Health Canada, the national public health department of the country, is revising its toy safety legislation and has opened a review period for all stakeholders. Health Canada legislates requirements for “toys, equipment, and other products for use by a child in learning or play,” and in order for those products to be legally advertised, sold, or imported in Canada, the products much meet all the restrictions defined in the legislation (the Hazardous Products Act and the Hazardous Products (Toys) Regulations).
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has been named the worldwide publisher of the sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum. The video game sequel is currently in development with Rocksteady Studios. For more information, and to sign up to receive updates regarding the game, visit www.arkhamhasmoved.com.
Spin Master, Ltd. is working with Clean Agency, a firm specializing in sustainable business strategies, to create a sustainability platform for the toy manufacturer. Some of the environmental concerns Clean Agency outlined included those related to the manufacture, conversion, and disposal of PVC and its various stabilizers in packaging. The platform will include suggestions for packaging choices that will improve its environmental performance.
For more info on Green Toys, see The Toy Book’s November/December issue to be released soon!
Activision Publishing and GameMill Publishing, Inc. have inked a deal with Cepia, LLC to develop and publish video games based on Zhu Zhu Pets. The first Zhu Zhu Pets game will be released on the Nintendo DS in spring 2010. The video game is also being developed with software developer Black Lantern Studios, Inc. Zhu Zhu Pets was recently nominated for Girl Toy of the Year and Innovative Toy of the Year. Winners will be announced during the Toy of the Year Awards in February.
The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) has announced that specialty retail consultants Rick Segel and Doug Fleener will headline ASTRA’s 2010 Marketplace & Academy. Fleener will open the event with a keynote address titled “Raise the Bar! How to Create and Profit with a High Performance Retail Team.” Segel will close ASTRA’s 2010 event with a presentation entitled “Marketing Optimization: The Secrets of Getting Better Results on a Shoestring Budget.”
According to The NPD Group, toy sales from January to October in 11 global toy markets showed signed of growth. Outside of the U.S. and UK, which experienced moderate revenue declines, and Spain, which saw flat sales, the countries that were analyzed—Germany, Poland, France, Australia, Italy, Austria, Belgium, and Portugal—experienced revenue growth when compared to the same period last year.
A federal appeals court in Pasadena has suspended a ruling that ordered MGA Entertainment to stop selling Bratz products this year, recall remaining toys, and give ownership of the brand to Mattel. The U.S. 9th Circuit appellate panel stayed the order until it can rule on MGA’s appeal to the $100 million lawsuit it lost to Mattel last year.
Cepia, LLC, manufacturer of Zhu Zhu Pets, has released its independent laboratory tests, showing that the electronic hamsters did not exceed federal limits for the toxic chemical. The Good Guide has posted a statement on its website that states that the group had tested the toys using a different X-ray than federal standards. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating the claims.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has appointed Target Entertainment Group as the consumer products agent for the PlayStation brand in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Australiasia (EMEA). Target will develop a strategic licensing plan with SCEE, which will primarily target adult males ages 18 to 40. Product categories for the licensing program will include a range of high spec/high fashion items including apparel, accessories, and gifts. Target and SCEE will also target boys ages 7 to 14 for a range of licensed high street fashion products.