China Toy Fair


Survey: What’s the hottest thing for kids?

Following are the results from an NPD Group survey that was fielded for four weeks in February 2012 in response to the question:What would the kids you know say is the hottest new thing these days?”

Roughly 3,950 mentions were compiled of things that kids are currently into, and here’s how the top 10 most mentioned responses stack up:

6% Justin Bieber
3% iPad
3% Cars: The Movie (franchise)
2% Twilight
2% Video Games
2% Angry Birds
2% Dora the Explorer
2% LEGO
1% iPhone
1% iPod

Justin Bieber remained at the top of the list in this follow-up to NPD’s September 2011 survey, in which Bieber captured 9 percent of total mentions followed by Cars: The Movie (franchise), Xbox 360, Disney, iPad, iCarly, Dora the Explorer, Nintendo Wii, and Transformers.

Some of the brands, franchises, celebrities, or items that show to be emerging in popularity include (in no particular order) Justice Clothing for Girls, Victorious, The Hunger Games, Skylanders, PlayStation Vita, Beats by Dr. Dre, Big Time Rush, Team Umizoomi, The Voice, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Jeremy Lin, Adventure Time, and Dubstep.

The NPD Kids Industry Data Service (KIDS) provides monthly insight into purchases made on behalf of kids ages 0-14 across product categories with an emphasis on licenses and brands. In addition, each month we ask an open-ended unaided question designed to provide insight into what is top-of-mind with kids today.

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Garbage Pail Kids Become a Collectors’ Item

After 25 years, the Garbage Pail Kids are making a comeback as a collectable item. A book containing 206 images from Series 1 through 5, from 1985 and 1986, and a set of four limited-edition, previously unpublished bonus stickers will be available. Cartoonist Art Spiegelman is featured in the introduction, and John Pound closes out the book with the afterword.

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Cryptozoic Entertainment Develops The Big Bang Theory Board Game

Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Warner Bros. Television Group have announced a partnership with Cryptozoic Entertainment to develop and publish The Big Bang Theory: The Party Game, based on the television comedy series.

Designed for three to six players ages 15 and up, the game has players pairing category cards with show insider phrases and references. Points are awarded based on judging and ranking the card combinations. The Big Bang Theory: The Party Game will be available at retailers nationwide, and Amazon, ThinkGeek.com, Barnes & Noble, Hastings, and f.y.e. (for your entertainment), in April.

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Hasbro Expands Global Brands in Fashion

Hasbro is further enriching the product lineup for its global entertainment brands. Over the past year, Hasbro has collaborated with designers, artists, and apparel licensees to create fashion lines based on entertainment brands such as Monopoly, Transformers, Nerf, and My Little Pony.

My Little Pony experienced growth in the fashion sector, fueled by the TV series My Little Pony Friendship is Magic on The Hub Network. In fall 2011, an undiscovered demographic, Bronies, male fans, were discovered. In February, one-of-a-kind Monopoly super glam tees designed by Artist Aaron Rose hit the runway during New York Fashion Week, under the theme Money Can’t Buy Happiness.

This spring, Hasbro’s collaboration with Rocawear will introduce a T-shirt collection featuring the illustrations of characters Optimus Prime and Bumblebee from Transformers and a Battleship collection coupled with Jay-Z lyrics.

Hasbro will also debut a Battleship Crew Series collection that combines imagery from the film. The Battleship Crew Series will enlist New Era, Han Cholo, Zazzle, and others to create a wide variety of Hollywood-esque apparel and accessories.

Hasbro plans to continue to extend its reach by securing more fashion-focused deals with pop culture trendsetters and icons while fortifying its portfolio of global licenses.

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ThinkGeek Unveils iCADE 8-Bitty at Toy Fair

ThinkGeek unveiled its newest product, iCADE 8-Bitty, at the American International Toy Fair in New York. The iCADE 8-Bitty wireless game controller with a classic D-Pad and retro feel, will bring the experience of the iCADE to the pockets of smartphones and tablet users. The 8-Bitty is battery powered, and connects with your device wirelessly. It features a fully-functional directional game pad and eight buttons.

