Rubies launches Care Bears costume collection

Rubies has released a new costume collection for EMEA featuring the iconic Care Bears, now available to order.

Rubies has announced the launch of a new Care Bears costume collection for EMEA. This vibrant collection features iconic characters, including Cheer Bear, Good Luck Bear and Grumpy Bear, which are now available as Comfywear onesies.

Designed with nostalgia in mind, these onesies provide fun and fond memories while being extra comfy. Whether worn for a cosy night in or as a standout costume at events and parties, the team at Rubies has designed these onesies to provide a blend of comfort and style.

The Care Bears Comfywear Onesies are made from premium materials to ensure durability. Each onesie features the signature colours and unmistakable symbols associated with each respective Care Bear.

The Cheer Bear is adorned with cheerful rainbow stripes and a heartwarming rainbow emblem, while the Good Luck Bear features a playful shamrock pattern and the iconic good luck symbol. Grumpy Bear boasts a cloud and raindrop pattern alongside the iconic grumpy face emblem.

“Our new Care Bears costume collection adds another fan favourite to our portfolio. Many of us grew up loving these beloved bears, and the new range adds modern style to the nostalgia of the characters,” said Fran Hales, head of Portfolio at Rubies. “We are looking forward to adding more Comfywear Onesies to the range, offering the perfect mix of costume and apparel for consumers.”

The Care Bears range is available in a range of sizes. To find out more, visit the Rubies website or contact customerservices@rubiesuk.com for more details.

Lego unveils Disney Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Cottage set

The set, which features 10 mini-figures and recreates memorable details from the iconic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs film, will be available from June 2024.

The Lego Group has unveiled the enchanting Lego Disney Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Cottage set, a tribute to the very first Disney Princess character. This quaint forest cottage meticulously recreates the memorable details from the Walt Disney Animation Studios film in brick form.

Based on the original 1937 Disney Animation film, this 2228-piece set contains 10 mini-figures, including Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs, the Prince and the Queen with the red apple, as well as accompanying animal friends. A wishing well featuring a dove is also included, along with the glass box depicting Snow White’s awakening.

Nestled deep in the enchanted forest, the iconic cottage is packed with nostalgia, from the bedroom with seven beds to the room with the pipe organ, baking table, sink and cupboards. The set is designed for users aged 18 and over, and includes 2,228 pieces. The dimensions of the build are 35cm in length by 20cm in height and width.

The Lego Disney Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Cottage set will be available for Lego insiders from 1st March 2024 online, and at Lego stores for all from 1st June 2024 and will be priced at £189.99.

Catering to builders of all ages, the Lego Group has also recently announced a highly anticipated Peppa Pig partnership, as it continues to develop its innovative portfolio with new products, characters and storylines set to launch later in the year.

New global licence deal inked for Nickelodeon Slime

Creative Kids has signed a licensing deal for Paramount’s popular Nickelodeon Slime brand to create a range of products.

Creative Kids GroupNickelodeon Slime has inked a deal with Paramount to manufacture and globally distribute Nickelodeon Slime products, bringing the brand’s iconic green goo to shelves this year. The new product line-up by Creative Kids will include on-trend pre-made jars, DIY kits, novelty toys, science kits, game sets and outdoor toys. Nickelodeon Slime under Creative Kids will be available in more than 40 countries including the US, UK and throughout Europe, Asia and South America.

“It couldn’t be a better time to get slimed,’” said Creative Kids chief marketing officer, Daniel DeLapa. “We’re already expecting to distribute more than 1m pounds of Nickelodeon Slime in 2024 – and we aren’t stopping there.”

The first wave, launching spring 2024, will include six sweet scents, such as Lavender Boba, Pink Lemonade and Marshmallow Dreams in a variety of Slime types like Bingsu, Cloud and the classic Glass style, and even proprietary formulas.

Initially available in the US this spring, the slime will then enjoy international distribution later in the year.

“Creative Kids is a long-time partner of Paramount, and we are looking forward to the relationship being extended to include Nickelodeon Slime,” said Priya Mukhedkar, SVP Consumer Products, Paramount. “Nickelodeon Slime has an amazing legacy, and we’re thrilled to have this new iteration launching all around the world.”

