Tokidoki and Sanrio Collaborate on Holiday Collection

sanriotokidoki has partnered with Sanrio, the global lifestyle brand best known for the pop icon Hello Kitty, on a limited edition tokidoki x Sanrio Characters holiday collection.

The new collection features bright and colorful co-branded products with favorite tokidoki and Sanrio characters, including Adios, Ciao Ciao, Stellina, Hello Kitty, Keroppi, Badtz-Maru, and more. The broad product assortment consists of charms, ornaments, women’s tees, bags, smartphone, tablet, and computer cases, plush, toys, and luggage.

The tokidoki x Sanrio Characters holiday collection is available at the tokidoki flagship store in Los Angeles, Calif., as well as Sanrio boutiques across the country, and www.tokidoki.it and www.sanrio.com.

COMMENTARY: Nightmarish Christmas Gifts Delight Burton Fans This Season

While my folks are tuning into the Hallmark channel for the sappy Christmas movies that make them cry year after year, and my niece and nephew obsess over Buddy from Elf, I’m still stuck on a classic Christmas favorite that is often misappropriated by Halloween: The Nightmare Before Christmas. The movie isn’t called A Dream Before Halloween. For me, that’s enough reasoning to say it is, in fact—no matter how creepy—a Christmas movie.

Nightmare Before Christmas MonopolyUSAopoly will bring this cult classic into homes this holiday season in a whole new way with Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas Collector’s Edition. Players can buy, sell, and trade iconic movie locations, such as Jack’s Tower, Oogie Boogie’s Casino, Sally’s Alley, Dr. Finkelstein’s Laboratory, Town Square Fountain, and (my favorite) Spiral Hill. This completely customized game features imagery of all the greatest characters from the film, with Jack and Sally front and center, as well as six collectible pewter tokens, including Jack’s Skull, Sally, the Mayor’s Hearse, Oogie Boogi, Zombie Duck, and Evil Teddy. Just like the classic, this game is designed for two to six players ages 8 and up and is sure to please all Nightmare fans. [Read more...]

Zact Introduces Smartphone for Kids Featuring Disney Mobile Entertainment

ZactDisney.smartphoneZact Mobile brings kid-friendly smartphone service with preloaded Disney apps and content to families across the U.S. The Zact Mobile service will come preloaded with the hit Disney apps, Toy Story: Smash It!, and, Disney Infinity: Action! It will also feature access to family-friendly content such as Disney Video, Disney Music, and Disney’s Spanish-language destination, Disney ¡Ajá!

Zact also lets parents manage their kid’s smartphone use, and helps parents remotely control when their child uses the phone, which apps they can use, and who they can contact. Parents can either use a Zact-enabled phone to control their kids phone or they can download a free app, Zact Control, from iTunes or Google Play.

The Disney-themed Zact phone is available on the ZTE Awe, an Android 4.1 device with a 4-inch display and 5.0 megapixel camera. A free 4-month child starter plan is included with purchase.

BAE Systems Employees Donate New Bikes, Safety Helmets to Military Families

BikeDriveBAE Systems employees have presented military families across the San Diego area with new bicycles, safety helmets, and toys during the holiday season. The employees in Rancho Bernardo have raised enough money through fundraising events and personal contributions to donate 500 new bikes and helmets.

The annual bike drive has taken place since 1995, and employees have raised funds to donate more than 9,000 bicycles for San Diego families over the years. Additionally, bicycle maker Huffy has provided discounts on bikes and tricycles, and Bell has offered helmets at a reduced cost for the effort.

Geeky Stocking Stuffers for the Nerd in Your Life

GiantMicrobes has designed dozens of creations, from ornaments to collectibles, that make the perfect gift for science buffs, collectors, and those with a good sense of humor. Each GiantMicrobe, which can be the Common Cold or an adorable Amoeba, has an image as well as educational information about what the microbe represents.typhoid-fever

Highlights include:

  • GiantMicrobes Ornament Boxes: Three gift boxes (Tree, Stocking, and Wreath) include five best-selling microbes dressed up for Christmas
  • New GiantMicrobes Originals: Antibody – Antibody will keep the humbugs away from your celebrations
  • New GiantMicrobes Originals: Heart Cell – Get your sweetheart’s pulse pounding this Christmas (makes heartbeat sound when squeezed)
  • New GiantMicrobes Originals: Muscle – Expands and contracts like the real thing
  • New GiantMicrobes Originals:  Tapeworm – The elastic Tapeworm grows and grows
  • New Computer Virus Dolls and Key Chains: Perfect geeky gift for computer nerds, or anyone who’s encountered a computer virus

TIF Distributes New Toys to More than 2,000 Kids on North Carolina Air Force Base

TIF/BGCAThe Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and national partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services distributed brand new toys to more than 2,000 children and families living on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C. on December 2. During the base’s annual tree lighting ceremony, kids were treated to more than just entertainment and festive activities—they were also given a generous donation of toys, games, and stuffed animals.

