April 26, 2012

Hasbro to Offer One Direction Toys and Games

One DirectionHasbro, Inc. has entered into an agreement with pop band One Direction to produce a line of toys and games based on the members of the boy band. The One Direction product offerings from Hasbro will be sold globally, with the exception of the UK and Ireland, this fall. The collection will include fashion dolls, mini-figures, and more.




Pretty Ugly Forms Multi-Category Licensing Partnerships

Ugly DollAmscan Inc., its division Grasslands Road, and its related subsidiary Anagram International, Inc. have secured licenses with Pretty Ugly, LLC to create a complete line of Uglydoll-branded decorated party goods, balloons, and ceramic ware. Amscan will manufacture a party goods line that will include tableware, party invites, gift wrap, and other decorative items, while Anagram will be responsible for the manufacturing of the balloon segment. Grasslands Road has signed with Pretty Ugly to take over the manufacturing and distribution of the Uglydoll ceramic ware items.
Beginning this fall, Komar Kids will manufacture and distribute Uglydoll children’s sleepwear and robes in North America. United Legwear has signed with Pretty Ugly to manufacture and distribute socks and legwarmers for infant/toddlers, kids, and teens, as well as items for the men’s and women’s categories in North America.
Other licensees include Callaway Digital Arts, Inc. for mobile apps, FAB*Starpoint for a line of branded bags and accessories, Richard Leeds International, Inc. for sleepwear, apparel, Zak Designs for children’s dinnerware, Accessory Innovations for cold weather accessories, and Freeze for branded T-shirts and fleece apparel. Thermos will produce lunch accessories. Thumbtack Press will create a line of Uglydoll art prints. Toy Factory will produce Uglydoll-branded plush toys for North American amusement park markets.

Lawless Entertainment Appointed Representatives for The Little Prince

The Little PrinceLawless Entertainment has been appointed as representatives for animation, licensing, merchandising, and publishing for The Little Prince property in the U.S. and Canada. The Little Prince, first published in 1943, is a novella and the most famous work of the French aristocrat writer, poet, and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
Lawless Entertainment will introduce various categories of licensed merchandise to the North American marketplace based upon the classic The Little Princebrand and animation series, and will seek retail partnerships with various department/specialty chains.




Classic Media Secures New Partners for Masters of the Universe

He-ManMattel and Classic Media have signed new consumer products partners for Masters of the Universe, including DC Entertainment (comics and graphic novels), New Era Cap Co. (headwear), and Skinit (electronic skins and cases). Novelty items will be produced by Funko (bobbleheads and Pop! vinyl figures), Icon Heroes (miniature environments and desk accessories), PopFun (glassware and decorative refrigerator magnets), and Mixo (collectible paper figures). The new Masters of the Universeprogram will hit retail timed to the brand’s 30th anniversary, which commences this fall.
These new licensees join previously announced Masters of the Universe partners, including Mill Creek (home entertainment), Changes (apparel), and Disguise (costumes).

Sony Creative Products Acquires Rights to Gaspard & Lisa

Gaspard & LisaSony Creative Products, Inc. has acquired the global exclusive master agent rights for Gaspard & Lisa from Chorion. The business of Gaspard & Lisa had been globally managed by Silver Lining Productions Limited, a 100-percent subsidiary of Chorion since 2005. With this recent acquisition, SCP will oversee the business going forward.
SCP acquired an exclusive master license rights for Japan territory in January 2008. SCP will grow and expand the property internationally as part of the company’s global strategy. Animation of Gaspard & Lisa is currently broadcast in more than 30 countries. It is SCP’s plan to develop a packaging business of animation as well as a merchandising program in those countries to expand the market.

Ruckus Media Group Releases Hasbro-Branded E-Books

Hasbro Licensing has entered a digital publishing partnership with Ruckus Media Group to create e-books based on Hasbro brands, including Transformers Prime, My Little Pony, and Chuck and Friends. Each series contains three different levels of reading to challenge young readers.

Pinkalicious Partners with Burger King for Promotion
PinkaliciousThe Joester Loria Group, licensing agency for Pinkalicious, announces a partnership with Burger King Corp. (BKC) for a springtime promotion known as the BK Crown Program. During this time, customers will receive one of six Pinkalicious-themed premiums with the purchase of a kids’ meal. The Pinkalicious premiums include a figurine with ring comb, a Star Bright Wand, a tiara, a journal, friendship bracelets, and hair play barrettes. BKC will support the Pinkalicious promotion with an online presence on BKCrown.com, which will showcase interactive Pinkalicious fun and games. The promotion began April 23 and will end on June 3.




Majority of Shoppers Make Impulse Purchases

Nine out of 10 shoppers with shopping lists buy items that are not on their lists, according to a new study, “The Checkout,” by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research. Of these shoppers who purchase off-list items, 66 percent say the reason was a sale or promotion, 30 percent say they found a coupon, and 23 percent say they simply wanted to pamper themselves.
According to the report, when it comes time to make their lists, 61 percent of shoppers are influenced primarily by the brand of product they currently use. Fifty-seven percent report that coupons influence their list, and 56 percent say store ads or circulars influence their list. However, the survey reports, when shoppers are making lists, they typically do not write down brand names of a product, but the product type. Data for “The Checkout” comes from a national survey conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C in which consumers were asked about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors, and economic outlook.

