Sports signings

NHL blows up and shrinks down...
November 1, 1999

NHL blows up and shrinks down

The NHL has licensed Sterling Sports to produce inflatable chairs bearing NHL team and league logos for kids and adults, just in time for the `99 holiday season. The chairs will be available at department stores and specialty retailers, and will sell for US$50 (adult size) and US$30 (kids size) each.

In a separate deal, the NHL has granted A&A Global Industries the rights to produce miniature toys for its vending machines. The three-year deal allows A&A to use all 28 team logos on its toys. The items, which include mini goalie masks, super-balls, yo-yos, erasers, and mini watches, will be available only in the U.S. starting next month. Negotiations for additional distribution of the toys in Canada are currently underway.

Mattel hits Olympic and FI circuit

Toyco Mattel has signed on to produce stuffed animal versions of the 2002 Winter Olympic animal mascots Powder, Copper and Coal. The deal Mattel inked with the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee is projected to gross at least US$1 million. The stuffed toys will reach stores in Utah in time for the coming holiday season. Retail prices for the toys will range from US$10 to US$40.

Mattel has also zoomed into multitiered licensing agreements with five premier teams that participate in the Formula 1 racing circuit. Under its Hot Wheels brand, the Costa Mesa-based company will create multiscale replicas modeled after race cars for the Ferrari, Jordan, McLaren, Stewart-Ford and Williams F1 teams. The agreements also entitle Mattel to produce radio-controlled cars, track sets, electric racing sets and other toys that bear the teams’ logos and distinctive features. Mattel will begin shipping the first wave of the Hot Wheels-F1 merch to retail starting this month.

* with files from Simon Ashdown

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