Sweet Suite 2016

The Chicago Toy & Game Group Announces 2015 TAGIE Award Recipients

ChiTAGThe honorees for the eighth annual Toy and Game Inventor of the Year (TAGIE) Awards are in and will be presented at the TAGIE awards gala on November 20 at the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. This year, the awards ceremony has a storytelling theme, and excellence will be recognized in The Hassenfeld Family Humanitarian Award, In Memoriam, and Lifetime Achievement Award categories.

The Hassenfeld Family Humanitarian Award will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago for their contribution to empower at risk youth. The In Memoriam Award will honor Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin, the co-founders of Wham-O, who also created the Hula Hoop and the Frisbee. The Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Richard Maddocks for his toy inventions. [Read more...]

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Spin Master Partner for Craft Activity Line

build a bear logoBuild-A-Bear Workshop Inc. and Spin Master Corp. have partnered to make, market, and distribute a line of craft activity products. Spin Master will also allow children to stuff their furry friends from home to introduce another dimension to the Build-A-Bear Workshop experience. The line will launch in multiple markets next fall with plans to rollout globally in 2017.

The Spin Master agreement comes on the heels of several outbound licensed product deals for Build-A-Bear Workshop signed in North America, including Clever Cookie iced and mini cookies; Chasing Fireflies premium children’s clothing and costumes; a Jakks Pacific Inc. co-branded MiWorld playset assortment, and more.

American Girl Launches “Together We Make the Holidays” Campaign

American GirlAmerican Girl is launching several new charitable programs as part of its “Together We Make the Holidays” giving campaign. The first part of the campaign is ”Get a Friend. Give a Friend,” where American Girl will match any 18-inch doll purchase with a second doll donation. Working with the Children’s Hospital Association, the doll donation will be distributed to thousands of girls receiving care in the Association’s 200 U.S. hospitals. This initial campaign will take place from November 6 to 30. [Read more...]

TIF Celebrates 1 Million Hours of Play

TIFThanks to Toy Industry Foundation’s (TIF) Play Pledge, families have promised to support their kids with more than 1 million collective hours of play so far this year. In celebration of this milestone, TIF is donating $10,000 worth of new toys to kids in need.

PlayChic Fashion Show at Chicago Toy & Game Week

CHITAGThe Chicago Toy & Game Week announced the fourth annual PlayChic Fashion Show will take place on November 19 at the Alhambra Palace at 7 p.m. Fashion designers Peach Carr and Michelle Tan will show off their toy-inspired designs at this year’s show. The PlayChic Fashion Show allows fashion designers to work with toy and game brands that will be featured at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair.

Tickets for the PlayChic Fashion Show can be purchased here.

Colorforms Contest Allows Fans To Name Logo

ColorformsFrom October 11 through October 25, Colorforms fans on Facebook and Twitter will have the opportunity to compete for the chance to name the “Colorforms Guy,” who serves as the company’s logo. Fans will also have be able to vote on the finalist names for a chance to win new Colorforms sets and a $250 gift card to Toys “R” Us.

Colorforms Brands is producing an animated series that will bring the newly named logo to life. The Colorforms animated series is being developed by Out of the Blue Enterprises.

Fans wishing to participate in the contest can visit the Colorforms Facebook or Twitter page.

COMMENTARY: Positive Outlook for 2016

After attending the TIA’s Fall Toy Preview in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, I feel confident that 2016 is going to be an even better year for the toy industry. While the show floor seemed quieter than in years past, the majority of companies I met with were upbeat and excited for holiday 2015 and the year ahead. A number of my meetings were cut short due to drop-ins by Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Toys “R” Us buyers, which is always a good sign.

The industry is expected to be up approximately 6 percent this year, and I expect this success to carry over to 2016. I saw a higher than usual number of new lines, and interesting expansions of successful products, proving that manufacturers are riding high on the wings of rising sales, leaving them willing and able to take some risks. [Read more...]

Playmobil Launches First NHL-Inspired Play Sets

NHLPlaymobil has launched the first line of official National Hockey League play sets. This partnership with the NHL also marks the first licensed line of Playmobil products in North America. The full product line is available now in stores nationwide.

The initial Playmobil NHL figures focus on the  Original Six franchises— Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs—with player and goalie figures for each team. Products in the line include a full NHL Hockey Arena with score-keeper, a Zamboni, NHL referees, and the Stanley Cup Trophy.

School Zone Publishing Announces World Teachers Day Giveaway

School ZoneIn honor of World Teachers’ Day, School Zone will give away 10 School Zone bundle packages to early education teachers in the United States. The initiative kicked off on October 5 to further spotlight the importance of providing educators with additional resource to motivate young minds.

Educators who teach preschool, kindergarten or first grade can enter to win one of the 10 prize packages through October 29. The bundled prize includes a 2015 Little Scholar learning tablet with bumper and protective carrying case, 25 Charlie & Company coloring books, Charlie & Company DVDs and plush toys, a Start to Read! Early Reading Program 18-book set, 25 32-page workbooks, and a 4-pack of alphabet flash cards. Winners will be announced on School Zone’s social media channels on October 30.

World Teachers’ Day is an annual event that highlights the need to mobilize support for teachers, and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met.

Colorforms Signs on for Paw Patrol

ColorformsPawPatrolColorforms is launching its newest vinyl stick-on storytelling sets based on the preschool show Paw Patrol. The new sets feature glow-in-the-dark, glitter, magic reveals, and more, and will be available at Toys “R” Us.

PAW Patrol will be featured on Colorforms Take a Long, including four Colorforms sheets and a multi-fold, built-in backer card with re-closeable storage for Colorforms sheets, and Colorforms Create a Story, including an easel play area that folds out from the box, reusable box storage, six large Colorforms sheets, and four backgrounds in a closed box.