Sweet Suite 2016

Skylanders Imaginators and Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Drawing Contest Invites Fans to Get Creative

Skylanders Imaginatoris LogoMiddle School: The Worst Years of My Life and Skylanders Imaginators partnered for a “Drawing to Life” contest to celebrate the upcoming film release on Oct. 7 and video game debut on Oct. 16.

The “Drawing to Life” contest, which runs through Sept. 30, allows fans to use their imaginations to draw their own unique Skylander and submit a photo of their artwork to Instagram using the hashtag #SkylandersMiddleSchoolContest. Fans will be entered to win a hometown movie screening of Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life with friends and family.

Middle_School- The Worst Years of My Life logo

Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges from Toys from Bob and CBS Films.

Skylanders Adventure Club fans who pre-order Skylanders Imaginators between Sept. 24 and Oct. 16 will receive two free movie tickets to Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life.   

Click here for official rules and information about the contest.

Rubik’s Is On the Hunt for the Fastest Rubik’s Race Player

Rublik gamesRubik’s Brand Ltd. and University Games relaunched their head-to-head challenge game Rubik’s Race, available in retail stores nationwide.

To celebrate the classic game, University Games is hosting the Rubik’s Race Challenge to find the fastest Rubik’s Racer ever. To enter, participants must upload a full video of their game play and the time taken to complete the game to facebook.com/UniversityGamesUSA. The winner of the challenge will get a Rubik’s prize package.

Rubik’s Race is available in stores or online at amazon.com and areyougame.com.


Gund Names Bryan Bendavid as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing

8acf68e8-ccac-457a-ab02-b21a8f6e1471Gund has hired Bryan Bendavid as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing of the Gundimals Division. Bendavid brings more than 20 years of experience to the position, including 11 prior years at Gund and leadership-level positions at International Playthings LLC and Russ Berry & Co.

In the new position, Bendavid will be responsible for developing and implementing strategic growth initiatives that will expand Gund’s business into additional distribution channels worldwide.

Chicago Toy & Game Group Announces 2016 Innovation Conference Speakers

ChicagoToyGameWeekThe Chicago Toy & Game Group’s Innovation Conference will feature keynote speakers Kathleen Campisano (VP GMM Toys, Games, Hobby & Collectibles at Barnes & Noble), Andy Roo Forrest (Partner, Forrest-Pruzan Creative), Jim McCafferty (Owner, JMP Creative), Tim Walsh (Chief Playmaker, The Playmakers), and Michelle Thaller (Assistant Director of Science, NASA Headquarters). [Read more...]

WIT Appoints Alita Friedman as New Treasurer

aab6aad2-a22f-4341-bc46-68266bb7bbbbWomen in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) appointed Alita Friedman as the new WIT Treasurer. In her role, Friedman will set yearly budgets, monitor financial goals, and liaison with WIT chairs across various initiatives to maximize profits and establish new revenue streams. Friedman will also aid in developing WIT’s overall growth strategy.

Friedman currently serves as the principal at Alita’s Brand Bar. She previously was principal and chief brand officer for Uglydoll and began her career as a CPA and auditor at Arthur Anderson. Friedman was honored with the WIT Wonder Women Award for Marketing and Branding in 2013 and is the 2015 recipient of the President Farrington Award for her outstanding commitment to entrepreneurship at Lehigh University.

Play-Doh Celebrates 60th Birthday on World Play-Doh Day

playdohHasbro’s Play-Doh brand celebrated its 60th anniversary with World Play-Doh Day. Fans all over shared how they imagine life would be like in the future using Play-Doh, and shared their imaginative designs on social media.

World Play-Doh Day is a global celebration that has been around since 2006, inspiring artists young and old to use their creativity to create sculptural masterpieces.

This colorful modeling clay has been sparking kids imaginations since 1956 with its iconic yellow can, with 3 million cans sold and an expansion into more than 80 countries.


DHX Media Signs Broadcast Deals for Teletubbies

DHX Media signed an additional seven broadcast deals with international networks from across the globe for its debut series of Teletubbies, giving DHX a total of 23 broadcasters and 85 merchandise and licensing deals to expand the Teletubbies brand.

Future plans are in the works to build attractions for Teletubbies within the U.K, continental Europe, and the Middle East. Teletubbies fans will get a chance to visit theme-based rides and play zones.

ASTRA Certifies 28 New Play Experts

Play_EXPERTThe American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) has chosen 28 specialty toy retailers, sales representatives, and manufacturers to earn the ASTRA Certified Play Expert credential during ASTRA’s first in-person certification workshop held from Sept. 10 to 11 in Chicago, Ill.

The CPE Workshop provides networking opportunities, dynamic discussions, and hands-on activities to further support the message on the value of play. ASTRA also offers the option of becoming a Certified Play Expert with an online course with 10 modules followed by tests to confirm the candidate’s learning that can be completed at a pace that works best for the candidate. Click here for more information.

Toy Industry Foundation, Nemours Children’s Health System Launch Research Project

TIFThe Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and Nemours launched a year-long partnership. With the support of a $400,000 grant from TIF, Nemours will explore the impact of trauma-informed patient care and the role of play in helping kids and families heal and cope while in the hospital. Research findings will be used to develop a program  using play materials and related resources designed to support and comfort kids experiencing stress relations due to life-threatening illness, injury, or painful medical procedures. [Read more...]

Super Wings TV Series Now Available on Amazon Prime Video

SuperWingsJanson Media brings the animated TV series Super Wings to the U.S. via Amazon Prime video streaming. The show targets preschoolers and follows a plane named Jett as it delivers packages to children across the world.