Hello Kitty and Pusheen pounce on limited edition collaboration for plush, fashion, and more

Sanrio has entered into a new collaboration with the Pusheen brand to launch a limited edition collection of Hello Kitty x Pusheen consumer products, spanning apparel, accessories, collectables, stationery, housewares, health and beauty products, and plush. The collection unites Hello Kitty and Pusheen for the first time in the consumer space.

The deal brings with a swathe of premium licensing partners already on board to launch a selection of Hello Kitty x Pusheen products, including Hybrid for apparel, Loungefly for bags and small accessories, Taste Beauty for health and beauty care products, GUND for plush and slippers, and Hamee for squishy toys and phone accessories.

They are joined by further licensing partners, Monogram for pins, bag clips, and lanyards, Stitch & Story for crochet kits and craft accessories, Blueprint for stationery, and Thumbs Up for housewares and figurines.

“Hello Kitty has always believed ‘You can never have too many friends’ and we couldn’t be more excited for Pusheen to join her side,” said Craig Takiguchi, chief operating officer at Sanrio, Inc. “With both of our avid fanbases and the wide range of products designed for every occasion, these pop culture icons will encourage friends to come together and make even more everyday memories.”

Claire Belton, creator of Pusheen, said: “It’s a dream come true to collaborate with Hello Kitty. It’s been so much fun to work together and see everything come to life. I grew up loving Hello Kitty, so it feels like coming full circle.”

Similar to Pusheen, whose animated comics and GIFs have spread smiles and laughter worldwide, Hello Kitty also stands for friendship, kindness, and inclusivity. These values have brought the two together to help spread positivity and acceptance to friends and fans everywhere.

The Hello Kitty x Pusheen collection will be available on September 3, 2021 at Sanrio.com, select Sanrio boutique stores, and Pusheen.com while supplies last. The collection will also be available at select specialty retailers such as Hot Topic, Claire’s, FYE, Barnes & Noble, and IT’SUGAR later this autumn.

From the US | Mighty Mojo Toys named plush toy partner for Geronimo Stilton

The Italian entertainment media company, Atlantyca Entertainment has secured a new US toy partner for Geronimo Stilton, bringing its popular children’s book IP into the plush toy sector thanks to Mighty Mojo Toys.

In a deal brokered by the appointed US licesing agency, Firefly Brand Management, the plush range will be based on the series’ cast of characters to the North American market.

Created by Elisabetta Dami, the adventures of Geronimo Stilton and his family and friends have featured across almost 250 volumes, selling more than 175 million copies in 51 different languages around the world. 

In North America, the book series is published by Scholastic for all English speaking countries, making Geronimo Stilton one of the most globally popular kids’ books series.

Meanwhile, Mighty Mojo Toys has experienced its own success on the global stage, having enjoyed a fruitful run of plush lines for the popular children’s YouTube series Booba, PBS’ Super Why, and the Instagram celebrity, Doug the Pug.

The toy firm’s most recent releases include several officially licensed products from Spin Master’s Etch-A-Sketch.

“We’re so excited to be collaborating with the Geronimo Stilton team,” said Arash Maghaddam, CEO of Mighty Mojo Toys. “As fans, we’ve been watching its popularity explode over the years and cannot wait to share what we have in store for Geronimo and his friends.”

Cynthia Modders, president of Firefly Brand Management, added: “We are thrilled to be working on expanding the Geronimo Stilton programme with Mighty Mojo Toys. Geronimo Stilton is one of the best selling children’s books series, the famed mouse journalist is loved by children everywhere, maintaining a huge young fan base who are certainly going to enjoy these devoted character plush and toys.”

From the US | Jazwares unveils its Dino Ranch toy, plush, playset and vehicle line-up

Jazwares has finally unveiled its highly anticipated Dino Ranch toy line, expanding on the dinosaur themed world of play from the popular animated series which has become the number one preschool show on US cable since it launched in January.

Items in the new range from Jazwares will be making their debut at online retailers such as Walmart.com, Target.com, and Amazon this autumn, with additional in-store listings with key retailers across the UK, including Kohls.

