Activision Publishing announced at Licensing Expo 2014 that its highly popular franchise, Skylanders, will extend its worldwide footprint.
It will do this through branded fruit snacks and cereals with General Mills, the launch of the first Skylanders magazine with Immediate Media, an official Skylanders comic-book series with IDW, and Skylanders-themed colouring books from Crayola. These new collaborations represent significant growth opportunities for Activision’salready robust global licensing program, which spans more than 175 companies and won last year’s International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association Awards for Best Toy Brand of the Year, as well as Overall Best Licensed Programme of the Year.
“From a global branding perspective, this has been a remarkable year for the Skylanders franchise,” said Ashley Maidy, vice president of global licensing and partnerships at Activision Publishing. “We are delighted that many of the world’s leading brands are collaborating with us on meaningful programs that let our fans engage with the Skylanders brand in ways that didn’t exist three years ago.”
Activision is also expanding its publishing portfolio this year. Leading publisher Penguin Group, which has sold more than 2.5M Skylanders Universe books worldwide, will continue to team up with Activision on a global programme. Penguin will spearhead a new platform, offering additional engagement opportunities for fans looking to learn more about their favourite characters. This month, Penguin’s unique collaboration with augmented reality company, Zappar, brings Skylanders characters to life in the new Skylanders SWAP ForceTM Official Guide. The guide allows kids to watch gameplay clips and zap, swap and interact with Skylanders characters. Furthering the publishing profile, Immediate Media will also launch an official Skylanders magazine in the UK this autumn with plans to expand into multiple territories by 2015.
Further bolstering Activision’s publishing initiatives, the company recently announced its deal with leading comic book publisher IDW to create the first official Skylanders comic bookseries, which will serve as a prequel to this year’s Skylanders Trap Team. Skylanders comic book issue #0 will feature an introductory 16-page story as well as character guides and additional back-up information which will launch at San Diego Comic-Con with the first issue arriving at retail this fall in time for the launch of Skylanders Trap Team.
Activision’s relationship with Crayola is also growing with the introduction of Skylanders-branded Xtreme Colouring and Activity Pads. This new format will launch in Spring 2015 and will allow kids to create their own personalised versions of their favourite Skylanders characters on a physical colouring page.
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