NPD Group Sees Sales Increases in Video Game Hardware, Software, and Accessories

NPDGrouplogoIn his analysis for The NPD Group, Games Industry Analyst Liam Callahan reports that hardware, new physical software, and accessories experienced sales increases in February of this year with combined sales of $956 million, up 8 percent compared to last February.
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Safari Ltd Partners with GovernmentShopping.com

safari ltd new logoSafari Ltd. is partnering with Governmentshopping.com, a web site that kicked off in February. As a partner store, various government employees are now eligible to purchase Safari Ltd. products at a discounted rate through the Government Shopping website.

“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to partner with Government Shopping,” said Alexandre Pariente, CEO of Safari Ltd. “As an American-owned, family run company, we are pleased to provide our Toys that Teach to all government and military service men and women all over the world. We are proud to support those that serve and represent our nation around the world and their families.”

TIA Calls on Grassroots Advocacy for New TSCA Law

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) is urging support for a new bill before the U.S. Senate, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which would modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. The TSCA empowers the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address chemical safety, require testing, and establish regulations on chemicals used in products sold in the U.S.
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Lego Demonstrates New App, Makes it Easier to Get Started Using Robotics

LEGO_LogoAt the SXSWedu Conference in Austin, Lego Education demoed the new Lego Education EV3 Programming App for use with the Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 solution. The app is intended as an effective way for classrooms to get started with Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 within a 45-minute classroom period. [Read more...]

Marvel Rolls Out Extensive Toy, Kids Product Program for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Spider-Man, and More

Marvel LogoOn Wednesday, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) revealed its 2015 plans for Marvel and its key franchises, including The Avengers and Spider-Man. This year will see the roll-out of one of DCP’s biggest licensing programs to date, which would revolve around Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, the launch of new animated content, and innovative marketing initiatives.
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Funko Disney Heroes vs. Villains Mystery Minis Arriving in April

In April, Funko will release Disney Heroes vs. Villains Mystery Minis, a new blind box series made up of six Disney heroes and six Disney villains packaged individually. Each hero in the set has a villain counterpart, e.g., Ariel and Ursula, Anna and Marshmallow, Peter Pan and Captain Hook, etc.

The rarity scale is 1/12, making the chances for each figure roughly equal.

Registration Opens for TIA’s Fifth Annual California Toy Day

TIAToy companies of all sizes will have a chance to meet with California legislators during the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) fifth annual California Toy Day, taking place in Sacramento on April 14 to 15. The event will feature a series of meetings that connect toy manufacturers, importers, and distributors with the state’s policymakers.
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Gazillion Bubble Invites All to Celebrate National Bubble Week

Resized,Gazillion Bubble Car with KidsThis week is National Bubble Week, which originally began in 2000 as a way to celebrate spring. For kids, bubbles are a fun outdoor activity during spring and summer, while for adults they symbolize peace, harmony, and beauty. There is currently a Gazillion Bubble Show in New York City, as well as an exhibit at the So Cal Children’s Museum focused on bubbles. [Read more...]

Kurio Teams Up with YouTube Kids App

Techno Source Kurio MotionKD Interactive and YouTube have entered a partnership whereby all new Kurio tablets sold in the U.S. will come preloaded with the new YouTube Kids app. Existing Kurio users will be able to find the YouTube Kids app in the Content Management section of their parent owner account and add it to any child profile.

The YouTube Kids app is packed full of age-appropriate videos, channels, and playlists. It features popular children’s programming, plus kid-friendly content from filmmakers, teachers, and creators all around the world. For parents’ peace of mind, videos in the app are narrowed down to ensure that only relevant and appropriate content for kids is shown.

COMMENTARY: These Outdoor Toys Put a New Spin on Keeping Kids Active

Backyard Sports Mega Morph Super Hoop, from Day 6

Fresh air, sunlight, and exercise are all wonderful things. Unfortunately, many kids just aren’t getting enough of them. At the recent North American International Toy Fair, I encountered numerous toy makers who are trying to address this problem by developing new outdoor toys that encourage kids to get off the couch for some outdoor physical activity. Many feature novel tweaks to familiar play patterns, and the sheer breadth of items on-hand was impressive. Most surprisingly, not all of them try to pry kids away from their mobile devices or video screens.
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