Toy Fair NY to Feature Three-Meter Touch Screens of Exhibitor Information

This year’s American International Toy Fair, to be held in New York in a few weeks, will feature an interactive, digital wall called Fair Necessities. “Fair Necessities will be an interactive gateway to all things Toy Fair,” said Kimberly Carcone, senior director of trade show and event marketing at TIA, in a press release. “With the tap of a finger, multiple users will be able to simultaneously access floor plans, event schedules, exhibitor listings, photos, videos and news clips, apps, and more on the huge three-meter touch screens.” The LCD multi-touch display screen was designed by European IT firm Uma, and will be located in the main concourse of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center during the four days of the show.

For more information of Toy Fair, visit www.ToyFairNY.com.

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

“This is Retail” Video Contest Launches for Retailers

As part of its “Retail Means Jobs” campaign, an initiative by the National Retail Federation (NRF) that aims to raise awareness of the retail industry’s economic impact, NRF has launched the “This is Retail” video contest. “We’re on a hunt to find the best retail stories in America—from marketing geniuses to customer service superstars to small business owners,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a press release.

To participate, retail employees or business owners submit a two-minute video that shares their retail story for a chance to win up to $25,000. NRF will accept video submissions from March 5-16. A panel of retail executives will narrow the videos down to the top 20, and finalists will be prominently featured on RetailMeansJobs.com. The winners will be chosen based on votes, and announced during NRF’s Washington Leadership Conference in May. For more information, visit www.retailmeansjobs.com/contest.

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How to Pitch the Media Covering Toy Fair

Third in a series of posts on preparing for the annual trade event

by Julie Livingston, director, business development and accounts, Child’s Play Communications, New York City

With Toy Fair less than a month away, how will you engage the media to ensure coverage for your toys or youth entertainment products? Here at Child’s Play, we’ve been working overtime to fine-tune our media lists and pitches on behalf of clients. This week’s post will include some of our tried and true strategies and tactics for pitching the press.

Think Like a Journalist

With less space for toy coverage and so many exhibitors to see—more than 1,000 at the Javits Center alone, as well as those in private showrooms across New York City—reporters are pressed for time. So, when choosing media channels to pitch, focus on the “why”/reason an outlet would be interested, to determine the “where”/ specific outlets to concentrate on.

Prior to Toy Fair, many journalists will do an online search, hunting for toys that are a match for the following themes, so post your press release on all company social media platforms incorporating the following key themes and key words.

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Photos: Worms Keyring Plush Collection Premieres

AT New Media and Team 17 have launched the Worms Keyring Plush collection from IGS, based on the turn-based strategy video game franchise.

The new range, licensed by AT New Media and Worms creator Team 17, features a detailed series of plush in an initial line of four different characters (Original Worm, Army Worm, Pirate Worm, and the Super Sheep). Products are also available in multiple traditional collectible plush sizes. The new range adds to the Worms lineup of apparel, squeezies, mugs, figurines, collectibles, and more. New partners are currently being sought for multiple product categories.

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Last Chance to Nominate for the 8th Annual Wonder Women Awards Dinner

Nominations are open for the 8th Annual Wonder Women of Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment Awards, celebrating the most “Make it Happen” women in the industry.

This year’s Wonder Women Awards Dinner (February 12) will be held at a brand-new location, The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers. Nomination categories that will recognize the powerhouse movers and shakers in the toys, licensing, and entertainment industries include designer/inventor, digital and gaming, entertainment, entrepreneur, journalism/social media, licensee, licensing agents, licensor, lifetime achievement, manufacturer, marketing/advertising/branding, public relations/communications, publishing, retailer, rising star, sales, and social responsibility.

Nominations are being accepted through January 25, and cost $150 per nomination, per category. Sponsorships and tables for the event are also available. To date, the 2012 list of sponsors include The Toy Book, Brandberry, Imperial Toy, Jakks Pacific, Serenata Group, The Bridge Direct, Toy Industry Association, and Toys “R” Us.

