Mattel Named Master Toy Partner for Dinotrux

Mattel.DinoMattel has been named the master toy partner for Dinotrux, an upcoming Netflix original series. The toy line will be inspired by the series to connect the unique dinosaur personalities of the characters and bring them to life with construction and vehicle play patterns.

Dinotrux takes place in a prehistoric world filled with creatures that are half-dinosaur and half-construction vehicle. It follows the adventures of Ty and his friend Revvit as they unite to defend their new community from destruction.

School Zone’s Charlie & Company Begins Filming for Season 2

Charlie&CoSchool Zone has begun production of Volume 2 of its children’s series, Charlie & Company on June 8. Building on season 1, the new episodes will continue to teach preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders core skills, and will be available on School Zone’s Little Scholar Tablet. [Read more...]

ASTRA Launches Certified Master Retailer Program

ASTRAlogoThe American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) has launched the Certified Master Retailer program, a professional education initiative to help toy retailers strengthen their businesses.

The program provides seven core areas of instruction in business and finance; merchandising; marketing; personnel management and coaching; customer and vendor relations; technology; and children and play. The staff at the retail stores can access the course through on-demand webinars and can earn a Certified Master Retailer credential  by demonstrating their mastery of the material.

Aurora Celebrates Raggedy Ann’s Centennial Anniversary with Limited Editions, Special Events

Aurora.RaggedyAnnturns100Aurora World will be launching special edition Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls and sponsoring Raggedy Ann’s 100th birthday event in celebration of the brand’s centennial anniversary.

The special edition 16-inch Stars and Stripes Raggedy Ann and Andy will feature apparel that has white stars against a dark blue background combined with red. The 100th anniversary is noted on Raggedy Ann’s apron and Raggedy Andy’s cap. Aurora will launch additional dolls throughout the year to celebrate the milestone. [Read more...]

Inaugural World Video Game Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

VideoGameHallOfFameThe games in the inaugural class of The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame span multiple decades, countries of origin, and gaming platforms, but all have significantly affected the video game industry, popular culture, and society in general. Pong, Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Mario Bros., DOOM, and World of Warcraft have been selected from a field of 15 finalists that also included Angry Birds, FIFA, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, The Oregon Trail, Pokémon, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders. [Read more...]

ASTRA to Honor Industry Leaders at Marketplace & Academy

ASTRAlogoThe American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) will honor Jonny Girson of The Learning Tree toy stores with ASTRA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The annual awards ceremony will take place on June 8, during the annual Marketplace and Academy at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, NC. [Read more...]

Hasbro, Paramount Partner for Beyblade Movie

Paramount Pictures has acquired rights to create a live-action feature based on Hasbro’s Beyblade toy collection, which will be produced by Mary Parent through her Disruption Entertainment banner.

Sago Sago Launches Consumer Products Division

SagoSagologoSago Sago, a developer of apps for toddlers, is launching a new consumer products division. The division will be led by Samson Lee, head of consumer products; and Stephanie Lemoine, design director. The move comes after the successful test run of plush toys produced by Sago Sago last year as a pilot project in partnership with Monster Factory.

Aurora World to Open Permanent Showroom at AmericasMart Atlanta

Aurora.logoAurora World is opening a permanent showroom at AmericasMart Atlanta, a facility that Aurora has operated since 1993. The new showroom will make its debut at the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market from July 7 to 14. [Read more...]

Traditional Chinese Toy Exports Increase Year-over-Year and Month-over-Month

ChineseToyAnimalAccording to the China Toy & Juvenile Products Association, China’s traditional toys—a category that includes dolls, educational toys, puzzles, electric trains, and toy musical instruments—saw a 1.7 percent year-over-year increase in exports, as well as a roughly 63.87 percent month-over-month increase for April. Exports totaled about $984.4 million, accounting for 64.4 percent of China’s total toy exports for the month.

[Read more...]