Author: Loren Moreno

NPD Group: Parents Demanding Balance in Children’s Play Experiences

The Evolution of Play, the latest report from The NPD Group, examines a variety of factors in a changing environment for play, toy purchasing, and shopping habits. At the top of most people’s minds is the impact electronic devices have had on children’s playtime with traditional play items. NPD noted that almost 40 percent of parents felt their child is spending less time with traditional toys, while slightly more than half (51 percent) said the devices had no impact at all. Not surprisingly, as kids get older, the impact of technology becomes more important in terms of time spent with more traditional playtime items. In fact, younger children who use technology are still more likely to request traditional toys, and their use of devices is perceived to have little effect on playtime with toys. Among the parents who say they spent less money on any type of play item for their kids over the past year, 54 percent cited the economy and less disposable income, compared with only 24 percent who called out a shift to technology. According to the report, heavy spenders on technology products—those spending $200 or more a year—are actually the most engaged traditional toy buyers, and are more likely to shop most toy categories and spend more when they do make a purchase. For example, heavy tech buyers are nearly 40 percent more likely to...

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Disney Rides into Retail with The Lone Ranger Merchandise

Disney Consumer Products has rounded up an assortment of products based on the Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ The Lone Ranger, releasing in theaters today. Designed for Western fans of all ages, the new product line includes apparel, construction sets, detailed action figures, role-play items, designer accessories, and hand-crafted leather goods that capture the action and adventure of the film and its iconic characters, including the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Toy and role-play partners include Lego (construction sets), NECA (7-inch action figures and prop replica Lone Ranger mask), and Disney Store (the Lone Ranger Hat). The Lone Ranger collection of products is available now at Disney Store locations nationwide, as well as boutiques, national retailers, and at...

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SMC Entertainment Group Appointed Licensing Agent for Poppy Cat

SMC Entertainment Group Inc. (SMC) has been appointed the exclusive licensing agent in North America for the TV series Poppy Cat. SMC will launch a licensing and merchandising program based on the colorful Poppy Cat characters, focusing on toys, plush, apparel, accessories, room décor, bedding, games, and more. The program will target girls and boys ages 2 to 5. Poppy Cat is co-produced by Coolabi’s TV production arm, Coolabi Productions, and King Rollo Films, and was commissioned by Nick Jr. in the...

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VTech InnoTab 3 Available for Pre-order

VTech has introduced its latest, lower-priced Learning App Tablet for kids, the InnoTab 3. On the heels of the popular InnoTab 2S, one of the first children’s learning tablets with Wi-Fi, InnoTab 3 delivers a powerful punch, in a compact size and at an affordable price. InnoTab 3 introduces children to a world of age-appropriate educational content on VTech’s comprehensive app store, the Learning Lodge, where they can explore hundreds of games, e-books, videos, and music across the widest variety of curriculums. The new tablet is available for pre-order on www.vtechkids.com, Amazon.com, Target.com, Toysrus.com, and Walmart.com. InnoTab 3 key features include compact and lightweight design with a 4.3-inch touch screen, a new directional pad, and a tilt sensor; 2.0 megapixel, 180 degree rotating camera with more than 55 photo features and special effects; 2 GB onboard memory; 15 on-board apps, and one free download redeemable on the Learning Lodge; built-in microphone and headphone jack add versatility; and pop-up onscreen keyboard and stylus with storage...

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K’nex Announces New Additions to Tinkertoy Building Set Line

K’nex Brands has unveiled four additions to its line of Tinkertoy building sets. Licensed by Hasbro and Playskool, the newly redesigned Tinkertoy pieces snap together and stay together for long-lasting play. The toy is also celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Additions include Tinkertoy: 65 Piece Essentials Building Set and the Tinkertoy 100 Piece Essential Building Set, featuring fan-favorite Tinkertoy parts, including spools, rods, flags, washers, end caps, and more. The Tinkertoy: Super Tink Building Set lets little builders create a skyscraper, fighter jet, getaway car, or imagine his or her own creation. The Tinkertoy: Big Top Set lets kids build a tent, animals, trapeze artists and more to recreate a day at the circus. The Tinkertoy: Pink Building Set lets kids create a castle, flower, cat, and more using the included guide of building ideas or their own ideas. The new Tinkertoy building sets will be available on knex.com and at toy retailers...

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