China Toy Fair


Lego Shows Off New Products at Comic-Con International: San Diego

LEGO_LogoAt Comic-Con International: San Diego this week, Lego Systems Inc. will unveil new products, including two Lego Super Heroes: DC Comics sets scheduled to launch next year, one of which is an 1,800-piece tumbler.

Meanwhile, in anticipation of this December’s theatrical release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Lego Systems will preview one of the new Lego the Hobbit sets slated to arrive in stores this October. The company will also show off an upcoming set based on The Lego Movie, as well as sets based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series and new feature film.

Finally, Lego Systems will unveil the fourth wave of Lego Mixels characters and content, set to launch next year.

CBME China in Shanghai Features More than 2,400 Participating Brands

The 14th Shanghai International Children Baby Maternity Industry Expo (CBME China) welcomes local and international suppliers to showcase their latest products through Thursday at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.

The event features 2,428 brands from 1,751 exhibitors across 166,680 square meters of exhibition space. Participating brands include Chicco, Hallmark Babies, Mattel, OXO, Teletubbies, and more. The range of maternity products covered extends beyond toys and accessories, to strollers, healthcare, and more.

This year’s CBME China offers private meetings to help buyer meet one-on-one with top suppliers, as well as leading chain stores and online retailers for children, baby, and maternity products. In addition, there will be presentations from government representatives to discuss the latest guidelines and laws covering milk importation, social media marketing, and retail store development strategy, among other topics.

VTech Taps Jennifer Eiselein to Lead Marketing Team

VTech-LogoVTech has hired Jennifer Eiselein, a former Amazon senior manager who was instrumental in the launches of the company’s Kindle tablets and e-readers, as its new marketing director. She will lead VTech’s marketing team from its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, oversee the creation and execution of innovative campaigns for VTech’s brands, employ strategies to generate brand awareness, and target customers to enhance growth in key markets.

Prior to joining VTech, Eiselein served as senior manager for merchandising and marketing at Amazon’s Appstore in the U.S. and Canada.

SuperFanArt Launches, Lets Fans Be Creators Using Hasbro Brands

SuperFanArtHasbro Inc. and Shapeways are launching SuperFanArt, a web site that enables fans inspired by Hasbro brands to showcase their artwork and sell their 3-D printed designs on Shapeways, a 3-D printing marketplace and community. Through the site, the Hasbro fan base will have license to create new art and product offerings.

SuperFanArt will launch with the My Little Pony franchise, and additional Hasbro brands will be introduced in the coming months. At its launch, SuperFanArt will showcase work by several talented fan artists, and consumers can click through to each artist’s shop to place an order. Additional artists and 3-D printed products will be featured on the site in the future.

The artwork featured on SuperFanArt will also be on display at Comic-Con International: San Diego.

Mattel Launches New Direct-to-Consumer Strategy for Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway

Thomas_Hero_CGI_ApprovedMattel is bringing a new shopping experience to Thomas & Friends fans nationwide, through a cross-company collaboration that began this month. Anchored by the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway product line, the new experience includes the first ever Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway direct-to-consumer catalogue, e-commerce website, and partnerships with 20 independent specialty retail stores, which will serve as official Thomas & Friends Specialty Stations in the U.S.

Thomas & Friends will also introduce a limited-release wooden engine, Logan, a Shunter that works at the coal plant, and is only available in the U.S. through the new catalogue, e-commerce website, and official specialty stations. Logan will also be the first of a series of limited-release engines to be introduced by the new program annually.

The e-commerce website, thomaswoodenrailway.com, launches in August, and the Logan wooden engine will be available through December 31 of next year.

In addition, moving forward, Toys “R” Us will become the exclusive national chain retailer of Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway.

Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition to Premiere at Comic-Con International

Skylanders

Skylanders Trap Team at Licensing Expo 2014

Activision Publishing Inc. is bringing the Skylanders video game franchise to Comic-Con International: San Diego, and attendees will be the first to check out the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack toys. The pack includes the Ultimate Kaos Trap, a special, larger-sized trap, which allows Portal Masters to trap and play as Kaos when the game launches in North America on October 5.

In addition, the pack will include two Traps; exclusive black and silver variant designs of new characters Snap Shot, Wildfire, and Food Fight; a two-sided poster; sticker sheets; and trading cards. The Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack will be available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems.

Comic Con International: San Diego kicks off thus Thursday, but North American fans can pre-order the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack beginning today at major retailers while supplies last.

Collins to Publish The Little Book of Bananagrams

This fall will see the release of The Collins Little Book of Bananagrams, which contains hints, winning strategies, and insider secrets for fans of the word game. Deej Johnson, the Bananagrams brand’s creative consultant, and word-game champion Mark Nyman wrote the book. It includes two ways to turn titles that save vital seconds, things that a player must do in their first move, and other tips.

The book, which will be available globally this fall from Collins, also offers general word game advice, such as 135 proper nouns that can be played in any word game.

CPSC to Host Workshop on Possible Amendments to Import Filing Requirements

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will host a workshop on September 18 to share information and gather data on proposed changes to certificate of compliance requirements for companies that import regulated finished consumer products into the U.S.

The workshop will allow CPSC to clarify issues and understand stakeholders’ concerns related to the proposed amendments to the Certification of Compliance Rule, which would require companies that import products manufactured outside of the U.S. to file general conformity certifications—or children’s product certifications—electronically with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) prior to importation, in conjunction with other customs entry documents. [Read more...]

Marvel Comics Touring Attraction Teams Up with Hollywood Veteran Jerry Rees

MarvelExperienceAs reported by Los Angeles-based entertainment company Hero Ventures, Jerry Rees will lead the creative team responsible for producing The Marvel Experience, an innovative, traveling attraction that affords guests the opportunity to actively participate with dozens of Marvel super heroes.

Rees is a director, producer, and writer of live-action, animation, and theme park attractions. He has directed 16 Disney Theme Park attractions around the world in California, Hong Kong, Florida, and Paris. [Read more...]

Registration Opens for TIA’s 7th Annual Washington, DC Fly-In

Registration is open for the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) 7th Annual Washington, DC Fly-In, which will bring toy company representatives to the nation’s capital on September 16 to 18. The objective will be to discuss the priority issues impacting TIA’s member companies, including chemical regulations and testing requirements, with members of Congress and other government officials.

This year’s event will kick off on September 16 with a United We Play opening reception on Capitol Hill, hosted by TIA and the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF). During the evening, the hosts will announce a donation of 2,500 toys to children’s charities within the home districts of five members of Congress to be honored at the reception. The Fly-In will continue with a full schedule of meetings and activities on September 17 and 18.

The DC Fly-In is free to attend and open to all TIA members, and registration may be completed online. The host hotel for the Fly-In is the Mandarin Oriental in downtown Washington. Anyone interested in more information should contact Rachel Derby, TIA’s director of government affairs, at (202) 459-0351.