Additional pre-made jars, DIY kits and toys will be released in the latter half of 2024 at mass market retailers as well as specialty shops.

For more information on Creative Kids, please visit www.creativekids.com.

Craft Buddy appoints Grapevine PR

Under its new remit, Grapevine PR will support arts & crafts specialist Craft Buddy’s growth plans across the retail and consumer sectors.

Craft Buddy has appointed Grapevine PR to manage its UK trade and consumer media relations.

Following a strong period of growth over the last three years, Craft Buddy has expanded its licensed portfolio significantly within its key brands, Crystal Art and Paint by Numb3rs, and now has active partnerships with Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Warner Bros., Paddington Bear, L.O.L! Surprise and Peter Rabbit. The business, led by directors Gary and Dino Wadhwani, wanted to invest in PR that could support their in-house team across toys, arts & crafts and licensing, with connections that can support their long-term growth strategy.

With a core objective of driving consumer engagement for the company’s licensed ranges, Grapevine PR will create a calendar of activity that reaches consumers at multiple touchpoints across the year, spanning seasonal occasions from Easter through to Christmas, summer events and influencer activations. There will also be a Consumer Press Office function.

Additionally, the agency will support the Craft Buddy team at key trade shows, particularly in building relationships with the licensing community to support the company’s growth aspirations in the UK and internationally. The agency will work closely with the directors and the marketing team to drive brand awareness, support the onboarding of new IPs and increase retail growth, whilst showcasing Craft Buddy’s expertise in product development, production and brand partnerships.

Gary commented: “We are excited to work with Grapevine PR. Kirsty [Barr] and her team have brought with them a raft of experience in the toys and hobbies industries, and they are also well-known in the licensing business, which we believe will help Craft Buddy to achieve its goals: expanding its licensed range locally and internationally, as well as establishing its craft kits as a leading brand for UK consumers.”

The news follows the agency’s welcoming of freelance consumer PR specialist Emilia Fuller to work on its portfolio of toy and licensing clients. Grapevine PR says it has long-standing relationships in both the toy and licensing industries and more than two decades of expertise. Well-connected in both sectors, the team has a breadth of knowledge and experience for clients to tap into.

Warner Bros. names new EMEA Consumer Products lead

Warner Bros. Discovery has announced industry veteran Philippe Roucoule as senior vice president of EMEA Consumer Products, effective immediately.

Philippe

Philippe, who recently held the position of vice president, Category and Retail Business Development for Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), will report to Robert Oberschelp, head of Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products (WBDGCP), part of the Warner Bros. Discovery Revenue & Strategy division run by chief Revenue & Strategy officer, Bruce Campbell.

Philippe succeeds longtime European Consumer Products head, Julian Moon, who previously announced his upcoming retirement after 33 years with the company. Julian continues to oversee Consumer Products for the Asia Pacific region as he works with Oberschelp and WBD leadership on succession plans.

In his new role, Philippe leads all Consumer Products operations across EMEA, with oversight of WBDGCP’s business in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland as well as agent markets across the regions. Philippe will work with Robert Oberschelp and WBD leadership across EMEA to develop and drive WBDGCP’s strategic, operational and financial initiatives to maximise the potential of key brands and franchises including DC, Harry Potter, Looney Tunes, Game of Thrones, Discovery and more, in support of WBD’s global multi-billion dollar retail consumer products licensing organisation.

As part of Philippe’s leadership team, Johanne Broadfield has been named group vice president, EMEA Franchise & Category Management. In addition to her current role overseeing Franchise Management and Marketing for WBDGCP EMEA, she will take on responsibilities for the management of regional licensing partners and retail development, reporting directly to Philippe.

“I’ve known and worked with Philippe for a long time. His business acumen and deep relationships with retailers and partners across the region are unparalleled and I am thrilled for him to take on this role as we continue to grow our business in EMEA,” said Robert Oberschelp, head of Global Consumer Products for WBD.

In his previous role, Philippe oversaw regional management of licensing partners, including global partner Lego, and was responsible for retail development across the EMEA region. Prior to joining the company, he spent nearly a decade at The Walt Disney Company working in Home Entertainment and the Consumer Products business, with responsibilities for Retail and the Food, Health and Beauty categories for the UK and Ireland.

