ah, the good old days…
It may be hot outside, but The Toy Book just got a preview of Playmobil’s holiday lineup. New from the company are Playmobil Figures, which will be available in August. The line offers 12 different boy figures and 12 different girl figures, which come in a surprise mystery package.
The figures come unassembled in the package, allowing children to put them together themselves. Children can interchange the parts on various Playmobil figures to make new characters with the pieces they get in the package. The figures retail for $ 2.99 and are for ages 5 and up.
Cepia LLC, the maker of ZhuZhu Pets, has partnered with Universal Pictures for a worldwide television rights and home entertainment deal that will see the release of two feature-length, animated films, Quest for Zhu and Power of Zhu. The films will debut exclusively on DVD this year and next year, respectively. Los Angeles-based Moonscoop (Jakers, Clifford, The Big Red Dog, and Chloe’s Closet) will produce the film, while Sean Catherine Derek (Smurfs, Spiderman, and Mortal Combat) will serve as the writer. 3-D animation studio Prana Animation Studios, Inc. (TRON: Legacy and Tinker Bell) will bring the Zhu-niverse to life in 3-D stereoscopic animation. Both movies star the four original ZhuZhu Pets characters (Pipsqueak, Mr. Squiggles, NumNums, and Chunk), who explore the Zhu-niverse through adventurous, heartwarming, and heroic tales.
According to the Associated Press, the Senate voted Wednesday to let the Federal Reserve cut fees that banks charge stores when purchases are made by using a debit card. Senators who did not support the proposal fell six votes short of the 60 that were needed to decline the price cut (a vote of 54-45). Currently, stores are charged 44 cents for every debit card that is swiped, which amounts to more than $16 million annually to banks and credit card companies.
In the suggested revised plan, the Federal Reserve wants to limit charges to 12 cents for every debit card transaction. A final ruling on the issue must be made by July 21.
Tatty Teddy is headed to North America with a licensing agreement between UK-based Carte Blanche Greeting, Ltd.’s brand Me to You and U.S. plush toy firm Douglas. The licensing deal was brokered by Stone America Licensing.
Douglas will produce and distribute the Me to You brand’s Tatty Teddy bears, targeting premium retail stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to everyday offerings, the Tatty Teddy collection will include products for key seasons, including Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.
Starting next month, Toys “R” Us customers can experience Rio via a new exclusive partnership between the retailer and Twentieth Century Fox. Toys “R” Us stores and Toysrus.com/Rio will offer consumers a first look at the upcoming family film, scheduled to premiere in theaters April 15.
At Toys “R” Us, customers will be able to find a merchandising assortment, including an exclusive toy line from ToyQuest, featuring poseable 3.75-inch mini figures in two packs, eight-inch basic plush pals, 10-inch animated talking plush, nine-inch feature plush and beanies, a nine-inch interactive plush version of Blu and Jewel chained together, and a seven-inch walking and talking plush Luiz bulldog.
Customers who buy the Rio video game, from THQ, for the Xbox and Wii will receive a DVD featuring never-before-seen sneak peeks of the film, while supplies last. Those who purchase the video game for the PlayStation 3 will receive a free Blu-ray version of the DVD.
The retailer has also launched a microsite for Rio merchandise, Toysrus.com/Rio. The site includes movie trailers, exclusive downloadable coloring pages from the Modern Publishing coloring books, and more.
Hasbro, Inc. has signed a strategic development agreement with Jagex Limited to jointly create a new online game based on the Transformers brand. Under the agreement, the two companies are slated to launch the Transformers online game in 2012 in North America, Latin America, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia.
Jagex, based in the United Kingdom, is one of the largest independent game developers and publishers in the world, with a dedicated global user base of millions playing its more than 40 online games.
Hit Entertainment has signed a licensing deal with Ontel Products Corporation and CJ Products, LLC to create Thomas the Tank Engine-inspired Pillow Pets, the first property that Ontel Products Corporation and CJ Products have taken on for My Pillow Pets.
The Thomas & Friends Pillow Pets will be available this year at mass and specialty retail stores in the U.S. and Canada. The product will feature a strap that closes underneath to transform Thomas from his engine form to a pillow.
Ape Entertainment is adding Classic Media’s Casper’s Scare School property to its KiZoic line of young reader titles. Based on the film Casper’s Scare School, which was released in 2006, and the subsequent television series that premiered in 2009, the series follows Casper who is in Scare School to get in touch with his spooky side—or else.
The Casper’s Scare School book series, published by Ape Entertainment, will be in stores this October.
For more information on Ape Entertainment, visit www.ape-entertainment.com.