HoliDAY of Play 2015

Wildworks Names Jazwares Master Toy Partner for Animal Jam

JazwaresWildWorks has appointed Jazwares as the master toy partner for the Animal Jam brand. Under the new deal, Jazwares will develop figures, play sets, and plush items that will launch globally next year.

Animal Jam is a web-based game and social network for kids, which offers players the opportunity to chat with friends, play games, and learn about animals in the world around them. The new toy line will add to the collection of Animal Jam merchandise, and will feature a collection of play sets with accessories and hidden patterns that can be used in the game online. It will also add a collectable plush toy line of soft and cuddly animal friends.

Toy State, Mattel Enter Licensing Partnership for Monster High R/C

ToyStateLogoToy State will design a new line of R/C toys under its Nikko brand featuring Monster High under a licensing agreement with Mattel. The toys are scheduled to hit retail stores in the U.S. and Canada next fall.

This deal comes on the heels of Toy State signing agreements with Mattel for Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Thomas & Friends, marking the most recent expansion of the licensing relationship between the two companies.


Wonder Forge Develops New World of Eric Carle Games

eric carleWonder Forge has partnered with The World of Eric Carle, for multi-year North American licensing agreement to develop preschool games based on the best-selling books by Eric Carle. The line will feature Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar on two of Wonder Forge’s game platforms—Matching and Surprise Slides.

These new games will debut with select retailers and media at the Toy Industry’s Fall Toy Preview Show in Dallas.

Imports Dragon Announces Strategic Partnership with Fashion Angels

ImportsDragon.logoImports Dragon has announced a strategic partnership with Fashion Angels to be the exclusive distribution partner in Canada and take the lead on marketing, brand development and licensing, effective January 1. The portfolio of brands includes Fashion Angels, Style.Lab by Fashion Angels, and all other licensed products.


Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment Partner with Mattel to Create Entertainment World for Girls

WarnerBros,DCSuperherogirlsGirls now have their own Super Hero world, DC Super Hero Girls, where they can play, watch, and read with DC Comics female super heroes.

DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, in partnership with Mattel, announced elements of a new initiative geared toward girls, including the rollout of the new website. A global rollout of the digitally immersive world will begin later this month.

The new site debuted the first webisode in a series of animated digital shorts, entitled “Welcome to Super Hero High.” Warner Bros. Animation Studio created the series in partnership with Mattel’s Playground Productions. Thursday’s launch features DC Comics characters that have been brought to life through videos, games, quizzes, character photos, bios, and more.

Wicked Cool Toys Awarded U.S., Canadian ALVINNN! and The Chipmunks Master Toy Licence

ALVINNNWicked Cool Toys has aligned with Bagdasarian Productions and PGS as the master toy licensee for ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks, the CG-animated show on Nickelodeon. The series offers a fresh look at the classic adventures of Alvin, Theodore, Simon and the Chipettes.

Wicked Cool Toys will develop a line of toys, including a Voice Changer Singing Microphone, fully articulated figures, play sets, R/C, plush, and more. They are expected to hit retailers in next summer and fall.


Spin Master Completes Cardinal Industries Acquisition

logo_spinmasterSpin Master has completed the previously-announced acquisition of 100% of Cardinal Industries, one of the oldest privately-held game and puzzle companies in the United States. This makes Spin Master the second-largest games company in the U.S.

The purchase price was satisfied by $50 million in cash. Spin Master will also pay up to an additional $19.5 million over five years based on Cardinal’s EBITDA. The acquisition was financed through Spin Master’s existing credit facility.

Imperial Toy Appoints Tim Nolan as President

ImperialLogoImperial Toy has appointed Tim Nolan as president, effective October 1. With Nolan as president, Imperial Toy will intensify their focus on key brands, licenses, and proprietary and value driven products.

Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition Gets New Rise Against the Empire Play Set

DisneyInfinityPlaysetDisney Interactive and Lucasfilm launched Star Wars Rise Against the Empire for Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition, a new Play Set that takes place during the original Star Wars trilogy. Developed by Studio Gobo, in partnership with Avalanche Software, the Play Set takes players through the iconic moments and adventures from Episodes IV through VI, including the characters, vehicles, and locations. The new Play Set includes the Play Set piece and Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa figures. Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader figures are also sold separately. [Read More...]

Chicago Toy & Game Group Announces 9th Annual Young Inventor Challenge

ChicagoThe Chicago Toy & Game Group announced that registration is open for the ninth annual Young Inventor Challenge through November 1. Presented by Spin Master, the challenge invites kids ages 6 to 18 to invent their own original toy or game. Contest entrants will showcase their original toy and game ideas “science fair style” to a panel of play industry experts on Saturday, November 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG). [Read More...]

Scholastic Extends Publishing Agreement with Lego Through 2019

Scholastic has extended and expanded its publishing relationship with Lego through 2019, which will now include World all language rights, as well as several new publishing programs, line extensions, and acquisitions. Scholastic U.S. will manage world English rights, and Scholastic UK will manage foreign translation rights. [Read More...]

Summer Infant Launches Kiddopotamus Toy Collection

Summer Infant KiddopotamusSummer Infant announced the launch of its new Kiddopotamus brand and line of playthings to inspire play between parents and babies. The inspiration and creation of the line came from the idea that parents and kids experience a unique and strong bond when at play together. The animal-themed Kiddopotamus toys feature a multitude of tactile and interactive activities to keep babies, ages 0 to 6 months and up, and their parents or caregivers entertained and connected through purposeful laughing, smiling, and sharing. [Read More...]

DEMDACO, OneCoast Form Strategic Partnership

DEMDACODEMDACO has entered into a strategic partnership with OneCoast.

Effective January 1, OneCoast will create a new sales division that will be exclusively dedicated to selling DEMDACO products. This is not an acquisition or merger of the two companies. OneCoast will be representing DEMDACO’s product to independent retailers throughout the gift industry. It will also focus on developing the independent and specialty retail channel for DEMDACO in the US and Caribbean. [Read More...]

Jakks Pacific, CNE Enter Multi-Year Licensing Agreement

Jakks Pacific LogoJakks Pacific has secured a multi-category licensing agreement with Cartoon Network Enterprises for The Powerpuff Girls. Disguise Inc., the Halloween costume division of Jakks Pacific, will produce Halloween costumes and accessories based on the animated series. The agreement also gives Jakks Pacific the rights to manufacture and distribute everyday dress-up and accessories to all channels in North America.

The Powerpuff Girls costumes from Disguise and the dress-up items and accessories from Jakks Pacific are scheduled to be available at retailers nationwide next year.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The Lego Group Launch Lego Dimensions

LegoDimensionsWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, and The Lego Group launched Lego Dimensions, the new entertainment experience that allows players to merge physical Lego brick building and interactive console game play in 14 fan-favorite universes. Developed by TT Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Lego Dimensions is available for PlayStation4, PlayStation3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Wii U. [Read More...]

Toy State, Mattel Partner for Barbie R/C

ToyStateLogoMattel has partnered with Toy State, manufacturer of stylized lights-and-sound radio controlled (R/C) vehicles for a Barbie R/C. Toy State will manufacture an innovative lineup of Barbie licensed and custom R/C vehicles under the Nikko franchise. The Barbie R/C vehicles are scheduled to hit retail stores in the U.S. and Canada starting next fall.

Spielwarenmesse eG Offers Webinars for Exhibitors

SpielwarenmesseFrom October 21 through November 25, Spielwarenmesse eG will offer five free webinars on the topics of trade fair preparation, implementation, and follow-up. The webinars will offer material for both new exhibitors and those with years of experience.

