Sweet Suite 2016

ICTI Care to Host Webinar on Responsible Sourcing in Toy Industry

ICTICareWebinarICTI Care will host a complimentary webinar for toy and entertainment industry stakeholders to provide an overview of responsible sourcing and a better understanding of the ICTI Care Process. The session will take place on June 9 at 10:30 a.m. EST.

ICTI CARE’s Tom van Haaren, senior advisor of responsible sourcing, and Mark Robertson, director of communications & stakeholder relations, will lead the webinar, focusing on ICTI CARE’s role in the global toy marketplace and how it works with brands, retailers, and manufacturers to ensure that ethical workplace standards are met in factories.   [Read More...]

DHX Media, Dentsu Entertainment USA Sign Global Deal on Animated Mega Man Series

MEGA MAN -- Reveal 2016-05-26Dentsu Entertainment USA Inc. and DHX Media Ltd. struck a deal to develop, co-produce, and distribute and jointly manage licensing for a new Mega Man animated series based on the Capcom Mega Man video game franchise.

Under the terms of the deal, Dentsu Entertainment USA and DHX will manage all gloval rights for the new Mega Man animated series. DHX will handle distribution and licensing in the U.S. in collaboration with Dentsu Entertainment USA. Dentsu Inc., parent company of Dentsu Entertainment USA, will manage distribution and licensing in Asia. DHX will manage distribution and licensing in all other territories. Dentsu Entertainment USA and DHX will both participate in all revenue streams related to this agreement. [Read More...]

ASTRA to Honor Steven Aarons at Annual Awards Breakfast

PrintThe American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) will honor specialty toy retailer and industry leader Steven Aarons, owner of the Barstons Child’s Play toy stores in the Washington, DC area at Marketplace & Academy with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

A veteran of more than 30 years in the toy industry, Aarons was involved in several ASTRA initiatives that positioned the specialty side for the industry for increased visibility among consumers—including the Best Toys for Kids awards program and Neighborhood Toy Store Day. He also provided leadership to the trade with supporting growth of ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy and encouraging ASTRA’s efforts on sales tax fairness and toy safety issues. Aarons also chaired the ASTRA Board of Directors from 2010 to 2011. [Read More...]

Toy State, Go Baby Go Host Second Charlotte Workshop for Children with Mobility Issues

ToyStateGoBabyGoToy State hosted its 4th Go Baby Go workshop in the past year in North Carolina, and its second in Charlotte. The latest workshop took place in Mooresville, North Carolina, at the Tommy Baldwin Racing Shop. Toy State provided ten kids with a ride-on car that was outfitted to model the No. 7 Nikko RC Toy State car driven by Regan Smith on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. Smith, along with fellow NASCAR drivers Kasey Kahne, Michael McDowell, and Ryan Preece, and other members of the NASCAR community, were also in attendance.  [Read More...]

TIA President Named to U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Association Committee of 100

StevePasierbHeadshotThe Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) President and CEO Steve Pasierb was named to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Association Committee of 100.

Pasierb was one of five new executives to join C100, which provides a platform for association CEOs to represent their memberships before the Chamber’s Board of Directors, enhance Chamber lobbying and coalition work, recommend programming, and strengthen outreach to the business and association communities.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

Laser Pegs Launches Junior Collection at ASTRA

LaserPegsJuniorLaser Pegs Ventures is launching Laser Pegs Junior, a line designed specifically for 4 to 7 year olds. The line uses larger parts, features simpler assembly, and has pieces compatible with all Laser Peg kits. Each kit features multiple STEM-friendly builds, including Space, Rescue, Construction, Jets, and Trains. These five kits are the initial unveiling of a long-term plan to add additional products to this collection.

Laser Pegs Junior will have its own logo and packaging and its bricks will be made in new colors. Packaging also will include a “try me” button so kids and adults can try the Laser Pegs light up feature in retail stores.

Lego Systems to Launch Quest2Ninjago Wu-Cru Team Challenge Summer Touring Competition

Quest2NinjagoLego Systems is hosting The Quest2Ninjago Wu-Cru Team Challenge, a traveling interactive competition visiting seven cities across the United States this summer. Based on the Lego Ningago property, the competition invites children ages 7 to 12 to conquer challenges and compete for a chance to be named a Quest2Ninjago champion. The winning team from each city will earn a spot as national finalists and receive an all-inclusive trip to LegoLand California Resort, home of the newly opened Ninjago World and Ninjago The Ride, where they will compete for the title and grand prize. [Read More...]

