Universal Partnerships & Licensing And Illumination Entertainment Sign Spin Master as Global Master Toy Licensee For Universal Pictures and Illumination's The Secret Life of Pets

TORONTO, June 11, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Universal Partnerships & Licensing (UP &L), Illumination Entertainment and innovative play leader Spin Master today announced that they will partner to market and distribute toy products globally for The Secret Life of Pets, the fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration from Illumination, the studio behind the blockbuster Despicable Me global film franchise, and Universal Pictures. The announcement was made by President of NBCUniversal Brand Development Vince Klaseus, Founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment Chris Meledandri, and Vice President of Licensing at Spin Master Craig Sims.

The comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day marks the animated feature-film debuts of Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart and will be released in North America on July 8, 2016.

"Chris Meledandri and his team at Illumination have consistently proven their ability to create characters that permeate pop culture," said Klaseus. "The unique characters in The Secret Life of Pets provide the opportunity for Spin Master to create a multifaceted line of toys that transcend age barriers and appeal to a global audience."

"We are committed to working with creative, global partners like Spin Master to further connect our films with audiences across the world," said Meledandri. "The artists and superstar comedic cast behind The Secret Life of Pets have created an original story filled with dynamic, rebellious and expressive characters that audiences can welcome into their homes with the toys created by Spin Master."

"Spin Master is excited to work with Illumination and Universal to develop an incredible toy line for The Secret Life of Pets," said Sims. "The story is so rich and the characters are instant classics. We can't wait to bring them to life."

With the success of 2010's Despicable Me, 2011's Hop, 2012's Dr. Seuss' The Lorax and 2013's juggernaut Despicable Me 2, Illumination's films have made almost $2 billion worldwide. Illumination's next film is Minions, a prequel in the Despicable Me film franchise, opening in theaters July 10, 2015.

For The Secret Life of Pets, Spin Master has the rights to develop a wide variety of toys. In addition to traditional plush and figurines, Spin Master has developed interactive and motorized toys that bring the pets to life in unexpected ways. Just like the film's characters, the toys for The Secret Life of Pets range from cute and cuddly to feisty and irreverent.

Products will be available on shelves beginning May 2016.

For more information please contact:
Tara Tucker
Vice President, Global Marketing Communications
Spin Master Ltd.

About The Secret Life of Pets

For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.

Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress and Albert Brooks. Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio.

About Illumination Entertainment

Illumination Entertainment, founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007, is one of the entertainment industry's leading producers of all-audience event films. In July 2010, Illumination, which has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures, released its first film, Despicable Me, starring Steve Carell, which earned more than $540 million worldwide and launched a beloved global franchise. With the success of 2011's Hop (more than $183 million worldwide), 2012's Dr. Seuss' The Lorax and 2013's juggernaut Despicable Me 2, Illumination's films have made almost $2 billion. Universal and Illumination's next film Minions, starring Academy Award®-winner Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm, written by Brian Lynch, and directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, arrives in theaters on July 10, 2015. Fans may also experience Minion Mayhem in 3D with the Ultra-HD movie motion simulator adventure at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.

About Universal Partnerships & Licensing

Universal Partnerships & Licensing (UP &L) oversees NBCUniversal's consumer product and digital licensing for Universal Pictures, NBC Television, Focus Features and Sprout Channel. This dedicated division is also responsible for film, home entertainment and television promotions. UP &L is part of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

About Spin Master Ltd.

Spin Master is a leading global children's entertainment company that creates, designs, manufactures and markets a diverse portfolio of innovative products, brands and entertainment properties. Spin Master is best known for award-winning brands including Bakugan Battle Brawlers™, Air Hogs®, Spin Master Games™ and the 2015 Toy of the Year, Zoomer™ Dino. Since 2005, Spin Master has received 58 TIA Toy of The Year (TOTY) nominations with 14 wins across a variety of product categories. Spin Master has been recognized with 11 TOTY nominations for Innovative Toy of the Year, more than any of its competitors. Spin Master is among a limited number of companies that not only develop and produce global entertainment properties, characters and content, but also monetize that content through the creation, sale and licensing of products. To date, Spin Master has produced five television series, including 2007 hit series Bakugan and its current hit PAW Patrol, which is broadcast in over 160 countries and territories globally. Spin Master employs over 850 people with offices in Canada, United States, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Bratislava, Germany, Holland, Mexico, China, Hong Kong and Japan.

A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=33689

CONTACT: Joshua Tucker Global Communications Manager

Source:Spin Master Ltd.