Inside Licensing News and Notes, June 13, 2018
Hasbro Closes on $522 Million Purchase of Saban Properties
Hasbro closes on its $522 million acquisition of Power Rangers and other entertainment IP from Saban Brands. As part of the transaction, Hasbro also is acquiring the My Pet Monster, Popples, Julius Jr., Luna Petunia, Treehouse Detectives and other entertainment assets. “Power Rangers will benefit from execution across Hasbro’s Brand Blueprint and distribution through our omni-channel retail relationships globally,” Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner said in a statement. “We see a tremendous future for Power Rangers as part of Hasbro’s brand portfolio.”
Hasbro, Deborah Thomas, Chief Financial Officer, Deborah.email@example.com
Dave & Buster’s Launching First Licensed VR Games
Dave & Buster’s is relying on licensing, with an emphasis on virtual reality (VR), as it moves to “recalibrate” its business this year, CEO Steve King told analysts as the company reported results for Q1 ended May 6.
The 112- location restaurant/arcade chain this week introduces its first VR game, “Jurassic World VR Expedition”, and will add another by year-end starting this week, King said. Fifteen high-volume stores will have two VR systems. “Our plan is to build the library of proprietary VR content that will enable us to capitalize on this opportunity for many years,” King said.
In addition, Dave & Buster’s also will introduce an arcade version of Microsoft’s Halo game – Halo: Fireteam Raven – to be played on a 130-inch ultra-high definition screen. It introduced Tomb Raider and Rampage games during the past quarter.
Meanwhile, the company’s Q1 net income declined slightly to $42.2 million despite a 9.2% revenue increase to $332 million, as same-store revenue dropped 4.9%. Revenue from the amusement and other non-Food parts of the business rose 10.3% to $192.4 million, but dropped 4% on a same-store basis.
Dave & Buster’s plans to open 14-15 stores in the current fiscal year (ending in February), including two in a smaller, 17,000 square foot format. Long-term, King said, there is room for 231-251 stores in the U.S. and Canada, including 20-40 in the small format.
Dave & Buster’s, Stephen King, CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org
Feisty Pets Expanding Licensing
Jazwares’ Feisty Pets-licensed plush is ending a six-week exclusive at Walmart this month as the interactive toy brand moves to expand distribution, says Surge Licensing’s Elan Freedman, whose firm represents Feisty Pets brand owner William Mark Corp. (WMC). In addition, Rubie’s Costume Co. (costumes), Accessory Innovations (backpacks) and Global Brands Group (sleepwear) have signed licenses for products that will launch later this year. Feisty Pets, introduced in 2016, are a line of plush animals that change from cute to ferocious when the head is squeezed. With more than 250 million views on YouTube and Facebook, WMC also launched “Feisty Films” on YouTube in May 2017, a series that has since gained 25 million views.
Surge Licensing, Elan Freedman, SVP Business Development, 516-939-2225, email@example.com
William Mark Corp., Mark Forti, Founder, 909-608-7340
Mister Rogers Making a Licensing Comeback
Mister Rogers is making a comeback. Spurred by the scheduled release in 2019 of a You Are My Friend Fred Rogers biopic (You Are My Friend) starring Tom Hanks, and the recent release of a Fred Rogers documentary (Won’t You Be My Neighbor?) Fred Rogers Company, represented by Brand Central has recently signed seven new agreements, says Brand Central’s Coco Van Iwaarden. She says that licensee Funko has an exclusive vinyl figure at Barnes & Noble, a keychain at Hot Topic and plush at Entertainment Earth, and other licensees now include Trevco (apparel, mugs); boldSocks (socks), Aquarius (calendars), Surreal Entertainment (drinkware, coin banks) and Wizhead (puzzle). “We almost dropped the brand, but it started becoming hot again in 2016,” says Van Iwaarden.
“There is a nostalgia and throwback component” with Mister Rogers and “that has been a big trend over the last year and it’s not slowing down,” says Trevco’s Trevor George. And the “the positivity and compassion that was a major theme in the Mister Rogers show is something that customers truly value and are more than willing to support right now.”
Brand Central Group, Coco Van Iwaarden, Associate Mgr. Business Development, 424-371-5039, firstname.lastname@example.org
Trevco, Trevor George, Pres., 248-526-1400 x45, email@example.com
Karen Castellano, ex-G-III Apparel Group, named President of Fashion at Sequential Brands Group, replacing Jameel Spencer, who has left the company… Louise Jones, ex-Ernst and Young, named VP Business Affairs at Guru Studio.. Dave & Buster’s CEO Stephen King retires and will be replaced by CFO Brian Jenkins… Lifetime Brands COO Ronald Shiftan to retire effective Dec. 31…Amit Singh, PTX Performance, joins Sakar International as VP Product and Operations as part of Sakar’s acquisition of the company…
Dave & Busters, Stephen King, CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org
Guru Studio, Louise Jones, VP Business Affairs, 416-599-4878
Sequential Brands Group, Karen Castellano, Fashion Pres., 646-564-2577, email@example.com
Games Workshop Posts Increase in Licensing Revenue
Miniature figure retailer/tabletop strategy games supplier Games Workshop posted a 26% gain in licensing revenue to £10 million in the year ended June 3, due largely to the strength of its tabletop game franchise Warhammer, the company said. Overall, sales rose 38% to £219 million. Games Workshop had 462 stores as of June 3, up from 451 a year earlier, including in the UK (145, down from 146), Europe (147, down from 148) and the U.S. (111, up from 100). It also produces tabletop games under the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit licenses.
Games Workshop, Kevin Rountree, CEO, +44 115 900 4000