Highlights, Mega Brands Prove a Great Fit for New Puzzles Partnership

MEGA+Branks+logoHighlights for Children and Mega Brands Inc. have entered a multi-year licensing partnership to develop a new line of puzzles. The collaboration will feature Highlights’ Hidden Pictures illustrations and other classic photos on Mega Brands’ line of engaging puzzles for kids.

“We are so excited to join forces with Highlights in bringing their characters, puzzles, graphic content, and stories into the world of puzzle building,” said Wendy Martin, director of puzzles and games for Mega Brands. “Children of all ages will embrace the Highlights line of easy-to-challenging puzzle products.”

JMPR Tapped to Handle Media Relations for Tonka Toys

TonkalogoJMPR Public Relations Inc. has been retained by Funrise Inc. to handle media relations duties for its Tonka-branded products under license from Hasbro. JMPR will work with Funrise’s internal marketing team to help develop strategy and implement consumer engagement programs, new product launches, and special events. JMPR will also be responsible for leading a broad range of media outreach initiatives, including the promotion of Tonka Motorsports’ involvement with racing series and sponsorship of drivers. [Read more...]

LeapFrog and Kristi Yamaguchi Partner to Raise Awareness of Early Childhood Literacy

Jan27.LeapFrogLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. and Olympic Gold-Medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi have launched the 20/20 Reading Challenge, intended to raise awareness of the importance of reading to young children.

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Jazwares Receives Toys “R” Us Vendor of the Year Award for 2014

jazwaresJazwares has been named a recipient of the 2014 Toys “R” Us Vendor of the Year Award. Toys “R” Us distributes the annual award to business partners that have helped the retailer become a resource for kids, families, and fun. [Read more...]

Safari Ltd. Ends Licensing Contract with Carnegie Museum of Natural History

safari ltd new logoEffective this month, Safari Ltd. has ended its 28-year collaboration with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The toymaker is moving forward to explore new opportunities, including the potential to work with other museums and educational institutions.

In a statement, Safari Ltd. CEO Alexandre Pariente stated that the decision was the result of divergent interests. The company plans on significantly expanding its Wild Safari Prehistoric World line, while Safari Ltd.’s Carnegie Dinosaur line will continue to be available online and with retail partners until supplies end.

2015 Games for Change Awards Nominees Announced

GamesforChangeThe nominees have been announced for the Games for Change Awards, which celebrate the year’s best social impact games. The award categories include Best Gameplay, Most Significant Impact, and Most Innovative. The eight finalists, narrowed down from a field of more than 150 titles, will also be considered for the top honor, Game of the Year, which is awarded to the game that best exemplifies all three categories.

A jury of leaders from the gaming, philanthropic, media, and tech communities evaluated all game submissions. The winners will be announced at the Games for Change Festival’s Awards Ceremony on April 22, hosted by Jesse Schell. A full list of the nominees can be found at Games for Change’s home page.

Report of 66th Spielwarenmesse Shows Increase in Exhibitors, Visiting Countries, and More

SpielwarenmesseegSpielwarenmesse eG has released a report summarizing the results of the 66th Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg. The total number of exhibitors was 2,857, up from 2,748 during the prior year. International exhibitors totaled 2,051 and represented 67 countries, up from 1,951 exhibitors and 61 countries during the previous year. The top five countries based on number of international exhibitors were China, Great Britain, Hong Kong, the U.S., and France. [Read more...]

The Art of the Brick to Feature Lego Sculptures Inspired by DC Comics

TheArtoftheBrick,DCComicsWarner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), on behalf of DC Entertainment, is collaborating with The Art of the Brick to create a contemporary art exhibition featuring large-scale sculptures, inspired by DC Comics superheroes and super-villains and made entirely out of Lego bricks. The new exhibition, The Art of the Brick: DC Comics, created by artist Nathan Sawaya, will feature Sawaya’s take on the breadth and depth of the characters and stories from DC Comics’ 80-year history, told through his Lego lens. [Read more...]

PlayCon 2015 Speakers to Include UK Specialty Toy Store Founder

HyattGaineyInnovative business research and trends related to youth, play, and technology will be shared at the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) upcoming educational and networking conference, PlayCon 2015, schedule to take place from April 29 to May 1 at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz. Attendees who sign up by February 28 will receive PlayCon’s early bird registration rate. [Read more...]

TIA Launches 2015 Toy Industry Financial and Operating Benchmark Study

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) will again partner with Industry Insights Inc. to conduct a confidential Toy Industry Financial and Operating Benchmark Study, which will enable toy companies to see how their numbers compare to companies of similar size, category, and distribution channel. [Read more...]