There’s Still Time to Participate in Adora Dolls’ Designed by Kids for Kids Contest

AdoraDesignedbyKidsforKidsAdora’s new campaign, Designed by Kids for Kids, is a program that the makers of Adora developed from the belief that kids are creative, intelligent, and full of bright ideas. The kids will work with the Adora design team to create an outfit for the 18-inch Adora Friends dolls.

Young designers can sign up by emailing the Adora Dolls Design Committee at designedbykidsforkids@adoradolls.com, including their name, contact email, age, description of design (200 words or less), inspiration of design (200 words or less), six photos of the design concept or idea, and favorite charity for donation. The submission deadline is March 31.

The top 10 entries will be selected by the Adora Dolls Design Committee and posted on the Adora Dolls Facebook page for voting. Voting will take place from April 1 to 30. The design with the most likes will be produced in the 2015 Adora Doll collection, and a donation will be made in the winning entry to the charity of their choice.

Parental permission is required. Only one submission will be accepted per young designer, so what is submitted must be original and not a violation of any copyright law. The contest is open to legal residents of the U.S. who are between the ages of 6 and 13 at the date of entry, with complete entry permission and assistance of legal parent or guardian who are at least 18 years old as of the date of entry.

Hasbro Employees Worldwide Make the Holidays Brighter for Children in Need

HasbroHasbro Inc. helped spread joy to thousands of underserved children in 35 countries through its first Global Day of Joy. The initiative empowered Hasbro’s 5,000 employees from its global headquarters in Rhode Island to its offices across Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific to become holiday elves and to be a part of community service projects designed to bring joy over the holidays to children in need. Team Hasbro employees volunteered with more than 100 charitable organizations worldwide.

Examples of the different types of service projects that took place on Hasbro’s Global Day of Joy included a special celebration for children in Colombia who have received life changing cleft palate procedures from Operation Smile, featuring a contest that teamed Hasbro employees with the children to “create” their greatest smile using Play-Doh; working with SOS Children’s Villages in five countries to transform outdated play areas, host special Game Day events, and deliver toys and games to the orphaned children who live there, including those in Russia, Peru, and Austria; assembly and packaging of more than 136,000 meals that were delivered to 25 food pantries and schools across Rhode Island in partnership with Outreach Inc., a U.S.-based hunger relief organization; and the delivery of tens of thousands of toys and games to charitable organizations across the globe.

During the 2013 holiday season alone, Hasbro expects to donate more than $3 million worth of toys and games to children and approximately $15 million in total philanthropic support worldwide.

Diamond Select Toys Releases New Marvel Minimates

MarvelMinimates

The newest set of Marvel Minimates, from Diamond Select Toys, has arrived in comic book stores all the way from the Age of Ultron. This set of 2-inch mini-figures also comes packaged with A.O.U. versions of Iron Man and Nick Fury, as well as the first Minimate of Neil Gaiman’s supernatural comic character Angela.

Each Minimate mini-figure has at least 14 points of articulation, and includes a variety of interchangeable parts and accessories. Angela comes with a sword and scabbard, Iron Man has a removable helmet and boot jets, Nick Fury has a rifle and jet pack, and Ultron sports six fully poseable arms.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products Unveils Worldwide Licensing Program for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

TheHobbit

Warner Bros. Consumer Products has teamed up with their global licensees to create an array of offerings inspired by the second film of The Hobbit Trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM). Global licensees include partners across multiple categories, including toys, apparel, and publishing.

Co-master toy licensees The Bridge Direct and Vivid Group will offer an assortment of detailed action figures, collector’s figures, and role play accessories that bring the films’ characters and epic quests to life. Also supporting the film are Lego with adventure-filled building sets, physical effects house Weta Workshop with replicas based off of those Weta created for the film, The Noble Collection with high-end collectibles, Ravensburger with puzzles, HarperCollins Publishers with detailed companion books, Bioworld with apparel for all ages, and Rubies Costume Co with costumes, accessories and dress-up clothes, among others. Products inspired by the film will be available at retailers worldwide, with select offerings also available at HobbitShop.com.

GameStop Survey of Shoppers Reveals Top Priority Gifts

Gamestop

GameStop and research partner Brierley+Partners asked 500 U.S. gift givers what was at the top of their purchase lists this holiday season. The results revealed that 42 percent of shoppers surveyed plan on purchasing video game related items for their children this holiday—including video games, consoles, and accessories.

Gift givers are not only hot on gaming presents this year, but they are also keen on ways to save more money before even making it up to the cash register. Eighty-four percent of shoppers are aware of store and website trade-in programs, and nearly 20 percent planning to use them to help defer gift costs. From old video games and consoles, to smartphones, tablets, and other electronics sitting in drawers and on shelves, GameStop offers instant store credit or cash on a vast range of products.