Hunter Price partners with Paramount and Calm

Hunter Price has been appointed to create a complementary range of homewares based upon the Paw Patrol Calm Sleep Stories collection. 

Paw Patrol CalmHunter Price International has kicked off 2024 by announcing a collaboration with Paramount Consumer Products and leading mental health brand, Calm.

It was recently announced that top-rated pre-school brand Paw Patrol, and Calm, the No. 1 app for sleep, relaxation and meditation, have teamed up for the first time to create an exclusive collection of Sleep Stories and meditations to aid a relaxing bedtime routine.

To fully complement the partnership and new bespoke content, which is now available on Calm, Hunter Price has been appointed to design, develop and deliver an impactful range of homeware, accessories and weighted plush.

Paw Patrol’s much-loved pups are featured throughout the range of products, which covers everything from bedding, blankets and fleeces to cushions, plush and mindfulness activities including colouring and activity books. All will encourage a calming and delightful evening wind down and a restful night’s sleep.

The debut collection was unveiled publicly for the first time at the London Toy Fair last month and the first items will arrive in retailers nationwide this summer.

Speaking about the deal, Hunter Price’s newly promoted commercial director, Allana Holmes, explained: “This is a partnership with real purpose and it feels great to be able to bring this global collaboration to life through meaningful consumer products. We really believe this range will connect with its target audience through the empowering content created on Calm for Paw Patrol. Mindfulness, mental health and sensory awareness is so much more than a trend: it’s a movement and we’re proud to be playing our part.”

“After working with Hunter Price for a number of years, we were fully confident that the team would be the perfect partner for the Paw Patrol and Calm collaboration,” said Rebecca Jenkins, VP, Consumer Products, UK, Ireland, ANZ and Israel, Paramount. “We’re on a journey with this special partnership, which now includes Hunter Price International. Together, we’re providing young children the valuable tools to navigate their worries and empower them to embrace daily adventures with joy and ease.”

“Hunter Price has perfectly infused the magic and delight of Calm into this product line,” added Greg Justice, Calm chief content officer. “This collaboration brings our content and the heroic Paw Patrol pups to life in a whole new way, inspiring kids to both take on the day and get a great night’s rest.”

Paw Patrol is produced by Spin Master Entertainment and airs on Nickelodeon.

Mattel Television’s Barbie and Stacie to the Rescue to debut on Netflix

Mattel Television Studios will be launching its one-hour movie Barbie and Stacie to the Rescue on Netflix this March.

The film will air in the US on 14th March and in the UK in September. The hour-long special will follow Barbie’s middle sister, Stacie, as she quickly comes to the rescue of Barbie and Skipper. Barbie and Stacie to the Rescue marks the first time Stacie plays a lead role in Barbie content and includes five new original songs as well as new friends.

In Barbie and Stacie to the Rescue, the two characters embark on a brand-new journey. Adventurous Stacie finds herself caught in the middle when the Roberts family heads to Wisconsin for a hot air balloon festival where she is too young for adult activities, yet too old to play with the little kids. When her older sisters Barbie and Skipper find themselves in trouble, Stacie finds she has the right skills to save the day.

“Our animated Barbie content is developed to both empower and entertain,” said Michelle Mendelovitz, global head of Mattel Television Studios. “By placing Stacie at the centre of the story, Barbie and Stacie to the Rescue provides audiences with a new heroine in Stacie and an entirely new perspective on the Barbie universe. We cannot wait to share this fun-spirited special with Barbie fans.”

The latest instalment of Mattel’s animated Barbie content follows 2023’s fan-favourite series Barbie: A Touch of Magic as well as other successful titles including Barbie: It Takes Two, Barbie: Epic Road Trip, Barbie: Mermaid Power and Barbie DreamHouse Adventures. Mattel Television Studios’ family-friendly series and specials allow fans of all ages to feel the imagination and fun of Barbie while instilling messages of friendship, discovery and kindness.

Christopher Keenan and Frederic Soulie serve as executive producers on Barbie and Stacie to the Rescue, which is written by Kay Donmyer. The movie will be available on Netflix in the US, Canada, APAC (excluding China) and EMEA (excluding the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Poland and Romania) on 14th March. The special will debut in Latin America, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Romania and MENA on 5th September, also on Netflix. Broadcast partners including Super RTL, Cartoonito, POP, Kanal2 and Kidzone will distribute the special throughout the year.

