Paw Patrol’s Marshall and Chase mobbed by record-breaking crowd at Marsh Farm Adventure Park

CAPTIVATED children desperate to meet the stars of Paw Patrol flocked to Marsh Farm for the animal adventure park’s busiest weekend ever.

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A record-breaking 6,000 people descended on the South Woodham Ferrers tourist attraction to see Marshall and Chase from the popular Nickelodeon cartoon about six rescue dogs and their leader Ryder.

Hundreds queued for the “Pawsome Meet and Greets” every hour from 11 until 3pm on Saturday and Sunday, with many children launching themselves at the pups for a cuddle or exchanging high-fives on a sweltering weekend when more than 4,000 ice creams were sold.

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James Martin, the Chelmsford attraction’s Creative Marketer and Memory Maker, said: “It was amazing to see just how much the kids loved seeing the characters from Paw Patrol.

 

Paw Patrol has Spin Master on a roll as earnings exceed analyst expectations

If you don’t have children, the name Paw Patrol probably doesn’t mean a lot to you.

If you do have kids, the wildly successful series of toys, shows and video games about a boy and five rescue dogs might just be an ubiquitous presence in your life.

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And if you invested in Spin Master, the Toronto-based company that created and own the franchise, Paw Patrol is money in the bank.

This past week, Spin Master released its first quarter 2016 earnings, exceeding analyst expectations with revenues of US$161.7 million, 51.9 per cent higher than the same time last year. It also revised its sales growth guidance from “high-single-digits” to the “mid-teens” range, mainly driven by Paw Patrol and the acquisition of American board game maker Cardinal Industries.

On Monday, its shares hit a new all-time high of $28.88 before closing at $28.26. They are now up more than 50% since its IPO last July.

“From a day to day perspective the company is exactly the same (as before going public),” said co-CEO Ronnen Harary. “We operate the same, we have the same long term goals in terms of fusing innovation into our brand, building our brands, expanding our global footprint, building up our entertainment slate and making strategic acquisitions.”

Spin Master was started in 1994 by Harary and two friends who as recent university graduates made nylon stocking-covered heads of sawdust topped with grass seeds which grew to look like hair, and sold them on the street in downtown Toronto.

The grass-covered heads were called Earth Buddy, developed in 1994 by Harary, Anton Rabie and Ben Varadi with a total investment of about $10,000.

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Just over 20 years later, Spin Master has grown to be one of the largest toy companies in the world.

As simple as Earth Buddy was, it found shelf space at Toys ‘R’ Us and by the end of 1995 it had sold 1.5 million units.

Although Earth Buddy served as Spin Master’s launch pad, the company really took off in 1998 when it bought the rights to Air Hogs, a remote-controlled toy plane that flies using compressed air.

“It started from one product that all the other toy companies turned down,” said Harary.

Between 2002 and 2007, the company expanded its international footprint by opening offices across Europe.

In 2008, Spin Master opened its entertainment division to develop shows and video games, ideally creating three streams of revenue to tap parents’ wallets.

The team also realized there was more profit to be made in creating original characters and stories than buying someone else’s ideas.

“We noticed early on is that if you create your own (intellectual property) then you can actually build a franchise. If you build a franchise then you’re building what we believe to be a greater amount of equity,” said Harary.

After developing relationships with Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network, Spin Master approached Bob the Builder creator Keith Chapman to invent a franchise and in 2013 unleashed the Paw Patrol animated series.

I equate the toy business as similar to fashion for kids in that they’re always looking for you to deliver an innovation
It turns out kids love it. Today the show is distributed in 160 countries and has a series of video games and a lineup of toys that are flying off the shelves. Paw Patrol even has a magazine in the U.K. and RBC Capital Markets analyst Sabahat Khan says he wouldn’t be surprised by a feature film down the line.

“All paws on deck,” wrote Khan in a note to clients. “The continued release of new content is expected to support the momentum of this franchise as the company looks to develop it into an evergreen property.”

Although the company did not disclose how much Paw Patrol’s added to its gross product sales, National Bank Financial analyst Adam Shine noted that the franchise contributed 25 per cent, implying sales of over US$245 million last year.

Khan says Paw Patrol’s contribution can be seen in the sales growth of the “Pre-School and Girls” category, which increased 80.9 per cent year over year in the quarter. For the full year, this category brought in sales of US$325.7 million in 2015 and a projected US$391.7 million by the end of 2016.

