Pillow Pets Introduces First-Ever Toy Ambassador

Pillow Pets Toy AmbassadorCJ Products Inc., the manufacturers of Pillow Pets plush stuffed animals, introduced its Pillow Pets Toy Ambassador program, a new initiative with its long-time charity partner, Family Reach. Rachel, a 6-year old battling a brain tumor, was appointed the first-ever Pillow Pets Toy Ambassador on Feb. 18 at the North American International Toy Fair. [Read More...]

USAopoly Launches Collectibles Division

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 10.31.53 AMUSAopoly Inc. formed a new designer collectibles division, Project Raygun.

The new initiative from the game company pairs classic and contemporary brands with artists, resulting in an array of collectibles and games aimed to excite collectors and pop culture fans alike.  [Read More...]

Toys “R” Us Becomes Exclusive In-Store Retail Launch Partner for Lightseekers

LightseekersTOMY International, the master toy licensee for Lightseekers, announced that Toys “R” Us will be the first brick-and-mortar retailer to bring Lightseekers smart figures, trading cards, accessories, and more to its stores nationwide beginning July 1. Pre-sale for the assortment will begin online at toysrus.com starting on April 17. [Read More...]

Spin Master Receives U.S., Chinese Patents Covering Hatchimals Technology

HatchimalsPatentSpin Master Corp. was granted a U.S. Patent and a Chinese Utility Model Patent on the innovation behind Hatchimals. The patents generally cover the Hatchimals character emerging from its shell.

Spin Master has patent applications for the Hatchimals technology pending in the European Patent Office, Canada, and other major territories, including additional applications in the U.S.  [Read More...]

Jazwares, Hasbro Partner for New Collection of Nerf Products

Jazwares partnered with Nerf, in collaboration with Hasbro, to introduce a Nerf toy and accessory line that includes targets, tactical gear, storage, and more.

Jazwares will offer a variety of products to enhance the Nerf lifestyle and blaster play. In addition, Jazwares will also extend the Nerf Sports segment with indoor and outdoor sports and games. The Jazwares Nerf Collection will be available at major retailers this fall in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Lego Debuts DC Super Hero Girls Line at Toy Fair

LEGODCSuperheroGirlsLego Systems Inc. introduced its collection of building sets inspired by the DC Super Hero Girls series at the North American International Toy Fair. In addition to the three building sets that launched in November, Lego introduced three mission-based building sets that are now available, with four more that will launch this August.  [Read More...]

WIT Announces Winners at Annual Wonder Women Awards Gala

WIT2017The 13th annual Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT) Gala hosted more than 600 industry executives and honored leaders in the toy industry.

The 2017 Wonder Women Awards Winners include ZAG’s Andre Lake Mayer as Wonder Woman in Entertainment; Mattel’s Jennifer Bennett as Wonder Woman in Licensing; Jazwares’ Laura Zebersky as Wonder Woman in Manufacturing; and PlayMonster’s Lisa Wuennemann as Wonder Woman in Marketing. Six winners were also awarded the Wonder Woman Rising Star award, including The Toy Book/The Toy Insider’s Marissa DiBartolo; IAmElemental’s Julie Kerwin; JazWings’ Karen Kilpatrick; Disney’s Kathryn Hardy; Hasbro’s Nikki Kennamer; and Moose Toys’ Stephanie Haggery.  [Read More...]

TIA Names 2017 Toy Trends

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The Toy Industry Association (TIA) named collectibles, active toys, robotics, and more as top toy trends of 2017 at the 114th North American International Toy Fair. The session, held on Feb. 19, 2017, was moderated by Ken Seiter, TIA VP of marketing communications with commentary provided by Adrienne Appell, Isabel Carrión-López and Kristin Morency Goldman.

A summary of the top six trends include: [Read More...]

Cra-Z-Art Enters Licensing Deal for BeatMoovz

beatmoovzCra-Z-Art entered a strategic licensing agreement with Japan-based Dmet Properties to market and distribute BeatMoovz in the U.S.

