Monday, May 20, 2019

Alpha Group Celebrates SpongeBob SquarePants' 20th Anniversary With Fresh Line Of Imaginative, Unique Toys

Update (4/24) - Alpha Group's Sponge-Tastic line of SpongeBob SquarePants toys and collectibles are now available to purchase, including online at Amazon.com/SpongeBobSquarePants!

Official Alpha Group Press Release via PR Newswire | Share the news: http://po.st/SBtoysAlpha

Alpha Group Celebrates Spongebob Squarepants' 20th Anniversary With Fresh Line Of Imaginative, Unique Toys

New Global Master Toy Licensee To Premiere Pop Culture Collectibles, Nickelodeon Slime!, Interactive Anniversary Plush and more at North American International Toy Fair


Alpha Group’s brand-new SpongeBob SquarePants product line is certain to excite a multi-generation fan base. Masterpiece Memes figures bring to life favorite moments that have become popular viral memes.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Feb. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- "Are you ready kids?" Just in time for the 20th anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants, Alpha Group, the new global master toy partner of Nickelodeon's iconic and top-rated animated series, will debut a brand-new, never-before-seen product line. Building upon two decades of incredible SpongeBob content and fandom, these toys have evolved from the conventional preschool toy range and are certain to excite a multi-generation fan base – Kids, Tweens, Teens and Millennials. The company's imaginative range includes collectible pop culture figures, fun-loving novelties, plush and – for the first-time ever – SpongeBob toys that include Nickelodeon Slime!

SpongeBob SquarePants has emerged as a global pop culture phenomenon since first premiering on Nickelodeon in July 1999. The series has been the most-watched animated program for more than 17 consecutive years, is seen in over 208 countries and translated in more than 55 languages. The year-long 20th anniversary celebration – The Best Year Ever – includes a series of collaborations with designers, artists and retailers, experiential events, an on-air special and more.

Alpha Group will unveil the new product line at North American International Toy Fair, February 16-21 (booth #2965). Merchandise begins rolling onto retail shelves in Spring 2019. Product lines include:

COLLECTIBLE VINYL FIGURES - Designed for the older fan that has grown up with SpongeBob and now enjoys collecting figures from their favorite nostalgic shows.

  • Masterpiece Memes - 8-inch collectible vinyl figures bring to life fan-favorite show and movie moments that have now become some of the most popular viral memes. Featuring exceptional details and window packaging for collector displays, the Spring Masterpiece Memes figures include Mocking SpongeBob, Imaginaaation SpongeBob, Surprised Patrick, Spongegar and Handsome Squidward. For Ages 6+, SRP: $19.99
  • SpongePop CulturePants - The 4.5-inch vinyl collectible figures celebrate and capture iconic pop culture in a unique SpongeBob way. The Spring line includes B-Movie SpongeBob, Patrick and Dr. Plankton, based on the horror episodes from the show, as well as Old-Timey SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward in an all-new timeless style inspired by the golden age of animation. For ages 6+, SRP: $9.99
  • Spongesicles - These Fall 2019 vinyl figures look just like the real SpongeBob ice pops you buy at your local ice cream truck, except they won't melt! With four unique designs – three of them with a melted look and one perfect – which will you get? Includes removable stand. For Ages 6+, SRP: $9.99

NICKELODEON SLIME - For the first time ever, two Nickelodeon favorites come together for an epic experience, as now SpongeBob and friends get "slimed" with official Nickelodeon Slime!

  • Slimeez with Nickelodeon Slime - Experience the world of Bikini Bottom like never before with SpongeBob Slimeez Figures! Load each 3-inch figure with Nickelodeon Slime (included), push and watch the ooey gooey Slime ooze through the figures. Six figures arrive on shelves this Spring, each packaged with 2oz. Slime and collectible SpongeBob cube for the ultimate blind package experience. Will you find the rare Gold SpongeBob Slimeez? Seven figures debut in Fall. Ages 6+, SRP: $6.99
  • Plankton's Slimetory - Get even messier with the all-new Plankton's Slimetory playset. Featuring three colors of Nickelodeon Slime and an exclusive SpongeBob Slimeez figure, kids can mix slime colors and fling it on SpongeBob by using the catapult! Ages 6+, SRP: $19.99

TOYS WITH A TWIST - Totally wacky ways to play with SpongeBob with your friends!

  • StretchPants - Play with SpongeBob in a crazy new way! Stretch his arms and legs to activate over 20 unique silly sounds and phrases from SpongeBob himself! Parents, siblings and friends can join in the fun by grabbing an arm and a leg. Keep pulling to hear what he will say next! The more you pull, the funnier he gets! Available this Spring. Ages 4+, SRP: $24.99
  • Giggle Blaster - SpongeBob is silly and wacky and now kids can be too with the SpongeBob-styled Giggle Blaster. Featuring a real working periscope, the fun-themed blaster sprays aerosol party string (included) and shouts over 15 SpongeBob phrases and sounds. Packaged with one can of aerosol party string, and compatible with most standard size cans, the Giggle Blaster arrives in Fall. Ages 6+, SRP: $19.99

NOVELTY COLLECTIBLES - Young-and-old alike will dig playing with the novelty collectibles!

