KidTribe’s Hoopersize Kit Hits Retail

HoopersizeThe battle over childhood obesity, now declared a disease by the American Medical Association, has a new ally in fitness guru and TED Talks alum Kellee McQuinn. In 2002 she founded KidTribe, and has since evoked a new paradigm of physical education, especially with her Hoopersize hula hoops.

Hoopersize is a retail fitness kit designed to keep children active. The kit includes a full sized Pro-Hoop that’s designed to be a bit thicker, heavier, and a lot sturdier than typical hoops. It also includes two DVDs featuring instructional music videos that teach tricks, lead dynamic routines, and entertain while providing nutritional tips. The kit is packed with 12 instructional games and the Hoopersize CD with music to hula hoop along to.

KidTribe’s routines take the form of fitness concerts known as Hoopapalooza, which has grown to be a popular and award-winning school assembly program seen by more than 3.5 million kids and teachers. Hoopapalooza has garnered so much popularity that it has been a staple at the White House Easter Egg Roll since 2010. The energy of Hoopapalooza can now be captured at home with Hoopersize.

Heidi Swedberg and the Sukey Jump Band Releases Second Album

HeidiSwedbergHeidi Swedberg, best-known from her role of Susan on Seinfeld, has built a national reputation for her ukulele-inflected, interactive approach to family music-making. Swedberg produced her second album, My Cup of Tea, for national retail release on September 10. To produce the album of 13 songs, Swedberg raised more than $5,000 through crowd-funding site Kickstarter and involved many of her musician friends to create a diverse album.

Amidst frequent national touring with Heidi and the Sukey Jump Band, Heidi holds ongoing weekly music classes at McCabe’s and Los Angeles schools, plus elementary schools and other venues. Her lessons and chord charts are available via the Sukey Jump channel on GoChords. Heidi and the Sukey Jump Band plan concerts in Southern California this fall. Visit the Sukey Jump calendar page for scheduling details.

Gaby Borges Named New Kidz Bop Spokesperson

kidzbopUnivision Communications Inc. and Kidz Bop have teamed up to support the July 16 release of Kidz Bop 24. Tween sensation and Univision correspondent, Gaby Borges, is the new spokesperson for Kidz Bop’s first Spanish-language campaign. The 14-year-old singer, actor, and dancer is also participating in Kidz Bop’s annual Kidz Star USA Talent Search as a special ambassador to encourage aspiring young Hispanic performers to audition for their chance to win an RCA Records recording contract.

The release of Kidz Bop 24 is also timed to coincide with Kidz Bop’s annual Kidz Star USA Talent Search, the premier talent competition for kids 15 and under. This summer, Kidz Bop has partnered with Six Flags for the Official Kidz Star USA Live Audition Tour, hitting 10 theme parks across the country.

Women In Industry Luncheon Benefits K.I.D.S and Fashion Delivers

womeninindustryThe seventh annual Women In Industry Luncheon raised more than $200,000 on June 6 to benefit Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) and Fashion Delivers Charitable Foundation Inc., partner charities that have provided more than $1 billion in new product donations to families impacted by poverty and natural disasters.  The event, held at Cipriani 42 St. in New York City, introduced Denise Durham Williams as the new president and CEO of K.I.D.S. and honored Margaret Hayes, president of Fashion Group International; Kelly Neal Mariotti, CEO of First Candle; Joanne Podell, vice chairman, retail services, Cushman & Wakefield; and Maura Regan, senior vice president and general manager, global consumer products, Sesame WorkshopNY1 News journalist Jessica Abo was the emcee. A portion of the proceeds raised by the event will support the charities’ relief efforts for families affected by the recent Oklahoma tornadoes.

Toy and Consumer Products Veterans Launch Cartwheel Kids

Cartwheel LogoToy and consumer products industry veterans Vince Klaseus, Len Mazzocco, and Daniel Setton have launched Cartwheel Kids, an expanded proposition to Xcessory International, focused on bringing creativity and innovation to the toy aisle and beyond. In addition to the quality, innovative dress-up product that Xcessory International currently develops, Cartwheel will design and manufacture toy products, including boys’and girls’ role play, preschool toys, figures and play sets, plush, seasonal, novelty items, and more, that will debut next year.

