Leading toy manufacturer JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (Nasdaq:JAKK) and technology leader NantWorks, LLC, founded by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, announced that they have signed a letter of intent to create a joint venture to develop, market and sell next generation toys incorporating NantWorks’ proprietary image recognition technology. The new venture will be named “DreamPlay Toys.” “We are witnessing a major transformation in the play patterns of children,” said Stephen Berman, President and CEO of JAKKS Pacific. “More and more they are turning to smart phones and similar devices as their major source of fun and play. JAKKS, through its partnership with Dr. Soon-Shiong and NantWorks, has made the commitment to become a leading toy consumer products technology company that will take recognition technologies and interactivity in products and play to new heights.” “The most interesting things happen when experts from different industries come together to rethink their worlds,” said Dr. Soon-Shiong. “This is what we are doing with DreamPlay. Toy experts and technology experts are combining to create a whole new world of possibilities for children, and indeed for consumers generally.” JAKKS Pacific will begin transforming its product line to incorporate the new image recognition technology, and will present the first examples at the International Toy Fair in LA in October. Children will be able to “activate” toys, and interact with them using smart phones or tablet devices, in their homes and in stores. The NantWorks platform enables instant connections between physical toys, video, posters, books, games and all other forms of media. “Children will be able to bring toys to life,” said Dr. Soon-Shiong. “The only limit will be the child’s imagination, and we all know there is no limit to that.” “In my over twenty year career in the toy industry, I have never seen anything as transformative, ground-breaking or exciting as this partnership with NantWorks and what it will mean to our business in the future,” added Mr. Berman. “And what begins now with toys will eventually extend to many kinds of consumer products soon after.”
Under the terms of the letter of intent, NantWorks will link JAKKS’ toy products to content and animation on mobile devices through the image recognition platform, and JAKKS will have the exclusive right to arrange for partnerships with other toy companies to make the platform available to them in the development, sale and marketing of their toy products. JAKKS and NantWorks will have a profit sharing arrangement for these third party toy relationships. Under the proposed arrangements, JAKKS Pacific will be providing resources, including personnel and facilities and the services of its CEO. Mr. Berman will also serve as General Manager of DreamPlay Consumer Products, which will extend image recognition technology to non toy consumer products and applications. The parties intend to complete definitive agreements within the next 90 days.About JAKKS Pacific, Inc. JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAKK) is a leading designer and marketer of toys and consumer products with a wide range of products that feature popular brands and children’s toy licenses. JAKKS’ diverse portfolio includes Action Figures, Electronics, Dolls, Dress-Up, Role Play, Halloween Costumes, Kids Furniture, Vehicles, Plush, Art Activity Kits, Seasonal Products, Infant/Pre-School, Construction Toys, Ride-On Vehicles, Wagons, Inflatable Environments and Tents, and Pet Toys sold under various proprietary brands including JAKKS Pacific®, Creative Designs International™, Road Champs®, Funnoodle®, JAKKS Pets™, Plug It In & Play TV Games™, Kids Only!™, Tollytots®, Disguise® and Moose Mountain®. JAKKS is an award-winning licensee of several hundred nationally and internationally known trademarks including Nickelodeon®, Warner Bros.®, Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Hello Kitty®, Graco®, Cabbage Patch Kids® and Pokémon®. JAKKS’ Monsuno™ toy line is based on the new Monsuno™ animated television series. www.jakks.com © 2012 JAKKS Pacific, Inc. All rights reserved. About NantWorks, LLC NantWorks LLC was founded by Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD. Its mission is to converge semiconductor technology, supercomputing, advanced networks and augmented intelligence to transform how we work, play and live. Early applications have been in the fields including scientific research and healthcare. For more information, see www.nantworks.com. The NantWorks recognition platform comprises several state of the art and proprietary image, object, music and voice recognition technologies. Some applications are already on the market for the visually impaired: LookTel “Moneyreader” and “Recognizer,” which won an FCC Chairman’s Award in 2011, enable the blind to identify currency bills, packaged goods, medication bottles, storefronts and landmarks.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements (within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) that are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about JAKKS Pacific's business based partly on assumptions made by its management. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such statements due to numerous factors, including, but not limited to, those described above, changes in demand for JAKKS' products, product mix, the timing of customer orders and deliveries, the impact of competitive products and pricing, and difficulties with integrating acquired businesses. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date on which they are made, and JAKKS undertakes no obligation to update any of them to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.