January 31, 2013

Laser Pegs

International Toy Fair

Mattel Launches New Global Entertainment Franchise Max Steel

Max SteelMax Steel, a wholly owned intellectual property from Mattel, will make its global debut on March 25 in the U.S. on Disney XD. Co-produced by Mattel and FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME), the CGI-animated, 26-episode, action-adventure series will roll out in more than 100 territories, including Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Hong Kong, Central and Eastern Europe, South and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Turkey, France, Italy, and Spain.
In addition to the series, an online content hub will support the Max Steel franchise. Fans will be able to view episodes online, play exclusive games, access video content, music, and the latest information on toys and products at MaxSteel.com. The Max Steel side-scrolling action adventure game will allow kids to experience the Max Steel story and access exclusive content on their iOS or Android devices.
Timed to Max Steel’s fall season beginning in August, Mattel will launch a new line of toys, including action figures, ride-on and die-cast vehicles, role-play items, and remote-control products.
In North America, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, Mattel has partnered with VIZ Media LLC to develop and publish a Max Steel original graphic novel series. The graphic novel series will launch in the fall under VIZ’s kids imprint.

Innovation First Partners with Ravensburger for Hexbug-Themed Board Game
Innovation First International, the company behind Hexbug Micro Robotic Creatures, has signed a deal with Ravensburger to introduce Kakerlakak, the first Hexbug-themed board game. The game is set to hit retail shelves in Europe this spring.
Kakerlakak is a fast-paced action game with a Hexbug nano mini robot at the center of the action. The interactive Kakerlakak game requires rapid response, hand-eye coordination, and challenges children ages 5 and up to maneuver the skittering bug through the kitchen maze using a variety of kitchen utensils. The player with the most chips at the end of the game, which they earn by trapping the bug into their corner, wins

Third-Party Testing Requirements for Children’s Products in Effect February 8

Third-party testing requirements for domestic manufacturers, importers, and private labelers of children’s products will go into effect on February 8, according to the Toy Industry Association.
Approved in October 2011, the Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product Certification rule provides a framework regarding third-party testing rules to ensure companies are in compliance with the standards outlined in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
The rule mandates that manufacturers must submit representative samples of a children’s product to a third-party conformity assessment body for testing to support certification, both periodically and if there is a material change to a product (for example, if there are changes in design or source of component parts). It also requires manufacturers to maintain paperwork for five years to support certifications of compliance, traceability, and testing documents. Manufacturers may use component part testing or rely on another party’s finished product testing or certification to meet the rule’s requirements.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products Unveils Toy Lineup

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) will unveil a lineup of licensed toys and collectibles at New York Toy Fair. In anticipation of Man of Steel, global master toy licensee Mattel will release its wide-ranging toy line including action figures, vehicles, play sets, and collectible figures. Also supporting Man of Steel are global licensees such as Lego, with construction sets inspired by memorable scenes from the film, and Rubie’s Costume Co., with a new line of Man of Steel-inspired costumes and accessories for both kid and adult fans.
WBCP’s toy partners are planning a line of toys to support the second and third films of The Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (December 2013) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (July 2014). Co-master toy partners The Bridge Direct and Vivid Group will unveil a new collection of characters based on The Hobbit trilogy as part of their range of products. Global licensee Lego will release a range of new fantastical build-and-play construction sets, succeeding its line based on the original Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Other Warner Bros. properties with toy lineups this year include Batman and DC Super Friends, the Batman Classic TV series, DC Comics, Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo, and The Big Bang Theory.

Giochi Preziosi to Roll Out Disney’s Doc McStuffins Toy Range in Europe
Doc McStuffinsThe Giochi Preziosi Group will launch a new toy range in Europe based on the Disney Junior TV series Doc McStuffins this summer. The toy range includes dolls, plush, role-play items, and play sets developed by Just Play. The range, which will be released in the spring in some markets, will also see the company develop and manufacture its own Doc McStuffins toys as well as distribute the Just Play line.

