China Toy Fair


McFarlane Toys Launches The Walking Dead Building Block Sets

McFarlaneToys.TheWalkingDeadMcFarlane Toys is unveiling new brick building toys based on AMC’s The Walking Dead. These building sets and figures will be available this fall at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at toysrus.com.

The initial McFarlane Toys’ The Walking Dead brick building line will feature realistic and detailed sculpts, light-up and shaped features, iconic environments, and fan-favorite characters and walkers, allowing collectors and fans to recreate their favorite scenes.

The building sets include Daryl Dixon with Chopper, The Governor’s Room, and Prison Tower with Gate. Blind bag figures include Daryl Dixon, Michonne, The Governor, Carl Grimes, Riot Gear Walker, Michonne’s Pet Walker, and Herd Walkers.

Special Alien: Isolation Content Unites Original Movie Cast

AlienIsolationAlien: Isolation will include exclusive pre-order bonus content, featuring the vocal talent and likenesses of key cast members of the 1979 Twentieth Century Fox movie, Alien. Sigourney Weaver (who played Ellen Ripley), Tom Skerritt (Dallas), Veronica Cartwright (Lambert), Harry Dean Stanton (Brett), Yaphet Kotto (Parker) and Ian Holm (Ash) are set to feature in two downloadable bonus missions, which allow players to relive classic scenes from the movie.

Anyone who pre-orders the game will get a free upgrade to the Nostromo Edition, which includes the bonus content, Crew Expendable. Players can choose to play as one of three surviving crewmembers, only moments after Brett’s death at the jaws of the creature. As Ellen Ripley, Dallas, or Parker, players can explore the Nostromo from habitation deck down through engineering, coordinating their efforts with Lambert and Ash to lure the Alien into the ship’s airlock. [Read more...]

Exclusive SpongeBob SquarePants Plush Available at Macy’s this Holiday Season

MacysSpongeBobSpongeBob SquarePants will serve as Macy’s 2014 Holiday Ambassador, according to Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group and Nickelodeon. Kicking off this November, an exclusive SpongeBob talking plush with sound chip and Patrick and Plankton finger puppets will be available exclusively in more than 600 full line Macy’s stores and at macys.com, as part of the Macy’s collectible plush program that runs through December 31.

The holiday plush has become a Macy’s tradition and a coveted collector’s item. The SpongeBob SquarePants plush features SpongeBob’s laugh, as well as quotes such as, “Did you know you were my best friend?” and “I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”

New Affiliation Between TIA and CTA Now in Effect

A new affiliate agreement between the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the Canadian Toy Association (CTA) went into effect on July 1. As previously reported by TIA, the partnership was formed to help strengthen the products, services, and events both organizations offer their collective members and industry stakeholders throughout North America.

Under the terms of the initial three-year partnership agreement, any TIA member with operations in Canada will be eligible to become a member of the CTA with one membership fee, while current CTA members will pay a single set of dues to access the benefits of CTA and TIA membership. A representative of each organization will sit on the leadership committee of the other body, and CTA will maintain its Canadian incorporation, mission, and bylaws.

Every CTA member is now in the TIA membership database and has unrestricted, members only access to TIA’s online products and services, including free educational webinars, proprietary reports on market research and industry practices, legislative bulletins on industry issues, and more. [Read more...]

TIF to Provide Gift of Play to Pediatric Cancer Patients

On July 22, pediatric cancer patients living at the Ronald McDonald House of New York City will be treated to a special toy giveaway and dinner party hosted by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF). For the event, the Toy Bank is currently seeking donations of toys, games, and crafts in quantities of 50 to 100 pieces for kids of all ages.

The Ronald McDonald House aims to provide a supportive and caring environment for pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Toy manufacturers, distributors, and retailers who would like to contribute product are encouraged to contact TIF program manager Elizabeth Max at emax@toyindustryfoundation.org. Donations are needed by Tuesday, July 15.