The five-song music album for Barbie and Stacie to the Rescue will also release on 14th March and be available on all major streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple and Amazon Music.

Mattel unleashes The Beatles and Xbox 360 Mega sets

Mattel has added two new collectors sets to its Mega line-up to celebrate 60 years since The Beatles first performed on The Ed Sullivan Show as well as the iconic Xbox 360.

The Beatles

Mega Showcase, the curator of immersive construction sets, has unveiled Ladies & Gentlemen, The Beatles! – a one-of-a-kind tribute to the legendary band’s ground-breaking performance on The Ed Sullivan Show on 9th February, 1964. This iconic construction set marks the 60th anniversary of The Beatles’ historic television debut, delivering an engaging building experience that captures the essence of Beatlemania crossing the pond.

“The Beatles remain one of the most iconic bands in history with John, Paul, George and Ringo influencing the music industry forever,” said Glenn Abell, senior vice president of Mega. “The moment when they debuted on The Ed Sullivan Show 60 years ago is one of the most memorable in music, and we could not be more proud to bring this to life for enthusiasts and superfans of all ages to celebrate this amazing group.  Our passionate and devoted designers have recreated a piece of rock’n’roll history which puts Beatles fandom on full display that we hope all will enjoy.”

Ladies & Gentlemen, The Beatles! is not just a recreation of this pop culture moment; it’s a journey into Beatles lore, packed with Easter eggs that fans of all ages will cherish. From the accurately designed Arrows stage with added signatures of the four band members behind each pillar to a printed replica of the set list from the performance, the Mega design team has ensured an immersive experience that resonates with the rich history of the band. The collaboration was brokered by Bravado International, the Beatles North American licensing agent.

In addition, Mega is also celebrating an icon of gaming with the Microsoft Xbox 360 Collector Building Set, a meticulously detailed 1331-piece masterpiece capturing the essence of the most influential gaming console of its time.

This collector set invites enthusiasts to relive the golden era of gaming with a fully buildable, light-up console and controller. Inspired by the Xbox 360, this 3:4 scale collector building set pays homage to the iconic Xbox 360, celebrating its legacy and influence in the gaming world.

The console lights up, bringing the gaming experience to life, opening to reveal a disc drive and hidden Easter eggs. Placing the Halo 3-themed disc inside to activate the motherboard will unlock additional surprises.

Mega says that completing this set is more than a construction feat; it unlocks the ultimate achievement, making it a must-have for adult builders and gaming enthusiasts alike.

Lego celebrates 25 years of Star Wars collaboration

The Lego Group has kicked off the celebrations at Spielwarenmesse, as new Lego Star Wars sets with special 25th Anniversary logo are revealed.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Lego Star Wars collaboration between the Lego Group and Lucasfilm, with a year-long celebration announced by the Lego Group, befitting this relationship milestone and honouring Lego Star Wars fans across the galaxy.

The anniversary festivities have kicked off at the Spielwarenmesse in Germany, with new anniversary products now available for pre-order. First revealed at the International Toy Fair in New York in 1999, the Lego Star Wars collaboration has unveiled a selection of 25th anniversary building sets, launching on March 1st. These include a new Starship Collection line featuring brand-new builds inspired by the Millennium Falcon and the Invisible Hand starships; not one but two building sets inspired by the Tantive IV ship and a special 25th anniversary edition building set honouring R2-D2. Some sets will include collectible minifigures never seen before in Lego form or anniversary tiles marking the special occasion.

The brand-new Lego Star Wars 25th anniversary logo features a Lego recreation of the lovable droid, R2-D2. Visitors will also find a 1:1 Lego brick build inspired by R2-D2, made from 27,797 Lego elements. The R2-D2 life-size build will travel across Europe and the US throughout 2024.

“The Lego Star Wars collaboration has enjoyed a most impressive 25 years with products, video games, animated content, big builds, merchandise and more,” said Mike Ilacqua, head of Product at the Lego Group. “We want to celebrate all those years and milestones with everyone who helped us get here, but especially with the fan community as we would never be where we are today without their creativity and passion.”