BeatMoovz is motion-activated and plays music and special effects sounds as kids move. The product comes with either one or two wristbands that users wear to enable the device, and consumers can use the companion app and Bluetooth technology to create unique beats by moving and dancing.

BeatMoovz is expected to be available at major retailers in August, and a global patent is pending.

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Hasbro Named Global Master Toy Licensee for Moon and Me Preschool Series

Hasbro Inc. was named global master toy licensee for Moon and Me by  Sutikki, the new kids and family division of Bento Box Entertainment. The line of toys will based on the new preschool series, Moon and Me from Andrew Davenport’s Foundling Bird. [Read More...]

Folkmanis Debuts Classic Disney-Licensed Puppets

FolkmanisDisneyFolkmanis Puppets debuted its new Disney puppet collection at the North American International Toy Fair. The line includes a 22-inch tall Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Donald Duck, and a 22-inch long Pluto.

TIA Announces Toy of the Year 2017 Winners

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Last night, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the 2017 Toy of the Year award winners at the 17th annual Toy of the Year Awards and Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony, hosted at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.

Winners in each of the categories include: [Read More...]

Tech 4 Kids and The Bridge Merge

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Strategic Partnership Aims to Yield Growth and New Opportunities

The toy industry is known for its mergers and acquisitions. They say no one leaves the toy industry—they just move around. One of the main reasons for this is the opportunity for growth. While some companies grow slowly but steadily with a hit here and a hit there, some of the most successful companies in this industry got to where they are via strategic acquisitions or mergers. Toy industry giants such as Mattel, Hasbro, Spin Master, and Jakks Pacific show how vital these moves are to taking a company to the next level.

The first, critical step is finding a complementary, like-minded company with which to merge. Brad Pedersen, president and CEO of Tech 4 Kids, and Jay Foreman, president and CEO of The Bridge Direct, met at toy industry event PlayCon several years ago, where they were introduced by a mutual colleague. [Read More...]

News

TIA Re-Elects Four Board Members

At its Annual General Meeting, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) TIA members re-elected four directors to the Board, each for two-year terms of office expiring in 2019. Howard Kahn, chairman of Madame Alexander and CEO of Kahn Lucas and Bruce Raiffe, president of GUND (a division of Enesco, LLC) were each re-elected for a second [...]

Jakks Pacific Reports Q4 Financial Results

Jakks Pacific reported financial results for the fourth quarter 2016, which ended Dec. 31, 2016. Net sales for the fourth quarter were $167.0 million compared to $163.4 million in the fourth quarter 2015, ahead of the company’s latest guidance. As disclosed in mid-December, a number of key licensed products were performing well below prior expectations [...]

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Disney Orders Second Season of Tangled: The Series Ahead of Season One Debut

Disney Channel has made an early commitment to a second season of the animated show Tangled: The Series ahead of the debut of the first season. A production of Disney Television Animation, the series is based on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ feature film Tangled. 

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Articles

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Tech 4 Kids and The Bridge Merge

Strategic Partnership Aims to Yield Growth and New Opportunities The toy industry is known for its mergers and acquisitions. They say no one leaves the toy industry—they just move around. One of the main reasons for this is the opportunity for growth. While some companies grow slowly but steadily with a hit here and a hit [...]

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COMMENTARY: An Important Step for Play: Mattel’s “Dads Who Play Barbie”

by James Zahn It’s incredible how much things can change in what seems, on one hand, to be a few short years, but on another, the result of decades of struggle. As my wife and I celebrate our eighth year of parenting, it’s hard to believe that I, as the father of two girls, have [...]

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China Toy and Kids Expo 2016 Issues a Challenge to International Brands

More exhibition space, more exhibitors, and more visitors: China Kids and Toy Expo is growing fast, just like Chinese population and its needs. With the new two-child policy, effective from January 1st, 2016, and the middle class growing its revenue, there’s more room for international brands. Are they ready to take up the challenge? by [...]

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