China Toy Fair


New Affiliation Between TIA and CTA Now in Effect

A new affiliate agreement between the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the Canadian Toy Association (CTA) went into effect on July 1. As previously reported by TIA, the partnership was formed to help strengthen the products, services, and events both organizations offer their collective members and industry stakeholders throughout North America.

Under the terms of the initial three-year partnership agreement, any TIA member with operations in Canada will be eligible to become a member of the CTA with one membership fee, while current CTA members will pay a single set of dues to access the benefits of CTA and TIA membership. A representative of each organization will sit on the leadership committee of the other body, and CTA will maintain its Canadian incorporation, mission, and bylaws.

Every CTA member is now in the TIA membership database and has unrestricted, members only access to TIA’s online products and services, including free educational webinars, proprietary reports on market research and industry practices, legislative bulletins on industry issues, and more. [Read more...]

TIF to Provide Gift of Play to Pediatric Cancer Patients

On July 22, pediatric cancer patients living at the Ronald McDonald House of New York City will be treated to a special toy giveaway and dinner party hosted by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF). For the event, the Toy Bank is currently seeking donations of toys, games, and crafts in quantities of 50 to 100 pieces for kids of all ages.

The Ronald McDonald House aims to provide a supportive and caring environment for pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Toy manufacturers, distributors, and retailers who would like to contribute product are encouraged to contact TIF program manager Elizabeth Max at emax@toyindustryfoundation.org. Donations are needed by Tuesday, July 15.

LIMA Launches First Multi-Country Consumer Surveys on Favorite Kids Brands

LIMAlogoLicensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) has introduced the first in a series of consumer survey reports detailing kids’ favorite brands and characters across various categories in 31 countries worldwide. LIMA has commissioned Kidz Global to produce the reports, which will be released quarterly for nine countries and semi-annually for the remaining 22.

With each report, Kidz Global’s BrandTrends will measure the relative awareness, popularity, and merchandise appeal of the top 30 brands to children. Each report will also identify the most recognizable kid licenses in the country for both boys and girls, as well as by category and in four different age groups from infants to tweens/young teens. Informative key facts will be presented throughout the reports to provide further insight into the survey results. [Read more...]

Toys “R” Us and Hull FC to Partner on Match Day and Support Programs

A new partnership launched between Toys “R” Us and Hull Football Club (Hull FC) will see the latter’s family area of the team stadium’s West Stand become known as the Toys “R” Us Family Area, with toy giveaways at every game from both Toys “R” Us’ and Hull FC’s mascots.

Toys “R” Us will also officially partner with the club’s grassroots engagement program, known as Fanbassadors, with special offers for young fans at schools and junior clubs, as well as discount vouchers and toys for Hull FC season pass holders. In addition, Toys “R” Us will become included in the club’s official playing and replica shirts.

The partnership will also see community links forged by the Toys “R” Us store at Kingston Retail Park in Hull, including visits from the players and mascots, as well as support for on-going community and charity work.

BreyerFest Silver Jubilee Returns for 25th Annual Model Horse Festival & Horse Fair

BreyerFest Silver Jubilee, the annual fan festival and horse fair hosted by Breyer Animal Creations, which makes realistic horse models for play and collecting, returns for its 25th year. The three-day event is scheduled for July 11 to 13 at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

This year, special guests will include Waller Farms’ Novelisto D, the equine star of Winter’s Tale; and TJ, equine star of Hidalgo, along with trainers Cari Swenson and Rex Peterson. Knights of Iceland, a group of Icelandic horses, will be on-hand to perform their native gait, the tolt, at high speeds in formation. There will also be portrait model horses on-hand.

On the evening of July 12, BreyerFest will host the BreyerFest Celebration of Horses, starring Gala of the Royal Horses, which captures the beauty and maneuvers of baroque horse breeds favored by European royalty. Performers will include Andalusians, Friesians, Lipizzaners, and Arabian stallions. [Read more...]

Nominations Being Accepted for The Strong Museum

The Strong Museum’s National Toy Hall of Fame is taking nominations for favorite classic toys and games to be inducted this summer. Submissions are being accepted through July 31.

Since 1998, 53 classic toys and games have been inducted, including the game of chess and the rubber duck. The submissions are sifted through by an internal museum advisory committee made up of curators, educators, and historians. They discuss and decide which toys meet the criteria for induction. The traits they are looking for include icon status, longevity, discovery, and innovation.

The selected toys will be inducted on November 6 at a weekend long celebration at The Strong’s headquarters in Rochester, N.Y.

LeapFrog Appoints Steve Youngwood to Board of Directors

Steve Youngwood has joined the board of directors for LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. He most recently served as executive vice president and general manager of digital media and entertainment products at Nickelodeon.

Youngwood joined Viacom in 1997 and most recently led all Nickelodeon Digital efforts, including websites, mobile, connected TVs, TV Everywhere and other emerging platforms. He also led Nickelodeon’s video, gaming, and book publishing businesses across all digital and traditional retail channels, and oversaw the acquisition and integration of five digital companies. Youngwood has also held various senior management positions in Consumer Products, ran the Nick and NickJr magazines, and worked in the Strategy and Business Development Group.

Countdown Begins to 2014 International Yo-Yo Championship

Duncan85yrslogoThe 2014 International Yo-Yo Championship, hosted by Duncan Toys, will take place on August 1 and 2 at the House of Blues, located at Downtown Disney West Side at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Yo-yo players of all ages from all parts of the globe will compete for the title of International Yo-Yo Champion. There will be five yo-yo competition divisions at the event, including yo-yos attached to a counterweight instead of the player’s finger for aerial style tricks; yo-yos not attached to the string, but are tossed as high as forty feet in the air; dual yo-yos; and more.

Travel packages will be available that include Walt Disney World Resort hotel accommodations and theme park admission.

Sesame Workshop and Ounce Partner for Family Engagement

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, and Ounce of Prevention Fund (Ounce), are partnering on a new parent and child engagement initiative. The program is aimed to bolster parents’ understanding of the importance of early education and foster social-emotional development in their kids.

In collaboration with the National Head Start Association (NHSA), the partnership is set to develop resources for lower income communities to link experiences in the classroom with those at home in support of school readiness.

This program was announced by Secretary Hillary Clinton during the CGI America 2014 meeting, and is set to launch in early 2015 with three key components: a mobile platform with tips for parents to connect their children via media offerings such as videos and activities; a social network that will offer parent-to-parent contributions, connections, and encouragements; and a toolkit to help educators reinforce relationships and build connections between parents.

The Wiggles! Return to the U.S. this Fall

WigglesThe No. 1 children’s entertainment group, The Wiggles, will bring their preschool pop back to North America with the Ready, Steady, Wiggle tour. This fall, the quartet will delight families across the country in support of a new CD and DVD, Apples and Bananas, which will be available August 26, as well as a new season of their hit television show airing on Sprout in the U.S. and Treehouse in Canada.

Founding member Anthony Field (aka Blue Wiggle), along with Emma Watkins (Yellow Wiggle), Simon Pryce (Red Wiggle), and Lachlan Gillespie (Purple Wiggle) will be joined on stage by Dorothy the Dinosaur, Captain Feathersword, Wags the Dog, and Henry the Octopus.

A complete list of tour dates and ticket information for the Ready, Steady, Wiggle! tour can be found at www.thewiggles.com.