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Alpha Group Announces Launch of Operations in Latin America

AlphaGroupFollowing the launch of subsidiaries in North America, France, the UK, and Canada, The Alpha Group has appointed Jose Antonio Espinoza to head the launch of Latin America operations.

“One of the integral pillars of our growth strategy is international expansion through the establishment of Alpha subsidiaries in key markets. Having successfully worked for some of the top toy companies in the world—Mattel, Kreisel, and MGA—Jose Antonio brings unparalleled expertise to the role,” said Jean-Christophe Pean, president of Alpha Group in the U.S. and Europe.

Alpha will be showcase the new 2018 ranges at its Los Angeles showroom in September and in Hong Kong in October.

Thomas & Friends, Pottery Barn Kids Launch Exclusive Home Décor Collection

ThomasFriendsBedroom_PotteryBarnMattel’s Thomas & Friends brand partnered with Pottery Barn Kids to debut an exclusive licensed collection of Thomas & Friends home décor and accessories. The Thomas & Friends from Pottery Barn Kids collection includes more than 20 pieces that feature bedding, decorative accessories, tabletop, luggage, lighting, pajamas, and toys.

The collection incorporates artwork based on the original illustrations of Thomas and his friends from the 1945 The Railway Series by the Rev. W Awdry. The collection is available for purchase now on potterybarnkids.com and in select Pottery Barn Kids stores nationwide beginning on September 22.

LMA to Represent Lionel

LIONEL LOGOSLisa Marks Associates Inc. (LMA) is now the licensing agency for Lionel LLC. Key planned product categories for the Lionel licensing program include toys and games, gifts and collectibles, publishing, digital games and apps, apparel and accessories, and more.

Since 1900, Lionel’s classic railroad sets and toys feature an attention to detail, with accurate model reproductions of locomotives, train cars, structures and accessories. Lionel has also committed to the present with Bluetooth technology and innovative new collections such as the Polar Express train set, which was released in conjunction with the Warner Bros. movie.

Super Wings Season Two Launches on Treehouse, New Toys to Launch from The Alpha Group US

nelvana_superwingsThe second season of Super Wings is now available on Treehouse. Season two features new stories, destinations, and characters.
The preschool follows a jet plane named Jett who travels the world delivering packages to children. On every delivery, Jett encounters a new problem that he and his friends, the Super Wings, must work together to solve.

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Beat Bug Merchandise Launches Exclusively at Target

BeatBugsTarget will debut an exclusive line inspired by the Netflix series Beat Bugs. The line will include toys, electronics, DVDs, publishing, apparel, accessories, and more.

Beat Bugs introduces music made famous by the Beatles to a new generation of kids. Additionally, the new Beat Bugs website also relaunched this week.

NPD Study Shows Toys and Technology Drive Licensed Sales for Kids in the U.S.

NPD_Stats According to the U.S. Kids License Report from The NPD Group, video games, electronics, and apps make up a combined 22 percent of kids’ licensed product dollar sales in the U.S.

This is on par with the volume represented by toys, which is the number one licensed industry at most retailers.

Toys capture the largest share of licensed sales among younger kids, representing over one-quarter of dollar sales for kids ages 2 to 5. This percentage shifts as video games, electronics, and apps gain more prominence as kids get older. Video games earn 27 percent of sales among boys ages 10 to 14, and share also increases substantially among girls as they get older. Toys and video games capture the largest share for eight out of the top 10 licenses, illustrating the weight carried by each of these industries. Read the rest of this entry »

MGAE’s L.O.L. Surprise! Secures Top Ranks in the U.S., Tops Retail Sales in International Markets

LOLSurpriseAccording to the NPD Group, MGA Entertainment Inc. (MGAE)’s L.O.L. Surprise! is the No. 1 doll in the U.S. YTD April and topping retail sales in international markets. The new toy line brings the unboxing phenomenon to kids by revealing multiple layers of unexpected fun and surprises.

The retail tracking information, compiled by The NPD Group, confirms that L.O.L. Surprise! ranks among the top toy brands and was the No. 2 toy in retail sales in the U.S. YTD April.In Belgium, L.O.L. Surprise! was ranked as the No. 1 doll YTD April. In France, L.O.L. Surprise! held firmly to the No. 1 ranked position for April and became the country’s second most popular play set dolls and collectibles in YTD April in retail sales. In the U.K., L.O.L. Surprise! ranked fourth among all toys sold in April, and was the second most popular product in the dolls category. Read the rest of this entry »

Skyrocket Toys, Marvel Partner for New Spider-Man: Homecoming Drone

Skyrocket_Spider-ManSpiderDroneSkyrocket Toys partnered with Marvel to reveal new, high-tech drones inspired by the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming film. Skyrocket Toys designed the functional replica of Spider-Man’s surveillance drone, complete with the free Spider-Drone app.

The Spider-Man Drone will be available exclusively at Walmart on June 4. Additionally, the Spider-Man Streaming Video Spider-Drone, will be available exclusively at Toys “R” Us on July 1.

Jakks Pacific Appointed as Master Toy Licensee for Mega Man

Jakks_MegaManDHX Brands and Dentsu Entertainment USA appointed Jakks Pacific Inc. as worldwide master toy licensee—excluding Asia—for their co-produced animated series Mega Man. The deal brokered by CPLG North America.

The multi-year license agreement allows Jakks to exclusively manufacture, market, and distribute a range of consumer products, including action figures, figurines, play sets, accessories, dress up and role-play, Halloween costumes, plush, and vehicles. Read the rest of this entry »

Shopkins Collectible Brand Ranks as Top Priority

ShopkinsBulldog Licensing revealed the Shopkins collectible brand is now a top three licensed brand across multiple categories.

 Shopkins is the No. 1 brand in both the stationery and lunchware and lighting categories, as well as No. 2 in baked goods, No. 3 in trading cards and stickers, and No. 3 in primary-age girls’ magazines.

Additionally, according to NPD figures, Shopkins is the No. 1 girls’ brand in the toy market, where it continues to grow. Shoppies Dolls is the No. 1 fashion doll in the market by value, while Happy Places—the Shopkins sub-brand—is bigger than any other non-Shopkins collectible on the market. Read the rest of this entry »

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