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.

Demdaco Launches New Baby Products Collection with kathy ireland Worldwide

kathyirelandDemdaco has entered into a licensing agreement with kathy ireland Worldwide, one of the country’s most powerful brands founded by CEO and Chief Designer, Kathy Ireland. The new line of products, kathy ireland Baby by Demdaco, features luxurious baby blankets and plush toys designed as a result of a collaboration between Demdaco’s Nat & Jules development team and kathy ireland Worldwide.

The kathy ireland Baby collection is a natural extension to the Nat & Jules brand of children’s toys and keepsakes. The collection will be available to preview in Demdaco showrooms this winter in Atlanta, Dallas, and Las Vegas. Kathy Ireland will make a special guest appearance in the Atlanta Demdaco showroom on January 9 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Kidada Jones, Soho Fashions Release My Little Pony Hair Extension, Accessory Collection

mylittleponyKidada Jones and Soho Fashions have teamed up with Hasbro Inc. to launch a collection of My Little Pony hair extensions and accessories sold at Soho Fashions mall kiosks nationwide. Kidada Jones has created a line that captures the magic of the My Little Pony brand. The Kidada for My Little Pony collection features an array of My Little Pony single- and multi-colored hair extensions, cutie marks accented with crystals, iconic character hair charms, and more. Soho Fashions trained stylists are available at each kiosk to “Ponyfy” fans with any purchase of the My Little Pony hair accessories or extensions. Fans can accessorize to look like their favorite pony characters from the hit animated series, produced by Hasbro Studios, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and airing on the Hub Network.

Fans can visit www.mylittleponyparlor.com for kiosk locations.

Universal Studios Brings Monster High: Frights Camera Action to Life

monsterhighWhen Monster High‘s Draculaura is led to believe she’s the rightful heir to the vampire throne, she and her best ghoulfriends are whisked away to Transylvania for a royal coronation to die for. But they soon discover the hunt for the queen is not over yet. The Ghouls must locate an ancient artifact known as the Vampire’s Heart in order to discover the identity of the true Vampire Queen. Mattel‘s new line of Monster High: Frights, Camera Action! dolls features Hauntlywood versions of favorite glam ghouls ready for their Black Carpet debut. The dolls feature “gore-geous” accessories.

The film is an adventure that will lead them from the Tower of Londoom, to a haunted river boat in New Goreleans and finally to the glamorous boo-vie lots of Hauntlywood. Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action! comes to Blu-ray Combo Pack including Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD with UltraViolet on March 25, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.