Toy Industry Foundation Launches TOTY Tribute Book Campaign

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

The Toy Industry Foundation is now accepting ads for the Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY) Tribute Book.  The Tribute Book is the official take-home program for guests at the TOTY Awards Ceremony in February that provides information on top toys, industry icons, and philanthropy. It also features award nominees, Hall of Fame inductees, and past TOTY highlights. To reserve an add in the Tribute Book, visit The 2013 TOTY Tribute Book web page. Reservations, ad artwork, and ad payment donations are due by January 9. For more information, contact Marisa Medina at (646) 454-5581.

The Federal Trade Commission Releases Revised Green Guides

Courtesy Of The Toy Industry Association

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revised its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims to make sure that marketers’ claims about the environmental attributes of their products are truthful. The revisions include updates, modifications, and clarifications to current guides. The FTC also added new sections featuring information on the usage of carbon offsets, green certifications and seals of approval, free-of and non-toxic claims, and renewable energy and materials claims. Other modifications include caution against making broad, unqualified claims about products that are environmentally friendly or eco-friendly.

Fall Toy Preview Sees Increases in Total Attendance and Global Participation

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

More than 700 buyers from around the world attended the Toy Industry Association’s Fall Toy Preview 2012 in Dallas. This is a 3 percent increase in total buyers who attended to look at the new toys and games for Holiday 2013. A 10 percent increase in foreign buyers was also noted.  The top five foreign countries represented by buyers were Canada, the UK, Mexico, Australia, and Hong Kong. Roughly 348 companies exhibited their latest product lines, including Alexander Doll Company, American Plastic Toys, Famosa, Hape, Inc., Melissa and Doug, Playmobil, Ohio Art, Blip Toys, Safari Ltd., and Razor USA. In sponsorship with Techno Source and presented by Carlin West Agency/NFL Rush Zone, the opening night party for the event raised funds for the Toy Industry Foundation and allowed participants to meet with Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware.

Toys “R” Us Launches Family-Friendly Digital Entertainment Service

Toys “R” Us has launched Toys “R” Us Movies, a new family-friendly digital entertainment service with more than 4,000 movies and shows available with no subscription. Available on ToyrusMovies.com, users can purchase, download, and stream content on PC’s, Macs, and Adobe Flash enabled devices.

Toys “R” Us Movies includes content from entertainment companies such as 20th Century Fox, Anderson Digital, Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment, Lionsgate/Summit, Magnolia Pictures, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Phase 4 Films, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Starz Media, The Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Users must be 18 years or older to register. Parents are provided with customizable parental controls to block age-inappropriate content.

The digital entertainment service offers new releases available for purchase nearly two weeks before the DVD release. The downloaded content will be stored in a library for future viewing. Toys “R” Us will launch the digital entertainment service on Blu-ray players, televisions, and tablets. A Toys “R” Us Movies app will also be available for tabeo  free at the tabeo App Store.

The Clifford BE BIG Campaign Announces Winners of Community Contest

Scholastic Media and HandsOn Network announced the winners of the fourth annual Be BIG In Your Community Contest. The contest was part of Clifford The Big Red Dog BE Big! campaign. Participants of all ages were encouraged to submit an idea that demonstrates Clifford’s Big Ideas which include Share, Help Others, Be kind, Be responsible, Play Fair, Be a Good Friend, Believe in Yourself, Have Respect, Work Together, and Be Truthful. The contestants were judged on their ideas based on feasibility, creativity, sustainability and impact.

The grand-prize of $5,000 was awarded to Zachary Certner from Morristown, New Jersey. The 16-year-old came up with the idea to provide special needs children with athletic and social programming. The program, Special Needs Athletic Programs (SNAP), also provides sensitivity training to schools in New Jersey. It also features a sports clinic, programs in art, music, tae kwon do, yoga, golf, and swimming. [Read more...]

Laugh Out Loud With New Hasbro Plush Toy

Hasbro launches a new plush toy, LOL Elmo, featuring three forms of laughing action. Recommended for ages 18 months to 4 years, this toy laughs out loud when kids press his feet and tickle his tummy. The more Elmo is tickled, the more he shakes and rolls, and bursts into laughter. LOL Elmo features eight jokes when his foot is pressed for three seconds. Elmo can also laugh by squeezing Dorothy’s fishbowl squeaker. This toy comes with four AA batteries and is available at major retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

Hasbro Makes Gains On The 2012 Carbon Disclosure Project Index

Hasbro Inc., has achieved a 29 point improvement in its Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reporting score over the past year. Hasbro has invested more than 1.5 million dollars in emission reduction initiatives designed to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions. It also expanded tracking of its greenhouse gas to include emissions by third-party manufacturers and transportation providers.

In 2008, Hasbro set out to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 10 percent by 2012. Habro exceeded the goal with reductions of 20 percent in 2011 by prioritizing energy use, streamlining product distribution models, updating lighting systems, and investing in energy-efficient equipment. Hasbro has also increased its recycled content in which they derived 75 percent of paper and board packaging from recycled material. The company plans to increase its recycled content to 90 percent by 2015. A paper sourcing policy was put in place in 2011 that provided suppliers with guidelines for sustainable paper sourcing. The policy is now part of Hasbro’s quality assurance procedures.

Stern Pinball Introduces New Pinball Entertainment for the Home

Stern Pinball, Inc., under license from Hasbro, introduces Transformers Pin. The pinball entertainment for the home features art, music, speech, and sound effects from the blockbuster, Transformers. Stern engineered the pinball entertainment with flippers, slingshots, pop bumpers, a tempered play field glass, and the traditional pinball plunger. Players can enjoy battles between Optimus Prime and the villain, Megatron, and includes other characters such as Autobot and Decepticon.

The Transformers Pin is available for the U.S. on Amazon.com through December 31. It is also available for purchase in Canada exclusively on The Playdium Store and Cineplex Starburst, Inc., websites.

Sakar, Kidz Bop Partner for New Karaoke Line

Sakar International and Kidz Bop have created a new line of licensed Kidz Bop karaoke gear. Kids can enjoy listening and singing along with the Kidz Bop hits. The Kidz Bop Karaoke Machine is a portable CD/CD+G and iPod/MP3 plug-and-play compatible player. The machine displays the lyrics onto any television screen.

Other items featured in the new line include the Kidz Bop Karaoke Microphone Stand, the MP3 Microphone, and the wireless MP3 Panel Speaker. The Kidz Bop Karaoke Microphone and Stand directly connect to any iPod or MP3 player and feature a built-in flashing light show. The adjustable stand and microphone come with an AUX cable and a user manual. The Kidz Bop MP3 Microphone automatically removes the vocal to any song and is complete with built-in sounds of a roaring crowd. A connecting cable is included with this item. A wireless Kidz Bop MP3 Panel Speaker featuring a flat panel design and high definition sound quality can also be purchased. The karaoke products will be available at Toys “R” Us.

Lego Launches Constructible Board Game Based on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Lego Systems has launched a constructable board game based on the film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Players must build the game and the die, choose a character to search for the ten missing Dwarves, and help Bilbo Baggins on his trek. Players can choose from four micro figure characters, Gandalf, Dwalin, Kili, or Fili. The constructable board game is recommended for children ages 7 and up and is available at most retail, discount merchandise, and specialty stores nationwide.

Starting on October 8, Lego will host The Hobbit Roll to Win Giveaway on Lego’s Facebook page. Fans can roll a virtual dice for a chance to win different prizes. The grand prize includes the new board game, a Lego Games game play hosting kit, construction sets, and two movie tickets. The grand prizewinner will be announced on December 14 in conjunction with the film release.