In February, Spin Master acquired Etch A Sketch and Doodle Sketch, which Khan says is “an opportunity to bring innovation to these iconic brands.”

Today, the company is the fifth-largest producer by sales in the U.S. toy industry and a top-10 player globally. Spin Master operates out of 14 offices in North America, Europe, and Asia, with sales in over 60 countries.

Harary says the next frontier will be international — particularly in Asia where the franchise has not yet been launched.

“I equate the toy business as similar to fashion for kids in that they’re always looking for you to deliver an innovation or something new that hasn’t been seen before,” he said.

“It’s part art, part science and you’re looking for that magical moment where the kids connect with the toy in a special way.”

First-Ever Live Tour for Nick’s PAW Patrol

NEW YORK: Nickelodeon and VStar Entertainment Group are prepping the first-ever live stage show for the preschool series PAW Patrol.

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PAW Patrol Live!: Race to the Rescue will feature characters from the Spin Master Entertainment-produced animated series. The international touring production is due to visit more than 90 cities across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, starting in October. The TV series follows a group of heroic rescue pups named Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Rubble, Zuma, Skye and Everest, who are led by a tech-savvy boy named Ryder. Together, they help the people of Adventure Bay. In the live show, it’s up to the PAW Patrol to rescue Adventure Bay’s Mayor Goodway and help her finish the race against Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger. Tour stops for the live show will be announced later this spring.

“PAW Patrol Live! will be an exciting extension of our top-rated, CG-animated TV series for preschoolers,” said Gerald Raines, the senior VP of global recreation at Nickelodeon. “Chase and the pack of the show’s beloved characters will take audiences along on their heroic adventures, challenging their imaginations and senses while teaching the importance of teamwork.”

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“We’re delighted to partner with Nickelodeon to bring the PAW Patrol Live! experience to fans across the U.S., Canada and Mexico,” said Eric Grilly, the CEO of VStar Entertainment Group. “This is the first time we’ve had the honor to work with the Nickelodeon brand on a live tour. We look forward to the opportunity to bring our expertise to this show, and are excited to showcase the strength of our two entities in a production that’s certain to engage with audience members of all ages.”

Poplar Linens signs deal to launch Paw Patrol home textiles range

Poplar Linens, a leading global home textile sourcing company who has been in existence for over sixty years with base in Ireland has signed a deal to launch a range of Paw Patrol home textiles across the UK and Ireland.

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Poplar Linens works with brand partners to supply the retailer industry direct, and its existing clients include Asda, Tesco, Matalan, Sainsbury’s and John Lewis.

‘The Paw Patrol brand has grown exponentially since the airing of the animated series, receiving two international accolades for 2016 – an Annie Award and a Canadian Screen Award,’ read a statement from Poplar Linens.

As a result of its popularity, retail demand for licensed products has also seen a rapid increase. Poplar Linens have now secured the licence to meet customer demand for their UK and Ireland retail partners.

Popular specializes in connecting brands with retailers and on delivering high volume, commercially driven products to the marketplace. Their services are a one-stop-shop for retail buyers in the UK and beyond.

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Poplar continually monitors the market place for the latest trends and developments. They are an agile company that can respond to rapid changes in consumer tastes. Innovation is a cornerstone upon which they operate their business.

Why Your Children’s Television Program Sucks: PAW Patrol

It’s time once again for our ongoing series surveying the awful shows you’re forced to endure before you can finally kick the kids out of the TV room to watch sports for eight hours.

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The Show

PAW Patrol

The Theme Song

PAW Patrol!

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Whenever you’re in trouble!

PAW Patrol!

PAW Patrol!

We’ll be there on the double!

The Mythology

PAW Patrol takes place in a (Canadian) town called Adventure Bay that apparently has no functional fire department, police department, or local contractors. So whenever someone around town has a problem, they have to go crawling to a volunteer squad of seven puppies (not even grown dogs!) and one (Canadian) boy, all of whom work out of the town’s space needle. This is what libertarianism looks like, people. Think about that the next time you read an Ayn Rand book.

Episode Format

Every episode starts with some moron in Adventure Bay getting into an easily preventable jam: Oh, no! Mayor Goodway’s chicken got caught in a tree! Bereft of any municipal infrastructure, they’re forced to call up Ryder (that’s the boy) and the PAW Patrol to come save the day. Once Ryder accepts the assignment, he cries out, NO JOB IS TOO BIG, NO PUP IS TOO SMALL, which is a hilarious lie. Imagine calling in a teacup poodle to solve the Syrian refugee crisis. What a fucking joke.

