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Esports Giant Launches Mobile Game Controller

ESL’s First Foray Into Mobile Gaming Hardware Offers Improved Connectivity for Ultimate Tournament Play ESL Gaming, the world’s largest esports company, has launched the first ESL controller for mobile phones in a partnership with RiotPWR, the leading mobile controller developer of mobile gaming hardware. The partnership with ESL and RiotPWR kicked-off earlier in 2021 with the announcement of the Rotor Riot Controller sponsorship of ESL’s Spring Season of the ESL Premiership. The deal was brokered by digital licensing agency Tinderbox, which is a division of the global licensing agency Beanstalk. The ESL Controller is compatible with iOS and Android devices and allows pros to level up their gameplay with the highest quality mobile gaming controller on the market. The ESL Controller is wired for latency-free gameplay and uses RiotPWR’s pass… . . . read more

Wham-O Gets Into Board Games in Deal With Winning Moves Games

Wham-O has been on a licensing tear this year after signing with agency Anjar Co. & Becker Associates, and has now announced another deal to translate classic action toys like Frisbee and Hula Hoop into board games. Winning Moves Games USA is a Massachusetts-based maker of both new and classic board games, card games and puzzles including Pass the Pigs, No Stress Chess, and many more family favorites. “Winning Moves Games USA is proud to announce it has signed a licensing agreement with Anjar and Wham-O to bring back the classic versions of Frisbee, Super Ball, Hacky Sack, Trac Ball and many other classic Wham-O toys,” said Philip Orbanes Jr., President of Winning Moves. “For more than 25 years Winning Moves Games USA has built a positive reputation as a… . . . read more

Collaborations Licensing New Agent For World’s Best Apron Maker

Collaborations Licensing has announced this week a new partnership with Hedley & Bennett, arguably the best and most innovative apron brand in the world. While many people think an apron is an apron is an apron, most Michelin chefs would disagree. Since 2012, Hedley & Bennett has been creating better working, better looking kitchen workwear for both professional and home consumers alike, working to make the most functional, most durable and most beautiful aprons worn by everyone from the most talented professionals in the world to the home cook just starting their cooking journey.  Hedley & Bennett aprons are worn by half of the 3-Michelin Star restaurants in the United States, over 6,000 restaurants worldwide, and across a wide array of entertainment programs including Bravo’s Top Chef, Michelle Obama’s Waffles &… . . . read more

Iconix Plans To Go Private After Controversial Acquisition Deal

Iconix Brand Group, Inc., which owns several well known brands such as Joe Boxer, Buffalo Jeans, Mossimo and London Fog, among several others, will become a private company after the board accepted an acquisition offer from Lancer Capital LLC. However, two major law firms have announced they are launching investigations into the deal on behalf of shareholders, with one saying the price tag is well under the true value of the company. Iconix has been trading on Nasdaq under the symbol ICON, but said in a statement it has entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger to be acquired by Iconix Acquisition Corp., an affiliate of Lancer Capital, LLC (“Purchaser”), in an all-cash transaction that values Iconix at approximately $585 million, including net-debt. “Today’s announcement represents the culmination of… . . . read more

NPD Says Toy Sales Soared 27% In Year-To-Date

U.S. toy industry dollar sales increased +27% or +$1.5B between January and April 2021, according to The NPD Group, one of the leading research groups for consumer products and behavior. NPD analysts say both unit sales and average selling price (ASP) increased during the period, up +17% and +9% respectively. Ten of the eleven supercategories tracked by NPD posted double-digit dollar growth versus 2020. Furthermore, all supercategories posted a positive 2-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) with seven supercategories showing double digit growth rates vs. 2019. After experiencing a dollar gain of $324 million, Outdoor & Sports Toys continues to be the largest supercategory with $1.6 billion in sales while Plush had the fastest dollar growth vs. 2020 at +44%. “As we lap the lockdowns of 2020, the supercategories that had… . . . read more

‘Ocean Loving’ Barbies Made From Ocean-Bound Plastic

In its ongoing drive to become more sustainable, toy giant Mattel is launching a new line of Barbie dolls made from plastic that otherwise could become ocean waste. Appropriately named the Barbie Loves the Ocean collection with a summer fun theme, the collection will initially include three dolls, a beach shack play set and a starter assortment play set. To make the program happen, Mattel is partnering with  plastics recycling company Envision Plastics, a major recycler of HDPE products, and the material will be sourced from areas in Mexico’s Baja peninsula that are trying to mitigate plastic waste pollution. “Our sustainability efforts represent the next step in Barbie’s social mission and evolution,” Lisa McKnight, senior vice president at Mattel (MAT) and global head of the company’s Barbie and Dolls portfolio, told… . . . read more

Analysis: Netflix Faces Tough Battle Launching Gaming Service

Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief Netflix is planning a push into the video game market, with Reuters and The Guardian reporting the streaming giant intends to establish a gaming subscription service similar to Steam, Apple’s Arcade service, or Microsoft’s Game Pass. As happened with the model of renting movies on CDs, video games are now being downloaded in increasing numbers, and subscription services have become the fastest growing segment of the industry. Just as Netflix drove a spike into the heart of Blockbuster, so too are subscription gaming services taking marketshare away from struggling physical retailers like Game Stop. Now, the biggest streamer of them all appears to be getting into the act, with Reuters reporting the company is headhunting an executive to oversee its expansion into video games,… . . . read more

Beanstalk Lands Contract With Kelloggs

Beanstalk, a New York-based licensing agency with global reach, has landed a massive contract with Kellogg, one of the world’s largest food companies and best-known brands. Kellogg Company says it has appointed Beanstalk as its exclusive food licensing agency to grow Kellogg’s licensed food and beverage categories in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and South Korea. These categories will be in complement to its core portfolio in cereal, snacks and frozen foods. “Kellogg is committed to creating better days and a place at the table for everyone through our trusted food brands,” said David Lee, senior director of Global Licensing with Kellogg’s Global Growth Team. “Licensing Kellogg’s brands into strategic food and beverage categories will better enable us to meet our vision and purpose as an organization.” Kellogg, a sprawling… . . . read more

SEGA Adds Two Sonic Toy Partners In Europe

SEGA Europe has announced new licensing partnerships with Wow! Stuff and HoloToyz to mark the 30th anniversary of its flagship property Sonic the Hedgehog. Wow! Stuff will be bringing the speedy video game character to its award-winning Wow! Pods range, which will feature light-up characters from the Sonic universe, housed within interconnecting display cases. In the agreement with HoloToyz, the parties will be launching a range of stickers, decals and temporary tattoos embedded with augmented reality technology which can be brought to life via the company’s free HoloToyz app. The toymakers join a line up of industry-leading licensees who are jointly helping SEGA celebrate three decades of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise this year, just as the franchise is preparing the launch of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Production on the… . . . read more

Italian Football Star Joins 44 Cats For Charity Initiative

It’s hard to say which Italians love more—cats or football—but you certainly can’t go wrong combining the two, as the charity Italia Gattastica has done in a licensing deal between Italian National Team champion Marco Verratti and the four feline protagonists from the popular show 44 Cats. The partnership was formed as the UEFA European Football Championship is around the corner, and Verratti will be in the spotlight on field and off as he plays the new role of Gatto Marco in the much loved children’s series. Gatto Marco will join Lampo, Milady, Pilou and Meatball on a uniquely customized Italian flag dedicated to the sport event. The revenues from the sale of the limited edition Italian flag, available on Rainbow Amazon Store, will be donated to Make-A-Wish Italia Onlus, the… . . . read more


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