The Walt Disney Company is realigning two of its divisions, Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive. The new combined segment, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), will be run jointly by Leslie Ferraro, co-chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, and president, Disney Consumer Products; and Jimmy Pitaro, co-chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, and president, Disney Interactive.
Genius Brands International Inc. (GBI) and its wholly owned subsidiary, A Squared Entertainment, have finalized a licensing agreement with License 2 Play for the development of plush toys for From Frank. The announcement was made today by Stone Newman, GBI’s President of Global Consumer Products.
License 2 Play will develop a broad range of plush consumer products based on From Frank images and witticisms. The products will be available for the holiday season through various national stores and online retailers.
Toymail Co., the creator of Mailmen toys and the Toymail app for iOS and Android, has received an investment by Amazon from the Alexa Fund and plans to integrate the Alexa Voice Service into its messaging platform for kids. Toymail will use the investment from the Alexa Fund for product research and to scale its SAS footprint.
On July 1, Build-A-Bear will be moving into a new location in the iconic Empire State Building. The opening comes just a few weeks after the company launched another store inside Toys “R” Us at Times Square.
The new stores represent an effort by Build-A-Bear to provide the most engaging experiences for customers in New York City. The stores feature themed New York merchandise, including NYC T-shirts and hoodies, and numerous sports team outfits, such as the New York Yankees and Mets, Giants and Jets, and more.
The Boys and Girls Club of Madison Square will be on-hand for the ribbon-cutting.
Canal Toys is putting a new spin on selfies with its soon-to-be released selfie kits for tweens, teens, and families. The Selfie Photo Fun kits include a selfie stick, themed photo booth props, and a wireless remote in select sets. The kits transform a typical selfie into a creative photo shoot experience.
The last of Dynacraft’s Experiments in Fun events is scheduled to take place in Portland on Saturday. For one day only, kids are invited to wheel over to Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square to find a biker-themed pop-up juice joint, set inside a fully transformed shipping container complete with a temporary tattoo parlor and a karaoke stage.
On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2576, a bill reforming the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), with a 398-to-1 vote. Among its provisions, H.R. 2576, called the TSCA Modernization Act, requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use a risk-based approach to regulating new and existing chemicals, as well as a weight of evidence approach that uses credible and authoritative scientific data to demonstrate harm before creating new mandates.
So I recently attended the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) Marketplace & Academy, which took place in Charlotte earlier this month. While it wasn’t nearly as overwhelming as its northeastern counterpart, February’s North American International Toy Fair, it was still a great place to spot new developments in toys and games, especially the latter.