Reed Pop Launches Online Store with Star Wars Merchandise

ReedPop August 13ReedPOP, organizer of pop culture conventions including New York Comic ConStar Wars Celebration, and C2E2, has unveiled ReedPOP Supply Co.’s online store that sells ReedPOP convention exclusives and original licensed merchandise. The ReedPOP Supply Co. launched on July 26, simultaneously with this year’s Star Wars Celebration Europe, and it currently stocks a selection of original, official Star Wars Celebration goods available nowhere else. New York Comic Con, C2E2, and other ReedPOP products will be added over the coming weeks.

The ReedPOP Supply Co. presently houses more than 20 Star Wars Celebration limited-edition items, all unique, online variants of exclusives offered at this year’s Star Wars Celebration as well as at previous years’ Star Wars conventions. Exclusives include the Hoth Blue Milk Brewing Co. Glass (from Celebration V), the ABC’s of Star Wars Woven Blanket (from Celebration VI), and the world exclusive Star Wars Rebels Logo T-shirt—the logo was revealed at this year’s Star Wars Celebration Europe.

All of the ReedPOP Supply Co.’s Star Wars Celebration limited-edition items are available to ship around the world, but they are available for a limited time through midnight August 22.

The Jim Henson Co. Debuts New Preschool Property

Jim-Hensons-Chatter-Zoo-300x137The Jim Henson Co. is launching Jim Henson’s Chatter Zoo, its first preschool property to be released “digital first” for mobile platforms. The new app is a collaboration with Mindshapes, the creator of mobile learning applications for kids. Chatter Zoo aims to teach early language acquisition as young preschoolers interact with four baby animals.  

Chatter Zoo, which was created by Alex Rockwell (Pajanimals, Bear in the Big Blue House), will premiere as a digital property prior to any other platform, and will be available in iTunes for iPhone and iPad on August 8. The Amazon Kindle Fire launch will follow in September. The Jim Henson Co. is simultaneously developing the property for television and ancillary products.

Mindshapes’ Chatter Zoo appisode includes two “Learn & Play” activities, two interactive stories, animations, and music content. Mindshapes’ Livebook format allows users to interact with the characters through touchscreen interactions. Users will experience four different activities in the Chatter Zoo house: Playtime, Mealtime, Bathtime, and Bedtime, all relatively time-appropriate (“day” or “night”). The app also features adaptive experiences like cause and effect, care giving, and responsibility, all taught by the Chatter Zoo characters, demonstrating positive social and intrapersonal values.

Tickety Toc to Debut on DVD This September

Chime Time 3D DVD Cover Art - FinalTickety Toc, the new Nick Jr. series from Zodiak Rights, arrives on DVD for the first time from Anchor Bay Entertainment. Chime Time Adventures is the debut Tickety Toc title, and will be available nationwide this September in time for the back-to-school season.

Tickety Toc follows the everyday adventures of 6-year-old twins, Tommy and Tallulah, as they work to “chime the time” and keep everything running smoothly in Tickety Town. Traveling through the Tickety Toc clock, where Tommy and Tallulah live, audiences enter a CGI world of eclectic characters and tag along on escapades filled with surprises. Tommy and Tallulah’s strong “can do” spirit often produces an unanticipated outcome, but their individual approach to sticky situations and joint resourcefulness always shine through and saves the day.  Through the twins’ madcap adventures, Tickety Toc explores teamwork, social responsibility, and problem solving—important concepts for preschoolers as they learn and grow.

The first-ever six episode collection brings viewers along as the twins and their friends—Pufferty, McCoggins, Tooteroo, Madame Au Lait, Battersby, Chikidee, and Hopparoo—embark on wild storybook shenanigans and hijinks throughout Tickety Town. In Chime Time Adventures, the Tick Tocketeers attempt daring circus acts, wow a crowd with amazing magic tricks, play a giant game of Tickety-Tag and delight in a messy photo day. The premiere title features episodes, “Story Time,” “Painting Time,” “Show Time,” “Bath Time,” “Photo Time”, and “Play Time.”  

Adora BathTime Babies Make a Splash

BathTime sock monkeyAdora BathTime Babies are the perfect doll for the bath, pool, or any water fun. Each BathTime baby comes with its own washcloth and removable animal themed bath robe that shows the swimsuit printed body when it’s taken off. From their tiny little noses to their belly buttons, they are a blend of sweetness and love for infants on up. Their exclusive “QuikDri” body will dry in no time and will be ready for play again. New to the BathTime Babies line is the Sock Monkey. The Adora BathTime babies are machine washable, have open and close eyes, and are handmade. The new sock monkey baby can now be found in Adora’s fall catalog.

 

COMMENTARY: PBS Kids Has Still Got it!

pbskidsIt’s Friday afternoon and like all Fridays this summer, I’m struggling to find something interesting to watch on TV. There’s only so many re-runs one can watch without actually wishing that school was back in session. In between channel surfing and lamenting on days spent in the classroom furiously copying down chemistry notes, I stumble upon a channel I hadn’t bothered paying any mind to in some years.

Somewhere along middle school and now, I’d decided there were better things to watch in the vast pool of cable channels than enjoying some good old educational shows on PBS. Don’t get me wrong, PBS has produced some stellar television like Masterpiece Theatre since its launch. I adored Masterpiece and still do (Downton Abbey anyone?), but anything on the network regarding the PBS Kids block had lost its appeal to me as soon as I’d discovered Lizzie Mcguire and Even Stevens on the Disney Channel. Sitting in despair however, I realized I had nothing better to watch, so I resolutely dropped the remote and left the channel on PBS.

