‘Frozen’ princess promises hot Christmas for struggling toymaker

The doll, one of only four toys to feature on three major guides of top toys for the holiday season, has the task of reviving Jakks Pacific Inc, which has reported losses for the last two years and declining revenue since 2009.

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Jakks is licensed to make toys and dresses based on Walt Disney Co’s blockbuster animation movie “Frozen”, including the Elsa doll.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Toys R Us Inc [TOYS.UL] and industry magazine Toy Insider have all picked the just-launched toy for their closely watched annual gifting guides.

More than for Mattel Inc or Hasbro Inc – the top two U.S. toymakers – “a toy that will be on a list like Wal-Mart will be of greater benefit for (Jakks) because of their smaller size,” said Edward Woo, senior research analyst at investment bank Ascendiant Capital Markets LLC.

The “Frozen” line could top $125 million in sales this year for Jakks, Woo said, with Snow Glow Elsa alone contributing $50 million. That’s nearly 8 percent of Jakks’ 2013 revenue of $632.9 million. Mattel had sales of $6.48 billion last year.

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Malibu, California-based Jakks, anticipating a bumper Christmas, has added more than five factories in China to ramp up production and iron out supply hurdles in its “Frozen” line of toys, Chief Executive Stephen Berman told Reuters.

The company doesn’t break out sales by product.

Needham & Co’s Sean McGowan, the top-rated analyst tracking Jakks according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, estimated sales of close to $100 million from the “Frozen” line this year. Sales so far total about $20 million, he said.

Six of eight analysts covering Jakks, including McGowan, have a “buy” rating on the stock, with the median price target at $10. The shares, which have risen about 2 percent this year, were trading around $6.80 on Tuesday.

TURNAROUND YEAR

Elsa, the misunderstood princess with a magical ability to create ice and snow, has emerged as a hot favorite character among girls since “Frozen” released in November.

Jakks’ Snow Glow version is a baby-faced doll with a dress that lights up and she sings the Oscar winning song “Let it Go” from the movie.

The doll, aimed at girls aged 3 and above, is priced at $39.97 at Wal-Mart and at $34.99 at Toys R Us.

Wal-Mart’s top-20 list – based on a survey of about 1,000 children – pits the doll against some old favorites such as Mattel’s never-say-die Barbie and gadgets such as LeapFrog Enterprises Inc’s LeapTV, an educational gaming system with motion sensors.

The Toys R Us list, which relies on research from in-house experts, features both Snow Glow Elsa and LeapTV, but no Barbie.

It has another Jakks toy on its list: Max Tow, a monster truck toy powerful enough to pull and push objects weighing up to 200 pounds.

Other than Snow Glow Elsa and LeapTV, the only toys that also feature on Toy Insider’s gifting guide are Just Play’s mobile clinic playset, based on the Doc McStuffins animated TV series, and Spin Master Ltd’s Zoomer Dino, a gesture controlled T-rex on wheels.

Jakks’ toys have made it to previous lists, but demand for those hadn’t built up like it has for the “Frozen” toys, said Jonathan Samet, publisher of the Toy Insider magazine.

“This (year) is going to be a big turnaround for Jakks,” Samet said.

STOCKING UP, BUT FAST ENOUGH?

The movie is already having an impact on Jakks, which began a restructuring last year.

About a year after the toymaker suspended its dividend and announced job cuts, Jakks reported a 16.9 percent increase in revenue for the three months ended June 30, its biggest quarterly sales growth in at least five years.

It also forecast a profit for the year.

But the company’s shares fell 14 percent amid concerns that the company may not be able to meet holiday demand.

Since then, Berman said, the company has worked with its suppliers to ensure adequate supply.

Some analysts aren’t convinced.

“(“Frozen” is) a phenomenon, and as prepared as retailers are for the “Frozen” rush I think they will still be understocked,” said Laurie Schacht, president of Adventure Publishing, which issues the Toy Insider list.

Berman is thinking long-term, noting that merchandise spawned by the 1995 hit animation movie “Toy Story” were still big sellers.

“Frozen” is our generation’s “Toy Story”, he said.

