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Friday, February 16 2018 09:14

#TFNY: Mattel and WWE Take the Title Belt for Action Figures...

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As we roll into Toy Fair in New York, news is hitting hard... you could even say that we're slammin' over here. One tidbit of data comes from what's no doubt one of my favorite aisles - the action aisle, with news that The NPD Group reports that WWE had the #1 selling action figure in the U.S. in 2017, surpassing all action figure sales of other major entertainment brands and blockbuster films.* On one hand, that seems a bit surprising, but I have seen quite a few of my daughters' friends with WWE figures on a regular basis, and Mattel's new line of Superstar Dolls has also been a big hit here at home. Check out more from this morning's joint press release from WWE and Mattel...

From the Official Announcement: "WWE’s year-round content and unprecedented fan engagement play a key role in the success of all lines of business, including our #1 action figure,” said Casey Collins, WWE Executive Vice President, Consumer Products. “With family-friendly entertainment, a diverse portfolio of innovative toys, and an extensive roster of larger than life Superstars, our passionate fans can engage with WWE in more ways than any other entertainment brand.”

As WWE’s global master toy licensor since 2009, Mattel’s WWE Basic Action Figure Series is the longest-running continuous action figure assortment in history. With more than 400 unique WWE Superstars in the collection, the Series celebrates the history of WWE spanning from the Legends of the 1980’s to the present Superstars of today.

“WWE fans, both kids and collectors, are among the most loyal and passionate of any property. When you combine that passion with an amazing roster of Superstars, it’s a magic formula for action figures,” said Jason Horowitz, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Licensed Properties at Mattel. “We offer fans product with continual freshness and authenticity, and in 2018 our design team is raising the bar with new techniques to ensure our action figures are even more like their real-life Superstars.”

WWE programming reaches more than 800 million homes worldwide in 180 countries and 20 languages. WWE is a $1 billion brand at retail, has more than 850 million social media followers, and is the #1 sports channel and #2 channel overall in the world on YouTube. In 2017, WWE had more than 20 billion views alone across its digital and social platforms. This unmatched fan engagement has helped WWE remain a ratings juggernaut for more than 25 years in addition to having some of the most socially-active shows on television.

*(Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service/Dollars. Action Figure subclass.)

Toy Fair - The Rock Father

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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