China Toy Fair


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.

With DreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer, Berk Goes Where You Go!

PowerPoint PresentationWe’ve all taken rides in cars, but honestly, haven’t we all found ourselves wishing we could be soaring on the wings of dragons instead?

That’s now a possibility, thanks to DreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer, a new mobile game from Microsoft and DreamWorks Animation, and inspired by the animated film, How to Train Your Dragon 2. It uses Here Maps to pull in GPS info, turning the real world into the user’s very own fictional Isle of Berk.

During a recent demo, we took the game on a tour of midtown Manhattan. In Train mode, many of the city’s mighty edifices appeared in the game as huge stones, landmarks such as Grand Central Station became a wagon repair shop, and Chelsea Market was besieged by Vikings (They correspond to check-ins for the popular app Foursquare). Meanwhile, players engage in missions as part of their dragon training, such as picking up and dropping off sheep at home base–the device, represented in the game map by a cart. [Read more...]

Skylanders at Comic-Con International: San Diego Will Feature Costume Contest

SkylandersLogoSkylanders will attend Comic-Con International: San Diego for the first time in the franchise’s history on July 24, and to celebrate, Activision Publishing Inc. will award more than $5,000 in prizes to the best Skylanders costumes of the show.

The grand prize winner will receive $4,000, the runner-up will be awarded $1,000, and the second runner-up will receive a collection of rare Skylanders toys.

The costume contest will take place at the Comic-Con International: San Diego panel, Skylanders: The Creative Process of Bringing Toys to Life, where members of the Skylanders team will offer insights into the development process of the game franchise. Panel speakers will include comic book writer Ron Marz, Kaos voice Richard Horvitz; Activision senior vice president of consumer marketing, John Coyne; and Toys for Bob’s director of toy and character development, I-Wei Huang.

In addition, fans on-hand will be among the first to get hands-on experience with Skylanders Trap Team, the franchise’s newest installment.

Tech 4 Kids Partners with Flappy Bird to Launch Licensed Toys

Tech4KidslogoTech 4 Kids is partnering with the most downloaded game of 2014, Flappy Bird, for new toy and lifestyle products in time for the game’s re-launch.

First to enter the market this October is Flappy Bird Mash’Ems, available in six different Flappy Bird characters. These will follow the popular Mash’Ems trend that continues to grow with kids of all ages.

Tech 4 Kids will announce further branded items through the end of the year.

K’NEX Kicks Off Its Prepare for Titanfall Giveaway on Facebook

K'NEX.TitanK’NEX has launched a sweepstakes running on the K’NEX Facebook page, open to U.S. fans 13 years of age or older. Fans can log on to the K’NEX Facebook page through July 23 and enter the Prepare for Titanfall Giveaway daily for their chance to win one of ten Titanfall K’NEX Prize Packs. These include one Titanfall IMC Pilot Strike Building Set, one Titanfall Militia Pilot Attack Building Set, one Titanfall IMC Atlas Titan Building Set, one Titanfall Militia Ogre Titan Building Set, and one Titanfall Angel City Escape Building Set.

In addition, one grand prize winner will be awarded a Deluxe K’NEX Titanfall Prize Pack, which includes all the prizes from the basic prize pack, plus one Titanfall Ultimate Angel City Campaign Building Set. Winners will be chosen at random on July 24.

Participants can enter once per calendar day, and fans can earn bonus entries by sharing the promotion with Facebook friends. Official sweepstakes rules are available online.

LeapFrog Introduces LeapTV Video Gaming System

LeapTVLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. has unveiled its first educational, active video gaming system, LeapTV, which is designed specifically for children ages 3 to 8 years old. This new console system combines activity and movement with LeapFrog’s educational curriculum.

LeapTV features a transforming gaming controller that has been specifically designed for children’s small hands and limited dexterity. In its regular configuration, it enables classic gameplay, but with the press of a button it easily transforms into a motion controller and LED pointer controller. The LeapTV system also features a motion-sensing camera, which puts a child directly in the game, as well as a design that integrates into most homes.

The LeapTV video game system puts learning into motion with three ways to play: body motion, pointer play, and classic control. For body motion, the motion-sensing camera captures a child’s moves and puts them into the game as they explore activities like dance and martial arts. For pointer play, the controller transforms into a pointer with a simple twist and lets kids snap jungle vines, slice through coconuts, swing from building to building and more. [Read more...]

West Coast Ports Negotiations Resume as Cargo Shifts East

The shipping news journal Lloyd’s List reports that the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have resumed contract negotiations following a three-day hiatus last week. In the meantime, retailers are bringing holiday merchandise into the country at record levels to protect against potential supply chain disruptions, according to the Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.

Import volume at major U.S. container ports is expected to total 1.5 million containers this month, the highest monthly volume in at least five years. This follows a trend of unusually high import levels that began this spring as retailers worked to import merchandise ahead of potential problems.

The contract between the PMA and the ILWU expired on July 1. Dockworkers remain on the job as both sides continue to negotiate a new agreement. [Read more...]

VTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch Includes Built-In Camera and More

VTech Smartwatch Release FINAL[4]Today, VTech launched its first ever camera watch for kids: the Kidizoom Smartwatch. The world’s first smartwatch for kids, its features include a built-in camera, video, and photo effects. The Kidizoom Smartwatch also has a 1.4-inch color touch screen, more than 50 digital and analog clock displays that help kids learn to tell time, a rechargeable battery, alarm clock, timer, stopwatch, voice recorder with funny voice changing effects, and parental game controls.

Since it is made for kids, the Kidizoom Smartwatch features a durable design to withstand drops and bumps, and is splash and sweat proof. In addition, the Kidizoom Smartwatch is PC and Mac compatible for uploading photos, videos, and recorded voice files, and offers access to VTech’s Learning Lodge app store.

The Kidizoom Smartwatch is recommended for kids ages 4 and up, and is available now at www.vtechkids.com, amazon.com, target.com, toysrus.com, and walmart.com.