  • SpongeHeads - Dress up as your favorite SpongeBob SquarePants characters with the 20-inch soft, inflatable headwear! Made to fit most kid and adults heads, SpongeHeads allow fans of all ages to show off their favorite characters in a silly fashion-statement! Let the party begin! Available Spring 2019. Ages 6+, SRP: $12.99

ALL-NEW PLUSH CHARACTERS - From 4-inch clip-on collectibles, 6-inch minis and an assortment of interactive and squeezable plush, new SpongeBob SquarePants plush roll out beginning this Spring.

  • Mini Plush - Bring Bikini Bottom to the toy collection with these soft, 6-inch Mini Plush friends! These adorable little SpongeBob characters are perfect for play and display. Six characters debut in Spring. Ages 4+, SRP: $7.99
  • Exsqueeze Me Plush - The 8-inch Exsqueeze Me Interactive Plush burp and fart! Fans will love to squeeze and laugh with these soft, plush pals. Coming in two waves, each featuring SpongeBob and Patrick: Spring 2019 and Fall 2019. Ages 4+, SRP: $14.99
  • Huggable Plush - A new huggable plush of favorite SpongeBob characters arrive this Fall including Doe Eye SpongeBob, SpongeBob with Glasses, Patrick and Plankton. Ages 4+, SRP: $19.99
  • SpongeBob LaughPants - Celebrate SpongeBob SquarePants' 20th anniversary with the soft, huggable joke-telling +17-inch plush. Among his many jokes and wacky sounds: "How did Patrick do on his bubble test?" "He blew it!" Featuring articulated arms and hips, and premium material including real pleather shoes and belt, SpongeBob LaughPants debuts in Fall. Ages 6+, SRP: $39.99


About the Alpha Group
The Alpha Group US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alpha (Alpha Group Co., Ltd), one of the leading animation and toy companies in China. With a mission of providing engaging entertainment experiences, linking superior animation content with high-quality toys and games for kids and their parents, Alpha takes play seriously. The company's growing portfolio of brands includes SpongeBob SquarePants™, Super Wings™, WWE™, Infinity Nado™, TerraSect™, Grrrumball™ and Sky Rover™. Visit www.alphatoys.com for more information.

About Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products
Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products (VNCP) oversees all merchandising and retail operations for Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), one of the world's leading multimedia entertainment companies and home to such powerhouse brands as Nickelodeon, MTV, Paramount Network, Paramount Pictures and Comedy Central. With a diverse portfolio spanning animation, preschool, youth and adult licenses, VNCP is committed to providing key partner development and innovative marketing solutions, ensuring the highest quality product offering across some of the world's most powerful TV and entertainment properties, including SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

SOURCE Alpha Group

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There are six toys available in Alpha's Masterpiece Meme Collection line. Each one is 8″ and has an MSRP of about $21, and are available via Amazon right now.

Toys in the Masterpiece Meme Collection are:

- SpongeGar
- Imaaaaaaagination SpongeBob
- Surprised Patrick
- Handsome Squidward (open eyes)
- Handsome Squidward (closed eyes)
- Mocking SpongeBob


On a related note, Funko unveiled some new SpongeBob SquarePants Pop figures at London Toy Fair earlier this year, and they will be shipping very soon. The wave includes an Imaginaaation SpongeBob figure, so it would seem that Funko was on the cusp of meme figure collection greatness but got beat to the punch.

The rest of the new SpongeBob SquarePants Funko Pop releases includes a hammer-wielding Patrick and a ballerina Squidward. You can pre-order them all right here with shipping slated for June. Inside that link you'll also find a Pineapple Pop Movie Moments figure and a new lineup of SpongeBob SquarePants pen toppers. The official description for the wave reads:

“Are ‘ya ready, kids? Aye, aye captain! … Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants!” Patrick might not always be the brightest bulb in the fish tank but you’ll never find a more loyal or warm-hearted friend. This Pop! Patrick wearing his classic board shorts is wielding a hammer and is sporting some unusual headgear. The normally surly Squidward Tentacles leaps and prances with joy as a Pop! ballerina. And Pop! SpongeBob has manifested a rainbow, surprising absolutely no one ​given his cheerful disposition.

As far as exclusives are concerned, look for SpongeBob in a band outfit at Hot Topic, and a 10-inch SpongeBob at Target in the May/June timeframe.

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Update (5/20) - From Long Island Weekly:

Toy Company Alpha Group Talks New SpongeBob Products For 20th Anniversary

He lives in a pinneapple under the sea all while being absorbent, yellow and porous, and is now making his way to toy shelves in honor of his 20th anniversary on Nickelodeon. Spongebob Squarepants has emerged as a global pop culture phenomenon since first premiering on the network in July 1999 and has been the most-watched animated program for more than 17 consecutive years that has been seen in more than 208 countries and translated in more than 55 languages.

