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ZAG’s Miraculous Signs With Disney and New Product Partners

The hit series Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir has been signed on for seasons four and five, and high ratings are now driving several new licensing deals. Julian Zag, Executive Vice President, Global Operations, says the company has signed several “top tier” partners over the past month for a wide range of consumer products and services. Newly signed consumer products partners include Crayola for branded color/activity books; Fast Forward for kids backpacks and lunch totes; Kid Designs for youth electronics including headphones and microphones; Komar Kids for sleepwear; Peachtree Playthings for crafts and activities; Galerie for seasonal and everyday chocolate and candy; Inkology for innovative stationary and activity products; Trends International for posters and stickers; and for branded debit and credit cards.  Additional partners for online retail… . . . read more

Box Office Sluggish for Raya and the Last Dragon

In yet another sign of the challenges ahead for cinema in 2021, the Disney blockbuster release Raya and the Last Dragon showed sluggish box office results in its first weekend in theaters. The film, produced by the same Walt Disney Animation team that put out Moana, would normally have been expected to be a tentpole event for the company, but Raya opened over the weekend with a box office take of $8.6 million from 2,045 screens, according to Variety. By contrast, despite coming out on a Wednesday, Moana earned $15.5 million on its opening day. The take for Raya was also less than the debut of Tom & Jerry the previous weekend, which earned $14.1 million, despite the fact that New York City movie theaters opened to customers last weekend… . . . read more

LEGO Takes Kids to the Hundred Acre Wood

LEGO this week launched a superb new product for fans of the Winnie the Pooh books to embrace their nostalgia with a Hundred Acre Wood play set. The set came to life from the mind of super fan Ben Alder who collaborated on the design through the LEGO Ideas program, and was made possible through a licensing partnership with brand owner Disney. Beneath a large oak tree, complete with beehives and bees, Pooh’s house takes centre stage in the new play set. The house can be opened up to unveil a host of furniture and unique items, such as the “Pooh-coo” Clock, box of “Pooh sticks,” Tigger’s locket, and of course, plenty of honey pots—both full and empty! A.A. Milnes classic tales of Christopher Robin’s adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood have… . . . read more

Boat Rocker’s Dino Ranch Lassoed by Disney

The highly rated kids show Dino Ranch from Boat Rocker Studios has been snapped up in a deal with Disney+ that will see the program air in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand starting in April. The show takes dinosaurs from Jurassic Park to a Jurassic farm, with a cute assemblage of dinosaur steeds that has already premiered for audiences on Disney Junior and DisneyNOW in the US and Canada in January. Dino Ranch was an almost instant hit with kids on Disney Junior in the US, ranking as the #1 US cable series among Kids, Boys and Girls 2-5 since launch, notes Boat Rocker. Among Disney Junior repeats, Dino Ranch also ranks #1 with Kids, Boys and Girls 2-5. Also available on DisneyNOW and VOD, Dino Ranch has… . . . read more

Disney’s Toy Onslaught For Raya and The Last Dragon

It’s been a while since a Hollywood tentpole movie has inspired a major launch of new toy lines, but Disney is taking a crack at it as Raya and the Last Dragon debuts on March 5. The COVID-19 pandemic has badly stalled releases of major films in theaters, and different studios have reacted with different strategies. Warner famously (or infamously) announced all of its films in 2021 would be made available simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max in the United States, with the long awaited Wonder Woman 1984 premiering on both platforms late last year. Disney has decided its first major release of the year will take a bow on Disney+, and all eyes in the toy licensing sector will be firmly on the film’s success in translating its… . . . read more

LEGO Named World’s Most Popular Kids Entertainment Brand

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief According to a sweeping new report on brands for children, LEGO is now the most popular kids’ entertainment brand in the world, followed by Disney, Marvel, Barbie, and with Paw Patrol rounding out the Top 5.  The data comes via a report from Brand Trends, in which mothers provided answers to a survey on behalf of their children, from ages 0 to 6.  However, it’s worth noting that some brands in the list could be combined, since, for example, Disney also owns Marvel.  And, while Spiderman is now part of the Marvel Universe, it is also so popular as a brand that it places sixth on the list as a separate franchise. Similarly, the Disney property Frozen places seventh.  If the various Disney-owned… . . . read more

Hasbro Not Toying Around With Gina Carano

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief Talk about a rough week at the office. Toy giant Hasbro says it will no longer produce any toys featuring former Mandalorian star Gina Carano, who plays the part of the popular character Cara Dune. Carano was fired from her role in the hit Disney+ series after posting a series of controversial social media messages, she was dropped by her agents at United Talent Agency, and now licensed toy merchandise is also being discontinued. “The Star Wars Black Cara Dune figure was released in 2020 and sold out not long after the inventory was received,” a spokeswoman for BigBadToyStore told The Hollywood Reporter in a Monday email. “Hasbro planned for another production run and we were accepting preorders from that production run. Due to recent events,… . . . read more

Casetify Unveils Tech Accessories Based on Disney’s Mickey Mouse

The smartphone specialist tech accessory company Casetify is ringing in the New Year with a new collection of tech based on the beloved Disney character Mickey Mouse, who started it all. In collaboration with Disney, the company will be producing this year a wide range of cases and other accessories for iPhones, Samsung phones, AirPods, iPads, and Apple Watches. Included in the collection will be co-branded wireless chargers, 2-in-1 grip stands, and—as a real sign of our pandemic times—Casetify UV Sanitizers. Inspired by the company’s historic cartoon character Mickey Mouse, who kicked off Disney’s decades-long dominance in the entertainment sector, the new collection features bright colors, bold icons and 3D silhouettes throughout. Starting at $35, the Casetify “Mickey Mouse Club” collection will release on Jan. 20 on the company’s web store…. . . . read more

Key Exec Ricky Strauss Leaves Disney

Deadline reports that Ricky Strauss, one of the key executives who launched Disney+ and former head of marketing for Walt Disney Studios, is leaving the company after nine years. The announcement was made internally through a memo obtained by Deadline, and Strauss also reportedly shared the news with his staff. The decision to leave comes as Disney has launched a full-scale overhaul of the entire corporation, in which Strauss was moved to a new role as President of Programming & Content Curation for Disney+ and Hulu. Strauss previously served as President of Content & Marketing, where he was in charge of developing the overall strategic vision for content at Disney+. He also oversaw development of Disney+’s programming decisions, production partnerships, and content acquisitions. Strauss joined the streaming division in 2018, before the… . . . read more

New Lego Sets Create Disney-based Art

It’s said that a single picture is worth a thousand words, but in the case of the new Lego Art series, that single picture is also worth 2,658 plastic blocks. Danish building toy giant Lego is once more expanding its line of Lego Art kits with the addition of two Disney-themed, 2-D mosaics, featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The kits are aimed at older Lego and Disney fans who enjoy the intricate nature of putting together the intricate mosaic-style picture. The kit can be configured to portray either Minnie or Mickey, and measures 15.5 square inches. The mosaic is designed to hang on the wall or sit on a table or mantlepiece, and also includes an immersive story soundtrack, put together by Disney. This is the second mosaic kit for Lego,… . . . read more