Kidz Bop Launches Kidz Bop Radio on Sirius XM

unnamedSiriusXM has teamed up with Kidz Bop, the No. 1 kids’ music brand in the U.S., to launch Kidz Bop Radio. Kids and families can now tune into Kidz Bop’s dedicated channel featuring music from the chart-topping Kidz Bop album series 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Kidz Bop Kids—Ashlynn, Bredia, Grant, Jayna, and Matt—will host the new channel.

To celebrate the channel launch and release of Kidz Bop 25, the Kidz Bop Kids sang songs from the new album during a special, in-studio performance yesterday. The special aired on SiriusXM’s Kidz Bop Radio, via satellite on XM channel 77, and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com. For rebroadcast times, please visit siriusxm.com/kidzbop.

Kidz Bop Radio features non-stop music, featuring today’s biggest hits, sung by kids for kids.

Toys “R” Us Reports Holiday 2013 Sales Results

Toys “R” Us Inc. has reported its comparable store net sales for the five- and nine-week periods ending January 4.

For the five-week period, the domestic segment reported a comparable store net sales increase of 1.8 percent. The learning, seasonal, and core toy categories generated the strongest comparable store net sales growth. Internationally, comparable store net sales declined 1.1 percent for the five-week period. Australia, China, and Southeast Asia experienced positive comparable store net sales growth, offset by softness in Japan, Canada, and Europe.

Comparable store net sales for the nine-week period decreased 4.7 percent in the domestic segment and 3 percent in the international segment. The nine-week domestic comparable store net sales change is lower than the five-week change, due mainly to the late timing of Thanksgiving this year versus the prior year, which partially benefitted the current year five-week period. Internationally, Australia, China, and Southeast Asia experienced positive comparable store net sales growth, offset by softness in Japan, Canada, and Europe.

The five-week period refers to December 1, 2013 to January 4, 2014, as compared to December 2, 2012 to January 5, 2013 in the prior year. The nine-week period refers to November 3, 2013 to January 4, 2014, as compared to November 4, 2012 to January 5, 2013 in the prior year.

COMMENTARY: Inspirational Young Girls Can Change the World

American Girl has this wonderful program where they release a Girl of the Year doll, who comes along with stories, games, and activities that “celebrate what it means to be a girl today.” There’s a lot of dolls out there on the market that are providing great, positive messages to girls worldwide. Whether they are promoting positive body image, confidence, the drive to dream big, STEM education, or all of the above and more, girls have their pick of the litter when they are searching for a doll that is, in a sense, just like who they are or who they strive to be. American Girl announced their 2014 Girl of the Year on January 1: Isabelle, “an inspired dancer that finds her own way to shine.”

But some girls aren’t able to find that doll that would really make them feel special—and brave 10-year-old Melissa Shang has spoken out (adorably and politely) requesting that her favorite doll company, American Girl, make the 2015 Girl of the Year doll that is more like her.

Shang has Charcot-Marie-Tooth, a debilitating form of muscular dystrophy, and is leading one of the fastest-growing petitions right now on change.org for American Girl to create a Girl of the Year doll with a disability. Shang is truly an inspiration. In just over 72 hours of her starting the petition, more than 15,000 people have joined the campaign she has launched. [Read more...]

K’NEX Hosts Hands-on STEM Workshop for Local Teachers

knexstemOn January 7, K’NEX will host a Forces, Energy & Motion STEM Workshop for 25 teachers from Bucks and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania. The workshop is aimed at providing teachers with the tools they need to get students excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). K’NEX Education will help teachers prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s STEM jobs, as our country faces a critical shortage of qualified STEM workers.

During the workshop, teachers will progress through a series of meaningful and rigorous science, technology, engineering, and mathematics activities designed to guide their learning and challenge them to use critical thinking and problem solving skills, much like their students would in the classroom.

The K’NEX Education workshop will take place at K’NEX headquarters in Hatfield, Pa. from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on January 7.

 

Ninth Luca Lashes Book Helps Kids Conquer Fear of Flying

lucaslashesLuca Lashes LLC’s latest multilingual e-book and app, Luca Lashes and His First Airplane Ride, helps make a kid’s first flying experience more comfortable for everyone by introducing and describing the experience of preparing for and taking a first flight, along with helpful tips for parents new to flying with children.

