China Toy Fair


The Strong Welcomes New Chief Entomologist and Archivist

The Strong has announced two recent additions to its professional staff:

Marisha Burgess has been hired as chief entomologist at The Strong where she provides primary oversight for all wildlife that inhabit the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden (including butterflies, birds, and small reptiles), as well as for the aquaria housed in the National Museum of Play.

Julia N. Rossi has been hired as an archivist at the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong. Her full-time, two-year position coincides with a rapid acceleration of archival donations, particularly as they relate to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games. Rossi is responsible for appraising, accessioning, and processing both traditional and digital archival collections and institutional records.

Hasbro to Present Global Consumer Insights at PlayCon

The Toy Industry Association has announced that Katy Giffault, vice president of global consumer insights at Hasbro, will share the company’s case study on entering and achieving success in the Chinese market during this year’s PlayCon.

Attendees will hear firsthand the demographic and socio-economic data used, as well as the consumer insight work done internally to determine Hasbro’s strategic entry into the emerging global market.

PlayCon will be held from May 6 through 8 at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Galney Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz. For up-to-the-minute Show information, visit www.playcon2013.org.

Bleeker Hits National Robotics Week

FBleekerNRW_SignatureArt2013or the third year in a row, cartoonist Jonathan Mahood is devoting a weeklong comic series of his famed strip, Bleeker: The Rechargeable Dog, to National Robotics Week. Distributed by King Features and created in 2007 for tech-savvy, cartoon-loving comics fans, the strip follows the adventures of Bleeker, a pet robot, and his friends. In seven consecutive strips, Bleeker follows his friend Karl, who may remind you of a household robot that has gained in popularity with consumers in the last few years, as he reunites with a fellow robot friend and old love interest.

Fans can follow the weeklong series at www.bleekercomics.com. National Robotics Week is a series of regional events and activities aimed at increasing public awareness of the growing importance of “robo-technology” and the tremendous social and cultural impact that it will have on the future of how people will live, work, and play worldwide. For more information about National Robotics Week, visit http://www.nationalroboticsweek.org.

Tomy International Announces Executive Management Transition

Tomy International announces the promotion of Gregory J. Kilrea to president and chief executive officer and Masayuki Nagatake to chief operating officer. The board of directors approved these appointments, and Curtis W. Stoelting will resign from his positions as chief executive officer and director to pursue other business opportunities.

Kilrea has been with the company since 2004, having served most recently as president of Tomy International and, prior to that, as the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Kilrea’s focus will be to strengthen Tomy’s global platform and brand portfolio, deepen relationships with key licensor, trade and vendor partners, and set the vision and strategies required to drive further growth.

Nagatake will focus primarily on Tomy’s toy and hobby business and will remain as a key liaison with Tomy Company Ltd. to ensure global strategic alignment.

KISS Catalogue Ltd, Sanrio to Produce KISS Hello Kitty Animated Series

kiss hello kityThe Hub Network has optioned the rights to a new animated series, KISS Hello Kitty (working title).

The KISS and Hello Kitty collaboration began in 2010 with a global collection of co-branded products, from Sanrio. The collection features hundreds of licensed items across all categories, including apparel, toys, electronics, stationery, and back-to-school merchandise.

KISS Hello Kitty will feature the four KISS x Hello Kitty characters living their rock ’n roll dreams and bringing pink anarchy to a number situations. The series is in the initial stages of development and will be produced by KISS Catalogue Ltd. and Sanrio.

The Goldberger Company Announces the Passing of Larry Doppelt

The Goldberger Company has announced the death of Larry Doppelt, one of the principles of the Goldberger Doll Mfg. Co., its direct predecessor. Doppelt died on March 15, at the age of 91.

United States Urged to “Think Asia, Think Hong Kong”

By Carol Kwok, Corporate Communication Officer, Hong Kong Trade Development Council

The largest Hong Kong promotion ever to take place in the U.S. will be held this summer to showcase Hong Kong’s advantages for American companies looking to tap new business opportunities in Asia, particularly on the Chinese mainland.

Think Asia, Think Hong Kong will feature symposiums in New York and Los Angeles, June 11 and 14, respectively. Speakers will include CY Leung, chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR Government, and more than 60 prominent senior executives from global companies. The event was organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), with support from 14 Hong Kong partners and a number of U.S. organizations. [Read more...]

Don’t Miss the Debut of “Sing it, Laurie!” on Sprout

sing it laurieSing It, Laurie!, the new animated musical preschool series co-created by children’s recording artist Laurie Berkner and Little Airplane Productions’ Josh Selig, is coming to 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout on March 25. For more info on the series, check out our previous post here!

 

BREAKING: Walmart’s Scott McCall to Deliver PlayCon Keynote

Some say retail is dead. Others say retail is king. Which is it? Go to PlayCon and find out what the world’s largest retailer has to say. The Toy Industry Association and PlayCon present an exclusive, one-on-one interview session with Walmart’s Senior Vice President for toys, seasonal merchandise, and celebrations, Scott McCall. A longtime Walmart leader, McCall joined the organization in 1993 and has served in numerous decision-making positions including divisional merchandising manager of toys from 2002 to 2007.

Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. Announces First Winner in Hometown Heroes Program

Bandai Co., Ltd. and Sync Beatz Entertainment celebrate the spirit of philanthropy by announcing Carole Pearson as the first winner of its Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. Hometown Heroes program. Pearson is being recognized for her work in advocating for homeless dogs. A $5,000 contribution has been made in Pearson’s honor to her animal rescue group, The Dawg Squad.

Tamagotchi Life Hometown Hero Dawg SquadThe Hometown Heroes program is a kickoff initiative of the new Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. (Love Is Fun Everywhere) lifestyle brand. Its goal is to encourage and recognize pro-social activity by enabling visitors to the Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. website to nominate people in their communities who have selflessly committed time and effort to improve the quality of life for those in need. Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. recognizes the highest scoring nominee with a $5,000 donation to the charity of his/her choice, an inscribed Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. Hometown Heroes Crystal Award, and a video on the Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. website.

The next winner will be selected at the end of April. Fans are encouraged to submit nominations for their own Hometown Heroes at http://tamagotchilife.com/heroes.