Sweet Suite 2016

American Greetings Entertainment Signs Multiple Partners to Celebrate Care Bears’ 35th Anniversary

CB Classic 35th Logo 2American Greetings Entertainment (AGE) has partnered with retail, promotional, and licensing partners to celebrate Care Bears’ 35th anniversary next year, featuring new and ’80s-inspired classic looks for the Care Bears on a range of products in new categories. The celebration includes retail programs in specialty and department stores and mass-market retailers targeting millennial moms and their kids, young adults, and juniors. [Read more...]

Advanced Registration is Now Open for WIT Empowerment Day in September

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 1.36.07 PMWomen in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment’s (WIT) annual WIT Empowerment Day event will be held on Sept. 26, the day before Fall Toy Preview in Dallas officially begins. Held in collaboration with Walmart, WIT Empowerment Day is designed for entrepreneurs, manufacturers, inventors, and business owners who want to grow their businesses and careers. [Read more...]

TIA Celebrates Centennial Anniversary

TIA100yearsThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) is celebrating 100 years of serving the North American toy industry. The TIA kicked off the anniversary celebration on Sept. 17 last year with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Toy Halls of Fame Exhibit at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. In addition, the TIA has taken a look back at its past 100 years, highlighting key toy industry moments from 1916-2016 in a timeline that will continue to be displayed during TIA events throughout its anniversary year.  [Read more...]

LaRose Industries Recalls Cra-Z-Jewels

16186aLaRose Industries recalled the Cra-Z-Jewels Ultimate Gem Jewelry Machine due to a violation of the Lead Standard.

The “Slider Bracelet” in the making kit contains high levels of lead, which is toxic if kids ingest it. Consumers should immediately take these products away from kids and contact LaRose for a full refund. There are no reported injuries yet.

LaRose Industries can be contacted toll-free at (855) 345-4693 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email at recall@laroseindustries.com, or online at www.laroseindustries.com.

ASTRA Members Elect New Representatives to Board of Directors

PrintMembers of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) elected five specialty toy industry leaders to its Board of Directors at ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy in Denver, Colorado this week. The new representatives are Cynthia Compton from 4 Kids Books & Toys; Anita Demetropoulos from Island Treasure Toys; Damien Crocker from The Orb Factory; Tami Murphy from The Haywire Group; and Nicole Bortnick from BGN Sales Group. [Read more...]

A Mary Poppins Sequel is Coming to Theaters December 2018

Golden Globe Award winner Emily Blunt will star as Mary Poppins, and Emmy, Grammy, Tony Award, and Pulitzer Prize winner Lin-Manuel Miranda will play a new character named Jack in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns on Dec. 25, 2018. [Read more...]

Loot Crate Closes $18.5 Million Series A Funding Round

unnamed-2Loot Crate announced its $18.5 million Series A funding round, lead by Upfront Ventures, with participation from Breakwater Investment Management, Time Inc., Downey Ventures, M13, and SterlingVC.

Loot Crate offers its consumers themed mystery boxes each month tailored around leading entertainment and pop culture franchises. Each box offers four to seven curated product and content that ranges from collectible figurines, comic books, apparel, and Loot Crate-exclusive items.

Since launching in 2012 with $25,000 in seed funding, Loot Crate’s revenues have grown to more than $100 million annually and more than 600,000 monthly subscribers worldwide. The company currently services 35 countries, including the UK, which has become its second-largest market and where the company will be opening secondary offices this summer.

ICTI Care to Host Webinar on Responsible Sourcing in Toy Industry

ICTICareWebinarICTI Care will host a complimentary webinar for toy and entertainment industry stakeholders to provide an overview of responsible sourcing and a better understanding of the ICTI Care Process. The session will take place on June 9 at 10:30 a.m. EST.

ICTI CARE’s Tom van Haaren, senior advisor of responsible sourcing, and Mark Robertson, director of communications & stakeholder relations, will lead the webinar, focusing on ICTI CARE’s role in the global toy marketplace and how it works with brands, retailers, and manufacturers to ensure that ethical workplace standards are met in factories.   [Read more...]

DHX Media, Dentsu Entertainment USA Sign Global Deal on Animated Mega Man Series

MEGA MAN -- Reveal 2016-05-26Dentsu Entertainment USA Inc. and DHX Media Ltd. struck a deal to develop, co-produce, and distribute and jointly manage licensing for a new Mega Man animated series based on the Capcom Mega Man video game franchise.

Under the terms of the deal, Dentsu Entertainment USA and DHX will manage all gloval rights for the new Mega Man animated series. DHX will handle distribution and licensing in the U.S. in collaboration with Dentsu Entertainment USA. Dentsu Inc., parent company of Dentsu Entertainment USA, will manage distribution and licensing in Asia. DHX will manage distribution and licensing in all other territories. Dentsu Entertainment USA and DHX will both participate in all revenue streams related to this agreement. [Read more...]

ASTRA to Honor Steven Aarons at Annual Awards Breakfast

PrintThe American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) will honor specialty toy retailer and industry leader Steven Aarons, owner of the Barstons Child’s Play toy stores in the Washington, DC area at Marketplace & Academy with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

A veteran of more than 30 years in the toy industry, Aarons was involved in several ASTRA initiatives that positioned the specialty side for the industry for increased visibility among consumers—including the Best Toys for Kids awards program and Neighborhood Toy Store Day. He also provided leadership to the trade with supporting growth of ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy and encouraging ASTRA’s efforts on sales tax fairness and toy safety issues. Aarons also chaired the ASTRA Board of Directors from 2010 to 2011. [Read more...]