Oscars Nomination Snub Aside, Lego Still Wins the Academy Awards

Posted by Katie Conneally on February 23, 2015 03:07 PM

Lego Oscar statue

When "The Lego Movie" didn’t receive a best animated feature film nomination in this year’s Academy Awards, there was a collective gasp across the social mediaverse. No matter: Lego won the Oscars awards ceremony.

It all started when the film's director, Philip Lord, made light of the snub, tweeting an image of an Oscar statuette made out of Lego bricks on Jan. 15th with the caption “It’s okay. Made my own!”Continue reading...

license to thrill

Classic Toy Brands Look to the Future at the 2015 New York Toy Fair

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 17, 2015 11:01 AM

Hello Barbie ToyTalk talking doll

The 112th annual North American Toy Fair is on in New York, with licensing partnerships bringing together brands that tap into the toy industry's top trends of 2015, from the maker movement to tech innovation and beyond.

Case in point: Mattel is partnering with Google to reinvent the View-Master from its 1939 roots as a proto-3D virtual reality device, relying on cardboard disks with stereoscopic images inserted in a plastic device and observed through a viewfinder.

Now View-Master is using a different kind of cardboard: Google Cardboard, which uses an Android smartphone app to deliver a 360-degree animated environment.Continue reading...


Gumby, Skeletor and Jem Create Holiday to Remember in Honda Social Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on December 12, 2014 01:33 PM

Honda touched a sonorous chord with U.S. consumers with its year-end holiday TV campaign featuring nostalgic cartoon characters in modern roles, hanging around dealer showrooms and touting Honda vehicles.

The Happy Honda Days ads were the brand's way of attempting to break through the huge pack of automotive year-end promotions that have become as dependable in November and December as Starbucks' Christmas flavors.

Now, just in time for Christmas, Honda marketers have taken this same endearing cast of cartoon characters and put them in designed-for-social videos, and for a good cause.Continue reading...

what girls want

Hello, Dolly: GoldieBlox Founder Explains Anti-Barbie Brand Extension

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 10, 2014 11:48 AM

Research has shown that girls who play with fashion dolls see fewer career options for themselves than boys. A fashion doll is sold every 3 seconds—which is why GoldieBlox is expanding into dolls with an anti-Barbie doll based on its namesake Goldie character. She is ready to take on Bob the Builder, Bill Nye the Science Guy and Jimmy Neutron, as well as Lego’s Friends line for girls.

As founder Debbie Sterling, a mechanical engineer, tells brandchannel, GoldieBlox was born to "disrupt the pink aisle" and make engineering accessible and fun for young girls. GoldieBlox’s tagline is “Other dolls are built for fashion. Goldie is built for action.”Continue reading...


Toys"R"Us Backs Down on Breaking Bad Toy Line [Updated]

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 21, 2014 09:31 AM

Toys"R"Us is under fire for stocking a line of action figures based on the Emmy Award-winning TV series, Breaking Bad.

“After all, nothing quite says holiday shopping like a bendable, fully costumed figurine of Walter White—the murderous chemistry teacher turned crystal meth manufacturer—and Jesse Pinkman, his former student and current bag man,” TIME quipped.

“And you want accessories? We’ve got accessories—including a duffle bag stuffed with imaginary cash and a plastic bag of, yes, faux crystal meth for White.”

It all started with a Florida mom's petition, which gathered thousands of signatures.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Lego Breaks Shell Partnership, Pushed by Greenpeace Video Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 9, 2014 02:11 PM

Greenpeace has scored another major victory in its savvy social- and content-driven lobbying of brands.

Lego announced today it will not renew its marketing contract with Shell, ending a partnership that dates back to the 1960s.

The environmental activist group targeted the world’s largest toymaker with a petition and a brilliantly-executed campaign: a YouTube video of a pristine Arctic environment, constructed from 265 pounds of Lego bricks and characters, becoming slowly submerged in oil.

Titled "Everything is NOT Awesome" in reference to The Lego Movie's "Everything is Awesome" anthem, the video (which linked to a petition) has garnered nearly 6 million views to date.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Now the World's Largest Toy Company, LEGO Sees Success in Product Diversity

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2014 04:22 PM

Brick by brick, business deal by business deal, LEGO built itself into a toy-manufacturing juggernaut this year so much that it now has passed Mattel to be the world's toy sales leader.  

The rise became official in the first half of the year as LEGO rode the success of The LEGO Movie to $468 million in sales at the box office and all of the related merchandise sales. In the first six months, its revenue rose 11 percent, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Conversely, the broad portfolios of Mattel and Hasbro have hurt the brands' overall standing, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. The former has taken a hit with its Barbie products while Hasbro’s board games are sliding. LEGO, meanwhile, is devoted to pretty much one product with many variations on the theme.Continue reading...


Goodbye, Kitty: Japan Sends Hello Kitty into Orbit to Boost Space Program

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 14, 2014 01:42 PM

NASA isn't the only space program in jeopardy. Japan, for one, is also trying to re-engage young minds with the fascinations of space using a tried and true method: Hello Kitty.

The iconic figure, which is celebrating its 40th birthday, has created billions of dollars in revenue for its owner, Sanrio, and Japan hopes that its internationally-recognized animated toy will drive the same kind of cultural interest for its space program. 

To get more private companies interested in using satellites, the government has invested $40 million toward the project, Reuters reports. The satellite carrying the 1.6-inch Hello Kitty figurine was fine-tuned over a couple of months of experimentation and is about the size of a garbage can.Continue reading...

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