China Toy Fair


K’NEX Launches K’NEXpert Search Competition

K’NEX Brands recently launched the K’NEXpert search, asking children to create a creative and original model using K’NEX parts. A winner from each age group (5-6, 7-8, and 9-12)  will receive a $10,000 savings bond for college. The three winners will also receive a trip to the K’NEX headquarters, near Philadelphia, Pa., for the K’NEXpert Awards Ceremony, and $250 worth of K’NEX building sets.

Seven finalists will receive a $1,000 savings bond,  $250 of K’NEX building sets, and their own photo gallery page on knex.com. All semi-finalists and finalists will receive discounts on online purchases for a year, K’NEX gear and a K’NEX birthday gift.

The contest will run from now through September 10 with winners announced in October. Children can enter by printing out the entry form from the K’NEX website and mailing it in. Submissions must include a photo of the creation and a one-minute video or one-page summary describing how the child came up with the idea, how long the design took to build, and how many K’NEX pieces were used. The K’NEXpert Search is open to U.S. and Canadian residents, and there is no purchase necessary.

Sesame Street to Introduce Three Shows at MIPCOM

The producers of Sesame Street will be introducing three new shows that are currently in development at MIPCOM, to be held in Cannes, France October 4-8.

Super Grover 2.0 features Sesame Street character Grover modeling scientific processes as he observes, formulates questions, and investigates to solve problems across the world. The show will also be featured as a segment on Sesame Street.

Count TV features Count von Count introducing viewers to the number of the day and explaining what each number represents. Each episode finishes with a Bert and Ernie tap dance routine about the number of the day

Goodnight, Elmo features Elmo and his dad in their bedroom routine as they make up their own bedtime stories.

Activision, Nickelodeon to Release New iCarly Video Game

This fall, Activision Publishing, Inc. and Nickelodeon will release a second game based on the Nickelodeon television series iCarly. iCarly 2: iJoin the Click, which will be available for the Wii and Nintendo DS, puts players in the role of a new student at Ridgeway High. Players interact with characters from the show, create new webisodes, and compete in challenges and mini games while they explore locations featured in the show.

The game will be available internationally this fall.

International Productions of Sesame Street Available Online

Amazon Video On Demand is offering exclusive access to free episodes of international co-productions of Sesame Street.

Programs that will be available include Takalani Sesame from South Africa, which features the first HIV-positive Muppet to help de-stigmatize HIV in an age appropriate way;  Sesame Tree from Northern Ireland, which encourages children to explore and appreciate the world around them; Galli Galli Sim Sim from India, which celebrates cultural heritage; and Alam Sim Sim from Egypt, which promotes self-esteem in young girls. Programs from Bangladesh, Brazil, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Palestine, and Russia will also be available.

Simon & Schuster Develop Interactive Reading App for Children

Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing has announced a new multimedia, interactive reading experience, the U-Ventures: Return to the Cave of Time application available on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad . The company worked with software developer Expanded Books/Expanded Apps and Edward Packard, creator of the Choose Your Own Adventure series, to create the multimedia version of the book, complete with sounds, light, and other special effects.

The application can be purchased on iTunes for $3.99. A second story, U-Ventures: the Black Hole, will be released later in the summer, and U-Ventures: the Forbidden Castle will be released in the fall.

Nickelodeon Gives Greenlight for The Legend of Korra Series

Nickelodeon has given the go-ahead to develop The Legend of Korra, a new series from the creators of the television series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The series, which will continue the Avatar animated franchise, will premiere on Nickelodeon in 2011.

The Legend of Korra takes place 70 years after the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and follows the adventures of Korra, a passionate, rebellious, and fearless teenage girl from the Southern Water Tribe. With three of the four elements under her belt (Earth, Water, and Fire), Korra seeks to master the final element, Air.

The new series will be produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif., and is co-executive produced by Joaquim Dos Santos.

Converse Adds Dr. Seuss Collection to Chuck Taylor All Stars Line

Converse has released a new Dr. Seuss collection for the Chuck Taylor All Stars Collection, featuring images and designs from Dr. Seuss’ most popular stories. The shoe collection includes both high-top and low-top styles.

The line can be seen here.

Max and Ruby Gets Theatrical Adaptation

Koba Entertainment has added Max and Ruby: Bunny Party, a musical adaptation of  Nickelodeon’s Max and Ruby series, to its family of touring theatrical productions. The 90-minute theatrical event is currently in production and is backed by a creative team that includes Max and Ruby book series creator Rosemary Wells as the script consultant and Norman Foote as the music and lyrics writer. The show will be directed and conceived by Patti Caplette.

The theatrical tour will begin in western Canada this fall and will continue throughout Canada and the United States into 2011. Koba Entertainment will hold exclusive theatrical rights for Max and Ruby in North America.

Stan Lee Announces New Comic Book Label

A Squared (A2) Entertainment, Archie Comics. and Stan Lee (founder, chairman, and chief creative officer of POW! Entertainment) announced at Comic-Con a new comic book label, Stan Lee Comics.

Stan Lee Comics, based on new and original creations from Lee, will be published across both print and digital formats. Stan Lee Comics will also produce related animated and live action entertainment, including webisodes and games. The new creations by Lee will be licensed and merchandised globally, in categories such as toys, video games, publishing, and apparel.

This year, Stan Lee Comics introduces three new superhero franchises including the world’s first reality comic book. Stan Lee makes his debut as a featured character in Stan Lee and the Super Seven when he befriends seven aliens who find themselves stranded after their spaceship crashes. The second franchise, Airwalker, was teased in last week’s episode of Entourage, which airs on HBO. The third franchise of Stan Lee Comics will be announced in October.

A2 will manage animated and live programming, as well as global licensing and merchandising. Archie Comics will be responsible for the publication of the comics, in both print and digital formats. Lee will be involved with all of the creations for Stan Lee Comics.

Discovery Bay to Launch Oxford Game Collection at Barnes & Noble

Stone America Licensing has announced the launch of Discovery Bay Games’ Oxford Game Collection at Barnes & Noble for spring 2011. The line will showcase the history of the University of Oxford in traditional games, including chess and checkers sets with gargoyle components, traditional cribbage, liar’s dice, dominoes, card sets, an authentic trivia game, and both jigsaw and pop-out puzzles.

Following the launch at Barnes & Noble, the products will be available at other retailers, including Borders, K-Mart, Nordstrom, Toys “R” Us, and specialty toy retailers. Additionally, they will be available online at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Target.com, and Toysrus.com.