Playmobil teases major new partnership with classic TV IP The A Team

Playmobil could be igniting the passions of kidult audiences across the UK once again with another heavy dose of nostalgia. And this time it’s taking the form of The A Team.

Playmobil UK has teased a new partnership in the retro property space, releasing an 11-second snippet via social media this morning, hinting towards a major new project with the A Team IP.

The clip gives very little away, other than an alliance has been formed between the toymaker and the iconic A Team property, although the firm’s choice of hashtags could offer some hint as to what it has up its sleeves.

Playmobil has made a success of tapping into the retro and classic IP space, having launched the wildly popular Back the Future DeLorean and extended play-sets to strong positive reception from a market of nostalgia driven consumers.

Given the popularity of its DeLorean vehicle play-set and its previously launched Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine, and the track record that Playmobil has for converting iconic vehicles from the film and TV space into popular toy lines, it’s certainly not too far fetched to imagine the firm’s A Team partnership resulting in the launch of the iconic A Team van at some point in the near future.

Playmobil has remained tight-lipped about the project, but has stated that two further teaser clips will be released soon.

Bulldog Licensing secures Roy Lowe & Sons socks deal for Care Bears

The European agency, Bulldog Licensing has signed a new deal with the licensed socks expert, Roy Lowe & Sons for the launch of a new line of Care Bears socks based on the loveable characters from Care-A-Lot, for both adults and children.

Spanning the generations, the range will tap into not only the older audience who grew up watching the much-loved property, but children who are now being introduced to the brand through its new toys line, TV series, and popular Care Bears: Unlock the Mysteries music videos.

Launched in 1982, the Care Bears are now nearing their 40th anniversary. The  theme of the property has remained popular and the Care Bears: Unlock the Magic television series currently airs weekly in the UK on Pop and Tiny Pop. 

Roy Lowe & Sons has been creating licensed and unlicensed quality socks since 1996. The company boasts an array of licences, including blockbuster movies, children’s entertainment brands, lifestyle properties, sports licences, and more. 

“Care bears offers the adult side of our customer base a fresh, nostalgic feel with a real throwback brand, whilst also appealing to kids. It fits in perfectly from the fashion end, to the more novelty side of socks. Working with the Bulldog and Care Bears’ teams has been a pleasure and we can’t wait to bring these new concepts to people’s feet,” said Ben Lowe, account manager at Roy Lowe. 

Rob Corney, MD, Bulldog Licensing, added: “We are really excited to be working with the team at Roy Lowe who are developing lovely designs to appeal to Care Bears fans of all ages. Care Bears continues to be a much-loved brand and consumer appetite for heritage properties is at an all-time high at the moment, so it’s great to get some new Care Bears’ products into their hands.”

Roy Lowe & Sons are also set to include Care Bears in their Roy’s Boys cosys and matching adult and kids cosy socks launching late 2021.

’80s animated series The Raccoons makes play for retro and environmentalism licensing

The Raccoons is the latest animated property to be jumping the decades and making a play for the retro licensing space, helping fans and viewers who grew up with the show put to rest that fundamental question: what on Earth kind of aardvark is Cyril Sneer anyway?

First created in 1985, the animated TV series followed the day to day life of three raccoons: Bert, Melissa, and Ralph as well as their friend Cedric the aardvark and his greedy businessman father, Cyril. For two decades, the series engaged the imaginations of families across 180 countries.

Today, The Raccoons has tasked The Point. 1888 with bringing to market a raft of new branded products in accessories, babywear, socks, gifting, plush and more as the retro revival trend continues to gather pace among millennial and Gen Z audiences today.

With a wealth of entertainment brands already on The Point.1888’s books including Moomin, Molang and Moon & Me, The Raccoons is another significant win and comes just one year after the agency was appointed by 75 year old children’s brand Moomin to support its comeback and raise its brand licensing game.

With an underlying message of conservation and environmental protection running throughout the series, The Point. 1888 has already added nature charities and forests to the brand’s licensing strategy.

Olivia Wiggett, The Point.1888’s Associate Commercial Manager, said: “The Raccoons is such a wonderful, nostalgic brand that resonates with so many people across the world. We are so delighted to be working with the amazing team at The Raccoons, and can’t wait to start bringing the brand to life in the licensing space. Not only that, but because The Raccoons are such a perfect fit for nature charities and forests, we have added this to their strategy.”

Kevin Gillis, President of Run With Us Productions, added: “The Raccoons have had the honour of having a strong and environmentally-conscious fan following in the UK since Bert Raccoon first moved to the Evergreen Forest. As we recognize the growing critical importance of understanding our fragile global eco-system, we look forward to working with The Point 1888 in connecting with and supporting our many loyal and invaluable fans.”

Product development and marketing plans are now underway and The Point.1888 will be commencing talks with potential licensees and retailers in the next few weeks.

Antstream Arcade strengthens exec team in move to be at the forefront of video game streaming

Antstream Arcade has made a new move to ‘put itself at the forefront of video game streaming’, welcoming the games industry veteran, Mike Rouse to lead its production team and help build out its internal studio.

The move comes during a period of record user growth for the company following its establishment as the world’s first free-to-play game streaming platform.

With over 20 years’ experience in the games industry, Rouse joins Antstream from 2K’s Brighton based Hangar 13, where he was head of production and responsible for developing and co-ordinating strategy across the studio’s four global locations and 400 employees. His career has seen him work in key roles at Microsoft where he oversaw the development of Microsoft Hololens, and at Sony.

