Isaac Heller, Co-Founder of Remco, Passes Away

IsaacHellerIsaac Heller, the founder of Remco, died on March 7 at the age of 88. As reported by The New York Times, Heller was a former Navy electronics technician who got his start as a toymaker by buying up military surplus and transforming it into toys that zoom, soar, or otherwise move.
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American Greetings Hires Karen Vermeulen, Revamps Internal Licensing, Entertainment Teams

ResizedAGPLogoAmerican Greetings Properties (AGP), the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corporation, is revamping its licensing, entertainment, digital, and distribution teams, starting with the hire of former longtime Zodiak Kids executive Karen Vermeulen. Vermeulen joins AGP as its new head of global sales and co-productions, and will initially be based out of London.
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NPD Group Sees Sales Increases in Video Game Hardware, Software, and Accessories

NPDGrouplogoIn his analysis for The NPD Group, Games Industry Analyst Liam Callahan reports that hardware, new physical software, and accessories experienced sales increases in February of this year with combined sales of $956 million, up 8 percent compared to last February.
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YOXO Arrives in Select Target, Barnes & Noble, and Specialty Retailers across the U.S.

YOXOSpecialty retailers and select Target and Barnes & Noble stores have begun stocking their shelves with YOXO, a construction brand known for encouraging creativity in kids. The construction kits incorporate durable, recyclable, and interchangeable chipboard connectors in Y, O, and X shapes for kids to construct infinite creations powered by their brains and not batteries.
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Safari Ltd Partners with GovernmentShopping.com

safari ltd new logoSafari Ltd. is partnering with Governmentshopping.com, a web site that kicked off in February. As a partner store, various government employees are now eligible to purchase Safari Ltd. products at a discounted rate through the Government Shopping website.

“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to partner with Government Shopping,” said Alexandre Pariente, CEO of Safari Ltd. “As an American-owned, family run company, we are pleased to provide our Toys that Teach to all government and military service men and women all over the world. We are proud to support those that serve and represent our nation around the world and their families.”

TIA Calls on Grassroots Advocacy for New TSCA Law

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) is urging support for a new bill before the U.S. Senate, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which would modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. The TSCA empowers the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address chemical safety, require testing, and establish regulations on chemicals used in products sold in the U.S.
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Disney Announces Sequel to Mega-Hit Frozen

FrozenFever1Earlier today, the Walt Disney Co. announced plans to make a sequel to 2013’s Disney Frozen at the company’s annual shareholders meeting in San Francisco.

Since its release in November 2013, Disney Frozen has made nearly $1.3 billion globally at the box office and won the Academy Award for best animated feature. The largest grossing animated film ever, Frozen also inspired a robust line of consumer products, and was the No. 1 best-selling toy brand among girls in 2014, according to the NPD Group.

Lego Demonstrates New App, Makes it Easier to Get Started Using Robotics

LEGO_LogoAt the SXSWedu Conference in Austin, Lego Education demoed the new Lego Education EV3 Programming App for use with the Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 solution. The app is intended as an effective way for classrooms to get started with Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 within a 45-minute classroom period. [Read more...]

Registration Opens for TIA’s Fifth Annual California Toy Day

TIAToy companies of all sizes will have a chance to meet with California legislators during the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) fifth annual California Toy Day, taking place in Sacramento on April 14 to 15. The event will feature a series of meetings that connect toy manufacturers, importers, and distributors with the state’s policymakers.
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Gazillion Bubble Invites All to Celebrate National Bubble Week

Resized,Gazillion Bubble Car with KidsThis week is National Bubble Week, which originally began in 2000 as a way to celebrate spring. For kids, bubbles are a fun outdoor activity during spring and summer, while for adults they symbolize peace, harmony, and beauty. There is currently a Gazillion Bubble Show in New York City, as well as an exhibit at the So Cal Children’s Museum focused on bubbles. [Read more...]