JAKKS PACIFIC SECURES LICENSING AGREEMENT FOR UNIVERSAL PICTURES AND ILLUMINATION ENTERTAINMENT’S DESPICABLE ME FRANCHISE INCLUDING THEIR UPCOMING FILM MINIONS
Malibu, CA – February 18, 2015 – Leading U.S. toymaker JAKKS Pacific, Inc., (Nasdaq: JAKK) announced today that it has been granted rights to manufacture, market and distribute a line of consumer products based on the Minions from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me global film franchise as well as their upcoming film Minions, in theaters July 10, 2015.
The licensing agreement awarded by Universal Partnerships & Licensing covers non-articulated figural storage containers (20” or larger), inflatable ball pits, wagons, arcade games, The Original Big Wheel, and outdoor children’s furniture. Products are expected to launch at retailers in North America in Spring 2015.
“We are pleased to be a part of the phenomenally successful Despicable Me franchise, and the highly anticipated Minions film, by offering an array of products that feature popular characters from the films, including a 20-inch Minion Storage Container and inflatable ball pits,” said Tara Hefter, Vice President of Licensing, JAKKS Pacific, Inc. “We are excited to bring a new line of products to these films’ fans.”
The story of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression.
But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award® winner Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minion kind…from annihilation. Featuring a soundtrack of hit music from the ’60s that still permeates our culture today, Minions is produced by Illumination’s Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, and is directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda. Brian Lynch has written the screenplay for the 3D-CG comedy adventure, and Chris Renaud serves as executive producer of the film. www.minionsmovie.com
About Illumination Entertainment
Illumination Entertainment, founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007, is one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of all-audience event films. In July 2010, Illumination, which has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures, released its first film, Despicable Me, starring Steve Carell, which earned more than $540 million worldwide and launched a beloved global franchise. With the success of 2011’s Hop, 2012’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and 2013’s juggernaut Despicable Me 2— the highest-grossing first-run film in Universal’s history and the year’s third-highest-grossing film at the worldwide box office—Illumination’s films have made almost $2 billion. Universal and Illumination’s next film Minions, starring Academy Award®-winner Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm, arrives in theaters on July 10, 2015. In 2011, Universal Pictures acquired the animation division of French visual effects studio Mac Guff Ligne and formed Illumination Mac Guff to work exclusively on Illumination Entertainment’s fully CG movies. Fans may also experience Minion Mayhem in 3D with the Ultra-HD movie motion simulator adventure at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.
About Universal Partnerships & Licensing
Universal Partnerships & Licensing (UP&L) oversees NBCUniversal’s consumer product and digital licensing for Universal Pictures, NBC Television, Focus Features and Sprout Channel. This dedicated division is also responsible for film, home entertainment and television promotions. UP&L is part of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.
About JAKKS Pacific, Inc.
JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAKK) is a leading designer and marketer of toys and consumer products with a wide range of products that feature popular brands and children’s toy licenses. JAKKS’ diverse portfolio includes Action Figures, Electronics, Dolls, Dress-Up, Role Play, Halloween Costumes, Kids Furniture, Vehicles, Plush, Art Activity Kits, Seasonal Products, Infant/Pre-School, Construction Toys, Ride-On Vehicles, Wagons, Inflatable Environments and Tents, Impulse Toys and Pet Products sold under various proprietary brands including JAKKS Pacific®, Road Champs®, Funnoodle®, JAKKS Pets™, Plug It In & Play TV Games™, Kids Only!®, Tollytots®, Disguise®, Moose Mountain® and Maui®. JAKKS is an award-winning licensee of several hundred nationally and internationally known trademarks including Nickelodeon®, Warner Bros.®, DC Comics and Saban’s Power Rangers®. DreamPlay Toys, LLC is a joint venture between JAKKS Pacific, Inc. and NantWorks LLC to develop, market and sell toys and related consumer products incorporating NantWorks’ proprietary iD recognition technology. www.jakks.com
This press release may contain forward-looking statements (within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) that are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about JAKKS Pacific’s business based partly on assumptions made by its management. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such statements due to numerous factors, including, but not limited to, those described above, changes in demand for JAKKS’ products, product mix, the timing of customer orders and deliveries, the impact of competitive products and pricing, and difficulties with integrating acquired businesses. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date on which they are made, and JAKKS undertakes no obligation to update any of them to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.
© 2015 JAKKS Pacific, Inc. All rights reserved.
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