 

Source From www.mascotshows.com

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Show your Spooky Side at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

mickeys-halloween-party-00-full With attractions like Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights dominating the scare season in Central Florida, sometimes Mickey Mouse and all his friends don’t get all the attention they deserve. At Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, held on select nights from now until Oct. 31, those of us who might be a bit more timid can enjoy the Halloween spirit at the Magic Kingdom. The after-hours special ticket event features a wide variety of themed shows and special celebrations. Perhaps the most famous of these being “Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade,” where a gang of ghostly characters parade down Main Street, U.S.A. for a haunted, but happy, Halloween season. If you enjoy seeing the sky light up in ways only Disney World can, the bewitching “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks spectacular is a must see. Disney villains take center stage in 2014 with “Villains Mix & Mingle — Live on Stage” castle show; and Club Villain, an all-new nightly character dance party experience takes over the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland. If you’re not big into the shows and parades, most of the attractions in the park are also open with almost no lines. On a recent visit to the party, my wife and I were able to take in every attraction open with a wait time of no more than 10 minutes. You never know which characters you might run into throughout the park, so keep your eyes open. Cast members at the Haunted Mansion truly get into the spirit of the event, and could easily give the scareactors at Universal a run for their money! Spend the night trick or treating with all of your MiceChat pals! You’ll be treated with the special Halloween Fireworks at Cinderella’s Castle, the amazing Boo to You Parade, bags filled with candy, and endless character interactions. Not to mention the rides! When was the last time you got to yell “trick or treat” (and get candy)?! Meet at the train platform on Main Street at 6:30pm – Just in case of rain we’ll have cover while we wait for our Mice Pals to assemble. We will shut down the Magic Kingdom in true MiceChat style! These parties sell out (Oct 31 is already sold out!) so we recommend getting your tickets HERE ASAP. The party tickets are running $71.36 per adult. Halloween on the high seas If you enjoy Halloween fun while traveling the seven seas, you’re in luck! Disney Cruise Line is treating guests sailing this fall to a wickedly good time as the ships transform into a ghoulish wonderland filled with frightfully fun events and activities, special decorations, unique menu items in the restaurants and themed parties on deck. In 2014, Halloween on the High Seas takes place on most voyages aboard all Disney Cruise Line ships from September through October. This extra-spooky celebration features Halloween-themed parties, lively entertainment and elaborate décor, including The Pumpkin Tree, which magically transforms throughout the cruise. Disney Cruise Line Halloween experiences include: Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party, a celebration in addition to Pirate Night with games, dancing and lots of candy! Beloved Disney characters, wearing special Halloween costumes just for the occasion, will join guests for this fun-filled costume party. A Nightmare Before Christmas—Sing and Scream, an interactive movie experience where guests are part of the action, followed by a meet-and-greet with Jack Skellington and Sally. Haunted Stories of the Sea, where the bravest cruisers gather under the stars to hear some true—or not so true—tales of the sea told by a mysterious sea captain storyteller. frontpagepic-22 Creepy Cabaret, a party in the atrium featuring favorite Halloween-themed music performed live by a band of ghostly musicians. Halloween Isn’t Just For Kids: For adults, the nighttime entertainment district on each Disney ship becomes the ghoulish setting for a costume contest and a Villainous Takeover on the dance floor. Spooky Movies: To get guests into the spirit of the season, Halloween-themed movies will be shown in Buena Vista Theatre, on Funnel Vision by the family pool and in guest staterooms. Ghoulish Delights: Disney Cruise Line chefs have conjured some very special treats for Halloween, including chocolate cake with pumpkin filling, spider cakes and “Spooky Juice.”

 

Source From:  www.mascotshows.com

“Frozen” ride announced for Walt Disney World in 2016 to replace Maelstrom at Epcot, “Frozen” Christmas also revealed

“Frozen” is returning to Epcot in a big way.

After much rumor and speculation, today Walt Disney World has announced and confirmed that a new “Frozen” ride is officially coming.

“I’m pleased to say that we’re starting construction at Walt Disney World Resort on a brand new ‘Frozen’ attraction at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot,” wrote Tom Staggs on the Disney Parks Blog. “The new attraction, which replaces Maelstrom, will take our guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film.”

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Also included will be a new meet-and-greet for Anna and Elsa in Norway.

The last day of operation for Maelstrom is Oct. 5, 2014. The new “Frozen” attraction is expected to be completed by early 2016. The Norway pavilion will remain open in the meantime.

