Brandberry and Flux Animation Studio Team Up on Furmaids

Basic CMYKBrandberry has joined forces with Flux Animation Studio to develop Furmaids, and is searching for broadcast partners around the globe, in addition to a toy partner. Furmaids are magical animals that transform into animal/mermaid hybrids when they enter the water. The brand features themes of transformation, exploration, and cooperation—with an ecological twist. [Read more...]

CPSC Commissioners Emphasize Testing Burden Relief at TIA’s Toy Safety Update

CPSCIn their remarks during the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) annual Toy Safety Update, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Elliot Kaye and Commissioners Ann Marie Buerkle and Marietta Robinson emphasized that easing unnecessary third-party testing burdens for toy manufacturers will be a priority focus for the agency during the coming year. [Read more...]

Nelvana to Create New TV Series and Drive Global Merchandising for Cepia’s Zhu Zhu Pets

ZhuZhuPets, JillyCorus Entertainment‘s Nelvana has entered a partnership with Cepia LLC to bring the Zhu Zhu Pets brand back to store shelves, with Nelvana Studio producing a new animated series based upon the property. Nelvana Enterprises will also oversee global merchandising of the brand in conjunction with the distribution of the new series. [Read more...]

Toy Industry Association (TIA) Elects New Leadership at Annual General Meeting

TIAAt its annual general meeting held on Monday, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the election of three new members to the TIA Board of Directors for two-year terms of office expiring in February of 2017. Nominated to serve their first terms on the TIA Board were Kerry Cunnion, senior vice president of sales at Tomy International; Howard Kahn, chairman of Madame Alexander and CEO of Kahn Lucas; and Bruce Raiffe, president of Gund. [Read more...]

Colorforms Launches New Disney, Marvel, and Disney•Pixar Play Sets

DisneyDocMcStuffinsColorformsColorforms Brand debuted an all-new line of Colorforms vinyl stick-on play sets at this year’s North American International Toy Fair. The initial launch, which hits shelves in the fall, includes such properties as Disney’s Frozen and Doc McStuffins; Disney•Pixar’s Cars; and Marvel’s The Avengers and Spider-Man. [Read more...]

Wal-Mart to Boost Pay of U.S. Workers

logo-walmartAs reported by The Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to boost the pay of all its U.S. employees to at least $9 an hour by April. This raise would top the federal minimum wage by 24 percent and take a bite out of the company’s profit this year. Wal-Mart has stated that the investment in higher wages and better training will cost the company.

The wage announcement came as Wal-Mart reported a relatively strong holiday season, with sales at its core U.S. business up 1.5 percent. For the quarter ended January 31, Wal-Mart reported earnings of $4.97 billion, up from $4.43 billion a year earlier, while revenue rose 1.4 percent to $131.6 billion.

Jazwares Debuts New Collection of Blueprints Paper Craft Featuring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Barbie, and More

jazwaresFollowing the successful introduction of Minecraft paper craft last year, Jazwares has expanded its popular Blueprints paper craft line. The new collections include kids’ favorite characters and scenes, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Barbie, SpongeBob SquarePants, and more. [Read more...]

Jakks Pacific Secures Licensing Agreement for Despicable Me Franchise and Minions

MinionsMovieheaderJakks Pacific Inc. has been granted the rights to manufacture, market, and distribute a line of consumer products based on the Minions from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me franchise, as well as their upcoming film, Minions, which arrives in theaters in July. The licensing agreement, awarded by Universal Partnerships & Licensing, covers inflatable ball pits, wagons, arcade games, The Original Big Wheel, outdoor children’s furniture, and more. These products are expected to launch at North American retailers this spring.

“We are pleased to be a part of the phenomenally successful Despicable Me franchise, and the highly anticipated Minions film, by offering an array of products that feature popular characters from the films,” says Tara Hefter, vice president of licensing, Jakks Pacific Inc. “We are excited to bring a new line of products to these films’ fans.”

WIT Presents Awards to Women Leaders at Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment Dinner

WIT.logoWomen leaders were honored by more than 500 industry executives at the 11th Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT) Awards Dinner, which took place on Sunday night. Hosted by WIT, and coinciding with the North American International Toy Fair in New York City, the gala awarded winners from more than 40 distinguished nominees from around the world. WIT also presented Special Honoree Awards to executives from Sesame Workshop, amazon.com, and Disney Consumer Products. [Read more...]

TOTY Awards Recognize the Most Outstanding Toys and Games of the Year

TOTY2015logoHundreds of global toy executives and guests gathered in New York City this past Saturday to pay tribute to the toy industry’s best and brightest toys, games and individuals at the 15th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Zoomer Dino, from Spin Master, took home the overall Toy of the Year award prize and was named Boy Toy of the Year. Spin Master’s pet dinosaur lets kids train it to sit, speak, and react to commands. Crayola‘s Paint Maker, a customizable arts and crafts kit, earned the People’s Choice award and was also named Activity Toy of the Year. [Read more...]