China Toy Fair


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.

Nickelodeon Road to Worldwide Day of Play to Take Place across Multiple Cities

Nickelodeon has scheduled three Road to Worldwide Day of Play events that will visit San Diego, Calif., today to July 2; Detroit, Mich., on July 30 to August 1; and a third city on September 3 to 5, to be chosen by kids themselves via an online contest launching today. These summer events will culminate with Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play event on September 20, when the network goes dark and its partners host grassroots activities to celebrate play.

Through July 27, kids ages 7 to 12 can log onto www.nick.com/play to tell Nickelodeon why their hometown should get a visit during the Road to Worldwide Day of Play. One grand-prize winner will be chosen from the submissions to bring Nickelodeon-themed games, slime, and live-action stars to local events in their hometown.

As a lead up to September 20, Nickelodeon is partnering with organizations in San Diego, Detroit, and the third contest-winning city to bring Nick-themed activities to local partner events that encourage kids to get up and get active. These events will feature fun-filled games, appearances by stars from Nickelodeon hit shows, costumed characters, a grant presentation to a local non-profit organization, and more.

ToyFabb.com Opens Shop with Contest Call to Designers

ToyFabb.logoToyFabb, the first specialized online market for 3-D printed toys, has launched its English and German site, www.toyfabb.com, with a contest for hobby and professional designers. At ToyFabb, hobby and professional designers are provided free accounts to present and sell their creations to consumers. ToyFabb offers comprehensive shop functionality, as well as securely streamed 3-D designs to protect the intellectual property of its users. Consumers can also purchase the 3-D toy designs offered and produce them with their own 3-D printers.

ToyFabb is hosting a contest for hobby designers and professional designers, which will last until September 30. Winners of each ToyFabb category will receive $100. Entrants’ toy files can be sent directly to jochen@toyfabb.com.

Dedicated Rilakkuma Shop to Launch at FAO Schwarz in October

RilakkumaFAO Schwarz will convert three towers in the Grand Hall of its New York flagship store into a Rilakkuma destination for the month of October. Over the past decade, the Rilakkuma brand and its characters have become a key part of Japanese culture and the essence of the Kawaii lifestyle, which emphasizes cuteness and adorableness.

FAO Schwarz currently carries a variety of plush Rilakkuma product in its flagship store and online at fao.com. To celebrate the brand’s shop-within-a-shop launching in October, FAO Schwarz will expand its product assortment to include Kigurumis, hats, cell phone cases, ear buds, graphic t-shirts, and new plush items.

In 2003, San-X launched Rilakkuma in Japan, and Aliquantum International (AQI) has since brought the brand to North America.

Splat the Cat from Kids Preferred Is Ready to Make a Splash

SplattheCatThis fall, Kids Preferred will have a new series of Splat the Cat toys, based on the bestselling children’s picture books by Rob Scotton. The books center on Splat, a rambunctious cat that befriends a mouse, goes to school, and learns a few lessons along the way.

The Splat the Cat line includes the Splat the Cat Beanbag, which is soft and squishy, and intended for throwing, toting along, and touching. Black and gray, it measures out to approximately 8.75 inches.

The new Splat the Cat drag-along is 11 inches long, and easy to drag, carry, and take on trips. The Seymour the Mouse Beanbag is a companion to both Splat and the Splat beanbag. The 4-inch beanbag has a big nose, curious ears, and a tummy that invites touching.

The Splat the Cat Hardcover Book features Splat the Cat and his pet mouse Seymour in a story about their first day at school.

Fisher-Price Keeps on Trucking with New Power Wheels

FisherPrice.PowerWheelsFisher-Price is teaming up with Ford to unveil new Power Wheels inspired by the highly anticipated 2015 F-150 truck. The Power Wheels 2015 F-150 debuted this morning at the Further With Ford event in Dearborn, Mich. Its features include a roomy truck bed; working tailgate; chrome wheels and grill; and Monster Traction drive system that allows driving on hard surfaces, wet grass, and bumpy terrain. The Power Wheels 2015 F-150 also has a working FM radio and MP3 jack or microphone.

The full Power Wheels F-150 line includes a girls’ version with purple camo graphics, available nationwide this October; an Extreme Sport model featuring real LED lights and styling inspired by customized Ford trucks, available exclusively at Toys “R” Us in October; and a black-painted version, available nationwide in November. The 2015 F-150 is available for pre-order at powerwheels.com/F150, and will be available exclusively at Wal-Mart this September.

University Games Launches Annual National Young Game Inventors Contest

NYGIC_SplashPageUniversity Games has invited young game inventors with original board game ideas to participate in the 22nd annual National Young Game Inventors Contest for a chance to have their game manufactured and included in the University Games lineup next year. Additional prizes include a family vacation to San Francisco, Calif. (includes four nights lodging and airfare for up to two adults and one child), a $10,000 savings bond for college, and a complete library of board games from University Games.

Entries are now being accepted for the contest, which is open to kids ages 5 to 12, and sponsored by Toys “R” Us and Scholastic Parent & Child magazine. Complete rules and entry forms can be found at www.nygic.org.

Since the National Young Game Inventors Contest was launched in 1993, it has encouraged thousands of young children to stretch their imaginations and develop board games such as Munch Math, Rapunzel’s Revenge, Rhyme Time, and more.

LeapFrog Unveils New LeapPad 3 and LeapPad Ultra XDi Tablets

31500_PR07.jpgLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. is adding to its line of LeapPad tablets with LeapPad 3 and LeapPad Ultra XDi, each of which offers shatter-safe screens, kid-appropriate web through LeapSearch, and more.

The 5-inch LeapPad3 tablet includes 4 GB of memory, 2.0 MP front and back cameras and video recorders, and a built-in lithium ion rechargeable battery. The 7-inch LeapPad Ultra XDi is a Wi-Fi tablet featuring a high-resolution touch screen, 8 GB of memory, and access to hundreds of downloadable apps. It also includes front and back mega-pixel cameras and video recorders, a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and on-board MP3 player. [Read more...]

Spin Master Is Revving Up for Monster Trucks

MonsterTrucks.logoParamount Licensing has agreed to a master toy license deal with Spin Master Ltd. for next summer’s film Monster Trucks. It marks the first licensee partnership in support of the live action film, which is based on an original concept by Paramount and directed by Chris Wedge.

Spin Master will develop an extensive line up of vehicle-based products that will launch alongside the film.

“This line will be a major presence at retail and a cornerstone of our licensing program across all major categories,” said LeeAnne Stables, president of consumer products and head of Paramount’s marketing partnerships.

CPSC Joins International Effort to Prevent Button Battery-Related Injuries and Fatalities

During International Product Safety Week, June 16 to 20, a bi-annual meeting of government, industry, and consumer organizations, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and counterparts from 12 other countries and jurisdictions have teamed up to make button battery safety a global priority.

This past Tuesday, in Brussels, Belgium, CPSC representatives and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) discussed dangers associated with coin-size batteries, aka coin cell batteries. These are used in an increasing number of small electronics around the home, and are frequently left within a child’s reach. Incidents of young children and seniors unintentionally swallowing the batteries have resulted in thousands of reports of injuries worldwide.

CPSC reached out to battery manufacturers and is encouraged by recent efforts that have resulted in new safety warnings and packaging changes. CPSC is working with industry, public health officials, and the global community to continue the progress of preventing coin cell battery-related incidents.

Parents and caregivers, meanwhile, are urged to keep products containing these batteries away from children.