DC Collectibles to Release Justice League: Gods & Monsters Action Figures

DC Collectibles will launch a new 6-inch action figure line based on the upcoming direct-to-video DC Universe animated film, Justice League: Gods & Monsters. The first wave of figures will consist of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, and will be available in stores this fall.

The official trailer, featuring Justice League: Gods & Monsters producer and animator Bruce Timm, includes a preview of the action figure line:

COMMENTARY: Toy Shoppers Have More Tools at Their Disposal than Ever

ToyBooklogoToday’s toy shopping experience has become a combination—or choice—of in-person browsing, online price comparisons, and research in a way we’d previously never seen before the dawn of the smartphone. Gone are the days of browsing the aisles of a single store, limited to its inventory and prices. Competitors used to be a trip or a phone call away, and often, shoppers didn’t have the time or desire to drive around town in search of a slightly lower price.

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Wonder Crew Successfully Funded on Kickstarter

Wonder Crew SuperheroThe creators of Wonder Crew are trying to bring new elements to the mainstream blue aisle with its new line of dolls for boys. Wonder Crew was funded more than $40,000 during its successful 30-day Kickstarter campaign, resulting in approximately 500 pre-orders from 35 states and five continents.

Backers voted on the first adventure to go into production, selecting a superhero character as the first Crewmate.

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Mattel and Quirky Partner to Re-imagine Play

Quirky,MattellogoMattel and Quirky have entered an exclusive partnership to spark invention in toys, play, and more. Harnessing Quirky’s global community and Mattel’s iconic brands, the two companies will re-imagine Mattel’s portfolio of products to drive growth for brands such as Barbie, Fisher-Price, and Hot Wheels.

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Mattel Reports First Quarter Financial Results

logo_Mattel logoFor the first quarter, Mattel Inc. reported worldwide net sales up 5 percent in constant currency, as well as reported worldwide net sales down 2 percent, reflecting the impact from changes in currency exchange rates. On a regional basis, first quarter gross sales increased 9 percent in constant currency, and 8 percent as reported in the North American region, which consists of the U.S., Canada, and American Girl. For the International region, gross sales increased 2 percent in constant currency, and decreased 14 percent as reported.

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Douglas Company Expands Douglas Baby Line

April15.Douglas copyDouglas Company has added to its Douglas Baby line with four new Sshlumpies, four new Lil’ Snugglers, and a new PlayTivity Blankee. The new additions are available now at specialty gift and toy stores in the U.S. and Canada.

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TIA Creates Social Media How-To Guide for Sharing the Genius of Play

April15.GeniusofPlay As part of The Genius of Play campaign, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) has kicked off an industry-wide social media initiative to open a dialogue with parents and raise awareness about the developmental benefits of play. TIA suggests that the social media posts range from encouraging kids and parents to engage in imaginative play, such as arts and crafts and dress up, to asking parents to share how toys and play helped their children reach important developmental milestones.

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Toys “R” Us Raises More than $2 Million to Benefit Special Olympics

toysrus Toys “R” Us’ recent campaign to benefit Special Olympics, hosted at its stores across the U.S. and online at toysrus.com, raised more than $2 million. Throughout the duration of the eight-week awareness and fundraising program, Toys “R” Us customers pledged their support to help children with intellectual and developmental disabilities learn how to hit balls, run bases, take jump shots, and other sports moments.

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TIA’s 8th Annual Washington, DC Fly-In Welcomes Toy Business Owners

GrandHyattThe Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) 8th annual Washington, DC Fly-In will take place on June 2 to 4. Intended to provide small business owners and large toy companies with an effective way to have their voices heard on issues significantly impacting their business, this year’s program offers small group meetings with leading lawmakers, a boat tour, and more.

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Sophia’s and ASPCA Team Up for Adopt-A-Pet Series

SophiasASPCALicense,AdoptAPetSeriesSophia’s has introduced its Adopt-A-Pet series, consisting of plush pets sized for 18-inch doll play. The Adopt-A-Pet series was created by Sophia’s in honor of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and provides families with the opportunity to combine interpretive, 18-inch doll play with teaching children an important lesson about pet rescue and philanthropy.

