Alex Toys, Poof-Slinky, and Zoob Come Together Under New Alex Brands
Alex Toys, Poof-Slinky, and Zoob are forming Alex Brands, a family of brands that will include several iconic names in the toy industry, including Alex Toys, Slinky, Scientific Explorer, and Ideal. Alex Brands’ collective portfolio will encompass more than 2,000 products spanning the categories of games, science kits, preschool and infant toys, construction sets, craft activity kits, and more.
Alex Brands will be headed by Fred Keller as president, and steered out of Canton, Mich., and Northvale, New Jersey. At next month’s International Toy Fair in New York City, the new company will introduce more than 150 new items across all its brands.
LeapFrog Remains No. 1 Selling Children’s Tablet Brand, Unveils Learning Video Series
The LeapPad line of learning tablets from LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. was the top-selling children’s tablet brand last year, according to year-end sales data from The NPD Group. LeapPad outsold competitive brands, including learning tablets and Android-based kid’s tablets.
This past week also saw LeapFrog Enterprises partner with Lionsgate Home Entertainment to release the first in a series of full-length learning videos featuring the next generation of popular frog characters made famous in the original Letter Factory DVD collection. LeapFrog Letter Factory Adventures: The Letter Machine Rescue Team includes problem-solving and reading exercises, new songs, sing-along videos, and curriculum commentary for parents.
The video will be available for download from the LeapFrog App Center, DVD, and Digital HD beginning March 4.
Lego Mixels Are Ready to Mix It Up
Lego Mixels is a new series of buildable toys that create fun collectible characters that leverage the versatility and creativity of the Lego building system. Mixels are colorful creatures that belong to different tribes, each based around a unique element. Set to debut in stores on March 1, Lego Mixels are batched in tribes such as Frosticons, Infernites, Stretchers, Cragsters, Electroids, and the Fang Gang. Kids will be able to mix and combine the Lego Mixels using the mysterious Cubits, resulting in new characters and further immersion in the Mixels universe.
The Mixels franchise will also debut on multiple screens and digital platforms next month.
Little Pim Founder to Discuss Raising Venture Capital at Toy Fair
Little Pim CEO and Founder Julia Pimsleur will speak during next month’s American International Toy Fair as part of the Digital Kids Conference. Pimsleur will present a case study entitled, “Taking Little Pim ‘Big’ Through Venture Capital,” in which she discusses how she raised $2 million in venture capital. She will also share the impact on her business and offer tips on securing capital in a highly competitive space.
Pimsleur’s presentation is scheduled for February 19 at 11:15 a.m. at the Jacob Javits Center, Hall 1E/Room 1E17.
Paper Punk Signs Deal with Nickelodeon for TMNT and SpongeBob Products
Paper Punk has inked a deal with Nickelodeon to develop paper-based construction and craft kits inspired by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob SquarePants. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kits will be introduced at the American International Toy Fair in New York City from February 16 to 19.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kits will feature all four turtle characters and include a kit containing 16 punch-n-fold shapes, more than 30 stickers, and 40 adhesive dots to construct a 3-D paper figure. It will be available early February. The SpongeBob SquarePants kit will feature the two main characters from the show and include 8 to 16 punch-n-fold shapes, more than 120 stickers, and 40 adhesive dots to construct a 3-D paper figure. It will be available mid-year.
Adora’s 2014 Designed by Kids FOR Kids Program Taking Submissions
Adora has launched its 2014 Designed by Kids FOR Kids program, and will officially call for submissions at the American International Toy Fair in New York City taking place from February 16 to 19. The program, which first launched last year, will select a Young Designer to work with Adora’s creative team to design an outfit for its 18-inch Adora Friends line of dolls. The final outfit and its Young Designer will be featured in next year’s Adora catalog, where the outfit will be available for purchase. Adora will make a donation to a charity of the winner’s choice.
The company will also unveil the outfit designed by Kayla Y., last year’s Young Designer from California.
Uglydoll and Kiss Collaborate on Plush
Uglydoll has entered a partnership with the rock band Kiss to create a global, co-branded set of plush collectibles. The Kiss Uglydoll collaboration will officially debut at the New York International Toy Fair in February. The collection will include plush dolls by Gund, featuring Uglydoll dressed as Kiss band members: OX as The Demon, Babo as The Starchild, Big Toe as The Catman, and Wage as The Spaceman.
The dolls are expected to arrive in stores in March.
Disguise Renews Multi-Year Agreement with Hasbro
Disguise Inc., the Halloween costume division of Jakks Pacific Inc., has renewed its licensing agreement with Hasbro to produce Halloween costumes and accessories based on top Hasbro brands. The new three-year agreement grants Disguise the rights to manufacture and distribute the Hasbro-branded items to all channels in the U.S. and Canada.
The agreement includes the rights to produce Halloween costumes based on the theatrical property Transformers: Age of Extinction, as well as classic Hasbro brands My Little Pony, Transformers, and Mr. Potato Head.
Spielwarenmesse 2014 Kicks Off with Plentiful Online Support
Spielwarenmesse 2014 kicked off on Wednesday, and courtesy of the Spielwarenmesse eG press team, important information about the event has been compiled and posted online.
At the official Spielwarenmesse web site, press releases are available in eight different languages including English, Chinese, French, and German. From there, visitors can follow links to a sound bites archive featuring Ernst Kick, CEO of Spielwarenmesse eG; Christian Ulrich, director of marketing for Spielwarenmesse eG; and other officials. In addition, there is a photo database with recent pictures from the event, as well as a link to TV footage.
Spielwarenmesse 2014 is scheduled to take place through February 3.