The new product range spans plush, assorted figures, feature vehicles, and play-sets, all based on the character, settings and story lines found within the hit CG animated series. Dino Ranch is produced by Industrial Brothers and Boat Rocker Studios and made its US debut in January this year on Disney Junior.

The series follows the Cassidy family as they tackle life in a fantastical “pre-westoric” setting where dinosaurs roam. The working farm is the ultimate playground for the tight-knit family: Ma (Jane), Pa (Bo) and their three adopted kids, Jon, Min and Miguel. Together they are in charge of rounding up, riding and caring for a lively herd of racing, roaring dinosaurs who are also their best friends.

“We’re thrilled to bring the world of Dino Ranch to preschoolers, and the entire team at Jazwares is ready to join the roundup of the ultimate prehistoric meets Wild West toy line,” said Laura Zebersky, president of Jazwares.

“Loveable, colorful, and full of surprises, this new line will transform playtime into a dino-driven world of adventure.”

Kate Schlomann, EVP brand management and content marketing, Boat Rocker Studios said: “We are delighted to see Jazwares innovative toy line finally launch. Jazwares is the perfect partner for Dino Ranch, and have transformed the onscreen characters into a fantastic product range with great play value, allowing kids to build out their very own Dino Ranch world.

“We’ve had lots of requests for toys on our social channels and cannot wait to see how fans react to them.”

The new Dino Ranch product line includes:

  • Dino-Mites Assortment ($3.99 MSRP): Create the ultimate playground with the Dino Ranch Dino-Mite egg blind figures, featuring 12 mighty mini dinosaur toys to collect.
  • Dino Ranchers 2-Pack Assortment ($8.99 MSRP): Bring home the adventure with the Dino Ranch 2-Pack featuring one Dino Rancher (Jon, Min or Miguel), plus their dino sidekick!
  • Dino Ranch 6 Figure Pack ($24.99 MSRP): The Dino Ranch 6 Figure Pack features all three Dino Ranchers along with their respective dino companions!
  • Dino Action Pack Assortment ($12.99 MSRP): Build out your own Dino Ranch with the Dino Ranch Action Pack Assortment, featuring an adorable 5-inch Dino Ranch facade, four 4-inch articulated dino figures, and four connectable fence pieces.
  • Deluxe Dino Pack ($14.99 MSRP): Saddle up and join Biscuit, the T-Rex and Angus, the triceratops at the Dino Ranch! The 5-inch feature dinos are the biggest ones at the Dino Ranch, the ranch and dinosaur sanctuary where Jon, Min, and Miguel live with Ma (Jane) and Pa (Bo!)!
  • Feature Vehicle Assortment ($12.99 MSRP): Ride along with Jon, Min, & Miguel with the Dino Ranch Feature Vehicle Assortment. Each 5” Dino vehicle has a unique feature and includes their Dino Rancher Figure sidekick!
  • Hatchery Playset ($19.99 MSRP): The Dino Ranch Hatchery Adventure Set is the perfect way to expand the Dino Ranch! It includes a light up Dino Egg Incubator, an Exclusive Mini figure, two Dino-Mites, plus six accessories.
  • Clubhouse Playset ($39.99 MSRP): Welcome to the Dino Ranch Clubhouse, the Dino Ranchers’ hangout spot! This large playset is modular and comes with 9 built-in features, as well as one dino rancher figure, two small dinosaurs, and one free wheel vehicle.
  • Plush Assortment ($6.99 MSRP): The Dino Ranch Little Plush Assortment features one of three soft and cuddly dinos. They look like they jumped right out of the show! Get to know Blitz, the lightning-fast velociraptor, Clover, the gentle brontosaurus, and Tango, the mighty triceratops.

Stateside | US toy firm on mission to lift women’s sports with first talking plush sports stars

An American toy company is on a mission to not only change the face of sports toys but also the narrative around women’s sports with the launch of a new series of talking plush toys dedicated to some of the country’s biggest names in the genre.

