CONSUMER PRODUCTS / RETAIL
The first quarter of 2014 brought net losses of US$11.2 million for Mattel, as the worlds largest toymaker saw Barbie sales drop 14%. Meanwhile, Barbie’s American Girl and Ever After High sisters continues to rise in popularity.
iKIDS / MOBILE / SOCIAL / WEB
After setting sights on the US market with the acquisition of L.A.-based MobiGirl Media, UK-based kid and teen mobile marketing platform SuperAwesome is looking at a home-court advantage, as the company has now acquired the advertising business of UK virtual world Bin Weevils.
PEOPLE MOVES / TV
Nigel Pickard is stepping down from his role as CEO of Zodiak UK Kids and chair of production company The Foundation at the end of this month, Zodiak Media has confirmed.
COMPANIES / iKIDS / TV / WEB
Make way for Relativity Media. The television and film studio is trying to scoop up YouTube multi-channel network Maker Studios from Disney with a last-minute bid worth up to US$1.1 billion.
Featured iKids / iKIDS / SOCIAL / TV / WEB
Dane Boedigheimer’s Annoying Orange online comedy series has spawned a Cartoon Network show and a number of licensed consumer products. And now, the Orange’s signature yellow-toothed smile has been viewed two billion times on YouTube, a feat that holds more significance than ever as multi-channel networks and online TV creations continue to be courted by huge traditional media companies.
UK pubcaster CBBC, on the heels of gaining one extra hour of air time per night, has commissioned three new dramas, including The Millie Show, a brand-new family sitcom/drama co-produced by The Foundation that explores the life of a young girl whose parents have split up.
In nearly a year from now, ABC News president Ben Sherwood will take the reins from Anne Sweeney as co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, as Sweeney is set to depart from the company in January 2015.
Debbie Ries has resigned from Texas-based NCircle Entertainment, the kids-focused distribution company she founded in 2006. During the past seven-plus years, as SVP and GM, she built NCircle into one of the top independent distributors of children’s home entertainment.
- Brian Henson expounds on puppets, technology and reality TV in TED master class (Wired)
- How children’s TV aims to gain from the modern awards show (The New York Times)
- DreamWorks is going big in China with new US$2.4-billion Dream Center complex (MarketWatch)
- Strong opening weekend bodes well for YA film adaptation Divergent (The Hollywood Reporter)
UK production company Laughing Gravy Media, founded by ex-Impossible Kids staffers Karl Woolley and Jon Doyle, has signed a five-year strategic relationship deal with Hoho Rights, the commercial arm of fellow UK company Hoho Entertainment.
Zodiak Media has struck a significant content agreement in China with Ciwen Media Group, which is set to distribute more than 390 episodes of Zodiak programming and serve as a regional distribution agent across free TV, cable and satellite, home entertainment and VOD platforms.
Gaumont Animation (formerly Alphanim), along with co-production partners Calidra, Italy’s Studio Campedelli, TV Tokyo, and Kodansha, will bow the new CGI animated Calimero series on Italy’s RAI on March 25. Gaumont has also signed a European master toy deal for the property.