With the holiday season just around the corner, TIF and BGCA are hopeful that the toys will ease the stresses and challenges children face with parents who are frequently deployed. This special donation was made possible through toy companies to TIF’s signature giving program, The Toy Bank.

This event was held as part of the TIF/BGCA Play Comforts program—the first national toy distribution initiative to serve dozens of U.S. military installations at home and abroad. The program has provided more than $3.8 million in toys for children and families over the four years it has been running.

TIF’s Toy Bank includes AbraKIDabra, Alex Toys, Barnes & Noble, Cardinal Industries, Cartamundi USA, Hohner, Inc., Green Toys, Innovation First, Lego Systems Inc., Mattel Inc., MindWare, Ohio Art, Patch Products, Safari Ltd., Wonder Forge, Wyla/Just Pretend Kids, and exhibitors at the TIA’s Fall Toy Preview in Dallas. For 10 years, The Toy Bank has provided toys to more than 11 million children in need worldwide.

TIF Contributes More Than $300,000 in Toys to TODAY Show Gift Drive

toyindustryMore than 30,000 children in need nationwide will receive brand new toys and games this holiday season, thanks to generous toy companies that partnered with the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) to participate in the TODAY Show Holiday Gift Drive.

TIF appeared on the TODAY Show’s November 26 episode to celebrate the toy industry’s contribution to the gift drive, benefiting dozens of charities across the country. The companies pitched in to donate more than $300,000 worth of toys for families facing financial hardships and children who are sick, living in domestic violence shelters, residing on military bases, or otherwise in need.

The Foundation thanked the following companies: Cartamundi USA, Children of America Dolls, Creations By You, Do-a-Dot Art, Green Toys,
Griddly Games, International Arrivals, International Playthings, Little Pim, McNeill Designs, Orb Factory, Safari Ltd., Savvi, Schleich USA, Smart Gear, Smart Toys and Games, ThinkFun, Ukloo Kids, VTech, WowWee USA, and Wyla, Inc.

TIF has participated in the TODAY Show Gift Drive for the past four years, providing a total of 88,000 toys (valued at more than $900,000).

Target Kicks Off Cyber Week with Deals and Digital Savings

Target LogoTarget’s Cyber Week event will kick off Sunday, December 1, where more than 100,000 items will be on sale throughout the week, including category-wide deals on toys. Deals include:

  • On Cyber Monday (December 2), thousands of toys at buy one, get one 30 percent off plus free shipping
  • Buy one, get one 30 percent off Monster High and Transformers licensed toys during Cyber Week (December 1 to 7)

Target is also extending free shipping on more than 300 toys throughout the holiday season, and by using a REDcard credit or debit card, guests will receive 5 percent off purchases and free shipping at target.com.

The Beatrix Girls Debuts Five Track EP Across Major Music Channels

The Beatrix Girls BandThe Beatrix Girls, a collectible line of pop-star dolls with their own original music, has developed a digital music platform to coincide with the dolls’ Toys “R” Us launch this holiday season. Their five-track EP, Meet The Beatrix, will be available everywhere music is consumed, including iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3, Muve Music, iHeart Radio, and Pandora.

Additionally, fans can receive an exclusive CD on Cyber Monday, December 2, at ToysRUs.com with the purchase of a doll. The age-appropriate tracks have been engineered by a talented team that promotes girl empowerment through the songs, “Just Bein’ Beatrix,” “Bend the Rules,” “Go Extreme,” “Doin’ My Thing,” and “Nice Try.”

The line was conceived by Sherry Gunther Shugerman, a two-time Emmy Award-winning producer and studio executive who has experience in producing The Simpsons, Rugrats, and Family Guy.

Fans can sing and dance along with The Beatrix Girls on its branded Pandora station, launching through December 31 on Pandora Internet Radio.

NPD: Fashion Dolls Still in Fashion for the Holidays

According to retail sales data from The NPD Group, year to date through October, the doll category is entering the holiday season with dollar sales up 1 percent compared to year ago. The Fashion Themed Dolls segment is the main driver of this growth with year-over-year sales growth of 6 percent through October.

This increase is due not only to several new brands such as My Little Pony Equestria Girls and Sofia The First, but also growth in some of last year’s more popular brands, including Monster High, Doc McStuffins, and Lalaloopsy.

Within dolls, other subclasses that have experienced strong growth are Fashion Styling & Dressup and Fashion Themed Clothes, which include items such as Monster High Fashion Sets and Barbie Ultimate Closet.

The following lists the Top 15 Fashion Doll items for the last 13 weeks ending November 9, ranked on dollar sales and in alphabetical order: