Grammy-Winner Alicia Keys to Cut Ribbon, Unveil New App at Toy Fair Opening Ceremony

Feb14.AliciaKeysAs first reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Grammy-winner Alicia Keys, co-creator of the interactive children’s app The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee from Bento Box Interactive (BBI) and AK Worldwide Inc. (AKW), will help cut the ribbon at the American International Toy Fair’s opening ceremony, scheduled for Sunday, February 16 at 10 a.m. Immediately afterward, Keys will hold a press conference moderated by Marian Bossard, TIA’s vice president of meetings and events.

The press conference will include a question and answer session and introduce the new interactive storytelling app Mookey, the latest extension of The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee, suitable for kids ages 4 and up. Other participants in the press conference include Scott Greenberg, BBI co-founder and CEO, and Makeda Mays Green, educational adviser for BBI/AKW.

The ribbon-cutting will officially kick off the largest toy show ever held in North America, with more than 30,000 anticipated attendees from 100 countries, and hundreds of thousands of toys and games across a record-breaking 411,500-plus square feet of exhibit space.

The 111th American International Toy Fair will take place on February 16 to 19 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. After-hours and networking events during Toy Fair week include the 14th annual TOTY (Toy of the Year) Awards on February 15 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.

Blue Orange Games Premieres Eight New Games at Toy Fair

Feb10.BlueOrangeBlue Orange Games has added eight new games to its collection of more than40 products that will premiere at the American International Toy Fair from February 16 to 19. The new games will be available for purchase online and in specialty stores across the U.S. and Canada in late spring.

Doodle Quest is a drawing game where kids must avoid obstacles using their memory and the power of a pen. Wuzzits is a matching game in which cards combine and morph into different monsters. Aztack allows players to build a temple using unique rules. Players can make rival herds of livestock go head-to-head in Battle Sheep. Spot it! Freeze pits players against an electric timer, while Spot it! Splash is a waterproof version of the family favorite.  Set in Imperial Japan, Niya makes its players use strategy skills to control the important clan garden. BraveRats is a strategy game for two players that is filled with plenty of suspense.

MGA Entertainment Unveils New Additions at Toy Fair

LalaloopsyAt the 2014 American International Toy Fair, MGA Entertainment will introduce its spring line-up for its Lalaloopsy, Mooshka, Moxie Girlz, and Little Tikes lines.

The Lalaloopsy brand will expand with Lalaloopsy Babies, featuring original characters Crumbs Sugar Cookie, Pillow Featherbed, Jewel Sparkles, and Mittens Fluff ‘N’ Stuff as soft, adorable babies. Lalaloopsy Bubbly Mermaids Pearly Seafoam and Ocean Seabreeze have hair that can be filled with bubble solution, and tails that can be squeezed to watch their bubble hair grow.

The newest additions to the Mooshka Fairytale lineup include Princess Palia, Ballerina Casia, Mermaid Sonia, and Fairy Ina. Each is adorned with a shimmering tulle dress, colorful soft ribbons, and lace crowns. In addition, each soft doll has Velcro hands that are perfect for holding hands with friends. [Read more...]

Warner Bros. Consumer Products Brings Godzilla-Sized List of Licensees to Toy Fair

WB Consumer ProductsWarner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) enters this year’s American International Toy Fair with an extensive lineup of global licensees in support of its entertainment properties, milestone anniversaries, and upcoming theatrical releases.

Bandai America Inc. and Jakks Pacific Inc. will each support Godzilla, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, with new toy lines. Jakks’ line of Godzilla products will include an Ultimate Large Scale Godzilla Figure with 12 points of articulation and a length of over 43 inches, making it one of the largest toys in Godzilla history. Other worldwide partners include Rubie’s Costume Co., NECA, and Sideshow Collectibles.

WBCP’s toy partners will also release toys and collectibles based on The Hobbit Trilogy. The Bridge Direct and Vivid Group will support the film series with new figures. Additional partners include Eaglemoss, Funko, Kosmos, and Ravensburger.

The Wizard of Oz will celebrate its 75th anniversary with Mattel‘s new line of dolls for The Wizard of Oz Barbie collection. Enesco, Tonner Doll, and Madame Alexander will each offer collectible figures. Warner Bros. will also continue its There’s No Place Like Home campaign in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Gone with the Wind will also mark its 75th anniversary with new collectible figures from Madame Alexander and Tonner Doll. Mattel will offer an anniversary Barbie collection and Enesco will introduce a stone resin figure. [Read more...]

