Licensed Toy Sales See Q1 Growth
According to market research company The NPD Group, U.S. first quarter 2012 licensed toy sales grew by one percent, and added one share point of total toy industry revenue. The top five traditional toy licenses for Q1 were (in alphabetical order) Cars: The Movie, Disney Princess, Star Wars, Thomas and Friends, and Toy Story, each generating anywhere from 3 percent to 10 percent of total licensed product sales. The first quarter’s top five growth licenses were (in alphabetical order) Angry Birds, Cars: The Movie, Hello Kitty & Friends, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Star Wars.
“The average retail selling price of a licensed toy was nearly 50 percent larger than that of unlicensed toys in the first quarter, showing the premium a toy can generate by being associated with a child’s favorite character or property,” says Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.
Sakar International Unveils Line of Marvel’s The Avengers Products
Sakar International has launched a line of consumer electronics products and accessories to commemorate Marvel Studio’s release of Marvel’s The Avengers. The products include digital cameras with and without preview screens, a digital music player with a variety of superhero-depicting faceplates, LED headlights, night vision goggles, a clock radio, walkie talkies, iPhone ear buds, twin speakers, a CD boom box, mouse pads, and laptop sleeves. The products are currently available at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide.
Moose Toys Expands Trash Pack Line
Moose Toys has signed on several licensees for the Trash Pack-licensed merchandise program in the U.S. market. The new deals, brokered by The Licensing Shop, Inc., include Pressman Toys with U.S. and Canadian rights for board games and puzzles; Accessory Innovations with U.S. rights for back packs, bags, hosiery, cold weather accessories, lunch bags, and headwear; Mad Engine with U.S. rights for T-shirts and fashion tops; and Bulls I Toys with U.S. and Canadian rights for impulse novelty toys.
In addition to expanding its list of licensees, Moose Toys will expand the Trash Pack line this year to include apparel, publishing, backpacks, and more.
Mezco Toyz to Release Domo Collectibles
Big Tent Entertainment and Mezco Toyz have announced a licensing agreement for a new line of collectibles featuring iconic character Domo. The new line will include bobbleheads, clip-on figures, action figures, and wind-up walking toys. The new Domo collectibles will be available at specialty stores later this year.
Comic Images Inks Plush Deal with Vamplet
Comic Images, the manufacturer of Star Wars, Marvel, and Moshi Monsters plush, has signed a licensing agreement with Vamplet, LLC to produce a full line of designer plush characters from The Nightmare Nursery of Gloomvania. The line will feature a cast of fashionable un-human babies and their pets, including vampires, zombies, and werewolves wearing stylish diapers and trendy hair accessories.
TÜV Rheinland Celebrates 140th Anniversary
TÜV Rheinland celebrates 140 years of delivering premier independent certification, testing, and assessment services to businesses around the world.
What began in 1872 as a tiny business in Germany has grown into a network of acknowledged laboratories and test and training centers with 500 locations in more than 60 countries. The oldest testing and certification company in the world, TÜV Rheinland tests and certifies technical systems, products, and services; supports projects; and designs processes for companies in nearly all industrial sectors and areas of life and business.
Big Idea Entertainment Signs with Rukus Media Group
Big Idea Entertainment and Ruckus Media Group have announced a digital partnership under which Ruckus has been granted worldwide rights to develop interactive storybook applications (iReaders) based on VeggieTales. Powered by the Ruckus Reader, iReaders are designed to match age-appropriate standards determined by the Common Core State Standards and reinforce national educational standards for preschool through second grade. Ruckus plans to release three VeggieTales iReaders in varying reading levels worldwide, with English language distribution via the App store in June.
Smart/Tangoes USA Releases Titanic App
Smart/Tangoes USA has released Titanic by SmartGames, an app based on its best-selling puzzle-game, Titanic. The app, released to honor this year’s centennial anniversary of the Titanic’s voyage, includes a free sneak peek of 21 of the game’s total 100 challenges ranging from “easy” to “extreme.”
As players move lifeboats across the game space and passengers “climb in,” they must determine which passenger should be picked up by which particular lifeboat and in what order this should happen. Once the lifeboat is full it may not be moved, making fully boarded boats an obstacle for other possible rescue work. The challenge has been solved once all passengers have been successfully saved. The special preview edition of Titanic, the app, is now available for free at www.smarttangoes.com. It is also available in the Google Play Store for the Android platform.
50 Fifty Partners with Daron World Wide Trading
50 Fifty HK, known for the Original Chuckle Buddies Electronic Rollover Plush and Unique Novelty Toys & Gag Gifts, has transferred U.S. domestic distribution from Jumpin Banana to Daron World Wide Trading, Inc. of Fairfield, N.J. Daron, a leader in collectible and toy replica airplanes, has a strong presence in the toy, hobby, and gift channels. The lines naturally complement each other, allowing greater offerings to the specialty and independent retailers. Jumpin Banana, the former U.S. distributor, has closed its doors.
Cloud b Selects Freeman PR as U.S. Agency
Freeman Public Relations has been named as a strategic partner in the campaign to advance the Cloud b brand as it expands beyond the crib to include a wider range of interactive toys that build upon the company’s reputation for innovation. The comprehensive program will feature a multi-tiered approach that incorporates all touch points of traditional and social media to build consumer awareness, with particular focus on parents, both moms and dads. The strategy will also maximize the valuable resource the Cloud b advisory board of pediatricians and child development experts provides for consumers.