Sports Bigs has made no secret of its desire to disrupt the $1.25 billion US plush toy industry with a new host of celebrity-inspired plush toys, celebrating only women’s sports. It’s part of the firm’s bigger plan to ‘reveal the true potential of the marketability of women sports stars.’

“In the past, if you were an athlete in girls’ and women’s sports, you didn’t have many visible role models. And you certainly didn’t have a talking sports action toy that encouraged you to use your own power and voice while training like a pro athlete,” said founder Pam Kosanke, a six-time competitor in world championships across three different sports, who is also a mom and a professional marketer.

“This changes all that, and so much more.”

Sport Bigs has teamed up with three of America’s biggest women’s sports legends, including five-time WNBA champion, basketball all-star and current Minnesota Lynx assistant coach Rebekkah Brunson; professional football legend and current football commentator and analyst Lori Lindsey; and four-time world champion, multi-gold medalist and current UCLA softball head coach Lisa Fernandez.

Through their partnerships, each have provided their likenesses and voices to the first round of Sport Bigs. Over time, the plan is to build out the roster to include more women’s sports personalities over time.

“When I think about the 25th anniversary of the WNBA, I can’t help but think about how long the league has been around, but also how young it is,” said Brunson.

“Now that I’m in a position to inspire young girls and empower them to be their authentic selves, I wish that I’d had something that represented me when I was a child – something that I could play with that showed strength and power, and wasn’t packaged as male.

“Sport Bigs are so exciting because they fill that space. They inspire young girls and allow young people to imagine strong, powerful women who dream of what they can be, and what the world should look like. They’re about being big, speaking big, acting big and living big.”

To support its bigger goals around changing the women’s sports landscape, Sport Bigs will funnel portions of proceeds from the toys into women’s sport sponsorships, athlete compensation and additional grassroots efforts.

“As a kid, I was starved for trading cards, memorabilia or toys that looked like me,” said Kosanke. “Today you have a few special-edition toys – used as one-off stunts – that come across as wimpy and barely marketed. Nothing really comes close to respecting the breadth of sizes, shapes and big-time attitudes of real athletes in women’s sports.

“This toy line is a first in the market and necessary for all ages to truly celebrate big athlete identities in women’s sports.”

Moose Toys and Warner Bros. launch full Space Jam: A New Legacy toy line with play-sets, figures, plush and more

Moose Toys and Warner Bros. Consumer Products have released the full line of toys based on this year’s big movie release, Space Jam: A New Legacy, starring LeBron James and his Tune Squad team as they face down the newly launches Goon Squad.

The toys have been launched ahead of the release of the film this year, in a move – according to Moose Toys’ senior director of global marketing, licensed brands, Joe Smith, to “fuel enthusiasm for Space Jam: A New Legacy this year.”

Moose Toys released first details of the Space Jam toy line up, featuring LeBron James and the Tune Squad. With the launch of the complete collection, the firm has released the latest update on its line-up of baddies, the Goon Squad, as well as extended collectable lines.

The Goon Squad line-up includes ‘super-enhanced’ animated versions of real-life basketball all-stars playing to win within the Warner 3000 entertainment digital ‘serververse.’ The line-up includes Chronos, White Mamba, Arachnneka, Wet/Fire, and The Brow, each with their own abilities to tie the Tune Squad in knots.

“Launching the toy line ahead of the movie’s release fuels the enthusiasm for ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy.’ This gives fans a chance to create their own Tune Squad versus Goon Squad action play and lets them get familiar with this cast of characters,” said Joe Smith, senior director of global marketing, licensed brands, Moose Toys.

“The Goon Squad toys bring their onscreen counterparts to life in vivid detail. The action figures show off their intimidating appearance and each one’s special ability in ‘wicked’ detail. But can Goons defeat Tunes? Fans will have to wait for the movie to watch this epic match up play out, but until then they can use their imaginations to create their own epic games and endings.”

Taking on the Goon Squad is a stacked Tune Squad full of fan favorites. Space Jam: A New Legacy features basketball star LeBron James alongside Looney Tunes’ greatest characters of all time, led by Bugs Bunny and Lola Bunny.

