aNb Media News, November 13, 2018

Goliath Acquires Vivid Toy Group

Goliath has acquired Vivid Toy Group from Privet Capital for an undisclosed sum.

goliath-vividVivid is one of Europe’s leading independent branded toy and games companies, distributing, licensing, designing, manufacturing and selling a combination of in-house developed toy and games IP and third-party licenses. The company has distributed critical partner brands in more than 60 markets worldwide to retailers such as Amazon, Argos, Auchan, Carrefour, Mueller, Smyths, Target, Tesco, The Entertainer, and Walmart. The company is headquartered in the UK (Guildford), and has additional sales and marketing operations in France (Paris) and Germany (Frankfurt), as well as operations in China (Hong Kong). Vivid’s core product lines are toys, games, and arts & crafts.

Vivid is best known in the industry for EMEA distribution of the iconic Crayola brand and association with blockbuster brands over the years such as AniMagic, Moshi Monsters, Thunderbirds, Bratz Dolls, Nella The Princess Knight, and more. The company recently announced a major partnership with Corus Nelvana as part of its pipeline into 2019 and beyond.

“The acquisition of Vivid by Goliath represents a bold new chapter in our company’s story,” says Tony Hicks, chief executive of Vivid Toy Group. “With Goliath’s backing, we are well supported to build a world-leading portfolio that will continue to strengthen the company’s excellent long-standing customer relationships with the world’s leading retailers.”

“We are extremely pleased to have acquired Vivid, which we believe has significant growth potential. With a long history of working together, we know the Vivid team well,” says Adi Golad, chairman and founder of Goliath. “They are a highly professional, world class business spanning toys, arts & crafts, and games with an impressive track record of ‘end-to-end’ excellence in each of its core functions, from procurement and product design to marketing and sales by its unrivaled distribution network and retail relationships in the UK and broad network worldwide. We welcome our new colleagues to the Goliath family and look forward to building a great business together.”

Kids II Creates New Design, Development Strategy for Licensing Partners

Kids II announced that it’s taking its licensing partnerships to a deeper level to create products that offer a more authentic consumer experience with brands such as Sesame Street, Ford, and Disney.

Kids II has adopted a product design and development approach that synthesizes the license partner’s brand story, voice, and insights with Kids II’s category expertise, design team, and ecosystem partners to create products. An example of this approach is Kids II’s upcoming line of baby toys and gear featuring the beloved Sesame Street characters.

To develop these new products, the Kids II team immersed themselves in the Sesame Street brand, utilizing creative, curricular, and marketing insights to create a unique voice for the new Bright Starts line. The line will focus on the infant to toddler category and include nursery products, baby and wooden toys, bouncers, walkers, and door jumpers. Kids II unveiled concepts for this new Bright Starts product line at the Kind + Jugend trade fair in Cologne, Germany in late September.

In conjunction with Sesame Street’s anniversary theme, “This is My Street,” Bright Starts is connecting back to the nostalgic Sesame Street parent with the theme “One street. A world of possibilities.” The line, featuring one of the world’s most celebrated childhood brands, is expected to roll out to retailers in the third quarter of 2019.

Both Kids II and Sesame Street are approaching 50-years of entertaining and engaging children.

Kids II brought the power of the Ford F-150 to playtime in 2017 with the Bright Starts 3 Ways to Play Walker and is proud to bring Ford’s ingenuity to an expanded line of Ford-themed Bright Starts products in 2019. A longtime licensing partner with Disney through its Disney Baby line, Kids II and Disney have adopted this new approach, which will be evident in new Bright Starts products around the Toy Story franchise coming 2019.

New Hot Wheels Monster Truck Tour to Roll into U.S. Cities in 2019

Raycom-Legacy Content Company and Mattel will launch Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live, a new nationwide tour that will create an immersive experience for Monster Truck fans. This new live entertainment tour will visit arenas and stadiums throughout the U.S. beginning in January 2019.

Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live will combine Hot Wheels’ jumps and stunts with crashing and smashing to deliver a family entertainment experience for kids of all ages. Each show will also feature specialty acts such as superstars of freestyle motocross, world record attempts, and Megasaurus—the massive, car-eating, fire-breathing prehistoric robot—as it makes its Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live debut.
Each event will feature affordable ticket prices, the Crash Zone Pre-Show Party with Monster Truck photo opportunities, driver meet-and-greets, VIP autograph sessions, and other prizes and promotions.
The first stop of the tour will be January 5-6 at the new Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg, Texas, and the tour will travel to more than 20 cities in its inaugural year. Scheduled stops include Cleveland, Memphis, Louisville and Norfolk, Va., among others.

Visit for additional tour dates and venues.

Jay@Play, Immplay Named CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree

Immplay and Jay@Play have been named CES® 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree for its interactive plush toy, Snow Shine. The announcement was made during CES Unveiled New York.

Snow Shine is a companion toy that interacts with multiple inputs such as Spotify, YouTube, Alexa and more. In addition, Snow engages young learners and their families with original songs, stories, and games to help establish daily routines, healthy habits, preschool learning, and effective bedtime practices. Snow also comes with different interactive accessories, such as clothes, toys, books, and apps.

Snow Shine does not connect directly to the internet, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth and cannot collect any
information. Snow Shine responds and connects only through sound.

Over 10 years in the making, Immplay’s Snow Shine is based on proprietary tech that founders Marco Carvalho and Ivan Zorn have been developing in China, Brazil, and
Silicon Valley. Snow was developed through extensive collaboration between Carvalho and Zorn and former talent and executives from such global companies as Universal, Disney, Nickelodeon, and Warner Bros. Additionally, Immplay partnered with research teams at Harvard University and the entrepreneurial organization, Endeavor, to ensure a high standard of tech, content, and learning.

