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The Toy Insider Unveils 2016 Hottest Holiday Toys

The Toy Insider 2016 Gift GuideThe Toy Insider unwrapped its 11th annual holiday gift guide today, including expert picks for the hottest toys and kids’ tech items of the 2016 season. The guide is broken out into three lists: the Hot 20, Top Tech 12, and STEM 10. With many options for kids of all ages, these 42 items are expected to top kids’ wish lists and be hard to find or sold out by Christmas.

“At The Toy Insider, we know play, and the toys in our holiday gift guide will have kids laughing, learning and playing in meaningful ways,” says Laurie Schacht, co-publisher and Chief Toy Officer, The Toy Insider. “Playtime is all about bringing the whole family together, and whether it’s an engaging new board game, an interactive play set, or an adorable tech pet, the toys on our list will get everyone having fun all season long and well into 2017.”

Click here to see the full guide!

TIA Announces New Dates for Fall Toy Preview 2017

The date for next year’s Fall Toy Preview is slated to take place from Monday Oct. 2 to Thursday, Oct. 5 at the Dallas Market Center in Dallas, according to the Toy Industry Association (TIA). The dates were carefully selected with the needs of TIA members in mind, says Jay Foreman, president of The Bridge Direct and chair of TIA’s Trade Show Committee. [Read more...]

Play-Doh Celebrates 60th Birthday on World Play-Doh Day

playdohHasbro’s Play-Doh brand celebrated its 60th anniversary with World Play-Doh Day. Fans all over shared how they imagine life would be like in the future using Play-Doh, and shared their imaginative designs on social media.

World Play-Doh Day is a global celebration that has been around since 2006, inspiring artists young and old to use their creativity to create sculptural masterpieces.

This colorful modeling clay has been sparking kids imaginations since 1956 with its iconic yellow can, with 3 million cans sold and an expansion into more than 80 countries.


Spin Master to Reveal Hatchimals on Hatch Day

hatch daySpin Master Corp. will unveil Hatchimals on Oct. 7, where consumers will be able to see and purchase the toy line for the first time at major retailers and on spinmaster.com.

Hatchimals integrate the company’s technology to bridge multiple play patterns. So far, Spin Master has only revealed the toy’s egg-shaped exterior publicly. Kids will be able to select the color and species of the Hatchimal egg, but what’s inside will only be revealed by holding and hatching the egg.

DHX Media Signs Broadcast Deals for Teletubbies

DHX Media signed an additional seven broadcast deals with international networks from across the globe for its debut series of Teletubbies, giving DHX a total of 23 broadcasters and 85 merchandise and licensing deals to expand the Teletubbies brand.

Future plans are in the works to build attractions for Teletubbies within the U.K, continental Europe, and the Middle East. Teletubbies fans will get a chance to visit theme-based rides and play zones.

ASTRA Certifies 28 New Play Experts

Play_EXPERTThe American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) has chosen 28 specialty toy retailers, sales representatives, and manufacturers to earn the ASTRA Certified Play Expert credential during ASTRA’s first in-person certification workshop held from Sept. 10 to 11 in Chicago, Ill.

The CPE Workshop provides networking opportunities, dynamic discussions, and hands-on activities to further support the message on the value of play. ASTRA also offers the option of becoming a Certified Play Expert with an online course with 10 modules followed by tests to confirm the candidate’s learning that can be completed at a pace that works best for the candidate. Click here for more information.

Toy Industry Foundation, Nemours Children’s Health System Launch Research Project

TIFThe Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and Nemours launched a year-long partnership. With the support of a $400,000 grant from TIF, Nemours will explore the impact of trauma-informed patient care and the role of play in helping kids and families heal and cope while in the hospital. Research findings will be used to develop a program  using play materials and related resources designed to support and comfort kids experiencing stress relations due to life-threatening illness, injury, or painful medical procedures. [Read more...]

Super Wings TV Series Now Available on Amazon Prime Video

SuperWingsJanson Media brings the animated TV series Super Wings to the U.S. via Amazon Prime video streaming. The show targets preschoolers and follows a plane named Jett as it delivers packages to children across the world.

Ultra Pro to Acquire Playroom Entertainment

Ultra Pro International LLC, a manufacturer of tabletop games and accessories, entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Playroom Entertainment, a publisher of board and card games. Ultra Pro also recently purchased Jolly Roger Games, TableTopics, and the exclusive rights to Stone Blade Entertainment’s portfolio. [Read more...]

WIT Announces Empowerment Day Speakers and Industry Experts

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 3.09.00 PMWomen in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT) announced the speakers and experts who will be participating in its annual WIT Empowerment Day event, to be held on Sept. 26, the day before Fall Toy Preview in Dallas officially begins. Held in collaboration with Walmart and the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the day includes informational sessions and panels to help WIT members with their businesses.

This year, WIT has gathered industry experts, buyers, speakers, and panelists from the toy industry to help woman-owned start ups, entrepreneurs, and small business owners grow their businesses. [Read more...]