China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: Teen Titans Go! Has Licensed Toys Ready to Go

Phil.TeenTitans1.RobinFunkoIt’s been a good year for superhero comics on TV, what with the success of DC Comics’ Arrow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., not to mention the planned fall arrivals of The Flash and Gotham. But let’s not forget the animated side of small screen super-heroics, as the second season of Teen Titans Go! premieres next month. The series resurrects Teen Titans, which aired during the mid-to-late 2000s, as something wackier and anarchic. Both shows are based on the long-running comic book of the same name, which is centered on some of the best-known teenage characters in DC’s pantheon.

Along with everyone’s favorite young sidekick, Robin, the cast includes Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy. While adept at defeating evil-doers, Teen Titans Go! more often depicts them hanging out unsupervised at their team headquarters, at which point trouble worse than any super-villain tends to break out. The series is a fun romp, not to mention a good antidote to the spate of more serious, live-action superhero adaptations of late. Teen Titans Go! is currently licensed by a number of toy companies, with items for collectors, young kids, and everyone in between. But in all cases, the property’s lighthearted attitude shines through. [Read more...]

Douglas Company to Sell Petal Princess Tutu Skirts

Douglas Company is introducing new Petal Princess Tutu Skirts, each created with multiple layers of tulle that fall beneath a two-toned sateen tulip head. These will be available in 13 styles and an array of bright colors, from pink to purples to rainbow, and with petal accents that are intricately detailed with flowered embroidery.

Distributed in the U.S. and Canada, the Petal Princess Tutu Skirts are designed for kids ages 3 to 8, and available in sizes extra small, small, and medium. Coordinating wings, fantasy dresses, and masks are sold separately.

Mobo Cruiser Line Expands with New Disney-Themed Rides

MoboTotDisneyPlanesAsa Products has an exciting line-up of Mobo Cruisers, featuring characters from Disney-Pixar Cars and Disney’s Planes. Both the new Mobo Tot: Disney-Pixar Cars Lightning McQueen and Disney’s Planes Dusty cruisers are slated for release this summer, around the same time as the new animated film, Planes: Fire & Rescue.

Both adjustable three-wheelers are ergonomically designed for toddlers ages 2 to 5, and available at www.toysrus.com, as well as select Toys “R” Us stores.

Spin Master Launches Paw Patrol Toy Line Exclusively at Toys “R” Us

PawPatrolPaw Patrol is headed to Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at toysrus.com on May 18. Developed by Spin Master Ltd., Paw Patrol is the No. 1 rated preschool series and airs weekdays on Nickelodeon. Throughout June, Toys “R” Us will be the only retailer to offer the new preschool line of plush, vehicles, figures, and more based on the TV show.

The new product range includes a number of collectible items for kids ages 3 and up.

The Action Pack Pup with Badge figure comes with a push-button transforming backpack and a kid-sized, snap-on role-play badge.

Paw Patrol Racers each include a pup or a figure molded inside that hero’s signature vehicle. [Read more...]

Strider Bikes Rolls Out Revamped Line of Balance Bikes

StriderBikesStrider Sports Intl. Inc. has unveiled an expanded line of their best-selling 12-inch bikes for 18 month to 5-year-old children. These balance bikes will now be available in three unique models: 12 Classic, which is the skill-building, entry-level model; 12 Sport, which is the feature-rich, mid-level model; and 12 Pro, which is the all-aluminum, high-end model.

The new model names are intended to assist consumers in finding the Strider bike best suited for their children and their budget. All three models feature ultra-light-molded wheels, premium sealed cartridge wheel bearings, flat-free EVA polymer tires, and integrated footrests.

Tubby Table Toys Launches New Toy Line

Picture 1Tubby Table Toys Inc. has created the Tubby Table Tubby Buddies toy line with two collections. The Vroom-Vroom Vehicles set includes a racecar, helicopter, and tug boat, while the Zoo-Born Animals set includes a butterfly, ladybug, baby seal, and a clown fish. Each toy is a bright, vibrant, and floatable squirt toy designed for a bathtub.

COMMENTARY: Kids Can Safely Get Behind the Wheel with New Ride-Ons

It’s difficult to recall when I first began dreaming about getting my driver’s license. Sure, there was that one time I accidentally shifted my parents’ car into neutral and rolled it out of the driveway (sorry again, Mom), but even at a young age, I had a desire to drive.Barbie Jeep

The first ride-on I instantly became obsessed with was my friend’s Power Wheels Barbie Jeep, circa 1990-something. It was love at first sight and I just had to have it. It was battery-operated, so I could just push down the pedal and go. It even had a roomy passenger seat, which was perfect for driving around my younger brothers and sister–and I probably tried to get my cat in it with me, too. [Read more...]

Toy State Introduces New Road Rippers, Hot Wheels, and Cat Products

Road Rippers

Road Rippers

Toy State is adding new products in its spring line, including new offerings from its Road Rippers brand and Hot Wheels and Cat licensed products. The company is celebrating its 30th year by bringing new products for indoor and outdoor play.

For the Road Rippers line, suitable for kids ages 3 and up, Street Screamers feature stylized licensed vehicles with oversized low-profile wheels and special paint jobs. The VW Hatchback has a light-up rotating speaker bed with three unique designs and a different song for each. The Skidders Mini Countrymen WRC can slam on the brakes for a “fish-tail spinout” effect. Rev Up Monsters have a rev-up driving feature, while Maximum Boost has a rocket boost, as well as wheelie action. Street Beatz are custom-designed vehicles with high-impact speakers.

Hot Wheels licensed products, suitable for kids ages 3 and up, include [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Now Every Kid Can Be Captain America

Phil.04.03.Cap6inchLegendsThis weekend, everyone’s favorite re-animated World War II super-soldier returns in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, from Marvel Studios. (PLEASE NOTE: THIS OPENING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.) Having seen a preview of the movie, I won’t give too much away, but suffice it to say, it’s a good time, precisely because the captain faces conflicts that aren’t just fisticuffs. At a certain point, both he—and the other Marvel Comics-based heroes who appear—must decide whether to turn on their own government. Admittedly, it’s not that difficult a choice, since saying no means a terrorist organization descended from the Nazis gets the power to kill millions with the push of a button. But a moral quandary is, nevertheless, a moral quandary, and gives the movie a kind of complexity that isn’t always found in summer blockbusters. (END SPOILERS.)

It also results in a character that kids of all ages can—and should—aspire to become more like. (Did I mention that Captain America also learns to trust his friends? This film’s full of valuable lessons for young ones!) To that end, Hasbro has released an impressive line of Captain America: The Winter Soldier toys and accessories that allow for all kinds of pretend play. Since not every movie protagonist is a fit role model for kids, having found one with product support from the toy industry, I feel it is this column’s responsibility to highlight said product as much as possible. Cap, you’re welcome. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Bath Time Is Play Time in My House

I’m a lucky mom (for many reasons), but in the context of this post I’m lucky because my kids love taking baths. It’s one less thing to fight about. However, the reason they don’t mind cleaning up is that it’s fun. It’s not the getting clean part they enjoy (Lena has tried to make me forget about that portion of the experience many times), but the playing. Entertaining a 4-year-old in the tub is very different from distracting an 8-month-old, but bath toys have come a long way since I was a kid (plastic cup and Dawn dish soap, anyone?), and I’ve got a whole array of toys to get the job done. [Read more...]