August 05, 2010
Top Trumps

HABA

MarVista Entertainment Gains Rights to Power Rangers

Power RangersSaban Brands has granted MarVista Entertainment (MVE) international distribution rights to its Power Rangers television series. As part of the deal, MVE will handle global sales of the Power Rangers’ 700-episode catalog, which will continue to expand in 2011 when the 18th season airs on Nickelodeon and Nicktoons. Further details and products will be announced at MIPCOM this October in Cannes, France.

 

 

Sesame Street to Introduce Three Shows

Sesame StreetThe producers of Sesame Street will be introducing three new shows, currently in development, at MIPCOM.
Super Grover 2.0 features Sesame Street character Grover modeling scientific processes as he observes, formulates questions, and investigates to solve problems across the world. The show will also be featured as a segment on Sesame Street. Count TV features Count von Count introducing viewers to the number of the day and explaining what each number represents. Each episode finishes with a Bert and Ernie tap dance routine about the number of the day.
Goodnight, Elmo features Elmo and his dad in their bedroom routine as they make up their own bedtime stories.

Appeals Court Upholds Mattel Decision in Super Duper Lawsuit

See and SayThe U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, led by judges Dennis Shedd, G. Steven Agee, and Clyde Hamilton, have upheld a trial court judgment ordering Super Duper Publications to destroy all of its goods that advertise or contain the name “Say” and “And Say.”
Super Duper is a publisher of educational materials for children with autism and other communication disorders. Since its establishment in 1987, the company has developed 15 lines of “Say” products such as Fold And Say articulation and language books, Fish and Say speech and language floor games, and See It Say It flip books for children with apraxia.
The trial court ruled that Super Duper infringed upon Mattel’s See ‘N Say and The Farmer Says toys.
According to Thomas Webber, CEO of Super Duper, the cost of destroying all of the company’s advertising and special education materials that contain “Say” and “And Say” would amount to more than $500,000. Super Duper must also pay Mattel $999,913 of its “Say” profits, and $2,643,844 in Mattel’s attorney’s fees, plus interest.
The company is appealing the Fourth Circuit decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

LEGO Universe TCG on the Way

LEGO UniverseThe Lego Group has granted licensing rights to Dire Wolf Digital to create a new trading card game. The game, based on the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) Lego Universe, will release in 2011 and will feature both physical cards and digital properties for Macintosh, PC, and mobile devices.
Lego Universe launches October 26.

 

State Legislatures Continue to Discuss Proposed Children’s Products Legislation

Although many U.S. state legislatures are adjourned for the summer, TIA is emphasizing that legislators in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York are still in session and are considering bills that could impact the toy industry. According to TIA, 11 states have introduced proposed legislation regarding “chemicals of concern” in children’s product this year and TIA, with other organizations, have prevented these proposals from moving forward. But, according to the association, it is still addressing proposals in Washington, California, and Maine regarding “chemicals of concern” in children’s products, greener and “safer alternatives” for some chemicals in children’s products, and BPA, respectively.
TIA believes that any state action should be consistent with federal standards, and the association opposes “the science behind legislation banning BPA in products.” TIA states that although the majority of bills regarding BPA has been focused on baby bottles, sippy cups, and infant food, a proposed city ordinance in New York City (that is not currently moving forward) would ban the use of BPA in toys.
TIA continues to stress that toys are already subjected to many federal environmental and safety regulations and laws including the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Child Safety Protection Act, and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

Rainbow Secures Global Rights to Huntik

HuntikRainbow SpA has been granted the global rights to Huntik, Secrets & Seekers. Huntik (52 episodes) is a fantastical series featuring an elaborate world of magic, discovery, mythology, adventure, and teamwork. In the show, Seekers battle the evil “Organization” with the help of their Titans. Licensees on board include Panini, Tridimensional, Stamatis, Dino Bikes, Blues Clothing, Brummel, and Assos in major categories such as toys, 3-D figurines, vehicles, apparel, footwear, sticker books, and more.
The series has been sold to more than 30 countries including the U.S., U.K., and Australia. In Italy, the series achieved a 12 percent audience share on Rai; in the Netherlands, an average 20 percent audience share; on RTL2 Germany a high of 33 percent in the 6-13 age range; and on Panda TV Portugal, a peak of 39 percent.