Boasting a solid track record of success and decades of combined experience, the Cartwheel Kids executive team has already managed to capture the attention of companies in the entertainment and toy industries. The company will be announcing key partnerships in the coming months.

Daniel Setton, founder and CEO of Xcessory International, serves as chief executive officer. Vince Klaseus, former chief executive of Disney Consumer Products’ Global Toys division, is leading the team as president, and Len Mazzocco, former SVP of creative at Disney Consumer Products, is chief creative officer.

According to Klaseus, Cartwheel Kids’ focuses on developing strong relationships and partnerships based on collaboration, mutual trust, and creative solutions. To best serve these partnerships, Cartwheel has recently opened its Los Angeles office to complement the existing Xcessory International office in New York.

Toy Industry Hall of Fame Nominations Now Open

Members of the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and other toy industry stakeholders are invited to submit nominations of deserving candidates (living or deceased) for induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, the TIA says in a news release. Selected candidates will join 62 current members of the hall of fame during a ceremony to be held in conjunction with the 14th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards ceremony on February 15 of next year. The nomination period will extend from May 28 through June 28. Membership in TIA is not a prerequisite for submitting a nomination.

Nominees for the Toy Industry Hall of Fame should have longstanding experience in the toy industry; unimpeachable integrity and respect among his or her peers; have made outstanding contributions to the industry and/or to TIA; and be recognized for various accomplishments. Examples include innovative product or marketing introductions; manufacturing process changes, which significantly improved processes or products; a prominent role in promoting the public’s awareness and appreciation of the importance of toys in the lives of children, or promoting the public’s awareness of the toy industry as a significant and responsible member of the business community; and service on the TIA board of directors, or in other important capacities in or related to toys and youth entertainment.

Additional information on the Toy Industry Hall of Fame is available online. Questions and completed nomination forms should be directed to TIA’s Stacy Leistner (646) 520-4858 by June 28.

Thrash Lab and Giant Robot Profile Uglydoll Creator

Ashton Kutcher’s Thrash Lab, in collaboration with Giant Robot Profiles, profiles Uglydoll creator David Horvath. The profile tells the story of how Uglydoll was born around 10 years ago from a simple character drawing in a letter margin to a hand-sewn doll by Horvath’s now wife Sun-Min Kim.

Check out the profile on Uglydoll’s YouTube channel below:

Dunecraft’s Grant Cleveland Opens New Art Show

Grant Cleveland, CEO of DuneCraft, who had his first art opening at the Dick Kleinman Fine Art Gallery, is having another opening at Fairmount Center for the Arts. The opening will be on April 27, 2013 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., with an Artist’s Dialogue at 7:00 p.m.

Dick Kleinman, a massive proponent of Cleveland’s paintings, coined him the father of abstract symbolism, in which a story is told through symbols in the abstract form, colors take on meanings, patterns signify something, and it is possible to learn the language to some degree. Cleveland has just released an e-book, which features his paintings and the stories behind each one. The published version is now for sale and will be at the opening at Fairmount Center for the Arts.

Cleveland’s style is recognizable from the color, broad strokes, compelling subjects, and unique style and energy. Cleveland is an artist and serial entrepreneur. His current business enterprise is DuneCraft, which was started 11 years ago. DuneCraft creates themed terrariums, sprouting kits, and science novelties.

Harold Chizick Launches ChizComm

Toy industry veteran Harold Chizick has launched ChizComm Ltd., a full-service marketing and communication agency dedicated to launching, marketing, and promoting products and entertainment for children. Chizick is the former vice president of marketing services for Spin Master, where he served for 14 years. The agency will provide strategic planning, product launches, communication strategy, and digital strategy, among other services. Based in Toronto, ChizComm has already signed with Tech 4 Kids to work on the launch of its Tech Recon brand. For more information, email Harold: harold@chizcomm.com.

Britney Spears to Release New Song for New Smurfs Movie

smurfs2Britney Spears will release a song for Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation‘s family comedy The Smurfs 2, titled “Ooh La La,” via Kemosabe/RCA Records. “Ooh La La” will play at the end credits of the film. The Smurfs 2, the sequel to the hybrid live action/animated film released in 2011, is set to hit theaters on July 31.

Spears says, “I have always loved the Smurfs as a kid and now my boys are the biggest Smurfs fans ever. I wanted to surprise them with a song in the movie. I know they’ll think it’s Smurftastic!”