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Toy Industry Not Doing Enough For Sustainability

A whitepaper published by sustainability consultant Sonia Sanchez says most toy companies are doing little or nothing to prevent ecological harm from the products they produce.Despite a massive upswell in consumer awareness of the need for sustainable products, the report Changing the World Toy by Toy says 81 per cent of producers are doing little or nothing to improve product sustainability. The whitepaper found that while 93 per cent of toy companies interviewed recognise that managing their impact was ‘very important’ or ‘vital’ for their success, only 13 per cent displayed a “comprehensive sustainability strategy.” A good example of the latter would be companies like Mattel, Hasbro and Spin Master, all of which have launched comprehensive sustainability programs. Mattel, for example, launched the Play Back program, which allows customers to return… . . . read more

Uno Gets Artsy With Shepard Fairey

UNO Collaborates with Contemporary Artist Shepard Fairey to Create Playable Art, Featuring One-of-A-Kind Designs on Every Card Mattel just dropped the latest installment of the UNO Artiste Series in collaboration with artist Shepard Fairey through its direct-to-consumer platform, Mattel Creations. The collectible card deck features unique designs by the acclaimed contemporary artist, activist and illustrator and can be purchased through MattelCreations.com. “We are excited to partner with the renowned artist Shepard Fairey,” said Richard Dickson, President and Chief Operating Officer, Mattel. “Through curated partnerships, Mattel Creations offers toys as art and art inspired by toys, and the UNO Artiste Series: Shepard Fairey collaboration is the embodiment of that philosophy.” Mattel Creations is a segment of the the company that features limited-edition, specialty items that both celebrate and expand Mattel’s intellectual… . . . read more

Mattel Sales Up 40% In Q2 Financial Results

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief The toys and games sector is on fire this year, as Mattel reported this week its net sales in Q2 soared by an astonishing 40% over the same period last year. The news followed equally stellar results from competitor Hasbro, which days ago reported its Q2 revenues jumped by 54% year-on-year. Mattel Chair and CEO Ynon Kreiz says the company is in the best position it’s enjoyed for years, despite the challenges of the pandemic. “This was another exceptional quarter for Mattel, with outstanding consumer demand for our product,” said Kreiz. “Our strength is foundational and broad-based. We believe we are in the strongest position we have been in many years to improve profitability and accelerate topline growth. This is an exciting time… . . . read more

Isabel Graham To Head LEGO Marketing in the UK

Long-time LEGO executive Isabel Graham is moving across the pond, as the new head of marketing for LEGO UK & Ireland. Graham has held a number of key positions with The LEGO Group over the past decade. Among other things, she has worked with The LEGO Agency, LEGO’s Product Group Marketing, and was a core member of The Americas Brand Marketing Team. Until this week Graham was working as Head of Marketing for the company’s Nordic division, but will now head across the English Channel to take on a similar post in the UK. “I am thrilled to be taking on this role and I look forward to bringing my experience and passion for the LEGO brand to the UK & Ireland business,” Graham said. “It’s such an exciting time… . . . read more

Hasbro Hits Home Run For Q2 Revenue

The global play and entertainment conglomerate Hasbro, Inc. smashed its revenue targets for Q2, sending the company’s stock soaring. “Hasbro delivered an excellent second quarter, with revenues up 54% versus the second quarter of last year and 9% versus pro forma second quarter 2019,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s chairman and CEO. This is the second reporting period since Hasbro restructured the company to streamline its various reporting segments. Pretty much all of Hasbro’s divisions were firing on all cylinders over the quarter, but revenue growth was again led by the Wizards of the Coast segment, which includes Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. “Wizards continued to generate outstanding results behind a compelling analog and digital release schedule for Magic: The Gathering,” said Goldner. “Consumer products revenue increased as demand… . . . read more

Jazwares Launches Exclusive Dino Ranch Toy Line

Jazwares is partnering with Boat Rocker Studios on a new line of toys and plush inspired by the Canadian studio’s hit show Dino Ranch. The Dino Ranch franchise has become the number one preschool U.S. cable show since its launch in January, and Jazwares intends to have its new toy products on sale by this fall. Items will be debuting at online retailers including Walmart.com, Target.com, and Amazon, alongside additional in-store listings with other key retailers including Kohls. The launch will be supported by a fully integrated marketing campaign across all key platforms, Jazwares says. “We’re thrilled to bring the world of Dino Ranch to preschoolers, and the entire team at Jazwares is ready to join the roundup of the ultimate prehistoric meets Wild West toy line,” said Laura Zebersky, President of Jazwares. “Loveable, colorful,… . . . read more

Star Trek Boldly Goes To The Toy Aisle With Playmates

The rich world of the Star Wars Universe is coming to a toy store near you, as ViacomCBS Consumer Products announced a licensing deal with Playmates Toys. ViacomCBS says it has awarded the global toy company with the licensing rights for action figures, vehicles and ships, role play and other toy categories for all Star Trek properties. Playmates will launch its new Star Trek toy line in 2022, following Star Trek’s entry into kids’ content with the premiere of Star Trek: Prodigy, the first Star Trek series aimed at younger audiences. ViacomCBS says the qualities that attracted it to a deal with Playmates are its attention to brand detail, authentic portrait sculpting, and new product innovations it plans to introduce to its forthcoming Star Trek collections. Fans can look forward to… . . . read more

Kim Boyd Tapped To Lead Hasbro’s Brands & Consumer Innovation Team

Veteran Hasbro executive Kim Boyd has been chosen to lead the company’s new Global Brands & Consumer Innovation division. The formation of the GBCI division is a major strategic goal for Hasbro this year, and the company has opted to go for a leader with in-house knowledge and a track record of success with a variety of Hasbro products. Hasbro says, effective immediately, Boyd will be responsible for driving Hasbro’s brands “cohesively, consistently and globally with consumer-led innovation.” Working across the company’s brand driven toy and game franchises, and in partnership with eOne and Wizards of the Coast, Boyd is now responsible for spearheading global commercial and consumer alignments to stay ahead in an increasingly borderless world. Boyd will be based in Hasbro’s Pawtucket headquarters. She reports to Eric Nyman,… . . . read more

Subway Surfers

Building on the successful launch of its licensed Subway Surfers range in the United States and Canada last year, SYBO Games expanded rights worldwide to Sakar International, the leading wheeled goods manufacturer. This Fall, scooters, hoverboards, skateboards, helmets and protective gear based on the world’s most downloaded runner game will first arrive in Europe. The global licensing deal, brokered by Retail Monster’s US and UK teams, follows the US team’s North American deal between Sakar and SYBO Games’ SubSurf consumer and lifestyle brand. The first product debuted exclusively at Walmart in late 2020. “Subway Surfers DNA fits so perfectly with this category,” said Bobby Stewart, Head of Sales for Sakar. “Given the brand’s inherent global appeal, we are ready to deliver wheeled goods to fans and retailers around the world.”… . . . read more

LEGO Builds Seinfeld Set For A ‘Toy About Nothing’

LEGO has been on a sitcom roll of late, building out the sets for popular shows like Friends and Big Bang Theory, and now has followed up with a 30th anniversary set for Seinfeld, the “show about nothing.” The classic sitcom, a number one hit in the 1990s, will be immortalized in plastic bricks thanks to a fan-based project launched under the LEGO Ideas program. Brent Waller of Brisbane, Australia submitted the idea and the build design to the LEGO Ideas platform, which is a LEGO program designed to bring in new ideas created by, and voted for, by LEGO fans. Winning projects are then selected by LEGO and turned into a real building kit that is offered for sale with official LEGO status. Waller, the co-founder of a video… . . . read more


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