Toys “R” Us and Hull FC to Partner on Match Day and Support Programs

A new partnership launched between Toys “R” Us and Hull Football Club (Hull FC) will see the latter’s family area of the team stadium’s West Stand become known as the Toys “R” Us Family Area, with toy giveaways at every game from both Toys “R” Us’ and Hull FC’s mascots.

Toys “R” Us will also officially partner with the club’s grassroots engagement program, known as Fanbassadors, with special offers for young fans at schools and junior clubs, as well as discount vouchers and toys for Hull FC season pass holders. In addition, Toys “R” Us will become included in the club’s official playing and replica shirts.

The partnership will also see community links forged by the Toys “R” Us store at Kingston Retail Park in Hull, including visits from the players and mascots, as well as support for on-going community and charity work.

BreyerFest Silver Jubilee Returns for 25th Annual Model Horse Festival & Horse Fair

BreyerFest Silver Jubilee, the annual fan festival and horse fair hosted by Breyer Animal Creations, which makes realistic horse models for play and collecting, returns for its 25th year. The three-day event is scheduled for July 11 to 13 at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

This year, special guests will include Waller Farms’ Novelisto D, the equine star of Winter’s Tale; and TJ, equine star of Hidalgo, along with trainers Cari Swenson and Rex Peterson. Knights of Iceland, a group of Icelandic horses, will be on-hand to perform their native gait, the tolt, at high speeds in formation. There will also be portrait model horses on-hand.

On the evening of July 12, BreyerFest will host the BreyerFest Celebration of Horses, starring Gala of the Royal Horses, which captures the beauty and maneuvers of baroque horse breeds favored by European royalty. Performers will include Andalusians, Friesians, Lipizzaners, and Arabian stallions. [Read more...]

LeapFrog Appoints Steve Youngwood to Board of Directors

Steve Youngwood has joined the board of directors for LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. He most recently served as executive vice president and general manager of digital media and entertainment products at Nickelodeon.

Youngwood joined Viacom in 1997 and most recently led all Nickelodeon Digital efforts, including websites, mobile, connected TVs, TV Everywhere and other emerging platforms. He also led Nickelodeon’s video, gaming, and book publishing businesses across all digital and traditional retail channels, and oversaw the acquisition and integration of five digital companies. Youngwood has also held various senior management positions in Consumer Products, ran the Nick and NickJr magazines, and worked in the Strategy and Business Development Group.

Countdown Begins to 2014 International Yo-Yo Championship

Duncan85yrslogoThe 2014 International Yo-Yo Championship, hosted by Duncan Toys, will take place on August 1 and 2 at the House of Blues, located at Downtown Disney West Side at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Yo-yo players of all ages from all parts of the globe will compete for the title of International Yo-Yo Champion. There will be five yo-yo competition divisions at the event, including yo-yos attached to a counterweight instead of the player’s finger for aerial style tricks; yo-yos not attached to the string, but are tossed as high as forty feet in the air; dual yo-yos; and more.

Travel packages will be available that include Walt Disney World Resort hotel accommodations and theme park admission.

The Wiggles! Return to the U.S. this Fall

WigglesThe No. 1 children’s entertainment group, The Wiggles, will bring their preschool pop back to North America with the Ready, Steady, Wiggle tour. This fall, the quartet will delight families across the country in support of a new CD and DVD, Apples and Bananas, which will be available August 26, as well as a new season of their hit television show airing on Sprout in the U.S. and Treehouse in Canada.

Founding member Anthony Field (aka Blue Wiggle), along with Emma Watkins (Yellow Wiggle), Simon Pryce (Red Wiggle), and Lachlan Gillespie (Purple Wiggle) will be joined on stage by Dorothy the Dinosaur, Captain Feathersword, Wags the Dog, and Henry the Octopus.

A complete list of tour dates and ticket information for the Ready, Steady, Wiggle! tour can be found at www.thewiggles.com.