China Toy Fair


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.

Lego Systems Maximizing Opportunities for Kids

LEGO_LogoLego Systems Inc. announced that it would be maximizing opportunities for young children to play, make, and share by working in conjuncture with the White House Maker Faire on the Junior Maker program.

The program will celebrate the company’s recognition that children are born with an urge to explore and be playful, and will provide free activities and information directly to parents to help their children discover these natural tendencies. Lego will collaborate with the Association for Library Service to Children to provide experiences for children as young as four years of age.

Starting in July, librarians will be able to download a digital toolkit from Lego for details on how to host a Junior Maker session at their library, and parents will be able to download content for their children to play in their own home.

Lego Juniors, introduced this year, are construction sets to help children learn to build independently.

COMMENTARY: Summer Is Here!

Yes, yes, I know that summer actually starts next month. But for all intents and purposes, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and for the next three months, we’ll be cramming in as many cookouts, camping trips, beach days, and family get-togethers as we can. Kids have already started the countdown to the end of the school year, and after the long, harsh winter we had here in the northeast this year, they’re ready to get out and make the most of their summer vacation. Here are some great outdoor toys that will make it a summer to remember:

slipnslide

The Slip ‘n Slide Wave Rider, from Wham-O, is an obvious go-to for a hot summer day. This 16-foot slide is a classic way for kids ages 5 to 12 to cool off and have hours of fun. Hydro-glide technology creates water beads on the surface, giving kids a fast ride, and the included boogie board gives an even smoother time as kids slide alongside the water bumper and into the splash pool. The bumper also continuously sprays water, guaranteeing a cool, wet ride. [Read more...]