Hasbro Adds Panels, Meet & Greets, and More at First-Ever HASCON FANmily Event

hasconHasbro unveiled additional programming details for its first-ever HASCON FANmily Event happening September 8 to 10 at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

James Gunn, writer and director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and and musicial Stan Bush are joining the line up, including appearances by Dude Perfect; Stan Lee of Marvel Comics; Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, producer of all Transformers films; Peter Cullen and Frank Welker, original Transformers original voice talent; Andrea Libman and Cathy Weseluck, voice talent of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and My Little Pony: The Movie; and “Chewbacca Mom,” Candace Payne.  [Read more...]

Funnybone Toys Merges with FoxMind Toys and Games

Funnybone Toys merged with Canadian toy and game maker FoxMind Toys and Games. Both companies’ product lines will continue, offering retailers a broader selection of like-minded games and an easier way to reach a free shipping threshold.

In the merger, Funnybone Toys Founder and President Julien Sharp will join FoxMind to manage U.S. sales with Phil Hamelin, FoxMind’s director of sales and marketing.

Hijinx, Chirp Partner for Sound Technology in Beat Bugs Toys

Hijinx entered a multi-year partnership with Chirp to create toys that interact with content on any device.

The company will use Hijinx Alive, powered by Chirp’s proprietary technology, for the first time in the upcoming Beat Bugs interactive toys. These official Beat Bugs toys will interact and sing along wth the TV show and each other, and will be available at Target in the U.S. Beat Bugs episodes stream on Netflix, which explore the narrative of songs made famous by The Beatles in a child-friendly fashion.

Rubie’s Costume Co. Acquires BuySeasons

RubiesLogoRubie’s Costume Co. Inc. acquired BuySeasons Inc., which is located in New Berlin, Wisconsin. The new acquisition will offer customers third-party logistic facilities to help fulfill costume and party needs.

“BuySeasons will now allow Rubie’s to offer the leading fulfillment operation to our wholesale customers,” says Howard J. Beige, executive vice president of Rubie’s. “We are extremely pleased to finally be able to offer a state-of-the-art fulfillment solution for our customers.”

“Partnering with Rubie’s will allow BuySeasons to dramatically increase our product offering as well as enhance our worldwide sourcing abilities,” says Rick Barton, president of BuySeasons. “BuySeasons is very excited when we think about the synergistic benefits of this exciting combination as we look forward to enhancing our customer experience.”

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ASTRA Members Elect New Representatives to Board of Directors

ASTRAlogoMembers of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) elected three specialty toy industry leaders to its Board of Directors at ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy today in Philadelphia. The new representatives are Chair-elect Dee Farrell of Neat-Oh International; retailer Amy Saldanha of kiddywampus; and manufacturer Kevin McGrath from The Original Toy Co.

Eric Quam of Fat Brain Toy Co. assumed the rule of Chair of the ASTRA Board of Directors, who has served as a Chair-elect for the past year.

Fat Brain Toys, Make: Launch Kidventor Challenge

kidventorFat Brain Toys and Make: teamed up to launch Kidventor Challenge. The contest gives kids in first through sixth grade an opportunity to submit toy or game ideas for the chance for Fat Brain Toys to bring the concept to market.

The winner will also receive a $2,500 advance scholarship, a licensing agreement that offers the opportunity to earn additional royalties, and round trip airfare with hotel accommodations for two to the 2018 North American International Toy Fair in New York City.  [Read more...]

Shopkins Come to Life with Pop-Up Café

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The Shopkins Macaron Café opened the doors to the public for a limited time from June 17 to 20. Over the course of the four days, hundreds of passionate Shopkins fans got to experience the pop-up café. Fans were required to make reservations online, which sold out in less than a minute after going live.

The limited time pop-up experience gave fans a close look at Shopkins Season 8: World Vacation with a product display wall and a Shopkins Season 8 play station. Fans also received Shopkins manicures and were able to take photos with Shopkins displays, including a wall of over 1,600 Shopkins characters.

NRF Survey Says Retail Shrink Increased to $48.9 Billion in 2016

NRFThefts from retailers and other inventory “shrink” grew to $48.9 billion in 2016 from $45.2 billion the year before even as budget constraints left retail security budgets flat or declining, according to the annual National Retail Security Survey released today by the National Retail Federation and the University of Florida. The thefts amounted to 1.44 percent of sales, up from 1.38 percent. [Read more...]

WIT Hosts Summertime Referral Contest

WITLogoWomen in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT) is hosting a referral contest from June through September. The chapter with the highest percentage of new members brought in through referrals will win $100 to be used toward any event and a Project Genius brainteaser bundle valued at $500 for the winning chapter’s local charity or school of choice. Plus, referring a member will receive $25 off their next WIT membership renewal.

To participate, have a friend fill out an application here and make sure the “Who Referred You?” box is filled out.

Online Registration For Kids Turkey Opens on June 28

Spielwarenmesse Middle East Fuarcılık Ltd. Şti., a subsidiary of Spielwarenmesse eG, is inviting toy experts to Kids Turkey taking place from October 26 to 29. The Turkish trade show brings together representatives of the toy industry from Turkey and other countries in the Near and Middle East. The World of Toys by Spielwarenmesse eG will give international exhibitors support in breaking into the market successfully. Trade buyers can submit their online registration in advance of the event to secure access to the fair.  [Read more...]