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Moose Toys, Koba Entertainment Announce Shopkins Live! National Tour

Koba Entertainment and Moose Toys announced Shopkins Live, the first live theatrical production based on the Shopkins figure toy brand.

The production will go on a six-month national tour across 75 U.S. cities and will premiere on September 14th in Buffalo, New York. Tickets for this will go on sale this Friday. The 90-minute show will feature an original story, pop music, and video highlights as the Shoppies and Shopkins characters prepare for Shopville's annual Funtastic Food and Fashion Fair.

Nintendo's Switch Becomes Fastest-Selling System in Nintendo’s History

The Nintendo Switch console sold faster in its launch month than any other video game system in Nintendo history. The video game system sold more than 906,000 units in March, according to The NPD Group.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game sold more than 1.3 million units in the U.S., according to The NPD Group. That total includes more than 925,000 units sold for Nintendo Switch and nearly 460,000 units sold for the Wii U console—meaning Nintendo sold more of this game for Nintendo Switch than it sold Nintendo Switch systems, for an attach rate of more than 100 percent. This may be attributed to people who purchased both a limited edition of the game to collect and a second version to play, according to Nintendo.

This was all enough to make The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild the fastest-selling Nintendo launch game of all time, as well as the fastest-selling game ever in the Legend of Zelda series. Nintendo's upcoming new games for the Switch include Mario Kart 8 Deluxe game on April 28; ARMS on June 16; and Splatoon 2 on July 21.

Deadline for Marbles IP Bid Approaches

The final bid deadline for the brand acquisition of Marbles: The Brain Store is today, April 20, at 5 p.m.

Marbles is a developer, wholesaler and specialty retailer of games, puzzles, books, and software designed to strengthen and stimulate the brain. The company’s current catalog features a total of 141 Marbles branded products, broken down to 29 owned products, 19 licensed products, 86 OEM products, and 7 public domain products. Key product titles include Ortio, The Sherlock, Flingons, Tugie, Fundapop, Brainbows, and more.

So far, Marbles: The Brain Store has accepted Spin Master Ltd.'s stalking horse bid of $2.5 million. If nothing changes by 5 p.m. today, then Spin Master will acquire the IP.

Toy Industry Foundation Receives More Than 300,000 Toys from Tristar Products for Children in Need

Tristar Products donated 300,000 brand new Bandaloom jewelry-making kits to the Toy Bank, part of the Toy Industry Foundation. The donation is worth nearly $3 million.

The kits will be delivered to 13 different children’s charities across Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, including Shelter Partnership, World Vision, My Stuff Bags Foundation, Santa Claus of San Bernandino, Metro Kidz, and Heart of Compassion.

Marvel Launches Global #GrootDancebomb Tree-Planting Campaign in Honor of Earth Month

In celebration of Earth Month and the upcoming release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Marvel launched the global #GrootDancebomb challenge to take place from April 18 to May 5.

Similar to photobombing, this challenge encourages participants to dance for unsuspecting bystanders, surprise people with a dancing Groot toy, or share Marvel’s promotional video featuring YouTube star D-trix—all while using the hashtag #GrootDancebomb on Instagram or Twitter. For every hashtag, Marvel and the Disney Conservation Fund will direct a $1 donation to The Nature Conservancy to plant a tree. The minimum donation is $50,000 and the maximum is $250,000.

Hunter Products Appoints U.S. Vice President

Hunter Products Pty Ltd. appointed Tom Neville as vice president of Hunter Products USA LLC effective immediately.

Neville returns to the toy industry, where he spent the last 20 years working for The Canadian Group and DSI Toys. He will build on the success in North America and expand the business into Latin America.

Hunter Products will release three new concepts next year to add to its lineup, including the Shibajuku Girls fashion doll line.

Maple Landmark Owner Named Vermont's Small Business Person of the Year

President and owner of Maple Landmark Michael Rainville was named the 2017 Vermont Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Located in Middlebury, Vt., Maple Landmark is known for manufacturing eco-friendly wooden games and toys such as trains and jigsaw puzzles. Rainville, along with small business winners in other categories, will be honored at the 2017 Vermont Small Business Awards Ceremony in June.

April 20, 2017
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