Seven 20 Brands (Former Underground Toys U.S.) To Focus on Housewares, Toys

Underground Toys’ U.S. division has renamed itself Seven 20 Brands, separating from its former UK parent with a sharp focus on entertainment brand housewares products and plans to expand in toys, Seven 20’s Matthew Wozniak told us. The move follows the sale of Underground Toys’ UK operations to Funko earlier this year, but was in the works since last April,

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Hasbro Sees Broader Audience for Star Wars in 2017

Hasbro is seeing a “significant broadening” of audience will for its Star Wars-related products, leading the company to deepen its line of premium Black Series collectibles and ready one-time promotions in the run up to the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi film in December, executives said last week during its pre-Toy Fair conference with financial analysts. Among other moves,

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The Bridge Direct Merges with Tech 4 Kids

The Bridge Direct merges with Toronto-based Tech 4 Kids, the first in what is planned as a series of deals every 6-18 months as the company expands its licensing business, says Bridge Direct’s Jay Forman. In merging with Tech 4 Kids, Bridge Direct will gain licenses for several Disney as well as for Warner Bros.’ DC Entertainment. It also will

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News and Notes

Star Trek Movie Park Germany will open the first Star Trek roller coaster in the spring, deepening the theme park’s ties to the licensing business. The rollercoaster, under construction for two years and designed around the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” TV series, will be located near the entrance to park and feature a Federation Plaza with a Star Trek

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Sears Strikes Kenmore Grill Deal, Seeking Others

As Sears Holdings weighs selling its Kenmore and DieHard brands, the retailer’s KCD Brands Division continues pursuing licensing deals, Mike Angus, Senior Director for International Business Development and Licensing for the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands, told us. KCD struck an agreement with Permasteel for a line of Kenmore and Kenmore Elite gas grills, grill covers and accessories for general

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Build-A-Bear Cites Licensing Missteps in Reporting Loss

Build-A-Bear Workshop is planning a “comprehensive” licensing program focused on “key properties” for 2017 as it seeks to rebound from disappointing holiday sales, company executives told analysts. In addition, the 438-store retailer is expanding the outbound licensing program it launched last year with Spin Master Corp., having added a new licensee for make-up tied to its “Honey Girls” YouTube series.

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Publishers, Developers and Licensors Wrestle With the Development of VR and AR Games

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DC Entertainment Product Sales Hit $4.5 Billion Last Year

Warner Bros. Consumer Products’ DC-entertainment-related merchandise generated $4.5 billion in sales in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, helping drive a nearly 40% increase in the consumer group’s total annual revenue, Time-Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes told analysts. Warner Bros. film releases in 2016 included Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Warner Bros. films’ total box office revenue

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Disney Shows Consumer Product Declines Amid Tough Comparisons on Star Wars, Frozen

Faced with daunting comparisons to the year-earlier quarter that was highlighted by sales related to both Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and Frozen, Disney’s Consumer Products and Interactive Media segment showed declines in both revenue and operating income in the company’s first quarter ended December 31. The segment’s revenue for the quarter was off 22.7% percent to

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Hasbro Posts Higher Revenue, Income for Q4, Year

Hasbro’s net income for Q4 ended Dec. 25 jumped 9.6 percent to $192.7 million as revenue rose 11 percent to $1.63 billion amid strong sales of Disney Princess and Frozen-related products. For the year, Hasbro’s net income jumped 22 percent to $551.4 million as revenue increased 13 percent to $5.02 billion, the first time past the $5 billion mark. Among

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