Amazon, Lego, and Hasbro Rank Among Reputation Institute’s 2015 U.S. RepTrak 100

ReputationInstitute2,logoAmazon ranked first for the second year in a row in Reputation Institute‘s 2015 U.S. RepTrak 100, an annual survey of corporate reputations. Lego ranked third among the top ten companies, and Hasbro ranked 23rd.

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Nintendo’s Mario: Silver Edition amiibo Figure Arrives on May 29

Silver_Mario_amiiboA new Mario: Silver Edition amiibo figure will be available at major nationwide retailers and their respective online destinations on May 29. As with the other Mario amiibo figures that have already launched, the Mario: Silver Edition amiibo will have the same functionality and work with all games that are compatible with Mario amiibo.

A full list of compatible games is available on the amiibo compatibility chart at Nintendo’s web site.

Toy State Enters into Sponsorship Agreement with Go Baby Go

ToyStateIn partnership with Go Baby Go, a research-based, national program that provides modified, ride-on toy cars to young children with disabilities, Toy State is sponsoring four workshops in four cities across the country. Each car will be outfitted to model the Toy State Nikko R/C No. 7 car currently driven by Alex Bowman on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit.

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COMMENTARY: Toys Meet Theme Parks and Resorts, or, How You’ll Be Spending Your Summer Vacations

Legoland Florida Resort

Last week, one of the big news stories around the toy industry was Nintendo entering a deal with Universal Studios to create rides and other attractions for the latter’s theme parks. As reported on The Toy Book Blog, Nintendo’s most famous video game characters and worlds would serve as the inspiration for these soon-to-be immersive experiences. Imagine the possibilities: Kids, and adults, may soon interact with environments straight out of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda, or any of the video game maker’s other hit franchises.

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Titan Series Kickstarter Campaign Enters Final Leg

TheTitanSeries2Calliope Games is in the final days of its Kickstarter campaign, focused on raising funds for its Titan Series game project. The Titan Series is a line of casual, family-friendly tabletop games intended to be playable in 60 minutes or less, and designed for ages 8 and up.

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Q&A with Andy Friess, President of Toy State

AndyFriess,headshotHaving recently been promoted to the position of president of Toy State, it seemed like a good time to sit down with Andy Friess to talk about the state of his company, its high-profile sponsorship agreement with Tommy Baldwin Racing, its upcoming plans for the R/C brand, Nikko, and more.

The Toy Book (TTB): How important are new licensing agreements to the growth of Toy State? 

Andy Friess (AF): Licensing plays a major role in our success. With the competition so tough in all toy categories, securing rights to strong licenses can provide the point-of-difference that separates us from our competitors. Toy State’s history of developing products featuring the highest levels of quality and innovation has been a great “selling” tool as we seek new licensing opportunities. We’ve been extremely fortunate to work with a core of outstanding global licensors, and these relationships have been instrumental to the successes we have achieved over our 30-plus-year history. The 13-year, multi-category relationship with Caterpillar has been the foundation of our licensing efforts.

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TIA Calls for Toy Industry to Fight Back Against Chemical Ban Threat

TIAIn the wake of states and counties passing legislation banning the sale of certain children’s products, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) is calling for a federal approach that would establish a consistent, nationwide approach to chemicals regulation that would preempt state laws.

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Burger King Accessorizes Kids’ Meals with Lalaloopsy

BurgerKingLalaloopsyBurger King restaurants and MGA Entertainment (MGAE) have entered into a deal for a global promotion featuring MGAE’s Lalaloopsy brand. Burger King restaurants will feature Lalaloopsy accessories in Kids’ Meals globally through June 21.

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Toys “R” Us Children’s Fund Gala Raises $4.6 Million

toysrusLast Thursday, nearly 1,300 leaders from the toy and baby products industries came together at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City to celebrate the 2015 Toys “R” Us Children’s Fund Gala. During the evening, $4.6 million was raised for the Toys “R” Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys “R” Us Inc., to aid in its mission to keep children safe and help them in times of need. The event was hosted by comedian Martin Short and featured a performance by Lenny Kravitz.

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The Madame Alexander Doll Company and Kahn Lucas Appoint Jamie Cygielman as General Manager

MadameAlexanderlogoMadame Alexander Doll Company and Kahn Lucas have appointed Jamie Cygielman as general manager, Madame Alexander Doll and Dollie & Me.

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