Funko Marches Out Pop! Vinyl for Penguins of Madagascar

Funko is rolling out four new characters in their Pop! Vinyl line of figures based on the Penguins of Madagascar movie. Each of the penguins–Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private–will be available for purchase in February.

Penguins of Madagascar is coming to theaters on Thanksgiving, where the troublesome quartet will work undercover to stop the evil Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world.

Toys “R” Us to Celebrate 11 Days of Cyber Savings

toysrus.croppedToys “R” Us will be celebrating 11 days of savings at toysrus.com beginning Wednesday and continuing through December 6, the end of Cyber Week. Online shoppers will find daily deals, enhanced services, and free shipping offers during the period of gift shopping.

Toysrus.com will kick off Black Friday shopping on Wednesday night starting at 10 p.m. The website will also offer customers deals in the season’s most sought-after items throughout Cyber Week, with Cyber Monday sales beginning on Sunday, November 30 at 9 p.m.

In addition to daily deals, a three-day Big Brands sale will take place from December 2 through December 4, featuring brands such as Barbie, Fisher-Price, Frozen, Lego, Skylanders, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more. Also, a two-day event from December 5 through December 6 will provide shoppers with bargains on big gift items like dollhouses and powered ride-ons.

OgoBild + Animate from Ogosport to Debut at FAO Schwarz Brain Store

OgoBild.ResizedThe OgoBild + Animate, a stop-motion animation kit from OgoSport, will make its debut this month as part of a featured installation in the new Marbes’ Brain Store that just opened inside the FAO Schwarz Store in Manhattan. The Brain Store, on the second floor of the store, is located between the Lego and MOMA sections, has glass corner walls, and wide openings with decorative tile to invite customers in.

American Girl Announces Share the Wonder of the Holidays Campaign

Nov24.AmGirlThrough December 18, American Girl will match any doll purchase made online, in-store, or via phone with an 18-inch doll donation, for up to 1,000 dolls a day, as part of its 2014 Share the Wonder of the Holidays campaign. With the pledged donation of nearly $3 million in retail value, the Children’s Hospital Association will distribute the dolls among its 200 member hospitals throughout the U.S.

Fans can also share pictures and videos of their favorite American Girl moments, from unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning, celebrating a birthday, or visiting a store, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #Joy2EveryGirl.

TIA Spotlights Value of Toys and Play in a Child’s Healthy Development in New Campaign

Toy Industry Association InfographicThe Toy Industry Association has launched an industry-wide campaign to stress the important role that toys and play have in the healthy development of children. The Genius of Play campaign includes awareness of facts: for example, pediatricians recommend children spend at least one hour a day engaged in open-ended play, and that children who have access to a variety of toys reach higher levels of intellectual development.

TIA members, industry professionals, academics, and play-focused organizations developed the campaign. The TIA also polled Millennial and Generation X parents about their lifestyles, views on play, spending habits, and purchasing decisions. In its findings, the survey said that 95 percent of parents agree that time spent playing together as a family enhances the child-parent relationship.

Parents, caregivers, teachers, and play professionals are encouraged to visit The Genius of Play website to learn more information about the value of play and share it across social media platforms. Watch the video made for the campaign below, featured on the website, that demonstrated the benefits of play.

Charmazing and Toys “R” Us Team Up for Upcoming Demo Events

A Charmazing display, from the October 19 launch event of Charmazing, at the Toys “R” Us Times Square store.

Charmazing, a brand of charm-bracelet-making kit from Wooky Entertainment, has upcoming events planned that will take place at Toys “R” Us-operated locations. These will be demo events, in which store associates will show off Charmazing kits, as well as hand out Charmazing bracelets while supplies last. The events are scheduled for November 22, and will take place at the FAO Schwarz flagship store at 767 Fifth Avenue, from 1 to 5 p.m.; and at Toys “R” Us stores chainwide.

In addition, on November 23, at Toys “R” Us Times Square from 8 to 10:30 a.m., Toys “R” Us and the Charmazing brand will host the Uniformed Firefighters Association Widow’s and Children’s Holiday Party, benefiting families who have lost a loved one in the line of duty. Activities will include Santa Claus arriving aboard a FDNY fire truck, as well as a marching band performance. In addition, some attendees will have the opportunity to take home charm bracelets.

WIT to Host Networking Breakfast, Sponsor PlayCHIC, and More at ChiTAG

WIT.logoWomen in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT), will be celebrating the power of play at the Chicago Toy & Game Week from November 20 through 23.

WIT is a premier sponsor of PlayCHIC, the industry’s annual play-inspired fashion show. The event pairs couture fashion designers with toy and games brands to create runway looks, and this year’s show will feature a WIT-inspired look.

On November 21, WIT will celebrate the Rising Star Award nomination of organization president and Brandberry Inc. founder, Ashley Mady, at the 7th annual TAGIE Awards. The celebration honors toy and game inventors worldwide, and will be held in the Grand Ballroom at Chicago’s Navy Pier. Mady is nominated for her work with the Wicked Cool Toys brand, Crashlings, which she co-invented.

WIT’s Wake Up With WIT breakfast networking event will be held on November 22. Building product for today’s market, going for a TV licensed property, the power of mentorship, and business empowering girls are some of the topics to be discussed. The breakfast is open to WIT members and non-members, aimed at professional men and women in the toy, games, licensing, and entertainment industries. [Read more...]

VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch Available in Exclusive New Colors

VTech Smart Watch New ColorsThe Kidizoom Smartwatch from VTech is now available in vivid violet and sky blue in limited quantities exclusively on vtechkids.com. The smartwatch also comes in its original colors: blue, pink, green, and white.

The Kidizoom Smartwatch lets kids tell time, take photos, add photo effects, record videos, and play built-in games. The 1.4-inch color touch screen device also has a rechargeable battery, alarm clock, timer, stopwatch, voice recorder, and parental game controls. It also features a durable design to withstand drops and is splash and sweat proof.

Fisher-Price Appoints Vinnie D’Alleva to SVP, Steve LaBella to Licensed Properties

FisherPriceFisher-Price Inc. has appointed Vinnie D’Alleva as senior vice president (SVP) at Fisher-Price Friends. D’Alleva will be responsible for the Thomas & Friends brand, as well as other HIT Entertainment properties such as Bob the Builder. He has more than 25 years of marketing experience, a majority of it spent in the toy and juvenile product space.

In addition, Steve LaBella, who currently seves as senior vice president of Fisher-Price Preschool, will also assume the additional role of being responsible for product development for licensed properties, including Dora and Friends: Into the City! and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

Makies Make U.S. Debut at Chicago Toy & Game Fair

MakieLab makies dollsLondon-based indie toy developer MakieLab is bringing its Makie dolls to its U.S. The dolls will debut at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair from November 22 to 23. Makies, an alternative to mass-produced fashion dolls, are the world’s first safety-certified 3-D printed toy at retail.

No two Makies are alike. With 3-D printing technology, each doll’s hand-crafted face is built individually for its new owner. Makies also emphasize hands-on making and crafting skills, healthy body shape, and expressive individuality.

Customers can build their own Makie at mymakie.com and receive their custom 10-inch doll in two weeks. When building the doll, customers can choose the gender, skin and eye color, hair style, and clothing of the doll. Additional accessories are available for purchase.