COMMENTARY: DYO Arts and Crafts Kits Remain on Top

As the design-your-own (DYO) trend continues this year, more and more companies are jumping onboard and attempting to woo the world’s crafty tweens. A lap around the arts and crafts section at this year’s American International Toy Fair revealed no shortage of bands, bracelets, or buttons just waiting to be adorned.

These are a few of my favorites:

Crafty Bands

Crafty Bands

  • Crafty Bands (Epiphany Crafts): Designed for kids ages 8 and up, Crafty Bands allow kids to create their own charms using the included Shape Studio Tool. Unlike some other paper punches, this one is super easy on the hands and has a cap to ensure that the newly made charms don’t fly away. The Crafty Bands Starter Kit includes the Shape Studio Tool, four Crafty Bands (pink, purple, blue, and lime green), 20 Crafty Snaps, 20 Bubble Caps, and adhesive. beware though, you’ll need your own adhesive to adhere the paper to the snaps. I tried a glue stick, but that wasn’t quite strong enough. Some quick-dry liquid glue should do the trick. For more information on Crafty Bands, visit www.craftybands.com.
  • My Image Button Maker (Choose Friendship): This kit allows kids to turn their favorite photos and graphics into buttons. They can choose from one of 36 preprinted images or upload and use their own on myphotosizer.com or the My Photosizer iPhone and iPod touch app. My Image Button Maker comes with 12 pins, 12 magnets, 12 button fronts, 12 button pages, and six pre-printed image cards. For more information, visit www.choosefriendship.co/.
  • Rainbow Loom (Choon’s Design): Designed for kids ages 8 and up, the Rainbow Loom allows you to create a “woven” bracelet using rainbow rubber bands. The loom and bands can look a bit intimidating, but the whole endeavor only takes about 10 minutes. It was definitely worthy my time! The kit includes all the supplies necessary to make up to 24 bracelets and more than 600 rubber bands. For more information, visit www.rainbowloom.com. (Check out the cool instructional video below!)

For more commentary from Sierra, check back each Friday afternoon. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!

Toys Account for 45 Percent of Global Market for Licensed Preschool Properties

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

According to a new report released last week at the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) Content Connection, an educational program for licensors attending the American International Toy Fair, retail sales of licensed merchandise for character-based preschool properties totaled $10.4 billion worldwide last year, up 1 percent over 2011.

The Global Market for Preschool Properties research study was presented during the seminar held on February 10 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

According to the report, toys accounted for 45 percent of the total on a global scale, up from 38 percent in 2005. The second largest merchandise category was apparel, accessories, and soft goods (24 percent), followed by publishing (9 percent), DVDs (8 percent), and paid apps/electronic content (5 percent).

For more information, visit www.epmcom.com/preschool.

Toy Insider Mom Shows GMA Live the Hottest Toys from the American International Toy Fair

President of The Alexander Doll Company Receives Wonder Women of Toys Award

Gale Jarvis, president of The Alexander Doll Company, was named Manufacturer of the Year at the Women in Toys’ 9th annual Wonder Women of Toys Licensing and Entertainment Awards dinner held during the American International Toy Fair. The annual dinner recognizes and celebrates the most outstanding women in the toy industry. The Wonder Women of Toys award was presented to Gale Jarvis by Shirley Price of Funrise.

During Jarvis’ tenure, the Alexander Doll Company has developed licensed brands, including Madeline, Eloise, Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious, Radio City Rockettes, Peanuts, Olivia, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, and more.

Jarvis spearheaded and is credited with the company’s venture into a new category of fashion dolls, which has included couture dolls styled by innovative fashion designers like Jason Wu. She has also been responsible for adding to the classic family of familiar faces with new sculpts for dolls from the Alex doll line, as well as one of Judy Garland, Greta Garbo, and Marlene Dietrich for the company’s Screen Legend Series.

Disney Infinity Provides a Sneak Peek

Disney released new images from Disney Infinity, its most ambitious gaming initiative ever, during the American International Toy Fair, held in New York City at the Jacob K. Javits Center from Sunday, February 10 through Wednesday, February 13. Disney Infinity is an all-new gaming platform that combines Disney’s most popular franchises with one of today’s hottest trends in toys: interactive figures that come to life in video games. Players can place real-world toy versions of their favorite Disney characters onto a device called the Infinity Base and transport them into the virtual game worlds of Monsters University, the Incredibles, and Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as into a giant Toy Box where they can create their own Disney experiences.

Toy Trends Announced by Toy Industry Association, Official Voice of Toy Fair

From toys that are “So Retro!” to arts and crafts inspired by “DIY Design” television shows, and playthings for sociable teens and tweens, the hottest toy trends of the year were unveiled by the Toy Industry Association (TIA) during its 110th American International Toy Fair.

After searching high and low through 150,000 products on display at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, TIA’s toy trend experts uncovered a new crop of trends that are sure to be on every child’s holiday wish list this year.   [Read more...]

What Do Bloggers Want? Part II

By Julie Livingston, Senior Director, Client Development, CarrotNewYork

My last post provided the first part of an interview with Debbie Bookstaber, a leading parent blogger and publisher of Mamanista. Bookstaber has worked extensively in the toy industry, with associations, toy companies, and brands. Following is more valuable insight from this leading blogger and social media expert on what to expect from bloggers and how to work with them more effectively. Connect with her on Twitter at @buzzmommy. To view part one, visit http://bit.ly/ZdlM5w[Read more...]

Power Rangers Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Visit our Facebook album for photos of the Power Rangers taking over the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Itching for some more Toy Fair coverage? Check out our additional news and albums from the week’s festivities on Facebook!

Adora Dolls Unveils New Look, Products

Adora is launching an “all new” Adora this year.  Adora has infused its brand with a new identity, packaging, website, and an assortment of products and price points for children of all ages.

The new brand extensions include 200 products with 70 new dolls and accessories, including 12-inch FabFairies, FlutterBabies, SnuggleTime Babies, and BathTime Babies. Adora’s current collections (PlayTime, GiggleTime, NurseryTime, and Adora Friends) have all been updated and refreshed with new features and a new look.

The new dolls debuted this week at the American International Toy Fair in New York.

Thomas the Tank Engine Ice Sculpture and Toys “R” Us Enjoy a Playdate

Sir Topham Hatt poses with the Thomas the Tank Engine Ice Sculpture in Times Square and reads a Thomas & Friends story to the kids at Toys “R” Us Times Square on Friday, February 8 to celebrate the launch of the Thomas Wooden Railway Line and the 110th American International Toy Fair.