The Luca Lashes stories turn “fearful firsts” into educational experiences using eye-catching illustrations that help tell a story of a young boy named Luca whose magical eyelashes help make him brave. The ninth book in the series, Luca Lashes and His First Airplane Ride addresses concerns that both children and parents may have when flying. During the story, Luca travels with his mom and dad to the airport for his first flight. Luca’s story puts young reader’s fear of flying at ease as they read about his successful first airplane ride. Through deliberate cadence and rhyming, listeners are engaged as Luca learns to combat the dreaded ear popping, fear of takeoff and landing, and other stresses that often occur during airplane rides. [Read more...]

Kids Preferred Offers New Buildex Ride-Ons

tractorGiving kids their very first ride of their own, Buildex Riding Toys offer innovation in children’s toys. With cool suspension and steering, these easy-to-build, no-tools-required wooden toys, Buildex Riding Toys, from Kids Preferred, introduces many new wooden construction toys in a new product category.

Developed in conjunction with toy designers at Chelona Wooden World, Buildex toys are ideal for your little explorers looking to take their first independent ride. This new generation of real-wood toys with water based stains was designed for kids (and kids at heart) with an appreciation for movement and design. The collection utilizes Grid-Lock and Safe-Lock, unique construction systems that allow strong and safe assembly without the need for glue and tools. [Read more...]

Cardinal Industries Turns 70

cardinalIn 1944, a young Les Berger, the founder of Cardinal Industries, started the company in Brooklyn. With his knowledge of plastics, Berger began manufacturing dominoes poker chip racks, hula hoops, and Mah Jongg sets.

Seventy years later, Cardinal has grown to become one of America’s top signature board game and puzzle companies offering more than 400 items including traditional games such as dominoes, checkers, and poker sets, as well as an extensive line of licensed games and lenticular, wood, and basic puzzles. With a worldwide reach Cardinal products can be found throughout North America, Europe, and Austraila. Cardinal has excelled in the licensed puzzle and game arena working with Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon, Sanrio, Twentieth Century Fox, NBS, Warner Bros, Sesame Street, HIT Entertainment, Lucas, Mattel, and Hasbro, among others.

Rubie’s Has Costumes for Your Little Dog, Too

rubielogoRubie’s Pet Shop Boutique will introduce new pet costumes into The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Costume Collection. The collection, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, features iconic characters from the film.

The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Costume Collection is available in a variety of pet sizes, ranging from small to extra-large. Characters include Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, the Wicked Witch of the West, Glinda the Good Witch, and the Winged Monkey. “At Rubie’s Pet Shop Boutique, it is our goal to capture the spirit of these beloved characters and create costumes for the entire family to enjoy, including their pets!” said Erin Breig, Rubie’s Sales and Product Development.

The complete Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Costume Collection includes costumes, accessories, wigs, and masks and décor. It is available both online and in retail locations worldwide.

DuneCraft Relocates to New Jungle-Themed Offices

DuneCraft has relocated to a brand new, state-of-the-art facility in Warrensville Heights, Ohio. Included in the new building are the extensive ponds, an art gallery, a tropical jungle-themed office, a retail store, and more.  The facility also houses SteelStage, a dashboard driven ERP ASP that was designed by Dunecraft CEO Grant Cleveland and is currently in use.

DuneCraft, who is now going into its 12th year in business, has moved into a 170,000 square foot building with 12,000 square feet of office space. The River Gallery, the exclusive art gallery in the new facility, will feature Cleveland’s paintings and will also feature other artists in the upcoming year. The out of the box retail store will be opening in January and will feature new product introductions for 2014 and other select products.

The grand opening is on January 25, 2014, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at DuneCraft’s headquarters.

Hasbro Survey Finds 78 Percent of Americans Partying at Home on NYE

For the second year in a row, when the clock strikes Twelve on New Year’s Eve, the majority of Americans plan to ring in the New Year at home instead of out on the town, according to a new survey by Hasbro. Seventy-nine percent of women and 76 percent of men, up from 70 percent last year, will opt for a more low-key celebration. To make the most of a festive night at home, Hasbro recommends some friendly game night competition to get the good times rolling on December 31.

And while most (56 percent) seem to want to keep the competition light and friendly, 81 percent of people ages 18 to 24 admit to “bending the rules” in order to win when playing games. If you’re spending the night in on New Year’s with some family-friendly competition, be sure to upload pictures of your party to the Hasbro Game Night Facebook page or tweet @HasbroGameNight, #HasbroHolidays.