Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 2, 2013 11:11 AM
Thomas the Tank Engine has been steaming along on the fictional island of Sodor since 1945, but he is finally catching up to the times. Still, the news that Mattel is ready to revamp the little British engine that could for new markets has some parents of Thomas-obsessed kids worried.
Thomas started out as the creation of British clergyman Rev. Wilbert Audry, whose goal was to come up with a story to entertain his measles-ridden son. Today, Thomas is a global kids powerhosue brand, from toys and licensed goods that expand on his popular TV series.
The Thomas brand brings in about $1 billion in retail sales annually and was a big part of the reason Mattel shelled out $680 million last year for the engine’s former owner, HIT Entertainment, which also parted ways with such beloved kid characters as Barney, Angelina Ballerina, and Bob the Builder as part of the deal.
Finally, Mattel is ready to boost the Thomas brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 18, 2012 11:13 AM
Barbie’s lived high on the hog for generations now, riding around in her own beach buggy, horse and carriage, private jet, Vespa. When she hasn’t been traveling in style, she’s been hanging out by the pool or in her three-story, pinkariffic dream townhouse.
But she may need to put away her fancy dresses and modes of transport for the time being, roll up her sleeves, and get her well-manicured fingers to work. (To that point, she's now making another run at the White House with a presidential glampaign.)
In the first three months of this year, for the first time in 10 quarters, sales of Barbie products went down for Mattel, which directly hurt the company’s bottom line, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Part of the explanation: Toys “R” Us and Walmart cut back on Barbie products in the first quarter, and a few other Mattel lines, such as Hot Wheels, Cars, and Fisher-Price, didn’t do so well, either.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 24, 2011 06:04 PM
Bluetooth consortium creates consumer retail mark.
Bon Appetit sells branded culinary products on HSN.
Cigna is buying HealthSpring for $3.8 billion.
Harley-Davidson recalls 308,000 motorcycles for brake issue.
Jeremy Scott unveils latest ObyO sneaker line for Adidas.
Jim Beam invites "biggest liquor takeover since 2005."
JPMorgan Chase and other financial firms test social marketing.
Mattel signs deal to acquire Thomas the Tank Engine parent HIT Entertainment for $680 million with backing from Apax Partners.
MTV plans Occupy Wall Street reality special, as American couple looks to cash in on Occupy Wall Street with trademark move.
Netflix subscriber losses are worse than expected.
NFL and American Idol duke it out for priciest US TV spot.
Oracle expands its cloud footprint with $1.43 billion RightNow acquisition.
Saab brand woes detailed in New York Times.
Yahoo attracts more potential suitors.
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 18, 2011 08:45 AM
Air France replaces CEO, Mercedes-Benz USA CEO is ousted in Daimler exec shuffle, and Olympus shares plunge as its CEO is fired.
Apple sells 4 million iPhone 4S units in first weekend, as Samsung sues to block the device in Japan and Australia and HTC loses Apple patent case in US. Steve Jobs' Silicon Valley memorial service reportedly filled with humor and music, as company prepares to honor late co-founder and report earnings on Tuesday. Starbucks and Apple are also partnering in the UK on free music downloads.
Mattel eyes UK's HIT Entertainment, home to Thomas the Tank Engine and other kids' properties.
Bank of America posts $6.2 billion quarterly profit, while Goldman Sachs reports $428 million loss.
BlackBerry customers receive free apps and tech support to make amends for outages.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 27, 2010 10:25 AM
The Disney mouse is going to school…actually pre-school, as the company most famous for animated entertainment shutters its sudser channel and replaces it with Disney Junior.
Disney's new channel, geared to the 2-7 year old age group, is due to launch in 2012. It will replace the now-cancelled SoapNet, a mix of soap opera reruns and supporting original programming, is currently in 75 million homes.
Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, tells today's New York Times that “This represents the next step in a global preschool strategy that started 10 years ago with the introduction of dedicated channels overseas.”
It's also a sign of the times, as technology has made the network's original purpose obsolete.Continue reading...