COMMENTARY: Go! Go! Sports Girls Promote a Healthy Image for Girls

After struggling with self-image for many, many years, I feel that relaying the importance of confidence to a younger generation of girls is of the utmost importance. Young girls see and hear older women discussing hatred toward their bodies and the latest on fad diets; it’s such an unhealthy message to send. In a world where most “girl” action figures and dolls are stick-thin, and every famous tween girl looks ill-fed, a break in this trend is always quite refreshing. Go! Go! Sports Girl products offer girls products with a positive image to encourage healthy minds and bodies. The line was created after Jodi Norgaard had a disappointing shopping experience with her 9-year-old daughter, unable to find anything “stylish” that didn’t bare a stomach or involve high heels. Norgaard’s company, Dream Big Toy Co., aims to empower young girls with its motto “Dream Big and Go for It.” It seems that similar specialty toy companies have started to take notice, creating lines with a related approach.

ellaDream Big Toy Co. created Go! Go! Sports Girls as a fun and educational way to promote self-appreciation and the benefits of daily exercise, healthy eating and sleeping habits, self-esteem, and overall healthy life skills among girls ages 3 to 12, regardless of race and socioeconomic class. The Sports Girls are age and size appropriate, and most importantly, they do not encourage an older or overly mature image. The image is innocent with a strong message to girls about appreciating and being true to yourself. [Read more...]

2 blue ducks Introduces Two New Product Lines

Jan8.2blueducks2 blue ducks will introduce two new lines of environmentally friendly products that will launch later this month at the Toronto Gift Fair. The first is a line of plush toys, from Greenpoint Brands, that are chemical-free, made of organic cotton, and packaged in reusable gift boxes. Greenpoint Brands followed increased safety and health standards to create the new toys, as well as reducing the environmental impact in production.

Milestone Baby Cards will also be featured at the gift fair, which are designed to celebrate major moments throughout a child’s first year. The development cards will feature creative photographs. The cards, box, and displays are printed on FSC-certified paper with 70 percent vegetable oil ink.

 

 

 

Kids Preferred Offers New Buildex Ride-Ons

tractorGiving kids their very first ride of their own, Buildex Riding Toys offer innovation in children’s toys. With cool suspension and steering, these easy-to-build, no-tools-required wooden toys, Buildex Riding Toys, from Kids Preferred, introduces many new wooden construction toys in a new product category.

Developed in conjunction with toy designers at Chelona Wooden World, Buildex toys are ideal for your little explorers looking to take their first independent ride. This new generation of real-wood toys with water based stains was designed for kids (and kids at heart) with an appreciation for movement and design. The collection utilizes Grid-Lock and Safe-Lock, unique construction systems that allow strong and safe assembly without the need for glue and tools. [Read more...]

Bunnies By The Bay Introduces New Who’s a Bunny? Collection

BunniesBytheBay.RingtoyBunnies By The Bay is launching a new spring Hareytales collection, entitled Who’s A Bunny?, featuring artwork of storybook characters Bud, Tadbit, Skipit, and Emmie. The collection is aimed at new learners ages 6 to 18 months, and includes apparel, soft toys, baby dish sets, soft books, and blankets.

The Who’s a Bunny? collection includes:

  • Four board books with soft printed velour covers that offer bright colors and insight for small hands. The titles include, Are You a Bunny?, How Many Bugs?, Where’s Puppy?, and What Color Am I?.
  • A Who’s a Bunny? soft book, featuring super soft velour and bright illustrations.
  • Four Who’s a Bunny? soft blocks, featuring a series of delightful and familiar Bunnies By The Bay characters, warm colors, and bright images, including a mirror and a carrying case.
  • Soft, lovable 12-inch toys, Busy Pup Pup and Busy Bun Bun, each with interactive features to keep babies entertained and stimulated.
  • Rattle Me’s featuring three colorful favorite characters, easy-to-hold-onto shapes, and a sound that babies and parents alike will love.
  • Two teethers made of all-natural rubber give babies something safe and satisfying to chew on. These are available in Baby Bud and Peanut (pink and gray).
  • The soft, squishy, and colorful Who’s a Bunny? ball.
  • The Who’s a Bunny? blanket, which is full of carrots and color, and measures 30” by 30”. The blanket asks, “Who’s a bunny?” and answers, “This is a bunny… Let’s hop!”
  • Shaky Friends featuring colorful characters, soft rings, and a strap for easy attaching, playing in the crib, or taking on the go.
  • Who’s a Bunny? melamine dish sets, offering a fun message such as, “Don’t Quack with Your Mouth Full!,” “Lick it Up!,” “Nibbling is Delightful!,” and “Bugs are Vegetables Too!”
  • BunniesBytheBay.PeasPasstheCarrotsBibs with favorite characters and messages that include “Lick it up!,” “Bugs are vegetables too,” “Peas Pass the Carrots,” and “More Quackers Please.”
  • Finally, the collection includes one-piece bodysuits, or “bunsies,” available in sizes 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months, and 9 to 12 months. They feature the fun phrases, “No Sniffing,” “Ribbit Ribbit,” “Hip Hop,” and “Daisy Fresh” in various colors and styles.