Bif Bang Pow! to Preview Star Trek Bobble Heads at Toy Fair

Bif Bang Pow!, under license from CBS Consumer Products, will produce Star Trek bobble heads. The standard-scale and miniature-sized Monitor Mate bobble heads based on the Star Trek TV shows and films will be released in the summer. Kicking off the line will be an introductory sneak-preview, limited-edition collectible, a Toy Fair Exclusive Borg Cube Monitor Mate, exclusively available for buyers who make an appointment to meet with EE Distribution at the Bif Bang Pow! booth (No. 4950) at New York Toy Fair. Email sales@eedistribution.com to make an appointment.

Toy Industry Foundation’s The Toy Bank Turns 10

The Toy Bank, a Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) program, this year celebrates a decade of working with national partners and a wide network of charities to give the gift of toys to youth in need. More than $78 million in toys have been given to some 10 million children throughout the past 10 years, according to TIF.
For its anniversary, the program is planning a substantial giveaway, new events with its national partners, and a celebration at American International Toy Fair. (Visit the TIF at booth No. 5201 for an invitation to the birthday party.)
The Toy Bank began as an organization that collected samples at trade shows to one that works year-round to give toys to hundreds of community nonprofit organizations. It has become a responder in times of crisis, providing humanitarian aid in the wake of natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005, tornados in 2011, and Hurricane Sandy last year.
To contribute to The Toy Bank, visit its page on the TIF website.

Big Idea Entertainment to Release New VeggieTales DVD in March

Veggie TalesBig Idea Entertainment will release an all-new DVD title, VeggieTales: the Little House that Stood,on March 2 at Christian retailers and March 5 at general retail stores.
VeggieTales: the Little House that Stood features the characters Bob, Larry, Junior Asparagus, The French Peas, Madame Blueberry, among others. This DVD parodies nursery rhymes with a VeggieTales twist. Families will learn the story of the wise and foolish builders through the Veggie version of The Three Little Pigs. Additionally, the story of Humpty Dumpty is re-told around the good neighbor parable in The Good Egg of Gooseville. The DVD also features new silly songs, “Happy Tooth Day,” and “The History of Mother Goose.”



Burger King and 41 Entertainment Join to Promote New Pac-Man TV Series

Pac-Man41 Entertainment has entered into a global kids promotion with Burger King Worldwide Inc. for the Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures property worldwide.  The television series is slated to begin broadcast in fall 2013. The promotion is scheduled to begin in January 2014 and it will run for six to eight weeks in company-owned and participating franchised Burger King restaurants. Guests who purchase a BK Kids Meal at participating restaurants will receive one of six themed toys with their meal. 


Women in Toys to Honor Hasbro Veteran

Women in Toys will present its 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award to honoree Catherine C. Meredith, who recently retired from Hasbro as senior vice president of new brand franchises and licensing after 38 years. Cathy will accept the award at the Ninth Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Awards Dinner February 10 in New York City.
Meredith’s toy industry career began in 1974 at Milton Bradley Co. in Springfield as an executive secretary to the senior vice president of operations. Four years later, she became executive secretary to the president and CEO of Milton Bradley. In 1984, Milton Bradley became part of Hasbro Inc. From then, she worked her way up through the marketing department, holding various positions in the game division. Ultimately, her role expanded to include licensing-in for all of Hasbro’s toy and game business, which culminated in her position as senior vice president of new brand franchises and licensing. For three years, Meredith served on the Licensing Industry Merchandising Association board of directors.
To purchase individual tickets, a table, or a tribute advertisement congratulating Meredith, visit www.womenintoys.com.

Inventor of the Etch A Sketch Dies at 86

André Cassagnes, the inventor of Etch A Sketch, died January 16 in a Paris suburb. He was 86. Etch A Sketch was first introduced in the U.S. in 1960 by Ohio Art as a mechanical drawing toy, and has since become a pop culture icon.
Etch A Sketch has since won several U.S. toy awards and made its way into international success. Quickly after its release, Etch A Sketch became the No. 1 selling toy for the holiday season in 1960. It has made significant appearances in movies and even political speeches during last year’s presidential elections. The toy was inducted into Oregon’s National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998, and it was added to the Toy Industry Association’s Century of Toys list five years later.

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