China Toy Fair


eeBoo’s Paper Novas Will Have Kids Seeing Stars

eeBoo‘s new Paper Novas are inspired by one of the universe’s most impressive phenomena: supernovas. The new Paper Novas take that sense of wonder and replicate it on a smaller scale, reimaging the supernova as a craft activity.

Paper Nova press release-loresEach Nova comes with 200 strips of crepe paper in vibrant colors and a length of Baker’s string. Following simple instructions, strips are pinched in the middle and joined with other strips to create bundles. After four or five bundles have been made, they are all tied together with the string. Strips are gently pulled apart until the Paper Nova puffs up or “explodes” into a big, colorful ball with a 10-inch diameter. Once finished, Paper Novas can be suspended with the string to add color to any space.

Each style of Paper Nova is named after one of the brightest stars visible from earth, such as Betelgeuse, Alpha Centauri, Vega, and Arcturus.

For more info on Paper Novas and other eeBoo products, visit https://eeboo.com.

Hasbro to Present Global Consumer Insights at PlayCon

The Toy Industry Association has announced that Katy Giffault, vice president of global consumer insights at Hasbro, will share the company’s case study on entering and achieving success in the Chinese market during this year’s PlayCon.

Attendees will hear firsthand the demographic and socio-economic data used, as well as the consumer insight work done internally to determine Hasbro’s strategic entry into the emerging global market.

PlayCon will be held from May 6 through 8 at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Galney Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz. For up-to-the-minute Show information, visit www.playcon2013.org.

The Sky’s the Limit with Artzooka! Craft Kits from Wooky Entertainment

From craft kits to activity books and more, Wooky Entertainment’s Artzooka! line of imagination-stimulating offerings empowers kids to create a range of artful and practical playthings and decorative accessories for hours of creative fun. Based on the energetic and ever-artistic Artzooka! TV series for school-age kids from CCI Entertainment, the new Artzooka! collection provides more inventive opportunities for kids to express themselves in clever and resourceful ways.

Check out these new additions!

  • Surprise Match Boxes: Kids can create their own mini puppets that double as secret compartments for tiny treasures–and then entertain their friends and family with plays featuring their new characters. The kit includes two “Match” boxes, a sticker sheet, and cardboard accessories.
  • Cupcake Creations: A whole new reason to love cupcakes (as if anyone needed one)! This kit lets kids turn cupcake holders into the main ingredient for creating super-cool animals for hours of play. Includes 20 cupcake molds, cardboard accessories, and a glue container. [Read more...]

Bleeker Hits National Robotics Week

FBleekerNRW_SignatureArt2013or the third year in a row, cartoonist Jonathan Mahood is devoting a weeklong comic series of his famed strip, Bleeker: The Rechargeable Dog, to National Robotics Week. Distributed by King Features and created in 2007 for tech-savvy, cartoon-loving comics fans, the strip follows the adventures of Bleeker, a pet robot, and his friends. In seven consecutive strips, Bleeker follows his friend Karl, who may remind you of a household robot that has gained in popularity with consumers in the last few years, as he reunites with a fellow robot friend and old love interest.

Fans can follow the weeklong series at www.bleekercomics.com. National Robotics Week is a series of regional events and activities aimed at increasing public awareness of the growing importance of “robo-technology” and the tremendous social and cultural impact that it will have on the future of how people will live, work, and play worldwide. For more information about National Robotics Week, visit http://www.nationalroboticsweek.org.

K’nex Introduces K’nexMen Mystery Figures

K’nex, the U.S. construction toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love, introduces its first series of two K’nexMen Mystery Figures. The new figures feature jointed elbows and knees and swivel waists and necks.

The Mystery Figure packs feature 16 different figures in this first series. Young building fans will love collecting and building the figures across many themes including pirates, astronauts, pilots, race car drivers, and zombies. Some figures are more elusive than others, so you never know who you might get!  Compatible with all leading building sets, these new figures are available on knex.com and at toy retailers nationwide.