Arthur                                                   

Abby August 8The first show that caught my eye was Arthur, and I was surprised it stood the test of time. As that all too catchy theme song came on (“Every day when you’re walking down the street…”), I quickly remembered why it had been one of my favorite shows. Arthur is based on the book series by Marc Brown, and follows an eight-year old aardvark and his friends and family as they intermingle with each other and deal with different experiences and problems. Yes, Arthur is an aardvark, but he’s not your archetypal aardvark. For one he doesn’t go around eating ants, and is anthropomorphic meaning he has human attributes such as wearing his trademark jeans and yellow sweater and eating sandwiches and ice cream. [Read more...]

Kidz Bop Kids to Perform at Venues in New York and New Jersey

image-3The Kidz Bop kids will be performing at various venues in New York and New Jersey from August 8 to 11. The kids performed at the Pre-Game show at the New York Mets game on August 8 at Citi Field. One of the members, Eva, will also be singing the National Anthem. The kids will then perform at Rye Playland on August 10, and will play at the Encore Event Center on August 11.

Disney Launches Back-to-School and Party Goods Ranges

billboard_cars

Disney Consumer Products has launched range of back-to-school items inspired by Disney, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Marvel characters. The range includes apparel, backpacks, school supplies, home décor, books, and digital apps. The items from the back-to-school collection are available at retailers including Target, Walmart, Kmart, jcpenney, Forever 21, Hot Topic, Nordstrom, and Claire’s as well as the Disney Store, disneystore.com, and the iTunes store.

Disney has also partnered with Hallmark for the Hallmark Dream Party products line. The line features Disney, Pixar, and Marvel characters and goes beyond plates and napkins to include party favors, décor, activities, and accessories. Some of the themes in the line are Disney Princess: The Royal Event of the Year, Disney-Pixar Cars: The Birthday Grand Prix, and Spider-Man: Spider Heroes Unite. The party collection can be found at Walmart and other party specialty stores.

LeapFrog Releases New Children’s Learning Tablet

LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES LOGOLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. has announced that LeapPad Ultra, the learning tablet for kids, is available for sale online and at major retail locations across the U.S. The new LeapPad Ultra is kid-tough and works with LeapFrog’s library of more than 800 educational games, creativity apps, eBooks, videos, music, and more.

LeapPad Ultra features a kid-safe web browser LeapSearch, created in partnership with Zui, a leading children’s browser developer. The 7-inch high-resolution screen is designed to help children learn to write using a stylus while supporting interactive touch experiences. Additionally, LeapPad Ultra features a new look, a rechargeable battery, and front and back cameras and video recorders, plus 8 GB of storage for photos, apps, videos, and more.

Leappad-ultra-tablet-childrenLeapFrog’s robust learning library is a combination of LeapFrog’s educational entertainment and engaging content and is built against a proprietary curriculum of 2,600 skills across math, reading, science, creativity, and more. Children can join Super Grover 2.0 on three super missions to help Elmo and Abby in Sesame Street: Solve It with Elmo, Abby & Super Grover 2.0!, a game designed to introduce preschoolers to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and encourage investigation, observation and experimentation. For budding mathematicians, Sanrio’s Hello Kitty Sweet Little Shops brings foundational skills with equally important but less familiar skills such as estimation and reading tables, charts, and graphs to life as children meet new friends and use math to serve customers, fill orders, sort groceries, pack up goodies, and more.

The Toys Industry Foundation Brings Toys to Kids in Need

toyindustryThe Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and its Toy Bank distributed more than 500,000 new toys and games to children in need in all 50 states on a single day on August 1. Dubbed Toys Across America, this special day of toys, play, and fun celebrated the 10th anniversary of The Toy Bank, a program that collects new toys from donor toy companies and delivers them through a network of charities serving kids and families.

An interactive map on the Toys Across America website—along with photos, videos, and live updates on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube—showed the progress as toys were distributed in each state and Washington, D.C. The webpage included details about the charities served (name, city, and state), participating toy companies, and special festive events in Braddock, Penn., Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York City.

In the last decade, The Toy Bank has delivered more than 10 million toys valued at more than $85 million to children who are sick, impoverished, in the foster care system, living through natural disasters, enduring life on a military base, or otherwise in need.

The Toy Bank is the signature program of TIF, the philanthropic organization representing the North American toy industry. Throughout the year, toy companies and retailers donate new toys to the program. The Toy Bank’s logistics partner, Kids in Distressed Situations, then distributes the toys through its nationwide network of child-focused charities. Three dozen toy donor companies joined with sponsors Funrise and Bandai America Inc. to make Toys Across America possible.

DreamWorks Teams Up with Hasbro for Two Franchises

dreamworks_animation_logo_1Hasbro, Inc. and DreamWorks Animation have entered into an agreement to create toys and games inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations and Trolls properties. Through this deal, Hasbro will unveil franchise-inspired product lines across major toy categories, with theatrical releases supporting B.O.O. and Trolls arriving in theaters in 2015 and 2016, respectively.Hasbro_logo_new 3.20.28 PM

B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations is the classified agency you’ve never heard of and certainly never seen. Dedicated to protecting the Universe from evil hauntings, the agents of B.O.O. have a secret weapon: they are ghosts themselves. When B.O.O. faces its biggest threat yet—an uber-villain with a ghastly plan—top agent Jackson Moss (Seth Rogen) and his wacky partner Watts (Melissa McCarthy) team up for the job.

DreamWorks Animation also recently announced the acquisition of the Trolls franchise. The Trolls experienced a resurgence in the 1990s, and in 2003, the Toy Industry Association named Trolls on its list of One Hundred of the Century’s Most Treasured Toys.