aNb Media’s office is located in New York City. Needless to say, we are off-schedule this week due to Hurricane Sandy. The aNb Media staff is ok as is our New York City office. However, it will be a challenge for many of us to reach the office in the next few days. We hope to be working at full capacity by the end of this week or early next week, whether in the office or from our homes.
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This week’s headlines are posted below. You will not be able to click through to our website. If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We thank you for your patience as we wait for full power to be restored.
Disney Acquires Lucasfilm
The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Disney issued a statement reporting that Lucasfilm is 100 percent owned by Lucasfilm chairman and founder, George Lucas.
Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments, according to a statement issued by Disney.
Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies.
Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.
Kathleen Kennedy, current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become president of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally, she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise into the future.
Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box office to date.
GameStop Opens GameStop Kids Locations
GameStop Corp. announced its new store concept targeting kids. The chain will begin the roll out of approximately 80 GameStop Kids holiday store locations in select malls throughout the U.S.
GameStop Kids stores will feature an assortment of this season’s most sought after video games and accessories, video game licensed products, popular toy brands, and collectibles such as Skylanders’ GameStop exclusive the Golden Dragonfire Cannon Battlepack, additional characters, throws, backpacks, carriers, and displays. Some of the items include:
• Angry Birds plush with sound effects, splat balls, mash’ems launcher pack, backpack clips, mugs, Angry Birds Star Wars plush
• LEGO’s Lord of the Rings, Stars Wars, Marvel, and Harry Potter building sets
• The Star Wars brand will feature two-foot plush talking Chewbacca, key chains, phone cases, banks, and more
• Minecraft’s Minecreeper head, LEGO Minecraft Microworld, and foam pick axe
The first GameStop Kids location opened last week at the Grapevine Mills Mall in Grapevine, Texas, with numerous locations opening in the coming days and weeks.
Customers not in close proximity to a GameStop Kids, can visit any U.S. GameStop store and place an order for thousands of items complete with free shipping. There is also an option to shop online. For a complete list of locations, visit www.GameStop.com/Kids.
MGA Announces Q3 Results
MGA Entertainment announced that it has posted 41 percent dollar growth in Q3 2012 versus a year-ago, according to a statement released by MGA, which quotes The NPD Group with providing these results. Within the U.S., MGA says that retailers continue to see growth with the Lalaloopsy doll brand. Also, this summer, MGA debuted Bratzillaz and Novi Stars, which the company says are providing growth.
Outside of girls’ toys, broader support for Little Tikes helped drive sales. Little Tikes Pillow Racers and iTikes are among key items for this holiday season.
“MGA is a much stronger company than we were a year ago,” said Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment in a statement. “Our focus is on establishing MGA as the most innovative company in the industry and providing children with joy and excitement with our toys. We look forward to continued exceptional growth as we move into the holidays.”