Kids Preferred Debuts Little Artists, Musicians Lines Featuring The World of Eric Carle

EricCarleEaselThis spring, Kids Preferred will debut two new collections of toys from The World of Eric Carle. The Little Artist Collection features artistic toys and accessories that offer young artists the chance to paint the world as they see it, while the Little Musician Collection helps budding little musicians create notes, rhythms, and tunes all their own.

The World of Eric Carle line has The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Carle’s best-selling children’s book, as its centerpiece. Both the Little Artist and Little Musician Collections will debut at the American International Toy Fair in February.

The Little Artist Collection includes a wooden easel with a paper roll, paint cups, and magnets, including a chalkboard and a dry erase board; an art smock /apron with vinyl pockets; and a splat mat/floor cover with a colorful design that absorbs paints and spills. [Read more...]

Demdaco Launches New Baby Products Collection with kathy ireland Worldwide

kathyirelandDemdaco has entered into a licensing agreement with kathy ireland Worldwide, one of the country’s most powerful brands founded by CEO and Chief Designer, Kathy Ireland. The new line of products, kathy ireland Baby by Demdaco, features luxurious baby blankets and plush toys designed as a result of a collaboration between Demdaco’s Nat & Jules development team and kathy ireland Worldwide.

The kathy ireland Baby collection is a natural extension to the Nat & Jules brand of children’s toys and keepsakes. The collection will be available to preview in Demdaco showrooms this winter in Atlanta, Dallas, and Las Vegas. Kathy Ireland will make a special guest appearance in the Atlanta Demdaco showroom on January 9 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Google’s Zeitgeist Releases Top 10 Trending Toy Searches for 2013

Google has released its annual Zeitgeist—a “spirit of the times”—which gives us a chance to remember the people, places and topics that got us talking, and ultimately searching, before a new year begins. The list of top toy searches features new toys such as Minions and Palace Pets, but also old favorites, such as Play-Doh. Here are the top 10 trending toy searches this year:

  1. Pokémon
  2. Play-Doh
  3. Digimon Fusion
  4. Minecraft Toys
  5. Minions
  6. Palace Pets
  7. Paw Patrol
  8. Pacific Rim Toys
  9. My Little Pony
  10. Disney Planes

The 2013 Zeitgeist site provides more than 1000 top-10 lists of popular and trending searches from 72 countries, making it the most comprehensive and global list to date.

COMMENTARY: 1996: The Best Christmas Ever

1996. It was the year of the New York Yankees, the Chicago Bulls, the Dallas Cowboys. It was the year of Jerry Maguire and the Macarena. It was the year of Bill Clinton’s reelection. But most importantly, 1996 marked the best Christmas ever, with toy companies cranking out some of kids’ favorite toys of all time.

Cabbage Patch Snacktime KidWho could forget the Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kids dolls, from Mattel? Those pudgy-faced, yarn-haired little cuties each had a motorized mouth, and kids could feed their doll a french fry, a pretzel stick, a banana, and other yummy snacks. This was one of the toys my mom admits to pushing other moms out of the way for at Toys “R” Us on Black Friday morning. The food, which the dolls realistically chewed when kids inserted it into their mouths, fell into a backpack on the doll’s back, so kids could feed them over and over again. Of course, this beacon of glory was shortly recalled after the holiday season, as kids were getting their hair, skin, and fingers stuck in the doll’s mouth (as you can imagine, this resulted in many unhappy parents and kids with bald spots). While I made sure my hair was secured tightly in a ponytail while playing, my Snacktime Kid remained one of my favorite toys through ’97.

