Nifty ’50s American Girl Maryellen Larkin Debuts

AmericanGirl, Maryellen LarkinToday, American Girl is debuting its latest BeForever character, Maryellen Larkin.  An 18-inch doll with strawberry-blonde hair and hazel eyes, Maryellen comes with historically accurate 1950s doll outfits, including a poodle skirt and saddle shoes. American Girl is releasing numerous accessories to go with the doll, including a 30-piece diner set, a TV console that works with an iPad, and a jukebox that plays ’50s-style songs and connects to electronic music players.

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Wal-Mart Revamps Layaway Program in Anticipation of Toy Demand

logo-walmartWal-Mart Stores Inc. will bring forward its holiday layaway program by two weeks, in what has been viewed as a move to get ahead of year-end demand for toys, and to generate sales of upcoming Star Wars toys. As reported by Reuters, Anne Marie Kehoe, the vice president of toys for Wal-Mart, said in a briefing that shoppers can utilize the program starting August 28, two weeks earlier than last year.

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Toys “R” Us Partners with Save the Children to Promote Disaster Preparedness

Toys-R-Us-Logo copyWith this month marking the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Toys “R” Us is once again partnering with Save the Children to promote disaster preparedness and offer customers an opportunity to help families across the country in times of crisis. Toys “R” Us stores nationwide are offering an exclusive reusable tote bag featuring a young child’s artwork, from which $1 from the purchase of each bag benefits Save the Children’s Domestic Emergency Fund, which provides a safe environment for children and families when disasters strike.

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Imperial Toy to Donate 350,000 Water Balloons for University-Wide Battle

Imperial,KaosImperial Toy will sponsor a campus-wide water balloon battle at the University of Kentucky, hosted by the school’s Christian Student Fellowship (CSF). The toymaker will provide 350,000 of its Kaos water balloons, and the university is anticipating 15,000 people to attend.

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Holy Nostalgia, Batman! The 1960s Dynamic Duo Return as Vinyl Idolz

BatmanComing to Funko’s Vinyl Idolz line, it’s Batman and Robin based on their appearances in the campy Batman TV series from the 1960s. The Dynamic Duo is joined by Batgirl and the Joker figures.

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The Lowdown on Doll Hunting: Doll Collecting in the Age of Social Media

This article first appeared in the July/August 2015 issue of The Toy Book.

MelissaHunterHeadShotDoll collecting may be as old as the industry itself, but the newest generation of collectors is armed with video cameras, vlogs, and thousands of YouTube subscribers. They call themselves doll hunters.

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Little Charmers’ Licensing Program Continues to Grow Across Toy Categories

LittleCharmersLittle Charmers‘ portfolio of toy licensees has grown by a few more partners, reports Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana Enterprises, which co-produces the Little Charmers animated series.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toy Unboxing Goes Live Globally Ahead of Force Friday

Star Wars LogoNew Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys will be unveiled through a live unboxing event broadcast on YouTube. The event will see highlights from a range of merchandise, and is scheduled to unfold over a span of 18 hours in 15 cities across 12 countries worldwide.

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The Queen’s Treasures Brings Little House on the Prairie to Life

TQT, Little HouseThe Queen’s Treasures has released details on its upcoming line based on the literary and entertainment property, Little House on the Prairie. Available next month, the Little House on the Prairie 18” Doll Collection will include accessories, play sets, and more for 18-inch dolls.

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TIA’s Fall Toy Preview to Remain at Dallas Market Center through 2018

TIA LogoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) Executive Committee and Board have announced that Fall Toy Preview will stay in Dallas through 2018. The event is scheduled to take place on the following dates: September 27 to 29, 2016; September 26 to 28, 2017; and September 25 to 27, 2018.

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