The Lego Group, Le Méridien to Offer Complimentary Toys to Hotel Guests

LEGORaceCarStarwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. has entered into a global partnership with Le Méridien Hotels and The Lego Group to offer kids ages 18 months to 12 years with a complimentary Lego toy to enjoy during their stay and take home as a keepsake from their travels.

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SKC Launches Program to Educate Public about Danger of Purchasing and Accepting Recalled Products

In an effort to keep children and babies away from the danger of recalled items, Safe Kids California (SKC) has launched a program to educate the public about the danger of unknowingly purchasing or accepting products that have been recalled.

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Little Heroes Launches Indiegogo Campaign for Herokins

Herokins, from Little Heroes Technologies, is a line of wearable smart toys that foster shared experiences between parents and children. Herokins celebrates the adventure of learning through engaging StoryQuests that intrinsically motivate children to gain their independence while staying safe. The line features a mobile app, as well as two Bluetooth-enabled action figures, Axel McRed and Dr. Rose, which guide users on adventures that strengthen family bonds and facilitate learning.

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Albany County Agrees to Halt Enforcement of Toy Ban

As reported by the Toy Industry Association, a federal judge has granted a motion to stay an Albany County law banning the sale of toys and other children’s products containing certain chemicals. The law will not be enforced while the county seeks to address the serious legal concerns raised by a lawsuit filed by the Safe to Play Coalition last month.

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Toy Advocacy Groups Come Out in Favor of Safe to Play Coalition Lawsuit

A number of advocacy groups representing manufacturers and sellers throughout the toy industry favor a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court against Albany County. The lawsuit, filed by the Safe to Play Coalition, alleges that by passing Albany County Local Law No. J, the county acted with gross disregard of extensive federal laws regulating the safety of toys and children’s products.

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GUEST COMMENTARY: Feds to Ban Kids’ Soft Plastic Toys for No Good Reason

by Jeff Stier, senior fellow, National Center for Public Policy Research

jeffstierThe Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants to hear from you.

The agency has extended its comments period until April 15 as it considers a rule that would regulate a range of chemicals within a group called phthalates. These chemicals, among other purposes, keep plastics from shattering when bent, and play a useful role in a range of consumer products.

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New York Lawmakers Try Again to Pass Toxic Toy Bill

On Monday, Republican Senator Phil Boyle and Democratic Assemblyman Steve Englebright of New York said they would reintroduce legislation intended to ban the use of toxic chemicals in children’s toys. The measure, which failed to pass the state Senate last year, would require manufacturers to phase out the use of benzene, mercury, cadmium, and cobalt. [Read more...]

U.S.-Canadian Steering Committee to Consider Unified Toy Standards

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), U.S. and Canadian regulators, standards development organizations, and toy industry representatives held discussions in Ottawa, Canada, on January 7 to discuss the possibility of unified U.S.-Canadian toy safety standards that would be acceptable for both countries to use in regulating toys. [Read more...]

Bandai and The Smiling Bear Launch Koala Plush in Australia

SmilingBearThe Smiling Bear product range is now available exclusively from Discover Australia stores at all major Australian airports, and coming soon online at smilingbear.com. The plush toy and accessory product range has been developed under license by Bandai. [Read more...]

Lionel Opens New Brick-and-Mortar Store and Headquarters in North Carolina

Lionel.NewStoreThis past Monday, Lionel opened its first retail store in Concord, N.C. The new location will serve as a central station for popular train sets, replicas, and collectibles, as well as store-exclusive gifts and keepsakes.

To celebrate the new store, which will also serve as the company’s new headquarters, Lionel President Howard Hitchcock drove festivities with J. Scott Padgett, the mayor of Concord, and Donna Carpenter, the CEO of the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Lionel.NewStore2The store will become a terminal for field trips, new product testing, and company announcements. The 1,100-square-foot space will house one of Lionel’s fully decorated layouts, which will feature different trains throughout the year. Kids can control the layout with handheld remotes and test the newest trains.

Lionel has made numerous expansion efforts of late, including partnering with the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago to debut its first life-sized trackless train ride, The Lionel Train Adventure, earlier this month. The company has also continued to add licenses for new train models through partnerships with DC Comics, Coca-Cola, Crayola, and other brands.