Walmart Kicks-off Black Friday Events Starting at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving

Walmart has released its Black Friday circular to shoppers on Facebook and Walmart.com to help families plan their holiday shopping. Items from electronics to gaming consoles and toys will be available during three shopping events.

Walmart’s Black Friday events will be held at the following times:

  • 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) –Toys, Home, and Apparel
  • Midnight on Black Friday (Nov. 25) – Electronics
  • 8 a.m. Nov. 25 through the weekend – Gifts for the entire family

“Our customers told us they would rather stay up late to shop than get up early, so we’re going to hold special events on Thanksgiving and Black Friday,” says Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. “By sharing our Black Friday specials earlier than ever, we hope to make buying decisions easier for parents working hard to give their families the Christmas they deserve.”

In addition, all day long on Thanksgiving, shoppers can get online-only specials and save with free shipping options.

Walmart is also helping shoppers plan their in-store shopping strategy by making available store-specific maps on Facebook. To access the map, shoppers need to find their favorite store by clicking on the “My Local Walmart” application on Walmart’s Facebook page.

Walmart also promises to match the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical product, including matching competitor’s deals for the day after Thanksgiving.

Firefly Brand Management’s Lineup

Firefly Brand Management is a full-service global brand management and licensing agency specializing in entertainment, interactive, technology, art and lifestyle properties, including:

• Anne Geddes, an artist whose photography has been published in 83 countries with over 18 million copies sold worldwide. The brand and various licensing programs have a strong following all over the world, and Firefly is seeking new product lines for the home, infants, maternity, and young girls.

• Hell’s Kitchen, the cooking competition show on Fox. The brand’s new lines are in housewares, food, beverage, apparel and other categories.

• Mr. Bubble, which for 50 years has been the best selling bubble bath in the U.S.

• Spam, which has graced American dinner tables for nearly 75 years, is an iconic American brand.

• Yummy You by Twinkie Chan, a line of silly, food themed scarves and accessories.

• Emily Green, whose imagination brings creative, fun designs to an array of products including children’s place mats, bowls, tumblers and other unique gifts.

Please contact Eve LeMaster for licensing news and opportunities.

TIA Partners with Adventure Publishing for Licensing Showcase Co-Located at Toy Fair

New York City is slated to become the next stop on the global licensing circuit as the Toy Industry Association (TIA) launches its new Brand & Entertainment Showcase in February. Co-located with the 109th American International Toy Fair, to be held February 12-15 in New York, the showcase offers an impactful and convenient content connection for entertainment licensors and brand owners alike. The event provides opportunities for exclusive access to top-tier media, marketing agencies, and an audience of 30,000+ tradeshow guests from more than 90 countries. Adventure Publishing Group is the exclusive media partner of the Brand & Entertainment Showcase.

The new Brand & Entertainment Showcase satisfies increased demands from the licensing community to collaborate in a formalized setting at the show. Content providers will be able to simply show up and show off in small, private meeting spaces or large, public theaters. Turnkey presentation solutions and an audience of marketers ensure that all participants’ needs will be met.

As the largest and most important gathering for youth entertainment in the Western Hemisphere, Toy Fair last year welcomed an unprecedented surge in entertainment executives (+31 percent) and licensors (+8 percent). In 2010, licensed toys represented 25 percent of total industry sales. In addition, the co-located Brand & Entertainment Showcase gives participants access to the important ancillary advertising, marketing, and promotion-oriented industries that are concentrated in and around the media epicenter of the world.

Adventure Publishing’s signature publications—The Licensing Book and The Toy

Book—and its online communities will be a primary conduit of information and updates about the showcase to the global community, and the key vehicles for brand advertisers during the event itself.

For more information about participating in TIA’s Brand and Entertainment Showcase, contact Jennifer Coleman, sales executive and producer (973.760.8181, jennifer@jcinc.biz); for information about advertising opportunities, please contact Jonathan Samet at Adventure Publishing (212.575.4510, jsamet@adventurepub.com).

Hot Holiday Toys Announced!

Elmo and Harry Potter Toys Headline the List of Top Picks in Sixth Annual Holiday Toy Guide

The Toy Insider (www.thetoyinsider.com), an annual holiday toy guide, announced today its HOT 20 TOYS for the 2011 holiday season, including Scene It? Harry Potter: The Complete Cinematic Journey, Let’s Rock Elmo, Redakai Championship Tin and LeapPad. The HOT 20 is the kick-off section of the Toy Insider, which will run in full in the November 17, 2011 issue of Woman’s Day magazine, on newsstands November 1, 2011.

Now in its sixth year, the Toy Insider features expert toy and gift recommendations at all price points, making it easy for all gift givers to find the perfect holiday gift for every kid on their lists. All of the toys in the guide have been selected by a panel of toy trend experts, led by industry veterans Jonathan Samet, Publisher of The Toy Book, and Laurie Schacht, TOY INSIDER MOM and Contributing Toy Editor to Woman’s Day.  Laurie is also the leading spokesperson to consumers on toys and gifts, making regular appearances on the TODAY SHOW, ABC NEWS, GOOD DAY NEW YORK and many others. The panel also includes Jackie Breyer, Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, the leading trade publication in the toy industry, and Reyne Rice, a leading toy trend expert. The Toy Insider team spent the past year reviewing and evaluating all of the latest toys to identify the most compelling and hottest new products to help gift givers get an early start on their holiday shopping.

