Walmart and DreamWorks Team for “Dragon” Program

DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. will port in Walmart stores nationwide as the two unveil an exclusive program for the studio’s feature film, How to Train Your Dragon, in theaters on March 26.

More than 2,500 Viking ships will sail into the stores, including one in the How to Train Your Dragon designated area in stores. The area will featuring more than 100 Dragon items for purchase, including licensed products from manufacturers such as Spin Master, Kraft, Kellogg, and Pepsi. The products will include dragon and Viking-themed toys such as foam swords and helmets, apparel, skateboards, hooded towels, sunglasses, and snacks. Walmart has also developed a How to Train Your Dragon activity book that will be found in Happy Meals at 1,000 McDonald’s locations in Walmart stores.

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Shel Silverstein Poetry to Be Released Posthumously

HarperCollins Children’s Books has announced the fall 2011 release of a collection of never-before published Shel Silverstein poems and illustrations. Not yet titled, the book will share the same format as the late author’s previous poetry collections: Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up. These and other children’s books by Silverstein, who died in 1999, have sold more than 25 million hardcover copies in the U.S. alone and have been translated into more than 30 languages.

Guangdong’s Toy Exports up 47.1% in February

According to www.chinaknowledge.com, the export value of toys in Guangdong Province amounted to $330 million in February, up 47.1 percent year on year, according to statistics from the local customs.

In the first two months of this year, the province’s toy export value rose 26.3 percent from the same period of last year to $720 million, with $260 million worth of toys exported to the U.S., accounting for 36.1 percent of the total toy exports of Guangdong.

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English Students Earn World Record for Group Rubik’s Cube Solve

The official Guinness World Record for the number of people solving a Rubik’s Cube at a one time is now held by 134 English schoolboys. The record was previously held by a group of 96 Californian university students. The new record holders, aged 11-14, attend Dr. Challoner’s Grammar School in Amersham, Bucks, UK.

The children completed their Rubik’s Cubes it only 12 minutes, which was witnessed by David Hedley Jones and Christine Trussell, representing Seven Towns Ltd of London; the owners of the worldwide rights to the Rubik’s Cube; and Susie Smyth, representing the UK distributor Drumond Park Games.

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Senario Files Complaint For Patent Infringement

Senario, LLC has filed a formal complaint against Novelty Inc. of Greenfield, Ind. for infringing on Senario patents, including its Bunjie monkeys and Projectile Plush.

Mike Nakamura, founder and CEO of Senario, said in a press release: “This is a clear case of patent infringement that Novelty Inc. has engaged in. Senario has aggressively protected this intellectual property over the years with 100 percent success and we will continue to do so.”

Bubbles Go (Even More) 3-D

3-D is no longer limited to IMAX movies and Grammy tributes. Imperial Toy has released Optrix 3-D Bubbles, which combines the fun of blowing bubbles with the rising popularity of 3-D technology.

When used outdoors (on a sunny day, of course), kids can see magical images inside the bubbles they make. Optrix 3-D Bubbles are available in stars, hearts, lightning bolts, and butterflies. Each product comes in 3-D packaging, and includes viewing glasses, a bubble wand, bubble tray, and an 8 oz. bottle of Imperial Toy’s Super Miracle Bubble solution.

Optrix 3-D Bubbles are available at U.S. stores for $7.99 to $9.99. The product will be shipping worldwide shortly.

The Hot New Toy: Rubber Bands?

Learning Express, a franchise of more than 140 independently owned and operated specialty toy stores, has noticed that a simple product is becoming a hot trend for kids: collectible rubber bands. “We have a storeowner in North Carolina who has sold over 25,000 packs of rubber bands since January 1 of this year,” said Rob Kracinovich, the corporate buyer for the novelty category at the company, in a press release.

The rubber bands are a playful version of the wristband trend that was made popular by the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s Livestrong silicon bracelets. The bands (such as Toysmith’s shown above) are shaped as objects such as turtles, elephants, ostriches, cats, and pigs, and when stretched out can be worn as colorful bracelets, anklets, or hair-ties. When they aren’t being worn the rubber bands spring back to their original shapes.

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Hasegawa to Celebrate Hobbico Appointment with Raptor Kit

Hobbico, Inc. has been named the exclusive distributor for Hasegawa Model Kits in the U.S. and Canada. Hasegawa’s military and civilian models, as well as detail sets, will be available to retailers through Great Planes Model Distributors.

To celebrate the recent appointment, Hasegawa will release the 1/48 scale F-22 Raptor, with an optional Raptor metal-etched detail set. Hasegawa develops model kits including military and civilian aircraft, ships, armor, and more.

Alan and Stephen Hassenfeld Picked for LIMA Hall of Fame

Alan G. Hassenfeld, chairman of the executive committee and former chairman of the board of Hasbro, Inc., and the late Stephen Hassenfeld, CEO and chairman of the board until 1989, have been selected for induction into the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) Licensing Industry Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony will take place on June 8 at the second annual LIMA Opening Night Awards Party at Licensing International Expo 2010, which will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

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TIF Celebrates Boys & Girls Club Week with Toy Distribution

Next week is National Boys and Girls Club Week and the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) are celebrating by teaming up to distribute toys to children of military families. The families are stationed at USCG Base Portsmouth MWR and Naval Base Portsmouth in Virginia.

On March 25, from 4:00pm to 5:30pm, TIF and BGCA will distribute toys at the Pemberton MWR Gymnasium. More than 200 military family members from every branch of service expected to attend.

The toys were donated to The Toy Bank, the Foundation’s signature program, by toy manufacturers during the 2010 Toy Fair. Through the Play Comforts partnership, TIF will provide Toy Bank toys to members of Boys & Girls Clubs located on military bases across the country with high deployment rates.