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Canadian Toy Maker Spin Master Signs Harry Potter Deal Amid Transgender Rights Controversy

The Toronto-based company has signed a deal with WarnerMedia.

Prominent Canadian toy maker Spin Master has signed an agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to create toys based on the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises.

The deal comes amid an ongoing controversy over Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who was accused of transphobia earlier this year after a series of tweets and a blog post in which she questioned the politics of transgender identity, arguing it is a threat to traditional feminism.

Critics labelled her a transphobe and a “TERF”( trans-exclusionary radical feminist), with some calling for boycotts of her books.

A copy of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child parts One and Two" at a bookstore in London, U.K., July 31, 2016.
A copy of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child parts One and Two" at a bookstore in London, U.K., July 31, 2016.

Spin Master said its new line of toys for Warner Bros. ― part of a franchise called Wizarding World ― will be in stores in the fall of 2021. It plans to release dolls and figures, along with accessories, as well as plush toys, vehicles and game sets.

Toronto-based Spin Master is known for its Hatchimals, GUND and Paw Patrol brands, among others. The company recently bought the rights to Rubik’s Cube.

Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is one of only three books ― along with Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” and Marx and Engels’ “Communist Manifesto” ― to sell more than 100 million copies worldwide.

The Harry Potter franchise has brought in an estimated US$32 billion in revenue from books, movies, games and other merchandising since “Philosopher’s Stone” was released in the mid-1990s.

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