China Toy Fair


“C’mon, Let’s Play” Campaign from Toys “R” Us Encourages Imaginative Play

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 11.39.59 AMToys “R” Us has announced the, “C’mon, Let’s Play,” campaign to encourage kids to do exactly that: get out and play.

Designed in partnership with advertising agency The Escape Pod and YouTube sensation Daniel Hashimoto, the campaign was inspired by Hashimoto’s son, James, who was filmed playing with a lightsaber in his local Toys “R” Us store. Hashimoto edited the video, bringing James’ play adventure to life through animation. “C’mon, Let’s Play” is intended to teach children the value of playing and imagination.

The first television advertisements for, “C’mon, Let’s Play,” will begin airing August 3, and will encourage fans to promote on social media using the hashtag #letsplay.

ToyFest West Returns to Las Vegas for Third Year

The annual ToyFest West trade show will take place for the third year in Las Vegas. It will be held at the South Point Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, and the Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) will once again offer the popular promotion of a free Monday night when attendees book Saturday and Sunday night at the host hotel.  The offer is limited to the first 300 rooms booked.

At ToyFest, more than 700 established and new vendors alike unveil their products for the upcoming year. Products include traditional toys, hobby, dress-up, craft, infant and toddler, museum, science, and more.

Information on the show, manufacturers and representatives that will be present, the special room rate, and the program can be found at ToyFest West’s homepage, or by calling (909) 899-3753.

LeapFrog Acquires Kid-Safe Internet Browser KidZui

LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES LOGOLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. has acquired KidZui, a leading kid-friendly internet browser. KidZui currently powers LeapSearch, a browsing tool that allows kids—including those who are not yet reading—to explore web content in a safe way by categorizing content based on age and topic.

KidZuiLeapSearch provides browsing experiences on all LeapFrog children’s tablets, including the new LeapPad3 and LeapPad Ultra XDi.

LeapFrog Adds VP of Sales and VP of Platform Marketing

LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES LOGOLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. recently added two executives: Dan Burns and Scott A. Steinberg.

Burns joins LeapFrog as vice president of sales. In his new role, Burns will lead LeapFrog’s efforts to drive sales of the company’s award-winning products, including the recently unveiled LeapTV active video gaming system, the new LeapBand activity tracker, and more.

Prior to joining LeapFrog, Burns was vice president of sales at VTech Electronics for 10 years, where he drove record sales revenue and profit, set the strategy for global brand and product development efforts, and led retail merchandising initiatives for all sales accounts. He previously held executive sales positions at Radio Flyer Corporation and Hedstrom Corporation, as well as management positions at Hasbro and Kolcraft. [Read more...]

Chicago Toy & Fair Game Group Unveils ChiTAG Fair Lineup

ChicagoThe Chicago Toy & Fair Game Group Fair returns to Navy Pier in Chicago from November 22 to 23 this year. The fair is open to the public for a weekend full of interactive events and play. ChiTAG commemorates the toy and game industry as the global hub for consumers, inventors, trade and media to preview, play, and purchase the hottest new toys and games.

This year’s ChiTAG events roster includes playCHIC on November 20, an annual fashion show that pairs toy and game developers to create couture looks; Young Inventor Challenge on November 22, a toy and game inventing competition for kids ages six through 18; the TAGIE Awards on November 21, honoring innovation in the toy and game industry; I-SPI from November 20 to 23, a networking event with the International Summit for Professional Inventors; and T&G Innovation Con, where industry leaders can share key insights with others.

NRF Finds Back to School Spending Is Up, Driven by Demand for Electronics and Supplies

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2014 Back-to-School Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $669.28 on apparel, shoes, supplies, and electronics. This is up 5 percent from a total spend of $634.78 last year, driven by increased demand for electronic items, as well as parents’ need to restock their children’s school supplies.

NRF broke down spending by grade, and according to the survey, the average family shopping for high school students will spend $682.99, while spending on middle school/junior high comes in a close second at $682.13. Parents with elementary school-age children will spend an average of $580.94. [Read more...]

Disguise Renews Agreements with Top Entertainment Properties and Brands

july28 Jakks-Pacific-LogoJakks Pacific Inc. announced that its Halloween costume division, Disguise, has renewed and expanded agreements for multiple top entertainment properties to produce Halloween costumes and accessories launching at retailers nationwide this Halloween season.

Disguise has renewed its licensing contract with American Greetings Properties to create costumes and accessories for the Care Bears property and has expanded their agreement to now include Strawberry Shortcake.

Disguise has also renewed its agreements with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Warner Bros. Consumer Products  to produce costumes and accessories for The Simpsons, Family Guy, and the Austin Powers franchise, which will be available at retailers nationwide for the 2014 Halloween season.

 

Twenty One Toys and Spin Master Ltd. Send Empathy Toys to Israel and Gaza

TheEmpathyToyTwenty One Toys has partnered with Spin Master Ltd. to send its Empathy Toy to children and communities in need in Israel and Gaza. For Twenty One Toys, it represents the opportunity to have an impact far from home.

The Empathy Toy is a blindfolded puzzle game for kids and adults, designed to get players to think creatively, laugh through frustration, and help build a spirit of dialogue and understanding.

Spin Master Ltd. recently sent thousands of its toys to summer camps and kibbutz community centers in southern Israel, where children and families currently seek shelter amid the hostilities. It’s the third donation program for a war-torn area launched by Spin Master during the past eight years. Local and international support has included free freight shipping of all toys by El Al Airlines.

Genius Brands Names Stone Newman President, Global Consumer Products

StoneNewmanGenius Brands International Inc. (GBI) has appointed Stone Newman to the newly created post of president, Global Consumer Products. In this new role, Newman will work with retailers and licensees to build comprehensive consumer products programs for each of the company’s brands, including Baby Genius, Secret Millionaires Club, Stan Lee’s Mighty 7, and others. He will also appoint and oversee a team of licensing agencies from around the world to operate as sub agents.

Newman will continue to manage licensing programs represented by his former company, Art + Science International, including WowWee brands, ElectroKidz, MiP, and Archie Comics.  These brands will now be managed under GBI’s wholly owned subsidiary, A Squared Entertainment LLC.

Sony Pictures Teams Up with Iconic Video Game Companies for Pixels

Sony Pictures Entertainment has brought together a number of iconic video game companies, whose characters—such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede, Frogger, and Q*bert—will be featured in next year’s action comedy Pixels, to be released on May 15.

Companies with classic arcade games that are teaming with Sony Pictures on the film include: Atari Interactive (publisher of Asteroids, Breakout, Centipede, and Missile Command), Konami Digital Entertainment Co. Ltd. (Frogger), Bandai Namco Games Inc. (Pac-Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug), Nintendo (Donkey Kong), Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. (Q*bert), Taito Corporation (Space Invaders), and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (Joust, Defender, Robotron, and Wizard of Wor).