Netflix and Spin Master Partnering for New Animated Series Unicorn Academy

Spin Master Entertainment is collaborating with Netflix to bring a beloved children's book series to the streaming service. Julie Sykes is the author of Unicorn Academy, a book franchise based on kids attending a mystical boarding school where they bond with unicorns in order to protect their island. Unicorn Academy will soon become the next franchise to join Netflix's original programming for kids. The plan is to begin with a 72-minute movie, followed by the first season of Unicorn Academy debuting in the fall. Spin Master will follow that up with a toy line, a digital game, and a consumer rollout for 2024. 2025 will see even more animated shorts as well as long-form features and music videos.

"This is the biggest animated series we've ever made, for sure," Jennifer Dodge, Spin Master's President of Entertainment, said in an interview. Dodge added that Unicorn Academy will appeal to young girls as well as pre-teens and teenagers. "From a production standpoint, it's certainly our largest and most ambitious series to date," she said. "We are really setting out to create something big and special, something that is going to last for a long time."

"Our team has done an amazing job of bringing the magic of Unicorn Academy across all play patterns," Max Rangel, Spin Master's Global President and CEO, said in a statement. "We want to be where kids are; whether it's in toy boxes, on their TV screens, or on digital devices, Unicorn Academy will be there to ignite, engage and inspire new fans. Kids are going to fall in love with the experience of connecting with the characters and entering the world of Unicorn Island. This is our biggest production to date because we truly believe this will resonate with a generation of kids on various play platforms."

Spin Master Developing Tabletop Roleplaying Games for God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn

Spin Master entered into a new licensing deal with Sony last summer that includes not only toys and collectibles, but also tabletop roleplaying games for some of Sony's top video game franchises. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report on the new licensing deal between Spin Master and Sony Interactive Entertainment to create physical toys and games based on several popular PlayStation franchises like God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, The Last of Us, and Uncharted. While the report focused mostly on action figures and collectibles, THR also noted that Spin Master's license also included rights to tabletop roleplaying games. The deal includes all existing Sony Interactive Entertainment IPs as well as those created during the timeframe of the deal. The toy line is expected to launch in spring 2024. 

Spin Master has its own tabletop game line, which often partners with other established tabletop game companies on major projects. Most notably, Spin Master worked with CMON to publish Marvel United and X-Men: Marvel United, a pair of well-received games based on Marvel characters. Spin Master does not currently have its own roleplaying game studio, so it might partner with a publisher like Renegade Games Studio or Steamforged to develop a roleplaying game portfolio. The latter company published tabletop games for Horizon: Zero Dawn and recently released a roleplaying game for Dark Souls, while current Spin Master partner CMON published a card game based on God of War.