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Toy Revenue in UK Sees 5% Boost in 2020

The toy industry in the UK followed global trends, which generally have seen a significant boost in sales and revenue despite—or perhaps because of—the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales were particularly hot during the first lockdown during the spring in Britain, which saw an astounding 22 per cent boost in spending for the sector, according to figures from The NPD Group. Sales in the UK fell off from that early high, but remained strong overall with total sales revenue ringing in at $4.5 billion (3.3 billion pounds), which allowed the country to maintain its position as the largest market for toys in Europe, and the fourth largest in the world. This revenue boost for the toy sector occurred even as retailers wrestled with an extremely difficult environment for sales, due to rotating… . . . 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

Pokémon Celebrates 25 Years With Music Deal, Licensing Campaign

Katy Perry Headlines ‘P25 Music’, a Year of Surprise Music Events and Superstar Collaborations The Pokémon Company International officially launched its 25th anniversary celebration on Jan. 13, marking a quarter century of fun and games with a massive music collaboration, including a partnership with pop star Katy Perry. The Japanese video game and entertainment franchise created one of the most enduring virtual worlds in the  business of video gaming since its launch in 1996, and was among the earliest companies to see massive success outside the game itself by combining the collectible Pokémon card game with the digital video game experience. The company says, in 2021, Pokémon will continue that tradition by aligning with another universal unifying force: music. Headlined by Katy Perry, the star-studded program created in partnership with… . . . 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

Marvel Launches Year Long Product Campaign for 2021

The wildly successful Disney superhero franchise Marvel is giving its fans plenty of reasons to celebrate the New Year, announcing a full year of new Marvel Studios inspired product reveals spanning toys, games, books, apparel, home décor and more. Mirroring Marvel Studios’ upcoming Disney+ series rollouts, Marvel Must Haves will serve as the preeminent source on Marvel.com for product reveals supporting each new series, beginning with Marvel Studios’ WandaVision, premiering on Jan. 15. The news comes shortly after Disney announced a huge slate of new films and television programming this year, beginning with the new series WandaVision on Disney+ that is seen as the beginning of an all new story arc for the Marvel universe. “Fans tuning into Disney+ this year will experience Marvel like never before with six exhilarating series,… . . . read more

JazWares Appoints Laura Zebersky as President

Toy Company Also Announces Promotions for Kelly Deen, Gerhard Runken, and Jonny Taylor  Jazwares, one of the world’s leading toy companies, this week announced the promotion of Laura Zebersky to the position of president. The company says Zebersky, a 15-year veteran of the toy industry, and a recipient of the Women in Toys ‘Wonder Women’ Award, “helped catapult Jazwares’ growth by driving global licensing, marketing, retail expansion and exponential sales.” Zebersky most recently held the title of chief commercial officer, where she oversaw Jazwares’ global licensing, marketing, and sales efforts. Judd Zebersky will remain as chief executive officer, and they will continue to drive forward the success of the company together. “Laura is the most amazing business and life partner anyone could ask for,” Judd Zebersky, CEO, Jazwares, said. “Her understanding… . . . read more

Skoog Works With Sesame Workshop To Create A New Way To Play

SKOOG Inc., a media tech company with a mission to enrich children’s lives through creative and immersive play, this week announced a global partnership with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street. The two companies are collaborating to introduce a new, interactive platform that merges tactile technology with an ever-expanding content library featuring Sesame Street characters. The platform combines multi-sensory play with fun, interactive content and meaningful learning experiences, SKOOG says. Originally focused on helping children with disabilities express their creativity through music, the team at SKOOG created a suite of unique hands-on technology devices that children of all abilities can enjoy. SKOOG patented platform includes a parent-controlled app with unique cube-like hardware that lets kids play and create without relying solely on a smartphone screen. Sesame Street is… . . . read more


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