A list of 8-Bitty games includes the Atari Classics collection, Pac Man, Super Mega Worm, and many more. Developers of iOS and Android games can access the public API to make games compatible with iCADE. The iCADE 8-Bitty will be available later this year for $24.99 at ThinkGeek.com. 

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TOTY Award Winners Announced

More than five hundred toy industry executives and guests from around the globe gathered in New York City on February 11 to honor their peers at the 12th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

A Toy Industry Association (TIA)-administered event in support of the Toy Industry Foundation, the  gala held in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center kicked off the 109th American International Toy Fair and paid tribute to today’s superstars, tomorrow’s bright up-and-comers, and illustrious toy industry icons.

Interspersed with the presentations of 12 TOTY Awards were two inductions into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame: Arnie Rubin, Founder and CEO of Funrise Toy, and the late Frederick August Otto Schwarz, founder of FAO Schwarz. The new inductees join a distinguished roster of nearly 60 toy industry luminaries who have been inducted into the Hall since its establishment in 1985.

Award winners were selected with the input of consumers (on ToyAwards.org), retailers (mass and specialty), media, and members of the toy industry. The five ballots were weighted and used to determine the category winners as well as the overall “Toy of the Year” award.
LeapPad Explorer by LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. received the coveted “Toy of the Year” title and was also awarded Educational Toy of the Year and Preschool Toy of the Year. The awards program included 77 finalists across the 11 categories.

And the winners are…

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Flashback! Child World/Children’s Palace Video Toy Chest (1990)

I was flipping through back issues of The Toy Book when I had a great childhood memory: the 1990 video toy catalog from Child World/Children’s Palace! When I was a little tot, it was my favorite “movie”! Check out the videos above and below. -Elizabeth

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New Generation of Cabbage Patch Kids

Cabbage Patch Kids Fashionality

A new set of Cabbage Patch Kids are joining the deeply rooted multi-generation brand. Jakks Pacific, Inc. and Cabbage Patch Kids property owner Original Appalachian Artworks Inc. announced the Connecting Generations campaign for the new Cabbage Patch Kids Fashionality line. The line is just like the original Cabbage Patch Kids but with contemporary fashions and personalities that appeal to today’s kids.

Parents and grandparents can now share the joy of adopting a Cabbage Patch Kid and help younger kids create their own Cabbage Patch family tree. Jakks’ new crop of one-of-a-kind Cabbage Patch Fashionality kids are 14 inches tall with silky hair. Each Kid has a different Fashionality style that both little girls and boys can relate to. The 12 unique personalities range from “prepsters” and “skateboarders” to “girly girls” and “artsy” girls.

Just like the older generation of Cabbage Patch Kids, each Kid comes with a one-of-a-kind name, a birth certificate, and an adoption paper. As a bonus, kids will receive a unique code to download the  Cabbage Patch Kids Video “The New Kid.” The new Cabbage Patch Kids are available at retailers nationwide for $34.99 and is for ages 3 and up.

Bleacher Creatures: Fun for Sports Fans

Young sports fans can now have their favorite professional sports team player wherever they go. New products from Bleacher Creatures include a line of plush characters, hand puppets, and wind-up toys that are fully recognizable as today’s biggest athletes.

The plush line-up includes a 14-inch character, a seven-inch character, and a hand puppet. Each Bleacher Creature comes dressed in the player’s authentic team uniform. The initial line includes stars from the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Hockey League (NHL), and National Basketball Association (NBA).

In addition to plush characters, there are wind-up toys representing players and teams. Items include wind-up footballs, helmets, jerseys, and more. Bleacher Creatures products are for ages 3 and up, and are available in stores and online.

Barbie’s First Commerical, Circa 1959

ah, the good old days… ;)