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.

Kids Preferred Expands Buildex Wooden Line with Rescue Vehicles

carKids Preferred, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of plush toys and gifts, will showcase the expansion of its Buildex wooden construction toy offerings. The new emergency rescue vehicles, in particular, each offer to build vehicles in two different ways from the same high-quality parts. Each vehicle in the set has two different options for building, creating, and playing.

This new generation of toys was designed to encourage children to develop 3-D thinking and an appreciation for construction, movement, and design. The collection utilizes Grid-Lock, a unique construction system which allows strong and safe assembly without the need for glue and tools. [Read more...]

JumpStart Releases School of Dragons for Mobile Devices

dragonJumpStart has launched School of Dragons on mobile, featuring simultaneous, 3-D cross-platform multiplayer gameplay. The mobile game, based on the company’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) School of Dragons, provides fans of DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon franchise a way to immerse themselves in the brand through seamless online browser and mobile gameplay. School of Dragons mobile is now available in the iTunes store for iPad 2, 3, 4, iPad mini, and iPad Air.

Since its free-to-play web browser launch in July, School of Dragons has garnered a wide fan base. Now, the game is adding a mobile app component, allowing players to dive into a 3-D MMORPG world seamlessly either through their mobile device, Facebook, or web browser. This interactive technology is one of the first of its kind in the educational MMORPG space.

As the How to Train Your Dragon world develops, so does School of Dragons. JumpStart plans for the game to integrate this popular animated franchise into various features, such as the educational and adventurous quests. The unique element to School of Dragons’ gameplay is its successful integration of education and a popular entertainment franchise. Players learn skills in Earth, Life, and Physical sciences, and other educational concepts while interacting with the characters they love, such as Hiccup, his dragon Toothless, and others.

Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. Selects Brooklyn Teenager As Hometown Heroes Winner

imageFans of the Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. brand have selected 17-year-old Francesca Chaney and her non-profit Girls Advocating and Innovating the Nation (G.A.I.N.) organization as the winner of the latest edition of its bi-monthly Hometown Heroes program.

For receiving the largest amount of votes in the latest competition, Bandai Co. Ltd. and Sync Beatz Entertainment are awarding a $5,000 contribution to Ms. Chaney and the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based group she launched in 2011. With its roots as a mentoring program to help younger girls facing self-esteem issues, the G.A.I.N. mission took on a more ambitious agenda when recognizing the need to address more issues in local communities. As a result, they provide young women with the tools and resources to speak up and allow their voices to be heard on topics of their concern and address issues together, empower each other, and positively innovate their society. Their motto is “Every Girl Must Gain.” Through weekly discussions, community outreach, and empowerment workshops for youth, G.A.I.N. has positively impacted the lives of thousands of youth. [Read more...]

Playrific Introduces New App for STEM Education

playrificPlayrific has introduced its new TechStars Tech Ed STEM & Arts app for preschoolers, which was recently announced by Computer Explorers as part of its tech ed program for preschoolers and elementary-aged children. The app is now available on iTunes.

Playrific created this app to support Computer Explorer’ TechStars program because children’ interests and abilities start taking shape early and STEM education helps kids emerge as problem solvers, investigators, and innovators. STEM competence is expected to play heavily into more than 60 percent of all professional careers in the next 20 to 30 years, and this app lets TechStars kids enjoy learning and exploring STEM & Arts activities and games anywhere via iPhone or iPad.

Play Visions Expands Global Distribution

Sands Alive, a new line of organic sand activity sets from Play Visions, has added distribution partners in Europe, South America, Australia, and Canada. Play Visions has joined forces with Goliath Games for Europe, Character Options for the UK, Macro Toys for Latin America, Hunter Products for Australia, and Incredible Novelties for Canda.

An organic compound that feels soft and doughy, Sands Alive can be molded or poured—just like real sand. It can also be packed to create paths or roadways with a rolling tool, or shaped into castles, forts, and other creations. Sands Alive will launch in February at the American International Toy Fair in New York City.

 

GP Flair Distributes WWE Construction Toys, Play Sets from The Bridge Direct in UK, Ireland

wweGP Flair has announced that it will be the new UK and Ireland distribution partner for a new range of WWE construction figures and play sets. The new collection, manufactured by U.S. toy company The Bridge Direct, is expected in stores in the late summer.

Designed and manufactured by the Bridge Direct, under the banner “C3” (create, construct, and connect) the new collection will include universally compatible building bricks and accessories that can be constructed into WWE rings, as well as WWE Superstars. At launch multiple SKUs will be available with more in the pipeline for subsequent seasons.

tokidoki Announces New Distributor for Japan

tokidokitokidoki, the pop culture brand meaning “sometimes” in Japanese, has added a new distributor to its global network: Groove Inc. The Tokyo-based distributor is also the manufacturer and worldwide distributor for Pullip dolls, including Luna, the limited-edition tokidoki x Pullip doll released earlier this year.

To celebrate the partnership, Groove Inc. hosted an exhibit at Logo’s Gallery located in the PARCO shopping mall in Shibuya, Japan.  The entire tokidoki toy collection was on display and featured several paintings by co-founder and creative director Simone Legno.