They will take place during 40-minute modules by Daniel Gundlach, exhibition consultant, with stand construction experts and advisers at Meplan. Marlene Hösch, junior project manager at Spielwarenmesse eG, will assist Gundlach.

To register, visit Registration is limited. For more information, contact Lisa Winkelmann, +49-(0)911-998

KD Interactive Introduces Kurio Smart, First Windows Tablet Computer for Kids

KurioSmartKD Interactive has introduced two new Kurio devices for kids this year: the Kurio Smart and Kurio Xtreme2. Both devices were designed and built specifically for kids, and are available now for purchase in the U.S. [Read More...]

Jazwares Appointed Master Toy Partner for Dinosaur Train

Dinosaur TrainThe Jim Henson Company has selected Jazwares as the new master toy partner for the animated series Dinosaur Train. Jazwares’ Dinosaur Train toy line will offer an array of figures, play sets, plush, and role-play products. The line will debut at retail next fall in the U.S. and in select international markets, followed by a full international rollout.

The Toy Insider Unwraps 2015 Hottest Holiday Toys

Layout 1The Toy Insider unwrapped its 10th annual holiday gift guide today, including expert picks for the hottest toys and kids’ tech items of the 2015 season. The guide is broken out into three lists: the Hot 20, Top Tech 12, and, new for 2015, STEM 10. With many options for boys and girls of all ages, these 42 items are expected to top kids’ wish lists and be hard to find or sold out by Christmas.

“This year’s hottest toys are not only going to ‘wow’ kids this holiday season, but also keep them engaged in hours of imaginary, mind-stimulating, and creative play well into 2016,” says Laurie Schacht, Toy Insider Mom and publisher of The Toy Insider. “This year, we also created a STEM 10 list in response to requests from parents who are looking for great playthings to reinforce important science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills.”

Click here to see the full guide!


NRF: More Than 157 Million Americans to Celebrate Halloween

More than 157 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Spending Survey. The average person celebrating will spend $74.34 as opposed to $77.52 last year. Total spending on the holiday is expected to reach $6.9 billion. Consumers celebrating Halloween plan to spend an average of $27.33 [...]

Kids Move Away from Home Computers to Mobile Devices for Gaming

Mobile devices are now the most used platforms for gaming among kids ages 2 to 17 (63 percent), according to Kids and Gaming 2015, the latest report from The NPD Group. The shift has occurred as now only 45 percent of kids ages 2 to 17 are gaming on a home computer, down 22 percent since [...]

TIA to Host Webinars on Toy Export Opportunities in Australia and Mexico

This fall, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) will host two webinars to help companies assess the benefits and challenges of expanding into the Australian or Mexican toy markets. The webinar, entitled “Expanding the Global Toy Marketplace: What U.S. Companies Should Know about Entering Australia,” will take place on September 30 at 2 p.m. A webinar [...]

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The Lowdown on Doll Hunting: Doll Collecting in the Age of Social Media

This article first appeared in the July/August 2015 issue of The Toy Book. Doll collecting may be as old as the industry itself, but the newest generation of collectors is armed with video cameras, vlogs, and thousands of YouTube subscribers. They call themselves doll hunters.

A Preview in Paris: Hape Hosts Sneak Peek of The Little Prince Movie and Tie-In Toys

by Scarlett Wisotzki, editor-in-chief, das spielzeug On June 1, Peter Handstein, the CEO of Hape, rolled out the red carpet for his retailers in France, and gave them a sneak peek of The Little Prince movie and tie-in products prior to their official global release. Scarlett Wisotzki, the editor-in-chief of das spielzeug for the past [...]

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Q&A with Barbara Peacock, Creative Director, and Adam Mellema, Producer, Charlie & Company

School Zone Publishing Company is getting ready to unleash season two of its fun, educational children’s series, Charlie & Company. The Toy Book recently spoke with Barbara Peacock, the creative director of Charlie & Company, as well as its producer, Adam Mellema, about the show and upcoming plans for the brand, including toys.

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