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Lego Group Launches Social Network for Kids

The Lego Group launched Lego Life, a social networking app for kids under the age of 13. The digital experience lets kids connect with a community of like-minded peers to express their creativity, share their Lego creations, and interact with Lego characters. The app is available in the U.S., Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, Austria, and Switzerland, with additional markets launching throughout the year and next year.
 
The Lego Life app lets kids personalize their LEGO experience through direct interaction with their favorite LEGO characters, exclusive content, an in-depth 3-D Lego minifigure avatar creator, and fun building inspiration and challenges. Lego Life also introduces a custom LEGO Emoji Keyboard with which kids and tweens can communicate about what they create in Lego form, as well as comment on what their peers share. Read more…

Toy State, Caterpillar Extend Global Licensing Partnership

Toy State and Caterpillar have agreed to a four-year extension of their licensing partnership. The term of the agreement extends through 2021 and grants Toy State rights to continue to design, manufacture, and distribute its Cat product lines through major retailers globally. Read more…

Activision Blizzard Launches New Consumer Products Division

Activision Blizzard Inc. launched a newly created consumer products division and appointed Mattel and Disney executive Tim Kilpin as its CEO and president. The launch of the consumer products division is part of Activision's expansion of the platforms for its audience, including interactive content, TV and film, competitive gaming, and mobile. Read more…

Jazwares, Jazwings Partner with USP Studios for YouTube Content

Jazwares LLC obtained the licensing rights for USP Studios' original properties that air exclusively on YouTube. In addition, JazWings and USP Studios will partner to develop animated content based on new brands in the JazWings incubation program to air on YouTube. USP Studios is a creator of online content for kids. Read more…

Alpha Launches Super Wings on YouTube

The Alpha Group U.S. LLC, a subsidiary of The Alpha Group, launched the Super Wings YouTube channel. Within the first month of launching 13 episodes on YouTube, the Super Wings channel has earned more than 8 million views with more than 37 million minutes watched. Read more…

ASTRA Share the Fair Event to Take Place at Toy Fair

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)'s Share the Fair event at the North American International Toy Fair will take place on Feb. 20 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. in the Javits Convention Center Hall 1E 11. The event brings ASTRA retailers together on the third morning of Toy Fair to share information about products they have seen on the exhibit floor. Read more…

My Little Pony Pop-Up Spa Heads to New York

From Feb. 9 to Feb. 17, Milk & Cookies Kids Spa and Salon in New York City will offer a My Little Pony Pamper-Me Pop-up Spa that lets kids play with new My Little Pony fashion-themed products and enjoy My Little Pony-inspired spa treatments. Read more…

The Creative Factor Returns to Toy Fair

The Creative Factor returns to the North American International Toy Fair in New York City for its 13th consecutive year, hosted by Brett Klisch of Peru Meridian Studios and the Toy Industry Association. While the event will welcome back the best in new technology in 3-D printing and design, the curriculum will expand to include social media and crowdfunding. Read more…

Jazwares' Roblox Toys Launch Nationwide

Roblox, in partnership with Jazwares, officially launched its first line of toys to retail stores nationwide. The line, the first to bring Roblox offline and into retail, is now available at Toys "R" Us, Target, and Walmart stores nationwide.
 
The toy line includes exclusive codes to unlock in-game surprises and features creations from the game's most popular independent developers, including toys based on user-generated creations such as the Roblox High School and Work at a Pizza Place.

Lego Dimensions Adds The Goonies, Lego City, and More Harry Potter Characters

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment revealed details about three new collectible expansion packs for Lego Dimensions: The Goonies Level Pack, the Harry Potter Fun Pack, and Lego City Fun Pack. The expansions will broaden the selection of entertainment brands available for the game, letting players mix and match their favorite characters from different universes. The Lego minifigures included within each of these expansion packs come with Toy Tags, which unlock a free play Adventure World of the corresponding entertainment brand, as well as a Battle Arena. Read more...

Schleich Launches New Website

Schleich redesigned its website to reflect the brand's recent packaging and in-store display redesign. The site also shows the company's store locator for purchase locations, along with information about the quality and manufacturing of Schleich products. Consumers can now also connect to all content on the company’s social media channels with streams of its Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages on the homepage.

Neat-Oh! to Launch ASTRA Exclusive Line with Totum

Neat-Oh! will distribute five Totum activity kits, previously not available in the U.S., exclusively to American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) retailers at the North American International Toy Fair in New York City. On Feb. 18, Neat-Oh! will showcase the My Dream Lights, Window Markers, Spraypens, Magnetica, and Dinomania kits at the ASTRA Exclusives Reception. ASTRA retailers will be the first to order these kits from the Dutch company.

An Important Step for Play: Mattel’s “Dads Who Play Barbie”

It’s incredible how much things can change in what seems, on one hand, to be a few short years, but on another, the result of decades of struggle. As my wife and I celebrate our eighth year of parenting, it’s hard to believe that I, as the father of two girls, have already spent the better part of a decade invested not only in the development of two beautiful human beings, but also in carrying a torch for play. Read more…

The Haywire Group Appoints National Sales Manager

The Haywire Group appointed Tami Murphy as its national sales manager. In the newly created position, Murphy will focus on sales throughout domestic channels of Haywire's distribution: specialty, catalog, online, mass market, and distributors. Read more…

Funrise Toy Corp. Promotes Kelly Woon to Vice President

Funrise Toy Corp. appointed Canadian-based employee Kelly Woon as the company's new vice president. Woon began her career with Funrise in 2007 as director of sales in Canada, and has since been promoted to various roles, with her most recently being general manager in Canada. Read more…

Katharine Morgan Becomes President of ASTM International

Katharine Morgan was appointed president of ASTM International. Morgan will lead a team that supports members, customers, partners, and other stakeholders worldwide. She succeeds James A. Thomas, who served in the role for 25 years.
 
Morgan is a 33-year veteran of ASTM International, having served as executive vice president for the past two years. Prior to that, she was vice president of technical committee operations.

Jakks Pacific Retires $27.59 Million of the Company's Convertible Senior Notes

Jakks Pacific Inc. agreed, with a holder of its Convertible Senior Notes due in 2018, to exchange $27.59 million face amount of such notes for 2.0 million shares of its common stock and approximately $17.1 million in cash. After this exchange, the balance of the face amount of the 2018 notes will be reduced to $66.3 million, from approximately $93.9 million.

February 2, 2017
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