Tucker Toys Enters Distribution Agreement with Swimways
Tucker Toys entered an exclusive distribution deal with Swimways, to become the exclusive distributor in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Italy for some of Tucker Toys’ top-selling brands, including Phlat Ball, Zoingo Boingo Pogo, Disc Jock-e, Kite-A-Pult, and E-Z Grip Flag Football.
The deal took effect January 1.
Funko Gives Summoners War the Pop! Treatment
Com2us entered into a licensing agreement with Funko to create a new line of Summoners War collectibles featuring the Pop! Vinyl style in addition to apparel, accessories, and a range of digital products.
Under the agreement, Funko will reimagine the Summoners War universe and its characters by integrating the design aesthetics of its bestselling Pop! lineup of collectible figures. This agreement also includes the design and manufacturing of apparel and accessories as well as digital products, such as emojis (still and animated); digital cards; and Pop! Yourself, Funko’s 2-D/3-D custom avatar offering. Funko will sell the product line across its online channels and mobile app, as well as through third-party platforms.
Wildbrain Named Exclusive Brand Manager for BRB’s Kids YouTube Catalog
WildBrain was appointed the exclusive global manager of BRB Internacional’s catalog of kids’ content on YouTube. BRB is one of Spain’s leading producers, distributors, and licensors of kids’ content, recognized globally for classics such as Dogtanian and Willy Fog and flagship brands Bernard and TEO.
The deal, which took effect January 1, added BRB’s more than 30 brands to WildBrain’s existing network featuring 600 kids’ entertainment brands. WildBrain will use its technology and data-rich analytics to ensure an optimal digital strategy that maximizes engagement in BRB’s brands on YouTube. The agreement further reinforces BRB’s strategy to grow its online presence and audience on YouTube.
BRB’s content generated 45 million views and 115 million minutes of watch time in December 2017 on YouTube. Among the programs added under the agreement are Bernard, a series that chronicles the comical adventures of a hairless polar bear who travels the world without knowing any rules, and TEO, an animated series based on the famous preschool books, Teo Discovers the World. From September to December 2017, Bernard generated more than 143 million minutes of watch time, while TEO currently boasts 100,000 channel subscribers.
LEGO Group Expands Jurassic World Partnership
Universal Brand Development and the LEGO Group announced the launch of its largest Jurassic World partnership to date, offering an expanded line of construction sets, all-new animated content, and, for the first time, a lifestyle collection.
In anticipation of the upcoming global theatrical release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in June, LEGO will globally launch 13 new construction sets that span every LEGO age category as well as two new animated videos, and a collection of soft lines and publishing to reach audiences beyond the toy aisle.
Sets include the LEGO Blue’s Helicopter Pursuit (ages 6 and up), LEGO Juniors T. rex Breakout (ages 4–7), LEGO DUPLO T. rex Tower (ages 2–4), plus LEGO BrickHeadz, available this spring only at Walmart. The sets will hit shelves in April, with retailer exclusives at both Toys “R” Us and Walmart. Soft lines and publishing will launch later this year. More sets and information will be unveiled at New York Toy Fair next month.
Disney, ‘Her Universe’ Reach New Deal
Disney announced an expanded collaboration with ‘Her Universe’ and the company’s founder, Ashley Eckstein, that brings new Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel merchandise lines and a new book to a broader set of fans and consumers.
The 360 deal between Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI) and ‘Her Universe’ expands beyond the existing licensed lines of Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars apparel, accessories, and home goods and opens up new categories including a new, heroic character-inspired athleisure line for kids and tweens called ‘Our Universe’. Featuring activewear, swimwear, footwear and accessories, ‘Our Universe’ is now available exclusively online at shopDisney.com and in-store at all Disney store locations. The first wave of the collection is inspired by Marvel Entertainment’s Black Panther and Disney Princess, with a Star Wars line coming soon for kids, tweens, and adults. Pieces include leggings, sweatpants, zip-up hoodies, and headbands.
Beyond apparel, the expanded deal includes an inspirational book, It’s Your Universe: You Have the Power to Make It Happen, authored by Eckstein coming from Disney Book Group in May.
Mattel, Nickelodeon Form Expanded Partnership for ‘Thomas & Friends’
Mattel and Nickelodeon announced a new U.S. television and consumer products partnership for Thomas & Friends. The partnership will include the launch of brand-new seasons of Thomas & Friends on the Nick Jr. channel, as well as additional specials that will air on Nickelodeon throughout the year. Nickelodeon will also become Mattel’s exclusive U.S. consumer products agent for Thomas & Friends across multiple merchandise categories including apparel, accessories, home goods, consumer electronics, and more.
The new season (season 21, 11 half-hour episodes) of Thomas & Friends will debut weekdays in March on the Nick Jr. channel. Full-length episodes and short-form content will also be available on NickJr.com and the Nick Jr. App. In addition, movie specials will air on Nickelodeon throughout the year, including the world premiere of Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie. The movie includes newly revamped content that will appear in season 22 of the franchise, premiering this fall.
Several aspects of the show have also evolved to appeal to contemporary viewers, including: an all-new format series, faster-paced plots, increase in humor, and more action and adventure-based storylines with several new fantasy and musical elements. For the first time ever, Thomas will also be breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly to the viewer.