Nintendo Partners with Loot Crate to Deliver amiibo to Fans

amiibo.largerversionThe online delivery service Loot Crate is helping fans receive select Nintendo amiibo figures after they launch on November 21. By signing up for the limited-time amiibo subscription service, subscribers will receive 10 pre-selected amiibo—including Mario, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Fox, and Yoshi—separated into three special Loot Crate shipments throughout the holiday season.

By joining the subscription service, Loot Crate guarantees the 10 pre-selected amiibo, and allows subscribers to avoid the hassle of rushing to retailers to find certain characters. In addition to Mario, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Fox, and Yoshi, the other five pre-selected characters will eventually be revealed through Loot Crate.

Nintendo and Loot Crate plan additional surprises for Super Smash Bros. and amiibo fans. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Mario Kart 8, and Hyrule Warriors will feature amiibo compatibility this year, with functionality for more titles coming in the future.

Happy 45 Years, Sesame Street!

Sesame StreetThe Sesame Street neighborhood is celebrating the 45th anniversary of the television show today. Sesame Street is the longest running children’s television show in history and has won 159 Emmy Awards. Domestic and international versions of the show reach 156 million children worldwide in 150 countries.

Multiple celebrities have visited the show, including Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, and Ellen DeGeneres. First Lady Michelle Obama and One Direction are two of many guests to appear throughout Season 45.

 

XOS to Sponsor Free CPSIA Compliance Webinar

XOS will sponsor a free webinar on November 11 to address how the promotional products industry is impacted by current and upcoming compliance testing requirements under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

The hour-long presentation will provide an updated overview of new and proposed Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations and requirements pertaining to the testing and certification of children’s and other products. It will also offer an overview of recent state regulatory developments and concrete information about the areas of highest regulatory risk for makers and sellers of all consumer products.

Specific topics will include strategies to avoid administrative costs and compliance risks; the latest intelligence regarding new CPSC commissioners and agency penalty policies, port enforcement, and field investigation activities; information on CPSC’s approval of HDXRF for lead testing in children’s products as well as lead certification testing of surface coatings; and more.

Quin Dodd, product safety law attorney and former Chief of Staff for the CPSC, will be a featured speaker. His talk will be followed by a brief description of HDXRF technology presented by XOS Director of Sales, Satbir Nayar. Registration is required for this free event.

New Warner Bros. Behind-the-Scenes Videos Take You Far Beyond Gotham

LegoBatmanBTS

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released two new developer diaries that give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the upcoming LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. [Read more...]

Toys “R” Us Offers Holiday Changes to Aid Shoppers

sq-black-friday-made-easyA number of Toys “R” Us stores nationwide will open at 5 p.m. on November 27 for Black Friday sales. Stores will remain open through 11 p.m. on November 28, offering doorbusters and deals on the season’s most sought-after playthings.

Beginning Thanksgiving weekend and continuing through Christmas Eve, Toys “R” Us will introduce a range of in-store and digital services designed to make holiday toy shopping less stressful. Services will include the implementation of Toys “R” Us G.P.S. (Guru for Play Stuff) store specialists, new aisle signage, digital store-specific maps, daily toy shipments, and a dedicated Express Lane at checkout.

G.P.S.’s will offer busy holiday shoppers advice on hot toys, deals, time-saving services, and incentive programs. They will be located at the front of stores beginning on Thanksgiving, and during peak traffic periods on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for the remainder of the holiday season. [Read more...]

Patch Products Expands Product Line with Acquisition of Onaroo

OnarooPatch Products has expanded its line of toys to include children’s room decor by acquiring Onaroo, previously owned by American Innovative LLC. Patch’s line of products now includes Onaroo brand night-lights and alarm clocks designed to help kids sleep better and on schedule.

 

Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us Open Approximately 90 Stores Worldwide Throughout 2014

ToysRUsLogo copyToys “R” Us plans to open approximately 90 stores, which include new, relocated, and licensed stores. They will be located throughout 21 of the 37 countries and jurisdictions in which Toys “R” Us Inc. currently has a presence through its wholly owned and licensed businesses. The list also includes the company’s first licensed store in Namibia, which opened in October.

Toys “R” Us’ most significant expansion plans for this year are in China and Southeast Asia, where it has already begun operating several of 22 brand-new stores in China and eight planned new locations in Malaysia. By the end of the year, Toys “R” Us will operate 76 stores in 35 cities throughout China.

The new stores that the company plans to open this year include both Toys “R” Us locations and a number of side-by-side formats, which combine Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us under one roof. Meanwhile, new store sizes vary by country and range from 3,000 to 45,000 square feet.

New and relocated store locations are scheduled to open this year in the following countries: the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Namibia, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, and Taiwan.

Bubbles, Little Green Army Men, and Rubik’s Cube Inducted into National Toy Hall of Fame

NationalToyHallofFameInducteesThe 2014 National Toy Hall of Fame inductees are bubbles, little green army men, and Rubik’s Cube. The inductees were revealed at a public ceremony, which took place at the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play this morning.

The honorees were selected from a field of 12 finalists that also included American Girl dolls, Fisher-Price Little People, Hess Toy Trucks, My Little Pony, Operation Skill Game, paper airplanes, pots and pans, Slip-N-Slide, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

TIE Assists Companies in Complying with EU Toy Safety Directive

As reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) has published a free resource to help toy manufacturers, importers, and distributors comply with the legal requirements in the European Union’s Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC.

The 35-page online guide, entitled Toy Safety in the EU, was published by TIE in cooperation with the European Commission as part of an education campaign financed by the EC. Available in English and French, the resource includes guidelines regarding technical documentation, safety and conformity assessments, EC declarations of conformity, European Conformity (CE) markings, packaging requirements, sample testing, and more. The document also includes tips, FAQs, definitions, and links to EC resources.

Questions from TIA member companies that export toys to Europe may be directed to Alan Kaufman, TIA senior vice president of technical affairs, at akaufman@toyassociation.org.

Blue Box Holdings Expands International Products Business with Infantino Acquisition

BlueBox.logoBlue Box Holdings Ltd., a vertically-integrated international infant, juvenile, and toy products company, recently acquired Infantino, a San Diego, California-based infant products brand.

Infantino has a 20-plus year brand heritage, and its product categories include developmental toys, activity gyms, playmats, infant carriers, travel accessories, and feeding products. Through the acquisition, Blue Box adds to a portfolio of international brands including B kids, bbi, and Elite Force.