All thanks to Alpha Group US, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alpha—one of the leading animation and toy companies in China, fans of all ages can now bring home some awesome collectibles and toys from Spongebob CulturePants vinyl figures to Slimeez with Nickelodeon Slime to Exsqueeze Me Plush toys and much more.

“It’s been a brand that has been around for so long since it’s now in its 20th year,” said Kim Morris, who is the senior director of global marketing at Alpha Group. “It’s a powerhouse and pop culture brand, and it has an incredible following. Also it’s all about story and that story has been told for so long. The show is on every single day on Nickelodeon. It’s also multigenerational, which is pretty cool. So we were interested in the brand for that reason.”


Gold SpongeBob SquarePants Slimeez Figure with Nickelodeon Slime

Plus, the timing was just right for Alpha Group to take on the Spongebob brand due to the 20th anniversary and the feature movie that is coming out in May of next year.

“From the perspective of tapping into the brand, it was just a monumental time to push it from all angles and we could compliment it with new and exciting ways through our toy designs,” said Amrtiz Lay, who is the senior marketing manager for Alpha Group.

One of the exciting new products to hit shelves is the 8-inch Masterpiece Memes figures that bring to live fan-favorite show and movie moments that have become some of the most popular viral memes. Some of the figures that fans can buy are Mocking Spongebob, Imaginaaation Spongebob, Spongeegar and Surprised Patrick among others.

“The fans themselves have Spongebob in their lives every day through these memes,” explained Lay. “So it made it really easy for us to just pick and choose from the top used meme. There’s a built in audience and there’s a hunger for them. We’re super excited about the reception that they received.”


When Alpha Group got the license to make the toys, one of the things the toy company wanted to do was to get out of Bikini Bottom, the home of where Spongebob and all his nautical friends reside, and do something that hasn’t been done before.

“We have a multi-tier strategy in our product development,” said Morris. “We have one that’s very focused on kids and one that is very focused on the collectors and the fans, and in the social digital age it allows us to go after those fans.”

Also for the first time ever, Spongebob and the iconic green Nickelodeon slime come together in Alpha Group’s new Spongebob Slimeez figures.

“Through our Slimeez products, it’s the first time that Spongebob is partnered with official Nickelodeon slime,” said Lay. “It’s a great way to take it on the go. It comes in a blind bag so they don’t really know what they’re getting and there’s a play pattern that is all the hype right now. It’s a great assortment of all the key characters of the ‘Krusty’ crew.”


Lay also mentioned how the toy company’s plush character toys have been a popular item to buy including the Exsqueeze Me interactive plush that burps and farts that feature both Spongebob and Patrick. The company is also excited about the Giggle Blaster that is launching this fall.

“The Giggle Blaster has party string and you just insert any party string in there and when you pull the trigger it shoots the party string about 15 feet,” said Morris. “When you trigger it, it makes all these different sounds and phrases from Spongebob. So even when you run out of the string, you still have a lot of play value. It’s been really well received.”

This fall, Alpha Group is also putting out a large scale Spongebob plush that will have a 20th anniversary logo sewn onto his back. The commemorative plush will also tell jokes when you pull Spongebob’s tie.

“For both of those products [the Giggle Blaster and the Spongebob commemorative plush], we recorded with Tom Kenny, so they’re all fresh recordings and deliveries especially the Giggle Blaster,” said Lay.

Some of Lay’s favorite Spongebob products include the Masterpiece Memes and CulturePants figures.

“CulturePants are $9.99 vinyls that are on a smaller scale,” said Lay. “They’re super detailed and some of them are completely brand new and that’s cool because when you talk about why Alpha was excited to become the master toy license is because we had these liberties and this trust with Nickelodeon to explore these new designs. So if you look at our old-timey CulturePants [figures], these are never seen before and that’s really fun to see the development process. They super affordable to collect.”

Spongeheads also make Lay’s list of all-time favorite Spongebob products.

“They’re these inflatable heads of the characters,” said Lay. “They’re just funny, I don’t know what it is. They’re zany. I don’t know how to classify them, but kids will enjoy them and college kids can enjoy them. It’s great for Halloween too.”

“Another thing that I would add is that I think when we did the line, our designer on the brand who is a huge fan of Spongebob and knows every episode so intimately,” said Morris. “What’s important to know is that we have [something] for everyone in the line, so if you’re a kid and you just want basic Spongebob that’s fine, but if you’re somebody who really knows the show, you can buy these CulturePants [figures], you’ll get a particular episodic moment of that figure you love. There’s just a really nice broad array of options for someone who wants a basic character or one who really wants something more nostalgic. We’re really excited about it.”

Fans of SpongeBob can purchase these brand new toys at Target, Amazon, Walmart.com, and Hot Topic.










(Photos by Anthony Murray)

[Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of Alpha Group US]

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Did you hear? Nickelodeon are planning to develop SpongeBob SquarePants spin-off projects!

More Nick: Nickelodeon Marks 20 Years of "SpongeBob SquarePants" with the "Best Year Ever"!

Originally published: Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 10:44pm GMT.

H/T: The Toy Book; Additional source: Kotaku, ComicBook.
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