The extensive line of Space Jam: A New Legacy toys includes action figures, play-sets, collectibles, plush characters and more, including Goo Heroes, which are inspired by Moose Toys’ Heroes of Goo Jit Zu.

It also includes the Super Shoot and Dunk LeBron James featuring a high-flying action figure that jumps, dunks and hangs-on-the-rim, just like LeBron’s character in the film.

Posh Paws to showcase latest licensed plush line-up through six Product Showcase Events across the UK

Posh Paws is to host six Product Showcase Events across the UK this June, enabling its customers to see its portfolio of new licensed plush toys and gifts in person. The move has been made in accordance to the latest easing of restrictions on social distancing.

Next month, visitors will be able to see the new licensed product from across Posh Paws’ portfolio of leading brands, including Sesame Street, Jurassic World, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Croods 2: A New Age, and Swizzels Rainbow Drops.

New lines from the popular Sunny Bunnies, BBC Earth, Ragtales, and Love Hearts will also be showcased, as well as a raft of new own-brand product developments.

‘Posh Paws has ensured that all these showcase events will be 100 per cent Covid-Secure and adhere to all government and venue guidelines, making the safety of customers and staff a priority,’ the firm said in a statement.

The six locations of their Product Showcase Events are listed below and if you are nearby or able to travel to them, please get in touch to book an appointment today:

ABERGELE SHOW: Tuesday 8th – Thursday 10th June

Kinmel Manor Hotel, St George Road, Abergele, LL22 9AS

th – Friday 18th June

De Vere Village Hotel, East Park Drive, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY3 8LL

st – Thursday 24th June

The Bristol, Prince Street, Bristol, BS1 4QF

th – Thursday 10th June

Ocean Room, Pier Gardens, Gorleston-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth, NR31 6PP

th – Thursday 17th June

Southview Hotel, Burgh Road, Skegness, PE25 2LA

YORK SHOW: Monday 21
st – Thursday 24th June

The Principal York Hotel, Station Road, York, YO24


Alternatively, customers who would prefer to book a virtual product showroom tour can do so by arranging this with one of Posh Paws’ sales representatives.

“With the Plush toy category showing the largest sales growth in April, it’s the perfect time to make sure you’re stocking the highest quality plush from the biggest and best-selling licenses that Posh Paws has to offer,” said the company.

For more information on Posh Paws Product Showcase Events, call them on 01268 567317 or email them at sales@poshpawsinternational.co.uk

Dan Dee International grows classic character plush range with Peanuts and Garfield

Dan Dee International and its Animal Adventure subsidiary, leading names in plush, pet, baby, and home decor products, have enhanced their line-up of classic characters through partnerships with ViacomCBS and Peanuts Worldwide.

Under the new deals, Dan Dee has secured the North American license for an extensive range of plush, soft seating, and baby products based on the iconic Peanuts characters, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. In its deal with ViacomCBS, it has also secured the global plush license for the iconic Garfield IP.

 “We are thrilled to announce this agreement and join forces with Peanuts Worldwide,” said Peter Gainsley, president, Animal Adventure. “The team at Peanuts offers world-class creative and sales support to their licensing partners, and paired with the design capabilities at Animal Adventure, we are excited to bring a dynamic line of Peanuts products to market.” 

The Peanuts deal cements the existing long-standing licensing agreement held by Dan Dee for Peanuts seasonal product lines.

“Together, Dan Dee and Peanuts Worldwide have built hugely successful seasonal programs so we are delighted to offer a new line of everyday products to our customers under our Animal Adventure banner,” added Mark Matheny, head of licensing, Dan Dee.

“Dan Dee has been a great collaborator for our seasonal programs over the years,” said Lindsay Martinez, senior vice president, North American Licensing and Partnerships, Peanuts Worldwide. “Peanuts is excited to expand upon this relationship working with Animal Adventure to develop a unique, everyday range that fans of all ages will love.”