Voting Begins for 2011 Toy Hall of Fame

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is accepting votes for the 2011 Toy Industry Hall of Fame, to take place in conjunction with the Toy of the Year Awards during Toy Fair Week in New York City. Voting started yesterday and will run until August 27, with the winners awarded on February 12.
The living candidates for induction into the 2011 Hall of Fame are Fashion Institute of Technology Toy Design Department Chair Judith Ellis, Former Radica Games, Ltd. CEO Patrick Feely, Funrise Toys, Ltd. Founder and CEO Arnie Rubin, Director Steven Spielberg, and Hasbro, Inc., Chairman Alfred Verrecchia. The posthumous candidates for the 2011 Hall of Fame are Russ Berrie, Inc., Founder Russell Berrie, Duncan Yo-Yo Founder Donald Duncan, and Briarpatch, Inc., Co-founder Martine Redman.
Designated points of contact at TIA member companies, former Hall of Fame inductees, and recent TIA Board members are invited to nominate their top three picks in each category. Nominees will earn three points for each first-place nomination, two points for each second-place nomination, and one point for each third-place nomination.

TIF Summer Toy Drive to End August 31

Summer Toy DriveThere is still a month left to donate to the Toy Industry Foundation’s Summer Toy Drive. To date, TIF has reached a third of its goal and has collected more than 100,000 toys for children in need. The foundation’s goal is to collect 300,000 toys for The Toy Bank by August 31.
Donations to The Toy Bank service a variety of programs including Play Comforts, an organization that partners with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Military Services to help children with a parent deployed overseas; My Stuff Bags Foundation, which helps to comfort abused and neglected children entering crisis and foster care; and Play Heals, which services young patients at Ronald McDonald Houses.
For more information, click here.

First Transformers Convention, in Shanghai, Comes to a Close

Cybertron ConHasbro, Inc.’s Transformers Cybertron Con ends today in Shanghai, China. Part of the Shanghai World Expo, Hasbro took over part of the East Asia Exhibition Hall to give Asian fans their first official Transformers convention.
Attendees could walk through a historama of Transformers content, from the Generation 1 robots to the current Hunt for the Decepticons promotion. Exhibits included a 23-foot tall Bumblebee model; animation clips and production stills, some of which have never been seen by the public; a graffiti wall; fan contests; drawing classes; a demonstration of Activision's new Transformers video game; and more.

K’NEX Launches K’NEXpert Search Competition

K’NEX has launched its annual K’NEXpert search, asking children to create an original model using K’NEX parts. A winner from each age group (5-6, 7-8, and 9-12) will receive a $10,000 savings bond for college. The three winners will also receive a trip to the K’NEX headquarters, near Philadelphia, Pa., for the K’NEXpert Awards Ceremony, and $250 worth of K’NEX building sets.
Seven finalists will receive a $1,000 savings bond,  $250 of K’NEX building sets, and their own photo gallery page on knex.com. All semi-finalists and finalists will receive discounts on online purchases for a year, K’NEX gear, and a K’NEX birthday gift.
The contest will run from now through September 10 with winners announced in October. Click here for more information.

Madame Alexander

Majesco CFO Steps Down

Majesco Entertainment Company has announced that John Gross is resigning as
executive vice president, CFO to accept another position, effective August
20. Michael Vesey, Majesco’s senior vice president, corporate controller,
and chief accounting officer will serve as interim CFO after Gross departs.
Vesey joined Majesco in May 2006. Prior to that, he served as CFO at Nuvim,
Inc., a maker of dietary supplement beverages.

Build-A-Bear and Cepia Face Off

During Build-A-Bear Workshop’s Q2 call to investors last week, President John Haugh said that sales on the rollout of ZhuZhu Pets “are not performing up to the best levels and the line overall is under significant competitive pricing pressures that are somewhat unprecedented for a hot toy so early in its life cycle. We are taking aggressive action to move the products by reducing our average retails. ZhuZhu Pets have been a modest part of our business and we expect to be able to offset the impact of these price reductions with other proprietary products in our mix.”
Cepia, LLC, maker of Zhu Zhu Pets, responded with this statement: “We were troubled to learn of the statements made by Build-A-Bear Workshop President John Haugh to investors on Thursday about the sales of ZhuZhu Pets at their stores. We believe the sales performance ZhuZhu Pets experienced at Build-A-Bear Workshop is wholly unrelated to the overall health of ZhuZhu Pets as a brand and is more a reflection of ongoing issues that Build-A-Bear is facing.
“Sales of ZhuZhu Pets continue to perform exceptionally well globally at all of the major toy retailers. ZhuZhu Pets are sold in 67 countries and the brand is currently the No. 1 plush toy brand in the world according to industry reporting sources such as The NPD Group. The comments by Build-A-Bear Workshop clearly are in conflict with these facts, and we are disappointed they chose to link their financial performance with ZhuZhu Pets.”

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