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ASTRA Increases Play Time at Marketplace & Academy

ASTRAlogoThe American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is giving independent toy retailers registered for ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy up to five hours over the course of the event to play with new-to-market games and kits.

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Activision Unveils Guitar Hero Live, Available Worldwide This Fall

Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing Inc.

This morning, Activision Publishing Inc. officially announced the latest installment of its Guitar Hero series, Guitar Hero Live, intended to reflect modern trends in both music and video game consumption. The new game marks the franchise’s return after a five-year hiatus.

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Pillow Pets and Hasbro Enter Licensing Relationship for My Little Pony Pillow Pets Plush

TwlightSparklePillowPetCJ Products will be creating an exclusive line of plush products featuring characters from the popular animated TV series, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, under license from Hasbro Inc. The line will include Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash as foldable Pillow Pets, Dream Lites, plush backpacks, Sling Paks, and FabTablets universal tablet holders.

My Little Pony Pillow Pets will be available in June at www.pillowpets.com as well as at select retail stores nationwide.

ChizComm Ltd. Appoints Livy Jacobs to Communications Director

ChizcommLogoChizComm Ltd. has appointed Livy Jacobs to the position of communications director, effective April 20. Jacobs brings more than 10 years of experience to ChizComm, as well as a track record of helping brands shape and tell stories that drive awareness and growth.

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Build-A-Bear Launches Promise Pets Line, Fosters Pet Responsibility with New App

Build-A-Bear has launched its newest product line, Promise Pets, a realistic pet plush collection that features a complementary mobile app, which families can download to bring the experience of pet care to life.

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COMMENTARY: These Classic Games Are Full of Fun Trivia Facts

Scrabble, circa 1948

Covering the toy industry, you learn a lot of neat facts about toys and games. That especially rings true in a year like this one, in which some of the best-known brands are celebrating impressive milestone birthdays. Here are some games with names you’ll probably recognize, and some related trivia, which hopefully you won’t have known until now.

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COMMENTARY: The Future of Toys Is Boxed Up and Ready to Go

SparkleboxThere was a time when consuming toys required going to where the toys are. That meant the neighborhood toy store, or the big chain retailer attached to the shopping mall. Even with the advent of Internet shopping, buying a new toy still required logging onto an online account, browsing for the item, and clicking a mouse to purchase it.

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News

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ABC Hosts the First North American Pavilion at CBME SEA

From April 16 to 18, ABC Kids Expo is hosting the first North American Pavilion at the Children-Baby-Maternity Expo (CBME SEA) in Singapore. ABC has joined forces with the show organizer, UBM, to host the pavilion, which will feature exhibitors such as Baby K’tan, Bumkins, Itsy Bitsy Pantry, Kittrich, and Zoli.

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TIF Provides New Toys and Games for 1,500 Children at Marine Corps Air Station

Approximately 1,500 children and their families stationed at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar received brand new toys from the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and national partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services during a special Month of the Military Child celebration, which took place on April 11 in San Diego.

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Mobile Game Publisher TabTale Acquires Sunstorm Games

TabTale Ltd. has acquired Sunstorm Games, a Las Vegas-based kids mobile game developer. TabTale is repeatedly ranked among the top 10 mobile game publishers worldwide as far as downloads on Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Amazon App Store. The company has more than 100 games released to date, and more than 600 million [...]

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Articles

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How Your Toy Store Can Leverage Ambient Scenting

by Richard Weening, CEO, Prolitec Inc. A properly designed and merchandised toy store is a feast for the senses—a place where bright colors, lively graphics, and upbeat music enhance the delightful atmosphere already created by the imaginative products themselves. And yet in most stores, arguably the most important of the five senses—the sense of smell—is [...]

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Within Me Now Inspires Kids with Positive Messages

Within Me Now is a line of board books and companion plush that represents a group of quirky and cuddly friends, who remind kids that qualities like love, strength, courage, joy, and peace are already inside of them. The stories are inspired by the daily challenges of kids’ lives and lessons learned when using what’s [...]

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Q&A with Mattel: Social Media, 3-D Printing, and More

The Toy Book (TTB): In what new ways are you using social media to correspond directly with consumers? Mattel: We engage with consumers across all brand and corporate social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as retailer sites, like Wal-Mart and Kohl’s. At Mattel, we have a fully functioning reporting and [...]

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