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UNO Celebrates A Half Century of Fun and Games

UNO Launches Yearlong Lineup of Products, Partnerships and Celebratory Events to Commemorate 50th Anniversary Mattel is launching a full year of new products, partnerships and events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Uno. Uno was originally developed in 1971 by Merle Robbins of Reading, Ohio, who played it with family and friends. As it became more popular in the Cincinnati suburbs, Robbins invested $8,000 to have 5,000 copies the game produced, which he originally sold at his barbershop. Later some local businesses began to sell it as well, and then Robins sold the rights to a group of friends headed by a local funeral director for $50,000 plus a 10 cent royalty payment per pack of cards. The funeral director, Robert Tezak, formed International Games to market Uno from the… . . . read more

Kangaru Lands a Sweet Deal with Perfetti van Melle

Kangaru, a producer of scented stationery and activities, and candy maker Perfetti van Melle are enjoying the sweet smell of success through their new licensing program. Development is now underway as Kangaru Brands expands its merchandise offerings for 2021-2022 with its first licenses from Perfetti van Melle.  Kangaru will offer innovative bright and colorful scented stationery and art materials for three of Perfetti’s top brands in the U.S., including Chupa Chups, Mentos and Airheads. Kangaru is one of the fastest growing toy and stationery companies in the world. Kangaru develops, manufactures and markets creative branded products for kids through adults in 80 countries internationally.  They specialize in product categories which include both scented and non-scented Stationery items, Arts & Crafts, Science & Activity Kits, Creative Coloring & Books, Toys, Plush… . . . read more

Garbage Pail Kids Face Off With Madballs

Cloudco Entertainment, owner of the venerable-but-irreverent Madballs™ brand, and The Topps Company, owner of the renowned-yet-subversive Garbage Pail Kids® brand (“GPK”), have teamed up for a collaboration that playfully pits classic 1980s icons and “co-heavyweights of gross” against one another. The collaboration will feature all-new 1980s inspired artwork from veteran Madballs and GPK illustrators and kick off with a number of consumer goods partners, including trading cards, collector toys, soft lines, collectible augmented reality pins, and more. As an original “gross out” brand of the 1980s, Topps released its Garbage Pail Kids series of trading cards in 1985, featuring hilariously revolting characters with appropriately irreverent names. Fifteen different card series were produced over the next three years in addition to a Garbage Pail Kids animated series and a full slate… . . . read more

Boat Rocker Hires New Director of Licensing

Boat Rocker Media has appointed Denise Gomez to the newly created role of director of licensing for its Boat Rocker Studios division in the Americas. Gomez formerly worked with WarnerMedia, where she spent 14 years at  Cartoon Network in a variety of roles, most recently as senior director of licensing. In her new position with Boat Rocker, Gomez will manage licensing & promotions across all genres with a heavy focus on its kids and family brands in the US, Canada, and Latin America. The move comes as Boat Rocker’s new Dino Ranch program is headed to Disney Junior and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) this month, and has recently signed toy and publishing deals with Jazwares and Scholastic, respectively. Other titles Gomez will be focusing on include Kingdom Force, Remy and… . . . read more

Among Us Video Game Creators Choose Toikido As Toy Partner

The studios behind the trending video game Among Us have chosen the newly formed British toymaker Toikido as their global master toy partner for a line of collectibles, action figures, plush toys, play sets and more. Among Us has become one of the world’s most popular games since it was first released in June 2018 by InnerSloth and Dual Wield Studios. The game makers say its popularity really exploded during the pandemic in 2020, when it became the most downloaded game in the world. The free multi-player game can be played on multiple platforms, including smartphones, tablets and PCs. Like many games that hit the big time, the popularity of Among Us soared after some of the top gamers on Twitch started to play and live stream the game to millions of… . . . read more

WarnerMedia Shuffles Roles in Co-Pro and Acquisitions

British kid’s programming publication Kidscreen  has confirmed that VP of kids programming and content strategy Cecilia Persson has left WarnerMedia EMEA, and Zia Bales (pictured) has been promoted. Prior to her departure last month, Persson managed and led programming strategy across EMEA for kids linear and digital platforms including Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Cartoonito and Boing. Persson also supervised and negotiated shared acquisitions internationally for those same channels, as well as Toonix and the children’s programming areas of HBO Europe. WarnerMedia declined to comment on its replacement plan for Persson’s role, but Kidscreen reports that co-productions have been added to Bales’ new duties as the newly promoted senior manager of acquisitions and co-productions. Bales left an acquisitions coordinator position at Disney Channels EMEA to join Turner in 2013 as an acquisitions manager, and she has… . . . read more

Tapatio Partners On Some Hot New Merchandise

If you’ve had Mexican food, it’s almost guaranteed you’ve had Tapatio, one of the world’s most popular hot sauce brands, founded and run by the Saavedra family in Los Angeles. Now, Tapatio and its consumer products agency, Brand Central LLC, are expanding the popular brand and its reach by launching into new merchandise product categories. The licensing campaign has shown remarkable success over the past few months, as Brand Central has helped sign up 11 new licensees, who join the four licensees on the current roster. “We are thrilled for these new partners to join the family of amazing licensees. It is incredible to see the love and support from consumers on our family’s beloved brand and we are excited to continue surprising and delighting our fans with new products and new ways… . . . read more

Spin Master Goes Full Throttle With Supercross Toy Line

Spin Master Corp. has partnered with Feld Entertainment to get its motor runnin’ with a multiyear, global master toy license for the Supercross off-road motorcycle racing series. Created with Spin Master’s innovative toy designs, the companies say the first wave of Supercross toys will deliver greater authenticity for kids, collectors and fans of the racing brand. Feld Entertainment is a worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences. Feld events or experiences include Monster Jam, Monster Energy Supercross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Marvel Universe LIVE!, Sesame Street Live!, Jurassic World Live Tour and DreamWorks Trolls The Experience. Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. The collection launches with two main branches of product…. . . . read more

Global Icons Named Licensing Agent for Betty Boop

The iconic Betty Boop character will be getting a bit of a makeover at age 90, as Fleischer Studios announced this week that Global Icons will be its new worldwide exclusive licensing agent for the Studios’ beloved slate of classic characters. Betty Boop was created in 1930 by Max Fleisher for his Talkartoons series of cartoons, which premiered in 1930 as the first animated ‘talkies’ that his company produced for Paramount Studios. The character, inspired by jazz age artists of the 1920s, starred in more than 100 cartoons and was originally voiced by Mae Questel, but remains popular and has been licensed for thousands of products over the years. Fleischer Studios says it is now looking to expand the opportunities for its properties in creative new ways, and has engaged Global… . . . read more

Poetic Brands Gets Artsy With Britain’s National Gallery

In response to a growing interest in art in the licensed fashion sector, specialist apparel licensee Poetic Brands has teamed up with Britain’s National Gallery, which houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world, to create a range of adult apparel and accessories based on its impressive and extensive artworks. The collection will incorporate a wide range of products including adult daywear apparel and outerwear, swimwear, flip flops, beach bags and towels, adult nightwear and essentials, and accessories including caps and luggage.  The National Gallery in London, England, was founded in 1824 and houses more than 2,600 paintings from the late 13th to the early 20th century in Trafalgar Square. With one of the greatest collections of art in the world, the Gallery displays many world-famous works,… . . . read more