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.

SBA to Host National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C.

Ryan McFarland from Strider Sports International Inc. has won South Dakota’s Small Business Person of the Year. He will join winners from the other 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C., from May 15 to 16. At the conference, a National Small Business Person of the Year for 2014 will be chosen and the winners will have opportunities to meet with top SBA officials and national business leaders.

Boon Hosts Social Media-Based Contest in Four Cities

Boon [CMYK]Got plans this weekend? This past April 1, it appeared that toddlers had taken over Boon’s social media pages, and while that turned out to be an April Fool’s joke, many of the random photos posted by Boon are part of a larger social media game. Indeed, photos found at Boon’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages contain “clues” about specialty retailers in the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles areas.

Details on how to decipher these clues have been posted in videos on Boon’s blog. Through Sunday, any fans in those cities who figure out the clues—and subsequently check-in at the specialty retailer in their city on Foursquare—will receive a discount code for 20 percent off Boon products.

Tetris Celebrates 30 Years with Philly Tech Week Kick-Off, Skyscraper-Sized Game

Tetris.PhillyThe world’s largest Tetris game will be played on the Cira Centre office building in Philadelphia this Saturday, from 7 to 10 p.m. Video game enthusiasts and techies of all ages will gather at Eakins Oval, located in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to play the Tetris game on the 29-story tower.

Dr. Frank Lee, the founder of Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio, will turn Cira’s LED arrays into a fully interactive version of the Tetris game, in honor of both Tetris’ 30th anniversary, as well as to kick off festivities for Philly Tech Week. Visitors will be able to play the game using an arcade-style controller at Eakins Oval. More than 100 people, randomly selected from an online lottery, will also have the opportunity to play. [Read more...]

Report for Spielwarenmesse 2014 Is Now Available

SpielwarenmesseegSpielwarenmesse eG has released a report showing the main trends for the toy industry this year, which are identified as Fit4Life, Retromania, Mini Is King, and TechToys.

Among the report’s findings from Spielwarenmesse 2014, China had the largest number of international visitors, the total number of visitors from all around the world increased by more than 3,000, and 50 more suppliers exhibited baby and infant articles compared to last year.

An online version of the full report can be viewed and downloaded at the Spielwarenmesse website.