The Toy Industry Association (TIA) will kick off its 100th anniversary celebrations on September 17 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Toy Halls of Fame Exhibit at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. The event will honor contributors to the toy industry’s evolution and success, including a number of TIA members.
Daron Worldwide Trading Inc. and Toys and Models Corp., both headquartered in N.J., will combine business activities as of September 1. The two companies are both involved in the manufacture and distribution of model airplanes. As of September 1, their operations will be based out of Daron’s headquarters located in Fairfield, N.J.
Diane Nelson will add the oversight of Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) to her current responsibilities as president, DC Entertainment (DCE), and president and chief content officer, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE). The announcement was made today by Kevin Tsujihara, the chairman and CEO of Warner Bros.
This past week, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), along with Hasbro Inc., announced the pre-sale of Playmation Marvel’s Avengers at select Canadian retailers. A new system of toys and wearables, Playmation Marvel’s Avengers utilizes smart technology to inspire kids to run around and use their imaginations, as they become the heroes or heroines of stories from Marvel’s Avengers.
Hasbro has teamed up with the crowdfunding website Indiegogo to find the next hit face-to-face party game, which the toymaker can help cultivate and bring to market. The toymaker is calling on game designers nationwide to share ideas for a new party game at www.nextgreatgamechallenge.com.
Walmart has released its Chosen by Kids list, which features the top toys of the year as chosen by 1,000 kids. The retailer asked them to choose their favorite toys from among the newest items by Hasbro, Mattel, Spin Master, and Zing. For consumers’ convenience during this upcoming shopping season, the list is organized by gender and age, as well as by the categories Future Foodies, Veterinarians in Training, Dreaming Design Stars, and Adventure-Seekers in the Making.
Today, American Girl is debuting its latest BeForever character, Maryellen Larkin. An 18-inch doll with strawberry-blonde hair and hazel eyes, Maryellen comes with historically accurate 1950s doll outfits, including a poodle skirt and saddle shoes. American Girl is releasing numerous accessories to go with the doll, including a 30-piece diner set, a TV console that works with an iPad, and a jukebox that plays ’50s-style songs and connects to electronic music players.
Dolls are getting more diverse all the time, and that diversity extends beyond ethnicity. Peek online or at your local toy store, and you’ll see that the doll aisle offers a wider variety than ever before, including boy dolls, ones featuring characters with interests in science and computers, and models depicting disabilities. Truly, we are living in a Golden Age of doll play, given how many niches are represented. And that’s leading to something pretty interesting: that the different niches themselves are starting to blur together.
With this month marking the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Toys “R” Us is once again partnering with Save the Children to promote disaster preparedness and offer customers an opportunity to help families across the country in times of crisis. Toys “R” Us stores nationwide are offering an exclusive reusable tote bag featuring a young child’s artwork, from which $1 from the purchase of each bag benefits Save the Children’s Domestic Emergency Fund, which provides a safe environment for children and families when disasters strike.