June 01, 2012

Toys “R” Us Secures Retail Exclusive for Peppa Pig Toy Line
Peppa P{igEntertainment One Family (eOne Family) has announced that Toys “R” Us has secured the exclusive retail rights to an all-new line of toys based on the animated TV series Peppa Pig. The toys, manufactured by Fisher-Price, will be available in Toys “R” Us stores nationwide beginning this August. eOne is also investing in an official U.S. Peppa Pig website and Facebook page to communicate directly to consumers.
The assortment of Peppa Pig-inspired merchandise includes a Sip ’n Oink Tea Set, Hug ’n Oink Peppa Talking Plush, Schoolhouse and Tree House Playsets, Peek ’n Surprise Playhouse, and a variety of character figures.
Peppa Pig launched in 2011 on Nick Jr. in the U.S. The animated series follows the adventures of Peppa Pig, who lives with her little brother George, Mummy Pig, and Daddy Pig. Peppa’s favorite things include playing games, dressing up, and jumping in muddy puddles.

New Licensees Join Dino Dan Merchandise Program

Dino DanBreakthrough Entertainment and Sinking Ship Entertainment have appointed two new licensees for the Nick Jr. TV series’ Dino Dan: Fiesta Toys for plush toys and Hybrid Apparel for T-shirts. The Licensing Shop, Inc. brokered the deals. They licensees join Ruckus Media (e-books), Ncircle Entertainment (DVDs), Pioneer Balloons, and Geoworld (toys). Breakthrough Entertainment also announced the extension of its license agreement with Musictoday, a Live Nation company, for the official Dino Dan merchandise store. The Official Dino Dan Store offers a wide range of Dino Dan-branded merchandise, including apparel, toys, DVDs, and accessories.
Dino Dan follows the adventures of paleontologist-in-training Dan Henderson and his friends as he uncovers dino-secrets and clues about the past. The show combines live action with CGI dinosaurs.



Smart Toys and Games Acquires Rex Games
Smart Toys and Games, Inc., has acquired San Francisco-based Rex Games, manufacturer of the Tangoes range of products. Based on the ancient Chinese tangram puzzle, Tangoes is a learning tool that combines artistic and mathematical elements to enhance visual perception abilities, develop problem-solving skills, improve creative thinking capacity, and encourage teamwork. The classic tangram simply forms a square, but the seven pieces of Tangoes puzzles can form an infinite number of abstract designs, human figures, animals, and everyday objects. The object of each Tangoes puzzle is to form the image on one of the included challenge cards using all seven puzzle pieces.

Tangoes puzzles that will be joining the Smart Toys and Games, Inc., product line include Travel Tangoes, Tangoes Jr., Classic Tangoes, Ultra Tangoes, Mini Tangoes, and Double Tangoes. The products are appropriate for one or more players, ages 5 and up.

Berenstain Bears Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Berenstain BearsThis year marks the 50th anniversary of the Berenstain Bears. Since the publication of The Big Honey Hunt in 1962 by creators Jan and Stan Berenstain, more than 300 books have been written, with more than 250 million copies sold, making the Berenstain Bears one of the biggest-selling book series in history. Nelvana Enterprises is currently in discussions with potential licensing and retail partners regarding opportunities to celebrate the milestone.

In July, Random House Children’s Books will reissue a special anniversary edition of The Big Honey Hunt, the first Berenstain Bears book published, as well as The Berenstain Bears: All in the Family, a bind-up of six titles. HarperCollins will publish 19 new titles this year, including Nothing Ever Happens at the South Pole, which will be released in August, and The Berenstain Bears’ Old-Fashioned Christmas, which will be released in September.

Nelvana produced 40 episodes of an animated TV series featuring the Bear family. Along with the TV series, the Bears have been featured in a children’s musical, amusement park rides, toys, e-books, apps, and a video game. There is also a feature film in development.

LeapFrog Partners with Zinkia Entertainment to Feature Pocoyo on LeapPad

LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. and Zinkia Entertainment (Zinkia), brand creator and producer of Pocoyo, have partnered to bring content from the animated children’s series Pocoyo to the LeapPad, the No. 1 learning tablet for kids. The agreement was negotiated by Evolution, the North American licensing agent for Pocoyo. The content will be available this summer.

Pocoyo episodes will be available for purchase in the U.S., Canada, the UK,  Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and France, in both English and Spanish. LeapFrog will make episodes from the first two seasons of the Pocoyo television series and the special Pocoyo and the Space Circus available in English and for the first time Spanish, through the LeapFrog App Center, which can be accessed through the LeapFrog Connect Application for LeapPad and Leapster Explorer platforms. 

SMC Entertainment and Seasons USA to Offer The Jungle Book Halloween Products

The Jungle BookSMC Entertainment Group, Inc., has entered into a licensing agreement with Halloween costume manufacturer Seasons USA, Inc. They will produce a complete line of Halloween products based on The Jungle Book, a new 3D, CGI-animated TV series produced by DQ Entertainment. 

Based on the classic storybook tale written by Rudyard Kipling, Seasons HK, Ltd. plans to expand its current line of Halloween costumes by producing a new collection of merchandise based on The Jungle Book TV series, which will begin airing this month on Disney XD. The Seasons USA, Inc., product line will include costumes, masks, accessories, treat bags, pumpkin carving kits, and décor items.

Moshi Monsters and GREE in Mobile Partnership

Mind Candy, the company behind Moshi Monsters brand, and GREE, a leader in mobile social gaming, have joined forces to bring Moshi Monsters to mobile devices worldwide. The partnership will launch two new Moshi Monsters mobile games on the GREE Platform, set for release in Q4 2012. The partnership will bring Moshi Monsters to GREE’s 230 million worldwide users, while introducing the GREE platform to more than 60 million registered Moshi Monsters users globally. The companies will also deliver fully localized mobile games in multiple languages, including English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin.

