Licensing Roundup

FYODOR GOLAN - MY LITTLE PONYWith the Licensing Expo under way in Las Vegas, a spate of agreements have been announced.

JAKKS Pacific renewed its license for DC Comics and signed a new license, with Warner Bros., for the upcoming Batman v Superman movie. The licenses cover large-scale action figures and vehicles, accessories, games, wagons, and other products.

Hasbro is licensing Fyodor Golan to make My Little Pony luxury womenswear, the China National Petroleum Corporation to brand gas cards with Transformers, and Sephora to produce Gem and the Holograms cosmetics.

Spin Master got the contract to distribute toys for the relaunching Teletubbies TV show; the master toy license for Noddy, Toyland Detective; and the U.S. and Canada license for Masha and the Bear.

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chart-up-3For Hasbro, games performed well, though overall results were disappointing. The games category showed a third consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth, up 19 percent versus 2012. Highlights were Magic: The Gathering and Monopoly. Other games that also did well were Twister, Jenga, and the Elefun & Friends collection.

Also on the positive side were the girls and preschool categories, up 43 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Down 35 percent (or $135 million), though, was the boys category because of “challenging comparisons” to the strong sales of both Marvel and Beyblade in 2012. Total net revenues for Hasbro fell 6 percent from the second quarter of last year and operating profit was down 11 percent (not including restructuring charges).

Looking forward, Hasbro is optimistic on the performance of its newest games this fall, including Monopoly Empire, Twister Dance Rave, and Cheeky Monkey. Telepods, a mobile app-integrated product that’s launching with Angry Birds Star Wars II, will be expanding to other brands. Beywarriors will add to the Beyblades line. And Hasbro’s value game initiative will see the release of classic games at lower price points.

For Mattel, games performed about the same as last year. The company’s big movers were Barbie, down 12 percent, other girl’s (mostly Monster High), up 23 percent, and wheels (Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and Tyco R/C), down 6 percent.

For JAKKS Pacific, poor sales of Monsuno was one of the factors contributing to a second quarter loss of $46.9 million.

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First off, scheduled for release next month is Margaret Weis Productions’ Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Basic Game. Derived from the Cortex Plus RPG system, the game is currently available for preorder.

In March we get Marvel Avengers Slap Shot Bowling from Giant Tree House:

and Marvel Avengers card games, Go Fish, Crazy 8s, and War, from Glowfly Games:

JAKKS Pacific yesterday announced its own licensing arrangement with Marvel, based on which the company will produce Marvel Super Hero Squad plush toys. The plushies will be good for cuddling, as well as unlocking content in Marvel’s online trading card game at JAKKS also plans to launch in the spring “innovative ‘Skill & Action’ based games that encourage active, physical play based on popular Marvel super heroes.”

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