HIT Greenlit Two New Projects
HIT Entertainment has greenlit the development of two new projects: For the Birds and Zip Zip Zippy. For the Birds is an animated comedy series following the adventures of Earl E. Bird
for kids 8-11. The second project, Zip, Zip, Zippy, is a music driven series that encourages preschoolers to physically participate in story-based adventures. The series stars a live action host in an animated world full of animals and children.
Wham-O Partners with Sprig Toys
Wham-O, Inc., has joined forces with Sprig Toys, Inc., to offer an innovative line of battery-free, kid-powered preschool products under the new Wham-O Jr. brand. The strategic partnership will enable Sprig’s eco-friendly specialty line to be offered on a greater scale and will give Wham-O access to Sprig’s proprietary material Sprigwood, a durable, child-safe, bio-composite made from reclaimed wood and recycled plastic.
Adler Named President of Uncle Milton Industries
Uncle Milton Industries, Inc., announced that it has named Frank Adler as president of the company. Adler was previously the executive vice-president of Uncle Milton Industries, a creator
of science and exploration products.
As president, Adler will be responsible for the day-to-day operations and will focus on developing strategic plans to grow the company. Adler played a critical role in developing the company’s Star Wars Science line and The Force Trainer.
Adler joined Uncle Milton Industries in 1995 as director of sales and marketing and has 20 years of experience in the toy industry. Prior to Uncle Milton, Adler was director of product development at Hersch Games.
Fitz Roy Media Signs Fido Dido
Fitz Roy Media (FRM) has signed an agreement with Honest Entertainment to handle all rights to the Fido Dido intellectual property worldwide. Effective immediately, the seven-year
deal directs FRM to take over managing, marketing, and distributing all rights to Fido Dido.
FRM, together with Renegade Animation and Graphiti India Limited, will begin development and production on a new series of short form animated episodes for distribution across a variety of multimedia platforms such as wireless networks, internet portals, broadcast channels and iTunes. The first season of 50 one minute episodes is slated for delivery in September 2010.
A Squared Signs with Build-A-Bear
A Squared Entertainment (A2) announced a partnership with Build-A-Bear Workshop. A2 Entertainment will manage the entertainment and external licensing program for Build-A-Bear
Workshop. Together, the companies will produce original multimedia entertainment for distribution online, on-air, and on other digital devices. In addition to creating new multimedia products, the companies will develop a new line of licensed merchandise that will be sold outside Build-A-Bear Workshop stores through select retail outlets. Based on the strength and popularity of the Build-A-Bear Workshop brand, the new products will include DVDs, accessories, apparel, books and additional branded merchandise.
Konami, Upper Deck Battle Over Cards in Court
Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. (KDE) announced that it has resolved its litigation against The Upper Deck Company (Upper Deck), KDE’s former distributor of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game (TCG).
The litigation began in October 2008, when KDE discovered that counterfeit cards from the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG were being sold in Toys “R” Us stores by a sub-distributor for Upper Deck. KDE filed suit, and the sub-distributor told KDE that the counterfeit cards were supplied by
The judge ruled that Upper Deck violated trademark, copyright, and unfair competition laws by counterfeiting Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG cards.
In a separate announcement, Upper Deck announced that it has come to a successful resolution with Konami over the year-long dispute regarding Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards. On the eve
of trial, the court issued several rulings in Upper Deck’s favor, according to Upper Deck, which eliminated and gravely threatened many of Konami’s monetary claims requests. These rulings sent Konami and its attorneys into retreat as Konami’s case was disintegrating, says a statement
from Upper Deck. These events, and these events alone, provided the framework for the case to be resolved after opening statements were presented to the jury.
Upper Deck had a long history with Yu-Gi-Oh! and says it is proud to have been such a vital part of the brand’s success in North America and Europe over the past six years. By creating a
top notch organized play program and spending tens of millions of dollars on marketing and television broadcast, Upper Deck, said in a statement that it built a solid foundation on which
Yu-Gi-Oh! will benefit from for years to come.
TimetoPlayMag.com and New York Comic Con Form PartnershippThis week we are the news! Organizers of New York Comic Con (NYCC) have announced a partnership with TimetoPlayMag.com, which will significantly enhance the presence of toys and toy manufacturers at NYCC, as well as build on massive entertainment and programming opportunities devoted to kids and their parents. TimetoPlayMag.com, which is part of aNb
Media, is a popular destination website providing information, entertainment, and services on what’s fun for children and families. It will be a sponsor of a major new toy pavilion. NYCC organizers are scheduled to launch the pavilion this fall. TimetoPlayMag.com will also work closely with NYCC organizers to promote the convention’s popular Kids’ Day, which takes place on the last day of the show (Sunday), and attracted 6,000 kids in 2009. New York Comic Con will take place October 8-10, 2010, in New York City’s Jacob Javits Convention Center.
“We embrace every aspect of pop culture at New York Comic Con, and toys are a huge part of that culture,” says Lance Fensterman, VP of the Reed Pop Culture Group and show manager for NYCC. “Our fall date for NYCC means that we come just before the holiday selling season and so we want to provide our fans the opportunity to see, touch, and feel the latest in toys.
TimetoPlay.com is the perfect partner for us.”
“Toys have always been a hit with the attendees at New York Comic Con and through our partnership with The Pop Culture Group we look forward to increasing the toy industry’s presence
at one of New York City’s biggest events,” says Jim Silver, editor in chief, TimetoPlayMag.com.
Toy companies interested in participating in the new toy pavilion, please contact Larry Settembrini, (203) 840-5321 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hasbro Reports Q4 and 2009 Results
Hasbro reported its 2009 fourth quarter and full-year results. For the fourth quarter 2009, the company reported net revenues of $1.38 billion, an increase of $144.1 million or 12 percent, compared to $1.23 billion a year ago. The 2009 fourth quarter revenues grew seven percent excluding a $55.4 million positive impact of foreign exchange. The company reported net earnings for the quarter of $165.6 million or $1.09 per diluted share, an increase of $72 million or 77 percent compared to $93.6 million or 62 cents per diluted share in 2008.
For the full year 2009, the company reported revenues of $4.07 billion, an increase of $46.4 million or one percent, compared to $4.02 billion a year ago. The 2009 revenues grew three
percent excluding a $65.2 million negative impact of foreign exchange. Net earnings for the full year were $374.9 million, or $2.48 per diluted share, an increase of $68.1 million or 22 percent from $306.8 million or $2.00 per diluted share in 2008.
Highlights for the full-year include:
- Boys’ product category grew nine percent, to $1.47 billion
- Games and puzzles category increased slightly to $1.34 billion
- The girls’ category declined 5 percent to $790.8 million
- The preschool category was down one percent to $451.4 million
- U.S. and Canada segment net revenues were $2.45 billion, an increase of $41.2 million or two percent compared to $2.41 billion in 2008. The U.S. and Canada segment reported an operating profit of $380.6 million compared to $283.2 million in 2008.
- International segment revenues were $1.46 billion, a decrease of $39.9 million or three percent, compared to $1.50 billion in 2008.
- Entertainment and licensing segment net revenues were $155 million, an increase of $47.1 million or 44 percent compared to $107.9 million in 2008. This segment reported an operating profit of $65.6 million compared to $51 million in 2008.