October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and whether or not you believe bullying is a natural rite of passage among children, versus a series of preventable behaviors that can leave lasting emotional damage on the young, one thing is clear: It has become a part of the national conversation. Joining the voices chiming in on the subject is the toy industry, which in the months leading up to October, has seen a number of actions among various players to address the problem of bullying. Some take the form of products that try to make kids understand the bad feelings that come with being picked on; others seek galvanize youth into taking a stand against bullying together. [Read more...]
Hasbro Inc. has signed a global licensing agreement with PEZ International to develop a My Little Pony-branded line of PEZ dispensers, PEZ dextrose fizzy candy, and fizzy rolls. The new dispensers and candy are on display at Hasbro’s booth at Brand Licensing Europe in London, and will be available beginning in early 2015 in Germany, France, and Austria, followed by additional markets worldwide.
The My Little Pony line of PEZ dispensers will be based on Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, and Rainbow Dash, and the assorted fruit candy range will include lemon, strawberry, orange, and cherry flavors.
Diamond Select Toys (DST) will be participating in New York Comic Con with panels, signings, and more scheduled for all four days of the convention. Of the two panels DST will host, the first, Diamond Select Toys: The Best of All Worlds, will take place on October 9 at 5 p.m. in Room 1A18. DST president Chuck Terceira and sculptor Eli Livingston will talk about upcoming products, give away prizes, and announce a new toy line.
On October 11, at 4:15 p.m. in Room 1A24, Minimates product manager Robert Yee and designer Uriel Caton will join Terceira for Minimates MiniFigures: From Marvel to Clerks to TMNT! They will discuss upcoming Minimates releases, give away more prizes, and unveil the next Marvel Minimates assortment.
Before and after the Minimates panel, Caton will sign full-size Minimates posters at booth 1736. Finally, every morning at the start of the show, DST will give out a free Ghostbusters promotional Minimate, while supplies last. A limited number will be given out each day, Thursday through Sunday. Throughout the weekend, DST will also give out free full-size posters featuring original Aliens, Ghostbusters, and Marvel Minimates artwork.
Tiggly has launched Tiggly Counts, inspired by the Cuisenaire rods used in Montessori classrooms, and featuring five colorful counting toys that physically interact with new parent- and educator-approved Tiggly learning apps for the iPad. Tiggly’s counting toys and apps are intended to help children develop number sense, counting skills, and a basic understanding of math operations such as addition and subtraction.
Tiggly Counts comes with three free apps available in 10 languages: Tiggly Cardtoons, which stretches children’s imaginations while they learn basic math ideas such as one-to-one correspondence, counting, and equal sets; Tiggly Addventure, in which children use counting toys to build bridges and ladders while gaining an introduction to number line concepts and improving their number sense; and Tiggly Chef, in which children prepare silly recipes with Tiggly Town’s greatest chef while learning numbers, early addition concepts, math symbols, and problem solving.
Arriving in stores on October 21, Tiggly Counts is currently available for pre-order at a discount by entering coupon code PREORDER30 when checking out on get.tiggly.com/counts until October 31. In addition, every customer who pre-orders Tiggly Counts using their unique referral link will receive a $5 rebate.
Outfit7 Limited and Mythology Entertainment have partnered to adapt Outfit7’s Talking Tom and Friends app universe into a fully animated or hybrid live-action/animated motion picture franchise for family audiences. The franchise will be produced by Mythology co-founders Brad Fischer and James Vanderbilt, as well as William Sherak, with Outfit7 founder and CEO Samo Login executive producing.
In just four years, Talking Tom and Friends has grown from app success into a full-fledged media entertainment franchise. Recently, the franchise enjoyed the two billionth download of its portfolio, and Talking Tom and Friends currently exceeds 230 million monthly active users in more than 230 territories worldwide.
“The new film we are producing with Mythology Entertainment adds a whole new level of excitement and momentum for our brands that will enable fans of all ages to connect with our characters in a whole new way!” says Login. “We’re delighted Brad Fisher and his team recognize the fun, loveable, and powerful force of Talking Tom and Friends.”
UK broadcaster CBeebies has commissioned a brand new preschool series, Twirlywoos, from Ragdoll Productions. The series, set to air next year, will revolve around the Twirlywoos: four small, bird-like characters who are inquisitive, enthusiastic, and constantly looking to learn something new about the world.
Twirlywoos will combine stop-frame animation and live action sequences set in the real world. It will be produced in association with DHX Media, which will handle global distribution, merchandising, brand management, and marketing. DHX Brands, the consumer products arm of DHX Media, has signed a global master toy deal with Golden Bear Toys, which will launch product in 2016, with a key focus on plush and plastics (play sets/figurines), bath toys and games, and activity products.
Skylanders Trap Team, from Activision Publishing Inc., is available now at major retailers nationwide on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo Wii U consoles. In addition, the complete console gaming experience is available on iPad, Kindle Fire, and Android tablets, while a unique Skylanders adventure has launched for the Nintendo 3DS.
The new Skylanders game lets fans seek out and battle villains in Skylands, and once they’ve defeated them, players can place a Trap into the new Traptanium Portal to capture them. Players will be able to hear the villains inside the Traps, and can send the villains back into the game to fight as heroes.
To celebrate the release of Skylanders Trap Team, exclusive Skylanders products are available at retailers nationwide. Toys “R” Us stores in North America and online at toysrus.com are the only places to find the limited edition Legendary Series of Skylanders toys at launch. The Legendary Series features alternative versions of new Trap Master characters and packs such as Jawbreaker, Déjà Vu, and the Nightmare Express Adventure Pack, all of which feature in-game stat boosts. [Read more...]
Visitors can get their knowledge of the industry up to speed at the free forums, where experts will explain new and worthwhile aspects of daily topics in 30-minute presentations.
The forums, which can be followed in both German and English, will be held daily from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Hall 3A. The subjects addressed will be as follows:
- Wednesday: ToyKnowHow: Experiencing future trends & technologies
- Thursday: Licenses: Recognizing worldwide trends in 2015
- Friday: Online Marketing: Understanding strategies on the World Wide Web
- Saturday: Marketing: Discovering potentials for the trade
- Sunday: Visual Merchandising: Creating experience worlds