Alex Brands Brings Several Toy Industry Companies Together Under One Brand

PrintAlex Toys, POOF-Slinky, and Zoob have come together to form Alex Brands, a family of brands that will include several names in the toy industry, including Alex Toys, Slinky, Scientific Explorer, and Ideal. Alex Brands’ collective portfolio will encompass more than 2,000 products spanning the categories of games, science kits, preschool and infant toys, construction sets, craft activity kits, and more.

The Alex Brands family will be headed by Fred Keller as president, and steered out of Canton, Mich., and Northvale, N.J. Alex Brands is owned by Propel Equity Partners, which acquired Poof-Slinky in July 2012, Alex Toys in May of last year, and Zoob this past September.

At next month’s American International Toy Fair in New York City, Alex Brands will introduce more than 150 new items across all its brands.

Uglydoll Collaborates with Kiss for New Plush Line

KissPlushUglydoll has partnered with the rock band Kiss to create a global, co-branded set of plush collectibles. The Kiss Uglydoll collaboration was previewed at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas last June and will officially debut at the American International Toy Fair in February. The collection will include plush dolls, from Gund, featuring Uglydoll dressed as Kiss band members: Ox as The Demon, Babo as The Starchild, Big Toe as The Catman, and Wage as The Spaceman.

The dolls are expected to arrive in stores in March.

Kids Preferred Debuts Little Artists, Musicians Lines Featuring The World of Eric Carle

EricCarleEaselThis spring, Kids Preferred will debut two new collections of toys from The World of Eric Carle. The Little Artist Collection features artistic toys and accessories that offer young artists the chance to paint the world as they see it, while the Little Musician Collection helps budding little musicians create notes, rhythms, and tunes all their own.

The World of Eric Carle line has The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Carle’s best-selling children’s book, as its centerpiece. Both the Little Artist and Little Musician Collections will debut at the American International Toy Fair in February.

The Little Artist Collection includes a wooden easel with a paper roll, paint cups, and magnets, including a chalkboard and a dry erase board; an art smock /apron with vinyl pockets; and a splat mat/floor cover with a colorful design that absorbs paints and spills. [Read more...]

FS USA Announces Its New Name Is MegaFun USA

Fabricas Selectas USA, a manufacturer of glass toy marbles, wood marble games, and other toys, officially becomes MegaFun USA, effective next year. The ownership has not changed, but the new name is viewed as better representing the company’s product line and services. MegaFun USA will exhibit its new FunTime Inflation Station and Inflate-A-Balls at next year’s American International Toy Fair in New York City.

Women in Toys Collaborates with Walmart at Toy Fair 2014

WIT.WalmartWomen in Toys (WIT) and Walmart will once again collaborate to help women-owned businesses pitch children’s products and brands to Walmart buyers at the 111th annual American International Toy Fair in New York City in February.

Scheduled for February 18, the Second Annual WIT-Walmart Women’s Global Economic Empowerment Initiative will kick off with a morning panel discussion featuring Raquel Taylor and Kelly Deimel of Bobo Buddy. Immediately following the panel presentation, by-appointment-only pitch meetings between women-owned toy companies and Walmart buyers will take place in Room 1C01 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Companies that would like to apply for Walmart pitch meetings must complete the online application form by December 30. Accepted applicants will be notified by February 1. More information is available through Patti Becker at PBecker@BeckerAssoc.com or at (203) 321-6813.

UPDATE: Women in Toys says it has “received an anonymous offer from a mentor who has promised to consider an investment in a company whose products are accepted by Walmart.”

The Young Scientists Club Turns 15

YoungScientistsClubTo celebrate its 15th anniversary, The Young Scientists Club will add new kits inspired by the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M.) education. The company will show off the new kits, which feature The Magic School Bus and Clifford the Big Red Dog, at February’s American International Toy Fair.

The Magic School Bus Math Explosion features a volcano that kids can explode by getting their math facts correct, while The Magic School Bus Engineering Lab lets kids build a solar oven, design a car, construct a bridge, create solar energy, and more. Clifford Animal Science includes a colorful lab tray, measuring cup, and magnifying glass for kids to perform experiments in animal science. Finally, Clifford Food Science guides young scientists through tasty experiments with catchy titles, such as rainbow ice and ice cream in a bag.