BabyCenter en Español Polls Latina Moms on Toy Purchases

In March, BabyCenter en Español launched a poll that surveyed more than 400 Latina moms who live in the U.S. about their purchasing habits for their kids. The poll results indicate that these Latina moms did not care so much about dolls having features and skin color similar to those of their family. Only 5 percent of respondents said they chose dolls with these characteristics when asked for the three main requirements they look for in the playthings.
Many of the respondents were more interested that the dolls were bilingual, a characteristic that 16 percent of moms chose. However, the winning characteristic (40 percent) was that dolls “represent a character my son/daughter loves,” such as Dora the Explorer and Baby Blues Clues. Almost equally important is that dolls are made from nontoxic materials (39 percent) and that dolls are interactive (37 percent).
When asked about dolls for boys, 43 percent agreed that both girls and boys should play with them, although 15 percent of those moms said they have never bought a doll for their son.
In terms of frequency of toy purchases, one out of every four of the surveyed moms (21 percent) buy toys for her kids every month, and five percent buy toys every week. Twenty percent buy toys about once every two to three months, and 18 percent buy them only for major holidays.

Walmart Releases Annual GRR, Highlighting List of Company Achievements

Walmart released its fifth annual Global Responsibility Report (GRR), titled “Beyond 50 Years: Building a Sustainable Future.” The report highlights Walmart’s global top 10 list of achievements to reduce its impact on the environment, improve efficiency in its supply chain and stores, and address social issues. Some of the main accomplishments included reducing waste by 80 percent. Walmart prevented 80.9 percent of waste generated across all U.S. operations from going to landfills.
Other achievements include utilizing 1.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy, which ranks Walmart as the second-largest onsite green power generator in the U.S.; an integrated sustainability index; an expanded global direct-farm program; being responsive to natural disasters; supporting women around the world; saving $1 billion on fresh fruits and vegetables; and more. For more information, or to read the report, click here.

Jeff Garb & Associates to Represent Funnybone Toys

Funnybone Toys, creator of the Array, Cubu, and Spectrix color-based card games, recently appointed Jeff Garb & Associates to represent its products in the northeastern United States.
Jeff Garb & Associates will represent the entire line of Funnybone Toys across the Northeast, including New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The management team works with 20 representatives, including individuals with 20 years of industry experience. Funnybone Toys will stand alongside other well-known Jeff Garb & Associates clients, such as Pretty Ugly, Locker Lookz, and Toysmith.

Battleship Tops Overseas Box Offices

BattleshipTheWrap.com reports that Battleship brought in nearly $129.6 million at the foreign box office after its first two weekends in theaters. The film was No. 1 in 16 countries during opening weekend. Battleship accumulated $58.4 million during its second weekend, where it remained No. 1 in 12 territories. The film opens in the U.S. on May 18.
Fox’s 3-D rerelease of Titanic took in another $34.3 million, from 71 territories, totaling $225.4 million at the foreign box office. The 3-D release has brought in $653.6 million in the U.S., and $879 million worldwide, since opening in April, according to boxofficemojo.com.
Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games earned $13 million from 72 foreign territories, pushing its overseas total to $217 million. Universal’s American Reunion grossed $9.5 million in 38 countries this past weekend, totaling $56 million internationally and $105 million worldwide. Warner Bros.’s Wrath of the Titans grossed $8 million from 63 territories, totaling $201 million overseas and $278.6 million worldwide.

Former Walmart Director to Join NRF

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has named Bill Thorne as the association’s senior vice president of communications and public affairs. He will join NRF on June 1 to oversee the organization’s industry and public affairs communications strategy, including NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign, an initiative to demonstrate the power of retail to America’s economy and the career opportunities within the industry.
Thorne currently serves as senior director of community affairs at Walmart. During his tenure there, Thorne oversaw the creation and execution of campaigns for urban market entry, including budgets, strategy, and planning and development for both long- and short-term campaigns. Prior to Walmart, Thorne served as vice president at DCI Group. He also spent four years as director of political and legislative grassroots at the American Medical Association.

Women in Toys Announces New UK Chair, Chapters

Frances Cain, owner of London-based Daughters of History, has been named the new Women in Toys UK chairperson.
“Due to responsibilities and time constraints, our former chair stepped down,” said Joan Packard Luks, president of Women in Toys (WIT), in an emailed statement. “Frances is most enthusiastic about taking the reins and planning a WIT UK event. Frances is the founder and owner of A Girl For All Time, a British boutique toy company that creates original deluxe dolls, novels, and keepsake books that bring the past to life with stories, fashion, and activities. I am also very pleased to share that new chapters will be launched in Denver; Portland/Seattle; Dallas; Washington, DC; and Bentonville.”

Hasbro Reports Financial Results for Q1

Hasbro, Inc. has reported financial results for first quarter of 2012. Net revenues for the quarter were $648.9 million, a decrease of 3 percent, compared to $672 million in the same quarter last year. Net revenues for the quarter included a negative $8.5 million impact of foreign exchange. Net loss for the first quarter was $2.6 million, or ($0.02) per diluted share, versus net earnings of $17.2 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, last year. First quarter net earnings were $5.1 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, excluding $11.1 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, of severance costs. The first quarter was a 14-week period versus the first quarter last year, which was a 13-week period.
U.S. and Canada segment net revenues were $329 million, a decrease of $62.2 million or 16 percent, compared to $391.2 million last year. The company says results reflect growth in the preschool category offset by declines in the other product categories. International segment net revenues grew $35.4 million, or 14 percent, to $289.7 million, compared to $254.3 million last year. Net revenues in the international segment grew 17 percent, reflecting growth in the boys and games categories, which more than offset flat revenues in the preschool category and a decline in the girls category.
The entertainment and licensing segment net revenues increased 19 percent to $29.3 million, compared to $24.6 million in 2011. The segment benefited from the sale of television programming in the U.S. and internationally, as well as continued box office and licensed revenues related to Transformers.

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