Earlier versions of Snow were awarded the 2015 Toy of the Year in France and the Snow & Stella app was one of the most downloaded upon its release. Now, with Jay@Play, Snow Shine will be brought to market through an exclusive licensing agreement. Jay@Play is the master toy licensee for Snow Shine and its line of accessories, learning, and play products.

Santa Claus is Coming to Magformers at ChiTAG

Santa Claus will be at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) this year at the Magformers booth No. 501, November 17–18. Children of all ages are welcome to meet and greet Santa inside a toy workshop built from Magformers. Additionally, kids are encouraged to stop by, take a picture with Santa, and partake in a variety of holiday-related activities. ChiTAG begins this week at Navy Pier in Chicago.

Amazon Names Long Island City, NY and Arlington, VA as New HQs

Amazon has selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the locations for the company’s new headquarters. Amazon will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington. The new locations will join Seattle as the company’s three headquarters in North America. In addition, Amazon has selected Nashville for a new Center of Excellence for its Operations business, which is responsible for the company’s customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities. The Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville will create more than 5,000 jobs.

The new Washington, D.C. metro headquarters in Arlington will be located in National Landing, and the New York City headquarters will be located in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens. Amazon’s investments in each new headquarters will spur the creation of tens of thousands of additional jobs in the surrounding communities. Hiring at both the new headquarters will begin in 2019. The Operations Center of Excellence will be located in downtown Nashville as part of a new development site just north of the Gulch, and hiring will also begin in 2019.

Amazon in Long Island City in New York City

Located just across the East River from Midtown Manhattan and the Upper East Side, Long Island City is a mixed-use community where arts and industry intersect. Long Island City offers eight subway lines, 13 bus lines, commuter rail, a bike-sharing service, and ferries serving the area, with LaGuardia and JFK airports in close proximity.

As part of Amazon’s new headquarters, New York and Long Island City will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time high-paying jobs; approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment; 4 million square feet of energy-efficient office space with an opportunity to expand to 8 million square feet; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $10 billion over the next 20 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of $1.525 billion based on the company creating 25,000 jobs in Long Island City. This includes a refundable tax credit through New York State’s Excelsior Program of up to $1.2 billion calculated as a percentage of the salaries Amazon expects to pay employees over the next 10 years, which equates to $48,000 per job for 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000; and a cash grant from Empire State Development of $325 million based on the square footage of buildings occupied in the next 10 years. Amazon will receive these incentives over the next decade based on the incremental jobs it creates each year and as it reaches building occupancy targets. The company will separately apply for as-of-right incentives including New York City’s Industrial & Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) and New York City’s Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP).

The community will benefit from New York City providing funding through a Payment In Lieu Of Tax (PILOT) program based on Amazon’s property taxes on a portion of the development site to fund community infrastructure improvements developed through input from residents during the planning process. Amazon has agreed to donate space on its campus for a tech startup incubator and for use by artists and industrial businesses, and Amazon will donate a site for a new primary or intermediary public school. The company will also invest in infrastructure improvements and new green spaces.

Amazon in National Landing in Arlington, Virginia

National Landing is an urban community in Northern Virginia located less than three miles from downtown Washington, D.C. The area is served by three Metro stations, commuter rail access, and Reagan National Airport—all within walking distance. The community has a variety of hotels, restaurants, high-rise apartment buildings, retail, and commercial offices. National Landing has abundant parks and open space with sports and cultural events for residents of all ages throughout the year.

As part of Amazon’s new headquarters, Virginia and Arlington will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time high-paying jobs; approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment; 4 million square feet of energy-efficient office space with the opportunity to expand to 8 million square feet; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of $3.2 billion over the next 20 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of $573 million based on the company creating 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Arlington. This includes a workforce cash grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia of up to $550 million based on $22,000 for each job created over the next 12 years. Amazon will only receive this incentive if it creates the forecasted high-paying jobs. The company will also receive a cash grant from Arlington of $23 million over 15 years based on the incremental growth of the existing local Transient Occupancy Tax, a tax on hotel rooms.

The community and Amazon employees will benefit from the Commonwealth investing $195 million in infrastructure in the neighborhood, including improvements to the Crystal City and the Potomac Yards Metro stations; a pedestrian bridge connecting National Landing and Reagan National Airport; and work to improve safety, accessibility, and the pedestrian experience crossing Route 1 over the next 10 years. Arlington will also dedicate an estimated $28 million based on 12% of future property tax revenues earned from an existing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district for on-site infrastructure and open space in National Landing.

Amazon’s New Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville

Downtown Nashville, along the Cumberland River, is the heart of the city just north of the Gulch and is home to urban living, retail, restaurants, entertainment venues, hospitality, open green spaces, and offices. The area is served by commuter rail, more than a dozen bus routes, and is a 15-minute drive to Nashville International Airport.

As part of Amazon’s investment, Tennessee, Davidson County and the city of Nashville will benefit from 5,000 full-time, high-paying jobs; more than $230 million in investment; 1 million square feet of energy-efficient office space; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $1 billion over the next 10 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of up to $102 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Nashville. This includes a cash grant for capital expenditures from the state of Tennessee of $65 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs over the next 7 years, which is equivalent to $13,000 per job; a cash grant from the city of Nashville of up to $15 million based on $500 for each job created over the next seven years; and a job tax credit to offset franchise and excise taxes from the state of Tennessee of $21.7 million based on $4,500 per new job over the next seven years.