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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

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

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 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

Peppa Pig Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary With New Content and Merch

Hasbro is going ‘hog wild’ on Peppa Pig in 2021, marking the show’s 10th anniversary on Nick Jr. with a year-long pipeline of new content, a new Hasbro toy line coming in Fall, and a full roster of marketing activations, brand collaborations and promotions for fans across the US. The Peppa Pig franchise was part of a $4 billion investment for Hasbro, when the international toy giant bought out UK-listed Entertainment One in August 2019. The deal also gave Hasbro control over other valuable assets, like PJ Masks and E One’s film and TV production capacity, but Peppa Pig was likely the single most valuable asset. At the time, Peppa Pig was bringing in a reported $1.35 billion globally, according to MarketWatch, with much of that coming from China where the… . . . read more

Licensing Legal Dispute Ended By Settlement

Two toy companies have peacefully resolved their licensing dispute after the parties recently obtained a ruling in court. The two companies have released a joint statement saying in part, “GennComm LLC (“GennComm”) and Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company (“BHTB”) are pleased to announce that they have reached a mutually satisfactory resolution of long-pending intellectual property disputes concerning the design, use, and ownership to certain memory foam in plush toys, including Squeezamals.” GenComm and BHTB were locked in a court battle beginning March 26, 2020, which concluded with a ruling from Judge Cormac J. Carney. The court summary declared that “BHTB’s claims for declaratory relief are dismissed with prejudice, GennComm’s counterclaims for breach of contract are dismissed with prejudice … (and) Judgment is entered for GennComm on its counterclaim for infringement.”… . . . read more

Playmobil Launches Classic Volkswagens

German toymaker Playmobil has partnered with equally storied car manufacturer Volkswagen to bring out their own tiny car line for kids. First announced in September, the partnership has resulted in the release of a classic VW Beetle and the original VW Camper Bus, known in Germany as the ‘Bulli’, and unofficially by a generation of young American travelers as ‘the hippie bus’. The van even includes its own hippies! The camper van comes as well equipped as its real life counterpart, with its 74 pieces including a sleeping area, kitchen, removable roof, storage space, two figures, roof rack, and a wide range of camping accessories. The VW Beetle also comes with a California surf vibe, released with a roof rack to hold surf boards and travel gear. Playmobil has been… . . . read more

Weekly Wrap-up: Deals Penned for Ja Rule, Michael Crichton, Maya the Bee, Nintendo and CoComelon

Deal Will See New Content Produced From Michael Crichton Novels The late author Michael Crichton wasn’t just a science fiction visionary; he became a one-man licensing powerhouse after novels like Jurassic Park and Westworld became hits in film and on television. More than 20 film and TV adaptations have been produced from Michael Crichton novels, including five Jurassic Park films and one more on the way; the Westworld film and series; Futureworld; The Andromeda Strain movie and series; Congo; Sphere; and many more. Now CrichtonSun, the late author’s publishing and production company, is partnering with Range Media Partners to create a slate of new content, inspired by Crichton’s body of work, including a number of previously unpublished works that have been released since the author’s death, such as Pirate Latitudes,… . . . read more

Founders Transition to New Leadership at Spin Master

Max Rangel Joins Spin Master as Co-Founders Ronnen Harary and Anton Rabie Transition Their Roles in Spring 2021 Spin Master has been led by its co-founders since the company’s inception, but next month the company will have its first ‘outside’ CEO in Max Rangel, formerly of SC Johnson & Sons. Spin Master is a major force in the toy and children’s entertainment world, and just this week finalized a key deal with Riot Games for their League of Legends franchise. But founders Ronnen Harary and Anton Rabie felt it was time to transition to new leadership, so Rangel will assume the position of global president effective in January, and will also adopt the role of CEO in April. Rangel will now be responsible for the execution of Spin Master’s long-term strategy,… . . . read more