In addition, starting November 5 for this holiday season, “Frozen” characters will also be part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as Queen Elsa will ice over Cinderella Castle every night. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf will join “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.”

The parade is offered during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, select nights Nov. 7-Dec. 19, 2014 and presented daily Dec. 20-31, 2014.

The “Frozen Summer Fun” event has also been extended at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. The “Frozen” sing-along show will continue and Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post will relocate closer to that show. A new play area with real snow will also be featured.

It certainly won’t be the first time “Frozen” characters have been prominently featured in a Disney park. Olaf currently sits atop a cottage at Disneyland in California as Anna and Elsa meet and greet inside:

Meet-and-greets for the “Frozen” sisters have been equally popular at Walt Disney World, first appearing in Epcot’s Norway pavilion, later moving to the Magic Kingdom to accommodate the high demand.

But none of that will compare to the excitement and hype that will surely surround the upcoming “Frozen” ride. This time Disney will prepare Epcot properly for “Frozen” fever.

The Maelstrom boat ride in Epcot’s Norway pavilion has been a long-standing favorite for many Disney fans, repeatedly going “back, back, over the falls.”

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But despite some Disney fans proclaiming that adding the hit animated film to Epcot’s World Showcase ruins its original intent and theme, “Frozen” fans will no doubt flock to the park as soon as it opens for a chance to sail through Arendelle for the first time in forever.

The face behind the Golden Eagle mascot costume revealed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The second quarter of the Stanton at Paxon game kicked off and the student section went wild; the Paxon Golden Eagle mascot was making an entrance.
Behind the furry brown flaps and big yellow beak is a teen with a passion for dance.
Jazmine Alomar is the student behind the Paxon Golden Eagle. She was on the dance team for her sophomore year, then promoted to the captain in her junior year.
In Jazmine’s senior year, the administration got rid of the dance team.
But Jazmine wouldn’t let that stop her. When she got the opportunity to show her school spirit, she couldn’t refuse.
“I loved all the cheerleaders, I knew all the cheers and I knew all the dances so they said I would be perfect for it,” Jazmine said.
She accepted an offer to become the official mascot.

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School spirit runs in Jazmine’s family.
“My mom was a mascot when she was in high school. So she said it would be fun,” Jazmine said.
One of Jazmine’s favorite things about being mascot is the silliness of being undercover.
“I get to mess with people, it’s so much fun,” Jazmine said.
Jazmine recalled her first experience in the Golden Eagle suit. A small child was terrified of her costume.
“Throughout the game, I held his hand and let him follow me around. He got used to me and gave me a hug at the end of the game,” Jazmine said.
Experiences like this lead Jazmine to believe she influences school spirit.

“I affect school spirit in a major way. I get the crowd hyped, I mess with the cheerleaders. We had a pep rally today and I was getting everyone rowdy,” Jazmine said.
Jazmine says her biggest challenge is dealing with the heat and still having to entertain the crowd.
She beats the heat with a special hydration system.
“I have a backpack that I fill with water and ice. It has a little string and I can drink water out of that the whole entire time,” Jazmine said.
The heat isn’t bad as enough to stop her, though. “I don’t mind having the suit on, it’s fun,” Jazmine said.
Although some mascots hold to a code of secrecy, Jazmine has fun with her role.
“Not a lot of people actually know it’s me, but I don’t mind people knowing that I’m the mascot,” Jazmine said.
Jazmine encourages other students who may have had their programs cut to persevere until they find a role that fits them perfectly, like her Golden Eagle costume.