With extensive experience in pushing the boundaries of how players interact with games, Rouse will be looking to put Antsream Arcade at the forefront of video game streaming, helping the company to build upon the slate of licensing partnerships it has already secured with the likes of Disney and Bandai as it eyes growth in the market.

Rouse said: “As a lifelong fan of what we now have to call “vintage” games, working at Antstream Arcade represents the perfect combination of my passion for retro gaming and changing how players interact with games themselves. I think it is very likely that we are nearing the end of physical consoles – with physical media losing relevance to the rise of cloud-based gaming, it is all but inevitable.

“As the first company to successfully launch a free-to-play platform with thousands of games, Antstream is well placed to be at the forefront of this change.”

Steve Cottam, CEO of Antstream, said: “Between our new licensing partnerships with the likes of Disney and Bandai, and our decision to adopt a free-to-play model, we’re in a period of immense change here at Antstream. Bringing on someone with Mike’s expertise and experience in altering how people play games is a huge boost for us as video game streaming continues to drive the game industry forward as a whole.

“We look forward to working with him in taking our library of iconic video games to the biggest audience possible.”

Mike’s love of retro gaming is on full display on his Retro Gamer Boy YouTube channel, where he posts weekly unique videos delving into his own extensive retro gaming collection, and discussing the best retro games and consoles ever made.

His retro gaming goal is to collect every SEGA Megadrive game, with only a few notable holdouts like Pirates of Darkwater standing between him and the holy grail of completionism.

Game streaming platform Antstream adds retro Star Wars slate in new Disney partnership

The retro games platform, Antstream Arcade has struck up a partnership with Disney to add its portfolio of classic Star Wars titles to the extensive library of fully licensed games.

The games slate will be made available on a single platform for the first time and will include the entire Super Star Wars series for the SNES and Star Wars for the NES. Adventure games like Grim Fandango and titles from the Monkey Island series will also be joining the platform.

Starting from today, however, games and subscribers to the Antstream service will be able to play classic Super Star Wars titles: Super Star Wars, Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

All the games available via Antstream Arcade’s cloud-based streaming service are available using any 4G connection or better, and are playable on almost any device for the cost of a single flat monthly subscription. Expanding Antstream Arcade’s library of classics and curios, this will take the total number of licensed games to 3786, with five to seven new games being added to the platform every week.

Steve Cottam, CEO of Antstream, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be bringing the retro Star Wars series to customers, taking us one step closer to delivering thousands of iconic games to the global gaming community through the power of streaming technology.

“The fact will be able to play Star Wars for the SNES on their laptop, Grim Fandango on their TV or Day of the Tentacle is a massive win for both existing and new audiences.”

The Disney partnership follows recent deals struck with retro gaming giants Taito, Atari, and Bandai Namco – making Antstream Arcade’s library the largest collection of retro games in the world.

Thanks to Antstream Arcade’s streaming technology all these games can be played on TVs, laptops, desktops, tablets and of course mobile phones, bringing more iconic games to a wider audience than any platform ever before.

Earthworm Jim lands on retro gaming platform Antstream Arcade in Interplay Entertainment partnership

Earthworm Jim! From the soil he did crawl and onto the retro games platform Antstream Arcade he now falls, thanks to a new licensing deal with Interplay Entertainment.

This is the latest development for Antstream, the games streaming platform that specialises in retro and throw back video game titles. It follows the firm’s recent deal with Bandai Namco and will see popular titles such as Earthworm Jim and Descent become available for gaming fans of a certain vintage across the globe.

With all games streamable over any 4G connection or better and on multiple smart devices, having access to some of the most celebrated titles from the world’s leading games and entertainment brands strengthens Antstream’s position as the de facto retro game streaming company.

For monthly subscription, gamers will be able to play Antstream’s growing library of licensed classics and curios, as well as enjoy the chance to participate in a wide range of global tournaments and leaderboards.

Steve Cottam, CEO at Antstream, said: “Interplay is one of the most iconic and well- respected games publishers and developers, so this deal is hugely important for Antstream.

“Following other high-profile partnerships we have signed, and with more deals in the pipeline, we are clearly demonstrating the strength of our position in the gaming market and the huge growth potential that cloud-based streaming services creates.”

Herve Caen, CEO of Interplay Entertainment, added: “It is always great to partner with a company which is clearly leading the way in gaming and, in this instance, retro gaming. Antstream Arcade is on track to doing just that, substantiated by its strong vision and having a solid understanding and passion for the industry. We are very much looking forward to what this collaboration will deliver.”

Spin Master goes retro with Jaws, ET, and The Breakfast Club on National Puzzle Day

Spin Master is celebrating National Puzzle Day today with the unveiling of a slate of new puzzles that will take fans back to the golden age of video rentals thanks to its latest retro offering.

The Breakfast Club, Jaws, and E.T. are each making their return to store shelves this year, as a line of retro-inspired puzzles each packaged in high-quality, plastic cases inspired and designed after Blockbuster’s old VHS cases.

Each features durable pieces that snap together firmly to ensure a most satisfying build. These puzzles feature vibrant art that pops, making each puzzle perfect for framing. Each Puzzle measures 18″ x 24″ when complete.

To celebrate National Puzzle Day, Spin Master is running a Twitter Competition all day giving followers the chance to win some Prize Puzzle Sets.

Gail Fisher, senior brand manager for Spin Master Games, said:” These long winter evenings and wet weekends are ideal for getting the family together to enjoy a bit of puzzle making. National Puzzle Day is the perfect day to bring puzzles to everyone’s attention.”