Additional interesting findings from GameStop’s holiday shopper-centric survey include:

  • Eighty-two percent of shoppers expect to turn to store employees when making purchasing decisions this holiday season.
  • Among shoppers who are planning on purchasing a new gaming console for the holidays, 61 percent expect their children to utilize the system the most.
  • Roughly 30 percent of shoppers expect the entire family to use the new console.
  • When making decisions on which next-generation console and games to buy, shoppers are listening to specific requests from the people they are buying for, with 84 percent taking requests for consoles, and 86 percent taking requests for specific video games.

Mattel’s Fourth Annual 12 Days of Play Program Impacts More Than 100,000 Children

MattelChildrenFoundationMattel has started its fourth annual global Mattel 12 Days of Play program, a series of holiday-themed philanthropic events that will give the gift of play to more than 100,000 children in more than 30 countries. Mattel 12 Days of Play brings Mattel employees together to impact the lives of children at underserved schools, hospitals, food banks, orphanages, and other community organizations around the world with a variety of play, toys, and fun activities.

In the Los Angeles area alone, more than 2,000 volunteers are joining children at inner-city elementary schools and the Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. Working with its signature partner Playworks, as well as LA’s Best and other local organizations, Mattel will create a total of eight Winter Wonderlands. The play areas have approximately 400 tons of snow combined, where an estimate of 5,000 kids ages 6 to 11 can play.

These events feature real falling snow and activities such as sledding, ice skating, racing Hot Wheels cars down a 40-foot track, photo opportunities with real-life Barbie, a chance to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and plenty of toys. On December 5, Mattel’s global headquarters in El Segundo, Calif. was covered in more than 100 tons of snow and real flakes fell from the sky. Kids were also able to sled down three tracks and drive Power Wheels through an obstacle course. [Read more...]

Galt Toys Launches Exclusive Toy Collection in the U.S.

GaltToys

Galt Toys, producer of quality developmental toys for children, has debuted in North America just in time for the holiday season. With a history spanning more than 175 years, Galt Toys hopes to replicate their success overseas by launching their collection of developmental toys for baby’s first year and beyond.

This collection was developed with parenting guru Dr. Miriam Stoppard and focuses on the educational developmental of babies and toddlers. The new Dr. Miriam @ Galt collection of 21 wooden, plastic, and soft toys is designed to encourage learning through play with each toy. The line includes a jigsaw puzzle, a rattle, a baby walker, an activity centre, and a shape sorter.

The collection of toys is designed to help with key child development milestones, such as manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, speech, feelings and emotions, memory, visual acuity, and conceptual thinking. Dr. Stoppard has also written a unique play guide for each toy, which gives tips on how to play with the toy in the most beneficial way while having fun.

The Bandai Foundation Donates More Than $400,000 to Benefit Children Nationwide

BandaFoundation

The Bandai Foundation, a non-profit organization created by Bandai America Inc., has donated more than $400,000 in grants to 40 national and regional organizations dedicated to helping children throughout the U.S. Since inception in 1995, The Bandai Foundation has given more than $6 million to non-profits benefitting needy children.

The Bandai Foundation granted more than$400,000 to 40 national and regional organizations at its annual Time For Giving celebration. All of the 2013 grantees attended the celebration at the Bandai America headquarters earlier this month.

Each year, The Bandai Foundation accepts grant applications from qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that support children. This year, The Bandai Foundation focused its efforts on a hunger campaign dedicated to fighting hunger for children and their families. Special consideration was given to grant applications that share The Bandai Foundation’s 2013 mission. [Read more...]

Cyber Monday Online Shopping Extends Four Days After the Big Day

More than 130 million Americans participated in Cyber Monday this year. Cyber Monday sales reached a record $2 billion, a 20 percent increase since last year. Although Cyber Monday focuses on one day, the other four days this week continue to be peak online shopping days. Check out the infographic below, presented by Blue Fountain Media, for more information. [Read more...]

Spielwarenmesse’s TrendGallery Presents Four Trends for 2014

At Spielwarenmesse 2014 the new TrendGallery will debut upcoming trends and product novelties in Hall 3A. Product displays are given a platform next to presentations and guided tours. From Wednesday to Sunday during the Toy Fair, the trend experts Reyne Rice (U.S.) and Dr. Maria Costa (Spain) will detail the individual trend segments and introduce new products. Exhibitors will also be presenting campaigns live.

For an overview of the global toy trends, Spielwarenmesse eG has created an international TrendCommittee. These trends scouts report on the latest trends from the industry from all around the world. As a preview on Spielwarenmesse 2014, the international TrendCommittee has already spotted four trends:

  •  Fit4Life: Toys that Promote Life Skills: Through practical methods such as gardening, sewing, handicrafts, cooking and pretending to be doctors, these toys impart important skills and prepare children for life.
  • Retromania: Retro Toys and Retro Licences: Toys and heroes that grown-ups know from their own childhood are experiencing a revival. The new retro toys are often equipped with plenty of smart features.
  • Mini is King: Mini Toy Versions: This development presents particular challenges in respect of products, and games in particular. More often than not, they have to be scaled down to accommodate a growing demand for mobility and transportability
  • TechToys: Technology Teams up with Tradition: Traditional games and digital domains are producing game combinations which appeal to the young and old.