Author: Stephanie Grassullo

MasterPieces, Dean Russo Partner for Pet Art Puzzles

MasterPieces Inc. released a line of new puzzles featuring artist Dean Russo’s dog art. The licensing deal with Dean Russo Art secures four puzzles that will be featured in MasterPieces’ 300-piece, EZ Grip range. The Dean Russo puzzles build to into a 18- by 24-inch completed size. The puzzles are created in MasterPieces’ EZ Grip style, a die-cut used to make high-quality, larger puzzle pieces for easier visual and grip. The company also manufactures its puzzles out of a chipboard made of recycled materials. The four new Dean Russo puzzles feature individual dog breeds and include What Are You Lookin’ At?; Happy...

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ASTRA Members Elect New Representatives to Board of Directors

Members of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) elected three specialty toy industry leaders to its Executive Committee and four to its Board of Directors at ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy in New Orleans. The new representatives are: Chair-elect: Christine Blumberg, CPE of Roberts Blumberg Giacobbe in Guilford, CT Treasurer: Kevin McGrath, The Original Toy Co. in Milford, CT Secretary: Amy Saldanha, CMR, CPE, kiddywampus in Hopkins, MN Directors: Melissa Beese, CPE, Little Pnuts Toy Shoppe in New Orleans, LA Betty Skoke Burns, Angellina’s Toy Boutique in Whitehorse, YT CANADA Jacqueline Killian, Beyond the Blackboard in Aurora, CO Nick Tarzia,...

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LIMA, NPD Group Host Executive Breakfast Series on the Power of Kid Fans

The Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) and The NPD Group will host their Executive Breakfast Series: The Megapower of Kid Fans on Tuesday, June 12 in New York City. The event will discuss how today’s digital-savvy kids are upending the traditional model of content, and what it means for the licensing business.   NPD Entertainment’s Kristen McLean will explore how kids upend the traditional models of content distribution and discovery, and share data from across the children’s industry on how licenses and brands are measuring up.   The breakfast will be held at Steelcase’s NYC terrace showroom in Columbus...

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Spin Master Launches Party Popteenies Collectible Line

Spin Master released its newest collectible line, Party Popteenies, which feature a fun yet functional packaging, designed to look like party favors and gift boxes. There are more than 25 dolls to collect from three different themed parties: Winter Wonderland Surprise, Cutie Animal Surprise, and Rainbow Unicorn Surprise. Each item comes with a mix of dolls, accessories, and confetti to match the party theme. Spin Master created a custom song and music video featuring social media stars Heaven King and Piper...

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Sakar Wheels Into Ride-On Category

Sakar entered the wheeled goods market with a new line of bikes, tricycles, scooters, skateboards, roller skates, wagons, helmets, and protective gear, both licensed and proprietary. The company will begin to launch its new lines at Walmart and other retailers this month. Designed for preschoolers, the Fisher-Price collection will be the first line to launch at retail. Hero items include: the Fisher-Price Corn Popper Walker, which has evolved into a ride-on scooter to helps kids learn how to balance and ride a scooter safely; a tricycle based on the classic Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack toy; and the Fisher-Price Balance Bike to help teach...

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Hasbro, Quidd Partner to Create Digital Stickers

Hasbro Inc. partnered with Quidd Inc. to distribute and sell digital stickers, trading cards, and digital toys through the Quidd app. Quidd will create, distribute, and sell limited-edition digital stickers, trading cards, and toys from 40 of Hasbro’s brands, including Dungeons & Dragons, GI Joe, Nerf, Optimus Prime, Rainbow Dash, and Demogorgon. The Transformers, My Little Pony, Magic: The Gathering, and Monopoly first edition releases are now available via the Quidd...

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Jakks Pacific, Paramount Pictures Partner for Creepy Crawlers Film

Paramount Players, a division of Paramount Pictures Corp., acquired the film rights to Jakks Pacific’s Creepy Crawlers toy brand. Neal H. Moritz and Marc Gurvitz will produce the film, and Toby Ascher and Stephen Berman will serve as executive producers. Ali Bell and Royce Reeves-Darby will oversee the project for Paramount Players. Production of the film is subject to the conclusion of definitive production agreements among the...

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Educational Insights, Upright Citizens Brigade Theater Launch Party Game

Educational Insights (EI) partnered with Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB)—founded by comedians Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, and Matt Besser—to create original content in support of the launch of Sculptapalooza, EI’s first party game for adults. The agreement includes a commercial, a webisode, and instructional video. The game challenges players to sculpt whatever’s shown on the cards they draw using squishy Playfoam (included). As part of the partnership, UCB performers played the game in the streets of...

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Sago Mini Launches Pillow Play Sets on Kickstarter

Last week, Sago Mini launched its new pillow play sets campaign on Kickstarter. Each modern throw pillow unfolds to transform into one of three play sets: a doctor’s office, a play kitchen, or a dollhouse. Each play set pillow comes with plush props that fold up into the throw pillow for easy storage. The Kickstarter campaign for Sago Mini’s Pillow Playset is now live, and product is expected to be available this fall. For more information or to back the campaign, visit...

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Wildbrain, King Features to Produce Original Popeye Content for Youtube

King Features Syndicate entered an agreement with WildBrain to manage and produce original Popeye content on YouTube. This marks the first agreement for original Popeye content in more than 10 years, leading to a reimagination of the brand ahead of its 90th anniversary next year. WildBrain will have worldwide management rights for the Popeye and Friends Official YouTube Channel, and will work with King Features to enhance existing programming. The digital studio will begin by producing new compilations of popular cartoons, including Classic Popeye, Popeye and Son, and The Continuing Adventures of Popeye. The collaboration follows the Popeye brand’s...

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