See More From http://www.mascotshows.com/

Chippewa Falls bars seek permit for Halloween party

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CHIPPEWA FALLS – Tavern owners along Canal Street in Chippewa Falls want to expand the city’s already bustling Halloween party scene.
The owners of Weekend at Bernie’s, Dewey’s Roadhouse, Burly’s and Sweeney’s Bar & Grill are seeking permission to close the street to traffic on Halloween, creating a block party of sorts that would include live bands and would allow customers to bring alcoholic drinks outside. Law prohibits patrons from carrying drinks outside of those establishments.
Heather Marble, bartender and manager of Sweeney’s Bar & Grill, 201 E. Canal St., said the idea of expanding the street’s Halloween festivities to include outdoor events has been considered for years. She said the Saturday closest to Halloween – this year it’s Nov. 1 – typically attracts huge crowds of revelers, many dressed in costumes. Customers generally travel a four-block stretch along Canal Street that includes four taverns, stretching from South Main Street to Depot Street.
“That’s why we wanted a permit to tie it in and make it a group event,” Marble said.
Marble said each bar would have to obtain its own permit to extend its premises onto the street, and each would set up fencing. People inside the beer garden would be given a wristband to show their ID has been checked.
Chippewa Falls Councilman Mike Hanke said he doesn’t have a problem with closing Canal Street entirely. Tavern owners there initially sought permission for customers to be able to take their drinks onto the street for several blocks between bars, but Hanke said that wouldn’t gain council approval.
Instead, Hanke said, the City Council is more likely to grant a temporary extension of the premises for each bar onto the street, with each having its separate beer garden.

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If the council approves that request, police Chief Wendy Stelter said she would want four additional patrol officers on duty that night to work that area. The added police shifts would cost about $1,120, which the bars would be responsible for paying, Stelter said.
“We’ve had extensions (outside their buildings) by different establishments in the past, and police haven’t had issues,” Stelter said. “This has the potential to bring in a larger crowd, and it may not be as contained. We have more concerns about littering and public urination.”
As part of their request, tavern owners said they would be responsible for picking up all trash generated during the event.

Source From http://www.mascotshows.com/

Christmas party sex assault nets West Deptford man 7 years

A West Deptford Township man convicted of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman when she was incapacitated from drinking at a 2011 Christmas party at his home was sentenced to seven years in state prison Friday, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office.

Paul Matelyan, 51, of West Deptford, must serve 85 percent of the prison term before being eligible for parole.

Matelyan will also be subject to 15 years parole supervision upon release and will be required to register as a sex offender in New Jersey under Megan’s Law.

Mark Daniels may be reached at mdaniels@southjerseymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @dannypapers. Find the South Jersey Times on Facebook.

Source from:   www.mascotshows.com

 

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It’ll be a very ‘Frozen’ Halloween

NEW YORK — Anna, Elsa and Olaf will be ringing your doorbell this Halloween.

The characters from Disney’s “Frozen” are expected to be among the most popular Halloween costumes this year, according to a preliminary list from holiday retailer Spirit Halloween.

It'll be a very 'Frozen' Halloween

Spirit, which operates more than 1,000 pop-up Halloween stores in North America, also expects “classic” Disney characters, such as Snow White, to be popular.

For older celebrants, Spirit said costumes based on two popular TV shows, “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead,” should be hot this year.

This will be the first Halloween since “Frozen” was released and the princesses of Arendelle took the world by storm. And, yes, Spirit says there are “Frozen” costumes for adults.

“Frozen” is the highest-grossing animated film of all time, having raked in more than $1.2 billion in global box office sales since its Thanksgiving release.

It’s on track to be the fifth highest grossing movie of all time, and is already Disney’s biggest selling digital and Blu-ray release.

Toymakers have been cashing in on the film’s popularity, with a wide range of Frozen-themed dolls, dresses and apps.

Beyond Frozen, Spirit expects “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” costumes to be big sellers following the release of the latest movie this summer.

A handful of superheroes and “nostalgic” characters such as Dr. Seuss’s “Cat in the Hat” are also on the list.

While it includes “outrageous” suits for men and “harlequin” costumes for women, Spirit’s list is remarkably tame this year.

Last year, Spirit said twerking would be the big theme for Halloween. It produced a Twerkin’ Teddy costume for women and a Twerk Suit for men. Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga and the cast of The Jersey Shore were popular costumes in years past.

Gnome Ranger’s debut birthday party attracts a crowd of 40

About 40 students, faculty and staff donned birthday hats and sunglasses at a party today in the Fiesta Room in Loftin Student Center to celebrate the “birthday” of the college’s new spirit figure, the Gnome Ranger.

Some blew party blowouts and helped themselves to cake, music and photos with “GR.”

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GR appeared in a costume with blue shirt, grey vest, a belt with a SAC buckle, khaki pants, boots, gloves and a hat, but public relations director Vanessa Torres would not identify the person inside the costume.

Torres said much like the Spur Coyote’s identity is not revealed, the identity of GR would remain a mystery.

Torres said this college’s new spirit committee created the idea of having a spirit figure to represent The Rangers. The public relations department drove the launch.

