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.
Toronto, Canada-based Guru Studio has added Monika Sharma to the newly created position of director of marketing. The role was created to meet continued growth within the company’s production, sales, licensing and digital businesses, which has seen the staff grow to 230, a 53% increase from last year.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, which airs on PBS KIDS in the US, will see more shelf space stateside this year with an expanded toy line at Toys ‘R’ Us, as well as product launches at Target, Kmart and Barnes & Noble.
- Charter contests the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger (Variety)
- Is children’s poetry on the brink of extinction? (The Guardian)
- Will they or won’t they – Amazon denies plans to launch an ad-supported streaming service (Variety)
- How the women behind Animal Crossing: New Leaf created a much-needed hit for Nintendo (Wired)
Italy-based Atlantyca Entertainment and Scholastic USA have collaborated on the launch of the first Geronimo Stilton app for iOS devices that’s based on the popular book series.
While sessions on gaming for older kids and adults tended to significantly outnumber those focused on youngsters at last week’s Game Developers Conference, discussions at this year’s event surrounding the interplay of physical objects with digital content, education-based games, virtual reality experiences and the maker movement highlighted the growing importance of the gaming sector for today’s kids. Just ask those who were there.
- In Spain, TV networks are to blame for kids’ late bedtimes (The Guardian)
- Poor Pooh: Research finds that children’s books with humanized animals can be confusing – even detrimental – to kids (National Post)
- Aereo goes on the offensive (Variety)
- A new study traces autism within children’s brains (Wired)
At a presentation for analysts and investors yesterday, Antonio Urcelay, chairman of the board and CEO of Toys ‘R’ Us, along with company president Hank Mullany, outlined plans to transform the retailer’s core business in the wake of another round of disappointing quarterly results.