Messe Frankfurt and GDTA to Organize Guangzhou Trade Shows

Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd and the Guangdong Toy Association (GDTA) have signed a letter of intent to join forces in organizing the Guangzhou International Toy and Hobby Fair and the Guangzhou International Stroller and Baby Product Fair starting next year.

The GDTA acts as an industry voice to communicate with the Chinese government and coordinate with the government for industry research and survey projects. It also organizes the Guangzhou International Toy and Hobby Fair.

Trade show organizer Messe Frankfurt is responsible for Ambiente, Christmasworld, Paperworld, and Tendence. It has exhibition and collaboration experience with different industry associations and government bodies in greater China.

Geocache Becomes First-Ever Fan-Voted Scrabble Word

The word “geocache” beat out 15 other nominees in last month’s Scrabble Word Showdown, and as a result, will be included in the fifth edition of Merriam-Webster’s Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, scheduled for release this August. This marks the dictionary’s first major update in nearly a decade, and the first time it has ever included a word voted on by fans.

Nominated by fans following a national call-for-entries on the Hasbro Game Night Facebook page in March, “geocache” is a verb meaning to seek items by means of a GPS device as part of a game. It faced 15 other popular choices in an online showdown from April 2 to 10, besting such fan favorites as “bitcoin,” “cosplay,” and “ew.”

Geocache will be an eligible word right in time for National Scrabble Day on April 13. It will also be playable in the upcoming National School Scrabble Championship on April 26 to 27 and the National Scrabble Tournament in August.

Child’s Play Communications Creates CPC Tech

Child’s Play Communications has launched CPC Tech, a new division devoted exclusively to creating awareness of and demand for family-friendly technology products. CPC Tech will be responsible for promoting products ranging from apps to tablets to technology-driven toys.

Recent clients have included multiple Peppa Pig apps, and littleBits, a system of electronic modules that snap together with magnets to create circuits. “We’ve been handling so many child- and parent-focused tech products recently, we’ve decided to launch a group entirely devoted to that category,” said company president Stephanie Azzarone.

Super 4 Gets Distributor in Italy and Latin America

Super4PGS Entertainment has secured broadcast deals with Cartoon Network in Italy and Latin America for the new animated series Super 4. Inspired by Playmobil’s universe, Super 4 is a CGI comedy-adventure that marks the first time the children’s brand has come to TV.

Super 4 is produced by Method Animation and morgen studios, with France Télévisions as commissioning broadcaster. PGS represents the series in all territories.

Vintage Snoopy Astronaut Doll Sells at Auction for $1,300

SnoopyAstronautOn Tuesday, a Snoopy Astronaut doll was auctioned for $1,300 ($1,625 including premium) at Bonhams. Made out of plastic and textile and standing 10 inches tall, the doll features the Peanuts comic strip character in a space suit and helmet. It was produced in China by Determined Distributions of San Francisco for United Feature Syndicate in 1969.

Snoopy was adopted by NASA with the full blessing of creator Charles M. Schulz as the Manned Flight Awareness (MFA) program mascot, which used him as a “spokesperson,” to emphasize such topics as flight safety and good quality control during spacecraft manufacturing.

The lot included the original red and blue distribution and display box, and the doll helmet back is inscribed and signed, “Snoopy LM-4, GENE CERNAN, Apollo X LMP.” The Apollo X LM crew named their lunar module Snoopy partly to bring greater recognition to the MFA program.

EA Sports UFC to Feature Bruce Lee

Bruce_LeeThe legendary Bruce Lee, considered the father of mixed martial arts, will make his historic first step into the Octagon in EA Sports UFC from Electronic Arts Inc. and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The game is scheduled to launch on June 17, and fans can complete the game’s career mode at Pro difficulty to unlock him.

A recently released trailer, EA Sports UFC Gameplay Series: Bruce Lee Reveal, shows Bruce Lee realized in the game.

Hasbro Is Bringing Down the House Rules for Monopoly

Monopoly.HouseRulesFrom March 25 to April 3, fans around the world weighed the pros and cons of their favorite Monopoly house rules on the Monopoly Facebook page. This past Friday, Hasbro announced the top five house rules, which will be featured in future Monopoly games. They are:

  • Free Parking, Fast Cash: All taxes and fees are collected in the middle of the game board, and if a player lands on Free Parking, they collect it.
  • Dash for the Cash: Players who land on Go! get to double their salary—400 Monopoly(M) Dollars instead of 200M Dollars.
  • Frozen Assets Rule: When in jail, a player cannot collect any rent money from other players.
  • See the Sights: Players must travel around the board one complete time before they can begin buying properties.
  • Lucky Roller: If a player rolls Snake Eyes—double ones—they collect 500M Dollars.

Fans will find the top five house rules in the Monopoly: House Rules edition game, available in select markets this fall. The chosen rules will also be included in the Monopoly game guide beginning next year.

The Prettie Girls Expands Distribution with Wayfair.com

PrettieGirlsDollsRetailer Wayfair.com is now carrying The Prettie Girls!, The One World Doll Project’s line of multi-cultural dolls. The Prettie Girls! consists of fashion dolls that encompass the attributes and aspirations of contemporary girls of different ancestries, including African-American, Latino, South Asian, and Caucasian heritage. Currently, The Prettie Girls are the only African-American and Hispanic fashion play dolls available on Wayfair.com.

“Following our successful February showing at Toy Fair 2014, we are in close contact with many enthusiastic retailers,” said Trent T. Daniel, Founder of One World Holdings, the parent company of The One World Doll Project. “We have been working closely with the Wayfair.com team to offer The Prettie Girls! dolls to their customers just in time for the Easter basket toy rush.”

Ralph Thielert Acquires Distributor iToy

iToy.LogoRalph Thielert has acquired iToy, a distribution company specializing in the distribution of toy-related products and services. The Lichtenstein-based company will act as a full service distributor to German-speaking territories, providing warehousing, invoicing, and trade market services.

iToy will also act as a sales agency and distribution and logistics consultant to domestic and international toy producers. The company’s distribution will continue to cover specialty stores, food retailers, online trade, and wholesale.

Thielert has more than 20 years of experience in the toy industry, including positions at Studio 100 Media GmbH and Altenburger Spielkarten, Leinfelden.

40th Annual ICTI Meeting Starts Today in Tokyo

ICTILogo.pdfRepresentatives of national toy trade associations are convening in Tokyo today for the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI) 40th annual general meeting. Hosted by the Japan Toy Association and scheduled for April 6 to 9 at the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa, the meeting will explore issues currently affecting the worldwide toy industry.
In preparation for the meeting, each participating country has submitted a state of the industry report to be discussed during the proceedings. The reports touch on topics such as toy safety, as well as issues of concern to the toy industry, including chemical and environmental impacts.

For more information, contact Molly Carroll at (202) 459-0355 or Tatsuya Kobayashi at 81-3-3829-2513.