INDUSTRY UPDATE Chuggington
JAZWARES NAMED GLOBAL MASTER TOY PARTNER FOR CHUGGINGTON Ludorum appointed Jazwares as its new global master toy partner for its preschool property Chuggington. Jazwares will unveil its Chuggington line to retailers this month. The line will feature characters from the series. Products will include collectible characters, play sets, and feature toys. The line will move away from traditional track systems of train play and will focus on the destinations in the show to allow kids to build their own world of Chuggington and recreate adventures. The line will launch at retail next spring. »
SKYROCKET TOYS FORMS NEW MEDIA DIVISION Skyrocket Toys appointed kids and family entertainment executive and producer Jared Wolfson to lead the company’s newly formed media division, which will create original content for multimedia platforms in conjunction with the company’s toy and consumer products brands. Skyrocket will develop original content for digital and broadcast platforms with a corresponding line of toys and ancillary products. The company plans to launch its first property with a toy line in 2018. As senior vice president of the company’s media division, Wolfson will be responsible for developing, launching, and managing Skyrocket’s portfolio of integrated entertainment properties in coordination with the company’s toy and consumer products businesses. Wolfson was previously president of franchise integration at Zag Animation Studios and Zagtoon, and executive producer on global TV shows Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, Popples, Sammy & Co, and Zak Storm. He also held various executive, production, and marketing positions at Jakks Pacific and Disney Interactive Studios. »
TOY INDUSTRY EXECS TO OPEN LICENSING EXPO Leading toy industry executives will open Licensing Expo 2016 with keynote “Toys to Content: Where Do We Go From Here?” on
THE TOY BOOK | May/June 2016 | TOYBOOK.COM
June 21 from 8 to 9 a.m. at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The panel includes Simon Waters, general manager and senior vice president, entertainment and consumer products, Hasbro; Laura Zebersky, chief compliance officer, Jazwares; and Susie Lecker, chief brand officer, Toy Box division, Mattel. The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) Senior Vice President Marty Brochstein will moderate the discussion, which is open to all registered Licensing Expo exhibitors and attendees. The keynote panel is part of LIMA’s lineup of Licensing University educational programs, which begins on June 20 with the Digital Media Licensing Summit. »
DISNEY DISCONTINUES DISNEY INFINITY Disney will discontinue Disney Infinity, John Blackburn, senior vice president and general manager at Disney Infinity, announced in a blog post. “By now you may have heard the news that we have made the difficult decision to discontinue production of Disney Infinity. From the beginning, Disney Infinity was built for you—our fans—and I wanted to take a moment to thank you not just for your support over the years, but for creating a community that made Disney Infinity more than just a game,” Blackburn writes in the post. There will be two final retail releases, including three new character figures from
Alice Through the Looking Glass later this month and a Finding Dory Play Set launching in June. The announcement comes two months after Disney laid out the video game’s plans for the year, including a focus on developing new play sets and characters instead of a new edition of the game. Disney Infinity first launched in August 2013, and the franchise was the No. 1 game in the toys-to-life category in 2014 and 2015. »
DHX MEDIA, ICONIX PARTNER TO GROW STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE BRAND DHX Media and Iconix Brand Group have entered a long-term agreement to co-develop and co-produce an animated series based on Strawberry Shortcake. DHX will produce and globally distribute the content, and Iconix will handle worldwide merchandising and licensing for the brand with DHX’s international licensing agency CPLG. Iconix and DHX will both participate on all revenue streams related to this agreement. In addition to the deal, DHX is now the exclusive, global distributor for the Strawberry Shortcake back catalogue, adding 108 half-hours to the eight half-hours of Strawberry Shortcake content already in the DHX distribution library. STAY CONNECTED!
Many of us are traveling to Denver for the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s (ASTRA’s) Marketplace & Academy trade show, and in...