 Meanwhile, both Garfield and Odie will be moseying into the plush aisles of retailers across the globe as Dan Dee International introduces a range spanning everyday, seasonal, and animatronic plush through its partnership with ViacomCBS Consumer Products. 

“Garfield is a great fit with the broad capabilities and retailer relationships that Dan Dee has built over many years. We look forward to working closely with the world-class team at ViacomCBS to grow Garfield’s presence at retail in the coming years,” said Dan Dee’s Matheny.

Dion Vlachos, executive vice president, hardlines and retail, ViacomCBS, added: “Garfield is beloved by so many people around the world. Dan Dee’s dedication to quality and retail expertise is invaluable. They have tapped into the fans’ enthusiasm and created a new range of products that fans will love.”

Dan Dee’s Garfield products will be available from autumn 2021.

Millimages taps The Point. 1888 for Molang licensing push across the UK’s Gen Z and pre-school audiences

The Paris-based production company, Millimages has tapped The Point. 1888 to represent Molang across the UK, as the animation studio looks to build on the character’s growing social audience of 4 million fans across the globe.

Launched initially as a pre-school IP supported by four animated TV series on Tiny Pop and Netflix in the UK, Molang has picked up a cult following of Gen Z and Millennial fans, an age group that embraces the character’s friendship themes, happiness and humour – evidenced by the 13 billion views of Molang on giphy.

Millimages has also witnessed strong adult sales of Molang accessories via the webshop – www.molang.com – that it launched last December.

The Point.1888’s brief will be to define and develop a new, retail-focused licensing strategy for Molang which primarily targets young UK adults (18 to 24 year olds), whilst also encompassing its secondary pre-school audience.

A phased category rollout, split by audience, will kick off with a range of adult gift and accessories (Abysse Corp), plush, apparel, publishing and then followed by fashion and jewellery collaborations.

Other softlines planned for 2022 onwards include homewares, health and beauty plus cosmetic collaborations. Hardline categories identified include gaming and FMCG.

Retail targets for these young adult ranges will encompass specialist outlets that appeal to lovers of Korean culture (Molang was originally created by a Korean artist) and fans of kawaii products, as well as more mainstream high street retailers.

For Molang’s pre-school audience, The Point.1888 will develop baby and toddler nightwear, fashion daywear and accessories, together with book and magazine publishing.

Mickael Zeggagh, commercial director licensing at Millimages said: “Our long-term vision is to build Molang into a global, 360 lifestyle brand for all ages. We’re certain The Point will become an invaluable strategic partner to help us realise this vision in the UK – a hugely important market.

“Together with Highlight PR, whose brief this year is to increase their creative influencer campaigns to continue driving brand awareness amongst Gen Zs and millennials, we are now in a strong position to ensure Molang takes off in the UK.”

Will Stewart, founder and managing director, The Point.1888, added: “We’re really thrilled to be working with Millimages studio and Molang. This is one of those brands that the entire team got excited about and the potential across retail and product is endless.

“As a retail-first agency we see what buyers want and ask for, and with Molang we can tick so many boxes. 2021 and beyond is going to be incredibly exciting for our team and all at Millimages, as we roll out our agreed strategy, work together on new creative and introduce this brand to a wider audience. As well as some exciting collaborations which we cannot wait to get started on.”

Dr Seuss Enterprises lands new eco-friendly partners for The Lorax ahead of Earth Day 2021

Dr. Seuss Enterprises is celebrating Earth Day and the 50th anniversary of its popular title, The Lorax, with the launch of a line-up of sustainable brand partnerships that underscore the book’s core message of environmental activism.

Launched to tie in with Earth Day this year, the range will span new eco-friendly products including pet toys, home decor, publishing, and apparel which will kick off with a collection developed by the sustainable apparel brand, Tentree.

The eco-friendly Lorax collection will consist of hoodies, crewnecks, sweatpants, and t-shirts for adults and children, while inspired by the book’s activism theme will be the newest MantraBand engraved bracelet featuring the famed Lorax quote, Unless Someone Like You Cares A Whole Awful Lot, which is marked as a reminder to use your voice to make change.

