China Toy Fair


Women in Toys (WIT) Kicks Off New Initiatives in Dallas on October 6

WITWinningMovesWomen in Toys (WIT) has launched its new Empowerment Program with three exciting initiatives that provide members with opportunities for professional support, career development, and a roadmap to success.

The Winning Moves Empowerment Workshop gives entrepreneurs, inventors, and manufacturers the opportunity to pitch products to retail giant Wal-Mart as well as top toy and game companies including Hasbro, Spin Master, and Winning Moves Games. The event takes place on October 6 at Dallas Market Center at 1:00 pm, the day before the Toy Industry Association‘s Fall Toy Preview begins. It also features panel discussions, one-on-one speed mentoring, and networking opportunities such as a cocktail party open to women, men, members, and non-members.

One-on-One Mentoring pairs industry expert mentors with up-and-coming WIT members as well as those looking to change their career path. Volunteer mentors include manufacturers, retailers, marketing/PR agencies, and licensors. Members interested in becoming a mentor or mentee can sign up at www.womenintoys.com or contact Nancy Zwiers at nancy@funosophy.com

Learn-the-Ropes Webinars are hosted by industry experts and will provide information, insights, education, and support on a wide variety of topics. These are designed to help members with their career goals and professional development. Webinars will begin in December on Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Anyone looking for more information can visit www.womenintoys.com or contact Deb de Sherbinin at deb@kidsmartusa.com.

Disguise Inc. to Produce DreamWorks Halloween Costumes

DisguiselogoDisguise Inc. has entered into a licensing agreement with DreamWorks Animation to manufacture and distribute DreamWorks branded Halloween costumes and accessories.

The partnership includes the rights to create kids and adult costumes based on DreamWorks heritage properties such as Shrek and VeggieTales, as well as upcoming movie releases Penguins of Madagascar, Home, and How to Train Your Dragon 3.

dreamworks_animation_logoThe costumes will be available at retailers nationwide for next year’s Halloween season.

Roominate Creators Jump into the Shark Tank on September 26

Roominate.logoThe founders of the toy line, Roominate, will pitch their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-inspired product line on this Friday’s season premiere of ABC’s Shark Tank.

Roominate is a line of wired building systems designed for young girls to promote creativity while designing their own structures with circuits, modular pieces, and universal joints.

Kids’ Usage of Smartphones and Tablets Outpaces Other Electronics, Says NPD

NPDGrouplogoAccording to Kids and CE: 2014, the latest report from The NPD Group, kids’ usage of smartphones and media tablets outpaces their usage of all other consumer electronic devices in U.S. households.

Seventy-one percent of households with a child ages 4 to 14 reported owning a smartphone this year, up from 55 percent two years ago. Furthermore, incidence of ownership of media tablets doubled between 2012 and this year, growing from 21 percent to 43 percent, respectively. Among those with kids in the household, 35 percent said that their child uses a smartphone, up from 21 percent two years ago. For media tablets, the figure was 31 percent, up from 13 percent two years ago.

As far as personal ownership of consumer electronic devices among children ages 4 to 14, portable devices were the only device group to exhibit steady increases in ownership among the children themselves. Incidence of personal ownership of cell phones—including traditional cell phones and smartphones—held steady at 19 percent this year. [Read more...]

The Hub Network to Become Discovery Family Channel on October 13

HasbroStudios.logoThe Hub Network will become the Discovery Family Channel effective October 13. While the network will broaden its programming focus to serve families in primetime, it will continue to showcase Hasbro Studios children’s content in daytime.

During the daytime, the channel will offer a line-up of brand new Hasbro Studios’ series, as well as such library programming as My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, and Transformers Rescue Bots.

Discovery Family Channel will continue as a joint venture of Discovery Communications and Hasbro, with Discovery Communications taking a 60 percent ownership position in the new channel and Hasbro’s stake decreasing to 40 percent. The network will be consolidated and managed under the Discovery portfolio of networks. [Read more...]

New York Legislation Expands Ban on Child Products with Toxic Retardant

Last Thursday, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation that expands the ban on the sale of products containing TRIS, a cancer-causing chemical used as a flame retardant.

“No parent should have to second guess whether the toy or car seat they buy for their child is safe,” Governor Cuomo says. “This new law will not only provide additional protections for young children, it gives peace of mind to parents who will now know that common childcare products purchased in New York will not contain this dangerous chemical.”

This new law, A4741/S3703-B, expands the definition of TRIS to include an additional chemical, TDCPP (Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate), from being used in toys, baby products, and other consumer child care products, including items intended for children under three years of age. Alternative flame retardants are available as a substitute for TRIS.

The new law builds upon legislation Governor Cuomo signed in 2011, which expanded the number of prohibited flame retardant chemicals.

2014 National Toy Hall of Fame Finalists Revealed

American-girlThe 12 finalists for induction into The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame this year include American Girl dolls, My Little Pony, Rubik’s Cube, and more.

Here is the full list of finalists:

The Hall of Fame at The Strong museum in Rochester, N.Y., announced the finalists on Monday. A ceremony at The Strong on November 6 will reveal this year’s inductees.

Kidrobot Inc. Signs Deal with Commonwealth Toys and Novelty Co.

YummyWorldxKidrobotLogoKidrobot Inc. has signed Commonwealth Toys and Novelty Co. as a new toy licensee for its specialty brand, Yummy World.  Yummy World products, which launched in 2006, consist of food-inspired plush toys and key chains. Commonwealth will create a line of products targeting a broad distribution and focused on Sprinkle Tree, a sweet and savory city that Yummy World friends call home.

“We’re excited to work with Kidrobot on Yummy World and look forward to bringing the colorful and collectible line to a larger audience.  We’ll work closely with Kidrobot to maintain the quirky, unexpected aspects of the brand as we create fun products that kids of all ages will love,” said Alec Kessler, executive vice president of Commonwealth.

JLK Brand brokered the deal between Kidrobot and Commonwealth and will continue to add licensing partners for the Yummy World brand in games, apparel and accessories, home furnishings, and more.

Hasbro and Disney Enter New Strategic Merchandising Relationship for Disney Princess and Frozen

DisneyPrincessesHasbro Inc. has entered a new strategic merchandising relationship with Disney Consumer Products for the Disney Princess and Frozen properties. The agreement gives Hasbro global rights, excluding Japan, to develop dolls based on Disney Princess stories and characters including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Frozen beginning in 2016.

“We are delighted to have been selected by Disney Consumer Products to develop dolls for the Disney Princess and Frozen franchises,” said Hasbro President & CEO Brian Goldner. “Our strategic thought leadership and innovation has led to the steady growth of our girls business over the past several years, demonstrating that we have a true understanding of girls globally and how today’s girls want to play. [Read more...]

Entries to Be Accepted Soon for Spielwarenmesse 2015 ToyAward

SpielwarenmesseegAs of October 1, every Spielwarenmesse exhibitor can enter new products for the ToyAward competition. If they win, their products will be highlighted among the 75,000 new items presented at Nuremberg. A panel of 11 jurors selects products for the coveted new award in four age group-specific categories, based on children’s development stages: baby and infant (0 to 2 years), preschool (3 to 5), school kids (6 to 10), and teenager and family (from 11 years). [Read more...]