On March 1st, the Lego Star Wars 25-Second Film Festival will premiere, inviting fans around the world to submit their own 25-second film that recreates their favourite Star Wars moments or forges a new one with Lego Star Wars building sets and minifigures they treasure.

“It’s been 25 years of true fun combining Lucasfilm’s expansive Star Wars galaxy with the ingenuity of the Lego Group, offering fans exciting ways to recreate their favorite scenes, vehicles and characters from our stories,” said Paul Southern, senior vice president, Lucasfilm Franchise and Licensing, Disney Experiences. “With the enthusiasm of our fans to engage with the Star Wars galaxy and express creativity through building, we look forward to continuing the legacy of fun for decades to come.”

Additional product releases tied to the 25th anniversary of the Lego Star Wars collaboration includes an updated edition of DK’s Lego Star Wars Visual Dictionary, which comes with an exclusive new minifigure and is currently available for pre-order, to be released in April 2024.

More opportunities to celebrate will come throughout the year as the Lego Group joins forces with their fan community to spotlight their creativity and passion for Lego Star Wars.

The new Lego Star Wars 25th anniversary sets are available for pre-order now and more widely from March 1st, 2024.

For more information, visit www.LEGO.com/star-wars.

YuMe Toys reveals new collaborations at Spielwarenmesse

YuMe Toys is set for 2024 with a range of new releases in collaboration with the some of the hottest entertainment franchises.

Always bringing originality and inspiration to play for all ages, YuMe Toys has introduced a host of new ranges for 2024. Among a long list of lines to be released throughout the year, below are a few key highlights in collaboration with the some of the hottest entertainment franchises.

The company says it will bring a ‘treasure trove’ of streaming magic and entertainment into consumers’ homes this autumn with the launch of the Netflix Countdown Gift Box, a celebration of eight of the streaming giant’s fan-favourite titles.

Inside the super-sized deluxe gift box consumers will discover 24 premium items that are synonymous with eight of Netflix’s most beloved titles, among them Stranger Things, Bridgerton, One Piece, Rebel Moon, The Witcher and Outer Banks, all of which, for the first time ever, come together in a single licensed product.

This striking curated gift box, uniquely sound-equipped with Netflix’s unmistakeable ‘Tudum’ three-note melody, which plays every time the box is opened, has been designed to captivate Netflix fans.

Synchronising launches with the highly anticipated Season 2 autumn streaming premier of the global streaming sensation, Squid Game, YuMe Toys has announced a brand-new range of collectibles made up of Squid Game Piggy Bank Mystery capsules, Squid Game Bobble Hero, Squid Game Squish Hero and Squid Game mini DZNR clip-on plush.

There are nine Piggy Bank Mystery Capsules to collect, each featuring a key character and surprise accessories. Once opened, the character is revealed and then the capsule can be resealed and used as a conventional money box with the figurine on top.

Set for an imminent spring 2024 release, YuMe Hero Box is a collectible figurine range, with a fun twist on character designs, which projects the characters’ DNA to the fore. Each Hero Box series is made up of numerous (usually between six and eight) collectibles, meticulously designed to give them a fresh appeal to fans young and old. Hero Box line-ups include fan-favourite characters such as Spider-man, Deadpool, Stitch, Harry Potter, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

YuMe will be joining Hello Kitty’s 50th-anniversary celebrations. Available from early Spring, YuMe has developed a collectibles range that every Hello Kitty fan will want to join. The new releases include two blind box figurine collections, four ranges of delightful keychains with hand straps, and an assortment of Little Moon Light figurines. These unique collectibles glow at the touch of a button, change colour every few seconds, and are a perfect addition to the Hello Kitty family that will see enthusiasts of the brand falling over their feet to add to their collections.

YuMe Toys will also showcase its own range DZNR – a range of 7.5’-inch design-led, premium quality collectible toys – developed for a number of licensing partners, following on from a successful launch in 2023. Featuring bespoke artwork, style and design, the plush collectibles are a key feature of YuMe’s marketing plans for 2024.

Brand-loving fans can either take their DZNR collectible toy out the stylish packaging or display it as a collectible range that grows over time.

YuMe Toys can be found in Hall 12.0, Stand F-11 at Spielwarenmesse.