Elsewhere, the story of The Lorax will enjoy new entertainment and publishing deals throughout the year, as – adding to a line-up of anniversary partnerships – Random House Children’s Books readies to roll out a robust publishing programme with new The Lorax books printed on recycled paper.

New to the catalogue this year is The Lorax Deluxe Doodle book, which is out now, followed by The Lorax: 50th Anniversary Edition, Dr. Seuss’s Thank You For Being Green And Speaking For The Trees, Let’s Go to the Garden! With Dr. Seuss’ Lorax,with more to come this Spring.

Additionally, through a partnership with Oceanhouse Media, The Lorax comes to life on iPads and iPhones in the digital book edition with playful interactivity, animations and fun activities.

US book retailer, Barnes & Noble has teamed with One Tree Planted for a special campaign in which every copy of The Lorax related titles sold in stores or online over April will see Dr Seuss Enterprises and Random House Children’s Books donate $1 to the cause.

Meanwhile, Dr. Seuss Enterprises is making its mark in an untapped category with BARK, the maker of BarkBox, for a line of sustainable dog toys. Debuting in April for BarkBox subscribers and in Petco stores, pets will be able to play with and chew on Lorax-themed toys, all made with environmentally friendly materials.

As part of its partnership expansion, Aurora, the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of plush toys and gifts, has released a new eco-friendly Lorax plush toy, and Tervis, maker of expressive and sustainable drinkware, has rolled out a Lorax inspired collection of travel tumblers.

The global celebrations continues, meanwhile, as The Lorax hit London in celebration of Earth Day 2021. The Old Vic Theatre is presenting the iconic Dr. Seuss book The Lorax for six live-streamed performances as part of the OLD VIC: IN CAMERA series.  David Greig and Charlie Fink’s Olivier Award-nominated adaptation, directed by the award-winning director Max Webster,  is transformed into a semi-staged pint-size version to keep young (and older) minds entertained.

Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, said:The Lorax has always been a beloved Dr. Seuss story and introduces children to why we need to protect our planet through a beautiful story. We are proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the book in 2021 and further encourage our readers to speak out and make change in our world.

“This year we are partnering with a wide range of brands, such as Tentree, BarkBox, and more, to create sustainable products that will continue spreading The Lorax’s message.”

The Lorax, which was first published in 1971, quickly became a cultural phenomenon with an important and hopeful message about our environment. Over the past 50 years, the book has encouraged children to not only speak up for the protection of our trees, but to also use their voice to help make change because “unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is  going to get better. It’s not.”

Millimages builds strong Molang licensing roster for 2021 spanning plush, collectables, and more

Millimages has secured a raft of new licensing partners for its popular animated IP, Molang, spanning the plush and stationery aisles, as well as apparel, collectibles, and more.

Kicking off the slate, Millimages has tapped NICI to develop new Molang plush ranges to launch across Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and Austria this autumn. The collection will feature not only plush, but plush keyrings and special Molang stationery.

Meanwhile, this year’s fourth quarter will see Molang strengthen its presence in the collectables space with the launch of a new partnership with Panini. The deal will witness the arival of a Molang sticker book, completing a wider collection of books and a Molang magazine. The sticker book will launch in Germany and Spain.

Abysse will have the accessories sector tied-up with the launch of a series of cosmetic cases, acrylic figures, and 2d acrylic key chains, as well as a selection of mugs, all to be released this July. September will then see the launch of a line of Molang phone cases, pins, 2D and 3D keyrings, glasses, cookie jars, notebooks, and pens.

Molang has found recent succes in the publishing sector with the launch of the first Molang magazine earlier this month. A second issue will be released in June and will aim to help teach children about positivity and positive education. It will run a feature on yoga and kids’ meditation.

Across broadcast, Molang has secured new partnerships with a host of European channels, including Rai YoYo in Italy for seasons three and four, Tiny POP in the UK for season four, OCS in France for season three, and Canal Panda in Spain for season three.