MGA Owns Bratz Brand, Says Appeals Court
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that MGA is the owner of the Bratz brand, not Mattel. In a unanimous decision, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski spoke on behalf of the panel saying that “it is not equitable to transfer this billion dollar brand—the value of which is overwhelmingly the results of MGA’s legitimate efforts” to Mattel. The 24-page opinion stated: “it’s likely that a significant portion—if not all—of the jury verdict and damage award should be vacated.”
MGA founder Isaac Larian said the company will re-launch a new line of Bratz products, as well as release new Moxie Girlz, Moxie Teenz, Bitty Buttons, and BFC, Ink products, this August.
JAKKS Pacific to Manufacture Product Line for Real Steel
JAKKS Pacific, Inc., has signed a master toy licensing agreement with DreamWorks Studios to manufacture, distribute, and market a line of toys based on the upcoming live-action feature film Real Steel, directed by Shawn Levy and starring Hugh Jackman.
The agreement, brokered by licensing agent Striker Entertainment, includes action figures, accessories, play sets, roleplay, youth electronics, novelties, games and puzzles, Halloween costumes, and more. JAKKS expects to launch the Real Steel product line next fall to coincide with the film’s November 18, 2011 premiere in theaters nationwide.
Rubie’s Obtains License for The Green Hornet Costumes
Rubie’s Costume Co., Inc. has secured a license to create costumes ranging from deluxe to accessories based on characters from Sony Pictures’ January 14 release of The Green Hornet. Rubie’s The Green Hornet costumes will include Kato, Green Hornet, hats, gloves, masks, and more.
The Green Hornet stars Seth Rogen in the title role, Jay Chou as Kato, Cameron Diaz as secretary Lenore Case, and Christoph Waltz as Benjamin Chudnofsky. The movie is directed by Michel Gondry, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, produced by Neal H. Moritz, and based on the 1930’s "The Green Hornet" radio series created by George W. Trendle. The film will be released in 3-D.
Sprout Premieres Two New Nightly Shows
Preschool television network Sprout has premiered two new exclusive nightly shows, Nina’s Little Fables at 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. ET, and Chloe’s Closet at 5:45 p.m. ET.
Nina’s Little Fables features 26 classic fables adapted for young audiences and illustrated with shadow puppetry animation. The series premiered on June 28.
Chloe's Closet follows the adventures of a little girl named Chloe who discovers new worlds while playing dress-up in her closet; the series premiered in the U.S. on July 12. Last year, Bandai America, Inc. was named the global toy licensee for Chloe’s Closet and will create toys, activity sets and crafts, roleplay, and dress-up sets based on the series.
Discovery Bay to Launch Oxford Game Collection at Barnes & Noble
Stone America Licensing has announced the launch of Discovery Bay Games’ Oxford Game Collection at Barnes & Noble for spring 2011. The line will showcase the history of the University of Oxford in traditional games, including chess and checkers sets with gargoyle components, traditional cribbage, liar’s dice, dominoes, card sets, an authentic trivia game, and both jigsaw and pop-out puzzles.
Following the launch at Barnes & Noble, the products will be available at other retailers, including Borders, K-Mart, Nordstrom, Toys "R" Us, Amazon.com, Target.com, and specialty toy retailers.
Toy, Game, and Technology Summit to Come in September
Leaders from around the toy, video game, and technology industries will converge in Santa Clara, Calif., this fall to generate cross-platform relations. From September 22–23, the Toy, Game, & Technology Summit will allow executives to learn from each other as each develops new products for young people.
The summit will focus on pressing toy companies to adopt digital assets, as well as helping video game and technology companies learn how to better establish partnerships with traditional toy manufacturers. The event, sponsored by the Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA), features industry leaders, including Joseph Olin, president, Academy of Interactive Arts and Science; TIA President Carter Keithley (pictured above); Reyne Rice, trend specialist at TIA; and Anita Frazier, toys and video games industry analyst at The NPD Group.
The event will take place at the Santa Clara Convention Center. TIA members will receive 15 percent off admission. For more information, visit www.ToysGamesTech.com.
Report: Decline in Number of U.S. Gift Givers for Kids 0-2
According to Juvenile Products: 2010 Edition by The NPD Group, there has been a decline in the number of U.S. consumers who buy gifts for kids ages 0-2 in an average year. Since 2007, when the original Juvenile Products report was published, that number has declined from 47 percent to 40 percent.
The 2010 report also states that while the number of people buying gifts in a typical year has declined, the amount spent on baby showers and holidays has increased slightly. New baby gifts rose from $26 to $29. The report also states that grandparents spend the most on new baby gifts, an average of $72.
For the entire juvenile product category, clothing and layette is the most popular for purchases in the past year, followed by toys, and books/music/video.
Demon Records to Release Waybuloo Single
RDF Rights, part of the RDF Media Group, has licensed Demon Records the publishing rights to release a Waybuloo single, “Waybuloo Time For Yogo.” The song features some of the Pipling signature phrases and yogo movements that appear in the preschool series, which airs on the UK’s CBeebies.
“Waybuloo Time For Yogo” will be released digitally on August 9 and will be followed by the digital/CD album release of Waybuloo a World of Musical Happiness on September 6.
Waybuloo launched in the UK in May 2009 on CBeebies. The series now airs in 79 countries worldwide and RDF Rights has secured 34 licensees to date in the UK.
RDF Rights holds worldwide rights in all media in the property, with the exception of Canada where Decode Enterprises handles broadcast and home entertainment rights and DHX Licensing represents consumer products rights.
Max and Ruby Gets Theatrical Adaptation
Koba Entertainment has added Max and Ruby: Bunny Party, a musical adaptation of Nickelodeon's Max and Ruby series, to its family of touring theatrical productions. The 90-minute theatrical event is currently in production and is backed by a creative team that includes Max and Ruby book series creator Rosemary Wells as the script consultant and Norman Foote as the music and lyrics writer. The show will be directed and conceived by Patti Caplette.
The theatrical tour will begin in western Canada this fall and will continue throughout Canada and the United States into 2011. Koba Entertainment will hold exclusive theatrical rights for Max and Ruby in North America.
Nickelodeon Green Lights The Legend of Korra Series
Nickelodeon has given the go-ahead to develop The Legend of Korra, a new series from the creators of the television series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The series, which will continue the Avatar animated franchise, will premiere on Nickelodeon in 2011.
The Legend of Korra takes place 70 years after the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and follows the adventures of Korra, a passionate, rebellious, and fearless teenage girl from the Southern Water Tribe. With three of the four elements under her belt (Earth, Water, and Fire), Korra seeks to master the final element, Air.
The new series will be produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif., and is co-executive produced by Joaquim Dos Santos.
Imperial Toy Consolidates with New Lease
According to the Memphis Business Journal, Imperial Toy has signed a lease for a 312,000-square foot building, located at Southaven Distribution Center Building Two, in an effort to consolidate its Memphis-area operations. The company is currently leasing two buildings in Memphis that covers 240,000 square feet.