While off-duty, the PAW Patrol pups are basically just a bunch of average, stupid dogs. But then Ryder summons them to their Lookout (that’s the space needle), and they transform, Voltron-style, into a bunch of highly trained rescue canines, each one able to drive and operate a rescue vehicle of its own. I bet they can also sniff for heroin and everything. Anyway, Ryder gives each of them a task (“Marshall, I’ll need YOU to recover Mrs. Fisk’s tampon box from the ocean floor”). Then they go save the chicken (or whatever), and then Ryder rewards them by telling them that they’re all good pups (but how can anyone feel special if EVERYONE is special?) and gives them biscuits for their trouble.

Characters

Ryder. The leader. Has a phone AND a Canadian accent. I don’t know why there are so many Canadian children’s TV programs. There’s this one, and Max & Ruby, and the universally despised Caillou. What is Canada doing making all this shit? Is this some passive-aggressive manifestation of your resentment of the United States’ near-total domination of North American economics and pop culture? If so … well played. Well played, you maple-humping ice farmers.

There is some controversy around the voice of Ryder, because he’s been played by two different actors: Elijha Hammill and Owen Mason. Why the switch? What did Owen Mason do wrong? Did they sub him out for a less Canadian voice? Did some insane stage dad demand triple the salary for his child so that he could afford to rent an apartment for his mistress? Did they REALLY expect us to not notice the switch? What are they hiding? Someone get me a squad of trained cats to quietly investigate this.

Chase: The cop dog. Hence the name. Get it? It was two years before I made that connection. Same with …

Marshall: The fire dog. Hence the name. Sensing a pattern yet? Also, whenever Ryder calls on Marshall, Marshall cries out, I’M FIRED UP! Very subtle. Roughly 90 percent of this show is catchphrases.

Rubble: Bulldog. Has his own digger. It’s pretty cool. I’ve already told my kids that Rubble is my favorite PAW Patrol dog. The rest of them can go get hit by a truck. Rubble’s the one I’m taking home. WHO’S A GOOD PUP?! IS IT YOU?!

Skye: Girl dog. Has her own helicopter. Is likely paid less than the male puppies on staff. Her lack of character depth is highly problematic. ANSWER FOR YOUR GENDER IMBALANCES, CANADIAN ANIMATORS.

Rocky: Another dog. Drives a recycling truck. What fucking good is that? The only time I need a scheduled truck pickup is if I’m throwing out a piano or I’ve murdered someone.

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Zuma: Drives a race car.

Everest: Snow dog. Was NOT an original member of the PAW Patrol. CAVING TO THE SNOW LOBBY ONCE MORE I SEE. Anyway, Everest makes her debut in a special hour-long episode called “The New Pup.” Did it ruin the show forever? Yes. Everest is the Cousin Oliver of the PAW Patrol. Shame on you, Guru Studios.

Mayor Goodway: Mayor. Incompetent. Has a pet chicken. Is afraid of hot air balloons.

Chickaletta: The chicken.

Best Episode

Any episode without commercials. A while back, Nick Jr. would air entire episodes of this show without ads, but now that PAW Patrol is a big deal and PP toys are flying off the shelves at Target, you get ads in between each vignette. They even have ads right after the title sequence, reminiscent of the NFL cutting to commercials after any kickoff. Really gets my goat. My children are spoiled 21st-century TV consumers with NO patience for commercials of any kind. The second the show cuts to commercials, they cry out for me to fast-forward as if there’s a fucking boat on fire somewhere. Not cool, Nick Jr. I expect you to indulge my children as horribly as I do.

Worst Episode

Any episode with commercials. Parking a child in front of a television is my oasis. It is my release: a touch of peace of quiet in an otherwise hectic day. I need the viewing (and hence, the silence) to be continuous.

Pros

I actually have no real problem with PAW Patrol. The animation is shit, but what do you expect? This isn’t Pixar. The pacing is gentle. The lessons are fine. And kids love puppies, so it only makes sense to have a show featuring puppy garbagemen and the like. The pups help everyone out, the problem is solved, and my children come out of the exchange relatively unscathed.

Cons

My kids want a dog now. Many of them, actually. I’ve managed to hold out so far, but it’s only a matter of time. At some point, I WILL crack. And then what will happen? I’ll tell you: They’ll feed and walk the dog for ONE day before abdicating their dog chores. And then I’m stuck with a de facto fourth child. No. No fucking way. No dogs until you people are 30 years old or older.