Toy Manufacturers Support Scholarship Fund for ASTRA Retailers

logoSeveral toy manufacturers have contributed to a scholarship fund to help American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) retailers facing financial hardship attend ASTRA’s 2017 Marketplace & Academy event in Philadelphia. This event will take place from June 25 through 28.

Those who contribute $1,000 or more to the scholarship fund will be featured in an article of the ASTRA Toy Times Magazine September issue. They will also receive recognition at the annual business meeting in the ASTRA Digest.

Moose Toys Launches Despicable Me Mineez

58203 Mineez Despicable Me Deluxe Character PackMoose Toys launched Despicable Me Mineez at retail, a new line of squishy character collectible figures based on the Illumination Entertainment animated film franchise, Despicable Me.

Fans can collect more than 75 Season 1 figures, available in 3-packs, 6-packs, and blind packs including Ultra Rare and Limited Edition figures. The collectibles are based on characters from the movie such as Gru, Agnes, Margo, Edith, and the Minions, and are available in styles that fans are familiar with, in addition to never-before-seen character themes.

Fat Brain Toys Launches #FatBrainGives to Donate 10,000 Toys

horizontal_logoFat Brain Toys launched its #FatBrainGives initiative today. For every product purchased on Fat Brain Toys’ website throughout May, the company will donate a toy to a child in need. The campaign aims to donate at least 10,000 toys.

Customers can purchase from a collection of more than 2,000 toys from the official website and retail stores. Fat Brain Toys has partnered with charities such as Military Children’s Inc., Foster Family Service, New Alternatives for Children, and Communities in Schools to donate to kids in need.

Fat Brain Toys will also work with charitable organizations Delivering Good and TSL to ensure safe delivery of the toys to the charities listed above.

License-2-Play Debuts Fake News/Real News Card Game

51DAIHr+l6LLicense-2-Play LLC released Fake News/Real News: The Game of Fake News and Alternative Facts. 

This satirical card game challenges up to six players to decipher hundreds of real quotes from the Trump administration and distinguish them from fake quotes. The game includes quotes from Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, and the Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The game was made available for pre-order on Amazon on April 29, the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency. It will be released on July 15 and will be available at other major retailers such as Barnes and Noble and Hudson News.

Hasbro, TOMY Unveil Transformers Masterpiece Movie Series Figure Line

C08930620_630509586127_detail_17-300x295Hasbro and TOMY co-created a Transformers Masterpiece Movie Series, a line of figures based on Michael Bay’s series of Transformers films. The line was unveiled at the Beijing and Guangzhou Midnight Sales Event and commemorates the 10th anniversary of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies.

The first figure for release will be the Optimus Prime MPM-4 Figure, designed after the character’s appearance in the 2007 film, Transformers. It can transform from truck to robot and comes with a variety of battle accessories.

The fifth installment of the franchise, Transformers: The Last Knight, premieres this summer.

Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co. to Offer Custom Surprizamals

teddyThe Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co. is now offering custom Surprizamals through its Custom Plush division. Businesses can now order custom-made Surprizamals.

Surprizamals are stuffed animals that are wrapped in custom labels. Though there are a variety of animals in a given Surprizamal series, the animal itself remains a mystery until opened. [Read more...]

MarcoPolo Learning Secures $8.5 Million in Series A

marcoMarcoPolo Learning raised $8.5 million in Series A funding, with proceeds to be used for expanding the company’s suite of early childhood apps and producing and distributing original animated series in partnership with Boat Rocker Media.

The financing round was led by Boat Rocker Ventures, the studio behind Orphan Black and The Next Step. Other investors include Horizons Ventures from Asia, Seedcamp in Europe, and managing partners of DST Global, as well as from industries such as Diapers.com and Maker Studios.

Mattel, Lappset to Open Mattel Play! Theme Park in the Netherlands

Lappsett-GroupMattel Inc. will open Mattel Play!, an interactive, indoor family entertainment center, in Sevenum, Netherlands set to open this fall. The theme park will feature play zones based on several Mattel characters including Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam, Angelina Balerina and Bob the Builder. [Read more...]

Aqua Dragons Enters Distribution Agreement with Paradigm8697

World Alive entered a distribution agreement with Paradigm8697, which will market and distribute Aqua Dragons in Space and other World Alive products across the U.S.

The deal follows a successful Kickstarter campaign based on Aqua Dragons hatch-and-grow science kits. On April 17, World Alive reached its crowdfunding goal and launched 13.8 million Aqua Dragon kits into space from Aragon, Spain. [Read more...]

American Girl Introduces New Contemporary Character

Z Doll and Book WS-HRAmerican Girl will launch the latest character to join this year’s series of contemporary dolls this week. Z Yang, a Korean-American girl, is the star of American Girl’s web series Z’s Crew, and will be available as an 18-inch doll for the first time. Z (short for Suzie) Yang, is a stop-motion vlogger from Seattle who creates and shares stop motion videos.

The launch will be accompanied with welcome events at American Girl retail locations worldwide on April 28. Another event will take place on May 6 at retail stores in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Dallas, where fans can meet with girls who have gained popularity online through photography and stop motion videos. [Read more...]