Leading Video Game Publisher Strengthens the Toys-to-Life™ Genre
through Licensed Publishing Initiatives and Brand Extensions in New
Snack & Breakfast and Coloring & Activity Categories
LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision
Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI),
today announced at Licensing Expo 2014 that its highly popular Toys-to-Life™
video game franchise, Skylanders®, will
extend its worldwide footprint through branded fruit snacks and cereals
with General Mills; the first Skylanders magazine with
Immediate Media; an official Skylanders comic-book series with IDW;
and innovative Skylanders-themed coloring books from Crayola.
These new collaborations represent significant growth opportunities for
Activision's already robust global licensing program, which spans more
than 175 companies and won last year's International Licensing Industry
Merchandisers' Association Awards for Best Toy Brand of the Year,
as well as Overall Best Licensed Program of the Year.
General Mills is launching an eight-week cereal program in North
America beginning in February 2015 that puts the fan-favorite Skystones
game on the back of packages for fun, interactive play. The promotion is
the newest offering in an ongoing collaboration between Activision and General
Mills that already includes Skylanders-shaped Fruit Flavored
Snacks, Fruit by the Foot and Fruit Gushers. Later this year, Skylanders
will also be included in a brand campaign with General Mills'
Go-Gurt and Trix Yogurt Cups, which will arrive at retail this September.
"From a global branding perspective, this has been a remarkable year for
the Skylanders franchise," said Ashley Maidy, vice president of global
licensing and partnerships at Activision Publishing, Inc. "We are
delighted that many of the world's leading brands are collaborating with
us on meaningful programs that let our fans engage with the Skylanders
brand in ways that didn't exist three years ago."
Activision is also expanding its publishing portfolio this year. Leading
publisher Penguin Group, which has sold more than 2.5M Skylanders
Universe™ books worldwide, will continue to team up with Activision
on a global program. Penguin will spearhead a new platform,
offering additional engagement opportunities for fans looking to learn
more about their favorite characters. This month, Penguin's unique
collaboration with augmented reality company, Zappar, brings Skylanders
characters to life in the new Skylanders SWAP Force™ Official
Guide. The guide allows kids to watch gameplay clips, and zap, swap and
interact with Skylanders characters. Furthering the publishing
profile, Immediate Media will also launch an official Skylanders
magazine in the UK this fall with plans to expand into multiple
territories by 2015. The magazine gives fans a look into the world of
Skylands, with fun tips, quizzes and Skylanders-themed activities
that kids will love.
Further bolstering Activision's publishing initiatives, the company
recently announced its deal with leading comic book publisher IDW
to create the first official Skylanders comic book series,
which will serve as a prequel to this year's Skylanders Trap Team™.
This new relationship brings a fresh, artistic voice to the lore of the
franchise, giving fans additional backstory to the Skylanders
universe. Skylanders comic book issue #0 will feature an
introductory 16-page story as well as character guides and additional
back-up information which will launch at San Diego Comic-Con with the
first issue arriving at retail this fall in time for the launch of Skylanders
Activision's relationship with Crayola is also growing with
the introduction of Skylanders-branded Xtreme Coloring
and Activity Pads. This new format will launch in spring 2015 and
will allow kids to create their own personalized versions of their
favorite Skylanders characters on a physical coloring page.
About the Skylanders® Franchise
The award-winning, $2 billionSkylanders franchise pioneered the Toys-to-Life™
category in 2011 with the debut of Skylanders Spyro's Adventure®. The
game originated a new play pattern that seamlessly bridged physical and
virtual worlds across multiple platforms. In October 2012, Skylanders
Giants™ further evolved the genre and added the mega-sized Giant
Skylanders and LightCore® characters to the collection of
interaction figures. Skylanders SWAP Force launched in October
2013 and introduced an all-new play pattern - swapability. The Skylanders
franchise was the top selling kids' videogame of 2013¹, and is now one
of the top 20 videogame franchises of all time². Skylanders Trap Team,
the newest installment due out in North America on October 5, 2014,
reverses the magic of bringing toys to life - incredibly letting kids
pull characters out of the digital world into the physical world. For
more information, please visit: www.skylanders.com
About Activision Publishing
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc.
(NASDAQ: ATVI), today is a leading worldwide developer, publisher
and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.
Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the
United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Denmark,
the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, mainland China, Hong Kong and the
region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can
be found on the company's website, www.activision.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking
Statements: Information in this press release that involves
Activision Publishing's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies
regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts
and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could
cause Activision Publishing's actual future results to differ materially
from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this
release include unanticipated product delays and other factors
identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard's most
recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports
on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based
upon information available to Activision Publishing and Activision
Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision
Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any
such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to
be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements
are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Publishing or
Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other
factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual
results to differ materially from current expectations.
© 2014 Activision Publishing, Inc., SKYLANDERS, SKYLANDERS TRAP TEAM,
SKYLANDERS SWAP FORCE, SKYLANDERS GIANTS, SKYLANDERS SPYRO'S ADVENTURE,
SKYLANDERS UNIVERSE, LIGHTCORE, TOYS TO LIFE and ACTIVISION are
trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc.
¹According to The NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track and Activision Blizzard
internal estimates, including toys and accessories
² According to The NPD Group and GfK Chart-Track
Michele Wyman, 310-854-3264
Bianca Blair, 310-496-5290
Source: Activision Blizzard, Inc.
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