TIA Calls for Toy Company Support to Prevent Legislation in Two States

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoAccording to the Toy Industry Association (TIA), bills moving through the legislative process could have a damaging impact on toy companies with business operations in Vermont and Connecticut.

TIA referred specifically to Vermont Senate Bill 239 and Connecticut House Bill 5354 and Senate Bill 126, which would result in lists of products containing certain “chemicals of concern” and additional testing costs for toy companies. The companies would have to report and publicly list any products containing the identified chemicals.

TIA is calling for toy companies and their employees to file pre-formatted letters (which can be found here for Vermont, and here for Connecticut) to their state representatives and senators to support TIA lobbying efforts. Companies must submit their contact information and edit the second paragraph of each letter to provide company-specific information. For more information, contact Andy Hackman at (202) 570-8526 or ahackman@serlinhaley.com.

CARU’s West Coast Conference Will Examine Digital Marketing to Children

The Children’s Advertising and Review Unit (CARU) will hold its fourth annual West Coast Conference on May 7 in Beverly Hills, Calif. The daylong conference, entitled Marketing to Children in a Digital Landscape, will feature panel discussions examining a range of child-direct advertising issues of interest to the toy industry.

Topics include the aftereffect of changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act that went into effect last July, the effectiveness and challenges of online advertising, how to ensure that websites and apps are legally compliant, and more.

Participants will receive practical insights into understanding self-regulatory guidelines for children’s advertising, as well as specific examples of how to effectively work with CARU throughout its decision-making process. The West Coast Conference will take place at the Beverly Hilton hotel; event registration is open, and the full agenda can be viewed at the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council homepage.

NPD Reports Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Powered Video Game Sales

According to the U.S. Games Industry Sales analysis by The NPD Group’s Liam Callahan, February hardware sales increased by 42 percent over the prior year, due to a more than 60 percent increase in console hardware sales. These strong year-over-year increases are due to the success of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

The analysis also showed that total video game sales in February were $887 million, a change of 9 percent compared to February 2013. This is credited to strong growth in hardware and a slight rise in accessory sales. Total software sales—across the console, portable, and PC categories—were [Read more...]

Ganz Recalls Grumpy Cat Stuffed Toys Due to Choking Hazard

Ganz.GrumpyCatThree styles of Plush Grumpy Cat stuffed animal toys from Ganz are being recalled. The stuffed animals’ eyes can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. No injuries have been reported, although Ganz has received six reports of eyes detaching from the toys.

The style of toys include an 8-inch Grumpy Cat in laying position, a [Read more...]

Hasbro Named a Winner of 2014 Climate Leadership Award, Takes Home Gold for Green Efforts

Hasbro logoHasbro Inc. has been named as a winner of the Climate Leadership Awards for the second time, acknowledging the company’s efforts to reduce carbon pollution and address climate change. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Association of Climate Change Officers, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and The Climate Registry honored Hasbro for its leadership in managing and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Hasbro received the Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management – Goal Setting Certificate, which recognizes organizations that publicly report and verify corporate GHG inventories and set aggressive GHG emissions reduction goals. Last September, the company established a goal to reduce GHG emissions by 20 percent by 2020 from a 2012 base year. This represents the company’s third public GHG reduction goal.

Recently, the toy manufacturer was also awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S Green Building Council for the its renovated facility in Providence, R.I., which has a number of green building features including sustainable carpet and reused material from local sources.

BreyerFest Turns Silver This July

BreyerFestThe BreyerFest Silver Jubilee, Breyer Animal Creations’ 25th annual festival for fans of model horses as well as horse lovers, will be held from July 11 to 13 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

This year’s BreyerFest Celebration Horse is the Friesian Gooitzen fan Teakesyl, imported from Holland by Siren Song Stables. Gooitzen’s record includes 130 career wins and 15 World Champion titles. Gooitzen will be presented at BreyerFest by Emmy Award-winning television star, fashion designer, and horseman Carson Kressley and the Bruggeworth family. In addition, a limited edition collectible Breyer model of Gooitzen fan Teakesyl is included with every three-day ticket purchase to BreyerFest. [Read more...]

TOMY Launches Megabuild Junction For Kids to Show Off Cool Combos

MegabuildJunctionWith Megabuild Junction, TOMY provides a new resource for showcasing layouts, providing building instructions, and inspiring fans to explore ways to combine their Chuggington StackTrack playsets and track pieces.

At Megabuild Junction, users can find helpful suggestions and tricks courtesy of Chuggington’s toy team experts. Through photos and videos, they can also see what TOMY’s designers and other families have created, as well as share photos of their own builds, which will be posted on TOMY’s Facebook page. Users are also invited to join conversations taking place in social media.

Nickelodeon to Debut Kid’s Choice Sports 2014 Awards

March17.KidsChoiceNickelodeon will debut its newest live award show, Kids’ Choice Sports 2014, hosted by Michael Strahan this July. The show will take place at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles and will honor athletes, teams, and sports moments from the year. The event will also feature a slime-filled sports stunt performed by a star athlete and a halftime live musical performance.

There will also be a Kids’ Choice Sports council consisting of athletes and other influencers in the sporting world. They will provide information during the awards show, give feedback on categories, and consult on the nominee process. Members of the council include Michael Phelps, Misty May-Treanor, and Baron Davis.

Drexel University Kicks Off Philly Tech Week With Skyscraper Tetris

ptw2014-logo-attBrandywine Realty Trust and Drexel University have partnered to kick off Philly Tech Week with a game of Tetris on the side of a skyscraper on April 5. Players will have a chance to play against each other on the north and south sides of Brandywine Realty Trust’s 29-story Cira Centre, which adds up to more than 100,000 square feet of surface.

In addition, AT&T is sponsoring “Arcade at the Oval,” a festival of gaming that will allow individuals to play classic arcade games, enjoy food from local food trucks, and watch live performances as the giant game of Tetris takes place.

Fans to Choose Newest Playable Scrabble Word

MERRIAM-WEBSTER INC. SCRABBLE DICTIONARY APPScrabble and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary are updating the The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary for the first time in nine years. On top of the thousands of words that are planned to be added, a new word will be nominated and chosen by fans during the Scrabble Word Showdown. Fans can submit their suggestions to the Hasbro Game Night Facebook page, where 16 words will be chosen for fans to cast their votes.

The final word will be chosen on April 10 and will be included in the 5th edition of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, available in August and across digital platforms later this year from Electronic Arts.