[Read more...]

Little Tikes Promotes Early Learning, Interaction with New Website, Tagline

LittleTikesThe website for MGA Entertainment‘s brand Little Tikes has been redesigned to feature more content for customers. The brand has also rolled out a new tagline, “The Wonder of Little Tikes,” referencing the moments that connect parents and their children.

The refresh adds new and extended content that reinforces littletikes.com as a destination not only for the largest assortment of Little Tikes products, but also as the go-to resource for insights and tools related to early engagement in childhood development. The updates, stemming from feedback from Little Tikes customers online, provide a more interactive, complete experience.

Now there is an easier check out process and additional functionality to make shopping more efficient; educational and entertainment content, including online games, coloring pages, and an animated webisode series; an incorporated ratings and reviews system to collect feedback and engage customers; and posts from leading childhood development experts to inform parents of key trends.

COMMENTARY: Easing Kids’ Nighttime Fears One Toy at a Time

It’s 9 p.m.—already well past bedtime—and your little one is still buzzing about the house in his or her favorite footie pajamas begging to play with just one more toy for just five more minutes. Whether it’s because they are restless or afraid of the dark, looming shadows in their room, getting kids down at the end of a long day can be a challenge. While you’d probably like the toy box to stay shut so you can get them off to bed, there are actually some great toys on the market that can assist you in this (often) headache-inducing process.

DinoRoar.Baby'sFirst.GoldbergerPart of the Baby’s First line, from Goldberger Toys, Dino Roar is great for kids who get scared when bedtime rolls around. The adorable baby doll is dressed in a pink or blue dinosaur costume, so both boys and girls can enjoy the security Dino provides. Little ones can press Dino’s belly for a “roar” sound that’s sure to intimidate any scary monsters lingering in the closet or under the bed. Dino’s glowing face and soft feel give kids ages 18 months and up security while falling asleep.

StarShineWatchdogs.KellytoyFor kids a bit older, Starshine Watchdogs, from Kellytoy USA, are ready to protect and serve at bedtime. Orion (blue) and Skye (pink) are cuddly plush puppies. They each say reassuring phrases, such as “don’t worry, I’m here,” and “all secure, sleep tight.” By pressing Orion or Skye’s right paw, the included Star Light nightlight illuminates the room, but automatically shuts off after a few minutes. Parents can even purchase additional Star Lights for other areas of the house, in case kids need to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom or get a glass of water. The bright star on the puppies’ chest also glows when kids press their left paw. These pups are great for travel.

Hello Kitty Lullalight, from Tech 4 Kids

Hello Kitty Lullalight, from Tech 4 Kids

Night lights are great for kids who have trouble with the dark, but throwing their favorite characters into the mix can make them feel even more secure at night. Spot Lite is a line of light-up character-based products from Tech 4 Kids. Including in the line are Lullalights, which are dome-shaped nightlights that glow and play lullabies. Featuring characters including the Smurfs, Hello Kitty, and Moshi Monsters, Lullalights project a colorful character image on the bedroom ceiling. Nite Friends are shaped nightlights also featuring kids’ favorite characters. They have an auto shut-off and are wireless, making them great for travel.

Jake.WallFriends.UncleMilton

Wall Friends, from Uncle Milton, not only serve as a nightlight, but as a piece of room décor. Available in multiple popular characters including Doc McStuffins, Cinderella, Jake the Pirate, Lightning McQueen, Minnie, and Mickey, Wall Friends easily adhere to bedroom walls. Each Wall Friends includes a remote, so kids can interact with them and hear their favorite characters say familiar phrases without getting out of bed. Wall Friends even feature two brightness settings and an auto shut-off.

All of these innovative products provide parents with an easy way to get their kids safely settled into bed at night. Easing their fears in a fun way with plush, dolls, or their favorite characters will make them stop begging to sleep in mom and dad’s room, and keep them better rested for the busy day on the horizon.

For more commentary from Marissa, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!