American Greetings relaunches 80s entertainment brand, Madballs

The firm has named Just Play as its master toy partner as it embarks on a mission to relaunch the Madballs brand with new collectables, play-sets and more.
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American Greetings Entertainment has detailed its plans to relaunch the 1980s cult entertainment phenomenon, Madballs.

AGE – the outbound division of American Greetings Corporation – has teamed with its master toy partner Just Play to bring the brand that sold in its tens of millions 30 years ago, to a new audience of youngsters.

New Madballs animated shorts are currently in production and set to launch in autumn this year to support a consumer products programme already underway with partners lined up in the physical and digital space.

Spring 2017 will see Just Play launch a variety of products, including classic and mini collectable Madballs before expanding into play-sets and accessories at retailers worldwide.

“We know that brand equity just isn’t enough these days, so we are proud to partner with Just Play and its strong track record of building great classic and modern brands,” said Sean Gorman, president of AGE.

“We are excited to re-introduce Madballs to fans, with a launch supported by ultra-fun, super-cool compelling content for a new generation.”

Geoffrey Greenberg, co-president of Just Play, added: “We are thrilled to bring back Madballs in a way that pays homage to fans of the original series and introduces new ways for today’s kids to engage with this exciting brand.”

Elsewhere, Kidrobot is delivering vinyl figures, collectables, soft foam balls and limited edition items for Christmas 2016, joining a growing list of licensees that includes Brunswick Bowling Products for bowling balls, Roar Comics for comics and graphic novels, Mondo Tees for further collectables and Gourmandise for mobile phone accessories in Japan.

In gaming, Las Maquinitas Studios is developing a free-to-play Madballs game for core gamers on iOS and Android mobile and tablet devices worldwide.

Neon Mob has been signed to deliver digital trading cards and Bare Tree Media has a roster of chat stickers n its Emojitap app.

“Madballs owned gross fun back in the 1980s,” added Gorman. “And with these best-in-class partners and this brand new content we know we can bring it back to be the same for kids today as well as those long-term fans from the 80s.”

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