To nominate, for dinner reservations or sponsorships, or to join Women in Toys, visit www.womenintoys.com.

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Toys & Kids Russia, Slated for March, to Include World of Toys Pavilion

Spielwarenmesse eG is organizing a World of Toys pavilion at Toys & Kids Russia in Moscow, slated to run March 14-16. Companies such as NICI GmbH, Sieper GmbH, and Mattel Europe Holdings B. V. have already secured a place in the World of Toys Pavilion.

Not only will Toys & Kids Russia showcase toys, but baby fashions, strollers, and hobby, outdoor, playground, and sport articles will also be on display. In the special “What’s New!” area, exhibitors can highlight one of their new products to specifically attract visitors to their stand. Exhibitors can also develop personal contacts at meetings with potential Russian importers and distributors in the Retail Center.

Toys & Kids Russia takes place in the Crocus Expo International Exhibition Centre in Moscow for the sixth time. It is organized by RNTA Expo, a joint company of Spielwarenmesse eG and the Russian National Toy Association.

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What Should Be in Your Toy Fair Media Tool Kit?

Second in a series of posts on preparing for the annual trade event


by Julie Livingston, director, business development and accounts, Child’s Play Communications, New York City

As the adage goes, “information is power,” and that is exactly why the nuggets of facts, photos, video and other details contained in your Toy Fair media kit can directly impact the depth and breadth of coverage you get during the show. Start planning out your content by thinking through the writer’s “5 W’s”—the Who, What, Where, When, and Why—as it relates to your product. Ask for input from colleagues in the product development, sales, and marketing areas, as their perspective can provide tremendous insight, and descriptive language to tell the story. In my experience, this process can be time consuming; be prepared for multiple rounds of edits so that the end product is one that will draw attention and interest.

From seeing literally hundreds of press materials in my years in the children’s entertainment business and PR, the following elements when executed well contribute to a successful press kit:

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Clifford Musical Kicks Off 50-City Tour

“Clifford The Big Red Dog Live! A BIG Family Musical” kicked off earlier this month in Vermont and Connecticut. The 50-city live touring show includes both school and public performances. The new musical adventure teaches audience members that “it only takes a little to be big.” Through laughter, songs, and dancing, the characters and audience learn about Clifford’s Big Ideas (share, play fair, have respect, work together, be responsible, be truthful, be kind, help others, believe in yourself, and be a good friend) from the PBS Kids series Clifford the Big Red Dog. The production is directed by Mark Fleischer and produced by Mills Entertainment, in cooperation with Scholastic Media. The Brad Simon Organization serves as the exclusive booking agency for the production.

For more information on the show, click here.

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Showrooms at Fifth Ave. Building to Display Products During NY Toy Fair

During American International Toy Fair in New York City, 20 floors of showrooms at 230 Fifth Avenue will showcase various types of toys, gift items, general merchandise, books, seasonal, stationery, and related products. The Toy Fair will run from February 12-15.

A listing of all participating showrooms can be picked up from one of the registration coordinators at the lobby registration desk in the building. Special perks and amenities, including the newly designed Buyers Lounge, will be available to all attendees.

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Sesame Workshop Partners with Qualcomm for Augmented Reality Prototype

Qualcomm Incorporated and Sesame Workshop have joined forces to explore augmented reality experiences for children by creating a prototype play set that brings physical toys to life. An application is being demonstrated at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), running January 10-13.

The collaborative project explores the use of a tablet with a traditional play set, aiming to make children’s’ playtime more fun and educational. The prototype play set includes traditional elements such as common household objects and figurines of classic Sesame Street characters Cookie Monster, Bert, and Ernie. Additionally, the demo includes a tablet and an application that uses Qualcomm’s newly branded Vuforia augmented reality platform. When the tablet is pointed at the play set, the pieces and the play environment come alive through the tablet’s camera, transforming the play set into an interactive experience.

Qualcomm is exhibiting at Booth No. 30313 in South Hall 3 at CES.

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