China Toy Fair


Rio Toys, Books, a Video Game, and More to Hit Stores This Spring

Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products has announced its initial line up  of products based on the upcoming 3-D animated comedy adventure film, Rio. The merchandising program will include a range of toys, video games, apparel, and books, and will kick-off in mid-March before the theatrical release of the film on April 15.

The ToyQuest Rio toy line will include a colorful selection of 3.75-inch mini figures, 8-inch basic plush, and 10-inch talking plush and beanies. Signature items will include a 9-inch interactive plush and a 7-inch walking and talking plush. The line will be available exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores and Toysrus.com.

THQ’s Rio video game will be available at Toys “R” Us and other retailers just days before the movie’s release. The party-style video game contains 40 mini-games and features the movie’s characters.

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Wild Creations Places QR Codes on Packaging

Wild Creations’ products will now feature Quick Response scanner codes to help customers make informed purchasing decisions. Quick Response (QR) codes can be scanned by most smart phones using free, downloadable applications. Shoppers will be able to scan the image of the QR code (like the one above), and then will be whisked away via their mobile devices to different websites where they can read customer or media reviews, see YouTube videos, check out awards, and more. The codes will be available on Wild Creations’ toy boxes.

CPSC to Open Consumer Product Safety Office in China

The Consumer Product Safety Commission will set up its first office outside the United States in China in an effort to reduce the number of dangerous products reaching the American market.

Commission head Inez Tenenbaum told reporters Monday the office also aims to make it easier for the U.S. to raise concerns with the Chinese government about product safety problems, including toxic metals in toys. Tenenbaum said choosing China as the commissions first overseas location made sense because 45 percent of the consumer products and 90 percent of all toys sold in the United States come from China and Hong Kong.

The CPSC office, to be located within the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, will have two employees to start, an attache and a safety specialist, who will work with their Chinese counterparts and help educate Chinese manufacturers about American product standards, Tenenbaum said.

Neil Friedman Leaving Mattel

Mattel, Inc. has announced that Neil Friedman, president of Mattel brands, is leaving and its president of international will take the new role of COO. Friedman will leave in March. Bryan Stockton, president of international, will become COO, effective immediately. Stockton has been head of Mattel’s international division since 2003. He joined the company in 2000 as executive vice president of business planning and development.

Generator Rex Costumes to Come from Rubie’s

Rubie’s Costume Co., Inc. has signed a deal for Halloween costumes based on the action-adventure series Generator Rex. The upcoming Generator Rex costume line will be for kids and will be based on the most popular characters from the television show, such as Rex and his evil counterpart Van Kleiss. Rubie’s Costume Co. signed the deal with Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE).

iCarly Actor Premieres Healthy Recipe Cards for Kids

KewlBites.com, an interactive website about healthy eating created by actor Reed Alexander from Nickelodeon’s iCarly, has premiered its first deck of 25 recipe cards for kids called Kewl Cards.

The cards feature a variety of healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and for sides and snacks. Recipes include dishes such as Kewl Leaning-Tower-of-Veggie-Lasagna, Kewl Yet Warm Three Bean Turkey Chili, and a Kewl Cranberry Compote Smoothie.

KewlBites.com also offers other healthy eating tips such as how to eat well, the importance of exercise, and more of Alexander’s healthy recipes. The cards retail for $14.95. For more information, visit KewlBites.com.

Scribble Mats Redesigns and Relocates

Scribble Mats has redesigned its line and has relocated to a bigger space for the new year. The company has moved to a 200,000-square-foot facility in Bristol, Penn.

In February, Scribble Mat’s sister company, Scribble Town, will launch two new websites, wescribble.com and scribbleshop.com. Wescribble.com will offer crafts, activities, and coloring sheets available for free download. Scribbleshop.com will launch as an online shopping website where visitors can find art and craft supplies, including books, kits, and more.

Artist Alex beard Launches Impossible Puzzles Contest at Borders

Artist Alex Beard announces the second annual Alex Beard Impossible Puzzles Contest. This contest encourages people to think outside the box and challenge their creativity.

Most puzzles have interlocking pieces that fit together, and some have evolved to 3D versions and computer adaptations, but the end goal remains the same: to recreate the picture on the front of the box. Alex Beard’s line of Impossible Puzzles combats the theory that a puzzle can only result in one picture. The Alex Beard Impossible Puzzles contest encourages people to create their own puzzle art based on original works by Beard. In other words, the final result should not mirror the picture on the box cover. Each puzzle piece can be rearranged into a new composition, a new outline, a new image—a work of art of the puzzler’s very own. In the Impossible Puzzles collection, some shapes have common outlines, so there is more than one choice for what can fit. The pieces do not snap into each other, but settle beside one another instead, making the puzzle exponentially more challenging. While there is actually only one correct piece that combines with its neighbors to assemble the puzzle as intended, the pieces can be combined in infinite ways to create new puzzles and new shapes.

To enter, go to a local Borders book store and find the Alex Beard Impossible Puzzles display. Then, create your puzzle art based on Beard’s brand new “Red Peacock” puzzle right there at Borders or purchase a “Red Peacock” puzzle and create your masterpiece at home. Once you’ve finished creating your work of art, go to www.alexbeardimpossiblepuzzles.com, fill out the submission form, and upload your photo. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on March 7, 2011. One Alex Beard Impossible Puzzles Contest grand prize winner will receive a new, original Alex Beard painting inspired by the winning entry. Twenty-five runners-up will each receive a signed copy of an Alex Beard Impossible Puzzle. Prize winners will be selected based on creativity and adherence to theme by Alex Beard.

Mookie Toys Signs Three-Year Toy Licensing Deal for The Jungle Book

UK-based Mookie Toys, Ltd. has signed an exclusive toy licensing deal with DQ Entertainment PLC for DQE’s 3-D animated series, The Jungle Book. The deal will last for a three-year period and will cover outdoor play and balls. According to StockMarketWire.com, toy merchandise will include wheeled bicycles, tri-scooters, tricycles, balance bikes, sit ’n rides, play balls, outdoor activity centers, slides, and more.

Mookie acquired the licensing rights for the UK, Republic of Ireland, and the Channel Islands through DQE’s licensing agent, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG).

New “Touch & Tilt” Line of iPad Book Apps by Scholastic is Released

Scholastic Media has introduced its “Touch & Tilt” line of iPad book applications, available for purchase on the iTunes App Store. The interactive storybook applications include I Love You Through and Through, based on Scholastic’s book by Bernadette Rosetti-Shustak and illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church; The Magic School Bus: Oceans, based on the Scholastic book The Magic School Bus: On the Ocean Floor by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen; and Go, Clifford, Go!, based on the Scholastic book series by Norman Bridwell.

Each application allows kids to read and play independently on the iPad and also brings the book to life. For more information, visit www.scholastic.com/apps/.