May 16, 2013

Laser Pegs

CPSC Filing Requirements Could Add $18.7 Million Burden on Industry

Proposed changes to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) certificate of compliance requirements could add complexities and significantly alter the way most companies manage their logistics for inbound freight to the U.S., according to the Toy Industry Association (TIA). The changes could more than double compliance costs for children’s product companies—from an approximate $15 million annual spent to comply with current certification requirements to nearly $34 million annually. Comments on the proposal are due to the CPSC by July 29.
Under the amended rule, companies that import regulated finished products manufactured outside of the U.S. would be required to file product certificates electronically with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) prior to importation in conjunction with other customs entry documents. Additionally, certifications would have to be identified prominently on the finished product, shipping carton, or invoice with a unique identifier and be accessible online without password protection.
TIA will be submitting comments to the CPSC by the deadline regarding the content requirements of the certificate, the economic impact of the certification rule, the logistics of electronic certification, and more. Members may contact TIA’s Rebecca Mond with any feedback to be included in the submitted comments, or to receive additional information about the rule’s impact. Comments on behalf of individual companies may be submitted directly to the CPSC at (docket number CPSC-2013-0017).

DC Collectibles Unveils New Lines Based on Upcoming Games

Building on the success of its Batman: Arkham City and Injustice: Gods Among Us action figure lines, DC Collectibles has announced two, all-new product lines based on upcoming Warner Bros. Interactive games Infinite Crisis and Batman: Arkham Origins.
This marks DC Collectibles’ first depiction of characters from Inifinite Crisis, which begins with the Nightmare Batman and Atomic Age Wonder Woman statues. Infinite Crisis is an all new, free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game for PC featuring fast-paced battles, streamlined RPG mechanics, and iconic locations and characters from across the DC Multiverse.
Sculpted by Erick Sosa and available for sale in September, Infinite Crisis: Nightmare Batman measures approximately 10.25 inches tall. Infinite Crisis: Atomic Wonder Woman, sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios, will be available in November and measures approximately 11.25 inches tall.
DC Collectibles also announces series No. 1 action figures based on the designs of the highly anticipated video game, Batman: Arkham Origins with characters Batman and Black Mask, one of Batman’s deadliest adversaries. The appearance of these stunning action figures are based on the early days, before the events of critically acclaimed video games Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. Available in October, these action figures measure 6.75 inches.

Uglydoll Partners with DC Comics for Superhero Plush

UglydollPretty Ugly LLC and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, have entered into a co-branded collaboration with DC Comics Super Heroes and Uglydoll characters. Gund, a division of Enesco, will produce a diverse range of colorful and collectible superhero plush based on the DC Comics and Uglydoll character universes. The initial release this fall will be a trio that includes two versions of Ice-Bat as Batman and Babo as Superman.
The plush characters will be offered at retail and will be available through Diamond Comics and a broad range of retailers. Funko is also set to offer a collection of vinyl figures based on the DC Comics and Uglydoll plush collaboration during the holiday season this year. Additional categories of merchandise and collaborative characters will be announced in the coming months.

Brave’s Merida Crowned 11th Disney Princess

MeridaMerida from Disney Pixar’s Brave has been inducted into the Disney Princess royal court. With her mother Queen Elinor proudly by her side, the ceremony took place at the Magic Kingdom in front of Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World Resort in conjunction with Mother’s Day festivities. Gymnastics Gold Medalist and All-Around champion Gabby Douglas hosted the celebration accompanied by her mother, and shared her personal story of strength, perseverance, and courage.
Merida processed through the Magic Kingdom to Cinderella's Castle led by a troop of Scottish dancers and an authentic pipe and drum band. Merida forged her own path, foregoing the traditional horse-and-carriage arrival and instead wowing the audience as she rode in on her trusty horse Angus. She was welcomed on stage by the entire Disney Princess court, and was crowned by her mother Queen Elinor. Merida is the 11th addition to the Disney Princess royal court.

Tomy Sets Guinness World Record for Tallest Toy Train Track

TomyTomy, the maker of the Chuggington StackTrack Railway System, set a Guinness World Records title for Tallest Toy Train Track on Saturday. The record-setting train track, constructed with Chuggington StackTrack—a durable die-cast railway system that enables kids to build vertical toy train layouts—towered 17 feet 4 inches. In order to set the Guinness World Records title for World’s Tallest Toy Train Track, Tomy Master Builder Jason Moreno and his helpers needed to construct a layout that met or exceeded 9 feet 8 inches in height, and a commercially available die-cast railway train had to travel from the top of the track all the way down to the bottom. Hundreds of kids and their families watched in anticipation and were delighted as the engine completed its journey down the spiraling StackTrack tower.
Moreno constructed the larger-than-life toy train layout as part of the Grand Centennial Parade of Trains in Vanderbilt Hall in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. The building began at 8 a.m. and was completed at 1 p.m., in time for the Guinness World Records adjudicator to authenticate the record-setting event and present the certificate to a delighted Tomy crew.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Partners with Nickelodeon for SpongeBob Plush

