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UPDATE -- Genius Brands International Expands Retail Program in North America for Award-Winning Preschool Brand Llama Llama, Appointing PhatMojo Master Toy Partner

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Aug. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genius Brands International's, "Genius Brands" (Nasdaq:GNUS), continues its licensing drive for the endearing preschool brand, Llama Llama, based on the bestselling and multiple award-winning children's book franchise, with the announcement today that it has named PhatMojo, one of the fastest-growing toy and collectible companies in the industry, as the Master North American Toy Partner.  The deal follows Genius Brands recent announcement that Netflix has greenlit season two of the animated Llama Llama series, starring Jennifer Garner.

Genius Brands International Appoints PhatMojo as Master North American Toy Partner for Preschool Brand, Llama Llama
Following the recent news that Netflix has greenlit season two of the animated series, Llama Llama starring Jennifer Garner, Genius Brands International (NASDAQ:GNUS) continues to expand the retail program for preschool property, based on Anna Dewdney's bestselling and multiple award-winning children's book franchise, with appointment of PhatMojo as the Master North American Toy Partner.



"PhatMojo's creativity in developing toys and collectibles that are both true to the brand and the vision of the originators of that brand has been a major factor in the company's meteoric rise in just a few short years in the licensing industry," explains Lloyd Mintz, SVP, Global Consumer Products at Genius Brands.  "The company also values relationships and respects the community that embraces the property, which is extremely important for a beloved and trusted property such as Llama Llama.  We are eager to work with PhatMojo's creative team on bringing yet another dimension of this extremely popular, modern-day classic property to consumers throughout North America."

"Our partnerships are the foundation from which all of PhatMojo's product lines are built," added Bill Graham, chief business development officer, PhatMojo.  "We have great respect for Anna Dewdney's vision for Llama Llama and for Genius Brand's development of the property as a global brand. We're honored to be a part of this brand and can't wait to create a great line of toys that will allow kids and their parents to connect with the characters of Llama Llama."

Genius Brands' growing roster of licensing partners creating product for the upcoming retail launch of Llama Llama includes Kids Preferred (plush), Cuddle Barn (animatronic plush toys), Prime Party (online party supplies) and Myself Designs/Myself Belts (belts), all of which will be at retailers in spring 2019.  

Based on Anna Dewdney's bestselling and award-winning Llama Llama book series, season one of Llama Llama starred Jennifer Garner as Mama Llama and debuted worldwide in 20 different languages on Netflix in January 2018.  Garner will return in the starring role in season two, along with an all-star team of award-winning producers, including Jane Startz (Ella Enchanted, Tuck Everlasting, The Indian In The Cupboard, The Magic School Bus series), Andy Heyward (Inspector Gadget, The Real Ghostbusters, Strawberry Shortcake, Madeline, Carmen Sandiego) and Reed Duncan. Emmy Award-winning writer Joe Purdy serves (Arthur, Hey Arnold!) as the head writer and legendary Disney alum Ruben Aquino (Frozen, The Lion King, Aladdin, Mulan) as art director for the series.

Llama Llama focuses on first childhood experiences and adventures, as well as the special connections between the lead character, Llama, his Mama and his grandparents. The series tells heart-warming tales of life in a safe, friendly town seen through the eyes of Llama as he interacts with the amazing world around him. 

About Llama Llama
With 20 million units in print worldwide, Dewdney's Llama Llama books from Penguin Young Readers have all been New York Times bestsellers with several titles claiming the #1 spot, and her work has been translated into eight languages. Dewdney's soothing tales are synonymous with calming early-childhood anxiety and she was praised by the Chicago Tribune as a "geographer extraordinaire of the emotional terrain of preschoolers and their mothers." Books in her Llama Llama series include Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Llama Llama Misses Mama, and Llama Llama Time to Share.

About PhatMojo, Inc.
Based in Los Angeles, PhatMojo is a global toy and collectibles company, focused on innovative design and fun. As the tastemakers in pop-culture merchandising, PhatMojo is obsessed with creating and bringing to market products that connect with fan communities.  For additional information, please visit www.phatmojo.com

About Genius Brands International
Headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, Genius Brands International, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNUS) is a leading global media company developing, producing, marketing and licensing branded children's entertainment properties and consumer products for media distribution and retail channels. Led by award-winning creators and producers, Genius Brands distributes its content worldwide in all formats, as well as a broad range of consumer products based on its characters. In the children's media sector, its portfolio of "content with a purpose" includes new preschool properties Rainbow Rangers for Nick Jr. and Llama Llama for Netflix; tween music-driven YouTube brand, SpacePOP; award-winning toddler brand Baby Genius; adventure comedy series Thomas Edison's Secret Lab, and Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club, created with and starring iconic investor Warren Buffett. The Company's content catalog also includes the animated series, Stan Lee's Cosmic Crusaders, created with Stan Lee's Pow! Entertainment. Genius Brands' Kid Genius Cartoon Channel and its sister channel, Baby Genius Cartoons, is currently available in approximately 60 million households. For additional information please visit www.gnusbrands.com.

Forward Looking Statements:
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation those set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), not limited to Risk Factors relating to its patent business contained therein. Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

GENIUS BRANDS MEDIA CONTACT:
Michelle Orsi/Carol Holdsworth                                   
Three.Sixty Marketing & Communications
                 
310-418-6430
michelle@360-comm.com       

FOR INVESTOR RELATIONS:
Michael Porter
PLR Investor Relations
212.564.4700
mike@plrinvest.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/50a1973d-626d-41e4-a026-39bd29556e4a

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