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Spin Master Acquires Marbles, Grows Games Portfolio

Spin Master Corp. acquired Marbles The Brain Store, marking the company's ongoing efforts to build its games offering, following the 2015 purchase of Cardinal Industries and subsequent acquisition of Editrice Giochi SRL last year. According to the NPD Group, Spin Master is currently among the top three manufacturers in the Games and Puzzles supercategory. Read more…

Magformers Expands into Plush Category

Magformers LLC, known for its magnetic construction toys, expands this year with the launch of the DOLCE line of plush, and the acquisition of construction toy lines Clicformers and Tile Blox. Building on its presence in the construction category, Magformers purchased Tile Blox this month. Read more…

eOne, Round Room Partner for PJ Masks Live Stage Show

Entertainment One (eOne) and Round Room Presents partnered to bring the first PJ Masks live stage show to the U.S. and Canada. Based on eOne’s animated series that airs daily on Disney Junior, Time to Be a Hero!, features music, aerobatics, and more.
 
Beginning this fall, a range of consumer packaged goods and food product introductions will also arrive at retail in the U.S., including Choco-Treasure for chocolate surprise eggs; Frankford for chocolate and non-chocolate confections and seasonal gift sets; GBG Beauty for bath and personal care; Primary Colors for cookies, candy, and packaged gummies; Pure Growth for organic breakfast bars and biscuits; and Tin Box for tin containers.
 
In addition, the brand debuted its first music release, Here We Come, which features 10 familiar songs, including the show’s theme song and other tracks from the brand’s official music videos. The mini-album is now available for iOS and Android platforms.

U.S. CPSC Revises Toy Safety Standard

The U.S. Consumer Products Commission approved the revised standard for toy safety in the U.S., revised through ASTM International. Manufacturers, importers, and retailers use the standard to design and sell products that comply with laws such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Act and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Regulatory bodies and testing laboratories use the standard for toy certification and other purposes. Additional clarifications to the standard are in process and will be issued in upcoming versions. Read more…

Moose Toys Launches Despicable Me Mineez

Moose Toys launched Despicable Me Mineez at retail, a new line of squishy character collectible figures based on the Illumination Entertainment animated film franchise, Despicable Me.
 
Fans can collect more than 75 Season 1 figures, available in 3-packs, 6-packs, and blind packs including Ultra Rare and Limited Edition figures. The collectibles are based on characters from the movie such as Gru, Agnes, Margo, Edith, and the Minions, and are available in styles that fans are familiar with, in addition to never-before-seen character themes.

Rubie’s Costume Co. to Launch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Costume Collection

Rubie’s Costume Co. Inc. will launch a range of costumes, masks, accessories, and makeup inspired by the upcoming action-adventure film, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which premieres worldwide tomorrow.
 
Available in toddler, children, and adult sizes, the licensed collection includes Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Gamora, Yondu, and Nebula. Imagine—a division of Rubie’s— also offers dress-up costumes and accessories for kids in separates and boxed sets.
 
The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Costume Collection by Rubie’s will be available this Halloween season.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Nintendo's Switch Becomes Fastest-Selling Game in Franchise History

With more than 459,000 combined packaged and digital sales in the U.S. on launch day alone (April 28), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch system is the fastest-selling game in the long-running Mario Kart series. Read more…

Nintendo will also release its newest addition to the Nintendo 3DS line, the New Nintendo 2DS XL, on July 28.. Read more…

The Strong Inducts Four Games into World Video Game Hall of Fame

The Strong National Museum of Play inducted Donkey Kong, Halo: Combat Evolved, Pokémon Red and Green, and Street Fighter II into the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
 
The final four were chosen from a field of 12 finalists that included Final Fantasy VII, Microsoft Windows Solitaire, Mortal Kombat, Myst, Portal, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, and Wii Sports. The four inductees span multiple decades, countries of origin, and gaming platforms, but all have significantly affected the video game industry, popular culture, and society in general.
 
The World Video Game Hall of Fame at The Strong was established in 2015 to recognize individual electronic games of all types—arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile—that were popular over a sustained period.

School Zone's Charlie & Company Is Now Available on Oznoz

School Zone partnered with Oznoz, a video-on-demand children's platform that features programming for bilingual kids, to digitally distribute the preschool series Charlie & Company. The show will now be accessible through Oznoz to all viewers across the U.S. and Canada.
 
Charlie & Company is an educational live-action/animated show that tells the story of a Golden Retriever named Charlie who joins with his friends to teach young viewers fun lessons.

Fat Brain Toys Launches #FatBrainGives to Donate 10,000 Toys

Fat Brain Toys launched its #FatBrainGives initiative today. For every product purchased on Fat Brain Toys' website throughout May, the company will donate a toy to a child in need. The campaign aims to donate at least 10,000 toys.
 
Customers can purchase from a collection of more than 2,000 toys from the official website and retail stores. Fat Brain Toys has partnered with charities such as Military Children's Inc., Foster Family Service, New Alternatives for Children, and Communities in Schools to donate to kids in need.
 
Fat Brain Toys will also work with charitable organizations Delivering Good and TSL to ensure safe delivery of the toys to the charities listed above.

Rovio’s New IP Sails into App Stores Worldwide

Rovio launched Battle Bay, a new real-time five vs. five multiplayer game, available now on iOS and Android devices worldwide. The new IP, developed internally from Rovio, is the latest in the company’s game portfolio, which includes Angry Birds.
 
The characters of Battle Bay are fighting for survival, and players must assemble in teams of five to challenge opposing teams in a real-time multiplayer showdown. Players will have the opportunity to customize ships, train a crew, make a ship of their own, and chat with team members using an in-game communication system.
 
The game marks Rovio’s first real-time competitive multiplayer game in a 3-D third person perspective.

Toy Manufacturers Support Scholarship Fund for ASTRA Retailers

Several toy manufacturers have contributed to a scholarship fund to help American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) retailers facing financial hardship attend ASTRA's 2017 Marketplace & Academy event in Philadelphia. This event will take place from June 25 through 28.
 
Those who contribute $1,000 or more to the scholarship fund will be featured in an article of the ASTRA Toy Times Magazine September issue. They will also receive recognition at the annual business meeting in the ASTRA Digest.

SYBO to Adapt Animated Series Based on Subway Surfers Mobile Game

Sander Schwartz joined SYBO as head of animation and will adapt the Subway Surfers mobile game app into an animated TV series.
 
Subway Surfers was originally conceived as animation, before it became the popular mobile game. With this agreement, Schwartz will take Subway Surfers to TV and film, dividing his time between the creative team in Copenhagen and content. Brent Friedman (Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars) will script a series of shorts and a long-form content.
 
The Subway Surfers characters and universe were created and developed by SYBO, and released as a mobile game together with Kiloo in 2012. The game is the most popular and played mobile app game to date.

Spin Master Appoints Jennifer Dodge to Executive Vice President, Entertainment

Jennifer Dodge returns to Spin Master as the executive vice president of Spin Master Entertainment. Dodge previously worked with Ronnen Harary, co-CEO and co-founder of Spin Master Ltd. and collaboratively led Spin Master's Entertainment group for six years before leaving in 2015. Prior to her return, Dodge held the position of SVP Preschool Development for Nickelodeon, where she led the development of original content for Nickelodeon's preschool programming block and the Nick Jr. channel.
 
In her new role, Dodge will lead Spin Master's entertainment group in developing evergreen global entertainment properties, while focusing on creative strategies that position Spin Master for additional growth.

May 4, 2017
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