Because of the historical controversy around the Ranger mascot, Torres said rather than abandon the idea of a mascot, the spirit committee chose to bring in a spirit figure that is fun, whimsical and mysterious.

“The Ranger had become a figure of much controversy in recent years as, historically, Mexican-Americans were treated quite poorly by the Texas Rangers. SAC has been looking to move away from this symbol of racial tension for some time, and it appears that progress has been made, albeit in a very strange direction,” according to a July blog from the San Antonio Current.

The Gnome Ranger was born on this campus in the basement of Koehler Cultural Center, according to a fact sheet provided by the public relations department.

“He escaped from the Koehler House and will be out and about spreading spirit on campus,” Torres said.

His hobbies include dancing, gardening and roaming the campus at night, according to the fact sheet distributed by the public relations staff.

Pre-nursing freshman Ashley Kaples and engineering freshman Edwin Velazquez were not aware of the party but liked the idea of GR as the college’s spirit figure.

“It’s really cool, and the silliness of the gnome will bring spirit,” Velazquez said.

Pre-law freshman Cheyenne Sparks and liberal arts freshman Jessyca Rasmussen were also unaware of the event but decided to join in on the fun.

“It’s a really cool play on words because it sounds like the Lone Ranger, but it’s the Gnome Ranger,” Sparks said. “It’s a pretty cool name.”

Rasmussen said she thinks GR will bring people together and encourage school spirit. Both students planned to take photos with GR.

Disney’s new holiday tradition: LaborWeen

If you think the Christmas season starts too early, this story is going to drive you crazy. Prepare to shred your calendar because this year, according to Disney, Halloween began on Labor Day.

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That’s right, The Mouse may have the rights to every pop culture franchise under the sun but he doesn’t have patience. At least not enough to wait until after Sept. 1 to kick off this year’s Not So Scary Halloween Party events. No sooner did kids go back to school than they had to settle on a costume choice. But who am I kidding, kids love this stuff. Not that adults are immune to the promise of free candy and an excuse to dress up. And that’s what it’s all about: Adults paying for tickets, buying the merchandise and spreading economic holiday joy all throughout the tourism kingdom, whether or not it’s early.
The LaborWeen festivities did work in favor of a few guests I met. Sarah MacLeod and son Callum of Canada were able to enjoy the event thanks to Callum’s college classes starting the second week of September. And such was the case for Colorado residents April Cadeau, Sarah Beurman, Natalie Stanaway, Amanda Waite and Kayla Waite, who planned their pre-college get-away around the early Halloween event. They even wore the same costume — five Peter Pans but no Tinker Bell. The absence was not long because I later found two Tinker Bells in the form of Jeff Robert and Sarah Murphy of New York. Yes, Jeff dressed as Tink, and it was the most awesomely picturesque moment I’ve had this year. LaborWeen, and this slideshow, will indeed go down in history.
The first night crowd was festive, but not large. I had no trouble finding a spot for the Villains Mix And Mingle show in front of Cinderella Castle. And there was enough room to stretch out on a blanket and watch the HalloWishes fireworks show Fourth-of-July-beach-party style on Main Street USA. And why not celebrate Labor Day, the Fourth of July and Halloween at the same time? It’s probably on Bob Iger’s 2015 to-do list anyway.
So check out the slideshow for a peek at the party, and Jeff Robert as Tinker Bell. And for more holiday hijinks in the tourism world, stay tuned to OrlandoBusinessJournal.com. After all, there are still about 60 days left until the real Halloween.

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The Sexiest Halloween Costumes for 2014

It’s that time of year again. It’s time to start thinking about all the sexy things you can be for sexy Halloween.

I scoured Mascotshows.com to see what’s new for 2014 (i.e. I did my research). Ketchup bottles are So Out. Humanoid turtles are So In. Don’t even think about showing up in last year’s sexy Tootsie Roll costume because people will straight barf in your face.

I was most disappointed that there were no sexy Elsa or Anna costumes. That just seems like a missed opportunity for the costume industry. What am I, as a mother of a Frozen fan, supposed to wear when I take my kids trick-or-treating? Must I settle for sexy Cinderella? How obvious. How blandly classic. Where’s my sexy Olaf costume? Where’s my sexy Duke of Weselton?

Which sexy costume will you be donning for Halloween 2014?

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