Toysmith Named an Exclusive Distributor for Spin Master
Spin Master has signed an exclusive multi-year agreement with Toysmith to distribute Spin Master’s products throughout Toysmith’s network of specialty toy, gift, and game customers across the U.S.
This new distribution partnership will involve an extensive assortment of Spin Master brands, including Zoomer, Erector, Hatchimals, Air Hogs, and PAW Patrol as well as games and puzzles produced by the company’s Cardinal Games brand. The new, exclusive partnership is slated to begin in June 2018.
KidSource Named North American Distributor for Viking, Quercetti, and Mojo
KidSource Products, a new specialty toy wholesale distribution company headed by toy industry veteran Beau James, has been named the exclusive North American distributor of Viking, Quercetti, and Mojo toy brands.
Operating under the KidSource umbrella, new products from all three toy lines will be on display at this year’s North American International Toy Fair in New York.
LEGO Video Games Publisher TT Games Opens New Mobile Games Studio
TT Games, the makers of the LEGO videogame franchise published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, announced the opening of TT Games Brighton, a new UK-based development studio focused on creating new LEGO games designed specifically for mobile platforms. Jason Avent, founder and former head of Boss Alien, will serve as the Head of Studio for TT Games Brighton.
Chinese Company Meisheng Seeks to Acquire Majority Shares in Jakks Pacific
Jakks Pacific received a non-binding proposal from Hong Kong Meisheng Cultural Company Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Meisheng Cultural and Creative Corp., expressing Meisheng’s interest in acquiring additional shares of Jakks common stock for $2.95 per share. Upon completion of the transaction, Meisheng’s shareholdings and voting rights would increase to 51 percent.
The proposal states that it is subject to due diligence, and that Meisheng intends to fund the transaction through a combination of existing cash on hand and/or other financing sources to the extent required for the restructuring or refinancing of Jakks’ outstanding senior convertible senior notes.
The Expression of Interest also states that the transaction is subject to approval by Meisheng’s Board of Directors, shareholders, and Chinese regulatory authorities.
Hong Kong Meisheng currently owns just over 5.2 million shares of Jakks’ common stock constituting 18 percent of Jakks Pacific’s issued and outstanding shares of common stock.
The Board of Directors of JAKKS Pacific has authorized a Special Committee comprised solely of independent directors to evaluate the Expression of Interest. The Special Committee intends to engage independent legal counsel and an independent financial advisor to assist in its evaluation of the Expression of Interest.
ASTRA Announces Toy Fair Programs for Independent Retailers
The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) will sponsor a package of programs at Toy Fair 2018 to help independent retailers maximize the use of their time in New York for product sourcing, learning, and networking. The programs include the Celebrate Independents reception, Share the Fair, and a Independent Thinking educational session.
The Celebrate Independents reception will take place on Saturday, February 17, 2018 from 5:30–7 p.m. in Javits Convention Center Hall 1E Room 1E6. The evening will include takeaways such as the low down on curated products available only to independent retailers, and ways to promote these products using child development language from ASTRA’s Certified Play Experts.
Share the Fair, an ASTRA member event at Toy Fair, will take place Monday, February 19, 2018 from 8 AM to 9:30 AM in Javits Convention Center Hall 1E Room 1E11. The event brings ASTRA retailers together on the third day of Toy Fair—in the morning—to share information about products they have seen on the exhibit floor.
The Independent Thinking program, 60 Innovative Marketing Ideas in 60 Minutes, presented by Patricia Norins, CEO of Marketing Lemonade, will take place Monday, February 19, 2018 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. in Javits Convention Center Level 1Hall 1E Room 1E11. This fast-paced session will provide 60 proven digital and traditional marketing ideas for increasing sales in independent toy stores.
LIMA to Induct Elias Fasja-Cohen, Brian Goldner into Licensing Hall of Fame
Elias Fasja-Cohen and Brian Goldner are the 2018 inductees to the LIMA Licensing Hall of Fame. This year’s Hall of Fame Induction will take place Tuesday, May 22, at the LIMA Licensing Awards Ceremony during Licensing Expo 2018 in Las Vegas.
Fasja-Cohen is CEO and founder of Tycoon Enterprises, a leading licensing agency in Latin America for nearly 28 years. His career began in 1977, working first as a licensee for French brand Cacharel and later with Perry Ellis, establishing the first shop-in-shops in major Mexican retailers. In 1990, Fasja-Cohen co-founded Tycoon Enterprises, professionalizing the licensing business in Mexico and opening the doors of the Mexican market to major licensors, including 20th Century Fox, Cartoon Network, Major League Baseball, Mattel, National Football League, and Nickelodeon, among others. Under his leadership, Tycoon extended its structure to offer licensors consistent and simplified service throughout Latin America, operating directly in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Brazil.
Tycoon, in collaboration with Valor Agregado en Exposiciones, launched the first edition of Expo Licencias y Marcas in 2007. In 2009, Fasja-Cohen was a key driver behind the founding PROMARCA, the Mexican Association of Licensing, which became the Mexico chapter of LIMA in 2016.
As chairman and CEO of Hasbro, Goldner is responsible for bringing the company’s iconic brands to life across its strategic brand blueprint, through toy and game innovation, immersive entertainment experiences, digital gaming and consumer products. Since joining Hasbro in 2000 and taking on the role of CEO in 2008, Goldner has been instrumental in transforming Hasbro from a traditional toy and game company to a global play and entertainment leader. In 2016, Hasbro passed the $5 billion revenue mark for the first time in company history.
Goldner pioneered Hasbro’s entry into entertainment and oversees the company’s omni-channel storytelling. He has served as an executive producer on a number of films based on Hasbro brands, including Transformers films and the 2017 animated feature My Little Pony: The Movie. Under his leadership, Hasbro continues to expand the way it brings brands to life through high-end fashion collaborations, location-based entertainment, music, publishing, and consumer products.