Puppy Parlour Is a Dog-Gone-Digital App for Mobile

PuppyParlourAhead of the release of PS Vita Pets for the PlayStation Vita, a new mobile app, Puppy Parlour, lets players run their own puppy-pampering parlor. Each day brings a new dog, and players will be tasked with meeting their specific needs through a range of activities such as taking them for a walk, showering and feeding them, and playing games.

The games include Dream Chase, which is a race to collect golden bones, and Snack Balance, in which players tilt their device to keep the dog steady as it balances a tasty treat on its nose. Completing these games and looking after the dogs earns points that can be used to upgrade the parlor, as well as unlock new items and clothes.

Players can also unlock exclusive costumes that can be transferred over to PS Vita Pets when the full game arrives in June.

Mattel’s First Quarter Results Include Gross Sales Decline for Top Brands

logo_Mattel logoMattel reported 2014 first quarter financial results, which included a decline in worldwide sales for Barbie, but strength in some of the company’s other girls brands.

For the first quarter, worldwide gross sales for Mattel girls and boys brands were $656.9 million, down 5 percent versus the previous year. This included a decline in worldwide gross sales for the Barbie brand of 14 percent. Worldwide gross sales for Mattel’s other girls brands increased 4 percent on the strength of Disney Princess and Ever After High, partially offset by Monster High. [Read more...]

Radio Flyer’s Chicago Headquarters Goes LEED Platinum

Radio Flyer Inc LEED Glass WallsThe Chicago, Ill., headquarters of Radio Flyer Inc. has received platinum certification for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Focused on environmentally sustainable practices, the certification acknowledges key design decisions, including the renovation of existing warehouse space, dedicated on-site recycling areas, and geo-thermal heating and cooling systems.

Radio Flyer renovated 70,000 of its 150,000 square foot space into an open concept area featuring wooden beams, natural lighting, an indoor and outdoor paly lab, eco-friendly parking lot, and landscaped “backyard” complete with native prairie plants. Other “green” solutions include cisterns that retain 10,000 gallons of storm water, which is re-purposed for fertilizer-free irrigation, bike storage and locker room for employees who bike to work, and a preferred parking area for high efficiency, low emission cars.

Strider Bikes Rolls Out Revamped Line of Balance Bikes

StriderBikesStrider Sports Intl. Inc. has unveiled an expanded line of their best-selling 12-inch bikes for 18 month to 5-year-old children. These balance bikes will now be available in three unique models: 12 Classic, which is the skill-building, entry-level model; 12 Sport, which is the feature-rich, mid-level model; and 12 Pro, which is the all-aluminum, high-end model.

The new model names are intended to assist consumers in finding the Strider bike best suited for their children and their budget. All three models feature ultra-light-molded wheels, premium sealed cartridge wheel bearings, flat-free EVA polymer tires, and integrated footrests.

Toys “R” Us Canada Honors Jakks Pacific for Cabbage Patch Kids Launch

JakksJakks Pacific was honored with the 2013 Product Launch of the Year award from Toys “R” Us Canada. Toys “R” Us recognized Jakks Pacific both for its overall business partnership, as well as the exceptional launch of the 30th anniversary of Cabbage Patch Kids last year.

toysrus“We accept this award with gratitude and look forward to continually growing our partnership with Toys “R” Us, as we bring innovative products to all children,” said Steve Morris, senior vice president of Jakks Pacific Canada.

For the anniversary, Jakks Pacific Canada and Toys “R” Us Canada appealed to multiple generations with a program that included media events, exclusive product offerings, and a 30th birthday celebration in select Toys “R” Us stores throughout Canada. The award marks the third consecutive year that Jakks has received an honor by the toy retailer.

Disney Magical World Is a Universe of Fun for 3DS

DisneyMagicalWorldLast Friday, Disney Magical World launched for the Nintendo 3DS system. Players create a personalized avatar and customized dream life, and then embark on a 3D fantasy adventure across a main central plaza, as well as four surrounding worlds inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Aladdin, and Winnie the Pooh.

Along with interacting with iconic Disney characters, players can run a café to earn in-game coins, set off on ghost-hunting quests, and even visit friends’ towns via the StreetPass feature. Developed by Bandai Namco Studio Inc., Disney Magical World offers various opportunities for creativity and customization: With more than 1,000 items, players can hone design skills to create personalized Disney-themed outfits, accessories, and furniture. [Read more...]

Bazooka Candy and R5 Invite Fans to Choose Next Ring Pop Flavor

RingPopBazooka Candy Brands, maker of Ring Pop, has teamed up with rock band R5 for a Facebook flavor contest. R5 has selected three new Ring Pop flavors—cherry limeade, strawberry banana, and grape─and is rallying fans to visit the Ring Pop Facebook page and vote their choice.

This marks the third annual Choose the Next Big Flavor Competition. The contest will run through May 2, and the winning Ring Pop flavor will arrive this fall.

Funko Gives MLB Mascots the Pop! Treatment

Mr.MetThe first live-action mascot, Mr. Met, made his debut with the New York Mets at Shea Stadium back in 1964. In the 50 years since then, Major League Baseball (MLB) mascots have been rooting teams on at venues everywhere.

To commemorate the MLB mascot’s milestone, Funko has given the Pop! treatment to a number of favorites, including Mariner Moose, Mr. Redlegs, and of course, Mr. Met. The new toys will be available in May, in time for the start of baseball season.

ASTRA Welcomes 80 New Manufacturers to Its Marketplace & Academy

astra_logo_homeAs reported by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), more than 80 new toy manufacturers will be showing new products in the exhibit hall at the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Most of these products are not yet available online, which gives specialty retailers the opportunity to offer them in their communities before anyone else.

“Specialty toy retailers need innovative products with high play value that consumers cannot find elsewhere, and ASTRA is the place to discover them,” said Kathleen McHugh, President of ASTRA. “These products help retailers position themselves as a hands-on shopping experience that is more creative and more fun and more interesting than the competition.”

ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy will be held June 8 to 11 in Phoenix, Ariz. Admission to the ASTRA Marketplace exhibit hall is free to specialty toy retailers, with registration through ASTRA’s website.

Jakks Pacific and Nickelodeon Enter into Licensing Agreement for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

NickTMNTJakks Pacific Inc. has entered a licensing agreement with Nickelodeon to manufacture, distribute, and market a line of specialty figures and toys in the U.S. based on the network’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series. The agreement will include Jakks Pacific’s Hero Portal TV video game platform, Plug It In & Play TV Games products, and large-scale figures.

The new line will launch this fall, coinciding with the August 8 release of Paramount Pictures’ feature film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.