SpongeBobBuild-A-Bear Workshop has partnered with Nickelodeon to bring the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants to stores. Beginning May 17, the company will offer make-your-own SpongeBob and Patrick at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores throughout North America and online at SpongeBob’s Bikini Bottom friends Sandy Cheeks and Gary the Snail will also be available as pre-stuffed minis.
Build-A-Bear Workshop stores nationwide will celebrate the arrival of SpongeBob with a series of special events from May 17 through May 19. Guests will be encouraged to dress up in their favorite SpongeBob-themed apparel. Additionally, guests who purchase a SpongeBob or Patrick plush will receive a free paper pineapple hat while making one of these new furry friends.
Guests can dress their SpongeBob and Patrick plush in a variety of clothing and accessories, including SpongeBob’s Pirate Costume, Patrick’s Pirate Costume, Pineapple House, and SpongeBob SquarePants Song Sound Chip.
Additionally, any furry friend can dress up in SpongeBob PJ Pants and a SpongeBob T-Shirt to join the Bikini Bottom fun.

Construction Toys Shine Bright

One of the most classic toy categories is construction toys. These toys successfully compete in a market full of apps and tablets in their simplest form, without any gadgets or technology. Lego, Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoy—they’re all names that kids and parents know and love. But just because construction toys don’t need technology in order to hold their own on the shelves doesn’t mean companies aren’t trying to incorporate it, making construction toys an even more interactive play experience. Read more.

Make ‘n Break Party Induces Fits of Laughter

A simple concept: Use 10 blocks to assemble a structure depicted on a card. Sounds simple enough, right? There’s one small catch: you can’t see the card. Instead, your partner must describe the structure to you as you attempt to build it. OK, still not so hard. Now, here’s a blindfold. Oh, and by the way, sometimes your partner can’t say specific key words, and other times you’ll have to build a structure with no description at all. Read more.

New Book Constructs Lego Cities

Never in my wildest tinkering with construction toys would I come up with building New York City’s Central Park, London’s Olympic Stadium (complete with a parachuting Queen Elizabeth), or Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral out of Lego bricks. Lego lovers prepare to be wowed. Warren Elsmore’s new book Brick City (Barron’s, 2013) blew my mind with page after page of realistic global landmarks constructed completely out of Legos. The book is a veritable trip around the world for fans of the popular building bricks. Read more.

Saban Brands Appoints President of The Playforge

Saban Brands has appointed Jack Sorensen as president of The Playforge, the company’s mobile social games division based in San Francisco. Sorensen will be responsible for overseeing the development of character-based mobile games for mass audiences. Sorensen will also lead efforts to expand, promote, and monetize The Playforge’s digital intellectual properties, including its flagship mobile title Zombie Farm, through transmedia extensions within traditional media, licensing, and merchandising.
With more than 20 years of game industry experience, Sorensen brings skills in building and managing high-growth businesses in technology and entertainment. Sorensen has managed brands in interactive gaming, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Pixar (six films), Dreamworks (two films), The Sopranos, UFC, Marvel, and numerous original properties.  
Sorensen previously served as executive vice president of Worldwide Studios at THQ Inc., a video game developer and publisher, where he was responsible for overseeing all product development, business development, and development acquisitions.

giggle Appoints New President and COO

giggle (, the destination for baby nursery products and resources, has named Beth Guastella as president and COO. In this new role, Guastella will be responsible for giggle's day-to-day operations and will oversee giggle retail, direct channels, merchandising, and finance.
Guastella comes to giggle from Cole Haan where she was vice president of direct to consumer. With more than 20 years of leadership experience in retail, merchandising, operations, and P&L management, Guastella has previously worked with consumer brands, including Calypso St. Barth, Stuart Weitzman, Kate Spade, Montblanc, and Hermes.

Buffalo Games Names New General Manager 

Buffalo Games Inc. has named Nagendra Raina as general manager. In this newly created executive position, Raina will spearhead a strategic plan aimed at driving the company’s growth in North America. He will lead all functions of the company, including product development, sales and marketing, engineering and plant production, and finance and administration.
Most recently, Raina was the director of strategy and finance at Fisher-Price where he was responsible for developing and managing company strategies and financials. He helped launch many products during his tenure, including the Smart Cycle learning system.

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