China Toy Fair


Marvel Launches Collection Inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy

Sept5GuardiansMarvel Entertainment, in conjunction with Disney Consumer Products, has unveiled a product collection to celebrate the new film, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Licensees for the products include Hasbro, Lego, Disguise, Hot Wheels, Her Universe, Café Press, Mad Engine, Just Play, KidDesigns, Rubie’s, C-Life, Jay Franco, and the Disney Store. Products in the line include action figures, plush, play sets, role play, costumes, and ’80s nostalgia-inspired lifestyle products.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy products are available now at national retailers, specialty stores, Marvel.com, Disney store locations nationwide, and DisneyStore.com. The movie opens in theaters on August 1.

NRF Revises Annual Economic Forecast to Expect Stronger Second Half of Year

The National Retail Federation has lowered its retail sales forecast for the rest of the year. Originally, slow growth was recorded during the first half of the year, but growth is expected to be significantly faster over the next five months. NRF forecasted in January that retail sales would grow 4.1 percent this year over 2013, but has since revised that number to 3.6 percent.

NRF calculated that sales grew 2.9 percent during the first half of the year and are expected to grow at least 3.9 percent during the second half. The numbers include general retail sales and non-store sales, and exclude automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants. This winter’s severe weather contributed to the slow growth during the first quarter, but a second look at the forecast is positive, expecting growth to increase, manufacturing to expand, and the employment rate to remain its strongest since 2005.

Smart Wearable Toy Maker Linkitz Wins 2014 N100 Startup Competition

Linkitz_Rendered_Image_2Linkitz has won the 2014 N100 Startup Competition in Ontario, Canada. The company aims to close the technology gender gap, bring manufacturing back to North America, and shift capital investments to hardware.

According to Andrew Macrae, CTO of Linkitz, the company makes smart and modular wearable toys, which blink, buzz, and help kids learn programming. The toy is designed to be social and a fashion item to motivate kids to learn more about technology. With the $100,000 prize money from N100, Linkitz will finalize, test, and market the product.

Pound Puppies to Come Back for the Holidays

The popular 1980s toy line, Pound Puppies, is making a comeback in time for the holiday season, courtesy of Funrise Toy Corp. The line is a collection of plush puppies that come complete with their own breed specific fun fact card and heart shaped dog tag. Kids can write their puppy’s name on he tag and register it online to receive a printable adoption certificate.

Kids can choose from a beagle, labrador, bulldog, or poodle that come in 12-inch plush, 6-inch plush, and a 3.5-inch plush keychain.

Activision to Bring Eon’s Elite Toy Line to Skylanders This Fall

STT_PremiumEdition_PackshotActivision Publishing will bring Eon’s Elite, a new set of premium toys, to Skylanders fans worldwide this fall. The limited edition Eon’s Elite will introduce eight repowered collectible versions of fan-favorite Skylanders characters that started it all, beginning with Spyro and Chop Chop.

These heroes hail from the original Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and feature a never-before-seen decoration with a distinct, metallic finish and golden base. Each of the special edition toys will be offered in premium foil packaging and features a display case with a 3-D lenticular background. Also, Eon’s Elite characters will be up to three times as powerful over other characters, which represents the biggest in-game boosts ever incorporated into a Skylanders toy to date.

Eon’s Elite characters will be available in limited quantities at GameStop and EB Games in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, and select retailers in Europe this fall while supplies last.

Faber-Castell Launches Terracycle Project

Faber-Castell Premium Children’s Art Products has partnered with Terracycle to offer recycling of plastic marker barrels. Teachers and students can place finished markers into a collection box, which will be sent to a UPS collection facility when full. Terracycle will then sort, store, and recycle the plastic marker barrels.

Teachers can sign up here to be part of the Terracycle Project.

PlayAbility Toys Provides Kids a Special Kind of Play

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Adam Small, CEO of Playability Toys

Play is one of the essential foundations of development in all children. With toys, kids learn how to socially interact, develop emotional intelligence, define motor skills, increase physical awareness, and support skills learned in the classroom. For kids with special needs, the challenges they face may discourage or avert them from having fun while playing with traditional toys. PlayAbility Toys, a specialty manufacturer and retailer, designs and produces products for children in the special needs community to get rid of that problem. Twelve years later, the company’s mission still holds strong, and even consumers without special needs are interested in what PlayAbility has to offer.

According to Adam Small, CEO of PlayAbility Toys, there is a lot of evidence about sensory toys that engage sight, sound, and touch at a young age help with cognitive development. [Read more...]

Stitch and Tinker Bell Join Disney Infinity 2.0

TinkstitchStitch and Tinker Bell will join all of the characters from Disney Infinity and Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes in Toy Box 2.0 this fall. The characters were two of the most requested characters by the Disney Infinity fan community and will deliver their unique brand of magical, mischievous fun to the game.

Stitch, the lovable “Experiment 626″ from Lilo & Stitch will have his trusty cosmic blaster and the ability to super jump to galactic new heights, while Tinker Bell, one of Disney‘s most iconic characters, will join the Disney Infinity world with her magical healing Pixie Dust and the ability to glide to the stratosphere for fast-flying action.

Moose Toys to Launch Mutant Mania Line

MutantMoose Toys will launch its latest collectible toy line this fall. Mutant Mania is a collection of over 120 mix and match wrestlers that feature interchangeable heads, torsos, and legs, giving kids limitless options to build their own mutated wrestlers. Kids can also put them to the ultimate battle in the Mutant Mania Rampage Arena.

Barnes & Noble Celebrates Pop Culture in Stores This Summer

Barnes & Noble will bring pop culture favorite books, comics, superheroes, and television shows to life in stores nationwide from July 18 through August 10. The Get Pop Cultured with Barnes & Noble series of themed events will feature panel discussions, contests, exclusive content, giveaways and prizes, sneak peeks, activities, and more featuring popular characters, DVDs, artists, illustrators, and pop culture icons.

The campaign will highlight the influence that books, graphic novels, movies, TV shows, music, toys, games, and collectibles have on culture. Get Pop Cultured with Barnes & Noble will kick off with a preview weekend and costume contest from July 18 to 20. All Barnes & Noble stores will have limited quantities of free, never-before-seen samplers of upcoming releases, posters, and digital downloads during Preview Weekend. Other events include Batman Day on July 23, where all Barnes & Noble stores nationwide will sell exclusive merchandise; the DC Comics Spectacular from July 23 to July 27, which will offer fans a chance to celebrate DC Comics with activities, special giveaways, and a limited time offer on graphic novels; a sing-along and story time event, Frozen Friday: Cool Off with Olaf! on August 1; Marvel Day on August 2, which will feature Marvel Comics-themed activities, giveaways, and product offerings; and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Jr. Ninja Training Academy Event, which will include activities, crafts, and a Ninja training event.

There will also be special guests such as Grumpy Cat, Christopher Paolini, and various authors.