As the 2020 New York Toy Fair approaches this weekend, toycos are teeing up with new products and partnerships.
Tapping into the popularity of the Halo video game franchise, Hasbro is partnering with video game developer 343 Industries to make new Halo Infinite NERF Blasters, arriving on shelves in the US and UK this fall, with additional markets to follow next year. The new products align with the launch of the new Halo Infinite Game, coming to Xbox and PC later this year.
Some of the blasters will include exclusive codes that consumers can use to unlock add-on content in the new game. Often rated Mature by the Entertainment Software Rating Board because of its depiction of violence, the franchise’s most recent title Halo 5: Guardians was rated appropriate for teens, and Hasbro is partnering with the game maker as it works to reinvent the brand for a younger generation. Despite the property’s mature content, the Halo games have sold more than 65 million copies worldwide and made more than US$5 billion in sales.
The toyco is also growing its popular board game Monopoly, signing 10 new licensees to create products set to launch later this year. New licensing partners include Kule (apparel in the US and Japan); Stubbs and Wootton (slippers available in the US and online); TOMS (footwear available globally), Winning Solutions (a limited-edition Swarovski-adorned Monopoly board available for pre-order); Marmalade Game Studio (an anniversary edition launching in March); Ikonick (art pieces launching online); Gilson Snow (snowboards and skis); Montegrappa (pens); Round 2 (model cars and a plastic model kit launching); and Spin Master (limited-edition branded Etch A Sketchs, pictured). The new products are part of Hasbro’s efforts to capitalize on Monopoly’s 85th anniversary.
Banking on plush, Jazwares has partnered with California-based toyco Kellytoy Worldwide to distribute Kellytoy’s products globally, although it has not yet been announced where the products will roll out. At the same time, Jazwares has snagged master global toy rights to the toyco’s Squishmallows plush property with plans to turn it into a franchise brand titled Squishville, which will include mini collectible plush, environments, playsets and vehicles. Launched in 2017, the Squishmallows plush brand has sold more than 50 million units.
Joining the growing ranks of licensees teaming up with YouTubers, Discovery has inked a deal to develop a consumer products program inspired by adventurer and animal enthusiast Coyote Peterson. Discovery will represent Peterson across all licensing categories, and the new CP will target kids ages four to eight, spanning toys, publishing, outdoor apparel, gear and accessories.
Peterson, the host of the outdoor adventure YouTube channel Brave Wilderness (15.6 million subscribers), was tapped to host the Animal Planet series Coyote Peterson: Brave the Wild, which premiered earlier this month. In his educational and adventure-focused content, Peterson seeks out and encounters animals in the wild.
Kids entertainment YouTuber Blippi (7.52 million subscribers) has signed 12 new licensees to launch products throughout the year. Blippi’s previously signed master toy partner Jazwares will launch an expanded line of toys this year, while new licensees include Creative Kids (crafts and activity sets), Readerlink (six new books), Children’s Apparel Network and Centric Brands (apparel, sleepwear and socks), Handcraft (underwear), Accessory Innovations (backpacks and bags), Jay Franco (bedding), Taste Beauty (HBA products), Zak Design (housewear), York (wall coverings), Ground Up (footwear), and Retrospec (bikes and scooters).
With content targeting kids ages two to seven, Blippi is a popular YouTuber who has racked up more than one billion views on the platform with educational videos teaching preschoolers about topics including colors, numbers and animals.