This year’s edition is the biggest one ever, filled with 110 toy recommendations from more than 80 different manufacturers.  The Toy Insider is an excellent resource and user-friendly guide for gift giving. It includes gift ideas for all ages and both genders, broken out by age group (0-2 years old, 3-5 years old, 6-8 years old and 9+ years old).  Each section features an in-depth description of the developmental needs and interests for that specific age group to assist any holiday shopper in finding the perfect gift.  A unique toy skill key, located on the HOT 20 page, provides a list of icons that are matched to each toy, offering even greater convenience with age-appropriate gift giving.

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Uglydoll Tin Toys – One of My New Favorite Things

You know how everyone always wants to know what Oprah’s Favorite Things are? Well, there might be one or two people who want to know what my favorite things are, and Schylling’s Uglydoll Tin Toy line is definitely on my list. The line features the fantastic Uglydoll characters from Pretty Ugly, LLC, and includes tin trucks that double as coin banks or pencil holders, cars, wind up tin robots, a jack in the box, an alarm clock, and keepsake boxes.

Poof-Slinky Acquires Product Lines from Elmer’s

Poof-Slinky, Inc., has acquired the Scientific Explorer and Fuzzoodles product lines, and other related assets, from Elmer’s Products, Inc. Both product lines, formerly assets of Elmer’s Giddy Up division, have extensive North American and international distribution.

The Scientific Explorer line, a decades long mainstay in the science and activity category, consists of a wide range of multi-faceted kits that introduce hands-on science in a fun, easy format. Several kits such as Bubble Gum Activity Kit, Spa Science, Meteor Rocket Kit, and Magic Science Wizards, cover the quirky side of science, and within each kit, combine an equal mix of education and activity to capture kids’ interest and imagination.

Fuzzoodles, an activity line made up of fluffy, colorful noodles that bend and twist, were introduced in 2010 and promoted through television, print and social media outlets. Each product in the activity line includes an array of wacky accessories that allow a child to flip and switch parts to create endless customized characters. Products such as Monster Madness, Crazy Critters, Glamour Girl, and Plush Pals are a few of the many items within the line.

According to Ray Dallavecchia, President and CEO of POOF®-Slinky®, Inc., “we are pleased to add these innovative product lines to our portfolio of brands.  We believe with the addition of the Scientific Explorer line, Poof-Slinky, Inc. will be the premier provider of science and activity related products in the industry. The Fuzzoodles line will broaden our activity range under the Ideal brand, and give us a platform to expand further within this category.”

Barbie’s First Commerical, Circa 1959

ah, the good old days… ;)

ZhuZhu Pets to Star in Animated Movies

Cepia LLC, the maker of ZhuZhu Pets, has partnered with Universal Pictures for a worldwide television rights and home entertainment deal that will see the release of two feature-length, animated films, Quest for Zhu and Power of Zhu. The films will debut exclusively on DVD this year and next year, respectively. Los Angeles-based Moonscoop (Jakers, Clifford, The Big Red Dog, and Chloe’s Closet) will produce the film, while Sean Catherine Derek (Smurfs, Spiderman, and Mortal Combat) will serve as the writer. 3-D animation studio Prana Animation Studios, Inc. (TRON: Legacy and Tinker Bell) will bring the Zhu-niverse to life in 3-D stereoscopic animation. Both movies star the four original ZhuZhu Pets characters (Pipsqueak, Mr. Squiggles, NumNums, and Chunk), who explore the Zhu-niverse through adventurous, heartwarming, and heroic tales.

Step into Spring with Click Flops

Mogo Design, Inc. is launching Mogo Click Flops, a new fashion footwear line that allows women and girls to show their personal style or mood with more than 200 click-on magnetic Mogo Charms. Up to 14 charms can be attached to the footwear, letting fashionistas of all ages personalize their look with a mix of birthstone bling, monogram-style letters, and a variety of themed collections ranging from flowers to animals, and symbols such as peace signs and emoticons.

In conjunction with the Mogo Click Flops launch, the company also redesigned its website, www.mogocharm.com. The new site introduces Mogo Design’s first game, the Mogo Mood Matcher, which selects the perfect charm to match girls’ mood. The site also has a virtual Mogo Charm Design Studio, fun facts, and trivia for fans to enjoy while checking out the latest Mogo Charm Collections.

The Mogo Click Flops are now available at select specialty retail stores across the country.

Tatty Teddy Partners for Plush in the U.S.

Tatty Teddy is headed to North America with a licensing agreement between UK-based Carte Blanche Greeting, Ltd.’s brand Me to You and U.S. plush toy firm Douglas. The licensing deal was brokered by Stone America Licensing.

Douglas will produce and distribute the Me to You brand’s Tatty Teddy bears, targeting premium retail stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to everyday offerings, the Tatty Teddy collection will include products for key seasons, including Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.

Taty Teddy