China Toy Fair


Playmates to Premiere New Family Guy Toys This Fall

This fall, Playmates Toys, as part of its partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products, will premiere a fresh new toy line for Family Guy. The line will launch with the Family Guy Crazy Interactive World play set and figures. Each figure in the Family Guy Interactive World features a resistor that, when placed on the compatible play set, unlocks real character voices and more than 40 phrases from the show.

The initial figures will include Stewie, Peter, Brian, Cleveland, Quagmire, and Lois with additional characters and environments coming next spring. Also available from Playmates Toys in the fall will be a seven-inch soft foam Stewie head-shaped football.

The release of the Playmates Family Guy toy line joins Fox’s yearlong “Something, Something, Something Anniversary” celebration for the series.

Disney Announces Shake It Up Merchandising Program

Disney Consumer Products (DCP) will launch its first merchandising program for Disney Channel’s comedy series Shake It Up this August. New products will continue arriving in stores throughout the holiday season. The new merchandise program for tweens, based on the show, plays up the main characters’ dancing lifestyle and energy.

This October, a line of Shake It Up dolls, by Mattel, will join the Disney VIP Doll collection. The dolls in the collection, launching next month at Toys “R” Us and Walmart,  are dressed in hip, urban-inspired fashions from Disney shows, and includes Hannah Montana, Alex Russo of Wizards of Waverly Place, and Sharpay from High School Musical and its spin-off Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure. Each doll unlocks VIP access to www.disney.com/disneyvip, which will feature activities and exclusive content, to launch July 15.

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NCircle Entertainment Releases New DVDs

NCircle Entertainment, a distributor of independent non-theatrical children’s entertainment, is releasing four new DVD titles for children ages 6 and under.

The titles are Animal ABCs, Animal 123s, Goodnight Pajanimals, and Dance, Pocoyo, Dance!.

Animal ABCs and Animals 123s, based on the award-winning Animal Atlas series, encourages preschoolers to sing, count, and learn about all sorts of animals. The DVD also teaches children lessons on nature conservation.

Goodnight, Pajanimals, based on The Jim Henson Company’s bedtime series, runs 90 minutes long. The story follows four animals as they go about their bedtime routine, and includes songs to comfort preschoolers as they ease into their own night time rituals.

Dance, Pocoyo, Dance! is based on the Nick Jr. series Pocoyo .This 90-minute DVD includes 12 songs that aim to get preschoolers  moving.

Credit Collective Meets With Members During ASTRA

Last week, nearly 50 toy and game companies gathered at ASTRA‘s Marketplace & Academy in Anaheim, Calif. for the second annual Credit Collective member’s meeting. Inside the meeting, important issues affecting toy and game companies were discussed, including the increasing effects of internet discounters on brick-and-mortar stores, as well as how to find alternative distribution outlets, how to avoid customers who pay bills late, and the need for universal credit sheets.

The Credit Collective members also voiced a need for a system to help police their Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) policies. Ron Solomon, president and founder of The Credit Collective, revealed that the organization is working on such a system, and agreed to speed up the process in hopes it will be ready for member use by this October.

Another issue discussed was the increasing amount of fraud cases that companies are dealing with due to unscrupulous retailers trying to purchase toys and games. Certain companies—that are no longer able to receive credit due to poor payment history—create fake stores and get terms through pseudonyms. After they receive goods, the companies close their fake businesses before the bill arrives and move.

By cross-referencing information in its database and sharing information with its trade association partners, The Credit Collective aims to help keep both members and non-members safe. The organization is currently developing a fraud-linking service to create a much tighter web.

GeoSafari Talking Electron Microscope Combines Education and Fun

The GeoSafari Talking Electron Microscope, Educational Insights‘ educational electron microscope for young scientists of all ages, is now available. Bruce Lund, of Lund and Company Invention, created the microscope that can captivate kids through an extensive collection of more than 180 extreme close-up images, ranging from the inner workings of the human body to plant and animal samples. Children can choose between Learning Mode, where images and fun facts can be viewed, and Quiz Mode, where they can test their new knowledge.

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Barbie’s First Commerical, Circa 1959

ah, the good old days… ;)

Jakks Pacific’s Tollytots Division Signs Licensing Deal for Safety 1st

Jakks Pacific’s Tollytots division has signed a worldwide master toy licensing agreement with juvenile products manufacturer Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc., a division of Dorel Industries, for Dorel’s baby products and accessories brand, Safety 1st.

Under this agreement, Tollytots will develop, market, and distribute a comprehensive line of preschool and early learning toys for infants and toddlers. The products will reflect Safety 1st’s standards of safety, innovation, design, and value. The new Safety 1st toy line from Tollytots, expected to launch in fall 2012, will include products in a broad range of categories, including learning and developmental toys.

Synergy Licensing, the exclusive licensing agency for Dorel Juvenile Group, brokered the deal.

Buildable Figures from Playmobil

It may be hot outside, but The Toy Book just got a preview of Playmobil’s holiday lineup. New from the company are Playmobil Figures, which will be available in August. The line offers 12 different boy figures and 12 different girl figures, which come in a surprise mystery package.

The figures come unassembled in the package, allowing children to put them together themselves. Children can interchange the parts on various Playmobil figures to make new characters with the pieces they get in the package. The figures retail for $ 2.99 and are for ages 5 and up.

Online Acquisition of Video Games Growing in Canada

According to a new report by The NPD Group, “Video Game Acquisition in Canada,” Canadian gamers are slowly shifting towards digital properties and away from traditional, packaged video games. The study polled 4,006 gamers across Canada, ranging from age 13-54, between September 2010 and February 2011.

According to the report, an estimated $84 million were spent on games through digital downloads. Sixty-five (65) percent of games were purchased via physical retail outlet.

Still, the study showed that some gamers are reluctant to buy through a digital download—88 and 81 percent of console and portable gamers, respectively, chose to purchase physical copies of games. Additionally, PC and Mac gamers totaled 20 percent of those who reported they have acquired at least one game via a social networking channel.

Of those who prefer to buy a physical copy, 58 percent say it’s because they just like having a physical copy, while 35 percent say they like going to the store because it has other things they need. The report also analyzed traditional gamers and the growing amount of gamers that are emerging from the smartphone and tablet markets.

TIF Sponsors Fiesta Celebration At Ronald McDonald House

On Wednesday, June 22 (tonight!), the Ronald McDonald House New York will host a fun-filled fiesta to celebrate the longest day of the year, sponsored by the Toy Industry Foundation. Representatives of the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) will join approximately 80 pediatric cancer patients and their families, participating in fiesta-themed activities during a toy distribution at the Ronald McDonald House.

Product contributors for the event include Dunecraft, Little Kids, Inc, Pretty Ugly and Schoenhut Piano Company.