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First Look At Mattel Toys From Disney/Pixar Flik ‘Luca’

Mattel has released a ‘first look’ at the first action toys to be released in their 2021 product line for Disney and Pixar’s original film “Luca”, coming to Disney+ on June 18. Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, “Luca” is a coming of age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, Alberto, as they take in all that the Italian summer has to offer, gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. But the fun is threatened by a deeply held secret, as Luca and his friend are in reality sea monsters from another world, just below the water’s surface. Launching on July 1, Mattel is releasing a brand-new action figure line featuring Luca and Alberto— both as young boys… . . . read more

Spin Master Reports Epic Quarter

Spin Master CEO Max Rangel has just had the kind of investor call every CEO dreams of, as the Canadian toyco reported some stunning figures for revenue and profits this week. On May 5, Spin Master reported an impressive 39.3% increase in revenue for Q1 as compared to the same period last year. Gross sales increased 21.6% to US $294.7 million for the quarter, which the company says was primarily driven by higher sales in Preschool & Girls and Outdoor products. “Our performance this quarter clearly demonstrates our commitment to creating exceptional play experiences and engaging children’s entertainment through our three creative centres comprising toys, entertainment and digital games,” said Ronnen Harary, Spin Master’s Co-Founder. “It is very gratifying to see both our strong financial and operating performance this quarter compared… . . . read more

Who’s News: ViacomCBS’s Vidcon Makes 5 Key Appointments

Convention company Vidcon, a division of ViacomCBS, has appointed Nicole Leo to serve as director of creator partnerships, as Vidcon prepares its return to Anaheim with a live convention. Leo is tasked with cultivating relationships with the world’s top video creators, musicians, and celebrities, and also creating new programming for the talent she brings to the company’s events. Leo will also oversee ‘talent relations’ for Vidcon Now, a new subsidiary handling online events that was created after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leo will report to VidCon VP of Operations Colin Hickey, and will be based out of the ViacomCBS offices in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Vidcon, Leo served as director of celebrity and influencer marketing strategy at the communications firm Blended Strategy Group, and prior to that worked… . . . read more

Three Key Executives Join BLM Licensing

ViacomCBS’ Simta Sawhney, Fashion UK’s Hannah Miles and Ravina Mehta Have Joined Saphia Maxamed on the BLM Licensing Initiative. The mission to help Black Lives Matter control its own narrative got a massive boost in the UK as three veteran licensing executives have volunteered to join the Black Lives Matter Licensing Committee, headed by Saphia Maxamed, president of London Entertainment Inc. As first reported by Licensing Source, Simta Sawhney, category director at ViacomCBS Consumer Products UK; Hannah Miles, managing director of Fashion UK; and Ravina Mehta, graphic designer at BB Designs, have joined the BLM Licensing committee to represent the licensing industry and help shape the direction of BLM’s initiatives to promote inclusiveness and implement societal change. “I am thrilled with the support the industry has shown so far,” said Maxamed…. . . . read more

Semaphore Premier Licensing Signs Mega Gamer SypherPK

Semaphore Premier Licensing continues to expand their all-star line-up of talent as the company takes a deep dive into the world of gaming influencers, signing YouTube star SypherPK (aka Ali Hassan), one of the world’s leading Fortnite gamers. The news follows by just one week the signing of Megan Plays (aka Megan Letter), a massive star among Roblox players with 3.5 million subscribers on her YouTube  Channel  3.1 million fans on TikTok and over 1.4 million followers on Roblox. Semaphore now represents influencers from three of the world’s most populous gaming communities, those being Fortnite, Roblox and Minecraft. SypherPKis one of the leading Fortnite gamers and streams content on four YouTube Channels including SypherPK, More SypherPK, Sypher Plays and Sypher Shorts, with the current subscriber reach topping 7.36 million combined…. . . . read more

Franklin Hits Home Run With NERF Sports Line

Franklin Sports is working with Hasbro to launch a collection of new NERF Sports products, after the American toyco granted licensing rights to produce and sell these items across a range of sports. The resulting lineup of NERF Sports products is now available at both Target and Walmart and several other retailers in North America. “We’re proud to join forces with Hasbro to create such an exciting set of NERF-branded products because NERF is a beloved brand that has provided so much fun and entertainment to families over the years,” says Adam Franklin, president, Franklin Sports. “For decades, our company has been built on manufacturing high-quality sporting goods that deliver tremendous value to customers, and with our experience making products across so many different sports, we were able to work… . . . read more

Hisense Sponsoring 2022 FIFA World Cup

Hisense, the world-renowned technology company, has entered into a partnership with FIFA to become an official sponsor of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, creating an exclusive connection between the tournament’s worldwide audience in unique and compelling ways. “Continued investment in world-class sporting events represents Hisense’s determination to become a global brand,” said Jia Shaoqian, the CEO of Hisense Group. “It helps Hisense build stronger relationships with its global consumers and accelerates the company’s globalisation process. It also creates a solid foundation for Hisense to compete with the world’s most innovative and leading brands in order to also become a premier global brand.” Hisense is joining the roster of ‘Commercial Affiliates’ for the upcoming tournament, and will be involved in a program that will range from on-site engagement opportunities and… . . . read more

Funko Releases Six New Disney Games

Funko is once again teaming up with Disney to release six new board games for families, including Disney Mickey and the Beanstalk, Disney Pixar Toy Story Talent Show, Disney Mad Tea Party, Disney You Can Fly, ​and Disney Hidden Mickeys. Players can fly with Dumbo or Buzz Lightyear, climb a beanstalk with Mickey Mouse, and even take the It’s a Small World cruise from Disney Parks, all from the family’s dining room table. The marquee Disney it’s a small world interactive game will allow nostalgic parents to share the magic of the famous cruise with Disney Parks’s newest and youngest fans. The game is designed to follow the playful route through the Disney Parks attraction on a 3D game board, with stunning illustrated scenes from the classic attraction. All of the games are… . . . read more

Hollie Holmes Takes The Wheel At PlayMonster

PlayMonster LLC has made a big move in its licensing department, announcing Mattel’s Senior Director of Strategic Development, Hollie Holmes, is joining the company as its Global Head of Licensing. This is a new position at PlayMonster, a Wisconsin-based toy company that has grown to offer products globally. The company says Holmes will oversee the company’s global licensing business with an emphasis on the development and expansion of new intellectual property across new and existing categories. She will report to Scott Flynn, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at PlayMonster. “Hollie brings vast experience and demonstrated success in building strong licensing programs that impact business in a meaningful way,” said Flynn. “It’s a whole new level of focus for us that we expect will not only amplify our existing portfolio but… . . . read more

Who’s News: Simba Dickie Group Names New CEO

The family-owned Simba Dickie Group (SBG) has a new CEO this week, as Michael Sieber (pictured above, at left) officially handed over the reins to the toy company to his son Florian Sieber on May 1. Florian will become the third generation of the Sieber family to run SBG, since Michael and his father Fritz Sieber founded Simba Toys in 1982. Florian Sieber was named as the designated successor and co-chief executive officer of the Simba Dickie Group in a succession plan announced in 2018, and has also spent the last eight years as the managing director of the model railway manufacturer Märklin, an SBG subsidiary. “Together with a dedicated team in Göppingen, my son, Florian, has put Märklin back on track—a masterstroke, I’m very proud of him,” said Michael… . . . read more