Build-A-Bear Launches Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory Collection

BuildaBearNemoBuild-A-Bear Workshop launched the Finding Dory Ocean Bear, Dory, and Nemo plush at stores in the U.S. and Canada and at buildabear.com. The Finding Dory Ocean Bear is a 17-inch plush inspired by the movie coming out from Disney•Pixar, and features deep blue fur, an ocean pattern, and the Finding Dory logo on its paw. Dory is an 18-inch plush with a shimmery scale-like texture and yellow fins, and Nemo is an 18-inch clown fish. Additional accessories are available, such as sound chips, hoodies, shorts, and wristies.

Bearington Collection Expands Whiffer Sniffer Brand

JerryPieComboBearington Collection has partnered with Incredible Novelties Inc. to bring The Original Whiffer Sniffers to Canada, and ChizComm Ltd. to help support and grow North American marketing efforts for the brand.

The Original Whiffer Sniffers are scented plush with personalities to match their scents. All of the characters are available in a collectible backpack clip, a larger size, and nostalgic scratch ‘n sniff stickers. The brand is coming to Canada this fall for kids to collect, trade, and display.

Cathay Capital Recapitalizes K’NEX with Founding Family

knex-logoCathay Capital North America has completed a recapitalization of K’Nex Brands and has invested in K’Nex’s new holding company, Smart Brands International Co.

Cathay Capital’s recapitalization of the company was completed with Michael Araten, CEO and son-in-law of one of the co-Founders, who brings almost a decade of experience running the family business. Along with the senior management of K’Nex, the next generation of the founding family will continue to have significant ownership in K’Nex’s new holding company, Smart Brands International Co., which was formed to acquire the interests of K’Nex and build the business globally. Smart Brands will also seek to make complementary acquisitions in North America, Asia, and Europe, primarily within the construction and educational products space.  [Read More...]

The Angry Birds Movie Tops Box Office

9187673d-7b55-419b-8dcf-f42b9c627ff2The Angry Birds Movie took the top position at the U.S. box office this weekend, earning $39 million and beating Captain America: Civil War for the top spot, according to Box Office Mojo and comScore.

The film, produced by Rovio and Sony Pictures is an adaptation of the mobile games, featuring the voices of Jason Sudeikis, Sean Penn, Maya Rudolph, Danny McBride, and Josh Gad. [Read More...]


Tetris the Movie Gets $80 Million Budget

Producer Larry Kasanoff’s Threshold Entertainment Group and Bruno Wu’s Seven Star Works announced a joint venture to develop and finance film projects for the world market under the new Threshold Global Studios banner. The new company’s inaugural project will be a film adaption based on the video game brand Tetris, with an $80 million budget [...]

School Zone Broadens Digital Distribution for Charlie & Company Series

School Zone Publishing has partnered with Toon Goggles for digital distribution of its property Charlie & Company. The Toon Google SVOD platform features educational, action, and preschool shows. Charlie & Company will be added to the library content for more than 4.6 million registered users and more than 350,000 monthly active users. Featuring original music from Brian [...]


Mattel Creations, Driver Digital Studios Expands Partnership with Launch of New Thomas & Friends Content

Mattel Creations is expanding its partnership with Driver Digital Studios to produce live-action Thomas & Friends digital content inspired by fans’ user generated content. The content is curated and produced using the Thomas Creator Collective (TCC), a team of Thomas & Friends fans and amateur filmmakers from across the globe, including the U.S., the UK, [...]

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Swedish Toy Retailer Believes Toys and Baby Products Should be Sold Together

By Lena Hedö Kungen’s Kurva Shopping Centre, just outside of Stockholm, is Sweden’s largest commerce site. This is where Peter Stenlund opened his sixth store one year ago—only 600 meters from another shop in the same retail chain, and with several other competitors close by. “If you are confident and believe in your concept there [...]


Game of Drones

Drones compete to be top dog in the R/C aisle by adding extra features, gaming, and more. Winter is coming—well, at least for the toy industry, which is constantly looking forward to Q4—and toy manufacturers are always competing to provide the best products at the best price. Last year, we saw an influx of drones [...]


The New Age of Feature Plush

Feature plush has come a long way, expanding far beyond plush toys that just talk or make sounds. This year, plush are more realistic and interactive than ever. Last year, most interactive plush introductions responded to touch, voice, or movements. This year, companies continue to raise the standard, taking plush to the next level.

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