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.
Licensing exec Eric Belloso Gonzalez is joining Spain-based Planeta Junior as DreamWorks brands director. His appointment is timed with last month’s multi-year TV output deal between Planeta Junior and DreamWorks Animation for Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey.
Online bilingual channel Oznoz is giving its children’s library a significant boost through a new exclusive partnership with HIT Entertainment that will make preschool content available across North America in Mandarin, Arabic, Hindi, German, Russian and Korean languages.
Vancouver, Canada-based Nerd Corps Entertainment has secured several broadcast deals for its latest original comedy series, Endangered Species. Global rollout for the studio’s third original comedy, created by founder and CEO Asaph Fipke, will kick-off this summer and will continue into 2015.
Amazon’s new set-top box Fire TV has a wealth of apps and games and even a remote control with a voice search function. But what’s making waves in the children’s space is Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which, along with content from Nickelodeon, Sesame Street and PBS Kids, offers robust parental controls and customization options.