Mattel Launches a New Film Division to Help Revitalize Sales

Toy maker Mattel just opened a new division, Mattel Films, to develop and produce movies based on its brands and headed up by Academy Award-nominated producer Robbie Brenner. Known for her work on “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Mirror Mirror” and “The Fighter,” Brenner will report directly to Mattel chief executive/chair Ynon Kreiz, a media and entertainment veteran, who has worked on children’s content. The new division could help bolster Mattel, which has seen slumping sales since the shuttering of Toys R Us. Continue reading Mattel Launches a New Film Division to Help Revitalize Sales

SuperAwesome Rolls Out Kid-Safe Embeddable Video Player

Kid-safe technology startup SuperAwesome is introducing an alternative to YouTube’s embedded video player intended for publishers of children’s content. The new offering — which joins the SuperAwesome platform of “kidtech” tools created for areas such as advertising, authentication, parental controls and social engagement — provides brands with a viable video player alternative as privacy issues dominate the spotlight. According to the company, the player does not collect data on kids and adheres to COPPA and GDPR. Continue reading SuperAwesome Rolls Out Kid-Safe Embeddable Video Player

Rovio Self-Finances ‘Angry Birds’ Movie to Control Franchise

Finnish company Rovio Entertainment decided four years ago that, rather than license the “Angry Birds” characters to a Hollywood studio, it would finance its own $73 million movie. Since opening on Friday in some territories, Rovio’s gamble has thus far resulted in a $43 million gross. Companies such as Lego A/S and Hasbro turned to studios to finance their films, but Rovio took the same path Marvel did when it made “Iron Man,” with the goal of controlling the franchise over the long term. Continue reading Rovio Self-Finances ‘Angry Birds’ Movie to Control Franchise

Comcast is Reportedly in Early Discussions to Purchase DWA

Reports have surfaced that Comcast is in talks to purchase DreamWorks Animation SKG for more than $3 billion. The unconfirmed deal would make the cable giant a major player in the family entertainment business, and possibly provide additional leverage for building out theme park and consumer product businesses. According to The Wall Street Journal, “One person with knowledge of the talks said that DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment, Universal’s animation studio, would remain separate brands.” However, a deal could provide Universal with a greater presence in China, where DreamWorks chief exec Jeffrey Katzenberg has focused much of his attention. Continue reading Comcast is Reportedly in Early Discussions to Purchase DWA

New Google Chromecast Apps Turn the TV into a Game Board

Google’s Chromecast streaming device now supports new game apps that viewers can play on their TV screens. The games include both board game classics, like sped-up versions of Scrabble and Monopoly, in addition to new titles. Users must download the corresponding game app to their mobile phones and then they can use their phones to play the games on their TV screen. The relatively quick games are more like mobile games than they are like traditional video games. Continue reading New Google Chromecast Apps Turn the TV into a Game Board

Toymaker Hasbro in Talks to Purchase DreamWorks Animation

Rhode Island-based Hasbro, manufacturer of popular toys including G.I. Joe, Mr. Potato Head, My Little Pony and Transformers, is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation. Hasbro would pay a mix of cash and stock according to current terms of the proposed deal. DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is said to be looking for more than $30 a share for the sale. The news comes shortly after Japanese telecom SoftBank was reported to be a prospective buyer. Continue reading Toymaker Hasbro in Talks to Purchase DreamWorks Animation

Shapeways, Hasbro Allow Artists to Sell 3D Fan Art and More

3D printing and shipping company Shapeways is allowing any user to upload and sell content that features Hasbro characters. As part of the new agreement, Shapeways, Hasbro and the artist are all compensated. Many copyright holders see 3D printing as a modern version of pirating, as it takes little effort to download and print an object. With this new model, however, if an item costs $30, then Shapeways receives $20 for material and manufacturing, while Hasbro receives $3.50 and the artist receives $6.50.  Continue reading Shapeways, Hasbro Allow Artists to Sell 3D Fan Art and More

New Hasbro Site Turns Amateur Creations into 3D Printed Toys

Toy maker Hasbro and 3D printing service Shapeways have teamed up to bring the power of toy design to the hands of consumers. The two companies launched the SuperFanArt site for My Little Pony toys. Users can create, share and even sell their pony designs through the Shapeways’ marketplace. The first 3D printed My Little Pony toys will be shown at Comic-Con this week. Hasbro plans to add more of its brands to the SuperFanArt site later in the year. Continue reading New Hasbro Site Turns Amateur Creations into 3D Printed Toys

ScreenHits to Launch Free Website for Showcasing TV Pilots

ScreenHits, an online marketplace for international buyers of film and television content, plans to launch a free service for consumers that will feature TV pilots that have not been picked up. The approach aims to introduce a new source of revenue for producers and studios. The Pilot Showcase service is scheduled to go live with 50 pilots on July 1. The pilots will be made available with advertising, and viewers can pre-order any shows that get greenlit as full series.   Continue reading ScreenHits to Launch Free Website for Showcasing TV Pilots

3D Systems and Hasbro Co-Venture: 3D Printing Play for Kids

3D Systems, provider of 3D printing solutions, and toy and game company Hasbro have announced plans to co-develop creative, immersive play experiences “powered by 3D printing” for children. The partnership aims to commercialize play printers and platforms later this year, combining 3D Systems’ printing products with Hasbro’s portfolio of consumer brands. 3D Systems has been spending more on R&D, and recently announced plans to partner with Hershey to develop 3D printing tech to produce food items. Continue reading 3D Systems and Hasbro Co-Venture: 3D Printing Play for Kids

Hasbro Reaches Out to Fans for New Transformer Character

Hasbro announced its “Fan Built Bot” poll to help kick-off the Transformers 30th anniversary celebration scheduled for 2014. The global poll to create the next Transformer character is open to all age groups and runs until May 5th. The fan designed Transformer will be featured in new comic books and be a part of the “Thrilling 30” special edition collectible action figures from Hasbro. Continue reading Hasbro Reaches Out to Fans for New Transformer Character

Netflix CEO Says 4 Billion Hours of Video Streamed in Q1

Reed Hastings announced on his Facebook page yesterday that Netflix subscribers viewed 4 billion hours of video during the first quarter. Media analyst Richard Greenfield of BTIG Research suggests that subscribers are viewing an average of 87 minutes of streaming content per day via the video-on-demand service, up from 79 minutes in June 2012. “Netflix is now likely the most-watched cable network,” said Greenfield. Continue reading Netflix CEO Says 4 Billion Hours of Video Streamed in Q1