American Girl to Open Shop-in-Shop Boutiques in Mexico

AmericanGirlAmerican Girl has partnered with El Palacio de Hierro, Mexico’s largest high-end retailer, to bring its line of products to Mexico, the company’s second international location.

Visitors to the new American Girl specialty boutiques will find a curated assortment of the company’s most popular products, including the My American Girl personalized, contemporary doll line and the annually-launched Girl of the Year dolls. They will also carry a selection of the company’s Dress Like Your Doll clothing for girls, as well as American Girl books, which will be translated into Spanish. In addition, there will be the signature Doll Hair Salon.

 The first two American Girl shop-in-shop boutiques will open next summer at El Palacio de Hierro’s Perisur and Interlomas locations in Mexico City, followed by a third boutique at the Polanco location in next fall.

Adora’s Designed by Kids for Kids Program Brings Ideas to Life

adoradollsisabellacato Pretty Little Cowgirl OutfitAdora Dolls has announced the latest winner of its Designed by Kids for Kids program. Isabella C., an 8-year-old from Florida, designed the ”Pretty Little Cowgirl” outfit that will be added to production next year.

The program, which is in its second year, encourages young designers to submit drawings in hopes of seeing their ideas come to life. The winner also gets to select their favorite charity to receive a donation from Adora Dolls.

 

 

 

Lego Bionicle Fights New Evil in Latest Line of Figures

The Lego Group unveiled its newest line in the Lego Bionicle franchise at New York Comic Con. The new product information, principle graphic design, and video short released at the event are based on a new storyline launching next year.

The new plot takes place on the mythical island of Okoto, where the evil Makuta is overcome by the desire for the island’s three mythic masks that will cast the world into darkness. Six heroes called the Toa must embark on a quest to unlock their elemental powers and battle the forces of evil, defeat Makuta, and save Okoto.

Beginning next January, six new protector sets and six Toa sets will be available at major retailers.

Madame Alexander Goes International with New Line of Dolls

madamealexanderThe Madame Alexander Doll Company’s new play doll series, Travel Friends–International Collection, will showcase nine countries and encourage children to learn about and embrace a variety of cultures from around the world.

Each doll welcomes kids into her world with a Hello! from her county and offers fun facts and highlights of interesting places to explore in her hometown. The 7-inch dolls are sized for playful portability and crafted with details of each country’s cultures and costumes.

The countries in the series are France, Italy, India, Kenya, Ireland, Mexico, Germany, China, and Russia. The bendable and posable dolls are the first collection in an ongoing Madame Alexander Play series designed for kids ages 3 and up.

Discovery Family Channel to Air Latest My Little Pony Equestria Girls Film

Discovery Family Equestria GirlsDiscovery Family Channel (formerly Hub Network) has obtained exclusive broadcast rights to Hasbro StudiosMy Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks film. It will air on October 17 at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT.

This is the second film featuring the My Little Pony characters that are magically transformed into teenage girls in high school. The first movie premiered last June.

Six-Year-Old from Ohio Creates Winning Outfit for Super Lottie

Oct9.LottieUK toymaker Arklu has announced the winning design for its Lottie doll superhero competition, which was part of a campaign launched to demonstrate that girls can be superheroes, too. The contest was independently judged by the Brave Girls Alliance.

The winning design was inspired by 6-year-old Lily from Ohio. As part of her entry, Lily was asked to define Super Lottie’s abilities. She said Lottie’s superpowers should include “the power to be anything, to do anything, and to make the world a better place. She is unique and special in her own way.”

The set marks the first time that a crowd-sourced design by a child has gone into commercial production.

Lottie dolls were created with a focus on maintaining wholesome characteristics. The dolls have a healthy, childlike body shape, wear childlike clothing (no make-up, high heels, or tattoos), and represent wholesome pastimes. This year, Arklu also introduced a range of dolls exploring gender-empowering, adventurous themes.

Lottie’s new outfit and a matching kids costume inspired by Lily’s design are available now.

Toy Insider Experts Name Top Holiday Toys in Their Hot 20 and Top Tech 12 Lists

The Toy Insider logoThe Toy Insider has announced its Hot 20 and Top Tech 12 holiday toy lists, giving gift-givers a sneak peek at the must-have traditional and high-tech toys this holiday season. From Doc McStuffins to Elmo, Lego Fusion to LeapTV, each list includes top picks for kids of all ages. Covering a variety of play patterns, including classic toys and high-tech options, the Toy Insider gives parents and gift-givers a head start on finding toys for the holidays.

The Hot 20 and the Top Tech 12 are the kick-off sections of the Toy Insider holiday gift guide, which will appear in the November issue of Woman’s Day magazine, as well as www.toyinsider.com. The guide is broken down by age group (0-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9+) with in-depth descriptions and a unique skill key of developmental needs and interests for each toy.

VTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch Includes Built-In Camera and More

VTech Smartwatch Release FINAL[4]Today, VTech launched its first ever camera watch for kids: the Kidizoom Smartwatch. The world’s first smartwatch for kids, its features include a built-in camera, video, and photo effects. The Kidizoom Smartwatch also has a 1.4-inch color touch screen, more than 50 digital and analog clock displays that help kids learn to tell time, a rechargeable battery, alarm clock, timer, stopwatch, voice recorder with funny voice changing effects, and parental game controls.

Since it is made for kids, the Kidizoom Smartwatch features a durable design to withstand drops and bumps, and is splash and sweat proof. In addition, the Kidizoom Smartwatch is PC and Mac compatible for uploading photos, videos, and recorded voice files, and offers access to VTech’s Learning Lodge app store.

The Kidizoom Smartwatch is recommended for kids ages 4 and up, and is available now at www.vtechkids.com, amazon.com, target.com, toysrus.com, and walmart.com.

COMMENTARY: Making the Most of the Fourth of July

Time is flying, and it’s hard to believe that next weekend is already the Fourth of July. For many families, this means barbecues, friends and family, music, and to top it all off, a spectacular fireworks display. Many Fourth of Julys from my childhood were spent at the beach or someone’s pool, and the days always seemed to last forever—in a good way. While the grown-ups mingled, we kids would embark on a day of adventure—exploring, playing, competing, and forging relationships. Here are some toys to give kids everything they need for a fantastic Fourth of July:

butterflynet

Toysmith’s Fish-Butterfly Net is a classic way to keep kids entertained for hours in the great outdoors. This multi-purpose net lets kids catch insects on land, minnows in the water, or fireflies once the sun goes down. I remember spending hours with my friends and cousins outside at the docks, waiting to plunge the net in at just the right time to catch the tiny fish that flickered in the sun beams. Bonus points if there’s a pond nearby for catching frogs. [Read more...]

GP Flair’s New Friend Xeno Comes Out to Play

June12 xenoGP Flair has unveiled the first details of the marketing drive behind Xeno, its interactive baby monster set to launch at the end of July.

With his unique aesthetics and multifaceted personality, Xeno offers a new play experience for children ages 6 and up. Xeno has more than 10 emotions, including happy, sad, playful, hungry, and unwell, along with more than 40 eye expressions, allowing him to communicate how he is feeling. His multiple sensors respond to touch, which allows kids to tickle, feed, and play with him. Xeno also loves music and will dance and sing along to songs, but will refuse to listen to songs he does not like. He also comes preloaded with five mini-games and can even talk to his Xeno Friends.

Downloading the free app will allow kids to play additional games and explore Xeno’s world.