Redakai: Conquer the Kairu to Sponsor Mornings on CITV

RedakaiRedakai, Spin Master and Marathon Media’s new boys’ action property, has begun sponsoring CITV weekday mornings, beginning May 28. The CITV sponsorship has been designed to help further raise awareness of Redakai and is part of a long-term deal that will see other Spin Master brands featured. Aimed at boys ages 6-12, Redakai is a hit both with traditional trading card gamers and a whole generation of kids new to the category. Reaction from toy retailers and again at last week’s Toymaster show has been equally positive with strong repeat sales. For further information on Redakai, or to learn how to play, visit www.redakai.com.

ERPLY Integrates PayPal for New Seamless Mobile Payment Solution

ERPLY, a provider of cloud-based POS software, has announced a strategic integration with PayPal to provide businesses, from single to multi-store, a new way to accept mobile payments and manage business operations. The new method allows consumers to “check-in” to their favorite stores on their smartphone and pay with PayPal.
With this new development, retailers can accept payments from a consumer’s mobile device while creating a better shopping experience for both retailers and consumers. Key benefits for retailers include attracting more customers, gaining more insight to customer trends, increasing productivity with quicker transactions, increasing loyalty, and decreasing fraud. The ring-up process, which will only require the cashier to match the name and photo of a customer, provides a quicker transaction at the register. Funds will be instantly available in the retailer’s PayPal account. 
Consumers wishing to use the new payment method can download the free PayPal iPhone app, by clicking here.

Zinkia Extends Pocoyo’s Home Entertainment Agreement with NCircle Entertainment

Zinkia Entertainment (Zinkia), brand creator and producer of the global multi-platform brand Pocoyo, has renewed its home entertainment agreement with NCircle Entertainment to release additional Pocoyo DVD titles for another five years. NCircle will release all-new Pocoyo DVD titles, including Pocoyo: Fun & Games and a Halloween-themed release later this year. Additionally, the company has acquired the rights to distribute the DVD releases for Let’s Go Pocoyo (season three of the television series) and Pocoyo: Space Circus.

Pokémon-Themed Happy Meals Return to McDonald’s

Pokémon Black•White-themed Happy Meals will arrive in participating McDonald’s restaurants across North America beginning June 15, for its second annual Happy Meal promotion with McDonald’s. Pokémon fans visiting North American McDonald’s locations June 15–July 5 can purchase a Happy Meal featuring one of12 Pokémon Trading Card Game cards, each featuring a special McDonald’s “M” foil stamp on the card. The Happy Meal will also include one of six Pokémon figures, including Pikachu and five Unova region Pokémon: Axew, Dewott, Pignite, Servine, and Woobat. The Pokémon Company International continues its McDonald’s Pokémon Black•White Happy Meal promotion in major markets around the world later this year.
The Pokémon Black•White Happy Meal promotion will be supported by McDonald’s through a fully integrated marketing campaign that includes television advertising, in-store POP, and online activities at McWorld.com and HappyMeal.com.

DCP Announces New Leadership

Disney Consumer Products announces new leadership for Disney Publishing Worldwide, and for its retail arm, Disney Store. Andrew Sugerman has been named executive vice president of Disney Publishing. Molly Adams has been named executive vice president of global product development for Disney Store, and Paul Gainer has been named executive vice president of global Disney Store—both will replace the president of Disney Store, Jim Fielding, who recently stepped down to pursue other opportunities.
Sugerman will oversee all of Disney Publishing’s businesses, including its core global book and magazine publishing business, as well as its growing digital and learning initiatives. In addition, Sugerman oversees all global English language-learning efforts for Disney Publishing, with licensed products in more than 100,000 classrooms and homes in 50 countries.
As executive vice president of global product development for Disney Store, Adams will continue to drive the quality, creativity, and performance of the product assortment. In addition, she will lead a cross-regional initiative to determine the most effective structure for global product development. Previously, Adams served as senior vice president of Disney Store retail locations in North America.
In his new role, Gainer will lead the North America business for Disney Store, including e-commerce and the 210 retail locations in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. He will also have global influence on a broader retail strategy by collaborating across the regions to drive brand execution and financial performance. Previously, Gainer served as senior vice president of Disney Store North America.

Spirit Halloween Creates Licensing Department

Spirit Halloween, a division of Spencer Gifts, LLC, has created a new licensing department. Licensing veteran Eric Morse will head the department, which will work with licensors and vendors on the wide range of properties it carries each year.
In his role, Morse will lead the licensing initiatives through a strategy of partnering with premier vendors and licensors, as well as developing new in-store marketing programs. Prior to joining Spirit Halloween, Morse worked as the director of licensing, global toys for Sesame Workshop and held various positions with Hasbro Entertainment and Licensing. Most recently, he served as the head of marketing for Dylan’s Candy Bar based in New York City.

Target Reports May Results

Target Corporation has reported that its net retail sales for the four weeks ended May 26, 2012, were $5 billion, an increase of 5.0 percent from $4.8 billion for the four weeks ended May 28, 2011. On this same basis, May comparable-store sales increased 4.4 percent.
“Target’s May comparable-store sales were at the high end of our expected range,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president, and CEO of Target Corporation. “As we reflect on Target’s first 50 years and celebrate the power of our brand, the resilience of our strategy, and the strength of our talented team, we’re confident that Target is well-positioned to continue delivering a superior guest experience and strong financial performance for many years to come.”

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