Disney XD Acquires LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales
The LEGO Group announced that Disney XD has acquired LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales for airing later this year. The animated content series consists of five 22-minute episodes that retell the Star Wars saga in chronological order from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace up through Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Disney XD is currently home to the animated series Star Wars Rebels.
Droid Tales is a retelling of the Star Wars universe through the eyes of C-3P0 and R2-D2. The series offers all of the playful humor that viewers expect from LEGO Star Wars. Information on airdates for each episode is not yet available.
Smurfs Signs Jakks
Jakks Pacific, Inc., announced that it has secured a licensing agreement with LAFIG and Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP) to produce toys and related products based on the Smurfs franchise including the classic Smurfs brand and the upcoming Smurfs feature film premiering in August 2016. The worldwide, master toy agreement includes rights to produce figures, playsets, plush, and more. The new line from Jakks will be available at retailers nationwide this fall.
New Bob the Builder Series to Air on Televisa
HIT Entertainment, a subsidiary of Mattel, and Mexico’s Televisa announced that the re-imagined Bob the Builder television series will debut as part of the network’s preschool programming lineup later this year. The launch of the series on Televisa will expand HIT Entertainment’s partnership with the network, which already airs HIT/Mattel’s Thomas & Friends.
Bob the Builder’s contemporary new image is produced by HIT Entertainment with animation services provided by Mainframe. The new CG-animated series will introduce new relatable locations, new construction projects, and aspirational heroes, including Bob himself as well as an expanded role for Wendy as the team’s electrical engineer. There will also be the introduction of Bob’s new young, tech-savvy apprentice, Leo. All of the show’s core machine characters return for the new series, including popular vehicles Lofty, Muck, and Scoop.
Iconix Brand Group Reports Q4, 2014 Results
The Iconix Brand Group, Inc., announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2014. Total revenue for the full year 2014 was approximately $461.2 million, a 7 percent increase as compared to approximately $432.6 million for the prior year. Licensing revenue for 2014 was approximately $406.9 million, a 2 percent increase as compared to approximately $398 million in the prior year. Other revenue for 2014 was approximately $54.3 million, a 57 percent increase as compared to approximately $34.6 million in the prior year. On a non-GAAP basis, net income attributable to Iconix for 2014 was approximately $145.5 million, a 2 percent increase as compared to approximately $142.2 million in the prior year, and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share was approximately $2.78 for 2014, a 16 percent increase versus $2.39 for the prior year. GAAP net income attributable to Iconix for 2014 was approximately $152.7 million, a 19 percent increase as compared to $128 million in the prior year, and GAAP diluted EPS for 2014 increased 26 percent to $2.66 as compared to $2.11 in the prior year. EBITDA attributable to Iconix for 2014 was approximately $263.8 million, as compared to approximately $262.9 million in the prior year. Free cash flow attributable to Iconix was approximately $174.3 million for 2014, a 26 percent decrease as compared to approximately $235.5 million in the prior year. In connection with the formation of joint ventures and sale of certain trademarks the company generated approximately $51.2 million of notes receivable in 2014 as compared to approximately $15.8 million in 2013.
Q4 2014 Results
Total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2014 was approximately $112.4 million, a 7 percent increase as compared to approximately $105.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. Licensing revenue increased 16 percent to approximately $102.2 million as compared to approximately $88.3 million in the prior-year quarter. Other revenue was $10.3 million in the fourth quarter compared to $17 million in the prior-year quarter. On a non-GAAP basis, net income attributable to Iconix was $28.3 million, a 6 percent decrease as compared to the prior-year quarter of approximately $30.2 million. Non-GAAP diluted EPS for the fourth quarter of 2014 increased 4 percent to $0.56 as compared to $0.54 in the prior-year quarter. GAAP net income attributable to Iconix for the fourth quarter of 2014 was approximately $23.9 million, a 9 percent decrease as compared to $26.1 million in the prior-year quarter, and GAAP diluted EPS for the fourth quarter of 2014 was $0.44, as compared to $0.44 in the prior year quarter. EBITDA attributable to Iconix for the fourth quarter was approximately $50.4 million, a 16 percent decrease as compared to approximately $60.1 million in the prior year quarter. Free cash flow attributable to Iconix for the fourth quarter was approximately $46.3 million, a 19 percent decrease as compared to the prior-year quarter of approximately $57.4 million.
“We are pleased with our performance in 2014 and are enthusiastic about our growing global brand management platform, which today includes a diversified portfolio of over 35 brands across women’s, men’s, home, and entertainment,” said Neil Cole, chairman and CEO of Iconix Brand Group, Inc. “In 2015, we expect to achieve strong top and bottom line growth driven by steady expansion in our domestic licensing business, rapid growth in our international business both inside our joint ventures and across the territories that we control, the excitement surrounding our upcoming Peanuts movie and the benefits of our recently announced Strawberry Shortcake and PONY transactions.”
• Raising 2015 revenue guidance to $490–$510 million from $485–$500 million
• Raising 2015 non-GAAP diluted EPS guidance to $3–$3.15 from $2.90–$3.10
• Raising 2015 GAAP diluted EPS guidance to $3.06–$3.20 from $2.82–$3
• Establishing new 2015 free cash flow calculation and guidance of $208–$218 million
Iconix says this guidance relates to the company’s existing portfolio of brands, and includes Iconix’s recently announced PONY and Strawberry Shortcake transactions, but does not include any additional acquisitions.
Independent Retailers Performed Well this Holiday Season
Locally owned stores performed well this holiday season, according to the annual post-holiday survey by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA). The survey gathered data from over 3,000 locally owned businesses. It was conducted by the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR) in partnership with the Advocates for Independent Business (AIB), of which ASTRA is a founding member. Among independent retailers, which comprised about half the sample, revenue increased overall by 5.1 percent in 2014, versus 2.3 percent in 2013. Holiday sales at specialty stores grew by an average of 4.8 percent, coming in well ahead of the 0.9 percent decline in December retail sales reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Despite the gains in sales, nearly three-quarters of the local retailers surveyed said that the fact that many online retailers are not required to collect sales tax had negatively impacted their sales, with 39 percent describing the level of impact as significant. The survey also found that difficulty accessing credit continues to be a major barrier for new and growing small businesses. Of those seeking a loan in the last two years, 30 percent said they had been unable to obtain one. Over 44 percent of minority-owned businesses seeking financing and 35 percent of those owned by women failed to secure a lender, according to ASTRA’s survey.
WBCP Partners with Art of the Brick Artist for Tour
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), on behalf of DC Entertainment, announced a collaboration with The Art of the Brick to create a contemporary art exhibition featuring large-scale sculptures, inspired by DC Comics Super Heroes and Super Villains and made entirely out of LEGO bricks. The new exhibition, The Art of the Brick: DC Comics, created by artist, Nathan Sawaya, will feature Sawaya’s take on the characters and stories from DC Comics’ 80-year history.
The Art of the Brick: DC Comics will tour worldwide beginning fall 2015. Dates and cities of the tour have not yet been announced.
Trending on TTPM: Educational Toys
TTPM is showcasing what’s trending in each specific product category. Today it’s Educational Toys. This trending list is determined by consumers. It’s the number of page views for that item in the previous 30 days and is updated every 24 hours.