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After the Between the Pines special this past Monday, show creator Alex Hirsch spent some time afterwards taking questions & answer over his Twitter account (@_AlexHirsch). A Tumblr called “PS: PQXV TBFOA” pulled multiple questions from the Q&A and posted them to their blog. Behind the page break is a transcribed version for your reading enjoyment.

Gravity Falls wraps up its two season run this Monday on Disney XD with Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back the Falls.

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This coming weekend is a major event for toy companies and fans alike known as the New York Toy Fair.  Its kind of like the San Diego Comic Con, but for toys.  Companies of all sizes gather in New York City every February and show off their current and future products to fans and obviously, investors.  We’d actually like to thank the Litzky Public Relations firm who works with Hasbro for the invite to the NY Toy Fair and press preview tour of Hasbro’s section.  Unfortunately we do not have anyone close by and on duty.

Today, an article appeared with exclusive material in USA Today, which features the new toy lineup Hasbro is producing for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  The toy line is dubbed Guardians of Harmony and seems to be a major step away from the traditional figure lines MLP fans are used.  You could say Hasbro may have broken the mold on this one.

The Guardians of Harmony toy line features molded and stylized figures, many featuring multiple articulating parts making the figures very poseable.

The toy line which will debut this fall will be accompanied by a new comic series from IDW.

 

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The upcoming line comes from consumers and fans asking for more adventure and new ways to play with core Ponies such as Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash, says Samantha Lomow, senior vice president of Hasbro Brands for Boys, Girls and Preschool Portfolio. “They just wanted the characters brought to life in a whole new way.”

(Brian Truitt, USA Today)


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The Guardians of Harmony toy line, aimed for ages 3 and up, features single figures ($9.99 each) like Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Shadowbolt and Shining Armor with nine points of articulation — so kids can pose the Ponies in their favorite scenes

(Brian Truitt, USA Today)

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A special set with princesses Celestia and Luna ($19.99) brings together the royal sisters for fans, and a giant 13-inch Spike dragon figure ($39.99) comes with removable armor, fireball projectiles and a saddle for other Pony characters to hop on for a ride.

Many of the new figures come right out of scenes from the cartoon, and according to Lomow, a new series of comic books from IDW debuts this fall extending some of the story lines from the series and new toys.

(Brian Truitt, USA Today)

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My Little Pony has long fostered a female appeal, yet Guardians of Harmony is another way for Hasbro to release products to satisfy its current large and fervent fan base of girls and boys, young and old.

(Brian Truitt, USA Today)

Full Story via USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2016/02/10/my-little-pony-guardians-of-harmony-exclusive/80103638/

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Just before Gravity Falls takes a final bow, there was a retrospective. “Between the Pines” drew an estimated 766,000 viewers on Disney XD on Monday night. That is below the lowest mark for Season Two which was “Blendin’s Game” at 775,000 in November 2014.

It all ends in “Weirdmaggedon 3:  Take Back the Falls” next Monday at 7pm ET/6pm CT on Disney XD.
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As for Wander Over Yonder, it experienced an uptick from the previous week. The pairing of “The Cartoon” and “The Bot” drew an estimated 388,000 on Monday night on Disney XD. That is an increase of 15.5% from last week. The Season Two average now stands at 455,000 per episode. Wander will take a bye week next Monday before returning on February 22nd with “The Family Reunion” and “The Rival” at 8:30pm ET/7:30pm CT on Disney XD.
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Ratings information for this report comes courtesy of Mitch Metcalf of Showbuzz Daily as sourced by Nielsen Media Research.
StatManDan

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On Monday, Hasbro announced is earnings for the fourth quarter and the full year for 2015. Overall, net revenues were up 13% in Q4 and would’ve been up 23% absent a negative foreign exchange impact of $128.1 million in the quarter. Revenues were largely buoyed by tie-ins from Star Wars and Jurassic World as well as Disney Descendants and Sesame Street. Franchise brands declined by 3%, but would’ve been up 6% absent FX. Revenues were up for Nerf, Play-Doh, and Magic: The Gathering.

For the year as a whole, revenues reach $4.4 billion which was an increase of 4% (up 13% absent a negative FX impact of $394.5 million). Franchise brands decline 2% for the year, but would’ve been up 7% absent FX. Monopoly joined Nerf, Play-Doh, and Magic: The Gathering on the up side. My Little Pony would join that group absent FX. Operating profit for the year was up 9%.
Declines in the Girls’ department were 17% in Q4 and 22% for the year. Those declines continue to be spelled F-u-r-b-y for the most part. Core revenues for My Little Pony increased for the year, but were offset by declines for “Equestria Girls.” However, the arrival of tie-ins for both Disney Princess and Frozen should provide some tailwind in 2016.
Boys was up 35% for Q4 and 20% for the year again buoyed by Star Wars, Jurassic World, and Marvel, which more than offset anticipated declines with Transformers (i.e. no movie). Littlest Pet Shop experienced a “small revenue decrease” according to Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, though he sees an opportunity with a new “immersive franchise story” that they will be unveiling in the future.
Further to a point on MLP, Mr. Goldner says that is remains a “vibrant and growing property” that has established itself as a “major lifestyle brand”.

My Little Pony remains a vibrant and growing property, said Mr. Goldner as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. “The core My Little Pony brand did extremely well in 2015 with positive revenue growth in several countries backed by strong point-of-sale and the launch of the new Friendship is Magic collectable segment. My Little Pony has established itself as a major lifestyle brand, and for 2015 was our top license property.

“We experience a slowdown in “Equestria Girls” that offset much of the growth we saw in other areas of the brand. In January 2016, we launched a new Mini Dolls! “Equestria Girls” line which is off to a very good start.

“Overall, My Little Pony brand engagement is very high across all lines of the business. To maintain this momentum, we are continuing to invest in multichannel storytelling, while evolving our entertainment strategy to more effectively delivery content. The success of our franchise brands contributed to the 11% revenue growth in our entertainment and licensing segment. Despite a difficult comparison with the 2014 Transformers movie, consumer product licensing revenues increased.”

The next major presentation from Hasbro will be on Friday at Toy Fair NYC at 8am Eastern Time.
THOUGHTS:  It was always going to be a bit of an ask for MLP to match or exceed what was a record year in 2014—especially given the FX impact of the past few quarters. Still, rumors and charges that the franchise may be in something of a decline are greatly exaggerated. It remains mostly a mystery what 2016 will bring for MLP apart from a new foal for Princess Cadance and Shining Armor and that the theme is to “Explore Equestria” (at least by swan boat). A major part of those questions may be answered on Friday.
StatManDan

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213 – “The Cartoon, The Bot”

Written by: Ben Joseph; Noelle Stevenson
Hater orders the Watchdogs to make an action cartoon about him; Wander adopts a damaged Dominator bot.

Transcript
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“Between the Pines”

Go inside the making of Gravity Falls with Alex Hirsch and Time Baby in Between The Pines

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Friendship is Magic #39 Extended Preview

Friendship is Magic #39 cover by Lea Hernandez

Friendship is Magic #39 cover by Lea Hernandez

There’s an extended preview of Friendship is Magic #39 on issuu. This issue is the second and final part of the two part arc, “Don’t You Forget About Us”, and will be released on Wednesday. You can check out the preview after the break.

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