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 Trap Team.
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 billion Skylanders 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 and Activision.com/presscenter.
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