Tomy International Announces Executive Management Transition

Tomy International announces the promotion of Gregory J. Kilrea to president and chief executive officer and Masayuki Nagatake to chief operating officer. The board of directors approved these appointments, and Curtis W. Stoelting will resign from his positions as chief executive officer and director to pursue other business opportunities.

Kilrea has been with the company since 2004, having served most recently as president of Tomy International and, prior to that, as the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Kilrea’s focus will be to strengthen Tomy’s global platform and brand portfolio, deepen relationships with key licensor, trade and vendor partners, and set the vision and strategies required to drive further growth.

Nagatake will focus primarily on Tomy’s toy and hobby business and will remain as a key liaison with Tomy Company Ltd. to ensure global strategic alignment.

AGP Launches Strawberry Shortcake Program in Italy

Linea Perugina UOVO fragolina 2013Strawberry Shortcake continues to flourish in Europe as American Greetings Properties (AGP), the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corporation, announces several new licensing deals for the brand in Italy. The new deals, which include novelty books, candy, and arts and crafts products, were secured by AG Properties’ international licensing agent Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG).

Edizioni Play Press will introduce magic albums, activity books, and coloring books at mass retailers this spring, while RCS Libri SPA is planning a line of novelty, picture, story, and activity books for sale at specialty stores. In addition, Multiprint has secured the Strawberry Shortcake license for an assortment of stationery and arts and crafts items under the brand Uva Fragola. These items will be available at gift, stationery, and specialty stores. [Read more...]

McDonald’s, Activision Partner for Skylanders Giants Happy Meals

McDonald’s restaurants and Activision Publishing Inc. have partnered to launch Skylanders Giants Happy Meals. In North America, the program will run from April 12 to May 2, while supplies last, and will rollout in other select countries later this year.

Participating McDonald’s restaurants across the U.S. and Canada will offer customers who purchase a Happy Meal one of nine unique toys from Skylanders Giants, each with their own play feature, as well as a coupon for $10 off the Skylanders Giants starter pack. The upcoming Happy Meal program includes figurines inspired by Skylanders Giants characters as Spyro, Gill Grunt, Drobot, Chop Chop, Ignitor, Jet-Vac, Tree Rex, Crusher, and Kaos.

To maximize awareness, McDonald’s will support the three-week promotion with a fully-integrated marketing campaign that includes branded television advertising, in-restaurant merchandising, custom packaging and an online web and social media presence.

Kettler USA Introduces New Kids’ Ride-On Toys

Kettler USA has introduced 20 new licensed ride-on toys and pedal tractors for kids. Tractors, loaders, excavators, diggers, and backhoes with insignias from Case IH, Massey Ferguson , New Holland, Valtra, and Fendt join the existing line-up of CAT farm and excavating play equipment.

The ride-on toys are designed for kids ages 1 to 10, depending on the model. These foot-to-floor and pedal-powered vehicles have large tires, functional steering wheels, and moving parts that operate with levers. Some come with accessories. The construction, agricultural, and farming toys are available in bright colors to match the real-life equipment.

They are now available in limited quantities on the Kettler USA website and through select retailers of Kettler USA products. They will be fully stocked in late May.

PlaySquare Partners with Curious Pictures for Investment, Production Agreement

PlaySquare LLC, the creator of Touchable Television for the tablet, announced an investment and partnership with Curious Pictures, a leading producer of television programs, commercials, animation, feature films, and video games.

Under the terms of its agreement, Curious Pictures will also be a production partner and provide support to PlaySquare in the development of Touchable Television episodes for its PlaySquare platform. The investment is being made through Curious Ventures, the venture arm of Curious Pictures.

PlaySquare will co-locate with Curious Pictures in their New York City studio. In addition, Jan Korbelin, CEO of Curious Pictures, will become an advisor and board member of PlaySquare.

PlaySquare’s first release is an adaptation of the episode “Happy Birthday Dog,” from PBS KidsWordWorld, which was released last July and has since accumulated more than 13 million minutes of use, as well as several industry awards. It is currently available for free on iTunes for a limited time.

The Company plans to release new episodes and the PlaySquare platform in the fall.